Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 5/8/23 — 5/14/23

This upcoming week sees the opening of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival!  I can’t wait to hear about the reactions of Killers of the Flower Moon and Asteroid City!

Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week!

Films I Watched:

  1. Air (2023)
  2. Bruce Springsteen — Under Review: 1978 — 1982: Tales of the Working Man (2008)
  3. Call Her Mom (1972)
  4. Champions (2023)
  5. Darkest of Lies (2023)
  6. Drive (1997)
  7. Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)
  8. Goon (2011)
  9. Gorgo (1961)
  10. The Master Ninja (1985)
  11. M3GAN (2023)
  12. The Mother (2023)
  13. The Odds (2019)
  14. On A Wing and Prayer (2023)
  15. One Church (2016)
  16. Soul Surfer (2011)
  17. Top Gun (1986)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Accused
  2. Barry
  3. Beavis and Butt-Head
  4. Bubblegum Crisis
  5. Forgive or Forget
  6. Jury Duty
  7. Law & Order
  8. The Love Boat
  9. The Master
  10. Mystery Science Theater 3000
  11. Night Court
  12. Sally Jessy Raphael
  13. Survivor
  14. The Traitors

Books I Read:

  1. Nobody Lives Forever (1986) by John Gardner

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Amy Winehouse
  2. Atomic Kitten
  3. Britney Spears
  4. Bruce Springsteen
  5. The Chemical Brothers
  6. Coldplay
  7. Daft Punk
  8. Duffy
  9. Gloria Trevi
  10. The Grass Roots
  11. The Heavy
  12. Mandy Moore
  13. O-Town
  14. Paul Oakenfold
  15. Phantogram
  16. Public Service Broadcasting
  17. Saint Motel
  18. Shakira
  19. Taylor Swift

Live Tweets:

  1. Drive
  2. Top Gun
  3. Goon
  4. The Odds

News From Last Week:

  1. Guardians’ Gang Steals ‘Book Club’ Ladies’ Purse Over Mother’s Day Weekend: Best Second Weekend Hold For MCU Post Covid – Sunday Box Office Update
  2. Searching for Superman: Inside the Quest to Cast DC’s New Top Hero
  3. What Is The CW’s Brand? Because It’s Not Homegrown Originals Anymore
  4. Jamie Foxx’s Daughter Says the Actor Is Out of the Hospital and Recuperating After Health Scare
  5. Peacock to Stream All 2024 Olympics Events Live In a Major Bet by NBCUniversal

Links From Last Week:

  1. New York’s Hidden Castle In Central Park! All Hail Belvedere Castle!
  2. Egypt Trip Day One

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared The Hard Case Crime Covers of Richard B. Farrell!
  2. Erin shared Kill One Kill Two, The Space Pirate, I Confess, Popular Detective, Amazing Stories, Argosy, and Remember When?
  3. Jeff reviewed Radical Jack, Kill Or Be Killed, Kill and Kill Again, Blue Steel, The Lucky Texan, Western Cyclone, and Branded!
  4. I reviewed Call Her Mom, The Mother, One Church, Darkest of Lies, Air, On A Wing And A Prayer, M3GAN, Champions, and Rumble in the Bronx!
  5. I reviewed Hang Time, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, City Guys, The Master, and California Dreams!
  6. I shared music videos from Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Winehouse, Shakira, DMX, Paul Oakenfold, and Mandy Moore!
  7. I shared an AMV of the Day and my week in television!
  8. I paid tribute to Sofia Coppola and Jess Franco!

More From Us:

  1. At Days Without Incident, Leonard paid tribute to May 11th!
  2. At Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  3. At my music site, I shared songs from Taylor Swift, The Grass Roots, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, The Heavy, Daft Punk, and Mandy Moore!
  4. At her photography site, Erin shared Branching, Network, Gathering, Three, Two, Four, and After The Meeting!

Want to see what went on last week?  Click here!

Branded (1931, directed by D. Ross Lederman)

Tom Dale (Buck Jones) and his employee, Swede (John Oscar), come across a stage coach robbery.  Though the robber gets away, Tom and Swede recover a stolen mailbag.  Tom finds a letter to himself and it is revealed that his real name is Cuthbert Chauncey Dale.  After explaining that he goes by Tom because that was his uncle’s name, Tom says that he’ll shoot anyone who calls him Cuthbert and he’s the movie’s hero!

When the local posse comes upon Tom and Swede, they accuse them of having robbed the stagecoach.  Tom and Swede manage to escape from jail during the dead of night and ride to a neighboring town, where Tom has inherited his uncle’s ranch.  Tom and Swede work on the ranch, building fences and branding cattle.  Tom starts to fall for Lou Preston (Ethel Kenyon), earing him the enmity of Joe Moore (Albert J. Smith), who is also in love with Lou.  Joe frames Tom and Swede for cattle rustling.  Tom and Swede attempt to clear their names with the help of their new friend, the same man (Wallace MacDonald) who previously robbed the stage coach!

This short but complicated B-western has its share of gunfights and chases on horseback but it still has some slow spots.  There are a lot of scenes of Tom and Swede working around the ranch.  When you’re ready for another gunfight, Tom and Swede have to go work on the fence.  Still, fans of early westerns will probably enjoy Branded.  Wallace MacDonald is a likable rouge as the Stagecoach Robber and the movie ends on a little more of a serious note than the typical poverty row western.  Buck Jones was an authentic cowboy before he went into the movies and he’s believable whenever he’s riding a horse, shooting a gun, or just walking around his ranch.  Just don’t call him Cuthbert!

Retro Television Reviews: Call Her Mom (dir by Jerry Paris)

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Sundays, I will be reviewing the made-for-television movies that used to be a primetime mainstay.  Today’s film is 1972’s Call Her Mom!  It  can be viewed on YouTube!

While all of the other college campuses across America are in turmoil with protests and student walk-outs, Beardsley College remains at peace.  It’s a place where the 50s never ended.  Everyone is perfectly behaved.  No one is into politics.  Fraternity Row is a peaceful place, largely due to the elderly housemothers who keep the frats in order.

Except for Alpha Phi Epsilon, that is.  The A.P.E. House is known for being the wildest house on campus and every housemother that they get walks out on them.  If they can’t find a new housemother, they’ll lose their charter.  President Chester Hardgrove (Van Johnson) and Assistant Dean Walden (Charles Nelson Reilly) are practically salivating at the possibility of kicking A.P.E. off of campus.  And who can blame them?  Take a look at how wild these guys are:

These guys are crazy!  They wear yellow sweaters!  They play tennis indoors!  Occasionally, they leave a towel or two hanging on the bannister.  A.P.E. is out of control!

A.P.E. tries to find a new housemother but the word is out that A.P.E. is no good.  Not a single elderly woman in town is willing to work with them.  However, when the members of the frat realize that there’s not actually an age requirement for housemothers, they offer the job to Angie Bianco (Connie Stevens), who works as a waitress at the local pizza place.  Angie accepts the job.

It’s a scandal!  All of the older folks say that Angie is too young and too attractive to be trusted as the housemother for A.P.E.  Angie, however, proves herself to be a lot tougher than anyone was expecting.  The members of the frat soon come to respect her.  However, President Hardgrove is determined to force her out of the job and off of the campus.  Rumor has it that she’s encouraging the A.P.E. brothers to hold rollicking 20s style parties and she’s also allowing them to dance!

Check out this decadence!

The attempts to force Angie out of her job makes national news.  Soon, Angie and the frat brothers are featured in Time Magazine.  President Hardgrove points out that he’s never appeared in Time Magazine.  While an group of middle-aged women march outside of the A.P.E. House and demand that Angie be fired, the younger female students rally to Angie’s side.  Suddenly, Beardsley College is home to a protest!  (The protest is about as a wild as the 20s dance party at the A.P.E. House.)  President Hardgrove realizes that keeping Angie at the A.P.E. House will actually lead to the college getting more donations but Angie has decided that she has to quit.  Not only is she in love with A.P.E.’s sponsor, Prof. Calder (Jim Hutton), but a member of the fraternity has decided that he’s in love with her and he’s going to drop out of school to be with her.

Can A.P.E. convince Angie to come back?

Call Her Mom is a silly movie that was obviously meant to serve as a pilot for a television show, one in which I imagine Angie would have solved the fraternity’s problems on a weekly basis.  Seen today, it’s mostly memorable for its thoroughly innocent portrayal of college life.  A.P.E. House is the wildest frat on campus but no one is ever seen drinking.  Certainly no one is indulging in anything stronger than perhaps a Coke or a Pepsi.  I imagine this show was an accurate portrayal of what most parents hoped college was like.  That said, Connie Stevens and Jim Hutton made for a cute couple.  Hopefully, there were many good times in the future for the residents of A.P.E. House.

AMV of the Day: Mother (Bleach)

How about an AMV of the Day?  This is really a ridiculous song but the AMV itself makes good use of it.  The person who put this AMV together left a message on their profile saying that they were considering not doing anymore AMVs because of YouTube censorship.  That was 12 years ago so, if nothing else, this AMV reminds us that things were just as bad in 2011 as they are today.

Anime: Bleach

Song: Mother (performed by Danzig)

Creator: WPIOUERHVVJKBWOIERER (please subscribe to this creator’s channel)

Past AMVs of the Day

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Sofia Coppola Edition

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite American directors, the one and only Sofia Coppola!  In honor of this day, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Sofia Coppola Films

The Virgin Suicides (1999, dir by Sofia Coppola, DP: Edward Lachman)

Lost In Translation (2003, dir by Sofia Coppola, DP: Lance Acord)

Marie Antoinette (2006, dir by Sofia Coppola, DP: Lance Acord)

The Bling Ring (2013, dir by Sofia Coppola, DP: Harry Savides and Christopher Blauvelt)

Film Review: The Mother (dir by Niki Caro)

Jennifer Lopez is …. THE MOTHER!

The Mother is a professional assassin, a former U.S. military operative who has spent the last 12 years isolated in Alaska, hiding out from two of her former associates, drug lord Hector Alvarez (Gael Garcia Bernal) and mercenary Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes).  In the past, The Mother went to the FBI when she discovered that Alvarez and Lovell were involved in human trafficking.  Lovell reacted by killing a bunch of FBI agent and attempting to kill The Mother’s unborn child by stabbing The Mother in the belly.  (I actually gasped in shock at this act of violence.)  Both The Mother and her daughter, Zoe, survived.

The Mother left her daughter to be raised by an FBI agent named William Cruise (Omari Hardwick).  But, twelve years later, Zoe (Lucy Paez) is kidnapped and The Mother has to come out of hiding to rescue her.  It’s a mission that will lead The Mother and Cruise to Cuba and which will eventually bring Lovell and his men back to Alaska.  Along the way, The Mother learns how to forgive herself and to how to open up emotionally and Zoe learns why her mother abandoned her so many years ago.  Zoe also learns that nature can be ruthless and unforgiving.

The Mother isn’t really a bad film as much as it’s just a very predictable film.  It’s very much from the Taken school of cinematic action, with a parent doing whatever is necessary to protect their children.  This is another one of those films where everyone tends to be very grim and there’s a lot of scenes of people coldly threatening each other.  The film opens with the FBI interrogating The Mother and the dialogue was so familiar and the attitudes so reminiscent of every single action film and television show that I’ve seen recently that I had to take a few minutes to remember which film I was watching.  Even The Mother’s eventual trip to snowy Alaska caused me to have flashbacks to both Those Who Wish Me Dead and the recent Dexter revival.  Oddly enough, it also reminded me of Sound of Metal, if just because The Mother‘s one friend in Alaska was played by Paul Raci.  It was nice to see Raci again.  With his haunted eyes and his kindly voice, he’s the type of guardian angel that everyone would want to have.  But again, it just all felt so familiar.

Jennifer Lopez gives a convincing performance as The Mother.  Though the film may be predictable, her commitment to protecting her daughter no matter what was undeniably moving and she and Lucy Paez has a believable mother/daughter relationship.  That said, Jennifer Lopez is always at her best when she’s allowed to play a character with a sense of playfulness and there’s little of that to be found in The Mother.  It’s a grim film about serious characters and it hits all of the expected beats with efficiency but not much more.  When it comes to 2023 Jennifer Lopez films, I still prefer the appealingly silly Shotgun Wedding.

Music Video of the Day: Picture To Burn by Taylor Swift (2006, dir by Trey Fanjoy)

Taylor Swift gets revenge on an ex-boyfriend!  The ex-boyfriend, in this case, was played by a football player named Justin Sandy was not an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s.  Taylor said that he was perfect for the part because he was a “real-life Ken” doll.  Playing the role of Taylor’s friend in this video is an actual friend of Taylor’s, Abigail Anderson.