Frances Goodrich

Frances Goodrich

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It's A Wonderful Life Review


Excellent
Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most beloved films ever made? Something about how it was originally coined on a Christmas Card? About how a clerical error resulted in it not being copyrighted and contributing to its ubiquity on television -- since it was royalty-free? Or should I just go ahead and tell the few people on earth who haven't seen it what it's all about.

Okay kids, if you don't have a TV, It's a Wonderful Life tells us about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who lives and loves his small town of Bedford Falls so much he'd die for it. And sure enough, when his tiny Building & Loan (aka bank) starts to fail -- thanks to the malicious influence of the local tycoon (Lionel Barrymore) -- George heads for his local bridge to end it all.

Continue reading: It's A Wonderful Life Review

The Long, Long Trailer Review


OK
I am one of millions who worships at the altar of Lucille Ball, and I also happen to be one of thousands who also worships at the altar of Desi Arnaz, the real brains behind I Love Lucy. Still, unless you're a true Lucy/Desi completist like me, you can probably get in the fast line and pass right by The Long, Long Trailer. I'll give it one star for Lucy, one star for Desi, and half a star for their comic partnership, but that's it. You'd be far better off sticking with I Love Lucy reruns.

A disposable piece of Vicente Minnelli-directed '50s Technicolor fluff, this movie gave Lucy's audience the chance to see her flaming red hair in all its vibrant glory, but it's unlikely they remembered anything else about it a week later. Why Lucy and Desi, who must have been exhausted after four years of TV superstardom, felt they needed to use their summer break to film what's essentially a feature-length sitcom episode is beyond me. They should have just relaxed by the pool and worked on their marriage.

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After The Thin Man Review


Very Good
Possibly a bit better than the original Thin Man, aided by an even drier script and the appearance of James Stewart (though in a bit of a strange role). It's more hijinks for Nick and Nora this time around, as they return home to San Francisco and get caught up in a murder mystery, which even lands Nora in the pokey. Cute, though like its predecessor, more than a little dated.

Father Of The Bride Review


Good
It's really hard to feel too terribly sorry for the uptight George Banks (Steve Martin) when he bitches and moans about the ever-rising costs of his daughter's wedding in Father of the Bride. After all, he lives in overstuffed opulence in a Pasadena mini-mansion, runs his own company, drives an antique sports car, has a perfect and gainfully employed wife (Diane Keaton), and two perfect kids (Kimberly Williams and Kieran Culkin). Is the wedding cake outrageously expensive? Get over it, George.

In fact, that's what wife Nina (Keaton) spends most of the movie saying. And that's what you'll be saying, too, as George whines about having to buy a tuxedo, mopes about the disruption to the house, disapproves of the perfect young man (George Newbern) who has deflowered his daughter, and gets all frantic about meeting his future in-laws (who are even richer than he is). What's really happening, of course, is that George simply doesn't want his daughter to grow up, and his way of raging against life's forward progression is to get cranky about the upcoming wedding day. How do we know? Because George tells us in his self-pitying narration. This is the kind of movie that has plenty of both show and tell.

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Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Review


Essential
There are a few things I don't understand: physics, women, and how Seven Brides for Seven Brothers gets excluded from the American Film Institute's 100 greatest movies of all time. Quite frankly, I'm bound to figure out the other two topics sooner.

Watching Stanley Donen's exuberant, musical masterpiece again gives me more reason to picket the next AFI event. This movie has aged better than Susan Sarandon. The songs are still great, the dancing still dazzles, and the whole family can enjoy it. Parents, forget whatever kid-friendly fare disguised as a toy commercial is playing at the multiplex this week, and go back to a simpler time.

Continue reading: Seven Brides For Seven Brothers Review

Another Thin Man Review


Good
The third Thin Man movie finds the series struggling a bit as it searches for new ideas, while also taking a rather mean turn of events. For starters, Asta now has a sibling -- a (human) baby -- to distract the Charleses. But never mind the kid, the couple (trio) has a new mystery to deal with: A military colonel who's being threatened by a just-outta-prison man from his past is sure he's going to be killed. 20 minutes later, he is killed. Whodunnit? Well, our obvious suspect may just be a bit too obvious, if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, the mystery here is random and a bit obtuse, and the jokes just aren't as funny with all the ultra-dark goings on.

Continue reading: Another Thin Man Review

It's A Wonderful Life Review


Excellent
Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most beloved films ever made? Something about how it was originally coined on a Christmas Card? About how a clerical error resulted in it not being copyrighted and contributing to its ubiquity on television -- since it was royalty-free? Or should I just go ahead and tell the few people on earth who haven't seen it what it's all about.

Okay kids, if you don't have a TV, It's a Wonderful Life tells us about George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), who lives and loves his small town of Bedford Falls so much he'd die for it. And sure enough, when his tiny Building & Loan (aka bank) starts to fail -- thanks to the malicious influence of the local tycoon (Lionel Barrymore) -- George heads for his local bridge to end it all.

Continue reading: It's A Wonderful Life Review

The Thin Man Review


Good
You can save yourself the trouble of sending me hate mail, I already know what you're gonna say. The Thin Man, produced way back in 1934, just isn't that funny any more. The jokes are worn to the bone, the plot setup has been reworked into oblivion, and frankly the acting is spotty in parts. Still, William Powell and Myrna Loy have good chemistry -- and even better body language -- throughout this watershed crime story cum slapstick comedy. (He's a former P.I., she's a society maven, together they solve murders, and they have a dog.) You can see how this would be funny, but, like fine wine, even classic movies start to fade over time. Not that it isn't still without some of its old merits, of course.
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It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

Come now, what on earth am I going to say about one of the most...

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It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Review

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