What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Amy Jeanne, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Really? You didn't find Annette, Dobie Gillis, and 69-year-old Buster Keaton playing a witch doctor entertaining? :p
     
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  2. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I know I was not at all impressed with the very first "Annabelle" movie that came out following the first "Conjuring" movie, which I found immensely scary. I found its sequel, "Annabelle: Creation" to be scarier, though a slower burn with a decent payoff at the end.

    "The Conjuring 2" and its own spinoff, "The Nun" are among some of the scariest of the movies, I thought, using a considerable amount of religious/demonic horror in a similar vein to "The Exorcist." If you're a seriously religious person, you may find these movies to be blasphemous ala "The Exorcist." (RIP Max Von Sydow)

    I've not seen "Annabelle Comes Home" yet, so I can't judge that one. I do know that there's a Nun sequel in development along with a third Conjuring movie and a second spinoff from the first Conjuring sequel featuring The Crooked Man, the creepy, spindly man who the demon appears as out of the British nursery rhyme of the same name.

    I wouldn't say the Conjuring movies have much in common with most '80s horror movies, though some are either set in or flat out reference the 1970s/80s and movies/ghost stories set within them. For one, the main "ghost hunters" are Ed and Lorraine Warren, two actual paranormal investigators who helped inspire the Amityville Horror series. There are numerous Amityville Horror references throughout the film franchise. The entirety of the second Conjuring movie itself is based on The Enfield Poltergeist.

    I do know they've been mostly commended for their character driven horror, depending mostly upon getting the audience to care about the characters before putting them in perilous paranormal situations. Unlike most paranormal movies, which are dependant on jump scares and visual horror, the Conjuring movies are more psychological horror, getting into your mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  3. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    A Stolen Life from 1946 with Bette Davis, Bette Davis (again), Walter Brennan, Charles Ruggles and Glenn Ford

    If you feel like you've seen this movie before, it's probably because you remember when Bette Davis stole her sister's husband/fiance (twice!) in 1942's In This Our Life or later in her career when, in 1964's Dead Ringer, she's the poor sister that kills her twin to live the rich sister's life - movie life is hard.

    A Stolen Life is kinda a mash-up of those two where evil-twin Davis steals her good-twin's boyfriend (Ford), but when the evil twin dies in a boating accident, the good twin assumes the evil twin's identity, mainly, to get the man she loved back (evil twin's husband) only to discover evil twin's marriage had been heading for a divorce - movie life is hard.

    By now you know you don't watch this movie for its plot believability, you watch it for Davis' acting - always a treat but on steroids here as she gets to play her good and evil twin and does both with nuance and verisimilitude - and to see California's coast try to look like Maine's coast (it tries hard, but the particulars of the geographies defeat the effort). You also watch it to see a young Glen Ford try hard to hold his own as the much-wanted husband, but his acting chops just weren't ready to star across from two Bette Davises.

    Finally, you watch it because it's not a bad story even if you don't really believe it; just like it isn't really Maine, but it still takes place, for the most part, in a pretty coastal village. And if Davis' acting, a decent story and pretty scenery isn't enough, there is the added, for us today, time travel to 1946 boats, cars, clothes and architecture. And lastly, you have Walter Brennan as the cantankerous, but big-hearted, lighthouse keeper and Charles Ruggles as the kindly uncle, both trying to steer the love triangle to a good outcome, but as noted, movie life is hard.
     
  4. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I watched Frozen II last night. So amazing! Even better than the epicness that the trailers made it out to be, and 100x better than the first movie. It's pure action/adventure, none of that schmaltzy lovey dovey subversion BS from the first movie. I actually watched the two movies back to back last night. The first movie has sooooo much cringe. Olaf the Snowman was a massive annoyance in the first movie, but the sequel actually got me to like him. Also, the sequel kinda makes fun of the cringe of the first movie by having Elsa seeing a memory of her singing "Let it Go" and showing her cringing at it. It's a 10/10 from me - a Disney masterpiece!
     
  5. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Blade Runner, my self-recorded VHS from 2000. :D
     
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  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Watched the 1930 version of Moby Dick last night. It was a fun movie. Apparently the special effects were cutting edge in the day and left the audiences gasping. They totally screwed up the story and gave it a happy ending well for Ahab not Moby. The only version I have not seen is the 1922 silent film with Barrymore (I think) as Ahab.
     
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  7. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    The Magnificent Seven (1960) w/ Yul, Eli, Steve, and Horst. I don't even know how many times I've watched this. One of my all-time favorites.
     
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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The Captive City from 1952 with John Forsythe, Joan Camden and Ray Teal (yup, Sheriff Roy Coffee)
    • Based on a true story, it's an early entry in the "crime exposé'" genre which follows an investigation by local Midwest-town newspaper editor Forsythe into a bookmaking operation seemingly more advanced and sinister than everyone in town, but Forsythe, wants to believe
    • Shot in super-crisp black-and-white cinematography (color would have ruined it), and with Forsythe's narration, it has somewhat of a documentary feel (as these efforts did), but it's still all movie as the transition from a story about a quiet town to "holy cow, this syndicate is murderously dangerous" almost sneaks up on you
    • And that's the point the movie is making: this local "look the other way" bookmaking business is really tied into a national crime syndicate (the mob), which will happily keep a "light touch" on the town until its business is threatened, as it is by Forsythe's relentless investigation
    • Tying it all together is a hokey but, now, historical-curio introduction and epilogue by Estese Kefauver - the head of an early '50s US Senate committee investigation organized crime - explaining that the movie is based on a real story and, in a bit of self promotion, how valuable his committee's work is in combatting similar cases
    • And, to be sure, it was important as we see that the "quiet" bookmaking business has corrupted the town's political and law enforcement leadership as they are allowed to do their jobs only if they leave the bookmaking business alone
    • Also brought to light is how most townspeople pass off the bookmaking effort as a harmless vice / something most people actual want - which was probably true if not for the mob tie-in (what really are lotteries today if not numbers rackets run by governments, not organized crime?)
    • Holding it all together is the outstanding effort of Forsythe and his supportive, and, sometimes, involved in the investigation, wife (Camden) who go from thinking they live in a "good" town to realizing their lives are at risk if they continue to pursue the story
    • Well worth the ninety minutes for the solid storytelling peek at small-town corruption and national mob influence in post-WWII America, but it's also incredible time-travel to shot-on-location (scrubbed of gambling details) Reno Nevada filling in as the Midwest town
    • And, lastly, a shout-out is owed to one of my favorite directors, Robert Wise, who makes movies in every genre (probably why he's less-well-known as he doesn't have a signature style), but regardless, he always creates believable and relatable characters, which is why his films age so well

    Couldn't resist posting this film noir pic from the movie:
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The Young Philadelphians from 1959 staring Paul Newman, Alexis Smith, Barbara Rush, John Williams and many other names you know well

    Soap operas dressed up as serious life-revealing stories, but whose melodramatic seams show have always been with us - half or more of all our TV shows today fall into this category. But the apotheosis of this format was in the 1950s when books were allowed to go places - with sex and corruption, in particular - that movies could only nibble at. I love these efforts and sadly consider myself somewhat of expert on 1950s-era saponaceous books and movies - my parents are not proud.

    The novel The Young Philadelphians (comments here: #8301) has it all - multigenerational intrigue and struggle between an immigrant social-climbing family and the old-guard of Main Line Philadelphia. There's plenty of sex - more outside than within marriage - clandestine affairs, illegitimate children, homosexuality, impotence, coverups, payoffs, murder and mayhem all bubbling below and occasional above the surface of "proper" Philadelphia society.

    When translated to the screen, the timeline in The Young Philadelphians had to be truncated and some of the tawdriness and salaciousness culled, but it's still a ripping tail of dirty laundry, lust, greed, power, excess, corruption and abject betrayal juxtaposed with the polished and elegant-looking "refinement" of 1950's upper-class society.

    The theme throughout is how handsome and young Anthony Judson Lawrence (Newman) - the kept-at-a-distance-by-society, but putative product of a society-boy-immigrant-girl marriage - will achieve his ferociously-ambitious mother's goal of having her son break into the rarified world of proper Philadelphia society.

    A pause is needed here to recognize that Newman played variations of this role in half a dozen movies in the '50s and '60s because he was absolutely, positively perfect at it. When Hollywood tried others in the role - Warren Beaty, William Holden or Montgomery Clift, for example - it only served to highlight how much better Newman was at it. Newman had great roles right up to the end of his career, but he was never more Paul Newman than as a young man pushing his way into somewhere he wasn't quite wanted.

    Back in The Young Philadelphians, Newman has to cope with an engagement to a society girl that gets oh-so-smoothly broken up by her urbane father who buys Newman off, not with money or threats, but promises of a position in business and society after he graduates law school. A boys' gotta do, what a boy's gotta do.

    From there, so much happens - revenge marriages, young husbands dying at war, prodigal rich society boy becoming a drunkard and potential murderer, corrupt political careers exposed, wealthy clients stolen (something that "just wasn't done"), Mrs. Robinson-type affairs* (coo-coo-ca-choo) and a bring-it-all-together, trial-of-the-year that puts Main Line Philadelphia in the dock with only the tenuous loyalty of the never-fully-embraced outsider Anthony Judson Lawrence - our boy Newman - to rely on for its defense.

    If this is your bag, you'll want to read the book first - it has so much more in it and, as always, you can form your own opinions and visuals - then watch the movie as a fun indulgence to see what Hollywood could do with a story still somewhat out-of-bounds for its late-'50s weakening movie-production code. Plus, you want to see Newman in all his perfect-for-this-genre Newmanness.


    * Had sexy and weathered Ann Bancroft not been available to seduce an innocent Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, Alexis Smith's upper-class cougar come-hither moves on a youthful Paul Newman in The Young Philadelphians shows that she could have easily filled Bancroft's shoes albeit without Bancroft's five-packs-a-day desiccated voice of scorn and amorality.

    Newman and Smith having a coo-coo-ca-choo moment:
    the-young-philadelphians-paul-newman-alexis-smith.jpg
     
  10. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) dir. John Ford, with John Wayne, James Steward, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Woody Strode, and too many more to list.
    The Missus had not seen this, and liked it quite a bit. I didn't get it when I first saw it as a kid; it's not a shoot'em-up, it's a character driven story and I missed the interplay of the characters. Watching it as a grown-up I really understood what was going on.

    Shot on a tight budget, it is pretty much set-bound, with a few location shots to remind us it's the frontier. Some folks point out the story is set in pre-statehood Colorado.

    Andy Devine plays Andy Devine, Lee Marvin is the merest half-a-notch above completely feral, and his sidekicks are Lee Van Cleef, as a grim and lethal henchman, and Strother Martin, as a giggling crazed semi-rodential maniac.

    To Ford's credit, there are a couple scenes with Strode that fly in the face of the ingrained attitude towards African-Americans at the time of filming. Wayne's character overrules the bartender's objection to Strode drinking at the bar, and Stewart's character comments upon Strode's reading the line "...that all men are created equal" by saying "Some people have forgotten that."
     
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  11. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    A flawed movie but the presence of Newman from that era made it worth watching.....I think I can say that about all his films of the era. Just something about him as a screen presence...the dude had charisma.
     
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  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Watched the new Netflix offering..."Them That Follow". It received middling reviews but we thought it quite good. It was criticized as boring but we thought the characters engaging and interesting. A plausible story that could have easily strayed into cartoon people but avoided the pitfall.
     
  13. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "Horror of Dracula" - Caught this on Svengoolie tonight. I own the flick and seen it a hundred times but with Sven you start with the movie but stay for the schtick.

    Worf
     
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  14. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Killing Gunther. (2017) A group of inept assassins team up to eliminate "the world's greatest" hit man who is known as "Gunther", but Gunther always seems to be a few steps ahead of them. The only reason I watched this complete waste of time is because "Gunther" is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I don't know how they talked him into doing it (aside from reportedly paying him 20% of the movie's budget) because it's one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
     
  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Shia LaBoeuf's (sp?) biographical "HoneyBoy". A great performance by this era's perhaps most underrated actor in a movie that he wrote as well. I think one of last year's great movies.
     
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  16. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Walk the line, 2005.
     
  17. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    "At night, when the devil came" (1957). With Mario Adorf!! :)

    Third Reich crime movie. Perfect, realistic atmosphere.
     
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Mr. Bride," a 1932 Hal Roach Studios two-reel comedy starring the delightful Charley Chase.

    Mr. Chase -- and if you google him, disregard the modern porn star who has coopted his good name -- was long a forgotten man of comedy, largely because he was never a success in features, spending his entire career making short comedies, and because he died far too young of alcoholism in 1940. But in his day, which spanned the mid-twenties thru the late thirties, Chase was one of the most popular and most skillful of the cadre of comedians who devoted themselves to two-reelers.

    A skinny, nattily-dressed fellow with glasses and a twitchy little moustache, Chase adopted no grotesque character for these films -- he was a reasonably normal young man to whom increasingly abnormal things always seemed to happen. And his flustered reactions to these bizarre circumstances gave his comedy its primary thrust.

    The title at hand, "Mr. Bride," takes Chase's "comedy of embarassment" to its ultimate realization, as he is forced by his boss, the phlegmatic Del Henderson behind a goofy moustache, to help him "rehearse for his honeymoon." It seems Mr. Henderson is a very thorough and meticulous fellow and does nothing without thorough planning and preparation, and marriage is no exception. And so it is that Mr. and "Mrs." Henderson go thru pretty much all the motions of a honeymoon, to Charley's increasing mortification.

    What makes the film work is that they don't go for the obvious gag of dolling Charley up in drag. Instead, he goes thru the entire situation as himself, a flustered young man unsure of what he is supposed to do or how to conduct himself, or even how far he expects his boss to take the whole thing. And Mr. Henderson doesn't spare any expense -- he actually takes his new "wife" on an actual honeymoon cruise, on a shopping spree -- where Charley is forced to get a permanent wave in a beauty parlor -- and finally to a hotel for the Wedding Night.
    All this while Charley suffers silently, afraid to contradict his boss in any way lest he lose his job. The more nonchalant Mr. Henderson is -- and the more accepting the people they encounter are of the situation -- the worse it is for Charley. And the public is glad to go along with things, treating Charley as "Mrs. Henderson," offering him all the courtesies a new bride would expect to receive on her honeymoon, and refusing to acknowledge anything out of the ordinary about the situation.

    And that's the thing. There are snickers and giggles, and a bemused mounted cop even titters delicately into his palm and goes "woo-hoo!" before riding his horse -- which bucks its rump back and forth suggestively -- down the street. But there is no shock, no outrage, no sense that there's anything unusual about all this. It's one of the "gayest" films you'll ever see from the Era, and its gayness is so overt and so obvious that you'll find yourself wondering how the audiences of the time processed what they were seeing. "Nance comedy" of this sort was very common during the 1920s and early 1930s, and some comics even specialized in it. Chase himself was no stranger to it. But to see an extended routine like this treated in the way that it is in 1932 is quite an experience.

    "Mr. Bride" was very quickly withdrawn from circulation with the coming of the Breen Office, and when Chase's films were sold to television in the early 1950s this title was very quickly pulled from the package when "concerned citizens" complained about. But there were no such complaints as far as I could find in 1932 itself. And that's why watching old two-reelers gives you more than just a lot of laughs.
     
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  19. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Netflix offering..."Thank you for Your Service". A watchable drama that profiles 3 young men returning from deployment in Iraq in various stages of distress due to PTSD.
     
  20. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The Roaring Twenties from 1939 staring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart and Gladys George

    Made during enforcement of the movie production code and a decade after the period it's set in, this Warner Brothers gangster movie looks and feels - and messages - differently than earlier gangster classics, but still packs quite a punch both as a movie and as an influencer.

    Three World War I buddies return from the conflict and struggle to restart their lives. Cagney, barely getting by as a cabby, is pulled into the aborning "industry" of bootlegging by been-kicked-around-and-is-wiser-for-it Gladys George. Buddy number two, Bogart, is brought into the "business" by Cagney as Cagney starts to move up. Meanwhile, buddy number three, Lynn, follows the honest path to law school.

    With that set-up, a lot of the movie clicks along as you'd expect - Cagney gets bigger and richer and cockier; Bogie moves up, but gets jealous of his old friend Cagney, and Lynn, kinda sorta, works as Cagney's lawyer (but without crossing the line into gangster-hood). As a catalyst for what we know is coming, Cagney falls in love with a from-the-right-side-of-town, ivory-soap-clean singer, Lane, who needs his help to start and advance her career. She likes him in a brotherly way, but rejects his romantic advances.

    As the Twenties roar along (sorry, couldn't resist), surprise, surprise, Lane falls in love with good-guy Lynn. Even though Cagney takes the blow hard, he continues to build his bootlegging empire with his original tutor, George, working for, but sometimes, still mentoring him. Finally, the stock market crashes, prohibition ends, Cagney's empire crumbles, but Bogie manages to become a more successful mob boss in the '30s while Lynn becomes a district attorney focusing on mob corruption.

    Since this is a production code movie (spoiler alert), we follow the fall of Cagney as he's reduced to driving a cab again and struggling just to eat. And a down-and-out Cagney sums it all up with, perhaps, the line of the movie - the line that also sums up the '30s in America versus the '20s - when he turns to an also destitute George and says, "you're right Panama [George], we have finished out of the money."

    Despite his impoverished circumstances, when Cagney learns that Bogart is going to knock off Lynn (because Lynn is going to indict him), Cagney shows that he still has just a little kick left in him. Mainly to protect his long unrequited love who is now Lynn's wife (Lane), Cagney confronts Bogart and both end up dead. Cagney, coincidentally, stumbles to the steps of a church as he dies (in case you somehow missed the morality of this tale).

    It's good. It's very good, but it is a beat off the best '30s gangster movies as those movies felt more raw as they blurred the line between good and bad. Those early '30s efforts left much in the gray area where real life exists, but here, the divide is more clearly defined. In The Roaring Twenties, only Cagney and George exist in the gray and only until the end when punishment must be meted out.

    And maybe because they were allowed to exist in the gray, Cagney and George, in particular, deliver powerful performances. Bogie, Lynn and Lane all do fine, but come off more as caricatures of good or evil (again, that darn code messing up a fine movie).

    Another difference from those earlier effort is the style of the movie with The Roaring Twenties - effectively, a 1939 period movie about the 1920s - having a somewhat documentary feel in a way that adumbrates the "groundbreaking" approach of Citizen Kane. It also felt closer in style to the late 1950s' TV show The Untouchables than those early '30s efforts like The Public Enemy.

    But despite it's flaws and code-enforced nonsense, The Roaring Twenties is still an outstanding coda to the 1930s' gangster-movie genre.

    40-george-cagney.jpg
     
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