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No God, No Master (2013)
Pure Communist Propaganda.... watch it by all means...
If you want to see just how Marxist our film industry has become, by all means watch this, Wonderful performances, and a total distortion of the Sacco-Vanzetti case. But drama has never had to be valid, just effective.
IF you want to check on the Marxist Progressives attempts to rewrite history, this is one of the most interesting. Forget history. Go with propaganda
And this is effective. Some terrific work by David Straithearn and others. And the scenery chewing of Mitchell Palmer is great fun...
The humble people (AKA immigrants) just trying to get their rights against the capitalist imperialists, who can resist?
Don't miss it.
If you want to know where Barack Obama has come from, make sure you watch THIS.
One Fine Day (1996)
Rotten Spoiled Kids, Absurdly Indulgent Parents (and this is supposed to be funny?)
If you don't happen to be from that segment of the population like its producer Lynda Obst who finds misbehaving children who ruin their clueless parents lives cute, this movie is like finger nails on the blackboard.
The plot has more cliff hangers than the entire TCM DVD collection of film noir... each one dumber than the last, as a hapless pair of single parents try desperately to save their careers and meet the schedules and recreational activities of a pair of spoiled moppets as well.
The parents deserve everything that happens to them, and for once, the worst thing imaginable is that the meet cute couple get together in the end. And they DO... .
They will make one another's lives sheer hell!
And that IS hilarious!
All Is Lost (2013)
The Rime of the Ancient MarinerKlutz is TRULY LOST
The Indian subcontinent seems to have a remarkable paucity of mariners. Which is probably why J.C. Chandor and M. Night Shymalan seem to have a problem when things get wet.
Many Indians have post mortem experiences with seafaring as their corpses float down the Ganges and Indus, but the great Indian wonderful tradition of story telling comes a cropper attempting a nautical adventure.
Chandor floats his brain-dead mariner through a series of judgment calls that he blows with astonishing regularity. For some reason real sailors who know better want to give this hilarious series of screw ups credibility. Believe me... if you want to have an audience screaming with laughter as this lugubrious and interminable disaster unwinds, rent them a copy of ALL IS LOST and screen it for sailors.
Funny thing... the nautical day is divided into time periods called "watches." Presumably that is a reminder that being observant is a key part of passing time at sea and staying alive. Well our Ancient MarinerKlutz can't be bothered with that. He gets into the mess to begin with running into a freight car sized container that has fallen off some ship in calm seas in broad daylight while he is sleeping peacefully below. Then he only sees two container ships the size of Central Park when they are passing him in calm seas ten feet away. Forget the size, the noise, and his desperate need for rescue.
Enough... The ultimate hoot is the Ancient MarinerKlutz screwing up and setting his raft on fire in an attempt to signal what appears to be a boat far away, and then is interrupted in his suicidal sinking into the Mariana Trench by a rescuer "ex machina." Add it to THE ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES.... or save it for a double feature with Redford's next turkey devoted to the tragic suicide of the career of Dan Rather.
Ghastly! Harold and Kumar Go to Buckingham Palace with Cheech and Chong
Watching Woody Allan making bad Jewish jokes in all the wrong places was as grating as the totally absurd Allen notions about what British society is all about. Shtick from a total nitwit. Woody at his most nervous and neurotic was an embarrassment in his own movie.
After VICKY Christina BARCELONA I had hopes.
A waste of good actors and some fine photography. Maybe Woody should class up his next script and do something more challenging... like THE MOOSE MURDERS.
In the meantime Allen should go back to running the gamut from A to B. That's about the extent of what is left of his talent.
If all he can do now is movies about nervous Jews out of their element like this and MIDNIGHT IN Paris, he can at least try to make them entertaining for a larger audience.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
"Why don't we make a Jewish movie set in Paris with Christian characters?"
Starting with Owen Wilson's twitchy ongoing imitation of Woody Allen himself as Gil, every situation involving his grabby neurotic fiancée Inez (a perfect JAP if there ever was one), and her supposedly WASPY Tea Party parents (who come off more like a suspicious Scarsdale dentist and his shrewish Haddassah wife) MIDNIGHT IN Paris is an amusing ethnic exercise primarily because Woody Allen doesn't know that's what he has written.
It would be nice if Wilson's "blastoff into the past" didn't include constant ahistorical errors like "Hemingway" interrupting spouts of unintentionally parodic passages of Hemingway prose to discuss rhino hunting and bullfighting years before he had any exposure to either, and decamping to Kilimanjaro with Wilson's love interest (Marie Cotilard), years before he had ever been to Africa and while he was still living happily with first wife Hadley whose trust fund checks were barely keeping them alive.
But what the hell. Watching Wilson/Woody Allen's constant bug-eyed "Gee whizzes" as each celeb from the past (Fitzgerald, Dali, etc.) went into their star turn was unintentionally hilarious... rather like a reprise of the beginning of the guided tour of Jurassic Park, but the one truly touching sequence when Wilson/Woody somehow caught the right carriage to take a Marie Cotillard to her dream "golden age" to Maxim's and the Moulin Rouge of the Belle epoque made it all almost worth it.
Worth an Academy Award for the blurry postcard color of daytime Paris and the ability to pull the Woody Allen claque together behind a far inferior movie to the marvelous VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA... .
THis is a lousy movie, but given the ethnic makeup of Hollywood, it is over-praised and at least Woody made some money this time.
Rogue Male (1977)
A credible BBC remake of Fritz Lang's 1941 Man Hunt
Kerrigan's plot summary above misses the point. I suppose since the code of gentlemen hunters is so ignored these days that even a "conservative" Governor Tim Pawlenty leaves a deer he shot to die in the woods so he can make a rubber chicken political lunch, one must understand this.
But the point is precisely that Thorndike was making a stalk just as he told his interrogator, not attempting to assassinate Hitler. The challenge was being able to do it. Pulling the trigger was superfluous. The gun only went off because Thorndike got tackled by the SS men while sighting in with a round in the chamber.
There seems no indication here of the fine Fritz Lang film in which George Sanders played a deliciously civilized monster Nazi interrogator and Walter Pidgeon played Thorndike.
While it is always fun watching Peter O'Toole writhing in agony in another over the top performance... you might want to take a look at Man Hunt.
Kronprinz Rudolf (2006)
Rudolf der KronTwit
In trying to spin a script around Rudolf's vague attempts to carve out a role for himself in some kind of grandiose "one world" escape from the Dual Monarchy, the script writers reveal the truth about Rudolf.
He was exactly as his father's ministers thought he was and his father Franz Josef feared he was, a weak, indecisive, self-indulgent nitwit, who hadn't the courage of his convictions or the ones he so easily adopted in lieu of his own thinking.
Von Thun as Rudolf does a lovely job of conveying all this. In a nutshell an heir to the throne who can't have children because he passed on his VD to his wife and made her sterile, while having affairs with a mother and her daughter... and rewarding the familial devotion by taking the star-struck daughter along in his suicide.
If you love costumes and Viennese architecture and interior design enough, you may wish to endure the show (or you can sneak back and watch the Sissi trilogy which is now up on Netflix Roku). And there is some very nice acting by some of the minor characters.
This is about as dramatic and predictable as watching sand run through an hour glass.
The Way We Live Now (2001)
No one seems to get the point that Melmotte is a Bernard Madoff, another Jewish financier pulling a scam
So amusing to see how hard viewers will avoid the obvious in the face of political correctness that makes even accurate observation so unpalatable that key motivation and character must be ignored in favor of blithe disregard.
And this is the Trollop novel in which the famous Trollope ploy is played in the game between Mrs Hurtle and her lover. This was the key to solving the Cuban missile crisis according to Ted Sorenson and others all though disputer by others involved.
A fine series of performances, although Mrs Hurtle is less Southern, than Antipodean, with her accent
Strange Days (1995)
A steaming pile of PC crap... you;d never know that the small black percentage of the population is America's predominant criminal class..
Director Kathryn Bigelow may not have gotten the word, but the crime problem we face isn't caused by "Magnum Force" cops... and we all "get along" just fine when some drugged-up black isn't resisting arrest.
There is a reason why such a high percentage of them are in prison.. and it isn't racial prejudice.
What a shame to waste such good acting and professional work on a snivel riots script like this one.
And if you want to know the truth ask any BLACK cop.
And black sports heroes and rappers lead the way. it is hard to see how any black kids can find anyone to model themselves on given those the media chooses to glorify.
A Christmas Story (1983)
Let's give Leigh Brown (Shepherd's wife) the credit for this movie that is due her.
Few know the story behind the film A Christmas STORY.
Jean, like most writers, (and I was his editor and indeed Leigh's too for several books) was not the best critic of his writing. He produced ideas and monologue material like an inexhaustible artesian well, but seldom knew which of them were the most salable. Like many artists he was always in love with the last thing he created.
Despite sellout shows at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere and a top rated talk radio show, Jean never made a lot of money out of his writing. And the best media use of his talents was a remarkable WGBH series he wrote and produced called "Jean Shepherd's America" some of which is available on a DVD.
Jean's producer for his public appearances and his radio show was a remarkable woman named Leigh Brown. Leigh had been a show jumper at competitive horse show on the circuit for years and had more broken bones and fewer teeth than any pretty blonde I knew. But her funny bone was in great shape and her sense for Jean's most commercial work was shrewd as well.
Anyone who wanted to extract something salable from Jean quickly learned to go through Leigh.
She had always believed that several stories in IN GOD WE TRUST (including the Red Ryder BB gun story) would make a Christmas feature that would run every Christmas for years to come and finally make some real money for Jean.
She was right and they were finally able to retire to Sanibel island. And her co-authorship of A Christmas STORY was probably the key to finding the best material for the film easily. Had Bob Clark tried to work with Jean directly, chances are the film would never have been finished.