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I Just Watched...

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Just now, laffite said:

Ralphie+about+to+become+rat+food+Blast+O

I wonder what he's looking at there. A rat or a pizza.

The ax....

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8 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

The ax....

Ah! I found the review I posted on the computer (never posted it here, I believe) and decided to post it (without changing anything, an impulse.) I never do that. Anyway, the film is a little blurry. It was meant of course as a quip but you did bring that all back with your little comment there.

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14 minutes ago, laffite said:

I wonder what he's looking at there. A rat or a pizza.

Why not both?

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I had a mini John Cusack-athon:  Say Anything and The Grifters.  I hadn't seen either of these is such a long time I had forgotten how The Grifters ended.  (Spoiler, not a happy ending.)  Both held up well, I think.  Both with good casts.  The ending of Say Anything with Cusack and Skye on the plane to England reminded me of the end of The Graduate with Elaine and Ben on the bus after their dramatic getaway:  Now what?  What happens to these two romantic pairs? 

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The Grifters is a fine film with some of their best performances by the 3 stars. 

Hard edged.   But I did have trouble eating oranges after this one.  

 

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8 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

The Grifters is a fine film with some of their best performances by the 3 stars. 

Hard edged.   But I did have trouble eating oranges after this one.  

 

The book is better. 

(At the very real risk of sounding pretentious) I’ve read most of the bodies of work at Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, etc. and THE GRIFTERS is right up there with them In terms of genuinely great literature.

i mean it. 

It Would without a doubt make my top five favorite books of all time.

(It’s one of those truly unique reading experiences)

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13 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

But I did have trouble eating oranges after this one.  

I forgot how the movie ended but I DID remember the oranges.  Yikes!  Pat Hingle was quite scary as Huston's mob boss.  

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7 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

The book is better.

Hmm...I haven't read the book.  I'll have to check that out.  Is the movie faithful to the book?

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11 hours ago, Peebs said:

Hmm...I haven't read the book.  I'll have to check that out.  Is the movie faithful to the book?

Very very much so- It updates the setting from 1963 to what was then the present day of 1990; it bypasses a brief subplot about a nurse hired to take care of the John Cusack character, and I don’t think it goes into quite the same detail about the incest...But other than that it’s very much the same.

However, once you know about those two wonderful, delicious twists at the end – the experience just can’t quite be the same.

 Luckily I read the book 1st, ironically when I was in detention in high school, and I remember just sitting there with an open mouth in shock  after I finished it.

Since you already know how THE GRIFTERS ends, some other Jim Thompson books that you might enjoy are:

The killer inside me, pop 1260, a hell of a woman, wild town, the transgressors, and south of heaven.

(Sorry, posting with my phone and don’t have time to punctuate properly)

 

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3 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

It updates the setting from 1963 to what was then the present day of 1990;

I've got it ordered, there are still half a dozen Thompson books that I haven't read. I'm looking forward to reading the story in it's correct setting. 

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11 hours ago, Peebs said:

I had a mini John Cusack-athon:

Wow. I avoid John Cusack almost as much as Tom Hanks. I'll see a movie Cusack's in, but his presence always diminishes my enjoyment of the story. Cusack seems to always have his mouth gaping open.

But Cusack would be my choice to depict the great Irving Thalberg in a biopic:

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38 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Wow. I avoid John Cusack almost as much as Tom Hanks. I'll see a movie Cusack's in, but his presence always diminishes my enjoyment of the story. Cusack seems to always have his mouth gaping open.

But Cusack would be my choice to depict the great Irving Thalberg in a biopic:

Well, it's not too hard to avoid Cusack movies these days.  He seems to be in straight to video (or streaming these days) movies.  I like Cusack's earlier movies, gaping mouth and all.  I especially liked "High Fidelity."  He's been touring with "Say Anything" "High Fidelity" and "Grosse Point Blank" taking questions after the movie.  

He does look a bit like Thalberg.  I always thought if they ever did a John Garfield bio-pic that Mark Ruffalo would be a good choice.

 

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I've got it ordered, there are still half a dozen Thompson books that I haven't read. I'm looking forward to reading the story in it's correct setting. 

THE 1990 FILM of THE GRIFTERS was, I think, an independent film (produced by SCORCESE?) released by a very, very young MIRAMAX and was done on a budget of NOTHING. Once they were able to pay the salaries of HUSTON and director STEPHEN FREARS (who was coming off DANGEROUS LIAISONS) there was probably maybe a couple million left in the budget (and the film was still not a hit.) Long story short- there wasn't money in the budget for period sets, locations, costumes, cars, music, etc.

so i see why they set it in the present day, and actually, it does have a somewhat timeless quality- there are trains, a racetrack, and old fashioned dialogue (love how HUSTON always says "LOS ANGLE-ES")

of course, even then, HARVEY was able to wield his proverbial tube sock full of oranges and get OSCAR NODS for HUSTON (for best lead, even tho she's supporting), BEST DIRECTOR for FREARS and Supporting Actress for ANNETTE BENING (even though she is awful in the film.)

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I have read *almost* everything by JIM THOMPSON, and he is my favorite AMERICAN author, although there is a SCUD missile quality to his overall output- it varies WILDLY in quality, and he often recycled ideas and premises (hotel bellboys who get in over their heads is a popular motif in his work.)

HIS BEST WORKS: THE GRIFTERS, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, POP 1280 and THE TRANSGRESSORS

ALSO GOOD: WILD TOWN (which is a clever prequel to THE KILLER INSIDE ME) SOUTH OF HEAVEN (which is the "lightest" book he ever wrote- it borders on being a comedy) A HELL OF A WOMAN (which is a black comedy), AFTER DARK MY SWEET, SAVAGE NIGHT and NOTHING MORE THAN MURDER

WORKS I'D ONLY RECOMMEND FOR THOMPSON COMPLETISTS: (some of which should not have been republished as they were clearly written in a delirious booze haze); CROPPER'S CABIN, RECOIL, THE NOTHING MAN are all okay; i really dislike THE GETAWAY; TEXAS BY THE TAIL, THE ALCOHOLICS (which is nothing more than a bare bones outline for a story they found in his desk drawer after he died) and his psuedo-autobiographies like HEED THE THUNDER.

AVOID: KING BLOOD and THE KILL-OFF.

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"Madame DuBarry" - William Dieterle - 1934 -

starring Delores De Rio and Reginald Owen -

It's a gorgeous production -

well-mounted and well-directed -

and vigorously acted by its' ensemble cast -

but this story of King Louis XV and Madame Dubarry -

becomes one of a dirty old man and an empty-headed **** -

if you want your SMUT to look good -

this atrocity is for you -

Dolores Del Rio gives an entirely clueless performance -

she acts like she's won the role of a lifetime -

81L9onS8P+L._SX425_.jpg

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41 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I have read *almost* everything by JIM THOMPSON, and he is my favorite AMERICAN author, although there is a SCUD missile quality to his overall output- it varies WILDLY in quality, and he often recycled ideas and premises (hotel bellboys who get in over their heads is a popular motif in his work.)

HIS BEST WORKS: THE GRIFTERS, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, POP 1280 and THE TRANSGRESSORS

ALSO GOOD: WILD TOWN (which is a clever prequel to THE KILLER INSIDE ME) SOUTH OF HEAVEN (which is the "lightest" book he ever wrote- it borders on being a comedy) A HELL OF A WOMAN (which is a black comedy), AFTER DARK MY SWEET, SAVAGE NIGHT and NOTHING MORE THAN MURDER

WORKS I'D ONLY RECOMMEND FOR THOMPSON COMPLETISTS: (some of which should not have been republished as they were clearly written in a delirious booze haze); CROPPER'S CABIN, RECOIL, THE NOTHING MAN are all okay; i really dislike THE GETAWAY; TEXAS BY THE TAIL, THE ALCOHOLICS (which is nothing more than a bare bones outline for a story they found in his desk drawer after he died) and his psuedo-autobiographies like HEED THE THUNDER.

AVOID: KING BLOOD and THE KILL-OFF.

I'm just about finished with WILD TOWN have read THE KILLER INSIDE ME, POP 1280 (the character in this one is Lou Ford-ish also), HELL OF A WOMAN, A SWELL LOOKING BABE, didn't like the end of THE GETAWAY usually nobody does, lol. NOW ON EARTH is a sort of an autobiography, and THIS WORLD THEN THE FIREWORKS is a collection of shorter stories.

Though I really like the Film This World Then The Fireworks with Sheryl Lee, Billy Zane, Rue McClanahan and Gina Gershon.

The Kill-Off as a film though was a great cheapo production all up dated and set in a Jersey Shore Amusement Park town, check it out if you can find it. 

Hit Me is Based on A SWELL LOOKING BABE though it's updated to the then present and I really like it also.

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Absolution Poster

Absolution (1978) 6/10 DVD

A pretty good  British suspense film about a priest in a Catholic boarding school, he deals with a resentful student who may or may not have committed murder.

Richard Burton stars as the strict Father Godard and he is excellent. The film takes a long time to get going though it's only 95 minutes long. It was written by Anthony Shaffer ("Sleuth") so you can expect some shocking plot twists. The movie was filmed in 1978 but not released in the USA until 1988, 4 years after Burton's death. While it's not great it is worth seeing for Burton and a good ending. 

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5 hours ago, Peebs said:

Well, it's not too hard to avoid Cusack movies these days.  He seems to be in straight to video (or streaming these days) movies.  I like Cusack's earlier movies, gaping mouth and all.  I especially liked "High Fidelity."  He's been touring with "Say Anything" "High Fidelity" and "Grosse Point Blank" taking questions after the movie.  

He does look a bit like Thalberg.  I always thought if they ever did a John Garfield bio-pic that Mark Ruffalo would be a good choice.

 

I saw a film starring him in a movie theater four years ago.

He was playing, of all people, Beach Boy Brian Wilson in "Love and Mercy".

He shared the role with with Paul Dano who mercifully played Brian during the most public and creative part of Brian's career in the 1960s. Paul actually resembled Brian Wilson for the time period. 

The movie played back and forth with chronology and why they selected Cusack to play Brian Wilson later in his life can only have to do with the box office. So, half the movie, the half without Cusack was quite good. But the Cusack part was rather incongruent and weird, except for some outstanding performances by Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks.

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13 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

I saw a film starring him in a movie theater four years ago.

He was playing, of all people, Beach Boy Brian Wilson in "Love and Mercy".

I saw that too.  I don't remember thinking Cusack was the best fit for later Brian Wilson either.  (Who would have been better?  Maybe Russell Crowe?)  Giamatti was memorable as slimy Dr. Landy.  I think Cusack is one of those actors who is very effective and appealing in certain roles but less so in others outside his comfort zone.  I tried "The Raven" where he played Edgar Allen Poe and didn't make it through the whole picture.  I read a book that I think Cusack would be great in if it were ever filmed:  "After Visiting Friends:  A Son's Story."  It's a true story that the writer uncovers about his father's mysterious death.  It takes place in Chicago in 1970 and his dad was a reporter for a local paper.  I pictured an older Cusack with horned-rimmed glasses as I read it.  

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9 minutes ago, Peebs said:

I saw that too.  I don't remember thinking Cusack was the best fit for later Brian Wilson either.  (Who would have been better?  Maybe Russell Crowe?)  Giamatti was memorable as slimy Dr. Landy.  I think Cusack is one of those actors who is very effective and appealing in certain roles but less so in others outside his comfort zone.  I tried "The Raven" where he played Edgar Allen Poe and didn't make it through the whole picture.  I read a book that I think Cusack would be great in if it were ever filmed:  "After Visiting Friends:  A Son's Story."  It's a true story that the writer uncovers about his father's mysterious death.  It takes place in Chicago in 1970 and his dad was a reporter for a local paper.  I pictured an older Cusack with horned-rimmed glasses as I read it.  

Paul Giamatti was also a standout in some of the last episodes of " Downton Abbey ".

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Mission: Impossible - Season One (1966-1967)

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The first season of the successful espionage/suspense drama series, comprised of 28 hour-long episodes. The IMF, or Impossible Missions Force, is a highly secretive organization dedicated to thwarting threats to the "Free World", be they political or criminal in nature. Team leader and tactician Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) receives the mission specifics in a variety of self-destructing media, most famously an audio tape that burns up after being played. 

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The original concept of the show as planned by creator Bruce Geller was that Briggs would be the sole regular character, and he would choose a rotating roster of agents with the skills necessary for each week's particular mission. That would have been interesting, but instead the show ended up using the same core of characters for most of the season, with a handful of one-and-done members scattered throughout. The regulars included Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain), a highly-skilled actress and seductress; Barney Collier (Greg Morris), a master with electronics; Willy Armitage (Peter Lupus), champion bodybuilder who provides raw brute force; and Rollin Hand (Martin Landau), an expert mimic, master of disguises, and highly adept at sleight-of-hand trickery. Landau didn't want to be tied down to a television contract in case movie roles became available, so he's credited as a guest performer in each episode, despite appearing in nearly all of them. Some of the one-off agents were played by Wally Cox, George Takei, Mary Ann Mobley, Paul Mantee, and Richard Anderson, among others.

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Show creator Geller insisted on a minimum of character development, as he wanted the focus to be squarely on the logistics and execution of each week's mission. As a result, none of the characters are given substantial back stories, and little to no detail is given about how they became agents for IMF, or anything about their personal lives outside of the missions. I can see how this may cause some viewers to not warm to the show, although I enjoyed it quite a bit. The show's productions values are top-notch for the time, and the acting is excellent. This first season ended up winning Emmys for Best Drama Series, Best Actress in a Drama (Bain), Best Writing (Geller), and Best Editing, while Landau was nominated for Best Actor in a Drama (he lost to Bill Cosby in I Spy). 

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Steven Hill was a devout Orthodox Jew and observed all of the attendant customs, including leaving work promptly on Friday afternoon, regardless of the shooting delays or changing schedule. While the producers had originally agreed to this arrangement, they soon regretted it, and after Hill clashed with the producers about doing some stunts that he hadn't agreed on, they cut down his role to a bare minimum for the remainder of the season, replacing him with Peter Graves as a new character in the second season and for the rest of the series. Steven Hill wouldn't work on screen again for 10 years.

Mission-Impossible_1966.jpg

Source: CBS/Paramount DVD

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Quote

He does look a bit like Thalberg.

And Cusack's a good enough actor to pull it off-he can adopt Thalberg's demeanor. (Cusack sucked as Brian Wilson)

Quote

I always thought if they ever did a John Garfield bio-pic that Mark Ruffalo would be a good choice.

Heh, never heard of Ruffalo, but looking at his pictures yeah, I think he could pull it off-if he's a good actor too.

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1200px-Mark_Ruffalo_June_2014.jpg

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