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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)

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DVD ~ Ethan Hawke
Price: CDN$ 6.99
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film to sink your teeth into!, May 10 2014
This review is from: Daybreakers (DVD)
Daybreakers(released Sept/09)stars,among others,Ethan Hawke,Willem Dafoe,Claudia Karvan,Michael Dorman,Sam Neill and Jay Laga'aia.This film is a pretty good vampire flick, with a nice twist.In this one the vampires,instead of being a sub class living amongst humans,are actually the dominant species.The story deals with their long term attempts at survival.And speaking of which,let's look at that.
The story finds Hawke as a blood specialist working for a pharmaceutical company run by Neill.Vampires now rule the earth with the remaining human population dwindled down to a small percentage.Because of the lack of humans from which to feed off of,the blood supply is dangerously low and getting lower everyday,as we witness vamps lining up to drink fluids that go from 20% human blood content,down to 5%.Another side effect to this shortage is that vamps who cannot afford to pay the ever rising high price,are turning back into unthinking savages(subsiders) who will prey even on their own kind.The company is bound to be the first to come up with a blood substitute.
Hawke is technically a vamp but he has never been comfortable in his own skin.On the way home from work one night he almost gets into an accident with another vehicle.It contains humans,which Hawke hustles into his own car as the police show up.After they leave the humans depart,but not without knowing his name and place of work.
Hawke's own brother is a vamp also,the one in fact that turned Hawke in the first place.He works for the military and later that night he returns from duty with a bottle of pure human blood which Hawke refuses to ingest.After a brief argument the two are confronted by a subsider, who used to be Hawke's gardener.After a close encounter they manage to kill it.Next morning one of the passengers he previously saved from the cops(Karvan)enters his house and leaves instructions for a meeting at a specific destination out of town.
Hawke drives to the location specified and meets up with Karvan and "Elvis"(Defoe).Before they can get the preliminaries over with Hawkes own brother shows up and tries to take them all in.Just then an army truck is seen heading their way.They overcome Hawke's brother and escape in Hawke's car.Once they are safely away Defoe relates his story that he was once a vamp also.One day while driving along and not paying attention to the road he slammed into a barrier at a river's edge and went flying out the car's windshield.He immediately caught on fire from the sun,landing in the river and into a culvert.He soon realized he had been cured somehow through his ordeal.That is why they approached Hawke, in order to enlist his help.Hawke readily agrees.
He is taken to a deserted vineyard owned by Karan's parents.There it is discovered that they need to control the burning process in order to effect a cure.Hawke agrees to become the guinea pig,with Karan and Defoe's help.Inside a jury rigged fermenter,Hawke indeed becomes human once more.Before the military can arrive to capture the three,they flee the scene.
Hawke gets an idea to return to the house of a friend, who he worked with for years at the pharma company to create a blood substitute.They do so and try to enlist his help.The friend takes a phone call and goes into a bedroom for privacy.After a while they realize he has called his office and Karan has been captured.Hawke and Defoe barely escape capture and flee.
While hiding out Hawke's brother finds them.He is slowly turning into a subsider due to lack of real blood.On an impulse the brother attacks and bites Defoe.The brother turns back to human.It seems the blood of the cured vamps like Defoe and Hawke will now turn back any existing ones.Hawke returns to his pharma company to turn himself into Neill in order to save Karan.It seems Neill has finally gotten his substitute and says it was never about a cure but about the money.When Neill calls Hawke a coward,Hawke's comeback causes Neill to lose it and he bites Hawke.Slowly but surely Neil turns back.They tie him up in a chair and send him down an elevator to the main floor where soldiers stand waiting.Sniffing his "human-ness" they attack him en masse.When those soldiers turn the ones behind them attack those,and so on and so on.It seems the ball has started rolling and an all out cure is inevitable.The film ends as the three drive off into the sunset and a bat flies towards the screen.
I liked this twist on the usual vampire stories.All involved did a good job and the S/FX are well done.I was especially surprised to see one of my favourite small screen nemeses in the film;New Zealander Jay Laga'aia,who played Draco on Xena,now playing a Senator here.There's a talented guy who needs more screen time on both the big and small screen.The film does have it's extraneous moments that could have been excised from the film,such as the sub story of Neill's daughter who near the beginning of the film we learn(from Neill)has rejected becoming a vamp.It is later,unnecessarily fleshed out with her capture,turning and killing.While not a perfect film(few are) I thought overall it still was quite satisfying.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s /r of 2:40:1 and is crisp and clear.Extras include two featurettes and commentary.
All in all a nice twist to the vampire mythos in which the vamps rule the world and fight for their existence,instead of being an underclass.All involved did a bang up job and I think it's a film with a nice bite to it!

Stand Up Guys
Stand Up Guys
DVD ~ Al Pacino
Price: CDN$ 4.88
14 used & new from CDN$ 4.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old school does it right, April 27 2014
This review is from: Stand Up Guys (DVD)
Stand up guys(released Oct/12)stars,among others, Al Pacino,Christopher Walken,Alan Arkin and Julianna Margulies.This film is a nice jaunt and pleasant journey with some old pros,making it all look effortless.I never thought I'd be calling the three main stars "old",but " time waits for no man",as Pacino says.
The story finds Pacino getting out of prison for a 28 year stretch he did for the accidental killing of his bosses son during a heist.The boss,Clap hands,doesn't quite remember it as an accident and has been waiting all those years for revenge on Pacino.Walken is there to greet his old pal who we find out,after they get back to Walken's place,is the one Clap hands has designated as the one to ice Pacino.
But Pacino wants to par-tay.Walken takes him to a local brothel the two frequented many years before.In fact the daughter of the original owner now runs it.Oops,but Pacino can't get the pipes working.Off the two go to the local drugstore to get some Viagra,and other sundries Walken needs.Pacino takes a slew of the pills and not only gets things straight at the brothel but cannot "relax".They end up at a club and then back in the car where Pacino passes out.Walken tries but cannot bring himself to shoot his old buddy,He wakes him up and they go to the hospital to emerge where the daughter of an old friend, Hirsch,is tending to Pacino's problem.With that fixed they attend a restaurant Walken has frequented for years.They are served by a friendly waitress who Walken has obviously knows quite well.It is then Walken is forced to fess up that it is indeed HE that is the one that is supposed to kill Pacino;by 10AM that morning.
After their meal they steal a souped up car from some local scum bag hoodlums,"animals" as Walken calls them,and they look up their old pal Hirsch(Arkin),who used to be their getaway driver.Hirsch is now on oxygen but is very glad to see his old pals.The two talk Hirsch into driving their newly acquired car for them.While out they get set on by the police.After a brief chase Hirsch easily loses them.Next they head to the brothel,where Hirsch wants to have a three some.With the deed done the three head back onto the road.Not soon after they hear a banging from the trunk.It turns out to be a naked girl.They take her to the diner and get her something to eat.She explains that she was kidnapped by this gang and raped at a warehouse, then put in the trunk.Pacino and Walken say there must be consequences for such despicable behaviour,so they drive back and find the place where it happened.The girl is determined to come in with them but they finally persuade her to stay out for about ten minutes until things are under control.The two storm in and subdue all five guys,most tied up, with one on the floor.The girl comes in with a baseball bat and Pacino and Walken leave her to do her thing.
Back at the car the two find their old friend dead at the wheel.They go back to the hospital and tell his daughter what has happened.She agrees to Pacino's request to bury him that night.After a brief ceremony the two return to the diner.There Pacino guesses that the waitress Walken is so fond of is his granddaughter.While Walken makes a call to Clap hands for some clemency,his granddaughter sits down to talk to Pacino about her friend.Needless to say Clap hands isn't in a forgiving mood and holds Walken to his job.Walken writes a note to his granddaughter and pins the note,along with his apartment keys,to the bulletin board next to the phone and both men leave.
Next the two stop off at a church where Pacino goes to confession.Their next stop is a clothing store,where they both pick up some new suits.Part way through two of Clap hands thugs enter and Walken and Pacino subdue them both,leaving one wounded in the hand and the other to send back to their boss.Meanwhile the waitress is now in Walken's apartment and the phone rings.She picks it up and Walken tells her that he loves her,and to get a shoe box in his closet.It is filled with cash.Walken tells her the unit is now hers and that some very beautiful paintings of sunrises he had done over the years were all inspired by her.Asked if she will see him soon,he replies he doesn't know and hangs up.
The two now head down to Clap hands warehouse where they start a fire fight with two thugs outside then train their fire on Clap hands upstairs.As the gun fight continues the camera pans upward and over the building to a beautiful sunset,which then solidifies into one of Walken's paintings.
The major element that binds this film together is the chemistry between the two main leads,and Walken and Pacino have it from start to finish.Walken is continually torn between the respect he has for his old partner and the terrible job that Clap hands is forcing him to do.You can see it in his face at all times.And Pacino knows that his time is limited and tries to enjoy what little time he has,knowing all along it is his buddy that has to do the job.At one point he even breaks down thinking about it, in a vulnerable moment.Every other actor that comes on and off screen are strong and match the vibes of of both men,from Hirsch,Hirsch's daughter,Walkens granddaughter,the thugs,etc.The film takes place over about a 20 hour arc,counting the time from which Pacino walks out of jail.It is a well paced but steady progression as we wonder what the ending will be to all of the circumstances before us.The ending will come as kind of a cheat to some,but in retrospect it is fitting and smart,leaving it to our imaginations.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp .Extras include deleted scenes,interviews with the cast,a look at the stunt driving,behind the scenes,two featurettes and a look at some of Bon Jovi's music.
All in all a delightful film with two pros doing what comes naturally.There is great chemistry all around and the film fits like an old sweater.Recommended.4-4 1/2 stars.

Highway Patrol - 1 [Import]
Highway Patrol - 1 [Import]
DVD ~ Broderick Crawford
Price: CDN$ 78.41
15 used & new from CDN$ 73.03

5.0 out of 5 stars I think the best of all the seasons, April 25 2014
This review is from: Highway Patrol - 1 [Import] (DVD)
This is the first season(55/56)for Highway Patrol and it is a doozy.There are only four eps per disc,as compared to TGG's releases of the rest of the seasons which average about eight,which makes it look like they're a touch clearer(less compression?).This season is done by MGM themselves.
Each ep at the end of the opening theme has a car quickly backing up and driving away, then the thank you to the highway patrols across the nation.You will see this footage is taken from the end of the pilot.You will hear Broderick tell us:It's not the car that kills,its the driver,or the reckless/careless driver isn't driving his car,he's aiming it,or.the clowns at the circus are real funny,but they're murder on the highway,or try to be the kind of driver you think you are,or leave your blood at the red cross,not on the highway.William Boyette who was to become to Highway Patrol,what Ken Drake was to Sea Hunt,appears for the first time in ep#3.And the audio supervisor is none other than Quinn Martin,later to produce such hit shows as The Invaders,The Street of San Francisco,Barnaby Jones and many others.Oh yes, and Broderick Crawford's first words:"All units been notified?".
You'll see such known actors,and those to become better known,like:Clint Eastwood,Emil Sitka(The Three Stooges),Robert Fuller(Laramie,Wagon Train),Guy Williams(Lost in Space),Joe Flynn(McHales Navy),Stuart Whitman(TV and films) ,Bing Russell(Kurt's father),and many others.A big surprise is seeing on the screen, famous silent film director Erich Von Stroheim directing some eps.
All in all these eps look like they've been filmed yesterday.Some are grainy to be sure and a few in less than good shape(looks like the master film had gone and dupes were used).But overall it is a joy to hold in ones hands the entire first season of Highway Patrol starring Academy Award winner Broderick Crawford, with his pistol quick delivery.The set comes in three snap cases,four discs in cases one and two, and two in case three.Enjoy a show the whole FAMILY can watch!Try finding one of those these days.

Highway Patrol: Complete Season Four [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Four [Import]
Price: CDN$ 33.19
16 used & new from CDN$ 18.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HP goes out with a bang...and a,really!, April 17 2014
Highway Patrol Season Four for the 58/59 season goes out with a bang.After four years Art Gilmore's narration is finally retired.This season has seen some nifty actors come and go,among them are:Ken Drake,frequently seen in ZIV TV's other big hit Sea Hunt,William Boyett who was Broderick Crawford's sidekick in most eps,Leonard Nimoy(Star Trek),Ted Knight(Mary Tyler Moore),veteran actor Gene Roth known as a heavy from Three Stooges shorts at Columbia,Billy Halop from the Bowery Boys(the third actor from the group to make it to HP),Mexican-American actor Rodolfo Hoyos,Charles Maxwell,well known in the TV circuit appearing in Bonanza,Sea Hunt,Gilligan's Island,so many more,Robert Conrad(Wild,Wild West),Robert Fuller,another well known character actor on TV in hits like Laramie,Emergency,Wagon Train,and on and on,Dyan Cannon,actress in TV and films,spelled Diane here(most sources I see have her making her first TV appearance elsewhere but THIS is the show that she really first debuted in),and others.
And speaking of UFOs,did you know there is an ep here with an honest to goodness UFO appearing in it,and quite plainly I might add? Watch the ep "Killer on the Run".During the last five minutes there are two women who are stopped by a guy with a gun.As he gets out of the car and approaches their car watch the hillside in the background.From right to left over it comes a roundish,smooth and quiet object.It is close enough that you see that there are no appendages so it isn't a plane and if it was,it would make a noise.It is quiet.It is moving at about the speed of a plane so it is too fast to be a blimp.It is actually shaped like two inverted pie plates together.I have watched that segment,which last about 6 seconds over and over,on normal view and close up.It is astonishing to watch.As the man/actor reaches the car the scene cuts to a different angle and the object is gone.It seems almost impossible that someone didn't see it.I would like to think the cameraman did and kept rolling and that footage is still with someone or the Air Force has it.Who knows.Watch it and be amazed for yourself. With all the cameras out and about in Hollywood,then and now,it isn't the first time UFOs have been caught be startled crews.
UFOs aside,this season like the rest looks like it is filmed yesterday.I must say though that the first season done by MGM seems just slightly clearer than the rest by TGG as their eps were limited to four a disc,whereas these were double that.More compression,more grain.However that's just a minor point.
I found also this season Broderick Crawford appeared a bit more relaxed in his delivery and demeanour.I suppose he knew the end was coming and was glad to be on the loose again.Be that as it may,Season Four was as good as any.These shows stand up beautifully still,and they are a joy to watch.
Thanks to MGM,TGG and United Artists, from whence these films originally came,for preserving them and making them available for us once more.Highway Patrol brought back alot of memories of that era for me,a bit simpler in some ways to be sure,but with TV that was worth watching FAR more than than the pap served up today.This was a family show.Today they would have Crawford's character swearing,there would be blood all over everytime he shot his snub nose .38,he'd be accused of being chauvinistic,and so much more.It's a different world and much to my chagrin they don't make them like Sea Hunt and Highway Patrol anymore.We may have lost something, but this shows we at least haven't lost it for good.

Tugboat Annie [Import]
Tugboat Annie [Import]
DVD ~ Marie Dressler
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 16.47
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Dressler and Beery back for another kick at the tugboat!, April 13 2014
This review is from: Tugboat Annie [Import] (DVD)
Tugboat Annie(released Aug/33)stars,among others,Marie Dressler,Wallace Beery,Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan.Tugboat Annie while not a spectacular hit like Emma,still has some very good moments throughout and the two veterans are joined by young and up and coming future stars Young and O'Sullivan.
The story finds Annie(Dressler) as the owner of the tugboat Narcissus,and working alongside her is her recalcitrant hubby Beery, who prefers more nips(booze)than tucks.They both live on the boat with their only son,played (when young) by Frankie Darro.It all this takes place in the town/harbour of Secoma,Washington.As the story opens Annie is coaching her young son to do better in school and to stay on and learn,so he can one day maybe become the captain of his own ship.
Fast forward and their son is now grown up and actually has a passenger ship of his own,the Glacier Queen,which is coming into Secoma that day on its maiden voyage.There's a big to-do and the whole town turns out for a big ceremony.There Annie meets her son's bride to be O'Sullivan,the daughter of one of her old tugboat competitors, who now owns the steam line her son works for.Next day Annie is giving a supper on the boat for her son and his girlfriend.Beery accidentally lets fly a cake of soap into the sauerkraut but cannot get Annie to listen to him.At the supper table Annie awaits the reaction to her food when the son says outright that it tastes awful.That's when Annie discovers the soap and if eyes could kill.
The next day Annie and Berry are given a proposition by their son.He wants his dad to go work for the steam line as a foreman of the harbour, and wants his mother to retire and live life easier in an apartment.The deal is struck, but when Beery reports to work the next day he is,as usual,drunk and is let go on the spot.His son happens upon the scene at the same time and sends his father home.Back at the boat Beery breaks the news to Annie,who isn't too happy.She starts by throwing things, then chasing him around the galley table.The only thing that breaks it up is their son who arrives back just in time.He has had it with his father and wants his mother to get away from his influence.But Annie still loves the old sea turtle and neither can really live without the other.Their son leaves with bad feelings ,as Annie in tears cries out for him.
The tugboat has needed new boilers for a long time and their engineer comes to Annie to tell her they are on their last legs.She goes all over town begging for a loan until she finally gets one from an old friend.On her way back with a cheque in hand, Beery has suddenly got wind of a job on the other side of the harbour and has taken the Narcissus out.On the way he spies a case of booze he thinks some rum runners have dropped in the water.While turning the boat around to pick it up he doesn't watch where the boat is headed;on a collision course with an old paddle wheeler.The tug slams into the paddle wheeler broadside,putting a hole in it and wrecking Narcissus's bow.The collision has attracted an audience on shore,including a distraught Annie.She tears the cheque up in her hand.
In order to pay for damages from the collision, the old tugboat is put up for auction,and both Annie and Beery are out of a home and a job.The man who buys it is the one who hauls away the city garbage by barge, and he offers Annie a job on her old boat as its skipper.She gratefully accepts.
The pair have not heard from their son for a long time but they know he is due in the same evening they take out a load of garbage to dump.The swells grow bigger and Annie senses a whopper of a storm on the way.And sure enough it arrives,just as their sons ship is approaching Secoma.However the Glacier Queen has had its rudder bent,can't maneuver in the storm and is headed for the rocks.Along comes Annie who drops her garbage and struggles in the storm to save her son and his ship.A line is successfully flung between ships,but the old tugboat's boilers haven't got the pressure to pull the ship to safety,and both of them are in danger of foundering.The only way to fix the boilers is to turn down the boiler fire and for someone to enter them and do it from the inside.Beery volunteers and gets the boilers up and running,almost losing his life in the process.Annie and the crew manage to save her son and his ship.
Beery is hospitalized and lucky to be alive.After his stay is over his is given a medal for his heroics in saving many lives,and the steam ship line graciously buys back the newly re-outfitted Narcissus and bestows it to a grateful and proud Annie and her hubby.A happy ending.
Dressler is the star and Berry doesn't over power her or anyone during the film.He comes in and out playing his bumbling,drunk but lovable character to a tee.Dressler is right on course with her rendition of weathered old Annie,who has seen too many years behind the helm of the Narcissus.Annie gives Berry no quarter when he gets into trouble and she can become a raging storm all by herself.Under that tough exterior however lies a heart of gold,and she can get very emotional,especially where her son is involved.When she cries we really feel her pain.Robert Young does a good job as her devoted son,with all the right body language and moves.
Technically speaking the film is full screen.The picture quality isn't the best here and could have/should have been much better.It starts out a bit rough but does improve over time.This is the bane of many of these blue disc DVD-R releases.We are paying good money for these films and they should be properly remastered and not released until they are.
All in all a good Dressler film.Beery and Dressler make a much better team in this one than in Min and Bill.Dressler shows what a great range she had as an actress and Beery ably backs her up.3 1/2-4 stars.

Emma [Import]
Emma [Import]
DVD ~ Marie Dressler
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 16.46
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.44

5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of Maries all time best!, April 12 2014
This review is from: Emma [Import] (DVD)
Emma(released Jan/32)stars,among others,Marie Dressler,Richard Cromwell,Jean Hersholt and a very young Myrna Loy.This film ranks among Marie's all time best pictures.Frances Marion who was greatly responsible for the resurgence of Marie's career,is on board in the writing department.If anyone doesn't cry during this film,more than once,they have a heart of stone!
The story finds kindly old Emma(Marie) as the housekeeper to a successful inventor Mr.Smith and his wife.As the film opens the wife is giving birth to their fourth child,a boy.When the child comes out it is stillborn and Marie takes it and beats its' bottom until life inhabits its precious body.The mother perishes.
The family moves on, and fast forward about 20 years and Ronnie has come home(the child Emma saved and who is her favourite)to ask his father to give up college and concentrate on flying planes that he loves.While his father forbids it, Emma acts as a go between and convinces him to let Ronnie have his way.Afterwards Emma wants to know what this flying thing is all about and visits Ronnie at the airfield, only to see him do some(to her)terrifying loop-de-loops then land.After shes gives him a piece of her mind Ronnie talks her into getting into a training simulator,which Emma regrets afterwards.
Back home Emma is finally taking a month long vacation to Niagara Falls,after 20 years of waiting.Mr.Smith drives her to the train station to see her off and while there Emma gets steadily convinced that Mr.Smith and his brood will not be able to cope without her.When she refuses to go altogether she goes to ask for her money back.Mr.Smith tells her that he will come with her rather than see her lose out on a well deserved rest.However while waiting, Mr.Smith lovingly takes her hand and proposes to her.She reticently agrees.
Out on a lake in a rowboat,after their wedding,we see Emma rowing and Mr.Smith sitting(he has a bad heart).A group of three youngsters row by in a canoe.Mr.Smith takes over the rowing duties and starts rowing at a breakneck pace.Not long into his marathon he collapses.Back at the hotel Emma is giving him his last pill of the day and exhausted he asks her to sing for him.As she starts to sing Mr.Smith silently passes away.Marie,thinking he has fallen asleep,continues on.
Back home the day before, the four children had received the news of Emma and Mr.Smith's wedding,and all but Ronnie had poo pooed it.A short few days later Emma is with the lawyer in their home getting the word that she is left as the sole heir to his estate and that she is to administer his money to the children as she sees fit.She however doesn't want the money and goes out to tell the children what she has decided.However she is met with so much derision from them all(but Ronnie) that she orders them out of the house.Immediately afterwards she has to sit not believing what she just did.Ronnie and the lawyer congratulate her.Ronnie asks if he may purchase a custom made plane and the lawyer gives his OK if Marie is agreeable....and of course she relents.Ronnie goes to the west coast to get it and is gone a while.
In the meantime the children get a hold of their own lawyer believing Emma coerced their late father into making out the will,then deliberately poisoned him.Their case gets enough legs that they are able to take Emma to court.The court proceedings do not go well for Emma and her lawyer.
Ronnie in his new plane on his way back home from a trip to Canada,sets down in Kansas City to waiting out a rainstorm.In the airdrome office he picks up a newspaper and reads about Emma's predicament.He sends a wire to his beloved Emma that he is on his way home to help.He takes off in the storm.
Back at the court,the proceedings play out and it is the final argument stage.When Emma's lawyer starts to call her step children names she cannot take it,not ever harbouring any ill will towards them,just love.The jury comes back with a not guilty verdict.As Emma and her lawyer enjoy a quiet moment of relief a telephone call for him reveals that Ronnie has died in a plane crash.When he returns he doesn't have to say anything as Emma, just knows.As if this isn't enough,at that moment a telegram arrives;it is the one Ronnie sent to her from the airdome.She collapses into the lawyers arms.
The next day Emma has given the money back to the children.She leaves to visit Ronnie's grave and talk to him.When she returns to the house she says her good byes to the remaining three children, who all express their sincerest regrets and apologies for their despicable behaviour.They beg her to stay but she cannot,she as to move on.
Emma is soon at an employment agency and she is offered a high paying position due to her experience.But she refuses and takes a low paying position because it has the same family dynamic as her last position.As she sits tending to the newborn,a boy of course,the mother asks her over and thanks her for saving her son's life.Asking Emma what she might really like as a thank you,she thinks a minute then asks if the new born can be named......Ronnie.The mother is quite agreeable and a proud and loving Emma holds up her new Ronnie,laughing with joy.
Director Clarence Brown could have ended this film when Marie walks out the door after saying goodbye to the children one last time.But Frances Marion wanted to grab your already broken heart strings one final time with her new job and her new Ronnie.There weren't any dry eyes in the house in 1932 and as I said,if you don't cry at least once,you have to be a rock or something,for it STILL packs an emotional wallop today.Sure it's a sentimental film, but it's never mawkish or overdone.The film strikes just the right balance and Marie Dressler should have gotten another OSCAR for this one,in fact a better performance than her winning it in Min and Bill a few months before.Marie runs the emotional and performing gamut here.She does it all beautifully from drama,to pathos,to comedic moments and she even sings!
Technically speaking the film is full screen and there are no extras.This film has been transferred quite well as compared to,say, Politics.
All in all a joyous and wonderfully sentimental film.Marie takes the acting ball and runs with it for a touchdown and back again.Have a box of Kleenex on hand and see Marie Dressler at her finest.

Harry James & His Orchestra
Harry James & His Orchestra
Price: CDN$ 22.39
9 used & new from CDN$ 22.39

5.0 out of 5 stars A Harry gem!, April 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a fantastic collection of songs from Harry James and singer Marion Morgan.The recordings are all Columbia originals and span from 1946-1949.Marion recorded with James up until Dec./48,and the last two tracks here are a couple she recorded a year later from the film One Sunday Afternoon,without James.Right away one can see why he chose Marion,because she sounds so much like his (arguably) greatest singer Helen Forrest.She has a beautiful voice tone and is in command of the lyrics from start to finish.
James backs her with just some out of this world lush strings and harmonies.And needless to say James is on top of his game all the way.This is James at his peak and he plays that horn like there's no tomorrow.He weaves his notes in and out and rings Marion's vocals with just the right panache.
This is a win-win for all good music lovers and James fans.And I might add its is a MUST have.This is on one single CD and Collectible Records has included some informative liner notes along with everything else.
There's only one CD that has made available all her recordings from Columbia with James(23) and this is the one.Get yours now!

Unreleased: Songs From The Vault Collection Volume 1
Unreleased: Songs From The Vault Collection Volume 1
Price: CDN$ 12.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 11.12

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a beautiful friendship!, April 11 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not quite Casablanca,I know ,but this new release of songs"From the Vaults",as the title says,is something for all Stompin' Tom fans to get very friendly and cozy with.As the initial news reports after Mr.Connors passing proclaimed,there are 120 songs that were unreleased,and due to be released as per his wishes.Mr.Connors son Tom doing just that,to our delight.
In the process it seems the Connors family has struck a new label deal,which is surprising in and of itself.They are now dealing with Universal who now owns Capital/EMI(in a mega takeover any Ferengi would be proud to boast about-for all you Star Trek fans!),the latter having released all of his material onto CD in the past couple of decades or more.
This CD contains 17 tracks,12 unreleased and the other five are re-releases of songs we all know and love like My Stompin' Grounds,Flying CPR,and others.The unreleased material is a Stompin' we have rarely heard,he sings.......*gasp* American songs!?? Maybe you were thinking like I was that these were going to be polished studio tracks from throughout his career.Nope.It is just he and his old Gibson guitar,no back up what so ever.Songs like the old Guy Mitchell hit Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,or Hank Thompson's Wild Side of Life,an instrumental Turkey in the Straw,the 1917 Shelton Brooks penned Dark Town Strutters Ball,the 1851 Stephen Foster classic The Old Folks at Home,aka Swanee River,and others.It's an eclectic mix of songs that Tom would have had on tap when he was an up and coming artist way back when.Though the liner notes neglect to give us any recording dates,his voice/timber is deep,so my guess is we are dealing with recordings not more than 10 years old.The notes also neglect to mention where these recordings were made,at his home or in a proper studio.These are lapses I hope are corrected in the upcoming releases.
The best one can do is sit back and listen to these wonderful tracks as if Tom was actually there with you, pickin' on his flat top just for your enjoyment.The recordings are clear as a bell and if my ears don't deceive me I think the already released ones sound a bit fuller as compared to the earlier Capitol releases.I am looking forward to future releases.It would be nice to have some raw studio recordings,flubs,alternate takes,etc.But we will just have to wait and see.Thank you to all the Connor family for these and those to come.

The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars (Bilingual)
The Last Days on Mars / Les Derniers jours sur Mars (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Liev Schreiber
Price: CDN$ 29.78
13 used & new from CDN$ 9.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Ghosts Of Mars, April 6 2014
The Last Days on Mars(released May/13)stars,among others, Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas,Romola Garai,Goran Kostić and Johnny Harris.This is a terribly derivative picture which from the opening moments tumbles into a deep pit from which it never extricates itself.Been there,done that barely scratches the surface as to how defective this film really is.
The story finds a small colony of humans on the red planet busy doing their respective experiments and generally studying the surface area.The astronauts are made up of a multi national group,with the leader being Canadian.At one point a relay switch goes down and one of them volunteers to go out to fix it,but it is a ruse to check an experiment station.While the crew inside discover possible life on a sample brought in,the one gone outside has also discovered it.Just then the ground gives way crumbling around him, and he falls into the ground.Those with him contact base and they get assistance toute suite.They end up going down into the steam filled fissure,not finding their fellow astronaut but finding some strange ground life.
When the astronaut resurfaces they find tracks leading away from the site and heading back to their main living pod.As they head back, the pod comes under attack from two of their fellow astronauts who have turned into horribly disfigured creatures.The rest return in time to rescue the remaining crew but one, who has been killed.They retreat to a hydroponics pod and try to help their dying commander,but to no avail.He "dies" but soon comes back to life as he turns also.They try a jury rigged antibiotic but it does no good.
Schrieber heads back to the main pod to try and contact home for help, but eventually is forced to retreat back to hydroponics.He and two others flee into land rovers to escape the others.One leaves to take another rover and next morning another leaves Schreiber's rover and walks away.He follows but is unable to save her,and instead has to kill her.At this time a rescue landing craft dispatched from the orbiting space station above lands in the open.As Schreiber runs back to it it is attacked and its crew killed.Inside at the controls he finds the astronaut who took the other rover.He is also infected.He puts the ship into a power burn and it leaves Mars orbit,burning too much fuel.All the while the two struggle and Schreiber defeats the turned one,only to get infected himself.Now alone,he contacts home base to inform them of the situation,telling them he has no fuel to land and will likely burn up in the atmosphere,the preferable solution as opposed to a rescue.
This film is one slow step up after another,as one crisis inevitably leads into another,and so on.Each you can see coming a mile away and each step up becomes two back as the movie's pace just slows to a crawl and you start looking at your watch wondering when this thing is going to be over with.When the astronauts become infected,this is my title reference to the 2001 film Ghosts of Mars,as the infected in that look like those in this.You would have thought they could have been more original.I guess it's just a Mars thing.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras and in fact there are NO scene selections either!Astounding.This is first film on DVD I have ever encountered with no scene selections,just a straight "play" option and that's it.
In conclusion give this turkey a pass and watch The Ghosts of Mars.It wasn't that good either, but it was far better than this sleep fest.

Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Highway Patrol: Complete Season Three [Import]
Price: CDN$ 33.19
16 used & new from CDN$ 18.86

5.0 out of 5 stars If you care to drive,drive with care!, April 6 2014
Highway Patrol,Season Three is back and it continues in the high quality fashion of the first two.The picture is wonderful for a show of this age,/57-/58.Sayings such as The careless driver isn't driving his car,he's aiming it,No Matter how new,the safest device in your car is you,Leave your blood at the red cross or your community blood bank,not on the highway,If you care to drive,drive with care,or It isn't what you drive but how you drive that counts.
Broderick Crawford turns in another season of his fast talking,tough guy with a heart.He not only gets the bad guys but his sensitive side comes out in various eps with children or the bereaved.Crawford is helped out in his endeavours by the likes of Harold(spelled Herold)Goodwin,good friend and co star with Buster Keaton in many of his films in the 20s and 30s,Bobby Jordan from the Bowery Boys/Dead End,East Side Kids,Kurt Russell's father Bing,Ken Drake,a regular on Sea Hunt in an uncredited role,Charles Maxwell,Vance Skarstedt who not only wrote eps but co starred also,and many others.You will notice in the credits a costume supervisor Tommy Thompson.He went on to produce the Lucy Show in the 60s.
These eps were written with brevity in mind but to pack the biggest punch in the shortest time possible.And they succeeded brilliantly,despite the short shooting schedule(usually about three days!).TGG has done a great job transferring these onto DVDs.Like the previous season there are the odd sound drop outs,which I can only put down to audio track damage.These are after all almost 60 years old.

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