#24 / 365 – ‘Roman Holiday’ (1953) – 118 mins
IMDb Challenge #16 / 250 – Ranked #229 – Via Sky Movies
Slipping away from her chaperons, Countess Vereberg and General Provno, Princess Anne (Hepburn) goes on the lam in the Eternal City with American journalist Joe Bradley (Peck) and photographer Irving Radovich. But true love prevents Joe from publishing his scoop.
Roman Holiday is a witty, warm and beautiful romantic comedy where admittedly the story is very simple and it’s all down about the performances of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck who are magnetic together and the moment when Bradley discovers Anne is the Princess is priceless. Hepburn is an an absolute joy to watch, whilst starring in her first major role for she received an Oscar and was later to go on to have magnificent success.
Shot entirely on the streets of Rome the film is a feast to the eyes and give us some of the most exquisite Cinematography of its time.
#23 / 365 – ‘Patton’ (1970) – 172 mins
IMDb Challenge #15 / 250 – Ranked #227 – Via DVD Collection
Depicts the epic story of General George S. Patton, Jr. during World War II. His battlefield genius garners him fear and respect from the Germans, and resentment and misunderstanding from the Allies. A military historian and poet, he believes he was a warrior in many past lives, and that he is destined for something great during this life, but his stubbornness and controversial methods nearly prevent the fulfillment of that destiny.
The film opens up to a huge sheer backdrop of the American flag with Patton played by George C Scott (‘Dr. Strangelove’) minutely placed in front of it, giving an unforgettable monologue about what he believes is necessary to win a war. Winner of seven Oscars including one for the screenplay crafted by one of Hollywood’s acclaimed and most influential film-makers Francis Ford Coppola (‘The Godfather’).
George C. Scott gives powerhouse performance, for which he won an Oscar for and then later returned to the Academy citing his reason “he despises the principle of acting prizes” is main the reason to watch this film, as he displays with great awe how Patton really did rule with an iron fist and would send shivers of fear down the spine to anyone who would question him. Also with this truly great epic you can expect thrilling war scenes, lovely cinematography and interesting historical details.
#22 / 365 – ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl’ (2003) – 143 mins
IMDb Challenge #14 / 250 – Ranked #238 – Via DVD Collection
This swash-buckling tale follows the quest of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), a savvy pirate, and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a resourceful blacksmith, as they search for Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Elizabeth, the daughter of the governor and the love of Will’s life, has been kidnapped by the feared Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Little do they know, but the fierce and clever Barbossa has been cursed. He, along with his large crew, are under an ancient curse, doomed for eternity to neither live, nor die. That is, unless a blood sacrifice is made.
Shiver me timbers, personally I have never been a massive fan of the Pirates of….saga and at times I have found them a labouring watch. That aside there’s no disputing what Director Gore Verbinski (‘The Ring’) and Producer Jerry Bruckheimer have created for fans of series a swashbuckling adventure filled with romance, adventure and comedy with its tongue twisting dialogue.
One of the best scenes to note is when in the shadow of the moonlight the undead crew of the Black Pearl eerily come to life, with some great use of CGI.
Casting wise Geoffrey Rush is brilliantly menacing as Captain Barbossa. Bloom and Knightly appear a little wooden at times, but Depp is the one who steals the show where there’s no doubting it he has introduced one of the greatest movie characters of recent times in Captain Jack Sparrow and plays the role perfectly with his great flair and amusing facial expressions.