What is the last film you watched? (2017)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 7461
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 11:58 am

Claudia (1943) and Claudia and David (1946) make up an entertaining one-two punch of humor, drama, and some very far-off times.

Luminous Dorothy McGuire starred in the Broadway production and made her film debut in the 1943 film opposite an oddly cast Robert Young. Story has the one-year married couple in the wilds of Connecticut farmland where they don't even have electricity. Young is an architect and part-time farmer and McGuire the much younger wife who stays at home and has a series of adventures involving a neighboring writer (Reginald Gardiner) and a wandering opera diva (Olga Baclanova also repeating her Broadway role). The heart of the story, however, is her pregnancy and the discovery of her doting mother's illness. Ina Claire plays the mother in a role director Goulding had offered to Marion Davies.

The following has the barely wiser McGuire now able to snap on electric lights while dealing with pre-vaccination measles and rampant jealousy. She;s jealous of Young's attention to neighboring Mary Astor, and he's jealous of her flirtation with John Sutton who's married to the lugubrious Rose Hobart. There's also a zany medium (Jerome Cowan) who has latched on to dotty neighbor Florence Bates. Much of this story revolves around death and premonitions of death while the Connecticut farm crowd gather for lavish 8 PM supper parties.

Tantalizing casting bits, aside from Marion Davies as the mother, include Pola Negri having tested for the diva role, Betty Compson listed in the cast of the 1946 film as uncredited, and the rather bizarre list of actresses considered to play Claudia that include Katharine Hepburn (!), Joan Fontaine, and Jennifer Jones. Young's part was considered for Don Ameche, Franchot Tone, George Brent, and Cary Grant (!). Hepburn and Grant would have been deadly in the roles.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Online
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 3102
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 1:47 pm

Sometimes they can't help themselves can they? These little boys that dwell within every man. Mine came out yesterday and made me watch "Doctor Strange". (2016). This is one of those pictures they are making now which are just too silly to be believed and so fittingly, are released by Marvel Comics. Benedict Cumberbatch - whose name would probably have been changed by Louis Mayer or Sam Goldwyn to "Ben Dover" in order to fit on a marquee - is a British star affecting an American accent. No doubt he is also taking home a larger pay cheque.

I write about his picture as not so long ago I watched a similarly named film from the nineteen-eighties or thereabouts where Sir John Mills had also been lured by a huge pay cheque to appear in a whole lot of nonsense with himself as a supreme wizard or whatever. At least that film tried to treat the story with some degree of normality - a tad hard though with the subject matter involved.

In the latest incarnation, we suffer through an endless display of the latest in CGI - which only serves to confuse my poor little brain more than it's worth. Buildings and whole cities morph and change and become machines. Bizarre!

As is normal in films of this kind, Ben is a brainy but self-indulgent surgeon. He has a flash car with a mobile telephone in it and makes the mistake of looking at photos sent to him on it. Bad mistake. He has a spectacular accident which renders him pretty useless in the operating department, so, naturally he goes to Katamandu to seek out Yogi Bear and Bulwinkle for enlightenment.

Up to now the picture has been reasonably sane, but from here on in we venture into insanity, because the guru Ben has found as his teacher is an old wise one - probably thousands of years old, but only looks about 29 (Tilda Swinton). She is actually saving the world and all her pupils become her disciples in this mission.

Ben starts off as a cynic and poo-poos everything, but it is not too long before he is making a circle with his hand which opens up a worm-hole. (I tried it all last night and couldn't get anywhere). Anyway, he feels that being able to do all these tricks is a bit alright and teaming up with his fellow disciples Chiwetel Ejiofor (Crikey! What would Louis or Sam thought of this moniker?) and Benedict Wong, goes off to fight a fallen disciple, Mads Mikkelsen, who is going to send us all back to the Dark Ages.

Film is all imagery, and this film certainly scores on that count even though it comes from a computer rather than a camera. It also has plenty of action - and that has been in pictures since Doug Fairbanks started prancing about. It is also about good defeating evil - and that has been in all the Westerns with the white hats chasing the black hats. So, cinematically the film is doing nothing that it shouldn't in one way of looking at it. I just fear that it caters mainly for the little boys, and whilst mine came out yesterday, the old man in whom he resides can no longer make head nor tail of these things anymore. That's the price one pays for growing old.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 3261
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 2:12 pm

Was interested in the favourable comments on CYNARA as I, too thought it a lot better than its reputation when I saw it 30+ years ago.

Interested, too, as I caught up with a rare Vidor last night, NOT SO DUMB (1930). Based on a play (and it does show), the film has Marion Davies as a very dizzy blonde who constantly messes up in her attempts to help her fiancee's (Elliot Nugent) chances at going into business with a jewel king. Also along for the ride are Franklin Pangborn as a scenarist who is interested in the businessman's daughter (Sally Starr) and Donald Ogden Stewart as, well I won't do a spoiler here.

Although the film is very theatrical, and perhaps not one which displays Vidor's best talents, it is generally amusing and enjoyable. Davies plays a very irritating character, who talks incessantly, and usually saying or doing the wrong thing, much to everyone's consternation. The play, 'Dulcy', was filmed before, and originally featured Nugent on the stage. There was also a silent version of this one, which was extant in the 1960s, according to the BFI catalogue.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 6044
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 2:19 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NigiwMtWE0" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

When I was a slave in Egypt (as I will reminisce at the Seder table soon), I was driven with whips and scorpions. As a young man in New York City, my father was driven with the drums of Gene Krupa, just like Benny Goodman's band. The whips and scorpions yielded only ten plagues and some pyramids. Listen to the music on the link above, and hear ecstasy. Listen to it and need to dance. Look at the word, and trace its origins to the Greek. That's what I mean: ecstasy, like a maenad high on wine and ivy and dance.

That's why I love musicals. I don't know who said it, but when mere words fail you, you sing; when song fails you, you dance. Listening to Goodman play "Sing, Sing Sing (with a Swing)" makes me want to dance. So does Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly drove Debbie Reynolds , sobbing, to Fred Astaire (another famous taskmaster) for sympathy. Donald O'Connor was sent home for a week's bed rest after performing "Make 'Em Laugh" and after that, had to perform it again. When Arthur Freed asked what Gene Kelly would be doing for the title number, Kelly said "I don't know, Arthur. All I know is it'll be raining, and I'll be singing." Millard Mitchell based his performance on Freed; Jean Hagen was robbed of a best supporting actress Oscar; Comden & Green were still building their reputation and Kelly & Donen were taking it easy after An American in Paris.

As Mike Gebert notes, the best works are often produced when the artists are slumming a bit. All I know is that when they're not making me laugh in this movie (and sometimes when they are), they are dancing joyfully, and making me wish I could dance. There are no sad numbers, and for me the song "Moses Supposes", when Kelly & O'Connor rip the speech expert's office to shreds with a tongue twister and a tap dance is just as exhilarating as "Good Mornin'" or "Singin' in the Rain". When I'm in the depths of one of my depressive funks (as I am today), and every task seems to be impossible, it's good to look at this movie. It helps me remember that, fantasy though it is, it exists, with its performers' feet bleeding, and rising from their sickbeds to try again to make me smile. And they will succeed.

I'll be looking at it again this evening, but, really I've got it memorized. However, just like a Passover seder, or the perfect fingernails on a newborn, watching it fills me again with joy and ecstasy.

According to the story my jazz maven from Toronto tells me, they were not even going to record the Carnegie Hall concert. They had more than enough air checks. At the last moment, they put a mike in its wonted spot in the ceiling, ran a wire across the street, recorded in wax and then the masters went into Benny Goodman's hall closet for a decade and a half, until his young daughter said "Daddy, what's this?" We came close to losing that. Singin' in the Rain has remained on view for more than sixty years, a commonplace miracle of survival Let's enjoy it, separately but together, and thank all those people who made it, from Arthur Freed down to runner who fetched coffee on set. They've never done better.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
Offline
User avatar

Dean Thompson

  • Posts: 178
  • Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:21 am
  • Location: Way Down South

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 2:53 pm

Bob, that's truly a wonderful post. Singing in the Rain and the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert are among my all-time favorites, too; many a day has been brightened by watching "Good Morning" or hearing Gene Krupa tear into his drum break in "Don't Be That Way"--if I have time, in fact (what the heck, I just MAKE time), I wind up watching the rest of the movie or blissing out to the entire concert. You've eloquently spoken for many of us on why these classics are such restoratives to the soul.

(Am watching In Which We Serve tonight for the annual Watch that Movie. Your panegyric made me wish I'd chosen a musical instead!)
Offline

R Michael Pyle

  • Posts: 1699
  • Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 6:42 am

Last night I watched the new Criterion release of "His Girl Friday" (1940) with Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, and a secondary cast of simply stellar character actors and actresses. Among the many are Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards, Roscoe Karns, Regis Toomey, Helen Mack, John Qualen, Alma Kruger, Billy Gilbert, and the list goes on! Condition of the new release is pristine, absolute perfection. Condition of the film's appeal after 77 years - absolute perfection. I laughed out loud several times - again...

A few days ago I watched "The Front Page" (1931), the original filming of this famous 1928 play. It has been restored very well and is included in the package with "His Girl Friday". After all, it was the first iteration of the play and "Friday" the second. Starring Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien, and Mary Brian, it also has a stellar secondary cast, among whom are Roscoe Karns (who repeated his role in the second version), Edward Everett Horton, Walter Catlett, George E. Stone, Mae Clarke, Slim Summerville, Frank McHugh, and the list goes on! Condition of appeal after 86 years: not as much as I remembered, but incredibly well done nonetheless. Photography was magnificent; in my opinion actually better than "His Girl Friday". Acting is top notch - but - the second version with Cary Grant has Grant at the very, very top of his craft, and he's so spectacular as to be as good as it gets. Ros Russell's no piker, either; and Ralph Bellamy is at his "Aw, Shucks" best.

The added materials on both discs is fine, but, quite frankly - I thought it was rather boring. Sorry if that offends anybody who was involved with this project, but that's how it is.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 3261
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 11:44 am

THE PAGAN LADY (1931) sounded intriguing, and, despite a rather variable copy, was an enjoyably fruity piece of pre-Code drama. Charles Bickford plays a rum-runner who take a shine to Havana barmaid Evelyn Brent after she serves up a horrendous-sounding concoction in the best Fanny Cradock style. A bizarre collection of ingredients are all to hand here. Brent then hears that Bickford is going to be roughed-up, so gives him the tip-off, which results in romance of a sort.

Staying in a hotel on another island, owner's husband* Roland Young hears that a friend and his nephew (William Farnum and Conrad Nagel) are due to arrive and tries to persuade wife Lucille Gleason to send them elsewhere. Reason is that his friend is a preacher and reformer and the nephew is meekly following in his wake.

Upon first sight of Brent, Nagel falls - in a big way, and out go all his high-minded notions. There is further jealousy with another couple who run a nearby store, and when Bickford is away on 'business', things stir up, particularly when a storm causes Brent and Nagel to stay the night on a nearby island...

Perhaps the plot is not too original, but this Columbia outing, directed by John Francis Dillon, is entertaining enough, due in no small part to its excellent cast, some of which seem to have strayed from MGM. There seems an echo of SADIE THOMPSON / RAIN in the story and setting, but that doesn't detract from the entertainment value of this film, of which I had not heard.

*I seem to have been mistaken in this respect.
Offline

R Michael Pyle

  • Posts: 1699
  • Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 12:50 pm

I enjoyed "The Pagan Lady" a lot when I watched it early last year or the year before. Bickford at his blustery best! Film is a year before "Rain", but "Sadie Thompson" had preceded it by three years. Frankly, there a quite a few films that represent that same aura, plot, and character roster made from 1930-1934. Then - the Pre-Codedness seemed to disappear with the Code and in came a slough of Old Dark House mysteries with the same kind of camerawork, but only serviceable plot that was so thin-worn it ripped often. And Evelyn Brent faded and faded and faded...until she was barely a thread.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 6044
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 1:20 pm

I suggested Lion or the new Jacky Chan. My cousin had seen the former and wanted to know what the reviews were of the latter. So, at his suggestion, we saw Gold.

I didn't follow the Bre-X scandal in detail when it broke in 1997. The first I heard of it was when their geologist fell from a helicopter. As the news came out and the massive reserves of gold vanished like fairy gold, it didn't affect me, since I avoid junior miners (exploration) and certainly try to avoid Indonesia; although my ban has continued out of habit and inability to figure the stock market there, back then the nation was run by Suharto for personal gain, and was famous for setting up cartels -- and busting them for its own profit. It isn't just caveat emptor. It's don't empt at all.

So when Matthew McConaughey shows up in this one, bald and with a paunch, it was clear to me that he wished he had been in American Hustle. Naturally the names, places and stock exchanges are changed to protect the guilty. Although it annoys the heck out of me whenever a movie comes out "Inspired by true facts" and every detail has been changed (Newmont Mining is referred to by name early on; later, when the company turns villainous, it becomes "Newmark Mining", and in any case, it was Barrick in reality; Bre-X was never on the NYSE, but it was on the Toronto Exchange, etc. etc.). Nonetheless, if you accept the fact that these guys pulled a fraud on the stock-buying public, and it's the analysts' fault because they shouldn't have been hoodwinked, it's an entertaining movie.

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 7461
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 9:04 pm

Two new ones. The Accountant was lively but very loud, but I liked it. Ben Affleck as an autistic adult with incredible mathematics skills and a secret life. Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor co-star. The Girl on the Train had an agonizingly slow first 30 minutes that had be screaming for the girl on the train to die. But she didn't and it finally got better but it sure seems like a decent 90-minute movie crammed into 2 hours. Emily Blunt is the girl. All the other women looked alike to me so it was confusing. I did recognize Justin Theroux, Lisa Kudrow, Allison Janney.

Aside from extreme length, one of the things I notice about so many new movies is that they have huge casts with large numbers of these roles being totally superfluous. It's no wonder films are so expensive to make. I'm not talking about extras in crowd scenes or on trains. Example. Allison Janney plays a detective and she has a partner. The partner serves exactly no purpose. He gets a line or two but has nothing to do with anything. He's just there.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline

wingate

  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 2:47 am

Luck of a sailor1934,a rather lacklustre quota quickie which thankfully only ran 64minutes.
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 6003
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 8:13 am

Aside from extreme length, one of the things I notice about so many new movies is that they have huge casts with large numbers of these roles being totally superfluous. It's no wonder films are so expensive to make.


I heard an experienced Hollywood hand on a podcast talking about Hollywood spending in regards to a script being developed. The younger writer talks about a scene he's written for the lobby of the Ambassador East hotel, and how much it would cost to actually do. The experienced hand says, well, if we get $15 million, we rent a hotel lobby in LA for five hours in the middle of the night, and shoot it as fast as we can. And if we get $100 million, we rebuild the entire Ambassador East hotel, because we can.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 7461
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 12:47 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Aside from extreme length, one of the things I notice about so many new movies is that they have huge casts with large numbers of these roles being totally superfluous. It's no wonder films are so expensive to make.


I heard an experienced Hollywood hand on a podcast talking about Hollywood spending in regards to a script being developed. The younger writer talks about a scene he's written for the lobby of the Ambassador East hotel, and how much it would cost to actually do. The experienced hand says, well, if we get $15 million, we rent a hotel lobby in LA for five hours in the middle of the night, and shoot it as fast as we can. And if we get $100 million, we rebuild the entire Ambassador East hotel, because we can.


LOL... that may also explain why new movies often have a cast list of 100 names when fewer than 10 actors have any real roles. No wonder theater audiences get so restless during these LONG movies. Woody Allen seems like the only working director who can tell a story in under 90 minutes.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Online
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 3102
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 2:05 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Aside from extreme length, one of the things I notice about so many new movies is that they have huge casts with large numbers of these roles being totally superfluous. It's no wonder films are so expensive to make.


I heard an experienced Hollywood hand on a podcast talking about Hollywood spending in regards to a script being developed. The younger writer talks about a scene he's written for the lobby of the Ambassador East hotel, and how much it would cost to actually do. The experienced hand says, well, if we get $15 million, we rent a hotel lobby in LA for five hours in the middle of the night, and shoot it as fast as we can. And if we get $100 million, we rebuild the entire Ambassador East hotel, because we can.


Probably why a lot of American pictures are now made in Australia - they can do 'em there on the cheap! :D

But - don't get me on about modern pictures! Long? Some I think I will never see the end - they just go on and on. One I watched the other day I thought had finished by the 11th or 12th reel, but no, it managed to eke out another 3 or 4 reels. The most frustrating part of a lot of these pictures is the slow, slow way they start. There is usually a long drawn out scene before the main titles come on to disrupt things. No wonder I am struggling to keep my eyes open.

Remedy - sit down all these "film-makers" in front of a screen and show them a few early Warner Bros. pictures that are fast paced and whizz by in a flash (and are enjoyable at the same time). Also, reduce a director's pay by a few thousand dollars for each minute he exceeds over 90! :D
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2818
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 2:12 pm

I watched The Revenant over two nights. It's about two and a half hours long, but for a change, most of it was worth it. The only cuts I would have liked were the reminiscences about his wife being killed -- we got the point the first time, thank you -- but then, if you cut them out, you'd have to change the title. (Revenant = French word for "one who dreams".)

Jim
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 6003
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 2:13 pm

Probably why a lot of American pictures are now made in Australia - they can do 'em there on the cheap! :D


I was curious where The Founder was filmed, since much of the story of the guy who built McDonald's happened within a relatively short drive of me.

The answer turned out to be mostly Georgia, likewise on the cheap, but I admired the skill with which they found locations there that could believably pass for specific suburbs in Chicago-- no obvious mistakes like 1890s Queen Anne houses in suburbs which in real life were built well into the auto age, 30s and 40s. Some care taken because the social milieu is part of the story.

As far as running time goes, right now is kind of like the 50s-- everything is a half hour too long.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
Offline

Daniel Eagan

  • Posts: 786
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 3:47 pm

Did a quick look at the 30 features that have been released this year.

Only 3 (John Wick 2, The Space Between Us, A Cure for Wellness, all opening next week or so) are over 2 hours.
A Dog's Purpose clocks at 120 mins.
The remaining 26 range from 80 mins. (The Red Turtle) to 117 (Split). 12 are under 100 mins. 12 are in the 100 – 115 range.

Bloat does creep in with the 9 Best Picture nominees this year. Only 4 are under 2 hours (Arrival, Hell or High Water, Lion, Moonlight). Longest is Fences at 139 mins. I thought it was an extraordinarily well-acted movie that did not in any way seem long. Nor did I find Manchester by the Sea (137 mins.) too long.

Just because movies seem longer doesn't mean they are.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 6044
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 3:56 pm

Daniel Eagan wrote:Did a quick look at the 30 features that have been released this year.

Only 3 (John Wick 2, The Space Between Us, A Cure for Wellness, all opening next week or so) are over 2 hours.
A Dog's Purpose clocks at 120 mins.
The remaining 26 range from 80 mins. (The Red Turtle) to 117 (Split). 12 are under 100 mins. 12 are in the 100 – 115 range.

Bloat does creep in with the 9 Best Picture nominees this year. Only 4 are under 2 hours (Arrival, Hell or High Water, Lion, Moonlight). Longest is Fences at 139 mins. I thought it was an extraordinarily well-acted movie that did not in any way seem long. Nor did I find Manchester by the Sea (137 mins.) too long.

Just because movies seem longer doesn't mean they are.


It makes one wish for a world wired to Harry Cohn's ass.

I cannot conceive of a movie about a dog that should be longer than 75 minutes. Moonlight seemed endless, Hell and High Water should have had about twenty minutes trimmed, and Manchester By the Sea never did anything but show people being miserable. Fences was good, and I haven't seen the others, but there is little sense of plot movement in the ones I have seen. It's all a series of before and after shots.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
Offline

wich2

  • Posts: 1544
  • Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:11 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 4:10 pm

>As far as running time goes, right now is kind of like the 50s-- everything is a half hour too long.<

Amen, brother. Good analogy.

(Quantity and Quality are not synonyms, Suits!)
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 6044
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 7:07 pm

Before it begins its annual "31 Days of Oscar" tomorrow -- in alphabetical order, apparently -- TCM had a Mario Lanza festival. I recorded and watched a couple.

The first was one I had seen before, the 1954* The Student Prince, produced by Joe Pasternak's unit. This one is pure MGM gloss, with a high sheen on Edmund Purdom -- due, no doubt, to several layers of shellac to cover his wooden acting. Ann Blyth is quite good, it's S.Z. Sakall's last movie, and Mario Lanza, who was fired in mid-production, does Purdom's singing. However, this is pretty much a case of canned ham all around.

This was followed by Serenade, based on a James Cain novel. Joan Fontaine is the vamp who chews them up and spits them out -- it's an interesting thought that this is how she might have played Rebecca, given the chance. She does as much for Lanza, and it's up to Sara Montiel to put him back together. It's pure Cain melodrama, with Lanza's musical numbers the highlights, but there is an interesting bit of subtext to what he sings: popular songs are fine, but the closer he gets to an opera house, the greater the echo effects and the greater the danger to him.

I know that director Anthony Mann was a great stylist, but his A work never appealed to me. Like Negulesco, he was one of those directors who knew how to get great effects on a small budget, but give him a big budget, and it becomes money on the screen to me. Sometimes it worked (I'm sure the battle in Spartacus, in which the Romans attack in terrifying unison, only for the rebel slaves to roll burning logs through their disintegrating ranks, was his) and sometimes it didn't (the Dead Guy a Horse in El Cid). At his best, he could rely on James Stewart; at his worst, he had to make do with spectacle. This is middling and very watchable; but Vincent Price is wasted as Clifton Webb and only the singing is engrossing.

Bob

*I originally wrote the years as 1854 and when I discovered error, seriously considered leaving it unchanged.
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
Online
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 3102
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 7:41 pm

boblipton wrote:*I originally wrote the years as 1854 and when I discovered error, seriously considered leaving it unchanged.


Yes, I sometimes get my centuries mixed up too and forget which one I'm living in.... :D
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

aldiboronti

  • Posts: 210
  • Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:55 am
  • Location: Portsmouth, England

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 5:42 pm

boblipton wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NigiwMtWE0" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

When I was a slave in Egypt ........


Tip to Bob and anyone else posting Youtube clips: I have no idea why it should be so but for the Youtube clip to show up on the board ready to be viewed you need to remove the 's' from https thus making it http, like so:



Puzzling but it works.
Offline
User avatar

s.w.a.c.

  • Posts: 1984
  • Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
  • Location: The Land of Evangeline

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 11:23 am

My g/f wanted to watch all the Thin Man movies (she'd only seen the first, and part of the second) so we got up to Another Thin Man yesterday. Then turned on TCM which was showing ... Another Thin Man.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 6044
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 5:13 pm

Is Around the World in 80 Days (1956) a good movie? The more I look at it, the more I think it isn't. Artistically it is all over the shop and strikes me as the sort of thing that a bunch of 3-year-olds on crack would do if they had the relevant skills. Look! It's Cantinflas! (who?) and John Gielgud in the same scene! Now it's a travelogue and they're in France, headed to Spain by accident. Let's have Jose Greco do some flamenco and Gilbert Roland will save the day after the bull ring! Doesn't Robert Newton know that David Niven is a good guy? Nice music! I didn't know Shirley Maclaine was Indian. Nice picture. Who's that guy, daddy? Watch Buster Keaton run the train over the bridge just before it collapses. Why does Passepartoute never mention to his boss that Fix intends to arrest him, first chance he gets? Hey! Elephants!


And so on and so on. It's exhausting, like trying to keep a box score on three baseball games while you're in a boxing match. Verne knew this when he was writing the novel. He knew his inexplicable (to the French) clockwork Englishman, the sort who doesn't have any training, but nonetheless goes out and does the impossible on a whim was unstoppable, except by another Englishman. Otherwise, the whole thing turns into a travelogue in which Fogg overcomes the random, feeble efforts of nature and man to stop him, and the surprise ending. Until then, there really isn't much of interest going on. Until Fix shows up, it's all straightforward and dull. Hey look! It's Ronald Colman and Bea Lillie! Thing is, they distract you from all that, with the pictures and cameos. It's great spectacle. It's just not a particularly good movie.

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
Offline

wingate

  • Posts: 262
  • Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:06 am

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 3:11 am

Sabotate at the BFI south bank as part of the 50 anniversary of the CTA .Although I have it on tape it was well worth seeing in 35mm on the big screen.
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 7461
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 6:36 am

Sleuth (1972) is a feast of acting, even if there are only 2 actors in the film. Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine are in top form in this cat-and-mouse story of games and revenge. It's great fun. I saw this on stage at Lakewood Theater in July of 1974 (!) with Patrick Macnee and Jordan Christopher as the stars. There was a film remake in 2007 starring Caine and Jude Law, but I have avoided it since it's a cut-down version (nearly an hour shorter) and run through the world of Harold Pinter.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline
User avatar

Jim Roots

  • Posts: 2818
  • Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:45 pm
  • Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 9:14 am

boblipton wrote:Is Around the World in 80 Days (1956) a good movie? The more I look at it, the more I think it isn't. Artistically it is all over the shop and strikes me as the sort of thing that a bunch of 3-year-olds on crack would do if they had the relevant skills. Look! It's Cantinflas! (who?) and John Gielgud in the same scene! Now it's a travelogue and they're in France, headed to Spain by accident. Let's have Jose Greco do some flamenco and Gilbert Roland will save the day after the bull ring! Doesn't Robert Newton know that David Niven is a good guy? Nice music! I didn't know Shirley Maclaine was Indian. Nice picture. Who's that guy, daddy? Watch Buster Keaton run the train over the bridge just before it collapses. Why does Passepartoute never mention to his boss that Fix intends to arrest him, first chance he gets? Hey! Elephants!


And so on and so on. It's exhausting, like trying to keep a box score on three baseball games while you're in a boxing match. Verne knew this when he was writing the novel. He knew his inexplicable (to the French) clockwork Englishman, the sort who doesn't have any training, but nonetheless goes out and does the impossible on a whim was unstoppable, except by another Englishman. Otherwise, the whole thing turns into a travelogue in which Fogg overcomes the random, feeble efforts of nature and man to stop him, and the surprise ending. Until then, there really isn't much of interest going on. Until Fix shows up, it's all straightforward and dull. Hey look! It's Ronald Colman and Bea Lillie! Thing is, they distract you from all that, with the pictures and cameos. It's great spectacle. It's just not a particularly good movie.

Bob


I bought the two-cassette VHS version at least 20 years ago. I watched it once. Could not believe how boring and uninteresting and uninvolving it was. Especially that damn bullfight, which went on for hours even in fast-forward! I have never been even remotely tempted to watch the film again.

Jim
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 7461
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 9:53 am

Jim Roots wrote:
boblipton wrote:Is Around the World in 80 Days (1956) a good movie? The more I look at it, the more I think it isn't. Artistically it is all over the shop and strikes me as the sort of thing that a bunch of 3-year-olds on crack would do if they had the relevant skills. Look! It's Cantinflas! (who?) and John Gielgud in the same scene! Now it's a travelogue and they're in France, headed to Spain by accident. Let's have Jose Greco do some flamenco and Gilbert Roland will save the day after the bull ring! Doesn't Robert Newton know that David Niven is a good guy? Nice music! I didn't know Shirley Maclaine was Indian. Nice picture. Who's that guy, daddy? Watch Buster Keaton run the train over the bridge just before it collapses. Why does Passepartoute never mention to his boss that Fix intends to arrest him, first chance he gets? Hey! Elephants!


And so on and so on. It's exhausting, like trying to keep a box score on three baseball games while you're in a boxing match. Verne knew this when he was writing the novel. He knew his inexplicable (to the French) clockwork Englishman, the sort who doesn't have any training, but nonetheless goes out and does the impossible on a whim was unstoppable, except by another Englishman. Otherwise, the whole thing turns into a travelogue in which Fogg overcomes the random, feeble efforts of nature and man to stop him, and the surprise ending. Until then, there really isn't much of interest going on. Until Fix shows up, it's all straightforward and dull. Hey look! It's Ronald Colman and Bea Lillie! Thing is, they distract you from all that, with the pictures and cameos. It's great spectacle. It's just not a particularly good movie.

Bob


I bought the two-cassette VHS version at least 20 years ago. I watched it once. Could not believe how boring and uninteresting and uninvolving it was. Especially that damn bullfight, which went on for hours even in fast-forward! I have never been even remotely tempted to watch the film again.

Jim


Have never seen it and have never wanted to see it.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com
Offline

Connoisseur

  • Posts: 68
  • Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:21 pm
  • Location: Germany

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 11:25 am

The political system of the United States, including its constitution, does face some serious tests currently and in the foreseeable future. This is why I directed my attention to “All the Kings Men”, directed 1949 by Robert Rossen, and to “Seven Days in May”, directed by John Frankenheimer in 1964. They seem not to be so familiar to cinephiles today, though the Rossen picture, based on the life of a Louisiana senator that had been murdered in the 30ies, was remade in 2006 by Steven Zaillian. Both pictures I found to be relevant: a populistic politician, rising from poverty, becomes entangled with corruption he had promised to fight, and in Frankenheimer’s movie, a general, played by Burt Lancaster, tries to avoid what he thinks is a disastrous agreement with the Soviet Union by a coup d’état. The American democracy, impersonated by Fredric March as President and Kirk Douglas as Lancaster’s subordinate, proves to be stronger. March remarks that not Lancaster is his enemy, but a situation in which people, disoriented, long for strongmen, who promise to easily solve all problems.
Offline
User avatar

s.w.a.c.

  • Posts: 1984
  • Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
  • Location: The Land of Evangeline

Re: What is the last film you watched? (2017)

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 1:38 pm

boblipton wrote:Look! It's Cantinflas! (who?)

Try watching his starring vehicle Pepe sometime, about the love story between a man and his horse. Filled with Hollywood cameos, but put the nail in the coffin of whatever kind of career he might have had north of the border.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!
PreviousNext

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Donald Binks and 15 guests