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I Just Watched...

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Yes Madigan leaves me a native New Yorker pretty blah, I get the same vibe from The Detective with Sinatra.     
Kiss of Death (1947), The Unsuspected (1947),Naked City (1948), The Window (1949), Side Street (1950), The Killer That Stalked New York (1951), Killers Kiss (1955), Sweet Smell Of Success (1957), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), Something Wild (1961), Blast Of Silence (1961), The Young Savages (1961), Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), The Pawnbroker (1964), Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965), Mister Buddwing, from 1966 (even though it too has a few backlot brownstone shots), Aroused (1966), The Incident (1967), does NYC much better. 

THE MINUTE I SAW THAT ROW OF BROWNSTONES IN "MADIGAN", I KNEW RIGHT WHERE THEY WERE ON THE UNIVERSAL BACKLOT. Right around the corner from the ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS/ BACK TO THE FUTURE town square.

I half-expected Madigan to be there getting a hot tip from Oscar the Grouch**.

that is a pretty damned comprehensive list of NYC accurately portrayed pre-70's onscreen, i amend my earlier statement.

 

**which frankly would've BEEN AWESOME

 

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The Painted Veil (1934) 6/10

I wrote this review nine years ago, but it still applies. I saw the film again just last week.

This film has some rather fantastic elements about it, mainly that Greta Garbo would be playing a spinster, and that having several suitors - as her mother claims that she has - she would hastily accept a marriage proposal from someone for whom she has absolutely no passion. In this case it is Herbert Marshall playing both an unloved husband and a devoted medical researcher into the cause and prevention of cholera. The other fantastic element is trying to believe that there is any chemistry between Garbo and "the other man, George Brent. Brent - who was so wonderful with Kay Francis, Bette Davis, and Ruth Chatterton - is here no more attractive than the husband he is trying to supplant. He has all the chemistry of a cardboard box.

The best part of the film is once Marshall realizes he has been cuckolded and makes an ultimatum to his faithless wife. He has just learned of a raging cholera epidemic in inland China and must go there and try to get it under control. His wife can stay behind if Brent's character agrees to get a divorce, in which case she can also have one. If he does not agree to this, then Garbo must come along with him on his expedition and thus be exposed to the most extreme danger.

This was one of Garbo's first films after the production code came into effect earlier in 1934. There were so many limits put on what could be said and shown and even insinuated that it really put a damper on what was supposed to be a pretty torrid love triangle. Trying to perform in a moral straight jacket is probably what really cost this film its potential edge. I'd recommend this for Garbo completists only.

Source: TCM

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Justice League (2017) - Big-budget superhero mash-up from Warner Brothers and director Zack Snyder (and an uncredited Joss Whedon). When an alien invasion, led by the sinister Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds in a motion capture performance), seems imminent, Batman (Ben Affleck) recruits the world's heroes to stop it. He seeks out Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), but their combined power may not be enough, and they realize the one missing factor that could turn the tide of battle: the recently deceased Superman (Henry Cavill). Also featuring Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Joe Morton, Billy Crudup, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Holt McCallany, Marc McClure, Robin Wright, Joe Manganiello, and Jesse Eisenberg.

This was another tortured production, with director Zack Snyder leaving the project either due to a death in the family or by the studio's insistence, depending on the source. Joss Whedon was brought on to finish the movie and ended up reshooting some earlier scenes. The final product seems rushed, undercooked, and dreadfully overloaded with too much unnecessary CGI effects. The common weakness in many of these superhero movies is the villain, and this is yet another example of that. The character is fully CGI and looks it, and it's difficult to feel menace from a cartoon in a non-animated movie. And the worst part is, it wasn't even needed, as the character was a normal human-looking person in the comic books, and the actor hired to basically just provide the voice, Ciaran Hinds, is a very good actor and would have been fine without the CGI embellishment. Another glaring visual flaw lies in Superman's mouth. Since the shoot ran over, Superman actor Henry Cavill was contractually obligated to start his filming on the upcoming Mission: Impossible film, a role that requires him to grow a bushy mustache. When he had to come back for reshoots on Justice League, the producers decided to just CGI out his mustache, with the end result a laughable, often deformed upper lip. 

On the plus side, Ezra Miller is amusing as The Flash, Gal Gadot continues to look great as Wonder Woman, and Momoa makes for an interesting twist on Aquaman, who is nothing like his comic book counterpart. Many of the acting heavy-hitters, including Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Jeremy Irons, and just cameo window dressing.  (6/10)

Source: Warners Blu-ray.

UPyLdfsd6Q.jpg

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BLACK PANTHER (2018) 

It was fantastic. I enjoyed it thoroughly. But I'm not in the mood to do a lengthy write up on it at the moment, since I broke 2 bones in my ankle a week ago and am recovering from surgery lol. I'll try to do one later this week. 

Image result for black panther 2018

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23 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

BLACK PANTHER (2018) 

It was fantastic. I enjoyed it thoroughly. But I'm not in the mood to do a lengthy write up on it at the moment, since I broke 2 bones in my ankle a week ago and am recovering from surgery lol. I'll try to do one later this week. 

I wanted to hit "Like" for your positive review, and "Sad" for your broken ankle, so I settled on "Thanks". I hope you mend quickly and feel better soon!

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Tulip Fever (2017) A love story (actually two of them) play out amid the backdrop of the famous tulip mania of Amsterdam, ca 1634. Both love stories hinge on wild improbabilites that are almost laughable. The story is based on a novel so we can perhaps blame it on that. Regardless, the movie is vastly entertaining (but not in the so-bad-it's-good category. There is a  lot to like.) As we are told Tulip trading was rampant and "fortunes were won and lost" all because of a "beautiful flower."

Sophia (Alicia Vikander) is an orphan under the care of a convent that specializes in providing care and education for such unfortunates. She is appropriated by a wealthy nobleman (Cornelius Sandvoort) in Amsterdan who wants to marry and sire an heir. Historical context---keep in mind that Henry was fairly recent history at this time---can make this a daunting task for a young lady but Cornelius turns out to be a saint, an anomaly for one so powerful in such times. He has a love for his young wife and by and by he hires a handsome young painter (Dane DeHann, [who bears a rather strong resemblance to a young Leonardo DeCaprio]) to paint a portrait of he and his wife. Uh oh.

Meanwhile Sophia's servant, Maria (Holliday Grainger) is carrying on with a fishmonger (James Dryden), who wants to marry her and due to his low station trys to strike it rich with tulips. Complications ensue whereby Sophia and Maria concoct a scheme which might be termed the Mission Impossible of 1634 that strains credulity but can be overlooked with effort. Alica Vikander, the main heroine, agrees to some clandestine sittings for her young painter and in the doing is mind-stopping beautiful. (Vermeer would have loved her. She would not need golden earrings). What happens besides sitting and painting in these sessions is easily surmised.

Judi Dench is the Mother Superior (or whatever her title might be) but not per the usual, she is capable of the nod and the wink and can speak quite plainly not to mention her business acumen. You see, the convent grows, buys, and sells tulips and they need a shrewd-y to handle all that ... Judi does just this with aplomb all the while maintaining at least an appearance of piety. (Although if I remember correctly she actually hits somebody over the head with something.)

Another character is old Amersterdam, or the depiction of it. Swarming denizens bustle about in droves along streets and waterfront fulfilling the need for historcal context (along with the tulips, of course).

 

***

out of four

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, laffite said:

Tulip Fever (2017) A love story (actually two of them) play out amid the backdrop of the famous tulip mania of Amsterdam, ca 1634.

Boy meets tulip; boy falls in love with tulip; boy marries tulip.

Standard love story, isn't it?  ;)

 

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23 minutes ago, Fedya said:

Boy meets tulip; boy falls in love with tulip; boy marries tulip.

Standard love story, isn't it?  ;)

 

A tulip may be a beautiful thing, but gimme Holliday Grainger any ole day.

Even in 1634.

:D

 

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2 hours ago, Fedya said:

Boy meets tulip; boy falls in love with tulip; boy marries tulip.

Standard love story, isn't it?  ;)

Actually, the Tulip Mania of the 1630's has been in the trendy news a lot in the past few years, because it follows EXACTLY the same psychological economic-bubble patterns as Mortgage Derivatives and Dot-Coms.  It's very likely they're teaching it more in high school and freshman Economy 101 classes now, because it could tell you--with pretty flowers--everything you ever needed to know about how the past Meltdown happened in the 00's, and why you shouldn't hoard up Bitcoin waiting to retire on it when it replaces world currency as we know it.

I haven't seen the movie, but I know the historical point the setting was trying to make:  The tulip was still a brand new flower in 17th-cty. Holland, neato, and trendily in demand.  That made new varieties more and more valuable for manor gardeners, but problem was, without professional tropical greenhouses, a tulip takes a full year for its owner to get into the profitable bulb-selling business.  Tulips bloom in the spring, fade by summer, have to have their bulbs harvested and planted by fall, and sleep dormant through the winter.

So, if you're a high-rolling tulip dealer, how do you make your money in the winter?  By getting together at tulip-trading sessions in the taverns, showing investors the Audubon-painting of a rare pink-and-white-streaked Semper Augustus, and sell them a signed promissory note reserving that bulb for the owner in summer.  Of course, if you're an investor who wants to get in on the hot market, all you've bought is a piece of paper now, and a bulb six months later...So as value went up, investors found there was more money selling the imaginary promised future ownership papers of rare bulbs to other investors in rapidly price-jumping games of hot-potato, rather than the actual solid trade currency of the flowers themselves.  And like mortgages, investors even began wagering on futures and securities of how high a flower's price would go, and did what they could to see it reach those figures.  It was all about the hollow inflated price, and it never occurred to anyone to ask whether anyone was actually buying a flower, or what would happen if a bad frost killed the investment.

Until that one market when it turned out nobody who showed up was buying--Everyone had gotten in on selling, and had no one to sell them to.  And like the quarterly-report news that Merrill Lynch might be having trouble with mortgages, tulip investors panicked once they got the word, tried to unload their burden, and the price went through the floor overnight.

Suppose it's easier to use the setting as a love story than a "metaphoric" post-Meltdown history of the events, but seems like just a distraction to use it as mere period dressing.

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) - Entertaining fantasy adventure comedy from Sony/Columbia Pictures and director Jake Kasdan. Four high school students serving afterschool detention discover an old cartridge video game in the school's storage area. It's called "Jumanji" and when they play it, the game sucks them into the game world, where they each inhabit a different character: nerdy Spencer becomes Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), a musclebound action hero; football jock Fridge becomes diminutive sidekick Mouse (Kevin Hart); vacuous pretty girl Bethany becomes chubby middle-aged male scientist Prof. Oberon (Jack Black); and academically-driven Martha becomes Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) a sexy martial artist. The quartet learn that they have to complete the game to return to the real world and their real bodies, but they each only have 3 lives in the game; die 3 times in the game, and they die for real. Also featuring Bobby Cannavale, Joe Jonas, Rhys Darby, Tim Matheson, and Colin Hanks. 

I saw the original Jumanji movie back in 1995 and wasn't very impressed with it, so I had little interest in this expensive reboot. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this one. The dichotomy of the characters in their real lives versus their in-game personas is funny and well exploited, and the conventions of video game storytelling and set-up are also lampooned with some wit. Johnson, Hart and Black are all performers who can be over the top, but the material calls for it here, and they all exceed, as does Gillan, especially during her hilariously awkward "seduction" scene. Even if some of the animal peril is blatantly more CGI cartoonery, it also fits with the videogame milieu. This strictly popcorn fare, but it isn't brainless, although it's a bit predictable. Still, it was much better than expected.   (7/10)

Source: Sony Blu-ray.

3381.jpg

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) - Entertaining fantasy adventure comedy from Sony/Columbia Pictures and director Jake Kasdan. Four high school students serving afterschool detention discover an old cartridge video game in the school's storage area. It's called "Jumanji" and when they play it, the game sucks them into the game world, where they each inhabit a different character: nerdy Spencer becomes Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), a musclebound action hero; football jock Fridge becomes diminutive sidekick Mouse (Kevin Hart); vacuous pretty girl Bethany becomes chubby middle-aged male scientist Prof. Oberon (Jack Black); and academically-driven Martha becomes Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) a sexy martial artist. The quartet learn that they have to complete the game to return to the real world and their real bodies, but they each only have 3 lives in the game; die 3 times in the game, and they die for real. Also featuring Bobby Cannavale, Joe Jonas, Rhys Darby, Tim Matheson, and Colin Hanks. 

I saw the original Jumanji movie back in 1995 and wasn't very impressed with it, so I had little interest in this expensive reboot. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this one. The dichotomy of the characters in their real lives versus their in-game personas is funny and well exploited, and the conventions of video game storytelling and set-up are also lampooned with some wit. Johnson, Hart and Black are all performers who can be over the top, but the material calls for it here, and they all exceed, as does Gillan, especially during her hilariously awkward "seduction" scene. Even if some of the animal peril is blatantly more CGI cartoonery, it also fits with the videogame milieu. This strictly popcorn fare, but it isn't brainless, although it's a bit predictable. Still, it was much better than expected.   (7/10)

Source: Sony Blu-ray.

3381.jpg

I agree with your review, but I know plenty of diehard Robin Williams fans who won't give this a look because they consider it a 'travesty' to his memory.

Hey folks, how about giving it a viewing before you label something?

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I agree with your review, but I know plenty of diehard Robin Williams fans who won't give this a look because they consider it a 'travesty' to his memory.

 

Why is this? Just curious. Thanks.

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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

Suppose it's easier to use the setting as a love story than a "metaphoric" post-Meltdown history of the events, but seems like just a distraction to use it as mere period dressing.

The tulip element of the setting was significant in the playing out of both love stories. And the inclusion made it possible for Judi Dench's character and the tulip-growing convent. And it gave the fishmonger at least a chance of striking it rich in an era where such things were virtually impossible.   Labeling it a "distraction" or "mere period dressing" is a little careless, especially if you haven't seen the movie. The tulips didn't seem to bother me at all, in fact I liked it. But each of us have to make up our own mind.

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I just saw "Crossfire" with Robert Young, Gloria Grahame, and Robert Mitchum, thanks to TCM on demand.  It was on this past weekend on Noir Alley.  I wasn't able to see it when it was on, but thankfully TCM is allowing it on demand for a while.

That was a really good movie.  I love noir films, and this has to be one of the best.  I had never heard of it before!
Robert Young was sure good as the detective on the trail, out to find the killer.  Gloria Grahame and Robert Ryan were both nominated for Oscars for best supporting roles.  And "Crossfire" was nominated for best picture.  If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it, especially if you like noir.

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Downsizing (2017) - Satirical science fiction comedy-drama from Paramount Pictures and writer-director Alexander Payne. When Norwegian scientists develop a means to shrink living things down to miniature size, with the average human standing only 5 inches tall, the world sees it as great new opportunity. "Downsized" people use less resources, take up less space, and have a smaller impact on the environment. As an added bonus, their "full-size" bank accounts translate to vastly more wealth at smaller size, since less material is needed to build dream mansions or create fabulous jewelry. Within a decade, "downsized" towns are springing up around the world, and middle-class Nebraskans Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristen Wiig) make the decision to join the "little people". However, when complications ensue, Paul finds his worldview shattered, and he's left looking for new direction in his life. Also featuring Hong Chau, Christoph Waltz, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris, Rolf Lassgard, James Van Der Beek, Niecy Nash, Margo Martindale, Don Lake, Pepe Serna, and Kerry Kinney.

Director Alexander Payne (ElectionSidewaysThe DescendantsNebraska) has a knack for character and the human condition. This movie, easily his biggest budgeted effort due to the special effects involved, loses a little of that thanks to the film's ambitions and the overreaching scope of the story. Payne seems to making some points about the lengths people will go to in hopes of achieving the upper class dream of many Americans, with the big house and country club aesthetics. Payne also spends time on the danger of climate change, and the last section of the film takes this to apocalyptic levels. Whether he's exaggerating for effect, comic or otherwise, he doesn't make clear, but it's also possible that he's being sincere in his fears. Damon serves his purpose well, as he's called on mainly to be a blank slate, a rather empty man looking for meaning in the world. The stand-out performances are from Christoph Waltz as Damon's obnoxious neighbor, and especially Hong Chau as a one-legged Vietnamese former political dissident turned janitorial worker. She's phenomenal, and should have nabbed a supporting Oscar nomination. The movie was a flop with both critics and the box office, but I liked it, and continue to look forward to Payne's work.   (7/10)

Source: Paramount Blu-ray.

fotonoticia_20171223121712_640.jpg

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Repeat Performance 1947.  Joan Leslie stars in this crime drama as a woman who wishes she could re-live a year that ended in tragedy..and she gets her wish.  Sounds like familiar territory, but surprisingly well done.  Things start with a bang, literally, as we see Leslie shooting her husband, Louis Hayward.  It's New Year's Eve, and she blindly tosses on a coat over her nightgown and ends up a party, looking for her friend Richard Basehart, and asks him to return to the apartment with her to call the police.  As they climb the stairs, she makes her 'if only I could live the year over' plea, turns around, and Basehart is gone..and inside her hubby is quite alive..and she's wearing the dress she wore one year before. Of course, she can't explain this to anyone..except Basehart, who quite rightly thinks she's crazy (for a while). We learn Leslie is a successful actress, Hayward a playwright who has turned to drinking, and eventually becomes abusive.  Leslie is convinced if she can change the environment..from NY  to Hollywood..things will be different.  Virginia Field plays the fickle writer who Hayward turns to, and Natalie Schafer (in probably her biggest role before she took that 3 hour cruise) is terrific as the socialite who 'sponsors' men, then casts them aside.  Leslie has changed the map of destiny..but will the outcome change?  An Eagle Lion 'B' film that really is a little gem. source: terrarium                                                                                                  Image result for repeat performance 1947

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 3:15 PM, MCannady1 said:

I taped it one time.  I remember seeing it on TV when I was 10 or 11 in the early 60s.  It made quite an impact! 

Eleanor Parker and all the others delivered a compelling performance.

1 debit on this topic though many times there is no indication/heading of exactly what release fans are writing about, WHY THOUGH?

3 time AMPAS contender & nice gal ELEANOR POWELL l9ll-

She was also an *Academy contender fo 1950's strong prison drama "Caged" but this time a woman's prison. This fine & vastly underrated actress also garnered *Oscar attention for the bully prison guard Joe Emerson, though "Caged" is now a bit dated, & the ce in *Tracy and *Hepburn's 1950 comedy "Adam's Rib" (M-G-M) & Parker seemed to choose her fair pretty good 1951's "Detective Story" (4 stars!) in which Emerson easilyjuhuuuuuuuuu.,,  of the women's jail. Softly portrayed  K. Douglas' wife in & many others during that superb decade I long called "The Eisenhower Years") *Wyler's early superb 1951 "D. Story" (Paramount) & (****-stars!) Plus another shot at a "Golden Boy" for 1955's "Interrupted Melody" MGM , plus I always still think when watching the big 20ic in 21960's very strong & often scary "Home from the Hill" (M-G-M) & (***1/2) In this

6 minutes ago, clarklk said:

I just saw "Crossfire" with Robert Young, Gloria Grahame, and Robert Mitchum, thanks to TCM on demand.  It was on this past weekend on Noir Alley.  I wasn't able to see it when it was on, but thankfully TCM is allowing it on demand for a while.

That was a really good movie.  I love noir films, and this has to be one of the best.  I had never heard of it before!
Robert Young was sure good as the detective on the trail, out to find the killer.  Gloria Grahame and Robert Ryan were both nominated for Oscars for best supporting roles.  And "Crossfire" was nominated for best picture.  If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it, especially if you like noir.   & narks the one & only shot at an Academy Award(s Actor) For R. Ryan, but victoir was *Edmud Gwenn in "Miracle on 34th Street" (Fox) always thought that a leading role too though? Plus, Widmark snagged his sole shot for Fox studios "Kiss Of Death"

Ryan was almost as strong in more  "0dss Against Tomorrow" "Iceman Cometh" "Billy Budd"  Though not a strong in the superb 19855 "Black Rock" where *Tracy stole most of his sequences

6 minutes ago, clarklk said:

I just saw "Crossfire" with Robert Young, Gloria Grahame, and Robert Mitchum, thanks to TCM on demand.  It was on this past weekend on Noir Alley.  I wasn't able to see it when it was on, but thankfully TCM is allowing it on demand for a while.

That was a really good movie.  I love noir films, and this has to be one of the best.  I had never heard of it before!
Robert Young was sure good as the detective on the trail, out to find the killer.  Gloria Grahame and Robert Ryan were both nominated for Oscars for best supporting roles.  And "Crossfire" was nominated for best picture.  If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it, especially if you like noir.

the legendary poerfirer Robert Mitchum's adulturess & bear hunting husband but lppklr it up& nither were in the Golden Race that year for theeic!Mitchumk  to the tribute hi+ own original

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ATEBNTUOIN SUOERVIUSIOR!  I just posted a semi length reply to the 1847 "Crossfire" topic & once again, it went bye bye  WHAT IS THE PROBEM  THESEDAYS ON HERE ANYWAY???

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2 hours ago, clarklk said:

I just saw "Crossfire" with Robert Young, Gloria Grahame, and Robert Mitchum, thanks to TCM on demand.  It was on this past weekend on Noir Alley.  I wasn't able to see it when it was on, but thankfully TCM is allowing it on demand for a while.

That was a really good movie.  I love noir films, and this has to be one of the best.  I had never heard of it before!
Robert Young was sure good as the detective on the trail, out to find the killer.  Gloria Grahame and Robert Ryan were both nominated for Oscars for best supporting roles.  And "Crossfire" was nominated for best picture.  If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it, especially if you like noir.

WELP, once again damn post went bye, bye All I tried to do with a but was add to your "CROSSFIRE" post???

Edited by spence
KEEP GETTING DELETED
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2 minutes ago, spence said:

WELP, once again damn post went bye, bye All I tried to do with a but was add to your "CROSSFIRE" post???

The more well-made (***) but nowhere in same league *"GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT" won BP over it though

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36 minutes ago, spence said:

WELP, once again damn post went bye, bye All I tried to do with a but was add to your "CROSSFIRE" post???

I like Crossfire too and Film Noirs are my favorite.  I am sorry if I forgot to say Repeat Performance was the film I was referring to earlier.  It was a unique film I had seen as a child on TV and then I taped it when it was on again in the 80s.  Today I have a good copy on DVD.  Joan Leslie and Richard Basehart were superb especially, and others of note were Louis Hayward and Virginia Field as well as Natalie Shafer.

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59 minutes ago, spence said:

ATENTION TO SUPERVISOR ONLY! I tried once again to no abvail to just reply to another on his "CRISSDFIRE" post, but as usual it went into cyberspace  WHY IS THIS HAPPENED MORE & MORE???

WELP< tcm did it once again on this very topic-(this would mark the 33rd time just trying to apply/reapply  It was mainly about R. Ryan & roles he lost to for '47 *E. Gwenn, in "Miracle on 34th Street"-(though a leading pt), Widmark in "Kiss of Death" (Fox) & check out Ryan almost better in '68's "God's Little Acre" "Billy Budd" "Odds Against Tomorrow" & of course "The Iceman Cometh" I'd say same from the superb '55 "Black Rock" but think *Tracy through him off balance a lot, so natural,etc  & as *Borgnine loves to talk about while watching the footage, *Spence was mainly talking to the ground & poor Robert didn't know what to do?

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Downsizing (2017) - Satirical science fiction comedy-drama from Paramount Pictures and writer-director Alexander Payne. When Norwegian scientists develop a means to shrink living things down to miniature size, with the average human standing only 5 inches tall, the world sees it as great new opportunity. "Downsized" people use less resources, take up less space, and have a smaller impact on the environment. As an added bonus, their "full-size" bank accounts translate to vastly more wealth at smaller size, since less material is needed to build dream mansions or create fabulous jewelry. Within a decade, "downsized" towns are springing up around the world, and middle-class Nebraskans Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristen Wiig) make the decision to join the "little people". However, when complications ensue, Paul finds his worldview shattered, and he's left looking for new direction in his life. Also featuring Hong Chau, Christoph Waltz, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris, Rolf Lassgard, James Van Der Beek, Niecy Nash, Margo Martindale, Don Lake, Pepe Serna, and Kerry Kinney.

Director Alexander Payne (ElectionSidewaysThe DescendantsNebraska) has a knack for character and the human condition. This movie, easily his biggest budgeted effort due to the special effects involved, loses a little of that thanks to the film's ambitions and the overreaching scope of the story. Payne seems to making some points about the lengths people will go to in hopes of achieving the upper class dream of many Americans, with the big house and country club aesthetics. Payne also spends time on the danger of climate change, and the last section of the film takes this to apocalyptic levels. Whether he's exaggerating for effect, comic or otherwise, he doesn't make clear, but it's also possible that he's being sincere in his fears. Damon serves his purpose well, as he's called on mainly to be a blank slate, a rather empty man looking for meaning in the world. The stand-out performances are from Christoph Waltz as Damon's obnoxious neighbor, and especially Hong Chau as a one-legged Vietnamese former political dissident turned janitorial worker. She's phenomenal, and should have nabbed a supporting Oscar nomination. The movie was a flop with both critics and the box office, but I liked it, and continue to look forward to Payne's work.   (7/10)

Source: Paramount Blu-ray.

fotonoticia_20171223121712_640.jpg

Among the few I missed during past Oscar season

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) - Entertaining fantasy adventure comedy from Sony/Columbia Pictures and director Jake Kasdan. Four high school students serving afterschool detention discover an old cartridge video game in the school's storage area. It's called "Jumanji" and when they play it, the game sucks them into the game world, where they each inhabit a different character: nerdy Spencer becomes Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), a musclebound action hero; football jock Fridge becomes diminutive sidekick Mouse (Kevin Hart); vacuous pretty girl Bethany becomes chubby middle-aged male scientist Prof. Oberon (Jack Black); and academically-driven Martha becomes Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) a sexy martial artist. The quartet learn that they have to complete the game to return to the real world and their real bodies, but they each only have 3 lives in the game; die 3 times in the game, and they die for real. Also featuring Bobby Cannavale, Joe Jonas, Rhys Darby, Tim Matheson, and Colin Hanks. 

I saw the original Jumanji movie back in 1995 and wasn't very impressed with it, so I had little interest in this expensive reboot. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this one. The dichotomy of the characters in their real lives versus their in-game personas is funny and well exploited, and the conventions of video game storytelling and set-up are also lampooned with some wit. Johnson, Hart and Black are all performers who can be over the top, but the material calls for it here, and they all exceed, as does Gillan, especially during her hilariously awkward "seduction" scene. Even if some of the animal peril is blatantly more CGI cartoonery, it also fits with the videogame milieu. This strictly popcorn fare, but it isn't brainless, although it's a bit predictable. Still, it was much better than expected.   (7/10)

Source: Sony Blu-ray.

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No matter what "The Rock" touches seems to turn to $financial$ gold, huh

 

This almost sold $400m. in tickets domestically alone & reason studios shell out all that $Fogh$ is because action does even greater internationally

 

 

(P.S. though can you believe that slug Vin Diesel according the FORDES annually report was highest pd actor last year???

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