What's on your Daily Viewing List?

bujaki

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A Son of Erin (Kino BD) 1916. Written and directed by Julia Crawford Ivers. Note the year and the sex of the director, and she was no hack! Although one reel is missing and there's some negative damage, there's enough pleasure to be had in this tale of a strong Irish lad (Dustin Farnum) and his lass (Winifred Kingston, his frequent co-star). they dream of owning a cow. He dreams of moving to NY and joining the police force, composed of mostly Irishmen. Eventually he does, but finds much graft and corruption and loses his job. He joins the anti-corruption party and all ends happily when he brings his sweetheart to the New World and to their suburban home, complete with cow.
The Directors (PBS) An overview of George Cukor's career in less than 60 minutes.
Arizona Dream (Criterion Channel) 1993. Alas, cut by 20 minutes in the USA. So I went ahead and ordered a BD from Italy with the complete version. Directed by Emir Kusturica and starring Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway and Lili Taylor. Surreal farce much in the vein of other Kusturica films, so if you like his films...
Women Make Film (TCM) 2020. Episode 4. Worthwhile series in which one learns much about forgotten directors.
 

Matt Hough

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I began watching the two seasons of Banacek tonight. They're TV-movie length, so only one per day/night, but I always found the puzzles intriguing. During its original run, I only saw three or four of these, so most of the 17 episodes will be new to me. Enjoyed the first one (not the pilot; it's a bonus on the second season set) tonight.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Albany, NY
Enola Holmes
Originally Released: 09/23/2020
Watched: 09/23/2020
1080P HD digital streaming on Netflix, upscaled to 4K via Roku Ultra

EnolaHolmes_2020_Poster.jpg


My thoughts are available here. To summarize: I loved it.
 

ptb2020

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Paul Trevor Bale
The Devil All The Time in which Tom Holland kills an abusive preacher played by Robert Pattinson and flees only to encounter a pair of serial killers. This Deep South set violent melodrama tries to channel Tennessee Williams but fails. Far too slow and deeply unpleasant at times Tom does a good job, but is fighting a losing battle against the material.
also watched Italian mystery The Girl in The Fog. Full of twists and turns it is also too slow paced to be effective, and while looking gorgeous, wastes too many opportunities, including the secondary role of the younger detective, played by Netflix recent Marco Polo actor Lorenzo Michelmy with a ghastly 70s moustache!
in the meantime watched Spanish thriller Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest in English, though I’ve no idea why) which is easily the best thriller I’ve ever seen, with a twist at the end I defy anybody to see coming which had me cheering and gasping. Starring Spanish superstar heartthrob Mario Casas it’s simply brilliant, and is a film I’m sure I’ll watch again and again to see if I missed any of the clues along the way. Cannot recommend this highly enough!
 

bujaki

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Show and Tell: Merrily We Roll Along 25 Years Later (A York Theater Live Presentation) Members of the original cast met virtually to reminisce about the production and recording of the first revival of the landmark show. Although I did not see this revival, I was one of the few who actually saw the ORIGINAL production that ran 16 performances.
The Debutante (Archival Stream) A Victor Herbert operetta from 1914 as performed by members of the Victor Herbert Renaissance Project. Lots of fun with a cast of fine voices that were NOT miked!
The Cave of the Yellow Dog (TCM) 2005. A first feature film for woman director Byambasuren Davaa, part of the TCM series Women Make Films. Simple story of nomad family as they spend their final days of summer before moving on. The oldest child comes upon a dog and befriends it. The father wants none of it. The dog saves the life of the youngest child and is accepted by the father. This is part of a larger story of man in tune with nature, of man respecting nature and what nature offers man, and man giving back to nature. It is affecting, but not manipulative not flashy.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Starship Troopers
Originally Released: 11/07/1997
Watched: 09/24/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

StarshipTroopers_1997_iTunesCover.jpg


This movie was savaged by critics when it first came out, and it's easy to understand why: It's a tasteless, over-the-top gorefest with wooden acting from actors who look like underwear models. Taken in earnest, it's a failure of a movie.

To appreciate it, you have to accept that Paul Verhoeven wasn't adapting Robert A. Heinlein's most famous and enduring work so much as satirizing it. The book glorified a stern, disciplined populace thriving in a fascist utopia dominated by a powerful, wise military. Verhoeven spent his early childhood in the Netherlands living under Nazi occupation. To say he had a different perspective on fascism is putting it mildly.

It explains why the opening propaganda news reel is more or less taken shot-for-shot from Triumph of the Will. It explains why the officers' uniforms closely resemble Nazi uniforms. It's why Heinlein's Filipino protagonist has been whitewashed, with Casper Van Dien looking like he stepped right out of a World War II army recruiting poster. It's why Rico's high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina looks like a cross between a "Beverly Hills 90210" episode and an Abercrombie & Fitch magazine ad. It's why any attempt to understand the Bugs' motivations or whether human actions played any role in the Bugs' aggression is quickly shouted over or cut off; everybody is swept up in the jingoistic fervor. A world where democracy has failed, but AT&T endures.

The movie portrays war both as it's sold to the public at large, and as the horrific, random, brutal bloodbath that it actually is. Rico's steadfast patriotic zeal after several rounds in that bloodbath is seen in this movie less as heroic and more as a symptom of societal insanity. The Federation has accomplished all of the these scientific and technological feats, and the main thing it uses them for is to send its people into a meat grinder on the other side of the galaxy.

This was the first time I'd seen the movie in better than NTSC quality since I originally saw it in theaters. It was made at a really interesting time in visual effects; the sophistication and craft of traditional optical effects were at their zenith, and the CG revolution was just getting underway. The movie uses a hybrid approach that combines miniature effects, animatronics and CGI, whichever technique worked best for each particular element. The final results hold up better than the visual effects in many of the films that were made far more recently with far more sophisticated technology.

All in all, a movie I appreciate more now than when I originally saw it.
 

HawksFord

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central NY
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Yanks (1979) - I picked this John Schlesinger directed film up in one of the final Twilight Time sales based on the cast and description. I never saw it before. Richard Gere, William Devane, and Chick Vennera play GIs stationed in Britain waiting for the D-Day invasion. Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Wendy Morgan play the women of the village with whom they become involved. It's a good film and well photographed, but even at 140 minutes there isn't enough time to explore all the plot elements. I wanted more about what the Americans were feeling as D-Day approached, more about the relationships, more about the racism subplot. There's a commentary track which I have not yet checked out.
 
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Thomas T

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Intriguing cast and director. Don't recall seeing it. How was it, this violent summer? Provenance of DVD/BD?
Violent Summer was on DVD (possibly OP by now, not sure). To the best of my knowledge, it's not out on blu ray. As to how was it, here's the review I wrote on my blog:

In 1943 Italy, the young son (Jean Louis Trintignant) of a prominent Fascist (Enrico Maria Salerno), who has intentionally managed to avoid the draft, falls in love with an older woman (Eleonora Rossi Drago). The second feature of director Valerio Zurlini (DESERT OF THE TARTARS) is a May/December romance set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Fascist government. The young Trintignant brings an interesting ambivalence to his character. We're never quite sure if he's a simple draft dodger out of cowardice or because of political beliefs. The lovely Rossi Drago (she was Lot's wife in John Huston's THE BIBLE) brings both an attractive mature sexuality and a poignancy to her love starved matron tired of playing the respectable widow. There's a marvelous lengthy sequence played to the pop song Temptation as the sexual attraction between Trintignant and Rossi Drago builds until it becomes too much to be contained in the confines of the small informal party they are a part of. But the film's kinetic highlight is the bombing of a passenger train which captures all the hysteria and panic of such an event with expertise. The first rate score is by Mario Nascimbene (THE VIKINGS). With Jacqueline Sassard (Losey's ACCIDENT) and Lilla Brignone.
 
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bujaki

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Women Who Loved Cinema, Parts 1 and 2 (TCM) 2002. Documentary directed by Marianne Khouri. Rare footage and interviews chronicling the influence of pioneering women stars and directors in Egypt from the late '20s to the '50s. It's films like this one that offer us glimpses into worlds and film history heretofore unknown to most of us.
Entre nous aka Coup de foudre (TCM) 1983. Nominated for Best Foreign Film AA. Directed by Diane Kurys and based on her childhood memories. A story of 2 women in France in 1943. After events that change their lives, flash forward to 1952. When they meet, they're married but not quite fulfilled. They gravitate towards each other, but lesbianism is not overt. The end is quietly shattering. Brilliantly played by Isabelle Huppert, Miou Miou and Guy Marchand as the husband and father who loves too much but is just not enough for Huppert.
 

bujaki

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Violent Summer was on DVD (possibly OP by now, not sure). To the best of my knowledge, it's not out on blu ray. As to how was it, here's the review I wrote on my blog:

In 1943 Italy, the young son (Jean Louis Trintignant) of a prominent Fascist (Enrico Maria Salerno), who has intentionally managed to avoid the draft, falls in love with an older woman (Eleonora Rossi Drago). The second feature of director Valerio Zurlini (DESERT OF THE TARTARS) is a May/December romance set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Fascist government. The young Trintignant brings an interesting ambivalence to his character. We're never quite sure if he's a simple draft dodger out of cowardice or because of political beliefs. The lovely Rossi Drago (she was Lot's wife in John Huston's THE BIBLE) brings both an attractive mature sexuality and a poignancy to her love starved matron tired of playing the respectable widow. There's a marvelous lengthy sequence played to the pop song Temptation as the sexual attraction between Trintignant and Rossi Drago builds until it becomes too much to be contained in the confines of the small informal party they are a part of. But the film's kinetic highlight is the bombing of a passenger train which captures all the hysteria and panic of such an event with expertise. The first rate score is by Mario Nascimbene (THE VIKINGS). With Jacqueline Sassard (Losey's ACCIDENT) and Lilla Brignone.
Thanks. I liked Desert of the Tartars very much. I find Rossi Drago and Trintignant and Sassard very attractive. Nascimbene also scored The Barefoot Contessa which provided Gardner with the sensuous strains for her gypsy dance as well as the doomed theme of the Torlato-Favrini.
I just checked my DVD Profiler and I own the Zurlini set of this film along with The Girl with the Suitcase. Now, if I can ever find it...
 
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JohnRice

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Starship Troopers
Originally Released: 11/07/1997
Watched: 09/24/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

View attachment 79112

This movie was savaged by critics when it first came out, and it's easy to understand why: It's a tasteless, over-the-top gorefest with wooden acting from actors who look like underwear models. Taken in earnest, it's a failure of a movie.

To appreciate it, you have to accept that Paul Verhoeven wasn't adapting Robert A. Heinlein's most famous and enduring work so much as satirizing it. The book glorified a stern, disciplined populace thriving in a fascist utopia dominated by a powerful, wise military. Verhoeven spent his early childhood in the Netherlands living under Nazi occupation. To say he had a different perspective on fascism is putting it mildly.

It explains why the opening propaganda news reel is more or less taken shot-for-shot from Triumph of the Will. It explains why the officers' uniforms closely resemble Nazi uniforms. It's why Heinlein's Filipino protagonist has been whitewashed, with Casper Van Dien looking like he stepped right out of a World War II army recruiting poster. It's why Rico's high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina looks like a cross between a "Beverly Hills 90210" episode and an Abercrombie & Fitch magazine ad. It's why any attempt to understand the Bugs' motivations or whether human actions played any role in the Bugs' aggression is quickly shouted over or cut off; everybody is swept up in the jingoistic fervor. A world where democracy has failed, but AT&T endures.

The movie portrays war both as it's sold to the public at large, and as the horrific, random, brutal bloodbath that it actually is. Rico's steadfast patriotic zeal after several rounds in that bloodbath is seen in this movie less as heroic and more as a symptom of societal insanity. The Federation has accomplished all of the these scientific and technological feats, and the main thing it uses them for is to send its people into a meat grinder on the other side of the galaxy.

This was the first time I'd seen the movie in better than NTSC quality since I originally saw it in theaters. It was made at a really interesting time in visual effects; the sophistication and craft of traditional optical effects were at their zenith, and the CG revolution was just getting underway. The movie uses a hybrid approach that combines miniature effects, animatronics and CGI, whichever technique worked best for each particular element. The final results hold up better than the visual effects in many of the films that were made far more recently with far more sophisticated technology.

All in all, a movie I appreciate more now than when I originally saw it.
I have loved Starship Troopers from the first time I saw it. It actually amazes me that so few seemed to understand from the start that it's a lampoon of what it's depicting. A former friend was actually so offended by it that he screamed at the theater manager, demanding a refund. I suppose an argument can be made that since so few people realize it's satire, that it's incredibly successful. I can't believe anyone misses that fact. Oh, yeah, I've read the novel. I wonder if Heinlein deserves credit for Iron Man, because he seemed to create him in this novel. The combat uniforms essentially are Iron Man, which isn't depicted in the movie.

BTW, Isn't Rico Brazilian? It's been a long time since I read it.
 
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BobO'Link

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Starship Troopers
Originally Released: 11/07/1997
Watched: 09/24/2020
4K UHD digital streaming on Apple TV app via Roku Ultra

View attachment 79112

This movie was savaged by critics when it first came out, and it's easy to understand why: It's a tasteless, over-the-top gorefest with wooden acting from actors who look like underwear models. Taken in earnest, it's a failure of a movie.

To appreciate it, you have to accept that Paul Verhoeven wasn't adapting Robert A. Heinlein's most famous and enduring work so much as satirizing it. The book glorified a stern, disciplined populace thriving in a fascist utopia dominated by a powerful, wise military. Verhoeven spent his early childhood in the Netherlands living under Nazi occupation. To say he had a different perspective on fascism is putting it mildly.

It explains why the opening propaganda news reel is more or less taken shot-for-shot from Triumph of the Will. It explains why the officers' uniforms closely resemble Nazi uniforms. It's why Heinlein's Filipino protagonist has been whitewashed, with Casper Van Dien looking like he stepped right out of a World War II army recruiting poster. It's why Rico's high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina looks like a cross between a "Beverly Hills 90210" episode and an Abercrombie & Fitch magazine ad. It's why any attempt to understand the Bugs' motivations or whether human actions played any role in the Bugs' aggression is quickly shouted over or cut off; everybody is swept up in the jingoistic fervor. A world where democracy has failed, but AT&T endures.

The movie portrays war both as it's sold to the public at large, and as the horrific, random, brutal bloodbath that it actually is. Rico's steadfast patriotic zeal after several rounds in that bloodbath is seen in this movie less as heroic and more as a symptom of societal insanity. The Federation has accomplished all of the these scientific and technological feats, and the main thing it uses them for is to send its people into a meat grinder on the other side of the galaxy.

This was the first time I'd seen the movie in better than NTSC quality since I originally saw it in theaters. It was made at a really interesting time in visual effects; the sophistication and craft of traditional optical effects were at their zenith, and the CG revolution was just getting underway. The movie uses a hybrid approach that combines miniature effects, animatronics and CGI, whichever technique worked best for each particular element. The final results hold up better than the visual effects in many of the films that were made far more recently with far more sophisticated technology.

All in all, a movie I appreciate more now than when I originally saw it.
I mostly enjoyed the movie but it bears only a passing resemblance to the novel. The film's supposed satirism was totally lost on me - still is. That Verheoven never read the book is telling and shows on screen. I see it as a mostly enjoyable SF romp that fails the adaptation test and frequently misses the mark.
 

bujaki

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Houston Grand Opera Studio Showcase (Marquee TV) 2020. The Studio presents singers in opera scenes showcasing their talents. A way to allow the singers to gain experience and exposure, and I can say that I knew them way back then when they were talented students.
Adoration (Criterion Channel) 2008. Atom Egoyan's exploration of identity and the Other, internet and chat rooms. How the invention of a fictional life can dispel the cobweb of lies obscuring the truth. And how this delicate dance that can bring about pain and suffering and anger and hate, can also bring a peaceful resolution into upturned lives.
The Two of Us (Criterion Channel) 1967. I last saw this film upon arrival in NYC, ca. '71-'72. It's the kind of film that stays with you forever. Directed by Claude Berri, based on his childhood experiences when he was forced to be separated from his Parisian Jewish family and relocated to the French countryside to live with an elderly couple. The old man is a lovable rascal who happens to be a right-wing bigot by dint of ignorance more that anything else. He hates Jews and has no inkling that his small charge is Jewish. They develop a deep affective bond and the child uses logic to demolish the old man's prejudices, but never reveals his origins, not even when his parents collect him after the war. This film remains a jewel after all these years. First available in a Criterion DVD, it's now part of the Cohen library. A gentle film that eschews preaching and that should be required viewing at white supremacists' rallies.
Mifune: The Last Samurai (Criterion Channel) 2015. Affectionate documentary about the famous Japanese actor, his key collaborations with director Kurosawa (to whom he owed much of his early fame and responsible for their greatest works). Many clips and talking heads, but it doesn't delve deep into what made him tick or much into his personal life, even though his son is interviewed.
California Suite (Criterion Channel) 1978. Neil Simon writes and, as usual, it can be quietly or acidly funny, rueful, farcical, or miss the mark. Matthau and May can never miss the mark. Fonda and Alda are acidly funny, and Fonda's tough/vulnerable act is skillfully balanced and moving. Caine and Smith are perfectly matched. Smith won the Best Supporting AA for her comedic banter hiding a very human need for love and connection with her husband. And when the mask comes off...well, that's why Smith won the Oscar. The Pryor/Cosby segment is TV sitcom material. Funny but insubstantial. There's no humanity, as in the other 3 segments.
 

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