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Posts posted by JamesJazGuitar

  1. Yes you have mischaracterized my statements but there is no need to apologies (but I do accept it and thanks for doing so). It is a knock on me to assume I'm so arrogrant to beleive my taste is the standard. The point about Casablanca being popular is that it is with critics as well as general movie fans and clearly with CFU fans (now this is a slobish comment, but I believe CFU fans are not your everyday film fan since they are classic film fans).


    I don't feel the two sentences (comments) I made are contradiction but I can clearly understand why they can be read that way. This is where we see it differently; there must be a reason behind it (e.g. quality). I'm not assume 'great' quality (but I will say the movie has quality but not to the level of 'greatest' so many believe it has. The 'reason behind it' is what is interesting here. The movie is NOT technically great but is one of the most popular of all time. So what are these 'reasons'. Many have already stated what these are and thus I will not repeat them, but you are correct those reasons don't add up to greatness.


    Sorry if you felt I placed you into the hardcore anti-Casablanca camp. Again, I don't think we are that far off in our opinion. Now I might like the movie more than you (again, becasue I'm a soft romantic!), but as to judging the movie from a critical POV I don't rate it as one of the top classic movies.


    What I do find interesting is separating what has depth and objective judgements (e.g. technical merits), from what people enjoy. For example, I like the B-52s Rock band. Now some of my jazz friends shake their heads since the music is really basic. But sometimes this is what I want; basic silly music. But I woudn't try to compare this music to be-bop jazz or Mozart.


    Nice discussion and since this is a friendly site (which is nice), again, I hope you feel like me about this discussion; no harm no foul. Here is to classic movies!

  2. Have you seen the remake of DOA with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan? Now I'm not trying to compare it to the original but I liked the movie. Maybe because I saw it first and then learned it was a remake and saw the original. To me it was a solid remake because there were enough changes to make it different but they also retained the core of the plot.


    Interesting choices you have since the standard ones are typically Out Of The Past, The Big Sleep or Double Indemnity. I really enjoy all of these films but I really like His Kind of Women.

  3. You will enjoy the moive and it is one of Olivia's better post 50's efforts. Rossano Brazzi plays a role similar to what he had done in many other movies. That is not a knock on him but anytime a movies needs that type of Italian or European, it seams that Rossano always got the part!


    Both of them have a lot of class and it shows in this movie. George Hamilton as Rossano's not to bright Italian son is somewhat strange casting but he had the tan for the part.

  4. The first time I saw this movie about 10 years ago I didn't really enjoy it (well I was switching to other channels because it didn't hook me), but in the last year or so I have seen it twice more and I really like it. Yes it is a strange or different movie but that is what makes it so interesting. The dual is between the two women and Hayden is so layed back while Joan is so in your face that they end up clicking and it all works.


    Hayden was fast with a gun and the guitar!

  5. What we have here is a failure to communicate. I agree that being popular has nothing to do with greatness which is why I made the rap comment. As I said in the prior post, being popular means, just that; something is popular; nothing more nothing less.


    I don't believe Casablanca is a great movie either from a technical standpoint which is what I also said. Now I do love the movie but 'love' is a romantic notion.


    My dislike of Rap is based on a technical standpoint as a musician. i.e. I want young people to learn about other types of music that I feel have more depth. Others have made a similar point about Casablanca. i.e.. it can be a stepping stone to classic movies and if that is the case than the movie has impact to future generations, but it is only a stepping stone. Hopefully future generations decide to dig deeper into classic movies with more depth, meaning and technically historical value.

  6. I believe we agree 100% here which is why I made the Rap comment.


    As I said Casablanca isn't great because of any technical qualities or artistic ones when compared to movies like Citizen Kane. As I also noted, being the most popular means just that.


    What I said is that Casablanca has to have something to be so popular by so many from so many different backgrounds and generations. It of course has nothing to do with greatness.


    With regards to the comment: don't think you can assess greatness by popularity.


    Well one should also respect that because something is popular it doesn't mean it cannot be great (at least in the eyes of most people). I believe this is what is bugging so many anti-Casablanca people here. This is why I made my Beatles comment. Yes, they also are the most popular rock band of all time but in my view they are also 'great' (I put this in quotes since 'great' isn't a word I use since it really has no meaning).


    In the case of the Beatles and Casablanca they are both overrated in that how popular they are doesn't indicate their standing (rank) but both are fine products. Thus while I find many other musicians and movies to be 'greater' than these two, I don't have to dislike them just because so many love them.

  7. Get Smart is one of my top TV shows and I also have seen every show. When the new movie about Get Smart came out around 2 years ago a station here in the So Cal area had the TV show on back to back for about a year. It is still one but at 2:00 am or something. Anything with Mel Brooks and Buck Henry behind it has to be funny.

  8. As I said before Casablanca is overrated but what is missing in that statement is overrated based on what criteria. From a technical viewpoint it doesn't offer anything new, but from the movie is clearly enjoyed by a wide range of people and many of these people also enjoy serious movies.


    The movie is listed as the most popular in CFU. Now some might say 'so what,,, that doesn't mean anything'. Yes, being most popular means just that; It does NOT mean that something has artist merit or is the best in some technical sense or is deep etc.. It just means it is the most popular and people like it.


    Are all these fans fools? The movie has to have something to get to be this popular with different generations of movie fans. This thread appears to imply the movie is no better than Rap music!

  9. I play many Beatles songs in my set as jazz tunes. And I Love Her we do as a Bossa is one that goes over very well. I know these in since many people don't know the jazz standards well but almost everyone knows Beatles tunes and thus they are a good 'hook' to help get a group of people involved in the music.


    Of course I don't play the standard 'rock' chords but instead change them around to get a more jazzy feel; e.g. making a D a D Maj 7, or adding other type of extentions. The tunes have nice melodies and that is what matters.

  10. I guess some people believe they are the only ones that can define what 'low art' and 'high art' are and what is better.


    One can clearly say that, technically, something is 'better' than something else if one is trained in that art. As a musician that plays all forms of music and knows many other professional musicians, my opinion is that that the Beatles music isn't low art. Does it rate with Mozart? To me it is folly to make such a comparson. But often ones ego makes one feel something is 'better' to defend one's taste.


    The comparision of Casablanca to the Beatles was that both are enjoyed by a very large percent of the general population as well as by those in the industry (i.e. they are respected by many in the film or music industry).

  11. What an interesting thread. The first point I would make is there is a difference between what someone really enjoys and likes and what is technically tops. For example, as a Jazz guitar player I can say that a lot of the jazz I listen to is 'tops' from a technically viewpoint and I can use logic and music theory and other criteria to make that case but that doesn't make that music 'better' or more enjoyable than other types of music. I love the Beatles but playing their music isn't difficult or 'deep'. But their music is clearly more enjoyable to more people than be-bop jazz.


    In some ways Casablanca is like Beatles music. It has those 'simple' things people enjoy but also has brings out feelings (note I don't say deep feelings), that move people and stays with them.


    I understand why people feel Casablanca is overrated and there is too much hyped associated with it as one of the greatest movies ever. With music I do the same thing (e.g. how can you say that is great all he is doing is playing this basic chord like this etc.....). There is value in this type of analysis but sometimes one needs to just clear the mind and enjoy what is there.


    Clearly Casablanca is enjoyed and have moved generation after generation. That says a lot right there.

  12. Yes, very interesting choices. For example, you have High Sierra with Bogart when most people would pick other Bogart movies (e.g. I would say Big Sleep). You have Libeled Lady with Powell while I would take My Man Godfrey.


    All are very good movies and to each his own of course, but these are interesting choices for sure.


    Good to see The Devil and Miss Jones. Love that movie and again it isn't one of the first Jean Arthur movies most would pick. (I would say Talk of The Town or Mr Deeds). But bravo for being different!

  13. Yes, not many people are aware or have seen It's Love I'm After despite the three major stars in the movie. According to the books I have Davis and Howard loved making the movie since their prior two movies together were dramas (with Human Bondage beings really heavy).


    The scene outside during the party with the bird calling when Bette shows up to 'bust' Howard is one of the funnies in all of movies. There are also many great character actors in the movie (like Spring Byington, Bonita Granville (as a teen brat), and Eric Blore has Howard's servant.


    The movie is set on new years and I watch it each new years day.

  14. Front Page with Grant and Russell by Hawks


    My Man Godfrey with Lombard and Powell


    It's Love I'm After with Bette Davis, Leslie Howard and Olivia De Havilland


    Bringing Up Baby with Grant and Hepburn


    and,,,, oh there are so many more.

  15. The historic time frame Casablanca is set in is very important: i.e. the USA not part of the fight yet.


    Another factor is that this is the first major movie with Bogart as a romantic star and the develoment of the Bogart charactor that would be used in other movies to follow that was 'completed' with his role in Key Largo.


    The movie just flows from scene to scene. I rate the movie as part of my top 10, but I can see why others would rate it lower since it is lacking technical areas that movies like Citizen Kane or other movies have. But at the end of the day it is just a very, very entertaining film that is funny and moves ones at the same time. If the German verses French music scene, when understood from the historical perspective of the time, doesn't move somebody they have no blood in their veins!

  16. Casablanca is indeed overated but so are the GodFather and Citizen Cane in my view.


    I love Casablanca also and I think you said it well; because I feel it's just a mixture of the right ingredients.


    To not watch a movie because others over praise it doesn't make any sense to me. e.g I still listen to the Beatles! (to me the best modern example of something that was way over hyped but at the same time was full of substance and worth expereincing regardless of the hype).

  17. It many ways the issue of guilty or not guilty central to the story, but instead the issues of racism, classism etc.. that you site.


    Now this might some crazy, but the movie really doesn't get into the specifc details of how a jury doing a murder trail should act. Another example would be the women and her glasses. All the jury had to do was ask to know the women's eyesight (i.e. was she far sighted or not).


    I have played in 12 Angry Men a few times when I was a teen and I always felt the kid did it based on the point of 'who else would of done it'. The family was poor and there wasn't a motive for anyone else to kill the father. BUT based on the script and facts presented (not realistic ones as noted) the jury did have reasonable doupt and thus made the correct call.

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