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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1841319 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #13830 on: August 23, 2014, 03:32:48 PM »

Tea and Sympathy - 7/10 - Typical Hays Code silliness: a movie about homosexuality (or homophobia, at least) without homosexuals. That's like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with an all-white cast. Beautifully shot in faux-Douglas Sirk style, great performance by Deborah Kerr, some effective scenes but ultimately undercuts its intended message. Also Billy Jack's in it, for some reason - that alone should bump my grade down to a 4.

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« Reply #13831 on: August 24, 2014, 07:32:06 PM »

Klute - 7/10 - Works better as a character study/romance than a whodunnit. Jane Fonda's excellent as the brassy call girl, with nice support from Donald Sutherland and Roy Scheider. The mystery's pretty thin though, and the twist ending not much of a twist.

The Celluloid Closet - 9/10 - Excellent documentary about the history of gays in cinema (up to 1995), showing how they've either been victimized, demonized or humiliated. It's based on a very good book, but seeing clips from the actual films makes the argument more effective. Lots of great interviews, from Gore Vidal discussing Ben-Hur to Shirley Maclaine reflecting on The Children's Hour.

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« Reply #13832 on: August 25, 2014, 05:18:40 AM »

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) 7-8/10 good, not great, a nice cameo by Christopher Lloyd.

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« Reply #13833 on: August 25, 2014, 05:18:32 PM »

The Sergeant - 5/10 - Rod Steiger's a boorish NCO who moons over dreamy John Phillip Law. No points for guessing the end. Typical '60s psychodrama, where soldiers are closeted gays and gays are repressed psychopaths (therefore, apply the transitive property). Even the clever idea of pairing a chronic overactor with a costar who can't act wears thin eventually.

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« Reply #13834 on: August 25, 2014, 06:19:59 PM »

Even the clever idea of pairing a chronic overactor with a costar who can't act wears thin eventually.
Worth trying, but now we know, what?

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« Reply #13835 on: August 26, 2014, 03:50:08 AM »

The Unknown Man (1951) 6/10

preachy movie about law and justice, blah blah blah, waste of time

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« Reply #13836 on: August 26, 2014, 01:32:40 PM »

The Bad And the Beautiful (1952) - 9/10. The Citizen Kane of Hollywood industry history. With the greatest cast ever assembled: Kirk, Barry, Lana, Dick, Paul, Walter, Elaine, Gilbert, Gloria, and lots of great character bits. Ned Glass has only one scene but it's priceless. And Ivan Triesault (as Von Ellstein--ha!) gives the performance of his life. Too bad the film doesn't have an ending; oh well, it does have a sequel.

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« Reply #13837 on: August 26, 2014, 06:00:26 PM »

The Bad And the Beautiful (1952) - 9/10. The Citizen Kane of Hollywood industry history. With the greatest cast ever assembled: Kirk, Barry, Lana, Dick, Paul, Walter, Elaine, Gilbert, Gloria, and lots of great character bits. Ned Glass has only one scene but it's priceless. And Ivan Triesault (as Von Ellstein--ha!) gives the performance of his life. Too bad the film doesn't have an ending; oh well, it does have a sequel.

Great movie, but I wish it was shot in color. It's more melodrama than noir anyway.

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« Reply #13838 on: August 26, 2014, 06:38:44 PM »

yes, very good movie

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« Reply #13839 on: August 26, 2014, 06:49:55 PM »

Virtue (1932) 6/10

early sound Hollywood, a bunch of sets and studio streets, pre-Code, ex-whore marries a cab driver, marriage is gonna have some problems, blah blah blah

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« Reply #13840 on: August 26, 2014, 08:36:37 PM »

Reflections in a Golden Eye - ?/10 - Another compendium of perverted Southerners, repressed homosexuals, neurotic women and baroque style, set on a Southern military base. John Huston's direction is technically excellent, but the film's a collage of disconnected weirdness that doesn't disclose more than what's painfully evident on the surface. When Marlon Brando, enchanted by Robert Forster's buck naked buck private, starts primping himself like a country-fried Aschenbach it's painfully clear where things are headed. No comment on the acting.

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« Reply #13841 on: August 26, 2014, 11:39:42 PM »

Pay or Die (1960) 7.5/10

Ernest Borgnine plays Lt. Joseph Petrosino, an Italian immigrant who became police lieutenant in New York City, and headed the "Italian Squad" which tried to rid Little Italy of the Black Hand. saw this on TCM, part of Ernest Borgnine Day on Summer Under the Stars.

This film kinda straddles the line between good and hilariously ludicrous; like some characters have what sound like authentic Italian accents, some have none at all, and some (like Borgnine) switch back and forth, depending on whom they talk to and when (no matter how much an "Italian" will speak in English, he'll always say "si" instead of "yes" to remind you he is Italian  Wink )

As Robert Osborne said, this movie didn't have a very big budget. They have lotsa studio streets and painted backgrounds standing in for Little Italy, New York, and in later scenes, Palermo, Sicily. But usually the streets are appropriately filled, nice job of recreating the packed streets teeming with immigrants and pushcarts, etc. I remember feeling a similar thing when watching Angels with Dirty Faces - even when it's clearly a studio street, when they really pack it in and jam it full of people and pushcarts etc. it does have a nice authentic feel.
There are lotsa big, black-and-white widescreen closeups of grotesque faces. And when Borgnine's wife gets pregnant, and he says, in all seriousness, "But what if it's a girl and it look-a like me? That-a be terrible!" I had to laugh out loud   Wink

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« Reply #13842 on: August 28, 2014, 07:27:24 PM »

Cop (1988) Director: James B. Harris, Writers: James Ellroy (novel), James B. Harris (screenplay), Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning, meh 6/10

No Questions Asked (1951) Director: Harold F. Kress, Writers: Sidney Sheldon (screenplay), Berne Giler (story), Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, Jean Hagen, George Murphy, entertaining noir, 7/10

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« Reply #13843 on: August 28, 2014, 08:29:28 PM »



No Questions Asked (1951) Director: Harold F. Kress, Writers: Sidney Sheldon (screenplay), Berne Giler (story), Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, Jean Hagen, George Murphy, entertaining noir, 7/10

yeah, I saw this too, I enjoyed this, I'd give it a half-point higher than you did.
IMO, the framing device and bit of narration at the beginning is (as in many noirs) completely unnecessary, and Jean Hagen always makes me very nervous, but I liked this movie.

I just think it felt more like a small-town movie, I don't know why they felt a need to make it New York.
When Barry Sullivan goes to the theater, he says it is a Broadway premiere, and the theater supposedly on 47th Street, so that means it is New York - but that is the only implication in the whole movie of it being set in New York, aside from the opening and closing shot of the movie being a shot of the Manhattan skyline. If they would have simply said that when Sullivan goes to the theater, it was opening night of the show any local theater, then the movie would have been set in Anytown, USA. And IMO, it has much more of an Anytown feel .... it's has lots of studio streets, and some location footage that certainly doesn't feel like New York; the cops don't feel like NYPD; considering that Sullivan has control of the town's mobsters, it would feel much more realistic if it was a smaller town, rather than one dude getting so powerful in New York. Somehow, it just had more of a small-town feel and if you ignore the mention of a Broadway premiere, it really is a small-town movie.

But these are small criticisms, this is a pretty good movie ...

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« Reply #13844 on: August 28, 2014, 09:21:23 PM »

An Act of Murder (1948) 7.5/10

Fredric March plays a strict, by-the-book judge, who believes the law is the law, period (by today's standards, you might call it conservative). Edmond O'Brien is a lawyer who is arguing a case in his court (and also dating March's daughter - as if that could ever happen; no conflict of interest  Wink ) and he wants March to try to understand circumstances, spirit of the law, feelings, etc., what you might call a liberal view of the law

Then, March learns that his wife has been diagnosed with a deadly, and terrible painful disease..... and he starts to wonder about "mercy killing." It is illegal, but is it immoral?

SPOILER ALERT TILL END OF POST

I probably would have preferred if the movie had stuck to the issue of mercy killing; when it tries to use that issue to explore the more broad issue of legal interpretation in general, I wasn't interested in that. Especially cuz it mostly comes in a big speech at the end, when March gives a big speech explaining that he has realized his view on the role of judges/law was wrong; that he shouldn't have looked at law as final, but he should have broadly looked at all circumstances, situations, understanding, humamn complexity, blah blah blah.

However, the question about mercy killing is an interesting one, (years before Million Dollar Baby, though MDB doesn't address moral right vs. wrong, the killing simply happens with no moral debate, whereas An Act of Murder though ultimately taking no firm stand on whether or not mercy killing is moral does present it as a moral dilemma. One major difference between the issues in AAOM and MDB is that in AAOM, the question is whether or not it is okay for the healthy spouse to kill the living spouse without the living spouse ever knowing it; it's not like the wife askd to be killed - she didn't even know she was terminally ill. Considering that she was an adult in full control of her mind (and for the time being, her body) there is no moral way in a million years that it should be ok to kill her without her knowing -- he never told her she was sick cuz he wanted to spare her the agony.

anyway, Fredric March is a terrific actor, this movie is generally acted very well, so whether or not I agreed with all the moral stuff, I did enjoy watching it. BTW, Edmond O'Brien is another one of those guys, somehow I laugh whenever he speaks. He cracks me up even when he isn't trying to  Grin And sometimes when he speaks, he sounds just like he is reading off a script. Anyway, his facial expressions, his way of speaking, etc. crax me the hell up every time ...




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