Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Desperadoes' Outpost (1952)
A Bit Of A Gem
Allan "Rocky" Lane is one of those staid actors that is all business and usually not a lot of fun. He probably could be compared closer to Wild Bill Elliot than Roy Rogers, but I find him likable and this particular movie ranks pretty well if compared to his other endeavors as a western hero. I was pleasantly surprised at the entertainment value of this B-Western movie. The plot is unusual and the faces are very familiar. I particularly liked seeing Myron Healey in a role he didn't usually play.I don't believe in offering spoilers for any movies, so I'll just recommend this one to fans of the western genre and say - aside from the very short running time (under an hour) - it's a little gem I'm glad I didn't miss.
Stargate SG-1: Spirits (1998)
At the apex
To me this episode was the watermark for the entire Stargate SG1 series. It incorporated not only science fiction at its very best, but elements of fantasy and adventure that made this excellent series as popular as it remains here in 2006. I especially enjoyed the performance of Rodney A. Grant as Tonane', the laid back and naive tribal leader the team first encounters on this mission. He gives his character the exact amount of "O.K. with me" attitude to make him humorous, but until you get to know him better you're never quite sure if he's as harmless and agreeable as he seems.
I only wish they had brought back the Tonane' character in later episodes so we could enjoy Mr. Grant's interpretation even more.
The Savage Horde (1950)
A Whole Different Discovery
If you're anything like me, movies with no regard to continuity are just too distracting to enjoy. This little gem caught me by surprise right from the first few scenes because its continuity is absolutely dead on perfect. There are probably very few people who are fooled by sound stages versus the real outdoors. Not much can be done to satisfactorily convince the viewer that the actors are in the desert when they are actually in a studio with sand on the floor. BUT! This movie uses continuity to make the transition from indoor sound stage to outdoor reality as seamless and believable as I've ever seen. Watch closely as Wild Bill Elliot goes into a crouching position at the campfire on the sound stage to the exact same crouching position at the outdoor campfire. Someone cared about details like this in a 1950 western when it seems like no one in today's movie making industry can keep the level in a water glass within two inches of the proper level from scene to scene.
Watch this movie for everything it has to offer, but while you're doing that PLEASE keep an eye on the near perfect job the continuity department did. I'm afraid this kind of pride in workmanship is a fading Hollywood legend.
Just Legal (2005)
The biggest problem with this show wasn't the writing, the acting or the concept. It was simply aired by the wrong network. I'm a huge Don Johnson fan and this part was perfect for him. If only his old network (CBS - "Nash Bridges") had picked it up I believe there would have been a fan base just waiting to embrace it. On another level, it's also a shame NBC...a network looking for a way out of the rating basement...could have possibly seen this show become one of their few winners this season because their demographics are probably far more "mature" than the WB's. It's not a show for very young viewers and as such didn't belong on the WB network at all. It never really stood a chance languishing there.
For me...this is a show that will be missed.
The Gabby Hayes Show (1950)
Fifteen minutes in the afternoon.
I remember this show quite well from the early fifties. Gabby was exactly as he appeared in countless westerns with everyone from John Wayne to Randolph Scott and Roy Rogers. The most fun came every day at the end of the show when Gabby advertised his sponsor in a most unusual way. He faced a cannon toward the television camera and filled it with grains of "wheat." Then he warned us to "stand back away from your televisionary sets 'cause here comes Quaker Puffed Wheat....shot from guns!!!!!" The cannon went off and the contents blew towards us as the screen went black.
I still miss him and remember him with warm fondness.
Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
Newton reigns as the pirate icon.
This is not a movie of great measure. It's just a VERY good showcase for the ultimate pirate actor, Robert Newton, who fits the role so perfectly as to become THE pirate to be imitated in every pirate movie to follow. He is the centerpiece of this film, make no mistake about that. Every scene belongs to him and every word of dialogue he speaks is the learning base for future "pirates" of the silver screen.
Not a Newton fan? Steer clear, then Matey, because this movie is his and his alone. Not even the beautiful Linda Darnell can distract from him in any scene they share. He is an overpowering and magnetic force when he plays his pirate to perfection.
Being a big fan of the man I enjoyed this movie thoroughly. I find his acting to be natural and amusing. This is his niche and here he rules.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Focus on the dancing talent of James Cagney
There are many, many James Cagney films that show his enormous talent as an actor. He was equally at home in musicals, dramas and comedies. While I have always been a fan and appreciate his unusual scope, this movie in particular caught my eye and totally blew me away when the scene I'm about to describe unfolded.
Near the very end of the film Cagney's character (George M. Cohan) bids farewell to the President and leaves the room. There is a long, open staircase he starts walking down. As he walks you sense a bit of a bounce beginning to take over his step.....one that quickly gives way to an awesome dance as he navigates the stairway. Many will not note, but this dance was a fantastic achievement on two fronts. One, it was done in one "take"...that is, the camera never stopped; the scene never "cut." The camera stays with him in one shot all the way through. Second, Mr. Cagney never ONCE looks at his feet or down at the steps. It's almost impossible to WALK down a staircase without looking down or hanging on to a banister....this man DANCED down a staircase without benefit of seeing or touching anything.
Couple this feat with the brilliant display of "hoofing" he gives earlier in the film when he literally dances up the walls and you have a movie that deserves its "classic" rating. If you haven't seen it please make it a point to do so. Any movie that is awe inspiring 62 years later must be worth a peek, don't you agree?
Open Range (2003)
High praise of a very worthy film.
Here, then, is a motion picture of outstanding quality, believability and interest. The acting is impossible to comment on because there is NO discernible acting going on throughout this magnificent film. Each and every character fits in place like a finely crafted quilt, bringing his or her contribution with no varying levels of ability. We are drawn into the story and the setting without choice and we are close enough to the gun battles to be wounded. The realism is stark and seems absolutely typical of the era. Hard times, hard decisions and hard people. We experience the harshness of the climate. We share the anguish of loss. We delve into the old west....and we love it.
I would love to see a sequel picking up exactly where this film leaves us.