Tag Archives: Donald Sutherland

Animal House Review

America is a strange and violent land full of teens who think they can drink and drink that barely has alcohol in it. No such comments are made on that in Animal House, a time where drinking was a side order of stirring degeneracy rather than something that could cause it. How the times have changed. John Landis directs this frat comedy with a grand understanding not just of what makes the frat party a place for wild partygoing antics but engages with the National Lampoon caricatures and the shtick they provided audiences for decades. These are the party boys and the snooty sororities that looked down on the fun attitudes of the time. But did they exist? Probably not.

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Space Cowboys Review

Pensioners, controversially, are not allowed to head up missions beyond this planet. Damned be the rules, was presumably the response of legendary filmmaker Clint Eastwood. Space Cowboys sees four men not in their finest shape take on a mission to save the world. Relics from the Cold War found in space by relics from the planet Earth. But their ancient quest to fix satellites is based on the functionality of what these old pilots can learn not just from one another, but from pushing themselves to limits they never knew they had. Beyond the unnecessary need for this mission and for hiring four retired pilots, Space Cowboys at least has a reason for breaching reality and sending these men into space. 

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Pride & Prejudice Review

What must actors do to provide the goods for a period piece? Pride & Prejudice has three essential mechanics that make it work so well. An adaptably strong piece of literature, a keen eye for costume and drama, and Keira Knightley. The claxon of the period piece rings out once more, and, honour-bound by some ancient writing or law, Knightley is once more part of the Georgian era. Like jury service, but permanently. Mandated by law to appear in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. Still, she has served the genre exceptionally well, and her strenuous efforts to bring this immense credibility to Pride & Prejudice has worked incredibly well.

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M*A*S*H Review

Those brave boys in Korea are cannon fodder for director Robert Altman. Those immortal, scribbled words that sat on a desk in his home, are engraved in history. “Fuck it, I’ll do it,” he wrote when asked to direct M*A*S*H. His distaste for the novel it was based on, paired with his fresh filmmaking legs made for a rough ride through a war that had ended nearly two decades ago. There was, of course, another war on at the time over in Vietnam, and the concern studios and producers had for what that meant for the contemporary appeal of M*A*S*H was palpable. Altman must have known, for while his efforts here may focus on the horrors of Korea, they instil the tragedies of the contemporary world around him and his ensemble cast.

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The Eagle Has Landed Review

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no eagles within The Eagle Has Landed. There is, however, one Michael Caine playing an undercover Nazi with the task of assassinating Winston Churchill, so I do suppose that is an even trade-off. From The Great Escape director John Sturges comes a war epic with a frightfully good cast and a remarkable premise. Detailing what would happen if a desperate plan to traverse the coasts of England led to the assassination of their Prime Minister, The Eagle Has Landed is a sadly wasted opportunity. One premise that suffocates the war movie fan within me, and brings us firmly to a grounded, often incredibly dull film with limited entertainment value.

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