Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the real deal Santa Claus that for some reason has escaped an old folks home and decided to wreak his holiday brand of havoc on the capitalist pigs at Macy’s, as well as firing up a little girl’s imagination which has been stymied by her divorced workaholic and very sensible mother. He’s also got no use for drunken Santa imposters, pop psychiatry, and doesn’t mind going to trial to prove he is the one and only Santa! Continue reading
Director Frank Capra, known for his movies about the great American underdog, war propaganda films, and for that one where Jimmy Stewart saves Christmas, explores the glorious American family in Arsenic And Old Lace and shows us that the violent, murderous society we pride ourselves on now, isn’t merely some recent invention of the absent parent, video game industry, and liberal media bias. Continue reading
The premise is simple enough: mobster doublecrossed by fellow mobsters gets killed, rebuilt as a cyborg and returns to wreak havoc on those responsible for his death. As director Takashi Miike (Audition, Sabu) notes in an interview contained on the DVD, it was really so simple a premise that it wasn’t conceived by a screenwriter, director, or even a money-grubbing producer, but by a property guy who worked at the studio! Continue reading
This is another one of those screwball comedies made in the 1930s where regular folk are thrown into the strange and kooky world of rich folk. I never tire of seeing the filthy rich act like boobs while falling in love with lower class types. This time the results are very satisfying chiefly because of the witty, if mechanical, script from Preston Sturges and the peppy efforts of Jean Arthur.
Ray Milland is also along for the ride as her love interest and watching the young Milland makes you cringe when you remember that thirty years later he would end up in such fare as X – The Man With X-Ray Eyes and Frogs. Cringe because of how long it would take him to get around to making cool movies! Continue reading
Cary Grant’s second-to-last movie role has him playing a boozy, broken down, self-centered guy who plans to sit out World War II until he gets hornswaggled into being a spotter on a remote island by the crafty Trevor Howard. Those of us who’ve been with Cary for his thirty year career remember him from a variety of great roles in great movies, but most of them involve him being dressed nicely, clean shaven, and with his hair perfectly combed. Father Goose though sees him attempting to stretch his acting chops by look really grubby. Continue reading
One has to wonder after enduring two hours of this mess whether its audience of 1966 was in on the joke or whether it was only the movie that thought all its mod design, dreadfully long scenes that went nowhere and dialogue that rarely made any sense were the pinnacle of mid-sixties cool. Continue reading
Robert Altman and Paul Newman team up to give us some revisionist history about America’s greatest hero, Buffalo Bill. Mind you, I have no idea what Buffalo Bill ever did that was so dang great. I’m guessing that he killed some buffalo and Indians or something back in times when that sort of thing could pass for an occupation. Continue reading
This is a film that I would recommend to all the people complaining that our professional athletes are overcompensated. Not because I think these people are jealous whiners and that they deserve to have to sit through this forgettable musical filled with unremarkable tunes, dance numbers that don’t ever catch fire, and a story about as thin as Frank Sinatra, though that wouldn’t be totally unwarranted punishment for them. But because this movie teaches us what happens when pro ballplayers don’t make enough money and have to find second jobs from shady gamblers.
Right from the beginning, the movie demonstrates how desirous it is for our sports heroes to not be forced into off season employment when we meet up with Gene Kelly and Old Blue Eyes as they perform their vaudeville routine that revolves around a lot of singing and dancing to the title song. Continue reading
The Gilbreths, whose sole claim to fame is that they have never heard of birth control, stage an unwelcome return in this, the sequel to the insipid Cheaper By the Dozen and the results are more of the same: meandering stories that don’t hold your interest, moments designed to evoke laughs that succeed only in provoking yawns, and the complete downplaying of all but about two or three of the daughters. Continue reading
Right out of the gate this movie suffers from a major handicap: the suspension of disbelief that it requires as it relates to its casting is bigger than the size of the brood that is apparently supposed to be the major selling point of the film. Continue reading