Monthly Archives: July 2020

52 Before 62 — #51 The 7thVoyage of Sinbad (1958)

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958 poster).jpegDirected by Nathan Juran

Screenplay by

Starring Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, and Torin Thatcher

This is fact: all special effects will eventually look like shit.  No matter how good they appear in the moment to audiences of the time, or how cutting edge they may have been, they will all come to look janky, threadbare, and horribly laughable.  The only unknown is the amount of time it takes, and the size of the laugh they get.  For The Scorpion King, that turn happened instantly, literally the moment the images left the computer.  For 2001: A Space Odyssey and Zodiac, it hasn’t happened yet.[1]  And maybe in that juxtaposition we can learn a valuable truth: the best VFX are those that don’t reach beyond their capabilities,[2] while the worst try to live out there just beyond the cutting edge. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

52 Before 62 — #50 Little Caesar (1931)

Little Caesar (1931 film poster - Style A).jpgDirected by Mervyn Leroy

Screenplay by  Francis Edward Faragoh and Robert N. Lee, based upon the novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett

Starring Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Rico (Edward G. Robinson) is a criminal with ambition.  Too bad he’s small-timing it out in the sticks, making ends meet robbing gas stations with his partner, Joe (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.).   But a man with his ambition won’t be small-time for long and within the space of the transition from one scene to another, Rico is joining one of the top criminal outfits in Chicago.  His partner Joe comes to the city too, but he puts aside his criminal dreams for dancing shoes.[1]  Because he’s ambitious, and ruthless, Rico rises quickly through the organization, eventually installing himself as boss.  Unfortunately, to rise that quickly you have to step on a lot of toes, which doesn’t end well for the man doing the stepping.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 52 Before 62