Cinema 10: 6/4 Premieres Movies

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Sean Mota

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Cinema (101):
Bikini Beach **+ (1964, Musical)
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Sypnosis:Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello's third summer at the beach reunites the old gang (Jody McCrea, John Ashley, Candy Johnson--who once again shimmies through the credits--and Harvey Lembeck as the buffoonish motorcycle gang leader Eric von Zipper) for more summer sun antics. Frankie plays two roles: the sex mad surfer still chasing comely Annette (renamed Dee Dee in this film) and a British singing sensation named Potato Bug, who moves the gang from the beach to the blacktop for a little drag-strip action. The goofy, gap-toothed rocker is supposed to be a spoof of The Beatles but more resembles Terry-Thomas with his pith helmet and "jolly good!" exclamations. While Annette sidles next to Potato Bug to instill the necessary undercurrent of jealousy to set the mood, Keenan Wynn provides the slimmest excuse of a plot as a rest home tycoon with a pet ape that surfs, twists, and drives dragsters with the best of them. It's even sillier than the first two, with a plot that dissolves halfway through and a slapstick fueled, pie-fight finale. It shows every sign of having been quickly cobbled together and loses some of the energy and charm of Beach Party, but it's still a giddy little slice of 1960s surf and sex innocence. "Little" Stevie Wonder makes a late appearance and Boris Karloff drops by for a cameo. --Sean Axmaker


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Cinema (101):
Beach Blanket Bingo *** (1965, Musical)
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Sypnosis:
BEACH BLANKET BINGO is considered by many as their favorite "Beach Party" movie. In order, my three favorites are BEACH BLANKET BINGO, PAJAMA PARTY and BEACH PARTY.

In this sequel, Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) and Frankie (Frankie Avalon)decide to take skydiving lessons from the hard-nosed pilot John Ashley and the late Deborah Walley.

Things get complicated when up-and-coming pop singer Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) ends up in Frankie's arms - literally - and the ... Deborah decides to make Frankie an afterschool sweetheart!

Dumb-as-stumps Deadhead (Jody McCrea) falls in love with an elusive mermaid (Marta Kristen) and the always-annoying Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and his "Rats" show up to kidnap the lovely Sugar Kane...

Featuring a memorable title song as well as great musical turns by Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and Donna Loren.

There are also great cameo roles from Earl Wilson, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, Buster Keaton and Bobbi Shaw (reprising her role as Keaton's dizzy sidekick).


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Cinema (105):
Oh, God! *** (1977, Comedy)
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Sypnosis: Carl Reiner directed this sweet comedy about the Man Upstairs visiting Earth in the form of a funny little guy (George Burns). John Denver is the good man chosen to be God's contact in the modern age--and like an Old Testament prophet, Denver's character pays the price by being ridiculed and faced with criminal charges. Denver is a warm presence, but the film is entirely in Burns's court. Reiner feeds him lines that come out of Burns' mouth like stage patter, and it's no wonder he got a huge career boost from this film in the winter of his life. Except for some courtroom stuff in the third act--where Reiner inadvertently cheapens the movie with editing tricks to suggest "miracles"--Oh, God! is just fine
 
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Sean Mota

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Beach Blanket Bingo credits were all OAR (at the beginning). It looked good and I was enjoying until it started non-oar. Darn!
 
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Sean Mota

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Oh God was quite good. I saw this movie sometime ago and did not remember it.
 

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