Fritz Lang, 1931
What is so very impressive about this film is how it creates the illusion of expanse from so very little. There’s no shots of Berlin, the cityscape, anywhere in this movie. Scale comes from crowds of people who become mobs, cross-sections of different parts of our society, the cops that enforce and the criminals who undermine, one unable to live without the other so sharing a professional respect.
Scale comes from showing lots of fucking maps and drawing radius’ from an epicenter because that’s how were casting out the dragnet.
Scale comes from not introducing characters until 40 minutes into the film cause you have some other cool stuff to show first.
Scale comes from being the individual that everyone wants to get, feeling the walls getting closer, and no matter what you do you can’t stop yourself from doing that sick fucking thing everyone hates you for.
The Right Stuff
Phillip Kaufman, 1983
Movies like this, and The Untouchables and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan have that similar feeling of being American-made and awesome-as-fuck full of victory and feeling like that once in a while is pretty damn nice.
Terence Young, 1965
Friend of mine told me that I should have watched Never Say Never Again (which shares pretty much the same story as this, but was made 20 years later) before I watched this because then I’d think this was great. Well, I didn’t do that and so I thought that this, the only Connery Bond I hadn’t seen, was pretty mediocre on the Connery Scale. Not as sophisticated as the movies that preceded it or as goofy kool/stupid as You Only Live Twice but much better than Diamonds Are Forever. The villain is boring even with an eyepatch. The underwater stuff gets dull. The evil redhead made of breasts worked really well but the good lead was duller than a Don Draper fling after Season 1. So, eh, worth seeing once.
1980, Woody Allen
Worth seeing to say that you saw it. Some of Allen’s self referencing humor is way, way too on the nose (early, funny movies, fuuuuuck you, they made you rich.) This goes to show my awareness of things but this was the movie I finally noticed that Allen digs the natural sharp-edged frizzy hair look a lot and if they happen to be fuckable by my standards or yours it was just a happy accident.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010