Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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It's time to have some fun
Thanks, I'm glad to hear someone enjoys my reviews

My ill fated novella was written because I had illusions of being a published writer. Or was that delusions? Anyway I finished a rough draft of a novel that I had worked on for years. I had this idea that if I got a few short stories published first, I stood a better chance of having my novel published. It didn't work out that way, nothing got published. My stories were returned unopened as the magazine editors had filled their quota for the year. So I gave up.

My novella was about a fictionalized event that could have happened during the Soviet space program of the 1970s. It was straight sci-fi, with no horror elements.



Thanks, I'm glad to hear someone enjoys my reviews

My ill fated novella was written because I had illusions of being a published writer. Or was that delusions? Anyway I finished a rough draft of a novel that I had worked on for years. I had this idea that if I got a few short stories published first, I stood a better chance of having my novel published. It didn't work out that way, nothing got published. My stories were returned unopened as the magazine editors had filled their quota for the year. So I gave up.

My novella was about a fictionalized event that could have happened during the Soviet space program of the 1970s. It was straight sci-fi, with no horror elements.

Have you ever thought about posting some of your stories on some fan fiction web sites?



It's time to have some fun

Marooned (1969)

Director: John Sturges
Writers: Mayo Simon (screenplay), Martin Caidin (novel)
Cast: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscu, Gene Hackman
Genre: Adventure Drama Sci-Fi

Premise: The fictional story of three NASA astronauts stranded in Earth orbit after their retro rocket malfunctions, leaving them marooned with no way back and little oxygen.

Review: Marooned is unique in that it's about an Apollo type mission to an orbiting space station in present day (1969) Earth. What's fascinating about the film is that it was actually released on December 11, 1969, that's only months after the first astronauts had landed on the Moon, July 20, 1969.....And, Marooned was made before the ill fated Apollo 13 mission, which was launched on April 11, 1970. Apollo 13, would experience an eerily similar fate, foretold first in this movie.

If we can put ourselves in the mind frame of the 1969 movie going audience, giddy with the magnificent achievement of the Moon Landing...and then go to the theater to watch this movie, through their eyes....Then we might appreciate this film at least on a historical level.

The film is shot in documentary style with some stunning footage of real NASA rocket launches. The viewer learns little about the characters and their motives. Instead the film plays like a: big screen, behind the scenes look at a crisis brewing at NASA's control center. It does this well.

This is a John Sturges directed movie and his style is apparent. Look for the red 'color spot' in some of the scenes. There's an impressive list of actors from Gregory Peck to Gene Hackman to Richard Crenna and David Janssen.

I enjoyed this film for it's very unique place in the timeline of the Apollo missions.

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It's time to have some fun
The Third Man (1949)

Director: Carol Reed
Writer: Graham Greene
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Valli, Trevor Howard
Genre: Mystery Film Noir


Premise (spoiler free): American novelist, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) travels to post war Vienna to meet his life long friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). When he arrives he learns Harry Lime has just been killed in a traffic accident. He also learns from a British Major (Trevor Howard) that Lime has been involved in the black market.

Review: The Third Man is a well done movie with a tight, intelligent script. Joseph Cotton is pivotal as the overly curious American writer...A stranger in a strange land, trying to find out why his friend Harry was killed. Cotton's combination of nativity about the workings of the Vienna post war black market and his constant badgering of the British Major, give the film it's tension.

The film has three main focal points: Was Harry Lime murdered and if so by who. Was Harry involved in the seedy black market or not. And who is the mysterious third man that supposedly witnessed the traffic accident.

Joseph Cotton is perfectly cast as the likable American writer. His counterbalance is the surly British Major, aptly played by Trevor Howard. The love interest is the actress, Valli. She does a good job though she never really stands out from the crowd. For that we need Orson Welles. Orson's role fits him like a glove. Only Orson could play a rogue character charged with crimes and still be likable in an impish way. There's also a cute dog and kitty in the film, both have a reason for their screen time.

With all this praise, I do have a complaint...The music score. Which was composed of a zither stringed instrument. The music score was both a distraction and annoying. The other complaint is the constant overuse of the Dutch Angle shot. Normally this is used sparingly and only to show great tension or chaos in a scene. Here it was over used.

The Third Man is a intelligently written film noir, with exceptional acting and fine directing.

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It's time to have some fun

Crash (2004)

Director: Paul Haggis
Writer: Paul Haggis (story & screenplay)
Cast: Ensemble
Genre: Drama multi storied

Premise: An intermixed, multi-storied tale of Los Angles residents who lead very separate lives from one another. On one faithful night the lives of these people collide through a chain of events. Changing them forever.

Review: Crash is highly stylized and beautifully filmed. It artistically weaves together the unrelated stories of these people's lives. It attempts to deal with the complicated and diverse subject matter of racism...as it explores the reasons and consequences. In this it succeeded.

To me, Crash was like eating cotton candy. It left me hungry for more. I never felt satisfied, I never got my fill. There were so many characters that I hardly got a chance to know them. The film would have needed another 30 minutes for that.

All of the many actors were exceptional, they make the events of Crash so believable.

I found the angry cop character played by Matt Dillon and his situation interesting. He does some bad things but the film shows us how he got to have so much anger inside and that was believable.

I also liked the two characters of the African American car-jackers. The film really does try to handle the misconceptions of race very well.

I would have like to learned more about the TV producer and his wife and also the Mexican American lock smith and his family.

Crash is a unique film that embraces the idea that we all walk around isolated in our own worlds, oblivious to the lives of others that we pass. And yet we can interact in ways that have profound effects on people we'll never know.

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It's time to have some fun

Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)

Director: Frank Pavich
Cast: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
Genre: Documentary


Why would anyone want to spend 90 minutes watching a documentary film about an ecliptic director's failed attempt to make a colossal 15 hour movie out of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune?
Because it's darn entertaining!

Alejandro Jodorowsky director of El Topo (1970) and The Holy Mountain (1973) is the subject matter. He's quite the character too. Call him a dreamer, call him a visionary or call him an ex hippie kook. If he had his way, his film Dune, would have changed the world...or so he says.

Back in the early 1970s Jodorowsky acquired the rights to Frank Herbert's novel. The director then set out to change cinema and people's spiritual vision of the world with a meta-religious opus. The planned movie was close to being made too. The script was completed and a huge storyboard book with every single scene and camera shot sketched out, was done. Sets were designed by Giger, the artist who did the creature in Alien.

Jodorowsky went as far as hiring actors. And what a group he hired! Mick Jagger, David Carradine, Gloria Swanson, Salvador Dali and Orson Welles. With Pink Floyd doing the music.

So what happened? You need to watch the film to find out. But don't worry, you will be entertained as you learn a lot about the film making process.

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I'm sure the documentary will be far better and more entertaining than any version of Dune that has ever existed.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



It's time to have some fun
Ha! You know Jodorowsky who's quite animated took great glee in David Lynch's failure.

I know everyone hates Dune (1984) but why? I seen that film at the theater and many times afterwards...and I just don't get what all the hate for it is?

I liked it, but then again I read the book a few weeks before seeing the film for the first time so the movie made sense to me.



It's time to have some fun

The One I Love (2014)

Director: Charlie McDowell
Cast: Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss
Genre: Drama Fantasy


Warning: The One I Love is not a Comedy-Romance-Drama. It's anti-romantic and there's nothing funny about it, nor does the film try to be humorous. It's thought provoking but aggravating. You'll wonder what the heck is going on. You'll think it's crazy and the characters will grate on your nerves. But one thing is for sure it will get your attention!

The One I Love, should have been titled The One I Use To Love. A whiny, disconnected, unhappy couple seeks a marriage counselor's help. They are sent to a weekend get away. All the troubled couples who stay in this resort house leave happy. That's all I'm telling you of the plot.

The One I Love, is a small budget indie film where most of the spoken dialogue is improvised on the spot by the actors. Which makes it interesting but uneven at times. It has only one main shooting location in a nice house that's set in a garden with a guest house out back. The guest house is important to the film.

The film does probe some deep questions regarding love, perception, forgiveness, loyalty and acceptance. If you watch this film I guarantee you will have an opinion.

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It's time to have some fun
I'm not sure if I liked it, as it drove me crazy at times and the characters were annoying (and they're suppose to be that way) but I'm glad I watched it.



It's time to have some fun

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Cast: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins
Genera: Horror Sci-Fi
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Length: 98 minutes

One of the most psychologically violent movies I've ever seen. The film does not have any actual gore in it, but Frederich March is a 'monster' of a brute to Miriam Hopkins. This would be the first film about an obsessive, abusive male stalking a female. He stalks her, he controls her, he's the personification of an abuser. It's downright powerful.

The makeup for Mr Hyde might look hoaky but if you can look past that, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a terse movie about a male stalker/control freak and his helpless female victim.

Fredrick March is perfect as the well mannered, gentile Dr Jekyll. A well respected doctor who's experimenting with a secret potion to unlock man's potential. He contends that both good and evil dwell in mens souls. The guinea pig is himself, as he drinks his own potion. March's performance earned him an Academy Award.

Equally powerful is Miriam Hopkins. If you've never seen Miriam in a movie this is a great one to see her in. She plays a hapless victim who is both repulsed and attracted to the brutish Mr. Hyde. She makes us believe a woman could be under the spell of the evil Mr Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
is a pre-code film from 1931. Before the 'Hays code' went into effect in 1934, Hollywood movies could tackle more serious risque subject matter such as this.

Of all the early 1930s horror films, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the most powerful. Highly recommended.

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Nice dude. That's been on my watchlist for a long time. Glad to see you liked it.



It's time to have some fun
I'm not sure if you would like this or not. I'm going to say not. It's heavy. It wouldn't count for your challenge as it's a Paramount picture. I'm not really up on Universal horror, what is there? The Wolfman? and Frankenstein films?



It's time to have some fun
Thanks Swan...if you can overlook the 1931 makeup for My Hyde, the story itself is powerful. Psss....don't be surprised if you see this one in the future.