Author Topic: Off Day Alphabet Marathon  (Read 6784 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« on: July 31, 2014, 09:50:25 PM »
So, in response to Pete's marathon I think I'm going to do my own alphabet marathon.  Mostly on my off days (hence the name) so I'm not going to set a time frame to be finished by.

#  9 Songs  (1.5/5)
A  The Aristocats (3.5/5)
B  The Black Pirate (3.5/5)
C  Chico & Rita (4/5)
D  Don't Look Now (4/5)
E  Evil Under the Sun (3.5/5)
F  Foxfire (1987) (4.5/5)
G  The Gold Rush (4.5/5)
H  Harold and Maude (4.5/5)
I   Identity (4/5)
J   La jetée (4.5/5)
K  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (3.75/5)
L  The Last Wave (4/5)
M  Millennium (3/5)
N
O  Ordeal in the Arctic (3.5/5)
P  Picnic at Hanging Rock (4/5)
Q  The Quiet Man (4/5)
R  The Rabbi's Cat (3.5/5)
S  A Study in Terror (3/5)
T
U  Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (3.75/5)
V
W  A Woman is a Woman (3.5/5)
X
Y
Z
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 01:15:43 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 09:53:00 PM »


9 Songs
Year of Release: 2008
Directed By: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley
Genre: Romance

Overview:
9 SONGS is a powerful insight into the lives of two young people who share a summer of love amidst today's vibrant London rock 'n' roll scene.

My Thoughts:
Your enjoyment of this film will be predicated on one of two things:  First, do you like modern indie rock?  If so, other reviews say this has a great soundtrack.  This style of music isn't to my taste, and the only way I recognize the names is from my co-workers (except Michael Nyman), but the music and concert scenes are best thing in the film. 

Second, do you want to watch two ordinary people have really explicit sex?  As in, a lot of sex.  If so, watch this film.  Because that's the other half that isn't concerts.  Sure, there are a few short scenes strewn through where the two main characters aren't having sex or seeing a show, but they're short and infrequent.

Otherwise, this is a really dull film.  The characters have no charisma and there is no development to them.  I didn't care about them, or about their relationship (what we saw of it - they ate, they went to the beach, they did some drugs, and, oh yeah, they had a lot of sex).  There seemed to be no real point to the film, no plot other than hey,  these two people hooked up for a time and now they're not together and dude is looking back on it and being cold and lonely.

Honestly, one of the most boring films I've ever seen.  Right up there with 12:08 East of Bucharest.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 1.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 04:48:05 AM »


The Aristocats
Year of Release: 1970
Directed By: Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers
Genre: Adventure, Romance, Animation

Overview:
Disney's irresistible classic The Aristocats is all jazzed up in a spectacular Special Edition, complete with a new digital transfer.

In the heart of Paris, a kind and eccentric millionairess wills her entire estate to Duchess, her high-society cat, and her three little kittens. Laughs and adventure ensue as the greedy, bumbling butler pulls off the ultimate catnap caper. Now it's up to the rough-and-tumble alley cat, Thomas O'Malley, and his band of swingin' jazz cats to save the day.

My Thoughts:
I was in the mood for something light and fun, and this always fits that bill.  This is one of my personal favorite Disney films, even though I'm well aware that it's considered a 'lesser' film in their catalog.  Yet, I'm never sure why.  I like all the characters, even spoiled little Marie who is always the one in danger.  The villain is truly bumbling but has believable motivation.  The two dogs are hilarious.  Sure, the tale is a pretty simple one, but the romance is genuine, the voice acting is good, and the art and animation, if not top-notch Disney, is still pretty good. Of the 60's and 70's era Disney animated features, this one is my favorite (with Dalmatians a close second). 

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 02:59:32 AM »
I really like this one too.  Maybe part of it is Marie has my name.  lol  And I've always liked cats. 
I think part of it is also because I remember Grandma taking me to see it.  I think it was one of the last one she took me to before we moved away.  I still remember having trouble seeing, so I sat on teh seat flipped up... this boy behind me yelled at me - he was older than I was and Grandma told him off.  Said I was just a little kid and he should be ashamed for yelling at me..told him to move if he couldn't see because we were there first.

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2014, 04:52:15 AM »


The Black Pirate
Year of Release: 1926
Directed By: Albert Parker
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks, Bille Dove, Donald Crisp, Sam De Grasse
Genre: Adventure, Action

Overview:
Riding the crest of popularity after his hit films The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Three Musketeers, the silent cinema's greatest adventure hero crowned his accomplishments with the spectacular Technicolor epic THE BLACK PIRATE.

The sole survivor of a ship pillaged by buccaneers, Michel (Fairbanks) poses as the mysterious Black Pirate and infiltrates a nest of bandits. He mounts an elaborate ploy to earn their trust, reclaim the ship and rescue a kidnapped princess (Billie Dove). Like a Robert Louis Stevenson adventure come to life, THE BLACK PIRATE ripples with customary intrigue and a rapid succession of brilliantly inventive stunts.

Mastered from a 35mm negative, this special Kino edition carefully recreates the authentic palette of two-strip Technicolor (comprised of varying blends of green and orange), so that modern viewers can savor the photography The New York Times praised as, "mindful of the paintings of the old masters."

My Thoughts:
This is a fun swashbuckling adventure. It has great action and stunts (mostly courtesy of Fairbanks), a dashing hero, a treacherous villain, and a fair maiden in distress. It's everything you want in a pirate movie - sword fights, treasure, robbery, murder, kidnapping, romance, a scene with our hero forced to walk the plank.  

Don't try to judge this against modern films.  You simply aren't going to have the kind of film you see now.  In its day, this was a lavish production with expensive, and experimental, two-color Technicolor film.  One of the earliest full-length color films!  It's a dynamic, entertaining yarn I'd recommend to anyone who likes a good pirate film or a good silent film.  Lots and lots of fun.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2014, 04:56:30 PM »
I enjoyed this one as well. :)
Pete

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 06:40:15 AM »


Don't Look Now
Year of Release: 1973
Directed By: Nicholas Roeg
Starring: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Overview:
Working with elements of the traditional horror genre – second sight, ESP, warnings from the dead, a mad killer – and cinematography of disquieting beauty with a dreamlike sense of dislocation, director Nicolas Roeg weaves a fabric of anxiety that questions all reality. The evocative use of the back streets of Venice is a sinister participant in the action based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. This intensely erotic and macabre film boasts outstanding performances by Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.

My Thoughts:
This is a film of atmosphere. There is a palpable tension throughout, a certainty that something lurks just beyond the visible. It's a film that starts of slow, and builds up to the final climax. It's also a film that will keep you wondering what exactly is happening, especially when everything is seems foreboding, every character potentially sinister, every dark corner hiding something.

Christie and Sutherland are fine in their roles, but this is very much Nicholas Roeg's film. He is a director with a distinctive style, and it's very much in evidence here in the lightning, the cinematography, the editing choices and intercuts. This is the third film of Roeg's I've watched and he's easily moved into a list of my favorite directors.

Recommended if you like slow-building creeping thrillers. Highly recommended if you have liked any of Roeg's previous films.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 11:23:07 PM »


Chico & Rita
Year of Release: 2010
Directed By: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando
Starring: Mario Guerra, Limara Meneses, Emar Oña Xor
Genre: Romance, Animation

Overview:
From Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba and legendary artist Javier Mariscal comes an epic love, capturing the music and culture of 1948 Cuba. Chico is a piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and desire unite them and bring them from Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas. With an original soundtrack by legendary Cuban pianist and five-time Grammy® winner Bebo Valdés, CHICO & RITA captures a defining moment in the evolution of history and jazz, and features the music of (and animated cameos by) Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, Chano Pozo, and others.

My Thoughts:
This is a wonderful, touching, and often frustrating love story. Our two leads meet, fall in love, fall apart, and drift in and out of each other's lives as they are never able to forget the other or stop loving them.

It has good animation, in a different kind of style and design than one is used to seeing (at least here in the states), and though one can tell it used a computer, it doesn't look it, appearing closer to traditional cel animation (they also used live actors, but it doesn't appear rotoscoped either). The standout feature, however, is the stupendous jazz soundtrack. If you like jazz, especially Cuban jazz, that is reason enough to see this great film.

Don't be fooled that the blu-ray release is on the GKIDS label, or by the choice of the animated medium. This is not a children's film, but rather an adult love story. Highly recommended.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 10:24:11 AM »


Evil Under the Sun
Year of Release: 1982
Directed By: Guy Hamilton
Starring: Peter Ustinov, Colin Blakely, Jane Birkin, Nicholas Clay, Maggie Smith
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Overview:
When a shrewish stage star is found strangled at a posh island resort, detective Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) is called in to investigate. But as the brilliant Belgian learns, it isn't a matter of who would want the diva dead, but who wouldn't? As he follows the twists and turns of clues and motives, Poirot soon dicovers that even among the rich and famous, murder never takes a holiday.

Maggie Smith, Roddy McDowall, Diana Rigg, James Mason, Jane Birkin, Colin Blakely, and Sylvia Miles co-star is this Christie favorite filmed on location in stunning Majorca, Spain, directed by Guy Hamilton (The Mirror Crack'd, Goldfinger), adapted by Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth) and filled with classic songs by Cole Porter.

My Thoughts:
This was a fun little murder mystery.  They spent a good amount of time setting things up, letting us get to know all the characters and their motives for the murder.  I thought it set all of them up quite well as suspects.  I had no sympathy for the murdered woman, her character was so obnoxious as to have me hoping for her to get murdered already.  Everyone else was much more pleasant company.  I really enjoyed Peter Ustinov's portrayal of Poirot.  It's a pretty film, showing off it's beautiful Spanish location quite well.  Recommended.  

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 02:25:10 PM »


Foxfire
Year of Release: 1987
Directed By: Jud Taylor
Starring: Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, John Denver
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Annie Nations has spent her whole life in the Blue Ridge mountains, most of it with her husband, Hector. He's gone five years now, buried back in the orchard, but he's never far away... slipping into her thoughts, watching her do the chores...still thinking he knows best even now when her country singer son (John Denver) is pressuring her to sell the farm. But in the autumn of her life, Annie Nations will decide for herself whether to hold on to what she's always known or follow her heart to the other side of the mountain. Jessica Tandy radiates dignity in her Emmy Award winning performance as the proud mountain woman caught between the traditions of the past and the pressures of modern life. And Hume Cronyn is superb as her cherished mate who haunts her memories as clearly as the sweet mountain melodies that flow through the season of their lives.

My Thoughts:
This is a beautiful, bittersweet film.  It's a film about life, about family, marriage, tradition, and the different kinds of love that pull on a person.  It's a film the splendor of Appalachia, the strength of the people that made it their home, and the heartbreaking sadness of the passing of a way of life.  It's a film about the importance of family, both the family you have lost, and the family remaining. 

Jessica Tandy won an Emmy for her portrayal here, and Hume Cronyn is excellent as her husband.  Their work really carries the film, so believable and realistic are their characters.  Tandy is the emotional heart of the film, and she wears it with grace and dignity.  Denver and the supporting cast are no slouches, but they don't hold a candle to Tandy and Cronyn. 

It's a wonderful film, highly recommended.

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 05:47:06 AM »


The Gold Rush
Year of Release: 1925
Directed By: Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Georgia Hale
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Charlie Chaplin's comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector's search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as the dance of the dinner rolls and the meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of heartwarming hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin's definitive 1942 version, for which the director added new music and narration, and a new restoration of the original 1925 silent film.

My Thoughts:
What a wonderful, enjoyable, well-made film.  Chaplin is a master of graceful physical comedy, seemingly effortless with his mastery of comedic timing and excellent classic scenes.  One cannot help but laugh at the Thanksgiving Dinner scene, or the dance of the dinner roles, but equally one cannot help but have a great sympathy for Chaplin's Prospector after his guests do not show for the dinner he worked so hard for.  Chaplin creates a character of fun comedy, yes, but also of heart.  The supporting cast is quite good too, especially Mack Swain's fellow prospector who gets some comic moments in as well.  Highly recommended, even if you aren't a big fan of silent films.  One of the most genuinely funny films I've seen.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2014, 05:17:33 AM »


Harold and Maude
Year of Release: 1971
Directed By: Hal Ashby
Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles
Genre: Comedy, Romance

Overview:
With the idiosyncratic American fable Harold and Maude, counterculture director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become one of cinema's most beloved comedies. Working from a script by Colin Higgins, Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man from a wealthy family (Bud Cort) and a devil-may-care bohemian sixty years his senior (Ruth Gordon). Equal parts gallows humor and beguiling sincerity, Harold and Maude dissolves the line between darkness and light—along with those that separate people by class, gender, and age—and features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens.

My Thoughts:
This is the story of a lonely young man from an oppressive home, who falls in love with a fun-loving eccentric who lives life to the fullest.  It's of lesser importance that they are a May/December couple, though it's always there.  Love knows no age difference.  As much as it is about their friendship and romance, the film is really about embracing life.  Grasp happiness when it is offered, laugh, love, live, be yourself and enjoy your life - it's all too short to live under the thumb of others, whether it be your mother or society.  Harold, who plays at death, really is simply existing in a dead life until he meets Maude, who brings life into his world. Wonderful film, even if it doesn't end exactly the way you might want it to.  Highly recommended.  

Bechdel Test: Pass

Overall: 4.5/5
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 09:55:31 PM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline DSig

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2014, 05:33:14 AM »
One of the truly great films of the 70's.  I can still remember going to see this the day it came out as I loved Ruth Gordon and only knew Bud Cort from M*A*S*H*.  But this film combined with the music of Cat Stevens .. it was like the music was written for this film or the film was written around the music.  If you want to be you .. be you and if you want to be me be me ..
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2014, 08:34:33 PM »
Agreed! A great film. Ruth Gordon is superb. Now that I've been reminded of it, it goes into my must-rewatch list.

Offline Antares

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Re: Off Day Alphabet Marathon
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2014, 04:52:17 AM »
It's in my Top Ten of all time. Here's my review from many years ago.