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Picnic Review


Weak
I'd never seen or read Picnic before -- and judging from the happy title I assumed it would be a lighthearted comedy -- probably full of music and dancing. Man, I was wrong. This is a big and sappy melodrama, with William Holden a train-riding hobo who descends upon a small town on Labor Day (in time for the big picnic), and wreaks all manner of havoc on the local romance pecking order. Ultimately the film finally focuses on his relationship with the lovely Kim Novak -- a one-day affair that ends with a vague, interpretable conclusion. Whoop de do. All that, and there's no hot dogs.

Escape To Witch Mountain Review


Good
Decades before Harry Potter wowed millions, another orphaned kid with magical powers delighted children in literature and the movies. Two of 'em, in fact. (Kids and movies, I mean.)

Watch carefully and you'll find Harry's origins written all over Escape to Witch Mountain. Young Tia and Tony (Harry Potter) find themselves orphaned and without memory of their parents. When their foster parents die, they're sent to an orphanage, where an evil capitalist named Deranian (Voldemort) tries to subvert their budding magical powers -- levitation, telepathy, animal communication, and more -- for his own whims. They escape and head for the mythical Witch Mountain (Hogwarts), where they're sure they'll be accepted. They get there thanks to an old map (lightning bolt scar) that Tia has, reminding her of her past. Helping them along the way is a crotchety but folksy camper (Hagrid) and a pet cat (owl), not to mention various other obstacles and helping hands -- including a magic harmonica (wand).

Continue reading: Escape To Witch Mountain Review

The Pajama Game Review


Good
Sleepwear, a labor dispute, and singing come together for maybe the first and only time in film history in the Doris Day vehicle The Pajama Game.

Why is it called The Pajama Game? Doris makes PJs but she's underpaid. She leads the workers to revolt and demand a pay raise of 7 1/2 cents an hour. Management refuses. Love ensues. Don't forget the singing, and don't tell poor Doris she's going to get her butt outsourced to Indonesia in about 20 years.

Continue reading: The Pajama Game Review

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