Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Not Quite an Angel (1999)
Quite a Little Gem, really.....
I originally purchased this movie on DVD back in 2007, when it was on sale here for $2. I remember watching it a week or so after purchasing it, and not being very taken with it.
However, I re-discovered it in my 'old' pile shelf last evening, and decided to give it another playing.
It is a simple, fun, family-type movie, with a little bit of love, a few laughs, and a little bit of magic. I believe anyone from 10 years old to 70 years old would find it to be good, easy viewing...
Basically, it tells the story of a working father, played by John McCafferty (as John St. Ives), who is trying to bring up two kids, a boy and a girl, played by Cameron Sturn and Mallory Farrow respectively. The kids' mother has recently passed away, and Dad has had to revert to the use of a Nanny (played by T.L. Brooke) to get through the other chores of the daily running of the house, and tending to the needs of the kids.
The boy Justin, is a prolific experimenter and inventor, and his crazy devices ensure that riotous calamity runs rife in the home. He is a joy to watch.
His sister Jessica, is a caring and sweet girl, who, like her brother, misses their mother very much, and tries to help out around the home wherever possible. She ultimately writes a letter to God, asking for some Divine assistance.
The father is an inspector for the local council, and as such, prepares reports and feasibility studies for the governing body.
Enter Mr Hampton (played by Edwin Craig), who is a millionaire, who wishes to obtain a vast tract of land in the area, for what he announces will be a boon to the whole township. Included in his proposed 'acquisitions' is the local park, which all the kids attend and enjoy immensely. He tells everyone that he is to provide better facilities for the park, more housing in the area, and this will increase employment, so 'everyone wins'as he quips. However, the main motive for his actions is that he has discovered (with the help of his two bumbling assistants) oil, under the very park that the kids love.......He is assisted by his niece, Sandra (Debra Rich), who may or may not turn out to be what she seems. She is a riot to watch, particularly at dinner with the family.....
Following the resignation of their Nanny, due to falling foul of so many of Justin's pranks, Mel, (played by Cynthia Gillespie) is sent from Heaven, in response to the letter from Jessica. Immediately, things start to take on a magical persona, and chores and other labors are dispatched with ease. It doesn't take the two kids long to realize that Mel is, in fact, an angel....
The second half of the movie deals with the battle between the corrupt official, and the hopeful retainers of sanity, luck, and happiness.
You will just have to believe me that everyone gets his and her just desserts.....
A 'feel-good' movie.....
(My only problem about the whole thing, is that the cover art on the DVD cover, which is also illustrated here on IMDb, shows two characters...a blonde woman wearing an apron, and a pretty little blonde girl.......Whomever they are, they certainly don't appear in the film.....!!!)
My Living Doll (1964)
A Tiny Time Capsule from the 1960's
Please allow me to add my review of "My Living Doll". Other reviewers have captured the essence of the series, so I can only add my own thoughts on the recently-released MPI Home Video 11-episode DVD 2-disc set.
1964 was a long time ago, and I can well remember watching Julie Newmar as Rhoda the Robot, and Bob Cummings as her protector-cum-human-sidekick in this comedy series. (I know that he was supposed to be the star, but all us guys only ever watched it for Julie...)
Truly, as a 13-year old, I was quite smitten with Newmar and her Amazon- like beauty, but I never cared very much for old Bob, at least not in this particular role. He was 54 years old when he made this, and he was portraying an man at least 20 years younger. It still shows.
After watching my way through all the episodes, I can see much more in it than I ever did as a kid, but I still cannot see any real reason why I purchased it, except as a curio....
Almost 50 years later, I understandably found the comedy to be a little on the dry side. There are some genuine laughs, but they are a little few and far between. Julie is stuck like an attractive fly in amber, and just as Amazon-esque as I recall, but some of the lines that she has to deliver are indeed, cringe-worthy these days. Bob still looks out of place, and extremely uncomfortable in the role. The supporting actors, Jack Mullaney and Doris Dowling do their best with what they are given, and they both tend to liven up the proceedings whilst on screen.
The eleven surviving episodes are just a random smattering of the original 26, and if those missing parts are one day re-discovered and re-released, then the whole thing might just make a little more sense. As it is, it is naturally, quite difficult to follow. Interestingly, the DVD cover is tagged as "The Original Collection, Volume One" so perhaps MPI have some idea that they may be looking at a future "Volume Two"...
The B&W picture quality is quite good, and the sound is crisp and clean, but I feel that the series would only be something of value to an aficionado. I doubt whether any of the younger generation these days would be able, or willing, to try and make any sense of it at all.
The final episode on disc two (number 6 in the series) is obviously from a source other than the main episodes, for the picture quality is not on par with the others. A disclaimer warns of this. It is still watchable, however.
Among the 'extras' included are an interview with Julie Newmar on the making of the series, and a transcript of a couple of interesting radio interviews conducted by Lucille Ball. These extras even extend to a brace of 1960s commercials - for products such as "Aqua Velva Silicone Lather" shaving foam, "Alberto V05" hairspray, "Norelco Comfort Shave" electric razors, and "Taryeton" cigarettes, whatever they were......
And, oh yes, that 'alternative' opening credit shot with Julie in the baby-doll outfit is there, as well....
The episode list is as follows. The eleven numbers are from the original episode listing:
1) Boy Meets Girl? 2) Rhoda's First Date 3) Uninvited Guest 6) Something Borrowed, Something Blew (This is the above-mentioned 'lesser quality' episode, and is actually presented in the 'extras' menu.) 7) The Love Machine 9) My Robot, the Warden 10) The Beauty Contest 14) I'll Leave It To You 17) Pool Shark 19) The Kleptomaniac 21) The Witness
Indeed, a tiny time capsule from 1964/5.
The Buddy Holly Story (1978)
I always think it would be nice if you could somehow have a 'sneak preview' at some of the old movies that are re-released on DVD, before you purchase them. That way you could save yourself some time, money and a certain degree of aggro when you feel so utterly let down.
"The Buddy Holly Story" is such a movie.
I do not wish to go into the characterizations, or the holes in the plot, or the messing around with historical facts that this movie encompasses, for I had already come to terms with them twenty years ago, when I first began watching it.
I had recorded it on the old (Monaural) Beta machine back in the early 1980s, and liked it so much, that it became a regularly-played favourite. The best part, to my mind, was Gary Busey's performance as the young Buddy, and his near-perfect vocals and guitar playing.
I looked forward to the day when I could have it in ...STEREO..., and that is where the disappointment comes in.
This DVD version is (supposedly) re-mastered in both audio and video, according to the shell information, but I'm afraid it left me sadly let-down and glancing at my watch, wishing for it to end.
The sound is murky, bordering on the unintelligible, and so unprofessionally mixed that it had me yearning for the crystal-clarity vocals of my old Beta tape!
Despite what you think of the images, or the plot, or the characters, the real draw card here is the MUSIC......and if you can't hear the lead vocals because they are drowned out by the cymbals, or the backing harmonies, or other ambients, then there's not much left, is there?
I'm going to convert my old Beta version to (Mono) DVD for subsequent viewings, and put this one where it belongs, out with the rubbish!
"Extinction is the Rule, Survival is the Exception..."
The Sins of Dorian Gray (1983)
Beautiful Belinda Bauer as Dorian....
I have always admired the work of Oscar Wilde, and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' has been one of my favourite examples of his work, since I read it at about aged 12.
It has been made into films a few times, with varying degrees of success.
The earlier 1945 film version with Hurd Hatfield and George Sanders was the epitome, in my opinion, and has yet to be equalled.
This 1980's TV-movie version is another attempt, and is certainly off-beat. It moves the tale up into the (late) 20th century, and this poses some stretching of the imagination when it comes to the characters, although it would have made location shooting a lot simpler....
In this version, the most obvious deviation was the choice of making Dorian a female, played quite well by the gorgeous Belinda Bauer, who we had seen earlier, in 'Archer, Fugitive of the Empire'.
In this case, the 'picture' of Dorian is a film screen test on celluloid that she makes at the beginning, and after she makes her wish for eternal youth and beauty, she feels that she must secrete this film away, and protect it, so that no ill will happen to her.
After this, she goes off and seduces whomever she fancies, drinks and parties just as she wishes, while the cine film slowly assumes the ageing and the scars of her debauchery. Meanwhile, all her friends and colleagues around her age at their natural paces, and they cannot believe that Dorian is still young and beautiful.
Occasionally, she sets up the projector, and in the privacy of her own home, plays the screen test. In each subsequent re-playing, her image is noticeably older and more depraved looking. Towards the end, the image is almost unbelievably ugly and dishevelled, and this of course, brings things to a head, as expected.
I found the film to be completely likable, and the characters were good to watch, although a little contrived. Never mind, this IS a B-grade TV movie.
Anthony Perkins plays Anthony Perkins to a tee in this one....you just sit there, waiting for the Norman Bates character to appear, but it doesn't. It's one of his 'goodie' roles.....
I still have this on Beta (Say What?) tape, and I haven't watched it for about 15 years, so tonight, I'll open a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, and run that film just one more time.......for the buzz.
And for Belinda...
"The Opener of the Way is Waiting"
Should Not Ruffle Your Feathers
Into an (un-named) south-western US town, comes the tough and mysterious cowboy, J. B. Walker (Martin Kove) who has a head for hard liquor, hot babes, and fast cars. Motor buffs might take a shine to the red Corvette Stingray that he drives.
J.B. has a hot fling with the sexy Fiona Teasdale (Sonia Satra), recently arrived back from England, who returns to escape what she calls the excesses of "drug, sex, and rock 'n' roll".
The untimely death of Fiona, sets the small town reeling, with everyone having a different idea of how it must have happened.
It appears that she must have been quite a popular girl, for it seems that a few men, including Andy (William Katt) and Bobby (Trent Brass) who is also one of the sheriff's deputies, were among the numbers of her trail of broken hearts.
The police decide that it must have been an accident, but Fiona's best friend, Therese (Mercedes Colon) and her paramour Jack (Brad Kopenick) decide that something mysterious is going on, when the feather of a rare bird is found in the sand near Fiona's body.
The plot leads to the illegal (ill-eagle?) trade in and the smuggling of exotic birds across the border, for the profit of J.B. and the 'bent' ornithologist, Orrin Lawson (Sam Chew Jr.).
As the plot thickens, it takes us into the seedy world of slave trading, complete with blazing guns, car chases, and a 'one bullet left' shoot-out finale.
But don't worry, the good guy gets the girl in the end......
Ancient Lives (1984)
"Ancient Lives" by John Romer
I have searched the internet for a copy of this excellent and informative series on DVD, but to no avail.
It was originally a book, written by John Romer, and was made into a mini-series, which was shown on ABC television here in Australia, back in 1984(?), and I had the fortunate good sense to record it at the time. Unfortunately though, my Beta tapes of this vintage are getting more and more difficult to replay.
I did however, convert "Ancient Lives" from Beta to VHS some years back, but even so, the VHS version is now also showing its age, from too many replays....
It's one of those wonderfully addictive series that you can watch again and again, and even after a couple of hundred viewings, you can still enjoy it, and occasionally, you can still glean something new, that you had previously missed.
John Romer is a hands-on Egyptologist with a cheeky smile and a quick wit, and he discusses in minute detail, his discoveries while unearthing the buried city of Deir-el-Medina.
No-one could accuse Romer of being dull in his chosen profession, as he really brings the past to life (no pun intended) with his enthusiasm and knowledge.
Each episode deals with a separate subject and insight into the daily lives of the "ordinary" men and women that worked, lived and died in the often cruel environments of Ancient Egypt.
The eight 30 minute episodes are as follows:
An Artist's Life / Dreams and Rituals / Temple Priests and Civil Servants / The Deserted Village / The Valley of the Kings / The Village of the Craftsmen / The Year of the Hyena / Woman's Place
There are many movies and TV series that I would love to see come out again on DVD, but this would be one of the first on my particular list...
C'mon you DVD researchers and producers.....make this absolute GEM of a series available again, just so the world can review and re-review the past
The Opener of the Way is awaiting.
It's About Time (1966)
I thought I had imagined it...!
It is indeed a pleasure to read that someone else in this VAST UNIVERSE has heard of, and remembers the comedy series "It's About Time", for I thought that I was the only one...
I mentioned it to my Dad the other day, and he couldn't recall it....(I am 55 and he is 80!!) All I really remember is the two astronauts, stuck in the time-shift which brings them back to ancient civilization, and the fact that "over the hill" and "other side of valley" were significant.
The laughs then sort of come at you, like an episode of "F Troop", but it is still a long time ago...
The theme ("It's About Time, It's About Space,.....") has also stuck in my head over the years, and I would love to see it on DVD.
I am not THE ONLY ONE....
Mikres Afrodites (1963)
An Achingly Beautiful Gem, in Stark Monochrome!
Like the other reviewers above, I too was captivated by this movie upon it's initial (and seemingly short-lived) theatrical release. It must have been about 1968 or 1969 when I saw it at one of those 'arty' type cinemas in Sydney, and I am almost certain that that copy was overdubbed in English, which made it a lot more watchable, even if it did upset the lip-synch! I was enthralled from the very first frames, and all I can do is agree with an earlier reviewer who noted that he/she did not want it to end, and another reviewer who stated that it was like a beautiful dream that one wishes that one could have every night.
Sure, there are a few glitches in the continuity, and many more in the reasoning behind the screenplay (?) but the whole beauty of this little gem of a film is in the IMAGERY, supported mostly by the minimal dialogue, and gorgeous musical score. You can actually believe that you are looking through a time-window into an ancient coming together of opposing faiths and forces.
I have a subtitled copy on VHS, which was cross-recorded many years ago from my original copy on Beta (before the Beta died), but it was originally recorded from our SBS channel (still in its formative years in the early 1980's) and the quality leaves something to be desired. (Ghosting of the images, which leaves some scenes difficult to watch, and several picture rolls, due to the advancing age of the tape.) Even so though, it is still a powerful piece of work, and I would dearly love to have a crisp, clear copy on DVD.
As none seems forthcoming, I shall have to rely on the annual playing of my copy on VHS, and simply remember how achingly beautiful it was on the big screen, all those years ago..........