What was the last movie you saw?

Victoria Silverwolf

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Sin Takes a Holiday (1930)

Pre-Code rom-com. Constance Bennett stars as the secretary to a wealthy playboy divorce lawyer. He only fools around with married women, so he goes into a panic when his latest girlfriend announces she's going to divorce her husband. (This is her third divorce, which gives you some idea about this film's attitude to marriage.) In order to keep things the way he wants to with her, he offers the secretary five thousand bucks to marry him in name only; then she can go off on an unaccompanied trip to Paris. Cue a luxury ocean liner trip, fabulous slinky gowns, gorgeous Art Deco sets; all that stuff designed to appeal to Depression audiences. On the trip, she meets one of the lawyer's playboy buddies (a very young Basil Rathbone) and romance blooms. It's a frothy little bit of fluff, with some witty dialogue and that tiny bit of suggestiveness that proves it's Pre-Code.
 

Krysta

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The last movie I saw was The Girl With all the Gifts.
I thought it was pretty interesting as it had a bunch of new actors in it and one that I recognized was Glenn Close. She played the Doctor in it.
It was about a bunch of very smart kids who had been born with the cordyceps parasite already inside them.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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It Happened Here (1964)

Documentary-style alternate history film. Germany invades the UK in 1940. In 1944, resistance in the western part of the nation leads to the evacuation of civilians in the region to the "demilitarized zone" of London. Our protagonist is a nurse who witnesses the killing of fellow civilians during an attack by the resistance on the occupying forces. Because of this experience, she is willing to join the "Immediate Action Organization" as a nurse, although this involves training in National Socialist philosophy. She's more or less apolitical, and just wants something resembling calm. A crisis develops when she finds out that two of her friends are hiding a wounded resistance fighter. Made on a shoestring over eight years -- the two fellows making the film were teenagers when they started -- the movie is remarkable for its realism, and its completely convincing portrait of ordinary people subject to the seductions of fascism. Highly recommended.
 

CupofJoe

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It Happened Here (1964)

Documentary-style alternate history film. Germany invades the UK in 1940. In 1944, resistance in the western part of the nation leads to the evacuation of civilians in the region to the "demilitarized zone" of London. Our protagonist is a nurse who witnesses the killing of fellow civilians during an attack by the resistance on the occupying forces. Because of this experience, she is willing to join the "Immediate Action Organization" as a nurse, although this involves training in National Socialist philosophy. She's more or less apolitical, and just wants something resembling calm. A crisis develops when she finds out that two of her friends are hiding a wounded resistance fighter. Made on a shoestring over eight years -- the two fellows making the film were teenagers when they started -- the movie is remarkable for its realism, and its completely convincing portrait of ordinary people subject to the seductions of fascism. Highly recommended.
The fact there are real [and seemingly utterly unapologetic] British Fascists in the film is more than a little scary.
 

Parson

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The Tomorrow War (2021) This is a S.F. movie in the tradition of Alien. If the last 20 minutes hadn't given some necessary insights I would have rated this movie very poorly indeed, due to all of the obvious SF movie tropes such as 1. Earth is being overrun by aliens which are called "Spikes" who are extremely hard to kill. They are faster on land and can both fly and swim. 2. What 10,000's of scientists and soldiers cannot accomplish a small band of misfits can. 3. In the end it comes down to a one on one fight. .... sigh!!

On the positive side if you are willing to posit time travel, the rest of the science isn't bad. The results of the story are believable. So in the end I give it a weak 4 star rating out of 5.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)

Giallo with more than a slight touch of Agatha Christie to the plot twists. A bunch of folks are at this fabulous house on a cliff overlooking the sea on an island. A few are rich guys trying to buy a formula for "a new industrial resin" from a scientist. (In classic McGuffin style, it doesn't matter what the thing is, just that the characters are interested in it, and the audience isn't.) The houseboy for the guy who owns the house is killed, and his motorboat hidden, so they're stuck on the island. of course, the phone doesn't work either. More killings follow, and bodies start to pile up in plastic bags in the meat locker. (I guess these are the "five dolls" and I suppose it takes place in August.) The plot doesn't really make a lot of sense, but it's stylishly directed by Mario Bava, and you can enjoy the ultra-groovy sets, costumes, and music. Relatively slow and bloodless for a giallo, but worth a look.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Spies Strike Silently (1966)

Actually, they're usually pretty noisy, as this Spanish/Italian Eurospy effort is full of gunfights, fistfights, and such. Starts with the adult daughter of a benevolent scientist diving into a swimming pool in Beirut (back when that city was the Paris of the Middle East) and popping up stabbed to death. It seems that other scientists working on ways to benefit humanity are threatened or killed. This all has something to do with a megalomaniac who wants to control everyone on the planet. At first, this involves drugging folks until they become mindless slaves, doing the killing for him. Later, he has a laser-like gizmo that that can transmit his thoughts into the minds of others, and, as a side effect, can also set them on fire. All this outrageous Mad Science stuff doesn't make the film as much of a campy comic book adventure as you'd think. It's action-packed, but pretty much takes things seriously. Not a bad example of the genre.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The House Where Evil Dwells (1982)

Japanese-American ghost story. A pre-titles prologue, set in 1840, shows us a samurai coming home to find his wife with another man. He kills them both, then himself. Plenty of gore in this slow-motion sequence! Cut to 1982, as an American couple and their preteen daughter wind up in the haunted house. The dead 19th century folks show up as translucent blue ghosts with heavy eye makeup, unseen by the modern folks. Pretty random haunting stuff happens -- lights and faucets go on and off by themselves, there's an attack by (really fake) big crabs that shout in Japanese at the daughter, the kid sees a scary face in a bowl of soup -- but it's pretty clear that the intent is to reenact the original murder/suicide by possessing and/or manipulating the modern folks. The opening scene is beautifully filmed, if gruesome, but a lot of what follows looks goofy. There seems to be an awkward mixture of Western and Japanese ghost story stuff.
 

AE35Unit

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Just watched a spanish horror called Belzebuth.
Quite nasty, involving killing of kids, ugh. Amongst the unknown actors is the guy who played Jigsaw in the Saw movies, as a good guy
 

hitmouse

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The Tomorrow War (2021) This is a S.F. movie in the tradition of Alien. If the last 20 minutes hadn't given some necessary insights I would have rated this movie very poorly indeed, due to all of the obvious SF movie tropes such as 1. Earth is being overrun by aliens which are called "Spikes" who are extremely hard to kill. They are faster on land and can both fly and swim. 2. What 10,000's of scientists and soldiers cannot accomplish a small band of misfits can. 3. In the end it comes down to a one on one fight. .... sigh!!

On the positive side if you are willing to posit time travel, the rest of the science isn't bad. The results of the story are believable. So in the end I give it a weak 4 star rating out of 5.
I think this is the review of this film I most agree with. A good evening’s entertainment, but essentially unmemorable, and lacks any real originality, even if it uses a number of well- worked tropes effectively. In 20 years time will have become obscure.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Murder a la Mod (1968)

The first movie directed by Brian De Palma. It just screams "student film." This low budget black-and-white effort already shows the influence of Hitchcock, as well as a lot of experimental narrative techniques. The story jumps back and forth in time to show us the same scenes from different points of view. One major character's scenes are done in the style of silent movie comedy, even including a pie in the face, although the plot is a murder mystery. Different layers of reality intersect with each other. A guy who lies to his girlfriend about being divorced shows up in the "real world," in the film-within-the-film, and on a radio soap opera. There's also a lot of Hitchcockian consideration of film makers and film watchers as voyeurs. (The story deals with a photographer who is more or less forced to make nudie films so he can afford to divorce his wife, what his girlfriend does to try to help him, and what happens to her because of her actions.) It's more interesting as an example of a director learning his craft than as a fully developed film, and maybe it's a bit too clever for its own good, but worth a look.
 

Jeffbert

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NOIR ALLEY two weeks ago, which featured Hitchcock all weekend.

SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943)

Old movies, though my preference, are so stuffy! Nobody would ever consider even eating breakfast without wearing a 3 piece suit! o_O Though mama is dressed for household chores, etc, everyone else is rather formal, including the little boy.

"Uncle Charlie" (Joseph Cotten) comes from out of town to visit his sister and her family. His favorite niece Charlotte "Charlie" Newton (Teresa Wright), is especially pleased to see him, as he is to see her. But he has a secret!

The family is average, I guess, for the time this was made. The dad, Joseph Newton (Henry Travers) is constantly arguing with his best friend Herbie Hawkins, (Hume Cronyn; yes the same guy who was the Capt. of the guard in BRUTE FORCE) about how to commit the perfect murder, or whether Sherlock Holmes or some other fictional sleuth was the best, etc. These arguments were last minute additions for humor.

So, being from out of town, Uncle charlie presents his relatives with gifts. For his niece, he has a beautiful ring, even has a real stone on it. As she is fawning over it, she notices that it bears an inscription. This gives her a clue that her uncle may be a criminal. It happens that as uncle is reading the newspaper, he slyly makes a paper house out of it, craftily tearing out an article. Niece wonders what it might have been, that he so desperately wanted them not to see. She goes to the library, and finds the article, about a murder of rich widows. The initials on the ring match one of the victim's names!

Not the usual role for Joseph Cotten! My 2nd time with this one.



GUILTY BYSTANDER (1950) I don't know how I forgot to record this one! I had to watch it on TCM's streaming service. Ex-cop Max Thursday (Zachary Scott) whose son is missing is sought by his ex-wife, hoping he can find him. Full of twists and turns, and the villain behind it all: Never saw that coming!

A 1st viewing for me! not great, but not bad, either.
 

Guttersnipe

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Mystic River (2003). Man, was that an emotional roller coaster! The denouement made me a nervous wreck for the rest of the night. Strongly recommended as long as you can tolerate unexplained coincidences.
 

Jeffbert

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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY 1981 - How many times I would catch this on tv---and bail out after the title song. I never bothered watching the movie. Finally I have. And I would agree with those who rank it with The Spy Who Loved Me as the two best Moore films. I am not a James Bond fan--I find that the romance antics tend to derail the movies most of the time (OHMSS being an exception) and some of the humor but in this case I think it mostly succeeds in being a more serious and focused spy adventure. There are a couple of things that bother me but overall-the action scenes were great--the ski stuff, the underwater sequences, and the cliff scene! I always dread seeing those spikes being drive into rock and wondering how anyone would trust that to hold you up.


James Bond: Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Q: That's putting it mildly, 007!


WILLARD 1971 - A Bing Crosby production. It has been a long time since I watched this--I remember the sequel BEN more. It's intriguing that Spartacus composer Alex North did the music for this.
It feels less like a exploitation film and more of a 1950s-60s studio drama production. It's not really horrific--if AIP had made this it would have been more explicit. I found the theme was intricate in that Willard is a weakling and perhaps his father was as well--unable to stop the takeover by his stronger business partner. Willard gains power through his kindness to some rats, and before long he is given a small white rat as a familiar--and then a dark rat (Ben) shows up. They represent two sides of himself--the more docile side and the aggressive wild suppressed desires.
The ending suggests that Willard assumed he had found himself and gained lasting power but in fact he owed it all to the rats and Ben was there to punctuate that message. I have not seen the remake.

As much as I liked the original, I loved the R. Lee Earmy remake! RIP.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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They Made Me a Fugitive (1947)

Gritty British crime drama. Ex-RAF man joins a gang of crooks, almost on a whim; he actually flips a coin to decide whether to join or not. He assists in warehouse robberies and the like -- the bad guys carry the loot off in coffins, since the ringleader runs a funeral parlor -- but draws the line at pushing narcotics. The ringleader frames him for the killing of a cop, but he escapes from prison and is out for revenge. Full of sharp, sarcastic dialogue and some intense violence; the ringleader doesn't hesitate to beat women up brutally. There's an odd subplot in which the escapee forces his way into a house, only to have the woman living there try to get him to kill her husband. Recommended.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Eerie Midnight Horror Show (L'ossessa, 1974)

Also known as The Sexorcist, which gives you some idea of what this thing is like. (Other English language titles include The Tormented, Enter the Devil, and The Devil Obsession.) Young art student assists in removing a statue of one of the crucified thieves from a deconsecrated church. She has a vision of the statue coming to life (pretty decent scene, really) and having his way with her. She becomes sex-crazed, even making a pass at her father. Later she has a vision of some kind of Satanic ritual, in which the statue come to life (who seems to be Satan now) nails her hands and feet to a cross. She becomes fully possessed at this point, bearing stigmata, screaming a lot, etc. (Special effects are limited to having big dark circles painted around her eyes.) Eventually we get our big exorcism scene. (The first attempt at exorcism just ends up with her attempt to seduce the priest.) There's an odd scene early in the film in which the young woman's mother gets whipped with roses by her lover, thorns and all, drawing blood from her naked body. Her husband doesn't mind the fact that she has affairs, but disapproves of her masochism, blaming his daughter's condition on her kinkiness. Along with all this sleaziness, we've got some pretty dull stretches, too.
 

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