Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Murder On The Bayou (A Gathering Of Old Men)


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 07/19/2017


FORMAT: Laserdisc

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 32 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 21.1 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7097.7 miles

SYNOPSIS: A group of elderly African-American men rally to protect a peer that is accused of murdering a white man.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: The reverse of a black lynching.  Empowerment of a repressed group against the establishment.

PROS AND CONS:  Wasn’t sure what to make of this film in the beginning.  It suffers most in the script and dialog, when the elderly cast individually get to recount their mistreatment by ‘white’ America in long five minute speeches.

The film starts to move along about half way through and becomes interesting when Richard Widmark enters the screen.  This must be one of his final films and his acting style reveals four decades of starring in movies.  He is like Jack Nicholson in Chinatown or Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.  He is a joy to watch.

The film is a targeted piece, aimed squarely at righting the wrongs done in the deep south regarding racism and apartheid.  In that aspect it is educational and informative.  


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Dr. Strangelove



CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


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DATE REVIEWED: 07/17/2017




FORMAT: Laserdisc


TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 44 minutes


DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 24.5 miles


TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7076.2 miles


SYNOPSIS: A deranged Air Force Base Commander orders his bomb wing to attack Russia in 1962.


CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Farce and surreal comedy in a high order.  Possibly the best American Comedy ever made.


PROS AND CONS:  The more I see this film the better it gets, by leaps and bounds.  There is something to be side for living through the turmoil of several decades and then looking back at the way it really was.


You forget how good the acting is in this film if you haven’t seen it for a while.  Any of the performances of; Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens or Keenan Wynn would handily win an Oscar today.  To see them all in character in this film is a sheer delight.  


Every comedy sketch group from Second City T.V. to Saturday Night Live owes their existence to this work.  Another notch in the tripod for what may just be the greatest director of all time, Stanley Kubrick.



To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  


This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 07/06/2017


FORMAT: HD-DVD

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 48 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 25.1 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7051.7 miles

SYNOPSIS: A 1930s aerial mercenary solves the mystery of a mad scientist bent on destroying the world.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Suspension of reality in a Gothic vision of an alternate future reality.

PROS AND CONS:  Visually, this film is a homage to the concept of steampunk Gothic and the allure of America in the 1930s.  From the standpoint of plot, the story-line is actually pretty laughable.

Much of the film is Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow bickering like estranged high school sweethearts as they fly around the world in a vintage 1940’s Curtis P-40 Warhawk.  

The real star of the film are the visuals and production design, which is almost all rendered through digital effects.  The film has a noir-ish look and feel that is really stunning.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Babel


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 06/29/2017

TITLE: Babel

FORMAT: HD-DVD

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 25 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 31.3 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 7026.6 miles

SYNOPSIS: An accidental shooting is traced along various disjointed storylines across world cultures.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Six degrees of separation on a global scale.  The ties that bind us all are not always pleasant.

PROS AND CONS:  This film probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  It is told in a disjointed fashion with several story lines merging together as the film progresses.  

I found the film fascinating to watch, since the viewer is constantly striving to find out what the connections are in the various stories being presented.  The film is also done in a quasi-documentary style where the viewer needs to figure out the motivations of the characters in each vignette.

In the end this is more of an empathy film, to remind the audience that our actions have ramifications that we can never see and our assumptions about others are often wrong until we know all the facts.  


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The X-Files: I Want To Believe


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 06/27/2017


FORMAT: BluRay

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 49 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 23.2 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6995.3 miles

SYNOPSIS: Two ex-FBI agents team up to find a kidnapped agent with the help of a pedophile psychic.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Solving mysteries with a bit of the para-normal thrown in along with some interpersonal tension between the two protagonists.

PROS AND CONS:  Not a bad film, although I have never been a fan of the series.  Conspiracy and mumbo-jumbo have never been my favorite suit.  

What separates this from the torrent of mystery dramas on television today is the higher level of production value.  The cinematography, the score, the direction is all notched up a bit here to give it a slicker ‘Silence of the Lambs’ vibe.  

That said, the whole Skully / Mulder relationship is getting a bit long in the tooth folks. These two are destined to be albatrosses around each other’s necks for all eternity at this point.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cinema Cycle - Snowpiercer


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 06/23/2017

TITLE: Snowpiercer

FORMAT: BluRay

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 2 hours 11 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 28.1 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6970.3 miles

SYNOPSIS: A repressed minority struggles to fight their way to the top of the heap.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: A mirror of society and the concept of class struggle and perception of purpose.

PROS AND CONS:  I had heard that this was a sleeper film that bombed at the box office, but was actually very good.  The rumors were correct.  This is a thinking man’s science fiction film that leaves you pondering a lot of things when it is over.  

This film is not for everyone.  It has an odd style with a lot of subplots that go nowhere.  Which in the end is true of life, you don’t get to see how every side-story ends.  When the film ends there is no conclusion, but you are left to ponder a lot of possibilities.

Be warned that this is a violent film.  The violence here is not gratuitous though.  Here the repressed savagely beat their oppressors, but for good reason.  One particular stand out in the cast is Tilda Swinton.  Every time I see this woman on screen, her performance usually outshines her cast mates.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cinema Cycle - The Matrix Expeirence


CINEMA CYCLE
(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)

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DATE REVIEWED: 07/20/2017

TITLE: The Matrix Experience

FORMAT: HD-DVD

TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 40 minutes

DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 8.8 miles

TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED: 6947.2 miles

SYNOPSIS: Collection of short animations made in connection with the Matrix Trilogy

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Adult cartoons that are both artistic and extremely graphic.

PROS AND CONS:  A companion disk that came with a box set for the movie series.  Providing different views and backstory to the Matrix films.  

This appears to be one of the early attempts to really engage social media and the internet during the marketing of the film franchise.  These videos appear to be squarely aimed at young boys between the ages of 12 and 21.  

While these are interesting films to watch from the artistic point of view, I found them to be extremely graphic and depressing in their nature.  You are fighting an enemy of your own making, in a battle that you cannot hope to win, because you have already lost.


To read an overview of this project, check out this status posting.  

This film is a part of my LaserDisc Collection.

Clicking on the title will take you to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry for this film. 

This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on Strava.com.