What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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

  1. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I really liked what Zombie did with House of 1,000 Corpses. Unlike some of his other movies, which I feel like he pushed to be purposely offensive in an unironic way, House felt like an experimental music video, sort of Zombie's way of making a crazed buffet that let him test the waters to see where he wanted to go with his movie career. I would love to see the workprint, and I wish some of the abandoned concepts and Dr. Satan himself had found their way into the theatrical cut of the sequel.

    Devil's Rejects was an... interesting way of continuing the Firefly's story. I understand that Zombie wanted it to be more grounded, and I enjoyed the more coherent story, but I felt like some of the characters were flanderized. Otis wasn't a Manson-spewing albino anymore, Baby was more murder-crazy instead of being promiscuous crazy, and Spaulding was just a more grotesque, less humerus version of himself (though I loved seeing him mess with that kid in the car).

    3 From Hell seemed to be the weakest of the trilogy. It's like Zombie had no idea with what he wanted to do with it, and just let whatever happen. I liked some of the characters returning to their roots like Baby returning to be the giggling murderslut she was in the first movie.
     
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  2. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    ^ I have to agree with you. House of 1,000 Corpses was Rob Zombie's debut as a movie director and it was fairly obvious he wanted to announce his presence with it. So far I think it's his best, but considering how ineffective The Devil's Rejects, his Halloween movies, and The Lords of Salem were, that's not saying much. I haven't yet seen 3 From Hell and I don't know if I ever will.
     
  3. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I have a love hate relationship with Zombie's Halloween movies. I have a fair bit of nostalgia for the movies, particularly the first, which is what got me into horror movies and collecting in the first place. Michael Myers .net was my first message board. I love that the atmosphere is top notch in this first movie, and that just about saves the movie for me. The movie creates this great feeling of Illinois in October from South Pasadena just like the original did. Everything from the way the sun casts the shadows to the dead leaves on green grass breathes October in Illinois. I think the only Halloween movie that outshines the remake in this category is Halloween 4.

    The costume design for Michael is also really good. By Halloween 6, I felt like the white mask and grey coveralls started to become stale. I feel like the Carhartt's and rot mask was a breath of fresh air in a franchise that had gotten old by the time the '90s rolled around. I love the Carolina logger boots, and the progression of the rot mask, as it mirrors Michael's continuously dilapidating mental state.

    Unfortunately, the movies, particularly the second one, is bogged down by the foul mouthed and embarrassing redneck stereotypes. It got even worse in the second movie. The depictions were "Deliverance" bad. When that guy beat down Michael for being in his field in H2, I could practically hear the "C'mon boy, squeal! Weeeeeeeee!". But, that's Zombie's style. Every single one of his movies except Salem is filled with awful trashy stereotypes.

    On the other hand Tyler Bates soundtrack is very good in both movies, as are the non original compositions used like Nazareth and Rush. The soundtracks really bring these movies to life, in a similar way that they did for the original. I, for one, really enjoy the grunge rocker culture in these movies, and I love how the music choice evokes a very '70s style. There's even a needlepoint of JFK in the Myers home during Michael's childhood that really makes a point to sell that '60s and '70s feel to this movie. But yeah, the music really makes this movie, and fits in with the tone of "bigger, stronger, faster" with the musical notes, especially the piano notes, striking harder and louder than any previous rendition. The little background noises added to the theme likewise was a really unique choice.
     
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  4. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Speaking of the Hallowe'en films, last night the Cairo Cavalcade of Horror continued with Halloween 2018, the whatever it is sequel to the originals.

    We had heard good things about it and we were not disappointed. It had we thought a faithful approach to the Carpenter originals, lots of shout outs to original scenes with enough new twists.
     
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  5. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    bloodonthemoon.jpg
    Blood on the Moon from 1948 with Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston, Walter Brennan, Phyllis Thaxter, Frank Faylen and Tom Tully

    This is no Western for the kiddies. In director Robert Wise's noir-Western mashup, the world is morally complex where men and women have the capacity to do great good and great evil. This is a place where, thank you Thomas Hobbes, the natural state of mankind is shown to be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

    If this one isn't a classic, it should be as it quickly pulls you into an ethically ambiguous and challenging world populated by complex humans where right and wrong aren't easy to discern and almost everyone ends up being, as in real life, somewhere in between.

    A cattle rancher, Tom Tully, is losing his land owing to a changing government policy forcing him off the Indian reservation he has used for his herd for years, but his efforts to return to his old land bring him up against homesteaders who now claim it for themselves.

    Attempting to manipulate this situation for their own enrichment is a corrupt government agent, Frank Faylen, and his partner, Robert Preston, who opportunistically and insincerely back the homesteaders. They intend to buy Tully's herd on the cheap when he has nowhere to take it and, then, to quickly resell the herd to the government at a huge markup.

    Mitchum, an old friend of Preston's, is hired by him to both fight on his side and help negotiate the crooked sale. Mitchum goes along, initially, as he's promised a big pay day. However, while he's okay with a little larceny and rough stuff, once he sees the big picture - and that people are getting killed and men wiped out financially if they get in Preston and Faylen's way - he attempts to get out.

    Complicating the picture and Mitchum's exit are Tully's daughters whose loyalties are split, with daughter Bel Geddes firmly with her dad while daughter Thaxter is covertly selling her dad out to help her manipulative boyfriend Preston who promises to marry her if he can get rich off this deal. Preston is a consummate noir character as he initially charms both Mitchum and Thaxter (and the audience) into believing his intent might be decent - marriage and to help the homesteaders - while he's later shown to be willing to do anything, and kill anyone, to get this profitable-to-him deal done.

    Mitchum, initially on Preston's side, comes up against Bel Geddes, but even as antagonists, their chemistry is palpable. However, when Mitchum tries to break from Preston and even help Tully (Bel Geddes' dad) - he wants to right his wrong of having supported Preston - it takes time for her to believe he's changed, especially, as everyone's hands are a little bit dirty by now.

    If Mitchum is the hero here, he's a way-ahead-of-his-time hero as he's no cardboard good guy, but a complex man who makes some bad decisions and isn't opposed to modest cheating. But he also has a moral line he won't cross. Plus, let's not kid ourselves, he wants to hang around to, yes, right a wrong, but also to win over Bel Geddes. Basically, he plays a standard Mitchum noir character just in Western clothes, but it works both here and in his noir roles as he has the nuance and talent to convincingly be morally grey.

    From here, the rest of the movie is watching Mitchum trying to stop Preston and Faylen, which results in a brutal bar fight that belongs more in a Tarrantino film than a '50s Western. More battles ensue - the violence is strikingly real and vicious in this movie - until, finally, Mitchum and Bel Geddes are held up with homesteader Walter Brennan in a small house fighting it out with Tully and his remaining men.

    Being 1948, unfortunately, the ending is too clean and too nice, but the audience, then and now, will see through that because director Wise serves up a morality tale with no simple solutions. He twists good and bad men this way and that while tossing in a lot of bad faith, some genuine misunderstanding, several turnabouts and much violence. Wise leaves the viewer exhausted but thinking at the end of Blood on the Moon, as, just like in real life, he shows us that there rarely are any easy answers.

    N.B., Barbara Bel Geddes - a slip of youth and cuteness here - might have broken Hollywood's land-speed record for going from hottie to middle-aged matron as, just ten years later, she'll play the spinster friend pining for greying and in-his-fifties Jimmy Steward in Vertigo (and she won't get him).

    .
     
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  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Newish Netflix offering...."Earthquake Birds" with the Vikander lady. I enjoyed it....she is always enjoyable to watch. A psychological exploration....too much of a stretch to call it a thriller but it is engaging....well written, well acted, a slow introspective movie that we both found strangely compelling.
     
  7. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Caught "Son of Dracula" on Svengoolie last night. Lon Chaney Jr plays the titular vampire, although the movie makes no allusion to Chaney being a descendant of Dracula, but rather seems to portray Chaney as the Prince of Darkness himself. This movie certainly explains why my Dad had a face painted mustache with his Dracula costume that year.

    I felt that the movie, and Chaney, started of much stronger than it finished. Early on, we see Dracula position himself to become master of the plantation that should have been Frank Stanley's (Robert Paige). The moment Stanley arrives to the plantation after Dracula has moved in, the wicked Count makes him feel explicitly unwelcome. Unfortunately, the threats never really get followed up on, as Stanley, in a moment of despair, kills his beloved while trying to kill Dracula, and then goes mad with grief... and his madness takes up the majority of the plot. And as the story turns to focus on whether or not Stanley's undead beloved has become Dracula's new bride, the movie starts becoming less horror and more murder mystery.

    Thankfully the setting more than makes up for the lackluster story, as the southern bayous and swamps create an effectively creepy haunt for Dracula to stalk. Dracula seeking out younger, more virile blood has led him to the American south, where the piling up of Spanish moss creates a decaying setting very different from the typical Victorian London setting we're used to.

    In all, the majority of the movie somewhat bored me. Chaney portrays a fantastic Dracula, but the rest of the movie is not a worthy heir to the original Hollywood Count, Bela Lugosi.
     
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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    MV5BNDc3Mjk2ZjMtNGM2Ni00ZjE5LWE2NTktMzg5MzFhZWE4NmY4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjk3NTUyOTc@._V1_.jpg
    A Letter to Three Wives from 1949 with Linda Darnell, Ann Southern, Kirk Douglas, Paul Douglas and Jeanne Crain
    • A letter from the town's siren sent to three wives as they start a day boat trip informs them that she has left town with one of their husbands - holy cow!
    • While "trapped" on the boat and through flashbacks, we see why each woman thinks her husband could be the one
      • One women is a successful writer married to a school teacher where her financial success undermines their marriage and his manhood - sometimes his fault / sometimes hers
      • Another is married to the handsome, wealthy "catch," but as she's just a plain farm girl he met and married during the war, she thinks he regrets his spontaneous decision
      • The third is a "wrong side of the tracks" pretty young woman who married the middle-aged wealthy businessman in a marriage that began based on a transaction - my youth for your money - not love
    • It's as contrived as could be, but it works as the three marriages are brought to life - you can see any of these husbands being the one who left
    • The themes of class, love and money in small towns and within marriages are smartly explored
    • I enjoy this one more each time I see it
    • N.B. As she always does, Thelma Ritter brings depth and dimension to her performance as a maid who does not fade into the background - she's an acting talent

    TURN-BACK-THE-CLOCK-Original-Movie-Still-8x10.jpg
    Turn Back the Clock from 1933 with Lee Tracy, Mae Clarke and Otto Kruger
    • An early Sliding Doors or alternative-timeline story
    • A just-getting-by cigar-store owner, Tracy, married to a good woman, Clarke, whom, twenty years ago, he chose over the town's wealthy girl has an accident that propels him back in time where he gets to do his life over, but this time, with the knowledge of how his original choices turned out
    • Watching Tracy make different decision with his second chance had to feel fresh in 1933
    • Unfortunately, Tracy, a stage-trained actor, had yet to adjust to movie acting, so he over gestures and exaggeratedly projects as many stage actors did on film at that time
    • In the end, the movie boils down to the question of marrying for true love versus for money
    • It's clunky, but interesting enough for a 78 minute effort
     
  9. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Watched a Prime offering...."A Child in Time" from 2018 with Benjamin Cumberbatch. IMDB only gives it 6/10 but we thought it worth much more. Thought it a very good movie, so well acted and an intelligent script.
     
  10. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    So, our blu-ray player is acting up, seems to be a power issue, so we found Ghostbusters 2016 edition (which we own in fact, but see first point). We love this version, and have never understood the vitriol directed against it.

    Curiously we cannot seem to find our set of the originals...
     
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  11. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "Island of Terror" - Saw this one as a kid. Kept me awake for a few nights. Well meaning scientists on a remote island off the Irish coast are seeking to create an organism that would consume cancer... Instead they unleash a monster that consumes carbon, which are bones are mostly made of. Townspeople start becoming boneless bags of mush. Scientists are called in and you can guess the rest. Besides the hideous form of death, the monsters were what scared me as a kid. Seeing them now they look laughable. Still it was good to see it again... Nice popcorn muncher... For some reason the entire cast, headed by Peter Cushing in his prime play it straight and serious. The only clinker is the inclusion of a sweet young thing who spends the majority of the film screaming in terror. Puddin' opined "where's Ripley when you need her?"

    Worf
     
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  12. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Watched "The Exorcist", and now "The Shining." I'm contemplating watching "John Carpenter's The Thing" next, but I might just go to bed. I have work in the morning and I did want to finish Spielberg's "Poltergeist" that i left unfinished on Netflix.
     
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  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    wickedwoman3.jpg
    Wicked Woman from 1953 with Beverly Michaels, Richard Egan and Percy Helton

    What comes after the letter B, oh, yes, C. So, maybe this is a C movie - much closer in story and production quality to a 1950s hour-long TV drama than a major motion picture. But if you accept its limitations in, well, story, budget and acting talent, it's deliciously fun in an almost campy way.

    A "wicked woman," Beverly Michaels, a drifter with looks and no morality comes to town, takes a room in a boarding house (with a super-creepy neighbor, Helton) and gets a job as a waitress in a cocktail bar. At work, she immediately begins hitting on the husband (Egan) part of the husband-and-wife bar-ownership team, while plying the alcoholic wife with booze.

    Tall, lean in a gangly all-arms-and-legs way, but with a large chest and white-blonde hair, Beverly Michaels looks like a stretched-out Marilyn Monroe. With her somnolent acting style and as the film's lead, she doesn't so much carry the movie, but instead, drags it along like a little kid does with a baby blanket. However, you can't deny that all five feet and nine inches of her captures your attention. (And I'll take the over on 5'9".)

    Michael's plan - more opportunistic happenstance as she doesn't think meaningfully far into the future - is to get Egan, they are now having an affair, to sell the bar out from under his wife and take her (Michaels) to Mexico for a long vacation. Okay, not everyone dreams as big as you'd think.

    While this is in motion, Michaels uses her creepy neighbor, gnome-like Percy Helton, for favors and money by stringing him along with the promise of a date. However, just as Egan and she are about to complete the fraudulent sale of the bar - Michaels has to pretend to be the wife at the closing to fake her signature - Helton has had enough being put off and tries to blackmail Michael for sex with the information he's learned about her corrupt plan. Watching an older, overly short, fat, balding man try to come on sexually to a young, overly tall, comely blonde has an awful creep and ick factor that you'll struggle to wipe from your memory.

    From here, as you expect in a noir film, things unravel quickly, but surprisingly, the justice meted out is incredibly tame. Effectively, everybody gets sent home for a do-over. Along the way, though, look for two quirks of the era.

    One, Michaels has an ongoing morning battle to beat another woman to the boarding house's bathroom leading to a funny scene where Michaels wins an impromptu footrace and, then, tweaks her defeated adversary. Two, there's a poorly explained scene where Michaels is seen giving some of her tip money to a man described as an "employment" man, but, I guess, he's a mob guy collecting "protection" money. Boarding-house wars and the rackets - you can't get more '50s or more film noir than that.

    Wicked Woman is a not-good movie that is still enjoyable in a campy way because of awkwardly tall and sleepy, but appealing, Michaels, an embarrassingly cheap budget and unapologetically immoral characters. There are worse ways to spend an hour.
     
  14. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    Stolen Holiday (1937) starring Kay Francis, Claude Rains, and Ian Hunter (pre-Mott, clearly), about a French fashion model and a low-grade swindler who team up and make it big. She becomes the rage of the fashion world, and he goes on to swindle internationally. Then stuff happens. Big chunk of screen time is given over to some fashion shows. The Missus cared for none of the offerings.
    And then, to balance out the turbo-charged romance, it's Blackmail (1939) with Edward G. Robinson as an oil-field fire putter-outer who is married to Ruth Hussey. Someone tries to blackmail Edward, and things spiral out of control. We liked it.
     
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  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Watched a large chunk of "A Face In The Crowd" before bed last night, and was astonished once again that an actor capable of such raw, utter bastardry as Andy Griffith displayed in this film was content to spend the rest of his career and the rest of his life playing wholesome folksy hayseeds. It really is a terrifying performance, an uncompromising portayal of a loathsome man with no redeeming qualities whatsoever turned into a populist icon by a shameless, complicit media.

    I've got issues with a lot of this film, especially the way they end it -- but in the deconstruction of the sham of celebrity, it still has few peers.
     
  16. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Nora Prentiss (comments here: #26888) on mute in the background. This very good noir is in desperate need of a restoration as it has become dark and fuzzy. Although, some work might have been done at some point as it doesn't have an abundance of scratches and "flashes" of light like some older unrestored movies do.

    If something doesn't happen, this movie will be unwatchable as it degrades further. I get that the restoration decision is driven by ownership rights, funds, passions, grants, etc. Let's hope this enjoyable noir finds the funds as it would be a shame to lose it.

    Help me, I'm fading, thank you, Ann Sheridan (as Nora Prentiss)
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  17. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    hold_your_man_-_h_-_1933-928x523.jpg
    Hold Your Man from 1933 with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow

    This is not an easy movie to categorize as it's a full-throttle pre-code story about two grifters - Gable and Harlow - who meet and deny that they are falling in love, but it ends with a Christianity redemption moment delivered by one of the era's most-oppressed people.

    At first, after meeting and hooking up, Gable and Harlow act like they kinda don't care about each other and just go on grifting and sort of living together. But you know Harlow cares as when one of Gable's ex-girlfriends shows up, a girl-fight ensues: the ex-girlfriend slaps Harlow who counters with a left jab that knocks the ex back hard...girlfight over, Harlow won.

    But it takes much more trouble for Gable and Harlow to see what they mean to each other. When Harlow is sent to a women's reform prison (more dorm-like than prison), she discovers she's pregnant with Gable's baby. Stop there for a second to ponder what 1933 Hollywood has just offered up: Two criminals conceive a baby out of wedlock with the pregnant and still-unwed mother now in prison - holy smokes.

    Harlow, because she doesn't want to be "that girl," the kind that gets a man by guilt, keeps this a secret from Gable (she won't wear a bra, but for the important things, the girl does have her values). Meanwhile, not much reform is happening initially to Harlow in prison, but she does befriend a fellow black inmate who is a preacher's daughter.

    (Spoiler alerts) And just when all hope looks lost, Gable learns of Harlow's condition and risks his own freedom by coming to see her in prison. After some angry words and confusion and with the police coming to arrest Gable, he and Harlow attempt to get married on the fly with the only preacher available being Harlow's black friend's father who is visiting his daughter that day.

    So we have a wonderful moment of Christian salvation as Harlow and Gable want to "legitimize" their baby and give it a chance for a decent life as both of them commit to "going straight." And this is all overseen and encouraged by a black preacher who believes in the kindness-and-forgiveness form of Christianity as it is implied that he knows how unfair and hard life can be. And being black in 1933, we have no doubt that he does.

    So, to recap, two street-level criminals have casual sex resulting in a baby that leads to an in-prison spiritual epiphany by a pregnant mom and an on-the-lam father all shepherded by a black preacher with a convict daughter. This is a two-fisted pre-code with a bracing shot of religion. It might not fit in a typical Hollywood box, and it's clunky as heck by today's standards, but give MGM credit for making a gritty movie with a quietly subversive social and racial message wrapped inside a redemption story.

    N.B., If you do watch it, look for Gable's line during his impromptu prison wedding to Harlow. With the police bearing down on them, Gable, knowing this will be his only chance to marry a pregnant-with-his-baby Harlow, tries to hurry up the preacher (attempting to conduct a proper marriage ceremony) with this comment, "can't you skip some of it and just marry us?" Who says romance was dead in 1933?
     
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  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    This is what happens when you think you're writing a script for Warner Brothers until you get to the last act and realize you're actually writing it for MGM.
     
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  19. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Mayer must have been on vacation when this one snuck through.
     
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  20. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "Battle of the Planets" - There was a time in the late 60's when Italian movie producers realized that the era of manly Hercules Muscle movies was over and they were casting about for the next big trend. Before they copped to the "Spaghetti Westerns" they tried their hands at Sci Fi. Problem is their efforts were laughable at best and downright criminal when they took it seriously. Such is the case with this turd. Awful, from the costumes that would make a child's plastic Halloween costume look good, to the space scenes that looked like they were lifted from a 50's SciFi TV show, the entire affair was so bad it didn't qualify as a good parody. Special effects so bad that much of the interiors were clearly cardboard. Why I finished this travesty I'll never know... sheer bullheadedness I guess. I thought "The Green Slime" was turgid, this one makes that one look like gone with the wind. Avoid at all costs.

    Worf
     
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