Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Scalphunters (1968)**
Strange mix of humor, extreme violence and social commentary as fur trapperBurt Lancaster has his pelts stolen and vows to get them back by any means necessary. Fine cast, but veers from violent gore to silliness a few times too often.
The Rose Tattoo (1955)**
Anna Magnani tears up the screen as a volatile Sicilian trapped in another Tennessee Williams southern melodrama. Burt Lancaster keeps up but the rest of the cast can't.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)**
Disappointing Aardman stop-motion flick suffers from an overload of puns and drollery and not enough characterization. Still technically impressive and a merciful length. Should have made another Wallace & Gromit instead.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kings Row (1942)****
Remarkably effective melodrama succeeds despite the ludicrous casting of Robert Cummings in the lead. Superb visuals, sets and a brisk pace help immensely. Even Ronnie's great!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

To Rome with Love (2012)***
Despite some serious casting missteps (Ellen Page as a femme fatale?), this is one of Woody's funnier and more enjoyable late period films. His eye for color and composition and his ear for dialogue are undiminished.
Moonraker (1979)**
Roger's starting to look tired and the writer's have jumped the shark with the plot which stops making sense altogether. (Incidentally, why must nearly every Bond flick involve sharks at some point?)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin ignores first deadline to drop out of Missouri race. Now what? - Yahoo! News:
"A Public Policy Polling survey of Missouri voters taken on Monday and released Tuesday could also encourage Akin. It found him leading McCaskill 44 to 43 percent. Though another poll, by SurveyUSA, showed that 54 percent of Missourians want Akin to step aside."

If he wants to be a U. S. Senator, Akin should stay in. If 2000 and 2004 proved anything, it is that being an idiot is no impediment to political success.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)**
Roger Moore is now too old for Bond but after the zany plot of Moonraker, this flick is at least in the ballpark of plausibility. Nice locations, Topol is always interesting and likable, a few startling stunts, but as the second hour draws to a close with no sign of closure, you start to think "enough is enough".

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Three Stooges (2012)*
They've got the look, the voices, the bits, but cannot replace the spirit of the originals and don't even come close. So failing that, they go for sappy sentimentality and it hurts. Badly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Boarding Gate (2007)**
Modern noir is too convoluted and seems to be missing a few scenes.
Never Say Never Again (1983)**
Some nice locations, well shot, but it's very long and repetitive. Good cast though.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Wild Geese (1978)**
If you can overlook the excessive length, the heavy-handed direction, the questionable politics and the fact that the "good guys" are cold-blooded, heartless mercenaries, then this is an enjoyable vehicle for some fine older British actors who look like they are having fun together. Sort of a proto-Expendables.
Room Service (1938)***
Takes place almost entirely in a single hotel room, but a superior Marx Brothers movie nonetheless.