How Green Was My Valley, a review by KinkyCyborg
How Green Was My Valley
Title:How Green Was My Valley
Director: John Ford
Length: 118 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, English: Dolby Digital: Mono, French: Dolby Digital: Mono, Spanish: Dolby Digital: Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Roddy McDowall [Master Roddy McDowall]
Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Donald Crisp), this "Hollywood milestone" (Halliwell's Film Guide) from producer Darryl F. Zanuck and director John Ford is "one of the finest" pictures ever made (Variety).
Seen through the eyes of a boy (Roddy McDowall), How Green Was My Valley is the inspiring yet heartbreaking story of young parents (Donald Crisp and Sara Allgood) struggling to keep their family together as they endure severe hardship in a small Welsh mining town. Co-starring Maureen O'Hara and Walter Pidgeon, this acclaimed classic captures the sentiments and issues of its time while reminding us of the dreams, struggles and triumphs every family that can touch every family.
Another golden oldie. This time it's the Best Picture winner for 1941, beating out the revered Citizen Kane. I haven't watched Citizen Kane so I can't make a comparison but most who have seen both feel that CK was robbed for the Oscar. That said, I thought How Green Was My Valley a terrific watch!
Some comparisons can be made between this film and Ford's other classic story of family hardship, The Grapes Of Wrath. This time a small Welsh coal mining town sets the stage for a look at the dismal trials and tribulations of a simple but proud family. We see a slow, downward spiral of this family and, in many ways, the entire community as it is beset by changing times, greed, old prejudices and gossip.
The story is told by the youngest brother, played by a 12 year old Roddy McDowell, now grown up, reflecting on his early years. He watches his family, happy and proud at first, gradually splinter as their gloomy prospects take their toll. Some of the young men leave to go to America, some continue to work the mines while their wages are continually cut, tragedy strikes others.
The only sister, played by a very young and beautiful Maureen O'Hara, falls for the town minister (Walter Pidgeon). Their impossible love eventually drives them apart as she would then unwillingly marry into money by way of the mine owner's son. Even in this early role for O'Hara already we can see the fiery disposition she would carry on through so many more films in her career.
They would give O'Hara and Pidgeon top billing for this but the true stars are Donald Crisp (he won Best Supporting Actor) and Anna Lee who greatly reminds me of Jane Darwell in The Grapes Of Wrath. These two play the traditionalist parents who can no longer keep their idealistic flock of children in check. I thought Crisp gave the most dignified performance I have ever seen.
Great movie, though not quite as good as The Grapes Of Wrath.
Rating: and a half
(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2011 on May 29th, 2011)
United 93, a review by KinkyCyborg
Director: Paul Greengrass
Length: 111 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Audio Descriptive: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
United 93 - CrewJ. J. Johnson [JJ Johnson]
It's an event that shook the world. Honest, unflinching and profoundly moving, United 93 tells the unforgettable story of the heroic passengers and crew members who prevented the terrorists from carrying out their plans for the fourth hijacked plane on September 11, 2001. As on-ground military and civilian teams scrambled to make sense of the unfolding events, forty people who sat down as strangers found the courage to stand up as one.
Managed to get in another movie before I head off to bed and it was gripping.
The events of 9/11 will never be forgotten and everyone remembers where and what they were doing when they first heard of the planes hitting the World Trade Center. Myself, I was at work when my supervisor told me a plane had hit the Empire State Building... early details were mostly inaccurate and given the amount of chaos that was depicted in this film between the various air traffic controllers, the FAA, NORAD, news agencies and the military I'm not surprised. Nobody was prepared for this... who could conceive it possible? All I know is that day I felt a profound sense of shock, despair and fear, and at the same time a tremendous amount of gratitude that I was living in Canada. I still remember the headline on the Toronto Sun Extra that evening... it read 'BASTARDS!' I couldn't have agreed more.
What actually took place on United 93 before it went down has been left to pure speculation by not only director Paul Greengrass but also to the entire world. Conspiracy theorists have proclaimed that it was shot down by the air force, but given the amount of accounts of phone calls from loved ones who were on the plane in the moments before it crashed in Pennsylvania, I'd like to believe that the passengers and crew did decide to fight back and not let the terrorists complete their mission.
The final 30 seconds of the movie during the clash for control in the cockpit and the plane's death spiral to the ground... right up to it's impact were among the best and worst moments in my years of watching movies. I was holding my breath, heart racing, gripping the arms of my chair and gritting my teeth. When it ended and the screen faded to black a huge wave of emotion swept over me, not unlike the day I came home from work on September 11th, 2001, hugged my wife and 6 year old son... and wept.
I'm not a religious person... but God bless all those poor souls who lost their lives that day.
(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010 on August 15th, 2010)
Angel Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd
Angel: Season 2
14. The Thin Dead Line
Original Air Date: 2/13/2001
Angel investigates rumors of renegade cops out for blood, while Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn carry out their own fact-finding mission that results Wesley being seriously wounded by a police gunshot.
Cory C. Hardrict
This is an episode I really liked a lot. It has a really interesting main story... and it advances the season long arc well. This has to be one of my favorite of for the second season.
(From Angel Marathon on March 8th, 2010)