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Wuthering Heights (1967)
I disagree with the reviewer who gave this video a 1.
I disagree with the reviewer who gave this video a 1 because: 1. At least we see the entire story. Most versions do not. 2. It is NOT a Hollywood sugar-coated version. 3. It is black and white which is how I see the stark reality of the
the Yorkshire moors. It lends to the primitive nature of the residents. 4. The reviewer didn't like anyone in the film. You aren't supposed to.
Heathcliff is quite mad and/or evil; Cathy spoiled and disloyal.
Hindley and Linton are weaklings. These are primitive people. The only
reasonably sane people are the next generation. They are still
primitive but a real love affair is possible. 5. The acting is more than satisfactory. It made the reviewer noted above
angry at he behavior of Emily's characters which is what was intended.
Separate Tables (1958)
IMDb rating too low
Actually, I would rate this film a bit higher than 8 if I knew how to do so. You wouldn't think that a film where the action takes place in virtually one room would qualify for greatness but the character studies alone make this film outstanding. One of the best ever. Fortunately, there is sufficient variety in character to keep one's interest at a high level. You don't have time for your mind to question why one behaves thus before the story is already involved with another character's dilemma. And, you don't have time to critique how well a character displays an emotion before the impact is felt elsewhere. If you are a collector of fine films, this one belongs in your collection.
Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (1978)
This review may contain spoilers.
I rate this film very highly, not because of film quality, acting, sets, etc., but because of Ishi's story whether embellished or not. I was so moved by this sad tale that I sought out other sources of information. I have seen film clips in libraries of Ishi at the Berkeley Museum and in the field around the scenes of his life and capture. I have a copy of the Theodora Kroeber book upon which the film was based which includes the famous photo of Ishi when he was captured in August 29, 1911. I planned on using that photo in a book I was writing. I was discouraged by the rights holders of said photo declaring in their usual liberal claptrap manner that I didn't want the tribes of Northwest California protesting my treatment of Ishi by exposing that photo as ridicule of Ishi. I still intend on using the photo. You can blame the white man for the demise of the Yahi tribe but please read about the demise of other populations throughout history. This is a tale of how mankind has developed over a long period of time. Much of it is not pretty but it is what it is. You might long for an idealized world of your imagination but this is what we have. Make it better if you can but mankind is aggressive by nature. It is all part of the human condition. I wish I had the film. Ciao!
Carnegie Hall (1947)
What a treat! with spoilers.
I don't know if any of this constitutes a spoiler or not but better safe than sorry. I saw this film for the first time yesterday (4/9/13). This film is chock full of unbelievably marvelous music. Just one instance: Watch Arthur Rubenstein's left hand piano playing. You won't believe that he could possibly sustain those chords without error. Unbelievable! This film held my attention until the final sequence. The trumpet solo by Harry Kames was well done but the music was unmemorable. It is important to understand the reason for this film. It is not the story line which was mundane. It is the music performed by some of the greatest artists ever. I'm in the process of looking for a copy.
This is Hollywood at its worst. Liberal excess is on display in this film. On the pretext of an accident with legitimate implications we have an undisciplined high-strung teenager who does everything to excess. High schoolers who use obscene language that their teachers do not reprimand. Is this high school in Noo Yawk? You can keep it. Dysfunctional families, foul language, drug usage, nudity, oral sex (Hollywood loves it), unwanted pregnancy and abortion - these are Hollywood's real messages to the world.
They should have concentrated on the accident and its implications (hence the rating of 5). They might have had a real story.
(I still need to research the poem 'Margaret' to justify the title.)
Berkeley Square (1998)
Who killed Charlie?
Excellent - as far as it goes. It, OBVIOUSLY, doesn't go far enough. After first adapting my ear to the dialects I could follow the plot. However, the plot ends abruptly. It appears that a second season of this story was originally planned and then scrapped. May we inquire why? Other viewers have asked pertinent questions. I can only add - who killed Charlie? And, perhaps, his younger sister? Was it Bertie? Or his former Nanny? Was it SIDS, an unheard of designation in that era? After Nanny specifically requests that Bertie tell the absolute truth to the authorities, he sticks to the fantasy agreed to earlier in the tale. There are five reasons why I have given this film a low rating of 5. It needs plot endings. Whatever happened to who, what, where, when and why?
Moneyball with ***Spoilers***
There is a particular reason why I thought this film was absolutely terrific.
It is based on a philosophy of statistics called Sabermetrics created by Bill James, that the Oakland A's utilized for the 2002 MLB season after the A's lost 3 key players and were forced to rebuild on a low budget.
(It is this statistical analysis that was responsible for my baseball hero, Eddie Yost, being named the best third baseman in the AL for the decade 1950-1959.) It is exciting to see how the stats are introduced in order to build a winning team.
There are some problems however. The Assistant GM, Peter Brand,(in real life Paul DePodesta) is the guy responsible for furnishing the GM with the stats that are used to rebuild the team. As the film ends, it is the GM that gets all the credit, not the assistant.
Another problem is that we never hear the MGR eat his words since he has been critical of all the changes thruout the film.
Nevertheless, this is definitely a film worth seeing.
The Eddy Duchin Story (1956)
"The Eddie Duchin Story" is one of those films . . .
. . . that begs for answers to unanswered questions. I keep reading that Eddie was a decorated Navy man during WWII but can't find out what those awards were. I've read Peter Duchin's "Ghost of a Chance" but the answers aren't there either. Can't find much on Majorie Oelricks either including photos. Peter was raised by the Harriman's while Eddie was on tour to South America and then WWII. Peter then goes to live with Eddie after the war. The nanny, Chiquita Wynn, straightens Eddie out on how to handle his son and they ultimately fall in love and marry. When Eddie dies of leukemia (sp?), Chiquita drops out of sight and we are left to wonder what happens to her. It's rather frustrating not knowing what happens next - not that I expect the film to answers these questions. But I should and do expect that a biography would. Peter's does not and I believe it should have. The film is marvelous if for no other reason than the music. Carmen Cavallero has been given much of the credit for his virtuosity. I don't doubt it but this is Eddie Duchin's story not CC's. Also, if I read the story correctly, C.C. was greatly inspired by Duchin. That's why there is a film about Duchin and not one about Cavallero. If anyone has information to fill in the blanks I would like to hear from them. Ciao!
I don't understand how Mark Linn-Baker was not nominated for an Emmy Award for his terrific performance in this episode (Probability) of Criminal Intent. Unlike the vast majority of INTENT episodes, Mark stole the show from the quirky D'Onofrio and the wise-cracking Erbe. It is obvious to the viewer that this is so because both Goren and Eames come around to sympathize with villain, but mentally-diseased (Asberger's Syndrome), Wally Stevens. It should be obvious to the regular viewer of Criminal Intent episodes starring Vince D'Onofrio that he would empathize with Stevens because Robert Goren's background includes a dysfunctional family including schizophrenia. IMO this episode compares favorably with the Nicole Wallace (Olivia d'Abo) episodes.
The Prestige (2006)
Plot Twists ad infinitum
The word "discombobulated" comes to mind. I missed a lot of the dialog either thru deafness or the English dialects (or both); there were one (or more) too many flashbacks; but more importantly there were so many plot twists, I suspect that if there are any holes in the plot (which wouldn't surprise me) no one would be able to detect them unless they had a copy of the film and jotted down each fact (or illusion) as it transpires. No fair checking Christopher Priest's novel or the Nolan brother's(?) screenplay.
At the end of the film, you ought to at least know how many Borden's and how many Angier's there were (are). And how many died (if any). If someone produces a film with more plot twists than "Prestige", will that make it a better film? Overkill! No thank you.