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Added by Severin Severin on 4 Jan 2013 04:07
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My Brilliant and Witty 2013 Movie Diary

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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Black Caesar (1973)
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People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Tyson (2008)
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People who added this item 127 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
Capricorn One (1977)
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People who added this item 506 Average listal rating (287 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
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People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6
100 Rifles (1969)
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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
Trapeze (1956)
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People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.4
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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Blonde Venus (1932)
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People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (118 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
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People who added this item 146 Average listal rating (92 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.2
Monkey Shines (1988)
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People who added this item 386 Average listal rating (279 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5
The Klansman (1974)
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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
The In-Laws (1979)
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People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Swimmer (1968)
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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 4.3
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People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8
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People who added this item 271 Average listal rating (141 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
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People who added this item 156 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.1
The Trip (1967)
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People who added this item 4146 Average listal rating (2719 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.5
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People who added this item 582 Average listal rating (326 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7
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People who added this item 922 Average listal rating (507 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
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People who added this item 4552 Average listal rating (3039 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Beetlejuice (1988)
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People who added this item 595 Average listal rating (367 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
The Producers (1967)
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People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.1
Baby Boom (1987)
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People who added this item 373 Average listal rating (233 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 5.2
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People who added this item 194 Average listal rating (132 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
Quick Change (1990)
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People who added this item 574 Average listal rating (338 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
Soylent Green (1973)
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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (219 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
The Big Chill (1983)
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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
Dream Lover (1993)
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People who added this item 52 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
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People who added this item 125 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 5.4
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People who added this item 700 Average listal rating (456 ratings) 4.6 IMDB Rating 4.7
Showgirls (1995)
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People who added this item 234 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.4
Swamp Thing (1982)
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People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 4.6
Boxing Helena (1993)
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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.7
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People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5.9
Love Affair (1994)
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People who added this item 629 Average listal rating (361 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
To Die For (1995)
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People who added this item 930 Average listal rating (551 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
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People who added this item 838 Average listal rating (520 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
The Big Sleep (1946)





This movie's title is so accurate because I actually felt really sleepy and tired while watching it. And this isn't even me just taking a cheap jab at the film because I hate it, I was just extremely fatigued when I saw The Big Sleep, and this was exacerbated by the confusing plot and rather inconsistent storyline.

Bogey and Bacall play upon their enchanting allure, and sparks literally fly between them every time they're on screen. Bogey plays Phillip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's famed classic detective, and he slyly investigates the disappearance of a rich family's employee. Sure enough, there are femme fatales, mysterious gunmen and a few murders here and there, and a lot of plot twists.

The Big Sleep is a rather typical noir, and from what I actually could comprehend, I found the mystery to be rather unexciting and contrived. But that just might be my stupidity talking, because after all, I was half dead when I saw the damn film. It might benefit from a re-watch in the near future...
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People who added this item 216 Average listal rating (110 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4





Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu star in this thoughtful and slow drama about a stage actress hiding her Jewish husband in Nazi occupied Paris while struggling to run a theater at the same time.

Francois Truffaut's directing style is sluggish and contemplative, and it often even becomes monotonous at times. Though their romance develops quite near the end of the film, Cat and Gerard have some captivating chemistry and are believable in their contrasting roles. Deneuve's character is icy and reserved, and Depardieu's is warm and rather comedic at times; so it makes for a rather cliched "opposites attract" situation.

While The Last Metro isn't much of a romance, it's not really a war movie or a drama either. Despite the lack of action, this film displays the more mature and serious later style of Truffaut and there is some fine acting throughout.
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People who added this item 127 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1





The Street Fighter is pretty much just a showcase of what a BAMF Sonny Chiba is. He's a lean mean fighting machine with no fear or hesitation, and he kicks a lot of ass and spills a lot of blood in this classic martial art masterpiece.

It must have been hard for Sonny to make a name for himself in the 70s because everyone had a boner for Bruce Lee, but he was too awesome to be held back. In The Street Fighter (not to be confused with the derided JCVD movie), he plays a ruthless and violent bastard of a mercenary named Terry. In many well executed fight scenes, he shows off his impressive kung fu skills as he beats the shit out of everyone who pisses him off.

To conclude, The Street Fighter is a pretty grim and downbeat film with a storyline that is actually pretty thoughtful for an action movie. This is a milestone martial arts flick that must be seen by all fans of the genre.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 5.7
Hi De Ho (1947)



So basically, I love Cab Calloway and his groovy music and that's the only reason why I watched Hi-De-Ho...to hear him sing! The film starts with some half-assed story about Cab having a jealous girlfriend named Minnie (just like in his famous song Minnie the Moocher) who tries to sabotage his act. It's all so badly acted and written (because the film was made on an obvious shoestring budget), and I could barely even pay attention to what was going on because I was bored to death.

After the messy first 40 minutes, there comes an outstanding barrage of dancing and musical numbers done by Cab and other talented peeps. This is the sole thing that saves the film from being total lame crap.
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People who added this item 178 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2





I hate to admit it, but one of the biggest reasons that I watched this film is because the title is somehow related to Warren Beatty. Warren would phone his girlfriends and say in that soft whispery voice of his, "What's new, pussycat?" That's creepy and sexy at the same time, boo-yah! And Warren was supposed to be in this film, but dumb ass Woody Allen re-wrote the script until Warren's part was waaay smaller than originally intended, so Warren was like "fuck it" and dropped out. He was replaced by Peter O'Toole, who is also awesome so s'all good.

Anyways, What's New Pussycat is some kind of bizarre screwball comedy that features famous 60's peeps like O'Toole, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Capucine, Paula Prentiss and Romy Schneider. There are also small appearances by Francoise Hardy and Richard Burton.

While the cast may be mindbogglingly cool, it's a pretty messed up movie that doesn't make much sense and isn't all that funny. O'Toole plays a irresistible ladies' man who can't seem to put a halt to his playboy ways, and Sellers plays his whacked out psychiatrist. It's a somewhat comedic and entertaining movie, but nothing to go nuts about. I expected much better from a cast like that!
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Okay so I lied. It's neither witty nor brilliant. But goddammit, these are the movies I watched in this year of our lord 2013 and my thoughts and opinions and views and all that blabber.

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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 4 7:54
I love the name of this list! Nice job.
Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 4 13:54
To Live and Die In LA I think influenced Lethal Weapon. There is a lot of similar things in both films.
Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 5 13:15
Great that you are making this. One suggestion though: Make the default viewing on this list inverted, so that the newest entry is first and oldest last, if you could. It's easier for the readers to follow that way.
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Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 11 7:38
Great list Severin. How can reremember so many details of the movies you see. Hey let's add film critique to that list. It's such an obvious one.
Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 14 6:48
It looks like you're going through something similar to what I did a few years ago, watching a bunch of Eddie Murphy '80s movies. I loved "48 Hrs.", "Trading Places", and "Coming to America" so much.

That's why it makes me sad thinking about how much he wasted his talent on so many lame movies after such a strong start.

Edit: 4 years, 11 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 17 17:31
Can I just say again how much I love 80's Eddie Murphy?


Yes you can! :)
Posted: 4 years, 11 months ago at Jan 19 14:30
Steve Martin. Another guy who ruled in the '80s, then later started churning out one crap movie after another. I recommend checking out "L.A. Story" and "Parenthood".
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Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Feb 8 1:52
When I'm bored I come and read some of your mini-movie stories because that's what they are rather than reviews. I wish a lot more people would be exposed to your musings.
Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Feb 18 15:12
I love the latest set of entries. I saw "Paper Moon" for the first time this year as well and I too consider it among the best I've seen so far.

Lately I've been noticing that despite how well we get along, there are actually a fair number of movies we don't agree about, but this is definitely not one of them!

Ryan O'Neal didn't make the best first impression on me with "Love Story" (a movie I found very annoying), but now that I've seen him in "Barry Lyndon", "Paper Moon", and "The Driver", I'm really starting to appreciate him. I initially wrote him off as a lameass pretty boy, but I can see now that there's more to him.

And I like the "Arsenic and Old Lace" review because I only watched some of the picture and didn't much care for it, and I've always found Cary Grant rather overrated, especially when it comes to comedy.

I know that picture is considered a classic, but based on the part I saw, I've been reluctant to watch the whole thing. Your review just makes me even more hesitant.

Some stars can make almost anything watchable just by the sheer force of their personality and screen presence (I'm sure you can think of a few examples), but I believe Cary only really excelled with the right director guiding him (i.e. Hitchcock).
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Feb 25 7:57
Great "Django Unchained" review! I was waiting for it (you're totally like some newspaper writer whose articles I look forward to every week) and it did not disappoint.

Your review makes the picture sound like about what I've expected. I still want to see it, but the review makes me feel less bad about waiting so long before checking it out.

P.S. I'm writing this comment between teaching classes because I'm a f#$*g rebel!
Edit: 4 years, 9 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 2 14:40
Haha, Buckaroo Banzai. I had no idea what that movie was about or really what/who any of the characters were supposed to be, except that Peter Weller was the hero, John Lithgow was the villain, and Christopher Lloyd worked for Lithgow.

But even though I was also confused, the picture made me laugh so much (usually whenever Lithgow talked with his absurd accent) that I can't hate it.

I'm glad you focused on the name of Lloyd's character so much. By far the best, funniest, and most memorable part of the movie for me (which by itself justified watching this mess) was when Lloyd angrily corrected Lithgow for pronouncing his name wrong "Big Boo-TAY! TAY TAY!", and Lithgow reacted by shooting him! Oh, how I laughed. I hope you were awake for that part. =)
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 3 7:12
I found Buckaroo Banzai disappointing too. It sounds awesome, it has awesome elements, but it doesn't work. I was hoping it'd be similar to Repo Man, but it wasn't. Nothing is.

I'm glad you liked Hudsucker Proxy. It's one of my favorite Coen Bros movie, but it seems to be largely ignored. Which I get, but still don't like that that's the case.

And Fantastic Planet is a god damned trip. It's one of those movies that I'm always glad when I find out another person has seen it.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 3 7:17

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Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 3 8:20
I do love coming here. It's one of my favorite places to be! I can't help but smile when I get to the door and read the list name, time and again...It is brilliant and witty, and so are you - also ballsy and (mostly) unapologetic. You like what you like and what you do not...well, there are always open windows to throw things out of and toilets to flush, yeah?

I was glad to see that you enjoyed Salvador. I thought you would. It's one of my favorite Woods films; God, I love that guy! I'm still on the fence about Django Unchained, as I haven't seen it yet. I don't expect grand cinema or anything new from QT (he would have fit in perfectly as a filmmaker in the late 60's-early 70's) and, for the most part, I like his shit...I don't know. I will eventually watch it, I guess I'm just not in a hurry.

Anyway, I'll collect my coat and hat and be on my way now. Thanks for the coffee and not minding that I smoked (I hate one without the other, you know)...Next time perhaps I'll have wine and some cheese with me. ;)
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 3 17:37
This was truly amazing, and one of the best damn movie dairies I've seen in a while. I really need to check out more of the films featured on this list.

Fantastic work!
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 7 4:05
You've sold me! Now I've got to see Wiseblood! I've always liked Dourif anyway; the guy's an amazing talent~!
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Mar 12 5:15
I didn't want to watch Paper Moon at first because I though it was just some kiddie movie, but then I was like Oh Wait- There WEREN'T any kiddie movies in the motherfucking 70s!
Hilarious!

Great read. I need to educate myself on Samuel Fuller one of these days. Thanks for reminding me with this list.
Posted: 4 years, 8 months ago at Mar 27 17:41
It's always nice when our viewing habit paths cross a little on this list. I guess it doesn't happen very often because you seem to be most frequently steeped in '60s/'70s cinema, while I'm more of a '30s fella these days.

I've become a bit of an Elaine May fan over the past few years too, although for entirely different reasons than you, since I haven't seen the pictures she was involved with that you watched. The movies that made me like her were "Primary Colors" (which she wrote, but did not direct) and more recently "The Heartbreak Kid".

Coincidentally, now the only movie I've seen directed by Elaine May is the only one that you haven't seen! I suggest that you check it out. Might as well, at least for completion's sake...after all, you're only one flick away from seeing everything she's directed. Trust me, that picture is totally worth watching.

It has that same kind of wonderful cringe humour as "The Graduate", where everything a character says just makes both the other characters in the movie AND the person watching the movie just more and more uncomfortable as he digs himself into a deeper and deeper hole. And the more awkward and uncomfortable it is, the funnier it is.

I definitely want to see more Elaine May pictures after digging "The Heartbreak Kid" and reading your recommendations. I'm leaning towards "Heaven Can Wait" next.

There was a movie called "Heaven Can Wait" in the '40s with a similar premise, but I thought it sucked. I was shocked because it's directed by my favourite '30s/'40s director, and so far, it's the only one of his pictures that I haven't liked. It sounds to me like the '70s one is way better, so I'm interested in that now.

After "Bugsy", "Bullworth", and then this, you may just convert me into a full-blown Beatty fan. =)
Posted: 4 years, 8 months ago at Apr 13 19:46
Good to see such love for the Steven Soderbergh picture. The last line of your entry about it was hilarious. Your self-restraint is admirable. =)

Movies like that are part of why Soderbergh is one of the only more recent directors that I like as much as some of the masters of yesteryear. I recommend checking out "The Limey" too. I think it might be right up your alley.

I finally got around to watching "Django Unchained" and I agree with much of what you said about it. The picture began promisingly, much better than I expected, but then towards the end it started getting really contrived and ridiculous.

I was surprised by how cheaply Tarantino wrapped up the plot. He's never been the most subtle dude, but based on his previous work, I expected better from him. 'Tacked on' is definitely a fitting description for the final stretch.

Leonardo DiCaprio is still trying way too hard to overcome his pretty boy image and he just can't pull it off. I almost feel sorry for the fella. His big scene should have been a lot scarier, but his voice and presence aren't strong enough for him to be a truly intimidating heavy.
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Apr 26 20:33
Maybe heaven can wait, but I couldn't wait to tell you how much I loved "Heaven Can Wait" and how glad I am that you brought it to my attention!

I don't much care for American football either. This is now definitely one of my favourite movies ever to feature that sport (and yes, I too am glad it mercifully took up very little of the picture's running time).

I didn't think the premise was so great either after not getting into the two previous movies with the same premise, but the people who used it for this picture sure knew how to use it right! So many comedic possibilities were exploited perfectly.

Keep making your recommendations...sometimes they can pay off marvelously for others! =)
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Apr 28 8:44
I was never really impressed with James Dean until I saw him in "Giant". I thought he came off mostly as a Brando wannabe (which he clearly was and would even admit to being) in "Rebel Without A Cause" and "East of Eden".

Like most long movies, "Giant" was too long. I really didn't give a damn about the lives of of Liz and Rock's kids...how the two met and survived their marital problems would have been enough story for the whole picture, although it was cool to see a really young Dennis Hopper. The only thing I found really interesting in the last act was James Dean playing a middle-aged guy.

His performance wasn't perfect, but it definitely showed that he was growing as an actor and had the potential to be one of the greats. Rock Hudson showed some progress too, playing a deeper, less straight arrow character than the ones I've seen him play in other pictures.
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Apr 29 10:59
The "Ninotchka" comments were worth the wait. So thrilled that you dug it, comrade. =P I never thought about the implausibility of the ending, but I believe you're right about that.

Personally, having been emotionally wrecked by the endings of so many other Greta Garbo pictures, I was just relieved to get a more positive one, logic be damned.

If you watch a lot of her work, you grow accustomed to devastatingly tragic endings. There were a bunch of them that left me absolutely heartbroken and needing some time to recover when they were over. After all that, the "Ninotchka" conclusion was a breath of fresh air, fake-y as it may be. =)
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at Apr 30 9:30
James Dean shows more character on his three starring roles than Brando showed on his whole career.

Brando in most of his roles feels unreal and exaggerated whereas Jimmy is as real as can be. And that is Method when it succeeds, in my opinion, not when an overweight man comes and mumbles his lines with cotton in his cheeks.

As I said on some of my lists, I think Dean made his best role on Rebel but Giant is overall better film. I love the ending scene of it. With the two children and goats... Brilliant. Also Rock Hudson final resolve with fists is one of the most memorable scenes in American film that I can think of.

On a side note: Nice to see that you enjoyed Flynn's adventure films. I hope you had a good Indiana Jones -hangover, because these are films which should be watched while feeling very very ill after a very very long and wet evening...
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at May 5 9:49
Wow, you've now seen even more Errol Flynn than me! You sure have come a long way from the days when I could make you feel bad because you hadn't seen any Greta Garbo or Errol Flynn pictures. =P Didn't you just love the last line and shot of "Captain Blood"? It made me so happy and inspired me to put up my endings list.

I thought "The Sea Hawk" was a little deeper and darker than "Captain Blood" and "The Adventures of Robin Hood", as it gained social relevance by coming out at the time of Hitler's rise to power and reflecting national sentiment of the time.

The 'I want to take over the world' megalomaniac Spanish king in there clearly represented the Führer, and the Queen's speech at the end was powerful as it could really resonate with British people thinking about Hitler's actions.

I missed Olivia De Havilland, but the picture got along just fine without her. Definitely one of the best movies I saw last year.
Edit: 4 years, 7 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at May 16 8:47
Ugh, Bette Davis. I've never liked her. I have to admit that I dislike her for shallow reasons. I think she had a rather creepy look and tended to play mean characters, which always turns me off. I know she's doing a certain type of character well, which makes her an impressive actress, but I just don't enjoy watching such performances. I can't deny she was great in "All About Eve", though.

I also have this bias against Davis because she stole the thunder of Miriam Hopkins and Kay Francis, who both could have been bigger stars had she not been favoured over them at their studio. It annoys me that those two (both of whom are among my favourite stars of all time) have faded into obscurity while Davis is a more remembered and celebrated star.

I wasn't ever going to watch that costume picture she did with Flynn because I don't like her and am not fond of costume dramas in general, but you're seriously tempting me to check it out someday, despite my reservations. Vile temptress! =P

I've never seen Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet", but when I was in university, a single scene was shown in one of my classes. It was a scene that culminated in Hamlet and Ophelia getting it on. As I watching it, I thought to myself, "Wait a minute. This wasn't in the play, was it?".

Eventually I came to the conclusion that Branagh just had it added to the picture so he could have some hanky panky with Kate Winslet! That's a little perv-y, don't ya think? I consider Branagh an excellent director (I loved his "Much Ado About Nothing"), but this sex scene thing looks like a pretty appallingly egotistical director move on his part.
Posted: 4 years, 7 months ago at May 17 21:22
I haven't seen Branagh's Hamlet personally, but I have heard only good things about it thus far...

Shakespeare has some great source material in my opinion and well, I don't really understand what you have against him except the language, which I can understand.

Kurosawa have made some of his best films based on the Bards texts for example, which alone in my most honest opinion tells something about the richness of the material he has in his plays...

I would suggest you watch Aki Kaurismäki's adaptation: Hamlet Goes Business, one of the best threatments I have seen of that particular play.

And what comes to Shakespeare on film overall... The basic principles of his texts have been used and reused over and over again and somehow there's always something new to be found, it would seem... His plays have layers and layers of stuff to reinvent and mould to something new, film history proves that much.

Of course it all comes to down to how it's used on film. Making a direct adaptation is hardly the most enjoyable to someone who is familiar with the original story, but for example Kaurismäki's version which I mentioned above makes it work with just some minor tweaks and stylistic changes. Same goes with Kurosawa (The Bad Sleep Well).

Cheerio.
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at May 22 19:12
I'm pretty sure I'll be checking out "They Died With Their Boots On" at some point. I enjoyed your glowing recommendation, especially the praise of Raoul Walsh. He's one of the most consistent directors I've discovered over the past few years, and I'm really excited to see more of his work.

I think you make some very good points about him, particularly that he seems to give actors great opportunities to show their versatility with deeper roles.

I've felt that way about his work with both Bogart and Cagney. I've seen a few of his collaborations with Bogart and I'm planning to watch another which sounds like something really special.

You might like Walsh's Bogart pictures more than Curtiz's too, since you're not that keen on "Casablanca" for some reason...you blasphemous heathen =P.
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at May 24 9:20
YES! "Safety Last!"! What a blast, eh? One of the best movies I've seen this year and I'd give it a perfect rating too.
Edit: 4 years, 6 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Jun 1 20:08
I can totally relate to your disgust at animal abuse in movies. It's a shame that this stuff was permitted for so many years. I have to warn you that if you ever find yourself watching "The Misfits" (the last film of both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable), there is some HORRENDOUS horse abuse at one point. I was already unhappy with the picture before the horse scene (it's a mess, and a rare misfire from the usually reliable John Huston), but that scene really ruined it for me.

The way you share your thoughts on stuff like this horse abuse is one of the reasons I appreciate your movie diary so much. I like how you don't just say what you like or don't like about a movie in terms of acting, directing, writing, etc. You'll go off on tangents about other things, and that just makes your diary more unpredictable, unique, and fascinating. Keep doin' what you're doin'!
Edit: 4 years, 6 months ago
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Jun 7 18:47
I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed Barbara Stanwyck's performance in "The Lady Eve" so much, and that you gained a deeper appreciation for her unique talent through it! I was kinda hoping that would happen when I recommended the picture.

It's too bad that you were so turned off by where the story and characterizations eventually went, but at least you were having a great time until a later point in the picture. I wish you could enjoy it from start to finish, but oh well, some movies aren't even good for half of their duration. It could have been worse!

Personally, I don't even remember the movie going off the rails. Maybe if I saw it again, I'd feel the same way you did. All I really remember is that famous hair-stroking scene and what a strong first impression Babs left on me. It led me to the point I'm at now - I can't get enough of her and am blasting through her filmography like you with Errol Flynn! Basically, I only recall the good things you mentioned. =P By the way, I love the "Seinfeld" reference in your "Objective Burma" thoughts. =)
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Jun 14 12:28
I have to smile and nod in agreement at your opening comments about "The Prince and the Pauper". I've gone through that same experience many times. I think it's inevitable when your main reason for watching a movie is the first-billed star.

The first example that comes to mind is the English version of "Anna Christie", starring Greta Garbo. I knew going into it that this picture was famous for being the one in which she speaks for the first time, and that her first lines were really cool. Then I watch the thing and it takes 34 MINUTES for her to show up!

It wouldn't be so bad if the early scenes were interesting, but they weren't! I was stuck for that whole period with loud, annoying characters, and all I could think was "Where's Greta? Save me, Greta!".

I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been for her fans in 1930. They were all excited to hear her voice for the first time and had to wait for it watching excruciating scenes of lame characters blabbing on and on. Fortunately, her first lines really were terrific and worth the wait.

The same thing happened to me with "Ninotchka". At the beginning, I had to put up with these three silly, noisy buffoons and their shenanigans, just wondering when the hell Greta would show up. At least in that case, I eventually came to like the three goofballs. They had me worried for awhile that the picture would be a total drag, though.

The things we have to endure for our favourite stars, eh? There have also been a few movies I watched just for one star, only to discover that their role in the movie was little more than a cameo! That's irritating too. Good thing you liked "The Prince and the Pauper" despite Errol's absence so you didn't end up feeling totally ripped off!
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 24 18:07
I found Antonio mistaking Christina for a dude was the only highly implausible moment of an otherwise great film.

Of course I'll leave the job of showering the film with praises to you know who. =p
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 25 16:24
I agree with you and Double M criticizing a scene in "Queen Christina". People mistaking Garbo for a man is completely absurd and the only part of the movie that annoys me. When I made my dad watch it, I loved his reaction to this part. He said something like: "I don't think anybody would ever think she's a guy. And she looks like she's wearing make up!" (great minds think alike).

I mean, come on, you'd have to be a dolt to think one of the most beautiful women to ever walk this earth is a man, even if she's in men's clothing! I still have to give the picture a perfect rating, though, because it has my favourite actress giving my favourite of her performances (how could I rate it anything else?). You're right about the movie's superficial flaws. John's look is not flattering.

I didn't like Garbo's manly hairstyle and manly clothes either, but I guess that's one of the few historically accurate things in the picture. Ironically, I think the real Christina abdicated the throne partially because she just didn't want to be married at all...not that she wanted to be with another man instead of the man picked for her. Also, she was sick of people trying to control her life, wanting to live with more independence and freedom.

I think people make too much of a big deal about Garbo's kiss with a woman. I know the real Christina was androgynous and probably bisexual, but I didn't interpret that kiss as sexual at all. People kiss others on the lips all the time in old movies and it's not always romantic. If you watch any movie in which Garbo has a kid, she always kisses it on the mouth. Charlie Chaplin repeatedly kisses his adopted son on the mouth in "The Kid" too. This behaviour doesn't make these characters incestuous pedophiles. =P

Anyway, excuse my ranting. I don't want it to obscure the fact that I love what you wrote about the movie and I'm so glad you mostly enjoyed it and put together such a thoughtful assessment. I was eager to hear your thoughts on the picture and they did not disappoint! I especially like what you said about the way Garbo used her face and voice. You're damn right about that! =) She's very good at demonstrating how effectively she can use them in "Grand Hotel" too.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 28 14:09
I thought "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" was one of the better Cary Grant comedies I've seen. Nothing very special, though. For me the one highlight was the scene at a restaurant table that just keeps getting more and more uncomfortable. Solid comedic timing there.

I also thought the whole "You remind me of a man..." bit was cute and it was interesting to see Shirley Temple in something besides a kid role. I believe the most amazing thing about this movie is that its screenplay won an Oscar! Why?!? I mean, like I said, it had a few cute moments, but COME ON! Competition must have been scarce that year.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jun 28 19:18
"I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" is one of my favourite movies of the 30's. The B-movie title seems odd for a film coming from a major studio, although it think it's quite cool.

I find it's one of those films that leaves you anger at the way things are in the world.

I've only seen Paul Muni in three films date, but with each performance being so different, I would have never guessed it was the same actor.
Posted: 4 years, 5 months ago at Jul 5 12:49
Holy cow! You found "Promise Her Anything"! What? Who? When? Where? How? =) Congratulations! I'm so happy for you (even if you didn't like it much, judging by your rating)!
Posted: 4 years, 4 months ago at Jul 31 7:01
Your comments about "Promise Her Anything" were not posted immediately after you added the movie to this list.

When the comments are that good, I don't mind if it takes awhile for you to put them together.

I think your last line there is one of the funniest things you've ever written. I laughed out loud.
Posted: 4 years, 4 months ago at Aug 6 2:47
I think "Sixteen Candles" was okay. I would have liked it more if Anthony Michael Hall's character wasn't so annoying. I couldn't stand the creepy little twerp.
Edit: 4 years, 4 months ago
Posted: 3 years, 12 months ago at Dec 18 19:02
I totally agree with you about "A New Life" and "Four's A Crowd". Definitely two of the most entertaining comedies I've seen this year. I loved the dialogue and performances in them. Good to see this sucker being updated, even without comments.

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