Reviews written by registered user
|260 reviews in total|
Dogville is a bomb simply because its really bad. The film strips everything down to a simple, almost non-set. With that in mind I will also strip my review down to a simple, almost non-review. This film is a poorly-made, poorly-written, poorly-directed, poorly-acted, boring, non-factual piece of crap intended for those who don't know anything of human nature or human history. This film panders to the ignorant and if you have an IQ in the triple digits you probably won't watch more than ten minutes. If you do watch more than ten minutes, well, you flunked the IQ test and the director has found his audience. A bomb by any standard. I'm required to have ten lines in any comment and this film doesn't deserve two.
Will Penny is perhaps the most realistic western ever filled. From the aged clothing and weapons (antiques rented specifically for the film) to non-Hollywood plot devices and ending the film is unsurpassed for realism. I recommend the DVD over the VHS because it contains a short film on that subject (more on the DVD version later). Charlton Heston's performance as ageing cowboy Will Penny is one of cinemas best and at times appears to be the inspiration for Robert Duvall's performance in Lonesome Dove. Familiar western faces in the supporting roles include Joan Hackett and Lee Majors and a who's who of westerns character actors (Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Anthony Zerbe, Bruce Dern to name just a few). If there is one flaw it is the inappropriate desert caravan score (some disagree with me, maybe I'm missing something but it sure as heck sounds like a desert caravan score to me) and jarring closing credits song (here most people are in agreement with me, the lyrics stink and so does the lounge lizard delivery). Despite this consideration it is a definite must for western fans. One DVD complaint, though the behind-the-scenes short shows clips in widescreen, the so-called "widescreen version" of the film is condensed and clipped. Paramount has a reputation for the worst transfers of any major studio and here is a prime example why that reputation exists. One can forgive the less-than-sharp picture because we have no idea the condition of the print, but if they had a widescreen version to gather long clips why didn't they use it for the film itself. Perhaps they were culled from a promotional short and the entire film no longer exists in its original theatrical format, but why market the DVD as part of their "Widescreen Collection," as it is labeled right there on the top of the front cover, when it was not? Just plain sloppy, and dishonest.
Linnea Quigley is probably the cutest actress ever and has been one of my
favorite actresses since Return of the Living Dead. I had seen her in
earlier films like the Cheech & Chong movie, but she wasn't a name star at
that time. I didn't start following her career until Return and have since
watched every film before and after. I met her once at a film convention
and we had an opportunity to chat prior to the opening. I was impressed how
friendly and attentive she was to me as well as all her fans. She also came
across as being very bright and very pleased with her life and career. I
believe she said she was living with her parents at the time. I thought it
was pretty cool that the family was still that important to her after fame.
I think she would make a great motivational speaker because after we talked
I felt like a million bucks.
Linnea Quigley stars mostly in horror films and horror-comedy films. I really don't like most of the movies, not my genre, and I like her better in comedies, but I do like Linnea Quigley and watch merely for that sake. Here she is pretty darn cute, dresses in cute clothes and does a cute topless scene. These are her hallmarks and here she does them as cute as ever. She isn't given that much to say or do and that is a shame. There are many more films which give her better roles and I urge you to seek them out. I still recommend this film because I really like her look in it which is more along the lines of her look in Vice Academy (though I didn't really like her character that much in that film) and she appears to be having a blast. If you want to see the cutest actress who every graced film SEXBOMB is the place.
Remake of the much better produced theatrical film JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN from 1969 (available on DVD) about an astronaut who lands on a twin Earth on the other side of the sun. This TV film has a good B-film cast including such sci-fi buff favorites as Cameron Mitchell (FLIGHT TO MARS available on DVD), Lew Ayres (1971 TV film EARTH II as well as Dr. Kildare in a series of films from the forties), Dean Jagger (X THE UNKNOWN available on DVD), and Sally Field's mom, Margaret Field (MAN FROM PLANET X available on DVD) to name just a few. Credits go out to the casting but isn't as fun as any of the other films mentioned and tries to start a TV series in the vein of 60's TV show THE INVADERS. By the way if you liked THE INVADERS, star Roy Thinnes is the star of JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN. THE STRANGER is more for sci-fi buffs than sci-fi fans.
Soap-opera style story about one girl (Didi Conn) pushed into show business (stand-up comedy) by her stand-up comic father and trying to make it into show-biz (acting, singing, anything). There is romance and the title song 'You Light Up My Life.' The song is a major plot device much like Bette Midler's 'Wings Beneath My Wings' is for BEACHES. Debbie Boone's rendition of the song was second only to Bing Crosby's White Christmas as the most popular single in history due in part to listeners attaching a spiritual tone to the lyrics (led by Christian radio stations and the fact that Debbie Boone was part of the Pat Boone family). Debbie Boone was singing the song on every talk and variety show on TV, she was very attractive, very wholesome (once again, Pat Boone's daughter) and TV loved her. This helped bring people into the theaters to see the movie, in fact, was the only reason why people went to see the movie. Debbie Boone was not in the film, nor was her voice. This was very disappointing to most people. Didi Conn (mostly known at the time for wacky characters on TV sitcoms not unlike her GREASE character) didn't sing the song in the film (though she sort of sang in GREASE). If only they had cast Debbie Boone. The song is a classic, the film, alas, is not. WHITE CHRISTMAS (song: 10, movie: 10), BEACHES (song: 10, movie: 7), GREASE (song: 8, movie: 9), YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE (song: 10, movie: 4).
Just about everyone who has seen this film has positive things to say about it though it is a film that is just about impossible to describe. So much happens within the stretch of it's seven-hour running time (comedy, drama, romance, adventure, terror, animation, special effects, cameos) and enough twists and turns that it could have been a full blown series for at least two years. The actors are well chosen and do a very a good job making this an adult fairy tale. Though okay for all ages this is definitely geared for adults with references to sixties drug culture (the trolls roll a jumbo doobie and our heroes find themselves seduced by magic mushrooms), shocking violence (people are slaughtered in large groups), and sexual references (Wolf says to Virginia when he begins to have feelings for her "I feel hard and soft at the same time"). As a fairy tale it pulls no punches and borrows heavily from the Brothers Grimm and Lewis Carroll's Alice through the Looking Glass. The Tenth Kingdom is where all fairy tale characters live, grow old and eventually die (for the most part) including Cinderella, Snow White, Little Bo Peep and various Bavarian-style towns and villages. The weakest part of the film takes place in the first hour as it sets itself up and we struggle to accept the co-existence of fantasy and reality but stick with it and you will be in for a real treat.
Benji's real name was Higgins and got his start as a regular cast member of sixties TV sitcom Petticoat Junction. Though he was retired shortly after the end of Petticoat Junction, Higgins later came out of retirement to launch a career in movies as Benji, starring in the first two films of the series (his offspring have carried on the legacy in subsequent films). Frank Inn was his trainer throughout his lifetime and began as an assistant trainer for Lassie.
Very good film about human relationships, loneliness, personal growth and love. At the core here is the importance of human contact to move one's life forward. The film defines love as something different than in a typical love story. In a typical love story lust for another sometimes runs against what is right for one's self. In Eu Te Amo, lust comes out of self-preservation, an instinct to provide for certain emotions, but with the respect for other people's wills. Sexuality and the need to be sexual with another person may not be the only way to achieve self-love, but this film shows that it is the way these two people are attempting to achieve it, and if they end up caring about each other, so much the better. This is an R-rated film and I don't think it is anything beyond that, certainly not X-rated. It is for adults wishing to examine adult situations or for those afraid to enter into a new relationship. Sonia Braga's nude scenes are very appropriate for the story-line, not raunchy, they are important to describe where she is emotionally in the story.
Fans of rocket-age science fiction films will find interest in this wacky
spoof. The early 1950's saw the start of the atomic age rocket ship film
genre with ROCKET X-M and DESTINATION MOON in 1950 and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
and FLIGHT TO MARS in 1951. These movies were all hits and the trend lasted
through the sixties with MAROONED and JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN in
1969 (one year after 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY).
In 1953 Abbott and Costello quickly updated their old vaudeville routines to capture a younger, modern audience and try their hand at this phenomena. They had success spoofing the horror genre with A&C MEETS FRANKENSTEIN and A&C MEETS THE INVISIBLE MAN a couple years earlier and the young audiences who had watched Universal's monster films were now watching rocket films and would soon be watching alien monsters devour entire cities. Though flights to Mars were now a typical plot device, A&C GO TO MARS was ahead of the game by going to Venus six years before FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS (1959)!
Abbott and Costello start off toward Mars but end up back on Earth during New Orleans Mardi Gras. They are fooled by fanciful costumes with giant masks and believe they are on Mars. Eventually they flee to Venus populated by beautiful women and all's well that ends well.
The production values were very good, considering that studios were rushing out poorly produced imitations of ROCKET X-M and DESTINATION MOON after their success. After the quick patter routines of the duo that serviced them well in the forties had become so familiar to the audience it was refreshing to have them do something else. Though certainly not a classic and not on the list of best A & C films, for those tiring of the same routines this film is visually exciting filled with space-age fun, beautiful models and hilarious gags. Kids love the film and older adults love the 50's space-age theme. Grab the popcorn.
The Overland Stage Lines stagecoach is traveling from the frontier town of
Tonto, Arizona to Lordsburg, New Mexico. Geronimo, the Apache chief, has
just jumped the reservation and starts an uprising. Before leaving Tonto,
the passengers are notified by the Calvary that they are now traveling at
their own considerable risk but they will be escorted by the soldiers
(here's a clue: don't believe it). Among the passengers are a prostitute
being thrown out of town by a group of women with their noses so stuck up in
the air you could fly flags off of them. She is joined by a drunken doctor,
a gentlemen card shark, a meek whiskey salesman, a crooked banker, a
pregnant woman on her way to meet her husband, and a young cowboy who just
broke out of jail and out to revenge his family's murder. The coach driver
and his shotgun complete the group.
It's all based on a short story called appropriately Stage to Lordsburg but also on a French story (Guy de Maupassant's Boule de Suif) with similar characters traveling in a coach during the Franco-Prussian War.
The basic structure of the plot is also familiar to fans of disaster films. Passengers are introduced, board a common conveyance and face a tremendous danger. The exciting adventure of who lives, who dies, will the stage make it to its destination, and what happens next is highlighted by perhaps the most famous stunts in film history by the most famous and respected stuntman of all Yakima Canutt. If one of the stunts looks familiar, Steven Speilberg recreated it for his first Indiana Jones film.
The film is also a lot more. Unlike other westerns up to its time which were mainly shoot-em-ups between the good guys in the white hats and the bad guys in the black hats, it examines very serious social issues and how different people look down at others differently. Besides prejudice, some of the characters are flawed with alcoholism, greed and revenge. We also see the good in bad people with respect for new life and ultimately redemption. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Interior Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor (won) and Best Score (won), Stagecoach was John Ford's first sound Western and elevated the genre in both critical praise and popularity. The low camera angles in Monument Valley would become a John Ford trademark. Despite doing 70 films, this is the one that made Wayne a star and it's easy to see why. Many consider it his best performance; both subtle and clear he cares for the needs of the people around him and yearns for his own need for a home, a wife and a family. It is considered one of the great films in cinemas greatest year, 1939. Gone With the Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory, The Wizard of Oz, Of Mice and Men and Ninotchka were all nominated for best picture alongside Stagecoach that year.
Regarding the political incorrectness of an Apache uprising, well, they happened. If you just happened to be in a stagecoach in the middle of the southwest during an Apache uprising chances are you would be killed. This story does not examine the reasons for the uprising only the effects on a group of travelers trying to travel through it.
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