Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up.
First is Heidi. I’ll be honest, I had never seen any version of this story and had never read the book before. The only thing I knew about any of it was the infamous football game incident decades back. This latest version is pretty stunning. If you are familiar with the story I’d assume you’ll know what happens, but what stands out to me is the look of the film. It was shot in the Swiss Alps and it’s pretty gorgeous for a Dove Family Approved film. The story centers on Heidi, a young girl who lives with her grandfather in a mountain area. Her aunt brings her to their wealthy home to be a playmate for her wheelchair bound daughter. Heidi is wild and unsophisticated, but learns to love books. She misses her grandfather and wants to return to him. It’s your classic fish-out-of-water story we’ve seen many times before, but again, I loved the look of the film. The mountain area is beautiful with rich greens on the land, bold blues of the sky and water. The set design and production quality of the “rich” home is pretty spot on too. Costuming is solid as well. The young actress playing Heidi is really good too. If your family knows the story, I’d check this one out. It’s wholesome and really pretty to look at.
Next we have The Carol Burnett Show: The Best of Tim Conway. Conway was TV gold back in the day and this collection shows you why. I like this collection because it highlights Conway’s range as a comedian/actor. The different episodes showcase his accents and voice work as well as his physical commitment to a gag. He used wardrobe and wigs as well as anyone in the business. Plus he was willing to take the joke further than needed with his physical ability. This collection has four episodes, three of which haven’t been available for home video previously. The thing that amazes me when I watch these older collections is how professional everyone was. I don’t know how Carol Burnett and others didn’t break character more often. Sure you see some smiles and stuff like that on occasion, but with the improv skills Conway had, you’d think there would be more character breaking. Watch Saturday Night Live nowadays and no one is professional. If someone on SNL tried to do Mr. Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins today, whoever was playing Burnett’s role would lose it. After watching this I went on YouTube and watched more clips of Mr. Tudball and The Oldest Man. You probably will too.
Third we have Property is No Longer a Theft. This is an Italian film from the 1970’s and I’m not quite sure if I got what it was going for. I’m thinking it was going for some anti-capitalism stance, but I don’t know much about Italian history at that time so I’m not sure what the issue was. It’s kind of an odd movie, but I did like some of it. A man who works at a bank is allergic to money and wears gloves. He quits and starts tormenting a rich man who is a butcher. He first steals his knife, then robs his house (without taking money) and then takes his wife. It’s well made and overall pretty easy to follow, but my issue is with the cutaway scenes. I don’t know if that’s a trademark of the director, but to me it took me out of the film at those points. Maybe if I knew more about what was going on in Italy at that time point I might have liked (or understood) the film a bit more, but I just don’t know about it. I didn’t like the cutaway scenes, but I did like the style and direction of the film. If you know of the film, this new Blu-ray collection is pretty fantastic though.
Last we have Story of Sin. I’ll be straight up honest and admit I did not understand this one whatsoever. I mean I understand what I watched, but I don’t get the deeper meaning if there is one. It’s a 1970’s Polish film about a woman who falls for a lodger staying at her parents’ place. He leaves to get a divorce and she can’t live without him. She then gets involved with man after man and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to take from that. Is it a religious film either pro or con? Is it telling the world how Poland saw sex in that time period? Is it just an exploitation film that the director wanted to make? I have no idea. I did like the look and feel of the film. I thought the direction was really good and liked the look of a lot of the scenes. I’m just not sure what I was supposed to get out of the film to be honest.