Sunday, October 28, 2012

EACH DAWN I DIE (1939)

Newspaper reporter James Cagney is unjustly thrown into prison on a bum triple manslaughter wrap because he had some dirt on a politician.  On the bus ride there he's handcuffed to tough guy gangster George Raft.  They get into fight, but in standard movie fashion they quickly become friends.  But even with a friend, life in the big house ain't easy.  You constantly gotta be on watch out for snitches, crooked guards, solitary and fights.  And don't forget Cagney is still trying to prove his innocence.

EACH DAWN I DIE is a great 30's prison movie.  Entertaining with a quick story and memorable performances by the two leads, especially Cagney.  It's not as hard-hitting as say I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, but it's light years better than SAN QUENTIN!  Although I do wish it had gotten deeper into the prison life.  Most of the scenes are filmed in their workshop and we never get a real feel of the crushing heaviness of prison life.  That said, it's still definitely worth checking out and be sure to watch out for all the familiar faces like Victor Jory and Paul Hurst.
That looks safe.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY (1949)

If there's anybody out there looking for a good example of "movie logic", then look no further than YES SIR THAT'S MY BABY.  College football star Donald O'Connor (hahahaha!) is forbidden by his wife (the sexy Gloria DeHaven who you might remember from THE THIN MAN GOES HOME) to play football.  And what is behind her forbidding?  Well, one of her female professors had a failed romance with the football coach back years ago and she's still bitter about it.  Even worse is other young mothers have taken up the cause and forbidden their football studs from playing.  Now the entire football program is at stake!!!  Oh, no!  Will this be the end of football at Granger College?  Will there be some singing?  Maybe a few small dance numbers and one mildly impressive tap dance number at a laundromat?  Will Jack Overman make a cameo?  Will there be a lot of baby crying?  Will there be a big game at the end?  Will the romance between the professor and the coach be rekindled?  Will the baby for whatever reason be the celebrated hero of the game in spite of the fact that all he did was sit on the sidelines and scream-cry his fucking brains out?  Will there be male cheerleaders?  Will somebody put on a hat full of water?  You'll just have to watch for yourself to find out!  Or not, it really wasn't that entertaining.

There were a few sparks of life in the musical numbers and the scenes between Donald and Gloria, but the rest of the film was pretty silly and the big game at the end was just ridiculous and made no sense at all...Donald actually changed a diaper between plays!  Alright for a one-time watch (if you're into films from the 40's), but my biggest entertainment came from the background shots, the clothing/hairstyles and the dated views on male-female relationships.
Brief appearances by Jack Overman and Jack Lambert.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

THE HOLLOW (2004)

Goddamn it. Why do I do this to myself? Even before I put this turd in the DVD player I knew it was gonna stink up the joint, but still I gave it a chance and you know what?  I was right, it fucking sucked.

Ichabod Crane’s 9x great-grandson moves to the town that Ichabod was from and now the Headless Horseman is after him to settle some unfinished business...(sigh).

So, anyway, the movie starts with two teens getting killed (off screen) by the Horseman and that’s it as far as action goes until at least an hour later. But lack of violence is the least of your worries cause Stacy Keach plays the town crazy and he never shuts up! Also the guy who plays the popular jock character does a pathetic Mark Wahlberg impersonation for the entire movie that just grates on your nerves. Oh yeah, Judge Reinhold plays the main character's dad, but all he does is just stand their looking embarrassed.

Very few deaths, high school level special fx, the one lone hot chick is not hot and doesn’t even get naked and nearly the entire movie is shot in the dark…these are just a few of the things you’ll have to endure but if you’re looking for a good drinking game then take a swig every time Stacy Keach says “Teacher.” You’ll be shitting your pants by the end of the movie.

Skip it, not even worth a rent.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

THE RAVEN (2012)

Mildly (very mildly) entertaining story about Edgar Allan Poe's last days.  Although Edgar's true cause of death is unknown, the common consensus among scholars is he died of a sickness (cholera, tuberculosis, heart disease, terminal butt cancer) complicated by decades of hard drinking and hard living.  But no, those scholars are dumb poopiepants because Edgar Allan Poe's true cause of death was: fighting a serial killer!  And not just any boring serial killer, but one who based his crimes on the writings of one Edgar Allan Poe. 

Baltimore 1849.  The police are summoned to the apartment of a screaming woman.  The door locks from the inside as the arrive, but once they bust the door down they find the room unoccupied save for two dead bodies.  After some investigation they find the window only appears to be nailed shut, but it's actually spring loaded...just like in one of the stories of the local drunk, Edgar Allan Poe.  Stuff happens and the pigs enlist the help of Poe.  Even more stuff happens and Poe's hot fiance is kidnapped by the killer.  Shit just got real...or so you would hope, but in reality there's just a bunch of running around and shouting.  It looks good (I guess), but it's not very entertaining.

Okay acting, not very thrilling action scenes, boring mystery solving, no emotional attachment to the characters, lots of darkly lit scenes, lame ending.  Not really worth watching, unless you're extremely bored.  If you need me, I'll be in my room reading Robert McMammon's "Matthew Corbett" series.