9,501

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Sir Miles wrote:
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.

You are both so very correct!

Vox clamantis in deserto

9,502

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JOJO RABBIT

The trailers are over-selling how funny this is.  It IS very funny when it wants to be (and there are several laugh out loud moments to be had), but this is actually a lot more heartfelt and sentimental than is being advertised. 

I really liked it, but I can see this being polarizing.  Indeed, I saw one walkout in my theater (at about the 15 minute mark) and I've heard from others about walkouts in their theaters.  It's a hard subject to make a satire out of, so you're either going to buy into it or you're not.  If you can handle satirization of Nazis, then you'll probably like this.

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9,503

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Finally sat through Blade-runner 2049,   what a load of rubbish. For two and a half hours 
nothing happened.  ajb007/biggrin

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

9,504

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I have to ask  - you're not serious, right?  ajb007/confused

9,505

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During the weekend I watched the 1966 spy film The Quiller Memorandum - based on the novel by Adam Hall (aka Elleston Trevor). I had just finished reading the novel, as well as a couple of other Quiller books and went into the film curious to see how the character would translate to the screen. I'd heard several times that the casting of Quiller in the film is problematic, and indeed I found the performance of George Segal to be average at best. For a start his American take on the character is puzzling, considering Quilker is supposed to be a British agent, and he is surrounded by several very English actors including Alec Guinness. The film benefits from being shot on location in Berlin, and a moody and typically 60s score by John Barry. Max von Sydow is the main villain and does a fine job of the sinister Neo-Nazi Reichsfuhrer 'Oktober'. Supporting roles are played by a capable cast of German character actors, many of whom will probably look familiar to fans of 60s films. As in the novel, Quiller spends much of his time trying to shake off agents (both friendly and enemy) who are tailing him either for sinister purposes or giving him cover (he is a fan of neither scenario). He also has his ability to stand up to interrogation tested as well.

Overall not a bad film. I was bored in parts though, but I did find the final third quite entertaining. It's a pity that Quiller never received a great screen adaptation. But this one is possibly worth your while checking out, especially if cold war spy thrillers with John Barry soundtracks are your thing.  ajb007/wink

9,506

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Carry On up the Khyber, classic Carry On fun and
The Boys from Brazil, great thriller about cloning Hitler

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

9,507

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THE BIG SLEEP, 1946.

Bogart and Bacall.

For whatever reason, I'd never seen this before.  Now, it's probably my second favorite Bogie film (after CASABLANCA).  Just cracking dialog.  Great fun.

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9,508

Re: Last film seen...

Gymkata wrote:

THE BIG SLEEP, 1946.

it's a swell one!

there's two different versions on some dvd's.
It was filmed in 1945, but because the war was ending the studio wanted to rush out whatever war-related films they had, and held this one back a year. During that time Bacall became a huge celebrity and the film was re-edited with new scenes to give her more screentime.

If they have a long innuendo rich talk about horseracing, that's the later version that was originally released to the theatres.
If she's wearing a mysterious but no so flattering veil when she drops by his office, that's the unreleased version that now appears on some dvd's. It's slightly closer to Chandler's novel and marginally easier to follow the plot.
Which version did you see Gymkata?


...and I just noticed Bacall's agent, who was responsible for these changes, was Charles ("funny" version of Casino Royale) Feldman!

9,509

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Marx Brothers - the Cocoanuts

This was Marx Brothers' first film.
Beginners should skip ahead to Animal Crackers, which is one of the greatest films ever, and all their other Paramount films, and their first couple MGM films, before coming back to this one.

This is mostly a song and dance musical, with Irving Berlin music, a gaggle of sexy flapper girl dancers, and other characters singing treacly ballads to reveal their characters and advance the plot. The Brothers get maybe 2/3 of the screentime.
As this was 1929 perhaps mediocre songs were more fascinating to an audience than clever dialog?

Harpo is particularly good, and establishes many of his signature moves.
Groucho and Chico do their "why a duck" routine, so that's at least one classic dialog you need to see this film to witness.
Margaret Dumont's in this one too, establishing the Groucho vs Margaret rapport.
And there's a long complicated sequence with two bedrooms and a connecting doorway that's as good as any choreographed physical comedy they ever did (of course Harpo rules in this bit).

9,510

Re: Last film seen...

caractacus potts wrote:
Gymkata wrote:

THE BIG SLEEP, 1946.

it's a swell one!

there's two different versions on some dvd's.
It was filmed in 1945, but because the war was ending the studio wanted to rush out whatever war-related films they had, and held this one back a year. During that time Bacall became a huge celebrity and the film was re-edited with new scenes to give her more screentime.

If they have a long innuendo rich talk about horseracing, that's the later version that was originally released to the theatres.
If she's wearing a mysterious but no so flattering veil when she drops by his office, that's the unreleased version that now appears on some dvd's. It's slightly closer to Chandler's novel and marginally easier to follow the plot.
Which version did you see Gymkata?


...and I just noticed Bacall's agent, who was responsible for these changes, was Charles ("funny" version of Casino Royale) Feldman!

The 1946 version, complete with the horse racing discussion.  I'm tempted to get the blu ray of this that has both versions just to compare them.  By all accounts, this is one of the few times where studio interference was for the best.

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9,511

Re: Last film seen...

caractacus potts wrote:

Marx Brothers - the Cocoanuts

This was Marx Brothers' first film.
Beginners should skip ahead to Animal Crackers, which is one of the greatest films ever, and all their other Paramount films, and their first couple MGM films, before coming back to this one.

This is mostly a song and dance musical, with Irving Berlin music, a gaggle of sexy flapper girl dancers, and other characters singing treacly ballads to reveal their characters and advance the plot. The Brothers get maybe 2/3 of the screentime.
As this was 1929 perhaps mediocre songs were more fascinating to an audience than clever dialog?

Harpo is particularly good, and establishes many of his signature moves.
Groucho and Chico do their "why a duck" routine, so that's at least one classic dialog you need to see this film to witness.
Margaret Dumont's in this one too, establishing the Groucho vs Margaret rapport.
And there's a long complicated sequence with two bedrooms and a connecting doorway that's as good as any choreographed physical comedy they ever did (of course Harpo rules in this bit).

I love the Marx Bros and fully agree with your suggestion to jump in at Animal Crackers. It's a hilarious film and it was the first Marx Bros film I saw and it instantly hooked me.

As for The Cocoanuts, it's a film that I've only seen once, and it was quite a long time ago. My memories of it are very hazy - the one scene that stands out in my memory is the auction scene which was very funny as I recall.

9,512

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Colossus: The Forbin Project ( 1970 )
The film James Cameron obviously had in mind when he came up with " Skynet"  ajb007/biggrin
Both America and the USSR make super computers to control their defence systems...
.... Who'd have thought something could go wrong !

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

9,513

Re: Last film seen...

I remember that being a really good movie.

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9,514

Re: Last film seen...

Hardyboy wrote:
Sir Miles wrote:
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.

You are both so very correct!

ajb007/cheers  Saw it on Blu-Ray at home with my girlfriend, who has no appreciation of L&H's classic films, and she quite enjoyed it. I thought it was excellent.

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

9,515

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Dial M for Murder.

Every time I watch this, I keep thinking, how the creators of Columbo must have used this as
a blueprint. The plan for the murder is shown and the fun ( as with Columbo ) is seeing how
the murder is caught.

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

9,516

Re: Last film seen...

HIGH SIERRA, 1941. Another Bogart crossed off of my list.

I guess this is the film that turned Bogart into a leading man (he'd been a supporting actor until this point). He's great in it but the story itself is kinda weak, in my opinion. When it concentrates on his character being a thug, it really works...when it concentrates on him trying to woo the girl with a club foot, it doesn't feel authentic at all. That whole subplot is entirely forced. I like the idea of him forming a non-criminal bond with a family who doesn't know his background, but that whole 'love' thing simply falls flat.

Next up: TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, another one from Bogie that I haven't seen.

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9,517

Re: Last film seen...

In the past few days I watched a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's earlier films, from the period when he was making films in Britain and these were Secret Agent (1936) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). I've been a big Hitchcock fan for a long time, but my knowledge of his British movies is admittedly not great. I've seen almost everything he did in Hollywood, but very few of his early works.

Firstly, Secret Agent...which is a film that I knew very little about going in. In the main titles I was surprised and intrigued to see that the film is based on the Ashenden short stories by W. Somerset Maugham, which I've never read but I've been aware of for a long time as an early milestone in the genre of spy fiction. The film stars a young John Gielgud. I've only ever seen him on screen as an old man, and I barely recognised the youthful version. I thought he had a bit of a Bondian look about him. His co-star is Peter Lorre, who plays a fellow agent, and provides quite a bit of comic relief as he chases the ladies and always introduces himself with his full name (General Pompellio Montezuma De La Vilia De Conde De La Rue). Madeleine Caroll, who also appeared in The 39 Steps, is the female lead. The drama takes place in Switzerland, during WWI, as Ashenden, the General and 'Mrs Ashenden' (the way she is introduced is very similar to the 'Mrs Bond' scene in LALD) set out to eliminate a German agent. The film is pretty well paced and at a mere 85 minutes is a very brisk viewing experience. Hitchcock shows off some trademark visual flair, especially in a scene involving an assasination being viewed through a telescope. In the grander scheme of things it's no more than a mid-ranking Hitchcock film but I think definitely worthy of your time and attention, especially as an example of a fairly early spy film.

I went into The Lady Vanishes with fairly high expectations as it has the reputation of being classic Hitchcock, and it didn't disappoint. It is also an espionage related plot involving a mysterious disappearance of a sweet elderly woman on a train. The protagonist, played by Margaret Lockwood, has had a blow on the head earlier in the film and seems to be the only person on the train who has seen the old woman. The film took a little while to get going, as each of the characters is introduced before the train journey begins. The ensemble cast is pretty good though, and there are some memorable characters, most notably a pair of cricket-obsessed English buffoons who were popular enough that the screenwriters decided to re-use them in several future films that they wrote. The suspense of the train-bound mystery leads to a plot involving a British agent who has to deliver a coded message to the Foreign Office and the final third of the film involves some decent action. I enjoyed The Lady Vanishes very much, its definitely a film I will revisit again in future and so far its easily my favourite Hitchcock film of his pre-Hollywood career.

9,518

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FORD V FERRARI (I believe it's called LE MANS '66 in Europe)

Excellent from beginning to end.

The quality of the racing footage in this cannot be overstated.  It's uniformly excellent with a tremendous sense of real speed to it.  The sound mix is also awesome.  When Christian Bale (as Ken Miles) is banging through the gears at 7000 RPM, you can feel and hear it.  It's just awesome.

The acting is also great from everyone.  Matt Damon and Christian Bale turn in probably my favorite performances.  Bale seems to be doing a similar take on what he did for THE FIGHTER, my only real knock on his work.  The supporting cast is excellent as well, especially Tracy Letts as Henry Ford II.

the story is well told with a solid script.  There is some dramatic license taken with historical accuracy but nothing so extreme that you'll really want to fault the film.  It's perhaps a tad long (there's a lot of character stuff in the first act that could maybe be tightened up) but nothing to really get into a twist over.  It's a very fun, crowd-pleasing movie.  I highly recommend seeing it theatrically on the biggest screen that you can with (most importantly) the best sound system that you can.

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9,519

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The Irishman. A new gangster classic. I recommend that any and every film buff see it. Brilliant story and the film is structured so well. Pacino steals the show but Pesci and DeNiro are also superb. And Stephen Graham is also great. Martin Scorsese is still the best director working today. Check it out!

9,520

Re: Last film seen...

Golrush007 wrote:

In the past few days I watched a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's earlier films, from the period when he was making films in Britain and these were Secret Agent (1936) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). ...

I gather you've already seen the 39 Steps, have you also seen the original Man Who Knew Too Much and Sabotage?

I think that's it, those are the five spy films he made in the 30s. But though he made occasional spy films throughout his career, he never made five right in a row like that again and those five spy films seem to the most discussed of his early British work.

Charles Bennett who wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for four of them (all except Lady Vanishes), also co-wrote the Climax Mystery Theatre version of Casino Royale, so there's a Bond connection.




Gymkata wrote:

Next up: TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, another one from Bogie that I haven't seen

Eagerly awaiting your review of this one!

9,521

Re: Last film seen...

caractacus potts wrote:

I gather you've already seen the 39 Steps, have you also seen the original Man Who Knew Too Much and Sabotage?

I saw The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much a number of years ago - in fact I think those two may have been the first Hitchcock films I ever saw (on a DVD with really bad picture quality). I enjoyed both, and I'd like to rewatch them sometime with a better quality transfer. I made a list of all of Hitchcock's films the other days and marked off which ones I have seen, and at last I've got past 50% as I've now seen 27 out of 53.

Sabotage is a film that I plan to watch soon, I've seen a clip or two from that film over the years but never the whole film. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Oscar Homolka's performance in that film...I've always enjoyed his work as Colonel Stok in the Harry Palmer films.

9,522

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MIDWAY & LE MANS '66 (Saw them both on Sunday)

MIDWAY: Worthy but unmemorable. Unlike Mark Kermode I felt it was better than PEARL HARBOR (which it clearly resembles). The Japanese scenes are the best. There's genuine emotion & they're not played as villains. If the whole film had been directed the same way it would have gone up a notch or two in quality. Also, the CGI special effects feel less special these days. Once you've seen one POV shot of a bomb falling onto the deck of a battleship you've seen them all. Cliched. Rating: 2/5

LE MANS '66: Much better than I thought it would be. Preferred the first half to the second but the race scenes are exhilarating nevertheless. Christian Bale's an actor I've not always warmed to. He seems to be consciously acting but he's warm & likeable here. Josh Lucas is excellent as a slimy Ford executive. Rating 3.5/5

9,523

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And Frankenstein Created Woman

Peter Cushing reprising the role as the scientist, and you can't blame Gene Wilder's class for getting it wrong with a title like that - Frankie himself never appears, of course.
Quite eerie stuff, with some nasty dramatic symmetry involving a guillotine. I'm not clear, having lazily watched this, where it is set. It's not Dracula, so it's not Romania, and they mostly speak in an English accent, but so what? It could be Europe, it has that medieval flavour.

Director Martin Scorcese cites this as a great as it distills the soul to its very essence or something: there is a bit of that but I wouldn't overstate it. The film gets more perfunctory as it goes on, just as it should be hotting up. Fans of Yes Minister and Heartbeat will notice a young Derek Fowlds as one of the trio of posh nobs, a sort of Bullingdon Club set who deserve to get their comeuppance.

It's okay, but not quite as sadistically sexy as it might be or latterly intends to be; it opts for poignancy instead.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,524

Re: Last film seen...

Some material was cut before release (stills exist) which might have made the story clearer and perhaps less perfunctory. It's probably meant to be set in Switzerland, since that's where the early adventures of Peter Cushing's Baron Frankenstein were supposed to be happening.

https://i.postimg.cc/njZ0BZMn/d-LLAc-Coqt-I6-RROe0-TOZp8w-E3-Yv-W.jpg

9,525

Re: Last film seen...

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'm the opposite to you Barbel. Though I love Alan Partridge I've never rated any of Coogan's other comedic characters but always thought him a fairly decent actor.

I've seen 'Stan & Ollie' twice now and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. I thought both Coogan and John.C.Reilly did an excellent job.

I never tire of the dance routine from 'Way Out West'


On a totally different note I saw Rocketman recently. Really enjoyed that too. Very well put together. I don't think Elton John likes John Reid very much though  ajb007/lol