Reviews written by registered user
Incalculacable

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106 reviews in total 
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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Going Hollywood belongs to Bing Crosby, 19 August 2006
6/10

Sylvia Bruce (Marion Davies) is a bored French teacher but after hearing the melodious sounds of the famous Bill Williams (Bing Crosby) on the radio, she is so inspired she leaves her job and seeks her dream.

Going Hollywood is a rather odd movie as there is the disturbing fact that Marion Davies' character is practically a stalker who insists that their love is meant to be. I can usually accept the fact that it's just a movie - it doesn't have to be realistic, but I just felt her character was a bit of a nut case. I hate to say it but Davies is most unconvincing and it is almost painful to see her scenes. I was disappointed to see this because she was magnificent in silents. That being said, Marion is undoubtedly gorgeous and has a few good moments (and she's not a bad dancer too)... but not nearly enough as there should be.

It is evident that Bing Crosby and the music are the real stars of this picture. He steals every scene from Davies with effortless delivery. The music - especially "Temptation", "Going Hollywood" and "Beautiful Girl" are absolutely delightful little tunes and make the movie well worth watching.

Overall, a bizarre and often tedious movie and Davies isn't at her best. However handsome crooner Bing Crosby and the fantastic music by Arthur Freed and Herb Brown steal the show and make it watchable. Does not compare to the other musicals of this period.

7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Garbo shines in mediocre story, 19 July 2006
6/10

Based on a book by W. Somerset Maugham of the same name, The Painted Veil tells the tale of Katrin Koerber (Greta Garbo) who is lonely after her sister's marriage, with whom she was very close. She agrees to marry her father's research associate Dr. Walter Fane (Herbert Marshall) who takes her to China. However, he is deeply involved with his work and often neglects Katrin in favour of his work which leads her to seek love and attention from another man: Jack Townsend (George Brent).

Although I have been unsure of Garbo's acting abilities at times, she does well and truly shine in the role of the unfaithful and confused wife - a complex character which she masters with ease. Herbert Marshall does a good job of her husband caught between emotions and George Brent – not a terribly good looking man – was unconvincing as her lover. These two men seem to fade into the background when Garbo is on screen – her exotic; cat like appearance really captures the audience – despite not playing a glamorous character!

The scenery of old China is lavish and the costumes for Garbo are a pleasure to see. However, the divine Greta Garbo is the only thing that really makes The Painted Veil watchable. The plot is thin and weak but Garbo does a wonderful job and makes the melodramatic material believable and interesting. Not a great film, but watch it for Garbo.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A tragic tale of passion, love, jealousy and death., 9 July 2006
7/10

All This, and Heaven Too is based on a novel of the same name by Rachel Field. It tells the story of loving governess Henriette Deluzy-Desportes (Bette Davis) in 19th century France who cares for the three children (three girls and a little boy) Duc (Charles Boyer) and Duchesse du Praslin (Barbara O'Neil). It is not long until the suspicious, possessive and insanely jealous hypochondriac Duchesse du Praslin thinks there is something between the governess and her husband (when it is, in fact, purely platonic) which brings up a change of events with some disastrous and fatal consequences.

Perhaps I am used to the confident Bette Davis that we see in movies such as Of Human Bondage, Jezebel and All About Eve – but I felt Davis' character was a little bland. However, I considered the circumstances and I think Bette played with a lot of passion and love, and the character was quite realistic. Margo Channing for a governess wouldn't work! With a running time of 141 minutes, it sounds like a rather long movie. However, director Litvak manages to keep it running along at a very comfortable pace. It certainly did not feel 141 minutes, and of course the lush (obviously very expensive) scenery, clothing, sets etc help a lot, too! Although not perfect, All This, and Heaven Too is certainly worth watching, in part for the rich visuals including the handsome Charles Boyer and beautiful Bette Davis and the gorgeous scenery, clothing, sets, props etc. A long film, but it doesn't feel as long as it really is. Good movie.

Bombshell (1933)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
"I'd like to run barefoot through your hair!", 2 July 2006
7/10

Bombshell is almost a mirror of Jean Harlow's life (although, I have heard it is extremely close to Clara Bow's life and from what I read from her biography, it seems very true) and it is fascinating to see Jean Harlow play herself (even references to Red Dust, which she made in the previous year), or perhaps what the viewers like to think is the real Jean Harlow. Anyway, Jean Harlow plays sexy bombshell Lola Burns – mega movie star who has everything – a mansion, maids, stunning clothes, dogs, movies with Clark Gable… but there's a downside: she has her drop-out brother and drunken father (Frank Oz) leeching money off her constantly to pay for their expensive lifestyle and her fast-talking publicity man Space Hanlon (Lee Tracy) makes up disgusting stories about her. She decides enough is enough – she's sick of Hollywood – so she packs up her bags.

If you want to take a truthful and in-depth look at the old Hollywood system of making movie stars, than Bombshell is the movie for you! It takes an amusing but realistic look at this period using satire and witty, hard hitting lines, beautifully execute by Jean Harlow and a great supporting cast. There are also some daring innuendos that are only found in pre-code Hollywood movies – this makes it all the more enjoyable. This type of comedy is not everybody's thing, but Bombshell is certainly worth a look.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, but understandably a momentous achievement, 1 July 2006
7/10

I have to say it: I was quite disappointed with this movie. I originally wanted to see it because of the fact that it is number one for comedy, voted by IMDb users. However, I found myself asking… when will it be funny? Perhaps I am just not one for dark comedies, but I just didn't find it funny. That being said, I was especially impressed with the comedic talents of Peter Sellers (who plays four characters: Group Captain, Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove), the atmosphere that is created and the message behind the movie. But I didn't find it funny. Sorry. Maybe it will grow on me.

U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes absolutely mad, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He suspects that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people. The U.S. president meets with his advisors, where the Soviet ambassador tells him that if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a doomsday device which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth. Peter Sellers plays the three men who might prevent this colossal tragedy: British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, the only person with access to the demented Gen. Ripper; U.S. President Merkin Muffley, whose best attempts to divert a momentous disaster depend on a drunken Soviet Premier and Nazi genius Dr. Strangelove (who, in my opinion, was the funniest).

I think there is a truly good message behind this movie: if we don't do something, this is what will happen. I was very much impressed by that. Comedy wise, I laughed a couple of times, but that was it. That's the problem with critically acclaimed films – you have high hopes for it, and when it doesn't live up to your expectations, it is twenty times more disappointing. Nevertheless, I appreciate the brilliant performances, the message and Kubrick's clever directing. I enjoyed it, but in my opinion it does not live up to the hype.

7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
They don't make 'em like this anymore!, 1 July 2006
10/10

After I got my head around the slightly complicated plot of classic romantic comedy Libeled Lady (which stars some of the most famous and talented actors of all time), I found myself very much enjoying this tremendous screwball comedy – perhaps the best of all time. It is surprisingly up-beat, witty and funny… however, it is not-so-surprisingly classy, sophisticated, charming and glamorous (what else could you expect with Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy!?).

Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) is chief editor of the New York Evening Star, which has a notorious past of making celebrities very, very angry! One of those celebrities – one they have picked on for a long time – is heiress Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy, cute as a button!), and she is seriously not happy. The New York Evening Star accidentally published a fake story about her, claiming her to be a marriage-breaker. She's hitting back hard with a $5 million dollar lawsuit. However, the canny Haggerty has a plan up his sleeve… he will get his fiancé Gladys (Jean Harlow, who has been waiting for years to get married, but Haggerty is always needed at work on the Big Day!) to marry Bill Chandler (William Powell) – a smart, suave chap with a Lady Killer past. After the unconsummated nuptials, Bill has to meet Connie Allenbury, work his charms on her and get someone to find them in a compromising position! The claims will be proved, the lawsuit would be dropped and Haggerty would have a load off his mind… but things don't happen so easy!

Yes, it's slightly complex, but it's oh so rewarding! There's lots of couple-matching, switching so you have to be on the ball! Watching Powell, Loy, Tracy and Harlow is pure cinematic magic – they bring such energy to the screen! As this is the 1930s, expect lots of classic, glorious, glamorous dresses from the gals, and lots of sophisticated suits from the guys! I could watch it for the fashion alone. This exceptional screwball comedy is not to be missed – it's a very witty picture that certainly keeps you on your toes – you don't know how it's going to work out!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not to be missed, 30 June 2006
9/10

This 1925 Chaplin film is probably the one I enjoyed most. I don't know what it was about this film, but I was laughing out loud constantly throughout it. Sure, it doesn't have the strong romance of City Lights (1931), but it is as funny – perhaps funnier. But when it comes to any film, it is all up to personal preference. Yep, now I think about it, this is my favourite Chaplin movie.

Like most Chaplin films, we have the benefit of a simple plot. The Gold Rush is the story of a tramp (Chaplin's classic character) that sets off to Klondike, Alaska during the Gold Rush craze. However he finds much more… including two, to say the least dodgy characters, which lead to some hilarious situations.

The only part that I am not so sure of is the romance between Georgia and The Tramp. She doesn't really seem that nice to him, and compared to his other movies, I wasn't that satisfied at the end, which is very disappointing. This is the reason why it is only nine stars out of ten instead of ten out of ten.

I really liked the narration on the DVD version, but I'm not sure why. I know some people think it takes away from the movie, but I am of the opinion that it adds to it. Chaplin has a marvelous speaking voice and I like how he guides the story. Apart from this, the DVD is absolutely the way to go for its crisp, clear picture. You'll find you'll miss some of the jokes if your picture is fuzzy.

This Chaplin film, which he wrote and directed (like most of his films), is an absolute masterpiece and a pleasure to watch. Chaplin is a comic genius. Bravo!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Goodbye, Carole., 30 June 2006
10/10

To Be or not To Be is Carole Lombard's last film before her tragic death in a plane crash and Jack Benny's finest. Another special thing about To Be or not To be is that it made fun of the Nazis – so much so that some were very uncomfortable seeing it. There are few films that can boast this daring achievement – making fun of Nazis in the midst of World War II. As well as succeeding at making some people uneasy, it also succeeded at making many laugh.

The story of To Be or not To Be about a theatrical company in Nazi-occupied Warsaw which is preparing to perform an anti-Nazi melodrama. Maria (Carole Lombard) and Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) are cast as the leading roles. However, the Polish government cancels the play as they are afraid it would have disastrous consequences. So instead they perform Hamlet, and when Joseph Tura is speaking those immortal words: "To be, or not to be", he notices a young man, Lieutenant Stanislav Sobinski (Robert Stack), slipping out of the audience. He is, in fact, visiting Maria Tura backstage. When war breaks out, Sobinski makes it to London to fight with the RAF, and the Turas stay in occupied Warsaw. Hilarity ensues when Maria Tura is captured by the Gestapo and to rescue her, Joseph and their friends dress up as Nazis.

This movie is absolutely hilarious, witty and clever. When I was watching it, I was dumbfounded that anyone could think of such an intelligent story which kept you constantly guessing as to what they would do next. Ernst Lubitsch manages to handle such a delicate, fragile issue and make it into a side-splitting comedy. This is an especially bittersweet movie for me as I am a big fan of Carole Lombard but I am so grateful she went on a movie such as this: a truly priceless and hilarious portrayal of Nazis. This movie is not to be missed.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not one of his best, but still a fine thriller, 29 June 2006
7/10

I hate to admit it, but I didn't find it to be one of Hitchcock's best but nonetheless a riveting, climatic thriller. In a remake of Hitchock's 1934 movie of the same title, Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) – the man who knows too much - and his wife Jo McKenna (Doris Day) are holidaying in Morocco with their son Hank (Christopher Oslen) when there is a case of mistaken identity and caught up in the web of an assassination plot. The conspirators go to extreme lengths to prevent them from interfering with their plot: kidnapping their beloved Hank.

I found it surprising that Doris Day, who I usually associate with Rock Hudson comedies, was cast in a Hitchcock film. As I was watching it, I soon realized that this was more of a family film compared to Hitchcock's other works (example: Psycho) and she had singing ability needed to pull off "Que Sera Sera", which she did beautifully. She was well cast as herself and James Stewart had chemistry, which helped make the couple believable.

In comparison to the great director's other works I believe this isn't as good, but it is still a exceedingly entertaining family thriller/mystery. There is also the added bonus of Que Sera Sera, which turned out to be a smash hit for Doris Day. Well directed, well acted. A fine film.

Annie Hall (1977)
That was the most fun I've ever had without laughing., 29 June 2006
8/10

"That was the most fun I've ever had without laughing" is just one of the witty lines from the 1977 comedy classic Annie Hall starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. Woody Allen pretty much plays himself (just disguised) as Alvy Singer, a surprisingly but successful but neurotic comedian. When he meets Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), a pot-smoking unsuccessful night club singer, his world changes. Although awkward at first (you have to see the famous subtitle scene – hilarious), their love turns into a bitter sweet romance with well-balanced chemistry. It's entirely realistic – definitely not a fairy-tale romance.

This has made a significant impact on the film industry – Keaton's wardrobe alone (which were in fact her own clothes) started fashion trends. It was also very unusual in the use of techniques. It also discussed sexuality, fake intellectuality, Manhattan and death (all common themes in Allen's movies).

I don't want to over analyze this movie – instead, I recommend you go out and rent it now. However, I will finally say that Annie Hall is a movie certainly not to be missed. There is hardly any space to catch your breath from laughing. Allen and Keaton are glorious in their roles, and as much I was laughing I couldn't help but reflect on the bittersweet nature of this movie. Hasn't dated at all. Just a fantastic movie.


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