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Cristi_Ciopron

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714 reviews in total 
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the craft of the spoof, 28 February 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Actually quite a crafty and thoughtful sitcom, with some enjoyable twists, and perhaps one should begin by understanding what this movie's style implies, you can judge the degree of craft that went into shooting this comedy by the very natural instantaneous changes of key, from the overabundance of comedy to the suspenseful moments (as when the station master returns, or when the ghost train passes, etc.); despite the fact that some mistake it for a shocker, which by no means was it ever meant to be. Even a seeming clumsiness like Julia's acting when she raves within the station, gets explained after-wards. Slapstick and sitcom, thoughtfully plotted; though coming from the league of unpretentiousness (the script is an occasional story, with a patriotic intent, and at least one mind-blowing twist …), it shows an enchanting ease at switching registers, at passing from slapstick to paranormal suspense, I also liked very much the sets, the station and its few shown surroundings. A 4th intimation would be that the leading actor knew how to move, how to use his body, and also how to make a bawdy remark; also, complainers who find his acting indigestible or astringent should be aware that this movie is a vehicle for him, he actually is the leading actor.

enthralling plot, mediocre movie, 28 February 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I liked the plot, more than what the movie was ready to make out of it; there are viewers who liked the cinema approach better. I didn't care much for any of the characters. The storyline is dramatic and intriguing, and the puzzle plot, not _uningenious (as the script was adapted from 'The Last Trap' by Sinclair Gluck), till the final denouement makes it look like a farce, so a very stripped adaptation of a possibly good puzzle plot, yet most of what's interesting is merely told by the two policemen, as much as one could gather from a radio show; the style is neutral, very plain, very basic, unassuming. The policemen's inquiry has an air of casualness; there's no characterization. Unpretentious mystery movie, exempt of comic relief, except for an old policeman climbing an armchair, but it has enough intriguing ideas (the wound that didn't bleed), which make it more interesting as a story, than as a movie; the very idea of a handsome heiress having a relation with an unlikable ugly policeman seemed unlikely. Some of the actors give at least average performances; I disliked the younger policeman. You can call the production, austere or cheap. As a matter of fact, there are some humorous moments, but the main story of detection, till it switches to farce, is stark, logical and dry, and somewhat more thrilling than the movie was ready or able to assume and take over from the book; the twists have unexpectedness, of the literary kind. To me, the farcical denouement was somewhat disappointing.

The footage doesn't add much to what's merely spoken by the two policemen.

The dialog, casual, was more or less comprehensible.

As I gather it now, not a treat or a jewel or a discovery, and in many respects mediocre. (But like each time as many people are involved in a common action, there are also a few good things.) Dry, clever, but a bit graceless.

one of Hillary Brooke's early roles, 22 February 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hillary Brooke blesses this movie with her ineffable ease and subtlety, while Holmes watches for the public good. The movie is stylish and enjoyable (despite the absurd script, with some quite stupid subject matter, though it began well, with forebodings of a Ripper copycat), and Henry Daniell as Moriarty is vastly superior to the workmanlike Rathbone; Moriarty gives dignity to every scene he's in. Now to be fair, even in the stories, the mastermind was unlike all the rest, a less good idea of the author, but here Rathbone gets saddled with an over-the-top script, and the movie feels like another episode in one of the '60s TV series. Rathbone's role resembles a Dr. Who, with that unmistakable proletarian drive, an intellectualized proletarian, with none of the _reclusiveness nor the intensity (that gave him a certain eeriness) of the literary Holmes, Rathbone's Holmes is unintellectual and even a bit placid, save for the occasional bursts of energy, another person altogether, although, at Lydia's home, he looks a bit like Poe, the writer; but otherwise, his Watson is almost better. Rathbone is a good actor, here he is simply out-shined, surpassed by others in the cast.

Genre-wise, it's not a mystery movie, but a melodrama, albeit a 'Universal' picture, immeasurably helped by some of the actors (H. Brooke, Daniell, Bruce). Apart from the script (a pure love letter to '40s melodramatic rubbish), it's an exciting movie, nicely crafted, with fine cast, production values, and directing; that is: they each stood for their rights, and worked with what they had, and got through.

fast paced, 22 February 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A suspenseful, enjoyable and very melodramatic mystery movie, with Jean Parker, Marcia Mae Jones and Atwill, chilling as usual, and directed by Steve Sekely, peopled also by a few unlikable characters (the dedicated scientist, the fat sergeant), and made in a bombastic style reminiscent of Soviet cinema or silent movies, while Atwill only enhances this atmosphere of mayhem; Atwill didn't seem convinced that his character was not only a good guy, but also a nice one, so that his cordial smiles don't seem very reassuring. As a matter of fact, his undisguised occasional joy is even more creepy than his straight menace from his typecast roles, as it suggests insanity, more than cruelty. Marcia and Atwill give kindred performances, in the same popular expressive vein; Jean was above this kind of powerhouse role, and her acting has some class and even perhaps a resigned charm. And if the governor's sandwiches get sometimes laughed at, it's only because the scene is genuinely good.

enjoyable, 22 February 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Actually a very funny and pleasant movie, with a Dixie setting where the quick and the living dead seem to coexist even by daylight, also with at least a couple of subplots (a puzzle: the zombie wife's will, and of course the cause of her death; and an espionage subplot also, announced by the march of the zombies at the beginning), immensely helped by a good director, Sekely, and three exciting performances, from people who had all the requisites of movie stars: Carradine (who plays a scientist, a physician, not insane but evil), Moreland and Veda Ann Borg (who gave a bit of dignity even to an ingrate role), but the main plot being a zombie tale, done as comedy and also as SF, our chance to visit a not too dazzling but nonetheless intriguing laboratory; in fact I liked it even better than 'Lady in the Death House', and here the storyline seems fast without being rush (though in the later movie that wasn't an error, since the very nature of the subject, the race against a deadline, imposed it, requested it). But Sekely was one of the masters of the genre; here, filming for Monogram. The sense of humor is genuine, and the style, light, in another unpretentious movie. There are a lot of things I enjoy here.

The visitors don't seem to realize that some of the servants, in fact Lazarus, are living dead. The lovable black chauffeur gets to see other zombies at work, digging dispassionately, as becoming, in the 1st half of the movie. But the script was good, with most of the dialog being appropriate and well written. So, comedy, zombies, mystery, espionage, SF; and just to make a point: 'Revenge …' isn't a zombie drama with humorous relief, but a comedy, it is a comedy that happens to be about zombies, which is another thing altogether. Now in other words: these aren't zombies from a horror movie, but zombies from a SF (and one overtly political, proceeding with the march of the zombies and following with the espionage subplot). The will's mystery is, anyway, dropped; the mean used to murder the wife is explained, perhaps also the need to do it (as the scientist was getting ready for his getaway), but we can only presume that the widower's pretense of not knowing the dispositions in the will was indeed to gull or disorient his guests.

Thank you for reading, if you did.

delightful, 22 February 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The director deserves his praise for his movie, and he was one of the craftsmen of the '40s; but he also got a very good screenplay. The movie's literary ideas were in themselves fresh and original. A lovable and heartrending movie, 'Invisible Ghost' has several things to give it uniqueness: the keenness in the depiction of the love relations (Lugosi and Betty Compson, McGuire in his 1st role and Terry Walker, the gardener and his wife) and of everyday life (the new cook, Marie, her few scenes are very endearing), the sexual undertones (Lugosi entering the bedrooms of Terry Walker and then Polly Ann Young; Polly's ankles, the morning after Lugosi near choked her too); the grotesque (the gardener's 2nd death, even that of the crazy wife), the fact is this is a very well written movie, and directed with ease and charm. Seven years ago I have read a masterful comment on this movie, by someone who knew cinema; because otherwise almost none will tell you how good a movie this is.

goofy indie rubbish, 16 February 2015
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The cheap self-awareness of the script, direction and acting leaves the bombastic crassness as it is: rubbish, mindlessly goofy. Jeffrey Gillen does a less dis-likable role (than the other guys).

For much of the movie, I hoped that at least one of the three actresses will undress; the sexiest of them, Jane Daly, is also the least good at acting. And none of the girls takes her clothes off.

The score enhances the goofy eeriness enjoyed by some in the '70s. 'Children …' looks like a stage play, the youngsters act as if they are on stage, but there's an intrinsic goofiness; it's not that it feels stagy, but that the play is goofy. It ends with a ship of ghouls.

exciting, 16 February 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A mystery movie crafted with gusto, there's something of Brando in Toler's role, MGM teases us a bit with electric gadgets and a monster mask, there is a heartfelt interest in the technology (teletype, elevator, early TV, radar, 'death capsules' for the ingenious poisoning, also moments of radio and early TV broadcasting, the weather simulation tunnel) in this merry espionage story with a grim body count (two spies, two comedians), Toler's role foretells Brando (also in the quiet but sharp humor), Birmingham Brown is very funny, and the _janitress seems intriguing and nice, possibly handsome; but Birmingham Brown is the most likable character. The script was neat: a set of suspects, the puzzle plot doesn't get lost in humorous banter, the storyline is dynamic and the sets, appealing; though the denouement has the randomness known from these mystery movies they made 75 yrs ago.

Dark Alibi (1946)
enjoyable, 16 February 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This one is the movie with the warehouse, the inmates and the mysterious truck, and with the proverbs and one-liners, also one of Toler's livelier performances; as always, a neat production. Sometimes the comedy gives the viewer the impression which Birmingham and the younger Chan must have, that the case is almost like a business of the grownups, and meantime there is, for now, the fun. Good timeless comedy, because the detecting tends to be average, the '40s equivalent of something like later TV series, or perhaps crime teleplays, but the comedy in it is delightful, and Toler's acting looks more dynamic than in other movies, it was cool to have a duo for the comic relief, a comic team (like O'Brian and Kerr), but the puzzle plot is good too, a puzzling mystery, how were the fingerprints forged, if they were, Wong visited people, but Chan does more than that, he visits milieus, here he has a lot of proverbs to offer, advices, some or funny, most are really useful, the scenes in the warehouse were effective, and there are the occasional bursts of violence (a girl is killed, an inmate shots himself), but there's also the characters' insouciance regardless of the body count, Chan's cases are about pretty ingenious means of crime and murder, and give a good sense of the places, the sets.

average, 16 February 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wong was dependable, soft-spoken but reasonably strong, one time he is saved by 'Logan', another time he gets shot, these are stories in which the wrongdoers strike back on the detective, and there is a trio of searchers (Wong, the girl, the cop, who treats rudely the girl), there is plot and atmosphere, suspense, offered more by actions, by the steps taken, by the storyline, than by the settings; very unlike Chan. The plots are trite, but somehow realistic, convoluted like in the later noir movies, businesspeople and smuggling, and (this like in a Chan movie …) scheming young villains. These Wong movies are quiet and had quite complex plots about businesspeople, sometimes there's also a ship, as in this movie or in 'Mr. Wong in Chinatown', Karloff gives them an enjoyable, subtle eerie semitone, and there's a cool car chase, 'Logan' isn't as much fun as Birmingham Brown from the Chan movies (she is treated harshly by the policeman, it might have seemed funny, but as a matter of fact it's rude), but the Wong outings' plots are closer to what was the genre to become in the next decade, there's a feel also that these story lines, such as they are, were meant to look crafty and perhaps intriguing, the chauffeur gives a powerhouse style performance, the wrongdoers in this movie are relatively easy to guess. Some moments are atmospheric, or suspenseful. We are shown the chauffeur, yet never Kai Ling. The young guy, innocent though accused of the murder, was intensely annoying.

If compared to the Chan or Moto movies, the Wong are the more realist, with a lower body count, usually two murders; they are also less funny.


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