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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4532815 )
dave jenkins
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« #12615 : October 30, 2013, 05:25:32 AM »

To each his own.

Quote
Cinema history is full of devil’s-candy productions that became seen as flops or disasters, from D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” to Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “Cleopatra” to “Heaven’s Gate” and “Ishtar” and “John Carter.” Well, those movies are masterpieces, each and every one, compared to “The Counselor.”
Nah!



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« #12616 : October 30, 2013, 09:54:59 AM »

La beauté du diable /Beauty and the Devil/ Beauty of the Devil (1950) 6/10. Faust, but with a more convoluted plot. This time the learned doctor is played, initially, by Michel Simon, Mephistopheles by Gérard Philipe. Then they switch bodies (good thing, too: Simon was made to portray infernal characters). Oddly, there's no pact at first; Faust gets his renewed youth on approval. But then it's up to Mephisto to entice or trick his victim into signing away his soul (which he finally manages). After that, the film becomes incoherent. The fact that the bodies have been switched is forgotten--Mephisto (as Simon) is sent back to hell, and Faust (as Philipe) lives happily ever after with his 19-year-old gypsy girlfriend. Huh????

« : October 30, 2013, 10:50:18 AM dave jenkins »


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« #12617 : October 30, 2013, 10:13:57 AM »

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950) 6.5/10

The courtroom scenes in this movie are one of the most useless framing devices I have ever seen. Seems like they just did that cuz that was the style that crime dramas of the time (later to be classified by some French term) were doing. But it's just annoying and adds nothing at all. All that it does is, from the defendants you see in the opening scene, you know that Cagney was killed, and everyone else made it out alive.

Anyway, this movie seems to drag at times. I didn't enjoy many of the scenes with Helena Carter. She's a very good actress; but those scenes just weren't written well or sumthin; or maybe I enjoy seeing Cagney as gangster more than Cagney as lover.

Oh, and for Leone fans: there's one scene where someone tells Cagney: "You're nuts." Cagney's response is to slug the guy, and say, DON'T EVER SAY THAT AGAIN! DON'T EVER SAY THAT AGAIN!

sound familiar?  ;)


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« #12618 : October 31, 2013, 09:38:55 AM »

Red River (1948) 8/10. First Blu-ray viewing. Captain Bligh (John Wayne) is bringing victuals to the Kansas City railhead courtesy of H.M.S. Cattle Drive. The captain runs a tight ship—a little too tight where the neck of one crewman is concerned. Mr. Christian (Monty Clift) intervenes, setting the captain adrift. But wow, can that man row! In no time he’s caught up with the mutineers and is giving Christian one hell of a dressing down.  With Joanne Dru as the sultry native princess, desired by two men! The blu-ray has deep blacks and shining whites, and is largely free of damage (no cinema viewer ever had it so good). Too bad they couldn’t clean up the story's ending—it still sucks.



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« #12619 : October 31, 2013, 11:52:57 AM »

Red River (1948) 8/10. First Blu-ray viewing. Captain Bligh (John Wayne) is bringing victuals to the Kansas City railhead courtesy of H.M.S. Cattle Drive. The captain runs a tight ship—a little too tight where the neck of one crewman is concerned. Mr. Christian (Monty Clift) intervenes, setting the captain adrift. But wow, can that man row! In no time he’s caught up with the mutineers and is giving Christian one hell of a dressing down.  With Joanne Dru as the sultry native princess, desired by two men! The blu-ray has deep blacks and shining whites, and is largely free of damage (no cinema viewer ever had it so good). Too bad they couldn’t clean up the story's ending—it still sucks.

yes, the ending sucks – in fact, every scene with Joanne Dru sucks, except the one in the tent with John Wayne (no blame on her; they're just poorly written). But this is a 10/10 movie nonetheless. Heck, this is one of the 5 greatest AW's ever made.

is the blu-ray region-free? when can we expect a Region A release?

« : October 31, 2013, 11:56:25 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #12620 : October 31, 2013, 12:29:05 PM »


Paris, Texas (1984) - ?/10


So boring I couldn't finish it.


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« #12621 : October 31, 2013, 12:34:11 PM »

Paris, Texas (1984) - ?/10
So boring I couldn't finish it.

It's of those movies you may hate or love depending on your own mood. It's a shame you didn't get to the 15 min extended shot toward the end.


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« #12622 : November 01, 2013, 02:52:08 AM »

It's of those movies you may hate or love depending on your own mood. It's a shame you didn't get to the 15 min extended shot toward the end.

I did FF the last maybe 45 minutes, didn't really see anything of my interested, and I particularly disliked Kinski's one-on-one with the camera.

I guess it is as you say, it works for some and doesn't for others.


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« #12623 : November 01, 2013, 04:41:17 AM »

It could even work for you one day. The strangest accomplishment of Paris, Texas is that my father loves it.


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« #12624 : November 01, 2013, 11:10:16 AM »

is the blu-ray region-free? when can we expect a Region A release?
No and dunno.



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« #12625 : November 01, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »

Yesterday was Survival Day at the movies.

All is Lost (2013) 7/10. This film does two things right. First, it starts immediately with the central conflict—a man at sea alone (Robert Redford) who must survive in the face of difficult and escalating circumstances—and stays focused on the problem until it either is or is not resolved, whereupon the film ends. There’s no b.s. backstory to distract us, we don’t even get the guy’s name. The other thing that’s spot-on is the refusal to give us “journal accounts” of what the character is thinking throughout his ordeal. The character is defined by what he does, not by what he monologues. This makes the feature virtually a silent film except for Foley and a very spare score (the film carries an “R” rating because somewhere in the middle a frustrated Redford lets out a single “F”-bomb). There is one bit of voice-over at the very beginning, in a kind of prologue, which reveals the content of a letter we later see the character write, but that seems to be there simply to let the audience know there’s nothing wrong with the audio track; when subsequently there is no more narration we know that that is intentional. There’s some lame underwater CGI, but apart from that I loved the problem-solving aspect of the piece. (I’ve got to go back and study how Redford was able to jerry-rig that device he made for collecting condensation).

Gravity (2013) 6/10. This is very similar to the Redford picture, except it’s set in Earth orbit, and there are two characters instead of one (incredibly, both films end in almost exactly the same way). Here two astronauts--played by George Clowny and Sandra Bollacks—make possible what All is Lost was able to avoid: insipid dialogue. And yes, insipid dialogue replete with b.s. backstory. And if that weren’t bad enough, one character in the third act ends up delivering multiple monologues (signaling the Academy in the blind, what?). The film's basic situation is an interesting one: how would shuttle astronauts get home if their ride suddenly went tits up? The solution turns out to be fairly plausible, though laboriously so. There is some pretty impressive CGI throughout—enhanced by 3-D (if you see it, you should do so in 3-D; and if you’re choosing 3-D, you should make it 3-D IMAX—otherwise, DON’T BOTHER AT ALL). Unhappily, although the film is a pretty thrilling ride while it lasts, there’s not much to take away from it afterwards, and it doesn’t seem worth re-visiting.



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« #12626 : November 01, 2013, 11:39:07 AM »

It could even work for you one day. The strangest accomplishment of Paris, Texas is that my father loves it.

Naturally. He's from Paris.


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« #12627 : November 01, 2013, 11:43:00 AM »

Naturally. He's from Paris.

Actually, he's from Marseille. That's worst.


Gravity (2013) 6/10. This is very similar to the Redford picture, except it’s set in Earth orbit, and there are two characters instead of one (incredibly, both films end in almost exactly the same way). Here two astronauts--played by George Clowny and Sandra Bollacks—make possible what All is Lost was able to avoid: insipid dialogue. And yes, insipid dialogue replete with b.s. backstory. And if that weren’t bad enough, one character in the third act ends up delivering multiple monologues (signaling the Academy in the blind, what?). The film's basic situation is an interesting one: how would shuttle astronauts get home if their ride suddenly went tits up? The solution turns out to be fairly plausible, though laboriously so. There is some pretty impressive CGI throughout—enhanced by 3-D (if you see it, you should do so in 3-D; and if you’re choosing 3-D, you should make it 3-D IMAX—otherwise, DON’T BOTHER AT ALL). Unhappily, although the film is a pretty thrilling ride while it lasts, there’s not much to take away from it afterwards, and it doesn’t seem worth re-visiting.


lol, no.



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« #12628 : November 02, 2013, 06:40:47 AM »

Sons and Lovers (1960) 5/10. The biggest thing wrong with Jack Cardiff's adaptation of a D.H. Lawrence novel is that it's an adaptation of a D. H. Lawrence novel. Hard to believe now that Lawrence was once respected as a thinker--his philosophy pretty much amounts to "me first." In the present case the "me" is a miner's son, the apple of his mother's eye, a painter who wants to escape to London. There are women too, of course--the Apollonian one and the Dionysian one, with the miner's boy wondering which to take, and in the end making the Olympian gesture of leaving both behind (how nice). Unaccountably, Dean Stockwell was cast as the hero; he doesn't come close to convincing anyone he's a working-class youth from the north of England. Wendy Hiller plays the mother, and Trevor Howard has a great time as the hard-drinking, scenery-chewing father. He's so over the top most of the time, but he dials it down for his final scene, to great effect. The wonderful b&w Cinemascope photography is by Freddie Francis (the print used for the current DVD transfer, though, is awfully dark).



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« #12629 : November 03, 2013, 08:42:34 AM »

Czar-of-noir Eddie Muller brought three 35mm prints to MoMA on Saturday. Here’s what I saw:

Crashout
(1955) 8/10 – Several cons break jail: William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler, Gene Evans, Marshall Thompson, and William Talman. The plan is to lay low in an abandoned mine near the prison, then move on after the heat is off. But ringleader Bendix gets shot during the escape and has trouble traveling. To ensure that his men won’t abandon him, Bendix promises to lead everyone to loot he’s got stashed from a robbery--$180,000. Anyone making the trip will be entitled to an equal share. Of course, as gang members are lost along the way, the value of the survivors’ shares keep going up. The picture then plays out as a game of attrition; score is kept by superimposing the image of a gang member’s police file and marking it DECEASED every time someone leaves the film.  There are many colorful exits.

Eddie says: “Watch for the scene on the train between Marshall Thompson and Gloria Talbott. It’s like a movie within the movie.”

Try And Get Me/The Sound of Fury (1950) 7/10. Frank Lovejoy is out of work, with a wife and kid to support. What’s to be done? Then one day he meets penny-ante crook Lloyd Bridges—and it’s all down  hill from there. This is a truly odd message picture—there’s a Stanley Kramer connection—in which one character routinely appears to spout the director’s (Cy Endfield’s) ideas about social justice. The film includes some really interesting things too: a five minute nightclub scene, filmed almost entirely with dutch angles; some amazing deep-focus photography throughout; a bizarre female character who suddenly appears late in the film to drive the plot; and a climax featuring a lot of what feels like hand-held footage. This is based on the same true story that inspired Fritz Lang’s Fury.

Eddie says, “The film, set in San Jose, CA, was shot on location in Phoenix. The lynch mob at the end is made up of students from Arizona State University.”

Alias Nick Beal (1949) 9/10. Faust meets All The King’s Men, but with laughs. A crusading D.A. (Thomas Mitchell) meets Nick Beal (Ray Milland) a political fixer with supernatural powers (Nick Beal, geddit? Nick as in “the Old Nick” and Beal as in Beelzebub. One of the film’s running gags has Nick appearing and disappearing in scenes without the aid of special effects—some of Milland’s entrances are truly—heh—diabolical.). Beal helps the D.A. obtain a conviction he desperately wants, but at the cost of violating the law and the man’s conscience. Little by little, Beal leads him away from virtue, and before long the D.A. is running for governor. Helping Beal keep Thomas Mitchell on the broad path to destruction is Audrey Totter, employed by Nick to drive a wedge between the D.A. and his wife (there’s a hilarious scene where Milland instructs Totter on how to vamp Mitchell). George Macready plays a clergyman who finds a way to ultimately thwart Mr. Beal. The film was directed by John Farrow (The Big Clock).

Eddie says, “This is a film for Audrey Totter fans. Any one of the scenes with Audrey could stand as her signature scene.”



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