At the dawn of the 20th Century, a three-year old boy, Pu Yi, is named emperor of China but remains a virtual prisoner inside his fortress, the Forbidden City, and is largely excluded from the political changes taking place in the country at large until unwittingly becoming a pawn and figurehead during Japanese occupation and finally endures incarceration and re-education under Mao’s communist dictatorship in Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 historical epic The Last Emperor.
An evil scientist (Louis Jordan - Octopu$sy Bond villain) steals the volatile high-growth plant formula of a rival scientist (Ray Wise) but when the lab is destroyed during the robbery, the good guy is doused with the green goop which causes him to change into a half-human, half-plant biped with super-strength in Wes Craven’s 1982 adaptation of the DC Comics title Swamp Thing. Busty Adrienne Barbeau plays a feisty government agent/damsel in distress.
Shortly after the Civil War, the James & Younger brothers begin robbing banks and holding up stagecoaches and trains until Pinkerton agents are finally able to disrupt the gang’s activities in the overlong 1980 western The Long Riders. The film, directed by Walter Hill, is notable for the casting of actors in the major roles who are siblings in real-life: Stacy and James Keach are Frank and Jesse James, David, Keith, and Robert Carradine play the Younger brothers, Dennis and Randy Quaid play the Miller brothers, and Christopher and Nicholas Guest are the Ford brothers.
A waitress at a seaside greasy spoon discovers that her government scientist boyfriend is selling secrets to her coworker, a lecherous, slovenly cook (Lee Marvin), who is actually an agent in the employ of a foreign power in the okay 1955 film Shack Out on 101.
[FONT=Courier New]I saw "The Fourth Kind" with a friend of mine yesterday. Very, very creepy, and very disturbing.[/FONT]
[FONT=Courier New]"First of all, never bad mouth synergy..."[/FONT]
Three fifteen minute shorts and one public service announcement:
A black cat pinch-hits for his friend in the big ball game after the boy is jailed for knocking a policeman’s cap off with a line drive in Pat Sullivan’s 1922 silent cartoon Felix Saves the Day. This short features still photos and live action interspersed with traditional animation. Popular during the silent era, Felix the Cat first appeared in 1919 but didn’t survive the transition to “talkies” largely due to competition from new cartoon characters such as Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse.
A Choctaw Indian is allowed to play in the big game against Jimtown even after murdering a swarthy gambler who wanted him to throw the contest in the 1909 silent short His Last Game. The star player is then killed by firing squad for the murder (justice is swift in the west, the placard says) only moments before a rider brings a reprieve.
Winnie Winkle the Breadwinner’s brother Perry Winkle pitches in the neighborhood sandlot baseball game in the fun 1926 silent short Happy Days. This short is based on Martin Branner’s long-running comic strip, which first appeared in 1920 and was in print until 1996. The focus of this film is on Winnie’s brother Perry and his “Little Rascal” like pals, the Rinky Dinks, who have a dog, a rickety clubhouse, and get into all sorts of trouble during the big game.
The Citizens for Decent Literature and “outstanding news reporter” George Putnam warn of the dangers of pornography in the 1965 public service short Perversion for Profit. According to Putnam, “obscenity leads to depravity” and publishers and smut peddlers in the $2 billion dollar a year industry are weakening the country’s moral center, making America vulnerable to the Communists. Nude magazines and raunchy books are also behind increases in violent crime, the greater likelihood of children engaging in sexually deviant lifestyles (homosexuality, lesbianism, sadism, and masochism), higher rates of venereal disease among teens, and a rise in illegitimate births.
I went and saw "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" with my wife last night. Fun movie. John C. Riley was awesome
Ok. I'm officially a blue ray believer now.
Sleeping Beauty and Snow White on Blueray are excellent. Disney has done a helluva job on these blue ray releases of classics. Outstanding. I really can't give enough praise.
I'm really looking forward to Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, and Beauty and the Beast releases on Blue ray next year. I think Dumbo is even getting a blue ray face lift.
A washed up former pro football player (Anthony Quinn) and his gang of lowlife beatniks take a wealthy woman and her sailor boyfriend hostage in an effort to squeeze them for some dough in exchange for their safe return in the 1956 drama The Wild Party.
The wealthy sportsman and patron of the city zoo (Lionel Atwill) uses a fake snakehead with black mamba poison to murder the young men who make advances towards his beautiful young wife in the watchable 1933 horror movie Murders in the Zoo. Randolph Scott, who is probably best known for his work in westerns, plays a research scientist at the zoo.
After a botched operation in England, a famed plastic surgeon (Anton Diffring) flees to the continent and uses a circus as a front to continue his practice of restoring the beauty to disfigured women and making them the star attractions under his big top in the 1960 horror movie Circus of Horrors. The women are happy with the arrangement until they want to leave the good doctor and his troupe, and soon die in freak accidents after giving notice. Donald Pleasence has a small role as the previous circus owner.
A biologist and two government agents help a small town Florida sheriff track down a deranged scientist who has transformed himself into a walking fish monster that's terrorizing the county in the awful 1972 horror movie Zaat.
The son of a lower class inkeeper and an ambitious two-year veteran of the trenches (George Peppard) volunteers for the air corps determined to gain respect from his upper class peers by downing 20 enemy fighters and winning Germany’s highest medal in the fascinating three-hour long 1966 WWI epic The Blue Max. James Mason plays Peppard’s aristocratic commanding officer and Ursula Andress co-stars as his young countess wife whose dalliances with other men Mason’s character both tolerates and encourages.
After the death of a medical student during an experiment testing an external artificial heart apparatus, a scientist (Boris Karloff) is sentenced to hang but is revived by his assistant and takes retribution against the system that condemned him in the okay 1939 horror movie The Man They Could Not Hang.
After accidentally killing a prisoner in self-defense, a 19th century French magistrate (Vincent Price) is possessed by an entity called “The Horla” which compels him to commit evil acts in the 1963 horror movie Diary of a Madman.