midwestan

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About midwestan

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  1. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    Death Curse of Tartu (1967) This review is probably a bit off the wall (like this film was). For those who indulge me and stick with it, I tip my cap and offer a fist bump. A friend texted me while I was watching it. The review of the film mirrors our conversation. Q: What are you up to? A: I'm watching Death Curse of Tartu on TCM. It's a good time-waster. Q: OK. What's it about? A: These chowderheads are traipsing through the Everglades, but little do they realize the ground they walk on has been cursed by Tartu, a Seminole witch doctor from 450 years ago. Boy, are they gonna get it! Well actually, they were already warned about where NOT to go by the modern day Seminole guide, but of course, they blew off his concerns as silly native superstition (the dopes)! Q: Is this real, or just a movie? A: It's a movie. The spirit of Tartu has already changed into an anaconda and killed one man. Now he's changed into a shark and eaten two kids! 40 minutes and countless deaths to come? (pause for a minute or so) Oh wow...the air boat they were going to make their escape with has been scuttled by alligators! They be doomed! (another pause) The anaconda is back and about to claim victim number 4! Actually, I think this snake is a water moccasin. Q: LOL...I can just hear you going Whoa! ROFLMAO! A: The answer is obvious to the survivors now. They MUST seek out Tartu's grave and destroy it so the Everglades can be turned into a National Park! Vacation deaths are such a bummer, ya know! (another pause) Well, they found Tartu's cobwebby cave grave, along with victim number 1. One of the survivors runs outside in a panic only to run into a big gator with big choppers. Whoever built Tartu's cave grave was a master craftsman. A boulder rolled across the opening to prevent victim number 5 from getting back in! The two survivors are now back at the cave after they got out but failed to stop Tartu from chomping on victim number 5. They are trying to open the sarcophagus, but no luck. Suddenly, the tomb opens up and the skeletal remains of Tartu sits upright! (brief pause) After a couple of useless gunshots at his torso, Tartu transforms into his former human self! The woman escapes while her hubby fights with Tartu. The husband is knocked unconscious, and Tartu goes after the woman, whom he hopes will be victim number 6. He throws a knife at her and gets her in the arm, but she gets away. He catches up to her and pushes her into some quicksand! By now, the husband has recovered and caught up to the demon spirit. They engage in a no-disqualification wrestling match in which Tartu is knocked into the quicksand himself! The man saves his hot wife. Tartu sinks and the movie ends. During the dialog of this film, it occurred to me that they never referred to Tartu's transformations as 'turning into animals'. Everyone referred to them as 'creatures'. Probably not a big deal, but I just thought it a bit odd.
  2. midwestan

    Noir Alley

    Saturday Mass was instituted as an acceptable form for Catholics to meet their Sunday obligation, after the Vatican 2 Council of 1965. That's when Latin was basically eliminated from the liturgy in favor of each parish's preferred language in an attempt to bolster attendance at churches world-wide and make the services more relevant to those who went. My parish used to have Sunday morning services at 6:30, 8, and 10. If I felt like it, I'd go to the 6:30 Mass when I was in high school. There were only about 15-20 people there (on a good day), and the service lasted about 25 minutes! The priest at the time eventually got rid of that early service and moved it to 7:00 on Saturday evening. It was more popular with younger Catholics who could go to Mass, then hit the town and sleep in on Sunday with no worries! Currently, my parish has Mass at 4:00 on Saturday and 10:00 on Sunday. As for Easter Vigil services, they can be held on Saturday, but if they are, they must begin after sundown (for that one day only). This year, the Vigil service was held at 8 p.m. Sorry for the tangent on the thread. Back to Noir Alley... I loved Mystery Street; have seen it several times. Ricardo Montalban and Elsa Lanchester were very good in it.
  3. midwestan

    Hell's Angels tonight at 9:30pm

    I saw this one for the first time too, but I really liked Jean Harlow's performance in this one. Having watched a lot of the 1930's faire TCM has shown over the years, I think a lot of actresses from that decade come off as rather shrill and screamy when they deliver their lines. Harlow did this as often as say, Carole Lombard and Ruth Chatterton, and after a while, it gets tiresome (at least for me). Sure, the role may have called for such energy when the film was shot, but I think a lot of women and men during that decade overplayed their parts; sometimes by a lot.
  4. midwestan

    Actor Harry Anderson (1952-2018)

    I really enjoyed watching "Night Court" when it was on. I thought it had one of the funniest ensemble casts, and guest stars. Marsha Warfield was the third female bailiff on the show, after she replaced Flo Halop and Selma Diamond who both died during their stints on the show. Sometimes, a series struggles when one of its regulars either die or leave a show, but Night Court carried on despite those setbacks. Interesting that Ms. Halop was 63 when she died. Ms. Diamond was just 64. And now, Judge Harry at 65.
  5. midwestan

    Noir Alley

    I've been curious as to how some movie titles got their names, if the picture is an adaptation of a book or short story. Maybe it was an arrangement between the studios and the author of the original story to avoid confusion between the film and the book, or perhaps it was a way to avoid copyright trouble? In this particular case, maybe (and I'm probably reaching on this one) Howard Hughes didn't want the title "Thieves Like Us" to cast an unpopular light on politicians who were getting revved up with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, lest he or anyone else in his circle be called to Washington to testify at those hearings? Another possible reason could be that "They Live By Night" was released in 1948 by RKO. Fox released "Thieves Highway" in 1949. If the Fox picture was in production at the same time and RKO knew about it, they could have opted to change the title from "Thieves Like Us" to avoid confusion with the viewing public? Like I said, it's probably a stretch on my part, but it's all I got!
  6. midwestan

    Have you seen someone you know in a movie?

    And obviously smart! Carnegie-Mellon don't take no dummies!
  7. True, but Joy Page was much less annoying in "Casablanca" than Walter Brennan in "To Have and Have Not". After all, she was great eye candy and obviously was willing to 'go all the way' with Humphrey Bogart, just like she did with Claude Rains. I think Lauren Bacall would have preferred to get slapped multiple times with her passport from Dan Seymour than sleep with Walter Brennan, right? If Eddie were written out of the script, I think the point you make about Bogart's persona and character would still have come across positively to the viewing audience.
  8. midwestan

    Have you seen someone you know in a movie?

    Yeah, I knew he was in "The Naked City", but I was only 4 when it went off the air, and I never got into watching much night-time TV until about 1967 or 68. If we had cable back in the late-60's, I'm sure we would have seen re-runs of it like we see with many series that were popular from the late 80's to fairly recently, with the plethora of stations and viewing options we have today.
  9. midwestan

    I Just Watched...

    I was impressed that TCM showed a triple-header (basically) of premieres Friday night/Saturday morning. I caught bits and pieces of "Man In The Wilderness", which is a great testament to one's individual fortitude. I got wrapped up in watching basketball while this aired, so I'll try and catch it on TCM Movies On Demand. I started watching "Inferno", and sure enough, I dozed off 30 minutes into it! I'll have to catch that one via computer too. I woke up mid-way through "Robinson Crusoe" and decided to pull a 'half-nighter' and watch "Into The Wild", which I had never seen before. The cinematography on the movie was excellent, but the movie was two and a half hours long, which I find to be tedious unless there's plenty of action or dialog to hold my interest. The acting was very good, and I thought it did a good job of providing an insight to Chris McCandless' psyche. Overall though, the movie was a bit of a downer. Many people can relate to the theme that you don't need money or excessive wealth to be happy, and this film effectively showed this. Still, it was sad that the main character "checked out" of society at such a young age. I'm not sure if Chris was ultimately satisfied with what he set out to do. It's one of the great mysteries movies such as this leaves for the viewer. In a sense, he turned out to be selfish, whether it was intended or not, because he didn't give himself the chance to do as much good for as many people as possible. At least, that's my take on his life. Now, we have to be a little selfish in life with regards to living. If we don't take adequate care of ourselves, how can we be of service to those who might need us when called upon? On the other hand, "Into The Wild" is a classic example of one of my favorite sayings; "I never seem to have what I want, but I always seem to have what I need.". I give ITW a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
  10. midwestan

    Have you seen someone you know in a movie?

    I was 11 years old when I met Harry Bellaver. At the time, I wasn't into classic movies, but I did know him from the soap opera "Another World" where he played 'Ernie', a local mechanic who owned a small auto repair shop. Now, I wasn't into watching soap operas either, but my mom was the one who turned me onto anything he was playing in, if it was airing on television. During the summer months or days when school was out of session, I'd try to catch "Another World" to see him, since he was the local boy who made good! My parents owned a tavern and one night, Harry and his family from New York came back home for a visit with his brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephews. About four or five tables were put together to accommodate everyone who showed up for dinner. Even though he was not a young guy or perhaps the most recognizable actor to most people aside from his family and people were their friends, it was quite a thrill to shake his hand and say hello. Today, I live in the house where Harry's brother and sister-in-law lived where they raised 6 kids, two of whom are still alive and I see regularly around town.
  11. midwestan

    The Overplayed and the Underplayed

    I've never seen "Moby Dick" before. It's been shown on TCM, but it was many moons ago according to MovieCollectorOH's compendium. It's also been some time since "Breaker Morant" has been shown. I've seen "Breaker" several times, so it's not a particular 'must-see' for me, but for those who haven't seen it before, it would rate as a personal premiere, like "Moby" is for me. I like Gregory Peck for the most part, and I get it when people say they find him to be too wooden as an actor. As Captain Ahab, it would give the viewer a chance to see him play a role that, I assume, requires a higher degree of emotion and expressiveness compared to what we usually see in his movies.
  12. Eddie, as portrayed by Walter Brennan in "To Have and Have Not". The character is very annoying and adds next to nothing to the plot. Agree with Dargo's earlier comment about Robert Ryan. He was very good at playing very bad people. Another person I'd put on the list is Richard Widmark. Like Dan Duryea, he played many roles where his character was 'pitchforkable'.
  13. midwestan

    What's the Weather Like where you are ?

    It rained hard enough so I could hear it on my aluminum awnings on the west side of my house late Friday night. This was a good sign as my area has been under drought conditions since mid-September (about 7 inches short of normal in the 3-month span). I stayed up until 2 watching the Diamond Head Classic from Honolulu before I went to bed. When I got up this morning, about an inch of snow had fallen and actually stuck to the grass and rooftops! The trees looked very wintry too. After several inches of snow blanketed parts of the South a couple of weeks ago, I was lamenting the possibility that Atlanta got more snow in one day than I'd probably see all Winter! Most of what fell overnight is supposed to melt today, but there's a chance for another inch of snow heading into Sunday morning. With the temperatures supposedly trending cooler than Saturday, there's a chance we'll have a White Christmas, even though it might be a minor one.
  14. No kidding! Talk about beginning a complaint with, "They can put a man on the moon, but....". I got a new computer in May of this year and several keys look dingy and faded on my keyboard compared to lesser-used ones. By this time next year, I could see myself buying 'white-out' or some other kind of liquid paper product to restore the disappearing candidates.
  15. midwestan

    my christmas wish...

    For some time, I've considered starting a thread here called "A Day In Your Life", modeled somewhat on the "I Just Watched" thread in the General Discussions section of the TCM boards. My intent was to find out what interesting things are going on with the TCM posters here or something humorous, embarrassing, or even disturbing that they may have witnessed or experienced. My hope was that such a thread would be kept free of politics, which unfortunately, has come to dominate the Off-Topic Chit-Chat threads. Despite the differences we have in our ages, our outlook on life, our own life experiences, and the diverse places where we call 'home', there are some common things we might come to realize that transcend these differences. My concern about starting such a thread is that it would get buried and relegated to page 3 within 15 minutes of introducing it!

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