The Black Imp (1905)

Synopsis:

A man rents a room and is pestered to insanity by an imp.

That's right, chairs coming out the wazoo.

Impressions:

This one reminded me alot of The House of the Devil (1986). Silly and very entertaining. Gotta love the disappearing and reappearing furniture. If I was some sort of spooky spectre, these are exactly the kind of prank I would play.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/gfodgfvbewI width=”550″ height=”433″]

The Impossible Voyage (1904)

Looks like a painting doesn't it? Notice the colored by hand film!

Synopsis:

A man convinces a group of people to go on his scenic tour.

Impressions:

This movie was pretty awesome. Remember A Trip to the Moon? This movie pretty much echoes the same amount of awesomeness. As a matter of fact, this could almost be a sequel with such similar storylines. From what I could find on IMDB they both had the same director, Georges Méliès. Almost seemed like a rehash but I still enjoyed this one. I didn’t mention this is my other review but I really loved the backdrops used in A Trip to the Moon. Having said that this one has at least twice as many great backdrops. I especially noticed the amount of detail and contrast during the train station scene. I’m sure for the type of film they were using it helped having a very high contrast to make objects discernable.

See the column of smoke on the right? That's the train cruisin' for a brui... er burning

Also it seems this entire film was colored(I’m assuming by hand frame-by-frame).  That alone increases its awesome level by 200%. Oh but that’s not all, remember the awesome bullet in the moon’s eye? Forget that, this time the SUN swallows a train! I’ll try to not give too much away but holy cow I love this flick. Oh and by the way most of these youtube videos have music overlays. I try to mute them since I wan’t to watch true “silent” films. Almost seems cheap to me to slap on a soundtrack when its not part of the original experience.


Bluebeard (1901)

Synopsis:
An older man (bluebeard) tries to court several women but is refused several times. After bribing another gentleman with money he marries the gentleman’s daughter. Bluebeard tells his new bride she can explore his whole home except for one room. Curiosity beats the new brides will to listen to her husband and she enters the forbidden chamber while bluebeard is away. He finds out on his return and tries to kill her in his fury.

Impressions:
I’m quite surprised at how good these old silent films are. More great body language to tell the story and convey emotions. I give this one a high recommendation. By far, my favorite scene is when bluebeard is pinned at the end.

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

Synopsis:
A train is robbed by four bandits. They are chased and gunned down by the law while they are counting their loot.

Impressions:
Nice short western action. For being silent you can really tell what’s going on by the body language. The robbers seemed to have their robbery carefully planned out so it left me wondering how they were caught in the end. I guess the good guys always win.

Alice in Wonderland (1903)

Synopsis:

A girl falls asleep and has one crazy dream.

Impressions:

Anyone else find it funny that alice is give a 'hand' to a deck of cards.

Major props to the restoration crew that worked on this film. Can still see damage but being someone familiar with photo restoration I can only imagine how painstaking it would have been to fix a film frame-by-frame. After seeing A Trip to the Moon (1902). I was a bit dissapointed in watching this one. I blame the fact that I saw the Walt Disney version first (past movie experiences always influence my like-ability).

Interesting visual affect happening here though (superimposing a cat on a bush). It may not seem like much today but I really wonder how they would have accomplished something like that back in the day. Take a watch yourself I’ve embeded the youtube video below:

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Synopsis:

From what I can tell: A wizard convinces his colleagues to make a trip to the moon where they run into monsters, forcing them to flee back to earth.

Impressions:

I hope they have earplugs for the massive amounts of gunpowder they will need to get that far.

Best movie ever, who cares if there’s no sound! In what other movie can you see the moon take a bullet right in the eye? Seriously though this movie is awesome.

The plot does start off kind of slow. In the beginning the wizard (I only say this because they all wear pointy hats in the beginning) is convincing his colleague to build a rocket (technically a bullet?) to go to the moon. They eventually agree after a heated argument (hands flailing in air) and begin construction of their rocket/bullet which is most of the movie. After the rocket/bullet is complete a handful of old men climb inside.

No wonder we never see the Moon's face anymore. Taking a bullet to the eye would make me more cautious too.

This is where the action starts. The moon takes the rocket/bullet right in the eye. The old guys climb out and and decide to sleep right where they landed which turns out to be a bad idea because it starts to snow(?). They all wake up and wander into a cave full of some mysterious mushrooms. After trying to climb to the exit the wizard (protagonist) plants his umbrella in the ground which suddenly turns into a growing mushroom after which an acrobatic moon person comes and attacks them. After some silly yet entertaining feats of flexibility by the moon person the protagonist bashes him into a puff of smoke with another umbrella. That summons even more moon people which the protagonist of course beats with his umbrella too but after becoming captured they are taken to the king of moon people. The wizard just flips out and treats the king like a ragdoll turning him into a puff of smoke also. In the confusion they run back to their bullet rocket. From there they fall back to Earth safely and the movie ends.

Very very entertaining/action packed.


The House of the Devil (1986)

Synopsis:

From what I guess: A Devil(villian) and his minion summon a princess(young lady) from a cauldron. A prince(young man) comes looking for the young lady with a scared peasant to the haunted house. The peasant runs away leaving the young man to deal with strange apparitions summoned by the villian. In the end the young man uses a wooden cross to drive away the villian.

Impressions:

What can I say short but pretty funny. The part with the disappearing bench was classically awesome. Got a nice laugh out of it.