What was the last movie you saw?

Stillwater (2021). Excellent crime drama set in Marseille with Matt Damon. Generally I don’t like films to last over 2 hours but we were hooked with this one.
 
Piccadilly Jim (1936) An artist meets a young woman and falls in love with her. But, her family is the butt of the joke or parodied in his newspaper comic strip, and they are not amused. Fortunately, he uses a false name in the strip, Piccadilly Jim, & the object of his affection does not know he is PJ, yet.

James Crocker Jr. (Robert Montgomery) is the caricature artist, his father James Crocker goes about as Count Olav Osric (Frank Morgan; is he always cast as a fraud?) who is in love with a member of the butt family, though he is not of the high class as they are. The Crocker's butler Bayliss (Eric Blore; is he always a butler?) is thoroughly enjoyable as always.

The Richwitch Family of the comic strip bear physical resemblances to the Pett family, of which Ann Chester (Madge Evans) is a member. Eventually, the strip brings the family good publicity, etc., & all but Ann are appreciative of the strip and it artist.

8/10
 
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

Cloverfield Lane is very good, but I think the movie should have ended just after she discovers the truth.
 
Time of the Apes (1987)

Phony movie assembled from bits and pieces of a 1974 Japanese TV series. A young woman and two kids, through a combination of an earthquake and stupidity, get locked up in cryogenic gizmos and wake up in a future world full of apes in military uniforms. Yep, blatant ripoff of Planet of the Apes. There's a little ape kid, a human guy, lots of capturing, escaping, running around, and a flying saucer that shows up now and then. One of those "it was a dream . . . or was it?" endings. Pretty much incomprehensible. Watched via the KTMA season of MST3K.
 
Cloverfield Lane is very good, but I think the movie should have ended just after she discovers the truth.
That would complete the plot, but the character arc would have been incomplete.

The end shows her experiences have toughened her up. She's no longer running away from problems, but going to face them. She's realized she can be a surviver and fighter.
 
BATTLE OF THE MODS - 1966 - Seen this described as bizarre and that is a good description for a movie that has no IMDB reviews. Ricky, the son of a wealthy businessman, is a Mod guitar player (with hair that looks like he came from the 1980s), and in a gang fight with some Rockers (or Greaser Bikers), his Bardot lookalike girlfriend is killed by the latter (the opening reminded me of Streets of Fire actually). After he kills the murderer, he leaves Liverpool for the continent and winds up in Rome, where he becomes involved with his father's mistress and then her sister.
He competes in a 72-hour singing contest but blows it in the last minute to chase after his true love.
Some of the songs are catchy. Even though he is from Liverpool he can sing in Italian (the film is Italian).
 
Deadlier than the Male (1967) - Bulldog Drummond revived on screen after a couple of decades to catch a ride on the 007 suave spy wave. It had its moments. The print I just watched has the most incredible jump cut in it, as if a whole scene (or a great chunk of one) was missing. Even supercool spy types can't make most of Elke Sommers' clothes vanish between shots.
 
Some Girls Do (1969) - a second (very much more of the same) outing for Richard Johnson as Bulldog Drummond (golly! that man knows how to wear a turtleneck) which was played so tongue in cheek it wandered from Bond spoof to Carry-On movie and back again. Very oddly funny in places, a little long in the final act. It will probably best remembered as providing Joanna Lumley's first, one line, film role (uncredited as 'Second Robot Saboteur').
 
THE HEAD - 1959 - Horst Frank kills and transplants heads for scientific and lurid purposes. He gives a woman with a deformed body that of a dancer and complications ensue.

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL - 1974 - Gets better with each viewing--pretty decent conclusion for the Cushing series--with some gruesome humor added but never to the point of sabotaging the pathos side of things. Even though it is entirely set-bound, the interior of the asylum is very picturesque when viewed in HD.
 
THE HEAD - 1959 - Horst Frank kills and transplants heads for scientific and lurid purposes. He gives a woman with a deformed body that of a dancer and complications ensue.

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL - 1974 - Gets better with each viewing--pretty decent conclusion for the Cushing series--with some gruesome humor added but never to the point of sabotaging the pathos side of things. Even though it is entirely set-bound, the interior of the asylum is very picturesque when viewed in HD.

I love The Head. There's an oddly perverse, slow eroticism about it. I have only seen copies of the truncated American edit. The original movie was, apparently, longer. (A scene in the stripper's changing room was very obviously cut short before un1950'sAmerican amounts of lady lumps were revealed). And does anyone have any idea what that tortoise moment was about - other than signalling to the audience pretty early on that this was a very peculiar ride?
 
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Still a great movie, with just the right blend of humour, action and violence. It's great bow the storylines all converge into one final showdown.
 
And does anyone have any idea what that tortoise moment was about - other than signalling to the audience pretty early on that this was a very peculiar ride?
I assumed it was to foreshadow the idea of adjustable head and limb action.
 
Watched Godzilla vs, Kong and Godzilla X Kong, The New Empire. The second is described as the 38th film of the Godzilla franchise and 13th in the King Kong franchise. Subtract one each and you presumably get the stats for the first.
Of course they are fantasies. Both because the physics of gargantuan monsters is such that they could not move without collapsing and because they survive and ( Godzilla) even have additional superhuman abilities Perhaps they are made of something other than flesh? Not as presented in the movies.
So why the movies? For the sheer excitement of seeing hugeo monsters stomping, fighting, and generally exceeding the limits of the possible.
These movies do add two large components to the predecessors. Kong (actually the star) is given a compassionate nature in addition to his rage when an opponent challenges him. He recognizes a girl as a member of a tribe that supported and even worshipped him. Plus, with her, he has a little ESP. By extension he both appreciates her companions and that they are not inherently enemies. Godzilla is little more that a stomping fighting machine. For whatever reason he has it in for K. But even more for other opponents. In #1 he is actually able to cooperate with K. In 2, while still desiring to fry K. he actually cooperates a little more.
Lots of other impossibilities. Hollow earth? Flying machines with capabilities that put Buck Rogers to shame?
Technologies that precede civilisation? Behaviors that verge on the seriously irrational? The cast is nice and deliberately quirky. Won't go into particular specifics Movie # 2 is better than 1, in that the characters are given fuller reign to their quirk. Still the seed of rationality did kick in more often with the overloads of impossibilities. Who goes to these for the possibles? They are bashes. And the frequent warmth expressed between the kid, the Kong, and the parent qualifies as genuinely lovely, if manipulative. Additional cute. Godzilla snuggling down in the Coliseum after blowing away the opposition.
Additional suggestion. If your spouse is not into stomping, roaring, bashing et al. watch these after she/he/they go to sleep.
 
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
It's been many years since I've seen this movie and now I'm asking myself why it took so long for me to watch it again. A marvelous film that has action sequences so graceful that it's like watching ballet. I won't wait so long before watching again. I have a number of Chinese movies in the same vein so I think I it might be time to view them all again.

Coincidentally, I recently read an article on Chinese weapons and I noticed three of them in Crouching Tiger. They are (in no particular order) the Tai Chi or Scholar Sword, Deer Horn Knives and Hook Swords.
 
Continuing our at home marathon of documentaries on DVD:

Let There Be Light (1946)

The last film made by John Huston for the Army during his time serving the Signal Corps during and just after World War Two. It depicts returning soldiers treated for what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder at a military mental health hospital. Apparently this was too demoralizing for the Army to allow it to be shown until the 1980’s.

Everything shown is supposed to be real – no recreations or staged occurrences – and some of the treatments, via hypnosis or sodium amytal, seem miraculous. A soldier who can’t walk regains the use of his legs; one who has a severe stutter is able to talk normally.

Notable also for showing the hospital being fully integrated, at a time when the US Army

Also watched at home on DVD:

Zoltan . . . Hound of Dracula AKA Dracula’s Dog (1977)

Just as goofy as the two titles suggest. At some time long ago, Dracula, in full cape and all, approaches some very modern-looking woman in her very modern-looking bedroom. She wakes up and screams, which is enough to send him running away. He turns into a bat and bites the neck of a Doberman.

Cut to some Commie soldiers blowing stuff up. They unearth the Dracula tombs (including names like “Igor Dracula” on the sarcophagi.) A earthquake (or more explosions?) cause a couple of the coffins to slide out.

Lone Commie soldier reveals why he never made it to Private First Class by pulling a stake out of the body inside (hidden in a cloth bag or some such.) Yep, Zoltan the pooch leaps out and fangs him. Dracula’s dog then pulls the stake out of the guy in the other coffin, who is Dracula’s semi-vampire servant.

It seems that this fellow can walk around in the sunlight and doesn’t need blood, but has to find a new master. The last descendent of Dracula (now named “Drake”) is in the USA, off on a camping trip with wife , two kids, two adult dogs, and a puppy. (There are actually two puppies but one just vanishes from the film without explanation.)

Suffice to say that the servant is after Drake, and Zoltan puts the bite on the dogs, creating new blood-drinking pooches. Honest-to-gosh movie star Jose Ferrer is our Van Helsing type.

No less than four actors were on Star Trek (the original series.)

Michael Pataki (Drake) – The Trouble With Tribbles

Reggie Nalder (the servant) – Journey to Babel

Jan Shutan (Drake’s wife) – The Lights of Zetar

Arlene Martel (Commie officer) – Amok Time

Rated R, but no sex or nudity or cursing, and only one really bloody scene.
 
FEDRA WEST - 1968 - Son returns to his father's estate in Mexico after years in school to find that his childhood peasant friend treats him differently. His father tells him that in the world there are two types of people, those that give orders and those that are meant to obey them. His father is a well-meaning rancher but hard line about loyalty and discipline. His new wife (who the son hated when he last saw her) now takes a fancy to him--and before long the son is in a situation he does not want. Unusual for a late 60s Italian western since it doesn't have the usual gunfighter element--it's really about how people from different social statuses and ambitions are unable to find common ground. Some of the dialogue has a haunting quality which I don't usually detect in these spaghetti obscurities.
 
The Curse Of The Golden Flower (2006)
Zhang Yimou’s extravagant wuxia drama set in 10th century China. The movie sets are nothing short of magnificent, confirming, in my view, Yimou as the Cecil B. Demille of the Orient. Dominated by vivid colours, a cast of four thousand extras (further augmented by many more CGI warriors), wonderful costumes and excellent acting, this epic has its fair share of balletic sword fighting as well as mass combat formations but it’s a film of two halves. The first portion of the movie is a bit glacial and is focussed on palace intrigue. The pace picks up at the halfway point when we are treated to the first in a series of well choreographed fight scenes.

Interesting ending that seemed almost like a Shakesperian tragedy.

All in all, not perfect but a audio-visual feast when it gets going. I can think of worse ways of spending a couple of hours.
 
No Country for Old Men (2007)

Coen brothers on their old form. I won't do spoilers but it's not for the squeamish. If you enjoyed Blood Simple you will like this. It lacks the dry humour that Frances McDormand brought to Fargo but is a solid thriller. If you want a Hollywood ending you won't get it.
 
HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD 1976 - Low budget film comedy starring Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov, about the low budget film business with cameos from Boris Karloff, a Godzilla clone, and Robby the Robot.
 

Similar threads


Back
Top