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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

South Pacific (1958) Review


Excellent
This is an embarrassing statement for a man to make but I think that South Pacific is one of my favorite old movies. As an art form, the musical is dubious at best. And Joshua Logan was not one of the great Hollywood directors -- as demonstrated by the film's uneven pacing and use of colorful camera filters during certain intense scenes.

So why is this movie a classic? Because it was produced soon after WWII, when even Hollywood war romances had a serious edge. Because it was filmed on location (well, Hawaii, I think) and in full Technicolor glamour. And because the occasion brought out the best in Rodgers and Hammerstein, when the songwriting team wrote poignant and thoughtful lyrics put to classic melodies.

Continue reading: South Pacific (1958) Review

South Pacific (1958) Review


Excellent
This is an embarrassing statement for a man to make but I think that South Pacific is one of my favorite old movies. As an art form, the musical is dubious at best. And Joshua Logan was not one of the great Hollywood directors -- as demonstrated by the film's uneven pacing and use of colorful camera filters during certain intense scenes.

So why is this movie a classic? Because it was produced soon after WWII, when even Hollywood war romances had a serious edge. Because it was filmed on location (well, Hawaii, I think) and in full Technicolor glamour. And because the occasion brought out the best in Rodgers and Hammerstein, when the songwriting team wrote poignant and thoughtful lyrics put to classic melodies.

Continue reading: South Pacific (1958) Review

Fast Times At Ridgemont High Review


Excellent
What, you ask, is this movie of movies? This one which you've heard about? It's an eighties thing, with not much appeal for the modern troupe because its slower paced, less funny, than what you might see today. But, like a lot of eighties movies, it holds its own merit. This adaptation of the book by Cameron Crowe (don't know who he is? I'll give you a hint. He wrote and directed the famous line "Did you know the human brain weighs eight pounds?" That's right, the maker of Jerry Maguire and Singles) is a coming-of-age drama about a young girl making the choice all of us make, sex or a relationship.Sure, we tell ourselves that both can exist, and they can, but there is the line that she draws: if she wants to sleep around or if she wants to have something to hold onto. And the movie, in a nutshell, is about that. It follows her and her friends during their last year in High School in the small town of Ridgemont. Where each one of them ends up with their troubles, ranging from no girlfriend to an abortion to adultery. It sounds serious, right?That's not quite on target.The movie has its serious moments, but it has its funny moments too: from two girls practicing blow jobs on a carat at a lunch table to a guy cruising for chicks dressed in a pirate cap. The movie is sublimely funny. And interesting. It's very sad, in my mind, that those things are so rarely seen in the 90s.

Paint Your Wagon Review


Weak
Having never seen the play or the film, I always figured Paint Your Wagon was about a plucky family of settlers who overcome incredible obstacles as they head across the great, wild west.

Boy, was I wrong. What with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood's singing, a whorehouse being built, a criminal tunnel being dug under "No Name Town," and a polygamous relationship among Marvin, Eastwood, and local honey Jean Seberg, Paint Your Wagon is so chock full of debauchery one might think Sam Peckinpah had been involved.

Continue reading: Paint Your Wagon Review

Damn Yankees! Review


Good
I like baseball. I love movies, especially musicals. I figured that Damn Yankees! would be my movie version of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. It was more like combining chocolate and a pound of seasoned ground beef.

This 1958 musical, adapted from George Abbott's Broadway hit, presents a baseball fan's ultimate dream. What if you could help your favorite team win the pennant? And what if you got to be the star of that team?

Continue reading: Damn Yankees! 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

My Favorite Martian Review


Bad
Nothing like a 1960s sitcom remake to brighten up your day, right? Even a cameo by dearly departed Ray Walston can't save this piece of junk, which is unfortunate, because Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Daniels, Elizabeth Hurley, and Wallace Shawn can all be fun to watch on film. Of course, any movie that has a guy passing up Hurley for Daryl Hannah has to make you suspect anyway, right? Wayne Knight's voiced-over talking suit is the only (relative) highlight. Feel free to pass on this one.

My Favorite Martian Review


OK

Disney's "My Favorite Martian" is bookended by the only two laughsin the whole movie. The opening scene cleverly takes a swipe at NASA'sMars Rover mission as a springboard into the story about a visitor fromthe red planet marooned in Los Angeles by a broken down spaceship.

One of the last scenes pays homage to the 1960s TV showthat inspired this film in a way that makes the insufferable comic vacuumthat precedes it almost forgivable -- but only if you're old enough toremember Ray Walston as the original Martian.

Continue reading: My Favorite Martian Review

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My Favorite Martian Movie Review

My Favorite Martian Movie Review

Disney's "My Favorite Martian" is bookended by the only two laughsin the whole movie. The...

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