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cinemaspeak59

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  1. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) La Strada (1954) Pather Panchali (1955) McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) I can think of a few more but right now these come to mind.
  2. I liked The Last Jedi, but The Rise of Skywalker wrapped everything up well. The arc of Adam Driver’s character confirmed what I suspected.
  3. Yes, The Last Jedi was alot of fun. The scene that stayed with me was Kylo Ren’s reluctance to kill his mother. He was ready to pull the trigger, so to speak. In that moment mother and son saw each other, the torment Kylo was feeling coming through. And their love was unconquerable. It was an emotional scene that Carrie Fisher and Adam Driver pulled off beautifully.
  4. I saw Wings of Desire over the weekend. I found it a dreamy meditation on loneliness, mortality as well as providing a snapshot of Berlin before the Wall came down. It was quite an achievement by Wim Wenders.
  5. I watched The Force Awakens last night and loved it. I found Adam Driver’s performance as Kylo Ren to be incredibly touching. The pain and torment and conflict that he felt was palpable.
  6. Pyewacket from Bell, Book and Candle and the tiger from Life of Pi.
  7. The Shining is like the layout of the Overlook Hotel. It can lead anywhere your imagination conjures. I like Lawrence’s theory. It’s when Jack Torrance meets Lloyd the bartender (and sells his soul to the devil, Lloyd?) that everything goes haywire.
  8. Very nice review. I as well love this movie. New York City, as you mention, looks very inviting. This was when everyone wanted to work on Wall Street. Crossing Delancey holds up remarkably well, even in this day of online dating. And the ending was just about perfect.
  9. Jean Harlow was in Bombshell with Lee Tracy
  10. How about Lady on a Train (1945)? It's set during Christmas, and there's nice, shadowy photography, and there's a murder. I wish the film had been darker, but Universal was very careful in how it handled Deanna Durbin.
  11. Fashions of 1934 (1934) Warner Bros. deemed that Bette Davis’ talent was not enough. What she needed was sex-appeal, so the studio gave her a glamorous wardrobe, platinum blonde hair, arched eyebrows, and she spends most of her time in this light, breezy affair playing William Powell’s sidekick, as he schemes his way to the upper echelons of the Paris fashion industry. Powell is funny and charming, but Bette is nothing more than an accessory, which explains why she didn’t like Fashions of 1934, and felt Verree Teasdale had the best lines. Teasdale was a great pre-code presence, and here she plays a sexy Russian Duchess with an association to Powell’s character and delivering some zingers. This is a trademark Warner pre-code, with good work provided by stock actors Frank McHugh and Hugh Herbert. Busby Berkeley choreographed several of those inventive dance sequences he was famous for. But the highlight of the picture is watching William Powell con equally unscrupulous designers, and of course his scenes with Teasdale. Yes, Bette Davis was better than the material she was given early in her career, and you appreciate her fierce determination for quality roles in a studio system that did not like its stars stepping out of line.
  12. Valentine, Billy Ray played by Eddie Murphy in Trading Places (1983)
  13. Thank you, Miss W. In my opinion nothing beats the theater experience. Hopefully, it will never become obsolete. About Netflix, they seem to provide a nurturing environment for film makers. I don't know if a traditional studio would have given Marty the freedom to make a 3.5 hour period drama.
  14. The Irishman (2019) It’s difficult to avoid hyperbole for this latest Martin Scorsese tour de force, which is narrated in flashback by Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, aka The Irishman, in a flat, phlegmatic tone. The scenes between De Niro and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa are magical. The way they play off each other, the rhythms of speech, movements, expressions… it’s all magnificent. I found the de-aging process almost seamless. Joe Pesci doesn’t miss a beat as Russell Bufalino, the chief of the Northeast U.S. syndicate. Pesci tones it down in a subtle performance. He and Philly Cosa Nostra boss Angelo Bruno (Harvey Keitel) are old-school dons who believe themselves to be nothing but businessmen. They farm out the dirty work (the painting of houses) to the cold but respectful Sheeran, who is so enamored of the lifestyle (and money) he’ll do anything for Bufalino, but at a painful cost. Keitel is under-utilized, but he’s great in the few scenes he has. Steven Zaillian’s screenplay is gorgeously profane. The period details, covering mostly the 50s to the 70s, are immaculate. The tone feels morose, as if we’re seeing the end of an era. In short, The Irishman is a masterpiece.
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