Reviews written by registered user

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13 reviews in total 
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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Movie Based on a Screen Writer's Class Exercise?, 7 September 2013

This Slice of Life film seems to have been pieced together from the submissions of a 28-student class of fledgling Screen Writers. Each scene has the same framework, which identifies the requirements of the screen writing teacher. From that point on, each Student is given the freedom to flesh out their scene as they see fit in order to make each of them unique in some fashion. The Casting Director was lucky to cast a pair of actors who have the skill and experience necessary to fulfill each of the student screen writer's dialog and directions. However, the way the scenes are pieced together make the 82 Minute length seem like the film is dragging in some scenes.

6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Everything Old Is New Again, and Again, and Again, and Again., 6 September 2013

Every time that Hollywood runs out of good, original, ideas, it reaches for the classic novels that made for good movies in previous iterations, and re-shoots them.

Each time, they try to reclaim the factual past in terms of history, and yet tweak the story to make it seem fresh and new.

For the fifth time, Hollywood has reinterpreted F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, and, for the fifth time, the reinterpretation is about as far afield from Fitzgerald's original book as it is possible to do and still fill the theater seats.

The production isn't bad, but there are historical glitches that jump right off the screen for those who know a little history.

Nevertheless, the new generations will enjoy the story for what it is: a good yarn that is worth retelling.

1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Awful New Zealand Western Homage, 6 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I selected this film on TV completely blind. I had never heard of it, and was aware of none of the actors. Once the movie started, I was instantly aware that we weren't in the USA any more. The mountains didn't look right, and neither did the train. My first guess was Spain, except that the train wasn't right for that either. I finally gave in and looked up the film and learned that it was made in New Zealand. I realized then that it was made as homage to real Westerns, and the writers didn't have a clue. The film is a Slice Of Life story that attempts to follow the Hitchcock dictum of having the pictures tell the story, but leaves the audience without a clue as to where the storyline is taking them. What is worse is the fact that the writer tried to portray the culture of the 19th Century west as one stereotype after another, the action is never explained at all, and the audience must infer what the writer had in mind when he put pen to paper. If you like treating Slice Of Life movies as Jigsaw Puzzles, this film is for you. If Slice Of Life isn't your bag, don't waste your time.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"Hollywood Ten" Film, 8 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Mortal Storm" got good reviews in 1940, although the Box Office results for this film were not generally good. It suffered from the fact that reality quickly caught up with official Neutrality. Following the war, "The Mortal Storm" became one of the "Hollywood Ten" Films during the McCarthy era. This was because of the fact that it was considered vaguely "Pro-Communist" prior to Pearl Harbor, and that judgment came back to haunt the film and all concerned with it following the war. It was one of the films investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950, and – as a result – the Director, Frank Borzage, was Blacklisted until his death in 1962. As a Director, he did not work again until 1955, and he only appeared once as an Actor in 1957. He remained uncredited.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
They Still Cannot Take Pelham 1-2-3 Successfully, 27 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 1974 version of "The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3 was much more realistic than this version because the person the NYCTA assigned with decision authority to guide the project was listened to.

In the original version, they used a real train for the portions of the movie that required location work, while in this version they used a real train as little as possible. In no case did they show actual Train Operator and Conductor Cabs. When they had the scenes in the Train Operator's Cab, the layout was flipped, with the Train Operator on the left side instead of the right, and lots of phony flashing lights on the back wall.

In the original version, they kept the train on the line that a #6 train would actually use, while in this version they were all over the system, ending up in Coney Island, a location the #6 Train could never approach much less reach.

The chase scene down what was supposed to be the Lexington Avenue Line was actually a montage of clips strung end to end which showed several other lines mixed in with Lexington Avenue clips.

Most of the location work was done at Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station (Where Michael Jackson did his "Beat It" Video) and on Track Two between Hoyt Schermerhorn and the Court Street Transit Museum, with establishing shots made at Grand Central and 14th Street-Union Square.

In the original, all location work was done on the Lexington Avenue Line between 51st Street and Brooklyn Bridge, with the final scene taking place on the City Hall Loop.

The 1974scenes that showed a single car uncoupled from the rest of the train was plausible because the cars used in that version could be uncoupled and operated as single cars. The R-142 Cars in this version are coupled together as permanent five-car sets (two per train), and cannot be uncoupled as shown in service.

The street work, which obviously was set to show how hard it would be to drive through Manhattan in Mid-day, pushed that plausible scenario over the top. Furthermore, the NY Federal Reserve shown in this version was actually the Post Office down the street from the former World Trade Center in Manhattan, NOT the Federal Reserve Bank which is down near Wall Street. Observant viewers will recall that the real Fed stood in for itself in the third "Die Hard" movie.

I was prepared to suspend disbelief for this movie, given its complex nature and highly technical subject, but I could stick my tongue only so far into my cheek before I started to gag. For someone not familiar with either the New York Subway or the geography of New York City, the movie can be a lot of fun. John Travolta, Denzel Washington and John Turtorro fans will like seeing their stars at work, and James Gondolfini does a reasonable turn as a supporting cast member playing the NYC Mayor. This film is very much superior to the TV version of the 1990s, but is very weak when compared to the original 1974 version.

Always (1989)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Another Perfect Spielburg/Trumbo Movie, 28 January 2008

"Always" is a remake of the 1943 MGM film "A Guy Named Joe", which had a screenplay written by Dalton Trumbo, one of "The Hollywood Ten" who was accused of being a Communist by Senator Joseph McCarthy, and thus blacklisted from the industry. The original film dealt with a hot-shot B-17 Bomber pilot, played by Spencer Tracy, who was shot down, and was given a chance by Heaven to go back and inspire another bomber pilot to success. In the original film, the pilot he helped was played by Van Johnson, and the girl between them was played by Irene Dunne. The film did not get great reviews at the time because it was produced as a morale builder for the war effort, and so it was rushed to completion, but that the story was a great one in any event is proved by its use in this film by Sten Spielburg to great effect. This film would NOT be as good without the Trumbo screenplay.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Another great Dalton Trumbo story, 28 January 2008

This film is an example of the World War II work of Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the screen play. Not many young people have seen this picture because it was pulled from the shelves when Trumbo - one of the "Hollywood Ten" - was blacklisted by the film industry for being publicly accused of being a "Communist" by Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare. It was updated and remade in 1989 by Steven Spielburg as the movie "Always", and "Always" is just as good as this film, if not better, which proves that Trumbo wrote a great story to begin with. The re-write replaces World War II Carpet Bombing with Rocky Mountain aerial fire fighting, and adds some very sound romance and bonding that really makes the film.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Revisionist Cincerella, 10 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This version of the Cinderella story does much to include the contemporary events of the time of the fairytale, but it also does much to include the "Political Correctness" that infects the world today.

The Cinderella story is based on "The Cinder Maid" by Joseph Jacobs, which can be found at the following link:

If the Cinderella of the movie existed, and behaved as Drew Barrymore portrayed her, she would have been executed for impertinence many times over. Women of the time in the story were nothing like she was portrayed.

5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Listen to your Military Advisors, 9 June 2007

The Military Adviser - if they had one - either wasn't listened to, or else he did not provide accurate advice. In the first place, the Cavalry officer is wearing incorrect Shoulder Boards - they did not have the proper frame that is standard on US Shoulder Boards - and they didn't have his Lieutenant Bars mounted. Each board should have two Lieutenant Bars - one at the front edge and the other at the back edge.

Next of all, the bugler didn't know his calls at all - he just put out a lot of noise, with a few calls approaching correctness but never achieving it.

The uniform the cavalrymen are all wearing is a mix of early post-civil war and late post-civil war. The Lieutennant is wearing a double Breasted shirt which is early post Civil War, while everything else he is wearing is from a much later period. Since it is impossible to know if he is a First or Second Lieutenant since he is wearing no bars, it is impossible to know if he is wearing the shirt because he purchased one when he first joined up (1st Lieutenant)(Officers buy their uniform items), or is wearing one because the Wardrobe person got the uniform wrong (2nd Lieutenant). The hat is definitely late 1800's. Early post-civil war cavalry officers still wore the Kepi.

The collar of the shirts on the soldiers is an Attached Collar - as is the collar on everyone else. Attached collars did NOT become common until the 20th Century.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful story in the Owen Wister mold., 6 August 2006

This story, which is set in 1898, is a wonderful story set in the mold established by Owen Wister with his full-length novel "The Virginian", which is set in the same time period, and was published in 1903. "Broken Trail" highlights both the horse business of the Pacific Northwest, and the shameful way we treated Chinese immigrants. At the time, the "Chinese Exclusion Act" was in force, and they were not entitled to immigrate for permanent residence, but could be used for short terms, and then sent home. Thus, the treatment of the women shown in the film was legal, if not moral. The film shows how people of good moral character can defeat the aims of those who took advantage of the "Act". There is a lot of fact and accuracy in the movie, and it has gained a lot from the recent research into the real "Old West", not the "Hollywood West".

It runs for four hours, and it is well worth viewing.

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