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I Just Watched...

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57 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Got a factory sealed VHS tape of "Amadeus" (1984) from someone who didn't want it.  Haven't seen it since the video release 30 years ago.  Seems different. (blame vague memory)  Sad, buried in a common unmarked mass grave.:(

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Like Salieri, perhaps. Oh, there may be an actual grave but musically he is all but buried ... 

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THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)

This has been on my list for forever now, and I'm glad I finally got the chance to watch it this evening. I liked Stephen King's other prison picture, "The Green Mile," so I figured I'd enjoy this one, and I was right. I think I still like "Green Mile" better, but this one definitely still captured my attention and managed to hold it. This one again deals with the corrupt prison environment of the early/mid 20th century. While we're on the subject of degenerates, I'd like to nominate the Warden of this dang prison for a shot to outrun my pitchfork (I know this is a different thread but I felt it was relevant here). What a heel (TCM won't allow a stronger string of words). 

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13 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)

This has been on my list for forever now, and I'm glad I finally got the chance to watch it this evening. I liked Stephen King's other prison picture, "The Green Mile," so I figured I'd enjoy this one, and I was right. I think I still like "Green Mile" better, but this one definitely still captured my attention and managed to hold it. This one again deals with the corrupt prison environment of the early/mid 20th century. While we're on the subject of degenerates, I'd like to nominate the Warden of this dang prison for a shot to outrun my pitchfork (I know this is a different thread but I felt it was relevant here). What a heel (TCM won't allow a stronger string of words). 

Image result for shawshank redemption

While I like the Green Mile very much, I always felt The Shawshank Redemption was the better film....for one thing I think the movie had better villains. The warden (who I agree is another one I would nominate for a run in with the pitchfork) and the prison guard Hadley were more convincingly subtle in their villainy than Green Mile's Percy Wetmore and not so over the top as Wild Bill.

Shawshank also has a much more subtle message to it (never give up hope no matter what),  and much more satisfying conclusion than Green Mile does. But this is just my opinion.

 

 

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"Caged", with Eleanor Powell in the lead role as the young woman in prison for the first time.  Agnes Moorehead turns in another splendid performance as the head of the prison.  I had never heard of it before, but I'm glad I got a chance to see it.  I liked it very much. 

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7 hours ago, clarklk said:

"Caged", with Eleanor Powell in the lead role as the young woman in prison for the first time.  Agnes Moorehead turns in another splendid performance as the head of the prison.  I had never heard of it before, but I'm glad I got a chance to see it.  I liked it very much. 

Actually it was Eleanor Parker, not Eleanor Powell, who played the lead in Caged. But I agree Parker turns in a great performance.....and it has one of those endings where things do NOT turn out all right in the end. And Hope Emerson makes one nasty prison matron.

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Return of the Ape Man (1944).

Typical Monogram "B" thriller out of the mad scientist school.

Bela Lugosi plays the scientist who, with assistant John Carradine, travels to Alaska (or, at least, somewhere north where it's freezing cold) in the hopes of finding a neanderthal man frozen in the ice upon which he wants to experiment with a serum to see if he can restore life to him.

What luck, he finds one (did you have any doubt?) but, upon reviving him decides that his brute brain must go or, at least, be altered with the partial brain of a civilized man. From there things go predictably haywire.

This 60 minute quickie has the usual silly script and cheap sets that you only come to expect from Monogram. Lugosi and Carradine go through their paces but neither actor seems particularly inspired (does anybody wonder why?). The film has the usual climax, with a beautiful young woman passed out in the ape man's arms as the police and her fiance chase after them.

Biggest mystery of the film for me was the third billing given to veteran character actor George Zucco as "the Ape Man," along with Frank Moran in the same part. For starters he's not an ape man, he's a caveman. Apparently, from what I read, Zucco briefly appears in the role but darned if I could spot him. It's more like Zucco is playing the invisible man in this film than anything else.

Lugosi had previously appeared in another Monogram "B" entitled The Ape Man. I assume that film did sufficiently well at the box office to inspire this title though it is in no way or form a sequel, aside from the screen presence of its top billed star.

Return of the Ape Man has been released by Olive Films on DVD in a decent looking print.

returnapeman04.jpg

2 out of 4

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Two Seconds (1932) - Downer domestic drama from First National and director Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson stars as John Allen, a tough skyscraper construction worker with no luck at love. His best pal, co-worker Bud (Preston Foster), tries to set him up on dates, with no success. One night John happens to wander into a dancehall where he meets taxi-dancer-with-an-attitude Shirley (Vivienne Osborne). John falls her feisty charms and beautiful looks, even though Bud warns him that she's no good. But some guys just have to learn the hard way... Also featuring Guy Kibbee, J. Carrol Naish, Frederik Burton, Berton Churchill, Harry Beresford, and William Janney.

You know where things are headed as the film begins with Robinson's execution by electric chair imminent. The plot serves to show how he got there and why, and it's a fairly well done, if cliched (even for 1932), study on marital discord and the failed expectations of love and matrimony. Robinson's performance is pitched for the back row, but since this is the cinema rather than the stage, it can get a bit broad, with his courtroom meltdown scene firmly straddling the line between manic intensity and unbridled ham.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Great poster!

two-seconds-19321.jpg

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Two Seconds (1932) - Downer domestic drama from First National and director Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson stars as John Allen, a tough skyscraper construction worker with no luck at love. His best pal, co-worker Bud (Preston Foster), tries to set him up on dates, with no success. One night John happens to wander into a dancehall where he meets taxi-dancer-with-an-attitude Shirley (Vivienne Osborne). John falls her feisty charms and beautiful looks, even though Bud warns him that she's no good. But some guys just have to learn the hard way... Also featuring Guy Kibbee, J. Carrol Naish, Frederik Burton, Berton Churchill, Harry Beresford, and William Janney.

You know where things are headed as the film begins with Robinson's execution by electric chair imminent. The plot serves to show how he got there and why, and it's a fairly well done, if cliched (even for 1932), study on marital discord and the failed expectations of love and matrimony. Robinson's performance is pitched for the back row, but since this is the cinema rather than the stage, it can get a bit broad, with his courtroom meltdown scene firmly straddling the line between manic intensity and unbridled ham.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Great poster!

two-seconds-19321.jpg

Man, I meant to watch that today but forgot all about it....didn't even set it up to be recorded.

Shame, because it sounds like a good one, and Robinson is always dynamite to watch.

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The Trip to Spain (2017) - Third in a series of light comedies, from IFC Films and director Michael Winterbottom. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return as barely-fictionalized versions of themselves, once again on a tour to write articles about local cuisine. This time they're in Spain, but the focus remains on the dialogue and camaraderie between Coogan and Brydon, as they once again have dueling celebrity impressions of Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Mick Jagger and more. Also featuring Marta Barrio and Claire Keelan.

This follows 2010's The Trip and 2014's The Trip to Italy, and they are all virtually the same, with only the location changing: part travelogue, part haute cuisine foodie indulgence, but mainly witty, at times laugh-out-loud hilarious conversation between British film and TV stars Coogan and Brydon. The Spanish scenery is spectacular, and the many ancient buildings visited are a highlight. This one does end on a much different note than the others, and I'll be curious to see if, or how, the next one comes about. The formula still hasn't gotten old for me, and I'd be willing to watch more of these from all over the globe.  (7/10)

Source: Shout Factory DVD.

27478_320_470.jpg

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 9:41 AM, TomJH said:

Great to hear from a newbe with no anger issues.

Not a great, or good version for that matter  Most cite the 1951 British version as finest

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16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Two Seconds (1932) - Downer domestic drama from First National and director Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson stars as John Allen, a tough skyscraper construction worker with no luck at love. His best pal, co-worker Bud (Preston Foster), tries to set him up on dates, with no success. One night John happens to wander into a dancehall where he meets taxi-dancer-with-an-attitude Shirley (Vivienne Osborne). John falls her feisty charms and beautiful looks, even though Bud warns him that she's no good. But some guys just have to learn the hard way... Also featuring Guy Kibbee, J. Carrol Naish, Frederik Burton, Berton Churchill, Harry Beresford, and William Janney.

You know where things are headed as the film begins with Robinson's execution by electric chair imminent. The plot serves to show how he got there and why, and it's a fairly well done, if cliched (even for 1932), study on marital discord and the failed expectations of love and matrimony. Robinson's performance is pitched for the back row, but since this is the cinema rather than the stage, it can get a bit broad, with his courtroom meltdown scene firmly straddling the line between manic intensity and unbridled ham.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Great poster!

two-seconds-19321.jpg

To Lawrence, I remember this on but a number of years ago.  Surely a bit dated & over the top though (**1/2-out of four) & not among his finest, opt of 101

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23 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Actually it was Eleanor Parker, not Eleanor Powell, who played the lead in Caged. But I agree Parker turns in a great performance.....and it has one of those endings where things do NOT turn out all right in the end. And Hope Emerson makes one nasty prison matron.

Caged is one of my favorites in the "ladies in prison" subgenre. I thought Agnes Moorehead and Hope Emerson were excellent.  Emerson definitely deserved what she got.  Parker was excellent as the scared young woman who eventually transforms into the hardened prisoner.  Her character's progression was so subtle in the film that it was believable.  I agree with you about the ending, it's a very bittersweet ending and you hope that Moorehead is wrong, but you know she's right.  She's seen it before.

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My personal picks for "Essential Edward G."

 

"Key Largo" "Double Indemnity"=-(though mot among his greatest performances), "The Sea Wolf" "Little Caesar"_(I agree w/Danny Peary of "Alternate Oscars" & he deserved the *Academy Award)

He always felt 1940's "Dr. Erlich's Magic Bullet" was his best role

 

& of course 1965's "C. Kid"-(outright deserved s. actor & wasn't even in the race for it)

 

THANK YOU

 

(P.S. In '99 there was a very elderly guard at Warner Bros tour that knew him)

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 11:25 PM, Bethluvsfilms said:

While I like the Green Mile very much, I always felt The Shawshank Redemption was the better film....for one thing I think the movie had better villains. The warden (who I agree is another one I would nominate for a run in with the pitchfork) and the prison guard Hadley were more convincingly subtle in their villainy than Green Mile's Percy Wetmore and not so over the top as Wild Bill.

Shawshank also has a much more subtle message to it (never give up hope no matter what),  and much more satisfying conclusion than Green Mile does. But this is just my opinion.

 

 

TREMENDOUS!

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16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Two Seconds (1932) - Downer domestic drama from First National and director Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson stars as John Allen, a tough skyscraper construction worker with no luck at love. His best pal, co-worker Bud (Preston Foster), tries to set him up on dates, with no success. One night John happens to wander into a dancehall where he meets taxi-dancer-with-an-attitude Shirley (Vivienne Osborne). John falls her feisty charms and beautiful looks, even though Bud warns him that she's no good. But some guys just have to learn the hard way... Also featuring Guy Kibbee, J. Carrol Naish, Frederik Burton, Berton Churchill, Harry Beresford, and William Janney.

You know where things are headed as the film begins with Robinson's execution by electric chair imminent. The plot serves to show how he got there and why, and it's a fairly well done, if cliched (even for 1932), study on marital discord and the failed expectations of love and matrimony. Robinson's performance is pitched for the back row, but since this is the cinema rather than the stage, it can get a bit broad, with his courtroom meltdown scene firmly straddling the line between manic intensity and unbridled ham.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

Great poster!

two-seconds-19321.jpg

I've never seen Edward shortened to "Edw."  That seems weird to me, but Google shows that that is an accepted abbreviation. 

I like how colorful the poster is, and I like how Robinson is either checking out the girl in her underwear, or admiring his name stretched out across the poster.

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 2:12 PM, laffite said:

Like Salieri, perhaps. Oh, there may be an actual grave but musically he is all but buried ... 

& it won 8 *Oscars & made $53 million too

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29 minutes ago, spence said:

My personal picks for "Essential Edward G."

 

"Key Largo" "Double Indemnity"=-(though mot among his greatest performances),

I beg to differ, I think both performances, especially Key Largo, rank among Edward G's very best film performances.

But he gave so many great performances in so many films it really is hard to pick an absolute favorite.

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2 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I beg to differ, I think both performances, especially Key Largo, rank among Edward G's very best film performances.

But he gave so many great performances in so many films it really is hard to pick an absolute favorite.

In Double Indemnity Eddie G.  gave what a great supporting performance should be and one that was very nuanced.  

In Key Largo he was really just redoing the gangster persona he had developed in films around a decade before.   It is a good performance but at the same time he could have just 'phoned that one in' since there wasn't anything unique or developed in it.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

In Double Indemnity Eddie G.  gave what a great supporting performance and one that was very nuanced.  

In Key Largo he was really just redoing the gangster persona he had developed in films around a decade before.   It is a good performance but at the same time he could have just 'phoned that one in' since there wasn't anything unique or developed in it.

In my opinion, Double Indemnity is the performance that Robinson should have won an Oscar for. It's not as flashy or loud as many of his others, but as you say, it's a perfect example of what a great supporting performance should be. And it's a helluva lot better than Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

In my opinion, Double Indemnity is the performance that Robinson should have won an Oscar for. It's not as flashy or loud as many of his others, but as you say, it's a perfect example of what a great supporting performance should be. And it's a helluva lot better than Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way.

Agreed.  Robinson makes Double Indemnity.  Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are great, but it's Robinson who I find the most interesting in the film.  Here he is trying to do his job (investigate a claim before issuing payment) and even though all signs point toward an accident, he has this nagging feeling that he just can't shake.  Even more so, he is suspicious of his subordinate, MacMurray, even though up until now, they'd had a good relationship.  Robinson had trusted MacMurray and he was his best salesman.  However, once MacMurray hooks up with Stanwyck, Robinson has his doubts.  I get the sense that he's torn between his camaraderie with MacMurray and his duty to his employer.  I also think that Robinson keeps investigating MacMurray because he wants to clear him, he wants to find some reason to believe that his best salesman didn't have something to do with this attempt at insurance fraud. 

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Fill the Void (2012)

24SUBFILLVOID1_SPAN-master675-v2.jpg

I selected this film for viewing knowing nothing about it, other than the premise described in the schedule guide - that a young womain in a Haredi Jewish community finds herself pressured to marry her sister's widower, when that sister dies suddenly.

You'd think that with that premise, what would follow could a drama-laden battle of an individual against the system type of story, but instead you get quietly nuanced performances, where any tensions are deliberately underplayed, but still quite palpable. If there is a battle, it is played out largely within the young woman herself, as she attempts to find a path she feels is right by her immediate family, her community & lastly, herself. There's no regional politics & no conflict between the secular & the religious domains - everything is played out by characters acting within an environment they all appear entirely settled within.

It's a film I suspect that I will have to watch a few more times to get a proper handle on, especially the very last few moments, which left me wondering whether the main character was ultimately comfortable with the path she took.

Source: MoviePlex

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On 12/9/2017 at 3:16 AM, limey said:

Lady on a Train (1945):

Entertaining, nicely paced little romp with extra points for Edward Everett Horton coming up with rhymes like...

Find a penny in a well

and all your troubles... er.. disappear....

Also of interest for the sequence showing long-gone elevated railways (though I always wince at the sight of Ms Durbin meandering down the right of way, narrowly not getting squished by speeding trains, whilst simultaneously not tripping over the 3rd rail carrying something in the region of 700 crackling volts DC...).

Edward Everett Horton makes everything he’s in better. I liked the nightclub scene where Durbin sings “Gimme a Little Kiss, Will Ya Huh?”  The strong but deceptive pull of nostalgia makes one yearn for those types of elegant places where everyone is decked out in tuxedos and evening gowns.  The dreamy cinematography by Woody Bredell is classic noir though the script is a little wobbly.  Bredell also lensed Phantom Lady (1944) and The Killers (1946).  Durbin’s rendition of Silent Night was a tad too risqué considering the song, but it got her out of a jam.

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16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Trip to Spain (2017) - Third in a series of light comedies, from IFC Films and director Michael Winterbottom. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return as barely-fictionalized versions of themselves, once again on a tour to write articles about local cuisine. This time they're in Spain, but the focus remains on the dialogue and camaraderie between Coogan and Brydon, as they once again have dueling celebrity impressions of Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Mick Jagger and more. Also featuring Marta Barrio and Claire Keelan.

This follows 2010's The Trip and 2014's The Trip to Italy, and they are all virtually the same, with only the location changing: part travelogue, part haute cuisine foodie indulgence, but mainly witty, at times laugh-out-loud hilarious conversation between British film and TV stars Coogan and Brydon. The Spanish scenery is spectacular, and the many ancient buildings visited are a highlight. This one does end on a much different note than the others, and I'll be curious to see if, or how, the next one comes about. The formula still hasn't gotten old for me, and I'd be willing to watch more of these from all over the globe.  (7/10)

Source: Shout Factory DVD.

27478_320_470.jpg

I missed this even though it was on my radar.  I agree this formula is always alot of fun.  Once they start doing those impersonations I can't stop laughing.  

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On 12/9/2017 at 11:07 PM, NickAndNora34 said:

ZODIAC (2007)

starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo. I stumbled upon this movie purely by accident (meaning I wasn't looking for it when I logged onto Netflix the other day). I am interested in true crime stories, and obviously the Zodiac was one of the more prolific American degenerates in the 20th century. I am fascinated by the mental aspect of homicides (that is to say, the psychological piece). It fascinates me just how complex a machine the human brain is, and how, if provoked, it can suffer a snap/fracture, and begin to operate outside "normal" standards. 

That being said, I didn't enjoy this movie as much as I had anticipated. It started off fairly promising, but as the movie traveled on, unfortunately my brain and attention span did not travel on with it. It kind of reminded me of the film "JFK," in the sense that both of these films could have potentially prospered from a shorter running time. 

Source: Netflix; 2.5/5 

Image result for zodiac 2007

David Fincher is a great stylist and one of my favorite filmmakers.  He's behind a show called Mindhunter that's streaming on Netflix.  The show explores the psyche of serial killers.  Fincher even directed the first two episodes. 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

 

In Key Largo he was really just redoing the gangster persona he had developed in films around a decade before.   It is a good performance but at the same time he could have just 'phoned that one in' since there wasn't anything unique or developed in it.

 

 

I doubt Robinson was phoning it in when he did Key Largo. Johnny Rocco may not be as complex a character some of the other roles Robinson did but he always gave it 100 percent, and I don't necessary believe a role has to be super duper complex or developed to make a great performance.

If Key Largo's Rocco was too similar to Robinson's earlier gangster persona from the 30's, one could make the same argument for James Cagney's Cody Jarrett in White Heat (Jarrett could have been an older, more psychotic version of Tom Powers from The Public Enemy). But I won't be the one to make that argument because I feel the same way about Cagney's Jarrett as I do about Robinson's Rocco....they are both great performances from two great actors.

I do agree that Robinson's performance in Double Indemnity should have been the role that finally snagged him an Oscar nomination and win.

 

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