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Girl Shy (1924)
Original Review, April 2, 1924
Harold Lloyd's latest may well be called his best. There is so much action jammed into this picture that when it once gets under way one forgets the opening is rather slow. The last two reels move along so fast, with so many thrills, that the average audience is going to stand up and howl. It's a wow of a comedy picture!
The story is by Sam Taylor, Tommy Gray, Tim Whelen and Ted Wilde. Taylor, together with Fred Newmeyer, directed.
Lloyd is a small-town tailor's apprentice, frightfully girl shy and prone to stuttering. In secret, however, he fancies himself as an author and feels the urge to write a book on girls and women, with himself figuring as the heroic character in a series of romances that are 16 in number.
It is this script that brings him in contact with the rich girl. He is on his way to the city with the script when he meets her on the train. There is a lot of good laugh stuff in the train scene, the first wow coming when he rescues the toy dog belonging to the heiress. The hiding of the dog to get past the conductor and the subsequent complications are also good for laughs.
The biggest of the picture, however, is the chase stuff that runs through both of the final reels. It starts off with Lloyd becoming aware his book has been accepted and he is the receipt of $3,000 advance royalties, this followed by the discovery of the fact that "the girl" is going to be married to his rival, who already has a wife, starts him off hotfoot for the scene of the wedding. What he goes through to get there is beyond the mere power of a typewriter to describe. It is a chase that caps anything else that has ever been done on the screen.
Playing the lead opposite Lloyd is Jobyna Ralston, who proves herself considerable of an actress in addition to being decidedly pretty. The heavy is Carlton Griffith. No one in the cast other than four characters are mentioned, and, as a matter of fact, no one except Lloyd and the girl remain in one's memory.
The chances are that with "Girl Shy," Lloyd is going to run up bigger sales gross than he has had with any of his previous productions.
A Lady of Chance (1928)
Norma Shearer's last silent film
"A Lady of Chance" was Norma Shearer's last silent film. The Turner Movie Classic channel debut of this forgotten gem with a brand-new score, took place on August 15, 2001. It was a total delight! The print was in excellent condition and looked just as audiences first saw it in 1928. Norma, who never looked lovelier, was in top form and showed how adept she was as a silent movie actress. Never let anyone say that she couldn't handle comedy! It's a fun film to watch and I recommend it to anyone, not just Shearer fans.
Romeo & Julian: A Love Story (1993)
Stop the music!
This was the first, and hopefully, the last attempt at making a musical adult film. Let's face it, when we want to see a musical, we'll play a video of MY FAIR LADY. When we want to see adult rated material, we'll put in an X-rated video. The two do not mix!!!!
It's laughable when you see these "actors" break into song. Adult performers, sorry to say, CANNOT ACT and CANNOT SING! So don't even try! Just stick to what you do best (you know what that is) and leave the singing to Julie Andrews.
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
I disliked this film!
I have objects all over my home. The longer I have them, the more attached I get. Not one to be a packrat, I occasionally force myself to get rid of the access, which in a little way, breaks my heart. Even the most trivial of items has some kind of connection to me.
In this film, a married couple, who's only child is in a coma, acquires a life-like robot, which resembles a real 11 year old boy (designed to have human emotions to love and be loved.) The idea of placing this robot child in the home is the father's. His wife has been grieving and he is sure that this will mend her breaking heart. The mother resists at first, but the child named David (played brilliantly by Haley Joel Osment) breaks down her resistance and she accepts the robot has her child. All is well until the real child wakes up from his coma and returns home.
The father completely turns on David and their real son is jealous of him. The mother eventually is persuaded to get rid of him and this is where the film falls apart for me. No one with any kind of heart would do this. As I said, objects have always held a sentimental value for me. Now if I had a robot child that was a precious as David is, there is no way in the world I would discard him. Not only that, but the way she discards him is outrageous!
The film drags on and introduces us to a lot of characters that we don't care about and don't advance the storyline. Even the fabulous Jude Law is wasted in a role that never connects emotionally with David.
Finally, the film comes to a conclusion. Then you find out it isn't a conclusion, the film runs for another 20 minutes and then the `typical Spielberg ending' occurs. But by this time, I was numb. I couldn't feel anymore.
I believe Haley Joel Osment is the most talented performer of his generation and should be awarded an Academy Award for his performance in a film that I truly disliked. Out of a score of ten, I wouldn't go any further than a four.
Jean Harlow at her finest!
When you watch this film, you are overwhelmed with sadness realizing that Jean Harlow died during production. Adding to that, Jean was never better than she is in this film. First of all, MGM finally found her 'look.' Her make-up is toned down and her platinum blonde hair is now a darker shade. She never looked lovelier. But what really is remarkable is her acting skills. She developed such a natural style and her comic ability was absolutely flawless.
From what I've read, Miss Harlow was liked by all in the industry, and loved by those who were close to her. Dying a such a young age (26), one can only imagine how many more years her career would have flourished.
Almost 65 years have passed since her death and she's still one of Hollywood's greatest stars.
The Ryker Files (1996)
Jordan Young steals the show!
Beautiful Jordan Young steals the show from the other performers whose scenes are rather automatic and forced. But Jordan's one scene is different because he projects passion. And seeing him in sexual situations still comes out of the realm of the ordinary. You don't expect it from this "angel faced-boy" so it takes you off-guard, making it all the more hot.
Logan's Journey (1998)
Logan Reed always great to watch!
Logan Reed, always fun to watch, always a treat for the eyes. He's got such a handsome face and a smile that will could melt the northern glaciers.
The story line is rather stupid, but in adult films, aren't they all? Plus, you have to wait until the very end to see Mr. Reed in all his glory. But it's worth the wait!
Monkeys in cages!
I live just outside of West Hollywood, California, where this picture is supposed to have taken place. Every weekend, I drive into the city to see my friends and venture out socially. We are all gay and around the same age. Funny how when we're out and about, we don't recite dialog from `Auntie Mame,' `Steel Magnolias,' or vintage Bette Davis movies. We don't call each other bitches,' nor do we camp it up by dressing in drag periodically. If you saw us all together, you wouldn't think anything. And why should you? We act just like anyone else.
Sadly, the writers of this film would make you believe otherwise. I was very disappointed when I saw this film drag out all the old stereotypes, almost as if they had a checklist. Even the gratuitous funeral scene (in every gay movie there has to be at least one!).
Give me a break! I'm tired of screaming queens representing the gay community in film! Get a grip! Why can't Hollywood tell the truth? To the masses, we'll always be monkeys in cages, thanks to films like this.
I was so disappointed!
I've seen many of Mary Pickford's silent films. The picture she made right before this was `My Best Girl,' (her last silent film) which Mary co-starred with her future husband, Buddy Rogers. It was wonderful! The film still held its charm and it was a delight to see and experience. I expected this much from `Coquette,' especially when you consider that Mary won the best actress Oscar for it.
I was so disappointed! Mary seemed to have lost all her ability as an actress when she made this turkey. She mugs at the camera, poses, and does everything she can to be stilted. It's embarrassing!
I know at one time Mary wanted to destroy all her movies because she didn't think the public would appreciate them anymore. She was talked out of it, thank heavens. But I do sort of regret that this one didn't make it into the fire!
Dragon Seed (1944)
Where is Luise Rainer when you need her?
Katharine Hepburn proves that she is no Luise Rainer, who in 1937 won an Academy Award for her performance in THE GOOD EARTH. Her attempt at a Chinese accent is downright laughable. Just proves that even a great actress like Hepburn can occasionally fail. And fail she did!