Pamela Franklin

Pamela Franklin

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The Food Of The Gods Review


Unbearable
Writer/director Bert I. Gordon's adaptation of The Food of the Gods claims to be based on "a portion" of the eponymous H.G. Wells novel. Apparently he meant the portion that sucks. At least eight of Gordon's films have been lampooned on bad-movie-graveyard Mystery Science Theater 3000. That this one never made it can only be a matter of the show having been cancelled before they could get to it.

The film begins, improbably enough, with way-too-old-to-be-playing-football professional athlete Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) deciding to take a break with another unbelievably old player, Davis (Chuck Courtney) and their promoter Brian (Jon Cypher). They head off to a remote island to hunt deer on horseback, because that's how football players unwind.

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Flipper's New Adventure Review


OK
Back in the '60s, sequels didn't need fancy names. Therefore, instead of Flipper 2: Full Throttle we get the more prosaically named Flipper's New Adventure, a family-friendly story that has as much fun and excitement as the first classic film, although this time around it's slightly sodden with schmaltz.

When we last left young teen Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin), he had convinced his parents to let him keep Flipper the dolphin as his pet and lifelong friend, but in the months that have passed, life's gotten a bit rough down in the Keys. Ma Ricks has died, and Pa (Brian Kelly, a less scary replacement for the first film's Chuck Connors), is off at marine park ranger training school. Sandy and Flipper have been in the care of a neighbor, but now the state is building a new causeway right through Flipper's lagoon, and the Miami Seaquarium is coming to take him away.

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The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Review


Good
Miss Jean Brodie (Maggie Smith) doesn't much care for the provencial attitudes of pre-WWII Edinburgh. She doesn't much care for traditional teaching methods, instead schooling the girls in her charge about art, love, passion, and so on. A primitive Dead Poets Society, Brodie encourages less-than-ladylike behavior, and not just because she's smooching guys in the classrooms when she thinks no one is looking. Smith is excellent -- and won an Oscar for the role -- helping to elevate the film above what can often be a somewhat stuffy character study.

The Innocents Review


OK
Based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, this creepy but ultimately perplexing thriller was one of the first films designed to scare you without showing, say, severed limbs and nonstop gore. The Innocents features a wide-eyed Deborah Kerr as a governess sent to a stately manor where she will care for two children. When they start communicating with ghosts, demons, dead people, the devil -- what they are, we'll never find it -- the poor governess comes unhinged. Not altogether frightening, but it has a few creep-out moments that mostly redeem its totally ambiguous ending.
Pamela Franklin

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