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4/10
Face it, many blemishes in this tragic story
14 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I had problem with a constant runny nose when I was in college. I was recommended to see a Doctor in the town of Glen Head, NY. He was very engaging, well read, classy and soft spoken and I believed in him . The trouble was his medications never worked. Despite all those visits my nose and sinus problems persisted. At first instant relief but then side effects would take over. No quick fixes here. I caught this movie The face of Terror on Chiller back in the late 1970's as Actor Fernando Rey who plays the Kindly, debonair Plastic surgeon Charles Taylor. He reminded me of actor Yves Montand. He reminded me of that aforementioned Doctor who tried procedure that failed. The good Doctor Taylor drives, to of all places, a mental institution where you see a woman (face obstructed) doing some gardening. The Doctor meets with other men in the medical profession in a board room. The first thing you notice is that some of the Doctors voices didn't match as the dubbing department was deficient. Dr. Taylor was promoting a new technique in plastic surgery. The medical board rejected his proposals due to financial rights on their part. Dejected, the Doctor leaves the grounds with a stow-away in the back seat of his car. The stow- away, you guessed it, the woman gardener with the hidden face. Upon his arrival at his stately home /laboratory, the woman shows her self and the horrible face scarred from an earlier explosion. Dr. Taylor at first was questioning how this woman knows about his work and second where did she come from. Upset and overly emotional the woman pleaded and said she'd do anything to feel normal again. I was taking by the fine acting on the part of our female lead Norma(Lisa Gaye) she was so plausible I actually believed she was really scarred. She even threatened suicide. The Doctor complies and performs the operation alone hiding his patient from his fiance. The big day comes to remove the bandages. The operation was successful as our patient is extremely beautiful. Everything is not perfect as the Doctor notices that the facial compound is drying to fast. He shares this with Norma as she must applies the lubricant or her face daily or the original facial scars will return. The Doctor notices her clothing which was marked for mental patients. Awestruck and concerned Dr. Taylor is ready to call the authorities when Norma clubs him over the head rendering him unconscious. She takes the lubricant, his money from his wallet, steals the car and heads off to the city to buy clothes and start a new life. This sets up our story of deception and murder. The movie at this point becomes a detective story. Question? Does this genre fall under horror, science fiction or Drama? I guess the scared face of our leading lady puts this movie under science fiction. The police had many opportunities to wrap this case up but it was Norma's beauty that milked the story. Despite Norma's compulsive nature I felt empathy for her throughout the movie . All she wanted was a second chance in life. I totally impressed with actress Lisa Gaye's beauty and wondered about her other acting performances. She appeared in mostly 1960's dramas . Perry Mason, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip to name a few. Also appeared in westerns. She retired from acting in 1970 to raise her daughter. This movie did hold my interest but wasn't the kind of movie for Chiller theater watchers.
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3/10
Art imitates Life? A Nice Jewish Girl can become a Wasp!
10 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Working long hours and no family life plus lack of female companionship I slowly became addicted to drugs. Cocaine was the drug of the neighborhood and I fell into that world of dependency. Cocaine gave me focus and energy and that priceless feeling of euphoria. I personally loved the feeling of happiness the drug provided. Casual use became a weekend thing as I would spend all night using the drug. With extensive use the dark side took over as it effected my business and health. A tough problem to climb out of the addiction. Talking about addiction, I was watching this low budget movie called The Wasp Woman starring Susan Cabot . Cabot plays Janice Starlin a female head executive of a New York based cosmetic's company . Groundbreaking for that time shortly before Woman's Liberation movement and Gloria Steinem. A budding scientist Eric Winthrop (Michael Mark) taking an extract (enzyme from a wasp's Queen) in hopes of a fountain of youth result.. Meanwhile Janice watches her sales drop as her middle age begins to show. Boardrooms filled with 1950's Sci fi regulars fill out the table. Notably actor Roy Gordon and William Roerick. Frank Gerstle also appears in the film. The board realizes that Janice is the face of the company but with her hair in a bun and funky glasses make her look more like an old maid despite the youthful looking neck. Costume Department could have added a double chin effect. Janice begs Winthrop to go ahead with the experiment. He agrees to use her as a test guinea pig in an attempt to reverse her aging process. Janice believes that a younger more attractive owner of a cosmetics company can generate her sales. Janice pours all her money in this anti aging process. At first little happens so Janice injects more serum into her body and we see a younger more attractive owner. The line she uses constantly with associates and clients is " How old do I look?" She starts to be obsessed with the drug and injects more resembling a heroin or opium addict. With drugs their are side effects and deadly consequences. As for Corman's choice of a musical background was at best comical using a xylophone. This instrument gave the movie a feeling you were watching a situation comedy rather than a science fiction thriller. Spoilers here.. I was very disappointing witnessing a woman wearing a sub standard monster costume which resembled a black queen bee mask. My initial reaction was laughter as it was more on the cute side rather than the horror shock effect the film's director intended. As for my title . Art imitates life Susan Cabot in my opinion had quite an interesting life. Born Harriet Pearl Shapiro in Boston, Ma. Harriet was orphaned at an early age. That resulted in growing up in eight different foster homes. When she reached her teens she moved to to New York's Greenwich Village to pursue an acting and singing career. In her spare time she loved to paint and supported herself singing in Greenwich Village clubs where she was discovered. Then off to Hollywood where she starred mostly in B-Western films. A few failed marriages and almost Married the King of Jordan but the engagement ended when the King learned that she is of the Jewish faith. In the late 1960's Susan married Michael Roman and they produced a son Timothy. Susan started to dabble in anti -aging hormone injections which she also abused resulting in mood swings and depression . She became paranoid and collected stray cats. Her husband left the feline filled home which left the two alone in the squalor. The side effects of the hormone drugs made Susan mentally abuse her son constantly. One day Timothy mentally tormented by his Mom, took matters into his own hands and brutally murdered her with his barbells. Just a tragic end. Now their is a better story to be told. Sadly a movie about her life has never been made.
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5/10
Can we eradicate hatred, racism and bullying?
4 October 2019
I remember my own high school prom back in 1975. I rented a tuxedo and put down a balance on a limousine. It was night to remember but with a month and a half to go it was not to be. I was dumped and alone with deposits that were non-refundable. Trivial by comparison as we shift to this documentary of a different nature. Distinguished veteran actor Morgan Freeman narrates this experiment in reintegration. Freeman has an idea to subsidize a high prom in his home town of Charleston, Mississippi where the black population is the vast majority. Interviews by students of both races are downright fascinating. The vitriol hatred from the white parents seems to be the cause to this on-going segregation. Narrator Freeman exclaims that, "One thing that surprised me most was that they have separate proms and separate homecoming queens -one white, one black. How stupid can that be?" This was not Freeman's first attempt at bringing the students of Charleston together. The school board after much consideration agreed to go ahead with the plan in revising it's racial policies and have the integrated prom. The documentary chronologically interviews white students, black students, black and white couples expressing their feelings and ridicule by their peers in anticipation of that special evening. I personally felt I was watching something out of the nineteenth century, post civil war south with the racial comments made. With all the modern conveniences and inventions mankind has produced racial prejudice remains to be stagnate. Were all human being here , Black, Brown, Yellow, White. Thought provoking I only wonder what's next. Gay's only proms? Transgender only proms?
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Everybody Loves Raymond: Big Shots (1999)
Season 3, Episode 19
4/10
In 1969 everything was possible. In 1999 nothing is possible.
3 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The summer of 1969 I look back with tremendous fondness. I have nothing but wonderful memories of that faithful summer. For the first time in four summers I was finally home in Elmont,New York due to the fact that previously I attended sleep-away camps in Pennsylvania and the Catskill Mountains. This summer I attended WMHA day camp. Met new friends and went on countless field trips. The perks outweighed those sleep-away days. At the end of each day I was back in my own bed in my own home safe and stress free. I also had weekends off and went to some memorable Mets games with my family. On other fronts, Woodstock gathered thousands to make an anti-war statement. Man landed on the Moon and most importantly My lovable losers, New York's National league baseball team, those Amazing Mets were in a pennant race for the first time in their eight year history. Things that weren't possible became possible. The outcomes were successful. Man traveled and landed safely on the Moon and returned. The Mets won the World Series and I was off to a new school with high hopes of the future. Will I become a major league ballplayer? Will I find my dream girl? It was an exciting time for me. Fast forward to an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Older Brother Robert played by Brad Garrett learns that the Baseball hall of Fame is honoring the Miracle Mets team of 1969. Most of the ballplayers from that team will be there. Robert being a huge Met fan even names his dog Shamsky in tribute to former outfielder and Met Art Shamsky. Robert's brother Raymond (Ray Romano) is a sportswriter for Newsday. Robert really wants to go but Raymond doesn't want to drive the four plus hours in a car with his brother's smelly feet. Being Prodded, no, demanded by their domineering Mom Marie (Doris Roberts) orders Ray to do something with his bother. The boys travel to Cooperstown to see their heroes. When Ray and Robert arrive the line is three hours long. But Ray, being a sportswriter figures he can cut the line. Hostile fans on line are not buying his arrogance. Run ins with the guard and a brush off with Mets Pitcher Tug McGraw are failed. Ray and Robert's quest ends in failure. Later a run in with a traffic cop also ends in failure as Robert being a NYPD officer shows his badge hoping to avoid a speeding ticket. I am not personally a fan of this sit-com . I was never a Ray Romano enthusiast. I found him dry and colorless, borderline nerdy. The supporting cast does carry the weight of the show. Boisterous Frank Barone , Rays father is played by Peter Boyle. Marie, Ray's mom, shows a dominance over her sons and her daughter-in -law Debra played by Patricia Heaton. Heaton plays the consummate housewife always demeaning Ray who is torn between his Mom and Wife decisions. I empathize with Ray's dilemma having three sisters. The Robert character,( the oldest of the Brother's), felt neglected as Ray was Mom's favorite. Supporting player's efforts did carry the show and a nine year successful run. It was great to see most of my Mets heroes on that particular program remembering that wonderful year but as time goes by the ebbs and flows of success and failures balance out during my physical time on this earth. So when you have that wonderful memory hold it tightly in your conscience and savor it forever. A feel good episode from a show I ordinarily wouldn't watch.
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4/10
Your in good hands with Orloff.
10 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Many years ago I took my wife and child to Disneyworld. One of the popular events that takes place at the park is the Character Dinners featuring famous figures from the Disney motion picture series. My daughter chose the Beauty and the Beast themed dinner. We had a tough time wheedling my three year old past the restaurant entrance. Standing at the doorway was the seven foot giant Beast. He looked hideous but I knew it was probably some basketball player working his way through college inside that furry costume. The Human Monster or Dark Eyes of London on surface has that eerie feeling. Filmed in black and white our story takes place in an indigent home for the blind The Dearborn home for the blind supervised by Professor Dearborn who is also has the same affliction.. Meanwhile Dr. Orloff (Bela Lugosi), runs a life insurance agency where he loans money to his customers policies. Scotland Yard gets wind of mysterious deaths being found in the muddy Thames river. All these bodies are found and connected to Orloff's policies. Moreover the Dearborn Home are the sole beneficiary to these deaths. If that wasn't enough, Orloff sponsors and serves as the chief home's medical adviser. The grey and dilapidated warehouse surroundings and sets give a depressing feel to the film. What really grabs your attention is Orloffs henchman Jake (Wilfred Walter), who looks like a cross between Frankenstein and a deformed gorilla. His homely appearance rivals Quasimodo or the Elephant man. Jake unfortunately carries out, (under the direction from the evil Dr. Orloff) the constant manslaughter as he strangles and throws the bodies into the muddy waters below. When Jake isn't providing any carnage he sits and comforts his dear bed ridden friend Lou who is blind and mute.Jake and Lou communicate by sign language. Placing hand signals into each others palms. Very touching scenes which softens the horror figuratively and spiritually showing a tender side to the monstrous Jake. One of the dead bodies found by police is connected to a woman named Diane (Greta Gynt) as she finds her deceased Dad's cuff links at the home. The story get more intriguing with a surprise witness and false identities . I was totally impressed with Bela Lugosi playing the avaricious Doctor. What threw me for a curve was the identity of Professor Dearborn. I was sure it was Boris Karloff but instead it was the voice of O.B. Clarence. In my opinion this was Lugosi's finest performance.As for the beast at Disneyworld, he did provide hugs for my wife and yours truly. My daughter scurried down the corridor heading for the elevator.
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Ghost (1990)
5/10
Have a nice life. Have a nice death.
9 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was walking across a busy Manhattan street when a woman in a tank top and jeans comes up to me and yells my name. She insisted she knows me and in repetition she announces my name over and over . What does this crazy woman want ? For the life of me I couldn't recognize her. The persistence continued as she started to name members of my family and my parent's home address. Who is this person? I never felt so vulnerable. I guess that's how celebrities feel when fans approach them. The woman in question was dead on correct in her claims but I still was dumbfounded, puzzled to her connection with me. The movie "Ghost" deals with the afterlife, murder and a touching love story of a different kind. Banker Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) stumbles upon a bank account with a huge sum attached. Sam confide in his discovery to his co-worker Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn). That evening Sam and his artistic live in girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) are walking a deserted downtown street after seeing an off-Broadway play. Oblivious to their surrounding, Sam is shot and killed by a mugger , (who also steals Sam's wallet), as a horrified Molly leans over Sam's dead body. Meanwhile the metamorphosis of afterlife take place as a stream of light appears before newly deceased Sam. Sam ignores heavens call and remains along side Molly. Dead and frustrated Sam sees that his love Molly is now in danger as our murderer comes back to Molly's loft. Sam follows our scoundrel back to his Brooklyn flat. Sam stumbles upon a fortune teller business featuring to sisters and their clairvoyant Oda Mae Brown (Whoppie Goldberg). During one of Ms. Brown's sessions Sam interrupts as he gives his take on her disingenuous ways. Oda yells , "Who said that?" Oda apparently can hear every word Sam says even though she can't see him. Sam spends the rest of the time coaxing Oda to be a go between so he cane warn Molly of the impending danger of the murderous Willie Lopez (Rick Aviles). The early stages of the film focus on the frustration of Sam not being able to move objects and speak to people. Oda as the interpreter give some comic relief during the entire film. Great music score featuring the sounds of "The Righteous Brothers". Some notable performances by renown character actor with distinguished features Vincent Schiavelli constantly kicking Sam off his subway train. Great special effects showing the anomaly of the after life as Sam gets a lesson from our disgruntled Vincent. Nice twisting plot which takes you to a peaceful ending. The connection between this movie and my non recognizable person reminded me of Oda Mae trying to convince girlfriend Molly that she is actually in contact with her dead lover Sam. Molly is skeptical like I was telling her to leave. After a few minute It became clear to me who this woman was and it was my Father's personal nurse Angela. As the movie Ghost unfolded it became clear, this was quite a movie.
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4/10
Commercial vehicle for Raft and Bogart Movie shifts from road to courtroom.
29 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was offered a job as a dish washer in a small establishment during my second year of college. I was promised to be paid the following Thursday. Thursday came and the boss said, "I haven't got it." Boldly adding, I need you to come in early Saturday evening around six." I was stunned, appalled. What audacity this employer has . Timidly I said I'll be there. Saturday evening came and the dishes were piled up to the ceiling but yours truly was up to the challenge. The shift went swiftly as the clock was approaching midnight. My legs were buckling and despite the Playtex gloves my hands were pruning. In the back of my mind wondering if all this labor will manifest into a belated paycheck? I caught this 1940's classic film ,"They Drive By Night" on the late show. My first encounter with Hollywood tough guy George Raft. This pre- World War II film taking place on the west coast California back roads . Two truckers The Fabrini brothers Joe the older (George Raft) and his younger brother Paul (Humphrey Bogart) hauling loads for a corrupt boss. In addition they owe money to a persistent lone shark on their truck. Our third member of the film is the defiant and sexually harassed (Verbally by customers) waitress, Cassie played by Ann Sheridan. Cassie and Joe take a liking for each other as they reunite as Cassie is found hitchhiking on the road and the Fabrini's take her aboard their rig. Cassie tells the boys that she quits her job at the roadside Diner. This film shows the hardships of driving great distances and the obstacles of sleep deprivation and crooked dispatchers refusing to pay for their loads. In our story the brothers are delinquent in their truck payments. Joe has a run in with some individual in a market as witness by trucking company executive Ed Carlson (Alan Hale). Ed is impressed and calls Joe up to his office . When Joe enters the office he see Ed's wife Lana (Ida Lupino) sitting on the desk. Joe and Lana had a history as Joe lost interest in this vixen not returning her advances . Especially now when her clueless husband has no idea that she is disgusted and married Ed for his money. Ed offers Joe a position in his company. Joe declines and wants to stay independent. Ed gives Joe a tip on a big score delivering lemons. Joe gets payed handsomely and pays off his truck to Farnsworth a meek bespectacled character played by Charles Halton. On the way back Paul is at the wheel but falls asleep and an accident occurs as Paul loses an arm and their truck is destroyed. Joe is forced to return to Ed for a job. Lana sees her opportunity to try to win her affections toward Joe. Lana makes Joe Traffic manager. When Lana finds out that Joe wants to marry Cassie this film shifts into another story of jealousy, murder and ending up as a courtroom drama. Bogart played his part well as a supporting actor never upstaging Raft. Ida Lupino showed her depth as the domineering no nonsense wife . Ann Sheridan and George Raft worked well exchanging dialogue. For fans of the 1950's Television show The Adventures of Superman , defense attorney John Hamilton does a fine job defending. As for my job as a dishwasher, I never got paid but I did go their for free lunch throughout the remainder of the semester.
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The Morning After (1974 TV Movie)
5/10
If your looking for Rob Petrie you got off at the wrong stop.
20 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I, personally was hooked on drugs in the 1980's. Addiction of any kind can be hazardous to your health. An addict has one thing on it's mind. The next high or fix. Anything to capture that feeling of euphoria whether the bottle or needle, snort or smoke. But then it manifests into other areas. . It starts to effect everything around you. How you interact with people. Irritability leads to more fixes and highs. Then the addiction overtakes your conscience. The only reason for getting up in the morning is the next high. At some point of our addiction your job performance and family and loved ones suffer. Neglect and verbal/physical abuse are the residue of the problem.. This made for television movie gives the viewer a powerful look at the down hill slide of of Charlie Lester. Played to perfection by real life ex-alcoholic Dick Van Dyke. Growing up the tall lanky lovable Van Dyke was known for his comedy on TV. Most fans of Dick Van Dyke attribute his success on TV and screen due to the fact that the camera loves him. Van Dyke photographs well in addition to his mellifluous voice. In this film you see the darker side . Van Dyke who lives in his beautiful southern California home is sipping wine as guest come over. At evening end his wife (Lynn Carlin) is telling him that their friends were embarrassed by his drunken behavior. This carries over to his job as Charlie spends to long in an airport bar and comes to business meetings hung over. The downhill spiral continues for Charlie as physical abuse and rehab show no improvement. Just a powerful sobering look into the world of an alcoholic. Dick Van Dyke who at the time was fighting his own personal demons with alcoholism give his performance of a life time. The Title song "Yesterday" Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney was about a Man who's love has left him and he wants everything the way it was before. Charlie Lester yearned for those days without addiction. Now that drugs are behind me, other personal gremlins pop up. To this day I battle with my weight seeking the holiest of grail's not making food so important. I also yearn for Yesterday..
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6/10
A lifetime of romance.Withstanding !
22 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Through my life I've had my relationships with various woman. There is nothing that can compare with the first crush in a person's life. Laury was in my opinion this vision of loveliness. As I stated in another review she sat in front of me in seventh grade science class where we would pass notes about seeing each other. I did ask her out on at date but her Father interceded by saying you two are too young! Over time Laury nixed me for other interests. She had steady boyfriends but as far as I was concerned I'll get my chance later on when the time is right. I figured she would eventually break up with some one. I would bump into her in the hallways and she would tell me to call her . But for some reason I never did out of fear. One day I'll work up the nerve and ask her out. I'll get my chance and possibly make romantic history. The truth was I couldn't imagine a date with her. That yours truly would find true romantic bliss in my life. That maybe by some miracle it would manifest into a relationship with my dream girl. There will be plenty of days ahead for that wish. This brings us to an endearing episode of the romantic sit-com Love American Style. Shown Friday nights between the years 1969 -1974 during the height of the sexual revolution. The show was basically set up with three vignettes with the same common denominator. The pursuit of a relationship between Man and Woman mostly with comedic overtones. These stories are individually written and not connected in any way. Various actors would star in each episode. Putting aside their regular sitcoms or dramas and star in a Love American Style episode. Some actors would show up as many as 7 episodes. That distinction goes to Michael Callan. The most episodes written on the show belong to legend Gary Marshall. Most directed episodes Charles Rondeau. Hundreds of who's who in television would star weekly in a new episode focusing in the world of love. Love and The Forever Tree is about two young people romantically in love. Elaine Joyce and Robert Morse doing the customary thing by carving your initials in a tree surrounded by a heart proclaiming their love for each other. Without going into detail the two split up for one reason or another thinking the other was lost or dead. They reunite at the spot where the initials were carved. Finding out each one is married. As time goes on they would meet at the tree as age becomes a factor. One would become widowed and the other would be married. A whole lifetime goes by as they rendezvous at the tree until they finally are both available. Now that's a love story and the skit only took fifteen minutes. Patience and time yet years were sacrificed. The heart felt script was written by Arlene Stadd and directed by Jerry London. Now I'm approaching the Autumn of my years and it's time to reconnect with Laury. After months of research and social media I found her. I'm all excited about our upcoming date. I planned to see her on her birthday March 18th. I'll bring flowers and wear my dark suit. I'll bring my journal that I kept all those years writing about her, expressing my deepest feelings. I would sing a song especially written from an old friend Jeff. Finally I would show her my most prized possession of all . A rejection RSVP note she had written to me. My only wish is that it doesn't rain that day as I pass through the gates and find her grave.
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Ghostbusters (1984)
5/10
The Ghostbusters appeared on the couch of The Joe Franklin Show , WOW, they made the big time!
11 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
During the 80's I owned and operated an Ice Cream store in Queens, New York. The hours were long and I would usually arrive home around midnight where I would watch TV to all hours of the morning. I found myself watching the same shows almost every evening for decades. One show I watched religiously was the Joe Franklin Show on WOR TV. Joe was shown locally in the New York City market. Moreover Joe Franklin was the longest running late night talk show in American history, some 47 years. Joe was coined the "King Of Nostalgia" or "The Wizard Of Was". Joe would flash old movie posters and have forgotten film stars pop in from time to time reminiscing about the old days. Joe had a wide range of guests from world renown artists Salvadore Dali and the Beatles John Lennon. From local celebrities to the famous names in Hollywood, i.e. Sinatra and Bing Crosby. President John Kennedy sat on the famed couch back in the early 60's. Enough about Joe and on to Ghostbusters, I first learned about this phenomenon by also listening to the nationally broadcast all night Larry King show out of Washington, D.C. along the Mutual Radio Network. Between Franklin and King I had a thing for nocturnal media. Larry King also personally promoted this ghostly, comedy, action film mainly because he had a cameo in the film. The publicity department At Sony/Columbia Pictures did a phenomenal job promoting this film especially with children. The popular Ray Parker theme song with the famous catch phrase "Who you gonna call?" hit the air waves of the radio medium. Ghostbusters is unique in the fact that special effects and comedy are a slippery slope to combine . Special effect require precise timing. As for comedy it's usually spontaneous. In this film the two styles meld well together. I noticed the fine tuned editing in the Capra style making the movie less choppy. Having a nice flow.. Our story begins with three Columbia professors Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Ray Stantz, Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler who delve into the paranormal with experiments of a different nature. Venkman asking his female subject is she menstruating? Well the time has come as our scientist's government funding runs out and they are banished from the University. Out on the street pounding the pavement realizing that there is negative energy in the way of Ghosts and the unexplained, People complain about haunting s from their premises. The three realize there is a need for ghost busting. People will pay at any cost to eradicate these paranormal beings from their property or the ghosts in and around New York. The Three go into business and call themselves the Ghostbusters. The three purchase an old firehouse and hire a receptionist (Annie Potts). Annie does a fair job with her New York accent. The three promote their business on TV and are summoned to a Hotel ballroom . They travel in a makeshift ambulance and enter the lobby in jumpsuit uniforms with back packs and laser guns ready to take down a green goblin. They catch the creature and suck him into a box and store him away in there nuclear chamber at the firehouse. The E.P.A. finds out about it and tries to shut them down. Meanwhile on another front; Venkman has eyes for musician Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who live in a detailed elaborate 20 story apartment with gargoyles on the roof located on Central Park West. Dana calls Venkman to inspect her re-fridge as she claims it haunted watching eggs fry in the case. Dana would eventually be possessed by a ghost. Nerdy and meek Neighbor accountant Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) is throwing party as a tax write-off. One of the stone structures comes to life and ends up chasing Tully out of the apartment and into Tavern On the Green. Evidently there apartment building is a conduit to the next world. Tully eventually becomes possessed as the Ghostbusters are log jammed by the avaricious E.P.A. investigator William Peck (Walter Atherton) who earlier lets out all the Ectoplasm and Ghosts.at their firehouse headquarter having no regard for their service, calling it a hoax. The ghosts and goblins terrorize New York including a hot dog stand. The mayor of New York concedes giving the Ghostbusters permission to resume and restore order in this Ghost ridden city. The screenplay is chock full of funny lines provided by the genius of Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd. Bill Murray has his share of punchlines, (mostly ad-libs) to round out the dialogue. Honorable mention for our fourth member of the Ghostbusters, Winston played by Ernie Hudson who tells the mayor, "I've only been with this company for a couple of weeks, but these things are real. Since I've joined these men, I've seen s--t that will turn you white!" In my opinion I wouldn't consider this movie scary at all.. Bring your kiddies along for the ride. If your all alone pick up the phone or stay up and watch re-runs of the Joe Franklin Show at the conclusion of this movie.
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Clerks (1994)
4/10
Convience store of the Avant Garde. Thank You and have a Nice Day By the way it smells like shoe polish!
12 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Ever have one of those days? I've had a million of them working in an Ice Cream store in Queens, New York for 14 years. Yes Working behind the counter encountering some of the strangest creatures on the planet. The general public is a difficult breed to deal with. I've had days were I made record sales and yet all it took was one bellicose customer to ruin that special day. And by the way I wasn't even suppose to be in the store that day. The movie Clerks falls along those lines of the bizarre. Opening scene shows a messy bedroom. So messy you can't even see the floor cluttered with at least two weeks worth of laundry. The centerpiece in all this agglomeration is a male person fast asleep, his dormant body lying halfway along the floor and protruding out of the closet used as the headboard. A phone rings and our exhausted person first has top find the phone and then trace the line to answer among the debris. Apparently a co-worker on the other end tells our sleepy friend he has to work today. Our sleepy friend is the the main character and focus throughout this movie Dante (Brian O'Halloran). Brian, a college drop out is trying to buy some time working in a convenience store in Central New Jersey. Reluctantly Dante hauls his tired frame over to his place of employment. To his frustration, the locks on the store, (mainly the riot gates,) where filled with glue . Luckily the front door lock was not, so he enters the establishment and makes a sign out of a sheet and black shoe polish saying that "We Assure You We Are Open!" The film is shot in black and white which gives you an unappetizing feel toward the store. I wouldn't even order a coffee in that establishment. Mainly the store itself has a confining feel, cramped and cluttered. Another words like being in purgatory. The director Kevin Smith does a fine job slowing the pace with his characters showing a lack of enthusiasm mainly Dante and Randall (Jeff Anderson). Those two blokes experiencing the slow daily grind and drudgery of the colorless world of retail. Right from the beginning Dante encounters an anti smoking salesman played by Scott Schiaffo, To add to Dante's agitation his domineering girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) pressuring him to go back to college and improve himself. Then telling him that she is busy with other men intimately. One of many independent films that show sub standard acting yet the dialogue is funny and on point. Kevin Smith shows the underbelly of retail i.e., Weird customers taking cartons of eggs out of the case and comparing them. Dante having Veronica polishing his finger nails behind the counter. Closing the store down for roller hockey on the roof. An under aged youth purchasing cigarettes. Then a little while later Dante is approached by an administrator of cigarettes who slaps a fine at him. An elderly whiny man asking to use the restroom in ways I never imagined with startling results. Most of the energy and jocular dialogue comes from next store neighbor and video clerk Randall who claims if it wasn't for customers this job would be easy. All is not lost as the two spend the down time eating cupcakes and cheese doodles while reading distressing news out of the local paper involving Dante ex-girlfriend who announces her engagement to a successful designer. Later they lock up their stores to attend a wake. Even the visit to the funeral home isn't without controversy. I was on board from the start being a retailer and seeing the similarities in this independent film from my own personal experience. Jay and Silent Bob are playing vagrant drug dealer greeters of the store so to speak. These were two guys that Kevin Smith found in the Neighborhood and saw something special about them. Smith expanded the franchise by making a few films about this strange duo. .There is death and drugs not shown. The only thing missing was a dispute over exact change. There is much more about a day in the life of a convenience store manager but you'll have to sit through an hour and a half shift to absorb the absurdities of retail life. A must see for anyone who worked in retail.
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Taxi Driver (1976)
6/10
Hopper? Yeah, you know, like a rabbit. Hip- hop!
10 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
An old acquaintance named Ira was a cab driver. I wanted to know what it was like driving a cab for one shift so I gave it a try. This was not the life for me. Belligerent customers and horrible tippers were the norm. Some patrons liked the air conditioning on high. Others made me turn it off. Impromptu traffic snarls and pot holes drove me crazy. Went to see this movie with my friend Neil during my college years and why not, It features violence, sex and foul language. Filmed on location in and around New York's majestic Manhattan streets, (displaying familiar landmarks) i.e. Time Square, Bellmore Cafeteria. But the main focus of the film exposes the underbelly world of prostitution, mainly sex trafficking. Sleazy hotels and rows of movie houses showing sex films along 42nd street of the 1970's. Conversely the film shows us the disconnect with the politics of the time featuring a political campaign. Robert DiNiro play Vietnam Veteran Travis Bickle who is basically a loner looking for employment. Travis lands a job as a New York City cab driver. The cinematography (Michael Chapman) is of excellent quality showing steam coming up from the streets as our yellow cab slashes through water puddles giving it a feel of realism. The camera gives you a sense of actually riding in the backseat of Travis's cab. I know like most passengers who have ridden in cabs, we focus on the meter as we watch the numbers tick higher as the ride progresses. I don't ever remember a movie featuring a taxi meter before. Basically you see the diverse cliente Travis picks up in his cab from violent pimps to a squeaky clean cut politician. Travis, though lonely, is bold enough to ask a extremely attractive political campaign staff member Betsy (Cybill Shepard) on a date which fails. Travis goes one step further in a different direction as he intercedes an underage prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster). Travis explains that this is no life for a 12 year old and that her pimp named Sport (Harvey Keitel) only has bad intentions for her. Iris is not influenced by Travis' remarks in the least. Travis takes matters into his hands as he purchases weapons and ads deadly devices to insure severe torture. Travis's loneliness manifests itself during the film with rage and anger. The mirror scene is an iconic moment in cinematography history. Travis (DiNiro), is the narrator. Travis voices his negativity about the city through most of the picture. The film predictably ends up to a crescendo of violence the viewer will never forget . Kudos for the musical background provided by Bernard Herrmann with ever present saxophone sounds throughout. Just one of those movies you just can't get out of your mind as it's value remains the same after all these years. A timeless piece from Martin Scorcese.
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4/10
More to Christianity than meets the EYE!
9 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The Vatican 1966 My Maternal Grandparents went on a world wind tour of Europe via the prized fleet luxury vessel " The Queen Mary". Quite a reward for their lifetime of Marriage raising 4 successful children. My Grandparents went on a tour of the Vatican City when my Grandfather felt ill. He told the guide that he felt dizzy and nauseous. The guide told my grandparents to sit in a church and rest . Out of nowhere a Cardinal showed up and asked my Grandparents if they needed some assistance. The Cardinal in his broken English detected a Polish accent by my Grandfather. The Red Clad man of the clothe put his hand on my Grandfather's shoulder as he asked in Polish "Mowisz po polsku?" "Do you speak Polish?" My Grandfathers' blue eye lite up as he responded, "Tak, urodzitem sie tam!" Yes I was born there!" Which town? asked the Cardinal. My Grandfather said Lodz and the Cardinal's eye also went aglow. The Cardinal went on, "I gave my first mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church on Sienkiewicza Street." My Grandfather knew the area of that city well and they broke into conversation in their primary tongues. The Da Vinci Code was a wonderfully written book by Daniel Brown. A great mystery thriller involving the Catholic Church. The book opened my eyes about the origins of Christianity. From the bloodline of Jesus himself to current descendants caused a mass controversy among Christian readers. That being stated, I wondered how Director Ron Howard would cram those many pages into a two and half hour film? On surface the cinematography was superb with location shots around Paris. Our story on the out set grabs your attention with Murder and a chase for the Holy grail. Our two main characters are Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) work well together but strictly business here as romance takes a back seat to religious answers dodging authorities. The most recognizable character in all of this the Albino Silas played by Paul Bettany. The Louve curator is found dead lying in a position of a Vitruvian man. Harvard Professor of religious studies (Langdon) is summed to the site. The police Captain Fache (Jean Reno) tells Langdon about the cryptic message left by the body for decoding. To make matters worse The police tie Sophie to the murder of her grandfather the curator and Langdon and Sophie ditch the police and the chase is on which ends up in London. I personally would have preferred a mini series on television but Hollywood has a way of straying, once again, from the narrative switching characters intentions to shorten a screenplay to accommodate time restrictions. Other players to watch for. The versatile Alfred Molina as Bishop Aringarosa and a pivotal player in our story veteran actor Ian McKellan as Sir Leigh Teabing. As for my Maternal Grandparents and their visit to the Vatican, My Grandfather told the Polish Cardinal that he felt queasy so the Cardinal blessed my Grandfather with the sign of the Cross against his far head and short prayer in Latin. My Grandfather apologized and said it wouldn't work, I'm of the Jewish faith. The Cardinal replied, " Where all G-d's Children!" The Cardinal left and all of a sudden My Grandfather felt better. In-fact no complaints of nausea the rest of the trip.
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Snatched (1973 TV Movie)
3/10
Always Bring your Medication along!
3 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I can never forget an uncomfortable suffocating experience I had at 9 years old. Yes I said suffocating. Let me elaborate. I was invited to spend a weekend at my 4th grade friends house in West Hempstead. Off I went with packed suitcase to his home. We had a ball the first day going bowling and then going into his brother's room and played with his CB radio set. His parents made a lovely Friday night meal. The next day we woke to our surprise 3 inches of snow . We went outside and played in the snow building forts and throwing snow balls. I felt shortness of breathe coming on as I realized in horror that My inhaler isn't in my coat pocket. This leads me to my review of the ABC TV movie of the week entitled "Snatched". It's a story of Three Lovely Housewives going on a day Boat trip who are suddenly kidnapped and held captive in a lighthouse. Barbara Parkins , Tisha Sterling and my focal point of personal interest the very blonde and getting weaker Sherrie North. You see Sherrie forgot to pack her insulin with her. The Three woman captives are being held for ransom. Typical husband Howard Duff doesn't want to pay the ransom. The other husbands John Saxon and Leslie Nielson will do anything to get back their spouses at any cost. Botch escape attempt by the ladies are foiled by a twisted ankle. Leave the high heals behind ladies!! Frustrating and effective to watch Sherrie North wither away as the clock ticks and ransom is being delayed by egos. Robert Reed played one of the Detectives but I just can't get over him as the typecast-ed Mike Brady on the situation comedy Brady Bunch also shown on the same television network. Our story gets more unraveling as one of the ladies isn't a victim but a co-conspirator. Others are unveiling their disingenuous qualities which causes the whole narrative to collapse. Yet most of the movie held my attention and had me think back to those long hours without my inhaler handy struggling for air. Somehow 75 percent of this movie worked but the last quarter fell off the rails. I had a happy ending heading home and taking a puff of my badly needed medicine.
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Cat's Eye (1985)
4/10
$10.00 says that she'll slap him!
25 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Watching the first of three bizarre stories connected by a cat (Hence the title), I was traumatized by the performance of Comedian / actor Alan King. Let me explain; Many years ago in the 1960's I remember my disgruntled Father reaching his breaking point with the issue of gum use in the home. He especially focused on a particular member of the family, my older sister. My Father loathed her with that constant mastication coupled with the constant bulge in her left cheek. Basically the chewing sound drove him crazy. My Father proclaimed , "No More Chewing gum in my home!' Threatening us with fear and physical dominance. Much like Alan king playing Doctor Vinnie Donnati who runs a most progressive business called " Quitter's Inc.". Dr. Donnati's methods are very effective by using an electrified cage with a steel mesh floor which is tested on our traveling star "The Tomcat" who jumps around and meows in pain. Dick Morrison (James Woods) the unwilling customer wants out but Dr. Donnati stresses the point that Mr. Morrison indeed has a problem. Morrison is not buying Donnati's Doctrine plus the visual sadistic torture chamber. None of this leaves an initial impression on Morrison until Donnati tells him the first offense smoking he'll put his wife in that chamber. The second offense his daughter. This episode, especially Donnati's speech proposal on the evils of smoking plus promising him that he will be watched very closely to Morrison's displeasure (our nicotine junky), reminded me of the gum episode many years ago with threats of violence and mental cruelty. Getting lashed by Father's strap or Saturdays at my Father's shop hauling boiler bricks or worse being stuck in my bedroom on weekends with made up homework assignments provided by, you guess it, Father. Back to our movie there are two more stories with different actors as our feline travels southward to Atlantic city and a Millionaire (Kenneth McMillan) and ledge walker (Robert Hays) where dialogue takes a back seat to special effects as vertigo rein's supreme. The third tale as Kitty travels even further south to North Carolina and a little girl's bedroom. Drew Barrymoore is being protected by our Cat as an evil Troll tries to take her breathe away . These tales of three reminded me of old Twilight Zone episodes. The hook for me personally was Alan King"s performance which brought me back in time to those dominant years under my Parent's authority. Fine screenplay written by iconic writer Stephen King which made this trilogy a fun-filled evening of entertainment.
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Teacher, Teacher (1969 TV Movie)
5/10
Seeing David McCallum in a different role
18 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Growing up in the 1960's, the benchmark for judging intelligence among students was limited at best. Many educators preached and believe intelligence was measured by memorization and self discipline. Other factors were thrown out the proverbial window. Unseen intangibles the likes of domestic abuse, sleeping disorders, speech impediments and health issues came into play to obstruct a child's learning potential. Most teachers basically called under performing students, "lazy". Over the following decades learning disabilities where surfacing throughout the country. Numerous testing by major universities on a child's performance gave us different degrees or measurements of intelligence. Widening the spectrum with new syndromes and birth defects all playing into new discoveries i.e., Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyscalculia, Disgraphia, Processing Deficits and Autism the most common.. In this made for television TV movie "Teacher,Teacher", David McCallum who at that time was a major television icon co-starring as the multi talented super agent on NBC's Man From Uncle Show. Here he plays a down and out recovering alcoholic Hamilton Cade who was fired from his regular teaching position. Cade accepts a private tutoring job for a Mr. Niles Putnam (George Grizzard) who hires Cade to tutor his exceptional son Freddie. Mr. Putnam, a single parent and appears affluent having a home and a handyman tending the grounds. Mr Putnam puts all his trust in Cade as he has to leave on business. This leaves Freddie and his tutor alone in the house for a while. By today's standards that seems dubious in the extreme. What Cade didn't realize is, Freddie is mentally challenged. This was new territory for the frustrated tutor as Freddie and Cade's situation was not copacetic. Cade made little or no progress with the boy who frustrated him to no end. To break the tension was the good tempered handyman played by Ozzie Davis who had his own ideas on handling Freddie. I felt empathy for Freddie watching this misunderstanding between teacher and student unfold as it relates to my own personal frustration from an earlier time in my life.. Being put in a private school where my Parents had good intentions for me yet the atmosphere was not suitable due to cultural differences.among the students and myself. I wanted out but my Father refused to listen. He claimed that despite my dispassionate feelings toward the school all my classmates will go on to be successful in life just by association with this Academy. It was a situation I didn't like and failing miserably. He did pull me out when I was 12 years old but by then my lack luster habits took over and learning for me was near and next to impossible. Meanwhile Cade couldn't reach Freddie and Freddie with his lack of intelligence couldn't express his own feelings on learning. Sort of like a blind person living with a deaf person. McCallum's acting as an annoyed person was sort of a novelty. He wasn't a comfortable sort throughout the movie instead of that dashing confident foreign Russian jack of all trades Ilya Koryakin TV viewers expect to see. Billy Schulman was the real star of this movie with limited abilities played the part perfectly as the "Special" Freddie. At the films end and this is no spoiler by any means as the Hallmark Hall Of Fame directors gave us, the Television audience, a look behind the scenes in the making of this story. They interviewed the players McCallum and Billy together out of character and the love and admiration they have for each other off screen to make the show more plausible. Sort of tying everything together. You learn and (this is not intended to be personally condescending), that Billy is really mentally handicapped. Despite everything Billy Schulman gave an outstanding performance.
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6/10
Ninety nine percent inspiration and one percent conservation.
6 February 2019
I was watching a movie called "Thomas Edison The Man" on Turner classic channel. Our story is about the famous inventor of the electric light and countless other devices commonly used in the twentieth century. Edison wanted to promote his idea against public scrutiny and religious groups to electrify a certain area of lower Manhattan. Business investors gave Mr. Edison a small deadline to meet. In this inspiring documentary we see history repeat itself twenty first century style. Nothing more frustrating then having an idea that works only to have business men and governments turn a deaf ear. Pushing an invention so fantastic that you can't wait to launch the innovation. British Engineer Bill Watts has an extraordinary, let's just say fantastic idea of producing potable water from the earth's two largest resources . The sun and ocean water. The lanky Mr. Watts campaigns an idea to the government of Qatar to set up a greenhouse in the vast desert of that country. We follow Mr. Watts on his quest in producing energy, vegetables and fresh water. Our film follows Watts zig-zagging his way from Conferences in Scandinavia to the cities of the middle east in hopes of selling his idea to desert based countries. Watts like Edison gets his project going being surrounded by natives speaking only Urdu plus the sweat and hot trailers of the Arabian desert. The trials, pitfall, snags and obstacles plus conferences, deadlines are the norm throughout the hour as we follow Watts on his mission to making his idea useful to the masses. For me personally this documentary gave me hope in humanity and the human spirit of innovation. Eye opening film for those skeptics who feel that fossil fuel will rule the world. It's really water that's the most vital resource on the planet.
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6/10
Zombies always do their Christmas shopping early
25 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
After watching a bunch of colorless "Chick Flicks" the past few seasons during the ugly decade known as the "SEVENTIES", I thought it would be a nice change if I suggested a movie to go see with my Ex- wife. My Ex- wife hates horror movies and I told her I want to see "Dawn of The Dead". She predictably said "No way I'm going to see that trashy horror film featuring cannibalism!" It was a hot summer evening and I dragged her to the theater. Oh by the way, earlier My Ex and I watched together the original Night Of The Living Dead. She basically was indifferent after viewing. For someone who loathes the (cinema of the macabre) In my opinion she took the film quite well. How bad could the sequel be? The movie begins with two Philadelphia news reporters, Stephen (David Emge) and Francine (Gaylen Ross) plotting to steal their station's traffic copter to escape the growing Zombie Apocalypse. Meanwhile in another part of town a police SWAT team raids a housing project. The defiant occupants are being raided because they violated Marshall law. The tenants fire back at the swat team with weapons of their own. The occupants disobeyed Marshall law due to harboring their dead love one in the basement. The disgusting visual of the caged zombies eating body parts was too much for my Ex as she said, "Let's go!" among st the sudden rapid fire of guns by the both sides. I wanted to stay as the action picked up but my Ex and I bickered as an angry audience started to show their opinion by telling us to "Shut Up!" My obstinate Spouse stormed out of the theater but I stayed on to watch. Not since the movie Planet of the Apes have I watched a movie alone in a theater. As I settled back in my seat, Two Swat members team together and by fate team up with the two reporters and set out in a helicopter heading west toward Pittsburgh. The foursome land and refuel with some unexpected interference by zombie kids. All I can tell you is that scene earned this film it's "R" rating. Subsequently the quartet journey onward and end up at a shopping mall. The mall is infested with the walking dead another words Zombies and consumerism what a novel idea.. Little by little our four characters clean house and take over the mall as their living quarters. In my opinion I truly believe this was the hook that made this movie attractive to most. They have the finest beds to sleep on. Plenty of food courtesy of HIckory Farms ,"MANGA" and an ice skating rink Francine uses during the movie. The music during the film was surprisingly well suited for our decrepit creatures. George Romero creativity in my opinion rose to another level as Zombies and shopping malls are a perfect marriage in this twisted horror comedy. Hey let's throw in some Hell's Angel's bikers to spice up things. My 7 year daughter was so intrigued by this movie, she watched it numerous times on DVD. What's next? Dracula visits Walmart?
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The Notebook (2004)
6/10
A lifetime of Love! Personal connections throughout this movie.
18 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
For years I've lived with my second Wife and as time goes on I've truly learned the real hidden meaning of love . It's something you can't describe in words but the effects are there. As a youth my judgement was clouded with looks and lust. How much does love at first sight really work. I tried that once and was awestruck by this girl who worked in a store across the way. I wanted her in the worst way . There she was a vision of loveliness in tight jeans and those gorgeous eyes. I walked over to the store where she worked the counter. Each step closer was like an eternity as my legs felt like lead weights pushing forward. I reached the counter and there she was . I was so nervous and petrified. If she says yes what do i do? What if she says no? Anyway I boldly introduced myself and she was insensitive to my presence. I said some stupid things, "Do you work here? Alot of weather we're having lately." I was rambling out of nerves as she was getting perturb. I cut to the chase and said my peace. "Will you go out with me? A mediate response of no came out and I was crushed . My response was "Why?" I wouldn't take no for an answer. I started to panic as things went from bad to worse as I said, "I must have you and we are meant to be together." She said, "Get lost smuckie!" Over a three year period I tried many attempts to sway her. Each attempt ended in predictable failure. The movie the Notebook struck a cord for me in many ways and conjured up old memories of lost loves and Ill health. First the comparison to the part of lost loves. We start at a retirement facility where we see an elderly bespectacled distinguished man named Duke (James Garner) who asks the aid if it's a good day to read to this elderly woman (Gena Rowlands) . A picturesque sunny day is the setting as Duke sits down and opens his notebook as he reads the story of two young people in the late 1930's. We don't know the relationship between the two retirees at first. As Duke reads; the film flashes back in time. Noah (Ryan Gosling) a tall,lanky fellow who works the lumber mill in a sleepy seaside town somewhere in the Carolina's sees the vision of his dreams on the street. This vision is the young and lively Allie Calhoun (Rachel McAdams). Noah pursues her as he climbs the Ferris wheel at a carnival and wants to date her. Allie finally caves in and the two bond quickly. All is not right in the social corners as Allie comes from a wealthy family and Noah is just a poor lumber worker. Joan Allen plays the snobbish mother of Allie and explains that Noah can't possibly give her the life she's accustomed to. Periodically the movie shifts back to the present day on the nursing home lawn where the Gray haired woman wants to know more. Duke reads on as Ally and Noah break up over a war of words. Allie goes off to school in New York as Noah deep down wants to rekindle the relationship as he sets out to write one love letter a day for 365 straight without a response from Ally. A distraught Noah has bigger issues as fate would have it. Noah and World War II sidetrack our story. War ends and Allie meets another man who is wealthy. Noah has a significant widow for company but he still has Allie on his mind. Noah purchases a dilapidated old mansion and fixes it up sparkling new. This house renovation brings the two lovers back together again. The scene on the lake with the ducks reminds me of the night I proposed marriage to my wife. Now the connection on ill health. We learn that the gray haired woman has the beginning s of Dementia, Alzheimer disease and has sporadic memory issues . Some heart wrenching scenes with Garner and Rowlands as her memory comes back but fades quickly. I remember the old days of a young dashing confident James Garner playing the gambler Bret Maverick on my old black and white TV. Nothing stopped in his way but today we see an older version of Garner popping pills and telling his friends "I keep trying to die but they won't let me." But in this film we see a caring, sensitive, vulnerable man in the autumn of his years reading the love story of yesteryear from his notebook to his Woman. I think back to my own personal experiences with my Mother-In-Law and her mental deterioration. From the initial phone calls from her office as to why she isn't doing her paper work to wetting herself or opening a car door while in motion. Then lashing out violently hitting my cousin and smacking my daughter for no apparent reason. Then finally lost, not knowing what to do next. The success and following of this film touched many viewers. From Love at first sight to the realities of mortality. But sustainable love between two people and a life time of affection for each other is the real hook in this romantic journey. After films end I'm wiping the tears from my face.
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7/10
Lock a Criminal up in a prison cell with a microscope and slides of cancer cells. Just a thought!
10 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Being confined. At 5 years old I came down with a case of the German Measles. My Mom was worried I would infect my siblings so she locked me in my room so I wouldn't wander in and around the house. I was an active child who loved to run and do physical things. This is not to paint a bad picture of my Mother's mothering skills but she had no other alternative. She gave me coloring books with crayons and a tracing pad. Each day I practiced tracing cartoon characters from comic books. After three days I could draw freestyle without the help of tracing paper with outstanding results. It's amazing what one can do when confined in a bedroom or a jail cell. The Birdman of Alcatraz is a compelling story of the incarcerated world of Robert Franklin Stroud. Stroud a rebellious sort played by the fortified Burt Lancaster. Stroud is convicted of murder for shooting a man in Alaska. While at Levenworth prison, Stroud learned that his Mother was denied visitation and took his anger out on a prison guard by killing him. Stroud is sentenced to death. With the determination of Stroud's Mother played by Thelma Ritter she campaigns for his sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment. Stroud is granted clemency and is put in solitary confinement. While walking in the yard Stroud finds a sparrow and takes it back to his cell. The rest is Ornithology history as we see Stroud using crates and soda pop bottles to build a world of his own with his feathered friends. This movie shows what time and walls can do to a person in a positive way. Fellow prisoner Feto (Telly Savalas) gives a humorous performance as in one scene the nest of eggs is ready to hatch as Feto the hardened criminal is acting like a nervous expectant Father. Other notable scenes to watch... Stroud asks the guard Bull Ransom (Neville Brand) for a soda pop bottle. In Brand's rebuttal all he wanted was a simple how-de-do or word of thanks. All the guard wanted was to be shown so dignity and be treated as a man and not a guard in uniform from the crude convict. In another scene, Warden Shoemacker and Stroud are at odds as Stroud asks the question of what constitutes rehabilitation? I personally loved to hear Stroud's condescending way of addressing the Warden by his first name "Harvey". In truth, screenwriter Guy Trosper had to sanitize the script to overlook Stroud's cold demeanor. Being a psychopath and a homosexual would distract from the scientific accomplishments of Stroud's work. I also enjoyed the narration of Edmund O'Brien throughout the film as he plays the writer of Stroud's biography Thomas Gaddis. Hollywood has a way of distorting hard facts from the truth. Stroud's was constantly rejected parole but who's to say Stroud would be a model citizen on the outside as one Doctor Ellis (Whit Bissell) states in the film. Overshadowing all this is the tremendous outstanding performance of Burt Lancaster as he gradually alters his character throughout the story from a young incorrigible man to an elderly educated convict. Just an astonishing journey among-st the gray stone walls of prison life.
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Car 54, Where Are You?: Here We Go Again (1963)
Season 2, Episode 20
5/10
Better Late than never!
13 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
My High School reunion. What an education in life. I couldn't wait to see all the people from my past. Well anyway I was shocked to see some of my friends with gray hairs sprouting. Other classmates were balding and some others many pounds heavier then before. All part of the aging process much like the Borough of The Bronx. Ah the Bronx in the early 1960's. Middle class neighborhoods and home to the short lived TV comedy in the wacky world of Law enforcement " Car 54 Were Are You?" home to the hub of confusion the fictitious 53rd precinct. In this episode the legendary Conrad Nagel is hosting a "Police File" television program in which he reviews real past cases and arrest of monumental crimes. In this instance, Mr. Nagel seeks out some un-answered questions about a the single handed capture of notorious Baby Face Gordon Gang by Francis Muldoon Senior back in 1919. Nagel meets with Francis Muldoon Junior Fred Gywnne for some answers as to how his late Father spotted the crooks in their getaway car disguised as police officer in full uniforms. Muldoon along with his inept but lovable partner Gunther Toody played by Joe E. Ross rummage through his basement for answers as to how his Father spotted those crooks who nearly got away with millions of dollars from the local federal reserve. Muldoon, to his chagrin finds the answers on a simple technicality that even his partner Toody would have spotted if he was there. The two patrolmen go over to an assisted living facility and meet with the elderly Swifty Swandon (Edward Altienza) and explain the minor detail that was overlooked by him many decades ago. Our story doesn't end here as the elderly Swandon gets on the phone and locates the gang for another try at robbing the federal reserve, again. Laugh out loud comedy as the over the hill gang is a mere shell of it's selves. Our pathetic bunch are way past their prime and long in the tooth with hilarious results.
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Seinfeld: The Merv Griffin Show (1997)
Season 9, Episode 6
5/10
"The seats smell like garbage!"
30 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Ever watch something on TV, movies or even in live theater and break out into hysterical laughter? Something so striking at first glance that it tickles your funny bone? On a personal note back in the late 1980's I visited my Uncle John in his Staten Island home. After pleasantries were exchanged a spontaneous comment came out of my Uncle John;s mouth. "Hey, did you watch Seinfeld?All the rage. Seinfeld what a sit-com." That's what my Uncle said when the show aired on NBC back in the 1990's. Anyone who was anyone even John Q. Public for that matter watched the show which was a Thursday night staple for viewers with hefty Nielsen ratings to back the shows popularity. Creator Larry David put together this ensemble of players centered around comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry, who's daily life (which wasn't glamorous) despite a successful career as a stand-up comic, has these mundane situations thrown at him. Daily problems with restaurant delivery, meeting the right girlfriend or a misplaced wallet. The narrative was basically about "Nothing"! Jerry, in his cramped apartment has his regulars who seem to pop in whenever they feel like it. His friends are so comfortable as if each one feels they live there. So assured in fact that they open Jerry's refrigerator and help themselves to a bowl of cereal. This particular episode caught my interest because it mirrors my real life past experiences. Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) retrieves the entire set of the Merv Griffin Show from a dumpster. Kramer transforms his entire living room to look like the Merv Show. The set fits perfectly. So perfect that the Late Merv would approve of the transfer of venue. Kramer goes a little further as he talks and acts the likes of Mr. Griffin complete with fashionable suit and tie. Moreover Kramer would interview any one who enters his apartment / Merv Griffin set. Meanwhile George Costanza (Jason Alexander) has run ins with wildlife, mainly pigeons and the unfortunate accident involving a squirrel. Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has a problem with an over zealous co-worker. Finally our main exponent in all this "Jerry" who has an attractive leggy girlfriend who inherited classic children's toys. Jerry pleads with his girlfriend if he could play with those classic action figures instead of romance on the couch. "Look Jerry but don't touch the toys!" says Celia (Julia Pennington) the demanding strict significant. I had all those experiences in my life . Accidentally running over a squirrel. Setting up my room to emulate a talk show set. Had a pushy co-worker steal my thunder when I worked in an insurance company. Finally I used a girlfriend Phyllis who lived in Muncie,New York which was one of the first areas in the late 1970's to be wired for cable television. Although she didn't possess classic toys she did have cable TV and I would go over her house to watch Sunday night hockey games from Madison Square Garden. I remember sitting on her couch in her den. Phyllis the wanton lover asked me if I thought she was pretty? I, being clueless responded by saying," The Rangers power play is pretty good too!" This episode mirrored my life and gave me fond memories from my past which I'll always cherish to this day.
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Hogan's Heroes: Go Light on the Heavy Water (1965)
Season 1, Episode 9
6/10
"I drank some of that water. Will I die from it?" "Not if Berlin finds out!"
13 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Definition; Power of Suggestion. The process by which a physical or mental state is influenced by a thought or idea. Convincing someone that what they claim is true when it isn't worth the parchment it's written on. I recall a spring morning , well actually it was about 4 am and pitch black outside. My older sister played a nasty trick on my younger sister Lori. My parents were asleep and my older sister Donna wanted to get even with my younger sister over a dispute which to my memory is lost. Donna woke up my little sister. Lori was disoriented and confused . Who wouldn't be, being wakened out of a deep sleep. My sister convinced her she was late for school. Donna dressed her, combed her hair while Lori was bleary eyed and wondering why it's so dark outside. Regardless my sister told Lori to get a move on or she'll be late for school. Lori despite her exhaustion was convinced. Donna helped her put on her coat and sent her off to school on a dark empty street. Go Light On The Heavy Water is a unique comedy which centers around a barrel of water. The comedic writing of Arthur Julian and Bernard Fein is unparalleled as this episode tickled my funny bone at every turn. The plot is simple, a truck pulls into Stalag 13 which a mysterious cargo. Hogan (Bob Crane) and his men can't see what's inside . Sargent Schultz (John Banner) wants to borrow some after shave lotion. This lotion comes at a price as Hogan wants to know what's in the truck. Schultz tells Hogan that it's water. The prisoners are not convinced as they parade around the truck. Corporal Peter Newkirk (Richard Dawson) smokes a cigarette near the truck thinking it's some sort of flammable jet fuel. The armed guard says it's water. The gang sneaks inside the vehicle and takes a sample. House chemist and arsonist Sargent Andrew Carter (Larry Hovis) is ordered to drink the liquid. To his amazement says "It's Water!" Hogan learns from his London headquarters that the water comes from Norway. This water is needed for nuclear experiments. It must be destroyed. Hogan slips into his creative mode, The power of Suggestion), as he enters Colonel Klink's (Werner Klemperer) office. Hogan concocts a story about the water having healing powers reversing the aging process. French royalty would visit that very spring in Norway to drink the fountain of youth. Colonel Klink being the most gullible Nazi of all time buys into that story as he can't wait to sample the fountain of youth in that truck along with his chubby Sargent Shultz by his side. The next day Hogan visits Klink in his office. Hogan gives Klink a look of amazement and takes a double take at Klink noticing a spring in his step a youthful change in his hair line. Klink continues to take his daily stroll over to the truck for that magic elixir (The Heavy Water). Bob Crane's timing is priceless as he spies on Klink who looks in the mirror admiring with his hair. A hilarious episode even for viewers who loathe the series due to it's Nazi narrative. Another words my daughter hates the premise of the show and finds Hogan' Heroes offensive and unrealistic in nature. Despite her personal views about Nazi's, she enjoyed this episode. As for my sister, She walked to the end of the street and made a u-turn back to the house where hell was to pay.
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4/10
"Oh sir can I borrow your face? I want to scare my Boss!
5 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Many years ago one Saturday night I had a group of friends over my house. I was about 14 years old and hosted a night of cards and pizza for my neighborhood friends. We assembled in my panel clad finished basement. The television was on as Chiller Theater was about to start. At that moment the upstairs doorbell rang. It was the pizza I ordered. I Scrambled up the stairs for the money to pay the delivery guy. As I gave the cash to the delivery man I heard screams, commotion coming from the basement. I came down the stairs. My friends remarked, "You missed it. That woman, the blood, the binoculars you missed it!" Dumbfounded I replied, "The movie just started. That was fast!" Horrors Of The Black Museum is one of those movies that starts off with a bang or should I say poke. I have already spoiled some of the plot but I will tell that this movie is broken down into subplots of violence. A vindictive Curator/ crime reporter Edmund Bankcroft (Michael Gough) who undermines the police with his gruesome articles in the local tabloids angers Scotland Yard. The authorities are baffled as a serial killer is loose around town with a different approach of murder using instruments of death the likes we have never seen. The Scotland Yard detectives question a confused and upset French woman Peggy (Malou Pantera) who's room mate Gail was the victim of a gruesome murder involving spring loaded binoculars. Bankcroft enters the room at that moment to an unwelcome detectives as he's accused of printing unfavorable articles about the police department. The phone rings and its the Police Commissioner (Austin Trevor) as a condescending Bankcroft handles the binoculars and boasts that the police do not have the authority or control whatever I print in the paper. The Commissioner tells his department that there are no leads to the murders. The middle aged Bankcroft has one obstacle in his life beside a limp with the use of a walking cane. His Doctor sees an abnormality with his heart. You see Bankcroft is the Proprietor of his pride and joy the "Black Museum" who showcases gruesome murders and the devises/weapons used in those killings which he doesn't show to the public. This venue of the macabre is guarded by his young male assistant Rick (Graham Curnow). Rick is easily influenced and controlled by Bankcroft with the use of hypnosis and injections that transform Rick into a Hideous monster sort of a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on here. Despite Rick's loyalty or obedience to Bankcroft, Rick is torn between his sweet girl friend Angela played by Shirley Ann Fields. Bankcroft does interfere with Rick's relationship. Speaking of relationships, Bankcroft has a female companion Joan (June Cunningham) who is a dancer who at this point is sick and tired of not being appreciated. Her interest in Bankcroft is strictly for his money. They have a falling out due to the fact that he never takes her anywhere. Joan goes as far as to questions his manhood which infuriates him. Basically this movie is filled with violent forms of revenge and is not suitable for frustrated or politically angered persons who might want to emulate this killings. This movie was filmed in color which in some ways gives a contemporary feel. The movie begins with a narrator giving an introduction for the use of Hypnovision which the producers of the film try to control your thoughts while viewing this cinematic. Another words subliminal visual effects to control your curiosity. But it didn't stop me from changing the channel to check College football scores during the commercials. I personally own the DVD and watched this film uninterrupted and still didn't feel the effects of this Hypnovision in the least. As for our foil/lead Michael Gough who looks very distinguished and always bolsters a scene with his acting prowess. Gough always carries the scene. Other players worth mentioning is the suspicious Junk keeper Aggie who is played by Beatrice Varley and the inquiring Dr. Ballan played by Gerald Anderson. As I stated earlier. I missed the opening scene with the deadly binoculars. in those days there were no DVR recording devices so if you missed a show you had to wait until the station shows the film again with the use of a TV guide magazine. In my case it wasn't to long, only SIX MONTHS! It was worth the wait OUCH!!
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2/10
How is our patient doing Doctor? That ingrate; He gave me the finger.!
31 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I am compassionate when it comes to the biggest of all human sacrifices, giving apart of yourself to someone else in need. Being an organ donor. I was a recipient of two corneas from two different people I have never met. Every day I wonder who those individuals were and I privately thank them for giving me back my precious eye sight each and every day. That being said, I am also a registered organ donor and when my time comes I am willing to give a piece of myself so the living can function and have a better quality of life. When I read the brief synopsis of this movie Hands Of A Stranger, I had to see the outcome of this movie. Concert pianist, Vernon Paris,(James Noah) ,tall, dark and handsome and most importantly egocentric has a huge following playing concert halls across the country. There is no limit to his success. Youth and good looks plus magic fingers, Pianist extraordinaire Vernon Paris tickles the Ivory that not only hits the right notes, but speak to the hearts of thousands. After his performance our star hails a cab . The cab driver George Sawaya) recognizes his acclaimed passenger in his rear view mirror. The driver goes on about how his 10 year old son also plays the piano. as the cabbie reaches for his wallet to show Vernon. they suddenly crash. Next scene is the Hospital and a hysterical woman Vernon's sister Dina played by actress Joan Harvey is giving the surgeon the business as he tells her that her brother's hands are destroyed in the car crash. Joan's acting reminds me of actor Lorraine Bracco but far less superior than her. Ok, Down right awful. The long winded surgeon is played by Paul Lukather accompanied by a terrible music score made this movie feel like a second rate soap opera. Yet I was curious to see the outcome of the transplanted hands.Despite the deplorable acting, the narrative holds the movie together. Will Vernon play the piano again? Despite the amazing results of a hand transplant Vernon saw the glass as half empty. There is a few distressful scenes throughout the picture especially when Vernon visits the cab drivers home . This scene could rival the original Frankenstein (Boris Karloff version) movie, when the monster drowns the little girl. My question was, were those hands evil or did Vernon have past issues and lashed out in frustration? One more thought, How unlucky could that cab driver be ? I found his life more interesting than a stuffy concert pianist. In summing up this film I was sadden to learn that the gang at Mystery Science Theater 3000 never aired this debacle and secondly the only horror in this movie aside the visit to the cabbies home was the acting.
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