For a Few Dollars More

 For a Few Dollars More – The second installment of the “Man With No Name” series is called “For a Few Dollars More”.  Honestly, I enjoyed this movie even better than the first movie, A Fist Full of Dollars.  Both are excellent, but this one had a better story to me.  Clint Eastwood is at his classic best in this western.

The plot is that Eastwood teams up with another bounty hunter to take down “El Indio”, a ruthless, psychotic killer that is very cunning, and his band of outlaws.  Indio has a watch that chimes that he stole from a woman that killed herself while he was raping her.  Indio intends to rob a bank and Eastwood’s character infiltrates the group.  After the robbery, the treachery begins for the gang, Eastwood, and Indio.  Eastwood & his bounty hunter friend get caught and savagely beats them.  Indio sets them free and has the gang chase as he tries to get away with the money.  That’s when our bounty hunters go to work on the gang and sets up the ultimate showdown.

This movie is more tense and more intelligent than the first movie to me and is much more entertaining.  If you like the old American style westerns (although this is actually an Italian film), you can’t go wrong with this movie.  It’s intense, full of action, and full of intrique that will keep you engulfed in the story.  I have all 3 films of the “Man With No Name” trilogy and all are outstanding, but this one just might be the best.

**  Just click the image to see “For A Few Dollars More” at Amazon.com **


The Time of Their Lives

The Time of Their Lives – This is the second Abbott & Costello to make the blog.  As I stated earlier, the guys made many excellent movies and were a great comedy team.  Released in 1946, this movie did not do as well at the box office, but was critically acclaimed and is now recognized as one of Abbott & Costello’s best all around movies.

The plot is that the boys are in the Revolutionary War period.  Cuthbert (Bud) is a servant and Horation Prim (Lou) is a master tinker with letter from George Washington for his work.  The letter is taken and stored in a clock.  Melody, a socialite, discovers the owner is a traitor to the revolution and rides, with Horatio, to warn Washington’s army.  Unfortunately, they are mistakenly killed and Melody & Horatio’s ghosts are bound to the property until proven innocent.  Luckily for them, the house is restored 166 years later with original furniture and Cuthbert’s decendent is there to help.  Melody and Horatio use their ghostly abilities to spook them and then use them to set them prove their innocence.

One problem when doing this movie was that Lou Costello was famous for taking props from the sets.  Unfortunately for the director, Lou didn’t wait until shooting finished.  The technology of the day for creating ghosts required doing the shot twice.  When Lou took pieces, it would cause problems doing the scene and they would have to get the props back.  Also, this movie is only 1 of 2 in which the boys don’t work as a team.  Their roles do not interact that much in the movie which was a major departure from their normal routines.  As such, their comedy skits were not included and the story took over.

This is an absolute gem of a movie for someone that enjoys a comedy with a good story behind it dashed with a bit of romance.  This is one of Abbott & Costello’s best.  This movie is not available individually, but you can’t go wrong with the collection which is very reasonably priced.  And, I’m confident you’ll enjoy the other movies as well.  Don’t miss out on these classics.

** Just click the image to see this movie (in a collection) at Amazon.com **


Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs – As someone who loves great movies, I am also a huge animation fan.   Many of history’s great movies were animated and this one is definitely a classic.  In fact, the American Film Institute has given this movie the title of “Greatest Animated Film of All Time” and no movie collection can be complete without it.

The plot is probably known by everyone.  Snow White is a kindhearted princess, but her wicked stepmother, the Queen, is jealous of her.  When the magic mirror declares Snow White the fairest of them all, the Queen tries to have her killed.  But, the man that the Queen charges for the crime can not do it and Snow White flees into the forest and befriends the 7 dwarfs.  Unfortunately, the Queen discovers the deception and uses magic to trick Snow White into eating a poisoned apple, which causes her to be unconcious and only loves magic kiss can bring her back.

This animated classic is a must have, especially if you have kids.  The story may be a kid’s fable, but Disney delivers the magic in a way that everyone in the family can enjoy.  As an animation fan, the artwork is classic Disney and delight for the eye at every angle.  As this movie is available for just a limited time before Disney rips it away, you need to get your copy now.  Typically, Disney holds these movies for at least 7 years before making them available again.

** Just click on the image above to check this movie at Amazon.com **


Godzilla

Godzilla (Gojira) – I couldn’t hold out my best material any longer.  To me, Godzilla is the best movie monster of all time.  Yes, there are other great movie monsters, but this guy is top 5 no matter who you are.  Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film is a classic and spawned at least 28 films and numerous tv shows, novels, cartoons, and comic books.  I have the entire collection of the 60’s and 70’s movies and love every one.

The plot is that Japanese ships start disappearing and the superstitious villagers of Odo Island believe that an ancient legend has come to life.  That legend is Godzilla.  Awakening from an H-bomb test, Godzilla seeks revenge and starts destroying everything in his path.  A brilliant, but tormented scientist ultimately comes to the rescue to save mankind.

In 1956, Godzilla was introduced to American audiences with “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” starring Raymond Burr as a reporter covering Godzilla’s rampage.  This is somewhat modified for Americans to absorb.

Initially, Godzilla represented the dangers of nuclear weapons.  Later on, the Godzilla movies took on a less serious storylines and protrayed Godzilla as somewhat of a hero that saves the world or sort of in the middle as sometimes protector of the world of outside threats or back to a destructive monster.  The stories got more cheesy as they aimed them for younger audiences or began including alien beings which was popular at the time.

Godzilla’s appearance has been modified somewhat over the years, but the basics remain the same.  Many movies of Godzilla exists, but be sure to never waste your time watching the 1998 American movie starring Matthew Broderick where Godzilla is turned into some alien looking lizard.  The producer should be in jail for that disaster he created.

Godzilla won numerous awards and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame showing his impact on American culture.  The special effects may appear less impressive by today’s standards, but were outstanding for their time.  In this classic, Godzilla doesn’t fight other monsters like Mothra or King Ghidorah as you would expect from a Godzilla movie, but the storyline is probably the best of them all.  When was the last time you watched a Godzilla movie?  The old ones from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s are the best.  Godzilla is a masterpiece that should be owned by everyone.  For a sci-fi movie monster, you don’t get better than Godzilla.

** Just click on the image to see Godzilla (Gojira) at Amazon.com **


The Birdcage

The Birdcage – Up until now, this blog has suggested movies primarily that would be enjoyed by men.  After all, I am a man.  Well, this is a comedy movie that can be enjoyed by the guys and the girls alike.  Its got it all….romance, drama, touching moments, and comedy.  Get your gay on for this film and get ready to laugh as Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, and Gene Hackman put on superb performances.  And, the ending is just outstanding.

The plot is that a happy, gay couple, Armand & Albert(Williams & Lane), run a gaudy nightclub in Miami.  Armand’s son from a one night stand and raised by them is about to get married and they need to meet the parents.  However, the girl’s father just happens to be the hardcore “family values” Senator Keeley played by Gene Hackman.  Armand & Albert do all they can to fool the Senator, but it falls apart.  But, the media’s out to destroy the Senator and they get him cornered in the night club, which is attached to our gay couple’s house.  The Senator’s career and image are on the line.  So, now the good Senator learns that “family” comes in many different forms.

The movie is hilarious & touching at the same time.  My wife loves this movie and I enjoy it as well.  And frankly, the ending is a great movie moment in history.  With stars like Gene Hackman & Robin Williams in it, you know it has to be good because these guys always make a good movie.

** Just click on the image to check this movie at Amazon.com **


Porky’s

Porky’s – This 1982 movie is one of the best “man movies” you can find.  Absolutely hilarious from start to finish.  If you are looking for something to make you laugh, you can’t go wrong with Porky’s.  If you’re a guy, think of your mindset in high school.  Was it about your education?  Nope.  Was it about your future career?  Nope.  You know how you were.  It was all about chasing girls, being cool, and pulling stupid pranks on your friends.  Well, this movie’s for you.

The plot is just a bunch of high school friends in the 50’s looking for their first action with girls.  They end up going to a sleazy strip club called Porky’s.  But, the owner catches our underage gang, takes their money, and dumps them in the bay.  Our guys can’t let it go and head out to get revenge on Porky himself.  Of course, our scamps don’t give up causing all kinds of mischief.

This movie is one of my all-time favorites.  The stupidity of the high school boy’s brain is hilarious enough, but it goes beyond the kids as the adults get involved as well.  This takes you back to when you did those dumb things with your friends.  You know what you did.  Those wild high school times of pulling off the great caper before you had to grow up and take on the world.  This movie is full of dirty jokes, sophomoric humor, and hilarious adult comedy.  It also shows the discrimination of the time and its stupidity as well.  So, it’s not for kids.  But, its immaturity is exactly what is great about it.  So, get immature and enjoy this movie.  If you don’t laugh at this movie, then something’s wrong with you or you are just too mature for your own good.  Porky’s had 2 sequels which were good in themselves, but this one is by far the best.  I personally recommend owning the entire collection.

** Just click on the image to see this movie at Amazon.com **


A Fistful of Dollars

A Fistful of Dollars – Clint Eastwood was young, sexy to the ladies, and was as cool as any actor out there.  This 1967 classic western is considered the first of the “Man with No Name” trilogy.  Clint epitomized what every man wanted to be.  As he approaches the bad guys, he tells the undertaker, “Get 3 coffins ready.”  POW POW POW POW  “My mistake, 4 coffins.”  Obviously, Americans love their westerns and the heroes of the genre.  Eastwood delivers in several classic films.

The plot is that a mysterious gunman appears in a border town that is terrorized by rival smuggling groups. The gunman joins both groups to maximize his money and ultimately take down both groups of ruthless bandits.  Of course, Eastwood gets all the money.

Controversy haunted this film as the this movie was accused of stealing its concept from the Japanese movie Yojimbo from 1961.  While I haven’t seen that film, I can attest that this movie a great western and Eastwood’s cool delivery and sarcastic wit is critical to the feel and suspense of the movie.  When you watch this movie, you’ll be on the edge of your seat almost the entire time.

** Just click the image to see this movie at Amazon.com **