Reviews written by registered user
|15 reviews in total|
I have no humility about having a very high IQ but whenever people said "Paul, you are so smart" I can disprove them in a thirty seconds "Then why didn't I make tapes of FRANK'S PLACE?" The show could not last on network TV because it was too damn intelligent but with a basically all black cast. Nothing against the Huxtables but the variety of characters at the Gumbo Restaurant was extraordinary, even the white character including Shorty, a short order cook. At least once a month, ten-fifteen years after Frank's Place, I laugh at the scene where he meets his love interest's husband to be: the famous astronaut with the canary-sounding voice. PRICELESS!!!! Why the hell can't I find any videos of this which, though light years different from the Larry Sanders Show, was put together with the same degree of intelligence.
I viewed a bootleg copy of "Charlie Is My Darling" forty five years after it was originally filmed. As much as Brian Epstein was the fifth Beatle, Andrew Loog Oldham was the sixth Stone. Andrew Loog, in 1965 liner notes heralded this music as "New groovies...abound to the sound of the Rolling Stones." Whereas fifth Beatle Brian Epstein was, brilliant/erudite/invisible, sixth Stone Andrew was a pure jabberwocky genius. "Charlie Is My Darling" is the anti-Christing of "Hard Day's Night." Pardon my excessive numeralizing, but, in 1966, Andrew Loog prominently featured First Stone Brian Jones when he/Charlie/Bill/Keith/Mick collectively the Rolling Stoneswere mere Rolling Pebbles. For any Stone fan who was their from that infancy...This rockumentary is a must see!
In 1938, when the Great Depression had ended and a World War was about
to begin, it was easy for elitist British college students to make fun
of a transplanted American athlete. But the romantic counterpoint to
the culture clash works very well thanks to the great chemistry between
Robert Taylor and Maureen O'Sullivan.
A memorable quote from this enjoyable period piece needs to be acknowledged. In a morning after scene, Robert Taylor says to Maureen O'Sullivan: "Don't wipe the sleep from your eyes. It's a beautiful sleep." The scriptwriter responsible for that line was F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I think infinity is the number to which I approach...listing reasons to like this movie. Before I forget the "likeable, trustworthy" Alan Anchor Alda is equal to Walter Cronkite after the oil slick. The evolution of the little girl assistant to Dustin Hoffman...at end wearing red lipstick to match Dustin's blood...if you were to subtract from film all unnecessary dialog/footage you would equal absolute zero. Robert Proskey was born into such roles...The first 2 two kids released were terrified of the assaulting media but loved the man with the gun...When all the kids are released>>>one walks back and says "Thank you SAM"...the stupid ass roof shooters shooting up "Big Indian Bob" in the middle of a great story being told by the man with the gun...Arguably, the best actor of the last 50 years, Dustin Hoffman is pure gold dust but Travolta shines magnificently and...a happy ending was impossible...The ultimate hostage taker is the media!
Hollywood certainly got it right by awarding Charlize Theron the Best
Actress Oscar but they should have gone one better by giving Christina
Ricci Best Supporting Actress. The youthful innocence of her character
magnified the monstrosity of the serial-killer prostitute. But now it
is confession time. Though it was released five years ago, I just
watched MONSTERmoments agoon Video on Demand and was spellbound.
However, I had never seen Charlize Theron before and anxiously awaited the ending so I could google the ugly actress who portrayed a serial killer. I looked at photos of Ms. Theron and swore that the stunning beauty was the not the same actress from MONSTER. The best precedent for this character transformation was when Robert DeNiro gained fifty pounds to become a bloated Jake Lamotta in "Raging Bull." But at least he ended up looking like a fat debauched version of Robert DeNiro.
Another great thing about MONSTER was the continuously effective V.O. Most movies use a voice over to introduce a movie and then, if you hear it again at all, it is merely an afterthought. But for Cherlize Theron's character, the intermittent V.O commentary was like an internal vomit check.
You would think a movie featuring an inflatable Pavarotti impersonator, a seventy-year old woman in a Tina Turner costume belting out "What's Love Got To Do With It" and a scratch and sniff bible goes over the top with loud humor. That is not the case with VERY ANNIE MARY. It is a small film, quirky, tender, and funny in a mostly quiet way. Rachel Griffiths is excellent as a homely girl with a tyrant of a father who dresses her in her grandmother's clothes. The Scottish town they live in is determined to raise enough money to send a terminally ill teenager to Disneyland. I won't tell you anything more about it other than to rent the DVD or look for it on the Independent Film channel. You'll be very glad you did.
In 1999, I didn't know a jar from a Jarmusch so when released, Ghostdog meant didly. I am now a Jarmuschaholic, having seen at least a half dozen of his minimalist masterpieces. Point by point: this is a mob movie. So are thousands of others almost all of which are empty clichés. However, Jarmusch's cast of a thousand thugs was fresh and original especially the blind guy with cane and exclamation marks in voice, the brilliant limping cigar smoker and Tony's eyes. I need qualify the next statement. Despite how it may sound, it is an extraordinary compliment. Please do not take out of context. As Ghostdog, Forrest Whitaker is a creep. Our best actors become so-think DeNiro as Jake La Motta--because they creep into the skin and bones of a character so convincingly, we think that that is not an actor but a reality. I kept flashing to the gay character Whitaker portrayed in Pret a Petit (sp?), the Altman flick about the fashion industry. In that role Whitaker was all effeminate smile and tushy swagger. In GHOSTDOG, more than dialog, he reads Samurai scripture superimposed. His inflection is phenomenal. I am a second generation Italian American and if I dind't know better I woulda bet the house, that was an Italian voice behind the text. There was also something he did with his shoulder, subtly. I cannot watch the Academy Awards for reasons as simple as this: Forrest Whitaker did not win one for Ghost Dog. Two characters are counterweights, with Ghostdog as fulcrum and the mob at the other end. The French ice cream guy (wow!) and the girl with books in her lunchbox. She was of another world and I wanna go there. This is the only Jarmusch movie that isn't necessary to brief non-Jarmuschians to appreciate. The score in and of itself is reason to see it. I want to go on public record to THANK the Harrisonburg (Virginia) library for giving me in 2006 (not lending--giving me to keep for myself!!!) the videocassette version of GHOSTDOG. Further gratitude goes to Mr. Jarmusch. I want to eat the crumbs off his plate.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
BROKEN FLOWERS is a bouquet of pleasure for members of the Jim Jarmusch
fan club. Word of warning to Jarmusch-aholics: your internal laughter
mechanism may require refueling after viewing this quiet gem, mine
certainly did. The color pink never looked so good and the ending was
vaguely but satisfyingly reminiscent of Down By Law.
Bill Murray is brilliant as an actor with no movable parts, (last scene notwithstanding). The total dialog for the lead character, an "over the hill Don Juan," could fill an over-sized Post-it but that is the modus operandi of minimal masterpieces. His Sam Spade-wannabe neighbor is his Jiminy Crickett in gumshoes. The castingacross the boardis superlative and wide-ranging but nobody chews up the scenery. I especially liked seeing Jessica Lange.
Anyone watching their first Jim Jarmusch film might require a second viewing to fully appreciate this indie genius but BROKEN FLOWERS is worth the price of re-admission.
"America, America" deserves a modern audience but is almost impossible
to find. I just viewed a VHS version obtained through the inter-library
loan program. I live in Virginia and it was sent down from Alaska!
This film should be required viewing for anyone interested in understanding why the huddled masses flocked to America but it is highly personalized and focused on a young man from a middle class Greek family with a big dream that seems impossible to fulfill. Another reviewer correctly likened Stathis Giallelis to a young Brando for his overpowering individuality, determination, and (for Turkish society in 1900) swagger. But when his character Stavros grows a mustache, he becomes a young Omar Sharif. AA is brilliantly written and directed by Elia Kazan.
Fred Astaire's gravity-be-damned four-wall dance solo was imbued with choreographic wonder and sprinkled judiciously with humor. He did it all because of a woman!!! Tom Bowen is a male dancer who is pure male but the most important woman in his life is not the one who had him defying gravity. It is his sister, Ellen: his equal on the terpsichorean turf. Their Runyonesque number was pitch perfect with lyrical precision provided by Alan Jay Lerner, who obviously spent quality time (physically or spiritually) with Damon Runyon. For the script and acting per sewith Keenan Wynn as a stupendous "double agent" A Royal Wedding is worth the price of admission. Fred Astaire and Jane Powell give award-winning performances but their dancing puts this film on the top shelf of cinematic history. The hat-rack dance, the turbulent ship dance andof coursethe ceiling dance owe a debt to Ernie Kovacs, the man who dovetailed comedy, art, and special effects before George Lucas was born. Too bad "Kovackian" is such a cumbersome word. A personal aside: I was once invited to Alan Jay Lerner's Park Avenue home. The invitation came from the furniture company whose products Mrs. Lerner had ordered. AJ wasn't home. So be it.
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