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Thanks For Nothing, Chris Carter - Literally
As an avid fan of the first few incredible seasons of The X-Files, I, like may others was greatly anticipating this 2008 release. I was very much hoping that Chris Carter and Co. would come to their senses and revert back to the brilliance, darkness and sheer spooky atmosphere that permeated the classic episodes.
When I learned that 'I Want To Believe' would be a stand-alone, suspense-horror film, I was thrilled, and my anticipation levels rose.
I saw this film last night. Suffice to say, many here have covered the negative elements well, so I won't elaborate except to say that I was furious and extremely disappointed with what was on the screen - and it wasn't much at all.
WHY would Chris Carter opt to have Mulder and Scully no longer with the FBI? It COULD have worked if Mulder was still 'in' and Scully was, as per the script, a full time physician. I could have seen that. But BOTH of them OUT? No, no, no, no.
WHY would Chris Carter opt not to have any element of the paranormal in the storyline? Or, even opt for the brilliant 'stand-alone monster' episodes of the first few seasons? Anyway, I am so disappointed with this film. I can't even say it's for the fans, because I feel many, like me, will feel utterly let down and 'empty' when they leave the cinema.
The most angering point of all is that the writers and Chris Carter could have, easily, created a wonderful, dark, creepy and paranormal story to entice, thrill and frighten the best of us. This film seems like it came from the bargain basement of scriptwriters.
The ONLY good thing was seeing Mulder and Scully together again. They looked great, and the chemistry is still there. Too bad what they had to work with - script wise - wasn't so great - understatement.
Thanks for NOTHING, Chris Carter. Your ego has truly overtaken any degree of creativity you had left.
Mildred Pierce (1945)
I Bake Pies In The Morning, Pies In The Afternoon! Pies! Pies! Pies!
I cannot surpass what others here have stated (positively, that is) about this remarkable film. Joan Crawford was without question or doub the quintessential 1940's 'noir' gal, what with the intense eyes, eyebrows and shoulder pads to prove it. Interesting, too, how 'Mildred Pierce', while made in the 40's, mirrors Joan's 1930 MGM 'rags to riches' vehicles (shop girl to wife of millionaire, etc.).
God, how I loved the moment when Mildred (Joan) bitch-slapped Veda, or 'Velveeta'(as in cheese)(Ann Blyth) on the stairs, after Veda mockingly insults her dear mama's low-fallutin' pie makin ways.
I mean, did ya evah???
Why I oughta......
A Very Brady Christmas (1988)
Oh Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Neurotic Jan, Jan, Jan
Well, what can this guy say? Like many, I grew up watching 'The Brady Bunch' and while, yes, it was/is cheesy - as we all know - I loved it.
Many of the reviews posted here say it all. But I'll add my two cents anyhow...
Marcia Brady - 'Sigh' - THE Marcia Brady, gorgeous Brady girl #1 who occupied the upper left hand photo box in the series opening credits. Marcia Brady - cheerleader at both Filmore Junior High and Westdale High, the girl who beat Greg at their Brady organized driving tests, the girl who did the sexy hula dance during the Brady's 3 part Hawaiian vacation. Marica Brady - every guy's dream date, a girl who could flip her alluring Breck shampooed long blonde hair and win any guy.......ended up marrying that loser WALLY??? Puh-LEASE! What in the heck were the writers thinking....or smoking?
Note: Maureen looked HOT in this TV movie.
And then we have...........Jan. Yes, poor neurotic, borderline manic depressive/personality disorder afflicted Jan ("But, Glasses will make me look positively GOOFY!" - Yes, sweety, they did) with the OH SO serious sense of low self esteem (watch any episode of the original series and see this morose gal in action. Remember when, jealous of Marcia, in episodes 1-116, she hid all of Marcia's awards and trophies?) is even MORE so in this movie! Add in frigid, bitchy, and a short cropped hairdo that only amplified her scowling look, and whaddya got? Ya got Jan Brady - 1990's style. And it ain't a pretty sight.
Aye yi yi. BAD TV reunion movie. Two thumbs (my own) down.
Heheheheheh....but I still watch it.
The Trouble with Angels (1966)
I've Got A SCATHINGLY Brilliant Idea!
Dear God in Heaven, what a true gem of a film. 'The Trouble With Angels' truly is like a fine vintage wine - it gets only better with age. Even as a guy, I can and do very much admire this film, and I could watch it again and again and never tire of it - it's that good.
'The Trouble With Angels' is truly the quintessential 'Coming Of Age' story, one that was expertly crafted by the writers and subsequently performed by the cast.
Growing up in a Roman Catholic family, my brothers and sister and I were more than used to having Nuns around, as our late Father's two sisters are Nuns in the St. Joseph order here in Canada. Our late Mother's brother (who is now deceased, too) was a Roman Catholic Priest - I mean, HOW Catholic can one family be! As for the five of us (siblings) we could totally relate to the antics and pranks Hayley Mills and June Harding carried out in the film. 'The Trouble With Angels' is a film that very much resonated with my siblings and I, and still does to this day. My sister attended an all-girls Catholic high school back in the 70's, and she and her pals would pretend they were in the film.
If I was stuck on a desert island, this is one of the films I would take with me. There is so much in which to praise this film for, and others here have hit the nail on the proverbial head. Solid performances from all the cast; a superlative screenplay and score; great setting (the location used for St. Francis Academy), etc.
'The Trouble With Angels' is a film from a time that has sadly vanished - a parade long gone by - a more innocent time (in my opinion). But the values and feelings the film contained, and subsequently instilled in me as a viewer, still remain potent.
I love the 'turning point' scene for Mary Clancy (Hailey Mills) when she 'spies' on Reverend Mother, who weeps over the casket of the deceased nun. This is when Mary Clancy really grows up; it's a bittersweet moment in the film, as one realizes she will never be as young and carefree again.
I have not seen this film in years, yet it remains one of many cherished parts of my childhood. To this day, my brothers and I still use the phrase, "I've got a SCATHingly BRILLIANT idea!" Kudos to director Ida Lupino, the writes, and a wonderful cast for creating such a memorable, and cherished film with many of us who grew up in the 60's/70's.
If you have not seen this excellent film, try and obtain it on DVD - you will NOT be disappointed.
Warning: Spoiler Below For Those Who Have Not Seen This Film: P.S.: I still get choked up when, at the end of the film, Reverend Mother announces to the graduating class of St. Francis Academy that Mary Clancy (Hailey Mills) has decided to enter the convent and become a Nun (novice).
84 Charing Cross Road (1987)
In A World Of Woe - A Gem Of A Film
To say I love '84, Charing Cross Road' is an understatement. This is a film that truly grabs you by the heart. I first saw this on the screen when it was released. Actually, my older brother and I were set to see an action film; alas, it was sold out when we got to the cinema. We, reluctantly, opted to see this, as we didn't feel like driving back home. We both liked Anne Bancroft, but being teen guys, we were not thrilled to be seeing this movie. Ten minutes into the film, both of us were hooked. I choked up and became misty eyed at several points during the screening, though I tried to hide it. When the film ended, my brother and I were absolutely taken with it.
I came across the video years ago, and I cherish it. To me, '84, Charing Cross Road' is the quintessential film of the tenacity, the durability, the indestructible forces of friendship. And it's so, so much more. There are so many layers to this film, and I believe that's the key element which keeps me under its spell.
Anne Bancroft, the wonderful, magnificent, legendary, and, sadly, late Anne Bancroft, gave an outstanding performance as Helene. Anthony Hopkins was equally enchanting. Brilliant script, direction, and performances by all the cast. The touching scenes when the Marks & Co. staff receive their Christmas food packages still brings me to tears.
I had a great female friend who I met here in Canada; in 1987, she moved to London. We exchanged letters up until her death in 1994. Those letters...those letters are what remains of our close relationship. It's no wonder '84, Charing Cross Road' resonates so powerfully with me. I only recently purchased the book, and it sits on my bedside table; I read a letter or two from it now and again. It is simply a perfect book. I also LOVE 'The Duchess Of Bloombury Street' - MAN! - could this woman write! As for the film - Dear God, what a treasure.
Mr. Petersen & Co. Miss Das Boot - Re-Release The Original, Better Film
While sitting through 94 minutes of the most unbelievable CRAP that is Petersen's 'Poseidon' (And, I must say, I am extremely disappointed with Wolfgang - he is a director I very much admire - 'Das Boot' was an absolutely brilliant piece of work from this gentleman) Try as I did through the screening of Petersen's latest sea adventure, I could not help but compare this 2006 'voyage' to 20th Century-Fox's/Irwin Allen's original film, which has a huge cult following today, and, in my opinion, with valid reason.
'Poseidon', alas, truly belongs to the 'What The HELL (Upside Down) Were They Thinking?' school of atrocious films. Did not anyone connected with this sinking ship even remotely realize that the script was lacking, to put it mildly?
I must also say that I honestly entered the cinema with an open mind, as I was, like many, really looking forward to seeing what Mr. Petersen created with his version of Paul Gallico's superlative novel. It didn't take long for me to realize that Wolfie and co. completely and utterly missed 'das boot' on this one. My friends and I (who are all huge fans of Irwin's '72 version, and again, we entered the cinema with completely unbiased attitudes) simply sat there, mouths agape, at what was on the screen - or rather - what was NOT on the screen.
In my opinion, the opening CGI effect shot of the ship was just that - CG. It is quite difficult to become immersed in a story/film, when you cannot truly believe what you are seeing at the outset is even remotely authentic/realistic. The opening shot more than sets the tone for what turned out to be a viewing where NO emotional involvement, NO empathy whatsoever was displayed by myself whilst viewing this movie. In 'The Poseidon Adventure', a large scale model was used for the opening shots/credits, and guess what? - it is by far more convincing to the eye than the millions spent on this 'spectacular' opening shot. We've come a long way, baby - not.
Petersen communicated the fact that his 2006 version would treat the story with both respect and depth - uh, you could have fooled me. What Mr. Petersen offers up is a cheese laden buffet(with plenty of cardboard, one-dimensional characters and clichés offered as side dishes)that left myself and many others with unsatisfied appetites.
Mr. Petersen and some of the cast even had the audacity to make negative, ill-flattering comments about the beloved and perhaps a bit dated original. Allen's film is not high-brow, but, really! After one exits the cinema after viewing this garbage (2 cans - one for the film, the other for the soundtrack) one really must wonder if these people are either totally delusional or just plain bloated arrogant individuals who cannot see beyond the L.A. studio marketing b.s. hype and the pay checks.
Sitting through a screening of 'Poseidon' is like sitting through a CGI video game - all flash, high speed, no substance, no depth. I will say this though: the capsizing sequence, CGI effects aside, was relatively well done - 15 MINUTES into the film. It's as if Warner Bros./Virtual Studios, and Mr. Petersen collectively theorized that the audience do not have the intelligence nor attention spans to sit in their seats and be introduced to both a story and the people who inhabit it - Film school 101.
The cast: many have said it; I shall reiterate: B-list and C-list second and third rate bananas who exude as much charisma as a corpse - and 'Poseidon' is filled from top to bottom/bottom to top decks with corpses. An aside - Was Warner Bros./Virtual Studios short on budget to obtain a better cast, or did they truly think this motley crew of 'never-gonna-be's' and 'still-tryin-to-be's' cut the mustard?
'The Poseidon Adventure' for all it was (and I personally love this film) had a top notch cast who, for the most part, delivered credible, professional performances. Agreed, one cannot fully fault the cast of 'Poseidon' for lackluster performances, when they truly had nothing to work with in the first place.
On the 1972 voyage - you truly believed you were on-board a luxury liner, and Kudos to Irwin Allen and Bill Creber for this. In 'Poseidon' - one can discern the overhead studio lighting and the folding canvas chairs just off-camera/set, where the 'stellar' (not to be confused with Stella - Stevens, that is)cast would retreat to between takes.
Mr. Petersen: HOW can we even remotely care about the characters, hoping they survive, when the lame script (understatement) does not even allow us a chance to KNOW who in hell these people are? And what in HELL was the young boy DOING in a cage? There are so many holes in this script, so many unexplained, head scratching moments, that after a while, one simply gives up and focuses on the popcorn and coke they've purchased.
But, I digress.
My closing thoughts: Skip this voyage. Better yet, go to your nearest Video/DVD outlet, and take a voyage back in time. Rent 20th Century Fox's and Irwin Allen's production of 'The Poseidon Adventure'. While there is cheese contained in that film - make no mistake about that - there is also an incredible cast aboard. Join Reverend Scott, Mike and Linda Rogo, James Martin, Nonnie Parry, Belle and Manny Rosen, Susan & Robin Shelby, and Captain Harrison in 'Hell, Upside Down.'
Director Ronald Neame may not have had the best script to work with, but he was the better director.
The BIG Decision: Wolfgang's 'Poseidon', or Pamela Sue Martin in those GROOVY, HOT red hot pants and legs! LOL - Okay, that's superficial, but what LEGS! 'Happy New Year!'
Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
Ordinary Story - Extraordinary Writing & Performances
I first saw 'Make Way For Tomorrow' in the early 80's. Being very young at the time, I didn't think I'd get into this film from the way the host of the movie show (TVOntario - Canada) briefly outlined it - minus the ending, of course.
Well, what can I say? It's been over 20 years since I've seen this superlative American 30's film, and I still feel haunted by the overwhelming sadness and hopelesness of the two lead, elderly characters. Beulah Bondi gave an extraordinary performance, as did all the cast. This was a brutal, brutal film which refused to compromise in regards to a typical Hollywood happy ever after ending. And for that, this film earned my utmost respect.
I also believe it is precisely because of the literally tear-jerking ending (understatement) why this film remains so memorable, and dear God, haunting.
'Make Way For Tomorrow' may be a product of the American 1930's; however, its story is one that is played out today the world over.
The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975)
Elizabeth Montogomery Is Positively Chilling In This TV Film
I concur with the positive comments here about this well above average made for TV movie. A friend of mine recently got his hands on a video of the film, and watching it, a little over 30 years later, I still experienced the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.
Elizabeth Montgomery gives a powerful, cold and chilling performance as the legendary Lizzie Borden.
LOL, when my brothers and I watched this ABC TV movie back in 1975, they would literally freak me out by locking me in the basement of our home. Through the locked basement door, they would sing, "Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks...." Brothers - what can I tell ya?
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Wolgang...Wolfie...No! No! Irwin Allen Rules, Donchya Know?
Like many here (and on other sites)I am a die-hard fan of Irwin Allen's 'The Poseidon Adventure'. I was 9 years old when the film was released by 20th Century-Fox, and I can clearly recall being figuratively glued to the TV screen whenever the trailer was shown. Likewise, I would turn up the radio when ad spots for the film came on. I also scanned the newspapers and would "Ooooh!" and "Aaaaah!" over the print ads. I truly think I drove my family insane - or, they thought ME insane - for my obsession with this film, even before it was released!
In short, my older brother took me to see it here in Toronto in 1972 - and I was HOOKED, and continue to be so. I remember leaving the theatre literally shaking from the experience.I cannot explain my illogical yet very real attachment to this film. HOW many times did I play 'TPA' in our family swimming pool? HOW many times did I drive my mom insane by flipping over the couch and knocking over the dining room chairs while creating my own capsize experience? LOL. Great memories. That said, I loved the art direction and the whole 'feel' of the film - you truly felt as if you were on-board the S.S. Poseidon.
Incidentally, this film, after 'Alien', has the BEST tag line ever - "Hell, Upside Down".
John Williams score for the film - classic, haunting. The music is so "sea adventure"!
William Creber's art design - Superlative. Special effects - Still hold up. This was BEFORE friggin computer generation.
THIS is the REAL McCoy, folks.
Kurt Russell? Richard Dreyfus?....and the rest who - will someone please tell me WHO the HELL these people are - please.
Mr. Petersen, with all due respect, the whole success and longevity the original Irwin Allen film enjoys is MAINLY BECAUSE of the all-star, stellar (including Stella - *wink*) cast! Not only just 'stars' - this cast contained ACTORS and ACTRESSES. Also, in my opinion, another reason the 1972 version is still spellbinding is because of the awesome (and manually created) special effects. The computer generated crap is just that - crap.
Give me Linda Rogo - "Mike, I saw a young officer on deck the other day - and he looked pretty DAMN familiar - even with his clothes on!" *Stella Stevens (Who has also played a NUN in "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" - ROCKS!
Give me Mike Rogo - "Do you know what it means to be invited to sit at the Captain's table - on New Years Eve? I'll tell ya what that means - it means the whole idea of those women looking down on ya is a lot of bull!" *Ernest Borgnine RULES!
Give me Reverend Scott - "Pray to that part of God within you - and that part of God will be fighting with you - all the way." *Gene Hackman is IT!
Give me Belle Rosen - "No. When we get to Israel, we're staying put. Just think - our grandson is 2 years old already, and talking - we've never even seen him." *Rest in peace, Shelley Winters. You had a lot of guts, lady - a lot of guts.
Give me Mannie Rosen - "He runs on time, like a train - ahh, you and trains!" (Can someone explain WHAT the hell this man was talking about here? LOL) *Jack Albertson - I loved you in "Willy Wonka" - I loved you in TPA - a class act.
Give me Susan Shelby - "That's heavy, Robin - r e a l heavy." - NOTE: Pammie, LOVED your fire engine red hot pants and great legs! Also loved the way you and Ernie Orsati boogied down on the dance floor in the ballroom! BIG KISS for Pammie! *Oh, Pamela, how do I love thee? I worship at your Susan Shelby altar. ............ahem....
Give me Robin Shelby - "I've surfed up to 18 feet - but these look more like 30." *What the hell ever became of Eric Shea? Anyone?
Give me Nonnie - "Teddy, wake up - there's something we have to do." *Carol Lynley - blonde, go-go booty-licious - a fine actress.
Give me Martin - "I would have danced to his music - if I had had someone to dance with." *Red Buttons - gotta love that name!
Give me Acres - "There is no other exit from this area, sir." *Roddy rules, too
Give me Captain Harrison - "You irresponsible bastard." "The Poseidon is too fine a lady to be rushed to the junkyard on her last voyage!" *Leslie Neilsen - a fellow Canadian - and what a guy!
Give me Linarcos - "Your job is to deliver this ship where we want it - WHEN we want it!" "Now, order FULL AHEAD". - Hsssssssssssssssssssssss! *What was this actor's name? - it momentarily escapes me.
Give me Irwin Allen - "Look, Shelley, you're gonna HAVE to haul your not fat enough ass over to the Brown Derby, and EAT! I wanna FAT Belle - and DON'T start teaching ME about the actors studio method, in case you forgot, Ms. Winters, I AM the producer here, and Mr. Neame is the director! Now, go to the studio commissary, and eat 10 bagels....with cream cheese!" - I made this up, of course. Tee hee.
IRWIN ALLEN's TPA - we'll never forget! Wolfgang Petersen's TPA - NYET! NYET! NYET!
Signed, Flipping over in Toronto
Black Christmas (1974)
A Classic Margot Kidder Performance
I absolutely love Bob Clark's 'Black Christmas.' I cannot improve on the wonderful and numerous comments made here. I concur this film ranks with the best of horror/suspense films out there.
But - I will say I have been a fan of the great Canadian Margot Kidder for some time. A brave woman, a class act. This lady has been to hell and back - she is a true survivor in every sense of the word.
And Andrea Martin - who would have guessed that SCTV's Edith Prickley would appear in a true blue horror classic? Can you hear Count Floyd howling as he screens 'Black Christmas' on SCTV's 'Monster Chiller Horror Theatre'? LOL.