Classic Film : What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Escape from New York (1981) 2nd view 7/10
Escape from L.A. (1996) 1st view 3/10 wow, they jumped the shark.

Secret in Their Eyes (2015) 1st view 5/10 None of the bittersweet sense of the original, in fact, with all the changes, "Why did they bother?"

The Yakuza (1974) 3rd view 8/10
The Informant! (2009) 2nd view 7/10

The Best Man (1964) 3rd view 8/10
The American President (1995) 3rd view 8/10

Local Hero (1983) 3rd view 8.5/10
Local Hero (1983) 4th view 8.5/10 Big business has a conscience [it's a fantasy, NOT a documentary].

Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011 TV Series) 1st view 6.5/10

and, of course,

The Big Short (2015) 8th view 9/10


"He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior."

Escape from New York

A personal favourite. The sequel is an abomination.


A Snake, a Brain, a Cabbie, a Duke and the President Of The USA.

It's 1997 and Manhattan Island is a walled off prison, during the flight of Air Force One, the president's plane is taken over by a terrorist and the president ejects out in the safety pod. Sadly for him he lands right in the middle of Manhattan Island, when an armed unit lands inside the walls they are told that the president has been taken hostage and they must get out of their prison ASAP. At a loss what to do, the authorities decide to send one man in alone, ex war hero turned criminal, Snake Plissken, not only does he have to contend with surviving the incredibly hostile prison, he also has a time bomb implanted in his body that, should he not get the president out safely within 24 hours, will explode and mean no more Snake Plissken!.

Made in 1981 and set in 1997, it's safe to say John Carpenter is not the best predictor of the future around. However his vision of a future where America has thrown all it's criminals on one island, where they create their own society out of harms way, has to rank as an incredibly adroit piece of work. This place is grim and deadly, the flotsam and jetsam of society thrust together in this bleak and desolate place of class separation. What Carpenter has achieved with his usual minimal budget allowance is a smouldering sci-fi classic that may be as daft as they come, but it pulses with cool and cheekily slaps you round the face with its cheeky satirical edginess. I must give kudos at this point to the great production design from Joe Alves, who along with Carpenter has crafted this brilliantly dirty netherworld of crime.

Our anti-hero of the piece, Snake Plissken, is superbly played by Kurt Russell, the original choice interestingly was Tommy Lee Jones, but Russell fuels Plissken's mantra to make him one of the eighties coolest grumpy bastards!, and his work here is first class in terms of the films apocalyptic structure. Surroundning Russell is a wealth of quality performers each adding their personal bits to this tick-tock stew, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau and Isaac Hayes all earn their money and flesh out the story to the end.

Calling Escape From New York an action picture would be setting first time viewers up for a real let down, what action there is is minimal but highly effective, the machismo flourishes acting more as a point of reference to the pictures time bomb urgency. I like to think of the film as more a sci-fi adventure yarn laced with darkly comic humour, with of course machismo thrown in as a side salad to accentuate the bleakness of it all, wonderful. 9/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Escape from New York

The sequel was SO silly - surfing a tsunami with Peter Fonda? And it went downhill from there.


"He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior."

Re: Escape from New York

The surfing might have been ok if the effects hadn't of been so bad

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

THE FACILITY ( 2012 )
Well made, buy empty, unremarkable thriller with no real ending. Group of folks volunteer to be guinea pigs for new drug test. Disastrous side effects ensue as these nice people turn into blood thirsty killers, wrecking havoc on the title facility.
4/10

THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT ( 1956 )
Mobster hires washed up alcoholic agent to make his girlfriend into a star. Amusing gag filled comedy with an appealing cast, especially the charming Jayne Mansfield. Movie gets extra star for the dynamite musical sequences from a lot of the stellar performers of the day : Fats Domino, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, The Platters, Eddie Cochran, etc.
6/10

----------------------------

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

I thought The Facility was ok, not great, but has some merits.


ProSyntrex. Pro-9. Warning: Side Effects May Be Fatal...

To be perfectly honest, after just viewing Ian Clark's (director/writer) The Facility, I jumped onto IMDb to find that the rating for it was exactly as I predicted. At the time of writing the film sits at just under 5/10, perhaps not a true marker since it's largely under seen and very few people have bothered to review it, but not a surprising score thus far since familiarity of formula breeds contempt...

Plot basically finds a group of human guinea pigs enrolling for a two week trial at a remote research centre. They are to be injected with a new drug called Pro-9, and after their two week stay they will pocket a cool £2000 each. The group consists of the needy, the inquisitive, the bold and the stupid, and sure enough once night falls and the lock down commences, some of the participants get a reaction to the drug...

It follows the standard trajectory for such a set-up. Characters are introduced, we get to know them for half hour, you quickly learn who the A-Hole is, and then it's drug reaction time and we are thrust into murder death kill and locked in siege panic. Tis a time for heroes, maybe even some interesting revelations? Who will survive? If anyone? Maybe there's a twist in the tale as well?

For his debut feature film Ian Clark has played safe and utilised the low budget wisely. The pic shows him to have great promise in the horror genre, his keen sense of claustrophobic atmosphere is evident and carries the story well, and he knows how to construct a horror scene. He also gets more than solid performances from his lively cast, where Alex Reid (The Descent/Wilderness) is a reassuring presence.

It isn't over bloody, or even terrifying and full of boo jump shocks, but it tickles away at the nerve that doesn't like to be unhinged, and it has a good ending to boot! If you are searching for something new in the sub-genre of zombie/infected siege movies you will be disappointed, but this is actually better than some of those bigger budgeted sub-genre movies. While it marks Clark out as someone British Horror fans might like to keep an eye on. 6.5/10


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Love, Leopards & Leotards

The Leopard Man (US-1943) dir. Jacques Tourneur
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036104/
A leopard escaped from a circus spreads panic in a small New Mexican town, killing a number of women. One man starts to suspect not all killings are down to the leopard and there may be a serial killer on the loose as well.
The story isn't all that great, it's basically a whodunit with one very obvious suspect, but it does allow Jacques Tourneur to come up with a series of very impressive setpieces, making full use of shadows, sounds, and things that go bump in the night to create an atmosphere of high suspense.
***

Deadpool (US-2016) dir. Tim Miller
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1431045/
With its constant breaking of the fourth wall and self-referential comedy, Deadpool may appear to subvert the standard Marvel comic book movie, but it's all just superficial coating, like a plastic clingfilm that could easily be removed if test-screen audiences didn't like it.
At it's core, this is just your standard, clichéd superhero origin story, complete with girlfriend-abducted-by-villain and massive explosions.
It may act rebellious, but that's just part of the marketing scheme.
This movie is as corporate as they come.
**

Love & Friendship (Ireland/UK/US-2016) dir. Whit Stillman
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3068194/
I'm not a big fan of Jane Austen, as it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of an Austen novel must be in want of a life. Yet Love & Friendship won me over with its scathing dialogue and razor-sharp characterisations. This is a costume drama that is wall-to-wall laugh out loud funny, with a terrific Kate Beckinsale, who shows she has been criminally underused as an actress throughout her career.
Big recommendation, even if (especially if) you can't stand stuffy period films.
***1/2


You are alive and living now.
Now is the envy of all of the dead

Re: Love, Leopards & Leotards

I absolutely loved Deadpool, it has been a long time since I laughed so much at a film. I'm not sure it is trying to be rebellious, Tony Stark is after all very much a rebel yell - if we are going down the super hero rebel path. Marketing or corporate regardless, I haven't met anyone off the net who didn't have a blast with the film.

The Leopard Man. I think in another director's hands it could have been run of the mill, but this is Tourneur, and he does wonders with atmosphere and the "what you don't see" is more effective approach. I agree it's a simple story, but they know it and the run time bears that out and in that respect they make sure it doesn't overstay its welcome.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

The Last Boy Scout, Tony Scott, 1991. Starts out as neo-noir but falls victim to a boyish taste for explosions, which is presumably the cultural path that the erstwhile fans of scout-oriented adventure stories have taken. Bruce Willis does what Bruce Willis does best, unshaven, sarcastic, deadbeat but very tough in a crisis. He takes it a notch down even from Die Hard though (at least the only Die Hard which I've seen): determinedly self-loathing and given to provoking anyone within range to hit him as often as possible, he eventually teams up with an ex-football-player obsessed with pain. The result is, inevitably, extraordinarily nasty, even when lightened with banter and supported by a resourceful 12-year-old: good characters get violently dispatched, while the central team laugh heartily when the last baddie blows himself up in his own house. It's also misogynistic, at least as regards adult, sexual women, who are either blown sky-high or made to apologise on their knes with tears in their eyes for having presumaed to have desires. This kind of violent masochism is more regularly associated with Mel Gibson than with willis, and it seems entirely logical that according to the IMDb he was at one time expected to be part of the project. mixed/no

L.627, Bertrand Tavernier, 1992. The ultimate European police procedural, famous for its observational approach, mostly starless casting, and uncompromising record of the more unsavoury aspects of police officers' behaviour. The structure is more situational than narrative, the unpleasant, depressing work of an inner-Paris drug-squad is unlikely to come to a conclkusion, and indeed there seems no obvious reason why the film should end when it does, other than that it has reached the limits of its allotted time. That unplanned element lends conviction to the mini-conclusions which it does contain, including the relatively central one which quietly subverts the audience's expectations of a gritty ending which could be quite as generic and automatic as a 'happy' one. It is, of course, more than competently made, with violent - but never frenetic - camerawork to match the violence and bitterness felt by its protagonists. A no-nonsense re-assessment of the familiar tropes of the urban thriller, taken out of their predictable generic slots. yes

La Crise (Crisis), Coline Serreau, 1992. One morning Victor wakes up and find his wife has gone, leaving a note on the table and two kids not quite packed for a skiing holiday. Once the children are sent on their way, he goes to the office to bury himself in work, and finds a deeply apologetic secretary to tell him that his job has just been restructured away, and that she's really sorry but she can't set up independently with him because she's working for his old boss now. So he phones around friends looking for a shoulder to cry on, but everyone is much too busy crying over their own crisis - relationships are breaking up all across Victor's circle, even his elderly parents are separating, costly divorce proceedings are starting, precious violins are exploding, children are running wild. The only person who will listen to Victor is a barfly called Michou, unshaven, ingratiating, practically homeless and, in Victor's eyes, uncivilised to boot. But no one else seems prepared to stomach his company, so he tolerates Michou - at least he offers the chance to feel superior and so salvage a little dignity. This of course is a learning curve for Victor and a comprehensive satire of French society in 1991, some of which feels as contemporary as a Brexit cartoon. (Michou's encounter with a Socialist grandee is so accurate, alarming and ridiculous that you really don't know whether to laugh or cry). In the end, though, Serreau makes it easy on herself by revealing a 'real' Michou which irons out the most uncomfortable parts of his discourse, and leaves him as a simple angel who leads Victor to his dying stepmother Djamila, fairy godmother to troubled souls, a proletarian saint who can redeem even Victor's bourgeois self-centredness. Of course, Serreau has always admitted to telling social fairytales; her first fiction film was called 'Why Not?', her mission is alternative universes. It does seem just a little bit like a get-out though. yes, it's very lovable, recognisable and fun - the polar opposite of L.627 in pratically every particular.

REVISION SECTION
Makes a reappearance this week:
Revision I
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b99/aliinwonderland/jul11I_zpsbo8tknxq.jpg

Revision II
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b99/aliinwonderland/jul11II_zpss03cwbzh.jpg
I'm not sure it's all that over-obvious: FriendofMillhouse has assuredly located Casino

Revision III
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b99/aliinwonderland/jul11III_zpsnewydids.jpg
. Yeah, FriendofMilhouse is right, it is Dumb and Dumberer


Revision IV
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b99/aliinwonderland/jul11IV_zps4vj3vzyl.jpg
Sol- has recognised The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

Revision IV is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

That also looks like Owen Wilson's head in the foreground of Revision III - which probably means that it isn't.

Most people think I'm mad. At least I know I'm mad.

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

Yes it is.

No it isn't.

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

III is Dumb and Dumber
A -perhaps too obvious- guess for II: Casino?


You are alive and living now.
Now is the envy of all of the dead

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

II is right. III is - well, it's almost right. Even more depressing, I guess...

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

Then it must be Dumb and Dumberer.


You are alive and living now.
Now is the envy of all of the dead

Re: Boy Scout L.627 in Crisis

It certainly couldn't get any dumberer

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

L.627

Bertrand Tavernier's superb L.627 bears scant resemblance to the description its UK DVD distributors put out - `This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by the rules or kowtow to his weak and/or corrupt superiors. Lulu thrives in this violent world, where sheer guts can overcome his squad's deficiencies of money and equipment.' In reality, it's much more down to earth and compelling look at the day to day realities of fighting a never-ending war, spending more time on the mundane realities of police work and its limitations. These cops aren't Dirty Harry, they're underfunded and unappreciated and never bring down any big guys. When a long-time surveillance fails, it's because of the most petty reason imaginable. When there's finally some violence it's just over a petty offence rather than a major crime. They fill in forms in a crappy prefab office, wrestle with budget cuts, play practical jokes and make no difference whatever - all of which is surprisingly gripping.

At times some of the characters threaten to stray into cop movie clichés, such as Didier Bezace's relationship with a prostitute and casual informer, and there's a subplot with wedding videos that the film could do without, but other than that there's little to find fault with. Tavernier's direction is at once convincingly observational while remaining unobtrusively cinematic and he's assembled an equally convincing ensemble cast, including Philippe Torreton, who would go on to play leading roles in Tavernier's Capitaine Conan and It All Starts Today. It's not a short movie - it's not far off the two-and-a-half hour mark - and as befits its subject matter it never reaches a grand climax but leaves its characters no better than when we found them, but you won't feel you've wasted the time you spend with them.


"Security - release the badgers."

Re: L.627

Yeah, the DVD does get the Bezace character soectacularly wrong, but I suppose they have to sell Euro-realism to the ITV4 crowd. Funny, even after only a week the wedding videos have completely slipped my memory - unless the French boxset vsion didn't contain them? (Incidentally, I could be wrong but the logic of my revision list would lead me to conclude that Capitaine Conan predates L627).

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

Re: L.627

It's his side job making wedding videos, which allows a few heavy handed observations about the nature of filmmaking when he agonises over the edit with his wife (though thankfully it's not as clumsy as Bob Swaim defining his flics characters in La Balance by their choice of movie posters hanging behind their desks). A lot of cops moonlight, but a taxi driver or security would have been a more likely choice and a lot less self-reverential.

Capitaine Conan was 1996, four years after L.627. Torreton also appeared in Tavernier's L'Appat as a cop between the two films in 1995.

It's a shame the UK DVD didn't carry over the impressive but unsubtitled array of extras from the French disc - audio commentary by Bertrand Tavernier, Michel Alexandre and Charlotte Kady, 3 deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, stills gallery and theatrical trailer - but Optimum's UK DVD offers a different but very decent selection of its own: a different English-language commentary and lengthy on-camera interview with Tavernier and the trailer, so it's still a worthwhile release despite the bait-and-switch spiel on the back.


"Security - release the badgers."

Re: L.627

Right you are, must have been some other list-logic there.

You're right about the wedding videos too, but as you see they really hadn't impinged on me. Isn't there something about him also recording interrogations, so using his filming skill 'officially', and sometimes getting into trouble for it?

If they organise the revolution like they did this meeting, what'll happen?

We are being beat up by the inventor of scrabble!

Scout

Ouch!

Well I have to first say it's one of my favourite "dialogue" driven films, Shane Black is sharp as a tack, and I certainly don't see myself as a misogynist for loving the film.

From my viewpoint it's difficult to see your femme angle because it's a film I have watched with my last two "long term" partners and they loved it. Of course that could be because we are all thick and they loved the machismo while I loved the banter and explosions

You know Shane Black wrote Lethal Weapon 1 & 2 yes?

Cuz it's you I'll watch it again presently and bear your thoughts in mind 💏

You have seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) right? Right!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Exposed myself to some Jerry Lewis:

The Bellboy
Who's Minding the Store?
Scared Stiff
The Errand Boy


Found The Errand Boy and Who's Minding the Store? to be the funniest. Great to finally see JL and Dean Martin work together on screen in Scared Stiff. After that, it was mostly more modern stuff.

I'm very good at nookying and crannying.

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)


Exposed myself to some Jerry Lewis:

The Bellboy
Who's Minding the Store?
Scared Stiff
The Errand Boy

Found The Errand Boy and Who's Minding the Store? to be the funniest. Great to finally see JL and Dean Martin work together on screen in Scared Stiff. After that, it was mostly more modern stuff.


I gotta rewatch The Bellboy! I heard it's one of Jerry's best!

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Great that you enjoyed Scared Stiff. Please see Artists and Models (1955).

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Promise (1986) - 7/10

Méliès, Griffith, Moussy, Kraulitis, Brauns, Frank, and shorts

The magic and innovation of Méliès:
'Cendrillon' / 'Cinderella' (1899, dir: Georges Méliès) - 10/10
'Le diable au couvent' / 'The Sign of the Cross' (1899, dir: Georges Méliès) - 8/10
'L'impressionniste fin de siècle' / 'A Turn of the Century Illusionist' (1899, dir: Georges Méliès) - 7/10
'L'homme orchestre' / 'The One-Man Band' (1900, dir: Georges Méliès) - 8/10
'L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc' / 'The Man with the Rubber Head' (1901, dir: Georges Méliès) - 9/10
'Barbe-bleue' / 'Bluebeard' (1901, dir: Georges Méliès) - 10/10
'Le roi du maquillage' / 'The Untamable Whiskers' (1904, dir: Georges Méliès) - 8/10

Two iconic, delightful entries from Griffith:
'The Lonedale Operator' (1911, dir: D.W. Griffith) - 9/10
'The New York Hat' (1912, dir: D.W. Griffith) - 8/10

New Wave vacuity in the summertime south:
'Saint-Tropez Blues' (1961, dir: Marcel Moussy) - 5/10

Poetic realism from Latvia:
'Baltie zvani' / 'The White Bells' (1961, dir: Ivars Kraulitis) - 10/10
'Motociklu vasara' / 'Motorcycle Summer' (1975, dir: Uldis Brauns) - 9/10
'Par desmit minutem vecaks' / 'Ten Minutes Older' (1978, dir: Herz Frank) - 10/10

And, a selection of recent shorts from Belgium and France - with Collet's Demy-esque animation proving particularly captivating:
'Le souffle court' (2013, dir: Guillaume Legrand) - 6/10
'La demi-saison' (2014, dir: Damien Collet) - 9/10
'Contre-courant' (2015, dir: Gaëtan D'Agostino) - 8/10
'Pitchoune' (2015, dir: Reda Kateb) - 5/10


That's all, folks!

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

-Meet Boston Blackie
-Three Came Home 1950
-Krull

--Every man's death diminishes me...because I am involved in mankind--

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Hee, I recorded Krull (1983) last week. Is it any good? What did you think?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

7.5/10
The story moves fast with a lot of great visual effects.


--Every man's death diminishes me...because I am involved in mankind--

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

I was travelling for several days, but I caught a few movies earlier in the week. Listed from best to worst:

From the Life of the Marionettes (Bergman, 1980): 7/10 - Bergman creates a chilling atmosphere and a fascinating film. It felt like it could have received some additional thought during post-production editing, but that's really just a minor quibble.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, 1953): 7/10 - A wonderful Monroe vehicle along the same line as How to Marry a Millionaire, released in the same year. There is an exceptionally well done comedic sequence midway through where the leading ladies attempt to rob the leading man of his clothing.

Working Girl (Nichols, 1988): 6/10 - Light and fun -- it certainly doesn't aim very high.


"My only enemy is time." - Charles Chaplin
http://paulopicks.blogspot.com/

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

A bunch of Jerry Lewis movies...I needed some comedy this past week! The Errand Boy, Cinderfella, The Disorderly Orderly, Pardners, a few others. Jerry always makes me !

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

Pardners, a reworking of Bing's Rhythm on the Range (1936), great fun.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

This movie was on last night. I had never heard of it and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was:

About Mrs. Leslie
(1954).
,,,,,,,,,,
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Re: What classics did you watch this week? (7/4-7/10)

This 1980's movie was on last night, and it was even worse than I remember it being:

DUNE
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