Network

The life and career of long-serving news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) has taken a downward slide recently after his wife left him and he sank into drink, and his once high ratings have fallen to the point where his network, UBS, is forced to let him go. After being told he has just 2 weeks left on the air Howard broadcasts that in a week he will kill himself, live and during his show. Understandably he is immediately taken off the air by Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall), a rising executive surreptitiously taking over UBS from the inside, however Howard’s best friend and manager Max Schumacher (William Holden) is able to allow Howard one last show, for a chance at a dignified farewell, which Howard takes and runs with, instead offering up some frank and hard truths the general public eats up. Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway), UBS’ new head of programming, sees potential in Howard’s popularity, and adapts his news show to suit, but what is more the important, the ratings or their host’s sanity?
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Nashville

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip at French Toast Sunday.

In Nashville, Tennessee, the birth-place of country music, several story arcs cross paths and words over 5 days, leading up to a big musical celebration and presidential election rally.N1 Continue reading

All the President’s Men

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series over at French Toast Sunday.

June, 1972. Five men are caught having broken into the Watergate Complex, specifically the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Routinely checking out their trial, reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) begins to suspect something may be up through some odd details of the trial, and a shared phone number amongst the address books of some of the accused. Bob’s colleague Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) helps Woodward write a piece on the potential scandal, and the two of them – with the support of their editor Benjamin Bradlee (Jason Robards) and a highly secretive and selective informant known only as Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook) – dig ever further into how far this story goes.
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Deliverance

This review was originally written for French Toast Sunday as part of my USA Road Trip series.

In a few months time, the Cahulawassee River is to be flooded by a dam. Four men, only two of whom have any experience canoeing, set out to row down a stretch of the river, before it is tamed by man and gone forever. However, the river has other ideas, as do the locals who don’t think too much of these naive city folk heading down their river.
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Superman The Movie

On the planet Krypton, the elders have disrupted the planet’s core and caused it to begin to erupt. Everyone on the planet is doomed, except for a small, barely explained plot contrivance that allows one newborn baby to be launched in a pod and sent to another planet that will be hospitable to him, but where the atmosphere and density are different enough to provide him with extraordinary powers. Krypton explodes, but the baby arrives safely on Earth, where he lives his life as a loner, the last of his kind… wait a minute, didn’t I write this the other week? Hmmmm. Anyway, Kal-El…Earth…Smallville…the Kents…Metropolis…Lois Lane…Daily Planet…Kryptonite…Laser vision…flying…Superman.1025_clark2 Continue reading

Toy Story Trilogy

Today’s volatile weather conditions allowed for a productive afternoon film-wise, as a planned bike ride along the beaches of Bournemouth was cut short by sporadic torrential downpours, meaning I crossed a trilogy off the list; Toy Story 1-3.

Watching the original Toy Story, the first feature-length motion picture created entirely using computer animation, always send me back to my childhood, aged 8 years old, sat in the cinema watching in wide-eyed wonder as the pixels were brought to life before me, with my Dad sound asleep in the next seat. It’s one of my earliest film-related memories (my earliest cinema experience that I know of was the Lion King, but that’s another post).
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