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More a Thank You to Wizard-8
I thought I saw some character development that resembled Valdez Is Coming, but didn't know why. Thanks to Wizard-8, I now realize that the same pen couldn't help but leave a few crow's feet in the characters. The youth in this one, and the fact that it was created by a director 30 years after the 1950s filmmakers, helps me to visualize the direction Westerns are taking nowadays. Thanx again, Wizard-8. I saw the story on the Encore Westerns Channel late on the Saturday of daylight savings, and got a kick out of the simplicity in which the 19th-Century protagonists lived. Directors now seem to play more with the personal side of each character, discarding the age-old idea that action and reaction are the main drives of an entertained audience. But... I guess the future is going to be even more loaded with feelings than with feelingless action. Hallmark Channel has a lot of these stories, and is happy to banner them for today's viewers. Oh, HBO's Deadwood has dealt another personal-side blow, too.
The Village (2004)
Everyone pronounces it "SHAM-alan"
Sorry this is so short, and I'll say a lot in a few words: sham is the order for the day. SIXTH SENSE and SIGNS had (1) Science Fiction (2) Paranormal (3) Psychic (4) Space Aliens or (5) The Dead after Death. This has none of the above, but there are shades of "Now that you're down here in South America with me - Kool-Aid anyone?" It also has shades of "Now that the planets have all aligned, anyone want to celebrate in San Diego, California?"
Accidental Stripper (2003)
An heir to The Cheyenne Social Club
I give this film 3 stars for one reason, only. It is a good template for films of the second millennium. The James-Stewart/Henry-Fonda/Shirley-Jones movie, THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB, treated the same phenomenon: a person inherits a club of ill repute and is determined to work with it to make it a success. Because the Cheyenne Social Club was in the 19th Century, though, it dealt with a lot of negative "press" from the townspeople. Janey Hopkins' gentleman's club, DIAMONDS, has only the hurdle of a hyped crew of female dancers vying their professional talents against the boss who can't decide whether or not to keep it going.
Type O (2000)
Beware Of Spoilers !!! Fairy Tale And Sci Fi
This one is a cool experiment in filmmaking! The use of light, ambience and gender are out of this world. She's a (robotic) typist in a 1950s atmosphere of confined room looking outside on the world. As she types - wadding up her previous pages and tossing them into "File 13" - a sprite, a small ball of light, dances around the room. As it continues, she continues typing. Finally, in the end... Some younger, newer short-film creators could take a lesson from this experiment! The lesson: how to use a creative story to make common, everyday objects come to life in a surprising way. I give it *** of *****.
What Do You Think?: Tupapaoo (1938)
Great Moroni Olsen Vehicle - Spoiler Warning!
It was with great pride that I found the title through IMDb's Character search. Turner Classic Movies is running the MGM Parade series. In episode #20 an excerpt of this short is shown, without listing the name of the film. General plot: Olsen plays Kurt Larsen, a larcenous lecher who has bilked the islanders of the pearls they have harvested from the sea. He brings nearly worthless trinkets, supposedly attractive to the people, and lists their debts in a book. As they bring him the pearls that are of much greater value, he marks off their debts. One day a comet - they call a fire in the sky - passes by and the chief forewarns of a great storm. Unbelieving Kurt makes no preparations and suffers a loss of all the pearls, as his store is burnt to the ground in a fire caused by a suspiciously shifting wind. Poetic justice seems to be a critical part of island philosophy.
The Gorilla Man (1943)
Early 36 HOURS (1965) plot twist.
The general premise here is repeated in the James Garner movie, 36 HOURS (1965): a wounded American soldier is in a hospital involving Nazi agents. The key to each film plot, however, changes drastically. In this plot, the penchant for displaying the ferocious covert attack of the Germans against the Allies is followed, but for a different reason. You see, in 36 HOURS, the protagonist discovers... Ah! but you'll have to rent or buy that video to find out that one! If you're a classic spook or intrigue fan, I believe you, too, will give this one at least 6 stars of 10.
Ghost Treasure (1941)
Spoiler Warning! Could Make You Want To See This Short!
Glenn Ford had an integral part on the MGM Parade Show #19 as I watched it tonight on Turner Classic Movies. But his appearance in the contemporary (1956) movie RANSOM made me think more of GHOST TREASURE. Glenn had starred earlier in a story of Superstition Mountain gold in Arizona. That, too, had a Native American curse with it. But this short uses costumed re-enactment of scenes of Mexican Soldier Manuel Arguello first discovering that gold was to be found in Death Valley, California, in 1843. After his men die from a ghost-like adversary, the story skips to Pete Wilkins, a later prospector who died without telling where he found his gold ore in that area. GHOST TREASURE is one of the content shorts in the Parade Show #19 episode. I am a LUST FOR GOLD enthusiast, the movie in which Glenn Ford co-stars with Ida Lupino, ever since the first day I went to a neighborhood theater in East Los Angeles to see it. But The Park Service at Superstition Mountain Monument in Arizona discourages any serious gold hunters there.
Rainbow Island (1944)
For a little kid, rilly exciting !!!
I, too, first saw it in theaters as a kid. To a kid: the most exciting thing about a (duh!) musical is the action! In one scene, while the pilots are trying to get off the isolated island on which they crashed, one is nearly swallowed by a flesh-eating plant that looked more like a giant artichoke. Cool! Then their ingenuity (didn't know what the word meant when I was a kid) came up as they captured a Japanese plane that had landed there. To turn the "Zero" red ball of the Japanese flag into an Army Air Corps U.S. star, they used plant dies to paint it on the wings. Unfortunately, as they flew near a U.S. flattop, a sudden tropical rain came up and washed away the "star" pattern, leaving the original "Zero". The ship began to fire at them !!!
A Pregnant Moment (2001)
A Beautiful Statement On Canine Birth.
A man and woman supervise the pregnancy and whelping of their pet dog. Humanity is served well, as they care for the bitch during the period-in-waiting. Then they prepare for the vigil, the date of which a veterinarian gives them (on video). The due date arrives, and they watch all of the proceedings (not the actual ejection of the pups on video). During the days after whelping, they care for the pups, with the help of the bitch (most of these scenes are merely the feedings at the teats). Then comes the day most traumatic to the woman: They show their door closing (several times) on people who have come to claim the pup they have been promised. Just before the last pup is adopted, the woman is on the couch, traumatic and obviously not able to contain the "empty nest" feeling. This is a touching and vital teaching facility to me because, as a boy in Los Angeles, I went to a dairy farm and watched the breech-birth of a calf, not knowing I should have notified the owner. It was, of course, stillborn. I give it 5 of 5.
Repetition Compulsion (1997)
Power on the charcoal easel
This seven-minute short tells of the quest of a girl for self-security by seeking power over others. But she runs into problems as she finds herself up against things she has trouble controlling. I give it 8 of 10, specifically for the artwork in the charcoal-on-paper drawings in motion and the interesting base concept.