It Takes All Kinds

Over the last few weeks, I have watched several movies from varying genres. I enjoy everything, well—almost everything.

I watched the silent film, Metropolis (1927), and found myself mesmerized by it. Though it has 25 minutes of footage that has lost its battle with time, the story still holds up. Watching the movie for the first time (I had seen excerpts before, but never the whole thing.) I discovered how the masterpiece had obviously influenced the entire movie industry. Some parts were comically Seussian, and others were dark and Orwellian. The film was certainly ahead of its time cinematically.

I revisited a few of my favorite comedies like Young Frankenstein (1974), Haunted Honeymoon (1986), Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), and Duck Soup (1933). These silly features range from horror spoof to western to political satire. In Duck Soup, Harpo Marx takes the idea of running with scissors to the extreme.

I watched a few action flicks, too. I tried to watch Gamer (2009), but the whole thing sickened me and I turned the movie off after about eight minutes. I can count the number of movies that I’ve quit on one hand, so this is a big deal to me. This is NOT family friendly, and I don’t recommend it at all. Considering the cast, I was extremely disappointed.

On the other hand, I enjoyed Source Code (2011) much more than I expected. It included twists and turns and explosions, and just enough romance to keep your attention. It was a little bit like Groundhog Day meets Quantum Leap, but with a serious tone. I especially appreciated the nod to QL with Scott Bakula playing (voice) the main character’s father. It was smart and witty, and, even with the mind-bending twists; the audience empathizes very quickly with the leads.

We watched the 1965 version of Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians.’ With a cast that included the manly Hugh O’Brien and the beautiful Shirley Eaton, we guessed right away that this interpretation would not stay accurate to the book’s ending, and we were right. Fabian and Wilfrid Hyde-White added their unique touches as well. It was still fun to watch, and the fashion was terrific!

We finished the parade of our private Spring Break film fest with the first installment of Mission: Impossible (1996). Our boys hadn’t seen the first three of the M: I series, and we wanted them to have a background before we watched Ghost Protocol. As we watched, I marveled at how much I had forgotten about the story. If you haven’t seen it in a while, watch it again. It honors the 1960’s TV series, and brings the technology into the present. The fact that in 1996 email was new and cell phones weren’t common made me wonder at the rapid advancement of technology. It’s fun.

I like watching different types of movies from different times. It pulls me away from my tendency toward mysteries and romantic comedies. It helps me notice and appreciate camera work and technical details in film. It encourages me understand the artistry and passion that goes into each film.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.

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