Classic of the Week: Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Sex and the Single Girl is a 1964 American Technicolor comedy film directed by Richard Quine and starring Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall, and Mel Ferrer. The film is very loosely based on Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 non-fiction book of the same name. 

Bob Weston works for Stop, a tabloid magazine whose owner and staff are proud of being known as the filthiest read in the U.S. One of Bob’s colleagues has just written an article about Dr. Helen Gurley Brown, a young psychologist and author of the best-selling book Sex and the Single Girl, a self-help guide with advice to single women on how to deal with men. The article raises doubts on her experience with sex and relationships. Helen is very offended, having lost six appointments with patients due to the article discrediting her as a “23-year-old virgin.” Bob wants to follow up by interviewing her, but she turns him down. 

Bob’s friendand neighbor, stocking manufacturer Frank Broderick, is having marriage issues with his strong-willed wife Sylvia, but cannot find time to go to a counselor. Therefore, Bob decides to imitate Frank and go to Helen as a patient, with the goal of getting close to her in order to gather more information. Meanwhile, he will report back to Frank on her advice. During their first couple of sessions, Bob acts shy and infatuated, and tries to slowly seduce Helen. She seems to respond to Bob’s polite advances, all while insisting that it is a transfer and that she will play the role of Sylvia to the benefit of his therapy. After he fakes a suicide attempt, the two of them end up making out at her apartment, with Bob realizing he is actually falling in love with Helen, which is the reason he has still not written anything about her, prompting a proposition from his boss. 

Helen panics at the idea that she is falling for a married man, and upon suggestion from her mother, she meets Sylvia and encourages her to go back to work at Frank’s office, where the two of them first met and could stand together against Frank’s business rivals. Sylvia agrees. 

A very lovesick Bob forces another meeting eith Helen and tries to convince her his marriage is not legal, but Helen insists on hearing it from his wife and secretly asks her to come to her office. In the meantime, Bob asks his girlfriend, nightclub singer Gretchen, to pose as his wife (or rather, Frank Broderick’s wife), and when she cancels at the last minute because of an audition, he asks his secretary Susan to go instead. WIthout telling him, Gretchen decides to forgo her audition, so she shows up at Helen’s office. Witnessing three different women claiming to be Mrs. Broderick, Helen becomes extemely confused, while an angry Sylvia calls the police on Frank, who is arrested for bigamy. 

Helen comes to visit Sylvia with fellow psychiatrist Rudy DeMeyer, who has had a crush ever since the article hinted she might be a virgin. In trying to convince Sylvia to pardon Frank, she finally discovers the man who has been coming to her office was not Frank Broderick at all, but rather Stop magazine’s managing editor Bob Weston.

Like said above, this film is VERY LOOSELY based on the 1962 book of the same name, that is supposed to be a non-fiction advice book that encouraged women to become financially independant and experience sexual relationships before or without marriage. The film seems much more unrealistic than a self-help book, like if it is based off a book, even loosely, than it be a comedy book. This film is only partly based on Helen Gurley Brown’s book, the rest is basically about a woman that’s supposed to be Helen, only a semi-fictional version, as she wrote the book from a psychologist and marriage therapist point of view, but was never either one, unlike Natalie Wood’s character. 

Natalie Wood’s “Helen” is smart, sassy, flirty, adorable, funny, and sexy. The perfect role for her and she does it perfectly, even though this movie is anything but. Tony Curtis’s “Bob Weston” is sexy, smart, sleazy, and secretive and he plays the character outstandingly. There are multiple times throughout the movie that make reference to his 1959 film with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe Some Like it Hot, which are very clever jokes and one may not get them if they haven’t seen that film as well or at least know what it is. Henry Fonda’s “Frank Broderick” is womanizing, a workaholic, and a cheater. Fonda plays the character fantastically. Lauren Bacall’s “Sylvia Broderick” is naive, yet hard working and Bacall plays her well, though this is not her finest performance. Fran Jeffries does a fabulous job as Gretchen, Bob’s girlfriend, much better than Bacall and just as good as Wood in her role. Mel Ferrer does a fine job as psychiatrist and colleague of Helen’s Rudy DeMeyer. 

This film is a romantic comedy all the way. One would not believe (if they didn’t know already) that it’s fairly based on a sex guide book for single working women. It is a very feminist movie, just like the book, but it is also very silly for much of its runtime of nearly two hours. The film does not paint psychology or marriage counselling well, as Helen refuses to help for certain problems. The film also makes light of serious issues like cheating, suicide, and bigamy. The film also pokes fun of the fact that the main character is a virgin and still single at 23, even though that is still very young, although most women at that age back then were already married and most had at least two children. It was still the age of housewives, so many women didn’t have careers and were “Suzy Homemakers,” so it is interesting to see a lady with a full-time job in the early 1960’s. 

This is a very entertaining movie, but there is far too much silliness and talking about affairs and cheating. The film gets even sillier towards the end. The acting is great, but film itself is graceless and rediculous for the most part. There is literally no sex, only implied, despite the title. The closest you’ll see is kissing and one make out scene. Had the film had actually sex scenes would it have been better? No, it would have actually made it worse. This is a comedy film, though I found myself mostly laughing at the Some Like it Hot jokes. 

This was supposed to be a fodder for the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s, and it is to an extent, but with some slapstick and fairly offensive humor thrown in. Though the entertainment factor is there, the whole film is pretty much a rushed up mess, with some fine acting added that is the only thing that makes it fairly enjoyable. Had this film dialed back on the goofines and been more dramatic and been more like the book, it could get an A rating, instead it is almost nothing like the book and relies too much on bad humor and tries to make it up with a well acted cast, which barely works.

The real Helen Gurley Brown thought the movie version was awful and couldn’t believe she gave them rights to film it. I wouldn’t call this one awful, but great is not the word either. It is somewhat enjoyable, has a bit of sexiness and sassiness, but very little else. If you’re looking for a classic rom-com with sex, this isn’t it. Natalie Wood’s attractiveness and sex appeal won’t save you from this pile of mess. 17+ 2.5/5 

80 for Brady (2023)

80 for Brady is a 2023 American sports comedy film directed by Kyle Marvin, written by Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpert and produced by former NFL player quarterback, Tom Brady. The film follows four lifelong friends (Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, and Rita Moreno) who travel to watch Brady and the New England Patriots play in Super Bowl LI in 2017. Billy Porter , Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat, and Guy Fieri also star. 

In 2017, Lou, Trish, Maura, and Betty are four best friends that are huge fans of the New England Patriots, especially the quarterback Tom Brady, having becoming fans in 2001 while celebrating Lou successfully completeting chemotherapy. 15 years later, the four are celebrating the Patriots’ success over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game and makes plans fot the Super Bowl LI watch party. Lou suggests the idea of actually going to the Super Bowl in person, but the other ladies are not interested due to the cost. However, a local sports radio show runs a competition for free tickets, and the foursome enter by sharing stories of their love for the Patriots. Later, Lou says that that they won the tickets and they prepare for their trip to Houston. 

Lou, Trish, and Betty break Maura our of her retirement facility with help from her friend Micke, and the four women fly to Houston. The next day they go to the NFL Experience, where Betty wins a chicken wing eating contest hosted by Guy Fieri, but loses her fanny pack wity the tickets. Trish meets former NFL player Dan O’Callahan and mututal attraction forms between them, but Trish is uncertain as she has not had a  very successful love life. Dan invites her to a party, after learning about the loss of the tickets as Fieri will also be there. At the party, the ladies are given cannabis edibles which disorient them greatly. Maura joins a poker game hoping to win enough money to buy tickets, but learns that the game is for charity and gives her winnings to a guy a she meets, Gugu’s charity. Unable to find Fieri, the girls decide to return to the hotel and continue to look in the morning. 

The next morning, the ladies go back to the NFL Experiece, to find that it has closed down. They then go to tailgate parties around NRG Stadium to see if they can buy tickets from scalpers, but have nowhere near enough money to buy even one ticket. Trish finds the radio hosts they won the tickets from and brings up the situation to them, but they are confused as they gave their tickets to another group. Betty finds Fieri and  gets her back back, but when the ladies try to enter the stadium, the security guards reveal that the tickets are fake. Lou confesses that she bought the “tickets” online for a lot of money after selling her car, as she wanted one last fun memory with her friends before she hears back from the doctors as she fears her cancer may have returned. To their luck, they run into Gugu, who gets them under the guise that they are backup dancers for Lady Gaga’s halftime performance, as gratitude for Maura’s generous donation the previous night. 

With four award winning actresses, you’d think this would be a fairly good movie, but it’s far from it. It’s cute and laugh out loud funny at times. Middle aged and elderly women and football fans will enjoy this one the most. It is entertaining, but also really cheesy at times. The female stars are fantastic, but Tom Brady and the few other players and actors that make cameo appearances, are terrible, though I think that’s the point, but it does add to the cheesiness and makes it a bit hard to watch. 

This film was inspired by a true story, so it’s not completely factual. The real ladies never tried to go to the Super Bowl, but were super Brady and Patriots fans and did get sad when Tom Brady announced his retirement. But this doesn’t make this a bad movie. The corniness and bad acting from the cameos does make it worse. This one won’t be winning any major awards, but I know the ladies and the players and the other actors had a blast filming this movie. This film makes you appreciate not just football, but sports in general more. 

This is a movie that I can’t believe was released in theaters. It is not deserving a theatrical release, as there are no special effects and it is not entertaining enough. As far as sports movies go, this one falls flat big time. You’ll laugh and maybe tear up a bit in a few scenes, but you want be cheering on the team or applauding the film in the end. The plot is is almost nothing like the real story. It is so unrealistic, that it will have you rolling your eyes. This film also makes you more thankful for your friends and this is a good movie to see with them. 

Overall, this is a cute and enjoyable movie, but it is also very goofy. If this film didn’t have the lady stars, football, or the humor, it would have been one boring watch. It is delightful, but not delightful enough to be a cheerleader for it, but it’s definitely not a snooze fest. It is no 1974 The Longest Yard, but it’s definitely not terrible. 13+ 2.5/5 

Action actresses Anya Taylor-Joy biographical black and white black comedy British Channing Tatum choreography Classic Comedy Crime dancing dark death Disney disturbing documentary drama drugs Eddie Redmayne family Fantastic Beasts fantasy films foreign Harry Styles horror humor indie film list movies music musical mystery Netflix psychological romance romantic comedy science fiction sex silent soundtrack teen thriller

Action actresses Anya Taylor-Joy biographical black and white black comedy British Channing Tatum choreography Classic Comedy Crime dancing dark death Disney disturbing documentary drama drugs Eddie Redmayne family Fantastic Beasts fantasy films foreign Harry Styles horror humor indie film list movies music musical mystery Netflix psychological romance romantic comedy science fiction sex silent soundtrack teen thriller

Armageddon Time (2022)

Armageddon Time is a 2022 American coming of age drama film written, directed, and produced by James Gray. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong, Anne Hathaway, Banks Repeta, and Jaylin Webb. Inspired by Gray’s childhood experiences, the story follows a young Jewish-American boy who befriends an African-American classmate and begins to struggle with expectations from his family growing up in a world of entitlement, inequality, and prejudice.

In 1980 Queens, New York City, on his first day of sixth grade, Jewish-American Paul Graff becomes friends with a rebellious African-American classmate named Johnny. Johnny was held back by a year and gets more severe treatment from their teacher when they both joke around in class. Paul often separates from his schoolwork and draws pictures instead. 

Paul lives with his financially stable Jewish family. He is close with his maternal grandfather Aaron Rabinowitz, who encourages him to pursue his dream to become an artist. His good-hearted but strict parents, Esther and Irving, are less convinced by Paul’s career expectations to be an artist. At night, Aaron tells Paul of how Aaron’s mother escaped antisemitic persecution in Ukraine, fleeing to London before eventually immigrating to the United States with Aaron and her British husband. 

One day, Paul and Johnny are caught smoking a joint in the restroom, unaware that it’s an illegal drug. Fuming, Esther forces Iving into beating Paul as punishment. In the hope that he becomes more disciplined, Paul is sent to his brother Ted’s private school, Forest Manor Prep, by his parents. Meanwhile, Johnny stops going to public school and following Paul’s expulsion. 

Forest Manor is financially supported by famous businessman Fred Trump, who also supports Ronald Reagan in the impending US presidential election. Many of the students are also supporters of Reagan. On Paul’s first day, Fred’s daughter Maryanne, one of the school’s famous alumni, delivers a speech to the students about working to earn their success. Paul sees the school’s advantages over his previous schooling but doesn’t feel welcome at the school. Paul is also unaffected by racist comments from other students when Johnny meets him at recess. Johnny also begins living in secret in Paul’s clubhouse, having nowhere to go other than living with his sick grandmother, where foster system workers searching for Johnny have started to visit regularly. 

While playing at the park on the weekend, Paul tells Aaron of his struggles at school and how he does nothing when he witnesses racism from the other students. Aaron encourages Paul to stand up against prejudice; reminding him that while antisemitism still exists, he and his family still have the privilege of being white. Tired of living under high expectations from family and school, as well as the unfair treatment of Johnny, Paul convinces Johnny of his plan to steal a computer from school and sell it for money so they can run away together. 

This is a very serious movie, there is not one moment that is funny. There are many uncomfortable scenes, some involving racism, and one scene in particularly involves a child a being beat and whipped with a belt, which is extremely hard to watch. The acting is fantistic in this movie from the entire cast and the story is great, but this film is so slow and very depressing for the majority of its runtime. The only inspirational and truly caring and sweet character is Anthony Hopkins’s Aaron Rabinowitz, Paul’s grandfather. Paul’s parents are far too strict, controlling, uncaring at time, and at other times, abusive. Aaron seems to be the only one that truly knows what’s best for Paul and the only one that encourages him to follow his dreams. You pretty much hate Paul’s parents and his mean brother for 90 percent of the movie. 

Johnny comes from a harsh upbringing, his mother dies and he is then raised by his grandmother, he gets held back in school, his grandmother gets sick and can no longer take care of him, so he must be put in foster care, but he tries to avoid it by skipping school and hiding away in Paul’s club house. Paul’s life isn’t perfect either with his super stern parents, his rebellious behavior, and a school he hates, he has nowhere or no one to turn to, except his grandfather, who he ends up losing. I truly believe if Paul’s parents actually listened to him and stopped trying to control him, he wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble and he might actually have friends apart from Johnny. Also if people didn’t sterotype Johnny because he’s black, he likely could have had a better life, but racism was bad then and is still bad to this day. 

This film is filled with racism, antisemitism, conservatism, and bad parenting, which doesn’t make the storyline bad, it just makes the movie hard to watch and/or listen to many times throughout. You see how tough Jews and African-Americans had it back then, and how conservative white Christian Republicans could be against them. Despite the slowness of this movie, it is still a powerful story and message. Had it not been so drawn-out and just plain depressing, it would have been more enjoyable. With Hathaway, Hopkins, and Strong as leads, you’d expect for the film to be outststanding, but it’s far from it. I thought Sir Anthony Hopkins could never do a sub-par film, but that is exactly what this one is. 

Despite this being a nostalgia journey for the director, it struggles with issues of race. Johnny is either treated unfairly for being black or just overlooked altogether and nothing good happens to him. Paul can’t save him and Paul’s parents, nor his borther will help Johnny. The film does do a good job of letting you know that Paul avoids juvenile detention when you see his father driving him home from jail. It also does a good job of letting you know that Johnny has to face jail time without ever showing it. 

Overall, there is far too much bigotry, juvenile delinquency, and sadness. There is very little happiness in this movie and the fantastic acting cannot make up for that. It is truly one of the gloomiest films featuring children I have ever seen. It’s not awful, but it’s definitely not great by any means. It had all the right things to make it an excellent watch, and the director did only semi-good witth such a tedious, heart-wrenching, yer somewhat moving motion picture. No, a movie doesn’t need a lot of action to be entertaining, but you still need to keep viewers engaged. I don’t understand how this film got a long standing ovation at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, but to each their own. Watch it or skip it? It’s all up to you, as I don’t love, nor do I hate this one. 18+ 3/5

Netflix Announces Pornhub Documentary — Consequence

Netflix will get a little less SFW on March 15th, 2023. The streamer has set a premiere date for Money Shot: The Pornhub Story, an upcoming documentary about the popular, yet controversial sex video website. Pornhub was founded in 2007 and subsequently changed the course of the adult entertainment industry — for…Please click the link below to…

Netflix Announces Pornhub Documentary — Consequence

The Top 50 Most Accurate and Inaccurate Biographical Films

Most Accurate: 

  1. Joyeux Noel – 2005 
  2. All the President’s Men – 1976 
  3. Tora! Tora! Tora! – 1970 
  4. Apollo 13 – 1995 
  5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – 2007 
  6. Zodiac – 2007 
  7. 12 Years a Slave – 2013 
  8. Downfall – 2004 
  9. Lincoln – 2012
  10. Spotlight – 2015 
  11. A Night to Remember – 1958 
  12. Full Metal Jacket – 1987 
  13. Schindler’s List – 1993 
  14. Rush – 2013 
  15. Selma – 2015
  16. The King’s Speech – 2010 
  17. The Big Short – 2015 
  18. Black Robe – 1991 
  19. The Pianist – 2002 
  20. Green Book – 2018 
  21. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – 2003 
  22. Stalingrad – 1993 
  23. The Longest Day – 1962 
  24. Letters from Iwo Jima – 2006 
  25. Flags of Our Fathers – 2006 
  26. Midway – 2019 
  27. Henry V – 1989 
  28. Milk – 2008 
  29. 127 Hours – 2010 
  30. The Northman – 2022 
  31. Dunkirk – 2017
  32. The Last Duel – 2021 
  33. Benedetta – 2021 
  34. Tombstone – 1993 
  35. Hacksaw Ridge – 2016 
  36. Against the Ice – 2022 
  37. Hidden Figures – 2016 
  38. Quo Vadis, Aida? – 2020 
  39. The Courier – 2020 
  40. Agora – 2009 
  41. The Zookeeper’s Wife – 2017 
  42. The Professor and the Madman – 2019 
  43. Malcolm X – 1992 
  44. Charlie Wilson’s War – 2007 
  45. The Mission – 1986 
  46. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – 2019 
  47. Seven Years in Tibet – 1997 
  48. Miracle – 2004 
  49. Judas ad the Black Messiah – 2021
  50. Straight Outta Compton – 2015    

Least Accurate 

  1. The Untouchables – 1987 
  2. Alexander – 2004 
  3. Birdman of Alcatraz – 1962 
  4. Braveheart – 1995 
  5. Amadeus – 1984 
  6. Ed Wood – 1994 
  7. The Imitation Game – 2014 
  8. The Greatest Showman – 2017 
  9. Cobb – 1994 
  10. The Conqueror – 1956 
  11. The Buddy Holly Story – 1978 
  12. The Bline Side – 2009 
  13. Jobs – 2013 
  14. Steve Jobs – 2015 
  15. The Iron lady – 2011
  16. Pocahontas – 1995 
  17. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967 
  18. 300 – 2006 
  19. The Elephant Man – 1980 
  20. CBGB – 2013 
  21. Patch Adams – 1998 
  22. A Beautiful Mind – 2001 
  23. Pain & Gain – 2013 
  24. The Doors – 1991 
  25. The Social Network – 2010 
  26. Marie Antoinette – 2006 
  27. Amistad – 1997 
  28. JFK – 1991 
  29. Ago – 2012 
  30. Pearl Harbor – 2001 
  31. The Sound of Music – 1965 
  32. 10,00 BC – 2008 
  33. Anonymous – 2011 
  34. The Last Samurai –  2003 
  35. The Patriot – 2000
  36. Gladiator – 2000
  37. Apocalypto – 2006 
  38. U-571 – 2000
  39. Shakespeare in Love – 1998 
  40. The Birth of a Nation – 1915 
  41. Anastasia – 1997 
  42. Hans Christian Anderson – 1952 
  43. The Private Life of Henry VIII – 1933 
  44. The Scarlet Empress – 1934
  45. Bohemian Rhapsody – 2018 
  46. Titanic – 1997 
  47. Ray – 2004 
  48. Foxcatcher – 2014 
  49. The Far Horizons – 1955 
  50. They Died with Their Boots On – 1941 


A Man Called Otto (2022)

A Man Called Otto is a 2022 comedy-drama film directed by Marc Foster from a screenplay by David Magee. It is the second film adaptation of the 2012 novel A Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and an American remake of the 2015 Swedish film of the same name written and directed by Hannes Holm. The film stars Tom Hanks, Marinana Trevino, Rachel Keller, and Manuel Garcia-Ruflo. 

Otto Anderson, a 63 year old widowe, lives in Suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After retiring from a steel company, he plans suicide, having lost his wife Sonya, a schoolteacher, six months before. 

During a suicide attempt by hanging, he is interrutedby his new neighbors: Marisol, Tommy, and their two daughters, Abby and Luna. Ottos has flashbacks to his past: years before, he tried to enlist in the army, but was unable to having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. he meets Sonya on a train after giving her back a book she had dropped. 

Otto attempts suicide again, this time via carbon monoxide poisoning. He has another flashback of him having dinner with Sonya, telling her that he is not enlisted in the army due to his heart condition and doesn’t have a job, making Sonya kiss him. Marisol interrupts Otto’s suicide attempt, asking him to her and the kids to the hospital after Tommy falls off a ladder and breaks his leg. 

Otto has a flashback to his graduation with an engineering degree, when he asks Sonya to marry him. During a suicide attempt by train, an old man faints and falls on the railroad tracks. Otto saves the man and the good deed becomes a viral video. Otto then takes in a stray cat, which he had found to be a nuisance. Otto takes Marisol for a driving lesson and they go to Sonya’s favorite bakery, which the couple had gone to every weekend. There. he tells her about his friendship with a guy named Reuben, the two having worked together to set up rules, with Otto as chairman of the neighborhood association. The two grow apart after Reuben’s preference for Fords and Toyotas over Otto’s Chevrolets and the “coup” of replacing Otto as chairman. Reuben, who suffered a stroke, is now confined to a wheelchair and is cared for by his wife Anita and neighbor Jimmy. 

After dodging a social media Journalist named Shari Kenzie who is trying to interview Otto for his brave act in the viral video, he gets mad at both Marisol and a Dye & Merika real estate agent, not wanting to accept Sonya’s death. He tries to kill himself with a shotgun, but is interrupted by Malcolm, a local transgender teen Otto has befriended, who asks to spend the night after his father kicks him out. 

Ottos learns that Dye & Merika is planning to force Reuben into a nursing home and take their house, after illegally finding out that Anita has Parkinson’s disease. Otto agrees to help Anita and Reuben. After having a heating fight with Dye & Merika, Otto was voted out of chairmanship after the neighborhood is not accessible to Sonya after a tragic accident leaves her paralyzed and she has a miscarriage. Otto and other neighbors come together with Shari Kenzie to take down Dye & Merika to force them to not buy over the neighborhood. 

The character of Otto at times resembles Larry David’s character in “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Otto starts out like Ebeneezer Scrooge, very grumpy, never happy. Eventually, his neighbors turn him back into the fun, funny, caring man he used to be when his Sonya was still alive. They show him how to live again. He starts out so bitter and cheap, he has his electric, phone, and cable turned off. He doesn’t own a cellphone or a fancy car. He is very unhappy, as he is lonely, retired, has no friends, or close family, and nothing excites him anymore without his wife. He tries several times to kill himself but he thankfully gets interrupted every time. His neighbors and new friends show him that suicide is not the answer.

This film is pretty slow for a good portion of its runtime. Parts are laugh out loud funny, there are also heartwarming and cute scenes. There are also some very tragic moments as well. Tom Hanks is great as Otto Anderson, but that doesn’t make this movie any better. It is good at best. The Swedish version, A Man Called Ove is better, but still not great either. Both are of a man who loses the love of his life and becomes big grump, a constant eye roll, middle finger to anything that bothers them or that is remotely positive. Both men learn there is more to life and they also learn how accept the death of a loved on and move on. 

This film will likely not be winning any awards, except maybe Hanks. Scrooge type characters have been done to death. The story of a once bitter person becoming kind hearted again, that too has been done too many times. Yes, the Swedish version is better and the book is good, but overall the entire story is far too similar to many others. The sad, sad, happy, sad pattern is not original either. Had this story had something more intense than a real estate company trying to take over a neighborhood, it maight have been more enjoyable. Overall, I found myself rather bored and depressed for most of this movie. There were times I found myself laughing and smiling and some parts really warmed my heart, but those parts are so few. 

I’m glad Otto became a better man again, but his Grinch-like attitude was dragged out for too long. I wanted to like this movie, but I found it rather boring and unoriginal. Another crankypants, get of my lawn character, though well acted, was just wasted talent. This film is just a stretched out waste of time with a pretty bow tied around it for the most part, until the tragedy comes. Sweet and sad story, but not an entertaining movie much at all. 3/5 13+ 

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

The Banshees of Inisherin is a 2022 dark tragicomedy film directed by Martin McDonagh. Set on a remote Island off the west coast of Ireland, it stars Colin Farrell and Brendand Gleeson as two lifelong friends who find themselves at a dead end when one quickle ends their relationship, with startling consequences for both of them. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan also star in the film. 

At the tail end of the Irish Civil War in 1923, on the fictional Irish Isle of Inisherin, folk musician Colm Doherty quickly starts ignoring his lifelong friend and drinking buddy Padraic Suilleabhain. Padraic, though friendly and well liked by the islanders, is too “dull” for Colm, who wishes to spend the remainder of his life compsing music and doing things that he will be remembered by.  Padraic’s life is disrupted by the loss of one of his few friend; as he grows more and more tramatic at the rejection, Colm becomes more hostile to his old friend’s attempts to to talk to him. Colm eventuallly gives Padraic an ultimatum: every time Padriac bothers him or tries to talk to him, Colm will cut off one of his own left fingers with a pair of sheep shears. 

Though Padriac’s caring sister Siobhan and troubled local boy Dominic attempt to stop the pair’s escalating brawl, their efforts prove ineffective. After a drunken Padriac confronts him in the pub and tries to apologise, Colm cuts off one of his fingers and throws it at Padriac’s door. After Padriac sees Colm meeting with a fiddler from the mainland, he tricks the fiddler into going back home by lying about their father’s death. 

Padriac visits Colm to scold him for behaving awfully. Colm reveals the he has finished composing his song, which he calls “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Padiac tells Colm about lying to fiddler to run him off the island, and maybe the three of them could have drinks . Colm cuts off the rest of his left fingers with the shears and throws them at Padriac’s door. 

This film is considered a comedy and there are some laugh out moments, but the rest of the movie is very slow, disturbing, and sad. The scenery is breathtaking, the music is beautiful, and the acting is superb. Brendon Gleeson is great as Colm and Colin Farrell is outstanding as Padriac. The film is really slow for the majority of it’s runtime of nearly two hours. It’s only a tad funny and mostly it’s just one sad thing happening after another. 

I guess I don’t really understand the whole tragicomedy thing, as I don’t find cutting off fingers as revenge and death of loved ones funny. Had this film been categorized not as a comedy of any type, I might have enjoyed it a little more. But we get is a semi-funny, slow, drunken and depressing story, mixed with a beautiful location and equally beautiful music. Kerry Condon does a fine job as Siobhan and Barry Keoghan is good, not great as Dominic. 

The two main charaters Padriac and Colm, are two self-loathing loners, that could really use a friend or a lover. The only friends the two have after they break up are animals, Padriac has his donkey and horse and Colm has his dog, but they need more human interactions, some physical touch. They are two of the most depressing characters I have ever seen in a movie. They are called nice by other islanders, but they aren’t always so jolly, they end up constantly seeking revenge on each other, instead of leaving each other alone, or maybe just saying “Hi,” and walking on. They seem to do a lot of beer drinking, to point of being drunk nearly every day, which makes them do stupid things, like pub fights. 

There is a little bit of humor in this film, but also this film is not heartwarming, uplifting, or romantic. It is basically two miserable men that hate each other and need desparetly to get off that island, meet people, and try to have a relatively “normal” life. Though this movie takes place in the 1920s, everyone on the island is living like amish people, only with alcohol and tobacco use. There are no cars, no electricity, and likely no plumbing either. It seems odd for the time period, but I guess that’s island life in Ireland back then. 

Overall, this is a very slow, a tad humorous, disstressing film. The scenery and the fine acting don’t make this one any better. Some things are left unaswered in the movie as well. Had there been more action, this film might have been more entertaining, but instead is quite boring and sad. I was hoping this one would have been fantastic judging by all the awards it has recieved, but I have to disagree, except that Farrell and Gleeson do deserve their awards, but definitely not Best Picture or Best Screenplay worthy. It is a drunken, dawdling somewhat mess of film. 18+ 3/5 

Top 150 Greatest Crime Movies and Documentaries

  1. The French Connection – 1971 
  2. Tales of the Grim Sleeper – 2014 
  3. The Usual Susoects – 1995 
  4. The Act of Killing – 2012 
  5. The Big Sleep – 1946 
  6. The Thin Blue Line – 1988 
  7. Pulp Fiction – 1994 
  8. Murder on a Sunday Morning – 2001 
  9. Chinatown – 1974 
  10. O.J.: Made in America – 2016 
  11. Goodfellas – 1990 
  12. The Imposter – 2012 
  13. The Godfather – 1972 
  14. Brother’s Keeper – 1992 
  15. The Godfather Part II – 1974 
  16. Tower – 2016 
  17. Heat – 1995 
  18. Bus 174 – 2002 
  19. Scarface – 1983 
  20. F for Fake – 1973 
  21. Fargo – 1996 
  22. Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art – 2020 
  23. L.A. Confidential – 1997 
  24. Capturing the Friedmans – 2003 
  25. City of God – 2002 
  26. Animal Kingdom – 2010 
  27. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father – 2008 
  28. Trainspotting – 1996 
  29. Lost for Life – 2013 
  30. Rocco and His Brothers – 1960 
  31. Mommy Dead and Dearest – 2017 
  32. Graduation – 2016 
  33. Sour Grapes – 2016 
  34. Mystic River – 2003 
  35. The Central Park Five – 2012 
  36. The Big Risk – 1960 
  37. The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden – 2013 
  38. Grisbi – 1954 
  39. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – 2014 
  40. The Last Seduction – 1994 
  41. Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop – 2015 
  42. The Silence of the Lambs – 1991 
  43. The Newburgh Sting – 2014 
  44. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 2020 
  45. The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman – 2001 
  46. The Departed – 2006 
  47. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer – 1992 
  48. Widows – 2018 
  49. The Cheshire Murders – 2013 
  50. Sweet Sixteen – 2002 
  51. The Grifters – 1990 
  52. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills – 1996 
  53. Drug War – 2012
  54. Into the Abyss – 2011 
  55. Traffic – 2000
  56. 1971 – 2014 
  57. In the Bedroom – 2001 
  58. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley – 2019 
  59. Boys Don’t Cry – 1999
  60. Our Father – 2022
  61. Dreamcatcher – 2015 
  62. Murder to Mercy: The Cyntonia Brown Story – 2020
  63. The Murder of Fred Hampton – 1971 
  64. Sophie: A Murder in West Cork – 2021 
  65. The Executioner’s Song – 1982 
  66. The Hunting Ground – 2015 
  67. Serpico – 1973 
  68. WeWork: Or the Making of $47 Billion Unicorn – 2021 
  69. The Fugitive – 1993 
  70. Fyre – 2019 
  71. In Cold Blood – 1967 
  72. Museo – 2018 
  73. Baby God – 2020 
  74. Hell or High Water – 2016 
  75. American Murder: The Family Next Door – 2020 
  76. Band of Outsiders – 1964 
  77. The Tinder Swindler – 2022 
  78. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 2017 
  79. Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist – 2022 
  80. On the Waterfront – 1954 
  81. Abducted in Plain Sight – 2017 
  82. Assault on Precinct 13 – 1976 
  83. The Girl in the Picture – 2022 
  84. American Hustle – 2013 
  85. 13th – 2016 
  86. United 93 – 2006 
  87. Athlete A – 2020 
  88. A Bright Summer Day – 1991 
  89. Strong Island – 2017 
  90. The Crying Game – 1992 
  91. The Fog of War – 2003 
  92. No Country for Old Men – 2007 
  93. 4 Little Girls – 1997 
  94. Cool Hand Luke – 1967 
  95. Big Men – 2013 
  96. Badlands – 1973 
  97. Time – 2020 
  98. Elevator to the Gallows – 1958 
  99. Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 – 2017 
  100. Taxi Driver – 1976
  101. I Called Him Morgan – 2016 
  102. Double Indemnity – 1944
  103. Citizenfour – 2014 
  104. Mean Streets – 1973 
  105. Crime + Punishment – 2018 
  106. 12 Angry Men – 1957 
  107. Deliver Us from Evil – 2006 
  108. Rififi – 1955 
  109. Red Roll Red – 2018 
  110. Touch of Evil – 1958 
  111. The Night of the Hunter – 1955 
  112. The Good Nurse – 2022 
  113. My Friend Dahmer – 2017 
  114. Audrie & Daisy – 2016 
  115. L’Argent – 1983 
  116. Charm City – 2018 
  117. Tell Me Who I Am – 2019 
  118. Shoplifters – 2018 
  119. White Boy – 2017 
  120. Why Did You Kill Me? – 2021 
  121. The Red Circle – 1970 
  122. Uncut Gems – 2019 
  123. 16 Shots – 2018 
  124. The Seven Five – 2014 
  125. The Ladykillers – 1955 
  126. The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013 
  127. Pervert Park – 2014 
  128. Team Foxcatcher – 2016 
  129. Foxcatcher – 2014 
  130. Dark Waters – 2019 
  131. A Prophet – 2009 
  132. 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets – 2015 
  133. Private Violence – 2014 
  134. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967 
  135. The Fear of 13 – 2015 
  136. Gangs of Wasseypur – 2012 
  137. Piccadilly – 1929 
  138. Bernie – 2011 
  139. Man Bites Dog – 1992 
  140. Bowling for Columbine – 2002 
  141. The Phantom – 2021 
  142. Capote – 2005 
  143. Strangers on a Train – 1951 
  144. Collective – 2019 
  145. Icarus – 2017 
  146. To Kill a Mockingbird – 1962 
  147. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – 2005 
  148. Inside Job – 2010 
  149. Amanda Knox – 2016 
  150. Gomorrah – 2008 

Classic of the Week: Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Davis, and Walter Abel. It was directed by Mark Sandrich with music by Irving Berlin. Berlin wrote twelve songs especially for the film, the best known one being “White Christmas.” The film hallmarks a reuse of the song “Easter Parade”, written by Berlin for the 1933 Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer and used as a title track for the 1948 film Easter Parade starring Astaire and Judy Garland. Holiday Inn‘s choreography was by Danny Dare. 

Him Hardy, Ted Hanover, and Lila Dixon have a popular New York City song and dance ac. On Christmas Eve Jim prepares for his last performance before retiring to be husband to Lila and life on a farm in Connecticut. Lila tells jim she has fallne in love with the infamous smooth talker Ted instead; heartbroken, Jim tells them goodbye. 

He tries to take a shot at working on the farm but ends up in a santitarium instead. The following Christmas Eve Jim is back in New York City with plans to turn his farm into “Holiday Inn,” an entertainment venue open only on holidays, to the interest of Ted and his agent Danny Reed. In a flower shop Danny is coaxed by sales girl and aspiring performer Linda Mason; he directs her to Holiday Inn and Ted’s club. Later that night Linda and Jim accidentally meet at a performance by Ted and Lila. Jim pretends to own a rival club. while Linda poses as a celebrity friend of Ted’s, only to leave when Ted and Lila near. 

On New Year’s Eve Holiday Inn opens to a packed house. Back in New York City Ted learns that Lila is leaving him for a Texas millionaire. Drinkig heavily, he arrives at Holiday Inn at midnight and bumps into Linda. They dance and, and the drunk dancer and innocent young woman recieve lots of applause from the audience who believe it was all a rehearsed act. Danny arrives and and is overjoyed that Ted has found a new partner, but in the morning Ted doesn’t remember Linda. Jim hides her, scared Ted will steal her away. 

On Lincoln’s birthday Ted and Danny look for Linda, but Jim convinces Linda to play the minstrel show number “Abraham” in blackface together to fool them. While applying makeup Jim asks her to stay with him between holidays, which she comprehends as a propsal. He declares it, but explains that only when he can afford to. Leaving empty-handed, Ted and Danny plan to return. 

Rehearsing for Valentine’s Day, Jim presents Linda with a new song, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” Ted arrives and goes into an unchoreographed dance with Linda. Recognizing her from New Year’s Eve, he demands that Jim prepare a number for them to perform in the next show. 

At Easter romance grows between Jim and Linda. They are met by Ted, who asks to remain in Jim’s shows to experience “the true happiness” they found. Linda is charmed, but Jim is suspicious. 

Thanksgiving finds the Inn closed and Jim filled with self-pity. As he prepares to mail off his new song his housekeeper Mamie coaxes him to fight to win Linda back. 

Bing Crosby’s singing, Fred Astaire’s footwork, Marjorie Reynolds’ and Virginia Dale’s dancing, and Irving Berlin’s songs, are the only thing great about this movie. You’d think with a great story, great soundtrack, and choreography, this has to be a fantastic movie, but it’s barely that. Entertaining yes, but it just jumps from one holiday song and dance number to the next with very little story in between. You do learn about Jim working on the farm and him turning the farm into the inn, and how both Jim and Ted are in love with the same ladies, but hardly anything else. You don’t see much rehearsing of the performances, which to me, would have made the story far more interesting. 

There is racism in the “Abraham” number where blackface is used, which is offensive nowadays and many television channels choose to omit the scene, but most DVD versions still have it. Yes, the scene should have never happened, but it did and times were different then, so you have to either watch it on regular TV, skip through it, or suck it up and watch it, which is really hard to do. 

The acting is really good, but not fantastic,  but the singing and dancing overshadows that. It does have the typical 1940’s romantic musical tone, so the storyline doesn’t feel very original. The part of the story of two guys trying to woo the same women, has been done to death, even before this movie came out. 

There are some great scenes like the “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” sequence where Ted and Linda dance to Jim’s song and at the end of the routine, they jump through at big paper heart prop. Also the Independance Day scene where Ted dances with firecrackers is fabulous. 

The movie treats every holiday that shown as just musical theater productions, though some of the numbers go into the history or what they think is the history of the holiday, they don’t celebrate the holidays they way they are meant to be like having a Thanksgiving meal with family friends, opening presents with family and friends on Christmas Day, going to church on Easter Sunday, etc., which conservative Christians may find blasphemous. 

There is lots of drinking and smoking throughout and several instances where a character is drunk. Despite the racism, blasphemy, and heavy uses of booze and tobacco, it is still a really entertaining movie. Though this is considered a Christmas film, it covers most of the major holidays celebrated in America, though not Hanukkah for some reason, so I don’t call this an Xmas movie, but more of a motion picture honoring many holidays. 12+ 3.5/5