Comedy

The Plaza Suite Wedding War

Plaza Suite (1971) is a movie where you have to decide, early on, if you can accept its parameters. The film, based on the successful Neil Simon Broadway play, is an omnibus of sorts, comprised of three one-act plays about three successive couples who rent suite 719 in New York’s Plaza Hotel. The original Broadway… Continue reading The Plaza Suite Wedding War

Comedy · Drama

The Seditious Rules of the Game

The most uncomfortable films are those that denounce Society’s questionable choices. These films say I know what you’re doing, and they’re not intended to make audiences feel good about themselves. One such film is La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game), released in France in the summer of 1939. Director Jean Renoir shows us the world… Continue reading The Seditious Rules of the Game

Comedy

Why Early Silent Films are Meant for YouTube (or Vice Versa)

We (as in, yours truly) strive to be a Productive Member of Society. We volunteer and recycle, and we try not to block the aisle in the grocery store. But we do have some unproductive habits, such as being Greatly Distracted by short videos on YouTube. We’re powerless against these things! A bulldozer runs over… Continue reading Why Early Silent Films are Meant for YouTube (or Vice Versa)

Comedy · Musical

The Big-Screen Success of a Broadway Flop

The 1935 Broadway comedy, Sweet Mystery of Life, closed after 11 performances. You’d think this play was ideally suited to Depression-era audiences: Greedy associates of a hypochondriac businessman convince him to purchase a $5 million life insurance policy, naming them as beneficiaries. Then they try to cause the businessman’s demise by encouraging him to indulge… Continue reading The Big-Screen Success of a Broadway Flop

Comedy · Musical

A Superficial Hollywood Musical? Say it Ain’t So!

You might as well know. We (as in, yours truly) are a sucker for Technicolor comedies about New York City. We can’t help it. We love a bright, busy city full of smart, witty people, a place where Dreams Come True. For example, look at the 1949 confection, On the Town. Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin… Continue reading A Superficial Hollywood Musical? Say it Ain’t So!

Comedy

Bugs Bunny and the Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator

Well, here’s a surprise. Turns out we earthlings owe our planetary survival to Bugs Bunny. You likely didn’t expect that, and we didn’t either. You can see the whole ordeal unfold in the Looney Tunes short, Haredevil Hare (1948). It begins, as ordeals generally do, on a bright, sunny day. Scientists drag a reluctant Bugs… Continue reading Bugs Bunny and the Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator

Comedy

Doris Day: The Most Glamorous Curmudgeon in NYC

Once upon a time, there was an inconvenient telephone arrangement called the “party line”. Never heard of it? Here’s a description from Mental Floss: A party line was a local telephone loop circuit that was shared by more than one subscriber. There was no privacy on a party line…anyone on your party line could pick up… Continue reading Doris Day: The Most Glamorous Curmudgeon in NYC

Comedy · Mystery

Michael Caine: Outsmarting Your Opponent to Death

Sometimes nothing is more tedious than a person who will go to Any Lengths to prove a point. There’s no getting around it with these folks; the rotation of the earth is threatened if they can’t beat you about the head with their Point. Sometimes the Point is noble, such as fighting for safe drinking… Continue reading Michael Caine: Outsmarting Your Opponent to Death

Comedy · Science Fiction

The Best Time Travel Movie You’ve Never Seen

If you’re in the mood for a shrewd, off-the-wall flick, then you’ve come to the right place. Tomorrow I’ll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea (1977) is a Czechoslovakian* sci-fi/comedy about time travel and outsmarting the person you used to be. It’s also about time travel as a profitable tourist activity. Now, to travel… Continue reading The Best Time Travel Movie You’ve Never Seen