What's on your Daily Viewing List?

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,813
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
1594485701472.png

This time out, the "International" cut of the film. The set I own has 5 cuts of the film.

1594485806599.png

The Extended Edition. The first half hour still looks like a video game and it seems to take far too long to start moving. The next two are on tap for later today. I still enjoy the series in spite of being able to read the book in less time than it takes to watch the trilogy.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,639
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Thursday:
The Bat (TCM app) 1959. The venerable chestnut in a decent print in its proper OAR. Biroc's cinematography is occasionally effective, but the whole thing looks undernourished. Agnes Moorehead and Vincent Price look like they're having fun. I've seen 3 iterations of the story. The one to best is still the 1930 Grandeur version starring Chester Morris.
The Falcon Out West (TCM app) 1944.
The Falcon in Danger (TCM app) 1943.
B fun. Trying to finish up the series. One for Friday and the first one I'll watch next time it plays.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,639
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Friday:
Sally, Irene and Mary (stream) 1925. MGM drama of showgirls Constance Bennett, Joan Crawford (unrecognizable) and Sally O'Neill. William Haines as the working man love interest. Crawford does the Charleston. Bennett dons beautiful gowns by Erté and lives in a beautiful apartment decorated by Erté and paid for by her caddish lover. Edmund Goulding directed this then-famous film. Now a curio.
San Francisco Opera: Celebrating the Summer Season (YouTube live) Alas, no one was on stage due to the pandemic, but they did what they could. 90 minutes of singing, interviews and poignancy.
The Falcon's Adventure (TCM app) 1946. Final entry. Even the NY cops were weak here.
The Great Man's Lady (Kino BD) 1942. Wellman's production fell flat in its time. But Stanwyck is positively glorious in and out of special makeup. McCrea and Donleavy are wallpaper next to her. It's a strange film. Hanna is obliterated by history and she's the great one, the one with incorruptible ideals. McCrea...not so much. Did we ever find out what made him great? It's stated that they never met again after he rode off. Did she sent him encrypted messages to keep him on the straight and narrow, to make him great? At any rate, there were many sequences that were effectively directed by Wellman and beautifully shot by Wiliam C. Mellor.
 

BobO'Link

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
6,813
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
And... I watched the rest of the Hobbit trilogy:

1594515488988.png

1594515505718.png

Extended editions on all three. I still think it would have been a better story had Jackson and his crew not added material from "Unfinished Tales" and stuck with the original novel. And it should have been done in 2 movies of ~2hrs. each, not 3 of roughly 3 hours each.

Finishing the night with:
1594515645106.png

I took my son, then ~11yo, to see this one during its original theatrical run. He was enthralled. I thought it was rather overblown and quite laughable at times - still do. It's absolutely constructed in a methodical way designed to elicit emotions and reactions at specific intervals and events with rather cardboard/cookie cutter characters. It doesn't help that the main story was written by an author I consider to be somewhat of a hack, constantly (re)writing the same story. I bought a copy because my son and grandson like it. This is a first time viewing of the BR. The best part of the movie is the CGI dinosaurs.

Oh yeah... I faked liking it for him.
 
Last edited:

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,034
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I watched John Ford's Mary of Scotland off the TCM app tonight. I've seen it before but not in a long time. Can't hold a candle to the 1971 version of the story I reviewed a few weeks ago, but it's worth seeing. The transfer was definitely not ready for Blu-ray.
 

Mysto

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,420
Location
Florida
Real Name
marv long
And... I watched the rest of the Hobbit trilogy:

View attachment 75369
View attachment 75370
Extended editions on all three. I still think it would have been a better story had Jackson and his crew not added material from "Unfinished Tales" and stuck with the original novel. And it should have been done in 2 movies of ~2hrs. each, not 3 of roughly 3 hours each.

Finishing the night with:
View attachment 75372
I took my son, then ~11yo, to see this one during its original theatrical run. He was enthralled. I thought it was rather overblown and quite laughable at times - still do. It's absolutely constructed in a methodical way designed to elicit emotions and reactions at specific intervals and events with rather cardboard/cookie cutter characters. It doesn't help that the main story was written by an author I consider to be somewhat of a hack, constantly (re)writing the same story. I bought a copy because my son and grandson like it. This is a first time viewing of the BR. The best part of the movie is the CGI dinosaurs.
I've always maintained that the Hobbit would have been a good movie in two parts and the LOTR would have been a great movie in 4. That being said - these were the last series of movies that got me to the theater and I still enjoy both.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BobO'Link

Dave Moritz

Lead Actor
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
7,952
Location
California
Real Name
Dave Moritz
July 11th, 2020 Saturday

Men In Black: International
HD DIgital DVR upconverted to 4K
5.1 Dolby Digital +

MIB International.jpg


Finally got around to seeing this movie and do not see myself adding it to my library.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,639
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
The House on Haunted Hill (Shout BD) 1959. William Castle's tale of marital woes almost anticipates Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in acerbic venom and wit, and then adds murder. Heady stuff for the matinee trade geared for kids and teenagers looking for the next fright and scare jump! Vincent Price is very good trading barbs with wife Carol Ohmert (very sexy).
Bodyguard (TCM) 1948. Lawrence Tierney and Priscilla Lane. She was referred as Perky Pri. I can imagine her next to Gentleman Jim! Richard Fleischer surprised me with some interesting directorial flourishes in this fast-moving B picture with expert contributions from DP Robert De Grasse.
Man on a Tightrope (Fox BD) 1953. Kazan directed this critique of Communism starring a superb Fredric March and a very good Gloria Grahame without makeup. It tells the story of a Czech circus trying to cross the border to freedom. Too subtle for the times more used to McCarthyism saber-rattling against the Red Menace. I'd seen this film once before decades ago and it's rarely shown. It's well worth seeking out.
Panic in the Streets (Fox BD) 1950. Kazan's primer on how to stop a pandemic. Now timelier than ever and essential viewing all the way to the top.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toronto Argonauts

Matt Hough

Director
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,034
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
My cable has been out all day (and it must have started last night since Bodyguard didn't record), so I spent some of my time today streaming from Amazon Prime the documentary on the closing of The Fantasticks with memories shared by many who had been a part of it during its original 42-year run.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mysto

Dave Moritz

Lead Actor
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
7,952
Location
California
Real Name
Dave Moritz
July 12th, 2020 Sunday

Figured I better get some movie time in during the next two weeks since I am scheduled to take vacation away from work and go to Idaho. Plus I have not been watching much and enjoying my system lately so there is that as well!

The Great Wall
4K UHD Blu-ray / HDR
Native 4K
Dolby Atmos 7.1.4

great_wall_ver19_xlg.jpg



Mission Impossible: Fallout
4K UHD Blu-ray / Dolby Vision
Dolby Atmos 7.1.4

mission_impossible__fallout_ver3.jpg



Hidalgo
1080p Blu-ray upconverted to 4K
Uncompressed PCM 5.1 upmixed to Auro 7.1

Hidalgo.jpg
 

Adam Lenhardt

Director
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,199
Location
Albany, NY
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Cut)
Originally Released: 06/04/1982 (theatrical cut)
Watched: 07/12/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Cut) (2000) iTunes Cover


My Star Trek marathon continues with arguably the most well-regarded of all the Star Trek films. It's a movie that holds up relatively well nearly four decades after its release.

The opening sequence probably had a lot more impact when this film came out in theaters, before the Kobayashi Maru test became such a universally known part of the Star Trek lore. Even knowing what it was, it's a bold choice in that it disorients the audience: We're on the bridge of the Enterprise, but Kirk isn't sitting in the captain's character. And less than five minutes into the movie, all of our beloved characters are apparently dead or dying.

This movie reprises a theme that was introduced in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and continued all the way through Generations: That James Tiberius Kirk is not his best self unless he's sitting in the center chair on the bridge of the Enterprise.

I have mixed feelings about Khan as the film's antagonist. On one hand, he's a really great villain. On the other hand, having watched "Space Seed" last night, I think where that episode left him and the other Augments was more interesting than where this movie found them. I think I would have rather seen a "Picard"-era story where the Federation revisits Ceti Alpha V 115 years later and encountered what a few generations of a society composed entirely of genetically superior humans had accomplished. That being said, the movie did a good job explaining the vast disparity between where we left Khan in that episode and where we meet him in this movie.

A lesser movie using the Moby Dick metaphor would have made Kirk Ahab and Khan his white whale. But the only way this story works is with Khan as Ahab; it's the only way someone stronger, smarter, faster can be plausibly defeated by a regular human -- even a regular human as smart and talented as Kirk. Kirk turns the very qualities that allowed Khan to rule over much of Earth against him; he understands Khan's need to dominate, understands Khan's rage toward him, and nurtures them. He gets Khan to make decisions that even Khan knows are bad, because he knows Khan's ego won't permit otherwise.

I don't love the idea of retconning in a son for Kirk, and thereby making him a deadbeat dad, but I really enjoy Kirk's relationship with Carol Marcus. It's very different, and far more adult, than his womanizing encounters over the course of the original series. You see both why they got together, and why it didn't work out. She is, in many ways, as accomplished in her chosen field as Kirk is in his.

The visual effects are... not great. In addition to reusing quite a few shots from the first movie, there's really nothing here that TNG wouldn't do better on the budget and compressed schedule of episodic television. The only visual effect that really got me to sit up and take notice was when the Genesis device finally got activated.

From a design standpoint, however, this movie is leaps and bounds above the previous movie. Whereas the Wise film strived for a modern look to the Starfleet uniforms that instantly felt dated, this movie went for an old-fashioned look that felt pretty timeless. If Wise's Starfleet was NASA on steroids, Meyer's Starfleet feels more like the British armada sailing through the stars.

The final act of the movie is really, really effective. The themes of death and rebirth, loss and discovery, all clank up against each other in really effective and at times quite moving ways. The funeral that closes out the film, in particular, is incredibly poignant.

The Director's Cut looks pretty terrific in 4K. Hopefully they'll give Wise's Director's Edition of the first movie similar love at some point.

* * *​

Star Trek Into Darkness
Originally Released: 05/17/2013
Watched: 07/12/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

StarTrekIntoDarkness_2013_iTunesCover.jpg


Just as I paired The Motion Picture up with the first movie in the Kelvin timeline as a double feature, I wanted to pair Wrath of Khan up with the second movie in the Kelvin timeline as a double feature.

I really despised this movie when I saw it in theaters, and I thought it'd be interesting to see if I still felt that way revisiting it at home. In a great many ways, Abrams and company set themselves up for failure. A good chunk of Abrams's career can be chalked up to successful homage, taking things that he loved as a kid and reworking them to appeal to modern audiences. On paper, it makes sense: If you're going to rework classic Trek to appeal to modern audiences, you start with the most beloved entry in classic Trek. But the problem there is that, to be successful, you have to do a better job than the best thing in the entire franchise. If they'd told a fresh new story, or took a story from the original series that wasn't quite successful and did it better, they probably would have fared a lot better with critics and audiences. But every time the movie pulls from Wrath of Khan, even when it reworks those elements in new and occasionally interesting ways, I couldn't help but feel like I was watching a pale imitation: If I wanted to watch Wrath of Khan, why wouldn't I just go watch Wrath of Khan? The movie never really provides a satisfactory answer to that question.

The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan was a misfire. His portrayal of a genetically superhuman would have been fine if we hadn't already had Ricardo Montalbán giving two iconic performances as Khan. The casting of a Hispanic actor as an explicitly South Asian character played in brown face was problematic, too, but we don't really expect any better of network television in 1967. Casting a white actor as an explicitly South Asian character is 2013 is pretty inexcusable. But setting aside the racial implications, the bigger problem is that Montalbán's Khan and Cumberbatch's Khan simply don't feel like the same person. With the crew of the Enterprise, it makes sense because they lived different lives in the Kelvin timeline. But Khan went into cryofreeze in 1996, centuries before the prime timeline and Kelvin timeline diverged. Whatever he was required to do in the years since he was awoken, it doesn't make sense for him to be so different. Montalbán's Khan was like a smoldering fire. Cumberbatch's Khan is more like a ticking clock.

The movie is at its best when it differentiates itself from the original series and films, especially exploring how the butterfly effect resulting from the destruction of the USS Kelvin continues to set this timeline on a different trajectory than the prime timeline. Khan awakens to find a galaxy (and a Starfleet) far amenable to his talents and ambitions than when he awoke in "Space Seed", and that is in large part due to the insecurity and paranoia that resulted from the attack on the Kelvin. Kirk reached the captain's chair years earlier than in the prime timeline, after having a far less stable upbringing than in the prime timeline. In the original timeline, Carol Marcus was a civilian research scientist who grew up in America and sought to bring life to barren worlds. In this timeline, Carol Marcus was a designer of advanced weapons who grew up in the United Kingdom and joined Starfleet.

There's a lot to like in the first half of the film in particular. One thing I really appreciate about the Kelvin trilogy is how alien the alien worlds are. Neither TV series nor the movies set in the prime timeline ever had the budget to depict worlds that weren't various locations in greater southern California. Kirk thrown into a situation with very incomplete information and thinking his way out of it rather than fighting his way out of it. Spock makes it quite a bit further on his journey to becoming the Spock we know.

But the final stretch of the movie throws what good will there is away, devolving into yet another climax built around punching and explosions and special effects.

There was real poetry to the equivalent stretch of Wrath of Khan; it had symmetry, it had big ideas to contemplate. The Enterprise's victory felt earned.

By contrast, there is no real poetry here. How do they defeat Khan? Basically, they ask someone who watched Wrath of Khan, and then did what they did in that movie. There is some resonance in the role reversal, with Spock reenacting Kirk's strategy while Kirk, unbenonst to Spock, reenacts Spock's strategy. But it's an overstuffed climax that lacks cohesiveness.
 

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
10,995
Real Name
Jake Lipson
But every time the movie pulls from Wrath of Khan, even when it reworks those elements in new and occasionally interesting ways, I couldn't help but feel like I was watching a pale imitation: If I wanted to watch Wrath of Khan, why wouldn't I just go watch Wrath of Khan? The movie never really provides a satisfactory answer to that question.
This post is a sidebar to the main purpose of this thread because it's not about what I watched today, and is a direct reply to Adam's post to talk about Into Darkness. But I'm going to leave it here because I can't think of a better place to put it. If a moderator would like to go dig out an Into Darkness thread and move it there, I will be fine with being overridden, but I didn't think it was worth digging out a really old thread just to reply to a post that appears in this one.

As background, I would not consider myself to be a Star Trek fan. I don't dislike it, but I just never got into it when I was younger. Even though I respect its status as an important show/movie franchise, I always felt like there was too much mythology there across all the various different shows and movies, and that I would be confused if I tried to jump in somewhere in the middle. This is not a value judgment on Star Trek at all. I simply never sought it out because it didn't feel like it was "for me," if that makes sense.

Then Abrams made his first movie.

Aside from the fact that I was already a fan of Abrams, I was really excited because this was a reboot and it felt like I was welcome on board. I could jump in here and watch this movie and hopefully understand what was going on without having to worry about the continuity in the previous iteration. The fact that they made it an alternate timeline felt nice, because it allowed the fans of the previous material to recognize that all of that stuff still happened and was canon, while I could come in and just follow the new stuff and not be confused. I thought the first Abrams film was great, I saw it twice in theaters and I bought it. I was really excited about having a version of Trek that felt accessible to me.

All this is to say that I am one of probably very few people in the world who went to see Into Darkness without ever having seen The Wrath of Khan. I still haven't seen The Wrath of Khan. So, when I saw it, I thought it was great because I didn't realize how much of it was being lifted from the other movie. I believe you that it is, and I've certainly heard the complaints online since then, but none of that was a factor for me when I was watching Into Darkness. I knew that there was a famous Star Trek villain named Khan and that he had been in the name of The Wrath of Khan, but I had absolutely no other context for it. So I was responding to the choices that I have since been informed were lifted from The Wrath of Khan as if they were new choices being made for the first time by Abrams and his team, and I thought they were good. I assume this is actually a credit to the first one, because the structure that it built still works even in a revamp. I bought Into Darkness as well, but haven't watched it in several years and have no real desire to do so. If I wanted to see how closely it copies the other film, I could rent Wrath of Khan, but I've lost my interest in it.

I had a more direct personal reference last year when I saw the remake of The Lion King, which I think is an absolutely terrible movie. However, the elements that Favreau borrowed from the original film are so good, because they are fundamentally good, that even a terrible telling of them is still somewhat workable. That is to say, if I did not know that the 2019 version of The Lion King was a remake, I would probably have liked it more than I did. Favreau did a lot of things that didn't work, which is why I think it's terrible. But the story is still the story and the power of that is too significant to completely wipe away.

That being said, now that I have been informed by the internet at large that Into Darkness borrows so liberally from another one, I do have to agree that that's an odd choice. I am certainly in the significant minority in not having experience with the prior film, but even if there were more of us who came to this one, that seems counterintuitive to the value of the alternative timeline. The reason I liked it in the first one was because it freed the creative team form having to be beholden to previous storylines. They could just do whatever felt right to send the characters on a new journey. Instead of doing that, they chose to do an unofficial remake of an old movie that was (apparently) full of winks and nods to the other one which went over my head. I would have rather had something new.

Oddly enough, that's also what I didn't like about The Rise of Skywalker. Whether you like it or not, there is no question that in making The Last Jedi the way he chose to make it, Rain Johnson pushed Star Wars into new narrative territory. Although I like The Force Awakens very much, I do agree that it leans heavily on the structure of A New Hope, which felt like it worked for that film because it had to relaunch the franchise in a way that was satisfying to most. By the time we got to The Last Jedi, I was ready for something new, and that's what Johnson delivered. When I started to wonder about what could be next, I thought, "Wow, Johnson has done Abrams a huge favor. He has made it impossible for Abrams to come back in and simply regurgitate Return of the Jedi. Episode IX will have to be something new." Then, Abrams proved me wrong by essentially regurgitating Return of the Jedi, which is why I was so disappointed in that film. So, as you noted, it does seem to be a pattern for Abrams to do this and in retrospect I guess I should not have been as surprised that he went that route with The Rise of Skywalker.

Anywahy, to get back to Into Darkness and your points: The one thing that I did notice was askew when I was watching Into Darkness was the "reveal" scene where Cumberbatch said he is playing Khan. It plays as though it's a shocking, significant moment, but it didn't really work. Even though there had been rumors that Cumberbatch was playing him, the reason that it doesn't work is because the crew of the Enterprise in this timeline don't have any idea who Khan is. He might as well have said, "I am George" or "I am Brad." That moment is drawn attention to because the movie assumes that the audience knows who Khan is, but pays no attention to the fact that the characters whose journey we are supposed be following do not have any greater sense of danger after he reveals his name than before he does. As you mentioned, they have to call Nimoy's Spock to get information about Khan. So that felt strange to me even the first time I saw it. If the characters are not aware of the stakes that they are dealing with, that really isn't very interesting from a narrative perspective, unless their being in the dark about something is a purposeful part of the narrative engine. The "I am Khan" reveal is 100% for the audience, not for Kirk or Spock, which makes it ineffective for them on an emotional level.
 
Last edited:

Robin9

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
5,486
Real Name
Robin
I watched The Boston Strangler last night. The last part of the film with long sequences of Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis talking really holds the attention. My only reservation about this film is the use of split screen which seemed unnecessary to me. I'll probably sample the "extras" tonight.
 

bujaki

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,639
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Sunday night was a viewing of two documentaries released by Criterion (BD) which accidentally turned out to be related:
The Inland Sea 1991. A travelogue of Donald Richie's eponymous book published in 1971. He visited several islands in Japan's inland sea and this film revisits the islands and finds many places and people still the same while subtly changing with the times. It also explores the Japanese from an outsider's point of view. The images are stunningly beautiful and the narration, written and spoken by Richie himself, is in itself another work of art. The score is by Toru Takemitsu, which brings us to...
Antonio Gaudí 1984. Also scored by Toru Takemitsu and directed by another Japanese, Hiroshi Teshigahara. This is practically a wordless film studying the architecture of Barcelona's genius Antonio Gaudí, who straddled the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although he embraced some of the Art Nouveau characteristics in his designs, he seems to have sprung from nowhere and influenced no one. In that he reminds me of Berlioz in music, one of a kind. With all the Romantic composers about him, he forged his own way and no one really followed his path. So it was with Gaudí, a man who did not design with straight lines in mind. His works look like some fantastical creations out of Alice in Wonderland. Outstanding documentary.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,458
Messages
4,710,666
Members
141,274
Latest member
Bats8711