Monday, October 13, 2014

❝Star Wars IV: A New Hope❞

star wars 4

MOVIE REVIEW OF ❝Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope❞ (1977) PG
Director: george lucas Runtime: 2 hrs 1 min (121 min)
luke skywalker ..... mark hamill
han solo ..... harrison ford
princess leia organa ..... carrie fisher
grand moff tarkin ..... peter cushing
‘ben’ obi-Wan kenobi ..... alec guinness
C-3PO ..... anthony daniels
r2-D2 ..... kenny baker
chewbacca ..... peter mayhew
darth vader ..... david prowse
uncle owen ..... phil brown
aunt beru ..... shelagh fraser
general dodonna ..... alex mcCrindle
general willard ..... eddie burn
general taggi ..... don henderson
general motti ..... richard leParmentier
commander #1 ..... leslie schofield
Storm Troopers
storm trooper #1 (voice) ..... scott beach storm trooper #8 ..... frank henson
storm trooper #2 ..... lightning bear storm trooper #9 ..... arthur howell
storm trooper #3 ..... tin condren storm trooper #10 ..... colin michael kitchens
storm trooper #4 ..... peter diamond storm trooper #11 ..... rick mcCallum
storm trooper #5 (with binoculars) ..... ted gagliano storm trooper #12 ..... morgan upton
storm trooper #6 ..... nelson hall storm trooper #13 ..... jerry walter
storm trooper #7 ..... reg harding storm trooper #14 ..... bill weston
Red Team
red leader ..... drew hemley red four (John d.) ..... jack klaff
red two (Wedge) ..... dennis lawson red six (Porkins) ..... williams hootkins
red two (voice) ..... david ankrum red twelve (Drifter) ..... john chapman
red three (Biggs) ..... garric hagon
Gold Team
gold leader ..... angus mcInnis gold five ..... graham ashley
gold two ..... jeremy sinden
Cantina Patrons
gilda cohen solo gardner geoffrey moon roy straight
robert davies isaac grand george stock fred wood
robert davies isaac grand john sylla (voices)
chief…Jack purvis warwick diamond melissa kurtzi mahjoub
frazier diamond rusty goffe tiffany kurtz hal wamsley
boba fett ..... mark austin darth vader (voice) ..... james earl jones
cantina alien #1 ..... john berg chall bekan ..... linda jones
cantina alien #2 ..... doug beswick solomohal ..... jon kaye
cantina alien #3 ..... phil tippett daine jir ..... al lampert
greedo #1 ..... paul blake bo shek ..... anthony lang
greedo #2 ..... maria de aragon muftak/Cantina band member ..... laine liska
greedo #3 (voice) ..... larry ward temple guard/Medal bearer ..... derek lyons
nubrun leids ..... janice burchette death star gunner ..... grant mcCune
wuher ..... ted burnett swilla corey ..... mandy morton
wioslea ..... barry copping massassi base rebel scout ..... lorne peterson
dr. evazan ..... alfie curtis rycar ryjerd ..... marcus powell
hrchek kal fas ..... robert a. denham inCon engineer ..... shane rimmer
garindan ..... sadie eden leesub sirlin ..... pam rose
djas puhr ..... kim falkinburg cmdr. praji (Imperial officer on rebel ship) ..... george roubicek
death star trooper #1 ..... peter diamond twass khaa ..... erica simmons
death star trooper #2 ..... harry fielder senni tonnika ..... angela stains
death star trooper #3 ..... steve gawley sai'torr kal fas ..... peter sturgeon
death star trooper #4 ..... joe johnston lieutenant pol treidum ..... peter sumner
kabe #1 ..... barry gnome massassi outpost announcer/Various voices (voice) ..... tom sylla
kabe #2/GONK droid ..... rusty goffe lieutenant shann childsen ..... malcolm tierney
leia's rebel escort ..... alan harris del goren ..... burnell tucker
brea tonnika ..... christina hewett thuku ..... diana sadley way
ponda baba ..... tommy ilsley ketwol/Melas ..... harold weed
mosep ..... annette jones mos eisley citizen ..... steve "spaz" williams
takeel ..... alf mansan

NOTE: This review is based on the Special Enhanced version of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Most of the essentials are unchanged. Some technical aspects may be altered. I prefer and suggest the original version.


Star Wars Episode IV:
A New Hope

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…"

"It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…"

Once again a fleeing spaceship introduces us to the planet of Tatooine. Darth Vader (David Prowse) and his troops are boarding the Rebel ship looking for the above mentioned plans. In the commotion, two take an escape pod and jettison to the surface of the planet below to escape. Vader, assuming the Death Star plans are in the escape pod, sends troops down to retrieve them. Upon landing on Tatooine, the two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO (Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels) are picked up by scavenger merchant Jawas, who in turn sell them to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). While fixing him up, R2 reveals that he is carrying a cryptic message from the Princess addressed to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness). Luke knows of a "Ben" Kenobi, and wonders if the two have a connection. Luke's Aunt Beru (Shelagh Fraser) and Uncle Owen (Phil Brown) deny any knowledge of "Obi-Wan."

Luke and the droids are attacked by "Sandpeople" , and Obi-Wan comes to their rescue.

As Obi-Wan and Luke sit down for a talk, Obi-Wan hints at the history of Luke's dead father. It is also discovered that R2's "mission" is to take his message to Alderaan. The Sandpeople return, attacking the merchant Jawas who sold the droids to Luke; they also attack Luke's home and kill his aunt and uncle. Obi-Wan agrees to take Luke and the droids to Alderaan with him and teach him the ways of the Force.

As they'll be needing a ship, they travel to Mos Eisley and pick up a pilot named Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his first-mate Wookie, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Han is the captain of the ‘Millenium Falcon.’ He is in debt to a Hutt named Jabba, and is willing to take them for a price that would pay his debt.

The Imperial Forces have Leia in custody, and are threatening her to get her to tell them the location of the Rebel base. They then destroy her home planet of Alderaan before moving on.

The Millenium Falcon comes upon the Death Star about to destroy the Rebel base. As they approach, they are sucked into the Death Star station by a tractor beam. The group escapes the ‘Falcon’ to snoop around the station. R2 tells them the Princess is there, so they go to save her while Obi-Wan leaves to disengage the tractor beam. After taking out the beam, Obi-Wan faces Darth Vader in a saber fight. Obi-Wan sees that Luke is witnessing this battle, and makes it a point to surrender, allowing Vader to strike him dead. The whole group of Rebels takes this opportunity to reboard the "Millenium Falcon" for escape. Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice telling him to run.

As the ‘Falcon’ escapes, they are persued by Imperial fighters. Unbeknownst to them, a homing device has been planted on the ‘Falcon.’

R2 has the plans for the Death Star, which are given to the Rebels to use to find a weak spot in the station.

Vader follows the &lquo;Falcon’ to the planet Yavin and learn that the Rebel base is on a moon on the far side of the planet.

On the anaysis of the plans, the Rebel team learns of a method to destroy the Death Star, requiring a precise hit at a vulnerable spot on the station. The teams deploy. They all wish each other luck as the Red and Gold fighter teams go in for the attack on the Death Star. An impressive battle ensues. (Details are for watching eyes only.) The Death Star is designed for large-scale battle, not for small fighters. This requires ship-to-ship combat with a band of Imperial fighters. Vader takes pilot of a fighter for himself. In case it's not obvious enough, Vader's ship has a different wing structure than the other fighters.

R2-D2 rides on the back of Luke's fighter, making minor repairs to keep him flying.

As Vader and his two wingships target Luke, an assault comes from behind. It's…sorry…gotta watch the movie (as if anyone in the world DOESN'T KNOW WHO IT IS).

Finally, Luke, Han, and Chewbacca are honored in a grand celebration of their victory.


It is very difficult to review one of your favorite movies. Either you end up missing some of the bad parts needing to be addressed (there's one in almost every movie), or you go on and on, detailing every bathroom break of every character and decorative plant. I'll try not to do either of those…

In case you didn't catch my drift, this is one of my favorite movies. It is actually strange to compare your reaction to a movie you saw seventeen times when you were 4 years old to your reaction to seeing it again when you are…um…older.

For example, there are several explosions in this movie, namely starfighters, Alderaan, and…another one that is rather iconic. Reaction at 4…Wow! That's cool! Reaction at…several years later…Wow, now that was really impressive, even by today's standards! Yes, that is right. At my age, I refrain from using too many contractions!

Considering this was filmed in 1977, this was like the Jimi Hendrix or Citizen Kane of special effects. Oddly enough, I was more impressed with the original effects than I was by those added or enhanced by the remastered Special Edition.

I'm sorry to say that some of the acting could have been better. Ironically, I think Carrie Fisher is the worst offender (with Mark Hamill coming in a close second). It becomes distracting when Leia has a close-up of her talking to someone she doesn't like (e.g. Vader, Han Solo). She has a tic-like way of constantly shaking her head from side to side.

One other thing that I find disturbing comes as the group is escaping the Death Star aboard the ‘Millenium Falcon.’ Luke has just witnessed Vader killing Obi-Wan, and he is very emotionally distraught (one spot where Mark Hamill shows that he is a decent actor when he wants to be). Before you can say "May the Force be with you," all seems fine and cheery again; remindful of a newscaster who tells camera 2 that there will be sunny skies tomorrow, after announcing to camera 1 that a severed head was found in an alley behind the local preschool.

Name any other aspect of this movie, and I will probably have something good to say. Unlike most series, this one does an exceptional job with continuity and purpose other than profit (which it didn't to too badly with, either).

I would love to read any comments and thoughts from you from those days long, long ago (in a galaxy far, far away…)

Finally, a short list of quotes and verbal exchanges I think are worth repeating. You may recognize some if you've seen the movie, but these are my own picks, not ones that are particularly famous:
  • vader : You are part of the Rebel alliance and a traitor. Take her away!
  • aunt beru : Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.
    uncle owen : That's what I'm afraid of.
  • luke : How did my father die?
    obi - wan : A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.
  • vader : The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
  • obi - wan : The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.
  • obi - wan : Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them.
  • luke : I have a very bad feeling about this.
  • obi - wan : Who's the more foolish, the Fool, or the fool who follows him?
  • vader : I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.
    obi - wan : Only a master of evil, Darth.
  • obi - wan : If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine
  • obi - wan :[voice] Run, Luke, run!
  • han solo : You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!
  • obi - wan :[voice] Remember, the Force will be with you, always.
  • obi - wan : That's no moon.
Here is some interesting trivia from this movie⇒
  • When this movie was first released, the title was billed simply as Star Wars. The beginning crawl was the only place where "Episode IV" was seen. It was not until the first three episodes were filmed and released that the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope was inserted into the title. I have included it here because I based this review on the enhanced version made in 1999, when the extended title was added.
Here is my personal rating of this movie. This rating is out of ten meows.
cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2 10 /10

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Sunday, October 5, 2014



MOVIE REVIEW OF ❝Beaches❞ (1988) PG-13
Director: garry marshall Runtime: 2 hrs 3 min (123 min)
c. c. bloom ..... bette midler
hillary whitney essex ..... barbara hershey
john pierce ..... john heard
dr. richard milstein ..... spalding gray
leona bloom ..... lainie kazan
michael essex ..... james read
victoria essex ..... grace johnston
c. c. bloom (age 11) ..... mayim bialik
hillary essex (age 11) ..... marcie leeds
aunt vesta ..... carol williard
mr. melman ..... allan kent
sammy pinkers ..... phil leeds
mrs. myandowski ..... linda goodfriend
iris myandowski ..... nikki plant
head waiter ..... michael french
harry ..... robert ball
doorman ..... frank campanella
marjorie ..... diane frazen
seedy bar patron ..... michael elias
t. kuhn ..... patrick richwood
department store clerk ..... tracy reiner
ACLU worker ..... zachary weintraub
tavern on the green maitre d' ..... nicky blair
tavern on the green doorman ..... joshua levinson
phillip de brassiere ..... steven majewicz
otto titsling ..... joe grifasi
TV interviewer ..... lucinda crosby
lawyer ..... jack w. larson
screaming woman ..... judith baldwin
maura ..... doris hess
hillary's neighbor ..... jane dulo
michael's mistress ..... lisa savage
doctor ..... frank buxton
pink palm bartender ..... steve restivo
horse teacher ..... maureen jennings
delivery room nurse #1 ..... kathi marshall
delivery room nurse #2 ..... julie paris
i. c. u. nurse #1 ..... clara huff
i. c. u. nurse #2 ..... barbara marshall
car rental agent ..... scott marshall
airport attendant ..... cindy riegel
ticket seller ..... mariann aalda
hollywood bowl stage manager ..... bo sabato
miami limo driver ..... michael a. salcido
miss valdez ..... ann betancourt
man in bagels ..... harvey keenan
limo driver ..... lugene britton
hollywood bowl backup singer #1 ..... arnold mcCuller
hollywood bowl backup singer #2 ..... carla earle
hollywood bowl backup singer #3 ..... katherine singleton
cowboy actor ..... ken gibble
the movie director ..... harvey alan miller

jennifer jeanette lewis charlotte crossley julie burrows kimberly morgan
andrea paris adrienne parker

melissa bremner laura freemont charles mcGowan todd niles
caitlin mcLean ken miller bill bohl

mona lyden bill applebaum eddie mekka karen calabro
keith mcDaniel david michael giugni

judge ..... hector elizondo pianist ..... marc shatman
fisherman ..... don feldstein twin cousin #1 ..... lori sigrist
tom ..... whit hartford twin cousin #2 ..... terri sigrist
audition director ..... garry marshall



I apologize for the extensive narrative of the movie. I got ranting about it, and wanted to make sure that you didn't miss out on something good. I still want you to see this movie, but you're off the hook this time if you don't. BUT ONLY THIS ONCE!!

The movie opens with C.C. Bloom (Better Midler) rehearsing "Under the Boardwalk" on a stage at the Hollywood Bowl. She is handed a note by one of the stage hands. Her expression quicky turns serious and she says she's got to go to the airport immediately. Rain and fog render flights grounded, so she ends up driving a rental car. As she is driving, she is remembering her childhood, and so the story begins…

An 11-year-old girl sits on a wooden staircase up to the boardwalk in Atlantic City and starts to cry. From under the stairs, 11-year-old C.C. Bloom (Mayim Bialik) is smoking a cigarette and asks the girl if she's lost. C.C. takes the girl back to her hotel after she introduces herself as if everyone in the world knows her. She is a performer with a very pushy (but funny) mother. She is insulted when the girl (Marcie Leeds) doesn't know who she is. The girl introduces herself as Hillary Whitney.

C.C.'s mother, Leona (Lainie Kazan) comes looking for her to tell her that a Hollywood talent scout wants to put her in his movie. Hillary goes with C.C. and her mother to audition for Mr. Melman (Allan Kent) and Sammy Pinkers (Phil Leeds). She sings "The Glory of Love" very well, but is upset because next up is her rival, Iris Myandowski (Nikki Plant), who performs a cheesy hand-walking routine with a red, white, and blue theme. But, of course, she's a…"beautiful child," so Iris gets the part.

C.C. is very upset, and is more than happy when her mother suggests they just pack up and go back to the Bronx. But first, Hillary and C.C. have some fun on the beach at Atantic City. Then then go to get a soda, but Hillary takes C.C. to a ritzy restaurant where they are asked to leave. Hillary convinces the maitre d' they can stay. When C.C. asks how she did that, Hillary relies that it was easy because her father is rich.

C.C. goes back to the Bronx and Hillary goes back to California. They write each other constantly for years after.

As they grow up, Hillary is rich, but not happy. She has everything money can buy, but gets tired of having to be so ‘proper.’ C.C., while hating most of the things that most kids hate, (e.g. school) loves life and having fun.

Years later, the girls are still writing each other. Hillary is looking to become a lawyer. She goes to Stanford, not because she wants to, but becase the rest of her family went there (and it's co-ed). Leona moves to Miami, and C.C. couldn't be happier to be on her own. Hillary takes part in the typical college activities and is involved in many civil rallies, but doesn't seem to be enjoying it. C.C. is surviving, but can't get a job (read ‘gig’). She auditions all over New York, but gives up her ambitions for Broadway (or so she says), and gets a job at a nightclub.

Hillary surprises C.C. by moving to New York. She says she doesn't know why, she just walked out on everything, including her money. C.C. takes her in…to her apartment which is a bit less than a few (two) rooms in an open floor plan, and a bathroom (oh yeah, and a terrace), but no heat. Hillary reveals to C.C. that for the first time in her life she feels like she can live her life the way she wants to instead of in the controlling grips of her parents.

C.C. is working as a singing telegram when she meets John Pierce (John Heard) who is the director of a theatre company. He invites C.C. to audition, and she accepts. A slight bit of flirtation passes between John and Hillary as the women dart off to a rent strike Hillary is attending for the ACLU. C.C. ends up with the lead role in John's production.

At a cast party for John's play, Hillary and John hook up, and C.C. is upset. Both Hillary and C.C. really like John, but John's radar is set to Hillary. C.C. acts as though it is fine with her, but it's not. Nevertheless, they remain friends.

Hillary's father gets sick an she goes to San Francisco. While there, she meets another man, Michael Essex (James Read). Her father takes a turn for the worse, and she has to stay in San Francisco. Back in New York, C.C. starts seeing John seriously, and her acting career starts to take off. Hillary tells C.C. in a letter that she has gotten married to Michael Essex, who turns out to have been her father's lawyer.

C.C. marries John back in New York and begins to be very successful in the theatre. Hillary and her husband go to New York to visit. The two women start to see the different directions their lives have taken from each other, and they think they are growing apart. C.C. accuses Hillary of being jealous of her marriage to John. Personally, the two friends are torm up over the fall-out. C.C. still writes, but Hillary sends her letters back.

As for their respective marriages, John is leaving C.C. because he doesn't want the fast life where her career is taking her. Hillary comes home early one day to find Essex eating breakfast in his pajamas with another woman. C.C.'s career is going downhill, and she goes to Calafornia. Hillary goes to see her. C.C. is furious with Hillary, but they end up laughing.

Hillary is pregnant with Essex's child, but he ran off with the other woman. C.C. gets engaged to Hillary's gynecologist, Richard (Frank Buxton), but returns to New York for a chance at a comeback in showbusiness. She gets a part in a production with John's company.

Several years later, C.C. is persuing a comeback (again) career. Hillary is being run ragged, and becomes very sick. The doctor says it's viral cardiomyopathy. Hillary researches her disease and realizes it is terminal. She asks C.C. to accompany her and her daughter, Victoria (Grace Johnston) to her beachhouse. Hillary is scared; she knows she's going to die from this. One day not too much later, Hillary collapses on the floor and we catch up to where the movie began. C.C. goes to the hospital. Hillary says she wants to leave the hospital…she doesn't want to die there. C.C. gets her discharged so she can go backto the beachhouse for her last days.

Hillary's will gives custody of Victoria to C.C., and they are both glad to have each other…and Pouncer the Cat, too!


I can draw some parallels to my own life from thisi movie. Some of those parallels have even gone as far as to be realized; others not so much.

I have always been a performer, but never one to be introducing myself to strangers. Ironic, ya' think? I love being on stage (never tried film), where I'm told I'm very good. That's one reason, I suppose, why I love it. I have been part of several productions, many for high school, and a few outside of that venue; though never for money. I've always wondered what that would be like. Would it affect the quality of my performance? But enough about me, let's go to the movie…

I will first mention the music, as it is an integral part of the story. Although not a musical or an opera, the career of the main character involves her singing. This is remindful of another great movie, A Star is Born, best version being the 1976 film starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson…apologies to Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland. You just didn't do much for me. This is a love story. You've got to do something pretty special and work darn hard to get me to like a love story. With songs written by great people such as Cole Porter and Randy Newman, what is there to criticise? And to top it off, get Bette Midler to sing (Mayim Bailik would get my praise as well, but her singing voice was dubbed for the movie…sorry) and you can't go wrong. Another soundtrack I highly recommend for purchase.

I've narrowed the story as a whole down to two points: A) Coping with all that life can throw at you and B) the power of friendship. C.C. Bloom has a rough time in showbusiness (as I imagine all performers do, amateur and professional), but she keeps a positive attitude and doesn't project negativity when in the company of strangers. This is where her philosophies cross paths. If you appear happy, those around you tend to follow suit.

Hillary's life goes in a completely different direction. She is successful and financially rich. She was born with money, her job provides her money, and she attracts money. Very rarely, though, does this nurture good, meaningful relationships, as is seen by the jerk to whom she ends up with, and eventually divorces.

Perhaps the theme of friendship is even more the focus than anything else in the story. I have had only a few friendships that come close to the one between C.C. and Hillary. The only feeling I find more satisfying than a true, lasting friendship, is when I can make someone else happy. I have been handed issues that render my acting and singing career doubtful, but when I was able to perform, the experience was undescribable. In one rare instance, I was given the opportunity to perfrom in front of an audience of sick children at a Children's Hospital. I could see that for an hour and a half, their medical problems had been shoved into a deep dark closet. A smile can mean so much…oh, yeah…back to the review…

I was happily struck with surprise at the end of the story when Hillary asks to be discharged from the hospital. She says it's because she doesn't want her daughter to see her and remember her like that. Reality will tell you, who wants to spend your last hours of life in that environment. Hillary knows they can't save her life, so she decides to be as happy as possible when she passes away; surrounded by her lifelong best friend, her daughter, and the beach which she finds so comforting. That's the way I way want it to happen (with the addition of my cats cuddled around me).


Finally, a short list of quotes and verbal exchanges I think are worth repeating.
You may recognize some if you've seen the movie, but these are my own picks, not ones that are particularly famous:

  • airport attendant : Even in the modern world, planes don't land in San Francisco when it's foggy.
  • leona : C'mon, what're you a camel or somethin'? I gotta have a sip.
  • c. c. : Who cares what she looks like? All she knows how to do is walk on her hands.
  • hillary : Personally, I think walking on your hands is kind of creepy.
  • hillary : You just happen to be the most facinating person I've ever met in my entire life!
  • c. c. :[writing to Hillary] I was just about to commit suicide by taking an overdose of vitamin A when your letter arrived telling me I'm a genius and don't lose heart.
  • c. c. :[singing "I've Still Got My Health"] ♫My face is my fortune, that's why I'm totally broke♫
  • hillary : [looking at a homeless woman clutching a bottle, who has fallen to the ground] She could be dead.
    c. c. : Nah, if she were dead, she'd have dropped the bottle.
  • pierce : The Times says ‘C.C. Bloom's performance is both promising and purposeful.’
  • pierce : [after being slapped in the face by C.C.] What did you do that for?
    c. c. : This is the happiest moment of my life. I don't ever want you to forget it.
  • maitre d' :[C.C. enters the restaurant. Speaking to seated patrons.] Excuse me, there's someone bigger than you here tonight.
  • hillary : I'm going to buy a wrench.
    essex : A wrench? Why?
    hillary : We don't have one.
    essex : Well…super…sounds good.
  • 1st elderly man : Who is that?
    2nd elderly man : C.C. Bloom.
    1st elderly man : So everyone should look.
  • leona : Why do you think I'm living down here in Florida?
    c. c. : I give up. You like the sun.
    leona : I don't give a shit about the sun. I'm here because it's peaceful, that's why.
  • hillary : That's my robe.
  • hillary : You did everything you said you were going to do…everything!
  • [In the delivery room, Hillary is going into labor. C.C. faints and everyone rushes over, leaving Hillary unattended on the gurney]
    hillary : Somebody?…Anybody?…Oh, you've gotta be joking!
  • hillary : Better put those [flowers] in water before they die.
  • c. c. :[to Hillary] You're not dead yet, so stop living as if you are.
  • victoria : Is the Hollywood Bowl really a bowl?
  • victoria : C.C., if I go with you, can I bring my cat?


Here is some useless (to most of us) trivia from this movie⇒
  • C.C.'s full name is Cecilia Carol Bloom

Here is my personal rating of this movie. This rating is out of ten meows.

cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2 10/10

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

❝On Golden Pond❞

Sprinkle 18

MOVIE REVIEW OF ❝On Golden Pond❞ (1981) PG
Director: mark rydell Runtime: 1 hrs 49 min ( 109 min)
ethel thayer ..... katharine hepburn
norman thayer, jr. ..... henry fonda
chelsea thayer wayne ..... jane fonda
billy ray ..... doug mcKeon
bill ray ..... dabney coleman
charlie martin ..... william lanteau
sumner todd ..... chris rydell
boy on jetty ..... troy ganty



Norman (Henry Fonda) and Ethel Thayer (Katharine Hepburn) are going up to their cabin on Golden Pond to celebrate Norman's 80th birthday.

When they arrive, their daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda) shows up to introduce her parents to her fiancée, Bill (Dabney Coleman) and his son, Billy (Doug McKeon).

Chelsea and Bill are on their way to a business engagement, so they are dropping off Billy for a week. Billy does not get off to a great start with Norman and Ethel on account of he resents being left out in the middle of nowhere with a couple of old people. Norman is harsh, but before very long, he and Billy have bonded in a cautious way, and Billy starts to enjoy his stay.

On the surface, the movie focuses on the relationship between Billy and Norman. However, it silently addresses the wavering relationship between Norman and his daughter, Chelsea.

Most of the significant scenes take place in the Thayers' boat, out on the pond…usually fishing.

Chelsea and Bill return with a surprise for Norman's birthday party, and relationships across the board are re-evaluated.

Finally, when everyone has left, the couple load up the good china and all the luggage. The movie ends with one last confirmation of Norman and Ethel's love and commitment to each other.


The loons are calling!!

If you take nothing else away from this movie (shame on you - you weren't paying attention), you will know that when the loons cry, they are either welcoming you home, or wishing you farewell.

I saw a bit of irony between the actors and the characters they play in this movie. Specifically Henry and Jane Fonda. Of course, there is the obvious connection in that they are father and daughter in real life; they likewise play father and daughter in the movie. This, incidentally, was no coincidence…but that's another blog. In the movie, Chelsea (Jane Fonda) has always felt somewhat estranged from Norman's (Henry Fonda) love. She has always felt that he wanted a boy, and that he was just angry at and unhappy with her.

I, however, got the feeling that Norman just felt awkward and uncomfortable around his daughter. Norman loves fishing and diving. In his mind, these are things men and boys do. He was at a loss as to what to do with a little girl, not knowing that she just wanted to be with her dad, regardless of the activity.

Norman Thayer…now there's a character! Crotchity old man? Sure; but charming on the inside. Listen to the reality and ultimate truths in his criticisms, and you'll be right up there with him, grinding your teeth at the world. It becomes apparent, however, that his seeming bitterness can be warranted. First of all, as mentioned above, he regrets having not connected with his daughter as she was growing up. When Billy (Doug McKeon) arrives, he realizes that he had been disappointed that he had not had a son. He realizes (although it takes him the whole movie and a blatent spelling out) that this has taken a toll on Chelsea, and affected her entire life.

It is also apparent (although he tries to avoid it) that Norman is afraid of becoming ‘old.’ He is very aware of it…perhaps too aware of it. It is his 80th birthday, and he realizes his memory isn't as sharp as it used to be…and he is scared.

Any fan of Katharin Hepburn will recognize her signature shaky delivery and her no-nonsense attitude. Despite her husband's curmudgeonly attitude towards life. She knows he loves her, and she has come to turn that into an atmosphere of fun and happiness - somewhere around 50-some-odd years worth.

As I had mentioned at the beginning of this rant, there is irony abound with the actors here and in real life. Of course there is the obvious family connection - Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda, father and daughter in real life, play characters Norman and Chelsea Thayer, father and daughter in the movie.

But it goes beyond that. Jane's personal relationship with her father was a strained one. This was the only time the two had made a movie together. You can see the sentiments in Chelsea and Norman that were meant to be a message to real-life father and daughter through on-screen father and daughter. After finally making a movie together with his daughter, Henry Fonda won an Academy Award for best actor for this film, and died five months later.

Aside from the profanity, which in this very rare case actually adds value to the story, this is not only a film the whole family can see together, it is a film the whole family should see together.

At the end of the movie, for 4 or 5 minutes, Norman shows his true colors (after the rest of the family has vamoosed, of course); it is that along with the calling of the loons and the incredible soundtrack that makes you bring out the tissue box, ready to rewind (I watched this on VHS) and start the movie again.


Finally, a short list of quotes and verbal exchanges I think are worth repeating.
You may recognize some if you've seen the movie, but these are my own picks, not ones that are particularly famous:

  • Ethel : They're a nice, middle-aged couple. Just like us.
    Norman : If they're just like us, they're not middle-aged.
    Ethel : Of course they are.
    Norman : Middle-aged means middle of life. People don't live to be 150!
  • [Knock at the door]
    Norman : Someone's at the door!
    Ethel : It's ME you old poop!
  • Billy Ray : I hear you turned 80 today.
    Norman : Is that what you heard?
    Billy Ray : Yeah. Man, that's really old.
    Norman : You should meet my father.
    Billy Ray : Your father's still alive?!
    Norman : Nah. But you should meet him.
  • Billy Ray : I just had a birthday, too. I turned 13 two weeks ago.
    Norman : Yeah? We're practically twins.
  • Bill : How's it feel turning 80?
    Norman : Twice as bad as it did turning 40.
  • Norman : You like that word, dont'cha? Bullshit.
    Billy Ray : Yeah.
    Norman : It's a good word.
  • Billy Ray : Hey Norman, can I ask you a question? How did you get Ethel, anyway?
    Norman : I sent away for her. Two box tops from Quaker Oats.
  • Norman : You wanna dance? Or would ya' rather suck face?!
Here is my personal rating of this movie. This rating is out of ten meows.
cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2 10 /10

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

❝The Great Race❞

great race
MOVIE REVIEW OF ❝The Great Race❞ (1965) NO RATING
Director: blake edwards Runtime: 2 hrs 40 min (160 min)
professor fate/ crown prince frederick hapnick ..... jack lemmon
the great leslie ..... tony curtis
maggie dubois ..... natalie wood
maximilian meen ..... peter falk
hezekiah sturdy ..... keenan wynn
henry goodbody ..... arthur o'Connell
hester goodbody ..... vivian vance
lily olay ..... dorothy provine
texas jack ..... larry storch
baron rolfe von stuppe ..... ross martin
general kuhster ..... george macready
frisbee ..... marvin kaplan
mayor of boracho ..... hal smith
sheriff ..... denver pyle
baron's guard #1 ..... william bryant
baron's guard #2 ..... ken wales

barflies ..... victor adamson
  ..... frank ellis
  ..... joe ferrante
  ..... silver harr
  ..... al haskell
  ..... rod mcGaughy
  ..... robert robinson
  ..... danny sands
  ..... tom smith
  ..... max wagner
1st man in saloon ..... richard alexander
2nd man in saloon ..... clegg hoyt
saloon brawlers ..... bill catching
  ..... sol gorss
  ..... chuck hicks
  ..... roy jenson
  ..... boyd ‘red’ morgan
  ..... hal needham
  ..... gil perkins
  ..... alex sharp
soldier #1 ..... greg benedict
soldier #2 ..... chuck hayward
townsman #1 ..... bill borzage
townsman #2 ..... kenner g. kemp
townsman #3 ..... philo mcCullough
townsman #4 ..... bert stevens
townswoman ..... sarah selby
policeman ..... paul bryar
vice chairman ..... robert carson
master of ceremonies ..... charles fredericks
executive board member ..... harry harvey
man in bear suit ..... chester hayes
palace guard ..... bob herron
texas jack's henchman/ baker in pie fight ..... charles horvath
1st woman in west ..... patricia king
2nd woman in west ..... joyce nizzart
starter ..... frank kreig
bettor ..... mike lally
russian ..... francis mcDonald
chairman ..... j. edward mcKinley
reporter ..... king mojave
boy eating popcorn ..... richard mosier
conductor ..... joe palma
cowboy shooting gun in saloon ..... harvey parry
texas jack henchman ..... jack perkins
mayor-Domo ..... raoul retzer
baker #1 ..... hal riddle
baker #2 ..... johnny silver
cowboy/ dancer ..... christopher riordan
woman in tobelsk ..... maria schroeder
auto worker ..... jerry schumacher
freight agent ..... charles seel
first employee ..... paul smith
bishop at coronation ..... robert r. stephenson
trombonist in marching band ..... frank d. strong
prison guard ..... john traux
driver-Contestant in green car, #3 ..... dale van sickel
unknown ..... art stewart



In order to summarize this movie, I'd have to describe several other movies in their entirety.That is what The Great Race is in itself. Is it possible to make a parody of a parody? This comes darn close.

You can start with Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)…not funny, but that comes later. Now add It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). There's the ‘funny.’ Then we need some more generic GRS stereotypes such as the literal and conspicuous twinkle in the eye of the dashing hero in the perpetually clean white suit; and the villain dressed in black with the maniacal laugh and the cynically twirlable evil moustache; you know, the one often spotted standing next to the beautiful lady who is tied to the train tracks. We throw in the inevitable Stan Laurel-type ‘Egor’ sidekick, only this one's from New Jersey, and they call him ‘Max.’

The parallels wouldn't be complete, of course, without the ‘princess’ element. So, that's there, too, but she is hardly in distress.

A little more specific to this movie…On the one hand, The Great Leslie (Tony Curtis) makes a living as a daredevil-type stuntman during the beginning of the 20th century. He is popular, always succeeds, and is 100% good-guy.

On the other hand, Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon) and his sidekick Max (pre-Columbo Peter Falk). Fate is the over-the-top evil villain (is there any other kind?) who is despised, never succeeds, and is 100% evil. Max is his assistant who is often more on top of things and aware, though this is questionable as well.

Leslieis to endorse a car for a major automobile maker, and Fate sees this as opportunity to discredit him and put himself in the limelight.

The race is on…literally. The challenge is a car race from New York, west to Paris. Leslie is to drive the ‘Leslie Special’, while Fate uses his own custom-designed ‘Hannibal Twin 8’ All along their journey of follies, they are accompanied by suffragette reporter Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood), who proves to be invasive and determined, but also apparently needed by the men.


I consider this one of those movies where you never watch it because you've literally forgotten just how funny it actually is. (I've also said this about Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory(1971).) The cast (although not all original choices–see‘trivia’ below) is perfect. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play evil and good-guy like they were born to do just this one thing. Peter Falk doesn't let in too much of a hint of his later role as the lieutenant without a first name, but that just makes Max better and funnier. Natalie Wood's character is so irritating and nerve-wracking, you just want to throw her overboard…until you realize that…she's right! Superb performances by all.

I especially enjoyed the many special appearances by those such as Larry Storch and Denver Pyle. There's even a special appearance by the one and only Jack Lemmon! (Yes, you read it right, and I did not make a mistake.)

You would think (as I did) that a movie such as this, that I praise so highly, and being one with an actor such as Jack Lemmon, would warrant an entire website full of quotable dialogue…I found that not quite the case. Now wait…it's not that the dialogue is not worth quoting…it's more of the idea that there isn't enough dialogue to quote! A majority of the humor in this movie comes in the form of sight gags and physical phunny stuph! Not to worry, though, what is there to be exploited has been listed below.

A trait also brought forward from other successful ‘villain vs. good-guy’ movies, many of which are not intended at the time of production to be funny, was the hat of the villain, in this case, Professor Fate. Unless he does it himself, his hat NEVER falls off! Even as he slips off the tediously floating disc of ice into a chilly ocean, the top hat of Professor Fate remains firmy atop his crown!

Almost finally,I urge you to take note of the notes. Yes, the music in The Great Race is worth NOTEing, not just as good accompaniment to a great comedy, either. Parts of the music that are meant as background are composed to contribute to the feeling of the silent-movie era when vaudeville was all the rage.

Now, as that was ‘almost finally,’ I arrive here at ‘finally.’ Just one observation of mine to which you may or may not agree (let me know below). When the racers stop in the town of Boracho, the ‘Woman-in-the-Moon’ sure reminds me of Martha Raye! Ya' think? (It's not, though.)🙍


Finally, a short list of quotes and verbal exchanges I think are worth repeating.
You may recognize some if you've seen the movie, but these are my own picks, not ones that are particularly famous:

  • professor fate : Push the button, Max!
  • maggie duBois : Since it is my job as a reporter to be there when the first car crosses the finish line, it will be necessary for me to win.
  • fate : Genius, Max! Positive genius. What's next?
    max : Car number five, the engine falls out.
    fate : [evil laugh] Car number five [evil laugh]…[stops laughing]…Max…we're number five.
  • leslie : Are you a native of Boracho?
    lily olay : I ain't no native, I was born here!
  • lily : I say…I gotta go up an' git on that thar moon again.
  • fate : Bury the hatchet.
    leslie : And you know who has the hatchet.
    max : He doesn't have a hatchet. I promise you. He doesn't even have a whole moustache. Now why can't we settle this whole thing underneath the blanket?
  • max : C'mon Professor, rise and shine.
    fate : Rise and shine?!
    max : It's 7:30.
    fate : Then you rise, you shine.
    max : He's always like this in the morning.
    fate : I'm not always like this in the morning. This particular morning I happen to be seasick.
    maggie : Too much champagne.
    fate : I'm not sick from champagne, I'm sick from the sea.
  • fate : Why you thimble-headed gherkin.
  • leslie :[measuring thickness of the iceberg on which they are floating] Another foot.
    fate : Another foot. Ahhh.
    leslie : Thirty-seven inches to go.
    fate : Ah. Thirty-seven inches to go. Ha-zaaa. At the rate we've been melting that's good for about one more week.
    leslie : You'd better keep it to yourself.
    fate : Oh. Of course I'll keep it to myself…until the water reaches my lower lip. And then I'm gonna mention it to SOMEBODY!
  • max : How long does it take to open a can of beans?
    fate : The eternal struggle takes time, Max.
    max : What struggle? She's got a can opener.
    fate : You cork-brain, I'm talking about man-woman, sex, conquest.
  • max : Eh, Professor. Up an' at 'em.
    fate : Up an' at 'em?!
    max : It's 7:30. Up an' at 'em.
    fate : Up an' at 'em?!
    maggie : Don't yell.
    max : He always yells like that in the morning.
    fate : You idiot! [mocking Max] Eh, Professor, up an' at 'em! Max. Eh, Professor, up an' at 'em!…It's 7:30.
  • fate : Push the button, Max!
  • max : You give 'em beads. That makes 'em friendly.
    fate : Obviously, they don't know who I am. [stands up an shouts] I am Professor Fate!
    [Silence…Fate sits back down]
    max : You wanna try the beads?
  • fate : Escaped?!
    kuhster : With a small friar.
    fate : Leslie escaped with a chicken?
  • max : Here comes the Marines!
  • baron :[standing by the window] As a very wise English gentleman once said: ‘He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.’ So, until another day, Mister Leslie [throws his foil at Leslie]. Please excuse me…I have a boat waiting. [Jumps out the window to a rowboat waiting below. The boat crashes apart upon impact, and the Baron is left floating in the moat below] [Yes, this is more of a sight gag than a quote, but I just couldn't ignore it…I warned you!]
  • hapnick :[taking a bite of pie off of his face] Brandy!…[drunken laughter]Throw more Brandy! Throw Brandy! More Brandy! Brandy! Throw more Brandy! [another pie hits him in the face]…mmm…Rum…I never mix my pies! [more laughter]
  • hapnick : More pies! More pies! Baker! More pies!
And of course…
  • fate : Push the button, Max!


Here is some interesting trivia from this movie⇒
  • Note that the cars entering the race are all built with a right-hand drive system! That's not very American!
  • Here's something to keep you up at night: Charlton Heston was originally offered the part of ‘The Great Leslie’! If that had happened, we wouldn't be having this conversation!BACK TO CRITIQUE
  • Natalie Wood's voice was dubbed by Jackie Ward for her performance of The Sweetheart Tree.
  • In exempli of the versatile acting talent of Jack Lemmon, I refer you to the part of this movie where he plays the drunken Hapnick. He is very funny as the swaveling (I just made that word up) drunk character who runs the country. Compare this to the character he portrayed in Days of Wine and Roses. He plays a drunk in that movie, too, but a completely different kind with a completely different attitude and character. Both performed with perfection.

Here is my personal rating of this movie. This rating is out of ten meows.

cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2cat head 2 10/10

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