Once Upon a Time in the West

One of the downsides to doing this challenge is that I’ve seen too many westerns. I’m now to the point where I feel that when you’ve seen one western, you’ve seen them all.

My Darling Clementine

This film seems pretty ordinary to me. It doesn’t really have any ‘bizang’ to it. I’ve seen far better Westerns. Its about this guy and his brother gets killed so he becomes the marshal of a town to hunt the people who killed his brother down.

  • The cattle is gone! And the music literally goes ‘dun dun duuuuuuuun!’
  • You can’t kill people off in the first 10 minutes because we don’t know enough or care enough about them when they do die. Unless, of course, the reaction to his death is incredibly emotional which, in this film, it wasn’t. It just didn’t work for me, I didn’t feel sorry for him and therefore didn’t join the main characters and they wanting for revenge.
  • Cowboys don’t drink champagne, that’s just weird!
  • Shakespeare in a Western? Really?! Nice to see an Englishman in a Western who wasn’t a bad guy, though…
  • (more…)

    12 Angry Men

    The movie is about a jury made up of twelve men as they discuss the fate of an 18 year old boy. Sounds boring but believe me, its far from it. I would actually go as far as saying its more entertaining than the CSI stuff we have on TV.

  • The opening scene is set in the courtroom but its only about a minute or so long. Then, the ending scene is outside the courthouse and onto the streets. Everything in between is on one set, the jury room. That’s a pretty bold move for a movie but somehow, it works. Anyway, when it fades from the courtroom to the jury room, it’s a very long fade so that the convicted-boy’s face looks like its in the jury room, almost to symbolize that the boy is forever present in that room.
  • Except for the very, very end, the men don’t have names, they’re simply numbers. I love this because therefore we don’t get distracted or confused by names, we just know the characters by face. Also, its done so subtly that you don’t realise they don’t mention names till the very end when two characters finally go “what’s your name?”
  • The acting and speech is incredibly realistic. The way they speak doesn’t sound scripted and they do talk over each other, just like in real life. And there is a man who has a cold and therefore we hear coughing ever now and then.
  • So, all the men just want to go home and say he’s guilty except one man who says they should talk about it as its about a boy’s life. I suppose that shows that humanity isn’t as sweet as we think it is.
  • I love all the contradictions in this script! Some of the men make prejudice judgments and when they’re either proven wrong or something along those lines, I found myself going “oooooo you got owned!” I’ll list a few of my favourite examples; a few of the men make comments on the fact the boy is from the slums and everyone from the slums are murderers and theives. Then, one the men says that he’s from the slums and the guys are like “oh, no, no, we didn’t mean you…” I think that has happened to everyone, when you’re talking about a ‘type’ of person and someone in the room or even a friend is one of them. Awkwaaaard! Yes, that’s it, there are loooads of awkward moments but they’re brilliantly awkward. Like, when the elder jury member 9 talks about how the old man [the witness] wants attention as he’s probably been a nobody all his life, one of the other men is like “how do YOU know?” and then there’s a pause and its like “aw, he’s like him! Aw, poor man…” I can’t quite describe it but its all just written so well!
  • Juror 10: “Bright? He’s a common ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English.” Juror 11: “Doesn’t even speak good English.” Ooooo owned again!!!
    Juror 3 is the last one to change from guilty to non-guilty, he’s the most arrogant of the lot to the point where its so frustrating to watch him. So, when they’re talking about what the old man saw, Juror 9: “He said fifteen seconds. He was very positive about it.” Juror 3: “He was an old man. Half the time he was confused. How could he be positive about anything!” And I went “OOOOO YOU JUST ADMITED YOU WERE WRONG! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” and then Juror 8 says that even if someone yells that they’re going to kill someone it doesn’t mean they’re actually going to do it and Juror 3 is like “yes, you do!” and then later on in the film he gets angry at 8 and screams “I’ll kill you” and I was like “OOOOO YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!” Seriously, you get really into this movie.
    There is a… I don’t know why I think its particularly a beautiful scene but I just love the way it was staged. Juror 10 starts a racist rant, one by one the other jury members stand up from the table and move away, eventually having their back to the racist man. 10 realizes that people aren’t agreeing with him when everyone but two other people have their backs to him. He is then told to ‘never open his mouth again’ and is therefore shunned by the rest of the group. I just thought it was amazingly staged and wonderful to watch. Incredibly clever.
  • The ending, where they go down the stairs and into the streets was a bit of a shock reminder that these men are complete strangers and will probably never see each other again. After all the arguments and conversations, they will just go their separate ways. I just found that incredible…
  • For the ending credits, they show the character’s faces with the actor’s names as we’re never told the characters names except 2 at the very end but we’re still more familiar with their faces than names.
  • I don’t know if this review makes any sense at all but it is truly an incredibly good movie. If there is a film student reading this, you should watch this movie if you’re writing an essay on scriptwriting, this is the perfect example.



    The Lady Eve

    8.15pm- I chose one of the shortest films in my list [that’s on demand] to do tonight because I am so tired! I spent a lovely day at NASA and now I just want to sleep but I know if I don’t do a film tonight then I’ll be 3 behind!

    10.58pm –

  • Opening is a cartoon of a happy, smiley, goofy snake with a top hat and maracas. Immediately know it’s a comedy.
  • One of the things that I love about movies from the 40s is the glow that they have; it manages to make everything look incredibly beautiful!
  • I loved a scene at the beginning where Jean is watching all these women try all the tricks in the book to get Charles Pike’s attention. It was so funny to watch these women do the tricks which I know are real things women do but they’re so over exaggerated that they’re very comical; we all know someone who has tried one of those tricks [like moving past them so they get a good view of your bum!] Then Jean manages to get him with the ‘revealing leg’ trick.
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda are great in this movie, they have fantastic chemistry together. Their characters, Jean/Eve and Charles are so perfectly sweet together; she’s the confident woman and he’s the innocent man which is a nice gender change!
  • There are some really cool card tricks in this movie, especially by Harrington [Jean’s dad]. What makes it even better is that it looks so cool that I have to remind myself they didn’t have CGI in those days!
  • As much as I love the characters on their own and even more together, I hated that they were going to get married after one day of knowing each other. At least, I thought it was only one day as they didn’t show any sign of it being a couple of weeks or days into the future. It was all going lovely and sweet until they talked about marriage and it kind of ruined it for me.
  • Charles finds out who Jean is and I felt terrible for him! You really do get a bit emotionally attached to these characters, especially Charles because he’s so innocent.
  • Stanwyck wears a gorgeous white dress in a scene with a HUGE white feather fan, its so beautiful!
  • I didn’t like that Charles didn’t recognize Eve was Jean just because she put on a [crap] British accent. However, Eve/Jean then said that they look different to each other because they were no longer in love and therefore saw each other in a completely different way.
  • There’s a lot of slapstick in this movie but I don’t feel it was done quite right because it looked more painful than funny. I found myself wincing rather than laughing.
  • Anyone seen Cake Boss or that show were they make a cake in like 6 hours or something? The wedding cake in this movie looked like it came from them! It was huge and it was beautiful! Oooo I want some cake now!
  • I laughed when Eve/Jean was ‘revealing’ the names of men she’d been with and it would cut to a shot of the train going faster and noiser then back to her ‘revealing’ another name then to the train then another name, and the more names were revealed the fast the train went! I thought I was a funny metaphor.
  • They meet again, they kiss and I go “wait, WHAT?! No… wait… actually, that does make sense…”
  • Very enjoyable film with two wonderful leading characters in it, they should make more romantic comedies like this one! The storyline is predictable but its done in a tasteful manner. I liked it!



    Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 7:15 PM  Leave a Comment  
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