Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

I just watched the Desk Set with one of my daughters.  I've seen it a few times but it was her first ... she enjoyed it as did I.

 

39440231266846a7ab1ac01925126235.jpg

 

 

Watching Heaven Can Wait Mr Allison with the other daughter now.  I've always liked Mitchum and for that matter Deborah Kerr too.

 

Heaven-Knows-Mr.-Allison-Poster.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Whhaat? But in the Classic Comic version, she's tall and beautiful. And I've been assured that the Classic Comics were almost word for word faithful to the book.  

 

...weren't they?.......

 

Don't know about that, but they sure fooled many a ninth grade English teacher back in the day. 

 

Too bad they didn't make a Classics Comics version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, because if they had, then our friend Mr. Costanza might not have been quite so socially embarrassed when he tried to wing it during his reading group after only having seen the movie.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

ELVIS (7/10)

 

This 1979 tv biopic stars Kurt Russell as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, and marks the first collaboration between Russell and director John Carpenter. This was Kurt's attempt to break away from his Disney star image, and he's successful, earning himself an Emmy nod. His performance works without devolving into caricature. However, vocal duties were performed by Ronnie McDowell.

 

The film follows his humble beginnings to his superstar rise, ending in 1969 with his Vegas comeback. Things move along nicely, though rarely beyond the depth of tv films of the era. Elvis's drug problems aren't really dealt with, and his sad decline in the 70's is not shown. It does show the difficulty of dealing with an unprecedented level of fame, the non-stop work schedule of the early years, the time spent in the army and the sometimes volatile relationships with both his girlfriends and his band/entourage.

 

Russell's real-life wife Season Hubley plays wife Priscilla Presley, and Melody Anderson plays his high school sweetheart. Also with Russell's real-life father Bing as Presley's father Vernon, Pat Hingle as Col. Tom Parker, Robert Gray as Red West, Charles Cyphers as Sam Phillips, Ed Begley Jr, Mario Gallo, Ellen Travolta and Joe Mantegna.

 

The one real drawback for me was a hammy, histrionic turn by Shelley Winters as Presley's mother Gladys.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ringu (1998) directed by Hideo Nakata followed by The Ring (2002) directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts.

Well, I was left a bit baffled as to why Ringu inspired two remakes, a prequel and a sequel.  It's okay but a bit dull for quite long stretches.

Leonard Maltin gives Ringu 3 stars but its American remake The Ring only 2 stars.

I certainly didn't find the remake any worse than the original.  Verbinski's The Ring pumps up the action and adds many set pieces.  For me that was a win lose effort.  While the remake moved along at a better pace it often just became too muddled and absurd.  And when it does that you lose interest just as fast.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

THE RING is one of the only times I found the American remake better than the foreign language original. Maybe it was a case of heightened expectations, but I was sorely disappointed with RINGU. I had heard about it for quite some time, and as a fan of both the horror genre and Japanese cinema in general, I was anticipating a lot more. I found it silly when it was supposed to be scary. The American version worked much better, even if a lot of the visual style has been done to death since. And I liked the cast, with Naomi Watts and Brian Cox.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

THE RING is one of the only times I found the American remake better than the foreign language original.

 

Agree. It'd been a very long time since I'd been scared by a horror movie, but 'The Ring' did it.

 

I benefitted very much from being out of the loop, so to speak - I had heard absolutely nothing about the movie when I saw it for the first time on The Movie Channel, alone at night. No idea whatsoever as to what the movie was going to be.

 

When I got the chance to watch it a second time - about a year or so later - the first viewing had been so effective that the cold shivers began the very moment the movie started that second time! And I kept being attacked by them throughout the second viewing - that's truly a rare experience.

 

Brilliantly effective movie, and better executed than 'Ringu', which I also saw in between my viewings of the American adaptation.

 

My daughter has never seen it - her boyfriend watched it without her one night and told her about it and how scared he got. Consequently, she's afraid to watch it. But, I think people have heard too much about it now to really experience it the way I did. They know too much for it to have the same effect, I think.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Holden said: Truman Capote was opposed to the casting of George Peppard as the writer in the movie adaptation of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, and he did not like the way that the character was changed for the movie. The subplot about the writer being a kept man by the older woman played by Patricia Neal is not in Capote's story.

 

Thanks for those insights, Holden. I am always so impressed by your wealth of knowledge on all things; writing, movies, etc.

 

I'm sure if Capote saw the Peppard charactor as himself he wouldn't want him portrayed as ever touching icky women.

 

And thanks Bogie on your comments about RINGU/RING. I saw RINGU and wondered what the fuss was about. I'll give the RING a try, but not when I'm home alone!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know about that, but they sure fooled many a ninth grade English teacher back in the day. 

 

Too bad they didn't make a Classics Comics version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, because if they had, then our friend Mr. Costanza might not have been quite so socially embarrassed when he tried to wing it during his reading group after only having seen the movie.

I belong to a book club where we call that "doing the Costanza."  Next month we're supposed to read, "Wild," and I've already told them I'm going to do the Costanza because I saw the Reese Witherspoon movie and didn't like it enough to want to read the whole thing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the second half of IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES on "Movies". Not bad, and the best thing about the film was the cute young girl. I checked the credits, and found that she was the hated Drew Barrymore, of whom I'm one of her biggest detractors. Oops.

Drew is something of a rarity among actors, she started out strong and progressively devolved in time- whereas most everyone manages to step up their game the more opportunities they are given, she has just gotten worse. I'm hard-pressed to think of another young actor who showed so much promise early on, managed to have a career as an adult, and in the process completely lost any acting abilities they once possessed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ (7/10)

 

Clint Eastwood and director Don Siegel team for the fifth and final time in this taut, true-story prison pic. The plot's in the title, as Clint and a group of fellow prisoners plan and execute a daring escape from the supposedly inescapable island prison. Patrick McGoohan is the venal warden, and the film goes out of it's way to highlight the cruelty visited on the inmates, building viewer sympathy for the escapees, which is necessary since we're asked to root for a group of convicted felons over law enforcement.

 

Also with the great character actor Roberts Blossom, Larry Hamlin, Paul Benjamin, Jack Thibeau and Fred Ward in his first major role after years of bit work. Look closely for the film debut of future star Danny Glover as a fellow inmate, and director Siegel as a prison doctor.

 

Gritty and suspenseful, there are shades of previous prison escape pictures such as A MAN ESCAPED, LE TROU and even THE GREAT ESCAPE, and it all comes together rather well. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew is something of a rarity among actors, she started out strong and progressively devolved in time- whereas most everyone manages to step up their game the more opportunities they are given, she has just gotten worse. I'm hard-pressed to think of another young actor who showed so much promise early on, managed to have a career as an adult, and in the process completely lost any acting abilities they once possessed.

She wasn't a Valley Child, I'm not sure whether she was a Valley Girl, but she's certainly a Valley Woman.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Drew is something of a rarity among actors, she started out strong and progressively devolved in time- whereas most everyone manages to step up their game the more opportunities they are given, she has just gotten worse. I'm hard-pressed to think of another young actor who showed so much promise early on, managed to have a career as an adult, and in the process completely lost any acting abilities they once possessed.

 

What a load o' hooey.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to see Maggie Greenwald's The Kill-Off (1989) based on a novel by Jim Thompson of The Grifters, The Getaway and Coup de Torchon fame.  Leonard Maltin had given this a sparkling write-up and three and a half stars.

What a disappointment.  It was like watching an awkward 110m. student movie.  I'm pretty open-minded as to different styles and budgetary restrictions but this was still awful.

The best thing I could say about it is that it is sort of like a very sleazy, no-budget underground Twin Peaks.  But even that may be giving it too much credit.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A FORCE OF ONE (6/10)

 

Early Chuck Norris action flick offers some enjoyment provided you go in with the right attitude.

 

When two narcotics detectives on the trail of a major drug ring are murdered using martial arts, the rest of their squad is ordered to investigate local karate schools for potential suspects, and to train themselves in case the killer strikes again. This leads them to Chuck, as Matt Logan, champion kickboxer and karate school proprietor with a personal distaste for the drug trade. He agrees to train the cops and of course gets caught up in the rest of the action. One , or more, of the squad is dirty, naturally, and the bodies pile up as the heroes get closer to the truth.

 

Jennifer O'Neill , sporting an ultra short haircut, shares top billing as the detective with the closest contact with Chuck. Other members of the squad include Ron O'Neal, James Whitmore Jr, Pepe Serna, Clint Ritchie and the wonderfully monikered Chu Chu Malave. Also with Clu Gulager as the Lieutenant, Eric Laneuville, Charles Cyphers, G.W. Bailey and real-life karate champion Bill "Superfoot" Wallace.

 

This is the kind of dumb, cheap but entertaining movie that Norris excelled at throughout the early 80's, before his films turned more militaristic. The kind that Steven Seagal or Jean Claude Van Damme would make direct to video during the late 90's and early 00's. The kind they don't really make at all anymore. Whether or not that's a bad thing depends on the viewer.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to see Maggie Greenwald's The Kill-Off (1989) based on a novel by Jim Thompson of The Grifters, The Getaway and Coup de Torchon fame.  Leonard Maltin had given this a sparkling write-up and three and a half stars.

What a disappointment.  It was like watching an awkward 110m. student movie.  I'm pretty open-minded as to different styles and budgetary restrictions but this was still awful.

The best thing I could say about it is that it is sort of like a very sleazy, no-budget underground Twin Peaks.  But even that may be giving it too much credit.

To each his own,I was expecting nothing and I loved it, the sleazy Jersey shore amusement park environment was excellent. a great Neo Noir.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Otto Preminger's The 13th Letter (1951) with Michael Rennie, Linda Darnell and Charles Boyer.  This remake of H.G. Clouzot's Le Corbeau (1943) was really good in its own right and could use a rediscovery and a good print.  It is very hard to find at the moment.

 

A particular stand out was Constance Smith who plays Boyer's beautiful young wife.  After the film I went to the imdb to read her bio and I must say it is surprisingly sad.  Born in Ireland, she started in show biz by winning a look-a-like contest where she was compared to Hedy Lamarr.  But she never really made it in Hollywood and died in complete obscurity and poverty after a rather hard life.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

To each his own,I was expecting nothing and I loved it, the sleazy Jersey shore amusement park environment was excellent. a great Neo Noir.

The Kill-Off is definitely one I will give another shot in a few years just to see if it was a mood issue that kept me from getting into it.  I had a devil of a time finding a dvd of this film.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to see Maggie Greenwald's The Kill-Off (1989) based on a novel by Jim Thompson of The Grifters, The Getaway and Coup de Torchon fame. Leonard Maltin had given this a sparkling write-up and three and a half stars.

What a disappointment. It was like watching an awkward 110m. student movie. I'm pretty open-minded as to different styles and budgetary restrictions but this was still awful.

The best thing I could say about it is that it is sort of like a very sleazy, no-budget underground Twin Peaks. But even that may be giving it too much credit.

How interesting!

 

Jim Thompson is one of my absolute favorite authors- I think I've read just about everything that he has had published with a few minor exceptions. It's interesting though, because out of the many books of his that I've read, i have every single opinion under the spectrum of them. He has written some awesome books- among the best i have ever read-, he's written good books, he's written mediocre books, and he has written some utterly horrible things that should not have been published- but likely were reprinted after he was rediscovered in the nineties.

 

Anyway, i was really, really unimpressed by THE KILL-OFF, and I am kind of surprised anybody would want to make a movie out of it since it's a pretty conventional and uninspiring attempt at a traditional whodunit by an author who was very rarely conventional.

 

And not that this counts for much, but it is one of his lowest rated titles on Amazon and the various user reviews of his books tend to agree with me.

 

None the less, I did not know there was a film version of it and would like to give it a shot. Thank you for alerting me of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

G.I. SAMURAI (6/10)

 

Action legend Sonny Chiba stars in this SF epic that follows a group of Japanese Ground Defense Troops on maneuvers who are mysteriously transported back in time 400 years to the "Warring States" period. Equipped with a tank, a helicopter, a small naval vessel and lots of modern firepower, the soldiers find themselves thrust into the middle of warfare between various samurai clans. Trying to stay impartial at first and hoping for the time warp to reverse itself, the soldiers soon take a more proactive approach in their attempts to get back to the twentieth century. They also have to deal with various in-fighting issues and soldiers going awol, accepting their fate as permanent and trying to acclimate to their new time period.

 

Truly epic in length, running near two and a half hours, things are stretched out well past the necessary limit. The acting is typical of Japanese films of the time, with many going way over the top. The action is bloody, even gory, at times, but some of the effects are substandard, especially the phony gunfire fx. The film is also mired by a truly awful soundtrack utilizing both silly, almost childish symphonic music as well as corny Japanese pop vocal tunes.

 

For SF and Sonny Chiba completists only.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Meaning what? You a member of the Drew Fan Club?

 

If you can't figure out what "what a load o' hooey" means, you're even slower than I thought you were. "Hooey" means nonsense - or, more colloquially, bs.

 

My membership in the Donald Sutherland fan club precludes me from any others - just not enough hours in the day, I'm afraid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How interesting!

 

Jim Thompson is one of my absolute favorite authors- I think I've read just about everything that he has had published with a few minor exceptions. It's interesting though, because out of the many books of his that I've read, i have every single opinion under the spectrum of them. He has written some awesome books- among the best i have ever read-, he's written good books, he's written mediocre books, and he has written some utterly horrible things that should not have been published- but likely were reprinted after he was rediscovered in the nineties.

 

Anyway, i was really, really unimpressed by THE KILL-OFF, and I am kind of surprised anybody would want to make a movie out of it since it's a pretty conventional and uninspiring attempt at a traditional whodunit by an author who was very rarely conventional.

 

And not that this counts for much, but it is one of his lowest rated titles on Amazon and the various user reviews of his books tend to agree with me.

 

None the less, I did not know there was a film version of it and would like to give it a shot. Thank you for alerting me of it.

Lorna, if you are not aware a film called Hit Me (1996) is also based on a Jim Thompson book.

Link to post
Share on other sites

THE HUMAN FACTOR (6/10)

 

Final directorial effort from Otto Preminger, based on a Graham Greene novel, concerns the hunt for a double agent within British intelligence. The lead investigator knows there's a leak in their African Intel bureau, but now he must determine which of two suspects is the culprit, the extravagant playboy bachelor or the buttoned down family man.

 

The brilliant but troubled English stage legend Nicol Williamson stars as the family man, with Derek Jacobi as the playboy, and Richard Attenborough as the investigator. Gorgeous supermodel Iman makes her debut as Williamson's wife, John Gielgud cashes a check as the bureau chief, Robert Morley as a slightly sinister doctor and Ann Todd, Fiona Fullerton, Richard Vernon, Tony Haygarth and Adrienne Corri round out the cast.

 

The identity of the double agent is fairly obvious from the get-go, and the last half of the film alternates between the noose tightening around him now, and flashbacks detailing his motives. The performances are good, as one would expect with a cast of this caliber, but the story is too slight to hold a great deal of interest. Production was plagued with money issues, even to the point that production was shut down multiple times mid-shoot, and some of the cast and crew were allegedly never paid.

 

Fans of dry, dialogue-driven spy dramas may find some meat on this bone, but most will find it too low-key and uninspired.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

UNBROKEN (7/10)

 

Incredible but true story of Louis Zamperini that was released amid much hype, but disappeared fairly quickly. The son of Italian immigrants, Louis was an unrepentant juvenile delinquent until he was directed towards his high school track team, where he set many school and state records, eventually running for the US Olympic team in 1936. Serving on a bomber in the Pacific campaign during WWII, he survived a crash landing in the open ocean, and, along with two others, was adrift for over forty days until being captured by a Japanese naval vessel. Sent to a succession of p.o.w. camps, Louis suffers all manner of tortures and deprivations, all the while struggling to maintain his spirit.

 

Jack O'Connell stars as Zamperini, and he gives a terrific performance. Japanese rock star Miyavi also shines as the sadistic camp warden called "the Bird". Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock and John Magaro all acquit themselves well as fellow soldiers and prisoners. The awful Jai Courtney shows up early on, but thankfully disappears before his charisma vacuum can torpedo the movie.

 

The film looks terrific, and moves along at a brisk pace, perhaps to the detriment of some depth. There's a lot of events to cram into the running time.

Director Angelina Jolie garnered much of the media attention during the film's release, but her style is capable, and never showy or distracting. The film is old-fashioned in a lot of ways, and with a few changes, could easily have been made in the 40's or 50's.

 

Recommended for at least one viewing, this will especially resonate with WWII buffs and fans of inspirational dramas. A word of warning though: despite the PG-13 rating, some of the torture sequences are rather intense, so squeamish viewers should be prepared.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...