The Candidate

February 20, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Michael Ritchie) (1972) Before he signed on as that perennial emblem, Bastard Dad, in the shrill and leaden “comedy series”, Everybody Loves Raymond, Peter Boyle did some interesting stuff: Joe, Taxi Driver, and in particular, his role here as a political Svengali to neophyte golden-boy Robert Redford in his against-the-odds shot at the California Senate race. Fascinating depiction of a modern campaign’s trajectory, with strong performances by supporting players Boyle, Allan Garfield as a bumptious PR guy, Melvyn Douglas as the candidate’s former Governor Father, and Don Porter as the formidable Republican opponent seeking yet another term.  Highly watchable,…

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What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

February 18, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Robert Aldrich) (1962)   I’ve written a letter to Bobby, With grotesques he was deeply in love, “Bob, which of Joan or dear Bette Was easiest for you to shove?” On piano, you drafted big Victor The Warners said “Buono, he’ll do”, I’ve written a letter to Bobby Saying “What a stew”; I’ve drafted a notice to Bobby Telling him he’s through.   [TVC note: for all the Grand Guignol of her later performances, TVC considers Bette Davis an authentic star and pretty good actress to boot – e.g. All About Eve, Dark Victory, Of Human Bondage, Now Voyager, The Little…

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Peter Lorre Takes to Santa with a Bat

February 12, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Annabel Lee, Comedy Film, FILM |

Hollywood Canteen (1944)

We at TVC have not seen this 1944 film, Hollywood Canteen, but we want to.   See TVC’s review of The Lost One here. And then Peter inveigles Mickey Rooney to take a loan for a date (in Quicksand)…is there no end to his perfidy?

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The Babadook

February 4, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

As usual, the Australian film industry has worn its thin skin off patting its own back in praise of a predictable, derivative mess. “The Babadook” (even the name is a yawn) has some (very) minor suspense, good acting from the major characters and awful acting from some minor characters. The script is amateurish and lazy. If this film were shorter, it might make a workmanlike student film. Every poor horror film requires most or all of these elements: A cute, shaggy pet dog. Preferably white. An insect infestation. A concerned and mild-mannered neighbour or work colleague of the opposite sex….

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Andrei Rublev

February 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky) (1966) The great painter of iconography in medieval Russia is given a splendid, challenging (and long) tribute in this startling chain of magnificently filmed events, the mud and the blood and the tears, the acts of ruin and of creation making a kind of gritty surrealism over seven loosely connected episodes, the kind of picture Dostoevsky might make.  Patience is repaid with interest.

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