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Silent Clowns (2006)
Bloody Great Series!
It's about time that a show like this was put on TV. Something that reminds us of the brilliance, and, yes genius, of the Classic Silent Comedians.
This terrific series hosted by Paul Merton profiles some the greatest of the silent clowns, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and (my own favourites) Laurel and Hardy.
The Laurel and Hardy episode was my personal favourite. I loved the new music score for "Your Darn Tootin'" composed by Phil Glass I believe. I also throughly enjoyed the Chaplin episode as I finally got to see the legendary "Easy Street" in all its glory! I hope this series is released on DVD some day but then I doubt it ever will.
Overall a terrific series!
The Simpsons: Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish' (1996)
This is one of my favourite episodes of the Simpsons, and hell there are some good ones!
The episode plays like an old fashioned crime serial, like "Tin Tin" or something like that. The episode also features my favourites, Mr Burns and Grandpa Simpsons as prominent characters and goes into there past and shows them in there army days. There are some great jokes involving Nazi's and World War Two. One of the best parts of the episode is when Abe Simpson attempts to assassinate a certain high profile Nazi only to have the plan thwarted by Burn's.
Overall this is an amazing episode and for me an instant classic, I heartily recommend it.
The Trouble with Marnie (2000)
Good Documentary But Slightly Disappointing
"The Trouble with Marnie" is a very informative and interesting documentary, it is of a substantial length and emerges (along with "The Making of Psycho" and "All about the Birds") as one of the better featurettes in the Hitchcock Collection.
All the interviews are fascinating to watch, and being a Tippi Hedren fan, it is a real treat to watch her talk about her filming experiences. Jay Presson Allen and Evan Hunter also made interesting contributions to the documentary and it was quite a surprise to hear about Evan and Hitchcock's dispute over the "rape" scene. It was also a treat to hear from Louise Latham and Diane Baker, I always find it far more interesting listening to people actually involved in the production and acting of the film as appose to Film Historians and Biographers (but we do hear from afew of them as well).
However, and that's a big "however" seen as I must nit-pick at this thing, I have two great disappointments with it. Firstly the lack of Sean Connery is very frustrating as we all know he is alive and well and could (and should) contribute to such documentaries. But then he is a very private man and, as far as I know, doesn't care much for giving interviews. But I feel that with his participation my mind would be taken off my other much much bigger disappointment with the documentary. That is it deals with none of the controversy that arose between Hedren and Hitchcock during the production. It is well known that the pair had a major fall out during the making of the film but I've never heard it straight from Hedren herself. It is a great disappointment as she is right there sitting, yet she says nothing about the subject. Now this could be due to two reasons, either Tippi Hedren does not want to talk about the matter, or (and i think this is much more likely) being a Laurent Bouzereau documentary, it is relatively controversy free. This really irritates me about Laurent Bouzereau his featurettes are always good and entertaining but they could be so much better with just that little bit more. There's never any talk of major arguments, its basically always people talking about how much they thought Hitch was brilliant and how everybody was great and everyone had a great time, well it is well documented that not everyone did have a great time filming Marnie! Just some disappointments stop this documentary from being brilliant, but it is still a worthy watch.
Better than I expected
i hadn't seen catwoman until recently and the reason I avoided it like poison is because all the reviews I had read on it labelled it at a terrible film. Besides that I have a personal dislike for these comic-book based films, the only ones I like are the X-men films (whereas both Spider-man's bored me to death and the hulk made me lose faith in the way movies are written). However, boredom can drive people to doing strange and mysterious things, so when I was channel flicking, catwoman was just starting so I thought "what the heck!" and watched it.
First of all, the acting in this film is very campy and over the top, but then it was much better than I expected! Halle Berry does what she can with her character, but Sharon Stone made the movie for me! Stone is deliciously bitchy and evil which just works for me. Benjamin Bratt also does well with what he is given (i.e playing possibly the worst detective in movie history). I think Laurel and Hardy would make better detectives! The story is your basic super-hero plot. Weak but generally nice person has some sort of accident and is fused with animal/mutant powers and thus decides that saving the world from evil is the best career choice from now on. However our intrepid hero is misunderstood by the general public (surprise surprise) and is labelled a criminal.
Overall the film is silly but I rather enjoyed it! Who knows maybe you will too!!
The Making of 'Psycho' (1997)
A very good "Making Of"
This documentary, which is an extra on certain "Psycho" DVD's, is one of the best I've ever watched. It lasts just over an hour and a half, which is quite long, considering the film is fairly old and many of it's actors have passed on.
The documentary gives a real incite into the making of the picture. With comments from assistant Peggy Robertson, co-director Hilton A. Green and star Janet Leigh among others. The making of delves deep into how the picture was inspired, how the actors were cast and problems that arose during filming.
However the documentary does not contain comments from other stars Vera Miles and John Gavin which is a big disappointment. As I would love to hear Vera Miles' thoughts on Hitchock. Another shame is that Anthony Perkins died years prior to the making of the documentary so no comments are available from him which is another shame.
But overall a very well presented "Making Of".