speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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MADAME SATAN has not shown up ON DEMAND yet...

I did find this clip on youtube and i see the claims of its UtTer MADnesS were not exaggerated.

 

it looks like they hired BUSBY BERKELY to remake METROPOLIS.

 

EXACTLY!!!

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MADAME SATAN has not shown up ON DEMAND yet...

I did find this clip on youtube and i see the claims of its UtTer MADnesS were not exaggerated.

 

it looks like they hired BUSBY BERKELY to remake METROPOLIS.

 

I saw this film about 20 years ago in downtown Los Angeles, in one of the spectacular movie palaces on Broadway, where I had seen most films on the big screen until well into my teen years. Anyway, it was part of a series of films spotlighting art-seco sets. It was truly appreciated by the audience, even though it received its share of snickers and inappropriate laughter. Quite a treat to watch on the big screen.
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Correction on my original post about Madam Satan. It was ​film lover 293 ​that posted originally on this movie and I apologize for getting that wrong in my post. 

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"Myra Breckinridge" (1970)--Starring Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Mae West, and John Huston.  Directed by Michael Sarne.

 

Legendary box-office and critical disaster has glimmers of talent shining through the muck and actually has a few intentional laughs.

 

Plot: Myron (Reed) is in the hospital to get a sex change.  A surgeon (John Carradine) accomplishes the job after remarking he's never done one before.  The audience in the operating room gives him a standing ovation.  Myra (Welch) is now in charge; Myron tags along as a sarcastic alter-ego.  Myra goes to California to get her half of her Uncle Buck's (Huston) acting school.  Later in the movie, talent agent Letitia Van Allen (West) makes a visit to the school, which she uses as a stud agency.  Old clips from 20th Century Fox movies are used to comment on the movies' plot.

 

The actors are left stranded on screen, with no apparent guidance from director Sarne.  The only survivor is Huston, who directs himself in a caricature of a ***** old man.  Reed has some good lines, but but delivers them minus the cynicism they need.  Welch is likewise stranded.  She has some of the longest speeches in the movie, and had the good sense to race through them as fast as possible.  She actually gets a few laughs.  West delivers double entendres like time had stood still, and she was back in one of her 1930's films.

 

The script is heartless, but so is the book.  Sarne directed the film like he Wanted to alienate potential audiences.  If that was his goal, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.  According to imdb, Sarne didn't direct again for five years, and didn't appear as an actor for eleven years.

 

The film and costumes have a period look to them.  Look for Farrah Fawcett and Tom Selleck.

 

The copy I saw had periods where the sound went out or became indistinct, I'm guessing to avoid copyright issues (all the times were during songs).

 

"Myra" isn't for everyone, but this is an almost criminal misuse of a talented/potentially talented cast.  Cautiously recommended for those who love cinematic oddities/trainwrecks.  1.5/4.

 

Source--YouTube.

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Never did get around to seeing Myra, but did read it.  I WAS hoping they did a better job of adaptation than was done with CANDY('68), a pretty good book, but a terrible film adaptation.  And like you pointed out with "Myra", a waste of a very talented cast. 

 

That preiod( '66-'71 or so) was rife with a lot of movie experimentation.  Some worked, but much didn't.

 

 

Sepiatone

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War of the Planets (1966). All I can say it was like The Thunderbirds TV show back in the Sixties, without the puppets...

 

Oh, wait a minute I got that wrong, it was a typical Space Age movie, wooden acting, worse special effects (the aliens were supplied by a smoke machine and a green light), and ridiculous Star Trek-like uniforms. Now that I think of it, it was the Thunderbirds without STRINGS.

 

 

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Does Myra ever turn up on the Fox channel? (LOL) It was such a bomb, it never played in my burb, though I did want to see it. I read the book, but dont really remember much about it except certain scenes. I've read Mae (who wrote her own lines) was funny. (Her cut lines even funnier!)

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Psychic Killer (1975) Supernatural Noir

 

poste.jpg

 

Supernatural, SiFi, and Fantasy based Noir. along with Western and Period Piece Noirs have been around since the beginning.

 

It's going to be subjective, each individual viewer will have to be their own judge, some of these films will be on the cusp between genres and depending on your individual tastes you will either tune to them as Noirs or not.

 

For anybody who has watched a lot of noirs and Naked City and other TV anthology programs, the cinematic memory provided by all the Classic Noir stars front loaded in this piece will propel it easily into a small Twilight Zone corner of Noirsville.

 

Paul Burke and Jim Hutton are great, Aldo Ray looking a bit chunkier than he did in Nightfall plays Burke's second banana. Whit Bissell looks like he's having a blast playing a lecherous doc. Julie Adams and Jim Hutton shine. Nehemiah Persoff does his competent usual bit, and Neville Brand in his small part as a butcher arguing with a customer Mrs Gibson (Della Reese) is chuckle inducing.

 

The film is entertaining enough for me, it's the equivalent of an old "B" movie, no more no less. Again some of these non straight up traditional Crime films, both in cinema and TV, that combine noir stylistics with elements of supernatural, horror, and exploitation, are part of the fog shrouded, teetering bridge, between Classic Noir and the Neo Noir resurgence in the late 70s and again in the 90s. 7/10. Full review with some screencaps here in Film/Noir Gangster and even more at  Noirsville blog.

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His psychic force commits sensual, shocking acts---that's the tagline for this movie. Sounds ok to me. Where is it available?

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His psychic force commits sensual, shocking acts---that's the tagline for this movie. Sounds ok to me. Where is it available?

A DVD or at the moment on that popular video site that must not be named. :-)

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Having seen Victoria and Abdul, we wanted to see Mrs. Brown (aka Her Majesty Mrs. Brown), which like V&A was quite enjoyable. The movies have a great deal in common, including Judi Dench as Queen Victoria. Billy Connolly as Mr. Brown makes an admirable partner, and Antony Sher is a delight as Disraeli.

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Anthony Sher?

 

Not familiar with him so I looked him up.  Wondering if he was somehow related to actress EDEN SHER, who plays Sue Heck on the TV comedy "The Middle".  But it was inconclusive.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Adventure Girl (1934)

 

I just had the strangest thing happen to me while watching TCM and surfing IMDB at the same time. I was looking up a movie and "Adventure Girl" came up in the "people who liked this also liked..." section. It sounded curious and funny. When I looked up to the TV screen, TCM was playing "Adventure Girl" at that moment. So I rewound it and watched the whole thing. What a treat.

 

This is IMDB plot summary: "A riotously bad jungle docu-drama. Joan Lowell, a self-styled adventuress, retells her "true" adventures in the wilds of the Guatemala. Her overacting is a sight to see."

 

How could I not watch with that in mind. And it all came true. Never heard such a wooden voice-over, and her "tales" were just that, a stolen map, a buried treasure, an ancient idol with a four-carat emerald that "made all men who saw it lose their minds" or something to that effect.

 

Lowell made this short based on a book she wrote and throughout the movie she hammed it up and mugged for the camera like a bad silent movie star, while her account of her travels droned on and on in the narration.

 

Lost civilizations were supplied by some Hispanic actors in outrageous jungle costumes; her 70+-year father stayed on the boat while Joan and her flunkies plunged into the "wilds".  I felt sorry for the old man, this trip was supposedly his birthday present; from what I saw I think the old man would have preferred a wheelchair and a copy of any book by Robert Louis Stevenson than this hellish trip his daughter dragged him on.

 

Someone commented that this short film is "a real puker" and I would have to agree. But, it was also very funny, in the so-bad-it's-good category. 

 

Something that wasn't so funny was the inherent racism and "white privilege" that permeated this thing. 

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Cidade Baixa (Lower City) (2005) Beautiful Brazilian Noir

 

Canes%2BPoster.jpg

 

A  Brazilian Neo Noir masterpiece, directed by Sérgio Machado, written by Karim Aïnouz, Sérgio Machado, Adriana Rattes, and Gil Vicente Tavares.

 

The excellent cinematography was by Toca Seabra and music was by Carlinhos Brown and Beto Villares.

 

The film Stars Alice Braga as Karinna, Wagner Moura as Naldinho. Lázaro Ramos as Deco, Dois Mundos as Dois Mundos, Harildo Deda as Careca, Maria Menezes as Luzinete, João Miguel as Edvan, Débora Santiago as Sirlene, José Dumont as Sergipano, and the beautiful locations around Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

 

A 10/10, and a good example of what can be done without spending tons of dough, a Neo Noir about simple people in convoluted situations. Bravo! Full review with more screencaps on Film Noir/Gangster and,  with even more screencaps at Noirsville

 

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night  (2014)

 

Set in an oil industry ghost town-like city in Iran, this movie, directed by newcomer Ana Lily Amirpour - an American of Iranian descent - is highly reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch's early style. Interestingly, in an interview between her and legendary producer/director Roger Corman on the DVD extras, she claims she's not much of a fan of Jarmusch. But as virtually everyone who studies film has pointed at the stylistic similarity, she's taking it as a compliment. Good idea, Ana.

 

Like Jarmusch's work, the movie is shot in atmospheric black and white - and it works beautifully. The dialogue is all Persian (Farsi) - even though the movie was shot in America, standing in for Iran - and is subsequently sub-titled. However, this does not work against the film (whose strength is its visuals) at all, as the dialogue is at all times minimal and slow, thus making the reading easy and unobstructive to the fascinating camera work.

 

So, it's a horror movie. It's principal character is a Persian woman vampire - who stalks the town, robed in a black chador, which is quite an unsettling shadow to behold standing 10 feet away from a potential victim late at night. The events exist within a kind of imagined Iranian underworld of pimps, hookers, drug dealers and street urchins. Our vampire watches this dark town, at times slowly riding a skateboard down the street! When she interacts with people, she is unblinking, mostly un-verbal, and seems to be at all times appraising their circumstances and their worth.

 

Aside from the beautiful blocking shots and photography, a high point of the film is its use of sound effects, music (which sometimes references Morricone-like spaghetti westerns) and an impressive soundtrack of mostly modern pop music.

 

Any criticism of this movie (though it's more praised than not) seems to center around it being "style over substance" and "too slowly paced". Well, it is moody, that's for sure - and maybe too slow for many of today's horror fans, that's true - but there's no arguing that its greatest strength is its style.

 

Using classic ratings, I give it 3 1/2 stars. Quite a different take in the vampire canon - I haven't enjoyed a vampire-themed movie this much since 2010's 'Let Me In'. Very impressive for a director's first feature.

 

Oh - and one more thing - there's a kitty cat in the movie - prominently, which tempts me to raise the rating to a full 4 stars.

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"Lady Windermere's Fan" (1925)--Starring Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, and Irene Rich.  Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

 

Film is good satire of London society in the 1920's, but the creaky plot brings the comedy to a halt.

 

Lady Windermere (McAvoy) us planning the seating arrangement for her dinner party.  Lord Darlington (Colman) arrives, to meet her husband (Bert Lytell), and flirts with Lady W.  He goes too far and is slapped.  Lord D. then mentions that he has incriminating information on her family, and says where to meet him.  Lord W. sees the letter to her, hides it, then goes to the specified address.  There he finds Mrs. Erlynne (Rich), an impoverished adventuress.  She reveals she is Lady W.'s mother.  After he insists Lady W. can't be told, he writes out a check to Mrs. E., and continues writing checks every month.

 

The middle section of the film is strongest, as it affords Lubitsch plenty of room to send up the hypocrisy of London society and its' manners.

 

Then comes the last 20 minutes, and the plot turns serious and comes to a halt.

 

Rich is very good very sincere in a cliched role that reminded me of a British Stella Dallas.  McAvoy  is okay.  Her role is that of a dimwit, and McAvoy certainly seems a thoughtless girl.  Colman makes it plain he has only one thing on his mind; his scenes are among the funniest ones in the picture,  

 

Film definitely has some funny sequences, but suffers from lack of dialogue and a plot that creaks in its' final third.  Maltin loved it.  I thought it good, but not great.  3/4.

 

Source--YouTube.

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night  (2014)

 

 

Oh - and one more thing - there's a kitty cat in the movie - prominently, which tempts me to raise the rating to a full 4 stars.

Great write-up. However, your avatar is a wolf. Would you raise the rating because you admire cats or because you want to eat them?

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"Lady Windermere's Fan" (1925)--Starring Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, and Irene Rich.  Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

 

 

I saw this film a few months ago and quite enjoyed it.

 

The final portion turns into soap opera but I was surprised that I was quite intrigued by it still, moreso than yourself, filmlover, obviously. I was surprised to see that Ronald Colman actually has a supporting role in the film as far as screen time is concerned but he's sophisticated and impressive as Lord Darlington. But it was Irene Rich whom I found the most effective performer in the film. She's an actress little remembered today (later specializing in character, often motherly, roles, in the talkies) but she's charming and highly sympathetic here.

 

There was a nice looking print of Lady Windemere on You Tube a few months ago. I'm not certain if it's still there, but that's what I saw.

 

Lady-Windermeres-Fan-1925-4.jpg

 

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Great write-up. However, your avatar is a wolf. Would you raise the rating because you admire cats or because you want to eat them?

 

Thanks, calvinme.

 

No, I would never eat a kitty. Kitties are my favorite furries.

 

And my avatar is not just any wolf - it's a dark blue wolf, ay.

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TomJH--I think that print is the one I watched earlier today.  It was in good shape and didn't have many views (about 4000).

 

filmlover, I've noticed you occasionally make reference to the number of views an internet video may have. Just out of curiosity, is there some significance to the number of views, or is it merely an observation regarding popularity?

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TomJH--I've noticed, the fewer number of views a film on YouTube has, the better shape the video is in, the fewer technical glitches, etc.  I don't particularly care about a films popularity on YouTube, only how viewable a print is/isn't.

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Universal Horror (1998)

 

This documentary about the unique horror franchises that came out of Universal studios during the 20s and 30s, pretty much ending with the Wolfman in 1941, really is universal, in that the documentary makes ties from the Universal films to the German silents that were their forerunners, and even ties the Universal monsters to subliminal guilt some felt over WWI, embodied in its often deformed survivors. Maybe this guilt is one reason isolationism held the U.S. from entering WWII until it was almost too late?

 

But I digress. The film analyzes in detail the Dracula, Frankenstein, Invisible Man, and Mummy franchises, and talks a little about the Wolfman. They entirely leave out Creature from the Black Lagoon, probably because that was the 50s, and after the nuclear bomb and the Nazis who is really afraid of a giant fish anyways? The documentary mentions that the production code and the loss of Universal by the Laemmles is what really ended the classic cycle of horror at Universal, because the new owners just never got the hang of making horror with the same insight into the public's subliminal fears like the ones from the 20's through 1936 did.

 

Commenters include author Ray Bradbury, who says he drew some of his inspiration from these films, and James Karen, giving his boyhood memories of seeing these films in the theater as a child. He had no ties to anybody at Universal, but just seems like someone who is young at heart. He is still with us and soon to be 94. Film critic David Skal gets annoyingly enthusiastic, but maybe horror is his passion. He is being shot in a room full of horror memorabilia, but, hey, maybe he has entire rooms in his house each dedicated to a different genre of film including anime? Boris Karloff's daughter Sara, Gloria Stuart - once a Universal contract player, and Carla Laemlle also talk about their experience in and around the sets of these famous Universal horror films.

 

Horror films from other studios are also mentioned such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde as well as Mystery of the Wax Museum and King Kong.

 

This film does a very thorough job of discussing Universal horror films in general, and ends with a bit of a mystery, almost sounding like a curse. Carl Laemmle Jr., head of Universal at the time the Laemmles went into bankruptcy, came down with an undiagnosable illness and lived the rest of his life as an invalid. A chilling end to a chilling and fascinating documentary.

 

It only makes me wonder, how can a studio make such a great documentary filled with thorough understanding of their own film history, and then treat that film history so shabbily? Probably Paramount and Universal are the two worst studios about giving no care at all to their catalogue of classic films.

 

I'd give this documentary 9/10.

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Probably Paramount and Universal are the two worst studios about giving no care at all to their catalogue of classic films.

Paramount, of course, doesn't have much of a catalog of classic films, having sold the rights to pre-1950 films to MCA, which wound up part of Universal.

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