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I Just Watched...

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i let my Netflix via mail service expire in part because it was TOO MUCH POWER TO HANDLE

Meaning ... ?

Netflix streaming like any streaming is convenient but in comparison to DVD mail service, the inventory is threadbare. But the mail doesn't have everything, but quite a lot.

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Tear Gas Squad (1940) - Forgettable B-movie cop drama from Warner Brothers and director Terry Morse. Dennis Morgan stars as Tommy McCabe, a cocky nightclub singer who falls for Jerry Sullivan (Gloria Dickson). When he finds out that she will only marry a cop, coming from a family of cops herself, he decides to join the force himself, much to the annoyance of Jerry's other paramour, police Sgt. Morrissey (John Payne). Also featuring George Reeves, Frank Wilcox, Herbert Anderson, Edgar Buchanan, William Hopper, Julie Stevens, Harry Shannon, Mary Gordon, William Gould, and John Hamilton.

This cheesy time-waster has Morgan singing at least 4 songs, which doesn't sound like much, but the movie is less than an hour long. Morgan is annoying throughout, alternately obnoxious and/or whiny, while Dickson and Payne make as much of an impression as a feather on concrete. It was interesting seeing the future TV Superman and Perry White in a movie together almost ten years before the show, but they don't share any scenes.   (5/10)

Source: TCM.

teargassquad1940_678x380_03042013103446.

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The Shadow serial is flat hilarious! The Shadow always blows stealth with his laugh and Margot Lane screams louder than Fay Wray.

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Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940) - B-western from Paramount Pictures and director James Hogan. Texas Rangers Jim Kingston (John Howard) and Mace Townsley (Broderick Crawford) go undercover as outlaws in order to stop a cattle rustling gang led by Carter Dangerfield (John Miljan) and Joe Yuma (Anthony Quinn). The rustlers have been targeting ornery old ranch owner Cecilia (May Robson), and her recently returned granddaughter Ellen (Ellen Drew) falls for Jim. Also featuring Charley Grapewin, Akim Tamiroff, William Duncan, Harvey Stephens, Eddie Foy Jr., Eddie Acuff, Charles Lane, Tom Tyler, and Robert Ryan.

This is a sequel in name only to 1936's Texas Rangers. The scenario is old-hat, and the lack of mystery (the culprits are revealed at the beginning) drains any suspense. However, the cast makes up for a lot of the script's shortcomings. Howard and Drew have a few "meet-cute" scenes, Robson has a ball chewing up the scenery, Tamiroff lays on his Mexican peasant characterization extra thick, and I liked seeing Robert Ryan (with a pencil mustache) in a very early bit part.  (6/10)

At one point May Robson says, "Well, I'll be a ring-tailed Gila monster!"

Howard and Crawford, while spying on the bad guys' rustling operation, have this exchange:

Howard: "This kind of set-up took a lot of planning."

Crawford: "That Joe Yuma is a smart guy."

Howard: "No Indian is that smart."

Source: Universal DVD.

173429-the-texas-rangers-ride-again-0-23

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Tear Gas Squad (1940)

This cheesy time-waster has Morgan singing at least 4 songs, which doesn't sound like much, but the movie is less than an hour long. Morgan is annoying throughout, alternately obnoxious and/or whiny,

 

You mean you didn't like it when Morgan sang in the Police Glee Club? :D

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Dennis Morgan's singing is precisely why I hated Tear Gas Squad.

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25 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940)

Howard and Crawford, while spying on the bad guys' rustling operation, have this exchange:

Howard: "This kind of set-up took a lot of planning."

Crawford: "That Joe Yuma is a smart guy."

Howard: "No Indian is that smart."

 

173429-the-texas-rangers-ride-again-0-23

At least that dialogue exchange is consistent with the tone established in the 1936 Texas Rangers. I recall seeing that western as a kid and a scene in which the Texas Rangers are trapped at the bottom of a canyon, with tall cliffs around them. I remember thinking that the Indians should start rolling rocks and boulders down upon them.

Sure enough, a minute or so later they start doing it, and, in response to those boulders flying down upon the Rangers, character actor Edward Ellis growls, "Only an Indian would think of that!"

 

Since then I've been thinking of having a trace done of my family tree to see from which tribe I am descended.

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm envious, NETFLIX BY MAIL is THE WAY TO GO FOR THE TRUE CINEASTE, I didn't know they still had the service.

(I used to have the mail service, but now i only have the streaming option, which i very rarely use)

The world is at your fingertips with Netflix via mail- if it's on DVD in any form you can get it sent to you, but it can be too much power at the same time...(it's how I saw CALIGULA and some SICK 70's FILMS

i let my Netflix via mail service expire in part because it was TOO MUCH POWER TO HANDLE.

One of the reasons Netflix put so much behind their streaming service was that Reed Hastings (who's starting to become a dirtier and dirtier word in the disk-vs-digital-vs-binge debate that we now have a name to our pain...) was very happily looking for a reason to get rid of the old fashioned mail service:

Yes, mail-Netflix was manna from heaven in the 00's, and may have singlehandedly driven Blockbuster out of business as they deserved to be...But for the company, it also meant paying postage and return postage on hundreds of thousands of disks a day, and they were looking for a way out.

Remember six years ago, when everyone (including SNL) threw that tantrum that they didn't know what "Qwikster" was, and accused Reed of "Splitting up the company to make his customers pay twice!"?  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/10/qwikster-dead-netflix-kills_n_1003098.html  Actually, that was Hastings' attempt to separate Netflix from its mail company, permanently create the label as the streaming service, and "Qwikster" was going to be the disk-by-mail service that was going to take on Redbox personally.  ("But what's a Qwikster?"--Well, that's because they were also originally planning to include game rentals, if they were going to compete with Redbox, so there was no reason to put "-Flix" in the new name.)  And, of course, because of the Big National Tantrum, Reed cancelled the two-service idea, split the combined disk/streaming service into two, and started ignoring the disk service.
Nowadays, if anyone is still sentimental to have stayed on the disk service, it's as hard to find an available disk on as it was back before 2001, when it was still just one office, and it's not going to get any better from here.  The company's not exactly in a mood to keep their shelves stacked if any titles get lost or break.

Me, if I want the Ultimate Cosmic Power of looking up any DVD ever released, I do what you have to do nowadays:  I check the library.  (That's the good thing about living in walking distance.)  And if ours doesn't have it--and in our case, that's one big "If" ^_^--I can either reserve it, or track it down on the statewide computer library-transfer service.  But yeah, I still gotta make that danged old-school trip to return them.

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Ruth Gordon with her ROSEMARY'S BABY Oscar:

f8269abc5bfa9bd6b9b99d918783e3e0--rosema

nowadays, a stylist would've flattened those flyaways, but the look is still tres chic.

what's a flyaway?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I've stayed away from watching TESS all these years because I LOVED THE BOOK SO FREAKING MUCH...

(has there ever been a book you LOVED SO FREAKING MUCH you just didn't want to see the movie even if it was supposed to be great?... or is it just me?)

Never read the book or seen the film.  The film was very good.

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm envious, NETFLIX BY MAIL is THE WAY TO GO FOR THE TRUE CINEASTE, I didn't know they still had the service.

(I used to have the mail service, but now i only have the streaming option, which i very rarely use)

The world is at your fingertips with Netflix via mail- if it's on DVD in any form you can get it sent to you, but it can be too much power at the same time...(it's how I saw CALIGULA and some SICK 70's FILMS

i let my Netflix via mail service expire in part because it was TOO MUCH POWER TO HANDLE.

you poor thing...

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940) - B-western from Paramount Pictures and director James Hogan. Texas Rangers Jim Kingston (John Howard) and Mace Townsley (Broderick Crawford) go undercover as outlaws in order to stop a cattle rustling gang led by Carter Dangerfield (John Miljan) and Joe Yuma (Anthony Quinn). The rustlers have been targeting ornery old ranch owner Cecilia (May Robson), and her recently returned granddaughter Ellen (Ellen Drew) falls for Jim. Also featuring Charley Grapewin, Akim Tamiroff, William Duncan, Harvey Stephens, Eddie Foy Jr., Eddie Acuff, Charles Lane, Tom Tyler, and Robert Ryan.

This is a sequel in name only to 1936's Texas Rangers. The scenario is old-hat, and the lack of mystery (the culprits are revealed at the beginning) drains any suspense. However, the cast makes up for a lot of the script's shortcomings. Howard and Drew have a few "meet-cute" scenes, Robson has a ball chewing up the scenery, Tamiroff lays on his Mexican peasant characterization extra thick, and I liked seeing Robert Ryan (with a pencil mustache) in a very early bit part.  (6/10)

At one point May Robson says, "Well, I'll be a ring-tailed Gila monster!"

Howard and Crawford, while spying on the bad guys' rustling operation, have this exchange:

Howard: "This kind of set-up took a lot of planning."

Crawford: "That Joe Yuma is a smart guy."

Howard: "No Indian is that smart."

Source: Universal DVD.

173429-the-texas-rangers-ride-again-0-23

The Texas Rangers (1936) Fred MacMurray, Jake Oakie, and Lloyd Nolan. That was a 7/10.

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1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

Never read the book or seen the film.  The film was very good.

You haven't seen the film Tess?    If that is the case (i.e. you didn't make a type-o) how do you know that the film was very good?

 

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Nowadays, if anyone is still sentimental to have stayed on the disk service, it's as hard to find an available disk on as it was back before 2001, when it was still just one office, and it's not going to get any better from here.  The company's not exactly in a mood to keep their shelves stacked if any titles get lost or break.

I have stayed on the disk service and I have an 8-at-a-time plan and I am happy as a lark with it. There are a few title in the SAVE list but I generally find what i want (which consists of several categories). You sound like someone from another planet ;). I live in a large city with a good library system but what they offer doesn't even come close to Netflix. I don't believe it is possible for non-members of Netflix to view the database but I may be wrong about that. If you can access though, you might take a look.

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51 minutes ago, laffite said:

I have stayed on the disk service and I have an 8-at-a-time plan and I am happy as a lark with it. There are a few title in the SAVE list but I generally find what i want (which consists of several categories). You sound like someone from another planet ;). I live in a large city with a good library system but what they offer doesn't even come close to Netflix. I don't believe it is possible for non-members of Netflix to view the database but I may be wrong about that. If you can access though, you might take a look.

Non-members can't see the catalog, but if Netflix is still keeping the mail disk service going eight years after the streaming service became the Favorite Child, I'll give them ninepence--I'd need a lot more solid evidence than that.

Reed's distaste for it, his full-tilt gullible grasp of industry "Disk is dead!" propaganda, and his wish to wrap up the snail-mail service was frequent, vocal, and hardly disguised.  I have other distant family members, who aren't really into streaming enough to know the difference, who still hang onto the mail service because that's what they've always known, but I haven't grilled them yet on just how many titles on their queue are now in "Saved" limbo.  (Or whatever other disclaimer the old-school pre-'01 Netflix would use to cover up the fact that a title disk was now OOP and unavailable...Oh, you should have been there at their previous low point in '00 just before they went national, you would see a full 60% your queue titles MIA.)

I'm not saying "Disks are dead"--in fact, the tide of "battle" has turned this year, and we now have the enemy in retreat B) --on the contrary, I'm saying that we gotta kick this guy out before he can do MORE damage to himself and others, even leaving aside what he's doing to the streaming service.

54 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You haven't seen the film Tess?    If that is the case (i.e. you didn't make a type-o) how do you know that the film was very good?

I haven't read Hardy's book, and only used the movie as Cliff-Notes--How much of it did Polanski throw away?

AIUI, the theme of Hardy's novel was the ruthless "business" of inherited family names in 18th-19th cty. English class system, but Polanski pretty much used the movie as his own personal mea culpa confession-penance to Natassja Kinski--As he puts the "Wronged and raped" subplot front and center in the story as the main plot tragedy, and pretty much jams the "Unhappily marrying for title" aspect into the first and last twenty minutes, and here and there when the book-plot remembers it.  

It's still gorgeous-looking and Philippe Sarde's score is reason alone, but guess you can't use every movie to cheat for lit-class.

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21 Days Together aka 21 Days aka The First and the Last (1940) - British drama from London Films and director Basil Dean. Larry (Laurence Olivier) and Wanda (Vivien Leigh) are young lovers who are surprised in Wanda's apartment one evening by her husbands. Wanda hasn't seen the man in many years, and Larry never knew he existed, but the intruder demands money or he'll make trouble. A struggle ensues, and the man is killed. Larry goes to his older brother Keith (Leslie Banks), a respected barrister, for advice. Thinking of his own political career, Keith advises Larry to keep the killing a secret, but when a vagrant is arrested for the murder, Larry wants to turn himself in. Keith convinces him to wait until the end of the trial (the 21 days of the title), during which time Keith should have won his new judgeship appointment, as well as giving Larry and Wanda three more weeks together before he'll have to go off to prison. Also featuring Francis L. Sullivan, Robert Newton, David Horne, William Dewhurst, Frederick Lloyd, and Esme Percy.

This was filmed back in 1937, but producer Alexander Korda kept it on the shelf until after Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights had been released, making his leads box office stars. Leigh is lovely but she doesn't have a lot to do in an underwritten role. Olivier is very good, though, giving one of his better early performances as the man deeply in love but wracked with guilt. Despite the promising scenario, this never rises above second-rate Hitchcock territory, without an ounce of the wit from that director's work.   (6/10)

Source: TCM.

21-days-together-aka-21-days-vivien-leig

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2 hours ago, laffite said:

I have stayed on the disk service and I have an 8-at-a-time plan and I am happy as a lark with it. There are a few title in the SAVE list but I generally find what i want (which consists of several categories). You sound like someone from another planet ;). I live in a large city with a good library system but what they offer doesn't even come close to Netflix. I don't believe it is possible for non-members of Netflix to view the database but I may be wrong about that. If you can access though, you might take a look.

Our grown kids think that DVDs are in the past, because of movies on the computer.  I love my collection of films and keep it going.  I collected VHS in the 80s and 90s, and my hubby transferred everything to DVD about 10 years ago.  I still tape on DVDs .  WE did have NEtflix, but now have TCM and a few other cable channels.  It would be fun to see what Netflix has now.

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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

You haven't seen the film Tess?    If that is the case (i.e. you didn't make a type-o) how do you know that the film was very good?

 

It was the first time I ever watched it, I have never read the book or seen the film until I watched it the other day.

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7 minutes ago, MCannady1 said:

Our grown kids think that DVDs are in the past, because of movies on the computer.  I love my collection of films and keep it going.  I collected VHS in the 80s and 90s, and my hubby transferred everything to DVD about 10 years ago.  I still tape on DVDs .  WE did have NEtflix, but now have TCM and a few other cable channels.  It would be fun to see what Netflix has now.

DVDs and VHS tapes are, in my opinion, better than movies on the internet and I am in the age bracket usually associated with streaming only. I've tried all three and used them all frequently, and although one can still watch and enjoy a streaming title, it feels better to have a copy in your hands and on a TV screen as opposed to a tiny screen. 

 

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

Non-members can't see the catalog, but if Netflix is still keeping the mail disk service going eight years after the streaming service became the Favorite Child, I'll give them ninepence--I'd need a lot more solid evidence than that

But eight years is a long time. Very solid evidence, I should think. And that favorite child is now standing in the corner. I'm quite sure but not certain (since I haven't actually looked into it) that DVD-Mail is still where they get their moolah.

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5 minutes ago, laffite said:

I'm quite sure but not certain (since I haven't actually looked into it) that DVD-Mail is still where they get their moolah.

Not quite. There are approx. 4.2 million DVD-by-mail subscribers. There are 118 million streaming subscribers.

 

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1 minute ago, LawrenceA said:

Not quite. There are approx. 4.2 million DVD-by-mail subscribers. There are 118 million streaming subscribers.

 

Well, I hope they hang on to the mail service. It's a lot of inventory in one place. Eight years and counting, yea !!

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18 minutes ago, laffite said:

Well, I hope they hang on to the mail service. It's a lot of inventory in one place. Eight years and counting, yea!!

I was a member of the DVD-by-mail service for several years, even at the 10-at-a-time level. Then they introduced the streaming service, and I started noticing what EricJ was talking about: more and more discs in my queue were being reported damaged/lost and wait-listed, with no replacements being made. Every month I was getting more and more prompting from the site to use their streaming service, something I had zero interest in at the time, as I had no wish to watch things on my desktop, which was my only option. I eventually canceled my Netflix subscription completely around 2010. 

As the years have progressed and the technology has improved, I now have multiple devices (smart TVs, my Blu-ray player with WiFi, my cable HD DVR receiver) that allow Netflix streaming as a built-in app. My Sony Blu-ray player even has a dedicated "Netflix" button on the remote control! So I decided to rejoin Netflix this past month to try out the streaming service. 

The Pros: The picture looks good, a crisp, sharp HD, and there is 5.1 sound on most titles, which I like as I have surround sound systems. The ease of navigation, even using the TV cable remote, is very good. There has been no "buffering" or stop-and-start issues as of yet, and I've watched over a dozen movies and TV shows. 

The Cons: The selection is rather awful. There are next to no classic film choices, and the majority of the movies are bargain basement horror and science fiction of the direct-to-video variety. There are also a lot of obscure indie films and several big Hollywood titles, but they are all from the last 5 to ten years, with the majority from the last 3 years or so. The ratio of TV to film is also leaning more heavily on TV, which I'm not as interested in. I quickly watched all of the TV they had to offer that I was interested in.

Bottom line: At around $11 a month, it's not a bad deal for me at the moment, but like most streaming services that I've seen, it's understandably geared more to the casual viewer who just wants something/anything to watch, and is not necessarily looking for something specific to watch, which is more of how I look for things. I still prefer physical discs, and will continue to buy them as my primary source for movies, with TCM/AmazonPrime/Netflix as back-ups. FilmStruck has the best streaming selection for my tastes.

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1 hour ago, MCannady1 said:

Our grown kids think that DVDs are in the past, because of movies on the computer.

I am kind of with your kids on this. I have not been a movie collector over the years and really do not want to start collecting actual physical discs now. This desire not to own movie discs can be frustrating since I frequently run across a movie I want to see which is not available anywhere online (e.g. Resurrection with Ellen Burstyn which I finally found uploaded to youtube in a very fuzzy version).

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Up in the Air (1940) - Very minor musical/comedy/mystery from Monogram Pictures and director Howard Bretherton. Frankie Darro stars as Frankie, a pageboy at an L.A. radio station. When the station lead female vocalist attraction is murdered in the studio, Frankie and his janitor pal Jeff (Mantan Moreland) try to find the culprit. Also featuring Marjorie Reynolds, Lorna Grey, Gordon Jones, Tristram Coffin, Clyde Dilson, Dick Elliott, John Holland, and Carleton Young.

Darro and Moreland, an unlikely screen duo, appeared in several B-movies together for Monogram. Moreland can often be a very funny guy, but his role here is more denigrating than amusing. Darro shows up in blackface for one bit with he and Moreland as two-bit Amos'n'Andy wannabes. There are several songs sung by Grey and Reynolds, but none are memorable.   (5/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

1047382dfb8776102ac843ab26cb7b64.jpg

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