Thursday, April 29, 2010

Films in Review from me to you

Sat through 3 Walter Huston movies, 2 of which I was dying to see, The Criminal Code (1931) **1/2, and Beast of the City (1932) ** 1/2, and ended up liking The Ruling Voice (1931) ***, which starts off as a classic then peters out into contrived dramatics. Huston's one of my favorite actors, alot of fun to watch him work with mediocrity and still give a riveting performance, as in all three flicks. Jean Harlow is scorching hot in Beast, in a showy role as a moll, and Criminal boasts a prime role for Boris Karloff as a mug.
Youth of the Beast (1963) ***1/2. Best Suzuki film of the few I've seen. Lone wolf infiltrates two gangs and pits them against each other. 60s Style to burn. A must see.
Dead Heat on a Merry Go Round (1966) ** 1/2. Very deliberately paced heist film where James Coburn dons different personas throughout until an abrupt and surprising conclusion. Coburn is always good while everybody else is pretty forgettable except Joey Faye, Rose Marie and Harrison Ford's awkward turn as a bellboy in his 1st movie.
I Love You, Man (2009) **. Contrived, overlong comedy " bromance" scores some laughs early on then drags on and on like most of today's post - Apatow comedies. Never liked Rush either. Passaic NJ 's Paul Rudd who plays basically the same character in Roll Models (2009) ***, a somewhat poignant community service comedy.
Sing Your Worries Away (1942) - **. Grade C musical boasts the novel (and odd) teaming of Bert Lahr and Buddy ( coulda been a " tinman") Ebsen, along with Patsy Kelly and the late June Havoc. Incredibly, this mishmash was the very next movie Lahr made after OZ three years earlier! Margaret Dumont has a small role.
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail (1945) ** 1/2. Kurosawa's 3rd movie is a very modest soundstage production which relies heavily on the comedic Puck-like antics of Kenichi Enomoto as a porter, which at times are hard to take. It is only as film progresses that you realize his character's importance. For completists only, I'm afraid.

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