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screenplays. Currently working on a script
designed to be a joint project, with Elizabeth
Hurley & Joan Collins in mind.
By Dawn's Early Light (1990)
Laughable, Stupid, Implausible, Insipid, Dimwitted, Bordering on Soap Opera!
Based on the previous reviews I read, here, I have to conclude that P.T. Barnum WAS right: "There IS a sucker born, every minute!" I served four years in SAC (Strategic Air Command), including a year-and-a-half at Offutt Air Force Base (Headquarters SAC, Omaha, Nebraska), and if ANYONE disobeyed orders, and behaved irrationally (like some of the "professionals" depicted in this awful, awful, awful movie did), they'd have been shot on the spot. Or, at least, we'd HOPE they would! MY GOD, the BAD acting in this movie, plus the BAD writing, the BAD production values (can you believe one reviewer on this board said, "top notch production values"? Yeah, based on WHAT, "Plan 9 From Outer Space"?!), the BAD special effects (on a level with the 60's TV series, "Batman," actually!) and the BAD direction, had me CRINGING in my seat! I quite literally HAD to watch this turkey to its unlikely conclusion, JUST TO SEE HOW BAD IT COULD GET! The ABSOLUTE WORST "acting" was perpetrated by the pilot, and co-pilot, of the B-52 crew (Powers Boothe and Rebecca De Mornay); DO you think the writer of this schlock could've had them on the same page, for at least two minutes??? I mean, one minute he (Boothe) is at her throat, and the very next minute he wants to "canoodle" with her! He calls her the BEST co-pilot he's EVER had, and a heartbeat later, he's giving her cyanide, and ordering her OUT of the cockpit! He (Boothe) engages in fisticuffs with another crew member, and later, THAT crew member ejects himself from the aircraft! JEEZE, at least Slim Pickens DIDN'T have THESE kinds of problems in the FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR superior, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." In that classic, the B-52 commander (Pickens) ONLY had to contend with a malfunctioning A-bomb. Speaking of "Dr. Strangelove," one of the crew members from that earlier movie returns in this one: James Earl Jones. Man, HIS character is SUPPOSED to be a SAC-trained professional? He waffled, so much, I wanted to call him "Aunt Jemima!" You want to take MY advice, and the advice of a few other sane, rational and intelligent posters on this thread? SKIP this crud, and watch the vastly superior "Dr. Strangelove," and "Fail-Safe." Even "On The Beach," with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire, for end-of-the-world scenarios. BOTTOM LINE: Even the spoof, "Airplane," with Leslie Nielsen (!!!), made more sense than this bottom-feeder did.
Caged Heat (1974)
The Biggest Waste of Time Since My Last Blind Date (Harelip, Clubfoot)
I just purchased "Caged Heat," partly as a result of "reviews" that I read, here. Are you people ON drugs, or something? Are YOU substance abusers? All I can say is, AFTER watching it, I GOT ROBBED!!! It cost me $13.24 to buy the DVD, I feel like using it as a frisbee, now! WHAT, you get the distinct impression I didn't like the movie? Let me put it like THIS: If Ed Wood's, "Plan 9 From Outer Space," were pitted against Jonathan Demme's, "Caged Heat," for Best Picture of the Year, Ed Wood would walk off with the statuette, with Bela Lugosi on one arm, and Tor Johnson on the other! I don't care IF Leonard Maltin gave "Caged Heat" two-and-a-half stars, in his Movie & Video Guide. In the Special Features portion of the DVD, Maltin interviews the legendary Roger Corman (he refused to finance "Caged Heat," but he did distribute it), and Maltin kisses his posterior, up-one-side-and-down-the-other! Folks, I'm here to tell you that Leonard Maltin is a whore! IF you want to learn about BAD acting, BAD writing, BAD directing, BAD production values, BAD musical scoring, BAD sound, BAD cinematography, BAD costumes (WHAT costumes, the prison inmates ALL wear civilian clothes!) and BAD everything else, BUY or RENT (RENT is better!), "Caged Heat." I absolutely LOVE (ADORE!!!) Barbara Steele (she plays Warden McQueen), but she embarrassed herself by appearing in this insane piece of crud! NO STARS!!!
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Yet Another Al Pacino "By The Numbers" Movie. All "Shtick" And CGI
Behold! Al Pacino, over-acting! Behold! Al Pacino engaging in loud, bombastic and long-winded speeches! Behold! Keanu Reeves looking so puzzled, for LONG stretches of the movie, when the obvious has been made clear to the viewer, early on! Behold! Al Pacino lipsyncing to Frank Sinatra's, "It Happened in Monterrey," while prancing about a very large room, filled with computer generated images of heavenly (and not so heavenly) statues, engaged in all manners of horseplay! Behold! A stupefyingly LOUD musical soundtrack, filled with heavenly (and not so heavenly) religious symbolism, and STILL Keanu Reeves doesn't "get it!" Behold! Uber-Babes, Charlize Theron and Connie Nielsen, disrobing to full-frontal nudity! Behold! More F-words than even "Goodfellas!" Oh, my God (pardon me, He's implied in this picture, but He must've missed His cue), I could go on and on with the "Beholds!" Look, THIS movie is 144 minutes of Al Pacino ranting, raving and over-acting. THIS movie is for the myriad of high school and college students, out there, that got by with "crib sheets." I mean, unlike Roman Polanski's FAR superior, "Rosemary's Baby," and Paul Wendkos, "The Mephisto Waltz," there is absolutely NO subtlety expressed in this film, WHATSOEVER! It just continues to beat you over the head, until you are so thankful when the end credits FINALLY roll. For the benefit of cretins who STILL don't "get it," think Beelzebub, Satan, Lucifer and "Old Scratch." NOW do you "get it?" Good, it only took Keanu Reeves 143 minutes to arrive at the same conclusion! If you want good Al Pacino (and not heavy-handed schlock), rent "The Godfather," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Scarface," "The Godfather Part II," "Carlito's Way," "Donnie Brasco,' "The Insider" or "Insomnia." In "The Devil's Advocate," he's just phoning it in. TOTAL prostitution. Just in it for the bucks, so he can afford to play Shakespeare, off-Broadway.
Heaven's Prisoners (1996)
Goes nowhere, and takes FOREVER to get there!
This movie goes absolutely NOWHERE, and it takes its sweet time getting there. All of the characters talk like they just left a Humphrey Bogart/Dashiell Hammett/Raymond Chandler film noir picture from the '40's, only highlighted with Cajun accents, instead. Lotsa' veiled threats; I mean EVERY cliché in the book, and then some. Star, Alec Baldwin, is horribly miscast, and runs the acting gamut from "A" to "B." Dennis Quaid, who starred in the earlier, and FAR superior, "The Big Easy," would've made a much better choice for leading man. Alas, we're STUCK with one of the acting-challenged Baldwin Brothers. Poor us! Some of the other posters on this thread made mention of "bloopers." Well, I didn't see them, woe is me. If I had known about them, earlier, I'm sure they would've provided me with some impetus to stay with this "yawner" without dozing-off, from time-to-time. As it is, if you miss Teri Hatcher's ("Desperate Housewives") EXQUISITE nude scene near the beginning of the film, you really have nothing to stick around for. If I had a choice to make, either watch THIS movie, OR the aforementioned "The Big Easy," I'd go with the latter film, EVERY day of the week, and TWICE on Sunday! Again, to be seen ONLY for Teri Hatcher's full-frontal (the collar matches the cuff!) nude scene.
Beach Party (1963)
Sand, girls, rock 'n' roll, girls, surfing, girls, etc.
Okay, I'm a sucker for ALL the old "Beach Party" movies, starring Frankie and Annette. How 'bout that? They're like Fred and Ginger, Hope and Crosby and William Powell and Myrna Loy: They're icons! This movie, the ORIGINAL "Beach Party," is the BEST of the lot if you're asking me. Besides Frankie and Annette, Bob Cummings and Oscar winner ("Written on the Wind") Dorothy Malone, also star. I can't believe that someone on this thread actually described the WONDERFUL Bob Cummings as "offensive." Apparently, this person NEVER saw this actor on his old "Love that Bob" TV sitcom from the '50's. I did. A more lighthearted and fun actor I've never seen; decidedly NOT "offensive."
THIS movie is just like the old Beach Boys song, "Fun, Fun, Fun." NOTHING to take seriously. Pure fluff, just like the old Doris Day and Rock Hudson comedies from a more innocent time. Not too much in the way of plot (hot-blooded and red-blooded American girls and boys, sand, surfing, rock 'n' roll, a little harmless sex (c'mon, this IS 1963!), a couple of middle-agers (Bob and Dorothy) and the most tame, inept and funny "outlaw" motorcycle gang you've EVER seen! Also, a GREAT supporting cast: Morey Amsterdam, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Eva Six and EVEN Vincent Price!
Look, upon reaching puberty, Annette Funicello was my very first "crush." I'm 55, now, and I STILL love her! This movie didn't re-define the American cinema, but there are FAR worse ways to kill 101 minutes!
"Joanie" soars, while the movie snores!
Like the person that preceded me on this thread, I, too, saw this movie on the True Stories Channel, just this very morning. Over the years, I had seen bits and pieces of it, before, but never the whole movie in its entirety.
With that said, I must admit that I am a HUGE (!!!) Joan Collins fan, so it's doubtful that I would've subjected myself to the movie's excruciatingly slow pace had it NOT co-starred "Joanie." I mean, I've followed "Joanie's" career through muck ("Empire of the Ants") and mire ("The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing"), so I can honestly say that "Joanie" MAY star in bad motion pictures, but she NEVER gives a bad performance!
Yes, I agree with the other posters, Ray Milland DOES, indeed, deliver a VERY bland and wooden performance as architect, Stanford White. However, much the same thing can be said for Farley Granger, too, in the villain's role of Harry Thaw. While I can't speak for Granger, I feel I must stand up for Milland: In 1945, under Billy Wilder's superior direction, he won a much-deserved Oscar for his performance as an alcoholic in "The Lost Weekend." So, for his lackluster performance in this movie, I place the blame on the director, Richard Fleischer.
Look, this movie was supposed to be a break-out role for "Joanie." Alas, it wasn't to be. Sure, she'd go on to make other "A" movies, like "Land of the Pharaohs" and the rare Paul Newman clunker, "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!" However, after the final Bob Hope/Bing Crosby road movie, "The Road to Hong Kong," "Joanie" was lucky to get work in TV shows like "Batman."
Fortunately, OUR "Joanie" is a SURVIVOR! Super-producer, Aaron Spelling, remembered her from his salad days, and cast her as the Super-Bitch, "Alexis Carrington," in his night-time soap opera, "Dynasty," and the rest - as they say - is history!
Crossing Delancey (1988)
Miss this movie, and you miss a REAL gem!
THIS is yet ANOTHER one of my Favorite Movies of All Time! A small movie. No dizzying array of special effects. No computer generated images that seem to take over the story-telling. THIS MOVIE, is ALL ABOUT characters. It's character-driven.
That means it's a turn-off for about 90 per cent of the viewing audience. You see, character-driven "stuff" is hard work for most movie-goers, today. No car chases, no explosions, no pyrotechnics, no blue-screen CGI. Poor babies, ALL they have left is narrative and story! WHAT can THEY make of THAT? Look, I fell in love with "Izzy," the main character in "Crossing Delancey," as played by the wonderful, sublime actress, Amy Irving, the VERY FIRST TIME I saw it! Man, WHAT kind of putz is Steven Spielberg for ever divorcing her? I feel sorry for anyone that dislikes this movie. It's got a GREAT "feel good" ending to it!
Something's Gotta Give (2003)
"Annie Hall" meets "Garrett Breedlove"
I wanted to like this movie, I really did. I mean, it has Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet and Keanu Reeves in it; It HAS to work, right? Strangely, no. The first hour of the film was fairly interesting enough: Jack and Diane have a real disdain for one another, because they're such opposite numbers. Then it turns into every one of those silly Doris Day & Rock Hudson sex romps from the '50's and 60's. The only thing missing is the legendary Tony Randall, and he TRULY is missed because he'd have the theatre smarts to liven up this lame, predictable movie! As it is, the supporting cast (Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves and - especially (!) Jon Favreau) have almost NOTHING meaningful to work with. This leaves Jack and Diane to carry the entire load, using a script that is tired and threadbare. Lazy storytelling, folks! The story is SO old and hackneyed, I anticipated the ending well before the two lead characters dropped their mutual disdain for one another, and started making "goo-goo eyes" at one another, instead. So, HOW do Nicholson & Keaton try to put some life into this shlock? By raiding their stage trunks, and dragging out some of their stock characters from earlier and more successful movies, that's how. We get "Annie Hall Redux" from Keaton, and "Garrett Breedlove"/"Daryl Van Horne" from Nicholson. I mean, AREN'T we getting a little tired of seeing Jack using the same slightly breathless voice routine, and sly, sarcastic and cynical "wink-wink" tricks using his eyes, by now? I think so! Look, Jack Nicholson was infinitely better in "As Good As It Gets," and Diane Keaton hit it out of the park in "Annie Hall," which - for her - WAS as good as it gets!
The Heart of Me (2002)
Don't doze off, or (worse) "surf" to WWE Raw Wrestling
Wow! I just got finished watching a VHS copy (remember that? Before the advent of DVD?) of this movie, and reading ALL the finally written, flowery comments fellow viewers bestowed upon this particular film. I mean, the prose they used kind of reminded me of English Literature 101, in my freshman year of college, when "brown nosers" wanted to impress the Professor! One chap actually used the word "lugubrious." C'mon, WHEN'S the LAST time YOU used the word "lugubrious" in a sentence? THAT'S what I thought! Yeah, I had to look the word up in the dictionary, too. Actually, it means, "mournful or doleful," and that pretty well sums up this flick. Except THIS movie stars the wonderful, the splendorous and the truly MAGNIFICENT, Helena Bonham Carter! HOW do you adequately describe HBC? Not beautiful, not homely, "she's got, she's got, she's got BETTE DAVIS EYES!!" In this "Masterpiece Theatre" style melodrama, HBC hits all her marks, and delivers all her lines, superbly. Olivia Williams, who plays her sister in this period piece (1930's and 1940's), is a treat to behold, also.
All I can say to conclude is, ONLY the British can pull a film like this off. And, IF you are a big fan of "Die Hard" movies, or "Terminator" style flicks - you MIGHT want to STEER clear of THIS movie! Otherwise, you'll be "sawing wood" within the first five minutes. You know, "zzzzzzzzzzzz!" That's right, "noddy-land."
Victor Victoria (1982)
How do YOU describe "great?" I define it with this movie.
My God, the reviewer before me MUST be mad!!! Either that, or he/she must be struggling with their own sexuality! THIS is one of my favorite movies of ALL time. Julie Andrews is in fine musical form; James Garner gives one of his greatest comedic performances since "The Americanization of Emily" (also with Julie Andrews) and Lesley Ann Warren just about steals the picture! This movie scores a solid "10" for comedy, a sterling "10" for music and a rousing "10" for romance! ANYONE that DOESN'T like this movie should suck an egg! HOW did Lesley Ann Warren NOT win an Oscar? Ditto, Robert Preston? I consider myself a guy's guy, but I confess I tear up every time I hear the opening refrains of Julie singing "Crazy World," the film's theme song. Bravo, Blake Edwards!!!