The Golden Age of Movies

In terms of story, plot and character development, I think this movie actually gives more, then the other two. This flick isn’t nearly as iconic as the others, but it gives more than mere images, it gives other movies that borrow from it heart.

Originally I thought I would write up a review for each movie. This task, as daunting as it would have been, would lose a major point behind what I wanted to look at. Namely it would have been a review and less about the movies themselves. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Reviews are designed to give you a brief outline of what occurs in the movie and an opinion of the actual film. How was it? Was it worth your time? All valid concerns for a review, but not exactly what I wanted to actually focus on, besides, if you haven’t seen the movie(s), I don’t want to be the one to ruin it. Instead, I intend to look at the movies themselves and the culture that surrounds them. Maybe even how they still function in an era of CGI this, and HD or 3D that. Do these movies, which defined Hollywood, enter the thoughts of the movie going populace? What makes them stand out? What makes them classics? Heck, am I the only one still interested in even watching these oldies?

Casablanca (1942)

This is the movie that actually started me on the path to answer the question, “What makes it stand out?” In fact, the movie didn’t even answer that question. It actually poses more questions, like why are movies like this no longer being made? I think that question could actually be answered by saying, “Because there is no one in Hollywood today, like Humphrey Bogart.” If I’m wrong, then I’d be interested to see who you think is. This actor oozes calm and cynicism in almost every line, and that’s just the first few minutes of screen time. Ingrid Bergman who also stars in the movie does a wonderful job playing opposite Bogart’s charm. The chemistry is solid between the two, and eventually their past history is told, than later resolved. To me what makes this movie a classic is the tale it weaves. Set in an exotic location, during one of the worlds darker periods, telling us there are still people that do what’s right. Ok, so maybe there’s more to it than that. The movie itself is beautiful, even in all its monochrome glory. The dialog is wonderful and the events believable. Let’s not forget, it also has one of the greatest lines in the history of cinema: “Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.”

What, were you expecting something else?  I’m just messing with you. Actually, the movie is full of memorable quotes. It’s a testament the writing style that really has gotten lost through the ages. They wrote then, how they talked at that time. World War 2 was still going on when this movie was being made. Period movies today, to me, seem less… credible, because they lack this authenticity.

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Chapter 2 – Reflections of Nightmares

“Hon’shu!” He heard his commander’s voice yell over the roar of battle. “Get those Orcs BACK! NOW!”

“Hon’shu!” He heard his commander’s voice yell over the roar of battle. “Get those Orcs BACK! NOW!”

His commander was a stout, ruddy man with scars up and down his arms and across his face. His eyes blazed with fury and focused hatred.

Hon’shu’s sword sang its song of death as it darted in out and out of the greenish horde. A blur of steel, followed by the spray of blood showered his senses. The red liquid that dripped down his face narrowed his vision. Fear kept him moving during those few weeks.

“Argh!” He heard his commander yell, a spear had penetrated his breastplate, just below the ribcage. The monster that had attacked him did not live long enough though to see if his attack had done the commander in.

“Sir!” Hon’shu remembered yelling, just before his commanders head was lobbed off by a skeletal warrior.

They were hopelessly outnumbered. They always were. The more they killed, the more were raised the next day to fight in place of the fallen. Bodies were piled up in great pyres in front of the keep and burned in attempt the stem the tide of undead monsters that could be raised the next day. The foul, rancid stench of burning flesh could never be washed from his skin and hair. He began to shave his head in attempt to keep some of the smell from lingering. But it was no use. It is sweet, pungent odor had sunk into his nose and embedded itself in memory.

He blinked and cleared the vision from his eyes. The fireplace once again appeared before him and he took a deep drink from his glass before refilling it.

After those first weeks, he learned not to care as much. There was no room for compassion. He had to continue among the chaos of battle despite the open wounds in his soul. Nothing in all his training had prepared him for what he had seen at Fort Point. He executed each battle more and more efficiently and soon fewer and fewer people close to him died at the hands of the Fire Isle Mages and the horde of Orcs.

Years before. Before his time in the Swords of Justice, he knew the Mages had successfully invaded and conquered Xecu’tran, far to the north of Xonthian City. During the first years of war, the vile Mages occupied a small island south west of Xecu’tran where they pushed north east to occupy a small uninhabited section west of Cettera where they then launched an assault on the capitol city. The strength they had exerted to invade the northern continentcould have been Xonthians downfall, but they were spared the same fate.

The Clerics of Gate’har had agreed to assist in the war efforts after that. With their help, Xonthian was able to keep the Fire Isle Mages from pushing further then Fort Point and the Wall of Ages.

Because he was well learned in history and studied past battles as a morbid hobby as a child, he was well adverse in large scale strategy. He knew the importance of holding the pass at all cost. He and his men did so, with a growing amount of sacrifice that overshadowed the entire war from that point on.

Hon’shu swung back the liquid in his glass, his gaze falling to the fire, it’s tendrils of flame danced seductively in its stone prison, begging to be let lose. He filled his glass and took another long swig of his whiskey. Hissing between his teeth as the warmth stung his throat.