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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...


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#1 film lover 293

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:59 PM

I saw six movies for the first time this past week:

 

"Saskatchewan" (1954)--Better than average Northern set a year after Custer's Last Stand.  Beautiful location photography (right country, wrong province(s), as TomJH pointed out), Alan Ladd's and Shelley Winters' parodistic performances, and Raoul Walsh's well paced direction make up for the script.  It rambles amiably until the last ten minutes, when the script races to see if all needed information can be crammed into the film before it ends.  It succeeds--barely.  An entertaining watch.

 

"Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle For Earth" (1992)--From the 2nd series of Godzilla movies.  In this one, a meteorite falls in the Pacific Ocean, awakening Godzilla and Battra.  Battra changes forms at will, but first appears as a bad-tempered scaly monster that swims and shoots red lasers from its' red eyes.  Mothra hatches from a giant Easter egg, and two twins who live in a flower and translate for Mothra sing four songs.  Big Budget creature feature is overly complicated but entertains regardless.  At least three cities are destroyed

 

"Jet Pilot" (1957)--Part remake of "Ninotchka" (1939), part spy drama, part anti-Soviet lecture, film is All inept.  A severe disappointment from director Josef von Sternberg.  The only imprint of von Sternberg left in the film are the many loving closeups of Janet Leigh.  Aviation buffs and John Wayne fans may be interested.  All others beware.

 

"Dogora" (1964)--Japanese caper/monster movie.  Dogora is a monster from space that lives on coal and diamonds.  When Dogora is finally shown, it's a strangely beautiful swirl of colors in the sky that finally settles on the form of an octopus.  Film has far too much emphasis on the caper, not enough on Dogora.

 

"North West Mounted Police" (1940)--Cecil B. DeMille's salute to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is set in 1885, during the Riel Rebellion.  Script is full of idiocies and metaphors that go splat:   "I love you so terrible bad, I feel good!"; "You're an angel in leather!"--"I'd look funny in leather wings, heh heh." "You're the sweetest poison that ever got into a man's blood."  The cast rises to the heights of "The Perils of Pauline" (1914) overacting; Paulette Goddard is the most entertaining, Gary Cooper the most painful to watch and listen to.  An ok watch, but film could have been much better.

 

"Meet Danny Wilson" (1951)--Unpretentious, low budget Universal musical with Frank Sinatra and Shelley Winters.  Film is interesting for its parallels to Sinatra's real-life career, for Sinatra's and Winter's singing, and for the troubles filming it.  Sinatra and Winters apparently disliked each other on sight, and things went downhill from there.  In a hospital scene (which didn't make it into the film, BTW) Sinatra started a screaming match that Winters finished by throwing a bedpan at him.  It connected.  Film ends very abruptly, with both stars in separate final shots, never sharing the screen. Winters' account of filming this is in her first autobiography "Shelley: Also Known As Shirley" (1980); book is worth the read and film is worth seeing.

 

Favorite--"Saskatchewan" (1954).

 

Least Favorite--"Jet Pilot" (1957).


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#2 TikiSoo

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:03 AM

A friend just loaned me a bunch of CARRY ON...movies. Can't wait to check them out after hearing so much about them here in this thread. Thank you film lover 293 - (and this thread)!!


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#3 laffite

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 12:46 PM

Amazing! A traditional Hollywood offering (from the 50s no less) beats out Smiles of a Summer Night. ??? This could make a really good Twilight Zone episode.


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#4 skimpole

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 04:01 AM

I saw three movies this week, none of them particularly good.  Inferno actually starts out with some competence, with Tom Hanks finding himself disoriented in media res.  But then it just waddles along and then becomes very silly.  Seriously, if you've invented a virus to wipe out half the world's population and there are people chasing you to stop you from doing that, you release the virus immediately!  You don't hide it in a puzzle for your girlfriend giving your opponents the time to successfully stop you.  Paul is a forgettable trifle about two English nerds encountering an alien while on vacation in the United States.  It's somewhat crude in tone, and otherwise unremarkable.  I'll Cry Tomorrow won an acting award at Cannes in 1956, where it beat out Pather Panchali and Smiles of a Summer Night.  So it's clearly not just Hollywood that makes egregious choices.  Basically it's an undistinguished alcoholism movie the kind where the protagonist actually says "I can quit when I want."


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#5 film lover 293

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:27 AM

I saw three movies for the first time last week:

 

"Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1974)--Musicalized version of the tale was a television movie starring Kirk Douglas and Susan George.  Songs were by Lionel Bart. This is by far the Worst version of the story I've seen.  Douglas acts acceptably, sings badly.  George sings and acts well.  The script is atrocious.  The photography is clear as mud.  The best of Barts' songs sound like leftovers from "Oliver!" (1968); the others vary from boring to cringeworthy.  A near total disaster.  Skip it.

 

"Carry On Screaming" (1966)--Delightful parody of the Hammer horror films, with British takes on "The Addams Family" .  The cast is near flawless, the film hysterically funny.  One of my favorite Carry On... films.  The more Hammer films you've seen, the funnier the film.  Recommended.

 

"Religulous" (2008)--Documentary about religions and irrationality is narrated by Bill Maher.  Film is sure to anger some, amuse others.  At the least, it will make the viewer think.  I enjoyed the film.  Recommended.

 

Favorite--"Carry On Screaming" (1966).

 

Least Favorite--"Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1974).



#6 skimpole

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:27 PM

I saw three movies this week.  Un Chambre de Ville, notwithstanding frequent nudity from Dominique Sanda, is not one of Demy's best films.  It's entirely sung like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but without as good a score.  It's colour-coded, but in a more depressing way.  It brings in aspects from other of his films, like an unplanned pregnancy, and it seeks to bring in more relevance since it takes place in a strike in Nantes in the early fifties.  Interestingly, while Danielle Darrieux and Michel Piccoli were a couple in The Young Girls of Rochefort, here they're mother in law and son in law.  Lion is a movie that's best if you don't think about it too hard.  For example the child who's the star for half the movie is very cute and charming, which makes one think of all those directors who got great child performances without them being cute or charming (Erice, Eustarche, Tarkovsky, Kiarostami, Bergman, etc.)  The India involved is hot, crowded, poor and inhabited by dark-skinned people.  In other words, it has nothing profound to say about the country.  The second half is flawed as it has nothing thoughtful to say about the situation, the relationships between Patel and Rooney and Kidman are not developed very well, and the movie ends as an advertisement for Google Earth.  So the movie of the week is The Asthenic Syndrome a 1989 Soviet film which is difficult to describe.  The syndrome involves the protagonist having spells of falling asleep.  The scene is the somewhat shabby world of 1989 perestroika Moscow, but with compelling aesthetic and modernist touches.


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#7 film lover 293

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:12 AM

I saw six movies from Apr. 25th--May 1st for the first time:

 

"Carry On Henry" (1971)--A bawdy romp that transforms films about British history into bedroom farce.  Film specifically targets "Anne of the Thousand Days" (1969), "The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1933), and "A Man For All Seasons" (1966), just to mention a few.  Favorite exchange;  Henry VIII to Cardinal, inquiring about his French brides' virginity: "She's been chaste?"; Cardinal, loudly "Oh Yes!" then, under his breath he mutters "She's been chased all over Normandy!".  Recommended.

 

"Carry On Jack" (1961)--Film takes on Brando's "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962). and gets off to a promising beginning, but the script lets the cast down.  The actors certainly try hard enough, but this isn't one of the best "Carry Ons"--Still, it's worth a watch, especially for fans of the series.

 

"Pocahontas" (1995)--Beautifully animated Disney film is on the Indians' side all through the film, and views the British as spoilers.  Film has a fine soundtrack; Won "Best Score" and "Best Song" (The Colors of the Wind) Oscars.  Recommended.

 

"Reptilicus" (1961)--Awful Danish film about a dinosaur that destroys Denmark.  For BAD Movie lovers Only.

 

"The Tingler" (1959)--Print I saw had Producer William Castle in a prologue where he said: "Screaming neutralizes this Thing in your spine".   Unlucky patrons who sat in certain seats wired for a low voltage electrical shock definitely felt a "tingle".  OK horror film with a few scary scenes to recommend it has Vincent Price ordering the film's audience, near the film's end, to: "Scream!!  Scream for your Lives!!"

 

"A Woman's Vengeance" (1948)--A near flawless British thriller.  Charles Boyer, Jessica Tandy, Ann Blyth, and Mildred Natwick are close to perfect.  One of the best films I've discovered this year; highest recommendation.

 

Favorite--"A Woman's Vengeance" (1948).

 

Least Favorite--"Reptilicus" (1961).


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#8 skimpole

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 01:16 AM

I saw three movies last week.  Cluny Brown is a fine Lubitsch picture, his last, with his wit and charm fully in evidence.  If it's not the best of his movies, it might be that while Charles Boyer gives an excellent performances, Jennifer Jones is not especially inspired.  Still the movie is good enough that one doesn't really notice.  Love is Colder than Death is one of Fassbinder's earlier features.  One might describe it as a neo-noir film, only instead of being conventionally enjoyable like many French Wave neo-noirs, it's more rigorous and abstract.  It's not the most pleasurable of movies, it's still worthy of interest.  Finally Sully is reasonably good, with Tom Hanks giving a decent performance as the heroic ordinary man captain.  It is hampered by the fact that Sully didn't really face the bureaucratic nagging that Sully is presented with in the movie.  On the other hand it works well, even if there is one reenactment too many.  Aaron Eckhart gives a good closing line.


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#9 film lover 293

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:57 AM

I saw nine films last week for the first time:

 

"Daimajin; Monster of Terror" & "Return of Daimajin" (Both 1966)--I saw the first two films of this trilogy after answering a trivia question posed by LawrenceA in the Trivia Forum.  Both Japanese films are set in the 1700's and follow a formula.  Innocent villagers are threatened/abused/tortured/killed by an evil samurai/overlord who destroys their village/province.  The survivors pray to Daimajin, a huge rock statue that comes to life to right injustices and save the (remaining) innocents.  The tears of a virgin seem to be the final required ingredient for Daimajin to come to life and destroy the guilty parties.  Films are heavy on Christian imagery, particularly crucifixion.  The special effects are several notches above the "Godzilla" films.  Both films are on YT; first film was in Japanese with English subtitles, second film was dubbed into English.

 

"The Secret Life of Pets" (2016)--OK animated film that is generally enjoyable and provoked an occasional laugh when I saw it.  Animation is rather sloppy and inferior to most of Disney.  Film is "cute", but thankfully lacks the sledgehammer "CUTE" touch of the "Ice Age" films.

 

"Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001)--I enjoyed this Disney film despite it's deficiencies.  The animation varies from functional to some impressive imagery (most of it after the characters reach Atlantis),  What music there is is enjoyable (the only song is over the end credits).  The inflections of the voiceovers, especially those of Michael J. Fox and James Garner, supply wit lacking in the script.

 

"The Three Caballeros" (1945)--Enchanting wartime Disney film about South America and its' attractions stars Donald Duck and Aurora Miranda (Carmens' sister?).  Film mixes animation with live action, 3-D animation with 2-D animation, partly animated backgrounds with real backgrounds (especially in Mirandas' number).  Recommended.

 

"Make Mine Music" (1946)--Disney compilation film made up of various cartoons.  Highlights are "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met", which is sung by Nelson Eddy (who sung Every part in that episode), "Peter and the Wolf", and the two Benny Goodman numbers.  Lowlights are the Tone Poem which opens the film, and the "Two Silhouettes" number (Dinah Shore sings well, but some of the animation is just plain bad).  Film is worth seeking out for its' highlights.

 

"Moana" (2016)--Fine Disney film inspired by Fijian/South Pacific myths.  The animation, voiceovers (especially of Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson), and songs are all very good.  As in other Disney films (1998's "Mulan", etc.),  empowerment  is a main theme.  Recommended.

 

"My Little Chickadee" (1940)--Mae West and W.C. Fields teaming is to be cherished, even if the material isn't their best.  The scenes with West stopping an Indian attack, Fields with a goat, and Wests' version of arithmetic are memorable.  Margaret Hamilton is dependably funny in support.

 

"Hellzapoppin" (1941)--Film is a non-stop series of gags that starts off with a shot at MGMs' "Ziegfeld Girl" (1941) and doesn't slow down, except for an occasional song by Jane Frazee.  Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson are funny.  Martha Raye is the funniest performer in the film, especially her numbers "Watch The Birdie" and "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee".  Recommended.

 

Most Favorite--"The Three Caballeros" (1945) & "Hellzapoppin" (1941)

 

Disney fanatics only--"Atlantis: The Lost Empire" (2001). 


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#10 skimpole

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 01:32 AM

I saw four movies last week.  Meantime is an interesting eighties movie about a family dealing with family and being tempted by skinheads than by any more practical or humane alternative.  Tim Roth does a good job in an early role as an almost catatonicly awkward teenage.  The Red Turtle is a wordless animated film about a man washed up on a desert island, where he encounters the title creature.  It's very sparse and austere and perhaps it needed more emotional weight.  The Long Long Trailer does answer a question that if you wanted to have someone direct an episode of "I Love Lucy" you couldn't choose better than Vincente Minnelli.  A climatic episode as Lucy and Desi pull there horrifyingly awkward trailer up and won a mountain shows Minnelli's comedic talents quite well.  Ultimately it's minor Minnelli, but it's OK.  No Home Movie was Chantal Akerman's movie, about her mother who died by the end of its filming, followed by Akerman's own suicide.  It consists of long takes of stationary shots, many of them wordless.  And the version I got on Hoopla had no subtitles so I couldn't  understand what Akerman and her  mother were talking about.  So I'll have to watch the DVD version to see if I can find out more.


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#11 film lover 293

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:45 PM

I saw six films for the first time last week:

 

"Persecution" AKA "The Terror of Sheba" (1974)--Predictable, polite British would-be shocker was one of Lana Turner's last films.  A man's life is ruined because his mother loves her cats more than him.  Shows definitively that Persian cats are NOT terrifying, no matter how they're filmed, what music is on the soundtrack, or even if a lion's roar is added to the soundtrack.  Film Begs for smartass remarks from its viewer(s).

 

"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959)--Handsome version of the Jules Verne novel has Oscar nominated Special Effects, but is Slowww paced, almost to the point of boredom.  Film comes to a screeching halt for costar Pat Boone's musical numbers (he sings well, acts...passably).  Stars James Mason and Arlene Dahl keep the film interesting.  Film starts moving more quickly after the first hour, but film should be shorter by about twenty minutes (it's over two hours long).

 

"The Lottery Bride" (1930)--I saw a print of the 1937 re-release of the film which had about 15 minutes cut from it, including the Technicolor finale.  What remains is an excellent example of why the musical died out in the early 1930's.  Plot of this floperetta involves a "quaint" Norwegian opening number, a dance marathon, embezzling, Jeanette MacDonald harboring a fugitive and being jailed for doing so, a mail order bride business, and a Zeppelin crash, all in one hour.  Film's saving graces are that the cast can sing the unremarkable songs, and the shortness of the film.

 

"Dinosaurus!" (1960)--Dreadful horror film.  ALL the characters are dumber than dirt, the two dinosaurs are remarkably non-bloodthirsty, the miniaturization effects are laughable (the final battle is Obviously between a toy truck and a plastic dinosaur).  "Bambi" (1942) is more frightening.

 

"The Invisible Ray" (1936)--Underrated teaming of Karloff and Lugosi that's a mix of sci-fi and horror.  Very worth the watch.  Recommended.

 

"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009)--Fantastic animation is tied to a script that's in love with it's Cuteness.  Worth a watch because of the animation.  Turn off the sound if the Cuteness Factor becomes overwhelming (I did).

 

Favorite--"The Invisible Ray" (1936).

 

Film that had me wishing monsters would get the Entire cast--"Dinosaurus!" (1960).


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#12 skimpole

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 02:36 AM

I saw four movies last week.  Sound of the Mountain is a Naruse film starring Setsuko Hara.  It's interesting, if not as impressive as Late Spring, which it followed on TCM.  Hara plays more of a wallflower role, though it is striking that she has an abortion in frustration over her husband's womanizing.  Can one think of an American movie in which the lead, sympathetic female character makes such a choice?  Well there's The Godfather, Part II, but otherwise...  Sister Kenny has a good performance by Rosalind Russell playing a strong professional woman.  But it became more problematic as it went on, as it did not really provide a convincing explanation why we should accept her if most Australian doctors thought she was a dangerous quack.  I read the novel "Ivanhoe" when I was ten, and I thought it was very boring.  I can't say the movie version is very good.  It certainly does take some time to get started, though there is a rousing siege, George Sanders becomes more interesting as the movie goes one.and Elizabeth Taylor does a better job being beautiful than being a convincing Jew.  L'Humanitie is a subtle movie.  This 141 minute movie is about a police inspector shocked by a horrifying murder who muddles along trying to solve it, somewhat disconcerted by an attractive neighbor and her uncouth boyfriend.  It's kind of hard to describe the atmosphere:  there's scenes of explicit sex, and there's a lot of ordinary, arguably banal and dehumanizing portrayal of contemporary French life.



#13 film lover 293

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 05:15 AM

I saw six movies and one classic television episode for the first time last week:

 

"The Arrangement" (1969)--Tremendously disappointing film directed by Elia Kazan.  It's about a man who has the perfect mansion, perfect wife, and perfect life.  He has a nervous breakdown because his material success is based on his advertising campaign for a "clean" cigarette.  In addition he screws around on his wife and girlfriend.  Film insists the women in his life are to blame for his breakdown and all the viewers' sympathy should go to the man who traded his life for material success.  Kazan's misdirection of the film ruins it, despite the efforts of Kirk Douglas, Deborah Kerr, and Faye Dunaway.

 

"Queen of Outer Space" (1958)--Wonderful piece of camp starring Zsa Zsa Gabor.  Gabor and company are on the planet Venus, and destroyed all the male Venusians because they made war.  Now they are noticing the lack of men.  When a space expedition ventures near, it crashes on Venus.  Chaos ensues.  Special effects that look like they cost $1.50, silly costumes (Halloween masks to cover radiation burns), makeup that falls off from shot to shot are just a few of the delights of this movie.

 

"The Spoilers" (1942)--Routine Northern is given class and humor by Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott, and John Wayne.  Plot involves claim stealing during the Alaskan Gold Rush.  Film has a 10 minute, wild barroom brawl that is the highpoint of the film.  Worth a watch.  Film is the 4th version of Rex Beach's novel.

 

"The Dentist" (1932)--Misanthropic PreCode W. C. Fields short has some amusing gags; his familiar greeting to his wife and the contortions of an unfortunate patient would never have passed the Production Code.  Recommended.

 

"Mulan" (1998)--Disney film has fantastic animation, an Oscar nominated score, good voice work (especially by Eddie Murphy).  It also has jokes from the silent era, and villains that are caricatures instead of characters.  Still, I like the films' themes of empowerment and the underdog winning.  Recommended.

 

"The Reluctant Dragon" (1941)--Robert Benchley goes to the Disney studio to sell a book, and visits the various departments and sees how animation works.  Film is a fascinating snapshot of how early 1940's animation worked.  There are three cartoons of varying quality that make up half the films' running time; the best cartoon is "How To Ride A Horse".  Worth a watch."

"Mars and Beyond" (1957)--Episode of The Wonderful World of Disney examines our solar system. The highlight is a five minute parody of space comics/B movies where a secretary who drinks martinis while working, wears a little black dress to work, and types three words a minute is abducted by Martians.  The first 15  minutes is the best part of the film--film never gets back to that level.

 

Most Favorite--"Mulan" (1998).

 

Least Favorite--"The Arrangement" (1969).


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#14 skimpole

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 01:36 AM

I saw five movies last week.  Blue Sky is best known as the Tony Richardson that sat on the shelf for three years and which won Jessica Lange a best actress oscar apparently because they couldn't think of a better choice that year.  It certainly didn't impress me very much with Lange acting a melodramatic fashion for much of the movie, and with a contrived plot.  (The superior office trying to cover up Jones' concerns over radiation is both sleeping with Lange and the father of Lange and Jones' daughter's boyfriend.)  Daughters of the Dust has a unique visual style and is certainly entrancing as it shows the world of turn of the 19/20th century South Carolinian African-Americans.  It also had a distinctive, if admittedly opaque, narrative style.  Billy Budd is a competent movie version of the Melville novella.  Although the movie made Terrance Stamp a star, I actually think Ryan and Ustinov do a better job.  Toni Erdmann perhaps shouldn't have been seen when I was suffering from insomnia.  There is a genuine comedic payoff in this 150+ minute long movie, and the lead actors do a good job.  And there is certainly something to be said in its portrait of Romania in the age of globalization.  For much of the movie, the multinational company that the daughter works for live in a world of gilded Eurotrash.  Then we see the Romania outside the high society of Bucharest and see the poverty that is just going to be worsened.  Interesting, but I fear that the combination wasn't quite enough for me.  Perhaps a better movie from last year was Indignation, with fine performances, especially from Tracy Letts as a passive aggressive conformist dean whose confrontation with the protagonist is the climax of the movie.  One problem is the ending, which seems a bit abrupt and melodramatic.



#15 film lover 293

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:07 PM

I saw five films for the first time last week:

 

"Horrors of the Black Museum" (1959)--OK British/American horror film, notable for the elaborate and bloody ways the victims are killed; alert viewers will notice the culprit gives themselves away in the first ten minutes of the film.  Not great, not terrible.  Was originally released with a twelve minute prologue about hypnotism; the print I saw lacked the prologue.

 

"Mademoiselle Fifi" (1944)--Val Lewton produced and Robert Wise directed this film, which takes place during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870's.  Film draws parallels between oppression then and under the Nazis.  The film gives the game away very early, when a statue and the words engraved upon it are shown in long shot, medium shot, and a Long closeup (so the audience can read every word).  Simone Simon, Norma Varden, and Kurt Krueger (he's blond, so his character stands for all Nazi brutes) are especially good.  Film is effective propaganda that's worth a watch.

 

"Female on the Beach" (1955)--Late Joan Crawford romantic melodrama where costar Jeff Chandler gets most of the closeups, and in the ones Crawford is in, Vaseline/filters is/are used with the camera.  They obscure Joan's nose and fingers, but the lines in her face are still visible.  The camera settles for ogling Chandler and giving Joan a fashion show.  Silly "Will he Kiss me or Kill me?" melodrama is a fun watch.

 

"Carry On...Don't Lose Your Head" (1966)--A wild spoof of "The Scarlet Pimpernel",  with shots at "Marie Antoinette" (1938) and "The Three Musketeers" (1948) added.  Kenneth Williams as Citizen Camembert, Sidney James as Sir Rodney Effing/The Black Fingernail, and Joan Sims as  Cockney accented Desiree Dubarry are hilarious.  One of the best "Carry On..." films.  Recommended.

 

"Carry On Up the Jungle" (1969)--Spoof of Tarzan and Jungle films in general, film gets off to a good start, falls apart halfway through, then recovers for an abrupt finish.  Film desperately misses Kenneth Williams ' and other regulars spirit and energy.  The weak script doesn't help.  Joan Sims, Sidney James , and Charles Hawtrey do their best, but film is not one of their best efforts.  A fairly amusing watch.

 

Favorite--"Carry On...Don't Lose Your Head" (1966).

 

Least Favorite--"Horrors of the Black Museum" (1959).


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#16 skimpole

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 02:12 AM

I saw seven movies over the last two weeks:  six this week, one the week before.  That movie Paterson, was clearly the best movie I've seen last year.  It's incredibly charming and the most hopeful movie I've seen from last year, with the conceit that ordinary people working in apparently dull occupations (in this case, a bus driver), are actually aspiring poets.  It also portrays a multi-racial world in a city that most American politicians have tried to leave for dead.  It certainly contains the happiest marriage I've seen in a movie this decade, with Golshifteh Farahani being especially charming.  As for this weeks movies, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds has a striking title, and is certainly dour and pessimistic.  But it doesn't really explain or empathize with Joanne Woodward's character, it's more like an attempt to see the life of someone we've all seen berating her children or generally being unpleasant in public, but without having more insight.The Outlaw and His Wife could be described as the original "Bonnie and Clyde" movie, made when the actual Bonnie and Clyde were small children.  As such it contains a certain amount of power and is worth rewatching again. Edward, My Son is perhaps best known as the first movie Deborah Kerr got an oscar nomination.  Compared to the other four nominated movies that I've seen, it's clearly the least of them.  It's arguably a supporting role, with Kerr getting the nomination for a drunker mourning scene.  The movie is basically Spencer Tracy's as a parent who cheats and swindles to get the best for his son, only to have a spoiled brat who dies young.  Oddly enough, it's not dissimilar from Mildred Pierce, except Curtiz does a better job in showing Crawford's plight than Cukor does.  Symbol of the Unconquered is an Oscar Michaux film which suffers from the fact that the decisive defeat of the Klan was apparently lost.  Talking to Strangers is an interesting film about a young man who has conversations with people.  Each conversation is shot in a single take, and the movie is bookended by two takes which introduce and exit the young man.  The conversations include a snide talk with a priest in a confessional, a chat with a bank employee who is constantly harassed by a loved one's emotionally bullying calls, and a talk with a paramour who turns out to be a stripper.  The Traveller is the first feature of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, or at least the first one he was happy with.  The short movie, under 75 minutes, deals with a boy who by hook and by crook tries to see a soccer match in Teheran while he lives in a different town altogether.  It's surprisingly tense, even though one might guess the ending from the moralistic regime of the Shah Kiarostami made it under.



#17 film lover 293

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:51 PM

I saw four movies for the first time last week:

 

"Song of Scheherazade" (1947)--Gloriously silly bio of composer Rimsky-Korsakov, with music adapted and directed by Miklos Rozsa.  Yvonne De Carlo is a stumbling would-be prima ballerina, Eve Arden is her card sharp, fan fluttering mother, Jean Pierre Aumont is the composer who is a naval cadet, Brian Donlevy is the ship's captain who is basted in olive oil.  A Technicolored treat for eye and ear.  Recommended.

 

"Yog, Monster From Space" aka "Space Amoeba" (1970)--This "intelligent being" from space wants to take over the world; so it makes giant, then possesses a squid (which looks like a walking pickle with eyes and eight legs; watch for the two shots where you can see a string moving the squids' legs) a crab, and finally a turtle.  Add superstitious natives, a witch doctor who prays to the monsters, a very convenient erupting volcano, and you have a enjoyably silly creature feature.

 

"Peeping Tom" (1960)--Grim film has no suspense after the opening sequence (the music cues you as to who will die and when), no humor (not even sick humor).  Film about a serial killer boasts excellent performances all around (especially Maxine Audley as the blind mother of the heroine).  None of the characters except Audley's seem to have a sense of self-preservation.  Each victim has multiple chances to escape, and yet they stick around until they are killed.  An unpleasant watch.  Worthwhile?  You decide.

 

"The Extraordinary Seaman" (1969)--Eighty minute so-called comedy scored three laughs and two smiles from me.  Skip it.

 

Most Favorite--Song of Scheherazade (1947).

 

Least Favorite--The Extraordinary Seaman (1969).


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#18 film lover 293

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:32 PM

Lawrence--This is one of the worst mainstream films of the 1970's;  Tomlin is trying hard, and Travolta is memorably bad--it's never been released on video or dvd, to my knowledge--it's been on YT six months, and has over 300,000 views.  It's also available on a.org.  To quote a review (I've forgotten where it's from) "Tomlin and Travolta have all the chemistry of Yasser Arafat and Menachim Begin".


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#19 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:18 PM

 

Least Favorite--"Moment By Moment" (1978).

 

I don't recall even knowing this movie existed before your review. I'm not sure how it escaped my notice, although it doesn't sound like something I need to see immediately.



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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:13 PM

I saw seven movies for the first time last week:

 

"Queen Bee" (1955)--Joan Crawford in the title role plays a deep-fried Southern ***** who enjoys manipulating all within her hive/reach.  One of her Jean Louis gowns even makes her Look like the title creature (Louis got an Oscar nomination).  Film has her spouting lines like "Well, do I look fairly human now?"  "That was Naughty of me, wasn't it?"  "Don't talk to ME in That tone of voice!"  "It's for your own good!"  One character tells her  "You're like some fancy disease I once had--now I'm immune!"  There's even a fight over who gets to kill her.  Film is great fun.

 

"Heller in Pink Tights" (1960)--George Cukor directed oddity about a troupe of theatrical players in the Old West.  The details about 1800's theatre, the interplay between the characters and muttered asides/thrown away lines are more amusing and involving than the plot.  Eileen Heckart and Margaret O'Brien are hilarious as a mother-daughter pair of con artists.  Paramount interfered with the editing; film is two thirds rambling comedy, one third traditional western.  Flawed but entertaining.

 

"What's Up, Tiger Lily?" (1966)--Woody Allen took a Japanese spy movie, dubbed it with nonsensical dialogue and plot (people kill for an egg salad recipe) and came up with a wonderful spy spoof.  Arguably, some of the Godzilla movies are even funnier than this (1972's 'Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" and 1992's "Godzilla vs. Biolanthe" ( a mutant rosebush is the threat in this one).  Still, good silly fun.

 

"Godzilla vs. Gigan" (1972)--Godzilla on the rampage again--lousy special effects, dumber than dirt characters--the Showa series of movies is rapidly losing its' charm and inventiveness. 

 

"Moment By Moment" (1978)--A train wreck in SSSSSlllliooooooowwwwww MMMoootttttttiiooon.  Taking it as a Lily Tomlin skit alleviates the pain.  I'd say this is Travolta's worst performance, except I haven't seen "Battlefield Earth" (2000).  For BAD movie lovers only.

 

"The Ninth Configuration" (1980)--Strange horror comedy that starts from the Vietnam War and transitions into what's real and unreal.  Very worth the watch.  

 

"Gojira Shin" aka "True Godzilla" (2016)--Godzilla is now a mutant nuclear reactor that can change shape and size at will.  Good to fair special effects, lots of screaming, panicking residents (Several cities in Japan are destroyed, not just Tokyo), all while Japans' government debates proper etiquette as to informs who of what, whether or not to inform the public Godzilla's loose (like they wouldn't notice a 100 foot high monster; anyway, Tokyo's version of CNN breaks the story while the government is arguing).  Enjoyable big budget creature feature.

 

Most Favorite--"What's Up, Tiger Lily?" (1966).

 

Least Favorite--"Moment By Moment" (1978).






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