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Everything posted by cinemaspeak59

  1. cinemaspeak59

    I Just Watched...

    Most definitely, Rohmer is an acquired taste. I’m thankful he gave us such a prolific body of work.
  2. cinemaspeak59

    Theme Songs That Fit A Movie or TV Show Perfectly

    Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds perfectly expresses the themes in John Hughes' seminal 1985 teen movie The Breakfast Club.
  3. cinemaspeak59

    I Just Watched...

    I haven't seen the remake with Helen Mirren. The first time I saw The Roman Spring, Leigh's character, though no longer young, was still attractive & desirable, and the subtext was that her and Paolo had a powerful sexual bond. It didn't go beyond sex, but for Karen Stone, this sustained her, and made life worth living. Karen Stone was a doomed character, perhaps depressed, and looking for any spark she can get.
  4. cinemaspeak59

    I Just Watched...

    I recently saw re-watched this. I find it timeless, as characters deceive themselves, and rationalize away things that may have never happened. It's Rohmer at his finest.
  5. cinemaspeak59

    2018 Noteworthy Films

    This is a listing of 15 noteworthy 2018 films that I’ve seen: Annihilation An unsettling sci-fi about an alien force that can alter living DNA. Black Panther Arguably Marvel's masterpiece. The movie explores social issues with commendable deftness with no shortage of thrills. A Quiet Place It's a creature feature, sure, but Emily Blunt's performance as a mother walking a tightrope of silence to protect her family elevates the story. Avengers: Infinity War The least joyous film in the series, which finds our beloved protectors being wiped out, literally, by Thanos, the villain to top all villains. The Death of Stalin A black comedy about the absurdity and wickedness of authoritarian governments. Hereditary Not the most original horror film, but the genre touchstones are executed with such mastery that it looks like nothing we've seen before. A triumph of set design and acting. Mission: Impossible - Fallout This is now the premier action adventure franchise, as Tom Cruise and company get better with each installment. The Wife Notable for Glenn Close's performance as the wife of a prestigious author, a performance which should land the actress her first Academy Award. Burning This hypnotic thriller from South Korea touches on class, gender power struggles, and is simply devastating. Searching for Ingmar Bergman Bergman is presented as a true artist. Interviews with his children show him as not an exemplary father. This doc reinforces the view that directing for Bergman was a vocation, and an all-consuming one at that. The Favourite A costume drama set in the court of Queen Anne, with plenty of scheming, backstabbing and bedroom politics. This is not a Masterpiece Theatre version of English royalty. Mary Queen of Scots It's not just Catholics vs Protestants. It's a feminist take on the bond between two great women, Mary and Elizabeth, who if left to themselves could have coexisted rather peacefully. Vice Adam McKay has become our foremost maestro for satirizing political history. His target is now Vice President Dick Cheney, and how he turned a constitutionally weak office into the most powerful position in the free world, with consequences still being felt. Stan & Ollie A nostalgic look at Stan & Ollie, as they perform live shows in England, circa 1953, as a run up to what they hope will convince a studio to bankroll their comeback film. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Stan and Ollie respectively, are unrecognizable, in a good way. Cold War Shot in silky black & white, two lovers in 1950s Poland struggle to find happiness together, but are undone by other commitments – politics, art - and by their own foibles. This is Pawel Pawlikowski's follow up to his equally mesmerizing Ida.
  6. cinemaspeak59

    Secret Agent/Spy Films

    I like The Mission Impossible films starring Tom Cruise. They have great action sequences, clever plot twists, and rely alot on old school espionage techniques. The latest one was Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018).
  7. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Romantic Comedies

    I know what you’re saying. It’s only recently that I’ve come to gain an appreciation for Hedy Lamarr. She shares with Greta Garbo a certain mysteriousness, allowing viewers to ascribe to them whatever they wish.
  8. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Romantic Comedies

    Come Live with Me (1941) An MGM comedy starring Hedy Lamarr & Jimmy Stewart. Hedy is a wealthy Viennese refugee living in New York. Her worst fear is realized when she’s threatened with deportation, unless she can get married within 7 days. She has a willing, wealthy suitor, but he has a wife, and Hedy, being a kind soul, does not want to be a homewrecker. Enter Jimmy Stewart, playing a broke, down on his luck writer. Jimmy and Hedy find themselves sharing a lunch counter, courtesy of a serendipitous rainstorm. Before you know it, they’re married. Both get something from this living apart, transactional affair: Jimmy receives a weekly stipend, and Hedy gets to stay in America. Of course, we know what Jimmy’s character really wants. There’s little chemistry between the two leads. Hedy is very glamourous, but her performance is rather one-note. The script, however, doesn’t give her much to do. Since it’s Hedy Lamarr, her screen presence makes up for it. The supporting cast adds the necessary flavor. Ian Hunter as Hedy’s lover. Verree Teasdale (one of the great character actresses) as his savvy wife, and Adeline De Walt Reynolds as Jimmy’s no-nonsense grandmother. Barton MacLane shows up as a sympathetic immigration official. Overall, it’s a pleasant excursion, with echoes of The Awful Truth (1937), minus the biting wit and manic energy. Although the Nazi occupation of Austria isn’t mentioned, it’s obvious the reason why Hedy’s character can’t go back.
  9. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    Lawrence, that's a damned good question. As you pointed out, keeping the narrative simple, and avoiding excessive exposition, would have aided the movie. Ambivalence isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially with horror. Perhaps Peele has a sequel planned. The best I can think of is that the "Tethered" survive simply by killing any above-ground person, it doesn't matter who it is.
  10. cinemaspeak59

    First movie that comes to mind. --- geography

    Moon Over Miami (1941) Next: Jamaica
  11. cinemaspeak59

    TWO word titles

    Tokyo Drifter (1966)
  12. cinemaspeak59

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    Excellent review, TB. This picture sounds intriguing, especially seeing Zachary Scott play the heavy. I remember him in Born to Be Bad (1950), getting trampled on by Joan Fontaine. I like your description of Lucille Bremer as "luscious". It's a mystery why she never became a bigger star. She was strikingly beautiful, and a great dancer. Perhaps MGM gave up on her too soon.
  13. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    Apocalypse for sure. That red line formed by them holding hands looked endless.
  14. cinemaspeak59

    Secrets of Women (1952)

    Secrets of Women (1952) This early Ingmar Bergman film, also known as Waiting Women, examines the experiences of three sisters-n-law, sitting at a table, as they anticipate their husbands’ return. The unfolding flashbacks reveal the distinct forms relationships take. The first story explores the enervating effect of a passionless marriage. As told by Rakel (Anita Björk), we see what happens when she’s visited by a former lover. As hard as she fights it, her resolve gradually melts away in the face of sexual desire. When Rakel reveals her affair to her husband, he disowns her. Then he throws her out. And then he threatens to shoot himself. A thread of absurdity runs throughout the whole affair. The second vignette deals with Marta’s (Maj-Britt Nilsson) pregnancy from a playboy painter who is wary of settling down. This installment is rendered in dream-like imagery, with a sequence in a Parisian dance hall being particularly evocative. Having a child is presented with a rare stream of consciousness, as we get to hear Marta’s thoughts and witness her fears as she enters the hospital, alone. The final story features the legendary duo of Eva Dahlbeck and Gunnar Bjornstrand stuck in an elevator. Presented with this rare chance for intimacy – as things have gotten rather predictable for the married couple – they instead engage in funny and wicked verbal jousting, asking difficult and embarrassing questions about sex & infidelity, and making claims about private investigators and numerous lovers on the side, with Dahlbeck seemingly getting the best of it. You can see how this paves the way for the brilliant 1955 Smiles of a Summer Night. The three vignettes show women making compromises, at times at the expense of their own happiness. The mood, however, remains upbeat. Well-acted and well-written, I found this film a sensitive and insightful look at the lives of its female protagonists. And of course, Gunnar Fischer’s cinematography is always a plus.
  15. cinemaspeak59

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    Analyze This (1999) Next: singer biopics
  16. cinemaspeak59

    TopBilled’s Essentials

    A film with an intriguing time loop device is Berkeley Square from 1933, starring Leslie Howard and Heather Angel as lovers separated by different centuries. That film has a spiritual & uplifting conclusion. Time loops can suffer when filmmakers try to present airtight logic and excessive exposition as opposed to letting things play out simply and allowing the audience to invest in the characters.
  17. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    I think you've highlighted the plot holes in Us. Peele was attempting to make socio-political statements about materialism, race-relations, class. The subterranean doubles work remarkably well together. They don't discriminate according to race. Class distinctions don't exist. They are the definition of tribal. So maybe they aren't so advanced after all. Similar issues were explored in the original Star Trek, and Us is resurrecting arguments that were made in 1960's, when American fissures were so prevalent - Vietnam, civil rights, feminism. Today it exists on a global scale, with immigration & income inequality taking center stage. The prologue was great, but then it lost steam, and the third act reveal wasn't very shocking. Most definitely that Peele is a skilled horror storyteller, and I'm looking forward to his next film.
  18. cinemaspeak59

    Name the comedy

    The Brass Bottle (1964) Next: Claudia Cardinale
  19. cinemaspeak59

    Archaic Expressions in Films

    "Take a gander" meaning take a look at
  20. It used to bother me a little when famous actors resorted to hawking products. Not anymore. I’ve seen a couple films with Liam Nesson in his action/adventure role, and he seems to be fully invested in the performance. However, let me allow to segue to an actress that at first I was apathetic about, and lately have become fascinated with. And that’s Hedy Lamarr. It’s when I saw her in Algiers, in a relatively minor role, that I finally came around to seeing why she was such a big deal.
  21. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    I think Jordan Peele avoided the sophomore jinx. While Us is not as inventive as Get Out, the first act showed so much promise. Once Adelaide enters the carnival fun house, with the beckoning neon sign “Find Yourself”, I knew things were about to get interesting. But then it turned into a slasher film, (which Peele, a horror aficionado, has an affinity for). Effective at first, the carnage later became numbing. Conceptually, Us begs the question, are the underground doppelgängers more advanced than their cultured twins, who get to experience sunrises, blue skies, not to mention pollution, extreme heat and cold, tornadoes, etc.? You mention Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which wouldn’t surprise if that classic served as an influence. The performances were uniformly good, and the music certainly helped pump up the fright, especially that interspersed demonic chant. I’ve read that Peele has dropped a generous supply of Easter eggs for eager fans, and the film merits repeat viewings. Perhaps. For now, I’ll give Us a solid B.
  22. cinemaspeak59

    Places everyone!

    OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006)
  23. cinemaspeak59

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    The Awful Truth (1937) Next: Japanese gangster films
  24. cinemaspeak59

    Places everyone!

    Mediterraneo (1991)
  25. cinemaspeak59

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    A Day at the Races (1937) Next: Silent era horror

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