Bruiser & George Romero

Bruiser is currently available on instant Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Bruiser (2000) – Rated R

“Henry Creedlow (Jason Flemyng) awakens to a nightmare world in which he has no face, features or identity. Stripped of everything he’s ever known, he sets out on a bloody rampage to destroy the people who’ve betrayed him, including his philandering wife (Nina Garbiras), his belittling boss (Peter Stormare) and his evil best friend (Andrew Tarbet). Fans of horror-punk rockers the Misfits will relish their role in the film’s gritty climax.”

George Romero gets a lot of credit for starting a horror subgenre with Night of the Living Dead and following it up with Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead. True there were clear precursors such as White Zombie (1932), The Last Man on Earth (1964), and Plague of the Zombies (1966) but Romero is certainly the man who popularized zombies.

His non-zombie films are not as well remembered but are fascinating. Knightriders (1981) is about an Arthurian troop of jousting motorcyclists. Martin (1976) is a realistic story about a man who thinks he is a vampire. The Crazies (1973) is about a government engineered virus that causes insanity and led directly to 28 Days Later and a remake.

Bruiser was Romero’s first film in seven years. He directed a video for the band, The Misfits in exchange for their appearance in Bruiser and some music for the film. Romero wrote and directed Bruiser.

Bruiser is a wonderful horror movie about identity, complacency, media and the callousness of society. It is very different. Other than some foreshadowing, it does not even seem like a horror movie until near the half hour mark.

Jason Flemyng, one of my favorite character actors, gets a rare leading role here as Henry Creedlow, a man who literally loses sight of who he is. No one respects him – in part because he does not respect himself. He lets everyone walk all over him – his wife, his boss, his co-workers, his acquaintances, even his dog. He contemplates committing suicide as an easier alternative to taking control of his life.

Peter Stormare does an excellent job of playing his disgusting boss, Milo Styles. A pre-24 Leslie Hope plays one of the few sympathetic characters, Rosemary Newley. Henry’s cheating wife Janine is played by Nina Garbiras. It is nice to see John Carpenter regular Tom Atkins (The Fog, Escape from New York) as Detective McCleary.

It is interesting to see a revenge tale retooled as a quest for identity. It has been said that all stories can be boiled down to the simple question, “Who am I?”. This one starts with that question and the answer is captivating.

People Watch: Peter Mensah, listed as ‘skinhead’, would go on to become the messenger who is so memorably killed by King Leonidas in 300 (“This is Sparta!”). Romero’s daughter Tina appears as Cleopatra.

R.I.P. Herbert Lom 1917-2012

Herbert Lom will best be remembered as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus to Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau. He would play the role a half dozen times (seven if you include the clips in Trail of the Pink Panther) even though his character is not in the original The Pink Panther movie (1963). He showed up in the sequel, A Shot in the Dark (1964) and went through The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), and Son of the Pink Panther (1993).

I loved all the horror movies he did in the 60s and 70s. He was the Phantom in Hammer’s The Phantom of the Opera (1962) and appeared in Mark of the Devil (1970), Count Dracula (1970), Dorian Gray (1970), Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971), Asylum (1972), …And Now the Screaming Starts (1973) and The Dead Zone (1983). I have a special spot in my heart for his role as Dr. Hassler in Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969). How my poor mother would love to hear the words ‘Dr. Hassler’. /sigh

He appeared in plenty of classic movies as well. He was a great Captain Nemo in Mysterious Island (1961). Lom also appeared in Spartacus, El Cid, Gambit, and War and Peace. Netflix has several of his appearances on streaming. The two I’d most recommend are:

The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) – Rated G

“When the priceless Pink Panther diamond is stolen yet again, the inimitable Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is saved from an unwilling early retirement and sent to the country of Lugash to investigate and return the jewel to its proper owner. Certain that the heist is the work of a suave jewel thief, Clouseau unleashes his formidable array of outlandish disguises — and preposterous deductive powers — in madcap pursuit of the wily criminal.”

Hopscotch (1980) – Rated R

“One of the CIA’s top international operatives, Miles Kendig is suddenly relegated to a desk job in an agency power play. Unwilling to go quietly, Kendig begins writing a memoir that exposes the secrets of every intelligence agency in the world.”

Goodbye Mr. Lom – you will be missed.

Augh! Yet Still Even More TV – I Need Sleep!

Another day, another 27 television series to watch on Netflix.

Alias (2001-2005)

“Created by J.J. Abrams, this action-packed spy series made a star of lithe leading lady Jennifer Garner, who redefined armed and dangerous as double agent Sydney Bristow, a CIA operative whose mission is to destroy a global crime syndicate.”

All five seasons available.

CSI: Miami (2002-2011)

“David Caruso stars as former homicide detective Horatio Caine, who leads a crack team of investigators and forensic experts in solving crimes on the streets of steamy Miami. Together they scrutinize the evidence to bring heinous criminals to justice. The series also stars Emily Procter as ballistics pro Calleigh Dusquene, Adam Rodriguez as underwater recovery expert Eric Delko and Khandi Alexander as no-nonsense coroner Alexx Woods.”

Nine seasons of David Caruso removing his sunglasses, putting on his sunglasses, and uttering one-liners.

How to be a Gentleman (2011)

“Inspired by John Bridges’s bestselling etiquette guides, the inaugural season of this sitcom follows prim-and-proper advice columnist Andrew Carlson as he gets much-needed lessons in real life from a charmingly vulgar personal trainer.”

First season available.

Rescue Me (2004-2011)

“Haunted by ghosts from his past, veteran New York City firefighter Tommy Gavin struggles to keep his anxiety in check, look out for his fellow Engine 99 firefighters and handle the emotional turmoil that surfaces in his personal life.”

Season 7 now available.

A Gifted Man (2012)

“This metaphysical drama begins with surgeon Michael Holt having a chance encounter with his ex-wife, Anna … and then learning she died two weeks earlier in a car crash. Her ensuing visits from beyond the grave soon begin to alter his life.”

First season available.

NYC 22 (2012)

“Six rookie cops hit the streets of Manhattan, juggling their personal lives with their new responsibilities as keepers of the peace. The diverse group struggles with newbie mistakes under the guidance of their tough field training officer.”

Rob (2012)

“Rob Schneider plays a long-time single guy who finds himself married not just to the woman of his dreams, but also her entire Mexican-American clan. Having eloped his way into the family, Rob faces an uphill struggle to win his in-laws’ affection.”

First season available.

Cold Blood (2010-2011)

“Go behind the scenes of brutal murders with mind-blowing twists. Find out how a dentist from a sleepy town ended up lying in a pool of blood, who is behind a series of murders in a college town and more.”

New season available.

Weeds (2005-2011)

“When her husband dies suddenly and she’s left struggling to maintain her comfortable lifestyle, suburban soccer mom Nancy Botwin summons her inner entrepreneur and starts selling pot brownies to her affluent neighbors.”

New season available.

Death Valley (2011)

Ride along with the LAPD’s Undead Task Force as they hit the mean streets of Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, taking on vampires who jack bloodmobiles, werewolves with a bloodlust for porn and other marauding undead monsters.”

Baby Daddy (2012)

“New York bartender Ben unexpectedly becomes a parent when an ex-girlfriend drops off a baby girl for him to raise. But with lots of help from his mother and a childhood friend who secretly has a crush on him, he steps into the role of dad.”

First season available.

Freaks and Geeks (1999)

“A group of high school students in 1980 faces various social struggles. Lindsay Weir rebels and begins hanging out with a crowd of burnouts, courtesy of an invitation from Daniel Desario.”

See James Franco, Jason Segel, and Seth Rogen before they hit it big.

Undeclared (2001)

“College life as seen through the eyes of Steven Karp, a freshman determined to reinvent himself at a new school. Confronted with many dilemmas, Steven and his new friends face the challenges of higher education.”

Judd Apatow’s follow-up to Freaks and Geeks.

 

 

Discover New TV shows with ummm Discovery & TLC

Another day, another new set of TV shows – this time from Discovery/TLC/Animal Planet.

Mythbusters(2003-2011)

“Fearless hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take viewers on an eye-opening — and often explosive — journey as they examine some of the most commonly held beliefs in popular science and culture.”

Another new collection (season).

Dirty Jobs (2005-2011)

“Ready to tackle any job no matter how disgusting or hazardous, host Mike Rowe travels across America to work side by side with the men and women who perform such thankless tasks as inspecting sewers, retrieving roadkill and handling snakes. Equally horrifying and hilarious, this Discovery Channel reality series shines a light on the lengths that hardworking people go to every day in order to make our lives better.”

Another new collection.

L.A. Ink (2007-2011)

“This fascinating Learning Channel reality series follows noted tattoo artist Kat Von D as she fulfills her dream of opening a tattoo parlor in Los Angeles, where she inks celebrities and ordinary citizens alike. But it’s not all fun and games. As she turns her clients’ artistic visions into stunning skin art, Kat contends with the challenges facing every small-business owner, including fickle employees and fierce competition.”

Another new season.

Man vs. Wild (2006-2011)

There isn’t a situation on Earth ex-British special forces soldier Bear Grylls can’t survive, even if he’s forced to drink his own urine to stay hydrated. (And if there is? Well, this globe-trotting Discovery Channel series has yet to find it.) Whether he’s braving scorching temperatures in the Sahara Desert or trekking his way across a Patagonian glacier, Grylls never fails to find his way back to civilization.”

Another new collection.

Freaky Eaters (2010)

“TLC’s Freaky Eaters documents the struggles of those with a compulsion towards a particular food. With the help of experts, they confront the painful truth behind their food obsession and reclaim control of their diet.”

First season available.

Cold Diggers (2010)

“Two tough teams of drillers hunt for natural gas in the remote Canadian North, in the dead of winter. Follow these crews as they fight for survival from arctic blizzards, treacherously thin ice roads, and looming deadlines.”

First season available.

I’m Alive (2009-2011)

“Animal Planet tells the inspirational stories of people who were determined to survive an animal attack. In one moment, a chance encounter with an animal can take your life away, but these victims decided to take life back.”

Two seasons available.

Oddities (2010)

“Obscura in New York’s East Village is renowned for having some of the most-eccentric antique pieces found anywhere; along with an assortment of unique patrons that are often even more outlandish than the merchandise.”

First season available.

My Strange Addiction (2011)

“This documentary series tells the compelling stories of individuals who are battling unusual obsessive behaviors, following them as they reveal their addictions to friends and family and meet with psychological experts to understand their condition.”

First season available.

Return of Invasion of the CW on Netflix

As if you didn’t have enough to watch, Netflix has unleashed another wave of television shows on instant streaming, most of them from CW.

Supernatural (2005-2011)

“Raised by their dad to fight supernatural forces, grown siblings Dean and Sam crisscross the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala, investigating paranormal activity and picking fights with deadly demons, ghosts and monsters.”

Season seven is now available – I love Supernatural but I think it jumped the shark after season five.

Nikita (2010-2011)

“Nikita is one of the most highly skilled assassins on the planet, and her target is the mysterious corporation that created her. The Division, as it’s known, picks up at-risk teens to train as killers, and Nikita will do anything to bring it down.”

Season two of Nikita is now available.

Gossip Girl (2007-11)

“Kristen Bell provides the voice of an anonymous blogger who narrates the action in this hit series set in an exclusive New York City boarding school. The plot centers on the day-to-day dramas of the school’s most privileged students.”

Season five now available.

Hart of Dixie (2011)

“New Yorker Zoe Hart’s dreams didn’t involve patching up the locals in a tiny town in the Deep South, yet that’s exactly where the fast-talking city girl finds herself when she ends up inheriting a medical practice in Bluebell, Ala.”

First season now available.

Desperate Housewives (2004-2011)

“Winner of multiple Golden Globes, this popular prime-time soap follows the exploits of suburbanites Susan (Teri Hatcher), Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Bree (Marcia Cross), Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) and Edie (Nicollette Sheridan), whose daily lives run the gamut from parenting and marriage woes to steamy sex and deadly betrayal. Even as the ladies of Wisteria Lane harbor dark secrets, they lend one another support when the going gets tough”

Season eight just added.

Family Guy (1999-2010)

“In Seth MacFarlane’s no-holds-barred animated show, buffoonish Peter Griffin and his dysfunctional family experience wacky misadventures, from kidnapping the Pope to being forced to put up scythe-bearing Death for a few days after he breaks his leg.”

Season nine added.

Damages (2007-11)

“Emmy winner Glenn Close is riveting as lawyer extraordinaire Patty Hewes, whose intellect is as boundless as her morals are skimpy. With her devoted colleague, Tom Shayes, and conflicted protégé, Ellen Parsons, Patty rules the New York legal scene.”

Ran – Shakespeare week

Ran is currently available on instant Netflix

Ran (1985) – Rated R

“Legendary Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa sets Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “King Lear” against a samurai backdrop, re-envisioning the timeless story through the eyes of a warlord who transfers his kingdom to his eldest son.”

“Man is born crying. When he has cried enough, he dies. “

With the explosion of the video rental market in the early 80s, I was able to finally see Samurai films and I ate them up. I adored Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Throne of Blood, and The Hidden Fortress. Much like Westerns, Samurai movies are very much men’s films. Of course at my age I did not realize that.

In 1985, Ran was released at our local cinema. This was my first chance to see a Kurosawa film in the theater so I proudly took my girlfriend Laura. To say I was blown away by the film is both hyperbole and understatement. This is not really a Samurai film, it is a visual feast.

Dramatically Ran is a wonderful Shakespearean tragedy – specifically King Lear. Kurosawa changed the gender of some of the characters, presumably to fit within the male-dominated Japanese medieval society.

Ran won the Best Costume Design Oscar in 1986 and it was very well deserved. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Direction. It inexplicably lost all three of those to Out of Africa. Yes Out of Africa looked nice but it is not the masterpiece that Ran is.

All of the visual elements of Ran are not only gorgeous but reflect on the actions occurring onscreen. The use of color is simply amazing. Color was not as well used until the advent of Yimou Zhang (The Curse of the Golden Flower). Speaking no Japanese, I believe that I could turn off the subtitles and still take quite a bit away from the viewing. Some of the kabuki additions, particularly late in the film, occasionally make Ran a bit too theatrical but it is a minor quibble.

Back to 1985: I came out of the theater thinking that this was easily the best film that I had seen all year. Immensely satisfied, I asked Laura what she thought of it. She hated it. No, not because it was a period piece. No, not because she had to read subtitles. No, not because it was too violent.

Laura hated it because she found it misogynistic. She pointed out that all of the female characters were evil, mad, or ineffectual. Yes, of course that was a big downer. Have you ever gone to a film with someone whose opinion you value and you loved it and they didn’t? Laura did have quite a point. Even though Kurosawa changed some of the genders around, the complaints are equally valid for King Lear (and for many of Shakespeare’s plays).

After that, I have always tried to vet the films I take a date to (though I did err egregiously in taking my wife to Resident Evil for Valentine’s Day). It also made me a lot more sensitive to casual and active misogyny in storytelling. I’m surprised that I wasn’t very aware of it as growing up in Miami, I have always been sensitive to racial issues.

Please accept my apologies for the digression. Watch Ran on as large a screen as possible and just soak in the visuals. The costumes took two years to create, the castle is not a miniature but was built specifically for this movie, and Kurosawa spent a decade storyboarding every shot in the picture.

Although Kurosawa made several other masterpieces, Ran could rightly be referred to as the pinnacle of his life’s work. Sadly his wife of 39 years passed away during filming.

Henry V – Shakespeare Week

One of my favorite plays this past outdoor season was The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Merry Wives was written in part because Sir John Falstaff had proven to be a very popular character in the histories. Naturally I chose to go back to one of those histories.

Henry V is currently available on instant Netflix.

Henry V (1989) – Rated PG-13

“Making his directing debut, Kenneth Branagh does William Shakespeare’s play proud in this epic screen adaptation that follows headstrong King Henry V as he leads a heavily outnumbered army into a territorial war against France.”

“And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by from this day until the ending of the world but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, Be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks, that fought with us upon St. Crispin’s day! “

Above is just a part of the rousing St. Crispian speech. As with any of Shakespeare’s plays, I could go on putting quote after quote. The bard’s facility with language is enviable. Laurence Olivier filmed a wonderful version of Henry V back in 1948 but I daresay that this Kenneth Branagh version is the definitive work.

Derek Jacobi is brilliant as the Chorus and does a wonderful job setting the stage. Branagh has Jacobi flex back and forth from a modern performance of the play to the actual time period. Where such transitions would be problematic, Jacobi is only heard in voiceover.

Kenneth Branagh’s performance as Henry V is electric. He knows exactly when to emphasize and when to underplay lines. Branagh is a man who lives and breathes Shakespeare. His St. Crispian speech is quite rousing.

Everyone else’s performance is spot on. Brian Blessed gives a very nuanced performance as Exeter, not something he is known for. Robbie Coltrane is excellent in his all-too-brief role of Falstaff. Judi Dench makes a great Nell and Emma Thompson has two scenes as Princess Katherine.

The only quibble I have with the film are the battle sequences. Probably due to finances but also because of the nature of plays, the battle scenes are of a much smaller scale than was historically the case. The slaughter of the French by the English longbow (over 3/4 of Henry’s army were longbowmen) is not really given attention here. Then again the sheer will of Henry and his ability to inspire is part of the theme of the play.

Oh wait I have one more quibble. After so thoroughly enjoying Falstaff, Pistol, Corporal Nym, and Bardolph in Merry Wives, I was disheartened to see how few survive Henry V.

People Watch: We missed him entirely but we noticed in the end credits that Christian Bale played Robin the luggage boy.

Missing Shakespeare – Amazon Beats Netflix Again!

The Montford Park Players closed their outdoor season a week ago this past Saturday with the last performance of Mandy Bean’s Richard II. I am already missing it. They are having an indoor run of Macbeth but that doesn’t start until next month. Thankfully there is plenty of bardic material streaming.

Amazon Prime has a very nice selection of Shakespeare from BBC: Julius Caesar, As You Like It (Helen Mirren), Macbeth (Nicol Williamson), Othello (Anthony Hopkins), The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet (Derek Jacobi), The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

They also have movie versions of Julius Caesar (Marlon Brando), The Taming of the Shrew (Richard Burton), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (Richard Dreyfuss), Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh), Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh), Romeo and Juliet (Olivia Hussey), Ran (Kurosawa’s King Lear), and As You Like It (Laurence Olivier).

As if that weren’t enough Amazon also has The Shakespeare Conspiracy, Shakespeare Behind Bars, Great Performances: King Lear (Ian McKellan), Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Restored, F. Murray Abraham on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection.

Netflix streaming has Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, two versions of A Midsummer Might’s Dream (1968 and 1996), two versions of Macbeth (Patrick Stewart and Sam Worthington), Ian McKellan in King Lear, and Shakespeare in Love.

For documentaries it has: Playing Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Women & Claire Bloom, Shakespeare Behind Bars, and In Search of Shakespeare. There is also a BBC comedy about a Shakespeare festival entitled Slings & Arrows.

My wife bought this one-man version of Macbeth to listen to on our travels. I’ve really enjoyed but you have to listen hard to follow it because not only is Alan Cumming reading Shakespearean dialogue but he is doing it in various Scottish accents. This must have been an amazing show but it is a punishing listen.

More Sherlock, Tiger Blood, Netflix and Roku

* First off woohoo! The second season of Sherlock featuring the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is available on instant Netflix. I hope to watch this straight through this weekend. Martin Freeman will next be seen as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and Benedict Cumberbatch will be in the new Star Trek movie next summer.

* Netflix has also significantly updated their iPhone and iPod Touch interface. It now lets you pick up where you left off on shows, supports instant queue, has recommendations, a better browse function, a children’s section, and lots more. This brings it in line with the new Xbox interface. An Android update is in the works.

* Tired of waiting for the long-delayed Red Dawn remake? Try the Australian film, Tomorrow When the War Began, now streaming on Netflix.

“After spending a holiday in the countryside, seven Australian teens return home to find that their country has been invaded by a foreign power. With the help of another local, the kids band together to become guerrillas and rescue their families.”

Alternately just go back and watch the original Red Dawn, uniting Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey before they did some Dirty Dancing a few years later. Look for wonderful turns by Harry Dean Stanton and Ben Johnson and even throwing Mr. Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen in the mix. Red Dawn is available on Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime.

* Do NOT watch American Warships. It is yet still another ‘mockbuster’ (aka ripoff) – this time ripping off Battleship. Although it will have to go far to be worse than Battleship, I am certain Asylum can accomplish that. Heck I am not even going to put a link to it – though you masochists can find it on instant Netflix.

* Roku will be adding a VUDU channel to the immense lineup they have as well as an app to stream your music and photos to the TV.

 

The Phantom of the Opera & Lon Chaney

The 1925 silent classic The Phantom of the Opera is currently available on instant Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) – Not Rated

“A grotesquely disfigured composer known as the “Phantom” (Lon Chaney) haunts Paris’ opera house, where he’s secretly grooming Christine Daae (Mary Philbin) to be an opera diva. Luring her to his underground lair, the Phantom declares his love. But Christine loves Raoul de Chagny and plans to elope with him after her next performance. When the Phantom finds out, he abducts Christine, incurring the wrath of Raoul — and a horde of rabid Parisians.”

“If I am the Phantom, it is because man’s hatred has made me so.”

In 1998, The Phantom of the Opera was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Make no mistake though – The Phantom of the Opera is not a masterpiece. It is culturally significant.

The Phantom is also in the public domain which means that film quality varies wildly across releases. I watched the Amazon version and there was a steady image with a lot of print damage but the Bal Masque scene was in two-color Technicolor. Strangely while the Netflix version is 91 minutes long, the Amazon one clocks in at 106 minutes.

The reason to watch Phantom is, of course, Lon Chaney in the titular role. Chaney’s portrayal of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1923 led to it being Universal’s most successful silent movie. Sadly, many of his films are lost such as Tod Browning’s London After Midnight.

Lon Chaney’s character in Phantom is iconic and a work of art. He was a master craftsman and did his own makeup. Here he pulled his nose back and up with wire and used black makeup around the nostrils to make it look larger. Some false teeth, a hideous grin, and darkened, vacant eye sockets round out the look. It was as close as he could come to the description of the skull-like Phantom from LeRoux’s novel (and quite a bit closer than Claude Rains and Herbert Lom as the 1943 and 1962 Phantoms respectively).

Tragically the movies he loved so much killed him early. On the set of Thunder in 1929, Chaney caught a cold which later developed into pneumonia. Cornflakes (used as snow in the film) stuck in his throat and caused an infection. In 1930, at the young age of 47 and while slated to play Dracula, Chaney died of a throat hemorrhage.

As would become commonplace in later movies, Universal wisely takes a long time to reveal the ‘monster’. Through the first third of the film, the Phantom is glimpsed as a shadow, a silhouette, and a hand. For a good portion after that, he is the masked phantom and he admonishes Christine not to look behind the mask.

The unmasking is wonderfully filmed, with Christine hesitantly reaching for the mask, retreating, then reaching again – all while the Phantom plays. Once the Phantom is revealed in all his glory, he taunts her, “Feast your eyes – glut your soul, on my accursed ugliness!”

Unfortunately the film just drags on and on, particularly in scenes where Chaney is not present. While important, it is probably something that you will only want to watch once.

People Watch: Not people this time but the actual set. In Studio 28, The Phantom of the Opera remains the longest standing set. A portion of it was used recently in Jason Segel’s recent version of The Muppets. It is the audience section of the Muppet Theater.