John A. Douglas

Living Passionately In the World of the Moving Image

John A. Douglas classic movie stars

MOVIE REVIEW – Drag Me to Hell

June 14th, 2009 · Movie Reviews

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Directed by Sam Raimi; produced by Grant Curtis, Robert G. Tapert and Sam Raimi; written by Ivan Raimi and Sam Raimi; director of photography, Peter Deming; edited by Bob Murawski; production design by Steve Saklad; music by Christopher Young.
Cast:
Christine Brown…………….Alison Lohman
Clay Dalton……………………….…Justin Long
Mrs. Ganush………………..…….Lorna Raver
Rham Jas……………………………..Dileep Rao
Mr. Jacks……………..………….David Paymer

I went to see “Drag Me to Hell” because I suspected the film was an attempt by Sam Raimi’s to go back to his cinematic roots where he directed such wonderful horror films as “The Evil Dead Parts 1 and 2,” “Army of Darkness” and “Darkman.” I loved those films but have been bored by Raimi’s work since he became involved with the Amazing Spider-man as the director of those pretentious films in which the spider-bitten superhero [Read more →]

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STORIES – Star Trek Reveals

May 24th, 2009 · Personal Stories

startrek2Lots can be learned about the world of “Star Trek” from watching the brand new “Star Trek” movie which was directed by J.J. Abrams. Before I elaborate I must tell you that the story in this new film takes place in time before the “Star Trek” stories that were told on the initial television series. So we get to see Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty and Sulu when there were all wet behind the ears.

Now brothers and sisters, these guys and a gal may have been young and [Read more →]

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MOVIE REVIEW – Slumdog Millionaire

May 24th, 2009 · Movie Reviews

Slumdog Millionaire Directed by Danny Boyle; produced by Christian Colson; screenplay by Simon Beaufoy; based on a novel by Vikas Swarup; director of photography, Anthony Dod Mantle; edited by Chris Dickens; production design by Mark Digby; music by A. R. Rahman.

Cast:
Jamal K. Malik………………….…….Dev Patel
Prem Kumar………………………..Anil Kapoor
Sergeant Srinivas………..…Saurabh Shukla
Director……………………………..…..Raj Zutshi
Vision Mixer…………………….Jeneva Talwar
Latika……………………………….…Freida Pinto
Police Inspector……………………Irrfan Khan

British director Danny Boyle is the talented man who directed “Slumdog Millionaire” and of all the interviews I conducted over a period of 29 years reviewing movies for The Grand Rapids Press, his interview was one of my [Read more →]

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MOVIE REVIEW – Gran Torino

May 24th, 2009 · Movie Reviews

Gran Torino Directed by Clint Eastwood, produced by Clint Eastwood, Bill Gerber and Robert Lorenz; screenplay by Nick Schenk; story by Dave Johannson and Nick Schenk; director of photography, Tom Stern; edited by Joel Cox and Gary Roach; production design by James J. Murakami; music by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens.

Cast:
Walt Kowalski—————Clint Eastwood
Thao Vang Lor——————-Bee Vang
Sue Lor————————-Abney Her
Father Janovich—— –Christopher Carley
Mitch Kowalski—————–Brian Haley
Karen Kowalski———–Geraldine Hughes

Other people besides me have commented that the character played by Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino” could easily be seen as a retired Dirty Harry, the character created on screen by Mr. Eastwood back in 1971 for the film “Dirty Harry.” Dirty Harry is [Read more →]

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“The Greatest Show On Earth…If I Could Just Stay Conscious”

April 28th, 2009 · Personal Stories

There are some opportunities that are too good to miss no matter what situation you might be in. Having an opportunity to see the film “The Greatest Show on Earth” in a movie theater is one of those opportunities.

Somehow I had missed seeing this film when it came out in 1952 so in 1960 when it was re-released and came to the Colony Theater in Marietta, Ohio, I was ready to go – almost. There was a problem. I was [Read more →]

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“Captain of the Hats”

April 28th, 2009 · Personal Stories

I was once in the army and while I worked under officers who were less than capable of engendering respect, I never had one as bad as Captain Bligh of the H.M.S. Bounty as presented in the film “Mutiny of the Bounty” with Charles Laughton as the captain.. However I did once have an officer who was fairly annoying as his world revolved around minutia.

My captain had power over me when I was stationed at the Signal Corp School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. I was an enlisted man with a rank of Specialist Fifth when the officer in question was assigned at the Photo Division where I worked.

This guy didn’t know squat about photography, still or motion, but he knew about hats. The military had [Read more →]

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“Being Scared”

April 28th, 2009 · Personal Stories

There were a few times in my youth when certain movies absolutely terrified me. When I was watching one of the Mummy movies, for instance, I absolutely had to keep saying to myself, “This is only a movie. This is only a movie” and even that provided precious little comfort. And when I speak of Mummy movies I mean the ones produced by Universal International in the 1930s and 1940s beginning with “The Mummy” (1932) starring Boris Karloff. I saw these films for the first time when I was in junior high school and the Universal films were in re-release.

I remember being scared out of my wits in “The Mummy’s Hand” (1940) when the Mummy, played by Tom Tyler, was [Read more →]

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Top Five (April 26, 2009)

April 26th, 2009 · Top Five (4/26/09)

People always ask me what my favorite movies are. Although my Top Five list changes from time to time, these five movies will almost always be in the Top 10:

Shane (1953) directed by George Stevens, with Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur.

Shane is a gunfighter but he could just as easily have been a knight or a samurai. Like the knight and the samurai, the mythology of the gunfighter has grown thanks to the storytellers of each generation. Shane is not a real person but a hero as defined by the storytellers and he is a darn good one. “Shane,” the movie, was built around the limits of actor Alan Ladd which meant a minimum of dialogue – a good thing for a western and it worked wonderfully for “Shane.”

“Shane ” is made up of a series of memorable scenes edited together to make a most memorable movie – a movie I have to look at every ten years or so to fulfill my desire [Read more →]

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DVD REVIEW: Alphaville

April 26th, 2009 · Resurrected Films

ALPHAVILLE (1965), directed and written by Jean-Luc Godard; produced by Andre Michelin; director of photography, Raoul Coutard; edited by Agnes Guillemot; production design by Pierre Guffroy; music by Paul Misraki.
Cast:
Lemmy Caution————–Eddie Constantine
Natasha von Braun———-Anna Karina
Henry Dickson————–Akim Tamiroff

Once upon a time there was a series of low budget French films that featured a character named Lemmy Caution. Lemmy who was played by Eddie Constantine, an American actor who, [Read more →]

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