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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    Movies That It Sometimes Feels That Only You Alone Like?

    This is difficult to answer for me. I don't know if I can find a movie that I haven't heard someone else also liked. There's a lot of genre stuff that's frowned upon by most of the people around here, stuff like Star Wars or some of the superhero movies or horror stuff. But there are other sites that I read where most of those films are admired by a great number of people. Just as they dislike some of the "pretentious arthouse and foreign flicks" or "boring old codger movies" that I like and are liked by many around here. There may be some of the so-bad-they're-good movies that I like that I don't recall anyone else saying they liked, such as Black Devil Doll from Hell, or Runaway Nightmare, or Wizards of the Lost Kingdom.
  2. LawrenceA

    Movies That It Sometimes Feels That Only You Alone Like?

    I liked it. So there's one more.
  3. LawrenceA


    Poms opened on 2750 screens, Judy on 461.
  4. Maybe that's what I was recalling, something about Mia having heard the story, down to specific details, years earlier. I tried to find a source earlier to no avail. Thanks for the clarification!
  5. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    King of the Hill (1993) - 8/10 Coming-of-age drama set in 1933 Missouri, from director Steven Soderbergh, based on the autobiographical book by A.E. Hotchner. It's the height of the Great Depression, and the family of young boy Aaron (Jesse Bradford) is struggling to survive. Younger brother Sullivan (Cameron Boyd) is sent away to live with relatives, mother (Lisa Eichorn) is sick with a serious illness and must be sent to a hospital, and salesman dad (Jeroen Krabbe) must travel far and wide for his job, meaning Aaron is eventually left for fend for himself. Also featuring Adrien Brody, Karen Allen, Elizabeth McGovern, Katherine Heigl, Amber Benson, Lauryn Hill and Spalding Gray. This is one of most evocative Depression-set films that I've seen that weren't actually made during the Depression. The performances are good, with Bradford a standout in the lead. The supporting characters are vivid and memorable. I only vaguely recall hearing about this movie when it came out, and nothing really since, but it should be better known. Recommended. By the way, the author of the source book and the character played by Bradford, writer A.E. Hotchner, is still around, turning 102 earlier this year.
  6. LawrenceA

    on svengoolie tonite

    I added to my previous post while you were responding. No, there's no mention in the story of Dracula having ever lived in England previously. There's passing reference to battling the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, like the historical Vlad Tepes did, but that's about it. In the novel, one of the reasons given for Dracula insisting that Jonathan Harker stay in Transylvania after the property deeds are signed is to teach Dracula more on English manner and customs. Remember too that in the story Renfield had already been sent to Transylvania at an earlier date to set the preliminary land acquisition deals in motion, during which time Dracula I'm sure practiced his English. (In the film the stuff that happens with Renfield in the beginning happened to Harker in the book).
  7. LawrenceA

    on svengoolie tonite

    But he only moved to an English-speaking country at the beginning of the story. He's only in England a month or two. Bram Stoker didn't spend much of the story detailing what Drac had been up to for all those centuries in Transylvania. He should have been brushing up on his language skills. Or maybe he did, but English wasn't one of them. Maybe he spoke flawless Mandarin, or Portuguese.
  8. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Cult/Exploitation/Grindhouse/Etc.

    Ninja Zombie (1992) - 3/10 Ultra-low-budget action/horror/comedy tries too hard to be cult, and fails because of it. An archaeologist is threatened by a gang of spider-themed martial artists who want a relic that's recently been unearthed. The archaeologist's buddy is an expert fighter, but he's killed by the bad guys, so the archaeologist gets a mystic to raise him from the dead to act as an undead bodyguard. This was shot on 8mm and remained unseen by most people until 2015, when the film was released on video. There's some tiny bit of cleverness to parts of this, but not nearly enough to make it worth seeking out by any but the most masochistic of bad-film lovers.
  9. Damaged Lives (1933) - Early entry in the VD health scare sub-genre of "adults only" educational films, produced by Harry Cohn's brother Nat at Columbia Pictures but released under the Weldon Pictures banner to provide some distance for the parent company. Workaholic Don Bradley Jr. (Lyman Williams) agrees to go to a nightclub dinner party where he meets bottle-blonde Elise (Charlotte Merriam). The two have a wild night of drinking and end up in the sack. Don feels guilty since he's engaged to marry nice girl Joan (Diane Sinclair), and the two decide to elope. Imagine Don's embarrassment when Elise contacts him some time later to inform him that she's tested positive for syphilis. Don hides his secret shame, but has he already passed it on to dear sweet Joan? Also featuring Jason Robards Sr., Marceline Day, Murray Kinnell, and George Irving. This has all of the hallmarks of later films of the type: nice people brought to near ruin after a night's careless debauchery; a positive outlook after mostly doom and gloom; and a protracted sequence showing real cases of advanced venereal disease patients in all of their grotesque horror. The copy I watched ran a scant 53 minutes, but IMDb lists it as having a 64 minute run time, and another source lists 74 minutes, so most likely it depends on how much of the really graphic footage was cut from each print. This was produced in conjunction with the Canadian Social Health Council, and marked the ignominious American directing debut of Edgar G. Ulmer. He manages to add a couple of interesting visual touches that raise this above the crowd, but just barely. (5/10) Source: YouTube, a truly awful copy that straddles the line of unwatchability. Those interested in seeing this would do well to look elsewhere, as there appears to be a copy available from Something Weird video that is most likely in better condition.
  10. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Midnight's Child (1992) - 5/10 TV-movie chiller with Marcy Walker as a hard-working wife and mother who hires Swedish nanny Anna (Olivia d'Abo) to help care for her 7-year-old daughter Christina (Elisabeth Moss, later of Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale fame). Of course Anna is up to no good, and it has something to do with devil worship. With Cotter Smith as Walker's ineffectual husband, Jim Norton, Roxann Dawson, and Judy Parfitt. This is the kind of thing that used to appear on Lifetime every other weekend. It's not terrible, but it treads well-worn ground.
  11. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Action/Adventure

    Maximum Force (1992) - 4/10 Low-rent action flick with Sam J. Jones, Sherrie Rose, and Jason Lively as LAPD cops recruited by Capt. Fuller (John Saxon) to wade a clandestine war against powerful crime boss Max Tanabe (Richard Lynch). With Sonny Landham as a pimp, Ken Davitian from Borat as a low-level gangster, and Mickey Rooney (!!!) as the corrupt police chief. The cast is the only memorable thing about this standard shoot-em-up.
  12. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Dark Harvest (1992) - 3/10 Very cheap and dumb horror flick, with a group of tourists getting stranded in the California desert. They have outdoor gear so they make camp, but are attacked by supernatural killer scarecrows, as well as murderous locals. Badly made and even more poorly acted, this is one to avoid.
  13. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Bitter Moon (1992) - 7/10 Erotic thriller from director Roman Polanski. Staid British couple Nigel (Hugh Grant) and Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) are on a romantic oceanic cruise. They meet wheelchair-bound American writer Oscar (Peter Coyote) and his young French wife Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner), and Oscar regales the shocked Nigel with tales of Mimi's sexual adventurousness, leading to Nigel becoming obsessed with her. This was savaged by the critics when it came out, but I didn't think it was that bad. The acting was good, although Seigner (Polanski's wife) was weak in spots.
  14. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2016

    Bodyguard Kiba, Takashi Miike, Japan (1993) - 6/10 Routine gangster action picture based on a manga series. A low-level yakuza member steals a large amount of the gang's loot and hides it away before being sent to prison for 5 years. Upon his release, his hires the services of the title character, a karate expert. As the duo attempt to get to the stashed money, gangsters and other dangers stand in their way. This was the fifth directorial credit for Miike (he now has over 100), and it was the first of his movies to garner much attention. In the late 1980's and 1990's there was a high demand for cheap straight-to-video genre fare to fill store shelves. The two most prolific types of movies being made in this milieu were horror (leading to the "J-horror" boom), and violent yakuza films. Miike came to prominence with the latter, and this is a typical example. The production values are a bit higher than others of its kind, but it still looks low-budget, and the music is terrible. The acting is only passable, but the action scenes are decent. A couple of sequels followed. Japanese films show an unusual morality and censorship. Some grotesque acts of violence are clearly depicted, but other things are strictly forbidden, or were at one time or another. Explicit nudity is frowned upon, and certain body hair is forbidden to be shown, and will be pixelated out if filmed. In this movie, one character is shown preparing and then shooting up heroin with a syringe. Both the act of preparation (drawing the boiled solution into the syringe from a spoon) and the actual injection are pixelated out.
  15. LawrenceA


    Those comments reminded me of a couple of (in my opinion) lesser music biopics from the last several years: Miles Ahead (2015) about Miles Davis, and Nina (2016), about Nina Simone. Both films focused only on difficult latter parts of their subjects lives, and were the worse for doing so, or so I felt. I'm not saying they shouldn't have been made, but I would rather see a more comprehensive film about the duo than those films provided.
  16. LawrenceA


    I appreciate the compliment, but can that truly be applied to someone like me who just finished a movie called Ninja Zombie? Yeah, I saw that "hag" comment and thought that it would go over real well.
  17. I don't think that Dylan is after any financial gain. In fact, I think she probably believes that the incident occurred, as many people begin to see truth in a story repeated often enough. Personally, I don't think it happened. I think Mia Farrow was (understandably) emotionally devastated by the Allen/Soon-Yi relationship, and that she coached Dylan to accuse Woody as a form of retribution. Multiple accounts have testified to Mia's horrible temper and mercurial nature, which would put using the child as a way to strike against Allen in the realm of possibility. I've also read that the account of the supposed incident closely mirrors that of an incident that occurred to one of Mia's relatives when Mia was a child, a story that she heard growing up many times. Combined with the professional analysis and court testimony that ruled in Allen's favor, and the later editorial by Dylan's brother Moses stating that the incident was fictional and concocted by Mia, and I have to side with Allen's innocence in regards to the Dylan abuse allegation.
  18. LawrenceA


    Perhaps then I'm the villain for clicking the LOL emoji? It's removed.
  19. I've only heard the accusation made that there was a single incident. Here's a fairly exhaustive article on the situation, for anyone not up to speed on the specifics.
  20. LawrenceA


    From the article: "As awards season kicks off, Roadside Attractions’ “Judy” hit a high note at the specialty box office. The Renee Zellweger-led Judy Garland biopic amassed $3 million, enough to crack the top 10 despite opening on just 461 screens. The movie, which is already generating Oscar buzz for Zellweger’s transformation into the troubled star, appealed mostly to older females. Among inaugural crowds, 60% were women and nearly 80% were over the age of 35. The studio will continue expanding “Judy” across the country next weekend."
  21. Rudy Behlmer has died. He was one of the most high-profile film historians of the past 40+ years. Anyone who has watched a lot of classic films on disc will recognize Behlmer from his frequent appearances in making-of featurettes and classic films star profiles, as well as providing audio commentaries on many classic film releases.
  22. LawrenceA


    How about if it was in black & white, and there was a sultry dame that came between Capt. Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans? It all ends in a shoot-out in a smoky dive bar, and the only thing in color is the blood.
  23. LawrenceA


    It's Robert Helpmann, I think. I've seen the movie, as well. I thought it was awful.
  24. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    The Sect (1991) - 6/10 Strange Italian horror film from director Michele Soavi and writer-producer Dario Argento. An American school teacher (Kelly Curtis, older sister of Jamie Lee Curtis) in Frankfurt is targeted by a mysterious cult with sinister purposes. Also featuring Herbert Lom, Tomas Arana, Mariangela Giordano, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelika Maria Boeck, and Giovanni Lombardo Radice. This slow, long (117 minutes) film has good production values and decent acting, but the script is beyond bizarre, and it takes a long time for things to come together in any comprehensive way. I expected the usual devil-worshipers-trying-to-foment-the-antichrist type of thing, but that's subverted, as the cult has something to do with an insect that went extinct 10,000 years ago but has recently been re-discovered in Antarctica. So you've got some Rosemary's Baby mixed with a little of The Thing as well as Prince of Darkness, as churning well of mysterious blue liquid is found under the protagonist's house. It's all very odd, and there's a bit of gore, too, with one scene reminding me of something in Hellraiser. This was also released in the U.S. as The Devil's Daughter.
  25. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Cult/Exploitation/Grindhouse/Etc.

    Science Crazed (1991) - 1/10 Canada comes through again with this zero-budget horror/comedy (???). A mad scientist impregnates a woman using an experimental procedure, resulting in her giving birth a day later, and the fetus becoming a fully grown person a day after that. This "newborn" (a guy wearing jeans, a bloody t-shirt, and bandages on his head) goes on a killing spree. The majority of the film's runtime is taken up by shots of the monster's feet as he shambles down hallways and corridors. A good solid 15 minutes of the movie's 82 minutes is comprised of footage of two women working out, first through aerobic dance, then at a gym. Large portions of the rest of the film are also padded in this manner, with people lounging around an in-door swimming pool, or walking in parking garages. There's about 30 lines of dialogue total, and several close-ups of people that look more like lighting tests than actual film footage. Truly one of the worst movies ever made. Enter at your own risk!

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