Into the Storm Blu-ray Review Nov 24 2014 06:37 PM Into the Storm is a tornado disaster action and effects spectacle refreshingly devoid of sharks. Director Steven Quale cut his teeth shooting second unit for... Read More
If I Stay Blu-ray Review Nov 24 2014 03:04 PM A sentimental and overlong look at the worth of one’s life in regards to one’s self, one’s friends, and one’s family, R.J. Cutler’s If I Stay brings a favori... Read More
MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK (1944) Preston Sturges’ post-Production Code screwball satire is nothing less than one of the greatest film comedies throughout the known cosmos. Warm, wise and sly, this all-out assault on the strictures of the censors springboards from a young maiden’s blackout into the scandalous realm of dubious marriages, unmiraculous pregnancies and miracle births — all leavened with load of mirth. Betty Hutton and Eddie Bracken share center-stage while Sturges mainstay William Demarest ably anchors the show while aided by an astonishing assist from child prodigy Diana Lynn.
ANYTHING GOES (1956) Bing Crosby returns to semi-familiar territory for his final film as a Paramount player after an amazing 23 year-run for this new take on some old hits. This version of Anything Goes jettisons the original’s storyline while maintaining its signature show tunes and showbiz subject matter. Bing is paired up with a red-hot Donald O’Connor while Mitzi Gaynor and Jeanmaire provide the distaff distraction in this tale of two agents who sign two different women up for the same role. Additional songs from Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn share the score with the Porter originals.
BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON (1972) Franco Zeffirelli, fresh from the cross-over success of Romeo and Juliet, tackles the transcendent and true tale of Francis of Assisi’s journey from soldier to saint. Lensed through a decidedly post-Sixties prism, the flower power and Donovan score fade away for a truly inspirational third act confrontation between Francis (Graham Faulkner) and Pope Innocent III (Alec Guinness).
JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL (1973) Richard Bach’s runaway inspirational bestseller about a bird’s spiritual journey to “perfect speed” and grace gets a live-action adaptation courtesy of journeyman filmmaker Hall Bartlett (Zero Hour). Combining voice-over work from a stellar vocal cast headed by James Franciscus with truly stunning aerial photography from cinematographer Jack Couffer, this seagull fable is as unconventional as its source material. Music by Neil Diamond.
LIFEGUARD (1976) A pre-iconic Sam Elliott, mustache and all, toplines as the titular lifeguard in this existential coming-of-identity tale. As his 15th High School reunion beckons lifeguard Rick Carlson, he starts to question his choice of shore duty over “adult” success. Although the milieu and the tropes indicate the coming of the modern surf, sand, and sex movies (as well as a certain mammoth syndicated TV hit twenty years later) the film is pure Seventies cinematic introspection. Elliott’s ease and gravitas are more than already apparent as he almost singlehandedly carries the movie, and it’s clear that his sun was still rising higher. Parker Stevenson plays the young tyro lifeguard learning the ropes, while Anne Archer and Kathleen Quinlan are the sirens calling to Rick from the two sides of his life.
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