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Matt Hough

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Matt Hough
Tonight I stumbled across the colorized version of the Basil Rathbone-Sherlock Holmes movie Terror by Night on YouTube. Though the colorization wasn't as detailed and precise as the more modern process they use now on I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show episodes, I was surprised how un-terrible it was. The print they laid the colors on top of was pretty clean, so that helped, and they used a more pastel palette rather than bright, deeply hued colors. While I'd never choose this as my go-to version of this film to watch, it wasn't the awful experience some older colorized attempts like 42nd Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life were.
 

JohnRice

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Far From Heaven: Todd Haynes' masterful homage to Douglas Sirk is really about the never ending wish for society to be more evolved and tolerant than we are. It's not remotely a coincidence that I decided to watch this now. It's also my first viewing of it with a nice Quantum 4K display.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Lean on Me
Originally Released: 03/03/1989
Watched: 05/29/2020
HDX (1080P) digital streaming on Vudu app, upscaled to 4K via Roku Ultra

LeanOnMe_1989_Poster.jpg


I picked this one up on sale today for $4.99 via Vudu. I feel like I've seen different chunks of it on cable countless times, but I'm not sure I ever sat down and watched it the entire way through until tonight. And of course seeing the movie in high definition in its original aspect ratio beats pan and scan and edited for content/to run in the time allotted handily.

My shorthand memory of Lean on Me was Morgan Freeman as the verbally abusive principal who walks around carrying a bat movie. It would have been easy to make this film a hagiography of Joe Clark. But the problem of failing intercity schools is an intractable one: it was decades old when this film was made, and it's still a problem to varying degrees another thirty years later. If there was a simple, easily-applied solution, the problem would have been solved already.

While the ending of the film overstates Clark's success at improving test scores, one of its great successes is making the film's version of Joe Clark a flawed and three-dimensional person. He returns to Eastside High with a very dogmatic understanding of what the problem is and what needs to be done to tackle it. But Eastside High isn't a limp mound of clay for him to shape as he pleases. It's a community of individuals, who have their own opinions and emotions and ideas. Most of the student body lives in poverty, and many of the students are grappling with other forms of extreme adversity as well.

If the real Joe Clark's strategy was about being a disciplinarian above all else, it's to the movie's credit that the cinematic Joe Clark evolves over the course of the film to take a more holistic view of the community he leads. He learns from his students and he learns from his faculty. He adjusts his strategy to address their concerns. As time goes on, he eases off of being such a tyrant and engages in more give and take.

While the movie gives Clark a win on test scores, it largely avoids sweeping statements and prescriptive solutions for the problems it explores. By the end of the film, the students are still living in poverty and many of them still have harrowing obstacles that make long-term success more difficult. Eastside High is still underfunded and underresourced. The local politics are at best useless and at worst an active detriment. For someone who went an elite prep school for the wealthy, John G. Avildsen spent most of his career making films centered around working class characters. While Clark might judge the people at Eastside High, the movie does not. The mayor is sleazy, the fire chief is racist, and the school board member is needlessly vindictive. But everybody inside Eastside High is observed with empathy; the major enemy is not a person, but larger forces not entirely within anybody's control.
 
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Mysto

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marv long
Tonight I stumbled across the colorized version of the Basil Rathbone-Sherlock Holmes movie Terror by Night on YouTube. Though the colorization wasn't as detailed and precise as the more modern process they use now on I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show episodes, I was surprised how un-terrible it was. The print they laid the colors on top of was pretty clean, so that helped, and they used a more pastel palette rather than bright, deeply hued colors. While I'd never choose this as my go-to version of this film to watch, it wasn't the awful experience some older colorized attempts like 42nd Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life were.
I have tried a few colorized versions of things and I have been un-impressed. I usually find the copies get softer and less defined. I also miss the ambiance of the lovely gray tones. Besides in my mind I see them in color anyway.
The one thing I would like to see colorized is just one Charlie Chan. Just for funsizes but it looks like that will never happen.
 

TJPC

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Terry Carroll
We were looking forward to the new Netflix series “Space Force”. After trying 2 episodes we found it boring and really really unfunny. Steve Karel’s (sp?) character was absolutely irritating.

We switched over to regular cable just at the start of “Niagara”, on TCM. The movie still holds up very well, even in the over the falls sequence. It captured us and held us until 1:00 a.m. I still remembered dialogue like “there is no other song” and “scuttle it”. My wife wanted to kill the newlywed husband who’s reaction to his wife seeing Joseph Cotton when he was supposed to be dead was that she was dreaming and just needed to have some water and take a nap!
 

dana martin

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The one thing I would like to see colorized is just one Charlie Chan. Just for funsizes but it looks like that will never happen.
Marv,

uh, no,,,,,don't even think that, it would spoil the mystery, what i would like to see is 20th Century do another deal with Kino, and these get an HD release ;)
 
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bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Watched 3 shorts directed by Nietzchka Keene (Criterion Channel) before they left at the end of the month. Then,
The Out of Towners (Criterion Channel) 1970. What a misanthropic story! Neil Simon's I Hate New York and I Hate Midwesterners sour Valentine! Sandy Dennis is a nincompoop and Jack Lemmon is a brash, litigious, stubborn, unreasonable jerk who deserves all the horrible things that happen to him. I hope he gets shot at the end when he reaches his destination. Arthur Hiller directed Love Story the same year. The Horror!
Life Is a Bed of Roses (Cohen BD) 1983. Stupid title for the actual translation of the French Life is a Novel. Alain Resnais intertwines 3 tales (with singing, no less!), each commenting on the other. 3 utopian tales, 2 ending in disharmony. A most interesting exploration of education, children, rebirth, fantasy.
Love unto Death (Cohen BD) 1984. A couple in love. The man dies and resurrects. He feels a strange pull towards death. Their best friends are ministers. They themselves are atheists. She promises to follow him were he to die again. Many philosophical discussions follow on the values of life, love and the strength of love/death. Rough print quality.
 
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Matt Hough

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Matt Hough
I had an interesting evening. First I watched Elaine Stritch - At Liberty, the dazzling overview of her eclectic career in theater, film, and television. Easy to see why this won the Unique Theatrical Experience Tony (too bad that category was eliminated since these productions are so out of the ordinary).

Then I watched the Basil Rathbone The Hound of the Baskervilles. Loved it as always, but why oh why didn't Fox think a background music score would aid in the film's suspense quality?
 
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bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
I had an interesting evening. First I watched Elaine Stritch - At Liberty, the dazzling overview of her eclectic career in theater, film, and television. Easy to see why this won the Unique Theatrical Experience Tony (too bad that category was eliminated since these productions are so out of the ordinary).

Then I watched the Bail Rathbone The Hound of the Baskervilles. Loved it as always, but why oh why didn't Fox think a background music score would aid in the film's suspense quality?
I saw the Stritch show live. Unforgettable experience.
 

Mike Frezon

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Rensselaer, NY
Double Feature for me yesterday:



Watched Cold Pursuit by myself. There were some stupid plot moves in this one, but I happily went along for the ride and tried not to think about certain things too hard. I enjoyed it. I especially liked some of the landscape shots of the majestic mountains surrounding the little town set near Denver.

Then, later, Peg and I watched (via VCI's Blu-ray):



While I LOVE Constance Bennett and Roland Young in these films, I felt as if this was already really turning into a one-joke affair by this time. I mean how many times can you see Topper being pushed/pulled by an invisible Miriam in front of astonished onlookers?

I recently purchased this Blu-ray and Topper Returns during Amazon markdowns. I'm now a little hesitant to spin up Topper Returns.
 
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bujaki

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How Sweet It Is! (TCM app) 1968. Had never heard of this one. James Garner and Debbie Reynolds have wholesome sex in 1968! Sometimes grating comedy with occasional highlights (Marcel Dalio's performance, Debbie thrust in jail with the Italian prostitutes and a later scene with all of them in a bordello), but it's just not enough.
Rock Island Trail (iTunes HD) 1950. A Republic Trucolor tale of railroad expansion and the feud between the stagecoach and the steamship lines. A real court case of the the railroad vs. the steamship line was won by none other than Honest Abe. Climactic Indian attack brings the tale to a close. Forrest Tucker is the stalwart hero who loves Adele Mara. Lorna Gray, the Indian princess who loves Tucker, is a far more interesting character and is more alluring. She meets you know what kind of fate. A good B film.
City of Angels: Penny Dreadful (Showtime HD) 2020. Ep. 6. A Nazi surfs reminding me of the film Nazi Surfers Must Die. Sister Molly sings a soulful rendition of Gershwin's But Not for Me.
Mélo (Arrow Academy BD) 1986. My 3rd Resnais film in two nights, all new to me. The title is short for melodrama and is based on a '20s French play, staged much like a play but with a camera that engages that subtly belies the stage origins as it moves around the characters' spaces and relationships. A tale of truths, lies, betrayals, life and death, told in heightened style (melodrama), anchored by feverish performances.
 

Robert Crawford

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How Sweet It Is! (TCM app) 1968. Had never heard of this one. James Garner and Debbie Reynolds have wholesome sex in 1968! Sometimes grating comedy with occasional highlights (Marcel Dalio's performance, Debbie thrust in jail with the Italian prostitutes and a later scene with all of them in a bordello), but it's just not enough.
Rock Island Trail (iTunes HD) 1950. A Republic Trucolor tale of railroad expansion and the feud between the stagecoach and the steamship lines. A real court case of the the railroad vs. the steamship line was won by none other than Honest Abe. Climactic Indian attack brings the tale to a close. Forrest Tucker is the stalwart hero who loves Adele Mara. Lorna Gray, the Indian princess who loves Tucker, is a far more interesting character and is more alluring. She meets you know what kind of fate. A good B film.
City of Angels: Penny Dreadful (Showtime HD) 2020. Ep. 6. A Nazi surfs reminding me of the film Nazi Surfers Must Die. Sister Molly sings a soulful rendition of Gershwin's But Not for Me.
Mélo (Arrow Academy BD) 1986. My 3rd Resnais film in two nights, all new to me. The title is short for melodrama and is based on a '20s French play, staged much like a play but with a camera that engages that subtly belies the stage origins as it moves around the characters' spaces and relationships. A tale of truths, lies, betrayals, life and death, told in heightened style (melodrama), anchored by feverish performances.
I bought "Rock Island Trail" too and looking forward to watching it for the first time.
 

DFurr

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SoCal
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Don
With every film I add to my collection, I make it a point to screen it twice in the first month after I receive it. We re-screened "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" last night. The first time we watched it there was a problem with the SDDS track (the only digital track on the print) so that needed to be checked again. Unfortunately the problem persist. Only other choices are Dolby A or Dolby SR.....I elected SR. A side note: the only reason the movie didn't receive a NC-17 is because the director agreed to use green blood instead of red!! I'm guessing that's a true story but I can't swear to it. It's a pretty rough flick!!
 
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