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The Gabby Hayes Show (1950)
Gabby's Great Career Sacrifice
As a child of 8 years in Baltimore, Md I can distinctly remember watching Gabby on that small b&w screen warning us to "back away from your television areal sets" whereupon he would shoot a cannon full of Quaker puffed wheat or rice at the camera. Even to this day I feel an indescribable, unexplained aesthetic attraction to the Quaker Oats puffed rice cereal box, which may explain why the company has not changed their graphics is 60 years. My recollection of the show is that it was longer than 15 minutes. I recall him introducing a western movie. It could very well be that the local station used his show as a lead in then ran a western.
It is said that Gabby had all his teeth pulled so as to more authenticate his character as a western sidekick.
Under the Skin (2013)
A Landmark Sci Fi Picture
With few exceptions modern SciFi movies have degenerated into predictable, cliché fests produced to accommodate the limited tastes of teenagers. "Under the Skin" director, Jonathan Glazer, has brought back the old fashioned qualities of dread, mystery and horror and added one more, ---consternation as he gives us a science fiction tale told from the point of view of an alien in the guise of a beautiful human (Scarlet Johansen) on a mission to harvest Earth people for some vaguely implied industrial use. A rule of good film making is to always keep the story a little bit ahead of the viewer just to keep him on his toes and Glazer certainly has done that with his editing cuts timed to give just barely enough information to show what's going on. To be completely honest and real we would expect the film to depict anything that the aliens do in terms of their motivations, procedures and technology to be beyond anything we have ever experienced even if the results are at times perplexing. The result is a fascinating, sometimes bewildering ride-along with an extra-terrestrial on a mission as she starts to become a little human herself.
An Achievement in Film Storytelling
When I saw the how well this movie was being received I had to see for myself how a storyteller could keep an audience in their seats for an hour and a half using only one character in a single location much as Louis Malle had done with two characters in "My Dinner with Andre". I wasn't disappointed. When an indispensable construction manager goes AWOL on the night of the critical concrete pour of the foundation of a world renowned building project to support an "acquaintance" in the hospital he must manage his drunk and incompetent understudy, deal with his family over the potential loss of career all while making the two hour night time drive from the job site to the hospital in London. Wright provides us with a very authentic dilemma with high stakes which we are quickly invested in. He drives the dramatic tension with escalating complications as Locke tries to calm the hospital patient, explain everything to his wife and direct the construction pour by phone. I must admit I had no awareness of passing time as this movie played.
Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Movies the way Hollywood used to make them but plot holes.
Thoroughly enchanting but for one plot hole. If Slevin is trying to be Nick Fischer why is he telling the Rabbi and the Boss that it's mistaken identity? Okay. That's for us, the audience. If he does then we know he's in on the scam. You know, it's the kind of thing that we'll put up with for a great story because we don't think of it until hours later. The only other critique I would venture is that there seem to be far too many flashbacks to explain the setup. If we had known that Slevin was the kid and Goodkat the the "specialist" assassin. That would have been enough. All told this movie has that edginess that puts it in the league with Pulp Fiction.