Heat (1995)

I saw this film with mates, of course. Later I reviewed it, sent it off, and they chose to publish it. Pretty much my review summed up my view in a nutshell. Although there was no exploration of theme as a potential Christian review would do, I mentioned things that came more to the fore of my writing later on, the violence for instance. In the review, I mentioned the violence in the movie but did not condemn it for the violent scenes. Maybe Christian reviewers should always come down harder on violence, but my impression at the time was less focused on that manner of view. This was a time of pure film appreciation. My mates called this type of film action.

An intense, sometimes bloody, and inherent psychological thriller that stars Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on screen together.

Heat’s editing, cinematography and Dolby digital sound make for impressive viewing with star performances. The violence depicting robberies are brutal but the technical aspects of these scenes are excellent.

Centering on Vincent’s (Pacino) tracking down of a gangster, Neil (De Niro) it is an unpredictable suspense film with intrigue near its core.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers 1996, GiveWay Magazine.

The Black Hole

1979.

**

The doctor is “mad or genius” but which way he is depends if he succeeds on getting through to the other side of the black hole.

Who knows, until the scientist tries, but branded of dubious stability when he wants to drive right into the dreaded deep, dark, black hole and find what lies behind there, even ultimate knowledge. Of sound mind?

The crew of the spacecraft the USS Palomino – featuring actors Robert Forster (Captain Dan Holland), Joseph Bottoms (Lieutenant Charles Pizer), Anthony Perkins (Dr Alex Durant), Yvette Mimieux (Dr Kate McCrae) and Ernest Borgnine (journo Harry Booth) – parks by the Cygnus to repair their ship and find Dr Hans Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell) about to unleash his quest.

Director Gary Nelson and writers Jeb Rosebrook and Jerry Day may not have known or may have known they were carrying a theme of temptation and desire.

I thought Reinhardt was being tempted by foolish pride…the same temptation that is described at the beginning of the Bible. Playing on the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, his downfall may be assured. Pride before a fall. But this theme does not entirely follow through.

The real theme here is in taking the next step in the progress of humanity, which may turn out as real progress or a fool’s game. An outrageous turn of events may make sure the scientist’s assumptions, that one can drive through a black hole and come out the other side. In that, the doctor may not be so “mad” after all.

The viewer is offered robots, humanoids, Vincent – a knowledgeable assistant for the Palomino and the action is heating up when Reinhardt begins to summon his ship into the black hole. However, with some religious profanities (some would say understandable since they come from the mouth of a journalist) the theme of progress, from a Christian perspective, is nullified. God, in Genesis, made human endeavor to be done in reference to him, not without him as a curse word.

Babe (1995)

I did not see the theme of this family film at first, but did the theme have certain connotations and would it have mattered to a Christian perspective? If I was aware of something off color thematically in it then, would have I reviewed the film differently? How would I review it now if I found myself offside with the theme in it? Would it come in as one of those films I review in the middle of the spectrum or would I give it full marks because it does not seem to matter? Back then, I was captured by the warm glow the film gave off. Here was my review, from 1996.

Just like a nursery rhyme, Australian film, “Babe”, is about a farm pig who thinks he is a sheep dog. After being won by farmer Arthur Hoggett (interesting name) at a fair, the pig Babe embarks on a journey and makes friends and enemies of a bestial nature in the process. Great entertainment, “Babe” is winner of Best Comedy at the Golden Globes this year and a box office hit.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers, GiveWay magazine, 1996.

1994 Italian film

Italian, subtitled film directed by Michael Radford that I originally saw at an independent theatre. It seemed sunnier on the Italian coast than it did outside. I reviewed it in 1996 for GiveWay.


Massimo Troisi, as Mario, in The Postman.

A fantastically simple and entertaining Italian film that has been nominated for five Academy Awards this year including Best Picture.

It stars Phillippe Noiret as Pablo, a Chilean poet and diplomat, in exile in Italy during the 1950’s. It chronicles an event, his life on an Italian island.

A postman, Mario (Massimo Troisi) delivers Pablo’s mail and they strikes up a friendship which consists of Mario learning how to be a poet, taught by the famous Pablo.

Mario is shy person but starts to fall in love with Beatrice Russo and comes to Pablo for advice. Mario starts to blossom as a young poet and the young lady responds to his charm. Soon, a relationship develops. One can almost see the innocence of this relationship.

Director Michael Radford depicts the closeness of the two main relationships that Mario has with Beatrice and Pablo without needing to be pretentious. This is an unassuming film and terrific performances especially Noiret’s gentle aggressiveness and Troisi’s mellow “lethargy” as Mario. The ending shows the consequences or influence in friendship and fighting for a cause.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers, in 1996, for Giveway magazine.