Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 210601 times)

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #465 on: July 11, 2020, 06:51:07 PM »
Midway (2019) 30/100 - I wasn't paying attention during the opening credits, so I did not know who the director of the film was. But I knew I was in trouble in just the first few minutes when a F4F Wildcat makes the most physically impossible landing on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. So now, my curiosity is piqued and I had to find out, is this a Michael Bay film? That's the kind of schmaltzy special effects crap he would pull, but then I saw that it was his cinematic incompetent twin brother Roland Emmerich. I should have cut my losses right then and there, but being a military history buff, I decided to brave the unknown and continue. And true to form, Emmerich takes a huge dump of shit on one of the most exciting battles in WWII. So much time is relegated to exposition of the two major events preceding the battle, Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle raid, that when it comes time for Midway, Emmerich has to shift into overdrive. The result is that wholesale parts of the battle are completely shorn away and mentioned as only a side note. How the fuck do you make a film about the Battle of Midway and NOT show the Yorktown being attacked, not once, but TWICE!!! This movie is so bad, it makes the 1976 version, with Charlton Heston, look like a masterpiece in comparison. And that was the most cliché ridden war film I had ever seen. Roland Emmerich films should come with a warning on the film poster, similar to what they put on cigarette boxes, because watching anything made by him can be damaging.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 06:55:59 PM by Antares »

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #466 on: July 11, 2020, 06:56:47 PM »
Hellzapoppin' (1941) 60/100 - From my perspective, this film has two things working for it, and two things working against it. In the plus column you have Mischa Auer and the amazingly talented Martha Raye, whom I have a newfound respect for. Take her out of the film and it sinks like a stone. But, working against it are Olsen & Johnson and Jane Frazee & Robert Paige as the love interests. Olsen & Johnson are a poor man's Abbott & Costello. They have no schtick, they just occupy the frame space, and when they're there, you can't wait for the movie to get back to Auer & Raye. Frazee & Paige are two doormats onscreen and once again, cue Auer & Raye please. It was probably a pretty daring film back in 1941, but time has not been kind to it. Almost all of the jokes fall flat. I counted one gag that I laughed at, and that was the joke with Auer wanting more bread. It wasn't a great gag, but I did chuckle, because Auer had great comedic timing. For a movie that clocks in at only 80 minutes, it dragged a lot. That is, except for the best scene in the film, the "staff" doing the "Lindy Hop' dance routine. Wow! I repeat WOW!!!

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #467 on: July 11, 2020, 06:58:24 PM »
Carry on Doctor (1967) 58/100 - Back in 2010 I was lucky enough to win a monthly contest in England for writing a film review on the Find-dvd.co.UK website. I won a £200 gift certificate and when I was deciding which DVDs to buy, I thought about buying the "Carry On" collection. The franchise was the most successful film series in Great Britain with 31 films starting in 1958 and running through 1992. I love British comedy and I came ever so close to buying this set. It would have been a blind buy, because I had never seen one of the thirty one films, but they were supposed to be very funny. Well, I've finally watched my first film and looking back, I'm glad I didn't take the plunge on the whole set. Maybe this wasn't the film to start with, but from what I understand, this was one the more successful films in the line. It's cheeky, bawdy, but to be honest, a bit dull. Not a good thing for a comedy. Sid James, long one of my favorite British comedians kind of dials it in on this one, as did Charles Hawtrey. But, Kenneth Williams proves why he was one of England's top box office draws when it came to comedy. If I could put it into one line, it's like Benny Hill, but a few steps down.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #468 on: July 11, 2020, 06:59:23 PM »
Arthur (1981) 72/100 - It is so sad that this film has been pretty much blacklisted by the PC police. I remember watching this countless times in the 80's on HBO & Cinemax and every time, it made me chuckle. What's even sadder is the amount of people today who love watching movies who have been brainwashed by the politically correct dogma that you shouldn't laugh at an alcoholic. Foster Brooks must be resting so comfortably in his grave, knowing that he came along when it was OK to be the bumbling drunk. I was surprised to read some reviews on this film from people whose thoughts and comments I respect. Lighten up! It's a comedy. It's worth it just to see John Gielgud steal every scene he is in.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #469 on: July 11, 2020, 07:00:31 PM »
Blazing Saddles (1974) 90/100 - Mel Brooks is right, this film deserves to be at the top spot on the AFI 100 years... 100 Laughs list. There are more laughs in this film than the combined amount in the five films that sit above it. To have this movie at number six is a travesty. I can't think of another film before this that skewered a genre so magnificently. Yes, it can be crude, and in today's politically correct society, somewhat offensive to those who look for any reason to be offended. But being a Western fan and aficionado, I still have moments of gut churning laughs while watching this amazing screenplay. And Mel Brooks was smart to let Richard Pryor write all the racial jokes, because he could have never gotten away with some of the stuff in the film, had he written it himself. Finally, Madeline Kahn was robbed on Oscar night, she deserved the award much more than Ingrid Bergman.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #470 on: July 11, 2020, 07:02:38 PM »
Lady for a Day (1933) 74/100



It's a shame that hardly anyone remembers Warren William today, an actor who, at the beginning of the sound era, was as popular as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy or Cary Grant would be at the end of the thirties. A contract player at Warner Bros., he eschewed the notoriety and the limelight, and was happy to get his assignment, make the film, and go home. On loan to Columbia, he stars with May Robson in Frank Capra's first hit film, with an adapted screenplay by Robert Riskin of a Damon Runyon short story. Robson plays Apple Annie, a somewhat dowdy peddler who sells apples on the street during the Great Depression. Her best customer is Dave the Dude, a professional gambler who believes that Annie's apples bring him good luck. Sound familiar? Capra would remake the film in 1961 with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford and call it Pocketful of Miracles.

If you’ve seen the remake, but not the original, then you owe it to yourself to seek it out. Davis and Ford really don’t embody their characters and that’s the reason the film kind of flopped in 1961. But here, Robson and William, plus a plethora of great character actors from the Pre-Code era, give it their all, and the results are a witty and charming story. I always love seeing the name Ned Sparks when I venture into an early thirties film, he was the prototype wisecracking pal that other actors would emulate in the following decades. He plays off of William’s character much better than Peter Falk did with Glenn Ford in the remake. Warren William was known for playing lecherous businessmen in various Pre-Code gems, so it’s nice to see him play a good guy for once. He’s one of my secret favorite actors, whom I’ve never understood why, kind of disappeared so fast. Maybe it was the crop of young actors that I mentioned coming down the pike, that curtailed his prominence in pictures.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #471 on: July 11, 2020, 07:03:54 PM »
Keoma (1976) 40/100 - The final climactic scene in this film has the main protagonist, a half breed squaring off with his three white half brothers, while a woman is giving birth and screaming in agony. But it is the viewer who is in agony after watching this incredibly bad movie. It has the worst soundtrack I have ever heard, with a screaming banshee of a woman and what sounds like a guy who is gargling with razor blades as he sings. Every time either one would start to sing, I had to stop the film and come back to it after a few days, it was that annoying to listen to. It took me over 8 attempts to make it to the end. Earlier in the month, after watching a Corbucci film, I pondered if I'd ever watch a spaghetti western again. After Keoma, my mind is set, I'm done.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #472 on: July 11, 2020, 07:05:19 PM »
Man Without a Star (1955) 65/100 - Universal International was well known in the fifties for their western offerings, so I can't understand why Kirk Douglas, in his production company's first film, decided upon King Vidor to be the director. Last night, I watched an early Budd Boetticher film from two years earlier which had plenty of action and showed that Boetticher was a director on the rise. When the film started I was enthusiastic, because the opening theme song was sung by Frankie Laine, usually a good harbinger of things to come. But from the onset, it doesn't know what kind of film it wants to be. Bits of comedy, Douglas singing a song and in the end, a somewhat revenge vibe, that never really amounts to anything of merit. It was entertaining, hell, anything with Kirk Douglas is, but it never really satisfies. In the end, it comes across as nothing more than a B movie. Had Douglas chosen Boetticher, it may have been much, much better. It had the potential.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #473 on: July 11, 2020, 07:06:52 PM »
The Man from the Alamo (1953) 75/100 - It's a travesty that Budd Boetticher was never given a chance to direct a big budget western. He definitely could hold his own when judged against peers such as John Ford, Howard Hawks or Anthony Mann. His westerns are straightforward action films with little of the cornpone humor found in abundance in the Ford pictures. This film has a simple storyline, one man at the Alamo draws lots with four other men, who happen to be his neighbors, to leave the Alamo and try and save the five families who are about to be attacked by renegade Texas guerrillas. It's the one time no man wants to be the winner, because that man will forever be looked upon as a coward. Glenn Ford plays the unfortunate man who arrives to find that he was too late to save the families, and now he lives for revenge against the guerrillas. Coming in at an economical 79 minutes, the story breezes by, and if it had been given more money and a bit more depth, it may have been remembered for being more than just a B movie classroom for Boetticher's future films. It also has two memorable stunt man scenes that are definitely worth checking out. They're both fight scenes, one amongst tied up horses which I can't believe didn't stomp on the men and the other, at a waterfall. These two scenes exemplify why Boetticher has a cult of fans who love his westerns. If you've never watched a Boetticher western, this is a good place to start.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #474 on: July 11, 2020, 07:08:06 PM »
Destry (1954) 66/100 - Had I never saw the original made in 1939, I would have liked this and rated it better than I have. But you can't get the original out of your head. Audie Murphy knew he wasn't a great actor, and to ask him to play a role made famous by James Stewart was probably more daring and difficult for him, than his machine gun action in Holtzwihr which won him his Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945. So because it's pretty much a scene by scene remake of the original, by the same director, one can only compare performances. So, to start, Murphy doesn't do that bad of a job as Tom Destry. Like I mentioned earlier, if I had watched this first, I would have been impressed by how much he had grown as an actor in just six years. Brain Donlevy > Lyle Bettger, Bettger plays his usual slick, but in the end cowardly bad guy and he never comes across as anything but weak. Marlene Dietrich = Mari Blanchard, Dietrich is the better actress and her fight scene and final kiss scene with Destry are the highlights of the original. Blanchard gets kudos from me as a better singer and after reading about her struggles in her youth with polio, for being able to dance that well, having been afflicted and recovering on her own from that paralyzing disease. Charles Winninger > Thomas Mitchell, usually I really like Mitchell, but I've seen this kind of performance from him in the past, and it seemed old and stale. Samuel S. Hinds > Edgar Buchanan, I'm sorry, but Buchanan will always be Uncle Joe from Petticoat Junction, and Uncle Joe was an annoying character that I just can't get out of my mind when I see him in something other than the TV show. Mischa Auer >>> Wallace Ford, this was a no-brainer. Auer was the funniest part of the original and changing his character to a doctor, who is incredibly hen pecked just falls flat. Finally, the songs in the original fit the western town setting much better than the songs here. At times, I thought they would have been better suited for 50's burlesque house.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #475 on: July 11, 2020, 07:09:16 PM »
Seven Ways from Sundown (1960) 65/100 - At first I couldn't figure out what kind of western this was going or wanted to be. There are a few played for laugh moments in the beginning, and I started to wonder if this was going to be worth the investment in my personal time. But once the town is left behind and the pursuit and ambush take place, this turned out to be an enjoyable little movie. Once Barry Sullivan's character is captured, the film then evolves into a quasi buddy picture that at times, reminded me of 3:10 to Yuma, but not as stark or dramatic. It may have starred Audie Murphy, but this is Sullivan's picture. He plays a well known and well liked outlaw who has a price on his head and a lot of friends in a lot of towns that Murphy has to travel through to bring him to justice. By the end of the movie you can understand why everyone likes him, Sullivan's the kind of guy you'd want as a friend. Halfway through the story, I started to get the feeling that Murphy was OK with Sullivan stealing the film from him. Earlier that same year, he had a supporting role in John Huston's bigger budgeted western The Unforgiven, with Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn Charles Bickford & Lillian Gish. The success of that film may have led Murphy to believe that bigger and better things were about to happen with his career and he would only have to make this film as part of his Universal contract.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #476 on: July 11, 2020, 07:10:25 PM »
The Spaghetti West (2005) 65/100 - If you've never watched a "spaghetti" western it will give you a broad introduction. But it never really delves into the film making as a whole, and when Sergio Leone is the prime moving force in this sub-genre, some time has to be spent on how great an artist he was. It did give me a few more films that I'm curious to explore, although I'm finding myself getting frustrated with the oeuvre outside of Leone.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #477 on: July 11, 2020, 07:11:31 PM »
Duck, You Sucker (1971) 70/100 - After finishing the documentary I reviewed earlier, I decided to do a re-watch of the one Leone film I've only viewed once. After watching it initially I couldn't understand why a lot of people thought it was a lesser effort from Leone. But now after a second viewing, the problems do stand out more clearly. The main problem with it is Rod Steiger. With Leone not speaking any English, he mustn't have been able to realize how awful Steiger's Mexican accent sounds. I really wish Eli Wallach would have been given the role, I do believe he could have made the role more grounded and believable. Another problem is the pacing after the initial ninety minutes, when the film does an about face and focuses completely on the revolutionary aspect of the story. Switching from an action style western to a political sermon throws the mood of the film into reverse. It's still better than almost all other film westerns by Italian directors, but after this second viewing, it will probably be a long time before I watch it again. I wound up dropping its score 10 points. Who knows how much further it can go if I watch it again?

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #478 on: July 11, 2020, 07:12:47 PM »
Canyon Passage (1946) 85/100 - Probably the best use of Technicolor I've seen in a film. If after watching this in a large screened movie house back in 1946, you didn't feel compelled to move to Oregon, I'd have to wonder if blood flowed through your veins. Countless scenes of majestic Cascade mountain beauty throughout the breadth of this forgotten gem of a "western". Can it really be called a western? All the clichéd tropes of assembly line made westerns of the period are set aside, in favor of a menagerie of intertwined subplots, cast against the grandiose, yet somewhat claustrophobic setting of dense tree lined mountains. Dana Andrews is solid as the lead and it was a guilty joy to finally see Brian Donlevy not play the snake oil sleazy role he was pigeon holed in throughout his long career. Susan Hayward is always a joy to gaze upon and the rest of the cast, especially Ward Bond, relishing his role as the ugliest and meanest character he ever played, keep the story moving along at a comfortable, but engaging pace. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this, and wish it had been just a bit longer. This is only the fourth film directed by Jacques Tourneur that I've seen, and now I know I have to explore many more.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #479 on: July 11, 2020, 07:13:56 PM »
Along Came Jones (1945) 60/100 - It's supposed to be a spoof of his films and roles, but Cooper and company barely elicit even the slightest chuckle. It moseys along at a rather plodding pace and even at 90 minutes, seems much longer. I don't ever see me myself watching this again. I had high hopes when I saw William Demarest, but unlike his turns with Preston Sturges, a screenwriter that could have made this great, his time and mine was wasted.

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is