What is the last film you watched? (2018)

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Richard P. May

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TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE (1936)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 11:42 am

I have had an affection for this film since first seeing it probably at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the days when that was almost the only place to see historic films in this area.
I ordered the Universal Vault version, and am very pleased with the quality of the restoration of the second three-strip Technicolor feature. In addition to the top billed cast of Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray, a large contingent of superb character actors fill it out. Especially effective was the sequence following the death of Buddy when the Falons dynamite the steam shovel where he is playing. Fuzzy Knight's singing of "Twilight on the Trail" made this a real tear jerker.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 2:44 pm

Well, Awards season has begun and my cousin hadn't seen The Florida Project (2017). "It's heartwarming," he assured me. After the first fifteen minutes, I noted how naturally the children behaved in this movie about children growing up in a marginal residential motel in Orlando; "Yeah," said my cousin. "And evil." Twenty minutes later: "You said this was heartwarming. When does it get heartwarming?" "Dunno."

Once upon a time, they made movies about adults who struggled to kept their children and raise them decently and you cared about them. Now they make movies about... well, they're not even smart enough to be crooks, who, if my mother caught them treating children that way, wouldn't call the authorities. She'd simply take the children, and if you complained... well, you wouldn't complain. You'd thank her. Certainly, enough family members asked her for help, and got it; that's how my cousin Larry learned to tap dance.

Williem Dafoe gives a typically graceful performance as the motel manager/slumlord, the only adult in sight. The ending looks like they couldn't figure out how to end the movie.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch a pre-Spanky Our Gang.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 4:21 pm

Watched the one-reel comedy TAXI TANGLE (1931) with Jack Benny last night. Made before the Benny "persona" was established (or even begun to develop, really) I didn't expect much, but I actually found it quite enjoyable, if taken for what it is, the whole comedy practically taking place in a couple of cars (or taxis).

I also recently watched the Norwegian film THE KING'S CHOICE (2016), a dramatization of Germany's occupation of Norway in the spring of 1940. As a Norwegian who's usually critical of movies made in my own country, this one actually turned out to be quite good, IMO. I believe also many non-Norwegians would likely find it interesting, although naturally subtitles will be required.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 5:38 pm

The Price of Folly (1937) When Leonora Corbett phones Colin Keith-Johnson that she wants to give their marriage another chance, he tries to buy off his lover Judy Kelly. She wants to stick around for the wife, with a gun. There's a struggle, and Keith-Johnson sticks the inconvenient body in a trunk and begins to figure out how to get rid of it.

The 1930s seems to have had a rash of people trying to meld these melodramatic situations and climaxes with a more grounded base and some Grand Guignol accents. In America we got bodies stuck in trunks in Arsenic and Old Lace, and in Great Britain, the Boulting Brothers early tried their hand with Design for Murder. This particular movie is based on a stage show by J. Lee Thompson, who went more whole-heartedly into films, most memorably with international productions like The Guns of Navaronne.

This one is short, with a decent twist, and some reasonably insane cackling.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 6:27 pm

Smari1989 wrote:Watched the one-reel comedy TAXI TANGLE (1931) with Jack Benny last night. Made before the Benny "persona" was established (or even begun to develop, really) I didn't expect much, but I actually found it quite enjoyable, if taken for what it is, the whole comedy practically taking place in a couple of cars (or taxis).

I also recently watched the Norwegian film THE KING'S CHOICE (2016), a dramatization of Germany's occupation of Norway in the spring of 1940. As a Norwegian who's usually critical of movies made in my own country, this one actually turned out to be quite good, IMO. I believe also many non-Norwegians would likely find it interesting, although naturally subtitles will be required.


Hey, I just watched (and enjoyed) TAXI TANGLE a couple of weeks ago! And a month ago, the film series I curate at our local art museum presented THE KING'S CHOICE, which I thought was surprisingly well done (and which would make a good companion piece to DARKEST HOUR, which I saw yesterday, and DUNKIRK).
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSun Jan 07, 2018 7:48 pm

For a randomly-named, overwrought Poverty Row melodrama featuring overripe and miscast, immature talent, Her Mad Night (1932) hangs together pretty well.

SPOILERS

Conway Tearle has proposed to shipmate Irene Rich twenty times, and every time she has turned him down. The he tells her the story of how his friend's wife ran out on him and their infant daughter. The friend left Tearle the daughter's guardian and went off and drank himself to death. Miss Rich agrees to marry him.

We see Tearle meet his ward, the miscast Mary Carlisle. She's a young hellion with a collection of keys to an assortment of bachelor's apartments, none of which she has ever used. She's being pursued by Tearle's friend, Kenneth Thomson, Rich's former inamorata, who gives her a key to add to her collection; she's about to head off for a respectable worldwide cruise with friends. When Thomson finds out whom Tearle is going to marry, he hints strongly about her past, but he's all for her. Tearle throws him out. Miss Riich and Miss Carlisle meet and hit it off. They discuss the situation, and that Thomson has an incriminating letter from Miss Rich. Miss Rich goes to Tearle and convinces him that Thomson was lying. Miss Carlisle goes to Thomson's apartment to find the letter and stabs him accidentally. Miss Rich shows up immediately afterwards. Mr. Thomson tells her it's only a scratch, so she leaves to go on her cruise, and Miss Rich tells him she is not going to let her daughter be ruined as she was. At this point, the police break in. Thomson is dead and Miss Rich is on trial for her life.

END SPOILERS

As I said at the start, it's overwrought. Most of the talent barely got out of the sound era before they wound up on Poverty Row, doing their best with subpar material. Yet, with all the strikes against it, everyone does a job that makes it hang together in a convincing manner. It never did and never will win any awards, but it will provide an hour or so of weepy entertainment for anyone who is looking for such.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 8:43 am

drednm wrote: Lois Smith (in her final role)


What makes you think Lois Smith is dead?
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 12:55 pm

Big Silent Fan wrote:Fresh from watching the epic Silent Film, The Devine Lady (1929) I decided to watch That Hamilton Woman (1941) which most claim is the better of the two stories. In spite of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Oliver playing the leads, I personally found this equally big production to pale when comparing the quality of the story told within the two films.
Alexander Korda's film skips over the beginning that the Silent used to explain the story, and Sir William Hamilton (Alan Mobray) plays the jealous senior citizen husband, a role much different from the Silent. In the Silent, it was Sir Hamilton who explains to Emma that this was to be a loveless marriage he proposed and he supported Emma relationship in every way concerning Admiral Nelson. In addition, only in the Silent Film do we watch Admiral Nelson's refuse to stay at a party hosted for him by the King and Queen of England because they refused to allow the 'true savior of England', Emma Lady Hamilton from attending. A major scene was completely eliminated?
In the Silent film, it's Emma who at first puts a flower over her lips when Nelson attempts to Kiss Emma. In the 1941 picture, It's Nelson's fist that prevents Emma from kissing his lips. Which scene would you prefer? Comparing the carefully done battle scenes at sea, I think the Silent is the better of the two.
If this is the only version you've seen, I encourage you to carefully watch The Devine Lady. If you don't care for Silent Pictures, I should tell you that this is a hybrid film, incorporating voices, singing, the sounds of fighting including swords and cannon fire with only the spoken words illustrated with titles to insure you understand the story.


Nice to get some cheers for this thoroughly enjoyable film, as it was unavailable for so long, and all we had to go on were the snufflings of critics such as James Agate (don't get me wrong - I have and like his writings, but he could sometimes take things a shade too seriously).
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 1:09 pm

Not sure to what extent my hearing or the sound quality made the dialogue in OUT OF THE BLUE (1931) a bit difficult to decipher at times. Jessie Matthews's first talkie has the lass in love with the voice of radio announcer Gene Gerrard, who has foolishly proposed to her sister, played by the perpetually dizzy Kay Hammond. Matthews's father is the last owner of a stately pile as well as a pile of debts, and is eager for Hammond to marry her previous (silly-ass) flame, played by Kenneth Kove on account of his enormous income.

After a run of confusions, the scene shifts to Biarritz, where Matthews has agreed to impersonate a singing princess... Rather thin, but with compensations including that of Hammond and Binnie Barnes as a mercenary man-eater, the film suffers rather from Gerrard's rather charmless personality, which was presumably a good deal more acceptable then, and perhaps the fact that he co-directed the film. An nearly camera credit for Arthur Crabtree, who later took the director's chair.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 4:04 pm

A film yesterday which I much enjoyed and which shows my level of intelligence as well as putting me in league with those of highbrow tastes was "Here is My Heart" (1934) starring the well-known golfer, Harry Lillis Crosby. He was playing the part of a wealthy crooner which must have required a great deal of effort on his part to pull off.

Mr. Crosby starts off the picture on his private yacht somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. He is a multi-millionaire and is engaged on a treasure trove mission, collecting things he put on a childhood list of things to do when he got rich. He nets a small fish before we are whisked off to scene two in Monte Carlo. Where else? He is now staying at a posh hotel and eyes off Kitty Carlisle who happens to be a Russian Princess with plenty of front but no money to support it. She has an apartment at the hotel which she is sharing with two male members of her family. Reg Owen is one of them and the other is Roland Young. Reg is a pompous fuddy-duddy and Rolly is more of a fun type although he is a few sheep short in the top paddock. By the way, I forgot to tell you. The reason Mr. Crosby is on the scene is because he wants to buy a rare pistol from the Princess but she won't have a bar of it. To sell something to a mere commoner - Oh! The very thought of it!

Anyway, Mr. Crosby is enamoured of Kitty and starts off a rouse whereby he just simply buys the hotel and starts off masquerading as her room service waiter.

It's one of those impossible, stupid stories that nevertheless lends a great deal of charm and takes us into a nice little world we would like to imagine might actually exist somehwere.

Mr. Crosby and Ms Carlisle play off each other very well and Mr. Crosby displays an adequate ability in the flair for comedy department. He is ably assisted by Roland Young's affable English style - although he is playing a Russian. One warms to this type of silly ass - as in spite of the veneer, there is a warm heart below. Also adding to the film's lustre are Alison Skipworth, doing her usual bossy bits, William Frawley doing his best to lower the tone whenever he can and Akim Tamiroff as a flustered hotel manager.

The film rolls merrily along until we reach the required happy ending but not before we have the pleasure of hearing Mr. Crosby and Ms. Carlisle provide some very welcome warblings. Unfortunately the repertoire is somewhat limited in that we seem to be given only two songs which are reprised often. A nice touch though is when Mr,. Crosby decides to accompany a gramophone recording of his own voice. For those who are like me and are absolutely enchanted with the music of this era the songs are: "It's June In January" and "Love Is Just Around the Corner".
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 5:38 pm

Woman to Woman (1929) is in many ways Michael Balcon's first serious assault on the US market, in concert with his producing/directing partner, Victor Saville, and the offices of the ambitious Tiffany-Stahl Studios in Los Angeles; at this stage, the most likely of the Poverty Row studios to break into the Majors, until the following three years destroyed the studio and sent most of the majors into some form of receivership.

George Barraud is an English officer during the Great War, in love with French entertainer Betty Compson. They are to be married, but he is ordered back to the Front... and suffers shell shock to such an extent that he can't remember anything about his war years. After the War, he marries Juliette Compton in a distant sort of marriage. One evening, he is at the theater and sees Miss Compson performing. He remembers all and discovers they have a son.

It's the complicated sort of womanly suffering that worked all right in Random Harvest, solely because that movie starred Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. If this movie almost works, it's because Betty Compson gives a magnificent performance; but despite some great camerawork by Benjamin Kline (including shots that Balcon would have Hitchcock use in the concluding sequence of The 39 Steps), the over-the-top plot and other performances make this one only intermittently watchable.

Still, when it's Miss Compson alone on the screen, it's mesmerizing.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 7:14 pm

Just took a look at Night World (1932) and I can sum it up in one word: Whee! It's a slick, fast-moving Universal Pre-Code nightclub-gangster flick that has everything you could wish for: a cast that includes Lew Ayres, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff (in a straight role as the tough night-club owner) and Busby Berkley choreography that showcased exactly what he was going to do the following year at Warner Brothers, with shots through chorines' legs and overhead crane shots. There are plenty of wise cracks, George Raft as a hood, Robert Emmett O'Conner as a cop on the beat, Clarence Muse stealing the show, and, of course, editor Ted Kent doing his best to amortize that optical printer that Laemmle had bought back in 1929.

It was director Hobart Henley's next-to-last movie and I have no idea what happened to him to cut his career short. Anyone who could direct a movie like this should have been in demand.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 8:15 pm

Wonder Wheel (2017) was a big surprise. After reading several sour reviews, I wasn't expecting much but Kate Winslet is terrific, the story is quite good, and the look of the film (luscious cinematography by Vittorio Storaro and production design by the always underrated Santo Loquasto) is fascinating. Story has Winslet unhappily married (to Jim Belushi) and working in a clam house on Coney Island in the 1950s. She meets a lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) and embarks on a doomed love affair with him just as Belushi's daughter (Juno Temple) from a previous marriage returns after her marriage to a gangster has failed. It's sort of a Blanche du Bois meets Eugene O'Neill plot with a twist of the Sopranos. Everyone is good but Winslet certainly steals the show. The 1950s Coney Island is something to see, and Winslet's house, practically under the giant Wonder Wheel, is awash is garish lights from the ride and scenes move from orange to blue to red hues. Quite fascinating. Oh, and Winslet has a strange son from a previous marriage. For me this is Allen's best since Blue Jasmine. It's such a treat to see good actors actually getting to act in long, uncut scenes and without the camera whipping around and edited into 10-second info-bytes. The soundtrack includes a terrific number by the Mills Brothers I don't think I've ever heard before: "Coney Island Washboard."
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostMon Jan 08, 2018 8:19 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
Mr. Crosby and Ms Carlisle play off each other very well and Mr. Crosby displays an adequate ability in the flair for comedy department.


Kitty Carlisle never clicked in films- she said that her features didn't photograph well -"a dish face and a nose that vanished when seen head on" are pretty much her words- and by 1930's standards of looks she wasn't the Hollywood type. I think in today's films her type might do much better. She enjoyed the last laugh by outliving most of her contemporaries- and then chatting about them.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 6:23 am

Donald Binks wrote:A film yesterday which I much enjoyed and which shows my level of intelligence as well as putting me in league with those of highbrow tastes was "Here is My Heart" (1934) starring the well-known golfer, Harry Lillis Crosby. He was playing the part of a wealthy crooner which must have required a great deal of effort on his part to pull off.

Mr. Crosby starts off the picture on his private yacht somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. He is a multi-millionaire and is engaged on a treasure trove mission, collecting things he put on a childhood list of things to do when he got rich. He nets a small fish before we are whisked off to scene two in Monte Carlo. Where else? He is now staying at a posh hotel and eyes off Kitty Carlisle who happens to be a Russian Princess with plenty of front but no money to support it. She has an apartment at the hotel which she is sharing with two male members of her family. Reg Owen is one of them and the other is Roland Young. Reg is a pompous fuddy-duddy and Rolly is more of a fun type although he is a few sheep short in the top paddock. By the way, I forgot to tell you. The reason Mr. Crosby is on the scene is because he wants to buy a rare pistol from the Princess but she won't have a bar of it. To sell something to a mere commoner - Oh! The very thought of it!

Anyway, Mr. Crosby is enamoured of Kitty and starts off a rouse whereby he just simply buys the hotel and starts off masquerading as her room service waiter.

It's one of those impossible, stupid stories that nevertheless lends a great deal of charm and takes us into a nice little world we would like to imagine might actually exist somehwere.

Mr. Crosby and Ms Carlisle play off each other very well and Mr. Crosby displays an adequate ability in the flair for comedy department. He is ably assisted by Roland Young's affable English style - although he is playing a Russian. One warms to this type of silly ass - as in spite of the veneer, there is a warm heart below. Also adding to the film's lustre are Alison Skipworth, doing her usual bossy bits, William Frawley doing his best to lower the tone whenever he can and Akim Tamiroff as a flustered hotel manager.

The film rolls merrily along until we reach the required happy ending but not before we have the pleasure of hearing Mr. Crosby and Ms. Carlisle provide some very welcome warblings. Unfortunately the repertoire is somewhat limited in that we seem to be given only two songs which are reprised often. A nice touch though is when Mr,. Crosby decides to accompany a gramophone recording of his own voice. For those who are like me and are absolutely enchanted with the music of this era the songs are: "It's June In January" and "Love Is Just Around the Corner".


This certainly sounds like a remake of the silent film The Grand Duchess and the Waiter with the added filip of Bing trying with all his might to convince us he's a singer.

Jim
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 7:58 am

boblipton wrote:Woman to Woman (1929) is in many ways Michael Balcon's first serious assault on the US market, in concert with his producing/directing partner, Victor Saville, and the offices of the ambitious Tiffany-Stahl Studios in Los Angeles; at this stage, the most likely of the Poverty Row studios to break into the Majors, until the following three years destroyed the studio and sent most of the majors into some form of receivership.

George Barraud is an English officer during the Great War, in love with French entertainer Betty Compson. They are to be married, but he is ordered back to the Front... and suffers shell shock to such an extent that he can't remember anything about his war years. After the War, he marries Juliette Compton in a distant sort of marriage. One evening, he is at the theater and sees Miss Compson performing. He remembers all and discovers they have a son.

It's the complicated sort of womanly suffering that worked all right in Random Harvest, solely because that movie starred Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. If this movie almost works, it's because Betty Compson gives a magnificent performance; but despite some great camerawork by Benjamin Kline (including shots that Balcon would have Hitchcock use in the concluding sequence of The 39 Steps), the over-the-top plot and other performances make this one only intermittently watchable.

Still, when it's Miss Compson alone on the screen, it's mesmerizing.

Bob

I think this is quite a remarkably good film! I remember thinking so when I saw it a few years ago. This is also Betty Compson re-making her own silent of 1923. She was perfectly suited to such roles. The only print available that I know of is an Alpha one, but it's not half bad, just a tad dark.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 8:47 am

Woman to Woman is also apparently available to view on Amazon Prime:

https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Betty-Comp ... woman+1929

Rick
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 12:59 pm

One of the earliest available French talkies, LA PETITE LISE (1930), directed by Jean Gremillon, looks forward to the downbeat noirish films of Marcel Carne, as well as being reminiscent of such realist movies such as ROTAIE and DANS LA NUIT (both 1929).

In an astonishing opening sequence we see the condemned inmates of the island of Cayenne, which seems to be related to Devil's Island. A grim, squalid sequence, which also seems far ahead of its time in technique. One of the inmates, who lives for his daughter, is granted a reprieve for courageous behaviour and is soon bound for Paris. Unbeknown to him, Lise, has been living as a prostitute although she and her fellow plan to go straight. Unfortunately the young idiot has worked up a wheeze to raise the money needed by threatening the local moneylender. Of course this foolish plan goes completely awry and the old Jew is killed...

Effectively played by Alcover (the father) and Nadia Sibirskaia (the daughter), this is an atmospheric slice of working-class / lowlife drama and more than a mere curio, helped by the English subtitles so thoughtfully provided.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 1:11 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:
boblipton wrote:Woman to Woman (1929) is in many ways Michael Balcon's first serious assault on the US market, in concert with his producing/directing partner, Victor Saville, and the offices of the ambitious Tiffany-Stahl Studios in Los Angeles; at this stage, the most likely of the Poverty Row studios to break into the Majors, until the following three years destroyed the studio and sent most of the majors into some form of receivership.

George Barraud is an English officer during the Great War, in love with French entertainer Betty Compson. They are to be married, but he is ordered back to the Front... and suffers shell shock to such an extent that he can't remember anything about his war years. After the War, he marries Juliette Compton in a distant sort of marriage. One evening, he is at the theater and sees Miss Compson performing. He remembers all and discovers they have a son.

It's the complicated sort of womanly suffering that worked all right in Random Harvest, solely because that movie starred Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. If this movie almost works, it's because Betty Compson gives a magnificent performance; but despite some great camerawork by Benjamin Kline (including shots that Balcon would have Hitchcock use in the concluding sequence of The 39 Steps), the over-the-top plot and other performances make this one only intermittently watchable.

Still, when it's Miss Compson alone on the screen, it's mesmerizing.

Bob

I think this is quite a remarkably good film! I remember thinking so when I saw it a few years ago. This is also Betty Compson re-making her own silent of 1923. She was perfectly suited to such roles. The only print available that I know of is an Alpha one, but it's not half bad, just a tad dark.



The 1923 version was Michael Balcon’s first movie as producer, so this is a remake for him too.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostTue Jan 09, 2018 6:50 pm

Smari1989 wrote: ....
I also recently watched the Norwegian film THE KING'S CHOICE (2016), a dramatization of Germany's occupation of Norway in the spring of 1940. As a Norwegian who's usually critical of movies made in my own country, this one actually turned out to be quite good, IMO. I believe also many non-Norwegians would likely find it interesting, although naturally subtitles will be required.


Thanks for the recommendation! I just watched this movie, a welcome addition to my viewings of Nordisk Films (although I must admit that most of the rest of them date from before 1920....) and found it a very well-told tale, and a welcome addition to the recent spate of films set in the early days of the Second World War. I though the staging of the evacuation of Oslo very well done -- it caught the incredulous confusion of such an event impeccably.

Bob
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Jan 10, 2018 7:30 am

The bit actors with two lines speak like zombies. The score is intermittent and overwrought. The plot is set in motion by a voice-over, and then stupidly recapitulated by actors. Yet Once a Thief (1950) is a tough film noir about how ex-shoplifter June Havoc gets dragged down by cheap, chiseling, womanizer Cesar Romero, and it works because he is such a dull, cheap thug, living off little people who hope for something decent and nice. He sucks them dry and throws them in the guttter and then walks away and thinks he's smart because he only plays the sure thing.

Producer-Director W. Lee Wilder (brother of Billy WIlder) clearly did everything in this production to make it as cheaply as possible, but the three leading actors (Havoc, Romero and Marie McDonald) and the script are good enough to overcome him. Fans of old movies will be pleased to see perpetual dumb cop Fred Kelsey as a desk sergeant.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:08 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.
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drednm

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Jan 10, 2018 7:44 am

I got a free rental from Redbox so watched Home Again with Reese Witherspoon as a 40-something woman acting like a 20-something dope. Not worth the price of admission.

Written and directed by the hyphenated Hallie Meyers-Shyer, she is the daughter of Hollywood filmmakers and obviously has deep connections, otherwise this tripe would never have been made.
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Rick Lanham

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostWed Jan 10, 2018 8:39 pm

An old, rich, man has apparently died, but there is no body found. At his castle, his heirs have gathered, expecting to divvy up the loot. There's a problem though. Without the body, there's no legal death for five years. Then the heirs start being murdered one by one. Some of the survivors try to put the Spotlight on a Murderer.

Part Ten Little Indians, part Clue, part dozens of other mysteries, but not as good as many, this 1961 film is directed by Georges Franju. Pierre Brasseur tops the cast, but his part is very small. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pascale Audret, Marianne Koch, and Dany Saval are effective, but they are let down by the script.

The Castle is beautiful, Dany Saval is delightful. A lesser Franju.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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boblipton

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Jan 11, 2018 5:59 am

Was the week the Washington Post began to print the Pentagon Papers really the same week the company went public, or was that something the screenwriters added to the script of The Post (2017)? It's a very adult, hip, feminist script that seems timed, not just for the sort of Suffragette script we got a couple of years back during Oscar season, but in light of the post-Weinstein Hollywood that's leading into hysteria and reaction from Catherine Deneuve.

My first reaction to the trailers was that Tom Hanks was channeling Jason Robard Jr. That made me check the cast list of All the President's Men. Katherine Graham doesn't appear in that movie. It's all about the boys of the newsroom, with women keeping the books and fetching the coffee and even writing the stories about the weddings, I suppose, but never saying anything important or central to the story. Rosalind Russell has retired into a negligee for the seventh reel, and Meryl Streep feels herself feels herself alone and inadequate to the job she must do, alone among the merchant bankers, but knows she is the one who must do it.

The principal pleasure in this movie is observing people talking, saying things to each other, eventually hearing and reacting, the way people do. Streep, Hanks, Bob Odekirk... movie-maker Steven Spielberg has not neglected the big shots, but like many a film maker, his technique has gotten simpler as he has aged, and when the story is about people talking, how elaborate do you need to be?

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

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostThu Jan 11, 2018 8:18 pm

Marjorie Prime (2017) is an odd, ironic, sci-fi movie about grief and computer holograms. Set at some point in the near future, the film opens with an old woman (Lois Smith) sitting and chatting with a hologram of her dead husband (John Hamm). The holograms is pleasant company and also a memory aid since it has been programmed to be the dead husband and becomes more like the dead husband as it's talked to. It absorbs information. Her real family, a daughter and her husband (Geena Davis, Tim Robbins) provide a backstory and also interact with the hologram. It's all very subtle. In fact you don't quite realize what's actually happening as the film progresses and the conversations proceed. There's a neat bit on the theory of memory attributed to William James, that what we really remember of an instance is actually just a memory of the last time we remembered it, not a memory of the instance itself. That's why memories fade. Kinda like a xerox of a xerox of a xerox. Anyway, the ending is chilling. Lois Smith is terrific. Geena Davis is nearly unrecognizable now.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Jan 12, 2018 7:37 am

It Happened One Sunday (1944): Barbara White is an Irish lass who winds up being the entire household staff in a large Liverpool household. She is lonely and unhappy. Greengrocer Marjorie Rhodes tells her a cock-and-bull story of a Tom Brown who loves her, but is in hospital. Meanwhile, Robert Beatty is a merchant mariner who has lost his papers, but has picked up Brown's papers and is in hospital after a brawl. When Miss White goes to the hospital, she finds him and they fall in love.

There are an enormous number of subplots and complications, including crooks who want Beatty to help them steal landed goods, and illustrative montage sequences that reference Cinderella. The result is a romantic comedy that stretches for more than an hour and a half and makes one yearn for some sort of resolution, good, bad or indifferent. Miss Rhodes' stage Oirish accent and circuitous metaphors don't help, either. It's a pity, because the leads are very charming and have real chemistry with each other, but this one goes on for far too long.

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
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Jan 12, 2018 9:51 am

Went to the theater yesterday and saw "The Greatest Showman" (2017) with Hugh Jackman and others. A marvelous musical, really. Enjoyed it. Didn't realize that it was mostly musical and themed about human beings who are non-mainstream in many ways, especially physical, and how what is "me" is good, no matter what the physical. The movie itself is pure showmanship, about showmanship, exploitation, and it is, in itself, exploitative - but, believe it or not - in a good way. As I said, enjoyed it. No masterpiece, but Jackman gives a great performance, as does Zendaya. Zac Efron acquits himself well, too. Music wasn't all that bad - minimalistic, but not simplistic. Unlike most of the world, I thought "La La Land" second-rate, and the music third-rate. This, on the other hand, isn't Cole Porter, but it's quite modern and well done.
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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostFri Jan 12, 2018 12:08 pm

I enjoyed The Greatest Showman too, once I got used to the idea that it would bear almost no resemblance to the real-life P.T. Barnum. So I consider it "old fashioned" along the lines of Night and Day or Words and Music. There's probably a good, truthful movie to be made about Barnum (John C. Reilly seems born to play the part), but it's unlikely we'll see it any time soon.

Zendaya was a real treat here, like pop star Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures and Moonlight, I hope she's able to maintain an acting career.
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boblipton

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Jan 13, 2018 7:45 am

I haven't seen The Revenant yet, but I just took a look at Man in the WIlderness (1971), one of those early 1970s movies which cast Richard Harris as some sort of primitive man who could survive in the wilderness by himself. Composed mostly in browns, it also stars John Huston in a fairly subdued role portaging a ship across a wilderness where Harris is attacked by a hear and left for dead. One of those movies which holds that decency in man is only achievable once you strip 19th-century civilization from him, I don't find the genre or this example compelling.

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: What is the last film you watched? (2018)

PostSat Jan 13, 2018 8:24 am

boblipton wrote:I haven't seen The Revenant yet, but I just took a look at Man in the WIlderness (1971), one of those early 1970s movies which cast Richard Harris as some sort of primitive man who could survive in the wilderness by himself. Composed mostly in browns, it also stars John Huston in a fairly subdued role portaging a ship across a wilderness where Harris is attacked by a hear and left for dead. One of those movies which holds that decency in man is only achievable once you strip 19th-century civilization from him, I don't find the genre or this example compelling.

Bob

You know, I never could stand watching Leonardo DiCaprio because he always seemed like a teenage boy playing big boy parts or older, and he never seemed the parts to me. Then, I saw "The Revenant". For the first time he gave, not only a performance that was very grown up, but a magnificent, beautifully acted piece that actually set him apart for me - for the first time. The film is quite good, and it's worthy to see. Now, the film is also far too long, and it's theme is exploited over and over and over, with DiCaprio not only going through hell to reach his destination of the end of the film, but going through hell over and over. There is a breaking point - at least there was for me. But, one thing was always consistent, and it was consistent in spades: the cinematography! It is simply spectacular. Wondrous in all ways. It was the same with "Gladiator" in 2000. Acting was on par with superb, though the dialogue was typically stilted, as with most films of that ilk. As with "The Revenant", gore was exploited to satisfy the Romans watching the film to see the lions feast on Christians. (In "The Revenant" it's nature and the native peoples feasting on invaders) But the photography of "Gladiator" was incredible, especially the snow scenes in the forest, whether real or invented by some machine. See "The Revenant" for its well-oiled machine of making. I think you'll appreciate Leonardo for his performance, but you may feel the same feelings about the script you felt when watching "Man In the Wilderness". "The Revenant", too, needed an editor from the Warner Brothers school of the '30's.
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