Monday, June 30, 2008

Blazing Saddles - Reaction

Important note: I saw the theatrical release, not the TV one. The TV one apparently has some extra scenes.

Mel Brooks's dated, okay, vaudevillian comedy-western involving a black sheriff in a white town. I think it's meant for people with short attention spans. The straightforward plot isn't the point--indeed, one IMDB reviewer said the "structure is a total mess"--; it's merely an excuse for the gags, whether slapstick, raunchy, scatological, or racial (in ways that probably are unacceptable nowadays). Basically, it felt like the script-writers threw in the kitchen sink every crass or crude joke they could think of, especially those that mocked westerns. Generally, it wasn't my type of humor. There is one minute of action near the end that I liked much better than anything else in the movie. Sadly, the movie didn't end on that note but instead got too strange, turning its attention to mocking movie-making in general.

I think I missed a good number of references. For instance, I only knew one character was parodying Marlene Dietrich because someone pointed it out to me.

The movie apparently was somewhat controversial in its time. Some people complained it was racist; others thought it reflected reverse racism.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

D.O.A. - Reaction

Important note: I saw the original 1949/1950 version. The movie has apparently been remade later.

An average, unexceptional noir: some action, a relatively confusing plot, not particularly snappy dialog, and a generally unnecessary romantic subplot with an annoyingly one-dimensional female character. A novel premise, the movie follows the previous twenty-four hours in the life of a man who enters a police station and declares he's been murdered by poison. There's a good jazz segment in the middle of the movie. Near the beginning of the movie, on the other hand, the film uses wolf whistles to indicate when the main character notices an attractive woman. The whistles are out of place and distracting. The audience already knows what's going on.