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** "Arizona Smells Funny!" **
Quote - Homer Simpson -
Rock Dog (2016)
Rock Dog Rocks Rented From Red Box
Despite my title I wish I could have seen this at the movies but I honestly had no idea of it's U.S. release back in February. Otherwise, I'd probably call this "Rock Dog Rocks on Big Screen Box".
(Box office that is).
I'll admit, I found the title alone amusing. Meaning it looked like a flop that wasn't in theaters long. Of course that's true but I gave it a chance as I'd seen most of the animated films in Red Box.
It's obvious others here have their opinions in rating it less than favorably but I really don't get how anyone could not like this film.
It has a solid story/script, there's funny moments along with moments that are (lightly) dramatic. Bodi's desire to be a musician, in opposition to his father and his quest to find his place in the world, granted, not an idea that hasn't been done before but for my taste, it was presented here with a truly fresh approach.
He's naive' and is off to the city and runs into people much like himself who want to make music but along with it, also finds jaded, cynical characters that take advantage of him.
The wolves are our resident villains, out to kidnap him to find out what the villages plans are and what to expect when they attack. (Given their drive to do this, they should have more confidence in themselves.)
Angus Scattergood, especially, just wants to use Bodi's music to save his career. Bodi's original song leads Angus to taking the song and saying he wrote it.
The song 'Glorious' is amazing. Falling into the vein of U2 and possibly a number of rock/pop bands that have songs with a deeper lyrical meaning than others. In short, I still can't get the song out of my head...no hurry to though.
Despite 'rock' in the traditional sense not being what it used to be, the use of the 'classic rock' style, combined with a touch of today's style, makes the music absolutely original sounding.
The main story gets conjoined to the plots of Bodi's village banning music and only concentrating on keeping wolves from attacking an stealing their sheep and fading rock star 'Angus Scattergood' trying to come up with a hit to save his recording contract, mesh well with the main points of the movie.
That being we all search for our place to fit in, our lives and existence, as well as our actions directly affect others as well. This doesn't mean that it's wrong to think of yourself but it is to think 'only' of yourself and 'only' what you want, to the exclusion of others.
Bodi, his father, Angus and even the wolves want something for themselves, be it a good or bad thing. In the end result when Angus finds his 'fire', it serves to bring about something that I can only describe as a peaceful solution and/or resolution for all. (I wont spoil that part for you.)
It was also great to have Sam Elliot narrating (ala 'The Big Lebowski' style) as an elder & Yak named 'Fleetwood Yak'.
The animation here is spectacular and the story is inspiring as well. Maybe those who have seen animated films like this many times don't think so, because they've gotten older or just don't get it. Being 49. I still found it all inspiring. The story, the animation and the music.
Decide for yourselves ladies & gentleman if you like this movie or not. I'm not here (nor or the others) to decide that for you, just to tell you how I felt about it. Ten greatly deserved stars from me.
I can only hope many others will feel the same. (END)
The Suzanne Somers Special (1982)
See Suzanne Shortly After Ousting From Three's Company
Just about anyone who ever watched "Three's Company" can tell you the story of Suzanne's fallout with ABC, John Ritter & Joyce DeWitt and her (then) 'expensive' salary demands. That, in wanting to be paid on equal level with John Ritter (and male actors, who always get paid more).
Well, after a shouting match, pitting her & husband Alan Hamel against ABC executives, ABC had truly had it. Diminishing her role, practically barring he from the set and and the end of the 1980-1981 season, firing her.
The execs at CBS wasted no time in signing her to a contract. ...but then a shake-up in leadership at the network dashed any hopes for a new sitcom. That and ABC stating that she could not legally use 'any' variations of ' Chrissy Snow', as this originated on their network.
Still CBS made good (sort of) on their contractual promise and gave Suzanne her own TV special. An almost Bob Hope type of gathering, it was filmed in late 1981 and aired February 22nd, 1982. Suzanne basically shows facets of her talents that were not seen on her previous TV series.
Aboard the USS Ranger in San Diego Bay, she performs in front of a most appreciative audience of over 6000+ U.S. Navy Sailors. (This is not to be confused with her follow up special, "Suzanne Somers and 10,000 G.I.'s", which aired January 3rd,1983.)
She not only does comedy to the delight of the sailors, but sings and dances as well. Her choice of outfits didn't hurt either.
Joined by singer Marie Osmond, they duet on songs from the 1940s in a tribute to the USO (as well as World War 2 veterans). She is also joined by the R & B group Gladys Knight & the Pips in a medley of now classic rock & roll songs.
The (now) late great comedian Flip Wilson makes an appearance as his classic 'female' comedy character "Geraldine". Who tries to outdo Suzanne for the Navy's attention. I'm sure Suzanne had a hard time keeping a straight face.
Songs from the show include "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", "Take Back Your Mink", "I Don't Know Why" and "I'm Coming Home Again", as well as the rock & roll medley. Plus a (tasteful) salute to the Armed Forces and America as well.
Despite the image people had of hr then as someone with an inflated ego and only interested in money. She truly does a wonderful show for the sailors and for the TV viewers that did tune in that night, myself included, I was 13 and it was our first night in a new home.
Shown in the last hour of prime-time network TV, Suzanne's only TV competition that night was (ironically) the 2nd hour of NBC's TV Movie "A Wedding On Walton's Mountain". (The Walton's had aired on CBS previously. That and the last hour of Ryan O'Neal's "Oliver's Story" (1978)
I remember the special quite well and should it ever somehow surface again on TV or maybe even DVD, I'd be glad to revisit it. I urge you to do the same. Because, putting aside what she was dealing with then (and in terms of simply being entertaining) this special was terrific.
Variety shows as regular TV programs were passe' by then and these kind of special were as well. After her second TV special, it would be over 4 & 1/2 years before Suzanne would star in another TV sitcom.
"The Suzanne Somers TV Special" :
Ten Stars from me, there's not better way to express it. (END)
Cinderella 2015/2016 : Another Wonderful World from Disney
I read some the very negative reviews and came to this conclusion.....
These people went to the movie but didn't really see it or they didn't even go to see it and just created a Trollish (and very short) review with no substance to it at all.
First off. Too many Cinderella remakes? Well, guess what? It'll be remade probably 20 years from now too. What does that have to do with how good or bad it was? For that matter,who cares? "Disappointing indeed", is something another said. What are the ways it was disappointing? No explanation,just an empty opinion.
"It is made for kids only and not for adults". Really?! I'm 46 and my girlfriend in her 30s. We saw this last night and enjoyed it just as much as the kids and (guess what?) their parents were enjoying it too.
A girl losing both of her parents? How in the world is that "for kids only"? I was amazed they dealt with it that directly and in a very mature manner, without making it too disturbing for very little kids.
"This movie was so boring." Okay again,"how" or in what ways was it boring? Just another blanket opinion.
"Nothing new?" It's a re-make of a 200 year old story,they have to tell it in mostly the way it was written but they did add something important, they gave all main/central characters real human qualities and emotions and even back-stories about who they are.
CGI animation & special effects are amazing & seamless here. The costumes and attention to how people would dress in that era is flawless. Every actor in this film is 100% into their role and best of all this movie "does" have heart,otherwise there'd be nothing to like about it.
A rip off of others or a "copy & paste" job : There's only one real storyline for Cinderella and that's (again) from the original story & book itself. Director Orlando and other filmmakers did not create Cinderella. He and they only made their own versions.
As for some alleging "Disney steals ideas"...aside from "a few" Cinderellas made before 1950, Disney pretty much made the definitive and animated one that year. Any later versions are remakes either good or just okay.
In case any haven't heard ,the movie industry is 112 years old,there's only so many "fresh" ideas anymore.
"The acting is/was so tasteless". What is that statement based on? There's nothing tasteless in the film at all. As for acting, does anyone really think it's easy to play such a "nice girl" as Ella and balance that against all the negative things happening to her? I'm not in show business but I certainly know the difference between a boring film and a good ,fun and entertaining one. This movie "is" a good movie,it has every element that it takes to be so.
Good actors, good directing,a well fleshed out script based on something already done before. ..and again, incredible detailed costumes and sets & again great special effects, that bring the illusion of that time period to life. The music score is excellent as well.
About the feminists. Ella is a very strong girl and then woman. To put up with all she did and went through after her parents passed on, is a testament not only to being a strong female but being a strong person in general.
I say that as a man raised by two good yet strong women.
It's far too easy for people to be negative in a review here on IMDb. It's easy to see, some come from just from wanting to be mean and negative because they want too,not because they actually saw the film.
Making a bad or boring film is a very easy thing too,when all involved don't make a real effort and just want to make money.
It takes a better use of one's mind to create a movie (and remakes) like Cinderella and have it be successful and as well done as this film.
Ten stars? I'll give Cinderella (2015) twenty! An AA++ and 100% perfect score. I will say and add that this movie will be an Oscar contender at next year's Academy Awards.
Anyone who rates it less did not open themselves up emotionally or even mentally to just enjoying it for what it is and always was & will be....a fairy tale. (END)
The Fugitive (1963)
The Start of The Chase and The Anniversary Of The End
***Again, this review DOES contain spoilers. Only read if you have no problem with that.***
As someone for whom this series 'predates', I'm proud to say I've finally been able to watch this series I had only heard about.
When I was young in the 1980s, the re-running of 1 hour dramas, just really wan't done and in the case of "The Fugitive", it was really not a candidate for syndication at all. Why? It's been said that, because the finale wrapped everything up, why would anyone watch the reruns. (Sounds like a very weak reason.)
Despite being only 4 seasons, it's taken some time for me to get through the series but that's okay, it's worth the wait. As fans know, the show is about Dr. Richard Kimble (pediatrician mainly) , a man falsely accused & convicted of killing his wife.
He and the stoic, nearly emotionless but professional Lt. Gerard are taking a train (in the original opening credits) where at the end, Kimble would be executed in the electric chair. A train derailment leads to the beginning of Richard's flight from the law and the 4 years of pursuit.
David Janssen's portrayal of Richard Kimble is mostly low-key. As he's portraying a man who, until maybe recently, may have had 100% faith in the criminal justice system. He's soft spoken, tries to force a smile when he's basically trying to talk his way out of something, although he does have legitimate reasons to smile 'sometimes'.
Kimble though is a determined man. Determined to prove his innocence by evading Lt. Gerard and the law long enough to find the elusive 'One Armed Man' he saw fleeing from his home, as he was returning in his car. That after the fight he'd had with his wife.
Now it would have been easy to make it the Doctor vs. the Lt. 'every' week, but as early shows (in my opinion) indicate, this would get old very quickly. As much as seeing the one armed man every week would.
Instead, Kimble encounters a wide variety of people and quite possibly all levels of humanity around the U.S. & elsewhere. From good people who only wish to help him or need his help in some way, to the lowest kind of people, who seem to use blackmail (turning him in) to further themselves. (Especially in the final season when he is now wanted AND with a $10,000 reward for capture.)
On occasion, the good Dr. does encounter women who truly find him attractive & even fall in love with him. (..and he with them).
It's only vaguely alluded to, but in some shows, Kimble has had some 'one night stands' (or longer) with some of these ladies. Some help him, some turn on him for not sticking around. Kimble always let's it be known, he may not be around long. In the end, he must run again as he can't afford attachments..
Kimble seems to come out of tough situations (for lack of a better phrase) 'on top' but also more wary & cautious of what or whom he gets himself involved with. When confronted each time by Lt. Gerard, it looks like it's all over but someone or something seems to help our 'anti-hero' escape by the end.
The Lt. seems to be driven by his own failure to stop Kimble after the train incident, along with his own ego. Truth is, Gerard is so 'by the book' , his only goal is to bring Kimble back in.
Kimble 'was' found guilty under the law and as a law officer of this level, Gerard is 100% emotionally detached & will not believe the story about a one armed man. Still, we see his frustration with every failed attempt to successfully snare fugitive Kimble.
As for our one armed man, this is truly one of the sleaziest TV villains. A man who has no regard for others. He takes what he wants and violently kills if anyone is in his way.
At first Kimble only 'saw' him here and there but in later episodes, their confrontations are TV legend. Usually ending with our villain eluding capture from Kimble after a one on one confrontation.
On the series' acting, production and directing ....for a TV series of it's time, everything here is first rate. The music score is anywhere from haunting to that of 'nail biting excitement'. Certainly those scenes where Kimble shows he can fight back as well as run .
There is great camera work (especially after the show goes to color.) and everyone involved seems to know their part and how to play it, which goes right along with great directing.
True, nothing can be done about the 'green screen' driving/riding in a car but that's a minor thing. As there was no way, without some risk, to film it for real then.
As the series goes from the late JFK era & into post Beatles 1964-1967 ...the stories try to be more relevant to what was going on in the world then. (Sure wish there'd been many more shows like that.)
50 years ago on August 22nd & 29th, 1967 over 2 consecutive Tuesdays. With the highest pair of TV ratings ever achieved at that time, America bade farewell to the Richard Kimble saga.
Ten stars all around for this series.
Give it a look on DVD, start to finish, it's worth your time. Revisiting or to get acquainted with one of the best dramatic TV series of it's time. ...and it is still as great now (END)
'See'worthy but Not Seamless
This is a film that I saw, among many, at a special summer-long 'film festival' for children at my local theater....in 1981.
Now, I would have reviewed this title long before today but in all honesty...I had not seen it since then (until this week) and couldn't recall the story or what it was about. Same is true not long after I saw it at the movies.
Well, fate has stepped in and I finally bought a (reasonably) priced DVD from Ebay. (Some sellers acting like this is SO rare, it's within their right to charge $50.00 or more.)
I watched the film and now I can say this much about it. Special effects, sets and wardrobe & basically making all look appropriate (circa 1969) are first rate here. True, some actresses look 1960s in what is supposed to be the early '1860s' but given this is a fantasy, it doesn't really matter. In Nemo's undersea city, nothing of the world above has much meaning there.
Robert Ryan's Nemo is a far cry from the one most know in Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea". In fact while his views are made clear to us, his Nemo is not as seemingly insane as 'that' Captain Nemo.
He's (somehow) with all others under his rule/following, made a paradise for people to (on the one hand) live freely in...but on the other hand, under 'his' laws. I'll say this much, while the swimming pools looked like a lot of fun...was there nothing else fun for these people to do there?
The survivors of the shipwreck at the start are saved by him and crew but the only reason the Captain gives for saving them is 'the only other option was to let you drown.' (??) Makes you wonder why he bothered at all, as now he's going to hold them there the rest of their lives, so they can't go home and tell everyone about his Mecca beneath the waves. (Now really...who in 1860-1865 would believe them?)
Chuck Conners (TV's "The Rifleman") as Senator Robert Fraser, gives Nemo his honest, gentleman's word that if he let's them all go, his secret is safe. Nemo's jaded trust in his fellow man & politicians will not let him believe this.
So as will happen, the plotting starts. The character Lomax wants out the most and makes 2 attempts. His second attempt almost wrecks the place.
The brothers Barnaby & Swallow Bath (yes..his name really is 'swallow') make efforts to not only get out but steal a great amount of gold & treasures as well.
Conners & the brothers finally come up with an idea to get out. Of course, I'll leave off there, as not to ruin the rest of it.
Now, I'll validate my reason for only giving a 4 star rating. The acting. With the minor exception of Robert Ryan's Nemo, which was convincing enough, the rest of the actors, for me, all seem flat. Yes...even Chuck Conners.
They give the indications of emotion but overall, I just didn't feel from them, the true urgency of their situation.
These people are being held hostage. Which should make them scared and angry at their captor (or should we say kidnapper?). The rest of them could at least try harder to escape. It seems more like, "Well were here now and gee, isn't this an amusing little underwater city?"
Bland also (which goes hand in hand with acting) is the direction. The more serious acting needed should have prompted the director to ask more from the actors than what we finally are given here. Only Lomax and the two brothers & Nemo were memorable.
Of course, being a G rated film from 1969, I guess it's not surprising. Despite Conners one 'damn' and 3 acts of violence plus 3 characters actually meeting their end, the film while good enough to watch, when you feel like watching a movie ...overall just could have been so much better.
Four stars. Not 'all' movies from child-hood are as good as we remember but since I didn't recall much of this for a long time, I recalled it just right. (END)
Ben-Hur : Of Remakes, Revenue and Redemption
As I type this, it's been just over 5 hours since I saw Ben Hur (2016) at the movies and I want to review it while all is fresh in my mind.
Yes, I knew all about the only $11 million + take for a $100 million dollar production but I wanted to see it for myself and not base my decision for attending on that.
Well, after watching it for 2 hours, I can tell all of you out there,it is only a 'financial' bomb and not any other kind. (Even the great, "It's A Wonderful Life" failed at the box office but it's become a classic.)
Happy to say, despite the bleak box office, it wasn't empty where I saw it. Along with fellow patrons, I was 'literally' (no exaggerating here) on the edge of my seat. Not just during the chariot race (which I'm glad wasn't "all" CGI) but the whole movie.
I'll give that the opening horse race between the 2 brothers reminded me of the start of "Prince Of Egypt" but it's too nitpicking a detail to lower my rating.
Judah Ben Hur being a more down to earth person made it very interesting to watch. Of course it's not like Charlton Heston...then again, why would or should it be? Huston is his own person and his own kind of actor and 'his' portrayal of Ben Hur belongs to him, just as Heston's "Ben Hur" in 1959.
Ben Hur's 'odyssey' (for want of a better word) is. from the moment his adoptive brother leaves, told in every bit of emotion, action and effort. Not just from Huston, but from all major & minor characters here.
Some complain of the actor who played Jesus. 'Jesus wasn't very interesting.' Which goes to show, they do not understand what kind of person or maybe even 'being' Jesus was supposed to have been.
Morgan Freeman is (and never fails to be in serious roles)mesmerizing,as well as simply being almost impossible not to pay attention too and hang onto the words of his best lines of dialog.
Along with his narration, he brings that wonderfully nameless ingredient that makes up his acting style.
This is not an action movie or any other kind of 'big summer box office' film. It's a story about a man who, in protecting another, is made to suffer for his humanity & beliefs and yet somehow survive and find redemption in the end.
The chariot race is all but a small, yet nearly deadly, part of that journey. That race, in whichever version, is iconic.....but it's not the 'whole' of the entire work.
The chariot race here just as much as the 1959 race (or the other remakes) was a nail biter, despite knowing the outcome. It's not about trying to 'top' that race or the Oscar Winner...NO ONE will ever do that. I do know, it 'is' possible to remake a Best Picture.
The question is: "Do studios want to make a work of art or do they just want to cash in, on a known entity? If answer #2 is the reply, then they're destined to fail.
This 'Ben Hur', artistically and emotionally, IS powerful movie making on all counts. In that light, it's a success.
So, I've no doubt Ben Hur (2016) will be a favorite of many for along time, just for that reason alone. #1 one at the box-office or not.
10 stars ladies and gentlemen. Please don't let the box office take stop you from seeing this movie. In the theater or on DVD. (END)
Angry Birds (2016)
Angry Birds - Birds, Birds. I Know Birds Are The Word
Just over 2 years ago, I had never heard of 'Angry Birds'.
Being 47, it's not surprising, however, my girlfriend
(who I met that long ago) was and still is a huge fan of theirs.
So, late yesterday afternoon we went to see it and she loved it. I can also say the same that I really liked it too. (Loved? Most likely.)
An easy thing of just about anyone to understand, 'Red' is a bird with serious pent up anger issues, that pretty much fly out of his mouth when he just can't stand something that's getting on his nerves. An unfortunate result of bullying in school when he was younger. Which many people of many ages can relate to as well.
His rage at a father who berates him for being late to his kid's birthday (as the clown), sends him over the edge and he winds up in anger management class. Where he meets his future friends.
Meanwhile, a boatful of pigs from a neighboring island have come sailing in and extending the hand of friendship (Or are they?).
Showering the birds of the island with gifts, parties and entertainment, the pigs are secretly 'hatching' a plan to make off with all the birds' eggs and have one huge egg banquet.
'Red' (whose house they squashed on arrival) is naturally suspicious of them, tries to warn everyone, but they wont listen.
Anyhow, I'll stop the plot there as I don't want to give too much away, but what I'll tell you from here is, this movie is really worth seeing. I think parents can leave it up to their own best judgement of the appropriate age to attend.
The film moves at an excellent pace, the animation is great, the story is timeless and there's very little to offend anyone over age 10 here.
A great lesson learned in the film is, it's okay to feel angry, but it's important to learn and know, when to let it out and for what important reasons
10 Stars , no doubt about it. (END_
Arnold Horshack On The Rocks
I just viewed, on DVD, this episode for the first time in years and strictly in terms of Season 4 of "Welcome Back, Kotter", it's truly the best.
Ron Palillo gives a very dynamic and very real portrayal of what his Arnold character Horshack becomes under the influence of hard liquor/whiskey.
When Arnold is fearful of making a fool of himself on a date with Mary Johnson, another student, Carvelli, tells him he can calm his nerves down by selling him a bottle of whiskey.
Arnold is reluctant but Carvelli give him the bottle and asks for the money later. Later, we see Arnold has both emotionally and mentally transformed in to both a verbally and physically abusive young man.
He also finds things funny that are not at all funny and even comes close to being paranoid that everyone's against him. He even yells at his teachers.
A later physical altercation involving himself, his buddies and Mary, leads to him having to decide if it's going to be her or the bottle.
Everyone in this episode did their job as actors here, with their characters actions and reactions to the downward spiral of their friend.
Ron, with that kind of support made the usually lovable and peaceful boy/ man Arnold Horshack, a very frightening person and or persona to witness.
Which to me, only makes it clear how badly Hollywood ignored him later, by typecasting him (or not hiring him at all) in later roles. They only recalled the "Ooh'-ooh-ooh's" and meekness of Ron's 'Arnold Horshack' , that and just maybe 100% confusing him, with his character.
Overall...and again, for the much forgotten Season 4, this episode is, hands down the very best one. Ten stars. ...and the show's fan's miss you much Ron (and Robert). *END*
Grease 2 (1982)
Grease 2 ; The Rydell Hype
When I was 14, I saw this movie over summer vacation.
Naturally, having seen Grease and like anyone else who saw it, I didn't think it possible to make a sequel.
Either 'at all' or to make one that wasn't as good as the first.
Now at that age, I did like the movie and understood it wouldn't star Travolta or Olivia Newton John (who were too busy making so-so or even worse films at the time.)
I'm in my 40s now and I got to re-watch this last night, for the first time in about 11 years or so.
First, sorry to all of you who truly love this movie, if you love it that's fine but I honestly can't like it as much as you do. ...but, you're welcome to your feelings.
I feel the characters, some of the songs just don't have the heart that made "Grease" enjoyable for me.
Unlike the first, it seems no one in this movie really cares about anyone but themselves and most of the dialog centers around sexual things.
..but! I can't totally dismiss it either. There are some good things in the movie, it's true. Too bad it's all in the first half only.
As we know,in the opening, Sandy's cousin Michael Carrington has come to live in the U.S. and attend Rydell High in California like she did.
In this case, he's a 'male' Sandy and Pink Lady and 'Stephanie Zinone' is the female 'Danny Zuko'. She of course thinks he's a nerd & uninteresting. He meet up with Frenchy (Didi Conn) as he gets off the school bus.
It's not long before he's fallen for Stephanie, who's getting sick of the immaturity and bossiness of current T-Bird leader Johnny Nogerelli, who's only her boyfriend because she's a Pink Lady. Michael decides (despite Frenchy's Warning) to try and become a T-Bird type himself and win Stephanie's love & respect.
In mere weeks (in movie time) he's practically Evel Knievel on a motorcycle, wearing a leather jacket and disguising his voice in a weird American voice. He single handedly takes on the T-Birds rival gang outside the bowling alley.
Anyway, up to the point of the "Prowlin'" number, it's was a good movie. Then it all falls apart.
Right after that is a somewhat dull scene in a diner with Michael & Stephanie. An even duller song by Caufield, the goofy fallout shelter scene and a bit later, the unbelievably embarrassing and badly staged 'Graduation Luau' .
I have to say this, for being a young actress at the time, Pfeiffer's is the best actor of all in the whole film. .... but has no choice but to somehow get through the scene of her and Zmed in the boat in a round swimming pool.
Johnny's actually trying to row his way out, when the rival gang shows up to wreck the place.... and her screaming "Stop yelling at me!"
Another question...why ask Sid Cesar, Dody Goodman, Eve Arden to appear, when they really didn't give them much to do in the film? I feel their talents were wasted here. It's more like they're extras than real characters.
Tab Hunter & Connie Stevens don't seem to add much to the mix either.
The other problem here is, in the first half, the musical numbers are really good. Which gives the impression it's going to be a great movie.
The opening number, "Back To School Again" (sung in a voice over by The Four Tops) is a great one. The dancing is perfect and the song's exciting.
Other good numbers are Pfeiffer's "Cool Rider" (sort of 1980s Pat Benetar, being sung in 1961, with MTV like moves). Still, one of her best remembered moments in the film.
"Score Tonight" (sung in the bowling alley) is more of a funny song than one to be taken seriously. Still, it works in how it's put together. "Reproduction", despite it's tacky lyrics, is also funny and it's routine works too.
In the 2nd half of the film, only, " Prowlin' " - Sung by Adrian Zmed (depending on your opinion of his singing of course) and "You're Girl For All Seasons" are the best.
The rest of the songs, "Charades" (sung by Caufield w/ too much echo effect), "Who's That Guy?, "Love Will Turn Back The Hands Of Time", "Do It For Our Country", "Rock-A-Hula Luau" and "We'll Be Together" ....are anywhere from dull to just really uninspired songwriting.
There's even the bad edit from Stephanie & Michael starting the "We'll Be Together" number, to everyone already coupled up (including them) and slow dancing/walking to the camera. Topped off with some silly 'spinning and/or 'ballet' routine.
So, all of this,is why I'm rating it 5 stars.
A good jump start in the first half but a 2nd half that gets lost and runs out of gas on the way to the finish line. (END)
Pete's Dragon (1977)
Pete's Dragon - A Review To View, Before We See The New
Sunday,Feb. 21st, I took out an old copy of Pete's Dragon, that i have on VHS and decided to watch it. It had been a few years since I'd looked at it.
I watched it in the company of my significant other, who being a few years younger, had not yet seen it. Well, not only did she like it but I was reminded why I liked it in the first place. For a few of my so called 'grown up years, I'd dismissed it a great deal as 'not Disney's best work'. I also didn't have a nice word for Sean Marshall's (Pete's) singing voice. (I'd roll my eyes during the 'I Love You Too' song.
Now this past Sunday also, was the Disneyland 60th anniversary show on ABC, in which a preview trailer of the NEW 'Pete's Dragon was shown. I had no idea that a 'new' version of this childhood favorite was coming out soon or was even being made.
What I can tell anyone who is thinking of going to see the new version is, as I always say about remakes, see the original version first.
Sure, it was made in 1977 and the special effects aren't the same as what we're used to today....but that's what they had to work with then and what movie goers were used to then as well. Yes, that includes 'green-screen'effects.
More importantly, what makes Pete's Dragon engaging is that it 'is' so very simple and child-like in most of it's telling. There's a few things said & done by adults in the film that are not up to today's Politically Correct do's & don't's, where kids films are concerned.
They're a product of the time it was made and by a different generation, so it's best to just consider the era they're from.
The film over the years has been called things from kiddie-fair, to overly sentimental to emotionally disturbing. None of which are fair labels, nor are they grounded in anything but certain scenes taken out of context.
I would say that maybe, since it's a movie with a dragon, people then possibly expected Elliot to do more fantastic things than he actually did. He's a funny character with a funny way of talking and uses 'some' of his magic. I'm sure it was expected he'd use that magic on a greater scale.
Anyhow,the story is this. Pete's an orphaned boy between 10 & 12 who is 'purchased' by the despicable 'Gogan' family, who are dirty, filthy and lazy and use Pete as child slave labor back home. They even have a 'bill of sale'.
Pete's been befriended by Elliot, a usually invisible but sometimes seen, green Dragon (with little wings) that's helped him escape from the Gogans.
He and Pete have come upon the quiet seaside town of Passamaquoddy, Maine. (Circa 1910s) Where in no time at all, Elliot makes the possibility of Pete living (and hiding out) there almost impossible.
Enter Nora (Singer Helen Reddy) and 'Lampie' (Mickey Rooney), who operate the local lighthouse. (It's never made clear if they're co-workers or Father & daughter).
Lampie is a drinker & former sailor, who actually sees Elliot and is frightened like crazy. Nora (and the boys at the bar) doubt him completely.
Soon, because of Elliot's antics, it seems the town (except for Nora) is against Pete. Nora takes him in and thinks that Elliot is just something Pete made up.
As the story goes on, there's other baddies to worry about besides the Gogans. Doc Terminus a snake-oil (fake medicine) salesman and his shill Hoagie arrive also. not just to take money from the townspeople but, when finding out about Elliot, want to get hold of him to use his parts in the things they sell.
How will all of this turn out? Watch and see.
In the meantime, I can tell you the songs here are pretty good. Reddy's 'Candle On The Water' is a great number, so much so it w released as a single for radio in1978. All of her numbers are good, as before this she'd had many top selling records. "Brazzle Dazle Day' is also an unforgettable & very catchy number sung by her, Roony & Marshall, as the paint the lighthouse.
The Gogan's "Bill Of Sale' song is as grungy as they are. not note perfect but they're not perfect either, so it's fitting. Other songs by other characters are sung , 'in character'. To be fair to Pete, Marshall is actually a good singer but is singing as a regular boy like Pete could only be able too.
So, I feel it was meant to happen that I ended up watching the original the same day as that special. Meaning, I may just go see the new version but it's still good to know that the original's always there.
Not just to give an idea of what the new version may be like or how it'll be different ..but also, if someone may just like something from a time that was simpler and more easy going.
9 out of 10 from me, only one off for,again, some questionable dialog and actions from the grown ups in the film. (END)