Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: Girl Shy (1924)

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Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston and directed by Fred C. Newmeyer.

The story follows Harold Meadows (Lloyd) a tailor’s apprentice for his uncle in Little Bend, California. He is very shy around women and can barely talk to them without stuttering. Despite this he decides to write a “how to” book for young men called The Secret of Making Love, detailing about how to peruse different types of young women, such as “the vampire” and “the flapper.” He then takes a train to see a publisher in Los Angeles.

A rich young woman named Mary Buckingham (Ralston) boards the train after her car breaks down in Little Bend. No dogs are allowed on the train, so Mary hides her Pomeranian under her shawl, but the dog jumps off the train as it is pulling away. Harold rescues the dog and helps her hide it from the conductor. She spots his manuscript, so he tells her about his book, overcoming his  stuttering in excitement. They become so engrossed in each other that they don’t notice the has come to it’s last destination and everyone else is gone.

This a fun, funny, heartwarming and charming film, that stars one of the greatest comic actors of all time, Harold Lloyd with his trademark horn rimmed glasses. Truly a wonderful film that will have you laughing to the end. Harold is spectacular like he always is even today. This film has no dialogue and doesn’t need it, because the story is easy to follow for most part. Not many comedies today are great as this one and not many comic actors today, can touch Lloyd. None are as genuine and non-vulgar as him either. He his a true gem in everything he ever did.

What I love about this film, is the comedy as well as Harold’s struggles and how he overcomes them when he meets Mary. A delightful pair Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston are, making you believe in true love. This a film both young and old can enjoy for generations to come. This not a complete family film, because of mature  themes such as bigamy, dating and relationships, hitchhiking, smoking and drinking. But the film does show how you can overcome a fear and problem and how to be brave. It also shows that money doesn’t matter when you’re in love, you love them just as they are.

This film is filled with Harold’s usual quirkiness, along with fun and heart racing, sweet and passionate and a bit angry scenes, that make it a true classic. Not many of today’s films even compare to how spectacular this is. This is one of the greatest romantic comedies I’ve ever seen right next to Chaplin’s City Lights. You don’t have to be a big silent film and/or Harold fan to enjoy this film. I’m a huge rom-com fan, but this one I love. Truly terrific from start to finish, there is nothing bad to say about this masterpiece. 9+ 5/5

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Movie reviews

The Connection Between William Blake and David Lynch

Caroline Galdi Staff Writer Eric G. Wilson is no stranger to publishing. As a professor at Wake Forest University, he has written several literary nonfiction books which have received critical acclaim. He has also been published in several esteemed literary magazines and other publications. But, his newest release marks a new step in his literary […]

via ‘Polaris Ghost’: Connecting the Dots Between William Blake and David Lynch — THE CAROLINIAN

Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

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A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the band The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. The film shows several days in the life of the band.

This a very fun and funny film filled with some of the band’s most well known and beloved songs. It is filled not just with their great music, but also lots of quirky humor mixed with British terms and the guys’ Liverpool accents. It also shows how huge Beatlemania was in Britain, even though it was spectacular around the world.  Now these guys weren’t very good actors, but they were great performers and great at cutting up and making people laugh.

This film is one that will keep you singing, toe tapping, snapping and laughing. It is never boring and although the acting isn’t that good, the humor and music make up for it. The performances and the audiences in this film are real, not sure if the female fans overreacting is, but that is how they really acted in real life. The Beatles were and still are huge. Everyone knows them, because they are the most famous band of all time and this film doesn’t do their music justice.

Throughout this film, the guys get into trouble, as well as Paul’s grandfather and there is lots of slapstick humor and flirting. There is also some adult innuendos that most kids probably won’t understand, like when John says Paul’s grandfather is sex-obsessed and when Paul puts a bottle of cola up his nose and sniffs, implying “snorting coke.” But the people in this film, particularly the boys, talk pretty fast, so its all pretty easy to to miss. There is also smoking throughout, but that is because it was the 1960s and just about everyone smoked then, this might need to be explained to kids.

This a very entertaining film, that any Beatles fan will enjoy. All I can say about this one is, FUN! FUN! LOTS OF FUN! 8+ 5/5

Movie reviews

The Most Bizarre Films of All Time Part II

 

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51. Pan’s Labyrinth- 2006

52. Ink – 2009

53. Bronson – 2008

54. House – 1977

55. Songs from the Second Floor – 2000

56. You, the Living – 2007

57. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – 2014

58. Zardoz- 1974

59. Shock Corridor- 1963

60. Paprika – 2006

61. Black Swan – 2010

62. Blood Tea and Red String – 2006

63. Ben – 1972

64. Willard – 1971

65. The Triplets of Belleville – 2003

66. Little Otik – 2000

67. Idiots and Angels – 2008

68. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders – 1970

69. The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T – 1953

70. Tales from the Quadead Zone – 1987

71. Mr. Nobody – 2009

72. Escape from Tomorrow – 2013

73. Vertigo – 1958

74. The Double – 2013

75. Spider Baby – 1967

76. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny – 1972

77. 2001: A Space Odyssey – 1968

78. The Cook, the Theif, His Wife & Her Lover – 1989

79. Metropolis – 1927

80. Blue Velvet – 1986

81. Inherent Vice – 2014

82. Society – 1989

83. Head – 1968

84. The Pornographers – 1966

85. Conspirators of Pleasure – 1996

86. The Bed Sitting Room – 1969

87. If… – 1968

88. The Face of Another – 1966

89. The Telephone Book – 1971

90. Female Trouble – 1974

91. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie – 1972

92. The Seventh Seal – 1957

93. Weekend- 1967

94. Fellini Satyricon -1969

95. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – 1998

96. Inland Empire- 2006

97. Funky Forest – 2005

98. Freaks – 1932

99. Swiss Army Man – 2016

100. Anomalisa – 2015

 

Movie reviews

The Most Bizarre Films of All Time Part I

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Some films are just too strange for words and leave you scratching your head, they also leave you saying WTF or WTH Did I just watch? And a lot make no sense at all. Here is a list for your viewing pleasure, but watch at your own risk.

  1. Pink Flamingos – 1972
  2. Bad Taste – 1987
  3. Meet the Feebles – 1989
  4. Hell Comes to Frogtown – 1988
  5. Elves -1989
  6. John Dies at the End – 2012
  7. Creeping Terror- 1964
  8. Videodrome – 1983
  9. Mulholland Drive – 2001
  10. Gozu – 2003
  11. Dogtooth – 2009
  12. Tetsuo – 1989
  13. Holy Motors – 2012
  14. Taxidermia -2006
  15. On the Silver Globe – 1988
  16. Gummo -1997
  17. Repulsion – 1965
  18. Eyes Without a Face – 1960
  19. Donnie Darko – 2001
  20. Carnival of Souls – 1962
  21. Tideland – 2005
  22. The Reflecting Skin  – 1990
  23. Begotten – 1990
  24. Synencdoche, New York -2008
  25. The Rocky Horror Picture Show – 1975
  26. A Clockwork Orange – 1975
  27. Phantasm – 1971
  28. Pi – 1998
  29. Delicatessen -1991
  30. I Can See You – 2008
  31. Johnny Got His Gun -1971
  32. Waking Life – 2001
  33. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004
  34. Being John Malkovich – 1999
  35. Maniac – 1934
  36. Suspiria – 1977
  37. Barton Fink – 1991
  38. The Science of Sleep – 2006
  39. Elevator Movie – 2004
  40. Altered States -1980
  41. Enter the Void – 2009
  42. Brazil – 1985
  43. Pink Floyd the Wall – 1982
  44. Even Dwarfs Start Small – 1970
  45. Un Chein Andalou – 1929
  46. Dead Ringers – 1988
  47. Fantastic Planet – 1973
  48. Yellow Submarine – 1968
  49. Persona – 1966
  50. Run Lola Run – 1999
Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: The Odd Couple (1968)

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The Odd Couple is a 1968 American comedy film written by Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name, directed Gene Saks, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The film tells the story of two divorced men – Oscar Madison, a happy go lucky slob and Felix Ungar, a crazy neat freak – who decide to live together. Their different personalities cause them fight.

Felix Ungar (Lemmon) checks into cheap hotel near Times Square and tries to kill himself by jumping out of the ninth floor window, but he fails when he pulls a muscle trying to open it. He hobbles back into the street and goes to a dance bar to try and get drunk and ends up hurting his neck when he throws a drink down. After leaving the bar, he walks to a bridge and stands on it, pondering jumping into the river.

Meanwhile, in the Upper West Side in the slovenly apartment of Oscar Madison (Matthau), a divorced sportswriter, it’s a hot and sticky summer evening and he and friends Speed (Larry Haines), Roy (David Sheiner), Vinnie (John Fiedler), and police officer Murray (Herb Edelman) are playing poker and discussing why their friend Felix Ungar was unusually late for the game. Murray’s wife calls and tells him Felix is missing. Oscar then calls Felix’s wife Frances and she says that they have split up. As they are talking about what to do and worried that Felix might commit suicide, Felix arrives not knowing that his friends already know his wife had kicked him out.

Whithin only a week, Felix’s obsessive compulsive behavior drives Oscar crazy. Felix is running around the apartment cleaning, tidying and picking up after Oscar and criticizing him for living like a slob. Felix also refuses to have any fun, because he is thinking about Frances.

One night Oscar becomes enraged after Felix ruins their double date and wants to get back at him by completely trashing the apartment. Felix responds by being his usual self, making Oscar furious with his neurotic behavior.

This film is a great interpretation of how two people with completely different personalities living together can clash. It shows the ways they mend and break and how they resolve problems. It also shows, that in the end, friendship and forgiveness is more important than being neat and tidy.

The film is filled with relatable subjects like, marriage and divorce, friendship, dating and roommate problems like not cleaning up, but it is also has some humor, because there are times when the guys actually make each other laugh. To me, this film is more of a drama than a comedy, not that that’s a bad thing. Actually, I think it’s what makes this film so great. It is wildly entertaining and  the pair of the two friends, although they clash, work so well within the story.

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are outstanding together in this film, that to me deserved a Best Picture nomination at the 40th Academy Awards. This is truly an iconic film with an iconic cheesy theme song, that most everyone knows. This wonderful movie inspired the equally wonderful TV series. These kooky characters are ones that you will never forget (and the theme song). Everything about this film is superb. 11+ 5/5

Movie reviews

The Very Interesting Ingmar Bergman

Over his long and extensive career Ingmar Bergman directed on 71 different occasions. His filmography consists of feature films, TV movies, documentaries, shorts, a series of made for TV mini series’ and a segment in 1967’s Stimulantia. He was nominated for 9 academy awards, and up until and after his passing in 2007, managed to […]

via Director focusing: Ingmar Bergman — A Love Affair with Film

Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by James Lee Herlihy. It was directed by John Schlesinger and stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. The film won Best Picture at the 42nd Academy Awards and was the first gay related film to recieve the award and the only x-rated winner as well.

The story follows Joe Buck, a young Texan dishwasher that dresses in cowboy attire, quits his job, packs a suitcase and hops a bus to New York City hoping to be a successful prostitute.

Despite all the controversial content in this film, it still remains a classic to this day. It is shocking in so many ways, that it make it a love or hate pic. Drug, cigarette and gay filled, it is one of the most scandalous and pretty repugnant films I’ve ever seen before, but it is all done so well, that makes it enjoyable for me to watch, despite all that. At times this film goes a bit too far, taking things to the extreme, like violent sex and just violence in general, as well as the drug scenes. Not all of this film is faithful to Herlihy’s book, many major occurrences are left out, but despite that fact, I find both to be equally good.

Jon Voight has always been a favorite actor as well as Dustin Hoffman and both are outstanding in their roles, especially Voight, who gives one of his first, but best performances and nobody could have done a better job. Hoffman does fine as Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo in his first adult film appearance. Together both of them make a shockingly memorable pair that have gone down in movie history to be two of the greatest, yet revolting  characters of all time.

The film did seem to be a bit dragged out at times, scenes were over the top, but that is what you get from an extremely adult film (x rated). Obscene? Quite. Too much? For most people it probably is. It is an acquired taste and is scandalous, but nothing like A Clockwork Orange, although both have received tons of criticism ever since their releases.

Midnight Cowboy is about more than prostitution and drugs, it is also about friendship, finding yourself, hardships, poverty and the meaning of life. It is also about  learning from mistakes and consequences of doing horrible things. There are many great and not so great things about this about this film. The promiscuity and drug usage is extreme and both Joe and Ratso smoke like freight trains (but that was common then). Although this pic pushes a bit too far, it is still one of the best, not just cults classics, but films of all time. It is a true work of art, that some may not understand, but the ones that do, see it for just that. A story of young people in New York City without hope or direction in life that is portrayed so realistically. Yes, rather depressing for the most part, but that doesn’t make it an awful film, it is truly superb in far too many ways. Adults only. 4/5

Movie reviews

Disney and Lies About Lemmings

Another working day has ended. Only the rush hour hell to face. Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes. Contestants in a suicidal race. -The Police, Synchronicity II Mass suicide by lemmings is a myth – an urban legend. The myth holds that once lemming populations get too large they migrate en masse and throw themselves […]

via Do Lemmings Really Engage in Mass Suicide? — IFOD – Interesting Facts of the Day