I’ve been really sick for the last couple days (Not Covid, just general 48 hr bug type thingy) and all I have really had the energy to do is sit on my butt on the sofa and watch stuff that didn’t require me to bend over to put discs in my DVD/Blu-Ray players. So I ended up watching a bunch of oldies again.
Kiddie Revue (1930) – 2.5 Stars
A popular format for shorts at the time, this is basically a fifteen minute, ornate kids talent show. And like with a lot of kids talent shows, they are very cheesy, and you can tell that the kids know they are good. No-one has ever told them otherwise their whole lives. The dancers at the beginning are excellent, and the singers very competant, but it is the little boy who serves as the host and comedian that totally steals the show. I’m sad that he didn’t get more tome to showcase his talent. What a cutie.
Brats (1930) Laurel and Hardy – 2.5 Stars
Laurel and Hardy’s bid for a quiet evening of checkers and pool is constantly interrupted by their squabbling brats, little Ollie and little Stanley.
Definitely not one of my favourite Laurel and Hardy shorts. The plot is very thin on the ground, and there is lot less of the great slapstick comedy that I love this duo for so much. The comedy mostly focussed around the ‘children’ who were in fact just the actors themselves in enlarged sets, designed to make them look smaller. And while this is, I suppose, meant to be one of the comedic parts of the film, it just didn’t work for me. They seemed far too small and out of proportion with everything around them.
Much less funny than previous films, bit of a disappointment.
Pretzels (1930) – 2.5 Stars
Another Paul Terry cartoon, but this time written and performed in German. This is a simple little animated short that like a lot of cartoons at the time, didn’t feature a lot of dialogue, and is made with very, very simple drawings. But unlike a lot of animated shorts from this era, it doesn’t reuse a lot of frames over and over again. A big flaw in the early Looney Tunes shorts is their constant reuse of scenes and frames to bulk out the runtime. It happens a couple times here, but not nearly as frequently as I have seen in other animations from this time. The plot is pretty simple, a cat and a mouse are out together when the cat tries to steal his mouse companions girlfriend. The mice escape to a club where they go dancing, only to be pursued by the cat again. But they eventually escape and fly off happily into the sunset.
That’s all the oldies I have watched so far, but stick around for more oldies content later this week.