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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 June 2018 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Telling a story told before:

My dad and I went to see the original JP when I was visiting Calgary. After the movie was done, and we were heading for the exit, a woman approached me.

"Are you John Byrne?" she asked.

I was wearing a NEXT MEN jacket with my name on it, so I had no choice but to say "Yes...?"

"I'm Kitty Pryde."

There was a moment of disorientation. For a decade the only Kitty Pryde I'd had to deal with was the fictional character I'd created. Then my mind focused, and I realized this was the original Kitty, who'd given me permission to use her name all those years before. Something neither of us imagined I'd ever really get the chance to do!

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 June 2018 at 8:36pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

PYGMALION (1939)

Cute.
Leslie Howard was perfect as usual. Yet Wendy Hiller stole every scene
she was in, even when she didn't speak!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 5:09am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

FUN IN ACAPULCO (1963)

Featuring Elvis as Mike, a lifeguard/singer having fun in Acapulco. There are musical numbers, of course.

It's pretty good. Elvis' portrayal is compelling, but a few of the scenes drag. It's a 93-minute movie, but it feels much longer. Still, it ends on a great note.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 5:38am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

FRIENDS WITH MONEY (2006)

At the recommendation of one of my gal pals. Four, well, gal pals and their significant others in upper middle class California. Plays a bit like FRIENDS - THE LATER YEARS, in part due to the presence of Jennifer Aniston.

Pleasant enough.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 5:57am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Hadn't heard of that until now. Looked it up on IMDb. Looks intriguing, and I'm a fan of many of the cast.

Thanks for the heads-up!
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Joe S. Walker
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)

Less than the sum of its parts.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 7:20pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

Do yourself a favor and skip this wretched very loose adaptation and read the book again instead. It's never been more relevant than it is today. What a waste of the talents of Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan.
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Pete York
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 9:36pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) D: Sergio Leone

Red Harvest by way of YOJIMBO. If you haven't heard, it's pretty good.

THE TALL T (1957) D: Budd Boetticher

From the superb new Indicator box set of Boetticher-Randolph Scott westerns. Scott vs. Richard Boone makes this one.

THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM (1966) D: Michael Anderson

Alec Guinness as Quiller's (George Segal) control just about steals this movie. Max von Sydow is also great as the head of the Nazi gang. Although you can probably guess where the whole thing is going, there's just enough to keep you unsure.

THE HOSPITAL (1971) D: Arthur Hiller

Written by Paddy Chayefsky and a sort of dry run for NETWORK, you'll recognize the characters. If Hiller is no Lumet--the dramatic shifts in tone work better in NETWORK--there's plenty here otherwise; a brilliant George C. Scott as the chief of medicine and a quite fetching, if maybe miscast, Diana Rigg. The first 40 minutes or so are pretty damn funny, in a black comic way.

THE 'MAGGIE' (1954) D: Alexander Mackendrick

The wily captain of a Scottish 'puffer' continually outwits the American businessman (Paul Douglas) who's mistakenly hired the ship to take his cargo. Somewhat unusual in the Ealing catalog in that the humor (it's often called a 'gentle comedy') comes from the Scottish color and flavor and the look at a disappearing way of life. And yet the film's sympathies are with the extremely hard done American (who never gets any measure of satisfaction, in fact the movie ends with him in bad shape). An odd duck.
     



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Richard White
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 3:05am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Recently picked up some Powell and Pressburger Blu-rays and had a lazy day watching Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.

Restored and looking absolutely sumptuous in high definition, with glorious technicolour under the supervision of cameraman extraordinaire Jack Cardiff, whom I was fortunate enough to meet a few years before he passed away.

Both films are technical triumphs, with fantastic use of matte paintings in both and special effects sequences that still dazzle today.

A lazy but very rewarding day!
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James Best
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

MIRACLE (2004) via Netflix

Starring Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich, Sean McCann, Kenneth Welsh, Eddie Cahill, Nathan West, Michael Mantenuto, Kenneth Mitchell, Pat Dempsey, and Eric Kaiser. Directed by Gavin O'Connor.

A re-watch for me, as I had seen it on DVD a few years back. Pretty much what you would expect from a Disney flick, although I think that Russell's performance as head hockey coach Herb Brooks is excellent.

I was in eighth grade when the "Miracle On Ice" took place. I have to say watching the movie gave me a nice trip down memory lane, even though I am not a hockey fan.
 
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Pete York
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 10:11pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 Richard White wrote:
...Both films are technical triumphs, with fantastic use of matte paintings in both and special effects sequences that still dazzle today...

BLACK NARCISSUS, in particular, has to represent some kind of peak in studio craftsmanship, to think that the entire thing was shot on a sound stage.



DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957) D: Budd Boetticher

Continuing to go through the Randolph Scott-Boetticher box. Boetticher considers this one "mediocre", as it was from a pre-existing script that they tried to salvage. He's wrong, it's quite good. I mean, how many westerns have the hero's dead wife revealed to be a tramp? Or the villain walking off free at the end?

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Richard White
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Posted: 13 June 2018 at 11:55pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I must admit Peter I was quite shocked when I realised Black Narcissus was entirely shot in a studio in England!
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Pete York
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Posted: 14 June 2018 at 10:19pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Same.



THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE (1956) D: Francis Lyon

One of the better live-action Disney movies. Fess Parker as James J. Andrews, who, on behalf of the Union Army, led a raid into Georgia to steal a train and take it north, doing as much damage to the rail along the way. Jeffrey Hunter and Kenneth Tobey are in pursuit for the Confederates. Buster Keaton used the same story for THE GENERAL.
 
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 15 June 2018 at 5:51am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Downsizing (2017)

Ever since I was a kid I've been a sucker for movies, TV shows and books that feature incredible shrinking men and women. This one is a gentle comedy take on the idea that stays well away from the sort of antics you'd normally expect in such tales, so no battles with giant cats/spiders, etc.

Mixed feelings: I enjoyed Downsizing, though it seemed to me that the movie was trying to say something profound but not succeeding in getting its message across. Matt Damon was a likeable enough lead but it needed someone a bit more young Tom Hanks-y in the role, I felt.

Not bad, not great. Something to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 June 2018 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017)

As many did, I watched the 1974 and 2010 BBC adaptation as well. Of the three, I preferred the BBC one as it dealt with the morality of solution most effectively. It took the entire situation seriously, perhaps even a little too much so in regards to religion, but the other two definitely seem lighter in weight in comparison to it. 

The 1974 one was stylish but much too insubstantial, with Albert Finney almost getting carried away in the role of Poirot. 

I very much enjoyed the 2017 version although Branagh's Poirot was perhaps a little too stalwart and heroic. He was nevertheless charming. It certainly takes liberties in order to open up the story, but I enjoyed them overall. Some, like the arrangement of the suspects in the tunnel at the end, were too eye-rolling to believe, but on the whole, Branagh and the writers took the case seriously, something that didn't seem to have occurred to the film makers in 1974. I wouldn't mind seeing another film with Branagh in the role. 

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Matt Reed
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 16 June 2018 at 2:12am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Two documentaries, both on Hulu:  BECOMING BOND, about George Lazenby and his role in HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, and TOO FUNNY TO FAIL: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE DANA CARVEY SHOW.  Both excellent behind the scenes documentaries.  They oddly have a lot in common given the audacity with which they came on the scene, the hubris they had, and their ultimate downfall.  Fascinating viewing if you're clicking around looking for something to watch. 
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 16 June 2018 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Matt R., I didn't know about those docs. I haven't been on Netflix for awhile. Thanks for the heads up!
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 2:07am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Sure, but just so you know...they're both Hulu Originals.  You won't find them on Netflix or anywhere but Hulu.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 6:16pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Whoops! I somehow read "Hulu" as "Netflix." D'Oh!!!
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Pete York
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Posted: 17 June 2018 at 10:47pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941) D: Preston Sturges

This is the Veronica Lake movie if you ever wanted see what the deal was with her. The chemistry with Joel McCrea is marvelous (hard to believe she was only 18 at the time). The first time I saw this, probably like a lot of people, I wasn't sure what to make of the last half hour or so, but now it's just one of the many things that elevate the movie.   
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 6:12am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Just ordered from Amazon an old (1951) British movie, MR. DENNING DRIVES NORTH. I have fond memories of this one, from seeing it a few times on TV in my teens. The whole thing is on YouTube, but the sound is wonky, so I decided to buy it. It's amusing to watch, even with wonky sound, as it is SO British. Did we really talk like that when I was a child?

We'll see how it holds up.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I'll be interested in your comments. I can't think of any John Mills performance that, in and of itself, has been for me a letdown -- not even remotely.
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Bill Collins
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Joined: 26 May 2005
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

`Did we really talk like that when I was a child?`
On tv,radio,film and theater maybe, `Received
Pronunciation` was very popular in those days, but i
think that in real life, local accents were the norm.
Nowadays, we have a wide variety of accents in the
media, diversity is the norm.
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 6:12pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I should have been more clear. With grandparents from a wide span of the economic and cultural spectrum, I am well aware of accents. I referred to the phrasing, the choice of words, not how they were pronounced.
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Pete York
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Posted: 18 June 2018 at 10:04pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

THE RED TENT (1969) D: Mikhail Kalatozov

An Italian-Russian co-production with Peter Finch as Umberto Nobile, the Italian aviator whose attempt to fly to the North Pole by airship resulted in disaster upon disaster. It's a fascinating story and told in an impressive scale. Great score by Ennio Morricone. Sean Connery has the small but crucial part of Roald Amundsen. Also in the cast are Hardy Kruger, somewhat reminiscent of his role in the not dissimilar FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, and Claudia Cardinale, basically shoehorned into the story by virtue of being the producer's mistress, although there are worse things to be forced on a movie. The crash is quite harrowing--several men died when the ship's 'envelope' tore away from the gondola and floated off into oblivion. The framing device, where a guilt-ridden Nobile faces the ghosts of the men killed, however, doesn't quite come off.
    
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