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List of "O" Movies

O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) PG-13 comedy

The Coen Brothers come out with this comedy and it is to no surprise that it's absolutely whacked. George Clooney stars as an escaped inmate who tries to repair his relationship with his divorced wife. The plot which is based on Homer's The Odyssey is uneven, but there are moments that are wonderfully hilarious! It's certainly not the best of the Coen Brother's flicks that include Raising Arizona and Fargo, but it's a great movie for their fans. The musical score is interesting and ultimately satisfying. Starring: George Clooney, John Tuturro, Tom Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Chris Tomas King, Charles Durning, Del Pentecoste, Michael Badalucco, J.R. Horne, Brian Reddy. Directed by: Joel Coen. B

O Pioneers! (1992) NR drama

An inadequate adaptation from Wila Cather’s almost classic novel. It suffers from a tacky set, terrible acting and clumsy directing. Alexandra Bergson, a woman who single-handedly tamed the wild prairie of Nebraska in the later 1800s, gives the audience a look at her interesting and tragic life. This is a Hallmark Hall of Famer and it's as unimpressive and generic as most films Hallmark likes to produce. The story starts off well, but the cast seems to be constantly on helium and unfocused. Starring: Jessica Lange, David Strathairn, Tom Aldredge, Reed Diamond, Anne Heche, Heather Graham, Leigh Lawson. Directed by: Glenn Jordan. C-

Ocean's Eleven (1960) NR crime

This is the first Rat Pack movie about a group of criminals who concoct a plan to rob five casinos. This is a fun, stylish and old-fashioned crowd pleaser. Some of the humor is out of date, but the film's final punch line had me rolling. The musical numbers were a bit much, but I guess any movie starring Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra wouldn't be complete without them showing off their pipes. Starring: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson, Richard Conte, Cesar Romero, Patrice Wymore, Joey Bishop, Akim Tamiroff, Henry Silva, Ilka Chase, Buddy Lester, Richard Benedict, Richard Sinatra, Richard "Red" Skelton, George Raft. Directed by: Lewis Milestone. B

Ocean's Eleven (2001) PG-13 comedy

Just like the original Ocean's Eleven before it, this is a crowd pleaser and nothing more. George Clooney takes over the Frank Sinatra role as a criminal who plans to rob three casinos (big wow; Sinatra did five). To do this, he gets a bunch of other criminals together to help. This film does contain laughs, but not an incredible amount of them. The major problem with this movie is that it can't seem to get over its own glitzy self-image and actually deliver an unrestrained, wholly entertaining product. Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Edward Jemison, Bernie Mac, Saobo Qin, James Alfonso, Carol Florence. Directed by: Stephen Soderbergh. B-

Ocean’s Twelve (2004) PG-13 comedy

The whole cast returns but not all the high energy in this sequel to the 2001 remake. The casino owner victim from Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) $160 million heist manages to track down these criminals and demand that they repay him the money or be killed. Of course, they spent much of it, so they must plan another heist. It’s all style, and there’s too little substance. An amusing bit involving Julia Roberts’ character doing an impression of the real Julia Roberts is a highlight. Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Robbie Coltrane, Vincent Cassel, Edward Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Cherry Jones. Directed by: Steven Soderbergh. C+

Octaman (1971) PG horror

This is a bad monster movie, lest there be doubt. The monster is a guy wearing a green suit with rubber tentacles coming out of his back. Further, the acting is atrocious, the picture quality is poor, and the budget for special effects was nil. But I actually found a lot to like about the story--about a scientist on the tail of tracking a mutated octopus that can walk on land. Little to they know, there's an even more extreme mutation out there that's half-man, half-octopus, and it's bloodthirsty. The premise is played out seriously, and the fight scenes do get nicely tense. Starring: Pier Angeli, Kerwin Mathews, Jeff Morrow, David Essex, Read Morgan. Directed by: Harry Essex. C+

The Odd Couple (1968) G comedy

Classic comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as Felix Unger and Oscar Madison; two divorced men sharing an apartment together. This is seemingly a rather ordinary and non-problematic scenario, but Felix Unger is a bona fide neat freak, and Oscar Madison is a slob. Pretty soon, these two bachelors get on each other's nerves. This is probably Neil Simon's best and most successful play, and this is a comedic staple. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fielder, Herb Edelman, Monica Evans, Carole Shelley. Directed by: Gene Saks. A+

The Odd Couple 2 (1998) PG-13 comedy

You would have never guessed it but Felix Unger's daughter and Oscar Madison's son are getting married. That means the once-bickering fathers are going to meet again after 30 years. This unnecessary and ill-received sequel may remind viewers of Neil Simon's masterpiece from 1968, but it doesn't resemble. Matthau and Lemmon in their last appearance together, are as good as they ever have been recreating the tiring Grumpy Old Men formula and it's sometimes can get pretty funny. By far the biggest flaw is the completely wasteful supporting cast, most notoriously, Christine Baranski and Jean Smart as two buddies Lemmon and Matthau meet on their journey. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Richard Riehle, Jonathan Silverman, Lisa Waltz, Mary Beth Peil, Christine Baranski, Jean Smart, Rex Linn, Jay O. Sanders, Barnard Hughes. Directed by: Howard Deutch. C+

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) NR crime

A black man (Harry Belafonte) and a racist (Robert Ryan) are recruited by former policeman (Ed Begley) to rob a bank. The film's themes are bold for the time, because they address consequential Civil Rights challenges of the era. Such themes rarely appearing on film in the '50s and continuing to resonate to this day. The antagonistic relationship between these two are tense, and the robbery they concoct and carry out is engaging. I'd say the characters could have stood a little more fleshing out, but the dialog is nonetheless crisp, and the gritty black-and-white cinematography is artful. Altogether, that makes this excellent film noir. Starring: Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Ed Begley, Gloria Grahame, Will Kuluva, Kim Hamilton, Mae Barnes, Carmen De Lavallade. Directed by: Robert Wise. B+

The Odessa File (1974) PG thriller

Jon Voight stars in this effective thriller as a freelance reporter in the early 1960s who tracks down an evasive Nazi war criminal. This is an entertaining watch although it certainly could have been more stylish and spine tingling. Starring: Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell, Maria Schell, Mary Tamm, Derek Jacobi, Shmuel Rodensky, Ernst Schroeder. Directed by: Ronald Neame. B-

Off the Map (2003) PG-13 drama

This is an interesting though misfired film about an IRS worker who audits a highly eccentric family in New Mexico. This family consists of a bright girl (Valentina D’Angelis), a freewheeling mother (Joan Allen) and a maniacally depressed father (Sam Elliott). Their lifestyle so engrossing that he ends up getting sucked into it. It is thoughtful, but Campell Scott’s ho-hum direction didn’t do the script any favors. It could have been much stronger. Starring: Joan Allen, Valentina D'Angelis, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Jim True-Frost, Amy Brenneman, J.D. Hawkins, Kevin Skousen. Directed by: Campbell Scott. C+

Oh, God! (1977) PG comedy

When I first learned that John Denver (a la songwriter from hell) starred in a movie, I uttered its title, but it was proven to be wasted breath because John Denver proved to be a pretty descent comedic actor, given that he is no Groucho Marx! Carl Reiner is the director of this fun comedy about a good-willed assistant manager of a supermarket (John Denver) who is visited by God himself (played by George Burns). God gives Denver a mission, to spread a message to the world that basically states "The world can all work out if you don't ruin it." God manages to convince the incredibly skeptical Denver to take this story to the newspaper, but, of course, everyone thinks he's a nut. Nevertheless, the newspaper prints the story anyway, citing the source as a religious nut. Eventually, Denver and this message from God become a hit (but few people actually believe him.) Oh God! is neither outrageously hilarious nor inspiring . . . in fact this is a very low-key comedy, but it is fun! George Burns blesses the big screen once again. Recommended, though slightly. Starring: John Denver, George Burns, Teri Garr, Donald Pleasance, Ralph Bellamy, William Daniels, Barnard Hughes, Paul Sorvino, Barry Sullivan. Directed by: Carl Reiner. B+

Oh, God! Book II (1980) PG comedy

Whereas the original was charming and witty, the sequel is just charming … but not really witty. George Burns is the only cast member to return and this time, God visits a little girl. He requests that she come up with a slogan that will stick in peoples' minds. So, she comes up with “Think God” and persuades a bunch of kids to write it all over the place. This is lame even compared to its predecessor, but it is rather entertaining and quite a good choice for family viewing. Starring: George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette, David Birney, Louanne, John Louie, Howard Duff, Hans Conreid, Conrad Janis, Anthony Holland, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Hugh Downs, Dr. Joyce Brothers. Directed by: Gilbert Cates. B-

Oh God! You Devil (1984) PG comedy

George Burns reprises his role as God in the second sequel of the Oh God series. He also stars as the Devil. A rock musician (Ted Wass) is frustrated at his lack of fame and fortune. The Devil approaches him and offers seven years of it in exchange for his soul. He accepts, but soon learns that it wasn't quite what it was cracked up to be. This is a passable film but nothing more. Burns is charming, but even that gets old. The story isn't anything we haven't seen before. Starring: George Burns, Ted Wass, Ron Silver, Roxanne Hart, Eugene Roche, Robert Desiderio, Susan Peretz, Belita Moreno. Directed by: Paul Bogart. C+

Oh Heavenly Dog! (1980) children/comedy

Oh heavenly crap! This movie sucks! Chevy Chase stars as a private detective who is murdered and is assigned by the "big boys" in heaven to come back as a spy to solve his own murder. However, he can't come back in his original form, he comes back as a dog (Benji to be exact!) Terrible humor and a terrible script leaves this flick only to the kids who don't care there aren't any special effects or Disney cartoons. Starring: Chevy Chase, Benji, Jane Seymour, Omar Sharif, Robert Morley, Alan Sues, Donnelly Rhodes, John Stride, Barbars Leigh-Hunt, Frank Williams. Directed by: Joe Camp. C

Old School (2003) R comedy

A trio of thirty-somethings, tired of being adults, start their own fraternity. They even acquire new recruits -- dudes aged between 30 and Dead who have no real interest in attending class. The script puts more detail into the set-up than I described, but who cares? This is played for gags, and I giggle consistently enough that Im left with a mild sense of euphoria. That of course is the fundamental reason anyone watches a comedy. On paper, I wouldn't be able to describe exactly why Will Ferrell getting drunk and going streaking is funny. It just is. He thinks others are streaking with him, but they didnt follow. Hes just running down the street alone naked. And then his new wife happens to drive down the street. She asks him what hes doing. "Everybodys doing it!" he assures her. Im also amused by Vince Vaughns quick-talking smart-aleck schtick, especially when he orders his kid put on "ear muffs" (cover his ears) before allowing himself to curse. Which he does a lot. And its also clear the kid can hear everything. The secret to this is all in the delivery, and these are some supremely talented comic actors. The star of the film is Luke Wilson who is the straight man and de facto head of the fraternity. While the humor is raunchy and often politically incorrect, its all so jovial and fun that I love it. Starring: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Piven, Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, Perrey Reeves, Craig Kilborn. Directed by: Todd Phillips. B

Oliver! (1968) G musical

This is a wonderful musical adaptation of Charles Dicken's novel. Oliver Twist, an orphan manages to escape from his workhouse and promptly sets off to London to make his fortune. There he finds the Artful Dodger who brings him to Fagin's flat, a criminal who provides a home and meals for homeless children in return for their services as a pickpocket. This joyous and perfect musical that will doubtlessly provide amiable entertainment for the entire family. Ron Moody's outstanding performance as Fagin and the ultra-expensive set is a plus. Starring: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Shani Wallis, Jack Wild, Harry Secombe, Hugh Griffith, Shelia White. Directed by: Carol Reed. A+

The Omega Code (1999) PG-13 religious/thriller

This odd semi-thriller about the discovery of the Bible code (a theory that if you take letters out of the Bible in a certain pattern, it will successfully predict the future). Michael York gets a hold of this amazing discovery and uses it to his advantage. Energetic evangelist, Casper Van Dien, finds out that Michael York is the anti-Christ and must put an end to his dastardly doings. The script and the plot turns are too terrible for anyone to really enjoy it even though there are periods of true vigor. Starring: Casper Van Dien, Michael York, Catherine Oxenburg, Michael Ironside, Jan Triska, Gregory Wargowski, Devon Odessa, William Hootkins, Robert Ito, Janet Carroll, George Coe, Ravil Isyonov. Directed by: Rob Marcarelli. C

On Borrowed Time (1939) NR fantasy

The Grim Reaper is usually portrayed as a tall skeleton man who creeps around in a black robe wielding a scythe. In this film, hes an English gentleman named Mr. Brink (Cedric Hardwicke). He is standing on the side of the road waiting for an ill-fated couple to die in a crash. They are parents to the 8-year-old Pud (Bobs Watson) whose best friend in the world is his wheelchair-bound grandfather (Lionel Barrymore). Pud affectionately refers to him as "Gramps." After the funeral, Gramps and Pud are granted a wish. Not thinking much of it and they decide theyre rather tired of kids sneaking in their yard and stealing apples, and so they wish for anyone who climbs their apple tree not be able to come down till Gramps says so. Lo and behold, it comes true. The reason to love this film is to watch these two actors interact. Barrymores cantankerous old fogey is intense and hilarious, and Watson comes across like a natural kid. Theyre at their best when they hurl insults at the nasty Aunt Demetria (Eily Malyon) (the "squid-faced old bird stuffer") who becomes interested in adopting Pud after realizing how much money he inherited. When Mr. Brink comes poking around, Gramps manages to stave off death by tricking him into going up that tree. I certainly enjoy the story, but its unexpectedly harsh ending catches me by surprise. I blubbered like a baby, which only goes to show how intensely I become emotionally invested in these characters. Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Beulah Bondi, Una Merkel, Bobs Watson, Nat Pendleton, Henry Travers. Directed by: Harold S. Bucquet. A-

On Moonlight Bay (1951) NR musical

Marjorie (Doris Day) is a young woman from small town Indiana in the 1910s. She had always been more interested in baseball than boys, until her family moves to a wealthier side of town. She is clad in her baseball outfit when she catches her incorrigible younger brother Wesley playing with an old gun in a barn next door. She snatched it from him when it accidentally discharges and hits a barn door, knocking it off its hinges. On the other side of the door is Bill (Gordon MacRae), a college kid, rather miffed that some kid almost killed him with a gun. He throws Marjorie over his knee (thinking she is a boy) and spanks her. Then he realizes that this butt he's smacking is awfully shapely, and he turns to look at her face to he sees her smiling back at him. Love at first sight. Bill turns out to be an outspoken social critic. He believes civilization is crumbling under our feet because men are too interested in football and baseball and singing songs. The latter especially amusing, since this is Gordon MacRae saying this, cast in a musical. He also has something against banks, which rubs Marjorie's banker father the wrong way. What's a romance without a little tension from the in-laws? I found this lighthearted film quite enjoyable, and that's thanks to its two charismatic, bubbly leads. And the script is also well-written -- even if the romance scenes are a bit gooey -- and is littered with decent light giggles throughout. Starring: Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Jack Smith, Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp, Mary Wickes, Ellen Corby, Billy Gray. Directed by: Roy Del Ruth. B+

On the Town (1949) NR musical/dance

This cheery musical is about a trio of Navy sailors on leave and go about the town of New York City for 24 hours. With trip like this for sailors who have been at sea for years, it's only natural that they try to make the best of it. As they find out, strange things can happen in a day. Great songs and dancing overpowers a weak and unlikely plot. The cast members are treasures! Starring: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen, Florence Bates, Alice Pearce, George Meader. Directed by: Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. B

On the Waterfront (1954) NR drama

In one of the defining moments of Marlon Brando’s career, he stars as a blue-collar bum who is prone to doing favors for a corrupt union leader (Lee J. Cobb). When one of these favors leads to a guy’s death, he begins to have a personal crisis. This is considered a cinematic classic for very good reason. Starring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, Leif Erickson, James Westerfield, Tony Galento, Tami Mauriello, John F. Hamilton. Directed by: Elia Kazan. A+

Once Around (1991) R romance

This is a rather dull romance film about a young Bostonian woman (Holly Hunter) falling in love with an egocentric millionaire (Richard Dreyfuss). The engaging performances from the two leads are fantastic, however, which makes up for the unfortunate lulls in the script and the bland direction. Make sure you have Kleenex handy. Starring: Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Aiello, Laura San Giacomo, Gena Rowlands, Roxanne Hart, Danton Stone, Tim Guinee, Greg Germann, Griffin Dunne. Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom. B-

The One (2001) PG-13 martial arts

Very few redeeming qualities can be found in this Matrix rip-off. Jet Li stars as a man who realizes that his existence is in jeopardy when other existances of him from parallel universes are out to kill him. The ridiculous plot, hammy acting, piece-of-crap script, cheapie special effects and the lack of martial arts fighting scenes makes this one of the worst films I've ever seen. Starring: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Jason Statham, Delroy Lindo, Mark Borchardt, David 'Shark' Fralick, Archie Kao, Kim McKamy, Brandon Molale, James Morrison. Directed by: James Wong. F

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) R drama

Here’s one for the trophy case. This is definitely among the most stunning and sobering films of all time! Jack Nicholson gives one of the most intriguing performances ever as a criminal who pretends to be crazy to avoid jail. Mental hospitals are pampered, he thinks. Well, that it might be, but he didn’t count on being subject to the most tyrannical nurse ever conceived by mankind. (She’s a *$#%!) Watch it! If you haven’t seen it yet, stop what you’re doing, run to the video store, and see it! The ending is so tragic that that I had difficulty swallowing. Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Dean R. Brooks, Scatman Crothers, Danny DeVito, William Duell, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Will Sampson, Vincent Schiavelli, Delos V. Smith, Maraya Small. Directed by: Milos Forman. A

One Good Cop (1991) R drama

This well done but pointless film is about a cop with financial troubles, robbing drug dealers of cocaine and selling their product. He need the money to buy a nice house in order to have a chance at adopting three young children. Yes, the plot's weak and stupid, but the action and the suspense is entertaining. Michael Keaton and Rene Russo also do a fine job in their roles. Starring: Michael Keaton, Rene Russo, Anthony LaPaglia, Kevin Conway, Michael Ticotin, Tony Plana. Directed by: Heywood Gould. C

100 Rifles (1969) R western

This boring western stars Burt Reynolds as a half-white, half-Indian who robbed a bank to buy weapons for his Native American kin. A lawman (Jim Brown) tracked him down and tries to interfere, but he ends up getting involved in the Indian’s war with an American railroad company and the Mexican government. The ultimate failure of this film can be blamed solely on lazy direction. Starring: Jim Brown, Raquel Welch, Burt Reynolds, Fernando Lamas, Dan O’Herlihy, Michael Forest, Aldo Sambrell. Directed by: Tom Gries. D+

One, Two, Three (1961) NR comedy

Billy Wilder directs this uproarious Cold War comedy. It stars James Cagney as a Coca-Cola exececutive stationed in Western Germany when his boss asks him to look after his visiting daughter (Pamela Tiffin). Behind his back, the daughter marries a Bolshevik from East Germany (Horst Buchholz). Cagney's boss, a well-known communist hater, would flip out if he ever found out about it. So, Cagney uses his imperialistic methods to sort things out (only getting himself into more trouble, usually). Even though the Cold War is long over and done with, this remains a fantastically funny farce with a script full of chuckles. Cagney, who was to retire after this movie, delivers an energetic performance. Starring: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, Liselotte Pulver, Howard St. John, Hanns Lothar, Lois Bolton, Leon Askin. Directed by: Billy Wilder. A

One Million B.C. (1940) adventure

Imaginative musings of what life might have been like for human beings on Earth one million years ago -- give or take a millennium. This is a tale of two groups of people -- the "Rock People" and the "Shell People." Each tribe has contrasting cultures. The Rock People are mountain dwellers and warriors who've learned to survive by fighting great monsters, as well as one another. Meal times are tiered depending on rank. The leader getting the prime cuts, warriors getting next best, then women and children and the elderly get the scraps. Tumak, an up and coming warrior, fights the leader of the tribe, Akhoba, for his portion of their meal. He loses and is exiled -- then chased by a mastodon and falling unconscious and floats down a river. He is discovered by a young woman Loana (Carole Landis), of the Shell People, who nurses him back to life. Romantic interest sparks between them almost immediately. This tribe, at meal times, shares according to need, and there's always plenty for everyone -- a concept that Tumak meets with distrust. But eventually, he starts to grasp how this concept of mutualism can lead to prosperity. On the other hand, when a giant Gila monster comes rearing its ugly head, who from which tribe would be best at dispatching it? The actors speak mainly in unintelligible grunts and exaggerated gestures -- and yet it communicates a perfectly engaging story. The special effects are impressive for their times, whether the protagonists are fighting lizards in forced perspective or fighting men in rubber suits. Starring: Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Lon Chaney Jr., Conrad Nagel, John Hubbard, Nigel De Brulier, Mamo Clark, Inez Palange, Edgar Edwards. Directed by: Hal Roach and Hal Roach Jr. B

One Million Years B.C. (1966) adventure/thriller

This usually boring tale is about a caveman thrown out of his primitive tribe to travel to a peaceful one who uses such technologies as spears, paint, bathing etc. Some of the special effects are strange; a giant iguana and sea turtle are part of the cast as monsters. However, for the time, the claymated dinos are very good and almost realistic. Remade from a 1940 film, this also served as inspiration for Ringo Starr's Caveman in 1981. Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Beswick. Directed by: Don Chaffey. C-

Only the Lonely (1991) PG-13 comedy

This is an excellent romantic comedy starring John Candy as a good-natured cop who begins dating a quiet mortician, played by Ally Sheedy, much to the dismay of his still-overprotective mother, played exceptionally by Maureen O'Hara. It's usually very funny with a script that is thoughtfully written. It makes good entertainment for the family despite the PG-13 rating. Starring: John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy, Kevin Dunn, Milo O'Shea, Bert Remsen, Anthony Quinn, James Belushi, Joe V. Greco, Marvin J. McIntyre, Macaulay Culkin. Directed by: Chris Columbus. A-

Only Two Can Play (1962) NR comedy

Fans of dry British humor, here's a gem. Peter Sellers stars as a middle aged librarian who likes to leer at young ladies and have affairs. Fortunately, the storyline has little to do with why I like this film. (If there's satirical elements at play there, I'm not understanding it.) Why I enjoy this is because I love watching Sellers deliver these terribly wry lines of dialog with deadpan perfection. He particularly likes to hurls insults at people at lightning speed and without varying that sleepy tone in his voice or that sly, slightly dopey grin on his face. I know I even miss many of jokes--partly because this is British humor but also because I spend so much time marveling over an earlier joke to catch the next one. While the storyline is quite weak (and creepy), I find myself chuckling constantly. Starring: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell, Kenneth Griffith, Raymond Huntley, David Davies, Maudie Edwards, Meredith Edwards, John Le Mesurier, Frederick Piper, Graham Stark. Directed by: Sidney Gilliat. B

Operation Condor (1990) PG-13 martial arts

Jackie Chan stars in an Indiana Jones type role where he must travel to Africa and recover an abandon German military base and the ample quantities of gold stashed there. Chan uses a lot of stylish kung fu moves on the bad guys and (as usual) it is as pleasing-to-the-eye as usual. This one's an above average martial arts flick and a wonderful addition to the annals of the Jackie Chan movie library. Starring: Jackie Chan, Carol Cheng, Eva Cobo de Garcia, Shoko Ikeda, Alfred Brel Sanchez. Directed by: Jackie Chan, Frankie Chan and Johnny To. B+

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (2021) R documentary

A documentary about upper middle class parents paying a man named William Rick Singer to fake the biographies of their kids to help them get into elite universities. The film does a thorough job documenting the who, where, what of the scandal, but it only brushes over the true heart of the matter. Which is our system being such that noble and good get pushed out in favor of those who are best at gaming the system. There's nothing particularly unique or stylish about how this film looks, apart from I suppose the use of Matthew Modine to reenact scenes as Singer. Otherwise the purpose of this film is only to organize what we'd already read about this topic in news reports. Starring: Matthew Modine, Roger Rignack, Jillian Peterson, Courtney Rackley, Wallace Langham, Josh Stramberg. Directed by: Chris Smith. C

Opportunity Knocks (1990) PG-13 comedy

Dana Carvey stars in this comedy that falters neither above nor below the level of mediocrity. He plays a criminal who attempts to con a rich family but he finds he's falling in love with the daughter. This is a movie only for Dana Carvey fans. He takes on this film single-handedly, but not always with success. He even does his celebrated George Bush imitation! Starring: Dana Carvey, Robert Loggia, Todd Graff, Julia Campbell, Milo O'Shea, James Tolkan, Doris Belack, Sally Gracie, Mike Bacarella, John M. Watson Sr., Beatrice Fredman, Thomas McElroy. Directed by: Donald Petrie. C+

Orange County (2002) PG-13 comedy

Colin Hanks stars as a high school senior who wants to go to Stanford to study to be a writer. But his family is so weird that he's afraid that they won't allow him to go there. His girlfriend (Schuyler Fisk) is also apprehensive about him going to Stanford, because that means they'll be separated. As it turns out, none of that really mattered. His flaky high school counselor (Lily Tomlin) sent Stanford the wrong papers, and he was rejected. But, with the help of his insane brother (Jack Black) he drives to Stanford and has 24 hours to gain admittance. This is an entertaining teen comedy that could have used more concrete jokes. But the cast is likable, and so is this film. Starring: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara, Schuyler Fisk, John Lithgow, Harold Ramis, Kyle Howard, Chevy Chase, R.J. Knoll, Lily Tomlin, Mike White, Leslie Mann, Goerge Murdock, Lillian Hurst, Olivia Rosewood. Directed by: Jake Kasdan. B

Ordinary People (1980) R drama

Excellent drama about an upper middle class high school student, Conrad (Timothy Hutton), who survived a boating accident that claimed the life of his older brother Buck. Burdened with survivor's guilt, he made an attempt on his own life, which landed him a four month stint at a psychiatric hospital. This suicide attempt estranged him further from his emotionally detached mother (Mary Tyler Moore), their relationship souring by the minute, as he agonizes over his (probably correct) notion that his mother had always loved Buck more. They engage in bitter arguments, which his father Calvin (Donald Sutherland) tries to resolve, and he usually takes Conrad's side for fear of causing further damage to his fragile mental state. Beth resents that. Meanwhile, Conrad tries to regain his love for competitive swimming and reconnect with his old friends, but his heart just isn't into it. At least he finds some refuge in a budding relationship with a classmate Jeannine (Elizabeth McGovern), even if he's leery of her true intentions -- whether she is actually interested in friendship or romance with him, or she sees him as an irresistibly wounded puppy that needs attending to. He seeks psychiatric care with twice-per-week meetings with Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch), who he's antagonistic towards at first but they start to make real progress. Their sessions I watch with intense interest -- this being among the finer, most genuine cinematic depictions of psychiatry. The hype around this film at the time, something that will likely continue to catch some viewers stunned, is renown sitcom star Mary Tyler Moore's dramatic turn. It's not just that she appeared in a drama, but she is a thoroughly unlikeable character. Her performance is amazingly nuanced as a mother who strives to keep outward appearances of normalcy but incapable of warmth -- which is really what's needed to sustain a family. Starring: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern, Dinah Manoff, Fredric Lehne, James B. Sikking, Basil Hoffman, Quinn Redeker, Mariclare Costello, Meg Mundy. Directed by: Robert Redford. A-

Oscar (1991) PG comedy

Sylvester Stallone, in one of his rare comedies, stars as "Snaps" Provolone, who promises to his dying father that he'll go straight. The plot is badly confusing but the cast full of notables are appealing. This film is actually entertaining and worth seeing if you're looking for a big and energized comedy. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Ornella Muti, Don Ameche, Peter Riegert, Tim Curry, Vincent Spano, Marisa Tomei, Eddie Bracken, Linda Gray, Chazz Palminteri, Kurtwood Smith, Yvonne DeCarlo, Ken Howard, William Atherton, Martin Ferrero, Harry Shearer, Richard Romanus, Kirk Douglas. Directed by: John Landis. C+

The Others (2001) PG-13 horror

This incredibly suspenseful film that is also intelligent will keep you on your toes. Nicole Kidman stars as a woman whose children are light allergic. They soon become aware that their home is haunted, and they try figuring out ways to get rid of them. The twist ending will catch you by surprise! Starring: Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Alakina Mann, James Bently, Eric Stykes, Elaine Cassidy, Renee Asherson, Gordon Reid, Keith Allen, Michelle Fairly. Directed by: Alejandro Amenabar. A-

Our Hospitality / Sherlock Jr. (1926) NR comedy

This is a double feature of Buster Keaton comedies. The first one is "Our Hospitality," a Hatfield and McCoy like tale about a young man (Keaton) who visits his birthplace only to rekindle the blood feud. The thing is, he falls in love with the family's daughter, and the father won't kill anyone who is a guest in his house. Once Keaton steps outside, however, he's out for his life. The best film, however, is "Sherlock Jr." Keaton stars as a Sherlock Holmes wannabe who falls asleep in a movie theater and dreams about solving a crime. This has what's surely one of the funniest dream sequences of cinematic history in which Keaton finds himself stuck in a movie screen, and he has to cope with the constantly changing scenes. Both of these films are gems! Starring: Buster Keaton. A

Out Cold (2001) PG-13 comedy

There is one funny scene in this comedic wasteland that's not even amusing. Lee Majors looks embarrassed starring as a businessman who buys a ski slope and gives it a facelift much to the dismay of the slope's misfit regulars. This is a crude comedy that would have worked better as children's slapstick fare. This is a film sure to miss. Amazingly, the outtakes at the end are even less funny than the script. Starring: Jason London, Lee Majors, Flex Alexander, AJ Cook, Caroline Dhavernas, Todd Richards, Derek Hamilton, David Denman, Zach Galifianakis, Willie Garson, David Koechner, Thomas Lennon, Victoria Silverstedt, Lewis Arquette, Rio Tahara. Directed by: Emmett Malloy and Brendan Malloy. D-

Out for Justice (1991) R action

A policeman (Steven Segal) is out for revenge against a vicious baddie (William Forsythe) in this straight action flick. The action sequences are well executed, which makes the lack of originality in the plot easily ignorable. This an excellent choice for fans of the genre, and there's a good chance non-fans might even enjoy themselves. Starring: Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, Jerry Orbach, Jo Champa, Shareen J. Mitchell, Sal Richards, Gina Gershon, Jay Acovone, Diane Peterson, Julianna Marguiles, Vera Lockwood. Directed by: John Flynn. B

Out of Africa (1985) PG romance/drama

This is an overlong but enchanting love story about a Danish woman (Meryl Streep) who moves to Africa with her new husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Then, she falls in love with another man (Robert Redford). Streep and Redford do a fine job in their roles. This recommended to lovers of love stories, or people who tend to not get bored through long movies. John Barry's fantastic musical score intensifies the poetry. Starring: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen, Mallick Bowens, Joseph Thiaka. Directed by: Sidney Pollack. B+

The Out-of-Towners (1970) PG-13 comedy

Jack Lemmon is George Kellerman, a man from Ohio who's up for a lucrative job in New York City. He takes along his wife Gwen (Sandy Denny), hoping to also treat her to a romantic mini-vacation. But then their flight that gets diverted to Boston, and that is just the beginning of their misadventures. In fact they encounter so many misadventures that Mr. Murphy and his proverbial law must be shaking their heading thinking this is all too much. While this is one of Neil Simon's more disappointing scripts, it does service one of my favorite pastimes, which is watching Jack Lemmon play neurotic characters. In fact he's so wired-up here that if he got even more wired up, I could imagine his head popping off his neck. Sandy Denny's character is about the opposite of his -- calm and levelheaded. Their personality contrasts do lead to some laughs, and both of these actors have a great sense of comic timing. One of my favorite moments happens after they lose their hotel room for the night, but the hotel manager promises to have another one ready by 7 a.m. She suggests they wait it out and get coffee. He responds by telling her to stop panicking. This is a film about a funny couple put in funny situations, so why don't I like it? It's just too much, and watching this film grows tiresome. And it doesn't even have a good punchline. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Sandy Denny, Sandy Baron, Anne Meara, Robert Nichols, Ann Prentiss, Ron Carey. Directed by: Arthur Hiller. C

The Out-of-Towners (1999) PG-13 comedy

Remaking the mediocre film from 1970 was fair game. That was a film with plenty of promise, but it just didn't pan out. Unfortunately, this remake doesn't rise to the occasion. But more than that, it eliminated the best thing the original had going for it, which was the wildly contrasting personalities of the husband-and-wife characters. Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in this remake react to situations in the same way as one another, which reduces the number of laughs to precisely zero. They added slapstick to the mix, which was completely absent from the original, perhaps to make up for that vacuum of laughs. Except the extent of the slapstick here is the couple getting chased by a Rottweiler, or hanging off a neon sign high on a building, or getting caught having sex in the park by Rudy Giuliani. There's nothing funny about these events just occurring. Where are the punchlines? The movie's one saving grave is an appearance of John Cleese who reprises (in spirit) his Basil Fawlty character. He plays a snobbish hotel manager who's quick to insult any guest he runs across (except for the rich and powerful ones). He also briefly does his "Silly Walk." Starring: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Mark McKinney, John Cleese, Oliver Hudson, Gregory Jbara, Cynthia Nixon, Mo Gaffney. Directed by: Sam Weisman. C-

Out to Sea (1997) PG-13 comedy

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau star in this funny film as two men who sign up to be dance hosts in a luxurious ocean liner in order to get the free cruise. Lemmon actually does his job, but Matthau starts scouting out young, rich, beautiful millionairesses. The film uses a slight deviation from the Grumpy Old Men formula, and it does it well making it a good choice for fans. However, it's a hit and miss comedy, but Lemmon and Matthau are enjoyable in one of their final films together. Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dyan Cannon, Gloria DeHaven, Brent Spiner, Elaine Stritch, Hal Linden, Donald O'Connor, Edward Mulhare, Rue McClanahan, Alexandra Powers. Directed by: Martha Coolidge. B

Outbreak (1996) R drama

This is an entertaining and exciting film about a pathologist (Dustin Hoffman) who discovers a fast-spreading, deadly disease and does all he can to stop it from spreading to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, he must battle the wits of a seemingly ignorant general (Morgan Freeman) who wants to keep a specific detail about this disease secret. While all this is happening, Hoffman and his ex-wife played by Rene Russo who are working together, are engaged in a believable re-kindling of interest. A picture that is a good example of how exciting Hollywood can really get. Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Donald Sutherland, Patrick Dempsey, Zakes Mokae, Malick Bowens, Susan Lee Hoffman, Benito Martinez. Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen. B+

Overboard (1987) PG comedy

Goldie Hawn is an insufferable heiress traveling the seas in a yacht with her lily livered husband (Edward Herrmann). The yacht breaks down in a hick coastal town where she quickly makes enemies with a widowed local carpenter (Kurt Russell). While leaving town, Hawn accidentally falls overboard and ends up in a local hospital with amnesia. Hoping for revenge, Russell goes to the hospital to retrieve her, pretending to be her husband. Hawn has no choice but to go along with it. She goes "home" to find that it is a dump and she is mother of four unruly boys. The far-fetched premise (and perhaps troublesome, since this constitutes kidnapping) is saved by its fun script, riddled with chuckles, and the genuine heart behind it. Starring: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Edward Herrmann, Katherine Helmond, Michael G. Hargerty, Roddy McDowall, Jared Rushton, Jeffrey Wiseman, Brian Price, Jamie Wild, Frank Campanella, Harvey Miller, Frank Buxton, Carol Williard, Hector Elizondo, Doris Hess, Ed Cree. Directed by: Garry Marshall. B

Overnight (2003) R documentary

A fascinating documentary examines director and screenwriter Troy Duffy whose reign fell before he even started making his first picture. When his script for Boondock Saints was picked up by Mirimax, his enormous ego managed to disenchant not only the Mirimax execs, but everyone else who makes movies. Though his film was eventually made and with a very limited release, his arrogant personality alienated his friends and drove himself into the dirt of obscurity. This is good viewing for anyone aiming to be famous. Starring: Troy Duffy. Directed by: Mark Brian Smith. B+


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