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Ice Castles (1978)
It Works Despite It's Shortcomings
Most will either love Ice Castles or hate it. Perhaps hate is a little harsh but it gets the point across. For a film with numerous shortcomings it has achieved somewhat of a cult following. So much so that Columbia Tristar decided to release it in DVD format several years ago.
What's wrong with the movie? For a film partially intended to appeal to the teenage crowd, it is unnecessary to have any foul language. Yet Ice Castles is sprinkled with four letter words from the beginning to the end. It doesn't advance the plot one iota and it's inclusion in the film is a mystery. Perhaps the producer thought a "G" rating would doom it at the box office and added the harsh language to get a "PG". Whatever the reason it degrades the film.
Many of the lines the actors speak seem to be more or less mumbled and hard to understand. Not sure if this is a sound problem or simply bad acting.
There is a severe lack of continuity in some scenes. For instance Lexie is first wearing a green jacket in the segment where she is learning to skate on the pond after becoming blind. Suddenly she is wearing a blue jacket in the next scene and just as suddenly goes back to the green jacket! Not to mention her being bare-headed and then is seen wearing a beige hat and then back to being bare-headed again! The producer must have been blind too!!
The original film was 115 minutes according to a New York Times review in 1979. However, the VHS and DVD versions are about 108 minutes. Where are the missing 7 minutes and why were they not included?
Nevertheless, despite these and other faults, the film works due in large part to Marvin Hamlisch's stirring music and Lynn-Holly Johnson's beautiful skating. It is a three-hankie the first time you see it and has inspired many young hopefuls to take up the sport. A must-see if you like films that turn tragedy into victory.
Enjoy The Film For What Is Was Intended
Sheena wasn't made to win any Academy awards. Nevertheless, for a "B" film the photography is actually quite good. Granted, Tanya's acting ability at this time in her life needed a lot of work. I'm sure the producers knew this going in and didn't care. They knew the attraction would be to watch Sheena doing her thing in her jungle outfit. Tanya was the perfect choice considering the reason for the film. Sheena was made to showcase Tanya Roberts stunning physical attributes and was successful in this regard. She is the reason the movie is still moderately popular after 20 years. So if you like this type of eye-candy film, enjoy! It wasn't meant to be anything else.