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Hazel
(1961)

hazel, the live in maid.
Hazel was a television series from 1961-1966. Post war growth boom. Shirley booth is hazel, the live-in maid for the baxter family. Don defore and whitney blake are george and dorothy baxter. With a son harold, played by bobby buntrock. Hazel had a heart of gold, and meant well, but she frequently goofed things up, that had to straightened out later. Blake was a writer/creator for the original one day at a time in 1975. Shirley booth won the oscar for come back, little sheba in 1953. And sadly, the kid, bobby buntrock died young in a car accident.

Springtime in the Rockies
(1942)

wartime entertainment. betty G.
Wartime flick. Some great names... betty grable, edward horton, john payne, carmen miranda, cesar romero. Kind of a much ado about nothing. Dan and vicky have been performing together for years, but now there's trouble in paradise. When dan can't be found, vicky takes up with victor, and now dan is out in the cold. Horton is in here for comic relief, as the bartender. And somehow, they all end up at beautiful lake louise in canada. Keep an eye out for vicky's dresser, phoebe; that's deadpan charlotte greenwood; she and grable had just done moon over miami the year before. With bob cummings. And in this one, her director is irving cummings. Grable was married to harry james for years. He and his band are in here too. Even playing some of the same music from moon over miami. Sadly, grable died so young from cancer. This one is pretty good. Nothing too complicated. They had to make do during the war. Jackie gleason ten years before honeymooners!

The Theory of Everything
(2014)

stephen hawking was a genius
The story of stephen hawking's life. His genius. His marriages. His degenerative disease. With up and coming brit actor eddie redmayne, and the blessing of the hawkings, themselves. Some interesting notes in the trivia section. It's ironic that he was born into a family of physicians. It's heartbreaking to see him try to get up the stairs... he wants so badly to be independent, but we (and stephen himself) all know the disease is slowly getting worse. Per the film, hawking always kept his sense of humor. Even in very serious, challenging times. Very well done. Directed by james marsh. He won the oscar for man on wire. This film is based on the book by his first wife, jane. Played here by felicity jones. Theory of... was nominated for FIVE oscars...and won for best lead actor.

The Other Boleyn Girl
(2008)

british royal history
Spoilers...because it's historical. Stars eric bana, natalie portman, scarlett johannson. Dad boleyn is trying to decide which of his daughters would be more suited to be consort to king henry. But mary gets married. When she, hubby, and anne are brought to the rpyal court, having a husband doesn't seem to be an issue for mary or her husband. Now it's a race to see who can give the king a male heir. History tells us the king dropped mary, maybe when she became pregnant. Henry married the sister anne, through royal orders and shenanigans. The church had refused to annul henry's actual marriage, so henry took control of the church, and reduced its power. As we know, anne could not provide a male heir either, so it didn't end well for her. The trivia section, wikipedia dot com, and history show possible minor inaccuracies, but it's good overall. Directed by justin chadwick.

Desert Passage
(1952)

tim holt in a....western.
Tim and Chito, his sidekick are hired to bring a shady character to mexico. But it's rough territory. And those best laid plans always go awry. Joan Dixon is Emily, who's mixed up in this somehow, but isn't saying anything to anyone. But she seems to know the stranger in town (walter Reed) . And now there are two men following them. Who's the good guy and who is the bad guy? Clay Moore was the Lone Ranger, in films and in the tv series. Tim Holt was king of the westerns, but died young at 54 from cancer. Directed by Les Selander. He and holt had made 21 films together! It's good.. the usual western. Shooting. Galloping. Bank robbers. Coyotes.

Adam Had Four Sons
(1941)

the beautiful ingrid B
Ingrid bergman... JUST before casablanca. Emilie is the governess for the stoddard family. Four boys.. a handful. Fay wray and warner baxter are mom and dad, but when tragedy strikes, emille must take on a much larger role. And the stock market crash didn't make things any easier. Co-stars a young susan hayward. She marries one brother, but really wants another. Emilie is onto them, but isn't sure what to do about it. An awkward position. Things start slowly, but really pick up about halfway through. It is the beautiful ingrid b, and she lights up any film. Story of love and sacrifice. Good stuff, once it gets going. Based on the book by charles bonner. Directed by greg ratoff. He was max fabian in all about eve, but he actually directed 30 films as well. Helen westley, the wacky, ancient, fun aunt Phillippa only lived another year after this was released.

Donde caben dos
(2021)

silly but fun
The more the merrier or... where two meet .. in spanish. Club Paradiso in spain, where you leave your feelings behind, according to their slogan. It's all about pleasure. A swingers club! And apparently, this lady who is to be married was here last night, and lost her engagement ring. So it's a treasure hunt to try and find it. One guy in a suit and tie says he doesn't want to be here, but he never seems to leave. It's a nutty night, and there's no real plot. Kind of like the ritz... its a night out at the sex club. A whole lot of boobs. Doesn't seem to be rated, since it's on netflix. Kissing and simulated sex. But about halfway through, everyone starts talking. And discussing. An emotional connection instead of sexual. Class, what have we learned here tonight? Its good. Directed by paco caballero.

Pryachsya
(2011)

from russia... with love
From russia. With murder. When workers at a weather station ( Pyotr Logachev, Vladimir Gusev,Sergey Garmash) and their guests vadim and irina ( Sergey Yushkevich, Marina Aleksandrova ) all disappear, investigators try to figure out what happened. There's something familiar about the cook... a young guy, who had a very rough childhood. And why would a couple visit a snow covered weather station for vacation anyway? Were they looking for the yeti that is rumored to be in the area? Known as "pryachsya" in russia. Hide.. or hidden ? My russian is pretty rusty at this point. It's good. There are more connections between them than anyone knew about. Directed by johnny oreilly. Irish director, who had studied russian. Has directed five films to date. Story by Aleksey Kolmogorov. It's pretty good mystery and suspense coming from russia; i'm glad that netflix is doing the captions and or dubbing so that we can see material coming out of other countries. The translation is very good.

It Looks Like Rain
(1945)

pretty outdated at this point.
From march of 1945... 10 minute wartime shortie from john nesbitt. The methods for forecasting the weather with an emphasis on farming. And the farmer is reading whitaker's almanac; never heard of that one. Discussions of anemometers. Snowfall cores. Local weather-gathering stations. Balloons. From the passing parade collection of shorts. Pretty basic tools, back in the day. Now it's all weather modeling on computers. Directed by paul burnford; he only directed 15 projects, and they were all short films.

The Falls
(2012)

remake of Latter Days
Some confusion... this is the 91 minute film from 2012. There were also two 2 hour sequels released 2013 and 2016. On top of that, there's a brand new film from taiwan called the falls, releaed 2021. In this 2012 film, rj (nick ferrucci) is a mormon, and bunks up with chris (ben farmer) on his mission. The slow, agonizing telling of what the encounters are like when meeting with people in their homes. When they show affection for each other in a restaurant, a redneck picks a fight. Although rj has almost no bruises afterwards. Clearly, they have feelings for each other. And it leads to other things. That are strictly against the rules. This trilogy of films is similar to latter days, from 2003. Written and directed by jon garcia. Moves pretty slow. Except for smoking pot... someone starts giggling right after his first puff, which is pretty unusual. Harp music. The subject matter is interesting enough, but things take so long to happen. Could have told the story much more quickly.... this didn't need to be told over a five and a half hour trilogy. On another note, the guidelines of the mormon church are evolving; homosexuality used to be grounds for getting kicked out; now the church is more accepting, and one should consult the current guidelines for accurate information.

Einstein and Eddington
(2008)

newton versus einstein
Doctor who ! David tennant is eddington, british scientist at cambridge. When einstein's work is at odds with some of newton's theories, they hire eddington to see who is right. And they realize that any technology derived from this could fall into german hands, as this was around the time of world war one. Andy serkis highlights the zany-ness and playfullness that einstein showed. History tells us about his frustration with the rote memorization of old facts and figures in his school days. This curiousity would help him look for new challenges later in his work. Andy serkis is probably best known as gollum in lord of the rings. Donald sumpter is contemporary max planck, who wants to bring einstein to berlin. There's a nod to newton and his work, but they acknowledge that there were holes, or incorrect assumptions. According to wikipedia dot com, einstein divorced his wives years after leaving them for other women, in the last case, he had married his own cousin elsa. And continued to have relationships after that had sputtered. The film is very well done. Moves right along. Good acting by all. Directed by philip martin, who directs many projects about history. Story by peter moffat, who seems to write exclusively for television.

Into Temptation
(2009)

father john goes on a mission
Jeremy sisto is father john at saint mary's. The multi-talented kristin chenoweth is linda salerno, who comes to his church to confess. She confesses that she will kill herself on her birthday, then rushes off. So father john doesn't really have a chance to respond, or to try to stop her. So that becomes his mission. But trying to help her may be more trouble than he bargained for. Can he find her, and figure out what's going on without violating any rules of the church? It's good ! Co-stars Brian Baumgartner. Written and directed by patrick coyle. One of the three films he's directed to date.

The Silent Passenger
(1935)

this one has gotta be in public domain...
It's a british film, produced by phoenix films; later brought to the US by cbs. When blackmailers argue, one ends up dead. In a trunk. John loder is Ryder, who is looking for his wandering wife and her love letters. And gets caught up in the murder and mayhem. Co-stars peter haddon as lord wimsey. There are a couple clever lines, but you have to pay attention to catch them... it's very low key, subtle humor. The picture and sound quality of this copy on TV Time channel are pretty bad, but you get what you pay for. It's ad supported, with minimal ads, so i did miss a few things here and there. Can they trap the real murderer in time? Directed by reginald denham, whose specialty was murder mysteries. Original story by dot sayers. She had several works made into film or television.

The Glass Castle
(2017)

rough childhood
The film claims to be based on a true story. Jeannette has hippie artist parents, which wouldn't be a problem in itself, but it borders on abuse and child neglect. Right at the start, mom asks the daughter which is more important, her own painting, or preparing a meal for the kids. And when confronted, the parents act violently, and show signs of mental illness. When the neglect causes the daughter's dress to catch on fire, burning the girl, dad says she just got too close to the "chaos". Good parenting. So we jump back and forth between the present and the childhood memories. And its all pretty painful to watch. Dad can't hold a job, so they have to keep moving on before the cops and bill collectors catch up. When Jeannette tells them she's getting married, they can't even be happy for her. So pour a drink, batten down the hatches, and press play. Pretty rough to watch. Storywise, it's fine... it's just a much rougher life than most of us grew up with. Based on the book by Jeanette Walls. Directed by Destin Cretton; has won TONS of film fest awards.

High Gear
(1933)

depression era story
James murray is mark sherrod, expert racing champion. Joan marsh is local reporter anne merritt, trying to get an interview with our racing hero. She finally does, and this upsets her regular date. When sherrod cracks up, he loses his nerve, and gets behind in his bills. It's 1933, the height of the depression, so no-one has money! Now he's driving a cab, but doesn't want anyone to know. The plot gets silly and convoluted with roughs doing a repo on the neighbor's furniture. And another neighbor's kid going to military school. Co-stars ed lambert as ed evans. Jackie searle as jimmie. The film quality on the copy i viewed is pretty bad, with numerous jumps and bad edits. Some interesting film locations... sadly, no locations are listed in imdb. Directed by leigh jason.

Time to Kill
(1942)

a chandler noir. the story is good.
A Ray Chandler tale. In fact, it was remade in 1947 as the Brasher Doubloon. In this earlier version, Lloyd Nolan is Shayne, hired by an old widow to find a stolen coin and return it to the family. Co-stars Ethel Griffies, Heather Angel, Doris Merrick. The film is all washed out, with bad sound, jumps and cuts. Badly in need of restoration. And while looking for the coin, Shayne opens up a whole counterfeiting ring, and of course, the bodies are piling up. Can they solve the crimes before they run out of suspects? The story is quite good, in spite of the poor quality film. Directed by Herb Leeds. Died young at 54, suicide.

Let's Live a Little
(1948)

skip this one... is there a columbo on?
Interesting... in the washed out, terrible sounding version showing on TvTime streaming channel, there's a giant black piece of tape intentionally covering SOMETHING on the opening credits. How odd. Stars bob cummings, from the institute of over-acting. He had been in hollywood for 15 years. Duke crawford is a big shot advertising guy, and one of his larger clients happens to be his ex girlfriend michele. Complications arise when he underestimates another headstrong, female client doctor loring. Co-stars anna sten and hedy lamarr. Cummings seems to be the weak link here.. the plot is sound, and those around him perform their roles just fine. He should have left the producer credit to someone else. Not so good. Directed by richard wallace. Died young at 57. Based on a story by al cohen and jack harvey.

Family Honeymoon
(1948)

the team of colbert, macmurray, binyon
The versatile claudette colbert, who was so awesome in imitation of life. Here, she hitches up with fred macmurray in one of the many films they made together. And hitch up they do.... katie has three kids, and thanks to fate, has to drag them all along on the honeymoon when she marries grant. Hyjinx ensue. Such good hearted, trusting strangers back in the day, looking after their children when the parents lose track of them. It plods along. Although this one DID come way before both yours, mine and ours, and... with six you get egg roll, similar plots. Some hackneyed jokes... train travel. Probably the best part of this was seeing what the entrance to the grand canyon looked like in 1948. The story is okay. Directed by claude binyon. He, macmurray and colbert all made a bunch of films together in the 1930s and 1940s. Based on the book by homer croy; had a bunch of his works turned into film. Check it out!

Carnival Story
(1954)

circus adventure for miss Eve...
Anne Baxter, a couple years after Eve, is Willie, working for a circus that travels around the world. Co-stars Steve Cochran and Jay Flippen. The other circus workers want Willie for various reasons, some want her for a wife, some want her for a partner in the act, or maybe just a plain "partner". Clearly, circus shenanigans, ups, downs, tragedies. Quite a different part for baxter than her last big role. Directed by Kurt Neuman; died young at 50, of the dreaded "natural causes". Died right as The Fly was being released. Steve Cochran would also go young at 48, under mysterious circumstances. Sailing around, on a boat, with several women, who may or may not have been of legal age.

Black Jack
(1950)

kind of exotic action in a kind of adventure story
Known as Blackjack and Captain Blackjack, this stars george sanders as mike, skipper of a boat which is helping political refugees get to shore. The picture quality is just awful, and sometimes its hard to tell what's going on. This seems to be a collection of americans, here in spain for various reasons.... everyone out for themselves. Filmed off the spanish island of palma, which is currently having great seismic activity. When one of the ships is reported to have burned up, mike goes to investigate. Herb marshall is doctor curtis, who seems to be involved in all this. Along with the always devious agnes moorehead, as emily birk. Inspector carnero is standing by, waiting to arrest those guilty of smuggling and other crimes. Part of the excitement is clearly the exotic location. Similar to the film algiers. Based on a story by robert gaillard. Directed by julien duvivier, who had directed a TON of great films, including tales of manhattan, anna karenina. Fun note: herb marshall was a pretty big star... was in BOTH versions of The Letter. And lost a leg in world war one.

Viaggio in Italia
(1954)

couple travels it-lee.
Stars Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders. An amurrican couple drives through europe, to find the villa they have inherited. Along the way, they realize their interests have really drifted apart. She digs visiting the museums and the locals, while he is just bored with it all. Novel by french writer Sidonie Colette. Who also wrote Gigi ! Some beautiful (and danerous) scenery near the cottage, real or not. Nearby locales include Vesuvius, Pompeii. We can understand why they were quick to sell ! But also some lovely tours of the local surrounding historical landmarks. Catacombs, bubbling hotspots, since they are so near the earth's core. The wife goes and sees all the nearby sites, while the husband goes off alone. Presumably. Can they sell the cottage and return home with the marriage intact? And do they still want to? Directed by roberto rossellini. Nominated for Paisa. This film is mostly interesting for the excavation going on at Pompeii in 1953.

Reign of Terror
(1949)

french revolution story
Stars Bob Cummings, Richard Basehart. Story of Maximillian Robespierre. In france, before, during, and after the revolution, he was outspoken in his beliefs in democracy, equality, and fair justice for all. This film discusses he connections with locals, and his desperate search for his "book of enemies". He wants it returned before the names are made public, and those involved band together against him. Like many claiming to be saving the nation (think cuba...), he may really be gathering centralized power for his own good, not the common good. He survived the revolution, and its aftermath, but died young at 36, in a mass execution. Directed by Anthony Mann; also directed El Cid, God's Little Acre, Glenn Miller Story. It's good, but pretty serious history.

Mapleworth Murders
(2020)

fun thang. 30 rock cast.
The team from 30 rock reunites, with a few additions, for a parody of murder she wrote. If jessica cussed like a sailor. And was rude to everyone. Done in shorty, ten minute bits, paula pell is abigail mapleworth. She seems to always get to the crime scene before the cops, assisted by her neice heidi. Written by lutz and pell. It's some silly detective jokes, with some really good stuff sprinkled here and there. And because each chapter is only ten minutes, its over quickly before you have time to think about it! Fun, if you enjoyed the 30 rock show.

Red Lights
(2012)

was okay... something not quite right
Great story. Great actors. Something just didn't work, and maybe it was the production and direction. Cortes uses cheap tricks like loud sounds to make us jump, and easy trick photography, which is too easy, considering the subject matter. Weaver, DeNiro, Murphy. It should have been great. But the way the dialogue keeps getting interrupted by flash forwards and flash backs. And repetition. When renowned psychic Simon Silver comes to town, the debunker and her assistant must prove him to be a fraud. Lots of emotional ranting by pretty much everyone. Starts out good but gets pretty silly. Written and directed by Rodrigo Cortes.

Rememory
(2017)

fun premise... a little confusing
Fun premise... when an inventor is found dead, Bloom (Peter Dinklage) borrows his invention, a memory machine. It can record and replay memories as they actually happened. Bloom watches the memories and tries to track down the people who made them. But some memories are best left alone. Its quite good ! Directed by Mark Palansky. Anton Yelchin, as Todd, only did a couple more projects after this, and was crushed by his own car in 2016. You have to pay attention in the last half hour to figure out what really happened.

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