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 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Medusa is a lot better than Bear Island! smile

One thing that i did notice was the voice dub for Lino Ventura was that famous voiceover guy de Keyser who did tracey's father (Gabriele Ferzetti) in OHMSS.


Ah, that didn't click but thinking back I can hear the voice.

I can't agree with your opening statement though as, despite its many failings we have a standard crime thriller as opposed to something super-natural ... and I'm not inclined to favour the latter (some exceptions).

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

You would watch skyfall again? wink
Thats the diff between connery bonds and the later ones- partly because the dialogue was so good - they were infinitely more watchable again and again than the routine blurs of samey twaddle we are fed nowadays. Mr potato head films. Not helped by the music - which only comes to life when the bond theme arrives!


Yes ... in the hope that I see some of the good elements that others rave about! For me it jumped straight in at #23 and has moved slightly with the arrival of its sequel: it's now #24. (I'm excluding the non-official entries). But as a life-long JB007 fan I do acknowledge its roots even if these were largely discarded.

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Mitch - 3 out of ten for medusa touch is harsh, even by your eccentric scoring. It isnt as good as some of the ITC films like Love n bullets but its still a very chilling film. Vastly helped by MJs creepy prominent theme.
I would say 6.8 is fair.



Medusa Touch is due to record over the weekend so I can remind myself of its charms.


I hope my review carried no spoilers ... nor influences your opinion of the film.

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Away From Her (2007) 7/10

I had never even heard of this film, but I caught it recently on DTV. I enjoyed it and rewatched part of it a few days later.
It's based on a short story and so I read the story after watching the film and was amazed at how closely the film followed the short story; I mean, almost word for word with a few exceptions.
I only remembered Gordon Pinsent from Colossus: The Forbin Project and Julie Christie from some of her films in the 70s.
I liked the matter-of-fact approach to the film. In some ways it has the look and feel of some of the Hallmark Channel movies, but this film doesn't have the touchy-feely ending of those.
Really, it came off to me as pretty much unsympathetic toward all the characters. Not really any bad guys, but no halos and rainbows, either.
Pinsent's, Christie's and Dukakis' portrayals are awesome and, I thought, quite convincing.
It is also quite educational and informative, and anyone whom has been through the experiences of having a loved one in a senior facility, nursing home, etc., can certainly relate. I would say the facility in this film is much better than most of the ones I've seen.
The thing I found different from real life is that Christie's eyes still have that sparkle and light in them, unlike most Alzheimer's sufferers I've known; they mostly have that vacant, lights-out look. I guess one would have to use CGI to get that look and that likely would have taken away from the film.
Some folks consider this movie as a downer, but it really does right get the sinking, and honestly, hopeless feeling of those in this situation, and the ending is somewhat upbeat, if bittersweet.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
9.5/10
I really like this film and Wes anderson's style in general. There is some beautiful design and shot composition. Ralph Fiennes' plays his character with a brilliant balance of grubby underclass covered by a sheen of toffishness. He also reminded me of Leonard Rossiter as Rigsby in Rising Damp. Great supporting cast too. The music is excellent.

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Good assessment of bear island TG. It was one of the last McLean adaptions. Considering how good Eagles, gubs of novocane, fear is the key, etc had been, it was one of the weakest. I wanted to like it, rewatched years later thinking Maybe itll be better and i was probably too harsh - then i watch again and realise i wasn't.
I might have given it 6.


It was followed by adaptions of River of Death (1989) and The Way to Dusty Death (1995) plus films based on story outlines scripted by AM: The Hostage Tower (1980), Death Train (1993), Night Watch (1995) and Air Force One Is Down (2013).

I've not seen this last one ... but Bear Island (1979) is far superior to each and all of those other titles. But, I agree, Bear Island is not a great film, becoming tedious in the middle section.

Did this broadcast include the Donald Sutherland~Frank Lansing character being dropped in the sea whilst transferring from the helicopter to the ship? I've seen at least one broadcast with this sequence cut but my 10 yr old recording is, I believe, complete. My rating 5/10 ... I will watch it again but I'm in no rush to do so. I found Robert Farnon's score less than interesting.

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

God was there really THAT many crap adaptions after Bear island? I remembered way to a dusty death n hostage tower - even golden rendezvous, caravan to vaccares, breakheart pass before them - all miles better than Bear island.

At one time, adaptions of his books were big blockbusters and sure-fire winners. And had great track record Gubs of novocane, eagles, satan bug, ice station zebra, fear is the key, when 8 bells toll. Puppet on a chain, force 10, ...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Mitch - 3 out of ten for medusa touch is harsh, even by your eccentric scoring. It isnt as good as some of the ITC films like Love n bullets but its still a very chilling film. Vastly helped by MJs creepy prominent theme.
I would say 6.8 is fair.



Medusa Touch is due to record over the weekend so I can remind myself of its charms.


I hope my review carried no spoilers ... nor influences your opinion of the film.

Mitch



Not at all, my friend. I’ve seen it two or three times down the years and like it for the music but also for what I remember of its unusual atmosphere; kitchen sink drama crossed with The Omen 2.

And it did include the abseil fail. Never much saw the point of it myself.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

God was there really THAT many crap adaptions after Bear island? I remembered way to a dusty death n hostage tower - even golden rendezvous, caravan to vaccares, breakheart pass before them - all miles better than Bear island.

At one time, adaptions of his books were big blockbusters and sure-fire winners. And had great track record Gubs of novocane, eagles, satan bug, ice station zebra, fear is the key, when 8 bells toll. Puppet on a chain, force 10, ...



I would buy an uncut Blu-ray of Caravan to Vaccares in an instant.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 11:39 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
9.5/10
I really like this film and Wes anderson's style in general. There is some beautiful design and shot composition. Ralph Fiennes' plays his character with a brilliant balance of grubby underclass covered by a sheen of toffishness. He also reminded me of Leonard Rossiter as Rigsby in Rising Damp. Great supporting cast too. The music is excellent.


Good call. One of our favourite recent films. The great little actor who plays the young Zero was somehow relegated to a minor role as a classmate of Peter Parker in Spidey Homecoming.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2019 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

COLD WAR (2018) - 8/10

Pawel Pawlikowski won the Best Director prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival for this Polish-British-French co-production (utilizing six spoken languages) about a Polish peasant girl singer (Joanna Kulig) and a Polish composer-musician (Tomasz Kot) who have a decade long affair beginning in 1949 as Poland recovers from WWII and slips behind the Iron Curtain. This is a great period production, which roams from the Polish countryside to Warsaw, Berlin, and Paris.

The man eventually flees to the West, while the woman stays behind, setting up a series of meetings between the two over the years as her travels with a state-sponsored music group continually cause their paths to cross. This is a story of connections lost and found, repeatedly, but never repetitiously. Pawlikowski takes a page out of Steven Soderbergh's book for 2006's THE GOOD GERMAN by shooting the film in black-and-white and in a 1.33:1 ratio. In addition to Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Directing, the film also received a nomination for Best Cinematography. The film has no score, but plenty of jazz and Eastern European folk source music.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Solo - 7/10
Surprisingly enjoyable romp with Alden Ehrenreich (surely Alan Rich, had he been born 70 years earlier) essaying a young Han Solo and expanding on the throwaway lines in the chronologically original trilogy. Thankfully, almost none of that Force nonsense and a few good plot twists. I enjoyed the score, just enough of the Williams and a really nice fugue/march during the end credits.

The Milky Way - 8/10
The last of my Buñuel box set, and although it was the one that sounded the least interesting, it was absorbing and good fun. Rather like reading Umberto Eco, most of the references flew miles over my head, but even on the surface the tale of two vagabonds on a pilgrimage to Santiago was great entertainment. Rather Pasolini-like in some respects, the film has stayed with me and in hindsight and reading a couple of knowledgable reviews shows just how deep the allusions and allegories run. As per usual, no music to speak of.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 1:44 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE WIFE (2018) - 8/10

What's that old saying--"Behind every successful man there is a (good/great/strong) woman."? In this film, Glenn Close is that woman--THE WIFE who stands behind author Jonathan Pryce, who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The couple also have a married daughter who is about to give them a grandchild, and a son who is a budding writer himself. Life is good. But when husband, wife, and son travel to Stockholm for the Nobel ceremony, the strains in the family relationships begin to come to the fore, prompted in no small part by a writer (Christian Slater) who wants to do a biography of Pryce.

The film's screenplay is not filled with fiery dialogue or dynamic verbal clashes. Glenn Close does most of her acting with her body language and an incredibly expressive face. It's an Oscar-nominated performance that is well worth seeking out. Jocelyn Pook provides the sensitive score.

The film has had an interesting U.S. release pattern. It opened in the dead zone of mid-August, after all of the summer blockbusters had premiered. At its peak, it played in 541 theaters in mid-September and slowly dropped off to just 6 theaters by the end of November. Sony Classics then suddenly decided to throw it back into 420 theaters in the second week of December, where it did very poorly, and was back down to 4 theaters again just three weeks later. Finally, after the Oscar nominations came out in mid-January, it went back into 150 theaters and is now still playing in about 100 of them. At my 22-screen multiplex, it is enjoying a single showing per day, at noon.

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 3:38 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Missouri Breaks (1976) ... 3/10

It's taken me 40 years to catch up with this one ... and I'm sorry to say it wasn't worth the wait. There's so much to enjoy in this film and I can't praise Jack Nicholson too highly. He's never been a favourite actor but I'm happy to watch him ... in this he's superb. Despite his greatness I'm not a fan of Marlon Brando and have been very selective over his films ... here is one of the biggest faults in a film riddled with them.

Wonderful cinematogaphy ~ disjointed episodic script; plenty of characterisation ~ rushed sequences which have no lead-in and end before you question what's happening; friendship and humanity between criminals ~ illogical actions throughout. Perhaps I was expecting too much but a coherent script was not in the offing.

I've known the score by John Williams for many years and it was interesting to hear it against the visuals. At times it was a lovely companion ... but as times I thought it sounded out of place or just wrong (e.g. the river crossing). Seeing the film won't rob me of the musical experience but I don't think the musical experience helped me enjoy the film.

I get the feeling that the footage lasted much longer and was severely cut so that the last act became very uneven (time wasted with MB talking to his horse but no time spent on the MB~JN confrontation) - a shame because without MB it could have been a much better film.

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2019 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The Missouri Breaks (1976) ... 3/10

Despite his greatness I'm not a fan of Marlon Brando and have been very selective over his films ... here is one of the biggest faults in a film riddled with them.



Apparently, Brando was a real handful on the set. An article in the January 1976 Millimeter mentioned that Brando's character “Lee Clayton” was based on nineteenth-century gunman Tom Horn. The 24 August 1975 Los Angeles Times reported that Brando’s desire to modify the character, adding an Irish brogue and assorted bizarre behaviors, resulted in two days of retakes. According to Vogue, Brando accepted the role because he needed money to finance his film on the plight of Native Americans, and for sea farming projects on his South Pacific island.

Brando requested that Nicholson’s role be changed to that of a Native American, and when the request was denied, the actor threatened to “walk through his part.” After disallowing any candid photography on the set, Brando stopped production for several hours because a photographer friend, Stephani Kong, was prohibited from using her camera. He also called the production team “barracudas” for delaying the making of a documentary on THE MISSOURI BREAKS.

Brando reportedly read his lines from cue cards, and had them placed among a row of cabbages during one of his scenes with Nicholson. Even so, the actor altered his lines during each take. For another scene, Brando wanted to paste cue cards on the face of actor John McLiam. When McLiam complained of not being able to see, Brando offered to cut holes for his eyes. Ultimately, the cards were attached to the wall behind McLiam.

On the other hand, Arthur Penn recalled that the screenplay was unfinished, which created the opportunity for improvisation. Penn described the actors as “brilliant,” noting that both he and screenwriter Thomas McGuane were grateful to Brando for enhancing the picture with his improvisational touches, particularly the scene in which Brando wakens a sleeping Randy Quaid by dropping a live grasshopper into his mouth.

 
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