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I Just Watched...


speedracer5
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16 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I shared your opinions on Twentieth Century when dealing with it solo, didn't really find it very funny.. I do know they turned it into a Broadway musical in the late 70s, and I can vouch from the cast recording that the music in that show was delightful, mock-operetta style. The musical starred John Cullum, Madeline Kahn, Kevin Kline, and Imogene Coca.

in re: TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934)

I know this is ironic coming from someone with a PENCHANT FOR WRITING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, but...

I really wish EVERYONE in TWENTIETH CENTURY would STOP YELLING THEIR LINES, like, besides AUNTIE MAME (1958)- i am hard pressed to think of another golden age film where SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE really NEEDED TO TELL EVERYONE INVOLVED TO (SERIOUSLY) USE THEIR GD INSIDE VOICES AND STOP SHOUTING.

but for some reason, no one did.

Like, talkies had been around for a solid few years- surely someone had figured out that THERE WAS NO NEED TO SHOUT.

anyhow, as much as I don't like TWENTIETH CENTURY, I think BARRYMORE is BRILLIANT in it, it's a rare **1/2 star film that contains a FOUR STAR PERFORMANCE and I wish he had been nominated for, and won, the BEST ACTOR OSCAR.

 

ps- tangentially related...

 

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i apologize for bringing this up, but I feel somewhat oddly compelled.

I watched JAWS (in English) for the 812th time; I am taking the time to mention this because- while I own multiple DVDS of it and the sequels- I watched it on THE SYFY CHANNEL [on demand on HULU] and I must give them a big thank you and shout out because:

1. the film was not edited and even included the "fight of the idiot fishermen" scene

2. there were breaks for commercials, BUT THERE WERE NO COMMERCIALS!!!!! The screen would fade to black and say "ad break" for two seconds, THEN GO RIGHT BACK TO THE MOVIE, and honestly, it ADDED SOMETHING TO THE FILM, like it genuinely had a cool effect the way it happened at the end of scenes, for a lack of better way of saying it: it was neat.

but mostly

3. UNLIKE THE DVDS it was NOT "LETTERBOXED"- it was the full picture- filling the entire TV screen, and I cannot tell you what a difference that makes in the viewing experience.

ps- still one Hell of a movie after all these years.

See the source image"Ah, bonjour messieurs, alors nous continuons notre danse, n’est-ce pas ?"

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On 7/10/2022 at 8:40 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

i apologize for bringing this up, but I feel somewhat oddly compelled.

I watched JAWS (in English) for the 812th time; I am taking the time to mention this because- while I own multiple DVDS of it and the sequels- I watched it on THE SYFY CHANNEL [on demand on HULU] and I must give them a big thank you and shout out because:

1. the film was not edited and even included the "fight of the idiot fishermen" scene

2. there were breaks for commercials, BUT THERE WERE NO COMMERCIALS!!!!! The screen would fade to black and say "ad break" for two seconds, THEN GO RIGHT BACK TO THE MOVIE, and honestly, it ADDED SOMETHING TO THE FILM, like it genuinely had a cool effect the way it happened at the end of scenes, for a lack of better way of saying it: it was neat.

but mostly

3. UNLIKE THE DVDS it was NOT "LETTERBOXED"- it was the full picture- filling the entire TV screen, and I cannot tell you what a difference that makes in the viewing experience.

ps- still one Hell of a movie after all these years.

See the source image"Ah, bonjour messieurs, alors nous continuons notre danse, n’est-ce pas ?"

Jaws is the ultimate 4th of July film. That’s my family and I watched during the holiday weekend. On the actual 4th, I wore my Jaws shirt that features the graffitied Welcome to Amity Island billboard. 

RIP Alex Kintner

Have you seen the Robot Chicken sketch where Jaws attends the town hall meeting in a disguise (wig, sunglasses, and mustache) and tells the town “I say we let him go!”

4-BA770-C1-C01-C-4-CBD-A35-C-59-C7-F4663

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31 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Jaws is the ultimate 4th of July film. That’s my family and I watched during the holiday weekend. On the actual 4th, I wore my Jaws shirt that features the graffitied Welcome to Amity Island billboard. 

RIP Alex Kintner

Have you seen the Robot Chicken sketch where Jaws attends the town hall meeting in a disguise (wig, sunglasses, and mustache) and tells the town “I say we let him go!”

4-BA770-C1-C01-C-4-CBD-A35-C-59-C7-F4663

OH MY GOD I HAVE NOT!!!!

And I love ROBOT CHICKEN!!!!!

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40 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

RIP Alex Kintner

The shark victim that I feel the sorriest for is THE MAN IN THE ESTUARY aka THE SCOUT INSTRUCTOR** aka "HEY YOU GUYS OKAY OVER DEH?" aka"WHAULL IN DAH SHEET AND MAKE IT FAaaah-ST" aka GUY NO ONE ASKED FOR SAILING ADVICE WHO SHOWS UP AT THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT.

**I did not realize until my 789th viewing of JAWS that HE IS THE SAME GUY coaching the BOY SCOUTS ACROSS THE HARBOR for their marathon training in the early scene where MAYOR VAUGHN says "you say barracuda..." on the ferry.

See the source image

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

The shark victim that I feel the sorriest for is THE MAN IN THE ESTUARY aka THE SCOUT INSTRUCTOR** aka "HEY YOU GUYS OKAY OVER DEH?" aka"WHAULL IN DAH SHEET AND MAKE IT FAaaah-ST" aka GUY NO ONE ASKED FOR SAILING ADVICE WHO SHOWS UP AT THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT.

**I did not realize until my 789th viewing of JAWS that HE IS THE SAME GUY coaching the BOY SCOUTS ACROSS THE HARBOR for their marathon training in the early scene where MAYOR VAUGHN says "you say barracuda..." on the ferry.

See the source image

Yes! I also feel bad for the dog who disappears right before Alex Kintner. I’m glad they spared us having to see Jaws eating him. 

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13 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Yes! I also feel bad for the dog who disappears right before Alex Kintner. I’m glad they spared us having to see Jaws eating him. 

I chose to believe that  PIPIT survives**. (There’s no mention of his HER death anywhere, And all we know from what we are shown is that he’s not in that exact spot the moment his owner looks for him.)

** I have a very special place in my heart for black labs. They are THE GOODEST BOYS [AND GIRLS]   ! !!!

 

EDIT: OMG YOU GUYS!!!! APPARENTLY I MISGENDERED PIPIT!!! SHORT FILM IS POSTED  BELOW!!!!

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(Also I have known and loved one particular black lab who could give the shark from JAWS a run for its money when it came to sneak attacks/chomping down on food/OBSESSION WITH EATING- frankly, the minute he smelled fish, it might have been game over for Bruce.)

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Had a Covid scare and stayed locked in my room for a day watching films.  Have been going through the Noir in Color collection over on Criterion.  So far I've watched for the first time:

The River's Edge (1957) Starts off with a gruesome murder, but i liked this one.  Stars Anthony Quinn 

Man of the West (1958) One of Gary Cooper's last films and IMO one of his best Westerns.  

Party Girl (1958) Nick Ray feature that was supposedly a favorite of the New Wave auteurs.  I didn't care much for it TBH.

I Died a Thousand Times (1955) Needless remake of High Sierra with Jack Palance.

Accused of Murder (1956) Another murder mystery but didn't like it very much.  Acting was bad and the love story felt forced.

Black Widow (1954) Starring Ginger Rogers and Van Heflin in a murder mystery which had me guessing to the very end.  Enjoyed.

Desert Fury (1947) Eddie Muller called this the gayest movie ever produced in Hollywood's golden era. A career criminal returns to a small town outside of vegas and attracts the daughter of his former fling/partner.  Pretty good.

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) Psychological thriller around a dangerously jealous wife.  Didn't know where the film was going until about halfway in and enjoyed it.

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1 minute ago, Shank Asu said:

Party Girl (1958) Nick Ray feature that was supposedly a favorite of the New Wave auteurs.  I didn't care much for it TBH.

Yeah, this one stinks. (and i try to be generous to classic films.)

THE LUSTY MEN from 1952 is a more interesting NIC RAY film that's not one of his better knowns if you're looking for something to counterract how dull PARTY GIRL is.

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Curucu Beast of the Amazon (1956)

Universal-International, the studio that had produced many of the horror classics of the '30s and '40s, has its name less than proudly associated with this later '50s effort. The plot, what there is of it, features an expedition headed by macho John Bromfield and doctor Beverly Garland headed into the jungles of the Amazon in search of a legendary monster said to have killed off a number of natives.

Actually this is in no way a monster film so much as it is a jungle adventure and travelogue as its opening credits say it was filmed entirely in Brazil. Curt Siodmak, the man credited as writer of The Wolf Man fifteen years before, is also writer here, as well as director. There will be a lot of the usual shots of animals sighted, monkeys, snakes, stampeding water buffalo (in a less than stimulating bit of rear screen projection as the hero and heroine climb a tree to get out of their way). There will also be head hunters and a variety of shots of a number of jungle waterfalls converging on one another.

The monster, a laughable concoction, appears in the film's opening scene, looking like a cross between an oversized exotic bird with claws and a platypus. He'll make a less than exciting return visit later in the film.

What one is also struck by with the lame screenplay is its unremitting chauvinism. Bromfield strips off his shirt at any opportunity, fully confident of his attractiveness to any woman that walks within 200 feet of him. When seeing a very hot blonde bombshell dancing in a nightclub near the beginning of the film he looks bored and comments that there are six women around for every man (in what world is he living?). Soon the bombshell, played by the stunningly attractive Larri Thomas, is sitting at Bromfield's table, annoyed that he stood her up on a date. When a secretary asks Bromfield how long he'll be in town he responds, "Not long enough for what you're thinking, Angel."

Beverly Garland plays a doctor who initially proves that a woman can be as resilient and tough as any man. That is, until the film's final half hour, when the screenplay has her screaming louder than Fay Wray at everything at the drop of a hat and clinging to Bromfield's manly chest for comfort and protection.

There seem to be few, if any, good looking prints of Curucu Beast of the Amazon in existence. Many of them are black and white of what was a colour production. Be grateful, very grateful, if you fail to encounter any of them. It's stretching the ability at understatement to say that the poster art for this film is better than anything you will see in the movie itself.

Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (1956) - IMDb

1.5 out of 4

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I just saw THE THING for the first time (the one from 1982. not the one FROM ANOTHER WORLD.)

(I have tried watching it before, but I’m a dog lover, Which means I usually stop about 20 minutes in. Luckily it was stopped from the last time I stopped it when I tried to watch it on my Hulu so I was able to just watch it from there without too much violence towards dogs)

Seriously though, if you are a big dog person this is not the movie for you.

The special effects were brilliant, both In execution and conception- whoever came up with some of these ideas was a truly sick individual and I salute them.

It’s a good movie and it’s extremely well-made, and I realize I’m coming to the party about 40 years late, But there’s part of me that just HAS to point out that it is an awful lot like ALIEN…

I will also add, this is one of those films that has been mimicked and copied and replicated so many times that if- like me- You have not seen this film but you have seen the countless homages and copies and tributes and ripoffs and references, then a sad fact is that sometimes you just can’t really fully appreciate THE ORIGINAL for itself when you finally get the chance.

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21 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I just saw THE THING for the first time (the one from 1982. not the one FROM ANOTHER WORLD.) . . .

FYI . . .

23 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

. . . It’s a good movie and it’s extremely well-made, and I realize I’m coming to the party about 40 years late, But there’s part of me that just HAS to point out that it is an awful lot like ALIEN…

. . . and Alien is a lot like It! The Terror from Beyond Space.

Imitation is the sincerest form of Hollywood.

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Grand Central Murder (1942)

 

An actress who pushes people around, takes men for all that they are worth and walks all over everyone is murdered for some unknown reason.

Constant banter, spritely action and red herring after red herring keeps this movie moving well. It is by nature a good 1930s comedy murder mystery with some 1940s style. Very high production values show this is not a Poverty-Row B-movie even although it is just over an hour in length. 

I did feel that Van Heflin was not completely comfortable in the role as private detective thrust into a murder investigation but I never did feel that comedy was his forte. 

Sam Levene as the police inspector and Millard Mitchell as a bumbling cop are definitely in their element. Tom Conway as a slick promoter does not stretch the viewer's credulity. 

It is overall a good mystery with a very good cast.

8.1/10

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Last night I watched THE LADY GAMBLES '49 a Barbara Stanwyck I've never seen before or possibly thought I had seen it before because of the similarly titled Stanwyck GAMBLING LADY '34...but this later movie stars my favorite Robert Preston.

I loved it. Like DOA, the movie starts out in the present and told in flashback. Stanwyck is hospitalized after being beaten by thugs and Preston pleads for her to receive psychiatric help rather than jail, so we know she's in big trouble.

The story tells her slippery slope into gambling addiction- first fun & glamorous then turning into a very seedy dangerous world. This movie doesn't hold back and set up circumstances to "explain" how anyone could lose control of themselves and fall into complete ruin. OK, a little melodramatic, but that's what makes this movie FUN.

I had to replay the 1:04 mark twice-in one short minute you watch her addiction take the best of her with escalating dramatic music to punctuate her crazed emotions. Only Stanwyck could make laundry folding hilarious-

1794347695_ScreenShot2022-07-13at6_58_53AM.jpg.14f9e64bcda81349659fa483fd0fbba9.jpg

Her disgust expresses my feelings about laundry perfectly! And that is the strength of this movie-the two leads.

Preston's intensity is well suited for villains & con men so it was great seeing him playing a normal guy who loves his wife more than the money she's lost.  He treats her fairly but with strength & compassion.  All the acting was pitch perfect.

(amazing the above  clip sites Tony Curtis before Preston...Curtis has one line delivering a telegram)

I recorded this last month from TCM but it's on YT: https://ok.ru/video/268171938467

b16eb5289355ccfa4818ab99292f2e16.jpg

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EB19981108REVIEWS08401010304AR.jpg

Blow-Up form 1966 with David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave and a good part of the Who's-Who of Swinging Sixties London

 
 
Yes, if you are so inclined, there is much of-the-moment existential "is something real if it isn't seen" angst in Blow-Up, but if that's not your thing, it's still a wonderful piece of Mod Swinging Sixties London cultural ephemera as Blow-Up is an equally engaging, but darker cognate to director John Schlesinger's movie Darling, another contemporary pean to Mod 1960s London.
 
Sex, drugs, rock and roll, fashion and photography all changed seemingly in a flash in the second half of the 1960s and Swinging London was, for a moment, its capital city. Director Michelangelo Antonioni probably wanted the existentialism of Blow-Up to be timeless - maybe it is, I don't know - but he did capture a major cultural pivot on film.
 
The main character of the movie is a young, hip, successful photographer played by David Hemmings who looks like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s David McCallum's separated-at-birth twin. In this uber-fashion-focused film, Hemmings sports cool white jeans, a gingham shirt with its button-down collar not buttoned, and a dark green, tight-fitted sport coat that had to drive sales of all three items for retailers. 
 
Hemmings character is bored and arrogant in a young successful way that was taken to an extreme back then by rock stars, who also make an appearance in the movie when the Yardbirds pop up in a cameo (this movie hit every au courant cultural touchpoint).  
 
Out in a small park one day, Hemmings takes pictures, from a distance, of a couple in love only to be chased home by the woman, played by Vanessa Redgrave, who wants the negatives. 
 
After (it appears) having sex with her (everyone has sex with everyone in this movie, even Mod "it girl" Jane Birkin pops up naked in a threesome), he intentionally gives her the wrong roll of film to get rid of her.
 
Later, in several neat scenes of Hemmings slowly piecing the event together from the developed pictures and subsequent blow ups of specific areas, he realizes he's captured a murder or attempted murder with his pictures. 
 
He then visits the park without his camera at night and finds the body he thought he saw in his grainy blow up - a body that is no longer there when he returns the next day to photograph it. 
 
After not doing what any normal person would do - Mod Sixties or not - and immediately call the police, the movie veers to a climax of more existential "is reality only a subjective personal experience" doubt. 
 
The dead guy would probably beg to differ, but Hemmings was too busy watching a game of tennis played by "ban the bomb" mimes without rackets or balls, but with the sounds of tennis playing in his head, to worry about such "square" things as reporting a murder.
 
The plot and its philosophy are engaging a bit in a dated way, but Blow-Up, at least today, is all about its time-capsule-perfect portrayal of Swinging Sixties London. 
 
The era's look is enticingly captured by skinny praying mantis-like models with long straight hair wearing colorblock mini dresses who chase Hemmings around, seemingly, more to sleep with him than to have him take their picture. Good for him; he doesn't miss one horizontal opportunity.
 
Sex seems more casual and plentiful than today, if that can be believed, as politics didn't yet have it by the throat back then. The same goes for the drugs and drinking, which were the true psychedelics behind the bright colors and gossamery fashions of the day.
 
Antonioni smartly juxtaposes all the new fashion and youthful verve against the extant traditional culture of staid Britain with short-haired men in suits and ties and neatly coiffed women in prim and proper attire. 
 
Riffing on Lenin, decades of cultural change shoehorned itself into a few brief years in the 1960s, with movies like Blow-Up serving as a wonderful contemporary record of that dynamic but fleeting moment.
 
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House of Gucci (2021) Disappointed in this one.  How is it that every actor in this (including Pacino) can't pull off an Italian accent but sounds Russian?  Too long and the story seemed convoluted.  Also why hire Jared Leto is you're just going to cover his face to look like a completely different person?  That only seems okay to do that when Johnny Knoxville did it in Bad Grandpa.

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3 hours ago, MrMagoo said:

I used to get my early cinema insights from Mad Magazine parodies. I was too young for such fare in the theater.

I knew every scene from The Godfather at the age of 9 just from "The Oddfather", to the point that I didn't even sit down with the real thing until four or five years ago.  ("We were going to put the horse's head in your bed, but seeing as you're a Hollywood producer, we thought THIS would be more appropriate..."  )

And when I still had a computer with a CD-Rom drive, I was on a rush to dig up all the 60's-70's golden-age classics JUST to match them up with the Mad Magazine parodies on my "50 Years of Mad Magazine" PDF-file CD--I love scene-specific humor that you have to watch the movie to get.  😂

Although we never did get an official Mad parody of Robert Altman's  The Long Goodbye (1973) apart from the movie poster:  

https://filmartgallery.com/products/the-long-goodbye-14?variant=39636448477355

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"Well, I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is: your dates are here."

"What's the bad news?"

"They're dead."

See the source image

i felt like a tender walk down Memory Lane, 1986- so I rented NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986) on AMAZON PRIME.

I saw this movie on late-night Cinemax one summer, after seeing the trailer (which is very memorable) as a kid.

it's an uneven film with some serious pacing issues (FRED DEKKER directed- he would later do THE MONSTER SQUAD)- but the genuine affection that the makers have for classic horror is CLEAR AS DAY- even if some of the homages (all the characters have last names of horror directors, a la THE HOWLING and there is a long shot of The Diner from THE BLOB) aren't really built upon, they're just inserted into the film as a wink and a nod and we're left to imagine our own clever commentary because the movie doesn't offer any.

still, there is a very surprisingly and unexpectedly tender moment at the 2/3 mark and the film rallies from there** and improves TENFOLD- it also helps that a lot of the acting is not bad at all (the cast includes TOM ATKINS of HALLOWEEN III and future Oscar nominee DAVID PAYMER and ALAN KEYSER aka BUBBA FROM MAMA'S FAMILY- who is so hot.)

also DICK MILLER shows up.

the special effects are none too bad and a lot of the humor works- and even when it doesn't, you still don't get mad.

the version I saw unexpectedly had THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL ENDING RESTORED- which I had never seen before, part of it works really well, the other part is a head-scratcher (I don't really see the need for the brief subplot about the aliens besides the fact that it padded the run time.)

 

 

 

**- spoiler kinda (but not really)- the disabled roommate of the lead character falls victim to the brain eating amoebas and leaves behind a very well-delivered and effective monologue on tape that kinda adds a possible "gay undertone" the story- except it's handled very sensitively (which is nice, because every time I watch THE MONSTER SQUAD, I am taken aback by all the homophobic slurs early on)

**the 80's were nuts, man.

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