Stagecoach (1939)****

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So, I went to Tennessee where my family just moved to from California. I wasn’t extremely delighted about that, but it’s hard to not get caught up in the excitement, especially the music when you’re in Nashville. Everyone is warm and friendly, cowboy boots are the thing, the weather is kind of dramatic and I decided I most definitely didn’t mind my parents moving to charming Nashville, Tennessee, afterall.

So, it got me into the country style phase (which I never liked, but let’s face it: I’m from a long line of country folks and cowboys) so, missing home.. I guess I just felt sort of nudged to give country style another chance.

And so, in that country phase comes old Western movies! And although it takes awhile to get into the story, it’s a bit slow compared to the other genre of movies, no color, very generic characters, but I’m starting to really like them! This one was quite good. It was John Wayne’s breakthrough role and it was a surprising thrill to see him so young.

With old Western films, I’ve also seen the racist side of attitudes and depicting characters. Depicting American Indians in such a way is clearly racist, but to me, it shows how things used to be. Watching old Westerns are like traveling back in time. The roles for women are obviously very traditional. To see guns being used to kill so quickly, so easily … was it really that way?

Another old Western I saw was Winchester’73 and My Darling Clementine which were interesting to watch as well, but I chose Stagecoach to talk about.

Wikipedia says:

The film has long been recognized as an important work that transcends the Western genre. Philosopher Robert B. Pippin has observed that both the collection of characters and their journey “are archetypal rather than merely individual” and that the film is a “mythic representation of the American aspiration toward a form of politically meaningful equality.”[3] In 1995, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. Still, Stagecoach has not avoided controversy. Like most Westerns of the era, its depiction of Native Americans as simplistic savages has been criticized as clear evidence of racism.

This film reminded me of how quickly men proposed back then. Ringo kid just asks Dallas to marry him after liking what she looked like and how she behaved. (My grandpa proposed to my grandma after 3 weeks being together!) This doesn’t seem to happen today. People were very driven to get married young, have children and live in a traditional manner.

I stayed glued to the screen during the whole movie.

But, that’s all I can remember. I watched it awhile ago. I only had time to update today. Until next time. Maybe another Western.

 

 

 

 

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Brief Encounters ***

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Online summary: Middle-class housewife Laura, after a day’s shopping in her provincial town, is waiting for the train to take her home when a speck of grit from a passing train lodges in her eye. In the station’s buffet, Dr Alec Harvey removes the fragment, and on subsequent meetings they fall in love. Before this love can be consummated, they are interrupted by an unexpected arrival; she runs to the station, Alec follows her, and the exchange quoted above takes place; she then returns to her kind, rather conventional husband. The film is told in an extended flashback, and it has been suggested that it is no more than a dream on Laura’s part; but even if that were so, it would not lessen its emotional power.

But it dramatises a simple truth: that there is more to life than personal gratification. – (online source)

But…………. wait a second!

So, this movie is definitely of it’s era. I don’t know about the message. If it is nothing more than personal gratification, that’s not love. So, this woman will live the rest of her life with her husband that bores her? (Ok, she said she was happy before, but I’m not sure she was 100% blossoming in her couple life, do you?) She will always think of this past man? In my opinion, it wasn’t love. It was infatuation… at least, not as intense as love. If it was love, they couldn’t have parted. At the end, when he left…..She wouldn’t have cared if that lady came and started talking to her, she wouldn’t have let him leave like that! It wouldn’t have been possible. This woman is unsatisfied in her life. She has no spark in her life and she sacrifices herself for her family. Now, if I were one of her children, I would have preferred her to do what makes her happy. You have to be happy and blossoming to be a good parent, after all. Ok, she was happy before the man came along…… but, I don’t believe that.

The dialogue to me is missing something. It is emotional and I feel her emotions… but, I want her to break through and let go. Which is probably due to the fact is was made in 1945. This was just a passionate story between two people, but the crazy love story was missing.

I would never want to be this woman and I would never have wanted to live in 1945. Stories like this happen today, but in my opinion if it was really a love stronger than what she had experienced ever before, they’d ultimately be together. Just sayin..

Some quotes:

“We know we love each other. That’s all that really matters.”

“It’s not all that really matters. Other things matter too, self-respect matters, and decency. I can’t go on any longer.”

 

Forever My Girl ***

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Hrmmmmm, this is not a Nicholas Sparks movie? I was expecting more to be honest, but I don’t regret watching it. Liam is good looking and plays the part of a hunky rock star perfectly, but he seems so simple as a character. He always appears to have nothing going on upstairs. His face never seems to have emotion on it. Josie also seems to forgive so quickly. I mean, she’s in a hard position… she would be stupid to deny her attraction towards a super star hot father of her daughter…. who could deny giving him a second chance? But, Liam never really proves himself. I almost got mad at Josie for being so easy! When is Liam going to leave again, I’m asking? When he freaks out and gets scared again, probably. I think poor Josie is going to be disappointed once again. BUT, the story wants you to believe this is not going to happen, so maybe it won’t.

Why hasn’t Josie met someone else? Don’t you think she would have after 8 years?

Billie sounds staged.

BUT, I did enjoy watching this film, overall, even though the story wasa bit flimsy. Nothing to make me sob. Easy. No depth.

Great music!

It’s a good bad movie.

 

 

The Best of Me ***1/2

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Ok, this month my writing is a bit bland. But, at least I’m finally writing..

Another Nicholas Sparks B movie! I read this book a really, really long time ago. It was one of my mother’s books that I found on the dining room table. Ok, it’s the same kind of simple, cheesy Nicolas Sparks movie, but there’s something magical about his simple love stories. One of the morals of the story that stands out seems to be when you love someone, you do what’s best for them and not yourself. Although, maybe you should let the other person judge what is best for themselves? You only live once could be another moral of the story.. I identify with Amanda not giving up on Dawson. I would probably do the same thing she did, visiting Dawson in prison for 8 years! Then not being able to forget him despite the fact she got married.  I suppose I’m always disappointed in the way no one seems to just go crazy and go after the other no matter what. Like, shouldn’t Dawson have looked for Amanda when he got out of prison? Or ….. It’s just a movie. But, Nicholas Spark’s last movie, I had the same feeling. Just “leave it to the stars…….” don’t go after it. Let it come to you. Don’t fight for it. I guess this is the way of the world. Am I making any sense?

And his films always remind me of the classic America that I reminisce upon and miss.. big homes, lots of space, the culture, the cars.

 

Brooklyn****

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I wasn’t sure whether to give this movie a 3 1/2 or 4. It got a 4 because it touches me more than others, it being an Irish film. Half of Americans are probably Irish immigrants, like me so I loved watching the reenactment of what it was like.. I liked Eilis’s character because she is the epitomy of goodness, vulnerability, innocence and for some reason, I couldn’t help concentrating on that.

As if that is the way people used to be…As if today, we are corrupted by the realities of the world. Life is not this simple anymore, as it was in this film. Things have become far more complicated and deep down goodness is rare and if it is exists, the goodness in these people is forever evolving towards a harder, colder personality.

She inspires in me to keep the deep goodness inside myself. Dignified, calm, good, just, concentrated. Anyway, it sounds ridiculous that this is what I get out of this movie! I know, that. But, for some reason my mind wants to go there.

The Italian husband was way too short. What was the casting director thinking?

I did cry when she was homesick only because I am a little homesick and lost myself in this country.

I am not feeling like writing much tonight.

Manchester by the Sea****

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This movie is long, but one is always eager what to find out what is to happen next, so it’s okay. They fucking cuss a fucking lot in this movie. I did cry in this movie, so that means it’s good. It’s won many awards, so it’s one of those films that has to be good. But, I was disappointed with the ending. I would have liked something more pungent. Also, it was confusing going back with the flashbacks sometimes….

It is a sort of depressing film that ends up being still depressing at the end, but I somehow enjoyed it a little bit.

I liked the way it was filmed, the timing, the long pauses.. and so many American things I miss: school baseball game being played at night, rickety old American houses, cheesy big dinners, I could even imagine the crickets singing at night.

That is one thing I miss about the states. The open doors because it’s so hot and the crickets singing before bed.

 

 

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets ****

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So, at the end who does he end up choosing? We never know.. I’d like to think he chose Sibelia and not Edith. They are both twisted, but I like Sibelia.

I liked the language of Louis Mazzini which is why it got 4 stars, so British, eloquent and old fashionedly sophisticated. Why can’t we talk like this today? It’s full of wit. He always speaks so calmly.. so cool and collected.. without emotion. I don’t know if I like this or if I don’t.

Then of course, the memoir… so we can imagine the ending. He wasn’t so clever after all.

Favorite dialogues:

Sibella: [during an illicit rendezvous] What am I doing?

Louis Mazzini: You know very well. You’re playing with fire.

Sibella: At least it warms me.

OR

Sibella: What would you say if she asked you about me?

Louis Mazzini: I’d say that you were the perfect combination of imperfections. I’d say that your nose was just a little too short, your mouth just a little too wide. But yours was a face that a man could see in his dreams for the whole of his life. I’d say that you were vain, selfish, cruel, deceitful. I’d say that you were adorable. I’d say that you were… Sibella.

Sibella: What a pretty speech.

Louis Mazzini: I mean it.

Sibella: [seductively] Come and say it to me again.

Sibella: What would you say if she asked you about me?

Louis Mazzini: I’d say that you were the perfect combination of imperfections. I’d say that your nose was just a little too short, your mouth just a little too wide. But yours was a face that a man could see in his dreams for the whole of his life. I’d say that you were vain, selfish, cruel, deceitful. I’d say that you were adorable. I’d say that you were… Sibella.

Sibella: What a pretty speech.

Louis Mazzini: I mean it.

Sibella: [seductively] Come and say it to me again.

 

 

It Happened One Night****

It Happened One Night is a 1934 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed and co-produced by Frank Capra, in collaboration with Harry Cohn, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father’s thumb and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable). The plot is based on the August 1933 short story “Night Bus” by Samuel Hopkins Adams, which provided the shooting title. One of the last romantic comedies created before the MPAA began enforcing the 1930 production code in 1934, the film was released on February 22, 1934. (The Code! Can you imagine they had a code of what they could and could not do morally speaking?)

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primary_ithappenedonenight3.jpgAlways so close to a kiss! .. and then we never get to see it at the end 😦 I would have liked to have seen them reunite at the end at least! It all falls so nicely, neatly into place as an adorable fuzzy feeling film. The dialogue was saucy and witty which is what I liked best about this movie.

Some dialogue:

Danker: Oh, I see, young people in love are never hungry.

or..

Peter Warne: Excuse me, lady, but that upon which you sit, is mine.

Ellie Andrews: I beg your pardon!

Peter Warne: Now, listen. I put up a stiff battle for that seat. So if it’s just the same to you – scram.

Ellie Andrews: [ignoring him] Driver! Are these seats reserved?

Bus Driver #1: No. First come, first served.

Ellie Andrews: Thank you.

Peter Warne: Hey driver? These seats accommodate two people, don’t they?

Bus Driver #1: Well, maybe they do – and maybe they don’t.

Peter Warne: Thank you. Move over. This is a “maybe they do.”

 

or

Ellie Andrews: That, I suppose, makes everything quite all right?

Peter Warne: Oh this? Well, I like privacy when I retire. Yes, I’m very delicate in that respect. Prying eyes annoy me. Behold the walls of Jericho! Uh, maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, but a lot safer. You see, uh, I have no trumpet. Now just to show you my heart’s in the right place, I’ll give you my best pair of pajamas.

[he offers her the pajamas – she ignores them – so he tosses them at her]

Peter Warne: Uh, do you mind joining the Israelites?

[indicates he wants her to go on the other side of the blanket – she doesn’t budge]

Peter Warne: You don’t want to join the Israelites? Alright.

[he begins to undress]

Peter Warne: Perhaps you’re interested in how a man undresses. You know, it’s a funny thing about that. Quite a study in psychology. No two men do it alike. You know, I once knew a man who kept his hat on until he was completely undressed. Yeah, now he made a picture. Years later, his secret came out. He wore a toupee. Yeah. You know, I have a method all my own. If you notice, the coat came first, then the tie, then the shirt. Now, uh, according to Hoyle, after that, the, uh, pants should be next. There’s where I’m different… I go for the shoes next. First the right, then the left. After that it’s, uh, every man for himself.

[he starts to unbuckle his pants and she runs to the other side of the blanket]

or

Alexander Andrews: Oh, er, do you mind if I ask you a question, frankly? Do you love my daughter?

Peter Warne: Any guy that’d fall in love with your daughter ought to have his head examined.

Alexander Andrews: Now that’s an evasion!

Peter Warne: She picked herself a perfect running mate – King Westley – the pill of the century! What she needs is a guy that’d take a sock at her once a day, whether it’s coming to her or not. If you had half the brains you’re supposed to have, you’d done it yourself, long ago.

Alexander Andrews: Do you love her?

Peter Warne: A normal human being couldn’t live under the same roof with her without going nutty! She’s my idea of nothing!

Alexander Andrews: I asked you a simple question! Do you love her?

Peter Warne: YES! But don’t hold that against me, I’m a little screwy myself!

 

Dear John***1/2

A sentimental Nicolas Sparks movie and this is the only author I know of that I prefer the movies to the book. His books sometimes are too slow. It kept me wanting to know what was going to happen and I did cry a little bit when he read the letter to his dad.. it’s a watchable movie. Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum were well casted.

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What bothered me about the movie is why did Savannah marry this other guy, exactly? At least, she could have spoke to John .. and well, then, change her mind. I would like to think that she was waiting for him to carry her away and come back… or else why would she have done that? Yes, I understand she was sick of waiting and she wanted to be “good” and take care of the other guy.. but, I didn’t buy it. It was as if she was breaking up with him, but just testing his dedication to her. It really meant yes, come back and pursue me even harder because I can’t do this anymore without you. I would have preferred that John revolt and hunt her down before she gets married at least. 

So, what if her husband didn’t end up dying at the end of the movie? It all kind of conveniently fell into place as all Nicolas Sparks movies do, but a little too coincidentally. He had to know she didn’t really want to marry the other person. He gave up.. which most would have, but I guess I wouldn’t have if I was him.

It’s so adorable to see how important snail mail was for soldiers..

At the end, with the anonymous donation, I think that they wanted to show how John proved to be a “good” guy since before he wasn’t so much. And maybe Savannah was supposed to be “too good” which is why she ended up marrying the other guy because he was sick, after all..

The most notable scene was the first time they kissed.. it was exactly what a first kiss should look like.

 

 

 

 

La La Land****

4 stars: Watchable, beautiful, colorful, jazzy movie (love jazz), poetic, but missing something for me.

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This movie was fun to watch, but it just doesn’t cut it as one of my favorites.

I grew up in Southern California and the crickets creaking at night is something I dearly miss! The windows open on a hot night.. with the crickets!

What was good?

The musical like way of the movie was creative and interesting. Poetic. Artistically, the colors are vibrant and it is a beautiful movie.. the timing is all well… everything just rolled well together…also, Emma Stone was interesting to watch and I loved the part where she sings the 80’s song in front of Ryan Gosling.. she did it perfectly.

I don’t like Ryan Gosling’s character.. he seems full of insecurities and anger throughout the whole movie. Understanding….he is some kind of prodigy stuck in a world where no one understands good music.

And of course, the end… it just portrays reality today and how airplanes make everyone so distant from one another and relationships impossible. This is something I DON’T like coming from this century. Romance is linked who is living near you for a long period of time and who is in the right place at the right time..and often people move far away for jobs or other reasons. This wasn’t as important a long time ago. People moved less, traveled less…plus ancré.. but life was much less exciting and yet, maybe in some way life was lived a little more profound and meaningful?

So, the very realistic ending was needed, but saddened me. Emma Stone becomes an actress with the perfect life and doesn’t need this jazz player anymore, because her career was more important and in any case, with time and distance, (normal) she meets someone else. Understanding! But, can’t we have everything? The jazz player Gosling becomes almost as successful as she … and they both go their separate ways. They look at each other at the end as if saying both: “I will always love you, but that’s life..” Where is the passion? How dull! But, I’m sure the director didn’t mean for it to be dull. The director was saying: that’s the way it’s supposed to be and it’s not so bad after all. Bittersweet. And then….. maybe she breaks up with her husband at some point and thinks again about Ryan? This wasn’t made for you to think so, but the ending was too perfect and not perfect enough. Too realistic in some ways and not realistic enough in others (but that part was agreeable). That is why this movie isn’t my favorite, but obviously it is a very good movie. That is not debatable.