Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Balloonatic (1923)

Comic genius Buster Keaton is still a huge name in film. No that tie's not the reason.

Genre: Silent Family Comedy Romance Short

Starring: Buster Keaton (The Electric House; Three Ages), Phyllis Haver

Directed By: Edward F. Kline (Cops; The Playhouse), Buster Keaton (The Haunted House; One Week)

Overview: A man in a balloon crash-lands in the woods. He and the young lady he finds end up competing to see who the best survivalist is.

Acting: So this is an even shorter short than Neighbors, and perhaps the effort wasn't quite on par with his other, better known works, but the acting and the direction weren't the problem. You'll like it.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: Some nice camerawork, some good sets of the outdoor, but you can definitely tell the budget's a little lacking in comparisons to his greatest works. Still it's nice and professional, wouldn't have expected anything less.
Rating: 7

Script: The dialogue isn't strong either, but there's no need for it, it's a silent film with very little explanation necessary. For that reason, you get a 'good'.
Rating: 7

Plot: Admittedly the story is a little weak. It starts off great in a House of Horrors, then the guy is stuck in balloon and ends up in the woods trying to find something to eat and survive, competing with a woman out camping. I guess it doesn't sound all that bad, but as entertainment goes, I hoped for more.
Rating: 6

Mood: The stunts are there, but less daring. The choreography centered mostly on the 'trip and fall' and people landing on poor Buster. I must say the bear was a nice touch, but there's no crazy jaw-dropping stunts like I'm used to seeing in his full-feature fare.
Rating: 6

No idea this guy could have been killed in almost every one of his films..

Overall Rating: 66% (Not All That Much Ballonacy Going On)

Aftertaste: This was the last on the DVD compilation of Buster's stuff, and though we enjoyed it, it just wasn't anywhere as great as the rest of it. Either way it's not deterring me from seeing any of Buster's work, and I'm glad I saw it nonetheless.