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4 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

No worries here.

I'm not the marrying kind.

Well, I personally thought at the time that those two were meant for each other. I think this place is more laid back that the other film groups I was at. There was one time that there was some militantly offensive modern film and I found out about its beastly ending (involving cannibals and an ill-fated baby) before its release. I blabbed and I was a pariah for over 3 years.....

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1 hour ago, King Rat said:

As much as I hate to disagree with both Lorna and CinIntl, I like The Hours and feel a deep personal connection to it.

 

I think I read this 3 or 4 times and kept thinking "who the HELL is Clint?" before I saw what you meant (abbreviation.)

it's cool. I actually liked the VIRGINIA WOOLFE segments, but haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated the modern day scenes with MERYL and CLAIRE DANES and NIGHT OF THE LIVING ED HARRIS.

(But I admire your admiration of the film and I salute you for it, Lord knows the Boards would be dull if we all always agreed.)

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4 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Well, I personally thought at the time that those two were meant for each other. I think this place is more laid back that the other film groups I was at. There was one time that there was some militantly offensive modern film and I found out about its beastly ending (involving cannibals and an ill-fated baby) before its release. I blabbed and I was a pariah for over 3 years.....

ah, MOTHER.

I wish they'd bring back the [spoiler] function. it was a way we had  on the boards here of hiding text you had to click on to reveal

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I think I read this 3 or 4 times and kept thinking "who the HELL is Clint?" before I saw what you meant (abbreviation.)

it's cool. I actually liked the VIRGINIA WOOLFE segments, but haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated the modern day scenes with MERYL and CLAIRE DANES and NIGHT OF THE LIVING ED HARRIS.

(But I admire your admiration of the film and I salute you for it, Lord knows the Boards would be dull if we all always agreed.)

Ed Harris brings back another memory of mine. Someone who signed their posts for years: "Meryl was great in the scene where Richard [the Ed Harris character] killed himself by falling out of the [spoiler]window[/spoiler]

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47 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

MERYL AT HER FINEST STARTS AT 1:36

Uh, we know you're on a roll for clips and all-caps gags, Lorn, but if you're trying to tell us that gay people have an extremely explainable obsession with seeing Meryl Streep do dignity-goofing things in movies...we know.  😛

"Mamma Mia" sort of clued us in, long ago.

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1 minute ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Ugh, could not stand SHE-DEVIL. Not a fan of Meryl Streep, and Roseanne was never one of my favorites.

The scene where she lashes out at the kids and fires her young stud of a butler was a hoot though, I must admit.

Thankfully, it was the movie that shut down the insufferably "quirky" 80's chemical factory that was director Susan Seidelman's free ride after Desperately Seeking Susan.

And, just like other "quirky" indie directors that fell on their face after getting that big mainstream studio gig (ahemhudsonhawkgreenhornet), Seidelman sank out of sight afterwards, and was last seen directing episodes of that insufferably over-the-top Electric Company "remake" on PBS a while ago.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Someone who signed their posts for years:

Man, I give you credit for your tolerance level.

Sorry to butt in, but I have to say, I really enjoyed INTO THE WOODS when I borrowed the DVD from the library. Modern musicals often leave me cold but I liked it OK. It wasn't great-but I chalked it up to being a DVD instead of a real performance, which in my mind is always preferred.

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1 minute ago, TikiSoo said:

Man, I give you credit for your tolerance level.

Sorry to butt in, but I have to say, I really enjoyed INTO THE WOODS when I borrowed the DVD from the library. Modern musicals often leave me cold but I liked it OK. It wasn't great-but I chalked it up to being a DVD instead of a real performance, which in my mind is always preferred.

I know they filmed the original stage version at some point in the late 80s. It aired on PBS in 1991, and the DVD of that is out there somewhere. I guess, with Into the Woods, i was disappointed because I knew the music from the cast recording, and I had the actual script of the original musical, and it never fully pulled together like the Broadway version did, and quite frankly the Broadway cast recording was a livelier take on the music.

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Magnificent Doll 1946 Produced by Universal  .Directed by  Frank Borzage.  Ginger Rogers David Niven Burgess Meredith and Horace (Stephen) McNally is the short lived first husband. Historical drama about Dolly Payne(Madison) who married future president James Madison, long and quite boring  film. 90 minutes 5.5/10

 

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Silver City  1951 Paramount   . Directed by  Byron Haskin  .Edmund O'Brien Yvonne De Carlo Barry Fitzgerald. Accountant barred from his area,wants to start a new life doing the right thing.ok western, the chase going through  a sawmill is dangerously crazy..anyway it is original. Nice Technicolor 90 minutes  6/10

 

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18 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I know they filmed the original stage version at some point in the late 80s. It aired on PBS in 1991, and the DVD of that is out there somewhere. I guess, with Into the Woods, i was disappointed because I knew the music from the cast recording, and I had the actual script of the original musical, and it never fully pulled together like the Broadway version did, and quite frankly the Broadway cast recording was a livelier take on the music.

Most film adaptations of stage musicals fall a little flat when compared to the original.    I don't know of any musical that's made the stage to screen transition without some alteration (cut songs/scenes, added songs/scenes).  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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Rebel in Town 1956 Produced by Bel Air Productions..Directed by  Alfred  Werker.John Payne Ruth Roman J.Carroll Naish Ben Johnson.Produced by a tight cost production coe,filmed in b&w,story and acting is ok,but we notice the budget limitations.78 minutes- apparently dvd release has 99 minutes-I cannot confirm this. 6.5/10

 

 

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He Stayed for Breakfast 1940 Columbia   . Directed by Alexander Hall. Melvyn Douglas Loretta Young.A bad copy of Ninotchka (Douglas was also in Ninotchka for MGM) Douglas is a communist with Young trying to 'convert 'him,Not funny ,bad all the way a major disappointment with these 2 big stars then..Copy screened was 86 minutes.  5/10

 

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I can't with JAMES CORDEN.

Understood. Can't think of the guy without remembering the Ricky Gervais comment from the Golden Globes. Haven't seen the Meryl version of Into the Woods, only the PBS filming that CinemaInternational mentioned. That was good, though I had seen an amateur production which had stronger actors in a few roles, especially the Baker.

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His Woman  1931 Paramount.Directed by  Edward Sloman. Gary Cooper Claudette Colbert  . Dated early talkie,Cooper is a 'tough' boat captain(all the other sailors looks stronger then their very thin captain) protected a baby he adopt,Colbert is a tramp on board to take care of the baby to get a free passage as ordered by Cooper . Gary is very stiff,higher mark for the film because we can see the rarely shown right side of Colbert. It was nicknamed the dark side of the moon by cameramen later on. 76 minutes 5.50 /10

 

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History is Made at Night  1937 Produced by Walter Wanger thru United Artists .Directed by  Frank Borzage .Charles Boyer Jean Arthur Colin Clive. Very good romantic drama,excellent cast ,Story somewhat reminiscent of the Titanic but done 60 years earlier  97 minutes 7.5 /10

 

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Café Metropole 1937 20TH Century Fox  .Directed by  Edward H Griffith. Loretta Young Tyrone Power Adolphe Menjou.Nice comedy with Power as a cheap,broken crook,Menjou a bigger one but with money and Young looking for love.Pleasant comedy,Menjou is always good. 83 minutes 6.75 /10

 

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The Amazing Mr Williams 1939 Columbia  .Directed by  Alexander Hall. Melvyn Douglas Joan Blondell Ruth Donnelly .Very good fast paced cop comedy with Douglas always delaying his appointments and wedding plans because of his job as a detective and his boss. Blondell is stood up many times as there is several investigations going on.Everybody is good,Donnelly is very funny. Hard to believe Alexander Hall would direct Douglas again the next year in the very bad He Stayed for Breakfast for Columbia also. 80 minutes 7/10  

 

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Ugh, could not stand SHE-DEVIL. Not a fan of Meryl Streep, and Roseanne was never one of my favorites.

The scene where she lashes out at the kids and fires her young stud of a butler was a hoot though, I must admit.

The British novel on which it is based is MUCH DARKER and even SUPERNATURAL (The character of Ruth *literally* becomes a devil in order to avenge herself on Mary Fisher. ) 

another story ripe for a remake.

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42 minutes ago, King Rat said:

Understood. Can't think of the guy without remembering the Ricky Gervais comment from the Golden Globes. Haven't seen the Meryl version of Into the Woods, only the PBS filming that CinemaInternational mentioned. That was good, though I had seen an amateur production which had stronger actors in a few roles, especially the Baker.

WHAT DID GERVAIS SAY?

I honestly think there are entire chat rooms and communities on the Internet dedicated to speculating aloud as to just why James Corden has been forced on us as a People, Speculation ranges from a deal with the devil to agreeing to betray us to the robot overlords who run the matrix.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

I know they filmed the original stage version at some point in the late 80s. It aired on PBS in 1991, and the DVD of that is out there somewhere. I guess, with Into the Woods, i was disappointed because I knew the music from the cast recording, and I had the actual script of the original musical, and it never fully pulled together like the Broadway version did, and quite frankly the Broadway cast recording was a livelier take on the music.

I think this 1991 PBS version to wit you refer is on YouTube in full.

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1/4 Bridget Jones' Diary (Miramax, 2001)
Source: TCM

Nakano apparently watched 15 movies while I was typing this, as my laptop kept going BONK! I certainly lack his (?) gift for brevity. Apologies for being long-winded.

First, an editorial. I'm climbing up on my soapbox now. Skip to the next paragraph if you only want to read about the movie. Somebody on these boards started a thread to complain that TCM was showing this film only a week after it aired on Showtime or one of those premium cable channels. It was a relatively unusual complaint for these message boards. The same poster came back later and said he liked the movie. He just disliked that TCM was showing it in such close proximity to another movie channel. I did find it somewhat refreshing that the complaint was not about the movie only being 20 years old, but I still found the complaint to be part of an overall trend where I feel like these have in the last couple of years become the 'TCM Sucks" message boards moreso than just the TCM Message Boards, as a small but very vocal contingent of posters choose to use 99 per cent of their time to voice unhappiness wtih TCM. "The format/graphics/hosts/political viewpoint/movie selections have changed, so I hate TCM." Or geting relatively equal time "NOTHING has changed - they're still showing the same damn movies! - so I hate TCM." It has by and large made these message boards a relatively dreary place to visit for me., as I often feel like a lonely voice in the wilderness attempting to defend or at least explain (and how much do I really know? I'm not privy to what goes on in board meetings. I never joined Backlot or got an invitation to join that other double secret password club whose name I've fogotten but I've seen people on here mention on occasion) TCM's actions. For the life of me, I don't know why people that unhappy with the product continue to watch the channel so much. I think it's just so they have fuel to come back on here and complain some more and that the very act of complaining brings a certain group of people great pleasure. As for the movie in question, my best guess is schedules are set a long time in advance and without much or any foreknowledge of where else a property might be airing, particularly if it's airing on a network owned by another media conglomerate than the one that owns TCM. I don't happen to get Showtime or whatever the other channel was, and I don't care to pay for it, so I was happy to turn on TCM and find a movie I enjoyed that fit comfortably into the "accents" theme, and I said as much in that other thread. Okay, stepping off soapbox. Now on to the movie.

Bridget Jones' Diary was a '90s novel by Helen Fielding, a first-person narrative in the form of the diary entries of a single woman just past 30 who works for a British publishing company who in some ways "has it all" but suffers from insecurity regarding her weight and her bad habits and still yearns for the fairytale concept of happiness provided through romantic attachment. I never read the novel, but I remember reading quite a bit about it at the time. As I recall, it sold well here in the States, but in England, it was an earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting cultural phenomenon the likes of which that country hadn't seen since, I don't know, Dickens? Much more than the story of one woman, it was heralded as nothing less than the definitive take on single womanhood of a certain age in the Western world at the turn of the millennium. I think guessing games about who might be cast in the title role in the film version became something of a national obsession.

Needless to say, Brits were less than thrilled when Texas-born Renee Zellwegger got the job of playing Britain's most famous  fictional female, and there was negative feedback something akin to the revulsion Anne Rice initially expressed over the casting of Tom Curise as L'estat in Inteview with the Vampire, except multiplied by 60 million people. 

Personal aside: to the best of my knowledge, I've never met Zellwegger, but we did both attend the University of Texas at Austin at the same time, and I like to fantasize that we shared one of those freshman classes taken simultanously by 600 students and held in auditorium that were quite common at the university in those days. I believe I'm two years older than her. I mentioned in another thread that I attended both high school and college with Matthew McConaughay, though I'm 99.9% certain he has no idea who I am. McConaughay and Zellwegger worked together on an extremely indie Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel when they were both UT students (and during which time I assume I was sitting in my dorm room WATCHING movies). I think it was unreleased for a couple of years until an attempt was made to capitalize on his exploding fame. She didn't rocket to stardom quite as quickly as he (she has a bit part in Dazed and Confused, the movie that first got him national attention), but she was in Reality Bites and Love and a .45 and Empire Records beofre she became a household name in Jerry Maguire, her "you had me at hello" line becoming almost as widely quoted as " All right all right, all right". Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr., got Oscar nominations (and Gooding a win); Zellwegger did not, but her career path was set after that.

Anyway, a running theme of the month is accents. It looked like the entire UK was hoping and praying for Zellwegger's utter failure, but as best as I can remember, she pulled off the part successfully enough that there was something approaching grudging acceptance.  Curiously, I didn't see the movie in the theaters. This TCM viewing my actually have been my first. But I did catch the two sequels, which certainly gave me an idea of what the original was like. The third film replaced Hugh Grant with an American love interest in Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey. Otherwise, they all had the same conventional romantic triangle plot, with some personal quirks of the title character thrown in with the intent of making her more endearing. IMDB tells us Zellwegger put on 25 pounds and worked at a London publsihing firm for a month, apparently keeping a photo of then-boyfriend Jim Carrey on her desk the whole time - her co-workers were too polite to ask her about it. Also, she stuck with her British accent for the entirety of filming, including down time. There's an anecdote that Grant reacted initially with shock when Zellwegger used her real voice for the first time at the wrap party, thinking to himself "What the hell is that?"

So, in a nutshell: Bridget Jones meets cute with a man named D'arcy (Colin Firth) at a Christmas party thrown by her parents. The in-joke is Fielding named the character for the guy in Pride and Prejudice, most recently played by Firth in, I think, a BBC miniseries. and so, rather than the torches-and-pitchforks reaction caused by Zellwegger's casting, Brits were quite satisified that Firth was going to get play another D'arcy. It's actually "re-meet" cute: we're told by all the older generation at the party that the pair grew up on the same street and that at the age of four, Bridget ran naked through the wading pool of D'arcy, then eight, an event D'arcy claims not to remember (we later find out he does). He's at the party wearing an ugly Christmas sweater that 20 years later seems to have become fashionable. They don't hit it off - she jokes about New Year's resolutions while holding a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other. He lets loose on what he really thinks of her, unaware that she's in earshot, and it appears he's torpedoed any chance of romance.

Soon after, Bridget begins a workplace flirtation with her boss (Grant), initiated by leering glances between office windows and a suggestive exchange of emails, all of which was apparently totally cool in 2001 but would get the Grant character "Me Tooed" in modern times. A much-talked about scene is when the two get amorous for the first time and begin peeling off their clothes, she initially not remembering she's put on form-fitting granny panties that are intended to hold her figure when fully dressed but provoke only laughter when underwear is all she's wearing. 

Might be a good time here to interject that Bridget in states of half-dress and undress are a recurring theme in the film, and Zellwegger is game for these. In addition to the aforementioned panties scene, there's a party where all the guests come dressed either as members of the clergy or wh*res (the movie seems to imply this is a real British thing), and Bridget goes full Playboy bunny complete with rabbit ears and a cotton tail.  And then the final scene when she goes chasing after D'arcy in her underwear.

Bridget's boss proves to be a far-from-reliable boyfriend, and Grant seems to relish getting to play a full-on cad. They break up halfway through the movie, and work becomes awkward enough Bridget has a career transition to TV reporter (there are some amusing scenes in which her attempts to look like the ideal job candidate go terribly wrong, until she admits in one inteview  she left her last job because she was "shagging the boss" ... and promptly gets hired. Made me think of Morgan Freeman finally saying he doesn't give a sh*t what the parole board does in Shawshank and thereby immediately gets paroled). It's through her new job that D'arcy, who's a lawyer (barrister do they say?) re-enters her life, and just as he and Bridget begin to get chummy again, Grant's Daniel also re-enters the picture. There's a running subplot indicating there's bad blood between the two male leads concerning a long-ago incidient involving a woman they both knew. Bridget hears one version of the story, and anyone who's ever watched five seconds of any romantic comedy will know that this isn't the true version, which is only revealed in the final act. Meanwhile, the two men get into a protracted fistfight, the gag being that they're both too old and professional for this sort of thing. It's a set piece I think intended to make the male viewers happy, but this male viewer could have done without it, frankly.

Things finally veer into extremely formulaic romantic comedy territory including a drive to the airport to try to stop someone from catching a plane and the aforementioned chase through the streets of London in underwear. It's pretty obvious how the romantic triangle is going to resolve itself, so much so that the movie seems to lose interest in the triangle and keeps postponing the final moment through a series of misunderstandings and a partial reading by D'arcy of the titualar diary. It drags the movie out another 15 minutes more than it needed to be in my opinion. Anwway, it's not the end, as Bridget goes through the romantic triangle thing again with Firth and Grant in Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason and then Firth and Dempsey in Bridget Jones' Baby.

Overall, I was charmed by the performances if somewhat bored by the formulaic story. i found Zellwegger to be successful on pretty much all fronts - she's funny, sexy, flawed, neurotic and achingly romantic. Not sure how well she syncs up with the character as envisioned by Fielding in the novel, but it works for me. I don't have much to say about the accent, even though the theme was accents. She didn't ruin my suspension of disbelief. Firth intentionally seems like a bit of a drip early on but gets to go full on object of desire as the movie proceeds. Grant was my favorite of the three leads. It's funny - I recall renting movies to watch with my mom in the Blockbuster days, and she would refuse to watch anything with Grant, because she found him "so annoying" - I'm unsure if she meant his acting ability or the scandals he got into in real life. It kind of made me sad I never tried to get her to watch Florence Foster Jenkins, in which he also plays a philanderer but one with a pathos-heavy backstory regarding his relationship with his wife. I thought he was fantastic in that movie, and I've heard raves about the post-credits musical number he gets to do in Paddington 2, of all things. He's great fun here, if a bit one-dimensional. I'm unfamiliar with most of the rest of the cast other than Jim Broadbent as Bridget's sad-sack father, who has his own minor storyline regarding his wife apparently leaving him. He's quite touching in his handful of scenes. Bridget has the standard Brit rom-com group of besties who each have one character trait - there's a woman who says the "F" word a lot and a man who had one hit pop song years ago and lives in a constant state of quasi-celebrity (makes me think of Grant in that movie he did with Drew Barrymore).

From what I've read, the movie leaves out quite a bit of the book, typically a source of unhappiness for those who read a book first, but most IMDB reviewers seem to think it captures the essence of the novel. Scenes like the aforementioned fight scene indicate it's striving to not be thought of merely as a "chick flick". I don't know if everyone in London has such a posh accent (speaking of accents) and snow on Christmas Eve might be a bit much, but it is late in the movie, and you're supposed to be a blubbering mess by this time.

Directed by Sharon Maguire, who took the second movie off but returned for the third one. She also directed Incendiary with Michelle Williams and Ewan MacGregor and the Disney comedy Godmothered with Isla Fisher and Jillian Bell. There's a bit of ballyhoo that all three movies were directed by women, but it's worth noting that the screenplay for this one is by a man, Richard Curtis, of Four Weddings and a FuneralNotting Hill and Pirate Radio. You can defnitely hear echoes of those other movies in the scenes where Bridget dines or goes to a bar with her friends. And Curtis and Grant clearly like working together.

Total films seen this year: 9

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) - IMDb

 

 

 

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