Ok after 5 films checked today (Saturday), totalling 11 hours! it makes it my biggest ever one-day haul and productive day yet, where some timeless classics were encountered…
103 / 365 – ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ (1961) – 186 mins
IMDb Challenge #63 / 250 – Ranked #188 – Via DVD Collection
Judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy) arrives in Nuremberg in 1948 to preside over the trial of four Nazi judges, each charged with having abused the court system to help cleanse Germany of the politically and socially undesirable, allegedly guilty of war crimes. The opening statement of the prosecuting attorney (Richard Widmark) is a vicious one, depicting the defendants as having been willing, evil, accomplices in Nazi atrocities, but Judge Haywood wonders if it is really that simple.
With powerhouse performances from Spencer Tracy and Richard Widmark, the most notable comes from Maximilian Schell (for which he won the Best Actor Oscar) in his closing argument notes to make Judgment at Nuremberg an important fictionalized and riveting intense courtroom drama, with the most harrowing scene being when documentary evidence is shown by the prosecution depicting the pure evil of German concentration camps.
104 / 365 – ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’ (2009) – 129 mins
IMDb Challenge #64 / 250 – Ranked #181 – Via DVD Collection
In 1974, federal justice agent, Benjamin Esposito, investigates the brutal rape and murder of a young woman in her house in a Buenos Aires neighborhood. Her husband, bank employee Ricardo Morales, is shocked by the news; Esposito vows to find the killer and bring him to justice.
Though at first it seems justice will be served, a corrupt government system sets the killer free. Many years later, Esposito finds out that in fact, maybe the best kind of justice is taking place.
After lots of high recommendations ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’ is the one film I have been waiting to encounter for a while. From the first scene this dark crime thriller, a profound love story is told in flashback takes you on a complex ride of guilt and revenge, where there are ingenious twists and turns when you least expect it. Boasting some dazzling cinematography – the sweeping football stadium shot, that then develops into a breathtaking chase sequence.
105 / 365 – ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ (1975) – 125 mins
IMDb Challenge #65 / 250 – Ranked #180 – Via DVD Collection
Based on a true 1972 story, Dog Day Afternoon chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. Shortly before closing time, scheming loser Sonny (Al Pacino) and his slow-witted buddy, Sal (John Cazale), burst into a Brooklyn bank for what should be a run-of-the-mill robbery, but everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that there is almost no money in the bank. The situation swiftly escalates, as Sonny and Sal take hostages; enough cops to police the tristate area surround the bank.
Pacino gives an electric performance full of emotion which easily makes this his best work, and one which is just short of ‘Scarface’ and ‘The Godfather’ in Sidney Lumet’s (’12 Angry Men’) brilliantly directed fascinating character piece, make this heist movie an exceptionally vibrant experience.
106 / 365 – ‘V for Vendetta’ (2006) – 132 mins
IMDb Challenge #66 / 250 – Ranked #177 – Via DVD Collection
V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate vision of Britain in which a corrupt and abusive totalitarian government has risen to complete power. During a threatening run in with the secret police, an unassuming young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) is rescued by a vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving) — a caped figure both articulate and skilled in combat. V embodies the principles of rebellion from an authoritarian state, donning a mask of vilified would-be terrorist of British history Guy Fawkes and leading a revolution sparked by assassination and destruction.
Remember, Remember, the 5th of November where Natalie Portman (who is terrific as Evey Hammond) gets her locks chopped as she teams up as an unlikely ally to a delightfully masked and voiced Hugo Weaving, who depicts the role of one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist in this richly satisfying entertainment, if slightly convoluted tale at times from those genius ‘Matrix’ Wachowski brothers based on Alan Moore’s dark graphic novel.
107 / 365 – ‘The Princess Bride’ (1987) – 98 mins
IMDb Challenge #67 / 250 – Ranked #187 – Via iTunes
A kindly grandfather (Peter Falk) sits down with his grandson (Fred Savage) to read him a bedtime story. The story is one that has been passed down from father to son for generations. As the grandfather reads the story, the action comes alive. The story is a classic tale of love and adventure as the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), engaged to the odious Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped and held against her will in order to start a war, It is up to Westley, her childhood love (Cary Elwes) to save her. On the way he meets a thief and his hired helpers, an accomplished swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and a huge, super strong giant, both of whom become Westleys’ companions in his quest.
With it’s frequently laugh-out-loud humour, Rodents of Unusual Size, the Pit of Despair, a superb Billy Crystal cameo not to miss in Miracle Max and the immortal lines of – “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” – its impossible not to love Rob Reiner’s classic parody fairytale that will infinitely charm the hearts of the young and old.