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****, 23 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Even though Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis were constantly feuding off-screen, they sure made one great gem of a movie in 1942-"Old Acquaintance."

It's essentially a story of a haughty woman (Hopkins) who really ruined Davis's life, her best friend, for after splitting with her husband of 9 years, Davis would not go with him (John Loder) out of respect for her dear friend.

The movie starts out with comic overtones with everything going wrong when Davis visits Hopkins.

I could have seen Hopkins and Davis reverse their roles and the film would have been fine.

If that isn't enough, imagine years later, when Davis's fiancé, Gig Young, 10 years younger than her, changes his mind about marrying Davis since he falls for Hopkins's daughter, Deidre.

The film concludes with the two women apologizing to each other and basically settling down to their work and lives alone.

Hopkins is bitter and abusive whereas Davis is kind and understanding.

**1/2, 22 August 2016

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Basil Rathbone, although nasty and cunning as ever, is way out of his league in this one. Here he is a producer who tries to break up the marriage of Red Skelton and Esther Williams so that the latter can continue writing music for his water story.

To get Williams back, Skelton goes to her college and the film depicts his madcap adventures there in an all-girl's school with the dean and faculty trying to get him to have 100 demerits so that he can be expelled.

The water sequences are beautifully realized by Williams but to say that this is her picture is ridiculous. To me, it was Skelton's with his antics all the way.

Regarding the ballet scene where Skelton dresses in a tutu and is given the works by instructor Ann Codee, wasn't this done before in another Skelton-Codee film?

***, 22 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An argument could have been successfully made that the woman didn't deserve jail time. After all, the owner of the house had shot her boyfriend and was getting ready to finish the job when the woman hit him over the head with a board. He would have certainly killed her after killing the guy. I know they went into his house illegally to fool around.

The story goes to 22 years later where the boyfriend is released from prison. Well read, he wishes to resume his relationship with the girl but she is now married to a police officer; she is a social worker and they have a teenage daughter.

Our released prisoner wreaks havoc on the couple. He provokes a fight with the husband which looks like a perfect example of police brutality.

Her dressing up in a wedding dress to calm the fiend was a little too much.

***1/2, 20 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nothing like a perfect cast to make a wonderful movie.

Rod Steiger, as a sinister plotter to extort money from an air-line, by having a bomb constructed is perfect. He reminded me so much of his excellent No Way to Treat A Lady. Neville Brand, as his drug addicted, killer, emotionally unbalanced as they come,gives an eerie, chilling performance with those eyes.

James Mason, the honest man, who unwittingly made the bomb for the Steiger Gang, and along with his wife and child, kidnapped by the group, who uses the wife to collect the money.

Angie Dickinson is also around as a moll, involved up to her neck in the scheme. Jack Klugman, another cohort of theirs, is equally good.

Concussion (2015)
***1/2, 20 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Why wasn't Will Smith Oscar nominated for this very good film, a true story, where a doctor from Nigeria blows the whistle on the National Football League for covering up deaths of players who received concussions while playing and went on to severe headaches, loss of memory,dementia, Alzheimer's and ultimately suicide?

Smith rises above the part of the Nigerian doctor who goes way above wonderful ethical and moral conduct to confront the NFL. Naturally, he faces a hostile sports organization fearing that they'll suffer at the box office, as well as fans who don't want to hear anything negative about their beloved sport.

A wonderful picture and Will Smith really delivers here.

*, 19 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dreadful film also known as The Inherited. It's a very poor near imitation of the classic 1940 Oscar winner "Rebecca."

In this film, a woman also comes back to the home frequented by her husband and supposed first dead wife and almost immediately, wife #2 begins to experience some of the the symptoms that the first wife had before her illness became deadly.

There is a woman in the town, a part-time librarian, Alice, who gives a new meaning to the term "yenta" by constantly asking personal questions, the housekeeper who in a way resembles Mrs. Danvers in the classic "Rebecca" a friend who really loved the first wife, a sister-in-law who really loved her brother-in-law and is off the wall and other assorted characters.

The film really goes down in quality with people turning out not to be who we thought they were and the usual madness. The ending is really weird and beyond the realm of human comprehension. A very bad, eerie, disorganized film.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
**, 17 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film was twisted all right and it wasn't for the better. With the constant Lifetime theme that after a tragedy, more mayhem ensues occurs again here. Two years after losing her sister in a tragic car accident where she was the passenger, a girl enters college and joins the sorority that her mother had been in years before.

This sorority is more like a cult and is led by a Daisy, who is manipulative, cunning and like Lola, she gets what she wants.

Our girl gets more involved in this nonsense and Daisy comes up with a plot to get a professor fired as supposedly there will be budget cuts. He is accused of coming on to his female students- a charge totally absurd. Who is this girl's dean? She certainly wields more than enough power and her judgments are certainly arbitrary and based on no foundation.

The movie really takes a dive when Maria, a subordinate to Daisy and supposedly a nice girl, turns out to be even worse than Daisy.

There are the all too familiar murder and assaults. The movie is one big mess.

***, 17 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Three gals join the WACS, one is a bored rich girl who jilted her fiancé at the aisle, another had her guy jilt her and a third went in on a dare.

Didn't Vivian Blaine sound more like Adelaide from "Guys and Dolls" fame? She was certainly taking a chance on love.

The film is mainly about their love lives, as one would naturally expect.

As the doctor who falls for Esther Williams, Barry Sullivan was given little to do here.

The singing and dancing sequences are nicely done and of course, Williams is at her best in her water swimming scenes.

Grandma (2015)
***1/2, 16 August 2016

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Where was the Oscar nomination for Lily Tomlin as best actress here. Wow, was she ever passed up for this.

This no-nonsense academic grandmother who is way ahead of her time gave Tomlin the opportunity to present one of her best performances ever. Ascerbic, to the point, but the hip lesbian grandmother pulled no punches here.

The film is devoted to Tomlin trying to pay for an abortion for her granddaughter. It depicts their various adventures in this pursuit and culminates in one scene where Tomlin beats up the father of the child.

Grieving the loss of her partner Violet and ending of a relationship with a much younger girl will only complicate matters but Tomlin's character has the mettle to carry on.

***, 16 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...And to think, I thought this was a comedy but was I in for a rude awakening.

Playboy Robert Taylor meets Hedy Lamarr in southeast Asia and he forsakes all to wed her, but her half-caste position makes it impossible for her to leave southeast Asia, especially when wealthy businessman Joseph Schildkraut adores her and will stop at nothing to keep her there, even if it meant giving Taylor a job to keep him away for the month.

Praise must go to Adrian for the gowns for Lamarr and for Vallee for keeping Taylor so dapper.

Tragedy intervenes with a murder-suicide by film's end.

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