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Zatoichi's Pilgrimage (1966)  -  7/10

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14th entry in the long-running Japanese film series. Master Ichi (Shintaro Katsu), the blind masseur, expert gambler, and master swordsman, goes on a pilgrimage to visit 88 shrines to atone for all the people that he's killed in the previous 13 movies. But wouldn't you know it, not long after visiting the first temple he gets caught up in a small village's drama, as they are being menaced by gangster and horse trader Tohachi (Isao Yamagata) and his cronies. Ichi also begins a chaste romance with local girl Kichi (Michiyo Yasuda). Also featuring Masao Mishima, and Hisashi Igawa. I liked that the script (co-written by Kaneto Shindo & Kan Shimozawa) addresses the mental toll that Ichi's character deals with as a good guy driven to violent resolutions. I was impressed with Yasuda as the plucky Kichi, who refuses to back down from the villains. I've read that she was a big star in Japan in the latter half of the decade, so I'd be interested in tracking down more of her work. This film's finale is also noteworthy, as it shows Ichi struggling a bit, which is quite a contrast to some of the earlier films that show him as an unstoppable force of nature.

Source: Criterion Blu-ray

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Young Torless (1966)  -  7/10

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German drama from director Volker Schlondorff. Set during the turn-of-the-century and at an exclusive all-boys boarding school in Austria, the story concerns a student named Torless (Mathieu Carriere) who stands by while his classmates torment another student named Basini (Marian Siedowsky). What starts as typical school-boy hazing becomes more violent and degrading, and Torless is caught up in an internal moral quagmire as to how to proceed: report the events to the clueless faculty, join in on the tormenting, or dispassionately observe. Also featuring Bernd Tischer, Fred Dietz, Lotte Liedl, and Barbara Steele. Schlondorff's feature directing debut is a well-rendered depiction of petty cruelty and the dangers of acquiescence in the face of wrongdoing. There are no easy answers to the quandary either, as no one is shown to be blameless. 

Source: The Criterion Channel

Yes, Matthieu Carriere was memorable in this film.

He also made a memorable contribution in Brigitte Bardot's film, "Miss Don Juan".

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49 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

ROCKETMAN

That's right, the new biopic about Elton John. My husband and I went to see it tonight, at a movie theatre and everything.

I thought it was quite good; now, you would have to be at least a bit of a fan of his music, but then, why would you see it if you're not?

A lot of biopics suffer from trying to fit a person's entire lifetime, everything that happens to them, all the people they meet, etc. into a 2 hour movie. Rocketman doesn't make that mistake. It does not take a straightforward, chronological approach; rather, it treats Elton John's story as a kind of fantasy-musical, with the songs as a kind of literal soundtrack to his life. Actually, in its way it does follow the singer-songwriter's career chronologically, but it takes a lot of liberties with that, and certainly the order in which you hear the songs themselves is all over the place (chronologically, I mean.)

But none of this matters. What works in the film is the extremely sympathetic portrayal of this 70s rock superstar, and the imaginative treatment of some milestone events in his life. I would have preferred a little more emphasis on his actual music and his life-long collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin - after all, it's the music itself that made Elton John famous enough to have a biopic made about him. Instead, a lot of the film focuses on Elton's emotional issues, his unsuccessful struggles to gain recognition and love from his father (according to the movie he never did), his heart-breaking love affair with his manager, and his subsequent addiction issues : talk about sex and drugs and rock and roll. Elton explored the first two to dangerous excess. There's one point in the film where he declares he's "f**ked everything and done every drug you can think of". Plus, of course, endless drinking.

The fact the Elton John had the strength and self-knowledge to finally get himself some help is forever to his credit. It's also amazing, given the decadent excessive life-style he led for many years, that he did not die, either from AIDS (which he was lucky enough to never get) or a drug /alcohol overdose. Somehow he managed to NOT be yet another rock star casualty fallen to drugs and alcohol.

But what really counts about Elton John, what made him beloved and famous, was of course his exceptional talent as a composer and performer. I'd kind of forgotten how good he was, how , all through the 70s, he just keep writing hit after hit. Almost all of them really good, almost all of them deserving of the success they received. Funny, although I liked his stuff, I never bought any of his albums. Yet I think, no matter what your taste in music might be, no one can deny that Elton John wrote incredibly good songs, He was like a Mozart of the 20th century (along with Paul McCartney) in that melody just seemed to come to him from out of the air.

I should mention, Taron Egerton does a truly fine job as Elton; he even looks a bit like him, and does all his own singing. 

Anyway, if you like his music at all, you're enjoy Rocketman. My one complaint is that they kind of waste what I consider to be his absolute best song, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". You'll know what I mean if you see the movie.

So glad that you iiked it, Elton John was a uniquely talented singer/songwriter.

 

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"Die Frau im Mond" (1929)

Some of this movie was quite insightful and accurate in how the moon would be explored.  Sending a probe to photograph it first and the dark side was on the button in being so heavily cratered like the later 1958 Soviet probe Luna 3 revealed.

HOW IN THE HECK did they foresaw the Apollo 8 trajectory and Earth rise?? :o

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Used a multistage rocket like the Saturn V (referring to the 2nd stage as the middle)

Understood g force on the body

 

Movie is correct in that there should be an economic incentive like the acquisition of rare precious metals to validate the expense of space exploration.  (asteroid mining for example).

Moon surface is accurate regarding footprints.

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Taking photos / movie film

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Using a lander instead of the entire rocket like many sci fi film showed.

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Hard landing though, 1201 alarm I guess. :P

Fritz Lang's idea of "The Right Stuff".

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:lol:

 

Think instead of saying "One small step...

he yelled... Hey, we can smoke here!

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(after lighting those matches ;))

 

"Spoiler"...some people said in the movie afterwards, the landing didn't happen because it was shot on a movie set. :P

 

Had 2 similarities to the movie  "Armageddon" (1998), a gun was brought on board and they had to draw straws to determine who stays behind.

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8 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Anyway, if you like his music at all, you'll enjoy Rocketman.

I'm afraid to see it. I was a huge fan, following him even before he came to the US in 1970. I know all about his early years, his relationship with his parents and how he & Bernie "found" each other, which I think is the most fascinating aspect of their careers.

I wasn't around during his heavy drug use years and am worried too much time will be wasted on showing depravity and not enough on the positivity -although like Miss W- am so glad Elton survived it.

If ROCKETMAN was just a movie about his early years writing, forming the band, coming to America & performing, it would have been exciting. Probably not as exciting or dramatic, but more inspiring.

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Yeah.  I don't know how thorough it is in "detailing" his life.  Like, does it ever cover his short stint of sitting in on the keys for The Beach Boys?  But then that could have been just for that '72 TV special.( at the Hollywood Bowl)

Sepiatone

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I watched CENTRAL PARK (1932) yesterday afternoon

LEONARD MALTIN'S REVIEW: 😧 John Adolfi. Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, Wallace Ford, Henry B. Walthall, Patricia Ellis, Charles Sellon. Blondell and Ford uplift this programmer as a pair of small-town kids making their way in the big city who inadvertently become involved with gangsters. Set entirely in N.Y.C.'s Central Park.

(END REVIEW)

Sigh.

No Leonard, it is not set entirely in CENTRAL PARK, it's about 40/60 with the first act taking place largely in the Park and the Zoo, but the THE ENTIRETY OF THE REST is hotel rooms, police stations and night clubs (the last may be in a restaraunt on the park green, but still, I protest.)

God dammit, Leonard, WHY DO I EVER LISTEN TO YOU???

(Sorry, I hate NYC but I like Central Park all right, and I was interested in vintage footage- which we sort of get in the first two minutes with an aerial shot of the park as it was ca. 1932, ONLY FOR SOME REASON THEY HAVE WC FIELDS HOLDING THE CAMERA SO HAVE YOUR DRAMAMINE READY.

Getting over the disappointment with both the film NOT TAKING PLACE IN CENTRAL PARK MUCH and the fact that i was STUPID ENOUGH TO FALL FOR ANYTHING MALTIN HAD TO SAY, this film had its moments- like when a bat****-loonball escaped convict returns for revenge and locks the guy who ratted on him in a lion cage- but overall it was terribly uneven and had a sort of "making it up as we go along" general air about it.

WALLACE FORD is a charmer, and JOAN BLONDELL is always worth watching- this is as close as she ever came to playing "dumb"- and she is still smarter than everyone else in the movie.

 

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really, BIG THANKS to both RAYBAN and HIBI for checking out MYRA BRECKINRIDGE for the rest of us.

there really is NOTHING QUITE so uniquely, shockingly, disarmingly, unnervingly, unsettlingly BAD as the WORST BAD MOVIES OF THE 1970'S- be they studio hubris like THE LOST HORIZON MUSICAL and MANDINGO or MESSED UP UNDERGROUND **** WHERE THEY WERE DOING SICK STUFF OUT IN THE OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THERE WAS NO GOVERNOR ON THE ENGINE.

I really hope you are both doing all right, and I remind that there is a National Suicide Hotline.

 

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Yeah.  I don't know how thorough it is in "detailing" his life.  Like, does it ever cover his short stint of sitting in on the keys for The Beach Boys?  But then that could have been just for that '72 TV special.( at the Hollywood Bowl)

Sepiatone

Well, I think I said in my post about the film that it did not "thoroughly detail" his life. As I said, it does not take a straightforward, step-by-step, chronological approach to Elton's biography. Rather, it takes a few key moments in his life and builds scenes around them, of course accompanied by his songs.

Think about it, Sepiatone: it's a two-hour movie. It doesn't have time to mention every single significant musical gig he ever did. Hard-core fans probably already know about that stint with the Beach Boys, but Elton did a lot of collaborating with other famous musicians, especially in the 70s, and as I said, the movie just wouldn't have time to "detail" all of them.

It's a problem with biopics that I think we're all aware of here, that there is no way the biopic movie can ever capture everything the famous person did, every influential person they met, every sublime moment in their creative endeavours. That's why I actually thought Rocketman was better than most biopics: it didn't even try to do that.

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

really, BIG THANKS to both RAYBAN and HIBI for checking out MYRA BRECKINRIDGE for the rest of us.

there really is NOTHING QUITE so uniquely, shockingly, disarmingly, unnervingly, unsettlingly BAD as the WORST BAD MOVIES OF THE 1970'S- be they studio hubris like THE LOST HORIZON MUSICAL and MANDINGO or MESSED UP UNDERGROUND **** WHERE THEY WERE DOING SICK STUFF OUT IN THE OPEN FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THERE WAS NO GOVERNOR ON THE ENGINE.

I really hope you are both doing all right, and I remind that there is a National Suicide Hotline.

 

I'm considering a double feature of Myra Breckinridge with The Legend of Lylah Clare. Both of which I have on the DVR...

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15 hours ago, rayban said:

So glad that you iiked it, Elton John was a uniquely talented singer/songwriter.

 

When I studied dance professionally our artistic director / choreographer was a gay man who was a brilliant tap dancer and Jazz choreographer.

He utilized Elton John's music in all of our classes.

At the time I don't think people realized what a high-level of quality this music was because it was Top 40.

*" Bennie and the Jets" was my favorite.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

4 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I'm considering a double feature of Myra Breckinridge with The Legend of Lylah Clare. Both of which I have on the DVR...

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Uh oh. I recorded it. Now I'm afraid to watch it. At least I didn't buy it. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 7:08 PM, rayban said:

"Myra Breckinridge" - Michael Sarne - 1970 -

how this film got made or released is a mystery -

TBF, the book was huge at the time, one of Gore Vidal's biggest (remember the 1968 Gore Vidal vs. Wm. F Buckley political debates, where Buckley's answer to every question was "I'm supposed to take that from the author of 'Myra Breckinridge'??"?), and a lot of studio money was thrown at filming it.

The book was a satire of "Old Hollywood" (as we got a lot of in the late 60's/early 70's, which also explains the presence of Mae West and old L&H stock clips), and studios expected it to be "controversial", they just didn't expect Sarne to destroy it into a moronic drive-in softcore.

(And, of course, once everyone found out 80-yo. Mae was still alive and still filthy, that got Sextette (1978) filmed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as6Iv5R1G0M )

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Think it was So You Want to be a Detective (1948) that appeared right after The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) on July 3rd, but it was one of those comedic shorts like the guy going around selling vacuum cleaners that usually appears at some odd early hour on a Saturday. (And after looking it up, Joe McDoakes played by George O'Hanlon did a lot of these, which is a joy to hear.) The detective one I loved, felt like part-screwball comedy, one of the classics. It's just a quick short, but it has some nice wordplay, physical dialogue, sight gags, all the stuff needed for a comedy with a good lead and supports.

9/10, it's a short but it's entertaining and a fun entry and now that I know what series it's from, I'll definitely look out for the others. Pure enjoyment.

On 6/28/2019 at 7:04 PM, LawrenceA said:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)  -  7/10

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Musical comedy directed by Richard Lester, based on the stage hit. Zero Mostel stars as Pseudolus, a slave owned by wealthy Romans Senex (Michael Hordern) and Domina (Patricia Jessel). In order to win his freedom, Pseudolus attempts to help his owners' son Hero (Michael Crawford) unite with his beloved **** (Annette Andre), a virgin residing in the brothel run by Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers). Also featuring Buster Keaton (in his final role), Jack Gilford, Leon Greene, Roy Kinnear, Pamela Brown, Jon Pertwee, and Inga Neilsen. Many of the stage triumph's songs were cut for the film, as the producers felt musicals were waning in popularity. I thought the film was funny, even if some of it fell flat for me. I wasn't as annoyed by Phil Silvers as usual, and Mostel was perfectly cast. The movie won an Oscar for Best Score, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment (that category name just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?).

Source: MGM DVD

[the censored name is P-h-i-l-i-a]<_<

I love that movie, even have the soundtrack for the broadway musical on my phone. Been a while since I seen it but still remember Miles Gloriosus and "Bring Me My Bride" with the long note, the absolutely hilarious reprise of "Lovely" and as a rule of 3, Zero Mostel, absolutely steals it and is my favorite. It's certainly not perfect, but it's certainly fun and when I first watched it, some of the more historical Roman humor flew over my head. One of the few rewatches I would make time for when it comes on TCM.

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16 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

When I studied dance professionally our artistic director / choreographer was a gay man who was a brilliant tap dancer and Jazz choreographer.

He utilized Elton John's music in all of our classes.

At the time I don't think people realized what a high-level of quality this music was because it was Top 40.

*" Bennie and the Jets" was my favorite.

Many people recognized the high level of quality in early Elton John music.  Like I usually state(when the topic comes up) he lost me 'bout the time the dumb stage costumes came about. And that KIKI DEE  period was dismal too.  "Daniel" and "Levon" remain favorites for me, but "11-17-70" is still my favorite LP.  ;)

Sepiatone

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MISSW:

I'd settle for the biopic spending slight time of him as a kid, first studying piano, to his first ambition in becoming a performer, cover some of THAT struggle, and his realization and coming to terms with his sexuality.  It can end when his ascent to fame is going to be obvious and I'd be OK with it.  His life, personal and professional has been an open book since the mid '70's , or maybe even a bit earlier, so no need to cover well trampled ground.  

It's like a BEATLES biopic( made for TV I think) that I can't recall the name of, but recall it mostly covered who each one was individually, how they all met, what they went through in their early days in England and Hamburg, and judiciously ended just as their Ed Sullivan appearance was booked.  The rest, after that, was well worn history. 

Sepiatone

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17 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

When I studied dance professionally our artistic director / choreographer utilized Elton John's music in all of our classes.

Haha when I was in dance class the teacher utilized Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass music! (indicates my age) Spanish Flea still brings nightmares.

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The Commuter (2018) Amazon Prime

Resist the urge to yell out “hey, wait a minute” every fifteen minutes, and you’ll enjoy the ride.

Liam Neeson plays an insurance salesman who has just been canned. He’s also an ex-cop, which will soon come in handy. He meets a mysterious woman aboard a New York City commuter traiin. She makes him a proposition; he can pocket a hundred grand if he can finger a passenger on the train who is carrying something important … but more details are not forthcoming … yet. Before he knows it, Neeson is in deep **** and his family is in peril if he can’t deliver the goods. This is why it’s best not to talk to people on trains.

There are some wild fight scenes, with Neeson collecting various contusions and abrasions. I think he also gets stabbed and shot, but there was so much going on, I can’t be sure. However, it is refreshing to see the hero getting pummeled as much as the bad guys – at least, that lends an air of authenticity to the fight scenes (unlike, say, Taken, where Neeson seems impervious to everyone and everything).

The filmmakers even manage to incorporate an “I am Spartacus” scene, with Adam Nagaitis, as the train conductor, delivering one hilarious line.

True, there are inexplicable things that happen, which will leave you muttering “on, come on,” but what the hell … it’s only a movie.

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Image result for the moon spinnersI loved this Disney attempt at a Hitchcock type suspense film.

It was the first time I had seen it since my childhood, but some scenes stuck with me.

Hayley Mills (becoming a lovely young lady at this time, no longer a little child) is an English girl traveling in Crete with her aunt. She meets an young Englishman (Peter McEnery, he was Dirk Bogarde's boy toy in "Victim") who is in danger from a menacing criminal (Eli Wallach).

The windmill escape is still thrilling, the locations is beautiful and Wallach is excellent. It always makes for a better film when the villain plays it straight, not as comical buffoons like in other Disney films. Hayley's next and last Disney film "That Darn Cat" also had 2 mean and scary bad guys played by Neville Brand and Frank Gorshin. 

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MAN OF THE WORLD (1931) ... on YouTube

It's a good quality print, with a good audio track.

I had not seen this one before, and I can recommend it for any William Powell fans. It's similar in plot to ONE-WAY PASSAGE (1932) but generally a little lighter in tone. Carole Lombard's role is somewhat underwritten, I think. It's hard to tell from here that she'd have such a dynamic screen presence - though of course she's a knock-out.

A revelation to me here is an actress name Wynne Gibson, of whom I'd never heard before. She's compelling in a role that is not very flattering.

As I often say, it's 'free' (on YouTube) so why wouldn't you watch?

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