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Jake Lipson

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I remember liking The Judge more than you seemed to, @Adam Lenhardt, but I haven't seen it in a long time. Maybe I'll revisit it. I have often wondered, though, if its relatively soft box office was a contributing factor in Downy deciding to extend his contract with Marvel beyond Age of Ultron. That was a smart move for him -- I'm of the opinion that Tony actually became a more interesting character in the latter part of his MCU run once his solo films ended -- but it is noticible that The Judge is the only non-MCU film he starred in from that period. The second Sherlock Holmes was a few years earlier, and Chef, which came out the same year as The Judge, amounted to a cameo as a favor for Jon Favreau. After The Judge, he didn't play someone who wasn't Tony Stark until this year's release of Doolittle. If The Judge had done better, could Marvel have kept him so exclusively?

Obviously, I think it worked out. But now that Downy has exited the MCU, I'm really curious what he'll do next. I'd certainly like to see him use his star power to get more medium-sized movies like The Judge made, although it will be interesting to see if audiences will turn out to see him play not Tony. I would have been happy to see Doolittle if it looked good, as I do like Downy very much, but it looked atrocious so I passed. If he attaches himself to more movies that seem interesting, I'm down. But maybe the general public was interested in seeing him as Tony more than anything else. Chris Hemsworth has struggled to replicate the success of Thor when working outside Marvel, and though Chris Evans had a hit with Knives Out, it was an all-star cast where he wasn't the only draw.
 

Robin9

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I watched Syncopation last night. I loved the film and of course the music so today I'm going to watch Pete Kelly's Blues, one of Warner Archives' first Blu-ray discs.
 

Robin9

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Today I watched Kino-Lorber's new Blu-ray disc of The World in His Arms. it's a typical Universal-International fun movie with good color, plenty of action and a light-hearted attitude to love and adventure. Raoul Walsh and Russell Metty, a formidable combination, do wonders with Ann Blyth. Her close-ups make her more glamorous than I've seen her in any other film. The picture and sound quality of this disc are very good.
 
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bujaki

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Thiursday, Day One of Cineconline:
The Fourth Commandment 1927. Directed by Emory Johnson, with 13 directing credits to his name, of which only a handful remain. This one was released by Universal and sports a tremendous performance delivered by Belle Bennett, the star of Henry King's Stella Dallas (another unforgettable turn).She starts off as a young woman who sets her sights on a young man, marries him, has a child, clashes with her mother-in-law, and leaves the home with her child. Years pass. She remarries, her son takes a wife and the pattern is repeated. Chastised, and now a widow, she returns to her first husband and begs forgiveness of both injured parties. Bennett plays the young woman, the mother, the rich matron, the disgraced widow, and the repentant, chastised woman with great aplomb and credibility. A true master class in acting. The director also merits some praise for many felicitous directorial touches. A film I was glad to see. The owner of the print hopes to be able to sell legal copies next year when it enters the PD. The film was preserved by the LOC from the only complete print in existence. It's well-worth acquiring.
Will Power 1913. A 5-minute short starring Pearl White predating her Perils. Quite amusing.
The Extra Man and the Milk-Fed Lion 1916. Starring Buck Parvin. About making movies in 1916 and an extra trying to impress the leading lady. Also amusing and you catch a glimpse of movie making at the time.
Vacation Waves 1928. A silent two reeler starring the inimitable Edward Everett Horton. Funny as only he could be.
That's That 1938. A reel of gags and outtakes of Laurel and Hardy films assembled for Laurel's birthday.
First Things Last A Vitaphoney short directed in the style of a Vitaphone short by Michael Schlesinger (our very own Cadavra).
Without Pity 1948. Directed by Alberto Lattuada and co-written by him and Federico Fellini, who also cast their spouses in the leading female roles, thus giving us an early glimpse of the great Giuletta Massina. The film tells the story of a woman who saves the life of a Black GI in post-war Italy while traveling to Livorno. A bond develops between them, but when he's imprisoned in a segregated jail (natch!), she's driven to prostitution. Their friendship is chaste, but could develop into a romance had things not gone from bad to worse, and thus the story ends on a tragic note. The film is shot in the streets of Livorno but uses professional actors, so it's not truly a neo-realist film. The Black actor, John Kitzmiller, remained in Italy after the war for the rest of his life, won a Best Actor award in Cannes, and appeared in Dr. No. The print of the film is very ragged but it seems to be the best available element.
 

bujaki

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Continuing with my Thursday viewing post Cineconline:
The Widow from Monte Carlo 1935. Fluff from WB but what fluff when it stars the beautiful Dolores Del Rio being courted by Warren William and blackmailed by the social climber, Louise Fazenda. Charming, funny sequences breeze by and signify not very much, but the whole thing is just handled so expertly by these pros.
Border River (Peacock) 1954. Shot in 1953 so the 1.37 AR is correct. Confederate officer crosses the border to the Free Zone ruled by Pedro Armendariz in order to buy weapons with $2 million in gold. Joel McCrea is the officer; Yvonne De Carlo is the woman between. A series of crosses and double crosses ensue. McCrea and the Confederacy win the War.
Beau Geste 1926. A worn print, alas! Still a great film with Ronald Colman and Noah Beery playing the lead and the antagonist. Sweeping desert vistas and rows of legionnaires and Arab attackers. It remains an exciting story, well directed by Herbert Brenon. It seems that the 35mm print that I saw in 1972 may no longer exist. Pity.
The Rawhide Years (Peacock) 1956. Gorgeous transfer in 2.0 AR. Tony Curtis only western. Rawhide, what rawhide? Reformed gambler wanted for a murder he didn't commit, Curtis returns to the town where he expects to marry his girl. No go. Arthur Kennedy has joined him. Friend or foe? Who is friend or foe in this town? Things do correct themselves by the end, but there's the usual lynching and almost lynching. These nice people really like ropes, don't they?
 

bujaki

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Friday, Day Two of Cineconline:
Kinecon at Cinecon Kinescopes from the early days of television. Two hours of treasures that included Carl Reiner, Lewis&Martin&Berle; Dick Van Dyke; Ed Wynn, Lucille Ball and Desi; the Stooges and many more luminaries.
Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour aka The Sleeping Cardinal 1931. Film was lost and found in the US with the Sherlock title. Arthur Wontner plays the detective and purists believe him to be the closest incarnation to the character created by Conan Doyle. Let others decide. The film is a bit slow at the beginning but it takes off and its plot is clever. Holmes speaks in riddles; Lestrade is slow in the pickup; Watson can't deduce a thing. Moriarty is unmasked at the end.
The Tin Ghost 1926. Short film starring Lige Connelly. Comedy with evil newspaper editors and robots!
The Best Man 1928. A Mack Sennett short starring the uproarious Billy Bevan as the best man from hell.
A Lady Lion 1928. Another very funny short involving a young woman who wants to capture a true man (this one has many animals).
 
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Thomas T

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I saw this in an extraordinary 35mm print and was in awe of Sternberg/Dietrich et al. The Criterion BD is exceptional.
I'll have to take your word for it. I'm watching the R2 Powerhouse/Indicator blu ray. :) I suspect they're the same transfer however. I went with Indicator rather than Criterion because I preferred the artwork. Indicator used a double sided jacket each with original poster art work.
 
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bujaki

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Continuing my Friday viewings post Cineconline:
The Devil's Holiday 1930. Revisiting (after many, many decades) one of Nancy Carroll's finest dramatic performances, one nominated for an Academy Award. The film is a melodrama that's a bit creaky today but is well directed by Edmund Goulding, belying its early sound film origins. And Carroll's acting really elevates the film.
Wolf Lowry 1917. Directed and starring William S. Hart. Nicely tinted print. Hart plays the owner of a ranch who falls in love with a young woman who actually loves a man she thinks is dead, but who shows up soon before her wedding to the Lowry. Lowry vows revenge but relents and moves away to a life of solitude. This is a very good film which should make its way to a video release. Bill Hart should be better known.
Gentlemen of the Press 1929. Based on a play and bringing to the screen for the very first time the talents of Walter Huston and Kay Francis. And Francis pre-Code purrs and is so very naughty! Brian Donleavy makes an early appearance. The film is very good for an early talkie, good dialogue delivery and fluid camerawork.
Laughter 1930. Another great film from Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast who elicits great performances from Nancy Carroll and Fredric March. Seriously, this is not a comedy, save for a couple of lighthearted scenes. Carroll is an ex-showgirl who marries rich, but when her ex-boyfriend (not wealthy) reenters her life and sees how she's suffocating without laughter in her life, he convinces her to change her life. Early talkies were not all stultifying, boring films. This should see a video release.
Bend of the River (Peacock) 1952. Mann/Stewart and Julia Adams (sigh). Arthur Kennedy (hiss!) and Rock Hudson. Great vistas, good film, faulty transfer with fringing, bleeding colors...ugh.
 

bujaki

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I'll have to take your word for it. I'm watching the R2 Powerhouse/Indicator blu ray. :) I suspect they're the same transfer however. I went with Indicator rather than Criterion because I preferred the artwork. Indicator used a double sided jacket each with original poster art work.
I was sorely tempted by the Indicator release, but I already had the Criterion release and couldn't justify the expense. But those extras in the Indicator were so compelling...
 
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bujaki

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Saturday, Third and Final Day of Cineconline:
Lorraine of the Lions 1925. A Universal Jewel starring Patsy Ruth Miller and Norman Kerry; Fred Hume as the Gorilla, the lions of the title having little to do with the story. And what a story! A shipwrecked young girl (heiress!) reared by a gorilla and assorted wild animals; rescued 12 years later by her grandfather with the aid of a spiritualist (Kerry), who brings her and her pet gorilla back to San Francisco. Her entry into society is awkward, marred by occasional gorilla bursts. The finale finds Kerry pursued by a jealous gorilla who carries off Miller and is eventually shot to death in a finale reminiscent of King Kong. Patsy Ruth cradles her beloved gorilla's head in her arms as it expires. It's somewhat touching.
The Bond of Blood 1916. Short starring Al Jennings. Outlaw is allowed to escape by sheriff because they're kin.
Autobuyography 1934. A nitrate short starring Leon Errol. Very funny skit about buying a new car.
Speed in the Gay Nineties 1932. Another nitrate short, this one starring Andy Clyde. About an inventor who claims he can win an auto race by going over 15 mph. He does and by far more, after a series of misadventures.
Covid Comfort Theater A collection of film rarities themed about film.
Finis.
 
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bujaki

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Continuing with my Saturday viewing after the Cineconline:
Once a Thief (TCM app) 1965. Well, I liked this Ralph Nelson offering starring Alain Delon, Ann Margret and Van Heflin. Jack Palance and John Davis Chandler give excellent support. Well shot in B&W with a good score by Lalo Schifrin. It's kind of noirish, since the characters are doomed with nowhere to go but down.
Working Girls (Criterion Channel) 1931. Dorothy Arzner directed this story of two sister who arrive in New York with no prospects. They live in an all-female boarding house and go looking for jobs, honest jobs. They meet men, some good, some not. All's well that ends well. One of the sisters has a grating voice and this was her last film (thank heavens!). Arzner directs with sure hand and uses the camera creatively. Good transfer of the restoration done by UCLA.
The Texas Rangers (Peacock) 1936. Last viewed during the Vidor retro at MoMA a lifetime ago (even Vidor was still roaming the MoMA halls). Solid western that has solid action scenes of the rangers battling Indians. The framework was used for the later Streets of Laredo, with a more complicated subplot. Vidor keeps things moving and delivers a fine picture and a tribute to his native state. P.S. The Rangers statue that featured prominently in the Love Field airport has been quietly removed.
 
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Dave Moritz

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September 6th, 2020 Sunday


Jurassic Park lll
4K Blu-ray / HDR10
DTS-X 7.1.4 to Auro 3D

MV5BZDMyZGJjOGItYjJkZC00MDVlLWE0Y2YtZGIwMDExYWE3MGQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDYyMDk5MTU@._V1_.jpg



Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger
HD Digital / Dish Network DVR
Dolby upmixed to Auro 7.1

Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger.jpg



Jurassic World
4K Blu-ray / HDR10
DTS-X 7.1.4 to Auro 3D

e5082a128018f8190e5ce486e72cd494.jpg
 

Adam Lenhardt

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HiWayDriveIn_20200906.jpg
The New Mutants
Originally Released: 08/28/2020
Watched: 09/06/2020
Digitally projected onto Screen One at the Hi-Way Drive-in in Coxsackie New York, with FM analog radio stereo audio

The New Mutants (2020) Poster


My thoughts on this movie are available here. To summarize: a good but not great horror movie that caps off 20th Century Fox's X-Men universe, anchored by strong performances from the three young female leads.

* * *​

A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood
Originally Released: 11/22/2019
Watched: 09/06/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) iTunes Cover


Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister. In deciding to make a biopic about Mister Rogers, director Marielle Heller and screenwriters Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster wisely decided against a chronological retelling of Mister Rogers's life and instead made a movie about Mister Rogers's ministry, both in front of the camera and behind the camera.

It's a deceptively difficult story to tell; it would be far too easy to either infantilize him or caricature him. What this movie understands, and successfully conveys, is that the camera captured the real Fred Rogers but didn't encompass the entirety of Fred Rogers. The conflict in this movie, such as it is, is between two competing worldviews: the reporter's cynicism and Mister Rogers' willful decency. And even though the reporter is our protagonist, we're actively rooting for his worldview to lose.

As Mister Rogers, Tom Hanks is neither a close physical match nor a close vocal match to the man he's portraying. The make up and prosthetics the movie uses to bridge the gap are minimal, and Hanks doesn't really attempt an impersonation. Instead, he zeroes in on Mister Rogers's essential and core qualities -- his stillness, his gentleness, his patience, his active engagement with the person he is conversing with -- and translates those qualities into his own physicality and voice. The result is almost miraculous; within a minute or two I stopped comparing him to my memory of the real man, because his performance made me feel what Mister Rogers made me feel.

The movie doesn't assume that viewers will be familiar with Mister Rogers's body of work, and uses an episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" as a framing device to facilitate the introduction. Accordingly, the story the movie tells is a parable about family reconciliation with Mister Rogers as the architect. The movie is adapted from, and centered around, the November 1998 profile of Fred Rogers in Esquire. Some of the more unlikely moments from the movie are drawn straight out of that article. But journalist Tom Junod is fictionalized as Lloyd Vogel, and this allows the filmmakers to use him for their own purposes.

It's not really a spoiler to say that Mister Rogers changes Lloyd Vogel's life. But the real achievement is the film's attention to detail when it comes to the how and the why. By this point in his career, Mister Rogers had been studying psychology for over four decades. He would have been able to draw certain conclusions by reading Vogel's past body of work. The first time Mister Rogers meets Vogel, he looks like he went ten rounds in the ring. When he learns that an altercation with Vogel's father was the cause, it fills in the picture further.

From then on, the two men have competing missions: Vogel wants to get the information and understanding he needs to complete his article. Mister Rogers wants to help Vogel work through his anger and resentment so he can rebuild his relationship with his father. Both men work diligently at their objectives.

There was only one small stretch of the movie that didn't work for me, when Vogel collapses due to stress and exhaustion and has a hallucinatory dreamlike experience. It felt artsy and distancing in a way that pulled me out of the movie. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it from beginning to end.
 
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