dlynch843

IMDb member since July 2014
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    IMDb Member
    6 years

Reviews

A Face in the Crowd
(1957)

Angry Andy
Andy Griffith's performance is basically two tones: Nasty and LOUD-- non-stop. I couldn't wait for the camera to switch to Patricia Neal, who was very good in this movie. But Griffith's performance was just too much of everything. I wonder why didn't Elia Kazan see this? I heard he understood actors---here, the over-done acting of Griffith ruins a good idea for a movie.

Columbo: Troubled Waters
(1975)
Episode 4, Season 4

A good one
I watched this the other night because I remember it from when it first aired in the 70s---and it still holds up. Robert Vaughn is a good villain, the British cast is a good counterpoint to Peter Falk's Columbo. You can here a lively version of 'The Mexican Hat Dance' in the middle of the episode (and the closing credits--a good idea by director Ben Gazarra). What I found interesting was the presence of amyl nitrate---back in the 80s this was a drug of choice to stimulate sex. I think they called it 'poppers'. It didn't have this connotation in this episode, since it was filmed in the 70s. But it was funny to see it play an important part of the plot.

Plan 9 from Outer Space
(1957)

I can think of others...
Some say this is the worst movie ever made; But here's a list of movies much worse: Happiness (1998) Big Jake The Ambushers Happy-Go-Lucky Welcome to Hard Times The Wrecking Crew Little Children Irrational Man Nacho Libre

Not only were these movies unpleasant, they were repulsive. And made by major studios with well-known stars. So give Ed Wood a break here.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Sam Pomerantz Scandals
(1963)
Episode 24, Season 2

Displays many talents
The main sketch is a very good rendering of 'Laurel and Hardy' by Dick van Dyke and Henry Calvin. Rob and Laura sing and dance, too. a worthy episode.

Death Wish
(2018)

let's go bowling....
This had the feel of a TV crime show with mediocre acting and action. I like Elisabeth Shue and Vincent D'Onofrio, but they don't have much to do in their roles. Bruce Willis is just ok, nothng more. But this movie concerns a serious subject, so when one of the villains is done-in by a falling bowling ball, it tends to make it the whole thing silly. It was like watching something from 'The 3 Stooges'. It's watchable, but only once.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: You Ought to Be in Pictures
(1966)
Episode 28, Season 5

poor Rob
This is the only episode from the 5th season that didn't click for me. There was something off about making Rob a doofus. Dick Van dyke was great at physical comedy; his tripping and other physical works had a grace to them, like Chaplin. But in this episode, he's made to look like an incompetent actor and it just isn't funny.

The Witmans
(2020)

Not your average 'true crime' documentary.
This kept me interested all the way through. The parents of the accused son are the main characters, and they make a compelling story. They way the story is told, it makes for a 'is he or isn't he guilty' of killing his brother. It's up to the viewer. Only flaw---we need to hear more from Zack, the accused brother. There are no 're-enactments' or actors playing the real people, and that's a relief.

The Trouble with Harry
(1955)

a few character flaws
Hitchcock was made for 1950s color. This movie is wonderful to look at--Hitchcock used color in the 50s like Edward Hopper in his paintings. Hitchcock's films are great paintings in motion. More like motion art than motion pictures. That being said, I really didn't like John Forsythe's character. Almost everything he said had an unpleasant tincture to it. An unkind artist. The two older women were fine, and Jerry Mathers (the Beaver) handled his many lines well. And Shirley MacLaine was very 1955 pretty, and said her lines in that great way of hers, especially about Harry. But the other characters were as irritating as Forsythe--that doctor who tripped everywhere, and never understood anything and expressed his incomprehension in an annoying way. So for a strictly colorful entertainment, and a few funny lines, it's ok, but not his best for that great decade he had.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Uhny Uftz
(1965)
Episode 3, Season 5

Spooky funny
Late at night in the office.....no ideas......Mel Cooley comes in, wants a completed sketch. He doesn't think Rob, Sally and Buddy are trying hard enough. Sally says, 'Buddy, give it to him!'. Buddy points at Mel and says 'Mel, ....you're very bald'. They all put on a perplexed face, in a doesn't- quite- make-it mode. Anyway, another good episode, has some mysterious/funny moments when Rob spots a flying saucer outside the office window. A good discovery of what Rob saw.

Citizen Kane
(1941)

For style and content
What impressed many people was the visual way Welles presented the story. The newsreel at the beginning was so real, the quick editing, the inserts of old photos, the shaky camera, going from old silents to modern day interviews as we see Kane go from a child to an old man. Welles should be commended for his acting as well as his directing. The presentation of Kane's character wasn't always consistent in regards to morals. As a young man, Kane wasn't really an idealist fighting for the poor all the time. He encouraged the U.S. to wage war against Spain, despite no real evidence of wrong-doing from Spain. One journalist described the Spanish-American War as 'a young bully beating up an old man.' And the Black-American music is associated with the degenerate party-goers at Kane's 'picnic'. That's the only place where 'Kane' shows its age. Like all classics, there are a great many memorable lines. The supporting cast is superb. Cotton, Sloan, Comingore----her singing lesson with Signor Batiste is great. Try to forget everyone saying this is the greatest movie of all time--just try to clear your head of when you watch it.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Never-Never Affair
(1965)
Episode 25, Season 1

Barbara Felden on the rise
I remember watching this in 1965. The Man from U.N.C.L.E started out with very little interest in the Fall of 1964. It was considered for cancellation. Only a few college TV rooms had it on. It was changed to a different time, and slowly, and then rapidly, it became a phenomenon. All of TV became spy crazy, and U.N.C.L.E was the reason. And this episode is said to have put it over the top. It had the humor, the different action scenes (a THRUSH agent behind a movie screen with those never-seen-before rifles that could visualize at night--it made a weird sound). Barbara Felden was wonderful to watch, being an innocent in the midst of danger. I remember talking about this episode the next day in class. For 1965, this was fun and had the 'anything can happen' feel to the action. And having a Russian (David MacCallum) as one of the good guys was unheard of at the time. It was a part of all the things that were changing in the mid-60s. It won't have that same feeling looking at it now, but it's still an entertaining hour.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra
(1962)
Episode 14, Season 2

Top notch
This is the earlier of the 2 episodes when Miss Billings corrals Rob into directing the community variety show. MTM does a great number called 'True Mon, True', a Carribean number that was written by Morey Amsterdam! It stayed in my head for a week. Bob Crane is good as an inept actor, but great kisser, and Ann Morgan Guilbert is really cute as Cleopatra.

Mank
(2020)

What a disappointment!
I'm a big fan of Citizen Kane and always heard how witty and interesting Herman Mankiewicz was. I was well into the movie, waiting to see this wit emerge, and it never did. I just saw an irritating man who wasn't particularly interesting. He was insulting, boring, not likeable. That has to be Fincher's fault. I was hoping Orson Welles would be in this, as part of the mystique of 'Who wrote Citizen Kane?', but he was only in the movie about 5 minutes. That actor who played him was very good. He had the voice and attitude, and Fincher shot him in an interesting way. So why don't we see more of him? Some of the dialogue was spoken in a stilted way, as if the actors were reciting lines they just learned. Charles Dance was good as William Randolph Hearst, as was Arlis Howard as Louis B Mayer---that's why I'm giving this a 4. Three quarters of the way into the movie, I was pretty much tired of the Mankiewicz portrayal, but that's when Fincher decides to show Mank's drunken rant against Hearst at San Simeon. The rant was a bore, with no punch, just abrasive. No one told him to shut up. I wanted to. The movie also spends way too much time on the 1934 election for governor of California. Who could possibly care? This was a terribly made mess of a movie, and shouldn't get praise solely for being a biography in black and white.

Carrie
(1976)

Emotionally strong
My favorite scene is when Miss Collins discovers Carrie at the bottom of the stairs, all alone. Betty Buckley is great here---when she says "Carrie", it's filled with such heartbreaking sympathy. The following dialogue is so touching--Carrie's face ---you want to make her pain go away. This movie touched many people at the time--it's much more than a scary horror movie--though it has scenes that will make you jump--the emotion of a shy, lonely and abused high school girl is at the center of it. Wait til you get to the Prom.

You'll Find Out
(1940)

nice surprise
I'm a big fan of oldies but I'd never heard of this one. It's a lot of fun, with great special sound and visual effects. It's equal to Abbott and Costello's 'Hold that Ghost', with hilarious musical numbers. Even though it's black and white, the kids would like this, and with Karloff, Lorre and Lugosi, horror fans will like it too. And dig those altered voices--very spooky.

The Andy Griffith Show: A Visit to Barney Fife
(1967)
Episode 18, Season 7

Miss and hit
Barney Fife in color. Knotts was good but the writing sometimes put his Barney Fife in situations that were just humiliating. Like this episode. When Barney is given intelligence, he gets to keep his dignity, and sometimes that happened, too. Those were the better episodes. This was a little bit of both. I know his humiliations were supposed to be funny, but at times it went overboard. Another Barney visit (in color) had him driving an Edsel convertible, with one 'fin' window rolled up. A funny image. But let's face it, when Knotts left and the show went to color, a new and awful era for the show began.

Adventures of Superman: Ghost Wolf
(1953)
Episode 23, Season 1

Our trio in the wild north
I dug this episode. Even the opening lumber footage, like an informative travelog. Clark, Lois and Jimmy are sent by the dependably irritable Mr. White to investigate the labor problems of their wood pulp supply in the piney woods. This ep has two pretty ladies---Lois and a French gal who maybe turns into a wolf. Clark disappears, as always, and there's a forest fire where Superman saves a distraught animal, and a wonderfully fake ascent into the sky where Superman saves the day during a lightning storm. In the end, the 'wolf' is a friendly pet, and we see Lois cuddling the animal that was saved by Superman.

A Woman Under the Influence
(1974)

Editing would help.
The best scene is Mabel preparing and serving dinner to all of Nick's fellow workers. We see how she deals with human situations, we see Nick's discomfort of his wife's over-playfulness (in his opinion). His shut-down of her is brutal--her response is heartbreaking. The way this scene ends is touching. The problem is Cassavetes adds too many unnecessary scenes. It drags on with added characters that didn't need to be added. Gena and Pete are great in this, so the movie should be more focused on them.

People Magazine Investigates: Once Bitten
(2017)
Episode 5, Season 2

Twice seen
The Stephanie Lazarus episode I think is one of the most talked about---a respected police officer, who became a respected art fraud detective---brutally kills a rival for a man when she first started out as a cop. And then spends over 20 years living a happy life, with marriage, a child, job promotions. A good episode, which has been done in a two-hour format by a different network. See if you can find that one---it answers more questions.

Rosemary's Baby
(1968)

Common evil
I know there are some poor reviews of RB, like 'boring', 'no pay-off', 'disappointing'. But I like what a lot of people like about it--the atmosphere, the slow descent into the sinister. Polanski hardly changed Ira Levin's dialogue. It's the most closely-followed novel that was ever filmed. I liked all the actors, especiaally the 4 oldest--watch Sydney Blackmer's eyes as Rosemary and Hutch talk about tannis root. But I can agree about one criticism: Rosemary's character seems so easily manipulated. It's not easy to believe that Rosemary would so quickly drop Dr. Hill, who she likes and trusts, to accept Dr. Sapirstein, a friend of the Castevets who she doesn't really know, or feels completely comfortable with. Some viewers said the Satan worship was handled in a dumb way, but I think the point was that Satan worshipers can be dumb--and very pushy. Maybe that fact that so many people call this a classic, a masterpiece-- and I think it is-- can cause a backlash.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: A Vigilante Ripped My Sports Coat
(1964)
Episode 4, Season 4

Smart episode
I've heard of neighborhoods on Long Island where you must cut your lawn--if you don't, a person will come onto your property, mow your lawn, and charge you for the labor --and the Long Islander who told me about it was all for it! This is another good episode about friendship between neighbors. I really liked Jerry Paris and Ann Morgan Guilbert in this. You get to see their living room--a bit different from 'All About Eavesdropping'.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Romance, Roses and Rye Bread
(1964)
Episode 6, Season 4

Amusing, then sad.
The first half, and best part, is when Laura goes to see the play 'Waiting for an Armadillo'. A great knock on Off Off Broadway plays in Greenwich Village--great details: the usherette all in black, the watermelon, the unseen play with Carl Reiner's voice. The second half is just plain sad. But true, in that there are people like Sid Monker, so this episode is another sample of the Dick Van Dyke Show showing real how people really are.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: A Farewell to Writing
(1965)
Episode 2, Season 5

Another gem
This one has Rob trying to write his novel---it starts at home, where he's always seeing distractions---so he goes to a cabin in the country and practically everything in the cabin distracts him. Dick Van Dyke is great all the way through. And the actor who plays a man who visits Rob at the cabin --a humorously suspicious Guy Raymond--later married Ann Morgan Guilbert.

A Wilderness of Error
(2020)

Not a satisfying version
Even though this was taken from Errol Morris' book, in which Morris felt MacDonald's guilt wasn't completely proven, I came away still believing MacDonald was guilty, mainly because he couldn't explain the evidence that clearly pointed to his guilt. The threads from his pajama top were all over the areas where his wife was found, and also where one of his daughters was found, but no threads were found in the living room where he claims he was attacked and the pajama top was wrapped around his hands, supposedly while fighting off his attackers. And why was the tipped-over coffee table filmed one way where they couldn't get the table to land on its side, but filmed another way when a judge claimed he was able to do it in one try? It doesn't make it clear about whether the nearby chair prevented it from tipping over. The mystery is why is Errol Morris on MacDonald's side? The movie skims over how little MacDonald was injured after such a brutal attack. If you're reading this, Errol, thanks for getting off Randall Adams, but forget about Jeffrey MacDonald.

Seinfeld: The Dinner Party
(1994)
Episode 13, Season 5

This one stunk.
It just wasn't funny. Elaine was bossy, George was whiny, the things that moved the plot were dumb in the worst sit-com way: not believable. Jerry's monologue was good, though, but not worth raising this lame half-hour.

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