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Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-07-31%2Bat%2B2.05.4

I'm finishing up the Higgins family comedies that Republic made. Gus Meins, who directed Our Gang shorts and Laurel & Hardy stuff for Hal Roach, is the director of the seven entries with the Gleasons. The humor is very much based on the bad luck the Higgins have in all aspects of their lives. The scripts are structured around a series of situations (running gags), and the family members have various storylines that run in all directions. This was Republic's answer to MGM's Hardy family series-- and I think it's a lot funnier. The MGM films became starring vehicles for Mickey Rooney and the rest of the Hardys were often sidelined, but the Higgins comedies give the entire family plenty to do. Great energy, and the actors are all having a ball. My favorite one so far:

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I finished the Higgins family comedies. The last two (with new directors and a replacement cast) were okay but not as great as the earlier seven pictures with the Gleasons. MONEY TO BURN was probably the best one, but EARL OF PUDDLESTONE was also superb. In EARL OF PUDDLESTONE, James Gleason and Harry Davenport do a soft-shoe dance routine at the end with a young starlet (Lois Ranson).

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Today's performers have five percent of the talent these old stars had.

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Delicatessen -  Cult French oddity from directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.

I watched this one at an art house theater in the 90s when it first came out...it was strange in spots, but overall very memorable and I've never forgotten certain scenes from it in all these years.

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2016-08-02%2Bat%2B5.57.3

I'm finishing the last twenty minutes of BOTANY BAY, a historic adventure film from the early 50s with Alan Ladd in Technicolor. This is a beautifully made motion picture, and John Farrow directed it with such skill. Paramount obviously put a lot of money into the production.

 

James Mason who plays the ruthless captain gives a bravo-bravo performance.

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Ladd is at his peak physically and so is Patricia Medina, his bewitching love interest.

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It's on Amazon Prime.'

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I decided to make it an Alan Ladd evening. After BOTANY BAY ended, I found CAPTAIN CAREY U.S.A. on Amazon Prime. It had been awhile since I had seen it, so I couldn't remember all of the plot. It's a war-time intrigue, and Ladd's leading lady is lovely Wanda Hendrix. Mitchell Leisen directs, which is kind of a change of pace for him-- since Leisen usually does romantic comedies and costume dramas.

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Not watching now, but planning on watching "Suicide Squad" (2016) tomorrow evening (or should I say Thursday morning, as it will take place at midnight?) for an employee showing at the movie theater where I work. 

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Not watching now, but planning on watching "Suicide Squad" (2016) tomorrow evening (or should I say Thursday morning, as it will take place at midnight?) for an employee showing at the movie theater where I work. 

 

Expect garbage, and then maybe your expectations may be surpassed. It's getting near universal bad press, with most saying that a strong opening devolves into a very weak middle and third act. 

 

One review said "it's not nearly as cool as it thinks it is." That was the vibe I was getting from the trailers, as well.

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Expect garbage, and then maybe your expectations may be surpassed. It's getting near universal bad press, with most saying that a strong opening devolves into a very weak middle and third act. 

 

One review said "it's not nearly as cool as it thinks it is." That was the vibe I was getting from the trailers, as well.

Well, at least it's free for me to watch it, that's all I gotta say about that.  :)  basically the only reason I choose to put myself through boring, unnecessary films (i.e. Batman vs. Superman)

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Well, at least it's free for me to watch it, that's all I gotta say about that.  :)  basically the only reason I choose to put myself through boring, unnecessary films (i.e. Batman vs. Superman)

 

Please post your thoughts after you watch the film. I'd like to hear from people other than paid reviewers.

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Not watching now, but planning on watching "Suicide Squad" (2016) tomorrow evening (or should I say Thursday morning, as it will take place at midnight?) for an employee showing at the movie theater where I work. 

 

For some reason my wife seems to HATE this movie and will even walkout of the room during the trailer/commercial?!  I'm not even familiar with the comic book history.  So I'll look forward to any comments here.

The same was true with Ben playing Batman so we didn't see the Batman Vs Superman movie but no problem there.  What are the comments on that movie?

Thanks.

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For some reason my wife seems to HATE this movie and will even walkout of the room during the trailer/commercial?!  I'm not even familiar with the comic book history.  So I'll look forward to any comments here.

The same was true with Ben playing Batman so we didn't see the Batman Vs Superman movie but no problem there.  What are the comments on that movie?

Thanks.

I tend to prefer Marvel movies rather than DC comics' movies (which Batman vs. Superman was). Part of the reason I disliked it, was because it was kind of unnecessary. Like I've said in the past, Hollywood seems to be in sort of a slump. Movies are either getting remade or getting needless sequels added to the original franchises. Sometimes I end up enjoying the remakes/sequels, though. 

 

My main issue with the portrayal of Superman in this film, was that he seemed to not be acting like an actual superhero. When you're constantly putting your girlfriend (one person) above the safety of the rest of the city, one has to wonder where your true priorities lie. I understand, Lois Lane means a lot to Superman, but his mindset doesn't quite constitute a typical "hero" in movies like this. Ben Affleck was okay as Batman. I didn't see it coming; the fact that he was going to be cast as Batman for this movie, but I feel like he fit the role for the most part. Also, it took Wonder Woman about an hour and a half to actually show up and do some fighting, so I don't know what that was about. 

 

I wouldn't recommend watching this as your first encounter with DC comics. I was bored for half of the movie, but maybe that's just because I enjoy Marvel movies a lot better, and seemed to find various issues with it. 

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For some reason my wife seems to HATE this movie and will even walkout of the room during the trailer/commercial?!  I'm not even familiar with the comic book history.  So I'll look forward to any comments here.

The same was true with Ben playing Batman so we didn't see the Batman Vs Superman movie but no problem there.  What are the comments on that movie?

Thanks.

 

I've actually seen the same reaction from the women I know who've seen the Suicide Squad trailer, but they blame it on the Harley Quinn character, as they say it looks like stupid, sexist, hormonal teenager bait. 

 

Suicide Squad was the last comic book I used to buy regularly, in the late 80's or so. I liked the premise of the super-villains being the main characters. The idea was that these incarcerated villains could go out on highly dangerous missions and if they succeeded, their sentences would be shortened or even commuted. The problem was that there was always a very strong chance they would not survive. DC Comics used this format to get rid of a lot of their sillier, Gold and Silver Age era (30's-60's) villains, either permanently, or so they could update the concept for a modern readership. It wasn't unusual for 3 or 4 of the team members/villains to die during a mission, 

 

Back in those early days of the book (I only bought it for a couple of years before finally stopping reading comics all together) the only characters that returned a lot were Deadshot and Captain Boomerang. Deadshot was a master marksman and infrequent Batman villain that rarely said a word, often communicating in one word sentences or grunts, if at all. So of course they cast Will Smith in the role, an actor known for his quiet stoicism. (That was sarcasm) Captain Boomerang was the running joke of the books. He was one of the sillier villains in DC, a 1950's era Flash villain who lacked powers but had skill throwing trick boomerangs. He was also a weasel and a coward, and despite being next to worthless most of the time, he always survived. In this film, he seems to look more like a barroom thug than a goofy 50's villain. The film also features Killer Croc (another Batman villain that was responisble for the death of one of the Robins' parents), Katana (who wasn't a villain, but a member of the Justice League), Enchantress (who was a Suicide Squad member in the early days), Diablo (who came along after I quit buying comics), and Slipknot (a D-lister that used ropes to commit crimes). Rick Flagg was the ex-military Special Forces tough guy that was the field commander and tasked with keeping the villains in line. Amanda Waller was the program's director and warden of the prison that housed the super-villains.

 

Last, and maybe least, is Harley Quinn. She was created not in the books, but in the early 1990's Batman cartoons. She was the Joker's sidekick/love interest, and she was made to give Robin somebody to fight while Batman fought the Joker. She proved very popular and later made her way into the books and the "official" DC canon not long after. She dressed in a harlequin's outfit, but was redesigned into her current movie look fairly recently, from what I've read. Her new "trailer trash" aesthetic fits with this film's redesign of the Joker, who looks more like a cheesy pimp than anything else. By the way, viewers excited to see the Joker in the new film should realize that he isn't in it very much, and is there to provide the backstory of Harley Quinn and to set up future appearances in further Batman films (they hope).

 

Ok, there's my Suicide Squad primer. 

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Thanks for the DC updates.

In fact, it is Harley Quinn that really gets her upset.  I thought she liked Margot in "The Wolf of Wall Street".

As a simplistic summary, I would say I enjoy the Marvel live actor movies over DC but the DC cartoons over Marvel of the last 5-10 years.

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Detective Malone - Another Fred Williamson action flick, made in Italy. This is also known as Black Cobra 4, for those keeping up with that series.

 

 

This instantly made me think of a similarly titled Burt Reynolds film: Malone (1987)

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