"Fire and Ice" may not be writer/director Ralph Bakshi's best movie but it's definitely his sexiest. I know she's just a drawing but Princess Teegra is unbelievably dreamy. I can't take my eyes off her. I doubt anyone else can either. The rest of the movie is fine. It's not up to the craziness of Bakshi's earlier films but with Teegra running around like she does, who cares?
Lost in Alaska (1952)Another A&C winner
9 May 2021
There is a lot to like in "Lost in Alaska". Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are both in fine form. Their supporting cast is also very good. The movie has very little, if any, downtime. The are quite a few laughs and a ton of goodwill in "Lost in Alaska". Honorable mention: the song "A Hot Time in the Igloo Tonight".
Brazil (1985)It's not worth the trouble
9 May 2021
I remember when "Brazil" came out. It was the poster child for the old "art vs commerce" debate. When it was finally released, nobody cared. Even through it it's held up as some kind of great film, I've never met anyone who actually was a fan of it. I've seen it several times (including last night) and it always leaves me flat. Sure, the art director is excellent. As are most of the performances, especially Jonathan Price. Price is terrific. It's just as a whole, "Brazil" is too long and too cluttered to be enjoyable. There are some great moments scattered throughout the movie but not enough to make it all worth while. I will, however, give writer/director Terry Gilliam an E for Effort.
The King of Staten Island (2020)An okay watch
9 May 2021
"The King of Staten Island" is an uneven movie. It does have a some nice moments but it has quite a few lame parts too. The cast is likeable even though the performances are hit and miss. A major problem with this movie is the length. 2 hours and 16 minutes is way too long for a movie like this. I never wanted to bail out on "The King of Staten Island" but I can't see myself watching it again anytime soon.
The Craft: Legacy (2020)It's the pits
9 May 2021
If the makers of "The Craft: Legacy" went for a "R" rating instead of a "PG-13", they may have made a sexy, dumb movie. But as it is, it's just dumb. The cast is either bland or unappealing or both. The story is silly and uninteresting. "The Craft: Legacy" isn't worth the trouble. It's not even good enough for a teenage girl slumber party.
K-9 (1989)Jim Belushi shines
8 May 2021
"K-9" is a fun movie. Sure, it's silly but it's never dumb. The cast is does a nice job, especially a very appealing Jim Belushi. Belushi brings just the right tone to his performance. If "K-9" starred another actor, it wouldn't have been nearly as good. And, of course, the dog is great. I saw "K-9" a long time ago. I didn't remember it being as good as it is. Honorable mention: Mel Harris' first scene.
Suicide Squad (2016)A star is born
3 May 2021
The third time was the charm with "Suicide Squad". I've seen it twice before but tonight was the first time that I really enjoyed. It does have its problems but it's all okay because it also has Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie was born to play Harley. She dominates every scene that she's in. She's awesome. The rest of the cast is also very good, especially Will Smith. Smith gives an excellent performance. The cast is so good that most of the movie's flaws are forgiven. I will watching this "Suicide Squad" again pretty soon. Honorable mention: the soundtrack.
Under Western Stars (1938)A lot better than "Billy Jack Goes to Washington"
3 May 2021
"Under Western Stars" is a pretty easy way to spend a Saturday morning. The story is good, the jokes are funny and the cast is appealing. I even liked the songs. I haven't seen that many of Roy Rogers movies. But because of "Under Western Stars", I'm going to seek some of them out.
Enchanted (2007)A fun movie
3 May 2021
I first saw "Enchanted" in the theater (AMC Westbury, NY). I've seen it quite a few times since. I may not like as much as the rest of my family but I still think its good. At times it's a little too silly but it's still a lot of fun. The cast does a great job. They all give very good performances, especially Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey has rarely been better. His performance keeps the movie grounded. "Enchanted" is always an easy watch.
Johnny Belinda (1948)One of my mom's favorites
29 April 2021
I've seen "Johnny Belinda" a bunch of times. It was one of my mother's favorites. My wife, who is deaf, will watch it every time it is on. It is a great movie. It tells it's story is a very meat and potatoes way. It is a drama that never sinks into melodrama. The cast is top-notch, especially Jane Wyman. Wyman hits the ball out of the park in this movie. I don't just watch this movie because of my wife. I like to watch "Johnny Belinda" every chance I get.
Silent Movie (1976)Likeable enough
28 April 2021
I first saw "Silent Movie" in the theater (Glen Oaks, NY). I've seen it a bunch of times since. It's okay. It has more smiles than laughs but it's pleasant enough. It does seem longer than its short running time (88 minutes). The cast is good. The star cameos are mostly worth it. Nothing about "Silent Movie" really knocks my socks off but I'm sure I'll keep watching it every once in a while. Honorable mention: Paul Newman's scene.
Cloak & Dagger (1984)A suspense classic
27 April 2021
"Cloak & Dagger" may take place in a child's world but it not a kids movie. It is an exciting, often funny, very suspenseful movie. It is Hitchcockian cinema at its finest. The cast is very good as is the location photography. The writing is sharp and the direction tight. The movie also has a terrific (and often misunderstood) ending. The ending of this film has been discussed for many moons in this house. "Cloak & Dagger" is a one of a kind movie that is excellent every step of the way.
My Husband's Killer Girlfriend (2021 TV Movie)As good as its title
25 April 2021
"My Husband's Killer Girlfriend" is a solid Lifetime movie. It has a good story, tight direction and a very likeable cast. The cast goes a long way in making a movie like this enjoyable. The entire cast does a nice job, especially Cindy Busby. Busby really delivers the goods in this movie. "My Husband's Killer Girlfriend" is a satisfying watch. Honorable mention: a dreamy Chelsey Reist. .
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)Watchable but not very funny
24 April 2021
"Robin Hood: Men in Tights" plays less like a Mel Brooks movie and more like one of those "Hots Shots"/ "Scary Movie" type comedies. There's nothing wrong with those movies (I like a lot of them) it's just that I expect more from Mel Brooks. The cast (including the always welcome Avery Schreiber) sure is game. They all do a nice job. The cast is actually funnier than the material they are given. Most of the jokes are corny and pretty lame. That said, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" is not the worst way to spend a lazy afternoon. Honorable mention: a dreamy Amy Yasbeck.
Child's Play 3 (1991)A solid Chucky effort
24 April 2021
The Lone Ranger (2013)Wildly entertaining
23 April 2021
"The Lone Ranger" is a criminally underrated movie. It is a fun ride almost every step of the way. Sure, the scenes from the 1930's don't work as well as they should have but the rest of the movie is excellent. The jokes are funny and the action is well staged and exciting. The cast is top-notch, especially Johnny Depp. Depp gives a great performance as he does his best Buster Keaton. It's always a good sign when a longish movie feels short. The first time I saw "The Lone Ranger" was in the theater (AMC Westbury, NY). I've seen it quite a few times since. It never fails to hit the spot.
Hey Good Lookin' (1982)I like this one too
23 April 2021
I don't know if I'm a fan of Ralph Bakshi or not but I do like a lot of his movies, including "Hey Good Lookin' ". "Hey Good Lookin' " might not be his best film but it's up there. This movie moves well and is never boring. There is always something crazy going on. Maybe it doesn't make sense all of the time but that's not unusual for a Bakshi movie. "Hey Good Lookin' " might not be the first Bakshi movie that I would recommend to a novice but it would probably be the second. Honorable mention: a wildly dreamy Roz. I'd love to meet Bakshi's inspiration for her.
So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)A fun watch
21 April 2021
"So I Married an Axe Murderer" may not be a classic but it's still pretty funny. I first saw this movie in the theater (MovieWorld, Douglaston, NY). Then I saw it a bunch of times on cable. Today was this first time I've seen it in a while. There are a lot of laughs in this movie. The cast is very good and then all get their time to shine. "So I Married an Axe Murderer" may not be one of Mike Myer's best movies but it's a funny one that I need to watch more often. Honorable mention: Myers' dad.
The Hanging Tree (1959)A bit of a yawner
21 April 2021
"The Hanging Tree" doesn't work as well as it should. It has a pretty good story and nice location photography. There are also a few nice moments here and there but, overall, the movie isn't that satisfying. A big problem is the casting of Maria Schell and Ben Piazza. Neither of those two are very interesting. Their roles are too important and neither of them are up to the task. "The Hanging Tree" is heavy on melodrama and light on action. I won't be be revisiting this movie anytime soon.
Child's Play 2 (1990)My favorite Chucky
18 April 2021
"Child's Play 2" is a rock solid sequel. It continues the story and ups the ante along the way. It's well produced and directed. The cast is also very good, especially Alex Vincent and Christine Elise. The script is strong with very little, if any, downtime. No matter who times I see "Child's Play 2" it never fails to deliver the goods.
Ava (IV) (2020)Okay but forgettable
17 April 2021
"Ava" is a okay time killer. The cast and the well staged action are almost enough to make it worth watching. The story is kind of weak and left me behind for a while. The movie also felt longer than its running time. I never felt like turning it off while I watched "Ava" but I have a feeling I won't be visiting it again.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)Mostly enjoyable second tier Scorsese
16 April 2021
Despite it's many flaws, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a watchable movie. It's not nearly as good as many of director Martin Scorsese's other movies but it's not one of his weaker ones either. It does go on way too long. Comedies aren't supposed to be three hours. Three hours is a long time to spend with very unlikeable people. The cast does a nice job, for the most part. (I could have done without Matthew McConaughey's channeling of Dennis Hopper.) While I was watching "The Wolf of Wall Street" I kept thinking that material was beneath Scorsese. It's way too raunchy for a director of Scorsese's caliber. Every time I watch this movie I have the same reaction: "What's the point?". I just spend three hours with a bunch of jerks and I don't know why.
Coonskin (1974)Is this Bakshi's best movie? Maybe
16 April 2021
"Coonskin" is one for the books. It's wild and outrageous. It's a genuinely trippy experience. There was a long stretch where I had no idea what was going on but I was digging every second of it. Ralph Bakshi was a one of a kind filmmaker but not all of his films were successes. Many of his films are near misses. Not "Coonskin". "Coonskin" hits the target again and again. It somehow feels more current every time I watch it. This might be Ralph Bakshi's best movie. "Coonskin" hit the spot last night (as it always does). I plan on watching it again before the weekend is over.
16 April 2021
I saw "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" in the the theater. I saw the "Special Edition" in the theater too. I've seen it many times at home. Every time I watch "The Empire Strikes Back" I remember how the audience reacted. I remember when they laughed and I remember when they cheered. Few movies can bring be back to the theater experience like this movie. I don't watch "The Empire Strikes Back" as much as I watch the original Star Wars but I still have seen it a bunch of times. It's always an easy watch.
Ice Age (2002)Very funny and quite moving
10 April 2021
"Ice Age" is always better than I remember it being. The animation takes a little getting used to but once I do the movie is a lot of fun. There are quite a few big laughs in this movie. As much as I don't normally enjoy John Leguizamo I must admit that he's great in this movie. His character is very funny. He gets most of the big laughs. The rest of the cast is also good but this is Leguizamo's movie. "Ice Age" always hits the spot.