Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Swing Time

Critics claim that this is the best of the Ginger Roger/Fred Astaire films this pair have worked on. Swing Time is the story of a man who must raise a great deal of money to win back his fiancee in time to marry her. Astaire plays Lucky, the groom to be. When he comes across a charming dance instructor (played by Rogers) he begins to become confused about what he really wants. This film also introduces popular songs such as "The Way You Look Tonight" and "A Fine Romance." The dance numbers are flawless as usual. Any fan of this pair should not miss Swing Time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

White Christmas

I can still remember watching this movie every time we went to stay at my grandparents'...even in the middle of summer. This is a classic Christmas story about a couple of showmen and a pair of sisters who work together to put on the best holiday show Vermont has ever seen. There is music, romance, dancing, and all the essential elements of a beloved holiday musical. Bing Crosby really does have a command of this genre between White Christmas and Holiday Inn.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

This is possibly my favorite Humphrey Bogart film. It is the story of three men who are flat broke. They team up to set out on an adventure to search for gold in the mountains in Mexico. But the elements and bandits prove to be extreme challenges the three must learn to overcome, not to mention Bogart's slow mental deterioration as his greed overtakes him. The modern moviegoer may find the plot moves a little slow, but the conclusion is completely worth the wait.


I tend to prefer older classic thrillers over modern day cheap and gory horror flicks. A "scary movie" has to have certain elements for me to avoid being disgusted or overly disturbed. Vertigo is considered one of Alfred Hitchcock's best pictures. It is completely chilling and the score sets the eerie mood for the entire film. One does not typically place Jimmy Stewart in the role of horror film protagonist, but he is perfect in the part of Scottie Ferguson. Vertigo has all the essential elements: violence, intrigue, mystery, obsession...making for a masterfully accomplished thriller.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Spirited Away

Though I have only seen a handful of anime films, this is by far and away the most impressive and imaginative of them all. Director Hayao Miyazaki is completely brilliant, and many of his films are critically acclaimed. Spirited Away follows the story of a ten-year-old girl who finds herself in an alternate world ruled by witches and spirits. It sounds childish, but it is heartwarming and surprisingly moving. Miyazaki's film combines innocence, wonder and fantasy, making for a very pleasant and emotional adventure.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

Another delightful Cary Grant comedy. This is the only post-adolescent Shirley Temple film I have ever seen, but she is just as good at playing a teen as she was as a little girl. Grant finds himself in a mixed up situation where Temple (a girl young enough to be his daughter) is completely infatuated with him. Temple's uncle and sister whip up a scheme to help her get over her teenage crush, but their plan soon goes awry. It is a very humorous and light film.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Rear Window

A Streetcar Named Desire

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