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Yogi Bear (2010)
Better than I envisaged
I saw the Yogi Bear TV show as a young child back in the 1970's, and when I heard that a new movie was coming out about this lovable but naughty bear, I thought that I'd take my son along to the movies.
I did see the trailer, and was left a bit downbeat - noticing some of the shortcomings that might be on offer. I probably noticed that it didn't exactly have the look or feel that I remember as as a child.
But after watching it today - in 3D - I can say that it a worthwhile use my time and money.
A plot is there. Maybe it wouldn't stand up to legal scrutiny, but so what? It's a story for the kids - that's who most of the audience was around me. There were genuinely amusing gags, some the kids laughed at and some one or two adults laughed at. But it was nice to hear the children laughing and enjoying the movie.
There is the excitement of Yogi and the gang on the rapids and also as Yogi and Boo Boo fly in a plane. It kept my attention throughout its short length.
Anna Faris was a nice bonus for us adults - a lovely piece of eye candy who also added something to the movie.
Sure, it's not in same league as the Toy Story genre, but it made a nice afternoon out with the kids. Long live Yogi Bear!
The Birds (1963)
A pretty large disappointment
I watched this film for the first time in over 32 years - I'm 43 now. I expected to see Hitchcock at his best. Yes there was horror, and great special effects, that for many years must have looked mega-impressive. They look very good today. But the story is pants. The romance is so flat and charmless; the viewer wouldn't be too bothered if the birds killed most of the main cast members - so unengaging they were. Tippi is a reasonable actress maybe, but her character is not a likable or charming girl in the slightest. She's boring and uninteresting, and the viewer wouldn't miss her if the worst thing possible happened to her. Rod Taylor is a little better, but just. Few redeeming features unless you like an ego who knows best actually. Cue a mother who looks and judges anybody with an aloofness and cold heart, wins no friends or sympathy in this role.
The best character in the movie was the teacher, who is left on the stairs, after wasting her life for a man who just doesn't have any love for her...What a waste of a bright and attractive young thing.
The worst part to whinge about is the plot. The lack of explanation for us to think about was poor fayre by Hitchcock. He's now lower in my estimation. No theories explored at all by the writers for the birds behaviour. The story that anyone who witnesses and is injured first hand by a massive attack of seagulls and crows, wouldn't high-tail it out of that little place the same hour just defies any belief.
Hitchcock just doesn't succeed in getting us to link emotionally with most of the adults. This must have been mentioned to him, surely? Yet he oked it.
So for me, the awful plot and lack of thought provoking possible answers to the dull plot, poor treatment of an even gentle romance, and crummy characters make this movie a big let-down.
And finally some questionable side issues - such as a woman driving 60 miles and easily finding a guy in an unknown place becomes far less of a whinge in the company of other far worse cinamatographic failings.
Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man (1971)
Those digital zooms!
The murderess was brilliantly acted, but for a victim to be so honest and principled as he was described, why would such a clean living man want to marry a woman of pure deceit? I thought the step-daughter was bad tempered and obnoxious because her father had been killed, as well of her dislike of her step-mother.
Production wise, the editing showed us some rather sloppy cutting. The scene where Columbo picks the locker is bad, and the scene where the plane with Columbo and the murderer lands, suddenly has a huge building right behind it. Obviously, re-shooting these small things is a buck too far.
But a good episode, a better pilot in my view, which got its worst marks for the large amount of digital zooms, put there by the director, which I started to look out for.
Nuns on the Run (1990)
Some funny moments
This movie did have some proper comics doing the leads- Idle and Coltrane, and some of the other main characters did a good job in their roles. Faith and the two Sister Marys were great, as was the mature presence and good acting of Mother Superior
Didn't like the casting of the two gangsters boss (Mr Casey)though- he was too young, softly spoken, and without the real look of a hard crime boss.
The story took some time to get going, but ultimately had its moments. Some excellent and well delivered lines.
Most of the comedy worked well, though I didn't appreciate Faith's near blind state without glasses.
The version I saw was only on DVD made 4x3 for some reason, so it looked more like a TV movie.
It's a low budget British comedy. Shame there was no sequel.
Get Carter (2000)
Comments as an actor whose character was axed in this one.
Ok- I've performed Get Carter scenes in street theatre at locations of the original, and just watched Sly's version.
It's a bit like reading the book before watching the film. High praise very unlikely to follow.
But it was a tale of the murky folk of the underclass- just a few more affluent ones here. What I wondered was why some violence was kept off air- like the chap Carter threw off a building and who landed on a car was not shown, whilst some bare knuckle boxing- almost like a Rocky scene without gloves -was left in.
Big money boss Jeremy Kinnear was left hopelessly unprotected to Allow Carter to do what he liked to him. NO.
And Carter was portrayed as a gangster who didn't have a friend in the world, but who was desparatly required back at work. Not really.
But the cracker of the film had to be when Carter said to Brumby (Michael Caine [about 5'10" and 150 pounds])"You're a big man but you're out of shape- with me it's a full time job, so behave yourself"
Whoever thought of getting Michael Caine to receive that classic line?!!
Film almost black and white, and all of the characters didn't really have any character. Phone dumping by Carter's girl bit-on-the-side totally unnecessary and unconnected plot.
Great for Stallone fans maybe. Reasonable for anyone else.