REVIEW: GREEN MANSIONS

 

CAST

Audrey Hepburn (Charade)
Anthony Perkins (Psycho)
Lee J. Cobb (12 Angry Men)
Sessue Hayakawa (The Cheat)
Henry Silva (Ocean’s eleven)

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A young man named Abel (Anthony Perkins) narrowly escapes Caracas, Venezuela after it is overtaken by rebels. He decides to seek revenge, as his father, the former Minister of War, was killed. After getting supplies, he takes a canoe to the far shore, where he is nearly killed by a jaguar, but is saved by the native, Indian-like people.  He decides to prove his bravery by not moving once he sees the chief, Runi (Sessue Hayakawa) and telling his story. The Indians are impressed, and do not kill him. After a while, Runi’s son Kua-ko (Henry Silva), who has lived with the missionaries of Caracas and speaks English, tells Abel that Runi has agreed so long as he does not harm them, they will not harm him. Abel agrees, and befriends Kua-ko, who tells him of the “Bird Woman”, who killed his older brother, and that their tribe is not allowed in the nearby forest.

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Abel ignores the warning and ventures into the forest, where he sees a young woman (Audrey Hepburn) who quickly disappears. He returns to the Indians, and Kua-ko tells him that Runi wishes Abel to use his gun and kill the girl. He returns to the forest, but decides to warn the girl instead. He sees her again, but is bitten by a coral snake. The girl takes Abel to her home and tends his wound. Upon waking up, he meets the girl’s grandfather, Nuflo (Lee J. Cobb), who tells him her name is Rima. The next day, with his leg wounded by the snake, Abel meets Rima again and they begin to talk. Rima takes a liking to him, but Nuflo warns her that he will leave once his leg heals. Abel is soon able to walk without a cane, and Rima therefore begins showing him the forest. Abel tells her that he has come to like her as well, and Rima is confused. She goes to speak with her dead mother’s spirit, and decides to return to where she came from to ask a village elder about her strange new feelings for Abel. Later, Abel and Rima travel to the edge of the forest, where he shows her Riolama, which she remembers as her village. Despite Nuflo’s initial reluctance to take her, Rima forces him to show her the way by threatening his soul if he does not.

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Abel decides it is time for him to return to the Indians. He tells Runi of how Rima saved him, but neither he nor Kua-ko believe him. He quickly realizes that Kua-ko killed his brother and placed the blame on Rima, but is tied up. After a bravery test (withstanding bee and wasp stings without making a sound), Kua-ko and the Indians make ready to enter the forest and kill Rima. Abel escapes and warns Nuflo and Rima, and together they escape to Riolama, where Nuflo tells Abel that he cannot return to the village because he caused a massacre. He managed to help Rima and her mother, and promised to take care of Rima, but was ashamed at his part in the massacre. Rima overhears, and curses Nuflo. She then rushes down to Riolama, where she faints in the heat. Abel follows and takes her to safety. When she awakens, Abel tells her how he has come to love her, and Rima does also, having only come to decipher her strange feelings and now recognizing them as love for him.
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Rima steals away while Abel is asleep to go back to Nuflo and apologize, but when she finds him, the Indians have burnt their home and he is nearly dead. She asks his forgiveness, and with his last words Nuflo tries to warn her of the Indians. She quickly discovers for herself, and races through the forest to escape. Kua-ko burns the great tree where she has hidden. Meanwhile, Abel awakens and realizes what Rima has done. He quickly follows and finds Kua-ko, who teases that he killed her. The two fight into a stream, where Abel manages to drown Kua-ko. Abel remembers a flower Rima told him of, which, if it disappears in one place, blossoms in another close by. He finds the flower, and not far off, Rima herself, who extends her hand. He takes it, and they begin their life in the forest together.

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This movie was not a success at the box office but I think any movie with Audrey Hepburn can’t be bad.  Audrey is such a very good actress and one of the most beautiful women of all time. Her voice is charming like anything else with that woman. Only one important feature is missing, An excellent movie.

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REVIEW: SUPER FRIENDS: THE LOST EPISODES

 

CAST (VOICES)

William Callaway (Darkwing Duck)
Michael Bell (Samurai Jack)
Danny Dark (Melvin and Howard)
Shannon Farnon (Burke’s Law)
Olan Soule (Perry Mason)
Casey Kasem (Transformers)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Stan Jones (Tranformers)
Peter Cullen (Transformers)
Stanley Ralph Ross (Babe)

when the animated series was canceled in 1983, Hanna-Barbera continued to produce new episodes, which in most cases took years to show up after the series kept returning to TV in various forms. These Lost Episodes are gathered on this two-disc set, which, although it claims to be 24 “episodes,” is more like eight half-hour programs (each consisting of three short adventures). The Super Friends are in the house, or more exactly the Hall of Justice: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, and Aquaman forming the key group of comic-book holdovers, with new superheroes Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Samurai, and El Dorado gaining opening-credits status.

In fact, other D.C. Comics heroes and villains thread through the series, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Brainiac among them. Some of the episodes are self-contained little adventures, but a few play around with original mythology; for instance, in one brief story Superman returns to Krypton, and for a moment prevents the destruction of his home planet. Another notable episode, “Bulgor the Behemoth,” has a distinctly postmodern kick: a writer for an animated TV show is struck by lightning and morphs into a super-villain, and can’t be stopped by Superman because he’s a fictional character.

The animation is simple but the designs pop in a pleasing way, with plenty of color and some classic comic-book imagery. The action and cornball messages are skewed toward young viewers of Saturday-morning cartoons.

Gleek is around too, and in “Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One,” he’s replicated as an “android duplicate of Gleek,” which is definitely overkill. Even if you don’t like the character, there’s a great deal of childhood fun in these lightweight adventures. And in the final episode there’s a trip to “Bizarro World,” trapping Superman and Wonder Woman in an Atari-style video game.

REVIEW: THE ALL NEW SUPER SUPER FRIENDS (1977)

CAST (VOICES)

Norman Alden (Bronco)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Michael Bell (Samurai Jack)
Wally Burr (Transformers)
Ted Cassidy (The Addams Family)
Danny Dark (Melvin and Howard)
Casey Kasem (Transformers)
Shannon Farnon (Burke’s Law)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Buster Jones (Transformers)
Alan Oppenehimer (The Six Million Dollar man)
Olan Soule (Perry Mason)
John Stephenson (Dragnet)

After having spent a few nights touring trough the DVD sets, I have to say that I believe the material contained within will appeal to collectors, very young children, or individuals hoping to relive their own youth.

To begin with, each episode is broken down into four parts: The first part involved only 2 members of the Justice League and was a fairly quickly resolved stand-alone plot. The second part features the Wondertwins (and Gleek) in a teen-trouble episode. The third section involved all of the Super friends and represents the heart of the entire show. Finally the fourth and final segment looked a lot like the first only it featured a guest appearance by the likes of Green Lantern, the Atom, Samurai, etc.1

Between these 4 main program segments are some engaging interactions with the Friends themselves in the form of Magic tricks, Decoder Games, health tips, and public service announcements. Now for the bad news, this is 1977-style writing and the one-dimensional quality of the scripts is overwhelmingly apparent. I realize that I am probably being overly judgmental having been spoiled by today’s well-developed animation but even when compared to Challenge of the Superfriends, the Hour program is incredibly campy. This is credited to the era itself when Parent Associations cracked down hard on all cartoons expecting none of the violence that plagued society at the time to show up in kids programming. This is a noble cause and certainly an indicator of a more innocent era but it can be very tedious to relive in this day and age.I believe much of the problem stems from the fact that there are no villains to work with here. Rather the writers are forced to alternate between evil-minded aliens and bitter scientists with experiments gone awry for each and every episode (except for the Wondertwins segments where a few kids make a bad decision and learn a lesson by the show’s conclusion). There are a few Scooby-Doo inspired episodes of de-masking a villain thrown in for good measure but overall the experience is quite repetitive. Each episode purposely ends with a corny joke and everyone laughing into the fade. Again, this was pretty on par for the time, I am merely stating these facts so as to provide potential buyers an idea of what to expect. Truthfully, this series will likely be appreciated by young viewers as it is very light on violence and heavy on humor (both spoken and slap-stick). The sets themselves are typical Warner with a well-drawn cover and inner sleeve.