This Week in the Box: An American in Paris

anamericaninparisNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

The first lines in An American in Paris, as the camera lovingly pans over Paris and we see all the famous architecture and tree-lined streets, are “This is Paris. And I’m an American who lives here.” You don’t say! It’s so useful when movies tell you right up front what kind of movie they are.

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This Week in the Box: A Streetcar Named Desire

streetcarnameddesireNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here. Although I read a whole whack of Classic Literature in high school, and a couple plays were in that mix, I never managed to read anything by Tennessee Williams. Still haven’t, actually. My high school didn’t perform any of his works, nor did any nearby high schools where I might have gone to see a friend perform. Basically, coming in to this, I was a total Tennessee Williams neophyte. Except I wasn’t. Because I saw Blue Jasmine last summer, purely for awards-season reasons, as Cate Blanchett was talked about as the shoe-in for the Best Actress Oscar (which she won, more than six months later). Continue reading

2014 Florida Film Festival: Discussions and Parties and Guests, Oh My!

FFF2014LogoI warned you that I would write a couple of angst-filled posts as I contemplated my schedule during the Florida Film Festival. I really like organizing and planning. I’m not always as good at executing those plans, but it doesn’t stop me from making them!  The process of reviewing the options and putting together what I want to do is a sporting event in and of itself, and part of the fun for me.

I’ve always been like this. My family could tell you about our first trip to Walt Disney World, when I was 19 years old. I had the family running back and forth across the parks, based on guidance from The Unofficial Guide to Disney.  I had a written plan in my pocket and as soon as we got off one ride, I would whip it out and declare where we were headed next.  In that case, the plan definitely worked in our favor.  We came during the busiest week of year — between Christmas and New Year’s — and, thanks to my advanced planning, never stood in line longer than about 20 minutes.  Angsting over planning is how I roll.

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This Week in the Box: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

treasureofthesierramadreNote: This Week in the Box is a year-long series where Sam works through the entire Warner Brothers 50 Film Collection box set. To find reviews of the other films in the series and see the complete list, click here.

The great part about having a blog is that when you say very clever or prescient things– like predicting 19 of 24 Oscar winners, or naming all 9 Best Picture nominees before they are officially nominated– it is there in black and white for everyone to read and for you to point to. The terrible part about having a blog is that when you say dumb things– like that Humphrey Bogart is a terrible actor– they’re preserved in the same amber. Oops.

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Veronica Mars

Veronica_Mars_Film_Poster The Veronica Mars movie was epic. Lives ruined, bloodshed. About the only thing it didn’t do was span continents. It lets us spend 107 minutes with old friends who we haven’t seen for eight years and wish we were as clever as they are.

The plot is solid, more than just a reason to gather together the familiar cast of characters. The real heart of the movie, though, is the snappy dialogue. Keith and Veronica especially still maintain their excellent rapport. The maturity really shows in the fact that Logan’s girlfriend was murdered and we’re never supposed to think that he might have done it. During the show’s run, if Logan was accused of murder then we and Veronica were always supposed to believe that he might have done it.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: A Review of the Preview, Part 2

FFF2014LogoIn the first part of the Review of the Preview, I described what happened at the event. In this part, I’m reviewing the three shorts and 28 trailers shown during the Preview Party. A complete list of the films showing during the Florida Film Festival is available on the Festival’s website.

The Shorts

I almost never see shorts. Where would I see shorts, if I wanted to see them?  Rarely, I go to a movie that plays a short before the film. The only examples  I remember are animated Disney movies, most recently Frozen. As a result, I’m kind of indifferent to shorts. I don’t have specific expectations for them. All three of the shorts shown at the Preview Party were excellent. I loved each one for different reasons.

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2014 Florida Film Festival: A Review of the Preview, Part 1

FFF2014Logo

The Preview Party for the 2014 Florida Film Festival took place on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. I have never been to a film festival before, so did not really know what to expect. I knew there would be free snacks and drinks and that the list of films would be announced. I figured we would see clips of some of the films.

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