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Ampersand

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  1. Try and Get Me! What a way to wrap up Noir Alley for a month. I enjoyed the beginning and middle; the down on his luck Joe getting in over his head, the escalating business of crime, the wonderfully awkward conversations and terse replies of Frank Lovejoy to Katherine Locke, just trying to start something. The fatal mistake in his declining mental state, and while it was building up tension as he was collapsing, the moment he spilled the beans it just became heavy. And then it enters the final act. That act was such a contrast to what came before, and the growing tension of setting the fuse of a powdered keg. It was gripping, engrossing, and more taught than a wire. The contrast between Frank and Lloyd in their respective jail cells, facial expressions and general demeanor, it was like the difference between a docile prisoner and a feral animal. He was just aces in that cell, just keeps you right in it. The conclusion is just so spot-on and has lost none of its punch. I'll miss the one month wait but what a way to go! I just can't praise it enough but I'll end up rambling.
  2. Nicolas Cage in Deadfall (1993). The movie is terrible from the start in every single way, but once Nicolas Cage gets into the picture, it becomes hilarious. It's the definition of Cage, his Cagiest performance in all of Cagedom, and he's the reason anybody remembers that a movie called Deadfall came out in the 90s. Absolute, hilarious insanity. Once he leaves, the movie isn't the same.
  3. TCM Underground in excellent form with the first one.
  4. I wish I could pick one of the "So You Want To..." shorts with George O'Hanlon (Love those!) but have to go with a rewatch of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), followed by So You Want to Build a House (1948), probably intentional as they had So You Want to be a Gambler (1948) on later but that first one with Cary Grant, I just love it. Absolutely love it. Got up early to watch it at 6 AM Saturday and it's still funny after it being a rewatch. The entire room colour scene, the dialogue and ace acting, visual gags, it's just tops.
  5. I watched a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies in December, but they are a massive guilty pleasure. They are derivative, cliche, always have some jokey mini snowball fight and the relationship breaking up and crumbling right before the final act where they get together in a schmaltzy ending- but they're safe comfort food that is both harmless and can be half-watched. It's nice to have on, even if they blend together after a while.
  6. Friday the 13th, Larceny Inc at 8:45 AM EST. That was all I wanted.
  7. Sunday, November 3, 10 p.m. Chinatown (1974) Been dying to see it but never got around to it, and it has a sweet poster too. There's also The Big Sleep (1946) right before it with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall but they show that more than Chinatown. Either way, a perfect way to end a Sunday.
  8. It happens sometimes but it's been a while since we last got a replacement flick for Noir Alley. At least we aren't missing out on this week's flick, only on Arsenic and Old Lace after it. But especially Sweet Smell of Success.
  9. Monday, October 28 8:15 AM - The Great Race (1965) Jack Lemmon acting for two as Professor Fate and the Crown Prince, the perfect reason to watch it as he and the Hannibal 8 are perfection.
  10. I thought last week Eddie Muller said it was Dust Be My Destiny (1939) tonight and was wondering why there was no intro. Only feel a bit bamboozled as this still looks like a nice noir/drama with a bit of romance and a man who gets a bad rap by the system. And the title, that is just great. No Force of Evil but at least it's in tune and not a surprise full-on romance. Edit: After watching it, it's more crime-drama with a greater emphasis on romance but wow, this is a great watch. And the ending, it's kinda like a brick joke with an earlier scene but it works so well.
  11. Detour (1945), short, sweet, cheap and filmed right quick. Makes for a good noir too.
  12. Has one of my all-time favorite closing lines in any movie: I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
  13. The Story of Mankind (1957) I saw it was on, checked it out and it has Vincent Price, that was all I needed to start watching it. I missed the opening bit and change so for a while I was cheering for Ol' Scratch (Vincent Price) but it's massive, uneven, a grandiose spectacle with a massive named cast. And while I can barely put a name to a face, Groucho Marx as a colonist is so him by his delivery and comedic style that you don't even need the mustache to know it's him; with the other Marx brothers enterprising other roles but none onscreen together. And Queen of England, who devoured every bit of the scenery with every word said. But tuning in, I was wondering when Vincent Price was in a movie about Joan of Arc (Missed Nero and Cleo). It certainly touches on what people would know, and the Spanish/English bit, very nice and a colonist/pilgrim (Whichever one) with a name only the most diehard historians could know. It's certainly not required watching or a classic, nor did it realize all it's ambitions among other things but it was a fun watch. 6/10, a bummer that I missed Peter Lorre.
  14. Manhattan Melodrama (1934) I missed bits and pieces of it, and a chunk around the last 30 minute mark for a drink, but it was a good movie. Clark Gable and William Powell were great in it on opposite sides and I just love when they reference Sing Sing, so classically oldschool! The underlying connection, the incorruptible with the corrupted, the deft black hand, and the last movie watched by Dillinger so you know it's something real swell. 8/10
  15. Furiously Fast 12, where they drive cars on the moon and drift in craters with The Rock flipping cars in zero G, sending them into space and something about the space station eventually falling to earth and they have to drive on the falling pieces of it. It'll make $2.5 billion in the box office worldwide.
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