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Posts posted by LawrenceA

  1. I spoke to a friend earlier today on the phone. He said that he went to fill up at a local gas station ($1.69 a gallon!), and that the cashier inside was speaking to someone else, and telling him that he (the cashier) had just recovered from COVID-19, saying he got a positive test a couple of weeks earlier, and how poorly he still felt. My friend said the guy looked like death warmed over, and that he coughed more than once while my friend waited to pay. The cashier said he couldn't take any more time off or he'd have been fired. The cashier was not wearing a face mask or gloves.

    So that's the kind of BS going on around here.

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  2. 1 minute ago, cigarjoe said:

    It's also got one of my favorite British actor/comedians Leonard Rossiter - King Rat,  The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (TV Series) among others.

    He was the fussy, whiny English officer in the early scenes. He was suitably grating. I liked the pose he struck while marching with his troops.


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  3. e38a47f5311114d13a8e7a54e2f4272f357544c3

    The Shining  (1980) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - A recovering alcoholic (Jack Nicholson) has family problems while working as a caretaker at a secluded, closed-for-the-season mountain resort. With Shelly Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Philip Stone, Barry Nelson, Anne Jackson, Tony Burton, and Joe Turkel.


    Kubrick's much-maligned adaptation of Stephen King's book changes a lot of the details, yet in my minority opinion, improves upon the source material (the hedge maze is a vast improvement over the goofy hedge animals). I also have no problems with either Nicholson or Duvall's performances. I also greatly prefer the film's ending, with Nicholson lost in the maze and being "absorbed" into the ghostly tapestry that is the Overlook ( see the photo at the end). Having the hotel survive to continue working its evil, as opposed to the novel where it's destroyed, is also a good touch. The cinematography, the production design, and particularly the sound design and soundtrack, are all among the best ever in a horror film. This is still one of my favorites.  (10/10)

    Source: Warner Blu-ray, which includes a making-of documentary made by Kubrick's daughter Vivian. There's also a featurette on composer Wendy Carlos.

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  4. I finally got out my Blu-ray and found the scene (it's at 0:43:54 in the runtime). I turned on the subtitles, and here's what Carradine says ( speaking into a pay phone):

    "Say, is that the police? Was that $1,000* reward right? Well, listen, I've got a way to catch him. The paper says he threw ink at the man he killed. Well, you get your own back and squirt ink about with a hosepipe until you hit him. The ink'll stick on him, see? Then you can shoot him."

    * He actually says pounds instead of dollars, but I don't know how to do the British pound symbol.

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  5. barry-lyndon-1.jpg

    Barry Lyndon  (1975) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - Period-piece drama set in late 18th century Europe, with Ryan O'Neal as a socially ambitious Irishman who finds himself caught up in war and intrigue. Also with Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, Steven Berkoff, Philip Stone, Leon Vitali, Andre Morell, Ferdy Mayne, Pat Roach, and Murray Melvin.

    This has been my least favorite Kubrick film (beyond his first two amateurish efforts), but I find myself liking it more with each re-watch. I still think casting O'Neal is a fatal flaw, although I've heard dozens of arguments to the contrary. The movie looks gorgeous, regardless of its narrative merits. (8/10)

    Source: Criterion Blu-ray, with an entire second disc of extras.

  6. clockwork_600.jpg

    A Clockwork Orange (1971) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - Hilarious family comedy about a young man (Malcolm McDowell) and his friends getting up to mischief and shenanigans. Featuring Warren Clarke, Patrick Magee, Aubrey Morris, Michael Bates, Philip Stone, Adrienne Corri, Miriam Karlin, Steven Berkoff, and David Prowse.

    Kubrick's dystopian follow-up to the majestic, cerebral 2001 is a grueling, funny, disturbing, inventive romp. The protagonist's amorality in conflict with the state's invasive attempts at thought control stir up debate of freedom vs security, and the film offers no easy answers. The soundtrack, a mix of classical pieces and avant-garde electronic music, adds immensely to the atmosphere.  This film still packs a punch, and it now has the added pleasure of a lot of great 70's-future production design.  (10/10)

    Source: Warner Blu-ray, with a few featurettes (two on the film's making, one profiling McDowell).

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    French actor Philippe Nahon has died of complications from COVID-19. He made his film debut in Jean-Pierre Melville's 1962 crime classic Le Doulos. He played minor roles in film, television and theater over the next several decades before gaining notoriety for his starring role in director Gaspar Noe's I Stand Alone (1998), playing a reprehensible criminal whose every depraved thought is heard through constant voice-over narration. He also played the killer* in the international hit High Tension (2003). Other noteworthy films include La Haine (1995), The Crimson Rivers (2000), Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001), Irreversible (2002), Calvaire (2004), The Last Deadly Mission (2008), and War Horse (2011). Nahon amassed 220 films and TV credits in a career spanning 57 years.




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  8. 4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

    I just can't buy an educated,  mature man would be so incredibly stupid to allow hormones to take over all intellect. Maybe because I'm female, but it just strikes me false.

    I would agree, yet it happens all the time. Seemingly mature, intelligent men (and a few women) frequently destroy themselves over sexual hang-ups. 

    The novel is even more disturbing, where Lolita is 12 years old.

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  9. hal9000.jpg?w=730&crop=1

    2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - Humanity, from hominid to star-child, in four acts. With Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and the voice of Douglas Rain. 

    I don't feel the need to go on at length about this movie, as it's been discussed ad nauseam over the past 50+ years. I'll just say that I loved it as much as ever, if not more so, and consider it in the top tier of the motion picture art form.  (10/10)

    Source: Warner Blu-ray. This was the recent restoration release, and the picture looks better than ever. There's also a separate disc of bonus features, including various featurettes on the film's making and impact.

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  10. 4 minutes ago, LonesomePolecat said:

    THE TERMINAL -- Tom Hanks in quarantine for months on end in an airport. I always thought this movie was funny, til it actually came true: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-07/man-stranded-lax-coronavirus-almost-home

    A true story inspired the movie.


    Some have noted that the film appears to be inspired by the story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, also known as Sir Alfred, an Iranian refugee who lived in Terminal One of the Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris from 1988 when his refugee papers were stolen until 2006 when he was hospitalized for unspecified ailments. In September 2003, The New York Times noted that Spielberg bought the rights to Nasseri's life story as the basis for the film; and in September 2004 The Guardian noted Nasseri received thousands of dollars from the filmmakers. However, none of the studio's publicity materials mention Nasseri's story as an inspiration for the film. The 1993 French film Lost in Transit was already based on the same story.

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  11. peter-sellers-strangelove.jpg

    Dr. Strangelove  (1964) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - Kubrick, Peter George, and Terry Southern turn George's serious cold-war nuclear thriller Red Alert into black comedy gold. When USAF General Jack D. Rpper (Sterling Hayden) goes mad and orders a full nuclear airstrike on the Soviet Union, various characters react to the situation. including a British RAF exchange officer (Peter Sellers), a bomber pilot (Slim Pickens) and his crew, and the US President (Peter Sellers). With George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn, Peter Bull, Tracy Reed, James Earl Jones, Shane Rimmer, and Peter Sellers as "Dr. Strangelove".

    This is one of my all-time favorite comedies, and it never gets old for me, no matter how often I watch it. All of the performances are perfectly pitched, and the humor ranges from the sly and subtle to the outrageous and farcical. George C. Scott gives one of the great intentional overacting performances as the comically gung-ho General Buck Turgidson. Every time I watch this I like Sellers' 3 characterizations even more - this time I was particularly drawn to the stuffy British Captain Lionel Mandrake, struggling to cope with the raving lunacy of Hayden's General Ripper. I also love Peter Bull's turn as the Soviet ambassador, mugging to great effect. The President's one-sided phone calls with Soviet Premier Dimitri are some the funniest scenes I've ever seen.  (10/10)

    Source: Criterion Blu-ray. Bonus features include several interviews with film scholars and critics, an archival audio interview with Kubrick, and archival interviews with Sellers and Scott. There are also a few making-of featurettes, and included in the disc packaging is an envelope, made to resemble those seen in the bomber scene, with essays, photos, and even a miniature combination Holy Bible and Russian phrase book.


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    Lolita  (1962) Dir: Stanley Kubrick - Nabokov adapts his own controversial novel for this black comedy about a teacher (James Mason) who falls in love with the underage daughter (Sue Lyon) of his landlord (Shelley Winters). With Peter Sellers, Lois Maxwell, and Cec Linder.

    I hadn't watched this in 15 years or longer. I still enjoyed it, yet perhaps a bit less than memory recollects. Many cite Sellers and his bizarre performance as the film's weakest link, but for me he's the highlight, particularly his impersonation of director Kubrick's voice. Mason is reliably good as the man on a slow spiral to self-destruction, and Winters turns in another of her effective boorish turns. Sue Lyon got the most press at the time, and she's suitably pretty in a blank way. She has moments of subtle emoting, but whether that was from personal talent/choice or careful stewardship of the director, it's hard to tell. I had also forgotten that the movie was over 2 and a half hours long.  (8/10)

    Source: Warner Blu-ray. The sole bonus feature is the original trailer. This is the only Kubrick film that has a bare-bones disc release.


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  13. most-beautiful-1944-japanese-world-war-i

    The Most Beautiful  (1944) Dir: Akira Kurosawa - Wartime propaganda about women working in a lens factory. As the war effort demands that the factory turn out more and more product at a faster rate, the workers make sacrifices to get the job done.

    Kurosawa's second film was made during a dark time for Japan, as the war had really begun to take its toll, and the outcome began to look inevitable. The film censorship board would only allow the most obviously propaganda-type stories to be told, and so Kurosawa (who was never a strong supporter of the war) begrudgingly agreed to make this. Personally, I'd consider this his worst film, with the thinnest of plots, and the shallowest of characters. However, Kurosawa himself looked more favorably on the finished product in retrospect, as he ended up marrying the film's leading lady, Yoko Yaguchi. Their marriage lasted 40 years, until her death in 1985. Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura shows up as the factory chief.    (5/10)

    Source: Criterion DVD

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  14. 1 hour ago, Peebs said:

    I've never seen the Will Smith version just the earlier versions.   Have you ever seen 28 Days Later?  

    As a big fan of the source novel, I thought the Will Smith movie was just utterly dreadful. The CGI creatures were just dumb and silly. The Vincent Price version is the most faithful, while Omega Man has its cheesy charms. 

    I really like 28 Days Later, and the sequel, too.

    I would also recommend another pandemic/end-of-the-world movie, Carriers (2009).


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  15. 37b76d2413b64f6d319fe0f3b86e3d2a.jpg?ito

    Sanshiro Sugata  (1943) Dir: Akira Kurosawa - Sanshiro Sugata (Susumu Fujita) is a callow youth who learns self-discipline and proper morals as he also becomes a master at the new martial art of judo. Also featuring Yukiko Todoroki, Takashi Shimura, and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.

    Kurosawa's first feature directing job has quite a few noteworthy moments, despite the restrictions in place during wartime, and the relatively primitive nature of Japanese filmmaking (their motion picture techniques seemed about ten years behind those in the US and elsewhere, until after the war). The major judo match scenes are well handled, and pack more emotional punch than is usual for that sort of thing. The sequence where Fujita meets love interest Todoroki on the steps of a temple are very well done. And it's always nice to see Shimura, who would go on to be a Kurosawa regular. Unfortunately, the very strict censorship board at the time excised nearly 15 minutes of the original film, and those scenes have seemingly been lost forever.   (7/10)

    Source: Criterion DVD


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