Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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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 doesn't have to be a Universal horror movie. Just a horror movie. I only know the Universal Monsters from the collectibles, not the movies, but the ones I know of are Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I'm sure there are a few others that I can't think of right now.

I know the basic story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", but the only versions I've seen are the musical with David Hasselhoff, and the Tweety and Sylvester version.

I was thinking about watching The Picture of Dorian Gray. I read the book back in high school, so I know the basic story, and I thought about giving the movie a try.

I had never heard of The Picture of Dorian Gray until you mentioned it. I looked it up and it sounds pretty cool too. George Sanders is one of my favorite actors and as a bonus it has Donna Reed who I haven't seen in many movies. Though I did watch The Donna Reed Show...I'm glad you mentioned it. I added it to my watch list.

Do you mean you didn't know there was a film version (of which there's a few) or that you'd not heard of The Picture Of Dorian Gray before?
5-time MoFo Award winner.

In a Lonely Place (1950)

Director:Nicholas Ray
Writers: Andrew Solt (screenplay)
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame
Genre: Film-Noir Drama

Premise: Dixon Steele, a down and out Hollywood screenwriter (Humphrey Bogart) is accused of murdering a young woman that he took back to his apartment one night. A woman who lives in another apartment (Gloria Grahame) vouches that she had seen him that night, which gives him an alibi. She then falls in love with Dixon, but soon realizes he's a violent man and begins to wonder if he might actually be the murder.

Review: In A Lonely Place is unlike any other film noir. Its subject matter was very dark and disturbing for the time, even for a noir. Humphrey Bogart plays a controlling, unsavory character and does so with gusto. This is one of Bogart's best performances. And that's saying a lot because Bogart was legendary. He's able to play this violently disturbed man, without going over the top.

Gloria Grahame who rose to fame in It's a Wonderful Life, is marvelous in this too. She shines in the second half of the film where she plays a woman torn by her fear of Dixon Steele and her love for him. She's very believable in the emotions she portrayed.

In A Lonely Place, sets a premise and then builds on the tension until the final climax. The story and acting is superb.

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After re-watching In a Lonely Place, I like it even more than I did before. It's likely to place high on my list in the Noir HoF, but it's hard to be sure because there were so many great movies nominated for that HoF.

Gooble gobble, one of us!
Citizen are you familiar with Danish cinema and/or Nicolas Winding Refn? I would highly recommend his debut feature Pusher (1996). A sort of even darker version of Goodfellas/Mean Streets. Also has the debut performance of Mads Mikkelsen, and he is absolutely brilliant in the film.

Also has the debut performance of Mads Mikkelsen, and he is absolutely brilliant in the film.
Did MovieGal send you Just kidding, she's a big fan of Mads.

To answer your question, no I'm not familiar with Danish cinema. I tend to stick to English language films. Occasionally I'll watch a German language film. I have one of those to watch in the next few days.

I'm not sure I would like a darker version of Goodfellas, if darker means more violent. Goodfellas was about as violent as I can take. Of course darker could mean the 'vision of the film', which then sounds interesting. Thanks for mentioning Pusher.

North West Frontier (1959)
Released in U.S.A as Flame of India

Director: J Lee Thompson
Cast: Kenneth More, Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom, Wilfrid Hyde-White, I.S. Johar
Country: UK Britain
Genre: British Western, Action Drama

Premise: In British held India during the early 1900's, religious rebels seek to kill the heir to the throne. The heir is a 6 year old Hindu prince. A British Army Captain is ordered to escort the young prince safely to Delhi. The British outpost is surrounded by rebels. The only escape is on an outdated, run down train called, The Flame of India. The journey by rail is perilous, as rebels attack. Making matters worse someone on the train is trying to kill the young price.

Review: What a fun movie!...and so well done too. I had never heard of this 'British Western'. Released in 1959 in wide screen anamorphic CinemaScope.

It won 3 British BAFTA awards but somehow never took off in America. Which is too bad as this is an intelligent and forthright look at the British occupation of India. The film examines that occupation through the various characters. Then the film wraps this expose in an exciting running chase with the rebels.

Much of the film is shot on real locations, though not all are in India. To someone like me who's never been to the Northwest Frontier (now Pakistan) the terrain looked very believable.

All of the main characters were well defined and well acted. Kenneth More as the British Capt. and I.S.Johor as the Indian train driver, Wilfred Hyde White as the gentlemen British Diplomat, and Herbert Lom as the reporter with a grudge. Lauren Bacall was good too as the outspoken American.

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The Eagle (2011)

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Action Drama

Premise: During the Roman occupation of the British Isles an entire Roman legion is lost during a campaign in northern Britain. The son of the lost legion leader comes to Britain to find the lost Eagle standard which is the symbol of Rome. He also seeks to restore his family honor.

Review: The Eagle is a fictionalized story of the Roman occupation of the British Isles. As one might expect there was action sword fighting in the film. Not a lot but enough for the action enthusiast. I thought the two main actors: (Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell) were pretty good and believable. They were also good in the action scenes as well.

What I liked about the film was the look and feel of the exterior shots of a rainy northern Britain, modern day Scotland. The film was shot on location in the glens and hills of Scotland. I didn't like the way the Scots were portrayed. I thought they were made to look like dirty unkempt savages. The scenes that showed their religious ceremony seemed way over the top and silly. I image the ancient Scots of AD 140 to be more noble.

The story itself was a pretty good action adventure tale. The film didn't really delve into the characters too deeply. Overall mediocre, but not a bad movie.

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I didn't like the way the Scots were portrayed. I thought they were made to look like dirty unkempt savages.
I've not seen the film, but it sounds unerringly accurate.

The scenes that showed their religious ceremony seemed way over the top and silly. I image the ancient Scotts of AD 140 to be more noble.
Than today's Scots? Yeah, probably.

Sorry JD and Camo, I just can't help myself. Look how easy CR made it. Blame him. It's all his fault.

Double Indemnity (1944)

Director: Billy Wilder
Writers: Billy Wilder & Raymond Chandler (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
Cast: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Genre: Film Noir

Premise: A cocky insurance salesman, Walter Niff (Fred MacMurray) encounters a notorious married woman, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck)....she seduces him into murdering her husband for the insurance claim which is a double indemnity clause. Walter's friend and boss Barton Keyes (Edward G Robinson) is an insurance investigator with the uncanny ability to spot a fake insurance claim.

Review: Double Indemnity is the quintessential Film Noir. It has all of the noir elements: the 'average Joe' being lead into a dangerous situation by a femme fatale, the sense of doomed characters rushing towards a fatalistic climax...all wrapped in a potent story. The story is driven by lust, greed, self motivation and a serious lack of morals.

Director Billy Wilder co-wrote this provocative script with famed novelist Raymond Chandler...basing their work on the novel Double Indemnity by James Cain. This isn't an artsy film or a movie with deep underlying themes. What you see is what you get.

Fred MacMurray who almost always played light comic roles really nails his performance. He's completely believable as the self assured, womanizing, fast talking salesman with an eye for the ladies and a good time. When he locks his eyes on Phyllis we know why he agrees to bump off her husband.

Barbara Stanwyck is the other part of this duo. She too is utterly believable as the cheap, sexy, amoral Phyllis. She looks easy in her cheap blonde wig. From her ankle bracelet to her huge gaudy finger ring and her loud clothes, she looks and acts the part.

Edward G Robinson is the perfect balance to the story idea of an insurance murder plot. He adds the voice of reason and respect. He too is extremely good in his role.

Double Indemnity has such a strong story with gutsy characters that it's easy to overlook the skill and beauty of the cinematography. The use of select lighting in otherwise dark scenes is sublime. The shadows seem to embrace the actors. The composition and layout of the shots makes this film beautiful as well as provocative.

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Well, you wanted to write a review about a film I liked and you've certainly done so with this one. I love this film and have it on my 100.

Cool, I'm glad you liked it. I 'tried' to reflect the movie in my writing style. I don't know if it worked?

I just might add this film to my top 10, I like it that much.

Winter's Tale (2014)

Director: Akiva Goldsman
Writers: Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Mark Helprin (novel)
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe
Genre: Fantasy Romance Thriller Action

What happens when a director combines a heart warming, romantic fantasy film with a thriller action film and then throws in some horror elements for good measure? You get Winter's Tale...a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be.

For the most part it's a magical fairy tale about a white horse who can fly and a boy who falls in love with a girl. He loves her so deeply that he lives a 100 years without aging, as he waits to fill his destiny. This part of the film works.

Then we get Russell Crowe as a bad ass demon who in one scene is unhappy that the restaurant doesn't serve 'pan fried owl'. So he grabs the waiter's head and squeezes until his head pops. Then uses the blood to draw a picture. As this is happening, he momentarily reverts to an ugly demon. A cliche scene that has been done in too many horror films.

Without the thriller horror elements, this film might have been a 21st classic like Fantasia. It's too bad as it does have a lot going for it, such as:

Colin Farrell & Jessica Brown Findlay...when they fall in love, so do we. Their scenes together are beautiful and well done. 5/5 for their acting and characters.

Russell Crowe, I must say he makes one fine demon. He looks the part and with a strange facial tick and menacing looks, he's a demon. 5/5 for his acting, way to go Russel.

The sets are beautiful, especially the winter scenes. For the CG sets and the live sets. 5/5

Winter's Tale is not the type of movie I normally watch. It could have been a modern classic without the graphic violence and a PG rating, instead of PG13. Then it could have been a charming family film. I feel it missed it's intended audience.

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I take it that no one has seen Winter's Tale? I bet GBG would like it.

If I remember correctly, I read the synopsis of Winter's Tale when it was released on DVD, and it sounded good, but the reviews were pretty bad.

I tried watching it, but I found Colin Farrell's accent distracting, so I gave up on it about 20 minutes or so into the movie. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with his accent. It's just that I had never heard him speak with an accent before, so I wasn't expecting it.

I'll have to give it another try.

I honestly don't remember Colin Farrell having an accent. At least I didn't notice it. Could you be thinking of Russell Crowe? He did a very distinct sounding Irish accent. He did it much better than Orson did BTW.

I honestly don't remember Colin Farrell having an accent. At least I didn't notice it. Could you be thinking of Russell Crowe? He did a very distinct sounding Irish accent. He did it much better than Orson did BTW.

It's possible that I could be getting the two actors mixed up. I didn't know that either of them had an accent prior to that movie, so either one would have been distracting.

Like I said, the accent wasn't bad. It was just distracting because it was unexpected. It might not bother me if I try watching the movie again because now I know to expect it.