Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Third Way: List For Week Ending November 30, 2014

Complications mount. There’s no way out…..but, somehow, the protagonist reaches deep down and finds an answer. This scenario has been with us for more than a century, since the first days of cinema. It works in thrillers, comedies, even in animation. And we love it, no matter how many times we’ve seen it. There’s something satisfying about seeing that protag beat the odds.

This isn’t an all-inclusive list. Reader contributions are welcome.

  1. Metro Manila (2014) (Reviewed in Thinking Cinema 11/25/24)
  2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (Article in Thinking Cinema 11/28/14)
  3. Big Hero Six (2014)
  4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  5. The Full Monty (1997)
  6. Apollo 13 (1995)
  7. Ruthless People (1986)
  8. The Sting (1973)
  9. The General (1925)

    full monty
    The Full Monty

Film Appreciation: The Shawshank Redemption

        Today screenwriters and filmmakers consider The Shawshank Redemption essential viewing. Nelson Mandela adored it. On the most recent AFI list of Top 100 American Films, Shawshank ranks number 72. Frank Darabont’s screenplay, written in just eight weeks, is number 22 on the Writer’s Guild of America’s Top 101 list. This is a 180-degree changeContinue Reading

Film Review: Metro Manila

Sean Ellis’ remarkable Metro Manila is the story of a good but naïve man whose search for a better life brings unexpected results. The film opens with a shot of a man facing away from the camera, his silk parachute billowing. In voiceover, protagonist Oscar Ramirez says, “No matter how long the procession, it alwaysContinue Reading

Can’t Buy Me Love (A List of Cinematic Proof)

  We don’t choose the people we love, and we don’t control whether they love us in return.  It’s a basic fact of life that has been the catalyst for some remarkable films.  Often these are intense- folks don’t tend to take it lightly when their grand passion is rejected.  Another interesting thing to noteContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard is chiefly remembered today for its chilling final scene, in which Gloria Swanson hisses, ”All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” It’s a great line, but hearing it out of context does injustice to the film. Sunset Boulevard isn’t just a horror story about a demented has-been who latchesContinue Reading

Film Review: Foxcatcher

A Search for Olympic Gold Leads to Tragedy  Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is inspired by the true-life events surrounding the 1996 murder of Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz by John E. DuPont. Foxcatcher is a spellbinding tale of these two men and Mark Schultz, Dave’s brother. The three men pursue what they believe to be aContinue Reading

In Sickness….

The phrase sounds poetic a part of a wedding vow, though it can be anything but.  Sticking by a partner through illness requires discipline and superhuman patience.  Films in this area tend to fall into two categories: lives of famous patients and lives of extraordinary ones.  Either way, this can make for highly inspirational viewing.Continue Reading

Sunrise At Campobello

  Films reflect the time in which they were made, and that’s especially true for histories. The passage of time can bring new discoveries or different points of view. When that happens, former assumptions must be explained. It’s very much the case for Sunrise at Campobello (1960), which operates from a different mindset than weContinue Reading

The Theory Of Everything

  The Theory of Everything deals with the complex relationship of Stephen and Jane Hawking. They begin dating while university students and fall in love despite the fact that Stephen has been diagnosed with motor neuron disease. A condition in the same group as ALS, motor neuron disease causes patients to lose control of theirContinue Reading

Outside The Frame

Throughout the history of cinema, filmmakers have broken the rules in the interests of discovery.  Sometimes they make an amazing discovery which leads to fame, awards, and lots of money.  More often, there’s not a lot of immediate reaction.  If the filmmaker is lucky, his or her discovery will be valued one day.  This isContinue Reading