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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 09 February 2019 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Most odd that the title change should have run in that direction. Surely “Calais Coach” would have no meaning to the great majority of American readers.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 February 2019 at 11:49pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

True -- as I understand it, it was to try and remove confusion with a Graham Greene novel that had been published in the US under the title of Orient Express.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 February 2019 at 5:17pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Speaking of which...

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)

A distinct improvement on Fleming’s novel, while at the same time being one of the most faithful adaptations. Amusing to watch Bond’s journey on the Orient Express so soon after MURDER’s much more romanticized version.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 February 2019 at 8:43pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

THE GREAT RACE (1964)

I have to be really in the mood for this one, and tonight I was.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 February 2019 at 6:15pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957)

The movie that more or less cemented the O.K. Corral mythology in the minds of the moviegoing public. Plays as if someone took all the historical facts and played a game of jacks with them—starting with Kirk Douglas as an amazingly robust Doc Holliday. Add an equally robust Hollywood Western town backlot playing the decidedly more spindly Tombstone, and we end up about as far from the actual events as it’s possible to get without moving it to outer space.

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 16 February 2019 at 9:59pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Kramer vs Kramer (1979). Simple but affecting tale. Never seen this before and I was a little surprised at how little screen time Meryl Streep has in the film -- generally, the sympathies of the film lie with Hoffman, though the last reel does at least try and balance that up by giving Streep's character more of a voice. Great sense of time and place, which I always appreciate in a film.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 February 2019 at 6:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)

Couldn’t let myself get too far into the “new” year without watching this one.

Wow. Next year will be it’s 60th anniversary.

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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 4:05am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

LOGAN'S RUN. Pure nostalgia. I remember being allowed to stay up and watch it when I was a kid. I loved it then and consider it a camp classic now!

Edited by Eric Smearman on 18 February 2019 at 4:06am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

“Camp” is generous! Like many of us from that generation, LOGAN’S RUN has not aged well.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 6:44am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Watched a few minutes of DEADPOOL 2. Introduced me to Domino, a character with which I was not familiar. Off to Google.

So—basically the Scarlet Witch, but “edgy”?

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 8:38am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

THE FLY (1958)


More suggestively sexual than I remembered! But that added to the horror of the reveal. 


This viewing made me appreciate, and feel such nostalgia for, the gigantic computers and laboratory doodads of that era. So much of that made its way into comicbooks, just a few years later, especially in Marvel Comics.



Edited by Michael Penn on 18 February 2019 at 8:48am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Howard Mackie and I had a discussion, years ago, about the cumbersome technology in comics. Of course all the computational power of Avengers Mansion would fit into something the size of a deck of cards, thanks to Tony Stark—but that wouldn’t be much fun to look at!

(Speaking of Stark and Avengers Mansion, I was looking thru OHOTMU, and came across a reference to Thor and Iron Man having PUSHED the building back from the street. Really? That was in a comic?)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 February 2019 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

More suggestively sexual than I remembered! But that added to the horror of the reveal. 

+++++++++++

One of the great things about the film is that the flashback structure and the thematic undercurrents provide a slow buildup for the big reveal, which is still effective, even a half-century later. 

As I’ve noted in the past, Cronenberg’s version grabbed me by the throat upon first viewing, and remains my favorite of the five FLY films, but I saw the original first, and immediately loved it. One of the best sci-fi movies of the 50s, even though elements of it have dated, or would now be viewed as camp. 

As oft-parodied as the famous and iconic spiderweb scene has been, it still retains its innately macabre quality.
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James Best
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Posted: 20 February 2019 at 12:38am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

THE INCREDIBLES 2 via Netflix.

Glad I didn't pay for a ticket to see this one in the theaters.

And I don't see any repeat viewings in my future either.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 20 February 2019 at 6:22am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR. An absolutely wonderful look at the life of Fred Rogers. I gotta admit, my eyes got a little misty at the end. His pure sincerity towards wanting to help people, specifically children, but adults, too, is very inspiring. Even though he was a Presbyterian minister, he never wanted anyone to be excluded based on religion, race or anything. Modern day Christians could learn a thing or two from him. A remarkable man. 
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
Has been featured interstitially on TCM with an actor in one of the scenes with Marlon Brando saying he couldn't stop watching him. Meh. I also have A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE recorded, but I think I can space these out, so I watched HIGH NOON (1952), which somehow I haven't seen until now.

The host introductions to each of these mentioned that each was a response to the McCarthy hearings; WATERFRONT to justify naming names, and NOON to standing up against threats.   They each tell their story and one doesn't need to look for subtext to understand the film. Having it put in my mind to do so just before watching the movies for the first time is probably not the optimum viewing experience.

This reminds me of a non-plot "spoiler" that ruined ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944) the first time I saw it. I'm warning you: read at your own peril!


 INVISO TEXT (Click or highlight to reveal):
They wanted to cast Bob Hope as the lead, but studio politics gave them Cary Grant, instead. From the first scene to the last, despite the nose, whenever Cary Grant was there, all I could see was Bob Hope!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

First I've heard of Hope in ARSENIC. I have to opposite of your problem: I absolutely cannot imagine him in the role.

Cary Grant had said he hated his performance in this film. Felt he overplayed way too much. I must respectfully disagree. I felt he was right on the money.

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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Have you heard that when he asked how to play BRINGING UP BABY, the reply was, "You've seen Harold Lloyd, haven't you?"? I can see a touch of Lloyd, but only a touch.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 2:26pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).

It's a fun film and the special effects work really well. They get a lot of mileage out of making small everyday items BIG and big everyday items small and it's nice to get a super-hero film that has a fairly smallish scope. Lots of action, lots of back and forth, but the stakes aren't the fate of the world as we know it, but whether Scott gets put back in jail, whether the X-CON small biz runs out of dough, and whether Janet Van Dyne gets lost to the quantum realm for a hundred years. These are still things worth caring about.

What I didn't particularly like was that there was maybe a bit too much back and forth, in terms of this macguffin gets grabbed, then grabbed back, then grabbed by someone else and so on for basically the whole film. The villain was a little meh. While I like Paul Rudd, he isn't much like the guy from the comics... I still don't like what they've done with Hank and Jan, the real Ant-Man and Wasp. In my book, Jan Van Dyne is one of Marvel's big guns, one of their elite female characters. She should have been a full Avenger. Shame to have her shunted to a supporting role.

Very good end teaser; one of the better ones.


Edited by Peter Martin on 21 February 2019 at 2:26pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 February 2019 at 4:34pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

THE FUGITIVE (1993)

As I’ve mentioned before, a skillfully made movie that completely misses the point of the TV series. THE FUGITIVE, despite the title, was not about the chase. It was a stealth anthology series using Richard Kimball’s predicament to walk him into a different “small” story each week. Take out that element, and the drama shifts focus and becomes forced.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 23 February 2019 at 8:16am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

"Cary Grant had said he hated his performance in this film. Felt he overplayed way too much"

...

I can see where he's coming from. If you watch a sampling of just his scenes out of context it may look that way. Within the movie though he's perfect, and I really cannot imagine anyone else in the role.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 February 2019 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

Well... I tried.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 February 2019 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018)

Still basically a fun movie that crashes off the rails toward the end. Manages to climb a little way back before the closing credits, but still a disappointment.

Oh, and the “Baby Moana” scene from the trailer turns out to be buried a few minutes into the credits. So that’s on me for not sitting thru them, as I usually do.

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Steve Coates
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Posted: 26 February 2019 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Not as good as I wanted it to be.
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 26 February 2019 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974)

A copy finally arrived in the mail yesterday. So many big names! 
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