Archive for March, 2017

Trailer Thursday 3/30

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on March 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

One of my favorite actresses from the 50s and 60s is Ann-Margret. Since Saturday is her birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all a trilaer for perhaps her best known film, Bye Bye Birdie.

 

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Only the Lonely

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , on March 28, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Adapted from Paddy Chayefsky’s Marty, this film from writer-director Chris Columbus stars John Candy as Danny Muldoon, a Chicago police officer who still lives at home with his overbearing mother, Rose (Maureen O’Hara). When Danny meets the shy Theresa (Ally Sheedy) one night at a bar, he’s instantly smitten. Unfortunately, both Danny’s friends and Rose disapprove, making his quest for a normal relationship and life seemingly impossible.

What people are saying:

“A splendid little comedy about love lost and found featuring a terrific performance from O’Hara as a salty, prejudiced Irish mother who struggles with the thought of being alone. Sheedy also performs well as Candy’s would be “Sicilian/Polish” fiance. A very enjoyable watch.” 3 stars

“A real stinker from Chris Columbus. Makes Maureen O’hara seem and look like a witch. Terrible script, predictable and poorly conceived. It is no Home Alone ot Trains, Planes and automobiles…not even a near miss. Only Ally Sheedy shines.” 1 1/2 stars

“This movie came out in 1991 and it was a throwback even then: sweet, full of love and hope and not at all cynical. Today’s romantic comedies could learn a few things. Maureen O’Hara is priceless here as the interfering, guilt mongering mother and John Candy proved once and for all he was a natural comedic film actor, not just suited for TV comedy skits. Ally Sheedy is also wonderful here, having shed her previous troubled teenage brat roles to play a shy, young woman who clearly has the strongest sense of character in the movie. Watch this if you want to see real love on the screen (and chuckle along the way). After all, this is at least the second time “Only the Lonely” has been put back into rotation and I think that largely shows how popular this movie is.” 5 stars

“This is pretty much as cute and warm as movies can get! However, for all I was very entertained by this movie; as a whole it still felt quite average… Yet I really did enjoy watching it! The plot is very interesting as a man struggles to find love because he feels the need to take care of his mother! It’s definitely a great little movie which everybody needs to see!” 3 stars

“A delightful romantic comedy with a surprising amount of substance. The characters really rang true, as over and over again I found myself reminded of people I’ve known in real life. The movie is also good for a good many big belly laughs, too. ” 4 1/2 stars

Trailer Thursday 3/23

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on March 23, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

For this week’s entry, I want you to check out the trailer for a film many believe to be one of the greatest films of the last few generations, The Godfather.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Revisiting the comedic chaos of the original, this rollicking sequel finds Teddy and Pete coming to the Radner family’s rescue, wading into battle with the wild sorority sisters now occupying the duo’s former fraternity house.

What people are saying:

“This pretty routine follow-up has some decent material and amiable bad taste, heavily diluted with gallons of very ordinary sequel product: more of the same” 2 stars

“Creating a sequel with the exact same plot as the original is just about the stupidest idea since the Hangover. Sorority Rising is a terrible movie with a horrible cast (Chloe Grace Moretz in particular) that offers absolutely no humor. There’s absolutely nothing positive about this horrendous comedy; it’s just a huge waste of time.” 1 star

“I’m usually a huge fan of Seth Rogen’s movies but this movie really was not good. I liked the first one but this one was a waste of time. It wasn’t funny, you can see they are trying to be funny but it just doesn’t work.” 2 stars

“When following up the first Neighbors film it was going to be near impossible to make the sequel worse and the writers actually managed to make this film semi-note worthy and better than the original.” 3 stars

“Classic sequelitis: repeat plot, bring back jokes and throw up stuff that was probably rejected the first time around. Most everyone returning from the first is great, Efron especially, but the scenes with the sorority are so bad you can almost see the director calling action before they speak. Even the sexism stuff is noble but handled oddly (dude wants the girls to kiss each other). Probably fine as a cable-TV diversion, but nothing to get excited about.” 2 stars

Trailer Thurday 3/16

Posted in Movie Reviews, Trailer Thursday with tags on March 16, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so this week’s trailer is related to everyone’s favorite day to suddenly embrace the color green.

Check out the trailer for the comedy/horror film, Leprechaun!

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Posted in Comedy, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the Depression-era deep South, three escapees from a Mississippi prison chain gang: Everett Ulysses McGill, sweet and simple Delmar, and the perpetually angry Pete, embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they set out to pursue their freedom and return to their homes. With nothing to lose and still in shackles, they make a hasty run for their lives and end up on an incredible journey filled with challenging experiences and colorful characters. However, they must also match wits with the cunning and mysterious lawman Cooley, who tracks men, bent on bringing the trio back to the prison farm.

What people are saying:

“A roller-coaster ride with a goofy fun-house spirit, it’s full of clever pranks.” 4 stars

“This is the type of movie I like to revisit from time to time because I find it comforting in some kind of way. The music is the biggest standout for me, but I definitely find that I appreciate the comedy more as I get older too. ” 4 stars

“It takes a lot for the Coen Bros to make a movie that isn’t entertaining. ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ is engaging at times but it’s very hit or miss. The cast is having fun which isn’t unusual for a Coen flick, but it just didn’t make me laugh and there were instances I was bored. Worthwhile for the performances and the supporting cast but we have come to expect better from Coen and Company. ” 3 stars

“The Coen brothers cleverly combine the Odyssey with the Depression to create this wonderfully humorous and lighthearted tale of three escaped prisoners on a quest. With a few detours and strange encounters along the way, their hilarious journey will entertain you through and through” 4 1/2 stars

“There is nothing else I can think of like this movie. Based on Homer’s Odyssey, it keeps its mythological feel even though everything could be described as mundane. It’s like the feeling you get while watching Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but no magic is necessary here. And the role music plays in this film… it’s hypnotic. I can’t quite explain why, but this is (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest films to have come out in a very long time.” 5 stars

Revisited: Mr. Magoo

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Mr. Quincy Magoo (Leslie Nielsen), a wealthy canned vegetable factory owner, goes to the museum to attend a party. While there, Waldo (Matt Keeslar), Mr. Magoo’s nephew, spies a woman named Stacey Sampanahoditra (Jennifer Garner), on whom he develops a crush. Later that night, jewel thieves Luanne LeSeur (Kelly Lynch) and Bob Morgan (Nick Chinlund) steal the museum’s beautiful ruby “The Star of Kuristan” and escape on a boat to Austin Cloquet (Malcolm McDowell), Bob’s boss.

Meanwhile, Mr. Magoo and his dog Angus go fishing in the same area as the jewel thieves’ boat. Luanne picks a fight with Bob and in the scuffle, they lose the ruby which lands in Mr. Magoo’s boat unbeknownst to Magoo. Bob goes after the ruby but fails by falling onto the paddle wheel of a paddle boat.

At the museum, the curator and Stacey send two agents: Gustav Anders of the CIA (Ernie Hudson) and Chuck Stupak of the FBI (Stephen Tobolowsky) to track down the ruby and spy on Mr. Magoo whom they believe stole the ruby. Stacey mentions she was invited to the opera where the Magoos go that night. Anders and Stupak also visit the opera to look for Mr. Magoo who is in the show. At the opera Mr. Magoo meets Luanne who pretends to be a magazine reporter named Prunella Pagliachi. She wishes Mr. Magoo luck at the opera, who immediately takes a liking to her. Stupak sneaks on the stage and fails to find any clue about Mr. Magoo with Mr. Magoo accidentally hitting Stupak with a big tool.

The next morning, Luanne tricks Mr. Magoo into taking her to his house with an injured ankle. Stupak finds a notebook with Luanne’s fingerprints on it and realizes who Mr. Magoo is with. He and Anders go to Mr. Magoo’s house where Stupak sneaks in looking for the ruby. Mr. Magoo and Luanne arrive at the house and Stupak hides from them. Bob sneaks into Mr. Magoo’s house and finds the ruby. Upon being caught in the act, he steals Mr. Magoo’s prized Studebaker with the Magoos and Luanne chasing after him in Magoo’s Eggplant-mobile. Bob loses them and brings the ruby to Austin.

Austin plans an auction for his criminal friends from around the world and shows them the ruby. Mr. Magoo disguises himself as Ortega Peru, a thief from Brazil who never goes anywhere and joins the auction which is taking place in a communal indoor pool. However he is discovered when the fake tattoo on his chest is washed away by the water. Luanne breaks up the auction, steals the ruby, and escapes on a snow mobile away from the lair. The government arrests Austin and his friends while Mr. Magoo gives chase on an ironing board and winds up in the middle of a women’s skiing competition. Waldo and Angus sneak out of the lair, catch up with Magoo, and track down the ruby.

Angus sees Luanne in disguise as an old woman and spills her purse which gives Mr. Magoo and Waldo a clue about where Luanne is going. The Magoos follow Luanne to Brazil where Waldo spies on the real Ortega (Miguel Ferrer) and his friends. Mr. Magoo steals a bride dress from Ortega’s girlfriend Rosita (Monique Rusu) and is led to the wedding. Mr. Magoo steals the ruby from Ortega and finds himself being chased by Peru’s men, the government agents and Luanne. Magoo then is trapped on a raft just before it goes over a waterfall but manages to invert the raft like a parachute so he can gently float to safety. He and Waldo return the ruby to the museum with the government arresting Ortega, Luanne and the people from Brazil.

Mr. Magoo and Angus go home after returning the ruby back to the museum

REVIEW:

A few years ago, there was a channel around here that showed classic cartoons on Saturday mornings. Along with The Archies, Dick Tracy, and The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, there were some short featuring Mr. Magoo. I always would get a chuckle from these shorts and the comic strip, so here’s to hoping that Mr. Magoo will be just as funny.

What is this about?

This live-action comedy adaptation of UPA’s bumbling near-sighted animated character stars Leslie Nielsen. Magoo is a millionaire who refuses to admit that he needs glasses. After accidentally becoming the target in an international manhunt, Magoo continually escapes mishaps by inches.

What did I like?

Animation. To bookend this film, it fades in and out of animated segments. I appreciate this because I’m sure there are those watching this that never saw or even knew there was a cartoon featuring Magoo. I’m also glad they didn’t try to take him from the animated world to the real world. That didn’t work the first they tried it with The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and it surely wasn’t about to work this time around.

Nielsen ratings. Can you honestly think of anyone who would be a better Magoo than Leslie Nielsen? He’s got the comedic timing, age appropriate, and the voice seems to fit, as well. Nielsen isn’t the perfect Magoo, as i’ll get into later, but he is more than adequate.

Minuteman. About 10 yrs ago, there was a show on ABC Family that only lasted one season starring Matt Keeslar called The Minuteman. Keeslar has that old “aw shucks” pure look that worked for the character of the Minuteman and also for Magoo’s nephew. I also suspect this is why we don’t see more of this guy. He’s perfect for the old throwback/period piece films, though.

What didn’t I like?

Characteristics. Mr. Magoo has always been drawn as a bald, short, old man with comedic vision issues. In this film, he still has said vision problems and is a man of advanced age, but Nielsen is a taller individual and they put him in some sort of receding hairline wig. Like I said earlier, there really isn’t anyone that I can picture better to play Mr. Magoo than Leslie Nielsen, but I feel a little more accuracy would have served the film better.

Garner. This is another of those film that Jennifer Garner appears in a small supporting role. I have to check the timeline, but I believe this was about the time she was just getting started, so it isn’t like she was starring in anything, yet. However, I must make a point of how her character is from an undetermined country, based on her varying accent thickness, and seems to be there only to serve as an eventual love interest for Keeslar’s character. Surely, they could have done something more with her, right?

Make ’em laugh. This is supposed to be a comedy, but I did not find myself even cracking a smile once! That isn’t to say they made Magoo a dark drama, but rather the attempt at humor takes a backseat to this heist caper that I never really bought into. Personally, I think the best parts of the film are when Magoo is just dealing with people around him and being the blind, bumbling old man we know him to be, rather than whatever it is that this film is attempting to make him.

Final verdict on Mr. Magoo. Continuing in the string of movies that were based on popular cartoons/comic strips from the 60s and turned into flops, this does nothing to change the pattern. Why is that? Well, as far as attracting audiences, I can’t tell you. As far as the film itself is concerned, the studios got too involved and turned this into something that it shouldn’t be. Or perhaps the script was this crappy from the get go. Either way, Mr. Magoo deserves much better than this. Do I recommend it? No, unless you’re trying to complete a collection of Leslie Nielsen’s films, this should be one of those forgotten films that just happens to exist. Nothing more, nothing less.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars