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I Just Watched...

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10 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Not a great film, but it has some style and some creepy scenes.  

I like early, b&w Corman.  His horror films add to the greatness of 1957, a seminal year for horror/sci-fi:  It Conquered the World, Not of this Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters. and my favorite, The Undead. And I also like 1960s The Little Shop of Horrors.

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The Undead (1957)

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Not of the Earth (1957)

THE UNDEAD Was one of my absolute favorite mystery science theater 3000 episodes from the sci-fi era. I have seen it so many times that I have memorized lines of dialogue from it.

I couldn’t help but notice that Corman used pieces of the music score from THE UNDEAD for RED DEATH.

 

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

THE UNDEAD Was one of my absolute favorite mystery science theater 3000 episodes from the sci-fi era. I have seen it so many times that I have memorized lines of dialogue from it.

I couldn’t help but notice that Corman used pieces of the music score from THE UNDEAD for RED DEATH.\

The Undead was another (albeit more serious) Charles B. Griffith script for Corman, with Griffith's humor showing up in the gravedigger character.  Griffith reportedly wanted all the medieval scenes to be in Shakespearean pentameter--'cause, see, that was the way they all talked back then--but Roger wisely ruled against it.

And Corman's overlooked, IMHO, for intentionally trying to create "art" on a B-budget.  If you can still hate Corman after Red Death and X: the Man With the X-Ray Eyes, then...there's nothing else I can say here.

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NOISES OFF (1992) 

Starring: Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine, Marilu Henner, Nicollette Sheridan, Julie Hagerty, John Ritter. 

My friend George from my film club recommended this movie to me, and I watched it 5 times in 4 days... So fill in the blank on whether I liked it or not. I have become quite a fan of Peter Bogdanovich lately, and am excited to see more of his work (I have seen Targets, What's Up Doc, Paper Moon in addition to this one). 

Noises Off... (1992) / AvaxHome

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9 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

My friend George from my film club recommended this movie to me, and I watched it 5 times in 4 days... So fill in the blank on whether I liked it or not.

Wow I'm a big Bogdanovich fan and did not enjoy this movie at all! (despite such a stellar cast)

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to give it another try.

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10 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

NOISES OFF (1992) 

Starring: Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine, Marilu Henner, Nicollette Sheridan, Julie Hagerty, John Ritter. 

My friend George from my film club recommended this movie to me, and I watched it 5 times in 4 days... So fill in the blank on whether I liked it or not. I have become quite a fan of Peter Bogdanovich lately, and am excited to see more of his work (I have seen Targets, What's Up Doc, Paper Moon in addition to this one). 

Noises Off... (1992) / AvaxHome

we stole pay-per-view when I was a kid and I also watched this many, many, many times. i remember liking it quite a bit and thinking it deserved a bigger audience.

sadly DENHOLM ELIOT, CHRISTOPHER REEVE and JOHN RITTER were all taken before their time in the following years.

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11 hours ago, EricJ said:

The Undead was another (albeit more serious) Charles B. Griffith script for Corman, with Griffith's humor showing up in the gravedigger character.  Griffith reportedly wanted all the medieval scenes to be in Shakespearean pentameter--'cause, see, that was the way they all talked back then--but Roger wisely ruled against it.

And Corman's overlooked, IMHO, for intentionally trying to create "art" on a B-budget.  If you can still hate Corman after Red Death and X: the Man With the X-Ray Eyes, then...there's nothing else I can say here.

i apologize for this, because I'm salty this morning and this is one of those topics that just gets me REVVED UP.

A huge part of what annoys me about ROGER CORMAN is how certain people have elevated him to the status of "genius underground auteur guerilla filmmaker" when there is not an artistic bone in his body. EVERY DECISION CORMAN MADE AS A DIRECTOR was dictated by pennies and nickels.  he did not give a **** about producing films that were in ANY WAY substantive or nutritive.

ED WOOD, for example, said "I WANT A MOVIE WHERE BELA LUGOSI GETS EATEN BY AN OCTOPUS" and lo and behold, HE EXECUTED IT. Not well, mind you- but you have to admire the chutzpah.

ROGER CORMAN, in the making of ANY FILM says "all right, what footage/sets/props/costumes do I have left over that I can use, who have i got under contract that i can insert into the film, can it be shot without exteriors? because I'm not paying lighting people, and get me everyone non-union so we can sh!t this thing out in 8 days because that amusement park with the viking ship that I'm using in the next picture is getting torn down soon." and he contours everything in that hour and ten minutes to fit that.

it's kind of like ELECTION, or the actual election, where people looked at someone COMPETENT AND PREPARED- and were like "ugh! what an over-achiever" meanwhile they look for reasons to root for and praise someone who is a woefully unprepared hack without an inspired bone in their body because as AMERICANS, that's what we do.

and HE IS SO LAZY, take for example HOUSE OF USHER, where VINCENT PRICE manages to give a good performance that could have been better had CORMAN REMEMBERED THAT IN THE FIRST 10 MINUTES HE ESTABLISHES THAT THE CHARACTER HAS HYPER-SENSITIVE HEARING, but then just totally forgets about it and plows on with the film.

eta- a google search on CORMAN will lead you to all sorts of 10 WAYS IN WHICH INDIE GUERILLA GENIUS FILMMAKER AUTEUR ROGER CORMAN CHANGED FILM FOREVER LISTS, here is a quote from one that they seem to view as praise and not EXHIBIT A in why this guy should never have been allowed anywhere near a film set:

Corman invented a wide variety of ways to get the job done on the cheap. “He was the master of optimizing any opportunity to get something juicy for the camera,” Stapleton says. “Nancy Sinatra, Peter Fonda and others told me that Corman used to tell cameramen to go chase ambulances and fire trucks and just film whatever action was happening. He’d figure out later how to use the footage in a film.”

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Ronin (1998)

Director John Frankenheimer is in peak action form with this hard, no nonsense thriller about a group of former intelligence agents of different nationalities who are recruited to seize a mysterious, heavily guarded box. This thriller was a disappointment at the 1998 box office but has since acquired a growing reputation among action buffs. Certainly the film's two highlights, a pair of mesmerizing, viscerally churning car chase sequences, are among the best ever captured on film. A strong case can be made that they equal or surpass anything to be found in Bullitt or The French Connection.

The cast is excellent, headed by Robert De Niro, as the cool, cautious former CIA agent (all their backgrounds remain mysterious) who becomes respected within the recruited group as unofficial leader of it, even though he, like the others, is left in the dark as to the contents of the box. Other solid contributions to the film are made by Jean Reno as a low key French agent, Natasha McElhone as an Irish recruiter who acts as spokesperson for the sources seeking the mysterious box, Sean Bean as an excitable, impulsive agent (with whom De Niro has a great confrontation scene) and Jonathan Pryce as the cold blooded Irish agent behind the box heist operation.

While a deadly serious film, it also has the occasional understated sense of humour. At one point, when asked if he had ever killed anyone, De Niro replies, "I hurt someone's feelings once."

The main criticism I would have of the film is that the story, at times, remains a little murky (probably deliberately so so that the audience is floundering in the dark at bit, along with the film's characters as to what is going to happen next). But it's not a serious flaw and the incredibly tense action scenes and spectacular stunt work, in particular, the final car chase down small alleys at 100 mph and then against on going highway traffic as vehicles crash around them, more than compensates for it.

On location filming in Paris brings great atmospheric authenticity to the production.

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3 out of 4

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11 minutes ago, TomJH said:

The main criticism I would have of the film is that the story, at times, remains a little murky (probably deliberately so so that the audience is floundering in the dark at bit, along with the film's characters as to what is going to happen next). But it's not a serious flaw and the incredibly tense action scenes and spectacular stunt work, in particular, the final car chase down small alleys at 100 mph and then against on going highway traffic as vehicles crash around them, more than compensates for it.

That ...... and I would add that Natasha McElhone  didn't provide enough eye candy for this 'ol cowboy.  A sausage fest like this needs some major league eye candy for balance. Otherwise a good film. Other good car chases are also found in Un témoin Dans la ville, The Seven-Ups, and the misfire The Massage Parlor Murders.

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7 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

That ...... and I would add that Natasha McElhone  didn't provide enough eye candy for this 'ol cowboy.  A sausage fest like this needs some major league eye candy for balance. Otherwise a good film. Other good car chases are also found in Un témoin Dans la ville, The Seven-Ups, and the misfire The Massage Parlor Murders.

Yes but McElhone is dramatically credible in her role (her growing frustration of losing control during the final car chase is particularly impressive, I thought, adding to the sequence's already remarkable tension).

I saw The Seven Ups and I agree with you that the car chase in that film is remarkable, Cigarjoe.

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Young Bess Poster

Young Bess (1953) TCM On Demand 7/10

A look at Elizabeth I's youthful years before she became Queen.

An entertaining historical drama in Technicolor. I was curious to see this since Charles Laughton plays Henry VIII for the first time since his Oscar winning The Private Life Of Henry VIII 20 years ago. I was a little disappointed that he was in it for only a short time (not even a half an hour) but makes the most of his scenes. Jean Simmons is excellent in the title role, one of her best. Deborah Kerr plays Henry's widow Katherine Parr and this is interesting since this is the same year Kerr was in much different From Here To Eternity.

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

i apologize for this, because I'm salty this morning and this is one of those topics that just gets me REVVED UP.

A huge part of what annoys me about ROGER CORMAN is how certain people have elevated him to the status of "genius underground auteur guerilla filmmaker" when there is not an artistic bone in his body. EVERY DECISION CORMAN MADE AS A DIRECTOR was dictated by pennies and nickels.  he did not give a **** about producing films that were in ANY WAY substantive or nutritive.

ED WOOD, for example, said "I WANT A MOVIE WHERE BELA LUGOSI GETS EATEN BY AN OCTOPUS" and lo and behold, HE EXECUTED IT. Not well, mind you- but you have to admire the chutzpah.

Listen to some of Corman's commentaries on his own DVD's (the MGM ones are OOP, and you may have to search them up at the library)--Corman wasn't a "huckster", or "delusional" about his "artistic" ability, and he didn't "throw off movies over the weekend":

If you're going to go the factually shaky route of using Tim Burton as a historical source of how B-movies were made in the 50's ("Bride of the Monster" was co-scripted with Wood's producer partner, btw), think back to the scene of the producer who already had the poster for "Glen or Glenda?" ready, and hired Ed to go out and make a movie to go with it, if he could bring it in on time and under budget.  That was EXACTLY what Samuel J. Arkoff told Corman, when Corman would sell a poster for "Attack of the Crab Monsters" or "Viking Women vs. the Sea Serpent", and had to make a film with that title in the month or two it took to saturate theaters with the posters.  Apart from that, Roger Corman was the artistic lord of his domain, and, as long as he was scripting AND directing, could do anything he liked, or allegorize any message he wanted, within those boundaries...As long as, unlike Wood, he still remembered to deliver crab monsters and Viking women at some point.

Roger didn't pretend his American International movies were "classics", or that he didn't cut corners, but he wasn't lazy about them, either.  He not only ground out an amazingly productive supply in several genres (including westerns, delinquents and 60's-hippie), but also tried to put some "message" into them--Yes, the goofy ending of "Teenage Caveman" for one, but have to admit, he tried, while other modern B-movie goofballs like The Asylum or Lloyd Kaufman at Troma thought they could create a "wacky" hipster persona of not trying at all.  Like Larry Cohen, Corman was that rare smart director in a cheap business, even if he became a little more cynical in his New World and New Concorde days as a studio x-prod--Listen to him sit down with a few savvy recollections on "X" or "House of Usher" (we'll assume everyone already knows why he refers to Ray Milland in "X" as "Greek tragedy at the drive-in"  😉 ), and it's possible to go a little easier on him than the impatient anger-management MST3K gags. 

13 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

 NOISES OFF (1992) 

My friend George from my film club recommended this movie to me, and I watched it 5 times in 4 days... So fill in the blank on whether I liked it or not. I have become quite a fan of Peter Bogdanovich lately, and am excited to see more of his work (I have seen Targets, What's Up Doc, Paper Moon in addition to this one). 

Our local theater group put this on, fresh off of Broadway, and you HAVE to see Act 2 performed live, to know why the play became a classic.  'Nuff said. 😂

The movie loses a little something in the translation, but it's enough of a transcript, with the ideal dream-team cast in the play roles (John Ritter, Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott) to serve for future posterity.  This is why plays and musicals have to be filmed, for the ages.

There's not much other good Bogdanovich in recent years, but The Cat's Meow (2001) is an effective counterpoint to Citizen Kane (even if factually questionable).

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On MOVIES! last night, (their "Thursday night Noirs" feature)  WHEN STRANGERS MARRY('44).  Or at least that was what the guide on my cable service listed it as.  And so did the Movies! channel when they introduced it.  But, when the movie started, the opening credits gave the title as BETRAYED.  ??  And in the lower right of the film it read..."Formerly known as "When Strangers Marry".  !!! 

Apretty good story with KIM HUNTER, ROBERT MITCHUM and DEAN JAGGER.  In which Hunter is somehow convinced(and with Mitchum's help) that her new husband Jagger is a mysterious serial killer known as "The Silk Stocking Strangler".  She goes along with this until she shockingly discovers that it's old flame Mitchum who's actually the killer the cops are after.  And Bob did convince the cops too that it was Jagger they were after, until a sharp detective finally caught on. 

Oh, too....

Earlier I caught ALL NIGHT LONG on TCM,  And there's a bit of a tale behind that one....

In the mid '70's(pre cable my way) a firend informed me that if I turned my TENNA ROTOR a couple notches either North or South of true East, I could pick up(on UHF) a Canadian station that shows uncut/uncensored movies on Saturday nights.  And by golly, it worked!   The ones that showed any skin were French(or French-Canadian)  films, and sometimes just movies without much to censor in them.  One night, I chanced upon them playing ALL NIGHT LONG, although at the time I had no idea what the name of the movie was, as I came in while it was already in progress.  I stopped to watch it because, 1.  It was the first thing I ever saw PATRIC McGOOHAN in besides SECRET AGENT and THE PRISONER, and I liked the jazz being played.  And McGoohan's role as a back stabbing jazz drummer made me wonder if he really knew how to play the drums, or if he was just really great at faking it.  And really, the only other people in the movie I recognized were BETSY BLAIR, who played McGoohan's wife Emily, and DAVE BRUBECK, who played himself.  And so, see?  It only took 45 years to finally see the movie again and finally learn it's name!  :D

Sepiatone

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9 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

we stole pay-per-view when I was a kid and I also watched this many, many, many times. i remember liking it quite a bit and thinking it deserved a bigger audience.

sadly DENHOLM ELIOT, CHRISTOPHER REEVE and JOHN RITTER were all taken before their time in the following years.

The play was a hit, but the film flopped. I don't think it even played here. Bogd. wanted Audrey Hepburn for the lead, but she turned it down.

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28 minutes ago, Hibi said:

The play was a hit, but the film flopped. I don't think it even played here. Bogd. wanted Audrey Hepburn for the lead, but she turned it down.

REALLY?! Wow! 
As much as I love Audrey, and while I don’t remember a lot about the film, I don’t really see her being entirely right for this particular story. She would’ve almost been a distraction, and it would’ve been quite a challenge for her after being in retirement for so long. Plus I think at this time she was not in the best of health, and of course there was the UNICEF work...

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Probably a good decision on her part. She  had appeared in his They All Laughed in the early 80s and I guess he wanted to work with her again. Laughed was another flop of his and she didn't have much to do in the film. Some people really like the film, but I thought it was just ok.  No real script (his) to work with. (Laughed)

Not very familiar with Noises Off except it' s sort of a slapstick comedy? A group of stage actors in a play?

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

Probably a good decision on her part. She  had appeared in his They All Laughed in the early 80s and I guess he wanted to work with her again. Laughed was another flop of his and she didn't have much to do in the film. Some people really like the film, but I thought it was just ok.  No real script (his) to work with. (Laughed)

Not very familiar with Noises Off except it' s sort of a slapstick comedy? A group of stage actors in a play?

It is a group of actors who are putting on a play, but are having difficulties due to their having more drama offstage than on. Yes, a slapstick :) 

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BULL DURHAM (1988) *Score: 3.5/5* 

Starring: Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon 

I don't like Costner. I have come to the conclusion that he seems pretty wooden in his line delivery. Mind you, I find him handsome, just not a good actor. Sarandon and Robbins were both good, though. 

Don't Hate the Player | Bull Durham (1988) | Bright Wall/Dark Room

GLORIA (1980) *Score: 3/5* 

Starring: Gena Rowlands 

This is my first Cassavetes. I was drawn in by the premise, although I will say it seemed to drag on in some scenes. I would like to peruse more of his work also. 

Gloria (1980) (Blu-ray) : DVD Talk Review of the Blu-ray

SHAUN OF THE DEAD  (2004) *Score: 4/5 

I enjoyed this a lot more than I initially thought I would. I have been trying to see more of Edgar Wright's work (have seen this, Scott Pilgrim, and Hot Fuzz thus far). Usually I'm iffy on British humor, but this one worked quite well for me. 

Amazon.com: Watch Shaun of the Dead | Prime Video

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10 hours ago, Hibi said:

Not very familiar with Noises Off except it' s sort of a slapstick comedy? A group of stage actors in a play?

A theater company trying to put on a wacky English drawing-room farce--Once in rehearsal, once six months into the tour, and once a year into the tour, after actor rivalries have boiled over.

Imagine a slightly sillier non-musical version of "Kiss Me Kate".  😀

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Night of the Hunter (1955)

A dark childrens' fairy tale, with visually stunning noir overtones, Charles Laughton's sole directorial effort remains a unique and memorable adaption of the Davis Grubb novel. Not to be overlooked is the magnificent contribution made by cinematographer Stanley Cortez. A neophyte film director must have leaned heavily upon this film veteran's advice throughout the production. Much as Laughton is rightfully appreciated for this masterpiece, it would not be the film it is without Cortez's towering contribution. At the same time Walter Shumann's musical score adds tremendously to the fright of this film journey.

Robert Mitchum arguably delivers the performance of his career as "Preacher" Harry Powell, a psychopath who travels the American South in a search for widows to seduce and eventually murder for their money. Mitchum, his character in one scene physically resembling the Frankenstein Monster as he chases two children up some stairs, is mesmerizingly charming and frightening. Shelley Winters plays the latest object of his attention in a fine, tortured portrayal (Laughton went through agonies, apparently, trying to get the performance he wanted from the method actress). Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce play her two children who will soon be on the run from the monster.

Other memorable contributions to the film are made by Lillian Gish as a protective Mother Goose figure, James Gleason as an old timer who will see  a terrible sight in the lake one day when he goes fishing, Peter Graves in a small role as the childrens' father and Evelyn Varden as a folksy, talkative small town resident initially charmed by Mitchum.

SPOILER ALERT: Many film buffs understandably love The Night of the Hunter, a film which died at the 1955 box office and was generally dismissed by the critics at the time. Laughton was greatly discouraged by the tepid reception to his film and never directed another one. Impressive as this film is, however, it remains a flawed masterpiece because of its final reels and less than satisfactory resolution. When the Mother Goose character largely takes over the story line 90% of the incredible tension earlier established in the film is lost, with the Preacher only seen fleetingly on screen. He still remains an ominous presence but, at the end, the Monster is suddenly turned into a frightened pussycat by an old woman with a gun. Mitchum's Harry Powell deserved a better finale than that.

Nevertheless, The Night of the Hunter remains a memorable film experience all film buffs should undertake. A film can have a serious flaw and still be one of the greats.

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3.5 out of 4

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9 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I don't like Costner. I have come to the conclusion that he seems pretty wooden in his line delivery.

Haha I said EXACTLY the same thing in the 80's when Costner was hotter than a tailpipe. It's funny to watch others come around to seeing it.

I've always said the same thing about Tom Hanks, people still take me to task for it. My feelings about Hank's ineptitude have softened a bit as he's matured, but he's still a lazy actor. Hanks-like Costner,  only succeeds by a strong script, supporting players & production.

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

Night of the Hunter (1955)

One of my top ten films of all time. I own this on the Criterion Collection.  The extras have some archival interviews with Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish. The best thing is a full length version of the film where we see and hear Laughton directing the cast and crew on every scene, an absolute gold mine for film buffs. 

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49 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

But as the movie was more jazz oriented....  Maybe THIS?  ;) 

Sepiatone

Thanks for this.  My parents had this record, and I'd play it all the time.  I had forgotten about it.

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Well, I'll admit.  I was(still am) a HUGE Sandy Nelson fan back in "the day".  Over the years I managed only to hang onto one old vinyl, ("Drummin' Up A Storm") 

Sepiatone

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