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post #8191 of 8193 Old 11-26-2015, 08:13 PM
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Watched Island in the Sky (1953)
3/5 (amazon 4.5/5, imdb 7.0/10, rotten tomatoes 61%)
The film follows a pilot and crew of a World War II-era Douglas C-47 Skytrain (the military version of the DC-3) who try to survive after a forced emergency landing in the uncharted wildlands near the Quebec-Labrador border. The pilot, Dooley (John Wayne), is a former airline pilot, who, like many others, was pressed into duty hauling war supplies across the northern route to England. Icy conditions force the aircraft to land, and with the difficulties of navigating far from settled country, they can provide only an approximate position to rescuers.
After finding a frozen lake for a landing field, while waiting for rescue, Dooley must keep his men alive in the extreme winter cold with temperatures plummeting to -70 °F. Meanwhile, at Air Transport Headquarters, Col. Fuller (Walter Abel) gathers fellow airmen (played by Lloyd Nolan, James Arness, Andy Devine and Paul Fix), who are determined to find the downed crew before hunger and the winter do them in. Wellman provides internal narrative for the stoic characters. There is tension and a fear-filled meeting among the search pilots when no one is quite sure about what to do, since a wrong decision could doom the missing crew.
The film is based on a real life incident that took place during WWII, when the screen writer flew in the Air Transport Command that is featured in this film. Due to its realism depicting the events surrounding an actual aircraft crash, it is considered one of the "classic" aviation films.
The cast is sterling.
Perhaps the biggest difference of this film and movies of today has nothing to do with technology. This is film utterly devoid of irony and cynicism. It celebrates comradeship and loyalty, qualities that make heroes out of ordinary men.
Air Transport Command was in August 1945 the largest airline in the world, having 209,201 personnel and 3,224 airplanes.
Today's John Grisham wrote 5 books that became movies. Today's Michael Crichton wrote 5 books that became movies. Ernest K. Gann, writer of this film, wrote 9 books that became movies.

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.

Last edited by BasementBob; 11-26-2015 at 08:16 PM.
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post #8192 of 8193 Old Yesterday, 11:51 PM
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Watched Gold (1974)
2.9/5 (amazon 3.4/5, imdb 5.7/10)
Rod Slater (Roger Moore) is the newly appointed general manager of the Sonderditch gold mine, but he stumbles across an ingenious plot to flood the mine, by drilling into an underground lake, so the unscrupulous owners to make a killing in the international gold market.
Also stars Susannah York, Ray Milland, Bradford Dillman, and John Gielgud.
The film has about a half hour that should have been edited out, and if they had the rating would have been higher, but the actual plot is interesting.
The film begins with a tunnel collapse at the Sonderditch mine, in a scene that establishes the courage of Slater and his chief miner, 'Big King', and the bond of trust between them. This is contrasted with the contempt with which some other white managers treat the black miners. It is soon revealed that the collapse was no accident, but part of a plan by a London-based criminal syndicate, which includes the mine-owner's son-in-law Manfred Steyner, to destroy the mine so that the syndicate members can profit from share-dealing. This will be done by drilling through a deep underground wall or 'dyke' which is all that prevents an adjacent reservoir of water from flooding the mine.
The mine's General Manager, an accomplice in the plot, was killed in the tunnel collapse. Steyner interviews Slater, who at this stage is Underground Manager, for the now vacant post of General Manager, although the mine owner has another candidate in mind. At this point, Slater first meets Steyner's wife Terry and is attracted to her, but she does not return his interest. However, Steyner arranges for them to meet again, in the hope that Terry will influence her grandfather, the mine owner, in Slater's favour. The plan works, with two consequences: Slater becomes General Manager, and he and Terry start a love affair. Slater, unaware of the criminal plan, agrees to carry out the drilling but is cautious enough to plant a safety charge that will block the tunnel in case of a water leak. Steyner knows that Slater is having an affair with his wife, but allows it to continue because it will keep Slater away from the mine, so that the safety charge can be disabled without his knowledge.
While Slater and Terry are holidaying together, the final breach is made in the underground dyke and the mine begins to flood, trapping a thousand workers. Slater hears of the disaster on the radio news, and flies with Terry back to the mine. There is a tense scene in which Slater and Big King descend the mine, amidst rising flood waters, to repair the safety charge. They succeed, but only because Big King sacrifices his own life to detonate the charge, letting Slater escape. Meanwhile, Steyner is murdered by Marais, one of his accomplices, after they hear on the radio that their plan has unravelled, Marais also crashes and kills himself. This conveniently leaves Terry free to continue her relationship with Slater, as the film ends.

Watched Dark of the Sun (1968)
2.6/5 (amazon 4.2/5, imdb 7.0/10)
A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through the Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to rescue $25 million in uncut diamonds.
Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Peter Carsten
Well into B movie category for most of the film, there are a few short gory scenes that make this one famous.
Although at first glance, Dark of the Sun seems to be your typical fiction book made into film, it is, in fact, a very realistic portrayal of similar events which occurred during the Katanga rebellion in 1964 in the newly created Republic of the Congo. It was about diamonds, it was about a proxy war between the East and the West, and Jim Brown's acting, although a bit stiff at times, actually comes off quite well. Rod Taylor was a veteran actor by this time, and it shows clear through as he takes on the portrayal of the tough and hardened, veteran mercenary soldier.
The Simbas DID eat their victims, they did kill hundreds of foreigners (mostly Belgian). The only thing that is not portrayed in the movie is the fact that the Simbas actually used some French mercenaries on their side (although very few), but this historically unknown bit of data is OK to be missing from the movie, since it would only confuse the viewer.

Watched The High and the Mighty (1954)
2.5/5 (amazon 4.6/5, imdb 6.9/10)
John Wayne, Robert Stack
The way the film was shot, timing and otherwise, was somewhat replicated in Airplane (1980).
When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman (John Wayne) to bring the plane in safely.
In this film, Robert Stack is the chief pilot of the plane that barely makes it in -- making Robert Stack the experienced hand by the time Airplane comes around 27 years later.
Given that this film won the awards and had the bigger budget I was expecting more from it than Island in the Sky (1953), but ultimately it wasn't as good.
John Wayne produced the film, and wasn't supposed to star in it, but ended up staring in the co-pilot part when the role was unfilled when filming began.
One disaster after another happens on this trans-Pacific flight. You have the pilot who loses his nerve! The washed-up co-pilot. The milquetoast flight engineer. The young hot shot second officer. And a cabin full of passengers with every range of problems and personalities there could possibly be. Here you have the Duke in a role he didn't want, and a movie with the title song that became Duke's theme.

An amateur built the Ark. Titanic was built by professionals. Of course Noah took a little advice.
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post #8193 of 8193 Old Today, 03:20 PM
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Skynet Week

This coming week (or two) I plan to watch all the The Terminator movies:

  1. The Terminator (1984, Blu-ray)
  2. Terminator 2 (1991, anamorphic DVD)
  3. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, anamorphic DVD)
  4. Terminator: Salvation (2009, Blu-ray)
  5. Terminator Genisys (2015, Blu-ray)

I am currently watching the first movie, which arrived from Netflix yesterday afternoon. How long it will take to watch all five depend on, in part, how quickly I can get them from Netflix. (Movies 2 & 3 have a short wait for the Blu-ray, which is why I decided to go with anamorphic DVD; at least Netflix claims they are anamorphic DVDs; I also recorded 2 and 3 on the DVR from HD movie channels, just in case the DVDs are slice-and-dice pan-and-scan. The disc queue show that the other Blu-ray discs don't have any waits.)

This will be my first viewing of "Terminator Genisys" and, generally, when I watch a franchise that has been spread out over a long time, let alone 31 years, I usually prefer to see the new movie in context with the other movies of the franchise. And, yes, I had watched "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" when it aired, but I am skipping the show (31 episodes when tallying both seasons) at this time.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-ray player, PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (160Mbps/12Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola DCX3501, Xfinity faceplate: RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Preferred Plus), VCR/DVD Player.
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