Movie reviews

50 Must Watch Films For Film Studies

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  1. Nanook of the North – 1922
  2. Greed -1924
  3. Metropolis – 1927
  4. The Passion of Joan of Arc – 1928
  5. Man with a Movie Camera – 1929
  6. City Lights – 1931
  7. Modern Times – 1936
  8. Steamboat Bill Jr. – 1928
  9. The Cameraman – 1928
  10. Gone With the Wind- 1939
  11. Safety Last – 1923
  12. Citizen Kane – 1941
  13. Bicycle Thieves – 1948
  14. Casablanca – 1942
  15. The Third Man – 1949
  16. Ikiru – 1952
  17. Singin’ in the Rain – 1952
  18. High Noon – 1952
  19. Rebel Without a Cause – 1955
  20. The Red Balloon – 1956
  21. Wild Strawberries – 1957
  22. The 400 Blows – 1959
  23. Breathless – 1960
  24. West Side Story – 1961
  25. Jules and Jim – 1962
  26. Lawrence of Arabia – 1962
  27. 8 1/2
  28. Persona – 1966
  29. The Godfather – 1972
  30. The Godfather II – 1974
  31. Annie Hall – 1977
  32. Paris, Texas – 1984
  33. Fanny and Alexander – 1982
  34. The Great Escape – 1963
  35. Rocky – 1976
  36. Paper Moon – 1973
  37. Rain Man – 1988
  38. Do the Right Thing – 1989
  39. The Elephant Man – 1980
  40. It Happened One Night – 1934
  41. All the President’s Men – 1976
  42. 12 Angry Men – 1957
  43. The General- 1926
  44. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – 1939
  45. Grey Gardens – 1975
  46. Fargo – 1996
  47. Autumn Sonata- 1978
  48. Strangers on a Train – 1951
  49. Vertigo – 1958
  50. Schindler’s List- 1993
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Movie reviews

Submarine (2010)

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Submarine is a 2010 British coming of age comedy drama film directed by Richard Ayoade and based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. It stars Craig Roberts, Yasmin Page, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins.

Unpopular Oliver Tate (Roberts) is a fifteen year old boy that is completely smitten with his classmate Jordana Bevan (Page). He wants to win her heart and lose his virginity before his sixteenth birthday. Their relationship grows, after they finally have sex in the bedroom of Oliver’s parents while they are out.

Oliver becomes concerned about his parents at home, because his father Lloyd (Taylor) is depressed and Graham, a mystic and Oliver’s mother Jill’s (Hawkins) ex-boyfriend moves in next door and his flirtatious nature makes Oliver suspicious.

Oliver learns that Jordana’s mother has a potentially fatal brain tumor. After witnessing Jordana’s father break down at a Christmas dinner at her house, he decides to cut his relationship with her off, because he believes that the emotional events surrounding her will “make her gooey in the middle.”

Searching for his mother on the beach, he sees Jordana with another boy. Heartbroken he walks home; on the way, he spots his mother and Graham together, which enrages him. He breaks into Graham’s house, gets, drunk and destroys it. When Graham gets home, he finds Oliver passed out and takes him home without much complaint.

Oliver, heartbroken over the loss of Jordana, goes to the beach after weeks of deep depression, only to find her there.

This is not your typical teen indie film. It is much different. It is uniquely strange and funny at times, but also sad and heartwarming as well. This is so cleverly written and directed. It is not your ordinary teen independent film, it is different and a bit dark at times, unlike more popular flicks like Juno and The Breakfast Club. There is so much more emotional as well. It shows the life two odd teenagers that despite their issues, find they have much in common and fall in love.

This film is so smart in the ways of comedy, drama and romance. It is filled with quick-witted humor mixed with deeply emotional problems and works very well. Although rated R, there are things in this film that both teenagers and adults alike can relate to like, love, bullying, illness, cheating, depression and relationship issues.

Even though this film is a bit slow throughout most of it, it is still exceptional. Craig Roberts is superb as Oliver Tate, Yasmin Page is great as well as Jordana Bevan. Sally Hawkins does a fine job as Oliver’s mother Jill and Noah Taylor does good, not great as his father Lloyd. Paddy Considine is only okay as Graham Purvis, he could have done better.

This is one of the best teen movies I’ve ever seen. A bit dark? Yes. A bit emotional? Yes. A bit funny? Also yes. There is just the right amount of all of those things that make it truly exceptional. This film does deal with many tough issues and some may find them all to be a bit much, and sure all of that could have been toned down, but to me, it makes it even better. Yes, this movie could have also been a bit lighter, but Ayoade was going by Dunthorne’s book.

The film is quite a bit different from the book, not sure whether that’s a good thing or not, but I like, I mean love them both equally. 18+ 4.5/5

Movie reviews

These 10 GIFs Will Give You an Appreciation for Silent Era Filmmaking — TwistedSifter — trescic

 

For the last three years, Don McHoull has been faithfully uploading gifs from silent era films to Twitter under the handle @SilentMovieGIfs. Not surprisingly, the account heavily features the work of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Fritz Lang. McHoull also routinely adds context and supplemental information to the clips, fostering greater appreciation… via These […]

via These 10 GIFs Will Give You an Appreciation for Silent Era Filmmaking — TwistedSifter — trescic

Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

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Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about tempestuous and confused middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood and was directed by Nicholas Ray.

The film was revolutionary in the attempt to show the dying morality of American teens and parenting style. This film has also gone on to become a landmark status and making James Dean a cultural icon.

The story of the film: Teenaged Jim Stark (Dean) gets arrested and sent to the juvenile division of the police department for his drunkenness. At the station his meets John “Plato” Crawford who was brought in for shooting a litter of puppies and Judy who was brought in for her curfew violation. The three of them confess their frustrations to the police; all three of them suffer from problems at home:

Jim feels betrayed and distressed by his parents that constantly fight.

Judy believes that her father is ignoring her because she is no longer a little girl, so she dresses in racy clothes to get his attention, which only causes him to call her a “dirty tramp.”

Plato was abandoned by his father as a toddler and his mother is often away, leaving him with his housekeeper.

Jim’s first day at Dawson High, he meets Judy again and asks her for ride. Unimpressed she leaves with a group of delinquents lead by Buzz Gunderson.

After a field trip to Griffith Observatory, Buzz challenges Jim to a knife fight. Buzz then suggests stealing cars to have a “chickie Run” at a seaside cliff.

This film is definitely one of the best teen films I’ve ever seen and it totally shows the realistic conflicts between teens and other teens and their parents in the suburban 1950’s. It also shows the rebellious things they do that often get them in trouble with both parents and police. All of this is portrayed so well and realistically, from the intense to the sad parts. Not much goes right in this film, but that makes it even better.

This is probably James Dean’s most well known film and it is the last of his quite short career, but it is an iconic film, that will not ever be forgotten. Not only is it a teen classic, but it is an American classic. Everything in this film is outstanding from the acting to scenery. The intensity has you on the edge of your seat. The rebellious teenagers are portrayed oustsandingly, the parents did a fine job as well.

Many teenagers, even today, are defiant to parents, teachers, police and other authorities and this film depicts  it terrifically. Dean, Wood and Mineo are all equally superb and Corey Allen, who played Buzz did very good. If you want a good teen film and all you think is John Hughes, then change and watch this one, you won’t regret it.

Most of the time, when people think of teen films, they instantly think The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles and rarely does this film come to anyone’s mind. I think it’s time to step away from Hughes and go back to youth classics like this one, because it is more than just a film, it’s a work of art, that deserves to be rewatched for years to come. This is a culturally phenomenal pic. 13+ 5/5

Movie reviews

The Florida Project (2017)

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The Florida Project is 2017 American drama film directed by Sean Baker starring Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera and Caleb Landry Jones. For many of the stars in this film, this was the first time they had ever acted in a movie. The story is about a six year old girl living with her defiant mother in a hotel in Kissimmee, Florida, as they try to avoid problems and make ends meet.

This film portrays how so many people living in poverty and/or welfare struggle to get by and the issues many of them face nearly every day. It shows how young children are brought up in this tough way of living and how they respond to the bad things their caregiver(s) do. This film realistically shows how so many people sadly really live. It is an eye-opener into a very harsh world, that makes you thankful for who and what you have and it is portrayed outstandingly.

Willem Dafoe does a really good job in this movie, I just wish his role had been bigger, so I really don’t think he deserved an Oscar nomination for this. He plays the role of the hotel manager where several of the kids and their mothers live. This was the perfect character for him and he wasn’t even in this much at all, very disappointing.

Bria Vinaite was excellent as Halley, Moonee’s mother. Her portrayal of a careless mother living in poverty was so good, so realistic. She was the character you’re supposed to hate and you definitely do, with her smoking, drug usage, promiscuity, foul language and carelessness of mom. You feel like Halley is a real person, because Bria did so well in her role, it was tailor made for her.

Brooklynn Prince was equally as great as Vinaite in her role as Moonee, Halley’s daughter. All of her actions and language were spot on and so believable. This being only her second film, she was surprisingly fabulous to the very end.

Seeing the world through the children’s eyes living absolutely  dirt poor, was heartbreaking, but necessary for this film, to help viewers gain an understanding of the story and concept. Also seeing their mothers’ way of living was necessary too, showing how they raise their child(ren) and to know why the children act and talk the way they do. Seeing the extremely inappropriate things the mothers and children did was often hard to watch and I found myself saying, “Oh my gosh!” and “No!” throughout. Parts were a bit over the top, some of those scenes could have been shorter, like several of the violent ones, but they are there for many reasons and open our eyes up to a harsh reality that happens all the time.

Overall this is a very well done film that takes you into a world where there is nothing but struggles and getting into trouble. There needs to be more films like this one, that make you appreciate all that have been given. It may be a tough watch, but it is definitely worth it from beginning to end. 4/5

Movie reviews

Classic of the Week: Pillow Talk (1959)

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Pillow Talk is a 1959 romantic comedy film in CinemaScope directed by Michael Gordon and starring Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Nick Adams.

Jan Marrow (Day), an interior decorator and Brad Allen (Hudson), a womanizing composer and bachelor, whom share a telephone party line. When she files a complaint on Allen for using the phone line too often to pursue his ladies, he pretends to be a Texas Rancher, triggering the two to fall in love.

The two main characters feud over their shared telephone line before even meeting. When Brad sees Jan for the first time at a nightclub and learns about her, he becomes attracted to her and takes on a fake Texas Rancher persona. After successfully winning her over, they begin seeing each other often. Jan brags to Brad Allen on the phone, while he tricks Jan by insinuating  “Rex” is interested in more feminine things, indicating that Rex is homosexual.

When Jan’s client Jonathan Forbes finds out about Brad’s disguise, he forces Brad to leave New York City and go to Jonathan’s cabin to finish his new songs. Brad invites Jan to come with him and their affection grows until Jan finds a copy of “Rex’s” sheet music. She plays the song on the piano and recognizes Brad’s song. She challenges Brad, ignoring his explanations, returning to New York with Jonathan who had just arrived.

Brad falls in love with Jan, although she wants nothing to do with him anymore. Brad goes to Jan’s housekeeper Alma for help and she suggests that he hire Jan to decorate his apartment so they’ll be forced to be together. Jan still angry, decorates the apartment in the ugliest and tackiest decor she can find.

Brad furiously drags Jan out of her apartment in her pajamas to his apartment to explain what she had done. He tells her the changes he has made in playboy and bachelor lifestyle because he thought they were getting married. Jan smiles and as he About to leave in anger, she uses one of his lady killer switches to lock the door. She flips another switch and a player piano plays a country version of Brad’s song. As he turns around, they lock eyes, and romantically hold each other close.

This is a rather charming film, filled with laughter, some angry parts and some sadness. It is one that will at first make you angry, then sad, then especially warm your heart. It one that can be watched over and over for years to come. This more than just a romantic comedy, it is a masterpiece of cinema and truly a work of art. Doris Day and Rock Hudson are truly spectacular in this film and are so believable. Tony Randall is great as Jonathan Forbes as well as Nick Adams as Tony Walters.

Everything about this film is wonderful, from the story, to the acting, the scenery to the songs. There is nothing I can say bad about this film either, because there is never a dull moment. One of the greatest love stories in motion picture history, that never gets old and never ceases to make you believe in forgiveness and true love. This story starts out a bit rough but overall it is a truly lovely film that teenaged girls and women will both love and the perfect date night pick. 13+ 5/5

Movie reviews

Buster Keaton and the Failure of “The Great Stone Face”

Have you ever worked really hard at something, only to see it fail? We (as in, yours truly) have racked up loads of spectacular failures. Some were easy, while others required herculean effort. That’s why we admire Buster Keaton‘s character in College (1927). Keaton plays a bookish college freshman who tries to join a college […]

via Buster Keaton and the Hard Work of Failure — Silver Screenings

Movie reviews

The Greatest Love Stories in Film

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  1. Amelie
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life
  3. Love Story
  4. Casablanca
  5. Roman Holiday
  6. Jerry Maguire
  7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  8. An Affair to Remember
  9. Grease
  10. Dirty Dancing
  11. Moonstruck
  12. The Way We Were
  13. Titanic
  14. When Harry Met Sally
  15. Gone With the Wind
  16. The Notebook
  17. City Lights
  18. Manhattan
  19. Annie Hall
  20. Wuthering Heights
  21. Sense and Sensibility
  22. Pride and Prejudice
  23. Jane Eyre (1943)
  24. My Fair Lady
  25. Funny Girl
  26. Out of Africa
  27. Vertigo
  28. Ghost
  29. From Here to Eternity
  30. On Golden Pond
  31. Pretty Woman
  32. It Happened One Night
  33. Now, Voyager
  34. Pillow Talk
  35. West Side Story
  36. Big Fish
  37. The Lady Eve
  38. The Sound of Music
  39. The Shop Around the Corner
  40. Sleepless in Seattle
  41. You’ve Got Mail
  42. Camille
  43. Swing Time
  44. An Officer and a Gentleman
  45. The King and I
  46. Ninotchka
  47. An American in Paris
  48. Love Actually
  49. A Star is Born
  50. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  51. Anna Karenina (1935)
  52. The Philadelphia Story
  53. Doctor Zhivago
  54. The African Queen
  55. The Graduate
  56. Gigi
  57. Splendor in the Grass
  58. Last Tango in Paris
  59. The Postman Always Rings Twice
  60. Bringing Up Baby
  61. Arthur (1981)
  62. A Place in the Sun
  63. To Have and Have Not
  64. The Apartment
  65. Working Girl
  66. Valley Girl
  67. Porgy and Bess
  68. Double Indemnity
  69. The Princess Bride
  70. Sunrise
  71. Mary
  72. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  73. Body Heat
  74. Barefoot in the Park
  75. Love is a Many Splendored Thing
  76. Groundhog Day
  77. A Streetcar Named Desire
  78. Notorious
  79. Say Anything
  80. Pretty in Pink
  81. Sixteen Candles
  82. Cinderella (All except Brandy)
  83. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  84. Singin’ in the Rain
  85. Brief Encounter
  86. Carol
  87. Notting Hill
  88. Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
  89. Roxanne
  90. Pierrot Le fou
  91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  92. Jules and Jim
  93. His Girl Friday
  94. Breathless
  95. Amour
  96. The Bridges of Madison County
  97. L’atalante
  98. On the Waterfront
  99. The Red Shoes
  100. Only Yesterday
Movie reviews

The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook. - 2004

The Notebook is an American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the 1996 book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple that fall in love in the 1940s. Gosling plays Noah Calhoun, a poor country boy and McAdams plays 17 year old Allison “Allie” Hamilton, an heiress.  The story starts out in 1940 in Seabrook Island, South Carolina.

Noah falls in love with Allie after seeing her at a carnival. At first Allie refuses to go on a date with Noah, but after being coaxed by friends, she follows through.  They end up falling madly in love and spend nearly every waking hour together, although Allie’s parents do not approve the relationship due to Noah’s lack of money.

Noah takes Allie to an old rickety house that he intends to buy and fix up for them. They try to make love but are interrupted by Noah’s friend Fin who tells them Allie’s parents have the police looking for her. When they arrive at her parents’ mansion, Allie’s mother Anne calls Noah trash and says he is not good enough for her and bans her from seeing him again. After Allie protests and confesses her love for Noah, she runs out of the house after him. They have a coarse argument and the next morning Anne announces that they are going back home to Charleston. When Noah hears the news, he races to her house, only to find it empty.

Noah writes Allie every day for a year, but Anne hides them from her. Noah enlists in World War II, where Fin dies in battle. Allie volunteers while in college at a hospital for wounded soldiers, hoping one of the men might be Noah, but instead she meets Lon Hammond Jr., a lawyer with Southern money. After being together for a few years, Lon gets permission from Allie’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage.

Noah returns home from the war to find that his father had sold their house so that Noah could buy the old rickety house. While in Charleston Noah witnesses Allie and Lon kissing; he convinces himself that if he repairs the house, she would come back to him.

After finding out about the restoration of the house, Allie drives back to Seabrook to find Noah is living in it. After making love, the next morning Anne arrives at the house, giving Allie caution that Lon had followed her to Seabrook. Anne gives Allie Noah’s letters. After fighting with both Noah and Lon, who both love her, she is forced to decide who her heart is telling her is the one.

Although I’m really not much of Nicholas Sparks fan, this is one of his better stories. This is truly one of the best romantic films I’ve ever seen, so well done. Everything from the scenery to costumes to the music is a true representation of the 1940s. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are outstanding as Noah and Allie. James Garner and Gena Rowlands are equally great as old Noah and Allie. Joan Allen is excellent as Anne Hamilton. James Marsden is superb as Lon Hammond Jr., his accent is perfect.

Yes, this is a chick flick, but this is also one of the best love stories ever told. It is more than a date movie, more than just a movie for chicks, it is one that will warm your heart, make you angry and make you cry, but you will want to watch it over and over for years to come. This story teaches you to follow your heart, that money isn’t everything and that true love is real. I’m normally not big on chick flicks, but I give this one two thumbs up. 13+ 4.5/5

Movie reviews

Actors That Never Made it to TV

When television took off in Hollywood, many actors and actresses decided to not only film movies, but TV shows as well. After all, it was another source of income and excellent way to get your face out there to the public. However, some, like these ones, chose instead to dedicate all their time to the […]

via Top 10 Actors/Actresses That Never Made the Switch to TV — MovieBabble