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Magnificent Obsession Review


Good
Restrained passion, brooding desire, and undying love are painted on the screen in glorious Technicolor. Obsessed with the suffering of the American over-privileged upper class of the 1950s, director Douglas Sirk created several Hollywood blockbusters that subversively tackled topics ranging from race to age in relationships. And while All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Imitation of Life (1959) are beloved by cinephilies as "masterpieces," Magnificent Obsession is not among that canon.

That's not to say that Sirk's 1954 remake of a 1935 film, and adaptation of the 1929 novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, is not a melodramatic gem. The story focuses on reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson, in his first leading role), whose boat-crashing antics inadvertently kill Helen Phillips' (Jane Wyman) husband. When Merrick falls for the widow, he learns a lesson in selflessness and giving to others -- but not before Helen is blinded in an accident that was once again a result of Merrick's actions. Whereas the melodrama in Sirk's major works are supported by substantive themes that still resonate today -- the racism that forces Sarah Jane to abandon her mother in Imitation of Life, for example -- Magnificent Obsession drowns in its sentimentality.

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Who Slew Auntie Roo? Review


Bad
Who slew Auntie Roo? Good God, who cares!? This awful horror flick (tagline: "The hand that rocks the cradle has no flesh on it!") is so atrocious it's truly hard to muddle through. Shelley Winters' psychotic character is searching for a "replacement" for her dead daughter... offing local children along the way. Meant as an update to Hansel & Gretel, this sad, sad "horror" movie is not remotely scary, features terribly stilted dialogue, and sports one of the biggest wigs I've ever seen outside of an intentional farce. Very, very bad.

Aka Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

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Frogs Review


Weak
Frogs gets points for its most straightforward of titles, but what the heck -- there are killer lizards, spiders, and snakes here too, in addition to the giant frogs marauding a small island house and its residents.

"What if nature were trying to get back at us?" the film asks, before the Birds-reminscent attack begins? (The frogs are enhanced due to pesticide over-use.) Look no further than Ray Milland's typical reaction: "I don't think there's much to worry about..." His family's so self-obsessed they barely notice when members start dying off.

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Dr. Phibes Rises Again Review


Weak
Terribly uninspired, this sequel to the bizarre and hilariously gory The Abominable Dr. Phibes has Phibes (Vincent Price) reanimating himself after three years of death (he engineered his own embalming at the end of the first one) in an attempt to find his scrolls holding the key to ultimate life. This of course leads to innumerable murders, though they aren't nearly as amusing as in the original -- vultures and animatronic snakes? Spare us. Phibes, alas, would arise no more after this installment.
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Dev Patel Is A Lost Boy In Touching True Story Drama 'Lion'

Dev Patel Is A Lost Boy In Touching True Story Drama 'Lion'

There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.

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