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About LawrenceA

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    Judah Ben-Hur
  • Birthday February 26

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    Summoning the Old Ones

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  1. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1993

    1993 Cronos, Guillermo Del Toro, Mexico Sonatine, Takeshi Kitano, Japan Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Takao Okawara, Japan Maadadayo, Akira Kurosawa, Japan Iron Monkey, Woo-Ping Yuen, Hong Kong The Heroic Trio, Johnnie To, Hong Kong Ninja Scroll, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Japan Heroes Among Heroes aka Fist of the Red Dragon, Chin-Chung Chan & Woo-Ping Yuen, Hong Kong The Most Terrible Time in My Life, Kaizo Hayashi, Japan 1001 Movies You Must See The Blue Kite, Zhuangzhuang Tian, China Caro Diario, Nanni Moretti, Italy Farewell My Concubine, Chen Kaige, China The Puppetmaster, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Taiwan Three Colors: Blue, Krzysztof Kieslowski, France/Poland The Wedding Banquet, Ang Lee, Taiwan
  2. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Burned at the Stake aka The Coming (1982) - 5/10 From writer-producer-director Bert I. Gordon, this supernatural horror tale stars Susan Swift as a 12-year-old girl living in modern day Salem, Massachusetts. She learns that she's the reincarnation of a young girl responsible for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. When she visits the Witch museum, it awakens the memories of her past life, as well as transporting William Goode (David Rounds), the father of a wrongfully accused girl, into the present. As Susan acts stranger and stranger, an evil presence also makes itself known. Featuring Tisha Sterling as Susan's mom, Guy Stockwell as the family doctor, Albert Salmi as the police chief, John Peters, Jennine Babo, and Beverly Ross. This was better written than many similar films that I've watched recently, and Susan Swift (of Audrey Rose fame) is good in the lead role. My main complaint would be that the cinematography, or the print that I saw, or both, was too dark to make out much of the action for a greater part of the film.
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Blood Song aka Dream Slayer (1982) - 4/10 Crippled high school girl Marion (Donna Wilkes, star of 80's exploitation classic Angel) begins having strange dreams that are actually psychic visions of the murderous activities of escaped mental patient and homicidal maniac Paul (Frankie Avalon!!!). It seems they formed a psychic bond when she received some of his blood during a transfusion. Now he's determined to make her his next victim. Also featuring William Kirby Cullen as Marion's boyfriend, Richard Jaeckel and Antoinette Bower as her parents, Dane Clark as the town sheriff, and Lenny Montana (who also gets a screenplay credit!!!) as "Skipper". This will appeal to both fans of Frankie Avalon, who have never seen him in a role like this before, as well as to those hate him, as they'll enjoy the going over he receives in the finals last act. Avalon's weapon of choice is a really small hatchet, which makes things even sillier. This was the last acting role of former pro wrestler and reputed mob heavy Montana, who most know from role as Luca Brasi in The Godfather. Filmed in and around Coos Bay and North Bend, Oregon.
  4. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Man with a Camera - Season One (1958-1959) Charles Bronson stars in this half-hour TV series that aired on ABC. He plays a freelance photographer who gets mixed up in various troubles while looking for his next photo subject. These include celebrities in trouble, a boxer dealing with crooked fight fixers, a deaf girl who witnessed a murder, an angry mob on a hot night looking to kill a guy, con artists, death row prisoners, and even trips to Portugal and Rome. The only other recurring cast member was Ludwig Stossel as Bronson's immigrant father. The guest cast included Angie Dickinson, Tom Laughlin, Ruta Lee, Frank Faylen, Grant Williams, Audrey Dalton, Yvette Vickers, and Harry Dean Stanton. William Castle directed one of the 15 episodes.
  5. LawrenceA

    Oldtime B movie premiere question

    Many of the B films were genre titles, as well, and they continued on throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's as drive-in fare, grindhouse films, and lesser-theater double-bills or weekend matinees for the teen crowds. Even though the "A" film paired with "B" movie dynamic had faded away, these movies were still "B" quality, as you say, and they never reached "A" film status. It really wasn't until Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, and later Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, that these genre films returned to "A" status. Some critics have stated that nowadays, the "A" pictures are often subject matter that only would have shown up in the "B"s in the "good old days". However, the "B"'s still continued, too, and in the 1980's and 1990's they moved to direct-to-video status or cable-movie premieres. That's now changed again into streaming-service originals. New platform, same "B" movie production values and genre audiences.
  6. LawrenceA

    A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook : 1935

    I wonder if the title was meant to remind viewers of 1931's Bad Girl, another Fox Film that starred James Dunn. It was a big hit, and it was nominated for Best Picture, as well as winning the Best Director Oscar for Frank Borzage.
  7. LawrenceA

    TCM Premieres

    Lifeforce hasn't been on TCM before? I thought it had, or I would have been making a big deal about it all week. A personal favorite, and highly recommended to fans of strange movies that throw a lot at the screen even if much of it doesn't work.
  8. LawrenceA

    Painfully inappropriate casting.

    I just saw Mazurki playing Japanese again in an episode of M Squad the other day. He was a homicidal karate instructor.
  9. LawrenceA

    Painfully inappropriate casting.

    Yes, facial structure has a lot to do with it. I learned long ago to accept it, just as with white/European actors playing many other ethnic or racial groups. I don't like it, but it is what it is, and there are many movie with whites in "yellow face" that I still enjoy. Oland and Asther are both actors who worked better in those roles than others. I think the worst were Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Mike Mazurki in Behind the Rising Sun, and Lee J. Cobb in Anna and the King of Siam.
  10. LawrenceA

    Painfully inappropriate casting.

    MontyCliftLover, you may wish to avoid any Hollywood Asian-themed or set film made before, say, 1985, as 99% of them feature white people in "oriental" make-up.
  11. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    There have been many local news stories about the ever expanding tent "city" in nearby Gainesville, Florida, home of the University of Florida. The tent city (which is what they actually call it) has created massive sanitation problems, as well as being a hotbed of crime and drug abuse. It's several acres in size. Even in my relatively small town, there have been stories in the paper lately about sizable homeless camps springing up underneath interstate overpasses, creating trash problems as well as the attendant health and safety risks. And all during the "greatest economy this nation has ever known".
  12. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Midnight Offerings (1981) - 5/10 TV movie with Mary Beth McDonough (from The Waltons) as the new girl in school, and who secretly has psychic powers. She runs up against Melissa Sue Anderson (from Little House on the Prairie), the school's alpha female, who also secretly has psychic powers. However, Melissa augments her abilities with an unhealthy dose of demon worship and black magic ritual. The two gals fight over Patrick Cassidy (from Midnight Offerings), who's the quarterback on the football team and who has skinny legs. Also featuring Marion Ross (from Happy Days) as an expert on all things psychic and supernatural, Gordon Jump (from WKRP in Cincinnati) and Cathryn Damon (from Soap) as Melissa's parents, and Vanna White (from Wheel of Fortune) as a cheerleader. This is as silly as it sounds, but it can be fun if you're in the right mood. I was, sort of. I liked the bad early-80's hair and fashion.
  13. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    M Squad - Season Two (1958-1959) Lee Marvin returns as Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger of the Chicago PD, M Squad division. He's still fighting crime and cracking heads, this time for a whopping 40 episodes. The only real changes from the first season are Paul Newlan getting credited as Ballinger's captain, and a jazzy new theme song courtesy of Count Basie. Among my favorite episodes of the season was #15, "The Teacher" featuring Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack) as the crazed leader of a gang of hoods at a trade school. It's up to decent student Burt Reynolds (22 years old but already looking 35, and in his first large speaking role) to bring Laughlin down. I also really liked #29, "The Fire Makers" with James Coburn and Leonard Nimoy as brothers in the arson-for-hire business. Nimoy is a short-tempered menace, a stark contrast to the later Spock.
  14. LawrenceA

    Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

    I put off seeing the movie for many years, as I wasn't interested in the story or the cast, and some people that I knew that had seen it were not very favorable toward it. It wasn't until I started trying to see all of the Oscar-nominated films that I eventually got around to it, and going into it with very reserved expectations, I ended up liking it more than I expected. I was particularly fond of Gould, an actor that I don't always warm to.
  15. LawrenceA

    Oldtime B movie premiere question

    B-movies were usually shown with an "A" picture. Recall that an evening's showing would include a newsreel, a short or two, a "B" movie, and then the "A" picture. As such, the "B"'s didn't get the prestige treatment often, if ever. There were also independently owned theaters that would exhibit movies from the "poverty row" distributors, most of which would be considered "B"-quality pictures. I doubt that there was often any ballyhoo at these pictures, but there may have been exceptions, and may have been more up to the theater owner than the studio that made the film. That's as far as I know, and I'm sure others can chime in with more specific detail.

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