Robert Getchell

Robert Getchell

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Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

Sweet Dreams Review


Good
All country musicians have movies made about them sooner or later. Patsy Cline got hers in 1985, a dutiful yet uninspired series of vignettes that shaped her life: grueling tours, making it big, car wreck, having kids, and her ultimate, untimely death in a small plane that crashed into the side of a mountain. Sweet Dreams is a fairly bad title for a film about Cline (I assume it will someday be recycled into a film about The Eurythmics), but I suppose her better known works (like "Crazy") wouldn't have made for appropriate titles at all. Jessica Lange turns in a good performance here, though she lip syncs to Cline's originals throughout. A bigger problem is the meandering plot, which makes too much of her abusive marriage and white trash lifestyle, but never really indicates how wildly popular Cline became during her life.

Bound For Glory Review


OK
It sounds like a kickboxing movie, but Bound for Glory is actually based on Woody Guthrie's memiors of the same title. David Carradine plays Guthrie as he rambles and strums and rambles some more, all the way through the dusty Depression in search of stardom. Lots of travelin'. And on and on for about 2 1/2 hours. Bound for Glory doesn't have so much a story as it does a series of vignettes between bouts of Carradine strumming Guthrie's signature tunes. Hope you like folk music, because there isn't much variety to be found among his music. Neither is there much variety in the scenery (though the film won an Oscar for cinematography): just one dust cloud after another, as we ramble across the country. Hell, the didn't call it the "Depression" for nothing. Check out The Grapes of Wrath for a far more interesting and dramatic look at the past.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Review


Excellent
The early 1970s were a great time for American movies, but one segment of the Hollywood population wasn't benefiting: actresses. The scarcity of roles for women was such that in 1975 there was speculation that Marilyn Hassett might necessarily be nominated for the best actress Oscar for her role in The Other Side of the Mountain; there were hardly five other lead performances by a woman that year. Remember that movie? Remember her? Louise Fletcher took the statue home in the end, for a performance in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest that in any other year would have been a supporting role.

So it was that Ellen Burstyn, following her performance as Regan's frantic mother in The Exorcist in '73, couldn't find work. Couldn't find work, that is, unless she was willing to play a caretaker for the leading man, a weak accessory to the leading man, in need of his protection, or a whore. In interviews at the time she said that she realized that the same was true in her own life: She made her husband's life easier, accessorized it, but wasn't this her life she was leading?

Continue reading: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Review

Mommie Dearest Review


Very Good
Horror's got nothing on Faye Dunaway's harrowing portrayal of Joan Crawford -- a woman who will not be remembered as the Oscar-winning star of Mildred Pierce and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, but more likely as the subject of Mommie Dearest, a scathing biography based on a tell-all "novel" penned by Crawford's adopted daughter Christina.

While it's justly criticized for trivializing child abuse, Mommie Dearest paints a unique picture of the kind of criminal behavior movie stars and other celebrities are allowed to get away with. (O.J. anyone?) The horrific picture of consistant, repeated abuse and down-right craziness is enough to make you think your family is downright normal. Of course, my mother always alluded to "wire hangers" when I was growing up... wonder what that means.

Continue reading: Mommie Dearest Review

Robert Getchell

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Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Movie Review

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Movie Review

The early 1970s were a great time for American movies, but one segment of the...

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