FredCDobbs

What Are You Watching Now?

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Upon looking at my Netflix watchlist, I realized it was probably about time I did something about the 50-some movies on it. I have begun getting through this rather extensive list; I started "The Iron Giant" last night, although I didn't finish as I decided to be responsible and get enough sleep before I had to wake up early for my nannying job. 

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I'm watching my recording of The Cat and the Canary.  I was glad to find out that this movie is available on DVD so this film will only have to live on my DVR until I procure my own copy.

I am listening to the Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi series on my podcast, "You Must Remember This" and it made me want to see the original Frankenstein.  I'm not typically a fan of horror movies, but I find the classic horror movies are more palatable than contemporary horror films.  Plus, I love Young Frankenstein which essentially pays homage to the Universal horror films, so I'd like to see where they got their original inspiration.  I thought I had recorded Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, but I think they were recorded on my old DVR, which I had to trade in because the hard drive failed.  Obviously, these films were checked out from the library, but are due back soon, so I placed a request for both.  In my podcast, they keep including clips of Karloff speaking in his films and I can't help but picture "The Grinch" saying these words.

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On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 11:37 AM, LawrenceA said:

I've had a number of copies of TCSM over the years, on VHS, two different DVD editions, and now a Blu Ray. I've never seen the shadowing you're referring to, though. It is worth mentioning that TCSM implies much more than it shows, and it's not nearly as gory or gruesome as people think that it will be. TCSM also has assuredly lost some of its bite over the years, as there have been countless movies and TV shows that have used its aesthetic and plot points. At the time, though, there had never been anything like it. I still consider it one of the best of the genre, but part of that is recalling that initial impact.

A lot of the stuff you said is very very valid, and I agree it lost it's edge when it became a franchise. I will have to view it again and see if the blurred shadowing do show up--especially during nighttime shots I didn't know what I was looking at at the time... I had no idea who got killed and how. Wait, I saw Franklin get killed. I never knew it "implied more than it shows." Well that's a whole new ballgame! I think I expected too much from this movie. I'm not going to give it away, but keep it with my cult classic movies. Also the "blurring shadow thing" happened with one other movie I saw and I was frustrated--Repulsion (1965), so many shadows, it mostly takes place in a dark apartment. I couldn't really see what was going on except the rat on her unwashed dishes. I know Polanski may have tried to give it an alienated, claustrophobic feel, but the shadows bugged me. Once again things you don't see tend to be the scariest.

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Hello from Canada! Right now I am watching a movie that is compelling me (no pun intended). I'm watching Guyana Tragedy: The Life of Jim Jones. It was made in 1980, two years after the Jonestown cult mass suicides, and Jim blowing his head off on November 18, 1978 Guyana. 193 people were dead. I bought this movie because lately I've been watch American Horror Story: Cult (Season 7) which deals with...well, a cult, and the Jamestown and Jim Jones were reinacted for a few minutes, along with David Koresh and the Heaven's Gate one. I have always been interested in learning more or reading more about the Jamestown cult. This Jim Jones cult was, and i'm  paraphrasing others "The biggest Cult in history" "most famous cult ever." Okay. Right. I have never seen Powers Boothe before in my life, or his movies. I was too young to remember Jamestown, and never knew the real Jim Jones. Powers Booth practically channeled Jim Jones--he acted and looked eerily like him. This is an EXCELLENT performance for Powers Boothe. I really hope he got an Oscar for this part in 1981 because he is "goose bumps" AMAZING. The movie starts a couple days before the fated November 18, 1978. Jim Jones is slumped in a chair almost like a modern day throne, he's wearing sunglasses, and looks heavily sedated, talking to himself. Not before Jim issues a "They are here to get up! Everyone go to sleep (after drinking his Kool Aid) shots fired at people which turned out to be "dummy" bullets or blanks. Meanwhile all the followers scrambling in a panic full of fear, to which Jim Jones says in his drawl "This is just a trial run. You have to be prepared! They are coming for us! What if it happened to day, or what if they get us tomorrow? They (the cops) could come at anytime!" We know how the  story ends, though it left a haunting feeling inside me do to the movie's near perfect accuracy, and the scene  where people are crying cos they don't want to drink the Kool-Aid, including little kids--left me sad and disturbed. Quite a good purchase and viewing as we come up to the 40th anniversary of Jamestown. A very interesting part of the movie, is the first part where Jim Jones is a good, caring, kind hearted man who sticks up for the underdog (in this case, in his racist town--Black people.) He is also charismatic, tells people that he will take care of their problems, charming with the ladies, and ally for the Black people, sensitive, emotional,wouldn't hurt a fly...but he has the makings of a cult leader due to his personality. He eventually starts a new church and you know the rest from there.

People complained on Amazon about the bad sound quality and bad video, but I don't see any problems at all, my copy was GREAT!

Co-Starring--James Earl Jones, Colleen Dewhurst, Levar Burton, Ron O'Neal (Superfly), Ed Lauter, Veronica Cartwright et. al

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Guyana Tragedy: The Jim Jones Story is one of the best made for TV movies ever, in my opinion. Powers Boothe was phenomenal in the lead role. Cults and cult-ish communes were a fairly common thing throughout the 70's. The Jonestown massacre was a shocking event that I recall well. The killing of the US Congressman (played by Ned Beatty in the movie) would have been enough notoriety to keep them in history books, but the cult's next step of mass suicide was horrifying enough to enter the common vernacular (Drinking the Kool Aid).

I was also impressed by Brad Dourif as the sexually-confused cult member. 

There's another, highly-fictionalized film version of the story, 1979's Guyana: Crime of the Century, with Stuart Whitman as the Jim Jones stand-in. 

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I'm watching The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on Britbox. Jeremy Brett was truly a great Holmes in this long-running BBC series from the 1980s & 1990s.

Screen shot 2017-11-04 at 5.03.34 PM.png

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Right now I'm watching "National Velvet" on TCM.  I like this film.  It's a good story with excellent performances by almost all of the cast members especially Anne Revere and Elizabeth Taylor.  I must say that I prefer Taylor during the adult part of her career, but unlike many other child actors, she isn't overly hammy or precocious which I appreciate.  She just seems like a genuinely sweet, smart child.  Angela Lansbury as Taylor's sister is fun as well.  I also like the calmness that Donald Crisp seems to bring to his roles.  Mickey Rooney, who normally annoys me, is even pretty good in this film.

I will say that the actor playing the brother in this film is completely obnoxious and irritating.  His acting reminds me of the worst television child actor of all time, Ritchie from The Dick Van Dyke Show, who YELLED ALL OF HIS LINES!

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This is really about what I saw last night;   Went to my wife's cousins new apartment last night in Laguna Beach CA.     We took a walk to the beach and he said 'hey, don't you like old movies'.   YEA!   So he showed me Bette Davis' home which was about 50 yards from his place.

It has a sign saying the home was build in 1929 and was a historical city structure once owned by Davis.     While I knew she lived there with her mother,  I have never seen the home until last night.      

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I just finished watching one of my fave movies on DVD called Frances (1982) starring Jessica Lange, Kim Stanley and Sam Shepard. I wasn't born early enough to have seen this movie, but I've always had a fascination with Frances Farmer (Lange) after listening to a Nirvana song titled "Frances Farmer Will Have (Her) Revenge On Seattle" from the band's final album In Utero (1993). Naturally I wanted to know who this Frances Farmer was. Then weeks later, Frances was on TV and I learned who she was. Frances Farmer was an actor in the 1930s/1940 who was an outspoken, hard boiled young woman, constantly being controlled by her mother (Kim Stanley). Her mother at least twice claiming her rebellious daughter is mentally ill and needs to be hospitalized whenever Frances "acted out" or didn't play by her mother's rules, including becoming a Hollywood Star, which Frances did NOT want to be. Jessica Lange is amazing and incredible in this film playing the oppressed wild woman who behaved unlady-like--doing anything from getting into drunken brawls with Police, dissing Hollywood, smoking, to promiscuous sex, challenging authority and directors, being an atheist, anarchic with a wild temper that would make Satan shake with fear. Frances Farmer's behavior would have been "normal" had she been a movie star now. I would say the present-day actor who would be Frances Farmer's equivalent, would be Angelina Jolie (pre-Brad Pitt). Frances although she wasn't mentally ill, was a little unstable, no doubt due to her controlling mother and passive, mostly absent father. Also Frances was, despite her behavior was a sensitive person who sometimes didn't seem to think she deserved being famous. The movie opens with a sixteen year old Frances (played by Lange as well) reading her essay in 1931 on how she didn't believe in God, nor did she think He existed, but "died of old age." She read this atheist essay in front of her church where people got angry leading one church goer to yell "Frances Farmer you're going to hell!!!" She soon befriends her on again/off again boyfriend named Harry (Sam Shepard, who became Lange's real life husband) a cornerstone for an often misunderstood, rebellious Frances. The movie which got a lukewarm reception, earned an Oscar for both Jessica Lange (Best Actress) and Kim Stanley (Best Supporting Actress). It was when the movie was brought to video, that popularity for the movie grew. This movie has a very bitter-sweet ending. Frances who was never really sick was given a Lobotomy to flatten her creativity, emotions, and imagination. We see a very expressionless and docile Frances, looking like a former shell of herself when she was featured on This is Your Life. It was a sad to see such a lively woman turn into a zombie with a "flat" voice, as we watch in horror and sadness when Harry is also saddened about what happened to Frances, and that the girl he loved was gone. Frances' only crime was living life to the fullest even if it was not approved by her controlling mother who was living vicariously through her actress daughter. Sure Frances was "fixed or cured" but the way it was done, was very, very tragic, like a part of Frances died.

Great great movie with a young Jessica Lange, who now admits that her Frances role has affected her many many years later, and cherishes playing Frances Farmer, after more that 35 years.

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On 11/12/2017 at 9:15 AM, speedracer5 said:

Right now I'm watching "National Velvet" on TCM.  I like this film.  It's a good story with excellent performances by almost all of the cast members especially Anne Revere and Elizabeth Taylor.  I must say that I prefer Taylor during the adult part of her career, but unlike many other child actors, she isn't overly hammy or precocious which I appreciate.  She just seems like a genuinely sweet, smart child.  Angela Lansbury as Taylor's sister is fun as well.  I also like the calmness that Donald Crisp seems to bring to his roles.  Mickey Rooney, who normally annoys me, is even pretty good in this film.

I will say that the actor playing the brother in this film is completely obnoxious and irritating.  His acting reminds me of the worst television child actor of all time, Ritchie from The Dick Van Dyke Show, who YELLED ALL OF HIS LINES!

1. This was actually one of the first movies I ever remember watching as a child (the first movie I ever saw was Jurassic Park 2 in theaters, so it could only go uphill from there). I really enjoyed this one, and due to my near photographic memory for names and faces, remembered who Angela Lansbury was from the moment of watching this until I saw her in another movie (for the life of me, I can't remember which one, most likely Disney's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"). 

2. "...the actor playing the brother in this film" would be Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins. I didn't mind him when I was younger, but upon getting older, I've realized he is quite annoying at times. Screaming does not equal acting. 

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5 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE LAST UNICORN (1982) 

Honestly don't know how I feel about this one yet...

I remember seeing that on HBO a few times back in the mid-80's. I recall liking it okay. One thing to keep in mind: it came out during a low point in animated films, with very few being released, and those that were weren't often viewed favorably by critics of the time. Kids of the era liked them, though, because they were new and they could claim them as "their own", unlike the "ancient" Disney classics that their parents kept pushing on them. 

The Last Unicorn book by Peter Beagle is very well regarded.

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On 11/17/2017 at 5:30 PM, NickAndNora34 said:

THE LAST UNICORN (1982) 

Related image
 

Honestly don't know how I feel about this one yet...

I couldn't get through this one; I still have 30 minutes left, and I can't do it. I'm calling it quits. 

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I'm watching the Allied Artists western AT GUNPOINT (1955) on YouTube. This is a modestly budgeted flick with a strong cast (Fred MacMurray, Skip Homeier, Dorothy Malone, Walter Brennan, Tommy Rettig). Highly recommend it.

 

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Working on my review for 

Screen shot 2017-11-22 at 4.03.50 PM.png

I saw this a while ago when someone posted it to YouTube. Pretty cute film overall. I love Donald O'Connor. This was my first and only (so far) exposure to Miss Deanna Durbin. I really like the song "You Wanna Keep Your Baby Lookin' Right." 

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7 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I saw this a while ago when someone posted it to YouTube. Pretty cute film overall. I love Donald O'Connor. This was my first and only (so far) exposure to Miss Deanna Durbin. I really like the song "You Wanna Keep Your Baby Lookin' Right." 

Yes, I thought the musical selections were fantastic in SOMETHING IN THE WIND. The title song is a real keeper too.

You definitely should watch more of her films. The first week of December TCM is airing LADY ON A TRAIN, a classic Deanna flick with a Christmas theme. One of her very best.

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