Paul Shenar

Paul Shenar

Paul Shenar Quick Links

Film RSS

Scarface Review


OK
To say that Al Pacino chews the scenery as Tony Montana, Cuban drug lord par excellence, doesn't really do justice to the performance. Pacino tears into his lines with a lust approaching frenzy, ripping through scenes with an animalistic fervor, creating a role that has already gone down in the books as one of the great, if not the greatest, portrayals of a gangster ever to hit the screen. It's also, watching some 20 years down the line, laughably campy in a manner that the rest of this bloated, self-important film doesn't seem to appreciate.

Pacino and producer Martin Bregman had a good idea in wanting to make an updated version of the original 1932 Scarface, which chronicled the rise and fall of a Prohibition-era Capone-like criminal overlord (screenwriter Ben Hecht was a Chicago journalist with a lot of intimate knowledge of Capone). Handing it over to director Brian De Palma (who had specialized mostly in psychosexual thrillers like Dressed to Kill and The Fury), and screenwriter Oliver Stone (whose credits included an Oscar for 1978's Midnight Express but also Conan the Barbarian), was a daring move. Stone did a lot of research for the screenplay, hanging out and doing coke with drug lords all over Latin America, and De Palma promised to bring a certain visual flair to the proceedings.

Continue reading: Scarface Review

Man On Fire (1987) Review


Weak
Fairly awful, this star-studded revenge flick gives us a freaked-out Scott Glenn getting vengeance on the kidnappers who got his charge, a young Italian girl. The film begins with Glenn getting zipped up into a body bag, so we know things aren't going to go all that well. But don't mess with him: He's a man on fire! He'll get his due before he meets his end (or did he -- gasp! -- fake his death?)... and you'll get little more than a dull headache.

Roots Review


Excellent
When you think of epic mini-series, what comes to mind? Rich Man, Poor Man? Shogun? More likely than not, it's Roots, the based-on-a-true story tale that spooled over 12 hours and six nights, the story of "an American family," albeit one that began captured in Africa in 1750, then sold into slavery in the U.S. colonies.

Roots begins with Kunta Kinte, emerging from childhood and undergoing warrior training in his tribal homeland. The slavers arrive soon enough, and after a harrowing three-month ride back across the Atlantic, Kunta is sold, becomes Toby under his new master, attempts repeated escapes, and eventually accepts his fate as he settles down with a wife and child. The Revolutionary War comes and goes, and Toby's daughter Kizzy is sold, becoming the mother of her new master's son, known as Chicken George. Chicken George in turn is sent to England to pay off a gambling debt. When he returns home after 14 years, he is a free man. The Civil War arrives, and the rest of the slaves are freed. Soon enough the family faces the perils of vehement racism and the KKK, and Chicken George finally leads his family to safety in a new settlement.

Continue reading: Roots Review

The Big Blue Review


Good

A giant metaphor for freedom and self-discovery, directed by a young Luc Besson who had yet to discover his self-indulgent streak, "The Big Blue" is a visceral and turbulent, yet strangely tranquil and beautiful cinematic experience that plumbs the souls of a pair of competitive deep-sea divers who are at once best friends and bitter rivals.

Made in 1988 and reissued this summer in a 40-minutes-longer director's cut, it's one of those rare films you can't help but be affected by on some level. Its vivid photography and even more vivid performances strike a nerve as the film follows the warm but antagonistic friendship between bombastic Enzo (a pre-"Professional" Jean Reno) and quiet, private and deeply reflective Jacques (a pre-"Zentropa" Jean-Marc Barr) beginning with their shared childhood in a craggy, cliff-side, coastal Greek hamlet.

Years later they meet again and form a powerful bond and a dangerous rivalry after discovering they're both record-setting divers who can hold their breaths for super-human lengths of time and plunge to unimaginable depths in professional diving competitions around the Mediterranean.

Continue reading: The Big Blue Review

Paul Shenar

Paul Shenar Quick Links

Film RSS

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Go easy on us! The five most tear-jerking Adele songs

Go easy on us! The five most tear-jerking Adele songs

Need a cry? Adele’s always got you covered.

Brown Sugar isn’t the only problematic song in Rolling Stones history

Brown Sugar isn’t the only problematic song in Rolling Stones history

Exposing some of the sickest songs of the iconic rock band's career.

Before Billie Eilish: Every James Bond theme ranked from worst to best

Before Billie Eilish: Every James Bond theme ranked from worst to best

Where does Billie place among the Bond theme greats?

Advertisement
Album Of The Week: The 41st Anniversary Of 'Remain In Light' By Talking Heads

Album Of The Week: The 41st Anniversary Of 'Remain In Light' By Talking Heads

On the 8th October 1980 Talking Heads released not only one of their most significant albums but also one of the most significant albums of the last...

Billie Eilish takes on Glastonbury in record-breaking moment

Billie Eilish takes on Glastonbury in record-breaking moment

She’s set to become the youngest to ever headline Glastonbury.

September 2021 Favourites: A stunning array of more than 60 artists feature in our pick of the Top 5 new releases from September

September 2021 Favourites: A stunning array of more than 60 artists feature in our pick of the Top 5 new releases from September

As the summer ended and Fall arrived, some great new releases dropped in September, including the first new music from ABBA in 40 years!

Album Of The Week: The 30th Anniversary of 'Diamonds and Pearls' by Prince and The New Power Generation

Album Of The Week: The 30th Anniversary of 'Diamonds and Pearls' by Prince and The New Power Generation

On the 1st October 1991 Prince, together with a new backing band - The New Power Generation, released his 13th full length studio album - 'Diamonds...

Advertisement

Paul Shenar Movies

Scarface Movie Review

Scarface Movie Review

To say that Al Pacino chews the scenery as Tony Montana, Cuban drug lord par...

Advertisement
The Big Blue Movie Review

The Big Blue Movie Review

A giant metaphor for freedom and self-discovery, directed by a young Luc Besson who had...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews