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Keen Eddie (2003)
Keen Eddie Was One of the Best
Whenever I watch Mark Valley on Boston Legal, all I can think of is "WHY DIDN'T KEEN EDDIE GET RENEWED????" As a fan of Snatch and Lock, Stock it was very reminiscent of that genre (and I'm sure it was trying to be) but the acting was terrific, the dialogue amazingly funny and the plots were well thought out.
Keen Eddie is one of those GEMS that came and went and will wind up on the Brilliant but Canceled hit parade. From the first time that I saw it until it was prematurely canceled, I thought this was one of the best series to EVER be on television.
I LOVE Boston Legal though it's gotten a bit too quirky/crazy for me sometimes and I think Mark VAlley is absolutely wasted in his role there. If you watch Keen Eddie you will be astounded at how good he really is when not laboring under the Shatner/Spader dynamic.
Is it out on DVD yet? I LOVED this show!!
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
One of my favorites of all time
The thing I've always loved about this movie was the atmosphere...Brooklyn in the 1940s...the background of the Brooklyn Bridge (obviously a painted background but I like it)...the cemetery and the great old Brewster house.
I love Teddy and I love the whole plot line. I think Cary Grant is great in this. It's just a funny funny movie that is well-directed, well-acted and a good time to be had by all. When my kids were little they called this "the Halloween movie" and always asked to see it. They would charge up and down the stairs like Teddy, not quite grasping the dark comedy aspect until they were older.
It is obvious the old ladies have gotten themselves into a "very very bad habit" and that they are just going to go on doing what they've been doing if some intervention isn't taken. The whole idea that the entire family is nuts is great. Cary Grant is the one person who is supposed to be sane and he's losing his mind throughout.
Great performances by Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre. I can see why Cary Grant thought his performance was over the top, but I loved it (and him).
Here Come the Brides (1968)
One of the Best Ever
I have no idea why I was madly in love with this show. It wasn't just my huge crush on David Soul (I was 10), but I loved everything about it. When people ask me for my top favorite shows of all time, this is always on the list.
I couldn't wait for the show each week...and have no idea why it was cancelled so soon (it was Emmy nominated). I can still sing the theme song and I just ordered the first season from Amazon.
I just loved everything about this show, from the Bolt brothers, to Candy and Biddy and Lonnie and even Aaron Stempel. I loved the scenery and the scripts.
Okay I was only 10 but it captured my imagination like few shows have done before or after. I have no idea what the lure was, but it was very powerful and has not faded over time.
The Prestige (2006)
I love long, dark, well-acted and intelligent films but not this one
I love a film that doesn't spoonfeed the plot and the story and the interest in it to the audience. This one takes you along if you are smart enough to go and if you are not so dumbed down by most entertainment that you can stay steadily involved.
I wanted to love it to death...it has everything I think a film should have, including a wonderfully rich atmosphere, a great cast and excellent direction. Through most of it, it dares the audience to be intelligent and to have an attention span longer than a fruit fly. It had all the makings of a great film, but I kept looking for (and longing for) the greatness to impact me. It never did.
It fell flat for me by the end. I really didn't care about any of them by then. I wasn't even sure I cared about the little girl. I certainly didn't care how anyone did any of the illusions; I was sick to death of their obsession with each other and just wanted them to move on already. Although there would be no film without it, it all seemed to be 'too much trouble to go through' and obsession is about getting caught up in it...for me, I couldn't get caught up in itnor could I quite get their obsession. Although Iam a big fan of the long, thinking person's film, I have to say I thought it dragged on and on by the end and I just wanted it over. It definitely did not leave me wanting more. I just wanted different.
I had paid attention all along, I was impressed with the film and thought the acting, the cinematography and the direction were all superb. Even though some of the twists seem unnecessary, I thought many were brilliant and I kept trying to will myself to care about it, to care about them, but I didn't.
It was a very good film in a detached sort of "viewing art" way but as far as feeling "wow"'d by the end, not so much.
A cut comedy with laugh out loud lines
I've been a long time Allen fan (including his stand-up and his 3 hilarious books) and last year brought a young colleague of mine to see Match Point at Lincoln Center for a preview showing and an Evening with Woody where he did a great Q&A for the audience after a compilation of his old films were shown and before the screening of the new film. My young colleague had never really known of/seen Allen before and loved the clips of the old films and then Match Point. So when Scoop came out, she insisted we go see it.
I thought Match Point was brilliant and didn't want to be disappointed with Scoop (or have her disappointed)so I tried to talk her out of it but couldn't. We went to the show in a packed NYC theater where there were tons of adoring Allen fans. The audience laughed out loud throughout and clapped when it was over. So everyone liked it.
It started funny and ended funny and there was lots of merriment along the way. Someone's review said that there are so many throw away lines you find yourself laughing over the next one and that is certainly true...there were also some throwaway "hints" at who the murderer was such as Peter Yardley...a fact that never made it to Sondra who would be the only one who would put significance on the name Yardley...so it was either an oversight, a cut or meant to let the audience know who it was. There were also throwaway criticisms and compliments of London and comparisons to NY (the theater is better but the wrong side of the road driving is a killer.)
It was hard, in the beginning of the film, to buy SJ as Sondra, a Jewish girl from Brooklyn, and how enamored she was of Rosiland Russell and Katherine Hepburn characters in days of yore...but SJ is very good in everything she does and it's nice to see a sexy, beautiful young actress who is not just skin and bones. She had good timing with both Woody and Jackman.
I did get the sense that Woody cut a lot of scenes because it would seem like there would be another line and then it would cut out. I don't typically see him doing such obvious cuts in most of his movies. Woody is his typical nebbish self and I thought he was pretty funny in this role. It was very reminiscent of Manhattan Murder Mystery, a film that, while funny, only had a few laugh out loud lines in it, unlike Scoop which keeps you laughing throughout.
Ian McShane is great as the ghost and Jackman is good as Peter and Woody is Woody.
If you have studied Woody's films closely, don't study this one too closely...just enjoy it for the laughs because it really is very funny fluff.
The Lake House (2006)
A Beautiful Quirky Movie
I really loved this movie for its ambition and the scenery. It's very beautiful..the lake and the shots of Chicago is great.
I don't know how much or little "time traveling" is done or what is the basic premise as to how there is a rift in time, but it's nice and subtle (although some reviewers seem to want an "in your face" explanation...well perhaps Keanu doesn't travel quite the same way he did in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure but whatever it is he does or Bullock does, it's good here.) I liked the fact that you started to care about these two through the dog. They both love this dog...and I liked that about them.
I like both of these actors in most things they are in. They have a chemistry and all through the movie you're wondering if/how they will ever get together. I like all the "thinking" you have to do along the way.
I liked this movie for many reasons but the overall thing was that I really cared about what happened to the two characters.
It is definitely a date movie or a chick flick. It's not something a bunch of guys will show up to.
A good movie. See it.
Find Me Guilty (2006)
Better Than I Expected
I know the movie is not Vin Diesel but the movie is about his character. Lumet did some fine directing and Diesel gave a pretty good performance. I don't think Pesci would have been right for the role because it would have been My Cousin Vinny all over again. While I think Diesel did well, I think that a better actor could have brought more to the role. Still, I commend him on the part. He did bring some kind of depth to Jackie. All in all, it was an enjoyable movie that will be more scrutinzed because of the praise it is receiving and how astonished everyone is over Diesel's performance. I expect some kind of backlash but if we put this in perspective, it's not 12 Angry Men, but it's a colorful movie that is pretty enjoyable and Diesel did a pretty good job with the role.
We Married Margo (2000)
We Married Margo...Cute, Clever and a Great Soundtrack
It's one of those quirky films that you wind up absolutely loving.
After you've seen it a few times (usually on IFC), you stay until the very last scene (after the credits all roll) and wish you had the soundtrack for it.
Even though JD Shapiro reminds me of a young Bob from Becker, and Rock looks like the California beach boy, the story is fresh and the back and forth stuff works well.
One scene I loved which was kind of a throw away scene is when Jake is laying on the grass feeling lonely and the ducks go by and he's looking at them like, "Not you too." It was just a quick, passing scene that I liked a lot. I also liked the Christmas scene when they visit Rocks, him, the dog and the tree. I thought that funny.
Kevin Bacon does the six degrees of Margeaux and also adds a lot of great stuff to the soundtrack.
The voice of Margo is terrific (esp her laugh)...just a lot of fun, clever stuff. I really like this movie.
Very cool, funny, quirky movie. I wish it was on DVD and I wish I had the soundtrack!!!!!
Freebie and the Bean (1974)
Freebie and the Bean...fabulous
Funny movie with two really good actors. I had seen both in serious roles before this. Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark and James Caan in the Godfather and that was it before I saw them in this movie. I could not believe how funny they were. Alan Arkin, "Where do you get this stuff?" I think Caan is great and charismatic (though pretty nuts) in this movie. When the car sails through the building and lands in the bedroom of the old couple I thought I would lose it in the movie theater. It was such a great scene.
I have asked a lot of people over the years if they've seen this movie and no one has or does. I can't believe that people here remember it. I've grown to respect both Arkin and Caan's work over the year and this may have been a throw away film for them both but it still ranks high on my hit parade.
Arrested Development (2003)
One of the best sitcoms ever
Fox screwed with this sitcom so much that it became frustrating and annoying trying to find it on the lineup. THAT is why the ratings were poor. I know that NBC did the same to Seinfeld and when it finally brought it back into a solid time slot where people could get to know it, it caught on.
Unfortunately Fox's idiocy with this program led to its demise. I have watched all the episodes on DVD and cannot believe the number I'd never seen before because I could not follow this show around the various time slots and half the time it wasn't on. Fox screwed with this show's scheduling so much it never had a chance to gain momentum but anyone I know who is a fan is a RABID fan because the show is off the charts brilliant, the writing excellent, the performances stellar and the narration by Ron Howard is hilarious.
It's hard to write a review of this show without using the word brilliant for all the writing and all the acting. Jason Bateman is stunningly brilliant as Michael Bluth. Who ever knew he was so talented? His performance is nuanced and funny and he has mastered the art of facial reaction. But he is surrounded by a cast that was undeniably the best comedy ensemble on television the past few years. Jeffrey Tambor=brilliant, David Cross=brilliant, Will Arnett=brilliant, Tony Hale=brilliant, Jessica Walter=brilliant...guest stars Ed Begley Jr, Liza Minnelli, Henry Winkler, etc etc etc...= brilliant.
I honestly do not use these superlatives that often but it's such a rare and incredible comedy. The pace is fast and furious and there are so many throw away lines that you have to watch each episode 3 or 4 times to get them all. There are so many small details in every scene that you have to really watch for different things. The way they set up the farces is just the funniest thing.
And Fox canceled it.
It was truly one of the brightest spots in all of television history and I hope that one of the cable channels picks it up because it is great. Definitely buy the DVDs and watch it over and over and over again.