Shall We Dance (1937, Directed by Mark Sandrich) English 8

Starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blower, Jerome Cowan, Ketti Gallian

shall we dance 1937에 대한 이미지 검색결과

(8-Exceptional Film)

Iconic. Charming. Joyful.

Fred Astaire looks like a cartoon caricature. The ones artists draw of you at fairs or on bustling piers. His unique appearance, creativity, and gentleman persona make him one of the most charming stars of classic Hollywood. His partnership with the beautiful and prodigiously talented Ginger Rogers is iconic and lasted over the course of ten films, of which, I would say Shall We Dance is probably the second best; Top Hat being tops. Shall We Dance follows the formula laid out by their previous collaborations. Gershwin music, great dance numbers, romance, light comedy, and misunderstandings. Astaire plays Peter P. Peters, or the great “Petrov,” an American ballet dancer posing as a Russian. He’s instantly smitten with tap dancer, Linda Keene (Rogers), and wants to team up. She’s not so sure about him, but tabloids mistakenly believe the two to be married and spread the false rumor, forcing Linda and Peter to masquerade as husband and wife or face scandal. Wonderful entertainment and timeless songs like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

-Walter Tyrone Howard-



Sparkle (1976, Directed by Sam O’Steen) English 7

Starring Irene Cara, Philip M. Thomas, Lonette McKee, Dwan Smith, Mary Alice, Dorian Harewood, Tony King

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(7-Very Good Film)

Melodramatic. Effective. Memorable.

Before directing such classic stinkers like Batman and Robin and guilty pleasures like 8mm, Joel Schumacher wrote Sparkle, a low-rent version of A Star is Born if I were inclined to be harsh. The truth is though that I like this film. Starring Irene Cara as the titular protagonist, a young girl in 1950’s Harlem who joins her older sisters in a soul-singing trio but who soon breaks out as the star. Directed by Sam O’Steen, famed editor who never returned to the director’s chair after this film, Sparkle has a curious lack of emotions for a melodrama. It also feels rushed at times. The positive side to that though is that because it lacks common cinematic qualities, I think Sparkle seems authentic and offers an interesting glimpse at ghetto life in the 1950s. The acting is solid if slightly stilted early on, but the soundtrack is the real star. Curtis Mayfield, unsurprisingly, does terrific work. “Giving Him Something that He Can Feel” is a classic to this day.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


The Lion King (2019, Directed by Jon Favreau) English 4

Voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre, John Kani, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard

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(4-Bad Film)

Bland. Needless. Inferior.

        Brian De Palma, famed filmmaker, was once asked about the prospect of duplicating a film. You could do it, he said. Make a “Xerox of a picture, except it would have no soul.” I recalled these words said in an interview with Dick Cavett while watching Disney’s latest remake, The Lion King. Directed by Jon Favreau and featuring a cast full of first-rate talent, this Lion King has no soul, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that it’s boring. This is hardly the first remake. There have been hundreds of remakes before and there will be hundreds after, but I can’t name one that seems more unnecessary. The original Lion King came out in 1994 as Disney animation’s first work not explicitly based on any source material. The performances, specifically James Earl Jones’ and Jeremy Irons’, the imagery, the songs, are all iconic. That film will never die. A year or two from now, after it’s finished making a billion dollars, the new Lion King will fade until it’s completely disappeared to the place where all films with no souls go. Twenty years from now, this film will be obscure. We all know the story. Simba is born, son of Mufasa (Jones), and set to succeed his father as king in the future. His Uncle, Scar (now voiced by Ejiofor), jealously plots to usurp his brother and nephew. This is not a live-action remake. The visuals, while impressive, are ill-fitting to Disney adventure. They lack the expressiveness of the cartoon and the excitement of having real animals on camera. The voice performances are also largely disappointing. Timon and Pumba (voiced by Eichner and Rogen) are good, but the rest of the cast bring little to their roles. This Uncle Scar, one of the great Disney villains, is especially inferior.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-




The Caddy (1953, Directed by Norman Taurog) English 6

Starring Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Donna Reed, Barbara Bates, Joseph Calleia, Fred Clark, Clinton Sundberg

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(6-Good Film)

Goofy. Zany. Enjoyable.

“That’s Amore,” sings Dean Martin as Joe Anthony, a blue-collar drifter working his way up in social class through golf. He meets and falls in love with the lovely socialite, Kathy Taylor (Reed), but his caddy, future brother-in-law, and friend, Harvey Miller Jr. (Lewis), is embarrassing him in front of his new friends. The Caddy is a fast-paced, irreverent comedy with a few great musical numbers. It teases a sports story but ultimately lets that aspect fizzle out. Lewis is mostly annoying but paired with Martin, it doesn’t keep the film from being enjoyable.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-



Dancin’ It’s On (2015, Directed by David Winters) English 2

Starring Witney Carson, Jordan Clark, David Winters, Gary Daniels, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

(2-Atrocious Film)

Incompetent. Awkward. Embarrassing.

Inept rip-off of the Step Up series of films about a young rich girl who goes to Florida to reconnect with her estranged father. While there, she meets Ken, a lowly servant at her father’s hotel, and instantly falls in love. They discover a common love of dancing, which every single character (no matter how unlikely) in the movie shares. Even the grumpy old man brooding over the loss of his son was once a dancer. Every aspect of the film is insultingly bad; except the dancing which manages to be mediocre. The dialogue largely consists of one character repeating what another character said in the form of a question. The acting, aided by the script, is atrocious. The direction is amateur (Christian Bale tirade amateur). It’s a team effort on its way down to the lower depths.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


Tarzan (1999, Directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck) English 8

Voices of Tony Goldwyn, Glenn Close, Rosie O’Donnell, Minnie Driver, Lance Henriksen, Brian Blessed, Wayne Knight, Nigel Hawthorne

(8-Exceptional Film)

Exciting. Bold. Spectacular.

Orphaned as a baby and left alone in the jungles of 19th century Africa, Tarzan is adopted and raised by gorillas, the loving and kind, Kala (Close), and the disapproving Kerchak (Henriksen). Years later, as an adult, Tarzan (Goldwyn), who’d grown up believing himself to be an ape, but always felt like he was different, discovers who and what he really is once he meets explorers Clayton (Blessed), Professor Porter (Hawthorne), and the Professor’s daughter, Jane (Driver), with whom he quickly falls in love. Innovative animation teamed with a classic adventure romance, Tarzan represents the last of an era, a special time in Disney animation, known as their renaissance. Phil Collins’ new age songs amazingly work perfectly with this story of a boy raised by gorillas in Africa.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


The Singing Detective (2003, Directed by Keith Gordon) English 5

Starring Robert Downey Jr. Mel Gibson, Robin Wright, Adrien Brody, Katie Holmes, Jeremy Northam, Carla Gugino, Jon Polito, Alfre Woodard

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(5-Okay Film)

Drudging. Unpleasant. Ambitious.

The Singing Detective, that is the original British miniseries, is unique, dense, mysterious, and original. It is not, however, all that much fun to watch. By turns bizarre and hallucinatory, it’s also relentlessly grim. So too is this, a 2003 adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr., only it’s a remake. A remake of something bizarre and unique starts off at a loss as far as I’m concerned. It’s no longer original and that was the miniseries main appeal. Downey Jr. takes over the lead role from Michael Gambon as Dan Dark, author of dime store mystery novels. An extended stay at a hospital suffering from a severe skin disease has Dark losing touch with reality, alternating between painful episodes from his past to present dealings with his doctors to hallucinations about his written creations complete with musical numbers. There’s much to admire in this film, but little to love, or justify watching it when you could watch the superior miniseries. This plays like the abridged version.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-