Those Who Could Not Escape Their Character.

I’m not saying that these actors and actresses never acted in anything else but they ended up trapped in the role that ended up defining them good or bad. This list could have been much longer.

Bob Denver – Gilligan – I just picked Bob because he was the star of the show but a point could be argued that the entire cast of this show was eternally typecast. Bob Denver also played Maynard Krebs (which I loved) on The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis but Gilligan wins out.

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Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker – After he auditioned for the title role in 1983 movie Amadeus the director dismissed the idea saying “I don’t want Luke Skywalker in this film.” He has broken a little out of the image by doing voiceovers like the Joker in Batman animated cartoons.

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Carrie Fischer – Princess Leia – Harrison Ford was able to break out more successfully than his other two co-stars in Star Wars. Carrie Fischer acted in a lot of movies but could never shake Princess Leia…she is forever frozen in time in the minds of teenage nerds at the time and now.

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Christopher Reeve – Superman – He is said to have stated that he spent his career trying to “escape the cape.”… When I think of Superman…I do think of Christopher Reeve’s version

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George Reeves – Superman – See Above

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Barbara Eden – Jeannie – She appeared in many TV  movies but nothing topped beautiful Jeannie. Larry Hagman did manage to escape his character in I Dream of Jeannie into another…J.R. Ewing.

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Elizabeth Montgomery – Samantha – Everyone’s favorite witch. Like Eden she did many TV movies…a lot of them really good but is known for Samantha.

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Don Adams – Maxwell Smart -Adams also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales  and Inspector Gadget but was

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Anthony Perkins – Is Norman Bates and there is no arguing that.

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Robert Englund – Freddie Kruger – and I don’t believe he minds at all.

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The Butterfly Effect

I’m not a big Ashton Kutcher fan but I do like this movie. It got panned by many critics when it was released in 2004. I am a sucker for Time Travel movies and for me, this is a decent one. It does get very grim at times and shows that a slight change in one event can change many others that come after.

Kutcher plays Evan Treborn who is basically a good guy who keeps having blackouts as a kid. The doctors cannot figure out why, but he has a gift or curse that was passed down from his dad. If he reads and concentrates on the journals he made as a youth he can go back in time to what he wrote about. He spends the movie trying to right wrongs that shape all of his friend’s future. Every change he makes has a consequence and leads to sometimes disastrous results.

He had been in love with Kayleigh Miller since he was a kid and Kayleigh lives with her sexually abusive father and her brother is a psychopath because of his home life. They both had a choice to live with their mom or dad but they picked their dad.

I can’t go any further without ruining it. The film has plenty of flaws but if you like Time Travel you might like this. It’s not Gone With The Wind but an enjoyable movie but with adult situations…not for kids.

One thing about it…I would suggest NOT to watch the Directors Cut first because four alternative endings were filmed and personally I liked the theatrical version the best. Whichever one you see you can watch the other endings on Youtube or the DVD.

 

Cast

  • Ashton Kutcher as Evan Treborn
  • Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller
  • Melora Walters as Andrea Treborn
  • Logan Lerman as Evan, age 7
  • Elden Henson as Lenny Kagan
  • William Lee Scott as Tommy “Tom” Miller
  • John Patrick Amedori as Evan, age 13
  • Eric Stoltz as George Miller
  • Ethan Suplee as Thumper
  • Cameron Bright as Tommy, age 8
  • Irene Gorovaia as Kayleigh, age 13
  • Nathaniel DeVeaux as Dr. Redfield
  • Tara Wilson as Heidi
  • Jesse Hutch as Spencer
  • Sarah Widdows as Kayleigh, age 7
  • Jake Kaese as Lenny, age 7
  • Kevin G. Schmidt as Lenny, age 13
  • Kevin Durand as Carlos
  • Callum Keith Rennie as Jason Treborn
  • Lorena Gale as Mrs. Boswell
  • Jacqueline Stewart as Gwen
  • Jesse James as Tommy, age 14

The Marx Brothers – Horse Feathers

Next to Duck Soup…Horse Feathers (1932) is my favorite Marx Brother movie. Their five movies for Paramount are great. When they moved to MGM their movies had more of a plot but were diluted and tame in comparison with the Paramount films.

They were the kings of being irrelevant or irrelephant as Groucho would say.

There are some 1930’s references in the movie and many double entendres. With the Marx Brothers, you either get them or not. They are chaos and anarchy all rolled into one. They were anti-establishment before the term was popular. In the 1970s their popularity soared again when college students would wait in lines around theaters to see their films that were 40 years old at the time.

Harpo has some of his best visual gags in this movie. Chico or Chicko gets lost sometimes when talking about the brothers but he plays a big part in the act. Zeppo was regulated as the straight man and Groucho…is Groucho.

In Horse Feathers, Groucho plays college president, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff. Groucho runs the school and chaos reigns. He finds out the college cannot support the football program. The professors are kissing up to Groucho (Wagstaff) because he is a President. Here is an exchange.

Wagstaff: This college is a failure. The trouble is, we’re neglecting football for education.

The Professors[in unison] Exactly, the professor is right.

Wagstaff: Oh, I’m right, am I? Well, I’m not right. I’m wrong. I just said that to test ya. Now I know where I’m at. I’m dealing with a couple of snakes. What I meant to say was that there’s too much football and not enough education

.The Professors: That’s what I think.

Wagstaff: Oh, you do, do you? Well, you’re wrong again. If there was a snake, you’d apologize. Where would this college be without football? Have we got a stadium?

The Professors: Yes.

Wagstaff: Have we got a college?

The Professors: Yes.

Wagstaff: Well, we can’t support both. Tomorrow we start tearing down the college.

This is the plot from Wiki…which for a Marx Brothers movie is not as important.

The film revolves around college football and a game between the fictional Darwin and Huxley Colleges.[a] Many of the jokes about the amateur status of collegiate football players and how eligibility rules are stretched by collegiate athletic departments remain remarkably current.[5]Groucho plays Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley College, and Zeppo is his son Frank, a student at the school who convinces his father to recruit professional football players to help Huxley’s terrible football team. There are also many references to Prohibition. Baravelli (Chico) is an “iceman”, who delivers ice and bootleg liquor from a local speakeasy. Pinky (Harpo) is also an “iceman”, and a part-time dogcatcher. Through a series of misunderstandings, Baravelli and Pinky are accidentally recruited to play for Huxley instead of the actual professional players. This requires them to enroll as students, which creates chaos throughout the school.

The Cast

  • Groucho Marx – Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff
  • Harpo Marx – Pinky
  • Chico Marx – Baravelli
  • Zeppo Marx – Frank Wagstaff
  • Thelma Todd – Connie Bailey
  • David Landau – Jennings
  • Robert Greig – Biology professor Hornsvogel
  • Reginald Barlow – Retiring President
  • E. H. Calvert – Professor in Wagstaff’s office
  • Nat Pendleton – Darwin football player MacHardie
  • James Pierce – Darwin football player Mullen
  • Theresa Harris – Laura, Connie’s maid
  • Walter Brennan – Football commentator (uncredited)

Charlie Chaplin – The Kid

This 1921 movie by Charlie Chaplin teamed him up with young Jackie Coogan. You may remember the adult Coogan as Uncle Fester on the Addams Family. It’s a great film with some classic scenes between Chaplin and Coogan. This was Chaplin’s first feature film. He was finishing up his First National contract as he co-founded United Artists with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith.

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The Jackie Coogan and Chaplin…Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester

The story starts off with a woman (Edna Purviance) that abandons her baby in the back of an expensive car hoping that the owners will give her baby a life that she can not. The car is then stolen and the baby is left on the street. The Tramp (Chaplin) finds the baby and takes it home and raises him. Five years pass and he loves the kid and together they have a great scheme going on.

The kid goes around throwing rocks through windows and out of nowhere later on comes The Tramp who would just so happen to have glass and materials with him to fix the window for a price.

The authorities soon find out that the Tramp is not the kid’s father. While this is going on the mother who is doing really well now is looking for her child. The Tramp and Kid are pursued and in this film, Chaplin had some serious and tender moments combining comedy with pathos which at the time was a turning point. The movie was considered a masterpiece when it was released.

One scene that jumps out is the scene where social services are physically taking the child away and Chaplin fights…not comically but really fights to keep the Kid.

The film was written, directed, produced and starred… Charlie Chaplin. Edna Purviance makes her last appearance acting with Chaplin. She would be directed by him one more time in a drama as a leading lady. This movie kicked off Coogan’s very successful child acting career.

Jackie Coogan would become a star in the twenties. He earned 3-4 million dollars acting and when he turned 21 in 1935 he thought he was set for life only to find out the money was gone. His mother and step-father spent all of his money on furs, jewelry, and cars. His mom said that Jackie enjoyed himself acting and no promises were ever made to give him any of the money. Jackie sued his mom in 1938 and only received 125,000 dollars of his money.

Coogan had financial problems for a long while and even went to Chaplin for help which Chaplin gladly gave him money.

One good thing came out of it. The “Coogan Act” which made parents set aside at least 15 percent of their child’s earnings to a trust fund.

If you get a chance this is a great short entertaining movie.

 

 

This is Spinal Tap

I remember seeing this movie with some buddies in the 1980s and we all loved it. A great mockumentary of the fictional rock group Spinal Tap and their dying drummers. There are many quotable lines in this movie and they have stayed with me since I saw it the first time. I’ve met some people who didn’t get this movie at all and some who loved it.

The movie starred Michael McKeon as singer/guitarist David Saint Hubbins, Christopher Guest as guitarist Nigel Tufnel (reminded me of Jeff Beck), Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls, Tony Hendra as manager Ian Faith, David Kaff as keyboard player Vic Savage and R.J. Parnell as drummer Mick Shrimpton…also Rob Reiner as the Marty DiBergi the filmmaker.

Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest actually wrote, played, and sang the music.

The movie was released in 1984 and started slow but built a cult following. At first, some people thought it was about a real band and they would ask Reiner why he would do a documentary on a band no one had heard of.

Christopher Guest said he was inspired at an LA hotel in 1974 when a British band came in and the manager of the band asked the bass player if he left his bass at the airport. The bass player replied I don’t know if I left it…did I leave it? Do you get my bass at the airport? Guest said this went on for 20 minutes back and forth and it stuck with him.

They did have a basic story but the movie was ad-libbed with no script. They had over 100 hours of film and had to edit it down. They have regrouped many times and played live concerts as Spinal Tap.

This Is Spinal Tap was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry because it is a film that is considered “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.

My favorite bits? Stonehenge, Nigel’s “Mach” piece, these go to 11, Nigel’s bread, you can’t dust vomit… there are too many to name them all. check the videos out at the bottom.

 

Some of it hits home according to some rock stars.

Quotes about the movie

The Edge – “It’s so hard to keep things fresh, and not to become a parody of yourself,”. “And if you’ve ever seen that movie Spinal Tap, you will know how easy it is to parody what we all do. The first time I ever saw it, I didn’t laugh. I wept. I wept because I recognized so much and so many of those scenes.”

Ozzy Osbourne reportedly thought it was a real documentary. ” “They seemed quite tame compared to what we got up to”

Joe Perry from Aerosmith –  “It was great, every bit as brilliant as it was supposed to be, so good. Even then, we had been through it all six times. I told Steven the next day, ‘You’ve got to see this movie! It’s so good. It’s hilarious.’”

Steven Tyler from Aerosmith – “That movie bummed me out, because I thought, ‘How dare they? That’s all real, and they’re mocking it’

Pete Townsend –  “Keith Moon “was ‘Spinal Tap incarnate.”

Stonehenge

 

These go to 11

 

Nigel’s Bread

 

Can’t dust vomit

 

Trailer

 

 

 

Lost Horizon 1937

I just watched this movie for the 3rd time this past week. It was directed by Frank Capra and starred Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt and featured Sam Jaffe, H.B. Warner (Mr. Gower in It’s A Wonderful Life), and the great character actor Thomas Mitchell.

It’s about a group of people on a plane and crashing in the Himalayas and being taken to a wonderful place called Shangri-La. Shangri-La is a place that is beautiful and everyone lives and works in harmony. It is directed by Frank Capra. Ronald Colman is great as a British diplomat named Robert Conway. Jane Wyatt is gorgeous and she plays Sondra a resident of Shangri-La that falls for Conway and him for her.

One of the things they get right is the human element. Who would not want to live in a perfect place, live long, be healthy, and be in peace? Well, there is always one in every crowd and you have a couple here.

The movie has a few minutes with stills and audio because the footage is missing. It’s not a lot of the movie and it doesn’t get in the way. I will recommend this movie to anyone.

 

 

The Paul McCartney Bruce Mcmouse Show…quick review

Last night my son and I went to see this film in Nashville at the Belcourt Theater at the screening. It opened up with Paul McCartney and Wings in very early seventies attire talking about how they met the Mcmouses. The one thing that surprised me…it was a smaller amount of animation that I anticipated. I thought it would be 60-40 animation but it was around 30-70 with Wings playing live on their 72 European tour and various film clips with the music. I’m not unhappy with the ratio because I wanted to hear Wings live more than seeing the animation.

They did use some soundstage shots mixed in with live shots also.

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My biggest complaint was the voices of the mice were a little too animated…no pun intended but you could not understand what they were saying without straining. Wings were great though. This is the earliest video I’ve seen of Paul playing outside of the Beatles. The sound was great. The songs I can remember were Big Red Barn, Wild Life, Long Tall Sally, Seaside Woman, My Love, Hi Hi Hi, Mary Had a Little Lamb, C Moon, Blue Moon Over Kentucky, Maybe I’m Amazed, and there are a few more I’m forgetting.

The film is only 55 minutes long but a good representation of Wings in 1972. The band looked like they were having a lot of fun. I will get the film when it is released.

It’s a nice film that was made right before Live and Let Die and Band on the Run. The Bruce Mcmouse Show is not the best thing Paul has done…but a fun film all the same. It’s also a nice time capsule of the early seventies… Also, it was cool that at least 80 percent of the audience were college students…that gives me hope…and it was packed.

Now Paul…release the 1976 tour to the Theaters, please.