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Messages - moorman

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Off-Topic Discussion / Les Diaboliques (1955)
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:24:05 AM »
My journey into foreign films has taken me to Henri Clouzot.  I was pleasantly surprised and even more surprised to find out that Hitchcock tried to get rights to the film first.  The plot is simple:  A wife and mistress in love with the same man conspire to knock him off.  SPOILER ALERT.  When the husband was not found at the bottom of that pool that really threw me for a loop.  Most directors couldn't have pulled this off and kept the suspense but Clouzot did a fantastic job here.  The acting and cinematography was first rate.  The plot exceptional.  I rate this a solid 8 out of 10...

I recently viewed this.   While I was watching it I was saying to myself that this is a CigarJoe film... :D   What a film it is though. Its fantastic.   It has its faults but for the most part its a great film. 

The good:  The on location filming is fabulous.  Very seedy and pure New York.  The film switches between a dary seedy look and then goes into a bright suburban feel whenever the club owner visits his girlfriend.  The plot was just fantastic.  The double cross took me by surprise.  The acting was superb.  Ben Gazzaro came across to me as a Tony Montana before scarface WITHOUT the hystronics.   Azizu Johari as the beautiful girlfriend and Virginia Carrington as her mother were also superb.

The bad. The plot.  I know I called the plot fantastic above.  It was good until the end.  SPOILER ALERTS.   The setup of the plot was pretty good.  As explained by CigarJoe you got to see Cosmo paying off his gambling debt and then getting set up to get back into debt.  Everything was going well until Cosmo was being set up to be knocked off inside the warehouse.  After he knocks off the one dude in the car and is chased by the second gangster,  did I fall asleep and miss him knocking him off also or did the plot jump to Cosmo going into his girlfriend's front door because thats what I saw next.   Then, the ending itself left too many open holes.  Did the Chinese ever get wind of who knocked the bookie off?  What about the other gangsters. Are they still after Cosmos?  Did he ever go to the hospital?  Then the long drawn out ending scenes at the club didn't thrill me either.  Closing those other holes mentioned would have been better.

As the film stands ( I saw the 1978 shortened version) I give it a 8 out of 10.   Its definitely worth owning...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 21, 2018, 10:15:11 AM »
The Predator (2018)  I had HIGH hopes for this one.  I'm a big fan of the original Predator film released in 1987.  I feel that film is one of the greatest science fiction films ever.  This is the fifth film featuring the Predator characters.   Shane Black, who starred in the original with Arnold Shwarenegger,  Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, etc.  co-wrote and directed the 2018 version.  Due to Black's involvement with the original film,  expectations that the franchise would return to its original themes were greatly expected by hardcore fans of the franchise.   Alas, Black may have turned in the WORST movie in the series.

This movie is a prime example of what happens when the Hollywood establishment controls a movie.  Whether Black and his co-writer, producers, etc. were on board with this junk is irrelevent.   What was bad?  EVERYTHING.  The plot took almost every Hollywood blockbuster cliche and half butt recylced it and had the gall to try and be CLEVER with it at the same time.  The plot was stupid and contrived.  The movie was soo bad that the last THIRD of the movie had to be redone after a screening.  The new version is bad so the original had to be off the charts bad.  The plot didn't make sense.  It had holes gallore and FEATURED a female scientist who's only job was to find out what the Predator was up to. Suddenly she had more combat moves than Army Rangers, lol.  The rest of the plot featured dumb characters taking their turns trying to out wit each other with stupid one liners WHILE fighting Predators.

One of the things that made the original so good was the more straight forward technology used to create the Predator character and the special effects.  The original Predator featured a man in a suit and he moved and acted like something that threw a chill in you.  The new movie features obvious CGI gallore and the Predators move across the screen like they are not even a part of the film.  Its like they were copied and pastied into the film and they move like robots.  The ONLY reason I've given this trope this much attention is because its a PRIME example of why I don't too much fool with " modern" Hollywood movies.  The sad part about it is this junk actually made a profit and THATS why they keep running it out there.  Sadly the attraction is the Predator itself which is such a profound and unique character in itself that they can continue to get fans hopes up with each new film.  This movie also gives me the opportunity to clarify something.  I use the word movie and film interchangeably here.  A movie to me is anything under a 7 rating.  A FILM is a 7 and above. I give this junk movie a 2 out of 10...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 18, 2018, 08:33:48 AM »
Netflix. It's a Netflix original, although you can easily see it was designed for the big screen. You should watch it on the biggest screen available. I think it's got a limited theatrical release in the US. In France they cannot put it in a theater because the law would require Netflix to wait months (more than 12 if I remember correctly) before puting it online.

Thanx.  I don't do netflix but I might see if they got a free trial or something...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:40:41 AM »
Roma (2018) - 8.5/10

Can you imagine Tarkowski at the top of his game doing a (almost) mainstream movie, grounded in the extremely detailed reality of Mexico in the 70's? This is what you get here and this is objectively a masterpiece that is both intimate and epic, comic and tragic, social and metaphysical. It's been released 3 days ago and saying it's pure cinema is already a cliché. In a non absurd world it would be nominated at the academy awards in most categories, and win all the major ones. Now I'm only giving it 8.5 because it's a subjective rating and I have problems with this kind of main characters.


Cinematography: 15/10
Performances: 9/10
Screenplay: 10/10
World creation: 12/10
Ambition: 10/10
   Gonna check this out.  Where did you see it? Thanx...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 16, 2018, 12:35:21 PM »
Moontide (1942) - 4/10
Road House (1948) - 5/10

An Ida Lupino double feature, courtesy of the Fox Noir line. A shame that neither of these pictures is very good, and it's not really Ida's fault: they just aren't that well written. The first is about hard living west coast beach denizens, with Jean Gabin in the lead. On the DVD supplements much speculation is given as to why Gabin never became a star in Hollywood, but a quick glance at any scene here makes the reason plain: he couldn't speak English. A picture can be pretty hard going when you can't understand what the leading man is saying half the time. The project was begun by Fritz Lang, but after two weeks he left the production--whether for personal or professional reasons, or a combination of the two, still remains unclear. Anyway, Archie Mayo came on to finish, and he preserved some of the Lang look (lots of night and fog). It's all done on sets. Claude Rains and Thomas Mitchell get to do some good work, but mostly the film is predictable and a snooze.

Road House is a better set-bound production, and with better casting. This time Ida is joined by Cornell Wilde and Richard Widmark in a tense love triangle, except it takes more than half the film to set the triangle up. Once in place, matters take their natural course: Widmark turns out to be a psychopath, intent on destroying his rival and enslaving the object of his desire. Sounds good on paper, but it doesn't really come off in execution. Widmark isn't sufficiently built up (he's frequently out of the picture), and it's forever before the sparks start flying between Wilde and Lupino. The climax, on a set meant to represent a forest retreat, is in fact anti-climatic. Maybe it's because Celeste Holm is along: her character is a drag on every scene she's in, and here her presence dissolves what little tension the director (Jean Negulesco) could manage. Ida is good, and Widmark falls back on his Tommy Udo performance, but neither is enough to save the picture. Road House is located in the very heart of Dullsville.

How I wish we'd get some better noirs on DVD, like for example, The Prowler . . .

I saw Road House on Youtube.  I agree that the film took a while to build up and that Widmark's character was neglected pretty much until about the middle of the movie.  I didn't mind the slow build up because I felt that the plot was building up to be pretty good.  That went away as soon as the plot went into the stealing of the Road House money.  From that point on the script was unbelievable and pretty much trash.  ONLY because of Widmark do I give this a 5 out of 10.  Its a 3 without him...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 15, 2018, 11:32:55 AM »
Holiday Affair (1949) Director Don Hartman, with noirish cast of Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey, Harry Morgan, and Gordon Gebert.

Before Christmas, department store clerk Steve Mason (Mitchum) meets big spending customer Connie Ennis (Leigh), really a commercial spy. He unmasks her but lets her go, which gets him fired. They end up on a date, which doesn't sit well with Connie's steady suitor, Carl (Corey), but delights her son Timmy (Gebert), who doesn't want Carl for a step-dad. Entertaining enough for what it is 7/10

I saw the last part of this today on TCM. Looks worthy to go back and watch the whole film...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 14, 2018, 02:54:27 PM »
The Equalizer 2 ( 2018).  The follow up to The Equalizer and Denzel Washington's first sequel.   I liked the original and would give the original a 8.5 out of 10.  This one slips back because of a weaker plot but the action still makes up for it.  I rate this one a 8 out of 10.  My interest in this series also has to do with the director, Antione Fuqua.  He has been tabbed to make the Scarface remake by Universal Studios in a project that has been in hold for years.  The current hold up is Fuqua wants Denzel Washington to play the lead but Denzel has balked at that.  The Equalizer series reminds me of the John Wick series.  Ive seen the original John Wick and need to see the second one.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread
« on: December 12, 2018, 03:03:24 PM »
The Equalizer 2 (2018)  I'm a big fan of the original Equalizer film starring Denzel Washington so I have been waiting for this for a while. Its pretty good.  The plot isn't that good but the action and suspense pretty much makes up for it. The director, Antoine Fuqua, has been pegged to direct the Scarface remake that Universal has had in development for a long time.  Apparently one of the major hangups is Fuqua wants Denzel to play Scarface but he is hesitant to do so.  Anyway, I like these types of films.  I have seen John Wick. Great film. Both The Equalizer and John Wick are similar. I have got to see John Wick 2.  I haven't seen any of the " Taken" films and will check them out too.  My bad. I rank The Equalizer 2 as a 8...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread
« on: December 12, 2018, 02:33:28 PM »
Here's all the info:

711 Ocean Drive (1950) is a hidden gem and Escape in the Fog (1945) only has appeal to Boetticher completionists.

The Black Book aka Reign of Terror (1949) is directed by Anthony Mann, so that's great that another prime era Mann movie is released on bluray.

Gonna check out 711 Ocean Drive.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: December 11, 2018, 02:52:59 PM »
Makala (2018)  This film won the Critics Award at last year's Cannes Festival.  Its a French film by Emmanuel Gras and starring nonprofessional actors Kabwita Kasongo and Lydie Kasongo. Its a semi documentary based on the real life of the Congolese people.  The plot is simple.  Kabwita wants to build a better house for his family.  To acquire funds to do so he travels out into the forest and chops down a HUGE tree.  He then proceeds to turn the tree into charcoal in which he intends to sell 30 miles away at the nearest market.  Thats it. The film chronicles this process.

The dialogue of the film is in Swahili and I couldn't find any subtitles for the film even though its stated that its available in English.  Didn't matter.  The plot is soo simple and the story soo simple and compelling that I was able to view the film without knowing what was being said.  The cinematography is also gorgeous in this film.   I rank it a solid 8.5 out of 10....

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Andrei Rublev (1969)
« on: December 10, 2018, 02:48:40 PM »
I forced myself to watch it but didn't make it beyond 1\2 hour. I understand this is his masterpiece. Actually it must be: Nostalgia I couldn't make it beyond 5 minutes.


Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Lost Weekend (1945) The Lost Noir
« on: December 10, 2018, 02:38:10 PM »
I thought I gave a rating for this.  I wanted to see it because of Ray Milland.  It was pretty good.  I rate it around a 7.5...

Off-Topic Discussion / La Règle du Jeu ( Rules of the Game) 1939
« on: December 09, 2018, 10:26:16 AM »
disclaimer. couldn't find a seperate thread about this great film.

I'm in love with French films so I had to see this film which is considered one of the greatest films of all time.  Now, I learned with Citizen Kane that the polls can be subjective so I came into the viewing with open thoughts about how it would play out to my tastes.  It played WELL.  You all know the basic plot.  A group of bourgeious French upper class people throw a big party at Robert and Christine's country estate, La Colinière.  Here several love triangles are examined which expose the immoral character of people hiding behind the facade of the "titles" that they have earned in life.  Its a VERY intricant and nuanced examination of narcissism.  The film is soo harsh that on its initial release it was banned in France. Seems the film touched too many toes with truth.

As far as the film itself I saw no faults.  The excellent camera techniques used in the film were groundbreaking.  Orson Welles sights the film as a great inspiration for that reason.  The camera techniques used allowed Renior to film action going on in both the fore and background at the same time with clarity.  I'm not a technical man when it comes to camera techniques but those who have seen the film know what I'm talking about.  The sound was captured the same way.  You would have dialogue being spoken WITH background ambient noises going on at the same time.  It was just superb.  At first these techniques make the film seem confusing.  Then you learn to appreciate how he is actually taking you into a deeper spontaneous view of how the action would be playing out in reality.

Spoiler Alert:
I've read a comment on the board about the film where the poster said the ending of the film didn't make sense because the two men should have known that Christine was in the hooded coat instead of the maid.  I disagree.  You have two men who are both very emotional at the moment because of actions that immediately proceeded this event.  You also have this setting at night literally in the woods and I believe it may have been a slight rain.  With their emotions running as high as it was I can see them mistaken the two women.

Overall I believe the films stands up to its reputation.  I saw this on Amazon Prime and will be ordering the Criterion version.  I rate the film a solid 9.5 out of 10 because of the subject matter, plot, cinematography, music and historical value.  A great film...

Other Films / Re: High Noon Remake
« on: December 07, 2018, 04:10:49 PM »
Some classics need to be left alone.  This is one of them...

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