speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Got around to watching Angel, Angel Down We Go over the wknd. I recorded earlier in the week. The less said the better. POOR JENNIFER JONES. Forced to spout such demeaning dialogue. Don't know what possessed her to appear in this. You can tell her heart isn't in it from her line readings. She just doesn't have a tasteless gene in her.

ZERO STARS.

Did Jordan Christopher ever appear in another film? HOPE NOT!

She wasn't so lucky with Towering Inferno either. :( (Although she did give one of the two good performances in that film)

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Still attempting to wrap some thoughts around Gray Gardens (which I finished over the weekend). It was definately interesting, but I'm not sure what one is supposed to take away. The ladies were very eccentric, but the way the film framed them, you couln't tell if they were supposed to be taken as misunderstood souls, acvtual human beings, or grotesqueries. At times it was humane, at other times clearly not.

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I thought the film was cruel and exploitative. I hope at least the 2 got some money out of it.

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Ski Party (1965)  -  5/10

225px-Poster_of_the_movie_Ski_Party.jpg

AIP ditches the waves for the slopes in this dopey comedy. College students Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman are jealous of the girl-getting skills of school Casanova Aron Kincaid. They follow him to a ski lodge where they hope to learn some tricks, but end up in drag with Kincaid chasing them. Also with Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig as Avalon and Hickman's girlfriends, Robert Q. Lewis, Bobbi Shaw, Dick Miller, and Annette Funicello. There are also appearances and performances by The Hondells, Lesley Gore, and James Brown & The Fabulous Flames. If Frankie and Dwayne are already dating Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig, then why do they need more "girl skills"? Best not to ask any questions and enjoy the musical numbers.

 

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Will say though, since I'm up to the early 90s on the Fox project, i took a look at 1992's Hoffa on HBO, and that is actually a really good film. Very foul-mouthed (as to be expected from David Mamet), but with excellent work from Jack Nicholson, and Danny DeVito not only made a great co-star, but also did a brilliant job directing it as well, with some scenes really having a true sweep to them that catches the eye. Very underrated.

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Subarnarekha aka Golden River (1965)  -  7/10

subarnar.jpg

Indian drama from writer-director Ritwik Ghatak. Set against the backdrop of post-WWII Indian independence and the subsequent Partition, the film follows educated man Ishwar (Abhi Bhattachrya) as he struggles to survive and provide for both his much younger sister Sita and an orphan boy named Abhiram that they've adopted. Many years later, the grown Abhiram (Satindra Bhattacharya) declares his love for Sita (Madhabi Mukherjee), a union that Ishwar doesn't approve of due to their caste differences. Ghatak explores the clashing ideals of traditional Indian class structures in the midst of societal upheaval. Ishwar is may be educated, but he's a traditionalist who wishes for the old ways to carry on in the new order of things, only to find that the future, embodied in Sita and Abhiram, may have other plans. There's a lyrical beauty to this, despite the poor quality of the copy I watched, and I would hope someone like Criterion, who announced only today that they're releasing a remaster of Ghatak's earlier film The Cloud-Capped Star in September, would look into improving this film's look and reputation.

Source: YouTube, a bad print with washed-out white subtitles and various video issues.

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Fanny and Alexander (1982).

Title kids spend and inordinate amount of time at a Christmas party before Dad drops dead and Mom remarries an abusive Lutheran bishop.  A Jew with an eccentric family saves the kids.

This is really two or three movies in one: the kids' story; the story of Dad's relatives; and the Bee's mentally unstable son/daughter.  The parts didn't mesh together for me and the movie is way too long, but everybody else praises it because it was directed by Ingmar Bergman.

5/10 with most of that coming from the technical aspects like Sven Nykvist's cinematography and the sets.

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A Swingin' Summer (1965)  -  4/10

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AIP went to the beach, but this United Artists release goes to the lake. California's Lake Arrowhead, to be specific, where friends William Wellman Jr, James Stacy, and Quinn O'Hara try to organize dances for the vacationing young people. They book acts like The Righteous Brothers, Donnie Brooks, The Rip Chords, Jody Miller, and Gary Lewis & The Playboys. Of course, there's the usual complications, with the friends having to scramble to make sure the show goes off without a hitch. Also featuring Martin West, Mary Mitchell, Allan Jones, Lili Kardell, Michael Blodgett, and Raquel Welch. This isn't as goofy as the Beach movies, but it's cheaper looking and less interesting. The musical acts don't play any of their hits. Raquel Welch has an early role as the "bookish girl", in other words, a girl that looks like Raquel Welch while also wearing glasses.

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This also features an appearance by Gypsy Boots as himself, a person I was unaware of until seeing this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_Boots

kpjw6g-03popfest0803215large.jpg?w=620

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Tokyo Olympiad (1965)  -  9/10

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Japanese documentary from director Kon Ichikawa, covering the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Ichikawa uses a variety of filmmaking techniques, from slow motion to freeze frames, odd angles and special effects, all to highlight the beauty and drama of the events. I'm not a sports fan. I enjoyed participating in them as a youth, but never watching them. And I have no special regard for the Olympics, even though I admire the spirit behind them, and the effort to compete at that level. That being said, I found this to be one of the greatest sports documentaries ever made, and I was enthralled for the entire 2 hour and 50 minute runtime. Highly recommended.

Source: The Criterion Channel

 

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Ski Party (1965)  -  5/10

225px-Poster_of_the_movie_Ski_Party.jpg

AIP ditches the waves for the slopes in this dopey comedy. College students Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman are jealous of the girl-getting skills of school Casanova Aron Kincaid. They follow him to a ski lodge where they hope to learn some tricks, but end up in drag with Kincaid chasing them. Also with Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig as Avalon and Hickman's girlfriends, Robert Q. Lewis, Bobbi Shaw, Dick Miller, and Annette Funicello. There are also appearances and performances by The Hondells, Lesley Gore, and James Brown & The Fabulous Flames. If Frankie and Dwayne are already dating Deborah Walley and Yvonne Craig, then why do they need more "girl skills"? Best not to ask any questions and enjoy the musical numbers.

Oh man.  How can DeeDee allow Frankie to date another woman? In previous films, she gives him the silent treatment if he so looks at another woman.

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I watched Breathless the other day for the first time on TCM. I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't realize it was sort of a take on old gangster movies, but obviously very modern for the time. I have to say though, Jane Seberg is so beautiful that it made me a bit distracted! I was busy studying her clothing lol. 

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18 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Still attempting to wrap some thoughts around Gray Gardens (which I finished over the weekend). It was definately interesting, but I'm not sure what one is supposed to take away. The ladies were very eccentric, but the way the film framed them, you couln't tell if they were supposed to be taken as misunderstood souls, acvtual human beings, or grotesqueries. At times it was humane, at other times clearly not.

Yes, it's a very interesting doc. I think it was meant to be empathetic, but doesn't always come off that way. 

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17 minutes ago, vintagefankelly said:

I watched Breathless the other day for the first time on TCM.... [Jean] Seberg is so beautiful that it made me a bit distracted! I was busy studying her clothing lol. 

You might also like BONJOUR, TRISTESSE (which is English language.)

Seberg was kind of a mess tho. I think a biopic of her is coming out soon or has come out recently...?

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4 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

You might also like BONJOUR, TRISTESSE (which is English language.)

Seberg was kind of a mess tho. I think a biopic of her is coming out soon or has come out recently...?

Yeah, after I watched the movie I found out a movie is being made. It has to do with the whole Black Panther Party drama I guess. 

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Was "Ski Party" the only beach party transferred to the ski slopes/ski lodge movie?  I really enjoyed its campiness, music and clothing and wondered if there are others in this sub-genre....or maybe it wasn't successful enough to repeat?

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I think there were a few others...

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1 hour ago, vintagefankelly said:

Yeah, after I watched the movie I found out a movie is being made. It has to do with the whole Black Panther Party drama I guess. 

Years ago,  a big musical about her tempestuous life opened in the West End (London).

Unfortunately, it never made it to Broadway.

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1 hour ago, RoyCronin said:

Was "Ski Party" the only beach party transferred to the ski slopes/ski lodge movie?  I really enjoyed its campiness, music and clothing and wondered if there are others in this sub-genre....or maybe it wasn't successful enough to repeat?

I have Winter A-Go-Go and Wild Wild Winter coming up to watch soon.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I have Winter A-Go-Go and Wild Wild Winter coming up to watch soon.

Anything with "A Go Go" in the title you know has to be good!

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14 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Anything with "A Go Go" in the title you know has to be good!

Maybe/Maybe Not.

 

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Looks good to me.  

I especially like the billing of "Tom Nardini, That Cat Ballou Injun!"

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I have Winter A-Go-Go and Wild Wild Winter coming up to watch soon.

LOL.

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49 minutes ago, Michael Rennie said:

Maybe/Maybe Not.

 

Nothing like skiing in a bikini! I don't think the Hip Square Dance caught on. Nothing but A level entertainment acts in this one....

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Von Ryan's Express (1965)  -  7/10

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WWII adventure with Frank Sinatra as an American pilot shot down over Italy in 1943. He ends up being the senior officer at a P.O.W. camp mostly filled with British soldiers, and he must reluctantly lead them on a daring escape attempt. Featuring Trevor Howard, Edward Mulhare, James Brolin, Brad Dexter, Raffaella Carra, Sergio Fantoni, John Leyton, Wolfgang Preiss, Richard Bakalyan, and Adolfo Celi. I think I probably saw this many years ago, as much of it seemed very familiar. It was enjoyable, with solid direction by Mark Robson, and nice location shooting.

Source: internet

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This Is My Life (1992--- watched for the Fox project) -- 7.5/10

I'm reviewing this film only because, in one way, its a personal milestone. See, the films I've seen are more or less evenly spread through the decades, so this is a big deal when I say that This is My Life was my 500th watched feature film from the 1990s (Yay!). This is the first decade for me to hit the 500 film threshold. Otherwise, this film, the directorial debut of Nora Ephron, is a very interesting film that has a strong opening and a good ending, but goes a bit astray in the middle.

The dialogue is very sharp and witty, and there are many lines that are some of the more pointed ones in Ephron's filmography (she cowrote the film with her sister from a book by Meg Worlitzer). Julie Kavner is ideal as the mother turned stand-up comic, Samantha Mathis convinces as a sullen teenager, and young Gaby Hoffman is utterly charming. Their utterly convincing mother-daughter dynamic as the film opens is enthralling and compulsively watchable, and the early scenes kept me with a smile plastered to my face.

Problems arose a bit in the middle when Kavner's character went off on a comedy trip to LA, and as such was mostly absent from a section of the film. But then came the big misstep. Most of this movie feels like this type of film that mothers can watch comfortably with their teen and tween daughters, and then all of a sudden is an admittedly funny *(through its sheer awkwardness), but surprisingly graphic and extended teen bedroom scene that seems to have drifted in from an entirely different film. As this is the first (and last) scene of that type in the film, it throws things into a precarious state for a while, because this is not the type of film that seemingly gave any hint of heading that way.

But to the film's credit, it does get back on track with closing sequences that might be expected, but they do ring true, and give all three leads time to shine. They also feature some fresh material for Caroline Arron, and a funny disagreement scene between Kavner and Dan Aykroyd over it's a Wonderful Life.

What makes the movie worth watching is its honest look at the type of sacrifices that happen when somebody hits the big time, its three wonderful performances, and also that it gives Kavner a rare leading part which is nice to see. There are also 3 pretty good Carly Simon songs to top things off, so while not a perfect film, it is worth a look.

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