Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood- 1938, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, and Alan Hale
He says-  Dashing Flynn in the definitive swashbuckler, winning hand of de Havilland (never lovelier as Maid Marian), following evil prince Rains, dueling wicked Rathbone.  Erich Wolfgang Korngold's outstanding score earned an Oscar, as did the art direction and editing.  Scripted by Norman Reilly Raine and Seton I. Miller.  Arguably Flynn's greatest role.  4 stars.

I say-  This must have been great at the time.  However, now I've seen the Robin Hood story many times (most recently with Russell Crowe) and I knew exactly what was going to happen.  Rather cheesy with costumes and mugging, but still fun.  2 and a half stars.

Love Stinks

Love Stinks- 1999, directed by Jeff Franklin, starring French Stewart, Bridgette Wilson, Bill Bellamy, Tyra Banks, and Jason Bateman
He says-  Love is not the only thing that stinks in this barely funny (and mean-spirited) tale of a television comedy writer (Stewart) who becomes romantically involved with a sociopathic beauty-from-hell (Wilson).  Plays like a one-note, R-rated TV sitcom episode.  One and a half stars.

I say-  It feels like a tv episode because the director was Jeff Franklin, the guy who produced Full House.  I couldn't figure out who this movie was marketed to.  It feels like a chick flick, but the girls in this movie are so unlikable that my wife couldn't sympathize with them.  Anyway, I would pass on this.  Other than a couple funny parts, there's not much here.  1 star.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert- 1994, directed by Stephan Elliot, starring Terrence Stamp, Guy Pearce, and Hugo Weaving
He says-  Cheerfully outrageous comedy about three flamboyant lip-sync performers--two drag queens and a transsexual--who journey to a remote desert gig on a converted schoolbus named Priscilla. Diverting, if you can get past the bitchy banter, and anchored by Stamp as the transsexual.  A must for ABBA fans.  Oscar winner for Costume Design.  Later a stage musical.  3 stars.

I say-  I don't get the hoopla around this movie.  I know that a lot of people feel that this is the new Rocky Horror, but it doesn't have the same fun.  In some spots, frankly, it's really boring.  The costumes are great, as is the make-up, but other than a few funny parts, I found myself uninterested.  1 star

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

The Adventures of Pluto Nash- 2002, directed by Ron Underwood, starring Eddie Murphy, Randy Quaid, Rosario Dawson, Jay Mohr, Pam Grier, Luis Guzman, Peter Boyle, and John Cleese

He says-  Murphy sleepwalks through this dumb comedy as a nightclub owner on a moon colony in the year 2087 who tries to prevent a Mafia-style kingpin from turning his establishment into a gambling casino.  Expensive misfire became Murphy's biggest box-office bomb, earning comparisons with Howard the Duck and Ishtar.  Alec Baldwin appears unbilled.  1 and a half stars.

I say- I'm trying to figure out why Alec Baldwin is in this movie.  There is no point to his character.  I'm also trying to figure out why Leonard gave this a star and a half.  I'm not trying to figure out why this is the biggest bomb ever, losing 95 million dollars.  And I'm also not trying to figure out why this movie sat on the shelf for 2 years.   BOMB

The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Adventures of Pinocchio-1996, directed by Steve Barron and starring Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Udo Kier, and Rob Schneider

He says-  Appealing live-action rendition of the Collodi fable about a wood-carver who creates the magical, mischievous marionette Pinocchio...who wants only to be a real boy.  Some variations from the Disney version, but gentle of spirit and enjoyable throughout.  Only adults are likely to question the variety of accents (American, British, German, Italian) in a story supposedly set in Italy.  Followed by a direct-to-video sequel.  3 stars.

I say- What a bizarre version of the story!  First off, the worst cgi award in the world goes to the Cricket, who is completely out of focus and blurry in many shots.  Secondly, the puppet is plain creepy.  The sets are amazing, but the rest of the movie seems unnecessary.  1/2 of a star.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Zapped!-1982, directed by Rober J. Rosenthal, starring Scott Baio, Willie Aames, and Heather Thomas

He says- Attractive cast is wasted in this stupid spoof of Carrie, in which Baio acquires telekinetic powers...which he's most anxious to use in undressing Thomas (or rather, her stand-in).  Followed by a sequel.  One and a half stars.

I say- what a stupid movie.  I mean seriously, Scott Baio is likable and that's about it.  Oh, and I liked Willie Aames acting pervertedly towards high school students.  But that's about it.  Maltin doesn't even review the sequel, which I will happily not be watching.  1 star.

Top Dog

Top Dog-1995, directed by Aaron Norris, starring Chuck Norris and a dog

He says-  When terrorists threaten to blow up San Diego, heroic cop Norris is forced to collaborate with a canine partner who seems to outsmart him every step of the way.  Not much plot here, and needless to say, the dog steals the show.  1 and a half stars.

I say-  This movie is as bad as the poster looks.  I like Chuck Norris (for there is only a fist beneath his beard), but this was worse than Schwarzenegger's ventures into kid films.  BOMB

The Adventures of Milo and Otis

Netflix doesn't have the 2 versions of The Adventures of Mark Twain, so I have to move to:

The Adventures of Milo and Otis-1989, narrated by Dudley Moore

He says- Cute film for kids about a dog and a cat who venture away from their farm and experience a variety of adventures.  Not very strong on a story but buoyed (in the U.S. release version) by Moore's delightful narration.  Original version, released in 1986, ran 90 minutes; this runs 76.  2 and a half stars.

I say- What a great drinking game this movie is!  Any time Dudley Moore makes an animal noise, take a shot!  Any time the animals are in danger, take a shot!  Any time an animal could have died (the dog taking on a bear, the kitten and puppy harassing a chick as it's being hatched) take a shot.  Gorgeous movie (shot over 4 years), but there is literally no editing being done.  Perfect for kids with A.D.D.,   2 stars.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Adventures of Marco Polo

The Adventures of Marco Polo-1938, directed by Archie Mayo, starring Gary Cooper, Basil Rathbone, and Alan Hale
He  says-  Lighthearted approach to famed explorer's life doesn't always work, but Cooper is pleasant and Rathbone's a good villain; sumptuous production.  Look for Lana Turner as one of the handmaidens.  2 and a half stars.

I say- Another fine example of racism in movies.   We have white guys playing stereotypical Chinese men.  White women acting Chinese.  Really couldn't get away with that now.  I read that up until this movie, there had been no bigger bombs at the box office than this one.  A few good scenes make this watchable in places.  One and a half stars.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Purple Rain

Purple Rain- 1984, directed by Robert Magnoli, starring Prince, Morris Day, The Revolution (not related to the Situation), and The Time

He says-  Prince's film debut is about a young Minneapolis black who struggles to gain acceptance for his own brand of futuristic (and sexy) rock music...but it's not autobiographical.  Right.  Dynamic concert sequences are undercut by soppy storyline and sexist, unappealing characters--especially Prince's.  Oscar-winning song score includes title tune, "When Doves Cry."  2 and a half stars

I say-  The story sucked, the outfits Prince wore in daylight were ridiculously awesome, and the music sequences were great.  That said, I have no idea how to rate this movie.  If it was a concert film, it would get  4 stars, and if it were a movie, it would be a bomb, so I'll meet it half way and give it 2 stars.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

SO no Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from 1985 available so

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad- 1949, starring Bing Crosby

He says- Very entertaining animated doubleheader from Disney; a witty adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, about the puckish residents of Toad Hall centering on Toad's infatuation with motorcars, narrated by Basil Rathbone; and a broad, cartoony version of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," with a genuinely scary climax, narrated (and sung) by Bing Crosby.  3 stars.

I say-  This is one of those ok Disney cartoons.  Nothing really great here, other than that Mr. Toad spawned a Disney ride.  Nothing really bad either, just not really a movie in my opinion.  2 stars.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Oceans-2010, directed by Jaques Perrin, narrated by Pierce Brosnan, starring fish, whales, turtles, and octopuses

He says- Eye-popping survey of life underwater around the world, capturing amazing sights and even sounds.  The result of four years of filming using state-of-the-art camerawork, this family-friendly documentary shows rare species, migratory rituals, and much, much more.  Like Earth, this is an American adaptation of a 2009 French documentary by the Disney company, edited from 102 minutes, with new narration and a closing song sung by Joe Jonas.  3 stars.

I say- I could not believe that this as the movie that spun off Oceans 11, 12, and 13.  There was no George Clooney or Brad Pitt anywhere in sight.  As far as nature documentaries go, this was good, but I feel like I've seen this sort of thing on PBS before.  Great background viewing for reading or eating.  2 stars.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Pufnstuff-1970, Directed by Hollingsworth Morse, starring Billie Hayes, Jack Wild, Billy Barty, and Mama Cass.

He says-  OK theatrical feature based on Sid and Marty Krofft's TV series H.R. Pufnstuff, with Wild as young boy brought by a magic flute to Oz-like kingdom ruled by bumbling witches.  Fine for kids; Hayes is fun as Witchiepoo.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  I watched this when I was a kid and enjoyed it; watched it now and realized how insane/drug laden this movie really is.  Pufnstuff costume could use a good wash, it looks like a dirty theme park costume.  Enjoyable as a kids film, but not much for adults.  One and a half stars.

Back to School

Back to School-1986, directed by Alan Metter, starring Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr., Ned Beatty, Sam Kinnison, and Kurt Vonnegut
Maltin says-  Bombastic, uneducated, self-made millionaire enrolls in college, in order to encourage his student son.  Very entertaining comedy, full of hilarious Dangerfield one-liners, but key to the film's success is that Rodney's character is so likable.  Kellerman shines too, as English professor who becomes the apple of his eye.  3 stars.

Grant says- This was a fun movie that begged one question: how did Rodney Dangerfield graduate in 1 semester?  And no, that isn't a spoiler, as the poster shows all.  Look out for Oingo Boingo, and a really odd hairstyle on Robert Downey Jr.  3 stars

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Can't watch the 1939 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, so I have to watch the 1960 version

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- 1960, starring a creepy ginger kid, Tony Randall and Buster Keaton

He says-  Good version of Twain's story with an appealing Hodges (Huck) and excellent Archie Moore (Jim).  Assorted characters played by veterans Buster Keaton, Andy Devine, Judy Canova, John Carradine, Mickey Shaughnessy, and Sterling Holloway.  3 stars.

I say-  FUCK THIS MOVIE.  This is the worst movie I've seen so far as part of this project.  The whole movie was out of order from the book, and they even added pointless scenes.  And Huck was completely creepy and unlikable.  Avoid at all costs.  BOMB

Monday, July 11, 2011

No Escape

No Escape- Directed my Martin Campbell, starring Ray Liotta, Lance Henriksen, Stuart Wilson, Kevin Dillon, and Ernie Hudson
He says-  Odd mix of high tech and Most Dangerous Game finds Liotta in a maximum security prison (year 2022) before escaping to a jungle colony where isolated inmates are left to die.  Not the worst of its grungy ilk, but too protracted.  Wilson is amusing as a key nemesis.  2 stars

I say-  I liked the movie up until they got to the jungle colony.  Very exciting up until that point, loved the rules that the characters had to follow to live, but then the whole movie shifted tones, and not for the better.  1 star.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Adventures of Huck Finn

The Adventures of Huck Finn- 1993, directed by Stephen Sommers, starring Elijah Wood, Renee O'Connor, Jason Robards, Ron Perlman, and Anne Heche
He says-  Utterly unimaginative rendering of Mark Twain's perennial, which should remain off-limits to Hollywood from this point on.  As Huck, young Wood looks and acts too contemporary by decades, while Vance (as Jim) seems too young.  Early scenes involving Huck's brutal father may be too intense for very young children....and this is a Disney release!  2 stars

I say-  This was an awkward movie.  I saw this in the theater with my dad when I was 10, and enjoyed it.  However, I completely agree with Maltin.  My biggest problem is that it feels uneven, and even though the soundtrack is great, the movie feels way too long.  1 star.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Continuing the Hannibal saga:

Hannibal- 2001, Directed by Ridley Scott, starring Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, and Ray Liotta

He says-  A big, long tease of a movie, quite unlike it predecessor, Silence of the Lambs, though mostly faithful to Thomas Harris' novel.  Hannibal Lecter, now at large in Florence, Italy, reenters the life of FBI agent Clarice Starling (Moore, taking over for Jodie Foster) at a troubled time in her career.  A twisted, unfocused black comedy, stylish but slowly paced, with several key gross-out moments.  Scripted by David Mamet and Steven Zaillian.  Followed by a prequel: Red Dragon.  2 stars.

I say-  Way too much slow motion!  This movie, which could have been great, felt very sloppy with the editing and directing.  Anthony Hopkins is still great as Lecter, and Julianne Moore does well playing Clarice for Jodie Foster.  This could have been amazing, but instead in gets 2 stars.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Adventures of Gerard

The Adventures of Gerard- 1970, directed by Jerzy Skolimowki,  starring nobody
He says-  Clumsy farce from Arthur Conan Doyle story about cocky but stupid officer who becomes fall guy for Napoleon's (Wallach) wartime strategy.  BOMB

I say-  BOMB.  I would write more but there's nothing else to say.

Adventures of Ford Fairlane

Netflix doesn't have Adventures of Felix, so I move to

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane- 1990, directed by Renny Harlin, starring Andrew Dice Clay, Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Lauren Holly, Gilbert Gottfried, Robert Englund, Ed O'Neill, and Tone Loc

He says-  Controversial standup comic Clay stars in an old-time private-eye yarn transplanted to the contemporary world of rock'n'roll.  Clay's got what it takes, but the film is clumsy, rude, and immature (just like his character).  For rabid Clay fans only.  One and a half stars.

I say-  I really don't like Andrew Dice Clay.  This movie sucked.  Nothing else to say.  BOMB

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs-  1991, Directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Chris Isaak, and Charles Napier
He says-  FBI trainee Foster is recruited to attempt to get through to a brilliant psychotic criminal, "Hannibal the Cannibal" Lecter (Hopkins), in the hope that he may help catch a serial killer.  Almost unbearably intense, brilliantly acted (by Foster and Hopkins), and cannily put together--though the subject matter is at times repellent.  Based on the Thomas Harris best-seller; the Hannibal character appeared in a previous Harris adapatation, Manhunter.  Oscar winner for Best Picture, Actor (Hopkins), Actress (Foster), Director, and Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).  Followed 10 years later by Hannibal.  3 and a half stars.

I say-  This is such a classic movie.  I'm slowly working on watching all 4 of these movies with my wife, so I'm going to get these knocked out as well.   If you look closely at the skull on the moth on the poster, the skull is actually comprised of naked women.  Probably the best acting of any movie, and Buffalo Bill's dance is awesome!  4 stars.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Since the next "A" movie is taking a while to come, here's another out of order movie.

Waitress- 1982, directed by Samuel Weil, starring nobody anyone knows

He says- If watching a chef spit in soup is your idea of fun, then you might find a couple of laughs in this moronic comedy set in a restaurant.  BOMB

I say-  I love Troma movies.  But not this Troma movie.  This did not feel like a Troma movie.  Go watch a real Troma movie instead.  BOMB