One Hour Photo (2002) - *1/2
This is a pretty disturbing story. I'm not a big fan of these types of movies in general, but this one was poorly made to boot. I generally don't like when they try to make an unsympathetic character sympathetic and in this case they were unsuccessful. Basically I couldn't wait for him to get caught. Even that aside, I thought the film was very flawed. As it unfolds, the scenes with the police are totally unbelievable. But the "Threat Management Unit" is on the case in full force. With very little evidence of any wrong doing, they have seemingly a whole force staking out a house, store, and a hotel. With this very flimsy evidence they get a search warrant when I know any judge would laugh at the evidence. The only bright spot was Robin Williams portrayal of this psycho. Unfortunately it was wasted on such a bad script. I can't think of any reason anyone would enjoy this movie on any level.
On the Waterfront (1954) - ****
This masterpiece was really made what it is by the excellent performances of it's stars...Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and Eva Marie Saint. On top of that it was a great story by Budd Schulberg, directed brilliantly by Elia Kazan. With all that talent, it is simply one of the great movies. Regardless of how you feel about the specifics of this story of corruption in the dockworkers union, it really is a basic story of human struggle between right and wrong that we can all relate to. The scenes between Brando and Eva are very touching and realistic, but I must say, the famous "I coulda been a contender" scene really is deserving of all it's praise. A very touching scene between two brothers and the eventual ultimate sacrifice that comes from it. Watching this movie for the first time in 2003, makes me long for this time when the really great movies were made.
Rank: #3 in 1954, #8 in 1950s, 4 Star Movie