Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Reza
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:30 pm

The Great Sinner (Robert Siodmak, 1949) 9/10

Superb MGM production has a distinguished cast, a screenplay by Christopher Isherwood (based on the "The Gambler" by Fyodor Dostoevsky) which Siodmak films like a noir with a doomed fatalistic sensibility steeped in religiosity - the scene at the end inside the church is like an expressionist painting come to life courtesy of George Folsey's magnificent cinematography. A writer (Gregory Peck), dazzled by the beauty of a woman (Ava Gardner) on a train, follows her into town and discovers that she and her father (Walter Huston) are both addicted to gambling. They are in deep debt to the casino owner (Melvyn Douglas) who wants the young lady and gets her when her father wills her away to him to pay off his debts. The gallant writer hits the roulette table, wins a fortune and pays back the lady's debt only to fall prey to gambling fever losing everything - his money, his writing, his dignity and soul. Superbly acted film has possibly one of Peck's most outstanding performances as he goes from being in love to utter degradation as he lies, cheats and almost reaches the point of murdering the seedy pawn shop owner (Agnes Moorehead). The delightful Ethel Barrymore plays "Grandmother" who also manages to get the "fever" and like another elderly patron (Frank Morgan) finds salvation. There was nobody more beautiful in Hollywood than Ava Gardner. She is ravashing here and gives a lovely performance of great delicacy. The film does a great job of capturing the frenzy of gambling fever - the casino as a metaphor for hell - which was replicated (maybe as an homage) many years later by Jacques Demy in "La baie des anges". One of Siodmak's best films and a must-see.

Reza
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:29 pm

My Forbidden Past (Robert Stevenson, 1951) 5/10

Stodgy but atmospheric soap opera set in New Orleans, a city steeped in false honour and strict class distinction. A young woman (Ava Gardner) is disuaded by her impoverished cousin (Melvyn Douglas) from running away with her doctor lover (Robert Mitchum) so she can instead marry a rich man. Sometime later she comes into an inheritance from her tainted grandmother and becomes the toast of society. When her lover returns with a wife in tow she bribes her cousin to seduce his wife leading to tragedy. Rather dull film has lovely Ava going through emotional turmoil with a wooden and bored Mitchum by her side. Douglas is a hoot as the immoral cad willing to do anything for a buck.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:29 pm

Hellcats of the Navy (Nathan Juran, 1957) 6/10

Old fashioned WWII heroics of the patriotic kind. A commander (Ronald Reagan) of a U.S. submarine takes on a dangerous mission to chart minefields in the Sea of Japan. Along the way he has to make instant decisions during the heat of battle which causes members of his crew to question him. Exciting battle scenes make this ride fun even if the screenplay has nothing new up its sleeve. B-film that made its debut at the bottom end of a double bill with a Randolph Scott western. Reagan is good and this was the only time he starred on screen with Nancy who stiffly plays a nurse and his love interest. Together they look exactly how they did years later at the White House except here she is dressed in a bland white nurse's uniform very far removed from the glamourous John Galanos outfits she wore as the "President" of the United States. Enjoyable film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:28 pm

Saturday Island / Island pf Desire (Stuart Heisler, 1952) 6/10

Two survivors from a ship destroyed by a stray mine in the South Pacific find their way to an island. After initial hostility wears down both find sex and love. May-December romance between a 30-something nurse (Linda Darnell) and a 20-something marine (Tab Hunter) gets a fly in the ointment when a RAF officer (Donald Gray) crash lands and comes between the two lovers leading to a highly improbable conclusion which censors of the time probably demanded. Stunning Ocho Rios in Jamaica substitutes for the Pacific island. This location near the falls would later become world famous as the place where Sean Connery (as James Bond in "Dr No") encounters the magnificent Ursula Andress rising up out of the sea. Darnell and Hunter make an equally alluring couple in this beautifully shot film by Oswald Morris.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:28 pm

The Corpse Came C.O.D. (Albert Levin, 1947) 6/10

Comedy-Mystery-Noir - a corpse arrives bundled in a box at the house of a Hollywood starlet (Adele Jergens) and two rival reporters (George Brent & Joan Blondell) turn detectives to solve the crime. It takes two more dead bodies for the mystery to be resolved. Tongue in cheek humour is more in line with the Hope-Crosby comedies with one liners zipping through this fast moving film although it's nothing but fluff. Brent has better chemistry with sultry Jergens than with Blondell and the endless slapstick begins to grate after a while and hinders the mystery plotline.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:28 pm

The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) 9/10

Despite a few clunky scenes - the opening set at the archaeological digs in Iraq - which suffer from pre-release cutting, the film pretty much holds up and delivers what it sets out to do. It captures the horror of William Peter Blatty's bestselling book. A 12 year old girl (Linda Blair) gets possessed and her distraught actress-mother (Ellen Burstyn) consults a priest (Jason Miller) who suggests an experienced old priest (the brilliant Max von Sydow) to perform an exorcist to drive out the devil. Meanwhile a cop (Lee J. Cobb) investigates the violent death of a film director (Jack MacGowran) who he thinks may have been pushed out of the kid's bedroom window. The film has many memorable creepy moments - the child's spider-like walk down the stairs, the vomit-in-the-face, masturbation with a crucifix, the deep voiced profanity (courtesy of actress Mercedes McCambridge), the evil grin followed by head spinning - all iconic images from the film. The film's final battle with the demon is a frontal assault which the film's director (along with his superb technicians - the sound and effects department and Owen Roizman's extraordinary cinematography) unleashes on the audience. It's pure unbridled horror. Unfortunately this film also unleashed a never ending supply of cheap imitations which continue to this day. The film, Friedkin, Burstyn, Miller, Blair, Roizman, the editing and the sets were nominated for Oscars winning two for its screenplay and sound design. Intense, terrifying film and a must-see on a big screen with an audience.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:27 pm

Cass Timberlane (George Sidney, 1947) 5/10

Glossy MGM soap opera based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis. Distinguished small-town judge (Spencer Tracy) falls in love with a young shop girl (Lana Turner) from the wrong side of the tracks. When they get married his country club-set friends disapprove with the wives (Mary Astor, Rose Hobart, Mona Barrie, Selena Royle, Josephine Hutchinson) especially vicious. Approving the match are his friend, fellow lawyer and the town cad (Zachary Scott) and former girlfriend (Margaret Lindsay). When their new born daughter dies the wife grows despondent, feels stifled by their gossipy friends and grows close to the cad which causes the couple to separate. Straightforward drama is nothing new plotwise with its twist due to class and age difference. Tracy and Turner are both very good - their second teaming together - in this rather routine Ross Hunter-like production.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

The Leisure Seeker (Paolo Virzí, 2017) 5/10

An elderly couple decide to take a cross country trip in their winnebego. He (Donald Sutherland) is a stuffy retired English professor with dementia setting in while she (Helen Mirren) is a gregarious southerner also suffering from an ailment that involves constant pill popping and nausea. The predictable screenplay uses old age issues for jokes which don't quite come off. Interesting to see Sutherland and Mirren reteam on the big screen after almost 20 years and both are very good. Old age is a bitch!!

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

Deadpool 2 (David Leitch, 2018) 4/10

What was charming, original and very funny in the original seems awfully contrived, boring and unfunny in this noisy sequel. Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), the mutant mercenary gets together a bunch of mutants and comes to the rescue of a young boy with supernatural abilities. Loud, obnoxious, over-the-top action sequences go on and on with the cast throwing witty one liners at each other. Josh Brolin plays a burly mutant - his second comic book appearance on the screen this year. Reynolds is a fine actor in need of a good vehicle in Hollywood. Enough with these comic book shenenigans on the screen. Let them remain on paper where the noise remains at silent level.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:26 pm

By Love Possessed (John Sturges, 1961) 2/10

Slow, talky and turgid story is based on a bestselling novel (absurdly nominated for the Pulitzer) so obviously gets a big screen Hollywood treatment as a vehicle for Lana Turner. She was then a hot property after a series of smash hit melodramas that began with the notorious "Peyton Place" in 1957 along with the scandal of the Stompanato murder. Unfortunately this film is devoid of the two important links which made a Lana Turner film a success - Ross Hunter the producer and Douglas Sirk the director. Without both the film lacks gloss and melodrama. Instead we have a bunch of very unhappy people aching for love but instead have to make do only with sex. The plot has all the right ingredients - there is alcoholism, adultery, rape and suicide but it's all very dull. A small town lawyer (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) is in a dull marriage to his boss's daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes). His partner (Jason Robards) and close friend has an equally troubled marriage - ever since an accident which made him limp he has also become impotent thus rejecting his over sexed wife (Lana Turner). This plot device allows adultery to creep in as a passionate one night stand between the noble lawyer and his friend's sex starved wife. The old boss (Thomas Mitchell) has troubles of his own - he is growing senile and may be siphoning money from the firm. Amongst the second generation is the lawyer's dissatisfied playboy son (George Hamilton) who is not only at odds with his father but also does not love the girl (Susan Kohner) everyone in town expects him to marry. He is more interested in sexual trysts one of which with the town tramp (Yvonne Craig) results with him on trial for rape causing a lot of consternation all around. The soapy plot is played out in an extremely lifeless manner - all the characters sit and talk and talk and talk - although the film has ample production values - lush cinematography by Russell Metty, a bombastic Elmer Bernstein score, antiseptic sets and Lana Turner in a series of prim but colorful costumes. The entire cast looks as if they were forced to be in the film - Zimbalist Jr. is bland. Lana looks bored, indignant and short changed as the film turns out not to be her vehicle but more of an ensemble piece. Robards and Bel Geddes - stage stars - barely have roles while Hamilton is stiff and self conscious throughout. Kohner is stuck with a tragic part and she blandly goes through the motions. Only Thomas Mitchell survives this mess playing a crotchety character with fire in his soul. The screenplay desperately needed to vamp up the campy and trashy aspects of the plot but comes up short. Skip this film.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Anders als die Andern / Different From Others (Richard Oswald, 1919) 8/10

Rare German silent film, written by the famous sexologist Magnum Hischfield, was destroyed by the Nazis. Later it was discovered to have survived because 50 minutes of it had been inserted and made part of a documentary which was found years later in a Russian vault. The film is a remarkable time capsule and a desperate plea for tolerance and change. A concert violinist (Conrad Veidt) falls in love with his student (Fritz Schulz), falls prey to a blackmailer and runs foul of the notorious German Penal Code Paragraph 175 under which people were condemned to prison for "unnatural vice". The melodramatic film was created to expose the unjust and draconian Paragraph 175. A rare look at Berlin just after WWI as the film captures the city nightlife and its underground lifestyle. Veidt became an international star soon after this with the release of "The Cabinet of Dr Caligary" but he is just as good here playing a tragic character.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Tail Spin (Roy Del Ruth, 1939) 7/10

Intriguing drama led by a cast of female stars set in the world of aviation. Girls compete during a cross-country aerial derby - a girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Alice Faye) competes in the air with a bitchy socialite (Constance Bennett) - both are involved with the same man on the ground and get into a catfight. There are laughs (courtesy of Joan Davis), tragedy (courtesy of Nancy Kelly) and brassy comraderie (courtesy of Jane Wyman) while silent movie superstar, Charles Farrell, is wasted as a mechanic pining for Alice Faye who manages to even sing a sultry number, "Are You in the Mood for Mischief?". Good aerial scenes and the interesting cast make this rare film worth a watch.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Across the Pacific (John Huston & Vincent Sherman, 1942) 4/10

Tedious wartime thriller with the Japanese involved in a plot to bomb the Panama Canal. So nobody gets close to the Pacific Ocean let alone across it. The film has a remarkable pedigree with Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet and director John Huston (although he left the production to shoot documentaries during the war and Vincent Sherman filmed the ending) fresh off their incredible success from the previous year - "The Maltese Falcon". Unfortunately the film drags in its stale cloak and dagger shenenigans on board a ship to the Panama Canal. Bogart and Astor have great chemistry as they banter their way through the journey while Greenstreet plays yet another shady character with an ulterior motive. All the Japanese characters in the film are played by Chinese actors as the United States had interned all Japanese in concentration camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Skip this film and watch the stars in "Falcon" instead.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Game Night (John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, 2018) 7/10

Fast paced amusing nonsense. A group of friends who get together for game nights get way in over their heads when a game goes out of control and involves a kidnapping, being chased and shot at by assorted thugs over a stolen faberge egg. The cast is game and the plot freely reeks of Scorsese's "After Hours" with bits inserted from Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained" probably as an homage. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams make a cute couple and Kyle Chandler is great fun as the older brother who can't stop being an asshole. Fun but instantly forgettable.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Tokyo Joe (Stuart Heisler, 1949) 8/10

The first Hollywood film to shoot in Japan after the war seems like a return to "Casablanca" for Bogie. Atmospheric film has a war veteran (Humphrey Bogart) return to Tokyo where he owned a jazz bar. Excited to discover that the wife (Florence Marley) he thought dead is alive but is dismayed to find that she had divorced him and is now married to an important official (Alexander Knox) in the occupying forces. Wanting his wife back he decides to stay on in Tokyo and becomes a partner in a freight flying company with a shady character (Sessue Hayakawa) who plans on smuggling three criminals back into the country from Korea. Rehash of a number of the star's previous hits also has a memorable theme song - "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" sung by Florence Marley in a flashback sequence and then played constantly with variations throughout bringing back memories of "As Time Goes By". The distinguished Japanese star, Sessue Hayakawa, is memorable as the suave villain while Bogart and Marley have great chemistry in their few scenes together. Gloomy but underated film beautifully shot on location.


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