buy Flomax no prescription Synthroid without prescription buy buspar buy Singulair online buy Prednisone online Amitriptyline lasix without prescription buy buspar online buy super Levitra online Prednisone without prescription buy trazodone without prescription Zithromax No Prescription Propecia Amoxicillin

Flick Clique: August 7-13

Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938). In this screwball comedy, Gary Cooper plays a millionaire having a business trip on the French Riviera. He has a meet-cute with Claudette Colbert in a department store, where he is looking for only a pajama top while she wants the bottom. They fall for each other, but on their wedding day she is dismayed to find that he previously married seven times. It upsets her, but she tries to work out an agreement that will help both herself and her disenfranchised father, a Marquise played by too-young Edward Everett Horton. This was directed by Ernst Lubitsch and screenwritten by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Given the cast and crew, it has the makings of a fun, sparkling soufflé of a movie (like that other Claudette Colbert, Wilder/Brackett collaboration Midnight). In its defense, it is pretty amusing, with a lot of zingy lines and some great, old-style star wattage from Cooper and Colbert. On the whole, however. it’s a disappointment — stagy (with lots of badly done back projection subbing for France), rather forced, and with a story that goes nowhere. I loved looking at the stars and the wonderful Deco interiors, though, so it’s an intriguing diversion if that sorta thing strikes your fancy.
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story (2009). Watched this Disney-produced documentary on Netflix streaming. The Boys is all about Richard and Robert Sherman, composers of “It’s A Small World,” “A Spoonful Of Sugar,” “The Bear Necessities” and about a zillion other earworms from a host of films both Disney and not (surprisingly enough, the film is heavy on clips from non-Disney kiddie fare like Snoopy, Come Home and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Despite the cheery nature of their songs, the brothers have a far from brotherly relationship — underscored by the fact that the film was directed by two Sherman cousins who barely knew each other as children and only recently reconnected over their dads’ work. The film explores the Shermans’ lives going back to their childhood, early non-success in ’50s L.A. (golden oldie “You’re Sixteen” was a rare hit), the heady Disney years and the strange disconnect between their professional and personal lives. The estrangement of the brothers is the “hook” this film is based on, but the fact that they don’t socialize with each other doesn’t seem so unusual (I have two brothers that I barely socialize with, too). Mostly the film celebrates their careers and legacy, and in that respect it’s a winner. You get a lot of info about the men’s individual style — younger Richard is the gregarious, workaholic spokesman for the duo while the brooding Robert (a WWII vet) seems to channel his passions into a variety of things, including writing and painting. They complement each other nicely, and personality issues aside they left a beautiful legacy of songs. There are even a few tear-jerking moments in the film, including any time “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins plays.
From the Terrace (1960). An astonishingly gorgeous Paul Newman stars in this plush soap as the wayward son of an industrialist (Leon Ames) and an alcoholic (Myrna Loy) who decides to defy his dad by starting up an aircraft business. He meets and marries a lovely, opinionated rich girl (Joanne Woodward), but their marriage fails as she philanders and his ambition soars. A docile brunette played by Ina Balin enters Newman’s life just as he’s ready to give up on Woodward, who clings to Newman for the social status even though she’s openly carrying on with old flame Patrick O’Neal. Overlong but decently staged family soap in the mold of Home from the Hill or Peyton Place (although Newman and Woodward are a step up from Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee). 20th Century Fox mounted a nice production here, making the film very watchable despite a so-so story based on a John O’Hara best seller. The perfect set designs, makeup, fashions and jewels (Woodward even wears a tiara!) make this one a sumptuous guilty pleasure. Hopefully I will get the same trashy/faboo reception from the Suzanne Pleshette vehicle A Rage To Live, also based on an O’Hara book (that one is viewable on Netflix, by the way).
House (1977). I already saw this weirdo Japanese haunted house opus in November 2008, but after it was released as part of the Criterion collection I snapped up the DVD. It’s such a goofy, silly movie, but seeing it a second time allows me to appreciate the creative “try everything” mojo that director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi puts in every scene. This time I really noticed the glossy, TV commercial-like moments (especially the scenes with Gorgeous and her would-be stepmother), the weirdly repetitive music cues, the loveliness of the girl playing Kung Fu, the strange way the girls don’t notice or care when the first friend goes missing, etc. It really is a trip. As revealed in the DVD’s supplemental interview with Ôbayashi, many of House‘s ideas were hatched by the director’s pre-teen daughter. Not too terribly surprising, for a film that features a carnivorous piano.
I Saw the Devil (2010). Chilling, super violent Korean flick about a calculating serial killer (played by Oldboy‘s Choi Min-sik) who tortures and kills young women for fun. After one such crime, the victim’s fiancee (Lee Byung-hun) decides to exact revenge by hunting the man down, forcing him to down an ingestible police tracker, then brutalizing him until he cracks. Overlong by at least an hour, but the killing/torturing scenes are excellently filmed, flowing copiously with blood. The film is pretty straightforward and realistic, which makes the brutality all the more scary to behold. Lee Byung-hun delivers a showy, finely modulated performance that never delves into scenery chewing. He’s just a guy with a sick hobby who wants to indulge for a little bit, is there something wrong with that?
Sing, Sinner, Sing (1933). A rather ordinary pre-Code drama based a the real life fraças between singer Libby Holman and her husband, tobacco heir Zachary Smith Reynolds, who was found shot to death under mysterious circumstances in their apartment. Actress Leila Hyams plays the Holman stand-in, a torch singer who shares a stormy romance with gambling ship captain Paul Lukas. She escapes his clutches with a wealthy playboy (Don Dillaway), but after they marry she finds that her new husband is carrying on with a hotsy-totsy blonde — played by my fave Joyce Compton. Probably the best reason to see this hoary drama would be Leila Hyams, who is attractive and somewhat fragile in a way that reminds me of the slightly later Virginia Bruce. She also sings a few numbers in an agreeable (apparently non-dubbed) low voice. The story is pretty blah, with lousy turns from Lukas and Dillaway. The production is moderately nice for a low-budget picture, indulging in the usual settings of shipboard, nightclub, and penthouse. The film was produced by Majestic, a poverty row studio which rented facilities from the majors. This kind of material has been done much better in several contemporary Warner Bros. potboilers, however — only die-hard Pre Code devotees would glean anything worthwhile from Sing, Sinner, Sing.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation