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I Just Watched...

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Volver (2006) Penepole Cruz is chopping tomatoes at the restaurant and says to the guy, “Please don’t look at me like that. You're making me nervous.” She has a right to be nervous. This is the world of Pedro Almodovar where bad men to bad things to good (sometimes) women. At least these horrific acts are not represented on screen. Not only that, not even men are represented on screen. They get a few seconds here and there but that’s it. We do see a lot of women, an ensemble cast that I found entertaining as they try get along in the world, taking care of older loved ones, coping with trauma, doing their jobs, burying dead bodies, dying of cancer, and even coming back from the dead. Maybe. I hope not but because there is nothing like a little Magic Realism to ruin a story. If it’s not ruined already. It’s hard to tell because Pedro must be fond of games. He really knows how to stack the cards. But I still like it. The ladies are soft spoken and sympathetic and I liked them. The emotional quality of what they are saying really shows and makes them sympathetic. They hug and kiss each other a lot. The dialogue is quite good. Penelope is staggeringly pretty but I didn’t like the song. The arrangement was too complex for such an impromptu gig which ruined it for me. I admit to folly in thinking early on that she was going to serve her dead husband to the film crew. How silly of me, what do I think I’m watching, Hitchcock? As you can see this is my first Almovdovar and I probably don’t get it (unless it is a sort of paean to the plight of women ... or something) or at least fully realize the true intent, like everybody else in the world no doubt can.  

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12 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Holm is a perfect fit for the brilliant and obsessive Victor, but he seems an odd choice for the creature,

Ian is a great actor and as is often said of such, they can do anything. Maybe, but probably not. I agree, a very odd choice.

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3 hours ago, laffite said:

Volver (2006) Penepole Cruz is chopping tomatoes at the restaurant and says to the guy, “Please don’t look at me like that. You're making me nervous.” She has a right to be nervous. This is the world of Pedro Almodovar where bad men to bad things to good (sometimes) women. At least these horrific acts are not represented on screen. Not only that, not even men are represented on screen. They get a few seconds here and there but that’s it. We do see a lot of women, an ensemble cast that I found entertaining as they try get along in the world, taking care of older loved ones, coping with trauma, doing their jobs, burying dead bodies, dying of cancer, and even coming back from the dead. Maybe. I hope not but because there is nothing like a little Magic Realism to ruin a story. If it’s not ruined already. It’s hard to tell because Pedro must be fond of games. He really knows how to stack the cards. But I still like it. The ladies are soft spoken and sympathetic and I liked them. The emotional quality of what they are saying really shows and makes them sympathetic. Penelope is staggeringly pretty but I didn’t like the song. The arrangement was too complex for such an impromptu gig which ruined it for me. I admit to folly in thinking early on that she was going to serve her dead husband to the film crew. How silly of me, what do I think I’m watching, Hitchcock? As you can see this is my first Almovdovar and I probably don’t get it (unless it is a sort of paean to the plight of women ... or something) or at least fully realize the true intent, like everybody else in the world no doubt can.  

I liked Volver a lot, but I haven't seen it since it was released. I was late coming to appreciate Almodovar, and he is an acquired taste. Outrageous camp, but not as grotesque as John Waters stuff, and with more genuine heart. The first Almodovar film that I saw was Talk to Her (2002), which I loved. I later saw All About My Mother (1999, terrific), Bad Education (2004, not for the easily offended), Volver, and The Skin I Live In (2011, a loving homage to Euro-horror films, particularly Franju's Eyes Without a Face). It was only then that I went back and watched the film that brought him his first international attention, 1988's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I liked it, and it's probably the most accessible of his films that I've seen. I watched Matador (1986) last week and reviewed it a few pages back in the thread. It is also quite shocking and not for sensitive sensibilities. 

I have copies of Law of Desire (1987), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), Live Flesh (1997), and Broken Embraces (2009) in my stack of stuff to watch, and The Flower of My Secret (1995) in my Criterion Channel queue. I need to watch that before the end of the month, when most of the Almodovar movies are scheduled to leave the site.

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I need to watch that before the end of the month, when most of the Almodovar movies are scheduled to leave the site.

That's what prompted me. I like the warning system they have. I believe I saw Flower but of course remember nothing. A girl sitting at a desk doing some boring job and probably being taken advantage of somehow. Close? Anyway, I'll try another, maybe. You are Almodovar literate. Recommendation? Just one. Thanks.

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Just now, laffite said:

That's what prompted me. I like the warning system they have. I believe I saw Flower but of course remember nothing. A girl sitting at a desk doing some boring job and probably being taken advantage of somehow. Close? Anyway, I'll try another, maybe. You are Almodovar literate. Recommendation? Just one. Thanks.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is his most famous, and most accessible. It's funny, and not as graphic as many of his other films. 

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3 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is his most famous, and most accessible. It's funny, and not as graphic as many of his other films. 

Thanks. I approve of high accessibility in films. It gives me a fighting chance.

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BLUE VELVET (1986) *Score: 6/10*

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rosselini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell. 

Image result for blue velvet 1986

I recently joined an online film club (majority of the members are people my age, which is nice) and I've been trying to broaden my horizons a little bit and watch different things. Of David Lynch's projects, I had only previously seen Mulholland Drive, which I did not love. I thought the concept was interesting, but I don't understand why everyone I talk to seems to love it. 

I enjoyed this one a little more than Mulholland, although I wouldn't say it was my absolute favorite. MacLachlan stars as a young man who has come home after his father has a heart attack. He finds a human ear in a field, and gets involved in a ring of kidnapping, murder, and mystery. Along the way, he gets involved with both Rosselini (she's somehow connected with the criminals) and Dern (the local police chief's daughter). 

Image result for blue velvet 1986

Overall, I enjoyed everyone's performances in this. I thought it was an interesting take on the more traditional mystery/noir. 

I love Laura Dern. That is all. 

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Just now, NickAndNora34 said:

I love Laura Dern. That is all. 

After watching Blue Velvet, you should love Dennis Hopper, as well!

Bvelvet3.jpg

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I also got invited to a live taping at Warner Brothers for the Anna Faris/Allison Janney tv show "Mom" last night, which was very cool. It was my first experience doing this, and it was great. My friend is a stuntwoman, and she sometimes works on the show. 

I had never seen the show before, but it wasn't too difficult to follow. I got to go down on the floor afterwards, and I met Allison Janney, and just about died, so there's that...

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

After watching Blue Velvet, you should love Dennis Hopper, as well!

Bvelvet3.jpg

lol I forgot to mention him. He was incredible. I'll have to check out more of this work for sure. 

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Frankenstein's Bloody Terror aka The Mark of the Wolfman  (1968)  -  6/10

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American edit of the Spanish horror film, originally released in 3D. Paul Naschy stars as Count Waldemar Daninsky, a nobleman who is afflicted with lycanthropy after being bitten by a werewolf ancestor who was accidentally revived by gypsies, as is often the case. Daninsky hates his homicidal werewolf rampages, so he seeks the help of a noted hypnotist in hopes of a cure, only to discover that the doctor and his wife are vampires! With Dyanik Zurakowska, Manuel Manzaneque, Aurora de Alba, Julian Ugarte, Rosanna Yanni, Gualberto Gualban, and Jose Nieto.

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This was a huge hit in Europe and made Naschy a genre film star for the next couple of decades. There were also 10 or so direct sequels with Naschy returning as the tragic wolfman Daninsky. This edited version, made for the U.S. exploitation circuit, is said to have left a lot of footage out. Other sources claim that only the dialogue was dubbed, and that the 88-minute version is intact. Either way, it's kind of clunky, with shoddy pacing and some muddled characters. However, it looks good, with Hammer-level production values, and some nice lighting effects.  There is no "Frankenstein" in the movie, as the name was added by the US distributors to drum up business.

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Naschy, who looks a bit like John Belushi if the late comedian had been in shape, is effective as the tortured monster. I've seen a few of his later films (The Fury of the Wolfman, The Werewolf vs the Vampire Women, Horror from the TombVengeance of the Zombies) and look forward to seeing more.

Source: YouTube

La_Marca_Del_Hombre_Lobo_1968_DVDRIP_XVI

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I liked Volver a lot, but I haven't seen it since it was released. I was late coming to appreciate Almodovar, and he is an acquired taste. Outrageous camp, but not as grotesque as John Waters stuff, and with more genuine heart. The first Almodovar film that I saw was Talk to Her (2002), which I loved. I later saw All About My Mother (1999, terrific), Bad Education (2004, not for the easily offended), Volver, and The Skin I Live In (2011, a loving homage to Euro-horror films, particularly Franju's Eyes Without a Face). It was only then that I went back and watched the film that brought him his first international attention, 1988's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I liked it, and it's probably to most accessible of his films that I've seen. I watched Matador (1986) last week and reviewed a few pages back in the thread. It is also quite shocking and not for sensitive sensibilities. 

I have copies of Law of Desire (1987), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), Live Flesh (1997), and Broken Embraces (2009) in my stack of stuff to watch, and The Flower of My Secret (1995) in my Criterion Channel queue. I need to watch that before the end of the month, when most of the Almodovar movies are scheduled to leave the site.

"Law of Desire" must be seen.

It is totally unique.

tumblr_p2h6bpMEps1wlmvwwo4_400.gif

 

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The Girl on a Motorcycle aka Naked Under Leather  (1968)  -  4/10

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British drama with Marianne Faithfull as an unhappily married woman living in France who decides one day to get up early, put on her full-body leather cat-suit, jump on her Harley, and drive away, hopefully to rendezvous with a former lover (Alain Delon). While cruising along, she reminisces about her past and what led to her leaving. With Roger Mutton, Marius Goring, Catherine Jourdan, and Jacques Marin. Directed by noted cinematographer Jack Cardiff, this often looks very good, which is the only reason I rated as highly as I did. Otherwise it's insipid, horribly dated, and laughably pretentious. It also holds the distinction of being the first movie rated with an "X". Faithfull is awful, and her narration adds nothing. While much of the film is visually interesting, there's also a lot of terrible rear-projection stuff that undercuts the rest. This is said to have a cult following, but I can't guess why. The trailer is great, though, and the filmmakers should have stopped there.

Sample romantic dialogue: "Your toes are like tombstones."

Source: The Criterion Channel

girlmotorcycle_06_1.jpg

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17 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Girl on a Motorcycle aka Naked Under Leather  (1968)  -  4/10

151.jpg

British drama with Marianne Faithfull as an unhappily married woman living in France who decides one day to get up early, put on her full-body leather cat-suit, jump on her Harley, and drive away, hopefully to rendezvous with a former lover (Alain Delon). While cruising along, she reminisces about her past and what led to her leaving. With Roger Mutton, Marius Goring, Catherine Jourdan, and Jacques Marin. Directed by noted cinematographer Jack Cardiff, this often looks very good, which is the only reason I rated as highly as I did. Otherwise it's insipid, horribly dated, and laughably pretentious. It also holds the distinction of being the first movie rated with an "X". Faithfull is awful, and her narration adds nothing. While much of the film is visually interesting, there's also a lot of terrible rear-projection stuff that undercuts the rest. This is said to have a cult following, but I can't guess why. The trailer is great, though, and the filmmakers should have stopped there.

Sample romantic dialogue: "Your toes are like tombstones."

Source: The Criterion Channel

girlmotorcycle_06_1.jpg

How did they get Alain Delon to do this?

the-vintagent-the-girl-on-a-motorcycle-2

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The Immortal Story  (1968)  -  6/10

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Orson Welles directs and wrote this adaptation of Isak Dinesen's novel. He also stars as elderly, wealthy merchant Mr. Clay, he lives in an estate in 19th century colonial Macao. He orders his manservant Mr. Levinsky (Roger Coggio) to hire a woman (Jeanne Moreau) and a young sailor (Norman Eshley) to re-enact an old tale about a wealthy man paying a sailor to impregnate his wife. This 58-minute movie was originally made for French television. There are moments of poetic beauty, and Moreau is always worth watching, but this isn't something that will stick in my memory for long. The melancholy score of piano pieces by Erik Satie strike the right ghostly mood.

Source: The Criterion Channel

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L'enfance nue  (1968)  -  5/10

lenfancenue.jpg

French drama from writer-director Maurice Pialat. 10-year-old Francois (Michel Terrazon) is a foster child who continuously acts out, shoplifting, destroying items, and worse. His foster parents can't deal with him, so he's sent to another family, where he makes a tentative connection with an elderly woman, but that doesn't last long. This was the first feature for director Pialat, and he strives for unadorned, unsentimental realism. Most of it works, but I was put off rather early in the film by the boy's killing of a cat. After his casual cruelty, which I'm sure was meant to be a symptom of his troubled upbringing, I no longer cared what happened to the kid, and was actively rooting that he'd be hit by a car or crushed under a falling airplane or stumble into the whirling blades of some industrial farm equipment. 

Source: The Criterion Channel

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3 hours ago, rayban said:

How did they get Alain Delon to do this?

the-vintagent-the-girl-on-a-motorcycle-2

I think most guys would have done this ... for free

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I just watched ZODIAC on Fusion TV. I love serial killer movies and this is one of my favorites. Don't worry, I don't identify with the killers. I minored in psychology in college and I'm very curious as to what motivates these people. Mass murderers seem to want to kill indiscriminately. Serial killers seem more interested in playing cat and mouse with law enforcement. Their victims seem to fit a certain type. They also enjoy the notoriety they usually get from the media. I guess Zodiac is so interesting to me because they never caught him.  My apologies if this is too creepy for some of you. It's just that one of my unfulfilled dreams was to be an FBI profiler. John Douglas has always been one of my heroes.   

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Well I was on the CNN website and what do I see;  Olivia De Havilland!

Don't know if this was content 'just for me' or if all CNN users see the same thing.

Oldest Celebrities that are Still Alive Today

Kirk Douglas was listed first,  then Olivia, then Dick Van Dyke.  

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Memories of Underdevelopment  (1968)  -  7/10

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Cuban drama from writer-director Tomas Gutierrez Alea. Middle-aged writer Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) is left alone after his wife, relatives, and friends flee to the US in the years after the Revolution. He muses over the history of country and its people, while starting a new relationship with much-younger would-be actress Elena (Daisy Granados). Director Alea utilizes documentary footage mixed with staged drama with deft skill. The editing is very well done, and is ahead of its time. The propaganda aspects are bit heavy at times, but not as annoying as I expected, and there are even bits of subtle criticism targeting post-revolutionary society thrown in.

Source: The Criterion Channel 

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6 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

BLUE VELVET (1986) *Score: 6/10*

I recently joined an online film club (majority of the members are people my age, which is nice) and I've been trying to broaden my horizons a little bit and watch different things. Of David Lynch's projects, I had only previously seen Mulholland Drive, which I did not love. I thought the concept was interesting, but I don't understand why everyone I talk to seems to love it. 

If you've joined one of THOSE film clubs that think David Lynch is a god on earth, and made you watch Mulholland Drive for your enlightenment and initiation, you have my sympathies. 😉  FMM, Lynch is watchable, but only up through Blue Velvet, inclusive.  (And then the second season of Twin Peaks happened, as has already been discussed at length.)

Essential Lynch is still Eraserhead, but as long as you go in prepared, and know what the heck you're in for.  That one probably the most sums up Lynch's attempt at a "dreamlike" style--literally--and it's interesting if you know what you're watching, but there don't tend to be middle-ground opinions about it.  (If you're squeamish, The Elephant Man keeps most of the visual tricks on a more stable linear plot.)

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The Flower of My Secret  (1995)  -  6/10

220px-The_Flower_of_My_Secret.jpg

Spanish melodrama from Pedro Almodovar. Leo Macias (Marisa Paredes) is an unhappy middle-aged writer of romance novels whose military-officer husband (Imanol Arias) is distant both in proximity (he's been deployed to Bosnia) and in his affections. Leo seeks sympathy from her friend Betty (Carme Elias), but she seems troubled with her own issues. Meanwhile, Angel (Juan Echanove) is a chubby, middle-aged editor who wants to publish Leo's new works, while also harboring a crush on her. With Rossy de Palma, Chus Lampreave, Kiti Manver, Joaquin Cortes, Manuela Vargas, and Jordi Molla. I didn't warm to this tale as much as Almodovar's others, and would probably rank it last among those that I've seen. It's not terrible, but it's not very memorable either. I will grant that Marisa Paredes is given a real acting showcase, and she's terrific in the lead role.

Source: The Criterion Channel

 

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Zombie Tidal Wave  (2019)  -  2/10

ZombieTidalWaveBB-678x381.jpg

Horror schlock with Ian Ziering (who also produced and co-wrote) as an American working in a South Asian coastal community. Blue-blooded zombies start bubbling up from the depths of the sea, and soon a tsunami brings the usual destruction as well as a mass of the living dead who infect everyone they bite, creating even more zombies. Featuring a large cast of people you've never seen before. Ziering re-teams with his Sharknado director Anthony C. Ferrante for this garbage TV-movie that lacks even the modest appeal of that dreadful series, as this eschews the camp humor and endless parade of C-list celebrity cameos. Instead, this is just a very cheap, very dumb movie that manages to fail at being either a decent disaster movie or an effective zombie horror flick. 

Source: SyFy Channel

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