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cinemaspeak59

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Everything posted by cinemaspeak59

  1. Tentacles (1977) Another ersatz Jaws ripoff from the 1970s. This one is about a giant octopus terrorizing a coastal resort. To be fair, there are some good scenes, the best one involving a woman stranded on her boat as the octopus hungrily stalked her from below. Of course, any movie set in the ocean has a built-in scare factor, because the ocean itself is a foreboding place. The new-age/prog rock music was certainly original for a horror movie, but I found it distracting and not enhancing the mood. The special effects are rather pedestrian, and the cast, which includes Henry Fonda, John Huston and Shelley Winters seem to be afflicted with inertia. They must have known this would not be one of their career hallmarks. Bo Hopkins playing a marine biologist was the only one generating some spark.
  2. I enjoyed this discussion. Yes, the film was a compromise. I also think it was prescient in showing adult ennui, which of course toady is played out in adults trying to act like teenagers, with outlandish social media behavior. The best parts of the movie are the comedic ones; Dyan Cannon and Natalie Wood have some hysterical scenes. At the very least, it showed that there's hope for philistines like Ted and Alice.
  3. It Happened One Night (1934) Next: rags to riches
  4. A Colt is My Passport (1967)
  5. Man of the Moment (1935) A feel-good romantic comedy about a plain secretary (Laura La Plante), who has given up on love, and life, until happenstance prevails, and she finds herself in the company of a handsome aristocrat, played by the dashing Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who is saddled with a haughty and controlling fiancé (Margaret Lockwood, one of the great British leading ladies of the 30s and 40s). Funny moments include a bachelor party gone awry, crashed by La Plante dressed as a man. The movie travels from England to Monte Carlo, and you can tell from the moment Fairbanks and La Plante meet how it’s going to turn out. La Plante’s appealing performance suggests that, had she been younger, and with some luck, a longer career as a screwball comedy heroine may have awaited her.
  6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) is one of my favorite Star Wars movies. I loved Felicity Jones’ immersive performance as rebel warrior Jyn Erso. She can stand next to the likes of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as one of the great heroes in the galaxy. I particularly liked the scene in which arrogant Imperial Commander Krennic (an excellent Ben Mendelsohn) has to brief Darth Vader on the slow progress involving the Death Star. As Vader approaches, Krennic swallows hard, and you can practically see his fear while in Vader’s presence. The screenplay beautifully connects Rogue One to A New Hope.
  7. His films with Ingmar Bergman are among the finest ever made. I also liked his dark turn in Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  8. Nishi, Kōichi -- played by Toshiro Mifune in The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
  9. Room 1408 (2007). John Cusack plays a writer famous for debunking haunted house claims. When he receives a mysterious postcard about the Manhattan-based Dolphin Hotel, and the cursed history of one of its suites, Room 1408, he can’t resist the opportunity spend a night there so he can quash another ghost hoax. There is much I liked about this horror yarn: the performances of Cusack (the endearing swagger from his 1980s roles on full display), and Samuel L. Jackson as the Mephistophelian hotel manager; the production design; and the ominous use of the Carpenters song We’ve Only Just Begun, which signals the nightmare Room 1408 is about to unleash. A neat twist late in the second act recalibrates the movie, as an overload of special effects was starting to make things redundant. Room 1408 borrows from The Shining, not surprising in that both are based on books by Stephen King.
  10. Kurata, played by Ryūji Kita in Tokyo Drifter (1966)
  11. Life (2017) About an Alien-like creature that stalks a space ship
  12. OSS 117: Lost in Rio (2009) Next: a serious spy movie
  13. Héloïse, in a mesmerizing performance by Adèle Haenel, is a sheltered young woman who refuses to have her portrait painted, a prerequisite to her marrying the wealthy Milanese suitor chosen by her mother (Valeria Golino). Héloïse's mother commissions a new artist, Marianne, an equally hypnotic Noémie Merlant, in the hope Marianne can succeed where male painters could not. Subterfuge is needed. Marianne, under the pretense of a walking companion, paints Héloïse in secret by making mental notes of her features. But Héloïse is also studying Marianne; and their scenes together create an exquisite tension of not only will they or won’t they, but when. The Portrait of a Lady on Fire is set in the late eighteenth century, in the picturesque French coast of Brittany. It proceeds at a gentle, Chekhovian pace. Director Céline Sciamma creates a feminist chamber piece that examines, in the most intimate detail, what it’s like to be a woman, and specifically a woman in the late eighteenth century. The story of Marianne and Héloïse is a story of lovers, but it soars into the heavens because it is the love story of poets. Grade: A
  14. Memorable Beginning: Jaws (1975) Memorable Ending: Fail-Safe (1964)
  15. Shirley Temple was in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) with Harry Davenport
  16. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) Next: favorite Faye Dunaway role
  17. Elevator to the Gallows (1958) Next: bicycles
  18. Anderson, Thomas aka Neo, -- played by Keanu Reeves in The Matrix (1999)
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