Category Archives: jackie gleason

Quickies 2-19-2013

Steel Against the Sky ~ A classic Warner Bros. two-reeler from 1941, this has stock characters and a predictable end, but all in all is great fun. Two brothers, Lloyd Nolan and Craig Stevens, high rise construction workers, compete for the same girl, sexy dame Alexis Smith. Thrills abound in the climax high above a bridge construction in a raging ice storm. Classic forties Hollywood melodrama at its best – snappy banter, comedy, romance, and adventure. And watch out for the young Jackie Gleason. Worth watching.

Spaceship Yamato ~ This 2010 live action version of the animated TV series “Star Blazers” is everything you would expect it to be. I liken it to seeing my comic book heroes, the Avengers, on the big screen. It’s something I never thought I would see in a million years, and yet here it is. Fabulous special effects bring the animation to life. So worth seeing, even if you just look at it with no subtitles on YouTube. Absolutely must see for any “Star Blazers” fans.

21 Jump Street ~ I really only watched the first season of this show when it was originally on, so I’m not a fan by any real stretch, but I do hate the idea of remaking old TV series into comedy movies, especially when the source material was not a comedy. I can forgive “Bewitched,” but this one doesn’t quite fit. About the only thing I liked about this was the Johnny Depp reveal at the end. The rest of this mess is really like Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum just got stoned and improv-ed what they thought “21 Jump Street” might be about. Hill is so not funny here, and I equally don’t get what all the fuss over Tatum is. Avoid this like a salad bar without a sneeze guard.

The Cabin in the Woods ~ Joss Whedon strikes again. There’s really not much I can say about this one, other than it is always more than you expect, and always goes one better. Unpredictability at its best, a modern horror classic. If I told you anything else, I’d spoil it. You’re on your own.

Double or Nothing ~ This great one-reeler from 1936 stars Phil Harris as a stunt double in Hollywood who while under gas dreams he goes to ‘Doubles Heaven,’ home to lookalikes of the stars. An amusing musical romp, and lots of fun for fans of classic Hollywood, starring many doubles of the day.

Quickies 1-17-2008


Skidoo ~ Nope, it’s not a water or snow vehicle. This forgotten Otto Preminger flick from 1968 is a cross between a mob comedy and a generation gap morality play. Great performances by notably Mickey Rooney and also by Groucho Marx as a germaphobic mob boss named “God.” Carol Channing is fun as an old bimbo and you have to see to believe Jackie Gleason on acid. Speaking of drugs, rumor has it Grouncho first tried marijuana on the set of this film. Also look for cameos by Otto’s (Mr. Freeze) fellow “Batman” baddies Ceasar (Joker) Romero, Burgess (Penguin) Meredith and Frank (Riddler) Gorshin.

Voice of the Whistler ~ I was surprised by this B-flick based on the old radio program “The Whistler” as it was directed by William Castle. You can see the beginnings of the man’s skills and gimmicks even here. Nice surprise.

Stay Alive ~ This was another surprise as I expected yet another mindless serial killer flick in the mode of Final Destination or Jeepers Creepers. This flick by writer/director William Brent Bell has a group of teenagers playing a game that kills you in real life when you are yoinked in the game. Much cooler than it sounds. Look for “Malcolm in the Middle” all grown up and nerdy.

Incident at Loch Ness ~ This one is the evil opposite of the above, nowhere near as cool as it sounds. It’s a mockumentary following director Werner Herzog as he tries to make a movie about the Loch Ness monster. Reality TV at its worst.