Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Matt Hough

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I had watched it on Noir Alley the first time, too, but I gladly watched it again since I don't own a copy of the movie and enjoyed it very much the first time. Eddie, as always, sells the movie like no other.
 

AnthonyClarke

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My mother used to often talk about the 'flu outbreak of 1919 .. and how so many rural towns in Victoria Australia were in lock-down in those days. She was around 16 at the time. And it was a tough time. Her two favourite brothers (uncles I of course never met) were killed in the trenches around 1961-17, and her sister died in her sleep, found in the morning of what would have been her 21st birthday. She died of complications from an earlier bout of rheumatic fever. Life is tough right now .. far tougher then.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Today on the TCM channel, I watched "One Way Passage" (1932) starring William Powell and Kay Francis. It's the story of two people that meet on a ocean liner bound from Hong Kong to San Francisco. Both of them have deep secrets, but they fall in love despite those secrets. I always liked this pre-code movie, but it's been a while since my last viewing which was probably when the DVD came out ten years ago. People tend to forget that before Myrna Loy, Powell was often teamed with Francis and they did several movies together. Their pairing doesn't have the same comfort nor chemistry that Powell/Loy had, but Francis worked well with Powell. It's funny how her acting career petered out in the 1940's, as I always thought she was a fine actress with attractive features. Box office poison? Perhaps, but I'm sure her height didn't help either nor her feud with Warner.


 
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Walter Kittel

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Spenser Confidential, based on that artwork, looks like the sort of vicarious distraction that I could use after watching the news for the past hour. Mostly kidding, but not completely.

- Walter.
 

Walter Kittel

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So I just finished watching Spenser Confidential and that was a mildly diverting two hours. Nothing terribly original about it, but I did enjoy the characterizations and some of the off beat humor. The Boston-centric soundtrack helped set the atmosphere, just a bit.

In terms of the actors, they all kind of felt like one-note characters; but for something like this feature they were serviceable. Mark Wahlberg can play that sort of character in his sleep. I do wish that Alan Arkin had a little bit more screen time as his scenes were pretty amusing. Iliza Shlesinger's character had quite the mouth on her. Winston Duke's character sort of felt like he was modeled after Quinton Jackson's B.A. Baracus combining physicality with a touch of eccentricity.

I didn't make the connection to the Robert B. Parker novels until the character of Hawk was introduced. Mildly entertaining is just about right. Worth a look if (like me) you are looking for some diversionary entertainment.

- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

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Walter,

I did enjoy the humor and I liked the main actors involved so my film opinion is probably a little higher because of those three guys.
 

Walter Kittel

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Robert - I think our experiences with the film are reasonably similar, but 'little higher' is certainly in the realm of possibility. :)

I should have mentioned Bokeem Woodbine in my last post; an actor whom I pretty much always enjoy. He played well against Wahlberg in this feature. I am not that familiar with Winston Duke's career, although I had previously seen him in Person of Interest in a very different sort of role.

- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

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This morning I bought from Vudu, the HD Digital for $6.99 "The Desperadoes" (1943) starring Glenn Ford, Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Evelyn Keyes and Edgar Buchanan. It's been several years since I last watched my DVD of this fine western. I always got a chuckle watching this western because Edgar Buchanan was so funny in it. There's plenty of action and humor throughout this "Technicolor" movie directed by Charles Vidor. The basic plot is about an outlaw trying to go straight after meeting a woman he falls in love with while encountering some old friends from home. The HD Digital isn't pristine, but it's an improvement over the DVD presentation. It's also a MoviesAnywhere title that I watched on iTunes. A good movie!


 

Robert Crawford

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Mike Clark's review of "Murder, He Says". I agree with him about the Paramount comedies from that film era. Also, I wish he would talk more about the Blu-ray presentation. My Amazon order might be delayed as they sent me an email last night saying that's a possibility due to the Covid-19 crisis.
 

Robert Crawford

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Anybody see this film "Once a Thief" (1950)? It sounds interesting and it's too bad the movie never had a disc release or been on video tape here in the States.

 

Bert Greene

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I didn't think "Once a Thief" (1950) was too well-regarded, but I recall liking it a fair bit, mainly for its atmosphere. It was nothing terribly special, but it was considerably more enjoyable than I'd been led to expect. Can't recall it well enough to really go into any particulars, though.
 

bujaki

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I didn't think "Once a Thief" (1950) was too well-regarded, but I recall liking it a fair bit, mainly for its atmosphere. It was nothing terribly special, but it was considerably more enjoyable than I'd been led to expect. Can't recall it well enough to really go into any particulars, though.
The director was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for this film. He must have done something right!
 
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Robert Crawford

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The director was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for this film. He must have done something right!
He was Billy Wilder's older brother.
 
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Bert Greene

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Well, Maltin's book gave "Once a Thief" only a two-star rating, and the write-up in Ronald Bergen's "The United Artists Story" referred to it as rotten and tawdry. Added to this, the premise of the film didn't sound too hot. So, when I finally got around to watching the film, I sure wasn't expecting much, and to my surprise, I sorta enjoyed it. Wasn't too bad at all. A fun cast probably helped.
 

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