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I've watched quite a few things off and on over the past few weeks. Many were re-watches. Some I may have forgotten about completely.

Last night however, I watched:

Carmen Jones

I recorded this movie a couple months ago (early enough that the Film Festival was still being advertised) and watched it last night.  I recognized the music (not the lyrics) immediately.  I never realized that the songs I recognized were from the Carmen opera.  Some of the other songs with the new lyrics I recognized the music, but not the words. While Dorothy Dandridge's operatic voice double sounded pretty good, I found Harry Belafonte's operatic voice double very off-putting.  I am not a fan of operatic music to begin with, but I wanted to see a Dandridge film and I like Belafonte. 

With that said, I'm not sure what to think about this movie.  I liked the storyline, and boy does Belafonte really go through the wringer for Dandridge.  I wasn't a fan of the music with the lyrics. While I get that the story was depicting the story of Carmen the opera, I found the music so out of place. 

I loved the costumes and I thought Pearl Bailey was fantastic. I may check out Dandridge in another film.

I don't think I'll need to watch Carmen Jones again.  It didn't do anything for me. 

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Double foray into popcorn films of 1986. Top Gun was mostly a cardboard drag (Meg Ryan has only two minutes in it yet she's livelier than anyone else in it), but Big Trouble in Little China was a lot of fun.

Was never a fan of BTILC (endless Precious Quirkiness from WD Richter, where coherent plot explanation is just too unhip), but there's more good popcorn from 1986--It wasn't '82 or '84, and nowhere near '81, but there's still plenty of hidden gold:

  • Back to School
  • Running Scared
  • The Golden Child
  • Ruthless People
  • Gung Ho
  • Peggy Sue Got Married
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash
  • F/X
  • House (not the Japanese one)
  • The Boy Who Could Fly
  • The Manhattan Project
  • Clockwise
  • Solarbabies (just as representative decade symbol, and far less insufferable on that basis than Spacecamp)

It wasn't all JUST Howard the Duck, Labyrinth and Ferris Bueller, you know.

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Father Richard Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is facing trial for wrongful death (or murder) of a 19-year-old woman (Jennifer Carpenter) when something goes terribly wrong (as they say) with an attempted exorcism. Moore’s lawyer (Laura Linney) gets him a terrific plea bargain, but he refuses because he wants everyone “to know the truth.” Early flashbacks show Emily Rose having horrific “hallucinations” that lead us to believe that she is possessed of the Devil. These sequence. are extraordinarily intense and quite SCARY. After just two of these, I threw in the towel, not necessarily out of sheer fright, but rather of unpleasantness. I am not a horror-genre fan. The film starts out as a courtroom drama and I thought oh goody I like those, but of course the title of the film should dispel any notion that it was primarily just that. But the film does seem to offer a glimpse of both worlds, a courtroom drama and a hairy-scary horror story (although horror takes precedence). Everything I’ve said about the film here takes place within the first 15 or so minutes of the film so I don't think there are any serious spoilers. I have no inkling of what happens later on in the film but despite that, it is safe to say that it is to be recommended to passionate horror fans.

//

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I thought it was merely okay, with good performances and nice production values. However, the possession/exorcism sub-genre has never been a favorite of mine (they should have just quit with them after The Exorcist was released), especially the ones that try to play the hokey "true story" angle, and I was frankly just tired of the whole thing before it was over. 

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The Untouchables (1987)

Based on Elliot Ness's memoirs and inspired by the popular '50s television series of the same name, director Brian De Palma's elaborate big budget take on the Chicago tug of war between Treasury agent Ness and gangland boss Al Capone remains an entertaining production that is also surprisingly corny and old fashioned in many ways.

Just as the battle between good and evil was always presented in starkly black and white terms in the television series so, to a very large degree, it is in this film. Ness, as played by Kevin Costner, is such a do gooder boy scout (okay he compromises that towards the end) that it's difficult to take the characterization seriously. Ness' family, both his ever smiling supportive wife and little son, is also idealized (and unreal) in this presentation, as well. Not helping the credibility is some of the laughably simplistic dialogue such as Ness' cry of "Let's do good" before he batters down the door of a warehouse where gangland liquor is stored.

On the positive side, though, is the flamboyant performance of Robert De Niro as Capone (not a lot of subtlety here, though) and, best of all,  Sean Connery as a tough Irish cop who becomes one of the "untouchables" and Ness' mentor in many ways to "the Chicago way." If you can forgive the casting of a renowned Scotsman as an Irishman, Connery brings a street authenticity to this production which helps to compensate for the boy scout antics of Costner's portrayal. Connery received a supporting actor Oscar for his performance.

Of course, De Palma has some big tour de force set piece moments with his camera in the production, the two highlights a very elaborate (and slow motion) shoot out in a railway station, as well as the setup for a gangland hit on one of the untouchables. The railway sequence, complete with a baby in a carriage slowly rolling down some steep steps as the shoot out takes place is clearly a homage (or steal, depending upon one's point of view) to a scene in Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. It's fun to watch but, with that baby in the carriage, I still couldn't help but chuckle a bit at the corniness of the writing.

Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith play two of the other Treasury agent untouchables in this film. Billy Drago, as a colourful, if two dimensional, hit man Frank Nitti has a few memorable moments in the film. Just don't think for a second you're watching history, though, when it comes to his fate in this fanciful production.

Ennio Morricone composed the film's elaborate modern sounding musical score with virtually no attempt to capture early Depression era music.

ep32-untouch.jpg?resize=625,397

3 out of 4

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THE LOST PATROL might just be one of my 15 favorite films of the 1930's; it's also one of my favorite films that runs less than 80 minutes. 

KARLOFF THE UNCANNY also has a great non-horror role in 1932's Best Picture nominee FIVE-STAR FINAL.

I started watching that, had to stop, and never got around to restarting it before it left onDemand. 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I thought it was merely okay, with good performances and nice production values. However, the possession/exorcism sub-genre has never been a favorite of mine (they should have just quit with them after The Exorcist was released), especially the ones that try to play the hokey "true story" angle, and I was frankly just tired of the whole thing before it was over. 

Every time I mention The Exorcism of Emily Rose to someone, the person thinks I’m talking about The Exorcist. It’s happened so many times that I was starting to believe I made a movie up in my head that didn’t actually exist. :lol:

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Father Richard Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is facing trial for wrongful death (or murder) of a 19-year-old woman (Jennifer Carpenter) when something goes terribly wrong (as they say) with an attempted exorcism. Moore’s lawyer (Laura Linney) gets him a terrific plea bargain, but he refuses because he wants everyone “to know the truth.” Early flashbacks show Emily Rose having horrific “hallucinations” that lead us to believe that she is possessed of the Devil. These sequence. are extraordinarily intense and quite SCARY. After just two of these, I threw in the towel, not necessarily out of sheer fright, but rather of unpleasantness. I am not a horror-genre fan. The film starts out as a courtroom drama and I thought oh goody I like those, but of course the title of the film should dispel any notion that it was primarily just that. But the film does seem to offer a glimpse of both worlds, a courtroom drama and a hairy-scary horror story (although horror takes precedence). Everything I’ve said about the film here takes place within the first 15 or so minutes of the film so I don't think there are any serious spoilers. I have no inkling of what happens later on in the film but despite that, it is safe to say that it is to be recommended to passionate horror fans.

//

I've never seen it beginning to end, but I have picked up pieces here and there. The only possession movie that I care for is The Exorcist. I was intrigued by the courtroom drama, but as the movie delved into subject matter that I couldn't even swallow, I lost interest.

Apparently the girl this really happened to was a German girl named Anneliese Michel. The actual story is much more disturbing.

Anneliese_Michel_2.jpg

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True Confessions (1981) I just now finished this and ordinarily would probably not choose to write about it, so well known it must surely be. But I like it so much, just a few words. This must be a minor (major?) classic of sorts, and as we all know probably, stars two still-living legends, Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall. The former is a mild-mannered Monsignor and the latter is a hard-boiled Cop and they are brothers. One wouldn’t think that the twain would ever converge, so disparate are their respective professions. Well …

Most of the movie is flash backed to 1948, and I wondered where did they found all those old cars. Great setting and well realized. Big man Jack Durning, a sort of Brian Dennehey lookalike, is a good third place finisher among the actors. Although an actress named Rose Gregorio is excellent as a Madame that is not the typical type for that role, coming across as a more sensitive type (which is hard to explain as most Madams are pretty down to earth as it is.) Cryril Cusack and Burgess Meredith are also in there. It occurred to me what would happen if the principals switched roles. They are both good enough to be able say that movie would probably have been just has good. The story plays beautifully and the movie should have got an Academy Award for sound.

The story revolves around a grisly murder of a young woman. As the cop (Duvall) and other survey the crime scene they crack jokes as they visit the various body parts, all in a days work. The cop faces a question between duty and [spoiler avoided]. Meanwhile, the Monsignor appears to the outside a proper and devout Catholic servant (and he is rather well meaning) but is inwardly disturbed about the playing of politics with regard to what might benefit the church and at the behest of his Bishop. But he will soon have other problems.

The ending is bittersweet, taking place on an old desert Parrish. A great finish to a great movie. It is so finely wrought that it is staying on the DVR for perhaps another full perusal soon.

///

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15 minutes ago, Rudy's Girl said:

...but as the movie delved into subject matter that I couldn't even swallow, I lost interest.

Glad to read that because even if I did like horror films, I may have been eventually disappointed as you were. Even though I saw just a little, it rang false. Wilkinson is a good actor but he didn't seem in his element. He's used to being in better movie than this. Laura Linney had no screen presence, perhaps a harsh judgement for just a few minute I saw her. Good actors can sometimes come off badly if the film is not done right from the top down. This may have been one of those. Or perhaps not, I may not be reading it right. Thanks for posting the photo. She looks just like her portrayor. The movies are so good at that. Thanks for the warning about the true story, though I don't think I was curious enough to seek it out.

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

Glad to read that because even if I did like horror films, I may have been eventually disappointed as you were. Even though I saw just a little, it rang false. Wilkinson is a good actor but he didn't seem in his element. He's used to being in better movie than this. Laura Linney had no screen presence, perhaps a harsh judgement for just a few minute I saw her. Good actors can sometimes come off badly if the film is not done right from the top down. This may have been one of those. Or perhaps not, I may not be reading it right.

You're probably right about the actors. It's been a long time since I watched it. But I've read the true story and the movie glamorized this poor girl's death. Her mother and the priests involved believe she had "taken the demons on" to keep them away from us, I guess. Taking on sins and all that. I'm sorry, didn't Jesus do that? I changed the channel after that. The movie was trying hard to make the viewer believe that was the truth and the trial was a big waist of time.

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Experiment Perilous (1944).

Hedy Lamarr stars in a remake of Gaslight.  George Brent plays a doctor who meets Lamarr's sister-in-law and after coming into possession of the sister-in-law's diaries gets the impression that Lamarr's husband (Paul Lukas) is trying to drive her crazy or kill her, just as he killed a previous suitor and the sister-in-law.

Bargain basement version of both versions of Gaslight, despite the cast and competent direction from Jacques Tourneur.

6/10

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11 hours ago, laffite said:

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Father Richard Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is facing trial for wrongful death (or murder) of a 19-year-old woman (Jennifer Carpenter) when something goes terribly wrong (as they say) with an attempted exorcism. Moore’s lawyer (Laura Linney) gets him a terrific plea bargain, but he refuses because he wants everyone “to know the truth.” Early flashbacks show Emily Rose having horrific “hallucinations” that lead us to believe that she is possessed of the Devil. These sequence. are extraordinarily intense and quite SCARY. After just two of these, I threw in the towel, not necessarily out of sheer fright, but rather of unpleasantness. I am not a horror-genre fan. The film starts out as a courtroom drama and I thought oh goody I like those, but of course the title of the film should dispel any notion that it was primarily just that. But the film does seem to offer a glimpse of both worlds, a courtroom drama and a hairy-scary horror story (although horror takes precedence). Everything I’ve said about the film here takes place within the first 15 or so minutes of the film so I don't think there are any serious spoilers. I have no inkling of what happens later on in the film but despite that, it is safe to say that it is to be recommended to passionate horror fans.

//

One of my favorite early 21st century films. Another thing that I found interesting was the prosecutor (Campbell Scott) was a man of faith and he has to argue that the exorcism is not legit while agnostic Linney has to argue for it. The latter part is mostly courtroom drama, but the horror moments deliver. 

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10 hours ago, TomJH said:

The Untouchables (1987)

My favorite film of the 1980s. I haven't watched it recently, but I was totally knocked out by it when it was first released.

DePalma's flamboyant direction is at it's best here, there is some bloody violence, though he shows some restraint in the baseball bat scene. 

I love the cast, Costner as Ness is a star making part and he is great, maybe the best he ever did. Connery deserved the Oscar for the tough and determined cop, Andy Garcia is a interesting addition as the only Italian among the group, Charles Martin Smith is very likable and funny as the accountant suddenly involved in gunfights, he is actually the one who gets Capone by charging him with tax evasion. I liked the fact there were four Untouchables, perhaps representing the Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse. They have a great scene on horseback on a raid by the Canadian border. DePalma has said he thought of this as a John Ford film at times.

The ribbon tying everything up is the fantastic score by Morricone. I bought the soundtrack album as soon as it came out in 1987. It ranks with his best of his spaghetti western scores.

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29 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

My favorite film of the 1980s. I haven't watched it recently, but I was totally knocked out by it when it was first released.

DePalma's flamboyant direction is at it's best here, there is some bloody violence, though he shows some restraint in the baseball bat scene. 

I love the cast, Costner as Ness is a star making part and he is great, maybe the best he ever did. Connery deserved the Oscar for the tough and determined cop, Andy Garcia is a interesting addition as the only Italian among the group, Charles Martin Smith is very likable and funny as the accountant suddenly involved in gunfights, he is actually the one who gets Capone by charging him with tax evasion. I liked the fact there were four Untouchables, perhaps representing the Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse. They have a great scene on horseback on a raid by the Canadian border. DePalma has said he thought of this as a John Ford film at times.

The ribbon tying everything up is the fantastic score by Morricone. I bought the soundtrack album as soon as it came out in 1987. It ranks with his best of his spaghetti western scores.

I was a big fan of The Untouchables after originally seeing it at the show, too, Detective Jim. I still enjoy it but, as my review indicated, I now see its flaws, as well. Then, again, we may just have a difference of opinion (ie. Costner's performance, though perhaps the problem may also lie with the writing). Thanks for pointing out the raid at the Canadian border, which I neglected to mention. It was one of the film's highlight sequences, no doubt.

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

True Confessions (1981)

I saw this when it was first released. I was trying to see everything DeNiro did at this time. It's obviously based on the famous Black Dahlia murder. It doesn't answer all questions at the end but the reason to see it is the actors. DeNiro, Duvall and Durning have a great scene together in a restaurant, all are fabulous.

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14 hours ago, YourManGodfrey said:

I started watching [FIVE-STAR FINAL], had to stop, and never got around to restarting it before it left onDemand. 

I'm a sucker for PRE-CODES and especially 1930's movies where everyone talks reallyreallyreallyFAST.

In many ways, it's a very dated film, because it deals with NEWSPAPERS and also a "scandal" that, by today's standards is equivalent to ripping the tag of a mattress- but still, it works for me. If it comes on again (and it likely will when EDWARD G ROBINSON is SOTM in May(?)) try to finish it.

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6 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

The ribbon tying everything up is the fantastic score by Morricone. I bought the soundtrack album as soon as it came out in 1987. It ranks with his best of his spaghetti western scores.

As one critic pointed out, when the soundtrack soars as the gang breaks up the post-office raid for their first bust, it's just a minor skirmish, but Morricone makes it sound like they've just won the Battle of Agincourt.
(In fact, the theme does rather sound like Kenneth Branagh's speech to his troops from Henry V...)

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I was watching Adam-12 on Me-TV and the show starts with the two cops at a diner.     The waitress,  Jenny,  knows the two cops.     I look closer at the waitress and I realize I know her as well;   It was Marie Windsor.      She was only in this one scene.      I guess she really wanted to keep working.     She didn't get any special credits at the end but she clearly was the biggest actor on this episode,  regardless of how little screen time she got.

Image result for marie windsor

 

 

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9 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I was watching Adam-12 on Me-TV and the show starts with the two cops at a diner.     The waitress,  Jenny,  knows the two cops.     I look closer at the waitress and I realize I know her as well;   It was Marie Windsor.      She was only in this one scene.      I guess she really wanted to keep working.     She didn't get any special credits at the end but she clearly was the biggest actor on this episode,  regardless of how little screen time she got.

Image result for marie windsor

 

 

Would've been even cooler if Milner or McCord would've asked her to hold the chicken salad, huh.

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2 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Would've been even cooler if Milner or McCord would've asked her to hold the chicken salad, huh.

She did have one line that was very cool;   She tells the two she saw a gun and McCord asks her "are you sure it was a gun?"  and she replies "I know what a gun looks like!".

Yea,  you do you hot noir dame you!

image.jpeg.557211495b0f1c81481ae63e81b74761.jpeg

 

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12 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

She did have one line that was very cool;   She tells the two she saw a gun and McCord asks her "are you sure it was a gun?"  and she replies "I know what a gun looks like!".

Yea,  you do you hot noir dame you!

image.jpeg.557211495b0f1c81481ae63e81b74761.jpeg

 

Ya know James, now that you mentioned Marie's line here, I think I remember this scene from watching those old Adam-12 reruns on MeTV quite a few years ago, myself.

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The Rising of the Moon (1957)

I had never seen an anthology style film before this, but I am glad that I decided to watch it. It's not the most exciting film in the world, but I'm a sucker for Irish movies, so I found it really interesting to watch. The final portion, 1921, was my favorite episode of the three. Now I want go back and watch The Informer (1935) again. 

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I've been watching a lot of foreign films lately.  Today, I watched "The Commune", a Danish film from 2017.

Erik is a university professor of architecture.  Anna, his wife, is a television news anchor.  He wants to sell the large house he grew up in, but Anna has other ideas.  She wants to live in the house with her husband and 14-year old daughter while having  other adults move into the house where all the chores and expenses are shared.  Erik isn't on board with the idea at first, but he comes around eventually.  Both he and Anna interview potential housemates and the collection of boarders includes two single men, a single woman, and a married couple with a 6-year old boy.  Agreements are signed by all the parties and they consummate their living arrangements in a unique way.  How, you might ask?  By stripping down to their nuts and bolts and jumping into the Baltic Sea and frolic to a music montage!

Things start out swell.  Everyone is happy and pitching in.  Disputes about splitting of chores and ability to pay are quickly settled to everyone's satisfaction.  Then, Erik starts to experience a middle-aged man's first physiological change; his brain shifts to his crotch!  He starts to have an affair with one of his hot students named Emma.  She's 24 and looks like a younger version of Anna.  The killer is that the couple's daughter discovers the affair.  Erik tells her that he'll speak to Anna about it, and the girl agrees not to say anything to her mom.  When Erik tells Anna about the affair, you'd think he'd be contrite and ask her forgiveness.  While disturbed to hear that her husband was cheating on her, Anna was OK with his confession, until he admitted that he was really in love with Emma and would probably end his marriage to be with her.  Anna suggests he not go that route, and being the open-minded one who came up with the present living arrangement taking their family of 3 to an extended one of 9, she wants Emma to come live with everyone else at the house!

On the outside, Anna is cool and professional about the whole arrangement, but after meeting Emma and spending a day with her, she has a nervous breakdown just prior to her evening newscast.  She is taken off the air and ultimately loses her job over the incident.  At dinner one night, she gets very emotional and basically admits that she can't handle the Erik and Emma tryst.  She starts shouting at everyone and getting more emotional than anyone in the house has ever seen from her.  Her daughter then tells her that she's never seen her mom look and act so miserable and she thinks it would be best for mom to be the one to go from the house (instead of dad and his lover).  In a way, it makes sense since Anna wouldn't be bringing any money into the house, and the house is where Erik grew up.  Toward the end, the 6-year old boy in the picture dies from a heart defect he's had since birth, but his storyline wasn't the prime focus here.  Anna brought everyone in the house together, and ironically, she's the one who decides to break up the original dynamic.  Overall, a good movie with a sad ending.  I'd give it a 7 out of 10.

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I didn't "just watch" it, but seeing 1930's  WIDE OPEN the other night, I have to admit it was the earliest film with EDWARD EVERETT HORTON I've ever seen.  And I have to say----

If my TV sound was muted, making it impossible to hear his voice, I wouldn't have known it WAS Horton in that flick!   He reminded me more of HANS CONRIED's older brother.   :unsure:

Another character actor I always enjoy seeing show up in movies, I did enjoy his lead role in this odd movie.   In fact, that whole day of E E H flicks was heaven.

Sepiatone

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