richardskranium

IMDb member since March 2017
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    50+
    IMDb Member
    2 years, 6 months

Reviews

Captains Courageous
(1937)

What a great movie !
I saw this film long ago as a very young man,and recently saw it again for the second time. What a great story,with a very talented cast. The camera-work is excellent. Others before me have summarised the entire film in detail,so I will leave it to you to watch it and see for yourself. If you can watch this entire film without shedding a tear,I say you have no soul. It is a fantastic film in so many ways,check it out!

The Godfather
(1972)

Decide for yourself
I am glad to see that I am not the only one that just does not 'get' this movie. It is spoken of almost religiously,and it seems that if you dare ask 'why?',your sanity is questioned. Maybe people are overwhelmed by the big-name cast,and have been told so many times what a great movie this is, for so long, and are afraid to say different. All I know is that I heard and read endless,over-the-top praise for this movie for years and years. I managed to avoid seeing it until well over a decade after it was released. What a disappointment. I could not believe I was watching the same movie that I had heard so,so much about. I was absolutely astonished with how boring it was. I could not believe how disjointed it was. I could not believe the praise that Marlon Brando was given for such a weak,lackluster performance- it is goofy beyond parody. As the film rambled and shambled along,I began to wonder if I was the victim of some sort of obscure joke-this crummy film could NOT be the same movie I had heard so much about. Unfortunately,somehow, the universally-praised movie and this boring and bloated bomb I was seeing turned out to be one and the same. Watch it on a rainy day and decide for yourself if this movie is worthy of all the hype.

Blame It on Rio
(1984)

Pretty crappy movie
This is one big stinker. Pompous,hammy overacting by Caine and Bologna,coupled with an attractive but boring newcomer Michelle Johnson make for a real howler of a schlock-fest that drones on and on. Sure, you've seen worse- but you have also seen much better-made cartoons. Simply pretty crummy,period.

The Phenix City Story
(1955)

Riveting little gem that packs a punch
This is a very good,well-made movie.The basic plot is straightforward and very believable. Despite relatively obscure actors,the very capable director makes them all shine. The pacing is just right. The camera-work is great. This is truly film-making at it's best. You've seen films with many times the budget that were nowhere near as good.

Ten Wanted Men
(1955)

Lots of stock footage,spotty in spots😦,but does keep moving
Better reviewers than me have already done several fine synopsi of this movie. I agree with whomever said that it seems the talents of an all-star cast were largely squandered in this rambling movie,as the overall performance(s) seemed flat,and uninspired-despite flickers of hope here and there. It is a surprising fact how many western movies,tv series shows etc were made in hollywood,it is an unbelievably gigantic number. As things went along,westerns became formulaic and were churned out like eggs in the henhouse. This movie is a wonderful example of a generic,run-of-the-mill,mediocre western movie from the mid 1950's. Not terrible,not great,not particularly memorable. My advice ? Simple ! If it is winter,or a rainy day,watch it-if it is summer,go outside and plan to watch this next winter or next rain day !

Mama's Family: Mama Buys a Car
(1984)
Episode 13, Season 2

Spotty,uneven episode
The idea of Mama buying a car, and learning to drive should be a slam-dunk of a comedy,with endless angles,right ? I would surely think so. But I watched it,and thought it was a half-hearted,lukewarm episode that only seemed to drag along. It has it's moments,but surely could have been better. See what you think.

The Rockford Files: Dwarf in a Helium Hat
(1978)
Episode 17, Season 4

Pretty funny,keeps moving
I thought this was a pretty funny look at the fringes of hollywood,the hangers-on,the semi-talented people and smarmy characters that are also very much a part of hollywood too.I like this episode. Pleshette as 'Jay Rockfelt' plays a great part as a smarmy creep that is as feckless as he is cowardly,a real piece of work. Rick Springfield plays it cool and low-key as a rock star who may not realize how shady some of his 'friends' are. The actors that play Rockfelt's parents do a fine job as well. The tale moves along quickly and has some great street scenes. Look for the very rare 'rainy-day in LA' scenes.

The Breaking Point
(1950)

Wild ride !
This is a simple and effective story .Here is a guy that thinks he can redeem himself with his wife,and retire in style to-boot,all by pulling something shady 'just this once!' . It does not go well,so naturally our man doubles-down on a much bigger,shadier job to get even further ahead. This does not go well either. It is a rough,'crime does not pay' story that will stick with you.

The Driver
(1978)

Intense,crazy little gem !
This is a non-stop action-fest. Ryan O'Neal plays a quiet criminal enigma,Bruce Dern is a driven but flawed cop. What a wild ride. I am surprised that this film is not better-known,it is very good. Well worth watching. Check it out !

The Lords of Flatbush
(1974)

I had high hopes but nothing ever really happened...
I had high hopes but this movie stinks. There. I said it. Indeed it is interesting to see the fonz,rocky,etc all together,but they are not given much to work with. As another viewer pointed out,the phony,pseudo 50's music is cloying and annoying,and makes an already weak movie even lamer. It may not be the worst movie you've ever seen but it will be in the bottom 5,guaranteed. Watch it if you must but don't say you weren't warned.

Black Widow
(1954)

Beautiful 1950's New York with an all-star cast.
This is a fine mid-1950's color film offering. It is a real pot-boiler! It rollicks along in fits and starts and keeps you guessing. The all-star cast more than makes-up for any minor deficiencies in the storyline of this intense little gem. Well worth checking out!

Day of the Outlaw
(1959)

Stark and gritty
The actual whole story is not crystal-clear to me,but the atmosphere,camera-work,and feeling of desperation in this film makes it one rough ride ! Robert Ryan plays a brave man willing to sacrifice his life in order to save a small town from a bunch of bandits that just came to town,and the bandits are lead by Burl Ives of all people! It becomes obvious that Mr. Ives' character,'the Captain' is the only thing holding these bandits back from destroying the whole town-but he is in poor health and may not last long.The bandits have a stash of gold somehow and soldiers are not far away behind the gang,it is implied that the gang is avoiding the soldiers.Ryan takes the bandits on a wild-goose-chase in the dead of winter in the mountains,claiming to know of a passage through the mountains,and away from the soldiers.The snow is deep and almost buries the horses,the mountain range looks endless,the men and horses may as well be ants. This movie is a great example of man vs nature coupled with poor planning.The men start to turn on each other after the Captain dies in the snow.The horses die,it is a rough time on the mountain. It also clearly illustrates that a bunch of gold may as well be a bunch of lead for all the good it does these men.The end of the film is sudden and somehow does not really wrap things up,it almost seems like a sequel could be made or maybe was planned.All in all a pretty gritty little gem worth seeing.

Act of Violence
(1949)

High price of cowardice ...
A man's shameful conduct during the last days of WW2 come back years later to haunt him in his now-comfortable suburban life.

Gun Crazy
(1950)

Riveting !
This is a pretty dog-gone intense movie. It is what I would call a 'pot boiler'! Many before me have done a great job of synopsis and analysis of this great film and I leave that to their capable hands. Do check out this wild 'Crime does not pay!' movie if you get a chance. It is a real rollercoaster.

They Drive by Night
(1940)

Rivetting,well-made film
This is a real pot-boiler type of movie. It starts out slowly,sets the stage,and picks-up pace quickly. (The movie covers a lot of ground but never seems to lag) The acting is all top-notch. This film may be old but it plays like it could have been made yesterday,the whole thing is very well-done by some very good people. Watch it and see what you think.

Sunset Blvd.
(1950)

Swanson steals the show !
This is a truly intense film that will stick with you. Well-done and very believable. Check it out and see what you think.

The Curse
(1987)

Great rainy-day movie
Movies are meant to entertain. This is not Hitchcock but it is entertaining. It keeps moving along and with a little imagination it is pretty creepy. All in all a fun little movie.

The Corpse Grinders
(1971)

A lot better than I expected
I did not expect much from this film but I tried to keep an open mind.. Well for once it paid off, in a good way! This movie is honestly not that bad. I promise that you have seen much,much worse. If you get a chance to watch it, and want some good laughs,check it out !

House of Bamboo
(1955)

Interesting in many ways
There is a lot to be said for authenticity. This made-in-Japan film shows a place that is fascinatingly foreign.The people,the buildings,the streets,the cars,the public places.The actual plot of the movie is kind of improbable and convoluted (no more than many others). The interesting culture of Japan is showcased,through the lens of Hollywood. The time is presumably set during US occupation of Japan 1946-52. (The film came out in 1955) Location/camera work 10/10 Plot/pacing 7/10 Acting/characters 8/10 Worth checking out.

High Noon
(1952)

Lives up to the legend (in my opinion)
I've lost count of how many movies turned out to be a big disappointment after seemingly universal critical praise. (Too, too many). That being said,this movie is not like that at all. This movie is very good and well worth watching. As someone else pointed out,the pacing is great as the whole movie plot takes place in the space of an hour. Check it out, you won't be disappointed !

House of Strangers
(1949)

What a movie !
This film is intense. The story is solid. The acting is riveting. There is nothing slow or lukewarm about this film. In my opinion this film is much better,realistic and poignant than the entire bloated 'Godfather' trilogy. It will stick with you I promise.

The Hospital
(1971)

Good movie !
This is an interesting movie,well worth watching. George C Scott plays a good part as a worn-out,tired doctor. Diana Rigg is looking great,a true beauty with real talent. She plays a good part also. The movie seems shorter than it really is,it moves along nicely. The chaos of a hospital in 1971 NYC,the social protests of the time are a backdrop but never overdone. I liked it and I would see it again. Check it out !

The Rockford Files: The House on Willis Avenue
(1978)
Episode 21, Season 4

Ahead of it's time
This is a great 2-part episode with a lot of great characters. Simon Oakland does a fine job playing the obnoxious Vern Saint Cloud. Pernell Roberts from Bonanza plays an understated part as a bald bad-guy boss of a shady operation. As others have pointed out,Dennis Dugan as Richie Brockelman is the only flaw in this multi-faceted gem of an episode. A little tweaking of the Richie Brockelman character would have worked wonders to improve the whole show. His annoyingly childish 'gee whiz' demeanor gets old quickly and eats up a lot of valuable screen time. If they simply had the Brockelman character talking less it would be a big improvement. It was indeed a treat to see Paul Fix,(from 'the rifleman') play a small part. Chances are you will recognize many of the other actors also. All-in-all it is a great 2-part episode of a truly great tv series. Watch and enjoy !

No Time for Sergeants
(1958)

Lighthearted,funny comedy showcase
Great movie,lots of fun. A showcase of talent that worked well together.Well worth watching.

J.D.'s Revenge
(1976)

Did not see entire film,but the second half was funny.
I was ready for almost anything when I tuned in to the middle of this gem. I enjoyed the part I saw,it was pretty dog-gone funny ! You will see several familiar faces from the time period,around the same time this film was made,Gossett was in a great Rockford Files episode I recall.Another lady was the principal on The White Shadow tv show I think. This film was not advertised or promoted much,I had never once heard of it. Watch with an open mind and you will have many laughs I say !

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