What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,685
    Location:
    London, UK
    Not watched so many films this last week as normal for this time of year as I've been binge-watching various TV shows. Did catch the following:

    Bad Santa II: engaging enough, retains the dark humour of the first one, though better written, I think. Been some time but I have a vague memory the first was a bit of a let down in some respect, whereas this one delivers. Kathy Bates is clearly having a ball playing a tattooed villainess.

    Santa's Slay - a lot of fun, comedy-horror. Santa is secretly a demon, the son of Satan. For a thousand years, he has been bound in to being nice because of a bet le lost to an angel. Now the thousand years are at an end...

    A Christmas Horror Story - schlocky fun, with William Shatner in a pivotal role that gives effect to the portmanteau storytelling.

    Christmas Office Party - This one isn't exactly intellectual, but it's a fun enough romp, pleasingly devoid of the usual Hangover-style misogyny.

    Ready Player One: I skipped this previously as it was so heavily marketed off the back of the overly-fetishised eighties (The New Sixties) nostalgia, but gave it a go this evening as it was on the BBC iplayer. Surprisingly good, surprisingly low on Spielbergian schmaltz. I quite enjoyed it. He only shame was that there was so little of it took place in the "real" world of the film, as that was a really nicely constructed world, and more interesting in many respects than the game world. The pop culture references were mostly quite subtle and not smashed in your face - and there were a fair few 70s and 90s bits in there too to balance out the eighties. Not up to the hype there was around its release, but well worth seeing all the same.
     
  2. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Funny story: The day after I was discharged from the Army-back home and no civillian clothes that fit-
    I took the Chicago Transit Authority bus to a local shopping mall. Stepped off the bus, walked a block
    and a Chicago police squad car pulls up, wants to know why I'm not in school. Told him I wasn't in school.
    Why not? retorted the driver, a sergeant. I just got out of the Army, I said. In all fairness to the cop,
    I looked a baby faced kid; often called pretty boy. Cop was a trite sarcastic, he had kids my age.
    Now I was going to say I was in the Green Berets. As a matter of fact I was sir, I answered.
    Went over like a lead balloon. Laughter. Did I have some military id? No sir, surrendered federal
    Armed Forces of the United States identity card at mustering out paymaster window. Cop not satisfied
    but somewhat intrigued. Challenged me on the M16 rifle. What was its length and weight?
    Thirty nine inches long without bayonet; forty-four point two-five inches knifed; six point five pounds
    unloaded; seven point five pounds loaded twenty round magazine; seven point niner pounds loaded
    thirty round mag. Also remarked that the bayonet stub could open a bottle of beer.

    The cop smiled. OKay kid, your good. Bade me adios. Nothing like Rambo getting rode out of town. ;):)
     
  3. I was never in the military and no one ever called me "pretty boy" that I'm aware of (mistaken for a girl once), but I can certainly sympathize and empathize with the "baby faced" part. I've apparently looked younger than my age most of my life, occasionally had a little difficulty buying alcohol or cigarettes even though I had legitimate identification that verified I was of the legal age, and so on. Even as recently as November a young lady at our insurance office had a shocked look on her face when I told her I was 60 years old, and while we were chatting she brought my records up on her computer to check if I was lying. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Harp and Fading Fast like this.
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,303
    Location:
    New York City
    0068b16f.jpg
    Nightfall from 1956 with Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, James Gregory, Brian Keith and Rudy Bond


    Nightfall is a better-than-average B noir whose characters grow on you to the point where you really care about what happens to them. You can't ask more from a small-budget effort with tier-two stars.

    Did man-on-the-run Aldo Ray make off with the $350,000 missing from a recent bank heist or is he just an innocent guy caught between the police who are looking for him and the mobsters, Brian Keith and Rudy Bond, who really pulled the heist and think Ray now has the money?

    In the background, watching Ray all the time, is insurance investigator James Gregory whose company paid off the bank for the stolen money. His job is not so much to get Ray, even if he stole the money, but to get the money itself back.

    The last piece of the puzzle is potential femme fatale Anne Bancroft (a decade before age, sun and cigarettes hardened her into The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson) who was either used by the mobsters to find Ray or who innocently wandered into the middle of this big mess when she meets Ray in a bar one night.

    While most of the movie takes place in noir's neighborhood - a city with neon signs, dark alleyways and smokey bars - through flashbacks we learn what really happened with the money when we see Ray and a friend camping in the mountains of Wyoming.

    There they accidentally run into the two mobsters on the lam from the bank heist and, after a bunch of things go wrong, Ray's friend is killed, the mobsters flee, but by accident, without the money.

    Ray, then, runs away knowing the mobsters will come back for the stolen dough, which he was going to bring to the police, but he lost in his haste to escape.

    Now we understand why Ray is running from everyone as the police think he killed his friend and the mobsters think he has the money. The mobsters catch up to Ray, but he escapes and runs to Bancroft, not because he trusts her, but because he has nowhere else to turn.

    The rest of the movie, which is tense and fast paced, is Ray and Bancroft falling in love as they race to the campsite to try to find the money before the mobsters find them. Not surprisingly, the insurance inspector, Gregory, who's always tracking a few steps behind Ray, also shows up at the campsite for the climax.

    The climatic face off, with everyone - the mobsters, Ray, Bancroft and Gregory - finally in the same place, is a good action sequence before those became exaggerated nonsense.

    Nightfall takes a bit of time to get out of first gear and reveal enough of its story to draw you in, but once it does, the professional cast, especially Bond and Gregory, keeps you engaged as the suspense builds to the end. Plus it's shot in gorgeous black and white.
     
    ChazfromCali, Harp and Zombie_61 like this.
  5. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,021
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Recent film Vita & Virginia on Netflix, about the relationship between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, based on an earlier play by senior actress Eileen Adkins.

    I watched this because its stars are both on my watch-whatever-they-appear-in list: Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia and Gemma Arterton as Vita.

    I am not all that up on the Bloomsbury Group, but the treatment here is different from its handling in The Hours. For starters, they didn't uglify Debicki nearly as much as Nicole Kidman, though Vita remains the far more showy and glamorous role. There are a couple of tasteful love scenes, but the story is more concerned with how Vita's bounds-breaking, iconoclastic personality draws out Virginia's complicated, inhibited personality, and how their powerful love inspires both of them as authors.

    Period costumes, sets and locations, and the supporting cast are all very good. Though I did have a little trouble accepting Isabella Rossellini as Vita's patrician mother. It's a reasonably interesting flick if you're of a literary bent.
     
    Harp likes this.
  6. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    When in my teens and through the following decade, I needed to be carded; once while opening
    a bank account my legal age was questioned. In basic training, a recruit was discovered to be fourteen,
    so three of us got pulled out of training for two days until birthdates were verified. "You best not be lyin'
    to me boy." Tried to buy a drink in New York without success. A woman in her forties propositioned,
    "My mama told me to call all good looking men sir, and a boy like you...."(delete) Well, fun while lasted.:)
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  7. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    Anne portrayed Mrs R while still beneath forty miles an hour glass and definitely had the goods.;)
    Cigarettes, too much sun, drink can age a woman yet Anne always seemed to possess requisite allure.
    Turning Point with her contemporary Shirley Maclaine seemed her fatale zenith but a later film,
    84 Charing Cross Road, an epistolary wonderful flick about a bookstore, chaste friendships, and
    English Literature, books, books, and more books shows her in a capable maturity.

    84 CCR is delightful. Like A League of Their Own, I cry at the end. I also lose it when viewing
    Streisand and Redford in The Way We Were- can't help myself. If you haven't 84 CCR treat yourself.
     
    Zombie_61 and Fading Fast like this.
  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,303
    Location:
    New York City
    I love the movie 84 CCR, but love the book even more. The use of an exchange of letters to tell the story is wonderful. The "new" apartment where Bancroft's character moves to in 84 CCR is a few block from where I live: there's a plaque on the outside of the apartment building noting its connection with the movie.
     
    Harp and Zombie_61 like this.
  9. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,773
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    Took the family to see Spider Man: No Way Home new year's eve, after having Chick-Fil-A for the first time ever (only the fifth one to open in Canada so far, the first stand alone one and first with a drive-thru), eaten in the car as no in store dining yet.

    Food was really good for fast food, and we loved the film. We did not like the second one at all.

    Wife and I, completely exhausted, then relaxed while clocks ticked towards midnight with that new year's classic, Superbad.

    She downed an entire bottle of Canadian bubbly, while I had the better part of a bottle of old vine Ontario red.

    Woke up at 1130 this morning.

    Happy Hogmanay!
     
  10. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    You may have seen the documentary Betty Page Reveals All starring Dita Von Tease. Film was shot
    in my downtown Gold Coast neighborhood, or at least partly since Betty Page lived down the street
    back in the 1950s. I stopped in at her former building to look at a studio but ultimately opted for
    another unit further up LaSalle Street. The movie crew roped off half a block before parking a lot
    of 50s iron along the street and front of her old locus. Never caught that flick, but Betty was an
    adolescent's dream girl and just walking the block gave thought to her and days long ago gone.:)
     
    Fading Fast and Zombie_61 like this.
  11. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,303
    Location:
    New York City
    MV5BNzZkMGIzNmMtYjhiZi00ZDA5LWEzMjktZjkzYjNkZmU1YjFhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTk2MzI2Ng@@._V1_.jpg
    Pushover from 1954 with Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, Dorothy Malone, Phillip Carey and E. G. Marshall


    Pushover is a solid mashup of a noir and crime-drama, with strong echoes of Fred MacMurray's 1944 regular-man-gone-bad noir classic Double Indemnity.

    Detective MacMurray goes undercover to get close to a mobster's girlfriend, Kim Novak, hoping she'll lead him to her on-the-lam boyfriend and the two hundred thousand dollars he just heisted.

    The plan kinda works as MacMurray does get close to Novak, in the Biblical sense, but it squirrels his head and adversely impacts the elaborate surveillance effort the police have on Novak.

    MacMurray now wants Novak (and the stolen money, she's not going to live on a detective's salary) for himself. You almost understand why the arrestingly beautiful Novak, in her film debut, could cause MacMurray to throw his entire life away.

    From here out, it's MacMurray, who is frighteningly good at playing regular guys crossing over to the dark side, trying to figure out how to get the money, keep the girl and eliminate the boyfriend, all while eluding the police surveillance effort he's leading. It's a lot to juggle.

    For a while, he does okay as he manipulates the surveillance effort from the inside. But MacMurray's partner, the young earnest cop, Phillip Carey, and MacMurray's boss, old-pro, no-nonsense inspector, E. G. Marshall, slowly but relentlessly notice something is off in MacMurray's behavior and explanations.

    A lot of stuff then happens quickly: an older cop on the surveillance team slips into a bar and misses the boyfriend's crucial moment of return; MacMurray's partner Carey befriends a neighbor of Novak's, super-cute Dorothy Malone, who innocently sees MacMurray coming out of Novak's apartment (something always slips the bad guy up) and, finally, the big bag of stolen money appears.

    As the police begin to close in, MacMurray's "get it all for himself" plan starts to unravel, causing an increasingly desperate MacMurray to try to cover his tracks. This leads to, one, a quickly increasing body count, two, several frantic MacMurray's Hail Mary attempts to escape with the money and Novak and, of course, three, the inevitable denouement.

    Director Richard Quine keeps his movie ripping along with a thoughtful balance of crime-drama seriousness and noir atmosphere as MacMurray's trip to the dark side plays out amidst nighttime shadows, wet pavements and a ridiculous amount of cigarette smoke, film noir's oxygen. Pushover is not quite a classic like its earlier cognate, Double Indemnity, but it is a solid mid-1950s noir, crime-drama effort.


    N.B. Another way to interpret Pushover is as a midlife crisis gone horribly wrong. MacMurray sees his younger self in his enthusiastic junior partner who's just trying to do good and his future self in the older drinks-too-much detective singularly worried about his pension. All this leads MacMurray to a heck of a mid-life crisis where he chucks it all for a one-time shot at the money and hot blonde. He should have bought a sports car instead.
     
    Harp likes this.
  12. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    I bought a '94 Jaguar XJS convertible-only after a crash and burn over a girl; forgot the tried Homeric
    quip abouth Aphrodite robbing the wits of the wise, so'er prudent. Neither prudent nor wise, I screwed
    -pun not intended but factual-everything up. Someone in my younger days told me a guy has the right
    to make a fool of himself over a woman at least once in his life. I've done this more than just once....:confused:o_O
    So I sympathize with Fred but he should've gone for the two point conversion, Kim and Dorothy. ;)
     
    Zombie_61 and Fading Fast like this.
  13. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,102
    Location:
    Chicago, IL US
    PS I mistakenly named the Betty Page film. The flick was The Notorious Betty Page,
    which featured Gretchen Moll. Shot in 2003. :oops:;):)
     
    MisterCairo and Zombie_61 like this.
  14. Julian Shellhammer

    Julian Shellhammer Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Make Way for a Lady (1936) with Herbert Marshall and Anne Shirley. Fluffy little story about Anne's efforts to locate a wife for her widowed daddy Herbert. The daughter character is equal portions Meet Corliss Archer and A Date with Judy, while Marshall is smooth, equipped with bon mots and clever repartee. The Missus called it sappy, but watched it all the way through.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  15. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,773
    Location:
    Gads Hill, Ontario
    Introducing our eldest daughter to classics and different genres she would not gravitate to on her own. She has a film interestvwe are trying to nurture.

    First up recently, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We had to explain the term spaghetti western. She was fascinated by the dual linguistics of the film. That the three stars spoke in English, all else in Italian. Then in Italy, it was thebstars who were dubbed!

    That she was engaged for nearly three hours, with many scenes devoid of any dialogue bodes well.

    Last night she saw her first full war movie, Hacksaw Ridge, only having seen parts of Saving Private Ryan before.

    We had not seen this ourselves, and were engaged by it. In Canada, conscientious objectors cannot serve in uniform. If there is conscription, unlikely now but did happen towards the end of our two world wars, they are compelled to work behind the lines.

    I found a website that examines historical accuracy in films about real people and events. Hacksaw Ridge, which I had heard was fairly accurate, was at 52%.

    Going scene by scene, it is ironically the pre-deployment part of Doss's history that is dramaticised much.

    How he met his fiancee/wife (in the film she is a nurse he meets after helping an injured man, to set up his desire to assist the war as a medic - reality, the man hit by a car did not happen, and he met her at church. Only later did she become a nurse).

    Also, spoilers be here, he was never court martialled nor was he in prison at any time for his beliefs. There is also a backstory involving his father, all or most of which is believed to be dramatized.

    They gave credit for characters being amalgams of real folks, and for events over longer periods being shown on screen in shorter periods.

    Ironically, spoilers be here, the final scene was also fake - director Mel Gibson feeling that audiences would not believe the reality!

    Well worth it if you have not seen it.
     
    ChazfromCali likes this.
  16. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,021
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Finally saw the new Spider-Man film... and didn't really like it.

    Not that there isn't plenty to enjoy, but this is the third Tom Holland Sony/MCU Spider-Man film, and it mostly fits my long-held observation that trilogies often end with their least satisfying film. (Okay, so it's also part of the endless, ongoing MCU sequence, but it's the third feature in this series.) To quickly recap:

    When the first film is a big success and a *** story, the second - with a much larger budget and the confidence to be daring and different - is often ****. Then after its huge success, the eventual third film is frequently too long, has too many villains, indulges itself in all kinds of excess, and sometimes features a finale that's nearly exactly the same as the first film. (I'm looking at you, Return of the Jedi - after Empire, the best they could come with was destroying ANOTHER Death Star?!?) Often, the third one's only a **. See Frankenstein/Bride/Son, Godfather/II/III, Spider-Man/2/3, Batman Begins/Dark Knight/Rises, and many others.

    (The MCU has largely avoided this pattern in its triples. Iron Man ***, Iron Man 2 *, Iron Man 3 **1/2. Thor ***, The Dark World **, Ragnarok ***. Captain America: The First Avenger ***1/2, The Winter Soldier ****, Civil War ***.)

    In this case, the film is badly paced and definitely too long. Some sequences go on far too long, characters/plots disappear for long periods, there are too many convenient coincidences and instant solutions to complex problems, there are WAY too many villains (and heroes), and... I'll avoid major spoilers here, but there's a recent animated feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, that does a better job with the multiple realities blending plot than this film.

    Sure, it's a hoot to see J. Jonah Jameson, Doc Ock, and Green Goblin again. (Electro and the Lizard, not so much.) Doctor Strange and Spidey play off each other beautifully. The parts with Aunt May, MJ, Ned, and Happy all hit their emotional beats. The film ends with huge changes to Peter Parker's life which I won't spoil here, other than saying it's not a happy ending... which is brave.

    I wanted to like it more, but it's just **1/2 stars.
     
  17. Maybe that's why Sony announced in December that they had signed Tom Holland for three more Spider-Man movies, but Holland said he had accomplished everything he could with Peter Parker/Spider-Man and that he might produce the next movie but likely wouldn't act in it. Or this is Sony's way of screwing with the fans just to keep them guessing; we'll find out eventually.
     
  18. ChazfromCali

    ChazfromCali One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Tijuana / Rosarito
    The latest Matrix movie. Resurrections or whatever it's called. I wanted to like it but they should have left it un-resurrected. Disappointing. I'm not going to do a point by point critique, there's enough of that elsewhere.

    Neil Patrick Harris was a surprise to me, great job, but he couldn't save this trainwreck.
     
    Trenchfriend likes this.
  19. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    15,303
    Location:
    New York City
    MV5BMjM5MTM5ODgwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTEwODQ3MTE@._V1_FMjpg_UX1280_.jpg
    The Narrow Margin from 1952 with Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White


    "Let's cut out any of the boring set-up or filler stuff and just go for broke with a taut seventy-one-minute story pitting the good guys versus the bad guys on a claustrophobic train speeding cross country. We'll strip a noir story down to its fundamental parts and film only that." One assumes director Richard Fleischer said something similar to this before creating The Narrow Margin, his outstanding austere noir.

    He started with an ostensibly simple story about a couple of detectives escorting the widow of a mob boss on a train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. There, she is scheduled to be a material witness naming names at a high-profile crime-syndicate trial. But Fleischer also packed a romance, an internal affairs investigation and a morality tale inside his story.

    Right out of the shoot, when two detectives show up at a seedy Chicago tenement to take custody of the witness, one is shot dead, forcing the other one to scramble to get his witness to the train safely.

    The mob throws everything it has at stopping them as several gangsters board the train with more positioned along the route. Additional mob members stalk the Los Angeles-bound train by car.

    In a period version of today's cellphone communication, the mob and the police make extensive use of telegrams, sent to and from stations where the train stops. The frequent display of telegram copy on screen in The Narrow Margin foreshadows how, fifty-plus-years later, modern TV and movies regularly display text messages to advance the plot.

    On the train, detective Charles McGraw (a Lawrence Tierney doppelganger) uses every trick he can - shifting his charge from room to room, feints and, when necessary, force and gunfire - trying to keep the government's material witness from harm.

    That material witness, the widow of the mob boss, Marie Windsor, doesn't make it easy as her arrantly selfish attitude - (paraphrasing) "It's your job to keep me safe, so figure it out and, no, I don't care that your partner was killed protecting me" (okay then) - makes her unsympathetic: but what a performance by Windsor.

    Angry because his partner was just killed and because of Windsor's cold arrogance, McGraw pauses a moment when a smooth mob boss offers him a huge bribe to look the other way so that the mob can do what it wants to do. It's a small but poignant morality tale moment.

    Windsor's been so brutal, you would have almost understood if he took it, but he doesn't. That's good for McGraw, as (spoiler alert) he is being surveilled as part of an internal affairs investigation that plays on in the background of this surprisingly layered story.

    After the bribe attempt, it's more claustrophobic-train cat-and-mouse games, while at the same time, McGraw befriends a woman traveling with her son and nanny.

    Their flirtation quickly turns into an affair, despite McGraw not having the time - sometimes you have to take it on the run. This seemingly unimportant vignette will be tied into the main narrative in a surprising way right at the end. The Narrow Margin is well-crafted.

    A few near missed attempts on McGraw's and Windsor's lives follow as the mob amps up its efforts with more thugs using more guns and more violence. McGraw starts to fatigue trying, all by himself, to hold back wave after wave of attack.

    The climax, like the train and story, speeds by quickly. After a big twist is revealed, several loose ends and story threads (more than you realize were in play) are neatly tied together. The Narrow Margin has its flaws, but it's a darn good seventy-one minutes of noir boiled down to its essentials.
     
  20. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,905
    Location:
    Troy, New York, USA
    "12 O'clock High" - I've watched this one many times over the years. Taught WWII action movie made in 48. Peck didn't want to do it as he thought American audiences would be tired of war movies, he was wrong. As a rivethead this film is a feast. Real B-17's were used as we follow an American Bomber Group flying daylight raids over Nazi occupied Europe from the dark days of 1942 through 1944 when missions begin to hit Germany proper. If you know anything about the history of the 8th Air Force from that period you know that the odds were stacked against any crew completing the required 24 to 25 combat missions of their tour. Statistics showed that most didn't make it 15 missions. That's why the "Memphis Belle" was so celebrated an airplane. Peck, who's already flown 10 missions leading a group is tasked with leaving headquarters and taking over a "hard luck" outfit headed by a friend. You watch as he methodically rebuilds his outfit from a group of young men with low morale to a unit that can get the job done. But it comes at a terrible price.

    I love this film not only for it's accuracy but for it's sterling performances, great script and lack of any wartime romance. Several Oscar nominations and a win for Dean Jagger as Peck's right hand man on the ground. One of the best ever made.

    "As far as I'm concerned you're yellow! With a streak down your back a mile wide. I hate a officer like you so much I want to shove your face in the mud and trample it!"

    Worf

    PS more Americans died in the Air War over Europe than Marines in the entire Pacific Theatre. Shocking fact but true.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.