Movie Resolution: Week 28

I hate to admit it, but I’m the worst blogger ever. I feel tremendous guilt every day for not posting my new articles and transferring old articles, but for some reason, I can’t will myself to do it. I’m not saying I’m going to change, but today I will post this.

Please forgive me. Here’s a cute picture of myself to help you not be so mad:

I didn’t touch that up one bit. My eyes really pop when I wear blue and my skin was almost flawless. #totesamaze Excuse my vanity, I’m a Leo, the stars force me to be like this

July 8: Ice Age: Continental Drift

If you have ever watched any of the previous Ice Age films, this will be nothing new. All of the films are basically copies of each other. The jokes are old and tired, the plots interchangeable, the emotions on repeat, but somehow it all works together. It isn’t aspiring to be anything more than ninety minutes of entertainment, and for that, I am willing to take out my glowering monocle. Continental Drift is only barely about the theory of Pangea, which I dearly adore. I’ve adored Pangea for ages. Why? I haven’t a clue. I just think there is something so wonderful about continental drift. Iowa used to be tropical. I think that’s why. Iowa is becoming tropical again, not because of sliding tectonic plates, but because of global warming. (I hate global warming, honestly I do, but I just LOVE the warm winters! And if palm trees start growing natively in Iowa, I will host a tire burning party. I’m sorry. I love palm trees. I also love Earth. I suppose this will take a lot of thinking before I send out the invitations.) I also think there is a kind of tragic beauty in Pangea–a mass becoming islands, species separated. I doubt families were separated as it took millions upon millions of years. Not in the film, but it isn’t scientific. Here’s something I drew!

Anyway. Manny, Diego, and Sid are on yet another adventure after their continent breaks up and they are trapped on an iceberg island. Comic relief is provided by Sid, as always, and his Granny, voiced by the wonderful Wanda Sykes. They need to get back to their herd, so they have to voyage across the sea. They meet pirates, which I found annoying, and sea sirens, which amused me. There was a wonderful bit where Scrat, that odd squirrel thing that causes all the problems hunting a nut, discovers a Utopian universe where his acorn worshipping brethren live. He can’t control himself and he sinks their world, Atlantis style. Sad, but hilarious. As expected, the film has a happy ending. Good entertainment. [My Rating: 7/10]

July 9: This Modern Age

I’m always so happy when I see a Joan Crawford film I’ve never seen. They’re like fine chocolates or particularly difficult to find antiques. It’s my life goal, as I’m sure you remember, to see everything she has been in. Everything she’s done. Everything she has written. I just think she’s wonderful. This is one of her earlier films from 1931 where she plays one of her archetypical roles: society girl. She plays Valentine Winters who travels to Paris to meet her mother. Her parents were divorced and her father poisoned Valentine’s thoughts and feelings towards her mother, so, she was quite uncomfortable to meet her. But, thankfully, they get along splendidly. The plot itself is bland and uninteresting, but the film is worth watching for Joan. She looks marvelous and it’s always fun to watch her outact all the other members of the cast. The ending is gushy and predictable, but Joan is so fantastic that I couldn’t be bothered. [My Rating: 6/10]

July 10: Gentleman Prefer Blondes

I have a shocking, embarrassing, tragic, and mystifying confession to make…I was wrong about Marilyn Monroe. I still believe she is over hyped for her sexuality, but she was, to my surprise, a truly talented and bewitching actress. She is a sex symbol, yes, but that’s part of her charm, which was something I didn’t realize. I thought Niagara was excellent, but this film solidified my admiration for her. There’s something incomprehensible magnetic about her performances, because she never seems to become a character, she’s always Marilyn Monroe. This film is wonderful, I loved it, I’ve memorized the soundtrack, I need to perform! It’s about Marilyn and Jane Russell who play Lorelei and Dorothy, two showgirls on their way to do a show in Paris. Lorelei is a gold digger with a heart of gold and Dorothy can’t help falling in love with each penniless man she sees. The plot itself isn’t all that important, the music is fantastic. Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, A Little Girl from Little Rock, Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?, and more classics. The film is a gem and each line seems to be from our common vernacular. So many phrases and scenes that are iconic. Plus, they go shopping at Schiaparelli’s! Amazing! I wonder if that brand will ever stage a comeback? I am fascinated by the the designer, she never sewed a stitch herself, she just sketched out designs and had somebody else bother with the actual construction. Karl, whom I adore, does much the same thing, but I believe he actually understands the construction of clothes. I’m quite off topic, but have you ever seen the Schiaparelli Skeleton Dress by Dalí? Genius.

Lorilie gets into trouble because she is accused of stealing a diamond tiara that was given to her by a rich fellow, played by Charles Coburn. He’s in everything, so annoying. I don’t hate him, but I don’t exactly care for him. Because of this, there’s an amazing song and dance routine in a Parisian courtroom and I was singing along. Marilyn had amazing lines at the end, “Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?” Happy ending, wonderful film. [My Rating: 10/10]

July 11: An Ideal Husband 

It’s a great tragedy that my plays keep being adapted for the silver screen. You know that I’m the reincarnated Oscar Wilde, yes? It’s true. I struggle with this knowledge every day trying to live up to my previous existence. Will I ever come close to the wit and humor I once mastered? Probably not, but I’ll give it a go. I think Oscar would have loved Twitter just as much as me. He probably would have had more than 93 followers, though. Where do I get more? I want at least a thousand. #whatever. This adaptation of one of my lesser known plays should not have happened. In fact, all of the adaptations of my plays aside from the brilliant one starring the very handsome Benjamin Barnes (let’s take a moment to appreciate him…

#swoon)

should have been scraped. I understand that their existence has brought a lot of exposure to my work, but my work is so witty that it would have still found an audience. The plot doesn’t sound like it would be amusing, and in this film…it wasn’t. I remember laughing heartily and often when I read the play, though, so it’s not poor material. It’s all about a politician who is about to expose a scandal, but is blackmailed into not doing so to save himself from scandal. Quite simple, but the poor acting, dreadful costumes, and over saturated film make what could have been a pleasant thing, something to be avoided. [My rating: 2/10]

July 12: It’s Love I’m After

I admitted that I was wrong about Marilyn Monroe earlier and now I have another embarrassing confession. I may have been wrong about Leslie Howard, too. I thought he was pompous, overly serious, self congratulatory, and talentless…but this film may have completely changed my opinion of him. After watching The Petrified Forest a few weeks back, I realized that he might be more than an annoying git. My disdain, as you might remember, stems from his casting as Ashley Wilkes in the film adaptation of Gone With the Wind. I love that film, but he was wrong. He was not Ashley in any way. I was charmed, then, to read that he agreed with me. Of course now that I write this, I cannot find the quote, but it was in TCM’s monthly magazine a few issues ago. In this film, though, he was perfect! Why? Because I was right about him! He is pompous, overly serious, self congratulatory, and talentless, BUT that made him perfect to play Basil Underwood! Basil is a Shakespearean actor who takes his fame very, very seriously. He is engaged to fellow actress Joyce Arden, played by Bette Davis, who is as marvelous as ever. This is one of her shining roles, truly. She is an exceptional comedienne. All is going well until Marcia West attends one of their performances and tumbles madly in love with Basil. Guess who played Marcia? It would only be more perfect if it were Joan Crawford, but it’s not, it’s my dear, beloved, Olivia de Havilland! I know! So, in a complex theory that didn’t really make sense, but wasn’t altogether that important, Basil decides that he has to have a clean slate before he finally settles down with Joyce, so he does a favor for a friend, who happens to be engaged to Marcia. He wants Basil to be absolutely horrible to Marcia so that she will realize that Basil is an awful heel and fall back in love with him. It’s silly and fun and a wonderful picture. See it. [My Rating: 9/10]

July 13: Untamed

This was a strange picture. Joan Crawford plays Bingo who was raised in the wilds of South America. Her father suddenly dies and she inherits his oil company and must move to New York City. Along the way she meets Andy and falls madly in love with him. She is uncultured and nearly uncivilized and doesn’t understand why her guardians think he’s the wrong man for her. There’s nothing really wrong with him, he just has no money, which to rich people, seems to be a flaw. I agree and I’m poor. You would never guess it though by the way I dress. Everything is a glorious façade! I’ll be rich one day, you see. I’m trying to start a money machine, and if it works, it should pump me $1,000,000 in 56 years. That’s not that great, actually, but still… Anyway, her guardian refuses to let Bingo and Andy marry. For some reason, Bingo gets upset and shoots Andy in the arm. This makes everything better and they get married. Bizarre. This was a big sensation at the box office and Joan’s first speaking film. So, it was great to see it for that and to check it off the “WATCH EVERY JOAN CRAWFORD FILM EVER” list. Not bad, but difficult to follow. [My Rating: 5/10]

July 14: Made in Heaven

[Can’t find a clip.]

I set this picture to tape because David Tomlinson was the male lead. I’d only ever seen him in one thing outside of Bedknobs & Broomsticks, so I simply had to watch this. It was alright, but nothing fabulous. The plot revolves around a strange tradition in the village of Dunmow. They hold a mock trial each year of a nominated couple to make sure that they have really lived a year in bliss and haven’t quarreled. Basil and Julie are nominated by Basil’s mother, which is annoying as they aren’t wonderfully happy. They’re doing fine, but they aren’t in connubial bliss by any means. Their subtle melancholy is enhanced when the new Hungarian maid, Marta arrives. They were expecting a hideous crone, not a gorgeous young woman. As expected, this leads to comedic moments and scandal. Quite a boring picture, really. [My Rating: 4/10]

MOVIE of the WEEK: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes It was wonderful! Watch it. Get the soundtrack. Sing with me! Let’s get blonde wigs, practice our sex appeal, and do a drag show!

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