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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. What are you referencing? Did Schiff release some kind of statement saying that obstruction was the only thing they are investigating now? Did he say that the call(s) were no longer an issue?
  2. All that, and you don't share the title? Don't leave me hangin'!
  3. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2016

    Ichi, Fumihiko Sori, Japan (2008) - 6/10 Based on a manga series, this is a sequel to the classic Zatoichi stories. Haruka Ayase stars as Ichi, a young blind woman who works as a traveling singer and shamisen player. She's also a master sword fighter, having been taught by Zaotichi, who she believes may be her father. She's been searching for him for years, and her travels bring her to a village being terrorized by a bandit gang led by the mad Banki (Shido Nakamura). The film has colorful costumes and larger-than-life characters, and the fight scenes are well choreographed. The score is also well done. However, the cinematography is hi-def digital video, and I think it makes a lot of the film look like someone's home movie. I think this movie will be of interest to Zatoichi fans, but in the end it's not much different than the several dozen female-led action films that Japan was churning out in the 00's, only this one is less exploitative.
  4. LawrenceA

    "Movie" v "Film".

    I always say "let us attend the flickers", but I'm also alone, so...
  5. I don't know. I'd think a first class liar would be one who is convincing. Trump always seems like he's full of ****. Now maybe first class pathological liar, that I could go with, as he seems to be incapable of controlling himself.
  6. LawrenceA

    "Movie" v "Film".

    I use the two interchangeably, but yeah, I know what you mean about some people using "film" as a sort of elitist term while "movie" has low-brow connotations. I use them both, often within the same paragraph, so as not to repeat the same word too often. I also use "flick", which is even more low-brow, or "picture", which has an old-school feel. I've also seen many people use the term "show" to refer to films and TV.
  7. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2016

    Tell No One, Guillaume Canet, France (2006) - 7/10 Thriller based on American author Harlen Coben's best-selling novel. Francois Cluzet stars as a doctor who is still grieving the death of his wife eight years after she was abducted and killed by a notorious serial murderer. When the doctor receives an e-mail suggesting that his wife is still alive, he finds himself the target of both the police, who believe that he may have had a hand in his wife's murder. as well as other sinister forces with their own agenda. Featuring Kristin Scott Thomas, Nathalie Baye, Marie-Josee Croze, Andre Dussollier, Marina Hands, and Jean Rochefort. The excellent cast help sell this modern-day Hitchcock-style thriller from actor-turned director Canet. The story kept me guessing for quite a while, which is a rarity, and despite the 131 minute runtime, it never gets dull or overlong.
  8. LawrenceA

    The Dream Donald Trump MOW

    CBS is making a James Comey mini-series, based on his book. Jeff Daniels has been cast as Comey, and Brendan Gleeson will play Donald Trump.
  9. LawrenceA


    Yeah, I remember this shot of Castle Dracula: But not the one I posted earlier.
  10. LawrenceA


    It's been a long time since I watched the Spanish version, so I'm not sure what it looked like. Is this it?
  11. Sex and Buttered Popcorn (1989) and Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) are two good documentaries that cover aspects of sex in film.
  12. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2016

    Devilman, Hiroyuki Nasu, Japan (2004) - 4/10 Live-action version of the cult-favorite manga book series, as well as several popular anime series and films. High school student Akira (Hisato Izaki) discovers that he's genetically linked to a demon, which in times of stress allows him to transform into a demonic being with supernatural powers. He uses his power to fight against other demons bent on world destruction. I recall the late 80's anime version being popular with kids who enjoyed seeing bloody violence and hearing abundant cursing in their cartoons. This live-action version sticks close to that pattern, although the very bad CGI used undermines much of the film.
  13. Bette Davis is Star of the Month. Here are the weekly links:
  14. LawrenceA

    The Soap Opera Thread

    He's the one who became an escort, right?
  15. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    My health has taken a downturn as of late, so I was unable to go to the theater as I intended to see it. Hopefully I'll see it on video/streaming. However, a family member went to see it. She had enjoyed the first one as much as I did, but she was very disappointed with the sequel. I think she said it suffered from "CGI overkill". I just finished watching In the Tall Grass, the new Netflix original, based on the novella by Stephen King & Joe Hill. The film was scripted and directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice). A brother and sister on a cross-country trip stop next to an overgrown field somewhere in rural Kansas. They hear a young boy calling for help from the field, so they trek into the tall grass to find him. Of course, they get lost, too, and soon learn that there's something sinister and supernatural going on. The film looks good, and uses sound design to its advantage. However, the characters are thin, and it gets a bit too clever for its own good in the film's second half. I don't want to get into specifics to avoid spoilers, but the movie takes a few turns, and becomes something more than expected, and then ultimately less. Still, I thought it was worth a watch for genre fans, and if you have Netflix, why not? (6/10)
  16. To point 1, I could also say that applies to you and your comment about not knowing who Shang-Chi is. Maybe it's because my comic reading days were mainly in the 70's and 80's, but I'm fully aware of who Shang-Chi is, and even had some issues of his comic a long time ago. I believe that there's been quite a bit of character ret-conning since then (he used to be the son of Fu Manchu, and now he's the son of the [real] Mandarin, and he now has superpowers instead of just being a BA kung fu master). As to point 2, I'm not sure if Joker was broached with Scorsese in this instance. He's out doing press for The Irishman, and I know he's been asked about Joker and the admitted "homages" to Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, and I think he said he was flattered but quickly changed the subject. This interviewer asked specifically about the Marvel movies, I think. I'm the guilty party for dragging Joker back in to the discussion, as I've been trying to abstain from the half-dozen pre-existing threads on the film, and took the opportunity to speak my piece about it not really being a superhero movie at all.
  17. I saw an article earlier today with people complaining that Disney isn't submitting Robert Downey Jr's performance in Avengers: Endgame for Oscar consideration. That's just silliness, in my opinion. I thought it was an entertaining popcorn film, as did much of the rest of the world apparently, but it's not Oscar material. Whatever that really means, anymore, but that's another subject. That being said, the Joker movie isn't really a tights-and-superpowers movie. In fact, with a character name-change, and maybe a title change to Clown or something similar, it wouldn't have any comic book vibes at all. And I do think having Joaquin Phoenix in consideration for an Oscar for it is not out of bounds, much as I thought Heath Ledger deserved his Oscar for The Dark Knight.
  18. What one considers "high quality art" is also entirely subjective. I think West Side Story is extremely silly, for example, while others think that it's a cinematic masterpiece. Hollywood still makes what used to be called "prestige pictures", or what is now often referred to dismissively as "Oscar bait". But there seems to be as much of a knee-jerk reaction against them as there are against popcorn movies. Look at the recent "Judy Bombs" thread for example. I think some people just like to complain. And if those films make less money than they used to, that's more on the audience than it is on the companies whose goal is to make films that make money. Others try to stir up controversy for clicks, such as the way this Scorsese anecdote has been all over the internet for the last couple of days, with every other "news" site posting about it and trying to get those clicks. There's been at least a half-dozen threads in the general discussions section to lament the rise of the superhero film. Personally, I tend not to belabor the films that I don't like. For instance, I haven't started any threads to complain about the glut of animated family films that have taken up as many if not more screens than the 5 or 6 superhero films that get released in an average year. Hey, I get that this is a TCM site, one that by its very nature will draw people who are not inclined to like modern things. And there's actually less of this sort of "kids these days!" complaining than there used to be, when there were a handful of regular posters who only seemed to make those kinds of posts. But I still feel like the topic has been beaten to death and is as tired as a wine-club promo.
  19. Yeah, we need more "high quality art", like the critically-adored Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, or Mysterious Object at Noon. The biggest box-office hits are rarely "high quality art", and that's nothing new. The #1 box-office hit of 1949 was Samson & Delilah. In 1955 it was Cinerama Holiday. In 1978 it was Grease. In 1987 it was Beverly Hills Cop II. In 1998 it was Armageddon. And in 2007 it was Pirates of the Caribbean part 3. Like N&N said earlier, I get where Scorsese is coming from (popcorn flicks have pushed nearly everything else out of the theaters, and mid-range dramas and others have virtually disappeared), but the motion picture business has never been about "high quality art".
  20. LawrenceA


    "I always have a quotation for everything - it saves original thinking." - Dorothy L. Sayers
  21. LawrenceA

    The Soap Opera Thread

  22. LawrenceA


    "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." - Oscar Wilde
  23. LawrenceA

    Gojira (1956) as therapy.

    Shin Godzilla (2016) "Inspiration for the film was drawn from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami."

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