What was the last movie you saw?

LINDA - 1973 tv movie in which a guy is talking with the wife of someone on the beach as they watch their spouses shooting cans for target practice. Then, when the wife goes to the water--his wife shoots her--and then shoots the victim's husband. The man then runs for the police but when he gets to the crime scene--only the body of the woman is on the beach and his own wife and the man who she had supposedly shot blame him for the murder. He has to turn to a retired lawyer for help (this may have been an inspiration for Hawkins--the show that eventually was remade as Matlock).

THE BLACK PANTHER - 1977 --Obscure thriller about a methodical criminal (reacting with murderous rage when things go wrong) who kidnaps an heiress and locks her in the depths of a drainage pipe. Quite riveting thanks to the lead performance by an actor (Donald Sumpter) who I only recall from a bit part in a Hammer film. Based on a true story so it says.
I'll See You In Hell (Ti aspetterò all'inferno, 1960)

Moody crime film with a touch of Gothic horror. Three guys (Al, who plans the heist but doesn't actually take part in it; Sam, who wants the money to buy land in Israel; and Walter, a sociopath who is obviously trouble from the start) steal a bunch of diamonds. (Walter kills the guard, naturally.) They take off for a remote farm as a hide out, walking for hours through wilderness. Along the way, Walter gets in a fight with Sam, who falls into quicksand. Al wants to save him, but Walter stops him.

After several days at the hideout, Al heads into town to get a steak at the local diner. He meets a singer/dancer, saving her from the attentions of some punks. (Must be his type, as we already saw him with another dancer at the start of the film. Girlfriend Number One never shows up again.) Romance blooms. She doesn't have a place to stay, so she winds up at the hideout. Can you predict that the situation leads to tension?

Oh, did I mention the fact that there are signs that Sam is haunting Walter?

Not a bad little thriller, with visuals in the film noir style and a double twist ending.
For Singles Only (1968)

At first glance, this should be a brainless, frothy little comedy, similar to the beach movies of the time. There's quite a bit of that, to be sure (lots of musical acts, plenty of women in bikinis, etc.), but one aspect of it goes to a different place entirely.

Two young women (Mary Ann "Miss America" Mobley and Lana "Natalie's sister" Wood) move into an apartment complex FOR SINGLES ONLY to be roommates with their bubbly friend. The director of activities is Milton Berle! Each has her own subplot.

1. Bubbly friend works at a computer matchmaking place. She fills out her own form with a bunch of lies, and winds up with a guy who did the same thing. Pretty much like a forgettable skit from Love American Style.

2. Miss America resists the attentions of the men at the place, slapping them when they get fresh. Meanwhile, PHD student John Saxon needs to raise some cash or drop out. His buddies make a bet for a bunch of money that he can't seduce Miss America. After some feeble efforts, true love blooms. She even pretends to have slept with him so he can win the bet, and they get married.

3. Here's where it gets weirdly inappropriate. Natalie's sister finds it hard to find a man because she's too intelligent. At last she falls for a guy who appreciates her mind. She sleeps with him, expecting him to marry her. Then she finds out from his mistress that he's already married and has children. In an emotional frenzy, she drives wildly to what must be the bad side of town, gets out of the car, wanders around, and is gang raped. This is so outrageously out of keeping from the lighthearted tone of the rest of the film that it's truly jaw dropping.

Not a good film, although it would be a inoffensive trifle without the third plot line. Who thought this was a good idea?
THE BLACK PANTHER - 1977 --Obscure thriller about a methodical criminal (reacting with murderous rage when things go wrong) who kidnaps an heiress and locks her in the depths of a drainage pipe. Quite riveting thanks to the lead performance by an actor (Donald Sumpter) who I only recall from a bit part in a Hammer film. Based on a true story so it says
I have faint memories of the real life case - I think the victim was called Leslie Wittle
Edit:- I've googled and she was actually Lesley Whittle
Hillbilly Elegy (2020) - Great true story drama. Focuses on family crises and a man trying to break the circle. Great cast.

The Passenger (2023). Decent thriller. A little slow but has a drama element.
*Gasps in shock*
I loved the book, and the other Hannay gripping yarns!

I think I nearly threw it across the room when the bad guys locked our mining engineer hero in a cellar that just happened to have a cupboard full of blasting equipment in it - like Highland country houses often do. I mean, what are the chances?

And the coincidence after coincidence, after coincidence, after coincidence plot that made the average Tintin book look unforced...

Sorry, one of those time when the film (the Hitchcock version at least) was a vast improvement on the book.
I have faint memories of the real life case - I think the victim was called Leslie Wittle
Edit:- I've googled and she was actually Lesley Whittle
It helps not to know the case before you watch it, makes it more suspenseful. I didn't know the outcome beforehand.
The kidnapper robs post offices and sprays himself with home-made mace by accident which just causes him to get violently enraged.
But he gets weepy when watching melodrama on the telly.
The Godfather (1972) I, being halfway through my 7th decade, finally watched this film. April is Marlin Brando month on TCM, & his films are shown Wednesdays starting at 8PM.

So, as though anyone other than myself, had not seen this already, Sicilian Mobsters are divided by families, & apparently, there are 5, count 'em, five families in the story. The days of Tommy guns are over, & the mob uses different tactics, though on certain occasions, resorts to the old ways. Shortly after WWII, the Corleone family is making people offers they can't refuse. Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is one of those making such offers.

One of the 5 families wants to begin a narcotics business. Wants VC to help with judges, law, etc., but VC wants nothing to do with the drug business.

Things happen, & young Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) becomes the head of the family. He wants to do things differently. He does not like the idea that conflicts between families are just business, especially when members of his family are targets.

Interesting film, I wonder why I waited till now to see it.

The first Dune. I didn't focus on the visual appeal because it's mostly vfx, so I looked at the content. It's ordinary in terms of plot and characterization, but drags in the third act.

I think it would have been better off if they made it a TV mini-series instead, so that they could provide more context and allow viewers to digest material piecemeal.
The Body Stealers (1969)

Dreary little science fiction film. NATO skydivers vanish from midair after flashing red and white lights surround them. Our skirt-chasing hero investigates, immediately hitting on our film's beautiful lady scientist. Meanwhile, he meets a mysterious woman on the beach at night and immediately hits on her. She wears a different minidress every time she shows up and can't be captured on film.

After an hour or so of this, we find out what is obvious from the start. Very human aliens are capturing the skydivers to repopulate their planet. Bad guy alien takes over the body of a scientist and threatens our hero, but mysterious woman/good girl alien saves him. They agree to release the skydivers, who are in suspended animation, while Earth will send volunteers to do the repopulating.

Very silly stuff, with a spaceship borrowed from Doctor Who and the presence of George Sanders, Maurice Evans, and Sean Connery's brother.
Bloody New Year (1987)

Not the holiday-themed slasher you'd expect, but a truly weird science fiction/supernatural everything-but-the-kitchen-sink oddity.

Starts with scenes of a New Year's Eve party in 1959. This prologue shifts from black-and-white to color as a young woman gets sucked into a mirror. Just the first bizarre thing that happens.

Cut to 1987.

Some young British folks rescue a young American woman from a trio of thugs at an amusement park, getting away by crashing a car through one of those dark tunnel type rides. Next thing you know, they're on a little boat. They crash into a rock or something and have to abandon the boat and wade to an island. The hotel where we saw the 1959 party is there, abandoned but with new Christmas decorations. (Easier to show than New Year's Even decorations, I guess.)

The rest of the move can be summed up as "weird stuff happens." Friendly maid ghost, sad mirror ghost, inanimate objects moving around and sometimes turning into monsters, rock band (more 1980's than the 1950's they're supposed to be) appearing and disappearing out of nowhere, one character turning into a monster (pretty much shown by just smearing something like gray mud on her face), the hotel's cinema projecting the old monster movie Fiend Without a Face by itself, a guy coming out of the roll of film and killing one of our characters, the three thugs showing up, getting killed, and coming back to life, one character getting sucked into the wall of an elevator, etc. Makes no sense, of course, but there's a Scientific Explanation!

It seems that on New Year's Eve 1959 a plane with an experimental gizmo that somehow messes around with time crashed into the island. (Add in wrecked plane that appears and vanishes, and ghost pilot.)

Not very well made at all, but darn if it isn't just nutty enough to keep one watching.
THE BLACK PANTHER - 1977 --Obscure thriller about a methodical criminal (reacting with murderous rage when things go wrong) who kidnaps an heiress and locks her in the depths of a drainage pipe. Quite riveting thanks to the lead performance by an actor (Donald Sumpter) who I only recall from a bit part in a Hammer film. Based on a true story so it says.
This happened close to where I live. Leslie Whittle was kidnapped by Nealson and kept in a drainage shaft on Bathpool park.
Before I Change My Mind (2022): A Canadian film. Robin is a non-binary child who is new to town and who immediately attracts bullies due to not identifying as a boy or girl. Eventually, they befriend a bully and a young actress, the latter of which the former is also attracted to, and a love triangle develops. Meanwhile, their father struggles with advances from many women while still hurting from a previous relationship with an alcoholic. This is a beautifully sensitive film, and quite sad at that. Bring tissues.
On the plane going to Tokyo last Saturday/Sunday (so, a small screen with headphones - not ideal).

Aquaman 2 - not as good as the first (which was only "OK") and an fairly easy-going action film with some fun moments. Unlike...
The Equaliser 3 - In the first, Denzil Washington dispatched some Russians. In the second, some corrupt US intelligence agents. In this one, he's up against the mafia in Sicilia. It was more of the same which was fine (I knew what to expect) and fairly mindless.

On the way back Sunday/Monday: Godzilla -1.0 - this was a cracker actually. A Japanese film (with subtitles) re-telling the origin. Not just Godzilla stomping everything (although he did plenty of that, with fantastic SFX** but a look at the effect of the war on kamikaze pilots (PTSD), the destruction of Tokyo after the war and was quite critical of the government.
65 - a somewhat pointless film (if a film can be described as such). Not really much explanation (unless I missed it) but a pilot from a distant planet in a ship carrying a dozen(?) cryogenically frozen people crashes on an uncharted planet. We know, from the very start of the film via captions, that it's Earth and, yep...the "65" refers to "million years ago". There is no real reason for this story-wise other than an excuse for dinosaurs. They don't even write in any "causes events to happen that effect us 65 million years later".
Wonka - this was nice and fun. Not sure it's worthy of all the hype but enjoyable. Unlike...
Marvels. What a train wreck of a film. Now I was running on auto-pilot at the time having not slept well for days, but I barely followed the first twenty minutes of the film (and I have seen Captain Marvel, which I enjoyed, and other Marvel films) and was confused as to what was going on. Then it was often difficult to keep up with the frenetic action. And the plot seemed weak. And there also seemed to be some "messaging" going on. I think. I may be reading too much into it (or missing too much). I know it's a super hero movie so not high culture but it was weak. Oh, and I think I spotted Asimov's The Martian Way on a bookshelf.

** and he still is !!
Suzume (2022) on Netflix. Japanese animated film that I at first thought I might end up writing off as a romance, but which proved to be a lot more interesting and moving. The only thing I've ever seen in which a man gets turned into a mobile chair.
I thought the second part of Dune would be better, but it's slightly worse because something like half of the content is banal. I don't blame the cast and crew, though, as the story is too long and challenging to portray through even a series of features. Perhaps they should have come up with another mini-series.

The dialogue lacks gravitas, as seen in several of the leads, like the ones who played Tim and Chani. Most of the rest, though, do better, although there are several weird scenes, like sudden outbursts in conversation.

The most exciting parts involve knowing about the Fremen, which doesn't last because the mixture of technology plus tradition is jarring (e.g., high levels of tech but still crude views of preserving water, mechanized warfare and even "atomics" but mixed with waves of hand-to-hand fighters), and Paul's speech, which is stirring only if one has not seen better examples in other films.

Finally, I didn't focus much on the vfx as more involves computer graphics, so I focus more on the content, especially points about plot and characterization. Given that, I'd give this a 7 out of 10, like the first part.
No Time To Be Young (1957)

Drama that turns into a heist film at the half way point. Our three main characters are:

1. Robert Vaughn in his first leading role. (Before MST3K favorite Teenage Cave Man.) Hot-headed guy kicked out of college and about to be drafted. He's fooling around with his English professor, whom others say is "old enough to be your mother" or "twice your age." Not really; the actress is about ten years older. She tries to help him get back in school so he can keep his deferment, but his tempter keeps that from happening.

2. Tom Pittman, the guy who was the star of MST3K favorite High School Big Shot and who died in a car accident very soon afterward. He's newly married to a rich guy's daughter. He claims that his novel is going to be published, but that's a big lie. The truth comes out, and his marriage goes down in flames.

3. Roger Smith, who went on to 77 Sunset Strip right away and married Ann-Margaret about a decade later. He wants to get married to a waitress, but she wants to play the field. While trying to sneak into her house through an upper window (she lost her key), she falls and breaks her back. So much for their romance (her father tries to track him down and kill him with a gun), although he wants to pay her hospital bills.

After these soap opera plotlines, Vaughn convinces the very reluctant others to rob a grocery store where Smith works and use the money to buy a boat and sail around the Caribbean. Since this is now a heist film, things go badly wrong right away. Don't expect a happy ending.

Not a bad little film, with good acting and plenty of plot.
Mystery of Marie Roget (1942)

Extremely loose (as in, they use the title only) adaptation of the Poe story.

Paris, late 19th century. Musical comedy star Marie Roget (Maria Montez, with Hispanic accent) vanishes for several days. A woman's body is found, her face torn to pieces. Could it be her?

Nope, because she shows up safe and sound, refusing to explain. We soon find out that she is plotting with her sister's fiancé to murder her so she can inherit their grandfather's fortune. Grandmother (Maria Ouspenskaya, with Russian accent) overhears this. She also has a pet leopard.

Before this scheme can take place, Montez is murdered instead Her body also has its face torn up. Whodunit?

Efficient little B movie from Universal, so it looks nice and has some of the mood of their horror classics. Montez is gorgeous and revels in being wicked. (After her death, our hero, a police physician, examines her brain and deduces she had a criminal mind!) Ouspenskaya steals the film as the feisty, imperious grandmother. Just an hour long, so worth a look.

Similar threads