Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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Four's a Crowd (1938)

Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell, Patric Knowles
Production Studio: Warner Bros
Genre: Comedy Romance

Premise: A newspaper reporter (Rosalind Russell) secretly loves her boss (Patric Knowles) or does she? The boss is engaged to a millionaire's daughter (Olivia de Havilland), she might love someone else or does she? Meanwhile a likable public realtions man with questionable business tactics, (Errol Flynn) comes along and stirs things up.

Review: Four's a Crowd is a hilarious screwball comedy from 1938. It's not well known as it only recently became available on DVD. What makes this film a hidden treasure for classic film fans is the early performances of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. This is the fourth out of nine films that they made together. Here both are playing character types that we don't often see them do in their other films.

Olivia plays a foo-foo type millionaire's daughter. She's quite good at doing humor. Errol is funny in this too as he charms the ladies, while keeping his eyes on the money. His role is almost a Cary Grant type.

Just for fun....there's a HUGE model Lionel train set in the backyard of the millionaires estate, complete with cities and landscaping. There's a train racing scene with Errol Flynn betting he can win. Even if you don't like trains, the scene is good.

Also a very brief appearance by actress Gloria Blondell, who's Joan Blondell's sister. And there's an even briefer appearance by future starlet, Carol Landis.

I laughed out loud and will watch this one again.


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GBG, When I started watching Four's a Crowd I vaguely remembered seeing it before. Comedy's are even better the second time around I think you would like it too.

The huge Lionel train layout is cool I wish I could find a pic. So is the very posh art deco Jamaica Room club. Sorry no pic of that either.

The Wrong Man (1956)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Maxwell Anderson, Angus MacPhail
Cast: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles
Studio: Warner Brothers

Premise (spoiler free): Based on the true story of a family man who's falsely accused of a string of robberies.

Review: What a powerful movie The Wrong Man is. Masterfully told in documentary style by Alfred Hitchcock. Hitch really puts the viewer in the mindset of the falsely accused Manny played by Henry Fonda. I could feel this movie in my gut. I could scarcely breath, the emotions of this film is best described as terse-anxiety.

Henry Fonda is such a naturalistic actor that he never seems to be acting in this. I believed he was Manny. Vera Miles was the perfect anchor to the film. Hitch shows us Manny's family in such a wholesome manner, that we can't help but be stunned by what befalls him.

Hitch is the master of technique. First thing I noticed is the documentary style of the movie. Then I noticed that the sets look very authentic, like we're actually there. The music score is low key and never gets in the way of the story, which fits the style of film making here. When Manny goes to get a loan, the loan office and the women employees look very real, not like Hollywood actresses on a Hollywood set.

Hitch seems to have 1 or 2 trick shots in each of his movies. IMO they usually distract and look gimmicky. The spinning camera effect of Manny didn't work for me, but no big deal.

However, I was impressed with the camera shot done through the jail door slot into Manny's cell, done in one take too, no edits. That took skill!

The Wrong Man
is very different from other Hitchcock films. I highly recommend it.

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The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

Director: Stewart Raffill
Writers: Michael Janover, William Gray
Cast: Michael Paré, Nancy Allen, Eric Christmas
Genre: Action Drama Sci Fi

Premise (spoiler free): In 1943 the U.S. Navy experiments with radar invisibility technology. The experiment does more than is bargained for an a Navy ship disappears into thin air. Two sailors abroad the ship are transported through time to 1984.

Review: The Philadelphia Experiment is loosely based on an alleged top secret Naval experiment code named 'Philadelphia Experiment'. Supposedly the
Navy ship, USS Eldridge was temporarily tele-transported out of the Philadelphia Harbor, vanishing momentarily from site.

John Carpenter who's listed as the executive producer, was slated to direct and write this movie but had other commitments. The director who took over,
Stewart Raffill changed the movie drastically. Raffill decided to eliminate many of the sci-fi elements from the story that explained how time travel was achieved. Instead he focused on the romance between the two leads. And made a movie heavy on action with long chase sequences, car crashes, guns and explosions.

Nancy Allan is likable as a small town girl who encounters the two time travelers and reluctantly at first helps them.

Michael Paré is the sailor from the past. His reactions to the 'strange' world of 1984 are a high light of the film, especially when he encounters a punk rocker girl and a Japaneses tattooed guy in a small cafe.

The special effects aren't that impressive even by 1984 standards. The tele-transportation of the naval ship is done well, but some of the 'glowing' effects just don't look so great. There's some nice scenery of California vineyards and orange groves during a chase scene. The cafe scene was my favorite as it added a light touch of humor.

The Philadelphia Experiment is a fun, action film with some sci fi elements from the 1980's.

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You can't make a rainbow without a little rain.
I watched The Philadelphia Experiment a few weeks ago when it was on a local cable channel. I had seen it many years ago, so it was a re-watch, but I remembered it being better the first time than it was this time.

Who wants to hear a funny story??? OK, I'll tell it anyway

So I find this movie on the shelves of my library. I'm thinking, 'oh ya, this is good silly fun' and I tell my wife all about the movie, spoilers be damned I've seen it before, so I know the story well.
I especially remember the crewmen fused to the deck scene and I really hype that scene up, saying how cool it is.

So I watch the entire movie and realize I had never seen it!...It took me all night to figure out just what it was that I had seen....

Which was one of the conspiracy type shows on the History Chanel. The funny part? The History Chanel had much better special effects

That's because modern tv CGI is a lot more advanced than 80's B movies. I remember watching this when I was a kid and quite liking it.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Has anyone seen, The Philadelphia Experiment (2012) it's a made for TV movie. I watched that last night. It made me appreciate the 1984 version!

The Railway Man (2013)

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård,
Genre: Biography based Historical Drama

Premise (spoiler free): Set in 1980, Britain. Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) a reclusive man who's beleaguered life revolves around trains meets his future wife (Nicole Kidman). Despite their growing love for each other it's clear Eric is deeply troubled by his past imprisonment in a Japanese prisoner camp, where he was forced to help build the Thai-Burma Railway in WWII.

Review: I found this movie hard to watch. It's exceptionally well done, but the torture flashback scenes were graphic. I had to fast forward on those scenes. And yet the horrors that were inflicted on the British prisoners of war were indeed gruesome, so those scenes are accurate.

The movie is split between Eric's story in 1980 Britain and the younger Eric's ordeal as a prisoner of war. The movie is based on a autobiography by Eric Lomax.

Colin Firth's low key acting style is well suited to playing a deeply troubled man who can not and will not speak of his past experiences. Nicole Kidman, gives a realistic portrayal of a wife who's suffering as a result of her husbands tormented past. I especially liked the actor who played the young Eric, Jeremy Irvine and the actor who played the older Japanese integrator, Hiroyuki Sanada.

The Railway Man is more than just a war's a human story of the exploration of what it means to suffer and the burden of carrying hatred.

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MovieGal, there was a lot more complexities to the story than I mentioned. But I didn't want to spoil the film for anyone. It's powerful emotionally. If you watch it please let me know what you thought of it.

MovieGal, there was a lot more complexities to the story than I mentioned. But I didn't want to spoil the film for anyone. It's powerful emotionally. If you watch it please let me know what you thought of it.
Watching a recommendation of yours already... but will let you know what I think of both when I finish them.

Citizen, Re The Railway Man, it brought home the suffering of many men who were captured by the Japanese during WWII. Those men would never want to speak about it. My friend at school had an uncle who was a very taciturn man, he was a former Japanese PoW who was very distant from his family. Who can blame them after suffering in that way, but their families were also affected badly. I remembered this article which you might be interested to read

The Dish (2000)

Director: Rob Sitch
Cast: Sam Neill, Billy Mitchell, Roz Hammond, Christopher-Robin Street
Genre: Comedy Drama

Premise (spoiler free): Based on the true but highly dramatized story of the radio dish in rural Australia that was used to broadcast TV images of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The film focuses on the people of the small rural town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia and their rather quirky behaviors.

Review: OK...that's my one word review. The Dish isn't particular well done and plays like a made for TV movie. The characters in the small town are quirky, but the film never gives them any dimension. We never learn anything about the town's inhabitants or what makes them so quirky and that's a lost opportunity. I never felt like the people were real or did I care about them. Instead of giving the characters some soul, the film tries too hard to be quirky with cutesy little jokes said at regular intervals.

The story premise itself is interesting and I enjoyed the scenes inside the dish during the Apollo 11 moon landing. According to what I read the interior of the dish is very authentic to what it looked like in 1969. But other than those scenes the movie fails to evoke any emotions, other than mild amusement. I didn't find it funny, nor did I find it moving. I found it just OK.

Lesson: don't get your history from movies. Many of the dramatic events involving the dish at Parkes, never actually happened.

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Whoops! F for Fake Orson will be back.

When other people change their avatars I feel lost, like they have a new face. I thought I need a new face.
Its all good. Hey, how do you feel about The Trial? It just showed up on Netflix.