What was the last movie you saw?

dask

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A day in the life in the Middle Ages. Be grateful you didn’t live back then. Neither anti-Christian nor pro-Christian, this is a cautionary tale admonishing us to be careful what we believe to be true, something we in this country need to heed especially next year.
 

REBerg

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Hungry beasts chasing half the cast of four through the jungles of prehistoric Earth
A creative way to get humans and dinosaurs on Earth at the same time, which might only serve to reinforce that widely-held misbelief
I blame the Flintstones.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Deadline (1980)

Domestic drama disguised as a postmodern horror film. Writer of horror novels and movies has a failing marriage and a bad relationship with his three children. He also gets verbally attacked at a lecture and is under pressure to complete a screenplay (hence the title.) About an hour into the film, a real-life tragedy drives him over the edge.

Alternating with this are scenes from his writings. A woman drowns in a bathtub full of blood. A guy is torn to pieces by a piece of farm machinery which is, apparently, under the psychic control of a black goat. Some kids tie their grandmother down, cover her with gasoline, and set her on fire. An unborn child commits suicide in the womb, killing its mother in the process. In a scene that seems to be deliberately played for dark comedy, a heavily accented mad scientist (implied Nazi) has a gizmo that, in combination with the music from a punk rock band, causes a bunch of drunken bums to explode. A gang of children in monk-like robes and hoods hang several adults.

One of these macabre sequences is related to the real-life tragedy mentioned above. Very late in the film, the writer hallucinates that some of these things are really happening.

This is a really odd film, which seems to be both a sleazy exploitation flick, with tons of gore and lots of gratuitous female nudity, and a serious drama, with some really uncomfortable scenes of domestic strife.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Heroic Jewel Thieves Who Had Already Appeared In Silent Films Make Their Way Into Talkies And Start Long Film Series Double Feature:

The Lone Wolf Returns (1935)

The character first appeared in print in 1914 and in the movies in 1917. This is the first in a series of 15 sound films to feature the Lone Wolf. He's intent on stealing valuable jewels but falls in love with the owner and reforms. Too bad there's another team of jewel thieves after the same loot. They frame him for the crime. Can he prove his innocence?

Frothy entertainment with a very suave Melvyn Douglas in the lead role.

Meet Boston Blackie (1941)

Also in print in 1914, but had to wait until 1918 to get into the movies. Here's the first of 14 sound films featuring Boston Blackie. He's on a liner returning to New York from Europe. He helps a woman getting threatened by a guy. The guy turns up dead in his stateroom. Out to prove his innocence, he tracks down the woman. In an early plot twist, she's killed by the bad guys. A woman whose car he appropriates as he's getting away eagerly joins his quest to clear his name and get the killers.

Fast-paced crime/spy flick.
 

KGeo777

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WW and the Dixie Dance Kings - 1975 - A dry run for Smokey and the Bandit in some ways with Burt Reynolds as a drifter in the late 1950s who helps a musical act get to Nashville. "Introducing Jerry Reed" and Art Carney portrays the lawman who is after Reynolds. You have to assume that this sparked the desire to get Jackie Gleason in a similar part. But this is rather quaint and not surprising that isn't well known. At first I was impressed how good a job they did recreating the 1950s and then realized it is only 14 year removed from the time and shooting in Tennessee they probably could easily avoid anachronisms. There seemed to be a competition going to see who could do the most over the top Southerner caricature. In fact, in the end credits there was a character named "good ol' boy."
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Thor the Conqueror (Thor il conquistatore, 1983)

This would just be a stupid Italian sword-and-sorcery flick, if it were not for the extreme misogyny displayed by the "hero" and his mentor.

Starts with a very pregnant woman, the father of the unborn child, and a magician walking through grassland containing big rocks. This goes on for several minutes, as we get our opening credits and inappropriately dramatic music. Really, nothing happens. They just walk.

Eventually, they reach a place with some small monoliths bearing carved symbols. Mom goes off into the trees to give birth. Dad holds the child up proudly, only to have an arrow hit the baby. A fight with the bad guys follows, Dad doing pretty well against a ton of enemies, until the leader shoots him dead. (It takes an arrow in the back and an arrow through the throat to do the job.) The magician (who also narrates constantly, often breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience) turns into an owl and disappears. He tells us he saved the child. (How?) Too bad he couldn't do anything to help Mom and Dad. A sword turns into a snake. Nothing comes of this.

Cut to "many tens of moons" later. The baby is now Thor. (There seems to be no connection to the Norse god. Owl Wizard also makes mention of Eve and the apple later, although this movie takes place in a fantasy world with its own gods.) Some bad guys come by with a male and a female prisoner, intent on killing and eating them. They dine on the man, but Thor manages to rescue the woman.

The misogyny kicks in as Owl Wizard tells Thor (who, up to this time, has no idea what a woman is) that the female is stupid, she is his now, what else is she good for, etc. After this first rape, some other bad guys come in and kill her.

Moving right along, Thor sees some ghosts in a cave. Nothing comes of this. He fights a trio of female warriors, killing two of them, and (you guessed it) raping the third one. To make sure this is even more offensive, she evolves from his sex slave into his loyal companion.

Somewhere along the way to get revenge on the bad guy who killed his parents (without any motive except being evil, as far as I can tell) Thor becomes the chief of a village. This gives him the right to (you guessed it) have his way with a local virgin. The warrior woman appears to approve of this.

In one of the odder scenes, Owl Wizard creates a horse, which apparently has never existed in this world before. The strange new beast helps Thor defeat the bad guys, warrior woman has his baby. The end.

A terrible film, which would be worth laughing at if it didn't have its repulsive content.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Hannibal (Annibale, ,1959)

Italian sword-and-sandal drama loosely based on the Second Punic War. Credited to cult director Edgar G. Ulmer (The Black Cat, Detour.) Victor Mature has the title road.

Besides crossing the Alps with elephants, losing an eye to some kind of infection, crushing the Romans at Cannae, and other historical stuff, Hannibal has an entirely fictional love affair with the niece of a Roman senator. Their star-crossed romance makes up most of the plot.

Some battle scenes make use of a large number of extras in real outdoor locations, others are obviously a few people on sets. The crossing-the-Alps sequence is the most interesting (although, again, some scenes are really outside in the snow and others are clearly on sets.) No classic, but watchable.
 

Jeffbert

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Beauty and the Beast (1946) French with English subtitles. Interesting, since the only other version I have seen was a Disney animated one.

So in this version, the beast becomes human just as the guy who had been Belle's boyfriend breaks into the Beast's treasure room, and he is killed, and as he dies, he becomes the beast. The beast, assumes the guy's form. I have no idea if this is unique or if it is the original story.
 

ablackenedrose

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Watched Beast. It's a more-or-less competently executed suspense film and absolutely nothing else. It's certainly not something I'm ever going to rewatch.
 

Jeffbert

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Deception (1946) NOIR ALLEY. Christine Radcliffe (Bette Davis) who having fled Europe before the mid-20th Century ugliness, had to part with her lover Karel Novak (Paul Henreid), whom she left behind. After arriving in the USA, she met Composer Alexander Hollenius (Claude Rains), who became not only her benefactor, but lover. When Novak arrived in the same U.S. city, her love for him was rekindled. Hollenius, was not about to let her go, especially not after all the money he had spent on her. Novak was a talented cellist, and eventually met Hollenius. Radcliffe feared he might learn of her love for Hollenius, and would go to great lengths to keep Novak from learning of it.

8/10
 

Jeffbert

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The Big House (1930) One of the 1st prison dramas, & pre-code. The thing that I noted was the use of cigarettes as money, and they showed several brands. In most of the films I have seen, they do not show the brand. When a person takes out a pack, the hand covers the brand. Is this pure chance, or intentional? So, most were LUCKY STRIKE or CAMEL. Other brands I could not identify. Anyway, the convicts were betting on whose insect would go the farthest, and tossing packs of cigarettes on the ground, as though they were dollars.

Kent (Robert Montgomery) is drunk driving, and kills someone. He ends up in an overcrowded prison, in a cell with two tough troublemakers, Butch (Wallace Beery) a murderer, and Morgan (Chester Morris). Morgan wants Kent to stay clean, cooperate, and earn parole, since he is not a typical convict. Butch has other ideas. After escaping, Morgan wants revenge on Kent, because he thinks Kent planted the shiv under his bunk, which cost him a parole, so, he goes after Kent's sister. Instead of killing her, he falls in love with her, and is introduced to her family, none of whom knows he is an escaped convict. He is caught, returned to prison, and in a riot, redeems himself, and is paroled.

An extremely violent riot, perhaps even more intense than Brute Force.

8/10
 

Steve Harrison

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The Great Escaper, the last film of Michael Caine (retired) and Glenda Jackson (deceased), based on the true story of a WWII veteran who 'absconds' from an aged care home to attend the 70th anniversary of D Day in France in 2014. Best film I've seen this year. Wonderful performances from both leads and a very moving story.

(Curiously, Pierce Brosnan's latest film, The Last Rifleman, is based on the same incident, but this time it's the 75th anniversary of D Day)
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The First Two Nero Wolfe Novels Become The First Two Nero Wolfe Movies Double Feature:

Meet Nero Wolfe (1936)

Based on the debut novel of Rex Stout's famous armchair detective, Fer-de-Lance (1934.) Fellow is killed on a golf course by a gizmo that shoots a poison needle out of the club he's using. Because he just borrowed it from another fellow, is he the intended victim or not? Meanwhile, a young woman who supplies Wolfe with his favorite beer asks him to locate her missing brother. Yes, the cases are related. (She's played by a very young Rita Hayworth, billed as Rita Cansino here.)

Wolfe purists will be alarmed by the fact that Archie Goodwin is played for comedy relief. He's also got a fiancée who is even goofier, and they're actually married at the end.

The League of Frightened Men (1937)

Based on the 1935 novel of the same name. Two people are killed and a third disappears. There were all part of a college hazing incident that left its victim needing to use two canes to walk. Now a famous author, he's the obvious suspect. Of course, there's more to it than that. The other guys who took part in the prank hire Wolfe for protection. Of course, there's more to it than that.

Different actor as Wolfe, but same Archie Goodwin. No hint that he's married.

Both films are OK old-fashioned whodunits.
 

Randy M.

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The First Two Nero Wolfe Novels Become The First Two Nero Wolfe Movies Double Feature:

Meet Nero Wolfe (1936)

Based on the debut novel of Rex Stout's famous armchair detective, Fer-de-Lance (1934.) Fellow is killed on a golf course by a gizmo that shoots a poison needle out of the club he's using. Because he just borrowed it from another fellow, is he the intended victim or not? Meanwhile, a young woman who supplies Wolfe with his favorite beer asks him to locate her missing brother. Yes, the cases are related. (She's played by a very young Rita Hayworth, billed as Rita Cansino here.)

Wolfe purists will be alarmed by the fact that Archie Goodwin is played for comedy relief. He's also got a fiancée who is even goofier, and they're actually married at the end.

The League of Frightened Men (1937)

Based on the 1935 novel of the same name. Two people are killed and a third disappears. There were all part of a college hazing incident that left its victim needing to use two canes to walk. Now a famous author, he's the obvious suspect. Of course, there's more to it than that. The other guys who took part in the prank hire Wolfe for protection. Of course, there's more to it than that.

Different actor as Wolfe, but same Archie Goodwin. No hint that he's married.

Both films are OK old-fashioned whodunits.
Lionel Stander as Archie Goodwin? Huh. Stander was good in his lane, but there were any number of young actors in Hollywood around that time who would have fit the role better. Off the top of my head, Dennis O'Keefe, Preston Foster, and John Payne. Even John Wayne or Randolph Scott would have made more sense.
 

AE35Unit

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I'm the Pretty Thing That Lives in This House
Another Oz Perkins film. Trying to be a kind of gothic horror a la The Woman in White but failing to captivate. Too slow and quiet, tried not to fall asleep
 

alexvss

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Napoleon (2023).

Another one by Ridley Scott, and, sadly, not one of his best.

The movie has good acting--especially by the two main actors--, good battle scenes and great art direction (you really believe that the characters are where they are, when they are). Technically, it’s great; but it has terrible plot and character development (if any!).

Now, about its (many) problems. Firstly, the theatrical version went through numerous cuts, so much so that a four hour and a half long version has been announced for Apple TV+. The result is a number of very short scenes put together and many time lapses. Pacing and lack of coherence seem to be the biggest issues here.

A character suddenly changes his posture and there is no explanation why. It doesn’t explain why he throws his tantrums or why he’s so possessive. IMO, Scott and the screenwriter started from the assumption that they didn’t need to explain who such a prominent historical figure is. That’s what video game movies usually do by the way.

Many historians have been lashing out about this movie. I don’t consider myself to be a connoisseur of that part of history so I won’t comment on that.

I only recommend it if you can watch it for free.
 

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