Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 18th Log

2006, Bill Condon, United States
1st Viewing, Theater

Dreamgirls succeeds as an extravagant and energetic musical packed with lush period details and elegant style and performances all underneath an epic story. The film “introduces” Jennifer Hudson, who shines (especially when belting out songs), but she is aided by a strong cast of performances (Beyonce Knowles as the beautiful singer that becomes the focal point of the group mostly because of her looks; Eddie Murphy as an R&B star struggling to make a transition into a new era of music; and Jamie Foxx as the controlling producer). Even at 131 minutes the film is packed with enough excitement to keep you fully entertained throughout (perhaps the pace and length is even a bit short as some moments feel rushed along). The musical numbers are very good, but of course Hudson’s "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" is packed with passion and is the highlight of the film. Dreamgirls is adapted from a Broadway play by Bill Condon, and he rightfully gives this a very theatrical look and feel. This is really a top-notch Hollywood musical.

1948, Vittorio De Sica, Italy
Repeat Viewing, DVD

What more can you say about this classic masterwork of Italian cinema, which is often mentioned among the greatest films ever made. Now the film has received a newly restored Criterion Collection DVD release. Without much focus on plot or even dialogue, the film is a touching, wonderfully shot exploration of human emotions, and an incredibly intelligent and realistic relationship of Father and Son. In the aftermath of WW2 previously unemployed Antonio finally finds work that requires a bicycle. When it's stolen on his first day of work, Antonio and his son journey the streets of Rome to find the bicycle; which is his family's only means of survival. It's a brilliant story of not only the Father-Son relationship, but a lesson of the times of unemployment and poverty, specifically the final shot of the son walking with his father, seeing the pain and feeling what the young boy is witnessing. Made very much like that of a silent film, it's a truly simplistic yet deeply powerful and perhaps the pinnacle film of the Realist Era, that has influencedmany great Italian and International films since. This film perfectly captures the imperfections and darkness of humanity. The Bicycle Thief contains some of the most powerful images you'll ever see in a film, and it's sure one of the saddest you'll ever experience. The Bicycle Thief is a film that must be seen, even if only once. This remains an influential and unforgettable landmark film in cinema history.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home