30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 12} Pre War (WWII): Made for Each Other

The first time I saw this movie, I hated it. Hated it. I hated the mother-in-law. I hated that the wife was trying so hard to get along with her and she just would not change. I hated that the husband tried so hard at work and never got anywhere. I hated it.

This time, it was comforting and encouraging. It was like watching a version of my own life.

John Mason is a lawyer who met Jane in Boston while he was getting a deposition for a case. They married after knowing each other only a day. They are prevented from going on their honey moon because of a case. His mother lives with them and she does not approve of Jane. She makes snide comments constantly about her ability to keep house.  The economy was bad, so John has to take a pay cut. They can’t pay their bills and Jane can’t find a job to supplement their income. John is so discouraged after attending his college reunion, he thinks their marriage may have been a mistake. The baby gets sick and needs a life serum(no I don’t know what that means).

I felt like the whole “life serum” sequence was superfluous and it felt like it was added to make the movie longer. The sequence didn’t advance the story. It just added more characters that we only get to know for a scene. I told Hunny that someone had to have added this on from the studio. When I was researching this movie, I found out that the movie’s producer David O. Selznick went through a similar experience when his brother needed a life saving serum that was airlifted to the hospital. How is that for instincts?

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 11} Jerry Lewis – The Nutty Professor

I chose Jerry Lewis as a subject for 30 Days, 30 Movies for two reasons: my Hunny loves one of his movies and he’s revered by the French, and we all know how I feel about France. The movie Hunny loves is called Cinderfella, and I had never seen it. What better way to be productive with my limited movie watching time than view a beloved childhood film with my boyfriend/husband. Sadly, this did not work out. We were unable to obtain a copy of Cinderfella. Our local movie rental house had The Nutty Professor instead.

This movie is a sad treatise on the view of what women want in men. Jerry Lewis’ Professor character is smitten with his student, Stella (It’s not as creepy as it sounds. Everyone looks to be in their 40’s). He notices that she likes athletes and his boss is giving him problems. He resolves to get physically fit with no results. Since he has scientific knowledge, he decides to make a formula to change himself. He turns into a brash jerk, Buddy Love, all the ladies love and all the guys fear. Stella likes him, but she can’t figure out why. In the end, he’s forced to expose himself for the gawky guy he is and Stella loves him anyway.

Or does she?

Stella is portrayed as an average girl who is clueless when it comes to people. She doesn’t recognize the high pitched voice of the Professor when the formula wears off Buddy Love. She doesn’t recognize the peculiar way he holds her hand or when the two characters show signs they are the same. She spends the movie loathing Buddy’s actions and treatment of her, and yet she doesn’t leave him and obsesses over him constantly. She can’t even take an exam because she’s sitting in her seat in a trance thinking about Buddy Love.

The final scene shows the Professor and Stella walking away arm in arm with a marriage license and Stella has two bottles of the formula hanging out of her back pockets. What does that mean? Is she going to take it? Is she going to give him the formula so he’ll be the jerky Buddy Love personality? Is this movie saying women will marry a nice guy, but prefer a bad guy?

Again, I’m not sure what this story is trying to say, but the Professor does make a speech at the end that everyone should accept who they are because if they don’t, no one else will. I think that’s what he was trying to express with this movie. Jerry Lewis is not a “cool” guy like his Rat Pack former partner Dean Martin, but he is a funny, intelligent guy and he likes himself.

 

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 9} Original vs. Reboot – TMNT 1990 vs. 2014

Before you accuse me of coming into this post with a bias, let me assure you of this: I did not see the original film until I was an adult. Yes, I watched the cartoon. Yes, I was technically old enough to watch the movie when it came out; however, my parents were protective of what their children watched. They had read in a Christian newsletter (because there were no websites in 1990) that the movie had New Age elements in it, and my parents said we were not allowed to watch it. I will say that the scene where the TMNT conjure up the image of Splinter in a fire is demonic. My parents kept us from watching numerous television shows and movies, and I applaud them for taking a stand.

Now that is out of the way, on to the review!

 

Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 1.52.23 PM

It pains me to say what I am about to say. I feel that The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were done a disservice by the 2014 version. The storyline is interesting, but the execution is not. The best acting comes from the CGI characters. They are more life like than Megan Fox. The worst part of the 2014 movie is the violence. This movie made by Nickelodeon, a company known to create content for children, is extremely violent. The TMNT are electrocuted and in one scene their blood is purposely and visibly drained. The comedy in the movie is for comic relief. This movie has a serious tone despite the atrocious acting.

The 1990 movie featured creatures created by the Jim Henson Company. The most realistic creature is Splinter. The TMNT themselves loose their magic when they speak. The way their mouths move and the teeth are obviously not real. I’m not saying that the CGI TMNTs never lost their realism. There are many times in the movie where the CGI TMNT look fake/cartoonish, but the Jim Henson creature Splinter is the most real looking and has the most realistic feeling. Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son and the head of the Jim Henson Company, gave an interesting TED Talk about puppetry and technology, which I think you should check out.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 10} Science Fiction – Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I’m not a Scifi gal or a horror gal, so I did not know that there were two movies with this title. One was made in 1956 and the other in 1978. I’ll be referring to the 1956 version.

This movie was probably terrifying when it came out. Based on a serial, the film is about alien seed pods that take over your body when you fall asleep. It really didn’t hold my interest, but like I said, Scifi isn’t my thing. Nor are aliens. Seed pods are ok. I like plants.

What I found most interesting about this movie is that it was shot in 23 days. Less than a month! And they took Sundays off. And it took six days longer than planned because the director wanted to use night shots and filmed at night.

 

 

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 8} 60’s Beach Flick – Beach Party

Do you like weird sound effects? How about close ups of random butts and bodies without heads? Are you someone who enjoys real action spliced with the most fake looking close ups ever made? Then this movie is for you!

I really don’t recommend this movie. This was the first of the “Beach Party” movies and I am surprised that it wasn’t the last. I will say that I understand how this would be a great  drive in movie. You don’t have to pay attention to the movie at all to follow the almost nonexistent plot. One could grab some popcorn, stop by their friend’s car to see what’s going on, and make out with their main squeeze and leave knowing that nothing was missed.

The best part of this movie was the end credits. It said, “INTRODUCING CANDY JOHNSON,” with an action shot of her dancing beside it. This girl had ZERO LINES. None. All she did was shake her body to make the fringe on her dress fly around. I am being totally serious. How do you “introduce” someone who doesn’t even act and has only one scene?

I also found out that Annette Funicello was under contract with Walt Disney when she was offered this role. She asked Mr. Disney personally if she could do this movie. He agreed on two conditions: that she wear modest bathing suits and that her navel did not show. Annette went on to do five more beach movies.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 7} Original vs. Sequel – 3 Men and a Baby vs. 3 Men and a Little Lady

I had never seen Three Men and a Baby and I knew it was a movie I had to see, since I’m married to Tom Selleck’s number one fan.

The thing I love about Three Men and a Baby is Peter and Michael’s relationship to the baby. Not knowing which formula to use, not knowing how to soothe a baby to sleep, and falling in love with the baby despite the sleepless nights all rings true. When Peter and Michael go on dates with their lady friends, all they can do is think about the baby.

The other thing this movie has going for it is danger. When the drug dealer’s enforcers tear up the apartment and the neighbor is tied up, I was terrified that something happened to the baby. I was sitting on the edge of my couch asking Hunny over and over, “Do you think the baby’s ok? You don’t think the baby’s hurt, do you?” I don’t know who was more relieved that the baby was unharmed, me or Peter. Maybe it was Hunny because I stopped asking him about the baby.

I loved this movie so much, I was excited to see the sequel!

Until I saw the sequel.

This sequel failed in every way a sequel could. Other than the original characters, there is no trace of what I loved about the original. There is no danger. There is no bonding. There is no reason to believe Peter and Sylvia love each other. I didn’t even care what happened. I just wanted the movie to end.

When it did end, my Hunny said these horrible, haunting words, “They could make another one of these.”

NO! NEVER! DO NOT DO IT!!!

Although, Tom Selleck has been reported as saying he would do another one, I hope for all our sakes that it doesn’t happen.

30 Days, 30 Movies {Day 6} Gumshoe Movie – The Maltese Falcon

I hate it when I don’t have good news. I really do. I did not enjoy saying that His Girl Friday was not worth watching. I don’t enjoy saying the same thing about The Maltese Falcon.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. I read that the movie is scene by scene exactly the same as the novel. Maybe that’s why it’s so confusing. Maybe the characters thoughts, which can’t be heard on film, explain the action. I tried to borrow the book from the library to see if my theory was correct, but they didn’t have a copy.

Because my husband is a Magnum PI aficionado, he recognized this guy:

He’s Ice Pick!

Of course, the French version of the poster is the best.