Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Week In Movies featuring The Greatest Movie EVER

The Little Mermaid (1989) This will come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog, but I absolutely adore every single frame of this movie! The Little Mermaid holds my personal record for movie I've seen most times in the theatre...7 to be exact. (The Flintstones is second place with 6 screenings.) I had to twist my kids ankles to watch it because they think it's a girlie movie which brings me to my thesis on why I hate the Princess marketing campaign. But once we were two minutes into the movie, both my boys were totally into it. And for good reason, the music is fantastic, the colors are awesome to look at and the story is so tight and zippy that you can't deny The Little Mermaid is a masterpiece of film making! (And easily the best Disney film since 1967's The Jungle Book.) Rated G - nothing offensive but some little ones find the climatic ending a little too intense.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) This wasn't the first time I've seen this classic comedy, in fact I'd probably mark it down as one of my favorite older movies. Cary Grant is always awesome. He plays an artist who becomes the object of affection to high school student Shirley Temple. Through a series of wacky
"only-in-the-movies" mishaps, Grant is court ordered to pretend to be interested in the younger girl in the hopes that her crush will die off quicker. It all results in madcap black & white hilarity! If you are only familiar with Shirley Temple as the little curly haired doll singing Good Ship Lollipop, let me just got on record here as saying Mrs. Temple grew into a pretty hot teenager. (I can say that because she was 19 when she filmed this movie and I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out on lusting after a teenager in a 64 year old movie.) After her string of popular movies as a little girl, she took some time off from acting and then staged a comeback in her teen years. Most of those films are obscure finds on video and DVD, Bobby-Soxer is considered one of her later classics. Good stuff! Not rated because it's old.

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (2010) This engrossing documentary should be mandatory viewing for anyone whose given someone a hard time about saying they read Playboy for the articles. In fact, naked girls and other such things only make up about 5% of this movie. Not only did Hefner usher in the sexual revolution, he was also instrumental in the civil rights movement. He is a vastly creative man who projects and talents reach out in many different directions. I've seen a few television documentaries on Hugh before, and this one forgoes interviewing subjects who've been documented before. In fact, I was more than a little disappointed to only find my gals from Next Door only pop up in a few archival clips. This is an engrossing, well done documentary that stays away from cheap titillation and focuses on the story of one of modern times most influential people. Rated R nudity (almost exclusively stills from the magazine,) sexual discussion and some profanity.

The Ugly Dachshund (1966) I was so proud of my kids when they chose this classic Disney comedy as our Friday night movie. This is light, fluffy Disney entertainment at it's best with Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette as a young couple with a houseful of dogs. Mrs. Garrison loves her four dachshund puppies while Mr. Garrison prefers his Great Dane. The real problem is Brutus, the great dane, thinks he a tiny little dachshund...and then the fun begins. Great Danes can't be as mischievous and rascally as dachshunds! Oh, the destruction! There's three major set pieces to this film, each involving mass chaos when the dogs go on a destructive rampage. Each scene more elaborate than that last. When you watch the film, and remember that this was made in the mid-60's, you gotta wonder what kind of animal actor laws they had in place back then. It sure looks like they hurled those dogs into all sorts of things. There was no CGI back then, and 1960's special effects usually stick out like a sore thumb. But hey, what do we know? This is a great, fun movie. Not rated but classic wholesome Disney fun in every frame.


The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) You would think that I would be appalled at a made-for-video sequel to one of my tippy top all-time favorite movies. This lower budget production is by no means a "good movie" but it's not all that bad either. The story this time picks up a few years after the original tale with Ariel and Eric happily married sharing life with their daughter Melody. Ursala's sister shows up to seek revenge for her sister's death, and before long Ariel has to get her fins back and "return to the sea" to help rescue her daughter. The animation is not horrible, but, again, it's not very good either and poor Ariel looks off-model in several scenes. There's not much of an attempt to make this go-around a musical. There is a brief opening number and a closing number but that's about all that is needed since the songs are no where near as good as the stable of classics from the original film. It's Disney, so of course it's all rated G - even the climax is a little softer for the younger kids to stomach.

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