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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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Posted: 30 August 2018 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

…not always convincing.

••

Unless you first saw it in 1958.

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 30 August 2018 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I saw it as a kid in the early-80's, and it was convincing enough, especially the ending, to scare the crud out of me.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 30 August 2018 at 7:34pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I watched Peter Hyams' 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).

I have fond memories of this film and it held up in some ways. Roy Scheider was always a fun actor to watch and Jon Lithgow is in that same category. They made a good combination here, but were slightly edged out by the combination of Bob Balaban and Hal.

I do have mixed feelings though -- almost as though this film is giving the fans what they want. 2001 gave us the wonderful Hal as a hidden danger and then a totally inexplicable ending. 2010 gives us the wonderful Hal as a misunderstood good guy and a feel-good ending that you don't even need to wonder about whether it's explicable; it's just all good.

I really liked the idea of relations between Russia and USA going to shit while they have a joint operation going on 40 million miles away in space, but a lot of the film feels lightweight compared to the original film.
 
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Pete York
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Posted: 31 August 2018 at 12:54am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

RAMROD (1947) D: Andre De Toth

One of the first of the post-war 'adult westerns', which were those stories characterized by unusual psychological depth. It's also one of the handful of noir westerns (Raoul Walsh's PURSUED, from earlier in '47, is considered the urtext in both categories) and so here the virtuous lead (Joel McCrea) is led astray by a scheming woman (Veronica Lake, married to De Toth at the time) and an old partner (Don DeFore). Underrated.

THE GREAT MCGINTY (1940) D: Preston Sturges

A successful writer at the time, Sturges sold this script for a couple of bucks on the condition he could direct it. Sometimes it pays to bet on yourself. Right out of the box, Sturges almost has his whole stock company together. And he does have the most important one, the great William Demarest. As good as this is, the best is still to come.

SORCERER (1977) D: William Friedkin

You almost have to laugh at this dropping a couple of weeks after STAR WARS. With this odd title and the 'from the director of FRENCH CONNECTION and THE EXORCIST' appellation. Hey, should we go see the fun space opera or this other one about the murderers and thieves in the scathing indictment of capitalism? Remake of the excellent WAGES OF FEAR, and as good as that is, the Clouzot doesn't have the bridge crossing scene. Game. Set. Match.

CASABLANCA (1942) D: Michael Curtiz

Been a while on this one, so that was rectified.
           
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Pete York
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Posted: 31 August 2018 at 11:52pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

HOPSCOTCH (1980) D: Ronald Neame

Walter Matthau is a CIA agent who does not go quietly when forced into a desk job by his petty bureaucrat boss (Ned Beatty). It is great fun watching Matthau outwit everyone, aided and abetted by Glenda Jackson and, in smaller roles, Sam Waterston and Herbert Lom. The Walter Matthau leading man era--try explaining that to someone born this century.
  
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Pete York
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Posted: 01 September 2018 at 11:46pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

THE STRANGER (1946) D: Orson Welles

Nazi hunter Edward G. Robinson, on the trail of a notorious war criminal, finds himself in a small, bucolic Connecticut town. Could the new schoolmaster (Welles) be the man he's after? Welles' attempt at a conventional thriller still manages to be different and highly entertaining.
 
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Robert Kowalewski II
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Posted: 03 September 2018 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Deadpool 2, it's really a shame that the only way we get a decent Colossus is through the DP movies and not in any of the X-Men movies...
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John Byrne
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Posted: 03 September 2018 at 3:10pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

...the only way we get a decent Colossus is through the DP movies...

•••

This must be some new use of the word "decent" with which I am not familiar.

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Robert Kowalewski II
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Posted: 06 September 2018 at 7:50pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors(Amicus, 1964) - One of Amicus' many Anthology movies, a fun little movie with some Hammer mainstays(Cushing & Lee), directed by Freddie Francis and also with Donald Sutherland & Michael Gough...
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James Best
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

BLACK PANTHER (2018) via Netflix.

This one was okay in spots, but it was still a notch or two below the best of what has been cranked out to this point when it comes to comic book movie adaptations.

It does a good job of establishing the title character as a part of the cinematic Marvel universe. And I did enjoy some of the performances by the supporting cast. But it suffered from having a rather lightweight villain. Killmonger just doesn't stack up well onscreen against the likes of those who have come before him (Loki, Ultron, Thanos, etc.) 

The special effects and action sequences were good, but there were no "wow" moments for me. Given the box office that this film pulled in, I was probably expecting more from it than it could deliver. But after watching it on the small screen I was glad that I didn't fork over the money for a ticket at my local cinemas.
  
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)

I'd just seen a documentary on the pair and so I was struck more by what was left out of the film rather than what was in it. Compared to the actual Bonnie & Clyde, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty's characters are just tooling about the countryside having a fairly easy time of it. Clyde's hatred of the prison he'd been in plays no role in the movie, nor does the severe injury that crippled Bonnie near the end of her life. 

That said, what is there is pretty doggone good. The building from which they and their "gang" make their escape in Joplin, Missouri looked to be the actual place and pains were taken to show the fate of Clyde's brother Buck and his wife. Gene Hackman is clearly having a time of it, coming up with stuff for Buck to do on-screen and at one point, you can pretty much watch Beatty just standing back and letting him do it. Michael J. Pollard is very good as a composite character who didn't really exist, and plays a number of roles of people who were in the gang at one time or another. And, hoo-boy, the camera does love Faye Dunaway. 

There was a documentary included with the edition I found that was strangely at odds with another that I had seen earlier, specifically on the matter of a 1934 newsreel made about the couple that in one documentary specifically tailored witness accounts to exonerate a member of Clyde's gang in the shooting of a pair of motorcycle police officers. That member is the one whose father worked with police to set a trap for Bonnie and Clyde on the condition of leniency for his son. Had the newsreel given the full account of what took place from other witnesses, the police would have been shown giving preferential treatment to someone who killed one of their own. As it was, Bonnie, who could not walk at the time, is said to have strolled over and casually shot the officer in the head then continued shooting, reportedly saying "Look at him bounce!" this from a farmer who watched the whole thing from a much greater distance away than the witnesses not shown who said the officer was killed by the other member of Clyde's gang. The second documentary simply says that the two officers rode up on Bonnie and Clyde sitting by the side of the road "and when it was over" the two men were dead. The presence of the third gang member isn't mentioned. The film takes a similar approach to the incident.

The film tries to gain some advantage by juxtaposing light banjo music over some of the chase sequences, making the gang outwitting the police seem like a Keystone Kops film. I wonder if that translates today as it would have back in '67. Overall, the film works, and I'm glad to have finally seen it. And did I mention how much the camera loves Faye Dunaway? Ye gads, she's lovely in this...

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:06pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE (2009)

Revisiting a favorite film, it's always nice to see that it holds up well. Robin Wright and Blake Lively play the same woman at different ages as we watch a young girl of a drug-addicted mother (think the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper") fall into the 70's drug culture and out of it through a relationship with an older man. 

For whatever reason, every moment of this film just carries a certain resonance with me and seems to ring fairly true, even when it's veering dangerously into rom-com territory in its portrayal of Wright's relationship with the taciturn and troubled Keanu Reeves character. As a man whose life is on the rocks because he does not lie and is therefore generally regarded as an *ssh*le by everyone he meets, Reeves' lack of affect plays better here than it does in other roles I've seen. Fortunately, his somewhat contrived character isn't altogether central to the story, as the focus really is about a relationship between an aging husband eager to remain relevant and the wife who's grown into the almost unconscious role of caretaker. 

The whole thing is funnier and more knowing than one might otherwise expect. 


Edited by Brian Hague on 09 September 2018 at 11:08pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 6:43am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)

Only my second time viewing this one, and a reminder why. It’s considered a classic, but it just doesn’t come together for me. I’d rather watch THE BIG SLEEP or KEY LARGO.

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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 7:05am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

JB,

FALCON is one of my favorite films, mostly due to its rigid adherence to the book. I also love KEY LARGO. While I can enjoy THE BIG SLEEP, that's the film that doesn't come together for me; there's more than onw hole in the plot (even director Howard Hawks said it didn't have to make sense as long as the audience was in for a good time!).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

While I can enjoy THE BIG SLEEP, that's the film that doesn't come together for me; there's more than onw hole in the plot (even director Howard Hawks said it didn't have to make sense as long as the audience was in for a good time!).

•••

There is a popular myth that THE BIG SLEEP does not account for all the whodunnits of its murder victims, but if one pays attention, one soon realizes this is not the case.

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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 8:59am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)

AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007)

A weekend spent in 1970's-era New York...
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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I have both versions of THE BIG SLEEP on DVD--is one "better" than the other?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I have both versions of THE BIG SLEEP on DVD--is one "better" than the other?

••

What do you mean by "both"? The one with and the one without emphasis on Lauren Bacall?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:17am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Hey, should we go see the fun space opera or this other one about the murderers and thieves in the scathing indictment of capitalism?

••

Depends. Are we 12?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)

Just couldn’t get past Orson Welles’ grotesque Irish accent.

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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 12:52am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. First
time I've revisted the film since it
was brand new.
Still the best Batman movie to date,
but the dvd picture quality is
terrible. Looks like it was
transferred from VHS.
It is supposed to be coming out with
"all the bells and whistles" on Blu-
ray soon,that would be the version to
have.

Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 13 September 2018 at 12:55am
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

MASK OF THE PHANTASM has been out on Blu-Ray for over a year, and will also be included in the upcoming BTAS Blu-Ray bundle. Whether that or a future release will be "bells and whistles", I'm not sure. The 2017 release is light on features. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 September 2018 at 9:16pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

THE FUGITIVE (1993)

Widely praised, and with a well deserved Oscar for Tommy Lee Jones, this still stands as one of the most flawed of any TV to movie “adaptations”. Reducing the whole pursuit to a matter of a few days does a lot of damage to the dynamic between Kimble and Gerard, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. Almost every important point of the series is either turned inside out or completely ignored.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 5:58am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

This might make an interesting topic in and of itself, but sometimes our perceptions can depend on what incarnation we saw first.

I enjoyed THE FUGITIVE. But I hadn't seen or heard of the TV adaptation prior to it (I'd probably heard of it, but knew only the name). So I went to watch THE FUGITIVE on its own merits. Still haven't seen the show.

On the other side of the coin, I didn't enjoy 1998's THE AVENGERS because I had enjoyed the 60s series. Yet a video rental store owner I spoke to hadn't seen the series, and told me he found the '98 film enjoyable.

I wonder, how different might my perceptions have been if I'd seen THE FUGITIVE series first?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 8:27am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Even without the connection to the TV series, THE FUGITIVE is not a great movie. To many conveniences -- and Harrison Ford's Richard Kimble must be part Kryptonian to got thru what he went thru and survive. Also, too many dumb cops.
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