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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. America's Gun Culture...

    I wasn't trying to defend anyone. I had no idea if you meant "the mainstream media", or some specific talking head bozos on CNN/MSNBC, or whatever website originated the story about the rifle training. You're starting to jump to as many conclusions about other people's motives as Nipkow does.
  2. One of the top-rated movies on the list is Charlie Chan's Courage (1934), with 368 votes. That's a rather impressive number since it's a lost movie. There's one of those "audio-plays-over-still-pictures" recreations, but the movie itself isn't available.
  3. America's Gun Culture...

    "These same folks"?
  4. I've seen every movie being shown in the next 13 days.
  5. I used to. I like seeing what both sides of an argument have to say, even if one or both sides have gone a little crazy in their partisanship. However, thanks to Jake's new tweet embedding format, it's wreaking havoc with my computer, so I've had to put him on /ignore.

    1 = Jean Arthur? 2 = Betty Grable? 3 = Mary Pickford 5 = Ida Lupino
  7. 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.
  8. April 2018 Schedule is Up

    Here are the weekly links: Star of the month is William Holden. Edit: There appears to be some technical difficulties. Some of the weeks were visible and now aren't, so check back later if they're aren't working for you.
  9. Recently Watched Horror

    The Ritual (2017) - Surprisingly good British supernatural thriller from Entertainment One and director David Bruckner. Four friends take a hiking trip through Swedish hill country to honor the memory of a dead comrade. When they decide to take a shortcut through the forests in order to get back to lodging faster, they encounter things beyond comprehension. Starring Rafe Spall, Sam Troughton, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, and Paul Reid. This is a slow burn, starting out as a well-acted, if somewhat familiar, suspense movie about people getting lost in the woods. However, it soon starts getting more interesting, and while I don't want to spoil things, it goes places I wasn't expecting, moving fully into supernatural territory in a way that isn't seen enough. I ended up finding this the most enjoyable horror entry that I've seen in quite a while. Recommended. (8/10) Source: Netflix.
  10. Films of 2017

    New year, new thread. Looking over some articles about what's on deck for this calendar year, I can't say that things look too exciting. A few noteworthy releases include: Logan - Claiming to be Hugh Jackman's final outing in the role of Logan/Wolverine, this looks to be darker, grittier and more personal than most of the X-Men films. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 - The next adventure for the misfit band of outer space heroes from Marvel Studios. The first one was a big hit, and critically well-liked, so expectations are high for this. Thor: Ragnarok - The third installment in the Thor series of Marvel superhero movies, this one sees the God of Thunder teaming up with the Hulk on an intergalactic adventure. Cate Blanchett plays the villain. Wonder Woman - Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon warrior, continuing on from a brief turn in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This is an origin story and a period piece, set mainly during WW1. The first trailer looked interesting, but some rumors of behind-the-scenes trouble have tempered expectations a bit. Warner Brothers is hoping for a big hit, since this leads into... Justice League - Coming out at the end of the year, this is the DC comics answer to Marvel's The Avengers. This brings together Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Will this match the quality of The Avengers, or be a muddled, overlong, overloaded mess? Spider-Man: Homecoming - Marvel's hoping the third time's the charm, as they reboot this series yet again, recasting the characters and changing up the storyline. Young Tom Holland takes over the title role, and this time out he battles the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton. Power Rangers - The silly Japanese TV import from the 1990's get a big-budget remake. 5 teens are granted great powers, colorful costumes, and giant robots to battle Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) and her giant monster minions. The LEGO Batman Movie - A spin-off of sorts from the hit Lego Movie from a few years back, this centers on the Caped Crusader and his usual gallery of supporting characters. The Fate of the Furious - Yet another high-speed, physics-defying action fest starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, this time fighting new villain Charlize Theron. Lots of grunting and explosions, I'm sure. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - A fifth outing for Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), searching for Poseidon's Trident before new bad guy Javier Bardem can get it. Baywatch and Chips - 2 more movies based on TV shows, both taking an ironic, comedic tone. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron topline the former, while the less-dynamic Dax Shepard and Michael Pena star in the latter. XXX: The Return of Xander Cage - Because no one asked for it, Vin Diesel returns for this third entry in the spy/extreme sports/action franchise. Speaking of unwanted returns, Underworld: Blood Wars and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter add more installments to their respective franchises. Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich must be getting tired of these. There are more sequels to contend with: Rings, a third entry in the J-horror series; Fifty Shades Darker, for more cinema-friendly naughtiness; John Wick 2, which most likely will fail to match the verve of the surprisingly good first film; War for the Planet of the Apes concludes the recent trilogy of well-done ape movies, this time pitting the apes against Woody Harrelson; Kingsman: The Golden Circle, more teen spy shenanigans A Cure for Wellness - This looks promising, an unnerving psycho-thriller from director Gore Verbinski and starring Dane DeHaan. The Great Wall - A big, expensive fantasy epic, featuring Matt Damon and Andy Lau, this is a Chinese co-production, and is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Kong: Skull Island - Another expensive-looking fantasy adventure, featuring the giant gorilla, this time facing a cast that includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Disney's Beauty and the Beast - A live-action retelling of the classic, featuring songs and all, starring Emma Watson as Belle. Ghost in the Shell - Sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson came in for some bad press due to accusations of racism in the casting decision, since this is an adaptation of a beloved manga and anime from Japan. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - Guy Ritchie directs this umpteenth retelling of the King and his knights of the round table. Alien Covenant - Ridley Scott directs this continuation of the Alien and Prometheus storylines. Blade Runner 2049 - I'm a huge fan of the original, so I can't help but think this is a bad idea. Harrison Ford returns, but Ryan Gosling is the star. The Mummy - Tom Cruise stars in this remake, which looks more like an action epic than any kind of supernatural horror. This is the start of a hoped-for franchise. Cars 3 - More talking cars. Honk honk. Despicable Me 3 - Because kids like sequels, too. The Emoji Movie: Express Yourself - They've officially run out of ideas. Transformers: The Last Knight - This will be headache-inducing, no doubt. Dunkirk - Christopher Nolan directs this WW2 tale. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets - French director Luc Besson directs this elaborate-looking space opera. The Dark Tower - Stephen King adaptation featuring Idris Elba and Matthew McConnaughey. It - Another Stephen King adaptation, this time trying to cram everything in the massive book into a 2-hour running time. Oh, and they've updated the setting, so all of the fun growing-up-in-the-60's references will be gone. These are just a few of the higher-profile releases for the year, and most of the more interesting films won't come out until late in the year, most likely. Everyone please feel free to add any titles you've seen or want to see, or that you think look especially terrible.
  11. I Just Watched...

    Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women (1979) - CBS TV movie thriller from director Joseph Pevney. A planeload of oil company men, including Steven Keats, Clint Walker, Peter Lawford, and Guich Koock, is forced to land on an unknown Pacific island, where they discover a multi-ethnic tribe of beautiful woman living in the jungle. The two groups slowly start to interact, and Keats begins to learn who they are and how they got there, while a tribe of "head-choppers" from a nearby island sporadically attacks them all. Also featuring Jamie Lynn Bauer, Rosalind Chao, Sandy McPeak, Michael McGreevey, Susie Coelho, Deborah Shelton, Jayne Kennedy, and Kathryn Davis. Featuring standard TV-movie production values of the time, this is really just an excuse to show a lot of pretty women in skimpy outfits, while aging male stars get to enjoy a tropical vacation while filming as well as acting with said ladies. The biggest surprise by the end of this one was just how little had actually occurred during its running time. Shot in Hawaii. (4/10) Source: Svengoolie, by way of MeTV.
  12. Recently Watched SF & Fantasy

    Bright (2017) - Silly, expensive crime drama/High Fantasy mash-up from Netflix, writer Max Landis and director David Ayer. In an alternate reality modern Los Angeles where the creatures of fantasy tales (elves, orcs, fairies, dragons, centaurs) are real and part of normal society, veteran LAPD cop Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is forced to partner with the first Orc police officer, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). Orcs are notoriously violent, dumb, and loathed by most of society due to their serving the Dark Lord in an epic battle 2000 years ago. Jakoby proves to be more than the Orc stereotype, though, even if his partnering with Ward makes the older cop a pariah on the force. Their lives get even worse when they stumble upon a Magic Wand, an extremely rare, incredibly powerful relic that grants untold power, but which can only be used by those with an inborn gift for magic use. Such people are called "bright", and an elf named Tikka (Lucy Fry) is one such bright. She's absconded with the Wand belonging to the evil Leilah (Noomi Rapace) another bright elf who wants to use the wand to resurrect the Dark Lord. And so Ward and Jakoby struggle to protect Tikka and the wand from Leilah and her agents, a bloodthirsty Mexican street gang, an even more dangerous Orc gang, crooked cops, and a federal agent elf (Edgar Ramirez). Also featuring Enrique Murciano, Ike Barenholtz, Margaret Cho, Dawn Olivieri, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Happy Anderson, Brad William Henke, and Jay Hernandez. This movie got a lot of coverage when it came out, as it was a near-$100 million dollar film made to go directly to Netflix streaming, without any kind of theatrical release. Netflix claims that it was a big success, bringing in many new subscribers, but I'm not sure how those numbers add up. The film itself is dreadful, in my opinion, a terrible melding of fantastical creatures with ultra-gritty cop flicks like Training Day. It never manages to rise above the inherit silliness of its premise, and it often looks stupid rather than "cool". I'm not a film prude, and foul language doesn't bother me, but the amount of four-letter words here came across as juvenile, repetitious, and unimaginative. The performances are terrible, too, particularly Will Smith, who seems to be trying to cruise through on his old charm, which seems much diminished in recent years. Edgerton probably comes off the best, which is ironic given that he's buried under full head makeup. Netflix has already announced that a sequel is in the works. (4/10) Source: Netflix.
  13. 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.
  14. Recently Watched Horror

    Demonic (2015) - Supernatural thriller undone by an overly confused narrative, from Dimension Films and director Will Canon. Louisiana detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) is responding to a noise complaint at an infamous, abandoned house, only to discover several dead bodies and one survivor who is terribly shaken. While police converge on the scene to investigate, Detective Lewis and psychologist Elizabeth Klein (Maria Bello) try interrogating the survivor, John (Dustin Milligan), who relate his story of being one of group paranormal investigators who came to the house to learn more about a series of bizarre murders years ago. Also featuring Cody Horn, Scott Mechlowicz, Aaron Yoo, Alex Goode, and Megan Park. The story flips back and forth between the present police investigation and flashbacks to John and his associates exploring the house. Unfortunately this robs the movie of much of its suspense, especially considering that the viewers already know what happens to most of the characters from the first scenes. There are some nice, creepy shots here and there, but not a lot of originality. Grillo and Bello seem to be slumming here, while the cast young people don't make a big impression; I had trouble telling two of the guys apart, as they were both skinny, pasty white dudes with the same dark haircut. The film's final revelations call into question the point of a lot of what you just watched, and not in a good way. (5/10) Source: Netflix.
  15. The Shining was a very personal novel for King, and there were a lot of changes, so I understand why he dislikes it. He's not alone, as plenty of others dislike it, from fans of the novel to those who haven't read it but just find the movie boring. There's at least one poster on here who regularly mentions their disdain of the film. I personally love it, and rank among my top ten favorite movies of all time. I've read the book as well, and find the movie far, far superior. The movie isn't always easy to digest, and requires the viewer to fill in the spaces (if they even care too), with very little hand-holding as to what is going on and why. As has been discussed in another thread recently, Kubrick often left his films open to interpretation, and perhaps none moreso than The Shining, with the exception of 2001. As for the menacing topiary, the hedge maze is a hundred times more intimidating and visually interesting than the animal bushes were, and when King got his wish for a more literal adaptation of his book with the 1997 miniseries, viewers could see for themselves just how goofy they looked when rendered in a real-world setting. What works on the page doesn't always work on the screen. Doubtless it could look better now with improved technology, but it would still be a bunch of bushes leaping around.
  16. I Just Watched...

    Susan and God (1940) - Comedy-drama based on the play by Rachel Crothers, adapted by Anita Loos, from MGM and director George Cukor. Society woman Susan (Joan Crawford) returns from a lengthy European trip. She's become a religious convert, and attempts to push her new-found faith on all those around her. This is especially hard for her alcoholic husband Barrie (Fredric March), and their awkward teenage daughter Blossom (Rita Quigley). Also featuring Ruth Hussey, Rose Hobart, Rita Hayworth, Constance Collier, John Carroll, Nigel Bruce, Bruce Cabot, Marjorie Main, Gloria DeHaven, Richard Crane, Norma Mitchell, Joan Leslie, Lon McCallister, Susan Peters (in her debut), and Dan Dailey. This wasn't what I expected from reading the brief plot description on TCM. I suppose I was expecting a more serious look at what can be wrought from obsessive or misplaced religious fervor, a topic on which I have first hand experience, having known more than a few people who have "found God" and then proceeded to wreak havoc in the lives of all those around them. Instead, this plays more frequently like any number of light-comedy stage productions with fast-talking, wisecracking characters, only without the verbal spark of many of the best of that genre. Cukor doesn't do much to open the play up, and most the film seems trapped in overstuffed theatrical sets. The costumes, too, are a bit much, with a couple of real oddities, perhaps an attempt to add visual interest to a talky, static production. (6/10) Source: TCM.
  17. Trivia game

    New question, please!
  18. I Just Watched...

    I looked her up on Wikipedia after watching the movie to learn more about her. She's still kicking, enjoying her golden years in Hawaii.
  19. Most Polluted States in the U.S. Indiana (Gov. Eric Holcomb -R) Ohio (Gov. John Kasich -R) Kentucky (Gov. Mark Bevin -R) Tennessee (Gov. Bill Haslam -R) Alabama (Gov. Kay Ivey -R) West Virginia (Gov. Jim Justice -R) Washington D.C. (Mayor Muriel Bowser -D) Maryland (Gov. Larry Hogan -R) Illinois (Gov. Bruce Rauner -R) Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Wolf -D) Georgia (Gov. Nathan Deal -R) Virginia (Gov. Ralph Northam -D) Mississippi (Gov. Phil Bryant -R) South Carolina (Gov. Henry McMaster -R) North Carolina (Gov. Roy Cooper -D) Looks like a lot more "R's" than "D's" on that list.
  20. Gloria Swanson classic finally

    There are a few Gloria Swanson Blu-rays out now or coming soon. ZaZa (1923) was released last June from Kino-Lorber. It's $16.49 on Amazon at the moment. Stage Struck (1925) will be released April 10, from Kino Classics. The current pre-order price is $29.95, but it will drop (most likely to $19.99) by the time it gets released. Manhandled (1924) will also be released April 10, also from Kino Classics, and also at $29.95.
  21. William Holden as SOTM April 2018

    I can't speak for anyone else obviously, but Holden is one of the actors whose work I'm trying to see all of. I like Boyer alright, but he's not one of those that I'm trying to be a completist with. According to my list, I've seen 44 of Holden's 68 movies. Out of the ones showing in April, I haven't seen: Dear Ruth Toward the Unknown The Earthling I also haven't seen Texas, but I already have that one recorded to watch. Here are the titles I haven't seen, and that aren't being shown in April: Those Were the Days! (1940) I Wanted Wings (1941) The Remarkable Andrew (1942) Young and Willing (1943) Blaze of Noon (1947) Streets of Laredo (1949) Dear Wife (1949) Submarine Command (1951) The Turning Point (1952) Forever Female (1953) The Proud and the Profane (1956) The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) Paris When It Sizzles (1964) The Christmas Tree (1969) The Revengers (1972) The Blue Knight (1973) Open Season (1974) Fedora (1978) Ashanti (1979)
  22. I Just Watched...

    If I Had My Way (1940) - Bland musical from Universal and director David Butler. Construction workers Buzz (Bing Crosby), Axel (El Brendel), and Fred (Donald Woods) are best friends as well as co-workers. Buzz and Axel are also surrogate fathers to Fred's young daughter Patricia (Gloria Jean). When Fred is killed in an accident, Buzz and Axel are charged with taking Patricia to New York City to live with relatives, where they all get tied up in running a money-pit restaurant. Also featuring Charles Winninger, Allyn Joslyn, Claire Dodd, Moroni Olsen, Nana Bryant, Rod Cameron, Blanche Ring, and Eddie Leonard. I was unaware of Gloria Jean, an operatic singer who Universal groomed to be a replacement for the aging Deanna Durbin. Jean was a popular film star from 1939 through the war years, but this is first time I've seen her. She comes across nice enough, but her style isn't my cup of tea. If juvenile opera singers are your thing, you may like her more. Bing wanders through the movie and cashes his check. El Brendel does his El Brendel thing. The whole enterprise was almost completely forgettable until the big multi-artist musical numbers at the end, yet another nostalgic look at yesterday's performers, including an embarrassing and awful blackface minstrel number, this time from Eddie Leonard as himself. The good old days, indeed. (5/10) Source: Universal DVD, part of the Bing Crosby Screen Legend Collection.
  23. Death Takes No Holiday -- The Obituary Thread

    A trio of movie-related deaths recently: Edward M. Abroms (May 6, 1935 - February 13, 2018) - Film and television editor. His career began in TV in the late 1960's on such shows as Tarzan and Ironside. He worked on a number of films, including The Sugarland Express (1974), The Osterman Weekend (1983), Cohen and Tate (1988), and Street Fighter (1994). He received an Oscar nomination for his editing on 1983's Blue Thunder. Pier Paolo Capponi (June 9, 1938 - February 15, 2018) - Italian actor who was most prolific during the 1960's and 70's. He appeared in King of Hearts (1966), Black Jesus (1968), Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970), The Cat O' Nine Tails (1971), Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972), and Farinelli (1994). He mainly concentrated on television work from the late 70's on. Lassie Lou Ahern (June 25, 1920 - February 15, 2018) - American child actress during the silent era who appeared in some of the Our Gang silent shorts. She gained much notice for her role in Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927), although she abruptly quit films until the early 1940's, when she took a few bit parts and extra work. She had one last, short burst of activity on TV in the early 1970s.
  24. ClassiCategories

    The Burbs Suburbicon Suburbia Over the Edge
  25. Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1937

    Here are the 1001 Movies foreign-language entries for 1937 that I'm aware of: Song at Midnight aka Midnight Song, Weibang Ma-Xu, China Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir, France Pepe le Moko, Julien Duvivier, France I've seen all of the entries from the beginning through the early 1950's, with the exception of one British movie from 1943, so these lists will resemble my own listings for the next several years of films.

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