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1  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: In a Lonely Place (1950) on: Yesterday at 02:59:45 PM
like the insert dj Afro

An unfortunate pun Shocked
2  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: In a Lonely Place (1950) on: Yesterday at 12:56:06 AM
RE: the original ending:

I'd sure love to see it; I wish it were included as a bonus feature, or that someone working in the studio vault would put it on YouTube  Wink Without having seen it, here's my opinion of the original ending vs. the current ending:

As discussed, the original ending is more noir-like. (Though again, nobody in American knew about "noir" then or felt the need to follow any noir formula.) But, as Muller says, Ray chose the current ending because it is more, in Muller's words, "true to life." It's absolutely correct that the current ending is more realistic. And for that reason, it is more heartbreaking. If Dixon had killed Laurel, that's a (perhaps great) movie ending, but not one that people can relate to; but the current ending, in which Dixon destroys, in Muller's words, "the best chance for love that he'll ever have," is a heartbreakingly true to life: People throwing away achievable love and happiness due to silly things like stubbornness and temper, Dixon walking alone through that courtyard, knowing he has just thrown away the one thing that could have made his life not be miserable.

On the other hand, there are a couple of arguments I can make why the original ending would have been better: Firstly, and most importantly, when watching the movie – yes, even the first time – I never believed for a moment that Steele murdered the hat-check girl. When he "re-enacts" the murder, there wasn't a moment when I thought he had actually committed it. Sure, he has bad drinking and temper problems, but the notion that he actually could have killed the hat-check girl never crossed my mind. So I never really felt the the supposed tension over "Did he do it or not?" So, if he actually kills Laurel – and then we find out he was cleared of murder in the hat-check-girl case – only then (yes, at the end of the movie would I actually feel that he is indeed capable of murder, and perhaps then, on subsequent viewings of the movie, it would actually make me feel that yes, it was a legitimate question after all as to whether or not he killed the hat-check girl – and we are only sure he didn't once he gets cleared at the end. So, showing him kill Laurel actually shows us that Steele is indeed capable of murder, and on subsequent viewings it can sort of put legitimate doubt into the air over whether or not he killed the hat-check girl, until we know he is cleared for sure. (Am I making sense?)

Secondly, one thing I never liked about the movie – and again, this is a terrific movie, the few quibbles notwithstanding – are those dumb lines, "I was born .... I lived a few weeks when you loved me." Yeah, I get it – for a man like Steele, even when he has finally found what could make him happy, he senses that one way or another, likely due to his own stupidity, he will throw it away. But those lines are corny – way too unsubtle. And having Laurel say the lines at the end – again, way too unsubtle. A movie should never say something is going to happen and then have it happen exactly that way. I just didn't like how Steele says those lines, and then have the movie turn out exactly that way, with Laurel saying the exact line. But, though I don't like the lines at all, at least it's better in the the original ending, with Bogie sitting over the typewriter with those lines types out – but nobody actually speaksing the line.

So, those are two reasons I could give why the original ending would be better, besides the simple reason that it's "more noir-like." But, as noted above, there's a very good reason why the current ending could be better as well. So, bottom line is that I'll accept the ending as it is in the movie. Even if you prefer the original, the current ending is damn good. So I am happy to accept it as is.

Of course, if I ever see the original ending, perhaps then I'd have more a more firm opinion about it. I hope that one day we'll be able to see it.

Anyway, unlike Muller, IALP is not my favorite movie or even my favorite noir. But it's a damn good one  Smiley

BTW, I own the Criterion BRD. I was just looking at Beaver's page where he compares the discs and he says that the disc has "the impressive contrast that we have come to expect" from Criterion – "darker black levels and brighter white."

But the blacks are actually blacker in the Columbia Tri-Star DVD's! As Beaver himself notes, when discussing what he calls the "impressive contrast" of the Criterion BRD, he says it is not "blown-out as the SD looks in comparison."

When the movie just played on TCM, I watched a few minutes here or there briefly, just enough to tell you that the TCM print also has very dark blacks. (Though I don't know how to measure it against the discs, as I don't have side-by-side screencaps.) Of course, I have no idea whether or not TCM is using the same source as the Columbia DVD's and/or Criterion BRD. But, suffice it to say that all four sources – the two Columbia DVD's, the Criterion BRD, and the TCM print – all show this being a high-contrast film.
3  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: September 18, 2017, 02:57:37 PM
Mother! (Darren Aronofsky, 2017) 7/10

It looks like a mashup of previous films by Aronofsky, most notably Black Swan, Noah and The Fountain. It's also the most Lynchean film of Darren. Mother! starts like the modern take on Rosemary's Baby that the trailer wants you to believe it is, but the audience quickly learns to not take anything at face value as the film becomes increasingly metaphorical rather than rational, before descending into total madness for the last 30 minutes. The whole thing is filled with very dark humor, and you go from laughs to screams seamlessly.
There isn't much I can tell without spoiling things, so just be aware you're gonna see a lot of scenes directly adapted from the Bible. It's not for everyone, it has many great moments as well as (some) cheesy ones. I much preferred the first half over the second one (Aronofsky seems more at ease filming intimity and tortured loners than more agitated settings) but that may change on a second watch.

Last but not least, I cannot believe RR hasn't been advertising the film for months on here.
4  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: In a Lonely Place (1950) on: September 18, 2017, 12:20:01 AM
Eddie Muller says of his favorite movie: "This movie is film noir for fully grown adults."


5  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: La Bete Humaine (1938), remade as Human Desire (1954) on: September 18, 2017, 12:00:55 AM
D & D, yes please give me your comments.

Basically, my disagreement with you is about Vicki's character. As I mentioned in my previous posts in this thread, I really don't see Vicki as the typical conniving bitch femme fatale. I think she really was faithful to her husband, she really didn't want to Owens and she never willingly submitted herself to him. She never cheated on her husband until after the incident with Owens, when her husband started getting insane with jealousy and their marriage began falling apart, and then she went off with Jeff. And she truly loved Jeff. And yes, she was spurned by Jeff. Yes, ultimately she plotted with Jeff to kill her husband, but this wasn't some babe trying to knock off her husband for insurance money; she was living in prison and fearing for her safety. Unlike, say, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Vicki was truly in love with Jeff; she was not pretending to love him for the sole purpose of getting Jeff to knock off her husband.

In this way, IMO, Vicki was the anti-femme-fatale. The tragedy here is that Jeff doesn't realize it. Jeff is seeing her strictly as a femme fatale, and he doesn't ever realize, all the way until the end, that she is sincere.

As for the end: you can argue that Human Desire just went for the typical Hollywood happy ending – "happy" because Jeff is the main character and we are viewing things through his eyes, that he'll go off with the nice girl – let's face it, he's not the type of guy for a noir girl like Vicki – and live happily ever after. So, even though it's a tragedy what happens to Vicki – if you believe as I do that she is not really bad – you can say that going off with the good girl is better for Jeff anyway: less drama, and she is the kind of girl that is more suitable for him; they can live happily ever after behind a white picket fence. It's the "human desire," - or the "brutal desire" as Blanche DuBois put it – that gets people killed. Jeff chooses the good girl and therefore chooses the happily ever after life.

Yeah, I am somewhat ambivalent about the ending of HD. With LBH, the ending is more .... poetic ... but I hate the whole plot point about the main character going crazy and doing things beyond his control.
6  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: La Bete Humaine (1938), remade as Human Desire (1954) on: September 17, 2017, 06:03:25 PM
D & D, yes please give me your comments.
I haven't seen La Bete in ages, I just remembered the difference between the main characters. So I'd have to rewatch for a real comparison. I have to track the movie down first.

LBH is available on Criterion DVD. Human Desire is the one that is very hard to find.

I can mail you my copy of LBH if you'll mail it back  Smiley
7  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: La Bete Humaine (1938), remade as Human Desire (1954) on: September 17, 2017, 03:36:12 PM
great review as always, Jessica  Afro Afro Afro. I'll comment on the details when I have some time.

Am I the only person who prefers Human Desire to La Bete Humaine?
8  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: September 17, 2017, 01:37:02 AM
36 Hours (1964) 7/10 (TCM)

It's the end of May-beginning of July, 1944, aka a few days before D-Day. Everyone knows the Allies are about to invade France. On what day? And is the invasion going to be at Calais or Normandy?

James Garner is a high-ranking military intelligence official, who has been involved in the discussions. He knows the answer. When he flies out to neutral Lisbon to meet with a spy, he is drugged and flown to Germany. The Germans know that Garner has the answers they are seeking, but they also know that he has been trained to resist any torture they can dream up. They have to get the info out of him, and torture won't work ... but trickery may.

The Germans have dreamed up a big scheme for moments like these: By the time Garner wakes up a few hours later from his drug-induced coma, his hair has been dyed gray, his skin has been aged by a special medical process, drops have been placed into his eyes to make him farsighted and unable to read without glasses, and there is a Stars and Stripes newspaper on his nightstand dated 1950. The hospital compound is staffed by German soldiers with perfect American accents, American flags are flying, as is the flag of the Allied forces occupying postwar Germany. Yes, the Germans are making Garner believe that he has woken up six years later, that the Allies have won the war, and that he is in a U.S. military hospital in occupied, postwar Germany. This is the only way to get Garner to "talk" – to have him believe that the war is over, and to have him casually mention how the last thing he remembers was planning the invasion of ... Normandy ... voila!

I don't think I am spoiling anything by telling you that the suspense lies in when and how Garner will see through the ruse, and how he will then try to make the Germans believe that the information he has been giving them is really bullshit.

As soon as I saw the screenplay credits – based on, among other things, a story by Roald Dahl – I knew that something would be going on here  Wink Obviously, even by the standards of spy stories, this plot is a little way out there, but the movie can be decent entertainment.
9  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: September 17, 2017, 01:22:37 AM
Wind River (2017) 7/10

This is a modern-day Western.

Jeremy Renner plays a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer, who hunts predatory animals on the Wind River Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. Renner himself is married to an Indian woman, and his in-laws, with whom he is close, live on the reservation. (There's a small backstory about how Renner is estranged (or possibly divorced?) from his wife, possibly due to a traumatic incident that happened several years earlier when their daughter died.) Renner is comfortable among the Wind River Indians.

One day, while hunting a family of mountain lions on the reservation – way out in the snowy mountains, where only snowmobiles can go – he finds a dead teenaged girl. The girl had been raped and died a horrific death. He knows the girl; she was friends with his daughter.

A murder on an Indian reservation is a federal case, so the FBI is called. An FBI officer (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent over from the regional office in Nevada. She shows up wearing nothing but a blue FBI jacket, and is promptly informed by Renner and a local Indian police officer (Graham Greene) that if she tries heading out to the mountains in that jacket, she'll be dead in five minutes. Olsen has the expertise and resources of the FBI, but she is way out of her element on the reservation; moreover, as an officer of the law, she has rules and procedures she has to follow. Renner knows the area well and, let's say, can bend a law or two. The two team up to solve the case.

This movie was written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter of Hell or High Water and Sicario.

Olsen is good; Greene is very good in a supporting role; Renner is great. Don't be surprised if Renner gets an Oscar nomination.

The material is pretty good; the movie is nice to look at, but somehow, I just feel that more could have been done with this it to spruce it up, the action is sparse, it's sort of in a small way like Hell or High Water in that regard.

I saw the movie in Kips Bay with Miss Hong Kong; she keeps asking to go to movies although she hardly understands English. Every few minutes I typed an explanation of what was going on through Google Translate, and she seemed to be enjoying herself  Wink I had one of the Kips Bay screening rooms with reclining seats, and the big screen, so the experience is always somewhat enjoyable no matter the movie  Wink


Below are a few reviews:

The first two reviews are from when this movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January:

Hollywood Reporter:

The rest are all recent reviews:

UK Guardian:
Christy Lemire on
Detroit Free Press:
UK Telegraph:
NY Times:
10  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: In Memoriam on: September 16, 2017, 06:11:54 PM
Who will ever forget his contribution to The Avengers? But even more significantly . . . made it to 91. Way to go, Harry!

Most importantly, he made it to FOD!  Wink
11  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: September 14, 2017, 10:52:09 AM
Rewatched The Asphalt Jungle, 10/10

 Afro Afro Afro

The original heist movie!

I once saw an interview with someone who knew Jean-Pierre Melville (maybe Volker Schlondorff or however is name is spelled?) say that The Asphalt Jungle was Melville's favorite movie.
12  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Movie Formats/Viewing (theaters, discs, streaming, new inventions, etc.) on: September 13, 2017, 05:25:05 PM

Can MoviePass save theaters? The CEO crunched the numbers and says yes
By Seung Lee
(The Mercury News) -
Vegging out on the couch watching movies streamed from services like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu is the great American pastime. But one startup is going against the grain to get people out of their homes and into the theaters.

Can MoviePass’ amazing deal save traditional theaters?

Earlier this month, New York-based MoviePass slashed its prices and launched a program allowing subscribers to watch one movie a day in its partnered theaters for less than $10 a month. The response was instantaneous: On the first day, heavy traffic crashed the website. By the second day, more than 150,000 people had signed up.

But not everyone thinks the Netflix-like subscription model can work for movie theaters. U.S. box office attendance has declined over the past seven years, and with Amazon, Netflix and Disney all fighting for on-demand supremacy, movie theaters face even greater competition for content and viewers.

“It’s a nonsensical business,” said research analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. “The only way they can make money is if consumers pay for it and then not use it.”

The average U.S. box office ticket price in the first quarter of 2017 was $8.84 so if a subscriber used a pass twice in the same month, MoviePass would be in the red.

Even MoviePass’ partners expressed doubts about the company’s plan. Its largest partner, AMC Theaters, publicly rebuked the new low-cost subscription as “unsustainable” and said it will consider legal action to stop it.

“In AMC’s view, that price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled,” AMC said in a press release.

But MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, a former Netflix executive, says his business plan works and that he has the research to back him.

Before its unveiling, MoviePass ran through market research tests to find the sweet price point at which movie-goers would subscribe and be encouraged to go to the theaters.

At $9.95 a month, Lowe discovered 80 percent of subjects became “very interested” in subscribing and using the pass. So far, the studies match reality: In the first two days after the plan was announced, more than 150,000 people subscribed — surpassing the goal MoviePass hoped to meet in 15 months. Millennials made up 75 percent of new subscribers.

While MoviePass wants more people to head to the theaters, it is banking on movie aficionados remaining a minority and that most subscribers will use the pass less than once a month on average.

“It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet,” said Lowe. “The average user goes once a month or slightly less. Most people may not go for a few months after seeing several movies in one month.”

Krithic Annalamai, a sales representative who lives in Walnut Creek, may be Lowe’s prime target demographic. A regular Netflix watcher who goes to the theaters once every two to three months, Annalamai said the deal was too good to pass up.

“I’m eager to check it out,” Annalamai said. “Why not give this a try? I might cancel it in a few months. But if the experience was good, then I think I can see myself paying like $15 a month.”

Due to the high volume of new subscribers, MoviePass has struggled to keep up its customer service. New subscribers will have to wait until early September to get their MoviePass debit card, which will allow them to purchase tickets under their plan.

Some customers, like Reece Webb, have experienced a “complete lack of customer support” since signing up. Webb already has filed a fraud dispute with American Express and a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to get his money back from MoviePass.

“I want MoviePass to work. I truly hope they get their act together,” said Webb, a senior solutions architect in San Francisco. “The real test will be how they respond to all of these issues. An apology would be nice, too.”

While the buffet model may work to MoviePass’ advantage in the short term, the bigger question is its long-term plan, said Mike Goodman, director of digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics.

“Longevity is key to this model,” said Goodman. “Now the question becomes: Is Moviepass a business in its current shape or a placeholder for something different? If we are going to down the path of the placeholder, what becomes the next interesting thing they can do?”

Unlike Netflix or HBO, Lowe has no plans to produce original content for subscribers. Lowe wants to invest in and partner with independent movie studios and theaters, and hopes to one day share revenues from theater concessions and help sell merchandise, like movie soundtracks, on the MoviePass app.

“People think we want to cannibalize the studios and theaters,” said Lowe. “We are going to put our money where our mouth is and invest tens of millions of dollars with filmmakers. We want (them) to make more money and create a better movie-going experience for customers.”

But Lowe and MoviePass may have their eyes set on something beyond the theater. MoviePass hopes to use the data from its subscriber base to help studios make better movies and help restaurants and stores around theaters to better cater to movie-goers before and after showtimes.

On the day MoviePass announced its $9.95 plan, Helios and Matheson, a New York City-based data analytics firm, bought a majority stake in the company at about $5 million.

While it is an “interesting theory,” MoviePass’ business model is too uncertain for the long term, said UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television lecturer Tom Nunan. He worried that it will not be able to retain its new subscriber base beyond the next few months.

“I’m rooting for MoviePass,” said Nunan. “There’s something broken with the theater-going experience. (MoviePass) can really disrupt their business model. But if I was on the board, I would advise, let’s walk before we run. They are moving too quickly.”
13  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 711 Ocean Drive (1950) on: September 11, 2017, 11:57:11 PM
Eddie Muller's intro

Eddie Muller's afterword
14  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 711 Ocean Drive (1950) on: September 11, 2017, 11:56:07 PM
I just saw this (for the second time) on TCM Noir Alley. I give this a 7.5/10

I always enjoy watching Edmond O'Brien, even though in this movie and some others - though certainly not all - he does not seem natural at all. It feels like he is playing a part, like he is reading prepared lines from a script and not actually living the character. But O'Brien is always enjoyable to watch, even in movies like this where his performance is not great.

Joanne Dru is good in Westerns, not here.
15  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2017 NFL season on: September 11, 2017, 03:02:19 PM
 Since there are hardly any serious sports fans here, I figure that the one thread we have on sports can cover all sports
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