Reviews written by registered user
|33 reviews in total|
Eddie Fischer was simply bad. Possibly the worst scene came early in
the movie when he broke into a spontaneous song and dance number
centered around a piano and some conveniently placed employees. The
song was totally stupid... I think I could drunkenly offer a few lines
on a sheet of paper that would far exceed it and probably win a Grammy.
Then, as if the writers could come up with no better way to escape the
ridiculousness of the scene, Fischer says something to the effect of,
"Don't tell (insert the guy's name). He doesn't like music" and smiles.
I can't describe how bad this is, I felt a little embarrassed. And that
guy Debbie Reynolds works with and who's always hitting on her is so
annoying too. I can't even imagine someone like her wasting a fraction
of time on him. The jokes were delivered without any sort of chemistry
between characters which made the movie crawl by. At least the baby had
cute hair. The two stars are for Reynolds, who was like a swan among
See Bachelor Mother instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you've never seen 30 Minute Meals, then you cannot possibly begin to comprehend how annoying this woman is. You can't begin to imagine how irritating she is, or how such a mediocre talent manged to get a cable TV cooking show, all words and intelligent thoughts will fail you. Ray has a goofy mouth and all the charms of a parrot. She loves everything and thinks it's "awesome" (a word she uses roughly 87 times per telecast). And she's constantly using horrible, unfunny catchphrases like "EVOO" (Extra virgin olive oil!). SHUT UP! What's worse is Ray has TWO other shows on the network! I think this is some elaborate conspiracy by the terrorists. Give me more Tyler Florence! Ray is lame.
I have the best memories of being maybe two or three years old and singing along with the three hosts of this program. The Elephant Show was an essential part of my day. As far as what they did on the show, I don't remember too much except that they always seemed to be outdoors and sang a lot. I seem to remember people dressed in costumes as well. No doubt the best parts were the opening and ending credits. It opened with a cartoon drawing of an elephant walking on a spiderweb and the "cool" music. And who can forget the Skinnamarinky Dinky song? I can still do the arm motions when prompted. What happened to the Elephant Show, or Sharon, Lois, and Bram for that matter? Society seriously needs this show in reruns, even if it's just on the second crappy PBS station no one cares about. Please throw out stalwarts like the annoying "Caillou" and replace it with this!
Gene Kelly = legendary talent. But Leslie Caron? At times she manages
to be sweet and endearing, and at most others all I want is to bean her
in the head. Yes, she's a good dancer. And, yes, she's okay to look at,
not gorgeous as Kelly's humdrum character seems to think, but
acceptable. For some reason probably best left not understood, the
makers of this film decided their audience would really benefit from a
scene in which all Caron does is stare like a cow into the camera while
she poses in a thousand positions somewhat reminiscent of the Kama
Sutra. What's worse is I couldn't even like Gene Kelly in this film! I
just found his character repetitive, uninteresting, crabby, and a
little creepy, to be honest. (I mean, would you go through all that to
date Leslie Caron?) Let's also not forget the out-of-work musician
character who failed to be funny or entertaining on every level. Did
that guy even have a point in the story other than to annoy?
An American In Paris might be worth checking out for two reasons: 1) Kelly's song and dance number with the little Parisian kids, and 2) the final flourishing dance sequence, which nicely encapsulates everything the movie had been trying to say up to that point but in less time. (The brass section is phenomenal.) I really wish I had more good to say but the film unfortunately falls flat in a lot of critical areas. It beats me how this won the Oscar for Best Picture (then again, a lot of sub par work has won Oscars). This is certainly a disappointment when compared to the awesome extravaganza of Singin' In the Rain.
Van Johnson was fantastic as usual.
I anticipated nothing less than perfection from Kelly and Charisse's dancing, which they deliver beautifully, however their performances left a lot to be desired. Cyd Charisse's Scottish accent was pretty awful. This was not Gene Kelly at his best either. I got the impression that he was bored by the project. The musical numbers were forgettable. I'm trying to hum one of the tunes in my head but I can't.
I recommend Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, also made in this year and full of amazing choreography (although it does not feature Van Johnson).
People like to comment on this film's "overacting". Try watching any of Joan Crawford's movies from this period and then get back to me. Inherit the Wind is a totally compelling story of the traditional school of thought versus a new scientific one. It centers on a small southern town coming to terms with Darwinism and its implications on Christianity. Spencer Tracy is an eloquent defense lawyer fighting to let evolution stay in the public schools. The script is quite good. The court room exchanges are thought provoking and moving especially when one knows about the real people and events behind the story. It's very difficult to come up with a criticism here. Not a weak performance to be seen.
High Society, despite the presence of a surprisingly good Frank Sinatra, is a dysfunctional remake of The Philadelphia Story. I've never seen much in Grace Kelly, and this did little to convert me. She can't touch Hepburn. Furthermore, Bing Crosby's performance as the sardonic ex-husband is pitifully weak in comparison to Cary Grant's. Sinatra is the only actor who deserves an honorable mention for reprising the Jimmy Stewart role. Everything else is completely flawed. Who was the big movie exec that felt The Philadelphia Story was suited for a musical adaptation? Even the film's showcase song, "True Love" is totally forgettable. Totally uninspired and boring.
I watched Singin' in the Rain for the first time ever this afternoon and I
think I'm in love. Oh Gene Kelly!.. *What* I would give to have you flash
those pearly whites at me! The story is really just a musical about a
musical, going into various dream-like sequences embodied in the twelve
minute "Broadway Ballet". The songs are cleverly intertwined with the acting
so there's none of that phoniness one is used to seeing in some musical
pictures. To watch the choreography is to watch pure genius. Gene Kelly is
so talented it should be outlawed. (It's downright sacrilegious he wasn't
nominated for the Academy Award®!) I mean - DAMN! I kept backing up to the
'Singin' in the Rain' part seventy-five times in a row...it fills me with
such a sense of joy! My Gramps once broke his ankle trying to imitate ol'
The supporting cast is perfect as well, you really must hand it to Debbie Reynolds! She wasn't a trained dancer up until this point. They made her rehearse eight hours a day, hiring different dance instructors to work with the young actress in shifts. The stress proved so overwhelming she eventually had a breakdown and caught the attention of neighboring Fred Astaire who asked, "Why are you crying?" Not able to recognize the man through her tears, Reynolds confessed she felt hopeless and would never meet Kelly's standards. Astaire led her to another rehearsal room where he was busy working on Royal Wedding. "You come watch me," he said. "You watch how hard I work. I don't cry, but I do get frustrated and upset and I'm going to let you watch." The experience showed her how a legendary performer like Astaire, known for his elegant moves on the dance floor, can even feel daunted : )
Finally, what else can I say (other than Cyd Charisse wears the hottest dress I've ever seen)? This is one of THE greatest films of any genre ever! They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
....Because after viewing not only this lamebrain excuse for a movie, I
somehow managed to sit through the DVD audio commentary and the I.Q.
killing interview with John Travolta. (He was the guy in Grinch make-up
in case you missed it.) Now, in the event that you've been hiding under
a rock and haven't heard how positively awful B.E. was, I'll try to
break down some of the measly details hopefully without damaging you
beyond what's available in modern medicine. Many spoilers ahead!
Consider this a warning.
To be fair, Battlefield Earth begins promising enough. But so did many other notable flops like Madonna's Swept Away. Cut to a blank screen with a scrolling message, a la Star Wars, that gives us a short summary of what we should expect too see. In other words, it's your classic Sci-fi Planet of the Apes we-must-get-them-before-they-get-us story. Or at least this is what I gather the film makers were intending. To me it was just an exploitation film.
Suddenly, the audience is transported to a depressing Earth one thousand years in the future where the fledging human race is living primitively once again and border on the edge of extinction. It is here that we meet our protagonist and archetypal good guy, "Jonnie" (Barry Pepper). Jonnie's girlfriend (?) Chrissy informs him of his mother's death (a character we are never introduced to and don't care a pile of beans about). Jonnie is sad, and for a few seconds we're somehow expected to grieve also. Chrissy then expresses how she wants to leave the clan and venture into the wilderness alone. Jonnie gives her a bunch of he-man phooey and randomly takes off on horseback. So she's left behind with the rest of their little social group and its apparent leader, The Old Inexplicably British Guy.
Before anyone has the chance to ascertain a solid plot structure, our hero meets up with a few stragglers, AKA various B-list actors we have never heard of before. They seem ferocious, but upon closer inspection....um, I really don't know. That sure doesn't stop Jonnie from embracing them within the first minute though! To hell with clueing the audience in on anything, right?
*Fast-forward, fast-forward, fast-forward*
Ah, now it looks as if Jonnie and our precocious bunch have been captured by the big meanie creatures of the planet Psychlo! Ten points to anyone who can guess what title they go by! The head Psycho and our antagonist, Terl (John "My career is going to Hell faster than a ten dollar ho" Travolta) is introduced as a whiny overacted villain. Crapvolta's performance is executed with an immensely campy Drama Queen heir. Joan Crawford would be proud. Be on the lookout for tons of cheese-o-riffic dialogue. The script is straight out of some rejected mutant spider movie of the 50s. It is THAT horrendous. We learn that Terl is teed off because he was supposed to go back home after the "important work" on Earth was completed (whatever the heck that is). Yet, somehow he got screwed over. (boo-hoo!) Terl's henchman and sidekick Ker is bland and yucky.
Oh look! Here's a clever little bar scene intended as comic relief. Well, thanks to the obnoxious blue lighting I now have a pounding migraine headache to add to my list of woes! More, dare I say, "crap-lousy" character exchanges?
*Fast-forward, fast-forward, fast-forward*
Meanwhile, the humans are locked up as animals in cells, a la Planet of the Apes. Jonnie manages to study the Psychos closely as Terl studies his "man-animal" behavior. The pair realizes one another's potential to further their individual causes (i.e. Jonnie to free his people, Terly Baby to make the mean green). Seeing his marginal intelligence, Terl takes Jonnie as a sort of trainee, if you will, hooking his head up to a "knowledge machine". Presto! Jonnie instantaneously knows everything from the Psychlo language to mathematics to complicated engineering. He is a changed man who will save the world! Yay! And, we, the viewers, are supposed to sit back in awe with tears running down our cheeks while our brains peruse the "Knowledge is Power" message. Doesn't happen. Can I get a refund now?
*Fast-forward, fast-forward, fast-forward*
Oh my...more things being blown up, more death threats, more gaping plot holes, and a woman with a lizard tongue for the obligatory sexual reference.... You know, I'm just commenting on this movie and I feel queasy! *MAJOR ENDING SPOILER* Here's the ending in a nutshell, folks: Jonnie uses centuries old WMD to blow up the planet Psychlo and lock John Travolta away. (Don't you wish life imitated art sometimes?) The end. Yeah, it's stupid.
That being said, please avoid this movie like the plague! It's not even enjoyable in that so-bad-it's-good-way. It is plainly awful...I found myself begging to watch Moulin Rouge and Supernova. That right there is a tell-tale sign something is seriously gone wrong. */**********
Alton Brown proves you don't need a good attitude for good grub; I love the cynical undercurrent. He shows us how to cook simply rather than demonstrating eight hundred varying ways of boiling an egg. He keeps it low key and educational as he explores the origins of a food. This show gets on most people's nerves, which is probably why I can stand it. Two of the best episodes focus on steak and another on pasta. As far as I'm concerned, these are the most difficult foods to prepare because of the myths behind them. I was amazed to learn all the names to the different kinds of pasta noodles, but rather than confusing me, I felt more educated.
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