Young Frankenstein

Ashamed of his family history, Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder, and it’s pronounced Fronk-un-steen) attempts to distance himself from the work of his infamous grandfather, but finds the pull too great when he inherits the family estate in Transylvania and discovers his ancestor might have been onto something. With the help of his sporadically hunchbacked assistant Igor (Marty Feldman), the voluptuous Inga (Teri Garr) and terrifying housekeeper Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman), young Frankenstein attempts to recreate his grandfather’s work, re-animating a gigantic corpse (Peter Boyle).
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This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small time hustler and card shark, saved from a potentially nasty end by illegal casino owner Ballin Mundson (George Macready), and employed as an enforcer and eventual floor manager after gaining Ballin’s trust. All that might count for nought however, when Ballin returns from a trip with a new wife on his arm, the flirtatious and ravishing Gilda (Rita Hayworth), who Johnny seems to recognise from his past.
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The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

After the death of one of their partners, three cabaret performers accept a job playing at a hotel in Alice Springs, two weeks drive away from their Sydney home. Equipped with a tour bus they christen Priscilla, the trio set out across the barren wastes of Australia, dealing with prejudice and other obstacles along the way.
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The Marriage of Maria Braun

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

After getting married during a bombing raid in Germany in the midst of World War II, Maria and Hermann Braun (Hanna Schygulla & Klaus Löwitsch) are able to spend half a day and a whole night together, before Hermann returns to the front. Maria faces the struggles of life at home during wartime, surviving with her mother and sister, even in spite of news that Hermann may not be returning.
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My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 24

I mentioned a few weeks ago that sometimes you create entirely unexpected correlations between the films you watch. Back then I managed to see a string of films all involving families with many Italian brothers, but this week it’s a much more specific and unexpected relationship between the two films I saw, and the two podcasts subsequently recorded about them. After a couple of months of scheduling conflicts the Lambcast finally got around to recording the podcast for April’s Movie of the Month franchise special on The Godfather trilogy. In the first film, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) spends some time in Sicily, during which he meets, falls for and marries a girl names Apollonia. Immediately after recording that show I sat down to watch June’s Movie of the Month, Purple Rain. Guess what the name of Prince’s love interest is in that film? You guessed it, Apollonia, as played by Apollonia Kotero. It’s a name I’ve never even heard outside of these films, yet here are two watched and discussed consecutively. Freaky, right?
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Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn, 1957. British-Russian Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) is arrested and charged with being a Soviet spy. In order for him to receive a fair trial he is assigned a defence lawyer in the form of James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks). Donovan has no choice but to accept the case, despite it being a guaranteed lose for him – the judge already calls Abel “The Russian” and has no qualms with admitting he has decided Abel is a spy before the case has even begun – and the case also puts a strain on Donovan’s personal life, with his family being attacked and Donovan being shunned in public. Even the police who respond to the call from the attack threaten to fight Donovan, yet he continues and pursues the case even deeper. After the case is over, American pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) is shot down using a secret spy plane, photographing key areas of the Soviet Union. When Powers is imprisoned within the USSR, Donovan is once again called upon to resolve the situation.
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The Godfather Part III

Oh boy. Twenty years after the events of The Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone is still the head of his family, and is being awarded a religious title after gifting the church $100 million Mob enforcer Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna) is making problems for the Corleone family, Michael’s illegitimate nephew Vincent Mancini (Andy Garcia) looks to be more involved with the family business, Michael’s daughter Mary (Sofia Coppola) takes a romantic interest in Vincent, and Michael’s son Anthony (Franc D’Ambrosio) plucks up the courage – with the help of his mother Kay (Diane Keaton), who divorced Michael many years ago – to tell his father that he plans to drop out of law school and become a singer instead.
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The Godfather Part II

In 1900’s Corleone, Sicily, a young Vito Andolini is left the only surviving member of his family after his father, brother and mother are all killed by the local mafia head, Don Ciccio. Vito flees to New York and adopts the new surname Corleone, and eventually finds that perhaps the best way of life for him is similar to the one that led to his family’s demise. Inter-cut with this story and following on from the events of The Godfather, a now in-charge Michael (Al Pacino), Vito’s youngest son, struggles to maintain his power with threats on many sides, including possibly one from within the family.
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My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 23

The plan is working! My mission to review more films than I watch has so far been a success, in that this week I watched one required-reviewing film, but reviewed two, including the one I watched! Yeah, small steps, but steps in the right direction nonetheless. Not much else to report – the wedding planning continues – so let’s get into what I watched this week:
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