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May 24, 2022, 06:34:49 PM
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Messages - T.H.

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1
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: May 13, 2022, 09:42:07 AM »
Caddyshack (Cocaine, 1980) - An even bigger mess than what I remembered, and there needed to be more Rodney and Chevy. A tough movie to rate since it's such a mess and doesn't really work as an actual movie, unlike Animal House. But it's also great in its own stupid way. Tanks fer nut-ten. B-


I tried watching Black River (1957), but was tired and couldn't get into it. It had some nice photography, but I'd rather watch an Ozu movie than someone doing Ozu.

5
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: March 10, 2022, 03:28:15 PM »
Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1954) - Not much to say other than it's one of the better hang out crime movies in the first 50 or so minutes (it's also beautifully and invisibly directed), and then things really ramp up. But I wonder if I like Razzia more than this...Grisbi has the big action set piece, but Razzia's journey through mid 50's Paris' underworld is shockingly good. There probably should have been some other plot development with the gold in the first hour or so, but it doesn't matter much. A

Coffy (1973) - The very best of the blaxploitation subgenre, and the under-appreciated Jack Hill's best work. This thing movies fast, is violent, gritty, well shot/directed and is a great time capsule of early 70's LA with a cool score. A

6
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: March 02, 2022, 06:03:05 PM »
L.A. Confidential (1997) - One of the better adaptations ever put to screen, and a beautiful woven narrative that is endlessly entertaining. Maybe Ellroy has a point for being a little annoyed by this adaptation taking some of the ugliness out of his mid century LA, but it's also revealing itself to be a masterwork, and one of the best crime movies ever made. Chinatown may be more reflective and nuanced, but Confidential hits like a right cross from Joe Louis. A++

Dark City (1998) - While Blade Runner is the better movie for how it perfectly wraps things up with arguably one of the greatest scenes ever put to film, I'd take Dark City's journey through its unbelievably beautiful world over Blade Runner's - though it's close. Dark City's climax is a bit of a stumble and certainly lacks the "tears in rain" beauty of Blade Runner which cements the themes etc -- but its veering into late 90s sci-fi action doesn't really hurt the overall impact. A+

I agree with you whole review. It really looks like they just wanted to have some fun and not worry too much about anything. Ethan took a break right after that one.
I've seen it 3 times now and the disappointment from the first viewing disappeared: not having any other expectation than having a good time with pretty images and not even trying to follow the plot helps a lot.
I get what you're saying, but I'd rather just watch some clips on youtube of the movies within the movie.

7
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Miami Blues (1990) Pastel Noir
« on: March 01, 2022, 03:20:02 PM »
CJ is spot on. The setting is great, Armitage is a good director that elevated the material, but Fred Ward's character should have been the star of the movie. Badlwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh's characters would have been so much more effective with less screen time. C+

8
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: March 01, 2022, 03:17:05 PM »
Miami Blues (1990) - CJ made a thread about this movie and his thoughts were spot on: Armitage is a good director and elevated the material, the Miami setting is great, but Fred Ward's character should have been the main character. Baldwin's performance is good, as is Jennifer Jason Leigh's, but the characters don't lend themselves to be the stars. C+


Hail, Caesar! (2016) - This fails as a comedy and as a mystery, but it looks very pretty with some fantastic sequences and a good pace. But you wonder how much better the movie could have been with a functioning kidnapping plot considering the Coens arguably made their two greatest movies about kidnapping: Fargo and The Big Lebowski. It's a shame the plot was dismissed because Josh Brolin's Eddie Mannix would have been a great detective character. It's very surprising that they shot this script, most characters don't have anything to do, and only the aforementioned Brolin's Mannix and Alden Ehrenreich's (Audie Murphy mixed with Gene Autry + Will Rogers) Hobie Doyle were interesting, C

9
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: February 28, 2022, 04:07:58 PM »
I Come in Peace (1990) - aka Dark Angel. While there's nothing new to be found here, and this material is handled much better in The Terminator, Repo Man or even The Hidden -- it's a lot of fun. It's also reasonably well directed and nicely lit, with slicked wet streets and plenty of neon lights. This has the feel of a low budget B movie with a larger budget than most of those movies, and the money was spent well. The series of cliches plot works, and it's a fun movie, and certainly much better than the typical Terminator wanna-be movies from the 80's and early 90's. Cult worthy, and this has to be the best movie featuring Dolph Lundgren in a leading role. B-

10
If you ever wanted to know how important red herrings are to liven up mystery plots, watch this movie, because there are none to be found. And boy does it suffer because of it. Had this plot started out with Nolte's character investigating Jennifer Connelly's seedy acquaintances, the pacing would have steadily improved. But Mulholland Falls' other big problem is that the revelations just don't feel that important, much like The Two Jakes' reveals -- another very flawed neo noir that I like more than I should. Even with red herrings, there needed to be smarter ways to reveal the atomic element of the story, so to speak. You can't give the audience that much information so early on.

As for the look of the movie, it's not well directed and it greatly suffers from not being shot in scope with too many boring medium close up shots. It's borderline shocking that Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, Days of Heaven) was the DP since it's so dated visually with some really cheesy flashbacks featuring Jennifer Connelly's character. The score is also very bland and way too upbeat. The main Hat Squad characters' outfits are all brand new and much of the world doesn't look lived in. The other three members of the Hat Squad: Michael Madsen, Chris Penn and Chazz Palminteri don't do much of anything in the movie except Palminteri's character, which is a tough guy in therapy type that was a thing in the mid to late 90's. But it feels so ridiculously out of place for a movie set in the early 50's.

With all of those flaws, it's still engaging, and flawed period noirs are better than the vast majority of movies. No grade.

11
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: February 23, 2022, 12:53:55 PM »
Easy Money (1983) - It works best in the first half when it's essentially a hang out movie with Rodney and Joe Pesci. It's tough to rate because the plot is barely there, the pacing isn't perfect, but the movie has a late 70's grit about it that really works. And the entire cast (tons of NY actors from the era) is great. It also improves on a viewing as an adult, and the direction is better than a lot of comedies from the era with some good visual sight gags. I love Rodney Dangerfield so I have to give this a very generous B-.


Mulholland Falls (1996) - If you ever wanted to know how important red herrings are to liven up mystery plots, watch this movie, because there are none to be found. And boy does it suffer because of it. Had this plot started out with Nolte's character investigating Jennifer Connelly's seedy acquaintances, the pacing would have steadily improved. But Mulholland Falls' other big problem is that the revelations just don't feel that important, much like The Two Jakes' reveals -- another very flawed neo noir that I like more than I should. Even with red herrings, there needed to be smarter ways to reveal the atomic element of the story, so to speak. You can't give the audience that much information so early on.

As for the look of the movie, it's not well directed and it greatly suffers from not being shot in scope with too many boring medium close up shots. It's borderline shocking that Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, Days of Heaven) was the DP since it's so dated visually with some really cheesy flashbacks featuring Jennifer Connelly's character. The score is also very bland and way too upbeat. The main Hat Squad characters' outfits are all brand new and much of the world doesn't look lived in. The other three members of the Hat Squad: Michael Madsen, Chris Penn and Chazz Palminteri don't do much of anything in the movie except Palminteri's character, which is a tough guy in therapy type that was a thing in the mid to late 90's. But it feels so ridiculously out of place for a movie set in the early 50's.

With all of those flaws, it's still engaging, and flawed period noirs are better than the vast majority of movies. No grade.

12
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Double Indemnity (1944)
« on: February 20, 2022, 06:30:59 PM »
I think I'll hold onto the Universal disc and just wait to buy the 4K bluray whenever I get around to buying a PS5.

Never mind, it's apparently a package deal so I might pick this up during a sale.

13
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: January 18, 2022, 01:21:42 AM »
The Gambler (1974) 7/10. A literature professor (James Caan) with a gambling addiction alienates loved ones as he plays a game of brinksmanship with mobsters. The basis for the 2014 movie of the same title, this is the less interesting of the two films as it pretty much just limns the conventions of a self-destructive-behavior story (the new film is more Dostoyevskian (until it isn't)). There are pleasures to be had here, though, including cameos by Jimmy Woods, Stuart Margolin, M. Emmet Walsh, and Vic Tayback. Meatier roles go to Paul Sorvino and Lauren Hutton. Also of interest is period location work in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Jersey, and, for a brief moment, Vegas. Free streaming available to amazon Prime members: http://www.amazon.com/Gambler-James-Caan/dp/B005DNPEZA/ref=tmm_aiv_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-2&qid=1419732018

This pretty much sums up my thoughts, but I haven't seen the 2014 version. The Gambler '74 greatly benefits from its cast and it being a 70's movie -- I wish more of the movie was set in 70's Vegas. As much as a I love 80's movies, this material doesn't work as well a decade later without a creative director that could capture the seediness of NYC. Someone like a Schrader, or ideally Scorsese.

I don't like Inside Man. Nothing against it, nothing for it. I've never been impressed by Spike Lee. I think it's on Prime these days.

Dog Day Afternoon keeps getting better after 10 viewings. I have no idea when I first watched it, I feel like I've always known that movie.
I'm with you on Dog Day Afternoon, it's a lot better than I remembered. Lumet went from being a stagy, stuffy, arguably boring director to making very liberated, cinematic movies by the 70's.

As for Spike Lee, I liked 25th Hour, but it's been too long since I've seen it. And I need to see Clockers again. But I agree with you there again.

14
Other Films / Re: The Last Sunset (1961)
« on: December 31, 2021, 04:12:53 AM »
Like Vera Cruz, this is ahead of its time, and like Vera Cruz, this is a movie of moments. And during those moments, it's something of a masterpiece. While Sunset should be a good 15 mins shorter, it doesn't have the pacing issues that I felt on my first viewing. The final shootout definitely influenced OUATITW, and I believe Sergio Donati said as much. There is a world where Donna Reed and Rock Hudson could have starred in a Leone movie judging from Reed's performance in Backlash and Hudson's performance in Sunset. Hudson is almost as cool and masculine as Mitchum in this one. B+/A-

I'd definitely recommend the Kino bluray.

15
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 26, 2021, 02:47:42 AM »
The answer, then, is to watch Busting right after spinning TLP. The supermarket scene would then be the climax for both films. Actually, the two films are a natural double-bill as they're both about the relationships between cops who are partners. TLP has the edge, though: Matthau does buddy movies like nobody else.
In my world, Walter Matthau takes a young Brando and Sir Laurence out to the woodshed, so there's no argument there. Even though I like Robert Blake in Busting, I'd like to see what the first choice (?) Peter Boyle could've done in that role.

I completely agree with the Busting + Laughing Policeman double bill potential.

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