films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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The Hustler

1961 / 134m - USA
Drama, Romance
The Hustler poster

All the King's Men

1949 / 110m - USA
All the King's Men poster

A highly moralistic political drama. It's no surprise this is an Oscar winner, as it is another film taking it up for "the little man", while criticizing those in power. It's an easy win, but like most of these films, the complete lack of nuance isn't too impressive. The dialogue-heavy nature of the film only makes things worse.

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Willie Stark is a local politician who stands out because he takes it up for the regular folk. The established politicians fear him and try to stop him with all their power. At first, they succeed, but Stark takes up law and tries to better himself before he takes another stab at politics. The more Stark learns, the more he becomes what he used to rally against.

The performances are plain, the story is as predictable as they come, and the runtime is a bit excessive, though mostly because there are few twists and turns. This is one of those obvious Hollywood chest-thumpers, maybe it was more impressive in its time (though I doubt it), it's just not for me.

Body and Soul

1947 / 104m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Body and Soul poster

Within the film noir genre, there seems to exist a smaller niche of boxing films, which are more or less all alike. Body and Soul is a pretty good example, though it's a bit longer than the films I've seen so far. The added length works against the film, as it has nothing really original to tell.

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Charley Davis becomes a boxer, not a profession his mother approves of. Davis is pretty successful in his new career, but as his fame grows, more and more shady characters try to win Davis' favor. Rather than win on talent, they try to convince Davis that throwing matches is a much easier way to get rich.

The start of the film is somewhat decent, but the plot and drama are pretty thin and don't support the length of the film. The performances aren't great either and though the black-and-white cinematography isn't too bad, quite a bit of it is lost on boring conversations. A shorter, more concise film would've been a better option.