Vertigo, a review by Dragonfire
One of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest cinematic achievements, 'Vertigo', celebrates its 50th anniversary with an all-new 2-disc Special Edition DVD! Set in San Francisco, 'Vertigo' creates a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder after an acrophobic detective (James Stewart) rescues a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) from the bay.
Recognized for excellence in 'AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies', this dreamlike thriller from the Master of Suspense is as entertaining today as it was 50 years ago. Featuring revealing bonus features and a digitally remastered picture, 'Vertigo' is a "great motion picture that demands multiple viewings" ('Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide').
I did enjoy this movie, though not really as much as I have some other Hitchcock movies. The story was interesting and I wasn't bored with what was going on, but the movie did have a slower pace that might bother some people. It is a suspenseful psychological thriller that was dealing with obsession and how that can take over a person's life. I think this was the first time that I had seen the entire movie. Jimmy Stewart was very good in the part of John - or Scottie as some of his friends called him. John was a very different type of part than the others I've seen Stewart play. He wasn't really a bad guy, but he made some bad decisions.
The movie is very good and worth seeing at least once, especially for fans of Hitchcock.
(From My November Alphabet Marathon on November 24th, 2008)
The Man in the White Suit, a review by Jon
The Man in the White Suit
4 out of 5
Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness) is a quiet scientist working at Michael Gough's textile mill, but running unauthorised, costly experiments for which he is fired. He gets a menial job at another mill and through a fortunate turn of events gets access to their science lab, where he successfully achieves his dream: a material that is indestructible and never even gets dirty. Stratton's dream though, turns out to be a nightmare for the industry as it could see them shut down.
The Man in the White suit is one of Ealing's finest films and may just turn out to be their most resilient, as its themes are timeless and you will likely always find something about the story to identify with. Alexander MacKendrick's gives elegant direction to his political screenplay which can be interpreted several ways and still packs a punch that gets you thinking. That said, it isn't as fundamentally entertaining as the other comedies, despite some wonderful set-pieces especially during the experiments, but it must have been a difficult narrative to balance and it all pays off in the sobering final act.
Guinness is brilliant, though slightly unlikeable, as the awkward and unintentionally sneaky scientist. It's important to note he has no motive except an innocent desire to pursue his talent, which of course we should all have the right to do. After some farcical and fun problems with the experiments almost destroying the mill, he succeeds and Cecil Parker immediately plans to produce it, first making Stratton the white suit of the title. As the industry starts to implode, he becomes a target for everyone. No-one seems to know what to do with him, even Joan Greenwood as the mill owners daughter, who takes up his cause and fiercely defends him. The problem is, he is absolutely altruistic, so no-one has a hold on him. All he wants is for his invention to exist.
No-one is a villain in this film, yet there is massive conflict. Why shouldn't Stratton develop his skills? The mill owners argue incessantly about how to do handle it, but they're in business to make money, so why shouldn't they try to exploit what will surely be the perfect fabric and so the natural endpoint of their industry? But the workers can't allow it to exist otherwise their jobs will be at risk. The status quo may be boring, but it's about survival. It's Capitalist versus Socialist and the story demonstrates the delicate balance that we all need to live in. Greenwood's role starts off a little pointless (the relationship with Gough seems forced and unresolved, though maybe I've missed something), but she adds another interesting layer when her father and the other owners try to bribe her to exploit her friendship with Guinness and she becomes a passionate thorn in their side.
Because Stratton represents a problem for all the other characters, he has little chemistry with anyone and so is hard to identify with for the viewer and occasionally the plot comes undone because of the awkward way he interacts with the other characters. Still, it is the nature of the beast because he is a fascinating construction. He has no back-story and no arc to follow; in effect he is the unknown variable introduced only to demonstrate how dangerous change can be. From a purely technical point, MacKendrick's narrative is a fascinating example of how to structure a screenplay (following the 'equilibrium' theory, the Stratton character is literally the embodiment of the second stage disruption).
So it's dry and political and is like catnip for film nerds! But at just 85 minutes, it's also concise and the typical Ealing wit and farce is still present, so it's great fun too.
(From A Feeling for Ealing... on April 18th, 2010)
Smallville Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd
Season 3: Disc 2:5. Perry
Perry White, a once promising journalist whose career was destroyed by Lionel Luthor, arrives in Smallville in search of alien stories for a tabloid news show. In spite of being constantly inebriated, Perry believes he has witnessed Clark using his extraordinary speed, so he devises a dangerous scheme to expose Clark's superpowers.
Perry was a pretty good episode... though not as good as I was expecting it to be. I do think that Michael McKeon did a good job a a young Perry White.
Clark discovers that Jor-El was on Earth forty years ago. Lana's great uncle, who was convicted of murdering his wife forty years ago, shows her a picture of the man he believes really killed her aunt, and she is shocked to discover the drifter looks just like Clark.
This was never one of my favorite episodes. It is ok... but I think it could have been better. It was kind of an interesting idea that Jor-El was on Earth before sending Clark.
Clark is suspicious when Lana suddenly becomes attracted to a fellow student and begins to act rebelliously, which eventually lands her in jail.
Again.... I really wasn't that impressed with this episode. I don't know... just didn't hold my interest very much.
Lex locates Morgan Edge and gets him to admit to dirty dealings with Lionel, but before Lex can take it to the authorities, someone tries to kill him at the mansion.
Well... seems like this whole disc didn't do too much to impress me. I don't know... just didn't care for the whole drive Lex crazy arc. Anyway out of these four episodes I liked Perry the best. At least the next disc has a couple I really did enjoy!
(From Smallville Marathon on August 5th, 2007)