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Everything posted by cinemaspeak59

  1. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    No Way to Treat A Lady Without Passport
  2. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Devil (2010)
  3. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    The setting and costumes do remind one of the Wicker Man. I saw the 2006 remake with Nicholas Cage but haven't seen the 1973 version, which is regarded as much better.
  4. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Local Hero (1983)
  5. cinemaspeak59

    Your Favorite Cult Movies

    Bound (1996) I've read where this film has grown to cult status. I saw it upon release and liked it.
  6. cinemaspeak59

    First movie that comes to mind. --- geography

    The Thin Red Line (1998) Next: Normandy
  7. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Gregory's Girl (1980)
  8. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Lucas (1986)
  9. cinemaspeak59

    Which movie would you love to see that doesn't get shown too often??

    I would like to see Fellini’s The White Sheik from 1952.
  10. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    American Hustle (2013)
  11. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    Midsommar (2019) It was with high anticipation that I went to see Midsommar, Ari Aster’s follow-up to the superb Hereditary. Aster has a gift for creating atmosphere and dread, which were on full display in the brilliant first act. The protagonist, Dani, played by Florence Pugh (on a roll from her breakout performance in Lady Macbeth) is reeling from a horrific family tragedy. To clear her mind, she joins her reluctant boyfriend Christian (a great Jack Reynor), and his even more reluctant pals, Josh (William Jackson Harper) and resident bro Mark (Will Poulter), on a trip to Sweden, to celebrate the midsommar festival, a nine-day summer solstice event that happens every 90 years. The guys are grad students, and the trip could serve as both research and pleasure. But they don’t want the clingy Dani tagging along and plead with Christian to break up with her. The invitation for the excursion came from a mysterious foreign student named Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). The way Aster frames him and lights him suggests Pelle has sinister motives. Once in Sweden, they’re greeted by an army of malevolently welcoming worshipers, dressed in white linen. It’s not long before the word cult comes to mind. Set pieces bring out the eerie environment: elaborate rituals, exotic food and drink, strange drawings, and a holy book that serves as a bible. But these often serve as just filler. Aster makes good use of strange architecture, but the blinding sunlight has a diluting effect. Josh, as the serious scholar, starts to suspect that something is not right. Aster drops Easter eggs throughout, and one painting early on hints that everything that happens may have been preordained. I found Midsommar a bit of a disappointment. It isn’t helped by the plodding pace and close to 2.5 hour running time. It’s not a bad horror movie, but it lacked the insidious terror of Hereditary. There were also some very funny moments, whether intentional or not. The packed theater I was in laughed hysterically at a few scenes, and this nudged the film in the direction of a parody. There are the obligatory echoes of Rosemary’s Baby, and a twist ending that really isn’t that shocking. The performances, however, are uniformly excellent, and I look forward to Aster’s next film. Grade for Midsommar: B.
  12. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Foxcatcher (2014)
  13. cinemaspeak59

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    Ingrid Bergman was in Cactus Flower with Walter Matthau
  14. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Ex Machina (2014)
  15. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Moneyball (2011)
  16. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Romantic Comedies

    Cactus Flower (1969) Another comedy from 1969, a year TCM has been highlighting. Some brush must be cleared away first, that is, getting past the improbability that Goldie Hawn’s hippie chick, Toni, would fall for Walter Matthau’s middle-age, commitment-phobic dentist, Julian. So distraught is Toni that she turns on the oven, in a botched suicide, because Julian refuses to leave his wife. She’s saved by her neighbor, Igor (Rick Lenz), who manages to sneak in a few passionate kisses as he’s resuscitating her. Ingrid Bergman plays Stephanie, Julian’s loyal, prim assistant. She keeps a cactus plant on her desk, and its blooming mirrors that of Stephanie, hence the title. Stephanie organizes Julian’s schedule, and it becomes gradually clear she’s in love with him. The chemistry between Hawn and Matthau is buoyant and nimble to the point you’re not thinking about their relationship in traditional, or even physical terms. Cactus Flower skillfully uses the generational and cultural divide to create motifs straight out of classic Hollywood screwball comedy: impersonations, serendipitous meetings, and mistaken identity. Matthau delivers zingers in that unique, trademark deadpan. Hawn’s Toni is trusting, cagey, and ironically, rather conservative in her sexual philosophy. We pretty much know how the romantic pairings will line up. But that’s beside the point. Stellar comedic support is provided by Jack Weston, who plays Harvey Greenfield: lounge lizard, underemployed actor, who chases young women and never pays his bills. Ingrid Bergman's Stephanie decides to join the swinger movement as well, transitioning from Druid-like moralist to party girl. At the Slipped Disk nightclub, she cuts a mean number, calling her dance “The Dentist”, and it’s a riot. Joining the action is Vito Scotti, playing a hypochondriac patient. One exchange between Toni and Harvey that I loved went like this: Toni: Mr. Greenfield, what kind of work do you do? Harvey: I don't work, honey, I'm an actor. Toni: An actor? Isn't that a very insecure profession? Harvey: Only financially. Sure, it’s too on the nose, but hilarious nonetheless. The Neil Diamond-penned song “I’m a Believer”, made famous by The Monkees, is used so much it becomes the film’s anthem. An Academy Award win went to Goldie Hawn for Best Supporting Actress.
  17. cinemaspeak59

    Favorite Actresses of the 1970's

    I also pick Faye Dunaway. Diane Keaton did great work as well.
  18. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Bug (2006)
  19. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    The Host (2006)
  20. cinemaspeak59

    Long Titles (6 words + up)

    The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (2013)
  21. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    The Master (2012)
  22. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Reality Bites (1994)
  23. cinemaspeak59

    Anatomy of a Gag: Harold Lloyd

    Favorite film: Safety Last! (1923) Favorite short: Number, Please? (1920)
  24. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Frances Ha (2012)
  25. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Romantic Comedies

    Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). A sex farce about the sexual revolution sweeping America during the late 1960s. The counter culture comes full circle in affluent Angelinos Bob (Robert Culp), Carol (Natalie Wood), Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon). Bob and Carol view themselves as in tune with the times, with occasional but not unlikeable smugness. The film begins with them visiting a retreat for spiritual and mental awakening. And they come away changed, especially Carol. So much so that Bob decides to have an affair and confess it to Carol. Carol thinks it’s so wonderful she has one herself. I loved Natalie Wood’s explaining to her angry husband, who walks in on her: “I wanted to do it. Because, I wanted to do it. I…. wanted to do it”, while Bob’s head is about to explode. He eventually calms down. Bob and Carol need to stay true to their ideals, and anger over an affair is an outdated 1950s response. Moreover, there's a difference between sex and love. Their best friends, Ted and Alice, are solid philistines. But it’s only a matter of time before Ted and Alice realize they’re missing out. The performances are pitch perfect. Natalie Wood continues the hilarious neurosis of her Sex and the Single Girl (1964) character. Dyan Cannon’s moral abhorrence becomes a comedy sketch when she’s talking to her shrink, and in another sequence denying Ted sex as he begs like a teenager whose life depends on it. Inevitably, the couples swap partners, and it’s filmed with remarkable poignancy. The film remains fresh, and modern. Paul Mazursky directed and co-wrote it with Larry Tucker. They have affection for the characters, without mocking them, even the square Ted and Alice.

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