Friday, October 21, 2011

My Top 5.. so far.

Some people have asked what my favorite movies are. I have several for different reasons but these are the ones that I find myself watching again and again. In no particular order they are...

Seven Samurai
This is the story of a poor village that is being terrorized by bandits. They plan to get some samurai to come and defend them. They hire a wise Samurai who recruits more to the cause. Together they go and give their blades and their lives to defend this small village of farmers. It’s a story of friendship and camaraderie, Courage and loss, redemption and enlightenment.

I have always loved this movie. Its three hours long and an epic one to watch but I can easily curl up on the couch and watch it over and over again. I love this movie for its humor and its ability to take me though several emotions during the story. Two movies have been modeled on this film, one is The Magnificent Seven and the other is and A Bugs Life.

This movie takes place in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II, an expatriate runs a saloon and an old acquaintance comes back into his life and with her some complications. This movie has politics, humor, sacrifice, adventure and friendship. Through the adversity the characters are reinvigorated with life and find themselves with new perspectives.

I saw this movie in the theaters on its anniversary, it was such a wonderful experience that I had to watch it again, and again. I think during that weekend I took four other people to that movie. I really love the growth of the characters and the humor involved. It pains me to say this but it too has been redone in a movie called Barbed Wire. I am glad that Casablanca has not been tarnished because of the other fiasco of a film. This is proof positive that just because something worked before does not mean you should do it again.

Blade Runner
This is a futuristic Noir film. A detective hired to find rogue androids and terminate them. The androids break away from their work in a bloody escape to find out how long they have to live. All androids were programed with an end date. They want to live and find a way to extend their life. The detective known as a Blade Runner has to track them down before they harm the population.

This is one of the movies that turned me into a Sci fi junky. I love the setting and the messages and the performances in this film. Over the years there have been a number of different versions or re cuts of this film, one of my favorites is the director’s cut that takes out the voice over by Harrison Ford. To my understanding the studio said the test audiences did not know what was going on so they had the voice over created to explain the story. I think the movie is better without it.

The Jack Bull
A horse trader who has been wrongs takes matters in his own hands and seeks vigilante justice on a rancher who has been causing problems. This story surrounds what happens when the law fails to protect the people it was created for. In the end Justice is served but the journey is a costly one and the common good is upheld at a great price. This movie was adapted for the screen by Dick Cusack, John Cusack’s father. This is one of my favorites because of the performance from John Goodman.

“Well, I worry about you and me, Judge Wilkins. I swear to God I do, 'cause if this country gets ruined... it'll be ruined by people *like* you and me. This is a territory of unimportant people; most folks around here... [laughs softly] can't even write their name. You and me... we're the important people. Trouble is, there's not enough of us important people to go around - we're spread thin, so sometimes, important things get ignored or don't get said. Like... take care of the little feller; see to it that he don't get ignored or cheated or insulted; make sure that his dignity does not get trampled on. Now you're feelin' bad right now, and by God, you ought to... seein' as what just happened to a decent man. Myrl Redding did *not* fail the law...the law failed Myrl.”

I know its a TV movie but it was so well done it would have been a plesure to watch it on the big screen.

The Way
A father who is going overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El Camino de Santiago” from France to Spain, decides to travel in his son place, and learns much about himself and his traveling companions along the pilgrimage.

This is a new one to my list as I have just seen it this past weekend. I enjoyed many aspects of this film. Please read my review of this film in detail here The Way

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coming soon…Part two

Just like the movies, movie trailers have to be viewed and given a rating by the MPAA. They will dole out a green or a red band rating depending on the content of the trailer. Check out the Wikipedia article on Trailer for what qualifies for a green rating.

It’s important to note that a green band trailer can be shown in any theater, where as red ones will only be shown in movies that are rated R, NC-17 or are unrated. This reduces the number of people who can view the trailer.

Production companies have changed the elements in some scenes to make sure that the clips used are going to get them a green rating. Is this misleading to the viewers? Is it selling one thing but giving us another? I think in retail parlance this is called a bait and switch.

ANTZ changed a line in the movie I am assuming that it was to get the green rating. The line in the movie was “Call me crazy, but I have a thing about drinking from the anus of another creature.” In the trailer he says “caboose”.

I think that line was funnier with the word caboose. As a viewer I was a bit let down with the fact that the scene was just not as funny without the word caboose. Caboose is a much funnier word overall. Say it with me CABOOSE, CAAAABBBBOOOOSSEE. I am sorry but anus is just not as funny.

The movie In & Out with Kevin Kline had a change that was obvious in the trailer. The scene at the end of the trailer when he is replying to a masculinity audio tape has been altered. If you look at his arm it looks cut off with a bad CGI effect. I think they were going for hand in pocket, but they missed. In the movie he is holding his crotch, I am guessing they had to do something to change that for the trailer.

I am the type of person that will be drawn to odd things in films. That arm does not look natural. I asked the people I went to the movie with if they noticed it and they said “Jon, why are you looking at his crotch”? Being the quick thinker that I am I replied calmly with “It was Kevin Kline, who wasn’t looking at his crotch”. (I think they bought it) The point is that something in the trailer was changed to fit a category that changed the context of the scene.

The last example I have is from Chicken Little. This is a case of something in the trailer that was pulled from the edited parts. The Trailer has Chicken Little’s dad saying “in about three seconds I am going to scream like a little girl”

Not in the movie at all.

Mike, Thank you for re-watching the movie to verify this last example. His opinion was that it was somewhat anoying that it was not in the movie. I agree, I feel a bit cheated. I don’t know why it was not in the film. I do know that people sometimes used trailers to judge if they are going to see the movie. Isn’t it wrong to change things in the movie if the viewer has a different idea of what is in the movie from the trailers?

Am I the only one who notices these things? Is it wrong? What are your thoughts?