Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stagecoach (1939)

MOVIE: Stagecoach
SCREENPLAY: Dudley Nichols, Ben Hecht
CAST: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine, Andy Devine, George Bancroft

Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Thomas Mitchell
Winner: Best Music, Scoring
Nominated: Best Picture
Nominated: Best Director – John Ford
Nominated: Best Cinematography, Black & White
Nominated: Best Film Editing
Nominated: Best Art Direction

John Wayne stars as The Ringo Kid, protecting a group of travelers on a stagecoach from the threat of Geronimo. When you mention John Wayne’s name, many films come to mind:  The Searchers or Rio Bravo or even the original True Grit. All wonderful films, but true cinephiles know that the film that made Wayne a huge star was Stagecoach. Wayne had been toiling as a Hollywood actor for years before John Ford cast him as the immortal Ringo Kid in this star-making movie. But it’s not just Wayne (who delivers the macho character we’re so used to) that makes this movie come to life. The supporting cast made up of Claire Trevor, John Carradine and Thomas Mitchell, among others, also contribute a great deal. And lest we not forget the great John Ford, one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, at the helm of this western masterpiece. The scenes of the stage coach racing through the desert are worth the price alone, rivaling any modern day action sequences.

Stagecoach is available on DVD and is available as a disc rental through Netflix. A digitally restored version was released on DVD and Blu-Ray via The Criterion Collection. It’s currently streaming on Hulu Plus and is available on demand on Xfinity. You can digitally rent or purchase Stagecoach on Amazon or iTunes.

OR, you can watch the full movie HERE (Hurry before YouTube yanks it!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

FORCED PERSPECTIVE, Ep.36 – Conjuring the End of Man

Everyone’s favorite movie podcast, FORCED PERSPECTIVE, is BACK with an all-new episode! Join SportsGuy515 & Adolfo as they begin their full recap of Summer 2013 in film, starting with Man of Steel, This is the End, World War Z, and Before Midnight. Then, the one and only EMPEROR BIG D joins the duo as they give an in-depth review on The Conjuring. Did the events in the film really happen? Who are the Warrens? Is this the best horror film of the last 10 years? Of all-time? Listen to find out the answers! ALMOST 2.5 HOURS OF CONTENT!! DOWNLOAD/STREAM NOW!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How The West Was Won (1962)

Originally published at Superfriends Universe

MOVIE: How the West Was Won
DIRECTORS: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall
CAST: Carroll Baker, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Walter Brennan, Lee J. Cobb, Harry Morgan

Winner: Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen
Winner: Best Film Editing
Winner: Best Sound
Nominated: Best Picture
Nominated: Best Cinematography, Color
Nominated: Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Color
Nominated: Best Costume Design, Color
Nominated: Best Music, Score – Substantially Original

History lesson time: Widescreen, which is the current filming format, wasn’t always the standard. In the 1950s and early 1960s, with the advent of television, movie studios were trying anything to get people How the West Was Won… an epic retelling of America’s migration into the west told in several vignettes starring big stars like James Stewart, Gregory Peck and John Wayne. The film is worth watching purely for the spectacle, but also to appreciate some of the beautiful cinematography of the United States western frontier. It’s a stunning film to behold.
into the theaters. New concepts like 3D films came about as did the concept of making the picture bigger… more spectacular. Along came Cinerama (which got its name from “cinema” and “panorama.”) The basic idea was to take three cameras and shoot a film on 35 mm footage and then project onto 3 corresponding curved screen in specially built movie theaters. One of the first films to use this process was

How the West Was Won is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and is available to rent on disc via Netflix. You can digitally rent the film through Amazon, iTunes and YouTube or purchase a digital copy via Amazon or iTunes. If you have an Xfinity subscription, you can also watch it for free via Encore.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wings (1927)

MOVIE: Wings
DIRECTOR: William A. Wellman
SCREENPLAY: Hope Loring, Louis D. Lighton
CAST: Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen, Gary Cooper

Winner: Best Picture, Production
Winner: Best Effects, Engineering

Oscar month continues with the first film to ever capture the Best Picture award from the Academy of The Artist had some sound that was filmed and a spoken dialogue scene.) It tells the story of two best friends, pilots during World War I, who are also in love with the same woman. While the story may seem cliche now, this was fresh material in 1927… 70 years before Pearl Harbor stole the same basic plotline. The aerial battles in this film are amazing, especially when considering they were filmed with 1927 technology. Ain’t no CGI here, these are real pilots, in close up, flying real planes and dodging and shooting at each other. It’s no wonder it also won the first Special Effects Oscar as well. Also, special bonus trivia: Wings is one of the first major films to feature nudity. It’s a blink and you’ll miss kind of moment, but if you want to catch one second of 20s movie star Clara Bow’s breasts, they’re there.

Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It’s also the only silent film in history to ever win Best Picture. (
In 2012, Paramount released a high definition restoration of Wings on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is also available for disc rental via Netflix. It is available for digital purchase and rental via Amazon and iTunes. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can stream it for free.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marvel VS DC: Why Marvel Has Won the Movie War

Since Superman: The Movie hit movie screens in 1978, essentially creating the modern superhero movie, DC characters have appeared on screen in 21 films.  In these 21 films, we’ve had 6 Superman movies, 2 Superman spinoffs (Supergirl, Steel), 7 Batman movies, 1 Batman spinoff (Catwoman), 1 Watchmen movie and 4 movies based on Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern. Now, Superman and  Superman II are classics, as is Tim Burton’s Batman (and Batman Returns which I have soft spot for.)  The Dark Knight Trilogy is arguably the greatest comic book series of all time.  Watchmen and Man of Steel are debatable films, as a lot of comic book fans are divided on these. But the rest of DC’s filmography? Absolute garbage.

Meanwhile Marvel, who has not been in the movie business nearly as long DC, after some major missteps with Howard the Duck and an unproduced Fantastic Four, have managed to release 29 films in about 15 years.  And it’s not top heavy on two franchises like DC is with Superman and Batman is.  You have the obvious ones like Spider-Man (4 movies) and Wolverine/X-Men (6 movies), but Marvel also took B-List characters and made them A-List. Don’t believe me? No one cared about Iron Man ten years ago. Now? 3 enormous movies that have grossed over 2 BILLION dollars together.  Captain America? Thor? Those guys are kinda corny, right… oh, they both had succesful features? And they have sequels coming out in the next year?  Oh.  Well, that first Hulk movie sucked! Yeah, but the second one was decent and it was part of a 5 movie plan to bring together Marvel superheroes in the FIRST EVER cross-movie team-up that led to the record-breaking Avengers, legitimately the 3rd biggest movie of all time.

Have there been stumbles along the way? Of course. Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, The Punisher and Ghost Rider have not had the success (critically or financially) as some of their other Marvel brotherhood. But hey, at least there ARE Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Punisher and Ghost Rider movies. This is my point. Marvel isn’t afraid to take their properties and try to cinematize them. Sometimes you get The Avengers and sometimes you get Elektra.  But more often than not, the results are good.  Coming down the pike we have the afore-mentioned Thor and Captain America sequels, Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. GAURDIANS OF THE GALAXY! A team with a talking tree and a racoon with a gun.  Plus the planned Avengers sequel, Ant Man and a Fantastic Four reboot.  Avengers created an opportunity for an Agents of SHIELD TV show and characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Deadpool, Justin Hammer, Nightcrawler, Bucky and Silver Samurai have all appeared on the big screen.

Over at DC, what do you have? A planned Superman/Batman team-up film. OK, admittedly that’s awesome. But it’s more of the same.  Where’s Wonder Woman? The Flash? Green Arrow? Aquaman? The JLA? Martian Manhunter? Booster Gold? The Teen Titans? The Atom?

The fact that ROCKET RACCOON has a movie before Wonder Woman is complete insanity.

In the comic book movie wars, even though DC has heavy hitters like The Dark Knight trilogy, Marvel has clearly taken the lead.  DC/Warner Bros. need to embrace their deep character history instead of being embarrassed by it.  You can only do Superman and Batman so many times before fans want to see what else you got.

20 Essential Alfred Hitchcock Films

On August 13, 1899, perhaps the greatest director of the century was born: the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. In honor of Mr. Hitchcock, The Essential Films the 20 Essential Hitchcock classics that you should watch right now!


Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings

People don't commit murder on credit.

When an ex-Tennis player's plot to murder his wife goes wrong, he must go to Plan B to save himself.


Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman

Apparently the mind is never too sick to make jokes about psychoanalysis.

Dr. Edwardes arrives at Green Manors psychiatric hospital and falls in love with the cold but beautiful Dr. Petersen.  Edwardes is actually paranoid amnesiac impostor on the run from danger, and Petersen is determined to find out why.


James Stewart, Doris Day

A man... a statesman... is to be killed... assassinated in London. Soon... very soon.

The McKenna family vacationing in Morocoo stumbles upon an assassination plot with international ramifications.  Fearing they could potentially interrupt their plan, the conspirators try to stop the McKennas from informing the authorities.


Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, John Loder

sa-botage sà-bo-tarj. Wilful destruction of buildings or machinery with the object of alarming a group of persons or inspiring public uneasiness.

Karl Verloc is a movie theater owner suspected by Scotland Yard to be part of a gang of saboteur spies. Detective Ted Spencer is dispatched to work undercover and uncover his plot. When Verloc discovers Spencer's true intentions, his entire plan begins to fall apart.


Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, George Sanders

My dear captain, when you've been shot down in a British plane by a German destroyer, 300 miles off the coast of England, latitude 45, and have been hanging on to a half-submerged wing for hours, waiting to drown, with half a dozen other stricken human beings, you're liable to forget you're a newspaperman for a moment or two!

Johnny Jones is a New York reporter looking for a change of pace from the boring stories he's forced to cover. He's appointed as the European correspondent on the eve of World War II. He gets more than he bargains for when he and the beautiful Carol Fisher trackdown a group of Nazi spies.


THE 39 STEPS (1935)
Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

I know what it is to feel lonely and helpless and to have the whole world against me, and those are things that no men or women ought to feel.

Richard Hannay is a London man is wrongly accused of killing a double agent and must go on the run to both clear his name and uncover the truth. Meanwhile a spy organization is trying to steal top secret documents and only Hannay has the means to stop them.


THE BIRDS (1963)
Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy

Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this? They said when you got here the whole thing started. Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? I think you're the cause of all of this. I think you're evil. EVIL!

Melanie Daniels is a wealthy California socialite who is romantically pursuing Mitch Brenner by following him to his small coastal hometown. Soon here romantic pursuits are overshadowed by bizarre occurrences involving the local bird population. The occurrences turn deadly as the birds turn increasingly murderous.


Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak

Dying together's even more personal than living together.

In the midst of World War II, passengers on a ship survive a deadly sinking by a German U-Boat and become adrift at sea on a lifeboat.  The survivors pull a man out of the water who happens to be one of the only surviving German from the battle at sea. Can these survivors coexist on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce

If you're going to kill someone, do it simply.

Joan Fontaine, in an Academy Award-winning performance, plays Lina, a shy, young English woman who falls in love with the irresistibly charming Johnnie (Cary Grant.) After the two are secretly married, Lina discovers that Johnnie is nothing short of a conman, and a broke one at that. She becomes increasingly suspicious that Johnnie's money-making schemes are crossing the line into illegality and soon starts to fear that Johnnie may kill her to tie up loose ends.


Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty

I'm about as popular as a dose of strychnine.

While traveling throughout Continental Europe, Iris Henderson befriends an elderly woman named Miss Froy by sharing a train compartment with her. After having tea with her, Miss Froy goes missing and Iris searches the train desperately for her.  No one on the train acknowledges her existence, so Iris is forced to accept help from an Englishman named Gilbert (with whom she had an unpleasant experience the night before) to uncover the mystery.


Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams

You want a leg or a breast?

John Robie is a retired cat burglar living the life of luxury on the Riviera when suddenly a copycat using his trademark style has popped up on his radar. Robie is high on the list of suspects, so he must try and catch the copycat from stealing again and clear his name. Delaying him in this endeavor are the romantic affections of Frances Stevens, the daughter of a wealthy American who is a prime victim for the jewel thief.


ROPE (1948)
James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Cedric Hardwicke

Good and evil, right and wrong were invented for the ordinary average man, the inferior man, because he needs them.

Two arrogant young men kill their fellow classmate, whom they find inferior, and hide him in their apartment. Their agenda? They feel they have committed the perfect crime, so they invite guests over for a dinner party to prove their plan worked after all. No one suspects a thing, that is until an old mentor of theirs shows up at the party...


Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, MacDonald Carey, Patricia Collinge

We're not talking about killing people. Herb's talking about killing me and I'm talking about killing him.

Charlotte, or "Charlie" (Teresa Wright) loves her namesake, the charming Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten.) But ever since he's come back into town for a visit, Charlotte has noticed that her beloved uncle may not be the man he seems to be. Is it just Charlotte's imagination and her desire to have a more exciting life, or is Uncle Charlie really harboring deadly secrets?


Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains

There's nothing like a love song to give you a good laugh.

Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a traitor guilty of crimes against the US, who is partying, drinking and sleeping around in South America. A government agent (Cary Grant) enlists her help in spying on a group of Nazis living in the country following the war. How far is Alicia willing to go absolve the sins of her father?


Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll

My theory is that everyone is a potential murderer.

When Bruno Anthony encounters professional tennis player Guy Haines on a train, he tells him about a theory where one could get away with murder. This theory involves two parties that each need someone out of their lives and they simply swap murders. Haines writes it off as a sick joke. What he doesn't know is Bruno is psychotic and deadly serious...


REBECCA (1940)
Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

The only Hitchcock film with the distinction of winning the Academy Award for "Best Picture."  After falling in love with the wealthy Maxim de Winter, the second Mrs. de Winter is tormented by the memory of the first, the titular Rebecca. Rebecca is everywhere Mrs. de Winter turns in the beautiful mansion known as Manderlay. Max is still clearly dealing with her untimely death and the conniving housemaid Mrs. Danvers refuses to let her memory rest.


PSYCHO (1960)
Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam

A boy's best friend is his mother.

Psycho is a horror film without monsters, ghosts or gore, yet it will never cease to terrify audiences.  It challenges expectations and its ending will drive you crazy.  But that's ok... we all go a little mad sometimes.


Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau

You gentlemen aren't REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?

A group of foreign spies mistake a clueless New York advertising executive as a jet-setting international government agent and attempt to kill him. After narrowly escaping near death, Roger Thornhill seeks to uncover the truth as to why these men are trying to kill him. But the more he discovers, the more dangerous his situation really becomes.


VERTIGO (1958)
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddess

Here I was born, and there I died. It was only a moment for you; you took no notice.

James Stewart is Scottie Ferguson, a police detective forced to retire due to his crippling fear of heights. He's contacted by an old friend to investigate his much younger wife, whom he fears is going insane. Throughout the course of the investigation, Scottie becomes dangerously obsessed with the beautiful Madeleine... obsessed to the point of insanity.


James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence.

The greatest thriller ever filmed. Rear Window is as suspenseful in 2013 as it was in1954.  When world-traveling photographer LB Jeffries is wheelchair-bound due to a broken leg, he is stuck as a voyeuristic observer of the people's lives in the surrounding apartments by watching them through his rear window. He soon becomes convinced that his neighbor across the way, Lars Thorwald, has murdered his wife and is planning a cover-up. "Jeff" urges his girlfriend, his maid and his detective friend to help him uncover the truth, but will they believe him or will Thorwald get away with murder?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

FORCED PERSPECTIVE, Ep.35 – Enter the Matrix, Part 3

Mr. Anderson, welcome back.

THE FINALE HAS ARRIVED!!! Join SportsGuy515 and Adolfo, along with special guest Big D, as they enter the Matrix for the final time with a discussion (fancy word for “bashing”) of the final film in the trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions. Big D also reveals the story of how he trolled the internet with his fake Matrix Revolutions script. Plus, “The Wachowskis Drinking Game”, trilogies that are BETTER than The Matrix, good ol’-fashioned TWILIGHT-bashing, Big D and Adolfo hype up The Conjuring, and MORE! A MUST-LISTEN!!! NEARLY 3 HOURS OF CONTENT!!! DOWNLOAD/STREAM NOW!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thor: The Dark World - Official Trailer

Marvel Studios has released the latest (and assuming final) trailer for this November's Thor: The Dark World.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ben-Hur (1959)

Originally published at Superfriends Universe

MOVIE: Ben-Hur
DIRECTOR: William Wyler
SCREENPLAY: Karl Tunberg based on the book by Lew Wallace
CAST: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith

Winner: Best Picture
Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role – Charlton Heston
Winner: Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Hugh Griffith
Winner: Best Director – William Wyler
Winner: Best Art Decoration/Set Decoration
Winner: Best Cinematography
Winner: Best Costume Design
Winner: Best Special Effects
Winner: Best Film Editing
Winner: Best Music, Score
Winner: Best Sound
Nominated: Best Adapted Screenplay

Ben-Hur is one of those legendary movies you always hear about in the same breath as Casablanca,
Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz. It’s Hollywood royalty. It also, at the time, was the most expensive movie ever made. By the time it began shooting in 1959, the production budget had swelled up to $15 Million, which seems paltry by today’s standards, but adjusted for inflation that’s roughly $120 Million. MGM studios more than quadrupled their investment when the film went on to make $70 Million at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, it is the 13th biggest movie of all time when you adjust for ticket price inflation, making an approximate $788 Million (Domestic) in ticket sales. The story revolves around Judah Ben-Hur, a rich Jewish merchant in Jerusalem who angers the new commander of the Roman garrison, Masala, a man he grew up with. Judah is exiled but vows to return and exact his revenge. The film is famous for an incredible 9-minute chariot race that has never been duplicated since (sorry, Lucas, pod-racing don’t count.) Even by 2013 standards, this has to rank as one of the greatest action sequences of all time. Ben-Hur defines the term “epic.”

Ben-Hur is available on DVD and Blu-Ray as well as disc rental through Netflix. You can also purchase or rent digital copies via Amazon or iTunes. It’s also playing tomorrow (February 16) on Turner Classic Movies at 8 PM EST.

Ben-Hur ranked in The Essential Films’ countdowns of the 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Movie Heroes.