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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Magic of the Movies

(Repost) The magic of the movies.  Since the early days of the talkie (The Jazz Singer was the first) to the latest summer blockbuster and everything in-between, the cinema has held a passion and fascination for many people.

I'm not a critic; I like what I like and don't like others.  I don't tend to read too deeply into the subject  and rarely slate a film for being bad (with one notable exception - I'll come onto that later).

For me, going to the cinema is to be entertained.  To enjoy a good comic romp, a thriller with it's twists and turns, high energy action with explosive content, or even the occassional 'chick flick'.

As the celluloid races through the projector, the bright bulb casting the image on the silver screen at the front of the cinema, the technological advances have come a long way.

Now the sound is all around, immersing you into the film, making you part of it.  The picture quality has improved; but the lovely thing is, it's still film stock.  We are yet to have all digital cinemas (athough they are coming), which would remove the need for large film projectors.

From the small arthouse film (which sometimes breaks into the big time) to the huge, multi-million dollar blockbuster.  Do you know where the phrase "blockbuster" comes from?  It's because popular films caused the queue for the box office to queue around the block - therefore a blockbuster!!

With the Oscar ceremony done and dusted for another year, honouring and rewarding the stars, directors and cast of thousands who toil to bring us the films we love to watch, this post is to tell you of some of my all-time favourites.  That is, films I really enjoyed, have seen more than once, and wouldn't mind seeing again.

These are in no particular order:

Star Wars - A New Hope.
I was 9 when the film came out, and like everyone else, was awe-inspired by the sheer majesty and greatness of the film and the now famous John Williams theme.

James Bond
I'll include them all here; for, in their own way, each is a classic.  Ignoring the age old argument of who played the best Bond (and Sean Connery is up there with me), the latter day outings have brought it back to life - pure escapism.

 The Shawshank Redemption
For the story, the performances and the ending.  Beautifully shot and it just resonates with me.

The Truman Show
Now, this isn't a classic, and isn't shown on television very often, but it too has a lovely story, with a heartbreaking ending.  Bright and airy, yet dark all at the same time.

When Harry Met Sally
Another lovely film that doesn't get many outings on television.  However, it caught my imagination at the time and has one line I'll never forget:
"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

 Gone In Sixty Seconds
Good film, great testosterone filled action (with some Angelina Jolie too).  Just good fun.

Oceans Eleven
The Remake - better than the sequels, and George Clooney and Brad Pitt hammed it up brilliantly.  Another 'fun' film.

As for my all-time favourite (if you really want to pin me down to one film) it has to be:

It's A Wonderful Life.
Frank Capra film, with James Stewart and Donna Reed.  It's a wonderful film, and I don't mind admitting that I reach for the Kleenex every time I see it.

So that's it, just a few, and I mean a few, of my favourites.  I haven't included Indiana Jones or Titanic or Pixar animations (because they really are classic) or anything by Alfred Hitchcock (the master of suspense) or Steven Spielberg (my cinematic hero) or ... the list is endless.

Oh, I almost forgot.  The one film that I deem terrible.  So terrible, in fact, that I walked out. 
Back in 1995, it was a Nicole Kidman film: "To Die For".  It was so bad.  I couldn't even tell you what it was about without looking it up - and why would I bother doing that?

"That's a wrap"

(By the way, WRAP stands for Wind Roll And Print - in other words, the director is happy with what they've got, so let's get it developed and edited into the final film).
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