This is a movie that inspired many remakes; the most recent remake was You've Got Mail. If you liked that movie, I recommend watching the film that inspired many.

The Shop Around the Corner is a film centering around a little store that sells leather goods. Alfred (James Stewart) is the long time employee of a little shop, and he has a correspondence "friend." He met her via a classified ad that was looking for someone to write to and asked that all letters be addressed "Dear Friend."

Meanwhile a girl Klara comes asking for a job, impresses the boss and is hired. Alfred and Klara don't get along very well and almost every interaction is full of sass. Time passes in the shop and Alfred who had been with the shop for nine years starts losing favor with Mr. Matuschek (played by Frank Morgen, I recognized him as the Wizard of Oz). Alfred also keeps writing his "Dear Friend" and gets to the point where he plans on meeting her, and probably getting engaged. Unfortunately, to do that he needs to make more money. He sort of implied to Dear Friend that he is more important (read wealthy) than a shop clerk.

He goes in to ask Mr. Matuschek about a raise, and get fired! He is stunned, and everyone else in the shop is sad. Alfred is now jobless in a poor economy (like today). He hasn't the heart to show up. He goes with one of the other shop clerks to the restaurant where they were to meet, and asks the other clerk to give a note to his Dear Friend. The other clerk recognized Klara immediately and starts trying to warm Alfred up to the idea that Klara will be a good match.

The ending is really good. In fact, its just a feel good movie. I won't share it, since it is different, and for some reason I tend to only give spoilers for movies I dislike. SO go, rent it or check it out from your local library and enjoy this feel good movie.

Four Stars for feel good romance.

Lover Come Back

This 1961 film seemed to have everything going for it. Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and Tony Randel. Its gotta be great right?


Its a lesser known film because its just dumb. Please note I will have a spoiler alert, cause I hated the movie, so I don't care if you see it or not, but in case you want to, be warned.

Plot Summary
Carol Templeton (Doris Day) is the worker bee of the advertising world, working with integrity and doing rather well at the same time. Still, she just keeps barely losing accounts to Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson) at the rival agency . After hearing about losing yet another account to the sly Jerry Webster, Carol puts him on trial by Advertising Agency. Mr Webster sends his go to sex kitten with an entire speech rehearsed about the amazing and upstanding Jerry Webster. Rebel (said kitten) also shows the board a was medal Jerry gave her to wear around her neck. After the 'trophies' work, Doris has to think of a new way to win.

She may seem antiquated to a modern woman of 2009, but she is no fool. She is afterall the lead advertiser in her agency. She hears that Jerry has this new account he is working on lining up called Vip. VIP is a sham, but no one knows that except Jerry. Unfortunately Pete Ramset (Tony Randal) sends Jerry on vacation, finds out about the commercial footage and starts the advertising campaign for a product that doesn't exsist. When he gets back Pete and Kerry decide to hire a chemist to make them anything that can be passed as Vip. Vip changed my life. It made my who I am. I owe everything to Vip.

Carol meanwhile hires a private detective and finds out about the chemist, and goes to try and get an advertising contract. Naturally, she had never met Jerry Webster (he didn't show up to the trial) so when she finds a man at the chemist's lab she assumes its Dr. Tyler and not her nemesis.

The courtship of company and product begins. Errr, well its sort of just a series of strange dating things where Jerry gets her to buy him a new wardrobe, teach him gulf and swimming as well as how to kiss. Yeah thats right, this woman suddenly becomes typical and sucked into this infatuation based on LIES.

Eventually she finds out Linus is actually Jerry Webster, and VIP doesn't exsist. Trial #2 with the ad council and some rather odd turn of events. As well as the end(spoiled ending in The Bad)

The Good
Doris Day plays a professional. Not a secretary or a nurse, but an advertising agent.
Rock Hudson is good looking.
Doris' character won't sleep around. (I admit it was strange to see this pride in virginity, its very different than today's movies)

The Bad
Doris Day's character is a total blockhead.
The ending sucks. SPOILER ALERT! Doris and Rock in a case of drunken lust get married. She gets the marriage annulled, but surprise, that one night of drunken passion = honeymoon baby. So Rock finds out and she just married him so the baby has a father? Ummm, ok. Also, she was like totally only 5 months pregnant going into the hospital. So not true to life. END SPOILER

The Random
There are totally some good random quotes from the movie. Also, Doris Day sings the opening song as well as an internal monologue song. Random!

It was fine. Definately not exactly a strong sexy woman. In fact Daniel's reaction to Doris Day was that she seemed really old. It was that horrible early 60s hair. Poor gal. She looked like a wrinkless 50 year old.

There are some laughs, but the ending is horrid, makes no sense to me, and enough to make me dislike the film.

Three starsm because the 3 main people are famous. (It was a mediocre film.)

An environmentally friendly movie for Earth Day!

I gotta love me some Hayao Miyazaki even if his films aren't all that old. Nausicaa Valley of the Wind is one of Miyazaki's earliest works, and was released in 1984 before the formation of Studio Ghibli. Its a sci-fi, environmental film.

Nausicaa is the Princess of the Valley of the Wind, a remote agricultural village located on the sea. The valley is surrounded by desert and beyond that is the jungle where giant insects (including the Ohmu) live. The time is 100 years after the 7 Days of Fire. At that time, a huge war/battle obliterated the ecosystem leaving most of civilization in ruins. The land was covered by plants that release spores toxic to humans, but the Valley is safe due to the wind blowing in from the sea.

One night a large air ship crashes into the valley. Nausicaa tries to steer them clear of the mountain, but it was too late. In the ship is a young princess who warns Nausicaa that the cargo must be destroyed. The cargo turns out to be the heart/fetus thingy of a Giant Warrior. The Giant Warriors were used during the 7 Days of Fire battle, and if you have one, you are the king of the world.

A bigger, and more ruthless kingdom Tolmekia comes for the Giant Warrior fetus, and to kill Nausicaa's father, the King. They leave with several hostages, including Nausicaa. Nausicaa tells Yupa (some random old guy that is her father's friend and her mentor) that the plants in the toxic jungle are not toxic, its the soil. She also reveals a secret lab where she has the plants growing and they are thriving.

While the Tolmekians are returning to thier kingdom, a Pejite airship attacks them. They land to do some repairs, and Nausicaa finds out from the Ohmu that the pilot is still alive. The pilot ends up being the twin brother of the young princess. Nausicaa is taken to Pejite and finds the place destroyed. The people lured the Ohmu there to destryo the land and chase out the Tolmekians, they also plan to do the same to the Valley of the Wind so they can get the Giant Warrior back.

Of course Nausicaa has to save the valley.

Overall the film is exciting and intriguing at the same time. The plot implies that weapons of mass destructions will screw us some day, and it also shows that as a whole the Earth wants to right things. I was also surprised when I looked up some things for the film and found out who the voice actors were. They include: Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman and Shia Lebeuf.

It may not be for the youngest audience, as there aren't any musical numbers or flashy scenes like Disney, but it is a great film and one that I have a copy of and enjoy.

Take one loser who needs a new washing machine, and a second hand washer.

Mix in lots of background machine noise.

What men at supermarkets clearly not knowing how to shop... they stalk women and buy what they buy. They follow each other and pick out items the same way.

That washing machine is beautiful, but it doesn't wash clothes. It stops every time, unless the repair guy is watching. Until the faithful day that you become such good friends with your washing machine that you watch television with it, make it dinner and say goodnight.

Introducing woman who is the washing machine's soul. She'll scrub your floors, she'll clean in any way you please. She is obedient and follows commands! She is worth more than 100 monetary unit when you ask a guy "want a woman"? But look out... she isn't very faithful. If she winds up with some strange old man who watches questionable videos while wearing a power ranger mask, she will stay.

All of these things up until know are pros for the movie.

HUGE con: The people who made the movie seem to think that the most important part of the movie was the completely unnecessary probably rape scene (we skipped the chapter). All the bonus feature seem to feature this scene more than any other. Is that really important?

Eventually the washing machine gets in the weird old man's families way, so they have to kill her. Bring on the stabby. Now the poor old man will drink away his sorrow.

I give this movie a 5 out of 5 for general oddness, a 1.5 out of 5 for plot, a 1 out of 5 or scenes to focus on, and a 5 out of 5 for old men wearing masks. This leads to an overall score of I would discourage you from watching this.

This poorly organized review is brought to you by Alice Bell Cook. Alice Bell Cook will chew on things just for you! Watch Alice Bell Cook and win chewed up items!

This is a story about a down on thier luck and moralless family the Carltons. The Sahib (Roland Young) has touted himself as the famous Colonel Carlton a famous stage persona in order to get the family into parties of the rich and famous to cheat at cards and in an attempt for thier gchildren to marry up and have carefree lives. At the very beginning the French Police kick them out of France for cheating at cards and scamming on the rich, so the exiled Carltons begin a long train ride in second class to England.

On the train there is a run in between daughter George-Anne Carlton (Janet Gaynor) and her former fiance Duncan McCrae (a breakout role for Richard Carlson) who turned out to not be wealthy at all. Once his poverty was discovered George-Anne broke it off. She also runs into a old lady Miss Fortune (Minnie Dupree). After an over the top tale of disaster and illness plighting her family, Miss Fortune invites George-Anne and the family to ride in her private room. The train wrecks and the Carlton family saves Miss Fortune from the wreckage. Miss Fortune invites the family to stay with her until they are back on thier feet in her huge mansion.

The idea becomes that the family will get in the old lady's good graces so they can get inthe will, and be set for life. The only problem is that they need to make the appearance of getting back on thier feet.

Long story short, after being forced into getting jobs, the Carlton men discover they both enjoy working. The son starts falling for his boss, who isn't rich but does own the company. They also begin caring for Miss Fortune. On Miss Fortune's birthday they have a big party and she collapses. They wait all day and night hoping that she will be fine, not because they want the money but because they hope she will be ok.

In traditional American style there is a cheesy happy ending. It made me feel good, and sometimes you want to watch a movie that just makes you feel good. I think this is a family film, though it might be less exciting for younger kids as the Carlton children are probably in thier 30s. The film does have a moral, and the moral is if you act kind, you will become kind.

Also, for all you WIzard of Oz fans, Marmy is played by Billie Burke who played Glenda the Good Witch. Billie Burke had quite a long film career, so I look forward to seeing more of her movies.

Four really good stars!

The Silence

This film confused me. It was like a Iranian version of August Rush, only not really.

The Silence is a film about the blind Korshid who earns money for his family (him and his mother) by tuning instruments. Only, he will hear things and follow them around by following their sounds. For Iranian film (and the restrictions they put on it) its great. So much better than The Cow for me, but maybe I just don't care for Iranian film in general (I will blame the restrictions the government puts on the industry). The director is Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and he is one of the biggest Iranian directors out there. Or perhaps the biggest, I am not so versed in Iranian film.

I do think this is a pretty film, as in how they film things is interesting. They show lots of colorful head scarves and foods, and Korshid's friend/coworker Nadereh has an obsession with cherries and red lips, as all 10 year olds should. The age is a guess.

The movie is driven by music, Korshid hears a symphony in the wind, and Beethoven in the hammering of pots. In that sense, its a fabulous film. Just don't see it expecting the lovely wrapped up packages that American films have, it will leave you confused and perhaps even a bit siappointed.

The film is also in Farsi (Persian) and has subtitles. That isn't really an issue unless you really hate reading subtitles as most of the film is about music and following the music.

Overall I give it 4 stars because the music and visual aspect. If I rated it only on plot and character development it would be lower.

Note: Post started 7/23/08.

The nice thing about this break in blogging, is that I at least started posts for several movies making it easy to complete them with perhaps a bit of help from imdb or wikipedia to get names of actors/directors or award info.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) is a 1964 happy happy musical. At least initially. Its very Sesame Street in its bright colors, young love, sing-along way.

Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy gets shipped overseas in the name of his country.

Basically, Genevive i.e. girl in the previous scenario is the daughter of a broke umbrella shop owner Madame Emery. Mom's only hope at not being broke or almost broke is to marry Genevive off to a wealthy man. Genevive meanwhile falls for Guy a young man working as a mechanic in someone else's shop. Guy's parents are dead and he lives with his aunt who is cripple or sick or something.

Young love ensues while Madame Emery sets up dinner and meetings with a wealthy jeweler (who actually keeps the umbrella shop from going under by buying Madame Emery's jewels).

Then Guy is drafted. The two love birds are of course sad, and want to spend their last moments together. They go to Guy's room after his Aunt is in bed.

In a rather foolish moment Genevive and Guy sleep together his last night in France. Genevive soon discovers that tryst led to a little guy on the way. She wrote to Guy with the idea that when he returns they will be wed, but after many months and no replies to her letters she unhappily agrees to marry the jeweler that her mother picked out at the beginning of the story.

Of course, Guy didn't die or forget her during the war. he returns home with an injury and finds the Umbrella Shop gone, Genevive gone, and his heart broken. Guy gets depressed. His girl went off and got married, he hates his job, he drinks. He drinks a LOT. He also quits his job and starts picking up women.

He hits rock bottom when he sleeps with a prostitute and learns her name is Genevive. Oh tragedy! He goes back home and finds out his aunt died, and the only person left is Madeline (the aunt's nurse/helper).

Fast forward, and Guy owns a gas station and mechanic shop and him and Madeline have a son. Genevive is driving through town and stops for gas.

I will let the end be a surprise.

Ok, usually French bothers me (ironic that I don't care for many foreign films just because of their language, yet I watch lots of them) but French singing? GĂ©nial! Its probably the fact that this is literally an opera. Every line is sung. So its got the gaiety of a 60's musical, and still dramatic and obviously not American.

I give this film 4 stars because its got star crossed lovers, and reality mixed in. It would have 5 stars, but all the singing voices are dubbed (yes in a movie where all the lines are sung).

This film was about as good as late 60's suspense goes. You have two old broads out to get each other, and a pesky dog that knows the truth. Oh man, good times.

Lets see if I can sum this up...Mrs. Marrable finds herself widowed and left with a pile of bills, and the contents of her husband's briefcase. The briefcase sounds like it belongs to Mr. Boddy (i.e. Clue the board game) as it contains 1 Rusty Dagger, a Stamp collection, and some framed bugs of some sort (that reminded me of Grissom on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation). Anywho, cut scene to someplace notable different with a sort of Southwestern Old lady feel.

There Mrs. Marrable gets up the courage to do her first killing. In goes the housekeeper, and in goes a pine tree. Time passes and the pine trees grow more numerous and in stair step formation. It reminds me of the birth a kid every 2 years sort of thing some people do. Don't know how they would do that, but who am I to judge. Back to the story...or at least the overview.

Anyway, the housekeeper that gets the most screen time is of course, the one that has a fabulous red wig, and a fiery conniving temper. Lets just say, a bit of faking a possible poison in pheasant is hilarious, and probably gutsy.

I thought this movie was great, from the somewhat random side characters to the conniving and truly insane main characters. Aunt Alice is the fiery red wigged housekeeper that comes to discover the truth about her friend that just disappeared. They do a great job keeping you guessing if Mrs. Marrable will do Alice in or not. And then when you think you figured it out, you expect to be wrong.

I give it 4 stars, for being suspenseful but not gory.

Sorry for the long break in started for Danno and we stopped watching movies. What can I say, not enough time. We have watched a few movies since last July (you would think so in 8 months) but having all the details might be hard, so I pulled a 'classic' off our shelf.

The Snowman is a musical illustration of a children's picture book. We watched this movie often enough to wear out the VHS tape as kids. The basic gist is that there is an amazing snowfall one winter and this boy builds a snowman outside. The snowman comes to life using Christmas Eve magic (as that's the only way to explain it) and gets to see some of the sites in the boys house including his toys, dress up in the parent's clothing, and a thrilling motorcycle ride.

After a while, the Snowman has to join the rest of the snow people on their way to the North Pole to party with Santa Claus.

I obviously love this movie, so this is an unashamedly biased review. The movie starts out with an intro by (ok can't remember his name...and the case doesn't say, so its some mildly famous British dude). Then it gets to the good stuff. This is an animation in a strictly sketch style. The music by Howard Blake is awesome. (As it should be considering there is no spoken word, and only a short clip with singing.)

I have to say, I checked my copy and I don't have the British dude on it. This short was first put out as a made for TV.

The Snowman was nominated for the 1982 Academy Award for best animated short film, but lost out to Crac by Frederic Back. Its a short that has music and sound effects, instead of just a musical score that rules the video.

Its nice how you can find these things on places like Google Video. And since, I can't leave a movie review with a different clip and not include the piece that's reviewed here it is:

If you haven't seen the book, check it out. It is a GREAT picture book (as in no words), and the movie is just as great. A nice 27 minute Holiday film. And lets face it, the music is what makes this movie. Without the music you may as well read (or rather look at) the book.

Are we giving ratings? Its been too long to remember, I would give this 5 stars or popcorn's, or small children. Its fascinating and beautiful.

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