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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 2764748 )
cigar joe
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« #18480 : August 07, 2019, 11:32:48 AM »

Cruising (1980) Gay/Fetish Neo Noir

Written and Directed by William Friedkin. Friedkin directed (The French Connection (1971), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), and the relatively recent Killer Joe (2011)). Based on a novel by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker. Cinematography was by James A. Contner and Music by Jack Nitzsche and Egberto Gismonti

The film stars Al Pacino as Steve Burns, Paul Sorvino as Captain Edelson, Karen Allen as Nancy Gates, Richard Cox as Stuart Richards, Don Scardino as Ted Bailey, Joe Spinell as Patrolman DiSimone, and Powers Boothe as Hankie Salesman.

The movie plot is a mess. It purposely leaves quite a bit of questions about the depth of Burns' involvement into the sadomasochistic leather fetish Gay subculture. Is he Bi? Is He Gay? Is he just fucked up in the head? Burns as depicted is an enigma.

The ambiguous treatment of the Burns character was an artistic decision that weakens the piece. The open ending Friedkin decision is because in the real police case that the movie is based upon it was determined that in fact there was more than one killer.

The strange sexually charged underground leather fetish S&M world was probably pretty frightening to a certain latent segment of square john America back in the day and probably still is. No denying its dark Noir-ish-ness.  Hence the reason, besides of course, also having a lot of hairy musclebound bare asses on display, that the film has been off the radar screens.

The whole scene looks pretty bizarre on first look but then upon repeated glimpses throughout the film they look like quasi Nazi/Biker mirror shaded leather god worshipers in some desperately outré Halloween costume party.

Anyway, the interesting NYC locations include Hotel St. James, Central Park, Christopher Street, Greenwich Village,  Claremont Avenue, Manhattan, Chelsea, Manhattan, Broadway & 116th Street, Manhattan, Columbus Circle, Eleventh Avenue, Greenwich Village, Jones Street, Police Plaza, Manhattan Municipal Building, and West Street.

6/10


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« #18481 : August 07, 2019, 11:35:59 AM »

Zabriskie Point (1970)

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni starring Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, and Rod Taylor. Some beautiful cinematography of Death Valley the Mojave Desert and also of Southern Arizona. Never saw it the first go round, it's of it's time. Counter culture Art Film, politics, smoking weed, civil rights, hippies etc., etc., with a soundtrack by Pink Floyd, The Youngbloods, Kaleidoscope, Jerry Garcia, Patti Page, Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, John Fahey and Roy Orbison who wrote and sang the theme song, over the credits, called "So Young (Love Theme From "Zabriskie Point")". 6/10

Source on line screener, that if it wasn't free I probably wouldn't have watched it.


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« #18482 : August 07, 2019, 11:44:12 AM »

Golden Night (Nuit d'or) (1976) 4/10 or more possibly with a definitive copy.

Golden Night Poster

It's sort of a surreal mystery. I watched a screener from what looks like a cable TV cablecast so some of it may have been trimmed. It is also in French with English Subtitles.

Michel Fournier (Klaus Kinsky) was an heir to what looks like a department store dynasty and an amateur puppeteer. His wealthy family wants to get rid of him and frames him as the "golden chain" child killer who strangled an 11-year-old girl with a golden chain. Somehow he get's dead (never made clear (either its been cut or its lost in translation)), his body is cremated.

But he returns from the dead (is he a ghost an avenging spirit (again either its been cut or its lost in translation)) and harasses them and the police commissioner. He sends each of them sort of voodoo dolls starting with the commissioner.

Michel Fournier visits his sister-in-law Véronique who was his former lover, her daughter Catherine is most likely his. All he wants to do is take off with them and make a new life.

After he was declared dead he was hiding out at a cult called Temple of the Son of the True Light somewhere in the French countryside, but he also runs quite openly a puppet/doll shop in Paris.

Anyway Michel kidnaps his daughter and uses her to arrange a final confrontation. Also figuring in all this is a gambling casino called the Nuit D'or, which is probably a metaphor for life as a big casino, a gamble presided over by maybe the devil.

It's a mess. It's been compared as a mix of Fritz Lang's German Expressionistic Noir style and Dario Argento's Italian giallos. To me I saw Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Twin Peaks David Lynch.

The film stars Kinsky, Bernard Blier, Marie Dubois, Jean-Luc Bideau, and Charles Vanel.   


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« #18483 : August 07, 2019, 11:45:39 AM »

Looking For Mr. Goodbar (1977) Date Noir

Written and Directed by Richard Brooks.

Brooks (directed Classic Film Noir (Deadline - U.S.A. (1952), Transitional Noir In Cold Blood (1967), and was screenwriter of notably The Killers (1946) (un-credited though), Brute Force (1947), Crossfire (1947), Key Largo (1948), Mystery Street (1950), Storm Warning (1951), Deadline - U.S.A. (1952), and In Cold Blood (1967)).

Brook's screenplay was based on the novel by Judith Rossner which in turn was based on an article she wrote about the real life murder of Roseann Quinn. The piece was intended for a special woman's issue of Esquire magazine. However the Esquire editors got cold feet for possible legal ramifications and decided not to publish. Rossner then used the material she researched in her novel.

Cinematography was by William A. Fraker (Bullitt (1968), Coonskin (1975), The Killer Inside Me (1976)), music was by Artie Kane.

The film Stars Diane Keaton as Theresa Dunn, Tuesday Weld as Katherine Dunn, William Atherton as James, Richard Kiley as Mr. Dunn, Richard Gere as Tony, Alan Feinstein as Martin, Tom Berenger as Gary, Priscilla Pointer as Mrs. Dunn, Alexander Courtney as Arthur, Joel Fabiani as Barney, Julius Harris as Black Cat, Richard Bright as George, LeVar Burton as Cap Jackson, Brian Dennehy as Surgeon, Richard Venture as Doctor, and Elizabeth Cheshire as Young Theresa.

Brooks paints a cautionary tale, multiple casual hook-ups can get your rear in a jam. In the code days women were either Madonnas or whores, in our post code world and in the real world BTW they can be both. Keaton and Weld are both excellent.

The only two critiques I've heard of the film are one, Brooks use of Theresa's confusing daydream sequences disrupting the flow of the story, and the initial decision to discard the part the real victim Rosanne Quinn played in her own demise. In the film Theresa Dunn is shown as basically picking her partners on whims or attraction.

In the true story Roseann Ouinn was shown to possibly be a bit of a thrill seeking masochist. But questions remain. Was she picking her partners because they displayed damaged egos that she could manipulate, or maybe was it a warped extension of her help giver profession that she channeled into the realm of sexual help? Or was she just kinked that particular way and was looking for rough sex and trouble, and maybe that, was her antidote to being the overly sugary sweet, well loved teacher. Who knows. She just picked the wrong guy, once. 7/10


« : August 08, 2019, 05:38:09 PM cigar joe »

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« #18484 : August 08, 2019, 07:51:15 AM »

Looking For Mr. Goodbar (1977) Date Noir

In the true story Roseann Ouinn was shown to possibly be a bit of a thrill seeking masochist. But questions remain. Was she picking her partners because they displayed damaged egos that she could manipulate, or maybe was it a warped extension of her help giver profession that she channeled into the realm of sexual help? Or was she just kinked that particular way and was looking for rough sex and trouble, and maybe that, was her antidote to being the overly sugary sweet, well loved teacher. Who knows. She just picked the wrong guy, once. 7/10
These precious love stories always bring a tear to my eye.

Another way to look at it: Roseann Quinn's Indio finally met her Mortimer.

« : August 08, 2019, 05:37:40 PM cigar joe »


Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #18485 : August 10, 2019, 06:35:24 PM »

Jezebel - 8/10 - Like Gone With the Wind but much darker and better. William Wyler explores the absurd, arcane honor codes of the Deep South, where a woman can be damned for wearing the wrong color dress or men settle arguments with pistols instead of words. All while yellow fever knocks at the door. Later scenes especially have a deep gothic edge (New Orleans under martial law, with tumbrel carts of fever victims clogging the streets), with Bette Davis's wonderful performance carrying the film.
Robert Harris on the new Warner blu:
Quote
At some point, what remained of the original negative deteriorated enough, so that today, it no longer exists.

 Everything up until today, for the original cut of the film, has been derived from a “quick and dirty” dupe negative, derived from a nitrate dupe, produced after enough runs on the neg to make it show wear and tear.

 What thrills me about Warner Archive’s new release, is that it looks far better than my 16mm print, which was beautiful.

 So much better, that one can easily forget what has befallen this film.

Produced from a very early lavender, also with its share of problems, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Rich blacks, gorgeous grays, with proper shadow detail, luminous whites, and magnificent velvety grain.

And to go with the image is a track that allows me to hear Mr. Steiner's score, as I’ve never heard it before.

 As I recall, it may have been another Warner film that gave us the line, “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of…”

Well, this new incarnation of the restored Jezebel, fits that line perfectly.

 The point also must be made that this is a true restoration. An expensive one. So for those who like to request classic films, and may not yet have purchased The Thin Man and Footlight Parade, be aware that your purchases speak volumes, and create the ability to restore more nitrate productions.

 Jezebel is a film for the ages!


 Image – 5

 Audio – 5

 Pass / Fail – Pass

 Upgrade from DVD – Are you seriously asking?

 Very Highly Recommended

 RAH



Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #18486 : August 13, 2019, 09:03:43 PM »

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392214/

Prisoners (2013) 7.5/10

When Hugh Jackman's daughter goes missing, and he is frustrated with the police investigation, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

This movie was nominated for Best Cinematography Oscar (Roger Deakins).

Has terrific performances. Cast includes Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, and best of all Jake Gyllenhaal.

One weird thing (minor spoiler) : Gyllenhaal plays a cop with a noticeable twitch and lots of tattoos. You assume you'll find out the backstory of that – was he once a criminal or something? But you never do. Odd thing is he does not act like a "tough guy," either. He wears dress shirts with the top button buttoned – not the sort of guy you'd expect to have all that ink. But there is never even a hint to any backstory.


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« #18487 : August 14, 2019, 12:07:52 PM »

Liv Ullmann Day on Turner. A lot of Bergman crap, of course, but also little-seen gems like this:

The Night Visitor (1971) - 8/10.  Max von Sydow is in an asylum for an ax murder he didn't commit. But he's figured out a very clever way to get out each night and so he escapes to become . . . an ax murderer!  Two things about this film are ridiculous: the lighting and the fact that everyone in Sweden, where the film is set, speaks nothing but English. Okay, the story itself is ridiculous too, but it's so much fun I didn't care. Very, very tight plotting. Almost every scene contains a great reveal. And there's a sock-o finish. A Blu-ray of this exists: ordered!

« : August 14, 2019, 12:18:57 PM dave jenkins »


Ya measly skunk! A-campin’ on my trail and lettin’ me do the work an’ then shootin’ me in the back. IN THE BACK!
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« #18488 : August 14, 2019, 02:45:51 PM »

Liv Ullmann Day on Turner. A lot of Bergman crap, of course, but also little-seen gems like this:

The Night Visitor (1971) - 8/10.  Max von Sydow is in an asylum for an ax murder he didn't commit. But he's figured out a very clever way to get out each night and so he escapes to become . . . an ax murderer!  Two things about this film are ridiculous: the lighting and the fact that everyone in Sweden, where the film is set, speaks nothing but English. Okay, the story itself is ridiculous too, but it's so much fun I didn't care. Very, very tight plotting. Almost every scene contains a great reveal. And there's a sock-o finish. A Blu-ray of this exists: ordered!

Also had Trevor Howard


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« #18489 : August 16, 2019, 01:19:29 AM »

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood 7.5/10?
I liked the mood a lot, some of the visuals (although QT's lack of visual precision is always jarring to me, and Richardson is NOT someone who can fix this issue) and some of the scenes. Others were a mess. Brad Pitt maybe in his best role to date, totally steals the whole film. The girl from The Leftovers is terrific too. Other performances can be hit and miss, or, more often, as in Pacino's case, can feel a tad bland (not really good or bad, just... was he really the best actor for that part? He is kind of unused, and it has nothing to do with screen time).

The Bruce Lee outrage is stupid, but I'm afraid it's actually due to the scene beeing a bit weak: they could have made him arrogant and yet not feel like a cardboard character.
The Sharon Tate outrage is stupid because the film is FILLED with strong female characters.
Titoli's rant on sound walls is stupid (you want to see anachronical sets? Go see Dunkirk and the obvious 50's and 70's architecture that's easy to spot in almost every city shot), although, YES, the (good) recreation of 60's Hollywood could have had more texture (Zodiac was much more powerful in that aspect). I hope the movie gets an academy award for the costumes though.

All in all the charm worked on me, the final 30 minutes are great (although you know pretty much where this is going the whole time and they feel déjà vu) and the poetic ending really sells the show.

SPOILER ALERT:
I have absolutely nothing for or against the real life Sharon Tate (I haven't seen anything with her) but QT made me feel strongly for her in the end, both in a happy and sad way. Great job. As Mike says, I couldn't help but think "If only...".



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« #18490 : August 16, 2019, 01:00:46 PM »

Titoli's rant on sound walls is stupid
Give the credit where it's due, titoli never mentioned this, I did. And it was hardly a rant (it was one link in a chain of complaints). And an argument that basically says "x isn't bad because y did the same thing only worse" somehow doesn't impress me a whole lot.



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« #18491 : August 17, 2019, 02:42:06 AM »

Give the credit where it's due, titoli never mentioned this, I did. And it was hardly a rant (it was one link in a chain of complaints). And an argument that basically says "x isn't bad because y did the same thing only worse" somehow doesn't impress me a whole lot.

I think Titoli still mentioned it (probably after you).

The argument isn’t what you said. The argument is: it isn’t a real issue here, the recreation is good enough for the magic to happen. Especially since QT doesn't go for a realistic recreation of the time and place but for an idealized, fairy tales worthy one. I agree we have examples of better ones though... and it isn't the kind of debate that can be won (if you're pulled out of the movie by a sound wall, their is no way I can convince you of anything). But may be we can agree on this: the film deserves at least an academy award for best costumes (which is one of the major awards, as everybody who remotely likes cinema or even just Sergio Leone understands).

« : August 17, 2019, 04:42:41 AM noodles_leone »


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« #18492 : August 17, 2019, 04:31:34 AM »

Death Proof 8.5/10

10th viewing or so, but the first one in almost a decade. And I continue to like it even better with each viewing. It's by far the most precise QT movie. Mostly because he used all the craft he acquired making Kill Bill and put it to use in much more restrained movie. Also, the astonishing editing of Death Proof makes the lack of Sally Menke in the latest QT films all the more painful.

A few random notes:

1) I've always been aware of the film's feminism but it's the first time I see how 100% of it revolves around genders, sexuality, power, and of course, sexual power. In a great way.

2) It was nice to see the two bars on screen, I hadn't seen the movie since the few days I spent in Austin years ago and went for a drink in one of them and for a burger in the lap dance one. No juke box (hence no lap dance) in the actual place though.

3) I know only Stanton is with me on this. I don't care about the other ones, I'm objectively right (that one is for you Drink). I'm not sure if film history will prove me right though, considering most of the filmmaking community hates the film too. So this is a fight I'll continue having for years to come. For a better cinema.

« : August 17, 2019, 04:39:54 AM noodles_leone »


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« #18493 : August 17, 2019, 07:22:32 AM »

Remember (2015).  Pretty good, like 7.5/10

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« #18494 : August 18, 2019, 03:14:25 PM »

Escape from Sobibor (1987)  8/10.  Very good, true story of the largest escape from a WW2 death camp.  2hr 22 minute version free on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0WOOdDzq8U, shorter version on Netflix or Prime

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