What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Did you ever catch Dog Soldiers? I think you might enjoy that one.

    I'm always sort of torn between Raiders and Crusade for my favourite, but Connery is definitely a big plus in the latter. It also made putting Indy on the other side of the father/son dynamic in Skull that much more interesting.

    Temple always manages to pleasantly surprise me on rewatching. Much more going on in there than many give it credit for. Especially Short Round, not just stuck in for marketing and the cutes (quite possibly, though, for the kids), but very much a product of the damaged world in which the film is set. A child required to be an adult. It says much about Jones himself, perhaps, that while he does take the kid on, he's not 'able' to fully be the adult and take on a parent type role, instead making the kid a sort of quasi adult pal before his time. The parallel between SR and the Maharajah kid, also a kid forced into an adult role before his time, is an interesting one. Lots of lovely little comments in it too on imperialism, both political ("The British do worry about their Empire so. It makes us all feel rather like well care for children.") and cultural.
     
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  2. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Last night I watched Netflix's Ghosts of War. Not bad for a bit of a spook. The ending feels a little contrived, but all the same it's entertaining enough. You just have to get past the apparent oddity of seeing a group of obviously concentration camp inmates, mostly Jewish, fleeing across occupied France in 1944.... Which does make sense by the end.
     
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  3. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Das Boot - uncut TV series (282 min)

    My ride, baby!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
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  4. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    I don't want to over-sell it, but I rather like Dog Soldiers. Bonus points in my book for the mostly practical special effects; very little CGI.

    When I first saw the trailer for Temple of Doom I thought Short Round was going to wind up being the overly-cutesy kid and ruin the movie; I mean, it was directed by Steven Spielberg. I was pleasantly surprised when Ke Huy Quan delivered a performance and character who could hold his own against Indy. Sadly, any joy that might have been had was instantly ruined by another character--Willie Scott. I really want to like the movie, but Willie Scott is like fingernails on a chalkboard while a small child is stabbing you repeatedly with a steak knife as an unlicensed dentist drills your teeth one-by-one without the benefit of anesthetics. Mind you, I don't blame Kate Capshaw--she got stuck playing one of the most annoying alleged-love-interests in cinema history. No, I blame George Lucas for writing the character that way, and Steven Spielberg for directing her to play Willie Scott that way.
     
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  5. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    Yes... the finest Werewolf film of the last 20 years or so. Right up there with "The Howling" which I feel is my hands down fave. While I like vampires (particularly) Hammer films, I'm more wolfish than fanged dandy. As an ex-soldier the last stand the Squadies make is amazing, particularly "Spoons". If I have to go out, that's how I want to go... swinging for the fences with all my might!

    Worf
     
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  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Although Willie doesn't ruin the film for me - arguably she's much closer the sort of damsel in distress role that we'd have seen in the source material - she was a definite step backwards from Marion. I gather that originally they had planned to have Marion in the second film, then either Lucas or Spielberg decided Indy should have a different love interest every film (the Bond influence, I think). I do wonder if this is why they had to set the film a year before Raiders, as meeting a floozy liked Willie wouldn't have been credible after his relationship with (adult) Marion? At least Elsa Schneider fit the mould of being smart, academic and adventurous, not too much of a jump to the idea that he was seeking to fill the Marion shaped hole in his life, so to speak.

    Proving there's no justice in the world... There's a British TV show called Pointless, wherein the aim of the game is to pick answers in a given category of question a the winner is the one with the lowest score. Ultimately, the best kind of answer to have is a zero, hence a "pointless" answer. Very entertaining. Anyhow. A recent category was "Actors in an Indiana Jones film". Kate Capshaw scored quite highly. Karen Allen was a pointless answer. Surprised me, given KA appears as a major character in two of the films, the only lead other than Harrison Ford to do so? (Denholm Elliot is surely a 'supporting' role?) I wonder what "top men" were in that survey group of 100....
     
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  7. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The Solitaire Man from 1933 with Herbert Marshall, Elizabeth Allen and May Robson
    • Based on a play, the plot is complex, contrived and engaging as The Solitaire Man, Marshall, is a jewel thief (a popular 1930s career) about to marry his pretty, young accomplice, Allan, and retire, but owing to an underling's mistake, he has to execute one last break in to, in this case, return jewelry to get the police off his tracks
    • But that effort goes awry as another thief is there, which, in the dark, leads to gunfire resulting in a dead police inspector and too many clues
    • After that, it's to the heart and soul of the movie: a plane flight for the "gang" out of France to England with a, maybe-maybe-not, police inspector also on the flight trying to arrest Marshall
    • The flight is all "you're guilty, no I'm not, here's evidence, no it isn't, I have the pilfered necklace, no you have it (everyone checks pockets, again), you're not a real inspector, yes I am, turn this plane around, land it here, radio the police to meet the plane, I have your gun, I have the bullets" and on and on
    • It's fun in a witty, smartly-engineered way with complex characters and a bunch of plot twists and turns all in rapid-fire succession - not believable, but entertaining
    • And there's also pre-code fun:
      • The young female thief (Allan), upon being proposed to by Marshall says, "you want to marry me, but why? You don't have to you know" (i.e., we can keep on just having sex and living together).
      • Another thief's drug addiction is openly discussed
      • The bad guys don't all lose in the end
    • Finally, it's great time travel to the '30s - clothes, cars, architecture and the aforementioned early-in-aviation-history plane flight

    N.B., It's a shame talented and pretty actress Elizabeth Allan, whose vivacious and smart personality all but jumps off the screen, didn't have more of a career.
    elizabeth-allan-actress-1935-BYYY3X-2.jpg
     
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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    In a Lonely Place from 1950 with Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Art Smith and Jeff Donnell

    This outstanding movie plays around with the usual noir element to create a romance, wrapped around a murder mystery all inside a character study. And it's Bogart as a temperamental, violent and insecure screenwriter accused of murdering a young girl he met one night who provides the character to be studied.

    The romance comes from his nearby neighbor and his alibi to the murder, Gloria Grahame. While Bogart is broken in many obvious ways - hair trigger temper leading to fist fights, arrogant, rigid and self-destructive opinions and a manic-depressive personality - Grahame is broken in a quiet, but almost, just as disturbing way.

    These two meet the night after the murder in question as Bogart remembers his neighbor, Grahame, saw him through a window in his apartment at the time the girl in question was murdered in the nearby woods. After confirming Bogart's story to the police, Grahame and Bogie begin a love affair that, initially, produces an upbeat manic phase in Bogart.

    Bogart starts writing again, sparking joy in his woebegone agent, wonderfully played by Art Smith. He also is able to socialize without fighting owing to Grahame's presence and influence. But with the police, including a former army buddy of Bogart's who's now a detective, Frank Lovejoy, still suspicious of Bogart, the pressure of being a suspect begins to bring out the worst in Bogie.

    His paranoia resurfaces exposing Grahame, for the first time, to his temper, violence, condescension and irrational jealousy. From here, the movie is watching Bogart ping back and forth between being a nice guy in love to an angry man fighting the world, which ricochets Grahame's emotions all over the place as she realizes she's in love with a volatile and dangerous man.

    And we learn, by innuendo, that Graham has a history with dangerous men, which explains why she doesn't immediately get out - as most normal people would - once she sees Bogart's violent side. Even Bogie's long-suffering friend and agent, Smith, admits to Graham that you have to just put up with all of Bogart's ways if you want to be in Bogart's world.

    In the end, and trying to avoid giving the climax and conclusion away, the story comes down to whether two broken people can somehow help fix each other, despite first smashing everything and each other up. Of course, that will only even be possible if Bogart is actually innocent of the murder that hangs over his head throughout.

    Director Nicholaus Ray, most famous for Rebel Without a Cause, serves up another outstanding tale of alienated, unstable people whose struggle to adjust to the world is stressed by hounding police and chaffing societal rules. It's a good twist on the basic noir structure, especially as much of the darkness in this one takes place in the, not typical to noir, daytime. Also, it's fun to see Grahame, in possibly her best role, matching Bogart scene for scene.


    N.B. Look for the wonderfully named actress Jeff Donnell as the wife of Bogart's detective friend and a confidant to Grahame. Those two are a fun physical contrast as Grahame's beautify announces itself almost before she enters the room; whereas, Donnell's takes time to wash over you.

    Jeff Donnell
    Jeff Donnell in In a Lonely Place (1950).jpg
     
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  9. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    As Bob Cratchit admitted, "I am behind my time."
    In no particular order, going back quite a ways, it was Arsenic and Old Lace, the annual viewing with family and friends. We laughed our heads off.
    The Gangster (1947) with Barry Sullivan, Belita, and Joan Lorring. Existentialist gangster-noir-crime study. Hard to experience empathy for mob chief Sullivan who sees his world crumbling.
    The Leopard Man (1943) with Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, and Jean Brooks. Folks in a small New Mexico town are dying from leopard attacks- or is there something more? Just an eyelash over an hour, to help you forget your troubles.
    Did I already mention Macao (1952) with Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Willam Bendix, and an under-utilized Gloria Grahame? Tough talk, whirlwind romance, and exotic, fabled, dangerous Macao, the Monte Carlo of the South China Sea.
     
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  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Yes, God, Yes from 2019 with Natalia Dyer and Timothy Simons
    • A short (78 minutes) film about a Midwest Catholic teenage girl, Dyer, who attends a religious school that teaches sexual abstinence until marriage and eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners
    • Set in the early '00s, Dyer's aborning sexuality and interest in masturbation is sparked by an anonymous on-line chat, but her urges and self-restraint are tested when she attends a weekend religious retreat that, also, emphasizes abstinence
    • At the retreat, she sees hypocrisy everywhere as teenage group leaders preach chastity in public, but engage in fellatio in private, while she, also, sees the priest who runs the retreat masturbating to on-line porn
    • Confused and dispirited, she leaves the retreat and wanders into a lesbian bar (hey, it's a movie) where an older woman - a former '60s flower child - tells her to drop her religious beliefs and go to a college on one of the coasts to escape her religious oppression
    • So, effectively, this is an anti-religion, anti-Midwest message movie that presents a awful view of Christianity while singing the hallelujahs of the 1960s sexual revolution
    • As an agnostic with a casual attitude toward sex, I found the movie condescending and insulting to views I don't share, but respect that others sincerely do as those views were presented here in the worst, most-cliched and biased way possible: this movie is a perfect instantiation of one of the divides between the coasts and middle of the country
    • That said, the movie does, at times, present teenage sexual desire and confusion in a thoughtful manner
    • And kudos to star Dyer for her nuanced performance as a young girl trying to understand her body and the conflicting messages she's receiving from her parents, the religious school and the broader culture
     
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  11. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Back in the late 1970s when "Born Again" Christianity was the latest fad among those seeking enlightenment a few friends invited me, a mostly lifelong Agnostic, to attend their church with them. Ultimately I decided I wasn't getting those "warm and fuzzy" feelings that the true Holy Rollers should feel, but the people who attended that particular church were in many ways pretty much as you described the characters in Yes, God, Yes. Sure, maybe 10-20% of the regular congregation were the people I expected to see in a church--the devout followers who made the serious attempt to deny themselves everything the Bible, Church, and Pastors told them to. But for the rest of us, attending mass on Sundays was what our Pastor referred to as "Churchianity", i.e. we'd attend church and behave ourselves for a few hours on Sundays, but otherwise we were out living the secular life drinking and smoking and doing all manner of things we wouldn't have if we had considered ourselves to be a part of that truly devout 10-20%. It seems the makers of Yes, God, Yes have had experiences similar to mine, because your description sounds far too familiar to me.
     
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  12. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    The Country Girl from 1954 with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and William Holden

    This outstanding movie about success, failure, alcoholism, marriage and the randomness of luck deserves more attention today than it gets.

    Crosby is an up-and-coming crooner married to pretty Grace Kelly. They have a young son and all is going well in their happy life. Then, one day, while the boy is with him, Crosby momentarily lets go of his son's hand and, seconds later, the boy is killed in a traffic accident.

    Ten years later, the couple is living in a dilapidated one-room tenement apartment. Kelly is weary looking having, we discover, spent the past decade nursing Crosby through his alcoholism, anger, lack of confidence and failing career. One unlucky and maybe irresponsible moment has wrecked his success and wrecked both of their lives.

    All this we learn early through flashbacks, which explains why Crosby needs to be triumphant in a surprising chance he's now getting to star in a new play. If he can hold himself together - far from a given - this opportunity could be his comeback. However, a career rebirth is tenuous because, even though the play's young, hard-charging director, Holden, believes in Crosby, the producer (the guy putting up the money) has serious doubts about him as opening night approaches.

    And while Crosby presents a genial and confident front publicly and to Holden, he viciously dumps all his insecurities and anger onto wife Kelly in private, leaving her to address his long list of complaints about the part and how he's being treated to Holden.

    As a result, Holden sees Kelly as a negative influence and meddler that is hurting Cosby and the play. Crosby is so good at presenting himself pleasantly in public - he is a cunning alcoholic who regularly fools those around him - and Kelly is so enervated and dour from Crosby's abuse that, from Holden's point of view, you understand why he mistakenly thinks Kelly is the problem.

    And that leads to several of the movie's money scenes and moments as Kelly and Holden, with antipathy having built to a boil, let loose on each other as he denounces her as a shrew destroying her husband. Kelly, in response, finally, angrily breaks down and venomously tells Holden the truth about Crosby, which Holden doesn't initially believe.

    After a few insanely well-acted rounds of that battle take place, a drunk Crosby, unintentionally, reveals himself to Holden, who now has the horrible realization that he's unfairly beaten up on Kelly. Also, Holden now sees that he has risked his play and reputation on the weak shoulders of a drunken shell of a man.

    It's here where we get to the crux of Crosby's self destruction. In a crushing but very real admission to Holden and Kelly (Kelly had already guessed it), Crosby, who was always insecure, even during his early success, latched on to the tragic death of his son to "fail with a forgivable excuse." He found comfort in an acceptable failure - a failure that people would forgive - versus the fear that his career would decline or worse on its own. That is a powerful reveal of a human insecurity that few movies have tackled as well as The Country Girl.

    With that out in the open and the play soon to premiere in New York, Kelly and Holden now team up to nurse Crosby and the play to success. But their shared goal and forced proximity spark a palpable sexual tension between them - plus, they are the two best-looking people in the movie. So, it's no real surprise that Kelly, having become nothing more than a mother to Crosby, and Holden fall for each other as their once intense hatred turns to passion, which turns to, maybe, love.

    But the play comes first as the movie races to its conclusion: the show's New York City opening. Will Crosby deliver a star performance in the demanding leading role, thus, propelling the play to success and reviving his career? Will Kelly stay with Crosby or leave him for Holden? The Country Girl might not give you the ending you want - you'll want to see it for yourself - but kudos to director George Seaton for his skillful and poignant closing scene.

    Why this powerful mashup of The Lost Weekend and All About Eve - with a much-deserved Best Actress Oscar going to Grace Kelly - doesn't get more notice today is hard to understand. Yes, it's heavy, but so is The Lost Weekend. Maybe it's due for a moment of new attention, but whether that moment comes or not, it's still an impressive movie that explores the brutal decline of a man and a marriage with unvarnished insight and moving sensitivity.
     
  13. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

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    The Hello Girls (2018) documentary on the WWI Army Signal Corps women telephone operators, their experiences and their struggle to be recognized as veterans, the same as other enlisted personnel.
    Top Secret Rosies: The Female 'Computers' of WWII (2010), another documentary, this one about the women who were employed by the US Army to calculate the ballistics of artillery and bombs, all basically done with pencil, paper, and some calculating tools of the slide-rule variety. Because they were top-secret, they weren't as celebrated as the WACs or the WAVES. They were eventually replaced by the new-fangled electronic computers, the old ones the size of an entire room.
    Both on Prime.
     
  14. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "Good Manners" - Another entry in our Werewolf-a-thon. This French-Brazilian collaboration is an excellent slow burn that is more about the racial and class divides of modern Brazil than it is about werewolves. In short, a struggling. single, black woman manages to get taken on as a nanny by a young pregnant white girl from the good side of town. All is fine at first and the two develop a very close relationship, however every month during month during the cycle of the full moon the Nanny's younger charge wanders the streets of San Paolo looking for... meat/blood. I won't go any further into spoiler territory but suffice it to say that the child the girl is carrying is not normal. Thoughtful, expertly acted and beautifully shot this film turned into an unexpected gem whose last act really flips the script. Rent it while you can.

    Worf
     
  15. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    Today on Veterans Day, The Best Years of Our Lives. It's one of my favorites, and was groundbreaking because it showed the issues veterans faced upon their return home. The performances are spectacular - every single one of them. I'm a huge fan of Dana Andrews, and the way he portrays a man with PTSD (that scene where he's in the nose of the plane is a tough one to watch, as is his nightmare scene) must have helped many people realize what these guys went through.

    Also watched The Dirty Dozen today, too. Always a classic!
     
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  16. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Personal Property from 1937 with Robert Taylor, Jean Harlow, Reginald Owen and Una O'Connor

    They call them screwball comedies, but many, such as Personal Property, are more like romcoms as there isn't much screwball-ness going on, but plenty of silly romcom-ness. And, as in many romcoms, then and now, the plot is forced but kinda okay when you watch it; however, it sounds ridiculous when you describe it.

    So here goes: Robert Taylor plays a just-out-of-prison black-sheep son of a respectable and wealthy British family who stumbles into a job as a repo man. He then ends up living with, for the weekend - by law to keep an eye on her property - behind-on-her-furniture-payments Jean Harlow. And Harlow - get ready for it - is engaged to Taylor's stuffy older brother. She's trying to keep up the appearance that she's a well-to-do young widow, hence, the furniture that she can't afford. Of course, initially, Taylor and Harlow do not know that they share a connection via his family.

    Have I lost you yet? There's more as Taylor and Harlow begin developing feelings for each other after the initial romcom period when she, naturally, dislikes him, but really, is intrigued by him. She then asks him to act as a butler for a dinner she's hosting for her fiancé's (Taylor's brother's) family because she'd be embarrassed and the brother would break the engagement if he knew she was in hock and had a repo man living in her house. With Taylor and Harlow still oblivious to their connection via his family, he agrees to be the butler.

    And all this crazy culminates in the dinner itself when his family, of course, immediately recognizes who Taylor is, but keeps quiet about it as they don't want to be embarrassed by admitting he's their son (an ex-con presently working as a repo man).

    Taylor, now fully smitten with Harlow, tries to undermine his brother at the dinner with smart barbs and silly pranks, such as spilling food. Meanwhile, Harlow, having doubts about marrying for money now that she's falling for Taylor, begins to see her tiresome fiancé for who he is. The rest you can probably guess as it plays out per romcom rules.

    Believe it or not, this insanely silly story sort of works okay in the movie as Harlow and Taylor banter and fall in love in a fun way while the eccentricities of the British upper class, real or cliched, are milked for all they are worth. In particular, one of the dinner guests is a middle-aged man who speaks with such exaggerated "poshness" (long vowels, clipped phrases) that the Americans have no idea what he is saying while the Brits respond as if they do. It's pushed too far, but it is still pretty funny.

    And that is the movie - everything is pushed too far, but, mostly, it's still okay. I wouldn't seek it out, but if it happens to be on - and you like Harlow and Taylor - it's a modestly entertaining way to spend just over an hour.


    N.B. How neat is this picture I found of Harlow and Taylor on the promotional tour for this movie:
    UFXEOMPF2BBGZMLKOTPOMKJ6WY.jpg
     
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  17. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    :)
     
  18. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Mr. & Mrs. Smith from 1941 with Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery and Gene Raymond

    This is probably the third or fourth time I've seen this movie in the past four decades and I always want to like it more than I do. I like the principal actors, they spent money making it, the story's outline is silly but okay and the time travel to New York City - including a trip to the 1939 World's Fair - is outstanding; however, I find the movie too forced and screwball to really enjoy. Plus, none of the characters are really likeable.

    The Smiths, Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery, are a young married-for-three-years couple who have epic fights with equally epic makeups. During one battle royal, she asks if he could go back in time, would he marry her again and he says no - ouch, but it's how they fight.

    However, right after that latest battle-and-makeup event, Montgomery and Lombard learn, separately, that, owing to a technicality in the town where they were wed, their marriage was never legal, so, away from common law, they are not married.

    While Montgomery has every intention of making things right, when he doesn't immediately propose marriage again to Lombard, she goes ballistic (it's what they do) and, amidst broken dishes and screams, throws him out of their apartment.

    Montgomery seems genuinely surprised as he tells her multiple times that he wants to marry her again. However, drama-queen Lombard, still smarting from his "no" comment from several days ago, begins using her maiden name while starting to date men, including, just to rub it in, Montgomery's friend and law partner.

    From here, the movie is all Montgomery trying to convince Lombard to marry him again, while she rejects all his offers, even though you know - and she knows - she wants to say yes, but is too prideful to admit it. All this happens amidst silly scenes like one in a restaurant where Montgomery shows up with a date to make Lombard, whom he knew would be there on a date herself, jealous or at a ski lodge where he feigns illness to arouse her sympathy.

    Throw into the mix, the aforementioned law partner and his judgmental family, a bunch of screwball scenes with elevator operators and doormen and the movie stumbles to its inevitable conclusion.

    Maybe the problem with the movie is that none of the characters are likeable, except Montgomery sometimes, and his and Lombard's marriage is so unappealing that you're not rooting for the thing you're supposed to be rooting for: to see the Smiths get back together.

    In five to ten years, I'll have kinda forgotten why I don't enjoy this movie and I will try it again, only to be disappointed again. Sadly, it seems to be what I do with this one.
     
  19. Stormy

    Stormy A-List Customer

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    I watched “Jingle Jangle” the other day and loved it!
     
  20. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Das Boot - uncut TV series (282 min nonstop), english synchro (best sound!!).
     

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