Clark Gable two times in a row!
Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1935 adventure drama film starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable and is directed by Frank Lloyd. Another film of the same name starring Marlon Brando was released in 1962, but was a failure, both critically and at the box office. As of 2015, it is the last Best Picture winner to not win in any other category.
The film is a telling of the novel, Mutiny on the Bounty, written by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, that tells the story of the 1789 mutiny against William Bligh, a brutal and heartless navy captain who abuses, both verbally and physically, those working on his ship, the HMS Bounty. Leading the mutiny is Fletcher Christian, who shows compassion towards the mistreated men on board.
As I continue to go along every Best Picture winner, you will come to know that the Academy is pretty biased toward biographical and historical, period piece films. Mutiny on the Bounty is one example of a Best Picture winner to fall into one of these two categories. However, let us not assume that every film in these two categories is boring and/or melodramatic. Mutiny on the Bounty is a historical film that has a love story: Gable and another one of the other crew members falling in love with Tahiti women on an island, but it also has a heated rivalry. Unlike any of the previous winners so far, a rivalry takes center stage. Instead of the tale of a man and a woman in the luminous spotlight, a man and another man, and their growing disdain for one another, is what we've come to see. Like All Quiet on the Western Front, Mutiny on the Bounty is commanded by its male stars, but instead of watching men become downtrodden and demoralized through wide open war battles, we watch men express their masculinity through conversation and more confined violence.
- Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh. I am not exaggerating when I say Captain Bligh is one of the most underrated movie villains ever. A villain is praised when we find him/her diabolical enough or observe that he/she has a personality trait that makes them all the more intimidating and, potentially, evil. Captain Bligh is no cannibal, and doesn't have a split personality between himself and his mother; he is simply cruel and controlling. Bligh is merciless, and never expresses happiness or gratitude to anyone. He cares about no one but himself. Laughton nails this role, never smiling once and taking command of nearly every scene when he is in view; using dynamic vocals and a steady walk that would have even the bravest of men indecisive about standing up to him. Quite an accomplishment considering his enemy is "The King" Clark Gable.
- After the mutiny takes place, Christian and those on the ship with him are hardly seen again. We witness Bligh and his loyalists traverse the open sea with little chance of surviving. We then see a manhunt for Christian and the Bounty. The movie spends its first half making you despise Bligh and his horrific ways, but then the second half wants you to partially forgive him. He leads his men to safety and refuses to let prisoners drown when a ship he later takes over begins to sink. I guess the mutiny gave Bligh a change of heart. While I support the idea of enhancing Bligh's character, it took a little too much away from focusing on Fletcher Christian and his crew, as well as what they might go through while searching for a new home.
Two fine performances from Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, as well as a riveting display of adventure on the ocean waters, are the anchors that keep Mutiny on the Bounty firmly upright. It goes off in a slightly different direction after the mutiny takes place, but overall, it keeps you engaged. If only the Academy picked Clark Gable films to win every year back then...
Recommend? Yes. It still holds up today
What's in their bag of tricks this time?
Now You See Me 2 is the sequel to 2013's Now You See Me with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine reprising their respective roles. Newcomers are Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan. Caplan replaces Isla Fisher as the female member of the Horsemen, because Fisher became pregnant.
The Four Horsemen have gone into hiding one year after beating the FBI in a game of wits and winning the devotion of the general public. Dylan Rhodes (Ruffalo), the Horsemen's leader, eventually brings the four magicians back together and assigns them to a new mission. The mission goes awry, and the Horsemen find themselves in the middle of China, where they meet tech prodigy Walter Mabry (Radcliffe). Mabry recruits the Horsemen to pull off a heist to steal a chip that allows access to all of the world's electronic devices.
A film like Now You See Me 2, along with the first one, will be judged based on one's personal conception of the art of magic and its possibilities. If you believe magic is possible in any shape or form, I would highly recommend Now You See Me 2. If you would argue that magic has its limits and needs some semblance of logic, then this film may not be your cup of tea. I am one that favors the latter. The filmmakers, though, seem hell-bent on convincing you why the former should be the correct answer. Why is that? Because they've got CGI! And with CGI, just about anything is possible, even the most far-fetched magic tricks you could possibly think of. So what if it's implausible? Magic is meant to dazzle and be eye-candy! It is not my intention to act condescendingly towards magic, card tricks, etc. and if for whatever reason I seem to come off that way, I apologize. Magic shows can be terrific fun, but magic in film is a different story.
Now You See Me 2 has a strong ensemble cast to boast with, and everyone does just fine in their respective roles. Where the film loses credibility is in its plot and sometimes nonsensical visuals. Interesting because I would make almost the exact same critique with the first one.
- Daniel Radcliffe's villainous portrayal. Poor Radcliffe may be type-casted as Harry Potter for the rest of his career, but seeing him as the cunning Walter Mabry was quite outside the box. It was not only pleasantly different, but also effective. Radcliffe achieves a nice balance of evil-doer and humanism. He wants to be bad, but he also struggles with paranoia of being caught and being done over by the Horsemen.
- Mark Ruffalo. For some reason, I found myself getting behind Dylan Rhodes and what he goes through throughout the movie. It wasn't so much that I could sympathize with him, but more so his ability to cope with what he endures I found to be impressive. Rhodes struggles with a traumatic childhood event and later must deal with the fact that his identity becomes void. Ruffalo never has any kind of nervous breakdown or Nicolas Cage-like freakout. If any normal person was experiencing trauma or was a victim to identity theft, I would think anger and frustration are expected emotions. While Rhodes is mightily concerned for himself and the Horsemen, he always remains professional, refusing to bend under the intense pressure.
- The frequent plot twists. Now You See Me 2 is a movie about tricks and deception. Like any magic show, you being deceived is a key part in making everything work. The movie will keep twisting your arm and make sure it's one step ahead of you. Of course, if someone were to twist your arm several times in a short time span, you would probably begin to feel annoyed and try to make that person stop. Now You See Me 2 doesn't know when enough's enough. Twist after twist comes at you like a bunch of playing card projectiles, and trying to piece the convoluted plot puzzle together begins to feel like walking through the seemingly endless card maze you see on the poster.
- The implausible visuals. Like its predecessor Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2 believes magicians are capable of defying laws of physics and general logic. When the Horsemen are stealing the chip to give to Mabry, they put it within a playing card and continue to play hot potato with one another as they are being searched by guards. The card goes through their clothing and they fling it to one another like a frisbee across the room, with nobody other than them being able to notice anything. Next thing someone will tell me is that playing cards are also acceptable for playing fetch with your dog. Dylan Rhodes repeats a trick used in the first film, where he gets out of a pair of handcuffs just by swinging his arms. How come he can't do the same thing later on when he is handcuffed again? Not to say all of the magic tricks are implausible, but a few too many fail to get a pass.
For those seeking visuals thrills and nothing more than an entertaining time, Now You See Me 2 will deliver. But if you want thrills and entertainment along with a quality plot, look elsewhere. Daniel Radcliffe and Mark Ruffalo deliver strong performances among the star-studded cast, but an over-reliance on plot twists and visuals that will make you scratch your head in confusion make Now You See Me 2 seem too much like a repeat of its predecessor, which suffered from almost identical problems.
Recommend? Only if you need to kill some time
It Happened One Night is a 1934 romantic comedy film directed by Frank Capra and stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It was the first of three films to win the Big Five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Claudette Colbert plays Ellie Andrews, a spoiled socialite who has recently married a fortune-hunting pilot named "King" Westley. Andrews' wealthy father disapproves of Westley, believing he is only interested in her money. Ellie jumps the ship she is on with her father in Florida and runs away. She boards a bus in hopes of getting back to New York to reunite with her spouse. On the bus she meets Peter Warne (Gable), a recently-fired newspaper reporter who recognizes her and tells her she must give him an exclusive of her story or he'll send her back to her father. Ellie agrees to the former, and the two begin a series of adventures.
After Wings, watching the next few Best Picture winners was a fairly dreadful experience I wish to never go through again. I began to grow impatient about when I could finally view a Best Picture winner and feel satisfied. It Happened One Night came to the rescue. Considered to be one of the ultimate examples in romantic comedy, the film provided for a charming and enjoyable experience that I very much needed. Gable and Colbert create a loving romance with on-screen chemistry that puts the love stories in the likes of The Broadway Melody and Cavalcade to shame. The humor provides a nice touch of lightheartedness and keeps the romance from becoming too dominant.
- The realism of Gable and Colbert's romance. The best part of watching Ellie and Peter fall in love is that it feels natural and realistic. The two do not fall in love at first sight or over the course of 24 hours. They also bicker at one another from time to time. The occasional arguments between the two is integral in preventing their romance from turning into something out of an early Disney film, where almost everything is sunshine and rainbows. Anyone in love can admit to having argued with their significant other at some point. Ellie and Peter's love tale has a perfect pace, and Gable and Colbert look like a match made in heaven. The two are not stiff or inept. They know how to exchange dialogue and embrace one another in a way that allows us to truly believe their characters' romance.
- There was nothing about the film that I found to be a significant flaw. If I had to nitpick at anything, the humor never reaches a level of laugh-out-loud funny, except in, perhaps, the hitchhiking scene. Of course, extreme laughs are not relevant to the film's structure. As I mentioned earlier, the humor makes the film lighthearted enough to keep it from turning into a seriously sappy love tale. Any movie romance is better with a nice touch of humor mixed in somewhere.
After a string of dull and forgettable Best Picture winners, It Happened One Night stands out as not only one of the award's better winners, but also as a timeless example of romantic comedy. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert should go down as one of the most natural and heartfelt couples to ever grace the world of cinema. Over 80 years later, the two can still prove that love is an interesting thing.
Cavalcade is a 1933 drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and stars Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook.
The film follows English couple Jane and Robert Marryot, their children, close friends, and servants, who are affected by various historical events from the end of the 19th century all the way to 1933. These events include the Second Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the Titanic sinking, and World War I.
From what I read initially, this film is supposed to be about 2 and a half hours, but any and all versions I've come across have been 1 hour and 45 minutes. My assumption is that the film has been poorly preserved over the years and finding a legitimate, clear-cut version is a difficult task. I am honestly glad I did not have to spend 2 and a half hours sitting through this film, because it, sadly, continues this recent trend of dull and forgettable Best Picture winners, with Wings, so far, being the lone winner that still holds up today. The most glaring problems with Cavalcade is, once again, incoherent storytelling, but also the film being mawkish. Whatever love stories it is trying to swoon us with are either boring or overly sentimental.
- Some of the visuals in Cavalcade are fairly pleasing to look at. There are montages chronicling World War I, as well as displaying the civil unrest that happens in the early 1900's. The scene on the Titanic is also an impressive sight (for the time). Several of the other settings look exotic and provide commendable cinematography.
- The incoherence. Much like Grand Hotel, Cavalcade jumps from character to character with little to no rhyme or reason. It's never clearly defined which specific characters are most impacted by each of the historical events that take place. One of the children, Edward, marries his childhood playmate, Edith,and the two are seen having their honeymoon on a cruise ship. The two walk away and a life preserver shows the ship is the Titanic. The two also made brief conversation about dying right then and there, so it's safe to say that the two died in the sinking. However, there is little to no mention of the death of these two later on, and no reactions by the other family members are seen. It keeps jumping back and forth between Jane and Robert Marryot, their other children, and other characters that are never well defined. The result is an incoherent mess.
- The awkward mawkishness. I could never tell if I was supposed to feel emotionally moved by certain characters acting romantic with one another, or when someone was in distress. Two different grieving women pass out almost out of nowhere at two different points in the film. I almost burst out laughing. Jane and Robert Marryot give a sentimental speech right at end of the film that will make you roll your eyes. Any other romances seem to randomly pop up out of the ground, and think they can emotionally sway you with relative ease.
Cavalcade has not stood the test of time, having little to nothing to truly recommend to a modern audience. Most of the acting and the visuals deserve some praise, but it's not enough to overcome the incoherent and bland storytelling, as well as its mawkish attempt at romance. Here I remain, still waiting for that first, truly extraordinary Best Picture winner...
Recommend? Heck no
"People coming, going. Nothing ever happens"
Grand Hotel is a 1932 drama film directed by Edmund Goulding and stars Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and Lionel Barrymore. The film is notable for the line, "I want to be alone" and is the only Best Picture winner to have not been nominated for any other Oscar.
The film takes place at the exotic Grand Hotel in Berlin, Germany, where "nothing ever happens". The story follows a group of intertwining characters over the course of one day. Greta Garbo plays Grusinskaya, a Russian ballerina. John Barrymore plays Baron Felix, a gambler and a thief. Lionel Barrymore plays Otto Kringelein, a meek accountant who has discovered he is dying and wants to spend the rest of his days as luxuriously as possible. These three as well as various other characters interact with one another throughout the film.
What I just described above certainly does not sound very much like a true story. If I said we're going to make a movie where a bunch of people come together in one place, and we're going to watch how they all interact with one another, you'd get something closely resembling Grand Hotel. If we were simply conducting a study on what happens when big-name actors all come together, just for the sake of seeing them all together, the results could be interesting. The difference with the study is that we're not watching a film, and we would have an easier time following what we are observing, because there is no lighting, editing, or directing. In Grand Hotel's case, it's a puzzle trying to decipher what exactly is the "story" it's trying to tell us. When I think more about what I saw, I have a difficult time trying to come up with an answer other than, I saw a bunch of people just doing "stuff" and "things" together.
- John Barrymore's performance. Barrymore's Baron fits into the description of a bad guy gone good. Baron is a thief; he is constantly trying to steal jewelry. Later on, after playing in a card game, he steals Kringelein's wallet, because Kringelein scored a big victory securing all the money. However, when he sees Kringelein desperately searching for his wallet, he decides to return it by pretending to find it on the ground. His primary reasoning for returning the wallet is because he felt he developed a friendship with Kringelein and grew very fond of him. Baron's character is believable and has some plausible characterization to boot. Credit to John Barrymore for making this so.
- The most prominent problem with Grand Hotel is that it has no sense of direction. The movie wastes no time in defining the sample of hotel residents and workers that we are supposed to follow. Unfortunately, we keep jumping back and forth between these characters, as if it was a series of vignettes placed out of order or the script had its pages mixed up. Films like Pulp Fiction use an un-sequential story to its advantage, but Grand Hotel will give you a hard time trying to keep up, especially since everything is happening in just one setting.
While Grand Hotel does feature a big-name cast (big name for its time) and a commendable performance from John Barrymore, there's a stingy amount of memorable moments. The film is comprised mostly of character interactions with little-to-no actual storytelling. The quote at the very beginning is very appropriate, "People coming, going. Nothing ever happens". That's exactly what you'll wonder while watching Grand Hotel; what are these people doing and what exactly is happening?
...if creation was creating boredom
Cimarron is a 1931 Western film directed by Wesley Ruggles and stars Richard Dix and Irene Dunne. It was the first Western film to win Best Picture, and is one of just a small handful to ever do so.
In 1889, the Oklahoma Territory is freed by the government, prompting thousands to travel and take part in the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. Yancey Cravat (Dix) and his wife, Sabra (Dunne) join the race, but Yancey is outwitted by a woman named Dixie Lee, who takes a valuable piece of the land from him. Yancey then decides to move to the town of Osage, where he begins the Osage Wigwam, a weekly newspaper.
One of the worst feelings I think someone can get while viewing a film is coming to a point where they simply don't care anymore. Being bored is one thing, but when you tell yourself you no longer care for what you see on screen, the film has completely failed to do its job. That was what came over me as I sat twitchy and impatient in my chair while watching Cimarron. I was not only bored, but I also reached a point where my phone became my prime source of attention. Cimarron turned into background noise. That's as bad as it got.
- None. I would've said Richard Dix's performance, but he began to grow more narcissistic as the film went along, and I eventually stopped caring for him. Other than maybe a few quality scenes Dix was in, nothing else about Cimarron I found to be worthy of praise.
- The weak storytelling. Cimarron moves quite sluggishly, and if it weren't for the occasional title card, you might find yourself completely lost, unless you were still paying close attention from the start. Trying to follow the story is a bother, since random characters come and go and events seem to happen out of nowhere. There is one scene where Dix is supposed to give a sermon to a group of people, but it just comes up unexpectedly and once it's over, there is no mention of it again. The film also keeps jumping ahead several years, with Yancey Cravat coming and going like many of the other characters.
- The underlying racism. The movie makes a few racial remarks primarily towards Indians. I understand when this was first released, civil rights and equality were not exactly a hot topic, but nowadays, it would rub off the wrong way to any general viewer.
I could consider the entire movie to be a low. Nothing about Cimarron is memorable or deserving of merit, with poor storytelling, unlikable characters, and a lingering sense of boredom. On top of that, the film may finally push you to that point where you simply do not care. That is film-making at its worst. Cimarron is terrific alright, terrific in generating boredom and wasting your valuable time. How this film won Best Picture is a mystery we may never know.
Recommend? Absolutely not
All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 epic war film directed by Lewis Milestone and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, and Ben Alexander. The film is based off the book of the same name by author Erich Maria Remarque.
The film begins with a group of young schoolboys who, after hearing a passionate speech from a professor, decide to enlist in the German Army. Their enthusiasm and patriotism starts to wane as they become first-hand witnesses to the carnage and horror of World War I. Standing out among the boys is Paul Baumer (Ayres), whose inner conflict in dealing with the harsh realities of the war becomes the film's focus later on.
Character names and faces are of little to no importance in All Quiet on the Western Front. Consider yourself lucky if you're even able to catch enough character names while watching. The film's central focus is meant to be a display of the brutal reality of war, and the physical and psychological effects it can have on the men who dare to engage in combat. However, the film contradicts itself with its focus shifting to that of Lew Ayres character in the second half. The attention turns from the nightmare-inducing hardships of the war itself to the hardships upon one soldier. It's confusing because Ayres does not present himself as the main character in the first hour of the film.
- The brutal war scenes. All Quiet on the Western Front is at its best during its battle scenes and when the soldiers are struggling to survive. Men are constantly getting shot and blasted by bombs/mortars. One soldier loses an eye and cries out in agony. Another loses one of his feet and bemoans how he no longer knows the feeling he once had from wiggling his toes. Another shot shows enemy soldiers being riddled with machine gun fire, falling one by one like dominoes. Even though we have a difficult time applying names and personalities to many of these soldiers, their suffering is heartfelt and support the film's notion of war's destructive nature.
- Lew Ayres' takeover of the film. As described above, the film shifts its focal point to the character of Paul Baumer midway through. Because of this, the battle scenes become more single-minded and the themes are strictly applied to this one character. There is a long scene involving Ayres being stuck in a hole with a French soldier that he fatally stabbed. Ayres tries to plead with the dead body to speak, as we also see him slowly stare at his surroundings, with the sound of gunfire and explosions in the background. At this point, none of the other schoolboys are spoken of again, and several other characters we had seen frequently engaged in battle are now playing second-fiddle to Ayres. It's as if the film took the first hour to explain and show the horrors of World War I, and then spend the rest of the time applying them and seeing how they affect one character. If the film is strictly trying to show us how horrible everything was on the battlefield in World War I, Ayres extended screen time is not necessary.
Detailed characters and story are not of the utmost importance in All Quiet on the Western Front. Instead, the film provides for an engaging tale of what is really at the heart of war, and the nightmares that are witnessed only by those who see them first-hand. Sadly, this tale loses merit when Lew Ayres becomes the sole victim to the war's brutality. If All Quiet on the Western Front stayed the course it was on during the first hour, it could very well be seen today as the defining motion picture of war.
Recommend? Only if you have some spare time. The movie, though, has little to no replay value.
The first of many musical Best Picture winners
The Broadway Melody is a 1929 musical comedy directed by Harry Beaumont and stars Charles King, Anita Page, and Bessie Love. In addition to the Best Picture victory, Bessie Love was nominated for Best Actress.
Charles King plays Eddie Kearns, who takes his song called, "The Broadway Melody" to be performed at a vaudeville act in New York. Awaiting him in New York is his fiancee, Hank (Love), and her sister Queenie (Page). Eddie takes the two to a rehearsal where both are able to land a part in the act. Eddie begins to grow more enamored of Queenie, who later receives the affections of rich playboy, Jacques Warriner.
I would bet money that any average Joe alive today has never seen nor heard of The Broadway Melody. Certain films from the Pre-Code Hollywood time period can be difficult to recommend when it comes to appealing to modern audiences, largely in the fact that these films are usually dated. The Broadway Melody suffers from being dated, but not only that, it also suffers from insipid musical numbers, bland storytelling, and unconvincing acting.
- Bessie Love as Hank. Although several of the performances are forgettable, Love brings a charming presence to the screen and makes the case, at least in her time, as to why she was deserving of a Best Actress nomination. She is bubbly and cheerful, and never oversteps her boundaries.
-The uninteresting musical and dance numbers. The singing and dancing are joyless and lack any semblance of energy and purpose. To top it off, the film is intent on showing every female character in a flashy, suggestive costume. This was in the Pre-Code era, so if they could get away with it, they would. The women are basically half-naked all the time, and whatever music or dance routine they're a part of has no given purpose or pizzazz. It's understandable why Eddie is there singing his Broadway Melody song, but what's the purpose of a woman in a long blonde-haired wig standing and pointing on top of a boat, while a man is singing a song that isn't opera or a well-defined love song?
- The love-triangle story. Surprisingly, the musical and dance sequences take a backseat to the love-triangle between Eddie, Hank, and Queenie, which really takes over the movie. Eddie falls in love with Queenie rather unconvincingly. Eddie is swooned by Queenie's beauty, and he is charmed when Queenie helps get Hank in the vaudeville act. That's about it. Was that really all it took for people to fall in love and get married back then? Also, Hank never gets distraught over the fact that her fiancee, Eddie, is falling for her sister. When Hank finally learns about Eddie being in love with Queenie, she acts somewhat tolerant towards it. Love works in mysterious ways I suppose.
Over the years, The Broadway Melody has shaped up to be one of the weaker Best Picture winners. The film may have been lauded in its time, but through the lens of today's society, it comes off as an uninteresting and melodramatic musical that is further weighed down by its senseless love triangle. The many superior musicals to win Best Picture in later years would leave this film all but forgotten.
This is one party you won't be forgetting anytime soon
Sausage Party is a 2016 adult computer-animated comedy film directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and features an all-star voice cast including Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, James Franco, Edward Norton, and Danny McBride.
In Sausage Party, the food and other grocery products of a supermarket called Shopwell's view the humans who purchase them as gods who will take them out of the store and into a place called "the great beyond". Living in this supermarket is a hot dog named Frank (Rogen) and his hot dog bun girlfriend Brenda (Wiig), who hope to be taken to "the great beyond" together. However, "the great beyond" is not what it is expected to be, as the food products are taken home to be consumed by humans. For the humans, it's nothing out of the ordinary, but from the food's perspective, it's bloodthirsty, savage murder. Frank and Brenda manage to escape being purchased and start an adventure through the store to find out the truth about "the great beyond".
Food puns, sex jokes, crude remarks, Sausage Party has it all, and then some. The movie is wildly inappropriate, and the offensive, comedic jokes have no remorse. You can think of Sausage Party as just stupid funny, and no one would bat an eye. However, what would really surprise you is the unexpectedly layered story line that has themes of prejudice and stereotypes that you thought was already done through animation with Zootopia earlier this year. So I suppose you could say that Sausage Party is the adult version of Zootopia, only this time it's food products instead of furry animals.
- As mentioned before, the jokes never let up. But what makes the side-splitting humor a high point is the jokes never grow stale or become overused. There is no running gag throughout the film, as a new pun or inappropriate remark springs up left and right. Given how many food products are involved, and considering how the main character is a hot dog (I'll leave the rest of that thought to your imagination), food puns and other offensive jokes are abundant.
- The surprisingly thought-provoking story line. Despite all the inappropriateness, Sausage Party has some underlying themes tackling ideas of xenophobia, prejudice, stereotypes, etc. One of the hot dogs named Barry, is deformed, and some of the other hot dogs in his package make fun of him because of it, and tell him no one will appreciate him. When Frank tries to tell the entire store about the truth behind "the great beyond", he initially refuses to acknowledge what the other food products believe in, for which he later apologizes for. Frank meets a non-perishable bottle named Firewater, who tells Frank that the humans consume them and mistreat them because it helps them feel powerful. Quite amazing that an absurd concept like a conversation between a hot dog and a bottle of liquor can address social issues that are very prominent today.
- The excessive profanity. I was expecting Sausage Party to dish out uses of "f*ck", "sh*t", and other similar words to no end, which it did. However, at times, characters would use profanity seemingly just for the sake of using it. Profanity is understandable in the right context, but being inordinately foul-mouthed, even in an R-rated comedy like this one, does not mean your film will automatically get additional laughs.
Gleefully inappropriate and riotously funny, Sausage Party rides its ludicrous premise surprisingly well. With a thought-provoking story line to boot, the movie provides for a fun time that you won't regret going to.
Recommend? Definitely yes, but don't bring kids or your parents
The 1st ever Best Picture winner!
Wings is a 1927 silent war film directed by William A. Wellman, and stars Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and Richard Arlen. It is the 1st film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and to this day, is the only fully silent film to win the Oscar. The Artist, which won in 2011, was the only other silent film to win, although it had a few lines of spoken dialogue at the very end.
The story of Wings revolves around two men who are conflicting rivals: Jack Powell and David Armstrong. Both try to win the affection of a girl named Sylvia, but Jack is oblivious to the fact that the girl living next door, Mary Preston, is in love with him. Jack and David later enlist as combat pilots in the Air Service, where their bitter rivalry turns into an affirmative friendship.
There is a lot to take in while watching this film; the rivalry (and later friendship) between Jack and David, Mary's attempts at getting Jack to return her affections, and the gaudy aerial combat sequences. Wings hops and skips back and forth between these intermingled story points. Jack and Mary interact for a while, then following next is a scene of David saying goodbye to his parents. Afterwards, we have a lengthy sequence of combat training and then aerial action. Then we have a long scene of Mary trying to win over Jack. Then we're back to aerial action. There appears to be no rhyme or reason with the plot.
- The aerial combat scenes. The cinematography and adrenaline would be able to hold their own if compared to modern-day effects. As an added bonus, the title cards keep you informed about where our heroes are located and if danger is lurking right behind them. Whoever said the Academy detests films with action sequences?
- Clara Bow as Mary Preston. Though she has no spoken dialogue, Bow has an aura of flamboyance that makes her appearances a joyful presence. Whether she is giving a big smile or sulking when she suspects that Jack does not love her in return, Bow dominates the screen with her body language and facial expressions, constantly giving wide-eyed looks or waving her arms, whether in distress or attempting to get attention.
- Clara Bow's lack of screen time. While Bow is a pleasing sight while on screen, the problem is she isn't on screen enough. The aerial scenes and war-battle sequences, while undeniably impressive, gobble up too much time and keep poor Mary Preston on the periphery, particularly when she is sent home after serving in the war effort for some time.
- The film's interest begins to wane in its second act. I found myself having a harder time resisting the temptation of checking my phone to see how much longer I had. The first major scene after the intermission is Mary Preston trying to reconnect with Jack, who is drunk enough that he imagines various objects emitting bubbles. After that, the rest of the movie is almost nothing but planes buzzing and bullets firing, which shapes up to be a little too much of a good thing. How long can you bare watching planes fly around trying to shoot each other down, with very small breaks in between?
The length is a little excessive and the plot is noticeably inconsistent, but with its impressive flying combat scenes, along with a stellar performance from Clara Bow and a nice dose of humor, Wings is an enjoyable, silent war piece that was a worthy winner of the very 1st Best Picture Oscar.
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: