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This is stareyes24 and I am 24 years old. I am a fan of classic movies and I enjoy watching them. If you want to know more about me, just e-mail me or check out my myspace page. Have a blessed day.
I really enjoyed this version of Annie. I was born the year the original "Annie" movie came out and as a little girl I would watch it when it would come on NBC. I also would rent the movie as well. Being a huge Shirley Temple fan, I'm often surprised she never played the character since it would have been the perfect role for her.
So, when this remake came out, I didn't see it on its initial run in the theater, but I watched it today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Quevazhane Wallis was adorable as Annie. Is she the best singer? No, but she's got the spunk, determination, and charm that captures the character of Annie. Jamie Foxx is always good and so is Rose Byrne and Cameron Diaz.
As an African American woman, I got a little choked up finally seeing a movie with a talented young lady play in a role that I would have loved to see 30 years ago. I remember when Keisha Knight Pulliam played in "Polly" a version of "Pollyanna" with an African American cast and it was spectacular. These roles are few and far between. Moving forward, I would to see more young ladies of color in starring roles.
Black Beauty (1946)
Nice Film, But a Problem with The Editing
Black Beauty (1946, 20th Century Fox)
I saw this version years ago and today, I finally saw it again on TCM. The cast is outstanding and the production values are nice, but at the times, the editing is just abruptly cut and I have a feeling that this film was meant to be longer. The length of the film and the editing make it just short of being a true classic. If it was filmed in technicolor, it would have really brought out the beauty of this story. The performances are great as well.
Better Than I Expected
I just recently started watching the original version of She-Ra from the 1980s. When the original version came out, I was about 3 or 4 and lately I had been feeling nostalgic. So when I found out that DreamWorks was remaking She-Ra, I was quite skeptical, however I gave it a chance and I'm quite impressed. I really like how the creators made Adora/ She-Ra, Bow, Catra, and Glimmer more like real people as opposed to the 1980's version were they looked more like models. I also liked how they showed more vulnerabilities of the characters and made it more diverse. It's a wonderful remake and I can't wait to see more of this version, though the original still holds a place in my heart.
The Age of Innocence (1934)
I finally saw this version for the first time this morning on TCM. While I missed the first 15 minutes of it, I have to say the film is in pristine condition. Irene Dunne and the supporting cast is great. The costumes are beautiful. I felt bad about the way Newland and Countess Oleska were not truly honest about how they felt and with themselves. When May (Julie Haydon) asks Newland( John Boles) if he was in love with someone else, this could have been his opportunity to leave and go back to the woman he truly loved. But to lead her on like that was heart-breaking. I also believe that John Boles was miscast. Yes, he was very handsome, but I think that someone like Melvyn Douglas, Paul Muni, Herbert Marshall, or Robert Montgomery would have been better suited for the part. While Julie Haydon did a good job as May, I think Loretta Young, Dorothy Wilson, Jean Parker, or Mary Carlisle would have been better cast. All in all, it was a decent film which lacked passion.
It Could Have Been Better
Mokey (MGM, 1942) Upon watching this movie many years ago, after viewing the trailer, I thought it was going to be a nice sweet family drama. However, I was very disappointed with the overall film. First of all, this movie from the same studio that produced such excellent family dramas as "Boystown", "Journey for Maragaret", and "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes". Not only were the production values excellent, but so were the scripts, and the actors starring in these films. I do not blame young Robert Blake, because he was only about 8 or 9 in this film, but the studio itself. If they were trying to make a star out of him, this was not the film. He could have benefited from a better script and cast. I do believe that given with the right direction, better cast, and even a good script, this film could have been right up there with the aforementioned films. Lastly, the racial overtones of the film were ridiculous, I understand it was made during a racist period of America, but that could have been left out of the script and the film altogether.
Ready, Willing and Able (1937)
Ready Willing and Able (Warner Brothers, 1937). I finally had a chance to see this film and I have to admit, it's a cute little film from Warner Brothers in the late 30's. The actors seem like as though they are having a lot of fun and the musical numbers especially "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Just a Quiet Evening" are great. However, while watching this film, I feel a little sad for the late Ross Alexander who plays Barry Granville. Ross Alexander was very talented, nice looking, and had a great screen presence, but I guess Warners didn't know what to do with him. It seems as though his role was originally intended for Dick Powell, but he may have been unavailable. Keeler and Alexander have good screen chemistry and if he didn't die, maybe they would have made more films together.
Overall, a nice way to pass time. Definitely check out it.
City for Conquest (1940)
Wow, is all that I can say about this film. What a wonderful movie. Even though I missed the first ten minutes, I was caught the tail end of Frank Craven's character in the beginning giving a prologue. At first, I was hesitant to watch this movie, because a long time ago, I saw the cut version of this movie, which excised most of Frank Craven's scenes. However, when I found out this was the restored version, I was excited, because I love to watch the original versions of movies. After watching this movie, I was truly moved. Everyone gave excellent performances and Frank Craven as the narrator, gave the movie more depth. I highly recommend this film and as I watched Elia Kazan's performance, I couldn't help but think that another Warner Brothers contract player, Ross Alexander, who died four years before this film was even made or released would have been excellent in Elia Kazan's role as "Googi". It was a very bittersweet experience.
Show Kids (1935)
Excellent Early Technicolor Picture
This movie is an excellent example of an early Technicolor picture from Warner Brothers in 1934. Even the plot was good. It's all about a movie theater that is on the verge of closing down, but the young son of the owner decides to take matters into his own hands and puts on a show starring talented youngsters. The show is a success and the theater stays open.
Tad Alexander was an excellent young actor and it's a shame he didn't continue to do more films in the 1930's. Not much has been said about him, whether he left the business to live a normal childhood or whether he died young. However, I felt as though if he stayed around he would have given other young men as Frankie Darro, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, and even the late Freddie Bartholomew a run for their money.
If this film ever shows up again on Turner Classic Movies, please check it out and especially check out the performance of young Tad Alexander.
Music in My Heart (1940)
Excellent and Cute Little Picture
I have this movie on DVD and I have to say that I truly enjoy this film. It's too bad that Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth didn't do another film together. They compliment each other perfectly. The songs are great and even though this film isn't exactly a "B" movie, nor is it an "A" movie, it's considered an "A-" film, the production values are really good, the cast is great, and the songs are excellent. The only complaint that I have about this film is that it isn't longer. Had the length been a little longer and been directed by a more famous director, this film could have been a movie musical classic. Besides that, I really enjoyed this film and it's interesting to see Rita in one of her early film roles. Definitely a must see movie for any Rita Hayworth or Tony Martin fans.
One Mile from Heaven (1937)
A Shirley Temple Movie Without Shirley Temple
One Mile From Heaven (1937, Twentieth-Century Fox)
A long time ago, when I was a little girl going to elementary school, I read a book about African-American performers and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson was in this book, it mentioned that he had starred in this movie with Shirley Temple. However, being the Shirley Temple fan that I was and still am, I knew that he never made such a film with her. It has now occurred to me years later, that the author of the book could have easily mistaken the little girl in this film, who is Joan Caroll, for Shirley Temple, because her style resembles that of Shirley Temple (i.e. her mannerisms, her style of clothes, etc.). The character of Sunny (I really believe that this film was intended for Shirley Temple, but it was probably rejected due to the controversial topic and I believe the character was originally intended to be named Shirley) is just like a Shirley Temple clone (circa 1934). The plot even resembles that of a Shirley Temple film ( a little Caucasian child abandoned by her parents and raised by an African-American woman only to be with one of the parents in the end) and has a few of her co-stars from her previous films ( Claire Trevor, Ralf Harolde, Ray Walker, and Bill Robinson) in this film and is even directed by Allan Dwan who directed quite a few of the young Miss Temple's films. I really believe that this script was written in 1934 when Shirley Temple was beginning to get really popular in films and was just re-surfaced in 1937, because around this time Shirley was about 8 or 9 years old ( and getting older) and Darryl Zanuck was looking for a replacement in young Joan Caroll (who was a talented young actress in her own right), but never caught on, because there were so many child stars out around that time.
I brought this interesting film from a DVD sale in Harlem which specializes in putting rare African-American films on DVD or VHS. If you ever get a chance, please check this one out, it's a very rare and interesting piece. Also, the African-American actors in this film (Fredi Washington, Bill Robinson, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson) certainly hold their own in this film and are not really stereotyped. Bill Robinson was even a decent actor. It's a shame that these actors were only regulated to "B-Pictures" and not really able to tell their true light shine during this period. However, it's a very interesting piece and needs to be put out on DVD by Twentieth Century Fox as soon as possible.
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)
Not meant to become a classic.
Alright people, before you try knock Ashanti, let me just give y'all a little food for thought. "The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939)", this version is by far the most beloved version of all versions L. Frank Baum's classic story. One thing that y'all need to remember is that when Judy Garland starred in it, it was meant to become a big-budgeted classic. MGM was one of the top studios back in the "Golden Age of Hollywood" and almost anything that came out of that studio was meant to be a picture of class and prestige, from their "B" movies (i.e. "The Thin Man", 1934, William Powell and Myrna Loy) to their classic "A" pictures (i.e."San Francisco, 1936, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Jeanette McDonald), these films have stood the test time. If only there were more studios like MGM.
Now, the Muppets version of the "Wizard of Oz" was light-hearted family fun. Granted, I have seen Ashanti act better ("Coach Carter"), but her acting was meant to be over-exaggerated, because after all she was working with the Muppets. Granted, this film is far from a classic, but it's meant to be a lot of fun. Now people tell me, when you have ever seen any award winning acting in a Muppets film, (i.e. 1969's "Hey Cinderella), just watch that film and you'll see that the acting is the same in that film as it was in the "Wizard of Oz". So before you even try to say anything bad about the film and compare Ashanti with Judy Garland, please try to put things in perspective and remember that we are living in two different time periods and things were a lot different then than they are now.
When I saw this film on the commercials, I thought that it was going to be a laugh out loud comedy, especially with a title like "Spanglish" and the main actors, Tea Leoni, Adam Sandler, and Cloris Leachman. But then I read reviews for the film and I learned that it was a dramedy. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this film and then end was heart-breaking. I found myself crying at the end, because honestly, I can understand the mother's inner conflicts within. I thought that Paz Vega did a great job and the actresses who played Bernie and Christina were excellent. While they both seemed wise beyond their years, they still had a childlike innocence to them. So, if you want to see a film about mother-daughter relationships and the reality of things, this is a good film to see.
The Little Lulu Show (1995)
Like This One Better Than the Original
Yesterday, my mother brought me a DVD featuring Little Lulu cartoons on it. So, my first reaction to it was maybe they are they old ones, when I read the back of the DVD it said it featured the voice of Tracy Ullman as Little Lulu and I thought to myself , it was probably a marketing technique to get people to buy the DVD (after all, it was a generic DVD company known as Genius Entertainment selling the product and it was only $1.00). So my cousin and I were all excited about the DVD, come to find out it was the old Little Lulu cartoons that were badly edited and unrestored to their original versions. I sadly disappointed and I realized that I liked the mid-ninties cartoons better. Lulu had more personality in the latter versions and the characters were more developed and likable. So until the original cartoons are restored to their original glory, I'm sticking to the mid-ninties version of "Little Lulu" even though the plots are pretty much from the 1930's-1960's.
Presenting Lily Mars (1943)
Adequate, but not Garland's Best
Presenting Lily Mars (MGM, 1943) is a cute film, but in my opinion it could have been better. Judy Garland is great as always, but some scenes in the film seem out of place and the romance between her and Van Heflin develops all too quickly.
I mean, one minute he's ready to beat her butt, but the next minute he falls in love with her. I believe that this production, the film editing, and the script ( even though the photography was great, the scenery was nice and the costumes were nice as well) could have been a little better. It feels as though the production was too rushed.
The supporting cast was good as well, especially little Janet Chapman as the second youngest daughter daughter Rosie. She at the age of 11, looks really cute and it's a shame that she didn't develop into a teenage comic actress. She's much better in this film than in her previous films as Warner Brothers in the late 1930's (except for Broadway Musketeers 1938, she's really good in that), when they tried to make her into a Shirley Temple/Sybil Jason hybrid. Overall, this film could better, but in the end, Judy gave it her all.
White Banners (1938)
Today on Turner Classic Movies I watched a tribute to Jackie Cooper on his birthday. After seeing Jackie play children who always had some kind of drama going on in his characters lives and crying all the time, it was nice to see him as a nice young man who grew from being immature and selfish to mature, unselfish, and grateful.
In many of Jackie Cooper's films he played characters who were much younger than his actual age (ex: O'Shaunessy's Boy (1935), in real life he was about 12 or 13, but in the film, he is playing someone who is about 10 or 11, same in Dinky and in Tough Guy (1936), he was really 13 or 14, but in the film he is probably between the ages of 9-11). So, in White Banners it was nice seeing him someone his own age and he gave a touching and challenging performance. I also must commend Fay Bainter (1938 Academy Award nominee Best Actress (Banners) and supporting actress (Jezebel)), for she gave an excellent performance as a mother who sacrifices the best for her child. Also the rest of the cast was great. An excellent film!
When a Feller Needs a Friend (1932)
Today when I saw that Turner Classic Movies was celebrating Jackie Cooper's birthday, I thought that I would give this film a chance. In my opinion, along with Shirley Temple, Virginia Wielder, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, and Freddie Bartholomew along with a host of many others, Jackie Cooper was very talented. However, many times he seemed to be playing a pugnacious and sentimental boy with very little backbone, this film is an example of this kind of film.
In this film, he plays a crippled little boy who longs to be like other little boys. The only friends that he has are his Uncle Jonas who is played by Charles "Chic" Sale, who I think is absolutely amazing in this film and a cute little girl by the name of Diana. When his cousin Froggy moves in with Limpy and his family, he turns his life into a living hell. I think this film would have been great, except for Jackie crying so much. All in all, I think it's a great film.
I Won't Play (1944)
Even though this film was a short-subject film, I totally enjoyed it. I found it touching and funny at the same time. I can see why Janis Page and Dane Clark would become more popular later on in their careers. I highly recommend this short film.