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Author Topic: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  (Read 1834539 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #13920 on: September 14, 2014, 06:30:29 AM »

Thanks to Youtube, I tracked down some Brit movies I'd been wanting to see for ages.

Rogue Male - 8/10 - Remake of Fritz Lang's Man Hunt, with Peter O'Toole as the Englishman who tries assassinating Hitler. Being a '70s TV movie it's not nearly as stylish as Lang's movie. But the movie's relatively shorn of antifascist speechmaking, ditches the romance and reconfigures the character motivations, so it's definitely different enough to watch.

Brighton Rock - 8/10 - Classic British crime flick with Richard Attenborough as the murderous Pinkie Brown. Based on a Graham Greene book, it's darker, grungier and more violent than the other Brit noirs I've seen.

A Taste of Honey - 7/10 - Another Tony Richardson play adaptation, with Rita Tushingham as an "Angry Young Woman" pregnant, abandoned by her boyfriend and befriended by outcast gay (Murray Melvin). Typically dreary and downbeat, though the female protagonist adds some novelty to the storyline: she's more fighting social stigma than angrily raging like, say, Jimmy Porter. Tushingham, who's not impressed me in other things, is quite good. Supporting cast plays a bit broad.

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« Reply #13921 on: September 14, 2014, 10:24:24 AM »

A while ago, I made a long review post for The Hunter (1980) a shitty movie in which Steve McQueen plays Ralph "Papa" Thorson, a real-life, modern-day bounty hunter in which I asked the following question

The Hunter (1980) 6/10

Then Thorson goes to Chicago to bring in a dangerous criminal, and this is one amazing action sequence here; as the criminal leads him on a chase and gun battle on a Chicago El train. Now, I would really love it if someone had info on how this was filmed, because it really, truly, honestly looks like McQueen (or more likely a stunt man) is actually hanging off a moving El train. Doesn't look like any rear-projection or miniatures or any other shtick; the camera pulls back with a wide shot, it appears to me that this is all really happening. Doesn't matter if it's McQueen or a stunt man; if that shit is really happening, that's pretty damn cool. The chase ends with a car chase in a leveled parking garage, the crook drives himself off, the car plunges like ten storeys into the Chicago River.


Nobody ever answered this question ... and I am really hoping someone knows the answer to it. I'd love to know how the scene was filmed - whether McQueen or stuntman, the main point is, is the person actually hanging onto a moving El Train like that, swinging dozens of feet off the ground on a moving train? That's how it looks, and it would be mighty interesting to find out for sure, if anyone can share that info. The usual untrustworthy online sources, like wikipedia, don't have anything on it.

Thanks  Wink

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« Reply #13922 on: September 14, 2014, 12:14:43 PM »

Claire Tran. Really good actress and dancer. She may actually become famous.
http://www.clairetran.com/

Also, I don't know her very much but from the work sessions we had together, she's very cool.
Also very savvy. Her website is really cool.

I guess I saw her in Lucy, but I wasn't paying much attention to the flight attendant. I'll be looking for her when I see the new Assayas (which may not be until December, the beginning of its regular run in the US).

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« Reply #13923 on: September 14, 2014, 12:26:57 PM »

Quote
the throb of the Lancia on their way to--not le petite mort--but his older brother.
Hmmm, I tried to get fancy and cocked it up. Let me try it again: ". . . the throb of the Lancia on their way to, not la petite mort, but her older sister." Not having an editor is killing me.

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« Reply #13924 on: September 14, 2014, 12:41:20 PM »


Arlene Dahl is, of course, absolutely beautiful.

She plays a woman who u$e$ whatever guy $he need$ to on her way "to the top" (not a very original idea, of course). But instead of having her be purely evil, by the end the movie works to find a justification, which IMO makes it much less interesting.




---------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPOILER ALERT



All throughout the movie, whenever she works to get a guy's affections, so she can use him, he wil inevitably put his hands on her, and she looks like she is gonna die, she says she can't stand to be touched. We might figure that there was some incident in her early life that traumatized her. By the end of the movie, we find a newspaper clip that says that she, as a young girl, was beaten by hoodlums. (Just beaten, no mention of rape, I guess the Production Code wouldn't have liked that) So now she has decided to get her revenge on every man in the world, and at the end of the movie, as she is spending a few months in prison on an unintentional manslaughter charge, she realizes there was one man who truly loves her, she asks him if he thinks they can make it, he says, "I don't know ..." and walks away. The movie ends freezing on the  bars of the prison, having us wonder if she can get over the "internal" prison she has made for herself.

END OF SPOILERS

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




Trying to find  justification for her actions, and leaving us wondering if maybe she can actually grow out of it and lead a normal life, IMO is less interesting than having us believe she is simply a cutthroat, money-loving girl.

I'll give this a 7/10
I saw a big chunk of this film and I agree. The explanation scene is pretty much like the Simon Oakland explanation at the end of Psycho: unnecessary and unconvincing. In the case of the Dahl film it does a disservice to the material, because the film expects the explanation to cause the audience to give Dahl a pass. But why? Many women who have been traumatized by hoodlums haven't sought revenge on Men in General, so her actions are clearly aberrant. And trying to alibi her makes her, as you say, much less interesting than she'd be otherwise.

Btw, the production really missed a bet when the old guy she married dropped dead and she got put on trial for it. A juicy bit of irony could have been had is she'd received the maximum for something she hadn't done. That would have been the way to end the movie (with the sap who still may love her vowing to fight on in an appeal).

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« Reply #13925 on: September 14, 2014, 12:47:24 PM »

Tushingham, who's not impressed me in other things . . .
Then perhaps you've never seen Girl With Green Eyes (1964).

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« Reply #13926 on: September 14, 2014, 12:48:28 PM »

You got me.

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« Reply #13927 on: September 14, 2014, 12:51:12 PM »

... babe.

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« Reply #13928 on: September 14, 2014, 12:52:28 PM »

Your word, not mine.

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« Reply #13929 on: September 14, 2014, 01:05:05 PM »

I saw a big chunk of this film and I agree. The explanation scene is pretty much like the Simon Oakland explanation at the end of Psycho: unnecessary and unconvincing. In the case of the Dahl film it does a disservice to the material, because the film expects the explanation to cause the audience to give Dahl a pass. But why? Many women who have been traumatized by hoodlums haven't sought revenge on Men in General, so her actions are clearly aberrant. And trying to alibi her makes her, as you say, much less interesting than she'd be otherwise.

Btw, the production really missed a bet when the old guy she married dropped dead and she got put on trial for it. A juicy bit of irony could have been had is she'd received the maximum for something she hadn't done. That would have been the way to end the movie (with the sap who still may love her vowing to fight on in an appeal).

RE: your second paragraph: you are right, it woulda been much better if she had gotten punished for something she didn't do - like Dan Duryea in Scarlet Street. But of course, once the movie turns sympathetic to her, the natural course is that she can't be punished, it needs a happy ending. To that extent, it's actually somewhat refreshing that the movie doesn't really end on "happy" tone - we are left wondering if they can make it or not.

RE: your first paragraph: also, if she is trying to get revenge on guys for an earlier trauma, she'd get some sympathy if she was merely sadistic. But she is actually not TRYING to punish guys; rather, she is USING them to achieve her goal$. So the trauma she suffered is merely an excuse to be conniving to get money - kinda like a how a thief who steals from a big corporation excuses it by saying "well they all stal from us anyway," - it's merely an excuse for money.
If they showed her uninterested in money and simply sadistic toward guys, it would make more sense and maybe get more of our sympathy.

what I was hoping was that, once they tru to give an excuse for her behavior, maybe it'd turn out that her stepfather sexually abused her - the same stepfather who she blames for her poverty is also the cause of her hatred toward guys; that way, she can mix her two motives of getting money and getting back at guys as both means of getting back at her stepfather she despises. Of course, in 1956, there was no way they were going to have that; not only won't they mention rape, but her stepfather wasn't even one of the "hoodlums" that "beat" her. So the whole stepfather story goes nowhere.

If you're wondering why I gave this a 7/10, it's mostly for the early scenes, which are pretty good. And Dahl is not just pretty but a very good actress. I debated very much between a 6.5/10 (my highest rating for a "bad" or "mediocre" film), and 7/10 (my lowest rating for a "good" film), before opting for the latter. But as the movie moves on, deeper into its second half, I was just waiting for it to end.

DJ,you say you saw a big chunk, I am just wondering, what did you see and which part did you miss? I hope you saw the beginning, like the first half hour or so, it's the best part of the movie


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« Reply #13930 on: September 14, 2014, 01:38:03 PM »

The Drop (2014) 8/10. 4K DCP. In Crooklyn, Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini tend bar. Usually the bar is just a bar, but sometimes it operates as a drop for all the illicit cash in circulation for the Chechen mafia. Gandolfini used to own the bar, but somehow the Chechans got it away from him, a sore point with him to this day. Hardy, his cousin, just seems focused on doing his job and not making waves. One night on the way home from work he hears whimpering in a trash can he passes and lifts the top to find a badly beaten baby pitbull. The woman whose trash can it is comes outside to find out what's going on--it's Noomi Rapace. Soon Hardy has a new dog and a new girlfriend. Then one night the bar gets held up. Happily, it was not a "drop bar" night; the robbers just get what's in the till. But its still $5,000, and the Chechens want their money. Also, another employee got his head broken and Gandolfini had to call an aid car, and that got the police involved. Now a detective (John Ortiz) is nosing around, asking a lot of inconvenient questions. The detective recognizes Hardy, who he's seen at morning mass for years. He wants to know why Hardy goes regularly but never takes communion. Meanwhile, a guy (Matthias Schoenaerts), fresh out of the psycho ward, appears and begins harassing Hardy. First it's about the dog, then it's about the girl--it seems they're both his exes. And apparently he wants to be very unreasonable about things. Is Hardy going to man up and face this nut down?

All the different elements of this tight little drama are connected: the bartenders, the dog, the girl, the psycho, the Chechens. It's a great pleasure to see the different strands being expertly woven together, with everything leading to a very intense and very satisfying climax. This is the way to direct a crime film: in at an-hour-46, and all muscle.

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« Reply #13931 on: September 14, 2014, 01:46:14 PM »

DJ,you say you saw a big chunk, I am just wondering, what did you see and which part did you miss? I hope you saw the beginning, like the first half hour or so, it's the best part of the movie
Nah, I came in when Dahl was twisting Herbert Marshall around her little finger and stayed through to the end. It's good to know the beginning is worth seeing, though.

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« Reply #13932 on: September 14, 2014, 01:50:32 PM »

More Brit finds courtesy of Youtube.

This Sporting Life - 9/10 - Richard Harris's breakthrough role, as a boorish miner who becomes a rugby star. Probably the apotheosis of the "kitchen sink" genre. All the tropes (the hardscrabble protagonist, success equaling loss of self, endless smokestacks and dreary photography) are present in abundance, yet this one feels much better. Maybe it's Lindsay Anderson's stylish direction, mixing stark photography, non-linear editing and weird expressionist touches (how about that spider?). Maybe it's Richard Harris giving his best (possibly his only great) performance, with strong support from Rachel Roberts and Alan Bladel. Either way it's far more engrossing than these movies typically are.

The Trials of Oscar Wilde - 8/10 - Lavish Technicolor account of Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, and the subsequent legal proceedings. Beautifully shot, elegantly written (though somewhat inaccurate), but the cast is the main draw. Peter Finch is both witty and tormented, John Fraser steals every scene as the deceitful Bosie, James Mason and Nigel Patrick play hammy lawyers, Lionel Jeffries as the monstrous Queensbury. Anyone seen Oscar Wilde with Robert Morley?

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« Reply #13933 on: September 14, 2014, 02:44:13 PM »

Nah, I came in when Dahl was twisting Herbert Marshall around her little finger and stayed through to the end. It's good to know the beginning is worth seeing, though.

Oh, you definitely missed the best part.

It's nothing to get agitated about, but if you have the chance to see it on TCM in the future, check it out. The movie is not available on dvd - though I do see this site selling it http://www.lovingtheclassics.com/wicked-as-they-come-1956.html it seems to be a site of fans sharing out-of-print titles, but I have never used them and don't vouch for their safety/security.
The movie played 5 years ago at Noir City SF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W4hLWhQkQE

anyway, next time it plays TCM, check out the first half, it's definitely better than the second half, IMO.

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« Reply #13934 on: September 15, 2014, 05:59:13 AM »

Queen Margot (1994) - 7/10. 1080p of 2013 4K Restoration. The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and aftermath, as envisioned by Alexandre Dumas and Patrice Chereau. The acting is consistently over the top, and the lighting for most part is totally BS, but the plot keeps ticking along. The 2-and-three-quarter-hours runtime flew by.

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