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SansFin

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Posts posted by SansFin

  1. The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

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    A young pirate comes to the end of his apprenticeship. He has come to love each and every one of the pirates dearly but his sense of duty leads him to vow to destroy them. An amusing paradox is that his apprenticeship ends when he is twenty-one but being born on February 29th means that he is twenty-one years of age but counting birthdays means that he is only five-and-a-little-bit and so he is not yet truly released from his apprenticeship and must rejoin them. 

    This is an exhilaration of pure silliness!  No one expects production of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta to be somber but this melding of Broadway and cinema is glorious in its absurdity.

    The Broadway cast reprised their roles for this production but for the substitution of Angela Lansbury as Ruth. I am not a great fan of hers but she truly personifies the character as "the remains of a fine woman." 

    A particular gem is Tony Azito. It is quite unusual to find a Cornish police sergeant who is made of rubber and he uses his bonelessness to great effect.

    It would be quite easy to compose paragraphs praising each member of the cast but I am sure virtually all know of them and those few who do not would be more confused than enlightened by my viewpoints.

    I realize that this movie does not strictly adhere to Victorian standards in all respects and that liberties were taken with some arrangements. I seriously doubt that either Sir Gilbert or Sir Sullivan would disapprove of the updating.

    9.9/10  I subtract one-tenth point because this is not available for free streaming and is rarely broadcast so one must purchase the DVD.

    • Like 1
  2. Planet of the Vampires (1965)

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    Explorers land on a mysterious planet. It is quickly evident there are forces beyond their understanding there.

    It would be easy to dismiss this as shlocky spaghetti sci-fi if it were not for the fact that it was directed by: Mario Bava.  The exterior shots are quite beautiful while evoking a sense of unseen horror. The story is slow in places but his direction keeps them from being boring. I have read that this movie greatly influenced: Alien (1979). The parallels are quite solid. I must wonder what might have been done with a reasonable budget.

    Observations:

    Barry Sullivan. I know him mostly from stodgy dramas. His performance here did not win me over. He has all the charisma and animation of something which lacks all charisma and animation. I must wonder why they paid him a salary when they could have saved much money by simply buying a mannequin and propping it up where appropriate.

    Crew uniforms: The black leather is somewhat tasty but I could find no reason why they incorporate a cone of shame as you might see after taking a puppy to the vet for a Barker snip.

    Vampires: There are none. The hostile beings are ethereal parasites which transform dead crew members into a form of zombie.

    Humor: I could easily have done without the ball-balancing penguin and the nun feeding it treats but I understand why that scene made the final cut.

    Italian cast: Some of their fighting and close-up shots were overblown to an extreme but their performances were quite competent for the material and budget.

    Spaceship interior: Any person who has even been aboard an airplane or submarine will marvel at the size of the rooms. I believe it may be safely construed as saving recreational space as they could with ease play baseball in the generator room or hold horse races in the control room.

    Alien spaceship: This is a treasure! I fully intend to download the movie and use shots of this as wallpaper.

    I am sorry to say that there is a fair bit of gore which might prevent some from watching it. It is generally limited to bashed faces but the make-up is sufficiently well-done as to border on realistic.

    I can not say that I like this movie but it is interesting. I feel it is worth watching for the visuals alone.

    7.4/10

     

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1
  3. 10 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

    Intriguing. I was living in Melbourne in 1984 and never even heard of this movie. I did move back to the US eventually because of "culture shock" if you can believe that. The City was beautiful, like Victorian England- narrow old fashioned streets of beautiful buildings, trollies, quaintly dressed military guards at Memorial Gardens, etc.

    But the racism/segregation was more than I could bear-Australia made America look evolved & equal. Although mixed heritage (isn't everyone?) was perceived as "white" and actually experienced:

    • Asians & black girls leave the communal "TV room" when I entered
    • Cashiers move me to the front of a line of "brown" people
    • Friends aghast that I walked through or patronized "native" neighborhoods & businesses
    • Being moved in a seat yourself restaurant to another section 

    While there were no signs prohibiting anything "only", it felt like America of the 50's. So I'm not surprised a movie was made of this kind of story. Americans I know who have gone to Melbourne College have told me it's better, but how much do you really see from school?

    I feel this movie conveys well the "we do not need to put up signs to know which people belong where" mentality. The messages of Herzog's images are often subtle but they are present at all times. The aborigines in their native environment wear motley cast-offs of the Western world. They are in the city swaddled in formal business suits so that they might not contaminate the environment. It is a quite compelling juxtaposition to see a man who is tailored to modern sophistication from the neck down and a venerable part of an ancient culture from the neck up.

    It is common for movies with such themes to pander to the non-Western culture. Herzog presents them equally. It is common also to portray such situations through the lens of Western culture. Herzog avoided this to some extent by choosing Aboriginal land rights activists to play major characters and provide input on their roles.

    I believe that it is impossible to analyze the prejudices of a region from within an enclave such as university or military or religious order. The people therein have a pivotal interest which overrides most personal prejudices. It blinds them also to all but the most egregious examples of prejudice in the surrounding community which supports the enclave.

    My mixed heritage is that I am White Russian on my mother's side and Cossack on my father's side. This means that I can be aristocratically beautiful one moment and look as if I am a barely-restrained barbarian the next moment. 😉 I have rarely been discriminated against because of this but I have had my fitness for particular duty questioned because of supposed crimes allegedly committed by my paternal great-grandfathers by people who see those of my ethnic heritage as uncivilized murderers. Sergei M. Eisenstein has much to answer to in this regard.

    I have experienced prejudice against me because my reproductive organs are on the inside rather than exposed for all the world to see. This is quite common in most present cultures. It has been  exacerbated in my case because I have often had assigned superiors who were lesser in intelligence and education and their only claim to their position is that they can helicopter their privates. The situation often becomes critical because I do not suffer fools gladly. 

  4. I would suggest that half-inch is the minimum which you should consider for such a set-up and three-quarters of an inch would be much better. I would avoid birch, oak or maple veneered plywood because the topmost ply is virtually tissue paper. 

    I have checked just now and the closest Lowe's to us has two foot by four foot pieces of half-inch fir plywood for: $29.05 and three-quarter inch for: $33.79. 

    • Like 1
  5. Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)

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    A company wants to set off a long series of small explosions so they can seismically map a potential mining site. Aborigines believe this will disturb the green ants who will then rise to destroy the whole universe world.

    This is a Werner Herzog film. That means that the plot has only a loose and quite superficial relationship to the story. 

    This is culture shock at its most real. What makes it compelling is that we are not presented with simple stereotypes in opposition. Each person on each side is unique and has a unique effect on the situation and are uniquely affected by it.

    I can not begin to describe how deeply this movie touches me. I identify with the geologist who simply wants to do his work and not see any person harmed. I identify with the bulldozer operator who has a quick and easy solution which likely would not cause more than a few people being bruised. I empathize with the elder who fears the white men will ruin the world. I feel strongly the plight of: 'the mute' whom no one can speak with because he is the last of his tribe and no one knows his language.

    This movie is ultimately a staggering balancing act keeping cultures and people from crashing all at once.

    9.9/10

    It is available on several streaming services. 

    • Like 2
  6. It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive.

    I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar.

    Ding-ding-ding! Laaaaadies and gentlemen, welcome to the fight of the century! In one corner is a beautiful young girl, and in the other, unhappiness!

    Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

    But you have heard of me.

    Feels strange to be going home, doesn't it?

     Isn't the view beautiful? It takes my breath away. Well, it would if I had any.

    Twenty-three nineteen! We have a Twenty-three nineteen!

    This is America. Eighty-five percent of what I fix is bullet holes.

     I've had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun. Your most humble servant, Your Highness.

    We're identical twins and exact opposites.

    No one will ever forget that night and what it meant for this country. But I will never forget the man and what he meant to me.

    I don't have delusions of grandeur, I have an actual recipe for grandeur.

    I swear on my dead relatives - and even on the ones who are not feeling too good - I am your man forever!

    I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I hate you.

    Let's just assume for the moment that everyone in here doesn't like me!

    Every time we get a chance to get ahead they move the finish line.

    Come on, Steve. We've got a diem to carpe!

    Aren't you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.

    Those chickens are up to something.

    Which would be worse - to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?

    That's no blizzard. That's my sister.

    These are your last words, so make them a prayer.

    These are kittens! Any relation to persons living or dead is completely coincidental.

    I've never done this before. Hold still, or it'll get messy.

    We have stubbornness issues.

    Airplanes are beautiful, cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up.

    I don't want to survive. I want to live.

    I'm having lots and lots of puberty.

    I'm a meowsy dancer anyway.

    Just because everybody hates it doesn't mean it's not good.

    May all your bacon burn.

    Tonight's supper will be baked beans. Musical program to follow.

    I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?

    I don't want your help, I want you safe.

    He's not drunk, Mom, he's just eccentric.

    Memory is the scribe of the soul.

    • Like 2
  7. Malice in Wonderland (2009)

     

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    This movie is ... interesting. I believe it is a must-see for all Lewis Carroll completists. 

    "Insanity is not a plea, it's a way of life!"

    A woman is running from two men. She is hit by a taxi. The driver bundles her away because he does not have time to deal with the police as he is late. Very late for an important date. So the adventure begins.

    This Wonderland is a very sanitized underworld attempting to be surreal. There are occasional odd little nods to the original story: she escapes being forced into prostitution by driving off in the semi which is a moving brothel with several of the workers inside the trailer. She is later charged with stealing the tarts. 

    It stars  Maggie Grace before she became a star in several mega-hit television series. It may be that it is her supreme acting skill to convince audiences she is a shallow dullard incapable of any real emotion.

    Danny Dyer as the taxi driver is the true star. He is nearly a poor-man's Mark Sheppard in appearance and amoral character. He brings much to his role by the way he hedges into situations where he knows he is in over his head. 

    I did pause it approx. an hour in so as to see how much remained. It was not a chore to finish watching it but I have in the past found more interesting things to do with a half hour.

    There is no gore, no nudity and little profanity.

    Alice: He sounds... fascinating.
    Whitey: I've heard Harry called a lot of F-words. Fascinating's a new one.

    6/10.4

    It is available with commercials on several streaming services.

     

    • Thanks 1
  8. I have been made aware of a situation which speaks powerfully also against government control: at least two major cities have opened vaccinations to people of all ages. Officials bemoan how few people are scheduling appointments. People bemoan how appointments for weekends are rare or non-existent. The bureaucrats strongly feel the world must march to their Nine-To-Five Monday-through-Friday timetable and treat people who have children or have to work during the day as subhuman undeserving of care.

  9. 1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

    What about it then that makes it so scary to the right?

     

    I can not speak with authority as my political beliefs do not align with: 'right' or: "left' but I have heard it said that the most persuasive argument against government health programs is: the VA. What hope does the average citizen have of receiving proper care if veterans consistently and constantly suffer neglect at the hands of bureaucrats?

    A question which I have often heard posed is: "If socialized medicine is so great, why do NHS workers demand their benefit package include private health insurance?"

     

  10. I have had no significant dreams concerning movie stars.

    I did see a picture of a frequent poster to this forum and I soon dreamt that I was looking at him from a distance. The dream was odd because my vision was limited to a tight circle and there were horizontal and vertical diameters in red. The distance was one-hundred-and-fifty yards and there was no wind. 

    I am sure it meant nothing.

  11. 2 hours ago, hamradio said:

    Wasn't an actor but an object., during the late 1960's when I was 12 had the weirdest bizarre dream at the time.

    Saw this moving through a dark swamp, woke up thinking WHAT in the heck was that!!?? :o

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    Can understand why ancient prophets had dreams of future events they absolutely can't normally explain but were force to use symbolism  of their time.  How does the brain do that???

     

    Example....Swarms of "locust with metal breastplates".  :huh:

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    I believe that is the basis of: The Spaceships of Ezekiel (1974) by Josef F. Blumrich. He worked at: NASA and wished to disprove the hypothesis that Ezekiel's vision described a spacecraft. His research convinced him otherwise. 

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    Most of his conclusions are fuzzy and much of his engineering fudged fanciful but the concept is tantalizing. 

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