Monday, May 30, 2011

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

I've been a fan of Disney's version of Lewis Carroll's novel, Alice in Wonderland, since I was about 4-years-old. I was a very imaginative child, so I accepted the insanity of Alice's adventures through Wonderland with ease. It never frightened me like it did others that I know. I've read the novel and I feel that this film is a fantastic adaptation of it. It's highly creative, beautifully animated, and worth watching on more than one occasion.

For those of you who have not seen Alice in Wonderland, it is about a young girl whose mind wanders. One afternoon, it wanders a bit too much and she ends up following a white rabbit and falling down a rabbit hole. She ends up following the rabbit through Wonderland, encountering a variety of strange characters and events.

Awesome song and video about Alice in Wonderland: 'White Rabbit' by Jefferson Airplane

I love Pogo's 'Alice' song and video.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pink Champagne

I had pink champagne for the first time this weekend. It was delicious, although it was a bit sweet. It  made me think of Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant sipping on pink champagne in An Affair to Remember (1957). Too bad I didn't have Cary Grant with me. I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


It was rainy and cold out, so I went with my family to go see Bridesmaids (2011) when I was visiting them. I was surprised to see an older group of people showing up to see this movie, I'd say that the majority of the viewers were 65 years old and above. Silly me for thinking that crude humor wasn't liked by this age group range! They loved it, as did I! I laughed during the majority of the movie. Go see it this weekend if you're looking for a funny movie to see.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan) (1960)

The Virgin Spring is about 15-year-old virginal girl, Karin, who, on her way to church to light candles in honor of the Virgin Mary, is stopped by three goat herders, two men and a boy, who ask her if she would care to share her lunch with them. Being naïve, she agrees to share a picnic with them and ends up being brutally raped by the two men and then murdered after she attempts to get away from them. By a twist of fate, the three goat herders unknowingly end up seeking food and shelter from Karin's parents. What will happen to them once her father, Töre (Max von Sydow), realizes that the men staying with them are the ones responsible for both assaulting and murdering his daughter? Well, you'll have to watch to find out. 

The Virgin Spring is a tragic film about evil taking away innocence, a grief-stricken man seizing the power of revenge, and the discovery of peace and forgiveness in an unlikely situation. This is not my favorite Bergman film, but that's not to say this movie is bad. It is difficult to watch, but it's definitely worth watching. The ending is brilliant, you do not want to miss it. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jeux interdits (Forbidden Games) (1952)

Forbidden Games
is one of the most heart-wrenching films I have ever watched and I'll admit that it made me cry more than once, but it also had some humorous scenes, so it wasn't entirely depressing. It's about a young French girl, Paulette, who becomes an orphan after a Nazi air attack kills her family. After wandering away from the scene of attack, Paulette meets a young peasant boy, Michel, in the forest while he is chasing after a cow. Michel notices that Paulette is crying and asks what has happened, so she tells him, and he decides that he will take her to live with him and his family. The two children become close friends and together they try to cope with and understand the meaning of death.

This film reminds me of Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) (1948). Both have some of the most believable and emotional displays of child acting that I have ever seen. Also, both are similar in the way that they end. If you've seen both of these films, I think you will recognize the similarities, but I'm not going to go into much detail because I don't want to ruin the ending for those who haven't seen either of these films yet.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Birthday: James Stewart

(May 20th 1908-July 2, 1997)

Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors. I love his goofy voice, his dazzling blue eyes, and his witty humor. Looks like I'll be watching some of his fantastic movies tonight, after I return from going to see a movie. Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

I love this picture!


Jimmy with a silly companion.

Jimmy and the pooka Harvey.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean

I'm a huge Johnny Depp and Disney fan. My love for pirate stories began when I was about 4, when I first watched Peter Pan (1953). I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) so much that I saw it a few times in the theater. Believe it or not, this was the film that first introduced me to Johnny Depp; I was in high school at the time and quickly became a fan of his and had a major crush on him. He waved to me a few years ago when he was in Chicago filming Public Enemies (2009) and I about died from excitement. One of the best days ever!

The Curse of the Black Pearl is a great movie, it contains an interesting story, a nice amount of swashbuckling action, a little taste of horror, a beautiful setting, humorous characters, and a brilliantly adventurous score. I love the quest that both 'Captain' Jack Sparrow and handsome Will Turner go on in order to save Elizabeth Swann from the dreadful undead crew of pirates on the legendary Black Pearl led by the bloodthirsty Captain Barbossa!

The next two Pirates weren't as great as the first, but I think that was due to the fact that the story line for both was all over the place, which made both movies lag. Captain Jack Sparrow was consistently fantastic though and his pirate adventures are always fun! I'm looking forward to the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on May 20th. From what I've seen from the trailer and behind-the-scenes footage, it looks like it has the potential to be better than both Dead Man's Chest (2006) and At World's End (2007). I sure hope it is!

The Trailer

Behind-the-Scenes Look

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday: Joseph Cotten

Happy 106th Birthday to the one and only Joseph Cotten! Joseph Cotten was born on May 15, 1905 in Petersburg, Virginia. He passed away from pneumonia at the age of 88 in Westwood, California on February 6, 1994. He is definitely one of the most underrated actors ever to grace the silver screen; not once being nominated for an Oscar for any of his outstanding performances. The first film I ever watched with Joseph Cotten in it was Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and I became an instant fan of his. Uncle Charlie was one twisted guy and no one could have played him more brilliantly or ferociously than Joseph Cotten did.

More great films with the marvelous Joseph Cotten that are worth watching: Gaslight (1944), The Third Man (1949), and Niagara (1953). If there are others that you like, please let me know!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fright Night!

Happy Friday the 13th! Today is a perfect day for a horror movie! Fright Night (1985) is one of my favorite vampire movies. It's a bit quirky and it's a lot of fun to watch. The special effects are awesome, especially for the 80s! Chris Sarandan is perfect as the sexy, arrogant, seductive, and insanely evil vampire, Jerry Dandrige. He is what makes Fright Night so fantastic to watch!

Fright Night is about a teenager, Charley Brewster, who discovers that his new suave next door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is an evil vampire.  However, nobody will believe Charley's insistent warnings against him. Jerry becomes enraged by Charley's actions against him and begins to stalk him, threatening to kill him. Charley quickly realizes that in order to survive, he must destroy the vampire as soon as possible. Unsure of what to do next, Charley decides to track down Peter Vincent, the ex-TV horror movie host of his favorite TV show, 'Fright Night.' Although he Peter doesn't really believe that vampires exist, he agrees to help Charley out. Will the two be able to murder the vampire before he murders them first? Watch to find out!

I noticed a few or so months ago that Fright Night has been remade and it is set to be released on August 19, 2011 in the United States. The trailer for it was released today and I'm disappointed because of how glossy they made it. I'm not sure that the remake is going to live up to the greatness of the original. If it was awesome before, why go and remake it into crap? It's just not right! I've posted both the 1985 and 2011 trailers for Fright Night below.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dexter: Hitchcock

I love Netflix for many reasons and being able to watch 'Dexter' on instant is one of them. 'Dexter' is a show about a likable serial killer, Dexter Morgan, who works as a forensics blood-splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. Dexter isn't like other serial killers. He lives by a code that was instilled in him by his foster father, Harry; he must only kill those who are murderers and he must portray himself as a 'normal' human being. By living by this code, Dexter has been able to live his double life harmoniously without his co-workers, family or friends ever being overly suspicious of his bloodthirsty nature.

Dexter reminds me of a Hitchcock character because of his double life/split personality. One common Hitchcock motif is 'doubles/the doppelganger.' Some examples of doubles/the doppelganger in Hitchcock films include: Norman Bates and 'Mother' (Psycho), Judy Barton and Madeleine Elster (Vertigo), and Charlie and Uncle Charlie (Shadow of a Doubt).

Norman Bates represents the motif because he is both the shy and innocent hotel owner, as well as the insane and murderous Mother. 

Judy Barton also represents the motif because she pretends to be Madeleine Elster, the wife of Gavin Elster's, in order to allow him to get away with murder, so that she can be with him. After the murder is complete, Judy goes back to being her true self, not the impostor Madeleine. However, she ends up allowing herself to be transformed back into her Madeleine alter ego by Scottie after she falls in love with him.

Charlie and Uncle Charlie both represent the motif. The two have a lot in common and seem to be connected in their thoughts. Once Charlie realizes that her Uncle Charlie is the Merry Widow Murderer, she is distraught and calls him out on it. Uncle Charlie becomes angry with her and both end up trying to murder each other.

If you're a fan of Hitchcock, thrillers, or suspense in general, then you should definitely check out 'Dexter.' It's addicting, so make sure you don't stay up too late watching it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grace Kelly: Once Upon a Time

I recently finished reading a fantastic Grace Kelly book, J. Randy Taraborrelli's Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. I feel this biography is well-researched and not as careful as Donald Spato's High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly. Grace led an exciting life and it's much more interesting to read about it when it's not so watered-down. It puts her in a 'real' light as opposed to a false fairy tale princess one. Definitely worth reading if you're a Grace Kelly fan!