Moviedrome Mondays: Gothic (1986) and The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

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This Moviedrome Monday entry is yet another double bill – this one features two films involving period settings.

Gothic (1986)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing flamboyant master filmmaker Ken Russell’s 1986 period horror item Gothic, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 11, 1993 (read here). Even with Cox’s positive reaction to the film, I have a feeling that I love Gothic more than he does. Though Cox does find fault with Thomas Dolby’s soundtrack, I was personally cool with it. Directed by Ken Russell, this fictionalized take on the origin of 19th-century writer Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein is typically (and I mean that as a compliment) idiosyncratic in every way possible. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Ken Russell films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

Once again I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing visionary director Vincent Ward’s idiosyncratic 1988 fantasy adventure The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 12, 1993 (read here). Having not seen this film in the longest time, I am afraid that I can’t agree or disagree with Cox’s comments on it.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Romance of a Horsethief (1971)

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Once again, this Moviedrome Monday entry is another double bill – this one consisting of two seemingly different films.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

I would like to give a special shout-out to Steve (click here to view his youtube channel), a loyal visitor to this site. He found Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to director Philip Kaufman’s 1978 sci-fi horror classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, that I will be posting a link to below. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 4, 1993 (read here). Since I can’t really do justice to Cox’s typically eloquent commentary, I will briefly sum up my thoughts on the film itself. Along with William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and John Carpenter’s The Thing, Kaufman’s 1978 remake simultaneously equals it’s original (director Don Siegel’s 1956 version in this case – also shown on Moviedrome), while also surpassing it in some ways. All in all, it stands out as one of (If not) the greatest remakes ever made. On an unrelated note, the reason I did not compare this film to the 1986 remake of The Fly is because that version (directed by David Cronenberg) is superior to the 1958 original in every single way possible. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Philip Kaufman films (read here).

Here is a link to Steve’s youtube video of Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Romance of a Horsethief (1971)

Since I could not find a youtube video link Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Abraham Polonsky’s 1971 adventure Romance of a Horsethief, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 5, 1993 (read here). Though it is available on youtube to watch (click here), it has been a long time since I saw it last. To put it in other words, I can’t really comment on it right now. Nevertheless, the cast does look impressive.

I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

My Favorite William Wyler Films

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* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

2.   Dodsworth (1936)

3.   Hell’s Heroes (1929)

4.   Counselor at Law (1933)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Heiress (1949)

2.   The Letter (1940)

3.   The Collector (1965)

4.   The Little Foxes (1941)

5.   Roman Holiday (1953)

6.   Jezebel (1938)

Moviedrome Mondays: Cry-Baby (1990) and Lenny (1974)

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This week’s Moviedrome Monday is a double bill consisting of two very different films set during the 1950’s.

Cry-Baby (1990)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to cult director John Waters 1990 teen comedy/musical/romance Cry-Baby. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 27, 1993 (read here). Not much to add here except that I agree with everything Cox says here. With the exceptions of Polyester and Hairspray, all of Waters more mainstream films are only good, as opposed to great or very good. In other words, I prefer his edgier work from the 1970’s. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite John Waters films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to Cry-Baby

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Lenny (1974)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to famed actor/choreographer/dancer/director Bob Fosse’s 1974 biographical drama Lenny. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 27, 1993 (read here). Though I agree with Cox to an extent regarding the technical aspects of Fosse’s films, I (rather unfortunately) do not share his enthusiasm for Fosse as a filmmaker. Notwithstanding Star 80 (for me his masterpiece), when it comes to Fosse’s films as a director, the sum of it’s parts is greater than the whole and Lenny is no exception.

Here is a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to Lenny

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s UK theatrical trailer – I can’t seem to find the US trailer for it.

Moviedrome Mondays: The Hill (1965)

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I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Sidney Lumet’s 1965 WWII prison drama The Hill. Readers can also read Cox intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 20, 1993 (read here). Though I agree with Cox regarding The Hill’s opening shot (he compares it to Touch of Evil), Oswald Morris cinematography, the cast and the execution of it’s drama, his problem with the film’s stage play origins (it became apparent for him near the end) was an obvious one for myself from the very start. In other words, The Hill feels too theatrical and not cinematic enough. Nevertheless, The Hill’s aforementioned virtues are so strong that it really does come off as a good (in my opinion), If not excellent (in Cox’s view) film.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Hill

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to The Hill

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Escape from Alcatraz (1979) and A Man Escaped (1956)

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This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double bill consisting of two cinematic prison escape classics.

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Don Siegel’s 1979 prison escape thriller Escape from Alcatraz, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 13, 1993 (read here). Despite not talking much about the film (though I am assuming that he loves it like I do), I really appreciated his in-depth discussion on the cult British television classic The Prisoner (1967-68) – I too am a huge fan of the aforementioned series. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Don Siegel films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

A Man Escaped (1956)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s masterful 1956 POW (prisoner of war) drama A Man Escaped. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 14, 1993 (read here). Not much to add here except that I agree with all of Cox’s sentiments on this undisputed masterpiece of French cinema. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Robert Bresson films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to A Man Escaped

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: House of Games (1987)

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Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to famed playwright David Mamet’s 1987 directorial debut House of Games, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 6, 1993 (read here). While I personally believe that David Mamet is a much better writer than director, I will happily admit that House of Games is an exception to this rule. Though it does come off looking stagy on occasions (after all, Mamet’s career is rooted in the theatre), his direction is (rather surprisingly) tightly executed here. Aside from the intriguing twists and turns that fuel this Neo-noir, we get great acting (especially from Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantegna) and last, but not least, electrifying dialogue courtesy of screenwriter Mamet (from a story he concocted with Jonathan Katz).

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Moviedrome Mondays: Darkman (1990)

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First off, Happy 2021 to all of my dear readers and let us hope it is a much better year than 2020 was. This new year begins with a new Moviedrome Monday entry covering the first episode of Moviedrome series 6. I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Sam Raimi’s 1990 superhero film Darkman. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was May 30, 1993 (read here). While Cox’s statement about racism in American films is far from false, I personally believe that he is blowing it out of proportion here regarding not only this film, but David Lynch’s Wild at Heart (from that same year) and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (from two years later). Darkman may not be a great film, but it is a ferociously entertaining one. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Sam Raimi films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Darkman

Here is another youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Darkman

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Here is a youtube video link to another theatrical trailer for the film

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All of My Readers

I just want to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021 🙂 Also, let us hope that 2021 is better than 2020 (i.e. Covid-19). As usual, look forward to more blog entries from me in the New Year 🙂

Now I would like to conclude this year with a youtube video link to Country singing legend Dolly Parton’s delightful 2020 rendition of A Holly Jolly Christmas (click here) 🙂