sullivan’s travels

June 19, 2008

“there’s always a girl in the picture. what’s the matter, don’t you go to the movies?”

i’ve been without internet for almost a week now, so i’m writing this up on text edit and will be going to the library tomorrow to publish it. so i haven’t been able to look over ebert’s review (which i usually just shamefully rip off), or any other for that matter. so i’m gonna write this strictly from memory…

i was completely blown away by where this film takes you. i had absolutely no idea where this film was going. it was completely disarming, and i loved that fact. you start off thinking you’ll get standard screwball comedy fair, but end up with this real genre bending film. it’s part screwball, part satire, part thriller, and most of it works well.

the parts that didn’t work for me were actually the screwball/slapstick stuff. particularly the scene on the bus when everyone’s falling over and things are falling on them and it’s supposed to be just a hoot. i was never much for the physical comedy. also the film has some glaring scenes of racism in just the way the black actors have to talk in act in certain scenes, and that’s just a big put off.

veronica lake is fantastic as the love interest, and joel mccrea gets it done. the film tries to have some moralizing throughout about what good a comedy does to the greater social picture and most of that falls flat. “it’s okay to laugh” isn’t a new idea or a rather insightful revelation.

for a comedy i really only chuckled throughout, never really breaking out into laughter, but the film is fun. it’s just fun to be with these characters. it’s fun to hear the witty banter. it’s fun to watch were this film takes you, and it’s fun to watch veronica lake. so if you’re just looking for some fun i’d see this one.

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on the waterfront

June 8, 2008

we watched this last sunday night as part of a summer film series that a myself and group of friends started (where, i might add, i have been given control over most of the film content (well me and one other person at least (can i use so many parenthesis in one sentence?))). the consensus was that marlon brando is a amazing from start to finish, the film was beautiful to look at, and brando’s coat would look great on me (i volunteered the last one but people seemed to agree).

i didn’t know the context of the film, in terms of what the director was going through at the time, when we watched the film but have read up on it a little bit. i think it makes the premise a lot more interesting and makes the message feel a little more relevant than just obligatory to the story.

i also think that brando was a lot more restrained than i thought he would be. having only really seen him in apocalypse now and the godfather movies (edit: and the score, didn’t even know he was in that. did you? kind of sad that it’s his last film) i had seen that he can get pretty hammy. and from the parody’s of the “i coulda been a contender” line, i was expecting him to get pretty hammy. but he is restrained, and that line has such weight to it that it’s truly a heartbreaking scene.

i don’t get the complaints that the film is too self-serving or the ending is too upbeat. aren’t all films self serving to some extent? and if the ending is too upbeat i’m not sure i want to see a normal, or god forbid, down-beat film. he almost gets pummeled to death!

closing thoughts: brando=great. cinematography=gorgeous. movie=great

edit: oh and how could i forget lee j. cobb? he=awesome.