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4 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Or maybe I'm just generally a miserable ****.

Ya think so?  :P

(Then again, I'm the guy who calls himself a "crotchety blankety-blank".)

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Brainstorm (1965)  -  6/10

ca1a6c16703387e75d522c97c31825b2.jpg

Hokey but mildly entertaining thriller with Jeffrey Hunter as a rocket scientist who fakes insanity in an attempt to get away with his plan to kill his boss Mr. Benson (Dana Andrews), after Jeff falls for Mrs. Benson (Anne Francis). Also featuring Viveca Lindfors, Stacy Harris, Kathie Browne, Philip Pine, Michael Pate, John Mitchum, Richard Kiel, Steve Ihnat, and Strother Martin. This was directed by William Conrad around the same time he did Two on a Guillotine and My Blood Runs Cold. They all have a sensationalist, melodramatic flair, and a lot of visible boom-mic shadows.

Source: TCM

brainstorm.jpg

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4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

My dislike for One, Two, Three had nothing to do with "un-PC humor". I don't recall what exactly was supposed to be "un-PC" about any of it, unless being funny is "PC", in which case, yeah it was "un-PC" in spades. I thought it was just manic loudness and obnoxious desperation, which is basically the same complaint I have with It's a Mad...World

One, Two, Three was basically falling in line with wartime lampoons like the Stooges' "You Nazty Spy", the WB "Russian Rhapsody" cartoon, or "To Be or Not to Be"--Namely, that the best weapon against a wartime enemy is a good old Yankee lowbrow pie in the face, because dictators don't know how to be gleefully immature, and free Americans do.  As it happened, it was 1960, the war on the time was Cold, and our Hitler to lampoon was Nikita Kruschev...And Wilder gave Russia everything it didn't have coming to it. 😀 (One famous episode of South Park asked "Where was our Yankee-lowbrow lampoon of Osama Bin Laden, during the Iraq War?"  Watch the Saddam Hussein jokes in "Hot Shots: Part Deux", and the question will be answered.)

IAM4W, OTOH, just thought that destruction would be funny if you put enough celebrities in it, or conversely, that a star-studded Cinerama epic could also do comedy if you destroyed enough BIG things in it.  Which is like saying a pound of spinach would be tastier if you just put more ketchup on it.

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Brainstorm (1965)  -  6/10

ca1a6c16703387e75d522c97c31825b2.jpg

Hokey but mildly entertaining thriller with Jeffrey Hunter as a rocket scientist who fakes insanity in an attempt to get away with his plan to kill his boss Mr. Benson (Dana Andrews), after Jeff falls for Mrs. Benson (Anne Francis). Also featuring Viveca Lindfors, Stacy Harris, Kathie Browne, Philip Pine, Michael Pate, John Mitchum, Richard Kiel, Steve Ihnat, and Strother Martin. This was directed by William Conrad around the same time he did Two on a Guillotine and My Blood Runs Cold. They all have a sensationalist, melodramatic flair, and a lot of visible boom-mic shadows.

Source: TCM

brainstorm.jpg

I liked it a tad bit more gave it a 7/10 review here

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11 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Buena Vista Social Club (1999)  -  5/10

Bvsccover.jpg

Music documentary from director Wim Wenders focusing on the title music group, mostly old Cuban musicians and singers assembled by American guitarist and film composer Ry Cooder.

I saw this in the theater with my bf at the time, a documentary filmmaker. He pointed out the entire movie was "filmed" digitally, without using film - my first exposure to this media/technique. The high contrast "look" of this movie evoked the feeling of intense sun & heat of Cuba.

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I've been seeing movies regularly, but not mentioning them here: mostly noirs recorded last month on TCM: NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, WOMAN ON THE RUN, 99 RIVER ST. -all good to great.

Last night I stumbled onto BENNY & JOON '93 a movie I've always wanted to see, so settled in to watch it. It really didn't matter that the first 10-15 minutes were missed, the plot was pretty easy to catch up with.

A typical romantic comedy driven by the principle personalities with an extra bonus of quirkiness. This is absolutely Johnny Depp's movie, with very good supporting performances by Mary Stuart Masterson, Julianne Moore and Aiden Quinn.

Depp is drop dead androgynous gorgeous, wholly mesmerizing and adorably coiffed. Not just another "pretty face" Depp redeems himself through charming performances of the charactor, giving us the happy ending we seek. 

"Homage" is an oft discussed argument in my household. It often strikes me as a "cheap shot" in a movie, offering a common reference to evoke an easy laugh/nostalgia. Depp's character imitating silent Keaton/Chaplin schtick did not offend me, it seemed to be the charactor's lame way of coping, not the writer's inclusion for instant nostalgia. Maybe I felt that way thinking most of this movie's viewers have never seen old silent movies.

Benny_and_joon_ver1.jpg

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13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Brainstorm (1965)  -  6/10

ca1a6c16703387e75d522c97c31825b2.jpg

Hokey but mildly entertaining thriller with Jeffrey Hunter as a rocket scientist who fakes insanity in an attempt to get away with his plan to kill his boss Mr. Benson (Dana Andrews), after Jeff falls for Mrs. Benson (Anne Francis). Also featuring Viveca Lindfors, Stacy Harris, Kathie Browne, Philip Pine, Michael Pate, John Mitchum, Richard Kiel, Steve Ihnat, and Strother Martin. This was directed by William Conrad around the same time he did Two on a Guillotine and My Blood Runs Cold. They all have a sensationalist, melodramatic flair, and a lot of visible boom-mic shadows.

Source: TCM

brainstorm.jpg

It's time to re-discover the films of William Conrad - and his leading men, Troy Donahue, Dean Jones and Jeffrey Hunter.

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I saw this in the theater with my bf at the time, a documentary filmmaker. He pointed out the entire movie was "filmed" digitally, without using film - my first exposure to this media/technique. The high contrast "look" of this movie evoked the feeling of intense sun & heat of Cuba.

I thought the digital video just made it look like a cheap home movie. There were a lot of digital video movies released before the technology and the shooting techniques adjusted to make things look like film again. I thought most of them looked awful, like a kid using a camcorder. There's no arguing the much cheaper cost and ease of use, though.

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The Phantom Carriage (1921) Danish - The backdrop is a legend that says that the last person who dies in a calendar year must ride the carriage for the following calendar year collecting dead souls, becoming in effect a sort of horse and buggy Grim Reaper. The protagonist may be a candidate for this but first through repeated flashbacks we see the ne'er do well life he is leading and the story may result in at least a glimmer of what A Christmas Carol was about. One never really knows about things like this but I would intuit that this movie may be a candidate for (one of the) best silent movies ever made. There is copious use of double exposure (to differentiate who's alive and otherwise) that seems surprising for a 1921 film. The flashbacks pile up upon each other which similarly seem modern for the times. The scenes seem in near slow motion with a lot of emphasis on expression and interior emotion but the excellence of the acting and the interest of the characters are so pronounced it doesn't really matter. I was mesmerized throughout and count this as (maybe) my fave silent ever, to date. Charlie Chaplin and Ingmar Bergman both thought highly of this film. I did not know this going in but I am not surprised. 

 

//

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The Brigand of Kandahar (1965)  -  6/10

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British adventure from Hammer Films. In 1850, half-caste army officer Case (Ronald Lewis) is stationed in India's northwest province, where the British forces are fighting a protracted battle against a native uprising led by Eli Khan (Oliver Reed). Case is accused of cowardice, and eventually joins Khan's army, but only to subvert their efforts from within. Also featuring Yvonne Romain, Katherine Woodville, Duncan Lamont, Glyn Houston, and Sean Lynch. This is goofy and dated, with Lewis and Reed both sporting dark makeup and turbans, but it's still entertaining in that Saturday matinee sort of way. A lot of the action footage is lifted from Zarak (1956).

Source: internet

brigand-of-kandahar-3.jpg

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Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965)  -  6/10

220px-Bus-rileys-back-in-town-movie-post

Melodrama with Michael Parks as a sailor who has just left the service and returned to his small home town. While he looks for work, he rekindles a romance with his former flame (Ann-Margret) who is now married. Also featuring Janet Margolin, Kim Darby, Jocelyn Brando, Brad Dexter, Brett Somers, Mimsy Farmer, Larry Storch, Ethel Griffies, Nan Martin, James Doohan, Parley Baer, and David Carradine. This was written by William Inge, but after the filmmakers changed the story during shooting, he had his name taken off of it. Parks is alternately charismatic and terrible, depending on the scene. His occasional good ole boy accent clashes with everyone else's, who supposedly grew up in the same town but don't sound anything like him. Ann-Margret's character was the one supposedly most compromised by the changes, and it's evident in the inconsistency. I enjoyed seeing the large cast in early and/or off-beat roles.

Source: TCM

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Kona Coast (1968) Directed by Lamont Johnson, written by Gilbert Ralston (screenplay), and based on the John D. MacDonald story "Bimini Gal."  It stars Richard Boone, Vera Miles, Joan Blondell, Steve Ihnat, Chips Rafferty, and Kent Smith. 

Boone plays a ship captain after the killers of his daughter and his best friend. Nice cinematography of Hawaii. I'd heard about this being trash.  If you are a Boone fan, you'll get a kick out of seeing him once again as a tough hombre, though this go round in John D. MacDonald style, in T shirt, shorts, and yellow windbreaker.

He's not a beach bum like Travis McGee he's more a fishing guide/captain marina bum, sort of like Bogart in To Have And Have Not. The film is watchable, you get to see Joan Blondell as the runner of dry out crash pad for alcoholics, Vera Miles as Boone's ex gal pal, and Kent Smith as the owner of a beach bar, hear a lot of Hawaiian lingo and see a lot of Kona scenery. 

It's watchable, a time waster for Boone fans 6/10 

source: internet a beautiful print BTW

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The Crooked Road (1965)  -  5/10

crooked-road.jpg

American reporter Robert Ryan wants to publish a story exposing the corruption of the leader (Stewart Granger) of a small European nation. Ryan is framed for murder and becomes a target himself, so he works to clear his name and get the story out. Also featuring Marius Goring, Nadia Gray, Katherine Woodville, and George Coulouris. This British film was shot on location in Yugoslavia. I thought it was tediously presented, with a somnolent script and bland direction from Don Chaffey.

Source: TCM

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30 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Crooked Road (1965)  -  5/10

crooked-road.jpg

American reporter Robert Ryan wants to publish a story exposing the corruption of the leader (Stewart Granger) of a small European nation. Ryan is framed for murder and becomes a target himself, so he works to clear his name and get the story out. Also featuring Marius Goring, Nadia Gray, Katherine Woodville, and George Coulouris. This British film was shot on location in Yugoslavia. I thought it was tediously presented, with a somnolent script and bland direction from Don Chaffey.

Source: TCM

When I first went to watch this I had high expectation with Ryan and Granger in the cast as well as the on-location setting,  but it didn't deliver.

 

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5 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

When I first went to watch this I had high expectation with Ryan and Granger in the cast as well as the on-location setting,  but it didn't deliver.

I watched it for Ryan, and I was intrigued by Granger playing a villainous role, but it was just blah.

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Desire Under the Elms (1958) --- 3/10 (oy.) Source: Rental DVD

I guess something like this had to be coming. After several last week that I was frustrated by or left indifferent by, a true misfire had to be coming along. And here it is. Desire Under the Elms is one of those films that is a lethal combination: sordid and sluggish. It's not as though it would have been much better or less offensive if it went at a faster clip, but the funereal pacing only makes you recognize how hopeless it all is. The three leads try (and Burl Ives in particular gets well into the part), but at this point, the tale of a forbidden love affair and its consequences, once a much praised play by Eugene O'Neill, feels more like one of those horribly overheated and vulgar true crime stories that feature on TV as you race to move on to another channel. What can you really say when you can't stand any of the parties in this love (or is it lust) triangle? As Audrey Hepburn might have said in Breakfast at Tiffany's, they are all "superrats". What little there is that is salvageable to some degree is the remarkably crisp black-and-white cinematography and yet another fine musical score by Elmer Bernstein. otherwise, a complete wash.

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Dark Intruder (1965)  -  7/10

dark-intruder.jpg?w=470&h=369

Originally intended as a pilot for a TV series entitled The Black Cloak, this was instead released as a short 59-minute feature by Universal. Leslie Nielsen stars as a paranormal investigator in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. He's looking into a series of grisly murders that resemble those of Jack the Ripper, and the evidence points to a ancient Sumerian demon unleashed on the city. But could the real culprit be something even more bizarre? Featuring Peter Mark Richman, Judi Meredith, Gilbert Green, Charles Bolender, Vaughn Taylor, Peter Brocco, Bill Quinn, Al Lettieri, and Werner Klemperer. The production values match the movie's TV origins, but the subject matter is interesting, and Nielsen has fun in role. I also liked the spook-show score by Lalo Schifrin.

Source: internet

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4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965)  -  6/10

220px-Bus-rileys-back-in-town-movie-post

Melodrama with Michael Parks as a sailor who has just left the service and returned to his small home town. While he looks for work, he rekindles a romance with his former flame (Ann-Margret) who is now married. Also featuring Janet Margolin, Kim Darby, Jocelyn Brando, Brad Dexter, Brett Somers, Mimsy Farmer, Larry Storch, Ethel Griffies, Nan Martin, James Doohan, Parley Baer, and David Carradine. This was written by William Inge, but after the filmmakers changed the story during shooting, he had his name taken off of it. Parks is alternately charismatic and terrible, depending on the scene. His occasional good ole boy accent clashes with everyone else's, who supposedly grew up in the same town but don't sound anything like him. Ann-Margret's character was the one supposedly most compromised by the changes, and it's evident in the inconsistency. I enjoyed seeing the large cast in early and/or off-beat roles.

Source: TCM

Originally, it was a one-act play. 

And, I believe, it was a TV movie, too.

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Do Not Disturb (1965)  -  6/10

220px-Do_Not_Disturb_1965_poster.jpg

Comedy with Doris Day and Rod Taylor as an American couple who move to England for his work. Before they can really settle in, they both become mistakenly convinced that the other is having an affair. Also featuring Hermione Baddeley, Sergio Fantoni, Maura McGiveney, Leon Askin, Britt Ekland, and Reginald Gardiner in his final film. This was definitely a rung or three down the ladder from the Day/Hudson films, but I still found some of it cute. Day reportedly considered this one of her worst. 

Source: Amazon video

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