James Arness

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Island In The Sky Review


Very Good
For the longest time, I didn't think anything was going to happen in Island in the Sky. In fact, the very title implies that nothing is going to happen: I figured a big bomber would be flying around during WWII, drop a few bombs on Dresden or something, maybe hit some resistance, and finally return home after a successful run over Germany.

Was I wrong: Island in the Sky takes place mostly on the ground, after a transport plane (piloted by Captain Dooley, played by John Wayne in an exemplary role) crashes in the frozen wilds of Newfoundland. The film -- after a good 40 minutes of useless exposition -- spends the bulk of its time dealing with their attempts to be rescued.

Continue reading: Island In The Sky Review

Them! Review


Good
Who doesn't love a giant ant movie? Who? Them! is at once high camp and a decent monster flick, thanks to a good-sized budget for sets and the dulcet voice of Edmund Gwenn, as a scientist who's on hand to explain to the military -- with educational films, even -- why ants in the New Mexico desert have suddenly grown to a thousand times their normal size. (Hint: A-bombs!) Eventually we know they'll have to go after the queen, just another big puppet that looks hysterically bad (and is really the only bad special effect in the film). But along the way we are treated to Gwenn, screaming at a cop with a machine gun to "Get the antennas! He's helpless without them!" Priceless.
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