What's on your Daily Viewing List?

Robin9

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Yesterday I came across a photo of Lita Milan in a scene from The Violent Men. I'd forgotten she was in it and so I watched the DVD last night. The film needed a better director and some of the dialog could do with a polish. I thought Glenn Ford and Richard Jaeckel were good. Of course they worked together again in 3:10 To Yuma and Cowboy.

Sweet Bird Of Youth has just arrived so I'll watch that tonight.
 

dana martin

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Last Nights Triple Feature Presentation: To Hell with the Production Code

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no this isn't the highest form of art or correct information, but the disc are a wealth of early Exploitation. and the disc are pretty loaded with special features that just make the presentation all the more entertaining. The restorations are better looking than i have ever seen these presented, yes there are still missing frames here and there and bad jump cuts,

and the bonus features (some abridged)

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after this...... Ed Wood could have a career
 

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Robert Crawford

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Yesterday I came across a photo of Lita Milan in a scene from The Violent Men. I'd forgotten she was in it and so I watched the DVD last night. The film needed a better director and some of the dialog could do with a polish. I thought Glenn Ford and Richard Jaeckel were good. Of course they worked together again in 3:10 To Yuma and Cowboy.

Sweet Bird Of Youth has just arrived so I'll watch that tonight.
With the acting talent involved, "The Violent Men" should have been a better film. It's not a bad western, but, it could've been much better.
 

bujaki

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Blood and Sand (Kino BD) 1922. First watched via WNET in NYC back in the early '70s. This version builds upon that Killiam print by adding footage from other sources, and although it still looks somewhat worn, it's probably the best it'll ever be. It's a good film showcasing the talents of Valentino and Nita Naldi as the vamp who, well, vamps him. Both are quite good: Valentino is restrained (not flaring his nostrils as in The Sheik and his Son) and handsome; Naldi is seductive and amazing in a scene that reeks of sadomasochism (no Code here!). Of course, people are more familiar with the color and sound remake directed by Mamoulian (I saw a 35mm print of it that was breathtaking), but this version stands on its own. For lovers of silent film and Valentino enthusiasts (not to mention Naldi).
 

Robin9

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I watched Shout's Blu-ray disc of This Gun For Hire yesterday. The DVD has excellent picture quality so I expected the Blu-ray disc to be superb. I wasn't disappointed! Although the story set-up relies too much on implausible coincidences, it's a really good movie and has influenced many others. I listened to the first part of the audio commentary and was surprised that no comment was made about the loner's affections for cats. That has been copied so many times since then!

I might watch Fail Safe tonight.
 

bujaki

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Tap (TCM app) 1989. Not a great film for its plot, but a great dancing film showcasing the talents of 3 generations tap dancers. Many of the featured tap dancers of the fab documentary "No Maps on My Taps" show off their routines, as well as Sammy Davis, Jr. (his last film), who was making shorts in 1933. They represent the past. Gregory Hines is the present and Savion Glover, at 16, is the future. So watch it for the dancing.
An American Tragedy (TCM app) 1931. All this talk about "A Place in the Sun," a film I love, made me want to revisit this original version directed by Josef von Sternberg on vacation from Dietrich. An earnest, almost shorthand adaptation of the Dreiser novel, it hews closer to it by showing us more of the venality and seedier background of our hero. It's definitely less "romantic and glamorous." Phillips Holmes, as our lead, is handsome and dissolute from day one, but he is not the actor that Clift was, and that is an insurmountable obstacle. Sylvia Sidney is the victim, less whiny than Shelley Winters, but when Holmes calls her beautiful, his skills as an actor rise in my estimation. However, she's good and sympathetic as the young woman he wrongs. Frances Dee, in the Taylor role, has little to do except look glamorous. Sternberg's direction is fluid, with many lap dissolves, camera movements and compositions that are quite effective. Lee Garmes's lighting is exquisite. A better screenplay, a better lead actor, and a longer running time would have created a masterpiece to place along the 1951 version. Still, it's worth more than a cursory look. I only wish that a proper remastering of this restoration were available so we could enjoy the cinematography.
Vice and Virtue (Criterion Channel) 1963. Roger Vadim directs the very talented Annie Girardot and the very decorative (at this stage of her career) Catherine Deneuve, in a tale of two French sisters during WW2. There are strains of Salo and Ilsa when Deneuve is interned in a chateau. Prior to that, Girardot plays the game as the mistress of several high-ranking SS officers. The film is of interest, to me, for its excellent visual compositions capturing quite precisely the relationships among the characters. The B&W cinematography is simply stunning. The score is a pastiche of grandiloquent Wagnerism. Not a great film, but Girardot's acting and Deneuve's beauty lift it. Robert Hossein as the Nazi mastermind is also excellent.
 
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bujaki

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Ramona (TCM) 1928. Long-lost film, found in Russia and Czechoslovakia; restored by the Library of Congress. Exquisitely toned and tinted print. Third (of 4) version of famous novel by Helen Hunt Jackson depicting life in California under Spanish rule. Racial prejudice and intolerance come into play because the son of the hacienda owner is in love with Ramona, who happens to be half-Indian. She falls in love with an Indian and settles into a happy life until the Americanos plunder the village for the livestock and kill all the Indians. More vicissitudes befall the couple played by the gorgeous Mexican actress Dolores Del Rio and Warner Baxter. She delivers a touching and dramatic performance (the heartbreak she experiences upon the loss of her child touches upon greatness), and her close-ups are lit with tender care. The director, Edwin Carewe, and the screenwriter, his brother Finis Fox, were Chickasaw Indians.
Flying Leathernecks (HBO Max) 1951. Great transfer but not the best Ray movie. The story is one oft told but it kept my interest.
Million Dollar Mermaid (HBO Max) 1952. A transfer that does real justice to this Technicolor extravaganza, sublimely spoofed by Miss Piggy. The only thing I regret is that I missed the real Kellerman when MoMA showed one of her films and I stupidly did not attend the screening.
Romance on the High Seas (HBO Max) 1948. Day's first film made her a star and no wonder! Another Technicolor extravaganza that leaves you agog in wonder. What audiences saw in those days and took for granted...
 

Robin9

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I listened to the audio commentary on Kino's Blu-ray disc of The Last Valley yesterday. I found it far more interesting than I do most commentary tracks.

Buccaneer's Girl arrived today so I'll watch that tonight.
 

bujaki

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All of Me (HBO Max) 1984. Three comic geniuses: Carl Reiner at the helm and Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin playing transmogrified souls. Martin won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for this performance, and the AA ignored this classic comic performance. What a pity! I saw this back in '84 and not again because the TV prints and home video were all 4x3. This transfer was at least in the OAR. The film remains a comic delight.
What Dreams May Come (Peacock) 1998. Viewed on the strength of its director, Vincent Ward; on that point, it did not disappoint. The afterlife is a visual feast for our lead who must undergo a quest to reunite with his wife who is in Hell. Much as in the Orpheus myth, he does find her and tries to bring her back through love. It's all very credible, even philosophically, until they all meet in their own version of paradise (husband, wife, children, dog); and then the adults decide to reincarnate and meet again in New Jersey (want to take bets?). They abandon the children and the dog. Does that mean that the children and the dog will have the chance to reincarnate and hook up with the new couple and form the same family unit? Murky, very murky. Why not just stay in their version of paradise, where everything is beautiful and everyone is happy?
 

Mike Frezon

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First time viewing for Peg and I tonight (Criterion blu):



What a lot of fun! And what a bonus to get a bunch of songs with lyrics written by Frank Loesser!

Little Joe/Little Joe
Little Joe/Little Joe
Oh, whatever become of him, I don't know/She don't know
Oh, he sure did like this liquor
And it would have get his ticker
But the Sherriff got him quicker
Eeyohoo! :D
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Oculus
Originally Released: 04/11/2014
Watched: 08/21/2020
HDX (1080P) digital streaming on Apple TV app, upscaled to 4K via Roku Ultra

Oculus (2014) Poster


I picked this one up earlier today when the price dropped to $4.99 on iTunes. Doctor Sleep made me a big fan of Mike Flanagan, so I was interested in seeing the first film he made with a decent budget behind it.

The movie works just like a Swiss watch, the final beat of the film inevitable from the beginning. At the same time, there is vast amounts of ambiguity as to what is really going on. We have two protagonists, and neither is a reliable viewpoint.

Mike Flanagan is definitely an auteur, and the movie features many aspects that would be prevalent in his later works, foremost among them the idea of supernatural demons as literal manifestations of figurative demons and the intersection of past and present in ways that inform one another.

Other than being tall and ginger, Karen Gillan and Annalise Basso don't look very much like one another. But the intercutting between the past and present versions of the characters is never the less really effective. In many ways, the character never escaped the night of terror that reshaped her life forever.

One area where it falls short compared to Flanagan's later works is that it's a bit too intellectual. The characters in this movie feel like pawns on a chessboard. The movie doesn't do enough to make the audience invest in them as people. I much prefer character dramas with horror movie elements to horror movies with character drama elements.
 
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HawksFord

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Yesterday, I had the rare opportunity for a double feature: two 1948 Robert Mitchum westerns on Warner blu-rays.

First up was Rachel and the Stranger with Mitchum, Loretta Young, and William Holden. Holden plays a widowed father who acquires an indentured servant (Young) to care for his house and son. For the sake of propriety, he marries her but it is a marriage in name only. Rachel is treated only as a servant by father and son. Mitchum plays a friend who sees how Rachel is being treated and falls for her. There are no real surprises, but the story is well told. This was my wife's favorite of the two with Mitchum's singing tipping the scales for her.

Second was Blood on the Moon with Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Robert Preston, and directed by Robert Wise. Mitchum plays a drifter who gets involved in a conflict between a rancher (Tom Tully) and some homesteaders (including Walter Brennan) led by an old friend (Preston). It doesn't take long for Mitchum to figure out things are not quite as they first seemed. I prefered this film to the first; the story is a bit more complex, the characters a little more developed, and I appreciated the noirish elements.
 

BobO'Link

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I recently started watching Doctor Who - I'd never seen any complete episodes before purchasing as a blind buy, series 1 of the Tom Baker run. I enjoyed it enough I purchased more from the early series and, due to some great sales, purchased most of the "New Who" series. I'm not much of a fan of the BBC's somewhat stage bound look of their dramatic series from the 60s-80s or so which makes those early Doctor Who series somewhat of a tough watch in spite of fun stories. Not so with the new series as they finally employ more of a motion picture production approach.

So... I've been watching:

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And greatly enjoying it.

Once I've completed these series I plan to go back for the last late Tom Baker series to see if my feelings on the production style changes.
 

bujaki

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The Shepherd of the Hills (Peacock) 1941. If this transfer is any indication of what the Kino BD is going to look like, everybody's in for a treat. I'd never seen this film look so good. Outdoor Technicolor cinematography, good story and acting, leisurely paced by Henry Hathaway.
Smoke Signal (Peacock) 1955. U-I Western with cavalry soldiers escaping Ute Indians by boat down the Colorado river. Spectacular hair-raising escapades hampered by rear projection. Shown in its OAR (2.0?), this transfer was sometimes very sharp, other times fuzzy. Piper Laurie (love her) was there for sole female support. Her bra was amazing. Interesting premise of renegade officer being returned to fort for court-martial and execution, but who saves the unit.
The Redhead from Wyoming (Peacock) 1953. U-I Western starring the fiery redhead Maureen O'Hara as a woman who gets caught in a nefarious scheme that will brand her as a cattle rustler and will trigger a range war. But she's no fool. And she's a gorgeous redhead in Technicolor.
 
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JohnRice

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I stopped participating in this thread when I started visiting some TV series this past winter, but I have to say that the Great Jane Austen Double Feature is now a Triple Feature. Three very different approaches to the same author, and all great in their own way.

Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice are joined by Autumn de Wilde's 2020 adaptation of Emma. What an artfully and impeccably crafted film.
 

JohnRice

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Oculus
Originally Released: 04/11/2014
Watched: 08/21/2020
HDX (1080P) digital streaming on Apple TV app, upscaled to 4K via Roku Ultra

View attachment 77324

I picked this one up earlier today when the price dropped to $4.99 on iTunes. Doctor Sleep made me a big fan of Mike Flanagan, so I was interested in seeing the first film he made with a decent budget behind it.

The movie works just like a Swiss watch, the final beat of the film inevitable from the beginning. At the same time, there is vast amounts of ambiguity as to what is really going on. We have two protagonists, and neither is a reliable viewpoint.

Mike Flanagan is definitely an auteur, and the movie features many aspects that would be prevalent in his later works, foremost among them the idea of supernatural demons as literal manifestations of figurative demons and the intersection of past and present in ways that inform one another.

Other than being tall and ginger, Karen Gillan and Annalise Basso don't look very much like one another. But the intercutting between the past and present versions of the characters is never the less really effective. In many ways, the character never escaped the night of terror that reshaped her life forever.

One area where it falls short compared to Flanagan's later works is that it's a bit too intellectual. The characters in this movie feel like pawns on a chessboard. The movie doesn't do enough to make the audience invest in them as people. I much prefer character dramas with horror movie elements to horror movies with character drama elements.
I don't recall anything specific about Oculus, other than liking it. I'll have to queue it up in October.
 
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Matt Hough

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I watched It's a Date recorded from TCM a week or two ago. The last time I watched it on TCM, the movie was in really rough shape. The one I watched tonight still had some problems, but it looked WAY better than any other version of it I have ever seen before.
 

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