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The Sin Ship

Too Good To Be Bad
I often wonder why a film that could have been very good turned out to be b-a-a-a-d. Is it the acting, directing or script? With this film, my premise is the direction....and, that holds for many films. The actors in 'Sin Ship' were adequate, especially Astor. When the captain lays a 'weak' punch on his first mate and later, a crew member, it is not poor special lies with the direction. The script is fine for an early 'talkie.' Could it be that directors had difficulty transitioning from silents to talkies? I don't see why. They were professionals, weren't they?

The TCM film was interesting for a dull, dreary early May day. It was not all that long a film so I had the opportunity to wash my Cadillac and garage it before the rains came and then prepare dinner while watching bits of other Astor films. Was Mary really that sensual, or is it sexual?

H.M. Pulham, Esq.

Any Bad Lamarr Films?
Hedy Lamarr didn't move from Austria to Hollywood to make money and achieve fame, although her parents persuaded her to engage in the performing arts industry. Perhaps, because she was not as 'industrious' as some actresses, she could be convincing on film without much effort. Hedy didn't have to try to be beautiful, she was a natural. Hedy's female co-star, Bonita Granville was a petite little blonde (5' tall) who had a figure that would be appreciated in film today where women don't wear girdles. same with Hedy....she had a beautiful butt.

Hedy was a scientist first, a movie star second. She did almost as much for the WWII allied effort as Golda Meir did for Israel, raising millions in war bonds. Hedy was still young and in demand in Hollywood when she retired. Do I wish I was born longer ago and could have met Hedy? Of course, although, being born in 1941 on Pearl Harbor Day,I am lucky to be alive during the 'electronic age' which fits nicely into my demeanor. As for the film....any movie starring Hedy Lamarr is a good movie.

Design for Living

remake Anyone?
Hollywood is doing many remakes because they don't have any creative screen writers, like myself, who can't get his foot in the door because of nepotism and the fact that I know no one out there.

Some remakes are good, such as 2005's 'King Kong' (special effects?) but most pale in comparison to the original, especially the comedies.

This film would be a box office smash today, with Naomi Watts playing the 'Gilda' role and Matthew McConaghy taking the Cooper role and how about Robert Downey Jr. as Frederich March? Instead of 'bums' moving to Paris and becoming successful, let's have them all stay poor, making the film more realistic. Back in the 30's and 40's films seemed to gravitate toward 'rags to riches' themes. We all know that such success is not the norm.

Miriam Hopkins would be a star today....without the girdle Hollywood made her wear. And, let's face it, even in the 30's, people involved in the arts did not only have platonic relationships.

Cast a Giant Shadow

Golda is AWOL
Luther Adler played David Ben Gurion but isn't listed as such; Golda was in the U.S. raising arms money, but is not represented in the film. At least Adler resembles Ben Gurion. Golda Meir doesn't mention Marcus (Douglas) in her brilliant 1975 autobiography, 'My Life,' which I have read. Berger and Dickinson are merely wallpaper. Wayne will overact miserably in any role in order to make money, but he never served in any form of military, much less combat. Sinatra was drunk and the battle scenes show soldiers dropping like zombies in a bad horror flick.

Golda Meir raised an incredible amount of money for the Israeli cause. She liked to visit the U.S., especially Milwaukee, where she grew up. Before she could return with the arms money preceding her, the NYC 'cabbie' was in an accident and her leg was broken. She was hospitalized but still raised money there. A movie about the Arab-Israeli war is 'duffus' without a character named Golda because no single leader did more for Israel achieving statehood than Golda Meir, who was prime minister from 1967-72 and to whom I am not related and never had the pleasure of meeting. I did, however, stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Milwaukee one night.

(By the way, the Arabs didn't attack until immediately after the statehood celebration, not before as depicted. That's a small inconsistency amongst many glaring ones. Golda left to raise funds in the U.S. right after the scroll signing. She raised over $50 million which matched the sum of an earlier fund-raising trip).

The Fifth Estate

Leaks Film Reeks
I looked up Sarah Shaw (Laura Linney character) and Sam Coulson (Anthony Mackie character) on Wikipedia and couldn't find them. They are supposed to be U.S. government bigwigs, the former being the under secretary of state under Hillary Clinton. They don't exist but have key roles in the film. Contrary to some reviewers, Laura Linney has a major role, but we never see Hillary. Yet, we have a film (W) which scours George Bush's life, along with his wife, parents and Jeb. Thus, I consider this film democratic party hypocrisy....a film that liberals like to make. Perhaps Hillary and Barack would do well in the film business, as long as the film tells lies about republicans and patriots such as Julian Assange.

The film was good; I found it compelling because it came across as a type of spy film. It moved nicely. The confidence exuded by Assange in his go-to guy, Daniel Berg, was nice to see. The film was easy to follow and well acted. I still would like to know who Sarah Shaw and Sam Coulson really are. It was a letdown to see Assange raked over the coals without knowing who the key antagonists, in Shaw and Coulson, are supposed to be.....and where was Obama in all of this?


Madtown? Not!!!
This film is one to watch if having difficulty falling asleep. I'm from Madison, Wisconsin, the largest of the 19 Madison's. I have never been to Madison, Indiana, but would like to visit. Madison, Wisconsin could hold regattas and do, with sailboats, as opposed to power boats. Perhaps they do hold powerboat races, since I'm frequently out of town.

That aside, the film doesn't do justice to any large or small city. I didn't become engaged to Madison, Indiana by watching this film. Was I supposed to? Since when does powerboat racing turn the average film viewer on? This film just doesn't hold the interest of myself and others who watched the movie with me.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

De Mornay Carries The Film
I may be sexist, but, at the time, Rebecca De Mornay was the hottest actress in Hollywood. Eventually, Roger Vadim got to her and her career slid due to gratuitous nudity in an awful, but unrelated, remake of 'And God Created Woman.' De Mornay is a fine actor, as is the entire cast.....and, Rebecca was drop-dead ten beautiful....the entire package.

The script is excellent, as is the photography.....and, the film moves smoothly.

I may be enthralled with De Mornay, who I consider to be in the top ten of alluring actresses of all time. This would rank her up there with Hedy Lamarr, Elizabeth Taylor, Nicole Kidman and Diane Lane, to name a few.

Born on the Fourth of July

Sundance Sucks
Why does Sundance air this film on Independence is an anti-war movie? I'm a Vietnam veteran and know that Redford is a liberal a-hole. What war do Redford and Oliver Stone think was patriotic and necessary? Probably none; 'ich spreche Deutsch' and would, if we had not entered WWII. There were many 'goofs' in this film.....check them out, including Mickey Mantle hitting HR #491 at the wrong time. Actually, Hank Aaron was a much better player than Mantle, but Milwaukee was 'Bush League' in 1957 when they took the Yankees 4 games to 3.... according to the New York media, which felt that NYC was the only city that counted.

The acting was superior, probably the best of Tom Cruise's career, which is why I rate the film as a '7.' Oliver Stone had been wiser if he left the screenplay up to Ron Kovic, instead of meddling and taking credit as a co-screenwriter. Who knew more of Ron's experiences than himself?

Captain from Castile

The Captain hath No Accent
Jean Peters was a dedicated and versatile actress who was one of the early leading ladies who could fake an accent. Spaniards do not have a distinct accent when speaking English but it is noticeable (I've been to Spain over 50 times on business). I feel Jean Peters carried this film, although it was perfectly suitable for Tyrone Power and he acted admirably, but where was the accent. Just like John Wayne, but unlike Marlon Brando, Tyrone could not fake an accent. Seriously, Tyrone Power was a better actor than John Wayne. Need I say more......who wasn't? The only disappointment to me was that there was no evidence that the Captain and Catana (Peters) ever crossed the Atlantic. It would have added reality to the film had there been even a brief launching of the ship and crossing of the Ocean.

I Wake Up Screaming

Wake up applauding
This is film noir at its' best, from screenplay to directorship to photography to acting. I'm sure the 'best boy' was great too (did they have one back in 1941?).

We don't talk much about actresses butts, but Carole Landis had one of the best, even with a girdle. What a beautiful girl.... suicide at 29. Betty Grable was THE pin-up girl at the time, on the lockers of many GI's, but it was her acting that stood out in this film. I wish she had done more drama and fewer light-hearted romance/music films. Victor mature was very believable as was Laird Cregar as the vulgar detective.

I haven't written much, if any, about the content of the film and I never do in my layperson's reviews because I don't want to divulge the scenario. Since they are loaded with repetition (I think I have a larger library of old movies), FXM Retro or TCM will air the film again soon, just like they do with 'Key largo.' No, Virginia, there is no 'Hotel Central' in Milwaukee and never was, according to my dad, who has lived there since 'One Million B.C.' (a film starring both Victor Mature and Carole Landis....the early version, not the one with Raquel Welsh).

Law & Order: Gunshow
Episode 1, Season 10

Not NYC in 2015
I never watched original Law & Order episodes....only syndicated. Reason: I discovered Angie Harmon. WOW! I still only watch L&O when Harmon appears as Abbie Carmichael, usually on Sundance.

Tough case for McCoy, but the legal system suffers when a judge can overturn a jury's verdict. However, I agree with the judge. The profit margin is much higher for a gun manufacturer than for a super market. I see this as greed, but not as proof that the manufacturer intended for purchasers to convert the Rolfe to an automatic.

Something McCoy said was 'bleeped.' Was it the comment about 'crystal balls?' I watched this episode on TNT and not Sundance, the latter not cutting anything. TNT is 'Turner' and cuts anything slightly objectionable, visually or vocally.

When the killer was interrogated by Briscoe's partner, he had a bandage around his head. He is called as the final witness late in the episode. Didn't look like the same man interrogated. I came in a few minutes late and don't know what the 'murder 1' defendant had against college women.

My summary? Quite obvious. There was no DiBlasio in 1999.

Grace of Monaco

Don't blame Nicole
Eighteen other actresses were considered for the role of 'Grace,' but I can't find the site where they are listed. It was not January Jones whom I didn't choose because I never heard of her.

Had the director cast Nicole as a blonde instead of a redhead, she would have been more believable. Kidman has been blonde in other films. Grace also had a blue blood American accent, which Kidman does not fake, even though she is excellent at using various accents to fit the roles in other films she has made. She is simply a better actress than Grace.

What bothers me most is that Kelly was a slut who slept with fellow actors and others and doesn't deserve a film bio. She also had no ass and Nicole has a nice behind.

Oh, the film itself? What film? Don't blame Nicole, my favorite modern actress.

Teenage Rebel

Teenage Movie That Clicks
Most teenage films from the 50's and 60's portray the children as much more innocent than they actually were; and, usually the boy is more mature than the girl, which we always knew was the opposite. Yes, Dick is the most mature, but Dorothy (Dodie) is right up there with him, which is why they click. Ginger is very svelte in the film, yet older than when she danced with Fred Astaire in the 40's. Ginger, as well as the rest of the cast, is excellent and the script is not your usual Hollywood teenage oriented tripe. I assume the Fallon's lived in L.A. and I know from experience that kids were faster than portrayed. I grew up in the Great Lakes area and we were even more mature than the kids in southern Cal; girls in 1956 started having sex with older boys (18, 19) because they had cars and those 'farmers daughters' were hot to trot. Whatever the case may be, this film, despite such extreme parental interference, was the best Hollywood could do in the late 50's. Notice that the Fallon's (Ginger & Michael) beds were not separated by a nightstand, but rather side by side. I guess the censors were becoming more realistic.

Law & Order: Stiff
Episode 23, Season 10

Know Your Insulin?
The segment is interesting since I have diabetes and take insulin. An overdose of insulin leaves a person sweaty, weak and dizzy. It certainly wouldn't leave anyone 'laid back' so as to be a willing sex partner. Yes, one can go into a coma; in fact, I once made an error in the injection process and woke up at 3:00 AM, barely able to function and test. I had a 22 blood sugar, drank orange juice and called 911. I did increase my blood sugar to 65 but the doctor told me orange juice is a temporary fix. Insulin can be extremely dangerous, especially if one lives alone, but it is hardly an aphrodisiac nor has a calming effect if the 'victim' is over-dosed. Nonetheless, it was an interesting episode despite some technical misinterpretations I take issue with.

The King and Four Queens

Parker & Gable - WOW!
It was nice to see Gable and Parker in a film, together. Parker was beautiful and could act; Gable was Gable, perfect for the role.

I was making Steak Diane for a lady friend, but took a few breaks and mentioned that 'they don't make them like that anymore.' She agreed.

I have a list of alluring actresses and Eleanor Parker is in the top ten; but, when combining beauty with acting, she is #1.

This was an entertaining film which I would recommend to any audience. The supporting cast was super and the Technicolor far ahead of its' time.

I'm appreciative that TCM aired this film, which I had never before seen.

The Punisher

One More Thing
What distinguishes this film from the typical 'get even' scenarios, like 'Billy Jack' and 'Dolan's Cadillac,' amongst other vigilante vignettes, is the bit of comedy derived from Frank Castle's 'apartment' neighbors. The man with the piercings should enliven veterans, especially those who have been POW's and tortured. I'm sure Senator John McCain would be proud of him.

The acting is far better than most films of this genre, as is the script. Casting John Travolta (who has lately made a few films where he is the villain)and Tom Jane is a wise decision.

I stayed up until midnight (late for me) to watch this film on IFC, despite numerous, frequent and lengthy ads.

If you like extreme violence, this film is for you. I am a Vietnam veteran and don't usually watch films like this. I would just as soon forget, but was endeared to the protagonist and his friends/neighbors.

Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming

Bashing The VA
Film producers continue to criticize the Veteran's Administration but only a scant few have come up short. I live in Wisconsin. We have a clinic in Appleton, which is outstanding. There are no wait times, the doctors, nurses, therapists and staff are all very professional. They offer classes for pain management and other issues, even though the veterans may have not had military-related health issues. I get a vision check-up annually and if I need new glasses, they are free, as is everything else except medications, which are nominal. If I need more acute care, I go to the oldest and best VA hospital in the country, in Milwaukee, by van, 100 miles away at no charge and the drivers are volunteers. We also have a VA hospital and long-term facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, which is splendid. It has a golf course, fishing pond and a gym that outdoes Vic Tanny, along with a basketball court with hardwood floors and glass backboards.

Not all VA's are the same. They are independently operated and I'm lucky to be in a state with the best of the best. I'll take the cold weather v Phoenix.

As for the film - who cares? It's beneath Rob Lowe's qualifications as an actor. I turned it off when the VA turned him down.

The New Kids

No Sex Teen Movie
I am only reviewing this 1985 film because my son (who is now 44) saw it in 1987 when it was on Beta. Yes, Beta! He was only sixteen but liked it because the female lead 'had a cute ass.' Can one imagine what a sixteen year old would think of that film today?

I saw this 'film' on 'Chiller' where they even cut foul language, like the 'F' word. In fact, they even cut 'shit,' which is often used on cable news today. That's because this network appeals to ten year old's who aren't supposed to know what 'shit' means. God forbid, if a ten year old heard the 'F' word. Of course, in today's society, a more lewd word would be the 'N' word, which kids can't touch unless they want to forfeit their Ivy League education.

As far as the film itself is concerned, it ranks right down there with Kevin Spacey trying to imitate Bobby Darin in 'Beyond The Sea.' Just an old man trying to act out and calling it a homage to Darin, who was younger (37) when he died than Spacey was when he tried to play Bobby in his prime (if you think Spacey sounds like Darin, you don't know anything abut musical technology. I can have a studio make me sound like Neil Diamond). It's like Gary Busey trying to portray Buddy Holly. There are three wasted films, in a nutshell.

Stir of Echoes

Was the film shot in Lincoln Park?
It looks like this film was made on location in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood (after all, 'It's a decent neighborhood'). When I lived in Schaumburg, a family suburb, we referred to Lincoln Park as 'Yuppieville' but I visited friends in Lincoln Park often. In fact, it's the first place I ever smoked pot.

Kevin Bacon is great, as is the rest of the cast. I thought his wife was portrayed by Courtney Cox and not Kathryn Erbe. I also thought his brother with the killer-son football star was Jim Belushi, and not Zachary David Cope. Apparently, the son of the co-conspirator (cop's son) was not killed by Jake Witzky (Zachary David Cope). There was only one casket at the cemetery along with the tombstone of the murdered girl whose ghost drifted off behind a moving car. The credits only showed Bacon and Cope's names. At the end of the film, aired on TWC's 'free movies,' (Sundance) the ending credits flashed by so quickly, I had to Google IMDb after the film ended just to view the cast.

I don't see any comparison with 'Stir of Echoes' to 'The Sixth Sense.' This film was much more believable. The best parts were the unforgettable Chicago neighborhood, even if it wasn't Lincoln Park, and the brief shot of Kathryn Erbe's cute butt before her shower.

I hope the Witzky family moved to Schaumburg, which really IS a 'decent neighborhood.' Lincoln Park is not a good family neighborhood. I'll take the suburbs any day. Besides, I'm not a Cub or Bears fan.

The Boy Next Door

Do women really Like This Junk?
I generously gave this 'film' a '2' because the acting was fair. The lead has to be a knockout and a mystery writer; so many women are successful today. NOT! And...they are often novelists. A person suspected of murder, especially one who is wealthy and drives a BMW, rents a lovely house in a small town, would hire a defense attorney ASAP. She wouldn't go around risking her beautiful persona and leering at much younger men. Is she just another cougar? Is this what middle-aged women do today? Is sex all they care about? I guess that's the modern woman. All of us sensitive men are just 'love meat,' a quote from a Neil Diamond concert before he sang 'Play Me.' And, he was serious. Then, we have the obligatory black in the film, a car dealer. Can we ever have a film or TV ad without a black person? Blacks are only 12% of the U.S. population but they comprise about 90% of the commercials and movie roles. The lead actress, Dina Meyer, is very attractive, but she belongs in porn films on the internet. In fact, there is a synopsis on Time Warner that states 'nudity.' I never saw any nudity, but I DID miss the first 19 minutes of the film. Why did I bother watching the entire film? I was waiting for Dina to undress and get naked, like the synopsis read. Otherwise, it had no redeeming social value.


Nein Duetsch Tom
I knew Tom Cruise couldn't fake a foreign accent, like many of his contemporaries: Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, even comic Robin Williams, amongst others. Kenneth Brannagh is British and when Europeans speak English they have a similar accent to a German speaking English, so that's passable.

I despise films where an American actor cannot do a foreign accent, because so many can. I recall John Wayne, portraying a German sea captain in 'The Sea Chase,' and he sounds like John Wayne in 'Hondo' or any other film he made. He had a typical monotone way of speaking and was one of the worst actors in the history of Hollywood.

I like Tom Cruise, particularly in 'Eyes Wide Shut.' As far as 'Valkyrie' is concerned, I'm taking time out to write a review and then I'll continue with the film (which is on pause), but I won't change my '3' rating because it is b-a-a-a-a-d. Lastly, Valkyrie is the wrong spelling. Auf Deutsch, it is spelled 'Walkyrie,' as the 'W' is pronounced with a 'V' sound, as anyone who is a fan of Wagner (pronounced 'Vahgnair') would attest to. Incidentally, I love Wagner's music, especially 'The Ride of the Walkyries,' (from the opera 'Die Walkyrie') even though he was Hitler's favorite composer. At least Hitler had good taste in music.

Left to Die

Better Than Expected
I am a divorced white male who can cook very well,like classical music, play the piano fairly well and am not an anti femi-nazi (ala Rush Limbaugh).

This film was engaging, especially since it was based upon a true story. Sandra Chase was the name of the lead character (portrayed by Barbara Hershey) in this film and, also, an X-rated film, 'Insatiable,' starring Marilyn Chambers. I prefer the latter.

Sandra explains to a nun that 'perhaps I am not a good person.' Perhaps she is just a person who cannot stand growing old. She ties up with a much younger, virile looking guy who speaks Spanish and takes off with him to Ecuador, hardly knowing him. The son and daughter think it's 'cool.' I knew a woman just like that, but she was only six months older than me. She wanted a pre-nup because her late husband left her with a $500K insurance policy and she didn't want to share the money with myself or her children, so I left her. Then, as she grew older, she felt lonely and married a much younger man who took her money. 'Vanity' is one of the seven capital sins and will come back to haunt one, although Sandra didn't deserve quite that much grief. Another reviewer, from Ecuador, stresses that the country is not as portrayed in the film. I believe her. No wonder other countries dislike the U.S.

Maybe, Sandra was right when she said '...perhaps I am not a good person.'


Not a Waste of Time
Why would I write a review of a 2* film? Why is it not a waste of time? First, I appreciate that IMDb permits user reviews and doesn't edit them, unless they are grossly obscene. My reviews never fall into that category.

This film was on Epix, a network on which TWC is giving their consumers a three month freebie. Most of the films are very good, like 'Mud,' 'Jack Reacher,' 'Bandits' and 'Flight,' but this one is awful.

The only redeeming value is Jane Longnecker, who is a cute, petite woman whom every man adores. But, she never takes her clothes off. Now, I'm bordering on editing. Joanna Pacula, small role, was still beautiful in 2004 but I have seen her in quality films where she did take her clothes off. That's why I remember the roles she played.

Admit it virile males; you like petite women who take off their clothes. That's why Jane Longnecker hasn't made it big. She's a delicious young woman who won't undress.

Oh, the film review. Read the other reviews; they go into more detail regarding the 'plot' and the characters, 'special effects(?)' etc., etc., etc....I'm just interested in cute, petite women who......

Jack Reacher

Cruise is Maturing
I saw this film the same day as 'Mud' because I am getting three months of Epix free, provided by Time Warner Cable.

I may not like Tom Cruise (met him on the road track circuit in Elkardt Lake, WI) but I do like his movies. He still looked like a military rascal in 'A Few Good Men' but he has finally matured. He has a beard and his voice is deeper. He is also a better actor, but I liked him in 'Eyes Wide Shut,' a film I can watch 50 times and always find something new.

This film is in the vein of the 'Mission Impossible' series, but I like this one better because Cruise appears more real. It takes me back to his first starring role in 'Risky Business.' I can relate to that one because I lived near Highland Park (an upper class suburb of Chicago, IL) for ten years.

There are some scenes which may appear to be unrealistic and I'm sure an avid movie-goer would know which but this is also the case with any adventure movie featuring a box-office busting star. Everybody likes Cruise movies but someday, as time flies by, Cruise will have to be in a character role, like Sam Shepard in 'Mud.' I hope I'm still alive to see the film(s) because I'm hooked on Cruise control.


Very Enjoyable Piece of FIlmwork
I saw this film yesterday on Epix, a new network of commercial-free movies and other viewing provided by TWC for three months without charge to its' subscribers.

This was an easy watch and a good film. It is PG-13 because of language but that's the way people talk today(2012). It's still appropriate for adolescents.

Neckbone resembles characters in 'Stand By Me' and Ellis looks like a Native-American out of a 1950's western. Sam Shepard, who portrays Tom, the father-like figure to Mud, must have been cosmetically aged for this film. No way he can look that old naturally. He was a dashing pilot, portraying Chuck Yeager in 'The Right Stuff' (1984). Of course, 28 years passed between the two films and I don't look too dashing anymore either.

I don't have any critique of this film because it is so memorable. Generally, I have to watch a film twice before I can verbally do a synopsis to friends. Oh, the synopsis prepared by a reader is excellent. The only issue I have is that I don't think Juniper had an affair with the guy who hit on her in the bar. He just kissed her neck and that was enough for Ellis to tell Mud the details. Ellis is indeed a young romantic; I'm an old one.

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