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Girls, Guns and G-Strings: The Andy Sidaris Collection (12 Film Set)
Girls, Guns and G-Strings: The Andy Sidaris Collection (12 Film Set)
DVD ~ Dona Speir
Price: $4.50
66 used & new from $1.92

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Andy Sidaris' Era of PG Sex and G-rated Violence, July 8, 2011
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There is a temptation to compare the 'racy' films of Andy Sidaris with his European counterpart, Tinto Brass; both were respected main-stream filmmakers who decided to explore their passion for beautiful women in a series of sexy, funny, light-weight adventures with a lot of nudity. However, where Brass has, with a few exceptions, grounded his films within (nominally) 'real' settings and storylines, Sidaris more ambitiously attempted to combine TV series-inspired action and weapons, along with massively-muscled henchmen, exotic locales, familiar faces, and juvenile storylines, to create Playboy Channel-style escapism, with a twist. Sidaris clearly targeted the early video market with these films, keeping the sexiness within the mores and ratings of the time (while Brass unabashedly displayed full-frontal nudity of men and women, Sidaris carefully kept it to women, and never graphic). One can also make a case that Brass women are more real and natural (Sidaris women flaunt a lot of plastic surgery), and seem to enjoy sex more (even within the ratings confines, Sidaris' scenes of passion often seem more like '20-minute workouts' than actual lovemaking!)

Still, Girls Guns & G-Strings is a great popcorn collection, when you want to just kick back and enjoy eye candy! "Malibu Express" offers a grown-up and laid-back Darby Hinton (from Daniel Boone) as a mustached Magnum P.I.-style gumshoe who is incompetent with a gun, but not with the ladies; "Hard Ticket to Hawaii" has clothing-optional female law enforcement operatives (Playmates Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton) involved in diamonds and drugs in the Aloha State; "Picasso Trigger" is a tale of revenge, and introduces one of my own personal favorites, Playmate Roberta Vasquez; "Savage Beach" feels like a sequel to "Hard Ticket", this time involving stolen gold, and was again filmed in Hawaii (which would become a regular locale); "Guns" got a LOT of attention when released, as Erik Estrada (CHiPs) starred, in a tale of a South American gangster in Hawaii, with a lot of familiar TV faces (not to worry, there was plenty of Playmate action, too); "Do or Die" took that nice Karate Kid mentor, Pat Morita, and turned him into a brilliant, diabolical criminal mastermind (Erik Estrada also appears); "Hard Hunted" goes further into the spy genre, and moves the action into a Middle East that isn't quite believable (I know, nothing else about the film is, so the point is...?); "Fit to Kill" offers statuesque Penthouse Pet/B-actress Julie Strain as a villainess after a priceless diamond...Andy Sidaris' son, Drew, also directed; "Enemy Gold" pits Julie Strain against Suzi Simpson and Tai Collins, in a hunt for Civil War gold; "The Dallas Connection" is not about cheerleaders (although the gorgeous women could qualify!), but computer chips; Andy returned for the final films of the collection, "Day of the Warrior" and "Return to Savage Beach", two films combining a The Man from U.N.C.L.E.-type enforcement agency (L.E.T.H.A.L.) and computer-oriented plotlines (hot women and hi-tech...every geek's dream!)

I was first introduced to Sidaris' films though Joe Bob Briggs' wonderfully off-kilter premium channel series, "Drive-In Theater", and clips of some of his interviews are included in the special features, along with intros by Sidaris (made before his death, in 2007) and Julie Strain. While Sidaris is compared to Ed Wood, and even Tarantino, in Amazon reviews, I think, as I stated earlier, that Tinto Brass offers a better analogy, because of their earlier history. Check out the film work of both directors (Amazon carries a large selection)...I think you'll enjoy yourself!


Burlesque
Burlesque
DVD ~ Cher
Price: $4.99
34 used & new from $1.00

4.0 out of 5 stars "Showgirls" 'Light', Campy Fun..., June 30, 2011
This review is from: Burlesque (DVD)
If you are looking for a film with the jaded urban sexiness of Chicago or the visual pyrotechnics of Moulin Rouge!, Steve Antin's tame production of Burlesque will certainly disappoint (it may be the most 'G-rated' PG-13 film you'll ever see). But in it's own wacky way, the film manages to circumvent logic (in much the same manner as the epically bad Showgirls did), and is actually quite entertaining (which the earlier film certainly wasn't!).

The credit for the film's success goes equally to Antin's "Aw, shucks!" screenplay, which turns 'The Burlesque Club' into a family-friendly Coyote Ugly with the female bartenders now strippers (who never get close to getting naked), Cher, who takes a small role (forget top billing), and plays the hell out of it (her voice is fabulous, and she looks great, even with puffy lips), and Christina Aguilera, who combines her astonishing singing voice with the youthful enthusiasm of an original cast member of Glee: The Complete First Season. It's not a performance that wins Oscars, but she's far more likable in her screen debut than Britney Spears was, in Crossroads. The rest of the cast pales beside the two divas; Kristen Bell plays the stereotypical "witch with a 'b'" (in place of the 'w'), Julianne Hough is nearly unrecognizable in heavy make-up, Cam Gigandet is the bartender/boyfriend who acts gay but isn't, underused Alan Cumming is a club host who is gay, and does a Joel Grey/Cabaret send-up musical number; always terrific Stanley Tucci is wasted as Cher's bisexual second-in-command, Peter Gallagher is even more wasted, as Cher's overwrought business partner, and Eric Dane takes on the thankless Kyle MacLachlan role from Showgirls, as the attractive but sleazy millionaire who can talk the talk, and wants poor Christina to sell her soul to him (don't worry, she doesn't). Truthfully, the film is all Christina, and Cher, when she's onscreen. And it works!

I admit, it's a guilty pleasure, but I enjoyed Burlesque!


Cheeky! (Unrated English Version)
Cheeky! (Unrated English Version)
DVD ~ Yuliya Mayarchuk
Price: $22.48
16 used & new from $12.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Earthy, Naughty, and Nearly TOO Sweet!, June 9, 2011
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Europeans seem to have a lot more fun with sex than Americans do, and filmmaker Tinto Brass, in Cheeky! (Producers Cut, Unrated, English Version) takes a simple plot (a beautiful, playful Venetian girl waits impatiently in London for her boyfriend to join her), and rewrites it into a sexy voyage of discovery, as Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) is seduced by an array of English characters, particularly a lesbian real estate agent, and her amorous ex-husband, while her boyfriend, a continent away, seethes in comic jealousy, knowing Carla, with her kindness, good heart, and raging hormones, simply can't say 'no'...

In the hands of an American director, the cast would be 'plastic surgery perfect', the seductions would be more aerobic than erotic, and passion would be perfunctory, rather than spontaneous. Brass prefers natural beauty (flaws are what makes beauty 'real'), sex is sweaty, intimate, and joyful, and appreciating the opposite sex isn't something to feel guilty about, but to treasure. Truthfully, "Cheeky!" was almost sexual overload, for me, and I couldn't sit through the film in one sitting (it is the sensual equivalent of eating too many sweet chocolates...you get a major sugar rush!) Still, I enjoyed the film, and can recommend it, particularly for couples, who will giggle at all the right moments...

"Cheeky!" is a lot of bawdy fun!


Cashback
Cashback
DVD ~ Sean Biggerstaff
Price: $10.26
69 used & new from $1.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Entertaining 'Male Fantasy' Comedy!, May 20, 2011
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This review is from: Cashback (DVD)
When Sean Ellis' low-budgeted short, "Cashback", became a hit in the Indie Award circuit, it was expected that he'd be offered the opportunity to expand it into a feature; sure enough, it happened, but to his credit, Ellis largely kept his fidelity to the material, and Cashback retains it's wit, off-the-wall viewpoint, and surprisingly inoffensive sexiness. Taking a major male fantasy ('freezing' time, then undressing beautiful women in a public place), has pretty obvious 'sleaze' potential, but Ellis' protagonist, supermarket salesclerk/budding artist Ben (Sean Biggerstaff), clearly uses his fantasy for simply recreating the feminine mystique in nude sketches, not for any physical gratification (of course, if this were entirely true, all of his 'models' would not have been knockouts...which they are), and to playfully pull pranks on co-workers. The feature builds upon the employees, Ben's budding relationship with Sharon (Emilia Fox), and the realm of fantasy his hidden psychic abilities creates for the pair.

While the intimacy of the original is missed (the short is, in fact, included in the DVD, so you can check out both versions), I really liked the feature, and I believe you will enjoy it, as well!


Bones: Season 6
Bones: Season 6
DVD ~ David Boreanaz
Offered by American_Standard
Price: $15.85
130 used & new from $7.58

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Off-Kilter Start, But a Magical Finale!, May 20, 2011
This review is from: Bones: Season 6 (DVD)
Bones: The Complete Sixth Season began awkwardly; after an uncomfortable romantic rejection by Tempe (which she reversed herself on, too late), Booth surprised her by introducing a girlfriend, embarking on a hot and heavy relationship with globe-trotting journalist, Hannah Burley (Katheryn Winnick)...while this plot device was intended to create new sparks and tension between the leads (not a bad idea in a very long-running series), the chemistry between Hannah and Booth wasn't there, the sparks weren't there, and truthfully, the over-padded 7-episode story arc was one of the most disappointing of the show's history (even the murders seemed routine!) The saving grace was the often funny, occasionally tragic, and always believable subplot between Angela and Hodgins, as they impatiently waited on their baby. Kudos on timing the pregnancy out; too often, on series television (unless a star is actually 'with child'), the time between the discovery and the delivery is only the length of time between 'sweeps'...here, we watched the development, physically and emotionally, of Angela, shared their heartache over a potential genetic defect that could leave their baby blind, enjoyed Hogkins actually standing up to her rockin' daddy (ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons)...Michaela Conlin and T.J. Thyne were, to me, the saving grace of the first part of the season.

HOWEVER, when Hannah served Booth her walking papers (refusing to marry him), "Bones" IMMEDIATELY jumped into high gear (with the exception of the 'groanable' 'crossover' episode/pilot of new series, "Finder", which shouldn't have aired, even if both series have the same producer)...The cases got far more interesting, the sexual chemistry between Booth and Brennan resumed without a hitch, a truly frightening, lethal opponent to Booth (fellow sniper Jacob Broadsky, played by the wonderfully wicked Arnold Vosloo, of the "Mummy" series), initiated one of the most shocking, unexpected plot-twists, ever, and the finale offered a 1-2 punch that caught me totally by surprise! I can't WAIT until next season, the swansong for one of my favorite TV 'families'.

While 5-stars may seem too high for some, with the less-than-stellar start to Season Six, the series certainly earned it, with the amazing comeback it made...And now on to the Grand Finale!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2011 9:21 PM PST


Leverage: Season 3
Leverage: Season 3
DVD ~ Timothy Hutton
Price: $17.18
14 used & new from $12.57

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nate and the Gang, Back in Action!, April 21, 2011
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This review is from: Leverage: Season 3 (DVD)
As a long-time fan of this tongue-in-cheek 'con' comedy/drama, it's great to see Leverage: Third Season released on DVD (and Season 4, well into production!). While the season lacks the dramatic 'game-ending' climaxes of Leverage: The First Season (the group splitting up), or Leverage: The Complete Second Season (a wounded Nate sacrificing himself to the police to help his crew escape), the season offers more depth and background to each of the crew, a very involving two-part story arc climax, AND a LONG-awaited treat, for those of us who've waited three seasons to see Nate and Sophie actually consummate SOME kind of romantic 'connection'...and Gina Bellman's reaction shot, at the season finale, is priceless, and nearly worth the price of the set, by itself!

Season Three starts with a bang, as the gang plots to rescue Nate from prison...and he still manages to get them a client behind bars (played by Aldis Hodge's real-life older brother). With a corrupt warden as the target, the tone is lighter than much of Season Two's episodes, and each cast member shines in comic moments. The tongue-in-cheek approach of the episode would be prevalent, throughout much of the season, which could be a mixed blessing (darker moments often provide more tension, and a greater sense of danger), but the "Leverage" plots are consistently entertaining, and the cast is always a pleasure, whatever the tone of the story.

Episode Three is a real treat, as Parker (Beth Riesgraf) is reunited with her criminal mentor (portrayed by legendary TV star, Richard Chamberlain) who needs her assistance (and, of course, Nate's crew) to get out of a jam. With Chamberlain's character named 'Archie Leach' (Cary Grant's real name), you know the writers were having fun...Episode Four is even funnier, involving a symphony concert, and Hardison (Aldis Hodge) faking a performance as a virtuoso violinist!

Episode Six is a fan favorite, as the crew 'breaks into' country music to take on a murderous, corrupt promoter (John Schneider, in a REAL stretch from his usual 'nice guy' roles!) The episode gives Eliot (Christian Kane, who actually has his own band and is a pretty fair singer) a chance to shine (and yes, he STILL busts some heads!)

Episode Nine features wonderful Tom Skerritt as Nate's career-criminal father, in a dark, 70's-style plot involving Russian mobsters and duped local business people; Episode Eleven is a send-up of the Japanese classic, Rashomon, as a robbery, five years earlier, is recounted differently as seen through the eyes of each member of the crew (who all believe THEY committed it, by themselves). Episode Fourteen is the 'Christmas' episode, with Santa as a client(!), loot, tunnels, A Christmas Story-type Santa 'station' in a department store, comedian Dave Foley as a near-evil 'Scrooge' who sees the error of his ways, Eliot as a two-fisted jolly old elf (who fights a team of Santa 'henchmen'), and the return of Wil Wheaton, as Hardison's smugly evil computer hacker counterpart.

A commitment/threat placed on Nate at the start of the season by a mysterious, beautiful Italian woman (Elisabetta Canalis) to bring down international crime kingpin, Damien Moreau (Goran Visnjic) is the common thread, throughout the season; Episodes Fifteen and Sixteen involve elaborate scams to bring him down, both in America, and Moreau's Mediterranean island sanctuary. Episode Fifteen is, perhaps, the most exciting, 'theatrical' "Leverage" episode ever filmed (and way, way out of the series' home 'turf' of intellect over excessive violence), with Hardison dropped, handcuffed to a chair, into a deep pool, and Eliot, at gunpoint, powerless to save him; Hardison and Parker leaping off a bridge onto a moving train to deal with a bomb; and, most impressively, Eliot, forced to return to his early 'killer' roots, in an explosive, "Matrix"/John Woo-style 'bullet ballet' against an army of Moreau's assassins...Episode Sixteen takes things back a few notches (but is, truthfully, a more "Leverage"-style plotline, which I prefer), with the gang following Moreau to his island fortress, Timothy Hutton, as Nate, at his gonzo best ("Let's go steal a country!"), Bellman as an Eva Peron-style martyr, inspiring a clueless but likable novice island politician in his run for President, and international elections amazingly easy to rig (and watch!), when you have Hardison with a computer! While I loved the season's 'payoff', between Nate and Sophie, I still stand by my comment that the season doesn't end with quite the emotional impact of Seasons One and Two (where the future of the team and it's members is in real jeopardy...although what Sophie's next decision will be is anybody's guess!)

From Nate in prison, to Sophie's fade-out double-take, Leverage: Third Season, while, perhaps, not every fan's 'cup of tea', is still irresistable and very entertaining!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2011 3:38 PM PDT


The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series
The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series
DVD ~ Richard Greene
Offered by Warehouse Deals 4 Less
Price: $14.94
47 used & new from $6.28

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uneven Quality and Presentation, but Fabulous Price for Series!, April 6, 2011
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As a baby boomer, I was fortunate to see the emergence of television in the 1950s, and while some may refer to it as the 'Golden Age' of live drama and comedy, we kids knew better; it was REALLY the 'Golden Age' of syndicated adventure series, geared to us...shows like Adventures of Superman, Roy Rogers With Dale Evans, and ESPECIALLY, The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series. Produced in England, and starring every kid's second favorite "Outlaw of Sherwood", Richard Greene (and he was a VERY close second to Errol Flynn!), this four-season (1955-1960), half-hour series provided 143 episodes of humor, swordplay, and the kind of adventure we all dreamed of. It spawned a fan club that encompassed two continents and thousands of youthful members, made Mr. Greene a VERY wealthy man, and, surprisingly, holds up quite well, over 50 years later!

Truthfully, there are technical problems with this collection; the episode quality ranges from unremastered and scratchy, to poorly remastered and tinted in blue; some episodes are repeated on different discs; and some are out of sequence (the 'Richard of the Lea' episodes featuring the 1938 Errol Flynn film's 'King Richard', Ian Hunter, are very mixed-up and a bit confusing). But the collection is still quite watchable (with improved picture quality in later seasons), and the price is amazingly affordable...and deserves five stars!

Shot on a very tight budget, the program had a 'stock company' of supporting actors, who would play different roles each episode; over the course of the series, Maid Marian would be portrayed by two different actresses (Bernadette O'Farrell, then Patricia Driscoll); there would also be very brief substitutions of Little John and Will Scarlett, although the lion's share of episodes featured Archie Duncan and Paul Eddington in the roles. Two wonderful actors became fan favorites; Alexander Gauge, as a corpulent, very witty Friar Tuck, and Alan Wheatley, oozing villainy as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The series also offered a rising generaton of young British stars, early in their careers, including Donald Pleasance (who occasionally appeared as Prince John), Billie Whitelaw, Ian Bannen, Leo McKern, Jane Asher, Nigel Davenport, Anne Reid, Gordon Jackson, Edward Mulhare, Lawrence Naismith, Charles Gray, Desmond Llewellyn, Michael Gough, Nigel Green, Gary Raymond, Edward Judd, and many more. The talent behind the camera was top-notch, as well, with respected directors like Lindsay Anderson, Don Chaffey, and Hammer Films legend, Terence Fisher, and writers, including Ring Lardner, Jr., Howard Dimsdale, and Jan Read.

Many episodes of the series carried on the Hollywood (and literary) tradition of Robin defending England for King Richard, while defying the ambitions of Prince John, with a bit more 'bite' than earlier incarnations; producer Hannah Weinstein, an expatriate American in England to avoid the McCarthy 'witchhunts', encouraged blacklisted American writers to join her in England, and pen scripts condemning political, religious, or scientific repression by Prince John and his minions; other episodes were straightforward morality tales, often humorous but occasionally more serious, some of which were, in fact, based on the Robin Hood ballads of Medieval England, giving the series a sense of authenticity many other series have lacked, and a timeless universal appeal for generations of viewers!

This series is a joy, one that I have truly enjoyed revisiting over a half-century after their initial broadcast, and can highly recommend for children and adults, today!


Tracy & Hepburn the Definitive Collection
Tracy & Hepburn the Definitive Collection
DVD ~ Spencer Tracy
Offered by SOUTHWEST MEDIA
Price: $20.00
54 used & new from $14.21

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Must-Have Collection for Fans!, April 2, 2011
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I've waited MANY years to see a boxed set of the film teamings of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and Tracy & Hepburn the Definitive Collection, with all 9 of the features, the heartfelt Tracy biography, "The Spencer Tracy Legacy", narrated by Hepburn, and selected featurettes, geared to the time frame of individual films, certainly hits it out of the park! A quick overview of the features:

"Woman of the Year" (1942): The pair's first teaming, after Hepburn's HUGE success in The Philadelphia Story...She'd wanted Tracy in the role of the pragmatic, jaded reporter in the earlier film, but he was working, so she had to settle for Jimmy Stewart (who felt miscast, but won the Best Actor Oscar, anyway!) Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin wrote the script specifically for Tracy and Hepburn (he was a plain-spoken, savvy sports columnist; she was a high-brow, internationally-acclaimed political journalist), and the chemistry was electric from the first moment they shared onscreen, as he opened a door and glimpsed her beautiful legs...This classic comedy of opposites attracting still packs a wallop, nearly 70 years later! (5 stars out of 5)

"Keeper of the Flame" (1942): Despite being two of the great dramatic actors of their generation, the Tracy/Hepburn pairings always worked better in comedies, probably because the dramas were never quite of the same caliber. This tale of the hidden fascist roots of a deceased national hero is similar, in form, to Citizen Kane, with Tracy as an investigative reporter uncovering the nastiness, and Hepburn as the widow, tortured by her husband's secret life and ambitions; despite George Cukor's considerable directorial skills, and the stars at their most glamorous (mercy, they are both beautiful!), the whole film seems a bit overwrought...(3 stars out of 5)

"Without Love" (1945): A welcome return to romantic comedy for Tracy and Hepburn; he's a scientist concerned about high altitude's lack of oxygen, on pilots (a frequent theme in wartime films), she's a widow and brilliant assistant, with a house in overcrowded Washington; to avoid the public gossip of a single man and woman living together (despite both swearing no interest in romance), they arrange a platonic, 'loveless' marriage (my, how times have changed!) and, in working together, not surprisingly, love blooms. While the themes are dated, the pair simply glows, onscreen, and watch for some first-rate supporting performances by Lucille Ball and Keenan Wynn! (4 stars, out of 5)

"The Sea of Grass" (1947): This long, quasi-western period drama of the conflict between free-spirit Hepburn, and her husband, intractable land baron Tracy, is more fun for who was involved than the end result (which is, truthfully, slow and more than a bit turgid; a better Tracy vehicle as a rich cattleman is Broken Lance). Directing is young Elia Kazan, who would redefine edgy, realistic contemporary drama in films like On the Waterfront (here, directing a studio-shot, soft-focus WESTERN???) Tracy (or co-star Melvyn Douglas, another suitor) fathers a wild, undisciplined son by Hepburn, played by Robert Walker, one of the most gifted, kinetic, tragic young stars in Hollywood history, and he is dazzling, easily outshining poor Douglas! Another problem with the film: Tracy had just been critically panned in his return to the Broadway stage, in "The Rugged Path", and had fallen off the wagon in an epic bender that put him into the hospital, and made him nearly impossible to work with...All in all, a real curiosity piece...(2 1/2 stars out of 5)

"State of the Union" (1948): A somewhat flat Frank Capra political comedy, lacking the sharp, decisive wit of his earlier, similarly-themed 'Meet John Doe', with Tracy as a rather naive industrialist talked into running for the Republican Presidential nomination, and Hepburn as his estranged wife, brought in to improve his 'image'. A first-rate cast (including Angela Lansbury, Van Johnson, and Adolphe Menjou), but an uneven script, which sputters, occasionally. Hepburn was a last-second replacement for Claudette Colbert, whose cavalier attitude in walking out earned Capra's life-long venom. Despite the behind-the-scenes problems, the Capra-Tracy-Hepburn teamup still has some terrific moments, and a wonderful finale! (3 1/2 stars out of 5)

"Adam's Rib" (1949): The BEST of all the Tracy/Hepburn teamings! A battle royale of the sexes, as conservative D.A. Tracy prosecutes a young woman (Judy Holiday, dazzling in her debut), defended by his wife (Hepburn, at her funniest). A fabulous script (by the stars' lifelong friends, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon), and sharp direction by George Cukor raises still timely, relevant questions about sexual inequality in society, educating audiences with a smile, played to perfection by a flawless cast... (5 stars out of 5)

"Pat and Mike" (1952): Tracy and Hepburn, reteamed with Cukor, Kanin, and Gordon, in another sparkling comedy; slow-speaking (but quick-witted) sports promoter Tracy hitches his star to a natural athletic phenom (Hepburn, who was actually every bit as gifted an athlete as her character!); in protecting her, and developing her skills, the pair gradually fall in love. A very 'Runyonesque' tale, with colorful characters (watch for young Charles Bronson in a bit role), this film is a real charmer! (5 stars out of 5)

"Desk Set" (1957): Katharine Hepburn was the force behind this automation-themed comedy becoming a Tracy-Hepburn vehicle, as Tracy's career and personal life were going through some very hard times, and she knew working together was the best medicine; while the storyline is dated (a research department at a ficticious television network, headed by Hepburn, faces elimination by Tracy's super-computer), and perhaps too rigidly adheres to it's roots as a stage play, it does offer a very good cast (including Gig Young and Joan Blondell), bright, witty dialogue (by Phoebe and Henry Ephron), and the Tracy/Hepburn magic, which makes it a winner... (4 stars out of 5)

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967): While it's place as relevant social commentary (with an interracial marriage theme) may be a bit too sugar-coated, the final teaming of Tracy and Hepburn, with superstar Sidney Poitier, and Hepburn's niece, Katharine Houghton, in her film debut, is a very, very special film. Spencer Tracy was dying, the years of alcoholism having destroyed his health, but he wanted one last chance to act (which both Hepburn and director/friend Stanley Kramer were determined to provide him); the major studios refused to insure him, however, and the pair had to agree to financially cover all losses, if Tracy passed away during production. He hadn't acted in front of a camera in over three years, his energy was erratic, and he could work, at most, only a few hours a day, in the studio (the outdoor sequence at the ice cream 'drive-in' was performed by doubles, in long shots, with the close-ups filmed indoors on a set). Tracy did, in fact, pass away just days after the film 'wrapped', but his performance was superb, with a decisive closing summation that is one of the finest pieces of acting in film history, earning him a final Oscar nomination (while he lost, Hepburn won, and considered the award as recognition to both of them). A beautiful, bittersweet farewell (5 stars out of 5)

This is the collection to own!!!!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2011 7:20 PM PDT


TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Legends - Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood / Captain Blood / The Sea Hawk / Adventures of Don Juan)
TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Legends - Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood / Captain Blood / The Sea Hawk / Adventures of Don Juan)
DVD ~ Errol Flynn
Price: $11.54
12 used & new from $9.70

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Collection of Film's Greatest Swashbucker!, March 23, 2011
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Errol Flynn was one of a kind; devastatingly handsome, yet self-destructive, gifted at nearly everything he tried, yet so insecure that he could never acknowledge nor accept his talent. He mastered and became synonymous with the swashbuckler, yet he appeared in more westerns and war films than 'sword and tights' adventures (and truthfully, he disliked most of what he made, in ANY genre). In many ways, his tragic vices aside, he was really a little boy who never grew up, who needed love, took criticism too hard, and was suspicious of praise. Yet most remarkably, of his generation of stars, he is one of the few whose name hasn't faded into obscurity, since his death. Errol Flynn has remained an iconic star, the personification of a laughing cavalier, heroic and confident, and TCM has brought together the BEST of the best, with the TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Legends - Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood / Captain Blood / The Sea Hawk / Adventures of Don Juan)

In editions filled with terrific additional features of the era of each film, these four titles bookend Flynn's 'glory years', from his explosion onto the scene as physician-turned-pirate Peter Blood in Michael Curtiz' "Captain Blood" (1935); his pinnacle as Warner's biggest star, in the ULTIMATE swashbuckler, "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938); one of the most beautiful historical romantic adventures ever filmed, "The Sea Hawk" (1940); and his 'Golden Age' swanswong, "The Adventures of Don Juan" (1948), which, while not the last of his swashbucklers, would be the last big-budget 'studio' production, as years of carousing and self-abuse had begun to wear down his features, and drain his energy. The swashbuckling Flynn of the 1950s would only be a shadow of the past; his brief future belonged to a sadder, darker soul, in richer, more contemporary roles.

This is a 'Must Have' collection for any Flynn fan!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2013 11:39 AM PST


All-Star Superman (Two-Disc Special Edition)
All-Star Superman (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ James Denton
Price: $19.96
57 used & new from $2.47

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Concept, but Flat, Uneven Superman Reboot..., March 10, 2011
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When Scottish writer Grant Morrison was invited to reboot the Superman franchise, making it more relevant for the 21st century, his vision became the foundation of a 12-issue Limited Edition collection, "All-Star Superman". On a positive note, after viewing Dcu All-Star Superman (Two-Disc Special Edition), I'm looking forward to reading the series...but unfortunately, without having read them first, I found the video confusing, stilted, and surprisingly uninvolving, a disappointment after several terrific previous video entries.

The Bonus Feature, 'Superman Now', on Disc Two, is a must, to understand what Morrison (in a wonderful, if nearly incomprehensible brogue) was intending; the concept of using classic myths of solar-influenced Gods (such as Apollo and Helios) as an inspiration, and returning to the Man of Steel his nearly God-like powers of the 1950s-1960s (reversing the 1980s make-over, and attempt to 'humanize' him), is intriguing, if more than a bit retro, for a 'new' look. The idea does allow two elements I really enjoyed; Lex Luthor, complaining that, while HE gets older, Superman DOESN'T (an idea straight out of Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" that I always liked), and the concept that Supes could 'overchage' on solar radiation, increasing his powers dramatically, but inevitably resulting in an overdose that would kill him. Things, unfortunately, get pretty mixed-up, beyond this...

Supes tells Lois they could never have children, as their DNA is too different...but he possesses a 'future telescope', allowing him to chat with his descendents(?)...um, who was the female ancestor? Wonder Woman? Lex has an offspring (Nasthalthia)? And he LIKES Clark Kent, sort of? Fellow Kryptonians Lilo-El and Bar-El appear and disappear abruptly, as do super-powered(?) Samson and Atlas; the whole Krull subplot; events jumble up, and the time-frame gets muddied; a way to recreate Superman through his DNA is offered by Lex, but now it WILL take Lois (or another human woman's) DNA, to complete to task...Huh??? And Lois waits, expecting Supes to launch out of the Sun, cured...HUH???

I accept that the 12 graphic novels probably puts all this into perspective, but the video can't, in just 74 minutes.

I was disappointed by James Denton's vocal interpretation of Clark/Supes, also. Perhaps he was aiming for Godlike and aloof, but it seemed one-note, and flat, which was a shame, as Christina Hendricks (Lois), Anthony LaPaglia (Lex), Ed Asner (Perry White) and Finola Hughes and Arnold Vosloo (Lilo-El and Bar-El), were all superb.

I do admit, however, the line artwork for each character was exceptional, as were the backgrounds and animation, some of the best work, ever.

All-in-all, a surprisingly uninvolving entry...c'mon, DC, you can do better than this!


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