Friday, July 10, 2020

Midnight Special: Ryan's Daughter (Spoilers)

'Doing nothing is a dangerous occupation!' 
My very first David Lean film was Lawrence of Arabia followed by Summertime, two films that I decided to seek out after seeing/hearing them mentioned in passing in other media. The former in Ridley Scott's Prometheus (of all films) and the latter in the acclaimed anime Monster. I decided to check out Ryan's Daughter because Ed Harris, my favorite actor is a big fan of the film that he even sought out the places where it was filmed during his trip to Ireland. Set in Kirrary, a small isolated village in the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland between World War I and Easter Rising. It tells the story of a young woman named Rosy Ryan who's bored with her life in the small village and abruptly marries the widower and local schoolteacher Charles Shaughnessy. Rosy is spoiled by her father Thomas Ryan the local pub owner who raised her to think she's better than everyone else in the village but after a few months into her marriage, Rosy confesses to Father Hugh Collins with his prodding that she's dissatisfied with her married life and the priest tries to knock some sense into her. An hour into the film Major Randolph Doryan arrives in the village where he is newly stationed in the British military base nearby. We spend time with the major who aside from his limp due to an injury suffered during the war we come to find out that he also suffers from PTSD. The major travels to the village during one of his morning walks and meets Rosy at her father's pub (while he's away) and Michael the village idiot, his PTSD is triggered by Michael but he is comforted by Rosy and that's where the film picks up.

Midnight Special: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Semi-Spoilers)

I think the best place to start is to write about the 1971 version of Roald Dahl's classic children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was renamed Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory for whatever reason but I do recall reading that Dahl wasn't on board with a few things like casting Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka or that he hated the musical aspect of it or that the filmmakers took liberties into changing several things from the book. Whatever the reason I thought this one was far better than the more book accurate 2005 version starring Johnny Depp. Willy Wonka starts off with the musical number The Candyman in a candy store which leads to the introduction of our main protagonist Charlie Bucket played by Peter Ostrum in his only film appearance and the build up of Wonka setting out five golden tickets to the world.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

5 Favorite Ed Harris Characters

Edward Allen Harris - November 28, 1950
The great actor Ed Harris celebrates his 69th birthday today and what better way to celebrate it (and use this occasion as an excuse) than to post my five favorite characters that the man has played in his 40-year career. I was aware of the man's work growing up and HBO airing many of his films like Apollo 13, The Rock and Milk Money but Harris has had steady work in the film industry for years and in 2018 I decided to seek out many of his films I was unfamiliar with thanks to randomly stumbling into Cinematic Corner and a friend I've found on twitter who we'll just call Paul it was quite easy to track down many films in Harris' filmography particularly the ones they highly recommend. His first lead role was in George A. Romero's Knightriders in 1981, two years later he got his big break in a big budget film in 1983's The Right Stuff playing astronaut John Glenn and since then Harris has proved time and time again why he deserves his place in American cinema with performances in Sweet DreamsThe AbyssGlengarry Glen RossApollo 13The RockThe Truman ShowPollock and The Hours, four of which earned him Academy Award nominations among his impeccable filmography and perhaps also proving that he deserves to be in better roles than the ones he has been given lately. This list will only contain his fictional characters so his roles in The Right Stuff, Apollo 13 etc. won't be included on this list.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Filipino Palette: Insiang (Spoilers!)

'No one can help me but myself.'
I think now is the time to start talking more about Philippine cinema and those who contributed to it. These days, Philippine cinema mainly consists of comedy, and sometimes even rehashed plots from other dramas but has slowly and fortunately made way for original filmmakers to make films worth talking about. This is going to be my first entry in a new series called Filipino Palette where I will be talking about films made locally and my first entry is going to be about 1976's Insiang which was the first Filipino film shown at the Cannes Film Festival and directed by the late Lino Brocka starring Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Rez Cortez, Marlon Ramirez, Ruel Vernal and Nina LorenzoInsiang (Hilda Koronel) is a young woman living in the slums of Tondo, Manila with her mother Tonya (Mona Lisa), outside their small shack she is seen as the object of attention to men, and catches the unwanted attention of her mother's much younger boyfriend Dado (Ruel Vernal), a butcher and the alpha male of the slums who charms his way into her and her mother's life. Insiang feels lonely despite being surrounded by people everyday but she has allies in her best friend Ludy (Nina Lorenzo), who runs a sari-sari store in the slums with her family, Insiang's aimless boyfriend Bebot (Rez Cortez) a mechanic and gambler and Nanding (Marlon Ramirez), Ludy's younger brother who admires her from afar but all are powerless against Dado's hold on the slums and Insiang.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Western Wednesday: True Grit (1969)

'Fill your hands you son of a bitch!'
True Grit is one of my favorite western stories ever told and although I loved the Coen Brothers 2010 remake and having never read the book by Charles Portis it left an everlasting impression on me. This version stars John Wayne, Kim DarbyGlen Campbell as our unlikely trio, directed by Henry Hathaway and produced by Hal B. Wallis. Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) arrives at Fort Smith to take her father's body back home to Yell County but ends up staying to settle her father's affairs, and sets out to find the man who killed him she hires the unorthodox U.S. Marshal Reuben 'Rooster' Cogburn (John Wayne), but the presence of the Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) who is also in search of her father's killer Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), for committing a different crime complicates things. Cogburn and La Boeuf plan to ditch Mattie but she catches up and is permitted to ride along. Together the unlikely trio goes deep into Native-American territory to find Chaney and Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) and his gang.

Friday, October 4, 2019


There is no punchline. 
I can't recall another film that's received a lot of heat before it came out due to the main character being a very popular villain in pop culture like the Joker.  I have no doubts that once the audiences see it over the weekend it'll get everyone talking about it especially those like me who were reserving their judgement until the film came out. Media outlets have already given out warnings that the film is dangerous and might influence certain groups of people to start mass shootings. To be frank, the talk around the film since before it came out made me feel like I've already seen it because of all the controversy surrounding it. People's fears are justifiable but one can't help but feel that this applies more to American audiences because of their history in mass shootings. Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Douglas Hodges and Dante Periera-Olson and directed by Todd Phillips. A failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) walks the streets of Gotham City looking for connection, bullied and rejected Fleck slowly descends into madness and murder which ushers in his ascension as Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Top 5 Anticipated Films Coming Out in Late-2019

We're finally in the second half of 2019 and as disappointed as I am at the films that came out this year at least we have a few anticipated films coming out soon. So far in the first half of 2019 we've been subjected to highlights of the year such as Avengers: Endgame but later this year is where the ball really gets rolling as well as the variety of films that's about to come out soon. I've been looking forward to some of these anticipated films for a very long time, and also some have gone under the radar but became part of my list.