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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Paris Belongs to Us (1961) - 5/10 French drama about a college student (Betty Schneider) who becomes wrapped up in the mysterious goings on among a group of intellectuals known by her older brother. One of their number recently committed suicide, and Schneider worries more and more about the reasons why, and begins to fear that others may follow his lead. Also featuring Giani Esposito, Francoise Prevost, Daniel Crohem, Francois Maistre, Jean-Claude Brialy, and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lelouch, Jacques Demy, and this film's writer-director Jacques Rivette. This is yet another French New Wave film that people heap with praise that I found dull, ponderous, banal, and visually inert. There are some clumsy camera movements that add nothing to the mood or narrative, and seem only to remind the viewer that the director was present. The story lacks a conclusion, and it's left up to the audience to decide if there was anything sinister going on, or if they all just suffered from Cold war-era nihilistic ennui. Blech. Source: The Criterion Channel
  2. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    On the Fiddle (1961) - 6/10 Marginal British comedy about a fast-talking conman (Arthur Lynch) and a Gypsy (Sean Connery!) who meet in RAF training during WWII. Instead of focusing on the war effort, they spend their time trying to get out of work, out of battle, and into easy money. Also featuring Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Victor Maddern, Harry Locke, John Le Mesurier, Cecil Parker, Barbara Windsor, Kathleen Harrison, and Priscilla Morgan. Only occasionally funny, this is mainly of note due to Connery's presence, shortly before Dr. No. After he became famous as James Bond, AIP released this movie in the US as Operation Snafu in 1965. Source: internet
  3. LawrenceA

    TCM re-launches The Essentials on May 4

    Yes, there are several off-beat choices. Much more interesting than just trotting out the same, overplayed titles yet again.
  4. LawrenceA


    I forgot about this modern classic: The Sixth Man and perhaps the best movie about basketball: Hoop Dreams
  5. LawrenceA

    a new hate target for the left: Kate Smith

    What is a Luke Walton? Your idea is both hilarious and not out of the realm of possibility for someone to actually build. Maybe build it next to the Creation Museum or one of those Bibleland-style amusement parks. You could connect the two parks via a walkway commemorating the War on Christmas.
  6. LawrenceA


    Basketball Blue Chips Above the Rim The Air Up There White Men Can't Jump He Got Game Space Jam Love & Basketball Soccer Shaolin Soccer Bend It Like Beckham Mean Machine Kicking & Screaming
  7. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    I have The Young Swingers and Surf Party in my queue to watch. I've previously seen The Mini-Skirt Mob.
  8. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Eye Creatures (1965) & Creature of Destruction (1967) - both 2/10 American International Pictures approached Texas filmmaker Larry Buchanan with an offer: remake a bunch of their old catalog titles, in color and to be sold directly to television, for $10,000 a picture, and Larry could keep whatever money was left over. He then began to produce some of the worst movies ever made. I just watched the last two that I had not seen. The Eye Creatures was the first of these remakes, this one of Invasion of the Saucer Men. John Ashley stars as a teenager who gets to battle the ugly title aliens, with help from other local teens and some dimbulb Air Force soldiers. Every fundamental aspect of filmmaking is forgotten in this horrific monstrosity, which features awful writing, cinematography, editing, sound, acting, special effects, and sets. I bet even the food was terrible. This is the kind of movie where it looks like it smelled bad on set. Creature of Destruction is only infinitesimally better. A remake of The She-Creature, this features Les Tremayne as a stage mentalist who warns his audience that a savage monster will attack someone that night. When an incident does occur, it brings more spectators to the next show, and some begin to wonder if the mentalist may be behind it all. A young Air Force officer (Aron Kincaid) thinks it may have something to do with the mentalist's strange female assistant (Pat Delany). Also featuring Neil Fletcher, Annabelle Weenick, and songs by Scotty McKay. Cheap and dumb, with an old and tired Les Tremayne going through the motions, this is as sad as it is bad. The monster costume is one of the worst in film history. Source: I believe that one or both of these are available in Mystery Science Theater 3000 editions, and those may be your best bet. I watched them straight and unfiltered (both titles are available on YouTube), but novices are warned that watching these movies original and uncut can be hazardous to your health (mental & spiritual), so you may wish to have supervision and/or some large amounts of alcohol or drugs available. Always check with your doctor before starting a Larry Buchanan movie.
  9. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    No Love for Johnnie (1961) - 7/10 British drama starring Peter Finch as a Labour Party MP who has just won re-election. However, he's grown lazy, jaded, and complacent, and almost immediately begins shirking his duties. As his life begins to crumble around him (his wife leaves him, the party apparatus start to push him away, and his constituency want to remove him from office), he starts a May-December romance with 20-year-old model Pauline (Mary Peach). Also featuring Billie Whitelaw, Stanley Holloway Donald Pleasence, Hugh Burden, Rosalie Crutchley, Michael Goodliffe, Mervyn Johns, Geoffrey Keen, Paul Rogers, Dennis Price, Peter Sallis, and Oliver Reed. This character-study and examination of British political structure is a triumph for Peter Finch, who won the third of his five BAFTAs for his role. He's a complicated character, not really likable, but human, and three-dimensional. I was also impressed with Billie Whitelaw as an upstairs neighbor who has fond feelings for Finch, while he seems oblivious to her advances. Source: YouTube
  10. Yes, I believe that movement to restore voting rights is maybe what's prompted Sanders into making this tone-deaf pronouncement. We voted here in Florida last year to grant voting rights restoration after a sentence is completed, excluding a handful of the severest crimes (murder, rape, child molestation). However, the Republican-controlled legislature just passed an addendum (which the voters didn't get to vote on, naturally) that will also require ex-cons to have paid all restitution and court costs before their rights will be returned, which will effectively reduce the number of those who will see their rights returned to very low numbers.
  11. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile (1961) - 5/10 More Italian "history" lessons, this time with Jeanne Crain as the famed Egyptian queen, forced to marry the mad pharaoh Amenophis IV (Amedeo Nazzari), although she really loves the pharaoh's best pal, sculptor Tumos (Edmund Purdom). Meanwhile, scheming High Priest Benakon (Vincent Price) plots to stop an outbreak of religious heresy, as the many gods of the Egyptian pantheon are ignored in favor of the one god Aten. Also featuring Liana Orfei as a sexy dancing girl, Carlo D'Angelo, Alberto Farnese, and Clelia Matania. The costumes are good and the sets okay, but the script is lousy, the casting is silly (these are the palest Egyptians ever committed to film), and so the end result is barely passable. Source: Amazon Prime Video
  12. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Naked Edge (1961) - 6/10 British-American suspense drama featuring Deborah Kerr as the wife of American businessman Gary Cooper, both living in London. Cooper's boss was murdered and a large amount of cash stolen, but Cooper supposedly caught the culprit before he could escape. He testifies in court, and the man (Ray McAnally) is convicted. Cooper soon uses a stock windfall to go into lucrative business with Michael Wilding, and they all prosper. Several years later, Kerr discovers a blackmail letter threatening to accuse Cooper of the murder from years ago, and while he denies guilt, Kerr isn't certain, and she's always wondered where he really got that money for his business deal, as the stolen loot was never recovered... Also featuring Peter Cushing, Hermione Gingold, Eric Portman, Ronald Howard, Wilfrid Lawson, and Diane Cilento. This is mainly remembered for being Cooper's final film. He was seriously ill while filming, and he looks uncomfortable through most of it, which actually fits with the role. Kerr is the main character, though, and she does well as the increasingly worried and paranoid wife. The supporting cast is excellent, but Michael Anderson's direction lacks pace or verve. This was a flop when released, but it's not that bad, and many stars had much, much worse final films. Source: internet
  13. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Mongols (1961) - 5/10 Italian epic featuring Jack Palance as Ogatai, the bloodthirsty son of Genghis Khan, leader of the Mongol Hordes. Their conquests have led them all the way to Eastern Europe, so Poland sends their hero Stepen of Krakow (Franco Silva) to try and make peace with the Mongols before they invade. Also featuring Anita Ekberg as Ogatai's woman, Antonella Lualdi, Gabriella Pallotta, Pierre Cressoy, Gabriele Antonini, Gianni Garko, George Wang, Lawrence Montaigne, and Roldano Lupi as Genghis Khan. There's little historical accuracy, but I wasn't expecting much, either. Palance is unhinged, sweaty, and breathes really hard. Ekberg sticks out like...well, Anita Ekberg in a movie about Mongols. There are a few rousing action scenes, but not enough, and there are many boring patches throughout the 115 minute running time. Maybe it has something to do with the three credited directors: Andre De Toth, Leopolda Savona, and Riccardo Freda. Source: internet
  14. LawrenceA

    RIP 20th Century Fox

    Disney Axing Multiple Fox Films The scrapping of the costly tentpole Mouse Guard was just the start of Disney’s gutting of 20th Century Fox’s film development and preproduction slate. A new report at THR indicates Disney studio chief Alan Horn is culling further projects. As previously reported, Paul Greengrass’ drama News of the World and an adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-seller On the Come Up were both put into turnaround and were subsequently snagged by Universal and Paramount respectively. Now Ted Melfi’s mental-hospital-set dramedy Fruit Loops which was to star Woody Harrelson is also likely to be put in turnaround. Sources for the trade say Mouse Guard was due to it being too expensive for a nonfranchise film, while On the Come Up was scrapped because the critically acclaimed The Hate U Give underperformed. The only guaranteed safe films are the Avatar sequels with the second one finishing filming last week. Five others are likely to go ahead: Kingsman: The Great Game, Fear Street, West Side Story, Free Guy and Death on the Nile. However even those five are under increased scrutiny with Horn questioning the plan to have young characters smoking onscreen in West Side Story. It’s also tipped that Clint Eastwood’s The Ballad of Richard Jewell will likely be the first Fox greenlight of the new era. Separately The Observer reports that one other likely safe film is Artemis, the new project from Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and based on The Martian author Andy Weir’s 2017 novel. The story takes place in the late 2080s and is set on the first and only city on the moon.
  15. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Mask (1961) - 6/10 This is called the first Canadian horror film. I don't know if that's correct, but I liked it. Paul Stevens stars as a psychiatrist who feels guilt after a patient dies. The now-dead man worked in antiquities and had recently acquired a mysterious mask that he claimed had sinister mystical attributes. The patient had mailed the mask to the doctor, who decides to try it on, only to discover that his patient was right. Also featuring Claudette Nevins, Bill Walker, Anne Collings, Martin Lavut, Leo Leyden, and Norman Ettinger. When originally released, audience members were given 3D glasses in the shape of small masks, and they were prompted to don them whenever the mask is worn onscreen. They were treated to nightmarish sequences in 3D. These are the best parts of the film, featuring foggy ruins filled with corpse-like people, masked killers, and human sacrifice. The rest of the movie is rather unmemorable, but the nightmares/hallucinations caused by the mask make this a worth-see for horror enthusiasts. The version I watched had the 3D sequences intact, and luckily I had some old cardboard 3D glasses laying around. Source: internet
  16. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    The Marriage-Go-Round (1961) - 6/10 Comedy starring James Mason and Susan Hayward as married university professors who lecture on marriage customs around the world, and who consider themselves forward-thinking and open-minded. However, their matrimonial bliss is challenged when the daughter (Julie Newmar) of family friends from Sweden arrives on their doorstep. She says that it's just a friendly visit, but soon confides in Mason that she's there in hopes that Mason will impregnate her. Also featuring Robert Paige, June Clayworth, and Joe Kirkwood Jr. This had been a stage hit, with Newmar reprising her Tony-winning role. She looks incredible, and her acting is good, accent and all. Hayward and Mason have some good banter with each other, too. Source: internet
  17. LawrenceA


    The Breakfast Club (fashion, music and socialization) Ferris Bueller's Day Off (fashion and music) Fast Times at Ridgemont High (mall culture) Flashdance (fashion and music) The Legend of Billie Jean (fashion and music) The Lost Boys (fashion and music) Joysticks (arcade videogames)
  18. Sounds like it might be Chosen Survivors (1974).
  19. As Mr. Rennie mentioned above, TCM isn't a premium channel that is paid for by itself, such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz. Rather it's part of the Preferred Tier of channels, the bundle of which costs additionally. With Comcast, in my area, there's the cheapest package, which includes the major networks, and a few of the other basic cable channels, like the Weather Channel. Then there's the full basic cable package, which includes about 60 channels, including many of the usual suspects: the 24/7 news channels, History, Animal Planet, MTV, Comedy Central, AMC, etc. Then there's another tier of channels, which has an additional 40 or so channels, and this one is where TCM has always been found in my area. I watch very few of the others in this tier, as many are sports or religious or children's channels, so for me, it is almost as if I'm paying a premium price for TCM.
  20. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Cucumber Castle (1970) - 4/10 British TV movie/special starring, produced, and written by Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees. The nonsensical plot, set in days of old, concerns a king (Frankie Howerd) who is dying, so he divides his lands between his two sons: Prince Marmaduke (Maurice) will inherit the Jelly kingdom, while Prince Frederick (Barry) will become ruler of the Cucumber Kingdom. The two princes set out across the land, meeting some people, singing some songs, and getting into trouble. Featuring Vincent Price, Eleanor Bron, Spike Milligan, Julian Orchard, and performances by Lulu and Blind Faith. This is extremely silly, with little coherence, and it's aggressively unfunny. The songs are rather weak, as well, although Lulu sounds good, even if a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" seems an odd choice given the setting. The Blind Faith performance is from a concert appearance, and it's awkwardly shoehorned in. This was done during the time Robin Gibb had left the group, in case you were curious why he was absent. This movie seems like it was made with a lot of LSD, and I got such a contact high that my chromosomes are now damaged. Thanks, Bee Gees! Source: YouTube Ringo (1978) - 6/10 TV special (sponsored by Datsun Automobiles) that features Ringo Starr in dual roles: He plays himself, getting ready for a new album release and a concert special, and he plays Ognir Rrats, an American loser who happens to look just like Ringo. The bored and frustrated Ringo suggests that the two trade identities for a day, with the expected complications. Also featuring Art Carney as Ognir's abusive father, Carrie Fisher as Ognir's girlfriend, John Ritter as a sleazy record producer, Angie Dickinson as a cop, and Vincent Price as a hypnotist. George Harrison shows up as himself, while Dr. John is part of Ringo's band. This is more silliness, but the production values are decent, and the songs are okay. Ringo is likable, Fisher is cute (the two get to duet on "You're Sixteen"), and it's brief, running only 45 minutes. There's a bizarre dance number with a couple dozen dancers in gold tights jumping around to an instrumental version of "Yellow Submarine", only for them to change clothes into various costumes, but all sporting Ringo Starr masks, beard and all, to chant the song's refrain, "We all live in a yellow submarine..." It seems like it was made with a lot of cocaine, and I got such a contact high that I developed a deviated septum. Thanks, Ringo Starr! Source: YouTube
  21. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Lover Come Back (1961) - 7/10 Comedy with Rock Hudson and Doris Day as rival advertising agency execs. They've never met, but she's heard of his womanizing reputation. When they meet, she mistakes him for someone else, and he decides to go along with the ruse, with the expected complications and humor. Also featuring Tony Randell as Rock's neurotic boss, Edie Adams, Jack Kruschen, Jack Albertson, Ann B. Davis, Donna Douglas, Howard St. John, Joe Flynn, Richard Deacon, and Jack Oakie in his final film role. I thought this was fun, lightweight romp, with some 60's sex-comedy raciness and good performances from the leads as well as Randell. There's also a lot of nice early 60's fashions and decor, and I especially liked Rock's bachelor pad. Source: Universal DVD
  22. LawrenceA

    Robert Mueller submits Russia report

    I don't think impeachment will gain much favor here, especially in my deep-red part of the state. If anything, the proposal that the House formally censure Trump (basically a symbolic public chastisement that would be embarrassing but carry no real punitive measures) would likely be accepted. I know Cid says that impeachment hearings would turn off a lot of independents, but as an independent I can't say how accurate that is. I obviously will not be voting for Trump, and there's absolutely nothing to convince me to do so. But I've felt and said as much since he first announced. I have a hard time understanding what people believe in if they could be on the fence regarding Trump. I mean, one may not like the Democratic candidate, but would their dislike be so intense as to make them vote against other, meaningful things that they do believe in? A vote for Trump is blatantly anti-environment (are there any environmental protections left at this point? Will there be if he has another full term? And this goes beyond just climate change concerns, and into the health of the citizenry, with pollution controls lost and water and food safety an afterthought), anti-healthcare reform ("We'll fix it later" isn't a valid proposal, and people are getting sick and going broke while we wait for a fix), anti-Wall Street regulation (setting us up for another 2008-style crash), anti-choice (this will become a major issue if Trump gets another term and doesn't have to worry about reelection. The Moral Majority types will want their pay-off, and this is the big one), the one-percenters tax cut that balloons the debt and strangles social programs, etc. etc. So when I hear this idea that people who may support one or more of those things throwing those concerns out the window because the House holds impeachment hearings, it makes little sense to me. I'm not saying people don't think that way, I just can't figure out why. It's like saying, "I care about the environment, I support a woman's right to choose, I want the super-rich to pay a proportionate tax rate, and I'm worried about corporate malfeasance collapsing the world economy again, but I'll forget all that if Nancy Pelosi makes Trump feel bad." The final issue regarding the 2020 elections will be voter turnout. Trump's army will be out in full force. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if gets more of the popular vote. The thing the Dems need to do is motivate the other side enough to get off their lazy ***** and vote. Right now they look too fractured, too sectarian, and too disillusioned to do so. Hopefully I'm wrong.
  23. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    What's the difference between these two? Does the latter feature hardcore sex? How then does it differ from just the run-of-the-mill X-rated flick?
  24. LawrenceA

    FORGOTTEN Oldies

    You mean Who's Next. That's one of my favorite releases of their's, and one of my favorite rock albums of all time. Every song on it is a keeper. My personal favorite is "Bargain". But I don't mind "Squeeze Box", either, although it's not one of my favorites from them.

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