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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Barracuda aka The Lucifer Project (1978) - Terrible eco-horror schlock from American General Pictures and director Harry Kerwin. Wayne Crawford stars as university marine biologist Mike, who is in the small coastal Florida town of Palm Cove to do some pollution testing on the local waters. A nearby chemical plant, run by the shady Papa Jack (Bert Freed), has been dumping unknown chemicals into the ocean, and it seems to be causing the local barracuda population to become overly aggressive. As Mike digs deeper into what's going on, powerful forces begin to close in. Also featuring Roberta Leighton, William Kerwin, Jason Evers, Cliff Emmich, Barbara Keegan, Bob J. Shields, Ruth Miller, Frank Logan, and Willis Knickerbocker. This micro-budget travesty is a mash-up of Jaws and countless nature-gone-wrong horror tales, slathered in a thick coat of 70's conspiracy paranoia. The acting is woeful, particularly from star, co-writer, and underwater sequence director Wayne Crawford. William Kerwin, star of many of H.G. Lewis' memorable 60's horror films, plays the local sheriff. The killer fish are really secondary to the conspiracy plot, and the fish attacks consist of someone off camera holding a bad barracuda prop and slapping the actors and actresses with it while red fruit punch is generously squirted into the seawater. The movie's cynical ending is not unexpected. Perhaps the only redeeming feature, if barely, is the throbbing synth score from Klaus Schulze, which seems like an almost-there rip-off of Tangerine Dream. (2/10) Source: Svengoolie.
  2. LawrenceA

    Top Ten Films of...

    In this thread I would like to share and compare lists of your personal top ten movies, going year by year. I will start with 1930, and add a new year every day or so. Please feel free to share your own, and any comments, suggestions and complaints about each other's choices are expected and encouraged. I like to read other's lists as sources of titles to look for in the future, and seeing other people's idiosyncratic choices can be amusing. My only request is if you personally don't like top ten lists, think they are stupid, a waste of time, been done to death, etc., please just move along to some other thread. I will start by stating the year, how many titles from that year I've seen (yes, I have a list), and then the top ten. If I have any comments, I'll add them at the end. I start at 1930 simply for the reason that I haven't seen enough titles from the 20's or earlier to merit a list. Also, I know to expect some inconsistencies with what year to ascribe each film to. I try to use the imdb listed year, but everyone has they're own methodology. So, without further ado... 1930 - 37 films seen 1. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 2. L'AGE D'OR 3. ANIMAL CRACKERS 4. THE BLUE ANGEL 5. UP THE RIVER 6. UNDER THE ROOFS OF PARIS 7. THE DIVORCEE 8. MOROCCO 9. EARTH 10. THE BIG HOUSE
  3. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Destination Gobi (1953) - Technicolor WW2 adventure from 20th Century Fox and director Robert Wise. Richard Widmark stars as US Navy CPO Samuel T. McHale, who is assigned to head up a very remote weather station in Inner Mongolia during the height of the Pacific Theater of WW2. What seems like the worst assignment imaginable becomes more complicated when a tribe of Mongolians set up camp nearby the weather station. The small American contingent must learn to live with their new neighbors, especially when the Japanese come calling. Also featuring Don Taylor, Earl Holliman, Dwayne Hickman, Martin Milner, Max Showalter, Murvyn Vye, Ross Bagdasarian, Judy Dan, Rodolfo Acosta, Leonard Strong, Richard Loo, and Russell Collins. This starts out promising, with an unusual setting and story line, but it bogs down in the second half, before finishing up with a fairly silly finale. None of the cast really stand out, and most of the prominent "good" Mongolians are played by non-Asians in makeup, while the bad guys are all real Asians. (6/10) Source: FXM.
  4. LawrenceA


    All I know is that it's one of the only four Cagney movies that I haven't seen.
  5. LawrenceA

    Actor/Movie Association Game

    The Girl Next Door (1953)
  6. LawrenceA

    *A to Z of actresses and actors*:)

    Farnum, Franklyn
  7. LawrenceA

    *A to Z of Movies*

    Operation Mad Ball
  8. LawrenceA

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    Gwen Verdon was in Alice with Keye Luke.
  9. LawrenceA

    A to Z of Characters

    Agamemnon - Brian Cox in Troy
  10. LawrenceA

    *A to Z of Filmmakers*

    Quine, Richard - director, Bell, Book and Candle
  11. LawrenceA


    Road to Utopia
  12. LawrenceA

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold next: in a foxhole
  13. LawrenceA

    The first actor/actress that comes to mind..

    Nicole Kidman (Diane Arbus in Fur) next: rode a camel
  14. LawrenceA

    First movie that comes to mind. --- geography

    Control (2007) next: Mongolia
  15. LawrenceA

    Double Feature

    Next (2007) next: Terror of Tiny Town
  16. I couldn't care less about Bernstein, and kinda resent losing a Silent Sunday and a TCM Import because of him. They couldn't show all of this during one day/night? Or better yet, on PBS? It's bad enough losing all of the regular shows for an entire month in August, so losing a week now is extra irritating. But I know I'm in the minority with this sentiment, and I hope fans of tonight and tomorrow's programming enjoy what's being offered.
  17. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Dangerous When Wet (1953) - Technicolor musical romance from MGM and director Charles Walters. American farm girl Katie Higgins (Esther Williams) is convinced by fast-talking salesman Windy Weebe (Jack Carson) to try and swim the English Channel as a promotional stunt for his energy drink. While she prepares for the endeavor, she meets Frenchman Andre Lanet (Fernando Lamas) and romance blooms. Also featuring William Demarest, Charlotte Greenwood, Denise Darcel, Donna Corcoran, Barbara Whiting, Bunny Waters, Henri Letondal, Paul Bryar, and Ed Fury. More of Esther Williams' usual wholesome, corny, watery shtick, with the added exoticism of Lamas and Darcel. The most memorable sequence is probably the lengthy dream sequence where Williams swims with Tom & Jerry and other animated critters. This was the last of the nine Williams I had to watch, having seen none of her musicals before this. I can say that they weren't horrible for the most part, and I can understand their widespread appeal in their day. (6/10) Source: Warner DVD.
  18. LawrenceA

    Recent Buys

    I'm starting this thread to discuss any new DVD or Blu-ray purchases you may have made. I know we had a thread like this in the General section, but things move so quickly over there (even during this lull in posting) that the thread disappears and it becomes a project trying to track it down. I'm not sure who started that thread (speedracer?) but I hope they don't take offense at me starting another, similar thread in this section. I recently went Criterion crazy. I bought Red Beard (1965) and The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) in the last couple of weeks, and then Criterion had a website flash sale this week, and I ended up ordering 6 more! They were Days of Heaven (1978), Harakiri (1962), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), and Hunger (2008) on Blu-ray, as well as Wise Blood (1979) and Weekend (1967) on DVD. I also got Woody Allen's newest, Cafe Society (2016) through Amazon.
  19. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1953) - 12-chapter science fiction adventure serial, from Republic Pictures and director Fred C. Brannon (among others). In the near future, Earth has some interaction with alien worlds, and so the government has named brilliant scientist Commando Cody (Judd Holdren) as the Sky Marshal of the Universe. He is charged with dealing with interplanetary menaces, particularly the machinations of the Ruler of the Galaxy (Gregory Gaye), who uses powerful alien weaponry to try and conquer the Earth. Cody, along with his two sidekicks, uses a fantastic rocket suit and spaceship to battle the Ruler and his minions. Also featuring Aline Towne, William Schallert, Richard Crane, Peter Brocco, John Crawford, I. Stanford Jolley, Craig Kelly, Gloria Pall, Rick Vallin, Denver Pyle, and Lyle Talbot. This fourth rocket man serial was originally intended to be a TV series. The first three episodes were filmed (with William Schallert as one of Cody's sidekicks), but then production was put on hold, and Republic filmed the 1952 serial Zombies of the Stratosphere. After that was finished, production resumed on this, with Richard Crane replacing Schallert. After its completion, Republic decided to release it theatrically as a serial instead of a TV series, partially due to pressure from technicians' unions which stated that crews were paid more for theatrical productions. Still, Republic did eventually release this as a syndicated TV series in 1955. This is both sillier and more creative than the previous rocket man serials. Cody wears a domino mask and a jaunty little cap whenever he's not in his bulky helmet, ostensibly due to security reasons. The villains wear a variety of silly hats, as well. There are rocket flights in space and to other worlds, and the Republic robot shows up yet again. There is still the traditional re-use of footage from previous serials and movies, even back to The Purple Monster Strikes from 1945. Each chapter runs a solid 30 minutes, meaning the entire thing took 6 hours to watch. Since this was intended to be a TV show, the chapters are more like episodes, with self-contained dilemmas that are resolved without any cliffhanger endings. This wasn't the last serial released (that would be 1956's Blazing the Overland Trail), but this is the last one I have to watch, and I have to say that I've enjoyed the cheap thrills and often unintentional laughs from this sub-genre. (6/10) Source: Olive/Paramount DVD, on two discs.
  20. LawrenceA

    Films of 2018

    It's hard to believe, but it's that time again, when one year closes and another is on the horizon. I'll start off this new year's thread by posting the list of the most anticipated releases of 2018 as voted on by the users of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Avengers: Infinity War Black Panther Deadpool 2 Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom Tomb Raider Pacific Rim: Uprising The Predator Ocean's Eight Mission: Impossible 6 Solo: A Star Wars Story That's 3 superhero movies leading off the list, and that's not even all of them. There's also Ant-Man and the Wasp, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, The New Mutants, Venom and Aquaman. I haven't read much about the next year's films but there are a few on my radar that I'm interested in: Annihilation is the new science fiction film from Alex Garland, the writer-director of Ex Machina, and writer of Sunshine and 28 Days Later. It stars Natalie Portman as the leader of an expedition into a mysterious alien realm in search of her husband. Isle of Dogs is an animated film from director Wes Anderson. I like his quirky sensibilities. God Particle is a science fiction story whose details have been kept under wraps. It's supposedly going to be tied to the Cloverfield movies, but only in a very minor way. The 15:17 to Paris is Clint Eastwood's take on the thwarted terrorist attack on a French train a few years ago. The actual guys who stopped the attack play themselves. A Wrinkle in Time is the long-gestating adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's much-loved science fiction fantasy novel. The movie features Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey. Mary Magdelene is another look at the biblical character, starring Rooney Mara, with Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus. Ready Player One is a big-budget science fiction adventure from Steven Spielberg, based on a best seller about people searching for treasure in a virtual reality game populated by familiar pop culture characters. Sicario 2: Soldado is a follow-up to the excellent 2015 film Sicario about the US/Mexican drug trade, with Benicio Del Toro returning as a lethal secret agent. As usual, most of the more interesting movies won't be out until late in the year, and as such I haven't heard about them yet.
  21. LawrenceA


    I just go by MovieCollector's database, and it has no showings for Ceiling Zero. However, he does have some small gaps in his schedule history, so it's possible that a showing falls within those.
  22. LawrenceA

    Why Do?

    Sometimes it had to do with how they were filming. It was quicker than waiting for the person to walk around the car and get in on the driver's side. It may have had something to do with camera placement. Some people used to get in on the passenger side as walking into the street and opening the door near oncoming traffic to get into the driver's side could be dangerous.
  23. LawrenceA

    I Just Watched...

    Code Two (1953) - "B" police procedural from MGM and director Fred M. Wilcox. The film follows three young men, Chuck O'Flair (Ralph Meeker), Russ Hartley (Robert Horton), and Harry Whenlon (Jeff Richards), as they join the police academy, struggle through training, and later become L.A.P.D. motorcycle cops. Also featuring Keenan Wynn, Sally Forrest, Elaine Stewart, James Craig, Robert Burton, William Campbell, Jonathan Cott, Fred Graham, Bill Hickman, and Chuck Connors. This plays more like a TV pilot than a movie. Most of the situations are routine, but there are a couple of surprising (and grisly) moments in the brief 69 minute runtime. Meeker is the cocky hotshot, and Horton's hair never moves. Wynn is the grizzled veteran trying to teach these young punks a thing or two. Bill Hickman, master stunt driver, appears briefly as a uniformed cycle cop, while a youthful Chuck Connors cameos as a deputy sheriff. (6/10) Source: TCM.
  24. LawrenceA

    Rex Reed would be a great TCM Host

    If you're gonna call me Princess, can I call you Duchess?

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