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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4154368 )
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« #19845 : July 23, 2021, 02:25:13 AM »

Last Night (1998) - An interesting hyperlink type ensemble following characters on what may be the last day of the world. The fatal flaw in the movie is that it's set during the afternoon and night hours, but every scene is shot in daylight. Even if it could be argued that the circumstance that the world is endangered would cause for the sun to be out 24/7 (it's never explained), it doesn't make for a better movie. The creative (possible budget saving) choice doesn't work aesthetically, nor does it create good atmosphere. It has a good pace, but this only succeeds as an endearing and very respectful low budget project. At best, this would fit on the bottom end of a double bill with the flawed, but vastly superior Miracle Mile (1988). C

« : July 23, 2021, 02:28:58 AM T.H. »


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« #19846 : July 23, 2021, 09:21:18 AM »

Last Night (1998)  At best, this would fit on the bottom end of a double bill with the flawed, but vastly superior Miracle Mile (1988). C
What about pairing it with nearly flawless and vastly superior Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (2012)?



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« #19847 : July 23, 2021, 01:50:16 PM »

The Web (1947) - 8/10. Features a really wonderfully evil Vincent Price while Ella Raines and Edmond O'Brien do some great verbal sparring. When Ella tells Eddie he should give up trying to make her because she's leaving town in a week, he has the perfect comeback: "A lot can happen in a week. France fell in 18 days, and you're not as tough as France." William Bendix is fantastic as the police force buddy who seemingly won't give his pal a break. The plot isn't bad, but they have to rely on the bad guy overplaying his hand for a happy finish. Still, was 1947 a great year for film, or what?
Just watched the new blu while playing the commentary by "noir scholar" Jason A. Ney, who is very knowledgeable. He spends a lot of time talking about actors careers (even when they're not in the film--at one point he goes off on a tangent about Ida Lupino) but every once in a while he makes scene-specific and even shot-specific observations that enhance my appreciation for the film. Lighting, camera placement, acting choices, dialog, even the plot at several points are convincingly lauded. In fact, I think I now want to raise my rating to a "9."



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« #19848 : July 24, 2021, 04:39:36 AM »

What about pairing it with nearly flawless and vastly superior Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (2012)?
While I have not seen that movie, the two movies I listed have a lot of things in common and would make for a nice double bill.

But I'd much rather go with The Last Man on Earth (1964) and Night of the Comet (1984).



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« #19849 : July 26, 2021, 01:11:17 PM »

The Mule

A new Bradley Cooper film, with the always great Micheal Pena in a too small role with not much chance to steal the show. Likeable but conventional, and a bit too sentimental towards the end. 6/10


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« #19850 : July 27, 2021, 10:38:24 AM »

The Mercenary (1968) - Very fun, well shot with a great score from Morricone and it certainly improves on an additional view. The pacing is really on point, especially in the first hour -- and the interior + exterior locations and sets used here are much better than most Corbucci movies. I wish Giovanna Ralli was in more spaghetti's. The Kino bluray is recommended. A-

Runaway Train (1985) - Pretty much a perfect thriller until things get a little too crazy with the chopper near the end, and some will be put off by Eric Roberts' bold performance. But for me, I didn't mind those potential flaws and this is a smart, very well shot and entertaining ride with a great supporting cast featuring the likes of Eddie Bunker, T.K. Carter, Tiny Lister, Kenneth McMillan and Danny Trejo. As for the main cast, Jon Voight and John P Ryan give career defining performances and Rebecca De Mornay was way better than you would ever expect her to be in that kind of role -- which would seem like a total miscast on paper. The Kino bluray is highly recommended. Classic. A

Cry Danger (1951) - The Bunker Hill locations, Dick Powell and the dialogue really elevate a solid but unspectacular plot. There's a very liberated feel here for a movie shot in '50 or '51 that I didn't pick up on in my initial view years ago. There's a great wide shot of cops and criminals exchanging gun fire on location, plus some Russian roulette thrown in there. Not too shabby for '51. The Olive bluray is very nice and would have to be on the verge of going out of print at some point. A-

« : July 27, 2021, 10:47:09 AM T.H. »


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« #19851 : July 27, 2021, 03:18:02 PM »

The Mercenary (1968) - Very fun, well shot with a great score from Morricone and it certainly improves on an additional view. The pacing is really on point, especially in the first hour -- and the interior + exterior locations and sets used here are much better than most Corbucci movies. I wish Giovanna Ralli was in more spaghetti's. The Kino bluray is recommended. A-
Huh, I've got the old Japanese DVD. You're making me think I should upgrade . . . .



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« #19852 : July 27, 2021, 04:05:53 PM »

Huh, I've got the old Japanese DVD. You're making me think I should upgrade . . . .

It's a shame that Kino's big sale ended a couple weeks ago. I picked it up for around 10 bucks.



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« #19853 : July 29, 2021, 12:46:28 PM »

Barton Fink (1991) - This is a grower -- for me anyways. It's almost like if you dumped The Shining (1980) and Detour (1945) into a blender but something not so predictable came out. I love the ambiguity of Fink along with the early 40's old Hollywood atmosphere. This is entertaining at face value and might be the closest thing since The Shining to achieve that rare combination of entertainment value + analyzable mystique, for a complete lack of articulation. A

Desert Fury (1947) - If this was shot in B&W (not by John Alton), I'd think this is something of a turkey, but it was shot in 3-strip technicolor and takes place in the desert. And those desert set (not quite) modern westerns + (not quite) noirs are movies I greatly enjoy to varying degrees: Edge of Eternity (1959), Violent Saturday (1955), and of course, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Desert Fury is the worst of the bunch, and certainly the campiest, most melodramatic and queerest (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- but the cast, visuals, desert atmosphere and some really good low angle framing in many scenes carry this to the finish line. There's not much of a plot, but the thing chugs along at a good pace. The kino bluray is solid but I was hoping for something better due to it being shot in 3-strip. B



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« #19854 : July 29, 2021, 02:30:14 PM »


Desert Fury (1947) - If this was shot in B&W (not by John Alton), I'd think this is something of a turkey, but it was shot in 3-strip technicolor and takes place in the desert. And those desert set (not quite) modern westerns + (not quite) noirs are movies I greatly enjoy to varying degrees: Edge of Eternity (1959), Violent Saturday (1955), and of course, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Desert Fury is the worst of the bunch, and certainly the campiest, most melodramatic and queerest (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- but the cast, visuals, desert atmosphere and some really good low angle framing in many scenes carry this to the finish line. There's not much of a plot, but the thing chugs along at a good pace. The kino bluray is solid but I was hoping for something better due to it being shot in 3-strip. B
This is a favorite of Eddie's; he mentions it several times in Dark City, and even dedicates sidebar space to it. I first saw the film when Eddie brought it to Seattle 14 years ago. My impression was recorded in the Film Noir thread:
Quote
Just saw Desert Fury (1947) at the Seattle Noir Festival. It's actually in Technicolor, so there will be those who argue against it being a true noir (not me, life is too short). What a cast: Lizabeth Scott, Mary Astor, Burt Lancaster, John Hodiak, and Wendell Corey. Hodiak is a gambler, Corey his muscle: they've been together so long they're like a married couple. So, tension mounts when it seems Scott will come between them. Then there are problems between Scott and her mother (Astor); and why won't Scott give nice-guy sheriff Lancaster the time of day? This is actually one of those films that is better now than when it was made because there is so much in it that is unintentionally funny. Wendell Corey, with his deadpan delivery, steals the show. I laughed a lot.  O0 O0 O0
I've seen it several times subsequently on DVD and like it better every time. On my last viewing I really noticed all the verbal sparring between characters, even between the mother-daughter pairing of Astor-Scott. Besides the colors, the film's greatest asset is its dialog. Everybody talks tough all the time, even when you'd think they wouldn't have to. It's just complete bonkers. A better title would have been Desert Fever.



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« #19855 : July 29, 2021, 03:35:52 PM »

In the original Dark City, or the updated version? It's been a long time since I've read the original.

I completely agree that Desert Fever would've been a better title, and if SNL in the late 80s/early 90s had a larger budget, I could definitely see Phil Hartman writing a sketch parodying this movie (if he saw it). The car chase scene with the close-ups of the characters doing an okay-ish job pretending to steer their car with the campy voice-overs is bizarrely amazing. I called this the Twin Peaks of the 40's. Well, it's the closest thing the 40's would have to Twin Peaks anyways.

I think my expectations were too high for the bluray transfer. I'm a huge fan of the 3-strip technicolor look, and many of the backgrounds were way too soft, and it was a disappointing transfer overall. I normally don't care that much about bluray transfers and thankfully my TV usually does a good job of upscaling so-so transfers.



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« #19856 : July 29, 2021, 07:29:32 PM »

In the original Dark City, or the updated version? It's been a long time since I've read the original.
I'm looking at the new and expanded version. I never read the original, but I'm pretty sure Eddie only discovered the film after he published the first edition. When he toured the print in 2007 he presented it as if it were a recent find.

Stillwater (2021) - 6/10. The Amanda Knox case. Reopened! And transferred to France!

In a film like this, everything depends on the acting, and Matt Damon is merely adequate. The French cast in support is very good, and the Marseille locations are interesting. There's also an impossibly cute little girl. But the plotting is obvious, all the reveals, predictable.

« : July 29, 2021, 07:56:41 PM dave jenkins »


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« #19857 : July 30, 2021, 09:00:22 AM »



Stillwater (2021) - 6/10. The Amanda Knox case. Reopened! And transferred to France!


Amanda Knox blasts film 'Stillwater' for exploiting her case


https://apnews.com/article/amanda-knox-stillwater-fed0804f415e65d2e6a7625655cd3264


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« #19858 : July 30, 2021, 11:01:00 AM »


Amanda Knox blasts film 'Stillwater' for exploiting her case


https://apnews.com/article/amanda-knox-stillwater-fed0804f415e65d2e6a7625655cd3264
I saw that. Amanda needs to lighten up. There is no mention of her anywhere in the movie.



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« #19859 : July 30, 2021, 03:12:02 PM »

The Green Knight (2021) - 2/10. Pretty . . . and pretty dull . . . and pretty WTF? Alicia Vikander is always a pleasure to see, so the film gets a point for her. And there's a point for the beautiful photography. But the plot is incoherent, and there's a lot of bad casting (Dev Patel is supposed to be Sean Harris's nephew? Not on any planet I know of.) Based on an Arthurian legend about Sir Gawain, a whole lot of "world culture" has to be overlaid to make it all about "now." Completely the wrong way to go. Either send up the original (a la Monty Python) or do you damnedest to be faithful (as in Rohmer's Perceval le Gallois). In fact, now that I think of it, there's a long digression in Rohmer's film having to do with Gawain. I think I'll spin that episode tonight and hope it will scrub the gunk from today's viewing off the bottom of my cerebellum.



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