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Streetwise (1984)
heartbreaking, classic doc
3 October 2004
I find the comments here really interesting. I have always felt the filmmakers probably manipulated events (rather than outright scripting), and the kids

hammed it up in places for the cameras, still, that only added another fascinating element to this great film.

I have a book of photographs that went with the film. Alas, the tall lesbian girl was killed in a fight not long after the movie was finished. I also saw a "Nightline" show years later that followed up "Tiny" from the movie. Again, alas, She was a real mess.

Still, everything about this, staged in places or not, has a real ring of heartbreaking truth. Nine and a half out of ten.
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Masterpiece, ten out of ten
11 September 2004
A great film, works as a conventional thriller, but also has a great deal to say. Wonderful performances by the leads; the big mystery is why Roeg never did anything else that works like this. Don't expect the same old thing like the dim horror fans who dissed the classic. It's a gem no quite like anything else. The DVD looks great, too bad you don't get commentaries. TEN OUT OF TEN. With the great "McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Cristie shows herself as more than just the "hip" actress of the time, but one of the great stars ever.
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Doesn't Ape The First
10 August 2004
I like "Son Of Kong", but what's interesting about it is that it is basicly a comedy that lightly teases the first film. "King Kong" is so sinsere and heartfelt it is surprising to see the same people joking around with the concept. Still, they don't insult the audience for loving the first film and it works. See it if you get the chance. Well, that's all I had to say. But they tell me I must write ten lines. So. I'll go a little. Longer.
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slightly above the blood line
1 August 2004
The most interesting thing about this O.K. programer is the presence of Leina Goldina in the lead. She had a someone odd career, appearing in the lead in a Casavettes film, doing a bit of T.V. doing two Hammer films right in the middle of a ten hear lay off, then comming back in some big mid seventies films (small parts) and occasional appearences after that. I used to see ads for her acting workshop in the trades.
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Mirrors (1978)
Goodbye Kitty
21 July 2004
Wow. You know, I was led to a link to "Mirrors" because one of the actresses in it was also in "Manos, The Hands Of Fate(!)".

Yet, I SAW MIRRORS on the big screen at a preview screening at the now

closed "Corenet" theater in Evanston Ill. It was a dreary, depressing experience and when I stayed up years later to see it on late night T.V. I was every bit as depressed.

A hopeless, hapless horror film that is so badly made it is kind of

disorientating. Kitty Winn, who won early glory for "The Panic In Needle Park", said goodbye to movies after whatever happened making this lousy movie. If

you are in to the obscure and the truely awful, you might hunt down a video of Mirrors. Otherwise, just take an hit yourself in the head with a hammer while drunk on malt liquor for the same effect.
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Viy (1967)
terrificski
19 July 2004
Since I missed the showings other posters have mentioned, it took awhile for me to catch up with this on DVD. Nine and a half out of ten; a really wonderful horror fantasy. I would add only that the young preists harrowing experience

might well have inspired the Western horror novel and film "The Exorsist." I like this one, however, much better. This film is funny, scary, and visualy impressive. A real gem.
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The Guest (1963)
first rate theatre film
9 June 2004
This hard to find movie is now availible on an import DVD (with that "opened up" car scene) and it's worth seeking out. It's almost as good as the excellent

"Homecoming" film, and while Bates and Shaw shine, it is Donald Pleasance

who steals the show. How this great actor ended up in grade Z films at the end of his career must be a sort of tragic drama in itself. It's wild to remember this "kitchen sink" classic came out of England the year the Beatles took the world by storm. Those were the days.....
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Maverick (1994)
Terrible Movies of the OLD West...
17 May 2004
You will think this movie is funny, I suppose, if you couldn't get enough of "Love Boat" and "Three's Company." Utterly lame from start to finish, Donner is surely the worst of the worst in action comedy, and owe his fame to the kind of folks who kept the Bob Hope Specails going.

Vilmos Zingmond, one of the true heroes of American film, makes

everything look great. Randy Newman participates in something as venal and

crass as anything he ever made fun of with a satirical song. It's interesting to watch the utterly miscast Jodie Foster, though. As for Mel, he better hope the almighty is very forgiving when it comes to self-indulgent, stink bomb would be comedys. Great old already dead guys pop

up: Dub Taylor, James Colburn, Bert Remson.
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Empty Black
17 May 2004
This film was never around much at the time of it's release dispite some good word of mouth. It is pretty well brought off in every way, but leaves one feeling one has seen a rather more obvious version of Pinter with then trendy rock and an even more pronouced lack of point.

Sting holds his own surprisingly well with his classy co-stars.. It's Potter's heavy handed irony, admittedly popular, that just tires you out.
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Bombs in The Hood
9 May 2004
Well, we know there are a lot of Wayans brothers, they seem to have a lot of other relatives out there willing to write in and praise this stupid, ugly, would be send up of the black films of the ninties. 0 out of ten.

Those films may have been spoofable, and they did tend to be preachy and also explotive of the bad behavior they were pretending to condem; but are they really worthy of the hardfast, right wing contempt of this sub Mad Magazine "film making?"

I don't mind a little tit for tat; but this looks like the Hood as conceived by Rush Limbaugh, as it pretends to send up "Stereotypes." The terrible Elvis joke really sums things up... utterly unclever but a joke everyone will "get."

The last word in lame.
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Help! (1965)
Stuck in the Shadow of "Night" a classic in it's own right
5 April 2004
This film, suck in the shadow of the criticaly lauded (rightfully so) "A Hard Day's Night", is arguably just as good and maybe more important. Richard Lester's

stuck deep in Buster Keaton mode (the Beatles Digs seem an homage to "the

Electric House") and he never made his modernized version of Buster work

better. Though it lacks "Hard Day's Nights" quicksilver verbal wit; there are

excellent visual jokes to pick up the slack, and the Beatles acting, FAR from being bad, hits just the right tone of throwaway sillyness. The supporting cast are perfect. Of the seven Beatles songs, I would say three( "Help" "The NIght Before" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away") are A plus Beatles, setting the bar very high indeed. This style of comedy, as I suggested, had one foot in silent comedy and one in hip detachment; and if that works for you, "Help!" should prove timeless.
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One hundred percent boring
26 March 2004
This film is made in the slow style recalling some of the naturalistic elements of the new wave, or all the many moviemakers who have tried to copy such

filmmaking. The film is the story of a rather vapid, not very bright girl who shacks up with her high school boyfriend, an utter loser with no life. She then gets involved with some very low level criminals some of whom seem to be rather

decent sorts. Then, it's over. Films like this always seem to be searching, trying to find something to compel our interest. This movie fails totally. Some of the scenes feel improvised and the actors do O.K., but this is an uninteresting film about the uninteresting. So how did this get made? Well, star Shi Qi is truely a stunning beauty who seems like she could act at least a bit if ever given something to play. Beyond that, we have an artistic fraud here of the first order.
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She Lives! (1973 TV Movie)
Croce in a bottle
22 March 2004
The Seventies T.V. movie (A.B.C.'s "Movie Of The Week" here) left an

impression on many, from "Maybe I'll Come Home In The Spring" to the more

lightweight "But I Don't Want To Get Married", to the best known "Tribes."

This was an early "Cancer" movie before the subject would be done to

death. Probably remembered by most as the first time they heard the touching folk/pop of Jim Croce (If only HE had lived), these A.B.C. movies, in the tradition of shows like "Room 222", was T.V. jumping on the "Hip" train a little late(what the hell, some say the "sixties" were really 65 to 75. Lucy's troubled Son is not much of an actor, but otherwise this time capsule of a more hopeful time has it's heart in the right place, maybe it's head too.
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Camp it up at the Junction
9 March 2004
Though Fenn is very pretty, I'm a little surprised so many found this sexy,

even..well... GOOD. Too bad we have heard so little from this actually quite witty actress since "Twin Peaks."

That said, TMJ is great silly trash fest fun; with some real mind bending

cameos from once respectable stars. I remember I saw this with a friend after we read the synopsis in the paper, and I thought, "I have to see this". I was not disappointed. Burl Ives, who had been assumed dead(by me) for at least a

decade, was the capper. What would Rudolph say?

Highly recommended "so bad it's good."
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Do your homework, Soldier
29 February 2004
Sorry, but this cheesy T.V. movie was not the work of "Hollywood Liberals", far from it. Garwood, a fraud and con man, suckered the well meaning but foolish "Bring back The M.I.A.'s" movement, which cashed in on the vain hopes of many relatives of dead Vietnam soldiers. This T.V. movie was sold and promoted by those who had bought Garwood's tall tales because they included nonsense

about MIA's he had supposedly seen still alive after the war. Over the years he was fully discredited, but for years and years the "Liberal Media(Ha) ate this kind of nonsense up. See Susan Katz Keating's "Prisoners Of Hope" for the

whole sad, shameful story. Zero out of ten.
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It is racist and it stinks
7 February 2004
Maybe if you "turn off your brain" rather than brainwashing, you might enjoy this stinker. The cringe inducing race jokes are bad enough, what's more

unpleasant is how the heroes of the film are willing and happy to treat Mantan Moreland as an inferior. Moreland was no doubt a talented comic, but he can't do much with this ugly and fifth rate material. Beyond that, you get to see the movie producer from "The Bank Dick" and the strongman from "Freaks", but other than that this is only a reminder of the bad old days of race in America.
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The Devil Bat (1940)
Good natured horror spoof
31 January 2004
I don't know if the other people on the board were expecting Dracula 2, but this movie is funny; on purpose. Lacking the time and dough to make a good horror film, his bargain basement studio obviously decided to go for a send up. Yet

unlike so many such films, it's actually funny and a good time. One of Bela's most enjoyable ever, I give it an eight.
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American Playhouse: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1983)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
A cosmic case of the cutes
29 January 2004
Like most actors, Julia never got big enough to say no to crap; yet it is amazing to contemplate that "Overdrawn" was made the same year as "Kiss Of The Spider Woman"; which made him at least close to an A list actor. In any case, Julia's Bogie is enough to make Fred Travolina smirk.

From the forced, irrelevant pun of the title on (is having a "dopple" really designed to effect your "memory?", oh never mind) what makes "Overdrawn" not just a misguided failure but an object of scorn is it's makers clearly believed every "oh so precious" half baked idea was some breakthrough of vision.

Like another MST3K film "The Undead", Memory involves the saga of someone lying helpless while in some loosely defined demension fights to save himself from...something. Apparently they filmmakers had had another PBS film go better. Good for them. Do the pledge doaners of PBS know that not only is there money being spent on crap, but that the cheapskates are running up to Canada to avoid unions and deprive American workers of jobs?

One of the worst plot wrinkles in that ah, somehow, Fingle's problems begin when some school kids are allowed to come in and cause havoc in an area where people's brains are exposed. This may be what happened at PBS New York back in 85.
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Violated (1953)
7/10
Art Grind Hybrid, Find a Copy!
3 January 2004
This is a wonderful period piece with the feel of Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss"; made around the same time. Though clumsy in places, it's still more professional and better than "Kiss", and perhaps as interesting a visual walk through fifties New York City.

A homicidal photographer hunts down and kills women who reject him, until he is caught by a sweaty, working class cop. An interestingly progressive view of a maniac, the killer is a kind man caught in a compulsion he cannot control. Many of the actors seem to be real people playing themselves; though this is for the most part more effectively done than in many more "respectable" films.

When the stripper snaps "You make my skin crawl, you jerk!" it chills to the bone. New Yorkers may find many locations still recognizable, and you gotta love the big poodle. According to IMDB, no one here was ever involved in another

film but the producer, who went on to bring us the films of the notorious Andy Milligan. Too bad, much talent is on hand. Find a copy!
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A Horse Of A Strange Color
9 December 2003
Hewitt's "Gallery Of Horrors" is one of the great "so bad it's good" funny films, and his really stupid "Monsters Crash the Pajama Party" is inept but a lot less amusing. so the genuine qualities of "Wizard Of Mars" caught me off guard. It's video title "Horrors Of The Red Planet" is actually a lot better and more fitting. I hate to get into a fight here about the obvious merits of MST3K, who did not even do this movie, but it would have in fact been a bad choice for the show, as the film does have a strange, hypnotic effect that goes along with the clumsy flubs one expects from a Hewitt film. The film has a dream like quality, and it's strange story seems, yes, an interesting forerunner to "2001".

Three of Hewitt's "Gallery Of Horrors" stars (Carridine, Roger Gentry, and Vic McGee) are back. McGee does the best work of his career, even toping his

sleazy ganster in Ed Wood's "Sinister Urge." Opps, there I go. Actually, Vic McGee is a terrible actor who appeared in a handful of grade Z films, but his work here is somehow moving. See, this movie just won't let you make fun of it. I don't know if the actress is overdubbing her own voice, but they should have found a better one to use(the whole movie is overdubbed). In any case, see this film. It's right up there with "Creation Of The Humanoids" in the strange department.
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Great Apocalyptic Bargain Basement Noir
24 August 2003
It may have helped that I stumbled on this by complete accident, but

this is the end of the world on a Coleman Fransis budget and it works

fine.

The story is taut and surprising; I liked the way the horrible

authority figure can never quite be dismissed, he might just save all

there lives. The ironies packed into its 72 minutes are all handled with

a light touch.

The cast seems inexperienced but mostly do just fine. Mike Green

would go on to play the boss in Albert Brook's great meltdown scene in

"Lost In America." Few know about this film, see it if you can. It stands nicely

along side "Miracle Mile." I wonder if history will ever make these

movies obsolete?
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It's a Bird (1930)
Amazing
24 August 2003
From what one can piece together on IMDB, the real talent behind this film is star Charley Bowers, who wrote and directed many early films using stop motion animation, very early on in the life of the movies. From the summary, you only get a slice of "It's A Bird" on the Johnny Legend Weird Cartoon tapes (the longer slice being on Vol II).

What is here, however, is strange and facinating, and suggests Bowers is a real forgotten man in the history of movie fantasy. See whatever version you can.
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Frosty (1965)
Both versions GREAT
5 August 2003
I think I can solve this. I saw this first on MST3K, loved the way they

heaped abuse on it, one of the funniest shows ever.

This got me so into the movie that I bought the DVD, a really

beautiful package with the history of the movie and interveiw with the

star. Also, when you see the beautiful photography you can see how this

became an enchanting classic for many around the world. It's really

quite stunning. It really makes me want to see some of the other

Russian epics abused by MST3k, like "The Day The Earth Froze." Anyway,

if you have any taste for the unusual, this DVD is highly reccomended.
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the best film of the year
1 August 2003
Given Bob Dylan's other clumsy steps into the film world, I was prepared

to skip this but went when some of the reviews were good.

So glad I did, for this, while far from perfect, is a funny,

offbeat, relevant socail satire. And yes, if you're a Dylan fan, you may

find it moving as hell. Bob is excellent as the island of sanity in a

world gone mad; just like us fans have always seen him.

Not all of this works, and the star cameos get to be a bit

much. But a lot of the actors do the best work they have done in years

(even Mickey Rouke is brillent!) and it just sort of bums you out how

wasted they mostly are by our half butted cinema. Jeff Bridges and John

Goodman are great, though it's hard to get used to them in such

unlikeable roles.

Clumsy, funny, sharp, and touching. Give it a fair chance.
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Primary (1960)
A whole other world
19 July 2003
I would jump at the chance to see this one of kind look at American

Politics at the crossroads. Before the media age had turned political

campaigns into impersonal commercials, even the stars (in this case,

Kennedy and Humphrey) had to go out and press the flesh, hard.

While Kennedy is slicker and seems to have the more organized

machine behind him, he is still a saint of apprachability compared to

today's most folksie candidate. That's just how it was done before T.V.

had compleatly eaten us alive.

Some of the stuff with the affable, tireless Humphrey is

particuairly memorable. Speaking to a bunch of stone faced Wisconson

Farmers, his giddy style takes on a real comic poniency, he's like a

comic trying to loosen up Ed Gein.

Yet, you get from both candidates, yes, corny as it may sound,

they actually give a curse about the people they are talking to. If you

think that has all but vanished, as I do, you may find this film as

striking as I do. Some of the camera crew went on to "Don't Look Back"

and "Gimmie Shelter". 8 out of 10.
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