Aggie Hurley (Bette Davis) is making up for a lifetime of making do. Her daughter Jane (Debbie Reynolds) is going to have a lavish wedding – even if Jane wants a simple ceremony. And even if Aggie’s husband Tom (Ernest Borgnine) must give up his dream of owning his own taxi to finance the extravaganza. Borgnine, winner of 1955’s Best Actor Oscar® for Marty (like The Catered Affair originally written for TV by Paddy Chayefsky), etches another superb working-class portrait. And Davis, renowned for playing larger-than-life characters, proves masterly at capturing the life-sized intensity of Aggie. Together, they create a gem of “shirtsleeved intimacy and gamy humor” (Time) as real as a shabby Bronx apartment. Barry Fitzgerald and Rod Taylor also star. From Warner Brothers! Continue reading
from all movie:
A group of gay and lesbian teen characters addresses the camera directly in this pseudo-documentary about the travails of queer adolescence in early-’90s Los Angeles. Andy (James Duval), who hides his sensitive side beneath a nihilistic exterior, really yearns to find a nice boyfriend and settle down the way his pal Steven (Gilbert Luna), an aspiring filmmaker, has with boyfriend Deric (Lance May). Meanwhile, their sex-crazed friend Tommy (Roko Belic) has been kicked out by his parents for being homosexual. The only seemingly carefree members of this adoptive family are Michele (Susan Behshid) and Patricia (Jenee Gill), a lesbian couple whose desire to raise a child together leads the boys to participate in a group sperm donation during one of the film’s many scenes of these characters just hanging out and rapping about AIDS, fag-bashing, homophobia, and alienation. In-between polemicizing and posing in front of Steven’s camera for interviews, Andy meets college student Ian (Alan Boyce), who seems, at least for a while, to be Mr. Right. Just as Andy and Ian’s relationship begins to blossom, Steven and Deric’s starts to fall apart, but nothing’s for certain in director Gregg Araki’s angst-ridden world. Framed as 15 vignettes, each one introduced by an ironic intertitle and many of them interspersed with graphic sexual and commercial images, Totally F***ed Up marked the end of Araki’s no-budget phase; the glossy, gaudy Doom Generation would follow two years later. Continue reading
Most of us have been in the situation where we’ve had one too many cups of coffee, there are the jittery side effects, the quickened speech, the racing heartbeat—but that’s all in a day’s work for Winter, the mono-named star of Starbucking. Winter’s mission is to visit each and every official Starbucks in the world, as of this date he’s been to 6,939 stores, and this entertaining documentary allows a peek at his borderline manic journey and his optimistically caffeinated world.
Hate them or love them, for a lot of people Starbucks is part of the daily routine; you stop in to pick up coffee, maybe grab a newspaper or a muffin, and then head to the office. But for Winter, Starbucks sort of is the office. For the past 10 years he’s trekked all over the world—when he’s on the road he literally lives out of his car, even sleeping in his small Honda hatchback—in a seemingly never-ending attempt to reach his goal. He seems to realize it’s a process that is likely to last his lifetime, but he is completely undeterred.
A well-crafted film, 24 February 2001
Author: jeffreynothing from Toronto, Canada
I saw this film at a screening several years ago at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The picture was actually introduced by Mr.Ulmer’s daughter. It’s a typical 1940’s melodrama that is well directed. It is apparent in viewing the film that Ulmer knew exactly what he was doing when he made a movie. It was only the second Ulmer film I had seen, the first being the superior Detour. I can’t remember the plot in too much detail because it was a while ago, but it involves an illegitimate child. It has a good social message in that it sheds light on how so-called “bastard” children are sometimes the subjects of social discrimination. I’m surprised it hasn’t received more votes. I guess I was lucky to catch that screening. Continue reading
Rogosin took the fight for equality to his homeland with his astonishing and powerful fourth feature Black Roots. The film, which is ripe for rediscovery, featured an extraordinary cast, including Reverend Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick; attorney and feminist activist Florynce “”Flo”” Kennedy; and musicians Jim Collier, Wende Smith, Larry Johnson and Reverend Gary Davis. All tell stories of heartbreak and despair while their songs blow the roof off the rafters. In an extension of the famed shebeen scenes in Come Back, Africa, the participants in Black Roots spoke openly about politics and race in a way that is still rarely seen on screen. In 1970, it was a radical and daring move by a great director. A deeply humanist film, Black Roots combines tales of oppression with hauntingly beautiful images of the faces of black men, women and children. Continue reading
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” is the movie that Wes Anderson has been hinting at and promising for 15 years. It has wit and yet doesn’t short-circuit emotion, style that’s more than a gesture or attitude, and good scenes that don’t only stand alone but that build and become part of a substantial whole. It is every bit what people think of when they think of a Wes Anderson movie, only this time the gap between the talent and the achievement is gone.
It’s set primarily in the early 1930s, in a fictional central European city, with shades of Budapest, Prague and Vienna – but not the real Budapest, Prague and Vienna, but rather those cities as imagined and dreamed across a distance of time and space. The hotel of the title is like a hotel in a Greta Garbo movie, except rendered in candy colors, harking back to a time when people really believed that splendor and refinement were states of the soul, not mere acts of display. Continue reading
Blonde (wigged) and beautiful New York City model Sharon Kent (who was also a favorite of Barry Mahon) stars as Ann, a lovely secretary whose life is perfect. Her best friend Babs (middle-aged and buxom Jackie Richards) works with her in a friendly office and her boyfriend Bob recently proposed to her. Her world comes crashing down around her, however, when a creepy bespectacled geek (Wishman regular Michael Alaimo) begins stalking her. Through a supernatural mishap (which is never explained, but who cares?), the stalker finds a blonde doll and a tacky ring in the garbage can and suddenly, everything he does to the doll, Ann can feel being done to her! As the loser whips, feels up, undresses and puts a cigarette out on the doll, Ann feels every bit of it, and begins to believe her mind is unraveling. Babs is too busy whoring it up with a foreign sleazeball (Buck Starr, of TOO MUCH, TOO OFTEN) and Bob is away on business. Can she escape this hell? Continue reading