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Topic: What disc did you have in last (and what did you think)? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 30 October 2017 at 4:56pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

The real one. One of the best Cold War dramas. Directed by John Frankenheimer with a brilliant eye.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 30 October 2017 at 5:58pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"The real one"

...

No argument from me.
Just finished it on TMC. Magnificent job by the full cast.
Lansbury was a convincing mother to Harvey even though she was only 3 years his senior. Now that's acting!

My favorite Sinatra flick.




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Brian Hague
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Posted: 30 October 2017 at 9:37pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Revisited CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012) with a friend and then to keep the Merman theme going, watched THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), which was a very different experience in pacing and mood. Many of the scenes seem to be taking place in real time with very few cutaways or transitions. Of course, the underwater photography is beautiful and the film on the whole has a very different feel to it from other Universal monster movies.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 31 October 2017 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I watched Brainstorm (1983).

Decent idea and the film is not bad for the first half or so. The final stretch, with the machines in the workshop going haywire as part of a kind of cyber hesit, is tonally inconsistent though and a bit of a mess. The heist is positioned as a build up to some secret message but the film doesn't deliver the goods with its 2001-lite FX-heavy ending and the payoff is a damp squib.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 31 October 2017 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

FRIDAY THE 13TH V: A NEW BEGINNING

A slightly new approach to the franchise whilst rehashing things a tad. You'll know what I mean if you've seen it (am reluctant to spoil, even with a film that is 32 years old).
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Marc Cheek
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Posted: 31 October 2017 at 5:21pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN - my favorite of the mid-60s
Don Knotts movies. No one played the high-strung loser
like Knotts.
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Richard White
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Posted: 01 November 2017 at 4:31am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Carnival of Souls

Wonderful dream like, low budget horror from the 60s. The new Blu-ray transfer from Criterion is quite stunning.


Edited by Richard White on 01 November 2017 at 4:31am
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 03 November 2017 at 5:18pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

BRIGADOON (1954)

This one holds a special place in my heart, being one of the movies I saw "on the boat", most likely the 1958 crossing, when I was 7.

The tale of a pair of American toutists (Gene Kelly and Van Johnson) who get lost while hunting in the highlands of Scotland, and wander into the titular town. There they slowly learn that Brigadoon exists in a "miracle," appearing only for one day every hundred years.

This convention is played ith somewhat loosely, as the people seem aware of the passage of time even tho the story takes place on what id for them only their second day. (I wonder if this was lurking in Stan's mind when he wrote what was effectively a 25 year old Steve Rogers as a much older man.)

Direction by Vincente Manelli is perhaps a tad TOO sumptuous, but the film is fun in its own 1950s way. (A bit of "scandalous" dialog: told that the miracle was created to save the town from marauding witches, the Americans are asked if there are witches where they come from. "Yeah," says Johnson's character, "but we pronounce it differently.")

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 2:00am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

SUPERMAN- THE MOVIE (extended television cut).



Well, this was a treat. This particular version of the film was created so that the movie could be split up over two nights for its broadcast television debut, and includes nearly an hour of previously-unseen footage. I'd caught bits and pieces of a TV re-airing of the two-night version, back in the late 90s, but I'd never actually seen the whole thing, and mostly just read about the additional material on the old Superman Cinema website, in the early 2000s.

The 2000 Special Edition of the film (which is also included in this new, two-disc Blu-Ray set from Warner) put back in the most interesting material from the TV extended cut (most notably, the very cool sequence where Luthor tests Superman with bullets, fire, and ice), so, if you've seen that version, then you've already seen the best bits from this version. Most of the extra footage in the TV cut is obviously padding to extend the runtime. Longer/extra establishing shots, additional moments and bits of dialogue, etc. All of this material was rightly cut from the theatrical release of the film for pacing reasons and whatnot, but it's still a heck of a lot of fun to finally see this material. There's even unused John Williams music that's been put back in, since some of it was originally scored for the longer/earlier cuts of the film (as with the extended "destruction of Krypton" sequence).

I stand by the original theatrical cut as my preferred version. The 2000 Special Edition is fun, too. The TV extended cut is the most epic of them all (clocking in at just over three hours), and is the best version to watch in the absense of time constraints. It really takes its time, and it's just fun to wander around in the world of the film in a more leisurely fashion. SUPERMAN is one of my all-time favorite films, and more of it is definitely not a bad thing!

The actual presentation of the film is also excellent. The new transfer is gorgeous. The colors and lighting really pop, and I found myself marveling anew at the stunning cinematography, which was emphasized that much more by the added material (and all those extraneous establishing and artsy-type shots). The picture also features noticeable film grain, and is lacking the excessive digital scrubbing which can plague HD transfers of older films. And, thankfully, the film has its original, proper sound mix (I can't stand the 2000 DVD remix, which added in a bunch of distracting, incongruous. modern-sounding audio effects), although it's presented only in 2.0 stereo.

This is also a proper widescreen version, and is not merely a pan-and-scan, low-res version with a break halfway through to mark the split between the two nights it aired. No, this is the film proper, in all its glory, but with a bunch of footage added throughout.


I had a wonderful time revisiting the film, especially since it's been awhile since I've seen it. What else is there to say about it? It's an epic telling of the story of one of the greatest and most important characters in the history of literature--not just pop culture or comics--literature, dagnabbit. There's not a trace of cynicism or irony to be found (aside from the wonderfully playful contrast between earnest Superman and jaded Lois), nor attempts by the filmmakers to be smarter than the material and the character by "improving" them. It's frankly a miracle that this film was even made, much less made so well. If I had to sum SUPERMAN up in one word, it would be "fun".


I applaud Warner for finally releasing this version of the film, and would be totally down with seeing SUPERMAN II and III get the same treatment, since those films also had extended TV cuts. Heck, it would be neat to see the original cut of IV, before the disasterous test screening that led to its being edited to the point of incomprehensibility (as was SUPERGIRL, whose extended TV cut was released on DVD by Anchor Bay, many years ago).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Great review, Greg.

I have seen so many TV versions of the various SUPERMAN films that although I haven't seen the DVD you reviewed, I have seen a lot of scenes. 

A SUPERMAN III airing (which I taped in the 80s, tape long gone) had a lot of extra scenes, including Superman rescuing a toddler from a tree, that bank robber losing 'his' money, etc. 

I have seen all the versions of SUPERGIRL.

I don't think I've seen anything other than a theatrical version of SUPERMAN IV. The 2006 DVD release did have deleted scenes which I wish I could unsee.

So, this is a generalization, but I am not entirely sure 95% of extra scenes really add anything. When I had the SUPERMAN III TV version, I did just think, 'These scenes are here to pad out a slot on the BBC.' They can be fun, but they don't add to anything or move the story along. Superman rescuing a toddler in SUPERMAN III is a nice moment showcasing his abilities, but there's nothing wrong with my DVD version not having that scene.

I have seen the scene in SUPERMAN where Luthor tests the Man of Steel with bullets and fire. That is good. 

I just feel, and again I am generalizing, that all the TV versions I've seen haven't really added much or anything. I can probably take them or leave them. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 11:24am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Oh, yes, the added footage is largely unnecessary, and in the case of the first film, was obviously put back in to pad out the running time. In terms of pacing and structure, the theatrical and 2000 cuts are far, far superior. Seeing the Executioner sent to kill Jor-El just before the planet explodes is unnecessary. All of the extra jokes and moments with Luthor and his henchmen are unnecessary. Lengthy shots of Otis under surveillance and Jimmy taking photos at the dam are unnecessary.

It's just neat to finally see all of those extra little moments and shots. Heck, we even get an expansion and resolution of the whole Native American reservation subplot. Superman's blocking of the flood causes just enough water to reach the reservation to solve their problem, since expanded dialogue from the Chief makes it clear that they've sold the land to Luthor because it's worthless without water.


The TV cut of the film(s) just added that extra footage to increase the runtime and provide a nice little incentive to watch the films on TV. The theatrical versions are definitely the proper, polished versions. I'd also argue that even the 2000 DVD cut of the first film meanders too much, in places. Heck, even the bullets/fire/ice sequence, while way cool, is ultimately unnecessary. In a rare case of telling being more efficient than showing, Otis' line--"Fire and bullets can't stop this guy"--does the job, and elimates the need for an elaborate sequence which slows down the pace of Superman actually confronting Luthor. 

As with something like the Donner Cut of SUPERMAN II, the TV cuts are more like fun curiositities than proper versions of the films. It's just neat to see all of those extra moments. And, interestingly enough, I've never seen the theatrical cut of SUPERGIRL. Just the director's cut and the expanded (but ultimately unused) TV cut, as presented on the old Anchor Bay 2-disc set. So, I have a better opinion of that film that a lot of people, since my first exposure to it wasn't a version that was chopped down to near-incomprehensibility.

And, as noted, I'd be interesting in seeing the original cut of IV, just to see how it plays, compared to the theatrical version. A good chunk of deleted footage appears on the DVD, but, oddly enough, these are rough versions of the scenes, with temporary music and whatnot (despite their originally have being scored with Alexander Courage's music and completed, prior to that poorly-received test-screening).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Trust me, Greg. I have a friend who is a scientist and he did a six-month research project - I've seen the papers - which prove that life will NOT be richer if you were to even glance at any extra SUPERMAN IV footage. Honestly, don't do it. Or if you do, well "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!"

;-)

I take your points, anyway. Fan curiosities is a good word.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Yeah, but, me being me, I would enjoy it purely for the analysis potential. I love studying the filmmaking process, especially editing. It really is an invisible art!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

GRIZZLY MAN (2005)

For those that don't know - ***SPOILERS*** - a documentary about Timothy Treadwell, a bear enthusiast who got too close to grizzlies and died (his girlfriend died, too).

It is tragic. And I am not entirely sure what the point of the film is. With respect to his memory, wild animals are exactly that, WILD! He did seem to talk about them like they were dogs that a family had taken in. He did not entirely seem to take it seriously, perhaps akin to those people who think they can handle venomous snakes.

I don't wish to insult his memory. But bears are wild animals. His death is tragic, as is the death of his girlfriend, but after watching this, it feels like a death that was 100% avoidable. 

There are much safer ways to study bears, I am sure, especially in this technological age. 
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 05 November 2017 at 5:37pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? (1969)

Took me almost fifty years to get around to seeing this one. Basically SHIP OF FOOLS on a dance floor. I can't honestly say my life has been enriched by having seen either.

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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
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Posted: 06 November 2017 at 1:39am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Robbie,regarding Grizzly Man,it reminds me of Zookeepers
who get emotionally attached to the animals in their
charge after years of working with them,they think they
share a link.Then one day the animal does what wild
animals do with tragic consequences.I have often been
stroking a cat curled up on my lap,it`s purring away
enjoying the attention,then wham it`s had enough and
rather than just get up and walk away,it stratches
me,imagine that with a Tiger.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 06 November 2017 at 6:51am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (1988)

I've enjoyed a few Ken Russel movies over the years -- BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN, TOMMY, even ALTERED STATES, but this adaption of a Bram Stoker story is a little too Russel for my taste. A bit like Stanley Kubrick on acid.

Truth to tell, I only lasted about forty minutes -- tho it was amusing to see a very young Peter Capaldi as an anthropologist.

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vishard chandool
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Posted: 06 November 2017 at 11:55am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

BAAHUBALI 1 AND 2.  Fun stuff. Indian mythology is filled with characters that look and act like superheroes. These movies take that concept and run with it (laws of physics be damned!).
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 07 November 2017 at 5:48pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

CARS 3 (2017)

Manages to be poignant and heavy handed at the same time, but after the misfire of 2 it's nice to see the franchise find its center again.

🏁🏁🏁

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 08 November 2017 at 1:38pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Halloween (1978). A classic of the genre. Though many repeated viewings have dulled the scares, it still has buckets of atmosphere and Donald Pleasance's lines remain enthralling, lo these many years later.
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James Best
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Posted: 09 November 2017 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)

Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jing Tian, and John C. Reilly.

I watched the flick without having a lot of expectations and enjoyed it just fine. It makes no attempt to be anything other than a monster movie but it does have a good cast, the story line moves quickly, and it is just fine for an evening indoors with a bag of popcorn. Although the film is set in 1973, Larson is a wee bit out of place roaming around the island in her modern-day push-up bra. But she does look very good doing it.  :-) 

The special effects are excellent (the product of “Industrial Light & Magic”) and while the plot does not follow the traditional origin story of King Kong, it does do a solid job of bringing a credible version of the monster into the ongoing Warner Bros. franchise. Supposedly, in 2019 we will see a sequel to the recent GODZILLA film and possibly the year after that we will see a remake of KING KONG vs GODZILLA on the big screen.

Those movies should be fun to watch, if this film is any indication of how WB plans to build on the franchise.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 November 2017 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Larson is a wee bit out of place roaming around the island in her modern-day push-up bra.

•••

Sadly, I don't think that's a bra.

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James Best
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Posted: 09 November 2017 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Larson is a wee bit out of place roaming around the island in her modern-day push-up bra.

•••

Sadly, I don't think that's a bra.

***************

I will have to defer to your expertise, sir... Although it would appear to be a real waste of silicone technology.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 November 2017 at 10:39pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

TANGO AND CASH (1989).


A terrible movie that I can't help but love, mainly due to the interplay between Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell. Hadn't seen in in at least 25 years. A lot of familiar faces in the cast, too, including Jack Palance, Clint Howard, Michael J. Pollard, Brion James, James Hong, Marc Alaimo, and a very young Teri Hatcher!
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 13 November 2017 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Must...not...put...Greg...on...ignore....
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