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JohnRice

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Last night's feature:



The film intrigued me when I saw promos for it when it came out (2015!)...and Blake Lively is easy on the eyes. But I wasn't sure about the plausibility of the story and if Peg would end up thinking it was stupid.

But it turned out great. Though quite implausible (and with a fairly predictable ending) the story was interesting enough to keep us engaged throughout. And a great cast didn't hurt. We both enjoyed this film a great deal.
I've come to really appreciate The Age of Adaline. It's essentially a fairy tale, so I'm not fazed by the potential implausibility. It's the consequences of the situation that are intriguing. And it's rather beautifully done.
 

JohnRice

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Tonight: During these troubling times based on a true story the message from this film is hope.



View attachment 73645
I was thinking about Amazing Grace as well yesterday. Sadly overlooked movie. I bought the German BR a while back. The performance of the title song during the closing credits is not to be missed. I'll probably watch it this weekend.
 
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Robin9

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Yesterday I watched the Kino Lorber Blu-ray disc of Time Limit, the only film directed by Karl Malden. It's an interesting movie although some of the acting was simplistic and over-emphatic. I'm intrigued by Dolores Michaels whom I'm used to as a blonde in films like April Love and Warlock. When I saw this brunette playing the secretary, I didn't recognise her!

Time Limit small.jpg


In Warlock she and Richard Widmark teamed up again.
 
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bujaki

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Je t'aime, je t'aime (Kino BD) 1968. First-time viewing in honor of the birthday of Alain Resnais. A man is used in a time experiment. He will go back one year for one minute. The machine malfunctions. He relives many moments of his life in shards of time, some lasting one second, some longer; some are repeated with subtle variations. Is he trying to subtly change the past? Will he be able to recapture the minute that will bring him and the mouse in the machine back? Life is never so simple.
Peckinpah Suite (TCM) 2019. OK documentary, really about a daughter going back to her father's last haunt. Not about her father's work. Beautiful to look at and affecting as a family portrait.
Beach Rats (iTunes HD) 2017. Universally excoriated by the LGBT community here at HTF. So I'll just say that the lead was well played by a newcomer from the UK although he plays a Brooklyn beach rat conflicted about his sexuality.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Criterion BD) 2013. The sexual awakening of a young teen at the hands of a more experienced woman. Graphic sex. It's a beautiful film with conflicting emotions about growing up, love and accepting responsibilities.
 

bujaki

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Identification of a Woman (Criterion BD) 1982. Antonioni's beautifully shot film about a film director in search of woman to star in his next film. Recently divorced, he embarks on 2 very different love affairs.Visually arresting images that underline the themes of disintegrating relationships.
Prompted by @Robert Crawford I found by Randolph Scott TCM Western Box and watched:
The Walking Hills (DVD) 1948. Early John Sturges effort. Randolph Scott and favorite Ella Raines (could have done without the lipstick in the desert scenes) headline this modern "Western" tale of greed and crime. The impressive sandstorm purifies everything.
Coroner's Creek (DVD) 1948. In Cinecolor. A tale of revenge and redemption. Randolph Scott does both admirably. Nice to see Sally Eilers again.
Both films offered good entertainment and were well above average.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Instant Family
Originally Released: 11/16/2018
Watched: 06/06/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

InstantFamily_2018_Poster.jpg


My favorite film of 2018, and among the last of a dying breed of major studio movie: the mid-budget character-driven dramedy. This semi-autobiographical movie from director/co-writer Sean Anders tells the story of one couple's decision to adopt through foster care. It is neither as grim as most movies about foster care, nor saccharine and overly sentimental.

The "instant family" of the title comes when the couple decides to take in smart and outspoken teenager Lizzie, and learns that she comes with two younger siblings. Lizzie, Juan, and Lita are far from the worst case scenario when it comes to growing up first with an addict mother and later being bounced from foster home to foster home. But each of them is traumatized in their own ways. The journey of unpacking and beginning to grapple with that trauma is mirrored by Pete and Ellie's parenthood journey. There isn't a single character in this movie that is without flaws, and most of them do some really unlikable things at one point or another in the movie. But they're all trying their best, and the movie sees that and captures that, and they do all grow and learn from their experiences.

Anders comes from a comedy background, and most of the adult cast comes from a comedy background as well. But you know what they say: comedy is harder than drama, so if you can do comedy you can do anything. I'm not sure that's always true, but it certainly is here. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne are terrific as Pete and Ellie, charting all of the steps along the way from self-absorbed couple to devoted parents. Tig Notaro and Octavia Spencer are a wonderful pairing as Sharon and Karen, the Charters and Caldicott-esque duo of social workers who guide Pete and Ellie through the foster care process. Each has her share of quirks, but they are good at their jobs where it counts. Margo Martindale is phenomenal in a small but crucial role as Pete's mother, who had a rough upbringing and understands what the children are thinking and feeling in ways that Pete and Ellie cannot. Julie Hagerty is gloriously bizarre as Ellie's mom, who is never entirely present.

All three kids deliver what is asked of them, but Isabella Moner (now going by the stage name Isabella Merced) is tasked with the heavy lifting and boy does she deliver. Lizzie has been more of a parent to Juan and Lita than their mother ever was, and has kept them safe through many foster homes. While Lizzie definitely is a rebellious teenager, she is also mature in ways that most of her peers haven't had to be. It introduces an interesting dynamic with Pete and Ellie, because part of them stepping up is her stepping back. We see their progress through her eyes, because her first priority is making sure that her brother and sister are safe. When they get it wrong, she's aware of it. And when they get it right, she's aware of it too. Even when Lizzie isn't the focal point of the scene, Moner is value added because Lizzie's observation of and reaction to what's going on grounds each scene and helps shape the family dynamic.

The humor is blunt and at times shockingly un-PC, but the feelings are earnest and earned. I can't recommend this movie enough.
 

Mike Frezon

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Tonight's feature was 1930's Der Blaue Engel. I chose the German language version of this to watch in Kino-Lorber's 2-disc Blu-ray Ultimate Edition.

Wow! What a film! Although I didn't think there was all much chemistry at all between Dietrich and Jannings, his downward spiral is riveting to watch. And Dietrich is, well...Dietrich. And the visuals on this journey are amazing.

 

Jake Lipson

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Tonight (or, last night, since it's after midnight now):

Top Gun.jpg

Around the time my family first got a DVD player in 2001, we had the original non-anamorphic barebones DVD of Top Gun. It might have come with the player; I don't remember. I remember that I liked it then, but hadn't seen it in years before tonight. I don't know where that DVD is now, and even if I did its quality is outdated now. So I thought the arrival of the new Blu-ray edition would be a good opportunity to reacquaint myself with the film. Before tonight, it had been so long since I saw it that I didn't remember much, except for the songs and a couple moments here and there. My head wasn't completely blank, but this was as close as I could possibly get to watching the film for the first time a second time.

I'm happy to say that I still dug it. Some of the military jargon went over my head, but the key emotional beats of Maverick's journey were easy to invest in because Cruise is so good in the role. The action was awesome, of course, and Tony Scott did a great job directing this. But it's also one of the most '80s things I've ever seen. That's a good thing in this case because it helps give the movie a distinctive flavor, but I couldn't help but think ahead. I'm really curious how they are going to bring this property into 2020 in the sequel. Hopefully it's safe for us to find out around Christmas. In any case, I did get a big laugh out of the text card near the beginning of the film indicating that it is "Present Day." ;)
 
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Matt Hough

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The German version of The Blue Angel is definitely the superior version of the tale. For me, the most remarkable aspect of all of this is the contrast between Dietrich in this movie and Dietrich in her first American film Morocco. You'd hardly know it was the same woman.
 
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Mysto

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Continuing on our Falcon marathon. This one starts with a guy getting bit by a rattlesnake - in a night club - in the the big city. This takes our hero out west. It seems the Falcon can do everything. Not only can he make the ladies swoon (in this case that includes Miss Dela Street herself - Barbara Hale) but can also ride a horse. Is there anything our hero can't do? A quick hour plus change and another fun ride.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I watched a number of things yesterday and this morning, but the one I really enjoyed revisiting was the following. Unfortunately, it still hasn't received a Blu-ray release in Region "A". I have the German BD along with the iTunes HD digital. It's also currently playing on HBO Max which is how I viewed it this morning. Not only a great western, but a very fine movie.

1591535570291.png


One of the best realistic gunfights captured on film:

1591535838290.png
 

bujaki

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Tonight's feature was 1930's Der Blaue Engel. I chose the German language version of this to watch in Kino-Lorber's 2-disc Blu-ray Ultimate Edition.

Wow! What a film! Although I didn't think there was all much chemistry at all between Dietrich and Jannings, his downward spiral is riveting to watch. And Dietrich is, well...Dietrich. And the visuals on this journey are amazing.

The English version, although inferior (as Matt states), is a different film, with different takes, etc. I remember seeing a cut of the film where the last shot is of Dietrich at the cabaret, and not of Janning at his old desk, which changed the whole meaning of the film. Was it the English cut? Could you check the ending of the English version?
 

bujaki

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Life Begins at Eight-Thirty (Fox Cinema Archives DVD) 1942. Old transfer plagued with chroma and other defects. My disc had a defect that made it freeze 4 minutes before the ending (gasp!). However, the film itself, based on an Emlyn Williams play, provides Monty Woolley, Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde and Sara Allgood with meaty roles that don't veer into sentimentality as it examines the alcoholic addiction of an actor. Minor, but worth seeking out if it plays TV.
Rachel and the Stranger (WA BD) 1948. Blessings on G. Feltenstein for his tireless search for better elements on film assetts!. To be able to watch this wonderful film, full length, as it was meant to be seen after all these decades, is indeed miraculous. Just get it and enjoy it, and this is coming from an inveterate Loretta Young non-fan.
City of Angels: Penny Dreadful (Showtime HD) 2020. Those pesky Nazis have their tentacles all over 1938 LA. The forces of evil are manifesting themselves to humans and challenging them. A duel is imminent.
 

Robert Crawford

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Speaking of "The Blue Angel" is there any reason for me to buy any of the Kino Blu-rays if I already have the UK Masters of Cinema 2013 BD release?
 

Mike Frezon

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The English version, although inferior (as Matt states), is a different film, with different takes, etc. I remember seeing a cut of the film where the last shot is of Dietrich at the cabaret, and not of Janning at his old desk, which changed the whole meaning of the film. Was it the English cut? Could you check the ending of the English version?
Checked it our for you, Jose. No. The English cut also ends with Jannings slumped over his desk--his hand clutching the corner. The camera dollies to the back of the classroom taking a wider shot with the school's bell tolling and then a fade to black and the title card which says "The End."

The last time we see Dietrich she is on-stage completing another rendition of "Falling in Love Again" at the cabaret. But the final few minutes of the film are the professor being released from his straitjacket and stumbling back/into the college.
 
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bujaki

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Checked it our for you, Jose. No. The English cut also ends with Jannings slumped over his desk--his hand clutching the corner. The camera dollies to the back of the classroom taking a wider shot with the school's bell tolling and then a fade to black and the title card which says "The End."

The last time we see Dietrich she is on-stage completing another rendition of "Falling in Love Again" at the cabaret. But the final few minutes of the film are the professor being released from his straitjacket and stumbling back/into the college.
Thanks, Mike. One version I saw (big screen) reversed those sequences so that the professor was shown slumped, presumably dead, at his desk; then a cut to Dietrich singing "Falling in Love Again." At the end of the song, she shoots a long, brazen stare directly at the camera before the End title card. This changes the whole tenor of the film and shifts the emphasis to her and away from the professor. It makes it her story and not his. A subtle editorial difference but massive in terms of narrative. I do believe it was an English version that was floating around NY and was probably recut after Dietrich was the bigger star. No one would have dared tamper with the German original.
 

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