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Scotty, We Are In Warped Another Galaxy, 22 August 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Roger Vadium, the man who wrote the screen play Barbarella, Queen of The Galaxy which made campy soft porn a shameful delight directs this one for MGM with a bigger budget than the Jane Fonda affair. The surprise is the script from Francis Pollini's novel has a screen play here written by Gene Roddenberry who is much better known for Star Trek than for this film. Vadium is a more of a sort of cult figure in the US and did a few films in his native France. Still he is the right choice to direct this soft porn movie.

Rock Hudson plays Tiger, a high school Football Coach and Guidance Counselor who is really a modern Casanova. Pretty young maids are always winding up naked in his office for after school activities after football practice. John David Carson( who much later has a role in Julia Roberts Pretty Woman),plays Ponce, a young man who sees all these attractive women around him in high school and is having trouble controlling himself. As a football assistant, Ponce gets befriended by Tiger who finds out about this problem.

Ponce's biggest problem begins in class when a substitute teacher, Miss Smith (Angie Dickinson), shows up one day and drives his youthful urges crazy. He tells Tiger about this and Tiger has a few meetings with Miss Smith and sets her up to be Ponce's first conquest.

While all this is going on, there is a problem with young girls showing up dead at the school. Ponce finds the first one with a note attached to her butt in the boys room at school, dead. Surcher (Telly Savalas aka. Kojak) shows up at school to investigate the murder. He suspects something is going on with Tiger, but can not prove anything (this is in the days before modern DNA evidence).

Tiger's motive to kill the pretty young maids is that after seducing them is that they all threaten to tell his beautiful wife they want her man. Roddy McDowall is Proffer, a principal who expresses sadness about the first murder because she was a "good little cheerleader."

The real subplot here is soft porn. Sometimes referred to as T&A, this film is more about the "A" as Vadium manages to get plenty of them in the film from the very first scene. There is some topless stuff too but the most shots are below the waist with all the women clad in miniskirt's. This does tie with the original Star Trek as a lot of mini-skirts dominated that series, though 1971 is more than 3 years after that mission ended.

There are some ironic scenes in this with Coach Tiger (Hudson) looking very much at home in the teams locker room with sweaty young men. Vadium almost certainly as a Hollywood Insider, knew by then about Hudson as even the times with Tiger and Ponce together almost reflect another relationship though not according to this script.

Spoiler- when the movie ends, with the death of Tiger, there appears to Surcher whose vain pursuit of Tiger appears to have ended, a chance that Tiger is not dead, and went to Brazil. Meanwhile, Ponce has assumed Tiger's role as the ladies man with young ladies as Miss Smith has moved on to a man her own age. This film is really quite short and an oddity in the writing and casting.

One of Roddenberry's daughters, Dawn, is one of the pretty maids in this, her only role outside of being a little blonde girl on Star Trek in 1966. James Doohan (Scotty) is Follo, working with Surcher trying to solve a string that goes to 3 young girls and a campus policeman. At least there are still lots of girls left, though it is a good thing Tiger is finally stopped at the end of this one.

War Dogs (2016)
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Real Story That Might Anger Some Viewers With Shock & Awe, 20 August 2016
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ripped from the news, this movie is the story of 2 twenty-something guys who went into the arms peddling business in 2005 during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It tells the story in the first person with Miles Teller (David Packouz) narrating it throughout. The film packs a lot of surprising things into it and is one of the better told true story tales spun on film this year.

The writers who did the screen play were also writers on The Hangover and they know how to tell a story and make it into comedy. What is strange is how the truth can be funny and is most of the way through until the conclusion where things do get serious. It is spun here as a quite incredible story.

The anger of some viewers might be in how inept the Military and W Bush administration are presented. W Bush does not come off looking great here by any stretch. Efraim (Jonah Hill) and David (Teller) do not appear to be very intelligent, and yet they manage to make a lot of money because of the system set up to provide weapons in the Middle East conflicts. When it is put together overall, Government waste in these wars is massive, and it appears that it was quite easy to make money on the US Government.

Is there comedy? Yes, some of the situations are quite funny, and the narration is spot on in telling the story. There are no weak spots in the story, as this is story telling the way it should be done. It is easy to follow and does not get lost. There is one scene at the beginning which David is getting a gun to his head. Then the story goes back to the start and goes through everything logically.

This is an important film which is very much worth going too. It is not a waste of time by any means.

What Happened On The Way To Dumpster Diving, 19 August 2016
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I like the people in this movie. Dick Van Dyke never seems to have gotten anywhere here though. Angie Dickinson look good but seems a little wasted in this. David Doyle who would go on to fame in Charlies Angels is another player here with little to do.

This is a case where Garson Kanin appears to try to utilize Van Dykes potential to do physical comedy, but fails to write a coherent script to give the viewer any reason to watch this stuff. Heywood Hale Broun is smart enough to appear as himself so he can not take any blame for this.

I really do not understand how so many talented people could get together and make a bomb like this one. Part of it could be Garson Kanin's Direction as there seems to be no flow here. I am really at a loss to figure what happened, though a lot of men who remember Angie must envy Van Dyke getting a chance to do suggestive physical comedy with her in one sequence.

The trouble is that is the highlight of this movie.

Forgettable Except For Roddy McDowell Fans, 15 August 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The 1960's had a lot of movies made by adults trying to tap into the huge market of teenagers. While some of those movies are memorable, this one is not. While the cast is attractive, and the color of the film is good, the writer of this script never wrote another one. It is obvious why. There is little sense to make of what is going on.

Roddy is the star of this, and there are the usual supply of good looking women around. In fact, as a veteran director of two Elvis movies including Kissin Cousins is on hand, the movie feels like it is another Elvis movie, only without Elvis. Because of this, there is forgettable music and whoever wrote the music for this committed a capital crime. The music just is no good.

Mcdowell is the youth idol in this movie and as such seems to be just an oddball from the first moment on. If you think of a guy like Bob Denver trying to carry a movie of bad music and a supporting cast that is very little help, and a script that is poor at best, that pretty much sums up this one.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Fun Summer Drive In Flick, 13 August 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

D.C. Comics is the premise for this, but in putting this 2 hours together WB came up with a film that flows with action most of the way through. I kind of expected this movie might get an "R" rating, but they have toned down the action and violence to make it PG. Even the language is tame compared to many films of this type.

Because of the replacement of the mature stuff with the action and fluff, this turns into a movie you can take most of the kids too and confuse the heck out of them. Most kids would not like real anti- heroes but this movie sanitizes them enough that the action is the dominating factor to the film.

With the exception of the premise of assembling bad people to do what good people need to do but can't, the movie breaks little new ground. That is because we do the the Hollywood Good Feeling PG ending. That is not all bad.

The squad is formed by a Government Agency, and a mysterious type of witch and her brother are the evil that the team is forced to face. That sort of sums up the plot. There are a lot of interaction scenes between the Suicide Squad which dominates the jokes and punchlines categories.

Will Smith gets the majority of the better punch lines, but there are plenty to go around. Margo Robbie (Harley Quinn) gets to talk, maybe too much, and gets some play off Deadshot (Smith) and most of the team. She gets to make out with boyfriend Joker (Jared Leto) and their relationship is possibly the most major sub-plot of the movie.

Viola Davis (Amanda Waller) plays her role as the top government official in charge of the Suicide Squad much like Judi Dench's M in the Bond 007 films. This is not a bad thing as her role is one of the few roles played seriously. Granted this is not a fair comparison as the 007 scripts are generally a bit better than this film.

Spoiler - during the awesome graphic credits, there is a clip which appears to very much hint at the next film getting spun from this one which I bet is already in the works.

Shock And Awe Propaganda Film, 12 August 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In 1943, Hollywood needed to keep pushing to make sure here at home that we understood there could be no sympathy to the Nazi cause. This movie is not just effective, but shockingly effective. It does avoid mostly the Jewish / Nazi Holocaust, which even though by 1943 we knew it was going on, this book it is based upon did not make this as a central theme. This one concentrates more on National Socilism brainwashing themselves as the ultimate solution to fix world problems. On this point, it is shockingly effective.

Bonita Granville and Hans Conreid, both who were in the excellent 1942 film "Now Voyager" are here with a shockingly different role for cowboy fixture Tim Holt. The weakest point of the film is the love story between Granville and Holt which is typical for this period, but had to be here to round out the movie.

The strongest point is having the American University in Nazi Germany and how as Hitler took more control, how they tried to really indoctrinate children into their view of world domination. It is shocking even now to think of what they are trying to accomplish. There is even a Hospital Operation Sequence which points out how the Nazis were using Medicine to try and accomplish their goals.

This predates the Boys from Brazil, and for shock value is a valuable film to see. Granville and Holt get a lot of support in a well directed RKO effort that sold a lot of tickets when it was released.

Real Historic Account Of JFK, 10 August 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This portrait of JFK through his younger days and up to the Cuban Missle Crisis is a very thorough portrait. This episode reveals the struggles of JFK's youth with Addison's Disease. While his opposition did get speculate he suffered from it in the 1960 Primaries and election, JFK's physicians released a cleverly worded statement saying that he did not have Addison's disease caused by tuberculosis, and the matter was dropped. This helped him be elected in 1960.

This show accurately points out that the disease had been with JFK since his childhood. JFK was portrayed as healthy and vibrant. In reality, he suffered various problems controlled by a daily regimen of steroids and other drugs. Addison's disease is characterized by the withering of the adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline and other hormones.

The treatment of Addison's with steroids in his youth is what destroyed his back and created his permanent spine problem. Hollywood in PT 109 created a legend that the Japanese ship collision had caused the back problem. This documentary tells the reality, and this is but one of the excellent points this brings out.

The portrait brings out a lot of the struggles JFK faced with his father and the family as he grew up battling the disease. It points out the unique seat JFK had watching his father trying to keep the US isolated from the war. It does a great job illustrating the inspiration for JFK's novel - "While England Slept". The novel details what he witnessed in the Neville Chamberlain appeasement of Hitler, and how his own father contributed to the danger Hitler became.

The miracle here is how a sickly JFK managed to get into the Navy after being classified 4F due to his health. The guts and the glory of JFK were all carefully illustrated in this part and how the youngest candidate ever managed to maneuver his Democratic Party into the nomination, and charm the country into electing him.

While it illustrates how family helped and harmed him during his rise to the Presidency, it stays out of the really private affairs of JFK's life, and the embarrassments of his family. JFK's road was not easy, and here is presented the grit and determination JFK used to become US President.

This is a fine portrait and very well done, a rare perspective to a very complex man coping with a very complex family, and Democratic Party which he convinced to back him to win national office. His standing up to the Russians in the crisis is here, but this shows how much of a fighter JFK truly was.

Not Really Worth Exploring, 9 August 2016
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Considering the folks involved making this movie, I expected a much better movie. Maybe it is because it is 1936, this film is a big let down. There are several older Crosby films I want to see, but after seeing this one I understand why late night comedians used to make jokes about it.

Martha Raye does a lot of singing in this one, but the songs are very forgettable. Even Crosby's songs are lacking in this one. The story is the predictable romance and this movie looks like a "relic" gotten from the cutting room floor.

I am not sure why Roy Rogers pops in on a short cameo and they do not ask him to sing, but considering the songs in this one, maybe he got lucky. Frances Farmer is the main female lead here, and the story really gets little traction and often the music is just put in to break up the songs.

Norman Taurog does some much better direction in later films, do not judge him on this one. Der Binger does ride a horse and look like a cowboy, though he sure does not talk like one. I was glad when this ended as even the ending left something to be desired.

Bad Moms (2016)
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I Had No Idea This Was Going On, 6 August 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From the writers of The Hangover, another funny film.

In a way this movie could be titled "Mom's Revenge". It is a comedy about how much moms have to do raising kids and how under appreciated they are. With all the humor and punch lines, a comedy with an actual theme is more than a little unusual. What really brings this movie is the cast. The script is more than a little unbalanced. Considering it is about this subject, it is a natural.

Mila Kunis leads the parade of mom's here with plenty of good help. She is a bad mom, though here, quite by accident, she turns out to be a good mom after all, maybe. There is verbal comedy, and physical comedy. Warning, there are some very adult themes here too, much less some great skin shown in a few sections. It is a defined R movie for sexual and language references.

Christina Applegate actually plays the dictatorial PTA President Gwendolyn in a way that would make Roseanne jealous. She really lines up in the feud with Amy that gives the gags more substance and effect.

Mila Kunis(Amy), Kathryn Hahn (Carla) and Kristen Bell (Kiki) work well together as a team. Seems like Hahn gets a lot of physical comedy though Kunis gets some in a couple of parts too. Warning- Do not trying talking on the cell phone while driving like Amy does at home. Remember this is a movie and it does suggest that stupid idea again, even though the folks who try that in real life wind up RIP.

This is really a woman's flick much like 9 to 5 was years ago where women rule the day. The men's roles are few and get very little screen time and the attitude is they are "tools" of the women all the way through. The plot itself is quite predictable, but the punch lines carry this movie along well. Especially, watch for the cameos of Martha Stewart, because they are funny.

The film is not too long, and really plays like a mom's fantasy of what being a mother with kids can be. This is kind of like Disney World for mom's with a lot of comedy mixed in.

At the end, when the credits role, there is a nice sequence added with all the main actresses talking with their real mom's. I think this is a nice touch instead of having out takes at the end. I have a feeling the DVD will have the out takes, and considering how funny the film is, I have a feeling this gag reel will be a reason to buy the DVD. So if you miss this one in the theater, wait for it on the DVD.

RKO Uses Players Here, 2 August 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lucille Ball worked for RKO in 1941. She was considered a "B" Actress, not a comedian for the studio that produced such films as King Kong and Gunga Din was working at trying to stay in business and make money on a shoe string. This is one of the better of those.

Edmund O'Brien, who is rarely thought of as a comedy actor is actually pretty good here as the boss who falls in love with his secretary despite being best friends with her fiancé and being married himself. The comedy in this one is more physical than verbal. At one point Lucy puts some wrestling moves on her boss O'Brien(Stephen Herrick).

She wants to marry a sailor, Coffee Cup (George Murphy). Coffee Cup is the unlucky guy who even if it appears things are going to work out right somehow runs into bad luck. The only luck he seems to have is when he is in the Navy. That and his little black book of 100 ladies.

Dot (Lucille Ball) thinks she wants to marry Coffee Cup, but is torn between the 2 guys by late in the movie for many reasons. This movie is a lot fun, and Franklin Pangburn is a character bonus as a shop owner victimized in his encounters with Coffee Cup.

Lucy is not doing a lot of comedy yet and comes off as pleasant. Later she and another RKO player, Desi, would buy the studio.


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