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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 2242726 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #16320 : September 17, 2016, 05:34:23 PM »

Five Graves to Cairo (1943) 4/10. Drink lent me his TCM DVD of this (thanks, buddy), but I didn't like it. The transfer looks great, but the movie itself has too many negatives. Franchot Tone was never my idea of a leading man, and, although I love Anne Baxter, here she puts on a terrible "French" accent that ruins her character. And Akim Tamiroff I can never stand. The one bright spot is, of course, Erich von Stroheim as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. He saves every scene he's in. The plot isn't all that interesting--and requires us to believe the Germans pre-positioned fuel and supplies in Africa years before the war (anyone who has read the chapter on the Africa campaign in van Creveld's Supplying War knows how ridiculous that is). The biggest negative of this play-like-play is that it seems like a play: they should have called it "Everyone Comes to Akim's." The crappy hotel set the characters can never leave drives me nuts.


I disgaree with everything except the comments about Franchot Tone and Erich von Stroeheim  ;)

"Everybody Comes to Akim's" would have been a good title. That's a filmed play, bro - it largely takes place on a single set. The story, eh, as with most plays, you can't really worry about the story. I believe that Groggy referres to this whole business about the graves as a classic MacGauffin. I enjoyed the performances - if you can't enjoy the performances, then you can't enjoy a play; it's as simple as that.

What about Peter Van Eyck, who played the German lieutenant?

I liked Akim Tamiroff and Anne Baxter, but I guess that's just a matter of opinion and no use debating.

I also liked how people use real languages here - the Germans speak German to each other and only speak English when conversing with hotel staff. The staff (an Egyptian, a Frenchwoman, and an Englishman) speak English to each other because that is their only common language.

Main point, IMO, is that how much you like a play will depend largely on the performances (far more than with non-play movies). I liked all the performances besides Franchot Tone, whom I disliked here less than usual.


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« #16321 : September 18, 2016, 07:23:28 AM »

Tomu Uchida retrospective is coming to MoMA next month (be still, my heart!) and in the run-up I decided I needed to reacquaint myself with Mr. Uchida's 5-part Miyamoto Musashi series. This is not as well regarded as the 3-part MM series done a few years earlier by Hiroshi Inagaki (which stars Toshiro Mifune), but because it's got two extra installments it's got a lot more plot, so it's kind of interesting. Unhappily, it was made by Toei, the bargain-basement studio of Japan, so it has no-name actors and relies heavily on cheap-looking sets.

I always skip the first episode (of either series) which is an origin tale and go right to the action in the 2nd film.

Miyamoto Musashi: Hannyazaka no kett˘ / Miyamoto Musashi: Showdown at Hannyazaka Heights (1962) 6/10. Takezo emerges from 3 years of isolation in Himeji castle and is re-christened Miyamoto Musashi (Miyamoto is where he's from; Takezo and Musashi are different readings of the same kanji). Rather than go immediately into service as a samurai, he decides to wander for three years as a ronin to further develop his prowess as a swordsman. Further development as a swordsman consists, evidently, of kicking the ass of everyone he meets. He pisses off some spear-carrying monks by killing their best guy; he pisses off some ronin riff-raff by treating them like ronin riff-raff: the two groups get together for a final show-down with Musashi that Musashi does not lose. Meanwhile Musashi meets an annoying kid who becomes his mascot. Also, both Otsu and Akemi want to give Musashi their love, but all Musashi wants to do is play with his sword.

« : September 18, 2016, 07:29:23 AM dave jenkins »


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« #16322 : September 18, 2016, 08:08:29 AM »

Miyamoto Musashi: Nit˘ryű kaigen / Two-Sword Fencing Is Born (1963) 7/10. Musashi, in his wanderings, comes across the stronghold of a famous fencing master and wants to take a "lesson." The guy, though, is old and semi-retired: he's not doing matches anymore. His staff, though, recognize that Musashi isn't just some schlub, and decides to host him to dinner and drinks. A misunderstanding occurs, and suddenly it's Musashi against the castle, with Musashi demonstrating his new two-sword fencing technique. But then he hears Otsu's flute and decides to run away (huh?). Meanwhile the Yoshioka Fencing School, with whom Musashi had an encounter in the previous episode (which I forgot to mention, oops!), wants to arrange a match with Musashi. Yoshioka #1 Son has the hots for Akemi and rapes her. Akemi runs away and tries to drown herself. She is saved and falls into the hands of Sasaki Kojiro, the man with the longest sword in Japan, the samurai fated to be Musashi's nemesis. Musashi and Yoshioka #1 Son meet and Musashi shatters the guy's arm. Musashi is sorry for the encounter, but reflects, "Anyway, I won!" The Yoshiokas start thinking about revenge.



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« #16323 : September 19, 2016, 07:29:07 AM »

Miyamoto Musashi: Ichij˘ji no kett˘ / Miyamoto Musashi: The Duel at Ichijoji (1964) 8/10. With #1 Son out of commission, #2 Son shows up and takes charge. Hey, #2 Son is played by an actor I actually recognize: Mikijir˘ Hira, who became a star at Toho in 3 Outlaw Samurai and Sword of the Beast (he's also in The Face of Another). Anyway, the mission is to get Musashi, so the Yoshiokas set up a duel (which they intend to cheat at). The upshot is more dead Yoshiokas, including #2 Son. Now they're really mad. Time for the ultimate showdown at Ichijoji, 60 guys against one. Musashi slaughters them all. Well, I guess that pretty much ends the feud . . . This episode includes an extended lesson about the biwa, that funky Japanese stringed instrument. Crazy, man!


« : September 19, 2016, 07:30:28 AM dave jenkins »


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« #16324 : September 19, 2016, 10:47:11 AM »

Annie Hall - 8.5/10
Always works like a charm.



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« #16325 : September 20, 2016, 06:12:51 AM »

The Unfaithful (1947) A Woman's Noir, some great sequences shot on L.A.'s Bunker Hill 6/10
Siesta (1987) Lynchesque Film Soleil, another Woman's Noir but with Ellen Barkin providing a LOT of eye candy 6-7/10


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« #16326 : September 20, 2016, 08:03:53 AM »

The Unfaithful (1947) A Woman's Noir, some great sequences shot on L.A.'s Bunker Hill 6/10
Siesta (1987) Lynchesque Film Soleil, another Woman's Noir but with Ellen Barkin providing a LOT of eye candy 6-7/10

The Unfaithful, is that with Zachary Scott and Ann Sheridan?


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« #16327 : September 20, 2016, 08:10:16 AM »

The Unfaithful, is that with Zachary Scott and Ann Sheridan?

Yea its Scott & Sheridan


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« #16328 : September 20, 2016, 10:40:02 AM »

It's a remake of The Letter, but with much less punch.



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« #16329 : September 22, 2016, 12:26:47 PM »

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) That Kubrick guy was pretty good. A-/A


Are there any Kubrick movies that aren't substantially better on repeated views? Is there even one?



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« #16330 : September 23, 2016, 01:17:19 AM »

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) That Kubrick guy was pretty good. A-/A


Are there any Kubrick movies that aren't substantially better on repeated views? Is there even one?

Spartacus, but then, it's actually more a Kirk Douglas film.


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« #16331 : September 23, 2016, 01:50:31 PM »

Spartacus, but then, it's actually more a Kirk Douglas film.
Yeah, I don't consider it a Kubrick movie either. He was basically contractually obligated to follow Douglas' vision.

But that would be the answer.



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« #16332 : September 24, 2016, 02:15:40 PM »

The Magnificent Seven (2016) - 7/10. Follows the template closely, but adds a Leone-esque revenge motive for the leader of the Seven (Mr. D. Washington), which is revealed to the psychopathic bad guy (Peter Sarsgaard) only at the point of dying. If anything, the plot has been pared down, so that Antoine Fuqua can dispense with story in favor of his patented action sequences. I saw this in IMAX, and it's one of the most digital-looking presentations I've seen in a cinema (complete with black crush in some scenes). And, needless to say: "You will believe that the West was composed of orange and teal!". Also the music sucks (until the end titles when they suddenly insert Elmer Bernstein's iconic theme). Nonetheless: the film is entertaining.



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« #16333 : September 24, 2016, 03:23:45 PM »

Surprised you gave it a 7 then...


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« #16334 : September 25, 2016, 05:16:07 AM »

Yeaaaaaaaaaah it doesn't feel like a 7...



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