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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.

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Favorite movies (249 items)
Movie list by JxSxPx
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Favorite Actors & Actresses (100 items)
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VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music (100 items)
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Published 6 years, 10 months ago



Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (605) - TV Shows (56) - Books (3) - Music (118)

The Good Earth

Posted : 5 days ago on 30 July 2015 04:51 (A review of 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 art.

The plot follows the novel’s various detours and big set-pieces very faithfully, which is a problem. Buck’s novel presents a simplistic group of characters who don’t evolve or grow much, or are frequently lost track of for long periods of time before being reintroduced at random points. Her viewpoint was also clearly that of a white Christian bringing about salvation and modernity to the “backwards” Chinese, and they’re too often presented with child-like simplicity.

The worst offender of this is Paul Muni’s Wang Lung. Muni never disappears as effortlessly as he did in Scarface: The Shame of a Nation. He overacts too often, and adopts an accent that I suppose is his best effort at Chinese, but it just sounds distractingly "off." Good thing he’s the main character with the most speaking lines. And Luise Rainer’s mostly silent O-Lan is certainly a better performance than the previous year’s hammy Best Actress turn, but her win here is odd. She’s solid, if nothing more. She’s mostly called on to suffer nobly, and the harder edges of her character have been sanded off. Her work is commendable, maybe even worthy of the nomination, but it’s not as good as Greta Garbo’s immaculate work in Camille.

The rest of the cast is filled out with white actors in yellowface, just like the leads. While Muni and Rainer aren’t familiar faces or voices as hard-set star personas, the supporting players were recognizable character actors at the time. Many of them sound like grizzled prospectors and not the poor Chinese peasants they’re supposed to be playing. This was to be expected of the era, sadly, but it becomes more egregious and ugly once you notice that all of the extras and bit players are played by Asians.

There are two solid reasons to watch The Good Earth, and they’re the big production scenes and the cinematography. Karl Freund’s cinematography is a highlight of any film bearing his name, and his work is similarly solid and commendable. I would have thrown him a statute for his work in Metropolis, Dracula, Camille, or Key Largo before this one, but his win here is still well deserved.

The Good Earth brings to life many of the memorable scenes from the book – the plague of locusts, the revolution and rioting, the vast scenes of drought and starvation. These segments are thrilling moments in which the film springs alive, shaking off the tendency towards tasteful suffering and turgid movie-making. O-Lan’s near-miss with a firing squad is one of the few scenes of high-tension.

Far too much of The Good Earth is wasted on making a large-scale epic, without bothering to populate it with memorable characters. There’s too many long-stretches of tedium setting in, or Muni mugging for the back row, or Rainer's open-mouthed bowing and looking vaguely distressed. The big scenes show where all of the time and money went on the screen, shame they couldn’t put that kind of care into the rest of the production.

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The Great Ziegfeld

Posted : 5 days ago on 30 July 2015 04:51 (A review of 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 next. The Great Ziegfeld is probably a more tightly constructed variation of the blossoming genre of thinly veiled biopics that MGM traded in over the following decade: a loosely constructed plot to disguise the fact that we’re watching a filmed revue. Later films like Words and Music feature better production numbers, but The Great Ziegfeld never drags for a moment despite the sense of bloat that occurs frequently.

Perhaps Ziegfeld is most illuminating about MGM’s figurehead, Louis B. Mayer. Here was a super-production without the fingerprints of Irving Thalberg, this one was all Mayer, and his ludicrous artistic vision. The story superficially concerns Ziegfeld’s rise, increasing lavish productions, and grand showmanship, but it’s really a bit of back-patting from MGM’s head-honcho. This is the type of elephantine cinema that makes clean sweeps at the Oscars, despite never truly deserving such accolades.

It’s easy to confuse biggest with being the best. The Great Ziegfeld certainly is BIG. Bordering on garish the production numbers are things that hit you over the head with the swirling gigs, rising curtains, and showgirls buried under sparkles and fringe. This sense of overly fussy production carries over into the three lead acting performances that are at times too large. William Powell, normally an urbane sophisticate that I adore spending time with, is lost here. There’s no tether for him to hold on to or arc for him to play. His Ziegfeld is unchanging from the first frame until the very last, with only age makeup to signify a major growth has happened. This is the master showman as saintly figure, yet another moment in which Mayer’s self-congratulations feels unearned. The amount of crocodile tears the production probably had to shed while he gave orders about this could have turned the Sahara into the wetlands.

Myrna Loy, normally a perfect foil to Powell, also feels lost amongst the glitter and pomp. Her third-place top billing is nothing but a bit of name recognition to pull in audiences. The movie is three hours long, and she shows up for the last forty-five minutes, roughly. She doesn’t capture anything of Billie Burke, and her performance mostly consists of a new hair color and nothing dramatic for her to play. Luise Rainer fares better in the sense that she has more scenes to play, but her performance is too mannered. Rainer projects a delicate nature, but her performance is brittle and fluttery, and she plays everything too large. The infamous phone scene is a study in the theatrical technique the Method generation sought to remove. It’s a decent enough performance, but to win the Oscar over Carole Lombard’s iconic work in My Man Godfrey? Strange.

As heavy-handed, teetering towards a grotesque celebration of quantity over quality, as The Great Ziegfeld is, it’s no worse than many modern Oscar winners. In 1936 this won Best Picture, and, frankly, it probably would stand a good chance of winning that title in any decade given the sheer number of bloated, banal films with epic running times that have claimed that honor. There’s some fine moments hidden within the colossal running time, but the film mostly plays as a enormous masturbatory bit of ego stroking from Mayer.

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Jurassic World

Posted : 5 days, 21 hours ago on 29 July 2015 08:37 (A review of 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 never stop myself from internal eye-rolling or unintentional giggle fits.

Here is a movie that introduces a series of concepts and tones and never pays them off. It appears to frequently be calling attention to itself through meta-commentary, but it merely pays as lip service. A sound bite about audiences desire for “more teeth” in comparison to the thrills of the original Jurassic Park is akin to this. It says it knows that it’s going to be ridiculous, but it plays everything with a deadly serious tone.

Jurassic Park was not exactly a fountain of correct science, dinosaur DNA preserved in amber for millions upon millions of years? Yeah, right. Dinosaurs recreated with amphibian DNA as opposed to birds, which we were told were their theoretical ancestors? Weird choice, one must admit. But Jurassic Park had solid film-making choices, and if a film is well made and engaging, we will forgive a great many logical blunders.

Jurassic World is not a film made with great care and skill. It constantly wants us to look up in awe, without having earned that awe. The special effects work is rough looking, and at no point did I believe that Chris Pratt was in the same frame as the velociraptors. Jurassic Park gave us accurate enough dinosaurs based upon the cumulative knowledge of the era, while this film is only happy to regurgitate those images instead of expanding the notion of what a cinematic dinosaur could be. Call me old fashioned, but I wanted more animatronic work! The reason the first film is still so beloved and cherished is the top-notch effects work that created believable looking dinosaurs, most of which were made by Stan Winston Studios. And the main plot point of a hybrid dinosaur as something new and shocking is laughable enough, the dinosaurs in the original film were hybrids!

Another problem is that of character. A blockbuster by design plays within well-known character tropes. Bryce Dallas Howard’s frigid all-business career woman will inevitably thaw in the presence of chaos in her perfectly organized world. Jurassic World is also positioning her as the ostensible hero of the film, yet undercuts every single one of her numerous heroic moments in favor of a laugh. It’s an unseemly bit of condescension to the main character in favor of making Pratt’s animal trainer look like the sweaty, masculine alpha star of these things. Pratt’s character doesn’t deserve this heroic view either, as he does nothing much memorable or life-saving for a majority of the film. Jurassic World is also not a great highlight for Pratt’s brand of goofy, insouciant charm as it asks him to play it straight. He gets lost in the shuffle.

What Jurassic World does well is unleash dinosaur related chaos for two hours. I knew going into this movie that it was probably going to be a mess as none of the previews had endeared me to it. But I was a kid who loved dinosaurs, and I still do. Jurassic World certainly gave me plenty of dino-related bang for my buck. The climatic finale had more to do with kaiju film-making than anything else, and while it was appropriately campy (a believed dead character returns cause magic!), it was also strangely satisfying to watch. Man, is it a stupid movie as plot holes and thinly written characters crash up higher and higher, but there’s a level of fun to be had in watching gigantic super beasts cause massive amounts of destruction. It’s still the best sequel in the franchise, but that is an admittedly low-bar to leap.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted : 5 days, 21 hours ago on 29 July 2015 08:37 (A review of 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 piece of action film-making, with coherent sequences that clearly delineate who is where and what is going on, and surrounds them in piercing colors and textures.

This isn’t so much a reboot of a beloved but long dormant franchise as it is a complete makeover of it. If this movie was a high school student, it would be a carhead that huffs paint and pierces himself when bored. It’s an invigorating and hellish ride, a rollercoaster which threatens to throw itself off of the tracks at any given second, spitting off sparks every step of the way.

The Mad Max franchise has always placed him as an outsider, a supporting player in whichever episodic narrative he has become entangled in. Fury Road quickly captures Max (Tom Hardy), throws him in the den of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his War Boys, used for blood transfusions for the ailing War Boys. He escapes, and runs into Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and the runaway wives of Joe. Joining forces with them, the motley crew try to survive the vast desert, reach a promised land, and escape from Joe who is hot on their heels.

The entire Mad Max franchise has hidden away the threat of violence against females, and Fury Road places those fears at the center stage. Presenting a world in which a group of avenging females gain agency and dismantle the oppressive patriarchy of their world. They don’t replace it with a matriarchy, but with a hinted at third option. Immortan Joe’s world is explained through visual cues, with water as a precious commodity, given freely among the upper class but rationed to the lower classes. Borrowing from Metropolis, Joe’s haven is a paradise at the top of a large structure, and a dirty, grubby land at the bottom, burdened with overpopulation and little resources. The ending sees them restoring some kind of leveling playing field.

Fury Road is also a film which gives us a full spectrum of female characters, each developed enough to make clear their wants, desires, and needs. Furiosa gets the majority of the screen time, and she’s one hell of a character. I would happily watch another several dozen films with her in the lead character. She recalls Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, but is a decidedly original and unique creation. I want a movie detailing her culture, their backstory, everything.

This theme of female strength presents itself in the various action sequences. An early one sees a gigantic sandstorm conjuring itself when Furiosa and the wives need it. This sandstorm is like a physical manifestation of maternal rage and protection. It’s a thrilling piece of film-making. The colors in this sequence, like the rest of the film, are saturated to the point of eyeball searing. The swirling color palette is kind of pure cinematic distillation that we go to the movies for.

God, I loved this movie. I could go on praising the entire thing even more, but I think I have made the case.

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Born on the Fourth of July

Posted : 6 days, 15 hours ago on 29 July 2015 01:52 (A review of 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 distractions.

The early sequences are meant to be slices of Americana, but they’re too hokey, and filled with too many on-the-noise dialog passages to be entirely forgivable. The worst of which has Ron Kovic’s mother turning to him and creating a prophecy for his future by sharing a dream she had. It’s ham-fisted, indulging in the worst tricks of Stone as a storyteller – slow-motion, obvious symbolism pointed out, a grandiose tone that pounds away.

Once you accept that the film will be overblown, it becomes more enjoyable as Kovic ages, goes to war, and descends into self-hatred and activism. Certain scenes still ring with a sense of hysteria and bloat that don’t aid the epic tone he’s striving for, but he more often just rests his camera upon Tom Cruise and lets him act.

To be fair, I’ve never thought of Cruise as much of an actor. His lone mode of intensity or creeping manic laughter left me cold in numerous beloved properties. I only really warm up to him when he’s forced to dig deep in roles we wouldn’t normally picture him in, think of Magnolia or Interview with the Vampire. Here, he does commendable and strong movie star acting. Never quite disappearing entirely into the role, and frequently doing the type of acting that looks great in small chunks come award season or in career retrospectives, but he still digs deeper into the role than in anything he had done before.

Cruise is the main reason to watch Fourth of July, as most of the other actors are wasted in small supporting parts. Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Willem Dafoe, Frank Whaley, these are just some of the actors given prominent billing in parts that are thinly written, drift in-and-out of the film randomly, or appear for a small handful of scenes then exit. None of them makes much of an impression since none of them are written as dynamic people. They’re supporting players to Kovic’s story, characters who exist to move the narrative forward, or to make sure emotional beats are hit properly.

Born on the Fourth of July was probably the first warning of the bloated, overindulgent tendencies that Oliver Stone would fall into as time went on, but it still has a visceral power in numerous ways. Cruise’s central performance is a solid anchor for the film, and it’s story is an important one, still timely and deeply felt. It’s good, but I don’t know if it’s just my distaste for Stone, or if between my first viewing of the film and my most recent one I noticed its flaws much more. Could be, the film hasn’t changed, but I certainly have.

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Mary and Max

Posted : 1 week ago on 28 July 2015 03:59 (A review of Mary and Max)

For all of the praise that Up garnered around this same time for maturely handling grief, regret, and death, I never quite warmed up to it. I appreciated it at an arm’s length, but Mary and Max handles similar material with more aplomb. Mary and Max is quite possibly one of the bleakest and despairing animated films, a meditation of two sad, damaged individuals struggling deeply to form a connection. This connection, surprisingly intimate and warm despite being over letters, also gives the film a counterbalance of hope, joy, and humanity.

2009 was a banner year for animation, not only did we see the release of these two films, but even lesser efforts like 9, commendable ones like The Princess and the Frog, and neo-classics like Coraline, Ponyo, and Fantastic Mr. Fox all saw release. Each of those films obtained some measure of respect and an audience, yet Mary and Max was handled poorly. Pity, while the target audience may be hard to determine, this film deserved a better rollout than to just be dropped on Video-on-Demand with little fanfare.

The story concerns the decades-long friendship between Mary, a young Australian girl with a rough home life, and Max, a middle-aged mentally ill New Yorker. They communicate through letters, with Max frequently oversharing adult situations and themes that Mary would have no clue how to process or what they meant. Mary, meanwhile, shares stories of an alcoholic mother, absentee father, and isolated childhood. Individually, their lives are sad and damaged, but when brought together they find some measure of happiness and understanding between them.

The film is unconcerned with traditional narrative, preferring to craft a series of vignettes populated by eccentrics, and colored in muted tones with an occasional splash of crimson. Sight-gags and strange choices in character design make this world feel welcoming at first glance, until one realizes just how depraved and twisted everything is swirling around these two optimists. The emotional heft of the film ultimately prevails as hopeful, despite numerous accidental deaths and suicide attempts along the way. These two characters share a common thread of innocence, of hopefulness, that the world cannot extinguish no matter how hard it tries. The climatic revelation is a touching, even heartbreakingly tender portrait of what a connection between two people can inspire. The comfort we find in this final passage is a hard-won victory against the anguish of so much that transpired before it.

Mary and Max may not be a movie for everyone, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t absolutely adore it. Here was a movie that tackled difficult, often tricky subject matter head-on with humanity, wicked humor, and a frankness that is refreshing. Many animated films have touched me deeply, but I don’t know of another one that did the feat quite as sublimely as this one did.

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The Triplets of Belleville

Posted : 1 week ago on 28 July 2015 03:59 (A review of The Triplets of Belleville)

With the exception of some sound effects work, musical cues, and a repeated song-and-dance number, The Triplets of Belleville is a deliriously strange, nearly silent animated film. It’s the kind of whimsy and charm that could only come from the French. While I enjoyed the grotesquery of the animation and character design, but the plot left me a little cold. Or well, it left me cold until the titular sisters showed up.

Despite being named for them, they’re really a supporting act to the main players. The Triplets of Belleville opens with a crudely drawn black-and-white prologue, introducing us to the triplets and throwing in animated cameos from the likes of Josephine Baker and Django Reinhardt. This opening is absolutely bewildering, yet enticing. I wanted to follow these strange looking sisters around, getting to know everything about them, and their lives in the music hall. But the film is not content with spending time with them.

After this prologue we flash forward, and we’re now in our main plot, a story about an elderly woman, her dog, and her grandson, who is training to participate in the Tour de France. He gets kidnapped by gangsters, and his grandmother and faithful (elderly) dog go searching for him, by chance happen to meet the triplets, and join forces to find and rescue the grandson. Of course they succeed, and the film ends in a particularly well-done car chase, but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the entire thing by the time it ended.

The colors were beautiful, the animation fluid and smooth, the character designs were very angular and tip-toeing towards the fine line between highly stylized and slightly grotesque, but the story just didn’t interest me much when it moved focus away from the triplets. They are a merry band of strange old birds when we reunite with them. No longer the big stars of a music hall or vaudeville stage, but improvisational street musicians who live out in the swamps and dine on frogs. Theirs is a magical, whimsical world, and it’s a shame we didn’t spend more time getting to know the minute details of it.

Having said all of that, I still recommend The Triplets of Belleville very highly, even if I didn’t love it. Perhaps the introductory passage and title gave me higher hopes than I should have had for the contents of the story, I don’t know. There’s still so much good here, and that song! “Belleville Rendez-vous” was stuck in my head for days after watching this, it’s so quirky, with a fun sense of melody and inventive use of percussion. Pity that it lost Best Original Song to the mammoth victory lap of the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

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The Man from Snowy River

Posted : 3 weeks ago on 14 July 2015 04:55 (A review of The Man from Snowy River)

Sweet natured and charming, but is that enough to make it memorable or watch viewing? I’m not entirely sold on The Man from Snowy River. It’s old-fashioned to the point where one can hear its joints creaking as it lumbers from plot point to plot point. It even brings along a classic studio era star, Kirk Douglas.

Or maybe it’s just that I needed more from this movie than soapy melodramatics and some fine horse-tricks and lovingly filmed horse photography. It’s just too slight to effectively hold my interest. I wanted Kirk Douglas to get into scenery chewing mode to liven things up more than once. He even has a dual role, but one of them is too repressed to let it loose, and the other is written so poorly that he comes across as a theme park attraction. If you’ve ever been to Knott’s Berry Farm and encountered the people dressed and acting out the Old West iconography, you’ll get exactly what I’m talking about.

The story involves a young cowboy who inherits his father’s land after an accident. The young man goes on to fall in love with the daughter of old rich man, this wealthy elder just so happens to be the twin brother of the grizzled prospector who helped raise the young man. It all plays out exactly as you think it would, secrets are revealed, young love triumphs over adversity, and we get to look at the gorgeous Australian wilderness. If for no other reason, watch The Man from Snowy River just to gaze upon the landscapes, for they are truly things of magnificent beauty.

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The Rocketeer

Posted : 3 weeks ago on 14 July 2015 04:55 (A review of The Rocketeer)

Joe Johnston clearly loved the serial adventure stories of the 30s-50s. He also clearly loved the daredevil adventure films of Errol Flynn. While The Rocketeer is an open-hearted tribute to both of these things, it manages to goof up its hero, substituting the rascals of Flynn or the tough-but-square types that populated serials with a bland leading man. Still, The Rocketeer manages to leave a lasting impression of a sweet-natured, thrilling spectacle thanks in no small part to Johnston’s clear devotion to his inspirations.

Based on the comics of Dave Stevens, itself a hodgepodge of influences thrown together into a delightful concoction, the film version captures much of that tone, even if it does lose some of the character along the way. Mainly, Cliff Secord, our Rocketeer, is a bit on the stiff and bland side. Is it that Billy Campbell’s performance is too stiff, or is it that some of the more unique and dynamic aspects of the character got a little lost in the editing room? Stevens claims the latter, and I’m inclined to believe him. Campbell’s good looks and awe-shucks persona feel right for the era and character, so something must have been lost in post-production.

It was probably interference from Disney, they wanted toys and merchandise after seeing the mountains of money and critical prestige that Tim Burton’s Batman and Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy amassed. Unfortunately for them, the film bombed. But sometimes works have curiously long lives after-the-fact. The Rocketeer is now embraced as a cult-film, and it deserves it. Despite the probable studio tinkering, the film glows with the warmth and humor of a retro-action/adventure film.

It was so nice coming into this film’s many and various action scenes and watching as they visibly displayed the spatial relations between characters and objects with clarity. I don’t know why modern blockbusters have fallen into such kinetic frenzy of blurred spatial relations and frantic editing, but being able to tell what was going on in The Rocketeer was admirable and endearing. It was also refreshingly lower-stakes in the big climax. Think of how many comic book films descend into a third-act which is nothing but mass destruction, rubble raining down from the sky, and the fate of the world resting on this battle.

All Cliff needs to do is stop the Nazi spy movie star from getting away. Aiding him along the way are Howard Hughes, a fatherly figure mechanic, his plucky girlfriend (who is blessedly not a damsel-in-distress), members of the Italian mafia, and the FBI. It’s a colorful group of supporting players, and it’s populated by an equally colorful group of character actors. Paul Sorvino is the head of the mafia, Terry O’Quinn is Howard Hughes, Alan Arkin as the fatherly mechanic, and Jennifer Connelly looks era perfect as the girlfriend.

Towering over all of them is Timothy Dalton’s work as the truly hissable villain Neville Sinclair. Patterned after Errol Flynn and a secret Nazi spy, Sinclair is the type of deliciously hammy villain that actors dream of playing. He runs circles around the hero in who’s a more memorable character, and Dalton plays him up with élan. Making the casting choice even better is knowing that Dalton was the James Bond of this particular time frame.

The Rocketeer is pure charm, and a quiet reminder of how homespun some of the earlier comic book movies could be before the template became hardened. Shame that they couldn’t get the formula right between story pacing, action scenes, and character development, often times leaning too hard on one or another. What emerges is a likable and endearing cult film, and one wonders what could have been if the intended franchise had taken off. Pity it didn’t. I’d love to visit this bunch of characters and their world once more.

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An Evening with Lena Horne

Posted : 1 month ago on 1 July 2015 03:03 (A review of An Evening with Lena Horne)

An Evening with Lena Horne would prove to be the final live outing from Lena Horne, not that she retired after this 1994 Supper Club show (released as a live album the following year). Far from it, she would go on to do a GAP commercial, release another album in 1998, and retire from public life in 1999, before finally passing away in 2010. But here at age 77, and looking roughly twenty years younger than that, Horne is in exceptionally fine form.

Her voice is remarkably strong, and she’s still a lively performer. Her enunciation is still clear, and her phrasing impeccable. She may not be performing with the same energy and strength as in her 1982 Broadway show, but she was a smart enough performer to pick a group of songs that would be deeper and more introspective with her age and voice essaying them to life.

If she had retired, as originally planned, after The Lady and Her Music, Horne’s legacy would have been secured. An Evening with Lena Horne is a glorious extra, a fitting caper to a legendary and luminous career. It’s legacy work done right. It’s also a fitting way to say goodbye to one of the greatest performers of the twentieth century.

She doesn’t perform many of her biggest hits, and her signature song “Stormy Weather” appears to be missing from the set, but it doesn’t matter. Here we get to witness Horne performing a series of jazz standards and showtunes. “Mood Indigo,” “Old Friend,” “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me,” “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” and “We’ll Be Together Again” all standout as immediate highlights. “The Lady Is a Tramp” is always a welcome addition. Between “Tramp” and “I’ve Got the World on a String” Horne proves that she still has a kittenish side behind the grand dame persona of the rest of the set.

Thankfully, An Evening with Lena Horne survives as both an album recording and a DVD. Much like with The Lady and Her Music, she ended up winning two Grammys for the album version, much deservedly I say. An Evening with can also be viewed in YouTube in [Link removed - login to see] [Link removed - login to see]. This time around, they’re high-quality uploads with perfect picture and audio.

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JxSxPx posted 6 images [View All]

4 days, 3 hours 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

5 days 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

5 days ago
Heartburn
 Heartburn 5/10
5 days, 18 hours ago
JxSxPx posted 5 images [View All]

5 days, 18 hours 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

5 days, 21 hours 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

5 days, 21 hours 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

6 days, 15 hours ago
6 days, 17 hours ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Mary and Max

Mary and Max

“For all of the praise that Up garnered around this same time for maturely handling grief, regret, and death, I never quite warmed up to it. I appreciated it at an arm’s length, but Mary and Max handles similar material with more aplomb. Mary and Max is quite possibly one of the bleakest and despai” read more

1 week ago

The Triplets of Belleville

“With the exception of some sound effects work, musical cues, and a repeated song-and-dance number, The Triplets of Belleville is a deliriously strange, nearly silent animated film. It’s the kind of whimsy and charm that could only come from the French. While I enjoyed the grotesquery of the animat” read more

1 week ago
1 week ago
JxSxPx posted 3 images

1 week, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a image

1 week, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted 3 images

1 week, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted a image

1 week, 6 days ago
JxSxPx posted 30 images [View All]

2 weeks, 2 days ago
2 weeks, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted 23 images [View All]

2 weeks, 3 days ago
JxSxPx posted 13 images [View All]

2 weeks, 4 days ago
JxSxPx posted 4 images

2 weeks, 4 days ago
Manhunter
 Manhunter 8/10
2 weeks, 6 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Man from Snowy River

The Man from Snowy River

“Sweet natured and charming, but is that enough to make it memorable or watch viewing? I’m not entirely sold on The Man from Snowy River. It’s old-fashioned to the point where one can hear its joints creaking as it lumbers from plot point to plot point. It even brings along a classic studio era s” read more

3 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer

“Joe Johnston clearly loved the serial adventure stories of the 30s-50s. He also clearly loved the daredevil adventure films of Errol Flynn. While The Rocketeer is an open-hearted tribute to both of these things, it manages to goof up its hero, substituting the rascals of Flynn or the tough-but-squar” read more

3 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted 7 images [View All]

3 weeks ago
The Big Store
 The Big Store 4/10
3 weeks ago
3 weeks, 2 days ago
JxSxPx posted 11 images [View All]

3 weeks, 4 days ago
Go West
 Go West 6/10
3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at Oct 26 17:23
Posted: 2 years, 3 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, 4 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, 4 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, 4 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, 6 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, 7 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 ago at Jul 21 2:52
Thank u 4 your comment on the muses list. Suggestion added.
Posted: 3 years, 6 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 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, 8 months ago at Nov 18 1:19
O.O Thanks!!
Posted: 6 years, 6 months ago at Jan 12 20:17
cool reviews =]
Posted: 6 years, 8 months ago at Nov 15 17:51
Posted: 6 years, 11 months ago at Aug 12 18:48
Hey man, I see you're pretty new, I'm loving the reviews though! Great job.