Archive for insecticide

Forever, Darling

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , on September 28, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After five years of marriage, chemical engineer Lorenzo Xavier Vega (Arnaz) tends to neglect his wife Susan (Ball) in favor of his work. When she wishes aloud that she had a more attentive spouse, her Guardian Angel — coincidentally the mirror image of her favorite movie star (Mason) — appears. He advises her to take a greater interest in Lorenzo’s career, so she agrees to accompany him on a camping trip to test the revolutionary new insecticide he’s developed. (Lorenzo’s boss declares it will “make DDT look like talcum powder”, a line with ironic meaning to modern audiences.) Susan’s dream of a second honeymoon turns into a nightmare when everything that possibly could go wrong does.

REVIEW:

Fans of I Love Lucy will find this film to have a very similar feel to it, as Lucy and Desi are again playing husband and wife, though nowhere near as loving.

Forever, Darling is the second film venture with these two. The first was The Long, Long Trailer. 

I really don’t have much to say about this film. As much as I love Lucy on the small screen, for some reason her big screen ventures seem to fall flat with me, with the exception of Mame. I think this may partially be because I’m so sued to seeing her as Lucy Ricardo, that any other role comes off as an epic fail.

Strangely enough, it is the exact opposite with Desi. I love him as Ricky Ricardo, but he seems to be more at home acting here. Of course, Ricky is basically just Desi being himself, so this may be or chance to actually see him act.

The plot here isn’t too bad, though the whole guardian angel thing, while a bit comical, adds this weird element to everything that sort of changes the tone. The jury is still out with me on whether this good or bad, though.

This is labeled as a comedy, but at times it is a bit too serious to fit that bill. On the other hand, it is too funny to be a drama. I wouldn’t go the extremes of saying it is a dramedy, either.

There are moments that will make you laugh out loud, and I suppose those moments are what give this film its distinction.

Is this a film worth watching? Yes, but be warned, while it does star Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, it is not…I repeat…in NOT I Love Lucy. If you go into this expecting something similar, you will be disappointed. That point aside, this is a decent movie, though, it does seem to bog down in some muck in the middle and almost totally loses the audience. I would say watch it if you’re a classic cinema fan, but given today’s audences’ tastes, you probably wouldn’t like it.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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The Incredible Shrinking Man

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Scott Carey (Grant Williams) is contaminated by a radioactive cloud and pesticide, and he slowly begins shrinking. When he’s three feet tall, he briefly becomes friends with a female circus midget but then continues to shrink, eventually being reduced to living in a dollhouse. After nearly being killed by a cat, he winds up trapped in a basement and has to battle a voracious spider, his own hunger, and the fear that he may eventually shrink down to nothing. After defeating the spider, the hero accepts his fate and (now so small he can escape the basement by walking through a space in a window screen) looks forward to seeing what awaits him in even smaller realms.

REVIEW:

As any avid reader of this blog will know, I’m a huge fan of classic films, especially of the black & white, sci-fi genre. The Incredible Shrinking Man fits that criteria to a ‘T’.

This isn’t a campy sci-fi flick, but a rather tragic one. The story about a man who by some odd, unusual chance is exposed to the right amount of chemicals (from two different sources, mind you) begins to shrink. The tragedy is that he could very easily shrink out of existence. This is something that worries him throughout the entire film.

As expected, Robert Scott Carey comes across a plethora of obstacles as he shrinks, especially once he becomes smaller than a mouse. The cat attacks him as he’s living in the dollhouse, leading his wife and brother to believe he’s dead. Strangely enough they barely look for him.

Carey has to scale steps down in the cellar, as well as not drown in the water from the water heater, and of course what kind of movie abut tiny humans would this be without your standard giant spider scene.

By today’s standards the effects are quite cheesy, yet they still hold up to the test of time.

One of the greatest things about this film, is that it very easily could have been driven by the effects, but in fact it is the acting that makes it. Yes, the effect are there and are crucial to the story, but it is the performance of Grant Williams as the shrinking man that really sells this film and makes it such a classic.

4 out of 5 stars