Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Humpty Dumpty Circus (1908)
Release Date may be 1898
In other sources, the release date for Humpty Dumpty Circus is normally listed as 1898. The IMDb entry is the only one which asserts 1908. Smith and Blackton were making much more sophisticated stop-motion films by 1908, so that makes the 1898 date more plausible.
There seem to be no existing prints of the film, and non-internet references are not available.
Until someone can find more definite references about the film, the release date remains a mystery. One wonders where Guiness Book of World Records got their information about the content of the film (they go with the 1898 date).
Seong lung wui (1992)
The Original Hong Kong Version is Infinitely better than the Butchered American Version
This is not a review, really, it's just to point out that all but one or two of the reviewers of Twin Dragons probably saw the butchered American version of this funny, clever, exciting movie and not the full- length, sub-titled Hong Kong original.
I vividly recall taking a friend to see this when it opened (American Version) and watching for scene after favorite scene (remembered from a viewing in NY's Sun Sing Theatre in Chinatown) which never appeared! Afterwards, I stuttered through an explanation of why it was really a funny, exciting film only to be met by blank stares.
I'll give only one example: The scene in the mall. (semi-spoiler) Originally, it was an exciting, but funny scene that ends with the thug Jackie beats up wanting to be his student! Not only is all of the character development in the scene cut out, but the music is completely altered to try to make a comic scene seem like a deadly serious fight!
Clearly, someone at the distribution company decided that American audiences were so tone-deaf that they simply couldn't appreciate wit and cleverness, only rock-em, sock-em brain-dead action, so they performed a lobotomy on this swell little gem.
They should change their names to "Silk Purse Into Sow's Ear Production Company."
Perhaps future reviewers will bother to note whether they saw the full 100 minute Hong Kong version or the embarrassing (let's all cover our eyes quickly) 89 minute American mess.
Torture Ship (1939)
Alpha Video is 63 minutes long
The Alpha Video release seems to be fairly complete with the entire story intact (except for some splicy sections in what was probably a 16mm television print: The story does make sense in this version which has the entire explanation of why the criminals are on the ship in the first place and what the doctor's motivations are.
It is mysterious that the film runs about 63 minutes when the main IMDb description has it released at 57 minutes. That's probably incorrect and doesn't represent the original theatrical release, but rather some random individual's timing from a DVD or VHS tape that wasn't complete in the first place.
Beauty and the Boss (1932)
Charming Pre-Code Comedy
Although it betrays its theater-script origins in the rhythm of the performances and dialogue, this sparkling little formula comedy about a secretary who wins a rich Baron is chockablock with snappy retorts and racy rejoinders. Marian Marsh is adorable, charming and always convincing.
The surprising candor of the script is refreshing: despite the free modern use of more explicit language, this depression-era tale leaves nothing to the imagination. Its honesty is surprising and heightens the humor of the gentle jokes.
Watching scenes played out between Marsh and Warren William with such genuine engagement would be impossible in the modern era of frenetic jump-cutting. What a treat to see talented performers do such naughty and giggly scenes in a single take with hardly a cutaway or interruption in sight!
Hansel and Gretel (1954)
Hansel and Gretel: Made in the United States
Despite its European, "old world" look, Hansel and Gretel was made in New York City. Indeed the comments to the contrary are a tribute to the filmmakers' success in evoking a genuine fairy tale style. Nonetheless, the film was shot using conventional stop-motion puppets (notwithstanding the producer's claims to using some sort of mysterious "electronic" method) in the main room of an abandoned courthouse which is still standing at the corner of Second Avenue and Second Street in New York City. The large set was built in the main chamber on the second floor (now the largest of several theaters in what is currently (2005) the Anthology Film Archives).
Apparently electromagnets were used to hold the stop-motion puppets in place during some sequences, but normal procedures were used for the rest. This and some hype that lured in backers may account for the mistaken report that they are electronic puppets. They were solid, armature puppets and not clay (or "claymation") dolls.
The set survived the production and actually toured county fairs as a fairy tale exhibit for many years after the completion of the film.
Deux frères (2004)
One of the finest dramas about nature ever made.
In an era of computer generated special effects, a motion picture drama starring real, living, breathing tigers is not likely to make a stir. After all, CGI dinosaurs gobble up attorneys and everything is real except the dinosaur and, sad to say, the gobbling of the evil attorney.
"Two Brothers" ("Deux Freres") refuses to be a compromised, saccharine, and childish story that panders to fearful parents who want to protect their children from real life, thinking that happiness results from that philosophy of exclusion. Without a doubt, the movie is a "fairy tale," but in the true tradition of real fairy tales, it has a moral: unless we pay attention, we will have no real, living, breathing tigers left in the world. They'll all be killed and we'll be left only with the computer generated animals that are so popular amongst uneducated kids and not the wondrous creations that the universe has gifted us.
Big cats in nature are some of the most beautiful animals put on this earth.
Their agile movements running, hunting, playing can be breathtaking. The faces of cubs, like those of any other baby animal, are cute and endearing, and their parents as loving as any other mammal.
We're accustomed, however, to seeing lions and tigers roaring, growling, spitting, scratching and -- unprovoked -- killing "helpless" human beings. This has led, in real life, to the wholesale killing of animals that should be treasured and respected, not feared and murdered. Uncharacteristically, this sensitive film clarifies that left alone in nature, tigers speak softly and expressively and that anger is provoked and not a state of being to titillate us.
Director Annaud and his team, especially the animal trainers, have accomplished something that, years ago, would have been promoted with lines like: "All real! All live! See it as it happened! Three years in the making!" The sheer patience of urging performances from animals is mind-boggling.
With a dumbed down promotion that clearly hoped to lure in nursery school children and their Moms, the American release of Deux Freres has been dumped into a pit of oblivion between Spider Man 2 and Fahrenheit 9/11.
Here is a moving, provocative, artful, caring and indelibly memorable masterpiece that deserves, at the very least, a fine -- and UNCUT -- DVD release, and at best a brand new re-release in the Fall season of 2004 that affirms what a brilliant motion picture it really is and (parents of small children forewarned)not only not to be missed, but made recommended viewing in schools at all levels.