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Reviews Written by
Andre M. "brnn64" (Mt. Pleasant, SC United States)

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Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America's Forbidden Funnies, 1930s-1950s
Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America's Forbidden Funnies, 1930s-1950s
by Bob Adelman
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from CDN$ 18.71

3.0 out of 5 stars Not so hot, July 18 2004
One reviewer correctly compared these to the "dirty pictures" most people saw in junior high school. This is an accurate description. Most of this stuff is not that funny or particularly erotic. In fact, it gets dull pretty fast. The cartoons with Amos & Andy, Laurel & Hardy, Hitler, and Mahatma Gandhi (that one must be seen to be believed), and a minstrel-like Joe Louis are interesting largely for historical reasons. But the takeoffs (no pun intended) on Betty Boop, Lil Abner, Popeye, etc. are surprisingly flat, considering the unexplored comic possibilities (though the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck segment is good for a few laughs). Be warned though, some of this stuff (especially in the last chapter) is really gross even by modern standards, so proceed with caution. Overall, it's more of a curiousity piece more than anything else.

Go West [Import]
Go West [Import]
DVD ~ Buster Keaton
Price: CDN$ 32.21
21 used & new from CDN$ 14.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Bizzare stuff from the Bus man, July 18 2004
This review is from: Go West [Import] (DVD)
This is one of the Bus man's strangest films. Our man, for reasons never made clear, is known as "Friendless" and is so despised that when he puts his arm around a dog, the dog walks away in disgust. Following Horace Greely's famous saying "Go west young man," he does that and even though he can't milk a cow or saddle a horse, somehow gets a job as a cowhand. Still abused by all of mankind, he does an "androcles and the lion" bit (as he did in "Three Ages" with a lion) with a cow named "Brown Eyes" and and last finds a friend. I'll let you see the rest for yourself. But this is really strange stuff, and the ending ("I Want her." You'll see what I mean.) will leave a particularly odd taste in your mouth.

Amos N Andy: Check and Double Check [Import]
Amos N Andy: Check and Double Check [Import]
DVD ~ Freeman F. Gosden
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 12.84
13 used & new from CDN$ 1.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Issues of Political Correctness Aside, July 17 2004
Okay, everybody who has any interest in A&A knows about it being started by two White men (Gosden and Correll) in Blackface and later hiring real Black actos for the 12950s TV show. With that said, on to the movie itself.
Simply put, it's not that good by any standards. There are a few midly amusing minutes of A&A doing some of their standard schtick such as "Mulsifyin and Revidin" and "Phone Call to Ruby" (as well as the tire changing routine that would later appear on the TV show). But aisde from this and the priceless footage of the Duke Ellington Band, FORGET IT! This early sound film is as dry as toast! A draggy love story not involving the prinicipal characters also helps slow things down like molasses in January. This film was so bad that even Gosden and Correll themselves have gone on record as dismissing it as junk and Charles Correll's son has recently said that his father hated it so much that he forbade his son from watching it! He had a smart daddy.

Greatest Funkin' Hits
Greatest Funkin' Hits
Price: CDN$ 15.00
36 used & new from CDN$ 4.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Fool Master George Gets Extra Funk, July 16 2004
This review is from: Greatest Funkin' Hits (Audio CD)
Fool Master George (my affectionate pet name for G/C)gets quite raw and funky with a little help from the current generation of rappers. Hardcore funk fans may consider this to be musical blasphemy, but to my ears it works. As much as I despise Ice Cube and much of what he stood for in the 90s, I like his take on "Bop Gun." Clinton comes off like a proud papa watching his sons of funk Naughty By Nature, Digital Underground, and the rest work it with his stuff. A good funky listen.

The Harold Lloyd Collection [Import]
The Harold Lloyd Collection [Import]
DVD ~ Harold Lloyd
Price: CDN$ 29.95
17 used & new from CDN$ 15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S ABOUT TIME! HOORAY FOR HAROLD LLOYD!, July 12 2004
HALLELUJAH! It's ABOUT TIME that the TRUE KING of silent comedy (Sorry Charlie) gets his due on DVD! With that said, GRANDMA'S BOY has our man doing what he does best. He's an everyman who almost anybody can relate to trying, in this case, win the girl and defeat the town bully. Sounds familiar and hackneyed? Not so. Harold Lloyd's genius was his ability to make you empathise with him as a person and not merely as a character to laugh at.
Many people in their thrities and forties today remember the syndicated 1970s televison show HOORAY FOR HAROLD LLOYD which introduced us to the true king of silent comedy who should have taken his rightful place among the Little Tramp and the Bus man.
To the folks at KINO and AMAZON-BLESS YOU! Now if you'll bring out other Lloyd classics such as SAFETY LAST, WHY WORRY, and THE FRESHMAN (Step right up and call me Speedy!) lovers of TRUE CLASSIC COMEDY will LINE UP to buy this stuff and be ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. MERCI BEAUCOUP!

Three Ages [Import]
Three Ages [Import]
DVD ~ Buster Keaton
Price: CDN$ 32.21
18 used & new from CDN$ 11.98

4.0 out of 5 stars The Bus Man Cometh, July 12 2004
This review is from: Three Ages [Import] (DVD)
This is one of the Bus Man's lesser known, but certainly not lesser works.
Three Ages is a tad jarring at first, because the three tales of romance mix ups criscross between the Flinstonic era (haha), Ancient Rome, and the Roaring 20s. Even if you don't usually like romatic comedy, the Bus man's personality and brilliant comic timing will make you smile and laugh. I'm not really sure if our man is actually being dragged by an elephant in the caveman scenes, but the lion he deals with in the Roman segment is obviously fake. The pre-Lost world animated segments of the Bus man riding the dinosaur is impressing and amusing even for modern audiences.
In either case, while this isn't exactly a knee-slapper, it's certainly an amusing and pleasant way to spend an hour and a half, as well as the shorts.

Jordan, Louis - Films And Soundies
Jordan, Louis - Films And Soundies
DVD ~ n/a
3 used & new from CDN$ 101.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but be warned....., July 7 2004
The material here is great. Louis Jordan, the crown prince of Jazz comedy and R&B in the 40s appears here in wildly comical selections from his Muslical comedies Beware, Reet Petitie and Gone, and Look Out Sister as well as independent short films of his songs. About 35 in all. Great stuff, such as his bug-eyed lunacy in "Beware," LJ's brilliantly comical dance in "Early in the Morning," and his wacky pre-rap lyrics in "Look Out Sister." Then there's the vivacious wigglings of the early "hoochie mama" videos (as another reviewer has described), in particular Mabel Lee's sumptuous shakings of her considerable pulchritude in "Wham Slam Check Those Gams." Imagine Beyonce doing her thing in the jitterbugging 40s and you'll get the idea.
On the other hand, the transfers are not that great for the segments from "Beware" and "Reet Petite." In the former, the vocals don't synch well with the film (and I've seen better transfers on VHS of that film) and in the latter, the pictures are quite bleached out and not very watchable. This aside, the rest of this compilation has excellent prints and are fun to watch.
Watching the musical segments apart form the original films is fun. However, it would be nice to see "Look out Sister" and "Beware" in their uncut form on DVD. Enjoy after a hard day's work and get some Louis Jordan CD's in the meantime.

Electric Funk
Electric Funk
Price: CDN$ 23.06
23 used & new from CDN$ 8.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Good funky ghetto music, July 6 2004
This review is from: Electric Funk (Audio CD)
WOW! This is good funky ghetto music. Although I did not hear this until recently, this reminds me of the summers I would visit my relatives in Harlem in the early 70s and of hanging out with friends at the playground of PS 28 and the sights and sounds of that time and place. This is a perfect example of music painting pictures in your mind without words. God bless Jimmy McGriff.

Johnny Legend Presents the Complete Weird Cartoons: The Greatest Collection of Twisted Cartoons and Awesome Animation Ever! [Import]
Johnny Legend Presents the Complete Weird Cartoons: The Greatest Collection of Twisted Cartoons and Awesome Animation Ever! [Import]
DVD ~ Johnny Legend
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 66.47
10 used & new from CDN$ 16.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting at worst, entertaining at best, July 4 2004
Animation fans will enjoy this, or at least find it interesting.
The Walt Disney Alice Cartoons (from the mid-twenties, not 1914 as listed in the credits) are among the best of this bunch. "Alice's Egg Plant" is a howl! A Communist rooster named "Little Red Henski" goes to the chicken farm and agitates the hens to go on strike! A real knee-slapper that must be seen to be believed. "Alice The Torador" has our heroine in a nice bullfighting farce.
Betty Boop makes a couple of nice appearances and there is the amusing "Frogland," based onn the Aesop's Fable "The Frogs" and their King." Nice, aside from the bad frog puns (about the new leader being "full of hops," ad nauseum).
Racism also rears it's ugly head in these toons. "Inki and the Mynah Bird" has an African child who is drawn more simian than human chasing the said animal. Ub Iwerks' "Little Black Sambo" is largely faithful to the tale (aside from the absence of the father Black Jumbo and the crude racial gags). Then there's Walter Lantz' "Scrub Me Mama With a Boogie Beat (1941)." This is jaw-dropping and must be seen to be believed as every crude stereotype in the book is trotted out and the Black characters (aside from the light-skinned female booty-swinging jezebels) are drawn to resemble monkeys more than humans. Hard to believe that the man who brought us Woody Woodpecker brought us this monstrosity. At least "Coal Black and De Sebben Drarfs," (perhaps the most racist cartton of all time) is not included.
Like I said, it's entertaining at best and interesting even at it's worst. Certainly worth a look.

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment
Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment
DVD ~ John F. Kennedy
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 81.73
7 used & new from CDN$ 40.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for historians and Kennedy buffs, June 30 2004
This is a great look at the tension surrounding the integration of the University of Alabama in 1963. Basically, JFK & RFK face off against George Corley Wallace, the "gubnuh" (as Lynyrd Skynyrd puts it) who tries to gain browine points from his followers for keeping it segregated. Interestingly, the film shows each protagnist behind the politics. Wallace is shown saying goodbye to his children AND his Black maid (one wonders what goes through her mind as Wallace makes his infamous stand) and the Kennedy Bros. gently try to keep their own children form palying in their office. You also see some moments with James Hood and Vivian Malone, the Black studetns about to integrate the school. Both seem amazingly relaxed and Hood jokes about becoming governor of Alabama upon graduating (ironically, Hood DID invite Wallace to his graduation and Wallace did attend, although that's not in this film).
Overall, it's a good "you are there" type of film that history buffs would enjoy and that I would recommend for history teachers to use in classrooms.

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