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The Crystal Ball (1943)
 

 

Highwater is a Texas town just outside of Waco which is just outside of Fort Worth. A hog farmer from just outside Highwater loses a beauty contest to a blonde and so flees to the big city with her entire fortune of thirty-eight cents in hopes of getting inside of something. A spunky old fortune teller sees something good in her future and agrees to help her.

This is a perfectly wonderful bit of fluff! Ray Milland is the good-lucking and slightly befuddled male caught between two women. Paulette Goddard as the transplanted hog farmer is one of the women. Virginia Field is the elegant and sophisticated woman who had him first and wants to keep him. 

The others in the cast are superb. Gladys George is the fortune teller with a good heart and the mind, soul and greedy fingers of a great confidence woman. Cecil Kellaway is her friend, co-conspirator and neighbor in the side-show. William Bendix is Milland's chauffer and general factotum. 

I found this to be a significant cut above the general run of romantic comedies of the time. Some of the plot elements are slightly implausible but none require a great effort to ignore in light of the fun situations they create.  

Closed-Captioning indicates the score moves from: "whimsical music" to "devious music" to "exotic music".

8.5/10

We watched it on: Amazon Prime Video but it is listed as being available also on: TubiTV.

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2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

1983 was a very bizarre year though for films....... but there were some very good films that year.... I am including all of the 39 films i have seen from the year, ranked....

I notice the conspicuous, almost criminal, absence of Psycho II, The Grey Fox, Christine, Richard Pryor Here & Now (checking in his post-rehab a year after Sunset Strip), The Man with Two Brains, Brainstorm (mostly for James Horner's score and Christopher Walken trying to play a "normal" hero), Koyaanisqatsi, Videodrome, The Keep, and Krull....KRULL, sir, have you any excuse?   😠

And Blue Thunder...WHY did I love this movie so much at the time?  (Oh, right, Roy Scheider and a post-"Stripes" Warren Oates, that's why. 😁  )

STAYING ALIVE was- for a time at least- available on Amazon prime, I’m not sure if it still is, but I watched it one evening and nearly passed out from laughing. 

It is everything you would think a musical directed by Sylvester Stallone would be....And more.

It's a Paramount orphan, it's on Amazon/streaming more often than the original Saturday Night Fever.   And both are saying something.

(And whatever orphans are temporarily available on Amazon are probably already permanently available on Tubi.)

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1 hour ago, SansFin said:

The Crystal Ball (1943)
 

 

Highwater is a Texas town just outside of Waco which is just outside of Fort Worth. A hog farmer from just outside Highwater loses a beauty contest to a blonde and so flees to the big city with her entire fortune of thirty-eight cents in hopes of getting inside of something. A spunky old fortune teller sees something good in her future and agrees to help her.

This is a perfectly wonderful bit of fluff! Ray Milland is the good-lucking and slightly befuddled male caught between two women. Paulette Goddard as the transplanted hog farmer is one of the women. Virginia Field is the elegant and sophisticated woman who had him first and wants to keep him. 

The others in the cast are superb. Gladys George is the fortune teller with a good heart and the mind, soul and greedy fingers of a great confidence woman. Cecil Kellaway is her friend, co-conspirator and neighbor in the side-show. William Bendix is Milland's chauffer and general factotum. 

I found this to be a significant cut above the general run of romantic comedies of the time. Some of the plot elements are slightly implausible but none require a great effort to ignore in light of the fun situations they create.  

Closed-Captioning indicates the score moves from: "whimsical music" to "devious music" to "exotic music".

8.5/10

We watched it on: Amazon Prime Video but it is listed as being available also on: TubiTV.

I loved this film when TCM showed it when Ray Milland was SOTM. Paulette Goddard is a delight, she and Milland make a great couple, and the supporting cast is strong.

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36 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I loved this film when TCM showed it when Ray Milland was SOTM. Paulette Goddard is a delight, she and Milland make a great couple, and the supporting cast is strong.

Ditto, and GLADYS GEORGE is a HOOT in a turban!!!

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10 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The BeeGees and Barry Gibb in particular, was brought up a few notches finding out he wrote most all their hits. An impressive accomplishment.

I'm a big fan of the Bee Gees and of Barry Gibb.  The demo recordings he made for the songs he wrote for Barbra Streisand's GUILTY album are amazing! I can listen to them over and over.

My favorite is probably "Run Wild,"

 

A close second is "Promises."

 

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Father Goose (1964)

 

A rude, foul-mouthed, drunken filthy beast is forced by circumstances to be the father figure for seven young ladies when he does not want to be a father figure or a brother figure or an uncle figure or a cousin figure and instead intends on being only a total stranger figure. 

This is an unshaven, cheaply-dressed, scotch-swilling Cary Grant with nary a nightclub in sight. He retains every bit of his grand comedic timing and simple good humor throughout. Leslie Caron is his goody-two-shoes foil. She does not sing nor dance. Her comedic timing is perhaps not as well tuned as his but she acquits herself well as straightman for many amusing situations. I love very much how she is bitten by a snake and the snake dies! Trevor Howard is perfect as a senior officer who knows when to not be officious.

This is far from a fast-paced comedy chock full of gags. It is a movie for when you wish to indulge in the company of good-hearted and loving people who are at war with each other.

9.6/10

It is available for watching for free on: PlutoTV. I have not found it in any of their menus but the search function knows that it is there.

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Last night I watched the end of Wonder Woman 1984.  I could have seen the whole thing on demand, but I just switched after Jeopardy went off the air.  The first one was much better, even if it toyed/tampered with mythology, the first one was, which took place during WWI.  The Villain wasn't as good as Ares (the actor playing Ares - the Werewolf from Harry Potter? - was also better).  It was depressing and, during some of the fight scenes, I felt like Indiana Jones when he cuts short the guy doing maneuvers with his sword and just shoots him to save time.  Spoiler alert ahead - best part of movie was at the end, when credits started to roll, and you switch to a future time with Lynda Carter (played WW on TV) is WW in the future.  Also, for a role model for women, Gail Gadot/WW shed too many tears.  Kristin Wiig wasn't a great nemesis (just so so!).

 

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Last night I watched **** '98, catching up with the only John Waters film I haven't seen. I was braced for a lot of obnoxious bad taste but was happily surprised to find minimal offenses. Still not a film for the kiddies or grandma, but most offenses were tolerable instead of shocking. (wait-I'm "grandma"!)

More along the lines of HAIRSPRAY than MONDO TRASHO,  John Waters shows his unique personality throughout this story in a more restrained, mainstream  way using charactors & situations most can relate to. It's the story of a young adult named Peck er who has a sunny personality and a hobby of photographing everyone he sees with a second hand camera. As a former photographer, I saw glaring issues with his technique and for the volume of snaps, no contact sheets. The question of buying 35mm film & processing was answered by his dark room, but even that was a stretch. 

Peck er's girlfriend is played by personal fave Christina Ricci. I love how she fleshes out her role as Laundry Mat owner (?) with a sense of  importance & dedication most viewers would find over-seriously silly. Peck's Mom played by the wonderful Mary Kay Place (does she ever age?) is similarly dedicated to her second hand thrift shop, clothing the homeless for 25¢. Peck's Dad runs a failing dive bar and his best friend is a goofy kleptomaniac. There are too many supporting charactors to mention, but the common theme is they all work lower level independent jobs that require personality & unique "people" skills. No one works for any big corporations or chains. (yay!)

A snooty art gallery director is in town and "discovers" Peck's photos and immediately organizes a NYC gallery show. The photos are a hit with the condescending super cool art crowd because of their depiction of what they see as trashy people/situations (culturally challenged is their term)

Peck photographs those elitists at his Gallery Show and then has his own Gallery showing in his home town of Baltimore (where else?) where they are appalled to see themselves depicted as the "trash".

Pecker_movie_poster.jpg

OK, so the film is not for everybody. There are no big laughs, lots of weird absurdity and some gratuitous nudity. But at it's core it's a loving charactor study of what makes people "real" and who are posers, it's John Waters. If you like his work, this one will resonate because it has a genuine message that many can relate to. It's a quick moving 90 minutes, the way a film should be.

Note: when the NYC art crowd comes to Baltimore there are several shots of Baltimore row houses. I believe one of the blocks shown was Johnny Eck's house. I completely understand John Waters' love for Baltimore, it's one of my favorite cities.

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15 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

The first title that comes to mind for me in re: 1983 is JAWS 3-D. 
I saw it THREE TIMES in the theater!!! (I was six years old)

Good lord! What did you do to merit that kind of punishment?

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25 minutes ago, Citizen Ed said:

[in re: my seeing JAWS 3-D three times in the theater at the age of six in 1983}

Good lord! What did you do to merit that kind of punishment?

believe it or not, IT WAS A REWARD!!!!! (for doing well on THE SWIM TEAM no less!)

one of the magical things about childhood is the BIZARRE and ANACHRONISTIC THINGS that FASCINATE and ENTHRALL us when we are children (ie, when we are not fully formed intellectually and are most open to the raw, psychological cues and subtext of certain films or shows or whatever- that SPEAK to something latent within the still-forming mind and we LATCH ON TO IT like a blankie of a sort. ) as such, we usually don't see what ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE, with their jaded (honest) worldviews and mostly fully-formed brains do- we see magic where magic most decidedly is not.

See the source image

it's very much the same thing with people who have a deep and abiding fondness for, say,  JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS or THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL or any number of movies and shows that I, as someone born in 1978, do not  because I did not see them when I was a HIGHLY impressionable child of 6.

i have had, honestly, a lifelong obsession with JAWS 3-D even though, YES, I got the memo a looooong time back that it is NOT a good movie.

In fact, it is quite bad.

And yet I love it.

And it is dear to me. And I would sell my mother for the chance to see it on the big screen AND in 3-D and with deleted scenes.

 

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

believe it or not, IT WAS A REWARD!!!!! (for doing well on THE SWIM TEAM no less!)

one of the magical things about childhood is the BIZARRE and ANACHRONISTIC THINGS that FASCINATE and ENTHRALL us when we are children (ie, when we are not fully formed intellectually and are most open to the raw, psychological cues and subtext of certain films or shows or whatever- that SPEAK to something latent within the still-forming mind and we LATCH ON TO IT like a blankie of a sort. ) as such, we usually don't see what ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE, with their jaded (honest) worldviews and mostly fully-formed brains do- we see magic where magic most decidedly is not.

See the source image

it's very much the same thing with people who have a deep and abiding fondness for, say,  JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS or THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL or any number of movies and shows that I, as someone born in 1978, do not  because I did not see them when I was a HIGHLY impressionable child of 6.

i have had, honestly, a lifelong obsession with JAWS 3-D even though, YES, I got the memo a looooong time back that it is NOT a good movie.

In fact, it is quite bad.

And yet I love it.

And it is dear to me. And I would sell my mother for the chance to see it on the big screen AND in 3-D and with deleted scenes.

 

ROFL!

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9 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Last night I watched the end of Wonder Woman 1984.  I could have seen the whole thing on demand, but I just switched after Jeopardy went off the air.  The first one was much better, even if it toyed/tampered with mythology, the first one was, which took place during WWI.  The Villain wasn't as good as Ares (the actor playing Ares - the Werewolf from Harry Potter? - was also better).  It was depressing and, during some of the fight scenes, I felt like Indiana Jones when he cuts short the guy doing maneuvers with his sword and just shoots him to save time.  Spoiler alert ahead - best part of movie was at the end, when credits started to roll, and you switch to a future time with Lynda Carter (played WW on TV) is WW in the future.  Also, for a role model for women, Gail Gadot/WW shed too many tears.  Kristin Wiig wasn't a great nemesis (just so so!).

 

I have never seen Kristen Wiig where she was EVER more than just so so. I really don’t understand why there was such a push to make her “happen”

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39 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have never seen Kristen Wiig where she was EVER more than just so so. I really don’t understand why there was such a push to make her “happen”

With the female director (and no ponderous Zack Snyder co-scripting as lifted up the first film's gravitas), they were trying to depict Wiig's character as both the "Nerdy scientist turned villain"--in the spirit of Jim Carrey from Batman Forever, Uma Thurman from Batman & Robin, and Jamie Foxx from The Amazing Spiderman 2--AND Diana's chik-flik "Unliberated best friend who's jealous of our heroine's active/self-confident sense of identity, and makes bad decisions trying to grab a piece of it for herself".  

Why they got a bad overpraised post-Tina-Fey 10's female SNL comic to play a major DC Comics villain was more likely the latter, than a combination of the two.

If you meant why they're trying to make Wiig's career happen, that's unfortunately a product of her trying to make her own career happen, as we saw from Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021).  (I remember the B&SGtVDM trailer was so convinced that we KNEW and loved who these characters were already, I thought, "I'm sorry, have we met?  Are they supposed to be some running current SNL sketch, or some popular Australian sitcom, or something??")

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9 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have never seen Kristen Wiig where she was EVER more than just so so. I really don’t understand why there was such a push to make her “happen”

So you won't be buying  the "Little Hands" skirt . .  

pencil_skirt,x1000,front-c,378,0,871,871

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25 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

So you won't be buying  the "Little Hands" skirt . .  

pencil_skirt,x1000,front-c,378,0,871,871

I ESPECIALLY HATED that character!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps- I know WIIG has a lot of fans, and if you’re one,that is just fine.

however, I just CANNOT and WILL NOT with her.

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34 minutes ago, EricJ said:

With the female director (and no ponderous Zack Snyder co-scripting as lifted up the first film's gravitas), they were trying to depict Wiig's character as both the "Nerdy scientist turned villain"--in the spirit of Jim Carrey from Batman Forever, Uma Thurman from Batman & Robin, and Jamie Foxx from The Amazing Spiderman 2--AND Diana's chik-flik "Unliberated best friend who's jealous of our heroine's active/self-confident lifestyle, and makes bad decisions trying to grab a piece of it for herself".  

Why they got a bad overpraised post-Tina-Fey 10's female SNL comic to play a major DC Comics villain was more likely the latter, than a combination of the two.

If you meant why they're trying to make Wiig's career happen, that's unfortunately a product of her trying to make her own career happen, as we saw from Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021).  (I remember the B&SGtVDM trailer was so convinced that we KNEW and loved who these characters were already, I thought, "I'm sorry, have we met?  Are they supposed to be some running current SNL sketch, or some popular Australian sitcom, or something??")

TINA FEY Another one who chaps my ****. A lot of her work is extremely problematic. 
 

Oddly enough, one of the weird things about living in the upside down world of the Trump presidency was that for the first time in 20 years “Saturday night live” managed to (on occasion) be pretty funny. (At least their political sketches)

i even laughed out loud a handful of times.

I’m sure it’s back to being the worst thing ever though, and to be perfectly honest with you I’m fine with that.

If it means never ever going back through the looking glass again then I will gladly take my SNL not at all funny and my President not a Fascist.

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

believe it or not, IT WAS A REWARD!!!!! (for doing well on THE SWIM TEAM no less!)

one of the magical things about childhood is the BIZARRE and ANACHRONISTIC THINGS that FASCINATE and ENTHRALL us when we are children (ie, when we are not fully formed intellectually and are most open to the raw, psychological cues and subtext of certain films or shows or whatever- that SPEAK to something latent within the still-forming mind and we LATCH ON TO IT like a blankie of a sort. ) as such, we usually don't see what ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE, with their jaded (honest) worldviews and mostly fully-formed brains do- we see magic where magic most decidedly is not.

See the source image

it's very much the same thing with people who have a deep and abiding fondness for, say,  JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS or THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL or any number of movies and shows that I, as someone born in 1978, do not  because I did not see them when I was a HIGHLY impressionable child of 6.

i have had, honestly, a lifelong obsession with JAWS 3-D even though, YES, I got the memo a looooong time back that it is NOT a good movie.

In fact, it is quite bad.

And yet I love it.

And it is dear to me. And I would sell my mother for the chance to see it on the big screen AND in 3-D and with deleted scenes.

 

Okay. You nailed me on House on Haunted Hill. I didn't see it on its release (think I may have still been in the pupae stage at that point) but when the Kool Ghoul played it on Saturday Night Scare-In  when I was 6 or 7, I fell in love. 

I watch it now and realize it really wasn't that good of a horror film. Still though I love it just the same as I did back then and I'll watch it every time it airs. It's a trusted old friend. So I know just where you're coming from.

...and there's something apropos about your reward for doing well on the swim team being a giant man eating shark movie 😂

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20 hours ago, EricJ said:

I notice the conspicuous, almost criminal, absence of Psycho II, The Grey Fox, Christine, Richard Pryor Here & Now (checking in his post-rehab a year after Sunset Strip), The Man with Two Brains, Brainstorm (mostly for James Horner's score and Christopher Walken trying to play a "normal" hero), Koyaanisqatsi, Videodrome, The Keep, and Krull....KRULL, sir, have you any excuse?   😠

And Blue Thunder...WHY did I love this movie so much at the time?  (Oh, right, Roy Scheider and a post-"Stripes" Warren Oates, that's why. 😁  )

It's a Paramount orphan, it's on Amazon/streaming more often than the original Saturday Night Fever.   And both are saying something.

(And whatever orphans are temporarily available on Amazon are probably already permanently available on Tubi.)

i do have a copy of the Grey Fox lying around that I need to see yet. Brainstorm was only OK. The rest I have not seen yet......

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3 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

i do have a copy of the Grey Fox lying around that I need to see yet. Brainstorm was only OK. The rest I have not seen yet......

PSYCHO II is surprisingly not bad at all. 
(and I liked KRULL too. )

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18 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I ESPECIALLY HATED that character!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps- I know WIIG has a lot of fans, and if you’re one,that is just fine.

however, I just CANNOT and WILL NOT with her.

You would not, could not?

Kristen Wigg is so-so. If it weren't for Kate McKinnon that show wouldn't have been watchable since the Billie Crystal/Eddie Murphy (Gumby) days.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have never seen Kristen Wiig where she was EVER more than just so so. I really don’t understand why there was such a push to make her “happen”

DITTO. Couldnt stand her on SNL. And was amazed when she left and actually had a movie career! (Needless to say, I haven't seen any of them!)

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34 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

PSYCHO II is surprisingly not bad at all. 
(and I liked KRULL too. )

Psycho II was one of the early scripts for Tom "No, NOT the Spiderman guy" Holland, who went on to write and/or direct Fright Night, Child's Play, Cloak & Dagger, and Thinner...The guy was every reason why big-budget 80's studio horror was cool.  😎  And directed by Richard Franklin, who had interned with Hitchcock, as seen in his own Australian thrillers like "Patrick".

Krull gets decade-shamed by the New Kids, and has its storytelling shortcomings, but is one of the few Essential films that symbolize what the 80's Fantasy Summer of Love meant to a generation:  Gorgeous design, great score, and good actors treating a generic D&D adventure with a complete and earnest absence of irony.

And Videodrome is probably the essential David Cronenberg film, right at the tipping point between his early squicky Canadian B-films, and his later pretentious "psychological" pictures with Crash...Let's just say "Cronenberg meets slimy early-80's James Woods", and leave it at that.  Although Cronenberg did give us one of the best big-studio Stephen King pictures ever made that year with The Dead Zone, within a month of John Carpenter acing Christine.

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46 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I ESPECIALLY HATED that character!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps- I know WIIG has a lot of fans, and if you’re one,that is just fine.

however, I just CANNOT and WILL NOT with her.

Believe me, she has many "non-fans"!

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