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Posts posted by LawrenceA

  1. Since I'm the only one (I think) to mention Nicolas Cage in a negative light on here recently, I feel I need to elaborate on the reason for my inclusion of him in my list of "bad" actors. One reason that Cage gets dragged as much as he does is precisely because he was once thought of as a good actor, an exciting performer, and known for unconventional choices. The movies listed above (Valley GirlRed Rock WestLeaving Las Vegas, etc.) are all good (although I wasn't thrilled by National Treasure), and I even consider Raising Arizona among my top two or three favorite comedies ever made. 

    However, the newest film in the above lists is from 2004, and in the 16 years since, Cage has appeared in 47 movies. Of those, maybe 4 were good, while the great majority of the rest are abysmal, some as bad as the worst stuff featuring Steven Seagal or Dolph Lundren. 

    I've seen 79 movies featuring Nicolas Cage, and I plan on seeing the handful of others that I've missed thus far, but he went off the rails a long time ago. Even if he manages to still make stuff I love like Mandy (which most if not all of the TCM crowd would despise).

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  2. 41 minutes ago, Sukhov said:

    Years ago, my mom described a "Twilight Zone" or "Outer Limits" episode she had seen but I could find nothing like what she described. It was definitely from a 1960s US B&W horror anthology show though. She said that in the episode, sounds were coming from a family's basement and the mom and son went to check it out but disappeared. The father then goes downstairs and comes back up with a horrified expression on his face. She said it never showed what became of the son and wife or what the sound was which is what interests me. She also insisted it was Twilight Zone or Outer Limits so it must have been in black and white. Any help with identification is appreciated.

    It could also have been an episode of Thriller (1960-1962). I've seen every Twilight Zone and Outer Limits multiple times, and your description doesn't ring any bells. There are a few other shows it might be (One Step BeyondThe Veil) but I couldn't say for certain.


  3. 2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

    Speaking of which, if there aren't many actors I flat out dislike, there are some I have mixed feelings about. And this will be probably controversial, but I'm mixed over Robert De Niro. I thought he was exceptional in Taxi Driver and he really is underrated and effective in his nice guy roles (bang the Drum Slowly, The Last Tycoon, Falling in Love, Stanley and Iris, Mad Dog and Glory, A Bronx Tale, The Intern). But his performances in New York New York and Cape Fear threw the whole films off-balance, he was overshadowed by his co-stars in True Confessions, The Mission, The Untouchables, Awakenings, GoodFellas, Marvin's Room, Jackie Brown,  Wag the Dog, The Score, and The Irishman, and too many of the films he has been in in the last 20 years are bizarre choices.

    Most of the movies that you mention where he's "overshadowed" were films where his character was meant to be less showy. That was exactly the point with True Confessions (where he and Robert Duvall swapped the roles that people would have expected them to play), and Jackie Brown (where he was perfect as the dopey goon). In Wag the Dog he was meant to counterbalance the outrageous other cast, especially Hoffman-as-Robert Evans, and Goodfellas where Ray Liotta was the main character and Joe Pesci gets the showy role. 

    I expected De Niro to show up in this thread eventually, both because he's often listed among the "best" (whatever that meaningless term is in this case), and that often provokes strong reactions from people, and he's also now one of those politically-charged people where those with a certain bent will hate him regardless, much like Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins on the left, or Woods, Voight, etc., on the right.

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  4. 12 minutes ago, cinecrazydc said:

    I never considered Voight and Woods "jerky" off camera - unless it's just their politics you don't like -

    You must not have kept up with Woods' public comments over the past 10 years or so. He's gone beyond just being political; he seems genuinely psychotic at times. And that's besides all of the "prowling for teen girls" stories that flooded in a while back. His lack of work in the past several years has less to do with his politics and more to do with his temperament (plenty of other self-identified conservatives, including Voight, continue to work in Hollywood).

  5. 35 minutes ago, jinsinna13 said:

    The action-flick lunkheads you mentioned are from the old school. (Excuse my urban lingo.) Do you feel the same way about the current action-flick lunkheads (Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, etc)?

    I think I've seen all of Statham's movies, and most of Johnson and Diesel's. Statham has been in some good ones, and Johnson fits in the roles he chooses. I've liked a couple of Diesel's films (Pitch Black especially), but he's very cheeseball and his growling tough guy shtick gets ridiculous. 

    I also watch Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Wesley Snipes trash flicks, and 70's heroes like Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly. 

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  6. June Allyson and Robert Taylor, as I've mentioned many times before when this topic is brought up.

    John Travolta, although I think he's appeared in some good movies, as have most if not all of these performers I don't generally care for.

    Keanu Reeves. He was appropriate in his "Bill & Ted" mode, but whenever he's supposed to be serious, it's usually laughable. He was astoundingly awful in Bram Stoker's Dracula, and he gave one of the worst performances that I've ever seen by a professional in Knock Knock (2015). I find it hilarious that he's now often called a "national treasure" and is more highly thought of than ever.

    Some actors I know are terrible but that's precisely why I like them: Nicolas Cage, William Shatner, the action-flick lunkheads (Stallone, Seagal, Van Damme, Lundgren, etc.). Their general terribleness is the main appeal of their "movies".

    Some actors that I have liked in the past I've found I've cooled on these days, like Bruce Willis, or Jack Lemmon. Willis barely phones it in, and Lemmon too often comes across as trying too hard, for me, anyway. John Cusack is another who I don't really like any more.

    Some actors I've grown to dislike a bit thanks to their off-camera antics, such as Mel Gibson, Jon Voight, and James Woods.

    I don't care much for Jerry Lewis, or the Three Stooges. 

    And Ryan O'Neal. Ugh.


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  7. AQuestionOfSilence.jpg

    A Question of Silence (1982) Netherlands, Dir: Marleen Gorris - A female psychiatrist (Cox Habbema) is assigned by the police to interview a trio of women (Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, and Henriette Tol) who are accused of murdering a shopkeeper. As the doctor learns the life stories of the individual women, she must confront issues in her own personal life. This feminist fable is a blend of domestic drama, political statement, courtroom procedural, and black comedy. The production values are meager. but the performances are good, and I enjoyed the score.   (7/10)



    Yol (1982) Turkey, Dir: Serif Goren & Yilmaz Guney - Five prisoners are granted leave to visit their families, each struggling with difficulties caused by their incarceration and the political turmoil of post-coup Turkey. Guney, a noted filmmaker for many years, wrote the film while in prison, with his assistant Goren directing filming. Guney escaped and edited the film in Switzerland. The film was very controversial in Turkey, and was banned for many years. I enjoyed the varied look at Turkish culture, and the 80's-era score with electronic flourishes was a highlight.   (7/10)

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  8. Three_Brothers_(1981_film).jpg

    Three Brothers (1981) Italy, Dir: Francesco Rosi - The title trio (Philippe Noiret, Michele Placido, and Vittorio Mezzogiorno), each dealing with personal and professional issues, are summoned to their hometown by their aged father (Charles Vanel) after the death of their mother. Excellent performances and some nice directorial touches make this worth seeing, but I wasn't as blown away by this as many seem to have been.  (7/10)



    Too Early/Too Late (1981) France/Egypt, Dir: Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet - Arthouse documentary comprised of long-take shots of French and Egyptian landscapes while off-screen narrators read passages from works by Friedrich Engels and Mahmoud Hussein. It's supposed to be a meditation on the relationship between the land and the plight of the struggling people that live there. I found it to be a tedious bore. Others call it a brilliant, cerebral masterpiece.  (5/10)

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