What's on your Daily Viewing List?

bujaki

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A TCM double feature starring Tony
Don't Make Waves (TCM) 1967. Alexander Mackendrick's last film, 10 years after directing Curtis in the classic Sweet Smell of Success. It's the director's return to his Ealing roots in comedy. It's a sly satire on the American dream. A hustler who wants money, the mansion, the Rolls, the dream (but vacuous) blonde. He gets it all, but it all ends in a mudslide amidst surfers, muscle boys, and aimless, mindless golden youth.
Not with My Wife, You Don't (TCM) 1966. Norman Panama directs a romantic triangle skirting adultery. Curtis, George C. Scott and Virna Lisi play the leads. Lisi is the woman who wants two of everything. The question is, will she get the two men, or will the two men get her? She's lovely throughout, and deserves better than these 2 men. Amiable stuff.
The Moment of Truth (Criterion BD) 1965. Francesco Rosi used a 300mm lens to shoot bullfighting as never before, thrusting the spectator into the arena, showing the matador and bull in closeup, showing the sweat, the blood of both animals, the art, the skill, the brute force, the instinct, the grace (and to me, the horror). My Spanish heritage, of which I'm most proud, takes me this far and no more. I suffered with the matador and the bull. However, the film is an amazing piece of film making, taking an actual bullfighter and a cast of non-actors (except for Linda Christian in a small part), and making up a story about the rise and fall of a young man in the ring. Not for those who suffer when animals are actually killed on screen. But that's a corrida for you.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Tonight's Double Feature:​
The Gathering Storm
Originally Released: 04/27/2002
Watched: 07/28/2020
HDX (1080P) digital streaming on Apple TV app, upscaled to 4K via Roku Ultra​
Darkest Hour
Originally Released: 11/22/2017
Watched: 07/28/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra​
TheGatheringStorm_2002_iTunesCover.jpg
DarkestHour_2017_Poster.jpg

It was a really good pairing, two excellent but very different portrayals of Winston Churchill at two very different points in his life.

Darkest Hour is the better film, but Albert Finney is the better Churchill. Finney brings an incredible vulnerability to the role, in a movie that captures Churchill at one of the low points in his life. Watching him, you really feel like you're living inside Churchill's head.

Gary Oldman also makes a great Churchill, and with all of the prosthethics is a closer physical match to the real Churchill than Finney was. But Darkest Hour is interesting in Churchill's strength rather than his weakness, the man standing firm even when all seemed lost. That's compelling too, but it creates a different relationship between Churchill and audience.

It's particularly interesting to see how various famous quotes are worked in by the two films, with many appearing in both films in very different contexts.
 

bujaki

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Pride and Prejudice (WA BD) 1940. A glorious transfer of a very good adaptation with more stars that are in heaven. And Marsha Hunt, dear brave Marsha Hunt, who is still with us, almost steals the film with her brave portrayal of the bookish, near-sighted, off-key sister. May not be the best adaptation of the great novel (do read it, it's great!), but it's worth your time. I only wish it had been set in the right time period...Highly recommended.
Black Beauty (Criterion Channel) 1971. The story of a horse from birth to a lovely end in green pastures. But his life, which starts well, goes from bad to worse, a sad story of ups and downs, love and abuse. A nice ending, though. Based on some episodes of the Anna Sewell classic.
 
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BobO'Link

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And I watched the colorized version. This is from Legend Films, who do a good job of colorization or at least as good as you can expect considering older BW sources really do not convert well. Things you can ignore in a older BW print, blooming whites and/or crushed blacks, just look "off" more than anything else when colorized. I've purchased many of the Legend colorized projects simply to get good/better quality BW prints of the films as those get restored before they're colorized. Whew! And I really don't much care for this one. It's a bit too talky with long drawn-out scenes of rather static multi layered armies/aircraft going by.

Then a movie I picked up at Big Lots during a BF sale (paid ~$2):
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Another in a long string of adaptations of "Young Adult" books attempting to create another franchise. It's just not that good, mostly playing like a lesser made-for-TV movie from the 70s/80s. I thought the grandkids might like it but after watching it myself I'm not even going to tell them I have it. It's also another of those movies with soundtracks where if you turn it up to hear the "quiet" bits you'll be blown into the next room when music/sfx hit.
 

Robert Crawford

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Last Night's Feature Presentation

View attachment 76196
Thank you for your choice as I now know which Olivia de Havilland movie I'm going to watch today.:) I actually have two different BD releases of this movie, the 2012 Olive and the 2017 Arrow disc. I watched the 2012 BD several years ago, but I'm going to watch the 2017 BD release today because I never got around to watching it when I purchased it. I might even watch it with the audio commentary which is one of the reasons why I bought this movie again on BD as the Olive release doesn't have any bonus material.
 
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BobO'Link

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Yesterday was:

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It's a pretty good adaptation. OK... lots of things were changed from the book - some significant changes - but in spite of those the movie works and builds a good level of angst and suspense. Kino's BR looks pretty good too.

After that was a first time viewing of:
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I was expecting a bit more of a SF/Fantasy vibe than what I got but I still enjoyed the film. It's more of a "lost tribe" cult worship type affair. It's a real hoot and would feel at home as a double feature with some of the later Weissmuller Tarzan movies. It looks very good on this new BR release.
 
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bujaki

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Boomerang (Fox BD) 1947. A film close to Crawdaddy's heart. Suspenseful police and courtroom procedural. A man accused of killing a priest. The police is sure the man is guilty. The DA has doubts. Elia Kazan directs with a sure hand a cast of magnificent actors.
The Tenant ((Severin BD) 1976. Roman Polanski's unnerving tale of paranoia follows in the footsteps of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby as a protagonist is terrorized by demons, sometimes figuratively, as in the mind; sometimes literally, as in witches and Satan. I opted for the French language track.
Sweet Bird of Youth (WA BD) 1962. The second film tonight featuring Ed Begley; this one won him an Oscar. However the film belongs first and foremost to that monster called Geraldine Page. One simply can't keep one's eyes off her (or ears for that matter). She is spectacular. Shirley Knight is, well, heavenly. Rip Torn just lets it rip. Newman's desperation as he grabs his last dream of fading youth is filled with pathos. Still, what a pity that Heavenly's plight was bowdlerized and that Chance's castration was, well, cut. And that happy ending fade out. Ugh. But until then, this is still worth your while, and it is a beautiful transfer.
 

BobO'Link

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Another loose favorite and a new one yesterday. First the "loose" favorite (I like it but don't go out of my way to watch it very often):

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Costner does a good job as the unwilling hero although there are times when you ask "Why did he do that? It's just asking for trouble." I'm never sure what to make of Tom Petty. He kind of works but kind of not. At almost 3 hours it really doesn't feel that long but could benefit from some judicious editing here and there to shorten the run time.

The first time viewing was:
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This was purchased because my 13yo granddaughter asked if I had the movie. No... but if it's inexpensive enough I might. Looking it up I find it's a trilogy and get a very good price for all three (under $10) on BR. I now own a copy so I'm going to watch it.

It's yet another series of films adapted from "Young Adult" novels. After that viewing I don't see how the first managed to get enough box office to warrant the next two. Plot and logic holes abound with nothing that really makes you root for the characters. It's action packed and has some exciting scenes but is another of those films where *everything* is kept a mystery with no real answers at the end. The "runners" are supposedly trying to memorize the maze to find a way out yet the maze is constantly changing its formation and is crawling with creatures out to kill them.

I'm pretty sure the target audience (11-14yo?) would like it quite a bit. It's not that it's a "bad" film as it's not. The visuals are good as is the overall acting. It's just another in a long string of very similar "Young Adult" films with little on offer to make it rise above the others. Having seen the "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" series they all kind of run together with rather similar plots and motivations almost feeling "cookie cutter" as far as the stories and plot beats go.
 

bujaki

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All Neat in Black Stockings (TCM app) 1969. A real oddity and a real anachronism as far as sexual mores are concerned. Two chaps whose philosophy is to share everything, and I mean everything. So they swap birds, chicks, girls, dates, whatever, with at least one disastrous consequence. Is it a comedy, a satire, a kitchen-sink drama, a sad tale of a man trapped in a life not wished for? Susan George is very fetching and does well in her very sad part.
The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes (Kino BD) 1937. Made by UFA under the auspices of the Third Reich. So while horrors were being perpetrated against racial groups, political and sexual dissidents, the Nazis could still produce light comedies full of wit and entertainment. What a paradox! Well, this is one such film and it makes no bones about how much fun it is even as the spirit of evil was consuming a nation and extending its tentacles across Europe and even the United States (anyone remember America First and the American Nazi Bunds?). Highly enjoyable story of two tricksters who impersonate Holmes and Watson, who people assume are real characters.
Orgasmo aka Paranoia (Severin BD) The first of four films Carroll Baker made for director Umberto Lenzi in Italy. I viewed the longer Italian version with the nude, but very tasteful, shots of the female leads. It's a psycho-sexual thriller pointing the way to the giallo genre. Muted color palette. Interesting, perverse film.
 
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Matt Hough

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I watched two Katharine Hepburn movies this evening. First up was A Woman Rebels from 1937. I had seen it once or twice before but not in a long time. She does what she can with the role, but it's mired in sensibilities that seem so silly now (but weren't then) about unmarried mothers raising children who aren't aware of their real connection to their mothers (exploited in lots of other plays and movies then and to come later like The Old Maid, The Great Lie, To Each His Own). One word of truth between mother and child would end the drama (and the film) so it's dragged out almost past the point of endurance here. And hoo, boy, this Warner Archive DVD-R is not ready for Blu-ray. Lots of dirt, damage, reel cues, etc. I doubt we'll ever see a Blu-ray of it.

Stage Door, released the same year and an infinitely better film, was up next. Wonder if we can expect a Criterion or Warner Archive Blu-ray of this soon? With such a star-studded cast, there would be lots of names to trumpet.
 

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