TiVoPlex for Tuesday December 18 2012 through Monday December 24 2012

By John Seal

December 17, 2012

This script needs more bananas

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From the obscure to the obscurest to the merely overlooked or underappreciated; they all have a home in the TiVoPlex! All times Pacific.

Tuesday 12/18/12

1:50 AM Starz
My Afternoons with Marguerite (2010 FRA): Ol’ sausage schnoz Gerard Depardieu headlines this sentimental character study of an illiterate man’s special relationship with an older woman. The whiny future tax exile plays Germaine, a self-employed jack of no trades who meets cute with a retiree (96-year-old Gisèle Casadesus, active in French cinema since 1934 and still working) in the park one day. Together, they develop a profound love for pigeons and the writings of Albert Camus (hey, it is a French movie). Directed by Jean "son of Jacques" Becker, My Afternoons with Marguerite clocks in at a brisk 82 minutes, its brevity and strong lead performances trumping its somewhat saccharine story. Also airs at 4:50 AM.

5:00 PM Turner Classic Movies
In the Good Old Summertime (1949 USA): Though I’m not generally a fan of MGM musicals, I make an exception for this one. Featuring a well written script and an engaging cast, In the Good Old Summertime’s only drawbacks are the less than memorable songs, including one of the worst Christmas ditties you'll ever hear, and its somewhat inappropriate title: most of the story takes place during the winter months! Castwise, Van Johnson and Judy Garland make a marvelous screen couple and Judy does her best with the meager tunes. The film also benefits from a surprisingly large role for Buster Keaton, who even gets to show off his still unsurpassed physical comedy skills in a few all too brief scenes. This is a typically glossy MGM production that will surely please all fans of Johnson and Garland.


Wednesday 12/19/12

5:30 AM Turner Classic Movies
Where Danger Lives (1950 USA): Robert Mitchum stars as an MD with a heart of gold - and an eye for the ladies - in this fine Warner Bros. noir-thriller. Big Bob is Jeff Cameron, a doctor who enjoys reading books to sick children when he isn’t entertaining beautiful colleague Julie (Maureen O’Sullivan). A roaming eye, however, gets him into trouble with patient Margo Lannington (Faith Domergue), who - uh oh! - already happens to be married. Murder and a Mexican getaway soon follow. Directed by John Farrow and co-starring Claude Rains, Where Danger Lives offers some genuine surprises before concluding on a somewhat predictable note.

10:00 PM HBO Signature
Un Cuento Chino (2011 ARG-ESP): Droopy-eyed Ricardo Darin is one of the best actors in the world; sadly, he’s yet to appear in an English-language film worthy of his talents (sorry, 1987’s The Stranger doesn’t count). Here’s another film in which Darin showcases his considerable talents, this time as Roberto, a hardware store owner who gets involved with a Chinese immigrant (Ignacio Huang) who speaks nary a word of Spanish. It’s a little bit drama, a little bit comedy, and a whole lot endearing, as the odd couple develop a special relationship on the back streets of Buenos Aires.

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