Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

"I likes me a good box if you get my drift, boy!"
Genre: Drama

Starring: Paul Newman (Torn Curtain; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), George Kennedy (The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear; Airport 1975)

Directed By: Stuart Rosenberg (The Amityviller Horror; "Naked City")

Overview: A man without a plan, Luke winds up in a chain-gang, living his life like he always did, going against the grain.

Acting: It's insane how everyone is in this. Besides Newman and Kennedy, there's even a young Dennis Hopper. It's like everyone knew this would be a movie for the ages so they went and booked everyone who was going to be important for the next 20 years. The cast was great, but I still think George Kennedy's direction was a little overzealous, turning from tough guy to patsy, exactly like the two dogs from those Disney cartoons, "Eh Boss? Huh? Huh? We'll lick 'em good, Eh Boss?" Yeah, no.
Rating: 8

Cinematography: The quality of this film was a little blurry. I should have seen something remastered I suppose. The panoramic scenes, the costumes, the jail, the whole way this was captured was pleasant and professional. By now I think you know what that means.
Rating: 7

Script: "What we have here, is a failure to communicate." Yep, the classic line, it's from this one, it turns out. There's some good quotes an I was pleased that he sank the entire 'Plastic Jesus' song. I quite liked it. I must say that this was probably the best thing of the film. The way it was told was definitely solid.
Rating: 8

Plot: Two hours and six minutes of characterization. I know it's a classic, I know it's good to many, but you can say the same in less time and more effectively too. As a story it's full of human emotion and endurance, but you tend to forget that this Cool Cat Luke... plunked himself in his own predicament, never changing for nobody. I couldn't feel all that much pity for this guy. Sorry.
Rating: 6

Mood: The themes, for me changed constantly. I read that this was about a guy going against society's grain. Inspiring everyone in such acts as egg-eating contests and road-tarring races doesn't seem like he's doing anything different from anyone else. He's just living life trying to be accepted. Moreso, he climbed to the top of his heap. The theme they tried to get across to me was lost in the actions of the man. The music was awesome, the whole mood of the chain-gang too. Setting and score is one thing, but the heart of the film just wasn't there.
Rating: 6

"Yeah Georgie? Us prizin bitchiz gots to stick together, right Georgie?"

Overall Rating: 70% ("He Had Nothin'!")

Aftertaste: The fourth film seen from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list, this was one of those films on my own list ages ago. Someone recommended it to me on my Blog recently and I decided to yes, fine, go ahead and see Newman (whom I love) in action. All I can say about this, sadly, is "seen it". I didn't think it was all that special at all.