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Everything posted by Sgt_Markoff

  1. Can't resist. One more piece for today--because its so rare --Mark Kermode's famous rant against blockbusters. It's published in his book, 'The Good, the Bad, and the Multiplex' but was excerpted on news sites around the web. Then, powers-that-be must have gotten irked and had it yanked. Anyway here it is, in full. You cant find it anymore. ------------------------------------------------------- Every time I complain that a blockbuster movie is directorially dumb, or insultingly scripted, or crappily acted, or artistically barren, I get a torrent of emails from alleged mainstr
  2. H'mmm. Eh well. I have probably two or three dozen related articles I could post links to, I don't think in the end it would change anyone's mind. That's not my agenda anyway. That being said, here's just one that sums up a lot of points in readable fashion. https://tinyurl.com/y5fgqe23 p.s. I mentioned somewhere else on this site, how PC- obsessed moviegoers I've met love to turn their backs on the legacy of classic Hollywood simply because the classic era was not a perfect one for women or minorities, 'therefore nothing made in that era can be good because see, it just wasn't
  3. 'Pennies from Heaven' (same source story) is also a very fine BBC mini-series starring Bob Hoskins. Written by the same superb talent who gave us 'The Singing Detective' (my #1 favorite mini-series of all time). The BBC 'Pennies' version has period-piece atmosphere and aesthetics (filmed with sepia-tone), true seaminess (realistic sex and violence, adult attitudes), location/outdoors shooting; and great big raft of 1930s songs.
  4. Everyone loves science and technology! Sure, that is, until...it butts up against their medieval-level political consciousness!
  5. The catastrophic flop of the Spider-Man musical, I thought for sure that was going to kill Broadway. The whole thing is a joke these days. I'm actually glad to see they're doing traditional stuff like 'Oklahoma!' and 'Kiss Me Kate'. But this propensity of Broadway to serve merely as an extension of Disney and Marvel blockbusters is an atrocity.
  6. Not at all. Cavegirl, I'm surprised at you. For shame! As I implied earlier, listing reasons 'why new things usually suck' would probably be a limitless endeavor. Trying to find one lone 'aphorism' or 'epigram' which sums it all up --that's the other approach. Is there some principle we can refer to, like the 'golden mean' or golden ratio', which succinctly and pithily describes the vast juncture between old and new? Take a glance at the 'law of diminishing returns on investment' (if anyone here is the science-minded sort, I know they always need something sciencey-sounding, but in
  7. 'The Jerk' indeed, is riotously funny. I personally wouldn't think much of anyone today, who is either so prim, 'correct', or uptight --that they can't enjoy a simple-hearted, zany, raucous flick like that. I'd support their reaction if they said, 'oh, it just isn't funny'. That's perfectly valid and I'd fight for their right to that opinion. But if they're 'offended by it' (as the root-cause for disliking the film) then I have no sympathy at all.
  8. Ha! Ralph Richardson gave it right back to Wyler during his scenes. He's like, "there's a dozen different ways I can do this, which one do you want?" But then Wyler supposedly sez, "do all of them"
  9. Margeurite Duras is no joke. Gifted writer. I'd read anything from her.
  10. Feh. I see the ads for it all the time on NYC streets. Pathetic. Not only Kong, but "Kiss Me Kate", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Oklahoma!" are (apparently) all playing on the Great White Way lately. Strictly for tourists.
  11. Jack Benny really so good, in 'To Be Or Not To Be' --he is turned around by his captors to face the wall, and expects to be shot in the back. He flings up his arms and bleats out, "LONG LIVE POLAND! Thinking of himself to the very end. then later the wonderful scene when he's the imposter trying to avoid being unmasked. "So they call me 'Concentration-Camp Erhardt, eh...?"
  12. in 'Sleeper' co-conspirator Diane Keaton reaches under her spandex unitard and comes up with a large, long-barreled revolver to hand to Woody as he prepares to lead the revolt. "Don't tell me where you hid that" he mutters. May be the single funniest jokes I've heard in a flick.
  13. Peter Bogdonavich always seems to garner a lot of hatred from film fans but I've liked most of his flicks I've ever seen. His homage to screwball comedy works for me. "What's Up Doc?" was a scream, the first time I saw it --and still cracks plenty of smiles on repeat airings. The cast is on point. Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, and Austin Pendleton in supporting roles, hard to go wrong.
  14. Alan Bates in 'King of Hearts' has some belly-laughs in it. Wonderfully absurdist, surrealist yarn overall, I'm always grinning throughout. Young Genvieve Bujold stars in it as well (as a ballerina).
  15. I've seen "Fireman's Ball". Good pick there for sure. Sturges as well: 'Palm Beach Story' indeed has laugh-out-loud moments. Now while I cant say these two Cary Grant titles are --either of them--the funniest movie I've ever seen, I do like them quite a bit. 'Operation Petticoat' is charming but even better is 'I Was a Male War-Bride' --definitely amusing. I found it so, anyway. I also like 'Monkey Business' as well as 'Old Lace' (mentioned earlier).
  16. Re: 'Light at the Edge of the World', I don't even know how they got a woman into that story at all. Seems ludicrous that Eggar's character is even present. Its literally a lighthouse at the tip of Patagonia or somewhere. Eh. Anyway it rather reminds me of this flick I've long been waiting to see because it has one of my favorite limey actors in it (Ian Bannen). Love Ian Bannen. Five men..one woman...Station Six Sahara!
  17. I've seen and enjoyed 'Light at the End of the World'. Its a handsome production with a gorgeous, stark island locale; and the two male leads are played with intensity, yep. It's a 'Die Hard' long before 'Die Hard' was even a glimmer in anyone's mind. Eggar is as usual, forgettable (to me anyway). What is more surprising is that the flick is almost stolen away from the two juggernauts by a third actor who is hardly/rarely ever mentioned in this (or even very many other films). In fact right at this moment, I am hard pressed to come up with his name. Italian actor. In this story, he is the
  18. The production notes for Halloween, is where I drew my comment from. Haven't read the IMDb page for a while but I distinctly recall the 'race' aspect between the two projects. If I'm mis-remembering, okay. But there are many other instances of what I'm describing in Hollywood history; my point is that genre movies are very often similar.
  19. Sure, I'm not denying the uniqueness of the writer's voice. I do think it matters a lot more in the fiction writer's market, in short-stories and novels, etc. In movies I think unscrupulous producers today simply sidestep these considerations. Remember the race to get to the screen first between John Carpenter's 'Halloween' and Sean Cunningham's 'Friday the 13th'? Once you get to the public first you as good as own their perception. The differences between these two horror yarns is not that great, is it? But one of them became a classic and one of them wound up merely an 'also-ran'.
  20. TB sez: This kind of meta-theater is found in one of my favorite movies, Peter O'Toole and Steve Railsback in 'The Stunt Man' (the source novel was that from which two other films on the same concept also emerged --Truffaut's 'Day for Night' and I forget the other one).
  21. I'm familiar with that POV, yes. But I think idea theft is rampant these days nonetheless (its said to be one of the primary reasons that Readers exist in the first place, so that execs can claim they 'weren't directly exposed to an idea' and that they 'happened to come up with it on their own'). [But I still don't know why this defense works, when it didn't work for George Harrison; the reality probably is that if you're a nobody you just can't muster up the resources for a giant legal battle against a big studio]. Anyway back to this notion of the writing being 'unique as per the w
  22. I guess what is depressing about these trends is realizing that today's producers behave like little more than mako sharks; they are in the business not only of making money but of promoting themselves as winners and providers. They keep their corner offices only by producing hits; they are not above stealing, lying, cheating to keep their status. I just don't believe this is always how it was; the classic studio system (and even studios in the 70s) was not such a crazed 'feeding frenzy'; producers could develop a variety of projects (high end and low-end) at their leisure, without constantly
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