Posted on 7/04/14 01:59 PM
Spooky and very disturbing english, gothic thriller starring Deborah Kerr as a newly employed governess on a big old mansion who is slowly starting to feel uneasiness about the house and especially the children.
Michael Redgrave plays "The Uncle" of the children who hires Miss Giddens as the governess. Miss Giddens has the greatest time at first, and gets along very well with little Flora. Oddly, Flora seems to know before everybody else that Miles is soon going home, and oddly he gets suspended for some unknown reason and gets home.
Miles, just like Flora, gets very fond of Miss Giddens. Miss Giddens start to get creepy feelings and "see" people, like a man on the roof. She learns from the housemaid that a relative of the children, Peter Quint, used to live in the house before but died mysteriously outside the front door. Also the previous governess had died in the house. Apart from Miss Giddens herself, she gets a very strong feeling that the children see what she sees, but seem to like what they see.
The children is showing some signs of really disturbed behavior.
This movie has an extremely creepy atmosphere! It amazes me how skillfully it's directed, taking advantage of every shadow available to make the environment appear as gruesome as possible.
Director Jack Clayton decided to downplay some of the sexual elements in the original book by Henry James (The Turn of the Shrew), and add an important twist in the end as well (a twist different people chose to see in different ways), which is perhaps the reason why this movie is so memorable.
Posted on 7/02/14 06:03 AM
Clark Gable was named "The King of Hollywood" and as a matter of fact Myrna Loy was once named "The Queen of Hollywood" and with Jean Harlow and James Stewart as co-stars and director Clarence Brown, nothing can really go wrong.
The chemistry between Gable and Loy is just amazing, as the chemistry between Gable and Harlow (this was after all their fourth out of six movies they did together).
Clark Gable is playing V.S., magazine publisher Van Stanhope who is living a nice and carefree life, married to the lovely Linda (Myrna Loy). Their marriage sparkle like never before, that is until Mimi, Linda's mother-in-law, starts giving Linda warnings that Van might be just like his father; a hopeless ladies' man!, and that she better put a watching eye on her husband's sexy blonde secretary, Whitey (Jean Harlow).
James Stewart (who only appeared in a few scenes in this movie as "Whitey's" boyfriend) once said that he failed in the kissing scene with Jean Harlow on purpose, because he enjoyed so much to do it again and again, since she was such a great kisser!
Though many people consider this movie much weaker than the "follow up movie"; Libeled Lady (with Loy, Harlow, William Powell & Spencer Tracy), I must reserve myself to say something until I have revisited Libeled Lady once again.
I however think there are many screwball comedies besides the big ones (Adam's Rib, His Girl Friday, My Man Godfrey, Bringing Up Baby, The Awful Truth, The Lady Eve, It Happened One Night for example...) that are being overlooked and underrated. And I think Wife vs. Secretary belongs to that underrated category.
Some more "spice" to the plot, and this would have been a 80%-movie for me.
"Mimi: My dear, men are like that. So honorable and wise in some things and just like naughty children in others. You wouldn't blame a little boy for stealing a piece of candy if left alone with a whole boxful, will you?"
Posted on 7/01/14 01:26 PM
First time I watched this movie, it gave me a very eerie feeling. And when they in the end texts revealed it was "based on a true story" I honestly could not sleep that night...
But as I made a lot of research on the real case a few years later, I now see the movie from a completely different view. Though I must still say there are a few things I like about it. Some of the creepy scenes that even made me nightmares afterwards (and believe me...I'm used to quite a lot horror movies).
*A young 19-year old college student named Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) from a very religious upbringing has died under mysterious circumstances.
The family priest, Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson), is being prosecuted for having caused her death.
Laura Linney plays the role of Father Moorse's defense attorney, Erin Bruner, who despite the fact that she is an agnostic when it comes to religions is going to find some alternative explanation to her death. Father Moore warns Erin Bruner after having taken the case, that she might experience some unusual things, after the prosecution has began. Bruner however is not taking this warning too serious since she doesn't really believe in demons.
It's through the witness sayings in the court, that narrates the story of the movie, basically. And I think it works. I can even stretch further by saying that the movie would probably have been downright bad, if not.
As Emily Rose starts college she slowly start to experiences terrifying visions and strong convulsions. While sleeping in her bed, every night at exactly 3.00 some thing makes her wakes up and strange things happens so she freaks out. As it progresses she stops school and is admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she only seems to get worse (eating spiders, ripping off clutches of her hair). The family takes her home then and puts their daughter's life in the family priest's hands. He will perform an exorcism on Emily, since she and her family are both convinced she is possessed by several demons.*
The truth is that watching real pictures of the real life Emily Rose (or Anneliese Michel, which was her real name) and listening to records of the real exorcism will give you even more nightmares than this movie! Putting things into that perspective, I think I must give this movie 60%...
Posted on 6/22/14 03:06 PM
This is simply an outstanding, hilarious screwball-comedy, starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche, with John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Francis Lederer and Hedda Hopper playing the assisting roles. Star-studded cast in other words!
*Eve Peabody (Claudette Colbert) is an rather unsuccessful showgirl/chorus girl who's been traveling from place to place "finding her luck". Dressed in her only dress (but oh what a dress! Here we can speak of glamour!) she has just attended to Paris. Raining cats and dogs, she tries to find shelter, though she is close to broke. Hungarian cab driver, Tibor Czerny feels sorry about this pretty girl after having explained she has no money, no job, and no home. So he makes a deal with her; he'll drive her anywhere so she can try to earn some money on the condition that she pay him double fare. Czerny really likes Miss Peabody so he buys her dinner, and even though her feelings for him are somewhat mutual, she suppresses those feelings as she always had wanted to "become somebody" and get rich.
Dressed in the ültra smashing dress, she slips away from Czerny, and crashes a social with music performances. She just comes up with the first name she could think of; Czerny and introduces herself as Baroness Czerny.
The atmosphere becomes a bit uneasy when it gets known that there is a uninvited guest who has slipped in.
A George Flammarion (John Barrymore) immediately sees through Miss Peabody but covers up for her, as he needs her to do a little favor for him. Lately his wife Helen (Mary Astor) has started to slip away from him, and has begun to fall for playboy socialite, Jaques Picot (Francis Lederer). Flammarion did notice Miss. Peabody's extreme charm and how the men at the social followed her like a tail...so now he wants Miss Peabody to seduce Jaques, so he can win his wife back. The plan goes very smoothly. That is until Czerny finds Miss. Peabody!
Though director Mitchell Leisen has a very long filmography, consisting of screwball comedies, as well as love dramas, I consider Midnight as one of his very best.
Don Ameche is always very good in screwball comedies like this one, and Colette Colbert is an excellent comedienne.
Fantastic witty, zappy lines...Well, Billy Wilder helped writing the script actually!
I give this movie a strong 80% rating. But who knows if I'll raise it sometime?
Very much recommended!
Posted on 6/22/14 10:53 AM
I must say that I am a bit impressed of Ti West (writer and director of this movie). I like his old school feeling he usually puts into his movies. I mean, his movies don't really stand out that much (if you look it through a film critics point) but at the same time he is almost a blessing for us horror-fans since he still manage to make horror flicks that holds your interest with memorable characters and some "vintage" scares.
*It's the last few days Yankee Pedlar Inn is open. The inn is of ancient linage and is called of one New England's most haunted hotels.
Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are stand-ins for the weekend while the owner is taking vacation. Both Claire and Luke are very interested in paranormal things and they are determined to find some activity in the house before wrecking balls start to bounce the walls. What they are looking for exactly is the ghost of Madeline O'Malley; a bride who hanged herself in the 19th century, after being left on the altar by her fiancé. They had to hide her corpse in the cellar to reveal the scandal and maintain the hotel's reputation.
As you can guess, they eventually get more "activity" than they bargained for.
The first guest who enters is a famous actress, Leanne Rease-Jones (played by Kelly McGillis!), who later turns out to be a medium, very interested in paranormal activities as well.
The second guest who checks in the last night, is an elderly german man, pleading to get a particular room on the third floor. Despite being explained that the rooms on the third floor are stripped of furniture, he still insists so Claire offers to go get some sheets for the bed. He explains that he spend his honeymoon in that very room, many years ago, and wanted to revisit one last time.*
I really liked the characters "Claire" and "Luke" and think the chemistry between those actors (Paxton & Healy) was superb. Loved "Lukes'" sarcastic remarks about the guests, which was in line with my personal humor. To be honest I did not recognize Kelly McGillis (Witness, Top Gun, Accused) until I read her name among the cast.
Some people complain about the slow pace, but I think West builds up the suspense very effectively and firmly with a couple of jump-up scares, here and there.
Recommended to you who love old school, spooky films!
Posted on 6/22/14 09:58 AM
I was surprised that I would like this Pixar-movie THIS much, I honestly thought it already had it's peak in 2009 with Up. Though I still think Up is better than Brave, it's always refreshing to see that they still now and then produces great movies! Was not very impressed by the latest Pixar movie though, Monsters University..
Merida is a wild-spirited, redhead, hot-tempered, arrow shooting princess in the earlier days of Scotland.
Unfortunately princess Merida is soon reaching the age when it's expected that her father, King Fergus and mother Queen Elinor are to choose a man to marry.
The very idea upsets Merida terribly, and after having seen the not too impressing candidates she is completely devastated. Though she comes up with a clever little plan...She declares that she will choose the winner of an archery contest, as her pick.
Merida disguises herself and wins the contest of course (since she is an extremely skilled archer), though neither the parents or the people of the different clans who are visiting, appreciate her trick very much. So her furious mother tells Merida that next day she will be forced to choose a guy!
The even more furious Merida walks to the witch in the forest and buys a spell for her mother so she won't have to choose anyone for husband. This spell, Merida will soon bitterly regret as her mother transforms into a bear, which her father believes to be his nemesis and will immediately kill...
I really liked the humor, LOVED the characters, the story, the artwork in this movie. I was giggling almost every minute, and I appreciated the "mythical" side story as well that intertwined so fine into the main story.
This is no doubt my top three Pixar-favorite! Vastly charming!
Posted on 6/22/14 09:24 AM
One of my (many) favorite shorts by Laurel & Hardy!
This time they are rooming in a house with a very hot-tempered landlord (NOT played by James Finlayson this time, haha).
The landlord has an extremely strict no-dog-policy...But Hardy and especially not Laurel have the heart to leave their beloved pet dog, Laughing Gravy outside since it's waaay below zero.
This puts them into a tricky dilemma though, since the walls are paper thin and Laughing Gravy obviously is a very "barky" dog.
The first time the landlord hears something that quite resemble dog barking, he immediately rushes into their room to check (though they had the time to hide the dog) and declares if he finds a dog inside the house, he will throw them all out into the cold!
Tough shit, right? haha
And the second Laughing Gravy starts barking, they hurriedly hides him in the chimney...Though when the landlord has left the room for the second time, not finding any dog, and Laurel and Hardy is going to fetch him...it seems he has climbed up the roof!
Many Laurel and Hardy-fans consider this one their favorite among their "talking shorts" :)
The funniest moment, I think no doubt is when Hardy himself is climbing up the roof to get Laughing Gravy....but falls down.
That scene makes me laugh hysterically every time!
Posted on 6/20/14 04:45 PM
Roughly it's a Cinderella story (and a flirt with Pygmalion), but "Cinderella"; is a prostitute named Vivian Ward, and "the prince" is corporate raider Edward Lewis.
Edward (Richard Gere) who is not the type who picks up prostitutes on the street, but he has just broken up with his girlfriend so naturally he would feel lonely on the hotel.
Having trouble to find to the hotel, he stops by a prostitute; Vivian (Julia Roberts) and asks for directions, but of course Vivian is used to the "game".
When arrived at the luxurious hotel in which Edward had payed for a suite. They watch Lucy Show on TV, with Vivian laughing hysterically. Edward was discreetly watching Vivian as she laughed her head off, watching her favorite episode. He had ordered strawberries with champagne at the room. Suddenly Vivian walks to the bathroom, Edward assuming the worst, tells her to scram, as he noticed she she was hiding in her hand.
Vivian gets furious and says that shit like drugs she gave up when she was 14 year old.
Edward now realizes that Vivian is a wild spirited with lots of personality. So the next day he get the idea that he must have a date for an extremely important business meeting, which she accepts for the amount of 3000 dollars. The hotel manager get the almost impossible task, to learn Vivian how to look, walk and talk like a real lady.
The result is miraculous.
When her role as a date is over, things start to get a little bit complicated since they've slowly developed stronger feelings for each other. But is a relationship between those with so different backgrounds even possible?
Director Garry Marshall...I must be honest but his directorial filmography doesn't impress me very much. Overboard (1987), I like...But not so much the other's I've seen by him. One of his trademarks is definitely "the Cinderella" aspect which you easily can find in many of his movies.
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere worked really good as a team, judging by the audience experience of course. I think they were both ok, though Julia Roberts may play the most unconvincing prostitute in the history of cinema.
And noooo! Not because I am swedish, that fact alone doesn't make me like the song; It Must Have Been Love, and not even the group Roxettes! Otherwise, more people may connect this movie to Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison's standard hit) which is after all not so bad :)
Mustn't forgot to say that it was great fun to watch Jason Alexander, playing a cynical and mean man with good self-confidence... (not at all as George Costanza, haha!)
Well, Pretty Woman felt way to cheesy for me, but if you like romantic comedies you're probably like this movie very much.
"Vivian: Can I call you Eddie?
Edward Lewis: Not if you expect me to answer"
Posted on 6/20/14 11:52 AM
Story takes place in the depression-era, Chicago. Con-man Luther Coleman (Robert Earl Jones) is killed by mobster Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Coleman's protégé, Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) decides to revenge his death and put up the greatest scam the world has ever seen against the vicious Lonnegan. He realizes though that he can't go through it alone. So he hooks up with another friend of Coleman's; Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) who is a download drunkard who has already had his "peak" as a trickster. With ages of planning, they day is soon come to stage the biggest sting ever!
Damn, how much I love this movie! I even must say that I love The Sting more then the previous movie George Roy Hill directed with Newman and Redford starring; Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. (Is that controversial???) Mmm...and with that lovely ragtime music by Scott Joplin (performed by Marvin Hamlish), yes, this is definitely a masterpiece if you ask me!
My favorite scene is no doubt when Gondorff is playing poker with Lonnegan, pretending to be some rich and dumb hillbilly, and with Hooker's help is outwitting Lonnegan in cheating. That face Robert Shaw makes! Priceless!
The story and it's characters are top notch, and the chemistry between Redford and Newman is simply impeccable! This movie even won a much deserved oscar award for best motion picture in 1974.
This is a classic EVERYBODY must see!
"Floyd: Doyle, I KNOW I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can't let him get away with that.
Doyle Lonnegan: What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?"
Posted on 6/20/14 08:50 AM
Well above average thriller with Jack Nicholson playing the lead, as the recently retired police detective Jerry Black who experiences the most brutal crime during his career when a little girl is found murdered and raped. His colleagues are throwing a for Jerry as it's his last day as a cop, when they get the news that a teenage boy has found the body of seven year old Ginny Larsen.
He gets the difficult task of reporting the terrible incident to the girl's mother, Margaret Larsen (Patricia Clarkson). He pledges her that he will one day find perpetrator, a pledge that will eventually become an obsession.
Jerry Black's colleagues make an easy way out of the situation and arrest a mentally challenged native american (played excellently by Benicio Del Toro), whom they torture through relentless hours of tough interrogation, which eventually leads to a meek confession. There is no chance of prosecute him properly however, since he "mysteriously" is killed in the police station which only leads to that the case is unofficially regarded as closed.
Black is convinced that there is way more to it.
He visits the school where Ginny went, and speaks to her friends. It turns out that Ginny had an adult friend she was regularly seeing, whom she called "the giant". After having looked at drawings Ginny made of him, before she died, it soon stands clear that it's not the indian guy who was arrested.
Making good of his promise, Black spends all his time to search for "the giant" who allegedly used to give little Ginny small "hedgehogs".
Sean Penn is the director behind this good adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's short story, The Pledge; Requiem For The Detective Novel. Penn does a good job, though it's not particularly "action-packed" but rather creeping slowly through the story. The result is a sturdy piece of work, that will not stand out that much but will serve as fine entertainment.
The star cast consists of (apart from Nicholson The Great, and Del Toro); Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright, Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke and Harry Dean Stanton.
They all make solid but not too rememberable performances.
The Pledge is simply good but light entertainment. Really liked the ending, which was very stylish and suggestive!