horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

June 30th, 2018 Movie – Zombi 2 (a.k.a. Zombie)

zombi 2

Now this is one of the zombie movies that I was looking forward to watching this week. Oh, I know it has been a while but I should go ahead and preface that this is an ITALIAN HORROR MOVIE, and you really should take that warning to heart. Now I first heard about this movie years ago when I was looking through a top 25 list of zombie movies and saw this movie towards the top. The thing that got my attention was them commenting about the fight between a shark and a zombie, which I just had to see for myself. So I went online and found a copy to watch and it quickly became one of my favorite zombie. So let’s dive right in to today’s movie, Zombi 2.

The plot: At an unknown location, a body, wrapped tightly in a sheet, suddenly sits upright before a man shoots it in the head with a gun, then says “The boat can leave now. Tell the crew.” Some time later, a seemingly abandoned sailboat drifts into New York Harbor. The harbor patrol head out to investigate it and as one of them searches below, he finds a severed hand in some sheets. Suddenly, a zombie burst out of a cabin door and attacks the officer, biting him in the neck. As the zombie climbs up onto the deck, the other officer yells for it to stop, then shoots it when it continues towards him, knocking the zombie overboard. Newspaper journalist Peter West is assigned to cover the story and when he asks if it is a big story, the editor tells him what little he knows. At the dock, the police are questioning the boat owner’s daughter, Anne Bowles, about her father but she hasn’t seen him in months. At the city medical examiner’s office, two doctors are preparing to do an autopsy on the dead police officer but as lead doctor chastises his associate for the condition of his equipment, they fail to notice the body moving under the sheet. That night, Anne sneaks back onto her father’s boat and encounters Peter West on board, who was searching for clues himself. After managing to fool a police officer into thinking they snuck on board to have sex, they leave, taking Anne’s father’s log book with them, which Peter had found. Peter calls his editor and arranges flights for him and Anne to the Caribbean, where they hope to figure out what happened to Anne’s father. When they reach the Caribbean, they go looking for a boat to take them to the island of Matul and convince Brian Hull and his girlfriend Susan Barrett, who are going to cruise the islands, to let them come with them. On Matul, Dr. David Menard (the man who shot the corpse at the beginning of the movie) is attempting to contact someone by radio but has no success. His wife Paola wants to leave the island but Menard refuses to leave until he figures out the phenomenon occurring on the island. The continue arguing about what is happening on the island, with Paola worried that what is happening on the far side of the island will soon reach the side they live on but Menard refuses to change his mind. Menard heads to his hospital to continue his research, telling his groundskeeper not to let anyone in the house. Back on the boat, Peter is talking to Bill about where the island is supposed to be, though the maps say there isn’t an island there and Bill says that is pretty common, as some of the small islands haven’t been charted or explored. Susan asks him to stop the boat, as she wants to go diving and take some pictures underwater and Bill does as she asks. As Susan dives underwater and starts swimming around, Anne notices a nearby island and Peter says that might be Matul. Meanwhile, Susan sees a tiger shark swimming up behind her and she quickly hides behind a nearby reef. When it passes her, she makes her way to the surface and calls out to Brian, alerting him to the shark’s presence, then dives back down as the shark begins charging towards the boat. Brian shoots at the shark with his rifle but it rams into the boat, then dives underwater. As Susan continues to hide from the shark, she encounters a zombie underwater and is able to get away. As she swims back to the boat, the zombie starts to move after her but it is attacked by the shark and the two begin fighting each other. On Matul, Menard and his assistant/nurse Clara are tending to some of the islanders, who are dying from a strange illness. Another helper, Lucas, tells him that some of the villagers are leaving the island, fearing the zombies that are rising up when they bury their dead but Menard doesn’t believe in his “voodoo”. That night, Paola is getting ready for bed when she hears something entering the house and she quickly rushes to the bedroom and attempts to shut the door, but a zombie pushes back trying to get in. She eventually is able to close the door, severing the zombie’s fingers in the process, but it pounds on the door and smashes through the slats. Paola attempts to push a dresser in front of the door to keep it from getting in but the zombie grabs her and pulls her through the door, impaling her eye on a piece of splintered wood in the process. In the morning, Brian steers the boat towards the island and after he and Susan check on the damage, they say they will be there for a while unless they get some help. At the hospital, Menard shoots the dead bodies in the head so they won’t reanimate and he and Clara carry them out to be buried when Lucas tells him that he spotted some flares coming from the beach. Leaving Clara and Lucas to finish burying the bodies, Menard heads to the beach, where he finds Peter, Anne, Bill, and Susan. Driving them back to his hospital, he tells Anne that he met her father when he visited the island and on his last visit, he had gotten sick and died (and it is shown that Anne’s father is the man Menard shot at the beginning of the movie). When they get to the hospital, Lucas tells Menard about an emergency and as Mernard starts to head inside, he asks Peter and the others to go check on his wife. Inside the hospital, Menard finds his friend Fritz dying of the same illness affecting the villagers and when he says that the villagers had all died, Menard tells Lucas to barricade the doors, as zombies start appearing on the outskirts of the village. Meanwhile, Peter and the others arrive at Menard’s house and head inside to check on his wife only to find zombies feasting on her dead body. As they go to leave, they find two zombies approaching them but Peter and Bill are able to deal with them, then they get in the car to leave. As they are driving back, Bill swerves as a zombie crosses the road in front of him and he crashes the jeep, with Peter injuring his ankle in the crash. The group is forced to walk back to the hospital and as Peter takes a rest, Bill and Susan scout ahead and discover an old conquistador burial ground. Peter and Anne are talking and when Anne says she is scared they won’t make it back to New York, he goes to comfort her and they end up kissing. Suddenly, some zombies come up from the ground to attack them and, hearing Anne’s screams, Bill goes to help them. As he leaves, a zombie emerges from the ground and attacks Susan, ripping out her throat. Bill, Peter, and Anne return and as Peter kills the zombie, Bill cradles Susan’s dead body until Peter and Anne convince him they have to leave. They leave the graveyard, as more zombies begin coming up out of the ground, and eventually reach the hospital. Menard lets them in and they warn him that more zombies are coming and ask what is going on. Menard explains he is a man if science and doesn’t believe in voodoo but that there is no other scientific explanation for what is happening. Deciding to try and arm themselves for the siege against the zombies, Bill, Lucas, and Carla use the kerosene Menard keeps on hand to make some molotov cocktails. Menard goes to get some more shells for his shotgun but he is attacked and killed by a recently deceased patient. Bill hears him and kills the zombie while Lucas and Carla finish making the cocktails but Lucas is attacked by some more zombies. Bill kills the zombies that attacked Lucas and grabs some cocktails, telling Carla to grab the others but she is killed by Lucas. Peter kills Lucas before he can attack Anne and as the zombies break down the door, they begin throwing the cocktails at them, setting the zombies and hospital on fire. The three are soon forced to flee before they are killed in the fire and as they leave, Bill encounters Susan, who is now a zombie. Susan bites Bill’s arm and as he stumbles back, he yells at Peter to shoot her and Peter reluctantly does. They make it back onto Bill’s boat and sail off, moving slowly to avoid overtaxing the damaged drive shaft in the engine. Bill eventually succumbs to the bite and dies and when Anne asks what they should do, Peter says they have to take him with them so that they have proof of what happened. As they get close to New York, they turn on the radio to try and get some news only to hear a report that zombies have begun to overrun the city, as zombies are shown to be walking along the Brooklyn Bridge heading towards New York City.

Zombi 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most critics appreciated the gore and some of the iconic scenes but felt it’s slow pace is too boring. While the movie was written before Dawn Of The Dead (1978) was released in Italy (which was released under the title Zombi), the studio wanted to cash in on the success of Romero’s movie so they shot the additional footage of New York at the beginning and end of the movie and titled it Zombi 2, despite there being no real connection. The newspaper office scenes were actually shot at a busy office building and at one point, they inadvertently interrupted a meeting held by Rupert Murdoch, who kicked them out of the building. Due to the rather high amounts of violence and gore (for the time), airline barf bags were handed out to audiences at the theater but that didn’t seem to stop them as the movie was a success in it’s home country of Italy, earning ₤3 billion off of a ₤410 million budget.

It does seem to shuffle along until it reaches the climax, but this is still a really good zombie movie. The acting was fairly good, with Tisa Farrow (Anne) and Ian McCulloch (Peter) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Richard Johnson (Menard) and Al Cliver (Bill) but the dubbing used for Bill’s voice was a little off. The story was interesting, with the writer trying to take the zombies back to their original voodoo definition while adding the flesh eating aspect to them, but it didn’t quite mesh to well. I did like the mystery aspect that had Anne and Peter heading to the island, as it was a nice set up and allowed some tension to build before everything kind of went to hell for them. The make-up involved with the zombies was pretty good and they definitely went all out with the gore, as some of the scenes rivaled those from Tom Savini’s work in Dawn Of The Dead (1978). The scene where Paola’s eye is impaled on the splintered door is just as cringe inducing now as it was the first time I saw it. As for the famed zombie/shark fight scene, it was pretty cool looking and definitely unique but I wish there was a little more to the fight than the brief bit that was shown. The one thing I will give them props for is that, since there was no CGI or animatronics used, the fact that they had a live tiger shark for the scene was pretty gutsy for them. All things considered, this is definitely one of those zombie movies that I would consider a must-see for any fan of the sub-genre.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

June 29th, 2018 Movie – Zombeavers

zombeavers

Well, that’s it for the non-zombie movies. Now to get to the movies that the letter Z is pretty much known for. Now I remember seeing the trailer for today’s movie years ago and thinking that this is probably going to be one of the funniest things to come out in a while. I didn’t see much about for a while after that initial trailer showing and then about a year later, I saw it had come out on DVD and I immediately picked up a copy. So let’s see how they explain this combination in today’s movie, Zombeavers.

The plot: While transporting some medical waste from the Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility, Joseph and Luke are talking about the events in their life. When Joseph looks at his cellphone, he hits a deer, causing him to swerve and a canister fals out the back of his truck and lands in the nearby river, where it floats downstream before coming to a stop at a beaver dam, where one of the branches punctures the container and the contents begin spraying out. Some time later, college students Jenn, Mary, and Zoe are heading up to spend the weekend at a cabin that Mary’s cousin owns. When they arrive there, they are greeted by their neighbor Myrne Gregorson, who invites them to have breakfast with her and her husband Winston while they are there. As the girls get settled in, Jenn and Zoe discover that there is no cell service at the cabin and Mary tells them the whole point of the weekend was to get away from their phones and boys, as Jenn’s boyfriend Sam had cheated on her. The girls head out to the lake to go swim and as they sun themselves on the raft in the middle of the lake, they notice a beaver dam and Jenn decides to go take a closer look. As they go looking around the dam, they see a bear close by but it is chased off by a hunter named Smyth. As the girls thank Smyth for saving them, Smyth warns them to stay clear of any beavers they see, and also tells them to cover up. The girls head back to the cabin and as they sit around drinking, they hear a noise coming from outside and Zoe goes to investigate and they discover that their boyfriends, Sam, Tommy, and Buck, were playing a prank on them. Mary wants the guys to leave but Jenn talks her into letting them stay, as she figures she can talk with Sam about his cheating on her. While Mary, Tommy, Zoe, and Buck are having sex, Sam tries to get Jenn to forgive him so they can have sex but she knees him in the crotch and goes to take a shower. As she starts to undress, she finds a beaver in the bath tub and when it tries to attack her, she manages to get out of the room. As she is trying to tell Sam what happened, the others all come out and they all go to the bathroom to investigate. When they don’t see a beaver in there, Buck starts mocking Jenn when the beaver suddenly appears in a cabinet and tries to attack him. Tommy manages to kill the beaver with a baseball bat and they place it in a garbage bag and leave it outside. The next day, as they are going out to swim at the lake, Jenn notices that the beaver’s body is missing and Tommy says that some wild animal must have taken it during the night. While Jenn refuses to go in the water, Tommy, Buck, and Zoe are having fun swimming and Mary and Sam are on the raft talking, and it is revealed that Mary is the girl that Sam had slept with. As they discuss whether they should tell Jenn the truth, Zoe and the others convince Jenn to come out into the water but as she heads in, she feels something swim up against her leg, freaking her out. Suddenly, Buck is dragged underwater and as blood suddenly starts to appear, he resurfaces holding his foot, which had been bitten off. Tommy is dragged under but comes back up and they head to the raft to get out of the water. Jenn runs to the house to try and call for help, unaware that the phone line has been cut, and as she get’s no answer, she is attacked by a beaver, which scratches her leg, but she eventually manages to pin it to the kitchen counter with a knife. As the beavers begin circling the raft and attacking it from underneath, Sam throws Zoe’s dog into the water to serve as a distraction and as the beavers kill it, they swim to shore and head back to the cabin. As beavers surround the cabin, they realize that the beaver pinned to the counter is the same one from the night before but it is still somehow moving. As they argue over what they should do, Zoe yells at Sam for killing her dog and when Mary tries to defend him, Zoe reveals to Jenn that Mary was the one who slept with Sam. Realizing that Buck won’t survive the night without medical attention, Tommy suggests taking Mary’s car to get help and Zoe goes with him. As they head down the road, they find a tree had been knocked down, blocking the road. Seeing Smyth’s truck nearby, Tommy goes over there and grabs an axe, which he hands to Zoe, then he says he is going to go on foot and try to get help but the beavers cut down another tree, which falls onto him. As another beaver goes to attack Zoe, it is shot by Smyth and she has him help her get Buck and they load him into his truck. They drive back to the cabin but can’t get in, as Mary, Jenn, and Sam, had been forced to barricade it to keep the beavers out so they are forced to head to the Gregorson’s house for shelter. Inside, they find that Winston has been killed by the beavers and as Smyth searches the house, he finds that Myrne was killed as well. Back at the cabin, Jenn, Mary, and Sam are discussing their situation and Mary ends up going to get some rest. When Jenn enters the room and gets into bed with her, she suddenly begins transforming into a beaver-like zombie and tries to attack Mary, drooling all over her. Sam hits her in the head and he and Mary leave the room and board it up, only for more beavers to start coming up form the floor so they take shelter in the bathroom. Back at the Gregorson’s house, Buck changes into a zombie and attacks Smyth and Zoe tries to shoot Buck but accidentally kills Smyth. As she runs from him, she heads upstairs only to have Myrne start changing so she quickly jumps out the window to escape her. Back at the cabin, Mary and Sam take their clothes off to make sure they haven’t been bitten or scratched and end up having sex. Meanwhile, one of the beavers chews through an outlet and catches on fire, which in turn catches the cabin on fire. When they smell the smoke, Mary and Sam stop having sex so they can investigate but Jenn burst through a wall and proceeds to bite off Sam’s penis, killing him. Mary makes it out of the room and finds herself trapped by beavers and the fire but Zoe drives Smyth’s truck through the wall and Mary quickly gets in and they drive away. As they drive down the road, a zombie Smyth shoots at them, causing them to crash into a tree and as a zombie Buck, Myrne, Smyth, and a zombie bear move towards the truck, Zoe is able to get it started again and drives off. Suddenly, Jenn appears on the roof of the truck and Zoe slams on the breaks, sending her flying off, then Zoe runs her over. When they get to where the tree is blocking the road, Zoe explains that they have to go the rest of the way on foot, walking past a changing Tommy. As the sun starts to come up, Mary stops walking and points a gun she found in Smyth’s glove compartment at Zoe. Not wanting to take a chance that Zoe has been infected, Mary is prepared to shoot Zoe, who says she wasn’t bitten or scratched, when Mary suddenly starts to change, having been infected when Jenn drooled into her mouth. Zoe is forced to kill Mary with the axe, then continues walking down the road. When she sees a truck approaching, she tries to flag it down but the truck, driven by the same men who lost the container, ends up running her over. In a post credit’s scene, a bee is seen to be feeding on the corpse of a beaver and when it flies back to it’s hive, it is shown to have been infected.

Zombeavers met with mostly positive reviews, holding a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zombeavers obviously isn’t high art, but it delivers just enough of the gory insanity promised by the title to earn a recommendation for genre fans.” A joke credit at the end of the movie is a disclaimer that says “No animals were harmed during the making of this film, although the bear did receive a purple nurple (not our fault, he started it.)” Despite the viral nature of the trailer, where it received over a million views in a week, the movie only got a limited release in theaters, where it earned $44,080 during it’s brief run.

This is a pretty funny bit of a horror movie. The acting was decent, with nobody really standing out from the others but nobody was simply awful either. The story was interesting, with the whole medical waste turning beavers into zombies being a little unique. However, the aspect that being bitten or wounded by the beavers would turn a human into a beaver-like monster really did feel like it was taken from Black Sheep (2006). I will say that the bear-beaver- hybrid actually had me laughing out loud the first time I saw it, as did the scene of Jenn, having begun changing, hopping around and slamming her tail onto the floor. The beaver puppets were ok looking for the most part while the special effects involving the blood and gore were better. It’s a fun little change from your typical zombie movie and worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 28th, 2018 Movie – Zarkorr! The Invader

zarkorr the invader

The one problem with being a Godzilla fan is that when you own all of the movies, you start looking for other giant monster movies to watch/own. For me, it was pretty east at first as there were all of the King Kong and Gamera movies to go through, as well as all of the other Toho kaiju movies. But once I had all of them, it started to get a little more difficult in finding more movies to obtain. That brings us to today’s movie. Now I had heard about this movie before when it had suddenly popped up on my recommended list on Amazon. I didn’t buy it at first but when it came up again as part of a set, and for relatively cheap, then I decided to go ahead and pick it up. So let’s see how bad of a movie I have on my hands with today’s movie, Zarkorr! The Invader.

The plot: In MT. Aurora, California, some men are sharing some beers as they walk down the street when they hear sounds coming from the nearby mountain, just as a giant monster, Zarkorr, emerges from within the mountain and begins destroying the town. In Newark, New Jersey, Tommy Ward is eating some breakfast when he is surprised to see a 6 inch pixie suddenly appear. The pixie, Proctor, tells him that she is the representative of an advanced race and it is up to him to save the planet from invaders. When David asks why him, as he feels that there must be people better suited to help than him, Proctor agrees with him and says that half of the people on the planet are better and half are worse, making him exactly in the center which is why he was chosen. David asks her some more questions before she tells him to change the channel, where he sees the news reports about Zarkorr’s destruction. As he looks on in shock, Proctor tells him that Zarkorr can’t be destroyed by any man-made weapon on Earth, not even nuclear weapons, but tells him that the means to defeat Zarkorr do exist on Earth. She also tells him that Zarkorr is homing in on him so if he attempts to run and hide, it would only be a temporary solution as Zarkorr would eventually find and kill him. Telling him that the sooner he starts making positive progress towards stopping Zarkorr, the faster he will be able to defeat him, Proctor then disappears, leaving Tommy to wander how he is supposed to stop a 180 foot monster. Tommy heads to the local TV station and attempts to speak with Dr. Stephanie Martin and explain what he knows but she thinks he is crazy and calls out for help. When security shows up, Tommy manages to get one of their guns and forces the other guard to give him his gun too, then takes Stephanie hostage and holes up in the bathroom. Two police officers show up and, after clearing out the building, they attempt to talk to Tommy. Tommy explains the situation and one of the cops, George, believes him and ends up helping him out of the station by restraining his partner, much to Stephanie’s shock. As they leave in the patrol car, Tommy turns on the radio and they hear reports about Zarkorr destroying the national guard and being unaffected by a bombing run, causing Stephanie to start thinking some of what Tommy says might be true. When they are forced to hide the patrol car, Tommy tries again to convince Stephanie to help him and tries to figure out what Proctor meant when she said Zarkorr contained the key to defeating him. Stephanie says it is just a saying but Tommy insists it means something, as Proctor had emphasized it, so Stephanie takes them to see a hacker named Arthur she knows. After they tell Arthur what they are trying to do, he agrees to help them and begins gathering all the data he can find about Zarkorr. As she goes through it, Stephanie notices that Zarkorr doesn’t seem to breathe, eat, or sleep and Tommy says that it must have been activated somehow and if there’s a way to turn it on, then there must be a way to turn it off. Checking satellite data, Arthur determines that there was activity in Aurora 2 hours before Zarkorr appeared and Tommy says that must have been it was activated and it took time to charge to full power. Arthur then finds that radar activity detected something in Yuma, Arizona and Tommy feels that that must be where Zarkorr’s off switch can be found. Arthur books them a flight to Yuma and, after Stephanie gets them some clothes, they arrive in Yuma and the local sheriff mistakes them for the government agents he called. The sheriff leads them to a restaurant, where a saucer like object had crashed through the roof. The sheriff and local geologist explain that they have tried everything they could think of to open the saucer but had no luck. Tommy says they have to take it with them and as they place it in the trunk of their car, the sheriff gets suspicious but George is able to deal with him. As they leave town, Tommy says to head towards Zarkorr but they come to a police roadblock. When the police ask them to step out of the car, George and Stephanie comply but Tommy thanks them for their help, then drives off into the city. He drives up to where Zarkorr is and confronts him, then grabs the saucer and uses it as a shield, reflecting Zarkorr’s laser beams back at him. When the beams hit Zarkorr, he is reduced to a glowing sphere that rockets back out into space, while Tommy is rendered unconscious. When he wakes up in the hospital, he finds Stephanie and George there and they tell him he did it. A news reporter then goes to interview him and asks his thoughts about a grassroots movement that is trying to get him to run for President and Tommy looks at Stephanie and George before saying he could give it a shot.

Yeh, this was pretty much what I expected this movie to be; a somewhat cheap movie but also kind of entertaining. The acting wasn’t the greatest and in some cases it was kind of over-the-top bad, but it didn’t completely suck. The story was actually kind of interesting, as I liked the idea of an advanced race testing humanity by having one person being the key to stopping a giant monster. The special effects were on the cheap side and while the suit design for Zarkorr actually wasn’t that bad, the models were incredibly cheap looking and kind of hurt his destruction scenes. It is definitely not the best giant monster movie out there but it can be a little entertaining as far as a change of pace movie goes.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance

June 27th, 2018 Movie – Zack And Miri Make A Porno

zack and miri make a porno

Z. The last letter of the alphabet. Which means that I am reaching the tail end of things, sort of. Well, let’s get started with these last couple of movies . Today’s movie is one that I received during a white elephant gift exchange several years ago. I admit that I never saw this movie in theaters but I figured that it would be pretty good as it was directed by Kevin Smith, and he can make some good comedies. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Zack And Miri Make A Porno.

The plot: Zack Brown and Miriam “Miri” Linky are roommates in Monroeville, PA but despite both of them working, Miri at the mall and Zack at a coffee shop, they have a stack of unpaid bills. While at the coffee shop Zack is talking with his coworker Delaney, who is only working there until his settlement from the post office come in, about Miri making him go to the reunion, which is on Thanksgiving, and Delaney comments about his relationship with Miri. When he asks why he doesn’t try dating her Zack tells him that he’s known her since the 1st grade and it would be weird to date someone you’ve known that long. Later that night, Miri shows up after her shift is over and is trying on outfits in the back of Zack’s store. As she is changing, two kids notice and start filming her, catching her in her granny panties, but Zack notices and interrupts them before chasing them out. As she asks Zack his opinions on her outfits, they argue about money and that night, the water gets shut off. The next day, they head to the reunion and Miri flirts with her high school crush, Bobby Long, while Zack goes around talking to some of the other guests. As he grabs a drink at the bar, he meets Brandon St. Randy, a gay porn star that also happens to be Bobby’s boyfriend. Zack goes over and introduces Bobby to Miri and when he sees her, he says he recognizes her from the “grannie panties” viral video, shocking Miri when she sees it. When they return home, Zack wants to see how many views the video has received when their electricity gets cut off. The two head to a bar and lament about their financial difficulties and try to figure out what to do for money when Zack suggests that they make a porno. Miri is reluctant at first but is eventually won over by Zack’s enthusiasm for doing and jokes with him that he is just doing this to have sex with her. Zack talks with Delaney and convinces him to help finance the movie and they start holding auditions for actors to be in it, while Zack talks with his friend Deacon from his hockey league to film it. When Zack says they need to do a spoof for their movie, he and Miri try to come up with a good name for the movie and decide to do a Star Wars parody called Star Whores. As they tell their cast the idea for the movie and go through the script, Miri notices that she is only having sex with Zack while he is having sex with the two other girls, Bubbles and Stacey, and she gets jealous and says that she will have sex with Lester, causing Zack to get jealous. They rent out a warehouse and get some costumes for their movie and start shooting some promo shots for the movie. When they return the next day to start shooting, they find the place being demolished and learn the building had been sold a month ago and the owner took their money and ran to Florida. As they all sit around the coffee shop and lament about their misfortune, Zack suddenly gets an idea. Grabbing the camera that his boss setup to watch him during his shift, Zack says they can shoot the movie at the coffee shop. The others agree to change the movie and show up after the shop closes and Miri finds herself looking at Zack in a new light. They start shooting their new movie and as they leave for the night, Miri and Zack discuss their upcoming scene for the next day and Miri says they need to promise that it won’t get weird between them afterwards. The next night, Zack and Miri shoot their scene but instead of the rough sex that some of the other actors had done, they end up having more romantic and tender sex. The next night, they start to talk about what happened when they discover the lights and power have been turned back on. Delaney and the rest of the cast show up and tell them they pooled their money to pay off some of their debt in order to get their utilities back on and Delaney, acting as producer, says they should have an early wrap party. As the party goes on, Stacey talks with Miri about Zack and says she is nervous about having sex with him in their scene and asks if it would be ok to have sex with him tonight. Miri, having started to have feelings for Zack, says it’s ok for her to ask but looks hurt when Zack goes into his room with Stacey. The next day, Zack had changed the scene so that Stacey has sex with Lester instead of Miri but is surprised to find that Miri has shown up to shoot the scene. Zack takes Miri into the back room and they start arguing about her being there, as Zack feels like she is doing this to get back at him for sleeping with Stacey. When he says that Stacey said she was ok with it, and Miri responds that she was only ok with her asking, Zack feels like that was some kind of test. Zack then admits that he is in love with Miri and that when they had sex they shared a romantic and emotional connection but Miri doesn’t share his feelings. Zack leaves the shop, telling Delaney he is quitting the film, and when Miri gets home, she finds that Zack has moved out of their apartment. Three months later, Zack has taken a job working outside the Pittsburgh Penguins stadium during their home games, allowing people to shoot at him with a paintball gun. Delaney shows up and as they catch up, he tells Zack that he got his settlement money from the post office and asks Zack to stop by his house so they can finish editing their movie. When he gets there, he finds Deacon in Delaney’s basement ready to edit and they show him the footage they shot of Lester and Stacey, Bubbles and Barry, and then Zack and Miri. When Zack asks about the footage of Lester and Miri, Deacon tells him they don’t have any because Miri said she couldn’t do the scene after Zack left. Zack leaves and heads back to Miri’s apartment to talk to her and while she is in the bathroom, he talks to her through the door and tells her he never slept with Stacey as they spent the whole night talking about Miri. When a naked Lester walks out of Miri’s room, Zack tells ehr he doesn’t care if she is sleeping with him as he will wait for her but Lester tells him that they aren’t sleeping with each other. He explains that after Zack moved out, he moved in to help her pay the rent and they switched rooms, as his old room still smelled like him. Miri comes out of the bathroom and says she missed him and as they hug and kiss, she tells him that she loves him and they head into her room. Some time later, it is shown that Zack and Miri got married and started a production company with Delaney called Zack And Miri Make Your Porno, where they make videos for couples who want to film their lovemaking.

Zack And Miri Make A Porno met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.” During one of his sex scenes, Jason Mewes (Lester) is wearing a tie and flips it around so it is hanging down his back. This was because he has a tattoo of friend and director Kevin Smith’s daughter’s name down his back and the tie was used to hide it. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $42.8 million off of a $24 million budget.

This is really dirty, but a pretty funny movie. The acting was good, with Seth Rogen (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) doing good jobs in their roles and showing some good chemistry with each other. I honestly felt like Craig Robinson (Delaney) kind of stole the show in his scenes as he was really funny. The story was pretty good and had a great plot set up in the fact that two friends are desperate to come up with the money to pay their bills and decide to make a porno in the hopes that it will make money. While it was mainly meant for some raunchy humor, it did have it’s tender side with how the dealt with Zack and Miri’s blossoming romance. The comedy was definitely of the adult variety as there was a lot of swear words and jokes about sex. It’s some raunchy fun and if you are not easily offended, then it is good for a laugh.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review

June 26th, 2018 Movie – Yo-Yo Girl Cop

yo-yo girl cop

Japan kind of gets a bad rep for being home to some pretty weird things. A lot of this might be a cultural difference between Japan and America, or Western countries in general. However, sometimes there can be a little bit of credence to those claims; case in point, today’s movie. First off, the movie is based off of a manga, which several Japanese movies and anime’s are, but the concept itself is pretty crazy. I mean, a teenage girl working as a secret undercover cop and armed with a yo-yo. Yeh, that just seems completely out there. Now I don’t remember if this was a Blockbuster or Movie Stop purchase but when I first saw the case for this movie, I was pretty much sold and new that this would probably be some epic ridiculousness that would make for some great entertainment. Let’s see if I was right with today’s movie, Yo-Yo Girl Cop.

The plot: A teenage girl is wandering through the streets of Tokyo with her hands zip-tied, warning everyone to stay away from her as she has a bomb strapped to her. AS the timer winds down, she sees a van with a camera filming her just as she explodes, and a strange steel yo-yo is sent flying through the air before landing on the street. Some time later, Japanese Inspector Kazutoshi Kira flies to New York and is escorted to a a holding cell where a CIA agent is telling him about the Japanese girl, “K” they are holding. As they discuss her and the girl’s mother, K dislocates her shoulder in order to slip out of the straight jacket she is in, then proceeds to beat up several cops before escaping. As she makes her way through the alleys, K hears a little girl crying for her mother and she stops to comfort her but is soon surrounded by cops. As Kira arrives on the scene, K releases the girl, who runs to Kira , and K is recaptured. K is flown back to Japan and restrained in another holding cell, where Kira and his superior discuss her and his superior says she is just like her mother and would be the perfect candidate. When K regains, Kira tells her that he is making her a special agent and tells her that they are investigating an underground website named Enola Gay. They believe the website is connected to an elite school, which they want her to investigate. Kira explains that the young girl that recently blew up was another of their agents investigating the school and tells K that she has 72 hours to complete the mission, the time shown on a countdown on the Enola Gay website, or else they will deport her mother, who is living in America on an expired visa. K tells Kira that she doesn’t care for her mother but reluctantly agrees to help him. K is given a school uniform and a special yo-yo, as well as a new name; Saki Asamiya. Saki arrives at the school and as she observes the students, she has an encounter with Reika Akiyama and her clique, who tend to run the school. When she sees Reika and her group bullying another student, Tae Konno, Saki confronts them about it and ends up betting up several guys who try to stop her. Later, Saki is talking with Tae on the roof of the school. and asking about Reika and her group. She then asks about the girl that killed herself and Tae says that she had gotten in close with the Chemistry Club before she died. Saki goes to check out the Chemistry Club and sees a computer with the Enola Gay site on it’s monitor and evidence that someone was attempting to make a bomb. She then sees two students wearing suicide vests and asks what they are doing, causing them to run and Saki chases after them. When they split up, Saki follows one of them, Higashiyama, into a mall, where he ends up grabbing Tae as a hostage. Seeing her new friend in trouble, Saki goes to use her yo-yo to stop Higashiyama but her inexperience with it causes her to knock herself out, as well as causing a hanging sign to fall onto a cart close to Higashiyama and Tae. Tae and Higashiyama both go to check on Saki and afterwards, Higashiyama apologizes and is taken into custody. Meanwhile, the other student, Amaki, had returned to school when his bomb vest is suddenly activated remotely, by the people in the white van. As he calls out for someone to help him and tries to remove the vest, he is approached by the janitor, Jirou Kimura, who says it’s cool he built that suicide vest and says they should be friends, removing the vest and throwing it out the window before it explodes. Later that night, Saki meets with Kira, who tells her that after questioning Higashiyama, they learned that the man who seems to be in charge of Enola Gay is called Romeo. Saki asks Kira if he is keeping anything else from her and he tells her not at the moment. As Saki takes the bus home, she notices the Kimura on the bus and he comes over to sit next to her, then lets her listen to the song he is listening to on his iPod. Meanwhile, Tae goes on the Ebola Gay website and notices a conversation between Romeo and someone named Juliet. In the Enola Gay’s hideout, Kimura is revealed to be Romeo just as two cops, led there by Reika, try to arrest the Enola Gay gang only to be killed in a live webcast. Saki had seen the web cast, as had Kira, and when he calls to tell her that he had sent Higashiyama home, Saki angrily hangs up on him. Saki races to Higashiyama’s house only to see him being kidnapped by the Enola Gay gang and she tries to stop them but is shot with a stun pellet. The next day at school, Tae doesn’t show up and sends Saki an email, which she reads on the roof. In the email, Tae explains that last year she had transferred to the school and she met a girl named Kotomi Kanda. The two ended up becoming friends when they met each other online, with Kotomi’s screen name being Romeo and Tae’s Juliet, only to realize that they went to the same school. The two were both bullied and they started a website called Verona to serve as an anti-bullying website for people to reach out and share their own stories and try to help each other. However, Kotomi was growing more despondent over the teacher’s lack of acknowledgement for the bullying going on in the school and so she brings a bomb to the school to kill them but ends up being the only one caught in the blast. As Saki stops reading the email, she is confronted by Reika, who tells her that Kotomi had fallen in love with a boy, who was the one to give her the bomb. Continuing the email, Saki reads how one day, Tae received an email and saw the Verona site, which had been shut down after the bombing incident, had become the Enola Gay site, and there was messages from Romeo and Juliet, who were not her or Kotomi. Saki meets up with Tae, who takes her to see Kotomi, who has been in a near catatonic state since the explosion. Tae talks to her Kotomi some and when Saki notices the iPod in her hand, she asks Kotomi who gave it to her and Kotomi says Kimura. As they leave, Tae mentions the assembly at school tomorrow and wants to tell everyone what is going on but is scared but Saki tells her that she will be there for her. That night, Saki pays a visit to Kira at his home and they talk briefly over dinner before she leaves and after she is gone, Kira lifts up a picture he had turned face down so Saki wouldn’t see it and comments on how she has grown up, revealing himself to be her father. Outside, Saki encounters Kimura, who invites her for a ride and they soon end up on a rooftop. As Saki asks what he is up to, he reveals himself to be Kimura, as she didn’t know his name, but she is knocked out before she can do anything. Later, Tae encounters Kimura, who tells her that Saki won’t be there for her tomorrow, playing on her insecurities in order to get her to use a bomb at the rally. The next day, Saki regains consciousness only to find herself tied to a bomb and she manages to escape, then races towards the school. At the school, Reika introduces the assembly to Tae, calling her Romeo, but Tae says she can’t go through with this and warns everyone to get away, showing the bomb strapped to her. As Saki shows up, Reika tells Tae that Saki is really a cop and was never her friend and Tae ask if that is true. Before Saki can respond, two of the Enola Gay gang appear and attempt to kill Tae in order to trigger the bomb but Saki is able to save Tae and stop them. Reika grabs Tae and leaves the school and Saki goes to follow but another student armed with a bomb stops her and she is forced to knock him out, then throws the bomb outside to save the other students. Meanwhile, Kiruma and the other members of the gang had been using the distraction at the school to rob a bank. Saki leaves the school and is met by Kira and the police, who let her through. She heads back to the headquarters and dons a bullet proof uniform and heads out to the Enola Gay’s hideout. When she reaches it, she encounters Reika, who reveals that she was also once an undercover cop and has her own yo-yo, with retractable blades. The two fight and Reika gets the upper hand and goes to kill Saki but Saki is able to escape and buries Reika underneath a pile of metal poles. Saki continues through the hideout and confronts Kiruma, who has Tae, Higashiyama, and Amaki hostage. Kiruma activates a timer, telling her she has 3 minutes to save her friends before they all blow up and Saki heads towards them, defeating the other members of the gang as she does. With one minute to go, Saki confronts Kiruma,who is also wearing a suicide vest synced to the other bomb. As Saki uses her yo-yo, Kiruma cuts the string but she is able to grab it and throw it at him, distracting him long enough to grab the remote and shut down the bomb near her friends, but Kiruma’s vest continues to count down and he smiles as he explodes. Some time later, Saki calls her mom and when her mom asks where she had run off too, she tells her she is in Japan. Her mom, who was the original Saki Asamiya, is shocked when she hears that and when she hears that Saki is with Kira, she tells Saki that Kira had hurt his leg saving her life a long time ago. After she hangs up, Kira tells Saki that he has another assignment for her if she wants and Saki accepts it, then goes to say goodbye to Tae and Kotomi, who is able to return to school.

This was an interesting movie and, while a little confusing at times, pretty entertaining. The acting was ok, with Aya Matsuura doing a good job as Saki, while Rika Ishikawa (Reika), Yui Okada (Tae), and Riki Takeuchi (Kira) doing equally good in their roles. The story was interesting and I liked the basic concept, somewhat putting a spotlight onto teenage suicides, but the bouncing around in the filming kind of made it hard to follow. There were a couple of humorous scenes, mainly Saki’s initial use of the yo-yo and her failure in being able to use it, but they did serve to kind of lighten up the mood when it got a little too serious. The fight scenes were a little over the top but not too bad and actually did fit with the movie. It is ridiculous but pretty fun to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review

June 25th, 2018 Movie – You’re Telling Me!

youre telling me

Starting the day with some classic comedy, can’t get much better than that. The only sad part to this is that this is the last movie in this collection so it will be a while before I get around to watching any more W.C. Fields movies. This has definitely been a great collection as I have heard of many of these movies but never had a chance to watch any of them. That holds true with today’s movie, You’re Telling Me, and I am eager to see what is in store for me with this one.

The plot: Sam Bisbee comes home late one night and attempts to sneak in but his wife Bessie is waiting up for him and starts chastising him for missing the dinner party she had planned. As she argues with him about what an embarrassment he is to the family, she comments about their daughter Pauline kissing Bob Murchison but Sam says he isn’t worried about Pauline. When Pauline enters the house, Bessie starts chastising her daughter about kissing Bob but Pauline says she is kissing him because he asked her to marry him, causing Bessie to change her tone somewhat. Sam is happy for his daughter and starts to offer some advise but then thinks better of it and heads off to bed. The next day, Sam is in his private lab at his optometrist store talking with two friends about his puncture proof tire, demonstrating the finished product by shooting at it with a gun. When the mail arrives, he receives a certified letter from the National Tire Company expressing interest in the tire. Meanwhile, Bob has told his mother about his intent to marry Pauline and she goes to see Bessie, where she tries to convince Bessie to help her break up the wedding as she feels her son’s social level is too good to be associated with them. Bessie shows her her family album and Mrs. Burchison seems surprised to see that Bessie is actually more sophisticated than she first thought and while she still feels that Bob is to young to get married, she appears more accepting of the idea. When Sam returns home with his tire, he starts telling Mrs. Burchison about his side of the family but Mrs. Burchison is shocked at his uncouth manner and says she is going to call the whole wedding off. As she goes to leave, Pauline and Bob enter the house to see how things are going and hear her tell Sam and Bessie that she would sooner disinherit her son than let him marry into this family. Pauline sticks up for her father and tells Bob to take his mother and leave and after they leave, Sam tries to share his good news with his family but they are both disappointed in what happened and walk away. Sam has 4 of his tires made and puts them on his car, which he drives to the National Tire Company but while he is upstairs talking with the board, his car is pushed out of the way, as he parked illegally and a police car parks where he was. When Sam returns downstairs to show the board his tires, he begins shooting the tires, which deflate. The board members all laugh and call him a quack inventor as the police show up and Sam is forced to run away. Back in their home town of Crystal Springs, Bob goes to see Pauline as she is heading to church and they both admit they still love each other but Pauline says that even though she knows Bob doesn’t have a problem with her father, she doesn’t know how she can marry into a family that thinks he is nothing but an embarrassment. Meanwhile, Sam is taking a train back home and as it is travelling, he is considering drinking a bottle of iodine in order to commit suicide but as he is interrupted by a gentleman attempting to shave in their sleeping carriage, he sees them passing by a cemetery and thinks better of it. Making his way to another car to clean up, he accidentally finds himself in the cabin with Princess Lescaboura. Seeing a bottle of iodine on the table that was being used for her manicure, he mistakenly tells her not to commit suicide. Marie starts to correct him but asks why she shouldn’t and he tells her about how he was considering doing it himself, showing her the note he wrote to Pauline. He proceeds to tell her about his recent bad luck and what it will do to everyone, not realizing that as he is talking to her, the train has stopped at Crystal Springs and two town gossips, who were on the train and saw him, get off and watch as he continues talking with the Princess. As Sam finishes his tale, she introduces herself as Marie thanks him for saving her life and tells him to keep hope as he never knows when good fortunes might come to him. Sam leaves her cabin but is upset to learn that he had passed his stop and sits down to wait till they reach the next station so he can catch a ride back. Meanwhile, Marie’s attendants return and as she asks what is on her schedule, she makes some plans of her own. In Crystal Springs, the two gossips begins telling everyone what they believe Sam was doing, causing rumors to start flying like mad. When Sam makes it back to town, having been forced to walk the 40 miles, he finds the women all shunning him while the men all laugh at him. As he shares a drink with his two friends in his lab, they ask him about the girls form the train and Sam realizes that is what the fuss is over. The town newspaper announces that the Princess is coming to visit their town and Mrs. Murchison gathers all of the town’s upper class to welcome her to town. As the Princess scans the crowd, she comments about not seeing her friend Sam Bisbee there and when Mrs. Murchison asks why she wants to see him, the Princess tells the crowd he saved her life. The Princess asks to be driven to his house and a shocked Mrs. Murchison agrees to take her there. Meanwhile, Sam is leaving his store and decides to buy a pet as a peace offering for his wife and ends up buying an ostrich. As he attempts to bring the animal back to his house, the motorcade spots him and Mrs. Murchison has them stop so they can get Sam. Sam, somewhat bleary-eyed at first doesn’t recognize the Princess at first but when his vision clears, he happily greets Marie but refuses to ride with Mrs. Murchison and she agrees to ride in a different car. As they are riding, Sam doesn’t realize that Marie is actually a princess, thinking she is simply pulling off a fantastic ruse. When they arrive at Sam’s home, Pauline and Bessie go outside to see what the commotion is and are shocked as Mrs. Murchison greets them like they are old friends and then introduces them to the Princess. As she greets them, the Princess tells them they must be proud of Sam, telling them that he saved her life during the war which causes Bessie to faint. When she comes too, the Princess brings Sam out of the car and the group all head inside where the Princes forces Mrs/ Murchison to change her dinner plans when she says she will be eating with the Bisbees. As the dinner party commences, Mrs. Murchison announces the engagement of Bob and Pauline and everyone cheers the happy couple. The next day, the Mayor, at the Princess’s request, has Sam open up the new golf course by hitting the first ball but a variety of distractions occur that keep him from doing so. Suddenly, the president of the National Tire Company arrives and tells Sam that they found his car with the tires and after testing them, want to purchase them for $20,000. The Princess says that she wants to purchase the tires for her country, doubling the offer, and the two continue raising the price until the president of National Tire Company offers $1 million plus the royalties for every tire sold. Sam agrees to the deal and his family and the town applaud his new success. Later, as Pauline and Bob drive off to their honeymoon and the Princess goes to leave town, Sam says goodbye to her and comments on pulling their ruse off and she says “You’re telling me.” before saying her goodbye and leaving.

This was a great movie to watch and, in my opinion, one of Fields’s best. The acting was great, with W.C. Field putting in a great performance and throwing in his usual wit, as well as slap-stick humor, to perfect comedic timing while also showing a more serious side to make it feel more human and real. Adrienne Ames (Lescaboura/Marie), Joan Marsh (Pauline) and Buster Crabbe (Bob) all put in some great performances, while Kathleen Howard (Mrs. Murchison) and Louise Carter (Bessie) were equally good. One thing that did confuse me during the movie is that Sam always referred to his wife as Abigail, but the credits all listed her as Bessie. The only thing I can think of is it was a nickname for her. The story was great, with a lot of humor but the scene in the train honestly had such a real feel to it that it made Sam, for all his bumbling, seem even more human and made his disappointment in letting his family down even more profound. The comedy was exactly what you would expect from a W.C. Fields movie, a great mix of slapstick and witty dialogue but I will say that the golf course scene did seem to drag out way too long. A great movie and one that is well worth watching if you have the opportunity.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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crime, Hitchcock, movie, movie review, mystery, romance

June 24th, 2018 Movie – Young And Innocent

young and innocent

Once again I wasn’t paying attention when I was entering the movie titles into my spreadsheet and put another movie out of order. Oh well, I am actually glad I got to watch this movie today as it feels a little appropriate to end the weekend like this. Today’s movie is the last movie in the Legends of Horror box set and, much like how I started off with this set, I find myself watching a Hitchcock movie to finish off the set. This is yet another movie that I have never heard of before buying this collection and I really haven’t been disappointed with these rare gems so let’s see if the trend finishes up the same as I watch today’s movie, Young And Innocent.

The plot: On a stormy night, Christine Clay finds herself in an argument with her jealous ex-husband Guy, who doesn’t accept her Reno divorce as valid. Accusing her of having an affair, they continue arguing until Christine slaps Guy and demands he leave. As he walks out into the rain, Guy turns to look back at the door as his eyes begin twitching uncontrollably. The next day, Christine’s body washes ashore onto the beach, where she is spotted by Robert Tisdall as he is out for a walk. Going to check on the body, he recognizes her as Christine and then runs to get help, but two women heading to the beach spot him and the body and they believe he is running from the crime. When the authorities arrive and determine she was strangled with the belt from a rain coat, the women accuse Robert of killing her but he proclaims his innocence, only to find that nobody seems ready to believe him. Robert is taken to Scotland Yard for questioning all night and when the police ask him if he has a raincoat, he says it was stolen out of his car. Robert admits that he did know Christine, as he sold her a story 3 years ago, but the police believe he was having an affair with her and when they inform him that she left him £1200, he ends up fainting. Erica Burgoyne, the daughter of the local police’s Chief Constable, happens to be outside and is able to help revive him, then they take Robert to see his barrister before going to court. Robert tries to tell his barrister that the police are making a mistake and that if the police go to check the pub he was at the night his coat was stolen, they will verify what he told them but he realizes pretty quickly that his barrister is somewhat incompetent. Unsure on if he will get a fair trial against the circumstantial evidence against him, Robert takes advantage of the crowded courthouse to slip away from his guards and as they clear the courthouse to search for him, he is able to get outside by wearing his barrister’s glasses as a disguise. As the police start leaving the courthouse to look for him, Erica ends up having two officers ride with her, commandeering her car to help search. When the car runs out of gas, they start pushing it to the nearest station but Erica tells them to keep going and so the two officers hitch a ride with a passing farmer. As Erica works on continuing to push the car, she is surprised to find Robert helping her, as he had stowed away on the side running board, and she begrudgingly thanks him for the help. Reaching a fuel station, Robert ends up paying for Erica’s gas and they continue on the way for a little while before Erica pulls over and drops Robert off at an abandoned farm house, not wanting him to stay in her car any longer and as he watches her drive off, he sees her stop and speak with some policemen but when they drive by without stopping, she realizes that she didn’t tell them where he was. Erica returns home and is having lunch with her father and brothers and during the course of the meal, she learns that Robert had used all the money he had on him to pay for her gas. Feeling a little guilty, but also believing his claims of innocence, she heads back to the farm house with some food for him As the two talk, Robert starts eating the food Erica brought him but when he tosses the wrapper out the window, the policemen who were with Erica earlier spot it and go to investigate. As they approach, Erica’s dog starts barking at them, alerting Erica and Robert to their approach and they are able to slip out the window and get away. Erica is upset about the fact that she was forced to run from the cops like that and considers heading back to town but when she sees the road blocked, she resigns herself to going to the pub, saying she might as well see this through. When they reach the pub, Erica goes in and asks the bartender if someone had lost a coat and the bartender mentions a tramp named Old Will had come in with a new coat but quickly shuts up when some other tramps motion him to be quiet. Another customer says that he did recall Old Will coming in with a new coat that someone had given him and the tramps start a fight to keep him quiet. Hearing the commotion, Robert goes to check on Erica but when she says she is safely outside, he heads out as well but ends up getting hurt. Erica tends to his wound and the customer tells them where they can find Old Will and Robert chooses to walk there, not wanting to put Erica in any more trouble than she might already be in. However, Erica finds herself starting to fall for Robert and she decides to take him there but stops at her aunt’s house for a little bit to ask for some money. Having Robert wait in the car, Erica goes inside only to get trapped in her aunt’s party. Outside, Robert is writing her a note to explain his leaving and thanking her for her help when her uncle shows up and invites him in. The two try to make their excuses and leave but Erica’s aunt grows suspicious and keeps them around so she can question Robert. When Erica’s uncle helps them leave, her aunt chastises him and grows even more suspicious when they head in the opposite direction of Erica’s home and she calls the Chief Constable. After hearing about Erica and Robert, the Chief Constable calls the local station house in the direction they are heading and asks them to stop her and have her call him but when the officer stops her to relay the message, he recognizes Robert and Erica drives off. Panicking over what she did and what it will do to her father if she is arrested for aiding a fugitive, Erica says they have to find that coat and they head off to find Old Will. Arriving at the train station next to the shelter he is supposed to be staying at. Robert tells Erica this will all be over soon and she will never see him again and she grows sad and asks if that is true. Robert comforts her until she falls asleep, then heads to the shelter to look for Will but ends up falling asleep inside. He eventually finds Will and questions him about the raincoat but Will feigns ignorance. When Robert exclaims that it is a matter of life or death for him, one of the tramps realizes Robert is the escaped criminal and goes to tell the manager to call the police. Robert drags Will out of there and into Erica’s car and they rush off, managing to avoid the police by racing in front of a passing train. Robert discovers that Will is wearing his raincoat underneath his overcoat and when he examines it, realizes that the belt is missing and that it was his belt that killed Christine. When he asks about the belt, Will tells them that it didn’t have a belt when the man gave it to him and describes the man as having twitchy eyes. Robert thinks this will clear him but Erica says it won’t be enough unless they find the actual killer. Realizing the police will be after them soon, Will says there is an old mine they can hide in and they head there only to have Erica’s car fall into a hole when the ground collapses. Robert and Will manage to rescue her before her car falls deeper into the hole as the police arrive, and Erica moves to stall them so that Robert can get free. Later, Erica’s father speaks with her about the situation she is in and shows her his letter of resignation, as he refuses to arrest her. That night, Robert sneaks into Erica’s room to see her and she rushes to hug him. Robert tells her that he is going to turn himself in, and just wanted to see her first. She tells him that the police found his coat and the only thing in it was a box of matches from the Grand Hotel. Robert goes to leave but then goes back to her and says he has never been to the Grand Hotel and they realize the killer must have been there or still is. The next day, Erica meets with Will, who is there to see if he spots the man that gave him the coat, but Will is being watched by the police. As they look around the hotel, they head inside the ballroom as the police enter, having spotted Will with Erica and believing they could lead them to Robert. As they sit in the ballroom and look around, the drummer of the house band notices Will and his eyes start twitching. The drummer is actually Guy in black-face and when he sees the police are there as well, he starts acting suspiciously, causing the band leader to chastise him. Guy considers leaving but when he sees more police showing up, he heads back inside and goes to take some medicine to try and get his twitching under control. Erica’s father shows up with Scotland Yard and they catch Robert and go to get Erica as Guy’s increasingly erratic behavior causes him to pass out. The police are about to lead Erica, Robert, and Will away when they hear the commotion and Erica goes to offer her help. When she notices Guy’s eyes twitching, she calls for Will to come over, then asks someone to wipe off the black-face. When his face is clear, Will confirms that it is the man that gave him the coat and as Guy comes around, Erica asks him what he did with the belt. Guy starts laughing and says he twisted it around her neck, admitting that he killed Christine. As the authorities move to arrest Guy, Robert is released and he goes to embrace Erica, who then goes to her father and asks about inviting Robert over for dinner.

For an early Hitchcock movie, this is not as good as his later works but it is a good movie on it’s own and does show some flashes of his brilliance. The acting was good, with Derrick De Marney and Nova Pilbeam doing good jobs as Robert and Erica, as they had some great chemistry on screen and the banter between them was fantastic. I also liked Edward Rigby (Old Will) as he provided a good bit of comedic humor towards the end of the movie. The story was pretty basic, with the framed man trying to prove his innocence while avoiding being caught by the authorities. Still, Hitchcock was able to add some romance and humor to a serious plot, either intentionally or unintentionally. The scene with the policemen getting a ride from the farmer had me cracking up. I don’t know if the “pig” nickname for police had come about at this point or not but when they were talking to the farmer and he told them he was paid to move pigs around, plus when they asked if he had more room for them and he said he only had the room for 10 pigs, had me almost laughing at loud. While the chase sequences were pretty good for the time, the film quality was honestly kind of bad, particularly towards the end of the film, but it could have just been the source used for this DVD and not the original film itself. A fun movie to watch and definitely worth watching if you are a fan of Hitchcock.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, western

June 23rd, 2018 Movie – Young Guns II

young guns 2

You ever have a song that seems to be everywhere and you can’t escape it. Well that was the case in 1990 as Jon Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory” seemed to be played ALL THE TIME. Now I will admit that it is a catchy song and I didn’t mind hearing it every now and then, but it really did seem to be on every time you turned on the radio. Now, this did make for some effective marketing for today’s movie, as it was the featured song for the movie. Now let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Young Guns II.

The plot: In 1950, attorney Charles Phalen meets with a man named Brushy Bill Roberts out in the New Mexico desert. Roberts explains that he wants Pelham’s help in securing the pardon he was promised 70 years ago by then New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace, telling Pelham that his real name is William H. Bonney, alias Billy The Kid. Pelham doesn’t believe him, saying that Billy the Kid was killed by Pat Garrett in 1881 and asks if Roberts has any proof to his claim, such as any scars. In flashback, Roberts explains that after he had parted ways with Doc Scurlock and Luis Chavez y Chavez, he had formed a new gang with Pat Garrett and Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh. When some bounty hunters attempt to kill Billy, the three manage to kill the bounty hunters, though Billy is shot in the leg in the process. Meanwhile, Doc is living in New York City and working as a school teacher when US Marshals break down the door and arrest Doc, as they are bringing all of the men involved in the Lincoln County War back to New Mexico to be executed. When he arrives in Lincoln, he is thrown into a gallows pit with some other prisoners and discovers that Chavez has also been captured. Meanwhile, Billy, Garrett, and Dave head to a border town that they have taken to hiding in and as Billy gets his wound tended too, he learns about the warrents issued for him and everyone involved in the Lincoln County War. A young boy named Tom O’Folliard approaches Billy, wanting to ride in his gang, but Billy tries to steer him clear of the lifestyle by showing him the wound in his leg and saying it could just as easily be in his head. When some soldiers show up, the residents hide Billy so they don’t find him and later, Garrett sneaks him some food and tells him that he is thinking of giving up the outlaw life and settle down. When one of the townsfolk decides to take a shot at Billy, he is forced to shoot him, then ends up in a gunfight with the soldiers but is able to escape town. Billy makes his way to see Governor Wallace, who offers Billy a full pardon in exchange for his testimony against the members of the Dolan-Murphy gang. Billy accepts and is taken to Lincoln to testify, only to find out that the prosecutors had no intention of using his testimony, making the deal null and void. Due to the fact that his wrists are bigger than his hands, Billy is able to slip out of his cuffs and escape, but overhears the sheriff telling the prisoners that a lynch mob is expected to arrive that night. Billy, Garrett, and Dave disguise themselves as members of the lynch mob and manage to trick the sheriff into releasing Doc and Chavez into their custody but when the real lynch mob shows up, they are forced to fight their way out of town. Later, as he is shooting the shackles from Doc and Chavez, he tells them that things are getting too hot and he is going to take the Mexican Blackbird, a series of broken trails that only he and a few others know, and head down to Mexico. Doc wants to head back to New York but Garrett warns him that things aren’t the same as they were when he was last in Lincoln and when he sees a posse heading towards them, he reluctantly follows after Billy and the others. Riding back to their hideout, Billy sends Garrett out to get some more people to join them but the only person he can find is a former farmer named Henry William French. Garrett then tells Billy that he won’t be riding with him, as he decided to follow through on his idea of settling down and opening up his own place and Billy argues with him briefly before accepting his friends decision, then agrees to let Tom ride with them when he is caught stealing some food. The next day, Billy, Doc, Chavez, Dave, Henry, and Tom ride to the ranch owned by John Simpson Chisum, a wealthy land owner who was an ally of Tunstall and McSween during the war. Billy tells Chisum that he owes them money for some services rendered as well as his avoiding hitting his property but Chisum says he doesn’t owe them anything. Billy threatens to kill one of his men for every $5 dollars that they owe, then has Dave kill one of Chisum’s men while Doc is forced to kill another. With Chisum refusing to pay them, Billy and the others rustle some of his cattle in order to get some money and head on to Mexico. Chisum meets with Wallace and they have Garrett brought to the Governor’s mansion, where they ask him to become the new sheriff of Lincoln County, offering him $1000 and all the resources he needs in order to capture Billy and his gang. Garrett accepts the job and hires his friend Ashmun Upson, a drunken journalist, to ride with him and document the journey. In the desert, Billy wakes up the others by shooting a newspaper article, telling them that Garrett is the new sheriff chasing them. As they head towards Mexico, they come across an Apache burial ground and Chavez says they should go around it but Dave argues that they can sell the bones for money. When he starts to dig up a grave, Chavez attacks him and the two begin fighting, with Dave stabbing Chavez in the arm with his knife while Chavez slashes Dave with his before they are forced to call a truce. The group arrive at the town of White Oak, where they meet up with Jane Greathouse, a friend of Billy, Doc, and Chavez’s who has opened a brothel. As the group is entertained for the night, a lynch mob comprised of the town’s citizens shows up ready to hang them. Deputy Carlyle tries to keep the peace and asks to come inside to speak with Billy. Once inside, he explains that he intends to follow the law but things will get ugly if the crowd doesn’t get a hanging so he proposes that Billy gives him Chavez to satisfy the crowd and the others can leave out the back. Billy refuses to turn over his friend and instead, puts Chavez’s hat and poncho on him and shoves him out the door while yelling at the crowd, causing the crowd to mistakenly shoot Carlyle, then quickly disperse when they realize what the did. Garrett and his men arrive shortly afterwards and after questioning Jane, he sets her place on fire, saying he is following the law and the towns wishes, and Jane proceeds to ride out of town naked to show what she thinks of the town. Billy and his gang end up in a small mining community that is mining guano but Garrett and his men catch up to them and start shooting. Billy and the others manage to get away ride their horses off a cliff, forcing Garrett and his men to take the long way around to try and catch them again. As Billy and the others continue, he and Tom ride on ahead to scout only to see Garrett close by. Despite the sun being in his eyes, Garrett takes aim and fires, thinking he shot Billy but as he rides up to inspect the body, realizes that he shot Tom, who says he can’t believe he shot him before passing away. Billy and the others take refuge in a abandoned house and when Doc asks him about the trail, Billy admits that there is no trail. Doc gets angry and goes to leave, only to be shot by one of Garrett’s men when he steps out of the house. As they argue over what to do, Doc tells Billy to finish the game and Billy hands him a pistol. Doc then charges out and begins firing at Garrett and his men, only to be gunned down. Dave, Henry, and Chavez manage to get away but when Chavez is shot, Henry goes back to help him while Dave continues on his way. Billy ends up being captured and is taken back to Lincoln, where the judge sentences him to be hanged. As he is awaiting his execution, Billy receives a visit from Jane, who has opened a new brothel and secretly gives him a note saying “outhouse”. When Billy goes to the outhouse, he finds a gun she had hidden for him inside and uses it to kill his guards and make his escape, riding back to his hideout in Fort Sumner. Chavez and Henry also head there and when he says that they need to head out, Chavez tells him he isn’t going anywhere, showing him his gut wound, and he wanders off to die. Henry also chooses to leave and as the town holds a celebration that night, Billy is confronted by Garrett. Billy and Garrett argue, with Billy telling Garrett to let him go to Mexico and Garrett says he can’t because he knows Billy would come back. As they continue arguing, Billy turns his back and starts to walk away, forcing Garrett to shoot him in the back. As a funeral is held for Billy, someone steals Garrett’s horse while in the present, Bill Roberts says he never stole a horse from someone he didn’t like and he loved Garrett like a brother. Dave had made it to Mexico but was beheaded shortly afterwards as a warning to outlaws crossing the border. Garrett’s book about the life of Billy the Kid was a failure and he was shot dead in 1908. Bill Roberts was brought before the governor on November 29, 1950 and despite several surviving witnesses that knew Billy the Kid and corroborated his claim, he was discredited and died 1 month later in Hico, Texas.

Young Guns II received mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that it was an entertaining movie, but lacked some of the depth from the previous film. Emilio Estevez had approached Jon Bon Jovi to ask permission to use “Wanted Dead Or Alive” in the movie but Bon Jovi felt the lyrics were inappropriate. Instead, he was inspired by the project and wrote a new song, “Blaze Of Glory”, that better caught the period and setting of the film, and would end up being #1 hit on the Billboard 100. Much like it’s predecessor, the movie was a hit at the box office, earning $44.1 million off of a $10 million budget.

The sequel curse definitely hit this movie as it was definitely not as good as the original. The acting was ok, as I liked Emilio Estevez reprising his role as Billy and I thought Lou Diamond Phillips was equally good as Chavez but felt like Kiefer Sutherland wasn’t too keen to return and didn’t put much emphasis into his character. I thought Christian Slater was great as Arkansas Dave and loved his constant challenging of Billy for leadership and William Petersen was decent as Garrett. The story was pretty good, focusing on the controversy that surrounds Bill Roberts, who did claim to be Billy the Kid and brought new life to the debate, which cause it to be brought up on Unsolved Mysteries. The special effects regarding the gunfights did seem better than the first movie but it didn’t do much to make the movie itself better. It’s some fun watching when you’re bored, but the original is still better.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, crime, drama, movie, movie review, western

June 22nd, 2018 Movie – Young Guns

young guns

So the Brat Pack decided to make a western movie. That was pretty much my opinion when I first heard about this movie. Anyways, I remember thinking that this would be an interesting movie to watch but never saw it while it was in theaters. I would end up catching bits and pieces of it on TV over the years before I finally decided to rent it one day so I could watch the whole thing. Westerns are not really my normal wheelhouse but I was entertained enough to end up getting both this and the sequel when the opportunity presented itself. So let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, Young Guns.

The plot: In Lincoln County, New Mexico, local ranch owner John Tunstall is in town with Doc Scurlock, one of the young men he has hired to help work the ranch, when they hear the sound of a gun shot and see a young man, Billy, running down the street, being chased by some men who work for Lawrence Murphy, a well connected Irishman who Tunstall is at odds with. Tunstall decides to help Billy get out of town and takes him back to his place, where Billy sees the other Regulators (Jose Chavez y Chavez, Richard M. “Dick” Brewer, Steve Stephens, and Charlie Bowdre) and Tunstall offers to let him stay there provided he earn his keep. The next day, Billy works at tending to the pigs as Charlie explains what it is they do around there and after supper, Tunstall works at teaching everyone how to read and write. The next day, Billy hides when he sees Murphy, ride up with the sheriff and some of his men. Tunstall and the Regulators go to meet them and when the sheriff says that Murphy is accusing Tunstall of stealing some of his land but Tunstall denies the claim, causing Tunstall and Murphy to argue over their place in town. The next day, a former worker for Murphy, J. McCloskey, shows up looking for work and Tunstall agrees to let him in. That night, they head into town for the New Year’s Eve dance and while he is there, Tunstall speaks to his lawyer, Alexander McSween, about trying to expose Murphy’s corruption to the governor only to be told that Murphy had given a large donation to the governor’s election campaign. During the course of the night, Billy meets a man named Pat Garrett and Doc dances with Yen Sun, a Chinese girl under Murphy’s care only to later be told that she is actually his house slave. As Tunstall and the Regulators head home in the morning, Murphy’s men kill Tunstall and chase after the Regulators but they manage to get away. Later, Alex goes to the Justice of the Peace and asks if he is going to serve warrants on the men responsible for Tunstall’s death and he says no but does deputize the Regulators so they can issue the warrants and arrest the men. When they go to arrest Henry Hill, they send Billy in to the shack he tends to hide out in but when Billy hears that Hill is going to the outhouse, he heads over there and ends up shooting Hill, causing a gun fight to erupt. The next day, Doc reads a newspaper article about the gunfight and Billy, who they nickname The Kid, to the others when he notices Yen Sun walking by and goes to talk to her, but when she refuses to take the flowers he offers her then he tells her to give Murphy a message that they are coming for him. The Regulators manage to capture two of Murphy’s men that they have warrants for but Billy wants to kill them. When McCloskey says that they should go a different route than the one Dick wants to go but Billy notices McCloskey and one of the men sharing a glance and realizes that McCloskey is a traitor and kills him, prompting the Regulators to kill the other men when they try to escape. As they try to figure out there next move, and Billy and Dick argue over who should be leading the group, they see Buckshot Roberts approaching them, as he wants to collect the bounty on Billy’s head. A shoot out occurs, with Chavez and Doc both being wounded as Roberts takes shelter in an outhouse. The Regulators fire into the outhouse and when they don’t hear anything, Dick goes to check it out only to be killed by Roberts. The Regulators agin fire into the outhouse, then leave before more of Murphy’s men can arrive. Later, Doc heads off to write to Dick’s family about his death and get some fresh wrappings for his and Chavez’s wounds. Though Billy warns him to stay out of Lincoln, he heads there anyways and sneaks in to see Yen Sun, trying to convince her to leave with him but she refuses and he is forced to leave when Murphy heads up to her room. When Doc returns, Billy convinces the group that they need to go after Sheriff Brady, as he helped Murphy get away with Tunstall’s murder, and they head into Lincoln and kill him and some of his men. When they go to see Alex, he is furious with them as the governor has revoked their deputization and now the military will be after them. He says they were just supposed to serve the warrants and expose Murphy’s corruption but Billy argues that by killing Brady and bringing more attention to the situation, that President Hayes will have to take notice of what is going on out there. As they go to leave, Alex tells them that he is going to reopen Tunstall’s store and tells them to be careful. As they go to hide out, Charlie wants to spend the night with a woman so they head into a town and give him money for a prostitute. While they wait for him, Billy overhears a man at the bar looking for him and he taunts the man briefly, as he doesn’t know what Billy looks like, before revealing himself and killing him. Suddenly, Charlie bursts into the bar and tells them that John Kinney, an ex soldier turned bounty hunter, and his men are coming and they all quickly ride off, hiding in some thorn bushes to escape detection. As they rest for a while, Billy wants to head back to Lincoln to take out Murphy but the others all want to head to Mexico to get away and Billy, describing the risk it will entail to get to Mexico, decides to go with them. They reach a border town and rest up for the night only to be surprised when Charlie falls in love and decides to marry a local girl. As they celebrate the wedding, Pat Garrett shows up and approaches Billy, telling him that their mutual friend Alex is in danger, as Murphy is planning on killing him on his return to Lincoln. Billy calls out for the Regulators to get ready to ride out and both he and Doc tell Charlie that he should stay, as he has a wife now, but Charlie refuses to let his friends ride off without him. The Regulators head back to Lincoln and go to get Alex and his wife Susan out of town but they realize that it is trap as Murphy’s men begin setting up barricades in front of the house. Kinney and his men show up as well and the Regulators find themselves trapped in the house. As Murphy and Kinney’s men begin shooting at the house, Billy and the others take refuge on the second floor. Murphy arrives to oversee the events just as some soldiers arrive from the nearest army camp, and Murphy tries to get them to leave as he doesn’t want too much attention brought on them. While he argues with the colonel, Yen Sun leaves his wagon and races into the house, choosing to be with Doc. Murphy orders his men to set fire to the house in an attempt to smoke out Billy and the others and Alex yells down that he is sending his wife out so she can get away. Chavez sneaks out of the house and when Steve discovers he is missing, he starts ranting that he went and saved his own skin. Coming up with a plan to try and get away, they all start throwing items out of the windows to avoid having them catch fire, including a large trunk. Suddenly, Billy bursts out of the trunk and begins shooting at the men, while Doc and the others head out the side door. They see Chavez riding towards them with some horses he procured and they move to get on the horses but Billy is wounded. Charlie ends up getting into a shootout with Kinney and they end up killing each other. Doc is wounded but manages to get both him and Yen on a horse so they can ride off. Chavez is shot but Steve helps him back onto the horse, only to be killed as well. Billy is able to get on a horse and escape as well and Alex heads out and yells good luck after them only to be gunned down by a Gatling gun. Murphy starts ranting for everyone to go after them when Billy rides back and shoots Murphy in the head, then leaves town. In a voice over, Doc says that Chavez headed to California, changing his name in the process, and began working on a farm. Doc and Yen moved to New York and got married while Susan stayed in town and continued Alex and Tunstall’s work, resulting in the governor being forced to step down. Billy the kid continued to ride in the New Mexico area until he was eventually killed by Pat Garrett after he was made sheriff. He was buried next to Charlie in Fort Sumner and one night, someone inscribed the word “Pals” on his tombstone.

Young Guns met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that despite the star power it had, it fell flat as a whole. Much like almost every other movie about the Lincoln County War, John Tunstall is depicted as an older gentleman when he was actually 24 when he was killed. In fact, he was younger than most of the Regulators, with Billy the Kid being one of the only ones younger than him, as he was 20 at the time. Despite the mixed reviews, the movie was a box office success, earning $45.6 million off of an $11 million budget and would spawn a sequel two years later.

So, I may be in the minority on this one but I find this movie pretty entertaining in a guilty pleasure type of way. The acting was good, with Emilio Estevez doing a good job as Billy the Kid. I also liked Keifer Sutherland (Doc), Casey Siemaszko (Charlie) and Lou Diamond Phillips (Chavez) but was kind of indifferent to the others. The story was based on the real events of the Lincoln County Wars, which helped make Billy the Kid famous and they had some fun with their version of it. I thought the scene where Chavez had them drink some mescaline to guide them on a spirit journey was pretty funny. Some of the gun fights seemed a little out there in the sense that nobody was getting hit, while they had an affinity with the slow motion shots when some of the guns were firing and people were actually shot. It’s not the greatest western ever but it is an entertaining movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review

June 21st, 2018 Movie – You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man

you cant cheat an honest man

Now this should be some fun movie watching. Not only do I get to start the day with a W.C. Fields movie, but I also get Edgar and Charlie, one of the earliest ventriloquist acts that I know of. To be honest, this is going to be my first time watching a movie featuring Edgar and Charlie, as my only real exposure to them was an episode of The Muppet Show and their cameo in The Muppet Movie. I am hoping that there is a plethora of witty dialogue in this movie, as that is kind of the selling point of both Edgar and Charlie as well as Fields. So let’s see what we have in store with today’s movie, You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man.

The plot: Victoria Whipsnade is at a party with her date, Roger Bel-Goodie and when Roger tries to ask her to marry him she stalls him by asking him to get her some punch. When he leaves, Victoria’s brother Phineas chastises her for constantly turning Roger down but she tells him that she doesn’t love him. When Phineas says that if she won’t do it for herself, do it for their father, she asks him what he means and Phineas tells her that their father is in dire straights as he spent all his money sending them to the posh college they are in, causing her to rethink things about Roger. The next day, their father, Larson E. Whipsnade, is racing for the state line with his circus, being pursued by the local sheriff and another man. They manage to cross the state line and the sheriff is forced to stop, as they are out of his jurisdiction but the other man vows to catch Larson if he has to chase him through every state. When they arrive at the next town, Larson and his circus set up and Larson begins selling tickets to the crowd, cheating some of them out of their money by giving them less change than they should receive. Meanwhile, The Great Edgar and his partner Charlie, his dummy, are discussing the fact that they haven’t been paid in a while and Charlie suggests robbing the box office when Larson goes for his daily shower. As the day goes on, Larson does go to take his shower and when he returns to his trailer, he finds the box office drawer open and the money missing, but he also sees the turban that Charlie wears for his act on the floor. Making his way to Edgar and Charlie’s tent, Larson hears Charlie counting out the money he grabbed and quickly reaches in and grabs him. Later, Edgar goes looking for Charlie and hears his voice coming from the animal enclosures. Thinking he might be in the lion cage, he asks the animal tamer for help and they find Charlie’s bow tie and think he is swallowed only to hear his voice coming from the alligator pen. They manage to get Charlie out of the alligator that swallowed him and as Edgar checks on him, Charlie says that Larson threw him in there but when pressured, he admits to taking money from the box office. Later, Larson is working the side show as the bearded woman Buffalo Bella but as he goes about his act, Charlie convinces a kid to sabotage it by shooting the targets with his slingshot before Larson can do it. As Larson leaves the tent, he is approached by the sheriff and his deputy who are looking for Larson but Larson acts like he hasn’t seen him and manages to evade them. Victoria shows up at the circus and as she wanders around, she catches Edgar and Charlie’s act and applauds them when they finish. She approaches them and asks about how long they have been in the circus and continues talking with Edgar, who becomes infatuated with her. As Edgar begins explaining how ventriloquism works, Larson, who is still trying to avoid the sheriff, enters the tent and Victoria rushes to meet her dad. As Victoria asks how things are going, Larson lies about being deeply in debt then heads off to handle some issues that come up. When Edgar says that he has the hiccups and can’t perform, Larson grabs a dummy and goes on in his place, and Edgar and Charlie quickly head off and meet up with Victoria in the hot air balloon. As they are talking, Charlie accidentally lets one of the ballast bags loose, which strikes Larson during his act and he catches them up there. Larson is not happy about Edgar being with Victoria and goes to threaten him but is forced to be nice when Charlie threatens to point him out to the sheriff. The sheriff eventually catches up to Larson and goes to serve him the papers on the circus being in default and Victoria asks how much the debt is. Victoria then calls Roger and tells him that he will marry her and Roger excitedly tells his mother the news, so she can prepare the ceremony and party. On the day of the wedding, Charlie and Edgar plan to meet with Victoria in the hot air balloon again but Larson cuts the rope and sets it adrift, as he doesn’t want them to interfere with Victoria’s wedding. He then tells Victoria that they stole the balloon and she is sad to hear that and heads back to the city but Edgar and Charlie use a parachute to jump out of the balloon and they end up landing in Victoria’s car. The parachute blocks Victoria’s vision and she ends up crashing into a police car, resulting in the three of them being thrown in jail. Meanwhile, Larson avoids the sheriff and heads to the Bel-Goodie’s home for Victoria’s wedding but Phineas tells him that she hasn’t shown up. As everyone waits for Victoria to show up, Larson ends up angering the Bel-Goodies with his antics and stories, which causes Mrs. Bel-Goodie to faint each time he mentions a snake, and they yell at him to leave. Victoria is finally released from jail and arrives at the house but when the Bel-Goodies all chastise her for her father’s actions and insult him, she and Phineas both stand up for their father. The sheriff and his deputy arrives and Larson mentions a snake, causing Mrs. Bel-Goodie to faint and the two officers are forced to catch her and help her upstairs. LArson uses the distraction to leave with his children and they ride off in Larson’s chariot while the police quickly drop Mrs. Bel-Goodie and chase after him. As they drive off, they pass by Edgar and Charlie, who were riding a bicycle to try and stop Victoria from marrying Roger, and Victoria, who admitted to Larson that she loved Edgar, yells out that she didn’t marry Roger and tells him to follow them. Up in the balloon, Mortimer, another of Edgar’s puppets who had stowed away in the balloon, watches the chase unfold and tells the audience that he is glad he is safe up there, just as the balloon starts to drop.

This was exactly the type of comedy that I was expecting to get. The acting was really good, with W.C. Fields putting in one of his usual brilliant performances while I also thought that Constance Moore did a good job as his daughter Victoria. I also really liked Edgar and Charlie (and Mortimer’s occasional appearance) and thought that Fields played off well against them. The story was pretty good, though it did get a little confusing at times as it felt like there were too many sub-plots going about in the movie. The comedy was great, with a lot of great timed lines mixed with a good dose of slap-stick humor, usually with Fields being the recipient of the slap-stick. A really funny movie that is good for some laughs .

Rating: 4 out of 5

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