Wednesday, November 30, 2011

125 - Cyrano De Bergerac (1990)

When a large-nosed man who is in love with his cousin hears of her shallow tendencies he lives his romantic dream through another.

Cyrano De Bergerac (Gérard Depardieu) is lyrical genius and not too shabby with a sword either. Had he not been afflicted with a large hooter he would be the ideal man for any lady in 19th Century France.

He is desperately in love with his cousin Roxane (Anne Brochet) but is unable to explain his feelings to her and when he learns she finds one of his cadets, Christian (Vincent Perez) attractive he decides to charm her by proxy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

124 - Cutter's Way (1981)

After a girl is murdered, Richard Bone and Alex Cutter decide to investigate.

Cutter (John Heard) is a Vietnam war veteran who is minus an arm, a leg and an eye. His friend Bone (Jeff Bridges), a boat salesman and part time gigolo, spots a body being dumped and Cutter takes it upon himself to bring the killer to justice.

Cutter's cynical wife Mo (Lisa Eichhorn) and Bone are dragged along for the ride as they accuse one of the wealthiest businessmen in the region - JJ Cord (Stephen Elliott) - of being involved... but it seems that they have bitten off more than they can chew.

Friday, November 25, 2011

123 - The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

The Curse of the Cat People is the sequel to Cat People (1941) telling the story of Oliver Reed, the man who married the original cat person.

Having settled down with his new wife Alice since the last film, Oliver Reed becomes certain that there is something wrong with his daughter Amy after she starts to become excluded from her friends' games.

She is living in her own reality, preferring to create herself friends and when she stumbles across a curious old lady along with finding a picture of Reed's first wife Irena, Amy's behaviour becomes more disturbing.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

122 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tells of a man who lives his life in reverse; born as an old man, he gradually decreases in age.

Abandoned by his father from birth because of his old looks, Benjamin is brought up by his surrogate parents who work in an old people's home. There he sees people come and go as a lonely child until he befriends Daisy, a young girl visiting her grandmother.

There starts a love story of two people travelling in opposite directions in the life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

121 - The Cup (1999)

The Cup is a Bhutan comedy about Indian monks who wish to watch the 1998 World Cup Final.

Set during the 1998 World Cup finals, two young men leave Tibet to join a North Indian monastery run by a Lama who dreams of one day leaving to go back to his native Tibet.

Orgyen, one of the youngest monks is football crazy and frequently gets into trouble by leaving the monastery late at night to watch various games in the World Cup. However, once he pushes the boundaries once too far he seemingly jeopardises his chances of being able to watch the final between France and Brazil.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Films 121 - 130

The next ten films in the Empire 500 5-star Challenge are:
  1. The Cup (1999)
  2. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)
  3. The Curse Of The Cat People (1944)
  4. Cutter's Way (1981)
  5. Cyrano De Bergerac (1990)
  6. Dancer In The Dark (2000)
  7. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  8. The Dark Knight (2008)
  9. Dark Star (1974)
  10. Das Boot (1981)
...and so marks the end of the films beginning with C. Incidentally, this is also the end of the first quarter of all the films on the list and what a rollercoaster ride it has been. I am beginning to feel as though before watching these films I was a complete and utter film novice as my eyes are opened wider and wider to the varying degrees of world cinema.

As for the last ten films, it really sums up everything that I've currently learnt from the challenge. There are simply films that are just too bizarre for me to comprehend (Cul De Sac, Crash, Cries and Whispers)  but hidden amongst the list are some absolute gems that I probably wouldn't have even considered watching until I took on my personal challenge (Cool Hand Luke, The Crucible).

The next ten films look interesting. Bhutan's first full length feature, Phörpa (The Cup) was an absolute pain to source on DVD so I hope it lives up to its 5-star Empire status. I've never seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but have heard good things and I'm looking forward to the sequel to Cat People, which I'd watched earlier in the challenge and loved. As for the rest, I've seen both The Dark Knight and Dangerous Liaisons so I'm aware of what to expect and I've heard of Das Boot's ridiculous running time (293 minutes uncut) so that will be a challenge in itself.

So, until next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

120 - Cul De Sac (1966)

Off the coast of Northumberland, two on-the-run criminals hold hostage a sexually ambiguous husband and wife in their castle Lindesfarne.

Richard 'Dickie' (Lionel Stander) and his dying partner in crime Albie (Jack MacGowran) become stranded after attempting to cross between Northumberland and Lindesfarne Castle which is inaccessible during high tide.

Dickie looks to the nearby castle for the use of a telephone in order to phone his mob boss and upon startling the resident owners, the neurotic George and his wife Teresa, Dickie holds the couple hostage as he waits for the mob boss to arrive.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Time (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
In a world where no-one ages past 25 and the time from people's lives is the only commodity, one man sets out to try and beat the system and make it fairer for those in the slums.

In the ghetto where every man literally lives from day to day, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) lives with his mother working as a labourer earning just enough time to keep him going until the next day. When he and his friend Borel (Johnny Galecki) encounter Henry Hamilton, a 105-year-old who wishes to end his life, Will finds himself being given over a century's worth of life for free.

With his additional life span, Will is able to skip up the social classes - which means a change in geography. There he finds the daughter (Amanda Seyfried) of a 90-year-old time lender and they set about distributing the time in a fairer manner. Meanwhile he must also steer clear of the resident police force, the timekeepers, who accuse him of murdering Henry Hamilton.

Monday, November 14, 2011

119 - The Crucible (1996)

In 1692 Salem, a young woman accuses her ex-lover's wife of witchery.

After being spotted performing pagan rituals in the woods, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) coerces Salem's other young ladies into persuading the elders that they were cooperating with the Devil.

Having been saved from the Devil's wicked ways, Abigail goes on a crusade accusing others of witchcraft claiming that she can see those, having been there herself.

Eventually, she focuses on her ex-lover's wife in order to try and win him for herself. The ex-lover, John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) must try everything he can to save his wife from the gallows.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

118 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon tells of two warriors who must track down a mystical sword after it is stolen.

Shortly after Master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) donates his sword to Sir Te for safe keeping it is stolen. Li, and his unrequited love Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) track the sword down to find it has been taken by Li's great rival Jade Fox.

Fox is determined to keep the sword and has enlisted the help of a mysterious young warrior who, in turn, has their own story to tell.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

117 - Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989)

Crimes & Misdemeanors tells two concurrent stories of a doctor whose life threatens to be overturned by the woman he has been having an affair with and an aspiring director who becomes infatuated with an associate producer.

When successful doctor Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) finds a letter addressed to his wife from his mistress he is forced to take action. She threatens him with revealing their sordid affair unless he marries her, allegedly fulfilling his promise to her. He calls his mafioso brother in order to get rid of her.

Meanwhile, Cliff Stern (Woody Allen) has not had sex with his wife in over a year and in order to boost his career she offers to set him up filming the life of her producer brother - whom Cliff despises. As Cliff decides whether to sell himself out, he comes across Halley Reed (Mia Farrow), an associate producer, who helps him make up his mind.

Monday, November 07, 2011

116 - Cries & Whispers (1972)

Cries & Whispers tells of a dying sister's wish to unite her two feuding sisters.

As Agnes lays on her death bed, she is attended to by her servant, Anna, and watched over by her two sisters, Karin and Maria. Despite the tragic situation it seems that only Anna knows how to care for Agnes as the cracks between the other sisters' relationship opens to reveal ugly truths.

Anna tries desperately to console Agnes, but as her death approaches she is powerless to prevent the remainder of her family falling apart.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

True Grit (1969)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
True Grit is a Western about a girl who seeks revenge for her father's death.

After teenage bookkeeper Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) discovers that her father was shot and robbed, she goes to the Town Hall to find out what's being done about it, only to be told that the murderer has fled into Indian territory.

She makes enquiries and recruits "Rooster" Cogburn (John Wayne), and they are both joined by La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), a Texas Ranger who also seeks the same man for the separate murder of a Senator in Texas.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Contagion (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Contagion tells the story of the consequences of a deadly virus that spreads quickly.

After Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) suddenly dies after holidaying in Hong Kong, her son dies shortly afterwards after the same symptoms. Her husband (Matt Damon) appears to be immune from the flu-like disease.

Meanwhile, further cases are being spotted worldwide and Dr. Ellis Cheever (Lawrence Fishburne) of the Center for Disease Control must team up with the World Health Organisation before the situation spirals out of control, sending his agents (Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard) into the field to identify the source of the infection and find a vaccine.