365 films, 365 days, a year of cinema.

Double Indemnity September 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 3:13 am


Day 28


So after a screwball comedy and a WW II film, Wilder moved away from both in 1944 to make the film-noir classic Double Indemnity.  When I chose Billy Wilder as my director to analyze this was one of the film’s that I was very excited to see.  I love film noir and Double Indemnity was one of the classics that established some of the standards for the noir films that followed.  Double Indemnity also was the first film that Wilder co-wrote without Charles Brackett, choosing instead to write with famous crime novelist Raymond Chandler.  This is important because this was one of the factors that led to the split between Wilder and Brackett, which is an important issue when analyzing his collective works.  This film also continues upon the work Wilder did in his first two films and it effectively combines the strong dialogue from The Major and the Minor with the shadowy lighting and harsh angles used in Five Graves to Cairo.  The result is a film that wasn’t the best film noir I’ve ever seen, but one whose visual and thematic techniques had an immense impact on the genre.

Double Indemnity revolves around the interactions between Walter Neff, an insurance salesman, Phyllis Dietrichson, the femme fatale who lures him into a plot to kill her husband, and Barton Keyes, the insurance claims manager investigating the mysterious death of Mr. Dietrichson.  However, the film is presented as a series of flashbacks, with first person narration from Neff.  This means that we know early in the film that Neff did in fact kill Dietrichson, and is going to get caught, but overall that matters less than the interactions between the main characters.  Double Indemnity isn’t a murder mystery, but an examination on guilt, greed, and manipulation.  This wasn’t the first film to use flashbacks to tell the story, but by giving away most of the ending early on the movie ensured that the interactions between the people involved in the act was more important than the end result.

It helps that Double Indemnity features excellent performances by all three leads (Fred MacMurray as Neff, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis, and Edward G. Robinson as Keyes).  Stanwyck’s performance is thought to have helped create the femme fatale trope and she is excellent at switching between conniving and innocent, while all the way plotting to come out on top.  Her and MacMurray work well together and their power struggle and moral choices keep the film and characters fresh even when the outcome is certain.  However, the star of the film is Robinson as Keyes.  He never fails to steal the scenes he is in, and the pseudo father/son/mentor relationship he has with Neff continuously provides emotional weight to the story.

Still where Double Indemnity shines is in the innovations that Wilder included.  He already showed an excellent grasp of dramatic lighting in his previous films, but he takes it to the next level here.  Throughout the film uses the shadows from windows and doors to create tension and the feeling of being watched.  For instance he constantly uses the shadows of Venetian blinds to this effect.  Take a look at the picture below.



Clearly if you look at Neff, positioned on the left side of the frame you can see the emphasis on shadows and light.  While this tactic does not provide anything substantial to the plot it ratchets up the tension of watching and being watched.  The whole film is about trying to commit the perfect crime, and this attention to avoiding being seen works well.  Wilder also continued to use excellent angles and shot lengths to show the lack or presence of trust between the main characters.  Ultimately this visual queues may not seem important, but they reinforce all of the film’s themes and the general mood.

It’s tough to compare Double Indemnity to either of Wilder’s previous works because they are so different, but I will say this film definitely had the best combination of story and visuals.  It is a well crafted film that engages from the first frame to the last.  It’s not my favorite film noir that I have seen, for example I think Hitchcok’s Shadow of a Doubt from 1943 is better, but it’s easy to see the influence it had on later movies in the genre.  It also is the beginning of a stretch of critically acclaimed films, from now to The Apartment in 1960, that mirrors the best of any other director.  With Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder began to hit his stride and it leaves me excited to see what is next.


Up Next: For Billy Wilder his next film is the Oscar winning tale of alcoholism, The Lost Weekend.  Overall, I continue with a classic Western featuring two of the genre’s best actors, John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


Black Narcissus

Filed under: Criterion Collection — welch742 @ 1:20 am


Day 27


If I had to wager a guess I would say that 100% of the people reading this sentence right now have never heard of the film Black Narcissus.  However, would your opinion of this unknown film change if I told you it was a movie in the esteemed Criterion Collection?  Some of you are probably still drawing a blank, but for those of you who know about the Criterion Collection I’m sure you know have a good idea of what type of film Black Narcissus is.  After all, after one glance through the list of titles in the Criterion Collection it becomes clear that most of them are what you would call “art films” or “critic’s picks”.  I would say that majority of Criterion films are foreign language classics, with other classic films and directors represented.  There aren’t many contemporary titles, and most directors are only recognizable to serious cinephiles or film studies majors.  However, that doesn’t tell the whole story of the Criterion Collection, which aims to take forgotten cinema classics and bring them back for a contemporary audience.  Not to mention the extensive restoration work they have done to bring films to Blu-Ray quality.  Yet, there still exists a serious stigma attached to films designated by Criterion, and many people feel like these films are not for mass consumption.  So every so often I will include a film from the Criterion Collection and outside of analyzing what I like about the film, I will also make a recommendation if it is a movie the common man could enjoy.

Black Narcissus was the first movie that I have ever seen from the famous British directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, more commonly known as “The Archers”.  I had heard that their specialty was the use of technicolor to provide lush sets and atmospheres for their films and in that regard Black Narcissus does not disappoint.  The film tells the story of a group of British nuns who attempt to start a convent high in the Himalayas, and their struggles with the environment, clashing cultures, and their own psyche.  It is a legitimately creepy film, and part of that comes from the unique way that “The Archers” choose to shoot the film.  It was released in 1947, in a time where special effects were non-existent, so to create the look of being in a Himalayan setting they used 2D matte painting and landscapes as the backgrounds.  For instance if you look at the picture in the header, all of the space behind and to the right of the convent is actually a blown up landscape painting.  This does create some awkward exterior shots, but overall the variations in depth and their ability to control color give the film a unique look.

In Black Narcissus color is the name of the game, and “The Archers” use the pure whites of the nun’s outfits, and the vibrant colors of both the backgrounds and local’s costumes to emphasize the disconnect between cultures.  It is clear from the very beginning of the film that the Sister’s are far out of their comfort level, and their struggle to adapt both mentally and culturally gives the film tension that slowly builds until it bubbles over.  The emphasis on color also allows Powell and Pressburger to utilize long shots and different angles to show the layers of interaction between the convent, the Sisters, and the local inhabitants.  These are intertwined with many close-ups of faces where we get a better idea of the real mental state of everyone involved.  The story may be slow, but Black Narcissus is always interesting visually which made it a much easier movie to digest than I expected.

So outside of Black Narcissus‘ technical achievements, how does it hold up to a modern audience?  As I mentioned before, the film’s plot is definitely slow, and it is clear “The Archers” emphasized visual appeal than creating a well thought out story.  That doesn’t mean the plot is boring, but it does have some very awkward sections that could’ve been left out.  Powell and Pressburger try to include a weird B-story involving a romance between a Prince and a sinful young woman who stays at the convent, but it feels like it was added to appease the studio.  “The Archers” never really had any commercial success and that plot line felt like their attempt to make the film more marketable.  However, the real meat of the story is the Sister’s struggles to adapt to their new home, and how it affects their psyche.  It actually does work decently well as a thriller near the end of the film, but it takes so long to get there I doubt the average viewer would want to stick it out.  However, I would recommend the film to anyone who loves the old-school look of technicolor or likes emotional dramas.  It also does feature some solid performances from Deborah Kerr as the head nun, David Farrar as the British caretaker of the convent, and Kathleen Byron as the creepy and sinister Sister Ruth.


Art Film, Mainstream Appeal, or In-Between: Black Narcissus ends up falling solidly in-between.  It certainly isn’t an art film, but even in its time it struggled to be mainstream.   However, it is from 1947 so a lot of that may come from the time it was produced.  I will leave you with a a haunting image of Kathleen Byron from the film, so even if you never watch the film it will at least affect your sleep.



Up Next: My look at Billy Wilder continues with the 1944 noir classic Double Indemnity.  It is considered one of Wilder’s best films, but will it live up to the hype?


The Wrestler

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 12:04 am


Day 26


Lost amid the plethora of formulaic sequels and blockbusters churned out by major studios every summer is the idea that film is an extremely personal medium.  It may not seem that way when you watch Ryan Reynolds sleep through his performance in The Green Lantern, but for most movies the paycheck is secondary to the personal satisfaction of putting your name on a quality piece of entertainment or art.    Most of the time this quest for personal gratification isn’t overtly noticeable when watching a film, but sometimes like in the case of The Wrestler, it is abundantly clear that a performance means more than just a paycheck or the chance for critical acclaim.

While The Wrestler features excellent direction by Darren Aronofsky and a great supporting performance from Marisa Tomei (as well as a mediocre one from Evan Rachel Wood), the star of the show is clearly Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.  Randy is a washed-up professional wrestler whose former championship glory has faded into a life of poverty, alcohol/drug use, and minor gigs wrestling for small crowds.  All he wants in the world is a chance for a comeback, a woman to love, and to reunite with his estranged daughter, but his self-destructive ways keep coming back to haunt him.  If this story sounds familiar, you may be aware that like the character he plays, Mickey Rourke’s career followed a similar trajectory.

He started with some small well-reviewed roles before becoming a sex symbol after starring in 9 1/2 WeeksSide Note: Sex Symbol you say?  While it may not be apparent now, there was a time before his boxing career where Mickey Rourke was a good-looking man.  Seriously take a look at Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks.  He looks nothing like his current self.  After 9 1/2 Weeks Rourke alternated between box office bombs and personal issues until in 1991 he retired from acting to resurrect his boxing career.  He only fought for three years, but the physical aspect took a toll on his looks and physique.  For the next 14 years Rourke struggled to regain his footing in the acting world, and outside of a well-received role in Sin City, Rourke mainly played bit parts in small-budget films.  The Wrestler was his opportunity to reclaim his position as a leading actor, and Rourke took full advantage.

In a way he is Randy “The Ram” Robinson, or at least he was Randy at one point.  Rourke’s lows may not have been quite as bad as Randy’s but he had periods of his life that were strongly affected by drugs and poverty, and it shows in the subtlety he brings to his character.  “The Ram” constantly gets in his own way and really only has himself to blame for his failures, but his quiet confidence and kindness keeps the character as someone who should be loved and not pitied or scolded for his actions.  In the end Randy as well as Rourke settle on doing what the love over anything else, and while The Wrestler’s ending makes it somewhat clear that Randy’s choice will end his life, for Rourke it was just the beginning of a career resurgence.  While Randy may have died when jumping off the turnstile (or not if you choose to believe it), the moment is the culmination of an amazing performance and the applause at the moment feels genuinely directed at Rourke and not just his character.

Sure not everything in The Wrestler worked, I especially didn’t care for the subplot involving Randy trying to reconcile with his estranged daughter, but it was refreshing to watch a film where the performances were filled with natural displays of emotion.  Aronofsky never tries to go over the top to create emotion and allows it to natural evolve from Rourke and the supporting cast’s performances.  Ultimately, Rourke didn’t win the Best Actor Oscar for this role, but I’m sure the hardware wouldn’t have meant as much as the validation Rourke received by being back doing what he loves.  America loves a good comeback story, and The Wrestler satisfies that criteria on multiple fronts.


Up Next: I get introduced to two of Britain’s greatest directors when I watch Black Narcissus.


The Princess and the Frog August 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 3:23 am


Day 25


In 2004 when Disney announced that they were doing away with their traditional hand-drawn animation style, I remember thinking that it was a good decision.  They had already acquired Pixar and it just seemed like 3D computer animation was the wave of the future.  So in 2009 when the Princess and the Frog came out I didn’t really give it much of a chance.  To me it seemed like Disney wanted to grab some of the nostalgia market by going back to hand drawn animation and by having its first ever black Disney princess.  It also didn’t help that early reviews said the movie was racially and culturally insensitive to residents of the Bayou.  However, I was graving some old school animation and sadly The Princess and the Frog is the cream of the crop for Netflix Instant Play so I took the plunge and gave it a shot.

Was it as bad as I thought it would be? No.  Was it a movie fitting of the great Disney hand-drawn tradition? Also no.  However, I think the problem I had with the film is that maybe I was holding it to too high of a standard.  After all, as humans we have very strong brand associations and maybe at this point my opinion on Disney films has been too skewed.  After all, films like Aladdin, The Lion King, Hercules, and The Emperor’s New Groove were what I grew up on.  No matter how objectively I try to watch all four of those movies, I will never be able to isolate their merit from the feeling I get from watching them.  In contrast, a re-watch of the The Little Mermaid reminded me why I never really liked it in the first place.  It’s hard to describe, but in terms of how I feel about Disney films they just have to have “it”.  I know that makes me sound like a Hollywood talent agent, but it’s true.  I never knew if it was the songs, voice talent, or story, but some films just got to me on an emotional level when I was kid and I still can’t explain why.  Currently, I can even point out a lot of their serious flaws, but in the end I always overlook them.

The Princess and the Frog isn’t even a  bad film.  It has some good songs and interesting characters, especially Dr. Facilier the New Orleans’ voodoo priestess.  The film even moves into some darker territory that might have scared the seven year olds who saw the film, but appealed to my sentiments.  However, after finishing the movie I just wasn’t satisfied.  At first I though it was the hammered home theme of hard work and dedication leading to a better life, but as hours passed I respected how it fit into the main storyline.  Then I thought maybe it was the biased perspective I had on the film’s portrayal of New Orleans culture, but in reality The Princess and the Frog is a kid’s movie.  They usually present a narrow worldview that is easier for kids to digest and understand.  Nowadays people require the mature subtlety that Pixar provides in their animated films, but sometimes we have to settle for a film made mainly for children.  In the end, the conclusion I came to is that The Princess and the Frog just didn’t have “it”.

I know that is a very unscientific way to go about evaluating a film, but why can’t we use it.  After all film reviews are personal and opinionated to begin with, so who cares if you can’t put your reasons into words.  The nice thing about film is that it can reach anyone on an emotional or intellectual level for whatever reasons they choose.  It may be for the artistic quality of the aesthetics, the emotional weight of the story, or any other of the infinite responses humans have.  Kid’s movies are no different, even though the may lack the mature subject matter some people like.  Whether they move us to feel like we are eight again, or if they appeal to our adult tastes, children’s films are held to the same evaluative standard as other other movies.  Whether we can define our feelings or not, in the simplest terms, they either have “it” or they don’t.


Up Next: I witness the comeback of Mickey Rourke in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.


Brick August 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 7:44 am


Day 24


Sometimes lost in the shuffle of attempting to analyze a film’s cinematography, score, editing and all that other fun stuff that make up movies, is that at their heart they are meant for entertainment.  The use of the word film makes an attempt to elevate them to the status of art, and while a lot of the films I have seen so far fall into the category of film as art (Brick included), it’s still an awesome experience to watch a film that takes you on a wild emotional ride for two hours and that when it ends you wish you could linger in the story world for just a little bit longer.  Brick, a 2005 hardboiled detective story set in a high school, may not seem like the most likely candidate to be a “fun” film.  However, after finishing the film I couldn’t get away from the fact that I had so much fun watching it.  Yes, its story revolves around a murder, drug deals, and all sorts of deception, but Brick is so much more than its plot.  It has a unique style that is extremely well executed, and features great performances from relative unknowns, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt before he became a star.  However, more than that Brick  has a way of pulling you into the world it has created.

This is important, because on paper, Brick‘s concept is slightly odd.  It is a neo noir murder mystery filled with 1940s detective speak, but it also takes place at a high school.  I know America’s school system is floundering a bit, but most suburbs don’t have murders, serious heroin dealers or the type of freedom that these kids get away with.  Parents are virtually nonexistent, fights are commonplace, and as far as I could tell class attendance was optional, but I never thought twice about these issues because Brick sucks you into the story before you have time to doubt its validity.  Everything that happens is serious and the high school setting isn’t meant to be tongue and cheek.  This isn’t a commentary on what faces the modern high school student.  In fact the school portion of the film doesn’t really matter at all, its all about emotion.  After all, the noir crime novels and films are all about heightened emotions and the ability to keep your cool.  The detectives in novels like The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man had to navigate seedy underworlds all while acting like a chameleon.  They had to fit in everywhere and do their best to mask their emotions.  The books even had a signature dialogue style that separated that haves from the have-nots, and was unintelligible from the outside.  If you think about it those qualities sound a lot like what happens in high school.  People form cliques, slang varies widely, and the never ending quest to be cool requires you to fit in with the crowd, while keeping your own hormonal mood swings in check.  The two are a perfect fit, and its amazing to see the tropes and characters that Brick fits into the high school theme.

On top of the excellent noir elements, Brick is well acted, well paced, and well shot.  Despite its low budget it was shot on 35mm film, not digital, and its makes a big difference giving the film that subtle filter that actual film cameras provide.  Rian Johnson, the director, also shot the film with lots of non-facial close-ups and with dark, but vibrant colors helping to accentuate the ambiguity of motive in all the characters.  It’s really hard to believe the film was shot for only $450,000 in twenty days because the quality is excellent.

I know I have already said it a bunch of times, but I loved Brick.  It is a must see for any film noir fanatic, but is worth watching for everyone who enjoys a great story.  It may not be a happy movie per say, but it is a very enjoyable movie experience.  I feel like it’s a rarity nowadays that a movie successfully creates a vivid diegetic space that has as much nuance and emotion as Brick does.  This may be cliche, but from the first frame to the closing credits I was completely entertained, and even though Brick has far more to offer than just entertainment, it was nice to watch a movie for the reason they were originally intended for.


Up Next: Disney heads down to the Bayou, and I tag along with The Princess and the Frog.



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Filed under: In Theaters — welch742 @ 6:39 am


Day 23


After ten years of books and ten years of films, fourteen years in total, the series that has touched billions of lives finally comes to a close.  I’m sure this is a sad day for all involved, but just remember that in 40 years or so someone will probably remake the films or make a miniseries out of them.  Seriously though, I don’t know if there has been a movie that has had this much hype since The Phantom Menace came out, and I will admit it is difficult to isolate the film from my own personal feelings about the book and film series.  If you have talked to me for any period of time about the HP films, you will know that my one word feeling on them is disappointment, and while Deathly Hallows Part 2 is one of the better movies in the series, it still has the same problems as many of the other films of the series.

However, before I get to what i didn’t like about the film, I thought i would start off positive and say that Deathly Hallows Part 2 was one of the best shot films in the series by far.  The mood of the film is dark and that is well complimented by the blacks and grays emphasized throughout the film.  Even the scenes that don’t take place have a noticeable lack of color that feels appropriate and helps to keep the tension throughout.  There aren’t many scenes in the film that don’t seek to push us towards its conclusion, but the few shots of the military like discipline and structure at Snape’s Hogwarts were awesome.  The sound of the marching coupled with the varying shades of black were a great combo and I applaud David Yates for finally discovering how to shot effective scenes in darkness (The Cave scene in Half-Blood Prince was very poorly lit).  Also this film is the shortest in the series, which keeps the plot progressing and the suspense heavy.  After all, by this part of the series the characters and settings are (or at least should be) already well-developed so we don’t need much filler.

Still, after leaving the theater I had the same empty feeling that lingered after watching most of the others in the series.  Outside of Prisoner of Azkaban the films just weren’t able to capture the magic (figuratively) that the books had.  They had amazing sets, Hogwarts was unbelievable throughout, and great actors but when push came to shove the big scenes just felt hollow.  In particular the final battle between Harry and Voldemort was very anticlimactic.  Seriously they had float away like burning paper. Really?!?  They almost salvaged it with a very nice scene between Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the bridge, but then just like the book they through in that awful epilogue.  It didn’t work in the book and was even worse here due to the terribly inconsistent aging make-up.  The film and series ends up being about the friendship of the three main characters above all else, and the touching sequence between the three after all was finished would’ve made the perfect ending to the series that was terribly uneven.

I can forgive Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets for being merely good due to the age of the main actor’s and the fact that they were more of children’s books in the first place.  Also the director had a lot of plot and background to fit into those films so it was inevitable that they would not feel as rich as the books.  However, after a perfect director switch to Alfonso Cuaron, Prisoner of Azkaban, finally found that blend of plot and style to make the book come to life.  That film is full of life from beginning to end, and gave a great blueprint on how to keep the series going strong.  However, the next four films fell back into being almost entirely plot advancement (Book 4 and 5 are long so I understand), but to me the series never had any more sequences where the feeling was the same as reading the book.  Sure I enjoyed them, but they just didn’t have the heart that I expected.  I’m sure to most of you this must seem like nitpicking, but all I wanted from the Harry Potter movies was to be transformed back to how I felt when I stayed up all night to finish the latest book.  It should have been easy, after all film is a more expressive art form, but instead I was treated to the words of the book in movie form, but with none of the emotion.

So in conclusion, I provide my ranking of the eight films in the Harry Potter series.  I enjoyed all of them, but was very rarely satisfied.

Best: Prisoner of Azkaban

2nd: Deathly Hallows: Part 2

3A: Goblet of Fire

3B: Order of the Phoenix

5th: Chamber of Secrets

6th: Deathly Hallows: Part 1

7th: Sorcerer’s Stone

8th: Half Blood Prince


Score: 7/10


Up Next: Film Noir meets High School in the 2005 film Brick.


Bob Roberts

Filed under: Uncategorized — welch742 @ 5:59 am


Day 22


Before I make my peace about Bob Roberts, the folk singing conservative Senate candidate from Pennsylvania that is the subject of Tim Robbins 1992 mockumentary of the same name I feel it is appropriate that you take a look at one of his political ditties.   These two are called “Bleeding Heart” and ” Complain”.



I’m sure even if you didn’t get through all 4 minutes of the clip you can already see the problem with taking an objective look at Bob Roberts.  Tim Robbins, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, is a well known liberal and it is very clear that he is taking a serious potshot at what he thinks the biases of the conservative ideology are.  Bob Roberts is a fairly over the top caricature of the idea of a grassroots, populist republican and it’s hard not to let your particular political leanings affect how you see the film as a whole.  The whole conspiracy with the fake shooting that fake paralyzes Bob at the end of the film, and its subsequent cover-up is way over the top, and forces the film to a awkward and unsatisfying conclusion, but in the hour or so before it Bob Roberts works as an excellent look at campaigning, the media, and cult of personality.

The funny thing after watching the film is that outside of its specific political messages the film is actually pretty prophetic about how election coverage has changed, and the idea of a politician as celebrity.  To fill you in completely, Bob Roberts is a popular conservative folk singer who toured the country and sold millions of albums and used his popularity and money from shady business dealings to make a run for a Senate seat.  While at first it seems far-fetched, celebrities and politics have been becoming more intertwined and acceptable since Reagan became President in the 1980s.  We’ve had comedians (Al Franken), wrestlers (Jesse Ventura), actors (Arnold Schwarzenegger), football players (Jack Kemp, Heath Shuler, Byron “Whizzer” White), and Sarah Palin even has her own TV show.  After all people we are familiar with and like are people that we feel we can trust, and if we can trust Alec Baldwin to make us laugh, why wouldn’t we trust him to represent us in the Senate.  Obviously that statement isn’t completely true, but name recognition is important nowadays, and everyone running for office has to gain name recognition before they can win office.  While the hope is that they will do this through creating effective policy and being a faithful public servant, it’s far easier to do an interview in Esquire or make appearances on national news outlets.  As the news cycle becomes even more instantaneous, all facets of the public are under the microscope.  That is why Michele Bachmann is just as likely to trend on twitter as Kim Kardashian.

This point also brings me to the other aspect of the story that I found very relevant to today.  In the film Roberts is constantly berated by an underground reporter (Giancarlo Esposito) trying to uncover hidden drug crimes in Robert’s charity Broken Dove.  While in 1992 this kind of underground reporter would have difficulty getting his story out there and picked up by national news, the advent of the internet has given an outlet for anyone to make headlines.  All it takes is a post on a blog to be picked up by more and more sites until it could hit the front page on major news outlets.  In the film Espositio’s character actually has evidence for his claims and his story is picked up by local news outlets, but today even unsubstantiated claims can reach the masses and have serious negative effects.  Obviously the increase in media outlets means that we should not believe we read, but not everyone adheres to this rule.  This kind of negative campaigning isn’t present throughout most of bob Roberts, but it’s clear Robbins could foresee a future where there is a disconnect between traditional media and underground media competing to get their varying voices heard.  The only difference now is that it is far easier to make your voice heard.

This combination of increased news presence and celebrity for politicians leads to the type of fanaticism we now see during elections, and is a big part of Bob Roberts.  The film is full of adoring fans, screaming crowds, protesters, and the random public appearances that have become common place today.  To get the full effect you have to watch the movie, but outside of Robert’s over-the-top conservatism, it is an interesting look at the modern election cycle.  It may seem a little dated at first, however give it a chance to warm up and it is a funny and interesting take on the political cycle.


Up Next: IT ENDS!!!  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.