Horse Sense: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2021 Edition, Vol. 6 Hands

horsesensegifHORSE SENSE: CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, MAY 2021 EDITION, VOL. 6 HANDS

     If the current pandemic teaches us anything (a supposition which for reasons only a scientific investigation the size of the Manhattan Project might begin to unravel why any enlightenment is foreign to the intellectually and morally bereft elected Beltway political cadre of clowns), it is that whatever assumptions we might have attributed as to the basic worthlessness of a certain two-legged species (identified though now legislatively censored pronoun designations), they are, in reality, far more dire than previously suspected. However dour this realization may have upon initial consideration, further meditation lends itself to a rather optimistic alternative point of view and that is in acquiescence tohorsesensegif2 a  comforting surrender to the fact that those post-apocalyptic movie scenarios involving cities suddenly absent of bustling, elbowing, noisome crowds, obliviously rude children and their moronic parents who insist on jamming a wide-load stroller onto a working escalator only to create greater traffic tie-ups than downtown Tokyo at rush hour, are an unconscious and prescient example of cultural wish fulfillment in which the entirety of a miserably unsocial and surly populace is relegated to those phantasmagorical states of limbos so embraced by those same grim science fiction films. Surely, the past year has proven that the company of  the four-footed make for far more substantial and loyal companions than anything which both walks erect and is equipped with the opposable thumbs necessary for interminable selfie scanning on smart phones. Which brings us to this month’s edition of America’ most trusted mental laxative, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those diligent purveyors of SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition we turn our attention to the most noble creatures to ever suffer through the humiliation of forced human interaction. We are, of course, referring to the valiant horse whose positively supernal resistance to throwing their rider into the nearest bottomless chasm is proof positive of an incalculable tolerance toward dumb creatures far exceeding that of even the most decorated Saint. The following twenty five images depict the horse in all of their patient nobility as seen on the motion picture screen. Your task is to identify the films from which the images are sourced and report said result to our CSR offices conveniently located in an undisclosed underground bunker somewhere in the Western Hemisphere. The first to correctly identify all twenty five images will receive the splendid (and nourishing) CSR Culture Shock Award, suitable for marking the pathway for marauding armies of red ants. Good luck.

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Posted in Africa, art house cinema, biography, books, Drive-In Movies, Movies, photography, Romance, westerns, women, writing | 3 Comments

Without a Clue: “The Stone Killer” (1973)

stonekiller5          “The Stone Killer”  (1973)

     Discontent to assure audiences of a visceral thrill ride by the mere mention in the opening credits of Michael Winner assuming the directorial antics, “The Stone Killer” begins with a scene showing Charles Bronson’s tough guy police detective casually tossing his hat into the cruiser, climbing a staircase under gunfire and blasting the armed perp on a fire escape, just to let you know that he and thestonekillerINS film mean to waste no time in getting down to dirty (Harry) business.

     That this opening incident is entirely unrelated to anything within the rest of the picture seems to have not occurred to anyone intimately involved in the production, which may explain some of the other, more critical oversights: for instance, that the plot makes little to no sense or that every character is conceived and portrayed as such broad archetypal stereotypes that a cataract-afflicted amateur with no law enforcement experience could spot the bad guys from ten blocks away without the use of spectacles. Paul Koslo’s shockingly coiffed killer is a Broadway neon sign screaming “PSYCHO LOON”, a fact that fails to dissuade Bronson’s detective arresting and manhandling all of the wrong people until he clumsily bungles the simple arrest of the genuine perpetrator, leading to a spectacularly destructive chase sequence in which the safety of the citizens of Los Angeles seems less important than Bronson’s Lou Torrey engaging in an act of behavioral overreach which is suggested (only momentarily and then immediately forgotten) as a hint of a deeper psychological rage born of his intolerance for the criminal element. 

    Source of all of the police procedural fuss is a plot in which Sicilian Mafia bigwig Al Vescari (Martin Balsam, affecting the most cartoonish Italian accent since the days of Lucy Ricardo stomping in the wine vats of Parma) plans the unexplainably delayed (42 years) revenge for “The Night of Sicilian Vespers”, a massacre Mafioso Dons by rival career climbers. Vescari’s plan involves the use of veteran soldiers outside of  “the organization”, know under the designation of “stone killer”.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nights-at-the-aspen-hill-cinema/

Posted in books, Charles Bronson, crime, Drive-In Movies, Movies, Mystery, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Strange Bedfellows: “Public Affairs” (1983)

 

     “Public Affairs”  (1983)

     Henri Pachard’s “Public Affairs” (which he also co-scripted) would have you believe that politics is no deeper than a lowbrow humor which seems suspiciously lifted using the frivolous filter of vague remembrance of the sound truck campaign pronouncements from Robert Altman’spublicaffairsOS “Nashville”, If unambitious homage can be considered a form of flattery it might have proven to be a usable defense in any legal claims the makers of the earlier film might have made with an accusation of counterfeiting by way of slanderous anti-intellectualism, but it doesn’t excuse nor make “Public Affairs” a more elevated enterprise.

     The film follows the final days of Congressman Nicholas Stern (Paul Thomas) who has mounted a Senatorial campaign heavily tilted towards a fervent anti-smut agenda. Given the nature of the film, it is also unsurprising that Stern is an unrepentant hypocrite, a chronic womanizer whose prodigious appetite for sexual unions in which his pleasure seems increased by the degrading of his female partners. Suspicious of Stern’s true character is television reporter Elvira Lawrence (Annette Haven) who employs what is exampled  (without a trace of irony) as the usual method of extracting investigative information from a target’s associate: initiating a torridly intimate affair.

    Being that the focus of the film is indulgent in extended scenes of hardcore carnality of every stripe, most without relevance to the thinly conceived plot, the chosen theme of the critical moral political posturing poses a problematic mocking of the very adult sex industry from which it is sourced. Since Pachard and co-scenarist Joyce Snyder’s failurepublicaffairs12gif to reconcile their willingness to present Stern’s anti-smut message as a positive ideal subject to corrupt betrayal-  a message dramatized as embraced with popular support  -while taking great pains to enjoy the exposure of the phony moralist (and thus, ridicule his message) creates an insoluble dichotomy from which the film never retrieves its bearings. If the script presented its characters’ motivations with a more serious deliberation, the corruption of self-interest in the face of public interest (it was a powerful subtext of Alan J. Pakula’s “All the President’s Men”) might have yielded a fertile ground for social commentary. Alternately, a strictly comedic approach might be fruitful were it to pointedly illustrate the rich arena of political folly. Unfortunately, Pachard and Co. seem content with capricious follow-throughs on its potentially provocative thematic conception. That the current product satisfies neither more substantial form of dramaturgy is characteristic of far too many “adult” films which all too easily concede to merely stacking the number of graphic couplings as an expression evolutionary provocation rather than any attempt to elicit a meaningful symbiotic sophistication of content between the elements of the mainstream and the pornographic.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/sexual-politics-in-the-cinema//
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Posted in Annette Haven, comedy, erotica, grindhouse, Movies, politics, sex, Sex in Cinema, women, writing | 1 Comment

Isn’t Running a Sign You’re Up to No-Good?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Apr. 2021 Edition, Vol. 26.2

marathon12Isn’t Running a Sign You’re Up to No-Good?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Apr. 2021 Edition, Vol. 26.2

     With this year’s upcoming cancelled running of the Boston Marathon, there is little reason for the annual Patriot’s Day holiday save for another unexplained day of state government workers not showing up for another day in which they don’t perform their jobs anyway, so… (Ask anyone on the a Boston street the reason for the holiday and you’re likely to get a vacant stare…. then again the same would probably apply with a similar Back Bay inquiry about Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day and Labor Day, so… ) Nevertheless, the former members of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (ostracized for their painfully stubborn resistance to the corruption that was expected of all within the agency) marathongifcomprising invaluable editorial assistance for the CSR home team are working their overtime magic to ensure that no holiday, observed or otherwise will compromise this month’s expected laxity of post scheduling. In the meantime, since we mentioned the Boston Marathon and are desperate to find a theme unconnected to the Muppet currently occupying a certain bleached D.C. residence (talk about yet another federal property which might usefully imprison its tenant with the same razor wire separating good citizens from the Feral Jackals on the Hill), we will proceed with a tenuous thematic attribution in this month’s edition of America’s favorite cerebral mind-melt, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those pioneer spirits who bravely distribute America’s favorite breakfast candy, SKITTLES, throughout Obama’s 57 states. (Obviously mistaking the Republic for a jar of sweet relish. A mistake anyone could have made.) In this edition, we present the humble and traffic obstructing runner as presented in the cinema. Your task is to identify the following twenty five films represented in the images and relay these sparks of wisdom to the CSR Headquarters. The first to do so will receive the invaluable CSR Culture Shock Award, a medicinal totem repellent to government rodents named Fauci. Good luck.

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Posted in art house cinema, biography, books, Boston, British films, crime, Drive-In Movies, grindhouse, Movies, Mystery, politics, women, writing | 4 Comments

All Creatures Great and Small: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, March 2021 Edition, Vol. 46XXL

giants3All Creatures Great and Small:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, March 2021 Edition, Vol. 46XXL

     With the arrival of a theatrical film award season celebrating the achievements of a year completely invisible of theatrical entertainment, it has become more evident than ever before that the continuous sessions of gowned and tuxedoed inebriated trophy grabbing by the Hollywood elites has become a bold symbol of a cadre of increasingly uncreative “artists” so far removed from the reality of the experience of the average person that it explains the current detachment of the mainstream entertainment industry’s gratuitous reveling in vacuous fantasy while rejecting reflections of the human condition as pitiable grumblings of a great unwashed working class. In the uninspired minds of Hollywood royalty, they are the watchdog giantsgiantsgif of entitlement lording over the homunculi forming the rest of an ignorant and undeserving society. With this in mind, we bring you the latest installment in what we’re afraid is that continuous series of monthly irritations popularly known as the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you with admirable stubbornness by those happy folk who peddle SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition, we present twenty five examples of Hollywood’s less offensive depictions of the giant and the infinitesimal. Your task is to identify the twenty five films and relay to us their true identity. As a result of such dedicated effort, the first to correctly identify every image will receive the much exalted though misunderstood CSR Culture Shock Award, essential in the successful practice of black magic and explaining the continued popularity of the McRib sandwich. Good luck.

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Posted in animation, Bert I. Gordon, books, Boston, Drive-In Movies, horror, kaiju, Movies, Pre-Code Movies, science fiction, silent movies, writing | 4 Comments

In the Realm of the Insensible: “Jade” (1995)

jade0            “Jade”  (1995)

   While convolution in a murder mystery is nothing new, a film usually pays dividends if, in the end, a semblance of coherence can be deciphered from even the most labyrinthine of evidentiary bread crumbsjadeOS trails. (The exception of the eternally baffling Howard Hawks production of “The Big Sleep” whose exclusion to the rule has more to do with the entertaining distractions of Hollywood star power and breezy stylishness, along with a critical Get Out of Jail Free card for virtually any film from a filmmaker included in the Auteurist Pantheon.) 

    In “Jade”, William Friedkin seems to delight in his camera gliding over the ornate mise-en-scene with a fetishistic compulsiveness of a impassioned lovers caressing (if the point of this tactile stroking is lost, the orgasmic crashes of James Horner’s overheated scoring may yet result in the audience absently reaching for a cigarette). It is a type of hyper-eroticized teasing that conveys a particularly disreputable surrender to the lurid when a carved banister is meant to convey all of the seductive properties of a high society escort. Yet for all of its labor intensive attempts at artfully steamy sexiness, “Jade” fails to conjure the merest seismic flutter on the sensuality  meter, a crippling enough failed standard for what has been euphemistically (if not optimistically, according to the whims of studio marketers) referred to as an “erotic thriller”, but less impactful when taking into consideration that absolutely nothing which transpires in the rest of the film makes a bit of sense.

 To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/multiplex-movies/

Posted in crime, erotica, Movies, Mystery, sex, William Friedkin, writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Jungle Daze: “Trader Horn” (1973)

traderhorn6“TRADER HORN”  (1973)

    The painfully optimistic marketing material announces that this remake of the 1931 African adventure “Trader Horn” is in the grand tradition of “King Solomon’s Mines” and “Mogambo”. For once we are presented with an example of long-sought after honesty in Hollywood advertising, thougtraderhornOSh one might be careful as for what one wishes. If this version  summons less a sensation of nostalgia than one of contrived revisitation, it is most assuredly due to the bulk of this “new” version being cobbled together with such an alarming quantity of previously used stock footage from those aforementioned films (among others), that it may be a legitimate cause for a thorough Treasury audit into the Aubrey-era accounting books at MGM.

   “Trader Horn” is the type of sensationalized literary property to which the studios of the so-called Golden Age were particular drawn; especially with those properties promising exotic locales (even if cleverly faked in studio) brimming with intrigue. However, even the most slavishly decorous settings could not ignite a spark in such a colorless romantic pairing as the sullen Jean Sorel accompanied by an alarmingly antiseptic Anne Heywood with whom we are stranded on a meager journey through what appears to be the studio’s Culver City backlot. So crisply arranged are the newly lensed safari locations, one can practically see the lawnmower marks on the veldt.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/now-playing-at-the-mercado-cinema/

Posted in Africa, biography, books, movie remakes, Movies, Rod Taylor, Romance, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Lurching: “The Addams Family” (2019)

THE ADDAMS FAMILY “The Addams Family”  (2019)

    If anyone is sincere in capturing the delicious, wickedly funny malevolence of the original Charles Addams cartoons, it would seem prudent to preserve the monochromatic design of the drawings. The new animated “The AddamsaddamsfamilyOS Family”, while returning to the original design of the characters specific to the printed cartoons (impossible to duplicate with exactitude in live action), immerses Addams’ characters in a world of color, with the artist’s macabrely expressive ink washes replaced with a palette that is often distractingly ugly at best, but too often simply murky. If that were the only problem. 

     The film is also an unfortunate continuation of Hollywood’s insistence on shuffling aside genuine voice talent for what passes for an engagement of those granted the unimpressive status of celebrity. Thus, instead of voice work which will delight the ear, not to mention enhance their respective characters, we have the vocal readings of a blandness comparable to those of digital voice assistants: technically serviceable but devoid of  any engaging spark of individuality (As Morticia, Charlize Theron’s work is especially wan). These colorless vocal performances accompany the continued plasticized nature of pixelated animation that has become the coma inducing standard of  assembly line production.

  To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/for-kids-of-all-ages/

Posted in animation, cartoons, comedy, humor, movie reviews, Movies, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Noir!: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2021 Edition, Vol. .38

noir25Noir!: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2021 Edition, Vol. .38

     Being that February is Black History Month and the crew at CSR are noted for their sensitivity to the burning issues of the day, it was decided during the last staff meeting that to designate this month’s edition as a celebration of Noir was a close enough thematic fit to make a glancing acknowledgement of a typically empty calendar celebration while keeping us at arm’s length in becoming embroiled in any of the raucous political boiling points of the day. (Who needs more obscene postage due telegrams from a certain high spirited former barmaid now working behind ironically appropriate razor wire in our fair nation’s capital?) Also, more importantly, it was in keeping with our titling our monthly brain teasers with a consistent level of social noirgif2impudence, and we are lovers of many things, but none more highly prized than impudent condescension. And so without further-  as the great Bard of Avon would put it  -ado, we present this month’s edition of America’s favorite cerebral headsneeze, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those fascinating folk who peddle us our daily supply of SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition, we celebrate, acknowledge and continue to generate considerably visual strain over the beloved cinematic genre of the Film Noir, happily characterized as that slimy cinematic underworld of guys with gats, dames with dangerous curves and enough shadow to make Elizabeth Taylor’s eye make-up livid with envy. Each of the following twenty five images is from a Film Noir production. Your task is to solve the mystery of the true identity of each of the twenty five films illustrated, and then to bring your findings back here to CSR’s Mr. Big. The first to complete the dirty deed will get a payoff of one genuine copy of the CSR Culture Shock Award: more valuable than a sack of brass rings and a sweeter Valentine’s offering than a kisser full of grapefruit. Good luck.

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Posted in blogs, books, crime, Drive-In Movies, film noir, Movies, Mystery, women, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

Thundering Cliff Notes: “Tombstone” (1993)

tombstone1         “Tombstone”  (1993)

     In George Stevens’ film “Shane”, when excitable homesteader Frank Torrey (Elisha Cook Jr.) is gunned down by the enigmatic hired killer Jack Wilson (Jack Palance), the director deliberatelytombstoneOS amplified the volume of the shot to emphasize the violence inherent in a death by gunfire. By using a subtle but simple sensorial shock technique, Stevens was able to momentarily stir the audience from their complacency as passive spectators to make the lethal act more disquieting and thus invest the likelihood of similar consequences for other innocents with an intensified emotional immediacy.

     In “Tombstone”, director George P. Cosmatos takes a similar but more extreme approach, by continually pummels the viewer with seismic storms of thundering hooves and explosive gunplay, almost continually abetted by Bruce Broughton’s muscular scoring which sings out with the dramatic import of what has or is about to occur with all of the subtlety of a claxon horn. Whether this approach is meant to immerse the viewer in the intensity of the violent confrontations, the results continue the fascinating confusion modern cinema has in conflating brute intensity with excitement. While it is possible to find immersion with the film’s reckless momentum, it is a strenuous form of pleasure. There is no question that one may emerge with the feeling of having been physically worked over by the film’s aural assault alone.

   “Tombstone” doesn’t tread any particularly new territory that hasn’t already been steeply embellished by previous versions of the story, though in relating the familiar story of Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell, slightly inconsistent but with genuine highs), his brothers and Doc Holliday (an astonishing career performance by Val Kilmer) against Ike Clantontombstone2 (an unrecognizable Stephen Lang) and the Cowboys, the carnage has been elevated to an absurdist level. One would have to reach back to Roger Corman’s “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” to find a find a movie comparable in its willingness to  undercut the visceral potency of its own historical highlight merely by a miscalculation of the overabundant quantity of bloodletting featured throughout the entirety of the film, producing a literal numbing of the senses from overstimulation.

 To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/multiplex-movies/

Posted in biography, History, Movies, westerns, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Riding Off Into the Rising Sunset: “Red Sun” (1971)

redsun0         “Red Sun”  (1971)

    With the emergence of the Spaghetti Western, the appearance of ethnically incongruent casts became more commonplace, especially in light of the Italian film industry’sredsunOS habit of shooting films MOS. The capability of producers for international casts assembled to expand the range of a popular genre production’s global range of marketability (and in doing so, built on the blueprint initiated by the already emergent Italian horror and peplum films) was advanced by the ease with which any linguistical incongruity of a performance soundtrack was immediately correctable with the substitution of a port-dubbing track of any national origin. (That the films, generally situated in the American West, were nonetheless populated by extras seemingly comprised of colorfully grizzled natives from the hills surrounding Almeria, Spain is one of the irreverent idiosyncrasies of the genre when their every utterance emerges with a distinctively flat Midwestern accent.) However, the extension of multinational castings often resulted in odd pairings for which there seemed to be little rational explanation save for the extension of international box-office magnetism. The great Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai featured formidably as the primary antagonist in 1968’s “Oggi a me… domani a te!” though his presence was clearly meant for its enhancement of regional box-office potential than in any meaningful cultural representation in the context of the film. 

     In Terence Young’s “Red Sun” East again meets the old West with the able participation of  a goodly representation of half of the NATO nations and the usual compliment of Almerian local color. Though unlike many multinational European westerns, in this film there has been some level of effort, labored as it may be, to naturally integrate the international seasoning of the casting.

 To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nights-at-the-wheaton-plaza-playhouse/ 

Posted in Movies, Sam Peckinpah, westerns, writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Lucky 2021: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Jan. 2021 Edition, Vol. 0-0

twentyone11Lucky 2021: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Jan. 2021 Edition, Vol. 0-0

     Thank goodness for the end of 2020. Not that we have anything to complain about here at the offices of CSR, but we’re so tired of listening to everyone else. However, with the pioneer spirit that fought two World Wars, forged a country from a wilderness and survived one of TCM’s innumerable marketing campaigns of swill (as if the assertion that Cabernet Au “Duck Soup” is a varietal of genuine enological interest weren’t enough) which proffered Elizabeth Taylor not as The Bleating Vulgar Spawn of Excessive Alcohol and Make-Up Application but as a Star of the Month, we bring you sunsetblvdgif1this month’s edition of the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you as always by SKITTLES, America’s only breakfast candy that hasn’t been poisoned by a twelve part reversal of opinion by Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading candidate (attention TIME Magazine!) for Person More Likely to Flip Than Simone Biles on a Balance Beam. In this edition we look forward to more of the same in ’21 and therefore segue that bold pessimism (Is this your first visit to Earth or what?) into the quite cleverly unrelated subject of movies that feature gambling with cards. Each of the following 25 images is sourced from a motion picture in which cigars, beer and potato chips are happily promoted as the essential three nutritional food groups indigenous to the strenuous recreation of flipping cards for fun and profit. Your task, as always, is to identify all twenty five films and report your findings to the proper authorities (that’s us, Butch), where after careful scrutiny we will tabulate the findings (allowing for the proper period of tabulation hanky-panky) and discover the first to calculate the correct responses of all featured films. The first to do so will receive the coveted CSR Culture Shock Award, happily useful in this edition as a drink coaster. Good luck.

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Posted in biography, blogs, books, comedy, Drive-In Movies, Movies, Puzzles, Rosalba Neri, theater, writing | 2 Comments

Getting Crabs: “Attack of the Crab Monsters” (1957)

attackofthecrabmonsters4

       “Attack of the Crab Monsters”  (1957)

    One of the immediate presumptions one can make when noting the presence of genre regular Russell Johnson in Roger Corman’s “Attack of the Crab Monsters” is that, as inattackofthecrabmonstersOS most of his other unlucky SF appearances, he will not survive to the closing credits.

    It’s this type of predictability which plagues the 1950s atomic age monster film, so numerous yet comfortable in adhering to a rather narrow checklist of formula tropes. Compound the tiresome familiarity with the glaring shortcuts inherent in no-budget filmmaking and the audience is at the mercy any cleverness which may be scraped together by necessity through the desperation created by the film’s independent creators lack of resources readily available to even the most shameless story deficient major studio potboiler which may shamelessly disguise storytelling deficiencies through a preponderance of cosmetic distractions with an increased focus on production values, star power, gaudy color photography or overly ripe symphonic scoring.

    In the case of “Attack of the Crab Monsters”, the attractions are limited to a worrisome pair of gigantic papier mâché crustaceans complete with trash bag eyelids over their roughly painted peepers. Unfortunately, with the exception of the aforementioned short-lived Russell, the cast is no more interesting than the rocks which endlessly cascade about their heads, nor is what they are compelled to say in the uncharacteristically bland dialogue providedattackofthecrabmonsters3 by Charles B. Griffith. However, despite the virtual absence of characters whose survival would generate more audience interest than finding a comfortable theater armrest, the film is corpulent with a literal smorgasbord of screwball conceptions which when shamelessly cemented together result in an uncomfortable quilting of irrationally explained story elements requiring a constant running commentative road map of arcane scientific gibberish which passes for conversation but merely (and vainly) attempts to explain to the audience just what the hell is going on. It’s the kind of film where a scientist profoundly announces his discovery of an anomaly of atomic structure while using only a hobby shop microscope.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/poverty-row/

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, Movies, Roger Corman, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Black and White in Color: “In the Heat of the Night” (1967)


    
“In the Heat of the Night”  (1967)

    With “In the Heat of the Night” director Norman Jewison breaches the unconscionable commercial wall of denial concerning racial injustice by way of silence (born entirely of an industry cowardice more concerned with box-office acceptability within the more hotbed states than any artistic or moral considerations) from a film industry self-congratulatory in its touting of such offenses as Stanley Kramer’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, a film purporting a gentle jab at guilty white liberalism while offering the depraved observation that the most accomplished black man in the world is arguably unworthy of the dumbest white woman on the block.

   One evening in the sleepy town of Sparta, Mississippi, a body is discovered by patrolling police officer Sam Wood (Warren Oates). The ramifications of this homicide will prove to carry a weight of greater consequence to the police chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) that might be confined to an isolated criminal investigation as the victim turns out to be industrialist Phillip Colbert, to whom the town was counting on economic rejuvenation with the construction of a new factory. Wood spots a lone black man, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) in the railway station and immediately arrests him as the most likely convenient prime suspect, being that he appears to be a transient and, more significantly, one who is black. However, when Gillespie soon discovers Tibbs is a Philadelphia homicide detective, his initial  animus is colored by both a professional jealously and an ironic awareness that he is in desperate need of the detective’s very special investigative expertise.

    Finely constructed (Jewison’s films tend to be overlooked models of craftsmanship), impeccably acted to the smallest part and atmospherically scored by Quincy Jones, the greatest strength of “In the Heat of the Night” is ultimately in the unshowy incisiveness of intheheat6its screenplay by Sterling Silliphant, which improves  (with one glaring exception) upon John Ball’s simplistic, stereotyping debut Virgil Tibbs novel; wherein every white town resident is a virulent racist and Tibbs is portrayed as an almost ethereal symbol of purity and perfection. In the novel, every thought and action of the white characters is predicated with race as its only motivating factor, while Tibbs is a virtual saint whose solving of the case involves less of the acumen of the professional detective and more far-fetched prescience achieved through the purity of goodness. 

    Silliphant has wisely pared away the behavioral absolutes on both sides of the race fence, enhancing the narrative by smoothing out the more inflexibly jagged edges of most of the principles, thereby humanizing the story into a more palatable and credibleintheheat5 framework. This is significant as it places the representative burden of racism back onto how each individual reacts to an oppressive amoral social fabric rather than simply accounting for hatred being an indelible characteristic specific to a people of a particular regional location. Thus the central characters, as reimagined by Silliphant and Jewison, are granted the charity of a flexible humanity; no longer fixed into convenient, simplistic stereotypes solely defined by racial animus.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nites-at-the-shoppers-world-cinema/

Posted in black cinema, book reviews, books, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, racism, Reviews, Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Castle Redux: “Two on a Guillotine” (1965)

twoonaguiullotine         “Two on a Guillotine” (1965)

          Clearly taking direction from the horror films of William Castle and employing vividly evident inspiration from his 1959 “House on Haunted Hill”, William Conrad’stwoonaguillotineOS “Two on a Guillotine” is an example of attempting duplication of another’s success without attending to the original’s most glaringly problematic features.

     Attending the funeral of her magician father, Duke Duquesne (Cesar Romero), young Cassie (Connie Stevens), who has been estranged from her parents for twenty years, exhibits a sufficient amount of neurotic fragility along with promising curves to attract the attention of reporter Val Henderson (Dean Jones), whose interest seems nakedly leaning toward amour rather than pursuing a Pulitzer worthy piece of journalism. Cassie learns that she will inherit her father’s entire estate as long as she commits to occupying his house for a week, a codicil which guarantees the issuance of a series of unexplained (but nonetheless predictable) moans and cackles that promote the illusion of a haunted house, but are quickly revealed as the machinations of an overly developed sense of theatrics. The not-so-mysterious nature of the spook house novelties sheds a temporary light of suspicion on two loyal longtime employees of Duquesne, who profess a disinterest in their being ignored in the apportioning of the estate, but who stand to split the fortune on the occasion of  Connie failing to successfully carry out the will’s conditions.

     To read the complete review, click the following link to:    CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS: NITES AT THE BELLINGHAM DRIVE-IN | CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS (wordpress.com)

Posted in Drive-In Movies, Movies, Mystery, Romance, writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Heart of Darkness: “Justice League” (2017)

justiceleague4

BATTY: Despite Batman’s (Ben Affleck) insistence for the need for superhuman abilities to gain membership into the Justice League, no one questions that his most profound abilities seem to be the ability to grimace and speak in a remarkably low incomprehensible gravely voice. (A film with a trace of deserved irony might have Batman’s foes reacting to his guttural threats with “Speak up please. What did you say?”)

                “Justice League”  (2017)

     If “Justice League” proves anything it’s that any pretense of the inclusion of genuine human heart in the halting but expanding collection of high-powered missteps knownjusticeleagueOS as the DC Extended Universe is provided solely by the presence of Diane Lane as Superman’s adoptive  mom, Martha Kent.

     Alone in this cinema cycle of whose entire modus operandi is predicated on the presumed excitement surrounding operatic violence and a fervent argument promoting the basic irrelevance of humans without the advantage of supernal abilities or (in the case of Batman) resources, the figure of Martha Kent stands alone as a beacon of devotion unencumbered by any motivation save as the torchbearer for the purity of traditional maternal affection. (Kevin Costner provided a well-matched partner with his portrayal of spouse Jonathan Kent, but his early exit, though occasionally referenced, presence in the franchise contributes a philosophic but strained emotional reach.)

     The architects of this extended franchise were certainly aware of this in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” when they needlessly and sadistically exploited the fragility of this character in keeping with DC’s post-Frank Miller/911 era fascination with nihilism as entertainment rather than good old-fashioned adventure stories demarcating the forces of good from those of the reprehensible. One of the reasons for justiceleague1the failure of “B v S”, is its total rejection of the human factor. In the end, what is celebrated and what loss is mourned at the conclusion of that film are not the untold thousands who suffered as casualties of the crossfire between interplanetary interlopers, but of the singular death of a super-powered alien  who, for the better part of the film, has been treated with suspicion and something indistinguishable from animus. This last minute reversal of sentiment represents the surrender of the people of modern civilization to finally unite not in a harmonious brotherhood of global understanding, but as sheepish submissives alarmingly eager to fall subordinate to unquestioning preternatural idolatry.  

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/multiplex-movies/

Posted in comic books, fantasy, Movies | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “The Undertaker and his Pals” (1966)

undertakerandhispals2“Undertaker and His Pals, The”  (1966) A bizarre hybrid of a film which emerges as an extremely low-rent version of Harvey Kurtzman-like parody of the savage mock Southern Gothic sadism of Herschell Gordon Lewis. To boost the business of  the local undertaker, two proprietors of a greasy diner randomly kill (naturally curvaceous) women whose body parts are used in providing the ingredients for their daily specials. While films dealing in both serial carnage and cannibalism are surprisingly not infrequently found in the annals of schlockmeister cinema, the unwieldy combination of vicious (though amateurishly staged) murders and exceptionally broad attempts at humor is both distasteful and infuriating. While it is possible…

To read the complete review (if you must), click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandlers-trailers-short-bits-for-emerging-cinephiles-and-a-better-america/

Posted in comedy, Drive-In Movies, grindhouse cinema, horror, movie reviews, Movies | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Pacific Overtures: “PT 109” (1963)

pt1092               “PT 109”  (1963)

     Much can be determined from the character of a person by the substance of an autobiographical tome. In the case of “PT 109”, so much influence was exerted on thePT109OS making of the film by then-sitting President John F. Kennedy (under the assured “personal supervision” of White House bootlicker Jack Warner), that it is no wonder an interesting story has been waylaid for a peculiar brand of cinematic honorific in which the young lieutenant is incessantly seen heroically posed on the bridge while the scoring of David Buttolph and William Lava  provides enough celebratory brass to make John Philip Sousa cry foul.

     Covering the period between Kennedy’s arrival in the South Pacific and his assuming command of a post-shipwreck PT 59, the film makes claims for a high level of historical accuracy while suspiciously wading through the same menu offerings of wartime movie cliches (the derelict equipment that has to be polished on an impossibly short schedule for inspection, the colorful crewmates including a cook- mercifully not referred to here as “Cookie”  -giving  familiar if muted, the hardnosed commander who is a softy at heart), none of which reveals a hint at an individual of extraordinary character who merits a worshipful film portrait exclusive of a future ascendancy to national office. In fact, the film’s reveling in a depiction of the future president as something of a smartass cowboy whose reckless behavior is destructive to government property second only to the several Japanese air raids which predictably occur to help distract from the fact that, for the most part, very little of consequence is happening through most of the film.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nites-at-the-shoppers-world-cinema/

Posted in biography, books, Boston, History, Movies, war movies, World War II, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Dear Cinema Santa: 2020 Edition

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Dare we maintain an air of gleeful self-assurance while the rest of the world is engaged in attending the sold out festival of mopey whininess? You bet. May Santa bring you all a stocking full of expired gift cards and a Blu-ray box set labeled ‘The Art of Pauly Shore’.

                           

         Dear Cinema Santa: 2020 Edition

To crown this year of joviality and conviviality (we only eliminated four enemies all year, so we have a sizeable stockpile of quick drying cement if anyone’s interested) we  present our annual report of bitter dissatisfaction with the film world and what we would like to see as remedies before we really lose our cool and  are forced to resort to looking at troglodytic cave paintings as a remedy to our ennui. Santa pay attention!

To read the entire post, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/the-film-vault-index-of-reviewed-films/ho-ho-ho-happy-holidays-from-the-critical-establishment/

Posted in China, Christmas, cinema, Culture, holidays, Movies, theaters, writing | 1 Comment

‘Tis the Season of Excess: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2020 Edition, Vol. 3,000,000,000

greed0‘Tis the Season of Excess: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2020 Edition, Vol. 3,000,000,000

If anything might be guaranteed to emanate on a continuous basis from the deeply humanist and selfless communal mindset that is at the core of the American entertainment industry (most happily centralized, in the minds of the countless cattle who sup at the contaminated  formula bottle of popular culture, on The Shining Creative Landfill on the Hill known as greedgifHollywood), it is the depiction of greed and excess as a norm in the human experience. Add to this notion of monetary and proprietary mammon as the one true God deserving of genuflective consideration, the sibling favored recreational pastimes of gluttony and addiction and their associated antisocial vices. all of which collectively accounts for approximately ninety-six percent of your garden variety motion picture megaplex releases, and you have the makings of another opportunity for a session of our monthly cascade of sarcasm and socio-political nose-thumbing. With this in mind, and the fortuitous timeliness of St. Nick’s annual marathon session of domestic breaking and entering, we bring you the latest edition of America’s favorite mental hiccup, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you by those jolly union elves who wrap and package SKITTLES, America’s most popular placebo. In this edition, we focus on le grand cinema’s characters preoccupations with excess in all of it’s unsavory forms. Your task (“He tasks me,” said Kahn, and so do I. And (to paraphrase Vonnegut) so it goes…), as always, is to correctly identify the films from which all twenty five images are sourced. The first to do so will become a lifetime guardian of the mysterious (and possibly alien [though legally documented] in nature) CSR Culture Shock Award: the longest continuously awarded honorarium of the Visigoths. Good luck.

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Posted in art house cinema, biography, books, History, Italian cinema, Movies, photography, Romance, Santa Claus, silent movies, westerns, women, writing | 2 Comments

Five Characters in Search of a Crime Scene: “Madonna of the Desert” (1948)


madonnaofthedesert1
         “Madonna of the Desert”  (1948)

     The slightness of “Madonna of the Desert” might not be evident to those who have never seen a motion picture of any kind. However, those with even minimal exposure tomadonnaofthedesertOS the medium may be prone to experience a continuous sensation of what be most accurately described as a form of humdrum dramatic reincarnation.

    Though the film is ostensibly a crime drama, its screenplay is disproportionately indistinguishable from the manufactured patchwork of spritely though substantively vacuous banter (especially between the figurative femme fatale and her ‘mark’) typical of Golden Age Hollywood assembly line creativity, with exchanges tonally consistent in manner of charming insubstantiality which makes a conversation between two housewives over coffee as interchangeable as a murderous gangster outlining his latest scheme with his moll. The homogenized artificiality of these exchanges, more concerned with adhering to the moral formality advanced by the Production Code rather than more complex human exchanges led to the featuring of dialogue passing for a cleverly stylized form of communication, where every utterance is a droll bon mot or a polemic designed a pseudo-Freudian analysis of either introspection or a critical analysis of the narrative itself (predating the curious art form that was television soap opera writing, where every line of dialogue is a barely disguised plot synopsis).

     Nor does the dreary verisimilitude of everyday routine intrude upon this typical Studio System example of heightened representations of the commonplace, where selective actions are sufficiently strung together to give the illusion of expeditious purposefulness. No one ever washes a dish without this simple act becoming a portent of often incongruous narrative development. Yet, rather than enhancing the storytelling experience, this brand of authorial artifice encourages a formulaic blandness; one inmadonnaofthedeaert3 which the scenarios are preposterously ignorant of logic and populated by characters whose primary preoccupation is, inexplicably, in the avoidance of logical action. 

    And so it goes with “Madonna of the Desert”, whose plot is constructed around the most uncomplicated of premises: the attempt to steal a rare and valuable statue of a Madonna that has somehow become a family heirloom in the possession of a fruit farmer. It is a vaporous premise whose simplicity of conception might anticipate a brisk if unhurried melodramatic unfolding, but instead emerges as a brief though cluttered mélange of underworld shenanigans of such ridiculously unlikely convolution that in tying up all of its unharmonious elements, the film swerves to an uncharacteristic narrative road less traveled in the form of an abrupt cathartic intrusion of a spiritually transformative epiphany. Taken at face value, the narrative threads converge with a particularly awkward struggling of forced interjection of Production Code breast beating, resulting in an insoluble mixture of cornpone James M. Cain by way of Cardinal Spelling.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/matinees-at-the-bijoux/

Posted in crime, film noir, Movies, Reviews, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Family Ties: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2020 Edition, Vol. 2.4

familyties0Family Ties: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2020 Edition, Vol. 2.4

    Recently it was reported that America’s most prominent Chicken Little,  Dr, Anthony Fauci was informed by his family that due to the conditions of the pandemic, they would not be traveling to join him for this year’s Thanksgiving festivities. Predictably, within hours, Fauci announced a warning to the nation that any gathering of family around a table featuring turkey, giblet gravy and yams was tantamount to a death wish. Following such an obsessively fixated trail of imposing public policy from the jaws of private frustration, one hopes that the day never comes where the good doctor runs outfamilytiesgif of toothpaste, lest he devise a national mandate that everyone’s teeth be extracted for the sake of public health. So with these familial restrictions for the holidays in mind (which thankfully for the Clinton household is not inclusive of escorts, strippers and mistresses), we defy the laws of common insensibility and present this month’s edition of America’s favorite figurative mask against the literal intrusion of intellectual pandemonium, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by the New England distributors of SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition we present a celebration of that which has been the direct source of patients subject to entire lifetimes of billable pyshotherapy session hours: the family. Your task is to identify the twenty five films from which the following images have been sourced and to relay that information directly (answers delivered through Congressional whistleblowers will be disqualified) to the offices of CSR (that’s right here, lest this is all be too obscure). The first to complete this task with the correct information will receive the handcrafted and water resistant CSR Culture Shock Award, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Good luck.

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Posted in biography, black cinema, books, children, comedy, Drive-In Movies, History, Movies, Musicals, women | 3 Comments

Folly Du Jour: “Hand of Death” (1962)

handofdeath

        “Hand of Death”  (1962)

     In “Hand of Death”  poor John Agar stars as his latest incarnation of an actor impersonating a career scientist whose altruism is perverted with exponentially monstrous results as he operates with an alarmingly elevated level of negligence. After allhandofdeathOS what are the odds if a movie scientist casually waves off warnings that his experiments are dangerous that he will shortly succumb to the very horrific side effects which are the predictable result of incautious laboratory protocols?

     “Hand of Death” relies exclusively on the innate reliability of intellectual hubris to be sufficient catalyst for an otherwise apparently rational man to carelessly pour a container of a newly discovered toxic solution (a nerve agent of all things!) all over their extremities and then compound this offense of logic by mopping up the excess as if he were suddenly the subject in a paper towel absorbency commercial. The purpose of this total surrender of safety etiquette lies exclusively in the need to justify yet another example of Hollywood’s dim understanding of the purpose of the scientific community outside of providing a means to transform the quietest mixing of chemicals into a homicidal Hellzapoppin. But as Agar mutates from congenial lab hermit into a charcoal briquette stylishly accessorized  in a fedora and trench coat worthy of a sun-crisped Tor Johnson wandering in from a film noir set, it becomes apparent that his curious transformation, entirely avoidable or not, is predicated not on the demands of the story, but rather to account for the only audience hook to this otherwise tepid SF/horror afterthought. 

To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandler-swain-reviews-drive-in-cinema-2/

 

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, John Agar, movie reviews, Movies, science, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Poe in the Cinema: “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1953)

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

 

telltaleheart1953     Notoriously unlucky in the myriad of film translations of his work, Edgar Allan Poe finds an unlikely ally with the techniques of a minimalist animation style from U.P.A. Studios, a happy meeting of the literary and the graphic arts to produce one of the finest cinematic interpretations of the author.

     The U.P.A. style, which rejects the attempts at mimicking realism, championed by the Disney studio, allows for the advancement of a film to find a uniquely individual visual voice, produced with a stylized design specific to subject of the film. Employing a technique which came to be known as “limited” animation, eschewing the need for the quantity of individual painted cels necessary to recreate the fluidity of live action, the animators at U.P.A. were able to ingeniously use the mixture of vivid narration (void of the visuals, the soundtrack alone would make for satisfying radio drama) and…

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Make Light, Not War: “Getting Straight” (1970)

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

gettingstraight_elliotgould0       Imagine the panic in Hollywood studios in the late 1960’s, many already absorbed by corporations who had no more knowledge of the film business than a dairy cow has about producing Dulce de Leche, and those same businessmen following marketing studies and flow charts to indicate which way the audience of the commercial cinema marketplace was leaning; as if there were any alchemic algorithm to predict box-office success, the reality of which is amply demonstrated by the mountains of beleagered and discarded cinematic albatrosses left to twist in the proverbial winds of infamy. So, imagine this same congress of artistically inexperienced businessmen calculating the cultural sway which caused an entire industry to rush to produce films in the short-lived but hopefully lucrative rebellious youth fad, reflecting then-current anti-establishment values which would  be the very antithesis of the the deciding corporate mindset. Compounding studio concerns was that they…

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Petals and Thorns: “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960)

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

________________________________________________________________

0000littleshop2        “The Little Shop of Horrors” is a more broadly freewheeling horror-comedy than Roger Corman’s savagely on target beat counterculture satire “A Bucket of Blood”, a film with a far more ambitious agenda as it was satirizing a then contemporary cultural movement whereas, this minor opus concerning a pesky carnivorous plant is more of a gentle poke at both crummy horror films (which at the time of production usually involved a somewhat wince inducing, low-budget menace interrupting the hero’s attempts go get into the ingenue’s skirt- think the Hays Office as supernatural guardians of chastity and you get the idea) and while Charles B. Griffith’s screenplay isn’t as observationally sharp as his work on 0000littleshopthat film, nor as smart- the newer film is also less controlled in it’s focus (it has a tendency to drift when the location shifts from the flower shop) ,  it is still a sufficiently…

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Capra Conned: “Magic Town” (1947)

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

0000magictown      By the time director Frank Capra created his series of unrelenting Man of the People populist fantasies, it was clear that although he didn’t invent this particular genre (though even a cursory glance at the filmmaker’s autobiography cum declaration of divinity The Name Above the Titlemight certainly suggest otherwise), he certainly0000magictown5 perfected an archetypal formula by which a single individual imposes his ideals onto a greater citizenry to the exclusion of anyone daring to suggest alternative opinions lest they be pegged as (surprisingly without irony) demagogues or corrupt power brokers. The fact that the Capra formula was also steeped in a creepy masqueraded fascism that sugarcoated the proposition of a singularly enforced populist view being as unhealthy for the social collective with an abundance of aw shucks eccentricity-  generally identified as Capracorn  -that gives the impression a genuine philosophical difference in the division between opposing but ultimately similarly…

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#MeBoo: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2020 Edition, Vol. 35-24-36-43

horror0#MeBoo:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2020 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36-43

    Amid all of the fuss of the current extended job interview between two fellows who, in the real world, would be underqualified to handle the complexities of being given the responsibility of bagging groceries at the local Trader Joe’s (Thank goodness politics happens to be the lone professional pursuit which mandatorily requires neither experience nor a discernible skill set.), the world seems to have forgotten (or have been mercilesslyhorrorgif distracted from, by the private designs of a shamelessly mind deadening mass media) the critical social issues which just mere months ago were aggressively hammered into our collective skulls as being of such importance that any casual dismissal of said issues would forever corrupt and diminish our very characters into the dustbin of infamy. And so, in the spirit of renewing our commitment to addressing grievous societal ills (though without any commitment to take said ills seriously), we present this month’s edition of Boston’s most revered pastime not containing references to either chowder or taxation, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those wonderful folks who bring us SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this Halloween-themed edition we present a celebration of female empowerment and independence as represented in the cinema in the form of horrible, dangerous (often murderous), often supernaturally generated figures of dread and horror (with a special emphasis on one particular-  though unnamed  -individual who all dedicated readers of CSR will certainly not fail to recognize). Your task, is to endure the twenty five frightful images which follow, and to correctly identify the titles of all of the corresponding films. The first to do so will receive the nerve-racking CSR Culture Shock Award, the perfect substitution for an expensive cordial on a dark and stormy night. Good luck.

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Posted in books, Boston, Drive-In Movies, horror, horror films, Movies, photography, vampires, women, writing | 13 Comments

Chandler’s Trailers: “Humanoids From the Deep” (1980)

 

humanoidsfromthedeep1“Humanoids From the Deep” (1980)  If one were uncertain as to the gravity of the situation in the small fishing hamlet of Noyo, California one would need no further measurement than the overbearingly ominous music of James Horner which emphasizes, to the point of exhaustion, the menace inherent in every forest twig, ripple of water or drifting finger of morning mist. Though Horner’s muscular faux-Goldsmith scoring is unceasingly oppressive, the composer  provides the only genuine atmosphere to Barbara Peeters’ “Humanoids From the Deep”, a haphazard pastiche of B-movie SF tropes of irresponsible science run amok and more au courant thematic glances at environmentalism and racial disharmony, which manages to be simultaneously sanctimoniously preachy and exploitatively vulgar, but in neither regard entertaining nor competently wrought.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandlers-trailers-short-bits-for-emerging-cinephiles-and-a-better-america/

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, movie reviews, Movies, music, Roger Corman, science fiction, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

To Tell the Truth: “Valerie” (1957)

WOMAN IN VIOLENT REPOSE: This Vemeer-like opening image from Gerd Oswald’s “Valerie” sets the stage for a Western less interested in the who than in the why of what appears to be a spontaneous multiple killing.

         “Valerie”  (1957)

    Given the artificial boundaries of ironically disreputable expressions of human behavior self-imposed on the American film industry by a proselytizing Production Code valerieINand a simultaneous melodramatic bent in which even the most vital details of history were often less important than accurate period beading of costumes, is it any wonder that truth has emerged as an instinctively elusive element in the Hollywood cinema firmament?

    Alfred Hitchcock once confused audiences and outraged critics in “Stage Fright” with the inclusion of a flashback of a character’s remembrance to be revealed as fraudulent; a perfectly legitimate narrative stratagem in keeping with the director’s celebrated penchant for viewer manipulation. Yet, in this instance, his directorial gamesmanship was met with derisive cries of “cheat” and “foul!”, as if he had betrayed an unwritten confidence between storyteller and patron; with a sudden and convenient epidemic of public amnesia that such trickery being the tool of a charlatan, only explanation in forgetting that the use of such manipulative shenanigans were precisely how Hitchcock gained his universal reputation in the first place. A mere two years later, Akira Kurosawa was applauded for handily obliterating the reliability of the dramaturgy of objective observation, though unlike Hitchcock, the deconstructive aims of “Rashomon” were met with universal applause, despite (or more likely, because of the finality in the film’s acquiescence of a radical reformation of traditional narrative to the realm of a deliberate unknowing. (Critics generally welcome the prospect of  the “artistically’ obtuse as it affords the appreciative reviewer a belief that they hold intellectual prestige over their audience).

     Occupying a middle ground between Hitchcock’s bald manipulation and the structural formality of Kurosawa‘s designed obscurity, Gerd Oswald’s surprisingly absorbing “Valerie” opens with an abrupt pre-credit massacre after which the film appears to settle into the guise of a fairly pedestrian trial drama in which the opening events will be explained. Adding to the curious nature of circumstance is the fact that the killings are perpetrated by a man whose reputation as a Civil War hero and local figure of prominent stature is announced as being unimpeachable; while his wife Valerie, who has miraculously survived the shooting, is publicly derided as a trollop deserving of her fate.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nights-at-the-st-george-theater/

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If You Have the Time to Read This, You’re Not Earning Your Pay: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2020 Special Labor Day Edition, Vol. 40/5

alaborb0If You Have Time to Read This, You’re Not Earning Your Pay: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 202 Special Labor Day Edition, Vol. 40/5

    In celebration of the American holiday acknowledging the working class, all of the effort required to put together this very special edition of the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz was expended a day ahead, therefore the expected (and not undeserved) reactions from our loyal readers ( in the form of the gnashing of teeth, the sacrificial burning in effigy of a certain unnamed subterranean dwelling Presidential candidate, the sending of large cash alaborsbgifdonations, etc., etc., etc.) of sympathy for a hard working (no chance of that) fellow who spends every day exercising the grey cells to little or no result, are to no avail. However, in the spirit of magnanimity toward those we at CSR are forced to share the dwindling supply of fresh oxygen with, we present this month’s edition of America’s most controversial alternative to literacy and common sense, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those brave distributors of  SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast addiction. In this edition, we once again celebrate those fine individuals who sell their souls for meager compensation to an ungrateful employer class. Your job is to identify all twenty five films. The first to do so will receive a newly polished CSR Culture Shock Award, guaranteed to bring a handsome return of five to ten in Attica when attempting to redeem it for cash at your local pawn shop. Good luck. 

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It Came From the File Cabinet: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Late Aug./Early Sept. 2020 Edition, Vol. 47

alabor24It Came From the File Cabinet: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Late Aug./Early Sept. 2020 Edition, Vol. 47

     It is with great sorrow that we at Chandler Swain Reviews regret to inform you that our traditional method of signaling the opening of the calendar month with the release of an all new Classic Film Images Photo Quiz will continue. Regardless of the thousandsalaborgif of pleas to desist from our loyal reader, as well as one particularly curious promissory threat of hostilities, delivered from a country to remain unmentioned but located in the Pacific Rim by diplomatic pouch, advising an immediate cessation to our monthly exercise in quizmaster frivolity, we shall continue. Granted, one of the primary burdens in compiling a monthly photo quiz which is both challenging and interesting to the reader is the invention of a theme which will allow for the compilation of images that are aesthetically nurturing to the eye as well as compellingly connective to that theme in a way which will enhance the puzzle solving experience, but in this month’s edition we have discarded any such laborious notions. So, without further ado we bring you this month’s edition (didn’t we just say that?) of America’s favorite cerebral exercise without the benefit of Jell-O or female wrestlers, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you as always by those grand folks who bring you SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition, we have simply, once again, dug our ink-stained little paws into our photo archives and have retrieved whatever fate determines to be a baseless and totally random series of interesting but nevertheless unconnected pieces to a larger puzzle. So, it is up to you to identify all thirty of the following images from the world of cinema without the assistance of a thematic clue. Ha! The first to correctly identify all thirty films will receive the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-digestively regular CSR Culture Shock Award; an internationally recognized testimonial to the fine art of wasting time with panache. Good luck.  

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This is No Way to Share Popcorn

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Mirror, Mirror: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2020 Edition, Vol. XI-IX

Mirror, Mirror:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2020 Edition, Vol. XI-IX

    History seems fated to repeat itself. The Age of the Selfie is the direct antecedent of the Golden Age of Mirror Gazing and both depend on the unbecoming ability to be fascinated by one’s own image while simultaneously remaining unaware that the latest series of Botox injections have relieved the elasticity from your natural features and left you with the pop-eyed grimace of a Tiki head. Then again, the rest of us can use a chuckle. With this anecdotal introductory note in mind, we present this month’s edition of America’s most persuasive excuse for the conversion of all secondary schools into heavily fortified reform facilities, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those fine folks who market SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition we cast our typically gloomy eye on the simple mirror and its narcissistic abuse in the cinema (And believe us when we tell you, we haven’t even scratched the surface.) Your task is to correctly identify all twenty five images and to let us know. Otherwise it’s a rather fruitless venture if you keep it to yourself. The first to correctly identify all will receive the ever-prestigious CSR Culture Shock Award, now fortified with Vitamin B12 and Riboflavin. Good luck.  

01)02)03)04)05)06)07)08)
09)10)11)12)13)14)15)16)17)18)19)20)21)22)23)24)25)

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No Explanation Necessary…

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Shameless Advertising in a Time of Crisis

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Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go In The Water…

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Blood and Sand: “The Longest Day” (1962)

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     “The Longest Day”   (1962)

(Originally published June 23, 2013)

    Darryl F. Zanuck’s monumental war epic depicting the events of the D-Day invasion of World War 2 has the disadvantage of not only following dozens of characters over dozens of different locations, but also the input of three different credited directors working to patch a cohesive picture of just what did go on during the massive invasion of Normandy on that “longest day” (as referred to in a quote by German Field Marshal Irwin Rommel) on June 6, 1944.  Add to that, the fact that, unique in a big-budget studio epic, disregarding the expectations of the audience, the story is presented entirely in correct linguistic terms: the French and Germans speak in their native tongues with the assistance of subtitles. By all rights, this should be a colossal boondoggle, a confused and incoherent film not unlike Rene Clement’s “Paris brule-t-il?” or the Phil Feldman fiasco cobbled from bits of Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale”. Happily, this is not the case.

     “The Longest Day” is, in fact, one of the most intelligently realized, dramatically cohesive, literate films on World War II ever made; certainly light years ahead of the Hollywood studio epics that permeated the 50’s and 60’s with such egregiously insulting results such as the disastrous “Battle of the Bulge”- a film so haphazard it had the most famous Winter battle of modern combat history being fought in the desert.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: http://chandlrswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandler-swain-reviews-drive-in-cinema-2/chandler-swain-reviews-nites-at-the-natick-drive-in/

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Beetley Brit Brings Brutal Beatdown in Bi-Coastal Braintease Bacchanal

 

“If He Can Do It, I Can Do Anything” says North Korean spokesperson for Slim Fast, Kim Jong-un, upon hearing of Beetley’s own Grouchy Pete’s second internet championship crown in conquering the CSR Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, news that has ignited spontaneous religious fervor around the globe now that proof has conclusively arrived that both Pigs Can Fly and Hell Will, indeed, Freeze Over.  In an unrelated story, during his annual nightly state cocktail bash (see above) Canadian Prime Minister Justin “Bieber” Trudeau acknowledges the accomplishment of his English ally from across the pond  with the stirring pronouncement: “Huh? Who?”

  Supposed Ex-Royal Interloper Meghan              Stews at Attention Grabbing Moose                           Stalker From Beetley

 Reported to Have Asked “Grandmummy” to Declare                           War on “Inconvenient” Town

     Creating the greatest furor on American soil since the early 60’s arrival of the Fab Four, and generating more bipartisan support to keep out an objectionable foreign personage since the War of 1812, Beetley’s own Grouchy Pete has succeeded in solving the CSR Classic Film Images Photo Quiz for the second time in the past year, a suspicious action which has tweaked the interest of Scotland Yard, Interpol and an anonymous Deep State informant known only as “Ollie”. Though resisted by both Conservative and Labour leaders, members of the newly formed Libation Party have petitioned for the transplanted Londoner, who is affectionately referred to by Beetley townsfolk as “that crank who complains about the weather” to be recognized for his elevation in the nation’s stature in useless information with the bestowing of an OBE, though due to a clerical error, his nomination was sent to an OBGYN, though through an abundance of fortunate circumstances, it appears that it is now entirely permissible to address the Beetley quiz whiz as Dame Pete. Honorariums also include a special edition of the CSR Culture Shock Award (see below), bestowed exclusively upon those select few who have determined that the very turning of the Earth is so bereft of meaning (I hope all of this sterling analysis is appreciated as it’s resulting in an existential hand cramp.) that they need a second crack at this substantial yet trivial pursuit. Congratulations.

csrmastershockaward

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In Black and White: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2020 Edition, Vol. -30-

In Black and White: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2020 Edition, Vol. -30-

   What’s black and white and red all over? Pravda naturally. However, when it comes to Hollywood, the answer would more likely be Panda Tartare (being the selflessly dedicated environmentalists they profess to be and all), none of which has anything to do (well, in a roundabout way it does) with introducing this month’s edition of America’s favorite brain buster, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by those amusing folks who bring you SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. With apologies to the film industry which is certainly populated by functional illiterates (the only explanation for the terrible scripts moved into production, which surely no one could have possibly read), this edition features the process of reading (“Put down your NOOKS you pathetic losers and crack a real book!” -a message from the American Library Council of Greater Boston and The South Boston Society of Excess Drinking & Historic Public Vomiting) both magazines and newspapers as depicted in film; obviously an activity which is as foreign to the millennial generation as manual typing, dialing a phone or critical thinking, but Life is neither easy nor fair so stop your blubbering, pay attention and learn. The following sweet sixteen images portray a cinematic depiction of using a magazine or newspaper for its intended purpose. Your task is to identify all sixteen films and possibly win (if you’re the first correct contestant) the coveted and sugar-free CSR Culture Shock. Good luck.

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15)16)

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Java Buzz: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Special Caffeine-Fueled B. Sisters Café Mid-May 2020 Edition, Vol. 1/2 & 1/2

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Java Buzz: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Special Caffeine-Fueled B. Sisters Café Mid-May 2020 Edition, Vol. 1/2 & 1/2  é     Live and more alert than is (in theory) humanly safe after nine straight large cups of Cold Brew … Continue reading

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Attention Puny Earthlings! A Special Announcement Follows…

BLONDE BOMBSHELL ON THE PROWL: Is this any way to start a special broadcast? You bet it is, especially if you’re trying to cut through the dreary malaise to which the internet has been privy these past few months. Hey World, stop being so glum and party like it’s Saturday night at Hef’s.

BRAINTEASER TO SEE WHO’S STILL WITH US…

    …cognitively speaking of course. (Unfortunately this omits a particularly sad individual who is currently running/sitting/hibernating/drooling for office for the DMC, but seems quite content to spend his autumn hours neatly snuggled in what appears to be an oak paneled version of Luray Caverns where he is no doubt secretly biding his time with all manner of bat species to heroically and single-handedly solve the riddle of the pandemic. Or some such guano as that.)

    Now that we have your attention, may we direct you to the following head scratcher, an answer (correct answer that is, so keep your legal representation at bay) to which will grant the first smart cookie possession of the coveted CSR Culture Shock Award, which-  as it happens  -is a timely substitute for masking, hand washing and social distancing. It won’t protect you from disease… but you’ll die with intellectual distinction. All judgments on the answers by those who wish to participate are final and not subject to discussion, as enforced by our very cranky sergeant-at-arms. Good luck.

AND NOW, THE QUESTION:

There was a film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture which carelessly featured a visible poster for a film which happened to be nominated for Best Picture in the preceding year. The problem was that the later film took place in a time frame earlier than the featured poster’s film’s existence, hence the anachronism.What is the name of both the film and the name of the film whose poster is featured? 

 

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Happy MOTHER Day, CSR-Style

      A Holiday Missive to “MOTHER”

    Given that the average male Yale graduate’s (we’ve talked to ’em… they’re a sad bunch)  day is given over to dealing with feelings of guilt and inadequacy so deeply ingrained they couldn’t be excavated by a team of oil drillers not to mention an army of $300 per session therapists whose stifling of expulsions of shocked repulsion or helpless laughter is strenuous enough to rupture a spleen, it should come as no surprise that one of the sources of lifelong neuroses has been surreptitiously been made to be the subject of obedient celebration by the nefarious mercenaries of that sovereign conglomeration of purveyors of male emasculation (second only to Zales in the latest BFI poll), Hallmark. So, without any sympathy to those weaklings who lie prostrate before the alter of Labor Pains as a Force of Socio-Economic Blackmail Greater Than Atomic Weaponry (a theory believed to have originated in the works of Enrico Fermi), here is our recognition of your plight and our complete indifference to it.  For those who take offense to such proto-patriarchal sentiments, just keep in mind: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

 

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It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2020 Edition, Vol. .400

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2020 Edition, Vol. .400

   During what will undoubtedly be referred to by some historians as The Great Purell Hunt of 2020 (while others will more sensibly remember it as The Summer We Were Spared The Latest Five Summer Offenses Starring The Rock), we here at CSR are furthering our dedication to exposing the world of cinema to an unsuspecting populace and finding decent take-out fried clams within a thirty block radius. (A venture which will, no doubt, find little empathy from those who populate Vermont as we have heard that they have happily surrendered to cannibalism years ago.) Still, culture must persevere beyond the making of yogurt, which brings us to this month’s edition of America’s favorite lockdown distraction, for which there is as they say at Benny Fong’s House of Fong- “no substitutions!”  -the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by the fine folks who bring you SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast placebo. In this edition we pay homage to the world of sports as seen in the movies. For those too young to remember, sports were those competitive athletic competitions played either by individuals or teams live in the days before it was deemed sufficient by unimaginative sports cable networks, dull-witted leagues and the usual roster of Washington swamp creatures ( not to mention the invaluable participation of a Red Chinese cabal that couldn’t properly rule a public toilet never mind the world) to substitute all forms of recreational diversion with reruns of 2007 games between the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals, perhaps the only spectacle sufficient to make cable television’s obsession with endlessly broadcasting the Adam Sandler version of “The Longest Yard” seem less horrifying by comparison. The following twenty five images depict the thrill of competition, or characters who are engaged in athletic endeavors in the movies. Your task is to identify all twenty five correctly and without malice toward the Royal Family or their ancillary affiliations.. The first to do so will be the non-contact recipients of the sacred CSR Culture Shock Award, the only proven antidote to both viral related depression and the painful itch of inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue. Good luck.

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Torture Scorn: “Rambo: Last Blood” (2019)

rambolastblood

ROCKY BY ANY OTHER NAME: Sometime during “Rambo: Last Blood”, the latest (and hopefully the final, as promised) chapter in the increasingly blood-soaked John Rambo saga, it becomes apparent that the eponymous hero has come to resemble one of the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley, so much so that it’s difficult to resist the feeling that at any moment one of John Ford’s beloved cavalry troops should be galloping around the ankles of star/co-author Sylvester Stallone, charging toward an eleventh hour rescue.

      “Rambo: Last Blood”  (2019)

    By this point in the increasingly indefensible gorefest known as the Rambo franchise,  having abandoned the original novel and film’s conception of a man irretrievably changed rambolastbloodOSand haunted by Vietnam (the War, not the tourist trap), “Rambo: Last Blood”, the latest excuse for an emergency manufacturing of body bags, is bereft of even the slightest hint of social commentary and aims strictly down the path of the revenge spree in the Jason Voorhees tradition. The film wastes no time showing it intends to match its testosterone fueled hero grunt for grunt by blasting Brian Tyler’s clamorous score over the most innocuous of incidents. Thus an undramatic scene of driving down a rural highway takes on unwarranted portents of imminent violence simply as an aural gut punch designed to work the audience over and exhaust visceral resistance.

     The film operates on the Let’s Do the Stupidest Thing Possible to Put Ourselves in Danger Principle, so when Rambo’s strenuously advises Gabrielle, a friend’s granddaughter whom he has adopted as his own, to resist crossing into Mexico to seek out the no-account scoundrel of a father who abandoned her, she…

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/multiplex-movies/

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All Banged Up and No Place to Go: “Number One” (1969)

numberone3

A Full Glass of Brooding With a Jazz Chaser: Aging New Orleans quarterback “Cat” Catlan (Charlton Heston) sullenly ponders his future while Al Hirt provides needless local color in Tom Gries’ consistently distracted sports drama “Number One”.

        “Number One”  (1969)

    Considering the amount of complex psychology involved in both the achieving and the rudimentary maintenance of high level performance in sports, it is surprising how little of this is reflected in Hollywood’s occasional forays into the world of athletics; that is unless one considers the film industry’s usual lazy path in the exploration of the human experience in favor of easy and proven formula (even if this approach proves repeatedly insubstantial, as there is no safer method in maintaining one’s professional status in the film industry than in resisting the risk of originality). Why bother with the unglamorous reality of individual or group anxieties consistent with high stakes competitiveness when there are fertile fields of coarse melodrama, adultery and colorful substance abuse to enliven the usual offerings of artificial treacle enhanced tales of either miraculous inspiration of tear-jerker heartbreak? With the field of  cinema sports reduced to convenient and relentlessly repetitive and shallow formulaic contrivance, it is little wonder the popularized conception of the “dumb jock” was seldom challenged.

    “Number One”, which proposes a deeper look at the base insecurity of the competitive ego, is the kind of film whose occasional moments of interest only serve to magnify the disappointment in the fact that what is substantial is limited to the momentary. Frequently the film halts for what are probably meant as lyrical interludes of reflection,  (including the umpteenth dissolve heavy montage of a tryst before a roaring fireplace), a directorial penchant which beckons impatience considering how sparse the attention granted penetrating character development which would fortifying the few truly affecting scenes in the film.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/remembrance-of-films-forgotten/

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Where Does It Hurt?” (1972)

wheredoesithurt4“Where Does It Hurt?” (1972) If Paddy Chayefsky’s attempt at satirizing the medical establishment fell short of the mark in Arthur Hiller’s “The Hospital” from the previous year, Rod Amateau’s rather loathsome burlesque “Where Does It Hurt?” arrives as a far less bitter, but certainly more tiresome prescription for comedy. Examining the exploits within the fictitious Vista Vue Hospital the film communicates a callous scorn at the entirety of the medical profession; not merely the executive bean counters, but every nurse, doctor, orderly and specimen jar in view. The method of the film’s increasingly strained attempts at humor consists entirely of noisy set-ups to obvious and crude punchlines which are unceasingly punctuated with inappropriate and irritating country music insertions that seem intended to act as an electric prod catalyst to cue audience reaction (a filmic version of the boob tube laugh track?) but even the most undiscriminating sense of humor would find insubstantial reason to summon a chuckle here.
 
To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/chandlers-trailers-short-bits-for-emerging-cinephiles-and-a-better-america/
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What the Peeper Saw: “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?” (1970)

          “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?”  (1970)

          Alan Funt’s “What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?” begins with whatdoyousaytoanakedladyOSthe noted television Peeping Tom/provocateur fiddling with his surveillance equipment with the dedicated solemnity of a senior member of the Stasi. If moving from the boob tube to the boob screen is meant to signal an elevation of serious purpose to Funt’s signatory hidden camera hijinks, this intention comes under withering scrutiny both in the form of the naked triviality of ideas related in the opening salvo of “Candid Camera” situations, and, more explicitly, in the heated excoriation of the film’s content by an elder member of a focus group whose purpose appears to provide further surreptitiously recorded discomfort (Funt’s stock in trade) as they view the same footage as the paying theatrical patron.

    This ill-considered film within a film conception backfires violently with an initial unrelenting salvo of accusations of promoting rank vulgarity directly aimed at the nominally flippant exploiter of other’s public embarrassment who, in turn, responds with little more than flippant foot stomping. These commentative sessions are…

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/now-playing-at-the-mercado-cinema/

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Alone Again, Unnaturally: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Apr. 2020 Edition, Vol. 4077

Alone Again, Unnaturally:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Apr. 2020 Edition, Vol. 4077

Emerging from a self-imposed exile just in time to notice that the rest of the world seems to have cribbed our idea for a temporary avoidance of socialization (there would be a pending lawsuit for violation of intellectual property except that China is involved and we know that quarantined ship has sailed far too many times for comfort), we here at CSR have decided to be a world leader (since the example set by the Center for Disease Confusion appears incapable of explaining as to just what useful preparatory and preventative measures they’ve spent billions of dollars and supposedly dedicated decades of study on except possibly in renting several copies of  “Outbreak”) in the administration of the correct employment of social distancing for fun and profit. (We have been lauded as pioneers in ignoring Vermont for years.) Just consider that the marshaling of all the collected knowledge and wisdom of global governments and medical experts being reduced to a simple “don’t go near your neighbor”, while we’ve been doing exactly that that for years and but have unjustly been regarded as “effete snobs” (thank you Spiro Agnew) for our efforts. With this bit of skewered social engineering in mind we present this month’s edition-  and return of  -America’s most antiseptic source of brain mold, the Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, brought to you, as always, by the distributors of SKITTLES, America’s favorite breakfast candy. In this edition, we consider the humble occasion of solitary confinement as documented in the motion picture (sort of like sitting in one of the empty movie houses dotting the globe, only without the rodents and the prerequisite gummy floors). Your task (and remember, a task is as good as a sucker bet… whatever, we’re film critics, not theologians) is to correctly identify the twenty five images and the titles of the films they are sourced from (nice try Butch, but just acknowledging there are twenty five pictures doesn’t win any bouquets). The first to correctly identify all twenty five will receive the 99.9% germ free CSR Culture Shock Award. Good luck.

01)02)03)04)05)06)07)08)09)10)11)12)13)14)15)16)17)18)19)20)21)22)23)24)25)

Posted in books, Boston, British films, China, Cold War, crime, Drive-In Movies, horror, Movies, Mystery, war movies, women, writing | 6 Comments