Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I owe Steve Friedman a huge apology. He's Mr. Movie, heard locally on talk radio in the Philadelphia area for nearly twenty-five years (currently at WPHT 1210 AM Saturday nights), is one of the foremost experts on film and cinema ever - he knows almost as much as I do. ;-)

We frequently disagree, but as has been said a million times, Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one. This past Saturday night Steve went on about how Stranger Than Fiction wasn't a great flick and how he didn't like it. I thought it was brilliant, nothing new, as I said, we frequently disagree. He then followed that opinion up with his thoughts on Borat, which he said he walked out on. That's a pretty forceful statement coming from any film critic, something is so awful that they had to walk out of it.

Upon hearing that I immediately relayed the info to my bride and said, "We MUST see Borat, if Steve hated it that much, it's probably good!" Additionally, there was also all that hype about it being the funniest movie ever made, and of course, it was also number one at the box office (not that that is a big deal, hell, Wedding Crashers was number one at one point). So we went to see Borat.

I sincerely apologize, Steve. This is one where we agree completely. I wanted out of the theatre almost at once. I did not, however, walk out, though I wish I did.

Borat is a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic piece of shit.


Sunday, October 08, 2006


I'm a little psyched writing this review, especially after just watching McNab and the Eagles stomp T.O. and the Cowboys this afternoon. "Invincible" is a terrific film, even if you're not into football or even sports. It's the story of Vince Papale, a thirty year-old bartender who makes the Philadelphia Eagles after open try-outs. "Invincible" has action, romance, even football, but mostly it has heart. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Your Cheatin' Heart

I used to see George Hamilton on all the game shows and talk shows back in the 1970s. I would wonder often why this man was a celebrity. Folks would make fun of his tan all the time, but that couldn't be why he was famous, right? Heck, if I knew the man, I'd probably make fun of his tan too.

After seeing the 1964 Hank Williams biopic "Your Cheatin' Heart" recently I have to say I now know why George Hamilton is a star. He's a terrific actor, on calibur with many of the best in my opinion. The only other flick I can think of offhand that he's been in is "Viva Kneivel" so obviously he's just not good at picking scripts.

"Your Cheatin' Heart" isn't one of them however, it's great, and with a loving soundtrack of the father's tunes by son Hank Williams Jr. this is film that can't be beat. Enjoyable from start to finish, they don't make 'em like this anymore.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein


A Video Review of "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

I must have seen Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein from 1948 dozens of times when I was a kid back in the 1970s. It was a Sunday afternoon tradition around my house. We’d get home from church just before noon and that was when the now defunct channel 48 out of Philadelphia would broadcast the Abbott and Costello movies. They showed them all from Buck Privates to The World of Abbott & Costello, maybe four or five times each. When they replaced them with the considerably less entertaining Ma and Pa Kettle movies viewer complaints got the A&C films back on. Those were good times and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein was one of the best.

Lou Costello (who for those not in the know was not the idiot portrayed in the movies but in reality the brains of the pair) originally didn’t want to make ‘that crap’ regarding the film. He said his baby daughter could write a better script. Costello caved when his partner Bud Abbott and director Charles T. Barton (who directed some of the best of the A&C movies as well as coincidentally the "Munsters" TV series) had already signed on. The $50,000 advance didn’t hurt either.

The trivia involved in this picture is almost mind-boggling. According to Universal Studios Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein is the official sequel to 1945’s House of Dracula and the next in their Universal monsters continuity. Bela Lugosi almost didn’t get to play Count Dracula in this one because the studio thought he was dead. Walt Lantz of Woody Woodpecker fame did the animation on the opening credit sequence as well as Dracula’s bat transformations.

The casting is Universal monster classic. As mentioned Bela was Dracula who along with Lon Chaney Jr. reprising his Larry Talbot role including one of the more convincing Wolfman transformations and Glenn Strange doing his Frankenstein’s monster round out the trio of fiends. Foreign beauty Lenore Aubert is serviceable as the nefarious Dr. Mornay and watch out for the Invisible Man at the end voiced by Vincent Price.

The simple story of freight movers stumbling into Dracula’s plans to find a suitable brain for Frankenstein’s monster moves along well. The madcap Bud and Lou meld seamlessly into the world of Universal horror. What really makes this work is that the monsters all play it straight. The horror actors are all deadly serious. It’s a good contrast to the capers of A&C.

This one also contains one of the best Lou Costello lines. When Wolfman Larry Talbot says "You don’t understand. Every night when the moon is full, I turn into a wolf."

Lou replies "You and twenty million other guys!"

See Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. It’s one of the best.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Quickie Reviews 6-26-2006

"Hollow Man 2"

A movie that didn't need a sequel, like the remake of "The Fly," the first one said it all. How bad must a movie be that it makes Christian Slater unappealing? This is a disaster that should be avoided at all costs.


With nice voice work by Paul Newman and unbelievably Owen Wilson, this one is enjoyable but only adequately. Computer animation has come far enough that it should be the only reason to see such a movie. Yes, we're amazed by the technology - now do something really amazing - tell us a good story.

"Winter Passing"

If you asked me a week ago what I thought of Will Farrell I would have said he was a unfunny piece of crap who ruined "Saturday Night Live" and all the movies he's been in. This flick proves me wrong, he can actually act, and quite well. I applaud his performance here. Ed Harris is as always amazing. Beware the kitten scene.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Even More Quickies

"Tension" (1949)

Great little forgotten B-mystery featuring a young Barry Sullivan and even younger William Conrad (as a detective named Gonzales!). Man creates an alter ego to kill his wife's lover, until the plot thickens and someone else beats him to the punch. Possibly Audrey Totter's best performance.

"Ice Age 2: The Meltdown"

Should have been called 'the letdown.' All of the charm and humor that made the original such a hit is gone. So many great talents simply wasted their time here, a shameful flick.

"X-Men: The Last Stand"

Poor put-upon director Brett Ratner threw all the comics out the window and made a sequel to the two previous films. People live and people die, but it's never who you expect, effectively tossing out forty-plus years of comics continuity. Dark Phoenix is dismissed with a few throwaway lines of dialogue and Joss Whedon's concept on which the film is based is thoroughly raped.

"White Chicks"

You ever pass one of those car accidents where there's a million cops and paramedics and various body parts strewn across the road? You just can't look away, you just can't. That's what this movie is like. I got chills.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Academy Awards 2006

I heard a political pundit (read as idiot) say that if Brokeback Mountain won it would be a validation of gay marriage, and if it lost it would mean that we are a nation of gay bashers. Do folks really take this stuff that seriously? The Academy certainly isn't, as evidenced by another bad comedian as host. What wrong with having a film expert as a host? How about Robert Osbourne? I guess America can relate better with clowns when it comes to the serious film industry.

Enough ranting. My picks:

Should win - Philip Seymour Hoffman of Capote. They owe him.
Will win - Heath of Brokeback

Should win - Judi Dench, but been there done that
Will win - Felicity Huffman of Transamerica. Politically correct, but still good performance.

Should win - Howl's Moving Castle
Will win - Tim Burton, he's Hollywood's sweetheart.

Should win - Clooney
Will win - Ang Lee for the PC folks or Spielberg for the sympathy vote

Should win - Capote or Good Night
Will win - Brokeback

My major question - where was King Kong?

And will the greatest Japanese film composer of all time (Akira Ifukube) even get a nod this year?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Must See Movies of the Moment

"Rory O'Shea Was Here"

"Eight Below"

"The Cockettes"

Highly recommended, enjoyed, and watched again. Get thee to a movie theatre, video store, cable station or Netflix queue and enjoy.

Coming soon - reviews on a more frequent basis, and before the oncoming event, a few thoughts on the 2006 Oscars. Stay tuned...