Reviews

25 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
8/10
Review for History of Cinema
13 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a difficult movie to review.

The message of the film is quite clear from the get go. A white woman should not be frowned upon for being in a relationship with a black man, and vice versa. that as long as there is a true love connection then it shouldn't matter what ethnicity anyone is.

The acting was phenomenal, at no point did i ever feel as if i was watching anyone act. It all felt quite real. I think thats why the movie sends such a successful message to the world at that time. A message that is still useful even today.

Of course the cinematography was great tool used importantly in portraying the message. there were many incredible close ups of the characters in their most vulnerable states. the skill used in these shots truly helps to feel the struggle and emotion felt by the characters.
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9/10
Review for History of Cinema
13 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
i highly enjoyed watching this movie. Jack Nicholson played his character superbly. \

I am still uncertain if i think R.P. McMurphy was actually crazy or not. I kind of think he really was faking it the whole time because life was easier in a mental hospital and so was a chance at escape, which he tried a few times.

I think the point of the movie is to show that mental patients are not totally incompetent and do not need to be forced into a strict routine. You see in the movie that with a little change in routine, a little excitement, even the patients that are most out of it become more alive and personable. still, it is also shown that too much freedom turns to chaos.

This was a great movie with great acting and a powerful message.
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8/10
Review for History of Cinema
13 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best plots i have seen in a movie, it is unbelievably original. This was a goofy, strange, and overall odd film.

For a low budget film it was very well done. the lighting, though very simple, was great throughout. there were a few shots that i thought could have been better. In a couple scenes one of the characters faces is blocked by a piece of furniture or a railing. in my opinion it just looked bad. But, for a story about a young murderer whom is always on the wrong side of an accident, the goofy approach fits perfectly. It eases the seriousness of the crimes and plays right into the idea of a blood thirsty, man eating plant. the movie is constantly funny and exciting with the most outrageous characters. Especially, the seemingly evil dentist.
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8/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
i really enjoyed this Spike Lee film, it was my first by him. SPike Lee touches on the changing scene of Brooklyn, NY. I think that he chose this topic as a means to show how racism is seen everywhere and that when pushed too far all hell can break out. the movie revolves around a BK community in the bed-stuy area, mostly consisting of blacks with a few italians, who present the racial conflict in the movie. with the pressures of an intensely hot summer day the boundaries of racism are pushed to the limit. At one point, in order to stop a young black man from killing the Italian pizza shop owner, cops grabbed the young man and strangled him with a night stick, eventually killing him. I realize this is used as an example of racism being linked with police brutality, but i still think they way it was presented was a bit extreme.
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10/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Dial M for Murder is an exciting thriller. HItchcock sends you through many twists that are both thrilling and scary. Right from the start Tony Wendice is aware of his wife's affair with another man. As his planned out perfect murder of his wife goes wrong your left on the edge of your seat waiting for what happens next. I wasn't completely against Tony's actions, as his wife was committing adultery behind his back. But, his actions are extreme and of course Hitchcock knows this and sets it up so that Tony will benefit by gaining all of his wife's money (which is a lot) upon her death. I really liked how Hitchock makes MArk, the man who Margot Wendice is cheating with, a writer of murder novels and at one point practically describes the whole incident, as it happened for real, to Tony, but actually has no idea that Tony is behind it all. This is a wonderfully constructed triller and just an amazing piece by Hitchcock.
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9/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
bonnie and clyde make a great pair. together they are funny, exciting, dramatic, they are great. it seems this film was a turning point for movie criminals. In new Hollywood its okay for the "bad guys" to more or less be the "good guys" at least for the sake of the movie. Clearly, these two bank robbers are on the wrong side of the law, yet they make the audience fall in love with them and are constantly rooting for them to get away. Its hard to say all this when you watch as clyde shoots an innocent bank manager pointblank in the face during a get away, but it was something that had become okay to do in a movie. though, given the opportunity to enjoy watching the criminals succeed in the end the pair still got what they deserved in a brutal killing by machine gun fire in the end.
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The Stranger (1946)
8/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
as this was the first orson welles movie i was unsure what to expect, i was amazed. first off i think the actors played their roles superbly, especially Orson Welles as Prof. Rankin, his eyes are always so creepy and suspicious. I also think that he combines a dramatic and suspenseful feeling throughout the film. He likes to leave the audience guessing. Not giving much backstory early on and then slipping it in later on thus connecting some confusing aspects to the plot that have already passed. In fact, you don't really find out what Rankin did as a Nazi soldier until at least half way through the film.

I think the film was meant to be a reassurance to Americans that any Nazis who had disguised themselves and gotten into the states was being searched for and punished for war crimes. With this message laying guidelines for the film a great, drama was created.
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Easy Rider (1969)
5/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Im sorry to say that i did not enjoy this movie. I thought it was too long and seemed to just drag on as Wyatt and Billy travel across the states encountering different types of people as they go.

Aside from me disliking the movie i think it shows a lot about what life was like for many almost outlaw type people during that time period. the main story, living along side these two bikers as they make travel cross country drinking and smoking and partying whenever they can. you get to see how life is on a commune. the part in the film showing Billy, Wyatt, and the two hookers as they experience a powerful hallucinogen was incredible.

I think overall the film is an attempt at showing how times were changing and how many different groups of people were reacting to the changes.

Was not my favorite but id say it is worth seeing at least once.
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The Graduate (1967)
9/10
Review for History of Cinema
11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a very interesting film. the story allows for the new Hollywood style to make a stand, pushing limits that are rarely touched like nudity, a man and a woman in the same bed, even naked together. And then of course an older married woman sleeping with a much younger boy. these happenings were done, i believe, to showcase the potential that future movies have, the lines that can now be crossed and turned into something great.

Furthermore i think the film is trying to show young people a few things about life. showing firsthand the ups and downs of a relationship with an older person. another i think is that one should not rush into marriage at such a young age because, as you see in both Ben and Elaine's faces as they ride away on the bus, they have no idea what to do and how they will do it.

Its a great movie that is funny and smart while teaching valuable lessons.
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The Bad Seed (1956)
8/10
Review for History of Cinema
9 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
WOW!!!! Rhoda is seriously the freakiest child i have ever witnessed in a movie; she is a little demon child.

I really enjoyed the actors performances. everyone did a terrific job in creating a very realistic feel to the plot. I was honestly scared for anyone who was around Rhoda alone. I don't know if it was just how parents were during that time, but Christine was an absolute pushover. It was just one aspect of her character that constantly bugged me. Granted Patty McCormack gave Rhoda a persona of pure evil and dominance.

I was totally shocked by Christine's attempt to kill Rhoda, after she had been so unassertive throughout the movie. Of course at first i believed both Rhoda and Christine to be dead, but again i was shocked. not only had Christine not killed herself, but Rhoda had also been saved. This made me think of the code, which does not allow any illegal acts to go unpunished, even if the villain is an eight year old girl. I was not unsatisfied to see that the final scene is of greedy little Rhoda venturing out to the lake to get the medal that, in her mind, was rightfully hers, where she gets what she deserves when she is struck dead by lightning.
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8/10
Review for History of Cinema
8 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Great movie! I think Paul Muni is an incredible actor. i was asked to pay attention to sound during this film and i noticed a few scenes where the sound really stood out. One was when James was taken to be whipped and everything goes silent except for the piercing sound of the whip striking his bare back. It really allows the audience to feel what James is going through. Also during this scene the camera pans across the faces of the other prisoners sitting up in bed listening quietly to the whipping. this substantially adds to the power of the scene. The second scene that sound stood out to me was when James is walking alone down the middle of the train tracks. The sound is similar to the whipping scene, where everything is silent except for James' footsteps on the tracks. It really creates, in my opinion, a sadness. Maybe not necessarily James being sad, but the audience feels sad for him because we know that he has been wrongly accused and has had to suffer a great deal for it.
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7/10
Review for History of Cinema
7 April 2011
I have been watching many old black and white movies for my history of cinema class and have enjoyed them all. So i did also enjoy "The Grapes of Wrath" but i was much less intrigued. I liked the story and the plot and do think all other aspects of the film were good. It was a bit dull at times and seemed to drag on in places.

i did completely feel for the Joad family throughout the movie and was always rooting for them to find some sort of employment. I understand that the film is meant to show the struggles of families in the midwest during the depression and it certainly did a good job getting that point across.

I perked up at the very end when Tom told his mother that he was going to try and do something about the land and attempt to gather protester's, which would have given the movie a bit more action or just a specific direction. But that is probably because I am so accustomed to modern day movies jam packed with non stop action.
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Frankenstein (1931)
7/10
Review for History of Cinema
7 April 2011
This was the first time i have seen "Frankenstein" and i thought it was pretty good.

I really enjoyed the character of Dr Frankenstein. I thought Colin Clive was absolutely great. I never once felt that he was just acting out a role. When he became totally obsessed and crazy over his work you could really feel it. Of course Boris Karloff as the monster Frankenstein was great as well, but i feel that anyone with decent acting could have played a monster. I do not feel this way about Dracula though, because there is a lot more going on facially with his character.

The sets, cinematography, and lighting were all superb. I especially like the castle, it was perfectly spooky and dimly lit for the birth of Frankenstein.
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The Killing (1956)
10/10
Review for History of Cinema
7 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Being considered a B-list movie i have to say this was great. I have always loved heist movies, it's always fun to root for the bad guys. It reminded me a lot of "Oceans 11" which I'm sure was actually inspired in part by this film. Not much time is spent developing any of the characters, which i think made it pretty much emotionless. That is not a bad thing necessarily. It got a bit confusing with all the jumping from one characters story to the next and moving forwards and backwards through time, but everything fell into place when the actual heist happens.

One aspect that did get on my nerves however is that every time the race announcer would speak there was a shot of the megaphones to, i guess make it known that the voice was coming from the speakers. I know that some people might get confused between the narrator and the announcer, but i believe it's a fairly obvious distinction.

One scene really reminded me of director Quentin Tarantino's style. The scene where all the heist members are waiting for Johnny Clay to bring the money and two men show up to steal it from them and everyone ends getting shot and killed except for George. I can really see how this movie has inspired many modern films.
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9/10
Review for History of Cinema
7 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I highly enjoyed this movie!!! I was unaware what the movie was about when i started to watch, but soon found my self on edge as it turned into a police scandal. It caught me off guard when Det. Dixon went to question Kenneth Paine about the murder of Mr. Morrison and when he hit Paine, Paine drops dead. From here on the director does an amazing job to make it feel as if Dixon will be caught. And as soon as he looks to be scott free BAM the body turns up. It was thrilling!

The plot was phenomenal, but the lighting was absolutely extraordinary. As it was a very dark thriller, the lighting played right into the story with dim lit streets and apartments. it was a beautiful thing.

You don't really know much about det. Dixon until you hear his thoughts as he writes the letter confessing his crime to the police capt., but it explains a lot about his character and why he is such a tough guy when it comes to the hoods. He impressed me when in the very end he asks the capt. and Morgan Taylor to read the letter. Even though in the letter he says he wants to be nothing like his father, one still feels as if he is going to destroy the letter, therefore removing the evidence of his accidental murder. THe movie ends with Dixon leaving to accept his arrest, but i don't doubt that if it had gone any further he would have been dropped of all charges.
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8/10
Review for History of Cinema
5 April 2011
for my first Hitchcock film this was certainly a great one. Hitchcock throws you right into the action with the mysterious absence of Van Meer at the charity function, followed by his murder and an exhilarating chase scene leading to Jones' discovery that Van Meer is not dead, but has been kidnapped.

every set was amazing and felt absolutely realistic. my personal favorite was the windmill, which gave off a very creepy feeling while simply being an old windmill.

The plot was engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie. to be honest though, i completely forgot that Jones was a reporter because his action are so much like that of a police investigator. He always goes above and beyond to find out the truth.

I look forward to watching more of Hitchcock's films.
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8/10
Review for History of Cinema
1 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This was the first time i have seen "Singin' in the Rain" and I seriously enjoyed the movie. the story was engaging and keeps you interested, but its the dancing that really held my attention. every dance scene was incredible. my favorite was definitely Cosmo Brown's dance solo. It was extremely funny while visually entertaining and show cases how acrobatic he is. I noticed that a lot of his comedic dance moves are quite similar to moves in modern break dancing. At one point he runs up a wall about six feet and back flips off, it was insane. I also of course enjoyed the famous singin' in the rain solo song and dance by Don Lockwood. I actually want to go jump in puddles this summer because of that scene. Great movie and i plan on watching it again sometime.
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9/10
Review for History of Cinema
9 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I beginning to see how great screwball comedies really are. This was fantastically funny. Old man Hinch was by far my favorite character. His short role is a great set-up to the rest of the plot. The movie portrays the wealthy at their worst, its a proves for a great laugh.

The hunting crew on the train exhibit all the traits i would describe today's upper class with. They love to drink, party, and eventually get rowdy and destroy things for fun it was hilarious.

I thought it was a bit obvious that when Gerry stumbled upon J.D. Hackensacker III that he would turn out to be a very rich man, but still the plot was great. in the end you see the true motives of Hackensacker III and his sister Princess Centimillia. their overwhelming joy at the news the both Tom and Gerry have twins shows that all they really care a bout are good looks.

Great film!!!
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10/10
Review for History of Cinema
6 March 2011
I highly enjoyed "My Man Godfrey." It was my first screwball comedy and i'm glad it was. It's a brilliant way of poking fun at the upper class world during this time. Making them look like fools with a most ridiculous scavenger hunt to start the movie. Its great to see the boundaries between employer's and the help being crossed or nearly crossed. An unbelievably funny cast make every interaction hilarious to the point where one loses their breath in laughter. William Powell was extraordinary in his role as Godfrey. he was very witty in being rude, courteous, and blunt all at once. though it is a comedy the film still portrays important life lessons worth paying attention to.
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Casablanca (1942)
9/10
Review for History of Cinema
5 March 2011
"Casablanca" was a total surprise to me. I have heard that it was a great film, even one of the best. I now agree, it is fantastic. The cinematography and lighting are what make this such an amazing and intriguing movie. It was beautiful to watch. quite an artful presentation allows the audience to really get a feel for the characters struggles and triumphs. the art form adds an aspect to the film that modern movies just don't have. i don't believe another will ever hold such an high quality feel as "Casablanca" has. Of course the story, plot, and characters are also very well done, but in my opinion it is the presentation of everything that really grabs your attention. i'm sure this film was substantially more powerful at the time it was released during the war, but today one can still feel the struggles of the time period in this movie. i really enjoyed all the humor that is tucked in to such a serious subject it takes the edge off.
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Stagecoach (1939)
5/10
Review for History of Cinema
4 March 2011
This was my first John Wayne starred film and the earliest made western i have seen. i was not very impressed. i thought the majority of the movie was rather dull. the story in my opinion doesn't grab the audience in way that keeps them attentive, though I did perk up during the more action filled parts including the chase scene and on (maybe i am just too accustomed to the action filled modern films around today). there are some great characters and actors. I really enjoyed the doctors role, he was very round. I also enjoyed John Wayne, but i do think others stood out more. I will not rule out westerns altogether, i think i should see a few more before making a final judgment of this genre.
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Dracula (1931)
6/10
Review for History of Cinema
2 March 2011
this was the first Dracula film for me. I have seen many modern vampire movies always portraying a savage like beast so it was a surprise when Dracula was practically a gentlemen in his approach. The acting is superb, Bela Lugosi does a wonderful job instilling a strange uneasiness within the audience. His slow movements and creepy wide eyed stare definitely had me on edge. Also Dwight Frye as Renfield was amazing to watch, he put a different kind of spin on crazy; it reminded me a bit of Hannibal Lecter.

the use of sound, or lack of sound really enhances the creepiness, although it also becomes a bit dull. the addition of music could improve the film in some areas.
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The General (1926)
9/10
Review for History of Cinema
16 February 2011
Buster Keaton - WOW!!! this is an amazing silent film. Funny and emotional, Buster Keaton had me laughing uncontrollably. He delivers an hysterical performance as the seemingly weak underdog who becomes the true hero. Like Charlie Chaplan, he is phenomenal at using his facial expressions and body language in such simple ways that are irresistibly funny. I found the music played a key role in provoking positive and negative emotions throughout the movie.

During the long train chase both locomotives stopped many times to adjust the track. I am curious to know how much time was spent on these scenes?

I look forward to watching some other films with Buster Keaton.
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Scarface (1932)
9/10
Unbelievable!!!
11 February 2011
I have never known that there was an original scarface. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the film as i began to watch, though after about ten minutes i was fully engaged. Paul Muni is an incredible actor. He was 100% believable as the ruthless gangster Tony Camonte. I really enjoyed the plot. Watching as Camonte began as a second man to Johnny Lovo and slowly became more careless and power hungry as he rose to overtake Lovo and become mob boss. the ending though slightly predictable was nevertheless entertaining. I even found myself hoping for Tony to make a miraculous escape. Overall great film, highly entertaining, and a must see if a fan of Pacino's 1983 remake.
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The Circus (1928)
9/10
Chaplin is a true great
25 January 2011
I am one who does not like older movies. I am too fascinated by the special effects of today's movies that I am shocked how entertained I was with "The Circus." Charlie Chaplin captured my attention immediately with his goofy antics and facial expressions. Especially when he stares directly out at the audience with his bewildered looks. I found myself laughing throughout the entire film. Though one reviewer pointed out that we are laughing at a man at his worst, he is homeless and alone. I think Chaplin is sending a message that even when one is at an all time low you can still enjoy life and move forward. I view Chaplin as a master of his trade because it has been over 80 years and though the silent film is not very popular i believe those who see him will fall in love immediately.
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