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The Bishop's Wife (1947)
The best of the best
I have a list of 10 movies I keep. If I was asked to discard all but ten, "the Bishop's Wife" would be at the top of this 'keeper' list. This movie is one of those special films which you appreciate more and more each time you see it.
Superb casting with Cary Grant as the 'angel' sent from heaven to help the Bishop, David Niven, to make a crucial decision, and Loretta Young as "the Bishops Wife" ( What a doll !! )ina a superb supporting role. Excellent supporting performances are added by Monty Wooley ( the professor ) and veteran character actor James Gleason in the role of a philanthropic cab driver who is just happy to have Cary and Loretta as passengers for their 'uniqueness'.
The main plot shows Grant TRYING to be a faithful assistant to a Bishop who is insecure at the very least about many aspects of his life. There is some of the greatest writing accomplished of ANY film ever made in Hollywood in this film. If you never see another movie in your life PLEASE see this one. It will even change your perspective on "mankind". I "ALWAYS" thoroughly enjoy it. You should too.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
My All Time Favorite
Some years back I saw this movie for sale on DVD and made the purchase blindly. If I could only pick stocks this way ! Having seen literally thousands of movies in my lifetime this is THE absolute best.
The actors chosen for each part were a perfect fit. The scenery presented on location is breath taking. The story line is great and the music is chilling. The track for this movie transports you to that time as though YOU are there experiencing this all yourself.
Wes Studi does an excellent portrayal of the villain ( we were both in Viet Nam serving in the same Army unit then ).
It is appreciated by me personally how the movie depicts with great accuracy how it took great survival skills just to live another day. Bear this in mind as you watch the film. It will give you as a viewer some idea of the hardships Americas pioneers faced and we can only imagine. I watch this film periodically and urge you to get for your collection a world class film.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
Ain't it awful
I saw the remake of Oceans 11 some 3 years ago. Upon viewing the somewhat poorly written remake I thought to myself that this could not be any worse if they tried. Guess what ? They did an Oceans 12 !! I always try to watch a movie with an open mind and a positive attitude. About half way through the movie my attitude was no longer positive. For some reason the writers and producers of this group figured they had enough substance to do a sequel. WRONG !! Most of the characters are NOT likable. They try to make it interesting by constantly changing countries. They try to make it interesting with a plot that might be hard for most to follow. George Kloony and Brad Pitt are in the mix again to try and make things slick and flamboyant. No help. Matt Damen makes it worse with his character. The supporting cast has NO likable characters either. If you can see this at a friends house that is fine, but DON'T waste your money on this one folks. I doubt it did well at the box office for that matter. PLEASE, don't make a 13 !!
Party Wire (1935)
This 1935 classic has got to be the most pleasant entertainment surprise of my experience in quite sometime. The two lead characters are people you could like. Jean Arthur portrays a small town bank clerk. Victor Jory is the hometown success story who returns to his little 'burg' and falls in love with the 'girl he left behind. Thing is that when he left neither he nor her knew he left her behind till he returned home. This is actually the side story. The main story is about nosy, gossiping Americans back in the day when phone communication had a party line. More than one person could use them at the same time to listen in on conversations of others. The other point of the story is how small minds can function in small towns ( it even takes place in big towns too )and ruin people that the small minds take their aim at. A great story line written well / acted well. Definitely worth your time.
Well written / good actors
The very successful and highly acclaimed series which first aired on TV in 1962. It's main star, Vic Morrow, plays the part of Sgt. Chip Saunders. The other main character, Lt. Hanley, is played by Rick Jason. The Saunders character is somewhat unbelievable in his constant devotion to duty under ALL conditions. The Hanley character is cast a little more believable in that although he is more a "rules" type, like all officers are, he shows a more HUMAN side than Saunders. What really was the success of this series was the involvement of the human kind in various combat conditions and situations. Watching the tactics apllied by both the allies and the Germans is rather ridiculous. It seemed that the Americans were out manuvering the Germans for some reason and Saunders was always sticking out his squads "NECK" by taking unnecessary risks. As a combat veteran myself I would have questioned these leaders tactics as borderline suicide or just plain idiocy although one really sleeps with the other.
The show was really about humanity and drama which was aptly displayed. They must have been doing things right or people would not have tuned in every season from 1962 to 1967. My own observation is that when they changed over to color filming 2 things happened. The tactics became more unbelievable and the missions as well.
Strangely enough both the lead characters died untimely deaths.
The Trigger Effect (1996)
Hoo boy !!
I know this is not a new movie, but, I saw this for the first time last night. It seemed to start out with a little interest to the plot. A young couple with an infant child in suburbia. Nice house and a Volvo if I am not mistaken. Seems the husband has an ego problem and keeps stepping in front of black people in lines. Has a friend in construction ( Mulroney ) who may have been Liz Shue's squeeze at one time.
In a drinking around the fireplace session Shue and Mulroney head to the kitchen. After some verbal exchange and long looks they kiss. Hubby walks in late and just misses the "action" between his bud and his old lady ( awww ). Not people of substance, I would gather.
In this "film" there is a blackout, looting, the pro's and con's of firearm ownership, disrespect/respect amongst the races, a shootout and a burglary. I'm sure ( Shue ? ) I've omitted a few things but this thing is all over the place. If there is one solid message to it from the director it would be to NOT waste 2 hours of your life watching this "piece".I do feel quite generous in giving this story a "2" on the voting scale.
Laughing Gravy (1930)
your face will hurt from laughing
Stan and Ollie live in a rooming house. The room is located on the 2nd floor. The night is cold and snowy. Having a mean landlord is not a plus. Stan and Ollie find a mut in the freezing cold of winter. Being humanitarians and virtuous Stan and Ollie have to engineer a way to get the dog ( Laughing Gravy ) up to the nice, warm room. Try as they may they just can't seem to find a way to get the poor pooch up to the room. Many attempts are made. The last one succeeds much to their relief. Granted the dog does get taken upstairs with some success. That is just half the boys problem. The fact that the landlord has a double barreled shot gun is the other. You have to see what is CLASSIC old time comedy at it's best. This is performed never better than by the grand masters of comedy, Laurel and Hardy. See this movie if you can. Better, buy it if you can ( it is currently out of print ). The laugh will be on YOU to enjoy again and again.
Fast and Loose (1939)
for a 40's mystery - it's a 10
"Fast and Loose" is a pleasant surprise. It is a well written who done it. I like the character portrayed by Robert Montgomery a part time investigator named Sloan. The role of Sloans wife is aptly played by Rosalind Russell who ' helps' her husband in his case solving endeavors. The cast is full of veteran character actors such as the venerable Ian Wolfe who can be seen in some Rathbone / Bruce type Sherlock Holmes films of the '40's. The fact that this mystery movie was written well enough to keep you guessing till the very end adds to it's charm. The setting of social muckity - mucks adds a nice flavor to the film also. In 1939, when this film was released, many landmark films crossed the silver screen. That same year Tyrone Power made an appearance as Zorro. Rathbone and Bruce started the Holmes series. As for classic mystery movies I think "Fast and Loose" was made in the right year. The film is not available on DVD, yet. It may never be. If I see it aired on TV again I WILL copy it for my archives. It is worth seeing again.
Ace of Aces (1933)
a well made film
Considering the era it was made this film was very well made. Of all the fluff that came out of Hollywood I'm sure this was a pleasant change of pace for moviegoers of the day and is still worth watching some 70 + years later.
War and especially combat change a man and usually not for the better for a long time if not for life. This movie went into the dark corners of these human transformations. Great acting, writing, and directing was put into this effort.
Richard Dix was well chosen for the lead of this film as the role called for a tough character in this lead role of fighter pilot ace. Although Mr. Dix is not as well known in film history as Gable or Bogart he was very popular back in the 30's and 40's and a leading man. His untimely death at age 56 shortened a great career. If you get the chance to see this movie, please seize the opportunity to view some real Hollywood history.
The Dead Pool (1988)
Great Callahagn Swan Son
Saw "Dirty Harry originally" with my Dad in '71 at the show. It was a benchmark cop film ahead of it's time. "Dead Pool" being Eastwoods last effort to play the 'inspector of steel' was a good way to close out the character "Harry". Plenty of shooting, slimy , despicable people, and an unusual story line. Thought Inspector Quan was a good addition to the film.
Although none of the films which followed the original "Harry"could match the story line, I would have to say this closed out the series strongest. Patricia Clarkson was a good casting choice to be Harry's eventual " interest '. If you like Harry and want his best DVD's get the 1st and last.