films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


The Big Parade

1925 / 151m - USA
Romance, War
The Big Parade poster

An early war epic. Fans of war cinema (and silents) will find a real treat here, as The Big Parade is a blueprint of many a famous war film that followed in its wake. It's certainly overlong, but the build-up is meticulous and the scenes in the trenches bring the usual mix of boredom and terror.

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When World War I commences, the young and eager James joins the army. He is shipped off to France, where he spends his first days in a peaceful village. There he meets Melisande, a lovely young woman. They hit it off, but then his regiment is ordered to fight in the trenches and he has to leave Melisande behind.

I'm not really a big fan of these war epics, but I was surprised to see so many familiar elements in such an old film, executed properly too. The usual gore and massive battles aren't here, of course, the scale is a lot smaller, but the structure and themes are very recognizable. It's a shame the film is so long, otherwise, I might've liked it better.

The Crowd

1928 / 98m - USA
Drama, Romance
The Crowd poster

Classic melodrama that felt extremely rudimentary. The kind of film that prompts me to visit Wikipedia right after watching it, curious to find out whether it holds some kind of historic value. I find it hard to come up with a reason why else this film might have survived as one of the ultimate classics of the 20s.

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John Simms is a regular Joe who grows up somewhat protected from the real world. His father hopes/believes John will end up a big deal. When he marries his sweetheart life seems rosy, but after they've moved to the big city (New York in this case) John finds out he's just one of many.

Performances are extremely basic, so is the drama. Everything is spelled out to the extreme, emotions are broad and unsubtle, the dramatic turn of events are predictable to a fault. It's a film that merely goes through the motions. It may have been one of the first to do so, but its motions were never very attractive to begin with. Poor.

Duel in the Sun poster

Another generic Western, one that isn't even all that liked by core Western fans. But it did gather some critical acclaim and it appears that that is something pretty tough to get rid of. And so here we are, almost 80 years after its original release. The only conclusion I have is that films like this aren't going to make me like the genre any better.

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Pearl moves to her aunt's ranch in Texas after her father kills her mother and the man she cheated with. There she meets two brothers, very different fellas who both fall in love with Pearl. She has a hard time deciding between the two of them, but then faith forces her to make a decision.

The performances are terrible, the dialogues are so bad they're almost funny (and that's coming from someone who rarely cares about dialogues. The setting isn't for me either, and the runtime is excessive. There's really nothing at all I liked, apart from the fact that I was able to skip the overture.