December Movies to Watch For

Here are a few films on Sundance, Fox Movies and TCM for the month of December that you might be interested in. Remember, films may be edited, time compressed, in the wrong aspect ratio, or have hard-coded Klingon subtitles. You know how it goes.   FOX MOVIE CHANNEL A Royal Scandal (1945) December 3, 7:40 AM (and again the 7th) Tallulah Bankhead as Catherine the Great and Charles Coburn as her wily chancellor. Tallu looks marvelous, Coburn is amazing and the supporting cast (Vincent Price, Anne Baxter) are terrific. Give this one a go.   The Black Swan (1942) December 10, 6:00 AM (again on the 20th) Tyrone Power as a pirate, swashbuckling and making the ladies swoon. With George Sanders and Laird Cregar.   Too Good To Be True (1988) December 12, 9:30 AM This is a made-for-TV remake of Leave Her to Heaven starring Loni Anderson and Patrick Duffy (and a very young Neil Patrick Harris). Now, I’m not averse to TV movies, but this was absolutely rotten. I saw it in high school and really, really wish I hadn’t. Anderson is in a bikini much of the time, flirting with one of the Baldwin brothers (Daniel), the hunky hired hand. Duffy is her novelist husband, and Harris is the boy, no longer the brother but the son of Duffy’s character. Duffy just kind of stands there until the script says “Yell about something,” which he does. And the change to the plot they made to make it … Continue reading

Elsewhere This Week: Anniversaries, Giveaways and Gunfights

Lots of stuff to point you to this week! First up is my article at Spectrum Culture on 3:10 to Yuma (1957 & 2007) for their Re-Make/Re-Model feature. The 1957 film is an absolute classic — I’d love to say “undisputed,” but nothing in the world of cinema is undisputed. It’s philosophical chaos! Madness reigns! Ahem. The two leads in each film give masterful performances, though for my money, Glenn Ford is the stand out. The remake, while flawed, is worthwhile. Let me put it this way: There are worse ways to make film than by getting a grew together and saying, “Okay, we’ll use John Ford location shots, Surtees camera angles and fill it with Peckinpah violence. Huh? Whaddya think?” I’m pretty excited about this article, so please, check it out! *** Films From Beyond the Time Barrier is celebrating its second anniversary! Brian has a terrific celebratory post featuring a Diabolic Dual Personality Double Feature about everyone’s favorite dual-personality sociopath, Jekyll and Hyde. Go on over and wish Brian a happy second! Meanwhile, at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, Ivan is asking readers to help decide which serial he’s going to do next for Serial Saturdays! See, he is a normal human being, which is why in the time it’s taken me to finish Phantom Creeps, he’s done three serials, maybe four, plus wallpapered the hallway and dug up a few old stumps in the back yard. Braggart. But he’s also giving away VCI’s new box set release Dick … Continue reading

The Phantom Creeps #11: “I Wish I Hadn’t Let That Guy Get Away.”

After two months of accidental hiatus, we’re back on track to finishing the greatest artistic achievement known to mankind: The Phantom Creeps (1939). Our story thus far: Dr. Crazypants Evildude Zorka (Bela Lugosi) has harnessed the awesome power of a meteorite harvested from the depths of the 1936 film The Invisible Ray, and plans on using elements from the meteorite to conquer the world. With this element he invents six-legged fuzzy fake spiders that blow up under certain complicated and silly conditions, the enormous and sexually attractive robot known as The Iron Man, and a device that turns him invisible — that is, into The Phantom, who then Creeps around doing things. The Feds are after him, mostly G-Man Bob (Robert West) and his unkillable but confused sidekick Jim Daly, played by SBBN hero Regis Toomey. SBBN calls him Toomster, Reeg and various other pet names, because SBBN loves Regis Toomey, and also makes it a policy to be very, very nice to immortals who are prone to sulking and naps. Edwin Stanley plays Dr. Mallory, a scientist who is supposed to be helping the Feds but pretty much does the exact opposite. Plucky girl reporter Jean Drew (Dorothy Arnold) tags along with the Feds, while spies — incredibly stupid spies — try to get the meteor for themselves. The spy leader Jarvis (Edward Van Sloan, looking as much like “Gov” from Blazing Saddles as possible without actually being Mel Brooks) is mostly ineffective, but he’s supposed to be clever … Continue reading

Happy Carb Hangover Day!

At this moment, the clock has just ticked off 7:15 AM, and it is my understanding most of you are already awake, shopping for whatnots along with approximately 19 million others also shopping for the same whatnots at low, low prices. Frankly, this baffles me, because one of the best things about the internet is a little thing I like to call online shopping, and after a long day of gorging on carbs and poultry, I can’t imagine getting up early feels like the right thing to do. Meanwhile, El Brendel is still trying to get Thanksgiving dinner started.   Monty Hawes of All Good Things was kind enough to interview me for his Be My Guest feature this month, and the interview has just gone live. Read it here! You’ll learn who I got all my worst social habits from, the first 3D movie I ever (partially) saw, and I also reveal some especially embarrassing things which you can lord over me for years to come. Big thanks to Monty for asking me to join in! I spend most of my time here on SBBN apologizing for not being here on SBBN, which is what I’m doing now. The last couple of months have been chaos: Vacation -> Unemployment -> Deadlines -> Virus -> Broken Computer -> More Deadlines -> Another Virus. While the deadlines will continue as there are quite a few awesome year-end features going on at Spectrum Culture, I hope the rest has resolved enough that … Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Marie!

Marie Prevost Born November 8, 1896

(A Few) November Movies to Watch For

As you know (because I won’t shut up about it) my computer died, so I didn’t have time to do a proper schedule post, but while I’m sneaking a few minutes on my husband’s computer — and he has every single option and preference set incorrectly, by the way, and no that’s not opinion but solid scientific fact — I thought I’d list a few highlights from TCM this month. Keep in mind that I’ve noticed TCM shows quite a few films in pan and scan rather than their proper aspect ratio, especially for Underground. Also, between the Novel To Film nights, The Essentials and Entertainment Weekly’s “All Time Greatest Movies,” there are a lot of the basics, at least in terms of classic films. You might want to check out the full schedule, and on days when you have something important to do, avoid TCM because it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen Jezebel, once it starts you will be there ’til the finish. *** All times Eastern. Infernal Affairs (2002) — 1:30 AM November 1 (early the 2nd) Tony Leung and Andy Lau in a Hong Kong thriller about an investigator going deep into the underworld to uncover the crooked cop in the department. Dai-bosatsu toge (1966) — 3:45 AM November 2 (early the 3rd) Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune in a Samurai epic about the internal battle between good and evil. The Story of Temple Drake (1933) — 12:45 AM November 5 Another chance to get … Continue reading