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 Posted:   Nov 25, 2023 - 6:49 PM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Secretariat: 3-5

Another competently made feel good sports movie. But I had a lot of issues with the script. The protagonist was unsympathetic and learns nothing along the way. She's just obsessed with winning at all costs including at the expense of her family and the horse. The jockey she chooses was a guy who ran another horse so hard his heart exploded. So why should I care for him. The racing scenes aren't very interesting and even the horse really doesn't have to overcome anything. He loses one race because of a toothache. There's a pointless subplot about her hippie daughter protesting the Vietnam war. Of course the protagonists opponent is presented as a sexist blowhard. There's little suspense or sense anyone had to overcome any real obstacles.

 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2023 - 1:57 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I haven't seen The Left Hand Of God for many years, I remember enjoying it, but Humphrey Bogart looks far too old for the roll, Lee J. Cobb as the Chinese Warlord is just bonkers. Gene Tierney suffered from manic depression & was ill during filming (she looks really fragile), she later had electro conversion therapy against her will. Great score by Victor Young, I have the Varese CD of it somewhere (I haven't listened to that for years either).

I remember quite enjoying Tombstone the last time I saw it (Val Kilmer is great in it), I've tried to watch Wyatt Earp a few times, but I've never finished it, I got bored.


Thanks for the background ... I know very little about Ms. Tierney but was surprised that the star of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir of near 10 years prior had such a second-rate role. I think I'm glad I hadn't known. But, yes, Bogart is too old for his role ... but that's Hollywood (a.k.a. the film industry) smile

As for the comparison between Tombstone and Wyatt Earp, I'm with Indy1981 ... the latter - later - film is somewhat better, albeit overlong and drawn-out. There are more reasons for my judgement but simply: I can happily watch and accept Kevin Costner in the role as opposed to Kurt Russell.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2023 - 2:16 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

I'm in the TOMBSTONE camp.
It's leaner, meaner, more gritty and involving.
Kilmer shines as Doc and I prefer all the actors compared to the Wyatt ones.
Although I do enjoy most of the JNH score for WYATT, the Broughton one is also superior to me.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2023 - 4:20 AM   
 By:   Indy1981   (Member)

I have always enjoyed Kevin Costner's James Stewart, Henry Fonda-like film persona, I have also been a lifelong admirer of Kurt Russell, who is so wonderful in Tombstone. There is a "connectability" that both performers have that I admire. Both men are a positive throwback to the film stars of long ago.

Kilmer, an actor that I wish had better fulfilled his potential, made for a fine Doc Holliday, but Dennis Quaid imo "went tubercular" in his hugely underrated performance as Doc. The role is "showy" for any actor. Everyone from Kirk Douglas onward did a fine job with their take on the role.

Along with Kurt Russell, Powers Boothe is the best thing about Tombstone. I never cared much for Broughton's score, or for Broughton as a composer in general.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2023 - 4:26 AM   
 By:   Indy1981   (Member)

I haven't seen The Left Hand Of God for many years.

"My right hand hasn't seen my left hand in thirty years."

~God (after J.J. Hunsecker)

 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2023 - 6:39 PM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

High Crimes: 3.5-5

An average crime/drama/thriller ruined by a ridiculous "twist" ending. The climax makes the first two thirds of the film pointless. You know you're in trouble when the film "ends" to early and the writers are going to pull the rug from underneath you.
Judd is a fine actress and I enjoyed her performance for the most part. Freeman was a waste and I get the feeling he was brought on board simply to have a "big name" star on the movie poster.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2023 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Wow, I have never heard of anyone that did not at least 'like' Broughton, even if you you did not collect his scores.

His music is pretty easy to listen to, tuneful and well made, and he is apparently a pretty darn nice fella besides.

 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2023 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Heart of Stone
Gal Gadot. Wanna know how shit n silly n cringey a female Bond would be? Watch this tosh.

 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2023 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Heart of Stone
Gal Gadot. Wanna know...


Bill, you should have read my review (18 Aug) ... 3-/10 ... there was some nice scenery!

 
 Posted:   Nov 27, 2023 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Yes Senegalese desert and Iceland looked impressive colours. But if "good scenery" is the only positive, then we've scraped the barrel, drained it out, and looked underneath it.

 
 Posted:   Nov 28, 2023 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) ... 5/10

Robert Mitchum makes this film but one of the film's major faults is the lack of screen time Mitchum has. We see an initial bank robbery in slow, methodical detail and we have an inkling that Coyle/Mitchum is involved only he isn't part of the gang. We see long sequences in which some unknown character is able to source handguns and machine guns but, again, Coyle/Mitchum is not involved.

This was the era of realism where half of the dialogue is only partly audible and half of what we do hear is meaningless. Dillon/Peter Boyle is one of the friends but almost everything he says is allegorical ... or from a another film script. Richard Jordan's role as the cop trying to bring the gangsters to account listens to Dillon/Boyle as though he's hearing something relevant, nodding wisely, and applies pressure to Coyle/Mitchum with blackmail.

All good performances but the muddy storyline (do we find out who gave the gang away to the cop ... and how did the snitch know the target; does the cop know that Coyle is sourcing the guns?), the lack of cohesion and the depressing surroundings made the film a challenge.

And Dave Grusin's muzak added nothing ... I can hardly believe he wrote the wonderful score to Mitchum's The Yakuza (also starring Richard Jordan) only a year later.

 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2023 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Empire of the Ants 0-5

Starring Joan Collins and Robert Lansing who interesting enough both guest starred on Star Trek! The film is absolute garbage. It's not even a good "B" movie. Not even a "its so bad, its good" kinda film. Boring characters, awful editing, cheap special effects. It has one of the weirdest plot twists Ive ever seen in a film. I'm a hard critic but a score of zero from me is saying something!


Kingdom of the Spiders 2-5

Starring William Shatner also of Star Trek! (of course) This film isn't very good but its competently filmed. Starts out pretty awful but builds some steam. There's some scary moments with real creepy crawlers and the death scenes look pretty cool.


I saw Empire when it was on tv and I loved it as a kid lol. But it is an awful movie indeed. Kingdom however is better than it should be and yes the death scenes are well done and the film has a good quality tone about it. Not bad at all.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 29, 2023 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

DREAM SCENARIO (2023) – 8/10

“Paul Matthews” (Nicholas Cage) is an everyday family man whose life is turned upside down when he begins turning up in other people’s dreams. First it is his family, which is not particularly unusual. But when total strangers begin recognizing him from their dreams, it becomes clear that something unusual is happening. Paul becomes an instant celebrity through social media, and traditional media outlets also take notice, hounding Paul for interviews. With Paul basking in all this attention, things suddenly take a nightmarish turn.

Norwegian writer-director Kristoffer Borgli has crafted a funny film with an underlying serious point about today’s social media culture and its ability to quickly enhance or destroy lives. Nicholas Cage gives a fine comic performance as a man whipsawed by a public that sees him first in one light and then another. And since he has no control over how (and when) he appears to others, there is little that he can do to change public opinion.

Despite favorable reviews, DREAM SCENARIO has grossed just $2.5 million worldwide after three weeks of release.

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2023 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Beyond the Curtain (1960) ... 5-/10

A cheap British production (filmed entirely in the UK with some location shots to set the scene) it holds an interest for me: East ~ West Berlin before the Wall ... a common thread in numerous spy novels. But it's taken me a long time to watch this recording because when I first tried I couldn't get past the opening scene: leads Richard Greene and Eva Bartok enjoying a romantic evening as, for me, Greene was Robin Hood ... taking me back 50-60 years (TV re-runs).

I'm glad I gave it another go because it is entertaining and Greene is very good as the hero who risks all to rescue his lady ... except his character is never at great risk and he plays the role as if he's Bulldog Drummond instead of a civilian pilot. Eva Bartok is lovely and allows her character to show divided loyalties, whilst Marius Goring leaves us unsure as to whether he is the bad guy or being manipulated.

The outside settings looked authentic and there is a good build-up of tension for the final act. But much of the story is wafer-thin, e.g. Kyle/Greene just happens to become involved with the character the authorities are hunting who is supposedly dead. And a very helpful lady works in the hotel where the hero is staying, etc.

A nice theme and diegetic restaurant music by Kenneth Pakeman help things along but if you watch the opening credits you may notice the same 15-20 second scene of cars driving away from the Brandenburg Gate on loop (3 times, I think). As I wrote: cheap!

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2023 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Viscount Bark   (Member)

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) ... 5/10

Robert Mitchum makes this film but one of the film's major faults is the lack of screen time Mitchum has. We see an initial bank robbery in slow, methodical detail and we have an inkling that Coyle/Mitchum is involved only he isn't part of the gang. We see long sequences in which some unknown character is able to source handguns and machine guns but, again, Coyle/Mitchum is not involved.

This was the era of realism where half of the dialogue is only partly audible and half of what we do hear is meaningless. Dillon/Peter Boyle is one of the friends but almost everything he says is allegorical ... or from a another film script. Richard Jordan's role as the cop trying to bring the gangsters to account listens to Dillon/Boyle as though he's hearing something relevant, nodding wisely, and applies pressure to Coyle/Mitchum with blackmail.

All good performances but the muddy storyline (do we find out who gave the gang away to the cop ... and how did the snitch know the target; does the cop know that Coyle is sourcing the guns?), the lack of cohesion and the depressing surroundings made the film a challenge.

And Dave Grusin's muzak added nothing ... I can hardly believe he wrote the wonderful score to Mitchum's The Yakuza (also starring Richard Jordan) only a year later.


Come on now. Steven Keats' bumbling Jackie Brown who nevertheless thinks he's so cool is worth 10/10 alone. And Jordan's classic "April fools, motherf'ers." wink

 
 Posted:   Nov 30, 2023 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Viscount Bark   (Member)

MARLOWE (2022)

Have you ever heard or read the expression "This movie is so beautiful that every shot in it could be hung on a wall as a work of art"? I don't think that's much of a compliment. Nice-looking cinematography and production design is always great, but a film needs to be a lot more than that. They're called movies after all, not "still shots."

Marlowe, a Philip Marlowe yarn, based not on an original Raymond Chandler, but a more recent novel by Benjamin Black (which I have not read, and for all I know is a good pastiche of Chandler's style), is a very handsome-looking movie. But, boy, is it uninvolving and talky. It wants to be Chinatown or The Big Sleep, but it lacks the immediate, compelling aspects that made those past private eye films classics. The locations and sets and the overall look is so atmospheric that I kept wanting this movie to come alive, but it never did.

Liam Neeson is the Marlowe iteration this round; certainly no more unorthodox than Elliot Gould's early 1970s take in The Long Goodbye (another compelling, clever classic), but Neeson proves to be a bore - and makes Robert Mitchum's older Marlowe (more in the excellent 1975 Farewell, My Lovely than his weird London-set The Big Sleep) seem like a young sport. You've heard the snark "he sleepwalks through his performance"? That's Neeson.

Jessica Lange and Diane Kruger match up visually well as a shady mother and daughter double act, but their marcelled blonde wigs and painted faces do them no favors. More femmes null than femmes fatale.

I normally dislike Alan Cumming, but he livens things up as crime kingpin with an eccentric performance. I also like Colm Meaney as police inspector Bernie Ohls, looking remarkably like Regis Toomey, who played Bernie in the 1946 Big Sleep opposite Bogey.

If I view Marlowe again, it will be only to flip through the good-looking shots and scenes. Most of them good enough to be hung on a wall. Too bad the movie part is so disappointing.

4/10

 
 Posted:   Dec 1, 2023 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

The Menu (2022)

One of those "dark comedies" about eating the rich that isn't especially witty or clever. But I like Ralph Fiennes enough that I won't rate it a 5.

6/10

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2023 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Rebirth of Mothra 3- 2-5

While generally geared towards kids the first two films in the series had its moments any Kaiju fan could enjoy. It had some decent creature designs, superb model work and flashy animated special effects aided by a lyrical symphonic score. It seems they ran out of money and time by the third film or just didn't care at this point. Because this is a truly cringe worthy film. The plot makes no sense, the creature effects are really weak as are the shoddy blue screen matting. The depiction of dinosaurs are ridiculously hilarious looking. Way below even Japanese standards. All in all odd, as the film started out pretty strong and appeared to be more dramatically sound.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2023 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Pulp (1972) ... 3/10

At the outset this film had such potential ... it was amusing, intriguing and well-played. As it progressed the fun disappeared (the style and jokes became repetitive), any intrigue was replaced by bewilderment and the acting was so overdone it passed the stage where it could benefit from being so bad it's quite good.

Michael Caine wanders through each scene with his overlaid dialogue providing much more entertainment than his screen presence and by the end all references to the classic Humphrey Bogart private-investigator image have been replaced by a throw-away line about a falcon (the story being set in Malta).

Happily Mickey Rooney is not on screen for too long but it's his presence which signifies the initial fun is over; Lionel Stander is simply annoying ... had his involvement been limited to the initial meeting the film would have benefitted. Dennis Price is simply an embarrassment and leading ladies Lizabeth Scott and Nadia Cassini add very little.

I saw the film on its release and was very disappointed (I was a Michael Caine fan); I think I saw a TV broadcast many years ago but recalled little of the action. I hope I won't forget not to watch it again.

George Martin's score proved that for all his considerable talent, film scoring wasn't his forte.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2023 - 3:02 PM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Godzilla Minus One 4-5

So close yet so far. Still haven't gotten the ultimate Godzilla film since the original.
But it was a solid entertaining film despite some flaws.

 
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