Thursday Movie Review ~ Secretary #moviereview @meganslayer #movie #review

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There aren’t too many movies that make me squirm. Secretary was one of those movies. I can’t say I squirmed because of the sexual content. Honestly, that didn’t affect me all that much. What did bother me was the subject manner…the relationship between Lee and Mr. Holloway how hot and cold it could be…and her cutting.

Lee was a ball of confusion, stuffed into an awkward dress. She deals with her problems by cutting. I can’t imagine doing something like that to my body and seeing what she went through did make me cringe. I enjoyed watching her journey to find success, despite her background and family. Good grief was her family a mess…

There is definitely a sexy angle to the story. Lee enters into a BDSM sort of relationship with Mr. Holloway. James Spader is great as Mr. Holloway. He does unhinged, but with a tick of control very well. Maggie Gyllenhaal is fantastic as Lee. You feel for her, even when some of the things she does doesn’t seem to make sense. 

Watch this movie if you want a different perspective on BDSM relationships and healing. It’s not that other BDSM movie by any stretch and that’s a good thing. If it were hokey in any way, that would take away from Lee’s growth as a character. Her character must be handled delicately. There are some odd moments in this movie, but definitely worth watching at least once.

 

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Thursday Movie Review ~ Mannequin #moviereview @meganslayer #movie #review

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This week, I thought I’d talk about a movie I’d long wanted to see, but hadn’t had the chance. Mannequin.  There are certain movies that are revered as being an everyone’s seen this kind of movie. To me, Mannequin was one of those movies. I hadn’t seen it and I was missing out.

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Andrew McCarthy movies. I don’t know. I guess it’s his special mix of silliness and nerdiness, while still being handsome that does something for me. This one didn’t disappoint.

Andrew McCarthy plays an artist-slash-window dresser who happens to lose his job (one of a hundred so it seems) and by coincidence, ends up at the store where Emmy happens to be. I loved Estelle Getty in this flick. She’s not Sophia from the Golden Girls and it’s refreshing. She’s got great comic timing. James Spader plays the baddie, yet again, quite well. I almost have a hard time liking him as a character when he’s NOT playing the bad guy. He does smarmy so well.  Meshach Taylor does a great star turn as McCarthy’s side-kick. He has the flair and was funny. A tad dated, but I could overlook it.

I’ll admit one must suspend their disbelief a lot for this movie. The premise is almost laughable, but I wanted escapism. I wanted a happy ending, too, and wasn’t in the mood for a Hallmark flick. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting when I started this film and I wasn’t disappointed. If you want something fluffy and a little ridiculous, but fun, then this might be the film for you.

Thursday Movie Rundown ~ Johnny Apollo #moviereview @meganslayer

Monday Movie Rundown BannerI have to admit, I’ve been on a bit of a Tyrone Power bender of late. He’s handsome. Who can deny that? Some of his movies were pure schmaltz, but that’s okay. I wanted something light-ish.

Johnny Apollo isn’t a light movie. Not by a long shot. It’s not super heavy, but it’s not dashing-leading-man-sexy-and-fun fare that I’m used to by Power. Sure, he took a serious turn in Nightmare Alley, Blood and Sand and Witness for the Prosecution, but I guess I wasn’t expecting this story to be quite so dark. Still, I enjoyed the viewing.

Johnny Apollo is definitely a movie of it’s time. The mob was in full force and so was the depression. The notion that crime doesn’t pay is woven throughout the film. Yes the crime happened and Johnny wanted it for the right reasons, not the wrong ones… still it doesn’t pay.

I liked how Power played the character of Bob Cain, aka Johnny Apollo, like George Clooney might play him–dashing and sexy, but stern. He knows he’s doing bad things, but he makes it look…good. There’s a certain naivete in his performance that shows through the film. His heart is in the right place and he’s trying to earn the love and respect of his father. It’s typical of a young adult or one just out of college to think they know it all and while I agreed with some of Power’s character’s assessments, I could see the father’s side, too.

Power is shot well…almost better than costar Dorthy Lamour. You know he’s the star turn in this film. He’s handsome even in jail after being in solitary confinement for a while. That’s a challenge.

The movie isn’t long and it’s not bubbly fun, but it’s interesting to watch. I recommend Johnny Apollo if you want a crime drama or just another one of Power’s films for a Tyrone Power film fest. You can’t go wrong with Johnny Apollo…even if he’s very wrong.

Monday Movie Review ~ A Move and a Review… plus News! @meganslayer

Monday Movie Rundown Banner It’s time for the Monday Movie Rundown. Stay tuned for news, but first, my review!

This past week, I caught yet another Tyrone Power movie. This time it was Day-Time Wife.

Initially, I thought this was a Hallmark channel fluff piece movie. It’s from 1939, well after the Hayes Code went into major enforcement. The man can cheat, but the wife can’t and as long as he’s sorry…it’s okay. Hmm… I realize it was part of the times, but I didn’t like him cheating.

At first, I thought there was a lot of schmaltz in this movie. Sweet, but not too offensive. Then came Jane’s, the wife, reason for getting a job with the business rival of her husband–because he was stepping out with his secretary. I get the idea of people getting married and sticking it out through thick and thin might be old-fashioned, but I wanted to see that.

I wasn’t fond of Jane’s attitude or the way she went about outting her husband. She seemed to think it was fine to cheat if he did and got almost a perverse thrill out of goading him. Hey, he deserved it, but I had hoped she’d have been a tad stronger of a woman. Rise above. I don’t know.

Still, there was fun and a cute dog. Can’t go wrong when there’s a dog in the family.

This was a good watch to represent the simpleness of the late 1930s and Power is shot well. He’s lit as if he were the leading lady. If you want a fluff story to pass an afternoon, this might be the movie for you.

NOW FOR THE NEWS!! Monday Movie Rundown is moving to Thursday. Why? It’s football season! Starting next Monday, the Monday Morning Armchair Quarterback is back! I can’t wait!!

Monday Movie Rundown ~ Inherit the Wind #moviereview @meganslayer

Monday Movie Rundown Banner This week I thought I’d talk about an oldie but goodie movie I’ve seen a couple of times, but haven’t watched recently until this past weekend. Inherit the Wind is a must-see movie.

In the movie, which takes place in the early part of the twentieth century, a teacher was taken to task for teaching evolution in school. Now today this would seem ridiculous. We’ve all learned about evolution. We learn science. But all those years ago, the church was the thing and the only way children were taught until secondary school. Science was considered…questionable. Can you imagine questioning science? But arguing that creationism was real…it happened. This movie tells a version (it’s a thinly veiled version of the debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan and the teacher is based on a real person, John Thomas Scopes – hence the references in the marketing material about the Scopes Monkey trial) of the trial involving that teacher and those who wanted to bring him down.

Besides seeing actors I know from other situations – Col Potter from MASH is there, Darren from Bewitched, Mr Roeper from Three’s Company as well as Gene Kelly – there is the fantastic speech given by Spencer Tracy most of the way through the film, was very taxing on Tracy and done in one take. When you consider it was done in one take and all at one time…it boggled my mind.

Although the players in the movie aren’t real, they are based on real people. This movie is one to watch more than once and to discuss. Why? The moral of the story is when we fear something and don’t take the time to try to understand, we just might be hosing ourselves over.

Monday Movie Rundown – X-Men – Days of Future Past – the Rogue Edition

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I didn’t join the X-Men fandom until later in the game. I didn’t rush to see the first three movies. In fact, I saw them completely out of order. But this post isn’t about which of those movies was better or what order to watch them in. This one is about X-Men – Days of Future Past, primarily the Rogue Edition. 

I loved X-Men First Class. I thought the writing was snappy and it had a very James Bond flair to it. That was the point, but unlike some, I got it right away. I saw it because I have a thing for James McAvoy. Hey, at least I’m honest. I loved it and devoured the rest of his films.

So when I found out about Future Past, I had to see it. I did. In the theatre, all by myself. It was a great time. But there were moments in the movie that didn’t quite make sense. I kept thinking, why did that cut happen? They were going some where…why didn’t they finish?

It took me a while to hunt down the Rogue Edition of the movie. When I did, all of those pieces I thought made no sense did. The extended pieces with Quicksilver and the better explanation between Kitty and Bobby were great. I recommend viewing both versions of the film, but this one IMHO was better.

Wednesday Book Review ~ The Films of Tyrone Power by Dennis Belafonte, Alvin H. Marill, Henry King (Introduction)

POWER

Tyrone Power – dashing, ingratiating, urbane – became 20th Century-Fox’s foremost leading man

 

almost from the first days that Darryl F. Zanuck became head of the company. The Tyron

 

e Power image was that of the clean-cut, honest and aspiring young American. In the light comedies in which he starred during the early years of his career he generally “got the girl.” As Power matured, however, he became an actor of force and strength. His performances in Nightmare Alley, Witness for the Prosecution and Abandon Ship met with enthusiastic approval from critics and audiences alike. In the summer of 1958 Tyrone Power was appearing in what proved to be his final role, the character of King Solomon, playing opposite Gina Lollobrigida in Solomon and Sheba. Power collapsed after swordplay with George Sanders. He was rushed to a Madrid hospital, but

 

died within an hour. His death, at forty-four, made headline news around the world. The Films of Tyrone Power represents five years of research by the authors and presents many aspects of the actor’s life. Every film in which he acted is recaptured meticulously, along with casts, credits, reviews and production notes. The warm and detailed biographical portrait of the star, his three wives and his many loves, bring him alive, helped by more than four hundred photographs which illustrate the text. The introduction is by Henry King, who directed many of Tyrone Power’s greatest hits.

 

If you’re a fan of Tyrone Power, then this book is a must. The authors list each of Power’s films, including shorts and war time films. Anything you want to know about the movies, it’s there. There are film stills and promotional photos from many of the films as well. It’s thorough and informative.

I’ve always loved Power and this book puts a new spin on the actor. I never realized how well lit he was during his films–meaning the directors tended to work with the lighting for him that’s up to par, if not better than with his leading ladies. The guy wasn’t just an actor, he was an icon, but he was also seen as a pretty boy.  I never looked at him that way, but I’ve come to since reading this book. I don’t discount Power as an actor, though. He still did his job and it shows in this collection of writings about his films.

If you’ve ever wanted to know a little more about Tyrone Power’s body of work, then this book is for you.