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Not Neely O'Hara
I nearly fell off my couch when I heard Patrick Duffy make the reference to Patty Duke's character in "Valley Of The Dolls"! Loved the locations - beautifully-filmed. As with many of the movies that appear on HMC, there weren't a lot of plot surprises (Neely O'Hara reference aside). The script and the direction didn't appear to require much hard work from the actors. Unlike "Dolls", Duke wasn't asked to chew the scenery. Duffy and Bruce Boxleitner were club-by friends sharing beers, golf and condescending remarks about the silly feud between wives Shelley Long and Duke. The too-friendly Avalon streets with the electric cars and the outdoor cafés on every block made it seem like a place where everybody knows your name...and there were a few moments when I was hoping that Ted Danson would turn up and set Long straight on how to resolve her issues with Duke. Just a very p-l-e-a-s-a-n-t, if unremarkable, film.
Cadillac Records (2008)
Enjoyed this a lot
The key: The opening titles reveal that "Cadillac Records" is "BASED on a true story". Maybe it should have been written, "Loosely based on a true story." So a lot of purist viewers are taking serious issue with the movie's departures from the true story of Chess Records. My advice to them: go watch a documentary on PBS or the BBC, and lighten up. This movie was very entertaining, the music was great, the actors were terrific, and Beyonce was simply incredible. Apparently, Etta James herself didn't think so -- according to published articles, she hated that Beyonce sang "her song" (At Last). Can you spell J-E-A-L-O-U-S? And a PS to the purists: Please avoid seeing William Bendix in "The Babe Ruth Story" -- if you hated "Cadillac Records", this movie will make you apoplectic. ;-)
Claude Akins Replaced Neville Brand
Neville Brand didn't get along too well with some of the other members of the cast and in the second year of the show, quit. Claude Akins replaced him. Too bad, because as highly as I thought of Mr. Akins as a versatile actor, Neville Brand's Reese Bennett character was key to the show's success. It seemed as if the producers recognized a need to juice up Laredo in its second year by adding Robert Wolders to the cast. It didn't work very well, in my opinion. The original light-hearted formula of Peter Brown and William Smith teasing and playing tricks on Neville Brand was the thing that made Laredo stand out from other Westerns of that time.
It's Trad, Dad! (1962)
Excellent Early Richard Lester
Richard Lester was perfecting his craft as rock movie director guru here. He did a great job! I have a soft spot for Helen Shapiro; anyone who does will love this movie. I was surprised about the number of Dixieland jazz band groups who played in this flick. I didn't realize that it was so popular then in the UK (I was only ten when this movie was made)! It was good to see Mr. Acker Bilk and his band; he was an Atlantic recording artist in the 60's. When I'd buy an album by Cream or The Allman Bros. Band back then, the sleeve would inevitably feature albums by Acker Bilk. I knew he was a good clarinet player, but I'd never seen him "play" until I saw this movie. Of course, the plot was undeniably banal, but really, who cares? It's an historical document!
Boxing Gloves (1929)
Another reviewer indicated that this was a curiosity, and it sure was! When I first watched "Boxing Gloves," I turned the sound way up on the tv, thinking that there might be something wrong with the soundtrack. The large stretches without sound during what surely would have been very noisy sequences are very unsettling...some clever director should make use of this technique! A very entertaining episode.
La sentinelle (1992)
The pace was slow, but the plot was clever and Mr. Salinger was quite believable in the protagonist's role.
Seeing this film one time will suffice. It was offbeat and at times a bit morbid, but I stuck with it and was glad I did. Not as slow as Antonioni's "Red Desert," which is my measuring stick for movies that make me want to scream, "Get on with it!" The acting was good with a youthful cast that brought credibility to this Parisian story.