Crazy Knitter Reviews

The place where this crazy knitter reviews books, TV, movies and recipes

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Madeleine (1950)

The telling of the murder trial that rocked Glascow's Victorian society. Madeleine Smith (Ann Todd) is the daughter of one of Glascow's most prominent families. Her parents want her to marry another man from their social crowd, William Minnoch (Norman Wooland) but there is a problem. Madeleine has been secretly seeing a French man named Emile L'Anglier (Ivan Desny). He is a working class man and Madeleine knows her family will never accept him. She wants to run away with Emile to marry but he is determined to become a member of the family. He tells Madeleine that either she tells her father or he will. She decides to break up with him but is concerned about the many love letters she has written to Emile. Soon Emile blackmails her and he ends up dead. Madeleine ends up on trial but did she poison him or did he commit suicide?

This was a well done movie. It was beautifully shot and was nice to watch. The main actors were all very good. There were two previous versions of this true story on film. The first was from 1932 called Latty Lynton with Joan Crawford in the title role. The second was Dishonored Lady in 1947 with Hedy Lemar in the leading role. However, this film is the only one that follows the story the closest.


The Blob (1958)

The all time sci-fi classic. Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend, Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut), are parked one night on a dark and deserted country road. They see a giant meteor fall from the sky and decide to go and check out where it landed. When they find the crash site they find an old man (Olin Howard) who has some substance on his hand that will not come off. They decide to take the man to see Dr Hallen (Alden "Stephen" Chase) in town. When they arrive at the doctor's office the old man has gotten worse. Soon he ends up just part of a huge blob. Soon the blob takes several other victims - including the doctor and his nurse - and gets larger. When Steve and Jane realize what is happening they contact the police but of course they are not believed. Now Jane, Steve and their friends must find the blob and get the police to believe them before it takes over the entire town.

This was a fun but cheesy movie. The acting was not all that great but it is not so bad that the movie is unwatchable. There was a sequel made in 1972 called Beware! The Blob. There was also a remake made in 1988 starring Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith. However, the original is the must see classic.


The Corpse Vanishes (1942)

A fun little horror movie. All over town brides are dying on their wedding days. Even stranger is the fact that their corpse's vanish from the church never to be seen again. Soon we learn that Dr Lorenz (Bela Lugosi) is the man behind these vanishing corpses. He takes them back to his home, alive but unconscious, where he extracts their blood. He uses the blood to make a potion he injects into his wife, Countess Lorenz (Elizabeth Russell), to keep her young and beautiful. Soon a society reporter at the local paper, Patricia Hunter (Luana Walters), decides to crack the case to get a real reporter position. She discovers that all the brides were wearing rare orchids that were bred by Dr Lorenz. She decides to visit his home and soon becomes aware of his plot. She, along with Dr Foster (Tristram Coffin) who has been working with Dr Lorenz, decide to hold a fake wedding to catch the mad doctor in the act.

This was a fun and short horror film. Legosi was wonderful and spooky like he always was. Walters was a little annoying as the nosy reporter. It was Russell who stole the movie. Her mean and stoic looks sent chills down my spine. A good movie for a dark and stormy night.


They Got Me Covered (1943)

Another great Bob Hope comedy. Hope plays Robert Kittredge, a bumbling reporter. In his latest article he states that Germany will never invade Russia however they do a few hours later. He is fired from his job and needs to find a way to get his job back. He travels to the Washington, DC branch of the the association he worked for where his girlfriend, Christina Hill (Dorothy Lamour), works. He soon gets a tip from a source, Vanescu (Lenore Aubert), about a Nazi spy ring operating in Washington. Robert decides that breaking this story is the way to get his job back. He implores Christina to help him and then they can get married. Of course things do not go as planned and one of Christina's roommates is kidnapped because she gets wrapped up in the story. Now they need to find the spies to save the roommate and Robert's job.

This was a cute comedy. It gets a little silly in places but that is to be expected. Lamour and Hope had wonderful chemistry together. If you enjoy screwball comedies then you have to check this one out.


The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

A very cute little fantasy. Cecelia (Mia Farrow) is a waitress and housewife in New Jersey during the 1930s. Her husband, Monk (Danny Aiello), beats her and also cheats on her. She is also not a very good waitress. She goes to the movies to lose herself in the stories on the big screen. Soon she is fired from her job and she catches her husband with another woman in their apartment. One day she sits through a movie called The Purple Rose of Cairo several times when something amazing happens. One of the characters, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), starts talking to her from the movie and then walks right off the screen and into the theater. He and Cecelia take off and spend some glorious times together. However, the fact that Tom is gone traps the rest of the characters in the scene and they can not move on without him. Soon the head of the studio and the actor who plays Tom, Gil Shepard, head to New Jersey to get Tom back into the scene and to save both of their hides. However, Tom and Cecelia are in love and will not give up easily.

This is the only Woody Allen movie I have ever liked. I often think he is way overrated but this was an enjoyable film. Farrow brought a wonderful innocence to the part of Cecelia. Daniels was also terrific in his duel role. He enjoyed the film so much he name his playhouse in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan The Purple Rose. If you like a nice romantic fantasy film this one is for you.


The Little Foxes (1941)

Bette Davis at her bitchy best. Bette plays Regina Giddens, a wealthy woman in the deep south at the turn of the 1900s. She is married to Horrace (Herbert Marshall), a very sick man who has left their town to seek medical treatment in another state. Horrace and Regina have a teenage daughter named Alexandra (Teresa Wright) and she adores both of her parents. Regina and her two brothers, Ben (Charles Dingle) and Oscar (Carl Benton Reid) Hubbard. The three of them along with Ben's son, Leo (Dan Duryea), decide to expand their cotton mill to become even more wealthy. The only problem is that they need another $75,000 and the only way they can get it is from Horrace. Regina manipulates her daughter so they can get Horrace back in town and can take the money from his bank where Leo works. However, Horrace and Alexandra get wind of their plan and decide to put a stop to it.

This was a great movie. Davis was wonderful as the cold and heartless Regina. The scene where she and Horrace fight about her plan sent chills up my spine. She was so cold and hard it was wonderful. Wright was a breath of fresh air as the sweet and innocent Alexandra. In 1948 there was a prequel to this movie made called Another Part of the Forest. However, this one is a must see for all movie fans.


The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

A wonderfully done film noir. The movie begins when Martha Ivers is a young girl. She lives with her aunt whom she hates. She is going to run away from Iverstown with her crush Sam Masterson when she pushes her aunt down the stairs and kills her. Sam runs away and Martha stays behind with her tutor, Mr O'Neill, and his son Walter. Fast forward 17 years and Sam Masterson (Van Heflin) is driving through Iverstown for the first time since he left as a child. He runs his car into a pole and takes it into town for repairs. On the radio he hears his old friend Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) campagining for the reelection of her husband, Walter O'Neill (Kirk Douglas), for DA. Sam soon meets a beautiful and mysterious woman named Toni Maracheck (Lizabeth Scott) who is arrested for probation violation. He goes to Walter hoping to get Toni out of jail Walter is sure he has come to blackmail him and Martha about her aunt's murder. However, Martha has other plans for Sam - she wants him to kill Walter.

This was a very well done movie. Stanwyck was wonderful as the conniving Martha. Douglas was also terrific as the drunk and paranoid Walter. A little bit of trivia for you about this movie. I am related to the actor who played the young Sam Masterson in the film. His name is Darryl Hickman and he is married to an actress named Pamela Lincoln. Pamela is my mother's second cousin. It's a distant relation but was cool to see him in this movie all the same. If you are a film noir fan do not miss this film.


After This by Alice McDermott - #2

John and Mary Keane are a young couple who are blessed with four children. The book follows the story of this family as they move from the time of WWII through to the Vietnam war era. The book tells the story through the eyes of all of the main characters - John and Mary, their children Jacob, Michael, Annie and Clare, as well as Mary's oldest friend Pauline. It starts with Mary and Pauline working as secretaries in a office in Manhattan. One day at lunch she meets John Keane and they are soon married. They move to Long Island where they raise their children. Jacob is the introvert, Michael is the trouble maker, Annie is the wild girl who hides it well and Claire is the little saint. Soon their family is turned upside down by the series of events that befall their children.

This book has garnered a lot of praise but I did not enjoy it all that much. The characters were not very well developed and there were many parts of the book that were drawn out and did not seem integral to the plot all that much. The book is not even 300 pages and it took me almost two months to read it. I really do not recommend it at all.


Wisdom (1986)

An interesting take on the Robin Hood legend. John Wisdom (Emilio Estevez) is a young man in his early twenties who is having a hard time in life. He has a felony car theft conviction on his record and he is having a hard time finding any job let alone one that uses his college degree. He lies on his application to a local fast food restaurant by checking the box that says I have never been convicted of a felony. When the manager (Charlie Sheen in a cameo) finds out John is fired from his job sinks into a depression. His girlfriend Karen (Demi Moore) breaks up with him and he decides he needs to take control of his life. This is when he decides to become what society expects him to be - a criminal. After seeing a news report on how many Americans are loosing their homes and farms to foreclosure he decides to enter banks and blow up the loan documents. He and Karen go across country blowing up the documents and become folk heroes of the people. If course the FBI does not agree and sets out to bring them down.

I remember watching this movie as a kid (I LOVED Emilio Estevez) and enjoying it. As an adult I can see the flaws with it but all in all it is not a bad movie. Moore and Estevez were wonderful and of course had great chemistry because they were a couple at the time. The movie has it funny parts to. The scene where he enters a bank for the first time and begins his speech is very funny. All in all not a bad movie when you are in the house on a Saturday afternoon.


It Happened One Night (1934)

The Academy Award winning comedy classic. Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) has eloped with King Westley (Jameson Thomas). Of course her wealthy father does not approve of the marriage and whisks Ellie away on his boat until he can have the marriage annulled. However, Ellie is not willing to go so easily and she jumps overboard and swims to shore. She decides to travel by bus back to her husband. While on the bus she meets Peter Warne (Clark Gable), a down on his luck reporter who is looking for a big story. He soon recognizes Ellie and decides to travel with her so he can write the story that will resurrect his career. Of course their trip does not go smoothly and they soon run out of money and have to come up with creative ways to make their way across the country. Of course another unseen event occurs - Ellie and Peter begin to fall in love.

This is one of the best comedies ever made. It is hard to believe that both Gable and Colbert were loaned to Columbia for this film as punishment for their bad behavior. They both hated this movie and thought the script was horrible. I guess it goes to prove that things on paper are not always what they seem. If you love classic films then this one is a must see.

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Vivacious Lady (1938)

A fun screwball comedy. Peter Morgan (James Stewart) is a botany professor at a small college in upstate New York where his father is the president. At his father's (Charles Coburn) request he goes to New York City to bring his cousin Keith back home. Keith is a bit of a wild man and he has fallen in love with Francey (Ginger Rogers), a singer at a night club in the city. Keith hides from Peter at the club and Francey soon sits down looking for Keith. Soon Francey and Peter are talking and the walk all night long across the entire city. They begin to fall in love and they decide to get married. Now Peter has to break it to his uptight father that not only is he married but that his wife is not someone his father would approve of. Of course he also has to break the news to his fiance!

I really enjoyed this movie. Stewart was wonderful in the part of the conservative professor who it walking on the wild side. Rogers was also wonderful as the singer with a heart of gold. Beulah Bondi steals all of her scenes as Peter's mother who has heart problems. A wonderful movie for a cozy afternoon in.


Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

Another very cute romantic comedy. Shep Henderson (James Stewart) is a book publisher and he has moved into a new apartment. Downstairs is a shop run by Gil Holroyd (Kim Novak) who also happens to be a witch. She falls in love with Shep but he happens to be engaged to Bianca de Passe (Hermione Gingold). When Shep brings Gil and her Aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) out for drinks with Bianca Gil decides that she has to save Shep from a horrible life with Bianca. She casts a spell on him to make him fall in love with her and dump his fiance. However, things do not go as planned and Shep realizes what happened and makes Gil remove the spell. Soon she looses her abilities and they are both miserable. Are their feelings real or the remnants of the spell?

This movie was very amusing. Novak and Stewart had a wonderful chemistry together. Lanchester stole the movie as Gil's eccentric Aunt Queenie. Also look for Jack Lemon as Gil's trouble making brother Nicky. There was made for TV remake of this film made in 1976 and there is a big screen remake in the works for next year. However, nothing will be better than this original.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Sleuth (1972)

An interesting movie full of twists and turns. Andrew Wyke (Lawrence Olivier) is a very successful writer of detective books. He has learned that his wife is having an affair with a much younger man and invites his to his house for a meeting. When Milo Tindle (Michael Caine) arrives they have a very long discussion of the best way for Andrew to get rid of his wife and give Milo some money to keep her happy. Andrew decides that Milo must break into the safe in his house and steal some of his wife's very expensive jewelry. Milo is to take the jewelry to Andrew's friend who will sell them and Andrew will file a claim with his insurance company. However, things do not go as planned and that is where the twists and turns come in.

I enjoyed this movie. Olivier and Caine were wonderful as the adversaries who try to work together. The ending was slightly predictable but was also interesting. There is a remake in the works to be released next year with Michael Caine playing the Andrew Wyke role and Jude Law as Milo Tindle. However, the original is a must see for all mystery fans.

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The Princess and the Pirate (1944)

A cute little comedy. Princess Margaret (Virginia Mayo) is traveling on the high seas under an assumed name. She has been betrothed to a man by her father but she has run away to marry her true love - a commoner. Also on the boat with her is the performer Sylvester the Great (Bob Hope). Soon their boat is under attack by a pirate named Barrett (Victor McLaglen) who knows who the princess is and want to hold her for the king's ransom. However, Sylvester and Virginia escape with a treasure map and end up in the hands of evil La Roche (Walter Slezak), the governor of a Caribbean island. Now La Roche wants Margaret for himself and he also wants the map. Soon the pirates show up wanting the princess and hilarity ensues.

This was a great little comedy. Hope and Mayo had wonderful chemistry together. The rest of the cast was also wonderful. A fun movie worth checking out when you are in the house on a rainy Saturday.


Children of a Lesser God (1986)

A beautiful and touching movie. James Leeds (William Hurt) is a new speech therapy teacher at a school for the deaf. There he teaches his students how to speak and read lips. In his first few days there he sees a beautiful woman who is the janitor at the school. He learns that the woman's name is Sarah Norman (Marlee Matlin in her Oscar winning role) and she is a former student at the school. She never learned to speak or read lips and she has no desire to ever learn these things. She stayed at the school because she is safe there and she is afraid of the "real" world. Soon, James and Sarah begin a love affair and move in together. However, their relationship is threatened by Sarah's stubbornness and James' desire to help her when she does not want his help.

I was afraid this movie would be to artsy-fartsy as they say but I was surprised. I was engrossed in the story from the very beginning. Matlin was brilliant as the troubled Sarah. The scene where she is signing to James what she did with the boys her sister was friends with was heartbreaking and probably won her that Oscar. Hurt was also wonderful as the teacher who wants to save Sarah when she may not need saving. If you like a good love story/tear jerker this one is for you.


Born Yesterday (1950)

Another cute and fun movie. Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford) is a crooked business man. He heads to Washington DC to bribe some government officials. He brings along his girlfriend, Billie (Judy Holliday in her Oscar winning role), who is ditsy and does not know her way around proper society. Harry is afraid that Billie is going to embarrass him in front of Senators and Congressmen and decides that she needs an etiquette coach. He decides to hire Paul Varrall (William Holden), a newspaper reporter, to help Billie. As he and Billie begin to spend a lot of time together they also begin to fall in love. Billie soon realizes that there is a big world out there and that Harry is not the only man interested in her. The question is what will Harry do when he finds out?

I had not heard of this film before and it is a shame it is not as well known as others. Holliday completely steals the film as Billie and the Oscar was very well deserved. Crawford and Holden are also wonderful as the two men in Billie's life. There was a remake of this movie in 1993 starring John Goodman (Harry), Don Johnson (Paul) and Melanie Griffith (Billie). However, the original is in a league all of its own.


None but the Lonely Heart (1944)

An interesting Cary Grant film. Grant plays Ernie Mott, a young man with wanderlust in his heart. He has a hard time staying in one spot and desperately wants to escape his working class roots. However, when his mother (Ethe Barrymore) becomes very ill he decides to stay in London and help his parent's out with their shop. There he meets Ada Brantline (June Duprez) and begins to fall in love. However, she realizes that Ernie is a man of the world and is afraid that he may break her heart. Now Ernie must decide if he will stay in London or if he will run away again.

This movie was very gloomy and depressing but was very good at the same time. Grant and Barrymore were wonderful as the wanderer and his loving mother. Not one of Grant's best but it is still worth checking out.


Barefoot in the Park (1967)

A very cute movie. Corie and Paul Bratter (Jane Fonda and Robert Redford) are newlyweds. They are also complete opposites. Corie is a wild free spirit and Paul is a conservative and uptight lawyer. They move into their first home together - an extremely small apartment in Manhattan. There they live on the top floor (with no elevator) and have a very strange neighbor named Victor Velasco (Charles Boyer) who lives on the rooftop apartment above them. One night Corie has the brilliant idea to set her mother, Ethel Banks (Mildred Natwick), up with the worldly Victor. After a very interesting night out Paul begins to get fed up with Corie's wild ways. Will their marriage be able to withstand their very different ways of thinking?

This movie was a hoot. The scene at the restaurant when Corie set her mother up with her neighbor were hilarious. The four stars were wonderful and Robert Redford was amazingly handsome as always. There was a TV based upon the movie that ran for 1970-71 and a TV movie version made in 1981. However, the original is absolutely a must see for all romantic comedy fans.


Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

One of the best courtroom dramas ever made. Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton) is an aging lawyer at the end of his career. He is about to retire to a nice island when he meets Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power). Leonard has been accused of murdering a woman who left her entire estate to him. He protests his innocence and begs Sir Wilfrid to take on his case. Wilfrid agrees and begins the task of proving his client's innocence. The main person he works with is Leonard's wife, Christine (Marlene Dietrich), who seems to have many secrets to hide. Some of her secrets come to light and Wilfrid realizes that Christine may not have her husband's best interests at heart. What will happen when she becomes the witness for the prosecution?

I really enjoyed this movie. The cast was wonderful especially Power and Dietrich. Laughton was good but there were times he got on my nerves with his constant yelling. Elsa Lanchester (Charles Laughton's real life wife) was also wonderful as Sir Wilfred's nurse maid. The twist at the end was also wonderful and I did not see the entire thing coming. There was a made for TV remake of this film made in 1982 starring Donald Pleasance and Beau Bridges. However, nothing can compare to this classic film.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

American Idol Finals - Week #3

Another week of the most talked about show in the country. Tonight the contestants get to sing Gwen Stefani songs and the songs of those who inspired her. This is going to be interesting!

1) LaKisha (Last Dance) - it was wonderful as always. As Randy would say it wasn't my favorite performance but it was good.
2) Chris Sligh (Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic) - that was not good at all. His voice sounded very strange.
3) Gina Glockson (I'll Stand By You) - I really liked this performance. She made me like a song I really did not like before.
4) Sanjaya Malakar (Bath Water) - OMG WHAT'S WITH THE HAIR!?!?!?! This is getting ridiculous.
5) Haley Scarnato (True Colors) - pretty good. Of course after Sanjaya a singing monkey would seem good.
6) Phil Stacey (Every Breath You Take) - this was his best performance in weeks! I liked it.
7) Melinda Doolittle (Heaven Knows) - absolutley amazing as she always is.
8) Blake Edwards (Love Song) - it was ok but not great. I'm glad he didn't do the beat boxing for once.
9) Jordin Sparks (Hey Baby) - again not my favorite performance byt she is still way better than a lot of these contestants. That outfit was fugly though.
10) Chris Richardson (Don't Speak) - awful! Like Gwen said this song is so beautiful you don't have to sing it so big and loud. He was off key most of it also.

So to go home I would love to see Richardson or Sanjaya go but I think they both will be safe. I think Hayley will be done tomorrow.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Dancing with the Stars Week #2

So this week the guys will be dancing the quick step (one of my favorites) and the ladies are doing the mambo. I like how they are allowing everyone to do a Latin and a ballroom dance before the elimination this year.

1) Apolo Anton Ohno - a very nice start to the night. I like him but I want him to save that damn sole patch off!
2) Shandi Finnessey - she seemed very uptight. She is not well known and with a performance like that she could be in trouble.
3) Clyde Drexler - that was pretty good He is quick on his feet but his top looked a little bit like Jell-o.
4) Leeza Gibbons - it was a bit stiff but not bad overall. Plus she looks damn good for 50. I wonder if she's had work done.
5) Ian Ziering - that was very fun. He has a lot of potential. His dad is to cute for words!
6) Paulina Porizkova - again a little uptight but a fairly good job overall.
7) Billy Ray Cyrus - I am actually impressed! His footwork was very good. Much much better than last week.
8) Heather Mills - she did wonderfully. She was the first one tonight to get the sexiness of the mambo down.
9) John Ratzenberger - I liked it. It was not the best dance I have seen but it was fun.
10) Laila Ali - that was the best dance so far this season. That girl can shake her booty!
11) Joey Fatone - very good performance. It was so much fun to watch.

So I think Shandi maybe going home simply because she is not that wel known as well as the fact she had two bad weeks. We will see tomorrow though.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

American Idol Finals - Week #2

This is British Invasion week. I am sensing that some great classic songs are going to be murdered tonight!

1) Haley Scarnato (Tell Him) - I liked it. Not the best vocal but she came out of her shell and that was nice to see.
2) Chris Richardson (Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying) - this is the first week I liked his performance. He seemed much less nasally this week. I get sick of his runs after a while though.
3) Stephanie Edwards (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)- very good. Had some pitch problems but good overall. I really didn't like the arrangement though.
4) Blake Edwards (Time of the Season) - it was ok. I'm not all that impressed with the beat boxing anymore. He was very out of tune at the end.
5) LaKisha Jones (Diamonds Are Forever) - excellent as always. I actually would have liked to hear her sing You're My World because she hasn't sung many uptempo songs.
6) Phil Stacey (Tobacco Road) - uh, yeah that was uh interesting. Very off key in places and he seemed to be screaming at times.
7) Jordin Sparks (I Who Have Nothing) - holy s@#t that was phenomenal! This girl is terrific!
8) Sanjaya Malakar (You Really Got Me) - I will that was not the worst performance of his I have seen. However, he needs to go now!
9) Gina Glockson (Paint it Black) - this was the perfect song for her and I think she did a good job.
10) Chris Sligh (She's Not There) - it was ok. Not his best performance but better than last week.
11) Melinda Doolittle (As Long As He Needs Me) - another flawless and amazing performance.

So I pick either Phil or Sanjaya to go home this week. We'll see if the vote for the worst people get their way again.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Dancing with the Stars Week #1

So here is another season of our favorite dance show. This year the 11 celebrities will dance for two weeks before the first elimination. Tonight the guys are doing the cha cha and the gals are dancing the fox trot.

1) Ian Ziering - not bad. He was better than I thought he would be. I think he has potential.
2) Paulina Porizkova - nice. A little boring though.
3) Billy Ray Cyrus - well that was interesting. Wow he was stiffer than a board.
4) Leeza Gibbons - nice. I just think the fox trot is a boring dance overall but it was pretty good.
5) Joey Fatone - that was very fun to watch. He was very good for having his microphone hanging off his back for half the dance.
6) Laila Ali - she has a lot more grace that I thought she would. Very good overall.
7) John Ratzenberger - I think he is this season's Jerry Springer. Not great but very entertaining. I give him credit for having only 2 weeks of training.
8) Shandi Finnessey - pretty good. She was a little stiff though.
9) Clyde Drexler - he was way uptight. He has potential though.
10) Heather Mills - am I going to hell because I will laugh my ass off if her leg flies off? Seriously though she did an excellent job.
11) Apolo Anton Ohno - well that was pretty good for not having much practice time. He can shake those hips!

So nobody is a major standout like the last two seasons had with Drew and Mario. This should be an interesting season.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

American Idol Finals Week #1

So the finals are finally here. Time to see who will falter and who will shine. This week the theme is Diana Ross so this should be very interesting.

1) Brandon Rogers (Can't Hurry Love) - it was boring and his voice kept cracking. Not horrible but not great either. Plus, if he "grew up" on the song he should be able to remember the words!

2) Melinda Doolittle (Home) - that was flawless. This girl is amazing! I started crying just like Paula (I'm not drunk I swear!).

3) Chris Sligh (Endless Love) - I did not like the change he made to the song. It sounded like something that would be sung at the Ice Capades.

4) Gina Glockson (Love Child) - not bad. She was slightly pitchy in spots but way better than the two guys so far. Paula thinks this is a "makes you feel good" song? Has she listened to the words at all?

5) Sanjaya Malakar (Ain't No Mountain High Enough) - this is one of my favorite songs and he killed it. His voice is way to soft. And what are these people doing with his hair? He looked like a poodle.

6) Hayley Scarnato (Missing You) - again someone forgets the words. This was not very good at all.

7) Phil Stacey (Make You Love Me) - much better than last week's disaster. However, not the greatest I have heard. I agree with Simon that he shouts sometimes trying to reach those high notes.

8) LaKisha Jones (God Bless the Child) - I am speechless. The best Idol performance I can ever remember.

9) Blake Lewis (Keep Me Hanging On) - this remix was better than Chris'. However, it was still somewhat boring to me.

10) Stephanie Edwards (Love Hangover) - very good. In a perfect world the final three would be Stephanie, LaKisha and Melanie.

11) Chris Richardon (The Boss) - this guy is awful. He sings out of his nose and I CAN NOT STAND THAT!!! Of course he will stay because the teeny boppers think he's cute. If Justin Timberlake was smart he would sue this show so they have to quit comparing this guy to him.

12) Jordin Sparks (If We Hold on Together) - very good. It was very sugary sweet to me but she is only 17. She can be great with time though.

So I hope Chris Richardson or Sanjaya go home. However, they will stay with their teeny bopper fans. It should be a guy who goes though because they are so weak.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

American Idol Semi Finals - Girls Week #3

Here's hoping that the girls do better than the guy did last night.

1) Jordin Sparks - a great start! She hit one bad note but other than that it was awesome.
2) Sabrina Sloan - this is the first week where I really liked her. I thought she did a great job.
3) Antonella Barba - if this girl makes the top 12 I will seriously consider not watching this show again. It was awful!
4) Hayley Scarnato - that reminded me of a cruise ship performance. It was ok but not good enough I think.
5) Stephanie Edwards - it was pretty good but not wonderful.
6) LaKisha Jones - finally someone who can sing a Whitney song! I love this girl - she's amazing!
7) Gina Glockson - I thought it was a great song choice for her. It was not the best but it was pretty good.
8) Melinda Doolittle - wow that was great! She is awesome. If she ans LaKisha aren't the final two I will be surprised.

So Antonella and Hayley should be the two to go but who knows what will happen. Stephanie and Gina could go if the vote for the worst people have their way.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

American Idol Semi Finals - Guys Week #3

So the final semi-final for the guys is here. And away we go ....

1) Blake Lewis - uh it was alright. Not great just ok.
2) Sanjaya Malakar - uh that was awful. If he makes the top 12 I will be pissed off royally
3) Sundance Head - he's no Eddie Veder that's for sure. It seemed to me like he was doing a bad Chris Daughtry inpression.
4) Chris Richardson - uh what is up with these guys tonight? He was off key, trying to sing to high and he sure as hell is no Keith Urban!!
5) Jared Cotter - finally someone who was fun! Of course he is still some great eye candy. He hit a couple of bad notes at the beginning but over all I liked it.
6) Brandon Rogers - a bad song choice. I like him but he maybe vulnerable after this.
7) Phil Stacey - another one I like who did not do well. It sounded like a drag queen with a sore throat at the beginning, then he was shouting at in the chorus and that last note was awful. Another one who maybe in trouble.
8) Chris Sligh - well at least he ended the night well. The best of the night by far. I think he is the stongest guy in the competition.

I want Sanjaya and Chris Richardson to leave but I have a feeling Phil or Brandon or both maybe gone.


Monday, March 05, 2007

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

A wonderful and suspenseful film. In a small town in the early 1900's a killer is stalking woman. These are not ordinary women, he targets women who are handicapped in some way. The latest victim is a crippled woman who is staying at the local hotel. While the murder is being committed several people are downstairs watching a film in the hotel lobby. Among the patrons is Helen Capel (Dorothy McGuire), a beautiful young mute girl. Helen works as a servant at the home of Mrs Warren (Ethel Barrymore). Her employer lives in a large house with her son, Steve (Gordon Oliver), and step-son, Professor Warren (George Brent). Mrs Warren is failing in health but is very concerned with Helen's safety. She asks her physician, Dr Parry (Kent Smith), to take her to safety. However, the doctor is called away on an emergency and the killer is inside the Warren home stalking Helen already.

This was a very compelling film. Even though I figured it out about half way through the movie it was still a fun watch. McGuire was terrific as the mute Helen. With the Academy's love of people playing handicapped roles I am surprised she was not nominated for an Oscar for this role. There have been two remakes of this film. The first in 1975 with Christopher Plummer and Jacqueline Bisset and the second in 2000 with Nicolette Sheridan and Judd Nelson. However, nothing can compare to this black and white classic.


Wonder Man (1945)

A very cute romantic comedy. Buzzy Bellew (Danny Kaye) is a nightclub entertainer. One day he witnesses a murder committed by the gangster Ten Grand Jackson (Steve Cochran) and is going to testify against him at trial. However, Ten Grand wants him bumped off and has some of his flunkies kill him and dump him in Prospect Park. Now Buzzy's ghost is wandering the Earth in hopes of getting justice. Buzzy decides to find his super identical twin brother, Edwin Dingle, and enlist his help. Edwin is the complete opposite of Buzzy. Edwin is a researcher and a very brilliant man. He spends his days in the library where he meets one of the librarians, Ellen Shanley (Virginia Mayo). Soon Edwin and Ellen begin a tentative romance. However, with Buzzy inhabiting Edwin's body their relationship is soon threatened.

I really enjoyed this movie. Kaye was wonderful as the brothers who are as different as night and day. Mayo was also wonderful as Edwin's love interest Ellen. This movie won an Oscar for best visual effects and I can see why. The effects actually stand the test of time and do not seem cheesy like many effects from the films of that time period. If you like romantic comedies check this one out.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Muppets Take Manahattan (1984)

A wonderful blast from my childhood. Kermit and his buddies have just graduated from college. They put on a musical for their senior variety show and everyone tells them that it is good enough for Broadway. The Muppets go to New York City figuring that it will be a quick and easy show to sell. However, every door is slammed in their faces. Kermit tells his friends that they need to move on and he will let them all know once the show is sold. He starts working in a diner owned by Pete (Louis Zorich) and his daughter Jenny (Juliana Donald). Kermit is about to give up until he finds a producer who wants to put the show on, Ronnie (Lonny Price). He writes to all his buddies telling them of the good news and they begin to arrive in the Big Apple. However, Kermit is soon missing and the show can not go on without its star.

I loved watching this movie again as an adult. I loved the Muppets as a child so I know I saw this even though I did not remember many of the details. The Swedish Chef still makes me laugh. This is one of those movies that kids can enjoy but that the adults will not find boring or tedious. A great movie to watch with your kids or when you want to feel like a kid.