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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1764725 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #12480 on: September 26, 2013, 11:27:01 AM »

Two I first saw on Turner, now out on Blu from Olive Films:

Plunder Road
(1957) - 7/10. The railroad gold robbery was so perfectly planned, nothing could possibly go wrong! Er . . . maybe the plan wasn't all that great, actually. Why is it so important to get on the road after the heist? Wouldn't it be better to lie low for a week or two until things die down, rather than try to negotiate all the roadblocks? And if you're going to split up the loot among separate vehicles, wouldn't it be better to send them on different routes? If the first one gets caught (and it does) the cops will certainly scrutinize all that come after (and they do), especially when they're rolling only 30 minutes apart.  And when you get to LA, is it really such a good idea to melt down some of the gold into fixtures for your car, especially when you're gonna end up carrying many of the actual bars anyway? And who in his right mind plans the final leg of the journey to cross LA during rush hour, allowing only a half hour cushion? Lots of things in this film don't really make sense. Why are the crooks hurrying to the hijack point at the start of the film? Wouldn't it have been prudent to get there many hours earlier, to both set up carefully AND make sure you're there on time? In spite of all these stupidities, the film is a lot of fun. We never find out why all the hurry was necessary at the start, but dramatically it gives the film a lot of forward momentum that hardly ever lets up. Cutting back and forth between the three trucks does a lot to sustain interest. And the b&w RegalScope photography--fabulous.

God's Little Acre (1958) - 6/10. What a cast! Robert Ryan (!). Vic Morrow (!). Jack Lord (!) Aldo Ray (!!) Buddy Hackett (??) Michael Landon (as the albino) and Introducing Tina Louise (!!!). Pretty weird film though: as Savant says, everybody talks like they're out of the Li'l Abner comic. Ryan is especially bizarre, as if he were doing some kind of caricature of a Southern hick.  Something to experience, though.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 01:21:37 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #12481 on: September 26, 2013, 02:36:58 PM »

God's Little Acre (1958) - 6/10. What a cast! Robert Ryan (!). Vic Morrow (!). Jack Lord (!) Aldo Ray (!!) Buddy Hackett (??) Michael Landon (as the albino) and Introducing Tina Louise (!!!). Pretty weird film though: as Savant says, everybody talks like they're out of the Li'l Abner comic. Ryan is especially bizarre, as if he were doing some kind of caricature of a Southern hick.  Something to experience, though.

Yea I gave it lower, give me The Beverly Hillbillies any day

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« Reply #12482 on: September 26, 2013, 03:22:28 PM »

Stoker (2013) - 6/10
Park Chan-Wook's English language debut has an 80s B-film vibe to it. Couldn't help thinking of The Stepfather.
 
A Field in England (2013) - 6/10
Like watching somebody else's LSD trip. Nice ride, but has nothing more to offer.

And the two best films I've seen this year (both documentaries - makes you wonder...):

Stories We Tell (2012) - 9/10
"A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers."

The Act of Killing - Director's Cut (2013) - 10/10
"A documentary that challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers." I'm pretty sure this will well represented at the Sight and Sound 2022 poll. (That's not either a positive or negative thing - just an assumption.) One of the most intense film watching experiences I've had in recent memory.

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« Reply #12483 on: September 26, 2013, 06:04:40 PM »

God's Little Acre (1958) - 6/10. What a cast! Robert Ryan (!). Vic Morrow (!). Jack Lord (!) Aldo Ray (!!) Buddy Hackett (??) Michael Landon (as the albino) and Introducing Tina Louise (!!!). Pretty weird film though: as Savant says, everybody talks like they're out of the Li'l Abner comic. Ryan is especially bizarre, as if he were doing some kind of caricature of a Southern hick.  Something to experience, though.

I don't know, a 1/10 seems more appropriate.

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« Reply #12484 on: September 27, 2013, 02:01:02 PM »

I don't know, a 1/10 seems more appropriate.
No, it's more entertaining than that. I've seen it twice, and I'll certainly see it again.

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« Reply #12485 on: September 27, 2013, 06:08:07 PM »

I could barely sit through it once.

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« Reply #12486 on: September 28, 2013, 07:29:27 AM »

Rocco and His Brothers - 8/10 - This one starts out in neorealism territory (well, except the star actors) before turning into a standard melodrama. Visconti's generally good at that sort of thing, though, so it works. Alain Delon plays a nice guy for once and Claudia Cardinale has a few quick scenes. Long in the tooth at 170+ minutes, but it's less wearying than, say, La Terra Trema.

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« Reply #12487 on: September 28, 2013, 08:46:40 AM »

Rush (2013) 4K - 6/10. The rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt (Thor) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), particularly during the 1976 season. Ron Howard has a very annoying approach to showing the races: everything is so cut up, you can't tell what the hell's going on. This being the case, Howard relies almost exclusively on on-scene media commentators to tell us what's happening ("Lauda's off to a bad start." "Lauda's been at the back of the pack, but now he's making his moooove"). So much for show don't tell. Also, there are very few driver's POV shots and those only of short duration. Is it so passé to show things from the driver's perspective, to give audience members the vicarious thrill of high-speed racing? Apparently. And to make the off-track goings on more palatable, Howard has loaded his lead characters with easily digested traits. Hunt is ALWAYS Mr. Party Hearty, Lauda is ALWAYS Mr. All Work, No Play. Do I need to mention that the story arc has the pair moving from mutual loathing to mutual admiration? Please be sure to properly dispose of your vomit as you exit the screening room.

The Warriors (1979) 35mm - 5/10. Oddly, I had never seen this Walter Hill film, so I rectified the situation yesterday with a 10pm screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers. I'd heard that the movie has a cult following--well, the cultists were out in force last night, there was hardly a seat to be had. This was the original threatrical cut of the print. I guess the cultists don't much like the director's re-vamped version now available on home video. Anyway, I was surprised how dull this film is. The premise is great: a gang from Coney Island must get from the Bronx back to home turf during a night in which every hand in the city is raised against them. Good thing those metro trains are so reliable, although that transfer at Union Square sure can be a bitch. The biggest problem with this film is that for most of the time the Warriors don't know they're being chased (they've been blamed for the death of a charismatic gang overlord, so all the gangs are out to "rack" 'em--if I have the parlance right). Hey, if you don't know you're in the middle of a mine field, it's just another walk in the park. The rumble scenes are fun, shot and edited for maximum effect, but the long pauses between fights dissipates most of the tension. This could have been so much better--where's the remake?

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« Reply #12488 on: September 28, 2013, 03:52:57 PM »

U Turn (1997) entertaining enough 6-7/10

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« Reply #12489 on: September 29, 2013, 02:19:57 PM »

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith - 9/10 - An Australian Aborigine grows tired of abuse and exploitation by white bosses and embarks on a bloody killing spree. Bleak and disturbing Aussie Western, strongly reminiscent of Ulzana's raid.

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« Reply #12490 on: September 29, 2013, 04:25:19 PM »

The Warriors: Ultimate Director's Cut (1979/2005?) Blu-ray - 5/10. This was $10 at Best Buy--cheaper than the ticket for the screening of the theatrical cut the other night. So I picked it up. The changes don't amount to much: a prologue, told in comic panels, that makes explicit the parallel between the film and a classical story of Greek soldiers fighting their way home through Persia; and new scene transitions, roto-scoped stills from the original cut made to look like comic panels that sometime includes character thoughts (as in, "Holy Shit!"). Not enough of a change to detract from or improve the film.

Hotel du Nord
(1938) Region 2 DVD - 8/10. This is the film Rene Clement made between two of his more famous works, Port of Shadows (1938) and Le jour se lève (1939), and without the aid of usual screenwriter Jacques Prevert. Nevertheless, it might be the best of the three--the dialogue really sparkles (credit to Henri Jeanson), and the story isn't bad (apparently there was a novel; Jean Aurenche did the adaptation). A desperate and desperately in love couple check into the titular establishment, a kind of Not-So-Grand Hotel, intending to top themselves; things do not go to plan. Annabella is half of the unhappy couple; her mate is played by some pretty boy who no one really remembers now. The androgynous Arletty is also in the picture, as is the man who steals the show: Louis Jouvet. Well, Jouvet steals just about any show he appears in. There's some nice music (by Maurice Jaubert, stealing from his previous score for L'Atalante), and an amazing canal-side set (courtesy of Trauner: but of course!)

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« Reply #12491 on: September 29, 2013, 09:09:50 PM »

Darker Than Amber (1970) re-watched the cut version then the cut scene on Youtube, it was my first introduction to John D. MacDonald, many years ago. Improves like fine wine especially for a Travis McGee fan 9/10.

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« Reply #12492 on: September 30, 2013, 03:07:06 AM »

Nebraska (2013) - 8/10
"An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize." A warranted Alexander Payne film - maybe even too much so. But anyway it's always refreshing to see film set outside of the big cities in the US. And the understated B&W cinematography is beautiful. 

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« Reply #12493 on: September 30, 2013, 03:32:02 AM »

Hell Drivers Director: Cy Endfield, Stars quite the cast, Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom, Peggy Cummins, Patrick McGoohan, David McCallum, Sean Connery and Jill Ireland. Truck drivers in competition, driving like maniacs, WHERE'S THE COPS? a bit silly with the sped up driving footage but entertaining enough 7/10

I just saw Hell Drivers; I mostly agree with you; I'll bump this one up to a 7.5/10

I loved Peggy Cummins as one of the classic femmes fatale in Gun Crazy; needless to say, her role in Hell Drivers isn't anything close to Gun Crazy. Sean Connery and Jill Ireland have small supporting roles. The driving footage is ridiculous, it's sped up so much; any truck going that fast around curves would have flipped over a million times. In the beginning, the driving footage is annoying; eventually, when you see the same BS over and over again, it just becomes hilarious. The whole love story with Peggy Cummins is kinda useless; Cummins is wasted here. Still, solid entertainment.

I watched it on TCM; the print is pretty beat-up. But I am glad I saw it; there is no Region 1 DVD available; according to imdb, this film was never released in America before it was shown at the Noir City Film Festival in April 2013 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051713/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_ov_inf

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« Reply #12494 on: September 30, 2013, 05:24:44 AM »


Hotel du Nord [/b] (1938) Region 2 DVD - 8/10. This is the film Rene Clement made between two of his more famous works, Port of Shadows (1938) and Le jour se lève (1939),

Actually Marcel Carné ...

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