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53 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna, thanks for your post about The Dead.  I love this movie; I think it's under-recognized as an outstanding film.  I believe it's the last movie John Huston made, so it's worth watching just for that.  But there's so much to it, there's so much going on underneath that seeming "nothing happens" scenario.  In fact, there's a lot going on in this story.  

Of course you know it's based on the final work in James Joyce's book of short stories,  "Dubliners".  (more a novella than a short story, really.)  I say "of course you know", because I know you're a reader.  Even though James Joyce can be daunting  (full disclosure:  I still haven't even read "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" ),  "Dubliners" is pretty accessible.   All  the stories in it are real works of literary art  (sorry, pretentious, that.)   

Anyway,  I think Huston did full justice to the story.  It's a great film, one that you get more out of with successive viewings.

I don’t know what kind of TV set up you have, especially in Canada, but I was able to watch THE DEAD on ROKU TV, There are quite a few digital streaming services that offer The film for free at least in the US.
It was John Huston’s final film and apparently he was on oxygen while it was filming.

Thank God he went out on a high note, because in the final years of his life damned if John Houston did not appear in and direct some DOGS!

I’ve read the James Joyce story, is the only thing by James stories I’ve ever read. As I recall it’s only about 20 pages long. As a rule I don’t like short stories. I don’t like short movies. I don’t like short anything. I don’t know why when I struggle with attention deficit disorder the way I do, but I like my films and stories to be long. (As long as things happen in them.)

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Two idle curiosities satisfied over post-Christmas vacation:

----

Matilda (1978) - 👎

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...No, not the Roald Dahl one with the cute kid and the Broadway musical.  😅  I remember seeing big hype-budget family-film ads for this one opening at Radio City, but the first week in theaters was reportedly one of the unholy disasters of the decade, the studio pulled the movie, and it'd never been seen again, even on TV (AFAIK).  I almost forgot about the movie until it turned up in the Medveds' Golden Turkey Awards as a nominee for "Worst Movie You Never Saw", alongside Day the Clown Cried and Billy Jack Goes to Washington.  So, naturally, when it finally washed up in the flotsam and jetsam of abandoned late-70's twilight-of-Amer.Int'l movies on Amazon/PlutoTV, I was a man with a mission.

Even from the picture, I don't think I have to give detailed explanations WHY this movie did not catch fire at the box office:  The whimsical story of detestably "lovable" low-rent promoter Elliot Gould trying to hustle a boxing kangaroo into the world championships might make a pleasant 70's Disney comedy (yes, I'm thinking of Don Knotts and "Gus"), but here, everyone's straining hard for "Modern-day 30's screwball comedy" they forgot any way to make the characters remotely likable.  But mainly, as you can also see, the problem is the title character:  I can appreciate that real kangaroos can't be trained, CGI didn't exist in 1978, and going back and forth with a suit "stunt double" wouldn't work, but spending the entire movie with a guy in a suit is new depths of ridiculous.  Seeing an actor hop around with his "paws" in front of him like a community-theater actor playing Alice's White Rabbit starts to look uncannily like the "Mouse party" guests from that Monty Python sketch.    To this day, the only other online mention of this film I've since found was more giggling over an unsuccessful McDonald's product-plug scene, and even that, everyone just cheat-cribbed out of the Medveds.

Six Weeks (1982) - 👎

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I knew what I was in for, so I can't say I was "disappointed", but it was my own fault:  Every Christmas, I get sentimental for those days when I was in HS/college, in or just a train-ride away from the big city, and went downtown past the city lights to see whatever movie had an early-80's Christmas opening.  Even if it wasn't holiday themed, like Clue, Yentl, The Dark Crystal or Supergirl, once a year I have an unexplainable fondness to pursue my completism for anything that opened in December '80-'85.  Here, it was meant to be tangentially "holiday" themed, since the Nutcracker ballet figures in the plot climax, and I knew this one unanimously ended up on every critics' Worst of 1982 list, but when it turned up on Prime, I couldn't help myself--Say "1982", and I'm immediately hypnotized.  😍

The heart-tugging drama of "cute" rich-kid Katharine Healy trying to play Cupid between her mother, rich corporate boss Mary Tyler Moore, and likable Senate candidate Dudley Moore (who's an upcoming populist because he still makes funny Arthur-like wisecracks in his speeches) would be fodder enough for a cable Christmas rom-com, but it's so confident in its heart-tugs, this movie does not know when to quit:  12-yo.  Healy eventually grew up to be a successful ballet dancer and ice skater, but here, her character is every Sitcom-Kid Nightmare.  Literally EVERY...SINGLE...LINE that comes out of her mouth feels like it's missing the smug-precocious laughtrack, even for a tearjerker, and there's two hours to go, folks.  As it turns out, the girl develops leukemia, and, in her own "Appreciate life" YA-novel-heroine way, wants to spend six weeks indulging her Bucket List--yes, including seeing Mr. & Mrs. Moore be her "parents" in a mock-marriage, despite the plot-snag of his already being estranged-married--and, since she happens to be the prodigy of her ballet class, hoping to last long enough to dance the role of Clara in the NYC Nutcracker...Sure, a few phone calls, and we can whip that one up.  Even for a wish-fulfillment "Bargaining" story about the Yuletide big city and indulging rich white people's problems, our immediate gut reaction to the scene where Dudley first meets Healy at a fundraiser is, "...This kid has been indulged ENOUGH."

I may not like all of the movies that came out of 1982, but I'll defend to the death 1982's right to make them.  😁

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On 12/27/2020 at 11:51 PM, hamradio said:

I do not have the time to write out what this film got RIGHT in this moon travel

I can write out what it got wrong!  Namely, the idea that you can breathe on the Moon, and not just that, you can walk around in your regular Earth clothes.

 

Other than that, as you say, spookily accurate.  Liquids in zero G, staged rocketry, a countdown, giant rockets on giant launch pads, and the concept of constant acceleration in order to have "gravity" in space.  Lang consulted with rocket scientists and really nailed the hell out of "Woman in the Moon".  Well, except for being able to live on the far side in a tent.

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5 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

It's actually a remake of 1933's Lady for a Day, also directed by Capra, which in turn was based on a Damon Runyon short story.   The way they talk and act in the movie reflects Runyon's writing style (also heard in Guys & Dolls and several others) and is called Runyonese, or can be described as Runyonesque.   

I read the description of the movie saying it was a remake of "Lady for a Day".  I never saw that movie though.  I saw part of "Guys & Dolls".

Lori

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On 12/28/2020 at 10:02 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

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I checked out MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (1986?) FOR THE FIRST TIME. IT'S FREE ON AMAZON PRIME.

Those of you who have seen this movie and remember, please tell me something: did any of you have a hard time following it? There was actually a point where I had to stop the film and read 1/2 the plot synopsis to make sure I was grasping it- and I somehow missed when they established that one of the characters is running drugs for his Uncle- who looks like a PAKISTANI EL DEBARGE.

It was a little cryptic, but then again, I'm from North Carolina.

It is also a rare case of a movie that I would refer to as "stagey"- but not because it has one set or only a couple actors- it moved and had plenty of exteriors- the dialogue and scenarios are very STAGEY, theatrical, DECIDEDLY "standing in a spotlight delivering a monologue" IN TONE AND FEEL.

i am too lazy to google, but this HAD TO HAVE BEEN a STAGE PRODUCTION before this film came to be; it doesn't feel genuine to me- I mean the story I can see, but the execution is SO CURIOUS (NOT BAD!) just...curious.

I also read that it was meant to be a BBC TV movie but ended up becoming a theatrical release and (as such) the print was "blown up" to movie size, which may account for why it looked a slightly fuzzy and faded, but not really in a bad way.

THE ACTING IS TERRIFIC ACROSS THE BOARD, everyone fish around for your "shocked face": DANIEL DAY-LEWIS is AMAZING, matched every bit of the way by Gordon Warnecke (that's a link to his imdb page if anyone is interested. he was ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE) THE best PERFORMANCE in the whole movie though was given by Roshan Seth  (also a link), who you will recall from INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DUNE and GANDHI .

the champagne scene and the neck-licking are MARVELOUS.

 

Lorna, I am a big fan of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE though I haven't seen it for years. I especially love the kiss between Gordon Warnecke (so adorable, yes) and Daniel Day Lewis. Best. Screen. Kiss. Ever. When I saw it, I thought, "Now that's the way two men kiss each other." Or used to, in the days before AIDS, COVID-19, etc.

Off topic: there is a new, expensive, recently published book of photographs from the Nini-Treadwell collection called Men in Love: 1850-1950. These two gentlemen have collected photographs, mostly from antique stores and garage sales, which do indeed look like photographs of men in love. This is not pornographic at all. About a dozen of these images can easily be found with an Internet search, for those who are interested. A little  bit of history is being reclaimed and preserved.

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1 hour ago, Vidor said:

I can write out what it got wrong!  Namely, the idea that you can breathe on the Moon, and not just that, you can walk around in your regular Earth clothes.

 

Other than that, as you say, spookily accurate.  Liquids in zero G, staged rocketry, a countdown, giant rockets on giant launch pads, and the concept of constant acceleration in order to have "gravity" in space.  Lang consulted with rocket scientists and really nailed the hell out of "Woman in the Moon".  Well, except for being able to live on the far side in a tent.

Love at the beginning all those scientist were laughing at the possibility of there having gold deposits on the moon.  Knew plainly well it was made of cheese. ;)

Imagination really ran wild what was on the moon before the space age.

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On 12/28/2020 at 1:12 PM, Vidor said:

I seem to remember reading that "Woman in the Moon" also invented the "ten...nine...eight...seven" rocket launch countdown.

Also the water sound suppression system.

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Unmanned probes to survey the surface before a manned mission

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This amazing prophesy - Earthrise one of the most influential photos ever taken!!

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NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise.jpg

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It’s been so long since I’ve had time to sit down and watch films. All it took was getting hit with COVID to do it! 
 

Ace of Aces (1933)

Richard Dix is perhaps my favorite of the wooden pre-code actors. He’s not particularly remarkable, but he gives his role something extra. The film is actually quite good, with Ralph Bellamy also turning in a good performance. However, Elizabeth Allan was the real star in the picture. Being an actress I had never heard of in a pre-code film, I wasn’t expecting much, but she wowed me enough to write about her here. 
 

Mara Maru (1952)

I saw an opportunity to tick off another Errol Flynn film and took it. The Pacific island setting and sunken treasure plot are interesting, but the plot unfolds in such a nonsensical way that it’s hard to follow at times. It’s one of those films where names like Johnny, Mac, and Flores are all fired at you like a machine gun without much background. They did something to get us to this point, but what was it exactly? And why should we care? It’s worth a watch if you’re into Errol Flynn, though. 
 

The Big Combo (1955)

I put off watching this one for a while and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the lackluster title? Anyway, I liked this one the most out of the bunch. It’s not going to end up on any favorites lists for me, but it’s a really solid noir. Richard Conte puts on a real show and the score is perhaps one of my favorites. The cinematography is everything you look for in a noir, too. 

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12 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

I like short stories and novels.  Never read Finnegan's Wake (read Ulysses at least once and Portrait).  For some reason, the story they chose for The Dead reminded me of Wuthering Heights.

The ending of THE DEAD is very similar to the end of WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) with lots of (LOVELY) shots of snow falling on what is supposed to be the wilderness of Ireland, but according to IMDb, was Actually shot in Joshua tree state park in California.

(The last shot of WUTHERING HEIGHTS was shot in the San Fernando Valley!)

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11 hours ago, kingrat said:

Lorna, I am a big fan of MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE though I haven't seen it for years. I especially love the kiss between Gordon Warnecke (so adorable, yes) and Daniel Day Lewis. Best. Screen. Kiss. Ever. When I saw it, I thought, "Now that's the way two men kiss each other." Or used to, in the days before AIDS, COVID-19, etc.

Off topic: there is a new, expensive, recently published book of photographs from the Nini-Treadwell collection called Men in Love: 1850-1950. These two gentlemen have collected photographs, mostly from antique stores and garage sales, which do indeed look like photographs of men in love. This is not pornographic at all. About a dozen of these images can easily be found with an Internet search, for those who are interested. A little  bit of history is being reclaimed and preserved.

I wonder why “Laundrette” hasn’t been incorporated into more drag names.
Thank you for mentioning the name of that book. I am a sucker for vintage gay photographs and I actually saw a story about it on CNN yesterday morning and had to run to work. When I went back To the site the story was gone.

 

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I also feel a little guilty, my review of “my beautiful Laundrette” was rather unfocused, and it might’ve given the impression  that I did not like the film. I did like the film, very much. It just perplexed me at a moment when I was not prepared  to be perplexed.

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18 hours ago, Aritosthenes said:

Im (Very) Quickly Finding Out People are way to Savvy Smart,. Have their Head in the Game and Screwed On Straight to do such a thing around these particular parts.

You'll find most message board readers appreciate coherent writing....including spelling & punctuation. I used to say to my teen, "When you speak using slang/jargon you risk your ideas being misunderstood by the recipient. Not everyone speaks in American Teen." 

16 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I am genuinely sorry that Lawrence got so upset that time. 

Ugh. When Lawrence first came on the board he posted a "review" of a movie along with the ending. I PMed him suggesting he not reveal "spoilers" in his posts for those who may have not seen the movie yet. He just about had a tantrum, saying I was "bullying" him!

14 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

My husband says that he looks like an Easter Island statue.

LOL!

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7 hours ago, YourManGodfrey said:

It’s been so long since I’ve had time to sit down and watch films. All it took was getting hit with COVID to do it! 
The Big Combo (1955)

I put off watching this one for a while and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the lackluster title? Anyway, I liked this one the most out of the bunch. It’s not going to end up on any favorites lists for me, but it’s a really solid noir. Richard Conte puts on a real show and the score is perhaps one of my favorites. The cinematography is everything you look for in a noir, too. 

I recently ordered some books and picked up The Big Combo for 5.95 as it sounded interesting.  Once I began watching it realized I had seen it many years ago.  It is entertaining, but nothing spectacular.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I wonder why “Laundrette” hasn’t been incorporated into more drag names.
Thank you for mentioning the name of that book. I am a sucker for vintage gay photographs and I actually saw a story about it on CNN yesterday morning and had to run to work. When I went back To the site the story was gone.

 

Maybe it is in the UK.  The term isn't well known in the U.S.

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I watched Cinderella on Disney+ on Christmas Eve.  I hadn't seen it since it was re-released in the theaters sometime when I was a kid in the late 60s or early 70s. 

I only posted this because of some trivia I learned while looking at the film's entry in IMDb: talk show host Mike Douglas was the singing voice of the prince.  I never knew he did voice work for Disney.  He has very few film credits, and most of those are after he became famous hosting his talk show.

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22 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Maybe [LAUNDRETTE] is [A POPULAR DRAG NAME] in the UK.  The term isn't well known in the U.S.

I'm sure with the limit on space and resources, they're a lot more common in the UK than in America. (we are spoiled)

my washer and dryer broke a few years ago and (because I was traveling that day)  i had to use a local laundromat here in NORTH CAROLINA, and HONEY, that is A SCENE.

i remember it QUITE WELL and it 100% helped me to understand a lot of things about the movie MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE though.

 

 

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