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3319 reviews in total 
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Fast moving and suspenseful, 28 May 2015

This takes place in 1815. Young handsome Edmond Dantes (Robert Donat) is unjustly accused of treason by three evil men. He is imprisoned but his girlfriend Mercedes (Elissa Landi) vows to wait for him. Then he is mistakenly believed to be dead and she abandons hope. He is in prison for 20 years virtually forgotten. Then with the help of another prisoner (O.P. Heggie) he escapes and vows revenge on all three of the men who wronged him. The problem is Mercedes is now married to one of them.

I never read the book so I can't compare it but this is a fast-moving and very good film. It was independently made but still has excellent production values and costumes. The story is shown in quick short sequences which move briskly ahead. Donat is excellent in the lead however he's physically all wrong for the role. He's tall and thin and was plagued by health problems all his life and it shows here occasionally. Heggie is also excellent in his role and was just a year away from playing a blind beggar in "Bride of Frankenstein". Landi unfortunately is pretty terrible as Mercedes. She comes across as unattractive and somewhat cruel. I kept wondering what Edmond saw in her. Still this is a very good movie and well worth watching. Good luck finding a clean print.

Just hopeless, 22 May 2015

Pointless sequel to "The Poseidon Adventure" that came out 7 YEARS after the original! It opens shortly after the survivors of the original are rescued and flown away. Then a small salvage crew (Michael Caine, Karl Malden and Sally Field) arrives to get what jewels and money they can get from the boat before it totally sinks. Then ANOTHER boat shows up headed by a doctor (Telly Savalas) to find and help any more survivors. So they all head into the ship. They find MORE survivors but their way out is blocked off and they have to find a way out.

Pointless and stupid full of HUGE plot holes (it is never explained what Savalas wants and why) and stock characters. The puzzling thing is they got talented actors to play these one-dimensional roles. There's Peter Boyle (with hair) playing a angry father, his young daughter (Angela Cartwright) and a man who saved her (Mark Harmon). Then there's a married couple (Shirley Knight and Jack Weston) who needs help...but he's blind. Then there's Shirley Jones as a nurse. Next up is a "humorous" drunk played by Slim Pickens. Last is Veronica Hammel who barely figures in this.

Field plays the "comic" relief but some of her lines are downright painful. The situations are dull and the action sequences are just rehashes from the first film. There's a HUGE amount of things that make little sense (good luck trying to figure out what happened between Hammil and Savalas) and it gets frustrating. The acting varies. The whole cast tries but the characters are drab and the dialogue is terrible. Savalas is easily the worst actor here. Caine is the best. But, all in all, a dull pointless movie. Avoid.

Camp classic, 21 May 2015

Vienna (Joan Crawford) is a tough saloon owner in the old west. She's unjustly accused of a holdup, a murder AND a bank robbery by evil Emma Small (Mercedes McCambridge). She has to battle Emma and the townspeople and is helped by her old boyfriend Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden).

This was shot as a movie against the witch hunts done in the 1950s for communists. However it bombed in its initial release. Even Crawford later on said it was a mistake. It was rediscovered in the 1980s and is now regarded as a camp classic! It's full of ridiculous, overripe dialogue that makes you seriously wonder if the writers were kidding. It's shot in BRIGHT color with some fascinating (if obvious) imagery. There's also a STRONG lesbian subtext in the relationship between Emma and Vienna. It's well-known that Crawford hated both McCambridge and Hayden and it comes through loud and clear on the screen. The movie moves along at a brisk pace and has plenty of fist fights and gun fights to keep audiences happy. The acting is pretty good with Crawford overdoing it (as always). An absolutely fascinating and fun western. Recommended.

17 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Age of Ultron? More like Age of BOREDOM!, 13 May 2015

Bad sequel to the fantastic 2012 "The Avengers". Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) attempt to jumpstart a system to keep peace all over the Earth. Things go wrong and they create a being called Ultron (voiced by James Spader) who sets out to destroy all humans. It's up to the Avengers to stop them but he's helped by the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

This sequel is just terrible. The script is kind of vague in specifics about why Ultron hates humans and the Avengers so much. Also the dialogue here is TERRIBLE! No actor could put over the lines these people are given. So, understandably, almost all the acting is bad. Only Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner (as Hawkeye) give good performances. Worst of all the three new superheroes--Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision--are very badly introduced and poorly used. Also the movie is far too long at almost 150 minutes and is more boring than exciting. Yes the special effects are flawless and there are a few very exciting and long action sequences but they can't save the movie. At the end the movie takes a disastrous turn and turns in a Transformers like movie! Boring and pointless with bad acting and dialogue. I give it a 5 for the effects and action.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Probably Welles best film, 8 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Film takes place in a small Mexican border town. There narcotics agent Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston) and wife Susan (Janet Leigh) get in trouble with crooked police captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles). What follows are frame ups, kidnapping, gang rape, drug abuse and murder.

This is a review of the 1998 "restoration". In 1958 the studio took this out of Welles hands and recut it against his wishes. What was left was great but incoherent. Welles wrote down exactly how he wanted it to be recut. This didn't happen till 1996 and that's the version that's shown today. From the incredibly long tracking shot that opens the film you're mesmerized. It moves quickly with plenty of overlapping dialogue and some truly astonishing direction from Welles. The story is nothing new but the dialogue and the way Welles shoots the picture certainly is. The acting is good all around--especially by Heston and Welles. Only complaints--I was never a fan of Marlene Dietrich and this film doesn't change my mind. Also poor Janet Leighs' character goes through utter hell. Still a fascinating, exciting motion picture classic.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great title--terrible film, 4 May 2015

Melinda Duquesne (Connie Stevens) finds out her father magician Duke Duquesne (Cesar Romero) has died. She was taken away from him at an early age because of his erratic behavior. In his will he leaves her his huge beautiful mansion on one condition--she must spend seven nights there. (Yes--the oldest plot in the book). She agrees but comes to realize someone may be after her...and her father may have returned from the dead.

It's well-made and has a few cute juvenile scares but this is pretty dull stuff. The plot is OLD and the script is terrible full of truly painful "funny" dialogue. This is slowing-moving with tons of padding. It concentrates more on a love story between Melinda and Val Henderson (Dean Jones). Acting doesn't help. Stevens tries but she's pretty bad. Jones overacts so broadly it's embarrassing to watch. Cesar Romero briefly (very briefly) jump starts the movie to life but it's too little too late. The kids might get a kick out of this (it's G rated material all the way through) but nobody else. A 2 all the way.

Interesting sci-fi, 24 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the future a spaceship headed by Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) goes to the planet Altair-14 to see what became of a colony sent there many years ago...but no one has heard from. When they get there all they find is Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter Alterea (Anne Francis) and Robby the Robot. It seems all the other colonists have died off. Morbius wants them off the planet or warns they will be in terrible danger. They ignore him until an invisible force starts to attack them. What is it?

This was the first big budget sci-fi film. MGM made it and gave it a big budget, shot it in color and Cinemascope. It was not a huge hit when it first came out but is now considered one of the best sci-fi films of the 1950s. It's far from perfect. Some of the special effects are pathetic, the script has HUGE plot holes and gaps in logic and the acting is lousy across the board. On the other hand some special effects are outstanding. The visit to the Krell labs and the scary sequence with the Id monster are fantastic. Also there's a VERY eerie electronic music score throughout the film. I don't think it's a classic of the genre as many people do but it is a good and interesting sc-fi film.

Unfriended (2014)
27 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Scary and unsettling, 20 April 2015

Story starts off with a high school girl (Laura) committing suicide. It seems an embarrassing video of her was posted online and she's being bullied. On the anniversary of her death a year later five of her friends are chatting online. Then someone joins them. They have no pic or name...but are using Laura's old account. They can't delete or block them. Then this user starts posting deep dark secrets they've all been hiding and accuses them of killing Laura. Who is it and why are they doing it?

Clever and scary movie using social media to tell the story. In fact the entire movie is on a computer screen. The cast are all unknowns but they look and act like teenagers and are very good and believable in their roles. There's also LOTS and LOTS of swearing...but these are teenagers. The characters are introduced quickly but you get to know them so when the violence kicks in it's disturbing. There isn't a lot of violence here but what there is is VERY disturbing. By the end of the movie I was scared silly and I don't scare easy. A VERY scary horror movie. I give it an 8.

9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good romance drama, 16 April 2015

College student Sophia (Britt Robertson) meets cowboy Luke (Scott Eastwood) in South Carolina where she's going to school. He rides bulls and she's an art student. They meet and fall in love...but she just got an internship in NYC at an art gallery. Will she give him up and go? There's also another love story here set in the 1940s. Ira (Jack Huston) falls in love with Ruth (Oona Chaplin) but the war tears them apart. He survives but has injuries which prevent him from ever having kids. Will they marry and work through this?

It all sounds terrible but it works. The movie doesn't get overly sentimental and each couple is believable and sympathetic. Every romantic cliché in existence is trotted out (there are at least THREE romantic montages) but carried off in an OK manner. It's a little bit too long but I was never bored. It works but the ending is more than a little ridiculous. It seems like they were straining for a happy ending but it worked. And I'll admit I cried more than a few times during the end.

The acting isn't bad. Eastwood and Robertson have zero sexual charisma but they play very well off each other. They're also ridiculously good-looking so they're easy on the eyes. Their sex scenes are handled tastefully (hence the PG-13 rating) with Eastwood showing his muscular chest and baring his butt briefly. Chaplin is also very effective as Ruth. Huston is just so-so as Ira and (even worse) Alan Alda plays him as an old man and he's terrible. Still, all in all, I was entertained by this. I give it a 7.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Falls apart eventually but mostly pretty good, 9 April 2015

Young 21-year-old Julie (Joey Heatherton) is dating old but dependable Harry (Nicholas Coaster). Then she meets young hunky Ben (Troy Donahue) who seems instantly smitten with her. It seems he thinks she's the reincarnation of a woman he loved in another life! He knows a lot about her family that there's no way he could have known. Is it true?

Obscure little thriller. The basic plot is interesting and it moves quickly enough. Donahue and Heatherton are certainly an attractive couple and shown in their bathing suits often. But this movie has problems. It's flatly directed and Barry Sullivan and Coaster are dreadful in their roles. Donahue and Heatherton are bad too but Donahue tries and is actually very good at times. Old pro Jeanette Nolan however is superb as Aunt Sarah. The ultimate resolution was disappointing but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't entertained. I give it a 6.

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