Saturday, August 31, 2013

Secret of the Wings (2012)

Today is my daughter Azalea's third birthday, and her favorite film is Secret of the Wings.  It's the latest film to feature Tinker Bell.  It's actually become part of her bedtime routine.  She only requires a few hours a sleep a day so this movie helps her calm down.

Remember in the first Tinker Bell movie, Clank and Bobble lead Tinker Bell through the Winter Woods as part of their tour?  Yeah, no, just completely disregard that scene because "warm fairies" are not allowed there and "winter fairies" are not allowed in the warmer seasons due to potential damage to their wings.  This sort of makes sense if you consider that winter fairies have to live in a much colder climate and have apparently evolved to survive easily while wearing little clothing.

Tinker Bell becomes curious about the Winter Woods after watching the snowy owls fly there for a delivery.  She inquires about the place, but everyone is afraid to go.  She finds the first opportunity to sneak over there and takes it.  When she gets there, her wings start to glow! She says it was brighter than a thousand fireflies!  None of her friends believe her, so she sets out to the library to learn more.  Fortunately there is a book called Wingology, which is the study of wings.  She is excited to see a chapter labeled "Sparkling Wings", however, it was mostly eaten by a bookworm.  The library has pest control issues.  The local library nerd fairy, complete with tiny glasses, tells her of The Keeper, a winter fairy who writes all the books pertaining to fairy knowledge.  Tinker Bell decides to set out to the Winter Woods to speak with him.  Cue a montage of her using her tinker skills to make a winter coat and accessories and sneak onto a snowflake basket headed for delivery.

Tinker Bell receives the surprise of a lifetime when she realizes her wings sparkle whenever she's near her twin sister!  It turns out they were born of the same baby's laugh.  Tinker Bell grew up in the warm seasons while her sister lives in the winter season.  Her name is Periwinkle and she is a frost fairy, meaning she frosts things.  This will be important later on.

Tinker Bell and her friends build an elaborate snowmaker machine to bring Periwinkle over to the warm seasons to fulfill her dream of seeing butterflies.  Ultimately, she gets overheated and her wings almost melt.  They return her to the winter side just in time.  The Winter Lord, Milory forbids them from seeing each other to protect them.  He pushes the snowmaker into the river to be destroyed, but it gets caught on a branch and starts creating snow.  This causes an imbalance of the seasons and everything starts freezing.  It confuses me a bit because when I was in college in Alabama, it snowed in fall and early spring quite often.


Periwinkle and her other frost fairy friends race over to the Pixie Dust tree and frost it before the hard freeze sets in.  So, it's saved and she is allowed to see her sister whenever she wants. Also, broken wings can be cured by twin sister sparkle wing magic.  This movie has a lot going for it, and has a better plot than most children's films I'm forced to see.  I will give it a 7/10.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Citizen Kane (1941)

Today's film is Citizen Kane.  It is widely regarded as one of the best films ever.  So I was skeptical of a film that requires such high expectations.  However, this film is indeed fantastic.
I already had the ending spoiled by Family Guy, so I decided to watch it first just to enjoy the film, and second to look for clues that would reveal the ending.
Even though the film shows Charles Kane as a great man, in reality he's a sad person.  That's why the sled is so important.  It represents his childhood being taken away from him.  He even attacks Mr. Thatcher with the sled.  His mom didn't help things either.  Look how cold she is.  It's obvious that she wanted to get rid of him at the first opportunity.  When Mr. Thatcher comes to pick him up, she tells him that she's had his things packed for a week.  His dad wants to raise him, but doesn't try very hard.

Kane doesn't want money, he wants his childhood back.  He says if he didn't have money, he could have been a great man.  He wrote that he was not interested in oil or gold mines, but that it might be fun to run a newspaper.

If he wanted his childhood back so badly, why didn't he build his home in Colorado?  He built his Xanadu palace in Florida.  That's the worst place for sledding. There's no steep hills or snow here.  He should have built his palace in Colorado, and go sledding all the time.  He had the money to do so, except he just kept buying and buying stuff he didn't need.  People gain hoarding tendencies when they are trying to fill a void.  He was taken away from his parents to be raised by a bank and later had two unfulfilling marriages.  So he filled the void in his lonely heart with lots and lots of stuff.


Everyone praised Kane for being such a great person, a business man who turned a failing newspaper into a great empire.  But, hardly anyone knew him as a person and I don't think he allowed anyone to get too close to him.  Even with his wives there was always a wall there, or he buried himself in his work.

The best part was the making of this movie.  Orson Welles co-wrote, directed and starred in this film, and it was his first major film.  And he was only 25 years old!  To show the passing of time, everyone wore makeup to look much younger in some scenes and older in others.  The old people makeup left much to be desired, but it's still good for 1941.  And the lighting is perfect.  I love how it produces all the different shades of grey and always provides much visual interest.  The story is okay, but it's the cinematography that's beautiful.  It almost seems effortless.  I will give this film a 10/10.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Slacker (1991)

Today's film is Slacker.  I think the point of this film is that is has no point.  Do films need a point?  I would say yes.  I will rate this film a 2/10.


The camera goes around town, filming people's conversations.  Each person says their piece, the camera will get distracted, and like a child, start following someone else's conversation.  These speeches range from conspiracies to philosophy to insanity.

I went to college in a tiny Southern college town much like Austin, where there is only the college and little else.  Nobody talks like this.  Yes, we did try to discuss philosophy and tried to see the world beyond ourselves and our future career choices, but not on this level.  We must have been focusing on our major and actually trying to accomplish something, which seems to be the exact opposite purpose of any character in this film.  Everyone seems to be having some existential crisis and are trying their hardest to express themselves.  I have heard more pseudo-zen bullshit in this movie than in both Matrix sequels.  I believe that they have much more time to ponder the wonders of the universe and the inner workings of political scandals since they don't have classes or a job.  Maybe they are hiding behind their big speeches because they are afraid of being failures.

Also, in an effort to promote realism, the filmmakers hired actors that didn't fit a standard Hollywood type.  I mean that most of these people are ugly as sin.  On top of that, they are forced to learn an incomprehensible script.  If the filmmakers were going for a realistic angle, I wish they would have put more effort into it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Conversation (1974)

Today's movie is The Conversation, a classic that led me to a stunning revelation.  It stars Gene Hackman as Harry Caul, a surveillance technician that's very well known in his field.  He builds most of his own equipment and runs his own business spying on people for a profit.  I will rate this film an 8/10.

Caul is a religious and modest man that keeps to himself.  For his birthday, he prefers playing his saxophone to jazz albums rather than going to the club.  Even though he is great at his job, he never likes to talk about it.  One of his surveillance jobs inadvertently led to the murder of three people.  His most recent job entails audio recording the conversation of a couple in the park, financed by a man called "the director".  After recording them, his team returns to their workshop.  As he tweaks the audio, he starts to believe that this couple may be in danger.  Is he hearing it right or is he just misinterpreting the whole thing?  Who is really in danger?


I absolutely love the old fashioned technology, which was cutting-edge in its day.  I have always enjoyed working with analog equipment.  It is amazing how much effort it took for his team to record one conversation from one couple.  Today, the NSA can record 12000 facebook conversations in one day.  Suck on that 1970s!

The ending was so shocking and I in no way expected it to happen. Also, I was thinking about this film all day and I was reminded of my Will Smith movie collection. Fun fact: I watch any film that he is in no matter what because I've had a crush on him since second grade.  So, one of his films is Enemy of the State, where he plays an innocent man (Dean) chased by the NSA.  His character is helped greatly by a former surveillance technician who worked for the NSA called "Brill".  If you look at Brill's id photo from his younger days, it was actually taken from The Conversation. Brill has the same personality and temperament as Harry Caul, has an elaborate workshop just like him, and knows everything about wiretapping and surveillance, obviously from his years of experience.  At the end of The Conversation, Caul tears apart his apartment in search of hidden bugs, just as Brill expertly removes all of Dean's bugs. He even wears the exact same raincoat. I believe that Harry Caul is Brill, living under a pseudonym and willing to help Dean with his knowledge.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our Hospitality (1923)

Today's film is Our Hospitality, which is yet another Buston Keaton film.  Really, another?  Why do we need another?  We already have The General and Steamboat Bill Jr, and they were enjoyable.  We don't need another film from the same director, especially when they are of the same genre.  If a director has films under multiple genres, say, horror, drama and comedy, then it is important to view and compare the works.  But, I have no desire to watch yet another physical comedy that offers nothing unique to the audience.  Also, the list doesn't need 15 vampire films.  It just doesn't.
 
So, this film is about the Hatfields and the McCoys, two families in the 1830's that hated each other.  Their feud got so bad that people remember it to this day.  Except this film changes it to the Canfields and Mckays, for reasons I don't know.  The baby Willie Mckay is sent to live in New York away from the feud.  Twenty years later, he returns to claim his inheritance.  He meets a girl on the train heading there.  Of course it turns out she's part of the rival family.

The girl invites him to her house for supper and her brothers and father are planning to kill him.  However, their code of honor states that they cannot kill him while he is a guest in their house.  So, he gets comfy and stays for days!  Later, he tries to escape which results in all manner of physical comedy.  Eventually, he marries the girl in the upstairs bedroom, which is totally normal.

That's it.  If you like physical comedy and dialogue heavy silent films where you have to read a lot, you'll like this.  I will give this a 5/10.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Today's film is Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.  It's a simple film, and yet it is sweet.  This film is so simple that nobody even has a name.  There's the man, his wife, and the woman from the city.  You know that woman is going to be trouble.

So, the man, being bored in the country with his boring farmwife, meets the exciting woman from the city while she is on vacation.  Then, he cheats on his wife with her.  They want to run away to the city together.  The woman tells him to drown his wife.

So, the husband tells his wife that they are going on the lake.  The wife is so excited to be noticed and to go out.  It seems like he hasn't paid attention to her in a while.  He goes to try and grab her to push her overboard, but can't do it.  They reach the shore, and the wife, having realized what's going on, runs away in terror.  The husband follows her and tries to apologize.  He even goes and gets her a plate of sandwiches.  She cries and her husband is like, "Don't be like that; look, I bought sandwiches!"

They witness a wedding nearby and the husband realizes how awful he's been to her.  Not just the whole trying to drown her thing, but the ignoring and cheating on her.  He begs her to forgive him, and she does.  Then, they spend an enjoyable night on the town while involves getting pigs drunk.

When they return to the boat to go home, the weather is getting stormy.  They fall out of the boat and the husband believes she is gone.  But she's not.  Once she is found, everyone is happy.  The woman from the city silently goes back home and nothing happens to her.  And the husband and wife and their baby (who appears from time to time) live happily ever after.


The story itself is simplistic, but I liked how the man and his wife interacted with each other.  Like when they went in to get a portrait done and broke a statue.  Their actions are just so natural, especially their facial expressions which help tell the story.  This movie didn't need any talking, and it is surprising how much I didn't miss it.  I will give this film an 8/10.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Today's film is Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!  It is one of the funniest movies my family has seen.  I don't know if it was meant to be, but it was funny.  The name of the film comes from the three main causes of excitement: speed (faster), sex (pussycat), and murder (kill).
The film features three go go dancers having fun racing their cool cars in the desert.  Their names are Billie, Rosie, and Varla.  A guy and his girlfriend show up in their car to do time trials.  Then, Varla beats the crap out of the boyfriend with her bare hands and kills him.  Then, they decide to take the girl hostage and they all go to a house in the middle of nowhere to steal a creepy old guy's money.  Yeah, I really don't understand the plot, but I don't think the plot was the point of the movie.  The point is to see girls with really tight clothes in the desert.

This is the first film by Russ Meyer I have ever seen, and I really enjoyed it.  This movie was a lot of fun.  The over-the-top violence and humor reminded me of many of Quentin Tarantino's films.  I will rate this film a 6/10.

When I heard Varla say, "I never try anything, I just do it," I was shocked because that's exactly what's on the song Thunder Kiss '65 by White Zombie!  I grew up listening to this (and to Rob Zombie when he went solo). I had no idea that song sampled those words from this movie, but it makes sense because this movie came out in 1965.  At first I thought I should post just the sample, but I decided to post the entire song for you to enjoy.  At 1:30, you'll hear Varla say, "You're all shook up, aren't you baby?  I never try anything; I just do it.  Wanna try me?" 


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tinker Bell (2008)

Today's animated feature is Tinker Bell. I have always loved Tinker Bell but have never liked the movie Peter Pan.  I wanted a movie that just featured her.  So I was excited when this movie came out.  There are several sequels and they are mostly hit or miss.  My daughter also loves two of these sequels and I'll be sure to review them.  It is important to write about this one first because it introduces all the characters.

Legend has it that when a baby laughs for the first time, that laugh travels all the way to Neverland, to a magical place called Pixie Hollow.  There, the laugh, carried on a dandelion seed, transforms into a fairy.  The fairy appears to be full grown, yet has much to learn.  Immediately after being created, she is forced to choose a talent. Surrounding her are many objects, such as a flower, snowflake, and a hammer.  When she passes the hammer, it glows, therefore that is her talent.  She is declared a tinker fairy and named Tinker Bell.  Wouldn't that be great if that's how you chose your major in college?  I wouldn't have had to change it so many times!

We see all the fairies during this stage, but many things change throughout the sequels.  In one film, the winter fairies live in a separate area because they cannot stand the warmth of the other seasons.  In another, most of the tinker fairies go to the mainland even though we are informed they do not.  It seems like the filmmakers made this movie in a hurry and later established the "fairy rules" as the sequels were written.  So, if you or your child watch this, you will notice many discrepancies.

The main purpose of the first film is to introduce its many characters.  Every fairy has a special talent that they use to bring about the changes of seasons on Earth.  I like how all the fairies look different so that little girls all over the world can identify with them.  In my hometown, I see little girls dressed as these fairies all the time.  Here is a list of the main characters and their talents, which are pretty self-explanatory:
  • Iridessa, a light fairy. She wears a sunflower dress and manipulates light.
  • Rosetta, a garden fairy.  She creates flowers, paints petals, and does not like mud.  She is a Southern Belle brunette with a strong accent and reminds me of quite a few relatives.
  • Silvermist, a water fairy.  Rather ditzy.
  • Fawn, an animal fairy.  She is in tune with animals' needs and helps them.
  • Vidia, a fast flying fairy.  She creates breezes, with she uses in many different ways.  Jealous of the new girl Tinker Bell.
  • Terrence, a dustkeeper fairy.  He is in charge of Pixie Dust, which allow the fairies to fly.
  • Clank and Bobble, nicknames of two tinker fairies, the engineers of the fairy world.
From left to right: Iridessa, Fawn, Tinker Bell, Rosetta, and Silvermist

If you'll notice, everyone works hard at their talents and yet there seems to be no payment system.  The changing of the season is payoff in itself.  Everyone works for the betterment of their world and ours.  It's essentially a perfect system.  If it were me, I would be a garden fairy.  I would get to paint the leaves orange and red for autumn.  That would be sweet.

The movie has a good message too: Be yourself and don't let others get you down. Vidia, being jealous of the new girl Tinker Bell, convinces her that she's useless because she lacks the magical nature talents of the other fairies.  Tinker Bell creates pots and baskets, not rainbows and flowers.  Tinker Bell decides to learn about the other talents, but failing in all of them, feels even more useless.  But when one of Vidia's cruel pranks backfires, Tinker Bell uses her engineering know-how to fix everything.  She no longer worried about not having the same talents as everyone else, she used her own talent to the best of her ability.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo) (1970)

Today's movie is The Bird with the Crystal Plumage.  It's part of an old genre of slasher films called Giallo.

I don't particularly like slasher films, but the best part about them is that they are easy to follow.  A bunch of pretty ladies are being slashed to death by an unknown killer.  A witness to one of these crimes decides to do some amateur sleuthing after witnessing an attack.  The local police are totally cool with this.  Although he greatly puts his own life and his girlfriend's life in danger, he eventually discovers the identity of the killer.  Everyone is confused as to why this particular character is a murderer.  Don't worry; there is a psychologist on hand to explain everything.

What the film lacks in plot, it makes up for in beauty.  The witness is trapped between the glass doors in front of a beautiful white gallery. Everyone's house is nice, even the weather is perfect.  They even find the killer's apartment in broad daylight.  And, everything is so clean in this movie.

So, why is the movie called The Bird with the Crystal Plumage?  It's because the killer's apartment is near a zoo, specifically where a specific bird is housed.  It is supposedly a rare bird from Siberia.  That's just a bit of cheeky humor.  It's actually a Crowned Crane from Africa.  Now, you may be wondering how I know that.  It's because we have a Crowned Crane as part of the area where I work.  His name is Frasier!


This film doesn't give us much to think about, but is an okay popcorn movie.  I will give it a 5/10.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

How could she allow herself to be spirited away?

Today's film is Picnic at Hanging Rock.  In 1900 in Australia, students from Appleyard College, a girl's private school, went on a field trip to Hanging Rock, a geological formation.  Four students and one teacher vanished without a trace.  Later, one student was found but had no recollection of what happened.

The logical explanation would be the students were exploring the nearby caves.  It is easy to get stuck or lost in a cave if you do not know what you are doing.  The teacher went after them to find them and subsequently got lost as well.  One of the students eventually found her way out and was discovered, but was so traumatized she could not remember how she came to escape.

Now, this film is not based on a true story at all. It's actually based on a novel.  So, there are many hints that the disappearance may be supernatural.  Hanging Rock is a one million year old volcano that has not erupted in a long time.  The four girls remove their shoes and stocking and begin climbing the formation, almost in a trance.  The pudgy, whiny girl following them is frightened by their actions and lack of response to her and runs away in fear.  Did the volcano call them?  Did they disappear into another dimension?  The area where they begin taking off their shoes is a round, flat field surrounded by the tall rocks.  There is something called a fairy circle, which is a ring of fungus or mushrooms that grow in a perfect circle.  Legend has it that if you step inside one, you'll vanish.  Is the circle of stone a large fairy circle?

Both the cabdriver and one of the teachers notice that the watches have all stopped at noon.  Does this have anything to do with magnectic fields around the volcano, or is this supernatural as well?  If this is indeed a portal to another dimension, time may not exist in the area.  Again, we don't know.

The headmistress of Appleyard College strangely reminds me of Yubaba from Spirited Away.  She is stern with her pupils and takes charge of everything.  Secretly, she does care about them, but she will never show it publicly.  Her hair is in a wide bun and she wears a dark blue dress with a brooch. She seems to know more about the mysteries of the area than she lets on.  She even warns her students before they leave not to climb the formation at all.  The ones who disobey her and climb are the ones who vanish.

Mrs. Appleyard, the Headmistress

Notice the similar hairstyle and outfit.  She also has
the same attitude to those she is in charge
of as well. She also is in tune with the magic and
mysteries of the surrounding area.

The film asks many questions, but does not take the time to answer any of them.  It's just like real life.  There are so many things that are now unexplained.  It is easy to attribute them to supernatural forces, but that may not be the case.  The film shows that there is still much of the world left to be explored and explained.  I liked the contrast between everyone's stuffy British outfits (their fancy dresses and white gloves) and the beauty of nature.  They are trying to survive in a wild new country and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.  The pacing of the movie is slow, so it's not a thrilling mystery, and yet it left me with a sense of wonder.  I will give this film a 7/10.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Today's film is The Wizard of Oz. It's an overall cute film for kids with memorable songs.  I will give it a 7/10.


After reading the books and seeing the movies, I noticed that Dorothy is similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland. In the book, Dorothy is a young girl like Alice, but is portrayed by the year old Judy Garland in the film.  Dorothy lives in dull, gray Kansas while Alice lives in dull Victorian England.  Both want excitement and adventure in their lives.  Both dream of a magical land where anything can and will happen.  Alice goes to Wonderland while Dorothy goes to Oz.  Both fall a long way to get there.  Dorothy falls, along with her house, and lands in Oz, while Alice falls down a rabbit hole.  Both lands feature talking, human-like animals.  Both lands feature an evil woman (The Queen of Hearts and the Wicked Witch) who want to destroy them.  Both Dorothy and Alice overcome their opponent.  Being tired of this excitement, they want to go home, and it turns out it was all a fantastic dream.
The Wicked Witch is misunderstood and Glinda is a real jerk.
I felt bad for the Wicked Witch.  Even when I first watched this when I was little, I felt bad.  She lost her sister.  The first thing she does when she appears is ask who killed her sister.  I have three sisters so I understand.  Glinda the Good Witch is a jerk to her and threatens that someone may drop a house on her too.  Dude, that lady's sister just died and you're going to make that remark?
Glinda established herself as a jerk right as she entered the film.  She asks Dorothy if she is a good witch or a bad witch.  Dorothy is confused because she is just a little girl, not a witch at all.  Glinda reveals that she is a witch, and not only that, a good witch.  Surprised, Dorothy was not expecting this because Glinda doesn't look like any witch from any story.  Glinda explains that "only bad witches are ugly".  If I was Dorothy, I'd be like, "bitch, you just asked if I was a bad witch".

All the Wicked Witch wants is her deceased sister's shoes.  That's all.  Glinda magically places them on Dorothy's feet.  Then, forces her to walk all the way to the Emerald City.  She does not offer her a ride on her magic bubble, and certainly does not tell her about the heel-tapping secret.  She knowingly places Dorothy in danger because the Witch is desperate to retrieve her heirloom.  And, Dorothy unwittingly kills the Witch while trying to steal her broom!  Both of their lives were in danger and everything could have been avoided if not for Glinda.  Glinda is playing a sick game and is enjoying it.  This movie is kind of messed up.

In the book, her shoes are silver.  The filmmakers wanted
to show off the color film technology and thought red
would stand out more.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Today marks my 200th post, and I'm reviewing the film Witness for the Prosecution, which is an awesome rollercoaster ride of a movie.  It follows the final case of an experienced barrister (lawyer) who is retiring due to a heart attack.  His name is Sir Wilfrid Robarts and he is tended to/annoyed by his nurse, Miss Plimsoll.  He even tells her, "if you were a woman, I'd strike you."  The chemistry between them makes it even funnier, and it's interesting to note that the actors playing them are actually husband and wife.

Despite his nurse's advice, Robarts takes on a stressful criminal case.  This is not good for his heart at all.  His client, Leonard Vole, is accused of killing a lonely widow for her inheritance money.  There is a load of circumstantial evidence that could put him away.  Fortunately, his wife can help with his alibi.  Still, it looks hopeless.  This does not deter Robarts because his is one of the best barristers in the area.



Robarts is shocked when he actually meets Vole's wife, Christine.  She is tough and coolheaded.  Christine was a cabaret singer in war-torn Germany.  I recognized her as Lola Lola from The Blue Angel!  She was so desperate to get out she agreed to marry Vole even though she was already legally married.  They had a wedding ceremony but nothing official.  Christine has kept this knowledge secret this entire time.  Because of this, she is called in as a witness for the prosecution.  A wife can't testify against her husband, but Christine can, because legally she's not his wife!  She tells the jury that his alibi is false and he admitted to killing the widow.  Robarts calls her out on her constant lying.  She lied about being single, has been lying all these years, so how can anyone trust her now?

The best part of this film is that it has so many twists and shocking surprises.  Is Christine lying for her own gain, or is it an elaborate plan to free her husband?  It is a very entertaining film to watch.  And though the ending may be disappointing, I can explain that.  Back then, it had to be shown that criminals could not profit from their evil deeds.  Vole couldn't just go and spend that money on a cruise with his new arm candy.  He had to suffer for his crime.  If they ever decide to remake this, I hope they leave the ending more open. I will give this film an 8/10.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (1975)

Are you ready for an adorable stop-motion animation?  Today's film is Pinchcliffe Grand Prix

In the English dub, the names have all changed. The original names are in parentheses. Theodore Rimspoke (Reodor) is a fantastic mechanic who lives way up high on a cliff with his two assistants, Sonny (Solan) and Lambert (Ludvig).  Sonny is an energetic and determined morning bird (or magpie), while Ludvig (who looks like a yeti but is actually a hedgehog) is more cautious and worrisome. 




Theodore's former assistant, Rudolph (Rudolf), steals his plans to build an awesome race car.  Sonny convinces Theodore to build an even better race car and challenge him.  He also convinces an oil baron to sponsor them.  It helps that one girl in his harem is a magpie just like him.
Theodore and his assistants build the race car with a super cool engine, despite his ex-assistant's attempts to sabotage.


But here comes the day we have all been waiting for!  The Grand Prix!  Keep in mind that part of the car has been sabotaged, which will affect the driver later in the race.  That totally provides more drama.  The race itself was not as exciting to me.  After all, a race is a race.  But I know a lot of people enjoy watching them.
Sonny, who is driving, uses some of the gadgets to help him win.  He uses the radar to help him navigate when Rudolph sets smoke everywhere.  And of course he wins.  It's a family film.  Overall, I believe this is a quality animation for both children and adults alike.  I will give it a 7/10.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Moonstruck (1987)

Today's film is Moonstruck.  Normally I can't seem to enjoy romantic comedies, but this one is charming.  I was truly surprised by Cher.  I have never seen her act in anything before, and only thought of her as a singer.  But she is great!  It was her performance as Loretta that won me over.



Loretta lost her husband seven years ago in an accident and agrees to marry his friend, Johnny.  She doesn't love him and even admits this to her mother.  She just thinks he's a safe bet.  She goes to visit his brother, Ronny, (who hasn't spoken to his brother in 5 years) to invite him to the wedding.  Surprise! Ronny is played by Nicolas Cage.  Nicolas Cage is always entertaining in every film he's in.  Sometimes, he is not in the best of films.  But he is still entertaining.  I am glad we have movies like this (and Adaptation) that let him shine.

We know Loretta doesn't love Johnny.  But, Loretta surprised me by falling in love with Ronny!  Ronny is the personality opposite of his brother.  He's passionate and moody, while Johnny is more calm and pleasant.  In other words, there is no chemistry between Johnny and Loretta.  Chemistry and physical attraction are actually important parts of a relationship.  It's passion that sparks a relationship and friendship that keeps it.  Just my two cents as a married woman.

The best part about this movie is her family.  Now, I thought it may seem hard to relate to a New York Italian family, but it's not.  Families in New York are the same as Southern families. We love each other, we love to talk, and we especially love to eat.  We show our love with food.  Especially with my family. We're Egyptian, and hospitality and generosity are very important.  Having people visit gives me an excuse to bake.

The blossoming relationship between Loretta and Ronny is not the only thing going on in this film.  I thought Loretta's mom, Rose, was very funny.  She told her (about her fiance), "When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can."  Rose believes her husband is cheating on her, and she's right.  Loretta and Ronny run into her dad while he's on a date with another woman!  They both agree to tell no one (since technically Loretta should be with Johnny).

Johnny has been away in Italy this whole time visiting his sick mother. He tells his mother that he plans to  marry and she recovers.  Johnny returns to New York and goes to see his fiancee.  When he arrives, everyone in her family and Ronny are in the kitchen.  He tells her that if he marries her, then his mother will die.  She totally forgets that this is good news and throws her engagement ring at him.  Ronny takes this opportunity to propose and even asks to use the same ring!  They all celebrate with champagne.


This movie is funny and full of great characters with a lot of personality. I had a fun time watching this.  I will give this a 7/10.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Modern Times (1936)

Today's film is Modern Times.  It's great!  When asked about interpreting this film, Charlie Chaplin claimed that his first goal was to entertain.  Still, there is a lot that we can get from this film (besides comedy).  I am happy as jello to share this film with you.


One of the first things we see are sheep being herded which turns into people.  Here, Chaplin is in his tramp element, but works in a factory, doing mindless repetitive tasks.  Human beings weren't meant to do these things.  He is handpicked to test out a new machine that feeds you lunch while you work so you won't get a lunch break.  Look at this thing. It looks so retro future like the Jetsons's stuff.  I love the way people in the 1930's through the 1950's imagined the future.


Now, not everything here is futuristic and great.  Sometimes it can be scary.  For example, the boss of the factory communicates through viewscreens to his employees.  He even appears without warning in the bathroom to order them around.  He exerts total control through technology.  Also, the police have too much power and will arrest anyone for the slightest thing.  Wave a red flag?  You're a communist.  What happened to different ideologies?  What happened to peaceful protests and gatherings?  Not anymore.  This is the future.


After losing his job because of a nervous breakdown, the tramp meets a gamin, a girl who is an expert at stealing food.  (Actually it should be gamine because she is a girl.)  They become close and work together to achieve the American dream of home ownership. But they have terrible luck and bounce from job to job.  Also, the police are still after them. 

Before he met the gamin, he actually wanted to go back to jail.  Let's think about that.  In jail, he gets three meals a day, TV/radio,  time to exercise/socialize, a roof over his head, his own bed, and free health insurance.  In most public schools here, they have eliminated outdoor recess and provide poor food, then wonder why our kids are unhealthy.  Children get one or two meals at school, the cheapest food on the Earth, and for the most part, that's all they'll get to eat all day.  We treat prisoners better than we do most people.  Affordable healthcare for young adults and their families? No way! That's socialism!  What about free healthcare for old people and prisoners? That's such a great idea, I'm so glad we do that!

Gamin finds a house for them to stay in, but it's "not exactly Buckingham Palace". At first, he works at a mill. Then, they both find jobs as singing waiters.  We even get to hear Tramp sing for the first time.  It's not in any language I've ever heard, maybe that's why he chooses not to talk. 

I knew it! Look: it says Jetson Mills.  It is the Jetsons's future.
I knew it was real.
However, the police are determined to tear them apart again, and the Tramp bravely escapes with Gamin. They aimlessly wander down the road and Gamin wonders why she even tries.  Tramp is so full of spirit and tells her to buck up and not worry.  Even though there is a depression going on and lots of people are unemployed, the only way we have left to go is up.  We can't give up because if we keep trying, then someday it will be better.  He's not just talking to her, he's talking to all of us.  I will give this film a 10/10.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shame (2011)

This movie is overrated, melodramatic softcore porn. That is it.  It is ironic that a film with mostly sex scenes left me feeling completely unfulfilled.  This movie is an extreme waste of time.

First of all, sexual addiction is not a real, physical addiction.  Maybe there's a psychological need that these people have, but you don't get withdrawal if you don't whack off every 6 hours.  Does it release dopamine in the brain?  Of course it does.  So does food.  Same way food addiction isn't real either.  "Boo hoo feel sorry for me. I can't control eating huge portions because I have a cundishun."  Give me a break.  Stop eating at Mcdonalds you fat fucking cow.  There was a study done recently where so-called sex addicts were monitored by EEG while shown a variety of images, including sexual, romantic, and non-sexual.  Guess what?  The sexual images did not affect the measurements any more or less than the regular images, and certainly did not suggest that sexual addiction affects the brain.  You can read a press release of that study here.  And of course debate is going to continue over whether or not it's real.  People want it to be real because they are weak and want an easy out to their problems.


The film is the story of Brandon, a guy who wants to have sex with his sister.  That's pretty obvious.  But he's ashamed of this and tries everything to hide it.  That's why he has so much anonymous sex.  That's why he watches porn at work and home.  He will do anything sexually satisfying to keep his mind off his sister.  He's safe until his sister crashes at his house.  He's angry but she reminds him that he gave her keys.  What is he nuts?  I would never give any of my sisters keys to my house.  But, he gave them to her because part of him still wants her there for sex.  The rest of him just pushes down this desire.  That's why he flips out when she starts spooning him in bed.

His sister wants him, too.  This is evident when she shows up in the kitchen for breakfast. She is wearing a sheer white shirt with no bra.  That is totally what I wear when I stay at other relative's houses too. She is always touching and grabbing on him.  Then when he finally comes to his sense, he kicks her out of the house.  She knows that he wants her and has been using this knowledge for a free place to stay.  She doesn't clean up her own messes, doesn't contribute in any way to helping pay bills, pick up groceries, nothing.  Now, faced with the responsibility of acting taking care of herself, she can't cope and tries to kill herself.  Good riddance bitch.



On top of this, bitchface decides to have sex with Brandon's best friend/boss because, again, she doesn't care.  When he hears his sister's moans from the other room, does the sexual noises make him grow weak and succumb to his 'addiction' by jacking off?  No, he gets dressed and runs around the block.  As we know, running releases endorphins and gives us a 'runner's high' which feels really good.  Oh no, is he going to be addicted to running now, too?

That's all there is to it.  This movie is about as deep as a toddler's wading pool.  I know what addiction is.  I do not need a movie to lecture me about it, especially something as inane as a sexual addiction.  I didn't lose half my body weight in one month because I was horny.  I'd tell the filmmakers to go fuck themselves, but they'd probably enjoy it.  I'm giving this film a 1/10.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Intouchables (2011)

Today's film is The Intouchables.  It is a wonderful film starring Fran├žois Cluzet as Philippe and Omar Sy as Driss.


Philippe is a very rich aristocrat with a tragic backstory who is hiring a new caretaker.  The impatient Driss rudely cuts in line and asks him to sign a document proving he applied for a job so he can continue to get unemployment benefits.  But Philippe can't sign it; he's quadriplegic   He offers him a one month trial period to get work experience.

Driss surprisingly does show up the next day.  He has a lot to learn as a caretaker.  At first, it's difficult for him as he doesn't care for anyone but himself.  But he gets a lot better.  He shares a joint with Philippe to ease his pain, which causes him to be chatty and reveal his backstory.  After his wife's death from illness, Philippe went paragliding in bad weather, causing him to injure his spine.

Still, they are very different people.  Driss did not enjoy watching a German opera for four hours, and all the classical music reminds him of Looney Tunes.  Instead, he shows off by playing Kool and the Gang and Earth, Wind, and Fire.  He also had no desire driving that ugly handicapped van.  Instead, he chauffeurs Philippe around in his Maserati. 

Even though Driss has the chance to leave and return to cashing in on his benefits, he realizes he was happier with Philippe.  Also, none of the other caretaker candidates were nearly as good as him.  Philippe doesn't want a nurse to pity him.  Driss is not a nurse, he's just a regular guy.  Sometimes he hands the phone, forgetting that he can't grab it.  But, by this time he has done really well as his caretaker.

I really enjoyed this film.  As a true story, even though parts were sad, the overall film was very funny.  It is worth it to see the chemistry between the two stars.  I will give this film an 9/10.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Taxi Driver (1976)

Today's film is Taxi Driver.  It was mostly a dull, flat film with a bunch of awkward moments in it.


The Taxi Driver is Travis, played by Robert De Niro.  He did a good job of portraying someone who is lonely, yet acts awkwardly to perpetuate his loneliness.  He has a crush on this girl who works on the campaign for Palantine.  He decides to go volunteer to be near her.  Problem is, he doesn't know anything about Senator Palantine or his viewpoints.  You would think with him being insomniac and all he might go and look this information up.

He scores a date with campaign girl and where does he decide to take her for their night out?  Of course, a dirty movie theater.  These are movie theaters that specialized in showing porn before the internet was invented.  And she actually goes inside with him.  I'm like:


But then she comes to her senses and leaves.  I felt so awkward for her, so awkward for him.  I do not like feeling this way.

Travis doesn't like where he lives because it is full of lowlifes.  Newsflash, that's all cities.  He spends a lot of time complaining about this.  Later, he comes up with the bright idea of shooting the Senator.  He has a nice workout scene, although it's not as impressive to watch as Christian Bale's workout scenes in the DK trilogy.  However, few things in life are.


I liked when he poured Schnapps over bread and added sugar to it.  I'm like, what is this, 5 minute bread pudding?

Since Campaign Girl no longer wants anything to do with him, he gets involved with a 12 year old runaway prostitute.  He hopes to reunite her with her parents.  After chickening out on shooting the senator like the pansy he is, he runs into the building where she works.  He shoots the pimps taking advantage of her, and after a brief stay at the hospital, is hailed a hero.  And the 12 year old goes back home to her parents.  So everyone is happy.  I will give this film a 7/10.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Today's movie is Kind Hearts and Coronets, which is a very dry, dark comedy.  It's very dry, like gin dry.  I don't think I've ever used gin to describe a movie, but this is perfect.  It's also dark because it involves the main character murdering a bunch of people, albeit in hilarious ways.

I often enjoy watching crime-related comedies, but what is so special about this one?  Overall, it's a pretty dull comedy.  The best reason to watch this is because Alec Guinness plays all eight members of the D'Ascoyne family!  He plays the banker, the parson, the duke, Lady Agatha, the admiral, and two other young members of the family.

Alec Guinness as every member of the D'Ascoyne family


The main story is about Louis, whose mother comes from a long line of dukes.  She is cruelly abandoned by her family because she chose to marry for love.  She was even denied the right to be buried near her family.  Louis swears revenge by becoming the next duke himself.  The problem is he's 8th in line so he figures that killing them all off is his best bet.

The upper class is often made fun of in this movie, while Louis' actions are never condemned.  He is blamed for the suicide of Sibella's husband, but that's only because she hid the suicide note and tried to blackmail him.  I believe she is the worst character in the movie.  She refuses to marry Louis and marries another man solely because of his wealth.  She later constantly brings her marriage problems to Louis.  Then, once he becomes a duke, she blackmails him into leaving his new fiance and marrying her.  She is everything that is wrong in their society.

Overall, the movie is not fall-out-of-your-chair funny, but it does have its moments.  It also pokes fun at upper class people in a sly way.  I will give it a 7/10.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

I am so excited to get to watch Despicable Me 2!


 
 I liked this movie better than the first because the first one had the headache of introducing the characters.  Now that we know everyone, we can have fun!  Also there are new characters, in the form of Lucy, who partners with Gru, and her boss, Silas Ramsbottom (pff, bottom).  And there's the bad guy, El Macho, which is Spanish for The Macho.  Plus, Minions! 
 
Jelly!
 
Gru tries to go legit by producing jelly.  He decides to use mixed berries, every berry you can think of, to flavor his jelly. The result is nasty.  Did you know that bananas and avocados are types of berries?  I don't blame the minions for hating this jelly.  I never trusted anything flavored 'mixed berry'.  Which berries are mixed?  And who mixed them?  I don't trust this at all. 
 
Physics
 
As we have seen countless times, cartoons operate under their own laws of physics.  For example, El Macho fakes his death by strapping himself to a shark and explosives and falls into a volcano.  How did he get out?  Later in the movie, Lucy decides she wants to be with Gru while flying to Australia.  So, she opens the plane door, nothing happens to the passengers, and calmly jumps out while they cheer.  She then hang glides all the way back to America.
 
The girls.
 
I think most of the comedy comes from Gru's interactions with his girls.  He is trying his best to be a good dad, even giving up being a villain for them.  I found Gru to be especially funny because I am also the parent of a daughter.  When the fairy princess cancels coming to Agnes' birthday party, Gru dresses up for her, with hilarious results.  I, too, am forced to watch the Tinkerbell movies (there are a lot of them) and sing all the songs.  Nothing makes my daughter happier than when I sing the Tinkerbell songs.  I will not do this in public though.  While Agnes is still in her fairy princess phase, Margo is becoming interested in boys.  This presents another challenge for Gru.


 
In short, this is a funny family comedy that does not take itself too seriously.  I will give it a 6/10.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Khaneh siah ast (The House is Black) (1963)

Today's film is a short documentary giving us a glimpse into the lives of people living with leprosy in northern Iran.  It graphically shows us the damage their bodies have sustained, while the people narrate with flowery verses from the Koran.   They praise God for the beauty of the world and give thanks for their lives, while in reality they are truly suffering.  I noticed how no one bothered to thank the doctors taking care of them.

In one scene, a teacher asks his student why he should thank god for his mother and father.  He replies that he doesn't know because he has neither.  Life on the leper colony is very difficult for everyone there.  Today, leprosy is curable and almost 95% of people are naturally immune.  But still, there are leper colonies all over the world.  There are charities such as the Leprosy Mission that are dedicated to helping people with the disease improve their lives.  This documentary is short yet powerful and still relevant today.  I will give it an 8/10.

It Happened One Night (1934)

Here's yet another romantic comedy, which is just the same as all other romantic comedies, except this one must be special because it won a lot of awards.  Most notably, best actor and actress in a lead role and Best Picture.


So our main character, Ellie, elopes with a man named King Westley.  Her rich father doesn't like this and tries to annul the marriage.  Ellie runs away and is helped by Peter, a news reporter played by Clark Gable.  After just a couple days, she falls in love with him and abandons her goal of returning to King.  So, she fell in love with him in a couple days.  Didn't she just get married?  And she eloped of all things so you know it was a hasty wedding.  She must have fallen in love with King quickly and wanted to marry him.  Now, she gives him up for the next guy she quickly falls in love with.  What's going to happen after she marries Peter?  What happens if she goes to the grocery store or walks down the street?  She might meet another man and fall in love with him too!

Clark Gable did do a great acting job as Peter.  You can really tell he loves her, too.  Especially when he tells her overprotective father, "what she needs is a guy that'd take a sock at her once a day, whether it's coming to her or not".  Such a gentleman.

This film reminded me of Roman Holiday.  Ellie is wealthy and spoiled.  She runs away and is helped by none other than a reporter looking for a story.  But, it ends a lot differently.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Today's film is What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  I was definitely a victim of over-expectations for this film.  I have heard so many great things about it and was expecting something twisted and terrifying.  This movie was good, it just was not what I had expected.  It was, therefore, a bit of a letdown.


Baby Jane was a spoiled brat child star.  She has a sister named Blanche who grew to be a successful actress.  Jane couldn't transform from child star to real actress and resents Blanche.  After a car accident paralyzes her sister, Jane takes on the role as her caretaker.  As years go by and their mansion falls apart, Jane continually torments Blanche.  Blanche wants Jane to get help for her alcoholism.  Jane, in return, takes away her phone, and serves her awful things like her pet bird for dinner.  Blanche, being trapped upstairs, tries her best to get help and escape.

One of the scariest parts is the times Blanche tries to get down the stairs.  I can't tell you how hard it is to go down anything, whether a steep hill or stairs, when you can't feel your legs.  Also, this is one of the reasons why I workout to strengthen my upper body.  I have also used a toboggan and sledded down the stairs.  Probably not the smartest idea, but it's a lot of fun.  Although, I think when she reached the phone downstairs, she really should have called 911.

The twist of the film is when Blanche tells Jane who actually caused the car accident.  I had no idea this was supposed to be a twist.  If you watch the car accident very carefully, you can clearly see who's driving.

I didn't see this movie as scary.  I saw it as very sad.  Blanche needed a caretaker and got the worst one.  Jane couldn't escape her spoiled child star status and descended into alcoholism.  Both of them need a lot of help.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Today's film is A Night at the Opera, where the Marx Brothers crack jokes, and also there's an opera.  This is pretty standard Marx Brothers fare, with great one-liners from Groucho, and goofiness from the other two (especially Harpo, who speaks with a bicycle horn. And this time he doesn't cut things with scissors as much as he did in Duck Soup).  Zeppo is not in this film as he left to pursue a career as an agent.


The most memorable scene is when everyone piles into Groucho's cabin on the ship.  There ends up being a total of 15 people stuffed in this room.  Reminds me when I was an intern and tried to throw parties in my apartment.

Another great scene is when Harpo and Chico play the piano and harp.  Chico was really great playing the piano.  And then, once they reach the New York Opera, Harpo climbs straight up the flats and climbs the ropes like a monkey, all to get away from the police.  He ends up destroying a lot of the stage.  The funniest one-liner is when Harpo is sound asleep, and Chico says, "He has insomnia, he's sleeping it off".  That's funny right there.

Did I like this better than Duck Soup?  Mostly, yes.  Mainly because I didn't care for the songs in Duck Soup.  Today's film is more like 'comedy that happens to take place at an opera'.  I will give it a 6/10.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tsotsi (2005)

Today's film is Tsotsi, which came all the way from South Africa.  Tsotsi means "thug" and is the street name of our main character.



Tsotsi and his friends/fellow gang members live in the worst part of Johannesburg.  He lives an aimless live of crime, not caring about anyone.  One day, after randomly carjacking a woman's car after shooting her, he drives off.  He discovers a baby boy in the backseat.

Tsotsi tries his best to care for the baby, but he has no idea how.  He leaves him with some milk, but ants get all over him.  Tsotsi finds Miriam, a young woman with baby of her own to feed the baby for him.  Meanwhile, he robs the baby's parent's house of their formula and stuff so he can care for the baby.  Notice how he doesn't return the baby to the house, he steals the baby's stuff.  Does he intend on keeping the baby?

Miriam convinces him to bring the baby back to his real parents.  So he does.  That's the entire movie.  I think the point of the film is for us to see the daily lives of impoverished people in South Africa.  It is definitely a different kind of life.  It's not a groundbreaking movie by any means, but it was okay.  I will give it a 5/10.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Don't Look Now (1973)

I chose to watch this film not only because it's on the list, but because it's also #1 on a list called "The 100 Best British Films".  What does this mean?  It beat out Withnail and I, Lawrence of Arabia, Trainspotting, and all Monty Python movies.  This film is listed as a horror film and beat out 28 Days Later.  No, no no.  1000% no.


Don't Look Now may be listed as a horror film, but it is far from it.  It is mostly a drama with a couple psychological horror moments.  These moments are few and far between.  Also, there is a ten minute sex scene for absolutely no reason at all.  The director thought, "Hey, I have a woman with the tiniest boobs on the planet, she deserves to show them off for ten whole minutes!  I don't care why!"  And he did.  It does not fit in with the tone of the movie at all, it is so random.  And why did I have to see Kiefer Sutherland's dad's skinny ass?  Why?

This looks like a made-for-TV movie people watch late at night.  I mean, the picture itself looks like it.  The story is not much better.  A couple let their kids play unsupervised near water.  Their daughter falls in and drowns.  Later, the parents move to Italy for work.  Well, the dad is busy restoring an old cathedral while the mom stays in the hotel.  A very creepy sister duo approaches them.  One sister is blind and claims to see their dead daughter.  The mom believes them and thus starts a chain of events.

The dad's level of Italian fluctuates from scene to scene.  In one scene, he speaks flawlessly to his workers, and in another he begs someone to speak English to help him.  I don't get it.  Also, let's talk about blood in this movie.  It looks like red candy cane syrup.  The worst fake blood I have ever seen.  Every October I work on a haunted house and we have used a variety of ways to make fake blood.  It never looks as bad as this.

Anyway, this film is awful with a bonus terribly hilarious ending.  I will give it a 4/10.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Heaven and Earth Magic (1962)

Today's animated film is Heaven and Earth Magic.  I can't even properly describe it as an animated feature.  It's a bunch of random paper cut-outs doing random things.  Really really random things.  And it's not even well made.  It looks like a bunch of high school kids did this for an art project.

The worst part about this is not that it doesn't make any sense, but that it is terribly boring.  You might want to do other things while watching this.  You might want to crochet a hat.  Or paint your nails.  Or make a model sailboat.  Hell, if want to get up and make a snack, that's okay, you will not miss a thing.  Here is a depiction of me trying to watch this:


This was awful and boring.  This is the lowest form of art I have ever seen.  I cannot properly call it art; I consider it garbage.  I will give this 'film' a 1/10.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rebecca (1940)

Today's film is Rebecca.  It starts off very unassuming.  A young woman finds a man staring at the sea while on vacation in Monte Carlo.  They spend time together at the hotel, and a few days later he asks her to marry him and come to his estate in the country, called Manderlay.

This is all happening very fast, but I accept it because it's a romantic movie.  What's interesting is that no one ever mentions the young woman's first name.  She's only referred to as Mrs. de Winter.  Her husband is referred to as both Mr. de Winter and Maxim.  The whole estate is affected by the untimely death of Rebecca, Mr. de Winter's first wife.  She went sailing one night, something happened to the boat, and she drowned.  The body washed ashore months later and was identified by her husband.

I think the person most affected by her death was her housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.  She lovingly keeps Rebecca's room in mint condition, exactly as it was the day she left.  I noticed that Rebecca's room was in the West Wing, and no one ever goes in there.  The new Mrs. de Winters goes upstairs and sneaks in the first chance she gets.  That's just like in Beauty and the Beast, the Beast lives in the West Wing and does not want anyone inside.  Belle sneaks in the West Wing the first chance she gets.


Mrs. Danvers is cruel to the new wife and tricks her into dressing into something Rebecca wore for her costume ball.  Maxim is very upset when he sees his wife wearing one of Rebecca's outfits.  The whole party is interrupted when a boat crashes near them.  Everyone rushes out to help, fully costumed, which I thought was funny.  Later, a diver reveals that he found the sailboat Rebecca died on at the bottom of the sea.  When they bring it up, they discover Rebecca's body inside!  Mrs. de Winters feels sorry for her husband, but he is compelled to tell her the truth.  He put Rebecca's body inside the boat and set it out to sea, because he hates her!  What!  I was not prepared for that.


He reveals that Rebecca was a manipulative bitch that slept around.  He didn't divorce her because he couldn't handle the scandal.  So, when he met Rebecca at her cottage by the sea, she told him she was pregnant with her lover's baby.  He would be forced to raise the baby, who would eventually become heir to his estate.  He got so mad he pushed her, and she smacked her head and died.  It was an accident.  So, Maxim put her on her boat and set it off, hoping to never see her again.  Well that failed.

The policeman are very kind to Maxim, but their duty is to investigate this death.  The general consensus is suicide.  Rebecca's lover, Jack, doesn't believe this and tries to blackmail Maxim.  Maxim is way cleverer than him though.  Jack is a used car salesman and is totally smarmy the whole time.  He takes Maxim and the police to Rebecca's private physican.  But what is revealed shocks everyone.  Rebecca was ill not because of pregnancy, but because she had cancer.  The doctor tells everyone of her reaction, and it is true that she did intend to kill herself.  Maybe lying to Maxim about the baby and starting the fight was her way of ending it.

Soon, everyone finds out the truth, that Rebecca had cancer.  Mrs. Danvers is affected most by it.  She hates Maxim, and really hates his wife for daring to replace Rebecca.  So, she calmly walks carrying a single candle, which she uses to set the entire house on fire!  Ahh!  Just like crazy lady from Jane Eyre



My, this movie was exciting.  There were so many twists I didn't know what was coming next.  I will give this film a 9/10.