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cinemaspeak59

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Everything posted by cinemaspeak59

  1. The Many Saints of Newark (2021)
  2. Hugo (2011) Martin Scorsese’s love letter to film is full of goodwill. Where to begin? I got lost in the period details – the costumes, the festive Paris train station. The fluid special effects never threatened to bury the sweet nostalgia. Hugo is another triumph in the director’s filmography.
  3. Jane Powell was vivacious, authentic, and… talented. The late 1940s into the 1950s were the glory years for MGM musicals, and Jane was a big part of that great period of film making. A favorite performance of mine was in 1953’s Three Sailors and a Girl, which she did at Warner Bros. Jane’s character was a bit worldlier, while still exhibiting the traits that made her so endearing.
  4. I recently watched the original 1977 Suspiria. It nicely blended camp, humor and terror. The score, and colors (so much red) I also liked. It was very violent, and I was guessing how the violence was going to play out, until it happened, and it was jolting. Sexually it was restrained, but the lesbian subtext was there. I can see why it’s considered a horror classic.
  5. The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) was a great film. The acting was naturalistic, the production gritty and bleak. And the ending, absent of any redemption or justice, was perfectly fitting. Eddie Muller's effusive praise in the introduction was not hyperbole.
  6. I found it mediocre. It was visually flat and uninvolving. I didn't mind the twist ending, but it didn't feel earned. Elizabeth Olsen was the best thing about the movie.
  7. Two movies come to mind that were shot to resemble one continuous take were Rope (1948) and Birdman (2014). But I don't know if the technique made the films any better. They probably would have been just as good had they been cut.
  8. The camera work looks good. But the performances, at least based on the trailer, seem kind of one note.
  9. Black Widow (2021) Natasha Romanoff, aka “The Black Widow”, finally gets to tell her story. I was expecting a typical, CGI-infused Avenger movie, and it certainly is that. Black Widow, though, has a lot in common with James Bond movies. There’s even a scene in which 007 is playing on TV. The villain Black Widow must stop is a Russian General called Dreykov, a sort of SPECTRE czar megalomaniac who “rescues” unwanted girls and turns them into super assassins, called widows. Widows go through extensive training. A select few get chosen. The rest are killed. This makes Dreykov a monstrous m
  10. I liked this as well. Dylan McDermott was certainly chewing up the scenery. He had a menacing presence and, as you point out, TB, he was woke, but only as long as it didn’t affect his business. When it did, family ties became transactional. Excellent performances from the new cast members. I was happy to see Tamara Taylor as the ex-crime wife, and Elliot’s potential love interest.
  11. It seems modern horror movies require lots of jump scares. Too many of them and the scare factor gets diluted.
  12. 1949 - Adam's Rib Next: Russell Crowe exposes dirty corporate secrets to Al Pacino
  13. Jimi Hendrix (1973) Fascinating rockumentary about arguably the greatest guitarist of all time. The interviews of contemporaries like Peter Townshend, Eric Clapton, and Mick Jagger, reveal that, when Hendrix arrived in Swinging London, in 1966, he was viewed as somewhat of a sideshow, playing the guitar with his teeth, and behind his back. Townshend admits they were in awe, and perhaps threatened by him. As Hendrix’s brilliance spread, being in his company conferred credibility, attracting devotees and posers. I loved Little Richard reminisce about their early days playing together. The Jimi
  14. A Quiet Place Part II (2020) picks up where the first one ended. There is a small backstory about the first day the creatures landed on earth. Director John Krasinski builds suspense through pacing, a slow buildup to when someone, as careful as they are, inevitably makes a loud noise that unleashes the slaughter. Krasinski likes to use wide angle shots of people running for their lives as the monsters fly into the frame. Silence is followed by a cacophony of screams. We see more of the creatures this time, a sort of reptilian extraterrestrial concoction. Newcomer Cillian Murphy plays a surv
  15. Cyd was immensely talented. Her dancing was, dare I say, revolutionary, because she seemed to dominate her male partner with her fierce athleticism . Her dancing, however, should not overshadow her dramatic work. In the great noir Tension, she makes the most of her supporting role as the kind and sympathetic antidote to Audrey Totter's femme fatale.
  16. Paisan (1946) Roberto Rossellini followed-up his anti-war masterpiece, Rome, Open City, with this equally brilliant sextet that examines the tenuous relationship between newly liberated Italians and their American saviors. Starting in Sicily, and working his way North, Rossellini shows the dogged determination of German troops to fight to the bitter end, as World War II’s closing days were among the deadliest. In the first, and perhaps most poignant segment, a young, wary Sicilian peasant woman acts as a guide for American G.I.s, and in the process bonds with a soldier, despite the language b
  17. Geraldine Page as Claire Marrable in What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969) Al Lettieri as Virgil Sollozzo in The Godfather (1972) and as Rudy Butler in The Getaway (1972) And in a minor role Bob Steele was a scary dude as Lash Canino in The Big Sleep (1946)
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