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Down to You (2000)
One of the Worst
SPOILER ALERT!! This is on my worst- movies- of- all- time list. I usually don't like to comment negatively on IMDB, but I feel like this mistake of a film should not be committed again. You cannot tell your audience to take a suicide
seriously if he tries to kill himself by drinking a bottle of her favorite shampoo-- I'm sorry, that's absurd. Having sex with Entimann's cake-- not cool. Pretending like these people go to Columbia University-- also not cool (although Julia Stiles actually does and she's very nice I hear, so I don't want to bad-mouth her, just her choice to play the part). The whole movie just pretty much sucked-- it didn't make sense, you didn't care about the characters, there were awful lines. It was an overly melodramatic love story coupled with what the writer probably thought was clever, original romantic, fun things, but in fact we were laughing at it-- not with it... Better luck next time guys!!
Red Dust (1932)
One of My Favorite Pre-Code Films
To me this is one of the films that defined the Pre-Code Era. Complete with prostitution, adultery, sex as a major plot point, partial nudity (well, much more than was allowed during the Code enforcement), drunkenness, and strong women characters, this film has it all. Plus, it has an extremely engaging storyline, interesting setting, and an explanation of how rubber is made. Aside from the racism present, this film is great. One of the most interesting things about this film, which I have studied a great deal as a part of my senior thesis in undergrad film school, is the freshness of the dialogue. Coming only a few years after the addition of sound to films I was shocked to find how fun and refreshing the dialogue was. Whereas lots of films these days disappoint me in that the dialogue is so overly cliched and stale, Red Dust has lines about favorite cheeses and stories read about bunnies-- how fun!
All and all, this movie is terrific. Clark is as virile as anything and Jean Harlow is full of strength and sass and dimensions-- just a great female character. And hell if she isn't going to fight for her man! Mary Astor's character is also very well done as we see and believe that Clark is just so tempted by her and she by him. I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone-- It's a 120 times better than its remake, Mogambo, which despite Gable's presence just totally loses everything that Red Dust had.
Ann Vickers (1933)
A Wonderful Women's Film
This is what a woman's film ought to be in this era, not just 70 years ago. The Ann Vickers character is a strong woman devoted to her career and to those who depend on her at the women's prison. She is not without her flaws as any hero or protagonist, but she overcomes so many obstacles and definitely has control over her life. What has happened to strong and complex female roles in modern motion pictures? This movie is well acted, well-written and has a tremendous message. I recommend it to anyone who can get their hands on it, as I believe it is still not available on video. It ranks up there with Norma Shearer's character Jerry in "The Divorcee" as far as a well-developed complex strong female characters. We need more movies depicting our gender this way not just as sex objects but as sexual subjects, with career goals and sex drives. Watch this movie!
Forsaking All Others (1934)
I loved this movie.
Granted I am a huge Clark Gable fan, I thought this movie was one of the most fun films I had seen in a long time and not just because he's pretty to look at-- the whole cast was great as was the writing. I wish it hadn't been overlooked on AFI's recent top 100 comedies. I felt it was a very humorous, screwy comedy that deserves more recognition.