What's on your Daily Viewing List?

bujaki

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...one third of a nation... (TCM app) 1939. FDR saw 1/3 of the nation as poor, hungry, ill clad, living in wretched conditions. This film is about tenement conditions in NYC. It's almost Zolaesque in its depiction of misery and the life of the wretched. It's also surreal in the way the tenement building and the child (Sidney Lumet) who's become its victim hold a dialogue. Fortunately, it doesn't have a Hollywood ending; a happier outlook, but not a romantic clinch. Sylvia Sidney stars.
Street Scene (TCM app) 1931. The great King Vidor's film of Elmer Rice's 1929 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama. Shot in front of a tenement brownstone building, never entering the apartments, it tells the story of several families over a few fateful hours. Vidor keeps the camera moving and comes up with dynamic setups that avoid the trap of staginess. The acting, cinematography, editing, spare score, everything in this film creates a vivid picture of real life. Recommended. I only wish the print were better, like the one I saw at MoMA during the Vidor retrospective.
Paranoia aka A Quiet Place to Kill (Severin BD) 1970. Lenzi/Carroll Baker (again showing a lot of skin) giallo with many psycho-sexual twists. Of course there are killings and terrors and betrayals upon betrayals. Good of its kind.
 

Robin9

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Yesterday I watched The League Of Gentleman, an enjoyable film with many familiar faces, some, like Oliver Reed and Nigel Green, in uncredited "bit parts." It was interesting to see Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes playing very different roles from how we usually see them. They were both good actors and Nigel Patrick was both good and charismatic. He should have become a big star. His performance in Raintree County deserves a wider audience.
 

bujaki

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Yesterday I watched The League Of Gentleman, an enjoyable film with many familiar faces, some, like Oliver Reed and Nigel Green, in uncredited "bit parts." It was interesting to see Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes playing very different roles from how we usually see them. They were both good actors and Nigel Patrick was both good and charismatic. He should have become a big star. His performance in Raintree County deserves a wider audience.
Agree. Agree. Agree. And Oliver Reed playing gay is a hoot. Raintree what?:(
 

bujaki

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Wednesday:
Lady Windermere's Fan (Live stream with Ben Model playing the piano) 1925. National Film Registry inductee. Brilliant Lubitsch film based on Oscar Wilde's play. First seen during the WB retro at MoMA in 1973. Always a pleasure to watch again for all the sly Lubitsch touches. Starring a mute Ronald Colman (just imagine his voice as you read the titles or read his lips) and the wonderful ladies May McAvoy and Irene Rich. The camera placements; the editing; the framing of the images; everything just works to perfection and one just doesn't miss the dialogue. And it's a Wilde play!
Spring Night Summer Night (Flicker Alley) 1967. Appalachia circa 1965. Depressed ex-mining country. Shot in stark B&W with a cast of largely unknown actors. A blended family. Two young ones post high school, share the same father (or do they?), have strong feelings and attraction for each other. The young man leaves for Cincinnati, returns, finds the sister pregnant, though she keeps the guilty secret. What to do? All this before DNA testing. The characters of the parents and the townsfolk are delineated without stereotypical derision. The poverty and socio-economic trap is palpable. Alcohol is the drug of choice. Today it's opioids. The acting is honest. The film is very much of its time exhibiting many of the influences nourishing independent filmmakers. However, a film made in Ohio had little chance of breaking through and it disappeared. Till now. Recommended.
 

bujaki

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A very busy Thursday:
Love, Noel: The Songs and Letters of Noel Coward (Live stream from The Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC) A roughly 90-minute 2-person revue highlighting, well, the songs and letters of Coward. Talented couple, fun, moving, witty, charming. Time well spent.
Broadway Buddy Mentorship Cabaret (Broadway HD) Alas, not live, but showcasing B'way actor and their mentees performing remotely. Lots of talent, folks, a bright outlook for the future and sad for the current state of affairs. A solid 2-hour plus fundraiser. Glad I watched it.
Arrowhead (iTunes) 1953. Heston, clenched teeth and hatred in his heart, is proven right in this somewhat slanted story of an Apache "Messiah." Good action and suspense sequences. My stream had 3 brief bad patches.
Denver & Rio Grande (iTunes) 1952. Sterling Hayden (bad news) and Edmond O'Brien (good news) square off in this saga of the building of the D&RG railroad. Lyle Bettger lends support on the bad news side (did Bettger ever play on the side of the angels?). Byron Haskin directs with a sure hand and includes many well-executed action sequences, including a locomotive smash-up.
Three Faces West (iTunes) 1940. A noted surgeon and his daughter, refugees from the Anschluss, arrive in the USA and relocate to North Dakota. They are met by John Wayne and his townspeople who are afflicted by many ailments and the effects of a depleted earth. So now we have a mix of New Deal doctrines and practices; blossoming love; integration of foreigners into an American society (of course, it helps they're Teutonic); and an exodus of a town from a dust bowl (shades of The Grapes of Wrath) to a promised land in Oregon, with a stopover in San Francisco to meet an old love who is now a high-ranking Nazi operative. A fade out to a happy ending, under God, but not before some documentary footage of farmers tending to their new land of promise (government subsidized). Beautifully shot by John Alton, yes, the great John Alton.
 

dana martin

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Wednesday' Night's Double Feature Presentation
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still rolling through the Pre-codes, Millie and the Painted Desert, both so-so films, not so much boundries pushed in these but it was nice to see Clark Gable in his first speaking role.

Last Night's Feature Presentation
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This little gem arrived from Thunderbean, Steve works quite well with the materials he has, dont expect WB level restorations, but the colors do pop, where this kills it is the bonus features, the bonus BR-R has a very informative interview with Shamus Culhane from the early 80"s, his prediction of animation compared to now is spot on, that alone is worth the purchase if you understand animation history :D
 
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Dave Moritz

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August 14th, 2020 Friday

Space 1999: Breakaway
Season 1, Episode 1
Shout Factory Blu-ray

Previously only had Set 1 of Space 1999 on DVD and this blu-ray release from Shout Factory is amazing to see. It is so nice to see this title look so good as it was one of my favorite tv shows back then along with Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek! Eventually am planning on getting the complete series of both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. Will be watching the Space 1999 series in order. It is just to bad that this tv show was done in 4:3 ratio but considering it was made for tv and the era it was made this was the way tv shows where shot and it looks really good on blu-ray.

Space 1999 Set.jpg
 

dana martin

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August 14th, 2020 Friday

Space 1999: Breakaway
Season 1, Episode 1
Shout Factory Blu-ray

Previously only had Set 1 of Space 1999 on DVD and this blu-ray release from Shout Factory is amazing to see. It is so nice to see this title look so good as it was one of my favorite tv shows back then along with Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek! Eventually am planning on getting the complete series of both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. Will be watching the Space 1999 series in order. It is just to bad that this tv show was done in 4:3 ratio but considering it was made for tv and the era it was made this was the way tv shows where shot and it looks really good on blu-ray.

View attachment 76956
Enjoy, went through my set last year
 

bujaki

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100 Men and a Girl (Kino BD) 1937. Deanna Durbin and Leopold Stokowski. A match made in Hollywood fairy tale heaven. And Henry Koster makes the magic work with the aid of a game cast of character actors who enliven the proceedings. Durbin, with her charm, grace and lovely voice, acts as fairy godmother to a ragtag group of unemployed musicians who suddenly find themselves thrust into the national limelight when they're conducted by Leopold. As I said, a fairy tale. The transfer on this disc is outstanding.
The Great Leap (Kino BD) 1927. A German mountain film that is not a paean to Nazi symbolism and glory, but a comedy rather? And starring that ueberfrau Leni Riefenstahl? The handsome woman, athlete, mountain climber, swimmer, skier, scuba diver, actress, dancer, film director, editor, still photographer, admirer of Hitler, denier of Hitler...so much has been written about her...all true...all lies...all true...But about the film: A pristine print that shows off its breathtaking cinematography of the Dolomites. Fanck, the director of many of the mountain films starring Leni and co-star Luis Trenker--who both died at a very ripe, old age--give us shots of Leni climbing steep rocks barefoot, naked hands, no ropes, no hooks, that would leave Free Solo gasping for breath. The latter part of the film is an Olympic-like ski race down the Dolomites that is also quite breathtaking. The film may be a bit overlong, but it plays up the comedy of a swell from the city falling in love with shepherdess from the mountains and competing for her love by climbing rocks and skiing slopes. Good fun and free of Nazi ideologies.
Mary, Queen of Scots (Kino BD) 1971. The meeting that never happened. But ever since Schiller imagined it for his play "Mary Stuart;" and Donizetti used it for his opera "Maria Stuarda," in which Maria hurls the epithet "vil bastarda" to Elisabetta's face (oh, the drama!); and Maxwell Anderson kept it in his play "Mary of Scotland," filmed, not very successfully by John Ford; could it not be part of this retelling and of the unnecessary and much inferior recent remake? What two shattering dramatic scenes John Hale provided for Redgrave and Jackson, two of the most gifted actresses of their generation! So some liberties were taken, so what when such gripping drama and, yes, entertainment was provided? Highly recommended.
Silver City (iTunes) 1951. Edmond O'Brien two days in a row trying to become a kind of western action hero. At least he was shot both times by Ray Rennahan in Technicolor. Barry Fitzgerald, the Oscar-winning priest from Going My Way, plays the villain. Old timer Richard Arlen makes a welcome appearance, but favorite Gladys George is wasted. The real star is the show is gorgeous Yvonne De Carlo. Those close-ups! Rennahan must have loved lighting her! Director Byron Haskin directs some good action sequences, including a donnybrook in a saloon which was almost as good as the one in Tay Garnett's Seven Sinners. A climactic sequence in a sawmill is hair raising as those threatening saws keep coming at villain and hero while they shoot at each other. And then other shootists show up...
 
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Matt Hough

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I spent this afternoon watching (for the first time ever) Fritz Lang's Fury off the TCM app. I don't know how or why this film escaped me for so long, but I'm very pleased now to have experienced Lang's first American film. Very impressive direction. I'm surprised Tracy got his 1936 Oscar nomination not for this but for San Francisco which was really a large supporting role rather than the lead. I guess it was SUCH a big hit, and I'm not sure Fury made nearly as much.
 

BobO'Link

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Did mostly TV shows the past couple of weeks - Family Guy v7 & V8 and S4 of Leave it to Beaver. FWIW, I like the earlier seasons, the ones done before it was cancelled and returned, of Family Guy than these newer ones. They feel somewhat forced at times. I believe S4 of Leave it to Beaver is the last one of that series that I really like. After this, Beaver is just too grown up to believe the stupidity of the things he gets into in S5/6. He's in the 5th grade in S4 so *some* of it's believable (although not the coffee cup episode).

Today I plugged in a few movies, starting by finishing the "Maze Runner" trilogy I'd purchased for my oldest granddaughter to watch (she's not seen the last one yet and I didn't ask her what she thought of the 2nd):
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They were "OK" but nothing special. "Scorch Trials" was, essentially, a rather generic post-holocaust desert-road-trip zombie movie with "Death Cure" pretty much offering more of the same but in a city rather than in the desert, both with the requisite chase sequences and last minute "escapes".

So... what next? I opted for a better SF outing with:
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No... not all of them. Just The Terminator for now. I just purchased that set to upgrade my DVDs and decided starting them now is just as good a time as any. I may follow the first with T2 but don't know for sure right now...
 
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Robin9

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Last night I watched Five Graves To Cairo on a very good Blu-ray disc. I've seen this film many times both on the big screen and on television, but never in this quality. I'm very pleased.
 

bujaki

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5 films yesterday, no discs, in the order watched, as usual.
Kings Row (Criterion Channel) 1942. I first saw this repeatedly as a wee child upon my mother's recommendation. Always enjoyed it. Read the novel a few years later and found it a bit more scandalous (no Code here to whitewash it). Last saw the film in 1973 when MoMA showed a spectacular 35mm nitrate print. Bill Menzies' production design coupled with Howe's textured B&W cinematography provide sheer visual pleasure. Tod acting honors go to Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan (their scenes together are very good); and to Betty Field as the haunted Cassie. This is a thoroughly satisfying film. The print looks quite good.
You and Me (TCM Channel) 1938. The first time I saw this Fritz Lang film I was fresh out of college and had taken a course on the Theater of Brecht and Kurt Weill. I had just begun to delve deeply into Weill's music so when this film about 2 ex-cons who marry illegally began with a Weill song, I felt transported to a theatrical piece by Brecht. Later on, a group of ex-cons start to reminisce about their life in prison by using rhythmic sounds and choral beats (rap like), and the editing follows the rhythmic patterns, and my jaw dropped. There is nothing, simply nothing like it in American cinema (or Lang's, for that matter). This is what Brecht called Didactic Theater. Well, it's an earnest story of star-crossed lovers with some comedy, music and a happy ending. Robert Cummings has a small part in this one. He starred in Kings Row. Sylvia Sidney and George Raft star here. This was Sidney's 3rd consecutive film with Lang. I can't warm up to her.
To be continued...
 

bujaki

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Continuing from above...
In Old California (iTunes) 1942. John Wayne travels from Boston to Sacramento to ply his trade as a pharmacist. En route he meets the fascinating Binnie Barnes and her miscreant companion, Albert Dekker. Barnes is a gold digger who eventually redeems herself; Dekker also sees the light before entering the pearly gates (unaided by Wayne). Fistfights, shootouts, near lynchings (old American customs) come into play; but so does the neighborly spirit of cooperation in the face of an epidemic (an old American custom that has apparently died out).
The Undercover Man (TCM) 1949. A misnomer since Glenn Ford doesn't work undercover at all. Joseph H. Lewis paces this thriller with his customary flair as the team of investigators try to break a syndicate and the Big Boss on tax evasion charges. Dogged determination, a few murders, jury tampering and other unsavory activities precede the happy fade out.
Young Man with Ideas (TCM) 1952. This film accidentally provided a double dose of Glenn Ford and Nina Foch (a fave). Mitchell Leisen directs this so-so comedy in which Ford plays a milquetoast lawyer who transplants his family to LA. He meets the gorgeous and very sexy Foch and the also very sexy Denise Darcel. But it is Foch who really turns up the heat. At any rate, Ford never strays from Ruth Roman and all's well that ends well. Mary Wickes lends comic support.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The Goonies
Originally Released: 06/07/1985
Watched: 08/15/2020
Digitally projected onto Screen One at the Sunset Drive-In in Colchester Vermont, with FM analog radio stereo audio

TheGoonies_1985_Poster.jpg


I was staying in the eastern Adirondacks for the weekend and decided to hop across Lake Champlain to enjoy a movie. Because of the distance from the hotel, and the complications that come once the ferries shut down for the night, I only stayed for the first feature; the second movie would have been Stand By Me. With no new inventory from the studios, all four screens were playing movies that have long been available on home video; the other options were Jurassic World and the Brendan Fraser The Mummy on Screen Two, Grown Ups and Ferris Bueller's Day Off on Screen Three, or Grease and Dirty Dancing on Screen Four.

As I watched the movie, I was struck by the fact that families were probably watching the same movie at the same drive-in 35 summers ago. The Goonies is a movie particular well-suited to the drive-in; it's fun for all ages and generally well lit so you can see what's happening even at the beginning when the sun hasn't quite set.

Certain things haven't aged well -- the American-born Data speaking in stereotypical Chinese broken English, for instance -- but what remains true all of these years later is that The Goonies is almost laser targeted to realize children's wildest imaginings. The Goonies go on the kind of adventure we all wished we could go on when playing in the backyard as a kid. It starts out very grounded in the mundane realities of the real world and then gets progressively more fantastical as it goes on.

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Matt Hough

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In the last several days, I've fallen into a comfortable rut with my daily viewing:

an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents

an episode in the Jeremy Brett/Sherlock Holmes canon

an episode of Ken Burns' The Civil War

(Once I finish The Civil War I'll be watching the latest season of The Good Fight)

an episode cluster of the 1966-68 Batman television series.
 
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