Fairly enjoyable. I have high expectations from spy movies. It appears… MoreFairly enjoyable. I have high expectations from spy movies. It appears that Melissa McCarthy shows off in some stunts, but there is a large crew of stunt performers and unfortunately it was obvious many times that she was being doubled. There is a lot of silliness mixed in with the much too convoluted espionage mission. Rose Byrne's villain character was extremely disappointing, but, on the other hand, Jason Statham offered a ton of unexpected laughs.
This second of four Matt Helm spy comedies may be an American film… MoreThis second of four Matt Helm spy comedies may be an American film with a European flare, but it is more a basis for the Austin Powers franchise than any other 60s espionage adventure. Dean Martin sings a few songs on the soundtrack, which is a little disorienting as he appears on screen as a non-singing character. Martin's wise-cracking, womanizing, yet aging agent Matt Helm sets off on an impossibly zany case with flower child Suzie (Ann-Margret), the niece of a scientist who is being forced to serve a villain (Karl Malden) mad for world power. There is a definite generation gap expressed, yet this flick is so impossibly psychedelic and dated with cheesy effects and dialog that it is no wonder that James Bond is still remembered and Matt Helm has been filed away as a novelty.
I think Jennifer Aniston is an under appreciated actress, however,… MoreI think Jennifer Aniston is an under appreciated actress, however, Anna Kendrick is a bit over hyped currently. Plodding and acerbic, it takes awhile for the story to get going and for the viewer to actually figure out how to relate to Aniston's character Claire. The best scenes with a surprise friendship developing are between Aniston and Adriana Barraza as Claire's maid Silvana. Eventually Claire's exploration of one tragic death to better come to grips with the tragic death and pain in her own life seems to make psychological sense. I wish the script had been written to better provide some sort of emotional impact though.
Julianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses. Solid drama based on a… MoreJulianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses. Solid drama based on a true story. We, the audience, feel a little like Alice as her failing memory causes chunks of time to disappear. Uplifting story about how even Alzheimer's can't completely eliminate your sense of self.
Of course, since Mary Shelley never specified how Frankenstein's… MoreOf course, since Mary Shelley never specified how Frankenstein's monster was created it is interesting to see the way this film crew envisions it. In a big cauldron, the student Frankenstein forms the hideous creature out of fire. Charles Ogle's makeup looks pretty wild, but scene after scene is so static with bland sets, histrionic actors, and oversimplified title cards advancing the bare bones plot.
This surviving silent short is available on YouTube. This is the… MoreThis surviving silent short is available on YouTube. This is the second adaptation of Cinderella that Georges Méliès made. In 1899 he made a six minute short of the story with his wife Jeanne d'Alcy in the Fairy Godmother role. Now, in 1912 with four times the run time and a new cast, Méliès expands on several of the special effects scenes. The scene where the pumpkin turns into an elegant coach with the help of butterfly like fairy women and devilish imps is done especially creatively. Compared to many of Méliès' earlier pictures in which the brief tale is told on a single set it was a pleasant surprise to see such a variety of sets, which helped move the plot along.