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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

WORLD WITHOUT END (1956)

Haven't seen this in uncounted decades. Just found it -- beset by sleeplessness -- this morning on TCM. What a delight! 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 8:20am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

WORLD WITHOUT END, as many of you know, is one of my smaller favorites. It's just so sincere!

(As I have mentioned before, it follows--or sets--the blueprint of the original PLANET OF THE APES, with the astronauts simply finding out The Truth much sooner here.)

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I was thinking PLANET OF THE APES, yes, and "Star Trek" a bit too. The movie is, indeed, earnest -- and because of that not at all corny or hokey.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

It's funny to think how much our perceptions of space travel have changed. The flight in WWE is "man's first journey into space"--and it's to Mars! For two orbits!

A recurrent element is how they define "life". Spotting green stuff on Mars, which might be grass, one of the astronauts comments that there could be life down there. Later, stranded on what they think is an alien world, they walk past trees and grass and bushes, searching for life!

And there are indeed some STAR TREK overtones. The sets--designed by Alberto Vargas!--have a strong Matt Jeffries look. Also the miniskirted women!

Plus, as I have said before, I love how the whole thing looks like it was drawn by Wally Wood!

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 9:22am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Wally Wood, surely. I can't help but appreciate -- and love! -- how some key movies of this era exhibiting a direct heroic line from WW2 pilots to the early astronauts, amid anti-Communism (self-reflected as insecurity about Jim Crow), and adding an equal mix of Atomic Age optimism and pessimism, led to... Marvel Comics!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

...led to... Marvel Comics!

••

There's an alternate reality where Wally Wood inked the first three dozen or so issues of FANTASTIC FOUR!

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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 11 November 2018 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (2017)

Powerful story, great performances. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 November 2018 at 8:05pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

THE MEG (2018)

Well, I wasn’t expecting JAWS, and I surely didn’t get it.

(And somehow the whole thing had the look of a recent-vintage Godzilla movie—the Japanese version.)

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 November 2018 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Finishing up my Halloween recordings, I watched Halloween 2 (1981) and Halloween H20: 20 years later (1998).

I'd watched about half of Halloween 2 several years ago, but hadn't been able to get through the whole thing (for it is pretty dire), but I did manage the whole mess this time around. It's very one note and has no real ideas for where to go with the story other than just continue Michael's massacre in bog-standard sequel bigger, bigger, more, more fashion. Full of characters that are introduced for the sake of providing more victims, it gives zero to Jamie Leigh Curtis to do other than whimper and limp and intro's the ill-advised aspect of Michael and Laurie being siblings. Bad idea that adds nothing to the proceedings, but which knocked the series on to a different axis. Hey ho. Kind of amusing how Michael -- an individual with zero education beyond the age of six, remember -- is up to speed on various machines and complex pieces of infrastructure. You can rely on him to know how to successfully cut the power and telephone lines to a hospital and operate the controls of a hydrotherapy tube. Michael by this point is just so boring, the insane killing freak who won't die and just wants to hurt people. Get a life, Michael!

H20 I saw in the cinema (gawd, 20 years ago) and back then I thought it was an effective sequel. It does have an excellent, suspenseful opening sequence and the film has a nicely measured pace and actually tries to have proper characters that aren't just there to die. I was struck by just how short the film is. It builds up nicely to Michael's arrival, but when he does, it doesn't really have too much for him to do. He turns up, kills a couple of people and then we get a final resolution. In the minus column, the mask looks very odd at times, far less scary than in the first film.  Josh Hartnett has a very curious hairstyle here -- kind of like the full Spock cut for the front and sides, but with the fluffy back of a six-year-old's bedhead.
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Richard White
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Posted: 16 November 2018 at 9:44am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It really is a bizarre hair cut and if you want to see any more of its appearances, be sure to check out The Faculty.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 16 November 2018 at 2:33pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply


Alfred Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES (1938)

Just wasn't feelin' it this time around... the leads (charming Michael Redgrave and ravishing Margaret Lockwood) and ensemble are all pleasant enough, and there's some interesting (though dated) Hitchcock movie magic throughout, but the overall story and plot contrivances seemed mighty creaky.

Got 2/3rds in and realized, this time, I was bored just didn't care!



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Michael Penn
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Posted: 18 November 2018 at 8:56am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

LADY BIRD (2017)

Good acting, good writing. I enjoyed the realism and restraint. Perhaps a bit cliched, but then maybe all coming of age stories are essentially similar. I'm unclear whether the 9/11 setting had any deeper relevance to the story beyond just the timeframe. Solid film with some beautiful moments.


***

FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933)

Haven't seen it in many years, but still fun, entertaining. Nothing to think about too much. Just roll with Cagney and the choreography. Pre-Code risqué, which I happen to love, to boot!


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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 November 2018 at 5:35pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

PITCH BLACK (2000)

Well made monster movie. Sad to think how much this reality and the character of Riddick got screwed up by later iterations.

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Bill Collins
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Posted: 20 November 2018 at 10:47pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Incredibles 2, i enjoyed it a lot, the animation was
superb.I must admit i spotted the villain of the piece
as soon as i heard their civilian name!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 November 2018 at 6:48pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

ROBIN AND MARIAN (1976)

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, as always.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 23 November 2018 at 9:11pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Yes, I watched it on TCM tonight.  I swear I haven't seen a role for which I didn't enjoy Robert Shaw in. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 November 2018 at 9:14pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

“A wagon with three horses? One to pull and two to push?”
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 23 November 2018 at 9:56pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Red Dragon (2002). Brett Ratner doesn't have a sparkling rep as a director, but this is a good adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel -- for me, a lot better than Michael Mann's version. Some of the credit must go to Silence of the Lambs' scribe Ted Tally, but Ratner also deserves a large portion of the credit.

The excellent acting performances certainly help, but they also managed to get the ending right that had so flummoxed Michael Mann.

Surprisingly good.


Edited by Peter Martin on 23 November 2018 at 9:56pm
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 23 November 2018 at 10:55pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

“A wagon with three horses? One to pull and two to push?”

...

Great delivery!
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 29 November 2018 at 8:16am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

THE RETURN OF DR. X  (1939)

Humphrey Bogart plays a Karloff like antagonist complete with make up.
Prior to the story of this movie his character had been convicted of experimenting on babies, seeing how long they could survive without eating (yikes).
Maybe Stan had remembered this movie and decided on Professor instead of Dr. for his X-Men leader. Good choice!

I learned something from this movie though, blood types were originally designated with roman numerals before the ABO system took hold.
"The More You Know"
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 November 2018 at 8:05pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

Delightful but dated.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 01 December 2018 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply


THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD! (1988)

30 years later, and it still cracks me up (O.J. be damned)... easily a Top Ten '80s comedy for me!



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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 December 2018 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY (1965)

On TCM tonight. Very nearly a lifetime since I first saw it. (I was 15.). Then I was drawn in by the scope and the (appropriately) magnificent palette. Saw it twice in the theater.

Tonight—not so engrossing. Still beautiful to look at, tho.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 07 December 2018 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply


ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938)

Prime James Cagney, his buddy Pat O'Brien, early Humphrey Bogart, the sultry Ann Sheridan, the goofy "Dead End" Kids... 

...all in one irresistible 1930's gangster-flick package!





Edited by Shaun Barry on 07 December 2018 at 2:50pm
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 08 December 2018 at 3:38pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

WIND RIVER (2017).

Taylor Sheridan is quickly becoming a favourite, after writing SICARIO, HELL OR HIGH WATER and now this, his directorial debut. A taut thriller in snowy surroundings, with Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and the always reliable Graham Greene. 
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