Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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The Big Parade (King Vidor,1925)
Director: King Vidor
Cast: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Silent Film


I loved this film it was truly a treat to watch. Not only a great silent film but a great film period. The romance in the French village was so charming and so special that I could feel the love developing between James (John Gilbert) and Melisande (Renee Adoree). I found Renee Adoree to be captivating on the screen, she was so naturalistic in the emotions that she expresses, that she was utterly charming.

From the time the Dough Boys arrive in the French village until they went off to war, that was my favorite part. Though all of the film is special.



I loved how the film spent enough time showing the first meeting of James and Melisande and their developing romance. The barrel carrying scene was fun! and I could feel the joy in their hearts. Rarely does a film connect with me like The Big Parade did.

Another scene that was special is by the river, when he keeps touching her arm playfully and she keeps pushing him away... with a glimmer in her eyes for him.






And this is cute, I rarely say 'cute' but it is cute!

And I equally loved the night time rendezvous scene, with the gum chewing. I could really feel the love developing there it was magic.

All of this leads up to the heartbreaking scene when she finds the photo of his old girlfriend. Finally the romance that has built up cumulates in a heart wrenching scene as James is marching off to war with Melisande fearing she will never see him again.



Wow! That's a powerful scene. The movie could have ended here and I would still give it a 5/5...But we get even more! The war scenes were equally powerful and well done, especially as they were scored so well which made the war so somber and hopeless looking. The director really made the point that war is hell!..but love triumphs all!





The car chase movies and car race movies of the 70's were the best. I remember watching The Gumball Rally on TV whenever it was on.
Do you have any more titles for me from the 70s-80s? I'm on the car race kick. So far I've seen:

Grand Theft Auto
The Gumball Rally
Death Race 2000
and will be watching
The Cannonball Run
Smokey and the Bandit
Gone in Sixty Seconds
(the original not the gawd awful remake)



I seen Dirty Mary Crazy Larry a year or ago or so, I liked it and it was different too...and what an ending, very spectacular. I've seen Corvette Summer and was meaning to see that one too. I'll check out the other titles too, thanks!



I just looked up Hooper:

Hollywood aging stuntman Sonny Hooper wants to prove that he's still got what it takes to be a great professional in this risky and under-recognized line of work. Cast: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field

Yeah that sounds like a fun one. Thanks and I will review it when I get a chance to watch it. I have to start watching some 11th HoF films




Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922)
Director: F.W. Murnau
Cast: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff
Genre: Fantasy, Horror
Silent Film


The oldest surviving vampire film is the classic German silent, Nosferatu. An unauthorized silent film, based very closely on the famous novel by Bram Stroker, Dracula. Bram Stoker's widow filled a legal suit against the makers of Nosferatu, which she won. This resulted in an agreement that all the negatives and prints of the film would be destroyed. And they were all thought destroyed too...except a few prints survived in a couple foreign countries. In 1994 the surviving prints were restored and the film came to life once more.

Nosferatu is an interesting film and I'm glad I watched it. But I found it underwhelming. The story didn't click with me and the film version I watched seemed to be almost pieced together with no transitions between the scenes. I wonder if that's because the surviving prints were incomplete and so had to be pieced together? I noticed for a few seconds the movie was actually showing a negative image of the print. I did learn there's a newly restored version of Nosferatu and I bet the print and the music score is much approved upon.

There's a lot to like in this film: the creature was way cool looking! Great makeup and design. And I loved the creepy, up the staircase, shadow scene...as well as the stop action sequences. Oh and the skeleton clock was cool too!




The unrestored version which I watched was black and white, but I believe the restored version has some single color tinting to it. Overall I liked this film visually.






The Crowd (King Vidor,1928)
Director/Writer: King Vidor
Cast: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray
Genre: Drama
Silent Movie

About: The life of an ordinary man and an ordinary woman who meet, fall in love and marry. Their life together in a huge, crowded city is full of hardships and unrealized dreams.

Review: Directed by one of the great directors King Vidor...The Crowd, I had never heard of it before. Nor had I heard of the two leads, (James Murray, Eleanor Boardman), but I really liked both of them! It's important to care about the couple in a film that revolves around romance and their lives together. And I did care about them as people and I believed in their love.

Even though we don't hear them speak, John & Mary were more real to me than most romantic couples in sound movies. Love is contagious and their love for each other was infectious, in a very charming way. For the first part of the film where they're dating and falling in love, I don't think I've ever smiled more during a film. And the touching scene at Niagara falls, gave me a lump in my throat, I was touched by that.

The second part of the film takes a different turn and also produced strong emotions in me, mainly because I could empathize with John Sims, which made me melancholy. But even that is a positive for the film, as I rarely feel much of anything when I watch a movie. The Crowd was a very special film and one that I will remember.







Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
Episode IV - A New Hope
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy


Right off the bat I should say, I'm not a big time Star Wars fan. I haven't seen the last Star Wars movies, I don't collect the figures and Star Wars was never a big part of my childhood. I did see the first one, Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) when it was first released in theaters. My parents took me, but we waited until it had been in the theater for six months, as my dad didn't want to stand in line. Guess what? We get to the theater and the line is around the block! It must have taken hours to get inside. When the movie started I was blown away! No one had seen a film quite like that before.

So recently I watched the first Star Wars A New Hope (1977) because I wanted to watch the series in order. I had only seen it three times before, the last was over 15 years ago. I was excited to watch it and saved it for pizza night...I hate to say this...but I was bored by it. It felt like a movie made for 10 years old, with all the cutesy stuff and little Muppet creatures, and the movie was deliberately made in a wink-wink, camp style that I hadn't remembered. As a kid I loved it, but as an adult I didn't.


Now don't get upset because.... when I say they acted campy and it seemed aimed at kids, I mean, that's the style of film making the director intended it to be. Keep reading I'll explain....

My reaction to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) after not watching it for 15 years was, OMG! George Lucas did a modern version of the old Flash Gordon 1930s movie serials.

Everything from the evil emperor who wants to conquer the universe, to the heroic everyday guy, to the beautiful princess and even talking robots was inspired by Flash Gordon. The acting and the tone is the same campy nod-to-the-audience that they did in the Flash Gordon serials. I hadn't realized that before.,,,Even the scene transition swipes are 1930s Flash Gordon style. You know, when it changes from one scene to another and a swipe sweeps the old scene away. So that's all genius and Lucas totally succeed at that.

Hans Solo was my favorite character and his character made the first one good, as Leia and Luke weren't developed enough. I liked all the main characters but C3PO drove me nuts in the first one. I kept hoping he would implode like the Death Star but no such luck.





The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars: Episode V
Director: Irvin Kershner
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy


I liked it...everyone can breath easier now...Most everyone says The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the triologoy. I was pleasantly surprised by this after a less than glowing revisit to the original Star Wars.

Obviously the director Irvin Kershner took the film MUCH more seriously than did George Lucas did on the 1st movie.
The actors played their roles like the film was real. Gone was the camp style acting, and that made me buy into the story. This time around the characters weren't two dimensional but were flushed out with personalities. Even the sets looked much cooler and much realer. The entire production was polished and taken to a more serious level. I especially liked the ice planet...and the carbon freezing scene is the stuff of movie legends.

I suppose I could find some negatives about the film but you guys would probably lynch me It was fun and I had a good time watching it, I guess that says it all!

R2D2 was annoying in this! C3PO was OK and adds a different viewpoint but all the cute sounds coming from R2D2 made me fell like it was made for 10 years old.

I thought the actors did a much better job at taking the story as real, in the first Star Wars they play it tongue in cheek, but here they play for keeps.

When we first meet Yoda, he looks like a comical Muppet stealing food from Luke. The entire first meeting sequences is not dignified for the most powerful character in the entire Star Wars universe. Luckily after that dismal scene Yoda becomes the wise master of the Force. Overall a fun movie and well done!





Elvis & Nixon (2016)
Director: Liza Johnson
Cast: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer
Genre: Comedy History Drama


A highly speculative story based on the actual meeting between Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon. The movie starts out by letting the viewer know that it's not a bio-pic and says, what you are about to see is undocumented...aka made up. Made up is OK, this isn't trying to be history. It's an offbeat comedy, though you might not laugh as it doesn't involve prat fall humor. But that doesn't mean it is clever. I mean there's real humor in the historical record that the King of Rock n Roll went to the White House, meet the only President to resign his office, Richard M. Nixon...Elvis actually asked the president to be appointed as a special DEA agent, with a badge to match. Seems Elvis had a things for badges and the Drug Enforcement Badge is one he wanted badly.

Kevin Spacey is Nixon. OK so he doesn't totally look like Nixon but then again he kind of did. But that don't matter, because he acted like Nixon, he got the body language and speech done pat. And he made a likable Nixon. All because Kevin Spacey is a fine actor.

Michael Shannon, is Elvis. He don't look like Elvis. He don't sound like Elvis. But once again that's OK because this is an off on a tangent movie and he plays a Twilight Zone Elvis. His Elvis is darker than the real McCoy. He loves guns, donuts and karate. And it works!

So, did I like it? yes I did! At first I hated the actor who played Elvis as he was no Elvis. But then I realized this movie is taking place in some other reality and so the oddly darker Elvis works just fine.





The oldest surviving vampire film is the classic German silent film, Nosferatu. Which is an unauthorized silent film, based very closely on the famous novel by Bram Stroker, Dracula. Bram Stoker's widow filled a legal suit against the makers of Nosferatu, which she won. This resulted in an agreement that all the negatives and prints of the film would be destroyed. And they were destroyed too...except a few prints luckily survived in a couple foreign countries. In 1994 the surviving prints were restored and the film came to life once more.


Nosferatu is an interesting film and I'm glad I watched it. But I found it underwhelming. The story didn't click with me and the film version I watched seemed to be almost pieced together with no transitions between the scenes. I wonder if that's because the surviving prints were incomplete and so had to be pieced together? I noticed for a few seconds the movie was actually showing a negative image of the print. I did learn there's a newly restored version of Nosferatu and I bet the print and the music score is much approved upon.
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There's a lot to like in this film: the creature was way cool looking! Great makeup and design. And I loved the creepy, up the staircase, shadow scene...as well as the stop action sequences. Oh and the skeleton clock was cool too!




The unrestored version which I watched was black and white, but I believe the restored version has some single color tinting to it. Overall I liked this film visually.


Nosferatu is interesting for its historic value and that German Expressionist look. The plot really isn't much like Stoker's Dracula, but apparently the German court that decided the case pretty much gave Stoker possession of the actual vampire concept, not just the plot. There are a lot of versions floating around and I'm not a savant on them, but if you find a good one, the entire film is in good shape, no negative images, no 16 mm grainy sequences, cleaned up and no jumps. A few years back I had the privilege of seeing a complete version of the movie with live musicians. That really added to the creepy atmosphere and that rat-like Orlock.



Nosferatu is interesting for its historic value and that German Expressionist look. The plot really isn't much like Stoker's Dracula, but apparently the German court that decided the case pretty much gave Stoker possession of the actual vampire concept, not just the plot.
That's interesting to know, I never read the Stoker novel of Dracula all that I read about the movie, was on IMDB and Wiki. Thanks for posting that! It's interesting the German court awarded the case just on the Dracula concept.
There are a lot of versions floating around and I'm not a savant on them, but if you find a good one, the entire film is in good shape, no negative images, no 16 mm grainy sequences, cleaned up and no jumps. A few years back I had the privilege of seeing a complete version of the movie with live musicians. That really added to the creepy atmosphere and that rat-like Orlock.
Very cool! that you got to see the film 'live' with real musicians. That must have made it so much more powerful. I think if I had seen the film restored I would have liked it even more so.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
You've got the wrong guy playing Elvis; its Michael Shannon. Anyway, I thought he was an odd choice for the role, even though I like him as an actor. It looks like a pretty decent movie at least.




The Cannonball Run (1981)
Director: Hal Needham
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett
Genre: Comedy


A star studded cast take to the streets of America to participate in a cross country, high speed race, that's very illegal and very silly.

Drunken monkeys, tied to broken typewriters in a darkened Hollywood bungalow, could have wrote a better movie than 1981's ode to stupidity, AKA The Cannonball Run. If you want a mind numbing movie about racing, that has the slowest/worst racing scenes in a race car movie, then here you go.

Sure the over payed stars look like they had fun while making the movie, but too bad someone didn't let the audience on in the fun. I mean what's a car race movie without some high speed racing? Mostly the cars just cruise down the road. And except for a few cool cars like the Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin all we get to see is a bunch of lame vehicles. And when we do see some racing it's trick photography speeded up to make the cars look like they are going nowhere fast. The main race vehicle is an ambulances driven by Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise with Jack Elam and Farrah Fawcett in the back posing as doctor and patient. On a whim, Dom DeLuise dons a cape and mask to become Captain Caos. No really that's true, sad but true.

There's only a couple pluses, one is the sheer amount of 1970s stars that are present.

Burt Reynolds
Roger Moore
Farrah Fawcett
Dom DeLuise
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis Jr.
Jack Elam
Adrienne Barbeau
Terry Bradshaw
Jackie Chan
Bert Convy
Jamie Farr
Peter Fonda



There's also a nice pair....of lady racers. They're about the best part of the movie. The rest of the movie was as silly as an old Abbot and Costello flick. I did like Farrah Fawcett in this and she almost makes this worth watching.



But not quite.









"I smell sex and candy here" - Marcy Playground
The Cannonball Run (1981)


Brutal.
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The Cannonball Run (1981)
Director: Hal Needham
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett
Genre: Comedy





First Airplane!, and now this?! Are you sure that you like comedies?
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