May 11, 2011

Movies seen in 2011 so far: The good, the bad and the so-so

There are a lot of movies I've seen this year but I haven't reviewed. Here's a brief commentary for some of them:

The good:

Well, thanks to ClassicBecky and Lola, I watched White Heat (1949; Raoul Walsh). And girls, you were right, this is simply a terrific movie. James Cagney is memorable as Cody Jarrett, a violent criminal who loves his mommy. The film keeps you intrigued, especially because there's an undercover agent that has to get close to Cody and you really fear of what might happen to him. But you also feel some kind of sympathy for the poor man who suffers of severe headaches. A very well told story, with a great ending.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947; Norman S. McLeod) was the first film from Virginia Mayo and Danny Kaye I ever saw. It was a surprise, a really fun comedy. Danny is a low profile comic artist that can't help daydreaming and seeing himself as a cool guy in different entertaining scenes. Everyone makes fun of him, even his dull fiancée until he becomes involved in very strange and dangerous situation that includes a sophisticated blonde, a bad guy and an unexpected super bad guy. Fun. Oh, Ben Stiller is going to ruin it with a remake.

Ivy (1947; Sam Wood) Great, great movie. The Siren praised it so I had to watch it. It was a super engaging...I don't know, drama? thriller? about a crazy Joan Fontaine that has a husband, a poor lover AND a rich lover. This Joan Fontaine doesn't love her husband; loves the poor lover but loves the rich lover's money even more. That complex. And then she decides a) to kill the husband b) not help the poor lover when he's accused of murder c) wait for the rich lover. But her plans don't go very well because this Joan Fontaine doesn't know how to use an elevator. Great film.

The so-so

Sleep my love (Douglas Sirk; 1948) is like Gaslight but starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche AS THE BAD GUY and Robert Cummings. That means that this is about a husband that wants to kill his wife by trying to convince her that she's seeing people that is not really there, going to places she didn't want to go and trying to jump from balconies. Why it isn't good? Well because I expected more from this film and it was a bit messy. Like Claudette meets Robert and like in twenty minutes are BFF and go out together.And because Don exaggerated a bit his performance, it wasn't very subtly like Charles Boyer's. But, it was entertaining anyway.

The golden arrow (1936; Alfred Green) Bette Davis is a rich girl and George Brent is a poor reporter. Bette convinces him to marry her, because she doesn't stand guys around her just because of her fortune (this plan didn't convince me very much). Before they were married they liked each other, then they marry and soon they start fighting because Bette needs to create public controversy, so the name of her company appears in the media. I don't know, some parts seemed too forced to serve the script. Why it isn't bad? Because Bette and George had great the beginning at least.

Doctor in the House (1954; Ralph Thomas) I watched this movie because I wanted to see something from Dick Borgade. It's about medical students and all the shananigans that going to university to become a doctor means. Like buying medical skulls, practicing the recently learned theories on girls, etc. Oh, and what being a doctor really means, etc. I don't know, it was too bland, too circumstantial and not very surprising. Not bad because it has some funny scenes.

The bad

The princess and the pirate (1944; Davis Butler) I have to say that I can understand people that like this kind of movies. I mean, Bob Hope, one liners, crazy scenes, laughing at the movie conventions, etc. I like some parody movies, I discuss the subject a month ago, but I guess this one is more for the boys. Here the female character is just an accessory, IMO. A coward pirate rescues a princess and has to face a furious captain. Stuff the plot with lots of pirates jokes, Virginia Mayo singing, some unconnected scenes, a very stupid ending and you have something to sell. Not my cup of tea.

So, uhm...yes... that's all folks!


  1. Oh! I love the Secret Life of Walter Mitty! I haven't been able to find that anywhere! Thank you for the reviews!

  2. Thanks for the reviews, Clara! I always like to know what people think of the films they see, instead of just plot summaries. So thank you! Of course no film appeals to everyone, but it helps to get recommendations. I am definitely going to check out 'White Heat' and 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' now. :)

  3. Estoy considerando la idea de comentar varios films en un solo post pues se me agolpa el trabajo. Al rojo vivo (White Head)es un film excelente. Tomo nota de tus otras dos good-recomendaciones.

    Siempre es un placer pasarme por tu blog


  4. Clara, it's me, Dorian (your Web site has been misidentifying me as "Anonymous," for some reason). I loved your "Good, Bad and So-So" write-ups, especially your praise of one of my favorite movies of all time, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY! By the way, not to be picky, but in the movie, Walter was actually a proofreader; with the film's cool pulp fiction milieu and the plot's lively pace, it's easy for such factoids to be lost in the shuffle. :-) By the way, I reviewed ...WALTER MITTY on TotED a while back, if you're interested:

  5. I haven't seen any of these films, but I want to see the one with Bette just because it has Bette, haha.

  6. Emma: Yes, is super fun, hope you can get it somehow! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Audrey: No, thank you for your time! Hope you like both movies!

    Father_Caprio: Muchas gracias por tus palabras, de verdad! Sí, a veces uno no alcanza a comentar cada película por separado, y esta es una buena opción...ojalá puedas ver las good recomendaciones :) Saludos y gracias de nuevo!

    DorianTB: Thanks for correcting that mistake, I'll edit it soon! Yes, I really loved that film, it was super fun! I'll check your review tonight :) Oh, I don't know what might be happening with the Anonymous thing, I checked and you're right, I can't access my real account either, maybe it's a temporary Blogger issue...Hope they fix it soon!

    Desiree: LOL, well, maybe you should check other movies starring Bette + George Brent before this one :) It's not a very memorable film, maybe just to watch once. Thanks for stopping by!!

  7. Hooray for Blogger being restored! I enjoyed your take on all these films. I was especially intrigued by your review of IVY; coming on top of the Siren's post, this is a film I have to see!!

    THE GOLDEN ARROW also sounds quite interesting. I have come to really appreciate George Brent, especially his earlier films. I think his contributions to some excellent films are underrated.

    I liked SLEEP, MY LOVE quite well when I watched it via Netflix, although I agree it wasn't the perfect film of its type.

    PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE and WALTER MITTY are two films which were on TV all the time when I was growing up so I have fond memories of them for that reason. :)

    I appreciate the recommendations and enjoyed hearing about what you've been watching lately!

    Best wishes,

  8. Marvvy post, medearie!! Glad you got to see WALTER MITTY-- that's been a lifelong personal favorite of mine. James Thurber's stories were a fixture in my childhood, much like Roald Dahl, and this movie really is a fantastic example of just how GOOD literary adaptations can be when you're not afraid to be... adventurous. :)



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