That could be interesting if Walston had been directed against type – but he isn’t – he is directed to be a character actor – in a leading role? Once Walston appears on screen, the film goes straight to hell. In fact it is hell, a weird kind of wigged-out Nevada version of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry – why? To provide a small enough stage to make small characters look large, I guess; doesn’t work. These characters are all profoundly unpleasant and two-dimensional; except for Martin, who’s rarely on screen.The film is apparently a remake of an Italian sex-farce, Wife for a Night; that in itself tells me that the whole project started off badly.
Her short story, “The Birds,” is something of an anomaly in her work – on the surface its a sci-fi/disaster story that ends grimly (the farmer’s family is pretty much doomed); but it is also clearly an expressive allegory for what it must have felt like for many British during the Battle of Britain – the description of an army of seagulls appearing on the horizon could easily be that of a fleet of German bombers. The giveaway line comes from the farmer’s wife when she remarks that “surely the Americans will do something.” Of course they did, and they and the British went on to defeat the Germans, which makes the post-war publication of the story a little out of date.Hitchccock had gotten one of his most successful films from Du Maurier’s work – Rebecca – as well as one of his least successful, Under Capricorn. Deciding to take one of her most popular but least typical short stories as source for The Birds may have involved some risk – especially considering what he added to the original material. Obviously there was no longer any purpose served in evoking the Battle of Britain, so the location of the film is moved to America. The birds of the film then take on an entirely different quality – they become what can be called ‘an open metaphor’ meaning that they can be interpreted in any number of ways. To one asking “why are they attacking humans en masse?” the proper response is “what is it you most fear? that’s what they will represent to you.” Hitchcock does provide us with a key to his own interpretation, by adding a clinging mother to the family unit.
On the other hand, her desperate search for a husband to support her has a realistic edge – the ’50’s America was not kind to single moms. The question thus becomes whether the inner struggles involved in her effort to survive repeated crises is well presented. I’m not sure it is, but not from want of trying on Ms. Zellweger’s part.
- That’s evident to some extent here as well, but in this case there seems to be a secondary audience targeted – those capable of getting in on the joke.
- There is no way else to explain the opening wherein the male lead introduces his supporting cast.There are a number of pilots for unsold TV series still available, including a Sherlock Holmes pilot from the same era.
- But it is available on DVD, and if you enjoy old-school kung-fu flicks, I think you will find this highly entertaining.
- Some B movies transcend, others lower themselves into the “so bad t’s funny’ category. But most fall into the general category of ‘good B-movie” – entertaining but forgettable.This film can be enjoyed as a good B-movie, If one doesn’t know much of film history, there it ends – a solid B- movie from the early ’40s.But pay attention!
- I’m not going to talk about the admittedly silly premise of the film, because it happens to be similar to the premise on which Val Guest built “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” a very good sci-fi/disaster anti-nuke drama from the early ’60s.
Instead Mikels simply pushes a ridiculous plot device – cats eating human meat go crazy, because desperate racketeers can’t afford the butcher’s bill – as far as it can go, and allows the characters involved to be their low-life selves. Thus we end up with a weird slice of trailer-trash Americana. That’s evident to some extent here as well, but in this case there seems to be a secondary audience targeted – those capable of getting in on the joke. That makes sense in a film made at the end of the ’60s camp fad; by the time Mikels made this film, the notion that cat-food could make monsters of little kitties could be recognized by many of the more ‘hip’ at the drive-in as a humorous excuse, after a few puffs on a doobie, to go back to necking in the back-seat.Ten stars for this bad movie because it is truly one of a kind. I’m not going to talk about the admittedly silly premise of the film, because it happens to be similar to the premise on which Val Guest built “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” a very good sci-fi/disaster anti-nuke drama from the early ’60s. Guest demonstrated that the way to deal with a silly ‘scientific’ premise was to unravel it gradually, having no one accept it on face value, until it could no longer be denied; while concentrating your film-making abilities on the dramatic interaction between well-developed characters, supplying them with a convincing visual backdrop of the world eroding into chaos.Well that certainly doesn’t happen in this film.
And the hiring of Universal horror films writer Curt Siodmak to write the script is a nice touch of linking with the ‘grand tradition’ of Frankenstein films. It is certainly entertaining and moves quite well, and everybody puts their best into it. (The “making of” featurette on the DVD is a wonderful look into the making of a higher budgeted ‘indie’ movie by the way.) But there is one serious flaw to the film, and that is Renée Zellweger’s performance. Whenever the character undergoes pressure, she gets all wobbly and quirky, like a character actor playing a supporting role – but she’s not only the lead, she’s what the picture is all about, so this is definitely a flaw that threatens to derail the whole project.Fortunately, it doesn’t. First, of course, everyone else in the picture submits wonderful performances. Logan Lerman is a marvelous young actor who strikes chemistry with practically everyone he interacts with.
But it is available on DVD, and if you enjoy old-school kung-fu flicks, I think you will find this highly entertaining. The characters are all likable, the martial arts exquisite, the endangered-princess storyline a classic. It’s very fast paced, and moves well between episodes of fighting, occasional fits of comedy, and there’s even a touch of https://www.gclub.co/mafia88/ drama in the relationship between one of the monks and an old friend who has since become a nasty Ching general. The final battle is a wild mêlée and the ending teeters on the tragic without falling over the cliff. I’ve seen reviews of Dreamland that complain of the animation. The animation of Dreamland is clearly based on computer game CGI.
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At the end everything is explained – yet nothing much has happened. I don’t blame the actors, animators, or supporting personnel. This is the problem that the writer, producer, and director must own. Either Doctor Who is a series worthy of proper storytelling, or it is a throwaway for a quick buck.Recognizing that this episode was clearly intended for children, I’ll give it a little extra credit.
Also, one must remark the important part Grant Withers plays, as the earnest, tough, but slightly dimwitted police Captain Bill Street, and the occasional appearance by Marjorie Reynolds as the sassy reporter Bobbie Logan who dates Street off-hours, only to interfere when at work. They bring a pleasing air of continuing romantic interest as well as comic relief to the series. An embarrassing attempted ‘remake’ of a great piece of film making, by a cast and crew who evidently have no idea what the original was all about. Peckinpah’s original raised questions – you left the theater feeling awkward, self-conscious, asking the same question the lead character was asking himself – ‘how do I find my way home now? This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution.