Wednesday, August 20, 2008

(54) Movie List

Watched "Modern Times" last night and I have to say, it wasn't quite the same entertainment level as "City Lights," but that's probably due not having seen Chaplin movies before "City Lights." On the other hand, there were so many more elements to this one. Since this was on Turner Classic Movies, there was some discussion before and after the film about Chaplin and his movie making. I learned that Chaplin produced his own movies so he was able to spend as much time and money as he wanted. He made "City Lights" in 1931, "Modern Times" in 1936 and then "The Great Dictator" in 1940 so you can see the fairly large gaps between each. I had to keep reminding myself during "Modern Times" that this was made in the mid 30's so it really put into perspective the topics and gadgets that were probably fairly new concepts at the time.

I think while the comedy is clearly slapstick, there were many more moments that were what I like to call "Ben Stiller" moments. Funny and a little bit frustrating situations that were caused by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I tried to look past those as the movie progressed and definitely enjoyed it overall. The scene that really surprised me was when he sang (some French/Italian mishmash). The movie had a soundtrack and while there was no straight up dialog, the speaking parts were played through machines, like a radio and even a telescreen. The other important dialog was subtitled, but there was a lot of talking that wasn't all subtitled so half the time, you could read lips to get extra dialog. I was wondering how he'd approach the singing scene and then all of a sudden, he belted out a tune. Much better than I expected and a cute scene overall. :)

Well, that pretty much sums up my review of the movie. I look forward to seeing "The Great Dictator" to see how his movie making evolved over the next 5 years.

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