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A Beautiful Production
I was in the Nutcracker 30 years ago and have many fond memories doing the Chinese section in the second act. This new production is beautifully choreographed and danced. The production design and costume design are breathtaking. The attention to detail in this is production is evident from the imaginative opening sequence to the final grand pas de deux. I loved the sequence showing Clara shrinking down to the size of her toys. Theatre magic at it's best. The new setting and concept of taking place during the 1915 SanFrancisco World's Fair fits the story so perfectly you would think it was written during that time period. I recommend this fine production to anyone who loves the Nutcracker or just wants to see some very spectacular classic ballet dancing. A+++
I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
It's Like Watching My Life
I saw this film as a child on late night TV in the 70's and never really grasped it's truthful portrayal of the classic dysfunctional family. I didn't realize at the time just how dysfunctional my family was and how my father's controlling behavior and self centered personality shaped our family dynamics and still does. The close, loving adult relationship I always wanted with my father never happened because of his overbearing personality and utter disinterest in his children's adult lives. The children of such parents are often made to feel that it's either their fault or at least their responsibility to fix it. I saw the film again today on TCM and it perfectly captured the devastating long term effects from growing up in such a household. There's not a wasted word in the script. Tom doesn't give a wit about Gene. He doesn't even know him or care to. It's all about Tom. Boy, do I know what that feels like. I wished I had written Gene Hackman's dialog down so I could use it during my next frustrating visit with the old man.
This film should be required viewing for any adult son (or daughter) who is guilt-ed on a regular basis and told that everything their parents ever did for them as children has strings attached.
I'm an actor and I hope I get the chance to play Gene Garrison some day...with my father in the audience. Who am I kidding? He still wouldn't get it.
83 Hours 'Til Dawn (1990)
Dramatic License and Factual Errors spoil what could have been a great movie
This movie was okay. I read the book when I was in high school and saw the first movie, The Longest Night. There were some factual errors and liberties taken for dramatic purposes which kind of ruined it for me since I had read the book first. When I saw the remake, I was expecting a more accurate version, but was disappointed that this movie also took liberties and dramatic license. Comparing the two films, The Longest Night is the better of the two overall. The design of the capsule bothered me in the second movie. It was very crude, shown as a large open space with the battery and wiring all in the same space occupied by the girl. In real life, the battery and wiring and fan was housed in an area that was sectioned off behind screens. The capsule in the first movie was an exact replica of the real one. The first movie also spent more time showing Barbara in the capsule and how cramped it was. The second movie never showed any shots other than her upper body. You never saw her feet and her trying stretch out.
The only thing that the second movie depicts better is the character of Ruth Eiseman Schier. In the Longest Night she is depicted as a strong,equal accomplice when, in fact, she was not. Elizabeth Gracen's portrayal was much more in line with the real woman than Skye Aubrey's sexy vixen portrayal.
It's a great crime story of survival and criminal madness. It would be great if someone would make a more gritty, realistic feature film that would be more factual. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before that happens. Also, a movie that doesn't use fictitious names would heighten the realism. There's a episode of FBI: The Untold Stories with Pernell Roberts that tells the story through narration and re-enactments. They use the real names, so I don't know why that couldn't be done in a movie version.