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Captains Courageous

This fine 1930s film is the sort of thing they never, ever show on television anymore. It stars child star Freddie Bartholomew - who was probably up there with Shirley Temple in his day - taking top billing over Spencer Tracy. FB plays a spoilt, arrogant brat at a public school (private school if you're American) - sort of think Stewie from Family Guy without the wit or underlying decency and you're half-way there - who knows his largely absent tycoon Dad can buy up the school several times over. Matters come to ahead and on a swanky cruise ship events conspire so that the young brat winds up on a fishing trawler where he is taught humility and how to be a man - by Spencer Tracy.

It's a bit of a choker all round, the way it plays out, and there's some excellent footage of life at sea for the era, with a fine supporting cast too.

Bartholomew was also in the equally excellent Lloyds of London, where in that he took top billing over the up and coming Tyrone Power. That's also never ever shown on telly - I had to get that on DVD, too.

On the other hand, London Live was showing an early 1970s comedy called Au Pair at around midnight last night, so dreadful you'd imagine an original print and all copies could be better used as part of a landfill, or propping up a flyover.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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The Jigsaw Man (1984)

An espionage thriller staring Michael Caine Directed by Terence Young and with a host of
Bond actors sprinkled through it.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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A Deadly Affair

Flashily directed by Sidney Lumet not dissimilar to The Ipcress File; this 1966 film has the same world of British betrayal and if there's a whiff of Smiley about it, there's a reason for that. It promises to be more depressing than Ipcress, as it stars a middle-aged James Mason rather than the funny and cool Michael Caine.

So it's based on a novel by John Le Carre and as there are series and new films by him out and in the pipeline, and a new novel out v shortly, you have to think, just how long has this guy been going? ajb007/martini    ajb007/amazed  It's as if Ian Fleming who died in 1964 was still alive and knocking out novels until 2010... That brings you up short.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

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I saw A Lot of movies that had it coming on my hard drive for the first time after I moved, I'll give my impressions in a few sentences.

Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Not sure if I get the point of the movie; he never changes? What he did in the past he'll keep doing, again and again till the end of time? Honestly, the ending left me mad as to what I'd just seen. It left me blue.

Groundhog Day (1993)
So specifically awesome. The definition of character development  ajb007/confused  but still, it remains a writing masterpiece if not for how you can write a day and leave the rest up to what you'd want it to be. It must've been really fun to make.

Network (1976)
"You have interfered with the primal forces of nature, Mr Beale"
Honestly, Better Call Saul had me watch this as that's where it found itself in the list™ and I'll just as honestly say I was impressed. Both this and Groundhog should be considered adventure movies because of the way they're written.
I was in blind and it hit me. Really good movie.

Pretty Woman (1990)
Isn't It Romantic lead me to this one and I'm ashamed to say I'd never seen it fully. And well, I know have a thing for Vivian...and I have been where Vivian found herself without the happy ending. The setting, the colors, the lines, the Esprit, George Constanza getting punched. Enjoyed myself way more than I thought I would. It's a classic and no rom com can top it.

Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
Such a shame. SUCH A SHAME.
Other than that, it's Rebel Without A Cause, what is there to say. It defined 50s teen culture as much as Season 1 and 2 of Miami Vice defined the 80s.

El Camino (2019)
No, you can't watch it if you've not seen Breaking Bad (which I binge watched in the summer for the first time). No, I'm not blue because of it ajb007/crap . Goddammit Vince, you've done it again.

Now on to the latter part, of movies I'd seen before but wanted to rewatch.

Scarface (1983)
As much as the lines crack me up, I couldn't help thinking that it was never meant to last for Montana. Not because of what happened like it did for Ace in Casino but because of the choices he made and because he was Tony.
I used to think that after the "Push It To The Limit" sequence it could be a happy ending. Turn off the movie and boom, you get what you want out of it.

But here, it's different now. Elvira was never the right girl because of what he wanted and because she was a junkie and because she didn't have the brains like Ginger did. Manny would die because he'd fall for Gina and Tony can't help himself but if he dies he needs him and his empire would crumble, because Manny was the thing that kept him on a leash and no matter how good of a business man he is while negotiating, he can't fit in because he can't help his greed.
It's not about the 1500 dollars. He would've been arrested any way. It's about his greed. What makes him, him.
As much as a good job they made for Ginger to be the best hustler out there in Casino, they did for Tony in Scarface to not fit in to the world. The little details like eating the lemon from a bowl where you're just meant to wash your hands.

Some might say, well duh. Didn't you realise it? I guess not. I wanted to watch Scarface again oddly because of an idea I have and because of Breaking Bad.
I can never come away disappointed from it.

Say hello to my little friend if you read through these all. Jesus christ.

a reasonable rate of return

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Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

This movie focuses on the dramatic relationship between Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and Elizabeth I of England while they were both reigning queens. This power struggle has been filmed before, but it's the first time I've seen it from both perspectives in the same film. The two women never met in real life, but here we see a fictional meeting written for dramatical purposes, and it really works. It works because of good writing and really good acting. This goes for the whole film, and I also like the filming and design. What I don't like is that this film is too PC. It's hinted that the two women could have made peace between the two countries and with each other if only all those power-hungry men hadn't meddled, forgetting that the two women probably wouldn't have gained so much power without being hungry for power themselves. The second problem is PC casting, what you may call "brown-washing". A black actor plays an English lord and an Asian actress plays one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting. This would never happen in the Britain of that time. I'm all for casting non-white actors in parts we don't normally see them in, but not when it's obviously unhistoric to the point where it takes you out of the movie.

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THE IRISHMAN

Went to see this on Sunday night as part of a national live link to the last night of the BFI London Film Festival.

A superb film that may well be the last word in organised crime, at least from this group of Mafiosi titans. Interestingly it bears the book's title I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES as its opening title card. THE IRISHMAN doesn't appear until the end credits. It follows the template we've come to expect from Martin Scorsese: flashbacks & flash-forwards, freeze frames, slow motion, voice-over, etc but there's a leisurely quality that sets it apart from his previous mob movies. Scorsese's usual visual gimmicks settle into a more stately form of visual storytelling as the characters age. It's a neat trick to show the director's own passing of time. But this isn't a slow-paced bum-numbing ordeal. Far from it. The three & a half hour running time whizzes by but never feels exhausting.

The first half-hour is in more familiar GOODFELLAS territory as we chart Robert De Niro's career from truck driver to contract killer. A lot of info's packed into this section as familiar sights of overweight mobsters & their equally obese Cadillacs fill the screen. The usual 'bad-a-bing' wit is also present & correct. Mob bosses whisper in booths & both Joe Pesci & Harvey Keitel sizzle as made men. Keitel's role is little more than a cameo but Pesci dominates as a totally different incarnation of ruthlessness. Quiet & articulate (almost avuncular), Pesci is far removed from his two previous Mafia psychos. Even the swearing is pared back to a minimum. But in a way he's more frightening. This man gives orders to kill with a smile & a shrug. De Niro's the film's glue. Largely impassive, it's his voice that steers the narrative from his opening retirement home shot.

About forty minutes in Al Pacino's force of nature, Jimmy Hoffa enters the fray & the film ratchets up a gear. It's at this point the plot kicks in as Hoffa's belligerent union leader faces off against all manner of foes - the government, ambitious union men & the mob itself. De Niro develops a friendship with him as a bodyguard & it's great to see these two 1970s method masters joining forces again. The last hour & a half's magnificent as Hoffa suffocates under a sea of hubris.

The final half-hour's astonishing. Gone are the usual spectacular demises for gangsters. No bloody rub-outs, just mundane deaths courtesy of cancer, stroke or just plain old age. In its way it's more shocking than any number of toll-booth massacres. And De Niro plays a wise guy's deterioration into old age beautifully. After a decade or so of sell-out roles in the likes of DIRTY GRANDPA it's a blessing to be reminded of the great actor he once was. All concerned are fabulous. There's not a duff note played. Following on that musical pun, the soundtrack's interesting. There's a spattering of jukebox tunes but none of the 'wall of sound' we've come to expect from Marty's mob movies. In fact there are sections with no music at all. Perhaps just Robbie Robertson's mournful harmonica at most.

So, is it a masterpiece? Well, only time will really tell on that front, but at this stage I would say yes. It has the plaintive feel of THE GODFATHER PART II & ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. For all its hefty running time it's never boring. I was transfixed by a group of cinematic greats at the top of their game. This film really is too good to be squandered on Netflix's streaming service. It's a majestic film that should be seen in a cinema, where it belongs. But it's not to be. Paramount foolishly passed on the chance to release this. More fool them. Oh yes, & if I haven't mentioned the much trumpeted CGI de-aging effects it's because in all honesty I didn't really notice them.

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Island of Terror ( 1966 )

Not a film about the horror of  the UK and Brexit but a film where ............
Peter Cushing must go to a small Island on the east coast of Ireland to investigate some strange deaths.
It's a Hammer Monster movie, and great fun. It feels like a feature length episode of Dr Who.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Hudson Hawk ;
I know this was a flop, but I do like it. A fun adventure story, The same with
The Wild, Wild west. Still one of my favourite movies.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Thunderpussy wrote:

Hudson Hawk ;
I know this was a flop, but I do like it. A fun adventure story, The same with
The Wild, Wild west. Still one of my favourite movies.

I will never forgive the producers of Wild Wild West for destroying the town sets from Silverado.

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Just ordered the 4k version of Kingsman and  kingsman 2.
Just to see the difference in quality from an actual  disc
Compared to a 4k download.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Bear Island (1979)

This movie is based on Alistair Maclean's novel and stars Donald Sutherland, Richard Widmark, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Lee.
The story takes place on the titular Artic island, the southernmost part of Svalbard, but was filmed in Canada. It's an action thriller about a UN Scientific expedition going to the island to monitor climate change. It's worth noteing that the only climate debate in this 1979 movie is about how fast it's happening. But this is an action thriller, and a pretty good one. There was no German submarine base on the island during WWII, but there was a secret automated meteorlogical station there. Neither has there ever been a NATO base on the island. The Svalbard Treaty forbids any military activity there. There is however a meteorological base there, a friend of mine has spent two winters there. The Macguffin of the movie was never in German hands, but it works for the plot.
I discovered this movie by chance and I really liked it. It's a well made thriller in a very unusual environment.

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Tolkein.  It's both a crashing bore and trivializes the horrors of The Somme by inviting the viewers to turn it into a hunt for Middle Earth Easter eggs.  JRRT deserved something better.

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Shame. Tolkien's life has potential fro a good movie. Speaking of potential, do you think Nicholas Hoult has potential to be the next James Bond?

Last edited by Number24 (2nd Nov 2019 12:37)

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Number24 wrote:

Shame. Tolkien's life has potential fro a good movie. Speaking of potential, do you think Nicholas Hoult has potential to be the next James Bond?

Hard to say.  He's certainly got looks and a good build, but every film I've seen him in--even when he plays Beast--he always plays a fundamentally sweet person.  I'd like to see how he handles mean and nasty.

Vox clamantis in deserto

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I see Your point. Even when he played a zombie he played a nice, romantic zombie  ajb007/biggrin
Has anyone seen him as Nikola Tesla in "The Current War"?

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My problem with Nicolas Hoult is that he looks too fresh-faced, but he has a lot of potential:

https://www.rollingstone.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Nicholas-Hoult-Tolkien.jpg


https://gq-images.condecdn.net/image/MmZ4Rv8NmLQ/crop/405/f/nicholas-hoult-01-gq-14mar18_getty_b.jpg

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TERMINATOR: DARK FATE.

Don't.

Current rankings:
OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>TLD>SF>GE>OP>DN>FYEO>
TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>SP>DAF>LTK>AVTAK>DAD
Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Dalton>Brosnan

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Gymkata wrote:

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE.

Don't.

Indeed.

Instagram - bondclothes007

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Seems to be a major flop

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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I watched both The Terminator(1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) as a double feature recently. As a long time science fiction fan it was incredible to see just how these films defined the genre upon their release. I choose to watch them over going out to the theatre to see Terminator: Dark Fate. Based on what I have heard about Dark Fate, it seems like I made a good choice.

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PPK 7.65mm wrote:

I watched both The Terminator(1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) as a double feature recently. As a long time science fiction fan it was incredible to see just how these films defined the genre upon their release. I choose to watch them over going out to the theatre to see Terminator: Dark Fate. Based on what I have heard about Dark Fate, it seems like I made a good choice.

I think that THE TERMINATOR is a nearly perfect film.  It handles the time paradox expertly and with sound internal logic that, when the movie is finished, closes the loop as a complete story.  The characters are developed and are interesting, the action is excellent (especially considering the budget limitations), and the pacing is perfect.  It's a very tight, lean movie with no fat to it. 

T2: JUDGMENT DAY breaks the closed loop of the first film, but that's ok.  Why?  Because it's absolutely awesome.  All of the budget and production limitations of the first film are thrown out the window, resulting in pretty much a perfect 'action' movie.  The only real fault of the film is with the pacing...it bogs down significantly when they hit Mexico.  The pacing picks up again once they go after Cyberdine Systems and never lets up, though.

Anyways, yeah...you made the right choice.  Only the first two films count, and I'd frankly be fine if only the first film existed since it's a complete story in and of itself.

Current rankings:
OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>TLD>SF>GE>OP>DN>FYEO>
TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>SP>DAF>LTK>AVTAK>DAD
Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Dalton>Brosnan

9,497

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Stan & Ollie

An affectionate look at Laurel & Hardy in their last years together. While I've enjoyed Steve Coogan as a comedian, I've never rated him highly as an actor- until now. Watching the film I never thought of him as "Steve Coogan", so adroitly does he inhabit Stan Laurel. John C. Reilly captures Oliver Hardy just as well, with only the make-up letting him down on occasion. Excellent work from the supporting cast, especially the actresses playing their wives.

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Oddly enough Paul Merton, who's a huge Stan and Ollie
Fan. Hated it.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Well, Paul is an expert and I suppose the factual inaccuracies bugged him.

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Barbel wrote:

Stan & Ollie

An affectionate look at Laurel & Hardy in their last years together. While I've enjoyed Steve Coogan as a comedian, I've never rated him highly as an actor- until now. Watching the film I never thought of him as "Steve Coogan", so adroitly does he inhabit Stan Laurel. John C. Reilly captures Oliver Hardy just as well, with only the make-up letting him down on occasion. Excellent work from the supporting cast, especially the actresses playing their wives.

I went to the cinema to watch this…I loved it…I thought both Coogan & Reilly were excellent and that the film overall was a loving tribute to them.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6