Harold Gould

Harold Gould

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The Sting Review


Extraordinary
It's one of cinema's most beloved heist movies, and for good reason: The Sting is balls-out fun from start to finish, a showstopper work for both Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and alternately funny and thrilling.

The plot must have been devilishly complex at the time. In more recent years we've had films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner that make The Sting's intricacies look like a story in a first-grader's textbook. It's the Depression, and Johnny Hooker (Redford) makes a living running quickie cons on the street. When he scams several thousand dollars off of a mob guy, the heat comes down from both the mafiosos looking for their money and the crooked cops, culminating in Hooker's partner getting killed and Hooker escaping the city for hopefully better climes.

Continue reading: The Sting Review

Silent Movie Review


OK
Mel Brooks has never exactly been a master of subtlety. He's also never known when a joke is worthy of a five-minute bit and when it's something you can flesh out into a full length feature.

Silent Movie is exactly what it says in the title: An honest to God silent film. In fact, it's a silent film about the making of a silent film. Brooks plays, basically, himself, a movie producer who's trying to get funding for the first silent film in 40 years. The studio is on the verge of bankruptcy, and our hero attempts to save the studio by rustling up Hollywood's biggest stars to appear in the show. They play themselves and, indeed, represent some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Continue reading: Silent Movie Review

Silent Movie Review


OK
Mel Brooks has never exactly been a master of subtlety. He's also never known when a joke is worthy of a five-minute bit and when it's something you can flesh out into a full length feature.

Silent Movie is exactly what it says in the title: An honest to God silent film. In fact, it's a silent film about the making of a silent film. Brooks plays, basically, himself, a movie producer who's trying to get funding for the first silent film in 40 years. The studio is on the verge of bankruptcy, and our hero attempts to save the studio by rustling up Hollywood's biggest stars to appear in the show. They play themselves and, indeed, represent some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Continue reading: Silent Movie Review

Whisper of the Heart Review


OK
One of Studio Ghibli's strangest productions has to be this, Whisper of the Heart. Not because of any crazy morphing creatures -- though the film has a few of those -- but because of its subject matter. Here's a movie about teen romance, set largely in a library. There are no rakish adventurers, no ghosts, no forest creatures. Just a boy and a girl and only one magical cat to speak of. The film is generally charming, though its love story is strange to the point of inaccesibility: A girl who writes alternate lyrics to "Take Me Home, Country Roads"? Whoa, now that's weird.

Continue reading: Whisper of the Heart Review

Freaky Friday (2003) Review


Excellent
On the surface, Freaky Friday has all the signs of being awful -- horrible trailer, atrocious poster (Jamie Lee Curtis dressed like a middle-aged Avril Lavigne), and the presence of Mark Harmon. I don't mean to disparage Harmon, whom I actually think is a solid, reliable actor. It's just that since the late 1980s, the moviegoing public has inexplicably and repeatedly rejected him like snobby prom queens.

Plus, it's a Disney live-action movie. Need I say more?

Continue reading: Freaky Friday (2003) Review

The Sting Review


Extraordinary
It's one of cinema's most beloved heist movies, and for good reason: The Sting is balls-out fun from start to finish, a showstopper work for both Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and alternately funny and thrilling.

The plot must have been devilishly complex at the time. In more recent years we've had films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner that make The Sting's intricacies look like a story in a first-grader's textbook. It's the Depression, and Johnny Hooker (Redford) makes a living running quickie cons on the street. When he scams several thousand dollars off of a mob guy, the heat comes down from both the mafiosos looking for their money and the crooked cops, culminating in Hooker's partner getting killed and Hooker escaping the city for hopefully better climes.

Continue reading: The Sting Review

Master Of Disguise Review


Unbearable

"The funny voices? The silly faces? They were funny for about one second," says a woman breaking the heart of Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey) in the nitwit kiddie spy flick "Master of Disguise."

She couldn't be more right. In a transparently desperate attempt at a career comeback, Carvey hams like a bad Christmas dinner as Pistachio, a clumsy twit of an Italian waiter who learns that he comes from a long line of disguise experts who have been "protecting the world from evil over the centuries."

For no explained reason, his father (James Brolin) has kept the family history a secret from Pistachio. But when Pistachio's mom and dad are kidnapped by their old arch-enemy -- a black-market art collector named Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) -- Grandpa (Harold Gould) shows up to train Pistachio for a rescue mission designed to showcase Carvey's ability to affect an endless array of annoying personas.

Continue reading: Master Of Disguise Review

Freaky Friday Review


Good

Hitting the nail on the head of mother-daughter relationships -- and doing so with amusing savvy and imaginative good humor -- Disney's "Freaky Friday" remake is such a sublimely fun-for-all matinee delight that it cleansed my palate of the sour taste of every bad movie I've seen this summer.

Yes, it's a live-action Disney family movie -- which has traditionally been enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone over the age of 11. But director Mark S. Waters ("Head Over Heels") eschews the studio's history of pandering triteness in favor of sharp writing, credibly clever characters and terrific performances.

Magnetic Linsday Lohan (whose charm also carried the studio's 1998 "Parent Trap" remake) and a revitalized Jamie Lee Curtis couldn't be more ideally cast as exasperated teenager Annabell Colman and her harried, head-shrinker mom Tess, both of whom are given new insights into their contentious relationship when their bodies are swapped through a fortune-cookie hex.

Continue reading: Freaky Friday Review

Harold Gould

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