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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    The Furies (2019) - 4/10 Australian horror with Airlie Dodds as Kayla, one of a several young women who are kidnapped from the city and deposited in the middle of the barren wilderness where they are hunted by speechless masked killers. Kayla soon begins to suspect that something else is happening beyond the obvious killing spree. This has a muddled feminist message buried under a lot of gore and poor writing. The characters are barely sketched out, and the eventual "twist" reveal is dumb and goes nowhere.
  2. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Svengali (1931) - Supernatural thriller from Warner Brothers and director Archie Mayo, based on the novel Trilby by George L. Du Maurier. John Barrymore stars as Svengali, a composer and music impresario who teaches singing in hopes of finding the right talent to mold into stardom. He discovers it in pretty young woman Trilby (Marian Marsh), and sets out to harness her abilities, which also requires him to exert his supernatural ability to hypnotize and dominate the thoughts of others. This understandably upsets Trilby's suitor Billee (Bramwell Fletcher). Also featuring Donald Crisp, Carmel Myers, Luis Alberni, Lumsden Hare, Ferike Boros, and Paul Porcasi. Barrymore, with a long pointed beard and heavy makeup, gets to glare about and look intimidating. The scenes showing his hypnosis, during which Barrymore wears white contact lenses, are effective, as is a scene with the camera swooping over highly-stylized rooftops to show his hypnotic pull over great distances. Marsh is pretty but unpolished, acting wise, but as she was just 17 at the time, it's understandable. There's a scene of her nude modeling for an art class that could only have been Pre-Code. While this film is generally categorized as horror, I wouldn't go in expecting much of the typical horror film elements. This earned two Oscar nominations, for Best Art Direction (Anton Grot) and Best Cinematography (Barney McGill). 7/10 Source: TCM.
  3. Scorsese can also add Goodfellas (Lorraine Bracco's Oscar-nominated turn) to his films that feature strong female characterizations. Cathy Moriarty was also nominated for Raging Bull, as was Jodie Foster for Taxi Driver, and Juliette Lewis for Cape Fear. And Cate Blanchett won an Oscar for The Aviator. Vera Farmiga was very good in The Departed, Liza Minelli had one of her better showcases in New York, New York, and Sandra Bernhard almost stole The King of Comedy. So yeah, that reporter can shove his question up his nose.
  4. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    You Might Be the Killer (2018) - 6/10 Horror comedy/slasher film send-up, with Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods) as Sam, the bumbling head of a kids summer camp. As the film opens, Sam is covered in blood and one of the few survivors of a massacre committed by a mysterious masked killer. He calls his best friend Chuck (Alyson Hannigan, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother), a pop-culture expert, for tips on how to survive. However, Sam and Chuck soon come to the conclusion that Sam himself may be the murderer, which makes things complicated. I'm getting a bit bored with slasher-movie parodies and homages; Scream covered most of the bases 20 years ago, and other recent comedies like The Final Girls (2015) or this season's iteration of American Horror Story have sufficiently mined the sub-genre for all it's worth. However, Kranz makes for a humorous lead, and the story adds one or two unique details.
  5. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Monster Party (2018) - 4/10 A trio of young thieves (Sam Strike, Virginia Gardner and Brandon Michael Hall) plot to rob a wealthy family's residence. They pose as temporary waitstaff for a dinner party the family is holding. The surprise comes when the would-be thieves discover that the family and their guests are all serial murderers who are part of support group to keep them on the straight and narrow. But wouldn't you know it, one of them falls off the wagon, so to speak, and it becomes a nightmare struggle for the survivors to escape. With Robin Tunney, Julian McMahon, Erin Moriarty, and Lance Reddick. Once again, the concept is a combination of other, better films. There's the young thieves encountering more than they bargained for from Don't Breathe and The Collector; the posh-setting and fractured family dynamic of the first Purge movie or You're Next; and even a bit of People Under the Stairs thrown in. The cast is good, but the script is weak, and the filmmaking is atrocious, with bad editing, terrible music, and very cheap make-up effects (the blood looks like watered-down Kool Aid).
  6. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Summer of 84 (2018) - 6/10 Canadian coming-of-age drama/thriller about a quartet of teen boys during the title season who come to believe that a series of murders may be the work of their friendly neighborhood policeman Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer). As the boys investigate the cop's every move, they may find themselves in more danger than they realize. This plays like a mash-up of other, better things. There's the mid-80's nostalgia and kids-on-a-mission of Stranger Things, the teen bro-bonding of Stand By Me, and the killer watched by neighbor of Disturbia, which of course was just a teen version of Rear Window, etc. etc. I really didn't care for the uninspired, overly-derivative first half of this, but it gets better, and the ending was surprising and memorable.
  7. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Lizzie (2018) - 6/10 It's the old Lizzie Borden story again. Lizzie (Chloe Sevigny) is a headstrong, independent young woman in 1890's Massachusetts. She's frequently at odds with her conservative father (Jamey Sheridan) and stepmother (Fiona Shaw), but Lizzie makes a quick bond with new Irish-immigrant housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart). Also featuring Kim Dickens and Denis O'Hare. The film's heavily-fictionalized story leaves no question as to the culprit of the infamous double murder. Sevigny, for whom this was a long-gestating passion project, is good in the lead, if a bit too old at 42. Stewart is passable, although she's not given a lot to work with. The film is very low key, and avoids shock until the final act. I wouldn't really consider this horror, either, even if the murders are gruesome, but I watched this on the Shudder horror channel, so here it is.
  8. I wonder if they made a month's schedule using only movies that were nominated or won an Oscar, but didn't advertise it as such, just releasing the schedule, if anyone would notice. I don't think there'd be a huge difference from any other month's schedule, although I don't know if there's a single star with enough nominated/winning Oscar films to fill out a Star-of-the-Month spotlight. Or any TCM Underground. Maybe. Someone with the time and inclination should list all of the Oscar movies from 1927 through 1970 that have never been on TCM.
  9. LawrenceA

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    The author mentioned above, Dan Bongino, was the guest of honor at a local Republican party shindig/fundraiser that was mentioned on the local news last week. The news clip showed Bongino for a second, and interviewed the local party boss (who wore a cowboy hat, because I guess he likes dress-up). Anyway, one of the activities that the giddy Republicans in attendance got to engage in was having their photo taken with a cardboard cut-out of Joe Biden that had his arms arranged to look like he was groping the person posing for the picture. There was a 30-something blonde lady giggling away as she had her pic taken with the faux-Biden fondling her chest.
  10. LawrenceA

    Canadian Election Update

    Who is this? He looks like that crying Star Wars guy that Gershwin fan posts about a lot.
  11. Bette Davis is Star of the Month. Here are the weekly links:
  12. LawrenceA

    Requesting movies on TCM

    It's been inactive for a long time. There are a few threads about it around here somewhere, probably down in the "Problems with" section. In all likelihood it's been deactivated for good.
  13. Sounds like Not of This Earth (1957) - Paul Birch was the alien.
  14. LawrenceA

    Prince Valiant

    It's a Fox movie, and TCM doesn't show that studio's stuff often. It was also frequently shown on the Fox Movie Channel, or FXM Retro, whatever it's called now.
  15. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched SF & Fantasy

    The Mysterious Island (1929) - I really enjoyed this mess of a movie from MGM, based on Jules Verne's book. Lionel Barrymore stars as Count Dakkar (Captain Nemo in the book), a brilliant scientist and inventor with a volcanic island laboratory. The island is part of a larger kingdom known as Hetvia, and Dakkar's research efforts are put on hold when his former friend Falon (Montagu Love) decides to stage a coup. He tortures Dakkar in order to obtain his many scientific secrets, but Dakkar escapes and joins a group of opposing forces in an effort to stop Falon. Also featuring Jacqueline Gadsdon (as Jane Daly), Lloyd Hughes, Harry Gribbon, Gibson Gowland, Dolores Brinkman, and Snitz Edwards. This was a troubled production, taking years to complete. It started out as a silent, but as sound came into vogue, they reshot only parts with full sound, while leaving the majority of the film silent, using title cards, and also adding sound effects and a score. Lucien Hubbard wrote the script and got final screen credit for direction, too, although footage had been shot as far back as 1926 by directors Maurice Tourneur and Benjamin Christensen. The movie is an exciting adventure for the first 2/3 or so, but when the action goes undersea, we head into fun & bizarre territory, with a race of duck-faced dwarven undersea people, a giant octopus, and an alligator with a horn glued on his snout. Being Pre-Code, this has some surprising moments of violence. The disparate pieces of this don't go together smoothly, and the ending seems kind of rushed, but I liked this oddity a lot. Recommended. 8/10 Source: TCM by way of YouTube.
  16. Which artists lead the fan vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Which five of the 16 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees announced Tuesday will be inducted? Though those names won't be revealed until January, Pat Benatar, the Doobie Brothers and Soundgarden top the leaderboard reflecting the fan votes. The leaderboard, which went live on the hall of fame's website at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, is updated every few minutes. As of around 1:30 p.m. EDT that day, nearly 1 million votes had been cast. As of around 10 a.m. Sunday, Benatar led with 156,190, The Doobie Brothers had 140,744, Soundgarden clocked in at 133,164, Depeche Mode got 118,954 and Judas Priest tallied 114,542.
  17. To anyone who knows: What are some of your favorite songs by Thin Lizzy and MC5? I'm not familiar with their catalogs that well, and am looking for recommendations. I'm trying to settle on what will be my 3-song choices for each artist if they get inducted and I add them to my RnR HoF playlist.
  18. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Incident in a Ghostland (2018) - 6/10 Canadian horror from director Pascal Laugier (Martyrs). A mother (Myelene Farmer) and her two young daughters Beth (Emilia Jones) and Vera (Taylor Hickson) travel to their new, secluded home out in the country. They are followed there by a pair of psychos in an ice cream truck. The sinister duo attacks them, leaving the family scarred or worse. Many years later, adult Beth (Crystal Reed) is a successful horror novelist with a loving husband and a young son. Circumstances lead her to return to the family home, where her mother cares for the psychologically damaged Vera (Anastasia Phillips), who claims that evil forces continue to torment her. The narrative plays around with reality, so the viewer isn't sure what's real and what isn't. The acting is good, but the antagonists are nothing that you haven't seen in a hundred other psychos-on-the-loose stories. The film has a low-budget quality that's surprising given Laugier's previously polished works. Still, one could do much worse than this semi-successful thriller.
  19. LawrenceA


    Yeah, those Twitter video clips only work about the half the time for me.
  20. LawrenceA


    Did you actually watch the video clip? It's not a "rocket barely got off the ground". Here's a clip that shows more:
  21. LawrenceA

    Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 2016

    I couldn't recall how much of that was in French. I'll add it to my list.
  22. LawrenceA

    The Exorcist Conventional?

    The first film is also filled with infinitely-quotable lines. I don't know how many times I've greeted a friend with this Exorcist quote - "Your mother sucks **** in Hell, (insert friend's name)!" "The power of Christ compels you!" was also a frequently repeated chant during marathon drinking sessions. Or telling a soon-to-be-traveling friend, "You're gonna die up there", followed by whizzing on the floor. Good times!
  23. Is it any of the ones listed on IMDb? A Touch of Texas (1942) (uncredited) Music by Jimmy McHugh A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening (1943) (uncredited) Music by Jimmy McHugh Played in the score Speak Your Heart (1938) (uncredited) Music by Allie Wrubel Sidewalk Boogie (uncredited) Music by Roy Webb "Paradise (1931) (uncredited) Music by Nacio Herb Brown Played in the score "The Nearness of You' (1938) (uncredited) Music by Hoagy Carmichael Played in the score
  24. LawrenceA

    The Exorcist Conventional?

    He did say: " Pazuzu, king of the evil spirits of the air, help me to find Kokumo!"
  25. LawrenceA

    The Exorcist Conventional?

    I really should break out my Blu ray of the second one and watch it again (it came with the box set). I haven't seen it in probably 25 years or more. Part of it's turkey reputation came from the heightened expectations from the first one's success, and the people assembled to make the second one. Director John Boorman had great acclaim for helming Deliverance, but I guess they forgot that he also made the Zardoz. Adding Richard Burton, James Earl Jones, Louise Fletcher (who'd just won an Oscar for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Ned Beatty, and Paul Henreid brought more prestige, and figuring out a way to bring back Max Von Sydow was also a plus. However, the result was one of the strangest misfires of the decade.

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