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

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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. :(
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Reza » Mon May 28, 2018 1:09 am

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.

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun May 27, 2018 7:38 am

mlrg wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean 4/10


Care to elaborate?


I first saw the film back in the very late 1980s or very early 1990s on the big screen after it had been restored. I appreciate what I'm about to say places me in a tiny minority but I found the film, as beautifully crafted as it is, to be a bore. I should also mention that I saw it at a film festival and given the very heavy schedules that attending film festival entails I had always felt that my dislike of the film may due to film festival fatigue or overload.

I purchased a Blu Ray of the film a few years ago so give the film a second go. I can't say that this viewing was any better. Aside from being bored by almost the entire enterprise and film plodded from one incident to the next and despite the talk their was no real sense of character, with only Omar Sharif rising above the material. That said there are some impressive set pieces like the attack on the train when Lawrence is shot and one his traveling companions getting stuck in a sinkhole but as a cohesive whole I found it a failure. Certainly, it's beautifully made but it leaves me cold and unfulfilled. Funnily enough my partner had never seen it and he was equally unimpressed. We both agreed that at least it is better than Doctor Zhivago (a film I have no intention of giving a second viewing to).

I certainly admire David Lean but do prefer his more intimate films that his sprawling epics and I do view A Passage to India an intimate rather than epic. I don't think he ever made a better film than Brief Encounter.

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.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby mlrg » Sun May 27, 2018 6:31 am

Precious Doll wrote:Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean 4/10


Care to elaborate?

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun May 27, 2018 1:02 am

Return to Montauk (2017) Volker Schlöndorff 1/10
Manifesto (2017) Julian Rosefeldt 2/10

Repeat viewings

The Maltese Falcon (1941) John Huston 8/10
M.A.S.H. (1970) Robert Altman 6/10
Blossoms in the Dust (1941) Mervyn LeRoy 6/10
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) Paul Newman 7/10
Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973) Gilbert Cates 6/10
China Seas (1935) Tay Garnett 6/10
Niagara (1953) Henry Hathaway 4/10
The Kindergarten Teacher (2014) Nadav Lapid 8/10
Jubilee (1978) Derek Jarman 9/10
Libeled Lady (1936) Jack Conway 6/10
The Tempest (1979) Derek Jarman 9/10
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean 4/10
The Informer (1935) John Ford 7/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun May 20, 2018 3:36 am

Kaleidoscope (2017) Rupert Jones 4/10
Tully (2018) Jason Reitman 4/10
The Boys from Feng Kuei (1983) Hsiao-Hsien Hou 7/10
Cute Girl (1980) Hsiao-Hsien Hou 4/10
The Green, Green Grass of Home (1982) Hsiao-Hsien Hou 4/10
55 Steps (2018) Bille August 4/10
Antiporno (2017) Sion Sono 4/10

Repeat viewings

The Touch (1971) Ingmar Bergman 4/10
The Reckless Moment (1949) Max Ophuls 6/10
Cannery Row (1982) David S. Ward 7/10
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) Fred Schepisi 7/10
Caught (1949) Max Ophuls 6/10
Becket (1964) Peter Glenville 6/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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

Postby Precious Doll » Sun May 13, 2018 1:47 am

Unsane (2018) Steven Soderbergh 4/10
The Misandrists (2017) Bruce La Bruce 5/10
The Insult (2017) Ziad Doueiri 7/10

Repeat viewings

The Silver Chalice (1954) Victor Saville 5/10
The Rainmaker (1956) Joseph Anthony 6/10
The Green Ray (1986) Eric Rohmer 8/10
Easter Parade (1948) Charles Walters 6/10
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) Anatole Litvak 6/10
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) Martin Scorsese 6/10
Sleeping Dogs (1977) Roger Donaldson 2/10
Slacker (1991) Richard Linklater 7/10
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One


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