Tag: Movies

Buy Physical Media

 

A generous helping of shutdown-induced free time has allowed me to catch up on my ridiculous backlog of movies on disc.

Note “movies on disc.” I think it’s safe to say that I don’t personally know anyone who owns as many movies as I do in a physical form. I also own a healthy number of television shows on disc, as well as myriad sports-related selections. In all, I would estimate that I have something like 2,000 discs worth of content, all of which I keep in simple albums for the sake of efficient storage, allowing all of this material to occupy only two small shelves on a bookcase in my den.

Why do I own so many discs in an era in which streaming is now the preferred format?

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Tex929rr, winner of last week’s Movie Fight Club question has a fun one this week, he asks: What is your favorite little known movie? Hopefully we’ll lead each other to some hidden gems to try out this weekend (we could all use the distraction). Of course, the most popular answer will win the fight. The […]

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E J Hill, the back-to-back winner of week six and seven’s Movie Fight Club questions asks: Name the worst movie portrayal of your profession (where applicable.)  Note: if there are no movie portrayals of your profession you may substitute any profession. The Rules: Post your answer as a comment. Make it clear that this is […]

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Doing Sound for Films

 

For movies and television, the image is king and always will be. After all, they call them movies, not soundies. But since 1928 or thereabouts, most films have been made with live sound. Audiences usually want some degree of real-life to mingle with cinematic fantasy. Doing the show right from a technical standpoint is a key element in maintaining a viewer’s willing suspension of disbelief. Whatever you think of Hollywood, the polish and expertise of our technical crafts have led the world’s screens for more than a century, a good part of the gloss of an American success story.

Doing sound for the movies is a little different than doing camera. On a movie set, the camera is treated like a sacramental altar, with attendants performing guild rituals, a technical priesthood, and its own nearly incomprehensible jargon. Superficially, on the other hand, sound looks like an afterthought that seems easy to do — just stick a mike in someone’s face, wear earphones, and run a tape recorder. Simple, right? But it’s surprisingly hard to do it well, especially on the cramped confines of a noisy film set.

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We saw Little Women last night. It was the idea of the ladies, and Jack and I had go along with it. As a Right Thinking American Man, I dreaded it. But, by the end I was charmed. I am sure that if director/screenwriter Greta Gerwig were interviewed by Stephen Colbert, she would present as […]

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I just saw The Rise of Skywalker, and I loved it. The visual and aural effects were astounding, the settings beautiful, the story fun, most of the main characters engaging, and the adaptations of what audiences love about Star Wars present without being too derivative. This was brilliant high-tech, family-friendly fantasy storytelling. I did think […]

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A real-deal movie critic joins us on “A Christmas Ham” this week to talk about the history and hypnotic effect of cheesy TV Christmas movies. Also, we somehow touch on the opioid crisis. I didn’t even know there was a dark side to my movie obsession until I talked to John!

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What novels, memoirs, and films with a business setting do you like? Most fiction seems to be about people who are lawyers, policemen, criminals, soldiers, spies, students, politicians, and noble but struggling writers. But there are indeed some works of fiction, and some vivid personal memoirs, in which business plays a central role without being […]

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My husband and I both like sci-fi and went to see Ad Astra yesterday. It was showing in a small room, and only a handful of viewers were there. So I wondered whether it would be any good. Without giving much away, I would say that I enjoyed the plausible technological and political vision of […]

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  Even though the car quickly became the most popular form of transportation in the United States shortly after the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1908, the train would remain an important form of transportation, especially transportation over long distances up through the middle of the twentieth century. As such, trains (both passenger […]

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The Subtle Patriotism of Hidden Figures

 

Hidden Figures is an all right movie about black women working for NASA in Virginia during segregation. The movie hits the usual beats about racism being bad and woman being empowered in the usually overly sentimental and unrealistic ways that Hollywood has become so fond of.

But that’s not the most interesting and (to my knowledge) unremarked part of the movie. The movie seems to stand apart from the more woke message of the current progressive left that says that America is irredeemably racist. A quote by Martin Luther King played on a black-and-white TV seems to speak to the message of this movie. “We think we’re rendering a great service to our nation. For this is not a struggle for ourselves alone. It is a struggle to save the soul of America.” America is very much worth saving in this movie.

Bullitt: The Car Chase

 

What was the greatest car chase scene of all time? I don’t really know; but, if I had to pick one – I’d pick the chase scene from the 1968 movie Bullitt. There were car chase scenes in the movies long before Bullitt (lots of ’em), and there have been even more car chase scenes in the movies since Bullitt. But, Bullitt is a dividing line — car chase scenes after were and still are measured against the Bullitt chase scene. That full scene (a little over ten minutes in length) is below. I should note that when I started to put this post together it took a while to find the complete scene (at least in a form that could be pasted here on Ricochet), which was a little surprising.

Recommended (and Not) Viewing on Prime

 

I thought I’d do you the favor of listing some more quick Amazon Prime Video recommendations so you don’t have to waste your time wading through mediocre productions. This is assuming our tastes align, but have I gone wrong before?

You’re welcome.

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In another conversation, some suggested that most movies today are for kids and those who have never grown up. For instance, there are lots of movies with big explosions and special effects, like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what is there for adults? Discuss, please. Preview Open

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I rewatched the 2015 documentary about William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal debating each other during the 1968 presidential primaries (which they were supposed to be covering) for the unknownth time the other night. I might be the only person who has watched it 4-6 times, but it is well-made and tells a fascinating […]

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The guys tackle Captain Marvel. Does Sonny think Wonder Woman is better? Vic takes a movie bathroom break. JVL witnesses a dishwashing atrocity. Sonny and Vic explain drinking games to JVL.

Great Character Actors: Ward Bond

 

There’s no real point to this post other than to briefly discuss and celebrate the career of one of the great character actors of all time — Ward Bond (1903-1960). First, I have to admit I don’t know much more about Bond’s life than that presented in his Wikipedia biography.

Let’s see … I did know that he’d played football at the University of Southern California along with John Wayne and that he and Wayne began their acting careers when they and other USC footballers were hired by director John Ford to appear in “Salute,” a 1929 movie about football. I also knew about the drinking and the conservative politics (among other things he was an early and proud member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals). I didn’t know about the B.S. degree in engineering nor did I know that he suffered from epilepsy.

Bond and Wayne, who would remain lifelong friends, had somewhat similar career paths although with widely divergent trajectories. Wayne, after a decade or so, would rise to the peaks of stardom, while Bond, after a decade or so, would establish himself as a solid, highly sought-after character actor. Bond appeared in over 200 movies in his career, including some of the best ever made. It’s likely most moviegoers of the time would not have recognized his name although they would have recognized him as soon as he appeared on screen. In any event, Bond made every movie he was in just a little bit better than it otherwise would’ve been.

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I’m watching a beautiful movie on Prime called Little Forest, cheering fare for dark winter evenings. A young woman returns to her rural roots, a Korean farming village, for reasons she can’t fully explain except that she was “hungry” after all the pre-packaged city food. In the gentle plot, she searches for her mother, reconnects […]

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