What was the last movie you saw?

Mighty Jack (1968)

Pseudo-movie made from two episodes of a Japanese TV series. The Mighty Jack team uses their heavily armed submarine/supersonic airplane to fight evil organization Q. Part one: They rescue a guy, who becomes the team leader. Part two: Q uses a freeze ray. Combination of spy stuff (the bad guy is even petting a white cat) and tons of model work. Watched via the KTMA season of MST3K.
 
Ex Machina starts slowly but does end well. Worth a watch.

I thought this was a very good and rather disturbing film, with some interesting things to say. It could almost be a three-person stage play. The clever-stupid billionaire tech-boss character has aged like a fine, somewhat poisonous, wine.
 
EVERY MAN IS MY ENEMY - 1967 - Would be a good companion film to The Hired Killer--also starring Robert Webber, which seemed like the same story as The Mechanic. Well this is pretty close to Heat--with Webber as a safe cracker with a deep hatred of snitches. The heist planned is less important than the character study aspect.
 
Les Amazones du temple d'or (1986) - starring a couple of familiar faces: Jean-Rene Gossart, last seen on my TV screen in Panther Squad, and Olivier Mathot, last seen OMTVS in Tire pas sur mon collant, and a sh*tload of semi-naked girls. 90 minutes of film padded out beyond all belief to tell 10 minutes of story with dull,pointless, overlong scene in which nothing happens followed pointless, dull, overlong scene in which nothing happens - often with exactly the same music playing underneath it. Story: a white, bare-breasted Jungle Girl kills the Lord of the Amazons (sic) who ordered the murder of her father. (After he had defiled their temple and stole gold from them but there you go - this film spent more time showing us slow-mo shots of semi-naked women riding horses than it did discussing morality.) Monumentally dull. Full of the director's trademark vague camera moves, pointless pans, tilts, and weird zooms but this time with the added bonus of watching him spectacularly screw up some of initially interesting shots he did manage to set up. In one sequence our heroes and heroines (easy to tell them apart - the men were wearing clothes) were wandering around a cave system when they were trapped by a series of huge, portcullis-like metal gates slamming down between them in the distance and the camera. Looked convincing enough right up till the moment the heroine walks forward, nearly up to the camera, and unlocks them with her stolen keys showing them up to be the weeny little grill dropped in front of the lens that they really were. He did the same with the series of 'huge' gold columns. Shot from the right angle they looked great: imposing, monumental. But often the angle was too high and we could see he was trying to do a Mario Bava and cheat a huge set by shooting through a small model up close.
 
Les Amazones du temple d'or (1986) - starring a couple of familiar faces: Jean-Rene Gossart, last seen on my TV screen in Panther Squad, and Olivier Mathot, last seen OMTVS in Tire pas sur mon collant, and a sh*tload of semi-naked girls. 90 minutes of film padded out beyond all belief to tell 10 minutes of story with dull,pointless, overlong scene in which nothing happens followed pointless, dull, overlong scene in which nothing happens - often with exactly the same music playing underneath it. Story: a white, bare-breasted Jungle Girl kills the Lord of the Amazons (sic) who ordered the murder of her father. (After he had defiled their temple and stole gold from them but there you go - this film spent more time showing us slow-mo shots of semi-naked women riding horses than it did discussing morality.) Monumentally dull. Full of the director's trademark vague camera moves, pointless pans, tilts, and weird zooms but this time with the added bonus of watching him spectacularly screw up some of initially interesting shots he did manage to set up. In one sequence our heroes and heroines (easy to tell them apart - the men were wearing clothes) were wandering around a cave system when they were trapped by a series of huge, portcullis-like metal gates slamming down between them in the distance and the camera. Looked convincing enough right up till the moment the heroine walks forward, nearly up to the camera, and unlocks them with her stolen keys showing them up to be the weeny little grill dropped in front of the lens that they really were. He did the same with the series of 'huge' gold columns. Shot from the right angle they looked great: imposing, monumental. But often the angle was too high and we could see he was trying to do a Mario Bava and cheat a huge set by shooting through a small model up close.
I saw this as Golden Temple Amazons; borrowed the disc from NF. Too long ago, to recall much, though I have pics on my HDD.
 
THE LOVE BUTCHER - 1975 - Similar to Alice, Sweet Alice, it feels more like a quirky character study drama than a straight horror film. The main character is a man with split personality--one is that of a hunchback gardener with bifocals (dressed like Stephen King in Creepshow) who has a dual identity as a Don Juan type. At times it seems more like a comedy (not helped by the soundtrack which has a 1940s sound). Cast of unknowns (to me), some interesting photography but not surprised it is an obscurity.
 
No Questions Asked (1951) NOIR ALLEY. Steve Keiver (Barry Sullivan) is an attorney who works for an insurance company that insures rich people's diamonds, minks, etc. He wants to marry his girlfriend, and is impatient for advancement, so he can give his future wife the things she wants. His boss Henry Manston (Moroni Olsen) denies his raise, and mentions something about $40k of stolen furs that the company must make good in just 2 days, and his offer of $10k no questions asked, for the recovery of those furs.

Eager for money, Keiver makes contact with the criminals and arranges the exchange of $10k for the furs insured for $40k. Next thing, he quits his job & opens a business of recovering stolen goods, for a fraction of their insured value, + his fee. The insurance company is happy, the criminals are happy, the owners of the stolen goods are happy, but the police are angry.

A few weeks pass & after someone steals the recovered goods, and kills a police detective in Keiver's apartment, Keiver finds himself wanted for murder, & must find the real killer, etc.

Adding to the fun are his ex-fiancée Ellen Sayburn Jessman (Arlene Dahl) and her new husband Gordon N. Jessman (Dick Simmons), the criminals who had stolen the goods, and now want their money for having returned them, and their two, count 'em 2 female impersonators who held-up the ladies in the ladies' lounge, etc. Very satisfying noir!


Best of all: my 1st time seeing it! 8/10!


Though I am thinking with the high rate of thefts and recoveries, even given the fractional fees, I think the insurance company would likely prefer paying the full value of the stolen goods, with the much less frequent rate of thefts.
 
Rumble Fish (1983) A young punk Rusty James (Matt Dillon) wants to be the top punk in the neighborhood, as his elder brother, The Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke) had been while he was in town. But, big brother eventually realized the futility of gangs fighting each other, and brought peace to the neighborhood (not the one where Mr. Rogers lives). Rusty James wants to revive the gang fighting, in hopes of being as great as his brother was.

I did not like this film, though I do admit it has its points.
 
NOIR ALLEY in South America: Muller introduces three stories that are closely related, written by one author, Cornell Woolrich and comprising of two films, both directed by Hugo Christensen

The first film, Never Open That Door has two stories, while the second film has the third story, which to me, is by far, the most intense.

So, Muller's intro details Christensen's purchase of the three stories from Woolrich, which are Somebody on the Phone, The Hummingbird Comes Home, If I Should Die Before I Wake, which is also the title of the second film.

So, starting with the first film, & the 1st story, A husband is alarmed when his wife loses all him money gambling. He realizes that the man who takes her money rings the phone five times and hangs up, then calls again, which is the code he uses to ensure that the husband does not know who is calling.
So the husband thinks he has found where the other man lives, goes there, confronts him, kills him, & returns home, only to hear that same pattern of ringing on the phone. Almost a Twilight Zone story.

The 2nd story, has a blind mother whose adult son had left home, not bothering to ever even contact his mother. On the radio, the news announcer talks about a killer who is identified by the tune he frequently whistles.
Suddenly Junior comes home, with his fellow criminals, whom mama thinks are just friends. Junior is wounded by gunshot, eventually whistles that tune. Mama now knows her son is the killer, and will not stand for it. She has her helper remove the fuses from the house's fuse box in the middle of the night, and having an advantage dispatches all 3.

The third involves elementary school kids, one girl of which is seduced by promises of candy and is raped and murdered. The one boy, whose papa is a police officer, does not know what happened to the girl, only that that one particular man was seen last time he had seen her. Now, another girl disappears. The boy, who was having discipline issues at school, and has incurred papa's wrath, goes out ti find the 2nd missing girl. tense!


As a whole, very satisfying; each, the third one was most thrilling.

9/10!
 
Cloud Atlas
A strange conglomeration of MadMax, Ealing Comedy, Brideshead Revisited and Soylent green among others. with a philosophical overlay that is not quite resolved. Some sort of reincarnation/ 'we are all one' kind of thing.
I would rewatch it but at 3 hours that is 2 normal movies I would have to forgo.
It reminded me in some ways of Robert Altman's enjoyable Short Cuts
 
Superdome (1978)

Lousy made-for-TV movie. Two fictional football teams are about to face each other at the Superdome in New Orleans. Some crooks have bet big money on the underdog to win. Bubbly blonde cutie-pie of a professional assassin kills some folks. Uninteresting subplots abound. Only tolerable through watching the MST3K version during their KTMA years.
 
The End We Start From (2023)
A character-driven, indie road cli-fi (climate fiction) road movie - think of a more ambient version of Children of Men focused on a mother struggling to survive with her newborn baby. Beautifully shot and great turns by Jodie Comer and Katherine Waterston, with a couple of A-list cameos on top. 7/10 for me, but perfect for someone looking for a light, semi-dystopian / semi-apocalyptic drama with good acting and beautiful imagery.
 
Caught Plastered (1931) Wheeler & Woolsey in a film about prohibition and bootlegging. They become involved with an elderly lady & her failing drug store. There is a would-be buyer of the store, who is trying to cause its failure, so he can get it at a low price.

Somewhat comparable to Abbott & Costello, Wheeler & Woolsey's films are very entertaining.

8/10
 
Plane Nuts (1933) Before they were The Three Stooges, they were Ted Healy's Stooges. This short film feature the slapstick antics and female song & dance routines. Healy treats Moe the way Moe treats Curly & Larry.

8/10
 
The Captain's Kid (1936) Asa Plunkett (Guy Kibbee) is essentially the town drunk, & the main character. When his young niece Abigail Prentiss (Sybil Jason; apparently a Shirley Temple-type) comes to visit, her Aunt Marcia Prentiss (May Robson) tries to keep them apart; yet, the two have an unbreakable bond, and a tendency to find trouble.

Thoroughly touching and entertaining. 8/10.

Sybil Jason's dress was a bit too short, & her panties were frequently visible, especially when (May Robson was spanking her. They don't make 'em like that, anymore!
 
Two movies completely dissimilar movies:


Jessie Stone: Stone Cold (2005) dir. Robert Harmon; starring Tom Selleck, Mimi Rogers, Jane Addams, Viola Davis

Re-watch, saw it when first aired. First of the made-for-TV movies based on Robert Parker's Jesse Stone series. Haven't read those, but Selleck seems like a good fit, and the production is nicely filmed, with theme music that adds a noir-ish, melancholy feel. Not sure about later installments, but the first couple were among the more stylish, down-beat but not entirely depressing made-for-TV crime movies I recall seeing: A corpse is tripped over by a deputy, and it's obvious it was murder -- two shots to the chest. Another shows up a little later, and then another, and they know there's a serial killer in town. A subplot about a high school girl who was raped and threatened is, perhaps, too low-key, the psychological damage acknowledged but not dramatized.


10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) dir. Dan Tractenberg; starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Intense: Is it psychological? Apocalyptic? An invasion from space? Even with the title providing a hint, it's not that clear until near the end. The production crew includes some names to be reckoned with: J. J. Abrams and Bad Robot, Drew Goddard, Damien Chazelle, and others. This is a tight, focused thriller that held my attention for all of its run time, with Goodman playing a character unlike any I've seen him play before, and well-matched by Winstead: After her car crashes, a young woman awakens in a dungeon. Or is it a basement? No, it's a bomb shelter, and it's owner tells her the air above is toxic and he's saved her life. She's not convinced, and the power struggle and the struggle for the truth of her situation ebbs and flows nicely
 
EYE OF THE TIGER - 1986 - If you are the Scotti Brothers and you own the Survivor song, and feel you need to get more circulation of it a few years after Rocky 3, what do you do? You make a movie in the desert with Gary Busey and lots of explosions. It's dumb but amusing until you forget much of it--which was the case after I saw it the first time. The highlight is probably him sticking a dynamite stick where the sun don't shine to get someone to give him information, although he doesn't really have any one liners as he does with Battletank's "your worst nightmare butt horn!"
 
City on Fire (1979)

I saw this dreary disaster film when it first came out in theaters. Just now rewatched via MST3K's KTMA years.

Three preteen boys are trying to smoke cigarettes and . . . yep, they start a fire. This isn't really the plot, though, just an appetizer. That starts when a guy working at a refinery wants to be foreman, but gets told he can be a researcher instead. Sounds OK to me, but he refuses and gets fired. In revenge, he very easily sabotages the place so it blows up. So much for basic security. Main problem is the new hospital right in the fire's path.

Our mandatory big name stars are Henry Fonda (big boss of the fire department), Ava Gardner (hard-drinking newscaster), and Shelley Winters (head nurse.) Lots of familiar TV faces. Feels like a made-for-TV movie, but was rated R, probably for some gruesome makeup on burn victims. Some decent fire scenes and stunt work, but also stock footage of real fires and some really poor matte work; one scene of the city from a distance makes it look like rockets are shooting out of the place.
 
Highway Hell (1941)

Even for a Poverty Row exploitation film, this is really, really cheap. The opening titles alternate with young women looking directly at the camera and saying "Going my way, Mister?"

Bad guy has a bunch of these women getting picked up by male drivers. Naturally, the film doesn't blatantly spell out what goes on, although we do get a couple of hints in the dialogue, like the word "tart" and a reference to "the oldest profession."

What little plot there is deals with an older guy who runs a bar and cabins. Bad Guy wants to have his women use the joint as their place of business. The older man's son falls for one of the women, and she for him. Meanwhile, the Bad Guy has his eyes set on our movie's Good Girl.

Less than an hour long, but shamelessly padded with stock footage of a carnival. Ends suddenly with Bad Guy shooting the woman who fell for the son and then the son shooting back (through a door, no less) so the Bad Guy very slowly walks back to the bar, has a drink, and then falls over dead.

Not a good film.
 

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