The Conjuring (2013) Review

The-Conjuring-2013-Movie-TitleThere seems to be a general consensus amongst critics and moviegoers about the horror genre: it just isn’t what it used to be.  With maybe the exceptions of Sinister (2012) and Insidious (2010), nothing has really left a huge impression on audiences since the 1970s with genre classics such as The Exorcist (1973).  Saying that, for as good as Sinister and Insidious were, there was still something lacking in their formula that left me feeling dissatisfied with the end of both films.  So when I went to see The Conjuring (2013) the Friday that it came out, my expectations weren’t that high.

THE CONJURINGThe Conjuring follows story of the Perron’s, your typical working class family, who move into a new home in Rhode Island in 1971 and are terrorized by an evil entity.  In desperate need of help, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are contacted and uncover the houses dark history and agenda.

It’s your typical haunted house movie where the family moves in, the pet starts acting weird, the pet dies, things start to gradually escalate, someone might get possessed, throw an exorcism in there and BAM, you’ve got The Conjuring.  I’ve seen it a million times, it’s predictable, I know what’s probably going to happen!  But hey, I’m a sucker for a goodStill 6 from The Conjuring ghost story and The Conjuring, even though I knew what was going to be thrown at me at every turn, still caught me off guard and definitely left it’s impression on me (I slept with both legs underneath my blankets that night).

From acting to wardrobe, everything was ace in The Conjuring.  Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were excellent in their roles as investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston and the girls who played their daughters were believable in their role of the terrified family.

Since the film was set in the 1970s, there was a great authentic feel to it.  From wardrobe, props, even camera zooms, you can tell that The Conjuring definitely paid homage to the classic horrors from the 1970s.

And I have to say; the atmosphere in this movie was great!  It had some of the best buildups in a horror movie that I have ever experienced.  I felt very tense during the scenes that were called for, and even though in my head, I knew what was going to happen, I still jumped in my seat quite a few times (damn that ghost maid!).

There were few things that I didn’t like about the movie that are very miniscule.  I wasn’t a fan of the sappy romantic moments that Ed and Lorraine had, or the very brief flashback sequence of the family portrait at the beach that ultimately helps Carolyn Perron fight the demon inside of her.  But none of these things were overwhelming enough to sway my overall opinion of the film and probably just draw from my cynical attitude towards romance.

And even though a lot of people weren’t happy with the ending, I didn’t mind it!  We’ve become so accustomed to horror having endings in which the movie isn’t fully resolved like IMG_0278.dngthe characters thought it was that we expect all horror movies to now end with basically someone dying.  But I was glad that everything worked out for the Perron’s in the end.  I suppose that the exorcism at the end was rushed and not that climactic but I can live with that!  As for the very very end of the film, I enjoyed the nod that was given when Lorraine mentions “a house on Long Island” that they’ve been asked to look at.  If you haven’t been clued in, that house on Long Island was the infamous Amityville horror house.

And the closing scene with the music box toyed with the audiences’ feelings. It left me feeling tense and on edge… for what?  I’ll never know…


A breath of fresh air, The Conjuring proves to us that sometimes the most effective way to scare an audience is to keep the formula simple.

Review: Warm Bodies (2013)


The zombie genre has had a surge of popularity as of recently.  From The Walking Dead to the upcoming World War Z (2013), zombie’s seem to be everywhere in popular culture nowadays.

So in the midst of this flesh eating gore fest of a genre, we’ve got Warm Bodies (2013), based on the book by Isaac Marion, which takes a different kind of approach to the typical zombie film.

Warm-Bodies-r-warm-bodies-33683203-1200-825R (Nicholas Hoult) is an unusually introspective zombie who longs to feel human again. When he and a group of other zombies are feeding on a group of human’s who are scavenging for supplies, he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) and feels an urge to protect her, rather than attack and eat her flesh.  As their friendship develops, R starts to become more human.  Witnessing this change in him, the other zombies start to regain their humanity back as well. And together, humans and zombies must bridge the gap between them and protect each other from a mutual threat: the “Bonies”.

I never got to see Warm Bodies in theaters, but I’ve been wanting to see this for some time now, even though it kind of reminded me of a zombie version of Twilight when I saw some of the trailers for it.  However, it looked different, and I was curious.  There is a love story in this movie: R and Julie (Romeo and Juliet, anybody?).  However, it’s not the complete focus or theme of the film.  Warm Bodies is not a zombie version of Twilight because it possesses not only a better love story, but also a better plot in general, as well as better acting.

Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer are great.  They brought personality to their charactersWarmBodies and I loved watching them on screen- together and separately.  The rest of the cast does a good job on their part, but film mainly focuses on Hoult and Palmer.  I especially enjoyed Hoult because he brought life to a character that is a lifeless monster.  It was fun to watch.

I really enjoyed the tone in the film.  For a movie about the zombie apocalypse, it was quite humorous.  I mean, there were serious parts in the film where it was necessary, but they never lasted long enough to put a damper on the rest of the film.

But one of the most interesting things about Warm Bodies is that it is told from the point of view of a zombie, something that I’ve never seen done before.  R longs to feel human WARM BODIESagain: he wants to feel emotion, dream, and connect with the world around him.  He collects objects like vinyl records because it makes him feel more alive.  I found this whole concept so interesting because I felt myself relating to R, even though he’s a zombie and I’m a human.  But, like R, as humans, we want to connect with others; we all have emotions, dreams, goals, and conflicts; we all long for companionship.  I mean, I know on occasion I’ve used the phrase “I feel like a zombie” anytime I’ve ever felt disoriented or depressed or so stressed out about life that I would just shut down and stop thinking.  It kind of reminded me of the social commentary on consumer culture that George Romero made with Dawn of Dead (1978), minus the fact that there’s no emphasis on consumer culture in Warm Bodies.  The lesson that can be taken from the movie is that the only necessities that humans truly need to be happy aren’t materialistic ones.

Keep in mind though, even though I just went into analysis mode with this movie, Warm Bodies isn’t a masterpiece in any way whatsoever.  It’s more “date night” material, if you will and it doesn’t really offer a definitive reason for why the zombies start to become human again; but I would argue that we never really get a definitive answer for the origins of the zombie virus that infects humanity in zombie films either… Also, if you’re looking for horror and gore, this is not the movie for you: it’s not scary or gory at all.


In short, Warm Bodies is simply a pretty cool movie.  It’s entertaining, has good acting, a good plot, and is an interesting take on the zombie genre.

Trailer: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

A new trailer has been released for Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), the anticipated sequel to the creepy and atmospheric horror Insidious (2010).

I enjoyed the atmosphere and tone of the first movie and am curious to see what they do with the sequel, seeing as the end of the first film was quite dramatic and abrupt.

Insidious: Chapter 2 will be released in theaters Friday, September 13, 2013.

Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Great-Gatsby Movie

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald… Almost every high school in America includes this novel in their curriculum.  My high school did not do this book justice, and I recently re-read Gatsby and fell in love with it.  For as hopeless as it seems to end, The Great Gatsby is beautiful and rhythmic, built on symbolism and metaphor.  Everyone should read this book at least once in their life… seriously.

I’ve never seen any other film adaptation of the novel, however, I’ve heard that there are a few out there and that they suck (for lack of a better term).  So when I started seeing trailers for this version of Gatsby, I got really excited.  Then I started hearing some mixed reviews, which made me a little nervous about seeing it.  However, after having the weekend to really digest what I saw, I can say that even though it didn’t live up to the novel (no movie adaptation ever will, let’s be honest), I was content with what Baz Luhrmann presented us with.

the-great-gatsby-2013-movie-sceneThe Great Gatsby (2013) is narrated by Nick Carraway, a mid-Westerner who moves to New York City in order to pursue a career in stocks and bonds, even though what he really wants to do is write.  He moves into a small cottage in West Egg, across the river from his cousin Daisy Buchanan and her husband Tom, and next door to the mysterious Jay Gatsby.  As Nick gets pulled into the lavish lives of the rich and the shallow, he is also drawn to the mystery that surrounds Gatsby’s past and who he really is.

There were things about Luhrmann’s adaptation that I liked and disliked.

To start with, I wasn’t really a big fan of some of the music that was present in the film.  It was a cool concept that I thought would be interesting, however, at times it kind of took away from the whole Roaring ‘20s feel that the movie should have had.  However, the remixes of modern day music with a jazzy spin on them were kind of cool.

I also wasn’t a big fan of the narrative in the film.  After discussing this with my mom, I can understand how the narrative would have helped for some people who have never read the novel.  However, I wasn’t really buying into it.  I thought it was corny, mainly because of the dialogue between Nick and his doctor.  When it was just Nick and his typewriter with the voice over narration—that was when I enjoyed the narrative the most.

Now let’s talk about the visuals, because they’re kind of hard to ignore.  I really like them.  I liked all the attention to detail and how lavish and beautiful everything looked.  However, they were very overwhelming… and sometimes cartoonish, which put me off a little bit.

As far as acting went, nobody was terrible but nobody was outstanding either—with one exception.  This was Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie—he was a great Gatsby (do you seegreat-gatsby photo 3 what I did there?!).  The one qualm that I have with this movie is that they didn’t just let the actors act because the majority of the time, the visual aspects drowned everything out.  But DiCaprio really did capture the essence of Jay Gatsby, this harsh metaphor for the American Dream who’s stuck in the past.

This was a very respectful adaptation of the novel.  The Great Gatsby is a book with a  plot that revolves around metaphor and symbolism—the green light, the downfall of the American Dream, the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, time, etc.  I thought that the film was very reverent in portraying these things.  For example, in one scene where Gatsby, Nick, and Daisy are sitting in Nick’s living room, Gatsby accidentally knocks over a clock on the mantel and breaks it.  As he’s trying to repair it, he starts to beat it, but fails in repairing it.  Time is something that Gatsby wants to control, as portrayed in his famous quote: “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!” and in the end, he has no control over it and he doesn’t get to go back in time with Daisy Buchanan.  I don’t know if the scene was improvised or intentional.  I’d like to think it was intentional because I really enjoyed how subtle, yet how important to the outcome of the story it was.


Overall, I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby.  It wasn’t perfect, however, it’s far from terrible.  It was very respectful to the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  And hell, it’ll give the kids something interesting to watch in English classes all across America now!

Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)


I didn’t anticipate that it would take me this long to see Silver Linings Playbook (2012)!  I meant to see it when it was released in theaters, however, other things got in the way.  In the meantime, I had heard some good things about it, and some not so good things.  So when I finally watched this movie, I tried to clear all that out of my head so that I could form my own opinion… with only a little bit of bias I suppose.

246_SLP-09226[1]--621x414Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has just been released from a mental institution and moves back in with his parents (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver).  His goals include getting his old job back, reconciling and reconnecting with his ex-wife, and trying to find the “silver linings” in his life.  This proves tough, however, as he is also trying to deal with his bipolar disorder.  When he meets a girl named Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), they form a friendship that ends up helping one another in more ways than they imagined.

Fun fact about Silver Linings Playbook: if you ever wanted to know what my hometown of Upper Darby looked like, all you would have to do is watch this movie because it was filmed there!  I remember all the hype going on during the making of this movie, and how annoying it could get (thank you strange movie person for the directions, I had no idea how to maneuver around the town I’ve lived in my entire life).  However, it was really cool seeing some familiar places featured in the film like the Llanerch Diner, Prendie, and the Lansdowne Theater.


Back to the film… I didn’t really know what to expect from it.  It seemed like it was marketed as a rom-com but watching it, it definitely didn’t feel that way even with the romance factor present.  It was so much more than that.  The film is basically about people trying to deal with their mental illness, and life in general.  It’s crazy at times, as well as heartbreaking.  There was a bit of a cynical tone to the movie, which I appreciated because I can be quite a cynical person, however it was balanced out nicely with the positive message that is portrayed- there is always a silver lining, you just have to find it.  It may take time, but if you try to be positive and let go of all the negativity that life throws at you, you’ll be able to attain it.

silver-linings-playbook-review3Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were great in this film.  Cooper’s always been one of those actors who played that douche bag in that one movie, so it was nice seeing him take on a more serious role; and boy did he nail it!  Lawrence is one of Hollywood’s best young actresses at the moment and she does a fine job next to Cooper, which earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.  The supporting cast also does a great job and really helped tie the movie together.

If you go into Silver Linings Playbook with the idea that it’s some generic romantic comedy, then you’re dead wrong.  The film deals with mental illness, and real emotions that people go through, while reminding us that we’re all kind of “off our rockers” in some way.  It’s a film about seeing the positive in seemingly impossible situations.

Review: Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead Remake 020

So I went to the movies for the first time since before Christmas (I think) and saw Evil Dead (2013) with my little sister who just turned 16 today.  Let me first start by saying that this is, in fact, not the scariest movie I have ever seen.  However, it is by no accounts a terrible film.

I’ve never seen the original The Evil Dead (1981) series, so I don’t know how true to the original this was.  I’m still unsure of whether that’s a good thing or not while writing this review.  Does it make my opinion of this irrelevant if I haven’t seen the original series?  I hope not!  Regardless, here we go… (This review will contain some spoilers)

Evil-Dead-2013.-Book-of-the-Dead-1.1In order to help his sister, Mia (Jane Levy), go through drug withdrawal, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and three other friends (Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore) bring her to their family’s cabin out in the middle of the woods to help with her rehabilitation.  During their stay, they discover a gruesome scene in the basement: dead cats hanging from the ceiling of their basement along with an ominous bound book.  With curiosity getting the best of him, one of the inhabitants of the house opens the book and reads from it, releasing an evil that possesses Mia and starts to consume each of them until only one is left to make a stand.

First things first, this film is EXTREMELY gory.  If you’re into that stuff, then this film is probably for you!  If gore is not your cup of tea, then you probably shouldn’t see this film!  A lot of the effects that were done in this movie were done with prosthetics and even though the results are nasty, they’re really impressive!  The only time I recall CGI being used was in a scene at the beginning of the movie where a possessed girl is burned alive.


Jane Levy gave a stellar performance in this movie!  Her character was the only one that I can honestly say I really cared about, and I thought for sure that she was going to be the first to die.  I’m glad that she got to be the final girl.  She goes from being completely terrified to pure evil and it’s amazing to watch.  She also kicked ass in the final showdown.


Other than Mia being the final girl, I felt that the rest of the movie was pretty predictable, probably because we’ve heard “the cabin the woods” story so many times.  I jumped once and it was over something that wasn’t even scary (which was embarrassing).  Maybe I’vejanelevy1 just become accustomed to horror movies and their dynamics and that’s why I wasn’t particularly scared while watching this film (that’s highly unlikely).  However, just because I didn’t find it scary doesn’t mean other people won’t think it’s scary.  And a lot of people really enjoyed this film.

Evil Dead is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  Even though I’ve never seen the original series, I hope that, for the fans, this film did it justice.

Throwback Thursday! Review: Anastasia (1997)

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Once upon a time, in the distant past of 1997, I was a doe eyed little seven-year-old girl who believed in the romantic concepts of being a princess.  Obviously, I’ve done some growing up since then. However, if there’s one princess movie from my childhood that I will forever hold very close to my heart, it’s Anastasia.

anastasia--2Anastasia (1997) tells the story of Anya, an orphaned girl who has no memory of her past.  The only clue that she has is a necklace with the phrase “Together in Paris” engraved into it.  Upon leaving the orphanage, she seeks out a man named Dimitri to help her get out of St. Petersburg and to Paris so she can start her search into who she is.  However, Dimitri, having his own agenda, convinces Anya that she may be the lost Romanov princess, Anastasia, whose grandmother is now living in Paris and is searching for her.  But is it possible that Anya actually could be Anastasia Romanov?! (SUPRISING SPOILER ALERT THAT ISN’T SO SUPRISING AFTER ALL: She is.)


The film stars the voice talents of familiar names such as Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Angela Lansbury, and Hank Azaria and was directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman.

The film is loosely based on the story of the real life Romanov family who were killed during the rise of Soviet Russia.  I use the term “loosely” because, historically, this film is NOT accurate whatsoever.  But I don’t think historical accuracy was what the filmmakers had in mind when making Anastasia.  I will say this, however: after I dragged my dad to the movie theaters to see this back in 1997 (bless him), he showed me the real life story and actual pictures of the real Anastasia and the real Romanov family and the “mystery” that apparently surrounded the whereabouts of Anastasia Romanov and whether she was killed with her family or somehow survived.  In 2008, her remains were actually found, proving that she was executed along with the rest of her family.  Basically, I can trace back the start of my interest in history to this film.

The real Anastasia and the Romanov family.

The real Anastasia and the Romanov family.

anya6Watching this movie now, at the age of 22, I first want to say kudos to me for idolizing a character like Anya!  Compared to other animated female characters at the time (with some exceptions), she is a really strong, independent girl who doesn’t take any crap from anybody.  Even at the end of the film, in a situation that typically should result in the damsel in distress getting saved by the knight in shining armor, the tables turn and Anya is the one Picture 2who saves herself, as well as her knight (who is actually a con man…).  With that point being made, this is also the first film I remember seeing where the male character was not the quintessential “perfect hero”.  Dimitri’s actions at the beginning of the film are all geared toward helping himself.  He’s a con man who only wants money.  However, as you get further in the story and the situation, his intentions gradually change.  (More recently, you can see this with the character of Flynn Rider in Tangled).

I still really enjoy this movie.  Of course it has its flaws and there are some plot holes that can be filled if you suspend your disbelief (I mean, there’s a talking bat and an un-dead villain with flying green minions for crying out loud).  However, the film itself is fun and entertaining.

There’s a definitive charm to Anastasia that was able to captivate me when I was seven.  It’s still there today.

What were some of your favorite movies growing up?

Review: Argo (2012)


In 1979, Iranian revolutionaries took over the US Embassy and held 52 Americans hostage.  Six Americans managed to escape from the embassy and found refuge at the Canadian ambassador’s residence in Iran.  The CIA was then given the order to get them out of the country.


Enter Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) who comes up with the idea to create a fake sci-fi film, enters the country, and creates the illusion that he and the six American diplomats (posing as Canadians) are scouting locations for their movie.  The idea is crazy and extremely risky, and the film leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat, tense, and praying that everything works out in the end, only to have you sighing in relief once they are up in the air and officially out of Iranian territory.

I was extremely impressed with Ben Affleck.  He did a great job directing this film.  The story alone, the actual true story, is incredible, and I really enjoyed how the film turned out.  I could almost picture myself with them and feel how nervous, tense, and frightened the characters were.

argo-affleck-directI also really enjoyed Alan Arkin’s character.  In almost every scene that he was in, he got a few laughs out of me.  He was a good comic relief in an intense story.

The film had an authentic 70s feel to it, which I found to be a relief.  You see a lot of movies that are supposed to be set in the 60s or 70s etc. that fail to pull off the authenticity of the time period.  However, Argo pull it off quite nicely.

During the credits, they show pictures of the real people escaped from Iran alongside the actors that played them.  Not only was it interesting to see actual documented photographs from the event, it was interesting to see how they made the actors look almost identical to their real life counterpart.

So far, Argo has won two Golden Globes and is nominated for seven Academy Awards.  It’s been doing very well, as far as other awards go, and deservedly so.

It’s a great movie with a great story that keeps you tense from the beginning until the end.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Argo for winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards!

Review: Giant (1956)


Giant (1956) was an epic.  It was one of the most expensive movies that had been made at the time and had three big names to go along with it: Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.


The movie is like three hours long so I’ll spare you an in depth description.  It basically tells the story of Leslie (Taylor) and Jordan (Hudson) Benedict and the ups and downs of their life in Texas throughout the years as newlyweds, parents, and then grandparents.  James Dean plays Jett Rink, a ranch hand, who strikes oil and becomes one of the richest men in Texas.  He’s also in love with Leslie for the whole entire film.

This movie does deal with some deep issues, specifically racism.  A lot of the characters, mainly the ones that originate from Texas, harbor a lot of prejudice towards Mexicans.  The tension of the subject comes to a head when Jordan and Leslie’s son marries a Mexican woman.  The issue has a lot to do with Hudson’s character and the changes that he has to go through in order to swallow his pride and accept the inevitable changes that will happen in life.  It’s Elizabeth Taylor’s character, Leslie that brings everybody together, regardless of the color of their skin.

The make up in this movie was unique because they made young actors look like they were older.  I thought that they did a great job with the make up (let’s not forget that this movie is from 1956).  Was it unusual in movies to make young actors look older at this point in time?

lizgiant_james_dean4Rock Hudson gave a really strong performance as Jordan Benedict.  He definitely did rile me up the majority of the time.  I was torn between completely hating his character for the ridiculous things he would do and then praising him when he finally got things right.

Elizabeth Taylor, who was as beautiful as ever (seriously, I wish I looked like her), did a great job as well.  Leslie was a very strong character who endures a lot during the film (because her husband is too prideful and her kids are stressful and a man she doesn’t love is in love with her) and Taylor carries her all the way through.

Giant (1956) - tough texan

Jett Rink, however, is probably Dean’s finest performance.  This is a smaller role than his previous films East of Eden (1955) and Rebel Without A Cause (1955).  However, anytime he is on the screen, you cannot take your eyes off of him.  Jett is a man who starts with nothing, and ends up with everything… except for the thing he actually wants (which is Leslie).  He plays a broken man who turns to alcohol for comfort.  Even though he can have anything he wants, he is alone, rendering him forever unfulfilled.

Seeing his performance in Giant, it really makes me sad to know that we will never see another great performance from James Dean.  Who knows how much more he would’ve had to offer us!

However, his legacy remains in the three films that he left behind.

His is infinite.  He will never be forgotten.


Review: Rebel Without A Cause (1955)


Rebel Without A Cause (1955) was the first James Dean film that I had ever seen.  It’s also the movie that gave James Dean his status as an icon in popular culture.

Directed by Nicholas Ray, Rebel Without A Cause tells the story about three teenagers who come together after unfortunate circumstances and form their own version of a family to help cope with the troubles that they face with their own parents.  Jim Stark (James Dean) is the new kid in town who doesn’t want any trouble but seems to run into it everywhere he goes.  Judy (Natalie Wood) wants to have a relationship with her father like she did when she was little, however, her father can’t come to terms with the fact that she’s growing into a young woman.  Plato (Sal Mineo) has been abandoned by both of his parents and suffers from psychological problems due to his isolation and neglect.  The film plays out like a Greek tragedy, taking place all in one day with a dramatic ending.


The color red is very obviously prominent in this movie.  Other than Dean’s iconic red jacket, the color is seen scattered throughout the movie.  Judy is dressed all in red at the beginning of the movie.  Jim’s tie that he’s wearing at the police station is red.  One of the socks that Plato wears is red.  When you watch the film, keep an eye open for all the red.  Trust me when I say it’s not hard to miss.




The movie deals immensely with themes of isolation and alienation.  All three of these characters have been isolated or alienated in some way: for Jim, he feels alienated from his parents, as well as his peers; Judy feels alienated from her father; Plato feels alienated from his peers as well as literally being neglected by his parents.  His father is not a part of his life and his mother is always away, leaving him in the care of a nanny.  His lack of parental figures is reason enough for the fact that he latches onto Jim and Judy as father and mother figures, especially Jim, whom he quite obviously adores.

RWaC1The whole presentation in the planetarium about the inevitable destruction of the universe also enhances the themes, and enables us to relate to the characters and how they feel so small and alone in the world.

The three leads in the movie are terrific together.  Natalie Wood is great to watch and she delivers an excellent performance.  Sal Mineo is also great in his role, bringing a lot of emotion and heartbreak.  The two were nominated for Best Supporting Actor/Actress at the Academy Awards.

James Dean, however, is what makes this movie so memorable.  There is so much emotion in his performance as Jim Stark.  From the opening scene of the film until the very end, he does an amazing job of perfecting Jim Starks’s character.  His mannerisms and improvisations are still prevalent; they’re very small, like when he sticks a cigarette in his mouth upside down and Judy takes it out and places it back in the right way.  He improvised the whole opening scene of the movie.  He had great control of his body and the way he used it.  And, God, the scenes where he tells his parents off!

An eerie fact about this movie is that the three leads all died in very tragic and violent ways.  Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in 1976.  Natalie Wood drowned in 1981.  And James Dean was killed in a car accident in 1955.

Rebel Without A Cause is the movie that James Dean has been remembered for the most and it’s a shame that he didn’t live long enough to see how successful it became.  It is the movie that immortalized him as the rebel in the red jacket who defined a whole generation of misunderstood youth.