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 1:24 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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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:23 pm

Deception (Irving Rapper, 1946) 8/10

Campy film thrives on over-the-top melodrama with jealousy and betrayal the catalyst bringing out the worst in three people. A European cellist (Paul Henreid) survives the war, returns to New York and by chance is reunited with his lover (Bette Davis) who thought he was dead. He is amazed to find her living in an enormous penthouse with art on the walls and a wardrobe full of furs and jewels which she claims were all gifts from rich students she has been teaching the piano. They quickly get married and the party is stormed by a famous composer (Claude Rains) who arrives agitated and proceeds to throw a jealous fit. One lie leads to another and it takes all her guile to convince her husband that the older man is her mentor and music teacher. When the composer decides to reveal all the desperate woman pulls a gun on him. Superbly performed tale of three overwrought and emotional people forming a love triangle that simmers like a volcano on the verge of exploding. The three stars reunited after their previous triumph - "Now, Voyager" - but here the overheated melodrama threatens to derail all three of them but they manage to survive all that the plot throws at them through sheer star presence. Bette Davis, looking old and frumpy at 38, hams it up rolling her eyeballs and flapping her arms in distress while Paul Henreid is no longer the gentle lover from their previous film playing here a suspicious musician who resorts to throttling his wife during one scene in a fit of jealousy. The film is stolen from both by Claude Rains as the extremely angry genius who can't believe his protegé would dump him for a nobody. Dripping venom with every word he creates an incredibly funny, vicious and egomaniacal character with intriguing hints of closeted homosexuality, making his obsessive “love” for the woman seem more like a desire for control than a manifestation of lust or romance. The film's production values are similarly grandiose with Anton Grot's enormous sets - the penthouse with its massive window overlooking the New York skyline has to be seen to be believed - and the soaring score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold which rises to a crescendo with each character's mood swing. Ernest Haller's shadowy cinematography makes it all seem like a seedy noir. This was one of Davis's rare flops which today can be viewed as a delightful camp classic.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:21 pm

Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946) 10/10

This film asks how far should one be willing to go in defiling oneself personally for the greater good of humanity. As with most of Hitchcock's films there is romance, intrigue, suspense and betrayal but more than that it is about a love triangle in which a woman feels compelled to get married to a man she abhors out of duty to her country even though she loves someone else. A disgraced woman (Ingrid Bergman) - she is the daughter of a Nazi sympathiser convicted of treason - is approached by a U.S. government agent (Cary Grant) to prove her patriotism to the United States by infiltrating her father's former colleagues in Brazil to get information on their activities. She is to approach a wealthy industrialist (Claude Rains) who was also her former lover. As the two spies gear up for the job both fall in love. When her former lover proposes marriage she decides to go for it instead of blowing her cover. The plot turns sinister when she discovers the gang is involved in producing uranium which is kept in wine bottles in the cellar. When her role as a spy gets exposed she is kept prisoner and slowly poisoned by her husband and his domineering mother (Leopoldine Konstantine). The film became famous for two memorable scenes. The two stars embrace and kiss but since censorship did not allow a kiss to last beyond a few seconds on screen the director found a way around it and the "kiss" lasted almost two and a half minutes on screen making it one of the most erotic love scenes in film history. The second memorable scene in the film involves a tracking shot by the camera during a suspense filled moment with an overhead long shot of dozens of guests at a party with the camera swooping down to an extreme close-up on a key in Ingrid Bergman’s hand. This was the first of two screen pairings between Grant and Bergman and they made a sizzling team - he is his usual cool sophisticated self while she plays against type in a role that is basically that of a "call girl" which censors at the time labeled as a "party girl". Suave Claude Rains steals every scene as the sympathetic but mother-fixated Nazi who is dismayed to discover that the woman he loves has betrayed him. The film is superbly photographed by Ted Tetzlaff in crisply shot black and white and is a rare Hitchcock film where the plot not only has suspense but is basically a story about romance that is almost doomed.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:20 pm

The Shout (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1978) 8/10

Bizzare, creepy but fascinating little film which unfolds like a puzzle. A strange man (Alan Bates) ingratiates himself into the household of a musician (John Hurt) and his wife (Susannah York) and soon holds sexual sway over her. He uses aboriginal magic with stones and has the ability to shout at a very high decibel which can kill humans which he proceeds to do on a remote sand dune - the film was shot in Devon with its grassy and sandy dunes which are a sight to behold as they roll down towards the Atlantic ocean. The screenplay, based on a short story by Robert Graves, is quintessentially English in tone - the main story is sandwiched between a game of cricket organized by a doctor (Robert Stephens) as the "shouter" relates his story to the author (Tim Curry). The film has many memorable moments with Susannah York unabashadly participating in the nude on bed, in the bathtub and crawling on all fours like an animal on heat. Weird film has a mesmerizing performance by Alan Bates and was one of Skolimowski's early gems and well worth a watch.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Becket (Peter Glenville, 1964) 8/10

Historical drama about a bizarre love triangle - King Henry II and his love for his close friend and confidante Thomas á Becket who in turn discovers his love for God. The story (based on the Tony winning play by Jean Anouilh) is also a clash between the King and the clergy. In 12th Century England rambunctuous Norman King Henry (Peter O'Toole) leads a debauched life in the company of his sensible Saxon friend Thomas Becket. The King constantly clashes with the Church demanding total allegience which is rebuffed in favour of God. When the Archbishop of Canterbury (Sir Felix Aylmer) dies, the King appoints Becket in his place in the hope that he will now have a close ally inside the Church. However, Becket has a spiritual awakening and puts God before his King which results in a clash leading upto the tragic finalé at the behest of the King. Lavishly filmed historical film (which "fiddles" with history) is long on dialogue and less on action even though the play is opened up to include many outdoor sequences stunningly shot by Geoffrey Unsworth. The film comes to life during all the scenes between the two huge stars - O'Toole was then coming off his incredible triumph on screen in "Lawrence of Arabia" while Burton was not only a much respected actor but was creating offscreen a daily tabloid frenzy due to his intense sexual affair (and eventual marriage) to Elizabeth Taylor. Both actors with their distinct voices and precise diction get to speak pages of dialogue which in itself is a pleasure to hear. They both give superb performances - O'Toole plays the King as a self centered brat, loud, hammy, obnoxious and completely over the top while Burton in contrast gives a quietly controlled performance enjoying his friendship with the King and later deeply wounded by the turn of events - the two actors get to play an intensely dramatic scene, both on horses on a beach, where the anxious King hopes for a reconciliation but is rebuffed by Becket in favour of God and his conscience. The screenplay quietly but surely suggests the homoerotic devotion between the two men which ends in tragedy. The two leads are surrounded by a great cast - Sir Donald Wolfit (as the bishop who is usurped by Becket and so hates him), Pamela Brown as the put-upon Eleanor of Acquitaine (Henry's Queen and mother of four sons all of whom he hates), Martita Hunt as the taunting Queen Matilda (Henry's mother), Sir John Gielgud as King Louis VII of France and Siân Phillips (married to O'Toole then) as Becket's mistress who the King takes away for himself. Superbly produced film was nominated for 13 Oscars - including nods for Best Picture, Burton, O'Toole, Gielgud and Glenville - winning for its screenplay. Talky film with two great actors playing superbly off each other.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Manhandled (Lewis R. Foster, 1949) 3/10

Starts off with a bang - the camera, at floor level, follows a woman into her apartment and up the stairs into her bedroom. While she is admiring herself in the mirror a man comes up behind her and kills her. It's her husband but it turns out to be a dream which he relates to his psychiatrist. When she is later murdered and her jewels stolen, suspicion falls on him, the doctor's secretary (Dorothy Lamour) and her seedy neighbour (Dan Duryea). Investigating the case are a couple of goofy cops and an insurance investigator (Sterling Hayden). After a fantastic opening it all goes downhill with the cast all looking bored and the murderer pretty obvious. Weak noir although Ernest Laszlo's shadowy cinematography is a major plus.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945) 10/10

The film grips the audience from its first frame as we see a man get shot six times and fall down dead followed by a dazed woman stopped by a cop from committing suicide who when interrogated confesses to a murder. A long flashback relates the story of Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford), a devoted mother who gets divorced, becomes a waitress to support herself and her children and gradually becomes rich as a business entrepreneur and owner of a restaurant all in order to appease her spoilt daughter (Ann Blyth) who wants the high life. Director Curtiz spins this simple woman's tale and gives it a sharp noir twist using german expressionist shadings to the plot that includes adultery and greed which eventually leads to murder. The taut and suspenseful screenplay, adapted from a melodramatic book by James M. Cain, is a magnificent blend of film noir and a glossy feminine soap opera acted to perfection by a superb cast. This started off as a comeback vehicle for star Joan Crawford who had been ousted by MGM and had joined Warner Brothers and begged the studio heads to play the part - she agreed to a screen test which was unheard for a star of Crawford's caliber who had been in the business for over 20 years - and for which she was rewarded with a long deserved Oscar. She is surrounded by an amazing supporting cast - young Ann Blyth who plays her despicably selfish daughter, Zachary Scott is her leech-like reptilian second husband, Eve Arden is her witty best friend and Jack Carson is the business partner in love with her. The film is superbly shot by Ernest Haller full of deep shadows with a memorable dramatic score by Max Steiner. This is one of the great film noirs full of over wrought moments with shoulder-padded Joan Crawford at her neurotic best. A must-see.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:18 pm

Toward the Unknown (Mervyn LeRoy, 1956) 6/10

A test pilot (William Holden) captured, tortured and released by the Koreans returns to his Air base and finds it difficult to prove to his superiors that he is trustworthy and can fly again without cracking up. He clashes with the General (Lloyd Nolan) at the base but finds his ex-girlfriend (smoky-voiced Virginia Leith) still sympathetic and in love with him. The film is basically an advetisement for the air superiority of the United States Air Force with sequences devoted to flying jets and showing experimental planes and rockets. Holden brings his stoic movie star presence to the proceedings.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:18 pm

Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) 10/10

This is not only one of the greatest and most intricately plotted detective stories but also one of the most gorgeously shot films superbly recreating the atmosphere of 1940s Los Angeles. Robert Towne's brilliant screenplay is now considered to be one of the most perfect screenplays ever written as it deliriously weaves a story about greed, deception, incest and murder. The film transports you into Raymond Chandler noir territory - Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), a quick-witted cynical private detective, is hired by a woman to find proof of her husband's infidelity. As he delves deep into the case not only does he find the man - the city water commissioner - seemingly involved with a young woman but to his dismay discovers that he was duped by the woman who hired him when the man's actual wife (Faye Dunaway) appears and threatens to sue him for libel. When the water commissioner turns up dead the plot turns dark. The detective is attacked by a hoodlum (Roman Polanski) who slices his nose, he begins to fall in love with the enigmatic widow who turns extremely neurotic, there is a jigsaw of clues leading to the woman's father (John Huston) who appears to be behind a plot to divert the city's water supply for his own gain. The film's brutal and shocking finale takes place in Chinatown where the plot winds down delving deep into the exploration of the dark side of humanity. The film is painstakingly created by a superb team of technicians - John A. Alonzo's lush cinematography shot in muted tones, Jerry Goldsmith's memorable score, Richard Sylbert's outstanding production design and Anthea Sylbert's elegant costumes. The film is held together by Jack Nicholson in one of his signature roles. He is witty, tough, caring and likeable. Faye Dunaway makes a formidable femme fatale seemingly cold and tough but hiding a fragile vulnerability underneath the facade - her look and manner instantly evokes the glamour of Hollywood's golden age. It was a terrific coup by Polanski to cast director John Huston as the evil Noah Cross. His fragile old body masks a man of intense evil who will not let anything come in his way even if it means sacrificing someone close to him. This is Roman Polanski's masterpiece and easily stands shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood's finest classic films. Nominated for 11 Oscars it sadly only won for it's superb screenplay coming up against The Godfather Part II which took most of the awards. A must-see.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:16 pm

She (Robert Day, 1965) 4/10

Ravishing Ursula Andress plays "She" - who must be obeyed, loved and possessed - an ancient queen of a lost desert kingdom. An archaelogist (Peter Cushing), his butler (Bernard Cribbens) and their companion (John Richardson) trek across a desert and across mountains to reach their destination. The power-mad woman considers the local black tribe as savages but is quite nonchalant when she has people who defy her thrown into a live volcano. This nonsense is based on the book by H. Rider Haggard and its saving grace is lovely but dubbed Ursula Andress looking sexy in a white dress. Hammer studio regulars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee (as a high priest) add a touch of gravitas to the proceedings.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:16 pm

Becoming Jane (Julian Jarrold, 2007) 5/10

Jane Austen wrote five classic books and died a spinster at age 41. Did she love anyone? The screenplay, a work of fiction, has Austen go down the same path where some years ago we found Shakespeare in love. Jane (Anne Hathaway) is the free spirited daughter (who has the audacity to believe that she can earn a living through writing) of an impoverished clergyman (James Cromwell) and his bossy wife (Julie Walters). She spurns the hand of a rich but ineffectual young man (Laurence Fox), nephew of the local imperious dowager (Dame Maggie Smith), and falls in love instead with an arrogant and intellectual lawyer and rogue (James McAvoy) - shades of "Darcy" from P&P. Austen's books are evoked throughout as she flouts convention and decides to marry this "Tom Jones" for love. Things don't quite go as planned. Lushly filmed in Ireland the story unfortunately has no bite coupled with a complete lack of chemistry between McAvoy and Hathaway who make a rather lifeless couple.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:16 pm

Winchester (Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, 2018) 1/10

Laughable mess has the widow and heiress (Dame Helen Mirren) of the Winchester firearm fortune living in widow's weeds in a sprawling California mansion. The house is in constant construction mode as she keeps having rooms built to house the spirits of all the victims who were shot by a Winchester rifle. Rooms shake, a kid gets possessed and there is all manner of ghostley activity as some badass victims have a score to settle with all the Winchesters. Dame Helen's first horror film and it's clear from the word go she is uncomfortable in this genre. The screenplay, apparently based on fact, reeks of horror-movie clichés. Avoid this bomb.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Mon May 28, 2018 4:08 am

Reza wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:Watched another longish film starring Peter O'Toole tonight, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and O'Toole is so much better in this. Even though it is a bit hap hazard as a musical its a beautiful adaptation of its source material. O'Toole and Petula Clark (simply wonderful in the film) are great together.


While O'Toole is certainly good as Mr Chips it's Siân Phillips who steals the film.


She's great in it - a couple of more scenes and she may have scored an Oscar nomination. Such a shame that Petula Clark was overlooked. :(
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.


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