LawrenceA

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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    He doesn't look like a boxer. In fact, he looked rather silly during the boxing scenes at the beginning. However, a lot of movie boxing from the 30s-50s looks goofy, like people who have never actually seen a boxing match staged them. There are some exceptions of course. Maybe boxing just looked more amateurish back then? Doubtful. I've never cared for Payne. He's one of those middling leading men whose faces I couldn't pick out of a lineup if asked to. But I thought he was good in this movie.
  2. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    99 River Street (1953) - 7/10 Gritty crime thriller from director Phil Karlson. John Payne stars as an ex-boxer who's now driving a cab. His life is turned upside when his gold-digging wife (Peggie Castle) takes up with two-bit thief Brad Dexter. Soon Payne finds himself on the run from cops and crooks, although he finds a sympathetic ear from aspiring actress Evelyn Keyes. Also featuring Frank Faylen, Jay Adler, Jack Lambert, Glenn Langan, Eddy Waller, and Ian Wolfe. I never would have pictured John Payne as a two-fisted ex-boxer with a mean streak, but he's really not bad in this. In fact, the entire cast does a fine job of filling out their sordid characters. A solid little slice of darkness.
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I wouldn't mind seeing him win, although I haven't seen the movie yet. Same goes for Viggo Mortensen, whom I'm a fan of, although I haven't Green Book, either. In fact, Bohemian Rhapsody is the only Best Actor nominee I've seen (A Star Is Born and At Eternity's Gate being the other two). I still say Ethan Hawke and Joaquin Phoenix were robbed of nominations, for First Reformed and You Were Never Really Here, respectively.
  4. The funniest line was when it compared Bohemian Rhapsody to Walk Hard. That's a fair criticism, as so many of these rock biopics hit the same notes, and the Queen film is no exception. I can't agree about the editing being bad. It never jumped out at me as being a problem while watching it. I was surprised to see that it's been nominated for the editing Oscar, though. I have to disagree strongly with the notion that the film and all of the other people involved should be "punished" or exiled because of Bryan Singer's past actions. The article repeatedly laments that both "Singer and his film" are escaping unscathed from the public ostracism that they "deserve". None of the people in the cast and crew are accused of any sexual misconduct, so why should they and their work be summarily dismissed due to Singer's crimes? Singer himself has not been nominated for anything, as far as I can tell, and his name is noticeably absent from the Thank-You speeches that I've heard at previous awards gigs. The article writer also mentions how much money Singer is making off of the film due to his contractual profit participation. What is the writer asking for, exactly? For "someone" to not pay the money that they're contractually, and thus legally, required to? To sue him in civil court to stop or even try to rescind payment? On what grounds? All of these allegations were known when he was hired. These stories have been around for over 20 years. The only people with shadier reputations in Hollywood were Weinstein and Cosby, and perhaps Singer's old pal Kevin Spacey.
  5. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Yes, as I mentioned, I read a Mercury biography in the last couple of years, and so noticed a lot of factual flubs and "dramatic" compression of time frames and other details. I let most of it slide because I appreciate the need to do that sort of thing for narrative reasons, and it's not a documentary, after all. Mercury never really reconciled with his father in real life, as far as I recall, and the main reason that he stayed closeted (or as closeted as he was; it's not like it was hard to guess the truth) was for fear of the disapproval from his mother, who he was always partial to. The film also states that the band hadn't played together "for years" prior to their Live Aid performance in July of 1985. However, they had recorded and released their album The Works in 1984, and performed a world tour together from August of '84 through May of '85. I still enjoyed the movie, probably due to the lowered expectations I had thanks to the initial reviews.
  6. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) - 7/10 Musical biopic of rock singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek), tracing his inauspicious beginnings as a Heathrow baggage handler with rockstar aspirations who later finds some kindred spirits and forms the band Queen in the early 1970's. Their rise to chart dominance and worldwide fame is depicted, as well as Mercury's struggle with his sexual identity clashing with his conservative Parsi upbringing. He eventually descends into drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and toxic egotism, before finding redemption with the band's Live Aid performance in 1985. Also featuring Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Tom Hollander, Aiden Gillen, Allen Leech, Aaron McCusker, and, in a bit of in-joke stunt casting, Mike Myers. This is a movie for Queen fans (of which I'm one), but there are no stark revelations depicted here that most fans haven't heard of before. And this is certainly a Freddie Mercury film; if anyone was hoping for more depth on the other three band members, they'll be disappointed. I read the (many) complaints about this film when it was released: that it was too tame (it has a PG-13 rating, but it still manages to show enough to get the point across), that it doesn't delve into Mercury's homosexuality as much as it should have (I'm not sure what they wanted, as the film spends a great deal of time on the subject), and that the film ends prematurely with the Live Aid performance. As to the third charge, I can understand wanting to end it on a high note, and that the remaining 6 or so years of Mercury's life were a slow decent into AIDS-related medical horror. I read a Mercury biography in the last couple of years that didn't skimp on the gory details, and I can appreciate the filmmakers' reluctance to dwell on that aspect. The central draw here, outside of the music, is the performance of Rami Malek, which looks poised to win himself an Oscar after already garnering several awards in the previous weeks and months. He is phenomenal, mixing deft mimicry with expert showmanship, attention to emotional nuance, and providing an illumination on the quixotic individual he's portraying. And he's helped by some expert dental prosthetics, too. I haven't seen all of the nominated films yet, but I can say that Malek gives one of the best performances of last year, and his winning the Oscar would not be a travesty.
  7. This is how I get it to work. Type in your search in the search box and hit ENTER. Usually it will load and load and never actually give you results if you wait, and it may even time out. However, I've found that if you reload the page while it's still "spinning", and then try the same search again, it will work on the second try. I've done several searches in the past few weeks this way and it's worked for me every time.
  8. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Mississippi Gambler (1953) - 7/10 Technicolor costume adventure/drama with Tyrone Power as a 19th century riverboat gambler. He partners with old con-man John McIntire and the two make a fortune, but run up against various problem with New Orleans society. Also starring Piper Laurie as the rich girl Power loves, Julie Adams as the girl he rescues, and John Baer and Ron Randell as the antagonists. Also featuring Paul Cavanagh, Ralph Dumke, Robert Warwick, William Reynolds, Guy Williams, Dennis Weaver, Hugh Beaumont, and Anita Ekberg in her debut. This is a well-produced spectacle with good script work and solid direction. Things slow down a bit in the last act, but overall it was a worthwhile watch. This was the last major Tyrone Power film that I hadn't seen (there are a still 3 of his early bit parts I haven't watched), and it was a good note for him to go out on. This was his first film away from Fox (this was from Universal), and Power made more money from this film than any of his earlier ones.
  9. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    Congress Agrees To $1.3 Billion For Protective Border Fencers https://politics.theonion.com/congress-agrees-to-1-3-billion-for-protective-border-f-1832570683#_ga=2.207207251.1573439894.1549903686-1359193064.1492195397
  10. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Innocents in Paris (1953) - 6/10 British comedy about various passengers on a London-to-Paris airplane trip and what they do during their weekend stay. The cast includes Alastair Sim as a fussy government representative, Margaret Rutherford as an eccentric art enthusiast, and Claire Bloom as a lonely woman. Also with Claude Dauphin, Peter Illing, Gaby Bruyere, Colin Gordon, Kenneth Kove, Peter Jones, Mara Lane, Laurence Harvey and Christopher Lee. Mildly entertaining amusement, with Rutherford stealing the film. I watched it for Lee, who appears briefly as a military officer. The version I watched was marked as a "restored" version, as apparently all the scenes with Harvey were edited out of the movie after its initial release. There's a notable difference in the picture quality of the restored footage.
  11. LawrenceA

    Woody Allen has been shelved

    Glancing at the thread listings under General Discussions, I misread the title as "Woody Allen Has Been Shaved". Thought I'd just throw that mental picture in for everyone to enjoy.
  12. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The amount of 3-D stuff I've been seeing is just a coincidence, a side effect of the period of film that I'm currently watching. Also I haven't seen many of these in earlier years due to scarcity of home video or TV showings thanks to the original format. That being said, all of the versions I've watched have been the "flat" 2-D versions, with no picture quality lost. The picture is sharp and the color doesn't bleed, but there are no 3-D effects and no need to wear the glasses. Some of the movies look sillier than others, like The Glass Web and its sequences of stuff being thrown at the camera lens, but others, like Inferno, hold up very well, with little of the original gimmickry visible.
  13. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Inferno (1953) - 7/10 Desert survival tale with Robert Ryan as a man left to die in the desert by his unfaithful wife (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover (William Lundigan). Ryan, with a broken leg and meager supplies, is determined to survive, and goes to greats lengths to do so. Also featuring Henry Hull, Larry Keating, and Carl Betz. Shot in bright Technicolor and originally released in 3-D, this is an excellent wilderness drama, with nice elements of betrayal and revenge thrown in. As was noted above, this was remade for TV in 1973 as Ordeal, which I completely coincidentally watched last night, having no idea that the newer movie was a remake.
  14. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I watched that due to a lot of recommendations, as I wasn't at all interested after seeing the trailers. I have to say I was surprised that it worked better than I expected, and I thought John Cho was good in it. The "twist" was as obvious as could be, though. As for the format of the film (everything shot as if viewed through a computer screen and on websites/security cams/cell phone video), I this was about as good as that kind of format could be, and was much, much better than in Unfriended which used a similar gimmick. P.S.: I agree with you on Rebecca Hall. I like her a lot. One I saw with her recently that I would recommend is Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, but I would suggest avoiding it if you are at all prudish. It's one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction stories about the man who created Wonder Woman and the real-life women in his life.
  15. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    What could possibly go wrong with that plan?
  16. LawrenceA

    New Poll: Favorite Male Screen Star

    1) You only want 15 per list? 2) Do you want only classic studio-era film stars, only American film stars, or any era? If there's a cut-off, when would that be?
  17. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I, the Jury (1953) - 5/10 Shoddy detective thriller based on the Mickey Spillane novel. Biff Elliott (in his movie debut) stars as P.I. Mike Hammer, who goes on a rampage punching his way around the city at Christmas time after a friend is killed. The trail leads to dames, goons, broads, and thugs. Also featuring Preston Foster as Hammer's police pal, Margaret Sheridan as faithful assistant Velda, Peggie Castle, Alan Reed, Mary Anderson, Tom Powers, Frances Osborne, Joe Besser, Nestor Paiva, John Qualen, the Seitz Twins, and Elisha Cook as "Bobo". Elliott is just plain awful, and easily the worst Mike Hammer that I've yet seen (I haven't watched The Girl Hunters yet). The whole production is cheap and flimsy, with greeting card inserts used instead of location shots. This was shot in 3-D. If only there'd actually been "naked fury" as the poster promised.
  18. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Golden Blade (1953) - 5/10 Technicolor Arabian adventure with Rock Hudson as a "son of Basra" out to avenge the death of his father at the hands of Bagdad raiders. Rock meets Bagdad princess Piper Laurie, who is promised in marriage to the loathsome Gene Evans, so she asks for Rock's help in avoiding the nuptials. Rock has an advantage once he finds the mystical weapon of the title which can cut through anything and grants increased endurance to the bearer. Also featuring George Macready as Jafar, Steven Geray, Edgar Barrier, Dennis Weaver, Anita Ekberg, Guy Williams, and Kathleen Hughes. Colorful silliness that holds some camp appeal. The ladies are nice to look at, too.
  19. LawrenceA

    ClassiCategories

    Harvey Keitel Joe Pesci Frank Vincent Chuck Low Victor Argo Harry Northup Illeana Douglas Daniel Day-Lewis Alec Baldwin John Turturro Verna Bloom Ben Kingsley Barbara Hershey David Carradine Rosanna Arquette Nick Nolte Liam Neeson Jude Law Emily Mortimer Ray Winstone Kevin Corrigan John C. Reilly Willem Dafoe
  20. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    No, I didn't know, but oddly enough I'll be watching Inferno later today.
  21. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Ordeal (1973) - 6/10 Made-for-TV thriller with Arthur Hill as a verbally abusive rich guy who, after breaking his leg, is left to die in the desert by his wife (Diana Muldaur) and his employee (James Stacy) that she's having an affair with. Hill struggles to survive to exact his revenge on the two, but it will be an...ordeal. Also featuring Macdonald Carey and Michael Ansara. This is fairly well-handled, although I became bored before it was over, as its desert survival tropes are old hat.
  22. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Glory Brigade (1953) - 6/10 Unusual Korean War picture about a group of American soldiers led by Victor Mature tasked with working with a squad of Greek soldiers, part of the UN forces. The cultural and language differences cause conflict and misunderstanding. Featuring Alexander Scourby, Richard Egan, Lee Marvin, Nick Dennis, Roy Roberts, Alvy Moore, Henry Kulky, and Frank Gerstle. This is an aspect of this conflict that I don't recall seeing covered in a film before, so that was interesting. The rest of the film is rather standard war-film material though, with merely adequate direction.
  23. LawrenceA

    New Poll: Favorite Male Screen Star

    No Ewan McGregor?
  24. LawrenceA

    New Poll: Favorite Male Screen Star

    Robert De Niro Marlon Brando Humphrey Bogart Jack Nicholson Al Pacino Robert Mitchum Gene Hackman James Cagney Toshiro Mifune Daniel Day-Lewis Dustin Hoffman Spencer Tracy Sean Connery Lee Marvin John Garfield William Holden Jean Gabin Vincent Price Edward G. Robinson George C. Scott Clint Eastwood Robert Duvall Morgan Freeman Gary Oldman Tatsuya Nakadai
  25. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Glass Web (1953) - 6/10 Crime thriller with Edward G. Robinson and John Forsythe as men who work behind the scenes on a true-crime TV series. When an ambitious actress who worked on the show is murdered, one of the men is afraid of being charged with the crime. Things grow even more nerve-wracking when the script for the next show is based on the case. Also featuring Richard Denning, Kathleen Hughes, Marcia Henderson, Hugh Sanders, Jean Willes, Beverly Garland, Brett Halsey, Lance Fuller, Jack Kelly, and Kathleen Freeman. From director Jack Arnold, this was originally released in 3-D, and there's a laughable sequence with Forsythe wandering the city streets at night, barely avoiding getting hit with various things that are instead thrust towards the camera/audience, like an extension ladder, water from a hose, a stack of newspapers being delivered, and even a chute full of tumbling rocks (I think...they could have been cabbages). The "mystery" aspect is glaringly obvious to all but the densest of viewers.

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