Watching movies, for me, began in the 1940s when, as a cunning, ten-year-old, would-be-movie-goer with no money, I would sidle up, on humid summer nights, to peer in - carefully! - at the movie screen through the wide open side-exit doors of the local cinema, in which many of the patrons were furiously waving their fans, or hat brims, in front of their faces to help alleviate their seated discomfit on sticky-with-sweat - and other nameless goo - vinyl seat covers. For me, the outside concrete pathway was warm, still, but slate clean. Sitting tailor-wise, elbows on knees, I saw many movies that way. Had to keep on the lookout for ushers though ... and be ready to scarper....
These days, of course, pirate-seeing movies has made a paradigm shift in method. Which many naturally deplore, others simply shrug, artists lament and governments condemn and prosecute - if they can.
What hasn't changed, fundamentally, are those who perhaps influence movie-goers by writing reviews of movies. Like many, I have read hundreds, perhaps a few thousand, commentaries by a great variety of writers over the previous sixty years - I know because I began that type of reading when I was about 13 or so.
It was five decades, though, before I thought about writing my own reviews. And that only happened when I joined IMDB.com as a member, in 2007, with the express purpose of contributing to the mix. Candidly, I wanted to find out if I could write reviews which other movie-goers would appreciate.
Without further ado, then, here is a selection of my favourite movies (in alphabetical order). Click on any title to go directly to that page at IMDB.COM where you will find my review. But be aware that my review is not always front and centre at the IMDB pages; at page landing, to find my review you might be required to scroll down until you find my name, under which is my review. (I have no control over that process.)
So, if you prefer a PDF to save and/or share, please get it here.
All About Eve (1950): When art truly imitates life, where does reality end?
All watched over by machines of loving grace (2011, documentary): So ... drop your disks and nix your network???
American Psycho (2000): Beware what you wish for – you might just get it!
Apocalypse Now Redux (2001): As somebody said: ‘We’ve seen the enemy, and they is us!’
Audition (1999, Japanese): Where the psychology of horror is even more horrifying than you think….
Blue Velvet (1986): Where the underbelly of The American Dream is a nightmare….
Chinatown (1974): Where you never know what’s really going on, especially in Chinatown.
Consequences of Love (2004, Italian): Beneath the serenity (boredom?) of daily living lies the lies … or truth?
Eight and a Half (1963, Italian): Where we view the circus of life on film, sort of….
Fitzcarraldo (1979, German): Where mad vistas provide us with visions of madness....
Inland Empire (2007): It’s about a woman in trouble … but which woman, and what trouble?
La Dolce Vita (1960, Italian): Where we discover life's not so sweet, not so livable….
Lost Highway (1997): Where nightmares turn to dreams which then revert to nightmares.
M (1931, German): Where Fritz Lang bares the soul and psychology of the child-killer.
Mulholland Drive (2001): Is this about the death of dreams and maybe the nightmare before death?
No Country for Old Men (2007): Leave it to the younger generation to f*** things up real good.
Once upon a time in Anatolia (2011, Turkish): In which what is revealed about a murder is not at all what we expect.
Once upon a time in the West (1968): The place where the widow, the outlaw and vengeance incarnate meet for the last time.
Patterns (1956): Winners and losers in the corporate world.
Raging Bull (1980): Where you can almost feel the anger of this very angry fighter.
Rope (1948): In the tangle if lies, there lies a tangle of rope….
Shane (1952): A Western tragedy of almost Gothic proportions.
The Birthday Party (1968): Not so much a party as a parting....
The Day of the Locust (1975): In Hollywood, the unholy swarming never stops.
The Iceman Cometh (1973): Heeeeeeeere's Hickey … and he's here to help!
The Last Picture Show (1971): Where, for all of us, love’s illusions live and die.
The Man from Earth (2007): Where the mystery of aging is perhaps not so mysterious.
The Moustache (2005, French): A dream of a life may in fact be just a life in a dream.
The Thin Red Line (1995): A philosophical discourse set against one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two.
Viva Zapata (1952): Heroic action by one of the legends of the Mexican revolution.
No doubt you have noticed the lack of action thrillers in the above. While I do watch and like some, I don't review them, generally. Hence, it may well be you dislike all of the above titles; but I hope not. However, at IMDB, I have almost four hundred titles from which to choose. To browse sequentially through them, you must become a member by setting up a free account and writing a few reviews (each a minimum of two hundred words).
Alternatively, you can choose a Pro Membership (for a fee) to get unlimited access to all features, at any time.
If you do like some of my reviews, you can - as a member - choose a YES or NO as your vote on my efforts as a reviewer. Moreover, if you haven't seen some (or all) of the above titles, I do strongly and unconditionally recommend all of them.
Thanks muchly for reading.
Roger J. Burke.