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January 16, 2018, 02:58:00 PM
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1  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Prowler (1951) on: Yesterday at 11:13:22 AM
If this isn't a masterpiece, it's close. I like it more and more on additional viewings. The first act of this movie is some of the best old hollywood had to offer.

I have the bluray and the quality varies. It's not tremendous, though there seems to be an uptick in the image quality once the movie heads to the ghost town. Considering what the state of the movie was in, the restoration had to be a success. With that said, I don't know if it's good enough to double dip if you already have the DVD. If you don't own this on any format, then I'd definitely recommend buying the bluray before it potentially goes out of stock.
2  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Name Your Top 20 Westerns of all time... on: Yesterday at 10:34:05 AM
Pale Rider over Shane? That's like having Body Heat over Double Indemnity. Sorry, had to give you a little gruff about that one.

The Searchers
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Wild Bunch
Once Upon a Time in the West
Rio Bravo
My Darling Clementine
3:10 to Yuma
Red River
For a Few Dollars More
The Magnificent Seven
Forty Guns
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Yellow Sky
Jeremiah Johnson
The Great Silence
Johnny Guitar
Seven Men From Now
Man of the West

Could easily be in the 17-21 range:

The Ballad of Cable Hogue
A Fistful of Dynamite
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
The Man From Laramie
Ride Lonesome
The Tall T
The Naked Spur
The Bravados
Face to Face
A Fistful of Dollars
Day of the Outlaw
3  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Il mercenario aka The Mercenary/A Professional Gun (1968) on: January 12, 2018, 01:16:04 PM
I happen to have enjoyed this movie very much, but I disagree with your insistence that he has to discuss in detail what he didn’t like. Saying he doesn’t like anything about the movie means he doesn’t like the story, acting, cinematography, music, etc. Is it necessary to go through all that in detail?

A movie, like any artwork - painting, book, music - either appeals to someone or doesn’t. It’s not always easy to explain what one doesn’t like about something. If he didn’t enjoy it, he didn’t enjoy it.

I like Groggy’s advice: A simple “it sucked” will suffice  Azn

I honestly couldn't care any less that he didn't like the movie, but why post "Did not like this movie...  3 out of 10..." on a message board? At best, it offers nothing in terms of discussion and at worst it's troll bait, and bad bait at that.

I have a tough time relating with not being able to articulate why someone doesn't like something, but that's probably a different debate altogether.
4  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Crooked Way (1949) The Most Graphic Noir on: January 12, 2018, 11:59:46 AM
I'm sure if I watched this on bluray I'd bump my score up to an 8/B-. This has a snappy pace and the cinematography definitely elevates the adequate material to a different height.
5  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Il mercenario aka The Mercenary/A Professional Gun (1968) on: January 12, 2018, 11:51:30 AM
If you're going to have controversial opinions about well received movies, you really have to back up your opinions with some good criticism to be taken seriously. You haven't done that at all.
6  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: A list of Film Noirs that i want for my collection. on: January 09, 2018, 08:17:27 PM
I strongly recommend not blind buying movies. It makes for an awkward looking collection that doesn't have much personality or any coherence. It's also a waste of space when factoring X percentage of your collection doesn't reflect upon your taste. My own personal rule is that I won't buy a movie unless I'd rate it an 8/10 or higher. That unofficial rule has made for a pretty damn good bluray collection where I'm not looking to get rid of anything.

As far as the movies you listed:

The Prowler
The Big Heat
Kiss Me Deadly
Touch of Evil
The Asphalt Jungle
7  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Too Late for Tears (1949) on: January 09, 2018, 01:21:38 PM
Just had a look, both discs even have the Flicker Alley logo and menu, heh... And yes, region free Smiley
The new covers are really nice IMHO, but they also have the original posters on the reverse side. Great movies as well, both of them.

That's nice that they have the original posters as well, but if they didn't, I'd be okay with these covers:

Especially when compared to the bland covers of the US blurays.

I bought both movies and got them for like 36.99 USD after shipping and tax to the States. That's pretty much 50% off the US discs.
8  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Too Late for Tears (1949) on: January 09, 2018, 10:57:29 AM
The UK blu-ray, which has the same restoration, is much cheaper...
And according to it's region free. I can check later tonight if that's true, if anybody's interested.
Thank you so much for letting me know about the Arrow bluray. It's the same transfer, almost half the price and has a much better cover.

There's also a region A compatible release for Woman on the Run. I'm going to buy both right now.
9  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Violent Saturday (1955) on: January 03, 2018, 04:52:42 PM
Watching this on bluray was like seeing a completely different movie. This is one of the better directed movies I've ever seen in scope, there are so many efficiently beautiful longtakes that had to influence Spielberg. As for the TT bluray, it's a gorgeous transfer. It at least deserves an honorable mention on any best looking HD transfers from the classic era list. The lighting, direction, editing in this movie is phenomenal as well.  

The third act might not quite deliver like the way you want it to, but the set up to the heist was executed so well that it doesn't matter all that much. The minutes fly by here. I really can't say enough good things about this movie. This would make a great double bill with Bad Day at Black Rock with a "Not quite noir/not quite western movies from 1955" theme.

I highly recommend the TT bluray. It has been on sale for as little as 9.99 a few months back.

A- or 9/10

Here's DJ's much more coherent review:

Violent Saturday (1955) 9/10. Stephen McNally arrives by bus in “Bradenville” (played by Bisbee, AZ). Unwisely crossing the street in front of the parked bus, he’s almost hit by a sleek sports car driven by the town’s leading adulteress, Mrs. Boyd Fairchild (Margaret Hayes). Rearranging the golf bag in the front seat before putting her car back in gear, Mrs. Fairchild shoots McNally a murderous look –the irony!—and drives on. Their paths won’t cross again until Saturday, Violent Saturday. McNally finally makes it to the other side of the street, and there stands the bank he’s come to rob. But it isn’t yet Saturday (a Saturday which will be violent!), so he turns and walks past. As he goes, the bank manager (Tommy Noonan) raises the blinds of a picture window and looks out—he too has a date with Violent Saturday. McNally arrives at his hotel, and, checking in, spies Linda (Virginia Leith), the object to every man’s desire. A nurse at the local hospital, she forms a skein in Fate’s Tapestry as well (Fate’s Violent Tapestry!). Meanwhile McNally’s two henchmen, J. Carrol Naish and Lee Marvin (with a sinus condition), are on a train, Bradenville bound. Naish notices some Amish children in their car and gives them candy. We will learn that Naish often gives children candy. Marvin, by contrast, won’t pass up an opportunity later to step on a child’s fingers. Back in Bradenville, McNally is studying the lay of the land, on the relief map in the town library. Miss Braden (Sylvia Sydney), the librarian and, presumably, a descendant of the city’s founder, has fallen on hard times and is tempted to steal from a patron. McNally observes her with cynical relish, then steps outside to witness a fight between schoolboys. The father of one of the boys arrives—it’s Victor Mature!—and questions his son, then has to get back to work. He’s a vice-president at Fairchild Copper, Bradenville’s only industry. The other vice-president is Boyd Fairchild (Richard Egan), drunk in his office and sick about his wandering wife. He has his secretary put in a call for her at the country club—and CUT, there she is, golfing with her current squeeze, Brad Dexter. And so it goes, Rififi meeting La Ronde. When Naish and Marvin hit town, their paths too begin interweaving with those of the townsfolk. A final thread is supplied by an Amish farmer played by Ernest Borgnine in a funny beard (“I thank thee, neighbor.”). Borgnine enters the picture carrying a pitchfork, and seasoned theatergoers know that Chekhov has a rule about that: if you show a character in Act One carrying a loaded pitchfork, that pitchfork must go off by Act Three. And Act Three here is Saturday, Violent Saturday, the place where all paths converge . . . . . violently.

At one point Lee Marvin comments that Virginia Leith’s Linda is built like a Swiss watch, but the same could be said of Richard Fleischer’s film and its precision-instrument plot. Never have scenes been more artfully joined; never have Cinemascope frames been better composed; never have movements within those frames been more persuasively motivated or performed with such economy.

Twilight Time brought the movie out on DVD a while ago, using elements they claimed weren’t good enough for an HD transfer. But Carlotta in France has since produced this stunning Blu-ray from other elements. The transfer is mind-bogglingly great, a 10/10 (It makes“Color by De Luxe” actually mean something). I doubt the film looked this good even when projected in 1955.

There are two supplements, one in French without subtitles, but one in English, an insightful appreciation of the movie by William Friedkin [one has to wonder if the film didn’t influence Mr. Friedkin’s own Sorcerer]. The disc is region-coded “B”.
10  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Highway Dragnet (1954) on: January 03, 2018, 04:19:30 PM
I have to admit that I like 70 min B movies from the classic era more than the average person, so I enjoyed this to some degree. It's undeniably flawed and clunky at times (the twist was handled amateurishly), but the pace is on point, the cast is good and I love the desert locations. The Salton Sea locale at the end of the movie was better than usual for a movie that might have had a poverty row budget.

11  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Phantom Thread (2017) on: January 02, 2018, 01:27:04 PM
That could be nice. That's what I thought Inherent Vice would be. But, I like the direction he's going... maybe it'd be disappointing to see him go back to the more fun but less interesting style. While there is Ophuls inspiration, especially in Phantom Thread, I feel that his post-Magnolia movies establish him more as an auteur with a specific-feeling though hard-to-define style,  rather than a Scorsese/Altman copycat.
I think copycat is way too harsh of a word. I can't really argue against something like The Master being his most original movie, but I'd take the pure entertainment value, humor, fun, etc of Boogie Nights over anything he's done.
12  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Phantom Thread (2017) on: December 29, 2017, 02:49:32 PM
And don’t forget I’m the only PTA fanboy here, and I’ve alrwady seen it and thought it was great . Only n_l doesn’t hate  the guy like the rest of you fools
Boogie Nights is one of my favorite movies and I don't dislike any of his movies, but I definitely would like the 90s Scorsese + Altman influenced PTA to come back instead of the Max Ophuls + Joseph Losey inspired guy of the 10s.
13  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Gunman's Walk (1958) on: December 29, 2017, 02:08:23 PM
The problem with Gunman's Walk (1958) is that other westerns from the time period handled the 'bad seed son' subject matter better: The Man From Laramie and Last Train from Gun Hill - there might be something else I'm forgetting.

The first act or half is well done, it's just there's not enough plot to justify a ~90 minute runtime. There needed to be close to 20 mins chopped off or the characters needed to be on some type of journey instead of the movie being town bound with zero conflict for basically the final two acts.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, it has some soul and this is one of Heflin's better performances in a western. Visually, it's on point with Phil Karlson and Charles Lawton Jr. doing what you'd expect them to do. With that said, instead of the momentum building, it crumbles and by act three you're sort of just waiting for this to end. And that's a shame because it's a well made movie.

7.5/10 or C+

The casting of James Darren was odd to say the least. He just doesn't look right in a western and he looked more "half breed" than Kathryn Grant, who played a half Sioux character. I was distracted to the point where I was wondering how a potential "half breed" twist was going to play out, since it wouldn't make sense in the story.
14  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: John Ford on: December 04, 2017, 10:19:30 PM
The Searchers is one the greatest movies ever made in my opinion. The hokey Norman Rockwell moments (somehow) perfectly blend in with the darkness of the movie and the Ethan Edwards character. There's a real mystique there, those dated comedy scenes probably add to the "other things going on" sentiment. I don't think The Searchers is a better movie with those scenes cut or altered. It's certainly artificial at times, but artificiality is a characteristic of many of all time great movies.

As for The Searchers being dated, sure, I guess you can say that, but you can also apply that label to the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, The Flamingos "I Only Have Eyes for You" and Mickey Spillane novels.
15  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Farewell, My Lovely (1975) on: November 23, 2017, 12:31:39 PM
I'm one of the bigger Michael Winner supporters out there but I absolutely despise The Big Sleep '78. It's a truly terrible looking movie and is incredibly dull. It's a bad made for TV movie with big (aging) stars.
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