Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Favorite Movies that You May Have Never Heard Of... Movie Reviews

By Charles Chaplin, Edward Brewer,
Henry P. Caulfield, Vincent Bryan,
Maverick Terrell, Roland H. Totheroh,
George C. Zalibra, and Mutual Film Corporation
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I used to be a bit of a movie junkie until other things started to creep up on the importance scale.  Unfortunately it's been over a year since I stepped foot in a movie theatre.  I love the big screen, the popcorn and how loud the surround sound is.  Right now I have to settle for Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and the occasional DVD purchase to get my movie fix on.

The movies on my favorites list are either older than dirt or they didn't do well at the box office.  Chances are, some of you have never heard of them.  I've always found it interesting that movies based on poorly written books about vampires with an overbearing leading male part and a seriously annoying actress in the leading female role (even her voice irritates me) can do better than some of the wonderful works that I have watched over the years.  Oh, and if you don't know what I'm referring to with the vampires, believe me, you're better off that way.  That's a few hours of your life that you'll never get back.

The older movies are fantastic.  Romance, comedy, silent.  I love a great silent movie.

Anyway... without further adieu, here's a list of MY favorite movies.

Lucky Number Slevin

The first time I watched this movie, I got up and walked out of the room in the first five minutes.  The opening scenes are quite brutal and I can't stand violence when I can't see WHY it is happening.  In Lucky Number Slevin, the violent scenes in the beginning actually set the WHY in the story line.  As the movie progresses and the story is revealed, it sucks you in to see what is going to happen next.

One thing that I have to mention is the set design.  If you have any appreciation for art at all, you will really like the wallpapers that are in all of the scenes.  It creates an interesting visual effect and they obviously put a lot of thought into them.  For example, when Slevin walks into his girlfriend's apartment when he catches her cheating on him, the wall coverings change to very bold black and white patterns creating the illusion of confusion.  That is just one interesting use of props in this movie.

The movies stars Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley and Stanley Tucci.  It was originally released into theaters on April 7, 2006 and did ok but it wasn't a box office hit.  

I was really surprised by the amount of humor that was added into the script.  Maybe it's just my sick sense of humor that found some of the scenes comical.  This movie really isn't for everyone but if you like suspenseful plots with a hint of amusement, you might want to check this one out.

The Great Dictator 

I'm not sure how well this movie did at the box office when it was released in 1939/1940 but I really like it.  It's a satire on Hitler and the Nazi party.  Chaplin plays Adenoid Hynkel who looks an awful lot like Hitler.  He is surrounded by... to put it point blank... imbeciles.  Chaplin plays two roles in the film.  The part of Hynkel and the part of a nameless Jewish barber.
The film is both funny and tragic.  It makes me laugh in addition to making me realize how horrible human beings can be to each other.  The Jews are persecuted in the movie as they were during the time of the movie's release, in the middle of World War II.  There are a few really touching scenes in the movie including a speech by Chaplin at the end that is eye opening and provoking.  
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is where Chaplin's character is obscessed with taking over the world, so he dances with a large balloon that has been made into a globe...

If you are a fan of Charlie Chaplin and haven't watched this movie yet, you should.  If you are a fan of old comedy, you should watch it.  If you like great family entertainment, you should definitely watch it.

Flesh and the Devil

There seems to be a common theme in every Gretta Garbo movie I have ever watched.  She always plays the part of a harlot but that doesn't mean that her movies aren't interesting to watch.  This woman was a master of expression which was a valuable talent in the world of silent movies.

Flesh and the Devil was released in December, 1926.  It's a classic story of two male best friends, played by John Gilbert and Lars Hanson, who are in love with the same woman.  Depending on how you look at it, the woman (Garbo) knows it and she starts playing them both.  Imagine that.  Another woman, played by Barbara Kent, tries to intervene since she has been friends with both of the men since they were children.

The plot twists and turns with a really surprise and in my opinion, justified ending.  (The music in the clip is not the normal type of music for this movie.  I find the electronic music really annoying!)

If you like old silent movies, you should really take a peek at the Flesh and the Devil.  

Sooo... there ya go.  Three new flicks that you might want to check out.  I enjoy them whenever I need a movie, popcorn, couch potato fix.  In fact, I'll probably enjoy at least one of them this evening.
Any good movies in your arsenal of DVD's?  I told mine, now you tell me yours.  :)
Happy Wednesday!

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