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LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...


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Four movies over the last two weeks, starting with East Living which I think is the best of the Mitchell Leisen comedies I've seen. The Return is a very good 2003 Russian film about two teenage boys whose long lost father returns out of nowhere and takes them on a disconcerting trip. The Cousins was an interesting film, and so I suppose was Oasis, a Korean movie about a love affair between a misfit and a women with cerebral palsy. (It's not as sentimental as the description suggests.)

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Incidentally it should be Easy Living in the last post. Four movies this week with The Crimson Pirate being loads of fun. Roberta while not a bad film is as underwhelming a movie with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire playing second fiddle to Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott might suggest. Blonde Venus has interesting touches, but Herbert Marshall and Marlene Dietrich do not make a good couple and the plot is sentimental codswallop. Finally, there is Bastards an interesting, elliptical movie about revenge, sexual exploitation and a corrupt businessman.

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Six movies this week, and they're a fairly respectable lot. Memories of Murder is a fairly good procedural, not unlike Zodiac except that it takes places under an authoritarian pseudo-democracy. You were never Lovelier and Yolanda and the Thief were the two Astaire movies I saw for the first time last week. Both were good, and the back stories were amusing, but while Rita Hayworth was very beautiful, the colour cinematography does put Yolanda in a class by her own. Howard Hawks once said that a great movie has three great scenes and no bad ones. By that standard, The Wiz has one great scene, a couple of good songs, some clever variations on the classic story, and the replacement of Fleming's sentimentality with egregious self-esteem babble. The silent Peter Pan is a charming movie everyone should see (and it's available on youtube). Millennium Mambo is an interesting movie about youthful inertia and anomie in modern Taipei. It's not a very accessible movie, and from the last decade I prefer Three Times.

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Five movies this week. Good Sam is in fact a good movie, and a good use of Gary Cooper's talents. Three musicals on Wednesday: while Astaire is great in Royal Wedding, his partner is less interesting and the British lovers are rather dull. Much better is Easter Parade with many great numbers. It's Always Fair Weather has a somewhat more mature attitude than one usually associated with musicals. The musical is both good and entertaining, though one regrets Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse not dancing together. While making horror movies in the context of the Spanish Civil war is an unusual genre, I don't think The Devil's Backbone is much more than competent.

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I saw five movies this week, three of them from this year. Three Godfathers is the kind of Ford film that I don't particularly care for (and I was actually more impressed with Wagon Master when TCM recently rebroadcast it) as three not particularly roguish rogues are redeemed by the baby they find. All this, and heaven too is the kind of movie Hollywood would prefer not to make, over-romantic costume drama. Yet Bette Davis and Charles Boyer help carry it with conviction. All is Lost is sort of like Gravity in the Indian ocean, and is arguably better for it. Watching Sandra Bullock float through a space station is a remarkable image, and the message of All is Lost that being extremely prepared sometimes isn't enough isn't a profound one. But I think it wins more on points. Upstream Color is a deeply strange movie, and like Shane Carruth's earlier movie arguably incomprehensible. But I think this elliptical, opaque and strikingly shot and scored movie in worth paying attention to. The Wolf of Wall Street is boisterous, often brilliant and very funny in parts. My main reservation for it is whether it really does anything more than Goodfellas, aside from having a protagonist who is arguably more repulsive than Henry Hill.

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I saw several movies this week, starting with Starman. I've never been that interested in John Carpenter's tributes to Howard Hawks, and this quasi-Spielberg exercise isn't an improvement. Nor is it clear why Karen Allen is romantically attracted to Jeff Bridges' alien, since simply looking like her husband, without in any way really being like him is hardly an appealing prospect. It was Bridges who got the Oscar nomination, but his role is basically oscarbait weirdo. It's Allen who's really the heart of the picture. I wish I paid more attention to Magnificent Obsession while I was watching it, since I don't think I fully appreciated Sirk's misc-en scene. That's Dancing was fun to watch, but a bit insubstantial. I saw two silent movies, but watching Ozu's That Night's Wife with Italian subtitles, and watching Lady of the Night while working on my compute at a 90 degree angle from the TV was not the most successful experience. So in the end I suppose the movie of the movie was Raoul Ruiz's eccentric valedictory movie Night Across the Street.

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I saw four movies over the last two weeks. The Smiling Lieutenant is not considered to be one of Lubitsch's best musicals, which in turn are not considered to be as good as Trouble in Paradise, The Shop Around the Corner, or To be or not to be. But it's well worth watching. American Hustle to me was disappointing, a facile crowd pleaser which seems likely to win the Oscar nominee most likely to flatter Academy voter narcissism. The Talk of the Town was also disappointing, with Stevens having the kind of ponderous, gutless earnestness that would disfigure his later serious films. Slacker is interesting, or it starts out interesting, but moving from one conversation to another for 100 minutes with no character ever meeting one another again is a bit of a haul. Plus the ratio of crackpot theorists to creepy womanizers is alarmingly high, and suggests that Linklater doesn't quite have the brains to be America's Rohmer.

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I watched "Bell, Book and Candle" yesterday. It was interesting. I can't say it was the best movie I've seen; but it was entertaining enough. Often times, when I start watching a Kim Novak movie, I always feel that she seems a bit stiff. Like in "Picnic" and this film. However, for whatever reason, she begins to grow on you. I did think that James Stewart seemed miscast. He was too old for Kim Novak. I would have preferred Jack Lemmon in James Stewart's part I think. Then maybe someone else could have had Lemmon's part.

 

I also watched "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer." I actually own this film; but hadn't watched it. It came in my Cary Grant boxed set that I got. It was pretty entertaining. It was interesting seeing Shirley Temple grown. It's a shame that her career kind of dropped off once she wasn't the "My Good Ship Lollipop" girl anymore. She would have made a good adult actress. I could see her maybe being a better version of June Allyson (who I'm really not a fan of), or maybe a Debbie Reynolds type. My husband, who was watching with me, had to leave for work and was disappointed that he wasn't going to see how it ended. Haha. I told him I had the film and we could watch it again. Seeing that he wanted to see how it ended is saying something. Not that he doesn't watch old films (he'd have to with me around), he will and enjoys them; but I doubt he would pop an old film into the DVD player if I weren't around. I made him go to movie theater showings of "Casablanca," "Singin' in the Rain," and "The Adventures of Robin Hood," and I'm happy to say he enjoyed each and every one.

 

I also watched "Another Dawn." I gave my opinions of this on another thread; but, of the other films I watched, this was my least favorite. As much as I love Errol Flynn, he couldn't save this film for me. It was boring, I wasn't convinced of the relationship between Flynn and Kay Francis. I also found it confusing, since the Kay Francis and the actress playing Flynn's sister looked identical. The best part of the film was the shootout between Flynn's team and the Arabs. The saving grace of this film was that it was short.

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Interestingly, I watched 203 movies last year. This week I watched seven movies. Philomena is an inoffensive movie, a little irritating in its conventional beats, and there is a problem with the second half of the movie. The movie almost feels, how can we drag this out, and the surprise at the end of it happens only because nobody asks an obvious question. Captain Phillips has its own problems. It's supposed to be a tense hostage drama. But it's not a big spoiler to note that Phillips survives, and that his testimony is the basis for the film. So although the situation is understandably dangerous, the overwhelming military superiority on the part of the US Navy and the sheer lack of experience of the Somali hijackers means that this movie will only end one way, and it takes forever for that to happen. You can't learn to plow by reading books is an experimental first feature by Richard Linklater, and it's not surprising that in future movies he would have his characters talk. Blonde Crazy is actually a very impressive Cagney movie, and it should be better known. Edison the Man is watchable because of a very good Spencer Tracy performance, even if one suspects that Edison was not really like that. There was a Father is another striking movie by Ozu, with Chishu Ryo giving a superb performance as a father instilled with a sense of duty. It doesn't have quite the punch of The Only Son, and its emphasis on self-sacrifice has sinister undertones given the second world war happening at the time. Rollercoaster isn't devoid of suspense, and it's striking that it's actually Richard Widmark who actually saves the day. But to have Timothy Bottoms run away from George Segal, to escape from the police with suspicious ease, to run around the rollercoaster for no good purpose, to meet Segal suddenly and then be killed by the rollercoaster is just incompetent.

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Last week I saw five movies. It's generally thought that Harold Lloyd is shallower than Chaplin and Keaton, and seeing Speedy I'm inclined to agree. Lloyd only wants a better deal from the corrupt businessman molesting his girlfriend's father's business. And that's just the sort of attitude one might expect from a suddenly rich man in the twenties. Also, it takes half the movie for it to get really started. But once it does it's fairly enjoyable: not as good as Safety Last or The Kid Brother but better than the other Lloyd movies. Dallas Buyers Club is better than the parody title that comes to mind, Philadelphia, Texas suggests. On the one hand it's irritating that McConaghy may be rewarded for giving a good performance, after nearly two decades as one of the most insufferable players in Hollywood, when I think we should wait to see if he could give a better performance. Also, some of the attacks on medical orthodoxy seem a bit dodgy. Any Wednesday is a ghastly mistake, one of those sixites sex comedies that is casually insulting to women. Even though Jason Robards is a thoroughly unlikeable character, he is so mcuh a better actor than Dean Jones one wants him to win regardless. Divine Intervention is a Palestinian black comedy, not entirely unlike You the Living, but more cinematically successful. It's a sort of po-faced aburdism, united by the stresses of living under the Israeli occupation. (A sample of its humor has a tourist asking a Jerusalem policeman for directions to the Church of the Holy Sepluchre. After a bit of confusion, the policeman goes to his car and extracts a blindfolded prisoner to see if he can help.) So I suppose the movie of the week is Dziga Vertov's Enthusiasm, his visually striking if morally underwhelming portrait of the five year plan.

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I just watched "There's No Business Like Show Business," I've seen this movie before multiple times. I actually own this movie, as I got it to complete my Marilyn Monroe film collection. It's not the greatest musical; but for what it is, it is entertaining enough. The plot is thin; but that's not important. The whole point of the film is to showcase Irving Berlin's music and to tell the story of a vaudeville family. What kind of vaudeville movie would it be if there was no music? Every time I watch this movie, I always come away from it wishing I had Mitzi Gaynor's figure. I love the red dress she wears at the end. Sigh

 

I also just watched "Captain Blood," which I've also seen once before and own. While Errol's charisma and personality is all there, he isn't quite the smooth, dashing personality he would be in subsequent films. I also noticed that Errol must have gotten his teeth fixed after this film as he isn't quite as gorgeous as he is later (mind you, he's still pretty darn attractive). I loved the story and this is one of the best swashbucklers ever made.

 

I have some movies on my DVR that I just recorded that I am looking forward to watching: "The Letter," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and "The Lost Weekend." I am watching TCM while typing this and it is between films and airing previews for films airing later this week. I now see a few I need to set up to record like "The Best Years of Our Lives."

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Speedracer5 wrote:

 

>I also just watched "Captain Blood," which I've also seen once before and own. While Errol's charisma and personality is all there, he isn't quite the smooth, dashing personality he would be in subsequent films.

 

I'm a big fan of Flynn. Even though it was his first starring role, *Captain Blood* is still my favorite. Most people would probably prefer *The Adventures of Robin Hood.* It is a great film, and a lot more upbeat, over all. But *CB* is grittier, more personal. Back when I first saw *CB,* and even into the early 80s, IIRC, the only version available was 99m. Today, we always see the 119m original version. It is so much better!

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I am not very discerning when it comes to Errol in films. If Errol's in it, it gets a gold star from me. Except for "Another Dawn," I didn't care for it. Even Errol's beautiful face couldn't save it.

 

I agree with you though about "The Adventures of Robin Hood." While I enjoy the film very much and actually just purchased the Blu-Ray and would count it among my favorite films, I don't know if I would consider it my favorite Errol Flynn performance. I really loved him in "Dodge City," and "They Died With Their Boots On." I also enjoyed his work in "Uncertain Glory." I thought he never looked better than he did in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex." His dramatic turn as a ne'er do well in "The Sisters," was great as was his work in "The Sea Hawk." I even enjoyed his comedic turns in "Four's a Crowd," and "Never Say Goodbye."

 

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go with "Dodge City," but "Uncertain Glory" comes a close second.

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This week I saw a couple films for the first time:

 

Stella Dallas. This film had been kicking around on my DVR for quite some time. I decided to finally watch it. While I enjoyed it, I don't think this will be a film that I'll need to add to my film collection. Barbara Stanwyck was excellent. It was heartbreaking when Stella pretends to want her daughter to leave so she can move to South America. Later, when she watches her daughter marry her boyfriend through a window and walks down the street, you just felt so bad for her. It definitely wasn't a feel good movie; but it was compelling.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray. I really liked this film. I thought George Sanders and Angela Lansbury were both excellent . It's a shame that Lansbury didn't have a larger role in the film; but she was wonderful in her scenes. Donna Reed was also effective in her role as Dorian's girlfriend. The story was captivating and kind of creepy at the same time. Especially when they show the painting toward the end after years and years of sin and corruption. It freaked me out when he pulled down the cloth. I knew the painting was aging; but I didn't expect him to look so hideous. I also loved the select uses of color. This film made me want to go read Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. I'll have to go find it at the library after I'm finished reading Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man.

 

I expect to get through quite a few films this weekend. It's snowing heavily in Oregon. Which some of you from areas that get snow every year would probably laugh at how the Oregonians are acting; but it doesn't snow here very often, especially this hard, so it's quite the disaster. Pretty much every city is closed. I'm day two of being told not to drive into work. It's snowing again heavily right now. This may be a good weekend to finally tackle "Gone With the Wind." I haven't seen it yet; I just haven't found myself with a compelling enough reason to take four hours of out my day to watch a movie. This weekend may present that opportunity.

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I saw five movies this week, including two I unreservedly admired. Considering that there were only ten movies I saw last week that fell into that category that's fairly impressive. Babette's Feast isn't a bad movie, and I suppose I might enjoy it more if I cared for high cuisine. And it's nice that Birgitte Federspiel appeared in something after Ordet. Computer Chess is an odd little movie, after computer programmers trying to build computer chess programs in the early eighties. It has some not terribly amusing nerd humor, some peculiar touches, and some more ominous ones. I suppose it's only fair to point out that other critics found this more engaging than I did. Nebraska, by contrast, is easily the most irritating of this year's best picture nominees. I am not an Alexander Payne fan, and the contempot is easy in this sneering portait of small town pettiness in gleaming black and white uglyvision. I didn't think that spending 115 minutes watching Payne dribble crumbs of compassion to Bruce Dern's character would be a pleasant experience. But I was still unpleasantly surpised to see how clumsily Payne stitched in some last minute upliftedness after spending two thirds of the movie in considerable scorn. Her by contrast strikes me as Spike Jonze's best movie, and surprisingly erotic given that the "male gaze" has to work with a disembodied voice. It's also an interesting picture of artificial intelligence, comparable to HAL 2000 and Joel Haley Osment in A.I. But the best movie I saw this week is Blue in the Warmest Color, which provided a genuinely complex picture of a teenager/young woman in love. Leaving aside the nudity one wonders why Hollywood doesn't learn more about how to make romantic movies from this kind of movie.

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The point of *Babette's Feast* is not the haute cuisine, but the fact that she is finally able to penetrate the shell of the very reserved Danes, who seem unable to enjoy anything. Her food is just the tool she uses to do it.

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Five movies also this week: I've always had problems with Young Mr. Lincoln especially its hagiographic and pseudo-historical elements. But it's clearly superior to Abe Lincoln in Illinois: It's visually superior, it's more subtle, Henry Fonda is a better actor than Raymond Massey, and Massey's performance is basically show-boating humble man of the people. (The real Lincoln was, by his own free admission, very ambitious. And his friends didn't call him Abe.) On the other hand it's nice that we see part of "A house Divided" speech. Field of Dreams is as underwhelming as I thought it would be (and a scene involving censorship was really shameless, preventing my sympathy with the rest of the movie). There are a number of movies called Leviathan, the one I saw is a documentary about fishing trawlers, with little attention paid to the people doing the fishing, but a lot of attention paid to the fish scooped up, and with some impressive shots of flying birds. There may be a better movie in The Divorcee and in Norma Shearer's performance, but the two male leads are such dull drips the movie quickly loses any potential. So the movie of the week is The Man I killed, also known as Broken Lullaby, a rare Lubitsch drama, and a Lionel Barrymore performance that does him credit.

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I saw only three movies this week, though I rewatched Welles' Othello in preparation for seeing Olivier's version (only to find out that it wasn't broadcast in Canada). The Old Man and the Sea would have always suffered from Dwight MacDonald's evisceration of it as classic middlebrow literature. And I would think black and white and little music would suit the story better than the colour cinematography, score and lots of quotes from the book. One Night of Love is an interesting movie, with Grace Moore as an amusing actress and a better singer. Tullio Carminati is good too, even if he pales compared to Anton Walbrook's flawless Lermentov. Finally Onibaba is a a grim story of brutal war and desire, well worth watching, even if its mid sixties success in America was due to its nudity.

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Thanks to a very generous poster here on the forum, I have obtained a copy of "Gentleman Jim." Seeing that it starred my beloved Errol Flynn, I of course watched it right away. I enjoyed the film very much, the boxing scenes were outstanding (and the way boxing should be. None of this "punch and hug" nonsense that goes on now). Knowing that Flynn did most of his own boxing added to the authenticity of the fight scenes. I also enjoyed Alan Hale and William Frawley's characters immensely. I thought Alexis Smith was also excellent. I can't decide if I liked her better here or in 1949's "Montana," also with Flynn. I thought it was interesting that in this film, which took place in 1890s San Francisco, ladies attended the boxing matches without any grief about them being "the wrong kind of woman." However, in "The Sisters," which took place in 1900s San Francisco, boxing is seen as no place to take a decent woman.

 

Aside from the excellent cast and storyline, Flynn probably never looked better on film than he does in this movie. Which is saying a lot because he looks pretty darn good in all his films (before his looks went down the tubes anyway). That man truly photographed well, from all angles. Even when he's got a black eye, he still looks amazing. Flynn's appearance in this film is truly a feast for the eyes (or at least mine anyway). Top hat and tails, half naked wearing only tights, half naked wearing only wet tights, half naked in only shorts, heck, he even looked fantastic in his union suit. Between his appearance and his gorgeous smile, I couldn't take my eyes off him. He even dances a jig! A jig!

 

Great movie! Highly recommend.

 

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I also watched "San Antonio," again with Flynn. This movie, while not one of his best, was good. I enjoyed his character and Alexis Smith was again wonderful. I think I liked "Montana" better, but I did enjoy this film. The gunfight scene at the end was excellent.

 

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Right now, I am watching "The Adventures of Robin Hood" again with Flynn. Yes, I am kind of obsessed with him right now, but I digress. I have seen this film at least 10 times (mind you, I saw it for the first time in the theater this past October); but this is my first time seeing it on Blu-Ray. The colors are vibrant and beautiful. It's hard to believe that this movie is 76 years old. Looks like it was just filmed yesterday. There really is no other Robin Hood for me. Errol Flynn is Robin Hood. He's always more attractive to me as "The Tall Tinker" than he is as Robin Hood, for some reason, haha. Maybe it's because the wig is hidden.

 

I highly recommend the Blu Ray, there are a ton of extra features, including a very informative documentary about the Technicolor process (narrated by Angela Lansbury), a documentary about the making of Robin Hood and a short film showing "home movies" of sorts that were shot during production. There is also a Looney Tunes short and a myriad of other special features.

 

I was planning on watching "All About Eve," but it was already 10:00 when I started the movie and at over 2 hours long, it was a little too long. 'Robin Hood' is not quite as long, so I figured I could commit to it. Still need to fit in time to read more of Buster Wiles' autobiography "My Days With Errol Flynn." Almost done!

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Two weeks ago, I only saw two movies, but this week I saw six. The Spy who Came in From the Cold is a fairly good movie, blessed with perhaps the best performance I've seen from Richard Burton. Museum Hours is an interesting museum, whose high point is a lecture on Bruegel. Naughty Marietta does tend to suggest that Jeanette MacDonald, so charming when directed by Lubitsch and Mamoulian, is less attractive when teamed up with Nelson Eddy. Lives of a Bengal Lancer is an interesting look at imperial military discipline, even if it isn't as sprightly as Gunga Din and may have been Hitler's favorite film. The Visit is perhaps twenty minutes too long and doesn't flow quite as well as A Separation, but it is still a very good film. Eat Drink Man Woman continues my long tradition of being unimpressed by Ang Lee. While it's not true that the movie could have been filmed anywhere--much of the English speaking world does not have a cuisine that filmmakers would trust viewers to sit through watching--except for a certain sexual reticence there's little that suggests Taiwan. Which may explain why Lee has two oscars and Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang have yet to appear on TCM. Dark Passage is an effective noir, with Bogart and Bacall giving good performances. I'm not really a fan of Noah Baumbach: I'd rather read his mother's film criticism than watch his movie about her divorce. Frances Ha is an improvement over the other two Baumbach movies I've seen. Greta Gerwig has a certain screen charm. But the movie isn't entirely convincing. It's sort of what it would be like if the actions of Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine didn't have any consequences.

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I saw six movies this week. It's interesting to compare with Million Dollar Legs with the other early Hollywood comedy about an imaginary country, Duck Soup. On the one hand Rufus t. Firefly is the Groucho Marx role, while W.C. Fields as president of Klopstockia is just pudgy and super strong. And Jackie Oakie isn't remotely in the same class as the other Marx brothers (or Margaret Dumont). And, as it turns out, the director isn't in the same class as Leo McCarey. But on the other hand the script (co-written by Joseph Mankiewicz) is frequently amusing. Women in Love is not entirely successful. Glenda Jackson does give an interesting performance, but it's her sister who's supposed to be the core of the novel. So there's a void at the core of the movie, not helped by Russell's well known preference for garishness over intelligence. The Sea Hawk, by contrast, is quite a fun movie. Short Term 12 has an interesting lead performance, and there is a parable about a shark and an octopus that has real power. But it's more competent than brilliant, and it perhaps reflects more on the cloistered lives of prominent movie critics that they thought it was so moving. Much better is You ain't seen nothing yet where Alain Resnais plays with the myth of Orpheus. But the best movie of the week is The Wind Rises a subtle movie of considerable quiet beauty.

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>Women in Love is not entirely successful. Glenda Jackson does give an interesting performance, but it's her sister who's supposed to be the core of the novel. So there's a void at the core of the movie, not helped by Russell's well known preference for garishness over intelligence.

 

Just a comment here, I didn't read the novel and I'm surprised to know that the sister is more closer to the center of the story than the others. She seemed to be the least interesting of the four in the movie, perhaps that's part of the your point. Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) seems the most interesting to me, he was trying to find a spiritual (and non-sexual IMO) relationship with Gerald Grich (Oliver Reed), something that was totally over the head of his more traditional wife, the sister Ursula (Jennie Lyndon), and there was certainly something going on (or perhaps not really going on) between Gudrun (Glenda Jackson) and Gerald Grich. I did not see the most recent showing here on TCM and it's been awhile since I have seen the movie, but I do have my own copy and I might take another look. I seem to remember something darkly hilarious about Gerald's mother. "Garishness over intelligence" is interesting, I won?t argue that, you may be right, but I do remember liking this movie quite a bit. Interestingly, I recently came across a comment somewhere (not here on the forum) that Hermione Roddice (Eleanor Bron) was supposed to be based on the real-life Lady Ottoline Morrell, who was associated with though not quite a member of the Bloomsbury Group. I'm guessing that Lawrence showed her in a better light than the movie did (at least, I hope so for her sake).

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The four movies I saw this week could have been better. Fruitvale Station and The Selfish Giant are two movies about what the media likes to call the underclass. They are competent, but not brilliant, with the first one telling the old story about a troubled young man who needs to get his life in order before, in this case, it is abruptly ended by a transit cop. The second has an unrelievedly dreary Bradford setting, lots of swearing, very thick accents that in the print I saw did not have subtitles, and a generally gloomy story about two young teenagers being manipulated by a Fagin like figure with unpleasant consequences. On the one hand it is convincingly sordid. But as the movie goes one notices that the three older women are conventionally loving, and that one of the boys is uncontrollable in school, yet surprisingly adaptable as a young criminal. So, in the end, it's not entirely successful. Hell's Angels had Howard Hughes playing with airplanes. They're not bad, but the leads are very dull (Jean Harlow has more life as the cheap **** we're supposed to condemn than the other characters put together) and you have to wonder about a war in which one brother has to kill another. The best thing about I Love you Alice B. Toklas is the title. It's basically like an extended sitcom a few years before sitcoms could mention sex, but without the characters one enjoys watching on television. Sellers is wasted, the two women he sleeps with are both pretty vapid, and it's more of a time capsule where we see the first joke about marijuana brownies.

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Last week, I watched quite a few films:

 

TOUCH OF EVIL- I saw this movie at the theater last week during their "Wednesday Evening Film Series." It was very interesting. I never know what quite to expect when going to an Orson Welles movie. Oftentimes, they're confusing, but not in a bad way. His films are more intriguing and really require multiple viewings to catch everything that's going on. "Touch of Evil" was confusing for the first part; but once they started investigating the murder and more and more of the plot unfolded, I really enjoyed it. I had never seen Marlene Dietrich in a film before, I thought her part was very interesting, even if it was small. Charlton Heston I thought was an interesting casting choice to play a Hispanic police officer. I wish he had done more to convince the audience that he really was Mexican and not Charlton Heston. While he physically looked okay, I thought he needed an accent or something. Janet Leigh was also very good--she really needs to stay out of seedy, middle of nowhere, motels. Things don't seem to go well for her in those types of establishments. As for Welles himself, I liked his portrayal of the ****, corrupt, police officer. I was wondering at the end whether or not he really was the corrupt police officer that Charlton Heston seemed to believe he was, or was Heston the one that was in the wrong since he was set on exposing Welles for what he thought he was even though he didn't have any actual proof?

 

All in all, "Touch of Evil" was excellent. I wish that TCM would release Welles' films in a collection. I'd love to get "Touch of Evil," "Lady From Shanghai," and "The Third Man" (and I'm sure others). I suppose I can settle for buying the films individually.

 

THE LOST WEEKEND- I finally got around to watching this movie which I recorded last month. I had heard about this film over the years and I like Billy Wilder, so I was curious about it. While I can say that I finally saw it, I don't see myself needing to re-watch this. While it was good, it was also very depressing and I don't know if I'd necessarily need to see it again. I thought Ray Milland's portrayal of an alcoholic was excellent and I really felt sorry for him, while at the same time, being upset with him that he couldn't stop. I think the low point was when he woke up in the alcoholic ward of the hospital.

 

INDISCREET- This was an interesting film starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. It's not often that we see Bergman in a comedic role and I thought she was excellent. Grant is his usual charming, sophisticated self. I liked their relationship and the story, even though it is not clear why Cary Grant wants Ingrid Bergman to think he's married.

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>I had never seen Marlene Dietrich in a film before, I thought her part was very interesting, even if it was small.

 

She once said (so I have read) that the lines she delivered near the end were her favorites uttered in any movie she ever did. They went something like, "He was some kind of man. You never know about people." Surprising considering her long career and those fine movies she made with Sternberg early on...Dennis Weaver was fun in another small role, "I'm the night man," he kept saying. That place really needed a night man though I fear he might not have been the right man for the job :D . Janet Leigh had a broken arm while shooting but they managed to cover it up, having her avoid using it in any obvious way.

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