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Good Cast but Huge Plot Hole
This sequel is a different flavor from others in the series. The chimps travel back 2000 years in Taylor's ship to the time man rules the earth and makes a mess of it. The thing is Tsylor's ship sank into a deep ocean in the first movie. There is no way the apes of the future had technology to bring this space craft back up to travel back. I should have been the rescue craft that landed on dry land.
Once you get past that fact, this script is cute though the humans are made to look very very stupid. Eric Braedan's character in this movie is no where near as smart as Victor on the Young and Restless. Zira gets to shin on this one because she is having the baby and making all the statements the media likes. That is because she is talking peace and of how women should be treated better.
William Windom, always a great character actor makes a better President here than we have elected in a long time. Ricardo Montoban is excellent in a limited role in this one.
I do like some of the intellectual banter that Braeden makes but the theory that we have to kill Zira's baby to prevent the Ape Future does not hold water. It would not explain the evolution of the apes correctly under any circumstance.
There is some meat in the script but too much does not make sense and it is made on the cheap as the night time dark sets suggest. Still, for my money this is by far the best cast of most of the films.
Much Better Than It Should Be
Based on a true story, this movie brings off some very unusual things. For example, Jason Robards is not a person you'd expect to bring off the role of a straight man in Vaudeville. While you can tell he is not comfortable in the role, he does more than a walk through in this one. Britt Ekland is in no way an Amish Woman. Who decided to cast her as one is strange. The thing is because she is good looking she fits the story.
Elliot Gould is young here without much script so it is one of his lesser roles. He does OK with it. Forrest Tucker is a nice surprise though another limited role. Bert Lahr has a role as Professor Spats which resembles the emcee in Cabaret and considering he looks ill in most of his scenes he is better here than it is reasonable to expect.
I think if this had been released in the 1950's it would have sold a lot of tickets. The trouble with 1968 is this type of film was DOA in that era. Even Julie Andrews expensive production "Star" did nothing in this time period. In a way Minsky's actually is better. It does a decent job giving a feel of what Vaudeville was really like.
Beneath The Original
This film is not the first one. It gets away from the Evolution theme that is so successful in the original. While the action is much more frequent, the drama of the original is lost after the opening sequence. While there are a few original sequences that are a bit creative (the peace protesters modeled much after the US Vietnam War Protesters in 1970, the script here is missing the depth and touch of Rod Serling from the first film.
The cast is really quite good for a production that was done on the cheap. James Franciscus was an almost name actor in the 1960's and with Heston still here along with Evans and the addition of James Gregory and Victor Buono do not hurt this one. The rescue mission is logical but not logical in some ways. The phony on board projection set from the first movie is not reused.
It is neat to have a wrecked New York Subway and St. Patrick's Catheral used as Baker drops in the film. In a way this short film could have been so much more, but is effective because it is short and has the ultimate ending. Unfortunately the series continued and went on and on despite the logical place this one stops. The scripts of the later films get even worse.
The loss of the evolution theme is the worst thing as even today the environmentalists have lost the fact that this planet evolves and this movies gloom and doom have now now overtaken the global warming folks.
The theme of the first film was a much higher IQ with smarter plotting.
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Beatles Best Film
Director Richard Lester made one of the most successful early rock films and important historic footage of the Fan four. Lester and the Beatles are among the high points of his career. This movie and Help! were film works which made the Beatles a solid hit world wide.
This movie presents them at their height. The sad thing about the amount of talent this group had is that it ended so soon. Their success made them huge for about 6 years after this film. Then all that success made the group fall apart in 1971, never to get back together again.
One can only imagine what music might have resulted if that success had not shortened things. Even as single acts after the break up, they all had success. The Beatles led the way to modern rock music and this movie documents it.
Pop Gear (1965)
History of Lip Synch
This movie is a bunch of syn-ch performances of British groups in the mid-1960's. It proves that not all Brits groups then made it big in the USA. I mean I never heard of the Pennies until I saw this. It does open with an excellent Beatles clip and closes with another.
A highlight to me is the Animals doing "House of The Rising Sun" which was recently remade again and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". There are a lot of sequences where the sync-hing is obvious but it is all in color. A British DJ sort of hosts this hodge podge collection. The DJ made headlines in recent years as a child molester.
This is a good collection of the era though I prefer Hard Days Night - Beatles for their music. Richard Lester did a much better job. Still the featuring of the Honey Combs here with one of the first women to be a rock drummer makes this notable.
This is viewable and some of the songs have held up over time. Herman's Hermits are another highlight here too.
The Joker Is Wild (1957)
Top Biopic Performance
This is a very good movie. Frank Sinatra's performance is excellent. He brings the life of comedian Joe E Brown alive in very dramatic fashion. He has plenty of good support in this one and some great music to sing. As this movie gets discovered it will find a surprised audience because Sinatra gets into this role more than any other films. Mitzy Gaynor is a bonus in this one.
Strange how Bioopic type films often bring out the best performance of many folks. Yet often the films are over looked. This one compares with the Biopic role that I think is Bob Hopes best role (also over looked) and made in the same year -1957. Hopes overlooked film is Beau James - biopic of NYC Mayor Jimmy Walker.
If you can one night put The Joker's Wild together with Beau James as a double feature and you will be amazed by Sinatra and Hopes best movies back to back.
White House Down (2013)
The action in this one kept me awake which is no small feat these days. While it is quite easy to understand how far outside of reality this is, there a re couple of points that need to be made.
Jamie Foxx comes off as a US President that is more mature, more calm, and much smarter than the real guy is. He does not stand around making boring speeches or pleading for sanctions but actually does his job. Of course it is easy to tell this is not real as there is no golf course footage and no first lady.
There is a little girl whose role and White house Tour ends up being a night mare in the oval office. Just put your brain away and enjoy the ride. Anyone looking for reality in this remember, Foxx would beat Obama in an Election with this hands behind his back.
God's Not Dead (2014)
Goes Way Over Most Peoples Heads
After looking at the review's of God's Not Dead, I now see the problems with a whole lot of people a lot clearer than I did before. In a way this movie is a revelation and a threat to every modern persons value system. I always look for a movie to contrast with one and the best movie to contrast this one with is "Pay It Forward." There is a very good reason for this.
"Pay It Forward" is a total reflection on the crass modern society we live in. A whole lot of people believe throwing lots on money at problems will always make them go away. It is the modern standard bearer of today's Western Social Values in the United States. Think of the "Income Redistribution" policy currently popular in this country.
God's Not Dead challenges this convention as this movie is about faith as the answer to problems. The class room sequence reminds one of the old television series "The Paper Chase" as it has the Professor battling against GOD in his classroom.
You can easily dismiss this film by being Anti-Christian and Anti-God. If you do that your making an error. This movie makes some major comments on why there are many of the problems we have currently. The characters, while sometimes a bit shallow and card board very much resemble a lot of the worst people I have met in my life. There is a bit of comedy thrown in, not big laughs but the type of thing to create a smile.
Take you hanker because you will need it if like me you find how pitiful some of the people are in the movie hit you as they hit me, you will cry. I cry even harder if I think of the real people who I know that they are very much like them. I have found the only cure for getting these kind of people out of my life is to move on and move them out of it. You can not change those who can not be changed. That sums up everybody who feels threatened by this movie. It makes them uncomfortable because they see themselves and their whole value system being challenged.
The credits of the film are very revealing in that a lot of research was done on the many cases of education versus religion in colleges done in writing this script. They did their homework. Now the movie will make a big impact if the audience starts doing theirs as well.
The music in the film is well done.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
There is a lot to enjoy in this one. There is a huge cast, some really impressive sets and there is some excellent tung-in-cheek humor. The humor is subtle enough that some patrons might miss it. There is humorist art works. Ralph Finnes carries a lot of this one as the narrator and main character. He has lots of capable support.
Saoirse Ronan is perfect as the woman who is Zero's girl friend yet she has very little interaction with him. There is no doubt she is active and needs action but her support shines in this movie.
It is said this is a murder mystery within a Comedy. I think it is the other way around, the comedy has the mystery within it. The looks are lavish, the plot ridiculous. Even the prison sequences are short and brisk.
Reality is more fantasy in this one, based on an author's works which if they resemble any reality at all would take a vivid imagination. The old hotel has a character brought to life with spirit and a solid cast.
Forty Naughty Girls (1937)
Evils of RKO
This movie is very much a low budget RKO special. By 1937 the money from King Kong was beginning to die out. Still the beginning of the movie is such a hoot that I had fun with it.
Girls finishing school named Dimsdale Hall? What is the message there? Marjorie Lord lecturing the girls on being finished..err.. polished at the school. Then the evils of that swing music her finance plays? Oh my, this is quite a pickle.
Then the humor slows down as we get a murder. Alfred Hitchcock this is not. there is fun though. Just relax on the serious part and enjoy the rest.
Marjorie Lord can sing before she got Rusty Hammered on make room for daddy with that Danny Williams guy.