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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought we might have a thread for capsule reviews of TV and Films you are into. Or Just post the Title , what ever is fun and engaging for you. :)

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gone with the Wind (1939)

First Time View...Why did I wait so long for this awesomeness of cinema



Producer: David O. Selznick Director: Victor Fleming Writer:Sidney Howard Stars: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Thomas Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel 3h 58min Drama, History, Romance, Melodrama

Gone With the Wind. My new favorite Greatest American Movie (followed by The Godfather, Ben-Hur , Casablanca, Taxi Driver, Star Wars , Citizen Kane , Rebecca).

Vivien Leigh



"Gone With the Wind" presents a sentimental view of the Civil War, in which the "Old South" takes the place of Camelot and the war was fought not so much to defeat the Confederacy; as to give Miss Scarlett O'Hara her comeuppance. The tainted nostalgia comes with the territory. Yet as "GWTW" approaches its 81th anniversary, it is still a towering landmark of film, quite simply because it tells a good story, and tells it wonderfully well.

Vivien Leigh stars as Scarlett O'Hara. In Gone with the Wind, She is always after something. She is fiery, stubborn, beautiful, and selfish, and won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal. When Scarlett O'Hara raises her fist to the sky and vows never to be hungry again, not only do I believe her, I understand her. Vivien Leigh's Scarlett , is one of greatest , most moving and varied , performance I've ever seen on the screen. A touchstone of great melodramatic acting. Rhett Butler is played by Clark Gable, a mustached, cocky, manly actor. Although Scarlett is the center of the film, Gable's intensity matches Leigh's. His ego seems to be competing with hers, physically wrestling hers on the screen. Their energy and passion rise up to meet the gigantic film. The supporting characters are lovely, too, especially Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel as Scarlett's Mammy. She steals every scene she's in with her explosive line readings, and her compassion. Five-time Oscar nominee Olivia de Havilland's performance as the moral fiber of society, was absolutely compelling and as beautiful as see is.

Olivia de Havilland


Vivien Leigh , Hattie McDaniel


Tremendously impressive cinematic experience. From the amazing performances to Fleming's incredible direction and awe-inspiring images and music. This is a film that deserves to be experienced.
"Gone With the Wind" 10/10



Trivia about Gone With the Wind:
The four principal stars were billed in this order: Clark Gable, followed by Leslie Howard (as Scarlett's obsessive love, the glum Ashley Wilkes) and Olivia de Havilland (as sweet Melanie Wilkes, Ashley's cousin), and then Vivien Leigh last with "...and presenting" -- that is, until she won the Oscar and it was changed to "starring."

The film (originally rough-cut at 6 hours in length) was challenging in its making, due to its controversial subject matter (including rape, drunkenness, moral dissipation and adultery) and its epic qualities, with more than 50 speaking roles and 2,400 extras.

Adjusted for inflation, no movie can match the $3.7 billion haul that Gone with the Wind's $390 million box-office receipts since its 1939 release would be worth in today's dollars. The film currently remains the box-office (Champ). Yes More Than #2. 1. Avengers: Endgame (2019). Box office: $2.796 billion.

A nationwide casting search for an actress to play the Southern belle Scarlett resulted in the hiring of young British actress Vivien Leigh, although over 30 other well-known actresses had been tested or considered including: Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, Susan Hayward, Loretta Young, Carole Lombard, Paulette Goddard, Margaret Sullavan, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Lana Turner, Joan Bennett, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, Jean Arthur, and Lucille Ball. In all, 1,400 actresses were interviewed for the part of Scarlett O'Hara, and 400 performed audition-readings. Although MGM star Clark Gable was expected to play the role of the dashing Charlestonian war profiteer Rhett Butler, Errol Flynn, Ronald Colman, and Gary Cooper were also considered for the part.

The landmark film received tremendous accolades, more than any previous films to date: thirteen nominations and eight (competitive) Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming - the only credited director), Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), a posthumous Best Screenplay (Sidney Howard, along with collaborative assistance from Edwin Justin Mayer, John Van Druten, Ben Hecht, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jo Swerling) - the first post-humous winner of its kind, Best Color Cinematography, Best Interior Decoration, Best Film Editing, and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel - the first time an African-American had been nominated and honored) and two honorary plaques, one for production designer William Cameron Menzies for the "use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood," and the other a technical production award for Don Musgrave for "pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment."

Many of the five nominations that lost were unexpected: Best Actor (Clark Gable who lost to Robert Donat for Goodbye, Mr. Chips), Best Supporting Actress (Olivia de Havilland who was competing against co-star Hattie McDaniel), Best Sound Recording, Best Original Score (Max Steiner), and Best Special Effects. Its record of a total of ten Academy Awards wins held firm until 1959, when Ben-Hur (1959) won eleven Oscars. It was phenomenal that Gone With the Wind did so well, given that 1939 boasted some of the greatest American films ever made, including Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and Stagecoach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Exorcist (1973)
Theatre Cinema Showing
The Version You've Never Seen: Directors Cut 2:40



The first horror film to be nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Director:William Friedkin
Writers:William Peter Blatty (written for the screen by), William Peter Blatty (novel)
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair ,Lee J. Cobb , Kitty Winn, Jason Miller, Jack MacGowran
174663

The Exorcist. One of the most iconic horror films was surrounded by terrifying incidents – including nine deaths from the cast and crew, actor Max Von Sydrow and Linda Blair both dealt with deaths in their families while filming, and Jack McGowan, who played Burke Dennings, died of flu complications.

Director Martin Scorsese placed The Exorcist on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time. Directors Stanley Kubrick and Robert Eggers placed The Exorcist as one of their favorite films. In 2008, the film was selected by Empire as one of The 500 Greatest Movies Ever Made. It was also placed on a similar list of 1000 films by The New York Times. American Film Institute list The Exorcist at number 3 : The 100 Most Thrilling American Films .

"The Exorcist" is one the most disturbing and terrifying films ever made; moviegoers were passing out and bolting from their seats and running from the theater because of the film's intensity when it was first released. I remember my mother would go to the neighbors for 'bridge card' night once a week . I was about 13 and did not need a sitter. I was off my leash and would watch TV unsupervised. I will never forget watching "The Exorcist" on TV censored . But that did not matter it scared the hell out of me. I still remember to this day the censored line " Your Mother sews Socks that Smell ".



"The Exorcist" was first released, the concept of demonic possession was something new for audiences to digest. The film pushed the limits of what was acceptable to be shown to audiences.The visceral language the imagery included a desecrated statue of the Virgin Mary, a young girl urinating on a carpet in front of dinner guests and that is the mild stuff .

Director William Friedkin was bold enough to take the film where few filmmakers would have the courage to go, thus making the film unforgettable. Special Effects . The makeup of the possessed child is something you can't un-see; it's so unsettling in how it personifies the face of evil. Such realistic effects for the movie that it would be hard to see how computer generated effects of today could even compete. "The Exorcist" feels less like a movie and more like a true-life event being captured on film.

Mercedes McCambridge . The voice from hell. She provided the demonic voice of the possessed child, and her performance is one of the key factors that makes the movie so terrifying. I will never forget her voice acting as I watched as a youth it is still as frightening 46 years later. This film it gets under my skin ."The Exorcist" is full of so many unsettling moments and based on a real-life exorcism of Roland Doe .We have William Peter Blatty to thank for bringing the tale to the masses. For me ; "The Exorcist" remains the scariest movie ever made and one of the finest films I have ever seen. 10/10
Pazuzu's Face
More about the A new edition, labeled "The version you've never seen" was released on September 22, 2000 and includes the following additions and changes.

Friedkin claims that he had originally intended the excised material to be in the picture, but that the studio balked at its lengthy run-time and asked for him to cut it down. He removed the material he felt was unnecessary then, but claims that this newly revamped version is the one he always intended - and it's his favorite.

A slightly different opening, which shows the MacNeil's home in Georgetown, then cuts to the opening titles.

The scene where Chris MacNeil screams on the phone includes a new music cue and omits the line "I've been on this
Spoiler
F__ing
line for 20 minutes!" and simply cuts to the next scene.

I personally think Ellen Burstyn should have won 1974 Best actress Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist (1973)

A new scene with Regan at the hospital receiving treatment to diagnose her "unusual" behavior. The doctor tells Chris MacNeil that Regan told him to "keep his hands away from her Goddamn c--t." This scene sets up her bizarre behavior earlier and clarifies the scene where Chris tells Regan "it's just like the doctor said, it's just nerves. You just take your pills and you'll be fine"

The party scene removes the shot of Regan laughing with the guests, obviously because of her "unusual" behavior in the previous scene.

In the scene where Chris returns home and the lights go out, new digital effects including satanic faces and images of the statue, new sound effects, and music have been added to the scene. However in the blu-ray version, re-titled "Extended Director's Cut", one effect of the demon Pazuzu's face appearing on Regan's door has been removed.

The "spider-walk" scene has been restored and digitally altered from the original scene. Here, crude wires from the scene have been digitally removed, she comes down the stairs much faster, and a second take with her mouth is full of blood was used instead of a serpent tongue. It then cuts to black, and the next scene opens.

Before she grabs the psychiatrist's crotch, a new digital effect of her face morphing into the devil(which is seen in subliminal cuts throughout)including a new growl has been added.
A new music cue has been added to the scene with Lt. Kinderman and Father Karras.

After Father Karras leaves for the night, a new scene of him examining a tape of Regan trying to talk to her dad has been added and a new music cues ties the new scene and the scene of Father Karras at the mass together.


New scenes with Sharon trying to tune out the devil groans and a short moment with Chris MacNeil and Father Merrin(which hints his vulnerability and weakness) have been added.

A new music cue has been added to the scene with Father Karras and Father Merrin going up the stairs to perform the exorcism, and a short scene has been added before they enter the room. Father Damien asks Chris MacNeil what Regan's middle name is. She tells him it's Theresa, and he says "what a lovely name."
The scene with Father Karras and Father Merrin talking on the stairs (which was included on the 25th Anniversary DVD) has been restored.

When Father Karras looks up at the window when he's possessed, a new digital effect with Karras' mother's face has been added, and the scene includes the "subtle morph effect" that was included on the 25th anniversary edition DVD.

When Chris MacNeil gives Father Dyer Father Karras' medal, he gives it back to her and says "I think you should keep it", instead of simply keeping it as in the original version. A new short scene of Regan smiling and waving at Father Dyer as they drive away and Father Dyer waving back has been added.

The original ending with Father Dyer and Lt. Kinderman has been restored. The 'tubular bells' music cue plays over them walking away, and it ends before Lt. Kinderman can say quote "Casablanca", "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Director: Fred M. Wilcox (as Fred McLeod Wilcox) Writers: Cyril Hume (screen play) Music by Louis and Bebe Barron Cinematography: George J. Folsey Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen Earl Holliman, Robby the Robot

Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet,Forbidden Planet combines great B-movie acting and romance with eerie and intelligent science fiction into the genre's best of its time. The premise is largely taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest, albeit moving it into space - more precisely to the planet Altair-4 - it resembles the earth, but has a green sky and violet ground. The special effects and miniatures are fantastic. It was the first science-fiction film in color . The film's special effects were nominated for an Academy Award. Even today we can still be amazed at just how realistic the battle scenes with the unseen force seem to be.

First mainstream film to have the music performed entirely by electronic instruments. Filmed on the same stage as The Wizard of Oz (1939) 17 years earlier; the set of Altaira's garden is a reuse of the Munchkin Village set.



While plenty of previous science-fiction films had earthlings exploring other worlds, this was the first sci-fi film to be set entirely on a foreign planet. While there are plenty of outdoor sequences in the film, all of them were shot indoors on a studio sound stage, while many exterior landscape shots are comprised of colorful and detailed matte paintings.


The performances of the cast were very solid and they played characters we can relate to and care about Leslie Nielsen made his motion picture debut in Forbidden Planet. His strongest performance in the film featured him forcing Dr. Morbius to confront the evil within himself

Walter Pigeon who plays Dr. Morbius gives a convincing performance as a character torn apart by and at war with the horrors of the recesses of his own mind

Ann Francis who plays Altaira is the only female in the film but is able to effortlessly capture the attention of all males both on and off screen with her on-screen beauty, and innocence.




The cook played by Earl Holliman is a great comic character, providing the right touch of comic relief in an otherwise quite weighty and dark film.


Of course, Robby the Robot stands as a character in his own right and is more than just a stilted mechanical contraption with legs. Robby displays a definite personality and often seems more human than many of the other characters. Robby has appeared in Twilight Zone and Lost In Space.


Great American science fiction film of the fifties.The film deserves its reputation.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They Live by Night (1948)
Turner Classic Movies



Director: Nicholas Ray Writers: Charles Schnee (screenplay), Nicholas Ray (adaptation) Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger

Crime, Film-Noir, Romance. An early, nearly-forgotten picture from the director of "Rebel Without a Cause". Film noir's version of Romeo and Juliet, made with amazing conviction by Nicholas Ray. A smart, soulful film full of evocative details, including a wonderfully intricate soundtrack.


Nicholas Ray's directorial debut, They Live by Night, is a romantic melodrama with the stylistic identity of a classic noir film. One part of it is dedicated to the evolution of the romantic relationship between two young people . The other part of the film, however, refuses to accept them as a 'normal' couple. It sees them as doomed renegades that are attracted to each other only because they are desperately trying to break free from their past.

Cathy O'Donnell is all but forgotten, but here gives a nearly Oscar-caliber performance, extremely convincing and appealing as a naive bride.

Cathy O'Donnell absolutely stunning



Superb Nicholas Ray film , I found it authentic & convincing , which is always so appreciated. Farley Granger & Cathy O'Donnell are the driving force in this "dark" plight against pretty impossible odds as two young "rather blind" lovers on the run. 9/10

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

A story of Christ: One of Hollywood's greatest Epics .

Ben-Hur (1959) Record-breaking winner of 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Score, this epic masterpiece stars Charlton Heston ("The Ten Commandments," "Touch of Evil") in the title role of a rebellious Israelite Jew who takes on the Roman Empire during the time of Christ. Featuring one of the most famous action sequences of all time -- the breathtaking chariot race. Directed by Oscar-winner William Wyler ("Mrs. Miniver," "The Best Years of Our Lives"). Recently selected as one of the top 100 American films of all time by the prestigious American Film Institute.

Human Drama, Grand Spectacle, Moving Divinity. Ben-Hur has many of my favorite actors of all time . Namely Charlton Heston, Cathy O'Donnell The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), They Live by Night (1948). William Wyler's Ben-Hur is one of the greatest epics in cinematic history. The film changed the medium forever and is a stunning accomplishment in film. Ben-Hur is a masterful piece of cinema that combines action and drama. The performances delivered by the actors are flawless and the film is powerful, exciting and of course epic in scope.

Cathy O'Donnell


Ben-Hur has some of the most iconic scenes ever put on film. Most notably the chariot race, which is a behemoth of excitement and superbly well staged, and is one of the most iconic scenes in Ben-Hur, not to mention in cinematic history. Ben-Hur is a film that is grand, epic and too big for words. This is an exciting, well acted film. Though Ben-Hur has some religious overtones, it doesn't overdo it, and it manages to be fairly limited in its content. The film is a standout piece of cinema that blends drama and action beautifully and will satisfy people who enjoy grand cinematic epics. Ben-Hur remains the film of which all grand sword and sandal epics are judged upon. With a great cast, a majestic score, stellar action and dramatic sequences, Ben-Hur's place in the cinematic medium is assured.


Ben-Hur still ranks among Hollywood's finest examples of pure entertainment. 10/10

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THE WIZARD OF OZ
3D Blu-Ray
174664

This film is beyond classic that fully lives up to its status . The Wizard of Oz remains the weirdest, scariest, kookiest, most haunting story made. This Technicolor extravaganza contains such trippy imagery . Most of us first saw Wizard as children, but I, for one, appreciate it much more as an adult. I see flaws in most of the films I liked as a child but look back on as a grown up. Many of them can be enjoyed only for their nostalgia value. When I re-watch Wizard, I realize that as a kid I didn't have the full set of tools to enjoy it properly. The film has an enduring impression on me.

Adapted from L. Frank Baum's timeless children's tale about a Kansas girl's journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz opened at Grauman's Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939.

Director: George Cukor and King Vidor and Mervyn LeRoy and Norman Taurog and Victor Fleming

Starring: Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, Frank Morgan, Jack Haley, Judy Garland, Ray Bolger

"Over the Rainbow" was nearly cut from the film; MGM felt that it made the Kansas sequence too long, as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended.

The song "Over the Rainbow" was ranked # 1 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.


Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.

The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.

The "tornado" was a 35-foot-long muslin stocking, spun around among miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields in a dusty atmosphere.

Dorothy's iconic red slippers now live at the Smithsonian Institution, and are so popular that the carpet in front of the attraction has had to be replaced numerous times due to wear and tear.

A recent study claimed that this is the most watched movie in film history, largely due to the number of television screenings each year as well as the various video/DVD/Blu-ray/4K releases, which have enabled children of every and all generations to see it.

Many of The Wicked Witch of the West's scenes were either trimmed or deleted entirely, as Margaret Hamilton's performance was thought to be too frightening for audiences.


Judy Garland found it difficult to be afraid of Margaret Hamilton, because she was such a nice lady off-camera.


It took upwards of 12 takes to have Toto run alongside the actors as they skipped down the yellow brick road.

Terry (Toto) was stepped on by one of the witch's guards, and had a double for two weeks. A second double was obtained, because it resembled Toto more closely. Judy Garland very much wanted to adopt Terry after the two spent so much time together shooting the film. Unfortunately, the owner of the dog wouldn't give her up, and Terry went on to a long career in films. She died in 1945 and was buried in her trainer's yard.



The Munchkins troupe came from Europe, many of them were Jewish and a number of them took advantage of the trip to stay in the US in order to escape the Nazis. Professional singers dubbed most of their voices, as many of them couldn't speak English and or sing well.

The Munchkins were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November, 2007.


The movie's line "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" was voted as the #99 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" was #4. "There's no place like home." was # 23 .

Besides "The Jitterbug" being completely cut, other songs were trimmed. "Lions and tigers and bears (oh my!)" was a song rather than just a chant. The lion's "If I Only Had the Nerve" was longer, and the Scarecrow had a long dance sequence in "If I Only Had a Brain."

The Cowardly Lion's facial makeup included a brown paper bag. Bert Lahr couldn't eat without ruining his makeup. Tired of eating soup and milkshakes, he decided to eat lunch and have his makeup redone daily :)




Jersey Jack Pinball, Inc - The Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Big Sky (TV Series)
ABC/ HULU

Big Sky 2020 T.V. show is over- the - top ! My eyes are rolling so far in the back of my head I'm giving myself vertigo. But still I find myself enjoying this madness of television !! I mean it's rather brilliant how The Writers come up with this insanity. And I am loving them for it .....

We have a politically incorrect psycho sheriff John Carroll Lynch (who has definitely seen the film "Deliverance" more than once) the way he uses his bow and arrows.

A truck stop hooker Jesse James Keitel (who looks like he/she? dropped in from the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) rocking one hell of a tenor/alto? voice.

Two Super Model Private Investigators Katheryn Winnick, Kylie Bunbury . Who gave us one hell of an epic cat fight scene love triangle thingamajigs.

We have two sisters one is a walking encyclopedia Jade Pettyjohn , the other one Natalie Alyn Lind is doing her best to be a Veronica Lake look alike and doing a fine job of it. They are both good actors to boot.

A mother and son duo Brian Geraghty , Valerie Mahaffey inspired right out of Hitchcock's Psycho. Norma Bates (Mother) was a domineering mother who emotionally abused her only son, Norman.

Now there is a plot and story in here some where ? But I really don't care all that much what it is. The show is so crazy over-the-top it's actually compelling and fun to watch . I am enjoying this ride so far . Hopefully it will stay bat-**** crazy and true to its establish form up to this up to this juncture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Gangster (1947)
Turner Classic Movies

Director: Gordon Wiles
Writers: Daniel Fuchs (story "Low Company"), Daniel Fuchs (screenplay)
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Belita, Joan Lorring

Film noir soap opera ....
The Gangster, a raw, bitter portrait of a racketeer. Shubunka is the self-made head of the rackets in the sleazy boardwalk community of Neptune City, a low-rent version of Coney Island. He has become infatuated with a sultry nightclub chanteuse and lavishes her with gifts and attention, spending money on her that might better go to maintaining his hold on his operation. His obsession with her, as well as his pride, clouds his judgment as Cornell, a much more ruthless hoodlum, moves in on Shubunka's territory, bribes and threatens his associates, and compromises his operation. As if in a Greek tragedy, the petty gangster's weaknesses conspire to cause his downfall.
Belita , Barry Sullivan and, Harry Morgan in The Gangster (1947)
Belita had gorgeous legs that went on for days

This film is offbeat, with a psychological focus that's full of glorious theatrical melodrama it's certainly compelling. It's also certainly a film noir, with its seamy portrayal of doomed underworld characters and a fine supporting cast of noir stalwarts including Akim Tamiroff, Henry Morgan, Charles McGraw, and Elisha Cook, Jr. (Keep a lookout for Shelley Winters as a cashier.)
Early role for , Shelley Winters

The actress known as Belita (birth name: Maria Belita Jepson-Turner) was a professional ice skater brought to Hollywood to try and replicate the success of another European skater, Sonja Henie. While Belita did make a few ice skating films such as Ice-Capades (1941) and Silver Skates (1943), she wound up perhaps better remembered by movie fans for her acting roles in her low-budget noirs (though in Suspense, she also skates!).

With the The effective musical score , heavy dramatic and sharp gritty script , first class cinematography that crates a dreamlike atmosphere; A downbeat ending 'for the books' in this movie that is like a pulp novel come to life. It all jives and really works in the film's favor. Excellent offbeat film noir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Orphan (2009)
Blu-ray


Director:Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers:David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (screenplay) (as David Leslie Johnson), Alex Mace (story)
Stars:Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt Esther a 9-year-old Russian orphan girl who seem to be the perfect child at first glance. Esther is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Once in awhile a film will come out that tries to be different and put out an original story. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra has done just that with feature film Orphan. While this sub-genre of horror usually means some sort of demonic-possession or some sort of mental or genetic abnormality causing for their psychotic or sociopath behavior, in Orphan an interesting reason was given to the nature of it's titular character.
12-year-old Isabelle Fuhrmann (in 2009) does an excellent job portraying the sociopath and manipulative Esther. It is difficult to believe that a child actor of her age able to tackle such a dark role and actually pull it off without making the character too over-the-top or campy. In fact, no matter how one thinks of the performances of the rest of the film's cast (Very attractive Vera Farmiga is particularly convincing as Kate, a caring mother and loving wife with evident depth with Sarsgaard turning in an above average performance as the hapless and clueless husband) this film is totally Isabelle Fuhrmann's and she sticks the landing. Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut would have approved of Furmann's form :) .


Orphan tackles some complex issues that add depth. The film builds great suspense with some eye-opening disturbing violence consisting of successful and attempted murders, while others are injured and self-mutilation occurs. Various scenes of that have bloody results. Orphan is the Real McCoy for horror-hound.

Well made, well Acted, surprisingly great horror-thriller! Orphan is a cut above most spooky-kid movies, with a twist that sets it apart. 8/10
Spoiler

 

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Orphan (2009)
Blu-ray


Director:Jaume Collet-Serra
Writers:David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (screenplay) (as David Leslie Johnson), Alex Mace (story)
Stars:Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt Esther a 9-year-old Russian orphan girl who seem to be the perfect child at first glance. Esther is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Once in awhile a film will come out that tries to be different and put out an original story. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra has done just that with feature film Orphan. While this sub-genre of horror usually means some sort of demonic-possession or some sort of mental or genetic abnormality causing for their psychotic or sociopath behavior, in Orphan an interesting reason was given to the nature of it's titular character.
12-year-old Isabelle Fuhrmann (in 2009) does an excellent job portraying the sociopath and manipulative Esther. It is difficult to believe that a child actor of her age able to tackle such a dark role and actually pull it off without making the character too over-the-top or campy. In fact, no matter how one thinks of the performances of the rest of the film's cast (Very attractive Vera Farmiga is particularly convincing as Kate, a caring mother and loving wife with evident depth with Sarsgaard turning in an above average performance as the hapless and clueless husband) this film is totally Isabelle Fuhrmann's and she sticks the landing. Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut would have approved of Furmann's form :) .


Orphan tackles some complex issues that add depth. The film builds great suspense with some eye-opening disturbing violence consisting of successful and attempted murders, while others are injured and self-mutilation occurs. Various scenes of that have bloody results. Orphan is the Real McCoy for horror-hound.

Well made, well Acted, surprisingly great horror-thriller! Orphan is a cut above most spooky-kid movies, with a twist that sets it apart. 8/10
Spoiler

I also recently watched this film, I was very surprised by the ending and how it turned out. But this is not a scary movie. yes, it's "horror" genre or kind of, but do not expect to be scared! enjoyed the nice story, atmosphere, and the acting was great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Barbara Stanwyck is terrific in any film. She could do it all. I love seeing Barbara Stanwyck do comedy.

Director:Peter Godfrey
Writers:Lionel Houser (screenplay), Adele Comandini (screenplay) (as Adele Commandini) |
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet ,S.Z. Sakall


This is a screwball comedy disguised as a Christmas movie. Excellent screwball comedy. 8/10


War hero Dennis Morgan becomes the object of a publicity stunt staged by magazine publisher Sidney Greenstreet. The corpulent print mogul announces that Morgan has won a Christmas dinner, to be prepared by the magazine's housekeeping expert Barbara Stanwyck in her own Connecticut home. The catch: Not only does Stanwyck not have a home in Connecticut, but she's never been in a kitchen in her life! She also doesn't have a husband (as her articles claim), so Stanwyck's previous beau Reginald Gardiner is pressed into service as the hubby. As for the cooking, that will be handled by master chef S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall. This solves everything, right? No way José . Long dismissed as a lesser film farce, Christmas in Connecticut has its own irresistible charm, and has in recent years become a perennial Christmas viewing attraction for my household.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pandora
and
the

Flying Dutchman
(1951)

Blu-Ray

Absorbing , dreamlike and beautiful. This rare film was stupendous !

Director:
Albert Lewin
Writer:Albert Lewin (story and screenplay: suggested by the Legend of The Flying Dutchman)
Stars: James Mason, Ava Gardner

Pandora and the flying Dutchman is told as a flashback. When the movie starts two bodies are discovered on the beach after a big storm.
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman stars Ava Gardner as the siren of a small Spanish town, the type of woman men kill and die for. She has never fallen for anyone until the arrival of the mysterious James Mason, the actual Flying Dutchman condemned to sail the seas until he finds a woman who would die for him.


If you perhaps feel that there is a deeper-dimension to this story than the tale of two lovers, then the tale of the Flying Dutchman will begin to resonate for you. It is the absence of trust which provoked the murder of the Dutch Captain's wife and it is his quest for redemption and forgiveness because of this misjudgment that creates and carries the story.


The story becomes a magical, thought provoking melding of the legend of the Flying Dutchman and eternal love. We are guided through the story by one of the characters - Geoffrey Fielding (Harold Warrender) - who provides some background and commentary about the story. James Mason and Ava Gardiner were at the peak of their careers when making this film and, although it may not seem likely, they are well cast as lovers. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman is a beautiful film, dreamlike in the words of Martin Scorsese. Ava Gardner cast a spell .

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ball of Fire (1941)
HBOMAX / DVD/ TCM

Director : Howard Hawks. Screenwriters Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oscar Homolka, Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea, Sakall, Richard Haydn, Henry Travers, Tully Marshall, Gene Krupa.

The story is pretty silly (inspired by "Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs", really); A group of dorky professors are writing an encyclopedia, and English Professor Cooper decides he needs more information on Slang. In his quest for current jive talk he meets Barbara Stanwyck, as a too-lively singer/gang moll. She takes advantage of his invitation to discuss verbiage to use his ivory tower as a hideout, and moves in with the professors. She quickly decides to stay, then to have her way with Coop , and then falls....

Great screwball comedy with Cooper and Stanwyck in top form. Barbara Stanwyck is awe striking gorgeous for the part of Sugarpuss O'Shea. Shooting out words at a mile a minute and charming not only Cooper, but a whole cast of excellent character actors.


Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Haydn, Oskar Homolka, Leonid Kinskey, Tully Marshall, Aubrey Mather, S.Z. Sakall, and Henry Travers in Ball of Fire (1941)

Sugarpuss O'Shea is a typically strong Hawks female character who overwhelms the film's hero with her flamboyant manners. The name Sugarpuss suggests something that is alluring and sweet. The inspiration for the person of Sugarpuss O'Shea was Mistress of Bugsy Siegal, Virginia "Sugar" Hill. Sugarpuss O'Shea bar none is the most alluring female character in a Howard Hawks movie. The Kind of Woman Who Makes Entire Civilizations Topple.

Ball of Fire(1941) comprises of some fine cinematography by Gregg Toland. Watch for Gene Krupa an American jazz drummer, band leader and composer known for his energetic style and showmanship in the night club scene, leading his band in 'Drum Boogie' !!

The classic screwball comedy that was extremely popular during the decades of the 1930s and 1940s. Ball of Fire(1941) is part of Howard Hawks screwball comedy period when he contributed to the sub genre with comical and witty portrayals of everyday life. Lighthearted and sentimental romantic comedy that belongs to an era when films were done a certain way. Ball of Fire(1941) puts smiles on faces with priceless moments of laughter.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Directed by Roy Rowland. Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Margaret O'Brien, James Craig, Frances Gifford, Agnes Moorehead, Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins. Cinematography Robert Surtees Written by Dalton Trumbo

The film explores grand childhood adventures: making friends, a pet calf, Christmas, a terrifying trip down a flood-swollen river, a barn fire and a ride on a circus elephant's trunk.
This was a very heart warming movie. I had never heard of this film, but I do like Margaret O'Brian and so I decided to watch it. A Norwegian farmer (Robinson) lovingly raises his daughter ( O'Brain) in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.

The great Edward G. Robinson once again shows his range (was there any kind of role that man couldn't play??, as Margaret O'Brien's kind, understanding Norwegian father. Second billed behind star Edward G. Robinson is Margaret O'Brien. Margaret O'Brien, who is an absolute delight to watch. There have been some great child actresses, but not many better and more natural than her.
On Christmas Day, at her church, Selma (Margaret O'Brien) gives a moving recitation of the story of the Nativity. Absolutely charming.

.Edward G. Robinson, Agnes Moorehead, and Margaret O'Brien

Agnes Moorehead also shows what a capable player she is in playing Robinson's wife and O'Brien's mother. I'm sure she was grateful for not playing an evil woman for a change.

The movie's a surprisingly engaging rumination on rural life in Wisconsin, circa 1945. Maybe that doesn't sound entertaining, but MGM's expertise in family fare manage to make the 100-minutes both charming and thoughtful. A real slice of life from a world gone by . 9/10
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.

Director:Doug Liman
Writers:Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay by), Jez Butterworth
Stars:Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Tom Hardy


Doug Liman (director) and his editor makes the learning process funny, engaging, yet they never forget to show the audience how horrible war really is--aliens or not . The action scenes are fast paced and blistering – the Mimics are an unstoppable force of sci-fi cinema and the beach battles are brilliantly rendered .

Tom Cruise is excellent in the role – it is refreshing to see him as a smug pathetic coward who grows into an action hero. I have to hand it to Cruise he is a talented actor and stunt man.

Stunning
Emily Blunt matches Cruise every step of the way as his trainer and love interest. Blunt who clearly spent a lot of time in the gym whilst preparing for her character of battle hardened soldier Rita, nicknamed Full Metal B***h. She is truly impressive in this film. And who doesn't enjoy a dose of Bill Paxton? ! The rest of the cast is excellent (Tom Hardy), the music rocks. Must say the special effects and cinematography are out standing and quite effective.
Edge of Tomorrow, chocked full of action, explosions, aliens weapons , it is entirely refreshing to see a big budget Hollywood blockbuster that isn't a sequel, re-boot or comic book adaption. Great popcorn cinema, really enjoyed this one !

 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What does Black Snake Moan mean? Personal demons As explained in the bonus features on the DVD, the "Black Snake Moan" represents personal demons - the "voice that won't go away."
A God-fearing blues-man Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson),takes to a wild young woman Rae (Christina Ricci) who, as a victim of childhood abuse, has become the town tramp she looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.

This is an unusually bold film, but it's also a morality tale. Christina Ricci wears little but a pair of skimpy white underpants as Rae, a properly mixed up Tennessee gal who has an insatiable urge for sex. Lazarus, a local farmer (Samuel L. Jackson), with gold capped teeth, grey hair and woolly beard, has his own problems.

When Lazarus finds Rae lying unconscious from drugs, alcohol and abuse near his property, he takes her in. "God seen fit as to put you in my path and I'm going to take this wickedness out of you," he tells her, wrapping a thick industrial chain around her tiny waist, to keep her from running away. Deception, freedom and redemption all weave themselves into a moody tale that held my attention for most of the time, compounded by Ricci's stunning beauty, striking performance and waif-like appearance.

Ricci is like a wild cat in heat as she struggles to free herself from the heavy chain. Her performance is incredibly fierce and free. It is reminiscent of Ida Lupino's bold, performance as a crazed women who looses her mind in 1940's 'They Drive by Night' or Elizabeth Taylor's performance in a Taming of the Shrew. Christina Ricci's performance is unbridled and gritty. What I would give to have a conversation with her and pick her brain about how Christina prepared to dive so emotionally deep to give such a raw and unflinching performance . She is a first rate actress.

Delightfully outrageous, Black Snake Moan is an explosive mixture of sex, race,and redemption in the Deep South. It may be one of the most peculiar films I have seen recently. I love the way that both Samuel Jackson and Christina Ricci take chances pushing the boundaries of the content with there no- holds- bar acting chops. Such movies defy all categories and really need to be experienced for better or worse IMO. Any of you cats want to barrow my Blu-ray I will post it to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Director:Rudolph Maté
Writers:Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Edwin Balmer (novel)
Stars:Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen

This is an innovative, thought-provoking science fiction film. One of the best classic films out of the 50's . Astronomers discover two planets coming Earth's way that will destroy our planet. Time is needed to do the unthinkable: create a rocket ship that will fly 40 or so people to one of the planets passing by to keep the legacy of mankind alive.

The end of the world, George Pal-style! Pal who brought us The War of the Worlds, but this picture, When Worlds Collide, is an earlier and much more comprehensive tale of planetary destruction! Right from the start this stands out from other 1950s sci-fi spectaculars with great production value and terrific film score.


The film is filled great characters and just the right amount of melodrama. The rocket-ship itself was designed by respected space artist Chesley Bonestell with the emphasis on realism, and Gordon Jennings and his team of special effects experts justifiably won an Oscar for their work on When Worlds Collide with George Pal at the helm .


It's a fine disaster picture, a classic for any Sci-fi film enthusiast. Excellent picture .

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Blu-Ray


Director:
Vincent Gallo
Writers:
Vincent Gallo (original story), Vincent Gallo (screenplay)
Stars:
Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rourke , Rosanna Arquette , Jan-Michael Vincent , Anjelica Huston

This movie is pure art, plain and simple. Even if the movie might not be to your taste (a lot of people don't like this film at all, and they find it boring and meaningless). Hopefully one can agree it is really nice to know that there was once a time and place when American Independent Cinema really had a heart and soul and it is in full exhibition here. Classification avant-garde.

Vincent Gallo wrote the story and screen play, directed the film, and was the main star. Vincent Gallo fresh out of a five-year prison stint who really needs to take a leak but can't find a bathroom anywhere.



Easily one of the best contemporary actresses ever, Christina Ricci (who plays Layla), enters and is literally kidnapped by Vincent's character. This happens realistically, with a dark sense of humor-- (in a building where he almost finds a toilet), brings her to his family and poses her as his wife. We then get a wonderful half-hour of the biggest generation gap in history in which Gallo, Ricci and his parents, Angelica Huston and Ben Gazzara, have the most complicated anti-bonding dinner in ever.

This indie gem is downright brilliant with wonderful imagery, antique film stock, strategically placed camera-angles and split screens that all work to embody the dreamlike... or rather... nightmarish quality. Also, needing to be mentioned it the soundtrack of this movie which personally I believe to be among the best, featuring original music from writer, director and star Vincent Gallo as well as prog-rock artists like Yes and King Crimson. Buffalo '66 is an exceptional film IMO.

Interesting cinematography note: Buffalo '66 was shot on a Reversal stock that the NFL used to use to film games back in the 1970s. It was out of production and Gallo's production gathered all they could to shoot the film and give it it's gorgeous wintery palette.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Director:
Richard Fleischer
Writers:
Stanley R. Greenberg (screenplay), Harry Harrison (novel)
Stars:
Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young





2022 and Earth is in dire condition. Natural resources have been exhausted and food is largely provided by Soylent, a company that makes packaged meals from plankton. Against this backdrop we meet Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston), a police homicide detective. His latest case is the murder of William R Simonson, an executive at Soylent.


This 1973 film, based on the novel by Harry Harrison, won a Nebula Award for "Best Science Fiction Film" and marks the final screen appearance of Edward G. Robinson. Original, clever, ahead-of-its-time thriller. Great plot, well directed. Charlton Heston raises his acting to put in a good performance. Best performance on show, however, is from Edward G Robinson, as Sol.


It is amazing the environmental picture this movie paints, as it was made in 1973, before anyone worried about global warming etc. This was Edward G Robinson's 101st film he died of cancer nine days after shooting was complete. To watch Edward G Robinson in his last film is worth the price of admission.

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA 1975
[Winner


 
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