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51 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

at the risk of offending some, I REALLY REALLY REALLY dislike just about everything ROGER CORMAN ever directed so...yeah, not a favorite.

I'm surprised you don't like some Corman films just for their camp value.     (which I find to be their main appeal,  because otherwise they are stinkers).

 

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48 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I am, too, and I wonder if it isn't just the nostalgia factor - not that I have memory of them when they were new. Something about being carried back into a world I have only the vaguest memories of inhabiting, and then seeing actors in their formative years that I would come to know better later in their careers. And cheap can be fun. 

I tend to like the early work of many artists. For example I prefer early David Cronenberg, who got too glossy when he became successful and had a few more bucks to spend.  There is something elemental in trying to be arty with less money to spend. I think the results can be more interesting.

Though I can enjoy them, I think Corman's later works, including the Poe films, are mostly stodgy and boring, whereas his early films are more artistic and unusual, with some nice surprises and kooky characters.  (Although Peter Godfrey's film of The Woman in White is also fairly stodgy, John Abbott's phonophobia in that film is much more effective than Vincent Price's in The House of Usher.)

For The Fall of the House of Usher, I prefer the bizarre and primitive Ivan Barnett 1948 version, even with it's silly wrap-around story. Corman may have Vincent Price in his House of Usher, but Barnett has this terrifying character who used to give me nightmares as a child. She is one of the great screen hags (even billed as "The Hag" in the credits.) Lucy Pavey should have got an Oscar. It was her only film. 

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17 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I'm surprised you don't like some Corman films just for their camp value.     (which I find to be their main appeal,  because otherwise they are stinkers).

 

 

17 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

I am, too, and I wonder if it isn't just the nostalgia factor - not that I have memory of them when they were new. Something about being carried back into a world I have only the vaguest memories of inhabiting, and then seeing actors in their formative years that I would come to know better later in their careers. And cheap can be fun. 

 

16 hours ago, Swithin said:

I tend to like the early work of many artists. For example I prefer early David Cronenberg, who got too glossy when he became successful and had a few more bucks to spend.  There is something elemental in trying to be arty with less money to spend. I think the results can be more interesting.

Though I can enjoy them, I think Corman's later works, including the Poe films, are mostly stodgy and boring, whereas his early films are more artistic and unusual, with some nice surprises and kooky characters.  (Although Peter Godfrey's film of The Woman in White is also fairly stodgy, John Abbott's phonophobia in that film is much more effective than Vincent Price's in The House of Usher.)

For The Fall of the House of Usher, I prefer the bizarre and primitive Ivan Barnett 1948 version, even with it's silly wrap-around story. Corman may have Vincent Price in his House of Usher, but Barnett has this terrifying character who used to give me nightmares as a child. She is one of the great screen hags (even billed as "The Hag" in the credits.) Lucy Pavey should have got an Oscar. It was her only film. 

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I have actually been thinking of starting a thread in re: EDGAR ALLEN POE, his works and his works on film, so if yous guys'll gimme a few minutes to slap that together, I'd be happy to continue all this there.

(i could see myself derailing this thread)

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20 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

at the risk of offending some, I REALLY REALLY REALLY dislike just about everything ROGER CORMAN ever directed so...yeah, not a favorite.

I wouldn't say I'm a big Roger Corman fan; but I do love all his movies with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre.  That might be due to the sheer charm of Vincent Price though.  He seemed to know he's in something campy and just played it up as much as he could.  It's really hard to believe sometimes that Vincent Price in The Raven is the same Vincent Price in Laura

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This is more of an "I Just Listened To," as it's a podcast about how Hollywood censored ant-Nazi movies in the 1930s for a tangle of reasons. I think some here will find it interesting (it's about twenty minutes long):

 

 Cursed Knowledge: Subverting Censorship, Epsilon Theory

https://www.epsilontheory.com/cursed-knowledge-13-subverting-censorship/

 

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Poster for Mutiny on the Bounty.jpg

 

Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) TCM On Demand-4/10

Fletcher Christian and crew revolt against tyrannical Captain Bligh aboard the ship Bounty in 1789.

My first time viewing this remake and I did not like it. I did like the 1935 original with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. Here Marlon Brando plays Christian as effete snob, his English accent is not very good either. Trevor Howard plays Bligh but is not given much to do. I was not engrossed in the story and mostly found it bit of a bore. The South Pacific scenes have nice photography and beautiful Tarita (as the Tahitian chief's daughter) to look at. The mutiny scene is pretty good, but it was too late to save it and it is way too long at over 3 hours.

 

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8 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Poster for Mutiny on the Bounty.jpg

 

Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) TCM On Demand-4/10

Fletcher Christian and crew revolt against tyrannical Captain Bligh aboard the ship Bounty in 1789.

My first time viewing this remake and I did not like it. I did like the 1935 original with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. Here Marlon Brando plays Christian as effete snob, his English accent is not very good either. Trevor Howard plays Bligh but is not given much to do. I was not engrossed in the story and mostly found it bit of a bore. The South Pacific scenes have nice photography and beautiful Tarita (as the Tahitian chief's daughter) to look at. The mutiny scene is pretty good, but it was too late to save it and it is way too long at over 3 hours.

 

Marlon was a total butt on that shoot. It's a miracle s finished product emerged. 

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6 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

Marlon [BRANDO]was a total butt on that shoot. It's a miracle a finished product emerged. 

As opposed to all those other shoots where he was totally Cooperative and on time and knew his lines and didn’t pull any kind of crap like demanding they hire a tiny actor to play a tiny version of himself in a tiny mumu and tiny sun hat?

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The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)

 

A superhero falls victim to a congressional witch-hunt which leads to him losing his popularity, his motivation and his sobriety.

Alan Arkin is wonderful as an egotistical crimefighter, melancholy alcoholic and a troubled soul trying to live up to the memory of his glory days.

Christopher Lee is perfect as the megalomaniac supervillain whom Arkin is pulled out of 'retirement' to fight.

There are moments of sheer brilliance in the movie:

 

 

I am very sorry to say that the entire movie does not live up to the occasional flashes of comic genius. It was obviously meant to be a somewhat surreal romp but it instead is a stodgy, detail-oriented clinical account of life after the limelight. 

I am glad I have had an opportunity to watch it in full rather than relying on the snippets and trailers available but I have been quite firmly put off from the idea of buying the Australian DVD of it.

4.8/11

It is available for viewing free with commercials on: Midnight Pulp. I do not recommend it as there are as many as eight commercials at a time. I correct that: there are up to eight showings of the same commercial in a row. There are frequent buffering issues with the commercials also.

 

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9 hours ago, SansFin said:

The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)

Directed by Philippe Mora, whose style in the 80's was a bit...deranged, even for an Australian. 😳  This was reportedly one of his better ones.  (Although I had a fondness growing up for Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1974), although it also looked like the product of a disordered mind.)

Still, Christopher Lee claimed he had good experiences working with Mora, so when he agreed to come back for Mora's Howling II (1985) he famously lived to regret it.  

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The Model and Marriage Broker from 1951 with Thelma Ritter, Jeanne Craine, Zero Mostel, Nancy Klug and Michael O'Shea
 
 
"You wouldn't know the score; you got a pretty face. These people here [points to a file cabinet of clients], they don't have pretty faces."
 
 
Hollywood strayed off the ranch in a good way with The Model and the Marriage Broker by choosing not to go with another story stamped off the press. Instead, director George Cukor and character-actress-supreme Thelma Ritter teamed up to make an unusual comedy that clicks pretty well from the first scene to the last.
 
Ritter plays a New York City marriage broker who makes her living matching up the awkward-at-love and not-pretty or glamorous everyday people who are lonely and in need of relationship help. Today, algorithms do it, but in the old analog world, there were the Thelma Ritters to turn to. 
 
Ritter is a salt-of-the-earth New Yorker in every way - loud, brassy, disheveled, but also a no-nonsense person with a big heart underneath it all. Part of the fun in this one is watching Ritter, often exasperated with her clients' dating ineptitude, trying to steer them into relationships.
 
With a client list that includes a fat and balding man played by Zero Mostel, an awkwardly tall and shy middle-aged woman played by Nancy Kulp and Frank Fontaine playing a man who is unable to form one coherent sentence in front of a woman, you laugh a bit, but also cry a bit. 
 
Credit to Cukor as he didn't go the usual Hollywood route of half-heartedly trying to make the Joan Fontaines of the world look dowdy (à la Suspicion). And equal credit to these actors for being willing to take on some very unglamourous roles that had to, for some, feel a bit too real.  
 
One of the twists in the movie comes when, by accident, Ritter meets a young fashion model, played by Jeanne Crain, who is dating a married man. Crain is the type of woman that would never need to be one of Ritter's clients. 
 
Crain is angered by Ritter's unsolicited advice to break her affair off because Ritter believes the married man will just string Crain along. Ritter also tells Crain that even if she does get him, she'll then be breaking up another woman's marriage.
 
From here the movie is Ritter trying to help her oddball clients as Crain comes back to Ritter under one pretense or another, but really to get advice. Ritter, always the matchmaker, tries subtly paring Crain with a handsome, but modestly paid x-ray technician played by Scott Brady.
 
(Modest spoiler alert) The second twist comes when we learn that Ritter herself only got into the matchmaking business when she lost her husband to another woman and was so lonely she started putting other people together. Who hasn't known someone like that in their lives?
 
There's a lot of pathos amidst the humor in this one as we see that each funny, quirky client is also a human being with romantic dreams, but not the easy looks or personality to make those dreams happen. 
 
When Crain looks down on Ritter for what she thinks is a tawdry business, Ritter's long-time friend, another hardened New Yorker, wonderfully played by Michael O'Shea, delivers the bombshell line, quoted at the top. He educates a cluelessly smug Crain, used to having men falling at her feet, about the challenges of the not-pretty people of the world. 
 
Kudos to director Cukor for that above exchange, because right when you are enjoying a funny little movie about some average-looking and diffident people trying to find love, in a flash, the brutal unfairness of the world comes crashing through.
 
The climax is a bit too Hollywood easy, but it doesn't matter as Cukor pulled off a difficult assignment in The Model and the Marriage Broker. He and his talented cast, starring (ignore the billing, she's the star) the not-in-any-way-glamorous Thelma Ritter, made a successful comedy interwoven with sobering commentary about ordinary people trying to find love. 
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5 minutes ago, Fading Fast said:

The Model and Marriage Broker from 1951 with Thelma Ritter, Jeanne Craine, Zero Mostel, Nancy Klug and Michael O'Shea

I was actually thinking about the movie recently, as I watched Crossing Delancey not too long ago.

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15 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

As opposed to all those other shoots where he was totally Cooperative and on time and knew his lines and didn’t pull any kind of crap like demanding they hire a tiny actor to play a tiny version of himself in a tiny mumu and tiny sun hat?

Well no I didn't say he was a sweetheart otherwise, but that one damn near ended him.

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On 9/21/2022 at 6:20 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

As opposed to all those other shoots where he was totally Cooperative and on time and knew his lines and didn’t pull any kind of crap like demanding they hire a tiny actor to play a tiny version of himself in a tiny mumu and tiny sun hat?

Brando "won" the Razzie for The Island of Dr. Moreau, beating Steven Seagal in a Worst Acting competition. It was also one of the rare razzies that year that didn't go to the Demi Moore film Striptease (Burt Reynolds lost to Brando as well). You would think that being called worse at acting than Steven Seagal would ding Brando's gargantuan ego, at least just a tiny bit.

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Showgirls (1995) -- 7/10

 

Well, I did it. I dared myself to see an NC-17 film, and I saw it through. For those of you who are wondering  if I, once and maybe still thought of as being this goody-two-shoes type that would never deign to approach such a thing,  am on the verge of condemnation of this, I'm not. I went in expecting a film that had, to quote a review, a titanic amount of flesh, and that's what I got. I'm not shocked. I am not overly offended (outside of two elements: the horrible rape, and one particular line of dialogue)

But after seeing Showgirls, my mind is going in multiple directions. I feel like I watched a film that is about half and half or what both the film's champions and detractors say. When it started, I was laughing frequently at the overripe dialogue and the way certain scenes were staged, and yet by the second half, I was taking it mostly seriously, with the exception of those ridiculous leather topless biker outfits and the pool sex scene.

 Elizabeth Berkley was much panned in 1995 for going over the top, but its exactly what the film requires and she won me over.  (It seems Charlize Theron actually auditioned for the role) I also pity her for all the indignities she had after the film's release.  She actually has a few scenes she was extremely good in. Gina Gershon was absolutely fantastic in a tounge-in-cheek performance that actually might be Oscar-nomination worthy, and Gina Ravera gave a very touching performance. Kyle MacLachlan really had very little to work with as his role was never fleshed out.  Nobody else really got a look in, although Lin Tucci had her moments, and it was a shock to see L.A. Law's Alan Rachins wearing a toupee, rather than letting his baldness show as usual. And I admire a film that deals so frankly with the utter sleaze of Vegas without trying to sweeten things or to excuse its dehumanizing behavior toward the mostly nude women that perform on stage But, the dialogue really is terrible at many points, and that's one thing I always pay a lot of attention to. That makes everything a bit sticky to deal with. The film also has to deal with oversaturated photography, and directing that makes the big exotic dance numbers look like outrageous self-parodies. It also borrows a bit too heavily and obviously from All About Eve. But what is strong here really is strong and actually works, which makes the so-bad-its-good moniker impossible to apply.

So in the end, I am left caught in between two feelings. Half of  it makes me cringe or laugh at  the dialogue and dancing, and the other half is legitimately impressed with the performances, the second half, and the general feel  in a way I didn't think would have been possible. It's going to take a little time to decide on this....

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8 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Showgirls (1995) -- 7/10

 

Well, I did it. I dared myself to see an NC-17 film, and I saw it through. For those of you who are wondering  if I, once and maybe still thought of as being this goody-two-shoes type that would never deign to approach such a thing,  am on the verge of condemnation of this, I'm not. I went in expecting a film that had, to quote a review, a titanic amount of flesh, and that's what I got. I'm not shocked. I am not overly offended (outside of two elements: the horrible rape, and one particular line of dialogue)

But after seeing Showgirls, my mind is going in multiple directions. I feel like I watched a film that is about half and half or what both the film's champions and detractors say. When it started, I was laughing frequently at the overripe dialogue and the way certain scenes were staged, and yet by the second half, I was taking it mostly seriously, with the exception of those ridiculous leather topless biker outfits and the pool sex scene.

 Elizabeth Berkley was much panned in 1995 for going over the top, but its exactly what the film requires and she won me over.  (It seems Charlize Theron actually auditioned for the role) I also pity her for all the indignities she had after the film's release.  She actually has a few scenes she was extremely good in. Gina Gershon was absolutely fantastic in a tounge-in-cheek performance that actually might be Oscar-nomination worthy, and Gina Ravera gave a very touching performance. Kyle MacLachlan really had very little to work with as his role was never fleshed out.  Nobody else really got a look in, although Lin Tucci had her moments, and it was a shock to see L.A. Law's Alan Rachins wearing a toupee, rather than letting his baldness show as usual. And I admire a film that deals so frankly with the utter sleaze of Vegas without trying to sweeten things or to excuse its dehumanizing behavior toward the mostly nude women that perform on stage But, the dialogue really is terrible at many points, and that's one thing I always pay a lot of attention to. That makes everything a bit sticky to deal with. The film also has to deal with oversaturated photography, and directing that makes the big exotic dance numbers look like outrageous self-parodies. It also borrows a bit too heavily and obviously from All About Eve. But what is strong here really is strong and actually works, which makes the so-bad-its-good moniker impossible to apply.

So in the end, I am left caught in between two feelings. Half of  it makes me cringe or laugh at  the dialogue and dancing, and the other half is legitimately impressed with the performances, the second half, and the general feel  in a way I didn't think would have been possible. It's going to take a little time to decide on this....

YOU NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN.

IT'S LIKE OLIVES OR QUAIL EGGS OR CAVIAR...AT FIRST YOU JUST DON'T KNOW what to make of it, BUT SOON YOU ACQUIRE THE TASTE....

WILL LEARN TO EMBRACE THE FILTH.

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I mean THE PATENT LEATHER BESTUDDED LESBIAN DOMINATRIX MOTORCYCLE FIREBALL STAGESHOW replete with BALL BEARINGS ON THE STEPS is really up there with anything BUSBY BERKELY ever captured on camera.

It's certainly unforgettable, that's for sure. It's the type of movie where you raise an eyebrow when the credits say "Costumes designed by...."

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Tropic Thunder (2008)

My son is visiting and this is one of our favorite comedies so we rented a view from Amazon Prime.

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Ben Stiller goes full Ben Stiller, and Robert Downey Jr. probably could not get away today with being a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude, though he is chastened in one scene for his cultural crime.  There are probably more parodies of action and war movies than I recognize, but Apocalypse Now and Platoon are obvious enough. Steve Coogan as the director who takes an incautious and expensive misstep during production is apparently a jab at Sergio Leone and his mishap during The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Nick Nolte's presence as the not entirely valorous vet who wrote the pretend source book calls The Then Red Line to mind, as does the beautiful photography of Kaua'i, standing in for Vietnam, by that film's DP,  John Toll.

But it is Tom Cruise's Les Grossman - a character he created on-set - that will probably be remembered longer than the movie itself. (GQ reports Cruise is thinking of a reprise of the character in one format or another.) Who hasn't felt a need to release their inner Les on somebody now and then to keep things under control? If only life were as easy. 

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Take a big step back...

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The Shadow (1933)

 

Prominent people in quite proper and respectable England would select suicide over public disgrace if they could not meet the demands of a shrouded blackmailer who threatened to reveal their heinous secrets. Scotland Yard knows of this by finding letters from: 'The Shadow' in the effects of recent suicides but they have no other clues.

This movie is not of the American crimefighter and all-around-good-guy of the same name. This is of a sociopath preying on the vulnerabilities of snooty Peers.

It becomes an: 'old dark house' mystery taking place in the home of the head of Scotland Yard. Only unimportant people die but it does frighten the others.

Felix Aylmer is the head of Scotland Yard and Elizabeth Allan is his daughter who is lusted after by two quite different characters. Henry Kendall is a brainless hanger-on you often find in English country houses in that era. This movie is relatively early in all their careers but there are definite traces of whom they will become as they season.

It is a bit doddering in parts but there are a few semi-competent red herrings and there are never any cheats. The identity of: The Shadow is quite clear soon after the action moves to the house but it remains enjoyable because there is just a chance you might be wrong.

6.8/11

This movie is available for viewing for free with commercials on: TubiTV.

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