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Zombies on Broadway (1945)
Can a Zombie dance? Can a zombie be a headliner?
It appears that RKO scraped together some left overs from I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE to make a quick buck or two as a sequel. Gordon Douglas directs this comedy about two hapless publicists Jerry Miles(Wally Brown)and Mike Strager(Alan Carney)trying to slip a fake zombie past their ex-mobster boss Ace Miller(Sheldon Leonard), who is wanting to impress some of his cronies at his nightclub. The inept Miles and Strager find themselves going to the Caribbean to recruit a real zombie to bring back to New York. In search of this special talent, they run into Professor Reanult(Bela Lugosi)performing experiments on natives. I think I've already spoiled it for you.
Also featured in this time stealer: Joseph Vitale, Anne Jeffreys, Frank Jenks, Russell Hopton and Darby Jones is the zombie.
Submarine Command (1951)
A submariner's torment.
John Farrow directs a story and screenplay by Jonathan Latimer about a decision questioned for too long of a time. It is said that star William Holden put up $20,000 of his own money to see this film was made. Holden plays Lt. Commander Ken White, who under attack by Japanese fighters, orders his submarine to crash-dive while his commander is still topside on the deck. This decision not only torments and haunts White, he also loses a lot of respect of fellow submariners. Once again in his command, White must make another life or death decision.
A star-studded cast features: Nancy Olson, William Bendix, Jack Gregson, Peggy Weaver, Arthur Franz, Darryl Hickman, Jack Kelly and Jerry Paris.
The Boov are on the move.
Jim Parsons and Rihanna are impressive in their animated film debut. If there is a movie you are going to have to be dragged to...this one, you should and will enjoy. The Boov are interstellar nomads; they speak English, but their sentence structure is not well arranged. Their leader, Captain Smek(Steve Martin)excels at running away. And the Boov are running for sure. The Boov are trying to escape their mortal enemy and they pick Earth to make their new home. One major thing is that they will have to move all humans to Australia.
Oh(Parsons)is one excited Boov; but he is not very popular, because the rest of the Boov feel he is so unaware of how his manner and innocence is so irritating. Oh will meet a young girl named Tip(Rihanna), who is looking for her mother(Jennifer Lopez)lost in the shuffle of relocation. Oh agrees to help Tip find her mother as long as she helps him hide from his fellow Boov.
Animation and color are top notch; the story is sustainable. There is some mild, rude humor...but hey, this flick is fun for everyone. Some of the music featured: "Dancing In The Dark" and "Only Girl In The World" by Rihanna. And there is "Feel The Light" by Miss Lopez.
Others lending voices to characters: Brian Stepanek, April Winchell, Matt Jones, Derek Blankenship, Stephen Kearin and Lisa Stewart.
Please yourself first.
Fantastic dark comedy! Riggin Thomson(Michael Keaton)is a fading star most popular over twenty years ago as he played the cinematic superhero Birdman. And greatly disappointing what fans he had left when he turned down Birdman 4. Pretty much totally broke, divorced from his wife(Amy Ryan)and trying to salvage a dismal relationship with his estranged daughter Sam(Emma Stone); Riggin wants to re-invent himself with a comeback by way of a Broadway play. With very little of the super-powers of his former character, he struggles to rebuild a career as well as his life.
Thomson opts to write, direct and star in an adaptation of Raymond Carver's story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". During a rehearsal, one of his co-stars, who he cares little about, has an accident and needs to be replaced. Thomson has his best friend and lawyer, Jake(Zach Galiflanakis), hire at any cost acclaimed method actor Mike Shiner(Edward Norton)as the replacement. During the first preview performance Riggin realizes that Shiner is living up to his reputation of being an arrogant p^*ck. The two actors start playing off of each other and it seems the play takes on a different dimension...but for the better, or worse. Thomson knows he is in hock up to his ears; he is getting a strange vibe from co-star Lesley(Naomi Watts); fresh from rehab, Sam may have something going on with Shiner; and then there is an alter-ego following him around. This play has got to be a success.
Keaton may have gotten bam-boozeled at Oscar time; he is brilliant in this role. Miss Stone is so alluring and scene commanding; and that is a good thing. Norton is hilarious and at the top of his game. Others in the cast: Katherine O'Sullivan, Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Gold, Akira Ito, Jeremy Shamos and Damian Young.
Home Sweet Home (2013)
This is like watching a train wreck.
David Morley writes and directs this horror flick. Sara(Meghan Heffern)and Frank(Adam MacDonald)return home from a date night out; with the baby at grandma's, this night has the possibility of getting heatedly romantic. Nothing really alarming to notice telling that the nice secluded home has been invaded. Check phone messages, put some music on and mix a couple of drinks. Frank gets excited about his wife upstairs putting on her old cheerleader outfit.
Things get pretty damn tense when the intruder(Shaun Benson), wearing a dull, but scary mask and protective clothing, commences to torture and maim. Some of the violence is disturbingly graphic. Assuming Sara is the lead character...she is clueless and has no common sense. Let's say "shock and awe" does that to a person. The intruder becomes a methodical and deliberate killer. He goes about his horrid business like a mundane chore.
HOME SWEET HOME leaves questions to be answered; but earns an R rating with suspense and bloody violence.
He's a Cockeyed Wonder (1950)
Impressing the bosses daughter.
Young Freddie Frisby(Mickey Rooney)looses his job as a orange sorter at Bob Sears'(William Demerest)packing plant. Trying to impress the boss' daughter, Judy(Terry Moore), Freddie messes up for the last time and is hastily fired. Things begin to look up when he finds he has inherited his uncle's estate. Judy by his side, Freddie realizes he has inherited a box of magic tricks with instructions. So young Mr. Frisby decides to become a magician with Judy as his assistant. Behind Mr. Sears' back, the two love birds try to find a secret location to practice magic tricks and end up kidnapped by hoodlums, planning a payroll robbery.
You can at times see the age difference between Rooney and Moore, but it really makes no distraction. The couple work well with each other. Not exactly one of Mickey's better flicks, but interesting enough.
Peter Godfrey directs and the cast also features: Charles Arnt, Douglas Fowley, Mike Mazurki and Ned Glass.
Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
Is this worth going through again?
I admit liking brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly. I admit not being in the massive fan base of DUMB AND DUMBER. Does the popularity of the original provide enough reason to go through it all over again? It has been a little over 20 years since the slow-witted pals Harry(Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd(Jim Carrey)took time to embark on a road trip. Harry finds out that he needs a new kidney and Lloyd convinces his bud to hit the bricks and try to find his long-lost daughter Penny(Rachel Melvin)he only recently discovered he'd sired. His own flesh and blood makes sense to be a perfect match to be an organ donor. Along the way, Harry gets to meet his parents that he hasn't seen in twenty years and also Fraida Felcher(Kathleen Turner), the daughter's mother. As soon as Lloyd sees a picture of Harry's daughter...he is smitten.
Rude, lewd and sexual humor; is it the nostalgia of seeing Lloyd and Harry together again or is it the recycling of stupidity that has so many fans dumbstruck? Sure there are laughs and some hilarious situations. Just don't inform me that it is the smartest of people that actually need stupid movies.
Also appearing are: Don Lake, Tembi Locke, Patricia French, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden and Bill Murray.
Blind Date (1934)
Do they really know what they want?
This mid 30's back and forth romantic drama has a humorous element. Some times a woman just thinks she knows what she wants. Ann Southern stars a the lovely Miss Kitty, that gets torn between two lovers. She off and on goes out with mechanic Bill Lowery(Paul Kelly); the problem with Bill is he loves his job too much. Actually it is the chance at making money that he places above all else; and that means standing up Kitty on the night of her birthday. She accepts a blind date with a considerably older wealthy clothing store owner Bob Hartwell(Neil Hamilton). Hartwell plies her with fancy clothes and even a job at his store. He even buys Bill's wrecker service/mechanic shop. When Kitty feels beholden to her first love, Bill; and wants to try over again with him, he breaks the relationship off. Now, what is a girl to do? Roy William Neil directs this 71 minute mini-soap opera. Veteran actress Jane Darwell plays Kitty's mother aptly. Other players rounding out the cast: Geneva Mitchell, Joan Gale, Spencer Charters and a young, but still growing Mickey Rooney.
Personal Affair (1953)
Hot for teacher. Teenage angst.
An age old, but timeless state of affairs. This drama directed by Anthony Pelissier expounds the evil of gossip. A teenage schoolgirl Barbara Vining(Glynis Johns)develops a passionate affection for one of her professors. Stephen Barlow(Leo Genn)is a suave, middle aged man happily devoted to his charming wife Kay(Gene Tierney). Barlow is flattered, but has no real concern for the young girl other than being his pupil. But on the other hand, the professor does nothing to discourage the smitten young lady. He mentions what may be happening to his wife, who comes unraveled when Barbara disappears. Harsh gossip rears its ugly head as the community is all but certain the lass is victim of foul play; and her professor is responsible of trying to cover up a tawdry affair...that didn't even happen.
Well written dialogues, with characters you can find apathy and sympathy for. The screenplay belongs to Lesley Storm. Other players include: Pamala Brown, Walter Fitzgerald, Megs Jenkins and Michael Hordern.
The Lady Eve (1941)
What a team, Stanwyck and Fonda!
The noted Preston Sturges directs a Mockington Hoffe screenplay based on his own story about a stunningly seductive gold-digger Jean(Barbara Stanwyck)and her conniving father 'Colonel' Harrington(Charles Coburn)poised to pounce on and bam-boozle a wealthy socialite Charles(Henry Fonda). Charles is an affable some what naive heir to a brewery fortune. The young man is not wise to certain ways of the world and Jean is trying every which a way to get her clutches on him. The attractive young lady is smitten, but Charles catches on to her plan to trap him. A well written screwball comedy ensues.
Stanwyck is outstanding and at her best. Fonda is no slouch either. A timeless classic that also features: Eugene Palette, Martha O'Driscoll, William Demerest, Melvin Cooper and Eric Blore.