Ten minutes into this rewatch, I remembered the “freak gasoline fight accident” scene and roared out laughing.
Candy and Aykroyd are great, but John Hughes’s script proves uneven. At its best, it’s a great Vacation film, with Candy’s part subbing for Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold. The skit-based structure reinforces the comparison. At its worst, the script’s melodramatic rescue sequence foreshadows Hughes’s lesser later work.
Another strong pre-Dracula performance from Bela Lugosi. He plays a sheik backing Warner Baxter’s Dirty Dozen-esque band of French Foreign Legion deserters in North Africa. Baxter builds a formidable force but can’t shake his grudge against vamp Myrna Loy. Commanding performances from Loy and Lugosi make for a better-than-expected viewing experience.
Powell plays an innocent man sent to prison for murder. He escapes and establishes a new life. Hoping to clear his name, he locates the woman whose testimony could exonerate him, only to have her blackmail him. Continue reading...
No Disney film could have dared the darker, more manic edge this film deserved. Still, Murray’s performance remains entertaining.
John Ford’s second sound picture. O’Brien joins the Naval Academy, endures hazing from the upperclassmen, and rivals his older brother, a Westpoint cadet, for a girl. John Wayne and Ward Bond have small parts as O’Brien’s upperclassmen tormentors. The film culminates with the big Army-Navy football game pitting brother against brother. Continue reading...
Peter Cushing’s second film. He has a minor speaking part playing one of the Oxford students who hassle Laurel and Hardy. Continue reading...
A muddled sequel that plays like an ultra-gory episode of Doctor Who. The script throws in robots, a talking parasite, another lycanthrope, shape-shifters (that don’t shift-shape), and a hockey match finale that has WolfCop playing goalie. The first film’s strength came from embracing and amplifying cop-movie tropes. This entry feels less focused, like a middle chapter in a bigger sci-fi saga. Not without laughs, but disappointing.
I first saw Dracula on TV. I don’t remember when, but I was still fishing prizes out of breakfast cereals and watching Saturday morning cartoons. I do remember loving the movie. Toys, costumes, books, and a lifelong interest followed. In the decades since, I’ve seen the film dozens of times.
Yet, it wasn’t until this viewing that I realized the film leaves the Lucy plot-thread unresolved. Embarrassing, but true.
A lot happens, but nothing matters. A fine enough self-contained entry, but the best Marvel films also impact the shared universe. Bonus points for Martin Freeman’s casino dialogue, which reminded me of Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson.