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Archive for May, 2009

Movie Reviews – Part 7

Posted by nchcplteens on May 19, 2009

“Wizard of Oz” by Alice Melton

“There’s no place like home” are five small but famous words that we might see every time we step into somebody’s home. Where did this meaningful quote come from anyway? It came from one of the most famous movies of all times, The Wizard of Oz. This movie was directed by Victor Fleming based on the novel by L. Frank Baum. It starred Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, and Frank Morgan. The movie was released on August 25, 1939.

This movie is available for purchase almost anywhere on VHS and DVD.
Not only was The Wizard of Oz a famous movie and musical, but it was also one of the first movies to be made in technicolor. We all know how it feels to want adventure, and that’s how 14-year-old Dorothy feels on her small farm in Kansas. After getting into trouble, she wishes to be somewhere that’s not so dull, like black and white. She wishes she were “somewhere over the rainbow” where life would be more exciting and colorful. Like most dramatic teenagers, Dorothy decides to pack her bags and leave her problems behind. When an unfriendly twister hits, she rushes back home to an empty house. Yelling helplessly, Dorothy feels a sharp pain on the back of her head and falls to her bed. She wakes to find herself in a mysterious place filled with everything she had wished for just hours earlier. However, she realizes that she needs to be careful of what she wishes for. Dorothy has received more adventure than she wanted. With an evil witch, flying monkeys, and a long maze of yellow brick roads, Dorothy pushes on to get to the city of Oz so she can return home to her family. With a little help of new friends and ruby slippers, can Dorothy make it?

In my opinion The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. I watched it when I was little and at age 17, I still watch it today. The actors knew exactly how to play their parts. Dorothy was sweet, the tin man loving, the scarecrow was friendly, and the Wicked Witch of the West was scary. The actors didn’t only do a wonderful job of acting, they did an excellent job singing as well.
I strongly suggest that everyone see this movie if they already haven’t. I’ve watched this movie for as long as I can remember. I even had my own pair of ruby slippers. This movie is made for all ages and everyone can enjoy it. If children are scared easily, parents might want to be around during any scenes the wicked witch is in. Whether you’re seeing it on Broadway, or whether you’re cuddled up on the couch watching it, The Wizard of Oz has been around for many generations and is believed to be the most watched film in history. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being perfect, I give The Wizard of Oz a 9 because it’s funny, sad, and intriguing all at once. So the next time you want to spend time with the family, make some popcorn, gather everyone around, and pop in the movie The Wizard of Oz. While your family laughs together, you may realize that Dorothy is right: there is no place like home.

“The Wild Bunch” by Alyssa Lee

The land had changed. They hadn’t. The earth had cooled. They couldn’t. This is the theme of the 1969 film The Wild Bunch. Sam Peckinpah directed the favorable western with nine key actors: William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgine, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez, Ben Johnson, Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones and Edmond O’Brien. The film is available at the public library in VHS.

The story tells about an aging outlaw gang at the Texas-Mexico border trying to exist in the modern world of 1913. Pike Bishop, the leader of the gang says, “We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.” The Bunch live by an old-fashioned code of honor without a place in twentieth century modern society. When they inspect General Mapache’s new automobile, they notice it marks the end of horse travel.

The best thing about the film was that it was filled with action and made more modern than I had expected. The plot was good. It made you want to keep watching because the aging men in the gang were unpredictable because all they wanted to do was go out with a bang and one final score. The acting was great in the film, not overacting like you see in some other films made in the ’60s era. The actors portrayed the characters very well, and they made it a more realistic Western, not the classic Cowboy and Indian Western.

I personally thought the film was okay. I would rate it a 6 of 10. Audience of 16 and older is best for the film. Anyone younger than that should not watch for the use of language and brief occurrences of nudity. The best scene is the final shootout. It is nearly four and half minutes and a very loud and eventful scene. I advise that if you like action, you will love this film. It started with unchanging men in a changing land.

“The Seven-Year Itch” by Crystal Steelman

Have you ever seen the cover of a movie and thought to yourself, “That movie looks boring; I don’t want to watch that.” You finally decide to take a break and sit to watch that movie. When it’s over you start to think that the movie was the best you have ever seen. Well, I have and the name of the movie is The Seven Year Itch. I don’t think anyone else besides director Billy Wilder could have made a better movie. The two top actors were Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. This movie was released in 1955 but was released again in 1983. The movie is available at the New Castle Public library, and is only available in VHS.

The Seven Year Itch is about when summer comes around all of the husbands in a small town in New York like to send their wives of all around the world, so they can go mess around with all of the other girls in town. Just too bad for Tom Ewell; he now knows about the little blond girl that live upstairs. He tries to hold back the urge but sometimes the urge is too strong . They start to spend time together and soon get attached to each other,  and one day a neighbor comes to visit and sees the young girl. Tom Ewell starts to go crazy and now thinks his wife knows about her and is out to kill him.

I think the movie was a wonderful film, but I do think they could have made Marilyn Monroe seem a little smarter.  The plot was also a little dull and did not have a lot of color. It was a real get away catcher because of the music. It was also funny and unpredictable.

I recommend this movie for viewers over the age of sixteen and with parents consent. The Seven Year Itch is a humor type of movie and keeps you hanging on to see what happens next. I do not think this is a movie you should avoid. I am just saying that it is a movie that should be shared with family. The movie is worth seeing if you love to laugh. So if you like funny movies and like to get hooked, I suggest you watch Seven Year Itch.

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Movie Reviews – Part 6

Posted by nchcplteens on May 18, 2009

“Rebel without a Cause” by Jessica Davis

Rebel without a Cause, directed by Nicholas Ray, was released in 1955 and re-released in 2005. It stars one of the most popular actors of this time period, James Dean. This movie is available at the New Castle Public Library in VHS format.

This movie has great historical content on the teenage life in the 1950s; it shows greatly what life was like for these teens. The movie is based around a teenage boy named Jimmy Stark who is somewhat of a troublemaker. Because of this his family is forced to move from town to town. From here it shows how life is for a troubled teen in the 1950s.

I believed that this plot was a very good one for its time period; it was a very entertaining movie.

I believe everyone should watch this movie if they get a chance. It would be best for teenagers and older people due to some violence.

“Singing in the Rain” by Miranda Wallen

“Some folks call it a sling blade; I call it a Kaiser blade.” Singing in the Rain is one of the most-loved film musicals of all time from MGM. The directors of Singing in the Rain are Stanly Donen and Gene Kelly. The main actors in this movie include Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood, Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Seldon, Donald O’ Conner as Cosmo Brow, Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont, Millard Mitchell as R.F. Simpson, Cyd Charisse as Don’s dance partner, and Rita Moreno as Zelda Zenders. Singing in the Rain was released March 27th, 1952. It is available at the public library, and it is available in VHS and DVD.

The musical Singing in the Rain reflected the difficulties experienced by the Hollywood film industry during the transition from silent films to “talkies.” Singing in the Rain is a charming, upbeat, graceful, and enjoyable experience with great songs, lots of flashbacks, and wonderful dances. A hoofer-turned-matinee idol (Gene Kelly) is caught in a bumpy transition, as well as his buddy (Donald O’ Connor), prospective ladylove and Shrewish Co-Star (Jean Heyin).

My opinion of the movie Singing in the Rain is awesome. This movie is not only a great movie, but a great musical too. I am not even a big fan of musicals either. On the other hand though, there was this one day, Don jumps into a passing car driven by Kathy. Later, they end up going to a party. The head of Don’s studio, R.F. Simpson, shows a picture of a talking picture. His guests seemed unimpressed. After a few days or so, Don ends up running into Kathy again at a party. Kathy is a chorus girl and part of an entertainment. He was amused and she was totally embarrassed at this moment. Kathy ends up being mad at him and ends up throwing a pie, but accidentally hit Lina. Later, Don makes up with Kathy and they end up falling in love.

This movie has to be one of my favorites of the old times. It is very interesting and it keeps you entertained with all the music they sing. This is a great musical for all ages. If you’re somebody who doesn’t like a lot of singing interrupting your movie then I wouldn’t choose Singing in the Rain as a movie to watch. This movie is worth watching all the way through. In my opinion, I don’t think there is a dull moment at any point and time in this movie. This movie is also a great romantic movie where people end up falling in love. “A beautiful girl is like a piece of art.”

“Bridge on the River Kwai” by Trent Sewell

The Bridge on the River Kwai was made in 1957. This movie is one of the movies that depicts the lives of POWs. The movie was filmed in what seems to be a realistic location.

Alec Guinness is Colonel Nicholson. He and his men are captured by the Japanese and put to work building a very important railway bridge that will connect them to occupied Burma. Nicholson is a stickler for the rules and under the Geneva Convention, he and his officers are not to engage in manual labor. When he mentions this to a Japanese official for the second time, he gets a slap across the face.

His refusal to work seems stupid, but his stubbornness is an inspiring act to his men. He wins that battle after being put in the “Oven,” a box of metal and no windows used to tire and torture its inhabitants. After this he decides to help the Japanese build a bridge so that his men are kept busy and are treated well. His drive to do the job right clouds his loyalties and by the time a covert commando squad is dispatched to destroy the bridge, he has lost his original purpose.

Nicholson often seems wrong, but Guinness makes the man believable despite his principles. He commands the screen with surprising toughness, which is met in turn by Sessue Hayakawa as the Japanese Colonel Saito.

The physical elements of the film amount to an action blockbuster of the era. Director David Lean achieves a wonderful balance of creating complex characters from a fine cast, while keeping the pace up throughout this long movie. Finally, it all comes to a thrilling climax, which again offers a very hard decision for Colonel Nicholson.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but in my opinion I believe if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you should definitely go rent it from the public library.

“The Kid” by Taylor Ankrom

“A picture with a smile and perhaps a tear.” The Kid is a silent film in black and white released in 1921 and re-released in 1972. This film was written, produced, directed, and starred in by Charlie Chaplin. Other leading actors are Carl Miller, Edna Purviance, and Jack Coogan. The Kid is available on DVD from the Public Library and Family Video.

This is a classic Charlie Chaplin film. This story starts with Charlie finding an orphaned child. Through a turn of events, he ends up stuck with the child that he didn’t really want. As the child grows older, there is a series of events that cause an unexpected outcome.

This was a very entertaining silent film. The actors did very well conveying emotion through gestures and facial expressions. The story line is very easy to follow and isn’t interrupted with unnecessary dialog captions.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys silent films, or anyone looking for a quick flick. Small children may not be kept at attention, but the majority of people would enjoy it. This is a great silent film that I give two thumbs up.

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Student Movie Reviews Part 5

Posted by nchcplteens on May 15, 2009

“Nosferatu” by Alaina Hoppes

“Blood! Your precious blood!” These are things you might hear, well, read in the black and white, silent film Nosferatu. This film was directed by F.W. Murnau and released in 1922. The cast includes Max Schreck as the vampire, Gustav Von Wangenheim as Jonathan Harker, Greta Schroeder as Jonathan’s wife Nina, and Alexander Granach as Renfield. You can find this movie at the New Castle Public Library on VHS tape or you can watch it on http://www.youtube.com.
Nosferatu deals with ancient themes, such as fear of the dark and the undead, but also with other historical themes. At the time the film was set, people were still afraid of the plague being brought to where they live, much like Nosferatu was brought to the city of Bremen in the film. It also deals with a fear of immigrants, which is still somewhat going on today. Basically, the movie starts out with Jonathan being told that a rich man from Transylvania wants to move into town and buy one of his houses, but he has to go escort him back to town. He kisses his wife, Nina, goodbye and is off over seas to Transylvania. When he gets there, strange things start happening, especially when he gets to Count Dracula’s castle. Frightened, he flees the castle, but the vampire finds other ways of making it across the sea to his town. You’ll have to watch it to see what happens.
I personally thought the film was great for its time and still holds up today as a truly chilling movie. It was the first ever adaptation from the Dracula book and probably one of the best. The characters were played well and the costuming for Nosferatu with his long fingers and sunken huge eyes never ceases to give me the heebie-jeebies. Even though there is no gore in this horror movie, it is still has some very memorable scenes. The acting might seem a little overdoing it at times, but you have to remember this was made in 1922 and as a silent film they had to make up for lack of spoken words with body language. The effects for the film were also amazing for their time.
I think anyone who likes horror movies or is interested in the evolution of film in general should see Nosferatu. It revolutionized the horror movie genre. But, if you are into action pact films with explosions and car chase scenes, this might not be for you. If you do watch the film though, do remember that this is a silent film from 1922 and should be viewed as such. You might say that the acting is crap or that they dress silly, but that’s how they had to act back then, and the movie is set in the late 1800s so old-fashioned garb is to be expected. I really like this movie and would give it 5 out of five stars or two thumbs up or however else you rate movies in a positive way. I mean, honestly, with lines like “Is this your wife? What a lovely throat!” how can you not want to see it?

“Patton” by Bethany Coffey

Patton follows the life of George S. Patton, famous Allied tank commander from World War II. Beginning with his exploits in North Africa, the film follows the career of this bombastic general through the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of Germany. Patton was released in 1970. It is available at your local library or at Blockbuster as a VHS or DVD.

Along the way, Patton must learn to deal with his contemporaries, men such as General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden), and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (Michael Bates). Despite his display of military genius in the field of battle, Patton is relieved from his post as Occupation Commander of Germany because of the many faults he exhibits.

George C. Scott turns in a memorable performance as the larger-than-life Patton. With an overpowering personality and a domineering will, George Patton led his men to victory in one of the most pivotal wars for freedom the world has ever witnessed. Nevertheless, Patton’s legacy endures through our memories and through this film, and the lessons of his life continue to inspire people to this day.

Overall, Patton is a blockbuster film even by today’s standards. Despite vast improvements in the realm of filmmaking, Patton remains unrivaled in its portrayal of one of America’s greatest heroes. The battle scenes are especially realistic, and they vividly illustrate the horrors of war. Patton is a definite must-see film for any serious aficionado of movies.

“Pearl Harbor” by April Carnes

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan. It is obvious that planning the attack began many weeks ago, during the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace,” said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the speech he gave after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The director of Pearl Harbor was the talented Michael Bay, who is also famous for directing the movie Transformers which was out in 2007. Pearl Harbor had a star-studded cast with Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Voight, Alec Baldwin, and Jennifer Garner. The movie Pearl Harbor was released May 25th, 2001. This movie is available at the New Castle Henry County Public Library free of charge. This movie is in the format of either DVD or VHS.

The historical theme of Pearl Harbor was the history of the attack on the naval air base Pearl Harbor and the lives it affected. The movie Pearl Harbor is about the Japanese attack on the naval air base Pearl Harbor which is told through the eyes of two childhood friends. The two young men are now serving in the Army Air Corps. Capt. Rafe McCawley is the eldest of the boys and is the energetic pilot who is selected to fly for the British in Europe, while his friend and his lover is stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After Rafe is presumed dead, his best friend Capt. Danny Walker comforts Rafe’s lover Lt. Evelyn Johnson. The two draw closer as the months pass. But when Rafe turns up alive, the two former friends become enemies. Through the turmoil of the attack on Pearl Harbor the two friends have to face their differences and bond together to help fight for the United States of America.

This movie is a real and a dramatic film based on the historical event. The plot of this film is, I believe, great. The actors capture the feelings and the emotions of losing everything from this tragic attack. This film gives you characters you can relate to. The treatment of the theme was correct and on the nose of the actual event.

This film is worth watching because it shares the history with modern day actors. From a rating of 5 stars being the best, I give it 5 stars. The age group that is appropriate to watch this movie is 13 years of age and up. This movie gives you a chance to see this historical event with your own eyes. It might not be exact but it certainly captures the dramatic effect it had on our country.

“The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American military forces; I regret to tell you that over three thousand American lives have been lost. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this pre-meditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Because of this unprovoked, dastardly attack by Japan, I ask that the congress declare a state of War,” said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the end his speech on the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Student Movie Reviews Continues

Posted by nchcplteens on May 14, 2009

Our coverage of Ms. Hittson’s class movie reviews continues:

“Gone with the Wind” by Caylor Escalante

“There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South… Look for it only in books for it is no more than a dreamed remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind…” The words of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize winner Gone with the Wind were brought to life as director David O. Selznick created a Civil War romance that would eventually win 10 Academy Awards after its release in 1939. Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable will forever be remembered for the roles they played as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in this classic, fiery love tale. The immortal story of Gone with the Wind is available at the New Castle Henry County Public Library.

Gone with the Wind begins in the state of Georgia just before and lasts throughout the Civil War. The movie follows Scarlett O’Hara, a spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner whose only interest is men. Throughout the story, she not only fights to be loved by the men in her life but also fights for her state of Georgia as it falls to the Union army during the war.

I believe that Gone with the Wind portrays the Civil War time period very accurately. It depicts the hatred of the South towards the North during the war with great precision and shows the enthusiasm of the Confederate soldiers in their quest to keep slavery and live as a separate nation. The movie also shows the vast destruction of Atlanta as Sherman marched his Yankee soldiers and destroyed every inch of Georgia they passed throughout his infamous March to the Sea. The acting throughout the film makes the viewer feel every emotion of each character and captures the attention of the audience instantly. Gone with the Wind is a movie that everyone should watch at some point in his/her lifetime.

Because of its length of just under four hours, young children probably shouldn’t watch it. I believe that any student studying the Civil War should watch this classic movie and anyone over elementary school age would not only appreciate the historical aspects of this movie but also the quest for true love seen throughout it. Because of this great movie, Gone with the Wind will never be gone at all.

“Flags of Our Fathers” by Taylar Johnson

A single shot can end a war. This is proven true in the war movie Flags of Our Fathers. Flags of Our Fathers is a movie based on the lives of the soldiers who raised the American Flag at Iwo Jima, and gave the hope to win World War Two. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starred in by actors such as Ryan Phillippe, Adam Beach, and Jesse Bradford, the movie has been nominated for two Oscars. The movie was released on Oct 20th in 2006. It runs around 2 hours, and is rated R by the normal movie standards. You can find Flags of Our Fathers at the New Castle Henry County Public Library in DVD form or at almost any local video store.

Flags of Our Fathers is based on the history of the battle at Iwo Jima in WWII. Five days into that battle a picture was taken of five Marines and a Navy Corpsman raising a United States flag on Mount Suribachi. This picture stood as a symbol of hope in one of the bloodiest battles of the war and gave the American people the hope to go on. The movie follows the lives of the three of six flag raisers who left Iwo Jima alive, and their lives afterwards. These three men are held up for the whole nation to see and deemed heroes: the best the U.S. has to offer. Flags of Our Fathers is the story of how the three men who became heroes dealt with the things they had seen on Iwo Jima and dealt with the pressure of becoming a hero.

This movie was a fresh perspective of World War Two. The characters were well portrayed by the actors and deeply thought out. It was made even more interesting by the flashbacks of the war and various times. It brought the viewer into the thoughts and memories of the characters. Flags of Our Fathers raises questions in the viewer as to what happens after the war. What happens after you have fought for your country and the ones you love? Maybe this movie is only one side of it, or maybe it’s the only side, and those who can cope with what they had seen and done seem okay.

Flags of Our Fathers was a great movie. The only drawback is that younger children should not watch it. The graphics and language may be disturbing and should be reserved for around age 15 or 16. People who have trouble dealing with profanity and violence should not watch this movie. However, if the above requirements are met, go rent it as soon as possible. It is a wonderful movie, and it put war as well as heroism into perspective. As said by James Bradly, “I have finally come to understand why they where so uncomfortable being called heroes.”

“Letters from Iwo Jima” by David Hudson

“For our homeland, until the very last man, our duty is to stop the enemy right here. Do not expect to return home alive.” -General Kuribayashi. This was what the Japanese were told when fighting for the island of Iwo Jima. They knew they were fighting a hopeless battle but did not surrender for one more day they held the island was one more day their family was safe.

The movie Letters from Iwo Jima, released in 2006, was a successful attempt by director Clint Eastwood to create a nonbiased film based on the battle for the island Iwo Jima. Eastwood used a fairly unknown cast except for Ken Watanabe (General Kuribayashi) for this groundbreaking film.

The movie is based on the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, but from the Japanese point of view. The battle took place because the Allies wanted control of all the islands surrounding Japan. The island Iwo Jima is located right beside the country of Japan and was a key strategic point for both sides. If the Americans could capture the island, they would have a location to launch an invasion of Japan; and if the Japanese could hold the island, it would hold off the allies from invading their country. The movie shows the strategy and battles the Japanese used to attempt to hold the island of Iwo Jima.

In my opinion this was a great movie. Its definitely not one for the kids hence the R rating, but it is good to see a movie not completely based on the United States being the good guys. The movie shows that we are all the same and many of the soldiers did not even know why the war was taking place. They just wanted to be home with their families the same as the American soldiers. I believe you should give this movie a chance. It will be worth your time

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Student Movie Reviews Continues

Posted by nchcplteens on May 12, 2009

Our coverage of Ms. Hittson’s drama class movie reviews continues with actors Connery, Bogart, & Chaplin:

“A Bridge Too Far” by Kyle Mummert

Operation Market Garden was twice as big of an invasion as what took place at D-day. The movie A Bridge Too Far was directed by Richard Attenborough. The movie starred famous actors such as Sean Connery and Gene Hackman. The movie was released in 1977 and is available in DVD or VHS format at the New Castle Public Library.

The plan involved dropping American and British paratroopers at strategic bridges in the Netherlands. After the drop was made the Americans’ radios did not work and the troops were running short on supplies. The German generals realized they were going to lose some of the bridges and asked for permission to destroy them. The field marshals overlooked the German division of the SS Panzer group that was re-equipping in the Arnhem area. This was a recipe for disaster due to the American troops being under equipped.

The acting in this film is generally good. The special effects were pretty realistic and surprisingly good considering the age of the movie. Sean Connery does an outstanding job playing the British field marshal. The story is well executed and graphically illustrated by the bloodiness of the screenplay, which closely resembles what actually happened.  The American troops suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the Germans.

Overall this movie is well worth your time. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the movie at about an 8.The age group that should watch this is about 13 and up because of the language and graphic violence.  After all, it is a war. The movie has excellent battle scenarios that are very realistic. Operation Market Garden might have been a complete failure, but A Bridge Too Far is a movie that shouldn’t be missed.

“Casablanca” by Sarah Neuman

“Of all the gin joints, in all the cities, in all the world, she walks into mine.” Humphrey Bogart is remembered for this and other famous lines in the enduring classic Casablanca. Casablanca was released in 1943 and starred Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blain, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, and Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo. The film was one of the first blockbuster casts assembled by Hollywood, bringing together the three main stars along with other greats of the time like Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, and Peter Lorre. Casablanca was directed by Michael Cutiz and is available on VHS and DVD just about anywhere including the New Castle Public Library.

This classic takes place in unoccupied French Morocco, and revolves around the intermingling of the lives of several people wanting to escape France in World War II by taking the ambiguous refugee route which ends in Casablanca. Some people who wound up there would wait years for visas to America, but most never acquired them. Rick (Bogart) has wound up in Casablanca like so many others and has opened a saloon named Rick’s American. His place is the most popular place to go in the evening and is the center of underground dealings in exit visa’s and travel papers. Victor Lazlo, a Czech leader of the freedom movement, and Ilsa (Bergman) come to Rick’s to purchase papers to travel to America as the plot begins to thicken. Rick and Ilsa have had a romantic past and emotions begin to stir, as the stars find themselves torn between their feelings for each other and their allegiance to the war effort. The film ends in one the most famous scenes ever put on film where Rick tells Elsa that she must go to America with Victor and leave him and Casablanca regardless of their love for each other.

This movie will captivate your attention from the moment you turn it on till the credits. The whirlwind of emotions and drama will fill your thoughts for days. Bogart and Bergman are dazzling in their most talked about film. Through everything happening in this film you never lose sight of the true conflict between true love and the allegiance to freedom. This movie is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ever filmed.

I highly recommend this movie. I believe most people will like this movie. I don’t suggest showing small children this movie because I don’t think they will understand it. This movie is great for couples and friends to watch together. There’s enough war content to keep guys’ attention, while girls can get swept away in the romance between Rick and Ilsa. All that’s left to say is “This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“City Lights” by Shay Haltorn

Charles Chaplin, born April 16, 1889, in Walworth, London, England was thought to be one of the greatest comedians of all time.

One of his biggest hits City Lights is about a man who struggles to help a blind flower girl whom in the end he falls in love with. Chaplin meets this lovely girl on the sidewalk where she is selling flowers and she gives him one. This woman mistakes him and thinks he is a wealthy man when in all reality he is not wealthy at all.

During this movie this woman and her family start to experience financial problems and Chaplin comes to the rescue. Also at the same time he is helping her keep her house, he is also trying to get money for her to have eye surgery so she can possibly see again. Chaplin goes to his on and off again friend who happens to be a wealthy man to get the money he needs, but Chaplin gets accused of stealing the money by his friend’s butler and is thrown in jail.

Meanwhile, during the time Chaplin is in jail, the woman gets her eye surgery. He meets up with her in the end and she realizes that he isn’t a wealthy man at all. That in fact he is a very poor man and that is the highest moment of the movie.

I feel the story line is money isn’t everything.

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Student Movie Reviews Continued

Posted by nchcplteens on May 11, 2009

All_the_President's_Men

Our feature on Ms. Hittson’s drama class reviews of classic movies continues:

“All the President’s Men” by Taylor Thomas

“At times it looked like it might cost them their jobs, their reputations, and maybe even their lives.” (The Internet Movie Database)  All the President’s Men was directed by Alan J. Pakula.  The two key actors that were starred in this movie were Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.  This film was released on April 9, 1972 and immediately received many awards.  All the President’s Men is available to the community at the New Castle Henry County Public Library in the form of a DVD.

All the President’s Men is a non-fiction movie based on the Watergate scandals and the infamous resignation of President Richard Nixon.  The movie begins with the first break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Building in Washington, D.C.  Two men, Bob Woodard (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), from the Washington Post grab the story of the burglary and run with it.  Woodard and Bernstein quickly find out that their new project is not going to be as easy as it looked.  They must persevere through doubts and discouragement in order to publish a convicting story.

Since the movie All the President’s Men is based on a historical event it cannot have a shaky plot.  The movie was never difficult to follow because the cast was simple and the story line was not misleading.  I believe that Alan J. Pakula directed the movie so that the viewers were never left confused.  Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman excellently portrayed Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein, respectively, in the film.  They accurately showed the hard work and dedication that was put forward during the investigation of the scandals.

All the President’s Men is educational and informing to the audience.  I recommend this movie to those who enjoy historical and informative movies.  I believe the movie would be most enjoyed by people who have read books about the Watergate scandal or by those who were present in the 1970s.  Although this film is rated PG, I do not recommend it to children under the age of thirteen due to some uses of vulgar language.  All the President’s Men will keep the viewer on the edge of his or her seat because of the constant investigations and interesting findings throughout the film.  In conclusion, I recommend All the President’s Men because Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein knew how to “get the story–and get it right.”

“Apocalypse Now” by Brandon Talavera

Apocalypse Now is one of the best films of its time. The movie shows how bad the Vietnam war was. Martin Sheen plays Captain Benjamin L. Willard, a Vietnam soldier whose mission is entering Cambodia in search of a renegade Green Beret, Lt. Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Willard goes to the jungle where he and his crew get lost; Willard’s men are picked off one by one until he is the only one left to face the infamous Lt. Kurtz. Kurtz formed his own army from U.S. military deserters, and he lives with a local tribe where they worship him. Telling any more might ruin the ending, but this movie was a lot better than I thought it would be and I recommend watching it if you have not.

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Drama Students Review Classic Movies @ the Library

Posted by nchcplteens on May 8, 2009

Mrs. Hittson’s drama class at the New Castle high school was assigned classic movie write-ups, and they chose the library’s collection as a starting point.  Watch for their reviews in the Courier Times, and all of them will be posted here in the next week or so.  Great job to all!

“West Side Story” by Mandy Massengale

Loving is enough. West Side Story is an incredible movie that was based on this idea. Robert Wise, along with Jerome Robbins, won an Oscar for Best Director along with nine other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, for the making of this film. Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood were a breathtaking duo along with the rest of the brilliant cast. The production was released on October 20, 1961 and is still a well known classic. Originally on VHS, it has been restored and released on DVD. You can pick up this classic at the New Castle Public Library or New Castle’s Family Video, and it is on sale on DVD at any local WalMart.

West Side Story was considered one of the most popular musicals of all time. The stage is set in New York’s Upper West Side in the 1950s, where the area’s ghettos are divided by racial tensions. In the movie, this situation is acted on by two rival gangs: the Puerto Rican Sharks and the Caucasian Jets. In the middle of all the distress, a Polish boy falls for a young Puerto Rican girl, Maria. This only generates more tension seeing as how the leader of the Sharks is Maria’s brother, and the Polish boy, Tony, had once been a part of the Jets. Despite the warnings of Anita, Maria’s friend, Maria falls for him too. On Maria’s urging, Tony attempts to stop a rumble between the gangs, in order to make their relationship easier. Things go south, and the situation becomes harder than ever. The story is amazingly portrayed by a phenomenal cast and incredible music.

The plot was executed exceptionally by the realistic cast. The style of the fifties was shown with the attire and the tension between the ethnicities. The cast did a phenomenal job. They can sing, act, and dance. Although it was an overall good movie in my opinion, this movie might not be for everybody. It is a musical and a little bit cheesy and overacted. The actors very much exaggerate their positions, but it gets the point across. Overall though, I think it’s a brilliant recreation of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

This movie does have some violence, so it is not recommended as a family movie. Also, I do not think younger children would enjoy it as much as someone a little more mature. On a scale from one to ten I would give West Side Story an eight based on entertainment alone. There is incredible choreography and music that is enough of a reason to check it out. If you’re a sucker for a genuinely good musical with memorable heartwarming moments, West Side Story is the movie for you.

“2001: a Space Odyssey” by Cooper Wallace

Dun..dun…dun….Nah-nah! This iconic soundtrack belongs to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film was directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Daniel Richter. The movie is based on the novel of the same title by Arthur C. Clarke. It was released on April 6, 1968. It is available on VHS or DVD from fine retailers excluding Wal-Mart.

Coming from a book written before personal computers or other convenient technologies, the story is extremely visionary. The movie begins with a group of early humanoid primates. The primates discover a monolith and it trains them genetically to evolve and gain intelligence. Eons pass and humans develop into current day people. The story then focuses on Dr. Heywood Floyd as he is called in to investigate a crisis on the moon. Together with HAL, a supercomputer, and other colleagues, he journeys into the unknown and makes fascinating discoveries. To say more would be to give much too much of the plot away, being that each part is so dependent on knowledge of other parts.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Unlike so many movies that focus solely on plot matter, 2001 lets sheer artistic and cinematic beauty play a major role. The plot is thought-provoking and represents as entertaining of a theory as any for how humans came to be.

I highly recommend this movie. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9. If you are dim-witted and seek extremely simple plots, I do not recommend it. I see ages 14 and up enjoying it because it is at that age people can begin to really understand it. This movie is a mind-awakening classic that everyone should see at least once.

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Mother’s Day Event

Posted by nchcplteens on May 5, 2009

lily_of_the_valley Register now for the next Teens Create! Mother’s Day Gift program this Friday in the Teenscape.   We’re making a potted flower to give to mom or someone you love for Mother’s Day this Sunday.  Hurry–space is limited.  Give your mom or someone you love a big hug on Sunday and tell them how much you appreciate them.

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