LawrenceA

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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Naked Paradise aka Thunder Over Hawaii (1957) - 4/10 A crime boss (Leslie Bradley), his moll (Beverly Garland) and his two goons (Dick Miller & Jonathan Haze) force a charter boat captain (Richard Denning) to transport them from the scene of a crime on a remote Hawaiian island. Also with Lisa Montell. This is another of director Roger Corman's "vacation movies", wherein he would shoot a quickie feature in exotic locales while he, his friends and family spent a holiday. AIP honcho Samuel Z. Arkoff cameos at a luau. Short, dumb, and eminently forgettable.
  2. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    My Gun Is Quick (1957) - 6/10 Mike Hammer returns, this time played by Robert Bray. He's investigating the death of a hooker that's somehow connected to stolen Nazi jewels. Also featuring Whitney Blake, Patricia Donahue, Pamela Duncan, Donald Randolph, Booth Colman, Jan Chaney, and Genie Coree. Bray, who gets an "introducing" credit despite steadily appearing in film and television for the previous 11 years, is amusing in the lead, whether intentionally or not. His hair-trigger rage-a-holic outbursts are often more humorous than intimidating. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is forgettable, and the story loses steam before it's over.
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Motorcycle Gang (1957) - 5/10 Corny JD/biker flick with Steve Terrell and John Ashley fighting over new girl in town Anne Neyland. Terrell is a good kid who just wants to go to school and race bikes in sanctioned events, while Ashley is the town bad boy out for kicks. Also featuring Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Speed", Raymond Hatton, Wayne Taylor, Russ Bender, Hal Bogart, Jean Moorhead, Aki Aleong, and Paul Blaisdell. Typical low-budget "B" with Ashley overdoing it as the rebel without a clue.
  4. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Monkey on My Back (1957) - 7/10 Cameron Mitchell has one of his best roles as Barney Ross, a champion boxer, WWII hero, and morphine addict. The film follows his trouble-plagued life from a high-profile boxing career, to financial ruin due to his gambling addiction, then enlistment in the US Marines and his heroic combat duty in the Pacific Theater. It's there that he contracts malaria and is given morphine injections on a regular basis, developing into a dependency that he takes back home with him, and that nearly destroys his life. Also featuring Dianne Foster as his long-suffering wife, Jack Albertson, Paul Richards, Kathy Garver, Barry Kelley, Lewis Charles, Richard Benedict, Brad Harris, Chris Alcaide, and Raymond Greenleaf. A dark, seedy look at drug addiction and degradation, with a glimmer of hope to lighten the end of the tunnel.
  5. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Mister Rock and Roll (1957) - 6/10 Rock musical trifle with DJ Alan Freed as himself, defending rock and roll from critics and moral crusaders. He also introduces a lot of musical performances from the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Moonglows, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Ferlin Husky, LaVern Baker, Teddy Randazzo, Brook Benton, Clyde McPhatter, Shaye Cogan, and Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra. Boxer Rocky Graziano also shows up as himself (he helped Freed "discover" rock and roll!), and he also sings!!! This is late-50s MTV, and will appeal to fans of the music of the time. Just don't come expecting a story or anything like that.
  6. LawrenceA

    ClassiCategories

    The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) Cold Skin (2017) Annihilation (2018)
  7. LawrenceA

    Psychotronic Masterpieces

    Weldon's follow-up, The Psychotronic Video Guide, is just as essential as the original volume. Besides updating and correcting some of the entries in the first book, this one also covers the same sorts of film released since the first book (from the early 80's through the mid 90's). It also adds serials, sexploitation flicks, blaxploitation, and even some arthouse foreign films, like the works of Luis Bunuel and Werner Herzog. It also adds a lot of spotlight articles on specific actors, directors, and film series, as well as lists of Weldon's favorites from each decade. Here are his choices for a few of those decades: 1930s Bride of Frankenstein Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Flash Gordon Freaks Hunchback of Notre Dame Island of Lost Souls King Kong M Mad Love Things to Come 1940s Arsenic and Old Lace The Beast with Five Fingers Beauty and the Beast Cat People Dead of Night The Devil and Daniel Webster Mighty Joe Young The Picture of Dorain Gray Strangler of the Swamp The Wolf Man 1950s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms Black Sunday (a 1960 release) Dementia Horror of Dracula Invasion of the Body Snatchers Night of the Demon Peeping Tom (another 1960 release) Psycho (1960 again) The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad The Thing from Another World 1960s Carnival of Souls Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The Fearless Vampire Killers The Flesh Eaters The Haunting Homicidal The Mask Masque of the Red Death Night of the Living Dead Spider Baby 1970s The Abominable Dr. Phibes Alice Sweet Alice Apocalypse Now Deep Red Eaten Alive Eraserhead God Told Me To The Hills Have Eyes Martin Phantasm Pink Flamingos The Shining Squirm Suspiria Switchblade Sisters Taxi Driver The Tenant Texas Chain Saw Massacre They Came from Within Up! 1980s Basket Case Blade Runner The Blob (1988) Brazil The Dead Zone The Evil Dead Flesh + Blood Hellraiser The Hitcher The Lair of the White Worm Near Dark A Nightmare on Elm Street Reanimator Repo Man The Road Warrior Robocop Rumble Fish Sonny Boy The Stepfather Street Trash The Terminator They Live The Thing Videodrome White of the Eye
  8. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Midnight Story (1957) - 6/10 After a priest is murdered, patrol cop Tony Curtis decides to investigate on his own time, going undercover to try and get proof against his #1 suspect (Gilbert Roland). Curtis ends up becoming a boarder with Roland's extended family, and the policeman falls for Roland's cousin (Marisa Pavan). Also featuring Jay C. Flippen, Argentina Brunetti, Ted de Corsia, Kathleen Freeman, Joe Turkel, and Tito Vuolo. This wasn't bad in any way, just a bit predictable. The San Francisco locations are nice, and the performances are all adequate.
  9. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Man Without a Body (1957) - 4/10 American/British co-production that sees US business magnate George Coulouris learning that he has an inoperable brain tumor. He travels to the UK to see scientist Robert Hutton, who keeps a small monkey's head alive on a table. You know, for science and stuff. This gives Coulouris the brilliant idea to travel to France, dig up the body of Nostradamus, steal his head, and then bring it back to Hutton so he can revive it. Which he does (for science), after which Nostradamus moans a bit and blathers on about being "against nature" and giving out stock tips. Meanwhile, Coulouris' much younger girlfriend Nadja Regin has been having an affair with Hutton's assistant (Sheldon Lawrence), which makes the increasingly unstable Coulouris act out. Also featuring Julia Arnall as a woman who inexplicably has romantic feelings for Robert Hutton, perhaps the film's most horrifying idea. This is a lot duller than it sounds, but the ending gets more and more ridiculous, almost making it worth having to see Robert Hutton. Nostradamus: "I predict that you will all be firing your agents soon."
  10. LawrenceA

    Spielberg /Scorsese & Netflix oscars?

    Spielberg and Scorsese (and many others) may seem like dinosaurs railing against the inevitable tide of change, but I also see where they're coming from. What's the delineation between the Oscars and the Emmys? If Netflix is television, then why aren't their films considered TV movies, and thus compete in that category during awards season? I don't think providing a 4+ week window of theatrical exclusivity is too much to ask if Netflix/Amazon/whoever wish for their films to compete against other theatrical films.
  11. LawrenceA

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Nice write-up, TopBilled. I see the auto-censor still tags H_immler's name, which is very silly. I watched Hitler's Madman in the last year or two, and felt much the same way you did about it. It's interesting to contrast this with the other films about the same event, such as Hangmen Also Die!, directed by Fritz Lang and also from 1943, and Anthropoid (2016), an international production that sticks the closest to actual events, as far as I know. There's also The Man with the Iron Heart (2017), but I haven't seen that one yet.
  12. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Loving You (1957) - 6/10 One of the better Elvis movies. He plays an Elvis-like delivery driver in a small southern town who also sings on the side. He gets noticed by promoter Lizabeth Scott, who promptly adds him to the traveling act headlined by Wendell Corey. As Elvis' star rises, Corey gets jealous of the attention Scott is giving the young man. Also featuring Dolores Hart (in her debut) as Presley's love interest, James Gleason, Ralph Dumke, Paul Smith, Kenneth Becker, Jana Lund, and Yvonne Lime. Elvis sings the title song, as well as "Teddy Bear", "Hot Dog", "Got a Lot O' Livin' to Do", "Mean Woman Blues", and the film's standout performance, "Lonesome Cowboy". This was produced by Paramount, who later sold it to CBS, which is why this is the least shown Elvis movie, and has never been released on DVD. I watched an old Goodtimes VHS tape.
  13. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Jet Pilot (1957) - 5/10 Aviation romance with John Wayne as an American jet pilot who falls for defecting Soviet pilot Janet Leigh. Also featuring Paul Fix, Jay C. Flippen, Richard Rober, Roland Winters, Ivan Triesault, Paul Frees, Gene Evans, Denver Pyle, Gene Roth, Kenneth Tobey, Mamie Van Doren, and Hans Conried. I'm a bit conflicted on this one: on the one hand, the film is sadly dated due to the long production (filming took place on-and-off from 1949 through 1953, while producer Howard Hughes tinkered with the editing until 1957), with the "cutting-edge" technology rendered obsolete. The filming itself is also dated, looking very much like a film from the late 1940's rather than the late 1950's. The story is corny and old-hat, and the politics simplistic, to put it kindly. However, it's still an interesting look at jet-age aviation at its beginning. Director Josef von Sternberg also shows an artist's eye for color cinematography that nearly matches his B&W masterpieces. Wayne and Leigh are both game performers, and Leigh in particular rarely looked better. So the film is a mixed bag of pros and cons with the latter slightly tipping the scale, but it's not without some appeal.
  14. LawrenceA

    ClassiCategories

    If it's gonna be that kind of party... or this, which is from a movie (Back to School)
  15. I always aim for the pail, but sometimes I miss.
  16. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    From what I've read, pretty much everybody who worked with Wallace Beery hated his guts.
  17. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Jeanne Eagels (1957) - 6/10 Exploitation melodrama masquerading as biopic, with Kim Novak as the famous stage and screen actress. The film charts her beginnings as a dancer in a carnival run by Jeff Chandler, to her eventual conquest of the Broadway stage, with the assistance of imperious acting coach Agnes Moorehead. Eagels develops a drug and alcohol problem along the way. Also featuring Charles Drake, Joe De Santis, Larry Gates, Virginia Grey, Murray Hamilton, Joe Turkel, and Gene Lockhart in his final film role. Frank Borzage also cameos as himself. Like most Hollywood biopics, this is more fiction than fact. The weight of the story lies on Novak, who's not the kind of actress to do this part justice, although she tries. She also shows off a lot of skin, so fans of her pulchritude will enjoy that, at least. There are a few sensationalist scenes that push things towards out-right camp, but not enough to make this a must-see.
  18. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I "hotlink" the pictures I use. Find the image you want online, right-click and choose "open in new tab", then CTRL+C to copy the URL address. CTRL+V to paste the URL into the message box, where it will appear as the image like so: The chief drawback to using this method is that the image disappears if the original host website pulls it.
  19. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Yeah, I didn't even bother putting that one on my list of his films. But who knows, perhaps some day it will show up somewhere.
  20. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Deliver Us from Evil (1973) - I haven't seen that one yet. It looks promising.
  21. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Istanbul (1957) - 6/10 Remake of Singapore (1947), with the location changed, obviously. Errol Flynn stars as a former US Army pilot who returns to the title locale after a long absence. He had been mixed up with smugglers, which resulted in the death of his girlfriend (Cornell Borchers), only he learns that she's still alive, but suffering from amnesia and now married. Also featuring Martin Benson, Torin Thatcher, Werner Klemperer, Leif Erickson, Peggy Knudsen, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Nat King Cole. Flynn looks tired, and the material is a bit too muddled, but I've seen worse, and the supporting cast is interesting. Cole sings "When I Fall in Love". With the exception of the presumed-lost Murder at Monte Carlo (1935), Istanbul was the final Errol Flynn movie that I had not seen.
  22. LawrenceA

    Upcoming Shout/Scream Factory Releases

    June Can't Stop the Music (1980) June 11 The Entity (1983) June 11 Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) June 11 Jeffrey (1995) June 11 The Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi Collection June 18 The Monolith Monsters (1957) June 18 Snow Falling On Cedars (1999) June 18 Fatso (1980) June 25 Monster On the Campus (1958) June 25 This Island Earth (1955) June 25
  23. I thought I'd start a thread about this DVD/Blu-Ray company's releases. They concentrate on genre fare, but some more mainstream titles get releases, as well. They do a very good job with their remasters and extras. January Releases The Glass Key (1942) January 15 Howling III (1987) Obsession (1976) January 15 The Plague Dogs (1982) January 15 Plague of the Zombies (1966) January 15 Saturday the 14th (1981) January 15 10 to Midnight (1983) January 22 Cobra (1986) January 22 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) January 22 Deadly Force (1983) January 29 Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975) January 29 Screamers (1995) January 29 Suburbia (1983) January 29
  24. Read from the top down. What part confuses you?
  25. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    How to Murder a Rich Uncle (1957) - 7/10 Amusing British black comedy about a formerly wealthy, aristocratic family that is plotting to kill a rich relative (Charles Coburn) while he visits, with hopes to inherit his fortune. Nigel Patrick directed and stars as the family patriarch, Wendy Hiller as his flighty wife, Katie Johnson, Anthony Newley, Athene Seyler, Kenneth Fortescue, Paddy Webster, and Michael Caine. There's lots of good character works from the performers, with Patrick, Hiller and Coburn the stand-outs.

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