Gideon58's Reviews

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Cary Grant's effortless screen charisma was the primary selling point of a 1964 comedy called Father Goose.

Grant lights up the screen as Walter, a beachcomber who lives on an isolated south seas island who has been recruited by the military to spot enemy aircraft during World War II, where he is allowed to pretty much live like a hermit and drink to his heart's content who finds his quiet existence disrupted by the arrival of a teacher (Leslie Caron) and seven young girls who have become shipwrecked on the same island as Walter.

Peter Stone's screenplay, which seems to have been tailored to Grant's comic sensibilities, actually won an Academy Award, but it's not just the screenplay that works here, but the offbeat choice of character for Grant as well. Grant was always known as being suave, urbane, and sophisticated onscreen, but Grant took a calculated risk here playing a character the polar opposite of his traditional onscreen image...Walter is unshaven, slovenly, crude, self-absorbed, and a bit of a sexist and having such a character interacting with a straight-laced teacher and a group of young girls produced comic gold.

Grant offers one his best performances here and his chemistry with Caron is surprisingly solid, considering the vast difference in their ages. I guess it isn't an issue here because the relationship between the two characters is more combative than romantic and Caron somehow manages to hold her own against a cinematic legend who, even though he would make his final film appearance three years later, proved that he still had the chops to carry a movie by himself, but he gets help here from an offbeat character, an unusual story, and breezy direction from Ralph Nelson.

Good reviews as per usual Gideon. Airplane! is one of my favourite comedies, I have seen it many times this year after only first watching it late last year, I believe, I'm yet to see the sequel and you review reminds why I'm not in a rush, I'll probably find it enjoyable and get round to it one day though. Saving Mr. Banks is one of the more well known films that I didn't see last year, but it also looks like something I would enjoy. I'm a big fan of Cary Grant from what I have seen, so I should really get around to seeing more of his films too.

A compelling, if slightly overly complex story, polished and professional direction by John Schlesinger, and a pair of brilliant lead performances combine to make the 1976 film Marathon Man an absolute must-see.

The film stars Dustin Hoffman as Babe, a highly intelligent graduate student who finds himself embroiled in the middle of an international conspiracy involving a cache of diamonds and a former Nazi war criminal named Szell (Laurence Olivier).

William Goldman's screenplay, based on his own novel, is a bit on the complex side, but the complexity can almost be forgiven because the story unfolds so slowly. We are initially confused as we watch Babe begin a new graduate course and then watch a public argument on a busy street between two men screaming at each other in German which climaxes with one of their vehicles exploding. We are confused as we watch Babe's brother, Doc (Roy Scheider), fend off a murder attempt in a hotel room before showing up on Babe's doorstep. But we then realize that Doc has put Babe in danger by coming to visit him and has gotten Babe involved in a very dangerous international conspiracy where Babe is put in serious danger only because he's related to Doc.

Schlesinger has crafted a story that develops slowly, but keeps us interested until we realize exactly what's going on and how much undeserved danger Babe is in. The film is most famous for a torture scene which involves Szell's former occupation as a dentist, but this film provides other nightmarish elements as well, including an absolutely terrifying scene where Babe's apartment is broken into and he is almost drowned in his own bathtub.

This was one of the most underrated and compelling films of 1976 with a solid performance by Hoffman and an Oscar-nominated turn from Olivier that should make the hair on the back of your neck stand-up. A winner. 8.5/10

Glad you liked the movie. I know you love Mary Poppins so I was hoping when you finally saw it you would like it.
I did...loved it...I thought Emma Thompson was brilliant and should have received an Oscar nomination.

Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is a 1968 sequel to the 1966 classic The Trouble with Angels, but lightening definitely did not strike twice here.

Rosalind Russell reprises her role as the Mother Superior who heads up St. Francis Academy, a convent school for teenage girls. In this film, the Reverend Mother finds herself at odds with a new nun at the Academy named Sister George, exuberantly played by Stella Stevens, whose radical ideas about education and everything else excites her young charges but works Reverend Mother's nerves into a frazzle. The conflict between old and new reach a fever pitch when Reverend Mother and Sister George take several of the girls on a cross-country bus trip.

The film attempts to recapture the spirit of the first film, but the conflict that Russell and Stevens' characters create here just aren't as interesting as the conflict between Russell and Hayley Mills in the first film. The adventures presented here include the bus breaking down and an encounter with a movie star (Robert Taylor) filming on location.

Russell and Stevens work very hard to sustain interest here and Binnie Barnes and Mary Wickes also recreate their roles from the first film and provide sporadic laughs. Van Johnson appears as a priest and one of the St. Francis girls is played by a very young Susan Saint James.

It's a pleasant time-filler, nothing more, but Hayley Mills is sorely missed.

Smooth direction and the powerful onscreen charisma generated by its two stars makes 2007's The Bucket List a better film than it deserves to be.

The film stars Oscar winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as Edward and Carter, respectively, two terminally ill men who meet in the hospital and actually leave the hospital in order to do all those things that are on Carter's bucket list, a list of everything that Carter wants to do before he dies.

The story then follows these two polar opposites as they decide to, among other things, jump out of an airplane, visit the pyramids, and drive high-powered race cars, but the story is so not the thing here...the thing here is the 1000-megawatt performances by Nicholson and Freeman which electrify the screen, under the skillful direction of Rob Reiner, who offers detailed direction where it is needed and allows these actors to do what they do best when it is not...command the screen and carrying a rather pedestrian story to a more entertaining level than Justin Zackham's screenplay offers. There are moments throughout, mostly involving Nicholson, that I suspect were not scripted and Reiner and Freeman just got out of the master's way.

Nicholson and Freeman are magical here, providing a perfect balance of laughter, tears, and pathos. There is one particularly moving scene near the film's climax where Edward and Carter share a big laugh and we see Carter cross "Laugh till I cry" off his list. I was deeply moved by the fact that this man had lived his entire life without laughing until he cried.

Mention should be made of an extremely effective supporting performance from Beverly Todd as Carter's devoted wife, who accuses Edward of stealing her husband and wants her husband to face his illness in a more realistic manner. Todd's character has a lot of unsympathetic moments in the film, but Todd invests completely in the character and makes the viewer understand her.

The film is beautifully photographed and Reiner's directorial hand is solid, but it is the spectacular teaming of these two acting legends that make this film solid entertainment.

For those who wonder why Katherine Heigl's so-called movie career was such a bust might want to check out a tiresome 2009 comedy called The Ugly Truth.

The title of the film is the title of a cable access show that takes the male outlook at relationships, hosted by a sexist and obnoxious guy named Mike (Gerard Butler) who has been hired to beef up the ratings of a Sacramento morning talk show and finds himself going head to head with the show's tightly-wound producer (Heigl).

It was way too many so-called romantic comedies like this one that killed Heigl's film career. Filmmakers seem to have wanted Heigl to be sort of a contemporary Doris Day who men lust after but have to work REALLY hard at melting her icy exterior. Unfortunately, unlike Doris Day, Heigl's movie characters are usually bitchy and unlikable and you find yourself scratching your head trying to figure out what the leading man sees in her in the first place and this film is no exception.

Nicole Eastman and Karen McCullah's screenplay is overly cute and director Robert Luketic tries to disguise this by having all the characters speak 100 MPH so that the viewer doesn't really notice how lame the story really is. Gerard Butler appears to be having a ball here, but that doesn't necessarily make it a great performance and his chemistry with Heigl is non-existent. There are a pair of funny supporting performances by John Michael Higgins and Cheryl Hines as the co-hosts of the show, who are also married offscreen, but unless you live for Butler or Heigl, I'd give this one a pass.

Jim Carrey's comic charisma almost makes 2003's Bruce Almighty sitting through...almost. But if you're a hardcore Carrey fan, your tolerance of this film could be a little higher.

Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a TV anchorman who feels that everything in his life is turning to crap, triggered by the loss of a promotion to an obnoxious co-worker (Steve Carell), who starts being very vocal about the way God is ruining his life and that everything that has gone wrong in his life is because God is too busy to pay attention to him, which results in God (Morgan Freeman) appearing to Bruce and offering Bruce the challenge of running the world by transferring all of his powers to Bruce.

Despite solid direction from Tom Shadyac, who also directed Carrey in Liar,Liar and Carrey's ability to make the most lame material funny, this film is about as predictable as they come, which includes Bruce's initial selfish use of the power he's been given, the abuse of the people in his life he cares about, and his eventual epiphany about how hard God's job really is.

Carrey generates sporadic laughs, as does Steve Carrell as Evan Baxter, Carrey's obnoxious colleague and Nora Dunn as Carrey's boss, but Jennifer Aniston's role as Bruce's girlfriend, Grace, is thankless. The best thing about this movie is the classy presence of Morgan Freeman in the role of God. His performance alone makes this movie worth sitting through. The movie was followed up by Evan Almighty.

Despite charismatic leads and some funny situations, the 2003 comedy How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days doesn't really sustain its paper-thin premise for the film's entire running time.

The film stars Kate Hudson as Andie Anderson, a magazine writer who has been assigned to write the title article for her magazine and has chosen one Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) as the objective of demonstrating her article. Unknown to Anderson, Barry has bet co-workers that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days.

This film, based on a pair of books by Michele Alexander and Jeanne Long, just doesn't possess the substance to actually admit to being inspired by two different books. I can't believe that it took 2 books to come up with an uninspired comedy that comes off as a tired retread of the Doris Day Rock Hudson comedies of the 60's.

Donald Petrie's direction is a little on the pedestrian side, but the leads are attractive and there are effective supporting bits offered along the way by Bebe Neuwirth, Robert Klein, Adam Goldberg, Kathryn Hahn, and Celia Weston, but I guess your appreciation of the film depends on how much you love Hudson and McConaughey, whose obvious onscreen chemistry just wasn't enough to make this film work.

After the surprising success of the first film, MGM studios decided to mine for more gold with That's Entertainment Part II, the 1976 compilation package that offers more of the best of MGM studios when they had "more stars that the heavens" and this time, they chose to include non-musical clips

The film is hosted by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, who are seen in the opening scene dancing together for the first time since the 1946 film Ziegfeld Follies as they introduce some more classic moments from the MGM library.

The musical sequences feature Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Kathryn Grayson, Eleanor Powell, Frank Sinatra, Jeanette McDonald, Leslie Caron, Louis Armstrong and Ann Miller in films like Girl Crazy, An American in Paris, Words and Music and Kiss Me Kate. Even Doris Day, who was not an MGM contract player, is featured performing "Ten Cents a Dance" from Love Me or Love Me, an MGM musical for which Day was loaned to MGM.

Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Greer Garson, Jean Harlow, William Powell, the Marx Brothers and John Barrymore are featured in non-musical sequences. Some stars like Joan Crawford, and Robert Taylor are seen in musical and non-musical sequences.

The film doesn't sustain interest the way the first one did, but it is still a respectful and entertaining valentine in an era gone by in Hollywood that we will never see again.

Fans of comic satires like Airplane! and Naked Gun should find themselves right at home with a 1996 comedy called High School High.

The film stars Jon Lovitz as Richard Clark, a teacher at a well-known private school run by his father, who, in order to get out from under his father's thumb, decides to take a job teaching at Marian Barry High School, a tough inner-city high school where most of the students are barely literate. The simple story finds Clark working to raise the GPA's of his students in order to win a citywide school contest while pursuing romance with an attractive co-worker (Tia Carerre).

This film takes pot-shots at films like The Blackboard Jungle and Dangerous Minds, but does it in an outrageous way, but that is to be expected from a film like this. As a matter of fact, David Zuker, one of the geniuses behind Airplane! was one of the contributors to the screenplay here.

As expected, the gags come fast and furious and Lovitz plays his role with just enough of a straight face that makes most of the silliness going on around him funnier than it should be (though Lovitz is no Robert Hays). There are some fun supporting turns from Louise Fletcher as the hard-nosed school principal, Mekhi Pfifer as a troubled student, and Guillermo Diaz as a gang leader, but it is the lightning-swift tempo of the comic gags that keeps this one relatively entertaining for most of its ride.

Never has the absurdity of war been so bitingly and accurately skewered as it was in the 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove: Or How Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. a scorching black comedy that sheds a very unflattering but unfortunately probably spot-on look not only at war, but the mental capacities of the people who have their hands on the button.

Director Stanley Kubrick has created his masterpiece here, chronicling what happens when a clearly insane military general who triggers an attack on the Soviet Union that could lead to nuclear holocaust and how the President of the US and his advisers try to deal with the repercussions.

Released during the infancy of the Vietnam War, this film probably ruffled a lot of feathers in Washington, though I don't know for sure, since I was only six year old at the time, but the film can now be cherished for the scathingly brilliant satire that it is.

Kubrick's masterful direction is only surpassed by the brilliantly tongue-in-cheek screenplay by Kubrick, Terry Southern, and Peter George, that was clearly robbed of an Oscar. As for casting, it's perfection...Peter Sellers' powerhouse performance where he effortlessly brings three different characters to life is a joy to behold. Sellers, too, was robbed of an Oscar for Outstanding Lead Actor. My personal favorite of his three characters was President Muffley, who is given the best line in the movie and whose first phone conversation with the President of the USSR (Dimitri) to explain what's going on had me on the floor. Sellers has never made me laugh so hard, and I've seen most of the Pink Panther movies. Kubrick pulled the performance of his career out of Sterling Hayden as the insane general as was George C. Scott's bigoted military leader who is possibly as crazy as Hayden's character. Scott is brash and funny and was Oscar-worthy as well.

Kubrick's attention to detail in bringing this epic story to life works on every level. The black and white photography only adds to the realism and there is impressive art direction and inventive camerawork, but it is the Oscar worthy work by Kubrick, Sellers, Scott, Southern, and George that make this one sizzle and earn it the well-deserved reputation of a classic.

Excellent review! Love Dr Strangelove!
Thank you Gunslinger, it's been on my watchlist for a LONG time and I finally saw it today and loved every minute of it...a classic that lived up to its reputation and surpassed it...Peter Sellers was a genius.

Thank you Gunslinger, it's been on my watchlist for a LONG time and I finally saw it today and loved every minute of it...a classic that lived up to its reputation and surpassed...Peter Sellers was a genius.
Damn straight! He was the President, Dr Strangelove, AND RAF Group Captain Mandrake! He was supposed to be Major Kong but an injury prevented it and they got Slim Pickens.

Damn straight! He was the President, Dr Strangelove, AND RAF Group Captain Mandrake! He was supposed to be Major Kong but an injury prevented it and they got Slim Pickens.
I'm kind of glad that he didn't play Kong too,that might have been a bit much...loved Slim Pickens though and Sellers nailed everything he did...loved when Mandrake was trying to call the White House collect too...I could not stop laughing.

Oh I think Slim was PERFECT! There is a reason that man riding the nuke is my profile banner! Kubrick was a genius and his casting was SUPERB! Then cinematography was excellent, the satire stinging and funny, and the dialogue was flawless! My only complaint is that as a comedy it is not a laugh riot from beginning to end. But then again this deals in such a serious subject matter that it does need to be set up in a straight manner. So the complaint itself is pointless.

Oh I think Slim was PERFECT! There is a reason that man riding the nuke is my profile banner! Kubrick was a genius and his casting was SUPERB! Then cinematography was excellent, the satire stinging and funny, and the dialogue was flawless! My only complaint is that as a comedy it is not a laugh riot from beginning to end. But then again this deals in such a serious subject matter that it does need to be set up in a straight manner. So the complaint itself is pointless.
Totally agree with you regarding the screenplay...of all the Oscars the film was robbed of, the screenplay was the greatest injustice. I went to the 1965 Academy Awards IMDB page to see what film won the Oscar for adapted screenplay that year...this film lost the screenplay Oscar to Becket!!! Becket? Seriously? Don't get me wrong, Becket was a great film, but the screenplay didn't touch this one.