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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)
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Waller;Fats This Joint Is Jump
Waller;Fats This Joint Is Jump
DVD ~ Fats Waller
Price: CDN$ 24.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 12.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Fats-lite!, March 4 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This DVD documentary about the jazz pianist with no peer,Thomas "Fats"Waller,I would say you could call "Fats-Lite".One is LONG overdue,but if you are expecting an in depth look at the man,his music,his career,his influences,you won't find it here.It's a nice refresher course for those Waller vets,but on the whole this one is better geared for those just learning about the man.There are more than a few folks interviewed but even though they post their names, one doesn't have a clue as to what relation they are to Fats,let alone who they are.The clarity of the DVD oft times leaves a LOT to be desired.It looks like it was copied from a so-so VHS tape.There are also no chapter selections at all.
What it DOES offer are some nice little seen movie/soundie clips of Fats doing his ever lovin' thing.Interviewed in the main is Maurice,Fat's son.It's amazing how much he looks like his dad.The documentary does have a slight linear flow to it,but not enough for me.52 minutes flies by,and just as you really get into it,Maurice is talking about his dad passing away on a train.The documentary then fades out/credits roll with a live recording of Fats singing.
The DVD is a region free disc so it will play on any player worldwide.The playing surface is blue tinged,such as those you get with VOD's(video on demand).
In conclusion this DVD is a great "Fats-101 "course for those just learning about him.The Waller vets will find it a bit on the light side.But since there is little to none out there regarding this great musician(and I do not use"great" lightly),any Fats fan will want to pick this up for their collection.

An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition (Bilingual) [Import]
An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Cary Grant
Price: CDN$ 25.92
24 used & new from CDN$ 9.58

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romantic film!, March 1 2015
An Affair to Remember(July/57)stars,among others,Cary Grant,Deborah Kerr and Richard Denning.This film is a wonderful,bitter sweet one,full of romance and the charm only Cary Grant could project.
The story involves Grant as a high flying playboy.He is on an ocean voyage headed for France.On the ship also is Kerr who is engaged.The two strike up an innocent conversation.Kerr knows Cary's rep but is having nothing to do with it.Eventually however his charm and charisma start to break through her wall.She becomes intrigued enough at one point to tag along with him when they reach France.Cary tells her it is to go ashore and visit his grandmother.She doesn't believe a word.Well it turns out to be true and Kerr spends what she terms is the best day of her life,with she and the grandmother hitting it off remarkably well.
The two return to the boat and by this time Kerr's defenses are down to almost nothing.However, they have a tete a' tete,and Kerr decides they must try and remain aloof at least for the passengers sake,even though both are now head over heels in love.Before they're half way home a ships photographer has snapped a few "compromising" pictures of them and has started selling them to other passengers.After this they leave their cares behind them and act normally.What have they got to lose?
Once back in New York the two vow to meet in six months atop the Empire State Building,on July 1.Cary vows,in that time,to get honest work and start making a real living.To this end,being an ex-painter,he decides to start his craft up again.Meanwhile Kerr has broken the news to her boyfriend about she and Cary,and while taking it hard,remains friends and supportive of her.She continues her life and Cary's painting start to sell slowly but surely.
The magical date both have been waiting for comes and Cary is atop the building awaiting his love's arrival.Kerr takes a cab but gets stuck in traffic.Impatient she jumps out of the cab and runs towards her destination.However she gets struck down by a car and is paralyzed from the waist down.Cary waits until late at night for his love who will never arrive.Dejected he finally leaves during a thunderstorm.
Kerr ends up in the hospital for weeks and when finally released gets a position at a local parish helping teach the local youngsters in singing.Wheelchair bound,she doesn't want Cary to know anything about her accident until she can walk again and meet him on a "normal"level.
Months go by and inevitably the two meet at a ballet as Cary is leaving;the first time since they last parted.She is seated so he won't know of her condition.The two say their polite hello's and part.Kerr's ex boyfriend has accompanied her and he wants to tell Cary on her behalf but she won't have it.
More time passes and it is Christmas.Who should knock on her apartment door but Cary.He has stumbled upon her address and phone number by accident.Cary you can tell is hurt, but he couches his words in subtle sarcasm,making like HE is the one who should apologize because HE didn't show up on the date they said they would.Kerr quickly gets his drift and she becomes very guarded in what she says.As he about to depart he tells her of a painting that he recently gave away( a portrait of her)to someone who couldn't afford it and in....his words drift off.He was going to say wheelchair, but the wheels in his mind are turning and he goes into the next room and there is the painting.It instantly becomes clear to Cary what has gone on.He returns to her and asks all the whys he needs to before they embrace,never to part.fade to black.
I found myself literally yelling at the screen at Cary near the end telling him to not leave,and to Kerr telling her to come clean about her illness.Such is the power of this film to draw you in.Leo McCarey(Laurel and Hardy's old director)is in fine form in this film and deftly directs the two through this romantic affair.It is nice how Kerr is at first wise to Cary's advances and how she rebuffs him,but eventually the circumstances overwhelm her and she can't fight what she feels any longer.Cary of course is always the gentleman,backing off at just the right time and coming back only at Kerr's behest.Also the scenes with Cary's grandmother in France were done especially well.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras abound in this 50th anniversary edition including commentary,the trailer,news footage of the premiere,and several featurettes and interviews.This is a two disc set.
All in all a fabulous film,full of romance and tears.As soon as the ship is sailing you are hooked.Kerr and Grant do a fabulous turn together and both are totally believable in their parts.4 1/2 stars.

Birdman (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Birdman (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Michael Keaton
Price: CDN$ 14.49
11 used & new from CDN$ 10.95

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, Feb. 28 2015
2*

John Wick (Bilingual)
John Wick (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Keanu Reeves
Price: CDN$ 13.49
10 used & new from CDN$ 12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice action film,bound to please., Feb. 28 2015
This review is from: John Wick (Bilingual) (DVD)
John Wick(released Oct/14)stars,among others,Keanu Reeves,Michael Nyqvist,Alfie Allen,Ian McShane,John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe.This is a hard action romp starring Reeves,which is actually reminiscent of Jean Claude Van Damme's Wake of Death in intensity.In fact at times I could see JCVD in Keanu's place.However h(Reeves)e handles himself well here and the tension is nicely built throughout, until the final climactic moments.
The story starts out with Reeves severely injured,exiting his SUV and laying bleeding on the ground with a phone video playing of his wife.Time reverses as we now begin to discover the events leading up to this moment.Reeve's had a deep and loving relationship with his wife until tragically she was struck with a terminal condition which led to her being on life support.We are there to witness Reeves giving the ok to the doctor to pull the plug on his bedridden wife.After the funeral and at home he receives a package and in it is a cute little female Beagle pup in a cage.It is a gift from his departed wife.The two bond instantly.
At a gas station Reeves is filling up his /69 Mustang when he is approached by a Russian thug who wants to buy his car.Reeves refuses (in their language-something we will find out more about later),and drives away.Later that night Reeves home is burglarized by the very same group who now beat Reeves,kill his pup and steal his car.The Russian's take the car to a garage but the owner refuses to deal with it.It seems the thug who wanted/stole the car is the son of the head of the Russian mob in NYC.His father after contacting the garage owner to find out the why and wherefores, summons his son for a meeting.The father puts a beating on his son and tells him that he has stolen from a man he should never have.One who will stop at nothing to get revenge after what he has done.
True to the Russian's fears Reeves IS on a mission of revenge.Reeves was involved in a seedy underworld before he was married.Now he returns to this world in order to act out his plans of revenge,knowing that the Russians will try and stop him.They first storm his home but he dispatches each man(about a dozen) with rapidity.Reeves decides to check into a "hotel" which discreetly handles Reeves and his ilk.He now uses this as his home base from which to work.He goes after the Russians where they hang out in a nearby hotel,going after the son who is thickly guarded.By some stroke of luck the son manages to escape his clutches.After this his father puts him into a safe house for his own protection.
Reeves has a contract put out on him but an assassin sent to kill him fails.However another one who has been watching him and has had plenty of opportunity to do him in(an old friend and fellow assassin) is now warning him with missed shots from his scoped rifle.Reeves again takes the offensive and attends a church which is just a front that the Russians use to funnel all their assets through.Reeves burns their"assets".He waits outside for the Russians to come and they do.But Reeves gets captured and almost killed.After escaping(with his friends help once more) he confronts the mob father,who he spares for information on the location of his son.Reeves goes to that location and finally gets his man.
The Russian however now has Reeves friend (the one who has saved Reeves all along) and kills him.Reeves gets a call from the owner of the hotel he was staying in.Reeves learns that he not only dispatched the assassin who unsuccessfully tried to take him out(no "business" is ever allowed to be conducted on the hotel premises),but tells Reeves of the Russian father who is trying to flee the city in a helicopter .Reeves rushes to the area and catches up to two SUVS in transit to the helipad.He takes out one by pushing it over a wall with a fatal drop,and then slowly takes on each man from the second one until all that is left is the Russian father.The two fight hand to hand and Reeves is severely injured,but the mobster is worse off.Reeves leaves the scene and the story now comes full circle.Reeves slowly gets up and finds refuge in a nearby vet clinic.As he "repairs"himself he spots a caged pitbull.He opens the door and takes him out.The film ends as we see Reeves and his new companion walking back home.
The film's opening moments move along well,as the makers build us the foundation upon which the rest of the film will sit;Reeves injury,the death of his wife,the killing of Reeves' only living expression of his wife's devotion,his Beagle pup, and as a result,his forced return to his old life.From here the tension builds constantly throughout.I have heard some criticism and/or "funny" remarks/jabs about the point of Reeves seeking revenge for just a dog.Well this is totally unfounded nonsense.It is what the pup represented and stood for, that the Russians rip away from him for a lousy car jacking.It is totally believable and within reason.There are always those who are quick to tear things down to their lowest common denominator,aren't there?.The main body of the film deals with Reeves revenge and his immersion in his old "world"in order to exact it.The fight scenes are well choreographed and help us tremendously in the believability of the situations Reeves faces.The entire cast does a great job.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.
All in all a wonderful action film,full of the latter with a good supporting cast.Reeves does well in his brooding and dark character.A solid 4 stars,maybe even a bit below 4 1/2.

For Multi-titled Dvd
For Multi-titled Dvd
DVD ~ George O'Brien
Price: CDN$ 25.98
25 used & new from CDN$ 18.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Two underrated Ford's., Feb. 14 2015
This review is from: For Multi-titled Dvd (DVD)
This double sided DVD contains two of John Ford's silent films,Hangman's House(released May/28) and Three Bad Men(released Aug/26).Both are melodrama/potboilers,the former set between Algiers and Ireland,and while the latter in the old west.Ford deftly directs both and it shows Ford's penchant early on for having strong leading characters.
Hangman's House stars,among others,Victor McLaglen,June Collyer,Larry Kent and Earle Fox.It concerns McLaglen who is an officer in the Foreign Legion.He receives a letter that compels him to take a temporary leave of absence to go back home to Ireland.He arrives but is disguised as a wandering monk.He is a wanted man there.Next we in turn delve in to the private life of a hanging judge whose life is nearing an untimely end.Before he goes he wants his daughter Collyer to marry a man other than the one she currently sees and is in love with(Kent),a guy played by Fox.Fox is a low down skunk of a stool pigeon.Putting her own feelings aside for her father's sake Collyer marries him,but it is a loveless affair.Kent,is not impressed,but does the gentlemanly thing and steps aside.
After her father passes away Collyer decides to run the family thoroughbred in an upcoming race.The horse is well known throughout the county and most all bet what they have on her.However Fox,desperate for money, not only bets all against the horse but has the jockey kidnapped to boot.Kent steps in to ride the nag.Just before the race Fox spots McLaglen and has him arrested by the British Army. Despite all the pre-race drama,Collyers horse wins the race,much to everyone's delight,except for Fox.As everyone is gathered around the horse in a cheerful mood the despondent Fox comes out and shoots the horse dead.The crowd immediately swirls around him and without the army's help he would have been killed also.
Fox goes into seclusion at the daughters home(Hangman's House).Meanwhile McLaglen has been freed from jail by friends and is now hiding out.Collyer and Kent meet with him to find out that the letter he received in Algiers was from his sister who passed away in anguish over the husband that left her.The husband was none other than Fox.Kent meets with Fox and gives him money to leave the country and never come back.That night when Collyer returns home Fox beats her and she is forced out and over to Kent's place to stay with his mother.This is the last straw for Kent.He heads for Collyers home.
Meanwhile ,and free, McLaglen is just about to board a ship to return to Algiers when he gets word that Fox is at Hangman's House.McLaglen heads for the house and actually beats Kent there.They both confront Fox who manages,after a scuffle, to flee to the upstairs.However he knocks over burning candles on the way,which starts a deadly conflagration.Kent and McLaglen get out just in time, but Fox is trapped and ends up dying when he falls to his death.The film ends as Collyer and Kent are now together and a satisfied McLaglen wishes them well as he heads for port to return home.
Melodramatic yes but in a good way.Ford manages to bring the two stories,McLaglens and Collyer/Kent's nicely together.The tension builds throughout as Fox who is desperate for money,loses all,shoots the horse and loses any respect whatsoever, and now remains in hiding with no where to go, and then the two men who eventually track him down.Watch for a cameo of John Wayne in the horse race.3 1/2-4 stars.
Three Bad Men stars,among others,George O'Brien,Olive Borden,Lou Tellegen,Tom Santschi,J. Farrell MacDonald,Frank Campeau and Priscilla Bonner.This is again a melodrama set in the old west,around 1874 when the Dakota's were opened up for settlers seeking a new life and above all,gold.Ford weaves a nice tale of desperate men,with desperate lives seeking gold ,some in a good way,others bad.
The film opens as a wagon train travels across the open plain.One covered wagon in particular breaks down with a pretty girl on board(Borden) and her father.O'Brien comes to their rescue and is immediately smitten with the tough brunette.He gets them going again and they part, not to meet until both reach their destination of Custer,N.D.
Also watching this endless procession desert trains are three desperadoes,Santschi,Campeau and MacDonald wanted in the States and Mexico for a variety of offenses.They are a motley trio.Suddenly they spy a prospect to rob,a lone covered wagon pulling horses.Before they can even start another band of thieves beat them to the punch.The trio rides in and shoos the bandits away.The girl sobs in Santschi's(the leader's)arms.We see it is Borden,who has now lost her father during the shooting from the other bandits.All alone she asks Santschi and the two others to ride with her,and the gruff old buzzards,their hearts melted, agree.
They finally arrive in Custer a day or two ahead of what will be the great land rush; to allow folks to freely prospect and claim land for themselves.The town is run by a crooked sheriff,Tellegen.He has made a cottage industry of taking advantage of unsuspecting women and families,getting his underlings to rob and extort them,then splitting it all.It is here also that the trio of bandits decide that Borden needs a husband to protect her.The other two go search for a hubby,while Santschi hires O'Brien.After a few close calls O'Brien and Borden finally meet up and renew their acquaintance;falling in love much to the trio's delight.
The night before the great land rush foul things are afoot.A preacher has set up a church and the women and their children are all there praying for a good day ahead.The preacher has been vocal about his stance against the sheriff and the lawlessness that exists there.The Sheriff sends his men to the Church to burn it down.They light the Church and up it goes.At one point the preacher comes out begging for the men to stop as there are women and children trapped inside.Just as he is to be shot a woman steps in front of him asking him to come inside.She is instead shot and falls to the ground.The men flee.The smoke and flames hasn't gone unnoticed and O'Brien,the bandit trio and others arrive to help save the frightened congregation.The lady who inadvertently saved the preacher lies dying, and in her delirium screams out for her brother.Santschi hears this and runs to her.It is his sister.He had recently received a letter from her saying she had fled west with her new love.It turns out her"love" was the sheriff,who had just tricked her and has now nothing to do with her.As he holds his sister the sheriff peaks in and Santschi gives chase, but he cannot get him.He returns to find his sister dead,and with revenge now in his heart.
The next day dawns and all who have reached Custer are now gathered in a vast line awaiting the canon shot from the army to allow them to ride west.The signal comes and it is a race of monumental proportions.Every kind of vehicle imaginable is in it,riding as fast as their rigs will allow.The sheriff has been way passed the starting line in hiding( illegally),waiting for his chance to get the trio,O'Brien and Borden.The latter know the location of a gold mine and the sheriff wants it for himself.When they pass he and his men follow.The trio all know they are being followed so they tell O'Brien and Borden to keep on going,and that they will hold them off.Before the posse can reach them the trio decides to hold them off by a delaying action,one by one.The first gets a few down but is soon overpowered and killed.The next one hides in a shack of gun powder and when they burst in on the wounded man he blows them all up.The last one,Santschi finally has his moment with the crooked sheriff.The film ends as we see a happily married O'Brien and Borden calling out the names of their old three friends.As the camera pans around we see a baby lying on the floor;named in honour of the men who died so they could have a happy life together.
In the end we find the title is a reversal of the truth.In fact the "bad"men are three of the best men.They obviously had done some "bad"things to be wanted in the States and Mexico.But it is the girl's innocence and vulnerability at their first encounter which changes them all for the better.Ford works his magic by interweaving the bad men's story with the girl meets boy story ,and the side plot of Santschi's sister and his ultimate revenge thereof.The shot of the start line just before the land rush is about to begin is phenomenal.It seems to stretch for miles.And the fact it was taken from real events makes it that more compelling to watch. Watch for the sheriff who goes against type,by wearing a white hat! 3 1/2-4 star.
Technically speaking the films are in full screen mode and both look excellent considering their age.There are no extras.The accompanying music was excellently done and compliment the films as they should.
All in all two wonderful "silent" films by legendary director John Ford.Both are melodramas with nicely woven plots that should keep you interested throughout.

The Astaires: Fred and Adele
The Astaires: Fred and Adele
by Kathleen Riley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 27.95
27 used & new from CDN$ 7.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but a much needed book on its subject matter, Feb. 13 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"The Astaires" is a book about two super talented folks;one who by her own volition bowed out of the limelight at the peak of her career on stage for marriage,and the other,her brother,who would go on to further fame and fortune off stage in films and become, who many consider,the greatest dancer in that medium ever.
Much has been written about Fred Astaire in films,so there is little of mystery about the man and his career from that period onward.His pre-film career,along with his sister Adele however has remained,except for sporadic testimony of friends,newspaper clippings,etc., somewhat of an enigma to modern audiences.This book seeks to correct that discrepancy by digging deeper into playbooks,little known newspaper articles,memoirs of those who worked with and/or hired the Astaires along their joint career paths,and much more.The big question of "who was the bigger talent, Fred or Adele?", may never be answered to any one's satisfaction,as both siblings ever claimed it was the other.This book doesn't answer it either,although it does give us all fodder to think about it one way or another.
There are a few things that perturbed,me about this volume.I find the author while knowing her facts will often got out of sync with her timeline,jumping ahead suddenly by a few years then going back without warning.Then there is her vocabulary.She has a tendency to use a bit too many fancy $2.00 words,when the cheaper 50 cent-ers will do just fine.Furthermore I found her writing style overall to be a bit too heavy handed, and as a result,it dragged the narrative terribly.To top this she had a bad habit of over killing her points.For example on Page 72 and 73 she describes one George Nathan and his relationship with Adele.That she took more than half a page for a preamble leading up to Nathan and Adele's relationship,is baffling....and most irritating.She first describes who Nathan was(a co editor with H.L.Mencken of the Smart Set periodical),his philosophical leanings,the big wigs of the literary set who wrote for the publication,etc.in a 17 line paragraph.She also describes his founding of the American Mercury with Alfred Knoff.Ok we now understand who he was....ok? No this is not good enough.The author then expends another 18 line paragraph describing Nathan once more from the perspective of his co-editor Mencken.Enough already.....? Not a chance.After another eight line description which fleetingly mentions the real subject matter at hand,Adele,she goes into yet another piece of Nathan character build up by giving us two book inscriptions dedicated to him from a friend.It is only after all this that we finally get to the meat and potatoes of Nathan and Adele's relationship.WAY too much chaff with the wheat.
Let's look at another example.On page 89 about 3/4 the way down she starts an over extended look at the Astaires' impact and what it"represented" to English society as a whole(?).You know you are in trouble when she starts really getting into her point with this:"Their dancing and comedy encapsulated an innocence England had irrevocably lost on foreign fields,which is beautifully elegized at the close of the first act of Alan Bennett's Forty Years On."She then goes on to quote at length from that play/act.Then she links a reference to a nightingale in the play to actual live recordings made of a cellist and nightingales in 1924 and onwards.Then she say:"Like the nightingales,the Astaires were the sweet voice of life and hope....".We are now on page 91.From here she compares them to Noel Coward and HIS rise on the entertainment scene of the early 20s.By page 92 now she says the Astaires provided a kind of"....redemption,an anecdote to cynicism in a land of lost content".With all that out of the way she FINALLY gets back to the real Astaire story,their interaction with royalty and their current play.Phew!!This kind of verbial diarrhea serves only one purpose:to show everyone how clever and well read the author is.It does NOTHING for the narrative flow and in fact has exactly the opposite effect.It seems to be the old axiom"B.S. baffles brains".Except that this reader has enough brains to know when he is getting B.S-ed.
In conclusion,I am of the view that less is more.In this case more editing on the part of the author and/or publishers wouldn't have been amiss with the two examples cited above and others in the book.As a result this book,while a welcome look at a neglected piece of entertainment history,is one SLOW read.If only the author had not wanted to show off her personal writing prose/skills to the detriment of the historical facts,this would have been a great book.Instead it's an intolerably slow going tome.Be prepared.

My Man Godfrey (1936)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
DVD ~ William Powell
Price: CDN$ 14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One of best screwballs....catch it!, Feb. 13 2015
This review is from: My Man Godfrey (1936) (DVD)
My Man Godfrey(released Sept/36)stars,among others,William Powell,Carole Lombard,Alice Brady,Gail Patrick and
Eugene Pallette.This is a classic in the screwball comedy vein.Another of my favourites is The 20th Century and it also stars Lombard, which I hope they one day make a GOOD official release of.This film is,from the get go, a winner,with a brilliant cast from Powell,to Alice Brady who specialized in playing air headed women, to Mischa Auer, who plays a visiting wanna-be composer who never goes away.
The story finds us in the "real" world of the dirty 30s.Powell is a derelict and living at the edge of a garbage dump down by the East River, with dozens of other men.One evening competitive rich sisters Lombard and Patrick are on a scavenger hunt and they come upon this place.Their goal is to get a "forgotten man",the first one who does wins the contest.Well Powell won't go with a down-your-nose Patrick,but is intrigued by Lombard.Lombard transports him back and wins.She then impulsively employs him as the butler of the house.
Powell reports the next day all decked out in a butler suit and commences his duties in what he soon finds out is one screwy and dysfunctional household.Pallette is the put upon business man/father who has to literally pay for all his daughter's drunken indiscretions and his wife's buying sprees.Add to this a wanna composer lounging about the house,Powell soon finds he has bitten off more than he can chew.
At a party, a rich gent from Boston(Alan Mowbray) is there and when Powell offers him some hors d'oeuvres,Mowbray immediately recognizes him.It is his old Harvard school chum! Powell puts the exnay on that and Mowbray comes up with an elaborate albeit phony excuse as to their past relationship.The next day the two meet and Powell explains where he has been(the dump),and why he left to live there(a girl with whom he fell out and was very bitter about).Powell it seems comes from a very rich and influential family and doesn't want them or anyone else to know his whereabouts.
Back home Lombard has developed a crush on Powell which VERY soon develops into love.Powell keeps his distance at all times(or at least tries)and Lombard does everything she can from throwing herself at him,to throwing tantrums to playing pouty girl.To top this she announces at another party that she is getting married,to everyone's shock,just t get back at the unmoved Powell.The unsuspecting bridegroom is played by Grady Sutton.Powell wishes her all the best and she is beside herself with frustration.
Lombard and her sister are sent on a European vacation to forget about things back in New York.When they return things have changed.Behind the scenes Powell is still in touch with Mowbray and both are hatching a brainchild of Powell's to turn the dump into The Dump,a nightclub,as a place of employment for his old friends and a place to live.Furthermore he has worked behind the scenes to assist an unsuspecting Pallette with his failing finances.In the meantime Patrick hatches a scheme to get back at Powell(they have never gotten along since their first meeting).After a short tete a' tete the two had had which didn't sit well with her( the one where Powell met with Mowbray),she now tries to say Powell stole her pearl necklace.She planted it under his mattress.When the cops come around the blame finger is eventually pointed toward Powell.The police barge in and search his room.The necklace is never found and Patrick is left with egg on her face.Powell had found it beforehand,but Patrick at this point doesn't know that.
The day comes when Powell says his goodbyes to the family.No one wants him to go,surprisingly now not even Patrick.Just after Pallette had announced he was in financial straits, Powell steps up to tell him that he had his own people investing money properly in Pallette's name and his financial status is not that bad now at all.Powell leaves and opens up The Dump with Mowbray.The movie ends as Lombard pays a "visit" to Powell at the club.She brings about a weeks worth of food in and plans a permanent stay.The she gets a judge to marry them,without a license as Powell stands there gobsmacked.Fade to black.
The film contrasts the stark "realities" of the 30s in the opening sequences with the richness that surrounds it.Into that"reality"walks the more unreal folks of the rich set,Lombard and her sister.But wait, this is no Pygmalion story, with Lombard resurrecting Powell to bigger and better things.Powell is also part of the rich set.And just as he has learned some valuable life lessons,he will teach these to the family he butler's for.If a Pygmalion theme even runs in this film,it is in reverse.Powell is terrific as he plays along with this dysfunctional unit to see where it takes him,but his time with them enables him to figure out and come to terms with his own demons.Lombard of course nicely plays one of the dysfunctional parts of the family.Pallette and Patrick get changed by Powell's influence, but the mother(Brady) and Lombard never seemed fazed by it all.Lombard knew what she wanted almost right from the get go.Brady is so out of touch with things it would take an atomic blast to change her.But in the end it doesn't matter,as Powell it seems will become a part of the family's lives anyways.The very end has always been less than satisfying to me.Lombard comes into his club and into his room with a couple of baskets of food ready to move in.Powell is perplexed, but I have never gotten the impression he was pleased. On the contrary he had just told Mowbray before Lombard's entrance that he had no intention of marrying her or anyone else.A supposedly happy ending,but was it?That's my take anyways.
Technically speaking the film is in full screen mode and this print,from the UCLA archive,is in wonderful condition.There are a couple of featurettes.
All in all one of the best of screwball comedies from the 30s.Powell and Lombard work well together(they had been husband and wife) and they are both ably backed by a wonderful supporting cast of screen vets.4 -4 1/2 stars.

It Snowed
It Snowed
Price: CDN$ 22.58
27 used & new from CDN$ 11.70

4.0 out of 5 stars A very nice addtion to anyone's Christmas library, Feb. 12 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It Snowed (Audio CD)
This is my first Meaghan Smith album and I must say I am impressed.This London,Ontario native certainly has a way of vocal phrasing.It is soft, yet compelling.Her singing is also intimate,like she is sitting there singing directly to you.She is ably backed throughout and it is a different take on Christmas songs you have heard in the past,but in a good way.As with many folks,her Christmas hit "It Snowed" is what first grabbed me.In her relatively brief 10 year(so far)career she has already written a song for a film and has been nominated for music awards.Meaghan has a bright future ahead of her and here's to her continued success.

Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs)
Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs)
DVD ~ Gene Kelly
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 36.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 6.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Kelly's best., Feb. 12 2015
Singing in the Rain(released Mar/52) stars,among others,Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen,Millard Mitchell and Cyd Charisse.This review is for the 2002 2-disc special edition.This is an excellent film,light hearted and full of energy with tons of memorable tunes from the American songbook.What really makes this edition are all the added features.More on that later,first let's get to the story.
The plot is light fun.Kelly is a star of silent films,and his co star Jean Hagen likes him alot,but the feeling is far from reciprocated.Soon after a party his studio boss had thrown which gave all the guests a sneak peak at the incoming new thing,sound,sound came in in a big way, and everything was thrown into chaos.The previous evening Kelly had snatched a ride with Reynolds trying to get away from adoring fans.She had no interest in films as she was too high hat.The night of the party Reynolds ends up being there,jumping out of a cake and being part of a group of chorines hired for the occasion.She and Kelly have a disagreement and Reynolds instead of connecting a pie on Kelly's face,ends up doing so on Hagen's pan.Reynolds flies into the night.
Kelly back at work three weeks later is still thinking about Reynolds,whom he hasn't seen since.It turns out Hagen had her fired,and Kelly is incensed.Kelly by coincidence soon finds her working on the studio lot in some minor production.They get reacquainted and end up falling for each other.The advent of sound is killing the studio at the box office and Kelly suggests that they turn their most recent production into a musical.That is great except his co star Hagen's voice is totally Brooklyn-ese.What to do? They end up overdubbing her voice with Reynolds.Reynolds is happy to do it at the start but soon tires of how Hagen treats her.At the screening of the film the audience asks Hagen to sing for them.Reynolds,one last time,sings behind the curtain while Hagen lip syncs.While O'Connor,Kelly and the boss are listening off stage,all three of them pull up the curtain and expose the fraud to one and all.As Reynolds runs out of the theatre,Kelly announces to all that Reynolds is the real star of the picture.The film comes to a close as the two stand in front of the now-new picture costar's movie sign....kissing.
I have always been more of an Astaire fan,but I consider this one Kelly's best film and most palatable,for me.It is high energy,full of wonderful songs and O'Connor,Reynolds and Kelly look and work exceptionally well together.It wasn't of course as sweet behind the scenes as it was in front but,hey that's show biz.Kelly's now immortal Singing in the Rain sequence and the trio's Good Morning routine are just two highlights.The famous or infamous jump cut when Kelly and Charisse are dancing is still there.The original footage still remains lost.
Technically speaking the film is in full screen a/r and is exceptionally clear and crisp.This is a marvelous transfer,the best I have ever seen the film look.Extras abound in this two disc set with special commentary,documentaries,stills,an outtake,and much more.
In conclusion for those who love this film,this is the best version yet put out.The picture is phenomenal,while the film itself is now considered one of the best musicals ever done.You'll love it.

Complete Recording 1952-62 (4CD)
Complete Recording 1952-62 (4CD)
Price: CDN$ 22.78
31 used & new from CDN$ 11.28

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all Dearie fans!, Feb. 11 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This 4 CD set of nine of Blossom Dearie's vintage albums are da bomb! The music contained herein are the core base upon which Dearie's rep is what it is today.They have included her first two albums on the Prestige and Emarcy labels,quite rare stuff.
You probably know these are recordings made not from the original sources but from records.The quality of the sources obviously has the greatest bearing on how the final product will sound.I have bought many a CD of this type and some have been terribly poor.Such a case happened to me recently with The Astaire Story.It contained periodic pops and clicks throughout which weren't on the original recordings.Either they did little to take them out, or they did but their record's defects were so bad they couldn't eliminate them entirely.I am happy to report that there is nothing like that here.These recordings are for the most part remastered from the records quite well.Any criticisms I could level would really just be minor and not worth noting here.
The first and second LPs will catch those not entirely familiar with her catalogue a little off guard.In the first she is integrated into a group singing mostly in French.The second has her just playing songs on her 88s,and nothing else.However they are so well done that I just sat and sang along with them.It's like Blossom Dearie karaoke!
The rest are the albums she did from the mid 50s into the early 60s,and her distinctive vocal talents are front and centre.Wonderful stuff no matter how you slice it.Blossom has always been hard to categorize(I have never subscribed to the theory that all music must be pegged into a certain hole).To me she has simply been an original,interpreting the American songbook in her own inimitable fashion,and done it with great aplomb and technical skill.
All in all this is a set that is well worth the more than reasonable price.Nine of her defining albums,with excellent sound...you can't beat it.

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