comedy, movie, movie review, romance

November 12th, 2018 Movie – Valentine’s Day (2010)

valentine's day

I am going to be 100% honest right now. I really am not in the right mind set to review this movie. Stan Lee died today and that really hit me as his creations have been a large part of my childhood and adult years. That coupled with long hours at work and dealing with a couple of crazy kids this evening honestly has me mentally exhausted. To top it off, this movie is a rom-com which is not exactly my preferred genre of movies. This movie is the last of the free movies that I received after signing up for my ultraviolet account so let’s get right into Valentine’s Day.

The plot: (too tired to focus on writing while watching so this is the plot outline from wikipedia) The film follows a group of related characters and their struggles with love on Valentine’s Day.

Florist Reed Bennett wakes up and proposes to his girlfriend Morley Clarkson, who accepts. However, Reed’s closest friends, Alfonso Rodriguez and Julia Fitzpatrick, aren’t surprised when Morley suddenly changes her mind and leaves Reed a few hours later. On a flight to Los Angeles, Kate Hazeltine, a captain in the U.S. Army on a one-day leave, befriends Holden Wilson. Kate is travelling a long distance to get back home only for a short time, and Holden states that she must really be in love to do so. When the plane lands and Kate has to wait hours for the taxi, Holden offers his limousine to allow her to be there on time. Julia, an elementary school teacher, has fallen in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland, but does not know that he is married to Pamela. Harrison tells her that he needs to go to San Francisco for a business trip: on his way, he stops by at Reed’s flower shop and orders two flower bouquets – asking for discretion. Wanting to surprise him and despite Reed’s warnings, Julia flies to San Francisco, convinced that Reed was wrong. Julia finds out that he is married and finds him at a local restaurant. Dressed as a waitress, Julia makes a scene at the restaurant, making Pamela suspicious. One of Julia’s students, Edison (Bryce Robinson), orders flowers from Reed, to be sent to his teacher. Julia suggests to Edison to give the flowers to a girl named Rani in his class who has a crush on him after telling Edison the meaning of love. Edison’s babysitter Grace Smart is planning to lose her virginity to her boyfriend Alex Franklin. The planned encounter goes awry when Grace’s mother discovers a naked Alex in Grace’s room, rehearsing a song he wrote for Grace. Edison’s grandparents, Edgar and Estelle Paddington are facing the troubles of a long marriage. Estelle admits to Edgar about an affair she had with one of his business partners long ago. Although she is deeply sorry, Edgar is very upset. Grace’s high school friends, Willy Harrington and Felicia Miller, are experiencing the freshness of new love, and have agreed to wait to have sex. Sean Jackson, a closeted gay professional football player, is contemplating the end of his career with his publicist Kara Monahan and his agent Paula Thomas. Kara is organizing her annual “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party, but soon becomes interested in sports reporter Kelvin Moore, who was ordered to do a Valentine’s Day report by his boss Susan Moralez, and who shares Kara’s hatred of the holiday. Substituting for Paula’s absent secretary is one of the firm’s receptionists, Liz Curran, who dates mail-room clerk Jason Morris. Jason is shocked when Liz turns out to be moonlighting as a phone sex operator. Liz explains that she is only doing this because she has a $100,000 student loan to pay off. Jason is upset, but eventually reconciles with her after seeing Edgar forgive Estelle. Sean finally comes out on national television, and Holden, Sean’s lover, goes back to him. Kate arrives home late at night to greet not her supposed boyfriend but her son Edison. Willy drops Felicia off at home after a date and they kiss. Kelvin and Kara hang out at Kelvin’s news station where they later kiss. Alfonso dines with his wife, and Grace and Alex agree to wait to have sex. Edgar and Estelle reconcile and redo their marriage vows, Harrison’s wife has left him because of his infidelity and Morley tries to call Reed, who is instead starting a new relationship with Julia. Paula receives a call from one of Liz’s masochistic clients and takes delight in expressing her dominance and sadism.

Valentine’s Day met with poor results from the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine’s Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.” Julia Roberts turned down The Blind Side (2009), in order to appear in this movie. Ironically, Sandra Bullock turned down Roberts’ role in this film, and went ahead to star in The Blind Side (2009). Despite the poor reviews, the movie was a success, earning $216.5 million off of a $52 million budget.

I have to admit, as disjointed as this movie was, it wasn’t that bad of a movie. There were too many stars to really single anyone out but they all did good jobs in their roles, even Topher Grace. The different stories were all pretty good but the bouncing around that they did to try and fit all of them into the movie made it hard to focus on them at times and I ended up just zoning out on some of the stories. That being said, there were a couple of parts that really did have me laughing, such as Paula’s (Queen Latifah) reaction when she starts talking to one of Liz’s (Anne Hathaway) clients. However, the whole romance aspects really were about as cliched as you could expect and honestly didn’t really give me much of the loving feels that you would expect form a rom-com. So it is a decent movie and does offer some laughs but there are better movies to watch for a date night type outing.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance, Uncategorized

November 9th, 2018 Movie – Teen Witch

teen witch

*Sigh*. For the record, this was not something I purchased for myself. This is yet another gift that was bought for me by my friends because they will find it amusing for me to review it. Now this is one of those movies that most people have heard of but not as many will admit to seeing. I myself have seen it a couple of times over the years, usually during bouts of insomnia where I am up late at night with nothing to do but try and watch mindless television in the hopes that I will pass out. A while back, Teen Witch came up in conversation and once I saw the look in my friend’s eyes, I just knew that I was going to end up with a copy in my possession pretty soon. Sure enough, that happened so let’s get right into watching today’s movie.

The plot: Louise Miller is having a dream about her high school crush Brad when she is woken up by her brother Richie, who is eating the food he had hidden in her room. After getting ready for school, she heads outside to meet her friend Polly and they watch as rad picks up his girlfriend Randa, who is Louise’s neighbor across the street. When they get to school, Louise is late to her first period class and her teacher, Mr. Weaver, calls her out for her tardiness, then embarrasses her further by reading out an excerpt from her journal that had been stuck to the back of her assignment. Louise runs from the class and hides in the bathroom until Polly finds her and convinces her to come out but later that afternoon, Louise finds herself auditioning for the lead role in the school play, with Brad acting in the scene with her. Louise is excited to think she will get the part but is saddened to see it go to someone else while she is assigned as assistant costume mistress. Louise is riding her bike home that night when she is almost runover by Brad, who was distracted by Randa. Brad helps Louise get her bike up and offers her a ride home but Louise is embarrassed and tells him she is ok. Louise walks her bike home when she notices a strange mansion and knocks on the door, hoping to use the owner’s phone so she can call her parents for a ride. Entering the home, she is greeted by Madame Serena, the seer that owns the house, ans she invites Louise inside to have her palm read. Serena reads Louise’s palm and says that Louise is a witch, like herself, and says that she will get her powers on her 16th birthday party. On her 16th birthday, Louise is helping with the costumes for the play when the drama teacher finds an old necklace she doesn’t remember seeing before and gives it to Louise. As Louise is walking to another class with Polly, Randa stops her and says her cousin David is in town and asks if Louise would like to go to the harvest dance with them and Louise agrees. As the day of the dance arrives, Louise is upset by the outfit her mom got her but her dad cheers her up by showing her an old picture of her mother in junior high, revealing that she did not wear the most popular clothes back then. Louise is disappointed when she sees her date and decides to change her clothes once they get to the dance but he laughs at her. As Louise is sitting at a table and talking with Polly, they watch Brad dancing with Randa. Louise wishes that Brad would look at her and when he suddenly does, she wishes he would talk to her. Brad comes over and asks Louise if they can head outside to talk and Louise agrees, leaving an astonished Polly sitting there. Louise is nervous about talking to Brad but is disappointed to learn he wants to come to her house so she can help him with his English paper. Randa and David show up and Randa tells Brad to give David his car keys, as they are going to Kiki’s house for a party. As David is driving Kiki to the party, he keeps trying to grope Louise and when she says she wishes he would leave her alone, he suddenly disappears, leaving Louise to steer the car to avoid a wreck. Louise rushes to Madame Serena’s house to get her help only to find her shop closed so she heads back home. Inside, she finds Richie making a mess in the kitchen and as they trade insults at each other, Richie suddenly turns into a dog. Richie freaks out and Louise says that she will fix things and when their parents get home, she rushes Richie upstairs and throws him in a bath to hide, with Richie suddenly turning back to normal. The next day, Serena talks with Louise about what has happened to her when she notices the necklace Louise is wearing. Serena grabs an old book and shows Louise a picture of Louise in a previous lifetime from the 1600’s, also pointing out that Serena herself has been alive for centuries. She tells Louise that the necklace belongs to her and had been searching for her, like it had for centuries. When Serena shows Louise how to cast a spell to make money, Louise gets freaked out and goes to leave but Serena tells her she knows what she is going through in high school and tells her that with her help, Louise cna change how people treat her. Louise thanks her and takes a book that Serena gives her to practice her magic, heading to a closed amusement park to practice some of the spells, then continues to read them that night in bed. The next day at school, Louise tries a truth spell on Randa and her friends, keeping what she is doing a secret from Polly, and they both watch as the girls reveal what they really think about each other. Louise goes to tell Serena what happened at school and then asks her if she could get Brad to love her. Serena gives her some powder and tells her what to do but when Brad shows up for her study date with him, Louise is unable to complete the spell. The next day, Louise and Brad are talking when Mr. Weaver chastises them, then proceeds to embarrass Louise by commenting on all of the things that had fallen out of her purse when it fell over. Louise decides to get even by making a voodoo doll of Mr. Weaver and forcing him to undress in front of the class. When Louise gets home from school, Richie and her mom both handle the dog, resulting in Mr. Weaver falling down some stairs and later going through a car wash. Later, Louise and Polly are riding their bikes back from tennis practice when they spot Rhet and his friends rapping nearby. Polly has a crush on Rhet and wants to take a different route home but Louise subtly uses her powers to make Polly go up and rap back at Rhet, showing him up instead. Louise goes to see Serena, who asks her about Brad, and Louise admits that she couldn’t do it as she wanted Brad to like her for herself. Serena tells her that she should try to become popular instead. Louise takes Polly with her to a concert, where she is able to get them backstage, and the singer gives Louise her jacket. After performing the spell, Louise finds herself transformed and notices the difference when Brad and Randa tell her to ride to school with them and Louise accepts, leaving Polly to ride to school alone. As the days go by, Louise’s popularity continues to grow but as she revels in it, she continues to ignore Polly. Eventually, Louise ends up alone with Brad, who takes her out to a deserted farm house, where they begin kissing. Louise feels bad, as she doesn’t know if Brad likes her for herself or because of the spell. Meanwhile, Polly is feeling hurt that Louise has ignored her since she got her newfound popularity and when Kiki falls and breaks her leg during the play’s dress rehearsal, Louise is forced to fill in since she is her understudy and Polly accuses her of doing it on purpose. Louise tries talking with Polly the next day but Polly is still upset with her, calling her out for abandoning her since she became popular, and refuses to talk with her. As things get more crazy in her life, Brad asks Louise to the dance and she refuses, saying that none of this is real. Louise reads through the book to try and find a way to reverse her spell and when she doesn’t find anything, she goes to see Serena for help. Serena is reluctant to help her, as she was able to make her own life better as she was helping Louise but she finally tells Louise what she needs to do. The night of the dance, Louise shows up with Serena and as Louise stands on the dance floor, she tosses the necklace to Serena, who picks it up. Brad approaches Louise and the two start dancing and share a kiss, which Louise happily accepts as she knows he is doing it because he wants to.

Teen Witch did not fare well with the critics, currently holding a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many of the critics state that the movie is full of cheesy, 80’s teen fluff, but admit that that gives the movie a “so bad it’s good” quality to it. The creepy house Louise Miller walks into at the start of the movie, is the same house used by Michael Jackson in his 1982 music video “Thriller”. The movie was a box office dud, earning $27,843 off of a $2.5 million budget but would become something of a cult classic due to it’s regular airings on cable and on ABC Family’s 13 Nights Of Halloween.

Good grief. This movie is so ridiculously cheesy, and not in a good way (yeh, I said it.) That being said, this was an ok movie for the most part, even if it wasn’t exactly original. The acting was ok, with Robyn Lively and Zelda Rubenstein doing good jobs in their roles of Louise and Serena respectively. I also liked Mandy Ingber (Polly) but thought that Dan Gauthier (Brad) was kind of boring. The story was not that original, as it was essentially the stale story of the girl who was unnoticed or laughed at wanting to be popular and when she finally becomes what she thought she wanted, realizes she was happier as she was. The addition of magic to this movie didn’t really change the fact that the basic story was boring. The one thing that I did have to laugh at every time they were on screen was Rhet and his crew rapping during several of the scenes. I don’t know why but that just cracked me up. The drama in the movie was your typical teenage movie crap that honestly made me feel dumber for watching them. I understand why this became a cult classic but as far as bad movies go, this one isn’t for me.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance

November 5th, 2018 Movie – So I Married An Axe Murderer

so i married an axe murderer

Ahh, the memories of this movie. I remember watching Saturday Night Live back during my junior high/high school days and so I was very familiar with Mike Myers and his comedy. My friends and I had gone to see Wayne’s World when it came out in theaters and so when a new Mike Myers movie was announced, we decided we would go see it in theaters as well. Granted, this was done during the time period that I was in town, as I had moved to a different state when So I Married An Axe Murderer came out but the point is that I still have fond memories of seeing this with my friends. Now lets see if those fond memories carry over to the movie itself.

The plot: Charlie MacKenzie is hanging out at his usual beatnik club with his friend Tony Giardino, who comments about Charlie always breaking up with his girlfriends over perceived faults simply because he is afraid of commitment. The next day, Charlie stops at a butcher shop to pick up some haggis to bring to his parent’s house for dinner and he meets Harriet, the woman that owns the shop. At his parent’s house, Charlie’s mother, May, is upset to learn about Charlie’s latest break up, then starts telling him about a honeymoon serial killer called Mrs. X, who has killed three husbands on their honeymoon. Meanwhile, his father, Stuart, is telling Tony about various conspiracy theories he believes in, while constantly deriding his younger son William about the size of his head. A few days later, Charlie stops by the butcher shop as it is busy and offers to help Harriet out, to which she agrees. The two start bonding as they work and after Harriet closes the shop, they go out to dinner. As they are walking along, some sailors comment about Harriet in Russian and Harriet responds back, revealing that she speaks Russian. As they continue talking and asking questions about each other, they end up at Harriet’s home. Harriet goes to make them some tea and Charlie comments on some of the items she has in her home, especially the collection of martial arts weapons and gear. Charlie and Harriet end up sleeping together and during the night, Harriet is dreaming and screams out the name Ralph and when Charlie questions her about it, she tells him that Ralph is a female friend. Charlie gets up to leave in the morning but seeing someone in the shower, decides to surprise Harriet only to discover that it is Harriet’s sister Rose. After apologizing, Rose reads a note that Harriet left for Charlie and questions Charlie about what he did with Harriet and tells him to be careful. The next day, Charlie is telling Tony how he feels about Harriet and asks him to make sure he doesn’t screw this one up, to which Tony says he will try. Charlie and Harriet continue to get closer and Charlie starts getting antsy but is still committed to having Harriet join him at his parents for dinner. As May shows Harriet some of Charlie’s baby pictures, Charlie uses the restroom and sees his mothers copy of the Weekly World News on the toilet. Realizing that the murder victims bare some semblance to some of what Harriet said about her past, Charlie starts getting suspicious that Harriet might be Mrs. X. Charlie tells Tony his suspicions but Tony feels like Charlie is just making up another excuse to break up with a girl. As Charlie continues to pester him to look into it, Tony relents and has a colleague check into the matter but she tells them that all of the supposed victims are simply reported missing, along with their wives. Charlie still gets suspicious and when he hears that the body of the third victim had been discovered, he decides to break up with Harriet. Charlie feels bad about the break up, as he really did love her. When Tony calls Charlie to tell him somebody turned themselves in and confessed to the murder, Charlie races over to Harriet’s home to apologize but she says that he blew his chance with her. Charlie doesn’t give up, having the club band perform outside her apartment while he recites a poem he wrote about her and Harriet forgives him and agrees to give him another chance. As the renew their relationship, Harriet receives a visitor and she introduces Charlie to her female friend Ralph, whom Charlie is excited to meet. At Charlie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, Charlie asks Harriet to marry him and she says no at first but as Charlie’s father toasts Charlie, thanking him for the party and wishing him the same happiness that he and May have had, Harriet agrees to marry him. Charlie and Harriet get married and as Charlie talks with Tony, Tony says he is proud of Charlie and wonders how Charlie could have thought that Harriet was a killer, dismissing the fact that she sings “Only You”, which is what Mrs’ X’s first husband was famous for singing. Charlie and Harriet head out for their honeymoon but while they are gone, Tony’s captain tells him that his suspect has admitted to other murders and is simply someone that confesses for the attention. Tony sends Harriets picture to associates of the Mrs’ X victims and they all confirm that she was the wife to all of the victims. Tony tries contacting Charlie but when the phones are down due to a storm, he charters a flight to their hotel but the pilot falls asleep during the flight and Tony yells at him to land the plane. Tony is able to contact Charlie and warn him about Harriet before the storm knocks out the phones again and he attempts to commandeer a car to get there. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to avoid being alone with Harriet but the hotel staff constantly force them together before forcing them into the Honeymoon Suite. Inside, Harriet admits that she has been married before and Charlie tells her he knows, then grabs a nearby axe to fend her off. Harriet struggles with Charlie over the axe and he ends up locking her in the closet. As Charlie goes to try and phone for help, he sees a note on the desk telling Harriet he is leaving her, just as Rose tries to kill him. Rose yells at Charlie that he took her sister from her just like all the others but she will kill him and Harriet yells at Charlie to run. Charlie climbs out the window onto the roof but Rose follows after him and continues to try and kill him. Meanwhile, Tony shows up at the hotel and after breaking into the Honeymoon Suite, frees Harriet from the closet only to move to arrest her. Harriet tries to explain what is happening and as they head outside, they see Charlie on the roof and Tony races back upstairs to help him. Rose attacks Charlie but as he grabs the axe and struggles with it, Rose ends up going over the edge of the roof. Charlie manages to hold onto her long enough for Tony to grab her and Tony arrests her and takes her away while Charlie and Harriet embrace as they watch them drive away.

So I Married An Axe Murderer met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to enjoy Myers comedy and how the movie seemed to spoof classic marital murder mysteries but felt that it lacked focus in it’s idea. While shooting scenes in the butcher shop, Nancy Travis was distracted by Mike Myers’ antics and accidentally cut off the tip of her middle finger on her left hand when chopping vegetables with a kitchen knife. Travis kept shouting “Cut! Cut! Cut!” which she meant literally, although the crew initially thought she was referring to the term for stopping the shooting of a scene. A local doctor sewed it back on.The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $11.5 million off of a $20 million budget.

This isn’t a great comedy movie but it was a really good indication of how funny Mike Myers really could be. The acting was ok, with Mike Myers really carrying the movie on his back, playing both Charlie and Stuart MacKenzie. Anthony LaPaglia (Tony), Brenda Fricker (May) and Alan Arkin (Tony’s Captain) were also good in their roles but Nancy Travis honestly seemed kind of bland and Amanda Plummer (Rose) wasn’t much better. The story honestly did feel like it was a spoof of something Hitchcock would have made. The whole woman that had been married multiple times, only for her husband to mysteriously vanish, and her latest fiance suspects her to be a killer really does sound like a Hitchcock movie. Adding the comedy to it did kind of hurt the mystery angle of the movie but did make the characters seem more human, or at least more realistic. The comedy was mostly Mike Myers being goofy, which he is really good at. So it’s a fun movie to watch but it isn’t going to be on any lists of the greatest comedies of all time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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drama, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

October 15th, 2018 Movie – Ghost

ghost

Ok, another movie from the free gift collection. Once again, I have a movie that is not something I would have sought out and bought on my own, but this time I have a movie that I have seen before. This is due to my mom, who is a huge Patrick Swayze fan, and her renting many of his movies while I was a child. Now I remember seeing this movie back in the day and the main thing I remembered from it, aside from the potter’s wheel scene that has been parodied over and over again, was the shadow demons that dragged people to Hell. Now, I was a teenager when I first saw this movie and really didn’t think much of it. Let’s see if some growing up on my part will change things as I watch today’s movie, Ghost.

The plot: Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jensen buy and renovate an old apartment building to live in, with Sam’s friend and coworker Carl Bruner helping them out. As the renovations progress and they move into the building, Sam is worried as he says that every time things start looking up for him, something happens to ruin it. A few days later, Sam is at his office going over several accounts that he manages and notices that several of them have more money in them then he should. He tells Carl about this and Carl offers to help Sam look into it but Sam declines the offer, choosing to tackle it himself. That night, Sam and Molly go to the theater to see Macbeth and as they are walking home, Molly tells Sam that she wants to marry him but as they discuss it, they see someone stepping out of the shadows of a nearby alley and decide to keep walking. The man follows them and as Sam turns to confront them, the man pulls a gun on him and demands his wallet. Molly tells Sam to give him the wallet but when the mugger strikes her, Sam starts struggling with him while Molly calls out for help. After a while, the mugger runs off and Sam chases him for a little but when he returns to Molly, he finds her kneeling down cradling his body. As some people come to help her, they pass right through Sam and he sees a light shining down from the sky close by him but Sam hears Molly crying out not to leave her and he walks away from the light and towards her. Sam follows Molly to the hospital and as she goes to speak with the police about what happened, Sam is approached by an old man. The old man starts speaking to Sam, who is shocked that he can see him, and the old man reveals himself to be a ghost, like Sam is, and starts to explain things to him when they see a commotion in another operating room and the old man says that the patient won’t make it and as they watch, they see the light that Sam saw earlier shine on the patient and his spirit moves out of his body and is absorbed into the light. A funeral is held for Sam and afterwards, Molly is still depressed over his death, talking to him as if he is there, unaware that Sam’s ghost is watching her. Some time later, Molly and Carl are going through Sam’s things and Carl convinces her to get out of the house for a little bit. Sam tries to follow after them but is nervous about going through objects, when he hears someone putting a key into the lock. Sam backs away from the door, thinking it is Molly coming back, but is shocked to see it is the mugger. An enraged Sam tries to attack the mugger but is unable to touch him as the mugger begins searching the apartment for something. When Molly returns, the mugger ducks out of sight, then moves towards the bedroom to attack her but Sam is able to frighten the cat, as it can sense him, into attacking the mugger, causing him to run off. Sam decides to follow the mugger as he heads to the subway and boards a train but as Sam is on the train with the mugger, another ghost sees him and quickly approaches Sam, grabbing him and throwing him out of the car. The ghost then breaks the window, shocking Sam, and tells him that it is his train and to go somewhere else. Sam continues following the mugger to his apartment, where he learns the mugger’s name is Willy Lopez, and watches as Willy makes a call, telling the person on the other end that he couldn’t get what he was after but he will try again in a couple of days. Feeling helpless to protect Molly, Sam wanders the streets on his way back to the apartment when he sees a shop for Oda Mae Brown, a self proclaimed psychic, and he heads inside, only to find that Oda Mae is a fraud. Sam starts laughing about her scam when Oda Mae suddenly starts hearing him, shocking Sam. After causing Oda Mae to scare off her customer, Sam starts talking to Oda Mae and convinces her to call Molly and warn her about Willy. Oda Mae reluctantly agrees and calls Molly but when she tells her that she has a message from Sam, Molly hangs up. Sam tells Oda Mae to go see her, singing all night when she refuses, and Oda Mae heads over to the apartment. When Molly refuses to see her, Oda Mae starts yelling out things that only Sam would know, convincing Molly that she is telling the truth. Molly is still skeptical about the whole deal, thinking Oda Mae is using people’s grief to play a trick on them but when Oda Mae says that Sam says “ditto”, which is how he always responded when she said that she loved him, Molly realizes she is telling the truth. Sam has Oda Mae tell Molly about Willy and how he it wasn’t a random mugging and that he was murdered but when Oda Mae learns that Willy lives in her neighborhood, she gets scared and refuses to help anymore. Molly goes to see Carl and tells him about what Oda Mae said regarding Sam and Willy and Carl is skeptical but he says he will check it out. Sam follows Carl as he heads to Willy’s apartment but is shocked to learn that Carl knows Willy. Sam learns that Carl is laundering money for drug dealers and has $4 million that he needs to transfer to a fake account or else the dealers will kill him, which is why he wanted Willy to steal Sam’s address book which has all of his account passwords for work, as Sam had changed them before he died. Molly goes to the police and tells them about what Sam told her through Oda Mae but they don’t have a record on Willy but do have one on Oda Mae, as she has been charged. While Molly is out, Carl sneaks into her place and steals the address book and heads back to work, where he proceeds to call the dealer and is told to transfer the money to a single account under the name Rita Miller, all of which Sam sees. That night, Carl heads over to Molly’s place and attempts to seduce her but as he moves to kiss her, Sam leaps at them and ends up knocking a picture off the nearby table, causing Molly to stop Carl. Realizing there might be a way to stop Carl and Willy, Sam heads to the subway and searches for the ghost he encountered earlier and begs him to teach him how to interact with objects. After trying to get rid of Sam, the ghost eventually agrees to teach him, revealing that Sam’s problem is that he keeps thinking he is real and needs to focus with his mind. Sam is eventually able to interact with objects and heads over to see Oda Mae, only to discover that there are several ghosts in there with him. When Sam tries talking to her, Oda Mae yells at him about the ghosts all coming to see her now when one of the ghosts possesses her in order to talk to his dead wife. Oda MAe eventually kicks the ghost out of her and when the ghost complains about not being able to move, another ghost comments on possessing someone draining all of their energy. Oda Mae kicks everyone out of the room but as she goes to sit down, Willy shows up. Sam shouts out a warning to Oda Mae and she ducks into her trick closet while Willy shoots up the place, then leaves. Sam tells Oda Mae that they will come after her again but he knows how to get them to stop and she agrees to help in order to keep herself and her sisters safe. The next day, Sam has Rita dress in a nice outfit and use some of her fake ID’s to pretend to be Rita Miller and close out the account before Carl can transfer the money to a bank in Nassau. As they are finishing, Molly enters the bank to have lunch with Carl and Sam uses his abilities to knock some papers off the desk to distract her but Molly still notices her and questions the banker about what she was doing there. After they leave the bank, Oda Mae starts trying to figure out how to spend the money but Sam tells her that he never said she could keep the money and convinces her to sign it over to a charity. Meanwhile, Carl tries to transfer the money only to find that the account is closed and as he tries to figure out what happened, Sam starts taunting him, typing out “Murderer” and “Sam” on the computer. Carl heads over to Molly’s place to ask her about what happened when she thought Sam was there and Molly says it doesn’t matter as Oda Mae was a fraud and had closed out an account at the bank. Realizing what happened, Carl fakes being sick and asks Molly for some medicine. When she leaves, Sam starts taunting Carl but he threatens to kill Molly unless Oda Mae brings the check back to Molly’s place by 11 that night, then rushes off. Sam heads to Oda Mae’s place to warn her and when Carl and Willy show up, Oda Mae and her sisters quickly tun and hide in another apartment. Carl and Willy enter Oda Mae’s apartment and finding them not there, start searching for them but Sam uses his powers to frighten Willy, who eventually ends up being struck by a car. As Willy’s spirit recovers and stares at his body, Sam calls out to him and tells him he is dead. Suddenly, shadowy beings appear and grab Willy, dragging him screaming down to Hell. Sam and Oda Mae head back to Molly’s to warn her and when she refuses to open the door for them, Sam tells Oda Mae to puch a penny under the door and he makes it slide up the door and float over to Molly, convincing her that Sam really is there. Molly calls the police and asks them to show up and then talks with Sam through Oda Mae when Oda Mae tells Sam he can use her body to interact with Molly. Sam possesses Oda Mae and he and Molly share a dance but when Carl shows up and starts banging on the door, the surprise shocks Sam out of Oda Mae. Sam is too weak to move and Oda Mae tells Molly they should escape out the fire escape as Carl shoots out the lock and chases after them. He manages to catch up to them and grabs Oda Mae, threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t give him the check but she tells him she gave it away. Sam arrives and knocks the gun from Carl’s hand but he grabs it and threatens to kill Molly but Sam knocks the gun away again. Carl attempts to escape but Sam continues attacking him and when Carl throws a hook on a rope at Sam, the hook swings back and shatters a window, with one of the shards impaling Carl. Carl’s spirit leaves his body and as he stares at Sam, the shadow beings appear and drag him to hell. Sam asks Oda Mae and Molly if they are all right and Molly can hear Sam now, as the light appears and Sam is revealed to both of them. Sam kisses Molly and when Oda Mae says it is time he goes home, he thanks her for her help, then tells Molly he loves her before walking into the light.

Ghost met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghost offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era.” Molly tells Sam that he “leads a charmed life”. This is a line from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed while Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, earning $505.7 million off of a $22 million budget and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.

Well, this still isn’t something I would watch on a regular basis but I will admit that it was a good movie. The acting was good, with Patrick Swayze (Sam) and Demi Moore (Molly) doing good jobs in their roles but Whoopi Goldberg pretty much stole the show as Oda Mae. I also liked Tony Goldwyn (Carl) as his desperate antics to get the money actually made him an effective bad guy. The story was pretty decent, mixing a good amount of drama with some comedy aspects to keep it from being too depressing. One thing I didn’t particularly care for is that the were too obvious at times in setting something up. Case in point, when Sam is working on figuring out where the deposits were coming from, Carl offers to help and when Sam refuses the help, Carl asks what he and Molly are doing that night. About the only way you could have made it more obvious that something was going to happen and Carl was involved was if you had a giant, flashing, neon sign saying “MAIN BAD GUY” floating over his head. The special effects with the ghosts were pretty neat in how they kind of absorbed the properties of what they were moving through. However, there were some times where the blue screening between the ghosts and the living was a little off, making it look really fake. Definitely one of the more memorable romance/dramas to come out in the last couple of decades and one that is worth watching if you get the chance.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance

Flashback Review: June 26th, 2014 Movie – Caveman

caveman

Well, looks like I get to finish out the week with a dinosaur movie. Now I remember seeing a small portion of this movie years ago and thinking it was absolutely ridiculous. It would be years later before I would finally be able to watch the whole movie, and that was honestly by random fluke of luck. I was up late and this movie just happened to be on so why shouldn’t I watch it. When I went on a dinosaur buying binge a while back, I decided to throw this movie in to the pile in order to add a little difference to the mix. Now, let’s see if I still find Caveman entertaining.

The plot: On October 9th, 1 Zillion years B.C., a tribe of caveman is gathering food from the trees outside their cave. Atouk, a skinny and bullied caveman, is chased away from the group by Tonda, the large, brutish leader of the tribe, and forced to look elsewhere for food. As Atouk wanders around, he sees a large 4 legged dinosaur and runs back to the tribe, screaming out “Macha”. The dinosaur chases after him and as Tonda makes some of the men try to fight the monster, it frightens them off and they all go and hide, with the dinosaur eventually grabbing one of the cavemen and carrying him away. Tonda leads the cavemen back to their cave but Atouk stays to help his friend Lar, whose leg was injured by the dinosaur, but Tonda says that Lar is “Pooka” (broken) and casts him out of the tribe. As the cavemen return to the tribe, Atouk stares at Lana, Tonda’s mate, and when Tonda isn’t looking, he offers her some food but instead of thanking him, she promptly calls Tonda’s attention to the food and he quickly eats it. The next day, Atouk is forced to try some new berries by Tonda and Atouk ends up being knocked out, causing the other cavemen to ignore the berries. That night, Atouk puts some of the sleeping berries into a larger piece of fruit and offers it to Lana, knowing that she will share it with Tonda. Later, Atouk heads over to Tonda and Lana’s sleepins space and attempts to sleep with Lana but ends up exhausting himself trying to get her into position. The next morning, Tonda grabs Atouk, thinking it is Lana, and when he realizes his mistake, he kicks Atouk out of the tribe. Atouk wanders around until he sees Lar and the two friends embrace each other, with the force of their hug causing their spines to align so they stand fully upright. The next day, Atouk and Lar see a cavewoman named Tala leading a blind cavemen named Gog by a tar pit and when Gog falls into the tar, Atouk and Lar go save him. After getting him back to shore, Atouk and Lar straighten Gog and Tala’s backs and introduce themselves, with Tala falling in love with Atouk. As they go to clean themselves from the tar, Gog wanders off and unknowingly encounters a Tyrannosaurus. When Gog hits it, it ends up running off and chasing Atouk and the others but Atouk manages to accidentally stab it in the chest with a broken tree branch, causing it to start belching and leave. When Tala hugs Atouk, Lar jokes about Atouk and Tala “zug zug”, and Tala likes the idea but Atouk refuses, saying he loves Lana. When Lar says Tonda will kill Atouk, Atouk grabs Gog’s stick and motions like he did to the Tyrannosaurus, saying he will do that to Tonda. They head back to their old home and find out that Tonda and the men are gone looking for food. Atouk heads inside to see Lana, who seems impressed by his new upright appearance but refuses to leave. When Tonda appears, Atouk and the others quickly leave while he is distracted, with Tala mocking Atouk for his cowardice. Later that night, Atouk and Lar attempt to kidnap Lana and take her from the cave but when they get outside, Tala moves Atouk’s hand off of Lana’s mouth, allowing her to scream for Tonda, who chases them away. The next day, Atouk and the others discover some other cavemen and after straightening their spines, they go looking for a new home for themselves. As night falls, a lightning strikes a tree and causes a fire, which the Atouk and his group cautiously cluster around until the realize it can keep them warm. Another group of cavemen appear, one of which speaks perfect English, and after introductions are made, two of them begin fighting over a dead bird that they have. Atouk attempts to stop the fight by splitting the bird in half but in his attempts, he ends up holding it over the fire and the cavemen are shocked to discover that cooking the food over fire makes it taste better. As they finish their meal, one of the new members to the group blows on an empty gourd and, liking the sound, continues doing it, prompting others to start making music with whatever items they can find. The next morning, Atouk wakes up before the others and encounters the Tyrannosaurus again, which follows him towards their camp but Atouk lures it towards the fire, causing it to burn it’s foot and leave in pain. With no more food on hand, Atouk and Lar lead a group to go find some more food and eventually find a large egg. The group grabs the egg and starts heading back to their camp but when they stop to rest, they are confronted by Tonda and his group of men, who chase them away from the egg. Tonda and his group grab the egg and start to carry it away but when they are attacked by a Pteranodon, they end up dropping the egg off a cliff. The egg breaks open over a geyser and while Tonda and his group walk away, Atouk and his group head over to the egg, which has been cooked by the hot gases and water, and grab pieces of it to take back to camp. Atouk and his group return to their camp but were followed by Tonda and his group, who try to attack them. Atouk and the others fend off Tonda with several torches and chase them away, but Tonda and his group had grabbed several of their torches as they left and realizing that they have lost their fire, Atouk and the others follow after them. At the mountain cave, Tonda and his men show everyone the fire they brought back and then Tonda, seeing how Atouk and his group looked, begins straightening everyone’s spines before having all of the men jump on him to straighten his. Atouk and the others reach the cave to find it empty and quickly grab the fire and food inside but as they are heading back, they see Tonda and his tribe fishing in a nearby stream. Tala tells Atouk to keep moving with the others but Atouk stays behind and watches Lana try to catch fish. When Lana ends up being swept downriver, Atouk and Lar rescue her but Lar ends up being swept downstream and disappears into an underground cavern. While Tonda and his tribe believe Lana is dead, Atouk returns to Lana and tells her that Lar is dead. Meanwhile, Lar surfaces in a frozen cavern and as he slides further down into the frozen area, unaware that he is being followed by an Abominable Snowman. Atouk returns to the camp with Lana and as he begins pampering her, Tala gets jealous. When the others ask about Lar and he tells them that he disappeared, they say they should go look for him. Lana wants Atouk to stay with her, saying she loves him, but Atouk agrees with the others to go look for Lar. The group begin searching and eventually find the frozen cavern where Lar surfaced and slide down to the lower chamber. Inside, they find Lar frozen in a block of ice, with the Abominable Snowman right behind him, and begin working on freeing him. Meanwhile, a jealous Tala leaves the camp and heads to the cave, where Tonda is in the process of picking a new mate, and she tells him Lana is alive and convinces him to follow her. Back in the ice cave, Atouk and the others free Lar but their torches also free the Abominable Snowman, who chases after them but they manage to get away. Meanwhile, Tala leads Tonda and his men back to her camp and they see Lana there but decide to take all of the women, including Tala, back with them. When Atouk and the others return and learn from Gog what happened, they want to go after Tonda and Atouk agrees, but gets an idea. The group begin to fashion weapons and armor, then use the sleeping berries to drug the 4 legged dinosaur that had attacked them before. With their preparation ready, they march onto Tonda’s cave, then start a fire to smoke them out. When Tonda exits the cave, Atouk challenges him and a fight breaks out between Tonda’s men and Atouk’s group. Atouk gets onto the back of the dinosaur and challenges Tonda, who manages to grab Atouk and drag him off the dinosaur. Tonda then begins kicking Tonda and Lana decides to kick him as well but Tala grabs Lana and punches her. Atouk manages to grab a weapon and hit Tonda, then keep using other weapons, and a shield, until he finally manages to defeat Tonda. AS Atouk and the others celebrate, with Tonda’s tribe accepting Atouk as their new leader, Lana steps up next to Atouk, throwing a mocking look towards Tala when Atouk puts his arm around her and leads her up to the top of the hill with him. As the crowd cheers, Atouk picks up Lana, then shocks everyone when he drops her into a pile of dinosaur feces. Atouk then walks over to Tala and as they clasp hands, the crowd cheers as they all head into the cave.

Caveman met with poor results from the critics, holding a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that while there were some laughs to be found, the lack of originality hurt it’s chances of being a better comedy. When Barbara Bach heard who was going to be starring in the picture, she was disappointed as she felt the role should have gone to a more accomplished comedian like Dudley More. However, after her first meeting with Ringo Starr, the two ended up falling in love and marrying 10 months later. The movie was a box office success, earning $15.9 million dollars world wide.

This is another one of those stupid 80’s comedies but it is still able to make me laugh. The acting was good, with Ringo Starr (Atouk), Dennis Quaid (Lar), John Matuszak (Tonda), and Shelly Long (Tala) doing great jobs in their roles. Barbara Bach was also good as Lana, though her main role was basically to look pretty (no, I seriously think that they told her to just look pretty and seductive all the time), while Avery Schreiber (Ock) and Jack Gilford (Gog) made for some great comedic characters. The story was pretty basic, with the whole outcast group going up against the more popular/dominant group which has been done over and over again. The special effects regarding the dinosaurs were honestly a little cheap, looking very much like the claymation/models that they were, but the googly eyed aspect of them actually made them pretty funny. It’s a silly bit of a rom/com but one that is able to provide some laughs.

Rating: 3 1/2 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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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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