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29 reviews in total 
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Chloé (1996) (TV)
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Teen hooker alert, 19 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now on hulu plus. This stereotypical made for TV teen hooker horror story is better than usual due to the fine acting of Marion Cotillard and Anna Karina; unnecessary but welcome nudity; and careful direction, lighting and camera work. It also shows more graphic sex and violence than USA made for TV movies.

SPOILER ALERT! Marion is a pretty 15 year old girl with no papa and a remote mother, so she runs away and ends up in the clutches of a typical vicious pimp, i.e. maquereau, ponce, etc. He is one of a long parade of lecherous scheming corrupt men, who wear down Marion's basic decency and self respect. In fact, no other type of man ever appears in her world. The Stockholm syndrome is in full effect. The only bright spot is Anna Karina, an older woman running a club in the seedy part of town who knows Marion's secrets all too well. It was a pleasant surprise to see Anna, who played Marion's role in VIVRE SA VIE [1962], directed by Jean Luc Godard. That movie ended with Anna's murder. Thankfully, here the good are rewarded and the bad are punished. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, that's why it's called fiction.

Marion was a skilled actress even at this early stage of her career, and she has improved since then. P.S. It seems like every leading French actress, even Catherine Deneuve, has to endure this degrading type of material.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Roller disco will never die, 22 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING SPOILER ALERT! Saw this on Netflix recently. This is a laid back, deadpan spoof of the roller disco movie subgenre: Roller Boogie, Xanadu and The Apple. Those movies are great in a so bad its good way. This movie's entire plot is lifted directly from Roller Boogie, which in turn is the ancient let's put on a show or hold a contest and save the fill in the blank from the evil business man and his hench men story. Just add a typical working class guy falls in love with classy girl subplot.

It kicks off with our hero dressed in the same clothes and colors as the hero of Roller Boogie, working the same type of skate rental booth. The heroine is a pudgy Linda Blair type but with less sex appeal. Her acting is pretty good, but... Linda Blair's admission to Julliard morphs into our heroine's admission to a roller skating conservatory, whatever that is. Once in awhile The Boogaloos, a ridiculous mythical disco trio, appear and shoot miraculous rainbows at everyone. This is a "tribute" to Xanadu. Finally, the God of Disco drives up in a Batmobile painted gold, a "tribute" to the deus ex machina in The Apple. It's all just silly fun.

As other reviewers note, many jokes fall flat, but don't blame Canada. Maybe just Nova Scotia. Occasionally something truly funny pops up, like the "double dicker" scene at the 26 minute mark. And the additional credits at the end are a blast, listing executive executive, thought unfurler, fart wrangler, etc. Bottom line: nice try, but crank up the yuks.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Picasso's Personal Stalker, 30 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Other reviewers cover the basics but miss some points. As a threshold issue, a work of art is composed in order to lead the human eye and brain to perceive it in a certain sequence, creating movement and tension between the work's elements. See e.g the composition of The Wreck Of The Medusa. Picasso excelled at this even before WW I, so the animation is superfluous. However, it is trippy and fun, in a dated way. Picasso died in 1973, so he was alive when this movie was made. I'd like to know what he thought of it, but I'm too lazy to research it further.

Next, the movie assumes that Picasso is the ultimate artist, but the script isn't articulate enough to really say why. How dare anyone question this? Well, Picasso is brilliant, but he put out a lot of crap too, some of which is on display here. Personally, I prefer Les Demoiselles D'Avignon.

Evocative soundtrack and cinematography, slim story. Thank you once more, Vilmos Zsigmond! In fact, this movie almost looks like an excuse for the producers to live it up on OPM (other peoples' money) on the Cote D'Azur. Hey, it happens.

SPOILER ALERT! Next, Albert Finney's character is a stalker who can afford to ditch his job and then his wife so he can pursue his obsession with Picasso in a childish, ineffective way. He rings Picasso's doorbell and is rebuffed, probably for good reason; turns into a drunken idiot at the 57 minute mark for no apparent reason; and then takes up bullfighting. Far too much nonsense has been written about that sport, which boils down to sadistic torture of a poor animal for entertainment or other pure BS reasons before killing it. Hey dude, don't play with your food!

Yvette Mimieux is pretty tolerant of Finney's floundering, and she fills out a bikini very nicely. Her chic outfits still look great. Best of all, she quickly grasps what her jackass husband takes the entire movie to figure out: the joy is in the doing, not the finishing. Ironically, the movie's ending is poetic and poignant. I give this one a 5 for its artistic aspirations, and for Yvette, who was poetry in motion.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Why So Frumpy, Phoebe?, 14 June 2013

I did enjoy the crude humor throughout, but see two big problems with this movie. First, the two leads misfire. Of course Phoebe Cates must be frumpy and repressed so she can blossom later, but this means hiding Phoebe's best qualities as an actress for most of the movie. That is a big mistake. Why do producers insist on turning pretty girls into unattractive miserable ones? As for Rik Mayall, the Brits can keep him, and they have. So the two leads are respectively neutered and irritating, right up until Phoebe's booger attack, which is the climax,and best scene in the entire movie. She should have attacked her mom too, just for kicks. Unfortunately we see very little blossoming thereafter, and the movie ends with a thud.

Second, the underlying message of this movie is that destructive behavior leads us to emotional growth and a happier life. In other words, give in to your irrational urges to endanger others and damage their property. It will make you a better person! For example, was it REALLY necessary for Phoebe to wreck her friend's houseboat in order for her to learn how to talk back to her overbearing mother and ditch her sleazy fiancé? Evidently yes. But destructive behavior does NOT always, or usually, lead to enlightenment. Frankly only people who can't understand normal thinking would write or believe this.

PS If there is a remake, don't forget the boogers.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Heartbreak Hotel, 1 May 2013

SPOILER ALERT! A small dreary film set in a small dreary Aussie town full of friendly but nosy drunks. A fading beauty and her fugitive celebrity father run the only hotel and bar. Her admirers drifted away as the town shrank, leaving only one bitter ex-suitor. Their tiny world is shaken up by the arrival of two outsiders. A woman stays to marry the father, a man can't wait to escape the now desperate beauty's clutches.

The good: this movie is well written, well directed, well acted. Wendy Hughes and John Hargreaves are excellent as usual. The bad: Sort of an Aussie Last Picture Show, but much less interesting visuals and story. Frankly, the subject matter is a downer. The weird: Considering the fact that this tiny town is surrounded by the vast stark beauty of Western Australia, the movie feels claustrophobic. Bottom line: I'd rather watch Sirens again for the "scenery". This one gets a five because Wendy Hughes is always worth watching.

Boy in the Bubble remake, 8 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILER ALERT The thin story is a close copy of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, all the way through. Just change bubble to leather suit, and add motorcycle.

The good: Cheryl Pollak is very pretty and sparkly, as always. The Yugoslavian coastal scenery is carefully filmed and looks great. Brad takes off his shirt, if you like that sort of thing.

The bad: Cheryl Pollak sings. Twice! Her idiot friends. Brad Pitt's untrained voice. The motorcycle "race" on the beach. Brad conceals his true identity from Cheryl for no real reason.

The weird: When we first see Brad Pitt's face at the 35 minute mark, he is dressed like James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause: jeans, white tee shirt and red jacket. The R rating for showing one topless girl for a few seconds. The Adriatic coast is famous for its nude beaches, so what's the big deal? Brad plays with a dolphin, which would normally violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Brad's spaced out mom in a wheelchair shows up at the end for no reason. And most importantly, why does Brad kill himself right after sleeping with his true love? Most guys come back for more.

Bottom line: a lightweight romance, sprinkled with eye candy and oddball choices. Gave it a 5 because I like Cheryl in almost anything.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A retro blast, 24 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILER ALERT Whiny wannabe star Debbie Watson is a Deborah Walley clone (the original was bad enough) who went nowhere after this movie, the pouty male lead is a stiff, and the music is terrible.

But we must admire record producer Roddy McDowell's purple convertible Lincoln with white and purple striped upholstery, his private jet, and swinging bachelor pad. And the scenery is classic Southern California: Palm Springs Tramway, Olvera Street, Valley Music Center, Ascot Speedway, and a white Excalibur sports car with chrome pipes cruising Sunset Blvd.

Roddy, the antihero in Lord Love A Duck, is wacky record producer Tony Krum. Roddy may have served as the model for Z Man, the teen tycoon of rock in Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. But in retrospect it looks like both Roddy and Z Man were based upon Phil Spector, whose notorious antics were already legend. Nita Talbot is far too pretty to be disposable, but she is thrown away anyway. No visible drugs or booze, but everyone's head is scrambled. Bottom line: a retro blast.

13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Sexploitation in Newhall, CA, 24 October 2011

SPOILER ALERT: A good humored soft core account of one small town cop's effortless conquest of every nubile female inside city limits, except the one he really wants. On the rare occasions when his pants are on, he coaches the girls' basketball team, battles creeps, and dispenses justice.

Production values, acting and dialogue are above average for the genre, which isn't saying much. The sexually permissive bevy of beauties includes super hot model Anitra Ford of Invasion of the Bee Girls; incandescent Liv Lindeland, Playmate of the Year; and even a college friend of mine working bottomless!

Bottom line: Good for giggles and beer. Early seventies time capsule of consequence free sex; not for your woman or kids due to topless and bottomless scenes; little violence. Available on netflix instant streaming.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
taming of the shrew, 6 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! Other reviews cover the basics. Some complain that the story withholds information in order to create suspense, but that is standard practice. And the dialogue about the effects of losing parents and of divorce upon children is sound. Very good supporting cast, cinematography, and score.

As usual, Barbara Stanwyck is a flaming bitch, oops, "strong woman", but at least here she has some reasons to squawk. As usual, George Brent underplays, and acts the decent fellow. His gentlemanly approach explains his popularity, and is misunderstood by other reviewers.

On the other hand, he does accept cash for a quickie divorce; commits marital rape during his brief marriage to Barbara; tries to throw the sisters out of their home; and again seduces Barbara at the end of the movie, telling her by way of explanation that she hates anything that would make her happy. So according to the script, Barbara only needed a "real man" to steer her towards her biological imperative, and to show her who is boss. Apparently this was acceptable to 1942 audiences, or at least to the studio. It just doesn't sit well with viewers now. Bottom line: George tamed this shrew.

P.S. Agreed, it's a bit surreal to see Gig Young play Gig Young.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Bombs Away, 6 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING SPOILER ALERT: A low budget Quinn Martin style version of the USAA bombing runs into Germany in 1943. Long range fighter escorts were not available then, and the B17s didn't have chin turrets to protect against head on attacks until later, so the bombers suffered high loss rates.

Update: According to wikipedia this was actually a Royal Air Force raid on Cologne (Koln), so this film's historical accuracy as to the USAAF's planning for and participation in the raid is doubtful.

Despite the participation of some of the best stunt pilots in the business, and despite their flying a B17 WAY too low, this film has a poor reputation among airmen who know better. Bonus: about half way through the film, Chris George and Laraine Stephens talk in his office. Just before she tells him she loves him, he takes off his hat, rubs the back of his neck, and flips the bird. Her face and the bird are in the same shot. I'd love to hear the story behind THAT one.

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