TomJH

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About TomJH

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    I know what gold does to men's souls.
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  1. TomJH

    Your Choice For 1964 Best Actor Oscar

    Sellers is wonderful, of course, but I would have to still go with the Academy's choice for a once in a lifetime film performance, a perfect amalgamation of actor and role. We are fortunate that Harrison's classic stage performance (by all accounts) was immortalized on film. Two other performances worthy of mention: Burt Lancaster and Fredric March in Seven Days in May.
  2. TomJH

    MetropoLESS!

    You might throw Movie Madness into that warned group instead, Sarge. Maybe you got your m's confused when you included Mr6666.
  3. TomJH

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Analysis: As Trump prepares for his holiday respite in Florida, he is more isolated than ever President Trump, more isolated than at any point in his presidency, is scheduled to leave Washington at the end of this week for a holiday respite, two-plus weeks at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. When he returns in January, he will be girding for what is likely to be the most difficult year yet of his tumultuous presidency. https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/newspolitics/analysis-as-trump-prepares-for-his-holiday-respite-in-florida-he-is-more-isolated-than-ever/ar-BBR0huV?li=AAggFp5&ocid=mailsignout
  4. Kirk has survived a stroke, as well as a serious helicopter crash in which others were killed. They are bound to have an impact on a man's appearance.
  5. They both turned 102 this year. Luise Rainer, at 104, is the only one I think was older. In turn, is Douglas not already the oldest actor? Anyone else?
  6. TomJH

    I Just Watched...

    Mr. Moto Takes A Vacation (1939) Fast and breezy entry in Fox's Mr. Moto series, with a delicious cast of character actors. This time Peter Lorre as the Japanese detective gets to don a disguise as a Viennese archeologist as the film starts in Egypt with the discovery of the fabulous crown of the Queen of Sheba. What plot the film has then deals with various shady characters trying to steal the crown once it's transported back to Frisco. In particular, Moto is keeping his eyes open for the ingenious work of a criminal mastermind called Metexa (kind of a Moto version of Moriarty). No one knows what he looks like, of course. It soon doesn't take much to guess which character actor will finally be revealed as the mastermind but so what? It's a fun little ride anyway thanks to the character work and fast pace that director Norman Foster gives the film. Lionel Atwill is the pompous museum curator. Does Atwill overdo the pomposity for comedic effect? You bet he does! Joseph Schildkraut, with a limp and "old man" makeup, acts the grouch, while Virginia Field can be seen slinking around, up to who knows what. The one irritant of the cast is the "comic relief" supplied by G. B. Huntley as a thimble brained British twit who is constantly showing up trying to help Moto only to predictably make matters worse. Just once in these kind of "B" mysteries I would love to see some of this stumble bum comic relief knocked off, starting with Huntley in this film. Alas, it never happens. The film has some great Chinatown sets, obviously used on bigger Fox "A" productions but very well utilized here, and the film will have the usual slam bang action finale between Moto and the finally exposed villain. It's a fun action showcase for a couple of stunt doubles since, sure as heck, the actors themselves won't be much involved outside of a few closeups spliced into the action. The final film in the series, Mr. Moto Takes A Vacation is enjoyable for its lack of pretension, and the fact that none of it is to be taken seriously. And, with a running time of just over an hour, no one can accuse this item of overstaying its welcome. The entire Moto series has been released on DVD by Fox with impressive transfers and special features. 2.5 out of 4
  7. Yeh, that's a wonderful moment. The thing is marvelous as Tracy is in this film he's matched by Freddie Bartholomew who gives the performance of his career as the spoiled brat who grows up. The scene in which Harvey says he doesn't want to return to his father, initially baffling Manuel, until Barthlomew looks at Tracy with tears in his eyes and says, "I want to be with you, Manuel" never fails to put a lump in my throat. A once arrogant little boy, that arrogance long gone, now putting his heart on the line as he expresses his love for a crusty wise fisherman who has become a mentor-father figure to him. It's one of the most heart breaking expressions of love I have ever seen on the screen.
  8. Yeh, Tracy sure seemed to get on the Holy Joe Brigade once he switched studios from Fox to MGM, didn't he? I'm definitely less than enthralled whenever he played a priest. Well, at least we have his Captains Courageous performance to cherish. No sanctimonious stuff there. Speaking of Boys Town, the only part of the film I enjoy is when Mickey Rooney is playing the tough brat in his early scenes. But once Rooney's character reforms (he turns "good," I suppose), in particular when he starts weeping (and weeping and weeping) after Pee Wee gets hit by a car, did you ever see just violent overacting by an actor?
  9. TomJH

    TRUMPUS MAXIMUS AMERICANUS! > WINNING!

    So WHO keeps threatening the shutdown? ============================= Trump says he'd 'be proud' to shut down the government over funding for a border wall Arguing in public with Democratic leaders, U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened on Tuesday to shut down the government if Congress doesn't provide the money he says is needed to build a wall at the Mexican border. https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-government-shutdown-wall-1.4941220
  10. TomJH

    I Just Watched...

    This will be a real news bulletin for Florence Arliss. "Georgie, have you been unfaithful to me?"
  11. TomJH

    TRUMPUS MAXIMUS AMERICANUS! > WINNING!

    BEFORE THE KILL: "You'll have to ask Michael. He's my attorney."
  12. TomJH

    I Just Watched...

    Champion (1949) The last of three major gritty boxing dramas released in the late '40s, following in the footsteps of Body and Soul and The Set Up, Champion is the film that really put Kirk Douglas on the Hollywood film map. Previously cast in supporting roles as weaklings or smooth talking villains Douglas was finally given a role that allowed him to play an ambitious increasingly unscrupulous individual with the kind of dynamic drive that would become a hallmark of this actor. An early success in collaborations between producer Stanley Kramer and writer Carl Foreman, Champion casts Douglas as Midge Kelly, a down-and-outer travelling the country with his brother (Arthur Kennedy) in search of work. They get rolled by some tramps while freighthopping a train (Midge puts up a fight but he's out-numbered). Soon Kelly, in need of the money, agrees to participate in a boxing match. Game but out classed, he loses badly but demonstrates a raw animal courage in the process and get the notice of an old time boxing manager (played by Paul Stewart) who offers to train him in the sport. Kelly has no interest. After romantically hooking up with and then being forced into a marriage with a waitress (Ruth Roman), Midge quickly abandons her, travelling west with his brother and, now desperate for some kind of future (he doesn't want to be a "Hey you!" all his life) seeks out manager Stewart once again to begin training as a boxer. While Champion touches on the corruption in boxing that is not the emphasis of the film as much as it had been with the two earlier boxing dramas. We are largely watching, instead, a man's rise to the top of the sport by using and trampling over others in order to ruthlessly reach that pinnacle. This was the first of Douglas's louse roles, with director Mark Robson helping to keep any over-the-top acting excesses on the part of the actor (for which he became known later, on occasion) well under control. A beach scene, with Douglas and Roman taking a dip at night, reminds one of a similar moment in The Postman Always Rings Twice. Speaking of Roman, this was an early role in her career and she is effective playing a more vulnerable type of innocent character than she would often play later. She also looks most appealing in a one piece white bathing suit. Aside from Kirk Douglas's hard driven and impressive dynamics, which netted him his first Oscar nomination, the supporting cast of this modestly budgeted production is impressive. Paul Stewart is perfectly cast as the old time cynical boxing manager who "likes to watch a couple of good boys work out." But there is also Marilyn Maxwell as an only-lives-the-good-life platinum blonde gold digger always trying to latch on to whoever is on top and, in contrast to her, Lola Albright as the serene, sensitive wife of a boxing promoter. Midge decides to acquire her on the side as another trophy for himself. Some boxing analysts have criticized Douglas's performance in the ring as lacking authenticity, saying his character takes far too many shots to the head with seemingly little impact. But the actor's impressive physique and athleticism are also on display and, for me, the fast edited ring scenes work. One of the very best sequences in Champion is a half hour into the film, a montage showing Midge Kelly's progress as a fighter, from his early gym training of amateur rawness (a bit of humour is worked in here) through his gradual progress into an efficient hard hitting fighter. Playing no small role in the effectiveness of this montage is the musical accompaniment of Dimitri Tiomkin's score, lightly underscoring the earlier amateur moments but becoming increasingly more dynamic with a pounding brass sound as Midge Kelly turns into an accomplished fighter throwing digging shots into the heavy bag, as well as sparring partners covering up on the ropes. A particular highlight moment in this sequence is a genuinely impressive display of rapid speed rope skipping (including cross overs) done by Kirk Douglas, with the camera moving in upon his feet to emphasis his skill. The actor obviously worked very hard on this athletic sequence. And further adding to the impressiveness in viewing Champion today is the knowledge that Douglas just turned 102 days ago. Like the ambitious, hard punching character he plays in the film that had made him a star almost 70 years ago he seems an unstoppable force. 3 out of 4
  13. TomJH

    TRUMPUS MAXIMUS AMERICANUS! > WINNING!

    Jake, since you've posted articles from the National Enquirer here in the past and, therefore, I assume, consider it to be a legitimate news source, here's another story for you about your favourite tabloid: Why the National Enquirer cooperation deal is a VERY big problem for Donald Trump (CNN)On Wednesday, while the political world was focused on the news that former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen had been sentenced to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, something else of potentially huge import got somewhat glossed over: American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, admitted it had helped facilitate a hush payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation being run by the Southern District of New York. First, AMI admitted that, in coordination with Trump's presidential campaign, it had paid McDougal $150,000 in the run-up to the election for the exclusive rights to her story that she had an affair with Donald Trump a decade earlier. Perhaps the most important thing that the AMI settlement does, however, is make clear that the payment and the coordination with the Trump campaign was, according to the SDNY release, done by AMI "to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election." https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/politics/donald-trump-national-enquirer-settlement-stormy-daniels-karen-mcdougal/index.html
  14. TomJH

    TRUMPISM IN CANADA

    While a Mississippi poster's idea of Canadian news is quoting from a white supremacist (repeatedly), here is some of the news that is actually of concern to Canadians: China detains second Canadian citizen as Huawei row intensifies A second Canadian missing in China is under investigation on suspicion of “engaging in activities that harm China’s national security”, state media has reported, as tensions over the arrest of an executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei intensify. Michael Spavor was “being investigated” by the Dandong city branch of China’s ministry of state security and the probe started on 10 December, according to a government news agency in northeastern Liaoning province. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/12/china-canada-diplomat-michael-kovrig-detention-latest-
  15. TomJH

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Apparently Kanye West is waiting beside his phone.

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