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December 11, 2017, 02:14:49 PM
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16  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 26, 2017, 05:30:44 PM
Not a very good book.
You're just annoyed that your copy came with water damage.
17  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Bob le Flambeur (1956) Laissez les bons temps rouler on: November 26, 2017, 05:27:39 PM
Sir, I must question your judgment. How can you call Drink "little"?
18  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 25, 2017, 12:46:13 PM
It's french ...
. . . and it's fun. I spent 3 hours in the dark with my clothes on and at the end I was entirely satisfied. The works selected and sampled were great. Tavernier's comments were great. I saw things I knew and wanted to know better and things I was completely unfamiliar with that I now want to learn more about. This piece does what Scorsese's film from 20 years ago did: it piques my interest in particular movies. Yay!

Anyway, onward.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) - 9/10. Martin McDonagh finally directs a real movie! Yay! This one has real characters, and you can tell they're real because they're capable of change. Frances McDormand is on her way to another Oscar nom. Woody Harrelson is beyond amazing; Sam Rockwell shows what he really can do. And all the secondary characters are so well cast it's frightening. This film uses flashbacks better than just about any film I can think of in the last decade-and-a-half. Some of the plotting is off, though: for example, a cop goes rogue and throws a citizen out a window and all he gets is the loss of his job. No criminal penalties? No civil penalties? There should have been something in the script to answer such questions. On the other hand, the several twists and reversals in the story work well. It all maybe goes a little long at the end, but I really enjoyed this piece.
19  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 25, 2017, 09:12:29 AM
My Journey Through French Cinema (2017) - 10/10. Tavernier thinks he's the French Martin Scorsese, I guess. This does not employ a comprehensive approach; rather, one that is personal and highly idiosyncratic. We get passages on the following in the following order: Becker, Jean DeLannoy, Renoir (lots of clips from The Crime of Monsieur Lange) , Jean Gabin (as though he were an auteur), Carne, film composers, Eddie Constantine & Jean Sacha (I’ve never seen an of these films, but the clips shown make me want to), Truffaut (just The 400 Blows), Edmond T. Greville, Melville (mostly Leon Morin and Le Doulos), Chabrol (perfunctory mention), Godard, Sautet (The Big Risk). In a bonus interview Tavernier claims to be working on an 8-part TV follow-up that will allow him to hit all the things he wasn't able to fit into his 3-hr. film. I'd buy THAT for a dollar.
20  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie (1976) Cassavetes' Jazz Noir on: November 21, 2017, 10:25:26 AM
There are two versions of Chinese Bookie out there. The initial 135 minute release which tanked at the box office. The re-edit by Cassavetes clocked in at 108 minutes. The re-edit trims a lot of Gazzara's expositional explorations of Cosmo's character. It also adds an extra sequence at The Top Sider gambling club, where a uppity doctor and his gambleholic wife are getting threatened by the gangsters. A lot of "Mr. Sophistication and his De Lovelies" routines are trimmed or cut also. The longer version immerses you more into Cosmo's world, it's Cassavetes riff on Noir.
Which version do you prefer?
21  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The best movie ever made... on: November 19, 2017, 06:46:30 AM
That's exactly what everyone who dislikes GBU always gives for a reason, I call it the Tuco Factor. Me I think he's great, if I'm in the mood for a serious Western I go OUATITW if not I choose GBU.
That's pretty much the way I roll, too. Which is why I've seen GBU about 10 times more than West.
22  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 15, 2017, 06:03:00 AM
Yokiro/The Geisha (1983) - 7/10. AnimEigo is doing a fine job of bringing out second-tier Japanese films, including lesser known samurai and Yakuza pictures. Last year they released Hideo Gosha's The Wolves, and now they follow-up with this, Gosha's attempt at combining a weepie with an action picture. I'm actually surprised at how well the two genres are integrated; but at 144 minutes I did become a little impatient waiting for the final reckoning. Also, 80s Japanese films have the unpleasant aroma of television about them. Still, this film is well plotted (from a novel), with a large cast of beautiful women, as well as Ogata Ken at his bad-ass best.
Watched this again last night and man, does that Jenkins know what he's talking about or what? Think I'd go an "8", though.
23  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Polanski in jail / shame on Switzerland on: November 11, 2017, 02:11:42 PM
When are we gonna start hearing complaints from all the women D&D has fondled and dropped? Are we really supposed to believe there were no hard feelings at all??
24  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 11, 2017, 02:07:04 PM
The 50th Anniversary Blu of The Prisoner is now out (from Network).

The Prisoner: "Many Happy Returns" (1967) - 8/10. I've always liked this episode, but it sure doesn't seem to make any sense. So, the Minders empty The Village, giving No. 6 the opportunity to escape. He goes back to London and makes a lot of noise and convinces "The Colonel" The Village exists and works out approximately where it is. Then the Minders return No. 6 to The Village. What was the point of letting him go in the first place? Here's something interesting, though: I watched this last night, on Friday, Nov. 10th. I had the text commentary turned on, and during the end credits this was revealed: the episode was originally aired in the UK on Friday, Nov. 10th 1967. Just a complete coincidence! I had no idea about that airdate until I watched the disc.

Danger Man: "Colony Three" (1964) - 10/10. Included in the 50th Anniversary set are two Danger Man episodes that seem to anticipate The Prisoner. This one has John Drake going undercover behind the Iron Curtain to take up residence in an ersatz English town where commie spies are trained. Just an amazing episode--it's actually better than a lot of Prisoner episodes. Interestingly, when it's time for Drake to be extracted, British Intelligence sends orders via Section One, the group responsible for Colony Three! And you will not believe the cynical ending. I guess I need to see more Danger Man episodes . . .
25  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Sad Hill Unearthed - The Documentary on: November 10, 2017, 10:57:51 AM
There were no films back then.
No, but you would have been in the perfect position, once 1894 arrived, to see everything as it came out. No one should have seen more films than you.
26  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: November 10, 2017, 10:53:04 AM
When You Read This Letter (1953) – 8/10. A woman’s picture, shot by the great Henri Alekan using many authentic exteriors of the Cannes setting, the story is fantastic is both senses of the word. When her parents are killed, a novice, Therese (Juliet Greco), leaves her convent in order to take care of her younger sister, Denise. Meanwhile a mature woman with money, staying at the Carlton, is being pursued by Max, a young man out for the main chance. The paths of Max and Denise cross, and although she does what she can, Therese cannot protect her sister from this lothario. Eventually, though, Max decides he loves not Denise but Therese, but Therese isn’t having any. Max is thoroughly worthless, but a charmer. His three love interests are in various stages of self-deception as he flits among them. It may be Max will leave town with one of the women, but not without the promise of a large sum of money attached.

Ginette Vincendeau,  in Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris (2003), finds character motivations in the film unconvincing. However she likes a lot of the mise-en-scene. “Particularly remarkable is a scene on the beach in which Therese, having pursued Max ostensibly to retrieve the money he has stolen, is finally seen to fall for his charm. Hit by a pebble Max has thrown at her . . . Therese falters and he holds her in his arms on the moonlit beach, with the sea in the background. The shot is held for an unusual two minutes and twenty-three seconds. Although Therese’s sudden change of heart seems badly motivated, the shot pictorially has a poetic charge which overrides narrative inconsistency. At that point too, Greco’s hair, which had hitherto been tightly pulled back, suddenly falls loose on her shoulders and she is finally her ‘real’ self, in the more familiar Greco image.” (42-43)
This film has so many great scenes, it's impossible to remember them all. Watching the new Gaumont blu last night I saw one I hadn't remembered: after the car wreck scheme miscarries, "our hero" is questioned by an examining magistrate. The scene is a wonderful bit of cat-and-mouse, with both sides thinking the other is the mouse. After the miscreant leaves the room the secretary asks what the judge thinks. The judge concludes (wrongly, as it happens) that the man had nothing to do with the "accident"--and more's the pity. That bit of cynicism is wonderfully delivered in a cameo by the writer of the film, Jacques Deval.
27  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968) on: November 10, 2017, 09:43:48 AM
No, just a little bonus gift. Before that Blu-ray was announced, some friends at another forum were so tired
of those old DVD's that we all threw in some dineros and we scanned my 35mm print, just for us...

Now it is just interesting to compare the look of the two masters - the new one for the Blu-ray,
and my 1969 print, which represents the look the film had when it played in theaters. Because
you almost never get the old 35mm theatrical-print-look on modern HD masters.
Just a gag... (the print isn't very good: scratches and missing/damaged scenes. But the colors
are still all there.). It has slightly more picture information - but only due to the fact that I masked
my Apple ProRes to achieve maximum image information (don't caring if unwanted stuff pops up
occasionally at the image border area...)
Fabulous idea. This release just got interesting.  Afro
28  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Truck unearthed on: November 10, 2017, 09:39:00 AM
Found that one on the Sad Hill Unearthed Facebook page:

They unearthed one of the trucks used in DYS during the bridge battle scene.
LOL! Way cool!  Afro
29  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Sad Hill Unearthed - The Documentary on: November 10, 2017, 09:36:54 AM
Yay too!

You were born in 1831? In that case, you should have seen a lot more films by now.
30  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Sad Hill Unearthed - The Documentary on: November 10, 2017, 07:27:41 AM
Yeah, baby! (Now I'm stronger than ever).
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