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A must-see for Astaire fans
Audrey Hepburn hosts this loving look back at Fred Astaire and the composers who wrote legendary songs for him. It is a tribute to his unique style of singing that brought these songs to life. Many composers of the day would say Astaire was their favorite singer to write a song for, because he sang the song exactly the way the composer had in mind.
Filled with clips from many of Fred's movies, a couple of his tv appearances, and celebrity interviews, this is a definite must-see for all fans of the incomparable Fred Astaire.
Cass Timberlane (1947)
As much as I love Spencer Tracy, there wasn't much he could do with this boring, predictable, overly preachy script. Not to mention how ironic it is to hear him expound the virtues of fidelity when he had numerous affairs, the most famous being Katharine Hepburn, while still married.
Lana Turner is lovely, but I just couldn't get into the story line. I think it started out as a good idea: Cass Timberlane (Tracy) marries a younger woman (Turner) from the supposed "wrong side of the tracks", much to the chagrin of his snobby friends. Can they make the relationship work or not? If they would have developed the story more, and preached less, I think it may have worked. Instead it is just a two-hour sermon, more or less.
Well, at least there is a cute kitty included in the picture.
Don't watch this movie if you are a cynic
I've read so many reviews of this wonderful movie that say it is so terrible and unbelievable, or that it was good until the sappy ending. I'm wondering what is so wrong with a happy ending? Is our society so cynical that movies have to be depressing in order to be considered good?
Dennis Quaid is great in this film. The plot is very well-done and original. When the movie was over I couldn't believe 2 hours had passed! I was so caught up in the movie that time flew by. The thing is, I *enjoyed* myself, I didn't sit there pretending to be some scientist, desperately seeking flaws in the plot of "changing the past". Why argue about it? Has anyone ever actually changed the past, so they can say, hey that movie was wrong, that's not what happens. Cynics will miss the point of the movie entirely. And they will miss out on one of the best movies to come out of Hollywood in a long time.
Carbine Williams (1952)
Mr. Not-So-Nice Guy
Jimmy Stewart plays real-life inventor Marsh "Carbine" Williams, a not-so-very-nice guy, really. Which is mostly the reason why Stewart wanted to take the part. Marsh Williams is convicted of murder although there was really never any proof. He is a bitter man, proud, trying to spare his family the heartache of seeing him in prison, but they stick by him anyway.
I enjoyed this movie; my favorite part probably being the friendship that slowly develops between inmate Williams and Captain Peoples ("Cap"). Watch for a good scene towards the end where Cap makes his friendship for Williams loud and clear - a true symbol of the trust he had in the alleged killer.
The story of the man, his family, and his friends, is the real story here. The fact that he invented a new kind of gun is a side-note. Interesting, though, the ability he had to build things with bare essentials and his own two hands.
Good movie. Not the typical "everyman" Stewart, but he does a great job in the part.
Jean Hagen (perhaps best known for her role as the ditzy silent-movie star opposite Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain") plays Stewart's wife in the movie.
This is a good, keep-you-guessing mystery. William Powell plays a man who doesn't remember anything of his life beyond 13 years ago. Circumstances begin to make him doubt himself and wonder what he had done before an accident caused him to have amnesia. He is very much in love with his wife (the beautiful Hedy Lamarr), and it is riveting to watch his self-assurance crumble as clues begin to reveal a possible shady past. Also starring Claire Trevor and Basil Rathbone. Good movie, especially if you are a William Powell ("The Thin Man") and/or Hedy Lamarr fan.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Judy Garland never looked better
This is such a sweet, wonderful movie - a slice of 1900's America that probably was never so perfect, but we would like to think that it was. The storyline is not a love story between Esther (Garland) and "The Boy Next Door" (one of the three timeless classic songs found in this movie). The storyline is really about the whole Smith family, based on an actual family who lived in St. Louis at the turn of the century. The real-life "Tootie" Smith (played by Margaret O'Brien) wrote stories of her life for the NewYorker. These stories were bought and compiled into this classic musical.
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" originated here, and has become a classic yuletide song. It has been sung a thousand times by a thousand artists, but no one could ever capture the heartfelt emotion expressed by Judy Garland. If it doesn't bring a tear to your eye as you listen to her sing the song to little Tootie, I would have to wonder if you have a heart at all.
The most fun song is "The Trolley Song" - you can even see that Judy herself had a ball singing it. That scene was done in one take.
Judy Garland never looked better in any of her films as she did in this one. Perhaps it was one of the happiest times in her life? It is well-known that she married director Vincent Minelli after this picture.
Beautifully directed, depicting with accuracy the passing of the seasons of one year in the life of the Smiths of St. Louis. What a fun, charming, movie. I could never tire of it.
This movie is really great. Robin Williams gives a marvelous performance as the workaholic father who slowly begins to remember who he really is. Towards the beginning of the movie, when Peter Banning's son tells Granny Wendy that his dad is a corporate raider, she has a great line: "Why Peter, you've become a pirate."
I'm not sure why some folks hate this movie so much they seem downright angry about it, but I think it is a sweet, well-told fairy tale, fit for the whole family to watch. (Smaller children may find the scenes where Peter's two children are kidnapped a little frightening.)
Dustin Hoffman plays Capt. Hook to the hilt, and seems to have a lot of fun doing so.
One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Rufio challenges Peter Banning (who still hasn't remembered that he is Peter Pan). One of the smaller lost boys walks over to Robin Williams, who kneels down in front of him. The boy then starts to touch his face, pushing the wrinkles aside, if you will, and then his eyes light up and he says, "It is you." Very sweet and captivating.
My only complaints with this movie are the unnecessary death of one of the characters (I won't say who), Julia Roberts is out of place, and the ending was a little off. But despite these minor problems it is still a great movie to watch over and over again. Kudos to Steven Speilberg and Robin Williams!
The Parent Trap (1998)
I am a fan of the original Parent Trap, so I was a little nervous about this remake. Well, I shouldn't have worried because this is a delightfully fun, family movie that pays due respect to the original Hayley Mills version. (At one point, Lindsay Lohan sings a few bars of "Lets Get Together", and if I am not mistaken, the woman who plays Meredith's mother in this film was the original "Other woman" in the Hayley Mills version).
Lindsay Lohan is wonderful. She plays both characters distinctly and with comfortable ease. The entire cast is great, especially "Chessy" and "Martin" - I loved Chessy's line: "Don't look at me, I don't know a thing!" And I loved seeing "Flo" from tv's "Alice", Polly Holliday, in the role of Marva, Sr. I just love her!
The music is also great in this film; my favorite is "There She Goes", played when Hallie first arrives in London.
This is a terrific movie all the way around. Lots of fun, perfect for the whole family. See it, you won't regret it!
The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
Excellent "feel-good" movie
I liked the original Karate Kid, but part two is better. Part three is awful, don't waste your time watching it!
Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio do a good job of building on their characters' relationship. It is very touching the way Daniel is there for Mr. Miyagi when he goes through a tragic loss.
Daniel's romantic interest in this movie is much better than in the first movie, and it is nice to see Mr. Miyagi sweetly reunited with a long-lost love.
The fight scenes are exciting, and the message at the end is good too. You understand the "moral of the story" without feeling as if it were too preachy. Very, very nice movie. One of my favorites.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
This is an awesome epic of a movie. Stunning scenery, compelling script, very well-done by Mr. Costner. I didn't feel it was too long at all. At times painful to watch, but that is the reality of our history. At the very least it may encourage you to do some research into native American life. I wasn't there, so I can't say whether Costner's representation is exactly true, which is a point that seems to bother many people. I found it to be a tribute to the Native Americans and not a glorification of some wonderful white guy who showed up to save them all. Costner's character in fact brought danger to these people ( which leads to a very emotional, powerful ending ). It is clearly shown that *they* taught *him*, not vice versa.
A masterpiece of a movie, worthy of the awards it won.