Movie Review: White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

Obsession. A word we more often than not see as something negative. In a lot of cases that negative connotation is justified, considering some people being obsessed with certain otehr people or various things that could hurt them. But obsession isn’t all bad… I think.

Ladies and gentlemen… “White Hunter Black Heart”.

“White Hunter Black Heart” follows the story of John Wilson (Clint Eastwood), an eccentric movie director as he travels to Africa to shoot his new movie. However, when in Africa he is more obsessed with hunting and killing an elephant rather than making his movie. And I think the plot here is really interesting. It’s really a character study of this maverick filmmaker and how his obsession creates a lot of trouble. And by a lot of trouble I don’t mean a wacky comedy or an action movie, this is a drama. I mean trouble more in the sense of the production of his movie not going as planned. And it’s quite fascinating to watch.

The characters in thsi movie are fine. None except maybe two of them are particularly interesting. The first one is the character of John Wilson who’s played by Clint Eastwood. This man is really obsessed with hunting down and killing a fucking elephant, and feels okay with halting production for god knows how long until he actually gets his kill. And Eastwood is great in the role. His character clearly doesn’t give two shits about what other people think about what him, and Eastwood portrays that perfectly. The other interesting character we have is Wilson’s friend, Pete Verrill, played by Jeff Fahey. At first he just goes along with Wilson’s ideas/antics, but gradually gets more and more skeptical about it. He’s basically the normal guy who’s there to balance out Wilson’s crazy shit… and Fahey is really good in the role. All other actors in the movie do a fine job, even if their characters are a little bit uninteresting.

The score for the movie was composed by Lennie Niehaus and I think it was pretty good. It worked well enough for the movie and fit the African setting very well. Good job, Niehaus.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a pretty good job with it. The shots look pretty good and scenes flow very well. What’s interesting about this movie is that it apprently was inspired by real life writer/director/actor John Huston. Apparently something similar happened when he was making some movie back in the day. Now, when I say “inspired by” I mean “inspired by”. His antics were simply used as inspiration for this rather than this being a full-blown bio-pic. That said, I haven’t doen the full research about the subject and I will probably not do it… moving on!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“White Hunter Black Heart” is an interesting characy of this director and his obsession. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, good music, and good directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “White Hunter Black Heart” is a 9,44/10. So I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “White Hunter Black Heart” is now completed.

So remember, kids: Don’t try to murder elephants.

Movie Review: Chinatown (1974)

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She shivers like the last leaf on a dying tree. I let her hear my footsteps. She only goes stiff for a moment. Oh wait… wrong noir movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Chinatown”.

J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is a private investigator specializing in adultery cases. So when he is hired by a woman to try to expose her husband, Gittes accidentally gets pulled into a complicated plot filled with corruption, murder, water and deception. And I have to say that I was genuinely invested in the plot. It has a great mystery to it with plenty of really good twists. So the overall story I would say is really good. However I do think that the pacing is a little slow at times, so I feel like I can’t appreciate the story as much as I should. Don’t get me wrong, I still really liked the plot and thought it was interesting, but since it felt a slow at times it maybe didn’t execute the plot perfectly.

The characters in this movie are multi-layered, colorful and interesting and it helps that we got some really good actors. I mean, Jack Nicholson… great as always, no questions asked. Faye Dunaway was also really good in the movie. John Huston also did a great job playing one of the more interesting characters, at least in the long run. I know that statement doesn’t make sense unless you’ve seen the movie, but trust me I do know what I am saying (I think). To be honest, I thought everyone did a great job in the movie, even director Roman Polanski who makes a cameo in the movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and I must say that I think he did a great job. The score is very moody and noir-y and almost a bit eery, kind of like the score to “Taxi Driver”. Sure, there is only about 31 minutes worth of music in this score, but those are some damn good 31 minutes.

Like I kind of stated earlier in the review, the movie was directed by Roman Polanski and he did a great job. The camera is very steady, even when there is a lot of movement going on. The camera movement is smooth and just gives the movie a great mood. Also, that nose-cutting scene… how the hell did they do that? That shit is just impressive. The movie is also pretty suspenseful at times, giving it a little bit of a haunting feel to it.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10 and is ranked #122 on the “Top 250 list”. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Screenplay. It was also nominated for an additional 10 (Holy shit) Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress (Dunaway), Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best set decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score.

“Chinatown” has a lot going for it. An interesting plot, great acting, great music and great directing. However it is brought down a little bit by some slow scenes. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Chinatown” is a 9,21/10. It’s worth buying.
Worth buying

“Chinatown” is finally reviewed.

Are you alone?
Aren’t we all?