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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

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17,698
Location
Funkytown, USA
Had to look ToT up. Not Matheson’s best work. Sounds like something from a Tales of Suspense comic book I might have read as a kid.
:D

That was another one it seems everybody my age remembers seeing. Especially the bit with the murderous doll.

TRILOGY-OF-TERROR-e1444146903174.jpg
 

ChazfromCali

One of the Regulars
Messages
122
Location
Tijuana / Rosarito
"The Gray Man" - This Netflix "original" sports an impressive array of talent both behind and in front of the camera. However after 2 plus hours of sturm and drang I was left thoroughly unimpressed. I've seen the same basic plot at least 20 times over mostly in better films (i.e. The Bourne Franchise etc..). Hired CIA assassin finds out there's some skullduggery going on back at Langley and he has to sort it out. In the process numerous innocents are killed and a lot of old world cities are razed. Yawn.... The only thing worth watching in this film is Chris Evans (Captain America) riotously playing against type as one of the main baddies. Literally and I do mean LITERALLY twirling his "Freddy Mercury" moustache as he menaces women and children... tortures people in the mostly medieval ways and lays waste to large sections of cities all in an attempt to kill one man. Sigh... whatta waste.

Worf
The Gray Man. I watched it the other night.
My thoughts: Entertaining in a dumb way. Not as high a body count as the John Wick movies if you like that kinda thing, but he kills a lot of bad guys in creative ways.

This is fantasy but it's grounded a little more in reality (but not much more) than the John Wick movies which are total fantasy.

Built for a sequel as most of these type of things are.

The only movie of this genre that I actually enjoyed was the one Scarlett whatzherface did several years ago, Lucy. That one seemed to have a je ne sais quoi that seemed about ten IQ points higher the typical shoot-em-up fare.

Ryan Reynolds has a new career as a superhero?.... lol, I had to double check that! Ryan Gosling. I can't keep my Ryan's straight, lol.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,424
Location
London, UK
Looking for something either not too demanding or that I'd seen before last night, I pulled on Blade Runner on Prime. Interestingly, the theatrical release with Deckard's narration. Never seen that before - the default over here has always been the "Director's Cut" from the 90s(?). I liked it a lot. Really fits with the whole sci-fi-noir vibe, and has a lot of little touches of humour in figures of speech and observations that can't be done otherwise. Some time I'm going to take a few days out and watch all four or five versions of Blade Runner, but having finally seen this one I honestly think it has been very unfairly criticised.
 
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15,818
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New York City
the-miracle-woman.jpeg


The Miracle Woman from 1931 with Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners and Sam Hardy


"Religion is like everything else - great if you can sell it, no good if you can give it away."
- "Promoter" Sam Hardy


In The Miracle Woman, 1932 Hollywood and early-in-his-career director Frank Capra take on the popular faith healers and evangelical crusaders of the era in this powerful portrayal of a fraudulent "religious" movement that is all about the money, not saving souls.

Barbara Stanwyck plays the disaffected daughter of a sincere preacher who lived and died in poverty because his middle-class congregation were hypocrites who "practiced" faith only on Sunday morning, while just barely funding the church.

After her father passes and facing abject poverty, a conman, played with P. T. Barnum-like zeal by Sam Hardy, convinces Stanwyck that her combination of looks and religious knowledge would make her a natural leader of a faith-healer movement.

Stanwyck, hesitantly, goes along, yet quickly finds herself the head of a successful "religious crusade." She's put off by Hardy's use of "shills -" fakes planted in the crowd that Stanwyck "miraculously cures" of their disabilities - and other flimflam, but passively goes along, especially as the money pours in.

Stanwyck then meets a blind man, played by David Manners, who, just at the moment he was about to take his own life, overheard Stanwyck preaching on the radio and pulled himself back from the brink. He then seeks Stanwyck out to thank her. This odd pair - a blinded WWI veteran and a crooked preacher - begin to fall in love.

The rest of the movie is Stanwyck's conscience being awakened by this sincere blind man as Hardy, feral to keep the gravy train running, blackmails Stanwyck into continuing. He has all the records of the church's fraudulent activities with her name all over the papers and checks.

The climatic denouement of the church is dramatic and very pre-code as justice is only kinda sorta meted out, but in a real-life way. That wouldn't be allowed once the Motion Picture Production Code was enforced after 1934, but life worked and works much more like shown in these early pre-codes.

The Miracle Woman is an impressive Capra effort as he perfectly captures how these religious movements use pomp and ceremony to sell their product - faith and hope. When Stanwyck, decked out in a white flowing gown, descends the long stairway to the stage of her tabernacle, while the large band, attired in crisp white matching outfits, plays inspiring religious songs, you are all but sucked in yourself.

It takes an actress of Barbara Stanwyck's ability to convincingly play the conflicted leader of a sham religious crusade. She impressively walks the difficult line of being guilty and sympathetic at the same time.

David Manners, in possibly the best role of his career, is engaging and nuanced as the blind former flier trying to find purpose and love in his very challenging life. Without his moving performance, effectively, holding a mirror up to Stanwyck and forcing her to see what she's become, the story doesn't work.

These scamming tent-revival and religious crusaders and faith healers were a real thing in the 1920s and 1930s. In The Miracle Woman, early Hollywood proves itself up to the task of showing the fraud at the heart of many of them.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,997
Location
Troy, New York, USA
"Prey" - This HULU original has an interesting premise, what would happen if a Predator arrived in early America, post Columbus but pre 1776. Well this movie shows you what happens when a feral "Yautja" or Predator battles against bows and arrows, stone tomahawks and flintlocks. The Predator in question was probably the first of it's kind to land on earth as it observes the predator and prey relationships of the animals, then killing whatever eats the latter. This leads to some interesting scuffles with the wildlife culminating in a real donnybrook with a grizzly that, for a good amount of the fight, is actually putting his paw squarely up the Predator's arse. Eventually though it begins hunting man, both Native Americans and French Trappers.

The producers of the film obviously did their research and it shows. I couldn't find any glaring historical inaccuracies save that the Natives spoke English instead of Comanche. However, considering the target audience I can understand wanting to eschew a completely sub-titled film. The movie was quick, engaging and beautifully shot. It's also quite well acted. Some may complain that it's "woke" because it has a female protagonist but that's their problem, it didn't bother me. If you're a fan of the franchise, this is the best one since "Predators" (a thoroughly underrated film) if you ask me.

Worf
 
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Messages
15,818
Location
New York City
"Prey" - This HULU original has an interesting premise, what would happen if a Predator arrived in early America, post Columbus but pre 1776. Well this movie shows you what happens when a feral "Yautja" or Predator battles against bows and arrows, stone tomahawks and flintlocks. The Predator in question was probably the first of it's kind to land on earth as it observes the predator and prey relationships of the animals, then killing whatever eats the latter. This leads to some interesting scuffles with the wildlife culminating in a real donnybrook with a grizzly that, for a good amount of the fight, is actually putting his paw squarely up the Predator's arse. Eventually though it begins hunting man, both Native Americans and French Trappers.

The producers of the film obviously did their research and it shows. I couldn't find any glaring historical inaccuracies save that the Natives spoke English instead of Comanche. However, considering the target audience I can understand wanting to eschew a completely sub-titled film. The movie was quick, engaging and beautifully shot. It's also quite well acted. Some may complain that it's "woke" because it has a female protagonist but that's their problem, it didn't bother me. If you're a fan of the franchise, this is the best one since "Predators" (a thoroughly underrated film) if you ask me.

Worf

Not my type of movie, but an engaging write up, plus you got a LOL on "donnybrook."
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,424
Location
London, UK
Blade Runner - FC, DVD.

Still trying to become friend with it, but still missing the voice-overs. :p


I'm going to try that next weekend. The original theatrical cut was added to Prime recently in the UK. After years of only ever seeing the "Director's Cut", I'm very much enjoying these alternate versions.

Are you watching with a German dub, or English language soundtrack? I've seen a few German dubbed versions of Hollywood films - generally very well done. Escape from LA was suberb, the guy they had voicing Steve Buscemi in particular really nailed not only the character, but the character of Buscemi as a performer, and his voice.
 
Messages
10,745
Location
Germany
Are you watching with a German dub, or English language soundtrack?

On Final Cut, I prefer original english tone, but on Theatrical Cut the 1982's german synchro.

You know, the original TC's Deckard voice-overs are a thing, that can surely be discussed. But for me NOT the german synchro of it!
These more sensual spoken voice-overs by Wolfgang Pampel in 1982 are the thing, that make the TC so "deep". They nailed the "Philip Marlowe-ish" perspective totally.
 
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Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,424
Location
London, UK
"Prey" - This HULU original has an interesting premise, what would happen if a Predator arrived in early America, post Columbus but pre 1776. Well this movie shows you what happens when a feral "Yautja" or Predator battles against bows and arrows, stone tomahawks and flintlocks. The Predator in question was probably the first of it's kind to land on earth as it observes the predator and prey relationships of the animals, then killing whatever eats the latter. This leads to some interesting scuffles with the wildlife culminating in a real donnybrook with a grizzly that, for a good amount of the fight, is actually putting his paw squarely up the Predator's arse. Eventually though it begins hunting man, both Native Americans and French Trappers.

The producers of the film obviously did their research and it shows. I couldn't find any glaring historical inaccuracies save that the Natives spoke English instead of Comanche. However, considering the target audience I can understand wanting to eschew a completely sub-titled film. The movie was quick, engaging and beautifully shot. It's also quite well acted. Some may complain that it's "woke" because it has a female protagonist but that's their problem, it didn't bother me. If you're a fan of the franchise, this is the best one since "Predators" (a thoroughly underrated film) if you ask me.

Worf

I never much cared for the original two films; I was much more an Alien guy. FWIW, I also rate Aliens far below Alien 3. The joy of the 1979 original for me was the dark and gothic, brooding sensibility. 's' Rather ruined that by turning it into an action picture, whereas 3 brought back the tone of the original. That's probably why Predator did little for me. Similarly, Alien v Predator rather felt like a step too far; a fanfiction idea that was really a better idea than it was a film. For that reason I hadn't much intended to bother with this new one, but your write up makes it sound much more interesting than the previous franchise entries. I might well give it a go. We've not been to the cinema since 2019 (Joker, as I recall), but I'm hoping Mrs Edward will feel ready to try it again soon...

On Final Cut, I prefer original english tone, but on Theatrical Cut the 1982's german synchro.

You know, the original TC's Deckard voice-overs are a thing, that can surely be discussed. But for me NOT the german synchro of it!
These more sensual spoken voice-overs by Wolfgang Pampel in 1982 are the thing, that make the TC so "deep". They nailed the "Philip Marlowe-ish" perspective totally.

I think there's something about the German language that also sells that noir sensibility well too. Could just be my ear as well; although I struggled with some of the Grammar, I vaguely recall that elements of German came more naturally to me than, say, French or Spanish at school.
 
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15,818
Location
New York City
tcafffl.jpg

The Cranes are Flying a Russian "import" from 1957


After Stalin's death sparked a "thaw" in the usually tight state control of all things, including culture, in the USSR, The Cranes are Flying was made. It's a sad and moving look at how two lovers and their families are ripped apart by war.

Veronica and Boris, like any young lovers, are happy in their private world, are excited every time they see each other and are looking forward to getting married, with only the just-begun WWII blocking their future.

Boris' family, headed by Boris' very successful surgeon father, is happy for "the kids" too, but then Boris enlists. He and Veronica pledge to wait until he gets back. Boris' brother Mark, younger, healthy and less moral than Boris (he's lightly hit on Veronica behind his brother's back), has a draft exemption and no desire to enlist.

As the war intensifies, Veronica's parent's apartment is destroyed in an air raid, killing her entire family. Boris' Dad then kindly offers to let Veronica move in with his family, who already see her as a daughter-in-law, as the expectation is that she and Boris will marry after the war.

The war continues with its death and destruction as Boris lives through hell at the front, while Veronica struggles with the loss of her family and no word from Boris owing to unreliable wartime mail.

During another nighttime air raid, when Veronica and Mark are alone in the apartment and amidst shattering glass and deafening bombs, Veronica, haltingly but willingly, submits to Mark's advances. The next thing we know, Mark and Veronica are married and the family is surprised, but some of them try to take it in stride.

The family is then moved to Siberia so that the father can run a large army hospital. Once there, we see that Veronica's marriage is failing as Mark tries a bit to make it work, but Veronica can't even fake it as she realizes she made a horrible mistake in not waiting for Boris. Mark, of course, then begins stepping out on Veronica.

The family itself is split as Boris' Dad - an impressively kind and smart man - understands what drove Veronica to make her mistake (I'm not sure the viewer agrees), but others think she's just a willful slut. Boris' Dad even thinks that it is his son, Mark, who is most at fault as he should never have tempted Veronica while she was pledged to his brother.

The climax builds as the marriage begins to crumble, while Boris is badly wounded at the front. Will he come back? If he does, what will he think of Veronica's and his brother's actions?

The Cranes are Flying works because it is real. Young lovers, a long war-time separation, a brotherly betrayal and a loneliness-inspired indiscretion have, throughout time, often made a sadly common equation for lives and families being destroyed.

The Cranes are Flying also works because the characters are complexly human. Veronica would probably have been a good wife to Boris if she didn't fail one extreme test when she was at the end of her tether. Boris' Dad, the quiet anchor of the movie, is an incredibly thoughtful man who sees and understands the moral grey in life.

The Cranes are Flying, finally, is a fascinating window into, what was, the usually closed USSR. During a relatively brief period of limited cultural freedom, a movie like The Cranes Are Flying was able to be made with, amazingly, some restrained mockery of earlier Soviet propaganda.

It also showed that, despite the State's brutal efforts, religion wasn't dead in the hearts of the people as we see Boris' grandmother silently make the sign of the cross when her grandson goes off to war.

Shot in black and white and on a modest, but not shoe-string budget, The Cranes are Flying poignantly tells a timeless story of passion, family, individual failings and betrayal. It's an engaging love story tucked inside a war movie from an unlikely time and place. It deserves the accolades it won (at Cannes and other notable film festivals) upon its world release.
 

dr greg

One Too Many
I am starting to feel the same about del Toro’s films as I do about Tim Burton flicks. Both directors turned out enjoyable films early on, but not so much later on. The visuals still tend to be nicely done, but the stories and acting are hit and miss. :D
It left me a bit flat too, dunno why, it looks FANTASTIC, and some top-notch actors in minor parts meant a lot of love went into it, maybe the lack of a supernatural element meant del Toro was not on familiar ground and just didn't know how to handle classic noir, which is what it is...definitely not a waste of time tho...
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
742
Raw Deal (1948) with Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, and Marsha Hunt, directed by Anthony Mann. Well-done noir, with Mann and cinematographer John Alton delivering some gripping scenes and compositions.

Raymond Burr is the semi-elegant gang leader for whom O'Keefe took the rap and went to prison. Mann's camera set up for Burr regularly puts the viewer in a subjective POV, with Burr looming massively across the screen.

Trevor is the high-class moll who falls for O'Keefe, and Hunt is the legal case-worker who gets swept up in O'Keefe's break-out and subsequent run from the law. John Ireland is Burr's henchman, with the nickname "Fantail," and he's tasked with making sure O'Keefe doesn't rat out the gang to the cops.

No real femme fatale here, but O'Keefe's troubles drag the two female leads into all sorts of stressful situations.

Warning: don't spill your drink on Burr's character: his reaction is terrifying, yet cleverly entirely within the Production Code.
 
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15,818
Location
New York City
rawdeal1948.87736.jpg

Raw Deal from 1948 with Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr and Marsha Hunt


A man breaks out of prison with the help of his girlfriend and drags his goody-two-shoes social worker along for his get-the-heist-money-he's-owed-and-then-flee-the-country-with-his-long-suffering-girlfriend quest. What could go wrong?

Dennis O'Keefe plays the man who is in prison because he took a rap for a mob boss, played by Raymond Burr. Burr, sinister, psychotic and brooding in every one of his scenes, arranged for the escape believing O'Keefe would be killed or locked away longer when caught as Burr has no desire to give O'Keefe his $50,000 share of the heist.

If you only know Raymond Burr from his good-guy Perry Mason or Ironside days, then Raymond Burr of noir land will surprise you as he is equally talented at playing evil characters. Burr's size can, of course, be made to look foreboding, but more frighteningly, he can project a hollowness in his eyes that says this man has no humanity in his soul.

Most of the movie is O'Keefe with his gunmoll girlfriend, played by no-longer fresh-and-dewy-looking Claire Trevor, and with his social worker, played by still very fresh-and-dewy-looking Marsha Hunt, trying to elude the dragnet and get to Burr.

The movie inside the movie is watching these two very different women vying hard for O'Keefe's affection. Pause for a moment to think about this: The guy is a long-time hood who breaks out of prison with a phalanx of cops after him, yet not one, but two women want him. What exactly was the market for single men like in 1948?

Trevor represents the world O'Keefe knows: seedy and corrupt, but one where personal loyalty is currency, which Trevor has in spades; whereas, Hunt is the world of sunshine and decency that we slowly see O'Keefe really wants.

After what we believe is years of unrewarded loyalty, Trevor isn't giving up her man without a fight, while Hunt's battle is within herself as she can't believe she's attracted to a hardened criminal. O'Keefe almost sits back and lets the two cats scratch at each other until he chooses. Trevor then has an epiphany moment that reshuffles the deck. It's one of noir's best love triangles ever.

O'Keefe is a bit bland as a leading man, but that works here as it gives space for us to see noir-regular Trevor fully explore her desperate and sad love. Hunt is asked to give a bit more than she has as an actress, but still, she delivers a credible performance as a decent woman who, shockingly to herself, finds she has a carnal and emotional itch for the criminal element.

Raw Deal is also a good, tight man-on-the-run movie as the writers, director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton trimmed away almost all the fluff, keeping the focus on the chase, with only one false scene involving another manhunt that felt forced and not believable. That one-stumble aside, the movie rips along with a very heavy noir atmosphere, where even the few times we see the sunshine, everything still looks a bit dirty.

The climax brings the two stories, O'Keefe's revenge quest and the two-girls-and-one-guy muddle together in a very noir-like resolution. It is the only ending possible in an era controlled by the Motion Picture Production Code.

Raw Deal is eighty minute of full-on noir where even the one good person in it comes away a bit soiled and broken in the end.


N.B. A thank you to @Julian Shellhammer whose outstanding comments (one post above) on Raw Deal reminded me I had written up comments on the movie and never posted them.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
742
View attachment 444552
Raw Deal from 1948 with Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr and Marsha Hunt


A man breaks out of prison with the help of his girlfriend and drags his goody-two-shoes social worker along for his get-the-heist-money-he's-owed-and-then-flee-the-country-with-his-long-suffering-girlfriend quest. What could go wrong?

Dennis O'Keefe plays the man who is in prison because he took a rap for a mob boss, played by Raymond Burr. Burr, sinister, psychotic and brooding in every one of his scenes, arranged for the escape believing O'Keefe would be killed or locked away longer when caught as Burr has no desire to give O'Keefe his $50,000 share of the heist.

If you only know Raymond Burr from his good-guy Perry Mason or Ironside days, then Raymond Burr of noir land will surprise you as he is equally talented at playing evil characters. Burr's size can, of course, be made to look foreboding, but more frighteningly, he can project a hollowness in his eyes that says this man has no humanity in his soul.

Most of the movie is O'Keefe with his gunmoll girlfriend, played by no-longer fresh-and-dewy-looking Claire Trevor, and with his social worker, played by still very fresh-and-dewy-looking Marsha Hunt, trying to elude the dragnet and get to Burr.

The movie inside the movie is watching these two very different women vying hard for O'Keefe's affection. Pause for a moment to think about this: The guy is a long-time hood who breaks out of prison with a phalanx of cops after him, yet not one, but two women want him. What exactly was the market for single men like in 1948?

Trevor represents the world O'Keefe knows: seedy and corrupt, but one where personal loyalty is currency, which Trevor has in spades; whereas, Hunt is the world of sunshine and decency that we slowly see O'Keefe really wants.

After what we believe is years of unrewarded loyalty, Trevor isn't giving up her man without a fight, while Hunt's battle is within herself as she can't believe she's attracted to a hardened criminal. O'Keefe almost sits back and lets the two cats scratch at each other until he chooses. Trevor then has an epiphany moment that reshuffles the deck. It's one of noir's best love triangles ever.

O'Keefe is a bit bland as a leading man, but that works here as it gives space for us to see noir-regular Trevor fully explore her desperate and sad love. Hunt is asked to give a bit more than she has as an actress, but still, she delivers a credible performance as a decent woman who, shockingly to herself, finds she has a carnal and emotional itch for the criminal element.

Raw Deal is also a good, tight man-on-the-run movie as the writers, director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton trimmed away almost all the fluff, keeping the focus on the chase, with only one false scene involving another manhunt that felt forced and not believable. That one-stumble aside, the movie rips along with a very heavy noir atmosphere, where even the few times we see the sunshine, everything still looks a bit dirty.

The climax brings the two stories, O'Keefe's revenge quest and the two-girls-and-one-guy muddle together in a very noir-like resolution. It is the only ending possible in an era controlled by the Motion Picture Production Code.

Raw Deal is eighty minute of full-on noir where even the one good person in it comes away a bit soiled and broken in the end.


N.B. A thank you to @Julian Shellhammer whose outstanding comments (one post above) on Raw Deal reminded me I had written up comments on the movie and never posted them.
As alway, FF, a deeper dive with excellent results. Sadly, me posting followed by you posting is like Rick Astley announcing his retirement and immediately Elvis announcing his return.
 
Messages
15,818
Location
New York City
As alway, FF, a deeper dive with excellent results. Sadly, me posting followed by you posting is like Rick Astley announcing his retirement and immediately Elvis announcing his return.

That's kind of you to say, but I always learn something about a movie or see something in the movie in a different light because of your comments, plus I could never eat a fried peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich. :)
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
742
Tomorrow is Another Day (1954), a Felix Feist-helmed noir with Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran, billed in that order. In a twist, Cochran, who usually plays heavy-lidded hoods, portrays a recently released convict who spent 18 years in prison for homicide, the twist being that he went into prison as a 13-year old, returning as a socially unlearned 31-year old.
Ruth Roman plays a hardened taxi-dancer, coiffed in a horrendous bleached-platinum dye job, for whom Cochran, inexperienced as he is, falls. Accustomed to lecherous losers on the prowl, she dismisses him until she sees he is actually almost childlike.
But wait! A homicide interrupts the proceedings: will Roman take advantage of Cochran to keep clear of the mess? For now, let's say that the pair find themselves in the classic "on-the-run" cliche, with Roman transforming into a decent, even noble, person.
Watch to the end and see if you agree that justice and a feel-good denouement can co-exist.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
742
Alexander Nevsky (1938) directed by Sergei Eisenstein, with music by Sergei Prokofiev. The latent film student in me cannot stop watching this film and losing myself in the compositions, the massive battle scenes, the semi-operatic acting and story, the stirring music, and on and on.
 

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