Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window Movie Review

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Rear Window Movie Review

Rear Window is a 1954 mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It is one of the best films ever made.

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We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms.

What people ought to do is get outside

their own house and look in for a change

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Rear Window Movie Review

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It follows a professional photographer who injured his leg and is bound to a chair until it heals. He spends the majority of his type spying on various neighbors from his apartment until he comes to suspect that one of them is a murderer.

So the film is very much a mystery but also a strong suspense thriller in its third act. As a mystery, it fully works because I was intrigued from the beginning and I wanted to know what happened and is this man truly a murderer. It features an abundant amount of detail and I loved how we got to solve the mystery along with Jeff. Very well realized.

But it is maybe even stronger as a suspense flick because that third act is downright thrilling to behold. Of course the ending is great, but to me the highlight was following Lisa go into the murderer’s apartment. That was inventively shot, unforgettable and simply riveting to watch. The tension there was so palpable that I even got goosebumps.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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But where Rear Window truly succeeds and is remembered the most is in its themes. It is the ultimate picture about voyeurism as it explores it to the fullest degree. It never goes too far, but just right. It portrayed the loneliness and boredom of people so truthfully while giving us a wonderful glimpse at a 1950s neighborhood.

And as many have pointed out, the film is very feminist which was not expected from Hitchcock who honestly did not portray women all that well usually. But here the women are actually active in solving the case, even going so far as to go into the murderer’s apartment to look for clues. So the man stays bound to his chair, while the women investigate and go into action. That was fantastic to witness in a 50s movie.

So let’s talk about these women. The film really has only four characters and thus all four are superbly developed and highly memorable. It is a wonderful indoors, confined chamber flick and probably the best example of such a film.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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Stella is very funny and is the comic relief in the film which is usually very serious and dark, but she provides the much needed humor and some of her morbid lines were so funny. Thelma Ritter did a phenomenal job in this role and she ought to have gotten a seventh nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Lisa is simply fantastic. She at first seemed like a typical younger love interest, but eventually proved to be anything but. She is very strong, capable and brave while still remaining elegant and ladylike. Grace Kelly probably gave her finest performance here and she simply shines in all of her scenes.

Raymond Burr is memorable and creepy as Lars Thorwald who is not too much in the film, but is always a very intense presence. And Jeff is awesome and a very complex main character who is never portrayed as too heroic which was a nice change in pace. James Stewart here gave one of his best performances and that really says a lot for a man of his caliber. His performance is brilliant and extremely powerful and nuanced.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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Rear Window is a glorious achievement technically speaking as well. The dialogue is playful, smart and outstanding with a couple of funny as well as observant lines. Hitchcock’s direction is amazing and this is his very best film in my opinion which says a lot as he’s the best director who ever lived. Here he not only showed that he is the master of suspense, but he also showed his deft hand at structure and inventive storytelling. The scene where we follow each neighbor and we witness a woman preparing dinner for an imaginary guest is one of the best sequences of all time and an incredibly moving, powerful piece of filmmaking.

The film is the most inventive thriller of all time. The cinematography here is of the best in film history as each shot is beautiful, elaborate and immaculately conceived. The camera moves elegantly to capture every single moment that matters and the camera can be said to be the character in itself here. We become Jeff as we follow the action through his binoculars and thus this is the ultimate ‘put in the protagonist’s shoes’ movie.

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Rear Window Movie Review

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The score is nice as well and the film looks and sounds great throughout its whole runtime. It lasts for just about the right time and is consistently riveting from the very first to the very last moment. Nothing is wasted or rushed here and every single scene matters. It truly is a masterpiece and an almost flawless film which currently sits at number seven on my all-time list.

With not a single wasted or rushed scene, immaculate camera work, highly inventive storytelling and many brilliantly conceived, highly suspenseful sequences, Rear Window is also thematically observant and very sophisticated with phenomenal dialogue and a couple of highly memorable lines. Grace Kelly probably gave her finest performance here and this is also one of James Stewart’s best works which says a lot for the actor of his caliber. The film is also admirably feminist, especially for its time. Palpably intense, brilliantly authentic and almost flawless, Rear Window is in my opinion one of the ten greatest films of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Dial M for Murder (1954)

Dial M for Murder Movie Review

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Dial M for Murder Movie Review

Dial M for Murder is a 1954 crime mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly. It is far from the director’s best, but still such a good, well crafted film.

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People don’t commit murder on credit

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Dial M for Murder Movie Review

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The story about arranged murder is not all that original by this point for Hitchcock, but what is original is the level of detail that went into this affair. Surely the crime is too elaborate and at times the film was overwhelmed with too many details, but I still liked that as it led to a superbly crafted, meticulous film.

It is one of those mystery films which aren’t mysterious at all as we know who the murderer is from the start, but that is not a bad thing as it provides us with the opportunity to follow him in his shoes and to root for the detective to solve the crime. In that sense, the film is very much a success.

I liked the characters quite a bit and the acting is absolutely terrific. Robert Cummings’s Mark is a typical good-natured boyfriend and is the only boring part of the cast, but John Williams’s inspector is terrific and he played him so well. His various smirks and eye rolls stole the show here.

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Dial M for Murder Movie Review

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But the highlights are Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. She excelled at portraying this vulnerable, distressed young woman who doesn’t know at first how to deal with all those emotions and it surely is one of her finest performances. Ray Milland is terrific as he went against typecasting and portrayed this calculated, cold and very smart and thorough murderer superbly.

Dial M for Murder is not my favorite Hitchcock films as it definitely lacks in terms of intensity and suspense. The thriller elements were entirely left out which was unfortunate. But I still really liked the film both times I’ve seen it and it is a very pleasant, old-fashioned mystery flick.

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Dial M for Murder Movie Review

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The technical aspects are the standout elements here. The acting is great, but Hitchcock’s direction is reliably outstanding and his level to detail is astonishing and I loved the use of the key in its storytelling. This is the kind of small, theatre-like film which revolves entirely in one house and it never felt overly confined as the director made a perfect use of it and the cinematography truly is phenomenal and it lifted the material tremendously. And the dialogue is great as its talkative approach never felt overdone.

Dial M for Murder is lacking in terms of tension and suspense, but this is still a very good, talkative and engaging crime mystery with particularly strong performances from Ray Milland and Grace Kelly who both excelled in their roles. The cinematography and direction are superb as the film makes a great use of its confined setting with a couple of very interesting, brilliantly shot sequences. It isn’t one of Hitchcock’s best, but it is still a pretty good, competent film in its own right.

My Rating – 4

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Harvey (1950)

Harvey Movie Review

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Harvey Movie Review

Harvey is a 1950 comedy film starring James Stewart and Josephine Hull. It is a very strong, but ultimately flawed comedy flick.

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Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor,

and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it

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Harvey Movie Review

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Harvey is about Elwood, a man who goes everywhere with his imaginary friend who is a giant white rabbit. Upon many embarrassments that he has brought to the family, his sister finally decides to put him in a sanatorium. But hilarity ensues when the doctors assume she is the crazy one and she ends up in the hospital herself…

This is for better and for worse a situational comedy. And although the situations are highly improbable, this is still one of the better examples of this type of comedy with a particularly strong use of its various hijinks and crazy scenarios. The film is definitely very funny and the sister is easily the most hilarious character here. They managed to treat such a serious issue very comically and whether it is Elwood talking to his “friend” or Veta being paranoid and losing it, you are bound to get a great laugh with these funny, crazy people.

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Harvey Movie Review

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There is only one problem, a major problem, I have with Harvey and that is its second half or mostly just the third act. It is so problematic and inferior to the rest of the picture that it brings the whole movie down to a four-star film for me. The once immensely funny affair turns dead serious which I did not like. I liked how it has a heartwarming ending and how respectfully it treats its subject and characters, but it just lost its steam almost entirely, it felt long and slow and there was too much drama and just not enough humor.

This is one of James Stewart’s most different and unique roles and he did such a good job as usual with him having been such a greatly talented guy. I liked his character and he was great, but I thought it was a missed opportunity that we didn’t see his projection of the rabbit at least in its very end. I liked the doctors and that relationship between one doctor and a nurse was very well established. Myrtle Mae is also pretty good.

But this is almost entirely Josephine Hull’s show. The character is amazing and so complex as she believes and does not believe in the rabbit at the same time. But Hull gave a purely brilliant comedic performance and the film and this character wouldn’t work without her phenomenal performance. She managed to give a terrific performance against all odds (an extremely difficult role) and thus her Oscar win is highly deserved. For once, the Academy managed to honor a comedic performance. Thank God.

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Harvey Movie Review

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Harvey is not all that well directed and shot as it is based on a play and it shows. But the technical aspects weren’t needed for this story and are competent enough. The characters are so vivid, the humor is exceptional and the dialogue is witty that the film successfully transcended its one big flaw.

Harvey is a very strong comedy, but not as great as it could have been. That third act is so serious, overly dramatic and slow that the once hilarious film suddenly stopped and lost all of its steam. Yes, the humor is terrific as the film is very funny in its great use of situational comedy and witty dialogue. The characters are memorable and very likable. James Stewart is reliably great here but this is actually Josephine Hull’s show and she absolutely killed it in a very demanding, complex role and indisputably deserved her Oscar in the process.

My Rating – 4

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Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 animated romance film which is the 15th Disney animated feature film. It is a classic film which is flawed, but immensely charming.

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Now, here you are-a, the best-a spaghetti in-a town

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The story here is, like most dog pictures, animated or not, pretty straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose and is a joy to watch. There is sometimes a lack of goal and the pacing can be slow as it drags at some parts, but the protagonists more than make up for it. They are incredible, both their relationship and their evident chemistry. Their romantic sequences are the highlight of the film.

There is the spaghetti scene which is incredibly romantic and simply charming with a wonderful animation and propelled by an outstanding song. It is inarguably the most famous scene in the whole film and one of the most iconic romantic moments in film history. Everything about that scene from the visuals to the setting to the characters to the music is perfect. The movie just stops there and leaves you overwhelmed with emotion and charm.

But the scene where Tramp shows her the town and the opposing theme of life with humans versus life in the wild is greatly explored here and is such a great look at those very different types of lifestyles. It is a standout scene with charming animation that works both as a plot device and a character study.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady’s interaction with the humans is also very well done. From the moment she arrives, the first night where she does not want to sleep alone up until the changes in her life when the baby arrives, all those things are realistic and done in a great manner. And her intention to save the baby from the rat is very endearing and heartwarming as well as her naming of her owners. The film does dogs really well from the movements to the behavior. It shows why they are so beloved and that is why this film is one of the essential dog pictures for dog owners and why upon more viewings and after having dogs myself, I appreciate it much more than before.

The third act is definitely too bombastic and they did not need to add all that tension when the film’s simplicity was so elegant before. And the rat was ridiculously villainous. But there are some great scenes in there with Jock and Trusty and the finale was beyond sweet.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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The zoo sequence is definitely a detour as it dragged way too much and it has animals that are all dated stereotypes in their representation. The beaver is typical and forgettable and scenes such as this really weigh the movie down in my opinion.

The characters in this movie are mostly well developed, especially the protagonists. Lady is very kind, romantic, caring and of course, as the name suggests, very ladylike and polite which is thanks to her being raised by humans. Tramp is very friendly, cunning and of course mischievous and laid-back, the qualities he earned from living on the streets. Their juxtaposition is typical of romantic comedies but timeless and with the fun twist that they are dogs.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Jock and Trusty are the sidekicks here and their care for Lady and their friendship is very endearing. They can be repetitive and too old-fashioned, but still highly likable. As for the human characters, they serve their purpose, but the dogs are the focus here. But Tony as this Italian guy who befriends Tramp and gives him food is wonderful and I liked him a lot. As for Aunt Sarah, she’s your typical old lady who hates dogs.

Si and Am are the Siamese cats and they are probably the worst part in this movie thanks to their annoying voice and song and very racist overtones. They are clearly meant to be some sort of villains here because the movie has no real villains and that is perfectly fine because it does not need one (and the addition of these two as well as the rat at the end was obviously unnecessary), but those two are awful, especially nowadays because every Asian and of course cat owner could (and should) easily get offended by them.

The animation in Lady and the Tramp is still nowhere near the quality of that of ‘Pinocchio’ or ‘Snow White’, but it is still one of Disney’s best owing to some incredibly beautiful and artistic sequences including a wonderful stylistic opening. It is colorful, but not garish, with great outdoors cinematography as well as excellent character design.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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This is the kind of hand-drawn animation that is honestly timeless in quality, very artistic and highly effervescent in style which accompanies the mood of the film so well. Bella Notte scene and the night sequences are just gorgeous whereas the winter opening seems to be coming from a beautiful postcard. And the CinemaScope widescreen format definitely led to a different looking, authentic film experience.

The score is overly loud and repetitive for my taste, but the songs are solid. What is a Baby/La La Lu is just a plot device and not much of a song although that scene where Lady is intrigued by the newly arrived baby is definitely one of the film’s most wonderful moments.

Peace on Earth is a solid opening for the film and it has such a charming, old-fashioned Christmas spirit to it. The Siamese Cat Song is very annoying. I already criticized this scene a lot so I am not going to repeat myself, but I will just say that the song itself is also highly annoying in tune and with awful voices.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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He’s a Tramp is definitely catchy as well as a great plot device. It is a very amusing scene which is pretty risqué for a children’s film and honestly quite funny too. The tune itself is really well sung by Peggy Lee and quite memorable and hilariously seductive with a good use of barking as backup vocals.

Bella Notte is arguably a classic Disney song, beautifully sung and very romantic. It is the standout scene in the movie which I talked about before, but the song itself is gorgeously sung with such a strong voice and I loved the classic opera feel to it. It is the most traditional of all Disney songs and certainly one of the best from this period. A beautiful ballad.

So the soundtrack is solid but more along the lines of the movies from the same decade, notably ‘Peter Pan’, and nowhere near as close to something like ‘Snow White’ or later Renaissance films. But the songs do not matter here as there is no strong emphasis on them which is evident in their small quantity.

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Lady and the Tramp Movie Review

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Lady and the Tramp is weakly paced, but well directed with excellent voice acting and with pretty strong dialogue and although the humor is sometimes repetitive and too innocent, it was mostly solid nonetheless with some amusing moments. The film is simplistic, elegant and the charm is off the roof in this one. It is the kind of movie most suited for dog owners and children and its somewhat limited appeal led to it being one of the better, but not the best Disney films.

Lady and the Tramp is a very flawed, but still immensely charming and wonderfully romantic Disney classic. The pacing is problematic, some scenes felt like detours and the third act employed unnecessary tension and conflict. But the animation is one of Disney’s best with many absolutely gorgeous, even artistic sequences and the soundtrack is pretty solid with He’s a Tramp being amusing and Bella Notte being such a beautiful ballad which accompanies one of the most iconic romantic scenes in film history. In the end, this is a film most suited for dog owners as it is a definitive classic for them owing to its very realistic portrayal of dogs’ movements and behavior and a pretty detailed look into their lives.

My Rating – 4

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Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 thriller noir film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Farley Granger and Robert Walker. It is one of the director’s better films.

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Poor unfortunate girl.

She was a tramp.

She was a human being. Let me remind you that

even the most unworthy of us have a right to

life and the pursuit of happiness.

From what I’ve heard she pursued it in all directions

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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The story of two strangers who meet on a train and arrange to exchange murders is a very intriguing one and not to mention highly original and unlike any other story in thrillers. But the reason why this story works so well is because it is not as implausible as it might seem at first. The psychopath Bruno kills Guy’s girlfriend, but Guy doesn’t want to complete “the end of his bargain”. That made the movie much more plausible and entertaining as it led to more suspense.

The film is not perfect and it isn’t one of the greatest Hitchcock films. It is one of the better ones, but not one of the best ones and that’s mostly because it doesn’t hold quite as well upon second viewing as some of its flaws crept up on me only now. One of those flaws is the ending. It is very intriguing in its setting and really well executed, but too much of a spectacle. Also, some scenes were obvious and sometimes Bruno wasn’t the smartest guy he claimed to be. And the film is very much a repeat of ‘Rope’ in terms of the villain and the themes and I have to say that ‘Rope’ is the more accomplished of the two.

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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But still Strangers on a Train is a very good, competent film which benefits from many unforgettable scenes. I absolutely loved that hall scene where Bruno stands why Guy passes by in a car. That was visually arresting. The tennis match was well utilized into the suspense and the story, the cigarette case in the sewer was stupendously filmed and I loved the scene at Bruno’s house.

The characters are very well established and especially their motifs. Both Bruno and Guy are excellent and especially Bruno is such a memorable villain. Robert Walker played him so well and it’s a shame that he passed away at such a young age of 32 two months after this film’s release. All of the actors did a good job, but as in ‘Rope’, I again am not a fan of Farley Granger. This role fits him, but his performance once again left a lot to be desired.

Strangers on a Train succeeds the most in its technical aspects. The striking black-and-white photography is stunning here and the film is so suspenseful and visually remarkable in some scenes that it definitely belongs in the noir genre as well as the thriller one. The cinematography is so exceptional that it manages to create a very suspenseful atmosphere. The dialogue is also terrific and I really liked the film’s humor.

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Strangers on a Train Movie Review

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Yes, Hitchcock was very talented at humor too which not a lot of people realize. The humorous scenes here are rare, but they are definitely there and some lines of dialogue and facial expressions honestly made me laugh.

So the film is a very entertaining mix of light and dark, serious and comedic and it is delightfully atmospheric and dangerous from start to finish, not to mention highly authentic in premise and also in execution. It’s flawed, but certainly one of the director’s most purely fun flicks.

Strangers on a Train has its flaws such as the ending which wasn’t my cup of tea, but it surely is one of Hitchcock’s better films which features a highly memorable villain and a very authentic and fun premise wonderfully executed. There are a lot of unforgettable moments here and the film succeeds the most in its striking black-and-white cinematography, an amusing sense of humor and a suspenseful atmosphere.

My Rating – 4.5

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Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

Jailhouse Rock is a 1957 musical film starring Elvis Presley. It is a memorable, but deeply flawed and typical film.

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How dare you think such cheap tactics would work with me!

That ain’t tactics, honey. It’s just the beast in me

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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The problem with Jailhouse Rock is mostly the plot which is so boring, typical and endlessly cliched that I really did not care for it. Everything presented here was been there, done that and not even the music could save that. Most of the scenes such as the ending and the relationship at the center of it felt obvious.

The characters are not great either. The protagonist is your typical 50s angsty guy and the girlfriend is quite bland. I liked his cellmate but he was underutilized and all of the others were quite forgettable. The characterization should have been better as only the protagonist is well developed, but typical in conception.

The acting, on the other hand, is pretty good even if the cast is not an A-list one. Mickey Shaughnessy is pretty solid and likable in his role and Judy Tyler is quite good for an unknown actress and it is such a shame that she got to go at such a young age. The tragedy behind this movie is truly horrible.

As for Elvis himself, he is solid. He is pretty good for a musician and he sold his role for the most part, but it is mostly an easy role that required not a lot of nuance in his performance. He is definitely not great as actors go, but for a singer, he is pretty solid.

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Jailhouse Rock Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the soundtrack which is the saving grace of Jailhouse Rock. One More Day is sweet and memorable, Young and Beautiful is quite solid and Don’t Leave Me Now is the best of these three. Others are forgettable. Of course the titular song is the greatest and it is the scene that transcended the movie itself. It is unforgettable in its imagery, it works great as a precursor to modern music videos, Elvis killed it with his dance movies here and the song itself is a classic – catchy and a lot of fun.

It is a shame then that the movie never caught up with that song as the rest aren’t all that memorable or well filmed and executed. The pacing is solid here, but the movie is still frankly boring and the direction is lackluster.

Jailhouse Rock is memorable for its titular song which is a classic and that entire scene is so great that it is worth a watch, but the movie is otherwise mostly boring and slight with solid acting, but bland characters and a story that is so cliched and obvious in its every plot point.

My Rating – 4

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Cudotvorni mac (1950)

Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

Cudotvorni mac Movie Review

Cudotvorni mac (The Magic Sword) is a 1950 Yugoslav fantasy film directed by Vojislav Nanovic and starring Rade Markovic. It is such a pleasant, wonderful fairy tale.

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You have a pretty head, boy. Take care of it well

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The film is based on a Serbian folk tale The Nine Peahens and the Golden Apples while containing elements from Bas Celik as well. I loved Bas Celik as a child, but I wasn’t acquainted with the aforementioned tale prior to watching this movie. But the movie mixed those two really well into a coherent and entertaining whole.

I loved this movie so much and I honestly think that had it been an American film, it would have been a fantasy classic by now. But this way, it unfortunately remains forgotten. It is basically a Serbian version of a Disney flick and needless to say, I loved every second of it. It is good for both children and adults and it is adventurous and fantastical while also being very funny.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The characters are quite solid and some very memorable such as the villain Bas Celik. And I loved the witch and the plethora of funny characters in the second half were amusing. As for the acting, it is theatrical for sure. Some of the performances were too over-the-top, but mostly they were fine and that theatrical style suited the period of the movie rather well leading to a realistic sounding as well as looking flick.

I said that it is a Disney film and that’s because I saw elements from ‘Snow White’, ‘The Black Cauldron’ and ‘The Sword in the Stone’. All of these were present, but the film is still original as it mixes the elements from those stories into an authentic mix of its own while also containing many new and fresh ideas such as the talking fish and the villain himself.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

I loved the beginning and it instantly hooked me in while the ending was a bit too typical for me. The entire middle part was the best with the witch scene being a lot of fun and of course that dining sequence is hilarious. Yes, Cudotvorni mac is such a funny movie. The humor is quite clever and interesting as it means that the film never takes itself too seriously and it pokes fun of its characters and plot points. Some of the lines were so incredibly funny and the movie made me laugh quite a bit which I honestly did not expect.

So The Magic Sword is adventurous and a lot of fun, but it’s also technically superb. Yes, it is a shame that today’s Serbian movies are devoid of fantastical elements as this was an example of how great these folk tales are and how perfect they are for the visual medium of film. It is astonishing how great the film looks and that it was made in 1950 was just incredible to me. Such an admirable effort.

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Cudotvorni mac Movie Review………………………………………………….

The cinematography is excellent and some of the imagery is truly gorgeous as the film is very pleasing and even poetic in its reliance on natural scenery. I loved its attention to detail and the visual effects are pretty good for its time. The costumes are excellent and the score is very good with a couple of songs and dance scenes being very good. It succeeds as a great period piece and the film is also superbly paced and never dull or rushed. And I loved how its dialogue was representative of its time period and filled with archaic language. It truly felt like medieval Serbia and I admired that commitment on the part of the filmmakers. A true underrated classic from the cinema of Serbia and to me it is even one of the best films of 1950 overall.

Cudotvorni mac (The Magic Sword) is basically a Serbian Disney movie and naturally I loved every second of it! Its natural scenery is gorgeous, the film is well paced and the effects are solid, but it is its story which mixes two Slavic folk tales that is a lot of fun. It is adventurous and fantastical while also being rich in detail and incredibly funny thanks to such a great humor with many hilarious lines. It’s such an underrated fantasy flick that really needs to be seen by more people.

My Rating – 4.5

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Marty (1955)

Marty Movie Review

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Marty Movie Review

Marty is a 1955 romance film directed by Delbert Mann and starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair. It is one of the best films of all time.

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You don’t like her. My mother don’t like her. She’s a dog.

And I’m a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night.

I’m gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together,

I’m gonna get down on my knees. I’m gonna beg that girl to marry me.

If we make a party on New Year’s, I got a date for that party.

You don’t like her? That’s too bad!

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Marty Movie Review

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The film is about a bachelor butcher who gets pressured to get married by his friends and family as he is 34. One day, he meets a girl with similar problems and the two establish a romantic connection. Now where do I even begin with the praise for one of my favorite movies ever? First of all, this is one of the truly rare Hollywood films that deals with “ugly” people and regular folks with regular professions and problems and that makes it truly special. It is even more special for its time as back then these kinds of “small” films just did not exist.

Secondly, the film is just so damn realistic as it perfectly showcases the constant annoying behavior from parents and family when it comes to getting married. America got past this, but most parts of the world still have this problem so the film remains hugely relatable. The third great thing about it in terms of storytelling is its subplot which is beautiful. Usually movies that have these smaller stories suffer, but this one only got richer and deeper as it showcased in such a sweet, tragic way how getting old is terrible for a single/widowed mother.

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Marty Movie Review

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Marty is one of the best protagonists ever in a film. Yes, he is that great. Relatable and realistic, sweet and caring, but not too great a person, he seemed like a real person to me and is the heart and soul of the entire film. Clara is simply a wonderful person and I just loved her awkward, shy personality and her heart was always in the right place.

These two make one of the best romantic pairs ever in a film leading to possibly the best movie romance of all time. Watching them together is a priceless experience. How they met was very much like the movies and their entire date is so romantic and beautiful that it definitely is very cinematic. However, it is also realistic as it showcased in such a sweet manner the beauty of falling in love while also showing the darker side to it in the reactions of family and friends. Him talking constantly and then eventually her starting to talk, him awkwardly paying compliments and her being awkward when it comes to kissing… all of it was beautiful to me. It brought a smile to my face and I was even on the verge of happy tears as that’s how gorgeous this film is.

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Marty Movie Review

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Mary’s mother is such a great character too. Again grounded in reality and quite funny at times. Angie is very annoying, but again a realistic character and I loved how Marty eventually came to realize that his friends were holding him back. A great arc. Catherine is so funny and she made me laugh quite a bit and the scenes between the two old women were very heartwarming.

The acting is fabulous here. Ernest Borgnine gave his career best performance for sure and he absolutely excelled in a role that was seemingly not suited for him. His performance is subtle and the reason why Marty seemed like a real person lies in his incredible performance. Truly one of the greats in movie history. Betsy Blair is also excellent in a very charming role and I just loved her smile. She was so wonderful here. The fact that they cast people that look like their roles instead of the usual great looking actors pretending to play ugly people is admirable. And all of the others did a great job, but these two were the film’s soul.

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Marty Movie Review

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Let’s talk about the humor. Marty is a romance above all and certainly not a romantic comedy as it is too serious in tone for that classification. However, the film is still incredibly funny. Whenever they asked him when he was going to get married, those moments were both funny and frustratingly relatable. I loved the two old women and both were quite humorous and they made me laugh the most. And of course that line about marrying a girl that is half your age cracked me up as it was such a hilarious, stupid line of dialogue and the funniest and most memorable quote here.

So Marty has it all. The film is so well directed by Delbert Mann and even though some find it to be TV quality when it comes to cinematography, I thought it looked fine and some scenes were quite cinematic and it felt like a movie to me. It is a great example of an indie film as it surely was for its time and that is what makes it more realistic, applicable and ultimately better than most 50s films. The pacing is excellent and the film flies by how fun it is. It is incredibly emotional and sometimes I wanted to cry honestly. Its dialogue is top-notch and the character development is, as I said, stupendous.

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Marty Movie Review

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Marty was nominated for eight Oscars and it won four. Betsy Blair should have won for Supporting Actress, but I am so glad that the film won in four major categories. Director and screenplay are much deserved and Ernest Borgnine was thankfully rewarded for one of the best male performances ever. It won Best Picture as the shortest and sweetest film to ever win that award and one of the best. It is one of my top twenty favorite films of all time and a film that I am going to watch for decades to come.

With very relatable and important issues explored, such a great humor with many hilarious lines and one of the best romantic pairs ever in a film, Marty is truly the best romance film of all time. Ernest Borgnine gave one of the best male performances ever and Betsy Blair is also great. They are wonderful together and the film is so sweet, so indescribably beautiful that it almost moved me to tears. The dialogue is top-notch, the characterization is very strong and the film is very realistic and heartwarming leading to one of the best films of all time and one of my personal favorites. A classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review……………………………………………………

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 western film directed by John Sturges and starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. It is a solid western flick.

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All gunfighters are lonely.

They live in fear.

They die without a dime, a woman or a friend

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The film follows a famous shootout in history which lasted only for 30 seconds but here it lasted for five minutes which was definitely needed. And of course the film features big build-up and it follows both of its protagonists and their stories leading up to the shootout. The action itself is very well executed, exciting and memorable. The entire third act and especially the ending are worth this long build-up and they certainly delivered.

However, this is an obvious example of an overlong execution of a pretty short premise. I realize that they definitely needed to exaggerate a bit, but they certainly did not need to have a running time of full two hears as an hour and a half would have sufficed. But this way, the entire first act was pretty slow, uninvolving and thoroughly uneventful.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about its characters. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday are very interesting and memorable as these famous historical figures and they are brought to life really well here thanks to two stellar performances from Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. They not only delivered strong performances but the casting of them was top-notch too as they fit their characters like a glove.

The others are less memorable, but Laura is pretty good as is Kate Fisher. They surprisingly got a lot to do for female characters in a western film which was refreshing. Ringo should have been more memorable, but Billy Clanton is very well utilized and I liked all of his scenes.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is technically superb. Not only does it feature solid direction from John Sturges per usual, but it is visually dazzling owing to excellent Technicolor and some great, memorable imagery here and there. To me the highlights were the scenes outdoors and I wished there were more of those though the interiors were pretty detailed and realistic as well.

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Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The action is solid and the score is particularly strong except for the overly playful score in the last battle. The titular theme repeated throughout is wonderful and the heart and soul of the movie thanks to excellent, fitting lyrics and a memorable tone. This is a pretty solid western film, but the one that is only very competently made and never rising above that level. It needed more emotion in it and the character development is solid, but not the greatest. I also found its dialogue and subplots lacking and the film seemed too much like a book with too many unnecessary details and plot developments in my opinion. But it is still a solid introductory lesson to this famous historical event.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is overly extended and rarely truly great with too many details and a weaker first act, but it is still a pretty solid, competently made western flick featuring very good performances from both Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, a memorable final scene, good visuals and truly excellent score.

My Rating – 3.5

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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain Movie Review

Singin’ in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film directed by and starring Gene Kelly along with Debbie Reynolds. It is one of the best musical as well as comedy films ever made.

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“What’s wrong with the way I talk?

What’s the big idea?

Am I dumb or something?”

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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It offers a satire on the late 1920s film industry and how the arrival of sound changed the Hollywood landscape. I love this story. It was such an important transitional period for the film industry and here it was showcased beautifully. I loved its various homages to the classic musicals of the late 1920s and 1930s and the whole film serves wonderfully as a film history lesson, but done in a comedic manner which was great and such an approach fits this material so well.

The characters are so likable. Both Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden are heartwarming and sympathetic and I loved their romance. Cosmo was to me the only a bit annoying character here, but even he got some fun and charming moments. But of course Lina Lamont takes the cake for being the most memorable character and the overall finest aspect of the film. Jean Hagen is over-the-top and theatrical, but that fits this role like a glove and she turned out to be incredibly funny. Debbie Reynolds is very charming and of course Gene Kelly is great not only in his dancing and singing, but in his performance as well as he is so inherently likable and charismatic. And the fact that he directed the film as well just goes to show how much talent he possessed.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Singin’ in the Rain is a glorious musical filled with unforgettable technical aspects from the costumes which are actually some of the best ever put on film to the imagery which is highly memorable and sometimes even unforgettable. That titular sequence is one for the ages, original and charming. But the entire musical piece near the end when they filmed the film is so well done and actually sometimes incredibly authentic and beautiful. The colors are vivid and the musical sequences are perfectly constructed with of course very professional dancing in it.

Let’s talk about the songs. All I Do Is Dream of You is sweetly romantic and Make ’em Laugh isn’t the best scene, but it serves its purpose and the song itself is quite catchy. Should I? and Beautiful Girl are solid, but Moses Supposes was a bit too goofy and childish in my opinion. Good Morning is so inherently catchy with infectious energy in it and the entire scene is so charming.  Would You is also quite sweet and a great scene. But of course Singin’ in the Rain is a classic song. The entire sequence is beautiful and authentic, featuring probably the best and most romantic use of rain ever, but the lyrics are sweet, Gene Kelly is absolutely superb here and the song is both beautiful and romantic.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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Obviously Singin’ in the Rain is a great musical. However, I do think that the film should be remembered and cherished more for its laughs than the songs. Do not get me wrong, it surely is one of the best musicals ever made, but it is to me just as much one of the best comedies of all time as the film is just so funny throughout its whole running time.

Lina is hilarious and the highlight is the microphone sequence. Perfectly constructed, this scene is consistently entertaining and hysterical from beginning to end. Really, this is comedy gold and a great proof of how some comedies from this period are funny to this day. It is one of the funniest films I’ve seen recently for sure. Another classic was the theater scene when they played their finished product for the test audience and to me it was a perfect parody of the poor sound quality of early sound films, so truthful.

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Singin' in the Rain Movie Review

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The film is great because it doesn’t sacrifice one for the other as it succeeds both in the musical and in the humor department. The tone is consistent and the transitions are swift and professional. The movie is also deftly edited and never prolonged or rushed. It lasts for just the right amount of running time and is always riveting to watch. Such a classic.

Funny and romantic, grand and smart, Singin’ in the Rain has it all and it is not only one of the best musicals ever made with many classic and unforgettable songs accompanied by great imagery and all around superb scenes, but it’s also one of the best comedies as it is consistently funny with a couple of scenes that are comedy gold, so perfectly constructed and absolutely hilarious. It is such a great satire on early sound films and it serves as a great and funny film history lesson. The film is also a visual marvel to behold leading to an undisputed classic for the ages.

My Rating – 5

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