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Going Spanish (1934)
It's On Youtube and It's Not THAT Bad
FYI, I was reading Hope's wiki bio and saw this curiosity and it's on Youtube to watch. It's not that bad, the reviewer commenting on Hope's joke about Dillinger watching it should bear in mind that Bob was making a joke and talked that way about a lot of his material, I mean 50% of his material is putting himself down. I have seen worse stuff from Hope, some of those full length big budget films of his from the 60's were BAD! The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell? Yeah, there you go. And at a scant 19 minutes it's tolerable especially if you are an old film fan like me. I think the 5.7 rating applies well to this Hope short, worth watching for all Hope fans.
First to Fight (1967)
Decent, Throwback War Drama for 1967
I watched this on TCM, they played it for Memorial Day 2012, I had never heard of it but when I saw Chad Everett it seemed different so was interested. The beginning battle scene is straight out of many films before, it would seem, but especially reminded me of the battle scene in Pride of the Marines with John Garfield. Not that it was bad, it just seemed like a verbatim copy of it to a point. The movie then goes into a love affair part which I always hated before but this one had some realism to it and reminded me of questions in my own life and with todays never ending wars I have had the option as a reservist to go back to a war zone and these issues are address in this film with Chad's fiancé and then wife. I thought that was pretty interesting and I normally hate the domestic relationship parts in these war films. Which brings me to what I now started thinking of this film, it was made in 1967 but sure did seem that it was made in 1957 or 55 or even 52. I'm guessing like others have said that this was made solely to be a B movie/ drive in fare. It's target audience being the Marine Corps, and the South. I believe Gomer Pyle USMC was the number one TV show that year so this was made to cash in on that audience somewhat, IMHO. The final battle scenes seemed rushed and unrealistic in Chad's sudden change of heart but I guess they thought the film needed something, it really didn't they should have just left the good chance of death be enough tension for the audience and then when it gets all solved it really reveled itself as just a B movie action flick. Chad did a good job and showed a wide range of emotions I liked him, Gene Hackman was wasted here especially with the drama of having a coward officer above him, he was not the Gene Hackman you and I know. Claude Akins has major billing but has a very bit part as a Major at the CP, no drama went on there. Dean Jagger does a convincing Marine Colonel, and William Conrad adds his distinctive voice as a narrator. The combat hardware seemed real enough for the period. It was probably post WW2 hardware but unlike a film like Battle Of The Bulge where the Germans are using Pershing tanks as Tigers and it's distracting, since I am not familiar with Pacific WW2 hardware it looks realistic enough and the stock footage was in color and blended in OK. All in all, I was entertained enough but this wont go down as any Sands Of Iwo Jima best of film. I give it a 6 of 10 as far as B movie war dramas go.
The Invincible Iron Man (2007)
Not Your Grandfather's Iron Man
I caught this a few scenes into it and was really happy I did. First off Iron Man is one of my favorite comic superhero's, first following him around the early 70's watching those horribly animated Marvel TV shows made in the mid 60's. I would get hooked and would start collecting the comics buying them used and all torn up but with those great stories and characters this would go on until the mid 80's when other interest's took more precedence. As far as the movie goes I was really surprised at all the flat out dislike the reviewers here have posted and then I realized why. I am 100% sure that the reviewers are under 30 years old, that they probably always had an internet and are basically spoiled with technology and awesome anime programming. I on the other hand do remember the days before the internet, I also remember growing up with some really terrible animation (including anime shows like Gigantor and Speed Racer), that included the 60's Iron Man show. I also remember watching stuff from the 70's and 80's and while a lot better animation then the 60's stuff was still pretty bad (weak stories also, which at least the 60's stuff was good at since it was a copy of the comic's stories). The 90's Iron Man TV show wasn't bad, it was pretty good, but this 2007 movie's animation is really really good. Keep in mind, I'm sure Marvel saw this having limited audience at the time (maybe a whole lot more now that Iron Man is better known with the live action movie), so they had to keep the costs under control and you can tell it a LITTLE bit. However if you make a comparison of this Iron Man movie to all the past Iron Man stuff, it's totally awesome. I really like that Tony had to use his old armor to battle the bad guys also because the series developed that he was Invincible like the comic cover said when he had his new battle suits, so he was at a real disadvantage in the old stuff and I like that tension being created. So there you go, from a 45 year old who missed the very early introduction but has followed Iron man for over 35 years, this movie is the best Iron man I've ever seen, it's great for Iron Man fans. See it and don't listen to those that sound like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpson's this is a cool flick! 9 of 10.
The Postman (1997)
Must See For Post End Of Civilization As We Know It Film Fans
Overly long, corny premise, and Kevin Costner....all drawbacks to this film, but if you are a post end of civilization film fan it should be on your list. I'm saying this from a standpoint that I actually enjoyed Waterworld, and I don't think many people will have that opinion (or admit it if they did). So let me also say that I watched Postman in bits and pieces on a retail showroom floor in between TV sales in the early 2000's, that probably made the film a lot more tolerable because I didn't know it was like 3 hours long, that would have been pretty tedious. So what other movies did I like in this genre? I liked the AI film "Panic In Year Zero" with Ray Malland, I liked "Def Con 4", I like "The Day After", I liked "On The Beach", I liked "When Worlds Collide", I liked "Dr Strangelove", I like "The Last Man On Earth", "Omega Man", and I'm sure I'll like "I Am Legend" (all 3 based on the same story I think), Night Of The Living Dead, and 28 Days Later. I liked all those flicks and also liked the Postman, not as my favorite of all of those but entertaining. Watch it if your an end of civilization film freak. 6 of 10.
Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)
In The Mold Of Silver Age Marvel Comics 9/10
You've just saved the world and are close to ground zero with a hot Eurasian woman, what do you do? Think of sex, oh yeah Baby!!!!!! I equate this with a Fantastic Four episode where the Thing, in their first encounter with the Sub Mariner, carries an A bomb into a sea monsters mouth to kill it, that's classic! The only reason this garners such a low rating on IMDb is because it's audience is so limited. So you have a bunch of offended leftist getting mad that the Chi-Communists don't win, LOL! Even that is explained that it's not really the Chi-Comm's doing it so I don't know why they should rate this so low for it's genre. I don't think this film is shown on TCM USA or is available on video in America, but it is shown with frequent regularity on TCM Europe and I have seen it now multiple times because it's a highly entertaining and addictive guilty pleasure to watch. It's A bombs under America with guns and heroics and America wins and it has some great campy moments! If that's what you are looking for this is a definite 9 of 10. Even as rated as a movie with the whole Sci Fi genre its a solid 7, think about it and compare it to all the boring dogs of sci fi flicks you saw from the 50's to even today, this one is solid and has held it's 7 rating well. It's a definite 8 of 10 when you combine that it's in color and it's campy and the actors look like they are taking it all in stride and don't suck like an American International flick. Plus the Navy leads the whole shooting match, I love that part (with some Marine muscle). Not to spoil it too much but I love the part where the renegade General realizes his doom, that was a nice touch I thought. Of course it's soooo easy to destroy this pictures credibility but one thing really jumped out at me, they are running cars in a tunnel, doesn't everyone die of asphyxiation? LOL. OK it's got a smattering (more then enough, but could have wished for more) of hot women of the Asian persuasion, guns, bullets A bombs, military things, sci fi gadgets all the key ingredients you need for a good campy sci fi flick from the early to mid 60's, throw in MGM's higher class touch and it's a classic. 8/10 on the sci fi action scale. You know you've seen much worse and I'm sure better, but there are not that many better than there are a whole lot worse. See it with an open mind!
Summer Holiday (1948)
If Your Looking For Americana, You've Found A Nice Film
I don't have the prejudice of having seen "Ah Wilderness!" so that is why I'm rating this so high. I just watched the film on TCM Europe and was expecting to change the channel or lose interest and do other things on the internet, but this film kept me watching, thats saying a lot since I'm not a big musical kind of person. Actually the musical part seems subtle, I liked that. I am also a Rooney fan so I am biased in that as well, I liked every thing I've seen him in that I can remember and I don't go out actively seeking his stuff. When I do come across one of his films I always seem to enjoy it but this film really seemed to click on all cylinders because it has a very very cool dark side and also discusses politics which rings true today. The supporting cast of many does a great job of course, and a musical bit about a Stanley Steamer? C'mon, thats awesome! Great colors and production values, I am not saying it's Mickey's best but I really was entertained, good flick!
Target for Tonight (1941)
Dose Of Reality Watch The World At War Episode That Used This Footage
Maybe it should be a 10 or 10 for its period piece, but this was a blatant propaganda movie when the UK needed it more than ever. Taken in contemporary terms this movie is on the order of the American movie "Air Force", utter propaganda, not realistic, no matter how you want to slice it. It was used in an episode of "The World at War" a WWII documentary produced by the BBC to show how utterly silly the concept of night bombing was before they started carpet bombing, and had the technology to do precision aerial bombing. In that episode(W@W), while this movie was playing with narration from the real "Bomber" Harris in an interview, he states that 3 bombs out of 100 landed WITHIN 5 miles of the target. Total fluff, the kind of fluff I would have liked to have seen about myself serving in Iraq in 2004, but still fluff. It's better than "Air Force" though, as the gunners don't shoot down 5 fighters a piece.
Courage of Lassie (1946)
Pulls On The Heart Strings, Pretty Hard
I'm reading glimpses of other reviews here and many are a bit skeptical of this movie and of Lassie being a shell shocked war vet. Well I grew up watching Lassie the 50's TV show and I must admit I'm very partial to everything I've seen with Lassie in it. Yes we should all know that Lassie was played by more than one dog (its obvious that thats the way they make dog movies, isn't it?), that Lassie was a female, all that geeky stuff, I say whatever. I was not expecting anything from this movie and had it on in the background as I was surfing the web this morning and doing other tasks, I ended up getting very focused on this film! It's just another testament that if it's a Lassie movie, it's good entertainment. I wish I had watched this with my now teenage daughter while we had the opportunity, I know it would have strengthened our relationship at least just a little. Work overseas and divorce tell me that wont happen any time soon (if ever). If I ever get the chance no matter how old she is I'll try to see this at home with her. It has Liz Taylor and her pet's loving bond in Lassie which is very wholesome, it also has a lot of adult overtones with war and such, so it should keep any mature adult interested. In todays overly skeptical world, I'm happy I have not fallen into the trap to not really enjoy a Lassie movie. 8 of 10.
The Formula (1980)
You're The Reason Why Old People Have To Eat Of Garbage Cans!
Caught this while doing some work at my desk and saw it had George C Scott, a favorite of mine. It had a really bad feel to it on a made for TV movie level, so I kept it in the background so I could get some snippets as this looked really really boring and it's all that was on at the time. Anyway if your political bents swing towards the Greenpeace crowd than you will rate this a 7 to 10, since I'm on the other end of the political spectrum it gets a 2. I love secret Nazi formula thriller stuff, and one that holds as much promise as the "formula" here did along with Scott should have come much better. That said the movies only redeeming qualities was it's similarities of Brando's character to Dick Chaney, and the speech in the end when Scott says "Your the reason why old people have to eat out of garbage cans!". That and a weird scene with strippers on stage in Germany with swastika pasties on, that was kind of interesting, you had to be there. I think both of these actors pulled some stunts during the academy awards and they were the forerunners of todays mostly leftist Hollywood actor crowd, and this movie has a clear political bent to appeal to that audience with dialog like the old people and trash cans. I'm surprised he didn't mention anything about soup lines, but I might have just missed it as this movie was hard to stay focused on and for once I preferred to do some work than follow this boring drivel. 2 of 10 stars, Scott didn't make all that many truly great movies in his career, but I certainly remember the ones he did do, this one wont be remembered as one though.
Five Came Back (1939)
Bow Wow Wow , Dog Alert Dog Alert.... Chcik Flick Fluff From the 30's
I Tivo'd this because I was told this was a "minor classic". Watched it with my wife and she seemed to stay into it, I was thinking this was a serious "dog". The running line between us was, "which 5?" well we ruled the kid from the start, so I'm thinking OK do the pilots count? The crash (which happens a long almost half way point) yields no new deaths, just a bruised shoulder from the old lovable professor (of Shirley Temple and 4 Feathers fame among many other roles). Anyway a total waste of John Caradine, I was hoping he would be good here, but no luck, he's dead in the jungle after a very bad start. I mean c'mon, is this a chick action flick or what? Hey, its Hollywood, its couples going out, its not about grim realities, its a kind of boy that was cool action flick (if your a woman), its lame (if your a dude). 5 of 10. I don't know why I rate it that high, but the wife didn't fall asleep which is saying something for a old black and white film. I'm into them, and old planes; but this one was barking loud like a dog in heat. I predicted the head hunters also long before they showed up. yawn. Was waiting for some savagery among the survivors (all of them survived, sheesh) but we got nothing like that. Boring B flick worth forgetting about. Also, Lucy isn't in much here if thats why you are are curious.