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Member's Reviews

Three Stooges: False Alarms, a review by addicted2dvd

The Three Stooges: False AlarmMy Thoughts:
Another one that is no more then an average short.

My Rating:

(From November Movie Marathon: Classic Comedy Greats on November 8th, 2017)

Member's Reviews

You Can't Take it With You, a review by Jon

You Can't Take it With You
5 out of 5

Grandpa Martin Venderhof (Lionel Barrymore) is head of a family of free-spirits who find joy in everything. Their home is under threat by an unscrupulous banker (Edward Arnold), whose son (James Stewart) happens to be engaged to Vanderhof's granddaughter, Alice (Jean Arthur). Not that all of them are quite sure of all those connections!

I have to jump forward four years, but it's Capra (winning another Best Director) again with an early, optimistic run at Fight Club, via The Darling Buds of May! It has a similar message to Capra's other films and the title is so obvious it may put you off, but don't let it. This is essential viewing considering the state of the global economy and Mr. Brown could do worse than listen to Martin Vanderhof. Everyone should watch this. It's an absolute riot, but with a strong message. Like the previous entry, It Happened One Night, the setup is so obvious it could play itself, but Capra and his fantastic cast still find gaps to explore and the heartwarming story nevertheless has a few lines that might make you squirm: "Lincoln said, 'With malice toward none, with charity to all.' Nowadays they say, 'Think the way I do or I'll bomb the daylights outta you.'"

Lionel Barrymore plays Martin, much older than his own years I think, and it's a great role, always played at the correct, but ever changing tone. You fully believe this quietly persuasive and calm gentleman could slide down a bannister any second. James Stewart is another stand-out as you'd expect, but again, much of the work was already done in such a wonderful character. Edward Arnold possibly has the hardest role as the resolution is predictable and for that reason, it was so easy to get it wrong. He doesn't. All the other characters have their moments and fill them well, especially Spring Byington as Penny, making the Vanderhof home a very attractive place to stay. As one character does, just on a whim! The only one who fails for me is Alice's father. You'd never know it. He does nothing wrong and has as much time as the other secondary characters, but whenever something happens regarding Alice, he's just... there. Penny, her mother and Martin are given all the time with her. It just felt a little odd to me. She's getting married, this is her dad, yet he spends all his time in the cellar setting fireworks off!

You may be forgiven for thinking it's a one joke film, but there are several brilliant set-pieces, like the courtroom (with possibly the best judge ever) and the restaurant, with James Stewart seeing mice! It's as subtle as a sledgehammer and it can be a little preachy in an underhand sort of way (Grandpa isn't at all, it's just the overriding message), though no more than the supposedly hip before-mentioned Fight Club, and you really won't mind anyway, they're such a loopy family. That's why Capra is so good. His films are sentimental, but only he can make them feel right. There is no hint of sarcasm or irony, just solid determination that it will all come out ok. Much like Vanderhof's prayer at mealtimes: "...We've all got our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we still leave that up to you."

(From Jon's Best Picture Oscar Marathon on February 6th, 2009)

Member's TV Reviews

Fear Itself Marathon, a review by addicted2dvd

Fear Itself: The Complete Series

1. Eater
Rookie cop Danny Bannerman spends the night in an isolated precinct guarding a serial killer who eats his victims and is intent on making Danny his next "meal."

Elizabeth Moss
Russell Hornsby
Stephen Lee
Stephen R. Hart
Pablo Schreiber

My Thoughts:
This is one of the episodes I actually missed when it was on TV. It is the 4th episode to air. I really wish I seen this one on TV as it may have given me some more hope for the series... as I really liked this one a lot. Sure there was some problems with it.... some good sized plot holes and such. But it was entertaining... and kept my interest throughout the episode.

My Rating:

(From Fear Itself Marathon on December 28th, 2009)