The Telephone (1988) Film Review

I discovered Whoopi Goldberg when I was a kid and watched Jumping Jack Flash, and I loved her. I secretly wanted to be her, whilst being fully aware that I was far too young, white and Australian to ever fulfil that dream. I knew I’d get older, but clearly would never be African-American. When I was a teenager, I discovered The Telephone at my local extremely-well-stocked video shop and it became a quick favourite.

Essentially, Whoopi plays an actor who spends a lot of her time on the phone telling and re-enacting stories. She has a few visitors, but is clearly a loner. And it is wonderful.

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) Film Review


After her time in hiding in the convent in Sister Act, Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) has hit the stage as a headlining act in Vegas when the sisters come to ask for her help. They have been assigned to teach at a rough school in San Francisco and need her to come, teach music and get the kids in line. Of course, she goes, and before you know it, she’s whipped the music class into a choir and they’re out to prove themselves to the world.

This is a really good, fun film. Sure, there are some parts of the plot that are a touch weak, and I love films that are set in rough schools yet all the teacher needs to do is raise their voice slightly and they have them all in their seats and listening (rough? Hmm… in my experience, that’s quite polite), but ignore that. What you want to watch are the characters. Of course, we have Delores and the wonderful nuns from the first film (including the wonderful Maggie Smith and fabulous Kathy Najimy) but then there are the kids; Lauren Hill obviously stands out, but whether we know their names, they are a great little ensemble. Sister Act 2 is a classic film of the early nineties and it rates as one of the top comedy sequels – I found I liked it a lot more than the first one.

Sister Act (1992) Film Review


Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) is a lounge singer in Reno who witnesses her gangster boyfriend, Vince LaRocca (Harvey Keitel) kill a man and is put into witness protection – in a convent. Of course, she is all streetwise and sweary and cynical and the nuns are fearful like Mother Superior (Maggie Smith), totally naïve like Mary Patrick (Kathy Najimy)and Mary Robert (Wendy Makkena) or cynical like Mary Lazarus (Mary Wickes). It’s a disaster – and then Deloris is put in charge of the choir and funks it up, and everyone loves it – the nuns are having too much fun, the local people are literally pouring in off the street, even the Pope hears about it. Everyone except Mother Superior, who is dead jealous and can’t stand to lose the power she has over them all.

It’s really a pretty awful film in many ways. I have a lot of issues with organised religion, yet I found myself getting annoyed that some outsider felt she could tell the nuns how to do their business… Plus, surely most nuns these days (even the really old ones) work in the community, and while they may have opinions about things that happen, they’re not in their convents to hide. Reading too much into this? Hell, yes. It essentially is a fun bit of fluff with some pretty fun singing and silly faces. Perhaps I should just back off a bit.

The Lion King (1994) Film Review



Often touted as an animated retelling of Hamlet, The Lion King sees King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) killed by his brother Scar (Jeremy Irons), and the son Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas and then Matthew Broderick) exiled, believing himself to be responsible. He is kept company by Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella), but eventually is forced to face his own fears and return to take his rightful place as king.

Yawn. I did not grow up with Disney animations, and perhaps that is why I find them cheesy and schmaltzy and I really don’t like them very much at all. I understand that this film will be a favourite of many, something they grew up with and will always love. You guys have it. I’m not into it at all.

The Lion King won Oscars for Best Music, Original Song (Can You Feel The Love Tonight) and Best Music, Original Score and was nominated for Best Music, Original Song (Circle of Life) and Best Music, Original Song (Hakuna Matata)

Soapdish (1991) Film Review


I don’t recall a recent film which has the style and pizzazz of Soapdish. Perhaps it is something which is specific to the early nineties; the spirit and the craziness. I remembered it being fabulous, and watching it again, I was not at all disappointed. There was a chance that it could have gone wrong, I suppose. But with this cast – Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr, Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Carrie Fisher… really, how could it?

Soapdish is a soap opera within a soap opera nearby a soap opera. Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) has been playing Maggie on The Sun Also Sets, a long running daytime television drama. She is an angel on-screen and a tyrant on set. The director, David Seaton Barnes (Robert Downey Jr) is being manipulated by Montana Morehead (Cathy Moriarty) to try to destroy Celeste, and he brings back Celeste’s old love interest Jeffery Anderson (Kevin Kline). But when a new actress, Lori Craven (Elisabeth Shue) appears on set, Celeste has to reveal her torrid past.

It’s funny. It’s consistently funny. The acting is over the top, but marvelously so. The way it has to be in a film with such hilarious, larger-than-life characters and storylines. It is truly a magnificent film. If you haven’t seen it. You must, must, must.