Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Throwback Movie Review

Something funny happened when I went to this movie in 2016.   I thought I was in 1958.  Or, at the very least, tuning into Turner Classic Movies on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Talk about your relics.  "Allied" is a modern day film that seems like it came from another era.   Not that this is a bad thing.   I actually liked it a lot.  But this is clearly a movie that your grandmother might love and say...

"Gee, they don't make 'em like this any more."

As somebody who grew up on World War II films, "Allied" was a perfect time travel for me.   I wonder, however, just how many current movie goers actually know anything about World War II.  I had older relatives who lived through it and were not afraid to share the memories.   But today's youth?   I am not so sure.  Indeed, that likely explains why "Allied," a perfectly fine piece of entertainment from director Robert Zemeckis, made no money at the box office.

That's a shame because folks missed out on a very engaging story with great performances by Brad Pitt (???!!!) and Marion Cotillard as star-crossed lovers in Europe during WWII.   When we first meet them, they are working to shoot and kill some Nazis in French Morocco.  Casablanca is mentioned a lot and that would make sense since a lot of this film comes off like the movie of the same name.

But, that's only the first half.   Brad and Marion, with a trail of dead Nazis in their wake, re-locate to London circa 1944.  They marry, have a child, and enjoy an idyllic life even if bombs are still going off every night in England.  But, suddenly, Pitt's military superiors tell him that there is evidence that his wife might secretly be a Nazi spy and they insist he investigate her.  

If this all sounds like something that would have starred Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart back in the day, you are right.   Okay, so nobody is playing "As Time Goes By" on the piano, but there is enough of an old Warner Brothers plot to make you think this movie was produced years ago.   That comes off as a bit of a knock, but trust me it's a good thing.  The story, however old it seems, is still compelling.    It's just too bad that fewer people thought so.

So, I heartily recommend "Allied."   The only problem is that you will probably have trouble finding it.   Maybe you wait five years until it turns up on TCM with an introduction by Ben Mankiewicz.  That's where it belongs anyway.

LEN'S RATING:  Three-and-a-half stars.

Dinner last night:  Pork chop with crimini mushrooms and baby spinach saute.

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