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jhaugh

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39 reviews in total 
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The Grudge (2004)
Doors and stairways, 21 February 2017
4/10

Here is what I saw in this old movie (2004 and I am writing this in 2017)that I just watched. There are doors. People walk in and out of the doors. Some doors lead to other doors which lead to stairways which have doors that lead to hallways which have many doors on each side. One of these doors will most certainly lead to a landing where there will be an apparition. Scared of the apparition you will run up (or down) the stairs to a door which will lead to another hallway (or a room) with an apparition. You will be scared.

18 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Disparate story lines and rapid cutting between them is annoying, 8 April 2013
6/10

I have watched every episode from all the previous seasons, and this episode is the worst. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) heads up a great ensemble cast. The writer, and the show's creator, has chosen to take several of these characters – Don, Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss), Roger Sterling (John Slattery), and Betty Draper (January Jones)– and give them each an individual story line showing their travails. In following each individual story line, of each individual character, this episode loses the thrust and cohesion of previous episodes where the interaction between the ensemble gave the episodes their dynamic.

This episode starts off with a scene - a man is being given CPR while Don looks on - which is only laid into context later in the show: and when is does appear, in context, it is shown to be an event that even then is out of the time line - confusing! It appears yet again when a drunken Don badgers the person, who was given CPR, about their near death experience. It seems to be an obtuse way to get to that point, where Don is shown to be a mean drunk.

The script has us cutting in and out of the disparate four main story lines. After a while, I just found this to be annoying. Only Don' story and Betty's story have interest. Roger's was the least interesting. Peggy has a job as a poorly paid artistic director who is trying to follow in the footsteps of her mentor Don. You can decide on whether she can do that. Never the less, the show ended too quickly. This is probably because there is a part 2.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Hard to follow but interesting anyway, 19 January 2012
8/10

When Alicia's son Zach works on her computer, I can follow his explanations to her. This show has computer experts that: ghost other computers, take over other computers, and follow intricate paths between computers based on IP addresses, etc. I am lost. The main story line is interesting and, from what I read on IMDb, it is based on a true form of currency used by some computer sites. Still it is complicated in the details. I do not understand how Kalinda arrived at the conclusion she did. Given all that, I liked the show.

Archie Punjabi gets an opportunity to be featured in this episode. I liked that too. The side story involving the state attorney's investigation of the law firm and the efforts to get inside information was almost more interesting than the computer/bitcoin problems.

A pedestrian 11-minute film about Francisco Madero, 6 November 2009
5/10

This "Passing Parade" episode tells the tale of Francisco Madero who overthrew President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico. His ambitions were to give the peasants better protection under the law from mistreatment by the rich landowners and the military. He quickly made a number of errors in judgment from which he could not recover. This little film explains his errors. When he realized he was failing miserably he made a decision to die a martyr. The story is better told in the movies about Villa and Zapata. His death precipitated the rise of these revolutionaries. The film is bookended by views of El Zócalo Square to give it a Mexico flavor.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Golden equator not so golden, 8 June 2009
5/10

Ir is true what others have said about this b&w movie; it should have been in color. The cinematography is pedestrian. The equator comes into play because this documentary, on Ecudor, tells us that the country straddles the Equator. The narration, of this 1956 movie, describes in warm tones the courageous spirit of the Ecudorian people that will move the the country into a golden future through industrialization, modern techniques, panama hats and bananas.

What is more heartbreaking than the poor production values of this film; is that in 2008 - more than fifty years later - the country is unable to pay its international debts. According to Wikipedia, Ecudor had 70% of the population "estimated to live below the poverty line" in the year 2000.

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A documentary on this film., 31 May 2009
9/10

There is a promotional film for "America's last narrow gauge passenger train" that includes scenes on the making of this film. The film is titled "Journey to Yesterday" and does not seem to be listed on the IMDb. Starting in Durango, this film follows the tourist train on it's journey to yesterday. At one point it reaches the location where the "Denver and Rio Grande" movie is being made. It has extensive coverage of the actors at work and especially the "day for night" cinematography being used for some of the movie's night scenes. It also shows the preparation work for the filming of the train collision right up to the collision itself. During the 1990's this film was available on video tape but a recent (2009) check of Amazon.com indicates that this tape is no longer available.

A magnificent documentary, 31 May 2009
9/10

This PBS presentation, on the building of the Trans-Continental Railroad, holds its own among the many documentaries made about this great engineering achievement. There is emphasis on the historical context - the need for, planning for, and realization - of the railroad. The geographical obstacles are put into perspective along with the money-grubbing humans involved. Of course there were the native Americans whose land and livelihood (the buffalo) were removed from them. The documentary claims the buffalo were already on the road to extinction and the railroad just speed-ed up the process. Let us not forget the death toll among the Chinese. It is all here with more in this magnificently produced documentary. Lief Ancker is the narrator.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
I was mesmerized by this short film, 27 August 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film on a Friday. It was on VHS that derived from the paper tape collection in the Library of Congress so it's not a crystal-clear movie - a blurb included in the box said the film featured Al Jennings, a real bank robber and was produced by the Oklahoma Mutoscene Company. I spent the following weekend researching these questions: - Why film in Cache, Oklahoma? - What is the "Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve (one scene in the movie shows riders passing under this sign)? - What's the story on the "Featured player's" in this movie? - What was the Oklahoma Mutoscene Company?

I think the story of this movie and it's colorful side stories could be turned into an interesting historical article. Anyone want to try? Here is some interesting data with which to work:

Cache, Oklahoma is a small town just west of Lawton. It is southwest of Fort Sill, which was established in Comanche country in 1869. The 10th Calvary "Buffalo Soldiers" were later stationed there. A large, about 60,000 acres, wilderness area called the Wachita Mountains lies a few miles to the north. There are legends of lost mines and cached treasures in these hills. Most of these legends can be ignored. Quahadi Comanches, under their chief Quanah Parker surrendered at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, on June 2, 1875 ending the Indian Wars in this area. Parker settled into a huge house in Cache. His mother was a white woman who had been kidnapped by the Comanche. All the wood-frame buildings in this film burned to the ground in 1911, three years after being filmed, and were replaced by brick or concrete buildings.

The Wichita National Forest & Game Preserve was established in 1905 by President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1907, fearing their extinction, several societies organized for 15 buffalo to be transported by rail to Cache and carried, in crates, 13 miles to the wildlife preserve where they were released. Quanah Parker was among the many notables who came to the railroad station. Roosevelt visited Cache this same year and was a guest of Parker staying at his house. While in Cache, Roosevelt watched a "wolf hunt". Impressed by the event, Roosevelt later contracted a film crew to film a reenactment of the hunt. See IMDb "Wolf Hunt" (1908)

Bennie Kent was an Oklahoma still photographer. In 1904, Edison sent a film crew to Indian Country to film a movie. See IMDb "Brush Between Cownoys and Indians" (1904). Kent filled in for the camera operator. He then went on to form the Oklahoma Natural Mutoscene Company with Bill Tilghman and others. They filmed the wolf hunt film and this one.

Al J. Jennings may have been a criminal but was not in the league of the Daltons or the James Brothers. In 1907, he received a full pardon from President Roosevelt who believed he had been framed for at least some of the crimes. He had a film career into the 1930s.

I believe this film is worth a quality restoration. Maybe the Oklahoma film preservation people could consider that. Besides the insertion of explanatory inter-titles there are several scenes that need to be looked at for modification. Remember that this print came from paper tape and the scenes might not be on that tape in the sequence that they were actually shown to the public.

Scene - Cache: A man and woman seem to be doing some kind of transaction in the bank doorway. A man leaves the bank and the camera follows him as he rides out of view allowing us to see the main street on both sides At the far end of the street a stagecoach sits with mules in harness unattended. The sidewalk across from the bank is lined with about 50 men women and children who are probably waiting to see the bank robbery re-enactment. The adult townspeople will probably be extras in the final scene of the movie (the stagecoach and people viewed were probably not intended to be in the final cut unless an inter-tile explained they were gathered to watch a parade or something).

The stagecoach pulls up in front of the bank. Something is taken into the bank as the six bank robbers strike. Gunfire erupts and one bandit is killed another fatally wounded. The bandits flee with the money and with the dying man that they later dump in a stream. A posse forms and pursues almost immediately. As the movie progresses we realize that the many white shirted men that we see in town are mostly lawmen.

Scene - A lone building somewhere: In this incomprehensible scene, the original six bandits arrive at a building. But we know that two are already dead! They load up a flatbed wagon with their gear that was lying on the ground next to the building. The wagon drives off followed by the gang-of-six who all wave their hats at the camera as they leave. A pack of dogs follows the horses. Then the camera scans to show a white-shirted man on a horse concealed in the brush nearby. This scene was obviously intended to be somewhere else in the scenario. My guess is that it is a beginning scene. The gang are returning from a previous robbery success and are congratulating themselves. The observer is a lawman who will alert the town of Cache to the gang's proximity; which is the reason so many lawmen were in town and could react quickly. One of the principal players, Heck Thomas, was known for his criminal tracking prowess.

One final thought: That girl is some horseback rider. I wonder if she is one of Quanah Parker's daughters.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Louis Lumiere - scientist, manufacturer, inventor, photographer, 28 July 2006

Louis Lumiere was a businessman. Since he was in the photographic business (his families factory in Lyon, France produced what many considered to be the best treated glass plates used in photography at that time - the mid 1890s), he was also a photographer. But, I am sure, he considered himself first-and-foremost a scientist. He considered his new invention, the Cinematopgraph, to be a scientific instrument. That is why during 1894 and 1895, he spent quite a bit of effort to gain approbation from various scientific groups. He wanted to keep the photographic community, in which he was well known, appraised of his endeavors. One method of doing this was to attend, in June 1895, a congress of photographers that was gathering at Neuville-Sur-Soane - a town just a short distance north of Lyon.

Louis positioned his camera at the base of a gangplank down which delegates to the conference descended from a Soane river ferry. Certainly, all of the descending men and women knew, by that time, of Louis' invention - although it had not yet been made public. Later that evening the Lumiere brothers showed the congress attendees eight of their less-than-one-minute films. And in one of these films the members saw themselves descending from the boat.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Reverse psychology I suppose!, 31 August 2003
1/10

What else would cause you to rent or buy a tape that purports to give you short clips from some of the worst films made during the 1950's and 60's. This tape does deliver what it claims starting with a four minute scene from the "Terror of Tiny Town" and ending with a scene from "The Orgy of the Dead" starring Criswell. In between you get such clips as: "Chained for Life" about Siamese-twin sisters (one blonde and the other brunette)who sing in night clubs; "Diane... the Huntress" who runs around in a bikini and shoots everything that moves with a bow and arrow. Don't miss "Eegah" - a prehistoric man who invades rock-and-roll poolside parties. "Lupe Mexican Can-Can is several minutes of a striptease (nothing Mexican or Can-canish about it)representing that type of film that was shown at third-rate movie houses in the 1950's. Also included with the approximately 15 four-minute clips are some theater shorts that were shown to lure people to buy candy in the lobby as well as the cheesiest "Merry Christmas and Happy New Years" greeting, from the theater management, that you would ever want to see. All of this takes up one hour and to make the tape a little longer Rhino Video has added a 20-minute short film: "Hell is a Place Called Hollywood". If you know any young girls who want to be actresses, make sure you have them watch this short before going to Hollywood or they too might be eating cracker's from a box and using the cardboard from the box to line the soles of their shoes.


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