Day 249 & Day 250 & Day 251 – Some Like It Hot & The Nun & Shane

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Movie Title: Some Like It Hot

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 1 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Some Like It Hot has a fantastic cast featuring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are saxophone and upright bass players in a big band during prohibition. His band is playing inside a speakeasy hidden behind a false wall inside a coffin. The place is broken up by the police, so Joe and Jerry scramble to find work. They are broke and in debt with everyone. Things get worse when they accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre conducted by fictional gangster Spats Colombo played by George Raft.

Joe and Jerry have to hit the road, but there is no work to be found, and they don’t have a nickle. They go to scout agencies where they hear about an all-girl band looking for a saxophone player and a bass player. Joe transforms into Josephine and Jerry into Daphne. They hit the road with Sweet Sue’s (Joan Shawlee) band and run into the alluring and powerfully attractive Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) with whom they both fall head over heels.

In Florida they both develop their own love triangles, but also discover that Florida wasn’t far enough to go too outrun the mob.

Verdict:

It is a madcap comedy that is still refreshingly funny. Marilyn Monroe is at her best and some of the outfits she wears in her lounge act are wa-woo-wee-woo. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Nun (2018)

 

Movie Title: The Nun

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Keegan

Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA

Review:

I had high hopes for The Nun. I have been a big fan of The Conjuring series as a whole, which is not to say that it hasn’t had some pretty big flaws. But, on the whole, I consider it to be a solid group of movies. The Nun starts off decently well and has strong imagery. The movie opens with a nun facing the choice between being used as a vessel for a demon or committing suicide. The makeup on the body following her leap is pretty impressive. The Vatican then sends Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and the not yet ordained Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate the clearly strange situation in the convent. With the help of a local (he is French Canadian, but has lived in Romania for quite some time) nicknamed Frenchie they go to the convent where small strange things begin to occur immediately. A puddle of blood from weeks earlier is still wet. The body has moved into a sitting position. All is not well. The imagery, art, scenery, and the cinematography used to set the mood are very effective. The lighting (generally dark) is also well done and sets an ominous tone.

Unfortunately, the story is not strong enough to keep you from bursting out in laughter despite the sinister tones. While the other movies in the Conjuring series have relied on more obsequious and conventional genre methods for delivering their supernatural tales The Nun goes all in on the religious insanity the others have skirted. The story of how The Nun came to be are farfetched to the point of being laughable. Her powers are also never clearly defined. They seem to ebb and flow as the movie goes on for no particular reason and are so super powered that no one should have been able to defeat her anyway. The Nun also sees way too much screen time to be truly scary. At certain points she is ever present on screen. It reduces her overall ability to scare the audience.

Not only does the movie come to lack tension it is also very predictable. Bells on graves from five centuries ago that surely would have had their cords disintegrate…hmmm…I wonder is this glaring goof will be important. What do you know? The big twists that are supposed to be stunning surprises can be seen coming from a mile away. The dialogue is also so funny at points I broke into an uncontrollable giggle fit.

Verdict:

Visually it is nice to look at, but the story is trash and it is not surprising or scary. The best jump scare is thrown away in the trailer which is far better than the actual movie. See it for some good imagery and laughs or skip it if you are looking for a quality horror movie.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Shane (1953)

 

Movie Title: Shane

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Shane is the story of one man and two communities in conflict. Joe Starrett (Van Heflin) is a homesteader with his wife and son. Young Brandon De Wilde earned an Oscar nominations for his turn as Joey Starrett. Rufus Ryker (Emile Myer) is a rancher intent on having the entire land for his cattle. Rufus is among the families that helped tame the land. He helped drive off the Indians, the French, and the Russian trappers that were on the land. The homesteaders have a legal claim from the government intent on breaking up large land holdings and giving land to small farmers. The cattlemen are intent on driving out the homesteaders and the homesteaders are intent on staying put. Starett is holding them all together.

Into the fray rides Shane played by Alan Ladd. Shane is a former gunfighter looking to go straight and become a farmer. He becomes a regular part of the family. Things come to a head when a gunslinger is brought in on the side of the ranchers in the form of Jack Wilson played by Jack Palance. Wilson provokes and then murders one of the homesteaders from Alabama by the name of Stonewall Torrey. Starrett becomes determined to face the men down, but Shane takes the lead to try and win the conflict despite his desire to never strap on a gun again. While many of the performances are excellent they are also fairly straight faced and tough. In order to set the tone the movie makes great use of animals to set the tone when the actors carry themselves rigidly. This sets the tone for many of the movie’s best scenes.

The movie is beautifully shot and both sides have a point in their feud which makes it compelling. It could easily be argued that the wrong side wins in the end. It is at least partly a story about the need to compromise and the inability for two sides to see eye to eye. It is a story about pride and the changing of times.

Verdict:

It is undoubtedly one of the best westerns ever shot. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Following (1998)

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