Reviews written by registered user
|13 reviews in total|
Mokey (MGM, 1942) Upon watching this movie many years ago, after viewing the trailer, I thought it was going to be a nice sweet family drama. However, I was very disappointed with the overall film. First of all, this movie from the same studio that produced such excellent family dramas as "Boystown", "Journey for Maragaret", and "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes". Not only were the production values excellent, but so were the scripts, and the actors starring in these films. I do not blame young Robert Blake, because he was only about 8 or 9 in this film, but the studio itself. If they were trying to make a star out of him, this was not the film. He could have benefited from a better script and cast. I do believe that given with the right direction, better cast, and even a good script, this film could have been right up there with the aforementioned films. Lastly, the racial overtones of the film were ridiculous, I understand it was made during a racist period of America, but that could have been left out of the script and the film altogether.
Ready Willing and Able (Warner Brothers, 1937). I finally had a chance
to see this film and I have to admit, it's a cute little film from
Warner Brothers in the late 30's. The actors seem like as though they
are having a lot of fun and the musical numbers especially "Too
Marvelous for Words" and "Just a Quiet Evening" are great. However,
while watching this film, I feel a little sad for the late Ross
Alexander who plays Barry Granville. Ross Alexander was very talented,
nice looking, and had a great screen presence, but I guess Warners
didn't know what to do with him. It seems as though his role was
originally intended for Dick Powell, but he may have been unavailable.
Keeler and Alexander have good screen chemistry and if he didn't die,
maybe they would have made more films together.
Overall, a nice way to pass time. Definitely check out it.
Wow, is all that I can say about this film. What a wonderful movie. Even though I missed the first ten minutes, I was caught the tail end of Frank Craven's character in the beginning giving a prologue. At first, I was hesitant to watch this movie, because a long time ago, I saw the cut version of this movie, which excised most of Frank Craven's scenes. However, when I found out this was the restored version, I was excited, because I love to watch the original versions of movies. After watching this movie, I was truly moved. Everyone gave excellent performances and Frank Craven as the narrator, gave the movie more depth. I highly recommend this film and as I watched Elia Kazan's performance, I couldn't help but think that another Warner Brothers contract player, Ross Alexander, who died four years before this film was even made or released would have been excellent in Elia Kazan's role as "Googi". It was a very bittersweet experience.
This movie is an excellent example of an early Technicolor picture from
Warner Brothers in 1934. Even the plot was good. It's all about a movie
theater that is on the verge of closing down, but the young son of the
owner decides to take matters into his own hands and puts on a show
starring talented youngsters. The show is a success and the theater
Tad Alexander was an excellent young actor and it's a shame he didn't continue to do more films in the 1930's. Not much has been said about him, whether he left the business to live a normal childhood or whether he died young. However, I felt as though if he stayed around he would have given other young men as Frankie Darro, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, and even the late Freddie Bartholomew a run for their money.
If this film ever shows up again on Turner Classic Movies, please check it out and especially check out the performance of young Tad Alexander.
I have this movie on DVD and I have to say that I truly enjoy this film. It's too bad that Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth didn't do another film together. They compliment each other perfectly. The songs are great and even though this film isn't exactly a "B" movie, nor is it an "A" movie, it's considered an "A-" film, the production values are really good, the cast is great, and the songs are excellent. The only complaint that I have about this film is that it isn't longer. Had the length been a little longer and been directed by a more famous director, this film could have been a movie musical classic. Besides that, I really enjoyed this film and it's interesting to see Rita in one of her early film roles. Definitely a must see movie for any Rita Hayworth or Tony Martin fans.
One Mile From Heaven (1937, Twentieth-Century Fox)
A long time ago, when I was a little girl going to elementary school, I read a book about African-American performers and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was in this book, it mentioned that he had starred in this movie with Shirley Temple. However, being the Shirley Temple fan that I was and still am, I knew that he never made such a film with her. It has now occurred to me years later, that the author of the book could have easily mistaken the little girl in this film, who is Joan Caroll, for Shirley Temple, because her style resembles that of Shirley Temple (i.e. her mannerisms, her style of clothes, etc.). The character of Sunny (I really believe that this film was intended for Shirley Temple, but it was probably rejected due to the controversial topic and I believe the character was originally intended to be named Shirley) is just like a Shirley Temple clone (circa 1934). The plot even resembles that of a Shirley Temple film ( a little Caucasian child abandoned by her parents and raised by an African-American woman only to be with one of the parents in the end) and has a few of her co-stars from her previous films ( Claire Trevor, Ralf Harolde, Ray Walker, and Bill Robinson) in this film and is even directed by Allan Dwan who directed quite a few of the young Miss Temple's films. I really believe that this script was written in 1934 when Shirley Temple was beginning to get really popular in films and was just re-surfaced in 1937, because around this time Shirley was about 8 or 9 years old ( and getting older) and Darryl Zanuck was looking for a replacement in young Joan Caroll (who was a talented young actress in her own right), but never caught on, because there were so many child stars out around that time.
I brought this interesting film from a DVD sale in Harlem which specializes in putting rare African-American films on DVD or VHS. If you ever get a chance, please check this one out, it's a very rare and interesting piece. Also, the African-American actors in this film (Fredi Washington, Bill Robinson, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson) certainly hold their own in this film and are not really stereotyped. Bill Robinson was even a decent actor. It's a shame that these actors were only regulated to "B-Pictures" and not really able to tell their true light shine during this period. However, it's a very interesting piece and needs to be put out on DVD by Twentieth Century Fox as soon as possible.
Alright people, before you try knock Ashanti, let me just give y'all a
little food for thought. "The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939)", this version
is by far the most beloved version of all versions L. Frank Baum's
classic story. One thing that y'all need to remember is that when Judy
Garland starred in it, it was meant to become a big-budgeted classic.
MGM was one of the top studios back in the "Golden Age of Hollywood"
and almost anything that came out of that studio was meant to be a
picture of class and prestige, from their "B" movies (i.e. "The Thin
Man", 1934, William Powell and Myrna Loy) to their classic "A" pictures
(i.e."San Francisco, 1936, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Jeanette
McDonald), these films have stood the test time. If only there were
more studios like MGM.
Now, the Muppets version of the "Wizard of Oz" was light-hearted family fun. Granted, I have seen Ashanti act better ("Coach Carter"), but her acting was meant to be over-exaggerated, because after all she was working with the Muppets. Granted, this film is far from a classic, but it's meant to be a lot of fun. Now people tell me, when you have ever seen any award winning acting in a Muppets film, (i.e. 1969's "Hey Cinderella), just watch that film and you'll see that the acting is the same in that film as it was in the "Wizard of Oz". So before you even try to say anything bad about the film and compare Ashanti with Judy Garland, please try to put things in perspective and remember that we are living in two different time periods and things were a lot different then than they are now.
When I saw this film on the commercials, I thought that it was going to be a laugh out loud comedy, especially with a title like "Spanglish" and the main actors, Tea Leoni, Adam Sandler, and Cloris Leachman. But then I read reviews for the film and I learned that it was a dramedy. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this film and then end was heart-breaking. I found myself crying at the end, because honestly, I can understand the mother's inner conflicts within. I thought that Paz Vega did a great job and the actresses who played Bernie and Christina were excellent. While they both seemed wise beyond their years, they still had a childlike innocence to them. So, if you want to see a film about mother-daughter relationships and the reality of things, this is a good film to see.
Yesterday, my mother brought me a DVD featuring Little Lulu cartoons on it. So, my first reaction to it was maybe they are they old ones, when I read the back of the DVD it said it featured the voice of Tracy Ullman as Little Lulu and I thought to myself , it was probably a marketing technique to get people to buy the DVD (after all, it was a generic DVD company known as Genius Entertainment selling the product and it was only $1.00). So my cousin and I were all excited about the DVD, come to find out it was the old Little Lulu cartoons that were badly edited and unrestored to their original versions. I sadly disappointed and I realized that I liked the mid-ninties cartoons better. Lulu had more personality in the latter versions and the characters were more developed and likable. So until the original cartoons are restored to their original glory, I'm sticking to the mid-ninties version of "Little Lulu" even though the plots are pretty much from the 1930's-1960's.
Presenting Lily Mars (MGM, 1943) is a cute film, but in my opinion it
could have been better. Judy Garland is great as always, but some
scenes in the film seem out of place and the romance between her and
Van Heflin develops all too quickly.
I mean, one minute he's ready to beat her butt, but the next minute he falls in love with her. I believe that this production, the film editing, and the script ( even though the photography was great, the scenery was nice and the costumes were nice as well) could have been a little better. It feels as though the production was too rushed.
The supporting cast was good as well, especially little Janet Chapman as the second youngest daughter daughter Rosie. She at the age of 11, looks really cute and it's a shame that she didn't develop into a teenage comic actress. She's much better in this film than in her previous films as Warner Brothers in the late 1930's (except for Broadway Musketeers 1938, she's really good in that), when they tried to make her into a Shirley Temple/Sybil Jason hybrid. Overall, this film could better, but in the end, Judy gave it her all.
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