WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've watched three classic films in the last couple of days. The first was Talk Of The Town a 1942 film starring Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur. I started the film thinking whatever happens I wanted Cary to walk away with Jean Arthur. By the end of the film I wasn't too sure. This film is nothing like their other pairing Only Angels Have Wings it's much lighter in tempo. Although Jean Arthur was acting with two of the best talents of the thirties and forties I think she bounced them off the screen. They became secondary to her wonderful performance. I was a little distracted by Ronald's beard (it didn't suit him, it hid his beautiful face) Cary playing a fugitive from justice is a new one for me but the film was light enough, despite it involving murder. It didn't have a single dull moment.

Then I had to tackle a huge pile of ironing so I needed the help of a film I'd seen before were I could hum along to the songs. Les Girls has cropped up in a couple of conversations here in the last week so I decided to watch this again. Cukor could handle any kind of film and do it well. He handles Les Girls as deftly as Minelli handled the Freed musicals of the late 40's. It's just a frothy film with delightful songs and brilliant casting. For a musical it has a cohesive story which never flags, not the kind of film were you find yourself forwarding to the next dance routine. I love the 'cheeky' scene and 'You're just too,too'. A touch of the old Kelly magic is seen in the 'Wild One' ballet. The British audiences of the time never appreciated that scene because they never got to see The Wild One, it was banned until well into the sixties.

I thought I was on a role so I reached for Our Modern Millie but I have mixed feelings about it. It's not because I can only accept Julie in her 'nanny' roles but the first third was brilliant with the Tapioca. I thought I was in for a real thrill of a musical but it fell a bit flat for me. I know there are lots of devotees of this musical but it;s not for me.

Actually when I think about it I watched four because I put Mary Poppins in for my daughter and although I was doing other things I had to pop back with every song. I need to find the soundtrack now as they are the best songs she's ever heard :D
melwalton
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Post by melwalton »

We watched 'Stage Struck'. Musical c. 1938. Songs were slightly below par but Joan Blondell was very good in an unusual part for her, And anytime Dick Powell sings, I listen.
Powell and Blondell had recently wed and the ads said ' Their honeymoon hit' which was ironic because in the film, Powell got the girl but it was Jeanne Madden not Blondell.
Madden sang ok ( I thought she was more suited to light opera ) and did nothing else except smile and look pretty. Powell seemed bored with it all but Blondell made the movie. ...... mel
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Bogie
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Post by Bogie »

Last night I watched POSSE with Kirk Douglas. It was an interesting movie about how someone can be so consumed with the need for power that he loses everything in the end. Kirk Douglas is a marshal running for US Senate who has captured/killed every member of a tough gang except the leader who has escaped. Well he captures said leader and stays in town campaigning etc etc.

The leader of the gang played by Bruce Dern. I kept thinking this role was originally meant for James Caan but he was probably filming The Godfather at the time. Nonetheless Dern did a very good job and the last 20 or so minutes of the film is quite tense. Douglas for his part actually disappears in his role and you don't see much of his overacting tendencies.

It's a very good revisionist western IMO.
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knitwit45
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Post by knitwit45 »

John, I know you are the primo Julie Fan around here, but I am on that list, too. TMM is my favorite of her musicals, I have to have a "fix" at least once a year. It may be padded, but with so much fun! Carol Channing is such a HOOT. And Bea Lillie...."DING HOW!" :lol:
feaito

Post by feaito »

I have seen some films, most of them contemporary because I have watched them with relatives and/or my wife:

"Bee Movie" (2007). An endearing sweet cartoon film with wonderful use of famous actor's voices, most notably Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger. Top entertainment. Made me forget all my troubles and pending chores!!

"Two Days in Paris" (2007). A very entertaining and not-dumb comedy starring French actress Julie Delpy (who also directed it) and Adam Goldberg. I liked the way in which the city of Paris was depicted in a down-to-earth manner. We get to see the every-day Paris not the postcard image. Skilled performances by all involved. Cleverly done.

"After the Thin Man" (1936). Myrna and Bill are two favorites of mine so obviously I loved this film. It was great to see so many familiar faces: Joseph Calleia (as a villain, as usual), a Pre-Blondie Penny Singleton (billed as Dorothy McNulty), a very young Jimmy Stewart, the regal Elissa Landi and Jessie Ralph as a stern and tough Old Dowager. Four stars out of four. It has all: comedy, mystery, murder, sophistication, lots of witty wisecracks. My kind of film absolutely.

"The Nanny" (1965). Bette Davis in one of her "scary" 1960s roles. A movie in the same vein as Tallulah's "Die, Die My Darling" (1965) and Joan's "Strait-Jacket" (1965). For "Grand-Guignol" lovers. The young lad who plays the boy (William Dix) is quite convincing. Pamela Franklin and Jill Bennett are also in it. Fine film if not altogether successful.

"He Was a Quiet Man" (2007). An offbeat, thought-provoking film with a brilliant performance by Christian Slater. Very disturbing and well done. I liked the way in which it depicts the issues of mobbing and bullying at workplaces. Serious stuff.

Today I caught the final parts of "The Da Vinci Code" (2006) (maybe a flawed film but I find its subject utterly fascinating) and "The Whales of August" (1987): La Gish and La Davis final masterful performances of their careers. A beautiful, quiet film with Vincent Price, Harry Carey Jr. and Ann Sothern in supporting roles. I'd like to watch it in its entirety and without commercials in the future.
feaito

Post by feaito »

JohnM wrote:We (my wife, son and I) just finished watching <b>No Country for Old Men</b>, and gee, it's nothing more than a slasher film for the pretentious. Loaded with gore and implausible situations, just like every other slasher film, it wasn't even one of the fun ones. Just meandering on and on, for no apparent reason. I kept asking myself, "why is this still going on?" Josh Brolin is the only person in it who turns in a performance of a complete character. The academy award-winning actor, Javier Bardem, has one affect throughout. It's not even an affect that's very original. Not that he or anyone else in it is bad. There's just nothing special about anyone's performance. Josh Brolin being the lone standout. Thankfully we watched it for free, or I would have felt really cheated. My dislike for most Best Picture winners continues.
I have that film on queue waiting to be seen :? I must admit that if hadn't been for the fact that Bardem won an Oscar for the role he played in it and for the high praise critics in my country have given to this film, I wouldn't have obtained it :oops:

Today I watched "Gulliver's Travels" (1939), the second animated feature after "Snow White" I believe. Well it isn't as good as Disney films but it has endearing qualities. A sweet, naive tale from long gone days that made my wife and I giggle.

I also watched "Hors de Prix" (2006), a very entertaining comedy set on the sophisticated French Riviera. Full of expensive hotels, restaurants, boutiques et al, with very rich customers leading empty, shallow, sad lives. Will the two leads, a gigolo and a gigolette, fare better?
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Bogie
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Post by Bogie »

I watched All About Eve (1950) tonight. What a tour de force by Bette Davis. In many ways the themes explored in this movie is very much applicable to Hollywood today. I got a very creepy feeling watching Anne Baxter as the huge fan of Davis' character. There was a stalkerish vibe to it. The film also did a masterful job of building tension in some scenes (especially the whole party sequence) It also had some twists including the final twist that I partly guessed but the end result was a lot different then I thought it would be.

The only bad thing I can say about this is that the movie should've ended after Baxter received her reward and everyone left the banquet hall. The sequence that ended the film seemed a bit too "tacked on" for my tastes.
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mrsl
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Post by mrsl »

I've seen a couple just this past weekend.

* * * Next, * * * which I have to credit with a pretty good story/plot. I'm not normally mad about Nicholas Cage in everything he does so I wasn't sure about watching it, but glad I did. He's a magician in Las Vegas who seems to be hiding for some reason. Turns out he's hiding from the FBI. They know he has a unique gift, but they are wrong in what they assume it to be. He's grown up being tested and examined by government organizations, and he's sick of it, so he's keeping a low profile. But, now they really need him so they go after him in force. Along the way, he runs into Jessica Biel, (Little Mary from TV's 7th Heaven, all grown up), and forms an unsure trust with her. Naturally, everything comes out all right, but because of the FBI's incorrect assumptions, they go through several interesting scenarios before all is said and done. Julianne Moore (who seems to be in everything from soup to nuts lately) is the head of the FBI team, and Ms. Biel is just a little young to be teamed with Cage, but, what do I know? It's a pretty good action film, and if you send the kids out for a fresh coke in a certain spot, you can let them join you with no trouble.

* * * The Illusionist * * *

The first time I saw the name Edward Norton, I thought he was a comedian with a name like that, I can't help picturing Gleason and Carney. He's a very serious young man who was separated from his little girlfriend when they were little kids, and though he's not searching for her, he does run across her as adults. In the meantime, he has become a well known magician/illusionist and is making some fairly good money. In the process of the young lovers finding each other and reuniting, someone disappears and a reasonably sensible police detective heads an investigation, bringing him into Norton's world.

Again Jessica Biel is the co-star, and certainly fits better with Norton than she did with Cage, but again, who knows. I don't know any of the other people except Paul Giamatti (the inspector), but everyone did a pretty good job of acting. Now this is not The Prestige which came out at about the same time, it's entirely different and although I haven't seen that one, I saw Hugh Jackman talking about it. In either case, both are fairly decent films and worth checking out on Netflix.

Anne
Anne


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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

John M I do know it's Thoroughly Modern Millie this is what happens when I make posts when the children are still up :oops: :)
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

feaito wrote:Haven't seen much lately...

I watched "Elizabeth-The Golden Age" (2007) last weekend. What a visually stunning film! One of the most lavish spectacles I've seen lately. Very allegorical, well acted and magnificently set in the XVIth Century. The costumes, the décors, the detail....awesome. Cate Blanchett divine. A must-see contemporary film. I'd like to watch it back to back with "Elizabeth" (1998).
I saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age yesterday. It is indeed a beautiful film to see. Sets and costumes were quite lavish and very well done. Everyone looked good and sounded good. Somehow I felt there wasn't a great deal going on. "Raliegh" would come and go and was less integral than I would have thought he would be. Interesting battle scenes but seemed slow getting there. It's certainly worth a look though.
Chris

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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Feaito & Movieman1957,
How do you think that Elizabeth The Golden Age (2007) compares with Elizabeth (1998)?

Thank you for any response you may post.
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feaito

Post by feaito »

moirafinnie wrote:Feaito & Movieman1957,
How do you think that Elizabeth The Golden Age (2007) compares with Elizabeth (1998)?

Thank you for any response you may post.
Moira,

Last week I bought "Elizabeth", because I watched when it came out and I do not recall much except the burning at the stake of the Protestants at the beginning of the film. So, when I see it I'll give my opinion, OK?

I don't mind slow moving films if they are handsome to look at, and the allegorical images in "The Golden Age" really enthralled me. The scene of Mary Stuart's execution played like an Opera; as did the battle in which the Spanish Armada was defeated, with thw Queen looking like a Goddess with her tunic and long hair.
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

Of what I recall of "Elizabeth" I felt the story moved better. It was also a beautiful film to see, although I think this one was a better designed film.
There is a certain stylized look to this latest film. Certain shots that look very "set-up" as if it were an art shot. Done for the sake of seeing it. That is not a complaint as much as an observation. The music was fine as well. Blanchet was quite good and she seemed to flow effortlessly from the first film. I think I enjoyed the first more but the sequel has much to recommend. (My 17 year old daughter also wants to watch them back to back. I think that is a good idea.)

Part of what my problem (I guess) with having seen other works is my knack for comparisons. I very much enjoyed Helen Mirren's "Elizabeth I" from HBO. Mirren was fabulous in that production. Of course being older she's played older but that is fine. Two different portrayals so I guess it comes down to what you like.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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