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1473 reviews in total 
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Light Hearted Golden Hearted Tale of Small Con, 25 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

George C. Scott had already proved he could do comedy in Dr. Strangelove. Here he does it again and carries the film quite well. Not to be underestimated in his first role, Michael Sarrazin is great as his partner in crime. The two play off each other very well here.

The supporting cast is very good here too, with Harry Morgan and Slim Pickens heading up a very talented support cast with Strother Martin and Jack Albertson among the crew. The main interest of Michael Sarrazin, Sue Lyon, is absolutely great though the script for her lacks in depth. Marvelous to look at her here.

Mordecai Jones (Scott) is a rural con artist (a 'flim-flam man') who takes on a young army deserter(Sarrazin); Curley as his protégé, and teaches him the tricks of the trade. It i set in the south with trains, and moon shine, and characters based on the novel The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man by Guy Owen. The film is done with a wink and a grin.

George C Scott, about 40 when this was made, plays an older wiser con man who teaches young Curly that most people are basically dishonest. This movie fits the deceptive premise very well and Curly is an excellent mark to set up people to be conned by Jones (Scott).

The films ends with a classic blackout of Jones leaving on a train. At the beginning of the film, he is beat up and thrown off a train. This is true justice and the stuff in between is pure joy. Alice Ghostly, known more for TV's Bewitched, is solid as Sue Lyons (Bonnie Lee Packard's) mom.

If you have never seen this one and liked being entertained, it is for you. Jerry Goldsmiths Music is about perfect in this one.

Classic Noir, 10 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Conell Wilde, Richard Conte, and Lee Van Cleef and others speak volumes for the talent in this cast. Writer Philip Yordan wrote a great script and with talent like this in front of the camera, this movie is a must see.

While this sums up the plot -"A police Lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him," it does not say how many twists and turns this one goes through.

There are also some ladies along the way to keep things going. It is all a matter of getting the evidence that leads Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) through a film noir maze of intrigue. Is it worth the trip for the viewer?

You bet it is.

Jubal (1956)
Outstanding Western Story Telling, 9 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a difficult cast to beat. Besides Glenn Ford, there is Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Rod Steiger, Noah Beery Jr. and Jack Elam. With this kind of cast plus a couple of actresses, this movie is loaded. The Paul Wellman novel gets a well done treatment here. Delmar Daves does a great job directing these folks.

The story is one of women making trouble for all the men in the cast. One of them seems to be behind a murder, and in the meantime Rod Steiger stirs up everybody and murders a woman to boot. Ford and Steiger are the real star roles here, but Bronson makes a good impression in support.

Borgnine and Ford are best friends, until late in the movie. Ford's character is a troubled one who ran away from his mother at age 7. The plot centers around when is he finally going to face major issue instead of running away.

This is a very well done film and I highly recommend any Western fan to watch this one. For Glenn Ford fans, this one is an essential.

A Rare Quality Film From Warner Brothers, 9 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Right now, there is a hit Broadway play on called Hamilton on Broadway which brings to life an important history lesson with music and a lot of talent. In 1936, Warner Brothers brought this hit Broadway play to the screen the way it should have been done, with an all black cast of hundreds and with the story intact and with elaborate sets and music that is perfect.

It is amazing how much effort Warner Brothers put into getting this right. Unlike the more famous Minelli picture "Cabin In The Sky" later on where special effects were borrowed by MGM from stock footage of the Wizard of OZ to cut costs, WB made a major effort here developing original sets and spending money rarely done on this type of picture in 1936. The results show in the screen.

While sticking with the spirit of the play having an all black cast, the cast here is given good dialog and realism is brought in with the accents used. The school room scenes are very consistent with the times as 1936 is still the era of the one room school house in most of the United States outside the biggest cities. The students are even given good dialog and come off the way they would have in this era.

The most well known today of the cast is Eddie Anderson who became a well known television personality thanks to the Jack Benny program. As you go through this cast, some of them did get small roles later in films like Gone With The Wind, Bogart's Sahara, and Cabin In The Sky. This film is well made when compared to other films made in 1936.

After viewing silent films with all black casts, the message here is consistent. That overall message is that back in this era, blacks were more Conservative and religious than people would believe now. Despite all the discrimination they were still enduring then, Blacks were very religious and family oriented in 1936. Blacks did not look at themselves as victims then, even though they were. That attitude would ironically happen after Civil Rights bills were passed.

Today's folks would argue that there are way too many stereotypes in this movie. That is the Monday Morning Quarterback mentality of today. This movie shows the all too rare view of where blacks were in the real world in 1936, and it is to Warner Brother's credit that they made the investment here to make an "A" feature film in 1936, using a Broadway play, which if anything should be revived on Broadway to teach all of us a valuable history lesson today.

The music here is not as big named as Minelli's "Cabin In The Sky" which came much later, but this movie is more authentic as a Musical Comedy Drama film than that later one, and ends with a more complex story line. This is one of the few films where God teaches and is taught at the same time by those he created in his image. Of course Adam and Eve as portrayed here are fully clothed, but that too is consistent with the Black Conservative values socially in 1936.

The gritty realism value of Warner Brothers production films in this era made this movie possible,

Benny Before He Was 39, 7 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This copy of this film on TCM was rough and appeared to be only a part of the movie that it once was. After watching it, during a Marie Dressler day, I wish more of this film existed.

What is here is a story about a Vaudeville road show spending it's season run on the road. There are some trials and rough spots between the folks. The train travel seems to get the best of most of them.

What is most interesting, is seeing a 35 year old Jack Benny as the stage manager trying to keep the peace between some distinctly strong personalities. What is left here works okay. It appears in 1929 that even though Benny is given opportunities to be funny here, he has not yet got the comedy timing down on film that would make him so famous later when he was 39. He does get some chances to shine.

I understand a whole lot of musical numbers are missing from this and I have no doubt that the entire ending is gone as on TCM the movie just seemed to stop abruptly. I have a feeling if it were all here, I might have given the film a higher rating. As it is though, I am glad to have seen what is left.

Worst Entry in Series, 3 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The biggest problem here is believable. Instead of having the brains that usually get the IMF Mission done, this one has dumb and impossible stunts. The closing sequences are so terribly done that the movie is laughable. Ethan Hunt becomes a James Bond in this one using luck to get the job done.

The masks used in this are clever but often stupid. Why would anyone believe that someone who is the wrong body size in a mask would be another person? The mask does not change the size of the body the face is one.

The acting in this one of so cliché that it becomes annoying. The plot is predictable, and the stunts are so unlikely, that I am reminded of Los Costello riding roller coaster wheels in front of screens in the later part of Abbott & Costello go to Hollywood, also an MGM film.

The only reason I give this anything at all is that I hate to think I wasted 2 hours on pay cable watching a zero film. It is lucky the later films have gotten better, as this one is the bottom of the barrel literally. They should burn the script on this but keep the film for schools as an example of how not to make a Mission Impossible. There are some nice locations, but they do not make up for a script who IQ is way below other IMF films.

By No Means A Classic -Pleasant, 3 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie from 2001 is already pretty dated. When you look at 2001 it might have been considered a little edge pushing, but looking at it today with just a little bit of language and very few adult situations, I am not sure this is even an "R" rated film today.

The film centers on Jessica Stein, her girlfriend, and her mother. The Actresses - Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, & Tovah Feldshuh play Jessica, Mom Judy, and Girlfiend. Jessica, a woman who can not seem to find the right guy decides to answer a personal ad looking for a Lesbian Relationship. What she finds, to her surprise, is a woman she can fall in love with.

Jessica keeps in total denial to herself and is too shy to come out of the closet. She keeps tempting herself until finally one night her own mother arranges to get her and girlfriend into a small bed to experience their first time. For an "R" Rated movie to do it so innocently is the big surprise. It is almost as innocent as the classic Children's Hour of many years prior except this time the women actually do the deed.

Jon Hamm is Mad Men is on board as one of many in the cast, but this is really mostly a movie which women get more out of. The men are more or less very stereo type characters here to react to the women's evolving relationship.

Judy, Tovah Feldshuh- is an experienced mother in this one, playing the manipulative character like she did in Brewster's Millions many years prior. The subject here, and the plot is can a hot young Jewish girl, and her mother, accept that her daughter is interested in being a Lesbian, and can Jessica come out? The answer is yes, though by the end of the movie, they have broken up and are still friends.

The male characters and their reactions all scream stereo types. This is a true definition of a Lesbian Chick Flick. Jesica does appear in character as not just too fussy but also too quirky to actually be anything but a Lebian. She is a driven artist, which makes her someone who does not need a man and children to mess up her true goals in life.

Glory (1989)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A True Memorial For Civil War Drama, 29 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In a lot of ways, this movie which preceded Ken Burns The Civil War is a part of what inspired it. This film kind of set a new story to the American Civil War few had seen. The consulting on this included Shelby Foote who was a fairly large part of the Burns series to follow.

Historical accuracy might be impossible to prove. Foote's expert consult helps but that does assure it. The cast brings this off very well with Kudos to Mathew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman. The story is a small little know piece of Civil War History. The reason it is so obscure is the lack of involvement of the biggest major heroes of the war.

In a war where over 400,000 Americans died, there are a lot of those corners. It is tough to say this, but every hero in the Civil War is not told, because some of them are lost to history and beyond the reach of anyone now, it has been so many years.

James Horner's music here, years before Titanic, is very recognizable and adds to the drama. The final battle sequence is very much in the mood of Titanic, even to the sequence after the battle where the bodies are being laid to rest. The drama of this story is definitely enhanced by the mood this music sets here.

Time passing has made this film better. So many of the reasons the film is what it is are now gone. It is a testament to why we need to record the moments we can, while we can. Life only happens once. How people contribute is the real Glory, such as in this story here.

Green Eyes (1977) (TV)
Rare Look At A Subject Often Ignored in the 1970's, 24 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those quality productions that since it was made for TV has escaped the public attention. Lorimar Productions had gotten it's start with The Waltons and would go on to do Dallas and Falcon Crest. In 1977 they started Eight is Enough and did some made for TV films. Lee Rich's Productions always had a stamp of quality and this one is no exception.

The story is about a black soldier who served and got wounded in Vietnam. While he was there he had a love child with a Vietnamese woman. He left her there pregnant when he came home. At first the home celebrations dominate his thought. Then he finds the job market is not being kind to Vietnam Vet's, much less the American Public.

After some unkind job interviews, he decides he wants to take his money he has left and go back to a shattered post-war (South) Vietnam to look for his love child and his love. His mother is dead set against it making bitter racist statements about the picture of his Vietnamese "whore" when he shows her the picture. But he is determined to go, and this movie actually does a very good job recreating post-war Vietnam.

This is worth a look.

Wild & Whacky Tripping The DVR Wire, 23 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Born James Kimberley Corden 22 August 1978 (age 37) Hillingdon, London, England, UK which is westernmost London and grew up in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, England according to an internet biography, the best way to watch this show is on DVR unless your a night owl. James is a wild sort of late night host.

He has a sense of humor that goes from British to Infinity. He sings terrible but has developed something called Carport Karoke where he gets to display that talent with popular singers in a motor car. The best singer in his show is Reggie Watts, who leads one of the hippest bands on TV. Reggie can really sing and a whole lot more and helps Corden a lot. I have a crush on the woman playing guitar on Reggie Watts left shoulder.

What I have found in watching some of this show is they will do some wild humorous stuff, and a lot of bleeping punch lines. One night James is in the audience and some old lady behind him wants to stroke his butt. Of course he tells her to go ahead and have at it. On the 100th show they went on the streets looking for someones house they can host the show from. If this were anyplace but Hollywood, that would be very dangerous, but they picked a pretty good neighborhood and only got turned down at about 6 houses.

I know folks are mad that this young guy replaced another popular host who is now on the History Channel. The fact is there is a new guy on late late, he is produced by Letterman's Worldwide Pants company, and he appears to have big enough britches to do it. Reggie Watts is the best guy to come along in a long time to work with Corden and I laugh at what I am seeing (except the Lady with the Guitar, I want some of that).

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