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GRADUATE OF ERASMUS HALL HIGH SCHOOL
April Showers (1948)
April Showers Bloom ***1/2
Simply a wonderful filming with Jack Carson in top form as a song and dance man with his family. The real joy to watch here is Robert Ellis, who portrays his 12 year old son and sings and dances up a storm. Ann Sothern plays Carson's faithful wife.
The story centers around the trials and tribulations of the dancing trio. How fast Sothern comes around to the fact when Ellis leaves school to join the duo. It does become annoying at times when he refers to his father as Big Tymes, as they're the Tymes family.
That being said, the tale becomes endearing when a series of problems leads Carson down the road to alcoholism and the trio fades.
Robert Alda plays the heavy here as Sothern's new dance partner. Does he show his true character when he begins to physically abuse Ellis in a memorable scene.
A story of faithfulness to his dad, and final redemption. As a sympathetic hotel owner, S.Z. Sakall doesn't do his usual fracturing of the English language, but the film is a solid gem.
Panama Hattie (1942)
Ann Sothern sings up a storm here, especially at the beginning of the film to remind us that this comic legend had quite a nice voice in her time.
The picture starts off promising, but goes downhill rapidly even with Red Skelton and Ben Blue in it. The two comedians are given little opportunity to show this comedic talents. As her suitor, we really could have seen Ann's developing a better relationship with his daughter, after a very rocky beginning.
How about the spy situation in that house? Who were these spies? That could have been handled so much better. The ending patriotic song was great, but the story line is so terribly weak.
The Good Wife: Red Meat (2015)
Well, well. First we had Truman over Dewey, Netanyahu over his opposition and now Alicia eking out a victory.
Just shows you what goes on in politics down to election day. Exit polls and the apparent purposely stated gaffe by Peter that Alicia will win cuts the momentum and makes it appear that she will lose. I just loved the way it was determined by her pundits that the television characterization of a traffic jam in Chicago would decrease the vote of her opponent. These people have everything figured out.
How come Diane wasn't there on election day? Couldn't she postpone her Wyoming deer hunting trip for just a day? Did she vote by absentee ballot? She meets the rugged right wingers of Wyoming and is able to secure a client for the firm from an unlikely source.
So, Bishop wants to retire from the rackets and go honest. He wants the help of our attorney-general elect.
Darling Lili (1970)
Darling Lili is Just That ****
For a change, Rock Hudson does not dominate a picture.
Yes, it's hard to imagine that Julie Andrews is a German World War 1 spy in this wonderful film, especially since she sings so beautifully here. From the opening number of Whistling in the Dark, which was Oscar nominated, for best song, we know we're in for a treat in this film.
The film is a special one because circumstances dictate that Lily and her uncle come around by picture's end. It also again shows that her love for the man (Hudson) she is spying on shall eventually circumvent politics, even in war-time.
The patriotic songs are wonderfully delivered and you sure get a feel of the period. There were certain times that I felt that Andrews was Mary Poppins or the novice Maria of "The Sound of Music."
Our Bond films always work under the theme that there is someone or some organization seeking to create a catastrophe in the world and this film falls right into that traditional way of thinking.
We get a chance to meet 006 here and would never imagine that a colleague and friend of 007 is such a villain.
I just love the slick dialogue in this film and all other Bond flicks. When the female villain in dead on a tree, James states that "she always loved a tight squeeze," and Moneypenny's thought that while Bond is in his usual comfort position with the opposite sex, that he is on top of the situation.
There are endless crises scenes of explosions and other mayhem, but we've come to expect that in these kinds of films.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
From the merchant marines, a young folk singer tries to make it big in the industry and this film is really nothing more than the misfortunes and misadventures that he must endure. It also basically comes down to pure survival on his part, as he tries his best to navigate from one difficult situation to another.
Does anything ever go right for this guy? He is terribly downtrodden, disillusioned at the mayhem that persists throughout his life.
His singing of folk-music is essentially a way out of his doldrums and basically a way for him to express the inequity in life that many of us must endure.
Can he catch a break? This is the essential theme.
Don't Drink the Water (1969)
The film starts off well with the couple and their daughter seeking asylum in the American Consul of Vulgaria. How they got into that situation is very funny at that.
Gleason is good as the loud mouth caterer and he is equally matched by Estelle Parsons, who shows she is adept at comedy as well as her previous fine dramatic Oscar acting. She comes across as the typical American homemaking yenta with a passion for cleaning. Right away, she starts cleaning throughout the mansion.
The picture takes hold when at the end, it is realized that both governments are punishing the Hollanders for their mistakes. At that point, the film goes downhill as the Hollanders plot their escape. The end itself is sort of foolish.
The Following: Exposed (2015)
Let the mayhem continue. There is already brewing mistrust between Lily's surviving son and that young couple, also completely off the wall, who has joined forces with him while hiding their own personal agenda. Lord only knows what that is.
Wonderful to see that demented guy who puts people in boxes get what was coming to him. See how his dementia stricken father had a normal moment when he realized that his misery of a son had taken an innocent life?
We seem to have a new love interest for Ryan. You know what this means and I'm not talking about exactly a trip down the aisle for the duo.
Odd Man Out (1947)
The film starts with a great premise. When a robbery goes wrong, James Mason gets wounded and separated from his cohorts. The film is devoted to the police and Mason's loving girlfriend attempting to find him.
The IRA is referred to as the organization and no further attempts are made to explain its function. I found this to be a major flaw. Instead, we are introduced to a myriad of characters where treachery, love, financial gain and insanity seem to abound here.
Robert Newton portrays a crazed artist attempting to paint Johnny (Mason) as he is near death. Her love for Mason is so great and knowing that he has killed a man in the failed robbery, the woman plans an end to both of their lives so that she may go with him.
The poverty of the area is well shown with the abundance of children in most scenes.
The Good Wife: Open Source (2015)
What made this episode so good was the depth that Lewis Canning would go to ruin Alicia's bid for Attorney General. Imagine, he was going to have her donate millions of dollars to a Pro-Palestinian group that might be linked to Hamas. Talk about killing one's chances for election if that tidbit ever came out.
I had forgotten that Diane was married, but I was soon reminded that she is by this episode. In this situation, her husband was called to testify in a case involving a gun manufacturer named in a suit where a defective gun went off and paralyzed a man. Diane almost comes to a disagreement with her husband. The latter portrays a man with a rather cold veneer.
We now know that Alicia is romantically involved with her young campaign adviser. No doubt about that.