Some Comedy films

Another old film post from 2013 that no current followers appear to have seen. (Except Eddy) Unusually for me, this one is about comedy films.

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Some time ago, my friend Jim Medway (look him up, very talented cartoonist) asked if I was going to post some suggestions for comedy films that I would recommend. I had feared that someone would make that request, as Comedy is my least favourite genre, when it comes to films. It is not that I don’t find things funny, far from it; just not the sort of things that are commonly called ‘comedy’, by film-makers.

I could barely raise a chuckle at the big box-office successes starring the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Steve Martin. It is also highly unlikely that I will ever want to watch a teenage ‘rom-com’, or one of the cruder attempts at being funny, that seem so popular in the multiplexes these days. I will confess that some parts of ‘There’s something about Mary’ made me laugh, but not enough to get it…

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Some Musical films

Another film post reblog from 2013. This time it features some musicals. Hardly anyone has seen it before, except Eddy and
Vinnie.

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I am not generally a fan of musicals, especially theatrical ones. I have never seen a Lloyd-Webber, and have nothing good to say about ‘Les Miserables’, or ‘Moulin Rouge’. However, there are some film musicals that I do like, and it is those I recommend here. Most, if not all are well known, so nothing to surprise the reader.

The Producers. This original 1968 version, written and directed by Mel Brooks, still makes me laugh 45 years later. The story is about an unscrupulous Broadway producer (Zero Mostel) duping old ladies into backing a production that is designed to be a failure; then all the backers lose their money, and the producers of the title clean up. At least that is the plan. He recruits a shy accountant (Gene Wilder) to fiddle the books, and buys a sure-fire disaster of a script from a Nazi fanatic, entitled ‘Springtime for…

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Some films about Art

Another film post from 2013 that hardly anyone has seen. This time it is about famous artists whose lives were filmed.

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You know the old  quote, ‘I don’t know much about Art, but I know what I like!’ Well, I only know a bit about Art, but quite a lot about films. Here are some suggestions that manage to combine the two, providing visual delights, exciting action, and some great acting in the process.

Caravaggio. Whatever you think of the controversial English film-maker, Derek Jarman, don’t let it put you off this 1986 work. Despite the quirky additions to the story, ( a typewriter in 17th Century Italy!) strong performances by a very good cast make this well-worth watching. The story of Carvaggio is told both on film, and by his paintings. His love interest, played by a younger Sean Bean, is an integral part of the plot also, with Bean taking hold of the film for the most part, and overshadowing Nigel Terry, in the lead role. What makes it…

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Films that I don’t like

Another film post from 2013 that only Vinnie appears to have seen. More unpopular opinions from me about many much-loved films. As always, feel free to disagree.

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Having listed numerous films that I do like, in my tour around the World of Cinema, I thought it appropriate to also let you know about the types of film that I never watch, and just don’t like. These choices are unlikely to gain me many friends, but I will stand by them, and try my best to plead the case for the prosecution. No clips with these, as they are generic, not specific.

Comic Book Franchises. I do not refer to the recent trend for filming graphic novels, as seen in ‘Sin City’, and ‘300’. This is an entirely different subject, and I have some time for these efforts. In particular, I am launching my attack at the filming of the heroes of Marvel, and DC comics. The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Superman, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Captain America, and of course, Batman. There are many others, and you will no…

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Some Polish films

Yet another film reblog from 2013, this time featuring films from Poland. Only Eddy has seen this one before.

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Poland has a long tradition of film-making. Whilst not having a huge output, some of the films from this country are highly acclaimed, and many have won awards. On this list of recommendations, I have taken the liberty of including two films from the same short series, as I could not choose between them. I have deliberately left out the famous ‘Three Colours Trilogy’, as it is so well known, and also omitted anything by Roman Polanski, for the same reason. I will be doing another post on cinema from Eastern Europe, but felt that Poland had enough to offer on its own. Besides, I sort of owed it to Eddy Winko…

Europa Europa. Strictly speaking, this is a French/German/Polish co-production, but don’t be misled. It is in every sense a Polish film, about the experience of Polish-born Jews during the Second World war, and directed by a famous woman…

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Some more films I don’t like

Another 2013 reblog, one that only Eddy has seen before. This time it is a somewhat confrontational post about the type of films I don’t like. If it upsets you, feel free to tell me off in the comments!

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I got clean away with the first post on this. Not a comment, no tirade of abuse, no petitioning from fans of LOTR, Harry Potter, and all the other stuff I castigated. I was pleasantly relieved, although I suspect it is just because nobody can be bothered to read it. As a result of this unexpected escape, I decided to have another go, and slam into some more established films, that I think are overrated, pointless, or unnecessary. I have not added clips, as there are too many to choose from!

James Bond Films. In 1962, there may have been understandable justification to make a film like Dr.No. There had been nothing really similar before, and the tongue-in-cheek spy thriller, filmed in exotic locations, was a refreshing change for many. The books had sold well, and though Sean Connery was an unlikely and unconvincing Bond, there was a ready market…

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Some films from the USA

I am reblogging another old film post from 2013. Other than Eddy and Paul, I don’t think anyone has seen it.

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I know, how do you possibly choose? Home of the Hollywood musicals, the best gangster films, some of the best war films, and many of the most memorable moments ever filmed, anywhere. Disney, MGM, Spielberg, RKO, Paramount, and the whole studio system. It may not have been the first place where films were made, but it has the most prolific, and arguably the most varied Cinema Industry, anywhere on Earth. It is impossible to offer five suggestions from all that isn’t it? Well maybe not. If I ignore all the usual suspects (and The Usual Suspects), forget everything before about 1980, and leave out every epic, I can just about come up with some that may give you pause for thought; and that you may have never seen.

Ghost World. This film from 2001, sees Steve Buscemi, well known from many later roles, as a geeky, middle aged man, alone…

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Some Science Fiction films

Another film post, reblogged from 2013. David and Keith have seen it, but I think few others have. Science Fiction this time.

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What is Science Fiction? It can be argued that this means different things to different people, and with justification. I will deal with those films that take a futuristic view of events, and try to imagine what life might be like, in an alternative reality, or in centuries to come. I will try to avoid ‘monster’ films, but will include robots, and space travel. Some of these are incredibly famous films, and I could not justify omitting them from this short list. If you think you know them well, have another look, and discover something you might have missed.

Things to Come. Written by H.G.Wells, and directed by Alexander Korda, this 1936 film spans a huge time period, from 1940, through to an imagined 2036. It is famous for its predictions; of the destruction of cities by massed aerial bombardment, the use of chemical and biological warfare, and post-apocalyptic…

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Some uncomfortable films

Another 2013 film post. Only Eddy and my cousin have seen this one.

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I have to get straight in with a warning here. These films are described as uncomfortable, as this is the type of viewing experience you can expect. Some are downright nasty, and all will make you uneasy at some point, and you may even turn them off. They contain scenes of sexual violence, mass-murder, casual killings, and portrayals of madness. So, watch at your peril, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why recommend them in that case? Despite the above disclaimers, I feel that they all have something to offer; about society, or war, or human endurance. Some are studio productions with a star cast, others made on a budget, with little-known actors. All are well-made, with performances of intensity, and sincerity, from all those involved. Without exception, none of them are feel-good films, and all will leave you with unpleasant memories. A lot like real life then…

Henry:…

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Some British films

Another old film post from 2013. Only Eddy has seen this one.

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Working my way around European Cinema, I almost forgot the UK. The long tradition of film-making here has been diluted over the years, with the demise of many famous studios, and leading actors and directors ‘defecting’ to the USA. There is still a vast amount to choose from though, and here are five to think about.

Brighton Rock. The first, and best film treatment of the Graham Greene novel. This 1947 film gives the young Richard Attenborough the role of the psychotic Pinkie, a juvenile gang-leader , arguably one of his best ever performances. Filmed for the most part on the streets of post-war Brighton during the summer, it serves as a fascinating social documentary as well, portraying those times, the vehicles, and the style of dress. With a cast of well-known British character actors supporting Attenborough’s menacing central lead, this is a great example of the sort of British…

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