June Prompt – Musicals

Happy Summer, Cinema Shamers!

I apologize for the delay in getting the June prompt posted. Nothing says “Summer” like Musicals and if you need proof for that statement, one is a little ditty called “Summer Nights” in a small musical called Grease and the other piece of evidence is one of the most highly anticipated movies of this summer, Mamma Mia 2. I said it here; therefore, it is fact. Mamma Mia 2 is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer. (I’m waiting for my pull quote.) People have been clamoring for more of Pierce Brosnan’s singing and the miracle that is the Hollywood studio system has answered.

The main reason for June having a Musical focus is the Shameless tie-in to TCM’s online course “Mad About Musicals.” If you have the time I would highly recommend enrolling http://musicals.tcm.com and taking a stroll through the history of Hollywood musicals. 

I completed their course on noirs two years ago and really enjoyed it. Progress at your own speed, watch a wide variety of movies you wouldn’t normally. I’m hoping this musical class and this prompt will lead to some new watches and hopefully some new favorite films. My personal viewing history of musicals is limited, a genre into which I’ve failed to deep dive. I’ve probably seen more modern musicals than classic. I hope to knock off two to three musicals from the ol’ shame list, with John Waters’ Hairspray which will also be my first John Waters film.

As always, let us know your Musical Shames by tweeting @cinemashame or emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com. We look forward to the conversation and discussion this month.

Also, don’t forget to check out James Patrick (@007hertzrumble) and Jessica Pickens (@cometoverhollywood) on the most recent episode of the Cinema Shame podcast as they discuss Hollywood Musicals.

Until next month, Shamers….

–DB

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April Prompt – TCM Film Festival

For the month of April, Cinema Shame will be focusing on the films shown at the 2018 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. The festival will be held from April 26th through April 29th in Los Angeles, CA. (Our very own @007hertzrumble will be in attendance with a few Cinema Shame buttons to hand out!)

Here is a link to the list of films being shown at the festival http://filmfestival.tcm.com/programs/. The festival offers a large variety of films, many of which are widely available for home viewers. We have a healthy number of contributors attending the festival this year and look forward to getting updates on their own Cinema Shame conquests on location. If you are planning to attend, let us know by tweeting us at @CinemaShame or sending us an email at cinemashame@gmail.com.

When blogging about your First-Time Watches featured at this year’s TCMFF, use one of the below banners to link back to this page to help spread the Shame. Happy Home Festivaling!

Here’s the current festival lineup, though more films will be announced when the full schedule is released… any… minute… now…

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2018 TCM Film Festival Lineup (as of 4.15.18)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)

Animal House (1978)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Black Stallion (1979)

Blessed Event (1932)

Bull Durham (1988)

Bullitt (1968)

The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Create from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Detour (1945)

The Exorcist (1973)

Fail-Safe (1964)

Finishing School (1934)

Gigi (1958)

Girls About Town (1931)

Grand Prix (1966)

Hamlet (1948)

A Hatful of Rain (1957)

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

His Girl Friday (1940)

How to Marry A Millionaire (1953)

I Take This Woman (1931)

Intruder in the Dust (1949)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)

Leave Her To Heaven (1945)

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

The Lost Weekend (1945)

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)

Maurice (1987)

The Merry Widow (1934)

A Midsummer Nights Dream (1935)

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

My Brilliant Career (1979)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

None Shall Escape (1944)

The Odd Couple (1968)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Outrage (1950)

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Park Row (1952)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Places in the Heart (1984)

Point Blank (1967)

The Producers (1968)

The Raven (1963)

The Right Stuff (1983)

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor (2018)

Scarface (1932)

The Set-Up (1949)

The Sea Wolf (1941)

Show People (1928)

Silk Stockings (1957)

Sounder (1972)

Spellbound (1945)

Stage Door (1937)

A Star is Born (1937)

The Story of GI Joe (1945)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

The Ten Commandments (1956)

THEM! (1954)

This Thing Called Love (1940)

Three Smart Girls (1936)

Throne of Blood (1957)

To Have and Have Not (1944)

To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey (2010)

Tunes of Glory (1960)

When You Read This Letter (1953)

Where the Boys Are (1960)

Wife Vs. Secretary (1936)

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

Windjammer: The Voyage of Christian Radich (1958)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Woman of the Year (1942)

The World of Suzie Wong (1960)

The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962)

 

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March Roundup

Thanks to all our contributors for their discussions during the month of March. Below is a list of the contributors, the films they discussed and links to their posts. If I forgot to mention your contribution reach out to us through twitter at CinemaShame or email us at cinemashame@gmail.com.

Maaarrrggch Statement

@BNoirDetour – The Sea Wolf – https://bnoirdetour.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/the-sea-wolf-cinema-shame-for-march/ 

@deacon05oc – The Count of Monte Cristo – https://letterboxd.com/deacon05oc/film/the-count-of-monte-cristo/

@Campbelldropout– The Adventures of Robin Hood – https://cinemashame.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/the-adventures-of-robin-hood/

Other March Statements

@RaquelStecher – The Grass is Greener – http://www.outofthepastblog.com/2018/03/the-grass-is-greener.html

@TakingUproom – Bridget Jones’s Baby – https://takinguproom.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/bridget-joness-baby/

TV Shame

@realweegiemidge – Knots Landing – https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/knots-landing-1979-93/ 

The Adventures of Robin Hood

For March’s prompt I picked 1938’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” My first Errol Flynn film, well potentially my second if I count Cary Elwes performance as Westley in “The Princess Bride” who seems to be paying homage to Flynn’s acting. I went in completely blind, well as blind as you can be with the story of Robin Hood. Even though I knew the overall story the film was still a joy to watch. I was surprised by the film’s history and was shocked about it receiving a Best Picture nomination. Danny Perry thought it deserved the honor of Best Picture status over “You Can’t Take it With You” in his Alternate Oscars book. I had somehow completely missed this classic film, even though it was placed in the National Film Registry in 1995. Every aspect of the film is remarkable, the only part I’ve felt underwhelmed with was the score, which won an Oscar. I view that as a failure on my part as I’ve always struggled with film scores that were done prior to the mid 1950s. With its status as a classic film a lot has been written about it. I’m going to stick to the one part I thought was the most valuable part of the film and that honor goes to Errol Flynn. This guy was amazing as Robin Hood, the flair, the athleticism, the cockiness, he showed these and a variety of other attributes throughout the film. It’s an action/adventure/swashbuckling film, how much acting is really needed in these type of genres, you mainly let the action do all the work. Flynn puts in the work for this role and it’s probably the major reason this film is considered a classic.. There are two specific scenes that really show his acting range. First is the scene at the archery contest, even though he knows it’s a trap, his hubris and his infatuation with Marian get the best of him. Flynn acts the scene with such skill, as a viewer you can witness him analyzing the situation, he knows he is caught but the opportunity to be close to Marian is too strong. The second scene showing off Flynn’s acting ability is when Robin Hood is being hauled to his execution, the look on his face is one of despair, scoping the area for a potential escape route but slowly realizing he has nowhere to go. This mood is held until Robin gets up to the gallows and sees his men in the crowd. Creating a quick transformation that goes from despair to hope. This is done within a second, involving a change in facial expression and moving to an upright posture, the tone quickly changes which builds excitement within the scene. I’m giving lot of credit to Flynn but some of his co-stars deserve some credit. The chemistry shared between Flynn and Olivia de Havilland adds a raw emotion to the relationship in the film, which heightens some of the later scenes.. At first she despises Robin but slowly that attitude changes, and not just over one scene but throughout the movie, her dislike of him slowly turns into attraction. While the attraction includes personal attraction, part of her falling for Robin is related to his cause of helping the poor. That aspect of building characters seems so simple but seems so rare in films. Usually it’s at the drop of hat characters will switch sides or fall for another character. The romance between Robin and Marian builds slowly which adds depth to the story.

 

If you haven’t seen “The Adventures of Robin Hood” I highly recommend to put this on your watch list in the near future. I purchased the Blu-ray which has some nice features, especially one about Technicolor and a making of feature on the film. Errol Flynn will be go-to in the future. This year I will be adding “Captain Blood” to my Cinema Shame list, which is what put him on the radar for the Robin Hood role.

If you want to read more about “The Adventures of Robin Hood” I recommend @awolverton77 post about a recent screening: https://journeysindarknessandlight.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/the-great-movies-the-adventures-of-robin-hood-1938/.

March Prompt – Pirates and Swashbucklers

Top of the month to all the Cinema Shamers out there in the interwebs. A new month brings us a new prompt. We decided to focus on a specific genre which will be swashbucklers and pirates. Why this prompt for the month of March? Because a pirate’s favorite month is Maaarrrggch.

 

I added some space from the last sentence to let you  catch your breath after all the laughter. The swashbuckler/pirate genre is a blind spot in my film viewing history. I’ve seen the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, “Hook”, “Waterworld”, that Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie and maybe a few others but the previously mentioned are the only ones that come to mind. There is a large number of these films out there I have never even seen and I’m sure I’m overlooking films that fall into this genre. I have one specific film I want to tackle and then a specific actor. For March, I plan to watch “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” and something starring Errol Flynn. I remember receiving a DVD copy of “Master and Commander” as a member of Columbia House back in the day and I never watched it, even after paying $19.95. Sadly, I still have that issue of purchasing movies and never watching them. As for Errol Flynn, this guy is an icon for swashbucklers, it’s a name synonymous with swashbuckler . I plan to rectify these shames during the month of Maaarrrggch.

Feel free to join us and update us on your cinematic watches this month. You can tweet us @Cinemashame or email us at cinemashame@gmail.com. If you do a post on your own blog for this month’s prompt let us so we can announce it from the rooftops. 

It will be up to @007hertzrumble if stating Maaarrrggch in your shame statement is a requirement. 

We look forward to hearing about everybody’s picks and responses.

Use one of the following banners in your post and link back to Cinema Shame to spread the good word, matey.

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February Roundup

Thanks to all our contributors for the month of February. Links to the contributors specific write up on their Oscar Best Picture Cinema Shame are below. I have also included three more contributors who shared some Cinema Shame statements that fell outside the February Prompt.

Best Picture Shame Statements

@007hertzrumble -An American in Paris – http://thirtyhertzrumble.com/an-american-in-paris-cinema-shame/

@bnoirdetour – All the King’s Men – https://bnoirdetour.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/all-the-kings-men-1949/

@campbelldropout – Wings – https://cinemashame.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/wings-the-first-best-picture-winner/

Other February Shame Statements

@TakingUpRoom – That Night In Rio – https://takinguproom.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/that-night-in-rio/

@QuelleLove – The Wild Bunch – http://www.outofthepastblog.com/2018/02/cinema-shame-wild-bunch.html

@realweegiemidge – Mamma Mia 2 – https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/new-releases/mamma-mia-2/ 

If I have missed anyone send a message to @Cinemashame or email cinemashame@gmail.com.

Wings – The First Best Picture Winner

For the February Prompt, I went for a deep cut, so deep it ended up being the first film to be honored with the Best Picture Oscar and the only silent film to be receive the honor, the 1927 film, “Wings” (“The Artist” doesn’t count as a silent film, according to the internet). Well technically “Wings” was awarded the Best Production award. Per Danny Peary’s wonderful book “Alternate Oscars”, the reason “Wings” receive this distinction of a Best Picture winner is because the Best Production award was the last award given at the event. “Wings” has always been a bit of trivia, I’ve never read a review or researched it prior to this post. Most of research came from the wikipedia page, which provides an in-depth discussion of the film’s production. The insight of the film’s production help improved the viewing experience. Even though the film is over 90 years old, it would gives off the vibe as an Oscar Bait film. An epic, long film about fighter pilots during World War I and for a nice additional effect a weird, convoluted love triangle, well there are two love triangles, so maybe a love rhombus would be the better descriptor. Silent films do not have many entries in my lifetime film journal, “Wings” was maybe the 3rd or 4th silent film I’ve watched. I don’t dislike them as with most thing it’s time, access was limited in my younger days and I struggle to find the right mood to sit down and watch a silent film. It took me three sittings to get this watch in, at times it felt more like homework than entertainment. Clocking in at 2 hours and 24 minutes was overkill, which is my fault, I assumed this would clock in around the 90 minute mark. Anyway, back to the film’s plot, “Wings” is a story about two young men, David and Jack, who go off to war to become pilots. They both are interested in the city girl, Sylva. This creates part of the love rhombus, Sylva love is for David and she is unable to come clean to Jack about the truth. Then there is the underutilized actress Clara Bow, who plays the girl next door, Mary, she is in love with Jack but isn’t able to get obtain his attention.

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I wonder if the audience thought this story was as cliché in 1927 as it is today. The whole plot kept reminding me of “Pearl Harbor” (I did not have the desire to research the plot of Pearl Harbor, sorry readers, you can call this laziness, I call it not carrying). As Jack and David go off to train to become pilots, there is competition between the two but their friendship is bonded during a boxing match. The one relationship that works in the movie, is their friendship.

For a film about fighter pilots, it takes 40 minutes to see some plane action. You want to talk about the Tom Cruise doing his own stunts, Charles Rogers and Richard Arlen, started it all they flew the planes in the films for their close up shots. This is the magic of the film, the flight scenes are pretty amazing, considering this film was made over 90 years ago. I was expecting the work to be kind of shoddy, some planes on a wire or something but these were real planes. Now there are some odd stylistic effects, which I assume were done for the blu-ray involving orange showing up as planes explode or shoot their weapons. If there was one negative aspect of the aerial battles it was the lack of distinguishing between the planes. While it takes a while for the first aerial scene to show up they stay around for the remaining amount of the movie, which can get dull. The film hints at the tragedy of war at a personal level which I found surprising how deep it could get with this being a silent film. Watching Jack and David try to escape the misery of the war through alcohol is pretty effective, it involves the use of bubbles appearing as Jack drinks and become intoxicated, it really hits home that these soldiers are just young men, barely adults. I think the darker aspects of the film have been forgotten in current discussions because they are overshadowed and dragged down by the love rhombus. The whole love aspect is useless for a majority of the film. According to the production history the love story was expanded to allow Clara Bow to perform in the movie. While she has a wonderful presence on the screen, her role is one sided, even though she volunteers as a driver in France during the war, that depth is basically thrown away with her pining over Jack. While the story is lacking the merits of this film rely in the technical use of the camera, this includes a few shots outside the aerial footage. The wonderful crane shot in the Paris bar is amazing, you should be able to find a youtube video or even a gift to see this shot. One of personal favorites was the camera swinging with two characters on a swing and having a character approach the couple. The most exhilarating shots are the cameras mounted on the front of the plane watching the actors fly. A lot of these scenes are exciting to watch due it just being the actor and the open sky or ground behind them, the constant change of depth is breathtaking in black and white. Credit should be given to the actors, they show amazing emotion during these battles, which pulls the viewer into their anger and their fear.

Overall, I’m glad I took the time to watch “Wings”. It has a nice little spot in history as the first Best Picture winner. I would recommend the blu-ray, which looked great and was fairly cheap, costing only $7.89 on Amazon.