WandaVision – S01E01 & S01E02 Rundowns

wandavision-marve-tv-series-disney-plus-official-3E01:

This is kind of weird. Like, it’s five minutes in and I haven’t decided whether it’s making fun of the 50s-sitcom format featuring a happily married heterosexual although not heterosapien couple who have just moved into a new neighborhood and are variously plotting or forgetting their first anniversary, or making fun of me, the audience, for kind of getting into the story.

It’s been five minutes and the characters are…kind of charming? And the setup is mildly amusing already? And the fact that the camera isn’t in the actors’ faces whilst they mug for their line, which aren’t supposed to be taken seriously anyhow because it’s a comedy (as the laugh track helpfully indicates), helps enormously? Also, I’m a sucker for 1950s fashions?

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So, anyhow, our amusing setup is that whilst Wanda is with the aid and abettance of her neighbor to the right plotting out a romantic dinner for two on the occasion of their anniversary, Vision’s boss expects to be treated to a homecooked meal. A predictably hilarious sequence of near-catastrophes later, the actual catastrophe seems to have occurred when Mr. and Mrs. Boss ask our heroes what their wedding was actually like. Or when it was. Or why they don’t actually have rings. Or why they moved to the neighborhood.–a question which neither of them can answer and both struggle mightily with.

Fortunately, Mr. Boss chokes on a chocolate-covered strawberry at this point and the crisis is…averted. Wanda and Vision settle on their song, anniversary, date, and a set of conjured rings….
And the episode ends with someone at an ominous Monitoring Desk of Ominousness, watching their episode’s credits on a Monitor Of Doom.

wv111Episode 2 begins with Wanda and Vision in bed (separate twins, natch) which the cold open arranges to change into a single double. (eheheh) After this is an annoyingly animated credits sequence which I expect I was supposed to be cute.

We then move into Vision practicing his magic act for the talent show. It’s important, Wanda explains, for them to a) participate, b) be authentically fake enough to fit in. But shortly something else happens: Wanda discovers a model helicopter in her rosebushes. What’s more….it’s in color, while everything else in their world is black-and-white.

Agnes, the neighbor on the right, then interrupts. Now, it’s pretty clear that Agnes is being set up to be either an agent of whatever oppressive forces have Done This to Wanda and Vision, but, in the meanwhile, she’s still a kind of funny, charming character who Wanda plays off of perfectly. We then follow Wanda and Agnes-the-neighbor-on-the-right to the neighborhood Stepford Smilers Committee, or whatever it is supposed to be, which is presided over by a Queen Bee lady. Queen Bee lady is immediately coded as a bad person: she’s blonde, snippy, and, worse, is snippy to a plus-but healthy at whatever sized-woman and to our hero. Also, there’s a black woman there who is coded as nice, because she complements Wanda’s slacks. Guys, you’re starting to lose me.

Vision, for his part, is having a much more amusing and less productive time at the local boy’s club. He gets gum stuck in his throat, or somewhere thereabouts.

And at this point, the radio starts talking to Wanda.

We cut to the talent show. Vision is acting as though he’s drunk, which is delightfully funny or was intended to be. Vision starts doing actual magic, which Wanda has to then cover up…using more magic to undo whatever he’s doing (“That was my grandma’s piano”) revealing the “secret.” So….this is actually kind of clever and would have been legitimately funny if it could have gone a little smoother (or higher budget?)

Wanda then discovers she’s about eight months pregnant when she gets home.

And then a guy in a bee suit climbs out of the sewer and looks menacingly at the camera…only for Wanda to rewind time to back to when they were indoors and turn their world into color.

The episode ends with a repetition of the voice from the radio asking Wanda if she knows who is doing this to her. I’m gonna guess “the bad guys.”

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Verdict: I’m slightly intrigued, albeit the menacing bee-keeper suit was a lot less menacing and more surreal (read: stupid) than it was probably intended to be–and I honestly can’t see how any context whatsoever is going to make it less stupid in the future. Oh, also, the fact that the episodes are really short (<30 minutes) helps enormously to keep things moving.

I like both the actors and they are portraying their characters with just the right amount of charm and humor. And, while I can’t help but expect to be sucker-punched for watching and enjoying a show that celebrates the 1950s and many of the values which were common to our society and civilization in that day…

I’ma give them the benefit of the doubt, for once.

Friendly Persuasion (1956) QuikReview

friendly-persuasion-1956Friendly Persuasion is a charming movie with a wonderful message about family, sticking to your beliefs, and the circumstances in which it might be necessary to modify them slightly. Apparently Ronald Reagan showed it to Mikhail Gorbachev, presumably to distract from the nukes. It is, as you will notice, directed by William Wyler, who made a lot of really good movies back in the day.

Gary Cooper is, well, Gary Cooper except he says “thee” a lot, even when grammatically incorrect. He and his family–wife, young adult son (Norman Bates? No, that can’t be right.), younger adult daughter, and kid boy–are Quakers, and what’s more, his wife Eliza (Dorothy McGuire) is an elder in their church. As such, music, Coop’s impromptu coach races with his best friend-slash-bitter rival (Robert Middleton), dancing and consorting with young men, and any kind of fisticuffs or combative sport play, are expressly forbidden.

Naturally enough, before the end of the movie, Coop has bought a secret piano, his trotter has made old Sam Jordan’s mare eat dust, young Mattie has made out with young Gard Jordan, Eliza has stricken a man with a broom in anger, and…also…

Young Anthony Perkins has gone to fight in the Civil War.

This is far from the best or most original of movies examining the concept that sometimes pacifism won’t work because sometimes the other people won’t let it, but I feel justified in saying it’s the most charming and perhaps the most wholesome.

Rated: She’s pure pet!

The Riders of Skaith’s Top 25 Search Results for 2020

riders of skaith15Hiya! Come for….well, I’d love to say the science fiction but by own stats contradict that. (Stay for the tiger pics, though).
the romance of hua rong5Not unexpectedly, the Romance of Hua Rong recaps are by far and away the most popular things on this blog. Lovely Swords Girl and Love and Destiny are yards behind, but the review of the Siege in Fog novel also gets steady hits. 
jim butcher peace talks4Review here! Incoherent initial thoughts here! Slightly more coherent thoughts here.
angelique the marquise of the angels4Review here.
byakuya movie3They did my boy wrong and I am still upset about it.
correia assisns review3A brief review of House of Assassins is here.
captain marvel rewrite3Way better, amiright?
riders of skaith, terminator2Here is my take on how the third Terminator movie should have gone. Here is my mother’s take on the first movie.
larry correia destroyer of worlds2I haven’t written a review of this one….guess I should.
pax dickinson amanda robb2Okay, I had to google this one to find out what it was about. It’s the time some guy made some reporterette wear a MAGA hat and scavenger hunt for him, back like three years ago or something when Comicsgate was going big.
silver creek audie murphy duel ay2Ay. Here you go.
house of assassins larry correia review2Wait, how did more people spell this wrong than spelled it right?
what will dresden mirror mirror be about?2Beats me. 
why was blood coming out of lingxi’s mouth in love and destiny?1‘cuz it’s a dramatic trope often used in cinema to show a character has a serious internal injury or to just intensify a scene by implying that the character might. Plus, this way you can get a lot of drama without having to get a lot of blood on the costume.
what do the einherjar call dresden files1That is an excellent question.
i want to read what happened in a chinese film named,sword girl,season 1 episode 1 to season 6 episode 1,from the starting to the ending.1Can’t help you, fam. 
jim butcher battle ground review spoiler1Justine is Nemesis.
a wizard in bedlam1Here you go, sir, ma’am, or tentacle.
is thomas raith dead bartle grounds1I’m slightly offended by this.
real identity of mr jin hua robg1He’s some kind of prince guy who is related to another prince guy who is the bad guy except Mr. Jin is a good guy who was temporarily pretending to be a hero guy except that the real hero guy was Qin Shang Cheng in a mask. I hope this clarifies the situation for you.
scifiwright the green knights squire1Given the length of the review I wrote for this, it’s really gratifying to see that someone landed there. Thanks, m’lady, m’lord, or churl!
uprooted naomi novik common sense1It wasn’t present in the novel, no.
dark emu criticism1Me, I was just having fun arguing with my dad. 
telzey amberdon and giant otters1No, no, no, it was Nile Etland who had the otters. Telzey had her telepathic tiger/crest cat, Tick-Tock.
bfs what it stands for in peace talks1Friend, why don’t you try reading the books instead of googling everything? It’ll work out much better for you that way, I promise.

Watchlist: The 13th Letter & Seven Cities of Gold

So my alphabetical watchlist got derailed somewhere around the time I had a hankering for ninjas. I only just got it back on track (Friendly Persuasion), but in the meanwhile I also watched:

the-13th-letter-md-webThe 13th Letter – 1951. Directed by Otto Premiger (you know, the name you know from lots of better movies such as Fallen AngelLauraWhere the Sidewalk Ends and…River of No Return? Huh) and starring an underwritten Linda Darnell, a bored Charles Boyer, and Michael Rennie’s cheekbones as the hero. It’s about a (very) tall, handsome, young doctor who has set up in a small Canadian town and is starting to settle in, albeit he’s having to dodge quite a lot of forward women in the process. The process is interrupted by a series of poison pen letters accusing him of an affair with Charles Boyer’s wife. This is, of course, nonsense, because Rennie has Linda Darnell throwing herself at him in a negligee. But things get decidedly serious when one of the letters’ receivers commits suicide on being told he has cancer. Everyone is a suspect now–from the incompetent hospital nurse who is Boyer’s spurned ex, to Darnell’s snide younger sister, to Linda herself. And what is the terrible trauma which lurks in our hero’s past…?

The reveal is two-fold, and actually rather more satisfying than expected. It’s even been cunningly foreshadowed by Boyer’s doctor character explaining to another about this weird psychological condition known as folie a deux…

All that said, it’s still a bit underwritten. There’s enough story here for a TV episode, not really for a movie. Linda Darnell has barely anything to do except look alternately sultry and sulky, and there’s nothing whatsoever to make the romance between her and Rennie interesting other than both parties’ good looks. The central mystery is, fittingly, the most intriguing part of the story; but it’s a little hampered by the fact that there are really only two strong suspects and neither of them get any focus. And I think that playing up the unspoken theme–that no matter how meek the woman, she has it in her to be ruthless and merciless in pursuit of what (who) they want–would also have put more of a memorable twist on it.

Rated: 10/13.

Not sure why Anyhony Quinn is shirtless here.

Seven Cities of Gold (1955) – Now, this one has Anthony Quinn, Richard Egan, Michael Rennie, Jeffrey Hunter, and Rita Moreno. Everyone is quite good, despite the fact that Jeffrey Hunter and Rita Moreno are wearing brownface and usually warpaint. Quinn and Egan are the leaders of a Spanish expedition to the interior of Mexico, searching for the titular cities; Rennie is the expedition chaplain, Father Junipero Serra, there to save souls, prevent massacres, admonish greed, and uplift the savages. This one is, I assume, loosely based around the actual events (apparently Junipero Serra is a candidate for sainthood, presumably because someone’s watched this movie).

This movie is a fairly straightforward example of its type: there’s a group of people (represented by their leader, here Anthony Quinn) which is trying to do something or go somewhere, and then there’s a contrarian (Michael Rennie); and then there are the outside circumstances that put pressure on the relationship between the leader and the contrarian. In this case, Priest Quinn wants to get to the city of Cibola and doesn’t mind shooting natives to do it. Priest Rennie finds both his tactics and his ulterior motives–greed–abhorrent and doesn’t mind saying as much. Rennie also has a tendency to wander off after flowers and get lost, so there’s that.

In each case where the men butt heads, though, each side is given the ability to make their case clearly, without any of the histrionic theatrics that would be in evidence today. In fact, the pragmatist usually has the stronger case: Father, we’re going to need space for ammunition. Father, paying off Indians with shiny beads only works if they’re not mad and you have plenty of beads. Father, have you actually baptized anyone yet? At all? And while Rennie usually has sufficient logic on his side to not sound ridiculous, the overarching theme of his character is that he is someone who believes in miracles.

Meanwhile, Richard Egan is making time with Rita Moreno, sister of the Indian chief. Usually, this kind of romance is fine, but Egan is something of a cad who really has no intentions of continuing his flirtation…which leads to an accidental but very damning-looking death, and then all hell breaking loose in fine and predictable fashion.

All in all, it would take a miracle for the white men to escape from this situation alive…

The straightforward style and script are an enormous benefit to this movie, which could only have become insufferable if it tried to be cunning and subtle in getting its message across. The other great benefit is that it has a cast who are very good at the straightforward, untheatrical, brisk style of filming. They’re also quite good actors overall, an additional plus.

And that’s basically all there is to say about it.

Rated: 7 church bells out of 9.

Flame of Araby (1951) – QuikReview

“So I knew I wasn’t going to have internet for a month or two so I downloaded a bunch of random movies, and now I’m going through them in alphabetical order. And now I’m at Flame of Araby.”

“I have never even heard of that.”

“It’s old. It’s so old there are actors playing…Arabs…and Bedouins, and they’re all white. And they’re in brownface.”

“Gotcha.”

“It’s hilarious. And there are like guys in the background, y’know, bit parts, who you can recognize from other movies ’cause they in a bunch of Westerns and they filmed the movie in California where they film all the westerns, except they have the brownface on and fake moustaches, and they’re just like, ‘By the will of Allah!’ and, ‘Die infidel dog!’ and they still have their Brooklyn accents. It’s amazing.”

“Mm.”

“Maureen O’Hara is in there, she’s the arabian princess, she’s actually really really good. She like, takes the part seriously and she commits to it. So her scenes are actually really good. She’s kind of wrangled into a stupid romance with the main hero, but I wish she actually hadn’t because she could have carried the whole movie on her own. Or she could have married the captain of the guard. He was a gunslinger in…some movie. [Tension at Table Rock.] But here he’s the captain of the guard. There’s a scene where she’s thinking of throwing herself off the balcony––and he’s like, ‘Your Highness, there is a chill in the air, you need to come inside.’ And they both, like, really commit to the scene. It’s just a little, simple scene, but it works. And it’s pretty good, especially ’cause with this movie your expectations are pretty low so when something does work, it’s even more impressive.”

“I see what you’re saying.”

“But, the plot is, there’s this guy and he’s chasing the famous wild black stallion–“

“Like The Black Stallion?”

“Yeah, sort of. And he bumps into the princess and he’s really rude to her* and she’s kind of into it. But she goes home because her father’s dying. He puts her under the guardianship of her evil cousin and makes him promise not to let her marry one of the corsair lords. So guess what the cousin immediately goes out and does.” * [Which is putting it in a socially-acceptible way. The guy whales on her with a quirt and I’m expected to believe she’s that into it? Nuh-uh.] 

“Marries her off?”

“Well he promises her to them. So she slips around it by promising to marry whatever man wins the big horse race. And then she goes out to try and catch the black stallion, but the ‘hero’ isn’t going to let her to they have to come to an agreement, blah blah and then they race and he wins, whatever. I didn’t like the ending. I think she should have ridden the horse and won the race herself. I’m not a fan of the so-called hero. He’s not a good character.”

“How so?”

“Well…he lacks any kind of depth. He wants the black stallion. He starts out wanting the black stallion. He wants the black stallion in the middle. He ends up with the black stallion. He never really shows any kind of sympathy for anyone else, or relatability, or, what’s the word. Vulnerability. And then he never does anything heroic. He doesn’t rescue the princess out of the goodness of his heart. He doesn’t fight the corsairs….he doesn’t challenge the evil cousin…all he does is chase the horse. And that’s not even heroic! The horse could have roamed free and been fine! Also he’s incredibly rude and patronizing to the princess. Like, consistently.”

“Okay…but she’s into it.”

“Well, he was played by this guy Jeff Chandler, who was kind of the It Guy in the 1950s. All the leading ladies wanted him in their movies.”

“Uh-huh.”

“He actually is kind of a hunk. But he’s such a boor and he has such a stupid costume in this movie, it’s ridiculuous. But anyway. It was kind of a fun movie and Maureen O’Hara was really good, and now I’ve deleted it off my hard drive and next up is Fort Worth.

“That’s a place in Texas.”

“It’s also a movie.”

Readlist

Readlist:

  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance – Lois McMaster Bujold
    Well, what do you say about someone who once wrote the best science fiction, hands-down, of any author alive but who then went over to the dark side? This is a romance novel. It’s a really good romance novel (sans porn, however), and it plays with genre conventions and it’s expertly written, but it’s a frickking romance novel. Not an SF-military thriller with elements of romance. Not a SF-political thriller with elements of romance and comedy. Not a heist caper with (etc)…
    It’s a romance with a smattering of action. And that’s fine. But it ain’t SF and it shouldn’t have been a novel. Novella at best, maybe.
  • Pistol Pete – Frank Eaton (did I mention my local library is very good?)

Watchlist:

  • Flame of Araby – 1950-something desert opera starring Jeff Chandler and Maureen O’Hara. Also starring: a bunch of those background character actors who pop up in the old westerns, grinning a bunch and going “Si, Senor,” or “Yeah boss,” and menacing fair maidens and innocent farmers a lot. Except in this one they’re going “Aye, my lord” and “By the beard of the Prophet, the girl has spirit!” and have painted-on tans.

    There are also dancing girls.

Desiree (1954) – Movie Review

desiree-movie-poster-1954-1020524669TLDR: it’s a historical romance about the sister-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte. And that’s basically it, aside from a couple of accents on the e‘s.

So! It seems, on first viewing, to be a promising true-to-life tale. Historically, Desiree’s sister Julie married Joseph Bonaparte, eventually becoming Queen of Spain (temporarily); Desiree and Napoleon were engaged to be married but then he threw her over for Josephine….which, given Napoleon’s luck and Josephine’s, turned out to be all for the best as far as Desiree was concerned. She married a Marshal Bernadotte and somehow therefore ended up as Queen of Sweden.

And basically that’s the plot. The problem is, the movie follows Desiree, who (historically) was painfully uninterested in politics…and, unfortunately, so is this movie. There are no battles, no intrigues, no duels, and critically, no suspense and no action. And, actually, damn little melodrama, too. Historically, there doesn’t seem to have been much romantic tension continuing between her and her famous brother-in-law. In this movie, however…Which is weird, given that this is a frickin’ historical romance, hello. Normally this  would put this movie squarely into the BORING, Turn It Off category for me. And, um, well, it kind of did. I gave up about an hour and a half in (when Desiree leaves Sweden and returns to France and I had to take my laundry out of the washer) and skipped to the end.

What the movie lives or dies on is its style, its actors, their chemistry, the script and how well they deliver their lines. Well, the style–cinematography, costumes, sets, etc–is fine. The script is also fine. It even has occasional clever moments that made me laugh out loud, so props for that.

So, what about the actors?

They’re….fine.

Marlon Brando enunciates his lines with some intensity but without a whole lot of effort….and yet also without affectation. It’s an acting style that has sadly gone out of style, along with long, wide or medium shots that require actors to stay in character and, y’know, act for more than .02 seconds at a time. Apparently Brando didn’t think much of this movie or his performance in it, but, who cares? He’s young, handsome, and he did well enough. The other male lead, Michael Rennie, is incredibly tall (he was 6’4 and visibly towers over the other characters, including Brando), extremely aquiline, superbly congenial, and considerably handsome. Neither his role nor the script requires much from him, but when you’re the heroic figure–as Bernadotte kind of was historically, or at least, someone who ended up powerful, respected, and on the winning side–there’s a certain square-jawed stiffness to be expected.

Jean Simmons is perhaps the most theatrical of the entire cast: her naive and passionate Desiree has no guile, no cunning, and no brain-mouth filter; but she has a genuine sweetness and this, plus her complete earnestness–and utter commitment to the role–makes it far less annoying than it could be. As a melodramatic heroine, she’s also…fine. She sweeps, sobs, declaims, and flings herself about with great proficiency. Merle Oberon has the more thankless role as Josephine. Oberon is in heavy makeup and somewhat past her prime–as suits her character, who was six years older than Napoleon. Actually she has a fairly tiny part, but never mind, she’s still good.

And, lest we forget, this movie is a hell of a lot better than its equivalent would be if it were made in the modern time. Still, all in all, as much as I like Michael Rennie, this one is not a keeper.

Some of the best lines:
– “Oh no, General. It wouldn’t do. You can see for yourself–not that you’re too old for me…it’s that I’m much too short for you.”
desiree1
– “Sire…it is about the virgins.”
“What about them?”
None can be found at court.”
(slightly puzzled but mostly annoyed) “….why must we have them?”
– And then, there’s also Bernadotte’s magnificent put-down to Napoleon: “Would you make me a greater man than yourself–by obliging me to refuse a crown?”

Rated: It’s fine.

Cattle Empire (1958) and State of the Author

Cattle Empire – 1958

it’s a good movie. It’s got layers and backstory and wholesomeness and stuff. It’s not a masterpiece, because it doesn’t really have quite enough characterization–or high-powered enough actors–to give its secondary characters enough weight and standout impetus, and at a certain point, without that impetus, the plot doesn’t have enough of its own momentum and then just starts to lurch from one Western trope to another. Fistfight! Range war! Solo gunfight duel in the rocks! Riding off into the sunset! They’re good tropes, sure, and they’re well-performed, but they don’t really flow. Plus, it’s a lot more satisfying to watch Joel McCrea’s hero teeter on the line between “vengeful madman” and “guy who really, really, really likes cows” than it is to see him finally fall squarely on the squeaky-clean side of the equation. I mean, not that I’m complaining that he turns out to be a good guy. It’s just that the wheels start to fall off the plot when he does.

Special notice goes to Paul Brinegar and Hal K. Dawson as George Washington Jeffrey and Thomas Jefferson Jeffrey, camp cooks, comic relief, and moral centers of the film. Phyllis Coates is adequate in her part, which is good but not particularly outstanding.

Rated: four dry rivers out of five.

State of the author: Extremely tired and without wifi.

Problem a) will eventually be resolved. Problem b) will with any luck be resolved sometime next week, because by golly, if I can’t mindlessly browse the internet to wind down at night I might just go crazy.

I have also gotten my first paycheck.

On an entirely unrelated note, all taxation is theft.

The Law and Jake Wade – Repost Review

sanstitre825B15DThe Law and Jake Wade (1958) – Some movies are just low-key brilliant, and this is one of them.

So: Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark are ex-outlaw buddies. Taylor (Jake) has gone straight, gotten engaged, and has a job. Widmark (Clint) is an outlaw who was tried, found guilty, and condemned to hang. For old times’ sake, Jake busts him out, but Clint isn’t quite content to let things lie just like that. Clint wants his share of an alleged twenty thousand dollars. And Clint wants to know what Jake’s been doing since they parted company…and, oh, by the way? Jake’s new job is: US Marshal.

You see, Jake and Clint, they was friends back in the day. Rode together in the war. Kept riding together, in the same gang, afterwards. Clint liked Jake, you see, and Clint, well, he don’t like very many people. And then one day, just as they finished knocking over a bank, Jake all of a sudden sprung a conscience and rode out on them. With the $20,000. And friends, Clint figures, don’t do that sort of thing to friends.

There’s also been some bad trouble with the Indians, up in the hills. It doesn’t last very long, but it does get rid of the rest of the gang. So now it’s just Clint and Jake. (Also Kidnapped Fiancee and That Other Guy [played by DeForest Kelly], but they’re not particularly important.) What is important is these two men and their battle, and how fair or not the fight is going to be, and who is going to win. Because it’s not nearly as clear-cut as it might be,

3d07dc02ff4cc1905d8b6f2c23d19d97Highlights: Clint smoking menacingly (it’s a lost art); Jake spotting Clint as he snipes out an Indian lookout–but neglecting to mention the rest of the war party; and Widmark’s line when it’s revealed that Jake has been bluffing him with an empty gun: “….but then, it might’a gone off like a canon. And then think how silly I would’a looked.” It’s a rare villain who can crack a joke at his own expense. Or, in the setup to the final faceoff, Jake (now having the upper hand), throws Clint’s gun down the length of the street. Clint’s expression of astonished betrayal and wondering, “I was gonna hand you yours!” is just perfect.

Robert Taylor is The Man. Is there a movie he hasn’t been cool, commanding, and tall in the saddle in? I didn’t think so. Widmark is just as excellent, cool as a cat and twice as malicious, commanding respect from the other thugs because he’s three times as badass as anyone else there and they know it–but not quite able to get it, anymore, from Jake. DeForest Kelly and Henry Silva, as girl-menacing thuggish henchmen, are good enough at their roles to make it very satisfying when they bite it. Patricia Owens gives an adequate performance in a nondescript part. Mostly, it’s the guys’ show. And boy, do they go for it.

Rated: Five cigars out of five.

Riders, do you have any good movies?

The Far Country is very good.”
“Who is in it?”
“Jimmy Stewart.”
“….”
“MOM IS THERE ANY ACTOR YOU DO LIKE? SERIOUSLY WHO DO YOU EVEN LIKE?”
“John Wayne. I like John Wayne. Do you have anything with him? What else do you have?”
“How about Vera Cruz?
“Who is in it?”
“Gary Cooper.”
“…he just like Jimmy Stewart, you know.”
“…mom…”
“He don’t look like no cowboy! Even when he got them clothes on.”
“How about The Law and Jake Wade?”
“What is it about?”
“It’s about this guy who used to be an outlaw and now he’s a marshal and his old friend who is an outlaw is very upset about it and also about the twenty thousand dollars that went missing along with him when he ran off.”
“And then what happens?”
“So he takes him and his girlfriend hostage and they go out to get the money and there’s injuns.”
“Who takes the hostage?”
“Mom, who takes people hostage? Does a good guy take people hostage?”
“Oh, okay. Who is in it?”
“Robert Taylor and–”
“He is in the same class as Jimmy Stewart, you know.”
“….mommmm…”
“What else do you have?”
Captain Blood.”
“I know who is in that. Errol Flynn. He looks like Jimmy Stewart.”
“….”
“Do you have something that’s not a Western?”
“Okay, how about Where The Sidewalk Ends. It has Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney….mom, okay, look, name three actors you actually like. JUST SAY IT PLEASE?”
“John Wayne. But I do not want to watch a John Wayne movie. They are too scary. Kirk Douglas. I like Kirk Douglas. Do you have any movie with him in it?”
“….”
“What?”
“I don’t like Kirk Douglas.”