Saturday, June 20, 2015

Inside Out (2015) - Review

If there's anything that can be said about this film, it's that it's by far Pixar's most emotional movie to date. Hehehehe...sorry, couldn't resist. But really, whenever I could manage to get around the sinking feeling that I was the only nineteen-year-old in a theater full of Kindergartners (and parents who brought their Kindergartners and therefore had an excuse to be there), I spent an alarming amount of time with a lump in my throat. However, while Pixar's latest film is a fascinating thought experiment, it definitely has its flaws.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Tale of Two Cities (1958)

As film popularity goes, A Tale of Two Cities is a mid-level Dickens novel. Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol have been filmed so many times that it just isn't Christmas without one of them coming out.

Bulkier novels like Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, and Little Dorrit have been relegated to the small screen. But while A Tale of Two Cities is easily Dickens's best-selling novel (according to Wikipedia, the second best-selling novel of all-time), its cinematic footprint is fairly meager. The last Hollywood version was this one, in 1958, and it was an uneven remake of the 1935 version.

As plots go, it's far easier to summarize than the average Dickens, and with its romance, action, and melodrama, it's prime stuff for an epic film. (In fact, there is a new version in the works.)

Hey! Young Christopher Lee!
The story opens with a carriage struggling up a muddy hillside in the night. A rider approaches through the mist, crying out for one of the passengers, a Mr Jarvis Lorry. The coachmen check with their clients - it's not the handsome, sardonic lawyer, Sydney Carton (Dirk Bogarde), but a fussy banker (Cecil Parker).

After receiving the odd message ("Recalled to life?"), Mr. Lorry continues to Dover, where he informs young Lucie Manette (Dorothy Tutin) that her long-lost father, Dr. Manette (Stephen Murray) has been found alive. After eighteen years in the Bastille, he has been released to some kindly friends: the Defarges.