VivLeighFan

Share your unpopular opinions here!

630 posts in this topic

James Dean is a horrible actor. He mumbles, he overacts, he screams: "You're tearing me apart"

and all of that is supposed to "stand in" for talent. Don't get him -- never did, never will.

 

Lydecker

 

I can understand how you feel about James Dean in terms of his general presentation as an actor. He reminds me a lot of Toshiro Mifune and his physical style of acting.

 

Mifune was always cheated out of being called the greatest actor in Japanese post-war cinematic history because he mumbled and he grunted and he screamed-- you could barely understand what he was ever saying.

 

Yet, what I like both about James Dean and Toshiro Mifune is there ability to use their whole body to act in a scene.

 

James Dean studied movement with contemporary dance Legend Katherine Dunham and Toshiro Mifune was a master of kenjutsu, swordsmanship movement coming from his ability in Jidaigeki/ Samurai movies.

 

Rather than judging James Dean in a traditional manner, I would suggest you look at those scenes in Giant where he completely deconstructs. The physicality of his acting totally overwhelms me and I prefer it every time to the Olivier type actor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

...GARY COOPER was a "one trick pony"...

 

A 37 year film career, still a top billed star of "A" productions at the end of it, winner of two Academy Awards as best actor, with three other nominations, a top ten box office star 18 times, and fabulously wealthy, the top money making American of 1939.

 

Imagine what Coop really would have been able to accomplish if he hadn't been a one trick pony.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 37 year film career, still a top billed star of "A" productions at the end of it, winner of two Academy Awards as best actor, with three other nominations, a top ten box office star 18 times, and fabulously wealthy, the top money making American of 1939.

 

Imagine what Coop really would have been able to accomplish if he hadn't been a one trick pony.

 

I've had this argument with people for decades about Gary Cooper.

 

A person who has Charisma on-screen and who can command a movie star career over decades may have one strong ability that places him over people who have maybe a hundred immaterial abilities for a cinematic actor.

 

There is no price tag or grade level you can put on someone who had what Gary Cooper had-- if you had that one thing then you, too, would be a great movie star for a number of years.

 

Being a great movie actor doesn't necessarily make you a great theater actor, true. It's simply a different set of talents.

 

Some people have have one or the other and a very small group of people have both ( Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier etc).

 

But I love to use Olivier as an example of a great actor who really had a lot of trouble on the screen-- I think by the time he was old he had finally figured out that screen acting was different from the theater.LOL

 

 

 

As far as this thread is concerned, I think I would like to say right now that I feel that Laurence Olivier on the screen is highly overrated!

 

 

 

Since I never saw him in the theater, I couldn't judge that. But I'm just guessing he may have been so great on stage that people just had to say extremely positive things about him on screen.

 

 

On-screen, Gary Cooper was a better actor. Let the chips fall where they may.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes.

 

Re: Colorize cinematic Art-- Desecrating Casablanca

 

 

As an artist rendition it's beautiful for a portrait on your wall.

 

 

But to **** with what the original artist intended to do in terms of Cinema --well, if that's the kind of person you are let's just let you repaint the Mona Lisa.

 

Just because you pay money to see Cinema that does not make it art that can be desecrated or denigrated or denied.

 

 

I will grant you, not all Cinema is Art.

 

 

But the example here is art.

 

 

"Art alone endures."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mae West never did much for me. Mildly amusing at best.

 

I would agree about the awfulness of Nelson Eddy and

Jeanette MacDonald if I had ever bothered to sit through

one of their movies. All you need is to see a few clips to

know you will run like hell if one of their flicks ever comes

within your view.

 

I like James Dean, though he could cut a bit of the ol'

self-hugging shtick. I like Mifune when he does that

mumbling, yawning, and scratching his beard act. No

one does that better. Erich von Stroheims's Prussian

brute. Okay man, we get it. Take it easy. 

 

How about decolorization, where color movies are shown

in black and white.

 

I never get very upset about bad acting. It's very subjective

and it doesn't bother me very much if the acting is bad, though

super bad is another matter.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Would this really be a blasphemy ?

 

Casablanca%20II.jpg

 

This is one thing I love about this group. I can just post this photo with no title. Everyone knows what film it is. The fact that it has been colorized. The idea that many hate that it has been colorized. Its a great icebreaker.

 

Even though the picture itself doesn't look bad at all, the ideas behind it are what people have strong opinions about.

 

With all the debates, discussions and even arguments, we sometimes forget that reason we are here is the one thing we agree on. We love classic films .

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand how you feel about James Dean in terms of his general presentation as an actor. He reminds me a lot of Toshiro Mifune and his physical style of acting.

 

Rather than judging James Dean in a traditional manner, I would suggest you look at those scenes in Giant where he completely deconstructs. The physicality of his acting totally overwhelms me and I prefer it every time to the Olivier type actor.

 

"Giant" is probably the only film I can actually stand to watch James Dean in though in the "deconstruct" scenes it's hard to tell who really is James Dean and who is the stand-in.  Having said that, those scenes are (to me) the most glaring example in "Giant" of JD going over the top once again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Colorize cinematic Art-- Desecrating Casablanca

 

Just because you pay money to see Cinema that does not make it art that can be desecrated or denigrated or denied.

 

I suppose if there are some people who want to see B & W movies colorized, that's fine by me, as long as those of us who prefer the original can still see those, too. I've watched a few colorized movies, and thought they all looked terrible. As others have stated, B & W films have a beauty all their own, and I always prefer the original intent of the filmmakers to the commercial demands of modern audiences. The same goes with widescreen vs pan-n-scan. I prefer watching a film letterboxed to losing half of the picture to "fill up the screen". Then again, watching movies on a 60 inch screen helps.

 

 

 

How about decolorization, where color movies are shown

in black and white.

 

That's been done a few time in recent years, although it didn't catch on much. They released B&W versions of The Mist and Mad Max: Fury Road on disc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of unpopular opinions, I saw "La La Land" the other day and while I thought the art direction was amazing, the rest of it was just o.k.  Not sure what all the accolades are about. And while I get why they cast Emma Stone since she is a very appealing talent, she can't dance or sing very well.  It was, after all, a MUSICAL! No way would this film be my pick for Best Picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, same here.

 

Funny ain't it that one of the movies often said to contain some the best acting and some the most memorable dialogue in all of cinematic history is in B&W?! I'm talkin' CASABLANCA here, of course.

 

(...gotta admit though that when it comes to colorization, I have always wondered if colorized versions of some of John Ford's early B&W westerns/cavalry films might not be such a bad thing...what with the possibility of seeing Monument Valley in all its red rock southwestern glory)

 

Casablanca has memorable dialogue but a lot of it is corny or silly.  E.g.  is that cannon fire or my heart pounding,,,  I came for the waters,,,,there is gambling going on,,,,, 

 

I read the screenplay when I was taking a class on film and if the screenplay was the only exposure one had,  I doubt one would say 'that would make for a great film'  (the play wasn't a hit),   but the final product is a great film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of unpopular opinions, I saw "La La Land" the other day and while I thought the art direction was amazing, the rest of it was just o.k.  Not sure what all the accolades are about. And while I get why they cast Emma Stone since she is a very appealing talent, she can't dance or sing very well.  It was, after all, a MUSICAL! No way would this film be my pick for Best Picture.

 

I haven't seen the movie yet, so take this for what it's worth, but I think the filmmaker's intention was that the performers not be too polished and seem more like "real people" in a musical, if that makes any sense. 

 

As for the accolades, beyond people who like musicals in general (I'm not one), Hollywood loves to award movies about itself. Look at The Artist, Argo, Birdman, etc etc. Anything about actors or movie makers gets an extra look.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one thing I love about this group. I can just post this photo with no title. Everyone knows what film it is. The fact that it has been colorized. The idea that many hate that it has been colorized. Its a great icebreaker.

 

Even though the picture itself doesn't look bad at all, the ideas behind it are what people have strong opinions about.

 

With all the debates, discussions and even arguments, we sometimes forget that reason we are here is the one thing we agree on. We love classic films .

 

I never understood those 'ideas behind it' as it relates to colorized film.    Now I prefer to see films as they were originally made (e.g. I don't wish TCM to show colorized films),  but I don't have any 'ideas' behind this POV (e.g. it is somehow offensive to those that made the original).    I have the same POV with regards to remakes.

 

The only time I would have strong feelings would be when access to the 'original' is suppressed;  e.g. TCM only showed a colorized version of Casablanca or when a studio withholds a prior version of a film when making a remake e.g. The Great Gatsby.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mae West never did much for me. Mildly amusing at best.

 

I would agree about the awfulness of Nelson Eddy and

Jeanette MacDonald if I had ever bothered to sit through

one of their movies. All you need is to see a few clips to

know you will run like hell if one of their flicks ever comes

within your view.

 

I like James Dean, though he could cut a bit of the ol'

self-hugging shtick. I like Mifune when he does that

mumbling, yawning, and scratching his beard act. No

one does that better. Erich von Stroheims's Prussian

brute. Okay man, we get it. Take it easy.

 

How about decolorization, where color movies are shown

in black and white.

 

I never get very upset about bad acting. It's very subjective

and it doesn't bother me very much if the acting is bad, though

super bad is another matter.

"Giant" is probably the only film I can actually stand to watch James Dean in though in the "deconstruct" scenes it's hard to tell who really is James Dean and who is the stand-in. Having said that, those scenes are (to me) the most glaring example in "Giant" of JD going over the top once again.

Vautrin--

Historical perspective on Mae West--

 

She may seem like a broad caricature today, but in her day she was a symbol of blatant sexuality and female sexual assertion. Not just on screen but off screen, as she had control over her business contracts and screenplays.

 

She, more than any other artist in Hollywood, was responsible for the implementation of the Production Code.

 

Today she may seem like a joke to you-- but in her day she was the feminist pioneer for female professional equality and female sexual equality in Hollywood movies in front and behind the camera.

 

Lydecker--

 

However you may feel about James Dean-- he did get your attention in those "deconstruct" scenes Giant and those are simply my favorites.

 

I can still see his movement in the still photography.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the trend of films relying solely on classic  rock music or Motown music for their soundtracks. I'm not talking about music that reflects the time period of the film ( Coming Home, Forrest Gump, Back To The Future,etc) I mean the films that use the classics of years past as filler in the film, showing the actors moving about to the music instead of dialogue, and there is no original music  in the film or during the credits Sorry for the bad example, but the only film title that comes to mind at the moment is Stepmom ( with Susan Sarandon /Julia Roberts) Know what I mean, though?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen the movie yet, so take this for what it's worth, but I think the filmmaker's intention was that the performers not be too polished and seem more like "real people" in a musical, if that makes any sense. 

 

As for the accolades, beyond people who like musicals in general (I'm not one), Hollywood loves to award movies about itself. Look at The Artist, Argo, Birdman, etc etc. Anything about actors or movie makers gets an extra look.

 

You are so right about how Hollywood awards movies about itself (at least lately.) I hadn't read anything about the director's intentions to make the principals in "La La Land" purposely "unpolished"  --  if so, that's an idea, but probably not a very good one when your stars are in so many musical numbers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so right about how Hollywood awards movies about itself (at least lately.) I hadn't read anything about the director's intentions to make the principals in "La La Land" purposely "unpolished"  --  if so, that's an idea, but probably not a very good one when your stars are in so many musical numbers.

The first review of La La Land that I heard was from a man who was really ripping into Ryan Gosling's musical talents. I was expecting to see a revisit of Peter O'Toole singing and dancing to "Down On Your Heels, Up On Your Toes" from The Ruling Class!

I actually found the dancing by the leads refreshing- it just comes about naturally ( a nod to choreographer Mandy Moore) and they don't seem overambitious. The singing on the other hand, well, not so good IMO...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as this thread is concerned, I think I would like to say right now that I feel that Laurence Olivier on the screen is highly overrated!

 

 

 

Since I never saw him in the theater, I couldn't judge that. But I'm just guessing he may have been so great on stage that people just had to say extremely positive things about him on screen.

 

 

On-screen, Gary Cooper was a better actor. Let the chips fall where they may.

 

I find that a lot of the actors who were primarily known as great Shakespearean actors don't translate well to movies, at least to me.  I've never been impressed by Laurence Olivier.  I thought he was the biggest issue with The Prince and the Showgirl.  I am also not a big fan of Richard Burton, but I thought he was good in Night of the Iguana and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  I do not mind Orson Welles on screen at all.  Perhaps it's his great voice or his on screen charisma or his larger than life presence (no pun intended)? Who knows.  But Welles is my exception to the "Shakespearean actors don't translate well to the silver screen" rule. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one thing I love about this group. I can just post this photo with no title. Everyone knows what film it is. The fact that it has been colorized. The idea that many hate that it has been colorized. Its a great icebreaker.

 

Even though the picture itself doesn't look bad at all, the ideas behind it are what people have strong opinions about.

 

With all the debates, discussions and even arguments, we sometimes forget that reason we are here is the one thing we agree on. We love classic films .

My issue with colorized Casablanca is that the color kind of removes some of the magic from the film. I'm not sure how to articulate how b&w makes the film magic, but it does.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, what a thrill to find that other folks on these boards agree that Lawrence Olivier is not exactly God's Gift To Acting.  I always found him to be way too aware of himself and completely unnatural.  A stage actor who never quite figured out how to be a believable actor on the screen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find Olivier extremely impressive in The Entertainer.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find Olivier extremely impressive in The Entertainer.

 

It's funny that you mention that movie because critics have said that by the time he got to that point he actually relaxed a bit as a cinema actor. Also it was noted that the subject was close to him and he could personally relate to it--maybe that's why he could put it over.

 

At this point he was middle-aged in his early 50s with a fair amount of experience acting in films.

 

The reviews for The Entertainer were the best Olivier ever got as a cinematic actor. In fact, he was nominated for an Academy Award for that role.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just because most here oppose colorizing a movie does not equate to correctness and let me tell you this...

 

I first saw the excellently colorized print of The Longest Day on Pat Robertson's christian broadcasting network...

 

so those guys were fair and gave it a whirl.

 

colorized prints of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House and Chain Lightning were syndicated.

 

Bogart's Matt Brennan was much more enjoyable streaking in the upper atmosphere in the experimental JA-5 colorized and the plane did look better colorized.

 

And a less chicken TCM once showed the colorized The Thing...then they chickened out.

 

I probably have many more hundreds of viewing hours in front of the TV than many of you since that is really all I did as a kid so my opinion is extremely expert. :) 

 

howda do you like them there kumquats?

 

I think a double bill of the colorized Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House and Chain Lightning would change some minds here. if you missed their syndicated rounds you should be open to that suggestion since you may not have seen what I saw.

 

urge TCM to give it if nothing else a one-time shot. be open-minded like me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That wouldn't work for milennials or anyone else. Black and white films bring with them an expectation, even the newer films shot in black and white. "This will be a film with a real plot". "No distractions, pay attention". To colorize would make it just another film.

 

Now, those films with great scenery might benefit from it. I don't think its a cut and dry, all or nothing deal.

 

Would this really be a blasphemy ?

 

Casablanca%20II.jpg

 

Yep, when I mentioned CASABLANCA earlier, your reply here was pretty much the point I was attempting to make about that film in particular, and then was attempting to use that particular film as an example of how B&W movies can, in a matter of speaking, sometimes "nudge" an audience into paying more attention to the dialogue and narrative of the film instead of being distracted by the visuals within them.

 

(...and yep again, your "great scenery might benefit" comment was also what I meant when I earlier said that thing about seeing a colorized version of a John Ford western/cavalry saga film that Ford filmed in B&W maybe not being such a bad thing...maybe)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Casablanca has memorable dialogue but a lot of it is corny or silly.  E.g.  is that cannon fire or my heart pounding,,,  I came for the waters,,,,there is gambling going on,,,,, 

 

I read the screenplay when I was taking a class on film and if the screenplay was the only exposure one had,  I doubt one would say 'that would make for a great film'  (the play wasn't a hit),   but the final product is a great film.

 

Well, we agree, at least, that the dialogue of Casablanca is memorable, but I would argue that, upon repeat viewings, it remains one of the treasures of the film.

 

That gambling going on dialogue scene, for example, which you call "corny or silly," James, I think is not only funny (I bet that many of the biggest laughs the film ever received from an audience is when Claude Rains accepts his winnings after stating he was shocked there was gambling in the premises) but a very clever device by which to expose the hypocrisy of Rains's character at that moment.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we agree, at least, that the dialogue of Casablanca is memorable, but I would argue that, upon repeat viewings, it remains one of the treasures of the film.

 

That gambling going on dialogue scene, for example, which you call "corny or silly," James, I think is not only funny (I bet that many of the biggest laughs the film ever received from an audience is when Claude Rains accepts his winnings after stating he was shocked there was gambling in the premises) but a very clever device by which to expose the hypocrisy of Rains's character at that moment.

 

Yeah, or when even before that, Cuddles Sakall becomes so overcome by Bogart's generosity at allowing the broke young husband to win at the roulette table, he walks up and kisses Bogart on both cheeks.

 

And thus in this case, the first glimpse at seeing that Rick is actually, and as Renault later calls him, "a sentimentalist".

 

(...and call that "corny" OR "silly" all ya want, I think that scene is not only clever and funny, but it sets the stage for how the ending is made believable in Rick's self-sacrificial act at the airport)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us