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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 3430665 )
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« #19155 : June 24, 2020, 06:49:53 AM »

What about Billy Zane fans?

Did Billy Zane ever play a decent guy?  I've seen him mostly as a bad guy: Betrayal of the Dove, Titanic, Survival Island/Three (with the too-large Kelly Brook).

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« #19156 : June 24, 2020, 06:59:40 AM »

Did Billy Zane ever play a decent guy?

Title role in The Phantom.



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« #19157 : June 24, 2020, 10:39:47 AM »

Le President (1961) - 8/10. Can Henri Verneuil direct a film, and can M. Audiard write dialog? And can Jean Gabin act? Mais oui. This could be described as a French Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Which is to say, the same quotient of sentiment, but with recourse to a lot less soap. Interestingly, the policy considerations (which are mostly background) are pretty much still with us (monetary policy, the European union), and, of course, politics itself never changes. I worried that a political film would be turgid but I found excitement in every scene. I can't say that for Capra's film.



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« #19158 : June 25, 2020, 01:04:52 AM »

1. The Land of Steady Habits (2018) (Netflix)

I always like Ben Mendelsohn. Otherwise this movie is shit.

2. In honor of Primary Day, I watched Primary (1960) on Watch TCM app - it's an hour-long documentary about the pivotal 1960 Democratic presidential primary election in Wisconsin between Hubert Humphrey and JFK. A very enjoyable watch.


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« #19159 : June 26, 2020, 02:49:33 PM »

Two adaptations of Alan Ayckbourn dramas by Alain Resnais.

Smoking (1993) - 8/10. A filmed drama about the interrelationships of 3 couples, Miles and Rowena (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), Toby and Celia (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), Lionel and Sylvie (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), with a focus on the last two pairs. After the first time through, the playwright takes us back to an earlier point in the drama and has the action, when it resumes, go in a different direction. This happens about 5 times, resulting in 5 different endings. Lots of smoking occurs.

No Smoking (1993) - 8/10. A filmed drama about the interrelationships of 3 couples, Miles and Rowena (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), Toby and Celia (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), Lionel and Sylvie (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema), with a focus on the first two pairs. After the first time through, the playwright takes us back to an earlier point in the drama and has the action, when it resumes, go in a different direction. This happens about 5 times, resulting in 5 different endings. No smoking occurs.



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« #19160 : June 28, 2020, 05:45:50 AM »

Mary Queen of Scots (1971) - 8/10. Mary Stuart (Vanessa Redgrave) and Elizabeth Tudor (Glenda Jackson) play power games. Mary loses. This has got lots of castles and good performances, and a script that's more Machiavelli than Freud. The film leans a bit on Schiller's famous play, but this is its own thing (there is no historical warrant for the idea that the two queens ever met face-to-face). Schiller took Mary's side; this movie approaches things more even handedly. I guess there's a 2018 re-make, but I won't be bothering with it.



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« #19161 : June 28, 2020, 04:29:46 PM »

Glenn Gould Gathering (2019) - 9/10. Glenn Gould, the Canadian pianist who continues his celebrity 35 years after his death, would have turned 85 in 2017, and to mark the occasion a small group of musicians gathered in Tokyo and put on a show. This is the audio-video record of that performance. The musicians included Ryuichi Sakamoto, Christian Fennesz, Alva Noto, and (new to me) Francesco Tristano. They played works associated with Gould (pieces by Bach, Orlando Gibbons) as well as their own compositions. Sakamoto came out first and did some solo stuff, then Fennesz joined him for a couple, then Noto switched with Fennesz. Noto isn't so much a musician as a programmer, and he attended his laptop while Sakamoto sat at his Yamaha Grand. It really blew my mind when Sakamoto stopped playing and let the piano play itself--who knew the Yamaha Grand could be programmed? Sakamoto wasn't content to be passive, however, so after a while he began adding grace notes and what have you. What a bizarre sight, though: Sakamoto playing a duet with what seemed like a ghost. At the end all the performers were on stage to perform the world premiere of a piece by Francesco Tristano. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind performance.



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« #19162 : June 29, 2020, 05:16:28 AM »

Rachel and the Stranger (1948) - 5/10. If Mitchum had ever made a Disney picture, this would be it. Instead, it was a big hit for RKO. It features one of the most obnoxious child actors in history (although, to be fair, the character as written is obnoxious, so maybe the boy should be credited with a great performance). The plot is tight, but might have benefited from a looser construction. The climax allows our heroes to kill a lot of Indians. The day-for-night scenes look like high noon.



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« #19163 : June 30, 2020, 09:03:49 AM »

Line of Demarcation (1966) - 7/10. Chabrol does his own Army of Shadows, 3 years before Melville did his. The title refers to the border between Occupied France and Vichy. Along this border on the occupied side sits a quiet little town where any number of clandestine operations occur. Both Wehrmacht and Gestapo try to put a stop to these goings on, with some success. The Germans are, naturally, all schwein all the time, but the fun comes in guessing which way each of the townspeople will jump when push comes to shove. Lots of characters are killed, but it's OK because those who are left get to sing a rousing song at the end. With Jean Seberg, Maurice Ronet, Daniel Gelin, Jacque Perrin, and that woman who was in a whole hell of a lot of other Chabrol films.



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« #19164 : July 01, 2020, 09:27:56 AM »

Waterloo (1970) - 4/10. Two hours of pageants, parades, pyrotechnics, and some very impressive tableaux. But drama? There isn't any. Characters? None that can provide us a rooting interest. Lots of zooms, though, and the occasional Leone-ism: the camera moves in and in on Juan Miranda (now Emperor of France) until we see nothing except Two Beeg Brown Eyes (Rod Steiger's peepers were never green). This film could be considered Bondarchuk's sequel to his earlier War and Peace, but without the assist from Tolstoy. The deficiency shows. There's a new blu of this out: man, does it look good. Too bad there's no story to match the spectacle.



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« #19165 : July 01, 2020, 08:54:22 PM »

The Madness of King George (1994) - 8/10. Alan Bennett wrote a good play and then adapted it for film. His original title was The Madness of King George III but marketing changed it because they worried the punters, having seen neither The Madness of King George I nor The Madness of King George II, wouldn't bother with the last film in the trilogy. Ha! I guess this story is based on actual history. Nigel Hawthorne played the lead; the production also included Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett, and Ian Holm.

Beau Brummell (1954) - 5/10. During the period George III was mad there was a plot to install his son, the Prince of Wales, as Regent. The 1994 film (and the play it's based on) took a dim view of the attempt, but this movie, made 40 years earlier, took the other side. It charted the unlikely friendship between the dandy Beau Brummell (Stewart Granger) and the fatuous Prince of Wales (Peter Uselessnov). Brummell, taken up by the Prince, tries to smooth the Prince's way toward his Regency, but it never comes off. Later the Prince becomes King anyway, and by that time he's outgrown his friend. Brummell dies penniless in France, never amounting to much and never getting the chance to make it with Lady Someone-or-other (a very beautiful Elizabeth Taylor). It's all a bit of a yawn but the color photography (in 'scope) is nice to look at.



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« #19166 : July 02, 2020, 01:24:38 PM »

Calcutta (1946) - 4/10. Alan Ladd and William Bendix play fliers who investigate the murder of a pal. There is nothing remotely interesting in this by-the-numbers noir. The one attempt at innovation--casting Gail Russell as a femme fatale--doesn't work at all. And Calcutta looks remarkably like a back-lot in Burbank.



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« #19167 : July 03, 2020, 09:09:22 AM »

L Amerique insolite: L Amerique vue par un Francais / Unusual America: America as Seen by a Frenchman (1960)  5/10. Pie eating contests; a beauty pageant; amber waves of grain; skylines; the Golden Gate Bridge; Disneyland; the beach in Santa Monica; Vegas; New Orleans at Mardi Gras; JDs in Houston; Cypress Springs; New York City: a French documentary filmmaker spent 18 months traveling around the U.S. at the end of the 50s and recorded what he saw. Nothing exactly mind-blowing, but beautiful in Eastmancolor and a 2.35:1 AR. Perhaps not worth watching a second time. It did make me want to watch Paris, Texas again, though.

Paris, Texas
(1984)  8/10. The difference between Wenders and, say, Antonioni is easily demonstrated. The couples in Antonioni are all barren (Il Grido provides the exception), but in Wenders children are everywhere (their presence in Wenders recent comeback film, Every Thing Will Be Fine, accounts for its success). And Wenders knows how to cast kids: without Hunter Carson, who largely plays himself, the second third of Paris, Texas would not work. Harry Dean Stanton, another casting coup, also plays himself; only Nastassja Kinski is called upon to portray someone not herself, but the three performances blend seamlessly. Maybe there is a story here; there is certainly a one-act Sam Shepherd drama at the end. It provides a kind of climax to a film that does not really need one. Before we get to that point, though, we enjoy what undoubtedly is the greatest cinematography Robby Muller ever committed to celluloid. The Ry Cooder score is also perfect. This is a film that could play on infinite loop and would never get tiresome.

« : July 03, 2020, 09:15:20 AM dave jenkins »


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« #19168 : July 03, 2020, 11:14:29 AM »

Paris, Texas[/b] (1984)  8/10. The difference between Wenders and, say, Antonioni is easily demonstrated. The couples in Antonioni are all barren (Il Grido provides the exception), but in Wenders children are everywhere (their presence in Wenders recent comeback film, Every Thing Will Be Fine, accounts for its success). And Wenders knows how to cast kids: without Hunter Carson, who largely plays himself, the second third of Paris, Texas would not work. Harry Dean Stanton, another casting coup, also plays himself; only Nastassja Kinski is called upon to portray someone not herself, but the three performances blend seamlessly. Maybe there is a story here; there is certainly a one-act Sam Shepherd drama at the end. It provides a kind of climax to a film that does not really need one. Before we get to that point, though, we enjoy what undoubtedly is the greatest cinematography Robby Muller ever committed to celluloid. The Ry Cooder score is also perfect. This is a film that could play on infinite loop and would never get tiresome.
[/quote]

Agree.


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« #19169 : July 03, 2020, 11:16:03 AM »

Paris, Texas[/b] (1984)  8/10. The difference between Wenders and, say, Antonioni is easily demonstrated. The couples in Antonioni are all barren (Il Grido provides the exception), but in Wenders children are everywhere (their presence in Wenders recent comeback film, Every Thing Will Be Fine, accounts for its success). And Wenders knows how to cast kids: without Hunter Carson, who largely plays himself, the second third of Paris, Texas would not work. Harry Dean Stanton, another casting coup, also plays himself; only Nastassja Kinski is called upon to portray someone not herself, but the three performances blend seamlessly. Maybe there is a story here; there is certainly a one-act Sam Shepherd drama at the end. It provides a kind of climax to a film that does not really need one. Before we get to that point, though, we enjoy what undoubtedly is the greatest cinematography Robby Muller ever committed to celluloid. The Ry Cooder score is also perfect. This is a film that could play on infinite loop and would never get tiresome.

Also, it's definitely, unarguably a true 10/10, even though I don't even know why.




Dogtooth 7/10
Weird in a fun way... Although everything about the film screams "this isn't a comedy", it definitely is. And a good one. A nice, simple and very uncanny fable about family. I won't watch it again but you can see in this film everything that was going to become great in The Favorite.


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