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Gilbert Speaks on Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam

13 Jun

When I’m not writing for Biff Bam Pop’s Pop Culture Site, I try to post the little gems that I consider worthy of my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre collection. Would Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam make the cut?

Thi Mai, Rumbo a Vietnam

I absolutely love foreign films…and recently have become a big fan of Carmen Machi…a Spanish actress who is a cross between Sophia Loren and Merle Streep. The first film that I was fortunate enough to watch Carmen Machi was in Mother’s Love. It was funny, well written…and to tell the truth better than some recent American comedies…but back to Thi Mai, which was directed by Patricia Ferreira, and stars Carmen Machi, Adriana Ozores, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Dani Rovira, Eric Nguyen, and Nguyen Ngan Ha as little Thi Mai.

The film begins with Elvira (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) getting forced retirement by the bank and her boss because of her age…I had to do a double take with Aitana because for a second, I thought she was Tina Fey LOL. I mean the resemblance is uncanny. Upset with her situation, Elvira talks her friends, Carmen (Carmen Machi) and Rosa (Adriana Ozores) into a carefree night out. All three women need this break because bad news is about to happen to Carmen.

Carmen’s single and successful daughter dies in a car wreck. Carmen and her husband are unable to function from the grief, and then the letter arrives informing Carmen’s daughter that her request to adopt an orphaned Vietnamese child has been approved. Against the approval of Carmen’s and Rosa’s husbands, the three women head out to Vietnam in hopes of adopting the child.

This is not how it works in real life, we know, but this is comedy. At the airport in Vietnam, the girls meet Andres (Dani Rovira) a gay, out of work actor who came to Vietnam to be with his lover. He comes to their rescue, many times. At the adoption agency, they meet Dan (Eric Nguyen) the agent in charge of the adoption of Thi Mai.

When Carmen is told that the child is no longer available because Carmen’s daughter is dead, the comedic escapades take over, giving us a true “I Love Lucy” vibe. This film is a campy, hilarious romp with the girls dragging Andres and Dan into their mission to get the child.

Conclusion

There were so many things about this film that I loved. Foreign films still value the older actresses. Older actresses are still seen as sensual. The film is in Spanish, but closed caption will help with this. What surprised me the most was the beauty of Vietnam. This war-torn country that survived almost total destruction during the war, has been rebuilt into a tourist attraction. A lot of lives were lost in that war. A lot of American children died in that war…but…from the ashes…Vietnam has rebuilt itself. The scenery, the people, the food were spectacular…I would love to visit there one day.

This film is definitely worthy of my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection. If you have the chance watch Mother’s Love and Thi Mai on Netflix.

Gilbert Speaks on B Movie, R.O.T.O.R.

30 May

Where is the team for Mystery Science Theatre 3000 when you need them? On one of the many nights that my insomnia took over, I decided to find a good film to watch. I came across a sci-fi/action mixture called R.O.T.O.R. The film reminded me of Robocop and Terminator…Sometimes a film is so bad, that it can be good.

Plot

R.O.T.O.R. is a 1987 action film written, produced, and directed by Cullen Blaine. It stars Richard Gesswein, Margaret Trigg, Michael Hunter, Carroll Brandon Baker, and Jayne Smith. Dr. Coldyron (Richard Gesswein) is the top scientist of a police robotic lab. He has been commissioned by the Police Commissioner Buglar (Michael Hunter) and Senator Douglas to create a robot that will act as judge and jury…kind of like what is happening in the news today.

While Dr. Coldyron is busy working his farm and his girlfriend…LOL, his assistants Dr. Houghtaling and a wise cracking robot called Willard…monkey with the prototype, which causes R.O.T.O.R. (Carroll Brandon Baker) to escape before they can program the Robocop to not kill innocent people.

When R.O.T.O.R comes across a speeding car, he kills the male but is unable to kill the man’s fiancé, Sonya (Margaret Trigg). The girl escapes in the car, with R.O.T.O.R in close pursuit. When police headquarters notifies Coldyron that the robot has gone rogue, he tries to save Sonya by teaming up with the designer of the robot, Dr. Steele (Jayne Smith).

Conclusion

Dr. Coldyron is finally able to kill the prototype, but Dr. Steele doesn’t survive. Later Coldyron is killed by Buglar, and we learn the Buglar, and the Senator use the image of Steele to create a new killer robot which the Senator will use to become president.

The film was hilarious even though it wasn’t meant to be. R.O.T.O.R. had problems with opening windows, and doors. It became helpless if you played loud music or tooted your car horn. The whole time that I watched the film, I could picture the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 commenting on the different scenes leading up to when Dr. Steele enters the picture.

At first, I though that Arnold Schwarzenegger was dressed in drag, but it was her hairstyle that had me on the floor. Did we wear our hair like that in the 80’s? This film will definitely make it into my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection for when I need a good laugh. You can see this film on Demand. Sometimes a film is so bad…it’s good.

Gilbert Speaks on Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman

11 Aug

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I need to apologize for not posting more often on my blogs. There are several reasons, but the most relevant reason is that I am dealing with the loss of my husband. Not only have I been lax in film and TV series reviews, but I haven’t done any writing on the fifth installment of my Roof Oasis Series. Anyway…when I do watch an unusual film, I make the time to write about it. Last night, I accidently came across Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman. Will this film make it into my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection? Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on Romance and Cigarettes

12 Jun

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There are films that I love so much that I immediately include them into my Granny’s Insomnia Theater Collection. John Turturro’s romantic comedy is one of them. At a time when we are ass deep in a pandemic, while people of color are fighting for the right to be seen as fellow humans, I needed something to take my mind away from the insanity. Romance and Cigarettes did the job. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks On Identity Check (2020) With Director Patrick Devaney

5 Feb

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I am honored to have among my friends, several renowned and extremely talented Independent Film Directors and Producers. I have posted on my blog many reviews of Patrick Devaney’s work. The latest film which I am excited to tell you about is called Identity Check (2020). My review will be followed with an interview of Patrick Devaney. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on Capernaum

28 Sep

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During my 72 years on this planet, I have read many books and watched many films that were so poignant that they will be forever etched into my mind and soul. Capernaum is one of these films. What does it mean to be recognized as human? Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “Strange Interlude”

12 Apr

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This past week, the Turner Movie Classics offered up a few gems featuring women as very capable detectives. After watching Murder She Said, The Lady Vanishes, and the comical Penguin Pool Murder, I encountered one of the strangest movies, I have ever watched. Strange Interlude might actually make it to my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection. Here is why… Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “The Nun”

10 Apr

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If you went to Catholic School in the early 50’s and 60’s, then you can definitely connect with scary nuns. Find out why I thought the fifth installment into the Conjuring Universe wins my seal of approval. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks on “Io” & “The First Grader”

22 Jan

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Are we doomed as a species? Sometimes, because of all the hatred in the world, and the fact that the president has turned the protection of our environment over to corrupt corporations…I feel we are already circling the drain. I don’t understand how in this time and age, there still exists people in power who make it their life’s goal to dehumanize other people. Sometimes, I feel that we suck big time as a species. I’ll be reviewing two amazing films that show the better side of us. Continue reading

Gilbert Speaks to Jeremiah Kipp on Lost and Found

21 Dec

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As a blogger and writer, I have had the great opportunity of reviewing films, books, and TV shows. I owe most of this to Andy Burns of Biff Bam Pop who encouraged me to seek out the crème of the crop in pop culture. One of the people who I had the pleasure of interviewing many times was Jeremiah Kipp. Whenever Jeremiah completes another fantastic film, I get watch it. Today I am doing a review of his short film, Lost and Found. Continue reading