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Murder Most Foul (1964)
This would be the third of Rutherford's Miss Marple movies that I have seen. It was made in a time where movies weren't too sure whether they were modern or old fashioned, so we got a mix of styles and characters. The movie is black and white in a time of color. It uses hip bouncy music instead of the usual classic style of sound track. A lot of bored hip young people.
Rutherford is perfect as Miss Marple. You can almost smell the old lady smell on her. She dodders and blusters and squints down anyone who opposes her. She is less like the book Miss Marple than she is a creation of her own.
Best scene in the movie: Marple, auditioning for a theater troop, recites Dangerous Dan McGrew to a horrified director.
Who Was That Lady? (1960)
At Least Janet Leigh
This was not a great movie...
There is only one likable character in the entire film and he doesn't show up until the middle of the movie. Until then, we have to content ourselves with a lecherous Dean Martin, an ANNOYING Tony Curtis and a sexy but tense Janet Leigh.
The plot is simple: Man gets caught kissing student by wife; man makes up implausible story about being FBI agent; lie comes back to bite him later. The situations in this situation comedy are never that funny or interesting.
The film almost gets funny near the end when the pair trash the basement of the Empire State building; but, not quite.
But, the movie is worth watching just to see Larry Storch play a Russian torturer.
Marriage on the Rocks (1965)
Frank Sinatra as Mr. Roper
There are a lot of recognizable names in this one: Sinatra, Dean Martin, Deborah Kerr, Caesar Romero, Nancy Sinatra, Deforest Kelly ("Bones" McCoy on Star Trek) and Kathleen Freeman (one of my favorites).
Problem is Dean Martin is a mediocre actor; Frank Sinatra is a mediocre actor; and, Nancy Sinatra is the worst actress to ever come out of Hollywood. All three are singers and not one of them sings in this movie.
To be honest, I read the plot before watching and had to see how they pulled it off. They pulled it off okay... it didn't seem contrived much...
Caesar Romero is funny in this and speaks pretty good Spanish. Kathleen Freeman is always good. The rest of the cast is dull and lifeless.
Watch this only if the act of watching it will save a puppy's life.
Scared to Death (1947)
A Parody or Just Really Bad
This reminded me a lot of Tex Avery's "Who Dunnit?".
Admittedly, Lugosi comes across as campy even in his best roles. His sinister mien is just another red herring in this movie that looks an awful lot like a movie made from a partial movie with a dead woman's narration to tie everything together; oddly, sometimes the movie dissolves to the corpse who says nothing, then dissolves back to the flashback.
There's a sinister doctor and a sinister midget. The plot seems almost improvised as does the ending. Kind of fun if you aren't expecting to be wowed.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Not as Bad as they Say
I turned this movie on, last night, expecting to turn it off pretty quickly; however, it never got bad. It never got brilliant, either.
Telling the story of the Lone Ranger through an elderly Tonto seemed inspired... by Little Big Man. Depp mostly mugs through his performance of Tonto; but, changing his character to what is essentially a shaman type character made his partnership with the Lone Ranger more understandable.
The action is pretty good and, excluding the big train chase at the end, didn't seem excessive in the special effects department.
Definitely a good evening's entertainment... worth a watch, but not two. As a fan of the old series, is was happy enough with it.
Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
Peter Lorre is NOT the star
Okay, this was an interesting movie; but, despite having top billing, Peter Lorre barely shows up in this very short flick. He definitely doesn't stick around long enough to have a performance.
The story revolves around a news reporter who has to testify in a trial, and a secretary, who is the man's fiancée. The woman has doubts about the trial's verdict and blames the reporter. The reporter feels no guilt about the situation. Circumstances seem to prove the defendants guilt.
Until he ends up in exactly the same situation as the defendant. A mysterious stranger is the murderer, but no one will believe the reporter.
A short movie. Definitely not the best of Peter Lorre's films.
Machete Kills (2013)
Machete Don't do Satire
Well, actually he does. Rodriguez spends a lot of time satirizing himself in this one. Blind warriors, comic disembowelments, cameos by the famous and lots of beheadings. Danny Trejo moves through this chaos with his usual grimace of malice.
Are there any good performances in this movie? Not a one. The movie is not meant to be a masterpiece by any stretch. Most of the actors know this. It is simply a comic book set in the Rodriguez universe, with Machete, One-eye (She), Man-hater and Clone-man, who dies many many times. Charlie Sheen does a pretty poor job, even for Charlie Sheen.
Mel Gibson seems to know exactly what kind of a movie he is in and having a ball.
Like B-movies? See this.
This film had everything: Samurai, sex, old lady breasts and grass... lots and lots of grass.
As with all movies Japanese, they build slowly. An old woman and her daughter in law kill samurai on the run and hock the swords and armor for a few bags of millet. They were farmers, but will the eternal state of war, it is no longer safe to farm. So, they live in a great field of tall, sharp grass... a tactical nightmare for military. They live in a low grass hut in the middle of that field.
When a friend of the son (and husband) returns without the long awaited son/husband, they resent the friend for not saving him. But, lust overtakes resentment and a triangle forms.
But, the best is yet to come. A masked samurai stumbles upon the old woman and wreaks a horror upon her that completely changes the tone of the movie.
Well worth a watch.
Breaking Bad: Over (2009)
One of my favorites so far
Sure, it's fun to watch them cook meth or kill rival drug dealers; but, every once in a while, you have to advance the plot. Jessie is in love and hitting the rock again. Walter is on a home improvement spree. The rest of the White family is just as self-centered as ever. Walter is looking for something... But, now that he's decided to stop cooking meth, he doesn't know what that something is.
...Until he sees some loser with a cart full of meth fixin's. He lectures the idiot on the logistics of meth creation until the boy flees. Then, it occurs to him that he WANTS to be selling meth...
A wicked final sequence in the parking lot.
The Mummy (1959)
Compared to the Original it is Stinko
Let me start by saying that I LOVE Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Hammer films.
But, this movie takes a decent story and turns it into a bad-tasting stew of bad effects, bad script and mediocre acting.
The film is cheaply shot, on a sound stage. Christopher Lee looks less like a mummy and more like the victim of a car crash or bear mauling. Bandages do not a mummy make. Giving Peter Cushing a gamey leg was a nice touch; but, they really didn't go anywhere with it. The villain had no real magic skills and seemed forever sneaking up on oblivious policemen and stabbing them.
The Brits looting a tomb, then BLOWING IT UP, kind of kept me from caring about their well- being in any way.
The woman is perhaps a reincarnated priestess or maybe not. She wasn't around for very long and when she was in peril, I hardly cared. They probably panicked early in the film because they tried to make it like Dracula, complete with crazy person yelling out the madhouse window to his master. Very disorienting...
If you want a good version of this movie, see the original. Hammer did great with vampires and Frankensteins, but they hit a big zero with the Mummy.