Silent Running (1972)

Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Silent Running Movie Review

Silent Running is a 1972 science fiction film directed by Douglas Trumbull and starring Bruce Dern. It is a solid, respectable film, but very flawed too.

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There is no more beauty, and there’s no more imagination.

And there are no frontiers left to conquer

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The genre films in the early seventies reflected on the current climate with hippies and environmentalism and thus we get Silent Running which is similar in themes to ‘Soylent Green’ from the same period. But the two films are still rather different in storyline and both are quite solid, but far from great.

It is a respectable film that can be very heartwarming and sweet at times. Its environmental and solitude themes are well explored and in the protagonist’s actions you can see just how much he cares for the plants and animals. It is a beautiful message, but unfortunately sometimes it was executed weakly with very preachy and on-the-nose dialogue typical of its time. The flick is very much a product of its time which is both a good and a bad thing.

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Bruce Dern is very good in this role. It is very interesting seeing him here when he was decades younger than he was in ‘Nebraska’ and he still had the same mannerisms and the manner of speech. I liked his performance quite a bit and he was very likable in a role which easily could have turned out bad and cheesy.

Douglas Trumbull directed the movie really well and the special effects here definitely are very good. His effects work on ‘2001’ and ‘The Andromeda Strain‘ is admirable and I am glad that he could also direct. The effects here are very good and some of the imagery is quite memorable and intriguing. I loved the look of the dome and freighter and the robots also looked really good and were quite cute (definitely reminding me of ‘WALL-E’). Visually, the film did not age at all in my opinion as it still looks very solid.

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Silent Running Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Where Silent Running failed is in its pacing which was overly sluggish and the execution of the entire plot wasn’t the greatest. Some parts are rushed, others drag too much. The third act is emotional for sure, but still too slow and the second act is uneventful and certainly the weakest of the three. To me the film tried to be thoughtful and cerebral, serious sci-fi, but it only half-succeeded in that as the dialogue never managed to support such an approach. Most of the lines were too preachy and some were even silly. Had they worked more on the dialogue, the film would have been both smarter and more emotional but this way it ended up being just solid and certainly a bit dated at times.

Silent Running is a solid science fiction film with very good special effects, a respectable message, a fine performance from Bruce Dern and a couple of moving scenes, but the film is overly contemporary filled with at times quite preachy and silly dialogue and the pacing is rather sluggish resulting in a solid film which should have been much smarter and much better overall.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Pink Phink (1964)

The Pink Phink ReviewThe Pink Phink Review

The Pink Phink is a 1964 Oscar-winning animated short film which was the first every Pink Panther short.

I love this film, it is great. Yes, its first half didn’t contain nearly enough gags as the second one did, but this is mostly a stellar, truly terrific short that does everything right. Pink Panther himself is excellent and so funny while The Little Man is memorable and quite amusing near the end in particular.

A couple of gags and facial expressions were very funny, but the entire scenario was beautifully executed and the action is always memorable here. Of course its iconic score is just amazing, so fitting in style to the animation and tone of the series and very atmospheric. The animation is absolutely phenomenal and I loved its usage of pink and blue. The comic-strip sensibilities are perfectly brought to film here. It truly is a classic film that deserved its Oscar for sure.

The Pink Phink is funny and memorable while featuring excellent character moments and gags and it is fueled with superb animation and score.

My Rating – 4.5

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 (2011)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Review

The seventh season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is far from the best seasons. However, it still features plenty of memorable, highly entertaining and diverse episodes.

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I’m going to wait right here and wait for my minions to swarm me

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Review

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Frank’s Pretty Woman is such a perfect, clever and brutally honest parody of the titular movie with Dennis being great, but Frank being the funniest and most memorable with a couple of hilarious one-liners. The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore definitely crossed my tolerance zone in that one gruesome sequence, but this was still a pretty interesting experiment. Charlie having a romantic evening with Waitress was great and of course Dennis and Dee got the best and most brutal scenes here.

Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties is such a hilarious episode that deals with an overdone premise, but does it so well that it lifted the material entirely. The girls were funny and Dee got some superb, amusing scenes, but it is Frank who is the highlight once again and I loved DeVito’s performance here. Sweet Dee Gets Audited is a good episode with a great Dee subplot, but the other subplot with the guys got a bit repetitive near the end and that final scene definitely was too much for me. It is interesting how in this season alone you got two of the most brutal and to me unnecessary scenes of the entire show.

Frank’s Brother isn’t the most entertaining episode, but it again features Frank at some of his best and watching his hilarious backstory was fun at times with some scenes being true to the character and very funny, but I expected more from his brother to be honest. The Storm of the Century again isn’t perfect, but it showcases a good use of Cricket and especially Dennis who is so funny as an obsessed creep over a busty news reporter.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Review

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Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games was very relatable to me personally as I loved inventing games as a child too, but this game of theirs is especially twisted and I loved its various details and how little sense it made. It is one of the most perfectly constructed and consistently entertaining and inventive episodes. The ANTI-Social Network definitely needed a better third act, but it is a nice commentary on the fakeness of internet profiles with both of its subplots working so well. Dennis is so funny here.

The Gang Gets Trapped is a high-concept idea done right. I loved all of the character interactions here as everyone was superb, but the execution of this great premise was mostly excellent and I liked how it ended as well. How Mac Got Fat is probably the worst episode of the season as it does give us a proper, but still somewhat repetitive and not as entertaining explanation for hot Mac got fat in the first place.

Thunder Gun Express isn’t great in all its parts, but it works pretty well as a whole with again all of the five members of the gang getting their hilarious moments and although the ending was abrupt, it was still satisfying.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7 Review

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The High School Reunion finally shows us their high school and that was great. Finally we see how all of the guys were so lowly positioned in school. Charlie is so sad here, Mac is funny, Dennis is the best and this reveals a lot about his twisted behavior and of course Dee was pretty active this time around.

The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang’s Revenge is a satisfactory conclusion to this great two-parter and although brutal, they needed to be humiliated like this as it was only fitting to the story. And of course that dance ending was just hysterical and so well executed.

The seventh season in the end definitely does have its weaker episodes, but most are great and highly memorable with some even giving us excellent character explanations and backstories. Dennis and Frank were particularly strong here and the season definitely ended on such a high note.

 

Worst Episodes: Sweet Dee Gets Audited, Frank’s Brother and How Mac Got Fat.

Best Episodes: The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore, Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties, Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games and The High School Reunion.

My Rating – 4.4

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 (2010)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

The sixth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is another great one at the time when the series was at the height of its powers.

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What do you say we slip into a room…. and you two split me open like a coconut?

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

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Mac Fights Gay Marriage is such a blast to watch. It features one of the best uses of Mac ever and it is such a great character study and a further proof of his closeted homosexuality. His argument with the tranny is hilarious, but Frank and Charlie getting married was also such an amusing subplot in its silliness.

Dennis Gets Divorced is the continuation of this story and here we do not see much of Mac, but to me Dee got such a great conclusion and one of the most brutal ones for her. But of course the highlight is Dennis and watching his infatuation with Maureen Ponderosa was an entertaining and quite interesting experience as we had never seen him like this before.

The Gang Buys a Boat is a classic. Dennis is so funny and creepy here, but of course Dee, Charlie and Frank making a mess at the boat was very fun to watch and I thought that all of the five got their good moments here. Mac’s Big Break is one of the weaker episodes of this season which has its memorable moments with Mac and the Waitress in particular, but the overall two storylines were admittedly not up to part with the rest of the stories here.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

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Mac and Charlie: White Trash is an absolute classic. Of course these two rednecks were so good here, but Dennis and Dee trying to get into the fancy pool was hilarious. Everyone here shines and all of the subplots lead really well into a coherent and quite endearing in a way finale. Mac’s Mom Burns Her House Down has a pretty good dynamic between Frank and Dee, but the highlights are Mac and Charlie and especially their mothers who share such a great dynamic. The racist joke was the best one here.

Who Got Dee Pregnant? is too ridiculous for its own sake, but still watching Dee being a bird in the gang’s recollections was hysterical and I thought the conclusion was satisfactory and quite funny. The Gang Gets a New Member is such a great episode and the introduction of Shmity was great. I liked that it led to Charlie leaving the gang and this is one of the best episodes regarding his relationship with the rest of the guys.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

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Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth is a great continuation of the last episode and Dee is greatly used in both episodes, but finally getting to see their Lethal Weapon movie was a rewarding experience. The movie is ridiculous and offensive in the best Sunny fashion.

Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats is a classic! It is one of the rare Sunny episodes that is actually different, authentic and yes, even emotional. Here the gang, besides Frank, act nice and for once give gifts to Charlie for his supposed birthday. The whole episode was perfectly built up, the twist with Frank is terrific and of course the finale was so heartwarming and I just loved Charlie here.

The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods is one of the most adventurous Philly episodes. Of course the truck driver was absolutely hysterical, but Frank’s moments with the rabbit were quite unforgettable in their own right. I thought both subplots perfectly ended and coalesced into each other and I wish we got more episodes with the gang outside the city as this one is so good.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 Review

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Dee Gives Birth isn’t the best episode here, but it has its great scenes and it was quite entertaining watching all of the guys that Dee banged in one room together. A Very Sunny Christmas is just amazing. It is an episode split into two parts, but both are great and should be watched together. Again an atypical Sunny episode where the gang is nicer than usual. I thought its backstories for Mac and Charlie explained their characters perfectly and this episode features amazing storytelling, truly something special. And the ending is quite sweet. This two-parter is somehow simultaneously brutal and heartfelt.

All in all, the sixth season of Sunny had its weaker parts, but most of the episodes here are great and even classics with for once present backstories and atypical and unique storylines that gave fresh depth to the series. This was certainly such a great time for the show when they were firing on all cylinders.

 

Worst Episodes: Mac’s Big Break and Dee Gives Birth.

Best Episodes: Mac Fights Gay Marriage, Mac and Charlie: White Trash, Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth, Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats and A Very Sunny Christmas.

My Rating – 4.7

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Rhythm in the Bow (1934)

Rhythm in the Bow ReviewRhythm in the Bow Review

 Rhythm in the Bow is a 1934 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very forgettable entry.

This is a very dull short. This is famous for being the last black-and-white Merry Melody and that is the only distinction that it has as it is otherwise a very forgettable entry that doesn’t have anything interesting about it. The animation is solid with some good imagery and the score is pretty good, although repetitive and used too often in the movie.

Rhythm in the Bow has its good moments. The dog sequence is the best and I really liked that dog. A very interesting and cute scene. But most of this cartoon is too uneventful and way too typical to be remembered. Even its different than usual protagonist ended up being underdeveloped and tedious.

Rhythm in the Bow is a pretty standard Merry Melody of this period with nothing original to offer.

My Rating – 3.3

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 (2009)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

The fifth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the best seasons with a consistent quality to it and many classic episodes.

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Your mother had to have a c-section because of those hands

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis finds Charlie facing off the lawyer in a hilarious manner, but Mac and Dennis are very good as well and Dee is the highlight here with such a redneck attitude and many hilarious lines. The Gang Hits the Road features a very neat conclusion and it was very entertaining watching the gang leave Philly for the first time. Charlie is naturally the highlight as he has never been out of the city before and has never eaten a pear. That was stupid in the best and funniest way possible.

The Great Recession finds Mac and Dennis in one of their finest pairings, so funny. But Frank is easily the highlight in a very ridiculous and quite brutal subplot. The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention is another Frank classic as this time around he hit his lowest and it is up to the gang to help him out. I found the entire dynamic of the gang superb here with Frank being the most repulsive and memorable here.

The Waitress Is Getting Married is another true classic with its fair share of absolutely hilarious scenes and moments. Naturally Charlie’s date was so amusing, but Dee is the standout one here as watching her try to win the heart of her former classmate was so funny and rewarding in its brutal, if abrupt ending. The World Series Defense is not up to par with the rest of the episodes here, but it is still pretty good as the entire storyline is ridiculous and quite unforgettable and of course the gang being confronted by authorities is always rewarding.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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The Gang Wrestles for the Troops has a very well realized Dee storyline, but to me the highlight this time around were the guys. Watching them turn into birdmen produced some of the funniest and campiest scenes of the season. Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens finds the lawyer at his most cunning, Charlie at his silliest and the rest of the gang ain’t shabby either as all of them got their moment to shine in this fast paced and hysterical outing.

Mac and Dennis Break Up is a much calmer, but quite interesting part. I loved the examination of Mac and Dennis’s relationship, Charlie and Frank also got some great scenes together and Dee was very well utilized too. The D.E.N.N.I.S. System is an absolute classic. It is one of Sunny’s episodes that are consistently great and superbly made all around. Easily one of the series’ best. All of the gang got their funny bits, but naturally Dennis got probably the best episode yet and the one which explains his character in the finest and most detailed way possible.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5 Review

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Mac and Charlie Write a Movie is most certainly the weakest episode here. Yes, it has its fine moments, but I thought that the entire Hollywood angle was quite poorly used here and the entire episode felt underwhelming in laughs. The Gang Reignites the Rivalry is quite the opposite. It is both funny and well constructed, Dee getting poisoned was funny and brutal, Frank has some great scenes and this is another fine examination of Dennis’s crazy and creepy persona.

In the end, it has a couple of weaker episodes, but most of the others are definitely great with some being some of the series’ best as a whole. Thanks to its great use of supporting characters and excellent, certainly the best character development yet coupled with a high amount of true classics, this fifth season of Sunny is without a doubt one of the best in the show’s history.

 

Worst Episodes: The World Series Defense and Mac and Charlie Write a Movie.

Best Episodes: The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis, The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention,

Paddy’s Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens, The D.E.N.N.I.S. System and The Gang Reignites Their Rivalry.

My Rating – 4.7

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 (2008)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

The fourth season of It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia isn’t the greatest with only a handful of true classics, but at least it doesn’t have any stinkers in it either.

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You gotta pay the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole!

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Mac and Dennis: Manhunters is a very good episode with both of its subplots working really well. I found the ending to be mediocre and truly this show rarely manages to wrap up its episodes in the best way possible, but Mac and Dennis hunting Cricket was hilarious and what was even better was watching Charlie and Dee lust over human meat. The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis unfortunately is much weaker. It has its solid comedic moments, but the premise alone is not the most interesting one and the execution is so-so.

America’s Next Top Paddy’s Billboard Model Contest is a classic, there is no doubt about it. Charlie and Dee trying to make a viral video was a genius idea that paid off in many absolutely hilarious scenes and of course Frank hosting the modeling contest and Dennis participating in it naturally was a great idea that was executed superbly. Mac’s Banging the Waitress interestingly enough doesn’t feature Frank or Dee, but the rest of the gang is great here. Some parts weren’t as great as the others, but the core was terrific and of course the highlights are all the hints to Mac’s sexuality.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Mac and Charlie Die Part 1 is much better than Part 2 as the conclusion wasn’t as great, but the scenario with them faking their death was so entertaining and the episodes are strong and hilarious even if Dennis’ subplot was never up to par.

Who Pooped the Bed? features such a ridiculous scenario and the episode was definitely overly silly, but it still worked for the most part with Frank being funny and Dee hanging out with Artemis and the Waitress was the highlight – both amusing and cleverly written.

Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia is such a consistently funny, awesome episode! The gang gets extreme here and tortures a reviewer and some parts were just hysterical. This is one of those episodes where the situation is brutal and the gang gets extreme, but the story still wrapped up really well and somewhat realistically.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life is an odd episode. Some weirdness was fine here, but other more trippy elements didn’t quite work in my opinion. Charlie and Dee’s subplot is the better one and they truly are an interesting comedic pair and the show never made full use of it. Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack once again featured Frank in a parody of his movie which was rehashed too much plus Dennis and Dee’s part isn’t that funny, but Mac and Charlie are much better in a weird, yet ultimately satisfying plot.

The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell is a silly episode. They tell the story of how their bar was significant in 1776 and of course it is bizarre and funny. I thought it was overly silly and most of the parts did not work, but those that did such as Dee being a slave and Cricket falling in love with her were terrific.

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4 Review

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The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition is another extreme and quite brutal episode which benefits from a somewhat realistic conclusion and all of those Americanization scenes which were just so funny. The Nightman Cometh is a genuine classic. It is a glorious musical in its silliness and it features Charlie at his most “creative” and some truly hilarious musical numbers. I loved how it was all for the Waitress and I enjoyed mostly those truly hilarious lyrics and that all of the gang got their moment to shine.

In the end, not a great season, but not a bad one either. It is perfectly solid and although lacking in comparison to the previous one, it is on quite par with the first and second season and might be even better. It does have its weaker episodes, but some are genuine classics too and the balance of great and good was solid with no bad episodes this time around.

 

Worst Episodes: The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis, Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life, Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack and The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell.

Best Episodes: America’s Next Top Paddy’s Billboard Model Contest, Mac and Charlie Die Part 1, Paddy’s Pub: The Worst Bar in Philadelphia and The Nightman Cometh.

My Rating – 4.2

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Spellbound (1945)

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review

Spellbound is a 1945 noir mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. It is a pretty good, interesting Hitchcock experiment.

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Women make the best psychoanalysts until they fall in love.

After that they make the best patients

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Now I have read that Hitchcock himself dissed the movie decades later and truly the film isn’t a favorite nowadays. But I disagree with that notion. It is certainly far from his best works and it isn’t a great film, but it is still a pretty good film which is pretty on par with most of his other 40s efforts.

The movie is criticized for being dated, but to me the film is pleasantly old-fashioned in its approach and I loved personally the emphasis on traditional mystery and a strong reliance on psychology. Whether or not the film is scientifically accurate is a non-issue as movies, especially thrillers, aren’t supposed to be scientifically correct. I personally really liked the theme of psychoanalysis here and it was very well explored and even fascinating to hear about.

The film is a bit too cozy and less ambitious and dangerous than his usual fare, but that meant that it was original and different. The mystery is so well established and I loved the path to untangling it. It is a well written, mysterious and atmospheric film that works great as a noir mystery with some good thriller elements.

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

There are three highlights here. One is the dream sequence done by Salvador Dali. That was of course authentic and unforgettable visually. Another is of course the childhood flashback which is beautiful and such a great, important moment. And the third is that ending with the gunshot being fired at the audience being very inventive.

Gregory Peck is very good in Spellbound, but Ingrid Bergman is the standout here. She gave such a strong, subtle performance and she should have been nominated for her work here. She plays such a strong female character who is a doctor and who eventually saves her man. That is why the film is not sexist as some remarked, but rather opposite than that and modern.

Spellbound has some evident problems. One is the pacing which is at times slow. The entire first half should have been trimmed down a bit and some scenes are too slow and even dull. I also didn’t quite follow the murder storyline quite as well as the childhood drama one. It was a bit too convoluted.

But other than that, it is a very good film. One of the character highlights is Alex Brulov played so well by Michael Chekhov. His somewhat sexist and full of himself character was a lot of fun and he made me laugh a couple of times.

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Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The film features very strong dialogue. Some of it wasn’t as great, but most of the conversations and discussions were very interesting and even fascinating in subject. The film has such an interesting psychological, dreamlike quality to it emphasized by gorgeous cinematography and many excellent shots and beautifully constructed sequences. Hitch’s direction is very strong here. The film isn’t as good as ‘Lifeboat’ or ‘Shadow of a Doubt‘, but it is better than overrated ‘Foreign Correspondent’ and it is a very underrated 40s effort from the director.

Spellbound is sometimes too convoluted and it drags in some scenes, but it is mostly a very intriguing, different kind of noir mystery with a strong emphasis on psychology. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman are an excellent pair here with her in particular delivering a very strong performance. The film is intriguingly dreamlike in quality fueled by gorgeous cinematography and a couple of unforgettable sequences such as the gunshot ending, the childhood flashback and a weird dream scene done by Salvador Dali. It is a pretty underrated Hitchcock film.

My Rating – 4

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Top Ten Peanuts Specials

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Top Ten Peanuts Specials

Peanuts specials have been a television staple for half a century with 45 of them being released up to this point. I personally disliked quite a couple of them and at least half are not great, but those that are good are really worth seeing and there are enough truly great specials to fill one list with honorable mentions. So without further ado, here are the ten best Peanuts specials in my opinion.

10. You’re in Love, Charlie Brown

This 1967 Peanuts special has been adapted for ‘The Peanuts Movie’ in 2015 and is a quintessential Little Red-Haired girl episode. I loved how it ended on such a sweet note and Charlie Brown is so endearing here. But the special also benefits from a couple of terrific scenes with Lucy and Sally and both are very funny here. It isn’t the most polished special, but it is good enough that it deserves the tenth spot.

9. Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

I just really enjoyed this one which is the newest and so far the last Peanuts entry, being released in 2011. It surely is overstuffed with too many plot points and uneven, but it works more often than not with a good couple of subplots. Naturally the standout aspect is the major storyline with Linus losing his security blanket and trying to get it back. This is his defining moment and it features him giving a heartwarming speech about insecurities.

8. A Charlie Brown Valentine

Another Little-Red Haired girl entry on the list, Charlie Brown accidentally invites both Peppermint Patty and Marcie to his party where he wants to talks to his crush. This special is convoluted, but frequently very funny and works great as a Valentine Peanuts story. I also found its ending to be wonderfully ambiguous and certainly one of the most memorable in the series.

7. Why, Charlie Brown, Why?

This is probably the most depressing that the series ever got. And although it was too dark at times, its honest treatment of cancer was groundbreaking at the time for the animation medium and certainly admirable. Linus is an excellent protagonist here as he falls in love with Janice, who suffers from cancer. The final moment where she throws her hat away and it turns out that she has hair meaning that she is treated was just beautiful to witness and so powerful.

6. Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

Charlie Brown has to read a book for homework while all of the other kids celebrate the holiday. I found this story to be overly cruel to good old Chuck, but it was mostly very funny in this scenario and it features a great use of Sally, Linus and of course Charlie himself. They made use of this particular holiday really well here while also presenting a solid, relatable homework subplot.

5. Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?

Linus and Lucy are moving away and that naturally led to some poignant drama. However, it also led to a couple of important moments that we had never seen before it. The scene where Schroeder realizes that he cares for Lucy is just amazing and heartwarming. Sally is also hilarious with her Sweet Baboo obsession and the entire story ended in a typical manner, but was mostly very moving and wonderful.

4. It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

This 1974 special features a terrific Easter theme and a great arc for Linus in one of his best storylines. He and Sally are so cute together and his obsession with the titular character was so well explored. But Peppermint Patty and Marcie also got a great subplot and it was funny watching their always infectious dynamic. This special only lacks in Charlie Brown himself, but all of the others are so great and memorable.

3. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Everything I said above also applies here as this one is also uneven with too little Charlie Brown and too many subplots, but it is great and better than the above entry because it features once again terrific Linus and a very good use of Snoopy who is here a World War I flying ace. His silent scenes were quite amusing and the overall special is overcrowded, but succeeds in most of its parts.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Everyone loves this special and certainly it is very good. However, I myself do not find it to be the best Peanuts special and this second place indicates that. It was a bit too slow for me. But there is no denying the greatness in its plot which feels simplistic, but is an essential Christmas tale with a great holiday spirit to it. As the first entry, it also succeeds in getting us introduced with each and every character as all are very well utilized here.

1. Charlie Brown’s All Stars

Charlie Brown is a manager of a baseball team and is offered a help from the sponsor. He would get free uniforms, but if he gets rid of the girls and Snoopy because no girls or dogs are allowed to play in the team. He rejects that because he does not want to betray his friends and after the girls mock him for losing, they find out what he did for them and they make him a uniform out of Linus’s blanket. Needless to say, this storyline is just fantastic as it makes use of the sport and the protagonist’s losing nature really well. It also features such a wonderful ending, but is frequently hilarious and possibly the funniest the gang has ever been. Aggressive, funny and ultimately emotionally rewarding, this second Peanuts special has it all which is why it is without a doubt the best that the series has to offer.

Honorable Mentions:

Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown – A newer entry, but with a classic sports premise, it features such great Lucy while also being a funny vehicle for Marcie.

You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown – This one is certainly uneven in terms of the quality, but is overall quite eventful, also very funny and Snoopy is very memorable here.

She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown – In this peculiar special, Peppermint Patty is a great protagonist, but Woodstock and Snoopy have rarely been funnier than in here.

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Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 Pre-Code science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton. It is a very intriguing film that isn’t as great as it should have been.

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Mr. Parker, do you know what it means to feel like God?

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Based on the famous H. G. Wells novel, it is about an obsessed scientist who is secretly conducting experiments on animals on a remote island. He imagines that he is God as he makes humans out of animals with mixed results. I agree with Wells in that the film relied too much on horror thrills and not enough on science fiction themes and message. Those are still there, but not emphasized as much. The story is so fascinating and dark that it’s a shame that the movie never quite reached its fullest potential.

So this is obviously a Pre-Code movie and it just might be the sickest and most perverse Hollywood film of the thirties. And that is not just because it’s a horror film and as it features half-human, half-animal creatures, but because it also has a lot of nudity and it deals with the subject of bestiality. It is one hell of a crazy movie and that is why it sticks with you. It’s original and different.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

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So Island of Lost Souls has its thrills and the element of surprise and it is almost a sensational picture as you cannot believe what you’re seeing even after 80 years. It certainly benefits from having this famous and risqué source material as a script. But the film is never as horrifying as it should have been, at least it wasn’t to me. Do not get me wrong, it is very atmospheric and well made, but just not as scary as ‘Freaks’ was from the same year.

The biggest problem are its characters and acting. Charles Laughton is a great actor but this just isn’t one of his best performances. I don’t know if it was him or the director, but some of the choices were weird and he was at times great, but at times too campy and that same sentiment can be applied to the whole movie which is at times too silly and campy with its costumes. Some costumes are great for its time, but others are not and you can definitely see that it’s a man in a costume.

But I still loved Laughton’s Dr. Moreau as he’s such a fascinating, powerful villain. The main character is boring and Richard Arlen is so bad in the main role. Really his performance is very off-putting here. But Lota is a memorable and tragic character and I really liked her story and I wished to have seen more from her.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

The film is too fast paced with the transitions not being smooth. It is certainly too short. But that also may be its advantage as it thus felt quick, precise and even urgent in its tone. The short running time is a two-way street here. Overall, Island of Lost Souls fascinated me and it truly is a bizarre, unforgettable experience, but it ended up being just good and never as great as the material demanded.

Island of Lost Souls is a truly bizarre, very risqué Pre-Code horror film that deals with themes such as bestiality and the entire storyline is crazy and it provides an unforgettable experience. The acting is troublesome as Charles Laughton isn’t as great as he usually was here and Richard Arlen is quire mediocre, but Laughton’s villain is still great and the film is very entertaining and though too short, it also felt urgent in its tone and dangerous in its atmosphere. It is a fascinating film, but just not as great as it should have been.

My Rating – 4

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