slaytonf

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Everything posted by slaytonf

  1. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    So there you are, blithely watching something--a movie, or TV show, or something, all unsuspecting, and someone drives up, and gets out, and--wait a minute. . . .you can't help saying to yourself: That's a nice car!: or:
  2. slaytonf

    Diahann Carroll Has Died

    Aw, gee. . . .
  3. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    Oooo. . . .fins. . .thas nice! Sadly, according to IMCDB, one had never been in a movie.
  4. slaytonf

    Movie identification request?

    I will take the risk and say you will enjoy it a lot. It's a great forgotten comedy. Jean Arthur is fabulous.
  5. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    It may be nice, but it is not a car.
  6. slaytonf

    Movie identification request?

    The movie might be The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), with Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/72933/The-Devil-and-Miss-Jones/ Click on the READ THE FULL SYNOPSIS tab for a full description.
  7. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    That's a nice. . . .car.
  8. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    Oops! Well, if you leave a door open, you should expect people to walk through it.
  9. You're welcome, jamesjazzguitar. I have to say part of the reason I don't go down any rabbit holes is that I don't have any formal education in music. What I know of jazz I've picked up mostly from reading CD booklets that came with the albums I bought. That and watching Leonard Bernstein shows, the Young People's Concerts and his The Unanswered Question. When I hear someone express an interest in the music, I try to think of what thrills me about it to feed that interest. Jazz is America's classical music, and the people who wrote it and performed it were true masters and geniuses. And I'm sure I don't have the knowledge to appreciate them nearly as much as they should be.
  10. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    From the Antiques Road Trip front, the 1066 Jaguar Mark II: I seem to be favoring Jaguars. I'm ok with that.
  11. Let me also recommend the Jazz at the Philharmonic series. This wasn't jazz players accompanied by an orchestra, but a series of concerts originally staged at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles, but later in tours around the world. It featured a bewildering array of the most accomplished artists including--well, who didn't it include? There was Illinois Jacquet, Nat King Cole, Les Paul, Lionel Hamption, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Coleman Hawkins, and on and on. Some of the cookinest music ever. Many of the concerts are available for purchase or listening on the Web. Bud Powell was the most intense jazz pianist of all time. His playing is suffused with a frenetic energy that is dumbfounding when you first hear him. The notes pour out at an almost impossible rate, and yet under absolute control. One of the preeminent figures in the development of bebop, his contributions are as important as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk. However, due to tragic events in his life, his later work, though superior of course, lacks the blazing fire of his early performances.
  12. All the people I mentioned, to whom I'd add, Lionel Hampton (the best vibraphonist), and Illinois Jacquet (a wialing saxophonist), worked in smaller groups at some point in their careers, also liking the freer atmosphere. You just have to search their names with the word live on YouTube or elsewhere to find examples, like this one:
  13. slaytonf

    copyright-protected?

    So you can record movies to DVDs from your DVR? Can you record movies to DVDs real-time as they are shown?
  14. slaytonf

    Great moments in cinema.

    Sergio Leone was a cinematic iconoclast in many ways. He's primarily known for the promotion of the anti-hero as protagonist in westerns and other movies. Though his 'man-with-no-name' is not truly amoral. Despite his readiness to rob the robbers, or game the system, he's not a real bad guy. In fact, he's the one who gets rid of them, and makes the world right again. His visual iconoclasm paralleled and complemented his themes, violating our expectations for how elements entered and appeared on the screen (e. g., his extreme close-ups), and how the camera moved. Your selection, cigarjoe, is one of the best examples of the latter. Coupled with Morricone's ecstatic music, it's a whirling, dizzying crescendo of greed and lust.
  15. slaytonf

    The four watchable Bond movies.

    What can you say for an action movie which has it's most exciting moment in it's first minute? Even though bungee jumping has past out of the spotlight (a recommendation against tying a movie to transient cultural phenomena), the opening sequence to Goldeneye (1995), is still stunning, even on a small screen. After that, it seems all a jumble, and I can only offer a jumble of thoughts. I did make it all the way through, with the sound on. But I did have to take a couple of breaks when the improbability factor got too high. Like when the statue ended up on top of the tank hijacked by Bond, notwithstanding the implied political statement. I can only attribute my perseverance to Pierce Brosnan (a name for an international spy as good as James Bond). I had expected him to have even less Bondiness (Bondishness?) than Timothy Dalton, but was surprised to find he projected an image that echoed Connery's original. Not the same, but in the line. The self-referential quips got to be tiring after a while. I got that the movie was spoofing/not spoofing itself and the Bond movies in general after the fifth one. Don't need any more. Product placement still ranked high in the set of moviemaking techniques. It's crossed my mind if companies have to pay for the cost of the scene they are featured in. If so, a certain fizzy water company must've paid a bundle. For all it's posing as smashing the shaken-not-stirred icons of the Bond franchise, the movie still transmits some strong conventional messages. That is, when it is consistent and coherent in its messages. It's a collection of old spy movie elements stitched together into a sort-of quilt. Like the old friend/comrade-in-arms turned baddie. The modern angle comes from Natalya Simonova who criticizes Bond and the others for their game-playing and their unconcern for it's lethal consequences. But that's the standard role of woman as culture bringer and civilizing force so often seen in movies. And M's comments, delivered by Dame Dench, about Bond being a misogynistic dinosaur are really unfair. Bond was never abusive, demeaning, or patronizing to the women he met in the movies. True, being near him could prove unhealthy for a number of them, as a body count could show, but when one had ability he valued it and relied on it. And when a woman saved his life--a not infrequent occurrence--he didn't dismiss it. (I can't believe I'm defending a movie character as if he were a real person). Anyway, movie bad; Brosnan, not so bad.
  16. Sounds like some hot Chicago style jazz to me. King Oliver, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and Bix Beiderbeck are all exponents of the form. Try "Sing Sing Sing," by Benny Goodman. Gene Krupa thumps on the drums and Benny wails on the clarinet. There are other versions you can get on YouTube, but this snippet gives you the idea:
  17. slaytonf

    The four watchable Bond movies.

    The Living Daylights (1987), though not really good, seemed to be living up to what Ben Mankiewicz claimed as a reset to a less humorous mode. That is, up to the point where the movie has Bond drive onto a frozen lake in a chase. Drive onto a frozen lake, and take a shed with his Austin. 'Til then there had not been much to keep me watching, but not much to stop me. That's where I stopped. The fact is, Timothy Dalton, though good as a leading man, and even as an action hero, is not Bond. He doesn't have the screen presence for him. I could say a few things about License to Kill (1989), but I wonder if it is worth the effort to organize my thoughts. Mmm, no. I made it as far as when the woman with the sawed-off shoots a hole in the side of a building. That's when my suspension of disbelief was overtaxed. But I also made a neat discovery. Instead of tuning to something else, for some reason I just turned the sound off. This, along with dividing my attention doing other things, allowed me to watch the whole movie. I found I could follow the story just as well, and it didn't irritate me nearly as much to watch. 'Course, I thought it was all about counterfeit money and not drugs, but that's not important. (Parenthetical note: It's surprising how sharks supply the source of danger and death in so many Bond movies. The go-to ontological dread inducer). The final chase with the tanker semis was good--not too many absurdities--and the semi tractor up on, um, three wheels was not shabby. Remember the game guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar? A similar game occurred to me. Guessing how many rounds have been shot at BondJamesBond without hitting him. Are all international agents of evil such poor shots?
  18. slaytonf

    Great moments in cinema.

    The Devil and Miss Jones (1941): Two more scenes from this delightful comedy. In the first, the undercover boss has been corralled by the police trying to pawn his watch for payphone money. The situation deteriorates for our protagonists until Bob Cummings as Joe enters to confound the cops and their use of technicalities to bully and intimidate. The comedy deftly conveys the message of the dangers of delegated power, and it's potential for corruption. It is no coincidence Joe recites excerpts from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This has greater implications for the general pro-worker, pro-labor tone of the movie. The only reason I can come up with for how this got into a hollywood studio movie is that, as Preston Sturges said, you can get away with anything in a movie, as long as it's a comedy. In the second, Jean Arthur, as Mary, has discovered Merrick is not the unassuming employee she has been led to believe. But she mistakenly thinks he's a private investigator, not the owner of the department store. This leads her to fear for the jobs of the four hundred employees who've signed a petition for unionizing that Merrick has. And it's left to her to get it. There are many similar scenes in movies, where a person is faced with a daunting task and struggles to go through with it. But there are none so charmingly portrayed as here by Miss Arthur. This scene is all her, the director sensibly staying out of the way, allowing her to show her alternate drumming up her courage and shrinking from her urgent duty. The humor is compounded when, through no fault of her own, Merrick is knocked unconscious and she reflexively rushes to help him. She was in many more important movies, but nowhere do you see her wonderful ability on better display.
  19. What I mean is, when there is an abrupt proliferation of posts from one source, you must question the motives and sources.
  20. Considering the current takeover of these discussions, I'm kinda hankerin' after the old Korean kind. At least there were fun letters to look at.
  21. slaytonf

    The four watchable Bond movies.

    I knew I was forgetting something: *PRODUCT PLACEMENT!! I don't know what goes on in movies today, but I've never seen a movie that so blatantly pushes the unlikeliest of things on an unsuspecting audience. I expected the G**********r blimp to make and appearance at the end to pluck Bond and his lady off the Golden Gate.
  22. slaytonf

    A rogues' gallery of cops.

    Eugene Pallette: Not an intuitive choice for a movie cop. And he really wasn't. Almost none of his roles involved police work, except in a particular case, or set of cases. As Sgt. Ernest Heath he played the recurring professional foil to Philo Vance's amateur sleuthing. And he proved the most enduring feature of that series, appearing in more of them than even William Powell, the originator of the movie Vance. Nobody needs a clip of him, right?
  23. The blue suited some actors better than others. They radiated an aura of authority, or of a generalized suspicion of all mankind--as often as not erroneous, as the plot required. I'm not talking about big stars in lead roles as law enforcement officers. I'm talking about the work-a-day actors from the talent pools of the studios who got the supporting roles or bit parts. They were the standard face of law enforcement. The inevitable consequence of wrong-doing. The nemesis, or dupe, or obtuse counter to the lead hero, or villain, or sleuth. The actor who will immediately occur to many as the paradigm for movie cops is Charles McGraw, the gravel-voiced hard-as-nails bantam. But he really wasn't a career cop (I don't count sheriffs in westerns). His renown stems from one role in The Narrow Margin (1952) as a harried cop trying to get a mobster's moll from Chicago to Los Angeles with the syndicate after her. It may be the only instance in movies of a lead actor leaving the impression of being in a supporting role. On to the real career cops. To begin, Jack Cheatham: Clips are hard to find, but here's one from The Hatbox Mystery (1947): Starting in cop work early in his career with Sinister Hands (1932), he created the model career movie cop profile, rarely becoming anything more than a uniformed street cop. He soldiered away in mostly uncredited roles, but managed to appear in features such as Gambling Lady (1934) with Barbara Stanwyck, The Thin Man (1934) with William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Petrified Forest (1936) with Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis, and This Gun For Hire (1942) with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.
  24. slaytonf

    The four watchable Bond movies.

    Now, that one I know about. It's Tatianna who kills the Klebb monster to save her honey James.

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