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Pete York
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 11:38pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964) D: Bryan Forbes

A "professional medium" (Kim Stanley) and her weak, submissive husband (Richard Attenborough) plan a kidnapping that will enhance her reputation when she 'solves' the crime. Considered a high point, certainly for Stanley, and, at least, a highlight for Attenborough. At first you think it's just sort of a pathetic co-dependent relationship between the two, but as the stress of the scheme builds up, that dynamic drastically changes and it comes off because of their terrific work. Great London location photography and a fine John Barry score to boot.
   


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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 5:53am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Watched BATMAN (1989) and BATMAN RETURNS (1992) over the course of two days.

Very flawed movies, but still lots to enjoy - especially the first one. But we didn't get a proper Batman movie until BATMAN BEGINS.

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:23am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Don't know that Seance movie at all, sounds worth further investigation.
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James Best
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)

There were a few enjoyable spots during the film, but overall there was way too many one-liners and silliness for my taste. Marvel Studios apparently wants to give Thor a humorous slant, which is very "off model" from the character I first discovered back in the 1980's. The God of Thunder that I know was the scion of Asgard and the Odinson. He was a warrior and not one to engage in such frivolous behavior.

As I watched the movie I kept wondering just how good it could have been if they had kept the humor to a minimum, focused on the main story line, and cut down on the bloated CGI... But by the time I saw Thanos' ship during the closing scene I had lost any remaining interest I may have had in the franchise. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 7:35pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

...we didn't get a proper Batman movie until BATMAN BEGINS.

Very much agree. A pity THAT director didn't do any more Batman movies.

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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 8:07pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Thor: Ragnarok was a rather blatant attempt to turn the franchise into Guardians of the Galaxy- Asgard Edition.
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Pete York
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 Rebecca Jansen wrote:
Don't know that Seance movie at all, sounds worth further investigation.

Dickie was really excellent in this, he won the BAFTA that year beating Peter O'Toole, Tom Courtenay and Peter Sellers. Stanley, who some might know as Pancho from THE RIGHT STUFF, is kind of walking a line here. She was a strict practitioner of the Method. In an extra on the disc, Forbes tells of a ruined take when the camera was supposed to pan as Stanley walked through the frame. She suddenly stopped as the camera kept going and Forbes asked her why. She told him she was relating to a bowl of oranges that was on the set. An IMDb hater called it the most mannered performance in history. I thought she was great but clearly not everyone is a fan. Stanley was nominated for an Oscar but lost to Julie Andrews.

Anyway...

THE THIRD MAN (1949) D: Carol Reed

There was a Harry Lime clue on Jeopardy! tonight and that's the way this works sometimes.

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James Best
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

REAL GENIUS (1985) starring Val Kilmer, Gabe Jarret, William Atherton, Michelle Meyrink, Jon Gries, Patti D'Arbanville, Ed Lauter, Robert Prescott, Mark Kamiyama, and Deborah Foreman.

I originally saw this on VHS way back when I was in college. After thirty plus years I figured it was worth a second look on Netflix. 

It hasn't aged well, but there were still a couple of bright spots. And no, I am not referring to the two Playboy Playmates who happened to be on display during the pool party scene :-) 

And, yes, William Atherton basically cornered the actors' market on playing pompous bad guys during the 80's and 90's. This was the first time I saw him onscreen before he went on to play the bottom-feeding journalist in the first two DIE HARD films.

And a tip of the hat to both Meyrink and Foreman, who were quite enjoyable to watch even though their careers were fairly short.
  


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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 7:40pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

THE THIRD MAN (1949)

So brilliant! And even after multiple viewings the "reveal" moment is still amazing.

(My actual intoduction to Harry Lime was Michael Rennie playing him as an international art dealer in a TV series in the Fifties.)

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 8:39pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Paths of Glory (1957).

Gripping tale that paints different aspects of the futility of war and the war machine, as a colonel in the WWI French army attempts to defend three men in a court martial that will see them executed if found guilty of a charge of cowardice.

I found it slightly odd to have a largely American cast playing French characters with no change to their American accents, but it's not a major blocker. The film is intelligent and intentionally frustrating, with the characters struggling to contend with the horrible situation in which they find themselves enmeshed. Well-acted and as meticulously-crafted as you'd expect from Kubrick, the final, unexpectedly beautiful scene takes everything to an even higher level. 
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Pete York
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 9:18pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 JB wrote:
...(My actual intoduction to Harry Lime was Michael Rennie playing him as an international art dealer in a TV series in the Fifties.)

Whoa, that series had quite a run. I had no idea, don't think I've even heard of it. Off to YouTube!
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 24 July 2018 at 10:16pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

James, if you're interested, William Atherton had a long-running heroic role in the mini-series based upon James Michener's "Centennial."

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 4:03am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I concur with James about THOR: RAGNAROK. 

I am not a fan of the "buddy cop" formula they are doing with Thor/Banner. Nor the over-use of silliness. I suppose, if I may use baseball parlance, Jeff Goldblum was the MVP of the film.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 9:36am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (1970)

Am oftimes repeated view. Still quite chilling -- tho the casual killing of animals gets harder to take. There is a casual carelessness that I find offensive.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I am not a fan of the "buddy cop" formula they are doing with Thor/Banner. Nor the over-use of silliness.

In Hollywood there is a persistent myth that the Adam West "Batman" TV series was a huge, huge success, and so there continues to be a mentality that these superhero films would be Even More Successful if only they were more like that!

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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Thor: Ragnarok was a rather blatant attempt to turn the franchise into Guardians of the Galaxy- Asgard Edition.

More like a rather blatant success at doing so. Followed up by a mutual sequel that continued the GOG-Agard vibe.

-------------------------------------------------------

I am not a fan of the "buddy cop" formula they are doing with Thor/Banner. Nor the over-use of silliness. I suppose, if I may use baseball parlance, Jeff Goldblum was the MVP of the film.

Are you suggesting Goldblum was some light of gravitas at the end of the ha-ha tunnel? To me, his character was the embodiment of the "over-use of silliness" in that film. 

Which is fine. I liked RAGAROK quite a bit. Will probably watch it again this weekend. 




Edited by Brian Rhodes on 25 July 2018 at 10:38am
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I keep meaning to read the Michael Crichton novel sometime as I liked The Andromeda Strain quite a bit.

"the casual killing of animals gets harder to take. There is a casual carelessness that I find offensive."

Watched a movie on the TCM channel last night called 'Badlands' with Sissy Spacek and Charlie Sheen. It had cattle being killed scenes in it, not sure if they edited them since the original 1973 release, sort of seemed a modern bunch of jump cuts. It was there as a sort of peshadowing of his later Clyde Barrow type gun violence in this 'based on a true story movie'. I do remember when people used to think nothing of drowning unwanted kittens. :^(

Alice Munro wrote a great short story about growing up in the '40s or '50s set on a prarie fur farm and one animal she tried to free, the men passed her behavior off as just being a girl so maybe it used to be manly to kill something without emotion. I have plucked chickens and clubbed fish flopping around on a boat, also dropped crabs in boiling water despite having an allergy to them myself. You did as you were told or life was made even harder. Easier to carry out a grim task rather than have a big fight with your grandmother or whoever where your sanity would be questioned. I still feel bad about those crabs squealing even if it was steam escaping their shells. Samurai could cut heads off peasants because they weren't like real full and proper human beings like their elevated selves.

My grandfather would hunt for food; deer, moose, duck, not so far removed from Jed Clampett I suppose, and those animals had normal animals lives up to then, so the real horror should be factory livestock operations. Perhaps they can clone meat some day...

(feed me a line and I'll reply with three paragraphs)
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I`ve not seen The Andromeda Strain in about 40 years, i
have no memory of killing animals in it.It was either
edited out for prime time viewing or i have blanked it
out, but the latter seems unlikely as such a thing would
haunt me.I`m the kind of chap who humanely releases
bees, wasps and spiders outside.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Release a spider outdoors, you're basically killing it. Bummer, right?

Anyway, PUSH (2009)

X-MEN plus BLADE RUNNER plus maybe a hint of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA. Well made. Frustratingly close to what it could have been.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 25 July 2018 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

"Watched a movie on the TCM channel last night called 'Badlands' with Sissy Spacek and Charlie Sheen. It had cattle being killed scenes in it..."

...

Yeah, I watched it too. Kind of creepy watching Sheen walk on that dead cow.
At least they didn't actually kill the dog (I'm hoping), they used that bright red paint of the times for blood.


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Matt Reed
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 Peter Martin wrote:
Paths of Glory (1957)

I've said it before and I'll say it again; it's far and away my favorite Kubrick film. I think it's brilliant.  The story hasn't aged a day in the 61 years since its release.  It's as timely as it ever was.  A true masterpiece.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 1:27pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Definitely more 'heart' than many Kubrick films, Matt.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 3:39pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

KING KONG vs GODZILLA (1962)

As I mentioned elsewhere, this was actually my first exposure to both these mythic monsters. I was not quite sure how Kong could be here, given what I understood to be the end of his own original movie, but I was genuinely excited when I first saw the trailer.

Pure nostalgia at work here -- and the Blu release was under $9!

Also as noted, this version will always be "my" Godzilla.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 July 2018 at 3:58pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

(Hard to believe my 12 year old self did not realize those were guys in rubber suits!)
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Pete York
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Posted: 29 July 2018 at 12:02am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946) D: Michael Powell

Waiting on the Criterion blu of this since it was announced and it finally came out this week, during the Barnes & Noble sale. How serendipitous. Finally made it out to the store today and picked up AMOLAD and it's effin' beautiful.
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