Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
"Mafia Bride" is a chick flick with goombah costumes and sets. This
pseudo tragedy presents a female lead on a course to get revenge for a
parent, but she discovers she is marrying the murderer. (Yawn.)
However, the hit man groom, played by Eric Roberts, has the energy to
carry interest to the end of the of the film, no matter how much one
despises chick flicks. The absolute highlight -- worth picking up a
copy for, is his stunning performance of a perfectly choreographed
shooting scene in a restaurant. (Whether it's Roberts or a stunt man is
irrelevant.) I've watched a lot of Steven Seagal and others who are in
movies that showcase the well trained fighter -- not the back-up to the
title character in a movie obviously made for the romance *spit* *spit*
story. Still, this scene was out of sight. Leaping, shooting, rolling,
shooting.... you have to see it to begin to grasp it.
I wouldn't want to hear one of my knowledgeable fellow NRA members give it a critique -- but the artistry here was breathtaking.
OK, I'm not actually through with the movie -- I'm about halfway through,
and I had to tell everyone to buy it!
John Stamos' father is a secret agent, murdered by a gang of weirdos who want a disk that tells how to poison the city water supply. John inherits a farm house and discovers what his father's work was as he finds all kinds of weapons and gadgets in the farm house and is pursued by the same bad guys as his father, who also left behind a pretty partner who knows how to shoot.
There are motorcycles, kisses, and, more -- and I haven't even finished the tape!
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, and John Carradine together
in one film: does anyone need to say more? If you're a fan of any one of
these four film legends, you're in for a treat.
Many people comment that "House of the Long Shadows" is not on video. It is. I found my copy on eBay, but it is commercially prepared. The box resembles the poster at the top of the IMDB page, and says:
AN MGM/UA HOME VIDEO PRESENTATION VHS VIDEOCASSETTE
The box isn't a plastic job with a slip-in cover; it's an actual printed box. (Sorry -- wouldn't give it up for anything, but watch the second hand shops and auction places and you're sure to see one, too.)
Pickup On South Street is one of the most brilliant movies ever made.
An example of the directing: When Candy (Jean Peters) starts going
through her purse and notices her wallet is missing, an alarm goes off
in the background in the building she's in -- as if it's an alarm going
off in her head. It's not cartoon-like -- it's subtly woven into the
background in a way that strikes you on a subconscious level until
you've seen the film a few times and it just "clicks" that there's an
alarm bell going off when she starts frantically going through her bag.
Richard Widmark is way on top of his game as a smart-alec -- he's really great -- but the highlight performance of the film was the first scene for "Moe," the street peddler/informer, played by Thelma Ritter. Later, in her apartment, you are not seeing a movie -- you're seeing a real person. I've never seen anyone "act" so real I felt like I was looking into a real room until Ritter's performance -- right down to the way her hair stuck out a bit when she removed her hat.
About a million other things just *worked,* from the way Lightning Louie picks up money with his chopsticks to the way Candy's jewelry clicks when she flicks Moe's hand away from her brooch, to the way Moe gets the dollars and change from the police captain across the FBI guy's chest -- and even the way the captain opens his filing cabinet, like he's been doing it in that way in that room for many years. "Pickup On South Street" is detailed moves (directing) with consummate performances (acting) and superb now-nostalgic visuals of the day, such as the panel truck, the boards leading to the shack out on the water, the dumbwaiter, -- and the unforgettable place Skip stashes his pocket pickings. Wonderful stuff.
"Pickup On South Street" is also one of the few movies where, even though the characters aren't perfect, you do care about them -- perhaps because they have been somewhat branded by their pasts in ways that are hard to escape: Skip as a "three-time loser" and Candy as a youngish woman who has "knocked around" a lot. When these people behave a little more badly than you'd expect, it's in sort of novel ways that make it seem you're looking in at people you'd never otherwise imagine -- and yet you know that they are possible because the actors make them so recognizably human.