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Member's Reviews

Hondo, a review by Rogmeister

Okay, we go with a bunch of western reviews which I hope you'll like.  I've got over 300 westerns in my collection (counting just feature films, not TV productions) and I'll keep reviewing as long as you keep enjoying them.  Saddle up!

Hondo (1953)  83 minutes.  Directed by John Farrow.  Music by Emil Newman and Hugo Friedhofer.  Based on the novel by Louis L'Amour.
Cast: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond, Michael Pate, James Arness, Rodolfo Acosta, Leo Gordon, Lee Aaker, Paul Fix

DVD Special Features
Introduction by Leonard Maltin
Audio commentary by Leonard Maltin, Frank Thompson and Lee Aaker
The Making of Hondo
Profiler: James Edward Grant (screenwriter)
The John Ford Stock Company: Ward Bond
From the Batjac Vaults
The Apache
Photo Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer
Batjac Teaser

It seems only fitting to start a western marathon with a John Wayne movie. This movie was actually filmed in 3D, though the craze was pretty much dieing off by the time it was released. There aren't too many obviousl 3D moments in it...the credits obviously have that look and there are a few times in fights where a knife or other weapon comes in at the camera. Luckily, it's an excellent western as well. The story was by Louis L'Amour who first had it published as a short story and then expanded it into a full-length novel. Leonard Maltin, who provides an on-screen introduction, tells us the novel was the first published by L'Amour under his real name.

As with most Wayne westerns, there's lots of familiar faces. Ward Bond has a key role and James Arness is in here, too, two years before he would become Matt Dillon. Paul Fix has a supporting role as does Leo Gordon (the guy John Wayne slugged to start the big mudfight in McLintock!) but there are a few people here who weren't Wayne regulars...Geraldine Page makes her film debut (earning an Oscar nomination for her efforts) and Lee Aaker is her son (he was the young boy in the Rin Tin Tin TV series).

The storyline has Wayne coming to the woman's ranch after losing his horse, accompanied only by his dog Sam (played by Lassie). The small ranch is deep into Apache territory and they are about to go on the warpath because of a broken treaty. Hondo (John Wayne) stays on while he breaks a horse enough to ride, helping her out during his brief stay. Later on, he winds up killing her surly husband in self-defense but it doesn't keep the two from falling in love. The Indian uprising comes to a head, especially after the death of the tribe's original leader (who had been friendly to the two) and the new leader is much more antagonistic (and who Hondo had defeated earlier in hand-to-hand combat).

This film is a good example of a movie not needing to be well over two hours to be entertaining. It's not even a full 90 minutes long but it keeps things moving quickly and still has time for some quiet moments. I liked the photography and the score, surprisingly credited to two composers. Picture and sound are excellent, as you would expect from a major studio release.

Older movies, especially westerns, don't tend to get lots of extras when released on DVD but this is an exception in that area. Besides the intro by Maltin, he also provides an audio commentary and is joined there by western historian Frank Thompson and Lee Aaker who had played the boy, Johnny. There's also a making of short, a profile of screenwriter James Edward Grant, a piece on Ward Bond and (something I always want to see) the original theatrical trailer.

I give this classic western 4 big yee-haws!

(From Roger's Ongoing Westerns Marathon on June 22nd, 2009)

Member's Reviews

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, a review by addicted2dvd

Title: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Movie Count: 62
TV Ep Count: 17
Time Started: 10:30am
This smart and suspenseful thriller scares up a bone-chilling good time with original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis ('True Lies', 'Halloween I & II') and a hot cast of hip young stars! Now the headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode (Curtis) is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers...when he suddenly reappears with a vengeance! And this Halloween, his terror will strike a whole new generation! Laurie's rebellious son (Josh Hartnett - 'The Faculty'), his girlfriend (Michelle Williams - TV's 'Dawson's Creek'), and the school security guard (LL Cool J - 'Woo', 'B.A.P.S.') will become Michael's newest victims unless Laurie can conquer her greatest fears and put evil in its place once and for all! The time has come again for you to experience the frightening fun of 'Halloween' - the motion picture series that totally redefined terror!

My Thoughts:
I just didn't get enough of Michael Myers yet... so I went on to the next one in my collection. I liked this one a lot... is cool how it has a scene with both Jamie Lee Curtis and her mother Janet Leigh (Psycho) in it. I thought the ending on this movie was done well.... of course it makes you think that it is the end of Michael Myers... and the series of movies... but then soon after we learn better when Halloween Resurrection comes out.

(From Month-Long Horror/Halloween Marathon on October 20th, 2007)

Member's TV Reviews

"Due South" marathon, a review by addicted2dvd

As I said in the other thread I got my set today. And well... I just couldn't help myself. I had to give the show a try. So I watched the pilot movie.

Due South: Pilot Movie
Robert Fraser is killed in a 'hunting accident' in the Northwest Territories, his son Benton investigates, which ends up leading him to Chicago, where he pairs up with a smart-aleck cop named Ray to find his father's killer.

My Thoughts:
OK... I must say... so far I like what I see. I really like the characters. This story did a really good job introducing everyone.... giving enough time to all the characters to give you a good feeling who they are. It did a good job showing someone that was truly out of place and the differences in the way he works compared to what they are used to. While watching this episode my mind kept flashing to the Dukes of Hazzard spin-off series called Enos... which was also about an out of place officer of the law (in that case a country cop) in the big city. I must say I am looking forward to watching more of this show. Though I must admit that I don't know how well the ghost of his father will fit into this series... such a supernatural twist to the show seems so out of place going by what I seen so far.

My Rating:

(From "Due South" marathon on June 9th, 2009)