Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Movie Review - Bomba and the Jungle Girl

As the Bomba film franchise continues, I find myself liking them more and more. You really don't need a big budget to make a great film

Bomba and the Jungle Girl is a 1952 live-action film based on the series of  Bomba, The Jungle Boy novels by Roy Rockwood. It is unrated  and is appropriate for all ages.


The Good



Story. This film has a lot more story than the other films with a few twists than usual. This also has more content and less aimless walking.

Characters. The characters in this film have a lot more to them and the film spends more time developing a back story and motivation.

Peril. This entry into the franchise actual has peril and times when you wonder if things will work out.

Fight Scenes. This film had more fight scenes and better fight scenes than the previous entries in the franchise.


The Bad



Dialogue. Some of the dialogue was a little stilted and unnatural.


What I Would Like To Have Seen


I wish the dialogue were a little more natural, but that is more a product of its time than a complaint against the filmmakers.


Overall


Bomba and the Jungle Girl is a 1952 live-action film based on the series of  Bomba, The Jungle Boy novels by Roy Rockwood. This film had a really good story with several twists, some not completely obvious. The fighting was more intense than previous films, and the pacing was fairly quick with a decent sense of peril. The characters in this film have a lot more to them than most films from this era, and the film spends time developing a back story and motivation for all the major characters. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I give it 4.5 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.


   

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Movie Review - Bomba on Panther Island

I love old black and white films, and I love Tarzan. So what wouldn't be great about an old film based on a series of books that rip off from Tarzan?

Bomba on Panther Island is a 1949 live-action film based on the Bomba, The Jungle Boy novels by Roy Rockwood. It is unrated  and is appropriate for all ages.

The Good



Story. The story is pretty simple, but interesting.

Visuals. This is the second film in the Bomba series, and the filmmakers have learned a few things. The stock footage was better integrated, and the sets looked less like sets.

Silent Storytelling. This film uses a lot of silent storytelling where it's just the visuals and the music to tell the story and describe the action, and it is done well and creates a good amount of suspense.

The Bad


Pacing. This movie moves a little slowly and doesn't have as much content as an 80-minute film could comfortably have.

Lack of Action. The action that is shown is really well shown, but there's too little of it. And some of the scenes consist of closeups of the actors mixed with stock footage. While this was a clever idea and done well, it still doesn't look as good as one would like.

What I Would Like To Have Seen


I wish there had been more action. I realize this was a low budget film from a studio with few resources, but too much of the movie consists of people standing around posing or walking just to walk and not get anywhere.

Overall


Bomba on Panther Island is a 1949 live-action film based on the Bomba, The Jungle Boy novels by Roy Rockwood, concept very similar to Tarzan except Bomba is a teenage boy instead of a man. The story is pretty simple, but interesting. The visuals were an improvement over the first film, and the silent sequences with nothing but action and the music were really well done and created a lot of suspense. The action that is shown is really well shown, but there's too little of it. And some of the scenes consist of closeups of the actors mixed with stock footage. While this was a clever idea and done well, it still doesn't look as good as one would like. This movie moves a little slowly and doesn't have as much content as an 80-minute film could comfortably have. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I give it 4 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.


   

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Monday, August 3, 2020

TV Show Review - Five Came Back

I'm a big fan of film and history, so a mini-series like this is right up my alley.

Five Came Back is a 2017 3-episode mini-series. It is rated TV-MA for language and graphic images of war and is appropriate for teens and up.

The Good


The History. This documentary does an excellent job of covering the careers of 5 top Hollywood film directors, John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, how they got into film, what they shot before World War II, what their role was in that war, and how it forever affected them. I've heard parts of these stories from time to time, but it was wonderful to see them all together.

The Visuals. This documentary included shots from many films of the era, many photographs of what went on behind the scenes, and plenty of new visuals to tell the story. It looked like a big budget Hollywood production unlike most documentaries that show their small budgets.

The Pace. While this is a documentary, it moves at a much quicker pace than most documentaries. I never found myself getting bored or watching the clock. It moved at the pace of most 1940s films, which was very appropriate.

The Perspective. Too often people have a habit of judging the past by current fads and thought, which makes no sense since the past was a different time with different circumstances. This documentary does an excellent job of keeping the proper perspective and judging the men and their films by the standards of their day. And several modern day directors give very insightful observations about their films and the effect they have on us even today.


The Bad


...


What I Would Like to Have Seen


I was totally satisfied.


Overall


Five Came Back is a 2017 3-episode mini-series. This documentary does an excellent job of covering the careers of 5 top Hollywood film directors, John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, how they got into film, what they shot before World War II, what their role was in that war, and how it forever affected them. I've heard parts of these stories from time to time, but it was wonderful to see them all together. This documentary included shots from many films of the era, many photographs of what went on behind the scenes, and plenty of new visuals to tell the story. While this is a documentary, it moves at a much quicker pace than most documentaries. I never found myself getting bored or watching the clock. It moved at the pace of most 1940s films, which was very appropriate. Too often people have a habit of judging the past by current fads and thought, which makes no sense since the past was a different time with different circumstances. This documentary does an excellent job of keeping the proper perspective and judging the men and their films by the standards of their day. And several modern day directors give very insightful observations about their films and the effect they have on us even today. I highly recommend this show and give it 5 out of 5 remotes.


   
  

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Movie Review - Carnival of Souls (1962)

I don't normally watch sci fi films or horror flicks from the 50s or 60s, but a friend recommended this to me, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Carnival of Souls is a 1962 horror film. It is unrated but would be PG for mild terror and is appropriate for most audiences.

The Good



Cinematography. Whoever was behind the camera did an excellent job of making the most of every shot. Even though this was past the film noir era, many of the shots really took advantage of the darks and lights to create beautiful patterns.

Silent Passages. This film has long stretches of action with no sound with not only helps draw the viewer in, but also adds to the creepy factor.

Story. The story is nothing special, and the twist at the end was pretty obvious, but the story was still pretty solid and entertaining.

The Bad


50s Pacing. This is a 1962 film, but it's paced like a 50s TV show or film. For those who like that it isn't a problem, but it feels slow to someone who is used to more recent films.

50s Acting. The 50s and 60s weren't known for the best dialogue or acting, and this movie is no exception. The delivery of lines is a little stilted.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


I wish there had been more to the story. I recognize this was a low budget flick, but the best way to make up for that is to spend more time working on a stronger story.

Overall


Carnival of Souls is a 1962 low-budget horror film. Whoever was behind the camera did an excellent job of making the most of every shot. Even though this was past the film noir era, many of the shots really took advantage of the darks and lights to create beautiful patterns. This film also features long stretches of action with no sound with not only helps draw the viewer in, but also adds to the creepy factor. The story is nothing special, and the twist at the end was pretty obvious, but the story was still pretty solid and entertaining. The pacing was a little slow compared to contemporary movies, and the acting and dialogue could have been a little stronger. If you enjoy films from this era, this is a solid flick. I give this film 3 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.


  

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Review - Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus

Years ago I had read a couple of books that discussed expert achievement and the 10,000 hour rule to achieve greatness. I was really impressed with the ideas. I didn't realize the authors were misquoting and misrepresenting the research.

Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus is a nonfiction book that discusses several simple ways one can improve one's life in several areas. It is available as an eBook, Audiobook, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good



Presentation. This book is really well written in a very conversational style that sounds like your buddy sharing information with you over dinner.

Simple. The ideas the author presents are simple enough that most people will be able to implement most of them.

Comprehensive. The author presents ideas that cover a wide range of areas that are important for most people's lives and could use improvement.

The Bad


Recommends Drugs. While I understand the author's arguments for using drugs (tobacco, marijuana, etc.), there are healthier and safer alternatives that are just as effective if not more so.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


While I agree with most of the ideas the author presents, it would have been nice if the author had backed up all his claims with research and not just anecdotal evidence.

Overall


Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus is a nonfiction book that discusses several simple ways one can improve one's life in several areas. This book is really well written in a very conversational style that sounds like your buddy sharing information with you over dinner. The ideas the author presents are simple enough that most people will be able to implement most of them. The author presents ideas that cover a wide range of areas that are important for most people's lives and could use improvement. I did not agree with his views on using drugs. While I understand the author's arguments for using drugs (tobacco, marijuana, etc.), there are healthier and safer alternatives that are just as effective if not more so. While I agree with most of the ideas the author presents, it would have been nice if he had backed up all his claims with research and not just anecdotal evidence. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.


  

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Friday, July 3, 2020

Book Review - Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Years ago I had read a couple of books that discussed expert achievement and the 10,000 hour rule to achieve greatness. I was really impressed with the ideas. I didn't realize the authors were misquoting and misrepresenting the research.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool is a nonfiction book discussing research conducted on several performers who reached the top of their field. It is available as an eBook, Audiobook, and those paper things your grandparents used to read.

The Good



Information. This book presents a lot of information and several studies about how those at the top of their fields reached their field. It describes the studies and also lists the limitations and deficiencies of the science and research.

Presentation. This book is well written with all the information clearly laid out and presented in an easy-to-understand manner that isn't trying to talk down to anyone.

The Bad


Speculation. The research covered very few different disciplines, and the authors speculated on a whole lot more based on the little research. While their speculation sounds reasonable, so do the ideas their research refutes.

Author Conclusions. The authors offer some conclusions and possible implications of this research, but they are very limited in their scope and ignore the fact that greatness takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of focus, and most people aren't capable of that even if they are capable of learning the the skills for greatness.

What I Would Like to Have Seen


I would have enjoyed more research. The studies were very limited to just a few categories.

Overall


Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool is a nonfiction book discussing research conducted on several performers who reached the top of their field and how they did it. It refutes the notions of innate talent, the idea you must be born with the ability to reach greatness, and the 10,000 hour rule Maxwell Gladwell mistakenly took from their research. The studies are laid out and the information is clearly presented. The main weaknesses are the small number of areas that have been studied and the authors' limited view of what the ramifications of their research could be. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 eReaders.


  

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Movie Review - Memories (1995 Anime)

I love animation that tries something new, and I love animated shorts. I also love anime from the 80s and 90s, so Memories seems like something I should love, right?

Memories is a 1995 anthology of three anime films based on short stories by Katsuhiro Otomo. It is rated PG-13 for language and adult themes and is appropriate for teens and up.

Magnetic Rose - 4/5


A salvage team in space receives and SOS and investigates and finds a satellite where a famous opera singer once lived and now appears to be haunted.

Story 3.5/5. The story is interesting but so vague it's hard to follow. Katsuhiro Otomo in an interview indicated this was what he meant to do, so it isn't a matter of the viewer just not getting it.

Animation 5/5. The visuals could not be more breathtaking. The movement couldn't have been better done. From an artistic standpoint, this is a masterpiece.

Stink Bomb - 5/5


A man working at a research institute has a cold and accidentally takes an experimental drug that has disastrous effects. This is a dark comedy.

Story 4.5/5. The story is very straightforward, moves as a great pace, and has a twist ending (that you see coming from a mile).

Animation 5/5. The visuals really well done with great animation and great movement.

Cannon Fodder 3/5

A silent short about the day in the life of a village in the middle of a war that's been going on so long it's just become part of daily life.

Story 3/5. The story is supposed to be an anti-war film, but I doubt you would get that from watching it. Again, it's just a day-in-the-life-of story that is so vague you could attach numerous meanings to it.

Animation 4/5. The visuals are interesting in an experimental way, but nothing anyone would want to copy.

Overall


Memories is a 1995 anthology of three anime films based on short stories by Katsuhiro Otomo. There is no overall theme or other connection between the three. The animation is amazing in all three, especially the first two. The stories are another matter. Katsuhiro Otomo in an interview indicated he meant the stories to be vague, and they are. The second story is very linear and strong, but the twist ending is pretty predictable. I give this anthology 4 out of 5 Boxes of Popcorn.


   

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086G6FKRV/