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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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)
  7. Sounds like it might be Chosen Survivors (1974).
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. LawrenceA

    Robert Mueller submits Russia report

    Yeah, but you're in NY, just as James is in California. Your states are going Blue regardless of who the candidate is. I'm in Florida, one of the true battleground states, and from what I've seen/heard, any Dem candidate has a tough road ahead to beat Trump here.
  15. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Living Venus (1961) - 4/10 Schlock meister Herschell Gordon Lewis made his feature directing debut with this adults-only drama. William Kerwin, who would later show up in several of Gordon's other efforts, stars as a Hugh Hefner-esque magazine editor who conceives of a men's magazine featuring nude models, to be named Pagan. His first major layout features model Danica D'Hondt as the "Living Venus", you know, so it's classy and artsy and stuff. Have I mentioned that the chief photographer is played by Harvey Korman in his debut? There's only a small bit of nudity, but enough to make this unplayable in most theaters of the day. However, it did well enough that Gordon and frequent producing partner David F. Friedman followed this with a string of nudie flicks that raked in the grindhouse dough with the trenchcoat crowd, before eventually changing genres and adding graphic gore to horror films in Blood Feast (1963). Source: internet
  16. LawrenceA

    TCM Imports - 2019

    Here are the movies shown on TCM Imports in 2019: January Colossal Youth (2006), Dir: Pedro Costa, Portugal - January 6 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967), Dir: Jean-Luc Godard, France - January 13 Masculin Feminin (1966), Dir: Jean-Luc Godard, France - January 13 Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Dir: Peter Weir, Australia - January 20 Querelle (1982), Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany - January 27 Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1973), Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany - January 27 February TCM Imports programming preempted for 31 Days of Oscar March TCM Imports programming for the first Sunday in March is preempted for 31 Days of Oscar Jour De Fete (1949), Dir: Jacques Tati, France - March 10 Trafic (1970), Dir Jacques Tati, France - March 10 The School for Postmen (1947), Dir: Jacques Tati, France - March 10 Farewell to Dream (1956), Dir: Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan - March 17 The Garden of Women (1954), Dir: Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan - March 17 Les Enfants Terribles (1950), Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville, France - March 24 Magnet of Doom (1963), Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville, France - March 24 Secrets of Women (1952), Dir: Ingmar Bergman, Sweden - March 31 The Passion of Anna (1970), Dir: Ingmar Bergman, Sweden - March 31 April Maitresse (1975), Dir: Barbet Schroeder, France - April 7 More (1969), Dir: Barbet Schroeder, West Germany - April 7 TCM Imports programming is preempted on the second Sunday in April for TCM 25th Anniversary Day of Wrath (1943), Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark - April 21 An Autumn Afternoon (1962), Dir: Yasujiro Ozu, Japan - April 28 The End of Summer (1961), Dir: Yasujiro Ozu, Japan - April 28 May Princess from the Moon (1987), Dir: Kon Ichikawa, Japan - May 5 Her Brother (1960), Dir: Kon Ichikawa, Japan - May 5 Autumn Sonata (1978), Dir: Ingmar Bergman, Sweden - May 12 My Life as a Dog (1985), Dir: Lasse Hallstrom, Sweden - May 12 Watership Down (1978), Dir: Martin Rosen, United Kingdom - May 19*** Twice Upon a Time (1983), Dir: John Korty & Charles Swenson, US - May 19*** Pale Flower (1964), Dir: Masashiro Shinoda, Japan - May 26 Double Suicide (1969), Dir: Masashiro Shinoda, Japan - May 26 June The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Dir: Peter Weir, Australia - June 2 The Plumber (1979), Dir: Peter Weir, Australia - June 2 The Big City (1963), Dir: Satyajit Ray, India - June 9 The Coward (1965), Dir: Satyajit Ray, India - June 9 News from Home (1977), Dir: Chantal Akerman, France - June 16 Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978), Dir: Chantal Akerman, France - June 16 Pitfall (1963), Dir: Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan - June 23 The Face of Another (1966), Dir: Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan - Japan 23 Cria Cuervos (1976), Dir: Carlos Saura, Spain - June 30 Deprisa, Deprisa (1981), Dir: Carlos Saura, Spain - June 30 July Rififi (1954), Dir: Jules Dassin, France - July 7 Il Bidone (1955), Dir: Federico Fellini, Italy - July 7 Lola (1981), Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany - July 14 Veronika Voss (1982), Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany - July 14 Pigs and Battleships (1962), Dir: Shohei Imamura, Japan - July 21 Branded to Kill (1967), Dir: Seijun Suzuki, Japan - July 21 Le Samourai (1967), Dir: Jean Pierre Melville, France - July 28 Swann in Love (1984), Dir: Volkor Schlondorff, France - July 28 August TCM Imports programming preempted for Summer Under the Stars
  17. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Last Year at Marienbad (1961) - 5/10 French drama (?) set at a palatial resort where many finely dressed people dance, watch plays, and stand around looking at one another. One man (Giorgio Albertazzi) approaches a woman (Delphine Seyrig), apparently hoping to rekindle a relationship from "last year, at Marienbad", only the woman claims to not know the man. Another man (Sacha Pitoeff), who may or may not be the woman's husband, tries to thwart the first man. Meanwhile, everyone looks fabulous as the camera zooms past them, or zooms in, or quick-cuts away. This may be the ultimate arthouse flick, alternately regarded as brilliant or pretentious, mesmerizing or dull, hypnotic or narcoleptic. It looks nice, and its visual style has certainly been influential. But many (most?) viewers will find it a confounding, nigh-incomprehensible waste of time. To those few who "get it", it will be regarded as a masterwork. I'm somewhere in between. I appreciate the artistry, and the idea that director Alain Resnais may have been attempting to depict the inner workings of the mind (I also like the idea that the movie may be a ghost story, with long-dead players reenacting their mortal hang-ups), but a little of this goes a long way. The organ-music score, in particular, grew very grating. However, I can see where some may connect with the abstract vibe. Source: internet
  18. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Il Posto (1961) - 8/10 Italian drama about a young man (Sandro Panseri) who ventures out into the working world of Milan. He applies for a job at a huge corporation, for which he takes a battery of tests. He meets and falls for a young woman (Loredana Detto) who has also applied. However, it doesn't take long for the young man to realize the dull, banal life that he has locked himself into. Director Ermanno Olmi uses some Neo-Realist touches to add verisimilitude to the drab, gray world that the young man faces. Authentic, appealing performances from the two leads help cement the shambling narrative, and keep things from becoming too dreary. In fact, there's a distinct vein of black comedy running throughout. Recommended. Source: TCM
  19. LawrenceA

    Death Takes No Holiday -- The Obituary Thread

    Here are some behind-the-scenes deaths from recent weeks: Kazuo Koike (May 8, 1936 - April 17, 2019) Japanese manga writer who was responsible for the long-running Lone Wolf and Cub books, as well as their film versions, as well as Lady Snowblood, also adapted into a film series, and Crying Freeman, which served as the basis for an anime TV series and a live-action film. David V. Picker (May 14, 1931 - April 20, 2019) American producer and studio head who oversaw such films as Lenny (1974), Smile (1975), The Jerk (1979), and The Man with Two Brains (1982). At various times he served as CEO or studio head of United Artists, Paramount Pictures, Lorimar, Columbia Pictures, and Hallmark Entertainment. Steve Gollin (March 6, 1955 - April 21, 2019) American producer who headed Propaganda Films from 1986 to 1999, after which he formed a new production company, Anonymous Content. His companies produced or helped produce The Game (1997), Being John Malkovich (1999), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), and the TV series True Detective (2014-) and Mr. Robot (2015-). He earned Oscar nominations for Babel (2006) and The Revenant (2015), and won an Oscar for producing Spotlight (2015). Terry Rawlings (1933 - April 23, 2019) British film editor whose works included The Sentinel (1977), Yentl (1983), Legend (1985), GoldenEye (1995), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004), among others, He earned BAFTA nominations for Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), and an Oscar nomination for Chariots of Fire (1981).
  20. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists, and Kristian Kiddie Kooks (1991) - 9/10 Incredible documentary compilation of clips from various televangelist programs, news stories, and religious children's shows recorded circa '85 through '90. From Captain Hook, the "pirate for Jesus", to Oral Roberts, Robert Tilton, Jack Vam Impe, and Pat Robertson, to the scandals involving Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, the clips are damning in their own right, and no additional commentary is needed. But this isn't a hit-job on Christians, as there is also time devoted to New Age quackery, UFO cultists, and other sorts of fringe lunacy. It's disturbing, hilarious, cringe-worthy, and very entertaining. I'd read about this tape years ago in the Psychotronic Video Guide, but only recently tracked it down online. It's now nearly 30 years old, but one will notice how little things have changed in many respects, as many of the same cultural boogeymen are trotted out by the fearmongering crackpots and hucksters. Highly recommended. Source: YouTube
  21. LawrenceA

    a new hate target for the left: Kate Smith

    When I read something like the above, I have to wonder if you're just that unaware, or if you're doing some kind of comedy routine. You call other people petty, yet throw in the "fat" description for no discernible reason. You also blast people being judgmental in the middle of a post of you being judgmental. or
  22. LawrenceA

    a new hate target for the left: Kate Smith

    Wait...Kate Smith died?!?
  23. All I remember from the earlier years was a lot of short films and original trailers. There were also the interview snippets, but I don't know when they started those. There's also the Movie News of the Month, but I don't know when that was started, either. TCM did work on some VHS releases, older films that they helped remaster and/or restore. The channel logo was on the cover-box. They may have promoted those, telling viewers that they were available in stores. I had the TCM edition VHS release of The Magnificent Ambersons until fairly recently.
  24. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Psychic Killer (1975) - 6/10 Clunky but amusing horror tale with darkly comic touches. Jim Hutton is a former mental patient who uses his newfound psychic projection powers to seek ghastly revenge against those that he feels wronged him and his dead mother. Cop Paul Burke and psychiatrist Julie Adams try to stop him. The great B-movie cast includes Aldo Ray, Nehemiah Persoff, Stack Pierce, Rod Cameron, Whit Bissell, Judy Brown, Mary Wilcox, Della Reese, and Neville Brand. The film's tone lurches around from serious horror-thriller to silly grand guignol send-up, but the top-notch cast helps keep it mostly afloat. Directed by Ray Danton. This was the last theatrical feature for both Hutton and Burke. Source: YouTube
  25. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Encounter with the Unknown (1972) - 4/10 Very low-budget, PG-rated supernatural anthology film with narration by Rod Serling. The trio of tales, loosely connected by some blather about people who encounter supernatural phenomena often ending up buried in the same cemetery, includes one about three college students who are cursed by a grieving woman, a small town faced with some sort of...thing at the bottom of a sink hole, and a ghostly figure that is frequently spotted on a bridge. The cast includes Gary Brockette, John Leslie, Tom Haywood, Fran Franklin, Robert Ginnaven, John Cissne, Rosie Holotik, and Bill Thurman. This was shot in Arkansas by locals, and it's anyone's guess how they wrangled Serling for the badly-written voiceover work. All three tales are overlong, as they could have told the same stories in 10 minutes or less. Source: YouTube

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