Saturday, September 27, 2014
At first you just see this sign with all of this incredibly racist stuff on it, and you just think, "Ugh, I hate this character already," and then it lowers and reveals that its being carried by black man. He talks about the KKK and has his little white mask thingy, and even starts a little race riot and chases a black orderly. Later in the movie we find out that he was made that way from all of the harassment he faced for attending a college with white students. It's actually really sad.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The Player stars Tim Robbins as a Hollywood executive who starts getting threatening postcards. He spends his days listening to writers give terrible movie pitches, so he is convinced that he is being threatened by one of these writers. After following one of them to the movies, he ends up killing him, but it turns out that this writer is not the one who was writing to him. So, not only does he have to worry about a murder investigation, but he is also continuing to get these postcards. He also starts seeing the girlfriend of the writer he killed. We never do find out who was sending him the postcards, but he ends up blackmailing Robbins into making a movie about the events in exchange for a happy ending.
This movie is filled with cameos from actual movie stars like Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Andie McDowell, Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, and Cher. There are so many cameos, I kept getting confused about who was playing themselves and who was playing a character. Like when I first saw Whoopi Goldberg, I assumed she was playing herself, but she's actually playing a police officer. Also, I love that for one of the movies that was pitched, the writer kept insisting that the movie not have stars and that he wanted the woman character to die, and at the end when they show a screening of the movie it stars Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis, and he comes in and saves her at the last minute.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
I loved loved loved this movie! I've always been a big fan of movies about movies, including Singin' in the Rain and Hugo, and this is another great movie that I can add to that list. Cinema Paradiso is about a film director named Salvatore (nickname Toto) who looks back on his life after he finds out that his friend Alfredo died. Alfredo was the projectionist at the Cinema Paradiso, the local movie theater. Toto went to the theater all the time and learned how to work the projector as well as started a collection of film strips (mostly kissing scenes) that Alfredo was ordered to cut out of films by the town's priest. After a freak accident leaves Alfredo blind, Toto becomes the new projectionist, and works there until Alfredo convinces him to leave and do something with his life. There is also a pretty cute love story when Toto is older with him and this pretty girl he sees at the station. As a massive film lover, I really appreciated this film and how it showed how excited people used to be about going to the movies. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore, which this movie also shows when the Cinema Paradiso gets demolished at the end. It was so sad!!! I also really loved the ending of the movie, when Toto splices together his collection of kissing scenes and watches them on the big screen.
One of the kisses, which appears at about :22 looks like it's from "His Girl Friday," but I have never seen that before! Did the priest cut out parts from my DVD as well?
Interesting fact: watching this movie unintentionally continued my little Vincent Price marathon (yesterday I watched The House of Seven Gables and Masque of the Red Death and today I watched Witchfinder General) because there is a montage of all the shows he watched one day, and you see glimpses of Price as Egghead on Batman.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
This movie isn't really about Aileen Wuornos or her crimes, but is about the people around her who were capitalizing on her fame. There were the crooked cops who were involved with movie deals, her creep lawyer who seemed more interested in promoting his music career than saving her life, and her awful adopted mom, who conveniently adopts Wuornos (who is basically her same age) before her first trial and has an agent to negotiate her appearance fees. There are a lot of scenes in this movie that just left me with an uneasy feeling. There's a scene when a cop gives a tour of death row and he just talks about the whole process so casually it is really depressing. There's also the scene when the director finally get's to talk to Wuornos and we find out that her "mom" and lawyer were the ones who convinced her to plead guilty and that they were even telling her to kill herself. They just seem like such awful people who were taking advantage of someone who was becoming famous for being the "first female serial killer." What is interesting is that even though the director is pointing all of this stuff out, he isn't really doing anything different. He is also capitalizing on Wuornos' crimes with this documentary.
When I saw this was one of Verhoeven's Dutch films, I was a little bummed that Rutger Hauer wasn't in it. I ended up liking this one a bit more than Turkish Delight, however, even though that is supposedly the greatest Dutch film of all time. The Fourth Man is about this writer named Gerard who has all of these dark visions of the future and starts sleeping with this woman named Christine even though he is gay. He finds a photo of another one of her lovers (Herman) and recognizes him from the train station. He really wants this guy, so he convinces her to bring him to her house. While she goes to get him, he finds out that she had been married three times before, and when he gets Herman to himself, they end up in a tomb that holds the ashes of her three husbands. He is convinced that she is a black widow, and that either he or Herman will be "the fourth man." I love how you never really find out if she is actually a murderess, so you don't know if Gerard is crazy or not. Throughout the movie he is having dreams about a woman in blue, who he sees everywhere and ends up leading him to the tomb. He also has visions of an eyeball being gouged out and Herman covered in blood, which also ends up happening. If he is having psychic visions, then perhaps it is possible that Christine is a witch. Or perhaps Gerard is insane and there was no woman in blue.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Film noir is usually pretty dark, but this is one of the darkest I've seen from the genre. After his wife is murdered by a car bomb, a cop decides to take down the crime syndicate who killed her. He becomes obsessive about it and even ends up losing his job. Gloria Grahame plays one of the criminals' girlfriends who gets her face disfigured after one of her boyfriends thugs sees her drive off with the cop. I didn't like her character at first and thought she was kind of annoying. Apparently the part was written for Marilyn Monroe, which would explain why she is such a ditz. I thought she was just going to become a damsel in distress, but instead she decides to get even. She does what the cop couldn't and kills the woman who holds the evidence against the bad guys (which was set to be released if anything happens to her) then goes to her ex's house and messes up his face the wayhe messed up hers. Unfortunately she dies, but not before she tells him that she is the reason for his future downfall. I love that they didn't just let her character become a victim.
Considering that Apocalypse Now is such a classic, it's interesting to see how little faith Francis Ford Coppola had in himself while making the film. He was so stressed out about the film that he was even saying that he wanted to kill himself! It's crazy how much stuff went down during the making of Apocalypse Now. They used helicopters from the Filipino military, and they would just take off with them in the middle of shooting because a civil war was going on. Poor Martin Sheen had a heart attack in the middle of shooting and Coppola had to deal with Dennis Hooper being all stoned and not knowing his lines. He was so sure that this movie was going to turn out awful, but it is now considered to be one of the best films ever made.
Monday, September 1, 2014
After this, I only have two more Hitchcock films to go. After I watch Shadow of a Doubt and Frenzy, I will have watched all of the Hitchcock films in the book. This is the earliest of his films that I have seen. I have never seen any of his silent films, and this is his first talkie. Apparently this was the first sound picture for England, and they decided to make it a talkie after they had already started production. You can tell because the first 10 minutes are silent. I don't know why they didn't just go back and dub the scenes. They end up feeling out of place. Blackmail is about a woman who stabs to death a man who tries to rape her. Her boyfriend is a detective, and he recognizes her glove at the man's apartment, so he knows that it was her and after he confronts her about it, this other man comes up to them with her other glove and decides to blackmail them. There are some interesting scenes like when she is sitting at the table listening to someone talking and the only word she hears is "knife," which is getting louder and louder the longer the woman talks, but I started losing interest in this movie about half way through. I love Alfred Hitchcock, and I've never seen a movie of his that I have not liked, but I think that this was my least favorite one so far. I wasn't interested in the characters at all, and I didn't think that the plot was that interesting.