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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Cracked Nuts (1931)

    Cracked Nuts 1931

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Edward F. Cline. Starring Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, and Edna May Oliver.

    I came to this film having never heard of Wheeler and Woolsey. Reading up, I learned they were a top-grossing comedy duo in the early 1930s. This explains the surprising number of sets and why the script proves little more than a setup for Woolsey’s one-liners. Continue reading...

    Watched on 11 Oct, 2020
  2. A still from Zoolander (2001)

    Zoolander 2001

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ben Stiller. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, and Will Ferrell.

    Ten minutes into this rewatch, I remembered the upcoming “freak gasoline fight accident” scene and roared out laughing.

    Watched on 11 Oct, 2020
  3. A still from The Great Outdoors (1988)

    The Great Outdoors 1988

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Deutch. Starring Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy, and Annette Bening.

    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.

    Watched on 11 Oct, 2020
  4. A still from Renegades (1930)

    Renegades 1930

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Victor Fleming. Starring Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Noah Beery, and Gregory Gaye.

    Another strong pre-Dracula performance from Bela Lugosi. He plays a sheik backing Warner Baxter’s Dirty Dozenesque 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.

    Watched on 10 Oct, 2020
  5. A still from Shadow of the Law (1930)

    Shadow of the Law 1930

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Louis J. Gasnier. Starring William Powell, Marion Shilling, Natalie Moorhead, Regis Toomey, and Paul Hurst.

    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...

    Watched on 10 Oct, 2020
  6. A still from What About Bob? (1991)

    What About Bob? 1991

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Frank Oz. Starring Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty, and Charlie Korsmo.

    No Disney film could have dared the darker, more manic edge this film deserved. Still, Bill Murray’s performance remains entertaining.

    Watched on 10 Oct, 2020
  7. A still from Salute (1929)

    Salute 1929

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John Ford and David Butler. Starring George O'Brien, Helen Chandler, William Janney, and Stepin Fetchit.

    John Ford’s second sound picture. George O’Brien joins the Naval Academy, endures hazing from the upperclassmen, and rivals his older brother, a West Point 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...

    Watched on 09 Oct, 2020
  8. A still from A Chump at Oxford (1939)

    A Chump at Oxford 1939

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Alfred J. Goulding. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Forrester Harvey, and Wilfred Lucas.

    Peter Cushing’s second film. He has a minor speaking part playing one of the Oxford students who hassle Laurel and Hardy. Continue reading...

    Watched on 06 Oct, 2020
  9. A still from Another WolfCop (2017)

    Another WolfCop 2017

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lowell Dean. Starring Leo Fafard, Yannick Bisson, Amy Matysio, and Jonathan Cherry.

    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.

    Watched on 04 Oct, 2020
  10. A still from Dracula (1931)

    Dracula 1931

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Karl Freund and Tod Browning. Starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, and Dwight Frye.

    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.

    Watched on 04 Oct, 2020


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