Reviews written by registered user
|67 reviews in total|
How many shows on TV, and especially "sitcoms", of the last 15-20 years can you consider as being actually funny but also well written and intelligent? Not many by my count: about only two, "Seinfeld" and "As Time Goes By." I watch this series over and over again and never tire of the characters or the stories. A great performance happens when you forget that these are all actors performing and begin to follow and listen to them as real people. Advice from Spencer Tracy "Never act" and this cast does just that. They are so natural and the chemistry amongst them is so perfect, that you forget that you're watching a TV show and feel like you're privy to people's personal lives. And the stories and writing are superb! Nothing that's done or said just for a cheap quick laugh or gag but something that not only amuses but stimulates your brain as well without being "brainy." "As Time goes By" deserves, if hasn't already received, some sort of an award or testimonial to its brilliance. ALL of the cast/writers/directors/producer deserve a "Royal" recognition of some kind for their lovingly approach to this wonderful show! A major and heartfelt thanks to Jean/Judi Dench & Lionel/Geoffrey Palmer for their performances!!!
I've watched this film several times now and actually, every time I watch it seems to get a little better each time. It's an original concept on the continuance of the Frankenstein myth with some added "modern" futuristic bends and twists that motivate the story along. One of the best thing about this film is John Hurt. This doesn't seem to be his type of movie yet he does very well in it. His voice, especially, is captivating and keeps your attention. He has the type of voice that very few actors these days can boast about in that it has personality and sonority in tone. Something akin to the voices of Colin Clive, Vincent Price and of course, Claude Rains. If they ever decide to do a serious biopic about Rains, I really hope that John Hurt is considered: he'd be perfect for the part! "Yes...I know. Made me from dead. I love dead...hate living." - The Monster in the original 1935 "Bride of Frankenstein"
GAWD! This is considered a "great" film??? WHY? It's almost as if Jerry Seinfeld had conceived this mess, i.e. "let's make a film about nothing!", except this doesn't have the cleverness nor the laughs that his TV series does. It comes across to me as completely self indulgent and actually narcissistic! A film made by those in it JUST so they could watch themselves on screen. And what's his name gives a far better performance as Bill Cosby's goofy neighbor on "Cosby" because he sure can't nor doesn't provide for any kind of performance in this piece of schlock! Don't waste your time on this "yada yada yada yada!" Better time spent watching a snowy screen on your TV!
I give it a "3" because it's still a good "time waster" but not at
current prices. It's really a shame that when Basil Rathbone was
playing Holmes, Universal Studios didn't give the series an "A" picture
budget and reduced the series to a "B" picture status. Unlike the first
two "Holmes-Watson" movies from 20th Cent. Fox in 1939, namely "Hound
of the Baskervilles" and "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."
This latest attempt is yet another modern example of tens of millions spent on special effects but not enough money spent on a good story or proper actors.
BTW, the ONLY other Holmes that ever met the standard of Rathbone's version was the BBC TV series that starred the late Jeremy Brett.
This one with Downey? Wait for it to come out on video or appear on cable: save your money.
Forget the atmospheric scenarios of the 1930's, '40's era films, the dark humor of James Whale as in the "Bride of Frankenstein" and forget the iconic image first created by Universal's Master make-up man Jack Pierce and brilliant interpretation of Karloff. This English version has none of the above. A shame considering the talents involved in this particular production: Peter Cushing as a non-sympathetic Baron (Dr.) Frankenstein as opposed to Colin Clive's and Christopher Lee as the "creature" as he's billed in this version as opposed to Karloff's billing as "The Monster - ?" in the 1931 version. The English version of the 50's, 60's and 70's depends more on gruesome visuals of dissections and a certain amount of sexual implications than on creepy castle towers, fog enshrouded graveyards and just that bit of black comedy so often found in the Universal versions, especially in "The Bride..." of 1935. This is not to say that this is not a worthwhile effort but do not expect too much. By comparison it fails against the much more recognizable Karloff-Chaney-Lugosi-Strange monster characterizations. A good time waster but I wish that Hammer Studios had not been in such a hurry to capitalize on the Frankenstein name and spent a little more time/money on a better screenplay. It's a coin toss as to whether or not to see this one.
Enough has already been said about the literary background of this
story, so I want to say some things about the production. First, the
billing of this film was promoted as yet another Karloff-Lugosi teaming
as in their much earlier outings for "The Black Cat" from 1934, "The
Raven" from 1935 and "The Invisible Ray" from 1937, not to mention
their extremely ideal pairing in "Son of Frankenstein" from 1939. I
know that when I first saw this picture as a typical Saturday afternoon
TV "creature feature" kid back in the 1960's, I was disappointed to
find out how little actual screen time Karloff and Lugosi had together.
I think that it was due to Val Lewton who wanted to make a more literal
"horror" film than just another Universal-type monster film and so
hence he didn't want to overplay Karloff and Lugosi together. But then
again Lugosi is virtually wasted in this otherwise highly atmospheric
and tense film based upon the actual historical events surrounding
grave robbing in early 19th Century Scotland and Burke & Hare.
Another part that I find lacking in this film is the fairly weak musical score. It doesn't evoke enough of the mood that is intended by all the ghoulish action. Again, I think this has to do with Mr. Lewton's avoidance of making a mirror image type film of the kind having been made at Universal just prior to this release. At Universal there was always a rousing score provided by Frank Skinner or Hans J. Salter for the likes of the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Frankenstein Monster or Dracula's Son. Nothing memorable as far as music for this picture and I think that's a shame given the story material. Fog enshrouded streets, graveyards and etc.
Henry Daniel is a sinister yet sympathetic character as Dr. McFarlane in that he helps a little girl regain the use of her legs and ability to walk again but then again deals with murdered victims in order to provide "specimens" for his students to study from.
Despite some of my negative findings, this picture is more than well worth your time viewing in that it presents a subject with great tension, mystery and fear and with a cast that you could never put together today if remaking this story. "Dig it up" at your local video rental!
This short, as with a lot of the shorts made with Shemp, is merely a remake or better yet retread of something that was done far better the first time. In the late forties and early fifties, Columbia was trying to "kill off" their shorts department but were still contractually obligated to produce shorts with the Stooges. That didn't mean that they were going to write new stories or gags or at least keep the production levels as high as they were previously with Curly. Hence why they resorted to just redoing a lot of the earlier "Curly" shorts now with Shemp and some of these bits are funnier with Curly because they were written specifically for his character and not Shemp. All of this does a disservice to Shemp's own abilities and unique comedy style. Columbia was SO cheap at this time that they even would just edit clips from the earlier Stooge's shorts into these later ones with Shemp. For example, the scene with the cook dealing with the crazy faucet at the sink and the stove turned into a sprinkling system is a direct edit from the original 1940 "A Plumbing We Will Go." This is not a bad short but just not as good as the original.
Another piece of low grade splatter and gore all in the order to do, what? I don't know. This entry into the Frankenstein saga is negligible to say the least. Andy Warhol's Frankenstein? I'm not surprised. It's as if Ed Wood, the grade "Z" director from the 1950's had obtained a larger budget but still ended up making nothing of merit. The story, in spots, is almost actually comical and sophomoric, much like a skit on SNL. The dialog, if you can call it that, is juvenile and totally silly. The "acting" far below the junior high school level. Care to take some time out of your life and watch this? Go ahead but don't say that I didn't warn you. I'll take no responsibility.
A piece of pure schlock to say the very least. The basic "story", if you can call it that, is pretty much a ripoff from the far better and much more intense "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" from the 1970's. This Zombie (Rob) film is nothing more than a feeble attempt to shock you into numbness, as is shown with most of the victims in this story. Dr. Satan? He or "it" appears more as some kind of alien creature or maybe an actual demon from the underworld. And there is no real attempt to explain or define what the motivation for all this butchery is. It just happens, one after another. It also leaves nothing to your imagination so that you dredge up in your mind what's happening as in the original "Texas Chainsaw." In this flop everything is right out there in the open, distorted camera shots as they may be. A waste of time. Avoid it like the plague!
At this point in the history of Hal Roach Studios, Mr. Roach wanted to progress beyond the "two reeler" concepts and begin to compete with MGM and the other large studios by making feature films exclusively. His main concept was to produce what he termed "streamlined" comedies which would run just about an hour or a little more. The purpose being that he could produce feature length films on a shoestring budget and therefore be more competitive with the large studios. Not a bad idea, in concept. With "Our Relations" Stan Laurel wanted to show that if Roach would allow them to spend more money on production, that he and Ollie could make "A" grade comedies instead of just the quicky type two-reelers. Stan produced this film and the next one to follow, "Way Out West", and it shows what he had been after for a very long time. "Our Relations" is a breezy, fast paced comedy that shows L&H not only capable of the 'ol slapstick bits but also most capable of handling situational comedy as the type Cary Grant and other similar stars were performing at this time. There's lots of original gags and lines in this film demonstrating the apt writing of one of the old masters by this time, Felix Adler, who also wrote for numerous Three Stooges shorts. In a way I'm saddened by this film because it was one of the very few times in L&H's careers that production values were not a concern and they obviously had absolute creative control over their performances. It's a shame that Hal Roach didn't appreciate them enough to keep them on past 1940 and continue with their logical progress toward even greater things. Had he done that, there would have been much more to enjoy from them and maybe they might have even given Abbott & Costello a real run for their money. Whatever the case, if you enjoy L&H, don't miss this one!
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