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I have not read the E.L. Doctorow novel this is based on, but I'm guessing the film takes a lot of liberties, as Doctorow is usually more sophisticated than this. Jolene (Jessica Chastain) is a Southern-fried child bride who starts a torrid affair with her husband's uncle. She lands in a juvenile detention facility where a butch lesbian guard has designs on her. She escapes, drifts across the country having sex with a variety of sleazy creeps, and becomes a tattoo artist and a Vegas stripper. She finally marries a born-again Christian who (of course) turns out to be a fanatical, wife-beating lout (it has been light-years since we've seen a positive depiction of a Christian in a movie). The plot sounds like an homage to a dumb, 1970s drive-in flick, but JOLENE takes itself too seriously for that, which is its downfall. This is not fun or entertaining---it is ugly garbage loaded with nudity, graphic (and unerotic) sex scenes, and scenes of violence against women. I am astonished by the positive reviews here at IMDb that claim the film is "sweet" and "charming"---I saw none of those qualities. But since others did, judge for yourself.
On a trivia note, a couple of scenes were shot in my old stomping grounds of Prescott, Arizona. At the time, local news reported that Donald Sutherland was in the film. Since he is nowhere to be seen in the finished product, I must conclude this report was in error, or else he had a cameo that ended up on the cutting room floor, which was probably all the better for him.
The End (1978)
We're Riding For The Final Round-Up
I first saw THE END on the NBC network around 1980, and thought it was a very funny and yet very touching black comedy about dealing with the end of life. It became one of my favorites. But back in those days, movies were still being heavily edited for television, something I wasn't aware of.
A couple of years after that, I got to see the original theatrical version on cable, and I was shocked! It seemed like a completely different film; the original film was filled with foul language, crude sexual jokes about orgasms and other functions, and other unnecessary excesses. I was very disappointed.
This is the textbook example of just how much difference TV editing can make for a film. It is also an example of how editing can sometimes IMPROVE a movie. Unfortunately, since video, DVD and cable are king now, it is only the unedited theatrical release that is available to viewers. That is a shame, but I still have fond memories of the hilarious and touching comedy I saw on TV so many years ago.
On an unrelated trivia note, when Burt Reynolds published his memoirs a few years ago, he contended that veteran character actor Sam Jaffe had a small role. Apparently this scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Too bad.
AM Arizona (2002)
A Local Talk Show
I am starting to think that IMDb is getting a bit too inclusive! AM-Arizona is a morning talk show broadcast live from the Prescott, Arizona studio of AZ-TV, which is headquartered in Phoenix. The show interviews locals who are promoting upcoming Yavapai County (AZ) events and public service announcements. I have been a guest on the show many times. It serves a good purpose, as there are not many such shows left in America that are not relegated to community access channels. The show actually began around 1990 under the name NORTHERN ARIZONA SCENE, and hosted by Cathy Nowlin. Around 1992, Tonya Mock took over as host. Around the mid-90s, the name changed to THE TONYA MOCK SHOW. Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce head Lew Rees joined as co-host about 2002, and it became AM Arizona. Only locals would care about the content, but it serves a good purpose, but owing to changing times, the show probably will not last forever.
Tired Of Defenders
Let's get real here. The film, like was novel, was created to attack the religious beliefs of a certain group of people. Why deny it? I continually shake my head over people who claim that it depicts a reverent, three-dimensional Jesus, and that Christians who are offended by the film are simply intolerant. That's a lot of rubbish. The Bible teaches that Jesus was a "perfect" man, one without sin. Yet, this movie depicts Him as lustful, indecisive, confused, and yes, sinful. As a carpenter, he builds crosses for the Romans to execute people? Come on! Judas is depicted as a heroic strongman? Oh brother! And you can still sit there and say the film is not an attack on Christian beliefs? The fact is, Christianity is the only religious faith on the planet that it is considered "okay" to attack. Would a film like this have ever been made about Mohammed or Buddha? And if those films were made, would there be legions of defenders? I think not. Atheists have a right to make their own movies, but they do not have the right to misrepresent these movies and condemn those who do not embrace the films. Shame on Martin Scorsese, Willem Dafoe, and everyone else for their deception---but not Nehemiah Persoff, who was probably just grabbing a quick paycheck.
A Little Game (1971)
A Little Different View
Ugly, nasty, repellent film about sick kid who plots the murder of mom's new boyfriend. Even though the kid skulks around acting creepy all the time, mom (of course) refuses to believe there is anything wrong with her baby, which he uses to his advantage. Not as sleazy as SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA which utilized some of the same ideas, but why would anyone want to watch garbage like this, except to see what poor Katy Jurado (HIGH NOON) had sunk to in her waning years, playing a servant? Only good thing is the brief running time; some reviews here claim they haven't seen it in years---if you really MUST see it (which I do not understand), there are bootlegs kicking around on the Net.
The Jungle Book 2 (2003)
It Could Have Been A Lot Better
I agree with the other posters here who say they were disappointed by this pointless sequel. I can't add anything to there comments, except to say that a much better sequel was right under the Disney Corporation's nose and they didn't see it or had forgotten about it after all these years.
Back around 1970, while the original film was still very popular, Disney issued an audio sequel on LP record called MORE JUNGLE BOOK, with some of the original cast voices including Phil Harris and Louis Prima! This LP record had a much better story than this 2003 movie, and no, the movie is not a version of the record. For a kiddie record, it had some heart, something this pointless film sequel does not.
On the LP, Louis Prima performs a song called "Strange Behavior", which he probably never recorded anywhere else, and Prima fans today have probably never heard it!
Legend of the Northwest (1978)
Seems To Have Sat On A Shelf A Long Time
IMDb lists the release year for this film as 1978, but this is clearly not when it was filmed. The cinematography, outfits, hairstyles, and film grain all look like the 1960s, and the final clue is that Denver Pyle (the only familiar face in the film) visibly looks much younger than he did in any of his other 1978 credits. If 1978 was indeed when the film first saw the light of day, it had sat on a shelf for many years.
The plot is about a large dog in the Old West who witnesses his owner murdered by bandits. He becomes a stray, but has a string of bad luck. He keeps finding himself in situations where the local townspeople mistake him for a vicious dog, and they drive him out of town. The film goes out of its way to fault the townspeople for not examining the situations more closely, but this is not fair---if you or I witnessed the events as the characters see them, we would likely arrive at the same conclusion.
Overall, the film is a bore that I doubt any of today's children would find interesting.
Silent Fury (1994)
Lost In Legal Limbo
SILENT FURY was filmed in my old stomping grounds of Prescott, Arizona. Later, after the crew left town, we received word that Eric Louzil had fallen into a legal dispute with his financial backers that was preventing the film's release. Now, many years later, the problems must still be unresolved, as the film has never been released theatrically, nor has it ever had a VHS or DVD release that I know of, nor has it ever been shown on cable or any other kind of TV, that I am aware of.
This is too bad. Prescott residents were interested in seeing it, the others in America probably would as well. All I know about the plot is that it is some kind of action film.
I agree with most of the positive reviews here at IMDb, so I will concentrate on another aspect of the film.
Hollywood legend contends that during the shooting of FREUD, John Huston gleefully and sadistically brutalized poor, trusting Montgomery Clift, both physically and emotionally. The story took hold and has been repeated countless times by Clift biographers down to this day, despite the lack of any corroborating witnesses, plus no other actors ever came forward to say that Huston was so cruel to them on other shoots.
For the most part, John Huston didn't care what people said about him, but this story actually did damage to his reputation. It is the only negative story about Huston that he felt the need to respond to. In his 1979 memoirs, AN OPEN BOOK, Huston gives a detailed account of the shooting of FREUD, and addresses the specific allegations against him. We may never know the whole truth, but Huston does quite a credible job of defending himself. Naturally, his side of the story never got as much attention as the original charges. You should find the book and read it.
More trivia: After Jean-Paul Sartre's death, his admirers published much of his original, unused screen treatment, and predictably condemned John Huston for not filming Sartre's eight-hour screenplay (as if anyone would have tolerated an eight-hour movie).
Because of Sigmund Freud's theories, FREUD was arguably the first motion picture to deal, even briefly, with the subject of incest. In real life, Freud contended that many adolescents go through a phase where they have sexual feelings for their parents of the opposite sex, and then go into denial that they ever felt such things after they get older. If Freud was correct, the denial is very strong, for he is reviled for this theory to this day. But readers, can you HONESTLY say that, as a young teen, that you never once cast a glance at mom's legs or her cleavage?
FREUD is a good biographical film, and it is a shame that it has never been pleased on VHS or DVD. One has to wonder why---maybe Freud's theories still hit that raw of a nerve?
Why The Revulsion?
This was considered one of the biggest cinematic disasters of its era---a film that virtually destroyed the careers of the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, and recording mogul Robert Stigwood (a giant at the time) likewise disappeared from view. Thirty years later, there are no less than 13 pages (so far) of blistering denunciations of this movie here at IMDb.
I have never understood any of this. I had a good time with the film when I was young, and in later years, it still held up for me. It certainly is no classic, but if you are willing to relax and meet it halfway, you might find yourself having a good time. It is fun watching people like Steve Martin, Frankie Howerd, and Donald Pleasence hamming it up, and George Burns is always enjoyable.
Once, I said all of this to an acquaintance in person, and his response was: "Why would I want to hear Beatles songs if the Beatles aren't doing them?" Herein lies the film's problem, I think. Fans of the Beatles consider their music to be untouchable---very few artists have tried to do covers of Beatles songs, and the few who have met with hostility. Fans of the "fab four" carry a lot of weight, and they consider covers of the music to be nothing less than blasphemy. Consequently, when this innocuous film came out, they went on the attack and never let up.
Come on, lighten up! It is a fun, innocent little film.