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I Just Watched...

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LETHAL WEAPON (1987): starring Danny Glover and Mel Gibson.

I don't have too much to say about this one. It was on my list so I felt compelled to watch it. It started out fairly promising, but didn't end up that way. The ending with Mel beating up one of the criminals really seemed pointless and annoyingly drawn out to me. I'm glad I was able to watch another of the movies on my list, but I probably won't watch this again. 

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CigarJoe said: When I first got Netflix I was hoping it would be like the Library of Alexandria of film

LOL. I just got streaming on my TV and that's EXACTLY what it seems like!

Re NAKED CITY: The film, for New Yorkers of a certain age, me for instance, shows a snapshot of the New York that existed

I am always amazed at the passage of time when this happens-most notably the days when now family/tourist destination areas of NYC were overtly seedy & dangerous. I'm reminded every time seeing '77's THE GOODBYE GIRL and the Elliot charactor gets a job working a strip club in Times Square!

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

CigarJoe said: When I first got Netflix I was hoping it would be like the Library of Alexandria of film

LOL. I just got streaming on my TV and that's EXACTLY what it seems like!

Streaming??  What, you mean the Library of Alexandria after they burned it?  :lol:

Still, now that Warner Instant Archive has now packed up and moved their streaming digs to FilmStruck, it'll be nice to see some of those exiled classics like 42nd St. and The Great Race, instead of all those Euro-gay Criterion films.  Maybe now it'll be the "TCM/Criterion" service it was hyped to be at the beginning.

(Now, if only FS would finally deliver on that Playstation 4 app they've been promising for two years...)

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18 hours ago, EricJ said:

Nowadays, though, I have to search the public-domain backwaters of Amazon Prime to find all my undiscovered Psychotronia.  Streaming-Netflix has turned too Big to be goofy and obscure.

(And when the heck did disk-Netflix ever have Criterion titles??)

yeah, it's PUBLIC DOMAIN central over at Netflix, the Psychotronic selection on Amazon Prime's not too bad. I tend to spend most of my non-TCM viewing time on Amazon Prime, largely because they have a lot of RIFFTRAX titles (some of which i've actually bought)

Also, I distinctly recall getting the Criterion discs for at the very least ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and THE SCARLET EMPRESS thru the Netflix Mail service, so they were available 8-10ish years ago.

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You know,

It's interesting (to me) that we're having a long, on-going, multi-poster, and somewhat off-topic (but nonetheless compelling) conversation about sources for movies BESIDES TCM RIGHT AT THE END OF OSCAR MONTH.

coincidence?

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20 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Except that A Clockwork Orange is a good, well made film, and Caligula is neither good nor well made. Caligula is trainwreck cinema. You watch it to gawk at it.

 

This is all quite true.

The only things I have to add are that A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is definitely a well made film BUT, I don't like it, and MALCOLM MCDOWELL is good in both- Oscar-worthy in fact in ORANGE- and admirably committed to seeing out CALIGULA to the bitter end, Crisco-**** scene and all.

He was a fine actor in his Prime (and probably still is) I wonder if CALIGULA had a damaging effect on his career....

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i hate that- since the redesign- the option for courier font is gone as well as the mandatory double-spacing when you hit enter. i can only imagine it was done to discourage me from mocking things in the psuedostyle of a film script, which i do from time to time.

nonetheless, the following is pretty much how the hardcore scenes are worked into CALIGULA (1979- The Crisco Edit) throughout its three hour(?) duration:

 

 

INT.- CALIGULA'S CHAMBERS IN THE PALACE- THAT NIGHT

JOHN GIELGUD: "So, young Caligula, the pup turns its teeth from suckling at the mother to the sister to now the flesh of the elder where they draw blood!"

CALIGULA: "Aye, Gauis Extremis, for it is the pup who becomes the wolf by the inevitable hand of nature..."

CUT TO:

Medium shot (no heads) of two people going at it somewhere, presumably at the same time as this scene.

CUT TO:

INT.- CHAMBERS

CALIGULA (CONT'D): "... and that same wolf shall tire of being fed only the scraps of the kill and his mother's milk cannot sustain his thirst for blood and POWER."

JOHN GEILGUD: "I fear you, young one."

CALIGULA: "Aye, and so you should Uncle Mother..."

(AND SO FORTH)

 

 

Really, it's an experimental technique- the sudden injection of hardcore sex into overwrought, badly scripted scenes- I find it kind of amusing. there's probably all sorts of other historical adaptations it could've spiced up, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA comes to mind right off hand....

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24 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i hate that- since the redesign- the option for courier font is gone as well as the mandatory double-spacing when you hit enter. i can only imagine it was done to discourage me from mocking things in the psuedostyle of a film script, which i do from time

I wish you would do that again ... from time to time .. I'm a fan. If I conceive you correctly you are referring to that marvel of a thing you did with Too Late for Tears, yes? If you should ever be so moved to indulge in that sort of thing again, I have a movie request which I'll withhold for the moment (a standard noir), but let me know. Sans image sans formed letters of the alphabet, just like how you did it with Tears. Merci.

A propos and OT, is there a way to opt out of the double=spacing thing, I hate it.

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7 minutes ago, laffite said:

I wish you would do that again ... from time to time .. I'm a fan. If I conceive you correctly you are referring to that marvel of a thing you did with Too Late for Tears, yes?

no, you can still color the letters (with even MORE options!) and mess with the sizes and alignment...but i've struggled to find the button that changes the font style (seems like there was one a week ago?)

used to, there was a courier font option and you could kinda sorta use center-alignment to create the look of a film script.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i hate that- since the redesign- the option for courier font is gone as well as the mandatory double-spacing when you hit enter. i can only imagine it was done to discourage me from mocking things in the psuedostyle of a film script, which i do from time to time.

nonetheless, the following is pretty much how the hardcore scenes are worked into CALIGULA (1979- The Crisco Edit) throughout its three hour(?) duration:

 

 

INT.- CALIGULA'S CHAMBERS IN THE PALACE- THAT NIGHT

JOHN GIELGUD: "So, young Caligula, the pup turns its teeth from suckling at the mother to the sister to now the flesh of the elder where they draw blood!"

CALIGULA: "Aye, Gauis Extremis, for it is the pup who becomes the wolf by the inevitable hand of nature..."

CUT TO:

Medium shot (no heads) of two people going at it somewhere, presumably at the same time as this scene.

CUT TO:

INT.- CHAMBERS

CALIGULA (CONT'D): "... and that same wolf shall tire of being fed only the scraps of the kill and his mother's milk cannot sustain his thirst for blood and POWER."

JOHN GEILGUD: "I fear you, young one."

CALIGULA: "Aye, and so you should Uncle Mother..."

(AND SO FORTH)

 

 

Really, it's an experimental technique- the sudden injection of hardcore sex into overwrought, badly scripted scenes- I find it kind of amusing. there's probably all sorts of other historical adaptations it could've spiced up, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA comes to mind right off hand....

 

LMREO!!!! The CRISCO edit??? :D  So you cant use colors anymore??? FOUL!!!

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Certain Women (2016) - This is one of those films that evoke the all-too-common hue and cry of no plot, no story, blah blah. Which does not mean that there is not something happening, and that's enough in this case. Three narratives take place in a common time frame (one character appears in two of the clips) within a somber and quiet backdrop of wide open spaces in Montana.  The setting suggests the slower pace of living and the teleplay is correspondingly low key (despite one of them involving a hostage crisis). Segments are not presented consecutively but chapters of them are spread out over the course of the film. Two of them are presented mostly at the beginning and ending while the other gets a long run in the middle. This one relates a casual encounter that appears to be mundane but which evolves into something much more, at least for one of the principals. The result is quite poignant and the resonance still hangs over me. There is no plot but there is definitely a story (even though we half=create it with a reaction).

 

***

(out of 4)

netflix mail service

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Knockout (1941) - Cliched B-movie boxing drama from Warner Brothers and director William Clemens. Johnny Rocket (Arthur Kennedy) is a hotshot boxing prodigy who catches the eye of unscrupulous manager Trego (Anthony Quinn). When Johnny tells Trego that he's quitting the boxing game to marry his sweetheart Angela (Olympe Bradna) and to work at a health farm, Trego secretly has him fired and blacklisted from finding a job elsewhere. Eventually Johnny returns to Trego and agrees to fight for him, but it could spell the end for Johnny's marriage, or worse. Also featuring Virginia Field, Cliff Edward, Cornel Wilde, Richard Ainley, Ben Welden, Frank Faylen, Herbert Anderson, and William Hopper.

This was tired and corny back in '41, let alone now. Kennedy seems an unlikely boxing champ, and having the women in the film constantly swooning for him and commenting on his "stunning good looks" also strikes me as amusing. Quinn seems more suited to the lead role, but instead he gets to keep his shirt on as the shady manager. I didn't know Olympe Bradna, who was reportedly groomed to be a big new star in the mid 30's, but it didn't work, apparently. Cornel Wilde is baby-faced in one of his earliest roles.   (5/10)

Source: TCM.

knockout1941.528_021720150510.jpg

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4 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Kennedy seems an unlikely boxing champ, and having the women in the film constantly swooning for him and commenting on his "stunning good looks" also strikes me as amusing.

This needed to be remade about 15 years later with Wally Cox in the lead role;)

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

This is all quite true.

The only things I have to add are that A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is definitely a well made film BUT, I don't like it, and MALCOLM MCDOWELL is good in both- Oscar-worthy in fact in ORANGE- and admirably committed to seeing out CALIGULA to the bitter end, Crisco-**** scene and all.

He was a fine actor in his Prime (and probably still is) I wonder if CALIGULA had a damaging effect on his career....

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE even to this day is still a highly controversial film, even though there have been several films in today's era of filmmaking that make it look tame. 

The acts of ultra-violence in ORANGE are indeed quite disturbing, but despite what some critics may have believed at the time, Kubrick wasn't out to glorify violence only to make a point about the hypocrisy when the government decides to take matters into their own hands by breaking laws of morality by changing Alex's nature. As vile and despicable as he was, he was still a human being, not a toy to be played or monkeyed around with.

I can understand why a lot of folks find ORANGE too much to stomach even by today's standards, but I personally think it was the crowning achievement of Kubrick's career.

I always wondered why McDowell didn't have a better career than he had, and thought maybe, as great as he was in CLOCKWORK ORANGE, it may have had a detrimental effect on his career....but from the sound of it, it may have been CALIGULA that really limited his prospects in future projects.

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All-American Co-Ed (1941) - Short, cheap and dumb musical comedy from United Artists, producer Hal Roach, and director LeRoy Prinz. After all-male university Quinceton holds a singing concert with the male students in drag, singer Virginia (Frances Langford) and her reporter friend Hap (Harry Langdon) come up with an idea to help raise the profile of all-girl school Mar Brynn, run by Virginia's aunt Matilda (Esther Dale). They'll invite a number of pageant winners to join their school and hold a welcoming concert that will get them attention. The Quinceton boys resent the idea, so they send frat boy Bobby (Johnny Downs), once more in drag, to infiltrate the school and disrupt the concert. However, when Bobby falls for Virginia, it complicates matters. Also featuring Marjorie Woodworth, Noah Beery Jr., Alan Hale Jr., Kent Rogers, Allan Lane, the Tanner Sisters, and Marie Windsor as the Carrot Queen.

Producer Hal Roach assembles a lot of radio talent from the time, along with silent comedy star Langdon and former Our Gang regular Downs, for this rather terrible trifle. Langford sings several songs, which are okay. The production values are very bad, with obvious stage sets and poorly-done backdrops. The less-than-an-hour runtime means the pain doesn't last too long, though. Kent Rogers, who was a successful radio comedian and impressionist, does some impressions here (Gary Cooper, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy). He would join the Army Air Corps when WW2 started up, and die in a training exercise before his 21st birthday. Surprisingly, this movie earned a pair of Oscar nominations, for Best Score (Edward Ward) and Best Song ("Out of the Silence").   (4/10)

Source: Mill Creek DVD.

all-american-co-ed_u-L-PJY7V30.jpg?src=g

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

yeah, it's PUBLIC DOMAIN central over at Netflix, the Psychotronic selection on Amazon Prime's not too bad. I tend to spend most of my non-TCM viewing time on Amazon Prime, largely because they have a lot of RIFFTRAX titles (some of which i've actually bought)

My Prime service rolls over in December, and every December, I face the traumatic Christmas-strapped question of whether it's finally worth saving $99 and dumping PD-Central Prime vs. the free disk-buying shipping from Amazon.

Last year, I came to the even more traumatic realization that I was actually watching MORE Amazon than Netflix.  I am now in the process of moving whatever Netflix titles I can find elsewhere (eg. Star Trek: Voyager) to Prime and Hulu, and finishing up my last few Netflix-exclusives (eg. the Beat Bugs special), so I can put my subscription's affairs in final order.

That might not seem like much, until you find out that I'd been a disk subscriber since 1999, and then it's a pretty big, sad deal.  :(

(That said, I'm finding more and more back-of-the-shelf midnight riches on Prime's cheap selection.  For one thing, if you're wondering where the word ever came from, The Psychotronic Man (1979) actually IS streaming on "free" Prime as we speak.)

Quote

Also, I distinctly recall getting the Criterion discs for at the very least ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and THE SCARLET EMPRESS thru the Netflix Mail service, so they were available 8-10ish years ago.

If Criterion had an exclusive--I remember renting their "Golden Age of TV" collection--it might be stocked, but if it was the Blu upgrade of an existing disk, like a new Criterion Blu of Midnight Cowboy, Netflix's policy was "Done that!", and they'd stock the existing studio version that was already on their catalog.  Had to go to the PL for most of my Criterion, and then just for the bonus features and commentaries.

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Belle Starr (1941) - Laughably inaccurate Technicolor western biopic from 20th Century-Fox and director Irving Cummings. Gene Tierney stars as Belle Shirley, the feisty daughter of a Missouri plantation owner during the Civil War era. Her father was killed by "Yankee devils", and when her brother Ed (Shepperd Strudwick) returns home to tell her that the South has surrendered, she's devastated. Things only get worse when Yankee carpetbaggers show up, stirring up the "colored folk" and causing misery to the good, Confederacy-supporting Missourians. When Belle learns of a Confederate outlaw named Sam Starr (Randolph Scott) who is causing no end of trouble for the Union army in the area, she joins up with him, and the two fall in love. Also featuring Dana Andrews as the local Union Army commander who also has eyes for Belle, Chill Wills, Elizabeth Patterson, Louise Beavers, Olin Howland, Joe Sawyer, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Kermit Maynard, Juanita Moore, Clarence Muse, and Charles Middleton.

Those with any knowledge of the real Belle Starr story will know that about the only thing this movie has in common with the real person is that they were both white females. The real story of much-married mother of two who was also a bandit across multiple states is instead swapped for a "South will rise again!" Civil War revenge fantasy that traffics in regrettable racial stereotypes and exaggerated distortions. While the moment Randolph Scott calls Louise Beavers an "Ethiopian elephant" is bad, the recurring motif of Strudwick trying to tell "****" jokes, even on his death bed, is worse. The film is given the sort of lavish, Technicolor treatment that helped make Jesse James a hit in 1939, but that film had a better script and a better director.  (4/10)

Source: Starz Encore Westerns.

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49 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Technicolor treatment that helped make Jesse James a hit in 1939

I remember liking this quite a bit. It had really dropped out of awareness until you just mentioned. Without having researched or engaged in any attempt at memory, I seem to recall that I had thought at the time that the two roles, Jesse and Frank, would have worked and might have been better if the two roles were reversed. Again, without having looked, it was Tyrone Power has Jesse and Henry Fonda as Frank, as the actual ... right? How about the other way around? Hmmm.

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The Big Store (1941) - Weak comedy from the Marx Brothers from MGM and director Charles Reisner. When crooner Tommy (Tony Martin) inherits his father's lucrative department store, he hopes to sell it to open a music conservatory for disadvantaged boys. Shady store manager Mr. Grover (Douglass Dumbrille) has been embezzling from the place, so he tries to have Tommy killed before the deal can take place and reveal Grover's malfeasance. Tommy's aunt  Martha (Margaret Dumont) hires private detective Wolf J. Flywheel (Groucho Marx) to be Tommy's bodyguard, and along with Flywheel's assistant Wacky (Harpo Marx) and Tommy's pal Ravelli (Chico Marx) they get into all sorts of trouble in the department store. Also featuring Virginia Grey, William Tannen, Marion Martin, Virginia O'Brien, Henry Armetta, and Charles Lane.

The Marx Brothers declared that this would be their last film together, and I can see why they wanted to give it up after this substandard outing. The jokes fall flat, and too much time is spent on other characters and Tony Martin's singing numbers. It's not a complete bust, and there are a few chuckles scattered about like rare gems. Groucho's scenes with Dumont are still funny. The Brothers eventually made a couple more together as finances necessitated it, but they never matched their early 30's heyday.   (6/10)

Source: Warner DVD, with some vintage shorts as bonus features.

big-store-movie-poster-1941-1010269534.j

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Blues in the Night (1941) - Terrific musical drama from Warner Brothers and director Anatole Litvak. Five members of a jazz/blues band (Richard Whorf, Jack Carson, Billy Halop, Peter Whitney, and Elia Kazan), along with their pregnant vocalist (Priscilla Lane), bum around the country trying to make it in the music business. A chance encounter with violent hood Del Davis (Lloyd Nolan) leads to a long-term gig at a seedy New Jersey nightspot. Resident singer Kay (Betty Field) causes turmoil for everyone, though, and it may send one of their number over the edge. Also featuring Wally Ford, Howard Da Silva, Joyce Compton, George Lloyd, Matt McHugh, Wade Boteler, Faith Domergue, John Hamilton, and William Hopper.

I think I'd call this a noir musical, as it displays a psychological complexity, and a deadly dame, like the best noirs. The movie is rough around the edges (I saw the boom-mic shadow bouncing around a few times), but that lower budget probably allowed the filmmakers to get away with pushing the envelope a bit more. Whorf isn't the best actor (he later turned to directing) but his kind of stiff manner helps during his later crack-up scenes. Seeing Elia Kazan in a large acting role was fun, and Nolan is great as the smiling, menacing gangster. I think my favorite bits may have been the montage sequences, especially the later mental breakdown montage. These were credited to future director Don Siegel. The movie earned an Oscar nomination for Best Song ("Blues in the Night"). Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: TCM. (Recorded during last year's 31 Days of Oscar!)

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I Want To live (1958)

image.jpeg.13f6679687ecb277b7b64bb3b3f411c9.jpeg


The story of Barbra Graham's life was sympathetically dramatized in the film in which she was portrayed by Susan Hayward, who by the way, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Graham. 

The film also belongs to a small sub genre of Film Noirs that could be termed the Bio Noirs. It also fits into those late 1950s early 1960s  Noirs that I like to tag the "Beat Noir"s or "Tailfin Noirs." 

It has a great opening Jazz Club sequence, check it out in Film Noir/Gangster threads. 7/10

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13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Belle Starr (1941)

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At least Gene Tierney looked like the real Belle. :rolleyes:

belle_starr_1886-e1489190829512.jpg

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Lorna & Eric....you can watch ALL those things free with an Amazon Firestick. (although Google is just as evil as Amazon, they are smaller players in the field)

There is a station (Pluto) that streams an MST3K channel and a RIFFTRAX channel 24/7. I can find any old TV show complete series episodes like STAR TREK or SHAMELESS via Terrarium TV. I even queue up Yoga practices.

I'm sure someday soon they will change content, but for right now there is zero reason to pay for any service. You can even d/l content to your stick & burn a disk from it.

Many, many rare films (not just public domain) are uploaded to watch. I just missed TCM showing SAFE IN HELL, but found it streaming.
FINALLY. Al la carte TV!

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Blues in the Night (1941) )

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It's ironic that John Garfield turned down playing the lead role in this film (much as I like this film and agree with your review, Lawrence, Garfield would have been infinitely better than the charmless Richard Whorf) but would later torture the title song when he talked-sang it two years later in Thank Your Lucky Stars. And dig the way Garfield pronounces "siren" in this number. He calls it "si-reen."

 

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I Want To live (1958)

image.jpeg.13f6679687ecb277b7b64bb3b3f411c9.jpeg


The story of Barbra Graham's life was sympathetically dramatized in the film in which she was portrayed by Susan Hayward, who by the way, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Graham. 

The film also belongs to a small sub genre of Film Noirs that could be termed the Bio Noirs. It also fits into those late 1950s early 1960s  Noirs that I like to tag the "Beat Noir"s or "Tailfin Noirs." 

It has a great opening Jazz Club sequence, check it out in Film Noir/Gangster threads. 7/10

Hayward turned in a great performance, having said that I found I WANT TO LIVE too much of a biased film. It was clearly one-sided, totally against the death penalty.

Also I have read articles that indicate Graham may not have been as innocent as the movie portrayed her to be.

For a more even balanced view of the death penalty I say check out DEAD MAN WALKING, it looks at both sides of the issue (pro and anti-death penalty) 

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