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Found 5 results

  1. I'd love to say "Old / New" (2015) is "Patton Oswalt at his best," but it's really Patton Oswalt at his most typical: A medium talent, trying to be historically great, but settling into his usual, mildly amusing self.
  2. The 1934 musical-comedy short "Bubbling Over" stereotypes the "lazy black man," with Hamtree Harrington playing the good-for-nothing head janitor, Samson Peabody, constantly hounded by the Assistant Janitor, Ethel Peabody (played by Ethel Waters), the two of them leading an "All-Black Cast!" Waters played the unforgettable role of Jennie Henderson in the very best episode of "Route 66," "Goodnight Sweet Blues" (which I urge anyone-and-everyone reading this to watch, over-and-over again - it's life-changing television). This 19'30" musical manages to fit in four numbers: "Taking Your Time," (in which Ethel humorously nags Samson), "Southernaires Quartet," (a delightful song about "hanging your hat in a Harlem flat"), "Darkies Never Dream," (Ethel's lament about her life of drudgery), and "Company's Comin' Tonight," (an upbeat ensemble about a rich uncle arriving in town (from the, um, State Asylum)). "Bubbling Over" is worth watching for historical terms, and if you can tolerate "lazy, black humor," you may get a laugh or two out of Ethel Waters' dialogue after her first song ("Wake up, Samson, you're going to be late for your nap!"). At the end of the day, I can appreciate the humor, but still wish that films like this were never made. Ethel Waters and company deserved a whole lot better.
  3. I won't be issuing any spoilers in this post, but I would urge any-and-all science-fiction fans to watch one of the greatest science-fiction films I've ever seen: "La Jetée" ("The Pier") - a 30-minute French short (translated into English) - the only place I found it was Amazon Prime (*), and it was $3.99 - yes, it hurt paying that for such a short film, but once I watched it, it was worth every penny. For me to say anything about the film would be to ruin it, other than this: It is an art film - absolutely for the art-house cinema folks - and is unlike anything else you've ever seen (with the possible exception of one modern movie which it directly influenced). It is disturbing, riveting, and sobering - if you're a science-fiction fan and *haven't* seen this, there's a gaping chasm in your repertoire. (*) At 15'40", there is a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" - the influence Hitchcock had on the French New Wave simply cannot be overstated.
  4. Although the man who killed bin Laden is now known, if you haven't seen any actual interviews with him, this animated compilation of interviews is an absolutely fascinating 18-minute film. This film is being presented without judgment, and is done so for the purposes of historical education only.
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