Tag Archives: Anthony Hopkins

Brian’ Review – “The Elephant Man”

In this Oscar-nominated drama based on a true story, physically abnormal John Merrick (John Hurt) endures ostracizing, taunting behavior as a sideshow attraction in mid-19th century England. Despite his horribly disfigured face and body and barely perceptible speech, concerned doctor Frederick Treves (Sir Anthony Hopkins) recognizes Merrick to be highly intelligent and works to save the Elephant Man’s dignity. Directed by David Lynch.

Brian – 10 out of 10

There’s a wonderful moment in this film that completely summed up its meaning to me. John Merrick (The Elephant Man) has been invited by his doctor (played by Anthony Hopkins) to have dinner at his home. His disfigurement, normally met with screams of terror is met with a welcome by his doctor’s wife:


Mrs. Treves: I’m very pleased to meet you, Mr. Merrick.
John Merrick: I’m very pleased…
[John begins to cry]
Dr. Frederick Treves: What is it, John? What’s the matter?
John Merrick: It’s just that I-I’m not used to being treated so well by a beautiful woman…


His disfigurement, for one brief instance, has evaporated and he feels something he has never felt in his entire life: normal.


The Elephant Man is a wonderful, engaging, smart, beautiful, scary, and heartfelt look at a man who is truly more than meets the eye. It was a fitting decision on the part of David Lynch to shoot this in black and white. It shows the black and white, the ying and yang, of good and evil in the human spirit. We are opened to scenes of horrible cruelty towards John Merrick that are never manipulative. There was no emotional music swells or sad pianos playing. It simply presented the situation as a sad commentary on the darkness that can afflict weak men who use others for their own gain. As the film progresses, and John Merrick meets the doctor who cares for him, we start to learn that behind the disfigurement is the soul of a gentile and artistic man that desires only to be loved.


The performances throughout the entire cast are impeccable. But, it’s John Hurt’s turn as the Elephant Man that is pure magic. Through 20 pounds of makeup and prosthetics, he manages to convey every emotion perfectly through his body language and eyes. We are never in the dark as to what he’s feeling and it takes this film from simply flying to soaring. His journey from fear, to mistrust, to love is one of the rarities in movie history that must be seen to be believed.


Kenneth Branagh directs this Marvel Comics-inspired action flick about the thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful warrior whose father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) — the king of Asgard — forces him to live among humans on Earth and learn humility. Once there, he finds a friend (Natalie Portman), along with unexpected enemies sent from his world. Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård and Rene Russo co-star.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Have you ever seen the Dolph Lundgren’s 1989 opus (sarcasm) “Masters of the Universe?” It’s a live-action adaptation of the He-Man cartoon series of the 80s. The basic plot is that He-Man is this super hulk with a special weapon he wields in the name of good to protect his far-off science-fiction, fantasy home. Somehow, the he gets warped to Earth where he struggles to adapt while trying to get back. Along the way, some of the baddies from his home come to Earth where a battle ensues.

Well, that’s the exact plot of Marvel’s latest, “Thor.” This movie fails in just about every way. Without a strong supporting cast, it could have been a 2 out of 10. I was not impressed. It’s had some tough competition to follow with the excellent Iron Man movies.

I wouldn’t recommend Thor. It’s so awkward, it makes you feel uncomfortable watching it. I’d recommend watching “Masters of the Universe.” The first youtube installment is below. At least it’s funny because of how bad it is.

The Wolfman

Based on the 1941 classic, this werewolf-themed horror film set in Victorian England centers on Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), an American man who, upon a visit to London, gets bitten by a werewolf. Talbot had come to England to make amends with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), but after a moonlight transformation leaves him with a savage hunger for flesh, family harmony is the least of his worries.

Rating: 3 out of 10

I have to admit that this is one of the more difficult reviews I’ve done in a while. Why, do you ask? Well, there’s a lot of talent going on here being wasted.

Director Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) has some excellent action scenes as well as moody lighting and camerawork, Hopkins is truly at the top of his game as the Wolfman’s enigmatic father, and Del Toro is also quite good as his son and heir apparent. On the other hand, the script just sucks. There’s little if any character development, there’ s a muddled love story that never feels right or evokes any emotion and there’s very little motivation to any of the main characters’ actions. When the end credits rolled, I practically forgot I ever watched it.

On top of that, let’s face it, werewolves are just plain goofy. Yes, they might have been terrifying in the early days of cinema when film was not as refined as it is now. But the idea of a guy turning into a half-wolf, half-man on the night of a full moon and mindlessly killing people is just plain silly. In fact, I found myself giggling a few times when he’d still be wearing part of his clothes that were torn to shreds after his “transformation” and howling at the night sky. I guess it isn’t just that this film is bad — it’s more that it never should have been made at all.