Tag Archives: oscars

NEWS UPDATE

I am working on a few other things, I’ve grouped together the books and podcast details under the links page and I’m slowly adding countries and years to the blog to help people search for stuff.. it’s a thankless task but it will be worth it I’m sure.

I would add in all the links now but it will keep leading to error 404 pages I’m sure so I’ll add them as I add content.

I am working on 20 for 1920’s post at the moment which I thought would be easy but sadly it’s hard to narrow the films down to only 20!! But that will hopefully add to a few blanks to the early years. In the meantime check these out

  • The Silent movie Blog – The Silent Movie Blog is an ongoing compendium of photos, reviews, facts, trivia, quotes, gossip and crackpot opinions concerning the silent movie era
  • Movies Silently – AMAZING SILENT MOVIE BLOG – from the ever dedicated Gwen!
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Top Opening Credit Sequences – part one (16)

I was watching a really odd 1970’s movie as a child and the opening credits went on FOREVER.. I asked my mother why the hell did I have to watch everyone’s name go across the screen and she explained to me that a director had to put the credits up or it would cost a lot of money for them not to have the credits there, I realised later on in life what she meant, after all she was just trying to shut me up.. but she did tell me about something she had read about a director who had to pay off a producer to stop insisting their name was at the forefront of a movie!

Really? is it that important?

Here’s the (boring) info link – Wiki page on Opening Credits 

Well it’s cheaper and easier to just have the credits so why not make the most of them! I like movie openings to be short, to the point, entertaining and unique.

Here is a list of my favourite opening credit sequences (in no particular order).

Se7en1. Se7en (1995)

This has to be one of my all time favourite movies, from the first time I watched it until the day I die I will be forever in love with this film. In terms of just the opening sequences, the remixed version of Closer, the gritty and jilted cameras, the content of John Does books, references to god, death and sex are amazing. A LOT of films try to re create this look and feel and fail totally, the Saw franchise are a classic example. But Se7en gets it so right.Full details on art of the title.

casino2. Casino (1995)

When I first watched the movie the opening sequence totally passed me by, I really didn’t get it, it wasn’t until I made it to the end and you hear that iconic song (Wir setzen uns mit tränen nieder” from the “Matthaus Passion” by Johann Sebastion Bach) that i took in the full grandiosity of the opening sequences, poor ole Robert De Niro flying through the sky though the background of casino lights. It’s rather relaxing, for the viewer. It displays who the movie is centered around and the crazy glamour of the casino and how it will affect that one man quite simply in one scene.

devil3. Devil ( 2010)

I had a bit of an idea about how this movie was going to be but the opening skyline shots really did unsettle me… quite a lot, it was a simple technique, just turn everything upside down, which is what the movie attempts to do. I think John Dowdle really wanted to try and turn at least your perception of the world upside down for the duration of the movie. But does it also represent the devils decent into our world to find his victims? Then the credits end with a magnificent suicide!

4. Warriors (1979)

I’m adding this one in for my sisters benefit! I do adore it too.. but the little critter reminded me of it. The movie opens with the various gangs of New York all congregating to a central meeting point and our home team of the Warriors planning their strategy. Your not only introduced to the characters you’ll be caring about throughout the movie but all of their attackers too, and what awesome colourful characters they area.Full details on Art of the Title

5 Centurion (2010)

The camera races across the north England landscape and what’s that coming of the hill, is it a large golden name.. YES it is. The credits for this movie are hovering over and are within the frozen landscape that Michael Fassbender is running around partially naked in during the first few scenes. I personally think it’s clever. it displays that the characters are foreign and lost/hidden in the land.

6. The Omen (2006)

I know I know i keep going on about how I dislike remakes so much then I mention how I admire this one!? I do like a few of them, and I think this did well, there was a 30 year gap which i think is just about acceptable for a remake and the story wasn’t disgraced in anyway, the effects weren’t over the top, all of the death scenes were similar but enhanced in a more modern way. It is a good film, but I’ll go into that in more detail. For now I’ll say that I really liked the opening scene, there are monks running around trying to find reference to the star that’s appeared, images of our world being destroyed as predicted in the christian bible and throughout there are numbers changing into 6’s and T’s into crosses, it initiates the viewer to start reading between the lines and looking for signs.

7. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

This delightful debut hit our screen with some great shots and some swagga to George Baker Selection’s 1970 hit “Little Green Bag”. Since this movie i can’t hear that song with out reminiscing over the colourful characters (there’s a joke there if you read between the lines.. ahem). Then the scene fades out to more K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies Weekend just keeps on truckin’  Who didn’t want to be one of those hip guys in black? More details on Art of the Title

Candyman8. Candyman (1992)

For me this was the first movie where I saw the city from a birds eye view, I have seen this technique used in TV shows and other programs in such a way so I’ve always assumed that it was done in this film first!? (if you know more please let me know). But as much as it was different (for me) it seemed to symbolise something similar to Devil where the Candyman was being called to come to the city to sort out his business, and is just passing over to find the right spot.

9.  Diler – Pusher (1996) 

This movie is just full of scenes that will be copied by other directors for years to come. It’s a full on gritty on the streets crime drama? and I love the entire trilogy, but getting back to the opening.. I like that the main characters are introduced in a back street alley kind of way,  the faces are obscured and a name flashed above their head they move forwards you get an idea of who they might be then back into darkness. Everyone goes by a first name or nickname there are no life histories on how they got here, it’s very  much in your face.

10. บางกอกแดนเจอรัส เพชฌฆาตเงียบ อันตราย/Bangkok Dangerous (1999)

My mother introduced me to this movie, I borrowed it from her, popped it in the player and wasn’t shocked to see the the uber violent toilet scene but what did capture my imagination was the blood spelling the names, does it suggest that this movie and characters are bathed in blood!? The Pang brothers always wow an audience with great effects and flashy bits like this and while it’s not ground breaking it’s mesmerizing to watch.

Blade11.Blade (1998)

When i first watched this movie this was my favourite scene! It certainly made the movie for me, bringing vamps into the club scene which it detailed on later in the movies. It was a marvelous start to any movie and really did a lot for Public Domain.. at least for one song!

ichi-the-killer-movie12. Ichi the Killer (2001)

It had taken me a while to watch this film (getting hold of a copy in the early days was hard). The film starts in an odd ball fast moving assassination/voyeur kinda of way.. Ichi is on a mission and is stopping by to watch his favourite prossie get her face beaten in. For ages I thought Ichi was the guy on the cover, but you soon realised it’s a mild mannered waiter who produces a lotta sperm and leaves it in the flower pot outside the prostitute window, strange, yes it is, but it also momentarily embosses his name! sexy!

13. Alien (1979)

A stark and simple title scene for a movie, the block letters that spell out the word Alien. It’s probably a good idea that they didn’t stick with the title of Star Beast otherwise it would have gone on too long. It does have it’s similarities to the Thing (1982) but only slightly.

14. Sin City (2005)

Setting the scene for what is to come, Sin City opens with beautiful, monochrome murder, sleek dresses, smoking revolver and the heights of the city. It’s a memorable opening… Full and in depth analysis here. 

15. Amelie (2001)

It

Iwas mesmerised when i first watched this sequence of childhood memories, I think at some point I had played with all of the times shown. It is a great line up to the movie as Amelie keeps her sentimental childlike and innocent outlook on the world throughout the movie. It is just simply charming.

16.Les Rivières pourpres II: Les anges de l’apocalypse – Crimson Rivers II – angels of the Apocalypse (2004)

Crimson-Rivers-II-Angels-of-the-ApocalypseI’m such a bloody goth.. I love the dark and foreboding feel to the beginning of this movie, the monastery, thunder, lightening, the number 13, monks, crazy bloody crucifix etc it’s just brilliant! I got part 2 first and wanted to wait for number one before i watched the second but the two movies are pretty interdependent so i stuck 2 in the DVD and after that opening I just had to watch it and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Let it snow

We’ve had a lot of snow lately; in fact it’s snowing right now as I write this.

I personally love the snow and cold weather is much more attractive and exciting than sunny dry vistas.

Snow has inspired a lot of literary and cinematic works. Even our fables and legends have a lot of snow and ice in them, like the legend of Jack Frost and books like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Snow Queen and our yearly favourite animated short, The Snowman.

Here are some movies that are all connected by snow.

30-Days-Of-Night_7575_130 Days of Night (2007) – One of the few comic to movie remakes I actually enjoyed and also one of the best beheading scenes to date. I had to include this in my top snow movies, as it’s illustrates some of the unusual situations your posed with if you want to live in a cold and snowy area. There are several places that you can live where there are seasons of night, and obviously dark tales come from these areas, there are increases in crime and the folk law is much more sinister. You’ll notice northern European fairy tales rarely have a happy ending and the Swedish crime noir that seem to be all-popular now have had the prolonged winter darkness used as the reason why the stories are so shadowy and gruesome.

alive movie photoAlive (1993) – I remember when this was first released, I was a young teen, just starting high school and everyone at school was talking about cannibalism.. * shock horror! *  I had already read an awesome book called Flesh and Blood so it was quite tame for me. It’s funny how you have to be a certain age to see a movie but not to read a book!? But a brilliant adaptation of a true life event, regrettably it’s one that I haven’t researched the real life event to compare yet but it’s something that I like to do.

Alien_vs_PredatorAlien Vs Predator (1993)  – Not the best Alien movie or an acceptable Predator movie but I really did enjoy this, maybe I have a thing for science fiction in the snow, after all The Thing (1982) is one of my all time favourite movies. This film isn’t accurate or true to either story line, but as an independent film it’s okay to see some devastation in an abandoned whaling town.

Avalance (1999)  – A conservation one this time, a helicopter pilot works with a husband and wife in the frozen north tagging foxed for the EPA.

Cliffhanger (1993) – A botched heist in the Rocky Mountains.. with Rocky! It has a lot of clichés but it’s an ok movie. LOTS of ice climbing, dangers and perils.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Trying to make the snow into a huge budget natural disaster with CGI wolves kinda sucked. It had some cool ideas and brought some interesting points to weather movies but it didn’t gel well together for me, maybe I’m just being a movie snob? It is a stunning story about a father and son trying to locate each other as the planet plummets into a rapid ice age, but for me personally it didn’t sink in.

Die Hard 2 (1990) – For me this movie has the Best “comedy” death scene in a snowy action movie? You have to love that icicle scene, thanks John McClaine, you demonstrated what our mothers always warned us about (or was it just my mother.. )

dead-snowDod Sno (2009) – HORROR time, we’re finding zombies everywhere, and nazi zombies aren’t usually too far behind!! It was a breath of fresh air when I finally got around to seeing Dead Snow. Finally a combination of senseless violence, zombies, snow and young fit men covered in blood! WHHOOO. The amount of fake blood used in this movie must rival Evil Dead! Actually which movie uses the most fake blood ever??

The Edge (1997) – I’m a big fan of Anthony Hopkins and it’s great that I get to include one of his movies in this list. It’s a gritty thriller with an introductory role for Bart, Bart the bear! I have a fear of bears now, Thanks Bart. I’d also like to say a little RIP to the big ole dude and congratulations on acting with Anthony Hopkins twice.

Essential Killing (2010) – One of the modern day silent movies, this is an emotional car crash of a movie. A man is pulled from his terrorist activities in Afghanistan to a military base in an unknown frozen land where he has to fight to stay hidden and survive. There is a lot unsaid in this movie which I respect as it makes you think and interpret what is going on and what happened.

the-fearless-vampire-killers-original-1Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) – Old school horror comedy all set in a icy cold landscape I’m not a huge fan of comedy and I don’t laugh my ass off throughout this movie BUT I do love it as it has a very unique style to it that I’ve never seen in any other movie. If anyone knows of something similar then let me know. I thoroughly enjoy this movie on a regular basis.

fargo1Fargo (1996) – The Cohen brothers know how to make a great movie. I can’t quite put my finger on WHY their movies are so good but Fargo was an instant hit with me. You never really see the full extent of the harsh climate but you do see people deal with a lot of snowy issues. And the first weather conversation I’d seen in a non weather movie for some time. They say it’s only us brits that like to talk about the weather.. yep just us and old bar men..  O,o

Four Brothers (2005)  – While these four brothers are looking to revenge their mothers death it becomes apparent that snow fills this movie from beginning to end! For that reason it’s worth a mention here.

Fritt Vilt  (Cold Prey) (2006) – I wasn’t won over by this film, it has some interesting moments but I didn’t think that overall it was all that exciting, maybe it needed to be shorter? It does have two more sequels maybe there is a bigger picture? A serial killer on the loose, preying on some teens who have tried to find shelter in a hotel with one of them injured and teens doing what they do best the isolation of the cold does not help the situation.

Frozen (2010) – I hadn’t bothered with this for ages, the cover put me off, (I know don’t judge by the cover.. ) I was expecting a few wimpy US teens to start complaining about being cold because of the snow outside BOO HOO.. but somehow I rented it out (I probably ran out new DVD’s at Blockbusters) It was brilliant!! It’s not the best movie of all time and won’t make my top 250 movies of all time but I have to admire it for the fact that it doesn’t have a fairy tale ending and it demonstrates how fragile we are in the natural world.

Frozen River (2008) – I think if this movie was set anywhere else it might not have been so desolate, the barren landscape and harsh conditions makes you feel so much more for the family and their problems. It illustrates just how harsh things can be in such a cold climate.

Ice Station Zebra (1968) – This movie is a thriller, but at some points instead of fighting among themselves the people find themselves fighting against the perils of the icy weather!

K2 (1991) – An adventure drama based around climbing the K2 Mountain, I think most mountains have their climb adventure movie. Not all named after it directly though..

Misery (1990) – How could I forget this gem!? I absolutely adore this film. The snow is the reason why a world famous writer gets taken out on his way home after writing a new novel. He’s picked up by his No.1 fan and all hell breaks loose in a crippling sort of way. I feel cold for the first part of this movie then I just feel all twangy in my legs.. * grimace* [edited 23.01.13]

Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – A woman suffering from amnesia beings to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again. Apart from the killer deer scene I remember there is a constant supply of snow in this film.

Nordwand_986x1400Nordwand (2008) – Definitely in my top 100 movies of all time, based on a real life event, a tribute to two wonderful men and a brave attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger (translates as the ogre) . I did some research after watching the film and it’s such a sad tale (dammit have I given too much away??) All the same there are some amazing shots of a distinctive landscape and it’s actually beautiful to see the connection between Andi (Andreas) and Toni during their climb. And I have to chuck in the fact I’m addicted to men/women with THAT 1930’s European hair cut.. * faints * also I think this man needs a shout out on he matter.

Orca (1977) – This movie isn’t exactly centred around snow but the most memorable scenes of the finale are in a polar area where man and beast battle for love and honour. Definitely left an impression on me.

Oorlogswinter / Winter in Wartime  (2008) –Near the end of world way II a 14 year old boy becomes involved with the resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier.

crimsonLes Rivieres Pourpres (Crimson Rivers) (2000) – I am adding this one in because it’s about several grisly murders in an alpine area and without giving too much away there is a great avalanche scene. The movie is a French horror crime movie, staring Jean Reno (who else?) and Vincent Cassel, trying to work out what a popular and prestigious college has to do with a series of odd murders. I really loved the movie and the others that followed.

Rocky IV (1985) – I do love my Rocky boxset, and as much as I remember the latter movies form my childhood I prefer the movies in order of release, the first being the best and loosing hope throughout BUT accepting that ALL of them have their merits and I couldn’t be without them. All in all the snow training scenes in Rock IV make me want to do my own winter exercises.. for me making a snow angel is as active as I get.

Scarce (2008) – a couple of retarded teens get trapped in an isolated cabin with some freaky locals.. I can’t say anything good about this movie, lets just say you’ll need a deck of cards and a bottle of bear while watching this movie.

main_imgSeraphim Falls (2006) – I could put a lot of other movies in this just because you see snow once or twice like Ravenous for example. Even though there is only snow in the beginning of this movie and might I add that the film starts off in the cold winter and ends in a desert so there are lot of landscape changes. The snow scenes are done in such a way that I really FEEL the cold so it gets a mention and it also the movie that changed my whole idea of Westerns so well done.

Shining (1980) – This movie I really adore when it comes to being cold. It is one of very few movies to demonstrate cabin fever on a supernatural level. The snow plays an active part as a cause of entrapment and a killer.

Shoot to Kill (Deadly Pursuit) (1988) – Not the best snow film but I have to add it because I learnt one thing from this movie.. there are battery powered socks that warm up your tootsies.. a must for any non snow lover. This is an underrated action film superb performances from all the cast.

Struggle to survive (1994) – this is one another heart string puller like Frozen River, it’s really odd because I watched this on TV and had no idea what the movie was called, didn’t care much either, then remembered it while writing this list and looked up “neil Patrick frost bite” and it seems EVERYONE has seen this movie and didn’t know what the title was!! Oh dear, it’s a great TV movie possibly based on a real life event, I’m yet to confirm.

The Thing (1982) – I’m going to chuck in both of the renditions of “Who Goes There” as they are both based in the snow. I admire this story in every way it’s been told, both movies and the radio play! The story tells of an alien being trapped in the ice, showing that the snow/frost can be a preserver too, this is also demonstrated in a few other movies like Thaw (2009) and Horror Express (1972).

transsiberianTranssiberian  (2008) – I do like this film, it’s interesting, deep and unfolds beautifully, I don’t like it when a movies takes forever to warm up or when the most of the action is at the very end for example, this tale of deception murder and drugs had a contact twist and tension throughout.The snow gets more intense as the plot thickens.

Toby McTeague (1986)  – Oh the shame that I remember this movie! I used to rent it a lot from the video shop, I’ve never seen it on DVD.. Basically it’s a high school kid who has his heart set on winning a dog sleigh race, so I’m adding this to count for all the puppy and dog snow movies out there.

tumblr_mctjjdikVN1ryoymqo1_500Trolljegeren (2010) – Even though this movie is a Found Footage Mocumentary like many others it has a characteristic style that reminds me something but I can’t put my finger on it. The iconic poster with the roll with the blue border and yellow writing just makes it stand out from all other typical movie posters, it’s like BANG, this is it, deal with it. Humm the movie, needs to be watched, I know a lot of people avoided it as they thought it would be like the Blair Witch (1999) but really folks it’s got a lot more going for it. Even though the movie isn’t dedicated to the snow, the ever-changing landscape is still all beautiful and there is a snow ending, so I thought it deserved a shout out. By the way if anyone has that poster for sale I need one!

Vertical Limits (2000) – Mountain rescue for the big screen as a sister has be rescued from the top of K2.

Whiteout (2009) – A killer being tracked in Antarctica around the time that the sun will set for 6 months!? I’ve not seen this yet but I’ve heard okayish reviews but another one that demonstrates mans fear of prolonged darkness.

And the rest…

I’d also like to add a few more items to this now epic list.

games

I know this isn’t a game blog, I’m not a huge gamer, I will find the odd retro game to amuse me from time to time, but as I have such an impressive snow fetish I thought I’d name a couple of games in my collection.

radio

BBC did a version of Who Goes There – which was very interesting to hear McCready as an actual Scott.

Nightfall did a few snow related shows including…

  • Weather Station 4 – A disembodied voice on the radio speaks to one of two men and a dog who are snowed in and running low on supplies, her suggestions become sinister as the situation becomes more desperate, her motive?
  • The Late Special A couple driving home in the winter loose control of their car and crash, the husband is pinned and the wife has lost her sights, but he guides her to a nearby train station by shouting directions, once she’s there she discovers that it’s not totally abandoned, but who is the man who acquires her help for her sight?
  • The porch light  – A newly wed couple have recently moved into the their new and lowly priced house, during the night they see a lone man standing under a streetlight waving at them but he casts no shadows, the husband remembers the rumours about he previous couple who lived in the house, were these true?
  • Windchill – A student lost in the snowy woods, while trying to find her friend cabin to study, chances upon a stranger who seems lost from our time, he’s helpful and friendly but there is a small ghost child that seems to be following him..