Dark Angel Movie Review (2016)

I love many PBS Masterpiece productions and sat down with my husband to watch DARK ANGEL not quite knowing what I was getting into. When you watch this show, you need to know that this film is based on the true story of Britain's first female serial killer. Knowing that fact lets you know that what you are about to see is not a lovely, uplifting film but rather a very dark one and helps make sense of the number of deaths that occur fairly early in the film.

Joanne Froggatt, who played lady's maid Anna Bates on Downton Abbey, plays the notorious Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton who was raised in the northeast England coal fields.

RECOMMENDED? Yes, I will recommend this film for fans of period pieces and the history of Britain. Be aware that there is sexual content and multiple deaths though not of the bloody and gory kind they but rather the violent result of arsenic poisoning.

How many people did the real life Mary Ann Cotton kill? The tally is not and will never be known though it is thought to be between 13 and 21. We lost count in the movie of the total number of people she killed in the film version of her story.

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Quick Links:

Buy Dark Angel on Amazon.
Read about the real Mary Ann Cotton on the websited devoted to her story.

The Best Elizabeth Taylor Movies

Important Movies In Elizabeth Taylor's Career

Elizabeth Taylor was definitely an icon. She left us in 2011 but because of her amazing beauty, talent and incredibly long career, she left us with some very memorable movies.

This page is dedicated to the BEST ELIZABETH TAYLOR MOVIES. It includes some movies that are important for different reasons like There's One Born Every Minute in which Taylor made her acting debut. You will find the Liz Taylor movies that you have heard of like National Velvet, Cleopatra and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. You will also find a few films that are important but perhaps less well known unless, of course, you are an avid fan of 'Liz. Those films include movies like Reflections in a Golden Eye, Beau Brummell and Suddenly Last Summer.

From a collection of what is said to be more than 50 movies, it is hard to pick a single best Elizabeth Taylor movie because best means different things to different people so on this page you will find 18 of the films considered to be key in Liz Taylor's career. I am truly amazed and impressed by the body of work that she left behind. I think you will be, too.

Click here to see Amazon's collection of Elizabeth Taylor movies.

Elizabeth Taylor At The Movies 

Here is an interesting and well-done video, a nine minute introduction to Elizabeth Taylor's movies.

There's One Born Every Minute (1942)

In the 1942 production, There's One Born Every Minute, Elizabeth Taylor made her screen debut. She was just ten years old when she appeared in this comedy as the spoiled rotten daughter of a man who manufactures pudding, who enters into the mayoral race and who makes a promise that he cannot keep. Unfortunately, it appears that you cannot BUY There's One Born Every Minute in any format. Not one of Taylor's best movies but definitely noteworthy since it was the first.

Lassie, Come Home (1943)

This is a classic movie featuring a couple of faces you might recognize including Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor, the latter who was already considered a beauty at the age of ten when she appeared in Lassie Come Home. Roddy and Elizabeth help Lassie escape an unkind master. This film is great for many reasons including the fact that we see a young Elizabeth Taylor in it but one must not forget Lassie was a great actor, too. This movie delivers a romantic score, a return to simpler times and a strong message about loyalty.

Order Lassie Come Home from Amazon.

National Velvet (1944) 

National Velvet is considered Elizabeth Taylor's break through role. She was just 12 years old when she established herself in the heart of her fans and there she would stay for the rest of her life. This classic film also features Mickey Rooney, Anne Revere (who won an Oscar as the mother), Donald Crisp and Angela Lansbury.

National Velvet tells the story of a young girl who enters her horse in the Grand National Steeplechase. It was considered by many one of the nicest movies of its time and one of Elizabeth Taylor's best movies.

Order National Velvet from Amazon.

Father of the Bride (1950)

Father of the Bride is a 1950 Vincente Minnelli movie, which stars Spencer Tracy as the father who is trapped in the details of his daughter's wedding and Elizabeth Taylor as the beautiful bride. Tracy was extremely well played and won an Academy Award nomination for his "magnificent, gruffly warm and funny" portrayal of the father and Taylor's beauty as a bride was presented in all of its glory.

Father of the Bride also earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and for Screenplay. The story went on to have almost as many versions as Eliazbeth Taylor did weddings...but that's another story.

Order Father of the Bride from Amazon.

A Place in the Sun (1951)

A Place in the Sun is the 1951 movie that Kenneth Turan, movie critic for the L.A. Times discusses in the video shown above as THE Elizabeth Taylor role he would recommend, if he had to chose just one. He highly praises Taylor's performance in this movie saying that she had a "young honesty and captivating naturalness." He said that this movie featured an extraordinary, standout performance by Taylor and that she was able to handle some extremely close up shots that many actresses would not have been able to handle -- from a beauty and a talent perspective.

The Amazon reviewer says that, "Taylor makes a strong impression, but Winters is awfully good in the less-glamorous role. The tone of the film is oppressive -- the film doesn't exactly breathe with possibility -- but there are lots of good reasons to give this movie a visit." If you decide this is the film to see based on Kenneth Turan's recommendation, be aware that it is not an upbeat movie.

Order A Place in the Sun from Amazon.

The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

1954 was definitely the busiest year of Elizabeth Taylor's movie career as she appeared in four movies. Some of these are also amongst her hard-to-find movies with one never released on DVD and one that has been discontinued on DVD. Read more...

Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson, The Last Time I Saw Paris is F. Scott Fitzgerald's love story which tells of a G.I. who wants to be a writer who falls in love with alcohol when his book is not well received. Elizabeth tries to protect him from his desire to self-destruct by showering him with love.

Read more: The Last Time I Saw Paris movie review or order your copy from Amazon.

Beau Brummell (1954)

Beau Brummell has not been released on DVD (in North American format) and is therefore only available on a somewhat rare VHS videotape or by rental through Amazon by clicking here.

Elephant Walk (1954)

In Elephant Walk Elizabeth Taylor plays a newlywed who goes to a tea plantation and falls in love with someone else. Love does not turn out to be the big problem. Instead, it is the cholera epidemic, drought and thirst driven elephants that cause the big issues. Elephant Walk is now available on DVD or as a video rental from Amazon.

Order Elephant Walk from Amazon.


In Rhapsody, Elizabeth Taylor is a young woman who is in love with two men. She goes abroad with a violinist but meets a pianist and must pick between the two. This is a romantic movie filmed partly in Paris, Zurich, St. Moritz and Rome. My kind of movie, well at least the travel part sounds like my kind of movie. I am perfectly content with the one man in my life, LOL.

Order Rhapsody from Amazon.

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Suddenly, Last Summer has an impressive lineup which includes Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Albert Dekker, Mercedes McCambridge and Gary Raymond. The story is that of psychiatric doctor in the 1930s and a female patient who is a lobotomy candidate because she witnessed her male cousin die in Spain the previous summer.

Order Suddenly, Last Summer from Amazon.

BUtterfield 8 (1960)

Elizabeth Taylor won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in BUtterfield 8. It featured Taylor and Laurence Harvey and was based on a 1935 John O'Hara novel but the story is said to only slightly resemble the novel.

Taylor plays a model with loose morals who has a chance to change her ways when she meets and spends time with a man who married for money and is unhappy about having done so. They fall for each other but have to defeat some of their own problems.

Amazon calls it a "big boozy melodrama, full of gorgeous clothes, catty comments and emotional showdowns." Taylor is said to do a great job of being overblown and sincere at the same time and her portrayal of the emotions of grief and anger are considered immediate and genuine.

If you are wondering about the title of BUtterfield 8, that is a capital B and a capital U and then the number 8, it apparently comes from the old telephone exchange names in the United States and Canada. Until the 1960s, telephone numbers were often referred to by a name. Wikipedia says that BUtterfield 8 "provided service to ritzy precincts of Manhattan's Upper East Side." Dialing a B and a U are equal to a 2 and an 8 and when you add the 8 already mentioned in the name, you get the number 288.

Order Butterfield 8 from Amazon.


Considered one of the most lavish films ever made, Cleopatra tells the story of the Queen of the Nile and her lovers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Richard Burton and Rex Harrison are considered to have given excellent performances but Elizabeth Taylor was definitely the star and this is one of the most glamorous roles she took on during her lengthy acting career.Cleopatra won Oscars for cinematography, sets and special effects. Amazon says, "Bolstered by a talented supporting cast and utterly stunning backdrops, here is a truly epic portrayal of the woman who conquered two of Rome's greatest soldiers, affected the course of history, and became synonymous with beguiling beauty."

Order Cleopatra from Amazon.

The Sandpiper (1965)

1965's The Sandpiper is an Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton movie which also stars Eva Marie Saint and Charles Bronson and is directed by Vincent Minnelli. It's a small town story of illicit love between a single mother and a married minister. The mother shocks a private school system and its Episcopalian priest with her bohemian ways but eventually the woman and the priest are attracted to each other.

Order The Sandpiper from Amazon.

Reflections In A Golden Eye (1967)

Reflections in a Golden Eye starred Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Brian Keith and Julie Harris. It tells the story of these and two other characters including their dark secrets, failures and obsessions. It takes place in a military camp and shares the story of Captain Weldon Penderton and his wife.

Reflections In A Golden Eye was supposed to have featured Montgomery Clift. However, he passed away before the film started and Marlon Brando eventually took the spot.

Wikipedia says that this movie was originally put out with all the scenes tinted golden and with one object colored normally. It was confusing to audiences so it was withdrawn. I think it would be interesting to see that effect today.

Order Reflections in a Golden Eye from Amazon.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) 

Elizabeth Taylor won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a 1966 movie adapted from a play of the same name featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis. It was extremely well received and was nominated for an Academy Award in every category possible (thirteen) and won five of them including the Academy Award for Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor (her second) and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Sandy Dennis as well as for Best Art Direction, Cinematography and Costume Design.

Elizabeth Taylor was brash, drunk and frustrated as the wife of a university academic. Richard Burton was the history professor who happened to be married to the college president's daughter. George Segal and Sandy Dennis played the younger couple who had no understanding of the psychological games that they were being drawn into.

Amazon Customer K. Harris calls this movie "one of film's greatest performances" and says that it is one you should not miss. She calls Elizabeth Taylor a wonder especially in this role when she is not a beauty but rather a "desperate, vicious, sexual, middle-aged hag." With Richard Burton as a hen-pecked husband, George Segal as the rival and Sandy Dennis as the naïve wife, this is a movie you should NOT miss. Harris closes by saying that this movie is also funny "a wicked, nasty, bitterly hilarious story" and that every adult who loves "awesome entertainment, great writing and magical performances" should see.

Order your copy of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf from Amazon.

Elizabeth Taylor Signature Collection


If I were looking to buy a number of her BEST movies, I would consider buying this set, which covers almost thirty years of Elizabeth Taylor's career starting as it does in 1944 with National Velvet and ending in 1960 with Butterfield 8.

Order your Elizabeth Taylor Signature Collection from Amazon.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection


Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were an amazing pair of British actors. Amazon calls them, "a perfect storm of talent, glamour and offscreen scandal" which describes them and their lives together on and off screen perfectly. (Taylor was married to Burton, twice.)

This four movie set features films from the 1960s, their heyday and includes Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (for which Taylor received an Academy Award), The V.I.P.s, The Sandpiper (which received an oscar for the song The Shadow of Your Smile) and The Comedians.

Order this Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Film Collection from Amazon.


What do YOU think are the BEST Elizabeth Taylor movies?

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at the movies!

More Elizabeth Taylor Reading

Meet Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor: A Brief Biography

How would YOU summarize the life of someone as amazing as Elizabeth Taylor? Would you use words like beautiful and talented? If so, you would just be scratching the surface of what made Liz Taylor special. I just stumbled across a lovely video...

You Can Own Andy Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor

With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor on March 23, 2011, there is a heightened interest in everything and anything to do with this beautiful and legendary woman. I have been listening with keen interest to the news about Liz #5, one of Andy Warhol's..

Author's Note: This page first written elsewhere in 2011.

Planet Earth & Blue Planet Seas of Life Special Collector's Edition

This set bundles together The Planet Earth series and The Blue Planet Seas of Life and features 190 minutes of special features.

Planet Earth shares action and intimate wilderness scenes; mountains and rivers; tough habitats where the creatures of the earth struggle to survive.

The Blue Planet: Seas of Life is a beautiful exploration of the marine world sharing "the mysteries of the deep, coastline populations, sea mammals, tidal and climatic influences, and the complete biological system that relies on and revolves around the world's oceans." This series won two Emmy's for Outstanding Cinematography Non-Fiction and Outstanding Music Composition.

Order your copy of The Blue Planet Seas of Life from Amazon.

See you
at the movies!

Author's Note: This page first published elsewhere in 2010.

The Founder: The McDonald's Restaurant Story Movie Review (2017)

The Founder is a 2017 movie based on the true story of the McDonald's restaurant chain. How much is true and how much is fiction is not clear to me but the story is very interesting and tells how one of the world's biggest fast food chains grew from one tiny location in 1955 to become a restaurant that is recognised around the world.

The movie is based on Ray Kroc's autobiographical book but apparently also includes references to unofficial biographies. McDonald's approved the use of their brand including buildings, uniforms and equipment as long as it was accurately represented.

As the following trailer says, with orders ready in 30 seconds instead of the normal 30 minutes, the concept was definitely unique, original and revolutionary. It changed the face of the restaurant world. Watch for yourself:

Here's another interesting video from Alltime Movies with 25 facts about the making of the movie The Founder:

As the Alltime Movies video points out, Ray Kroc can be taken to be either a money making monster or an American hero. Because of the way he is portrayed in this film, I would definitely vote with the first. However, I still thought that this movie was well done and interesting because of the importance of McDonald's in America's history and pop culture and I would RECOMMEND it for anyone who likes historically based stories and who has a relationship either good or bad with McDonald's.

Blogger Flixchatter thought that the film could have been paced a little faster and that the performances were a bit uneven and closed by calling it an "intriguing biopic about the dark, shady side of the American dream." I would say that pretty much sums up this movie.

You can learn more about The Founder on Amazon by clicking right here where it is available on DVD, blu-ray disc or as a rental on Amazon Video .

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

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at the movies!

More About Ray Kroc:

Read Ray Kroc's book: Grinding It Out The Making of McDonald's.
Buy Biography's: Ray Kroc Fast Food McMillionaire.

Planet Earth Complete Series Boxed Set

"Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else." As this quote from the BBC says, Planet Earth will take you to some pretty impossible, truly amazing locations. It will share with you both rare action scenes and intimate moments in the wilderness. You will travel through the mountains and the rivers and you will see Earth's hardest habitats where creatures are trying to survive.

Planet Earth: The Complete Series took five years and $25 million dollars to make. It took 2,000 days and 200 sites. It took 40 cameramen and a lot of high definition technology.

Was it worth it? Most definitely, the resulting television series is considered stunning and may quite possibly be the best nature series on earth. People do rave about it.

Planet Earth: The Complete Series is an 11-part high-definition BBC production that includes these episodes: From Pole to Pole, Mountains, Fresh Water, Caves, Deserts, Ice Worlds, Great Plains, Jungles, Shallow Seas, Seasonal Forests, Ocean Deep. It also includes 110 minutes of behind-the-scenes information with a ten minute segment devoted to each episode. Plus, it includes a feature called Planet Earth: The Future which is a three-part, 2 1/2-hour series that looks at what is coming in the world for endangered animals, endangered habitats and even ourselves.

Amazon customer Igor Mencos raves about the quality, saying he had seen it on DVD and that the Blu-ray was even better than he expected it would be. Customer Lee says simply, "It does not get any better than this" and warns that once you start watching you won't be able to stop. Finally, Brundogg says the series is "absolutely amazing."

You can learn more about or buy your copy of Planet Earth from Amazon by clicking right here. It is available on Amazon Video but actually less expensive at this moment on blu-ray disc.

Are you a Planet Earth fan?

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Quick Links:

Order your copy of PLANET EARTH from Amazon.
The Imax Ultimate Collection Boxed Set 
Africa: The Serengeti Imax Nature Documentary
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild Review 

Author's Note: This page first published elsewhere in 2010.

Beauty and the Beast Swarovski Crystal Figurines

Either one of these magnificent Swarovski Crystal figurines will live on to become treasured Disney Beauty and the Beast memories whether your fan prefers the animated or the live action 2017 versions of the movie. Having seen and enjoyed the recent movie, I would guess that most fans love both versions.

The first piece showcases Belle dressed in her glorious yellow gown and measures 11 inches tall. This Youtube video does a great job of showcasing the piece:

The second piece represents the enchanted rose and comes showcased beneath a beautiful blown-glass dome.

Swarovski makes some truly beautiful crystal pieces. Here are two more for your collection! You can find them on Amazon by clicking here and compare on eBay by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Beauty and the Beast (Animated) Blu-ray Movie Review

Impromptu Movie Moments Not In The Script

Seven Unscripted Lines That Made The Cut

We all know movie lines that for whatever reason become stuck in our heads when we see a movie. Some stand the test of time and some are only there temporarily. The best lines, however, are the often the lines that were not even written in the script.

This does not apply just to movie lines though. Some of the best movie moments are unscripted, too. They are actions that the actor threw in at the last moment, impromptu movie moments that worked like the one shown in this movie poster from The Godfather.

If you love the movies, you are sure to enjoy the following movie lines and moments. They have definitely stood the test of time.

Marlon Brando and The Cat in the Godfather (1972)

Did you know that in The Godfather, the cat on Marlon Brando's lap wasn't in the script? The cat had been walking around the set and Brando picked it up and started petting it. The cat made the final cut and became an overnight icon.

Buy this image on a poster or a t-shirt from Amazon.

Roy Scheider in Jaws (1976)

"We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

In the classic 1975 film Jaws, Roy Scheider utters the famous words "WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT" to describe the moment he saw jaws and realised that they were in a small fishing boat. Because Jaws was the first movie to gross $1 million, everyone really enjoyed this line. Little did they know that this too wasn't written in the script and was simply an off-the-cuff remark by Scheider.

Order your copy of Jaws from Amazon.

Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber (1994)

"We landed on the moon!"

There is a scene in Dumb and Dumber where Harry and Lloyd are at a bar. As Lloyd (Jim Carrey) is leaving, he sees a newspaper clipping on the wall that reads, "Man Walks On The Moon". He says, "No way...that's great." Then he swings the door open and shouts, "WE LANDED ON THE MOON!" You would never know it but that was never written in the script. Jim Carrey is a true artist. It was so funny and it was in character...pure genius.

Order your copy of Dumb and Dumber from Amazon.

Robert Deniro in Taxi Driver

"You talkin' to me?"

 The 1976 film Taxi Driver helped make Robert DeNiro a star when he spoke the words "YOU TALKIN' TO ME?" In the script, screenwriter Paul Schrader had written "Travis speaks to himself in mirror." DeNiro improvised the famous words himself and became a pop culture icon.

Order your copy of Taxi Driver from Amazon.

Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy

"I'm walkin' here!"

Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. There is a scene that was filmed multiple times where they are walking down a busy street. They were trying to time it so that they would hit the light without having to pause while walking. During one take, they had it timed perfectly but a cab came out of nowhere and almost hit them. Instead of ruining the shot, Hoffman yelled out "I'M WALKIN' HERE!" This line has been epitomised by every city street pedestrian since and if you hadn't heard it before, maybe you will use it the next time that this happens to you. Watch this iconic movie moment below and order your copy of Midnight Cowboy from Amazon here.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. 

In this romantic comedy from 1990, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are a stunning duo. Their chemistry in the film is undeniable. This comes into play sensationally in the scene where Gere gives Roberts a necklace to wear with her extraordinary new evening dress. When he opens the box, she reaches up to touch it and Gere playfully snaps it down on her fingers. She erupts into laughter and it seems like a well written scene to the audience. What you may or may not know is that this moment was not in the script at all. Gere was just playing with Roberts and she got a good chuckle out of it. It was so adorable that the director left it in the movie and it has been spoofed in other films ever since.

Order your copy of Pretty Woman from Amazon.

Billy Crystal When Harry Met Sally

"I'll have what she's having."

When this 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally was released, there was one scene that people were talking about. Filmed in Katz's Deli in Manhattan, Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) have a conversation about how men cannot recognise when a woman is truly having an orgasm. Sally decides to prove her point and fake an orgasm right there. When she is done she casually continues her meal. A woman sitting at a nearby table (Estelle Reiner) turns to her waitress and says, "I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING." This scene wasn't actually in the original script. Nora Ephron (writer) and Crystal were saying that Sally needed something to talk about in that scene and he suggested faking an orgasm. Crystal also thought of the famous line. Ryan agreed and a test scene was shot. The audience erupted in laughter and my final memorable quote was born.

Watch the original movie clip here or order your copy of When Harry Met Sally from Amazon here.

What's your favorite movie moment?

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at the movies!

Author's Note: Originally published elsewhere in 2009.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition
Read all about it! Read all about it! There's a new version of the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban being published and it is to be an illustrated edition. It is the third in the Harry Potter series to be done as an illustrated book featuring the artwork of Jim Kay.

This book brings more new pictures. The front cover features the magical three-level Knight Bus. Inside the new book, you will find Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Professor Trelawney and more. It will be published in a multitude of languages and is a testament to the continued popularity of our favorite boy wizard.

Obviously, I haven't seen the new book yet but I know without seeing it that it will make a great gift for someone you want to introduce to the Harry Potter series or for a fan.

The first illustrated book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as seen here, is beautiful.

The second illustrated book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, can be seen here.

You can learn more about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Amazon by clicking here. You can also pre-order the book at that link. If you choose to do so, you will be protected by Amazon's pre-order price guarantee.

The book's release date is October 3, 2017 and once again, I am sure that it will be a very welcomed Harry Potter volume. What do you think?

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at the movies!

Don't Look Now (1973) Movie Review

Don’t Look Now is a 1973 psychological or psychic thriller, a horror movie that is full of suspense rather than a lot of gore. This film stars Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. The Guardian considers this to be amongst the top five performances given by Sutherland and Christie, like Sutherland, has a long list of credits to her name that include Doctor Zhivago, Finding Neverland and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Don’t Look Now is set in Venice, Italy an “elegantly decaying city," words that certainly depict the Venice you see in this movie. Shot in the wintertime, Venice is abandoned, gray and miserable. Watching this film gives you a good idea of what the layout of Venice is like in terms of canals, walkways and bridges but it will do little to make you want to visit the city.

Venice is the third star in this movie, lending exactly the right atmosphere with plenty of dead ends and wrong turns to create the perfect atmosphere and set. Roger Ebert  said that could not picture this film set anywhere else and I agree and The Guardian calls the Venice of this movie mysterious and exotic and untouristy. Once again, I agree.

Don't Look Now tells the story of a couple struggling to get past the death of a child who relocate to Venice and chance to meet two weird sisters, one of whom is psychic. These women appear throughout the movie in a haunting fashion but beware for as the movie tagline says, “Things are not what they seem.”

Here’s the original movie trailer, which has no spoilers in it.

What is there to object to?

This movie is rated R for Restricted so there is a lot to be aware of. There is an accidental death, an extended sex scene and a nasty murder with blood but the movie is really more suspenseful than gory. There is drinking and smoking.

As I expected when we were watching the movie, the sex scene was very controversial in its time. It might be important to note that, although lengthy, the scene is meant to be the beautiful coming together of two married adults who had drifted apart. The Guardian  considers the sex scene to be one of the ten best because of the “emotional freight” that comes with it.


The case for this movie says that Don’t Look Now is as renowned “for its innovative editing and haunting cinematography as it is for its naturalistic eroticism and unforgettable climax and denouement” and that it is considered one of the great endings in horror movie history.

In 2002, Roger Ebert said this movie “remains one of the great horror masterpieces” elaborating by saying, that it “works not with fright, which is easy, but with dread, grief and apprehension.” Exactly.

I chose this movie because it was set in Venice and it definitely turned out to be an interesting choice though not perhaps in the way I thought it might. With the warnings mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I would recommend this movie for those who want something different and who are interested in the history of cinema. It does give a peek into the workings of Venice but is definitely not a great travelogue for the city.

Blu-ray.com  praises Criterion for the quality of the digital restoration so if you buy this movie, you probably should buy the Criterion Collection version, which will also allow you to watch the special features and learn more about how this movie was made and why it is important to the history of cinematography.

Here’s the trailer for the Criterion reissue in which you will definitely be able to see the improvement of quality from that of the original trailer, which was shown above.

Don’t Look Now is based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. If you are a reader, it might be a movie to check out in print form prior to or even after watching the movie. Because it was a short story, the movie provides more story than the author's version. You can learn more about or buy your copy of the Criterion Collection's version on Amazon by clicking right here.

By the way, The Guardian and other sources online say that  Don’t Look Now is being remade. Given the nature of the story and it’s position as one of Britain’s finest horror stories, there is considerable scepticism about whether this is the appropriate type of movie for a remake. If you watch the film or have seen it, I am sure you will understand why it might be hard to successfully remake this movie.

Will you be watching or reading Don't Look Now? If you have seen it, what did you think? Finally, what do you think of the idea of a remake this movie?

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At the movies!

Quick Links:

Read more about Don't Look Now from Amazon.
The Woman in Black (2012) movie review.
Not-too-scary Movies for Tweens.

Fantastic Beasts Release Date on DVD & Blu-ray Disc

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD

In my world Harry Potter fans were totally pleased with the movie  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it was finally released in the movie theatres on November 18, 2016 and now there is another date to be excited about. I know that fans have been waiting and asking when will the DVD and Blu-ray disc for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them be released?

According to HDRoom, you will be able to start watching some versions of Fantastic Beasts at home on March 7, 2017 though they do not say which formats will be available on that date.  However, they go on to say that the release date for Digital HD, DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray versions is March 28, 2017, timed to coincide with a new Harry Potter 4K release.

You can order your copy of Fantastic Beasts on Amazon by clicking here right now. I see that Amazon has the various format options available and I know that they will protect you with their pre-order price guarantee. If the price goes down between now and the release date, that is the price you will be charged when they ship the movie.

I love the artwork, particularly on the DVD case shown above because it shows more of the characters.  I've included the other images for interest sake. I know you won't be picking your copy of this movie based on the cover artwork but which cover is your favorite?

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray & Digital Download

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 4K Ultra HD

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them DVD Release

More Fantastic Beasts Reading:

Nifty Niffler Gift Ideas.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Calendar.

All Roads Lead to Rome (2015)

Last night we watched another Italy-themed movie. All Roads Lead to Rome (2015) stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Day, Raoul Bova (The Tourist, Under the Tuscan Sun) and Claudia Cardinale (an Italian actress.) It is a romantic comedy that starts off in the beautiful Italian countryside and arrives, after an adventuresome journey, in Rome hence the title All Roads Lead to Rome.

The movie was a light and entertaining film, definitely not the best romantic com ever but an enjoyable film with not much to object to. No sex although there is reference to a teen’s unhealthy relationship, some social drinking, marijuana use once and infrequent swearing. The movie is rated PG 13 and that seems like a good guideline to me.

While we did finally arrive in Rome (in the movie), it showed some highlights of the city. However, this would not be my top pick as an Italian-themed movie to enhance your enjoyment of an upcoming or a reminder of a past trip to Italy and Rome. There were a few, “I’ve been there!” moments but overall I felt that the movie did not really do a fabulous job of displaying Rome.

Would I recommend it? Yes, as I said for a light movie. However, I’d pick Letters to Juliet or Under the Tuscan Sun first. You can read more about All Roads Lead to Rome on Amazon by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!

More Italy Movies:

My Letters to Juliet movie review.
Dangerous Beauty movie review.
The Tourist with Johnny Depp & Angelina Jolie.

For Better or For Worse: The Bestest Present (1986)


This animated Christmas special, For Better or For Worse: The Bestest Present, was created based on Lynn Johnston's popular comic strip, For Better or For Worse. It was produced for Canadian television in December, 1986, and follows the Patterson family as they get ready for the holidays. Of course there are lots of funny moments and a touching finale, which combine to make a lovely film with some voices supplied by Johnston's own children.

This is a very popular Christmas television special that is not widely available on DVD. However, sometimes the videotape is available new and used through various sellers at Amazon and eBay although the rarity and popularity of this item dictates the price especially if someone finds a new copy.  You can find your copy of The Bestest Present on Amazon by clicking here and on eBay here.

See you
at the movies!


More Rare Films:

The Great American Cowboy (1973) Documentary Film
Doctor Who The End of the Universe Boxed Set
Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall

Doctor Who The End of the Universe VHS Boxed Set

Doctor Who The End of the Universe is a VHS video set that continues to be sought after. It contains eleven tapes with 56 episodes of the cult favorite television program. A brand new set fetched over $200 recently on eBay.

The BBC started the Doctor Who series on November 23, 1963. As you know, they continue to make programs and the fan base is strong. This videotape set was issued in celebration of the Doctor’s 40th anniversary and, at that time, was the biggest collection of Doctor Who programs available. These eleven tapes include four Doctors, 19 of his companions and 56 episodes of the show.

When I checked this morning, the set was more affordable on eBay than Amazon, where I can see that one is listed for just over $200 plus $12 of shipping and one sold for that about that price recently. You can check eBay to see if there are any Doctor Who End of the Universe Collections by clicking here.  There is a set listed on Amazon right now but it is listed at just over $400. You can check for yourself to see if Amazon has it listed right now by clicking here.

See you
at the movies!

More Doctor Who:

Doctor Who Disappearing Tardis Coffee Mug.

Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall

Disney's Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall is a hoot to watch. It features a Broadway-style presentation of Snow White that appeared at Radio City Music Hall in 1979. It starred Mary-Jo Salerno as Snow White, Anne Francine as The Evil Queen and Richard Bowne as Prince Charming.

A total of 38 performances were held in 1979, the production closed and then another 68 performances were presented in 1980. In that same year, the show was aired on television and it was aired again in 1987 on the Disney Channel.

Unfortunately, Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall is also a rare and sought after VHS videotape.  I see a DVD is sometimes available on eBay but I am not sure if it is a legitimate Disney release.

You can click here to find Snow White Live at Radio City Music Hall on Amazon and here to check it out on eBay.

See you
at the movies!

More Snow White Reading:

Meet Snow White's Seven Dwarfs.
Meet Adriana Caselotti: The Voice of Snow White
Marge Champion: The Model For Snow White

Don't Forget Videotapes...

In the story Never Forget: The Humble, Indispensable VHS in the Austin Chronicle on January 16, 2009,  Alamo Drafthouse programmers Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlson talk about the rise of Netflix and their enduring love for old-fashioned videotape.

They start by discussing their first experiences with VHS, which might sound like a story from your past if, that is, you remember videotapes at all. One of those stories tells of a Grandfather who was on the cutting edge and who brought home a huge VCR that cost $2,000 in 1981 and of course, some family-safe movies.

My first memory of a VCR at all comes from the time I started dating my husband. He had purchased a BETA VCR, much to the chagrin of his family.

Remember that before VHS, you could not watch movies at home unless they were being shown on television. Buying a VCR in the early 1980s was a truly new and exciting experience. Movies came in as Zack said, "huge, white clamshell cases that opened with a suction-y pop and within that case was this black rectangle that held wonders."

When the story was written in the Austin Chronicle in 2009, only about 25 percent of movies made before VHS had been released on VHS and when I originally wrote this article, just 50 percent of the movies issued on VHS had been made available on DVD. That means that a large number of movies are simply gone.

People are collecting videotapes the way people collected records in the past.  Not because they are better but because they have a different selection. They are looking for a title that has not made the transition to current formats.

The Austin Chronicle article closes with the tale of customer looking for a movie they saw when they were 12 but being disgusted at only finding it available on VHS. How would you handle that situation? If you are a big movie fan and watch older films as well as newer ones, this might have happened to you. If a videotape is the only way you can watch a movie you love, would you buy the tape?

See you
at the movies!

Quick Links:

Never Forget: The Humble, Indispensable VHS
Buy these VHS buttons on Etsy. 

How To Look After Your Videotapes

To help your VHS tapes last as long as possible, the experts recommend the following:

  • Store tapes between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 to 60 percent humidity. If you are comfortable, probably your tapes are.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes, even within these recommended zones. Neither cold damp basements nor hot dusty attics are good choices for storing your tapes.
  • Be especially careful of condensation - allow at least 24 hours before using when you change the temperature or humidity of your tape.
  • Keep the tapes evenly wound and always rewind them fully. If the tape looks uneven, wind it again. If possible, rewind at slower speeds.
  • Store tapes upright as you would books and keep them in their original cases. You can buy plastic cases to store them in but even the cardboard cases do a good job of keeping the dust away.
  • Put the labels on correctly, where they belong and do not add labels on top of labels. They can interfere with cassette loading and possibly come off inside your VCR.
  • Exercise your tapes once every three years by rewinding or forwarding them.
  • Avoid magnetic fields - the area around any magnet. Your tapes can be erased so do not store them near speakers, motors, toys or other magnetic sources.
  • Transfer your footage every seven years. That helps prevent the images and sounds from fading away.

Are you building your VHS tape collection or looking to protect an existing collection?

Some movies are not available on DVD and they may never be. Would you buy a VHS movie that is not available on DVD for your movie or film collection?

See you
at the movies!

More Reading:

A Collector’s Guide to VHS Videotapes. 
Orson Welles' Ghost Story (1951) 
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

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