Showing 1 - 10 of 550 posts found matching keyword: movies

33/2199. Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
Not as good as Gold Diggers of 1933, but that's partly due to the fact that Gold Diggers of 1933 is so very, very good. The opening is fantastic, and there's a lot of enchanting Busby Berkley choreography in here. Too bad almost all of these "gold diggers" themselves are intrinsically unlikeable characters.

34/2200. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)
I don't know how entertaining this silly mock-autobiography will be for people less familiar with Weird Al's discography than I am, but my mother's beau, who doesn't know Weird Al from a normal one, seemed to enjoy it fine.

35/2201. April in Paris (1952)
The song-and-dance numbers in this musical comedy should be better known, but the otherwise tired script and the mismatched pairing of naive Doris Day and sad-sack Ray Bolger make watching a bit of a chore. Keep an eye out for the rainbow of poodles late in the third act scene used as the source of the cover image of the August 9, 1952 issue of Collier's Magazine. (Google it.)

36/2202. All About Eve (1950)
Not to be confused with The Three Faces of Eve (which I have done), this is the one about a sociopath, not a split personality. They both have Academy Award winning performances, of course, but this is the one that grabbed Best Picture. It probably deserves it, especially because of Bette Davis's ability to convey rare onscreen character growth (and George Sanders' delightfully manipulative theater critic).

37/2203. The Jane Mysteries: Inheritance Lost (2023)
Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel lost Candice Cameron Bure to Great American Family, so they grabbed Bure's Full House sister, Jodie Sweetin, with diminishing results. Solvable purely by formula alone, this isn't particularly recommended.

38/2204. Garage Sale Mysteries: Searched & Seized (2022)
The last installment of Lori Laughlin's signature Hallmark mystery series feels simultaneously contrived and comfortable, much like a Murder She Wrote episode, which is certainly the point. Too bad there won't be any more of these, at least on Hallmark. (While Hallmark frowns on bribing college officials, Great American Family doesn't, so Laughlin followed her Full House stepdaughter over there after she got out of prison. Man, the behind-the-scenes on these made-for-tv Hallmark movies is getting wilder than any of their murder mysteries.)

More to come.

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28/2194. The Brothers Warner (2007)
TCM kicked off their month celebrating 100 years of Warner Brothers movies with this documentary about the founding brothers themselves. It's not particularly kind to youngest brother Jack, but from what I've heard in the past, that's appropriate. If I have any complaints, it's that it glossed over the Hollywood blacklist era and the end of the dynasty, but it did have a lot of ground to cover.

29/2195. Safe in Hell (1931)
A woman who believes herself to be a murderer goes on the lam to a island populated with rapists and thieves. You think that scenario is what the title is referring to until you get to the final act. It's an interesting twist, though too abrupt to be entirely satisfying.

30/2196. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Every bit a classic! I'd seen most of it before, especially the Busby Berkely orchestrated dances with neon violins and Bonus Army soldiers on a treadmill, but I finally sat down and watched it from end to end. I'm glad I did. I'll be glad to do it again and again.

31/2197. Colorado Territory (1949)
Ok, I have to admit that I watched this for a whole hour before finally realizing it is exactly the same plot as High Sierra and I Died a Thousand Times. It definitely works better as a western.

32/2198. Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)
This documentary of the life of screen idol Tab Hunter was made by his lover, and it succeeds on the strength of Tab's apparent honesty while staring down the fourth wall. Of course, it was that charisma that made him a star in the first place (despite his questionable acting ability). His willingness to admit that is what makes this a worthwhile watch for classic film fans.

More to come.

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24/2190. The Menu (2022)
Part thriller, part horror, all social satire, The Menu reminds me very much of absurdist French films, and that's a big plus in my book. So is this cast, especially Anya Taylor-Joy as a horror-heroine who just might survive if she can figure out and abide by the killer's rules. Lots of fun.

25/2191. Curious Caterer: Grilling Season (2023)
I think this is the second installment in this Hallmark Murders & Mysteries series, and it suffers from an early fatal flaw when a character says something that seems so randomly out-of-character, it immediately identifies him as the murderer. Oh, well. If only real-life murders were this easy to solve.

26/2192. The First Nudie Musical (1976)
Ron Howard is in exactly one shot of this weird artifact of mid-70s cinema trends. I won't say it doesn't have some good ideas and funny moments, but the whole thing could have benefited greatly from a tighter focus in direction and editing. (Seriously, directing and editing comedy is a hard job — much harder than dramas; timing is everything! — and not everyone has the talent for it.) I'm inclined to pick on the actors, but some of them are clearly playing intentionally talentless characters; the porn star auditioning for a singing role earned a hearty laugh.

Drink Coke! (The First Nudie Musical)
Don't let the naked dancing chorus line distract you from what's really front and center: a whole box of Coke!

27/2193. The League of Gentlemen (1960)
This otherwise charming heist film is hampered by the fact that the audience is told early that all of the participants are cads, so you know the movie is never going to let them get away with a successful robbery. The ending is especially unsatisfying because of how abrupt it is. (Would anyone watch Oceans Eleven a second time if the crew was surrounded by police outside the Bellagio as the credits rolled?)

More to come.

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From this week's Newnan Times-Herald:

Newnan Times Herald, April 2023


The Coweta County Sheriff's Office has been hosting the conference since 1993, offering free training for law enforcement and first responders in areas such as long range precision rifle (above photo) K-9 handling, DUI detection, use of force, State Opioid Adapted Response and the legalities of various aspects of policing.

Personally, I had my fill of "long range precision rifle K-9 handling" the one time I watched Old Yeller.

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19/2185. Michael Shayne: Private Detective (1940)
I love these sorts of breezy mystery movies. The formula here would go on to propel countless television episodes for decades to come for a good reason. Fun, if not particularly memorable.

20/2186. Dom Hemingway (2013)
Just about every character in this film is completely despicable, and, apparently, the viewer is intended to enjoy the constant set-backs of the titular protagonist. Jude Law is clearly having a blast, but outside of a couple of jokes delivered by co-star Richard Grant, I can't say that I joined him.

21/2187. Lost in Translation (2003)
When this came out, it was the talk of my art school. People loved it. I can see why. It's different and charming. I don't relate to it personally, but I admit that probably says more about me than the film. I can certainly see why the artists loved it.

22/2188. The Divorcee (1930)
When a wife discovers her husband has been disloyal, she repays the favor in kind and tells him about it. He acts like a complete hypocritical ass, sending their relationship into a tailspin. This sort of melodrama is not normally my bag, so why do I keep watching them? I'll let you know when I figure it out.

23/2189. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)
A musical movie written by Dr. Suess should NOT be this boring. It's almost like they were trying to make it terrible for some reason. If you have the opportunity to see stills of the sets and costumes, do so. But do not watch! (I considered trying to make this entry rhyme, but the movie does not deserve that kind of effort.)

More to come.

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14/2180. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)
This was another movie that TCM ran in honor of Martin Scorsese's birthday, and it's also on the list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. So I watched it. It's shot like a documentary about an angry young man, but it's very loyal to its source material. The important takeaway is that the life story of Jesus is really quite shocking. The establishment hated him for preaching love, which remains a surprisingly difficult message for real humans to get behind. Very good.

15/2181. Rock Dog (2016)
Despite a stellar cast and a pretty good script, this animated film demonstrates the oft overlooked value of texture artists (and to a lesser extent, 3D modelers). The whole world "feels" distractingly shallow, as though it was made by a committee of amateurs, which is a real disappointment. In the hands of a Disney or Dreamworks (or anyone with a better eye for detail), this could have been a fantastic film.

16/2182. Within Our Gates (1920)
This silent film is essentially a contemporary rebuttal of D.W. Griffith's racist The Birth of a Nation. Unfortunately, it stars weak actors performing a weak narrative and is therefore not particularly entertaining. However, it is a very interesting historical document.

17/2183. Going Home (1971)
Jan-Michael Vincent is not a good enough actor to carry this story about a boy trying (and badly failing) to come to terms with his father's (pointless) murder of his mother, but the real question isn't so much why he was cast but why anyone would want to make this film at all.

Drink Coke! (Going Home)
Or, for that matter, why Coca-Cola would sponsor it.

18/2184. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)
I'm glad I watched this (bitter)sweet and unusual animated film at home, because I had access to closed captioning. I wouldn't have been able to understand *anything* if I'd seen it in a theater. I guess what I'm saying is that maybe the filmmakers should have treated this more like a foreign film and included subtitles. Cute, though.

More to come.

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8/2174. Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
I adore these pre-television medical dramas. This is exactly the formula that hospital procedurals are still using 80 years later (plus or minus a little male chauvinism).

9/2175. Black Legion (1937)
Humphry Bogart plays an honest working man who is naturally disappointed that the American Dream is passing him by. He does not handle this well, and his runaway emotions lead him to be taken advantage of by would-be populist thugs up to no good. It's a good cautionary tail, and I'm so happy that this sort of thing can't happen anymore.

10/2176. DC League of Super-Pets (2022)
This is a DC Comics comic-book movie for people who aren't familiar with DC Comics. Sure, it's for young children, but you'd think the people in charge could have read at least one DC Comic book featuring the Legion of Super-Pets. I did not care for it.

11/2177. Smart Blonde (1937)
This is the first in a series of mysteries featuring whip smart female newshound Torchy Blane (played by Glenda Farrell). I've always loved the movie trope of the fast-talking 30s girl reporter (see Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe or Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hudsucker Proxy), so of course I think this is very good.

12/2178. Fly Away Baby (1937)
Torchy's second movie hits the will-they-or-won't-they-get-married button pretty hard (and has a weak ending), but it also establishes that the chemistry and formulas in the first movie were no fluke.

13/2179. The Adventurous Blonde (1937)
Torchy Blane's third movie (of 9) is better than the previous installment, even if the murderer was obvious from the beginning. I'd love to see the next 6, and one day I will.

More to come.

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I have to admit that the Academy Awards is a better experience when you've actually seen and enjoyed the nominated movies. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a great film and a lot of fun, and I'm glad that the Academy rewarded it as heavily as it did: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor. Whew! That's quite a haul. That's as many awards as La La Land earned. That is, so long as you don't make a terrible mistake and take away one of La La Land's awards and give it to Moonlight. (Never forget!) I'm impressed.

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4/2170. Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
I'd previously thought Marilyn Monroe's only quality acting came in her last movie, The Misfits, but she's actually pretty good here early in her career playing a very confused young woman. That implies she had talent all along but the roles she was given or the people who asked her to play them weren't doing her any favors. Hmm. Something to chew on.

Drink Coke! (Don't Bother to Knock)
Coca-Cola! It's good for what ails you... mentally.

5/2171. St. Ives (1976)
Despite it's TV movie feel (with a cast full of character actors), I very much enjoyed Charles Bronson as a private eye. And speaking of actresses who aren't given the right roles, poor Jaqueline Bissett's character is not as deep as it needed to be, and it's quite clearly the muddled script's fault.

Drink Coke! (St. Ives)
Coca-Cola! It's good for what ails you... physically.

6/2172. The Casino Murder Case (1935)
I was distracted from the main mystery in this whodunnit by pretentious detective Philo Vance's "romance" with the female lead. Is it sincere or a put-on? All I can say is that not every question got answered.

7/2173. Lured (1947)
Lucille Ball joins the police to track down a serial killer... but then falls for the chief suspect. I enjoyed it in large part because it kept surprising me, especially in the final act. (The killer's identity is obvious, but how he would get trapped wasn't. Fun!)

More to come.

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I was already having a bad day — Dad continues to be A) confused about what medicine to take when, and B) very resistant to any means to address that problem — and then I saw that the new Powers That Be at the recently merged mega-corporation Warner Bros Discovery have decided to axe TCM Underground, effective immediately.

Dear whoever made that decision: Fuck off.

If you weren't aware, Underground was TCM's wee-hours-of-Saturday-morning block of programming that presented... shall we say "niche" movies. The kind that were generally made by or for unconventional audiences. You know, the kind of movies film nerds traded on VHS tapes and college art professors showed to their impressionable students to stimulate creativity. (Rest in Peace, Bill Marriott!)

I'd be more disappointed than I am if I hadn't already enjoyed TCM Underground for nearly 2 decades. Everything has a natural lifespan. (As they say, "Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky.") Underground's 18 year-run was a very, very long time in the entertainment industry, which only thinks in terms of how much money it can make today. It deserves praise for its longevity more than mourning for its passing.

There were great things before Underground, and there will be great things after. It's the same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we are is dust in the wind.

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To be continued...