Wednesday, March 02, 2022

The Booksteve Film Festival 2022-February

Thirty movies in 28 Days this time. 

I saw this as a kid and really disliked it. I have read over and over what a hilarious and wonderful black comedy it is so I gave it another chance. Steiger and a young Paul Williams are interesting but there are, in the end, NO likable characters, and to me no scenes funny enough or stinging enough to make up for that.

Surprisingly good low-budget mystery with the Joker and Miss Moneypenny. There is, in fact, a Scotland Yard inspector in it but it isn't one of them nor is it a major role so not sure why it's called that.

I passed this up in the theater back in the day but was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Redd is a very different character, a middle-aged man whose wife leaves him and then he finds out his son is gay. As one might expect, the political incorrectness by today's standards is astounding. Directed by LAUGH-IN producer George Schlatter, Pearl Bailey (whom I got to see perform in person around this time) is barely in it. Future Disney star, TV detective, and successful director Dennis Dugan steals every scene he's in.

Mostly forgettable rock here but it's the cast that keeps it interesting--Terry-Thomas not long before his illness forced him to retire, Barry Humphries in a non-Dame Edna role, and ARE YOU BEING SERVED's Frank Thornton in what may have been his highest film credit ever. AS British comedy/musicals go, though, it's more interesting than good.

Hilarious and well-done comedy in which a group of crooks hiding out as monks for a year get used to the living the lifestyle. Several favorites in the cast. Perfect ending.

Saw this one in the theater when it opened and wasn't amazingly thrilled. I had a different opinion this time as I found it hilarious nearly every step of the way, credits included...on both ends! Lots of goofy, playful jabs at old movies in general and certain old movies in particular. Clever comedy throughout.

One of Garner's biggest hits as a film star, it's an anti-racism western that has a white con man cowboy pretending to sell his slave only they're really partners. He escapes, they split the money and move on to the next town. Susan Clark's lady con artist--one of her best film roles, too--complicates their lives. A great cast with the great Lou Gossett, Ed Asner, Andrew Duggan, Brenda Sykes, and my old pal from the radio cons, Parley Baer.

This was a TV pilot version of the above, with a different plot, produced by Garner's company but with a well-cast Larry Hagman replacing him as the star. Gossett is back and Jack Elam, another former Garner co-star is the bad guy. Better perhaps than you'd think but the topic was probably too hot for TV.

Pre-I LOVE LUCY teamed with a pre-GREEN ACRES Eddie Albert. A good, old-fashioned screwball comedy with both stars coming off beautifully.

The first M-rated Don Knotts film. It's still very similar to his bigger hits but with some sexual innuendo thrown in (nothing that couldn't have been shown on TV even then). Another great cast of character actors including another old pal of mine, Bob Hastings, and the inimitable and legendary B.S. Pulley. 

A sort of mix of the UK CARRY ON and DOCTOR comedy franchises. Perpetually horny Leslie Howard is a doctor who gets trapped on a ship when he goes to see his girl off and tries to avoid being caught as a stowaway. Pleasant enough farce but nothing really new.

FIVE? The Great Gildersleeve is in this, too! No idea why he didn't get billing. The fun is more in seeing the great radio stars with Lucy than in what any of them are doing. Charlie's portrayal as being able to get around without Bergen is creepy but no one seems to notice. 

NOT Lemmy Caution, this is the classic American hero Nick Carter--or actually his son--in a French adventure with the American expatriate star, Eddie Constantine. Slow at times but exciting at others.

Another one I passed up back then but actually quite liked this time, except for its odd obsession with being an anti-EASY RIDER, right up to the ending. Really enjoyed the directing and cinematography and Blake's performance as a short motorcycle cop was on-target all the way.

The Rough Riders are my favorite of the old B-western cowboy hero teams, particularly Col. Tim McCoy. The plot is usually the same. Buck is new in town, in disguise. McCoy is often a traveling preacher or somesuch, and they meet up with Hatton, already on-site, to catch some bad guys. But they're so much fun and Buck and Tim so charismatic!

Probably hadn't seen this one sine the '70s. One of my least favorite A & C flicks then...and now.

This one got raked over the coals when I posted on FB that I was watching it but it has a wonderful opening credits sequence, a great theme song by Nancy Sinatra, and I've always found it fairly enjoyable.

OOO! A new one! About as up-to-the moment as a movie can get with masks and A-I and privacy issues, this turns out to be a version of BLOW-UP or probably more BLOW-OUT. It's nearly a one woman show though, and Zoe Kravitz is impressive as hell! A brilliant actress.

Outside of his Beatles movies, I've never found Richard Lester to be a very interesting director. This is another I skipped when it came out, for that very reason, but it held my interest. A lot of recognizable folks in the cast who give good performances even though they get little screen time.

Feels like a TV movie as a a vampire fathers a child who grows up to go after him in the manner of "MY NAME IS SUE!" This version had the controversial feeding scene which seems no big deal after all we've seen since. Is this the only film where ubiquitous character actor Michael Pataki is the star?

Almost sad. This was supposed to be a celebration of old-time rock and roll (which wasn't even that old yet in the early '70s) but comes across a bit like a bunch of old guys who felt left behind by all the changes in music in such a short time. Very watchable and with lots of good stuff, but not quite the impact they expected.

A big, sprawling epic adventure film that's boring AF. Not sure how they managed that.

Beautiful filmmaking with a riveting story but so weird to hear Paul Frees' very recognizable voice coming out of nearly all the male actors, even American Cameron Mitchell!

Saw this once, on network TV. Wasn't particularly memorable. Never been a big Beatty fan and Goldie's films can be hit or miss with me. This time, there were quite a few scenes I liked, although it was too dark to be the hilarious comedy it wanted to be and the ambiguous ending just felt wrong.

This was supposed to have been the first Dan Ackroyd solo vehicle and while he's worked steadily ever since, he never did develop the Bob Hope/Danny Kaye/Don Knotts type of career he seemed to be aiming for here. It's a goofy, silly comedy with lots of funny bits in spite of its ridiculous premise. Fran Drescher steals her scenes. Howard Hesseman is annoying.

Legendary bad film is just that--bad. But I'd put it in the so bad it's good category.Not quite all there middle-aged woman teams with a retired bank robber to rob banks dressed as hippies. I love Jack Cassidy but his police officer here is the most unbelievable character in the picture. Former model Joan Delaney is quite good. Surprised she didn't become a bigger star.

I know I watched this one...but I can't recall a thing about it already. 

A subdued Oliver Reed and a lovely as always Samantha Eggar in a Hitchcock-style thriller about a woman who seems to have been somewhere she's never been and may have killed someone while she was there. Beautiful photography. Ending is a tad convoluted.

Not a big gamer but I loved this! Ryan Reynolds is an A-I character who becomes sentient and Taika Waititi chews the scenery trying to get him out of his game! An old-fashioned feel-good story done up in ultra-modern tech garb.

One of the best things about the Internet is that one can sometimes find movies that seemed lost to earlier generations. I've seen a number of Cantinflas pictures now and he is SO much better and so much MORE than the sweet little character Hollywood attempted to pigeonhole him as. Much more of an edge to his charm!

Well, that's February! Already started on March. Check back next month!



  1. Just a comment on Electra Glide in Blue. I saw this when it was in the theaters and in my opinion it could have an all time great movie, and Blake's second best movie. My problem is the unnecessary death in the ending. Yeah I know it was the depressing early 70's, but it could have ended on a better note. Not asking for the everything turns out great, but just an "is what it is" ending, with him accepting his lot in life.

    1. Since there were so many callbacks to EASY RIDER, I took the ending (SPOILER) to be the reverse of that film's ending--which I've never liked either.

  2. I've been wanting to see that Redd Fox movie for years. How did you watch it?

  3. I also recently re watched 'Electra Glide In Blue'. I found it fascinating. Blake is excellent.
    The weakest moment is that dumb chase scene. Completely out of place.

  4. I remember "Electra Glide in Blue" being re-released under the title "The Legend of Big John."
    My folks often dragged me to Don Knotts movies... Ghost & Mr. Chicken, Reluctant Astronaut, Shakiest Gun in the West... the one I liked as a kid was Incredible Mr. Limpet... and yes, I saw Love God? in a theater; all I recall was Don was playing his usual naïve role, and his birdwatching magazine was turned into a Playboy clone behind his back.
    The ads for Doctor Detroit made it sound like Dan's character was a superhero or secret agent, not a pimp.