Amadeus: The Director’s Cut (1984)

amadeus

An Artist of Note

Looking back at Amadeus, the first thing that comes to mind is the sad realization that it wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of being made today.  A big-budgeted period piece about a well-known but fairly niche subject would be deemed far too financially risky in today’s timid Hollywood.  How lucky we are, then, that this movie was made at all, since it’s the kind of auteur-driven, thrillingly original, and richly cinematic movie so rarely seen in modern theaters. Continue reading

The Last Samurai (2003)

last samurai

Eastern Thomases

It’s easy to dismiss The Last Samurai at first glance as just another entry in the evergreen “soldier betrays his masters and goes native” subgenre.  The formula has proven to be a robust one, but the movies it’s yielded have varied widely in quality – from the acclaimed Dances With Wolves to the beautiful but paper-thin Avatar.  The Last Samurai proves to be one of the category’s best entries, setting itself apart through surefooted execution and a deeply human story. Continue reading