Sultry ’70s B-movie bombshell Christina Hart (THE STEWARDESSES, HELTER SKELTER) stars as Bunny O’Hara, the underage man-eating daughter of a wealthy American businessman. After sleeping her way through the brass ranks of the U.S. military, Bunny is packed off to Swinging London and a remote finishing school for wayward rich girls.
Bored in the British boondocks, Bunny leads her nubile classmates in a contest to seduce a group of foreign dignitaries visiting London for disarmament talks…the winner being the first girl to get her V.I.P. into B-E-D!
Escapist, sexist and as politically incorrect as they go, GAMES GIRLS PLAY (aka THE BUNNY CAPER) is a titillating product of its heedless time, directed with an unblinking eye by Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN) and costarring Ed Bishop (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Continue reading
Enchanting, always funny, sometimes hilarious, and featuring a surprisingly light comic performance from the ever adaptable Meryl Streep, this is the most likeable and endearing comedy to date for writer/director/star Albert Brooks. His satirical edge, so sharp in his three previous films — Real Life (1979), Modern Romance (1981), and Lost in America (1985) — seems at first glance to have been dulled, even if his funny bone is still in perfect working order. But Brooks is still mocking the human race; it’s just that his humor has become gentler, suggesting that his longtime bitterness has evolved into a bemused, perceptive wisdom. Those who have become addicted to the Brooks oeuvre and its underlying neurotic cynicism might be dismayed that their favorite artistic pessimist has created a film that can be labeled heartwarming. But most Brooks fans will be delighted to find intact the brand of raw, naked honesty about the writer/director’s own shortcomings they expect, treated with a tender forgiveness that’s a new development to be sure, but an entirely welcome one. Peopled with memorable supporting players (particularly Rip Torn as a gruff but amiable legal eagle), and overflowing with creative ideas about the afterlife and its machinations, Defending Your Life amounts to a must-see film from one of the funniest, most under-appreciated filmmakers of our time. — Karl Williams
“Sooner or later, everyone who loves movies comes to Ozu. He is the quietest and gentlest of directors, the most humanistic, the most serene.” — Roger Ebert
It took long enough, but I sampled my first Yasujiro Ozu film, Good Morning (Ohayo), and will soon indulge myself with as many of his works as I can locate. At one time, his films were thought to be “too Japanese” and weren’t available in the West, but if Good Morning is any indication of his craft and appeal, Ozu deserves a much wider audience. It’s a film that works at multiple levels, and only artistic geniuses like Shakespeare have been able to pull off such a universal work that works with both down to earth people and with the upper levels of critical audiences equally. Continue reading
Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader wrote:
Charles Chaplin’s best-loved film, with the tramp down-and-out (as usual) in Alaska, where he looks for gold, falls in love with a dance-hall girl (Georgia Hale), eats his shoes for Thanksgiving dinner, and ends up a millionaire. The blend of slapstick and pathos is seamless, although the cynicism of the final scene is still surprising. Chaplin’s later films are quirkier and more personal, but this is quintessential Charlie, and unmissable. The film has been issued in several different forms with different sound tracks and cuts, including a 72-minute version butchered by Chaplin himself in the 40s. Hold out for the 1925 original, which runs 82 minutes. Continue reading
AMG: One couple’s rocky road toward togetherness is mapped in this comedy drama which melds elements of documentary and fiction. Arin (Arin Crumley) is a struggling independent filmmaker who pays the rent by shooting and editing wedding videos; he loathes the “four-eyed, two-mouthed, eight-limbed” beasts known as couples in love, but he would also prefer to be less lonely than he is. However, Arin is terrified of talking to women, and has a borderline phobia about sexually transmitted disease. On an Internet dating site, Arin meets Susan, (Susan Buice), an artist who wants to pursue a career in painting but in the meantime supports herself by waiting tables at a coffee shop. Susan’s attitudes about romance are only slightly more optimistic than Arin’s, but after exchanging photos and messages, the two sense they have something in common. Continue reading
In his second feature as a director after his Oscar-winning success as an editor, Hal Ashby complements Colin Higgins’ script (adapted by Higgins from his own student short) with an affectionately non-judgmental view of quirky behavior and a distaste for institutions of authority.
In their deft hands, Harold Chasen may be weird – but his mother and army general uncle are plain nuts. Paramount appeared nonplussed as to how to market the film, and it opened to scathing reviews and died a rapid first-run death, as few viewers seemed to care for the idea of a youth lusting after a grandmother.
But, caught up in a generational revolt of their own, college audiences responded passionately to the message of doing your own thing regardless of what church, state, and Mom say. Harold and Maude became the cult hit of the 1970s, reportedly playing in one Minneapolis theater for three straight years, with fans who claimed to have seen it 100 or more times. Continue reading
Centres on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of “Factotum” author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, CA trying to live off jobs which don’t interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Along the way, he fends off the distractions offered by women, drinking and gambling.