Monday, September 22, 2008

"Harold and Maude" Review

Mary's Review
This cult classic film aught to be a part of every home's movie library. Yes, it is really that good. I personally have watched Harold and Maude more times than I can count and I still look forward to the next time!

This 1971 comedy stars Ruth Gordon, and the legendary comedic actor, Bud Cort. When twenty-year-old Harold meets seventy-nine-year-old, Maude at a stranger's funeral, Harold's life changes forever. Throughout the movie, Harold goes to great efforts to frighten his indifferent, egocentric, snobbish, wealthy mother (played by Vivian Pickles) by simulating wild suicide stunts around the mansion. He also spends his time going to strangers' funerals, he drives a black hearse, and finds an unlikely friendship with an elderly woman.

Bud Cort is hilarious as Harold in his own subtle, perfectly timed, muted manner; if you are not familiar with Bud Cort's work, you are in for a wonderful discovery! Cort's mannerisms and timing remind me of actors like funny-man, Steve Carrell, and the brooding talent, Johnny Depp. Harold's co-star, anarchist, Maude, will intrigue you, delight you, make you laugh, make you cry, cause you to re-evaluate your life, and, above all, Maude will inspire you!

Yes, Harold and Maude is hilarious; however, it also explores serious issues like ageism, love, death, depression, and the meaning of life. This wonderful film is full of random surprises, and unpredictable, bizarre circumstances; a great example of a spirited, eccentric piece. The fantastic folk singer, Cat Stevens, lends the perfect soundtrack for this upbeat, honest, classic comedy.

Even if you have never seen the movie, you may have heard of it as the media often alludes to Harold and Maude when citing the film's controversial romance. In fact, Harold and Maude is Mary's all-time-favorite film in the modern comedy, There's Something About Mary. Although this movie is legendary, many young people (like myself) have never seen it, which I think is a great shame. Please see this movie right away and fall in love with laughter, life, and the magic of awkward moments!

I am super curious to read your comments on this review and on the movie, so please come back to give your own review and I may post your quote on this page (please remember not to post anything that might spoil the movie for another reader). I hope that I have helped you find one of your new favorite movies, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Peer Reviews

"As a huge Bud Cort fan and the moderator of an unofficial fan site for him, I have to say you've done a very good job in your review of the film.For me, the acting is wonderful, and I am partial to Bud Cort's performance of course. I like how his Harold starts off all closed-in, emotionally, except for the pleasure he seems to get from upsetting his socially-conscious snob of a mother (wonderfully played by Vivian Pickles), and how he blossoms under the wild but sage tutelage of Ruth Gordon's Maude.I hope that you'll spread the word about this American classic to all who would listen." ~~Tiwanna (reader comment)

"The taboo relationship between Harold and Maude, created by screenwriter Colin Higgins, embodied the spirit of an experimental generation guided by the mantra "If it feels good, do it." The love affair between the film's two eccentrics remains one of Hollywood's most unexpected, but tender, romances. The soundtrack, with songs by Cat Stevens, provides an effective thematic bridge as Harold crosses from extended adolescence into manhood." -from

"I am a passionate Bud Cort/Harold and Maude fan, and being only 14, he has already changed my life. Harold and Maude inspired me to re-evaluate my existence, and Bud Cort is an absolutely phenomenal actor. He created the most tender, loving, compassionate, and symbolic character I've ever seen. Bud, as a person, has also inspired me, because he lives a life just as unconventional and interesting as portrayed in the film (Just not under the same circumstances, of course). I am very thankful to be blessed with having discovered my favorite film, and favorite actor." -classicfilmera, age 14 (reader comment)

"An eccentric to the core, Maude lives exactly as she pleases, with avid collecting and nude modeling among her many pursuits." -from

"I was excited to see this review on your blog. I agree; this movie never gets old. There are so many great scenes. Which is your favorite? I don't know if I could pick a favorite, but I do love it when the "computer date" Sunshine meets Harold for the first time.
I remember watching Harold and Maude for the first time in my high school AP English course. In hindsight, that was a bold move on the teacher's part. I know that she got an earful from parents, but we thought she was terrific.
Cat Stevens's soundtrack is amazing--something that I can't say about all of his albums. Thanks for the review!" -From "Im" (reader comment)

General Information

(Information from

  • Listen to movie's poignant theme song by Cat Stevens (above right).
  • Directed by Hal Ashby in 1971.
  • Written by Colin Higgins.
  • Among several other nominations, it was nominated for 2 Golden Globe awards in 1972.
  • Won a National Film Registry Award from the Library of Congress in 1997.
  • Rated PG.
  • See filmography of Bud Cort.
  • Watch movie for free.
  • Available to rent from most video rental chains.
  • Listen to the movie's theme song by Cat Stevens.

'If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out' -by Cat Stevens

Monday, September 15, 2008

"The Wizard of Gore" Review

Mary's Review
If you like watching gory horrors and mind-bending mysteries, then you'll probably want to marry this flick!

When a hip, young writer investigates an underground magic show for sadists and freaks, he finds himself in the midst of a ridiculous, hallucinogenic struggle to find the truth in an unstable reality. This film will keep you intrigued with gore, nudity, and mysterious twists.

The Wizard of Gore is an over-the-top, weird mystery, unlike any film I have seen before. So dark, bloody, sexy, exciting, inventive, twisted, and flat out mind-boggling that you'll wonder how it was thought up in the first place. This film is so innovative that I was surprised to learn that it is actually a remake of the original which was directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, released in 1970.

Don't plan to watch this one while you are on your way to sleep as the movie requires you to be alert enough to process the roller coaster plot. This one is a new release, so after you go on this ride, please come back to drop off your comments. I look forward to hearing from you! (Please remember not to post any comments that might spoil the film for other readers.)

General Facts


(Click to view & photos of actors.)

Crispen Glover

Kip Pardue

Bijou Phillips

Brad Dourif

The Suicide Girls

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Donnie Darko" Review

Mary's Review

Before Jake Gyllenhaal became a Hollywood heart throb, he starred in this dark, psychological, sci-fi drama. Although this independent film was released back in 2001, it has only recently become more generally recognized. Back in 2001, I was fortunate enough to come across Donnie Darko and have enjoyed introducing this movie to others over the past seven years since it is one of my favorites. Along with Jake Gyllenhaal is a surprising cast including Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, and Jake’s real-life and on-screen sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal. You will see Patrick Swayze as you have never seen him before, and Drew Barrymore’s character is quite a departure from her typical acting roles.

I believe you will be surprised at Jake’s warped portrayal of Darko, a teen who encounters several bizarre and life altering events. Family conflict, teen violence, romance, secrecy, psychological illness, tragedy, an evil imaginary friend, time travel, and an undercurrent of metaphysics make this film a unique and exciting mind-bending adventure. I highly recommend that you watch Donnie Darko and add it to your video library. This film should be available at any video rental or video retailer.

If you have a comment about the film, or a critique of your own, please post your comments (without spoiling the ending please) and I may feature your contribution! Our peer review(s) of Donnie Darko are listed below along with general facts about the film and a link to watch the original trailer.

Peer Reviews

"I saw this movie a month or so ago on the IFC channel, and it distracted me from everything I was supposed to be doing that day. It certainly was disturbing but also intellectually challenging. I especially enjoyed watching the full lineup of actors and actresses in roles we aren't used to seeing them in." -Karyn, reader comment

"This is my favorite movie. It has been for a really long time. The best thing about it is that you can interpret it a few different ways. What you might get out of it may be something completely different from what someone else might get out of it." -Nick, reader comment

"Good insight into various tormented people" -Alicia, age 25

"This is one of my favorite movies...and each time I watch it, the more I get out of it! I really like how you include information from imdb...I feel that I am on that site ALL the time. It's the Bible of movies, it seems. Good job with your's informative, interesting, and organized. Well done :)" -by Jenevieve (reader comment)

General Facts:
(Following movie facts found on

  • Watch "Donnie Darko" Trailer on UTube (Spoiler Alert: Trailer does not do this movie justice; watch at your own risk.)
  • You may have heard the haunting song "Mad World" sung by Gary Jules which debuted as the movie's theme. Click "play" at the right of the page.
  • "Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions." -Donnie Darko tagline
  • Written and directed by Richard Kelly.
  • Rated: R
  • Sixteen wins/nominations from various film festivals including an Independent Spirit nomination!

(Cast names and photos from

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WELCOME! About this Blog.

Hello fellow movie lovers!

I love to stay home and watch movies in my spare time and I have a large library of movies from many different genres. I have always been very analytical so I carefully analyze all of the films I watch and enjoy discussing my opinions and observations with others.

On "Mary's Movie Reviews," I will post my analysis so that you know whether or not to waste two hours on a particular movie. Don't worry, I won't spill the beans on any film's twist or ending, but I will give you a rundown on each movie that I recommend watching. Along with some general information about each film (rating, main actors, director, etc.), I will also identify what genre I think the movie belongs to, the tone of the film, a brief analysis of the movie as a whole, and some fun extras associated with each film (movie clips, photos, interviews with the actors, etc.).

Don't expect all of the movies I discuss to be new releases as I think great films are timeless. I will typically write about more modern movies I recommend, and there is no rating system. Trust me, I won't recommend a film unless I find it truly great; therefore I won't employ stars, thumbs, or tomatoes to convince you. I will update this blog weekly, and want to read your comments, feedback, your personal feelings about the films I discuss, and movie recommendations of your own! Remember: when leaving a comment, please don't expose a movie's twist or ending.

I hope that you find this blog useful in your quest for great entertainment.

Thanks for visiting!


(Click for my photo gallery)

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