iCarly iSpace Out* – I used to love this show when I was younger (yet still older then the primary demographic. The title episode is not one of my favorites, but there are 5 other episodes on the DVD, and a bonus episode of Victorious (the pilot, which I don’t think I’d ever seen before) another good show. There is great chemistry between the four main characters and good dialogue, jokes within jokes, and so on. This is basically a teenage Seinfeld. The episode “iEnrage Gibby” has some great trash talking in it, “iFix a Pop Star” is a clear shot at Britney Spears and the other side of fame in general. The rest of the episodes here are great too. 2$ at a gas station, can’t go wrong.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad – I’ve recently added this movie to my biannual viewing list as it fits for both a Christmas and Holloween movie (though in reverse order). This is the last movie of the Disney Wartime/Anthology Era, where in order to save money and resources the company packaged together some of their shorts into a feature length film. I own every movie from this era, we already did Fun and Fancy Free, the next one won’t be for a little while yet. The two shorts in this movie are: Mr. Toads Wild Ride (from “The Wind in the Willows”) and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This is a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack, and if you saw my review of “Howl’s Moving Castle” (form the previous episode) then you already know how I feel about HD animation, when I watched this movie last year for the first time, it was also the first time I witnessed what exactly HD animation was. 4/5 stars.
Icons of Comedy – this is one of those Mill Creek bargain bin 50 movie boxes. A few of the movies I have in other boxes, and one of which (Africa Screams) was already covered way way back in episode 2. The last time I did one of these types of DVDs (back in episode 4) I only watched the next movie on the list. For this one, since there are a lot of disks (and movies) I’m going to go through a whole disk, five movies. When I get to episode 28, the left overs, I’ll continue onward and watch the next disk (or which ever disk I haven’t yet watched, but that’s a few years away) in this box, and the next movie on the classic mystery box, etc. So onto these 5 movies. To be honest though, I did not give any of these movies my full attention, but enough attention to form an opinion.
Something to Sing About – the title is also the title of a patriotic Canadian song that was at one point slated to be the Canadian national anthem, but was ultimately rejected because it is a difficult song to sing, regardless it’s a great song and you should listen to it. This movie has nothing to do with that song. This is one of the only movies to have James Cagney sing and dance. The plot is about a New York night club owner getting a gig in the movies. It’s okay, 3/5, it wasn’t all that funny.
His Girl Friday – didn’t like this one all that much. I saw the original version “The Front Page” also on this box some two years ago and didn’t like that one very much either, this movie improved on that one, but only slightly. It’s a hard movie to follow, and it’s probably worth taking a second look, there is a lot of fast talking so paying more attention may be beneficial. This leads to one of the problems with these very cheap DVDs, the audio quality. Video is one thing, these movies are old and deteriorated, and they don’t need to be in HD, but if you can’t hear the words because of the noise decay that’s a bigger problem, sometimes you can fix it by putting the subtitles on, but don’t count on subtitles with these kinds of DVDs. I should like this movie more, and I may have to give it another viewing with my full attention. 3/5 stars
Made for Each Other – no this one sucked and sucked hard and hit a little too close to home for me to boot. It’s not a 1 Star movie, but it’s not much better. Worst movie I’ve seen so far this year. 2/5 stars.
Second Chorus – this movie has Fred Astaire, Artie Shaw (playing himself), and a very very young Burgess Meredith. It was enjoyable while it was on, but a week after watching it I barely remember any of it. 3/5 stars.
Pot-o-Gold – of the 5 films on this disk, this one is probably the best, it’s still not all that good. It’s a musical comedy with a loss plot to string together some musical scenes. The story is about a guy (Jimmy Stewart) going to work for his uncle who owns a radio station, and getting mixed up in a feud between his uncle and the neighboring Irish boarding house. 3/5 stars.
Conclusion – This might not say a whole lot about the box, but there are some things on here that I am very interested in checking out, mostly the shorts; with this box you get some Three Stooges, and WC Fields shorts (which I already have) and some Fatty Arbuckle, Charley Chaplin, Buster Keyton; and Little Rascals shorts (which I don’t already have), just one good or great movie that I have not yet seen is all it would take to make this box worth it, and I’m sure I’ll find it soon enough.
Identity – [watched 4/18/20 w/Dave] I don’t know why I didn’t think to do this earlier, but I’m going to put the dates down for when I watch each movie henceforth, this one I happened to watch on April 18th, but I won’t spell it out in the review unless there is an interesting reason for the day. Also this is a movie I watch with my friend Dave over at Oblivion’s Realm. We sink up turning the movie on at the same time and then texting throughout, I did this last week when we watched Who Frammed Rodger Rabbit together, but that will be for another post far in the future. As for Identity, well… a 5 star movie all the way. It’s a very unusual combination of psychological thriller and slasher with a healthy Neo-Noir influence. It’s about a midnight court hearing of a serial killer and several different unrelated people who show up at a motel. There are so many twists and turns in this movie that I don’t want to say too much and reveal anything in the movie that you may not expect to see coming coming, so I’ll leave it at that. Don’t miss the stand out performances of John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Jake Busey, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and John C. McGinley… everyone else in the movie is good too, don’t get the wrong idea. Odd little factoid here, but this is one of very very few modern American movies that does not have a single African American actor/actress in the film, there is a non-racial reason for this, but I will not get into that for spoiler reasons. This DVD has wide screen, full screen, theatrical cut and extended cut all on the same disk, and it comes in a hard non-recycled case. This movie is a really good one, especially the first time you watch it. 5/5 stars.
Immortal Beloved – [4/19/20] I work with a good amount of community service at my job, in 2011 or there abouts, when I was getting really into classical music, one of the community service guys recommended this movie too me. Many years later (last year I believe) I picked up this move at a library sale, and today is the day I watched it. It was okay, sad, good music (but that’s to be expected of any movie about Beethoven). The story is nonlinear, about Beethoven’s friend/secretary Schindler, tracking down a mysterious woman who the maestro left his fortune to. The story weaves in and out of Beethoven’s life. I give the movie 3 stars, Amadeus is the better period biopic of a master composer. This one is still worth seeing, the segment with the ninth is quite spectacular, it’s worth watching just to see that. 3/5 stars.
Inception* [5/31] – it took a while before I got to this one, almost a month and a half. I’ve been very busy with work, I have an essential job and the complications of the unusual circumstances this year have made that job way more busy then usual. The big day is two days from now, so I should be hammering through the rest of the letter, then the J’s and K’s, more quickly. I’ve seen this movie once before, paid close attention to it the first time, but I wanted to pay close attention this time as well, and I have not had an opportunity to do so, hence the long break. I may do a longer review of this movie, because there is just so much content her, so many questions, so many theories. The opening sequence with Cobb on the beach adds an additional layer of possibility to the interpretation, and the ending is left with a subtle yet profound cliffhanger. The story is about a group of people who can control people’s dreams to find information. It is an extremely complex and surreal action movie, definitely my kind of movie, but it’s not going to be for everyone. It has an all-star cast with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Paige, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tom Hardy, Pete Posthalwaite, etc. I picked the movie up for 5$ on sale at at a B&N bargain bin, worth every penny and more, the only downside with this movie though, is you have to give it your full attention when you watch it. 5 stars.
Inherent Vice [6/13] – I am impressed. I’m a big fan of the author of this film (I.e. the writer of the novel the film was based on, Thomas Pynchon) and I’ve read this particular novel twice, and I plan on reading it again soon. The movie did a great job interpreting a novel from a notoriously difficult and complex writer. As will happen with any adaptation, several factors were left out, but it’s understandable, including those omitted aspects would make the movie even longer and even more confusing. This is a great Neo-noir with many of the aspects that hallmark the genre: low key, dim lighting, duel meaning dialogue. This movie is also a period piece of the late 60’s (20-30 years after the noir era). This is the second PTA film I’ve seen (I’ve recently discovered that film buffs refer to Paul Thomas Anderson as PTA), the other being “Magnolia” which was fantastic. Both movies are very entertaining and worthy of deep analysis. Inherent Vice is a great film and one I will come back to again and again when I need some Noir environment for writing. 5 stars any day.
Insane Clown Posse: Six Jokerz Unauthorized [6/14] – I got this DVD as a Secret Santa gift… a long time ago. I used to be a fan of the band/group, less so as I’ve gotten older. This is a short(er) documentary about ICP, taking place during their switch from the Disney owner Hollywood Records to Island Records. Love’em or hate’em you can not deny they are an interesting group, and this documentary gives some interesting backstory that you might not know. The one down side is this is an unauthorized documentary, so they do not have any performance footage or music from the band itself used. Also there are no bonus features, and the footage feels cheap, shot on a VHS and it shows, but I’m not complaining, still an interesting documentary for an interesting band. 3/5 stars.
Inspector Gadget Season 1 Vol. 1* [6/14-6/27] – This is a very recent edition to the collection. I ordered this DVD from amazon, in the lockdown, there were few options otherwise. I was looking forward to revisiting Inspector Gadget, but unfortunately the show has not seemed to age well, which is not to say that the humor is in poor taste by today’s standards, it’s more so that the show just seems geared to an even younger audience then I realized. The main character is basically a schlameel idiot, who fumbles his way to success thanks to his vastly more intelligent niece and pet dog (Penny and Brain respectively). Following the episodes has proven to be difficult, so I gave up pretty quick, the plots are basically there only to string various pratfalls together. There are various fan theories that state Dr. Claw (the main antagonist) is actually Inspector Gadget, but there really isn’t enough substance to the show to warrant such theories. The movie isn’t any better I might add, it’s not in my collection and probably won’t be. Unless I happen to come across the other DVDs of the show somewhere at a next to nothing price, I don’t think I’ll be getting anymore, but you never know. I can’t conclude this review without discussing the toys. Burger King released kids club toys in 1991, and I have 3 of the 4 they released, one from my friend’s collection of which he gave to me last year (SCUBA Gadget, 2 of them actually) and I’m still missing the inflatable gadget. Aside from them Tiger released a very good looking line of action figures in 1992. It included several gadget variations, Penny & Brain (on the same card) a MAD Agent, and a very valuable Dr. Claw which revealed his face for the first time (his face is never shown on the show, and there was a sticker over his face on the bubble). Loose Claw figures go for 70+$ (there aren’t many loose action figures of this era that fetch that kind of price), I remember seeing him in the K-Mart when I was a kid… why didn’t I pick him up? I really should have. There was also a gadget mobile that transformed between the van and the sports car. I saw a video of how this works on YouTube but it isn’t a very good video. Definitely toys I want to get for my own collection, maybe the video game for the SNES as well, if I see it, I’ve heard it’s pretty good, more a puzzle solver then a platformer.
Full Letter – following this letter I will be including time spans, but since I only started dating viewings part way through the letter I can’t do that yet. Again not counting TV shows I give this letter a rating of 3.7 stars, not bad.