Category Archives: List

9 Best Marlon Brando Films

Marlon Brando is considered by some to be the best American actor, though I do not agree.  He is in the Top Ten, possibly Top Five.  Acting style in film can be classified as either before Brando or after.  He brought Method to the big screen and forever changed how we, the audience, expected roles to be performed. His main negative is his relatively small body of work when compared to other actors. That being said, his performances are typically memorable and unique.

Normally when creating a list like this I try and limit myself to five choices. In Brando’s case I saved the Top Five for roles in which he was the lead actor, and the bottom four (I could not come up with a fifth) for supporting characters.


#9 The Freshman


Click on image to view trailer

Carmine Sabatini is basically Don Corleone as a nice guy with a comedic spin. He has good chemistry with Matthew Broderick, and he parodies himself well.

#8 Superman The Movie


Click on image for “Goodbye, my son” scene.

Though not on screen long, his Jor-El haunts the remainder of the film. With the distinctive Kryptonian look created by the art and costume designers and his calm demeanor as Krypton crumble, Brando’s Jor-El conveys wisdom, strength, and foresight. And later in the movie when he appears as a holographic tutor for Clark Kent in the Fortress of Solitude, and Superman chooses to go against his command to not interfere with human history you understand the importance of that decision. This is where Clark the boy unyokes himself from the ghost of his father to become a man. The chose is made more poignant because the role of Jor-El was imbued with much power because of Brando’s performance.

#7 Missouri Breaks


Click on image to view trailer

A truly bizarre yet captivating performance from Brando in an admittedly off-beat Western. He and Jack Nicholson work well together, with Nicholson saying Brando acted everyone off screen. This film marks Brando’s transition from leading man to character actor.


#6 Apocalypse Now


Click on image to view “Meeting Kurtz” scene

Unlike Jor-El where Brando creates a performance that informs the remainder of the movie, his Col. Kurtz has to live up to the expectation of the character.  He does.  Though notoriously difficult to work with during the shoot, Brando creates a character for the ages.  After watching Apocalypse Now the first time, you now have the personification of Kurtz in your mind in all other viewings.  That image only enhances the experience of the film.


#5 The Godfather


Click on image to view Bonassara scene

Though Brando won the Academy Award for Leading Man as Vito Corleone, The Godfather is really the story of his son, Michael.  Paramount Studios pushed Brando to the Academy because he was the known actor.  That being said, the Oscar is richly deserved.  His portrayal of a mafia don would be the standard bearing for all others to follow.  When someone imagines the glamorous side of the mob, it is to Don Vito Corleone they dream of being.  Brando also gave the character a humanity typically not seen for such a role.  You felt his loss when he verbalized how he wished Michael did not follow him into the family business; how he imagined a Senator Corleone.


#4 Morituri

An overlooked performance in an overlooked film. Brando plays a apolitical sympathetic German blackmailed by British Secret Service to assume the identity of an SS Officer, and travel with a German freighter with necessary cargo. The performance like the film is understated and intelligent. (As a side note, the film is incredibly shot in high contrast black & white film.)


#3 Last Tango In Paris


Click on image to view ballroom drunk scene

Brando at his most vulnerable as an American Expat in Paris.  A broken man looking to feel alive again, and finding that feeling in a young woman.  The little private world they create for themselves cannot last, but he does fight for it in the end.  He himself claimed he never felt more raw, exposed, vulnerable, then when he was filming this movie.

#2 On The Waterfront


Click on image to view Terry & Edie scene

It was a tough call between the #1 and #2 slot.  Brando’s Terry Malloy is the vulnerable brute the bad guys take advantage of in order to get their way.  From his classic “I could have been a contender” speech, to his fiddling with Edie’s dropped glove in the park on the swings, Brando creates an empathic character you care about.


#1 A Streetcar Named Desire


Click on image to view “Napoleonic Code” scene.

Because this is the role that changed what we expect from actors and their performances.  Mumbled lines, animal passion, brute strength, no one had seen anything like Brando’s performance as Stanley Kowalski.  Clear diction?  Not for this type of man.  Sexual innuendo?  No, only raw passion and animal lust.  Brando’s Stanley was no fictionalized version of the working man but the real deal.

Ennio Morricone – The 5 Obstructions Blogathon


Click on image to be taken to Obstructions Overview.


Click on image to be taken to Obstruction 5


Ennio Morricone is a film composer most associated with Sergio Leone. He was born November 10th, 1928, in Rome, Italy; studied at the Conservatory of the National Academy of Santa Cecelia; was a classmate of Sergio Leone; has 516 composer credits–the most recent of which is from 2013’s Vengeance Rides a Horse; and winner of a 2007 Honorary Academy Award.

His first composer credit is The Fascist (1961). His first Leone film is A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Notable other films are The Battle of Algiers; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Once Upon A Time In the West; Burn; Two Mules for Sister Sarah; Days of Heaven; The Thing (1982); The Untouchables; and Frantic among others. His work is so distinctive it is often sampled in other films; most notably in the work of Quentin Tarantino, such as in Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds.

Trivia: Heavy-metal band Metallica starts their shows with Morricone’s instrumental The Ecstasy Of Gold (from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)] before appearing on stage.

Quote: “You can’t save a bad movie with a good score.”

Morricone is definitely in my Top Five film composers of all time, and most likely in the top three. He creates music that is distinctive, creates place and motion, and stays with you long after the film is done.

A few years back at the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), they had a screening of a restored copy of Once Upon A Time In The West. Having the chance to watch the film on the big screen in an old movie palace, I could not resist and convinced my husband to come with me. He not being a fan of Westerns, it was a tough sell. After the film–which he loved–his main take away was the power of the musical score and how he never heard anything like that before–least of all in a Western.

Below are some samples of Morricone’s work:

Battle of Algiers


Click on image to listen to “Battle of Algiers” theme

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Click on image to view and listen to “Il Trio”

Once Upon A Time In the West


Click on image to listen to “Armonica”

Days Of Heaven


Click on image to listen to “Harvest”

The Untouchables


Click on image to listen to “Al Capone” theme



Click on image to listen to “Frantic” theme

The Thing


Click on image to listen to “The Thing” theme.

Ennio Morricone, one of the great music composers in film history.


Click on image to be taken to IMDb.

“The Out List” (2013) – Review


Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

With: Dustin Lance Black, Lady Bunny, R. Clark Cooper, Wade Davis, Ellen DeGeneres, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Neil Patrick Harris, Larry Kramer, Janet Mock, Cynthia Nixon, Suze Orman, Christine Quinn, Jake Shears, Wanda Sykes, Lupe Valdez, and Wazine Zondon

Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has done a number of List documentaries for HBO, such as The Latino List and The Black List. The style of the film is to show each interviewee individually and let them present their story. The common thread between each person is that they are out. The Out List contains at least one person from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered community.

Since each story is different, who and how well you identify with the person varies. The most affecting stories belonged to Larry Kramer, a writer and activist, who lost most of his contemporaries to AIDS, and Janet Mock, a writer, for the importance of being a visible and known transgender person. The most inspiring story belonged to Lupe Valdez, a lesbian hispanic democrat who won the elected office of Sheriff in the Republican stronghold of Dallas County. Interestingly enough, the two stories that had definite points to make and made them also came across as the most rehearsed: Suze Orman and Cynthia Nixon. Orman comes across as the TV personality she is, and Nixon seems to be on autopilot using one of her stump-speeches from a LGBT event appearance.

Ultimately The Out List is an average documentary. At sixty minutes it feels a little long. Without a common theme other than the fact they are all out, there is nothing to hold your attention to a story if you are not interested in what the person is saying. The concept of the shooting style and editing lends itself more to a mini-series of thirty minute shows, then one longer documentary.

Grade = C+


Click on image to view trailer

15th Annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

2013 MGLFF

Normally for film festivals I list the films I plan to watch, and then write reviews a few days later.  This year I plan to use this space to list my top choice of film for the day, as well as right short reviews in advance of the films.  I gave myself one simple rule:  solely one film per day.

Friday, April 26th

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

Easy pick for the first night of the festival–there was only one choice.  That being said, it is a good choice.

Saturday, April 27th

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Click on image to view trailer

My vote for the best film of the festival.

Sunday, April 28th

Interior.  Leather Bar

Click on image to view trailer.

Click on image to view trailer.

Yes, that is James Franco filming two guys getting it on.  No, Interior.  Leather Bar is not what you think.  Teamed with Travis Matthews’ In Their Room (London), both documentaries ask thought provoking questions of what is and what is not OK to show the movie going audience and why.

Monday, April 29th

Mr. Angel

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

A documentary about a transgender porn star; definitely something you have not seen before.

Tuesday, April 30th

Click on image to view trailer.

Click on image to view trailer.

That’s Anarchy in Zirmunai for the Lithuanian illiterate–like me.

Wednesday, May 1st

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

My #9 Best Film of 2012

Thursday, May 2nd

Raid of the Rainbow Lounge

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

The amazing thing about this documentary is that it depicts events that only happened in 2009.

Friday, May 3rd

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

Saturday, May 4th

Men’s Shorts Program


An eclectic mix of drama, comedy, fiction, and short-doc.

Sunday, May 5th

La Partida

Click on image to view trailer

Click on image to view trailer

The second best film of the festival.

2012 – Year in Review

Another year has come & gone, and another end of year list has been written. But before I continue I want to state my goals for 2013:

1. Write at least one review per week – last year this was easier said then done.

2. Use Monday to spotlight another blog, though it does not have to be film related.

3. Come up with a weekly feature–probably for Wednesdays and starting next week.

4. Improve on my stats from this year – link to 2012 stats at the bottom of this post.

That being said, let’s get back to 2012. All movie titles or images will link to the corresponding review.

Worst “Film” of the Year: Dreams of My Real Father

Worst Film of the Year Released in Theatres: Trouble With the Curve – I did not review this movie

Best Guilty Pleasure: John Carter

Best LGBT Films of 2012

5. Elliot Loves
4. Naked As We Came
3. North Sea, Texas
2. Tomboy
1. I Do

Best Documentaries






Best Films of 2012












(Honorable Mentions)




Annual Report


My Movie Alphabet – Blogathon

Click on title to be taken to “My Movie Alphabet” Blogathon central.


Click on image to view trailer

A defining film of both the science fiction and horror film.  Ridley Scott’s first sci-fi film established him as a visual force in filmmaking.  The film’s art direction and set design hold-up to this day.  When the Alien is finally revealed it is worth the wait.  The edge-of-your seat chaos of the siren & strobe self destruct sequence is matched with the equally tense quiet terror of the escape pod shuttle scene.


Click on image to view original trailer

Is there any more dreaded question from a child to a parent regarding a film than, “Mommy, what happened to Bambi’s Mother?”


Click on image to view trailer

The brightest film-noir you will ever watch.  “My daughter, my sister, my daughter, my sister”.


Click on image to view trailer

Quite possibly one of the best foreign films ever made.  There is no glory in this war or this crew.  You feel the claustrophobia of serving on a submarine and knowing that if your hull is breached you are dead.


Click on image to view trailer

Because of how old I was when I first watched “E.T.”, no other film has given me such an emotional connection.


Click on image to view trailer

When A Fish Called Wanda first came out I was fully discovering British humor.  Through my local PBS channel I fell in love with Benny HillFaulty Towers, and Are You Being Served?  At the local video store I discovered the Monty Python films.  And then Wanda came to a theatre near you.


Click on image to view trailer

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

Though Goodfellas and later The Sopranos present a more realistic and less glamorous life of the mafia, The Godfather is the reason why we all at some point wondered what it would be like if we were a gangster.


Click on image to watch video clip tribute

Humphrey Bogart – Arguably one of the most underrated actors of all time and the first anti-hero.  If you look at four of his most famous roles–Rick (Casablanca), Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Charlie Allnut (The African Queen), and Queeg (The Caine Mutiny)–you will see each is unique and powerful and not stereotypical and one-note.  His enduring appeal is because he played the flawed and/or reluctant hero.  His characters grew as people and you felt for their story.


Click on image to view trailer

“They call me Mr. Tibbs!”  Sidney Poiter and Rod Steiger at their best.  A film like this if it were made today would have come out five years after it was relevant.  In the Heat of the Night came out in the middle of the Civil Rights movement as the country was still tearing itself apart before Martin Luther King’s assassination.


Click on image to view 1973 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech

John Ford – When asked what directors he favored, Orson Wells replied, “the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.”  To know why Wells said this watch The Grapes of WrathCheyenne AutumnHow Green Was My ValleyThe Quiet ManThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and most especially The Searchers.


Click on image to view “Khannnnn!” scene.

Khan – You ever wonder why Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan is still arguably the best Star Trek movie?  A very real enemy with very real motivation with an incredible performance by Ricardo Montalban.  Add a good story with great direction and the best performances given by all the regular players, and you have a film that has stood the test of time.


Click on image to view film clips

Leach, Archibald – Archibald Leach mastered one role to perfection:  Cary Grant.  Probably no other classic Hollywood Star has worked with more famed directors and in more quality films than Cary Grant.  And no star ever walked away from the film business like he did, thereby leaving us a never-changing image of who he was.  Later in life when he forgot his ticket to a charity fundraiser, he explained his situation and said he was Cary Grant.  To wit, she replied “That’s impossible.  You don’t look like Cary Grant.”  Smiling he responded, “who does?” (Source of story is The Encyclopedia of Hollywood by Scott & Barbara Siegel)


Click on image to view trailer

The best Harrison Ford film you have never watched with his best performance ever.


Click on image to view original 1922 trailer

Watch Nosferatu today and you will still be impressed with its story, effects, and principal performance.  If you had watched in 1922, then you would not have slept for days.


Click on image to view trailer

The single greatest icon shattering moment in cinema history, in one of the best Westerns ever made, with one of the most evocative scores used in film.


Click on image to view trailer

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” – Inigo Montoya;”As you wish.” – Wesley; “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya; “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia”‘- but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line’!” – Vizzini; “Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.” – Prince Humperdinck


Click on image to view “Q” tribute.

“Now listen 007”


Click on image to view trailer

My favorite Hitchcock film.  (with possibly the worst trailer I have ever watched)


Click on image to view compilation video

Love them or hate them, superhero movies are here to stay.


I spent many a Saturday afternoon watching old Tarzan films, but I’m sure those Saturday TV versions never aired the scene I linked to the image above.


Click on image to view trailer

“You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s the Chicago way! And that’s how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?” – That’s why Sean Connery resurrected his career and won an Academy Award.


Click on image to view trailer

I don’t think anyone does court dramas better than Sidney Lumet.  The Verdict is Exhibit-B for my case.


Click on image to view teaser trailer

After the teaser trailer, my expectation for this film went through the roof, and Pixar delivered.  It is still my favorite Pixar film.


Click on image to view a trailer

The Gold Rush was Charlie Chaplin’s tenth feature as The Tramp and includes the famous dancing shoes with forks scene where he later eats the shoes.  It’s amazing that after playing The Tramp for so long, that Chaplin was still able to create a classic film and not allow the character to go stale.


Click on image to view trailer

One name:  Frau Blucher…(horses whining)


Click on image to view trailer

Zardoz gave us James Bond in a loin clothe, and Sean Connery wondering where he went wrong in his career.

Thank you to Myfilmviews for introducing me to this Blogathon

Versatile Blogger Award

Back on June 8th, 2012 storiesbywilliams nominated me for a The Versatile Blogger Award.  After which I thanked him and committed to having this post up by Friday.  Being that was in June and we are now in August, I failed miserably in that goal; for which I humbly apologize.

That being said, I now have to say seven things about myself:

  1. I proposed in Central Park with the amazingly romantic line of, “Let’s do it.”  To which the reply was, “What here?  In the Park?”  Which lead to my clarification, “No, let’s get married.”
  2. My favorite building is The Empire State Building.
  3. I am an Alpha Sigma Phi.
  4. I was at the first National Championship Game for the University of Miami in the Orange Bowl.
  5. The first comic book I ever purchased was X-Men:  Giant Size Annual that introduced the “new” X-Men including Storm, Wolverine, etc. to rescue the original X-Men including Iceman, Angel, etc..  It was a purely by luck purchase.  I still own it, but not in any form of mint condition.
  6. My first memories of movies at a theatre are always from a severe angle.  My father was a smoker, so when we went to the movies we always sat in the smoking sections at the extreme right or left seats.  This was in the day of Wometco 3 and Miracle 4, and the theatres were large.
  7. My High School graduation was at the Gusman Center, an old movie palace.  You can see the photos here:  Gusman

Since Monday’s post was geared towards movie reviews, I focused these nominations on different types of blogs:

  1. advandstudio A great place to discover designers, architects, photographers, and other creative types.
  2. Raising My Rainbow An inspiring blog about a Mother and her family, and the challenges of raising a gender nonconforming child.
  3. polentical “progressive politics and regressive entertainment. like peanut and butter.”  Also, Matt is a Howard Stern fan.
  4. Fed and Fit  I have never discovered so many great recipes–now I can make Kale Chips, and for that I am thankful
  5. barbraelka Photographer transformed to art.
  6. Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations A collection of great Sci-Fi book reviews and classic Sci-Fi book covers.
  7. Trevor Saylor Photographer with a great eye for shooting candids, spaces, and other things, as well as creating photos with great composition.
  8. BONUS:  ReWriteDr He hasn’t been posting lately, but if you need a professional critique of your script he is your man.

Thanks again to storiesbywilliamsand I still haven’t gotten you that picture of the Moebius Galactus’ Ship.

Movie Questionnaire – Blogathon

Cinematic Reviews created this Movie Questionnaire as a Blogathon; I found the above image (feel free to grab it).  So here are my answers:

  1. What’s your favorite movie?  I typically like listing a top ten.  But if forced to give one answer, then my go to response is E.T..  I have never felt so emotional watching any film as I did  E.T..  I was nine when it first came out in the theatre–just the right age.  I have only watched it twice since, neither time with the same impact and both times in my thirties.  I’m older and more cynical.  But I still remember fondly how I felt that summer of 1982.
  2. Least favorite movie?  Who knows; I’ve seen some bad ones.  I’ll answer most disappointing:  Some Like It Hot.
  3. Name one movie you loved upon initial viewing but eventually grew to hate (or vice-versa).  I can’t think of any I loved but then hated.  Films that I initially disliked and grew to love include Silence of the Lambs (watched it initially with too high of an expectation) and Hero.
  4. Name your biggest “guilty pleasure” film.  Hudson Hawk.  For a complete list check out my earlier post:  What’s Your Guilty Pleasure?
  5. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must be a line from a movie)?  “I know”  Harrison Ford, Empire Strikes Back
  6. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must NOT be a line from a movie)? “I don’t do stunts – I do running, jumping and falling down. After 25 years I know exactly what I’m doing.” Harrison Ford
  7. Three favorite movie scenes?  Baptism/Murders in The GodfatherStar Wars opening shots between the Rebel Corvette and Imperial Star Destroyer; and The Flight of the Valkyries helicopter attack in Apocalypse Now.
  8. Four films that should NOT have won Best Picture?  The King’s Speech, Chariots of Fire, The Departed, Shakespeare in Love
  9. Top five of the year (currently)?  Chronicle, Moonrise Kingdom, First Position, The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
  10. Bottom three of the year (currently)?  The Diary of Preston Plummer, I can’t think of two other bad films.  But I will list two that did not meet my expectations:  Prometheus and The Avengers
  11. What film gets your vote for the worst or most pointless remake?  Psycho by Gus van Sant.  The point of a remake is to bring something up to date, or introduce a point-of-view not in the original.  Van Sant made a shot by shot recreation of the original; the only difference being color.  Why bother?
  12. Is there any film you think is actually desperate for a remake?  Because of the painfully dated dream sequence, Rosemary’s Baby.
  13. Name your three favorite film heroes.  Indiana Jones, The Architect (Henry Fonda-12 Angry Men), and John McClane
  14. Name your three favorite film villains.  Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Hans Gruber, Frank (Henry Ford-Once Upon A Time in The West)
  15. Best sequel?  Empire Strikes Back – in the end, the only reason why we hold the whole Star Wars franchise in such high regard.
  16. Worst sequel?  Though technically a Prequel, The Phantom Menace.  If we stick strictly to sequels, then Highlander 2.
  17. Best trilogy?  Indiana Jones.
  18. Worst trilogy?  Tie:  Star Wars Prequels and Transformers
  19. What’s your favorite word to use in a movie review (if your film blog does not feature reviews, substitute “review” with “-related post”?)  Initially, I used “great” way too much.
  20. Anything else?  Most underrated actors:  Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, John Wayne.

Liebster Award Blogathon!

Andrew at A Constant Visual Feast awarded me the Liebster on August 15th, for which I thank him.  What does it mean to win the Liebster?  It means I have to perform the six following feats of heroism–much like Hercules, but less physical:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
  5. No tag backs
  6. Go to their page and tell them.

Put simply, Andrew gave me homework.

I.  Eleven things about me

  1. I’m married in my Church, but not legally.
  2. I’m a born and bread Miami-an of Cuban heritage.
  3. My day job is Construction Management.
  4. I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering, but at different points in my academic career dual majored in Film/Art History and Math/European History.
  5. I was in Swimming & Water Polo in High School, Crew (Rowing) at University, and have done sporadic Triathlons since.
  6. I love to travel.  I have backpacked through Europe multiple times, and more recently started doing trips to National Parks.
  7. I co-wrote a screenplay that I am in the process of shopping, and plan to start a new screenplay after my Utah trip.
  8. I’m the Co-Programming Chair for both the Miami and the Ft. Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals.
  9. When I’m home alone for an extended period of time I make a large vat of Chili, load up on the saltine crackers, buy ice cream, increase my Netflix subscription, and plop myself in front of the TV every night eating, drinking, and catching-up on some movies or shows.
  10. Back in the days of Mom & Pop video stores, I once bugged the poor woman answering the phone every half hour inquiring if the person who rented Star Trek II had returned it so I could go get it.
  11. I endured the ABC version of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick as a sign of my attraction/affection for my husband to be.  All that effort falling on deaf ears and blind eyes at the time.

II.  Eleven questions from Andrew

  1. Why do you write about film?  I love films and have an opinion about them.  My friends would regularly ask me about films and what I thought.  A few suggested I write reviews.  Thinking about it one day I thought it was a good idea.
  2. Who are your biggest influences in film writing?  I can’t point to any critic and say they have influenced me.  The professional critic I most read is Rene Rodriguez from The Miami Herald, and I like his objectivity and knowledge of film history.  As for the film reviewers whose blogs I follow, I am impressed with the different styles each person has and the point-of-views they look through.
  3. What is your least favorite cinematic fad of the day?  Found footage films.  I think the style has a place, but its more recent uses have not been the best–with the exception of Chronicle, but they used some creative cheats.
  4. How often do you attend film festivals?  Typically three:  Miami & Ft. Lauderdale LGBT Festivals, and the Miami International Film Festival.  This year is an exception.  My husband co-produced & directed a documentary–Unfit:  Ward vs. Ward–that has been accepted to multiple festivals.  Including the three previously mentioned I have also attended Frameline in San Francisco and will attend DocUtah in September.
  5. What’s the last movie that you saw, whether you’ve reviewed it or not?  In a theatre, The Dark Knight Rises–second time.  At home, Night of the Iguana.
  6. Do you have an aversion to films made before 1980?  No.  I actively watch classic films, as well as go on star binges–I’ve watched almost every film of Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford.  A great script makes a great film no matter what the year.
  7. How far are you willing to go to catch screenings of your annual must-sees?  There are certain films I must watch opening weekend because I want the communal experience.  Opening weekend for Star Wars III:  Revenge of the Sith was the same weekend I was leaving to Greece for two weeks–I was at the midnight showing Friday morning and then at work four hours later.  I forgot to bring the correct credit card to get my Fandango Tickets for TLOR:  The Return of the King and the showtime was sold-out.  The screening starting in fifteen minutes still had some seats and we saw it sitting on the floor in the handicap space.
  8. How much do you consider the music you listen to in a film as part of the experience?  I consider it greatly.  The song choice and score add to the film, as well as the lack of them.  Lack of music makes the Bela Lugosi Dracula chilling and erie.  Can you imagine the montage of murdered mobsters in Goodfellas without Layla?  Or the ironic choice of Orinico Falls as the song of choice for Martin Vanger to murder his victims to?  Or how the entire score from Tim Burton’s Batman elevated the character and genre to a whole new level.
  9. Do you have a favorite genre?  Not really, though I tend to watch comedies as rentals, and I am not as into Sci-Fi as some think.
  10. What do you think about a world where celluloid no longer exists and everything is shot on digital?  Tough question.  The reality is it will happen, and we all will accept it–we already have.  When was the last time you bought film for your camera?  developed pictures? held negatives in your hand?  We let go of all these things and went on just fine.  We’ll let go of celluloid as well–some already have:  Michael Mann.
  11. What are your most overrated and underrated films of all time?  Overrated:  Some Like It HotTaxi DriverStar Wars, X-Men, Vertigo.  Underrated:  Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock, Collateral, Witness, Stardust, Mosquito Coast.  As a clarification, overrated does not necessarily mean I did not like it but more I didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

III.  Eleven Questions

  1. What’s your favorite film from 1982?
  2. What’s your favorite Peter Seller’s film?
  3. What’s your favorite pre-Little Mermaid Disney film?
  4. Based off their 70’s films only, who’s your favorite:  De Niro, Hoffman, or Pacino?
  5. What’s your favorite sports film?
  6. For Scorcese, what’s his most overrated, underrated, and your favorite film?
  7. What film impressed you the most with its dialogue?
  8. What film impressed you the most with its musical score?
  9. Of filmmakers, actors, writers, etc. that have passed away, whom would you have liked to met and interviewed?
  10. What film would you have loved to watch in a theatre with an audience when it first came out?
  11. Goodfellas or The Godfather?

IV.  Tag, Your It!

  1. Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews
  2. Myfilmviews
  3. Dave Watching Stuff
  4. annoyingfilmperson
  5. Centrefolds & Empty Screens
  6. Fandango Groovers Movie Blog
  7. FilmVerse
  8. Andy Watches Movies
  9. Cinemaniac Reviews
  10. The Focused Filmographer
  11. Another Plot Device

V.  No Tag Backs.  But I’ll thank A Constant Visual Feast again.

VI.  Go to there page and tell them–in process.


To my chagrin I realize too late that wordpress was not showing me all the blogs I read on the “Reader” tab, so I missed that FilmVerse gave me a Leibster back on August 9th.  So here are my answers:

  1. What movie would you consider changed your life?  I can’t say any movie changed my life, but there have been a few that have had a great emotional impact.  E.T. because of my age when I saw it, and Big Fish because my Father was dying of Lung Cancer when I saw it.
  2. What genre do you avoid like the plague and why?  Slasher Horror.  I’m not a fan of the Freddy and Jason movies; they’re to gory for me–I don’t like blood.  I prefer more suspenseful Horror films.
  3. If you had a choice, would you prefer to watch a film in a traditional theater, on an IMAX screen, in 3D, or at home on HDTV?  Typically a traditional theatre.  If something was made for a specific format, then I’ll watch it in that format.  The Dark Knight Rises had many scenes filmed with IMAX cameras, so I watched it in IMAX.  The same for Avatar in 3D.  I do tend to avoid 3D screenings, though.
  4. Are you guilty of talking during a movie?  Not carrying a full conversation, but I do make the occasional comment about something that happened on the screen.
  5. Is there a particular actor who you would see in a movie regardless of what the film is?  I tend to watch anything with Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood.  More recently Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hatheway have moved into that category as well.
  6. Do you read the end credits?  Yes.  I have fun reading some of the nicknames and positions.
  7. Who is your favorite author?  Who knows.  Before he got to verbose Michael Chabon.  From the past Harold Collins and James D. MacDonald.
  8. Do you believe that the film/TV/video game industry is responsible for violence in our society?  People are responsible for violence in our society.  The Middle Ages and the Inquisition happened before any of those were invented.  There are plenty of examples of human barbarism all throughout history.
  9. Should celebrities be involved in the political process to use their fame as an agent to push specific agendas?  I have  no problems with the celebrities getting involved and voicing their opinions.  I have a problem when people give them too much weight on something they are not expert in because they are a celebrity.
  10. If cosmetic surgery and Botox were outlawed, would that be an improvement for Hollywood or a detriment?  No Botox would be an improvement, because people just look weird with it.  Plastic Surgery is fine in small quantities, but like everything else too much of anything is a bad think.  Neil Patrick Harris having his ears clipped back is fine, what Melanie Griffiths did to herself is a horror.
  11. What classic film would you like to see remade with modern filmmaking techniques?  My goto answer for this is Rosemary’s Baby.  The dream sequence is so dated it takes me out of the film.

Movie Confessions Blogathon

A fellow movie review blogger, MyFilmViews, invited me to be part of a blogathon.  In this case the theme are movie confessions.  Below are my answers to the questions sent followed by some thoughts:

  1. Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?  The Night of the Hunter.  I know it is meant to be surreal.  I know it has one of Robert Mitchum’s greatest performance.  I know it is a misunderstood masterpiece.  And I know “The Preacher” is one of the most iconic characters of all time.  But I also know when I saw this film for the first time my reaction was underwhelming “Ehh”.  It didn’t do anything for me.  I neither loved it nor loathed it.  It didn’t stay with me and pop into my mind from time to time.  
  2. Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?  The 400 Blows, The Apartment, Taxi Driver, Gone with the Wind, Do the Right Thing, The Seven Samurai, The Seventh Seal, Some Like It Hot, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Battleship Potemkin
  3. Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?  To the best of my memory, no.
  4. Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?  Katherine Hepburn.  I’m not saying she is a bad actress, but for someone that appears to be acting the same way in all the limited films I have seen her in I can’t believe she has been nominated twelve times and won four.
  5. From which great director have you never seen any movie (and why)?  Ingmar Bergman.  I have no good reason why I have never watched any of his films; I just don’t feel any urge to.
  6. Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?  Hudson Hawk.  It’s #1 Guilty Pleasure, and I have no idea why it is hated so much.  It’s not great art, but it’s a good popcorn movie.
  7. Have you ever been one “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?  Borderline yes.  I don’t remember if I was having a conversation with my mother or returning a phone call to my sister with her, but we did it while the end credits were rolling.  Since this was done after the film and during the credits, I am not sure if it qualifies.
  8. Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because a specific actor/actress was in it?  Which one and why?  In a theatre no, but at home yes.  I’ll usually watch anything with Harrison Ford and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I’m a big fan of both and try to watch all their films.  Best example of this would be G.I. Joe.
  9. Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?  No
  10. Are there any movies in your collection that you have has for more than five years and never watched?  The 400 Blows.  But after a recent review by AndyWatchesMovies I set a goal to myself to watch before Labor Day–first weekend in September.
  11. Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?  Though not from my point-of-view, but Hudson Hawk.  Also Candy, which is the worse movie ever made starring the most number of famous people.  I keep it just for that reason.
  12. Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?  My TV is small; it is in an armoire with the doors typically closed unless we are watching the TV.  As such, and movies I watch with a lot of action I usually watch laying on the floor in front of the TV instead of the sofa behind the coffee table.  Otherwise it is difficult for me to see all the details of the action.
  13. Any other confessions you want to make?  I’m typically biased against European films.  I stereotype them as being painfully slow and poorly edited.  I know this is not true, but I blame a film school professor of mine who loved those types of films for giving me this perception.  Most people naturally assume I am a sci-fi film fan, but I have actually seen very few of them. I am not a fan of gross-out horror films.  I usually watch comedies as rentals and not in the theatre.

So there you go, my answers to the questions.  Overall I had a great time working on this.  It reminded me there are still a lot of classic movies I have not watched yet, and reminded me that liking a film is purely subjective.  We all have out guilty pleasures that we like to watch and other people will give us an odd stare for.

As a thank you, here is the link to MyFilmViews post on these questions, as well as other bloggers who are participating:

Click on image to be redirected

Also, here are some links to earlier posts of mine that touch on some of my responses to the above questions: