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What's on your Daily Viewing List? (3 Viewers)

HawksFord

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The Green Man (1956) — My wife rarely laughs out loud at movies. She'll laugh at other things (chiefly, when I do something dumb) and she enjoys comedy. But for some reason, movies rarely make her laugh out loud. One exception is Kind Hearts and Coronets. She laughs uproariously at every death. So when she asked for a comedy the other night, I picked out Alastair Sim's take on the same theme. And while The Green Man didn't generate the same number of laughs as Kind Hearts and Coronets, it's also true that Sim doesn't rack up as high a body count as does Alec Guinness. Because I find humor in more than just assassinations, I had plenty to laugh out loud at: George Cole as a frenetic vacuum cleaner salesman, Terry-Thomas as a jovial but confused hotel guest, and Sim's marvelous body language and facial expressions. It may not reach the lofty heights of Kind Hearts and Coronets, but The Green Man is a fine comedy in its own right.
 

Mike Frezon

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Peg and I watched The Truffle Hunters last night.

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This should have been a slam dunk for us: old Italian men closely bonded to their smart, irresistible dogs used to hunt for underground truffles. We also figured to learn something about the truffle trade--a fairly enigmatic process which brings this ultra rare commodity to the dinner table.

But we were denied on all fronts. We learned precious little about the truffle industry...outside of some very old men complaining about the cold and rain and its impact on their work to find the underground fungi. There is no narration to this film. The entire story is told through the beautiful images of rural Italy and the dialogues of the various people which appear randomly on screen. We watch the truffle hunters ply their trade...but that's as far as it goes. The dogs are wonderful. The old Italian guys are great. The images are beautiful. So if that's all you want...go for it. If you were hoping to learn something (we were especially looking forward to seeing how these guys trained their dogs to do such confounding work--because, for example, its important for the dogs not to damage the truffles before harvesting) forget about it because we learned nothing. Too bad. We were greatly disappointed.
 

Robin9

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Last night I saw for the first time ever The Italian Job. Somehow this film and I have always passed in the night so a few weeks ago I bought the Blu-ray disc when it was going cheap.

It's an amusing comedy thriller generating a few belly laughs and it held my interest until about then minutes from the end when the long, long, long sequence with the three mini-coopers became tiresome.

The Blu-ray disc provided provides de-grained images which have great clarity and very good color. The faces are all too smooth which spoils things for me.
 

Keith Cobby

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First time viewing of Eagles Over London (1969), starring Frederick Stafford and Van Johnson. Good Italian actioner following the events leading up to Dunkirk and thereafter. Stafford should have had a bigger career although he was a late starter as an actor and his life was cut short by an aircraft accident. The DVD has a feature with Tarantino and the film's director.
 

Robin9

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Yesterday I made a further inroad into my all too extensive backlog: Hans Christian Andersen. A very enjoyable film which is a hybrid of biographical musical and ballet sequences. I've never previously been aware of this but Danny Kaye is a performer I've always loved. The Court Jester is also in my backlog!

The disc is not one of Warner Archive's greatest triumphs and I assume they were working with less than optimum material. I felt the images had too much red and that they should have been a bit brighter.
 

Keith Cobby

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OSS 117 alerte rouge en Afrique noire - the third of Jean Dujardin's reboot of OSS 117 French spy thriller. Good pre-credits and excellent credits sequence very reminiscent of earlier Bond films (the character was originated before Fleming and may have influenced him).

Un Flic - very classy1972 French crime film starring Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve.

Operation Crossbow - great WW2 film about the V1/V2 threat to London, much better than I remember!
 

dana martin

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Today's Feature Presentations: All: First Time Viewings

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both films were entertaining so I am not sorry that I got the set but, I kind of wonder more about these "restorations", as I am seeing films of the same time frame looking decidedly better. Maybe if the source Material in the UK could have been available these would have been presented and "restored" in better shape.
 
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HawksFord

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The Great Escape (1963) — It was a cold, snowy weekend here which made it a good weekend to revisit an old favorite. This was our first time watching the Criterion blu-ray. I asked my wife, "You don't generally like war movies, you prefer stories with strong female characters, and you know what happened to most of the escapees. So why do you like this movie?" She said it was because it was a story of men working together to overcome impossible odds. Then she added that Steve McQueen may have something to do with it as well.
 

Robin9

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I watched Party Girl last night. Being a big fan of Cyd Charisse, I've always loved this film but I can now see that some of her "choices" here are a bit off. It's been long rumoured that she refused to take direction from Nicholas Ray - I'm sceptical about that - but she could have been better. Her dancing however could not have been better and she demonstrates once again in this movie that she was the most erotic dancer Hollywood ever had.

Robert Taylor does well as the physically and morally crippled lawyer.
 

HawksFord

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The Black Stallion (1979) — I remember seeing this film in the theater when it was released. I had traveled to meet some friends and ended up needing to kill a couple of hours. I don't think I knew anything about the film at that point, but I had fond memories of reading the Walter Farley novels when I was younger. I went in expecting an inoffensive movie geared toward children and was stunned by the beauty of the film particularly in the first half. I've seen it a couple of times since then including making my kids watch it on video tape, but it has been a long time. This was our first time watching the Criterion blu-ray. I'm still struck by the beauty of the film, but this time I was more aware of how much Mickey Rooney adds to the second half of the film. It's an outstanding performance which pulls the story together.
 

Robin9

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Today I watched Suspense, a film starring the ice-skating Belita, Barry Sullivan, Albert Dekker and Bonita Granville. Narratively, the film is very weak but the director, the camera department and the set designer make diamonds out of paste. If someone with a gift for plot had done a re-write, this film would have been something really special. As it is, it's an interesting misfire.
 
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