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@sunnylea57 posted:

Dear WS forum. If you watch nothing else while hunkering, watch this. It's on YouTube for seven days only starting this Thursday. It is truly brilliant and YOU WILL THANK ME.

National Theatre's production of Frankenstein. Directed by Danny Boyle. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller. There are two versions: one with Cumberbatch at the monster and Miller at Dr. Frankenstein; in the other version they reverse roles. Both versions will be on YouTube. 

https://youtu.be/tl8jxNrtceQ

A tour de force.

Brilliant. 😎

For those who like to hate the news media, Ace in the Hole--91pts. No one in Hollywood could make deeply cynical movies and get away with it other than Billy Wilder. His unique form of venom is directed toward the "hero" of the movie, a do-anything-to-get-a story-reporter played by Kirk Douglas. He's a big city reporter whose behavior has him currently scrounging for work at a small New Mexican newspaper. A man is trapped in a cave-in and Douglas goes to investigate with a young apprentice reporter. After sizing up the situation Douglas realizes the potential story if the man remains stuck in the cave for days. The cub reporter says he can't be suggesting what he's wishing for. Douglas innocently, "I'm not wishing for anything, I don't make things happen, all I do is write about them." Well if were true it'd be the end of the movie.

I originally saw this with its alternate, foreshadowing, title The Big Carnival. Billy Wilder wrote in so many genres and each one is usually at the top of its division. A cynical newspaper movie? Ace in the Hole drips with it.

Last edited by The Old Man

Shit, that was on TCM last night. I thought about it but didn't watch or record it. TOM, you need to provide greater advance notice on these recos.

Instead we watched

Pain and Glory

Not bad but not Almodovar's best work.

The Goldfinch

J wanted to see it as she read the book. I didn't think it was as bad as the thrashing it seems to have received from critics.

Cul-de-sac--1966--80pts. Polanski's third feature length picture, after Knife in the Water and the great Repulsion. It's a bizarre movie that's a mix up of gangsters-on-the-lam films, black comedy, theater of the absurd, terror and craziness. The film, in black and white, opens with a long shot pretty much like the image below, but with no tidewater yet on the "causeway."

Image: Gary Rogers, CC BY-SA 2.0

The movie is shot on Holy Island,  also known as Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of Great Britain near Scotland. It can be reached  when the tide is low, but you have to be careful, you can get trapped on the causeway. (Has anyone ever been there?) Two wounded gangsters from a botched robbery, who play like characters from Samuel Beckett (one of the actors was a frequently featured in theatrical presentations of Becke--) find their way to an 11th century castle. It's occupied by an odd married couple consisting of Donald Pleasence in his weirdest role, in a career of weird roles, and his young wife.

Donald Pleasence and Françoise Dorléac in Cul-de-sac [1966)

His wife is played by then 24 year old Francoise Dorleac who was the sister of Catherine Deneuve. She had a promising career that was cut short the following year when she died in a car accident. The picture is of Donald and his hot, improbably his, wife who participates in games such as him dressing in her nightie and putting lipstick on. Another up-and-comer in the film, who was originally up for the lead role, was Jacqueline Bisset, whose credit reads, Jackie Bisset. She only has one or two lines.

A difficult and interesting film with the disturbed minds, the  nervousness and upset that many Polanski movies contain. As I watched it I kept going between 70 to 90 pts. so I averaged it out.

Last edited by The Old Man
@steve8 posted:

A couple of oldies

Shock Corridor

And Then There Were None

The former was the better of the two although I enjoyed the latter also because I remember reading the Agatha Christie book when I was very young. Might have been the first "adult" book I ever read.

Don't be too hard on And Then There Were None. It's directed by Rene Clair, best known for I Married A Witch with Veronica Lake. None also has a great cast. For comparison be sure to watch Ten Little Indians with Bond-girl Shirley Eaton. Without giving anything away do you remember the ending of the book? It's not the ending in either of the two movies. The book has sold more copies of any mystery ever written. Christie turned it into a play in 1943 and changed the book's ending. That ending is what's in both film versions. There is a BBC mini-series from 2015 that uses the book's original, and quite shocking, ending.

Best not to discuss the original title of the book which was changed for American publication.

@steve8 posted:

Shit, that was on TCM last night. I thought about it but didn't watch or record it. TOM, you need to provide greater advance notice on these recos. 

The TCM app is showing "Ace in the Hole" available for streaming. (I should always check that app.) Every Billy Wilder movie is essential as is this one .  Maybe Kirk Douglas' greatest performance after "Paths of Glory." And since you watched Shock Corridor" you might be interested in Sam Fuller's "House of Bamboo." Fuller never made lightweight films.

Last edited by The Old Man

Double feature last night. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood  and Jojo Rabbit. Enjoyed both, for different reasons. Tarentino certainly got the time period right. Now I want that Champion spark plug t-shirt. I was 8 in 1969, but I remember well the automotive product stickers that everyone in elementary school seemed to have on their notebooks. STP was also a big one. 

Last edited by mneeley490
@napacat posted:

I expect a reply from you TOM.

You get two for one, but you might not like the second.

I consider Woody Allen's Manhattan to be his best film. It rests in my top 20 even though (and I believe, as best we can ever know, that Allen didn't molest his step-daughter) there still is a certain creepiness that appears in retrospect with his constant fascination with barely legal women in his films and his 40 year difference with this wife. Though in 50 years it won't matter.Still, no better movie I know of which blends a city's character with the characters in the film. And Muriel Hemingway is just so good.

As for Fences. When it comes to film for me it's purely the director's art. They must find the right screenplay, cinematographer, the right cast and all the other components that come together. In this case Denzel Washington tries and fails to get this really theater-bound play to make it to leap to the big screen. (Cliche) So yes the actors are very good, but the rest did not engage and I couldn't make it past 15 minutes. 

Quick hits on the "new" movies on Amazon.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold--Still the best LeCarre adaption with Richard Burton perfectly cast as a faded cold war spy.

Eye of The Needle I never liked this WWII spy thriller with Donald  Sutherland, but you might like it.

Gorky Park--frustrating adaption of the Martin Cruz Smith novel which just misses the mark.

The Conversation--I think this is Francis Ford Coppola's best movie. A great Gene Hackman performance in a film loosely based on Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up.

The real The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, not easy but very good.

The Long Goodbye--Robert Altman's modern day update of Raymond Chandler's book with Elliot Gould as Philip Marlowe is nothing short of amazing. And he lives in the ultra-cool High Tower Court apartments.

Mondo Cane--in the early days of UHF they would experiment with the offbeat to build an audience. They would regularly show. bull-fighting for example and of course it was the home eventually to professional wrestling for many years. And then you would find an odd film like this one playing regularly. It's a documentary of short pieces with some of the more distributing things that the world's cultures and religions sometimes engage in. Often quite visceral and made even more surrealistic with the constant theme song playing in the background. This obscure 1963 movie won the Academy Award for a song which now almost everyone knows, More--"More than the greatest love the world has known."

Among the disturbing images is a more normal short piece on the artist Yves Klein using his human "paintbrushes." To add to the weirdness Klein suffered a heart attack in May 1962 at the Cannes film festival while watching the film. After about a month, and a couple more heart attacks later, he died a month later at the age 34.

Run Silent, Run Deep--despite some Hollywood-type flaws a gripping WWII submarine movie with Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable.

Finally for fans of Galaxy Quest there's Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary. I think that parody is often the cheapest form of comedy and is rarely that clever. (See Mel Brooks' failures in this department.) However, Galaxy Quest is a wonderful exception particularity because of the sincere acting of its leads ("By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged"), but also that it's a movie with a surprising amount of heart.

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

You get two for one, but you might not like the second.

I consider Woody Allen's Manhattan to be his best film. It rests in my top 20 even though (and I believe, as best we can ever know, that Allen didn't molest his step-daughter) there still is a certain creepiness that appears in retrospect with his constant fascination with barely legal women in his films and his 40 year difference with this wife. Though in 50 years it won't matter.Still, no better movie I know of which blends a city's character with the characters in the film. And Muriel Hemingway is just so good.

As for Fences. When it comes to film for me it's purely the director's art. They must find the right screenplay, cinematographer, the right cast and all the other components that come together. In this case Denzel Washington tries and fails to get this really theater-bound play to make it to leap to the big screen. (Cliche) So yes the actors are very good, but the rest did not engage and I couldn't make it past 15 minutes. 

Thanks...I would say valid and solid on both reviews, but I liked Fences quite a bit and really liked Manhattan....and yes the age thing is creepy!

@napacat posted:

Thanks...I would say valid and solid on both reviews, but I liked Fences quite a bit and really liked Manhattan....and yes the age thing is creepy!

I know, but she's so good. Any Jewish boy's shiksa dream. Also what Woody has consistently done over the decades (not 100%) is make conversation between adults so interesting. There's nothing there for teenagers to watch, he doesn't speak to them, it's for adults. It' starts with Manhattan and returns with great writing and direction in Hannah and Her Three Sisters. And finally culminates, (though it still continued for many decades) with the brilliant mix of comedy and drama in Crimes and Misdemeanors.

@spo posted:

Yeah Old Man, the 1973 version. I have not seen the remake.

No need you did it right. You know Hammer films was always the king of the English Gothic horror movies and about a Dracula movies. British Lion Unlimited, who also produced "The Third Man", grabbed the Hammer star Christopher Lee for their foray into this is genre. While not helping British Lion's business enough to stop receivership they created this strange cult classic.

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