These two looked good, so I snapped them onto the DVR. Now I want those 4 hours back. Sorry I can't give you any "Must See" recomendations at this time. Just take these as a warning...
With an all star cast staring Robert Downy Jr., and with enticing plot elements such as hedonism and The Black Plague, I really wanted to like this movie. Set in the 1600s under Charles II, Robert Downy plays an undisciplined physician who is frustrated by the ineffective state of medicine at the time, and spends his time drinking and whoring. However, he just so happens to be the best damn healer in England. At several times during the movie, this is shown by him telling patients "Get some rest, and let nature take it's course." And as these several patients seem to gasp their last breath and close their eyes forever, he says "That's it... there's nothing more I can do." (thus admitting his failure) Each time, a few seconds later, they start breathing again, as it cuts to a scene were the patient has recovered completely. Oh, and one of those patients was the King's DOG.
The King rewards him with a large estate equipped w/ servants and concubines, fine royal gardens, and all the carnal pleasures a man could want. Then the King requires that he marry the King's mistress, but not touch her, so he can keep tabs on her at this remote location.
Yadda yadda yadda... King gets mad, takes estate from him, he's out on his own and goes back to doctoring. Joins up w/ some Quakers who run a mental hospital, and he decides (Patch Adams-wise) to cure the mentally ill with music and dance, rather than blood letting. Really. Seriously. Music and dance.
He knocks up Meg Ryan who was not necessarily crazy, just mad at her dead husband. They split the Quaker sanitarium and go back to London just as The Plague is hitting. Oh, and somewhere along the line, there's a scene where they play Three Card Monty. Huh? What? Why in the world did this movie need a Three Card Monty scene? It didn't make any sence. It had NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. They just thought that they should stop by a camp in the woods for a few games of "Find the Lady". Eventually he has to perform a C-section on poor Meg, who doesn't survive. So it's now Robert Downy and his infant daughter and the entire city of plague ridden London.
Finally, surprise surprise, he saves the Kings mistress (not from plague, but from whatever ailed her) and King gives him back the estate. Half of London burns, thus curing them of the plague. (Huh? Really?)
Sir Ian McKellan, Hue Grant, Meg Ryan, and probably eight other HUGE names, plus all the production value in the world couldn't polish this turd. The costumes, the fine jewelry and crowns, the elegant English gardens, the patient with a hole in his chest so RDjr can touch his heart... all technically perfect. But the movie was just plain old stupid.
Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You
I've been meaning to catch this for a long time. Set in Rome in the height of the sixties, this madcap farce was definitely one of the sexiest movies at the time. There was a combination of sexual inuendo and just blatent sex... though by today's standards it would hardly even rate PG-13. Nudity was limited to one instance of a woman's bare behind and lots of cleavage. It's a comedy of errors involving a playright who is cheating on his wife with several women. It reminded me of the old Pink Panther movies... except not really funny. Some of the comedy was based on non-reality... like his typewriter decides to eject his paper... so there's a long scene where he keeps trying to put paper in, but it keeps pushing it out. He yells at it and threatens it. Then the typewriter types out "This machine will self destruct in 5 seconds" as the Mission Impossible music kicks in. Oh, and there was a gorilla who says "I love you".
With some old sixties movies, at least you get a good sound track. Maybe something from the realm of psychedelia. Sorry, this had madcap comedy versions of Tom Jones type music... including "What's New Pussycat" (Burt Bacharach). The sound track was total squaresville. Stuff that some wanna-be THOUGHT was groovy, but NOBODY in San Francisco would be caught dead listening to. There was one groovy psychedelic discoteque scene (one of my favorite movie cliches), but it was more like an episode of Laugh In where they play music, then cut to somebody telling a joke.
Finally a big chase scene at the end, and they milked it... and milked it... and milked it. They used the same gag over and over... the whole entourage is in a horse drawn wagon running away from the police through a movie set... then there's two shakesperian swordsman... and they whole crew breaks right through their scene. OK.. funny. THEN there's two mexicans in the street having a shootout... and again, crew breaks through their scene. THEN there's two knights having a sword fight... same thing. I was begging for it to be over.
Also, this was another example where half the movie is clumsy people bumping into each other and falling on the floor. Who ever thought that was funny?
I was hoping for Mad Mad World... or Wild in the Streets... or Wonderwall... or Head... but nope, this movie was NOWHERE. A real stinker.