‘Charade’ – Part Eight

Once again, it’s time for the next exciting part of that awesome classic film from yesteryear, Charade!

So … grab your popcorn and let’s get to it, shall we? 🙂

And here are two awesome links I found on the Interwebs.

Peter Capaldi will finally get to swear again!

And Tina Fey says, “Let us eat cake”! 🙂

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Films for a Racist, Trumped Nation

Recommended viewing! 🙂

B Noir Detour

If, like me, you’re suffering from seeing too much hate in word and deed around the world and especially at home, sickened by witnessing the ravings of a corrupt, feeble-minded fascist US president, and tired of mustering ever more moral compassion that requires ever more vigilance and #resistance: here is a somewhat arbitrary list of topically relevant films to help you #keepwoke and perhaps even laugh at the pathetic last gasps of white supremacy. I love all these films, but your mileage may vary.

CLASSIC NOIR:

Image result for crossfire 1947Crossfire (1947): Antisemitic violence among returning WWII soldiers is met with a powerful response by the descendants of immigrants. Very white, but very powerful, especially Robert Young’s anti-hate speech. Available free to screen at https://archive.org/details/Rancor1947Leg.

COMEDY:

Image result for look who's back 2015Er ist Wieder Da (Look Who’s Back) (2015): Hitler awakes in 2015 to find himself homeless and then a superstar. A great critique of the media and…

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My Review of ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’ (2003)

While my original intent was to blog about Charlie’s Angels—full stop, I had the chance to see this sequel recently. And while you’d never mistake this movie for a Merchant & Ivory production (or even a Farrelly Brothers film), it’s actually quite fun.

The movie begins in a crowded Mongolian bar, where a U.S. Marshall is being held prisoner in the basement. Meanwhile, in the bar, we see one of Charlie’s Angels, Dylan Sanders (played by Drew Barrymore) in a dice game with some Mongolian lowlife. Her first line: “I’m no angel.”

Believe me when I say that this line and the scene that ensues when Alex Munday (Lucy Liu) and Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) show up is much funnier in the seeing than in the telling.

The plot (which hardly matters) delivers what seems to be almost an action movie parody. The fact that it features numerous stars, including Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, adds to its over-the-top appeal.

In a nutshell, the Angels are tasked with finding certain titanium rings that can reveal people in the witness protection program. Various protected people are killed and the Angels (well, two of them) make a surprising discovery about Dylan (Barrymore, who gets to play the “blue Angel”, so to speak).

For me, the best parts of this movie are: the absolutely amazing stunts done in the film (some of which made me laugh out loud) and the fight scenes which mimic or lampoon (depending on your perspective) kung-fu fighting flicks of Bruce Lee.

Besides, watching the sweet-faced Drew Barrymore kicking ass alongside Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu is just plain awesome.

Okay, so this movie received seven nominations at the Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actress (for both Barrymore and Diaz), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie. (I swear I’m not making those up!) Roger Ebert gave it two-and-a-half out of four stars, a higher rating than he gave the first film.

And take my word when I say it’s just a flat-out, ridiculous and fun flick. Be sure and watch the credits at the end for the funny outtakes. They’re priceless.

For what it’s worth, I give at least one thumb up for its outlandishness alone.

This review is posted as part of the Third Annual Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon hosted at In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood! 🙂

 

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Part Seven of ‘Charade’

Happy Saturday! 🙂 When we last left off in Charade, Audrey Hepburn was snogging all over Cary Grant, like gravy on rice!

Anyway (crutch word! 🙂 ), we’re now up to Part Seven, which ends on yet another cliffhanger …!

So, without further ado, here comes Part Seven of Charade! 🙂

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My Review of ‘The Big Lebowski’ (1998)

“Now this here story I’m about to unfold took place back in the early ’90s – just about the time of our conflict with Sad’m and the I-raqis. I only mention it because sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles. And even if he’s a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my train of thought here.”

These words are taken from the opening narration that introduces us to the be-robed L.A. slacker Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski (played quite convincingly by Jeff Bridges). A man who’s mistaken for a wealthy cripple wheelchair-bound man named Jeffrey Lebowski, a.k.a., “the Big Lebowski” (played by David Huddleston), whose wife Bunny owes money to pornographer Jackie Treehorn (played by Ben Gazzara). And the whole plot is set in motion when Treehorn’s thugs come to collect from the Dude, look around his crappy apartment, and realize—duh!—they got the wrong guy! So they leave, but not before the Chinaman Asian-American one pees on Dude’s rug.

So the Dude tells his bowling pals Walter (played by John Goodman) and Donny (played by Steve Buscemi) about the incident, almost in passing, and Walter (not being the most laid-back guy) feels insulted on Dude’s part and insists that the Dude seek recompense from the Big Lebowski. After all, that rug really tied the room together.

Without going into all the ins and outs (no pun intended!) of the film, let’s just say that the Dude may be one of the most passive protagonists I’ve ever seen. Every twist and turn of the plot occurs because the Dude is spurred into action by something someone else says or does. As such, he’s more of a reactive protagonist than an active one. He even tends to parrot the words that others say to him.

According to Wikipedia, Joel Coen said of the film, “We wanted to do a Chandler kind of story—how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery, as well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.” Well, the Coens succeeded there.

Along with the Coen Brothers’ penchant for using blackmail as a plot device, one could view Jeffrey Lebowski as a kind of faux-Colonel Sternwood (faux in more ways than one) and Bunny as a modern-day Carmen Sternwood (as I recall, both of them dabbled in pornography—so Bunny’s like Carmen, minus the gambling debts). The requisite lawman warns the Dude off the case in a rather physical way—only in this film, it’s the Sheriff of Malibu County telling the Dude to keep “his gold brickin’ ass” out of “his quiet beach community”.

It’s a hilarious film, not only because it parodies the hard-boiled film noir mystery, while making a quick aside to Hitchcock’s North by Northwest during the scene in Treehorn’s Malibu beach house, but it manages to work the word “fuck” (or variations thereof) 292 times. The word “dude” appears 161 times and the Dude says “man” 147 times or nearly one and a half times per minute.

Bridges and Goodman play off each other, as well as Buscemi, with a natural rhythm that speaks well of the acting and the script.

And the soundtrack is from an amazing discography of songs, ranging from pop music hits to cowboy music to classical.

Besides, what’s not to like about a movie that includes nihilists, surreal dream sequences, Ralph’s, Creedence, the world’s angriest cabdriver, and the In-N-Out Burger?

Plus Sam Elliott as The Stranger—a man in a cowboy get-up who narrates the story and orders the occasional sarsaparilla.

Finally, according to IMDb.com, “The Dude’s line, ‘The Dude abides,’ is a reference to Ecclesiastes 1:4, ‘One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides forever.’ It is a reference to how the Dude, much like the Earth, can weather change and chaos around him, but still remain the same.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. 🙂

Although Wikipedia calls this a “crime comedy”, I think it’s a brilliant parody and homage to film noir. It is also a must-see cult classic film!

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NETFLIX STAND-UP COMEDY SPECIAL REVIEWS!

If you have Netflix and love to laugh! 🙂

Paul's Cinema and TV Reviews!

NETFLIX STAND-UP COMEDY SPECIAL REVIEWS

My latest themed viewing was to look at some of the comedy specials on Netflix. Having said that given there are so many comedy specials on Netflix the word “special”, if I’m honest, has kind of been rendered redundant. Nonetheless, there is an abundance of brilliant stand-up to choose from and here are just a few you can see.

Comedy is probably the most subjective of cultural crafts or art to review as what one person may find hilarious another will just not! So, I have not given marks for these wonderful performers as they are all very funny and I won’t rehash any gags but more examine their respective personas, style and themes.

best-netflix-stand-comedy-specials-showsCRISTELA ALONZO – LOWER CLASSY (2017)

I hadn’t heard of this comedian before but she presented a breezy and very energetic set from the solid working class Latino persona. The gag-rate…

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‘Charade’ – Part Six

Well, as you may know if you’ve been watching this space, I have an on-going movie serial in the works here. This time around, I’m featuring one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant pairings. But I hope to get back in the faux-MST3K mode after this. And I think I’ve got my next victim B-movie film lined up! It’s Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)!

But first, here’s Part Six of Charade!

And here’s a preview of the coming attraction! 🙂

 

Is this Eight Shades of David Lynch or what? 🙂

PS: Here’s another video I shot for Vimeo’s Weekend Challenge. It’s an homage to the tricycle scene from The Shining! Except as seen by a cat! 🙂

The Shining – A Cat’s Eye View from Debbi Mack on Vimeo.

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