Movie Resolution: Week 26

June 24: Deception

In the 1940s, there were several movies made about women falling into passionate romances with talented musicians. They were like the original groupies. Joan Crawford starred in Humoresque, where she fell madly in love with a violinest and then drowned herself in the sea. I liked this film, Deception, with Bette Davis more, which pains me to say. Maybe I should watch Humoresque again? When I saw it, I was in Paris pretending to study for a pastry exam. I don’t study, so I didn’t know what I was doing, so I just popped popcorn, watched Joan, and glanced at my notes. It was a stupid test. A lot of things about Le Cordon Bleu were stupid, I still enjoyed it though. Anyway, anyway, anyway, Deception is a very good film that stars Bette Davis as Christine Radcliffe, a refugee from the War. She believes that her lover, Karel Novak is dead, and she is crushed. But, one day, she sees that he is giving a concert and she rushes to see him. They are reunited and fall back in love. It isn’t long before they are engaged. Karel is happy, but he is confused why Christine is living so well. She has a beautiful apartment with a wall of windows looking out on a stunning view of Manhattan. She has fancy clothes and jewels and all that. Christine confesses that she has a fatherly admirer, Alexander Hollenius, a famous composer, who spoils her. This isn’t quite true, they had been seeing each other. So, when Hollenius discovers Christine is about to be married, he is pissed and plots to ruin her husband, which he very nearly does. Christine saves her husband by shooting Hollenius. She admits it all to Karel, but he forgives her. They move on. Odd ending. [My Rating: 7/10]

June 25: Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

Stupid. Idiotic. Not worth the time I wasted watching it. Another one of those retarded 70s movies. I don’t know why I keep giving them a chance, they’ve always been wretched. It’s about zombies chasing an insane woman. I’m not getting into it. [My Rating: 1/10, only because the house they moved into seemed interesting.]

June 26: The Honey Pot:

It’s so strange to see Maggie Smith in a romantic role–I’m used to seeing her in dramas and the like. Actually, when I think of her, I think of this:

Then again, this wasn’t really a romantic role, but she was playing a woman using her feminine wiles to get what she wanted. But, let’s start at the beginning. Cecil Fox is a reclusive millionaire who lives in Venice. One day, he decides that he wants to play a trick on some of his old lovers, so he hires McFly to act as his personal assistant. Cecil pretends that he is dying and invites the women there to see which is worthy of his money. So, Princess Dominique, Merle McGill, and Mrs. Sheridan (who travels with her personal nurse, Sarah, played by Maggie Smith) all show up in Venice and visit him at his death bed. I don’t really want to give much away, because it’s a very witty and very clever film. I didn’t expect the ending at all–quite a shock. It starts off as a black comedy, but quickly delves into serious murder mystery. Great acting and a good story. [My Rating: 7/10]

June 27: Madeleine 

Madeleine is based on the true story of Madeleine Smith, a wealthy woman from Glasgow who stood trial for murdering her lover. The film itself was rather dry, but the story was very intriguing. Madeleine’s family expects her to make a good marriage to a rich man, and can’t understand why she keeps putting off the engagement. It’s because she is secretly carrying on a love affair with a handsome Frenchman, Emile L’Anglier. She has agreed to marry him, but is afraid to tell her family about it. They wouldn’t approve. She finally decides that she can’t admit it, so she breaks up with Emile, and asks for all her love letters back. Emile refuses to return them and mysteriously dies of arsenic poisoning. Madeleine was on the record for purchasing arsenic at the drugstore and is soon arrested for his murder. The entire nation is against her and the murder quickly becomes the “trial of the century.” She has a very good lawyer and is found neither guilty nor innocent. There was simply not enough evidence to convict her, and so she walked free. A sad movie. Not very engaging, but the story was still one you wanted to finish. [My Rating: 5/10]

June 28: The Apartment

Billy Wilder’s movies are always good. He knew what he was doing. He wrote and directed this one. C.C. Baxter is a clerk in an insurance company who has dreams of moving up to become an executive. He has stumbled into a scheme that will allow him to do this. He lets higher ups in the company use his apartment to carry out their affairs. This doesn’t hurt him any and they are happy to recommend him for promotions. This is all going swimmingly for him. He doesn’t have many friends or interests or much of a life at all, so he doesn’t mind working late. This all changes though, when he is finally promoted to an executive position and the company boss wants to use his apartment. He wants to finally stop this, but he can’t refuse. So he lets his boss use the apartment to do his business. When Baxter comes home, he discovers Fran, a woman he is interested in, passed out, she tried to kill herself with sleeping pills. He gets the doctor quickly and manages to save her, but his reputation is sullied. His neighbors never seem to realize that it isn’t him making the ruckus in his apartment and blame him for Fran’s attempted suicide. He isn’t well liked because of this. So, he decides to help Fran get back to health–mentally and physically. They fall into a friendship. Fran can’t get over the boss. But finally she realizes that she will always be a fling with him and decides to go with Baxter. It’s a funny movie, sad movie, cold movie, but good movie. [My Rating: 6/10]

June 29: Tale of the Mummy

Oh sweet Jesus. What the Hell is this? Is it really so hard to make a decent mummy movie? I don’t even know where to begin with this garbage! A while ago, I redetermined to become an Egyptologist, it’s one of the only things I can see myself doing in my life–aside from being an internationally beloved celebrity who writes best-selling novels and hosts a vegetarian cooking show in his spare time. I love Egypt. I haven’t been, yet, and that is stupid of me. Maybe I’ll go next year. I have my funds flowing into many different pies right now, so I don’t know if I’d be able to manage it. I must go though. I need to go before 2015. I want to experience the Egyptian Museum the way it was back in the 1890s and early 1900s. I really think that’s when I should have been born. Egyptological fever! There are lots of mummy movies, and an awful lot of them are awful. I love, love, love The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. I haven’t seen it in ages–I bought the Blu-Rays a while back, I should put watch them again. This was made around the same time and is such crap that I can’t believe it was ever produced. Bad. Bad. Bad. Here’s the basic plot. In the dawn of the 20th Century, the tomb of the evil Prince Talos is discovered. When the tomb is opened, everybody dies. Decades later, the archaeologist’s granddaughter decides to follower her grandfather’s notes and rediscover and excavate the tomb. They do, and it’s horrible, and they’re all filled with dread. But, they take the remains to London, just in time for some interplanetary lineup. When the planets are in position, Talos is allegedly going to come back to life. Of course he does. All he is at first is linen wrappings that are like some horrible octopus. They grab his prey and desiccate them, and take bits and pieces. Talos kills and kills and kills. Samantha, the granddaughter, and Riley, an American intelligence officer, have to stop him. They go to some crumbling hotel along the Thames, that Talos is using as his lair. It’s so stupid. Don’t bother. Talos kills everybody. I can’t believe I stayed up to watch this. It isn’t hard to make good movies. Maybe it is, though? [My Rating: 1/10, only because the beginning seemed intriguing.]

June 30: Funny Girl

[This song is my life story.]

Why didn’t anybody tell me this film was about Fanny Brice? Why didn’t anybody tell me that it is hysterical? I’m mad at you all. I don’t even know where to start with this movie. I don’t dare to even begin tell you all the things I enjoyed because it would fill up this entire post, and you’d get bored. Barbra Streisand plays Fanny (who I adore) so wonderfully that it’s almost unreal, you almost believe that you are watching real life and not a movie. I believe that everybody should burst spontaneously into song when they feel like it, I do, so this didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me! The film is wide-ranging going from Fanny’s start in the Jewish ghetto to the height of her fame in the Ziegfeld Follies. We see her marriage to Nick Arnstein along the way, and their divorce, and all aspects of her life interspersed with amazing songs that you already know. It’s beautifully filmed, it’s beautifully acted, it’s beautifully sung, it’s just beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough. [My Rating: 9/10, I couldn’t give it a perfect, though I wanted to, because it dragged on a few times too many.]

FILM of the WEEK: Funny Girl It was so good. And yes, it was a musical. Watch it today.

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