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JxSxPx

About me

I'm Jason. I'm a film, literary and pop culture enthusiast. Got a soft spot and deep love for animation, comics and nerdy things that go in tandem with them.

Lists

Favorite music (101 items)
Music list by JxSxPx
Last updated 2 weeks, 4 days ago
Taste of Cinema - 30 Greatest Westerns (30 items)
Movie list by JxSxPx
Last updated 3 weeks, 3 days ago
3 votes
Favorite movies (249 items)
Movie list by JxSxPx
Last updated 3 months, 2 weeks ago
Favorite Actors & Actresses (100 items)
Person list by JxSxPx
Last updated 4 months ago
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VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music (100 items)
Person list by JxSxPx
Published 5 years, 8 months ago 4 comments



Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (612) - TV Shows (59) - Books (3) - Music (118)

Arabian Nights

Posted : 1 week, 4 days ago on 17 August 2015 09:23 (A review of Arabian Nights)

A near carbon copy of The Thief of Bagdad in tone and material, but without that film’s artistry and fantasy, Arabian Nights is Saturday matinee through-and-through, but a little too sluggish for its own good. Which isn’t to say that it’s bad, but it’s more half-formed. Too many characters get lost in the shuffle, or are brought in for easy name recognition but never paid off in a satisfactory way.

Arabian Nights is a grab-bag of elements, tossed together, and thrown in with low-comedy and high-production values. The story concerns two brothers (Leif Erickson and Jon Hall) warring over their kingdom, Scheherazade (Maria Montez), street magician and acrobat Ali Ben Ali (Sabu), Sinbad the Sailor (Shemp Howard), and Aladdin (John Qualen). The hodge-podge ensemble of characters from the tales never quite coheres, with Sinbad and Aladdin being prime opportunities for Universal to unleash it’s mega-budget and movie-magic on fantastical characters and special effects like they often did with their movie monsters, but forsaking that in favor of pratfalls and easy gags. It’s a missed opportunity.

Where Arabian Nights excels is in the production and costume designs, and its use of Technicolor. This is a movie drunk with bright, lurid colors. Each frame is a piece of pop art waiting to burst forth from the confines and assault our eyes. I mean that as a high compliment. The jewels sparkle, the various colors look like daydreams come to life, and the entire thing is remarkably well-preserved for a film of its age.

The sets and matte paintings create another imagine place, one in which a vast Arabian kingdom seems to have assembled itself from disparate parts of others. Numerous fairy tale films do this with their imagined European kingdoms, and this one is treated no differently. At times the multi-cultural cast seems a little lost, towered as they are above the vast production. Only Sabu seems comfortable in these settings, as Jon Hall is painfully generic, and Maria Montez is prone to somnambulistic vamping.

A little bit more fantasy would only have helped this film, but its minor escapist charm is pleasing enough. It knows it’s light-hearted, and plays to those strengths more often than not, but it still shows its age in many places. Too many of the supporting players feel like they’re reading off of cue cards, numerous nubile female players are offered up as cheesecake and nothing more, and two-thirds of the leads are a wash. It’s a very minor charmer, the kind of film you watched on a bored, rainy Sunday afternoon when nothing else is on.

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Jungle Book

Posted : 1 week, 4 days ago on 17 August 2015 09:23 (A review of Jungle Book)

After blowing fellow child actor, Desmond Tester, out of the water with his naturalism in stark contrast to Tester’s stage-bound acting techniques, Sabu went on to star in his two best feature films. 1940’s remake of The Thief of Bagdad’s success can’t be solely credited to him, but since so much of the film is spent with him, a good chunk of its eternal optimism, mischievous spirit, and fun-loving vibe can be. And here, once again returning to the world of Rudyard Kipling, this time to tackle the author’s most-beloved property, in 1942’s Jungle Book, the final film in the Korda-Sabu pairing.

This film holds a tremendous amount of nostalgia for me. As a child, I probably watched this version more often than the famous Disney film. Something about this version just stayed with me more.

Perhaps it was the brightly colored sets? One of the great things about cinema is its ability to create fantastical, imagined lands out of real places. This India has little standing in reality, but it is a creation of a child’s imagination. This opulent, magical jungle is the type that the mind conjures up while reading an adventure story. Shot by W. Howard Greene and Lee Games, Jungle Book is a technical marvel. Its combination of matte paintings, real sets, and Technicolor vibrancy add up to something whimsical and daring. It’s a richly realized world, one that is easy to get lost in.

Or perhaps it was Sabu? Looking back on it, he was probably one of my earliest cinematic crushes. His lean muscular body on proud display, and a handsome face with full lips and big, bright eyes probably caused some deep stirrings in my boyhood that I didn’t understand until later. His acting has also improved by this time, essaying the change from feral wild child to uneasily domesticated youth with ease and consummate skill. Sabu’s athleticism and charisma matured as he was, with this film being the perfect template for his particular brand of star persona.

Maybe it was all of the animals, both real and animatronic? Among the opulent sets are several engaging sequences in which trained animals are let loose. Granted, certain ones are entirely fake, both by design of the screenplay and by how dangerous the actual creatures were. Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther, Raksha and Father Wolf, Shere Khan the tiger, and the various monkeys and deer are all live animals. They are anthropomorphized to a point, but nowhere near the way that they would become in Disney’s version. We’re told Mowgli can talk to the animals, and as the film progresses we begin to hear their voices. Mainly, two snake characters, the python Kaa and the old cobra Nag, are fakeries and heavy talkers.

For obvious reasons, these two characters are large rubber creatures. There’s something charming and quaint about these obviously artificial snakes. It adds to the mystique and fantasy of the film, in much the same way the dinosaurs do in King Kong. These are not real creatures, but imagined approximations of those creatures. While a dastardly effete villain in Disney’s version, Kaa is one of Mowgli’s trusted allies here. While Nag warns him of the dangers of the treasure he guards, giving Mowgli a talk about the destructive powers of man’s greed.

If Jungle Book has a flaw, it’s the third act which stretches on just a few minutest too long. A think shaving about ten minutes from this final section would have tightened up the pace. After ripping through a great speed and clarity through the various other adventures, our focus is pulled away from Mowgli for too long here, and we realize just how titanic Sabu was to making this entire enterprise work so smoothly.

Granted, the finale takes place in the beautifully wrought decaying ruins of a maharaja’s palace, so even if the pace is too slowly there’s still something beautiful to look at. Even better is the fiery scenes in which Mowgli eventually rejects “man’s world” and returns to the jungle. Mainly a grand spectacle, which is not a knock against the movie, Jungle Book is the kind of fine entertainment that rarely gets made anymore. I was only too happy to discover that the nostalgic glow this movie possessed in my memory was well-served. It is one that we should cherish.

(Jungle Book is the public domain, and can be viewed [Link removed - login to see].)

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The Drum

Posted : 1 week, 4 days ago on 17 August 2015 09:23 (A review of The Drum)

After the enormous success of Elephant Boy, producer Alexander Korda signed Sabu to an exclusive contract, smart move, and rushed this film into production, which was maybe a little too rushed. The Drum is the first film to give Sabu above the title billing, but he’s really more of a featured player in an awkward piece of British propaganda. It has its moments, but a nasty aftertaste of pro-colonialism ultimately sinks it.

The Drum, or Drums as it was released in the U.S., tells the story of a brewing uprising between two sides of an Indian family. On one side, Prince Azim (Sabu) who favors the British, and is a smiling, happy-go-lucky example of the colonized, while his uncle, Prince Ghul (Raymond Massey, in brownface), wants to kick the British out. Despite Sabu’s once-again winning presence and charming performance, my sympathies couldn’t help but lie with his uncle.

Despite being routinely asked to side with the pro-Empire side of the equation, I kept thinking about how the riotous fury of Pince Ghul and his followers was understandable, more empathetic and sympathetic than the questionable material you heard coming out of Sabu’s mouth. I don’t blame him, he was only a thirteen-year-old. Later films would drop this political baggage and go back to the fantastical, thankfully.

The Drum does have a few bright spots. Ignoring the ugly realities of white actors done up as people of color, Massey’s performance is another hissable and enjoyable turn from an actor who excelled at playing devious characters. Roger Livesey’s a smart, dashing hero in the central role, and Valerie Hobson is warm and nurturing as his wife. The action scenes are daring, and moments of suspense are well-made. The cinematography, once the crown jewel of the film, looks like it was once impressive, but the time and care has not gone into properly restoring it. What remains looks great, but I wonder how much better it could be if someone had taken the time to restore it to its proper magnificence.

In all, The Drum has individual parts that work exceptionally well, they’re just in service of a whole that is questionable. No, it’s not questionable. It’s just ugly, a bitter “Sun Never Sets” fantasy wrapped up in a pretty candy coating. Sabu deserved better treatment than this. It’s no surprise to me to learn that audiences in India reacted violently to this film’s politics. I don’t blame them.

(The Drum is in the public domain and can be viewed [Link removed - login to see].)

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Elephant Boy

Posted : 1 week, 4 days ago on 17 August 2015 09:23 (A review of Elephant Boy)

Lots of actors make debut film appearances with roles that perfectly match their skills and charisma, but Sabu’s role here is a piece of alchemy and serendipity captured on camera. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s “Toomai of the Elephants,” one of the many stories in the Jungle Books, Elephant Boy provides Sabu with the first of his enjoyable, charming adventure stories.

Elephant Boy tells the story of Toomai, a ten-year orphan who dreams of becoming an elephant-handler, but is told this dream will not come to pass until he sees the elephant’s dancing. As luck would have it, while looking for a child to play the title role, producer Alexander Korda and director Robert Flaherty found Sabu, the son of an elephant-handler.

In many ways, the story of Elephant Boy is reflective of Sabu’s own journey to international movie stardom. Sabu’s mother died while he was young, his father passed away a short time before being discovered, but all of the stuns and tricks that Sabu performs with the elephants in the film are real. If you switched out Toomai’s dream of becoming a respected mahout (what the Indian’s call an elephant driver) for international movie-stardom, you’d have the exact same story reflecting back and forth between character and actor.

Elephant Boy is not a perfect film, as the two directors and their respective directions often times come into awkward dramatic conflict. Zoltan Korda was hired to direct the dramatic tissue connection the various location-specific footage of animals in the wild shot by Flaherty. The film needs a strong center to hold it all together, and Sabu provides this in spades.

His naturalism before the camera makes some of the stiff, affected line deliveries of the various British cast members appear more tin-eared and false than before. Naturally exuberant, Sabu’s sense of fun and adventure is infectious. His joyous nature and mega-watt charisma begin to overtake you as the film goes on. He elevates the entire thing by his sheer strength, even if his phonetically learned English is often times shaky.

In the end, Elephant Boy may be slight, but it’s a rousing adventure story nonetheless. The best moments are ones in which the narrative takes a backseat to enjoying the moment. The relationship between Sabu and the elephant is a unique spin on the boy-and-his-dog narratives of other films. And the various bits of animal footage is wondrous to watch, it might not add anything of importance to the plot, but the gives the film a sense of truth in location and narrative that is important. After watching this thoroughly enjoyable Saturday matinee adventure, it’s very easy to see why Sabu would go on to become on the strangest, but most charismatic of movie stars in the forties.

(Elephant Boy is in the public domain and can be viewed [Link removed - login to see].)

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Heartburn

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 14 August 2015 04:59 (A review of Heartburn)

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but a film combining the talents of Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, and Mike Nichols should not be this flabby and shapeless. Heartburn begins with a good foundation, but quickly crumbles once we realize it’s main character is going to project all of the blame for the failed relationship on her partner, and scene after scene will not add up to a satisfying conclusion.

Perhaps the fault of this lies squarely at the foot of Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplay based upon her thinly disguised autobiographical novel. There’s never any believable or reasonable explanation for these two characters to attract each other, marry, or continually orbit each other’s lives. The script also begins to unravel as an episodic structure develops and we quickly realize that these scenes are not going to build upon each other into a coherent narrative. This rambling, shaggy structure works fine for a novel in which slices of life moments can reveal character depths or inner monologues, but that freewheeling structure is hard to translate to film. A tighter control is needed to wrangle all of the moving parts into a whole that feels complete. Heartburn doesn’t have that guiding hand.

While Streep and Nichols typically work magic together, and present her with a flawed, interesting character, too many of the other actors are wasted. Nicholson is stuck with a thinly drawn figure, one that we’re supposed to hiss at more than we understand. Consistently strong supporting players like Maureen Stapleton and Catherine O’Hara are given roles that look like plum parts before eventually just disappearing. They do solid work with what little they’re given to do, but this is mostly a film for Streep to suffer, cry, fall into anxious fits, regain strength, then shove a pie in her husband’s face. It’s not a very exciting film, and I only watched it as a major fan of Nichols, Nicholson, and Streep. Unless you're also a major fan of those three, I don’t really know if I can recommend giving this one a spin.

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Manhunter

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 14 August 2015 04:59 (A review of Manhunter)

Including the current television series (which if you never watched it, how dare you), Hannibal Lecter has appeared in a (loose) franchise with 6 distinct entries. The television series, Hannibal, may be the most artistically daring and original of the various works, but Manhunter was a clear and obvious influence. Based upon Red Dragon, the first of Thomas Harris’ novels to use Lector, Manhunter is also the second-best of the five films. (Sorry, but The Silence of the Lambs is just a magnificent piece of pop-thriller film-making.)

On its own merits, Manhunter is one hell of a film. With a serial killer, dubbed The Tooth Fairy but preferring to call himself the Great Red Dragon over his obsession with that painting, targeting happy families, Will Graham is called back into the FBI. Graham had previously captured Hannibal Lecter (called Lector here, for some reason), and he uses that infamous killer as a springboard to find the Tooth Fairy, a killer with seemingly no clues or traces of where to find him. Graham’s strong sense of empathy allows for him to enter the minds of killers, to figure out their tactics and motivations, to work from the inside out to find them.

All of this is old hat if you’ve seen Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, or you’ve been watching the television show. No matter, Manhunter, despite being roughly thirty years old, is still a refreshing spin on the material. Director Michael Mann’s clinical detachment, tight sense of framing, and expressionist use of color suites the material just fine. The very 80s shine is all surface level, and it isn’t long until we’re descending into more shadows and use of light to evoke mood and tension.

Harris’ purple prose and melodramatic narrative twists are underplayed by all involved, making the action seem, somehow, real and true. William Petersen’s Will Graham has a clear descent into near-madness to play. Petersen’s handsome face slowly drains itself of life and energy, most of this is accomplished with just his eyes. By the end, he’s wearing a haunted look that makes one question if he can return to some semblance of normalcy after staring into the abyss for so long.

Brian Cox’s portrayal of Lector is an interesting departure from the more polite, if uneasy Anthony Hopkins, and the faux-gallantry and tortured poet of Mads Mikkelsen. Cox chooses to play his Lecter as the physical embodiment of intellect gone evil. He’s a series of wild eye flashes and honey-voiced threats, but this Lecter isn’t in it enough to leave a more impressionable mark. Perhaps a fault of the script, or perhaps an artistic choice, but it seems odd to deny us one of the most dastardly charismatic parts of the story for so much of the running time. Tom Noonan is much better as the Tooth Fairy, a character we almost feel some sympathy for in his inability to relate to his fellow man, but not enough to make us forget about the horrific crimes he’s routinely committing. His physicality alone is imposing and distressing, and once we get to a scene where he tortures and kills a journalist, any positive feelings towards the character have long evaporated into a sense of dread and fear.

If Manhunter has any problem, and it wasn’t one for me, it’s that the entire thing feels artificial, fussily designed and staged. This tilts the dramatics more towards the abstract, teetering on the brink of hallucinatory nightmare images dancing before our eyes. This is purposefully remote and icy, not the funeral dirge and without the sense of repeated trauma of The Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter is but another option in adapting the source material. I think it’s underrated and undervalued as a film, and I can see its influence in films like Seven.

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The Last Mile

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 14 August 2015 04:59 (A review of The Last Mile)

A remake of a 1932 film of the same name, The Last Mile tells the story of a group of nine inmates on death row. More violent than the original (a little shocking since sex and violence were the primary selling points of the Pre-Code era), but clearly originating from a play, The Last Mile proves more frustrating than anything.

The camera frequently just sits in one locked location and watches as the various inmates in the cell block twist, contort, and deliver long dialog passages at a time. They’re lined up against one side of the building, with a police desk sitting towards the middle. In adapting a stage show, one must take into consideration that what works on a stage may not work on film. That simple rule was either forgotten or totally ignored here.

Try as the actors might, and they’re assembled from a gallery of supporting players with recognizable faces if their names are escaping, they just can’t rise above this sluggish directing choices. Mickey Rooney, the headliner, plays it all subtle and quiet during the first half, before getting a chance to exploit his volcanic screen presence and charisma in the second. I know it’s easy to write off Rooney as a ham, and in various musical comedies he could be a huge one, but if given a strong guiding hand, he could be surprisingly malleable to a variety of genres and styles. I wouldn’t say this is one of his greatest performances, but it’s a solid and dark turn from the former Andy Hardy star.

It may not be a great film, but with Rooney and a cast of relative unknowns doing some commendable work, The Last Mile is at least worth a cursory look. It’s a decent enough B-movie, but you’ll be spending a decent amount of time watching it and wondering how much better it could have been if the budget was larger, a few more retakes could be done, and if the direction had been livelier.

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Prime Suspect 3

Posted : 2 weeks, 2 days ago on 12 August 2015 09:06 (A review of Prime Suspect 3)

The end of Prime Suspect 2 saw the boys club of the police squadron reject Tennison’s application for promotion, despite being more than qualified for the position. Prime Suspect 3 picks up a year later, with Tennison now working at a new police precinct, and taking over a half-assed case with Vice Squad. This time around, we’re exploring child prostitution and homosexuality.

The plot has become infinitely more complicated, and the balance between character development and sociological issues is finely starting to even out. The story begins with a house fire where the remains of an underage rent boy are found, and by the end we’ve descended into a hellish world where the police are complicit in covering up these heinous acts. Tennison’s righteous fury is deeply felt as she claws through a mercurial landscape looking for clues to piece it all together.

Prime Suspect 3 is the series gearing up to fire off on all cylinders, and achieves many moments of absolute greatness. The only problem here is that so many of the supporting players are given ample moments of character development, but we’ve just met them so the intended payoff is possibly less than expected. If we were with the same unit as the first two entries, this point would be invalid, but we’re with a (mostly) fresh batch of characters.

No matter, Mirren is typically excellent, continuing to dive deeper into Tennison’s many personality quirks to find new textures and colors to explore. Peter Capaldi as the emotionally brittle Vera, a female impersonator, is equally excellent. First introduced as the victim of the house fire, Vera knows more than she tells, and Capaldi’s fluttering speech and anxious body language really sell the character. Equally as important, Tom Bell returns from the first installment to reprise his character. In the first series, he was Tennison’s main bully on the force, and here he softens to her just enough to work with her, becoming her main support system within Vice Squad. His character never fully blossoms into someone likable, but Bell does a damn fine job making his character understandable.

It’s understandable if any of this material sounds well-worn, but Prime Suspect always finds a more unique, quieter spin on the material than one would guess. The plot intricacies can get convoluted, but the series finds time to counterbalance that with the weight and pressure placed on Tennison to either abandon the case, or her own internalized emotions to solve and prove them all wrong. The balance between the two, and how it is sometimes hard to shut off “work mode” and “home mode” when one is involved in this work gets more richly explored than before. Prime Suspect 3 continues the improvements made in the first two, and finds new ways to make the subject matter fresh, engaging, and Tennison an enigmatic if charismatic protagonist.

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Prime Suspect 2

Posted : 2 weeks, 2 days ago on 12 August 2015 09:06 (A review of Prime Suspect 2)

Prime Suspect 2 picks up just a year after the events from the first series. Tennison has established her name and reputation, but still crashes into the glass ceiling at full force. Prime Suspect 2 also adds in a newer layers, bringing in racial tensions, police brutality, and pornography to its central mystery. It’s an improvement over the first series, but still only flirting with the brilliance that the remainder of the series would be operating at.

When the remains of a tied-up girl are found in a neighborhood backyard, Tennison is joined in her investigation by Robert Oswalde, the newly hired black detective. While the first series saw Tennison’s rough initiation because of her gender, Oswalde’s is tied into his race. Since the murder took place in an era primarily composed to Caribbean natives, Oswalde is brought in to take the lead on the case, hoping to diffuse or ease any potential troubles between the citizens and the police department.

At times the series leans a little hard on the social issues, drifting a little too far away from Tennison’s personal growth and journey. Her love affair with Oswalde is kept quiet out of her desire for professional respect and career-driven single-mindedness. Later on we will see the various sacrifices and toils this has caused her, but it gets a little too muted here. When she is pulled off of the case, briefly, we see how rudderless and hopeless she is as a person without her job to define her. It’s these moments into Tennison’s mental and emotional space that make Prime Suspect so beloved. Prime Suspect 2 could have used a few more of them.

But it’s still a solidly made piece of television. I appreciate that this series finds its resolutions as anti-climaxes. These detectives stare into the abyss of human behavior, powerless to stop it from happening, but hoping to stop it from happening again. There’s a general sense of feeling adrift among these detectives that’s strangely compelling. They’re not the super-humans of American TV, but people trying desperately to do a tiny bit of good.

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Prime Suspect

Posted : 2 weeks, 2 days ago on 12 August 2015 09:06 (A review of Prime Suspect)

Who would have imagined that the Brits would produce a show that changed the entire format of a police procedural? One thinks of British TV as a continuous source of Masterpiece Theater’s handsome literary adaptations. Tasteful, might even be a better word for it. Of course, as an American my perception is more than likely warped given that much of British TV wasn’t shown over here, or it was hard to find, buried away in some distant cable channel.

But I’m digressing away from the main point. Prime Suspect is a hell of a show. Police dramas like Homicide: Life on the Street, NYPD Blue, and the various outsets of Law & Order owe a tremendous debt to this series. These prodigal children wouldn’t have a roadmap to follow if it wasn’t for this first entry in the six volume series, which began in 1991 and ended in 2006.

This first volume, simply titled Prime Suspect, follows the newly appointed Jane Tennison as she takes over the homicide division and tries to solve a murder. As the first woman to run the department and head up an investigation of this magnitude, she encounters sexism at every turn. Tennison’s steely resolve and hard-outer shell eventually began to consume her, both at the job and in her private life, as she submerges her femininity to try and demand the respect she should be entitled to from her male peers and subordinates.

It’s gritty, well-written, and supremely well-acted show. Helen Mirren’s Tennison is a compulsively watchable character. We root for her to succeed in front of these hostile odds. She’s not always likable, and as the series progresses some of her more questionable traits and decisions become major problems, but she feels like a complete person. As flawed, damaged, and interesting as that sounds, Mirren makes it even more intriguing. When one looks at Mirren’s career achievements, her work on this series must be placed near the very top of the list, alongside her performances in Gosford Park, The Queen, Elizabeth, I, and The Madness of King George.

The only true flaw I can find with this first season of Prime Suspect is how consistently it replays some of the same story beats. There’s only one true suspect, we don’t spend much time with the others, and the series frequently has him in-and-out of jail, going out on bail/freed for lack of evidence, new evidence comes out to implicate him, repeat. It gets a little monotonous by the third go-around, but it’s highly forgivable a flaw. The rest of the series is so solidly constructed and executed, the supporting players is perfectly in-tuned with the material, and Mirren’s guiding performance so masterful, that it still feels imminently satisfying once the climatic events reveal themselves and the story reaches its inevitable conclusion.

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JxSxPx posted a image

4 days, 1 hour ago
Cobra Woman
 Cobra Woman 4/10
1 week, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

“A near carbon copy of The Thief of Bagdad in tone and material, but without that film’s artistry and fantasy, Arabian Nights is Saturday matinee through-and-through, but a little too sluggish for its own good. Which isn’t to say that it’s bad, but it’s more half-formed. Too many characters g” read more

1 week, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Jungle Book

Jungle Book

“After blowing fellow child actor, Desmond Tester, out of the water with his naturalism in stark contrast to Tester’s stage-bound acting techniques, Sabu went on to star in his two best feature films. 1940’s remake of The Thief of Bagdad’s success can’t be solely credited to him, but since so” read more

1 week, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Drum

The Drum

“After the enormous success of Elephant Boy, producer Alexander Korda signed Sabu to an exclusive contract, smart move, and rushed this film into production, which was maybe a little too rushed. The Drum is the first film to give Sabu above the title billing, but he’s really more of a featured play” read more

1 week, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Elephant Boy

Elephant Boy

“Lots of actors make debut film appearances with roles that perfectly match their skills and charisma, but Sabu’s role here is a piece of alchemy and serendipity captured on camera. Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s “Toomai of the Elephants,” one of the many stories in the Jungle Books, Elephant” read more

1 week, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Heartburn

Heartburn

“Perhaps my expectations were too high, but a film combining the talents of Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, and Mike Nichols should not be this flabby and shapeless. Heartburn begins with a good foundation, but quickly crumbles once we realize it’s main character is going to project all of the blame ” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Manhunter

Manhunter

“Including the current television series (which if you never watched it, how dare you), Hannibal Lecter has appeared in a (loose) franchise with 6 distinct entries. The television series, Hannibal, may be the most artistically daring and original of the various works, but Manhunter was a clear and ob” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Last Mile

The Last Mile

“A remake of a 1932 film of the same name, The Last Mile tells the story of a group of nine inmates on death row. More violent than the original (a little shocking since sex and violence were the primary selling points of the Pre-Code era), but clearly originating from a play, The Last Mile proves mo” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
2 weeks, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Prime Suspect 3

Prime Suspect 3

“The end of Prime Suspect 2 saw the boys club of the police squadron reject Tennison’s application for promotion, despite being more than qualified for the position. Prime Suspect 3 picks up a year later, with Tennison now working at a new police precinct, and taking over a half-assed case with Vic” read more

2 weeks, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Prime Suspect 2

Prime Suspect 2

“Prime Suspect 2 picks up just a year after the events from the first series. Tennison has established her name and reputation, but still crashes into the glass ceiling at full force. Prime Suspect 2 also adds in a newer layers, bringing in racial tensions, police brutality, and pornography to its ce” read more

2 weeks, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Prime Suspect

Prime Suspect

“Who would have imagined that the Brits would produce a show that changed the entire format of a police procedural? One thinks of British TV as a continuous source of Masterpiece Theater’s handsome literary adaptations. Tasteful, might even be a better word for it. Of course, as an American my perc” read more

2 weeks, 2 days ago
Jungle Book
 Jungle Book 9/10
2 weeks, 3 days ago
On the Radio
 On the Radio 10/10
2 weeks, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted 2 images

2 weeks, 5 days ago
JxSxPx posted a image

3 weeks ago
The Drum
 The Drum 5/10
3 weeks ago
Elephant Boy
 Elephant Boy 8/10
3 weeks, 3 days ago
JxSxPx posted a image

3 weeks, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted 6 images [View All]

4 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Good Earth

The Good Earth

“Grandiose and perhaps too slavishly faithful to Pearl S. Buck’s novel, The Good Earth is a bit of an overstuffed drag. Wunderkind Irving Thalberg’s last film before his premature death, it’s yet another super-production more concerned with spectacle and initial impact than anything concerning ” read more

1 month ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Great Ziegfeld

The Great Ziegfeld

“I’m sure that the real story of Florenz Ziegfeld is worthy of a three hour spectacle, but this movie plays so fast and loose with the story, unconcerned with dramatics in fact, that it clearly only wants to move as quickly as possible from one big production number or melodramatic scene to the nex” read more

1 month ago
Heartburn
 Heartburn 5/10
1 month ago
JxSxPx posted 5 images [View All]

1 month ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Jurassic World

Jurassic World

“I understand that looking for coherent storytelling in a big summer blockbuster is like looking for water in Death Valley. Trust me, I really do understand this, but even accounting for that, I found Jurassic World to be insanely stupid. Sure it’s fun while watching it in the moment, but I could n” read more

1 month ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

“If there is such a thing as too much cinema, as overdosing on it even, I think a film like Mad Max: Fury Road might be what someone is talking about. From the first frame until the credits roll, every single second of it is blasted to 15, and pumped full of adrenaline. It’s a crazed, gorgeous piec” read more

1 month ago

Born on the Fourth of July

“Born on the Fourth of July just reminds me of why I’m so lukewarm to Oliver Stone on a good day, and loathe him on a bad day. While the center of the film is a solid story, an impassioned howl about Vietnam and its numerous wrongs, it is trapped within too many stylistic diversions and distraction” read more

1 month ago
1 month ago

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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 26 17:23
Posted: 2 years, 4 months ago at Apr 8 14:36
hi friend check out my new list .
hope you like it and thanks for your
time
http://www.listal.com/list/love-these-posters
Posted: 2 years, 5 months ago at Mar 30 14:02
This might just sound schize, but thanks for re-writing my "Pocahontas" review-- saves me the trouble of figuring it all out *again* myself, a-hahahaha....
Posted: 2 years, 5 months ago at Mar 18 22:57
Thanks for participating in my lists.
Sorry, but you can't do another top, really sorry.
But thanks.
Posted: 2 years, 5 months ago at Mar 10 18:22
Thanks for taking part in my musicals list!

I also know how you feel, I found it hard to limit my choices down to 10.
Posted: 2 years, 7 months ago at Jan 19 23:47
hey friend check out my new list. hope you like it
http://www.listal.com/list/reflecting-beuty
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 21 16:14
Hello there! I enjoyed your review of Dracula and took myself the freedom to link it to my Universal Horror Films - Best to Worst list. Hope you're fine with that!
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 21 2:52
Thank u 4 your comment on the muses list. Suggestion added.
Posted: 3 years, 7 months ago at Jan 27 21:05
I'm working on a new project. Maybe you can check it out and help me. From which State are you from? and in which State are you living right now?

http://www.listal.com/list/around-usa-listals-members

(I may have asked you this already earlier, in this case, apology for the inconvenience!)
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Jul 16 13:06
I'm working on a new project. Maybe you can check it out and help me. From which State are you from? and in which State are you living right now?

http://www.listal.com/list/around-usa-listals-members
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 18 1:19
O.O Thanks!!
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Jan 12 20:17
cool reviews =]
Posted: 6 years, 9 months ago at Nov 15 17:51
Posted: 7 years ago at Aug 12 18:48
Hey man, I see you're pretty new, I'm loving the reviews though! Great job.