LawrenceA

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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    Halloween horror quiz...the clues are alive!

    That one is so familiar, too... And #14 looks like it's from one of the Corman/Poe movies, but I don't know which one.
  2. Rey will be the Force-conceived offspring of the Emperor. She's supposed to mate with Kylo Ren/Ben Solo and create the ultimate Force-powered ubermensch. But things won't go as planned. Or there will be Ewoks. Lots and lots of Ewoks.
  3. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Discarnate (2018) - 4/10 A group of researchers travel to a secluded house that's supposedly haunted. They take an experimental drug that will hopefully allow them to perceive things in the spirit world. It works, but it also brings them to the attention of something more malevolent. Featuring Thomas Kretschmann, Nadine Velazquez, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Chris Coy, Matt Munroe, and Josh Stewart. The decent cast and promising set-up are completely squandered by poor direction and an even weaker script.
  4. 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.
  5. LawrenceA

    Halloween horror quiz...the clues are alive!

    #9 - Dracula #20 - Village of the Damned These two are uncertain guesses: #21 - Night/Curse of the Demon #22 - 13 Ghosts
  6. LawrenceA

    November 2019 schedule is up

    It may have seemed that way, but they were promoting something. If not a soon-to-be released project (movie, book, TV show, live appearance, album, etc.), then they were promoting themselves, getting their names and faces back into the public consciousness, and hopefully getting more and better offers. Sometimes they were doing a favor for the host or producer by filling in for someone else who was expected to appear but didn't. You still see that today, with celebs who live close to the filming locales showing up to fill a spot that someone else dropped out of for whatever reason. The only difference is now they'll often tell the audience that was the case, whereas in the old days they'd play it like everything was going as planned.
  7. Bette Davis is Star of the Month. Here are the weekly links: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=CST&sdate=2019-11-01 http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=CST&sdate=2019-11-08 http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=CST&sdate=2019-11-15 http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=CST&sdate=2019-11-22 http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=CST&sdate=2019-11-29
  8. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Jeruzalem (2015) - 4/10 Found-footage horror features two American friends, Sarah (Danielle Jadelyn) and Rachel (Yael Grobglas), who travel to Israel on vacation. They meet charming archaeologist Kevin (Yon Tumarkin) on the plane, and he convinces the pair to travel with him to Jerusalem instead of their intended destination, Tel Aviv. What starts out as an adventure in an exotic land turns diabolical when demons begin to emerge all over the old city, slaughtering hundreds, and trapping the survivors within the quarantined walls. This Israeli feature could have been something with a larger budget and a few more passes at the script. The visual conceit, that everything shown is viewed through Sarah's Google Glass headgear, works well enough within the found-footage convention. Unfortunately things get tedious and frequently incoherent towards the end.
  9. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Better Watch Out (2016) - 6/10 It's the Christmas season, and the parents of 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) are headed to a party, so they hire regular babysitter Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) to watch him for the night. Luke's had a crush on Ashley for a long time, and as she's set to move away soon, he's determined to make their last together memorable. However, everyone's plans are upended when mysterious intruders begin to menace Luke and Ashley. Also featuring Ed Oxenbould, Aleks Mikic, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton, and Dacre Montgomery. This starts out as any of a number of home-invasion thrillers, with the Christmas setting adding the only flavor. Then there's a big twist that changes the movie completely, which I won't go into to avoid spoilers. I thought it was reasonably well executed, and the cast is mostly up to the challenge. DeJonge and Oxenbould had previously played siblings in The Visit (2015).
  10. LawrenceA

    Recently Watched Horror

    Mayhem (2017) - 6/10 The people inside of the high-rise offices of a mega legal firm become infected with a virus that causes emotional instability and violent outbursts, resulting in the building being quarantined with everyone inside. Mid-level associate Derek (Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead), who has just been fired due to inter-office backstabbing, and disgruntled former client Melanie (Samara Weaving), team-up to seek revenge on the upper-level management. With Caroline Chikezie, Steven Brand, Dallas Roberts, and Kerry Fox. This is played as a black comedy, and it's only marginally successful, mainly due to the appeal of Yeun and Weaving.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. LawrenceA

    Canadian Election Update

    Who is this? He looks like that crying Star Wars guy that Gershwin fan posts about a lot.
  20. 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 TCM.com" section. In all likelihood it's been deactivated for good. http://forums.tcm.com/topic/261460-suggest-a-movie-log-in-is-broken/
  21. Sounds like Not of This Earth (1957) - Paul Birch was the alien. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_of_This_Earth_(1957_film) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050778/?ref_=nv_sr_2?ref_=nv_sr_2
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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. https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/10/17/rock-hall-2020-fan-vote-leaderboard/4006694002/
  25. 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.

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