The Godfather Part II

In 1900’s Corleone, Sicily, a young Vito Andolini is left the only surviving member of his family after his father, brother and mother are all killed by the local mafia head, Don Ciccio. Vito flees to New York and adopts the new surname Corleone, and eventually finds that perhaps the best way of life for him is similar to the one that led to his family’s demise. Inter-cut with this story and following on from the events of The Godfather, a now in-charge Michael (Al Pacino), Vito’s youngest son, struggles to maintain his power with threats on many sides, including possibly one from within the family.
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1900 (Novecento)

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Two boys, Alfredo and Olmo, are born within minutes of each other in January 1901. Alfredo is the grandson of landowner and family head Alfredo Berlinghieri (Burt Lancaster) whilst Olmo’s grandfather, Leo (Sterling Hayden), is a peasant and Alfredo Sr.’s foreman. The two boys grow up together, never forgetting their respective places within society and, once grown (into Robert DeNiro and Gérard Depardieu) they find themselves on opposite sides of a class struggle, exacerbated by the presence of fascist guards led by the new foreman, Attila (Donald Sutherland).
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Brazil

Somewhere in the 20th Century, the world has become an Orwellian dystopia of farcical proportions. In a world where no mistakes are acknowledged, a random swatted fly falling into a typewriter causes a man named Buttle to be arrested in place of rogue terrorist heating engineer Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). Tasked with tying up the error’s loose ends is Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), a menial yet essential worker within the Department of Records who his boss Mr. Kurtzmann (Ian Holm) would be lost without if he were ever promoted. Sam finds his quest to rectify the situation exacerbated by the likes of his plastic surgery-obsessed mother (Katherine Helmond), less than efficient government-employed heating technicians (Bob Hoskins & Derrick O’Connor), executive desk trinkets and his own dreams which see him flying around saving his literal dream girl (Kim Greist) from monstrous demons.
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Meet the Parents

Greg (Ben Stiller) is literally on his bended knee mid-proposal to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo) when she gets a call from her sister, who has just got engaged and is due to get married in the immediate future, as in a couple of weeks away. Pam casually remarks that her father puts a lot of stead in the tradition of the potential bride’s father being asked prior to the question being popped, so Greg pockets the ring and plans to ask said father when they visit Pam’s family home for her sister’s wedding. However, the visit does not go necessarily according to Greg’s plans, and it’s all exacerbated by the fact that Pam’s father Jack (Robert DeNiro) is not a retired rare flower expert as she has told Greg, but is a former psychological profiler for the CIA, who is very protective of his first born child.
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Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle can’t sleep. He lives in New York and is up all night, so why not become a cab driver? Well, for starters, he hates pretty much everyone on the streets after dark, plus, he’s a potentially psychotic madman, with aspirations of saving, destroying or integrating himself into society, depending on the day. He spends his days pining for a campaign worker for a local presidential candidate, but when that relationship turns sour Bickle’s attentions turn to a young prostitute, whom Travis believes is in need of a saviour.
Taxi 08
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Casino

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

Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (Robert De Niro) was handed it all on a silver platter. Put in charge of a new casino on the Las Vegas strip and living the life of luxury with his smokin’ girlfriend Ginger (Sharon Stone), Ace was at the top of his game. Alas, when his old friend from back home Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) shows up, Ace’s life becomes a little more complicated. Continue reading

American Hustle

Last night, American Hustle won the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and that got me thinking: “How the hell did American Hustle win the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay?” I’ve also been contemplating “Why is American Hustle nominated for Best Director at so many awards shows, including yesterday’s BAFTAs and the upcoming Oscars?” They’re questions I can’t really fathom an answer to because, as far as I can recall, it wasn’t a very good film, and the main aspects that let it down were the direction and the script. Continue reading