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894 reviews in total 
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What's Up, Sheriff Morgan?, 18 May 2017
7/10

The 2 DVD discs that I own contain 20 episodes from The Sheriff of Conchise (circa 1956). Apparently (during its entire 2-year run) there were a total of 78 episodes in all.

Filmed in b&w - This entertaining TV series centred around the day-to-day work activities of the no-nonsense lawman, Sheriff Frank Morgan.

To be sure - Morgan was certainly a diligent law-enforcer who had his hands full, doing his best to bring law & order to the deceptively peaceful county of Conchise, Arizona. In this otherwise quiet desert locale - There seemed to be criminal shenanigans lurking under every rock and behind every cactus.

For the most part - I enjoyed these 30-minute episodes. They were all well-produced. The scripts were tight and straight to the point. The stories were quite believable. And the actors and guest stars all put in very convincing performances.

All-in-all - I would gladly recommend this TV series to anyone who enjoys watching vintage, 1950's TV programs where a decidedly Western/Macho Man atmosphere prevails throughout.

The Sniper (1952)
The Irrationality of Compulsive Homicide, 2 May 2017
8/10

Favorite Movie Quote: (The sniper's anonymous note sent to the police) - "Stop me - Find me and stop me - I'm going to do it again!"

Released in 1952 - The Sniper stars actor Arthur Franz as Eddy Miller, the title character. Franz gives a sensitive & insightful performance as this sadly troubled man who out of a deep-rooted hatred towards women begins to stalk them down in the San Francisco area, randomly annihilating them, using a powerful M-1, carbine rifle.

The Sniper is a very intense Suspense/Thriller that (even though the Eddie Miller character is deemed a dangerous killer) has you actually caring about this unstable, young man who can't seem to control the overwhelming urges he has to use his rifle in the murder of several women.

This fine production, which treats its serial-killer with insight and compassion, is one of the earliest studies of a murderous psychopath who kills randomly and without apparent motive, making it almost impossible for the police to track him down.

Filmed in stark b&w, The Sniper proves itself to be a really first-rate picture from the 1950s. It was masterfully directed by Edward Dmytryk, who is also credited for directing such other top-notch films as - Murder My Sweet, Crossfire, Raintree Country, and The Caine Mutiny.

The Man Behind RKO's Horror Film Success, 25 March 2017
6/10

"The Man In the Shadows" is a fairly interesting bio-documentary that covers the life and career of low-budget, B-movie producer, Val Lewton, who worked almost exclusively for RKO Studios (poverty row) from the years 1942-1951.

Originally from Russia - Lewton was clearly one of those very resourceful men who knew just how to produce good quality horror pictures on budgets of only $150,000, or less.

Through stills, film clips, and interviews - The viewer learns all about the ins & outs of being a successful, but unappreciated, film producer like Lewton.

*Note* - In 1951 (at the age of 46) Val Lewton died from a heart attack.

Cleanflix (2009)
The Rise & Fall & Rise & Fall Of Sanitized Cinema, 23 March 2017
6/10

Hey, all you movie fans! - In this day and age of over-the-top violence, gore, sex, and profanity in films - Are you really ready for "sanitized" cinema??

I mean, I hope you think the same as I do here - 'Cause I cannot see the point, at all, of watching a film like Caligula (with all of its sex edited out), or 28 Days Later (with all of its gore edited out) - Can you?

But, apparently, in the state of Utah, the ultra-conservative, Mormonized folks there want to watch these sorts of "sanitized" films so badly that for 8 years (2000-2008) (before copyright infringement laws were being challenged in court) it was, indeed, a million-dollar business.

Competently written and directed by Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi - "Cleanflix" is a very insightful and informative documentary that offers the viewer a well-balanced argument for or against sanitized cinema (whose story inevitably escalates into quite an eye-opening scandal).

*Trivia note* - In the film The Wolf of Wall Street the word f*ck is spoken 569 times. So, that means, within its 180-minute running time, that one word is uttered about 3x a minute.

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God. Man. Reality. And Dietrich's Horrible Narration, 23 March 2017
5/10

Yes. Indeed. This Nazi/WW2 history-documentary from 1962 certainly had its fair share of good points, as well as its decidedly bad points, too.

Topping the list of its most detrimental deficits of all was having to endure listening to Hollywood, glamour queen, Marlene Dietrich do the voice-over narration.

Delivering her "spiel" in a strictly "phone-in" fashion - Dietrich had a really annoying habit of pronouncing her r's as if they were w's. For example - She pronounced the word "brave" as "bwave", and "great" as "gweat".

As you can well-imagine - Listening to Dietrich ramble on this way with her extra-thick, German accent quickly began to grate on my nerves like you wouldn't believe.

Had this history-documentary offered the viewer the option for subtitles (which it didn't), then, yes, I could have easily turned a total deaf-ear to that doofus Dietrich (who came across to me sounding like a female Elmer Fudd).

Anyway - On the positive side - This documentary certainly did contain some really excellent, vintage, newsreel footage that made it a worthwhile program to watch, in the long run.

Elvis Rocks, Western-Style, 22 March 2017
6/10

Released in 1956 - Love Me Tender would be Elvis Presley's much-anticipated screen debut. At 21 years of age, Elvis, the Pelvis, actually showed a truly remarkable zeal and assurance in his role as Clint Reno.

Set in Texas during the American Civil War - Love Me Tender is a fairly entertaining Western/Drama, filmed in b&w, and featuring 4 musical numbers with Elvis (naturally) being the one at the helm of things. This would be the one and only time in an Elvis Presley film where the soundtrack actually wasn't more important than the script.

Love Me Tender's story revolves around the conflicting politics that take place between the 2 Reno brothers, Clint and Vance, and their mutual love for the same woman. Rivalry and resentment naturally makes a play in all of this when the woman of their affections, Cathy, makes her final decision about which of the brothers she prefers as her special man.

If you're a true, die-hard Western fan, then, perhaps, Elvis' swivelling hips may not be considered acceptable as an authentic period detail, but, all the same, past or present, the young, Texas gals in this flick absolutely loved it.

The End Is Only The Beginning, 22 March 2017
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The way I see it - All that "The Quiet Earth" comes down to being is just a poor man's version of "I Am Legend".

Even though the release dates between these 2 films is 22 years apart, with The Quiet Earth coming out way back in 1985, long before I Am Legend, it's still impossible not to compare these 2 films, right down the their very last details.

Yes, "Earth" and "Legend" certainly do contain a lot of similarities in their plot-lines, etc., but, just the same, there are definitely some notable differences between these 2 films, as well. For instance, The Quiet Earth's story takes place in New Zealand, while I Am Legend's location is NYC.

Note: The remainder of this review may contain spoilers.

It's at The Quiet Earth's big, climatic finale where this film loses significant points, all due to a technical problem that was quite visibly evident when it came to the presentation of the particular scene.

Whoever it was that set up this final, all-important shot certainly wasn't paying very close attention to what they were doing when it came to keeping all of the imagery as still as possible. And so, as a result of this neglect, the dramatic background matte-images of the planet Saturn as it slowly rises up over Earth's ocean horizon fluctuates rapidly at an alarming rate, which is quite easily noticeable to the naked-eye.

This whole faulty technical blooper was not only incredibly annoying, but it completely ruined the otherwise awesome effect of this scene, reducing what was basically a fairly good film to the level of something quite disappointing and extremely amateurish.

Have Suitcase, Will Travel, 21 March 2017
6/10

This somewhat intense, action-oriented, British TV-Drama from the late-1960s was actually quite intriguing and entertaining, for the most part.

Youthful, American actor, Richard Bradford plays the "Man In a Suitcase" character (aka. "Mac" McGill) who's a disgraced, former US intelligence agent now out on his own in the P.I. business.

Setting up operations in London (and travelling all over Europe) - McGill is the dude who takes on the super-tough assignments that no one else can handle, tracking down the people that no one else can find.

*Trivia note* - This TV series was inexplicably cancelled after just one season.

Meet The Late George Harrison, 10 March 2017
7/10

(*George Harrison quote*) - "Give me love. Give me peace on Earth."

Professionally directed by acclaimed film-maker, Martin Scorsese - "Living In the Material World" is certainly an informative and in-depth production that closely examines the public/private life of renowned musician, George Harrison, and his role as a productive member of the Fab Four (aka. The Beatles).

Featuring countless stills and excellent archival footage, along with interviews with relatives and fellow musicians (as well as interviews with George, himself) - "Living In the Material World" is definitely a first-rate celebrity documentary that reveals to the viewer so much more about the real George Harrison (known as the "quiet" Beatle) than, at first, meets the eye.

This 2-disc set has a running time of approximately 3 hours.

*Note* - On November 29, 2001 - George Harrison (58 at the time) died from throat cancer.

Silkwood (1983)
Chain-Smoking And Soap Opera, 10 March 2017
4/10

Apparently based on "real-life" events that took place back in 1974 - I'd say that Silkwood's joyless, little story about these disastrous events could've easily been told in about 90 minutes, instead of being totally dragged out for 130 minutes.

This potentially promising tale about a nuclear whistle-blower got itself so bogged down with frivolous soap opera that, before long, the intended dead-seriousness of Karen Silkwood's escalating dilemma became annoyingly trivialized to the max.

I mean - In no time flat - Karen's dire predicament was given such a back-seat to all of her chronic chain-smoking and petty personal dramas that I got to the point where I lost complete interest in this film's story and I ceased to care, one way or the other, about what inevitably happened to this woman.

Anyway - With that all said - I can't believe that both Streep and, especially Cher (as Dolly the lesbian loafer) were actually nominated for Oscars for their lack-lustre performances here in Silkwood.


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