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dave jenkins
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« Reply #10890 on: September 12, 2012, 07:46:34 AM »

Lawless - 7/10 - Beautifully shot with impeccable period detail. Shia Labeouf is excellent, Tom Hardy lots of fun, Jessica Chastain hot. The third act action scenes are suitably impressive, especially the chase/shootout in the still. I'd give it a higher rating if it didn't wallow in cartoon cliches, be it the cornball romance or Guy Pearce's laughable baddy.
But laughable in a good way. I enjoyed all his scenes immensely. What I thought was most impressive about the film was its ability to invest new interest in old tropes. Certainly the cinematography helped--but also the editing (for example, I loved the way the camera lingered on the church exterior while we listened to the congregation's muffled singing, wondering if we were ever going to get inside, and then suddenly we ARE inside, with the singing amped up full). Of course, if you were the kind of person who appreciated music you would have thrilled to 2 versions of White Light/White Heat (Lou Reed was a hillbilly songwriter? Who knew?) and the re-purposed Captain Beefheart number (Don van Vliet was a hillbilly songwriter? Who knew?). This film was so much better than it needed to be. Bring on the Blu-ray!

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« Reply #10891 on: September 12, 2012, 08:10:34 PM »

TWO LANE BLACKTOP recommended 7 years ago by one of my predissors.
two lane blacktop/cockfigher  both staring warren oats and Laurie bird. helman was having a romantic affair w/ bird
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLhKh0RQ5Eg and cockfighter ( born to kill ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Man94h8e0gU
w/ harry dean stanton  Cool

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« Reply #10892 on: September 13, 2012, 03:50:58 AM »

TWO LANE BLACKTOP recommended 7 years ago by one of my predissors.
two lane blacktop/cockfigher  both staring warren oats and Laurie bird. helman was having a romantic affair w/ bird
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLhKh0RQ5Eg and cockfighter ( born to kill ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Man94h8e0gU
w/ harry dean stanton  Cool

 Afro

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« Reply #10893 on: September 15, 2012, 08:45:17 PM »

The Cold Light of Day (2012) An atrocious espionage/action/thriller http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1366365/ The 4.8/10 rating that it currently holds on imdb is about accurate. Sigourney Weaver delivers an absolutely atrocious performance in a supporting role. The only positives about the movie are two pretty Spanish sights: the waterfront resort, and Veronica Echegui  Wink http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=qmQ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=veronica+echegui&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1138&bih=585&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Lz1VUMj3CKjx0gG0m4HoAw


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« Reply #10894 on: September 16, 2012, 03:11:17 AM »

Angel Heart (1987) I really have no interest in supernatural movies, but unfortunately this is one of those movies which doesn't tell you until halfway through that it's supernatural  Angry


Reading about the movie after watching it, I see that the love scene between Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet caused the movie to originally have an X-rating -- but it seems that was because of the BLOOD?!  Boy, times have changed. These days, I don't think violence ever gets a movie a rating worse than "R" (I am reminded of this line from Roger Ebert's review of Hannibal [2001]: "if a man cutting off his face and feeding it to his dogs doesn't get the NC-17 rating for violence, nothing ever will").

So a few seconds were cut to qualify the movie for an R rating, but apparently those cut shots were restored for the video release. I am not certain which version I saw: this is the dvd I saw http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Heart-Special-Mickey-Rourke/dp/B0001US62I/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1347786332&sr=1-1&keywords=angel+heart which I rented off Netflix; Netflix's own printed paper sleeve says the disc is rated "R"; I am not sure how reliable that is. Anyway, if this dvd indeed has the full restored violence in that scene, then all I can say is that times have sure changed over the past quarter century, cuz there doesn't seem to be anything that would warrant close to an X-rating these days.


Lisa Bonet is very pretty  Smiley


« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 03:13:49 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #10895 on: September 16, 2012, 03:43:01 AM »

Angel Heart is banal, as nearly every Alan Parker film.

Prometheus - Ridley Scott

Lots of ideas and motives taken from Alien, but still a film which doesn't make much sense as Alien prequel. I don't know why Scott realises such an half-baked film which has some interesting ideas, but also seems often sloppily conceived. Maybe 6/10

Cabin in the Woods - Drew Goddard (and Joss Whedon)

Another half baked film which should be much better. In parts disappointingly conventional for such a cleverly twisted meta level teenie slasher. Still also 6/10

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« Reply #10896 on: September 16, 2012, 05:47:20 AM »

Angel Heart is banal, as nearly every Alan Parker film.



I thought Rourke's nose-guard was a great idea, as a unique costume that the character is recognizable for; and not only that, but it could be a direct reference/homage to an iconic character in another neo noir: Jack Nicholson in  Chinatown. Unfortunately, they blew it here: Rourke pulls it out once or twice but that's it. They blow what I thought was a great opportunity for a hilariously awesome iconic costume for the character,

of course, the iconic-ness of the costume ultimately depends on how much people love the movie and/or the character (eg. TMWNN's poncho never would have been so iconic if the Dollars films hadn't been so awesome), but IMO the nose guard had the potential. But they fucking blew it.


I don't give a shit for supernatural movies, but once I unwittingly saw this one, I have to say this about the cast: the de Niro character was hilarious; I am unsure about Rourke as the PI, he is more awkward and not as slick [eg. a little more like the Marlowe of THE LONG GOODBYE than of THE BIG SLEEP?] and Lisa Bonet was beautiful.

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« Reply #10897 on: September 16, 2012, 07:23:05 AM »

Prometheus - Ridley Scott

Lots of ideas and motives taken from Alien, but still a film which doesn't make much sense as Alien prequel. I don't know why Scott realises such an half-baked film which has some interesting ideas, but also seems often sloppily conceived. Maybe 6/10

 Afro

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« Reply #10898 on: September 16, 2012, 09:31:16 AM »

Holiday (1938) - 7/10 - Proletariat Cary Grant (ha!) plans to marry a stuffy rich girl and falls for free-spirited sister Kate Hepburn instead. Shenanigans ensue. Typical '30s comedy-of-manners given some grace notes by George Cukor and his cast. Grant and Hepburn make an appealing couple but are better-used in Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story.

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« Reply #10899 on: September 16, 2012, 02:53:05 PM »

Mein Name Ist Nobody (1973) - 8/10. The first time for me to see the immaculate Tobis DVD upscaled through my new LG blu-ray player and viewed on plasma. Man, it looks great. Except for flesh tones (which run a bit red on this), I don't really see how the Blu-ray can improve the image. I sure had fun watching this last night. The opener, the Navajo cemetery scene, the saloon scene, the hall of mirrors, the swiveling dummy, the pool table bit, the urination scene, the showdown with the Wild Bunch and the Final Duel . . . I was guffawing all the way through. This is a great film to watch after meticulously studying OUATITW for several months. All the film has to do is cut to a sudden close up of Benito Stefanelli to send me into paroxysms of laughter. That Leone, what a joker!

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« Reply #10900 on: September 19, 2012, 06:15:54 AM »

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Part I. First Blu-ray viewing. The early reports did not lie: this release sports a reference quality image (I'm not set up to take advantage of the full audio, so I can't comment on that). Clarity, colors, contrast--this thing looks, to my eye, perfect (I've twice seen the 89 restoration on 70mm). The Kingdom of Jordan has never been shown to better advantage. Without VAT and with postage, the cost for the Region-Free 2-disc UK set was under $20 U.S. You'd have to be a real fool to pass this up.

P.S. The North American discs should be identical to those issued in the UK. However, in one respect they may differ, and this may be cause to wait for the U.S. release. The labels for Discs 1 and 2 on the UK set are switched. Not a biggie, but if you'd really prefer the proper labels in place, you may want to wait and see what the situation is with the U.S. version.

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« Reply #10901 on: September 19, 2012, 03:18:08 PM »

The Prowler 8/10

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« Reply #10902 on: September 20, 2012, 03:09:46 AM »

Pretty much every single one of those problems you listed is completely gone in the short version. And unless you magically forget the plot, there really is no switching over. The best part about the shorter cut is that it's more like OUATIA in the way that much is left unanswered. When I watched the long cut, so much was answered that I much preferred to be unanswered. The best I can do now is pretend that it never existed, that I never watched it, and still come up with my own interpretation of the story when watching the shorter version. It's just tough/nonsensical to do that knowing the truth.

The short cut is one of the best movies ever made, and maybe the sole example of distributors cutting down a movie to make it better.

I just watched the short version of Cinema Paradiso, (on blu ray) and I agree with much of what you said. (Again, we previously had a discussion on the various versions of Cinema Paradiso, beginning here http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=7645.msg158989#msg158989 )

This post will contain SPOILERS
There is no doubt that if you are going to watch both versions, it's best to see the short version first, then the long version. Once you've already seen the long version, seeing the short version (with so much left ambiguous, but you already know the real answer) makes it difficult to judge on its own.

To be honest, there's a certain magic you feel when you watch a great movie for the first time, without knowing anything of the plot, which can never be re-captured on subsequent viewings (even though it's true that with certain movies like Citizen Kane and Vertigo, you may understand more and more of its depths and enjoy it more with subsequent viewings, the fact remains that sometimes it is impossible to recapture the joy of watching a great movie for the first time without knowing anything about the plot. So that joy definitely can not have been recaptured now with this viewing of the short version. Therefore, I cannot compare seeing the long version  -- the first time I had seen the movie -- with seeing the short version, when I already knew the story. The only way for me to objectively judge which version is better, would for me to now watch the long version again: now that I already know the story, I'd be watching it under similar conditions to how I saw the short version. (I am not about to watch the movie again right now, but my next viewing will be of the long version).

Some of the problems remain in the short version: eg. the silly idea that this successful guy who is on egood terms with bis family doesn't return home for 30 years just because of the advice of some old man, and the idea that it wouldn't be possible for him to be successful if he returned home occasionally to visit. And of course, the fact remains that the magic of the youthful scenes is never rec-captured in the teenage scenes.

As far as I can recall, most of the time that is cut is the stuff of when he meets the girl when they are both old. She tells him all about how she missed him and wanted to see him, how Alfredo advised her against it, etc. etc. In the short version, once she doesn't show up on that bus, we never see her again (except briefly when Toto is watching his old videos on his projector in his old bedroom). So she indeed ditched him, Alfredo was right, the girls with blue eyes will never stick around.... Also, the short version shortened the sequence where they are showing a movie in 2-part reels in 2 different theaters, and the boy on the bike has to deliver one reel to the other theater. I don't know how that bit makes any sense the way they cut it for the short version; it's not a very important piece anyway, so once they were going to shorten it, IMO they should have taken it out completely.

I sort of have mixed feelings about them chopping the whole story of Toto meeting the girl when she is older and finding out the truth. Sure, as I mentioned, there are lots of contrivances there, straining believability. On the other hand, there is a certain deep emotion there, of memories and longing, etc. that affected me very much when I watched it. I mean, I am only 27 years old, too young to have any regrets, but I often wonder about when people are 50, 60 years old, do they have major regrets about things in that way? Does life always work out satisfactorily, or do they go through those times of memories, regret, wondering what could have been, etc.? Of course, a movie can't answer those (or any) questions, but since I often think about those questions, it had a profound effect on me when I saw the movie address them, very poignantly.

Again, I can not fairly compare the 2 versions until I see the long one again. I'll simply conclude by advising anyone who has not seen the movie but plans on watching it, to first see the short version (123 minutes) and then the long version (174 minutes). I believe the blu ray has the short version, there's a dvd's that has the long version, and a dvd that has both versions on separate sides. Just make sure to check the running times before you buy/rent the disc.

This will be a great experience to anyone who is a cinema lover. Happy Viewing  Smiley

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« Reply #10903 on: September 20, 2012, 04:31:56 AM »

saw TCM specials recently on Lauren Bacall and John Garfield. I enjoyed 'em both so I'll discuss 'em in some depth:

--------------------------------------------------
Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall (2005) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0992468/ This TCM series features an hour long interview/discussion, with host Robert Osborne. Bacall, at the time 81 years old, is just a lovely interview. Here, I will summarize a few interesting bits of info that came out of that interview:

-- Osborne asked Bacall, a Jewish girl who grew up in New York -- to discuss the anti-semitism she experienced in Hollywood, and she said she actually experienced anti-semitism back in New York, when she was a model at Harper's Bazaar: the girls all asked each other "What are you? I'm Catholic, I'm Episcopalian, etc." When they asked her, she said "I'm Jewish." Later, she'd hear them sneering to each other in the ladies room, "did you know she was Jewish? I didn't know she was Jewish!

 -- Later, came got to Hollywood, thanks to the man that she admitted made her career, Howard Hawks, whom Bacall said was "slightly anti-semitic." (eg. Hawks's wife would confide in Bacall, "I don't know why he won't have any Jews at the house.") Bacall hid her Jewishness from Hawks for a while. Eventually, by the time she told him, he already knew, and by that time he didn't care; Bacall thinks that Hawks may have become more enlightened and become less prejudice through the years.

-- Likewise, Bacall felt trepidatious when she finally decided to tel Bogie she was Jewish -- when asked for his origins, Bogie would say "I'm high Episcopalian!" But when Bacall informed him she was Jewish, he couldn't give a damn, there wasn't a prejudiced bone in his body

-- Bacall and Bogie were already lovers by the time they worked on their next movie directed Hawks, The Big Sleep. This caused tension, as Hawks did not approve of the relationship between the stars... because he was hot for Bacall himself! But Bacall had no interest in the director, she was deeply in love with Bogie.

-- Once things got serious between them, Bogie gave Bacall an ultimatum: if you want to build a great career, I will do everything I can to help you, but I will not marry you. Bogie had already had 3 marriages to actresses, and if he was going to marry again, he wanted someone who would always be there for him, a truly devoted wife. Bacall instantly agreed, as she was deeply enthralled by Bogie and would have done anything for him.

-- She indeed put her career on the back burner and became first and foremost a wife to Bogie, and she says that in retrospect she is incredibly happy she made that decision, since their time together was so short (Bogie tragically died in 1957).

--  Bacall worked with John Wayne on The Shootist (1976)  (21 years after doing Blood Alley (1955) together). Despite Wayne's outspoken conservatism and Bacall's staunch liberalsim, they got along very well


------------------------------------------------------------

The John Garfield Story (2003) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0352468/ (on the imdb page, note all the great contributors, who are interviewed in this documentary, which is narrated by Garfield's daughter Julie.

It begins with footage of his funeral -- which the New York Times reported as being attended by over 10,000 people, the largest funeral in New York since Rudolph Valentino.

Garfield was born Jacob Garfinkle -- later, the name Julius was added. He used the name Jules Garfield when acting on stage; after going to Hollywood, his first name became "John," , on suggestion of Jack L. Warner. Nevertheless, his friends always knew him as "Jules" or "Julie," the names most of them use when talking about him on the documentary.
He grew up on the Lower East Side, and this documentary has some terrific footage of that iconic neighborhood, with the tenements lining the crowded streets with pushcarts. He had a difficult childhood: his mother died young, he lived with various relatives, had a tough time at school, joining street gangs, etc. Eventually, he was sent to a Public School No. 45 for "problem kids," where his life was turned around by the master educator Angelo Patri, who channeled Garfield's energies into boxing and acting.

Garfield's first movie was Four Daughters (1938) where he stole the show in a supporting role, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Ultimately, his career at WB was a stormy one, (similar to many in the era of the Studio System) as he fought the studio over what he believed were inadequate roles, leading to several refusals to work and suspensions (including in one case for refusing to be loaned out to another studio for a movie).

It was on a loan-out to MGM that Garfield made The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), one of the most famous films noir (this documentary is also available as a bonus feature on the Postman dvd).  

His final movie under contract with WB was Humoresque (1946), in which he starred opposite Joan Crawford. He stayed past his contract to finish work on this film, but once it was completed he became one of the first Hollywood stars to form his own production company.

In 1947, he starred in Body and Soul, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. In this movie, he insisted that Canada Lee be included in the cast, which was a very controversial (and courageous) move in 1947, having a black actor play an important cast member.


When some of Garfield's friends were called to testify before HUAC, Garfield joined the Committee for the First Amendment, not realizing that he himself was also being watched by the FBI and would soon become a target of HUAC. Garfield was a political liberal, had friends who were Communists (as did probably everyone in Hollywood at the time), his wife was a former Communist Party member, but he was never a Communist. When called before HUAC, he denied that he was a Communist, maintained that he was a loyal citizen of this country, and refused to name names. Ultimately, he was one of 151 names listed in the witch-hunt book "Red Channels," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Channels and his screen career was effectively done. However, he did return to the theater and did stage work.

Garfield once contracted rheumatic fever, which left him with lifelong heart problems. While shooting movies and rehearsing, he often had to refrain from strenuous physical activity. At the outset of World War II, he twice tried enlisting in the Armed Forces, but was twice denied, due to his heart condition. However, he was among the first entertainers to go overseas and entertain the troops, and he was one of the founders of the Hollywood Canteen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Canteen


Sadly, Garfield died on May 20, 1952, of his heart condition; his friends believe that his heart problems were exacerbated by all that he went through with HUAC and the blacklisting.

---

IMO:  There were moments while watching this documentary that I was moved to tears at the tragedies Garfield endured. This was a great life ruined and ended far too soon, by political persecution and illness.  Cry Garfield did so much for this country and our troops during World War II, and there's no doubt, as he stated in his testimony before HUAC, that he was "a loyal citizen of this country by every act of my life."  It's cruelly ironic that he was taken down by HUAC, a committee as un-American as anything this country as ever seen. And it is a damn good man who refuses to rat out friends to witch-hunting unconstitutional congressional committees, even at the risk of his own career.
Thus far, I have only seen 2 of Garfield's movies (The Postman Always Rings Twice and Gentlemen's Agreement, for which he accepted a supporting role since he believed in the movie's message) but he was great in those 2. Many of the others are now at the top of my queue. This is a very good documentary. If you have the dvd of The Postman Always Rings Twice, check out this documentary in the bonus features. Or catch it next time it plays on TCM  Smiley

« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 02:17:27 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #10904 on: September 20, 2012, 02:07:20 PM »

The Cardinal
1963 6/10

Stephen Fermoyle has grown up in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century knowing that his destiny lies with the Catholic priesthood. Finally finishing his studies in Rome, he returns to America full of certitude and ambition to one day join the College of Cardinals. But his road to that office is a long one, paved with crises. In Boston, he must decide whether to save the life of his sister or her unborn child, conceived out of wedlock. In Austria, he confronts the question of whether to remain with the priesthood or abandon his oath so that he can be with the woman he loves. In Georgia, he contends with Rome's indifference in the face of racial bigotry. And in Austria, he finds himself personally involved in the church's dealings with the Third Reich.

-----------

A three hour length for a film in which this story could easily be squashed in half that time.  Interestingly they got future Pope Benedict on board as an advisor.  Itīs pity he (Cardinal Ratzinger) didnīt do any interventions from Rome like Fermoyle did so wonderfully in this movie.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 02:11:24 PM by emmo26 » Logged


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