mike48128

IMDb member since May 2008
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Reviews

Dear Heart
(1964)

Another TMC Discovery!
It was made when I was just a teenager, when everything was not yet always filmed in color! I had never seen it before, but the Henry Mancini song was very well known. Not exactly a screwball comedy but it comes close. Glen Ford and Geraldine Page are perfect together. A great romantic comedy from the "old" days. A chance meeting between two very lonely middle aged people in NYC. Angela Lansbury swoops in at the end with a short but effective performance, as the worst woman in the world for Glen Ford not to marry! Look also for many well-known character actors from movies of this time.

I Married a Witch
(1942)

Veronica Lake is bewitching!
As I didn't like a few aspects of the story, it's only a nine. However, Ms. Lake is more bewitching than 'Liz Montgomery and Kim Kovak combined. Onl 4' 11' and a real knockout! Too bad she died so young at age 51. What a talent she was!

The Shape of Water
(2017)

A curious film. Mixed feelings
Has a mean streak running through it! The U.S. government wants to exploit this creature and when it can't figure out how, wants to destroy it. The real monsters in this film are the humans. Watch and enjoy it. A terrible ending that works out just fine. Let's here it for "interspecies" dating!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(1974)

One of Rankin-Bass' best
Quite secular, but with a curious reference to "our maker" in the song lyrics. Staring the voice talents of Joel Gray and George Gobel, among others. A cute animated tale about a town where a small mouse calls Santa a myth. Two decent songs: "Even a miracle needs a Hand" and the Santa song. Featuring Joel Grey reciting "A Visit from Santa Claus".

A Timeless Christmas
(2020)

I May Have to Buy This One!
A good combination of time-travel and fantasy. An enchanted mantle clock propels a man from 1903 into the year 2020. As mentioned by other reviewers, the time traveler does not speak his dialogue like a person from 1903 and the woman's period dress is too low-cut for this period. To tell you any more would spoil this. Adheres to the traditional sci-fi premise that anything that happens in the future also affects the past as well. Nicely done! From the Hallmark Channel.

The Small One
(1978)

Don Bluth's Christmas Masterpiece
The now familiar tale of "Small One" was Directed by Don Bluth 37 years ago. He also produced it, animated it, and wrote 2 of the 3 songs. Barely 26 minutes long, it is an Oscar winner and has always been one of my holiday favorites. Gordon Jump is the voice of Joseph, and the voice of "Tony the Tiger" is one of the 3 money-lenders. Absolutely charming and a bit scary too!

Skyscraper
(2018)

Implausable and Impossible
With only one leg and phenomenal upper body strength, The Rock climbs up a crane that appears to be a hundred (or more) stories high to rescue his family and put out the fire on "The Pearl" , a 248+story skyscraper. Not even as impressive as "The Towering Inferno" which is seldom seen anymore due to its eerie resemblance to some of (not all) the actual circumstances that occurred at The Twin Towers disaster. Mindless violence by evil villains with very little explanation, rhyme or reason. Like a Paul Verhoven movie. Constant action but quite cliche in nature. How did this piece of junk make so much money? Good, but not convincing, CGI special effects.

My Dog's Christmas Miracle
(2011)

Rather juvenile but not objectionable
A kid's movie found on Lifetime. A Disney-type talking dog movie and of course the little Maltese dog steals every scene she is in. No violence and little kids will enjoy it, especially if they are dog lovers.

The Enchanted Cottage
(1945)

A Fable from RKO
Originally written in 1924 and called "A Fable in 3 Acts" by the playwright. Updated to WWII, it is an enchanted story about a spirit-broken war veteran with facial and arm disfigurement (Robert Young) and a slightly homely girl who fall in love. It is hard to make Dorothy McGuire look homely as she is pretty even without makeup, as she initially appears. (This was attempted by stripping her of all makeup, dull dark hair, heavy eyebrows, and an unflattering low camera angle, with an exaggerated lower jaw and chin-line). The cottage is haunted in a good way by past lovers and owned by a mysterious lady, who may be a (good) witch, and is much older than she appears to be. As they gradually fall in love, they both appear more beautiful to each other. Non-romantic people will not like this movie. I suspect that if you like old-fashioned musicals and tales like "Somewhere in Time," you will enjoy it as much as I did! On the AFI list of classic romances, of course. (Only found on TCM and also available on a fine-quality WB DVD-R.)

The Gorgon
(1964)

An Enjoyable Bad Movie
A lot of mumbo-jumbo concerning a centuries-old mythological monster that just happens to reappear in the late 1800's with no rhyme or reason. It's just a good "chase-the-monster" silly romp from Hammer Films. The monster is very "cheesy"-looking and low-tech. I swear I can see the puppet strings on the snakes. However, that is what makes the old-school "horror" genre so much fun. Like Lawrence Talbot's wolf-man rant, nobody in the movie, for the most part, believes that the monster exists. It's not really that scary, but 'tis good popcorn fodder, like the early "Universals".

Coco
(2017)

Pixar is Amazing! A Happy Musical about the Dead.
"Coco" is the animated story of Miguel's very old grandmother's life. To discover it and to discover his destiny, he must travel to the Land of the Dead to visit his relatives, who are able to visit the living on The Day of the Dead once a year on Nov. 1st. He has 24 hours to return to the Land of the Living or he will be stuck there for good! Miguel wants to become a musical performer, but his family forbids it. This strange land is populated by mostly happy spirits who are remembered fondly by their families. It is a cross between Disneyland (with re-entry portals) and Las Vegas. Evil people do not belong here. There are fabulous creatures here as well: flying dragons and dogs; multi-colored animals. Beautifully and colorfully animated with much music and flair, but not a Disney singing musical by any means. An Oscar Winner! I do not feel compelled to own it, but I enjoyed it quite thoroughly, and you will too.

Hollow Man
(2000)

A Paul Verhoeven Nightmare
His movies are always excessively violent but this one gave me a bad headache. Kevin Bacon has a tendency to show off his tight body and I suspect that he is an exhibitionist. That being said, his character is sadistic, voyeuristic, and likes to kill animals and people. Like all typical "invisible man" movies, his inability to reverse the procedure and return to normal drives him insane. The only saving grace of this film is the spellbinding final half hour where he relentlessly pursues his former girlfriend and others in a runaway elevator. It will remind you of the first Terminator film (also by Verhoven). I found this film, in general, to be greatly unenjoyable in spite of the great special effects. Tons of blood. A slasher movie. The only enjoyable invisible man film that I know of is "Abbott & Costello Met the Invisible Man". But, this one is a real stinker.

Jumanji: The Next Level
(2019)

Dwane Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black
Karen is almost 6 ft. tall and amazingly, in her 40's! Terrifically fit and beautiful with flaming red hair. She looks that way "because the game wants her to!" I bet that she does most of her own stunts! Enough said. Wow! A great supporting cast and a very nice ending. I don't know how many more good sequels can be made based on "Jumanji", but I hope they keep on going! Great fun for all ages!

The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan
(1979)

More of a romance than a sci-fi story
Due to the release-timing, often quoted as similar to "Somewhere in Time." I disagree. Closer in story to "For All Time" with Mark Harmon (2000). An object (in this case an antique white dress) allows Jennie Logan to transport herself back in time to the beginning of the 20th Century, where she meets her true love and falls in love with him. Mark Singer plays her past lover and her current husband. There are a few time travel rules here that can't be "bent": (1) someone cannot exist in 2 different time periods at the same time. (2) What happens in the past, must affect the future. )3) No one will believe it. Like "For All Time" she must prevent a sudden tragedy from happening. A nice period piece, but it doesn't stray far from the old house where it happens. Therefore somewhat "static" in action. "G"rated by today's standards.

Monsters University
(2013)

Is it a prequel or a sequel?
It's both! Almost as good as "Monsters Inc. but it defies logic, as they both go on to work for Monsters Inc. anyway. Billy Crystal as Mike and John Goodman as Sully continue to be most unlikely of friends. Helen Murren is wonderful as the scary-yet-delightful winged Headmaster, Miss Hardscrabble. Almost as good as the first film. Extremely well animated with a very nice story involving "underdogs" that succeed by never giving up. I absolutely love the pretty-and-vicious "cheerleaders" with their beautiful red hair and toothy, scary smiles. Of course they can breathe fire, like all "divas". Mike is the most charming monster ever, and can barely even scare a bunny rabbit. For the best experience, follow up with a viewing of "Monsters Inc." Both have great "heartwarming" endings, of course! Neither movie is really very scary! Highly recommended!

Three Coins in the Fountain
(1954)

A Beautiful "Travelog" with a Love Boat Story!
Pleasant enough to view as an improbable love story; made enjoyable by about the best cinematographic view of Rome ever filmed. (Why wasn't "Roman Holiday" filmed in color?) It may play quite "letterboxed" on some 16x9 T.V.'s. As stated by many reviewers, it was considered a "women's movie" in its day. Sit back, and enjoy view!

Babe
(1995)

A Classic
A pig that thinks it's a sheepdog! Raised and protected by "Fly", a female Austrailian Sheepdog. It's still one of the cleverest and amazing live-action classics ever made. Only the recent non-animated version of "Charlotte's Web" comes even close. Fabulous CGI from "Rhythm and Hues." Animatronic "puppet wizardry" from Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Humorous and just too good to be dismissed as a children's movie. The "Pig in the City" sequel (in my opinion) is quite disappointing by comparison. "Babe" looks just as good, 25 years later. Major goof: one of the "babe" pigs is female. Babe is supposed to be male and was portrayed by many, many, piglets. One of the (very) few "talking animal" films that doesn't insult your intelligence. Just wonderful. "That'll do, Pig."

Shrek
(2001)

Easily one of the best animated features ever made!
Move over "Uncle Walt," this may be the funniest, most irrelevant animated feature of all time! Fantastic animation and wonderful backgrounds. When Princess Fiona walks, it looks very real, indeed! Full of wonderful well-voiced characters. Eddie Murphy as "Donkey" is fantastic and steals every scene he is in. Michael Myers IS "Shrek" and I doubt if anyone could ever replace him. It's very mischievous, as it lampoons Disneyland Theme Parks and several movies, with quotes and characters from a number of sources, including "Snow White," "Babe," Indiana Jone's collapsing bridge scene, and even Charles Dickens. (I could do several pages on this, as there are so many inside jokes and "Easter Eggs".) Enjoyed equally by both children and adults. A love-sick female dragon gets "sweet talked" and romanced by Donkey! Followed by several sequels, but "Shrek 2" is the best one. A very fractured fairy tale! An Oscar winner-Best Animated Feature.

Ghost Town
(2008)

He Sees Annoying Dead People!
The movie begins and ends with someone getting run over by a NYC bus. In between there is a charming comical movie Staring Ricky Gervais as a dentist and Tea Leone (Madam Secretary) as an unhappy widow. Dentist Dr. P. can see ghosts after dying for 7 minutes and being revived after his colonoscopy goes wrong. The ghost refuses to go away until he is helped, and wants his wife to re-marry the right man. She refuses to believe the ghost story and runs away from the dentist in disgust. The running gag is that he is always in his white uniform for most of the movie, even when he is not at his dental office. Only at the end of the movie does she finally believe him when he tells a secret only the (widowed) wife would know. A fast 90 minute film with a few clever plot twists and a surprising, nice ending. (He recovers after the accident.) Ending dialog: Her comment: "I'm having trouble with my smile" His reply: I can fix that". Often found on cable. Worth your time.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
(1968)

Right up there with "Mary Poppins"
A fabulously entertaining film with Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. Lionel Jeffries is hilarious as Grandpa Potts. Gert Frobe (Goldfinger) was dubbed in English, as his accent was horrible, I understand. "Chitty..." is the "pet name of the marvelous, magical automobile, complete with wings, that is the "hero" and saves them all from a perilous imagined situation, in a mythical kingdom where children are forbidden. A bit long (about 2 hours) for a children's movie, but full of wonderful songs by the talented Sherman Brothers, and very clever "gadgets" brought to life. Sally Ann Howes is so pretty that she lights up the screen. Simply magical children's entertainment!

Man Made Monster
(1941)

"Of Course I'm Mad"-Lionel Atwill
A minor yet disturbing little monster tale starring Lon Chaney Jr. as an electrified man who goes around killing people after a mad scientist zaps his brain into stupidity. Almost comical at times, as Lionel Atwill hams it up as the quintessential stereotypical "mad scientist". Effectively uses decent special effects and a memorable music soundtrack. Did you know than Chaney was also in dozens of westerns as well as playing Universal monsters?

Fire in the Sky
(1993)

The last half-hour is riveting!
It starts out as a murder mystery. Travis Walton is missing for 5 days and presumed dead. He shows up naked and disorientated 5 days later near a gas station. A very old James Garner is his usual competent, folksy self as the very skeptical sheriff who leads the investigation. The last half hour is a bit scary (in a good way) and is a compilation of what Travis remembers and several other alien abductions. It is very well-done. This alone makes the film worthwhile. Did it actually happen or was it a hoax to get out of a logging contract? You be the judge. Currently playing on cable channels.

Trolls
(2016)

A 90 minute Hasbro Commercial
I love animation and own a huge collection of Disney, Pixar, and Don Bluth films ( among others). This movie is pure "dreck". It is designed to sell toys and only can appeal to very young children. My 2 granddaughters, both under 6, adore it. I could hardly sit through it. It borrows shamelessly from "Cinderella" and everyone in the movie (except for the cute little trolls) wants to eat someone to achieve true happiness. All the trolls want to do is play and party. A soundtrack with bits and pieces of many songs from the 60's and 70's. It has one decent song "Can't Stop the Feeling".

Oliver & Company
(1988)

The Mean Villian Almost Ruins the Movie.
Mr. Sykes is a horrible gangster than threatens Fagin's life if he doesn't pay back an overdue loan. He brandishes a gun and has two mean Doberman dogs. Both he and his dogs die in a car crash with a subway train. Not graphic, but I therefore can't recommend it for very young children. This seems a bit "heavy" for a Disney adventure that otherwise is a real "knockout" in terms of music, animation, and characterizations. (Of course all the animals can talk! It's Disney.) Perhaps not a true Disney Classic, but otherwise very clever, quite entertaining and short. (It's only 74 minutes.) Excellent new music and voices by Huey Lewis, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, and others.

The Princess and the Frog
(2009)

We all loved it but the "Shadow Man" scared my granddaughter
She hid behind the chair and closed her eyes whenever he appeared. She is only 4. (The voodoo scenes are reminiscent of "Disney's Night on Bald Mountain" animation.) However, the rest of the movie is a whole lot of fun. As expected, some pious Christians disliked the voodoo nonsense. Extremely well-drawn in traditional 2D animation. Lush backgrounds. Typical talking Disney animals. I have never before seen a "frog princess" wearing eye shadow and mascara! Louis The jazz-trumpet-playing 'gator is both a silly and wonderful character. The Randy Newman songs do not disappoint but are not in the same league as "Beauty and the Beast" (and other Disney musical classics) by a long shot. It passes the "collection test" as I just saw it for the first time in 10 years, and I already want to see it again. Of course it comes nowhere "near" Disney's traditional masterpieces, but it it still quite a fun and enjoyable experience. A great ending as everyone lives "happily ever after". Soon to be the new (revised) theme of "Splash Mountain" at the Disney Parks. In spite of the scary scenes, it has now surpassed my 2 grandchildren's favorites, which were the 2 "Frozen" movies! They love the cute frogs and Louis the 'Gator.

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