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Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)
Full of bad lines
I just finished watching the original Blue Lagoon. Then, tuned in here to read about the sequel. I read the lines from the film posted here, and nearly vomited. I'm sorry, but not one of them seemed realistic. Then I watched the trailer.
Lines from the trailer:
"Remember what mother said would happen when I became a woman?" "Yes." "Well, I've become one."
I almost want to see the film to so how much worse it gets. In fact I very well might.
The original had a certain charm to it. It was not all about the nudity, and the lines were spare. It was about these two people having to get along while going through the growth process. That's what was interesting. When love and sex happened, it wasn't dirty in the original but rather a natural progression.
All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960)
Ahead of its time
What I love about this film, is the fact that it includes a respectful and loving relationship between a black woman and a white man during the apartheid era of racism here in the United States (before the "Freedom Rides," which occurred not long after).
I admire Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood (especially), as rising young stars in Hollywood, for taking the chance to be in this type of picture at that time in history.
When Susan Kohner's character calls Pearl Bailey a "nigger," Robert Wagner whacks her one but good! And then he educates Miss spoiled brat and much misinformed Kohner, that Pearl is more decent than any of the white people in this movie! And more deserving of love and respect.
And folks, was he right. Bailey's character and performance are the most worthwhile in the film.
Yes, the basic story between Natalie Wood (poor country girl looking to move up in the world by passing Wagner's baby off as rich boy Hamilton's), Robert Wagner (poor confused misunderstood boy with talent for "race" music, but seemingly not much ambition to do anything with it), George Hamilton and Susan Kohner (spoiled RICH siblings taken in by Wood and Wagner -- but both hopelessly in love with the two)is schlock.
But the story between Wagner and Pearl Bailey (suicidal famous singer mourning the loss of her lover, who becomes charmed with Wagner and does her best to help him before she purposely succumbs to alcoholism) saves the day.
Also, Natalie Wood is simply outrageously gorgeous in this picture. And Robert Wagner and Hamilton are pretty easy on the yes as well. So, when the story gets to be too much, just enjoy the view!
I wish that Wood and Wagner had more screen time together in this film (and that they ended up together), but that's because I love RJ and Nat together as a couple under any circumstances (and believe me one has to love them unconditionally -- as their story lines and acting and accents don't feature either near the top of their talents).
Still, a brave story to undertake. Its bad/good and very interesting. I recommend it for having the guts to be ahead of its time.
Nancy J Ordinaryfool
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976)
Natalie Wood triumphs
Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor had one thing in common -- beauty and a delectable innate sexiness. So it makes sense that both would tackle Tennesse Williams Maggie the Cat, in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof."
In this version of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," its clear that the characters of Brick and Maggie the Cat are older. But, that makes the drama just that much more believable and interesting. They've put on a few years, which enhances the desperation of all the characters to achieve their goals and needs.
Maggie will not allow herself and Brick to miss out on the financial safety net that gives her a sense of peace. Brick, is even more on the edge from burying his feelings about his dead school friend and former football teammate, whom he probably held an unacceptable sexual attraction for.
The heart of this presentation is Natalie Wood's incredible portrayal of Maggie the Cat. She brings a sensuality to the part that makes the audience believe that she will triumph in her endeavors. Against all odds. And these odds are great in this unwatered down production.
Maggie the Cat has a tougher time in this version. In the 1958 film version starring Taylor and Paul Newman, the filmmakers couldn't explore Bricks' sexuality.
In this 1976 TV version, its fully explored per the original intentions of the author. Maggie is trying against the odds to seduce a husband whose attraction leans in another direction, to achieve her goal -- security. To please an old man that she admires and loves. To win back her true love? Maybe.
In the end, my money is on Nat!
Robert Wagner gives one of his best (and true to the character performances). Brick is a drunk -- and Wagner portrays him as just that. Sir Olivier connects with his co-stars, as do the other supporting actors.
The most substantial drawback in this production are -- the production values itself. The Director plans his shots like a bad soap opera. His camera is often aimed too close when he should be wide to capture the scenery and reactions of other players. His cuts are at times jarring. He misses performances through terrible shot selection.
Still, its long past due for this classic to be released to video tape, if only to see the beauty that is and was Natalie Wood, and the classic wonder that is Sir Olivier and company.
The Medicine Show (2001)
Best Natasha Wagner film to date
Natasha Wagner has had her ups and downs in terms of performance in the movies, however, in this film, she shines.
She gives a surprisingly authentic performance -- warm, funny, touching, and at times sad. Jonathan Silverman is funny, lighthearted, and has a surprisingly wonderful chemistry with Wagner.
This film is a love story between two too young people who have cancer. But they aren't victims, but rather survivors.
They even manage to explore their sexuality towards each other in a very natural, believable, and sweet way. They play "meet the parents" under the most trying conditions. They also fight and make up. As all lovers do. They live life in the midst of the routines of hospital life. And possible death.
Natasha Wagner triumphs as she doesn't give into self pity, but continues to seek relationships in the face of disappointment and probable death (her scene when she finds out that she can no longer have children is the best of her career). She's different but fun, and this attracts Silverman (as well as the viewer).
Silverman learns how to crack the protective shell around his heart brought by the deaths of his parents (one by the same cancer that he is recovering from, one from the loss of her mate), with support and love of Wagner.
The supporting cast are also funny and real. This is a wonderful little independent film delight!