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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
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^ Another ten for ten and a tuppence toss for Waterloo Bridge, circa prewar set here just more
linear form with Viv Leigh and Robert Taylor as star crossed. My preference is for the straight shot script
with shorn stick style, no flotsam Freudian slippage awash beach.
 
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New York City
^ Another ten for ten and a tuppence toss for Waterloo Bridge, circa prewar set here just more
linear form with Viv Leigh and Robert Taylor as star crossed. My preference is for the straight shot script
with shorn stick style, no flotsam Freudian slippage awash beach.

That's a smart comparison you made as it definitely has some "Waterloo Bridge" echoes. And while I love the 1940 Leigh and Taylor version of "Waterloo Bridge," there's also a very good pre-code version from 1931 with Mae Clark and Douglas Montgomery in the leads and a ridiculously young and slim Bette Davis in a supporting role.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
Messages
271
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Can't sleep. Tried a drink of Meade's Road to Middlemarch, then some slight crypto volume also dashed.
Now at loose ends crashed surf against DH Lawrence's film version done Lady Chatterly's Cuckold. She placed
the crown atop husband, lord, liege, wheelchair Great War which killed off the flower of British youth.
The horn bearer himself survived unscathed. And Kier Starmer's Labour have knives out for the Lords. Back to her ladyship, intellectual with unfulfilled marital debt paid gamekeeper, a plebe pawn potent but pawn to Queen.
Class envy writ plain as linen. Bloomberg. Early morning news. Ukraine.
 

Edward

Bartender
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London, UK
Your Christmas or Mine? Amazon Prime, 2022. Fairly standard romcom fare for an easy, unthinking watch. Sort of thing you could see with your parents without worry. From a screenplay by Tom Parry, a known name on the comedy circuit here in London. The premise has promise (I wonder if to some extent John Cleese's 1981 picture Clockwise influences here in terms of the ramifications of a single error). Young couple, still in the early flushes of love, two months into their relationship, see each other off home for Christmas at Marylebone Station, only for each to make a snap decision to surprise the other by taking their train to spend Christmas at their partner's house instead. Result? Each ends up at the others' house. Hilarity ensues (it says here). What follows is very predictable, with nothing particularly original - albeit it that the writing is better than most generic such films. I'm reminded of stuff like The Holiday, but if it had been half decently written, and there had been actual chemistry between any of the leads. And the leads were convincingly playing humans. Not Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Overall, it's watchably unchallenging after a long, early December day in the office, and has more genuine laughs by far than this sort of thing normally does. Alas, one can't help but ponder the "if only" as to what might have happened had Parry been given free reign to do something more akin to the anarchic surrealism of his previous live work, rather than the formulaic box-ticking we have here, there could have been something genuinely wonderful. Outstanding cast, well written with some nice observations..... just such a shame it works this around an unironic playing out of every cliche in the book, right down to Posh Southerners Versus Authentic Northern Working Class.

Me, I need to dig out Joyeux Noel, still the only Christmas film that in my book can hold a candle to It's a Wonderful Life. Spoiler alert: it's about the Christmas Truce in the trenches in December 1914 so don't expect wall to wall frivolity, but all the same it's far more life-affirming to me than any Christmas romcom ever will be.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
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Annual toss is Sim or Scott as Scrooge. I suppose Miss York wins for me in George C's go with it,
never less is Sim with deliberate slip and deft handle. Dickens deserves that and more and Scott always
china shop bull ruffian charge in more Bard ba***rd with it. Woodward's ghost. Again, right touch. Marley's man
whose name eludes. And Sim's take while not the yesterday isn't quite present day wine now vinegar either.
Hence thumb a shilling for Scrooge.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,042
Location
Troy, New York, USA
"A Christmas Carol (2019) - I caught a bit of this BBC-FX collaboration at a friends house. I was so confused and shocked by what I saw I had to go home and see it from start to finish...... Urrgh what a trial! Originally done in three parts I can't imagine how many viewers were left by the end. Every other version of this film views Scrooge's journey as one of remembrance, self reflection and redemption, not this one. The Scrooge depicted here is SO damaged by his childhood that he unapologetically turns his fury and hatred on the world. This version starts out with child abuse, moves on to child rape, slides in to deliberate industrial murder and ends with Scrooge sexually assaulting Bob Cratchit's wife! I was speechless for 3 plus hours.

More "American Psycho" than Dickens' immortal tale. No child, I repeat NO CHILD should be subjected to this even by accident! Still I couldn't turn away... Guy Pearce as Scrooge provides a stunning award worthy performance that kept me rivetted. All the major characters give it their all in this traumatic piece. I don't believe the sun is shown once in the entire 3 plus hours. This film has been rattling around in my head for days. It's times like this I wish I was a drinking man. I recommend this film only for those who can separate great acting from a horrible tale.

The biggest problem traditionalists will have is that there is NO redemption in the end. The three spirits and Marley's Ghost only manage to basically free the Cratchits and perhaps future families from Scrooges' clutches but that's it. This Scrooge doesn't proceed to skip and giggle through London Town only to wind up as a keeper of Christmas the rest of his days. No, we see a man that has been beaten retiring from the field but NOT plowing it under and planting flowers. He's resigned to a future in hell paying for his crimes. Wow what a trip. My soul hurts after this one....

Worf
 
Messages
16,039
Location
New York City
"A Christmas Carol (2019) - I caught a bit of this BBC-FX collaboration at a friends house. I was so confused and shocked by what I saw I had to go home and see it from start to finish...... Urrgh what a trial! Originally done in three parts I can't imagine how many viewers were left by the end. Every other version of this film views Scrooge's journey as one of remembrance, self reflection and redemption, not this one. The Scrooge depicted here is SO damaged by his childhood that he unapologetically turns his fury and hatred on the world. This version starts out with child abuse, moves on to child rape, slides in to deliberate industrial murder and ends with Scrooge sexually assaulting Bob Cratchit's wife! I was speechless for 3 plus hours.

More "American Psycho" than Dickens' immortal tale. No child, I repeat NO CHILD should be subjected to this even by accident! Still I couldn't turn away... Guy Pearce as Scrooge provides a stunning award worthy performance that kept me rivetted. All the major characters give it their all in this traumatic piece. I don't believe the sun is shown once in the entire 3 plus hours. This film has been rattling around in my head for days. It's times like this I wish I was a drinking man. I recommend this film only for those who can separate great acting from a horrible tale.

The biggest problem traditionalists will have is that there is NO redemption in the end. The three spirits and Marley's Ghost only manage to basically free the Cratchits and perhaps future families from Scrooges' clutches but that's it. This Scrooge doesn't proceed to skip and giggle through London Town only to wind up as a keeper of Christmas the rest of his days. No, we see a man that has been beaten retiring from the field but NOT plowing it under and planting flowers. He's resigned to a future in hell paying for his crimes. Wow what a trip. My soul hurts after this one....

Worf

Great comments, I enjoyed reading them. So many movies and TV shows today reflect a similar underlying philosophy. It's not mine, but I understand and respect that others have that view and present those views through their art (movies, TV shows, etc.). What is frustrating to me is that it seems like such a dominate philosophical viewpoint in Hollywood (I watch 75%-90% fewer new movies and shows than I did ten and twenty years ago because of this), but I see a much more diverse set of opinions/philosophies in both my circle of friends and the wider public as seen through social media (which is much more than just the trash that grabs most of the headlines). Hollywood, IMO, in its shows and movies, does not represent the diversity of ideas and philosophies of the American people.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
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5,042
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Troy, New York, USA
I must be a glutton for punishment... or just plain nuts. In addition to 2019's "A Christmas Carol" I went to see "Violent Night" at the movies. This Christmas tale revolves around a Santa who's at the end of his rope. We find him drinking in a bar in England bemoaning the greediness of today's kids, the commercialization of the holiday and mostly, the fact that no one believes anymore. This Saint Nick is done... a tired, booze vomiting shell of his former self. He declares that "this is my last Christmas". Still, he has to finish his rounds. Heading west he winds up at a mansion in Greenwich Connecticut chock full of the very people he despises. After helping himself to some homemade cookies and the families best scotch he passes out, only to be awakened by an elaborate and violent home invasion and robbery. He fully intends to Jet but some errant machine gun fire drives away his reindeer. He's still about to hoof it on foot when he finds that there's one small child in the house that still believes in him and needs him. So, grunting and groaning he heads back in to save her.

What fallows after this is, as other's have pointed out ad nauseum "Die Hard" with a sprinkle of "Home Alone" (a film I've managed to avoid thank God). The deaths are inventive... the action is well choreographed and there is a bit of the Christmas spirit woven in to make you smile at times. David Harbour stands out as the titular Jolly Fat Man as does Leah Brady as a cute version of Cindy Lou Who, though she eventually evolves into McCaully Culkin by the end. John Leguizamo is serviceable as the main baddy with a grudge on for the holiday. The remainder of the characters are cardboard cut outs of villains or the spoiled rich.

Still, despite its obvious flaws, I enjoyed it. I was able to suspend disbelief for a couple of hours and have some laughs. One of the best parts of film is its depiction of what the tortures from "Home Alone" would look like with a "hard R" rating. Bowling balls... will kill you if dropped on your head. Not a perfect film but it hits enough of the right beats that you'll be leaving the theatre smiling.

Worf
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
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Troy, New York, USA
I had no idea of this. I shouldn't be surprised. Now my curiosity being what it is will force my look.
Boxing day or well after the entire season. Rubbish this needs neither rush nor dash.
Don't get me wrong. I would NOT call this version of "A Christmas Carol" rubbish by any means. It's a thoughtful and well told alternative telling of the familiar tale. More if Scrooge were Jeffery Epstein than fictional. No, this story needs to be told but perhaps, not like this and certainly not without strong warnings.

Worf
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
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271
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Great comments, I enjoyed reading them. So many movies and TV shows today reflect a similar underlying philosophy. It's not mine, but I understand and respect that others have that view and present those views through their art (movies, TV shows, etc.). What is frustrating to me is that it seems like such a dominate philosophical viewpoint in Hollywood (I watch 75%-90% fewer new movies and shows than I did ten and twenty years ago because of this), but I see a much more diverse set of opinions/philosophies in both my circle of friends and the wider public as seen through social media (which is much more than just the trash that grabs most of the headlines). Hollywood, IMO, in its shows and movies, does not represent the diversity of ideas and philosophies of the American people.

Fast, Spot on. American and British media seem struck blind by a virulence difficult to tether with reasonable rein.
Brexit and national economics have gone to hell's basket, yet so much more occurs without comment.
 
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Conquerors-2-1.jpg

The Conquerors from 1932 with Ann Harding, Richard Dix, Edna Mae Oliver and Guy Kibbee


The Conquerors bit off a lot of history and big themes to chew through in eighty-six minutes and while it's clunky and uneven at times, it still ably reflects the westward march and growing economic might of the country from the 1870s to the 1930s.

Told through the story of one banking family, which over the years, goes bust like the country's economy a few times, we see, at the open, the family's younger generation move west when their old-line eastcoast bank fails in the panic of 1873.

Richard Dix, playing a poor bank clerk, and Ann Harding, playing the now-broke daughter of a once-rich banker, are the newlyweds who fight the terrain and criminal gangs to start a bank in a growing town in Nebraska; a town about to grow more with the coming of the railroad.

Along for the ride are character actors Edna Mae Oliver and Guy Kibbee who, as owners of a small hotel (plus he's the area's doctor), help the young couple get a start in the rough town. Kibbee and Oliver play their roles as exaggerated "characters" who add "comic relief" in several slapstick and screwball routines.

These two outstanding veterans lift every scene they are in, but at times, they are so comedic they detract from the seriousness of the picture. That contrast was clearly what director William A. Wellman wanted as "slapstick and screwball" was what movie-going audiences of that era often expected and liked.

As the years and decades pass, the family experiences successes and tragedies like all families and, thematically, like the country itself: children are born and one dies later in an accident, the bank grows and then is nearly lost in another panic, a grandson goes off to fight in WWI and members of the older generation pass away as the now-adult children take over.

Director Wellman intersperses montage scenes of generic economic and financial advancements and setbacks for the country - large factories producing goods, people buying homes and bags of money piling up, followed by factories going idle, people desperate for food and the bags of money gone - to show the ups and downs of the economy paralleling the ups and downs of Harding and Dix' family.

With a typical Max Steiner not-shy score, the movie has an epic quality as those ups and downs are dramatically felt through the music.

Wellman also touches on themes of capitalism and socialism as during each depression he shows crowd scenes of "radicals" claiming the country is "finished," only to show it coming back bigger and stronger in the next expansion. It's an oddly pro-free-market movie from usually left-leaning Hollywood.

The always wonderful Harding is excellent playing the "pioneer" wife as her low-key style and simple beauty fits the image of an intrepid, no-nonsense, but still feminine American woman of the frontier.

Dix, in one of his better performances, is convincing as a square-jawed "builder of a country" who, like that country he represents, gets knocked down a bunch of times, but after licking his wounds and with Harding's help, gets back up to rebuild even bigger and better.

Only two years into the "talkie" era, The Conquerors is an ambitious and impressive effort at portraying what was, at the time, the prior sixty-year history of the country with a focus on its westward expansion and growing economic might.

It's uneven in its style and will feel dated to modern audiences, but strong acting, a good script and a ripping pace, makes The Conquerors an entertaining picture with some modest historical value.


N.B. Several runs on banks are shown in The Conquerors. Bank runs are fascinating because even the strongest, most-honestly run and most-heavily-regulated bank will fail in a run as no bank has ever been structured to have all of its depositors' money on site daily. An institution that did that would be called a vault, not a bank.

Hence, even the "safest" bank relies on the confidence of its depositors. Today, we have, hopefully, solved this confidence problem with government deposit insurance negating the runs and panics as depositors trust that the government will make them whole even if the bank fails. But before deposit insurance, and as seen in The Conquerors, and other movies of the era, runs were common and, sadly, self-fulfilling events.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Great comments, I enjoyed reading them. So many movies and TV shows today reflect a similar underlying philosophy. It's not mine, but I understand and respect that others have that view and present those views through their art (movies, TV shows, etc.). What is frustrating to me is that it seems like such a dominate philosophical viewpoint in Hollywood (I watch 75%-90% fewer new movies and shows than I did ten and twenty years ago because of this), but I see a much more diverse set of opinions/philosophies in both my circle of friends and the wider public as seen through social media (which is much more than just the trash that grabs most of the headlines). Hollywood, IMO, in its shows and movies, does not represent the diversity of ideas and philosophies of the American people.
I think a lot of the problem here is that filmmakers themselves are not a particularly diverse lot -- and by diversity I mean the diversity of social class and social experience. The shift over the last fifty years or so to a film school background as a prerequisite to a career in Hollywood means you are generally only getting the perspective of those who can afford to go to film school in the first place. The days, as in classic-era Hollywood, where filmmakers might have been scrap-metal dealers or glove salesmen or small-time vaudeville managers before going into pictures, with all the varied experiences those backgrounds might suggest, are long gone. All we have now are "filmmakers," stamped out on an assembly line to be "filmmakers" and nothing more. And based on the filmmakers I've known personally, there are few groups of people given more to a certain type of po-faced self-importance than filmmakers. When I'm dictator I'm going to line them all up against a wall, and I'm going to force them to watch "Sullivan's Travels."
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
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-^- Yes, perhaps with some but it's a bit much to tar the lot. Chatterly's about, catch if can and look
at this film portrayal of a real woman, a lady of rank with vulpine visage of sexual hunger. She gutters
herself proverbial bitch, writ to wind, and her director camera ready, really read Lawrence.
Same all round the lot. Read the page, scribble inside margin or look book on the square and be done with it.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,042
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-^- Yes, perhaps with some but it's a bit much to tar the lot. Chatterly's about, catch if can and look
at this film portrayal of a real woman, a lady of rank with vulpine visage of sexual hunger. She gutters
herself proverbial bitch, writ to wind, and her director camera ready, really read Lawrence.
Same all round the lot. Read the page, scribble inside margin or look book on the square and be done with it.
Alright... alright... I'm not too vain to say it. I have absolute NO idea what you're on about. Perhaps I'm too old or too dense to "get" what you're aiming for but as my Dad used to say... "don't ask... can't git". In other words... a simpler answer please?

Worf
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One of the Regulars
Messages
271
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Worf, Tad sorry sir but my address was to Ms Elizabeth upstairs. See Lady Chatterley's Lover please and we'll chat.
Insomnia and expectation of victory over France tomorrow bring me around to a more Cambridge reflect over subject,
arts and media perspective. Film school is not an Agora where philosophy is discussed, neither stage nor news network set,
editorial newsroom, press box whatever. A certain habit is acquired along the way, school or street, and if sincere close to heart
or merely shopworn garment mere casual attire to mask indifference, question lingers in the breeze with respect to deliberate,
thorough reason employed. I find most film and cable news and papers vapid, less keen. Considerably so to marked degree.
So, as Mr Fast, I eschew most cinema and very select with papers read.
 
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Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,042
Location
Troy, New York, USA
Worf, Tad sorry sir but my address was to Ms Elizabeth upstairs. See Lady Chatterley's Lover please and we'll chat.
Insomnia and expectation of victory over France tomorrow bring me around to a more Cambridge reflect over subject,
arts and media perspective. Film school is not an Agora where philosophy is discussed, neither stage nor news network set,
editorial newsroom, press box whatever. A certain habit is acquired along the way, school or street, and if sincere close to heart
or merely shopworn garment mere casual attire to mask indifference, question lingers in the breeze with respect to deliberate,
thorough reason employed. I find most film and cable news and papers vapid, less keen. Considerably so to marked degree.
So, as Mr Fast, I eschew most cinema and very select with papers read.
Thank you very much sir....

Worf
 

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