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Joan Crawford "Jon" RSS Feed (Lansing, MI USA)

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dizzying kaleidoscope of crap, March 14, 2007
I rate this Eddie Murphy comedy five stars, but not because it is a good movie. In fact, it's so bad I'm not even sure it IS a movie.. It's more of a showcase for Eddie Murphy to play different roles and personalities... He really is astonishing in this.

And let me tell you, Rasputia is not a work of fiction. I know many people like her, black and white, male and female. They think the world revolves around them, and use power to control and manipulate the people in their lives (who would definitely not stay around otherwise). At least that part of the story rang true.

The rest of it was a mess of cliches. The plot was none too original. The fat black woman jokes are getting tired. The comedy was actually not as funny as it was disturbing and depressing, but in that there is kind of a success..because this movie is just so god-awful terrible that it lingers in your mind far longer than it has any right to. The movie may be fluff, but it sure has a way of defining the kind of crap movies this generation prefers. It could be used as an example in film history classes years from today as the ultimate lowest point the film industry ever sunk to, along with SNAKES ON A PLANE and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. Really, though, at least this movie is able to laugh at itself, and I can't help but wonder if this is Eddie Murphy's big hate letter to Hollywood...giving us one of the worst movies of all time, and laughing all the way to the bank!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2008 7:53 AM PST


The Scarlet Empress (The Criterion Collection)
The Scarlet Empress (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Marlene Dietrich
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $19.61
13 used & new from $13.63

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No evidence of the 'bad' print reviewers warned about, November 22, 2006
I asked for this DVD for my birthday, because I was afraid to purchase it due to so many negative reviews about the picture quality. I shouldn't have worried. As always, Criterion supplies a superior print. The film itself is one of those bizarre masterpieces a classic film fan can't live without, with Marlene as glamorous and fascinating as ever.


Back to Basics
Back to Basics
Price: $14.99
277 used & new from $0.01

11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All style; no substance; lacks subtlety and, yes, "soul", August 16, 2006
This review is from: Back to Basics (Audio CD)
What Christina Aguilera has learned from her idols is not quite clear. We know she admires the style and sophistication of past generations of music, but where is it on this album? Although supposedly inspired by blues, jazz, and soul legends such as Billie Holliday and Dinah Washington (who is sampled on the track "Understand"), the first disc plays more like a tribute to a decidely different '70s groove, and the second disc is more of a throwback to an ill-advised broadway/Cabaret show.

BACK TO BASICS is undoubtedly ambitious, but where it fails is more obvious than where it succeeds. Aguilera's voice, which normally is considered a great musical instrument and combination of heart, feeling, and soul, here falls flat. She is stiff, mannered, self-conscious, and the lyrics are entirely too self-possessed. She references her last album, STRIPPED, dozens of times and many of the lyrics in the album seem like re-hashes of the same old themes. There's "Still Dirrty," the continuation of a STRIPPED theme, as well as a whole song with names of song titles from the last albums used as lyrics.

BACK TO BASICS may have been an ambitious concept, but the songwriting is downright lazy. Never has Linda Perry's work seem more forced or contrived, using the same old sing-song psuedo melodies that made Courtney Love's last disc such a bore, devoid of any truly great melody.

Christina's best songs have always been ballads. She just doesn't have the rhythm or sense of swing to make the old jazz really work, not that she really is trying to evoke jazz on this album. Although the music is considered "reinvented," it really has not a lot in common with the music of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, with the exception of a trumpet section and a doo-wop kind of song called "Candy Man." "I Got Trouble" is a throwback to Billie Holliday, but the songwriting and vocal performance are vague and awful. "Nasty Naughty Boy" was interesting, but sounded more like something Natalie Wood would sing as Gypsy Rose Lee in GYPSY than anything else..

The few ballads on the disc are disappointing. There are only two which stand out: "Without You" and "Save me from Myself." Only the first is good (mostly owing to the beautiful production), but it's not a great song.

The rest of the songs suffer from just being completely over-the-top. There is no subtlety to be found anywhere on the album. From the ghastly overproduced music to the blatant vocal blasting from Christina (of which very little true emotion is registered), BACK TO BASICS is as obvious and fake as Aguilera's platinum hair.

She's no Billie Holliday, kids. She's not even Doris Day.


Rhoda
Rhoda

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhoda was prettier than Mary, July 29, 2006
This review is from: Rhoda (DVD)
I was always extremely annoyed by the Mary Tyler Moore show whenever they portrayed Valerie Harper (Rhoda) as more dowdy and unlovable than Mary. The truth is, if you look beyond the character Rhoda was playing, she was a stunningly beautiful woman! She had gorgeous features, not to mention loads of talent and star quality. That's why I was so happy when Valerie Harper was given her own show (Rhoda) and was shown to be loveable afterall, marrying Joe.

It's important to note that the show was a huge hit, lasting 4.5 seasons. It was nominated for multiple Emmies every year, including best comedy and best leading actress (Valerie Harper). Valerie Harper won an Emmy and a Golden Globe the first season for best leading performance in a comedy series.

This really needs to be released on DVD.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2006 11:02 AM PST


Greta Garbo - The Signature Collection (Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Grand Hotel / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka / Garbo Silents)
Greta Garbo - The Signature Collection (Anna Christie / Mata Hari / Grand Hotel / Queen Christina / Anna Karenina / Camille / Ninotchka / Garbo Silents)
DVD ~ Sam Hennings
Offered by amazingwildcat
Price: $35.99
17 used & new from $31.89

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, July 29, 2006
Initially I had reservations about buying WB's Garbo set, simply because it was so stratospherically priced. Fortunately, my parents must have sensed it was on my wish list, regardless of its price, and bought it for me as a gift last Christmas. I just couldn't bring myself to take it back! The quality of this set is just too overwhelming. Not only do you get at least three classic film masterpieces (Camille, Queen Christina, and Flesh and the Devil), but also a whole selection of good Garbo films, ranging from obscure to highly popular. Mata Hari has always been a Garbo classic, even if it's not a masterpiece. Anna Christie was based on a great play and, although the production is stagy, the excellence of the story shines through. Anna Karenina is one of the best films in the lot--the photography alone is astonishingly beautiful. Ninotchka was an entertaining comedy, but probably my least favorite Garbo film. Grand Hotel speaks for itself as an enduring cinema legend, as do Camille, Queen Christina, and Flesh and the Devil. What was Garbo's best film? It's a toss-up between these three timeless titles. It's also nice to have two very rare silents: The Temptress and The Mysterious Lady, even if these films are slightly less than stellar.

As far as quality goes, the set is teriffic. Picture quality is extremely good, but not perfect; I think we can blame this on the age of the films and not because of any disservice from Warner's. The prints are cleaned up very nicely, but just not as pristine as other releases such as Now Voyager or Mildred Pierce, which fairly glimmer. Very good quality, though.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 31, 2010 10:43 AM PDT


Dancing Lady
Dancing Lady
DVD ~ Joan Crawford
Offered by feed_your_tv
Price: $7.79
33 used & new from $2.99

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Crawford's Face, July 17, 2006
This review is from: Dancing Lady (DVD)
There are a number of reasons you might find MGM's 1933 massive hit DANCING LADY entertaining. It was absolutely designed to be the most entertaining production the movies could offer in its day. MGM put together a great cast, with Joan Crawford and Clark Gable who had already proved to be box office dynamite with earlier pairings films such as POSSESSED. The amazing sexual chemistry is again much in evidence here. Gable is starting to come into his own about this time, and Crawford is continuing to grow as an actress.

The musical numbers are lovely. DANCING LADY was, after all, the film which introduced us all to the timeless standard "Everything I Have is Yours," to which Crawford dances with her husband, Franchot Tone. An interesting bit of trivia about this movie: Crawford was romantically involved with both of her leading men. I think it shows on the screen!

The musical finale is also very amusing; in one number, "That's the Rhythm of the Day," the performers are dressed in vintage 1700s costumes, but as they walk into town they are physically transformed into modern, depression-era Adrian designs! Horse-drawn carriages are transformed into super luxury automobiles! It is one of the most fabulous moments in the film, but there are many more!

There are many ways to find DANCING LADY entertaining, but the best aspect of the film has to be Joan Crawford's face. How people can watch this film and not be moved by it is beyond my understanding. It is one of the most exquisite faces a camera has ever captured, and quite possibly the inspiration for that remarkable picture book, "Four Fabulous Faces."

As an MGM musical, it's very good. As a vehicle for Joan Crawford's face, it's simply great.


The Star
The Star
DVD ~ Bette Davis
Offered by StormyDayFlix
Price: $15.61
30 used & new from $7.65

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fame and fortune are not the most important things in life.., July 16, 2006
This review is from: The Star (DVD)
I think the reason this film is disliked by so many people is the message which, although true, is not something you can really tell to someone obsessed with the American Dream without expecting some kind of resentment!

The story is about a has-been movie star, Margaret Elliott (Bette Davis) who is kind of like to equivalent of Sharon Stone or Demi Moore today. She's only in her 40s, but her career is kind of dead and no one wants to cast her in a movie. She can't understand why, because she used to be such a big star, and now she doesn't know what to do now that her career is going downhill. After much depression and reliance on alcohol, which leads her into drunk driving and a stay in jail, an old friend (Sterling Hayden) bails her out and tries to help her get her life back on track. Since the movie career option is essentially out, he helps her get a job at a department store, but she has too much pride for that kind of work, and ends up a sobbing mess all over again. So Sterling encourages her wishes to go back to acting, after being offered a supporting role in a major picture, but again Margaret Elliot wants to be the star, not the supporting player, and fails to make the screen comeback she wanted.

It has been said that THE STAR was based on Joan Crawford, but I don't see many similarities. For one thing, Joan Crawford's career was one of the most durable Hollywood ever produced. Joan actually received an Oscar nomination for SUDDEN FEAR the same year THE STAR garnered Davis a nomination. Of the two, Davis was the bigger has-been in 1952, after a string of flops which included ANOTHER MAN'S POISON and this film, not successful at the box office.

I think this is the point where I should say THE STAR is a great film. The theme of the film is that careers are important, but they aren't as important as the relationships we have with other people, such as our family and other loved ones. Some people think this is a sexist slant for the movie, but it's a message equally true for men and women who obsess too much about getting rich and famous instead of just enjoying their lives and being with the people they care about. Again, not a message that's going to be popular with the Bill Gates and Trump crowd--among other extremely ambitious people, but a true message nonetheless.

It didn't matter that Margaret Elliott was no longer a star. Being a star is meaningless anyway. That was the message.


Popular: Season 2
Popular: Season 2
DVD ~ Jamie Babbit
Price: $18.26
38 used & new from $11.79

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was really the golden age of the WB, July 11, 2006
This review is from: Popular: Season 2 (DVD)
I watched POPULAR when I was in high school, back in 2000-2001. It holds a special place in my heart and watching it really brings back memories. It was really one of the finest shows the WB ever produced. I'm a few years older now, but it's funny because life doesn't really change much. We are all still looking for popularity, love, friendship, family strength, confidence, and success. These were the major themes in the show, and rarely does a show present such intelligent and mature views of relationships. It was much, much more than a teen soap opera. It was a commentary on society in general, and our need to belong.

I really related to the characters in POPULAR. Sure, real life in high school during this time was never as glamorous or as fabulous as presented in this show--but I think we all wished it was, and POPULAR gave us dreams. I wasn't the only person who watched the show--a few of my friends also did, and we were all so surprised by its cancellation. We all secretly hoped it would return for another season, and waited, but that never happened.

I think that was because we were all so attached to the characters--and each of the actors was a star in their own right. Carly Pope branched off and did a very fine film called "Trapped in a Purple Haze," in which she had a very tragic role. Sara Rue, who played Carmen, did an incredible movie called "Gypsy 83." Thinking back, 2000-2001 was a great time for movies. Just think how many wonderful movies came out then, such as Moulin Rouge or Pay it Forward or AI. There were many pop culture references made in POPULAR, from vintage stars like Joan Crawford and Lauren Bacall to frequent references to Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. The character Nicole Julian was basically a combination of Sharon Stone and Madonna. She was the perfect example of the bad girl with a heart of gold, and I loved how fully developed her character became as the series progressed. All of the characters were multi-dimensional and very real.

I really hated to see these characters, who felt like friends, go. But I guess it mirrored the transition we all make to adult. The show ended, I graduated high school a couple years later, but now when I watch the show it's like I'm back in high school again. Not that I miss high school--it was a difficult time and I'm glad I've moved on, but I still have vivid memories that come back to life when I watch the show. It's a magical experience that I cherish.

More than anything, the show had heart. It was extremely kooky, and sometimes really lame, but that was all part of its charm. It had its serious, dramatic moments, like when Brooke has an eating disorder and shares a very special relationship with Harrison, or when Nicole saves Harrison's life on Christmas. It's all just really beautiful and heartwarming in a way that is lacking from most TV shows. There is no lack of depth in POPULAR. It never glossed over the real issues all of us--not just high schoolers--face. It painted a very true picture of relationships and the struggles we face.

It's a great show, and of course a few of the episodes are clunkers, but the magical episodes make up for it. One in particular, in which Ann Margaret guest stars, is just great. Also, who can forget some of Mary Cherry or Nicole Julian's lines? Priceless! I still remember from my first viewing of the episode where Mary Cherry is gluing someone to a toilet seat and she shrieks, "This is what Lauren Bacall uses to hold up her face!" In what other show could you possibly expect to hear a line like that? It's part of the fun of this show.


Loose
Loose
Offered by MediaWarehouseUSA
Price: $5.01
332 used & new from $0.01

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally getting the appreciation she deserves, June 21, 2006
This review is from: Loose (Audio CD)
Nelly Furtado is an extraordinary artist. Her lyrics and songwriting skills are among the best in the business. She has been turning out excellent albums for years. Folklore was her most artistic work so far, and sadly dismissed. Fortunately, Loose is achieving the kind of success Folklore deserved. It is definitely a complete turn in a different direction than Folklore, but is still a quality work. Loose is much more influenced by R&B. There are also less ballads and mid-tempo songs on this album.

Still, Loose is the kind of album which is set to widen Nelly's fanbase. Old fans will still be happy with two great ballads on the album (All Good Things Come to an End, In God's Hands).

I'm just glad to see Nelly Furtado getting appreciation. It was a smart move for her to tackle rap and R&B. Madonna couldn't get away with it, but Nelly can because of her ethnic background and her skill.

Keep them coming, Nelly! Great work.


Julie / Love on the Rocks
Julie / Love on the Rocks
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $9.10
44 used & new from $2.51

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Masterpieces on one CD, May 23, 2006
"Julie" (1957) is an upbeat album full of swinging, jazzy standards. There isn't a slow or sad track in the whole set, and Julie proves she can swing with the best of 'em. This album is comparable to many of Sinatra's swing concept albums of the '50s, and is just as good. Some of my favorite songs on this album are "Back Home in Indiana" and "All My Life." There is also an excellent, upbeat rendition of the Glen Gray hit, "For You." This would be an excellent album to play as background music at an elegant cocktail party.

"Love on the Rocks" (1963) is the exact opposite. It is a concept album which tells the story of a break-up. Julie shows her acting talent through her performances of these torch songs--the sadness conveyed in her voice feels genuine. These story albums are my favorite; Sinatra did a few, but in my opinion Julie London mastered the art. She is such a subtle singer as to not overwhelm the songs, or make them seem depressing. What makes this particular album such a standout is the selection of songs, including: "Where are You," "What's New," "A Cottage for Sale," "The End of a Love Affair," "I'll be Seeing You," "Don't Worry about Me," "The Man that Got Away," and "Willow Weep for Me." Julie's renditions of these songs are unique and among the best ever. As you can see, the song cuts are premium choices and I wouldn't be surprised if Julie had a hand in selecting the tracks herself.

Two masterpieces on one CD--and so different! The albums sound better than ever remastered on CD, too. You can't go wrong!


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