What was the last movie you saw?

DEATH SMILES ON A MURDERER - 1972 - Weird dreamy gothic film that seems like it could be a remake of some Bava -Steele film with lesbianism and gore thrown in. Ewa Aulin is too cute to be sinister though. Would have been better for Barbara Steele lookalike Patty Shepard.
 
Tire pas sur mon collant (Don't Pull on my Tights - 1978) - I guess you have to be a connoisseur of French Eurosleeze cinema to appreciate the finer points of this piece of fluff (if there are any) but if you're not a connoisseur of the genre, and are coming to this looking for any kind of eroticism, intrigue, comedy, character development, entertainment skilful editing, or even continuity (I counted a triple action at one point) then this isn't the film for you.
Two annoying perky, irresponsible young women accidentally blag a trip to Morocco when one of them is fired after being caught stripping off in the Boss's office. The girls hang around the pool a lot and have 'comedy moments' - we know they are comedy moments because everyone laughs. Everyone laughs at everything in this film. All the time. My French is not perfect but even I could tell they weren't laughing at the witty dialogue. Every line is delivered through a wide smile or a sullen sulk which can be switched on and off like a light bulb. The girls take their tops off a lot. They have nice tits. There is a lot of bad 70s dancing. There's a pointless driving around on motorbikes sequence which just goes on forever. (Because they'd hired the bikes for the day and wanted to get as much production value out of a major chunk of the budget?) The most fun to be had here is watching passing pedestrians standing around, watching the filming - some of them torn between looking at the girls' boobs and looking into the camera.

Avoidable. Very Avoidable.
 
Just watched UNDER PARIS, a Netflix thriller about a giant shark terrorising the city of the title. It's cliched, silly, predictable and pretty much what you would expect of a JAWS variation, but it's beautifully filmed with great special effects and I loved every minute of it. Oh, and I thought the soundtrack music was also terrific.
 
Blood and Black Lace (1964) dir. Mario Bava; starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok

Nasty little movie, which I don't entirely mean as an insult. Begins with the killing of a model as she approaches the fashion house she works for, her murder stemming from earlier nefarious events like murder and blackmail. There's a diary that leads to more murders, and finally the revelation of who's behind it all. My take away is that Bava or his cinematographer must have loved his color palette. Scenes are drenched in colors, mostly red, green, purple, some white and some brown. The killer appears wearing a black hat and coat (though late in the movie they look more of a dark blue) with a white mask, which makes the other colors pop more. Note that scenes with the police are more sedately colored, Bava apparently contrasting the mundane with the more Baroque and Gothic.

Oh, and at least three male voices in the movie sound like they were dubbed by Paul Frees ... and IMDB confirms it. Oddly, they don't include Mitchell's character, but Mitchell's voice didn't sound like I remember it from his days on the tv show, The High Chaparral.

Watched this again over the weekend. I'll stick by what I said above, though I'm now certain Paul Frees dubbed Cameron Mitchell as well as some of the other males, so that occasionally it sounds like Frees is talking to himself.
 
Asteroid City (Wes Ansderson)
I loved every minute of it, though if you are not a fan of Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Moonrise Kingdom amongst them) you probably won't. The deliveries are dry almost emotionless but that's the intent. It's deconstruction and homage to 1950's cinema which weirdly put me in mind of A field in England. It's not giving anything away to say it starts with a black and white documentry of a play, then switches to the play (acted out as "real" life in a hyper-coloured desert). However this play within a documentry, goes further by having dialogue from other plays being rehearsed within the play. Tom Hanks and Scarlet Johansson come off the best in my view, adding depth to what could be a wooden delivery. It's bonks, its dryly funny and the sort of film I would have to watch again to catch the bits I missed first time
 
The Lighthouse (2019)
An unsettling psychological horror dealing with the main theme of isolation. Two men, cut off from the rest of the world by a huge storm…add to the mix alcohol addled visions and the natural superstition many seafaring men carry and you have a fairly volatile combination.

Was that really turpentine and honey they were drinking?….no wonder they went so crazy!

Filming in black and white really added to the atmosphere, enhancing the effect of the dreich and unforgiving lump of rock that was their home.

It’s a very good movie but I found it somewhat exhausting to watch.

One final thought: it would make a fine stage play.
 
The Lighthouse (2019)
An unsettling psychological horror dealing with the main theme of isolation. Two men, cut off from the rest of the world by a huge storm…add to the mix alcohol addled visions and the natural superstition many seafaring men carry and you have a fairly volatile combination.
This is a film I am going to have to watch again at some point. we streamed it a few years back (in COVID) but the streaming service froze up so often it was unwatchable.
 
Horrors of the Black Museum - 1959 - I like this movie. Kind of crude but Michael Gough is entertaining. I rewatch it now and then.
 
THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI - 1966 -I have never seen any of the beach blanket movies and I assume this is the nadir but it was stupidly amusing at times. I am surprised to see Karloff in it though. The best joke is that the title character (Susan Hart) ended up owning AIP.
 
THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI - 1966 -I have never seen any of the beach blanket movies and I assume this is the nadir but it was stupidly amusing at times. I am surprised to see Karloff in it though. The best joke is that the title character (Susan Hart) ended up owning AIP.
Those movies fed the bank accounts of Karloff, Vincent Price, Buster Keaton and Robert Cummings, all aging stars, so they served something like a purpose. "Stupidly amusing" was their hallmark.
 
Those movies fed the bank accounts of Karloff, Vincent Price, Buster Keaton and Robert Cummings, all aging stars, so they served something like a purpose. "Stupidly amusing" was their hallmark.
Funny to see Cummings listed next to those other names. I meant that I wasn't aware Karloff had done a beach party movie. I assumed for some reason they would use stock footage.
 
Cummings was in Beach Party, along with Dorothy Malone, which I think kicked off the beach movie craze (thank you IMDB; also Turner Cable Movies, which had a bunch of these on a couple of years ago a couple of which I caught part of). The longer the craze lasted, the odder the premises became, and the farther afield they went for older stars to join the fun. Sort of like the Batman craze -- now I think about it, the Batman craze was sort of tangential to the beach movie and spy movie fads. It was a colorful, groovy decade.
 
Los que volvieron (948) a Mexican version of Five Came Back, with an ending that would very likely not pass the Hays code.

As usual, the plane crashes in the jungle where danger lurks everywhere. This version has the added element of head hunters hastening the need to depart.

8/10; definitely worthwhile.
 
GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) 1st time seeing it; thought it was o.k., just failed to live-up to my expectations.

So, these two parapsychologists have a study going on on a college campus, & while the one guy Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) may be serious about it, the other Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) is merely trying to seduce a young woman by feeding her ego with lies about how her ESP scores are so high.

tossed out of the campus, they must now start a business. Funny things happen, etc.

8/10
 
Escape (1940) Emmy Ritter (Nazimova) is arrested and sentenced to death because she sent money out of the Third Reich. Her son, Mark Preysing (Robert Taylor) learns of it, and with the help of Fritz Keller (Felix Bressart) and the at first denied help of Countess Ruby von Treck (Norma Shearer), Dr. Arthur Henning (Albert Bassermann), they rescue Ritter by giving her a drug that mimics the symptoms of death.

General Kurt von Kolb (Conrad Veidt; in his usual villainous role) puts up obstacles to the rescue.

Many in the cast had escaped the Third Reich themselves.


Anything with Veidt in it gets a minimum of 8/10 by default!
 
The Machine (2013) and Ex Machina (2014).
Two films about AI and “female” androids. Both were solid sci-fi fare.
The Machine is a lower budget movie apparently, but the effects of the android construction were very good. It is a very dark movie, maybe excessively so in that no one is ever shown outside on the daytime. A bit predictable ending.
Ex Machina starts slowly but does end well. Worth a watch.
For both you can ponder on if programmed or learned (imitated?) emotion is real emotion/feeling.

Godzilla Minus One (2023). The sea sequences with Godzilla are great. There is a few shocks too. It wasn’t clear to me why Godzilla wasn’t made more dynamic on land. Probably just as a tribute to the old films. Acting by the main cast wasn’t great either. Still it was above most recent films of its type.
 
More documentaries:

Chronicle of a Summer (Chronique d’un ete, 1961)

Interviews with some folks in Paris on all sorts of topics, from personal to political.

The Lovely Month of May (Le Joli Mai, 1963)

Interviews with some folks in Paris on all sorts of topics, from personal to political.

That’s not an error on my part; the films are similar in nature. The first one is more self-referential, with the interviewees looking at footage of themselves at the end. The first takes place during the Algerian War, the second just after.

Love Meetings (Comizi d’amore, 1964)

Interviews with some folks in Italy about sex.

Titicut Follies (1967)

Infamous portrait of the treatment of inmates at an institution for mentally ill convicts. Disturbing.
 
IN THE YEAR 2889 - 1967 - It's ultra cheapie but I have fondness for it because it used to show all the time on tv.
"Go back to the house. I have a few words for this child molester here."

CRY OF THE BANSHEE - 1970 - Terrible film--probably Vincent Price's worst costume horror film. Maybe there is a good idea buried in it but the directing and script are so bad--and you can see that Price is really lost. He doesn't seem to have much dramatic focus.

There's actually a connection to the last film (and Ghost in the Invisible Bikini)--Quinn O'Hara appears in all three.
 

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