Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Contrast of Acting Styles: Janssen versus Shatner
This episode is fascinating to me for one reason and one reason only: Watching the contrasting acting styles of David Janssen up against the "style" of William Shatner.
Dr. Kimble arrives at a small boy's club run by William Shatner's character and Shatner's wife. Shatner is a former policeman. Unfortunately when Kimble arrives to start his job as a custodian for the boy's club the town is in the middle of a series of unsolved murders of local policemen.
Like most Fugitive episodes Dr. Kimble's real identity is eventually discovered and he must find a way to get away. As usual Janssen superbly plays Dr. Kimble as a pained, reserved, suspicious and even slightly paranoid character with reserve and dignity.
Not so much Shatner though. He is so hammy in this role he should be spiral-sliced. Near the end of the episode I swear I can detect a look on Janssen's face that says "I can't believe this guy calls himself an actor."
Again, an episode worth watching just to see the contrast in styles.
Been Rich All My Life (2006)
Get this film...A Celebration of Life....
I saw Been Rich All My Life a few days ago. It is a wonderful documentary. Basically it is the story of several amazing African-American women who were dancers in Harlem in the 1930's and 40's. It highlights the women's careers as younger women and catches up with them as they reunite and dance together again as elderly entertainers.
If you are lucky enough to get this film, watch the women's eyes as they speak. There is a shine and collective gleam that sparkles when they recount their adventures as dancers during the golden age of Harlem.
Amazing women, amazing film.
The Great Sinner (1949)
There is little to no reasoning in this movie. We are supposed to believe that Gregory Peck's character, supposedly an intelligent writer, would throw away his entire life and future based on his compulsion to gamble after his initial exposure to gambling. Would you risk possibly losing the beautiful Ava Gardner to a spin of the roulette wheel or the turn of a card? Uhmmm...not this cowboy.
Too many great actors in this film for it to be so average.......Ethel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Frank Morgan...When I think of the movie that could have been made with this cast I feel cheated by this movie. This is one of the few times I believe that Gregory Peck should have turned the script down. Like most Hollywood productions of the 1940's the sets and costumes are lush and believable. It's too bad that the plot didn't follow suit.
Reign Over Me (2007)
Really Good Sandler and Cheadle Performances
I won't waste everyone's time rehashing what the basic plot of this film is. If you're reading this you probably already know...
I'm struggling to understand some of the negative reviews of this film or of Sandler's performance in it.I don't know what those people were looking for. I'm not a big Sandler fan so I didn't have any preconceived notions about him or his acting ability before I went to see this movie.
Sandler's performance as a reclusive paranoid man living with unimaginable grief is nothing short of revelatory. It's hard to believe that this is the same guy who played "Opera-Man" on Saturday Night Live. Sandler has some real acting chops and gets to display them in this movie. He definitely deserves consideration for an Oscar nomination.
Is it a great film? Probably not, but it's really good and oddly ends up being hopeful and life affirming when the final credits roll.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
A Fitting End To a Great Series
Like many people I cringed when I heard the news that Sly Stallone was going to revive the Rocky series one more time. How in the world is he going to do this without embarrassing himself?
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this movie and by Stallone's performance. Rather than gloss over or ignore the obvious problem of Rocky's advancing years Stallone wisely pretty much wrapped the whole movie around that reality. Much like the original this film is more of a character study than a boxing or action film.
Now a widower and being somewhat estranged from his son Rocky now spends most of his time running his small Italian restaurant named after his beloved Adrian. When a simulated computer match between the current heavyweight champ and Rocky ends with Rocky winning the stage is set for an actual match between the champ Mason "The Line" Dixon and the beloved Philadelphia underdog. The subsequent match is at the same time riveting and believable.
I actually had tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat at the end of this movie. I think I was most sad that I was bidding farewell to a movie character who had carved a small place in my heart and mind over the years.
Good for you Sly. You ended it beautifully and on your own terms. Thank you for the gift of Rocky.
Car 54, Where Are You? (1961)
Often Ignored Classic...
Car 54 Where are You? is one of the funniest TV series to ever appear on television. The chemistry between the dim-witted but affable Gunther Toody (played by Borscht-belt stand-up comic Joe E. Ross ) and his cultured but painfully shy bachelor partner Francis Muldoon ( played by the pre-Munsters Fred Gwynne ) rings true in every episode. You definitely get the feeling watching this comedy that these two cops are closer than brothers. What really makes this series outstanding though is the superior writing and the supporting actors. Wally Cox, Nipsey Russell, Godfrey Cambridge, Charlotte Rae, Ossie Davis, Jake LaMotta ( the subject of Scorcese's 'Raging Bull' ), Rocky Graziano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jack Gilford..these are just a handful of some of the well-known actors and personalities you'll see when watching this series.
I recently found the entire series for sale on the internet and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
My Man and I (1952)
Interesting but degrading to Hispanics....
I just finished watching this movie. Ricardo Montalban stars as a dreamy-eyed Mexican immigrant farmhand who falls in love with downtrodden alcoholic loner Shelly Winters. A subplot has bad guy farmer Wendell Corey and his bitter wife Claire Trevor hiring and then stiffing Montalban's character for the work he did on their farm.
It was difficult for me to get past the embarrassingly sad broken English dialog the writers put in Montalban and his Hispanic friends' mouths. You get the impression that these particular writers must have penned all of the lines for Jay Silverheels as Tonto.
If you can get past the dialog and the sheer amazement that someone would cast the late great bug-eyed character actor Jack Elam as a Mexican then the story and plot are pretty good. There are worse ways to spend nearly 2 hours.
Just Okay...no Die Hard..
Bruce Willis seems to be returning to the genre that he thrives in, the action thriller. In Hostage, Willis plays Jeff Talley, a veteran police officer who has left the super-charged atmosphere of big city (LA) law enforcement to become the chief of police in a smaller, seemingly quiet California town. Of course that tranquility doesn't last long.
A series of events start to unfold which put Talley right back in the middle of an extremely tense and trying hostage situation. Willis is certainly good enough in this role but I found many of the other characters to be somewhat stereotypical. You've seen these types in just about any other standard action thriller.
I wanted to see more of the wisecracking Willis character, but Hostage really couldn't do that. The subject matter and tone of this film is way too dark to realistically include any humor.
Lots and lots of profanity and the violence is pretty jarring. I only put this in the review if any of you parents are thinking of letting smaller children go see this movie with you.
Just okay in my opinion...Falls way short of Die Hard.
One interesting note about this movie. The young actress who plays Willis' daughter in the film is in fact his real daughter Rumer Willis. She does an admirable job in her few scenes.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Very Odd But Compelling Masterpiece...
I finally saw Sunset Boulevard on DVD this week. I had never seen this classic film before. Gloria Swanson made the most of this comeback role by delivering a great performance as silent film legend Norma Desmond. Creepy and self-delusional, Norma has basically imprisoned herself and her manservant Max in a run-down Hollywood mansion. Life at the mansion is disturbed when young script writer Joe Gillis (played by the always excellent William Holden) uses the garage as a hideout running away from his car's repo men.
Events begin to unfold which leave Joe questioning his own morality and standards. I won't get any further into the plot details just in case there are any other people out there like myself who haven't seen this film.
A few interesting details I have learned about this movie which might interest some folks out there. Both Mae West and Mary Pickford were offered the Norma Desmond role before Gloria Swanson. Mae West didn't get it because she wanted to rewrite much of Norma's dialog. That was not acceptable to director Billy Wilder, who didn't allow any deviation from the script. Mary Pickford always retained ownership rights to her silent films. That wasn't going to happen with Sunset Boulevard so Pickford was out. Montgomery Clift was first offered the pivotal role of writer Joe Gillis and actually accepted the part. Thinking about the role while on vacation in Europe Clift came to the conclusion that the "kept man " aspect of Joe Gillis' relationship with Norma Desmond too closely mirrored his real life relationship with a wealthy New York socialite. Clift turned the role down upon his return to America.
Hollywood had very mixed reactions to this film. Famous MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer stormed out after an early screening of Sunset Boulevard and engaged Billy Wilder in a very profane tirade accusing Wilder of stabbing the film industry in the back. Wilder gave as good as he got to the red-faced Mayer.
If you haven't seen Sunset Boulevard do yourself a favor and check out this classic. It will stick with you for a while.
The Human Stain (2003)
One mess of a movie...
I rented this DVD based on the strength of the cast. You figure with Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris you can't go wrong. Right? Wrong!!
This movie is an absolute mess. Anthony Hopkins is a well-vested Ivy League professor with a huge life-long secret. Despite being supposedly Jewish-American, Hopkins' Welsh accent never goes away. Hopkins does the best he can with a rather implausible plot twist, but he is horribly miscast in this leading role.
Nicole Kidman is the low class cleaning woman with whom Hopkins' character has an affair. Another case of miscasting here. Kidman was never quite believable to me as this character.
Gary Sinise is a reclusive author and becomes Hopkins' best friend. Sinise does the best job with the material he is given.
Ed Harris plays Kidman's ex-husband and is the stereotypical crazed Vietnam vet. Nothing new here folks.
My main complaint about this film was that I wasted two hours of my life that I will never get back.