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huboon

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7 reviews in total 
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Oddly compelling Cannon fodder, 20 January 2005
6/10

Thus continues Paul Kersey's journey through lands densely populated with criminals...

In this installment, yet another of Paul's friends dies at the hands of thugs. But Paul's not going to stand for it-- he'll take the law into his own hands! Again! Naturally, the dark spectre of crime follows him like a bad penny. In a single afternoon he witnesses more felonies than most of us will see in a lifetime.

Paul's new neighborhood is a checkerboard of cinder-blocked windows, bodegas, flophouses and piles of rubble. His slum is populated by various law-abiding ethnic types being tormented by a motley gang of knuckleheads who aren't willing to let Paul take control of their turf. Some of the ne'er do wells have a funny logo painted on their foreheads. By day and night they rape, pillage, murder and invade the homes of innocents.

Yet -- paradoxically -- the area remains bustling with civilized activity. In the face of danger, its citizens brazenly (or ignorantly) go about their lives. But there is a stiff penalty to pay for such defiance and only the swift arm of Paul Kersey can put it right, all the while inventing new ways to extract teeth from would-be burglars.

Classic formulaic film-making from Cannon films!

6/10

17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Refreshingly realistic perversion, 13 October 2004
7/10

Although I would hesitate to call it "film noir," Strange Illusion is a tightly woven, intriguing mystery. For a Poverty Row production, the writers and Ulmer paced the film well and kept it interesting. The acting, although amateurish at times, doesn't distract from a believable story. My only real complaint about the film is the music-- too much of it and too loud.

Brett's penchant for teenage girls is a refreshingly realistic perversion for a film of the '40s. It also stands in stark contrast to the "gee whiz" scenes (as mentioned in a previous comment), which seem like they were lifted straight out of "Leave It to Beaver."

I rate it 7/10.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A bit on the rough side, 29 June 2003
6/10

This installment was a disappointment. The dialogue suffers from very poor sound quality. Normally that wouldn't detract, but this episode is almost all talk. Some of the gags seem a bit corny even by 1930 standards. On the other hand, the performances are typically good. Chubby proves once again that he was one of the most wooden actors of his time-- which only adds to his appeal, of course. The pie fight sequence is the highlight of the film. I enjoyed the slow-motion shots, which must have been a bit experimental in their day. Definitely not the greatest "Our Gang" short.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Keaton, Lloyd, Chaplin... Farina, 1 June 2003
9/10

Joe tries to impress the boys by taking them aboard a locomotive. A lunatic hobo arrives and sets the train in motion, which literally runs OVER Farina. Eventually, they leave the rail yard and careen out of control through city and country.

I was enthralled by the location filming of this two-reeler. It gives some interesting glimpses of 1929 Los Angeles. It's also one of the first "Our Gang" comedies with sound, so some of the dialogue is a little hard to understand above the background noise-- but that hardly detracts from the genius of this great short.

This episode is another example of why I feel Farina was the heart and soul of the "Gang." Hal Roach often gave him the most memorable scenes, and for good reason.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Flea rights activists, 1 June 2003
8/10

Farina, Joe, and Harry are led astray when their dog-powered go-karts try to follow a cat up a tree. Hedda Hopper, president of the "Be Kind to Animals Society," lectures them to tears and they become animal rights activists. Joe refuses to kill a flea that keeps biting him (because fleas have souls, too). Wheezer dreams he is standing trial-- with a judge and jury composed entirely of animals.

This was one of the last of the "Our Gang" silent shorts. Great stuff.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Farina + top hat = hilarious, 13 May 2003
9/10

A great example of early, silent Rascals. Little lonely rich girl, Mary, gets a gift of four dolls. There's an amazing dream sequence where the dolls come to life and romp around Mary's bedroom-- these are some of the best special effects I've seen from the '20s. Mary must somehow retrieve the dolls after they are taken away by her evil governess. A four-year-old Farina steals the show in a hilarious scene with a collapsible top hat.

17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant, 18 April 2003
9/10

Even though I had enjoyed several of Lloyd's films, I never really looked at him as being on the same level as Keaton. That's changed after seeing "The Kid Brother." The last half hour is as entertaining as anything on film. Harold's resourcefulness while fighting is a thing to behold! And the monkey with the shoes? Fantastic!