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 Posted:   Jul 17, 2020 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Worse than that in true Hollywood style we can't have a sci fi film where a female isn't the commander of the mission.


This is solium's idea of women in space:



I was thinking more along these lines...


 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2020 - 2:10 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure (2004) ... 4-/10

No, it's not good and it's a cheap production populated with mostly unknown actors, limited sets, limited action and weak dialogue ... all wrapped up in a story which is almost puerile.

But there is something about it which makes it just worthwhile though I acknowledge that it is my love of the MB franchise which has me adding at least one point to my rating. I've just started re-reading the first novel (1965) so gave this DVD recording a second viewing. Taking a thread from the novel's opening pages, that MB worked in a casino in Tangiers having been recruited by (kindly) M. Henri Louche, this film's story has her outwitting the gangsters who have come to rob the place, having murdered the owner.

Much of the running time is MB's back-story with the novel's WWII DP camps replaced by more recent conflicts in the Balkans. Her guardian during these early days is Professor Lob (I think his character has to await a later novel), nicely played here by Fred Pearson, and she has assistance from Raymond Cruz, sadly under-used. Bad guy Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a little too nice for his role but it was good to see him interact with our heroine.

As for Alexandra Staden as our titular character ... I thought she was pretty good and certainly better casting than her film counterpart: Monica Vitti in the colourful 1966 romp.

It's a shame this idea for a new franchise went nowhere as it would have been fun seeing the series' characters, such as Willie Garvin and Tarrant, introduced.

Music score by Deborah Lurie was mostly good and much better than expected for such a production.
Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2020 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)

Town without Pity. 1961. 8/10.

The cast were great pretty moody, prosecutor E G Marshall class actor he is, however noone was on Douglas's level in this movie.

Kirk's character was well-balanced - looking close at his case he was sneakier than Columbo his distinctive inklings were tight-lipped he barely cross-examined anyone in court till he built Rome.

Douglas pretty much knew the town had some dictatorship that were either sleeping at the wheel or in self-denial, how Douglas broke up that entity was really cool his emotions for most films are superb high & low but here there was a tiny-bit more of sympathy, funny enough too the family he was against in court.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2020 - 11:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

CHECK YOUR GUNS (1948) - 6/10

This is what's known in the business as a "law and order" western. While most westerns have their good guys and bad guys, a "law and order" western usually involves a lawman or hired gun coming in to clean up a wide open town or tracking down some murderous band. It differs from the "revenge" western in that the hero is not some wronged man or drifting stranger, but actually carries the mantle of authority. HIGH NOON, WARLOCK, Wyatt Earp films, and LAWMAN would be examples of "law and order" westerns. Ronald Reagan played a marshal in a 1953 western actually called LAW AND ORDER.

In this film, Eddie Dean rides into the town of Red Gap, Colorado and learns that the town is ruled by a gang of outlaws led by saloon owner "Brad Taggart" (I. Stanford Jolley). Taggart's control of the town extends to "Judge Hammond" (William Fawcett), who acquitted gang member "Slim" (Lane Bradford) after he killed Eddie's friend, Jack Jordan, in an attempt to take over Jordan's Lazy-J Ranch. When the town sheriff is killed by another of Taggart's men, Eddie captures him and turns him over to Deputy "Soapy Jones" (Roscoe Ates), who immediately appoints Eddie acting sheriff. Dean's first act is to post an order requiring everyone to "Check Your Guns" at the sheriff's office when entering town. Of course you know that this isn't going to sit well with Taggart and his men--so much so that Taggart hires two gunslingers from out of town to kill Eddie. Can Sheriff Eddie Dean bring law and order to Red Gap?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 12:16 AM   
 By:   Xebec   (Member)

Crazy Rich Asians
3/10

 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 2:06 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Quiller Memorandum (1966) ...8++/10

Multiple viewings have not diminished my enjoyment of this classic spy thriller set in cold-war Berlin. I first saw it as a teenager, one Sunday evening, and raved about it next day at school ... that led me to buying the novel and I've been a fan of the works of Adam Hall (a.k.a. Elleston Trevor, et al.) ever since.

Maybe, if I'd read the novel first I'd have been disappointed as the script leaves a significant portion of its source behind, almost too much, and we're left with a thin plot populated by excellent actors who are civil to each other for most of the running time. But this concentration on the characters pays dividends and we have an absorbing 100 minutes where not everything is straightforward.

I often criticse films where so much of the plot has to be assumed and perhaps this applies here; I'm willing to forgive this time because everything works so wonderfully well. Unlike others, I like George Segal as the titular hero, Alec Guiness is wonderful as his Control (not actually his boss), and Max von Sydow is perfect as the bad guy - his knuckle-cracking scene whilst Quiller is struggling to overcome drugs is brilliant.

And then we have the lovely Senta Berger as the love interest though her role requires her to be much more - an excellent performance.

Berlin location photography and period cars add to the atmosphere; and then there's the music score. For a while I considered his theme Wednesday's Child to be my favourite melody from my favourite composer. It still ranks in the top 10 and this score, sparse perhaps, is - as always - note perfect. If only today's fimmakers and composers would review such scoring ... It's a shame that Matt Monro's emotional vocal rendition of the song is relegated to a diegetic portable radio performance but then, I wouldn't have wanted either the Main or End Titles replaced. John Barry's score adds immeasurably to the viewing enjoyment.

I'm already looking forward to watching it again.
Mitch

 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Grimsby 6/10 Starring Sacha Baron Cohan and Mark Strong. A sort of cross between Shameless and James Bond. Quite crude in places, nevertheless quite funny. Fast paced, only about 1h 20m so it never drags.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Spartacus (not the new 4K release) It's a great epic & the Blu-ray looks stunning, but the film isn't quite perfect, it has a couple of faults. I don't know what Tony Curtis' Antoninus is doing in this film, the character is an embarrassment, & the romance between Spartacus & Varinia is a bit too much like Mills & Boon for me (maybe I'm just too cynical), but Kirk Douglas is fantastic. I don't think there's a actor with his power & charisma working in cinema today. Peter Ustinov & Charles Laughton are great, especially in their scenes together, & Laurence Olivier's scenes have real steel to them...& of course Jean Simmons is just lovely...& then there's that score!

…& being really picky (downright anal). The whistle they use in the gladiator school is the kind with the pea in (you can hear it, it's the sound you get at football matches), but...they didn't put the pea in until 1884, & it was only a few years before that they invented the modern whistle (it would have been some kind of pipe affair in ancient Rome).

 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 8:25 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)



…& being really picky (downright anal). The whistle they use in the gladiator school is the kind with the pea in (you can hear it, it's the sound you get at football matches), but...they didn't put the pea in until 1884, & it was only a few years before that they invented the modern whistle (it would have been some kind of pipe affair in ancient Rome).


Maybe they used a dead gladiator's testicle instead ?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

…& being really picky (downright anal). The whistle they use in the gladiator school is the kind with the pea in (you can hear it, it's the sound you get at football matches), but...they didn't put the pea in until 1884, & it was only a few years before that they invented the modern whistle (it would have been some kind of pipe affair in ancient Rome).


Maybe they used a dead gladiator's testicle instead ?

Maybe, but not from Spartacus, it would have been too big...massive cojones there. smile

 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

…& being really picky (downright anal). The whistle they use in the gladiator school is the kind with the pea in (you can hear it, it's the sound you get at football matches), but...they didn't put the pea in until 1884, & it was only a few years before that they invented the modern whistle (it would have been some kind of pipe affair in ancient Rome).


Maybe they used a dead gladiator's testicle instead ?

Maybe, but not from Spartacus, it would have been too big...massive cojones there. smile


Correct. Dead gladiator= shit gladiator= small testicles. So I'm led to believe. I think it was Virgil or Ovid who first used the phrase.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 3:03 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

The Blue Max (Blu-ray). Very good WW1 flying film, the only trouble is that the (anti) hero (George Peppard) is not very likeable.

 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

I think that made it a more interesting film coz the lead was brutally ambitious and mostly obnoxious
Great score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 19, 2020 - 9:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The Gershwins' PORGY AND BESS (2020) - 8/10

Up till now, my only exposure to PORGY AND BESS was watching the 1959 Samuel Goldwyn/Otto Preminger film on its ABC network television airing in 1967, and listening to the soundtrack album a few times. The rights to the film reverted to the Gershwin estate in 1972 and it has rarely been seen in the last 50 years. The film had converted the opera into a straight musical by turning all the sung-through dialogue into standard spoken dialogue. And both Sidney Poitier as "Porgy" and Dorothy Dandridge as "Bess" were dubbed for their songs by Robert McFerrin and Adele Addison, respectively. But Brock Peters ("Crown") and Sammy Davis, Jr. ("Sportin' Life") did their own singing.

This production, mounted by the Metropolitan Opera of New York, naturally uses the full sung libretto. It stars Eric Owens as Porgy and Angel Blue as Bess. It was broadcast live in theaters by Fathom Events on February 1st of this year, and taped for three encore Fathom showings. And last week it was shown on many PBS stations as part of their Great Performances series. Although I know the words to many of the songs, others were more unfamiliar. When you add that to the sung-though dialogue, and the black vernacular used by Gershwin throughout, it was good that English subtitles were provided for the showing.

The whole production takes place on a single stage set, which occasionally rotates to emphasize one portion or another of it from time to time. The camera set-ups are fairly basic, with mostly long and medium shots, with few closeups. But they get the job done, and certainly present a better view of the proceedings than most audience members at the actual performance get. All of the acting performances are fine. But musically, the singers on the 1959 film are more intelligible for non-opera buffs (no subtitles for any songs are needed there). Plus, when it comes to the score, I have to give the nod to the 1959 film again, with Andre Previn conducting, Ken Darby handling the choral passages, and an orchestrating team headed by Alexander Courage and Conrad Salinger.

So, while the film soundtrack and perhaps some studio recordings may be superior aurally, this is a worthy production that gives us the best visual mounting of the show that we'll probably see in our lifetimes.

 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   Damian   (Member)

Letters to Juliet 7/10 starring Amanda Seyfreid, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero ( mum was happy again). A nice little film, with a certain charm. I knew her name but not the face ( quite pretty too ) and don't think I've seen her in anything else. She played her part well against the two titans. Also lovely scenery, Tuscany, I think.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 8:19 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

MIRAGE (1965) 8/10

Clever neo-noir thriller starring Gregory Peck, Diane Baker and Walter Matthau. Peck is suffering from amnesia (sound familar?). Rookie private eye Matthau tries to help him unravel the mystery. Baker keeps showing up as a woman from his past, but she offers few clues because she wants to "protect" him. The script by Peter Stone (Charade, Arabesque, Taking of Pelham 1,2,3) keeps you guessing. Quincy Jones' score is excellent.

 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

MIRAGE (1965) 8/10

Clever neo-noir thriller starring Gregory Peck, Diane Baker and Walter Matthau. Peck is suffering from amnesia (sound familar?). Rookie private eye Matthau tries to help him unravel the mystery. Baker keeps showing up as a woman from his past, but she offers few clues because she wants to "protect" him. The script by Peter Stone (Charade, Arabesque, Taking of Pelham 1,2,3) keeps you guessing. Quincy Jones' score is excellent.


Watched this recently. The film also looks great and Peck makes a fantastic hero. 8/10

 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The Greatest Showman- 1-5

Ugh, that was cringe worthy. There's so much wrong with this film. The characterization, messaging and drama were overly simplistic.The morality was questionable. The history, a wretched twist on reality. The singing was so fake. By that I mean obviously dubbed. Why can't they do realistic dubs like Sound of Music, West Side Story, even something as current as Grease or FAME anymore?

Apparently all they do at the circus is song and dance numbers. I thought they performed stunts and did acts. Where were the circus animals? Speaking of the songs they're generic and forgettable. They had a few outcasts known as freaks, (like the bearded lady) but most were just everyday freaks, not circus material freaks.

I gave it one star because I enjoyed Hugh Jackman's lively performance and enthusiasm in the film. To bad the rest of it was awful.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 10:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The Greatest Showman- 1-5

Ugh, that was cringe worthy. There's so much wrong with this film. The characterization, messaging and drama were overly simplistic.The morality was questionable. The history, a wretched twist on reality. The singing was so fake. By that I mean obviously dubbed. Why can't they do realistic dubs like Sound of Music, West Side Story, even something as current as Grease or FAME anymore?

Apparently all they do at the circus is song and dance numbers. I thought they performed stunts and did acts. Where were the circus animals? Speaking of the songs they're generic and forgettable. They had a few outcasts known as freaks, (like the bearded lady) but most were just everyday freaks, not circus material freaks.

I gave it one star because I enjoyed Hugh Jackman's lively performance and enthusiasm in the film. To bad the rest of it was awful.



By "obviously dubbed," do you mean that someone else did the singing for the actors, or that the actors badly lip-synced to their own pre-records?

So, to summarize, a fanciful musical entertainment was bad because it was not historically accurate, didn't spend enough screen time on non-musical events, and didn't have enough human deformity on display.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 20, 2020 - 10:31 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE FIGHTING VIGILANTES (1947) - 6/10

Lash La Rue is back, in the person of Marshal "Cheyenne Davis." "Price Taylor," (George Chesbro), who runs the town's only trading post, is bankrupting the town with the high prices he charges. He says this is because he is struggling to get supplies into the town due to his wagons constantly be robbed by unknown bandits. Cheyenne finds out that the bandits are actually vigilante's robbing from Taylor to provide food to those who can't afford Taylor's prices. They're doing this because Taylor has killed or run off anyone who has dared to start a competing store. It's up to Lash and Fuzzy to set things right.

 
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