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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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#21 skimpole

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:20 AM

I saw four movies last week.  Ender's Game was quite underwhelming.  This big budget sci-fi movie about children who are militarily trained to ward off an invasion of insectoid creatures is both uninvolving and full of bogus moral dilemmas.  Wait Until Dark I suspect is more valued for its nostalgic quotient.  It was not Audrey Hepburn's last movie, but it was the movie that marked the end of her career as a major movie star.  Her next movie was not made until nine years later and further movies were sporadic at best.  The movie shows its origins as a stage play.  And it's hard to ignore the fact that Alan Arkin's plan is overly complicated.  There are some good thrills throughout, but not Academy Award worthy in my view.  Two Arabian Knights is best known for having won the first and only Academy Award for comedy direction.  This was also the year Charles Chaplin was kept from any of the contested awards with a special Oscar.  I don't know why Steamboat Bill Jr, wasn't nominated.  It's possible it wasn't released nation wide in time.  With those provisos, the result is occasionally amusing.  Mary Astor isn't given much more to do than be pretty, but the villain gets a good last line, or last subtitle.  Interesting point, at one point the protagonists think of going to the American consulate in Constantinople.  I first thought this was odd, because the protagonists are two WWI American soldiers who were caught by the Germans and by complicated circumstances ended up in the Ottoman Empire.  But as it turned, the United States never declared war on the Ottoman Empire.  Jackie is quite a bit better than I thought it would be.  It's more striking than the same director's Neruda.  Natalie Portman is extremely good indeed as the distraught widow, while the same time seeking to manipulate both the funeral and a post-assassination interview.  It's not a good idea to close with the title song of Camelot, but the movie is otherwise good enough to get away with it.



#22 film lover 293

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 10:59 PM

I saw six movies for the first time in the last ten days:

 

"From Hell It Came" (1957)--Fun science fiction nonsense involving A death curse, soft hearted/headed scientists researching atomic dust and black plague,and a shrub that grows into Tabanga, The Killer Tree in two days time.  Let's see--there is also the lady scientist who uses the 1957 version of Miracle-Gro on the shrub to keep it from dying.  The viewer is also treated to the sight of the shrub/tree's heart (not shaped like a valentine--that would be too perfect)/bark beating.  Recommended for bad movie lovers.

 

"Portrait in Black" (1960)--Lana Turner and Anthony Quinn are illicit lovers who can't wait for Lana's dying husband to kick the bucket, so they decide to speed the process up.  After the funeral, Lana gets a blackmailing letter and everything goes to heck.  Unconvincing would-be noir has a list of suspects a mile long, but most viewers will have figured out the mystery before the film's half over. The script is funnier than some comedies.  Watch for Rajah, the All-Knowing house cat.

 

"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (2008)--Brendan Fraser and Jet Li star in the third installment of the series.  Film is CGIed to death, but there are knowing nods to Japanese horror movies, the least impressive special effects look intentionally tacky, and otherwise, the special effects are impressive.  Best line: describing a "lady of the evening"; "Archeologically speaking, she is a tomb many pharaohs have lain in."

 

"The Land Unknown" (1957)--Cheapo Universal sci-fi flick has a Naval expedition getting ready to go to the South Pole, with a lady reporter to tag along with them.  When they arrive, their helicopter crashes into a sunken tropical valley that is filled with dinosaurs and a sea monster that is obviously mechanical.  Films' errors include two monster costumes very noticeably getting ripped during a fight; another monster has a visible zipper running up its' back. Tolerable time passer.

 

"Eating Raoul" (1982)--Cult comedy has  prudish Paul and Mary Bland (Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) raising money for their own restaurant by unexpected means.  Along the way, they lose their prudishness.  Edie McClurg has a memorable scene.  The hot tub scene is very funny.  Funny comedy of sex and murder is highly recommended.

 

"Knickerbocker Holiday" (1944)--Based on a Maxwell Anderson play that had music by Kurt Weill, film is horribly disappointing.  Songs are ok, but not memorable (with the exception of "September Song").  Nelson Eddy and Constance Dowling sing well enough, but film never takes off.

 

Favorite Film--"Eating Raoul" (1982).

 

Least Favorite--"The Land Unknown" (1957).


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#23 skimpole

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:23 AM

I saw six movies last week.  A Quiet Passion was the best, with an excellent performance by Cynthia Nixon, a script that was both witty, moving and intelligent, with plenty of poetry by Emily Dickinson, and the excellent cinematic vision of Terence Davies.  One can only hope it will be remembered at year's end.  Cruel Story of Youth is known as the Japanese Rebel without a Cause.  Although I didn't give it my full attention it struck me as considerably more tough-minded than the Ray movie.  Days of Eclipse is a very strange science fiction movie, about a scientist concerned about his research in Soviet Turkmenistan.  The plot is not easy to follow but the filmmaking is striking, with the sinuous elegant camera moves that we would see in later Sokurov movies, as the film shifts from black and white (or sepia and white) to colour.  It's a difficult film, but worthy of the effort.  The Wanderers is also a film with considerable qualities, with a kind of larger picture and competence that would become much rarer in the next decade.  The main flaw with this movie about Italian American gang youth members in the early sixties, is that the characters are just a little too stupid, a little too lazy, do not have the right amount of depth.  Desire is a sort of Borzage/Lubitsch collaboration where Gary Cooper meets Marlene Dietrich, this time as a charming jewel thief.  The result is charming, if not the best achievement of either director, or either star.  Sweet Sweetback Baad Asssss Song, has plenty of nudity, a nice sound track and tends to meander as the title stud wanders towards a larger political consciousness after a run in with racist police   The result is somewhat mixed as one notices something a bit more interesting than the crude simplicities of the plot.


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#24 film lover 293

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:02 PM

kingrat--I saw Angel Angel Down We Go (1969) on YouTube.  The print was titled "Cult of the Damned".



#25 kingrat

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:08 PM

Filmlover, I'm with you completely on The Pleasure Seekers and The Song of Songs. Where did you find Angel, Angel, Down We Go? I've always wanted to see it for Jennifer Jones.

 

The Pleasure Seekers makes you appreciate how good Jean Peters and Maggie McNamara were in Three Coins in the Fountain. The Spanish scenery is nice, and the actor who plays the Spanish doctor is quite handsome. When you think about how good Negulesco's early black and white films are, it's disappointing that his later work is like this.


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#26 film lover 293

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:20 AM

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

 

"The Pleasure Seekers" (1964)--Remake of "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954) is set in Spain instead of Italy, has nice photography, good performances from Brian Keith and Gene Tierney, and Ann-Margret belting out tunes in skintight clothes or bathing suits.  It also has a cliched, boring script, a dim performance from Pamela Tiffin (to be fair to her, the character is a nitwit), music that is forgettable, to say the most.  Nice travelogue, bland movie.

 

"Angel Angel Down We Go" aka "Cult of the Damned" (1969)--Robert Thom's script for "Wild in the Streets" (1968) did so well that American International Pictures let him write and direct this follow-up movie.  Film is essentially a revenge tale of a rich girl getting even for her less-than-idyllic upbringing.  Never mind that Mommy Astrid (played by Jennifer Jones in one of her last roles) and Daddy are mega-rich.  Film starts out in a mansion as music from a Tarzan film plays.  An occasional Tarzan yell is heard between drumbeats. Weird beginning to a weird film.

 

"The Song of Songs" (1933)--Marlene Dietrich film is a bit of a letdown because of its' creaky script, but the performances, especially of Dietrich, Brian Aherne, and Alison Skipworth, the camera work,and the playful music score, not to mention Rouben Mamoulian's direction make this film worth watching.

 

Favorite--"The Song of Songs" (1933).

 

Most Forgettable--"The Pleasure Seekers" (1964).



#27 skimpole

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 02:11 AM

Last week I saw seven movies.  It didn't start off well.  A Good Day to Die Hard was not only completely unnecessary, it managed to be thoughtlessly mediocre in a wide variety of ways.  One particular problem is that the CIA seems to have been deeply stupid in the first place, and there's no good reason why Bruce Willis should catch on to the plot twist when he's running around in a foreign country that is not really enthusiastic having foreigners running around with firearms.  Tie me Up! Time me Down! is certainly superior to it on a technical level, though one might wonder what about a movie which suggests that its all right for a nitwit to kidnap a porn star until she falls in love with him if said nitwit looks like Antonio Banderas.  Paradise is There:  the New Tigerlily Recordings is a documentary about Natalie Merchant who decided to rerecord her 1995 album 'Tigherlily." I actually like the album, although Merchant appears a little vain about it and her fans don't appear particularly perceptive.  More music in the music documentary would have helped.  There is one interesting scene, involving the song 'Wonder,' where Merchant back in the mid nineties met two twin girls who suffered from a serious disease who were inspired by the song.  We see them meeting after the girls' graduation, we Merchant talking to their mother, we see the girls grown up later, and later we learn that the two have in fact died.  Colossal is a more impressive movie, with Anne Hathaway looking very pretty and fetching as a bit of a screw-up who finds that when she walks through a park in the morning, a giant monster shows up in Seoul.  Hathaway is very good, and the show plays out its conceit very well.  (Although one important point is told rather than shown.)  Night and Day may join They died with Their Boots On for egregiously historically inaccurate Hollywood movies that are still enjoyable.  Grant is charming, and one might think he would be perfect to play Cole Porter if you had no idea of what Porter actually looked like.  There are also some nice musical numbers.  Personal Shopper is an odd, but interesting film, with a very good performance from Kristen Stewart, who plays a shopper for a supermodel who would find it too awkward to do her shopping herself.  The movie appears to be a number of things, a picture of a woman essentially be a servant of the super rich, an erotic thriller and also a supernatural thriller.  The result is genuinely disconcerting in places.  The Warriors is a movie that one would think would have a bigger reputation than it does.  It's well shot, well directed, with a fine sense of atmosphere and a good music score.  One should note Lynne Thigpen as an especially sinister DJ.  One should also note the relatively nuanced gender politics involved.  It says something about how New York exists in the popular imagination that critics noticed at the time how unrealistic it was.  Such is the image of the almost bankrupt city that isn't immediately apparent when you see it for the first time.  The violence that attended the original release also hampered the movie's reception.


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#28 film lover 293

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:08 PM

I saw five movies for the first time over the past two weeks or so:

 

"Ruby" (1977)--Enjoyable horror movie starring Piper Laurie, directed by Curtis Harrington.  Film is old style horror film, with music cues that alert the viewer a shock is coming up.  Laurie's performance makes the movie work; she makes a fleshed out character out of cardboard.  Film has a prelude in 1935 Florida, where Ruby (Laurie) is a gangster's moll, then the bulk of the movie takes place in 1951.  Ruby has rebuilt her life and owns a drive-in movie theater.  Things are going alright until employees start dying on the job.  Best line; Mother to son, after Sonny tries to tell her something Odd is in the Coke machine: "No more horror movies for you!".

 

"High, Wide, And Handsome" (1937)--Operetta set in 1859 Pennsylvania is about the finding of oil.  Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott star, and Rouben Mamoulian directed.  Dunne is in fine voice, and gets to sing most of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II score.  Dorothy Lamour makes a good impression in her smallish role.  Film is part operetta, part action film.  Everyone involved looks to have done their utmost, but film doesn't quite work.  Still, a recommended watch.

 

"Deadwood '76" (1965)--Starring Arch Hall Jr.  Crazy western tries to fit in as many cliches as possible and has one of the most idiotic scripts of any film I've sat through.  Hall Jr. rides to the rescue of a man in a covered wagon who is being attacked by 5 Indians.  Traveler tries to shoot the Indians, but finds he forgot to load his rifle. After tells the Indians to shoo, Traveler plans to get rich by selling his cargo of house cats (yes, cats). Nutso film is cautiously recommended for lovers of bad movies.

 

"The Man From Planet X" (1951)--Edgar Ulmer film had a minute budget, yet this tale of outer space aliens in Scotland is an enjoyable film, due to imaginative camerawork, an intelligent script, and better-than expected acting.

 

"The Amazing Transparent Man" (1960)--Ulmer film is good only for horselaughs--a near total disaster.  For bad movie lovers only.

 

Favorite film--"High, Wide, and Handsome" (1937).

 

Least Favorite--The Amazing Transparent Man" (1960).


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#29 skimpole

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 01:57 AM

I saw four movies last week.  Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo suffers from sentimental brave soldiers and the women who love them, or at least one soldier and one pregnant wife.  On the other hand Spencer Tracy is good in an unfortunately small role and the actual Dolittle raid and its aftermath are pretty good.  Summer Magic is not one of Disney's most admired live action movies.  But it's interesting because there is something in Disney that wishes he made Meet Me in St. Louis and this movie is an attempt to do that.  So basically we're seeing a movie that is clearly inferior to that in every conceivable respect.  The songs aren't memorable, the nostalgia more unequivocal and more fake, the direction, cinematography, art direction and costume design are less successful, the movie has less depth and the performances are less successful in every respect.  It's odd that Hayley Mills, arguably the bright spot of the movie, doesn't sound remotely like her two brothers.  And Burl Ives' character seems to act like a pathological liar.  Fences has good performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.  It's based on a play by August Wilson who insisted on an African-American director.  Maybe he should have insisted on someone who had better experience adapting plays into movies, since as a movie the movie does resemble a filmed play too much.  So the movie of the week is Song to Song, whose plot was admittedly a little confused for me because I didn't realize that Natalie Portman was playing a blonde.  More complex in its narrative than To the Wonder, more optimistic than Knight of Cups, I certainly admired it and will argue that this "weighless" trilogy will improve in critical reputation over the years.


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#30 skimpole

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 02:36 AM

I saw six movies over the last two weeks:  four this week, two the week before.  I wish I could have seen the first half of An American Tragedy better instead of being distracted.  Once I was able to give it my full attention it did seem to be superior to A Place in the Sun, a movie whose point was that it was such a shame Shelly Winters didn't fall down a flight of stairs and break her neck.  Dr. Strange is another example of intelligent and enjoyable Marvel superhero movies.  Tilda Swinton was criticized for playing a character who in the original comic was vaguely Tibetan (some Asian mountains with lots of snow at any rate).  But her singular strangeness does make her memorable.  Love ia a Many Splendored Thing, by contrast, asks us to believe that Jennifer Jones is half Chinese, and that basically ruins it for me.  Oddly enough that leads to Loving, the movie about the couple whose case struck down the anti-miscegenation laws.  As such the movie is very dignified, very competent and totally without genius.  At times you can't help wondering whether the reason Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are so quiet is that the film makers didn't now to make a real relationship.  Much better is I, Daniel Blake, a Palme D'or winner about a worker recovering from a heart attack who faces a welfare bureaucracy intent on forcing him back to work and denying him benefits.  One might point out that it is not as tough minded as the Dardenne brothers, and one can guess the last two plot twists.  But it does provide a rich portrait of a decent man under trying circumstances.  Finally Test Pilot is not profound, but enjoyable enough with the star power of its three leads, with Myrna Loy doing the best job here.


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#31 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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).



#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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