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Found 84 results

  1. Believe it or not, "The Seven Year Itch" is the first film I've ever seen with Marilyn Monroe in it. I see in the opening credits that they'll be using Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2 - this could be fun, painful, or anything in-between. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Speaking of painful, there's the beginning, where the "Manhattan Indians" send their wives and children away to escape the summer heat: RIchard Sherman (Tom Ewell), the middle-aged man left in Manhattan while his wife and son go up to Maine to escape the summer heat, plays his role with comic aplomb. He's got "that face" you've seen before, and I remember seeing him in the Emmy Award-winning, first-season episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "The Case of Mr. Pellham" (Season 1, Episode 10) - I guess 1955 was his Ewell's year. Ewell played this role on Broadway also, so he's well-practiced playing the part (and, so far, a perfect choice). Monroe and Ewell start off (I'm writing this as I'm watching) playing their parts with perfect comic ease - Sherman is hilariously smitten with Monroe's character (who has yet to be named), and Monroe is using that "dumb blond" voice which is making Sherman melt. Oh, and the Second Concerto is put to good use here! It's playing itself, not some corny "theme music," and so far it's working out in the best, most respectful way that I could possibly hope for. I'm only thirty minutes into the movie, but up until the point where he's (role-)playing the concerto in a fancy dinner jacket, this movie is just a *great* comedy, and both the acting and the music are delighting me to no end. And it fades into a "dance" that Sherman does with the building janitor, Kruhulik (Robert Strauss) which is so appropriate at this moment - it's like being forced to take a cold shower, and their back-and-forth really adds something to the hilarity of the moment. When I say "hilarious" and "hilarity," and rave about the first 30-40 minutes of this film; I haven't actually laughed at all - I'm just *highly* amused. Seven Year Itch isn't "laugh-out-loud" funny; it's "little giggle" funny, but it's just *so* well-done to this point, and an unexpected joy to watch - I was prepared for something of much lesser quality: Hopefully, it will maintain throughout the film, and if it does, then it must surely be considered one of the great comedy classics - I know it's "famous," but I don't know if it's "lauded" - I haven't looked yet, and am not going to until the film is finished. Goof: When Sherman runs for the refrigerator to get ice for Monroe's visit, he opens a refrigerator, not a freezer (there's a bottle of milk in there); yet, there's a perfectly frozen bowl of ice cubes. I guess this isn't a "goof" so much as a "who cares" - this movie wasn't designed to over-analyze. Aaannnnnnnd ... there's the second roller skate. This is the second film I've recently seen from 1955 that uses the term "tomato" to humorously (and indirectly) refer to a good-looking girl (the first was "Marty," in the scene where Marty's mom is trying to talk him into going to the nightclub - she told him that she heard that it has "lots of tomatoes" (not knowing what the term meant). Another thing I've noticed from TV shows and films from this era is just how popular soda (I'm talking club soda) was as a mixer back then. Seemingly *everyone* has "scotch and soda," "gin and soda," and so-forth. This has nothing whatsoever to do with "The Seven Year Itch," but I've seen it now probably dozens of times. When Monroe runs for the door to get the Champagne, rewind it and look at her shoes: She slides across the floor about a foot while stopping - I'm not sure if this was a mistake or a planned move, but it took some coordination on her part not to fall (not to over-analyze, but I think based on the way she bends her knees, this was a choreographed move; not an accident). Tragically, Marilyn does "The Tongue Thing." But all is forgiven. The look you make upon discovering Marilyn Monroe is in your friend's apartment: This film is much better than I thought it would be: It's genuinely funny, sweet, somewhat innocent, and just good, fun escapism. To state the obvious, Marilyn Monroe was *great* at playing a ditzy blonde, and I don't mean that sarcastically. Incidentally, Alfred Newman (who did the music) is Randy Newman's uncle.
  2. Robin Williams is one of those people you just think will never die, and when it happens, it's unimaginable. Here's a little tribute to a touching scene of his from Good Will Hunting, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1997. He was also nominated for Best Actor three times (!), won two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards. That, my friends, is a career. --- On a personal note, I wish to express my sorrow about my friend from college, Dee Hunter, whose passing I also found out about today. Dee was one of the nicest people I've ever known. You probably can't see that link - which is his Facebook page - but I wrote this there earlier today:
  3. I'm going to watch "Arthur" again soon, and was just watching a highlight clip from it - one particular scene recalled a *hilarious* story that happened over thirty years ago. I used to (lovingly) call my mom "Eva," and one day I was sitting at the kitchen table having some sort of family meal - my young niece (probably 3 or 4 years old) was there, and my mom said something - I can't remember what - that was most likely a combination of amusing and annoying (she was probably trying to force food on me as she was wont to do). Putting on my absolute best "Arthur-style" English accent, I imitated this scene in the YouTube video - the one where Dudley Moore said, "Susan, you're *such* an ahss-hole" - I said to my mom, "Eva, you're *such* an ahss-hole." All of a sudden, my niece (who was too young to recognize such a term spoken in such a mock-accent) started crying frantically. We all started saying, "What's wrong? What's wrong?" She turned to my mom and said, while crying, "Donald called you a nostril!"
  4. The only thing I know about <<La Règle du Jeu>> ("The Rules of the Game," a French film from 1939), is that it has a reputation of being one of the finest movies ever made. That's it - I know nothing else, so here I begin, in complete ignorance: To be honest, I didn't even know it was a French film until five minutes ago. I will, obviously, be giving my thoughts as I go ... The film takes place on the Eve of WWII, when (fictional) famed aviator André Jurieu (played by Roland Toutain) makes a trans-Atlantic crossing in 23 hours - 12 years after Charles Lindbergh's real-life 1927 flight which took 33 1/2 hours in the Spirit of St. Louis (which is housed in the National Air and Space Museum on The National Mall in DC). Call me a dweeb, but I love fictional films that interweave non-fiction - I love to learn, and any real-life info-nuggets I can pick up are always remembered. Note that "La Règle du Jeu" takes place in contemporary time - the events took place in 1939, and the movie was released in 1939. After Jurieu is swarmed by the media, he is greeted by his friend, Octave (Jean Renoir, the son of famed painted Pierre-Auguste Renoir (really!)) - Jurieux is clearly crestfallen that the girl of his affections - the very inspiration he made the flight - Christine de la Chesnaye (Nora Gregor) wasn't at the airport to greet him, and he doesn't take it well in front of the media - clearly, "love," or possibly "unrequited love" could play a central role in this plot. Christine was listening on the radio along with her (seemingly) faithful maid, Lisette (Paulette Dubost), with whom she seems to have a friendly, respectful, relationship. To create a liaison, Christine jokingly asks Lisette if she's having some sort of relationship with Octave - both Christine and Lisette are married to other men: Christine to Robert, Marquis de la Chesnaye (Marcel Dalio) for three years, and Lisette to Schumacher (Gaston Lodot), the gamekeeper at Robert's country estate, for two years - the French do enjoy their extramarital dalliances. Robert, meanwhile, is having an affair with Geneviève (Mila Parély), whom he sees the next morning (can you tell this is confusing yet? My *goodness* the relationships, and ex-relationships; the crushes, and non-crushes; in this film are mind-bending, and very difficult to keep up with, so *pay attention to the characters and their relationships with one another* - at least for the first twenty minutes of the movie.) I have a feeling it's going to be imperative, and will pay off in spades, to have these character relationships down pat inside your head before the movie progresses too far. I can see this film going in any of several directions - a mistaken-identity comedy a la "Marx Brothers," or a drama about lost or unfulfilled love, or something else entirely, but it's clear that human interaction is playing a crucial role thus far, and I'm only about 20% of the way through (overall, it seems more comedic than dramatic so far). Make the investment, and pay close attention to avoid needing to watch the opening more than once - at least up until the point where the film fades, and the automobiles are heading to La Colinière in Sologne. At La Colinière, Schumacher catches a poacher, Marceau (Julien Carette), and turns him over to Robert - who's impressed with his trapping skills, and hires him on the spot (much to Schmacher's dismay). The next thirty minutes are merely a "slice of life" about the upper crust in France, and their vacation lives of leisure at the country home, replete with interpersonal relationships, jealousy, shocking candor, and it leaves me wondering where this is all going. I'm almost halfway through this film, and for it to be considered "greatest-ever" material, it had better start improving, pronto - I just don't see it yet: I'm starting to fear this is one of "those" movies that all the critics like because they're supposed to like it. There are elements of well-played character development, but this all needs to have an end game, because it's not standing on its own - at least, not yet. Yes, it's a satire of the leisure class, perhaps to the point of being farce, but it needs to be more than this - I'm still hopeful, because there's been nothing "bad" about it whatsoever; it's just not compelling, or even all that witty. A discussion, at a gala, between two men having affairs: "You haven't seen me." "Why?" "Schumacher's after me." "What for?" "On account of his wife. We were playing around. He saw us and he's not happy. Oh, your lordship ... women are charming. I like them a lot. Too much, in fact. But they spell trouble." "You're telling me." "You've got it bad, too?" "Somewhat ... Ever wish you were an Arab?" "No, what for?" "For the harem ... Only Muslims show a little logic in matters of male-female relations. They're made like us." "If you say so." "They always have a favorite ... But they don't kick the others out and hurt their feelings." "If you say so." Meh, this is just not that good - I understand it's 77 years old, but it's still just not that good. I'm thinking maybe in context of France, 1939, this is considered pretty "bold" satire, making fun of the upper class like this, but if that's what makes this movie great - it's just plain dated. Still, I'm only halfway through ... onward. Okay, with about twenty-five minutes remaining, I've peaked at a few reviews, all of which say this is "one of the greatest films ever made." I'm afraid I'm going to need to be told *why* it's one of the greatest films ever made - I guess that's the difference between my knowledge of restaurants and films: with restaurants, I'm the one who can do the telling; with films, I guess that sometimes, I need to be told. Damn this is frustrating. I mean, I can see it's a scathing social commentary, I can see it's a farce, I can see it pits upper class vs. lower class, man against woman, and makes all sorts of fun against high society, but *one of the greatest films ever made*? Are there any film scholars here? If so, I ask for your help - this is like "Middlemarch" meets "Reefer Madness." Great works of art often go over my head the first time I experience them, and I'm willing to accept that such is the case here, but I'm going to need some assistance with this one. As great as "Citizen Kane" is, that film has plenty of detractors who wonder why it's so great - I don't think those people are Luddites; I think they honestly just don't get it. To me, "Citizen Kane" is *terribly* boring in parts - it really drags - but I can see greatness in it; I'm just not seeing that greatness in "La Règle du Jeu," unfortunately. I think its okay, but I'm not getting the multi-layered nuances it supposedly has. There's one line I just saw that sums it up for me to this point: "Corneille! Put an end to this farce!" "Which one, your lordship?" At the end of the movie, loose ends are tying themselves up, and it's clear to me that the upper crust values their lot in life more than they value humanity - *their* humanity. It's a savage beatdown, and a funny one, but not in a "ha-ha funny" way. The film is filled with stereotypes, and man it's hard to absorb on the first viewing - this is not a movie to watch alone; it's one to watch among other film lovers, and discuss as it's happening. Well, it was pretty powerful, all right - I watched it over two nights, and was very tired both evenings. I need to study it some more - much of it went over my head for sure, but I can sense how ruthless it is. "La Règle du Jeu" is free on Hulu - would a few of you all please watch it and tell me all the wonderful things I'm missing?
  5. I decided to watch "Charade" tonight for a number of reasons. I recently watched "Suspicion," a 1941 thriller starring Cary Grant directed by Alfred Hitchcock. While "Charade" was not directed by Hitchcock, it has a Hitchcockian feel. I adore Carey Grant, and felt like spending another evening being charmed by this embodiment of the Hollywood leading man. I am obsessed with Audrey Hepburn, and I was born in 1963. It seemed like a no-brainer that I should give this film another viewing. Although I saw this film several years ago, I remembered very little of it. While Hitchcockian in style and plot twists, it lacks the cinematic magic of an actual Hitchcock film. The plot is a bit like "Suspicion," with the leading lady unsure whether she should or should not trust Grant. The witty banter between Hepburn and Grant made me think of Nick and Nora in "The Thin Man." Their repartee is amusing, but not nearly as fast and funny as Nick and Nora's. I enjoyed watching Grant and Hepburn together, and I was drawn in by the plot's twists and turns. At times, "Charade" seems self conscious, and the film feels like it is trying too hard. While Grant and Hepburn make a charming couple, their chemistry pales in comparison to the sparks that flew between Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday." Hepburn tells Grant time and again in this film that she loves him. She never once uttered those words to Peck in "Roman Holiday," but their love seemed more believable. Perhaps this is because at its core, "Charade" is a silly and stylish movie. It has an early '60s feel throughout, from the opening cartoon-like credits to Audrey's oh-so-chic Givenchy wardrobe. It isn't a great film, but it is an enjoyable one.
  6. "Amy Schumer Live at the Apollo" is available in two ways through HBO Online - either with a direct subscription, or if you enter your service provider (you'll need a name and password). This was performed in 2015 and is Amy at her crudy, raunchy best - between her and Margaret Cho, you're really in for a roller coaster ride if you watch their stand-up comedy routines. I do with both Amy and Margaret would stop criticizing (even jokingly) their bodies - I mean, we hear Louis CK doing the same type of stuff, but not to this extent. You girls both look fine to me! Stop it! Enough! Be comfortable in your own skin! Time for new material! The bit about her <ahem> doing the Charleston, dancing around with a cigarette hanging out of its mouth, was laugh-out-loud funny. One thing I notice about Amy Schumer's comedy is that it never gets boring - she doesn't stay on any one topic for very long, so if it would be a bomb, it's not long enough to explode; she just moves on, and most of her topics are at least good enough to draw a smile if not a light chuckle (and that's if you're home alone); with a group of people in the room, it's probably more laughter. Okay, during the scene when she scarfed down her scone I literally spat out my drink onto my keyboard, and I kid you not - it caught me totally off-guard, it was about 1/10th of a second long, and it was hilarious. Wow, there is some *shocking* material in here! The Obama bit even shocked me. Wacky Shirley LOL!
  7. "The Red Balloon" is a sweet, simple and visually appealing film. Just 35 minutes long, it tells the story of a young boy who finds a shiny red balloon in the streets of Paris. The boy takes the balloon everywhere he goes. It soon becomes apparent that the balloon has a mind of its own. It follows the boy everywhere, and hovers outside his window when his mother won't let him bring it inside. It is a lovely little tale of friendship, love and devotion. It captures the innocence of childhood, and highlights the fact that children can also be quite cruel to one another. There is virtually no dialogue and a lovely score. The little boy wears all gray, and the streets of Paris are shown in muted shades of bluish gray. The shots of the shiny red balloon against this backdrop are stunning. This film was made by someone with an artistic eye. I read some reviews that saw a deeper meaning in the film. Perhaps there were religious or political messages to be found. I enjoyed "The Red Balloon" on its most basic level. It made me feel like a child again. A balloon to a child is the world! Can you imagine having one that follows you around and waits for you outside your school?
  8. This 2004 film depicts Margaret Cho performing stand-up comedy at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles (that's why I'm putting it in the sparsely populated Theater Forum). I haven't seen the entire film, but there's one laugh-out-loud funny scene from it that I confess to having watched about five times. Fair warning: This is Margaret Cho at her absolute crudest, which is positively NSFW! You might want to watch it alone so your loved ones don't see you doubled-over laughing at such a thing.
  9. Alan Rickman's death had me reminiscing about Galaxy Quest, a silly movie but still a favorite. For one thing, although there are plenty of one-liners, much of the humor is visual, or in the editing. It's a movie that needs to be watched. As in, when you're watching it, really pay attention to the visuals, like the way scenes are cut, or the expressions on peoples' faces, or their gestures. Especially Alan Rickman's face. And, although it satirizes Star Trek and those shows' die-hard fans, it does so in a gentle, good natured way. There's nothing crass or ugly about it. The plot, briefly: many years after the TV Show Galaxy Quest is off the air, the washed-up actors are making a living by appearing at conventions and public openings. Until some aliens show up. These aliens have seen the TV broadcasts but mistook them for "historical documents". They get the actors on board a real-live working replica of the show's spaceship and... wackiness ensues. The cast: Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart [Kirk/Picard/Janeway/Sisko] Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus [Mr. Spock/Jadzia Dax/Tuvok/T'Pol] Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco/Lt. Tawny Madison [Uhura] Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan/Tech Sargent Chen [Scotty/LaForge/O'Brien] Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman/un-named [a redshirt] Daryl Mitchell as Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo [Wesley Crusher] and many more. If you're a SF fan and haven't seen Galaxy Quest, you need to. And if you're an Alan Rickman fan, be sure to watch his face and gestures. Dane is a great character, a classically-trained actor who can't get over being typecast as an alien, and Rickman does exceptional work portraying him.
  10. I don't know how you manage to produce these summaries dude. How long did it take to put together that last post? Props to Nick Offerman
  11. Strikes Pitched Per Inning Disregarding Umpires' Shitty Calls Which Were Overturned By Instant Replay Minus Balls Thrown In Less Than Twenty Seconds Between Pitches
  12. Pretty great show. A millennial's take on the first generation immigrant experience, casual racism, feminism, relationships, life in New York. I liked it, and could relate a lot to it. He wrote an article in the Times yesterday about learning that the guy that played the Indian guy in Short Circuit was actually a white dude in brown face. I don't think I've seen a niche comedy show get overwhelming reviews from virtually every site. It's on Netflix. Easy weekend binge... NY Times Vox Slate Washington Post Huffington Post Vanity Fair Daiily Beast The Verge Vulture
  13. (If you put your cursor on the top-right of the 1st photo, you can click-thru all 5 without stopping by clicking on "Next"): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  14. Rolling Stone called this the best SNL skit ever: "Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker" (1993) Starring Chris Farley So many great skits. So much laughter. So many talented comedians over the decades. I'm still partial to the "Jane You ignorant slut" skit: In fact there is so much more to it than that memorable line: "Point / Counterpoint" (1978) Starring Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd
  15. I remember seeing "Do The Right Thing" (1989) when it came out in the theaters and really liking it; this, after *detesting* Spike Lee's first major film, "She's Gotta Have It" (1986). The amount of growth demonstrated as an artist in just three years is amazing. Today, I watched the movie for a second time, and I'm becoming more-and-more convinced (as I watch numerous films for the second time that I first saw decades ago) that I had pretty darned good (or, at least "consistent") taste back then, when compared to my taste now. This film is cutting-edge, even today, and it's hard to believe it's over a quarter-century old - it has easily stood the test of time, and is not dated in the slightest. It converted me from being a Spike Lee detractor to being a Spike Lee fan, and if you haven't seen it, I encourage you to do so. Note that this is also the debut film of Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. "Do The Right Thing" was completely shut out in the 1990 Academy Awards. This is a better movie than "Dances With Wolves" (which was one of the first Best Picture Winners that made me realize the Academy Awards are a travesty - how could this not have been nominated for *anything*? Why are critics afraid to go against the status quo and use their own minds? What good are they if they don't?
  16. I loved Idiocracy, despite its inconsistent quality. There is some hilarious satire in it and I think it ain't too far from the truth at the rate we're going. Can't you imagine a day where you can get your college degree at Costco? Well, I'm off to get a hand job at Starbucks.
  17. This is a great song. Here's Johnny Cash, performing it at San Quentin Prison:
  18. Although I enjoyed the late episodes of Seinfeld, the TV series, and am having something of a renaissance with it on Crackle, as well as diving into Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, I knew almost nothing about Jerry Seinfeld, the man, until recently - I certainly didn't know (and wouldn't have guessed) that he is the wealthiest actor in the world (I think I would have guessed Tom Cruise, but Seinfeld apparently has almost double his net worth). Both he and Larry David are closing in on a billion-dollar net worth - I guess they caught the crest of the television wave before it began to crash. One thing about Seinfeld that I've observed, after some digging, is that he doesn't come across as a very "nice guy." Witness the somewhat overblown article, "Seinfeld-Schisms: Jerry's Tried-And-True Methods Of Ballbusting Divert Buzzfeed Interview" by Drew Grant on observer.com. I watched the entire video (embedded in that article), and indeed, Seinfeld controlled that entire interview, and had Buzzfeed's Business Editor, Peter Lauria, on the defensive the entire time, on egg shells, afraid to ask any question that would rile Seinfeld. On the other hand, Seinfeld stood by his friend, Michael Richards, when Richards hit rock-bottom which reminds me of what James Carville did with Bill Clinton (recall the book, "Stickin'"). I understand this is a personal decision (whether or not these people are worth sticking by), but I have always thought that standing by your friends, and giving them a hand up, when they are that their lowest possible moments, is a character strength of the absolute highest order, and is a trait that I admire and look up to almost as much as any other. I didn't particularly like Carville (although I admired his penchant for Rhone Valley wines) until he stuck by Clinton, and that unwavering loyalty gave me a whole new outlook on his persona.
  19. In case anyone didn't know, last night was the final night of "Late Show with David Letterman" né "Late Night with David Letterman." The final episode got pretty solid reviews: "Thanks Dave: The Genius Of Letterman's 'Late Show' Goodbye" by Rob Sheffield on rollingstone.com "David Letterman's Final 'Late Show': Star-Studded Top 10, Heartfelt Goodbye" by Marisa Guthrie on hollywoodreporter.com "David Letterman Finale Draws Almost 14 Million Viewers In Ratings" by John Koblin on nytimes.com
  20. Not TV per se, but YouTube: This dude is hilarious. My apologies to vegetarians: and the gluten intolerant:
  21. What in the world was the pitch for this TV series? "Hey dude, we have this hilarious script about a loveable ragtag bunch of captured Allied soldiers in a Nazi internment camp. Whadaya think? It'll be a hoot!" Anyway, say what you will about the unfortunate premise and the uh... peculiarities of Bob Crane, but I didn't know the stories behind the cast. Many of them were not only Jewish, but actually spent time in concentration camps. Hogan's Heroes The story behind Robert Clary is especially interesting.
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