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October 05, 2022, 11:01:55 AM

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Messages - dave jenkins

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: Today at 04:55:03 AM »
Laitakaupungin valot (2006) "Lights in the Dusk" - 8/10
Aki Kaurismäki's latest is relatively humorless and otherwise darker than The Man Without a Past, closer to The Match Factory Girl.
Humorless? I laughed all the way through. The film is so relentless in its approach that it becomes very funny. And there's something comforting about a character causing all the hero's misfortunes; better than suffering the same fate from impersonal forces. Also there is (improbably) hope at the end. The ending is perhaps out of place with all that has gone on before, but it's necessary to give the audience a lift on their way out of the theater. And anyway it isn't a lot of hope. 9/10.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: Yesterday at 11:25:45 AM »
We're losing our mind.
NoodlesRR in conversation with himself/ himselves. I'm having a hard time deciding if it's funny or really, really scary.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: October 03, 2022, 03:21:27 PM »

Crepusculo / Twilight (1945) - 7/10. Mr. Mustache rides again! This time he's a brain surgeon with shaky hands--a month ago during an operation on his best friend his hand slipped and the man died. Mustache has a bad conscience: he was banging the guy's wife (Gloria Marin). Worse, on the night the cuckold got hit by a falling tree, Mustache knows the man was planning to kill him and maybe his cheating wife as well. The thing is, since he knew this at the time of the operation, Mustache can't dismiss the idea that the knowledge caused him to botch the operation. Holy Hippocratic Oath, Batman! Cue flashback. We see how matters played out during the months leading up to the operation. See, there was this sculpture, and Mustache discovered that the model for it was an old flame . . . and when he came back from Europe he had to have the statue installed in his home. Holy deja vu, Batman! Don't these Mexicans have more than one plot? Anyway, this is straight-up melodrama, it's about as noir as my left nut.
Found it with Eng subs:

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Violent Saturday (1955)
« on: October 03, 2022, 10:13:03 AM »
Violent Saturday (1955) 9/10. Stephen McNally arrives by bus in "Bradenville" (played by Bisbee, AZ). Unwisely crossing the street in front of the parked bus, he is almost hit by a sleek sports car driven by the town's leading adulteress, Mrs. Boyd Fairchild (Margaret Hayes). Rearranging the golf bag in the front seat before putting her car back in gear, Mrs. Fairchild shoots McNally a murderous look (the irony!) and drives on. Their paths will not cross again until Saturday, Violent Saturday. McNally finally makes it to the other side of the street, and there stands the bank he has come to rob. But it is not yet Saturday (a Saturday which will be violent!), so he turns and walks past. As he goes, the bank manager (Tommy Noonan) raises the blinds of a picture window and looks out: he too has a date with Violent Saturday. McNally arrives at his hotel, and, checking in, spies Linda (Virginia Leith), the object of every man's desire. A nurse at the local hospital, she forms a skein in Fate's Tapestry as well (Fate's Violent Tapestry!). Meanwhile McNally's two henchmen, J. Carrol Naish and Lee Marvin (with a sinus condition), are on a train, Bradenville bound. Naish notices some Amish children in their car and gives them candy. We will learn that Naish often gives children candy. Marvin, by contrast, will not pass up an opportunity later to step on a child's fingers. Back in Bradenville, McNally is studying the lay of the land, on the relief map in the town library. Miss Braden (Sylvia Sydney), the librarian and, presumably, a descendant of the city's founder, has fallen on hard times and is tempted to steal from a patron. McNally observes her with cynical relish, then steps outside to witness a fight between schoolboys. The father of one of the boys arrives--it's the lead, Victor Mature!--and questions his son, then has to get back to work. He's a vice-president at Fairchild Copper, Bradenville's only industry. The other vice-president is Boyd Fairchild (Richard Egan), drunk in his office, and sick about his wandering wife. He has his secretary put in a call for her at the country club and CUT, there she is, golfing with her current squeeze, Brad Dexter. And so it goes, Rififi meeting La Ronde. When Naish and Marvin hit town, their paths too begin interweaving with those of the townsfolk. A final thread is supplied by an Amish farmer played by Ernest Borgnine in a funny beard ("I thank thee, neighbor."). Borgnine enters the picture carrying a pitchfork, and seasoned theatergoers know that Chekhov has a rule about that: if you show a character in Act One carrying a loaded pitchfork, that pitchfork must go off by Act Three. And Act Three here is Saturday, Violent Saturday, the place where all paths converge . . . . . violently.

At one point Lee Marvin comments that Virginia Leith's Linda moves like a Swiss watch, but the same could be said of Richard Fleischer's film and its precision-instrument plot. Never have scenes been more artfully joined; never have Cinemascope frames been better composed; never have movements within those frames been more persuasively motivated or performed with such economy.

Another watch. This time it struck me how the bank robbers, prior to the action, circulate in town as witnesses to the depravity, such as it is, on display in Bradenville. When casing the bank, for example, J Caroll Naish gets an eyeful of Tommy Noonan's lust for Linda. As mentioned above, Stephen McNally witnesses Sylvia Sydney's theft at the library, and then the fight outside. Later, Naish and Lee Marvin are present when Richard Egan and Virginia Leith begin what could be the start an illicit relationship. None of these "acts of witness" are necessary for the story, the robbers don't need to be there, they certainly cannot put to use their knowledge of any of the actions they observe. For the first two acts of the film, they are like the angels in Wender's Wings of Desire.

But they are (unwittingly) avenging angels. Although they have no interest in the townsfolk, have come only for the bank and its money, they will inadvertently deal out punishment to the men and women of Bradenville: lecherous Tommy Noonan will get shot, larcenous Sylvia Sydney will be robbed, serial adulterous Margaret Hayes will be killed. The robbers themselves will be destroyed, but not before they've fulfilled their higher purpose.

Their presence, though, will also cause the good characters to rise to the occasion--Victor Mature and Ernest Borgnine end up acting heroically.

The robbers have an agenda quite apart from the goings on in Bradenville, but by being there they can't help acting like catalysts for a number of situations that are bubbling along. When Fleischer mixes crime and soap opera, the reaction is violence; the yield is 90 minutes of entertainment.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: The Prison Break
« on: October 01, 2022, 09:57:25 AM »
Wow, great video comparison of the prison break scenes in AFOD and Death Rides a Horse. The guy does a great job of making his case.

Btw, Cusser, the name of this thread is wrong. If you had told me up front that this is about comparing the scenes from the two different movies, I would have been on it the day you put it up. Instead, it took me weeks to get to it. Whatever you do for a living, don't give it up to try your hand at marketing.

General Discussion / Re: AFOD, FADM, GBU, DYS
« on: September 30, 2022, 07:26:40 PM »
Interesting. Are these all from similar times-of-day?

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: September 30, 2022, 07:23:22 PM »
The Fallen Sparrow (1943) - 6/10. The plot is incoherent, and important characters disappear without explanation late in the proceedings. But Garfield is always watchable, and he's in every scene, so this kinda works.

Peter Gunn (1967) - 6/10.  Very TV. Some funny dialog, though, courtesy of Blake Edwards and William Peter Blatty. Also a bit of commentary on the dangers of transgenderism. Worth seeing to catch glimpses of Sherry Jackson's naked back. Carol Wayne has a cameo at the end.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Walter Hill's Movies
« on: September 29, 2022, 10:51:32 AM »

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Highlights of Finnish Cinema
« on: September 28, 2022, 04:28:02 PM »

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Blonde (2022)
« on: September 28, 2022, 04:03:16 PM »
Kermode says it's a horror film:

Off-Topic Discussion / Decision to Leave (2022)
« on: September 28, 2022, 02:28:42 PM »

Opens stateside next month!

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: September 28, 2022, 02:06:01 PM »
I believe that is correct. As I understand it, though, "kiru" can also carry a nuance meaning something like "kill via a cut" or "cut to kill." Similarly, when an evil daimyo (or whoever) makes a chopping motion with his arm, he is communicating something like "put this guy to the sword."

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: September 27, 2022, 11:53:14 AM »
What Did the Lady Forget? (1937) - 6/10. Amusing in places. Not as good as the remake.

Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941) - 7/10. Japanese family dynamics, nicely observed. Mieko Takamine was once incredibly beautiful.

Kill!/ Kiru (1968) - 5/10. Kihachi Okamoto tries his hand at a remake of Sanjuro, but, despite great photography and editing, it doesn't come off. Too many characters, no one to root for. Nakadai plays the lead, but it's impossible to know if he has a plan or if he's just making things up as he goes along. After a while, I just stopped caring.

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