The besties review
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From Here to Eternity
I love a good melodrama as much as the next guy, but this definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.
The first half really dragged for me, and I struggled to relate to any of the characters. Additionally, I didn’t love Montgomery Cliff’s performance (though Lancaster, Sinatra and the rest brought enough to the table to keep me at least mildly engaged). All of that said, the last half of the film really worked for me. I actually came to appreciate the ensemble cast and the way that Zinnemann intertwined their stories... and then that *historical spoiler* Pearl Harbor attack scene just caught me off guard! It’s an ending as good as any other, and it made me glad to have watched it.
The Sound of Music
Yes, I knew all of the songs, but I didn’t know they were from this movie!! When I referenced “My Favorite Things” in my review of Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, I was completely unaware that I was referencing The Sound of Music. Seriously, this thing is great... which I guess is why everyone’s always saying it’s great.
In the Heat of the Night (This review may contain spoilers.)
This one’s an oddity to me, mostly because I can’t believe it won Best Picture in 1968. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger are good, but the “mystery” at the heart of this story is like a bad episode of NCIS (*spoiler* the creepy guy did it) and the racial themes of the movie just don’t hold up to the standards of a 2020 viewing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this was revolutionary for its time, especially since it won the biggest award in American cinema, but seeing it for the first time in 2020 didn’t do much for me. Shoutout to that “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” line though— if they ever make a sequel, that’s what I’d call it 😉
A Man for All Seasons
A Man For All Seasons is, by all accounts, a well-scripted, acted and directed movie that I just didn’t care a whole lot about. This was just The Crucible, just more royal and Britishy, and as far as Zinnemann-directed Red Scare metaphor movies go, I’ll take High Noon over this any day.
On the Waterfront (This review may contain spoilers.)
Dang. Terry Malloy’s friends stopped talkin to him because he testified against Johnny Friendly, effectively ending the mob’s stranglehold over the work on the waterfront. My friends stopped talkin to me just cuz.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!