films seen
average score
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The Thief of Bagdad

1924 / 155m - USA
Adventure, Fantasy
The Thief of Bagdad poster

A classic epic. It's quite long for a silent film, and there are some segments that could've used a bit of editing, but the lush sets and fun fantasy elements make sure it never becomes too big of a slog. It's not quite up there with its German counterparts, but it was better than I'd expected it to be.

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The film is a loose adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights (think Aladdin) and tells the story of Ahmed, a lowly thief who falls in love with the daughter of the ruler of the city. When three princes arrive to ask for her hand, Ahmed disguises himself as a rich nobleman and joins the challenge.

The start of the film is a little rough, and it takes a while before the story gets interesting, but the decent performances, moody cinematography and grand sets managed to hold my attention. There's still about 45 minutes of cruft that probably shouldn't be there, other than that it's a pretty worthy classic.

White Heat

1949 / 114m - USA
Crime, Thriller
White Heat poster

The Regeneration

1915 / 72m - USA
The Regeneration poster

One of the earliest gangster films. I will say that genres had smaller impacts back in the days of silent cinema. It's more about the narratives and characters than it is about typical cinematic elements, which makes it less interesting. But Walsh's film has something to offer for fans of crime cinema.

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Owen Conway is orphaned at a young age and can't escape the world of crime. He finds a home with his neighbors for a short while, but ends up on the streets, and leads a street gang by the age of 25. But then he meets Marie, falls in love, and wants to leave his life of crime behind.

There are some decent action scenes and the cinematography has its moments. The plot is very basic though and the characters are extremely one-dimensional. Luckily the film is pretty short and the pacing is solid, so it never gets too boring, but don't expect the world from this film.

High Sierra

1941 / 100m - USA
Crime, Thriller
High Sierra poster

A classic crime flick with Humphrey Bogart in the lead. The entire film is practically built around Bogart, so it really comes down to how much you can stand him. I don't think he's a very enigmatic actor, put him in a bare genre film like High Sierra and there's not much to look forward to.

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Bogart plays Roy, a criminal just released from prison. He gets right back into the business, this time hooking up with Red and Babe, two younger criminals. Roy also meets Velma, a young girl he falls in love with. When the robbery goes bust, Roy and Velma have to run away together, as the police are right on their heels.

There's a lot of dialogue here, most of it isn't interesting at all. The premise is very simple, the performances are rather one-note and the few action scenes aren't very convincing either. I guess films like these are way more fun if you're a hardened film noir fan, personally I find them pretty dull and forgettable.