Mrs. Seeber~editor in chief

Mrs. Seeber~ EDITOR in Chief...a blog for my cleaver husband to rant about our favorite pasttime~ movie watching

Friday, November 16, 2012

20 Million miles to earth- 1957

Yes, we still have some Halloween movies on the DVR.  No, I won’t do any Christmas movies till after Thanksgiving.  The leading roles are all people that you might recognize from watching enough 50’s SciFi but no real stars appear here.  A Columbia pictures release which truly stars Ray Harryhausen (he does have a cameo role in it).  This movie was filmed partly in Rome because Ray wanted a vacation there but he must have worked hard getting this one together. 
Harryhausen was a master of animating creatures having been inspired by King Kong and worked with the man that made him.  I have seen him bring many things to life but the Ymir (the name of the creature) was really a great monster.  So really there were two stars here the monster maker and his creation.  The battle with the elephant is a classic (yes, I found myself pulling for Dumbo), having Just watched the new King Kong you can see elements of that battle in the Kong/T-rex fights.
The story was OK, none of the characters stood out to me and again the chick did not have good hair!  I did enjoy watching it but it was mostly because of Harry’s pains taking work.  This is popcorn in the dark movie just for fun.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mary Poppins 1964

This one is for Miss Maddie.  She wanted The Sound of Music (which Miss Maddie I do not hate and yes have seen- I still have the syrupy sweetness stuck to my teeth) but I know what your favorite is….

How can a mere mortal like I have any chance of doing justice to an icon of the film world like this!
It won 5 academy awards and was up for a slew of others, it had a grouping of outstanding talents and Walt (Disney) was still alive to keep the standards up.   I am not the biggest fan of musicals (the occasional White Christmas, Wizard of Oz, Dirty Dozen and the like works for me- huh-oh yes it was;  I am sure that Trini Lopez got off a tune in that one-) but this is fun.  That spit spot of a witch charms her way into the hearts of the dysfunctional Banks family (and subsequently abandons them and surely shreds the hearts of those poor little Banks urchins) bringing order to all with a smile and a twitch of her nose- opps sorry that was another witch- there was that umbrella thing happening.

The music is some of the most famous in film history.  The players fit so well in their respective roles.  What can you say about Julie…. And Dick, well he stands out to me.  I have seen the stage production of this and until I did I didn’t give Dick the credit he deserves (no disrespect for the guy in the play- he was good but…).  I know, I know his accent was horrible (everyone picks at him for that) but his energy was fantastic.  I tend to enjoy some of the “secondary” players as well or better.  I have always loved Ed Wynn (Uncle Albert); Rita Shaw (The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, TV’s version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, etc.) Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein) and Reginald Owen (Scrooge) were all fun to see too.
I didn’t care much for the jumping into the chalk painting part (a bit trippy dude) and that wild Chimney Sweep number kinda scares me, but unless you live in a Man Cave (do these expressions of blind testosterone actually exist?)you should be able to enjoy a dose of this once in a while and for some of you much more regularly!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Last Man on Earth 1964

Vincent, Vincent, Vincent what were you thinking?  Saw another one last nigh that I had never seen before- The Last Man on Earth. An over-dubbed Italian flick that has all the things that should have made it killer but the only thing that died was this movie.  Is it the worst movie I have ever seen- no way, is it the worst Vincent Price movie (in my opinion) I have ever seen- bingo bango bongo.

It was written by a master of horror/sci-fi stories, Richard Matheson.  More famous for The Shrinking Man, Hell House, Stir of Echoes, Twilight Zone episodes and for the most recognizable version of this story, I am legend.  There are actually 3 (or more if you count rip-off versions like- the 1968 Night of the living dead) versions of this all with big name actors; this one, Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston and I am Legend with Will Smith.  All of them except the Smith version (which isn't perfect either) pretty much dropped the ball (and then tripped on it).
The story, which is now classic, a plague wipes out nearly everyone, lonely survivor, human chasing zombies and add in a nice vampire twist.  To give you an idea how much Matheson liked it he pulled out on it but to get credit (and therefore money) he let them credit him as Logan Swanson.  Smart move Ricky!

I was never a fan of watching people’s mouths move and it not matching what they were saying, the setting was dumb (if zombies were banging on your house every night, calling you by NAME and saying they wanted to kill you, wouldn't you move or at least board up the dang windows), the acting was weak (even Vince, looked like he was going through the motions), the zombies were embarrassing and the pace slow (much like the zombies).  I read that someone thought that this was Price’s best movie- oh my- was it the only one they ever saw him in?  He was better in the Michael Jackson video- Thriller!  The House of Wax kicked this movies butt.  I was a little excited when I saw this was coming up I have since come to my senses.
A critic once said that this movie was able to “conjure up some genuine chills”  pa-leeeeeeeeeeeeeease….he must have been sitting in front of an outstanding air conditioner at the NorthPole!