What was the last movie you saw?

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969)

Cheap and abysmal adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz, which, amazingly, is pretty faithful to the book. Sets, costumes, makeup, acting, and singing are at the level of a grade school stage play. The hero, the boy Pip, is played by the director's kid and is absolutely awful. The songs are atrocious.

Pip escapes from the witch Mombi with a pumpkin-headed man he brought to life with magic powder. With the help of the Tin Man and the Wogglebug, they help the Scarecrow when an army of young women stage a revolt against his rule of the Emerald City. (The fact that the army of General Jinjur consists entirely of foxy chicks in miniskirts adds an odd tone to this kiddie film.) Eventually, Glinda reveals that Pip is actually the girl Ozma, changed into a boy, and the true heir to the throne. (Yes, the gender-bending theme is found in the original.)

A terrible film, made tolerable only by the fact that I watched it with the sarcastic commentary provided by the folks at RiffTrax.
 

paranoid marvin

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You also have to remember that Ilsa was married to Victor. Back in the 1940s divorce was not as easy as it was these days. Not to mention any religious feelings Ilsa and Victor shared. If they were Catholic... Ilsa was only with Rick when she thought she was a widow. When she found Victor was alive she discovered she had been committing adultery!

What I've never understood about the film is why the Germans would respect 'Letters of Transit' signed by General de Gaulle (who was at the time leading the French government-in-exile in London).


Yes, Ilsa was married to Laszlo , and it was only when she thought he was dead that she fell in love with another man. Rick was in love with her, but only when he knew that she was a single woman. He is still in love with her, as she is with him, but he knows that he isn't the right man for her. And that if she lets Lazlo fly off and stays with Rick, the whirlwind romance she shared with him in Paris would not last, and it could only end up with her bitterly regretting it. I don't think that his decision was influenced by Laszlo's efforts in the war, but because he knew that Ilsa would (in the long run) be happier with.

I do believe that Rick is a good man, and always has been. Yes, he is a different man to the carefree, happy man that he was in Paris, and perhaps it was the end of that romance that made him cynical. He is still good, but (as he says) he won't sacrifice himself for a lost cause. He could quite easily have betrayed Ugarte, but he helped him to the point where he was discovered; later, knowing there was no way out for Ugarte, he knew there was nothing he could do and so did nothing. His staff love him, and there are numerous acts of kindness that he shows to people during the film.

Yes , the movie is propogandist to some extent (as any contemporary US movie made during WWII and after Pearl Harbour would have had to have been) , but I also think that it is a love story, with Rick having to decide if he can make the ultimate sacrifice and give up the love of his life for her sake.
 

worldofmutes

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Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
Based on the book by Arthur Golden, this movie follows Chiyo Sayuri through her orphan-hood and adoption into an Okiya, where she learns how to entertain and manipulate men. She was separated from her sister, who was simply sent to the house of a common prostitute, to be a yujo. When she finds her sister, she is sent away, and upon returning to the Okiya, finds her nemesis Hatsumomo, an incredibly portrayed villainess, with an unregistered client. At this point, the two rivals come to a common understanding- they will always tear eachother down.

And they do. Hatsumomo has many schemes in store for our protagonist. Claiming Sayuri has snatched her ruby brooch, yet another debt to her nenki. She goes as far as burning Sayuri’s room down, after discovering a handkerchief belonging to her beloved chairman. Realizing this, Hatsumomo attempts to hook Sayuri up with a burn-scarred and one-armed man (one-armed in the book, at least.) But Sayuri wants only the chairman, and will do anything to have him.

A very impressive cinematic film. I also loved the soundtrack, but the shining quality of this movie were the visuals. Excellent work. Also, the actress who plays Chiyo does have very striking eyes. She’s also a water rooster, which I am too. Roosters are a bit crude, and also flamboyant. Astrology aside, talented acting out of Japan, and not a bad way to spend a friday night.
 

KGeo777

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Yes, Ilsa was married to Laszlo , and it was only when she thought he was dead that she fell in love with another man. Rick was in love with her, but only when he knew that she was a single woman. He is still in love with her, as she is with him, but he knows that he isn't the right man for her. And that if she lets Lazlo fly off and stays with Rick, the whirlwind romance she shared with him in Paris would not last, and it could only end up with her bitterly regretting it. I don't think that his decision was influenced by Laszlo's efforts in the war, but because he knew that Ilsa would (in the long run) be happier with.
It is clear she does not love Lazlo. They made the character boring probably deliberately so that the romance with Bogart seem stronger. And he was carrying a torch for her for years. He forbids Sam from playing a song. More on that later.
She looks back to him as she is leaving with Lazlo.
They make her like a child actually--that she can't make up her own mind about relationships.
She's an adult woman after all.

That's the lunacy with Hollywood when it came to gender (and race) is that they do some insulting things that defy any sincere desire for equality. Poor Sam, afraid he is going to get beaten by the boss when he is playing the forbidden song.
He calls Rick boss, others will use Mr. Rick or something--and he supposedly knows Rick longer than anyone.
The main gist of the story is that Rick is not fulfilling his destiny-which is carrying on the fight, and he uses Ilsa as an excuse not to face it.
In fact, Lazlo or someone --maybe Strasser even suggests it--that Rick is still in the cause even though he feebly pretends to be neutral.

It's kind of "Scrooge the mercenary" in theme. Renault is Tiny Tim.
 

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Man of Steel. I really enjoyed it this time around. Henry Cavill was a great Superman, IMO.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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When the Clock Strikes (1961)

Modest but entertaining little B crime film. During a raging storm, a guy gives a woman a ride back to the lodge where she's staying after her car breaks down. It seems this place is near the local prison, where a fellow is about to be executed. The guy who runs the lodge has a clock that he keeps perfectly accurate, so everybody will know exactly when the execution will take place; hence our title.

Anyway, the woman and the man each have their own reasons for being there. Lots of plot twists follow; early in the film, a guy we've never seen before rushes into the lodge and confesses to the murder, just a bit too late to stop the execution. The rest of the movie deals with the money that the executed man hid after robbing a bank. Almost all of it takes place at the lodge, so it's pretty close to a stage play, but it's not bad at all.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Deadly Duo (1962)

The old Evil Twin theme rears its bicephalic head once again in this flick. Playboy son of an extremely wealthy woman is killed in a race car accident, leaving his wife and son. Grandma hires a lawyer to offer the mother half a million bucks to allow her to take custody of the kid. (She otherwise cut her son off without a cent because she didn't approve of the marriage.) Mother turns the offer down flat. The lawyer starts a romance with the mother.

Oh, did I mention that the mother has an evil twin sister (played by the same actress, of course, but with blonde hair?) Yes, she's going to put on a dark wig and pretend to be the good sister so she can get the money, while also arranging for the good sister to have an "accident."

The plot moves very leisurely; the evil twin disguising herself as the good twin doesn't happen until ten minutes before the end of the movie. The actress playing both parts is quite good, and the split screen scenes where both sisters appear at the same time is convincing. Edited a bit to speed things up, it might make a decent episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
 

KGeo777

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THE SQUEEZE 1977 - One thing you can say about Stacy Keach-he's a brave actor. No matter how humiliating the role, he would do it. Here he is a degenerate alcoholic and they don't hold back on it--he's turning into a rummy--and when his ex-wife is kidnapped he struggles to get himself together to find her. He walks down a street naked and gets hit by a car as well. One of the last films for Stephen Boyd--and this is the only time I have heard him speaking in his true voice--a strong Irish accent.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)

Bottom-of-the-barrel kiddie movie, combining the cheapest possible production values with pure insanity. The nearly nonexistent plot involves Santa getting stuck in his sleigh on a Florida beach. He uses some kind of telepathic power to bring a bunch of kids to his aid. Among these, for no reason at all, are Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, whose presence in 1970's Florida is unexplained. The kids try to move Santa's sleigh with various animals; a horse, a white mule, a cow, a pig, and a guy in a gorilla suit. No go, so Santa starts telling them a story, and we get our movie-within-the movie.

Complete with opening and closing credits, we see Thumbelina (1970), an awful version of the classic fairy tale made by the same folks who brought you The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969; see above) and with the same lack of quality. To make things worse, the movie actually starts with the actress who will be playing Thumbelina at an amusement park called Pirates World, now defunct. Yes, this whole thing is just blatant advertising. She walks into the park's fairy tale attraction, which consists of cheap little dioramas of scenes from the story. The tale itself is narrated by a voice coming out of a speaker, The actress imagines herself into the story, but we keep jumping out of it and back into the amusement park version of reality. The film-within-the-film is dead slow, and takes up pretty close to an hour, the rest of the movie left with about half an hour. Just like General Jinjur and her army in the other terrible film, the lead role is played by a hot chick in a miniskirt, adding to the creepiness of folks in bad animal costumes wanting to marry her.

Back in the Santa level of reality, the kids' dog brings back the Ice Cream Bunny in a fire truck to rescue Santa. The Ice Cream Bunny is just a guy in a lousy rabbit costume, and there is no sign of ice cream anywhere. The end. An atrocious film, made tolerable by the gang at RiffTrax.
 

atsouthorn

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Unforgiven (1992)

It won best picture and stars Clint Eastwood, so I was excited going into it. It didn't disappoint - however I don't think it feels like a "best picture" film given the story it tells. I think Clint is incredible in it, and without him I think it would have fallen a little flatter, but boy does it do an amazing job of building his character up. You're anticipating, even hoping for him to snap towards the end, and when he does, you almost wish he didn't. Great ending, good film.
 

Jeffbert

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THE EMPEROR JONES (1933) What a voice that guy had! So, this poor black guy Brutus Jones (Paul Robeson) has a string of unfortunate incidents, and ends up on a small Caribbean island, ruled by a tyrant. He, through trickery, overthrows the tyrant, & becomes TEJ, a tyrant himself, and no less tyrannical. He has a friend / business associate Smithers (Dudley Digges), a white guy who, get this, actually lights his cigarette! A real shocker for 1933, though no big deal for how many decades. Anyway, Smithers is the only one who knows anything, and TEJ tells him that after 3 years of milking the place for all its worth, & putting it in foreign banks, he will simply leave. Well, that time comes a bit sooner that he had expected, and the people revolt against him. Though he is cool and confidant during daylight, as he flees through the jungle, his fears become imaginations, & he end up shooting at visions. A bad end for TEJ.

There is a scene with him bashing the prison guard with a shovel, that might have inspired Mel Brooks in making BLAZING SADDLES.



A short documentary on Paul Robeson (which was actually on just before TEJ) This guy had a wonderful voice! Anyway, eventually, after too long to get racial equality, PR aligned himself with communists. The film noted several changes in the lyrics to OLD MAN RIVER, since PR 1st sang it. Interesting stuff!
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Exposed (1947)

B crime film starts with a private detective about to enjoy a meal at a swanky joint when a hood with a gat hidden under a hat tries to take the PI for a ride. Fortunately, the 'tec's muscular assistant is nearby and is able to stop the kidnapping, hauling the crook off to the private eye's office. Offscreen, the hoodlum manages to knock out the assistant, tie up the secretary, and escape. Just then, a rich guy walks in and hires the PI to investigate why his stepson is withdrawing large amounts of money from his bank account, and why he's rented a fancy apartment. When the 'tec visits the client's home, the rich guy is found murdered.

Typical B detective movie stuff. Oh, did I mention that the private eye is a pretty young blonde woman? That's the main gimmick of the movie. If there's an earlier female professional PI in film (and not just an amateur detective or spunky reporter or some such) I am unaware of it. She's quite appealing, clearly one step ahead of everybody else in the movie, including her father, the police inspector on the case. The plot ain't much, but at less than an hour it moves quickly. Since this is a Republic Studios production, you've got one heck of a fistfight between the hood and the assistant.
 

Jeffbert

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There is a series of female PI films, Torchy Blane, starring Glenda Farrell, which ran during the late 1930s. The actual police detective Steve McBride (Barton MacLane), was hapless, and could not solve the cases without her help.

Another female PI Hildegarde Withers (Edna May Oliver) similarly always solves the case while police Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) is still scratching his head. She is a school teacher who just happened to be at the murder scene with her students in the Penguin Pool Murder. But, this female detective is neither young nor pretty.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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There is a series of female PI films, Torchy Blane, starring Glenda Farrell, which ran during the late 1930s. The actual police detective Steve McBride (Barton MacLane), was hapless, and could not solve the cases without her help.

Another female PI Hildegarde Withers (Edna May Oliver) similarly always solves the case while police Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) is still scratching his head. She is a school teacher who just happened to be at the murder scene with her students in the Penguin Pool Murder. But, this female detective is neither young nor pretty.

Thanks for the information. These examples tend to prove my case, as the two crime-solvers you list are a reporter and a teacher. The character in Exposed is a professional private detective (and quite a successful one, it seems, with a huge office, a fancy car, a male assistant and a female secretary.)
 
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pogopossum

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Watched The Door Into Summer (2021) on Netflix.
The NYT capsule review is on a "New Films, New options - - -" post from yesterday. I convinced myself to watch it.
Japanese with subtitles.
Actually quite good. They followed the major twists and turns of the Heinlein novel, albeit with complications thrown in to explain how the back and forth tail biting action takes place.
The acting is quite abrupt like much Japanese cinema to an American eye, but not horrible.
I particularly liked that they had the courage to use RH's original dates, 1995 & 2025, with lots of anomalies and future science that he predicted & which just didn't happen.
And they kept Pete the cat,
images
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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The Devil's Wedding Night (Il plenilunio delle vergini, "The full moon of the virgins," 1973)

Eurogothic flick that combines several different supernatural tropes with a generous serving of blood and female flesh. We start with a pair of twin brothers (same actor), one a playboy and one a scholar. The scholar somehow finds out that the Ring of the Nibelungs (the same one Wagner wrote operas about) is in Dracula's castle. The ring has this gigantic, plastic-looking red stone that gives the user all kinds of magical powers. Playboy brother goes to the castle, rather stupidly losing the amulet he carries that protects him from vampires. He meets the beautiful Countess at the castle and quickly gets intimate with her. During their encounter, she changes into a gigantic bat. (No special effects; the film just cuts from the naked Countess to the playboy's face to a extreme close-up of a real bat.)

Scholar goes to find his brother, eventually pulling him out of a coffin. He rather foolishly doesn't realize that his brother is a vampire now, that obvious fact revealed only later. Somewhere along the way, we get an extended psychedelic-style sequence of what might be flashbacks, flashforwards, hallucinations, or dreams, including a few special effects identical to the "trip" sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. We see the naked Countess making out with her female zombie servant, bathing in the brightest red blood you've ever seen, and so on. It all leads up to a Black Mass Wedding (including, oddly, the well-known Buddhist chant Om Mani Padme Hum) during which five young virgins are stripped naked and killed for their blood, so the Countess can marry the playboy, who has been possessed by Dracula. Then we get a bunch of twist endings.

It's an odd mixture of traditional vampire movie stuff with the cartoonish magic ring theme and a fair amount of sleaze. For undemanding fans of the genre.
 

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Star Trek 2 : The Wrath of Khan - with number one son. Which he agreed was much better than the 'motion' picture. (I haven't the heart to tell him it's all downhill from here.)
There are still a couple of good, (possibly great), Star Trek movies to come.

The Search for Spock isn't as bad as people suggest.
The Voyage home is a fun watch (although not brilliant, granted)
The Final Frontier is absolute dog dirt.
The Undiscovered Country is the best one after TWOK in my opinion.

For some reason, despite TNG being my preferred trek, I didn't like the films too much.
 

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