Pixar #25...Demonstrates the Artful Dominance in the Genre...Superlative Presentation
One of the Most Profound Utilization of the Computer-Artist Combining the Emergence of the Digital Platform and Human Imagination...
Pixar's Complete Capitalization and Dominance of the Genre (CGI) to its Maximum Relevance, Creating Art that was Never-Before-Seen Illustrations and Graphics that Captured Modern Audience Respect and Admiration.
All Other Studios have been Playing Catch-Up and Copy-Cat Ever Since. For the Most Part, Pixar Movies have Not Disappointed.
Fans and Critics Alike have Gushed None-Stop, Flowing Accolades and Adjectives of Praise.
Given the Turmoil and Divisive Impact of "Social Media", the Genius Pixar Turned its Back on the Poison from People.
Virtually Anonymous Muck-Rakers and Worse, and Set the Movie in a Pr-Internet Era (2002).
It's a Story/Metaphor for the Onset of "Womanhood" or the Menstrual Cycle.
That in Itself is Mind-Blower. The Menstrual Cycle Openly Discussed, in a "Disney" Movie, Marketed to the Masses in a Pop-Culture Entertainment.
Designed to Enlighten as Well as Entertain, the Movie is Full of World-Class Digital-Art that Astounds Propelling the Life-Lesson Along a 13 Year-Olds Trek to a New Level of Experiences.
A Continuation of the Clever and the Classical.
Pixar is the Best at What They Do, and at this Point in Time is Deflecting Current Criticisms of "Wokeness". Let's Hope that the Formula for Things is to Deteriorate Continuously from Conception to Death.
Whether it be a Country, Civilization, Service, or Product, the Decrepitude Dominates Until the Demise of What Was Once Superlative.
Pixar is a Phenomenal Success Story and Their 25th Movie Shows No Signs of Deterioration, Apathy, or Stagnation.
Batman: Year 3...The Roots...Detective Noir...Batman Begins Life-Long Vigilante Revenge
In the Beginning there was "Zorro" a Vigilante Living a Life of Secret Servitude to the Peons, with an Secret-Identity of a Masked Savior, with Home-Base a Cave, Riding a Black as Night Horse (Midnight), with Cape Flowing, a Hero of the Oppressed and Exploited Masses.
Then Later there was "The Batman" Living and Fighting for Justice as a Reborn Modern "Zorro" with the Dedication, Skills, and Resolve and became a Beloved and Respected Hero.
The Life of "The Batman" was that of "Prince of the City", a City Overwhelmed into Chaos by Crime, Corruption, and a Hapless Society in Total Decline. A Noir World where Light has Vacated to the Darkness that Squeezes the Light into Submission and Dominates Life in "Gotham" City.
It's a Place where "The Batman" is in His Essential Elements. An Environment that Gave Him Billions, then Took His Father and Mother at the Hands of Criminals. A Depressing, Gloomy, Foreboding Place Called "Gotham". Home to Bruce Wayne, and "The Batman",
This is Root-Batman Exposed and Struggling to "Make a Difference". 2 Years In, and He's Not Sure if He Matters. "The Batman" Matters as a Film and a Beginning-Place for a "New" Trilogy of "The Batman": The Beginning".
A Depressing, Gloomy, Foreboding Place Called "Gotham". Home to Bruce Wayne, and "The Batman",
This is Root-Batman Exposed and Struggling to "Make a Difference". 2 Years In, and He's Not Sure if He Matters.
"The Batman" Matters as a Film and a Beginning-Place for a "New" Trilogy of "The Batman": The Beginning".
Forgotten Film...The Bridge Between "Spaghetti Westerns" & "The Wild Bunch" (1969)
The "Code" that Dominated and "Lorded Over" Hollywood Motion Picture for Decades enforcing "standards and Practices" Dictated by Rules Set-up by the Committee was in Tatters and Disarray, but Still "Held Court" in 1966.
Truth is, Strict Enforcement of the Aforementioned "Sword of Damocles" by the Film-Makers, Destined this Movie to a "Border-Line" and No Further "Lock-Down" of the Film in the Category of the Restrictions Outside the Creative Concerns of the Talent Doing the Creating.
It Simply, Given by the Rules of Engagement, Could Not Have Gone "Where No Movie Had Gone Before", During the Vice-Like Grip of the Censors.
So There it Was, Forever Shackled by "Interventionists" with Huge Political Clout, Including Church, and Government Leaders.
A Film with an Undeniable Roster of Talent at the Peak of Their Collective Gifts, Making a Movie Under Oppression from Outside Forces, are Forced to Concede to Corporate Rather Than Artists Concerns.
By the Time "The Wild Bunch" (1969) was Released Sam Peckinpah Knew He Had Birthed a Post-Modern Classic that "The Professionals" Could Only Have Dreamed.
Because Richard Brooks was to Early to the Party that was the Celebration of the Death and Demise of the "Motion Picture Code".
So, All the Acting, Writing, and Cinematography although Infused with World Class" Talent, Couldn't Breakout of its "Tortured" and Repressive Existence Under "Blue Laws" Written by Frustrated Twerps and Fascists.
Censorship of Thought or Art Does Nothing but Erect Roadblocks for the Evolution of the Mind and Soul as can be Witnessed as an Example, among Many, that Art, as a Reflection of the"Heart and Soul" of Mankind, Must be Allowed to Flourish for the Soul of Mankind to Flourish.
Despite the Exceptional Work of Richard Brooks, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Woody Strode, Cinematography Conrad L. Hall, and Others,
the Film is a Victim of a Preconceived Contrivance and Limitation of Ideas that Included Many Commandments that if Violated would Bring on the Wrath.
Pleasant Magical Spoof...Wonderfully Witty Charming and Fun
Exceedingly Effective with Lively Characters Evoking Heart-Felt Emotions Blending Real-Life Concerns with Flights of Fantasy.
The Movie, from a Pulitzer Prize Winning Play (1944) from Mary Chase, is Filled with Insight, Laughs, Delivered by Sharply Drawn Caricatures Performed by a Cast of Tightly-Fitted Actors.
James Stewart is "Dowd, Elwood P., Let me give you one of my cards", a "Head in the Clouds" Samaritan that is the Bane of His Sister, Josephine Hull as "Vita", because Elwood has a Best Friend Named "Harvey".
"Harvey" is a 6'3" White Rabbit, known as a ''Pooka", that Only Elwood Sees and Hears.
The Drama that Unfolds as Vita Wants Elwood "Committed" and Drugged with a New Scientific Formula that Makes People "Normal".
Elwood and Harvey are Unaffected by the Calamity and Chaos Around Them and by some sort of "Zen-Therapy" Emanating from the "Happy Couple" Does Change People for the Better.
A Heart-Rendering Film with James Stewart at His Best, Josephine Hull Won an Oscar for Her Dynamic Performance, and the Rest of the Cast is Spot-On.
A Low-Key Mind-Altering Movie that is so Pleasant that it Schmoozes the Audience into Total-Acceptance-Participation into the Nether-World of Elwood and Harvey.
Unremarkable...Studio-Sytem Bred Mediocrity...Early Days of Rail Road Competition
The Still Viable, but Losing Power Exponentially, the Studio System, in 1952 was More than Capable of Culling Contract Players and Film-Makers that could Produce this Type of Mass-Market-Movie-Making with Ease.
The Clock-Work Synthesis of Talent was Given the Wholly Approved Script and Production Notes and Everyone Dutifully "Punched the Clock" Until Work was Over.
The Movie Studios had won Complete and Legal Control Over Each and Every Production.
But the Motion Picture Code was the Overseer of Every Studio.
In the 1950's the System began to Show Signs of Weakness and 20 Years Later would be Gone (Replaced by the Ratings System) with the Wind of Independent Film-Makers.
So, By the Numbers, Formula, and Stagnant Stuff became the "State of the Art".
But the Art of Film had been "Deadened" and the Signs of Impending Doom were Everywhere.
This Film is an Example of the Best Mediocrity that Money could Buy.
No Inspiration or Creativity is Evident Beyond Basic "Manufacturing" a Product Guaranteed to Make a Profit Ruffling No Feathers in the Process.
There's Beautiful Scenery, a Rapid Exchange of Tit for Tat Sabotage and Brawling, Comedy Shenanigans, and it Squeezes the Romance so Tight it Barely Fits.
A High-Light is the Final Head-On Clash of the Competitive Rail Roads.
The Film Certainly isn't a "Train-Wreck", but it isn't Anything Remarkable.
Just Mediocre Movie-Making.
Note...Edmond O' Brien is Miscast and Sterling Hayden is a Vacant Entity.
The Pre-Code Years for the "Talkies" (1928-34) Produced a Number of Gangster and Horror Films that Showed little Restraint with Regards to "Community Standards".
Among the Titles is this Little Known, but to Cult-Movie Fans, Nasty Piece of Work with Lionel Atwill at His Signature & Sinister Best.
Setting the Tone is the Very First Scene is a Spoiler or Should Be.
After The Jaw-Dropping Open, the Audience is Transported from the Jungle to the Asphalt Jungle Where Lionel Atwill, Insanely Jealous and a Maniacal Beast Among a Tribe of Humans, Continues to the Body-Count of His Wife's Admirers.
The Dame that Attracts the Attention, Kathleen Burke, who Marked Her Territory in "Island of Lost Souls" (1933).
Unique and Ultimately Satisfying for Horror Fans and there's a Scene that Must be "Infamous" by Now where Big Cats are Forced to Fight while Camera Rolled.
The Movie is Far From Perfect and the Excess Baggage it Must Endure is the More than Average Comedy Relief, a "Safety Valve" to Contrast the Outrageous and Sadistic Violence.
The Films Reputation has Grown Steadily along with Other Greats of the Era.
Note...Early Role for Randolph Scott as a Scientist.
Awkward Stiff & Artificial...Popular but Overrated
From the Start the Artificiality of a Hollywood Movie about Hollywood's Movies seems Contrived and Melodramatic.
Everyone Overacts, the Film -Amp is Turned-Up to 11 for the Duration.
Some Sharp Black & White Cinematography Stand Out Among the Characters.
Lana Turner seems Miscast, Kirk Douglas Adding Another Notch to His Growling Projections, with Dick Powell Comatose, and the Rest of the Cast are Caught in the Wind-Tunnel.
It's a Popular Semi-Satire on the Movie Business and it Actually Won 5 Oscars...
Best Actress in a Supporting Role...Gloria Grahame
Best Cinematography...Robert Surtees
Best Screenplay...Charles Schnee
Best Art & Set Direction...Gibbons, Carfagno, Willis, Gleason
Best Costume Design...Helen Rose
Despite All That it's Not Going to be for Everyone...It has Dated Horribly.
Glimpses (High-Lights) of a Troubled Week "I Love Lucy" 2ndSea.
The Enormous and Long-Lasting Legacy of "I Love Lucy", is Undeniable.
The Show Debuted in the Days when the Population's Choices, is Not Relatable Today.
Scant and Very Limited "Distractions" of Entertainment were Exceedingly Sparse. At One Point, the Show Attracted 60 Million Viewers. It Undoubtedly Reached an Increasingly Rabid Fan-Base that Continues to this Day.
So Lucille Ball and to a Much Lesser Extent, Desi Arnez, became America's Couple that Peeked with Lucy Delivering Her Baby as a "Love Letter" for Her Fans.
Distilling the Iconic Show and the Stars into One of the Crucial and Dynamic Weeks of the Shows Second Season.
The Real-Life Week Highlights were...Lucy and Desi the Love Story where Lucy Suspects Desi of Having an Affair...It's Announced in the Press with 3 In. RED HEADLINES, that Lucy is a Communist...Lucy Announces Her Pregnancy to the Sponsors, Studio, and Staff.
This is What Sorkin Bites Off and Chews. Nothing so Lasting and Popular, Like the People and Show is Going to Completely Satisfy the Millions of Fans.
This is a High-Light Reel of One Major Event in the History of the Show, Lucy and Desi, this Tumultuous and Test of Nerves Week.
The Fan-Base can Snack on the Morsels Sorkin Serves-Up. It's a Fascinating Peek Behind the Scenes at a Time When it was All On-the-Line.
Good Time-Travel Experience with Much to Think About while being Entertained by Talented Film-Makers.
Director Ron Howard Steps Out of His "Comfort Zone"
Lurking Beneath the "PG-13" Persona of Director Ron Howard is an "R" Rated Monster Threatening and Poking the Film-Maker and His Attempt to Make "Art" that Rests Comfortably in the Laps of Middle Class Families.
Having Grown-Up Delivering Patently Parental "Safe Zones" via the "Tube" with Mega TV-Hits Like "The Andy Griffith Show" and Swiftly and Slickly Moved to Another Huge-Hit "Happy Days".
Both Series were Immensely Popular, Ran for Years in Syndication and Howard was an Integral Part of Both Shows.
Beginning His Directorial Career with Fluff and Stuff of Such Light-Weight Films Like "Grand Theft Auto" (1977) and a bit Later"Splash" (1984).
It Can't be Denied that Howard Hits now and then with Ultra-Popular, Award Winning Films and is Recognized World-Wide as Competent, Gifted, and With All the Money in the World, Capable.
"The Missing" is an Attempt at "True Grit" Storytelling in a Western Reminiscing "The Searchers" (1957).
You Can Tell that He has a Soft-Spot for the 50's and a Time Less Complicated.
There's Plenty to also Attest that He is Trying Hard to Peep Out of the Pigeon-Hole that He Occupied Labeled "Safe" with a Govt Seal.
Cate Blanchard and Tommy Lee Jones are Top-Notch Professionals that Bring Solid, Hard to Criticize, Work-Horses Firmly in Place and Both Deliver Exactly as Planned.
The Action is on Hand to Accent the Family-Tragedy that is an Easy Melodramatic Follow and Feel.
Howard Succeeds in Keeping the Film Flowing with Beautifully Staged Tropes of the Genre.
Where His Guilt Shows is the "Tough-Stuff" Like Kidnapping, Human Trafficking, and the Vile and Repulsive Things that the Mind Imagines what this Actually Meant in Real-Life.
He Thinks by Excessive Pushing and Shoving the Girls Around is a Representative Replacement of Rape and Sado-Masochistic Treatment.and
All is Well in "Speilberg-Land".
It's a Fear that Howard will Probably Never Overcome.
But When His Career is Said and Done. Perhaps He Should have Feared Life in the Pigeon Hole even More.
Popular Hit...Bridges Close & Eszterhaus...Flalshy Slick & Dull
A Combination of Reliable and Handsome Leading Man Jeff Bridges,
Glenn Close Delivers a Solid but Undemanding Role by the Numbers, Defending Bridges of Accusations of Murdering His Wealthy Wife,
Peter Coyote Equally Comfortable Defending and Breaking the Law.
Joe Eszterhaus, Script-Writer, with the Beginning of Love/Hate Relationship with Critics, the Populaces, and Industry Power-Brokers.
He Elevated the Art of Screen-Writer to the Million Dollar Bracket.
It's Eszterhaus and HIs Ability to Craft High-End-Trash Scripts. Salacious, Passionate Scenarios of Love, Lust, Perversion, and Crime,
Committed by Upper-Class, Well-Groomed Players that Use Their Power to Perform Unsavory, mostly Against the Law Behind a Curtain of Manipulation.
Frank Loggia Provides a Foul-Tongued, Boozy Private Detective Working for the Counselor Close, with Straight-Talk Dedication, Peppered with Obscenities.
He Got a Supporting Oscar Nomination.
The Soapy-Script seems to Relish Sex-Crime Recounting of Unspeakable Rape Experiences Spoken Openly in Court.
The Film is Slickly Produced but Lacks a Certain Verisimilitude with Everyone Involved,
Except the P. I, and is Photographed so Bright it is the Antithesis of Noir, as in Neo-Noir that it Fancy's.
The Suspense Ends Up Ineffective, Foreshadowing Events, by Tone as Much as Exposition.
It's just too Bright, Lively, and Plugged-In to Hold-Up Under Scrutiny.
Over-Produced, and Sleek Tabloid Story Obliterates the "Edgy" Material and Waters it Down to a "Thriller" that is at Home with the Country-Club Set that Likes Their "Noir" Atmosphere Dressed-Up and Clean.
Despite the Failure to Live-Up to Expectations, this is Big-Money Trash Movie-Making that is Jaw-Dropping Stagy and Stupid. For That...
Alton "Painting With Light"...Conte's Evil Boss...Gritty Glorious Noir
Arriving Late in the Film-Noir Cycle this Unforgettable, Glum, and Fascinating Foray into the Dark-Side of City Crime Emerges as an Exception to the Dilation that Film-Noir Experienced in the 50's.
"Police Procedurals" were Generally Not LIke This. The Film Takes Place in Confined, Claustrophobic Sets Suffocating the Proceedings.
Master Noir Cinematographer John Alton Paints the Film with Black on Black with Shards of Light Cutting the Darkness for a Meilu that Engulfs and Traps the Scene with a Dread that Defeats any Hope of Escape.
It's an Ensemble Work of Art for Sure.
Writer Phillip Yordan Lays on the Hard-Boiled Patter with Pithy and Thick Dialog.
The Cast is High-Lighted by Richard Conte's Soulless Bully. Using Monotones to Emphasize Emptiness Within. A Scene where He Tortures Detective Cornell Wilde is as Brutal as They Come.
Jean Wallace as the Platinum Blonde Itch that Conte and Wilde Try to Scratch is OK and Her Scene with Conte Simulating Oral Sex had the Censors Crying Foul.
Helene Stanton is Memorable as a Burlesque Dancer that Wilde Makes Love to in His Apartment, but His Heart is Chasing Jean Wallace.
Then There's Lee Van Cleef and Earl Hollaman, the Gunsels with Shades of Gay.
One of the Most Stylish and Pure of the Film-Noir.
It Rarely Gets Much Better than This.
Subversive, Dark, Sadistic, Lurid, and the Tone is Expressionistic and Encompassing.