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Bless the Beasts & Children (1971)
Revenge of the Mummy
A lot of things are going on this film, which is done in a classic style.
First, at the time Billy Mummy had to live down his child roles as sort of a rich kid. Here, he gets his chance to play something different, and like the other actors, he is great. It's too bad he didn't have a better agent to get him better roles later. This film showed that he could have gone places, as could the other boys.
Second, the plot. What's important is the point of view here. We're looking at the point of view of six young boys in a camp who are abused by peers and authority figures alike. They have no where to turn.
Most of this is done in flashback. It works quite well. We never really know which of the six is going to be the "sacrifice" at the end, but we get that sense of foreboding. Only Mummy's character seems safe in that regard, as his character is the only one with marketable skills and resources (he can pick locks and hot wire vehicles, for example).
The boys identify with a herd of buffalo that are about to be slaughtered. We get this from their point of view, how the men who shoot the buffalo are creepy, and perhaps they are, but obviously this is also a point of view story.
We also get different levels of dealing with the reality, from the older boys to the youngest.
Third, what is important is their point of view. We see that done very well. We don't have to agree with them, and we know that just freeing the buffalo into the wild won't save them, but there's more at work here.
The boys are considered worthless, and need to show their value. They have to perform a feat, and freeing the buffalo from a slaughter is the feat they feel is needed. In this sense, there is a "magic" to the film. Very few films have this kind of "magic", and when we get this "magic", it is inspirational
Basic Instinct (1992)
Overkill on being a chick flick, nothing for the guys
This is the exact opposite of what we usually get from the usually stand out director Verhoeven.
Verhoeven has shown that he excels at black comedy and "in your face" humor to go with iconic imagery in "guy films".
Here, he goes astray to give the exact opposite, the total chick flick, as though he felt sorry for the "jealous woman" who needs to make a movie totally depressing to guys.
We get a story where the heroine is the plain Jane who still attains the affections of the guys. Total feminine fantasy. To add to the appeal to the "woman's rights" faction, the gorgeous babe is not only unprotected by the guys, but murdered with no response.
It's the most depressing movie possible to the heterosexual men. Of course, there are some men who are "whipped", and must pretend to like this, always afraid the "woman" is watching in this era when one might possibly always be doing that.
Inside the Mafia (1959)
Actually more credible than Godfather movies
There is a black and white feel to this film, and a McCarthy era style of American idealism in the fight against the mob.
That is lost today thanks to movies supported by the mob to make people think mobsters are demi gods, movies like the Godfather. And anyone who denies that is either a liar or a moron. The Godfather movies, the Scarface with Pacino, the Good fellow movies, all are backed by mobsters to let people know they are a superior species.
And it worked. The mob reigns supreme due to their mental hold over the ignorant masses.
Come back to the fifties, before Hollywood completely sold out, before Hollywood was totally run by the mob, and we get an actually more credible look at mobsters.
What this film gives us that the later films don't is "credible characters in incredible situations." Like many other fifties era mob movies (Suddenly comes to mind), it revolves around innocent Americans threatened by a trio of hoodlums. And here the trio is almost as super human as modern mobster movies. One is a super tough that man handles even the tall policeman who has the drop on him.
The reactions and emotions of the characters are what make this a better film than what one gets today. The "Lucky Luciano" figure is pretty obvious, and tricks the hoodlums who think they are upwardly mobile in a very believable way. We see it coming, but we also see how the trio of hoodlums led by Cameron Mitchell (who does a remarkable job in this role, tops anything Brando, DeNiro, or Pacino did later in mob roles), we can see how they are fooled into their actions.
There are reviews of this film that make no sense, because they are either made by insiders who think they are part of the mob family and want the mythology of demi god standards to sell to the public, or they are complete morons, bubble boys who have lived in cubicles instead of on the streets on in Nature.
At the same time, this film has a fault in trying to label the events as being totally accurate. They are dramatized as far as the "end of the mob" goes, but that's about the only fault. The rest is very well told, certainly more real than the stories written by mobsters for idiots who believe mobsters.
Not anyone can juggle
Not anybody can juggle, but jugglers don't realize how gifted they are.
I couldn't get the juggle, though I'm one of the lowest on the totem pole.
Marty really knows himself, though. He's not arrogant, really. He's a hard worker, and probably one of the very few 1% who made the grade the old fashioned hard way, through the ranks. He's one of the 1% who can actually say that he "paid his dues" to get on the IMDb list.
I remember when he attended Jefferson Community College in Louisville Kentucky, and was in a Lee Pennington play with him. There was a large cast, but he stood out as a man who lost his hand and followed an invisible glowing hand to get out of a collapsed mine.
Since then, everywhere you went, you could see him struggling at his craft. I saw him at U of L on the grounds, juggling for donations, at the Shakespeare in the Park, everywhere. Once, when I got out of the Air Force and met a girl at a strip club, I even saw him there. The strippers and I alone gave him the clap. Er, I mean applause. The other guys there were as creepy as one would imagine, but Mary Polio persevered.
This guy is a true role model. Not sure if his way works as well today, amid the spoiled brat generation, but I hope it does.
And if you can get the hang of juggling, it will be because someone like Marty helped you, and it will go a long way.
Funny Girl to Funny Lady (1975)
Not bad, but a bit dull
This isn't as big an ordeal as the Funny Girl movie, and not nearly as dull, but this comedy of every day life is still pretty boring for the most part.
There are more things for viewers to identify with, no matter where they live. It doesn't have the self righteous attitude of the first movie.
The jokes are pretty "main stay" and ever relevant. They apply as much in later times as they did then. They are few and far between, as the movie pretty much tries to show the dullness and tediousness of ordinary life, but that's also the problem.
It isn't a terrible movie, but even on the treadmill or elliptical, it seems long. There just isn't much use for this movie.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
Predictable, same old tripe, dated even when it was made
This bit of alleged suspense has zero suspense. It is so predictable that it isn't funny.
1948 was a bit early for this kind of tripe, but even then the neo Nazi propaganda machine of Hollywood was diligent in making sure the darker haired woman in any movie would get killed off. It got even more blatant later, particularly in the seventies when most viewers were so drug crazed, and today most of those who rate here are among those brain washed Nazi die hard dorks.
We know everything that will happen long before it happens, so it's just an ordeal for masochists and sadists to enjoy, and as we know, those human demons love to push their hatred down everyone else's throats, and they guffaw about it like the red necks they are.
Just another sick movie for sick devil worshipers.
What is wrong with this picture?
The first thing you would say, probably, if you watch this, is the question "What is it that makes this such a poor movie"? There are many minor answers, notably the over-zealousness to make fun of the Japanese people in the movie.
The main problem is the main character. Tony Curtis plays another of the same character Hollywood stuffs down our throats, the "superiority complex" guy who has to change. The character that only Hollywood people can relate to, and which keeps them out of touch with the world.
We have a story about American kids playing baseball against Japanese kids. Okay, except we have about the worst script imaginable. The actors and director do the best with what they have. The minor plot love affair of two kids is okay, considering the script for them is on the poor side, but it isn't anywhere near as boorish as the main plot.
There is positively no way to remotely care whether the bore that Curtis portrays changes or not. He's so superiority minded that he is a god, and no normal person could be that ignorant a god. Most would make mistakes, but none would be as arrogant and ignorant as this guy.
Sure, a few other characters on the side are okay, but this character is too dull a central character, and gets his way too often. He may as well be named "God".
The script is the main problem, and if the script is bad, the movie is bad.
A bit bland
Obviously, Burr is going to be remembered first as Perry Mason, and second as an insert into a Japanese monster movie.
Here, we see Burr in the later stage of his career, feeding off his fame, to do a series about a handicapped law man solving crimes in a more red neck way than he did as Perry.
Perry Mason was mostly about "atmosphere", and we don't get that here. Instead of the quiet room settings mingled with outdoor settings, usually away from the city in the Perry Mason series, here we get mostly city settings, which makes this dull and lifeless. City streets and motor vehicles are the worst thing possible in keeping an audience interested.
The characters were okay enough, but like the show, a bit lifeless.
When this show came out, I remember one high school teacher, familiar with the arts, claiming the entire concept of Burr in a wheelchair was made simply because Burr weighed too much, and couldn't stand for long shoots. This is probably just a bit of an exaggeration, but still it was a good idea to have a handicapped hero. This one solved crimes mostly on experience rather than deduction, I believe.
In all, it was very dull, though, and forgettable, but Burr provided a bit of fire from his wheel chair to keep it from being too boring.
Quantum Leap (1989)
Should have been better
A lot of better writers had such a science fiction scenario in mind long before this show about a man's spirit (or soul, or whatever you want to call it) being inserted into a past person's body in order to alter future events.
It's too bad that producers and publishers are deathly afraid of inspiration, talent, and creativity, because they simply have their hacks rewrite good scripts (which they reject from the original writers) into scripts with no life, no inspiration, no depth, nothing.
That is apparently what happened here. This show should have been much better. First of all, it was heavily inundated with neo-Nazi ideology, meaning any woman with dark hair would probably be exterminated in favor of a blonde woman being saved. Needless to say, this was loved by the female audience, but seen as depressing by males.
There is also the poorly explained bad science. The writers seemed to be on hallucinogenic drugs, because there was absolutely no format for the scenario. It was all just magic, and that would be okay if it was supposed to be magical and supernatural, but the writers made a huge mistake in trying to say it was scientific.
This is about as bad as it gets. Again, the woman will love it, but the man will hate it.
The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
Nothing to like
A man is on his honeymoon with an absolute knockout beauty heart throb, and he decides to divorce her because some more average looking woman tells him she has her spot on the beach.
There's nothing to like about this movie, and nothing to care for about this guy. It is hard to say whether this is as poor as THE GRADUATE, but this is pretty much the same movie. A control freak guy simply wants to make the world a worse place for as many people as he can.
I sat through it to review it, but that's the only reason to sit through it.
Eddie Albert provides the "star" attraction as the father of the average girl next door. His role is poorly written. For some reason, he goes off on a rant at a situation that most men would just laugh at. The Ben Stiller character asks for his blessing to divorce on a honeymoon with a knockout to marry the daughter.
This is "par" for the course for Stiller, though, who shows nothing, and who chooses the worst and dullest scripts one can imagine. The saddest thing is that so much money was wasted for something with zero inspiration and imagination, when there are real scripts out there with inspiration and imagination being passed over by self righteous maniacs like Stiller.