Weekend Retrospective - Ecstacy of Gold

PERFECT SCORE - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966)

"When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk"

In the past I gave some consideration to whether this should be given the honour of being the best ever Western. At one time I could easily have given that title to Leone's own Once Upon a Time in the West. But over repeated viewings this just held up better for a variety of reasons. It was the most purely entertaining, the most engaging, it had a certain tone and a certain character to it all which was never quite replicated anywhere else. So I was forced to reconsider... maybe this is the best. With more thought it eventually made it into the perfect score list.

The previous two films in the so called "dollars trilogy" are watchable, but very hit and miss in terms of overall quality and consistency. Revisiting them recently the flaws are more evident and they certainly aren't nearly as fun as the third instalment, despite the similarities in many places. The music is still good and they have their own memorable set pieces and characters. Clint is iconic in the poncho and they have the same kind of style at times. But they aren't paced as well, and they certainly don't have this much personality. They're just practice runs all building up this one, where every comes together.

He's tall, blonde, he smokes a cigar, and he's a pig!
 

Retrospective - Prepare to meet Kali

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)

While it's not without a few problems, I feel that this is a greatly underappreciated entry in the original Indiana Jones trilogy. Even by its own director. I mean sure it has notable flaws. Some even dare to suggest it's worse than the ill-guided forth instalment that I promised not to bring up again. But their kind of course needs a good slap in the face for blasphemy. Some enjoy Temple as much as the others, or even consider it to be the greatest Indy adventure, though there will always complaints that come up regarding two elements which seem to be given far too much attention, as I will discuss.

But this is an example of how to do a sequel right; where prior success with a previous release allowed for a lot of freedom. Since Raiders was a hit they had no reason to rehash it, so a huge amount of creativity was poured into the follow up in terms of both set pieces and fantasy visuals, and in that department it is unmatched.


Scorecard

MARCH 


FILM OF THE MONTH: Barry Lyndon ☆☆☆☆
2001: A Space Odyssey ☆☆☆☆
A Clockwork Orange ☆☆☆☆
Aliens ☆☆☆☆
Arrival ☆☆☆☆
Dr. Strangelove ☆☆☆☆
Full Metal Jacket ☆☆☆☆
X2 ☆☆☆☆
Slaughterhouse-Five ☆☆☆☆
The Shining ☆☆☆☆
Logan ☆☆☆☆