(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)
DATE REVIEWED: 12/30/2016
TITLE: The In-Laws
TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 43 minutes
DISTANCE RIDDEN WHILE VIEWING: 23 miles
TOTAL CINEMA MILES LOGGED:5907.4 miles
SYNOPSIS: A bumbling CIA agent and New York dentist are thrown together for a bunch of misadventures because of their children’s impending wedding.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Farce and suspension of reality. Some comedy teams work and some don’t.
PROS AND CONS: Probably a better film than I thought it would be, but entertaining is about all I can say about it. There are times when some scenes became almost boring.
If you like watching the television show “Columbo”, you will love this film. It is a Peter Falk tour-de-force, which is odd, since Alan Arkin is the executive producer. This type of film is the culmination of east coast vaudeville and entertainment in the Catskills.
In the end, this film strings together a bunch of bizarre situation comedy scenes, that are not that funny, but the reaction and behavior of the bit players in the scenes is often times the most entertaining. You won’t know where the film is going until the last 10 minutes or so.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: When the nerds of the country were doing when Madmen was going happening on Madison Ave. There was a time in this country when government could do anything.
PROS AND CONS: A very well done series. I had seen bits of it before, but not the whole thing from start to finish. The series takes the interesting tack of presenting stories as small vignettes along a timeline.
You get to know the major players, but only in their relationship to the mission and not so much to each other or regarding any personal struggles that they may be having (although I think this is addressed later in the series).
I lived through these times and I must say, I miss them. There was a can-do, optimistic vision of our future even though the world was falling down around us back then. We have lost that somewhere in the intervening years.
SYNOPSIS: Two young American boys go off to fly in WWI, one dies, the other gets the girl.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: History, really. An interesting movie to watch. There were no special effects in 1926, it is all real.
PROS AND CONS: I am a big silent movie buff. There are epic silent films from the 1920s that have to be seen to be believed. Films like King Vidor’s “The Crowd”, or “Intolerance”. This film ranks up with those and won the first Best Film Oscar.
The pace here is much slower and melodramatic than current cinema, but this is interspersed with over-the-top actions scenes with literal casts of thousands. This is also a gritty film, with some scenes that are quite gruesome. Even though he is only onscreen for about five minutes, a very young Gary Cooper pretty much steals this film.
Since there is no dialog, all actual dialog is in the form of title cards, many of which are works of art in their own right. There were no special effects back in the day, so you get to see a lot of real airplanes crashed into things and some really big explosions.
SYNOPSIS: The life of a young orphan in 1850’s London is chronicled.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Fate and the choices that we make to influence it. Always be good to your dog.
PROS AND CONS: An exceptional film on almost every level. I am a huge David Lean fan and had not seen this film before. I was pleasantly surprised at that I ended up watching.
Everything about this film is spot on: acting, cinematography, design, story, sound, soundtrack, it just all clicked to make a very good film viewing experience.
This appears to be the film (along with Great Expectations) where Lean really came into his own. Much of the visual style of this film is almost surreal in its tone and scope. In several scenes of the film, I paused the film just to take in the visual image.
SYNOPSIS: Humans send a spaceship to Venus in order to decipher a mysterious artifact found on earth.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: What we thought the future would be like, but we were very, very wrong. So bad it is fun to watch.
PROS AND CONS: This was an hilarious film to cycle through. The quality was not that good, but the earnest efforts of the producers to make a good film shine through, even if they were way off the mark regarding space travel.
There is a lot going on here in terms of Science Fiction evolution and the genre films / series that followed. There are parts of Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek all rolled into this production, with deep social messages about the arms race and pollution.
The film appears Italian in design and is East German in origin, so their concepts of space travel and adventure are a little bit skewed from that of the west. Here is an example; all through the film they refer to their rocket-ship as the “Cosmostrator”. Seriously, you just start laughing after they say it about 25 times. “Quick, back to the Cosmostrator!”.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Smooth 80s progressive rock with a slight edge.
PROS AND CONS: It is always good with I get to watch one of these 8” music video discs. They are the lost child of the Laserdisc genre and never really caught on. But they have captured some wonderful musical moments from a time gone by.
What we have here is the height of the music video during the early MTV years. The production is slick and the songs are very catchy.
Without a doubt, give me some catchy music to watch during cinema cycle and pedal much faster.