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30 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 22# Greed (1924)

Directed by: Erich Von Stroheim
Written by: Erich Von Stroheim & June Mathis 
Based on the novel by: Frank Norris
Genre: Drama, Mystery & suspense
Runtime:  140 Minutes (Extended/Restored version 239 Minutes)
Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold…the very thing that can destroy a soul, overtake a person’s life and alter their personality. It is the very thing that can bring happiness into a person’s life with treasures and good living, but can also destroy someone with greed. Showing exactly what money can do to a person in a very surreal but semi-truthful way, Greed is the biggest silent film story there is spanning four hours (for this version at least), but four great hours they are. With the original being cut tremendously, this version is a recreation of how director Erich Von Stroheim wanted it to be. It is a compelling drama that has great truth, character and excitement all over in it’s four hours, and in those hours a lot happens. 

[Silent Film Marathon] 21# The Impossible Voyage (1904)

My Rating: ?
(Not really a film that can be rated)
Directed by: George Mêliés
Runtime: 20 Minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Family
2 years after George Mêliés made ‘A trip to the Moon’, a film similar was made. The thing I find really interesting is how much of a pioneer Mêliés was for film making. The stories he created where childish and full of fantasy. All the strange sets make them very interesting to look at and in The Impossible Voyage we see some very strange, unusual but somewhat pleasant imagery. The film is also slightly tinted in colour, so some of the colours are quite florescent. This film feels like something that was more targeted to a young audience and it is very fun to watch.

29 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 20# The Unknown (1927)

My Rating: 8/10

Directed by: Tod Browning

Written by: Tod Browning & Waldemar Young
Genre: Drama, Horror, Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 50 Minutes

Certainly one of the darker films, if not the darkest, piece of work silent film star Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning collaborated and created. Once more Chaney gives a remarkable performance to the screen as Alonzo, the armless. The story is short, but in this 50 minute feature you’re in for a great ride. Browning is one of the great mysteries of film history. His life story is filled with contradictions (some he created himself). No one argues the fact that he was the architect of the classic American horror film Dracula (1931), with Bela Lugosi as Dracula. His success is one that is grounded in his macabre but decidedly non-supernatural silent works. Beyond that the story gets cloudy. Then we all know the idea of his film Freaks, which results were so horrific it basically destroyed his career. The Unknown is a pretty dark story but is highly entertaining and is one of the greatest last silent films, as 4 months later the fir talkie arrived, The Jazz Singer.

[Silent Film Marathon] 19# Un chien Andalau (1929)

My Rating: 8/10

Directed by: Luis Buñuel
Written by: Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dali
Runtime: 17 Minutes
Genre: Art House & International, Fantasy

Surreal, strange, alarming and weird. Those are a few words to describe this film. Having to watch it twice to understand the film, which still didn’t do 100% justice, the film (the few intertitles where in French and weren’t translated. I now totally get it, and for something from 1929, it’s quite an alarming and provoking film. There simply is no plot in this odd film which is essentially a barrage of striking and irrational images designed to shock and provoke. The film is said to be a dream logic film in narrative flow that can be described in terms of then-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series of tenuously related scenes. Dream logic is the perfect way to put it because we have all awoken to remember a very strange dream at one point. This 17 minute short film stands out from the crowd to every other silent film of this era because of its graphic and shocking imagery. Its true treasury of a film and it still manage to make people cringe today with it’s shocking eye slit moment and the weird happenings that take place.

28 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 18# City Lights (1931)

Directed & written by: Charlie Chaplin
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Genre: Romance, Comedy

In 1931, sound films where at the point the new way of films, but Chaplin stuck by silent films for just a while yet, and out came City Lights, a charming and sincere comedy film. Starring once more the classic character the tramp this Chaplin film was equally as charming as it was funny. As a comedy it certainly compares to other comedies out there –and certainly outlives many of the newest ones around-. City Lights is easily one of the greatest silent films and all because of Chaplin’s marvellous writing, acting and of course, directing. It’s got plenty of good moments and the occasional use of comic sounds and it’s overall a beautiful film. It’s great that Charlie Chaplin stuck with silent films just a while longer, and five years after this film would go on to having his last, being Modern Times. It’s truly a comical masterpiece and is much more than just a comedy; it’s a wonderful drama and romance story.

[Silent Film Marathon] 17# Der Letze Mann (The Last Laugh) (1924)

Directed by: F.W Murnau
Written by: Carl Mayer
Genre: Drama, Art House & International
Runtime: 77 Minutes

As usual I start my reviews with the first thing that comes into my head about the film. The Last Laugh tells a story of an old doorman, who is proud as can be, and even prouder of his uniform with it’s wide shoulders, military lapels and comic opera cuffs. With artistic resonance, director F.W Murnau brings another classic to the screen in this finely crafted piece of entertainment. Using no title cards, except for one that guides us as a narrative, the film’s surprising imagery, smooth camera tracking and movement and a story that comes to terms as simple, it is another classic silent film of the era. Once more an international silent film has come to my eyes, and is making me realise that there is more cinema out there than I know.

27 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 16# Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Directed by:  F.W Murnau
Written by: Hermann Sudermann, Carl Mayer
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mystery & suspense
Runtime: 95 Minutes

F.W Murnau is known for great silent films such as Nosferatu and The Last Laugh, but Sunrise is simply one of the most beautifully crafted silent films ever made. Better yet, it is one of the finest films ever made. With Murnau’s outstanding cinematography in the beautiful sets, wondrous music and characters that are so simplistically golden, Sunrise is a milestone of a film. The beautifully crafted masterpiece is full of emotion and sincere smiles. It will make you laugh, it will make you sad –and if you’re like me, shed a tear- and even give you a warm smile in some places. Truly one of the most powerful Romance stories there is and because of its simplistic nature, anyone will be able to relate to what is happening. F.W Murnau is quite easily one of the greatest silent film directors there was and his directorial achievement with this film is off the scale. It’s been 84 years since this film was made and still holds the emotional and entertaining strength it held then today. Many people have put this as the greatest silent film of all time, which I would agree with but I am yet to see the famous Fritz Lang’s, Metropolis. The film is renown by film critics and right it should be for it’s impact.

26 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 15# The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Directed by: Wallace Worsley
Screenplay by: Edward T. Lowe JR. & Perly Poore Sheehan
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 100 Minutes

Lon Chaney the star of Phantom of the Opera plays the simple minded, half-blind and deaf bell ringer of Notre Dame in a story of hate, love and deceit. Despite the film’s age it holds out as a classic film about the mistreatment of a deformed man (or referred to as creature). Spending over 3 hours a day applying his own make-up, Chaney gives a remarkable performance as the deformed and deaf Quasimodo. Although Chaney’s performance is outstanding, the film’s central plot does not go around the title as much as thought and Chaney’s performance supports the film. My expectations where a little higher of the film, but despite it’s downside the story is still gripping and purely entertaining. The sole reason the film is recalled today is because of Chaney’s outrageous physical presence and hideous make-up. The original story was not solely revolved around Quasimodo and is among many of the characters in the novel. With it’s divine acting and highly understandable story, it still stands out as one of Chaney’s finest performances and comes through as yet another classic silent film.

25 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 14# The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Marie Belloc Lowndes & Elliot Stannard
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 91 Minutes

During the silent era was the rise of director Alfred Hitchcock, whose name would later be known by millions. He made several films in the 20’s period, one being The Lodger. Watch this, and see the birth of one of the world’s greatest directors. Fresh from British cinema arrived Hitchcock was his suspenseful direction and alongside the grand casting, The Lodger holds out as a wonderful display of mystery. Young director Hitchcock, at the age of 28 at this point, his career would later boom. The Lodger plays significance as it introduced themes that would later run through much of Hitchcock’s later work where an innocent man is on the run hunted down by a self-righteous society. One that springs to mind is Hitchcock’s wonderfully suspenseful Stage Fright, which would have been made 3 decades after this film. The film was made in Britain where Hitchcock spent his early year and is one of the best British silent films to an extent.

24 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 13# Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Directed by: Buster Keaton
Written by:  Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, Joseph A. Mitchell
Genre: Comedy, Family
Runtime: 45 minutes

Like many of Keaton’s classics, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ shows a lot of well-coordinated slapstick humour alongside the athletically funny ability from Keaton himself. Though this is my second viewing of a Keaton film, it seems his films are beginning to grow on me. Sherlock Jr. is very clever and has a great entertainment value. With a runtime of only 45 minutes it’s very much worth it in this frantic little detective film. Not only do I feel that Keaton is a man who knew the business of comedy well, but I also feel he is a great stunt performer. Practically putting his life at risk he comes through to entertain the audience with his clever and inventive stunts featured in this film, and The General as I have seen. This may not stand among the greatest comedies of all time, but as a 4 to 5 reel short film, it’s a grand 45 minutes of silent gold.

23 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 12# Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1919) {The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari}

Directed by: Robert Weine
Written by: Carl Mayer & Hans Janowitz
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Runtime: 69 Minutes

All the way from Germany The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari creates a presence and atmosphere like I’ve never seen in a silent motion picture. With it’s wacky distorted sets full of German Expressionism –and seems to be where director Tim Burton inherited some of his style, it is one of the finest silent films that exist. With a flashback structure, which was new at this time, the story unfolds the murder mysteries that have been happening in the bizarre architecture of a village. The film is simply one of the most inspirational films from the silent era because of it’s style and story structure. Director Robert Weine, the German expressionist director did a blast of a job with this dark-stylised, thrilling and chilling film. For the time of it’s release the film leaves a huge impressions with the style and story that has been dissected and influenced many things in the world of cinema. It sits among the greats of silent cinema such as Metropolis, City Lights and Nosferatu with great ease. The film has such an impact it almost hypnotises you into it’s kooky world and explaining why this film has such power. This may very well be the birth of the genre.

[Silent Film Marathon] 11# The Pilgrim (1923)

Directed & Written by: Charles Chaplin
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 43 Minutes
Just before I begin I’d like to know why the film barely has any reviews on RT. What kind of critic doesn’t review these kind of films? They should stop going to the cinema to review the new crap and take a look at the past, because the films seem forgotten on RT. Dead if you will, but never mind about that; n with the review. The Pilgrim is only four reels long, but as one of Chaplin’s shorter comedies, it’s very funny and inventive. So this time The Tramp is an ex-convict on the run, but for some reason he doesn’t seem like much of a bad guy. When Charlie escapes from prison he dons a preacher's clothes. By mistake he becomes the new minister for the town of Devil's Gulch. So this time as he imposes as a minister he tries to stay undercover and gets to stay overnight at someone’s house where he meets a woman he fancies. A man he knew from jail sees him and he is welcomed in and also stays overnight. More of Chaplin’s great athletic ability comes into play as he runs around stopping the man from stealing anything in the house. And that’s what I meant by not being such a bad guy, because he fancies that woman he clearly doesn’t want him to steal anything.

22 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 9-10# Some Short Films

Well I thought I'd combine my thoughts on these little short films I came across because there isn't much to comment on these 5-15 minute films.

The Thieving Hand (1908)
This little short film was 5 Minutes long and had no music. The film is about a man with one arm who soon gets a false arm which happens to steal things on passers by. It's a little comedy piece but it's roots are very unknown. It's an interesting little fictional film that also has a few bits of stop-motion in there. There isn't much to say about it other than it's a pretty clever comedy short. Read more on it here 
My Rating: 74%
You can also watch it at youtube.

Frankenstein (1910)
This is by far the weirdest adoption I have seen of Mary Shelley's famous Frankenstein story. This is the very first adoption and has a runtime of 15 minutes. It is also not listed on Rottentomatoes. The film is very unknown and was made using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope. The monster Frankenstein creates is very different from the other adoptions because of the method- being something burns the creation backwards (I dont know either) and th monster looks more like a werewolf if anything. It's another one of those pioneering film making films and overall it's an okay film, and does not have any title cards

My Rating: 71%
You can watch it here:

[Silent Film Marathon] 8# Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)

Directed by: Georges Mêliés
Written & Produce by: Georges Mêliés
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure
Runtime: 14-16 Minutes (various versions)

The title translates to ‘A Trip to the moon’ and may very well be the very first science-fiction/fantasy film. It’s hard to give something like this a rating because it’s more on the fascinating side. Even saying that it’s way of storytelling through the 14 minute duration it is packed with delightful imagery and great movement in the actors. I was very impressed with some of the effects and being only 2 years in to the 20th century, it’s very impressive. All the way from France, from director Georges Mêliés, a pioneer film maker, and is said to be the inventor of the very first special effect. The stories oldness is great because it shows what people must have thought about going to the moon.

[Silent Film Marathon] 7# The Gold Rush (1925)

Directed, written & Produced by: Charlie Chaplin
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Genre: Comedy, Drama

This film deserves at least a 9/10, because this film is definitely certified fresh for it’s comedic and dramatic efforts. As usual Mr. Chaplin creates a dramatic comedy that makes you laugh out loud, and with this one it really does, but also brings a tear to your eye –not literally on my experience-. With hilarious slapstick, a warm and sincere story and Chaplin’s classic character The Tramp, the film is a wondrous piece of silent cinema. Taking place around 1898, a time of the gold rush in the story, the weather is extremely wild and our character is on the quest for gold, although he does not succeed in finding much. This is another one of Chaplin’s finest films because of it’s sincere comedy full of delightful and humorous acting.

21 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 6# The General (1927)

Directed by: Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton
Screenplay by: Al Boasberg , Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 75 Minutes

I have to write this review again as after my second viewing, I feel that the film is very genius and is among the great comedies of the silent era. Now I understand why people love this one so much. The General is extremely clever as it follow a locomotive chase and starring Keaton himself; he did an excellent job with his terrific slapstick and athletic ability. Much like Chaplin, it is clear that Keaton is also one of the geniuses of comedy and here is a film that says that to an extent. Featured in many top 100 silent comedy lists and at the number one spot in one I saw, The General is a clever comedy classic. Many praise this films surprising antics, and very clever slapstick humour, and right they are. I may not like it as much as some, but after my second viewing  I agree that it is a brilliant comedy film.

20 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 5# The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Rupert Julian

Raymond L. Schrock, Elliott J. Clawson
 Runtime: 103 Minutes
Genre: Thriller, Horror
This as of many of the classic silent film stories, is an iconic story that soon became renowned in the world of cinema. Lon Chaney, the silent film horror classic stars as the Phantom in this thrilling story of a tortured and twisted soul. Here is yet another inspirational film that went on to be a concept repeated and culturally referred in the future. It’s an exciting story based within an Opera House in Paris where the Phantom lies, and warns the owners not to put on certain people in the act with his obsessive love for one of the singers called, Christine Daae, who is also our leading actress in the story. Decades later the film still manages to throw a scare at the audience with the disfigured face of the phantom and the pace in which the action lies. With brilliant performances from Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin, The Phantom of the Opera remains a classic thriller/horror film to enjoy.

19 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 4# A Woman of Paris (1923)

Directed & Written by: Charlie Chaplin
Music by: Louis F. Gottschalk
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Genre: Drama
So to my surprise a title card was presented at the beginning of the film with a message from Chaplin saying this is his first attempt in making a serious drama and he does not appear in it. All I can say is he did an excellent job. A Woman of Paris holds a firm story of a woman wanting to escape her life, but things don’t go according to plan and the tides turn throughout the story. It’s a wonderful drama that in the end you understand fully and can appreciate it’s meaning. Alongside is Chaplin’s terrific poetic language –not verbally- with his title cards that hold as the narration. It is 1923 and Chaplin’s career has just begun and is slowly becoming very recognised in his line of work. This film is another classic film full of a delightful story, characters that engage you and a delicate story as always with Chaplin films.

[Silent Film Marathon] 3# Nosferatu: A symphony of Horror (1922)

Directed by: F.W Murnau
Based on: Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Genre: Horror, Drama, Art house
All the way from Germany this is simply a classic film with memorable cinematography and an early horror film that inspired hundreds after it. The film was directed by German Expressionist F. W. Murnau and is a pioneer horror film for it’s period. It’s spooky, enthralling and is full of mystery. Nosferatu is based of Bram Stokers book, Dracula, but is an unauthorised adaptation. So vampire became Nosferatu and Count Dracula became Count Orlok. Full of it’s dark sets, sepia tone cameras and five acts full of thrilling horror, Nosferatu is one of the best horror films you’ll find. Here we have a film that was early for it’s time and some of the special effect techniques are fascinating. Whether it was stop-motion or rotoscoping these effects where very difficult to do at the time. It’s been nearly 90 years from this film premièred and here it lies today being discovered by film enthusiasts and historians to uncover the mystery of the silent film era and it’s wondrous pioneering methods.

18 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon] 2#Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920) Review

Directed by: John S.Robertson
Produced by: Adolph Zukor
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Silent, Drama
Runtime: 73 Minutes

So here is the second film in my Silent film series and here we have a pretty good one at that. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of those stories most people know about in this day and age and at the time of this film’s release, being 1920 this would have been very interesting for the readers of the novel. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde got another film in 1930, which was sound, but we aren't here to discuss that one. So horror and thriller stories are early at this stage with the up rise of these monster movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, Nosferatu and the list goes on. This one is about a posh and well-mannered man who creates a foul potion that splits his personality in his attempt to try and rid all badness from his body. Starring John Barrymore as Dr Jekyll, there is some nice performances, especially the transformation of Jekyll to Hyde. Being a silent film, and not too far into the era of silent feature films, this film is impressive in terms of storytelling through miming. We have title cads that seem like passages from the original novel to guide the story and is almost like a silent version of a narrative voice over. I quite enjoyed Dr Jekyll’ and Mr Hyde with it’s surprising pioneering story which actions would be later homage to in media all over the place. This has happened with several classic films of the silent era and the 30’s.

17 June 2011

[Silent Film Marathon]1# The Kid (1921)

Written, Directed & Produced By: Charlie Chaplin
Music By: Charlie Chaplin
Genre: Classics, Drama, Comedy
Runtime: 68 Minutes
When it comes to artistic quality Chaplin hits the spot. Knowing that a 60 minute silent film can be as powerful as this is impressive. Making films was very hard to do and to do correctly, but the famous stars like Chaplin, Buster Keaton and all those other guys knew what they were doing. The Kid shows Chaplin’s iconic character, The Tramp wondering the streets as usual in his debonair and goofy way. He soon finds a child and takes him in as his own and takes care of it for five years. The plot is simplistic beauty and the film was actually very funny. It’s the kind of humour that anyone can laugh at. With it’s simplistic nature, all the slapstick is clever, inventive and very funny. Chaplin being the director, producer, writer main actor and even music composer works out well in this production. The music was touching and the overall cinematography is superb. It’s impressive because he is doing all those jobs for the film and it manages to come out fresh as ever. Today films are too big and take more time to make so one guy can’ do five different things. Also note that this is his very first feature film and sure shows his directorial début of silent film making. This kind of creative control never happens in today's films but we still have those directors who act, write, produce and direct.

15 June 2011

Wall-E (2008)

Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Written by: Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon
Genre: Fantasy, Animation, Family, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 98 Minutes

Ultimately Wall-E is my favourite Pixar film beside Toy Story 3 and Toy Story because of its vibrant and original style, heart-warming story and fantastic characters. Wall-E tells the tale of a robot during the future who has to clean up OUR mess, while we float in space on a giant holiday-type ship. There isn’t much not to like about this film. When an animated film is good, it’s usually very good, and it’s Pixar. They have an unblemished and unprecedented run of success with each film going well with the critics, audience and the box-office. I watched this at the cinema during the time and since I have watched it at least 4 times. It’s a fantastic family-friendly adventure with breath-taking visuals and an amazing story. With Director and writer, Andrew Stanton (director of Finding Nemo) on board you can expect this story to be filled with delight.

14 June 2011

The Road (2009)

My Rating: 8.5/10

Directed by: John Hillcoat
Based on the novel by: Cormac McCarthy
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 112 Minutes

The Road is a compelling story of survival with a whole lot of drama. I will consider this film a tear-jerker because of how sad the film gets towards the end, because you grow attached to the struggle of the characters. The film is extremely drama toned and was great the whole way through. It had some moments with tension, and others with very big shocks. When I think of The Road I think of how our two characters, father and son struggle for survival along the way meeting few people. Great screenplay, but cannot praise originality as it is adapted from a book. Regardless, they did an excellent job putting on screen. The atmosphere was amazing and made you feel lost and confused in a world where basically everything is pretty much gone. Overall The Road is a fantastic film. I am new to the director John Hillcoat but he did an excellent job with the direction and cinematography in this film.

13 June 2011

What's happening this week?

Okay, since I am doing this little thing of what's happening this week in the journal. Well I'll be starting my silent film marathon, putting up reviews that where written a good while ago so I can finally just get them put up. You can expect some of the following reviews to go up:
  • Inception (Thursday to celebrate my final day of school)
  • Wall-E
  • Cry-baby
  • Leave her to Heaven
  • The Road
  • A Chump at Oxford

More about the Silent Film Marathon:
I will be starting the marathon on Friday and it will go on for 10 days. There will be 1-2 reviews each day and I am going to try and dig deep into the realm of silent films. I have watched a few Chaplin films so now I feel like seeing some of those classics that are responsible for film today. Here are some of the one's to expect reviews of:
  • The Kid
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari
  • Modern Times
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Metropolis
Please feel free to suggest good silent films to check out :)

12 June 2011

Thelma & Louise (1991) Review

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 129 minutes

Thelma and Louise are two bright women who tire of their lives and run away from their life and go on a road trip. Thelma is married to a mean and controlling man while Thelma has a boyfriend called Jimmy and works as a waitress. The road trip vacation doesn’t go to plan completely when trouble stirs. The story is fantastic and is a very captivating, emotional and moving story. The film is directed by Ridley Scott, starring Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, Brad Pitt, Michael Madsen and plenty of others. With director Scott behind the camera, it was topped with excellent direction

11 June 2011

Following (1998) Review

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Runtime: 69 Minutes

Hot-shot Hollywood Director Christopher Nolan made his directorial debut in 1998 when he made this $6, 000 budgeted black & white film which is impressive for what it is. Following tells a non-linear story of two men who are burglars, and is full of double crossing. The film doesn’t have all that Hollywood action or even a star, so that’s what makes this film even more impressive. It stands alone with it’s difference in style and inventive plot. I’m not a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s work, but I’m becoming very interested. With his great films such as The Dark Knight and my yet to view Inception, Nolan is one of the current best Directors in the profession. The film made it’s debut through film festival and went round to grossing $48, 000. Following may be lacking in gripping characters and interesting visuals, but inventive story prevails in this low, almost no-budget film. With surprising performances from new time actors Alex Haw and Jeremy Theobald Following is a very interesting film.

10 June 2011

Planet of the Apes (1968) Review

My Rating: 91%
Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
Screenplay by: Rod Serling & Michael Wilson
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Runtime: 112 Minutes

This is certainly one of the most fascinating Sci-Fi films around and provokes questions such as why, where, how and when. With nature being turned upside down having ape above man is a very interesting idea and it’s placed 2000 years into the future. Many things are still to be unfolded with the film which makes it even better. The ironic joy of the story is how man is treated by human. We all know that science labs have had their share of animal cruelty and this film shows what the ape race thinks of man. The total juxtaposition of it was terrific and exaggerates how we’ve always thought of monkeys as inferior. Planet of the Apes boasts terrific story, interesting characters and a plot that is yet to be continued. Although the story is originally from a book, the screenplay was terrific and they did an excellent job of putting it on the big screen. With a title like ‘Planet of the Apes’ a first assumption to the average movie-goer [not me] would be this film stinks. That is understandable to some degree, but for those who try to stay away from this film are missing out on a terrific journey into a philosophical mystery.

08 June 2011

Year One (2009) Review

Directed by: Harold Ramis
Written by: Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky,Lee Eisenberg
Genre: Comedy, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 97 Minutes

The film doesn’t give any justice to the historical time period of the Stone Age and is a poorly executed comedy. Nothing exciting really happens with the film and for a comedy it really isn’t all that funny. With several cheap shots the film is very weak in direction, character and plot. Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera as our two main characters don’t even give this film a good name. Despite their ‘okay’ performances it doesn’t save this film from being uninteresting and lacking in story. Year One is full of flat characterisation which really makes this film boring and the overall goal of our characters is sloppy. Michael Cera, the star of Scott Pilgrim V.S the World and Juno gives a pretty weak performance in this and even rock star Jack black is the same. Some of the humour is funny, but very little and the direction is very straight forward.  All in all Year One is a film that you can bare to skip.

06 June 2011

Film Master Weekly Newsletter 06/06/11

***Biggest News***
The Thing gets a remake?
The 80's hit thriller/horror gore-fest is getting another remake! Well what I remembered most about the original The Thing is the immense gore and amazing visual effects, but now we all know that this next one is most likely going to be CGI, possibly even in 3D too. The film is currently in production and is being Directed by  Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. The film is going to premier on October 14, 2011. Hopefully I can get to see this one if it is a (15) film. Let's hope this one is good and not a remake dud.

Important Notice:
Next week there will not be a Newsletter as I will be busy with exams and such. As I said in the previous newsletter I won't be posting much for the next two weeks. So stay tuned because a lot of great reviews and posts are to come!

04 June 2011

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Review

Directed By: John Cleese and Charles Crichton
Screenplay By: John Cleese and Charles Crichton
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, John Cleese
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 107 Minutes

A fish Called Wanda is one of the finest British comedies that exist and is outrageously comical. The name is genius and when the film is over you’ll understand why it has this odd title. Good old John Cleese is in there too, who seems to be one of the best comedy actors around. He was brilliant in the Monty Python Films, funny in the hit TV show Faulty Towers, and he does brilliant here. The film has some of the finest blend of comedy I’ve seen, and it’s a very clever and complex film. It’s full of comedy action, complex writing and a hell of a lot of double crossing.

03 June 2011

Best Gangster Film Actor Poll Results

Here are the Top 5 Results:

5) John Cazale 1 Vote
4) Sean Connery 2 Votes
3) Marlon Brando 4 Votes
2) Al Pacino 8 Votes
1) Robert DeNiro 12 Votes

02 June 2011

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) Review

My Rating: 54%

Directed by: Tod Williams
Screenplay by: Michael R. Perry, Orin Peli, Tom Pabst and Christopher Landon
Story By: Michael R. Perry
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 98 Minutes

Overall not as scary as the previous film:
Paranormal Activity 2 loses everything that was great about the first film. Although it has some scares, the build-up feels different, the camera quality is improves loosing that feeling of a home movie and it has a very different build up. Some people say that this one is scarier than the previous, but I felt it really wasn’t. As I said the build-up was different and it effected the whole fear factor. This film is a prequel to the previous and this time we meet a family, who is actually in close relationship with those in the first film being Micah and Katie. Katie’s sister lives here, and the haunting past returns like it did in the previous film. I will give credit for this film being very clever and doing this because the film takes place around 60 days before the death of Micah. While Paranormal Activity has it’s good moments, it’s still lacking in fear factor and even character this time.

01 June 2011

Actor Overviews: Jack Black

Actor Score: 69/100

Ah, a new month. and what better way to start it than to kick start my Actor Overviews. To kick start my actor overviews, I shall pick Jack Black. Not a big star nor to small. Jack Black has been an actor for a good while now and I think some of his films are enjoyable. He is a pretty good actor and I love how hyperactive and energetic he can be. In this overview I will cover his early days as an actor and his films.

The Early Career of Jack Black:
Jack Black made several cameo appearances in TV shows such as The Golden Palace and Mr. Show. That’s all I can really find on his early career, but his first film appearances where in, Demolition Man, The Cable guy, The Never ending Story part three and Bob Roberts. 


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