movie reviews

Excess Baggage (1997)

Running time: 101 min      Rated: PG-13

Excess Baggage was released 20 years ago…

excess baggage

To get her father’s attention, a spoiled rich teenager, Emily (Alicia Silverstone), fakes her own kidnapping.  While she is hiding out in the trunk of her car, Vincent (Bencio Del Toro), a car thief steals her car and inadvertently becomes a kidnapper. There are sparks between them and they form a bond as they spend more time together.  In the meanwhile her father has sent his associate,  “Uncle Ray” (Christopher Walken) to retrieve Emily.

I saw this movies as a teenager. I definitely wanted to have Alicia Silverstone’s outfit, which I thought was very cool.  The soundtrack is enjoyable and features the song “All Mixed Up” by Red House Painters . Benicio Del Toro gives a very sweet performance as Vincent. Alica Silverstone is very cute and was extremely popular at the time of this film, due to her movie Clueless (1996).

The whole poor little rich girl thing is a bit of cliché. Excess Baggage is not exactly a cinematic classic, but it is  very entertaining and a easy watch.

Director: Marco Brambilla
Writer:  Max. D Adams (story & screenplay), Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais.
Cast also includes:  Harry Connick Jr., Jack Thompson, Nicholas Turturro.

*A film with a similar premise, A Life Less Ordinary was released also released in 1997. Look out for my review and my comparison of the two films.

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movie reviews

A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

Running time: 103 min       Rated: R

A Life Less Ordinary was released 20 years ago…


Robert (Ewan McGregor), a cleaner and aspiring romance novelist, loses his job.  He confronts the company president and in the process takes the boss’s daughter, Celine (Cameron Diaz) as a hostage. He now finds himself as a kidnapper on the run with Celine. There are sparks between them and as they spend more time together, the possibility of romance. In the mean time, two angels, Jackson (Delroy Lindo) and O’Reilly (Holly Hunter) are stuck on earth with the mission to romantically united a man and a woman.

A Life Less Ordinary was directed by acclaimed British director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) and written by frequent collaborator John Hodge (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, The Beach).

The subplot of the top angels adds a fantasy element to the otherwise gritty movie.  The subplot makes the movie more quirky, but it could probably stand without it. The dialogue is witty and the cast is on point.  The film is technically well made and edited. I like the score and the soundtrack . I would not say this is a case of Stockholm Syndrome, because the kidnapping is accidental. Overall, I enjoyed this movie and it is one of my favourites.

Also starring: Dan Hedaya, Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Ian Holm, Timothy Olyphant.


*A film with a similar premise, Excess Baggage was released also released in 1997. Look out for my review and my comparison of the two films.

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movie reviews

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Review

A young  married couple, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (John Casavettes) move into a notorious New York City apartment building.  They meet and befriend their neighbours,  an older couple, Minnie (Ruth Gordon) and Roman Castevet (Sidney Blackmer).   The young couple is planning to start a family soon and Guy treats Rosemary to a special dinner.  That night she has very strange nightmares.  Shortly thereafter she  finds out that she is pregnant. She switches doctors to Dr Sapirstein, a family friend of the Castevets. He gives her strange advice about her pregnancy. Hutch, an old friend of the Woodhouses is concerned about Rosemary and becomes suspicious of her naigbours. He asks Rosemary to meet him but he never shows up for the meeting…


Rosemary’s Baby is well crafted, with many “plants” and “payoffs”. It  is packed with detail and soaked in irony. It is a psychological rather than a visual attack. There are no prosthetic demons or elaborate masked monsters (this was before CGI), except for a few flashes. The images are not excessively gory. There is no one hacking off limbs or poking out eyeballs. There is no throwing up green gunk or spinning heads.  The only cheesy thing about this movie is some of the wardrobe and the phony sweetness of the apartment dwellers.

As far as horror movies go, I think Rosemary’s Baby works very well. It is technically well executed and has enough layers to be a well-rounded film. Psychologically it works very well and it stays with the viewer for a long time.  It’s a disturbing look at the fragility of trust. Is all this really happening or is it all in Rosemary’s head.


Rosemary’s Baby was several awards. Ruth Gordon won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Minnie Castevet.

Director: Roman Polanski
Screenplay: Roman Polanski (based on a novel by Ira Levin)
Running time: 131 minutes



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movie reviews

Veronica Mars – Movie (2014)

vmars movie
The movie is based on a eponymous TV series – Veronica Mars, created by Rob Thomas (not the lead singer from Matchbox Twenty).  The show ran for 3 seasons  (2004 – 2007) and is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California.

During the first two seasons, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a high school student who works as an assistant to her PI dad (Enrico Colantoni).  She also acts as private investigator for her fellow students and gets in all sorts of sticky situations. In season 3, Veronica is in college and living away from home. The series deals with several social issues and has a dark, quirky sense of humour.  The sound track also features some awesome music.

In order to make the movie, the producers and actors acquired funds through crowd funding. Those who contributed were allowed to be extras in the movie.

I wanted to go support the movie in theater, but it wasn’t showing over here. I got it later, on DVD.  The DVD featurette about the making of the movie and the Kickstarter campaign as a bonus material.

The Veronica Mars Movie:
Tagline: She thought she was out. 

The movie opens with a voice over (a common device in the show) and a quick recap of the series.  This works well enough in the context of a PI movie and introduces the characters and some of the references to those not so familiar with the show.

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)  is a college graduate, interviewing at prestigious law firms.  She learns that a classmate from high school was murdered and that her high school sweetheart, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is the prime suspect. She returns to her home town of Neptune to help Logan with his case…  and is in town just in time for her 10-year high school reunion.

The role of Carrie Bishop was played by Leighton Meester , but in the movie the role was taken over by  Andrea Estella (lead singer of Twin Sister).   Although ailry central to the plot of the movie, Carrie was a minor character in the show.

In the TV show the Mars family had a pittbull, named Backup, who is absent from the movie (presumably the dog had already passed on given the time period).

The  Veronica Mars movie recalls the spirit,  witty dialogue and characters from the TV series. It is cool to see how everyone has grow… and also how some characters have stay exactly the same.   there are several references to the show and “inside jokes”  (this might go over the heads of those not familiar with the show).  The Logan vs Piz (romantic) rivalry from season 3 is back.

It was fun to watch the movie, being a fan of the show.  It did not disappoint, but if you are/were a binge watcher of the show, it leaves you wanting more.

Rating: PG-13
Running time:  103 mins
Director: Rob Thomas

Writers: Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero
Cast includes: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hanson, Percy Dags III, Francis Capra, Chris Lowell,  Tina Majorino and Enrico Colantoni.

There are several well know actors in minor roles and cameo appearance.
Full cast and crew on imdb.

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short film reviews

Alone Time (short film)

alone time short
This movie was suggested to me by youtube.  You can view it: here.

A woman trapped in her mundane and seemingly lonely New York City life and takes a nature break for some alone time…

Director: Rod Blackhurst & David Ebeltoft
Written by: Rod Blackhurst

Alone Time features some beautiful scenery.  It is pretty well done and was clearly made by someone with film-making experience and/or film school training.  It is listed at comedy, although I didn’t really perceive it as such. The comedy is subtle and slightly dark. Like a good short film, there is a twist at the end.  The movie is sparse in dialogue, yet the performance of the actress (Rose Hemingway) conveys the emotion well.

I gave it a thumbs up.

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movie reviews

Amélie (2001)


Rating: R      (South African DVD rating: 13)
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, is a French romantic comedy (with subtitles).

Amélie is introduced to us as a lonely only-child with a vivid imagination. As an adult, Amélie (Audrey Tautou) lives on her own and works as a waitress in a cafe in Paris. One day, she finds a mysterious box of keepsakes and she sets off to find its owner. On her journey she meets Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) and immediate feels a connection with him. She also set out to bring joy to the people around her, with random acts of kindness and anonymous little  surprises.

Amélie is well written and directed. It has a great cast and is over all well-crafted. The omnipresent voice over narrator that adds flavour to the story. The characters are funny and interesting, with quirky character introductions. This is a very entertaining romantic comedy and one of my favourite movies.

Amélie received several awards and nominations including awards for writing, cinematography, editing, production design, acting and “Best foreign language film”.

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Writers: Guillaume Laurant &  Jean-Pierre Jeunet 
Full cast and crew on imdb.



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movie reviews

The Doberman Gang (1972)

dobe gang72

Rating: PG

This film received the first “No Animals Were Harmed” end credit ever issued to a movie by American Humane Society (the oversight organization responsible for monitoring animal actors during productions).

After a botched bank robbery, Eddie (Byron Mabe), a frustrated crook, realizes that human error was the cause of his gang’s failure. One night he happens to see some Dobermans chasing intruders off a property. He starts thinking of how he could use people’s fear of these dogs to rob banks. Along with his ex-waitress girlfriend (Julie Parrish) he gets his old gang back together. They hire a dog-trainer Barney (Hal Reed) to train six Dobermans to rob a bank for them.

These dobermans were extremely well-trained animals. It made me sad that such brilliant dogs were being exploited by a A-hole like Eddie. Never mind the money, the Dobies stole my heart. There is also a sweet bulldog named J Edgar Hoover.

My thoughts:
Nothing extraordinary in editing or cinematography, but nothing I could absolutely fault either. (Though I wasn’t watching this from a critics point of view).
The soundtrack/score is a bit cheesy, although the theme song is kinda catchy. The exposition felt a bit slow, since the dobermans only arrive after about 26 minutes. There are a feel holes in Eddie’s plan.

This is a fun movie.  Dobie-lovers might also get annoyed by some of the breed stereotypes. The doberman is a beautiful and extremely intelligent dog, that can also be an agent of destruction in the wrong hands.



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movie reviews


Rated R.
A coming of age story of a young black man living in a rough neighbourhood in Miami. We first meet Chiron, aka Little (Alex Hibbert)  as a small, sensitive boy living with his drug-addict single mother (Naomi Harris) .  He befriends a couple, Juan (Mahershala Ali) and Teresa (Janelle Monae),  who become like surrogate parents to him.  He also befriends a boy named Kevin (Jaden  Piner).  We next encounter Chiron (Ashton Sanders) as teenager, being bullied at school. Kevin (Jharell Jerome), who is now a big-talking “womanizer”,  becomes his love interest. They, however, live in the cruel, fit-in-or-suffer world of high school and things get ugly. We next meet Chiron, aka Black (Travante Rhodes) as a muscle-bound, tough gangster. Kevin  (Andre Holland) calls him out of the blue…

Well scripted.  Well directed.  Beautiful cinematography and score.  Great acting performances. Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role. The child actors are sweet, but not overly precious or cutesy.

This is a story about fear, prejudice, anger, betrayal, friendship and love. While it may be a “gay movie”, it is also a very beautiful human movie. There are some scenes of violence which might be difficult to watch.

While it’s not necessarily some action movie or thriller that has to be seen on the big screen, I would still recommend supporting it in cinema.

Memorable quote:
“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.”

Moonlight has won several awards including the 2017 best picture Oscar and Golden Globe, as well as the Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
Running time: 1 hr 51 min
Release: 2016
Screenplay & Director: Barry Jenskins   (Based on a story by: Tarell Alvin McCraney) 
Full list of cast and crew:  imdb



©lowercase v  2017



Rosemary’s Baby – Analysis

I wrote the following in 2006 as a paper for a for Film Analysis class.  The assignment was to analyse any horror film of our choice.  This paper contains a lot of SPOILERS.
So, if you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to pass. 

Rosemary’s Baby
Year of release: 1968
Director: Roman Polanski
Screenplay: Roman Polanski (based on a novel by Ira Levin)
Running time: 131 minutes


In order to examine whether a movie is scary.We first need to know what influences fear. There are several factors that will influence whether a certain horror film will scare a viewer.

Psychological factors:

  •  What are the viewer’s personal and spiritual beliefs? Do they believe in a
    supernatural realm and/or god?
  •  What is the general mental balance or current state of mind of the viewer?
    Is the viewer especially paranoid?
  •  The level of imagination in the viewer. · The age and maturity of the viewer (small children more easily believe in monsters).

    The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. ‘Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil.”
    – William Shakespeare via Lady Macbeth.

  •  Personal experience and social circumstances (a well sheltered person may
    not be exposed to harsh everyday fear and real horror. If you have
    encountered a ghost, or if you believe that you have, you will be more likely
    to find a ghost story believable and therefor: scary.

Spatial factors: (The environment in which the film is watched.)

  • Is the viewer watching it alone or with the comforting presence of friends?
  • · Level of concentration of viewer.
  • · Is it watched on a small TV or in the theatre on the on a big screen with
    surround sound? If the sound is bad it becomes difficult to follow conversations. If it’s a bad video copy, the viewer might not get the full visual and audio effect. For instance a superimposition effect in the movies Phsyco (Alfred Hitchcock) isn’t noticeable on old VHS copies.

Cinematic factors:
How film literate is the viewer? The more scary movies they have seen, and
the more they know about special FX, the harder it usually is to scare them.


A young couple Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy Woodhouse (John Casavettes) move into a notorious New York apartment building. Following the apparent suicide of a young woman who lived on the same floor, they meet and befriend their neighbours, the Castevets, Minnie and Roman. Rosemary and Guy want to start a family and Guy treats Rosemary to a special dinner. Rosemary passes out and Guy puts her to bed. Rosemary has strange  nightmares about being raped by an non-human creature. The next day Guy admits to having sex with Rosemary while she was asleep. Rosemary goes to see a doctor who confirms that she is pregnant. When Minnie Castevet (Ruth Gordon) hears the “good news”,  she insists the Rosemary sees Dr. Sapirstein, an obstetrician who is a friend of the Casavets. Rosemary switches doctors  to Dr Sapirstein, who gives her strange advice during her pregnancy. Hutch an old friend of the Woodhouses is concerned about Rosemary’s condition and becomes suspicious of Roman. He asks Rosemary to meet him but he never shows up for the meeting. She discovers that he has gone into a coma. She
receives a book from Hutch with the message that her neighbours are witches. Rosemary becomes scared and doesn’t know who to trust. It is now close to her due date. When she becomes suspicious of Dr Sapirstein she goes back to Dr Hill. Suspecting that Rosmary is mentally unstable, Dr Hill calls Dr Sapirstien. Sapirstein and Guy comes to fetch Rosemary and she is taken back to the apartment. The baby is born and she is later told that
the baby died due to complications. In the days that follow she is taken care of by the elder
ladies who live in the Bramwell. She still hears a baby cry. She goes to the closet and discovers a secret entrance leading to the Castevets’ apartment. She goes
inside and finds them all in the middle of some sort of meeting. She sees a black baby crib and discovers that the baby has unnatural eyes. She is told that Satan is the father
of her baby. She is asked to be a mother to her child and she accepts the hopeless situation.
Rosemary’s baby is a well-crafted film with many “plants” and “payoffs”. The film is packed with detail and soaked in irony. The first time I saw this film I found it very
scary. It is a psychological rather than a visual attack. There is no demons or elaborate monsters except for a few flashes in Rosemary’s dream and a flashback. The images
are not excessively gory. There is no one hacking off limbs or poking out eyeballs. There is no throwing up green gunk or spinning heads. The film is done in a
classy way free of horror cheese. The only cheesy thing about this movie is some of the wardrobe and the phony sweetness of the apartment dwellers. I found plenty of irony and intelligent humour in this movie. It is also set in New York, a very subject rich and versatile film location.


“Rosemary’s Baby stands alone as being the
first in a genre.”
– Robert Evans (producer)

– The Devil/ Demons. The Devil is a scary theme, especially to Christians. The idea that an innocent baby may actually be the son of the devil is horrific.
– The loss of control is a scary theme. Rosemary has no control over the fate that befalls her. (She is druggedand raped).
– Deception: The Casavets seem to be good people but they are not. Guy is an actor, someone who makes a living by pretending to be something he’s not.
– Selling your soul: Guy sells his wife’s body (her womb) and the life of his future child to the Satanic coven in return for success as an actor.
– Something is wrong but no one believes you. When Rosemary seeks help by going to Dr Hill, a scientist who doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he calls Dr Sapirstein and delivers her right back into the lion’s den.
– Innocence corrupted. Rosemary is an innocent woman who just wants to have a family with her husband. Her environment and her neighbour make her totally

The opening music starts with an eerie piano sound and has a la-la-la similar to a lullaby. Yet the lullaby is unsettling rather than soothing. This music recurs at pivotal moments in the film like for instance when Rosemary is pregnant. A lot of classical music is used to score the film, Beethoven’s Fur Elize especially.


  • The fact that they can hear the neighbours though the wall is a bit creepy since this probably means that the neighbours can hear them as well and can listen in on
    their conversations.
  • The chanting heard from the Casvets apartment adds to Rosemary’s paranoia.
  • The horror of what the baby looks like is suggested only by Rosemary’s facial expression and the music underlining the moment.


  • A lot of shadows, especially later in the film.
  • In some of the early scenes, more high key lighting is used. This is  part of the “soap opera feel” of the beginning of the film.


  • It is interesting to note the clothing the witches in this movie wear. They are not stereotypically dressed in black-and-only black. They all wear “normal clothes” in
    different colours. Minnie wears colourful and garishly bright outfits.
  • Rosemary decorates her apartment in white and yellow. White is symbolic of purity, innocence and hope. Yellow is symbolic of life, the sun, energy and warmth. She also
    wears a lot of yellow and white, though not all the time.

Rosemary often seems trapped in the frame. In the scene in the lobby of the Bramwell, when she is taken home by Guy and Sapirstein, they are filmed through bars giving a
further feeling of being trapped.

Camera Movement:
There was use of handheld camera as well as use of a harness (a type of steady cam) at times, which gives the film an ‘unsteady’ feeling.
The editing has a nice flow to it that tells the story well, especially the dream sequences. At times, the jumps in time seem a bit confusing (if it wasn’t for wardrobe
changes) but all-in -all, an organic whole.

Special effects:

“There are no special FX …no crocodiles coming out of walls… It’s all in the way
he shot it, and it works on every level and it scares the hell out of me.”
– Robert Evans

The only special effects seem to be the devil’s make-up, eyes and claws in the dream sequences.

The dialogue contains a lot of irony.

  • Terry: “They’re really good people”   (No, they’re witches)
  • Rosemary: “God bless Doctor Hill”.   (No,  he doesn’t believe  that there is a plot against you and  he will sell you out to the people you’re running from.)
  • Guy: “You befriend an old couple like that and you’ll never get rid of them.”
    Rosemary: ”It will just be this one time.”
    (Guy ends up befriending them and joining their coven whilst Rosemary is more suspicious) 
  • Guy (giving Rosemary drugged chocolate mousse):
    “Or as Minnie calls it, chocolate mouse”
    (In her dream, Rosemary then says that she had been bitten by a mouse, indicating that her subconscious mind knows that she had been drugged.)


  • The Bramwell apartment building (real-life: Dakota Apartments in NYC) has a Gothic look to it, which lends itself very well to a horror movie. It is also rather creepy that the apartments have been split into smaller flats and that your flat used to be a apart of some else’s flat.
  • The city (in this case New York) – especially in the way Polanski films it – can be a grim and claustrophobic merciless place.

Recurrences and coincidences: (clues to the audience that something is off):

  •  The former resident of the Woodhouses’ apartment has died in a mysterious coma. Later Hutch slips into a mysterious coma and dies (although he regains
    consciousness just before death- a moment of clarity).
  •  The previous tenant has strangely put a wardrobe in front of a closet that contains towels and a vacuum cleaner. One wonders why she would cover the closet up
    since it appears to contain nothing of value. It also seems unlikely that she would be able to move such a heavy wardrobe, since she was 89 years old. At the end
    one discovers that this closet leads to the neighbours apartment.
  •  Terry wears a charm containing Tannis-Root around her neck. After Terry’s death the charm is given to Rosemary… In Rosemary’s dream (the night of the baby’s conception), she is offered forgiveness by the Pope who holds his hand out for her to kiss her ring. The ring on his finger looks like the charm. After Rosemary
    discovers that her neighbours are witches, she throws the charm away on the streets of New York.
  • The main character‘s name is Rosemary (a type of plant). The former tenant of their flat was Mrs Gardenia (a type of plant). Mrs Gardenia had an herb garden. Minnie has an herb garden from which she brews Rosemary’s ‘vitamin-drink’. The vitamin drink contains tannis root, the same ingredient in Rosemary’s charm.


Several disturbing thoughts contained in ths movie:

  •  The fact that we can’t be completely sure whether all these terrible things are really happening or whether Rosemary is just paranoid.
  •  The thought that you cannot chose who your children are and they can turn out to  be “evil”.
  •  The thought that you cannot trust the people who you love and are supposed to have your best interests at heart.
  •  The thought that you cannot trust medical professionals, who are supposed to have taken an oath to do no harm.
  •  The old people in the movie look like typical grandparents. It is scary to think of old people who are usually considered as harmless as sinister, evil and dangerous.

In the beginning of the film the couple, Guy and Rosemary, seems to have an idyllic city life. They seem to be the perfect newlyweds. We soon realise that something sinister is going on.

 “Rosemary’s Baby opens like a Dorris Day movie
and that’s the whole point.”
– Richard Sylbert (production designer)

“It felt like soap opera the first few pages… by four o’clock in the morning I was still
reading, with my eyes burning.”
-Roman Polanski (Director and Scriptwriter)

The Ending:
The audience does not actually see what Rosemary’s baby looks like. Our perception of the baby is influenced by Rosemary’s reaction to it and by what the other characters say of it. The director chose to let the audience use their imaginations. This way the image of
the baby is far more horrifying than if the director used an actor or some kind of puppet to show the baby.

“It’s the great horror film without any horror
in it. And there ain’t gonna be no baby
– Richard Sylbert

“I wanted the ending to be ambiguous”
– Roman Polanski.

The same lullaby that played during the opening credits now closes the film. This hints that the current situation will be the norm for the way their life is from now on. It also gives a feeling of having come full circle. The ‘prophecy’ is now complete. Destiny has been fulfilled.

Directorial Style of Roman Polanski:
Polanski has an acting background. His directing is character focussed. He does not plan his shots (storyboard), but instead admits to let the actors rehearse the scene and then trying to follow them with the camera.


  • Anton Szandor LaVey (1930 – 1997) was the founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan, and author of The Satanic Bile. He is often known as a “founder of
    Satanism.” It is popularly believed that he played the Devil in Rosemary’s Baby. The role was actually played (unaccredited) by Clay Tanner.
  • Ira Levin, the author of the novel, was born in 1929, the year of the stock market crash (October 29) and the start of the great depression.
  • In the movie world this was also the year of the 1st Academy Awards.
  • The film is set in 1965 – 1966.
    -According to the film, the Pope visits Yankee stadium (NYC) in 1965.
    – 1966 was declared by Anton Levey as year 1 (Anno Santanis).  In the film this is the year when Rosemary’s baby is born. In the final scene, Roman Castevet says: “The year is One.”
  • The film is set in an apartment building called the Bramwell, a notorious building with strange former residents including witches, cannibals and a Kennedy. The building used for the set of the Bramwell is the infamous Dakota in New York’s Upper West Side, where John Lennon was murdered.


The Rosemary’s Baby novel was published in 1967. Also in 1967:

  • · The New York Times reports that the US Army is conducting secret germ
    warfare experiments.
  • · Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler,” is convicted of numerous crimes
    and is sentenced to life in prison
  • · 10,000 march against the Vietnam War in San Francisco.
  • · Boxer Muhammad Ali refuses military service.
  •  A race riot in Tampa, Florida
  • · The People’s Republic of China tests its first hydrogen bomb.
  • · The first colour television broadcasts begin on BBC2 in UK on certain programmes. Full colour service began on BBC2 on December 2.
  •  Jim Morrison and The Doors defy CBS censors on The Ed Sullivan Show when Morrison sang the word “higher” from their #1 hit Light My Fire, despite being asked not to.
  •  Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black justice of the U.S.
    Supreme Court.
  •  Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men are captured in Bolivia. The next
    day Guevara is executed for attempting to incite a revolution
  •  Abortion bill passes in British parliament.
  •  Mayor A.V. Sorensen of Omaha, Nebraska declares the following day to be
    Grace Bible Institute Day in the city of Omaha.
  •  US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967,
    establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  •  Carl B. Stokes is elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the first
    African American mayor of a major United States city
  •  Benjamin Spock and Allen Ginsberg arrested for protesting against
    Vietnam War
  • LSD declared a Schedule I drug by the United States government
  • The Summer of Love

Then film was released in 1968. Also in 1968:

  • · Vietnam War: The First Battle of Saigon begins.
  • · President Lyndon B. Johnson narrowly defeats antiwar candidate Eugene
    J. McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
  •  Martin Luther King, Jr assassinated.
  •  Pres. Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
  •  U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador
    Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy died from his
    injuries the next day.
  • Pope Paul VI announces an encyclical entitled “Humanae Vitae”,
    condemning birth control. (Maybe if Rosemary could have exercised birth control, she wouldn’t have Satan’s baby).
  •  Saddam Hussein becomes the Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council
    in Iraq after a coup d’état.
  •  Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzu is sentenced to five years hard labor for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.
  • NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham. Goals for the mission included the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking manoeuvre.
  •  Vietnam War: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson.announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of “all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam” effective November 1.
  •  U.S. presidential election, 1968: In one of the closest elections in US history, Republican challenger Richard M. Nixon defeats Vice President Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace.
  •  Yale University announced it is going co-educational. (A great change for women… In contrast to Rosemary who is a housewife.)
  •  US spacecraft Apollo 8 enters orbit around the moon. Astronauts Frank
    Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see
    the far side of the moon and planet earth as a whole.

The continuation of the Vietnam War and continued political unrest could only have a negative effect on the American psyche. However, it is also an exciting time because of space exploration. These were clearly volatile political times. It is also the time of the hippie movement (a protest to war). Major changes were happening to the United States. It is very likely that people could become paranoid and believe a story about the devil.
Other films released in 1968:

  • The Graduate
  • Guess who’s coming for dinner
  • Valley of the Dolls
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • The Odd couple
  • Planet of the Apes
  • The Jungle Book

Rosemary’s Baby was a huge success. It was nominated for several awards. Ruth Gordon won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Minnie. Roman

Roman Polanski consequently made several acclaimed films including:
The Tenant (1974), Chinatown (1976) and The Pianist (2002).

As far as horror movies go, I think Rosemary’s Baby works very well. It is technically well executed and has enough layers to be a well-rounded film. Psychologically it works very well and it stays with the viewer for a long time.  It’s a disturbing look at potential motherhood  fears (eg, things can go physically wrong during pregnancy and the mother might experience postpartum depression, though probably not like Rosemary does) and  the fragility of trust.

© lowercase v  2006

– The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, William Shakespeare, Editors: Well 7 Taylor, Oxford University Press, Oxford, © 1988
– wikipedia
– IMDb
– Film: Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Director: Roman Polanski.(Paramount DVD ©2001)

movie reviews

13 Going on 30

I originally wrote this for another blog of mine.


13 going on 30 is a romantic comedy about a 13-year-old girl named Jenna Rink, who desperately wants to be one of the cool girls. After the other girls play a joke on her at her 13th birthday party, she wishes that she was 30 years old already.
The next morning when she wakes up, Jenna (Jennifer Garner) is 30 and her life resembles something from Cosmopolitan magazine. She is the editor of a glossy magazine. She lives in a stylish New York apartment and the “coolest girl” from high school, Lucy (Judy Greer), is now her best friend. Of course she’s a little freaked out by grownup stuff and she discovers her grown-up self isn’t such a nice person. She meets up with her childhood best friend, Matt (Mark Ruffalo), and is shocked to discover that they haven’t been friends for years. As Jenna spends more time with Matt, she falls hopelessly for the boy, whom she had been blind to as a teenager. She also brings a new fun streak to her job and grownup life.

This movie is what would be considered a “chick flick”. Whenever I have mentioned this movie to guys in the past, they would just shrug. They say things like they didn’t finish it, or that they found it silly. When I watch this movie with women or girls, we roll around with laughter. It may be silly, but there is more to it.


I am unable to watch this movie halfway. It is too sad in the middle. I have to see the happy ending. I don’t always expect movies to have happy endings, (I mean common! Get Real!), but in this movie I really need it. In the middle of the movie, Jenna feels stuck in her life and she has no idea how she got there. I think this is a feeling many people experience

Personally, I love this movie. In both lives (13 and 30) the character grows as a person. It reminds us that sometimes, while striving for the things we want to have and the things we want to become, we sometimes forget who we are in essence and what we have already.

This movie reminds me about the parts of teenage life that I missed out on, of the things I wanted to skip and the things I held on to for too long. I think this is one of the better chick flicks. It’s bit of a guilty pleasure. Okay, I don’t feel guilty.

Writers: Josh Goldsmith & Kathy Yutspa (What Women Want).
Directed by: Gary Winick (Tadpole, Bride Wars, Charlotte’s Web)
Release: 2004 

©lowercase v