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John and Mary (1969)
It had everything going for it, the hottest young stars of the late sixties, Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow, fresh from the successes of the Graduate and Rosemary's Baby. The director had just made the huge hit Bullit and the hopes were very high, the two stars were on the cover of Time magazine!
It was set in swinging New York, nice photography, cool apartments and clothes, it had to be a hit, right?
What went wrong?????? The script, I suppose. They hadn't considered that it had to say something. Instead we are treated to lots of meaningful looks from the leads. Though, they are good looking....
Is it a comedy? Hard to tell, funny it wasn't. In fact it's dullsville! Quite embarrassing at times.
It seems under-rehearsed, as if the actors had only read the script once. Mia Farrow is too mannered doing her little-old-lady-in-a-girls-body routine. Surprisingly Dustin doesn't overact.
This film disappeared from sight. Ms. Farrow hardly mentions it in her biography. Does anyone remember it?
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
New York nostalgia...
I've seen a few times on video and I like it but it's much less than the classic film I thought it was.
Audrey is adorable in her most famous role, stunningly chic in her simple clothes but I have to say she's miscast s Holly! I love Audrey as Holly but it isn't believable that she would be a call-girl taking money from men. Not for a minute would ms. Hepburn be so vulgar, she's too refined in her little girl way. She certainly does not convince that she comes from the south.
The film is a little silly too, as I feel a lot of Blake Edwards films are. They're fancy on the surface with a few nice sight-gags but often there are parts that are empty and don't add up.
The party scene is famous but oh how badly it has aged, even for sixties standards! It looks more like something from the fifties since nothing naughty happens at this party where no one looks under twenty! It is very lame when the guests are "crazy" standing upside-down or talking to a mirror or wearing a watch on an ankle...
It has some dull parts. Ms. Neal has a thankless role as the older woman. Mickey Rooney is terribly embarrassing as the photographer. It's a cute film all in all, unforgettable because of Audrey...
Sweet Charity (1969)
I've seen Sweet Charity a few times before without really thinking about it. Certain images remained, especially the Pompeii Club dance and the famous Big Spender scene. Then I read that this was the legendary Bob Fosses first film, that it was big a Hollywood production and that it flopped at the box office. Why? This intrigued me and I finally got hold of a copy. Thankfully the widescreen DVD to see the whole film at its best!
I was expecting a big so-so musical but it was very good! Not the very best but one of the better big sixties musicals. There's not much of a story, a prostitute wants a better life. I was worried that maybe Shirley McLaine would be too saccharine or too old for the part, but she was great. She wasn't pathetic as the girl who gets dumped by men, just another survivor in a big city. Naive but not cute.
It looks like a movie to take the whole family to enjoy but how many brought their kids along to watch a prostitute? (Although nothing rude happens at all.) It's very tame. Younger people at the time thought musicals were square and went to see 'Easy Rider' instead.
*SPOILER* So this movie had no audience except musical lovers who didn't like the downer ending since they expected happy endings! (The alternate ending on the DVD works better and is not too sugary. Fosse thought it corny.)
It's an interesting time capsule of the late sixties. It probably grew old quickly but today it's a camp joy to see all the great sixties fashions! Quite groovy, coming from Hollywood chief designer Edith Head!
The movie starts slow and is too long (2½ hours!) with overtures and an intermission! No one, I guess, had THAT much patience with it. It wasn't Gone with the wind! Perhaps big musicals had fallen out of taste with audiences at the time. There were several other big musical flops at the end of the sixties. HUGE Hollywood productions like Star!,Dr. Dolittle, Hello Dolly, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, On a Clear Day, bombed.
The choreography by Fosse is great! He made too few movies! There are a few similarities with his his next film, Cabaret. The decadent dances at the Fandango and Pompeii clubs and the 'Fickle finger of fate' scene which reminds me of the scene with Liza Minelli and Michael York under a train bridge about to yell.
Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly bring a lot of life to the film too. Oscar is a little dull. What would he be doing in a colorful hippie congregation???? Just an excuse for more fab Fosse footwork! The parade scenes in New York are proof of McLaine's excellent dancing. This a forgotten musical classic waiting to be rediscovered!
The Unsuspected (1947)
Nice atmospheric thriller with excellent black and white photography and with chilling use of shadows! The film is inspired by both "Rebecca" and "Laura", and maybe "Suspicion" i suspect... The murderer is obvious but it is still entertaining with a good script!
Loveley performances by Hollywood pros like Claude Rains, Constance Bennet and the underrated Audrey Totter always worth seeing!
This was my first Joan Caulfield movie, apparently a starlet at the end of the 40s, a good actress but a bit forgettable. I love these film noirs from the golden age of Hollywood. Golden age of filmmaking, actually...
a different kind of horror film....
The film was not well received when it first came out. People who loved the TV series were very disappointed. None of the series´ charm, humor or cosiness is in the film and few of the original characters are present. Some even replaced by other actors! Agent Cooper is given very little time and several stars show up like Chris Isaak, Keifer Sutherland and worst - David Bowie for very little reason and are just distracting.
But it is a movie worth watching if you like Lynch. The beginning is confusing with many unecessary odd characters that just distract. Much better is the second half. It is absolutely terrifying at times telling the last days of Laura Palmer, the character the whole series revolved around.
Playing her is Sheryl Lee, who is remarkable. Its chilling to see her descent into hell as she witnesses her fathers mental illness unravel.
Some scenes have stayed with me since I saw it 12 years ago for the first time. Like when Laura sees who leaves her house after she sees Bob in her room. Like when she laughs hysterically at the shooting of Mike. Tremendous performance of panic and madness. The film is like the most horrid fever nightmare.
Against All Odds (1984)
Ive tried to see this film many times...
...but would sit and fast forward it. Does not come near the original film "Out of the Past" from 1947. Attempt to make modern Noir does not work. Its too long and talky. Viewers quickly lose interest in the story, too many threads to follow.
The leads dont have the explosive chemistry to set the screen on fire. Jeff Bridges is too sullen and charmless. Hes got a great body but the beard isnt sexy. Hes also got a lame way of holding his beer bottles and seems to love speeding away in his porche.
Rachel Ward was one of the hottest stars at the time but just disapeared after this. Shes pretty but doesnt seem to believe in the script. No one does except James Woods who always brings excitement to the films hes in. Nice to see Jane Greer from the original film as well as Richard Widmark.
Nice settings in Mexico, otherwise theres no reason to sit thru this dreary thriller.
The Hunger (1983)
Too many billowing curtains!
This is one of the worst films Ive ever seen. It does not work as a vampire film nor horror film nor drama or love story. It looks like a perfume ad.
Believe me, I love those flashy 80´s movies like 9½ weeks, Bladerunner and Flashdance etc. with the smokey light streaming thru the venetian blinds with the suggestive music and high heels but this movie gives that genre a bad name!
The acting is really bad by both Sarandon and Deneuve who really seems to be living dead. The same expresion thru out and pitiful english. Bowie´s scenes are thankfully short. This film has no suspense, just lots of stylish blood. Campy but unpleasant viewing.
At Long Last Love (1975)
Couldn´t believe it!
I had read about the film in the book "50 Worst Films Ever" by the Medved brothers. Ive been waiting to see it for 20 years! I WANTED to like it. Its made by Bogdanovich with Burt Reynolds, Madeleine Kahn and Cybill Shepherd whom I LOVE! But its bad, it really is BAD!!!!
I am a little shocked. That they even DARED! Quite brave of them to go ahead anyway, Ill give them credit for trying!
The critics were right. They had no shame, Peter and Cybill. They were too much in love to understand that others would not be interested in seeing their home movies of them camping around in costumes for two hours.
Theres none of the magic of the old Hollywood musicals, just brightly lit empty sets. Very embarrassing to see what they thought was "witty" banter and the clumsy tap dancing. Less songs would have helped greatly.
Still, its cute to watch them have fun. The very best thing with this movie is Eileen Brennan who is hilarious as the maid, perfectly cast.
Im very glad that I got to see it. Very interesting considering all the other good things Peter and Cybill have done in their careers. Make another movie now!
Mystic River (2003)
hoping for Oscars....
Through out this film there are speeches made by some of the lead characters, sequences crying to be used at the Academy Awards when the nominees for best actor are announced. Close-ups of anguished faces here and there.
This is a mediocre thriller devoid of excitement. The murder is explained at the end but there are many holes in the story. The reasons for the killing were quite weak. This movie is slow and dull. Too many talky scenes between the policemen. How many more movies do we have to see with disagreeing cops?
Only thing worth watching during the two hours was Marcia Gay Hardens nervous performance. This is certainly not the classic Oscar winner it is trying so hard to be. I´m going to forget it.
Swept Away (2002)
I mean this in different ways. Madonna gets slapped around in the movie. (Really unecessary, the trouble between the two leads could have been shown differently.)
Madonna also takes a beating for trying too hard to be a star not only as a singer and media icon, but also as an actress and she still doesn´t get that it doesn´t work! She should choose which a field she could excell in, instead of tiring everybody by being a jack of all trades. She comes off as a dilettante. You don´t see Julia Roberts realesing albums. (She knows her strengths.)
This movie flopped despite being ok. I was expecting something really bad but it was mildly entertaining. She was even ok as an actress. She should have done something like this years ago instead of forcing lame Madonna-vehicles on unsuspecting audiences. People grew tired of seeing her wish she was a super MOVIE STAR too.
She´s absolutley best at dancing as she does for a moment in this film. She comes alive and it´s fun to watch. She even looks good too. In the rest of the movie she can´t keep a close-up. Harsh words but she doesn´t seem to see herself clearly. She has to have it ALL!