Review films of the 1980s here! - Page 14 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 69Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #391 of 401 Old 06-21-2017, 12:54 PM
One-Man Content Creator
 
wmcclain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3324 Post(s)
Liked: 2595
Crimes of Passion (1984), directed by Ken Russell.

Ken Russell, Sex Doctor! Erratic as he was at film directing, it's probably best he stuck to that. I remember liking this a lot but now... well, times have changed, as has the viewer.

Our cast:

  • Kathleen Turner is a cold and tightly wound fashion designer by day, but after hours moonlights as "China Blue", a specialty prostitute who will do any sort of role-playing nastiness.
  • Anthony Perkins provides his reliably bizarre talents to enact a crazed self-loathing street preacher who wants to do something to China. Save her, kill her, something.
  • John Laughlin is an ordinary working guy and family man, sexually frustrated to the breaking point, who becomes enamored of China in both of her characters.
  • Annie Potts has the thankless role of his frigid, hectoring wife who doesn't want to hear about this sex stuff.

The good:

  • It is bold filmmaking, like experimental theater where the audience is meant to be uncomfortable.
  • Films seldom have such raw and honest conversations on sex as the midnight pillow talk of the husband and wife.
  • Dramatic visual design, lurid neon in the red light district, natural tones in suburbia.

The bad:

  • Russell has repellent notions of sex. The fantasies, costumes, smutty patter: they all drain the images of what appeal they might have. Maybe he intends that. I can't tell.
  • Back then the dialogue seemed like properly stylized stage-speak. Now it is just plain bad, like the writer's outline of the characters' messages or a rough first draft of what he wants them to say.
  • Even as overblown psychotic plot development the ending makes no sense. And what did they do with the body?
  • Rick Wakeman's brief score tends toward the irritating and we have to have a music video.

This is brave work by Kathleen Turner, still early in her career and already enthusiastically trying new and risky roles. By contrast, she did the soft adventure/romance Romancing the Stone (1984) the same year.

Available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, containing both the theatrical and director's cut, which is I think just the original version before it was trimmed to earn an R rating. More porn-like explicitness, and a savage scene where China cuffs a big policeman and rides hard, including brutal work with his nightstick up his backside.

The director and writer provide a commentary track. Russell is always funny but I'm never sure how accurate. He had to leave the session and I bailed after that.

He says: the reason Anthony Perkins looks like he has slept in his clothes is that he would take them home every night and sleep in them.



-Bill

Review older films here: 1979 and earlier | 1980s | 1990s | Combined reviews: Strange Picture Scroll
Unofficial OPPO FAQS: UDP-203 | BDP-103 | BDP-93 | BDP-83 | BDP-80    
wmcclain is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #392 of 401 Old 06-23-2017, 09:52 AM
One-Man Content Creator
 
wmcclain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3324 Post(s)
Liked: 2595
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBAH1 View Post
have one good old film - Kidnapping, Caucasian Style.
This one? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060584/.

That's from 1967. You want this thread: Review older films here: 1979 and earlier

Tell us more.

-Bill

Review older films here: 1979 and earlier | 1980s | 1990s | Combined reviews: Strange Picture Scroll
Unofficial OPPO FAQS: UDP-203 | BDP-103 | BDP-93 | BDP-83 | BDP-80    
wmcclain is online now  
post #393 of 401 Old 06-23-2017, 05:18 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ChromeJob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: N. Carolina
Posts: 2,813
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1191 Post(s)
Liked: 622
Send a message via Yahoo to ChromeJob Send a message via Skype™ to ChromeJob
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post
\

Tell us more.



-Bill
I think the user is already gone. :-\

“Phil? Phil Connors?!”
Are ya new here? Please read FAQs and forum stickies. Like posts that help you. Don't ask a question and then disappear.
A: Yamaha RX-V775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.
V: Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic DMP-BDT215, Yamaha DVD-S550. Apple TV 4gen. Chromecast 1gen.
ChromeJob is offline  
 
post #394 of 401 Old 07-08-2017, 10:14 AM
Advanced Member
 
pkeegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 675
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 116
Bagdad Cafe 1987

A great quirky fun movie.

Stars: CCH Pounder, Jack Palance,Marianne Sagebrecht

Synopsys: A lonely German woman ends up in the most desolate motel on Earth and decides to make it brighter.

This movie has such a high replay value for me.

My mother was of German descent and loved to clean. This movie is about that but its main theme is friendship.

It's definately one of the Great Movies of the 80s.
gwsat and wmcclain like this.

Sony XBR55A1E
pkeegan is offline  
post #395 of 401 Old 07-08-2017, 12:24 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
gwsat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 19,301
Mentioned: 77 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3377 Post(s)
Liked: 3925
I loved Bagdad Cafe too. Marianne Sägebrecht, who played the lonely German woman, was marvelous.

HT setup: Sony 75XBR X940D UHD HDR TV; Kaleidescape Strato Movie Server 6 TB; Yamaha RX-A3060 AV receiver; Sonamp 2-1 2channel 100W power amp; Crestron Control System; 2 Rythmik FV18 subwoofers, 6 Hsu HB-1 Bookshelf speakers, 1 Hsu HC-1 Center speaker, 4 Focal ICW8 in-ceiling Atmos speakers; Oppo UDP-203 4K HDR BD player; Mac Mini HTPC. TiVO Bolt 1TB DVR; TiVo Premiere Elite 2 TB DVR; Roku Premiere+
gwsat is online now  
post #396 of 401 Old 07-08-2017, 08:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
pkeegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 675
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
I loved Bagdad Cafe too. Marianne Sägebrecht, who played the lonely German woman, was marvelous.
I was watching "Miss Sofie's Instincts", a 19990s German Miss Marple, on MHZ last month. In one episode a homeless woman needed help. I recognized her. It was Marianne Sägebrecht. Her acting was impeccable.

Sony XBR55A1E
pkeegan is offline  
post #397 of 401 Old 07-15-2017, 04:57 PM
One-Man Content Creator
 
wmcclain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3324 Post(s)
Liked: 2595
Lair of the White Worm (1988), written, produced and directed by Ken Russell.

This R-rated horror spoof is meant to be funny, exciting, sexy and gross. It does all that if you can get your mind into the correct silliness space. The humor and style are not very subtle but that's Ken Russell: take a good idea and beat it senseless. I love the guy.

Audience interest might have been greater if more people understood that in old English "worm" is "dragon". The clever invention is a vampire cult with snakes instead of bats, dating back to Roman times, with a reincarnated modern priestess who serves her subterranean god.

Special thanks to the serpent-like Amanda Donohoe who strips naked more than once, tongues a phallic relic and wears a carved stone strap-on for special ceremonial occasions. Keeping your seductive sense of humor through all that must take some doing.

Also with young Hugh Grant and Peter Capaldi. Playing sisters are not-quite-a-princess Catherine Oxenberg and Sammi Davis, last seen in Mona Lisa (1986) and Hope and Glory (1987).

Part of the grossness are some hallucinogenic previous-lives visions of bloody death by those stone strap-ons. The sexual violence is pretty bad here, but flashes by quickly. Still, my wife won't watch the film because of these bits.

We also learn what the kilted Scotsman keeps in that hairy thing between his legs.

Inspired by the actual folklore of the Lambton Worm. The song lyrics shown in the article are used in the film. That exotic cave location is Thor's Cavern.

Adapted from a book of the same title by Bram Stoker. I read it years ago and remember thinking it was rubbish, and nothing like the film.

1980s synth score.

Available on Blu-ray with two commentary tracks:

  • The director's commentary is brought forward from the DVD. He's funny and perhaps affecting drunkenness. Some of his stories are tall tales. The rest: I can't always tell.
  • A later excited conversation with Russell's last wife. Lots of stories about Ken and his pictures.



-Bill
ChromeJob likes this.

Review older films here: 1979 and earlier | 1980s | 1990s | Combined reviews: Strange Picture Scroll
Unofficial OPPO FAQS: UDP-203 | BDP-103 | BDP-93 | BDP-83 | BDP-80    
wmcclain is online now  
post #398 of 401 Old 07-29-2017, 01:17 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Gorilla Killa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Tennessee Mtns
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked: 777
This wasnt too bad of a movie, I can watch anything with Christopher Walken. I caught it on cable and was suprised I had not heard of it. At the 2:50 mark in the trailer I laughed my ass off, I was waiting for a Tugg Speedman intro lol. Tell me you werent thinking the same thing.

ADU likes this.
Gorilla Killa is offline  
post #399 of 401 Old 08-15-2017, 05:18 PM
One-Man Content Creator
 
wmcclain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3324 Post(s)
Liked: 2595
Eating Raoul (1982), directed by Paul Bartel.

Quote:

"Just remember to get the money up front. And whatever they want to do, stop if it draws blood". -- Doris the Dominatrix.
Paul and Mary Bland have a happily sexless marriage, sharing a love of wine and dreams of their own restaurant: "Paul & Mary's Country Kitchen". Their bane is an infestation of degenerate swingers who have invaded their apartment building. After inadvertently killing a couple of men who were trying to mess with Mary they hit upon a plan of advertising for sexual services, then killing and robbing their customers.

Enter Raoul, locksmith by day, burglar by night. He offers them body disposal services and new opportunities for Mary.

I remember this being outrageously campy; it's still funny but the humor seems very blunt, like John Waters crossed with Mel Brooks. The acting is supposed to be obviously bad, which lets director Bartel star in his own film.

There must be a name for the anti-sex sex comedy genre but I don't know what it is.

Both Mary Woronov and assorted swingers provide light nudity. Introducing Robert Beltran.

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion.



-Bill
Tack and ChromeJob like this.

Review older films here: 1979 and earlier | 1980s | 1990s | Combined reviews: Strange Picture Scroll
Unofficial OPPO FAQS: UDP-203 | BDP-103 | BDP-93 | BDP-83 | BDP-80    
wmcclain is online now  
post #400 of 401 Old 09-03-2017, 11:22 AM
ADU
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ADU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 8,305
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
Liked: 658
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome



I see that Bill's already reviewed this here. This has always been one of my favorite under-appreciated films of the 1980's.

Here's my latest take on the BD: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Blu-ray review.

ADU
ADU is offline  
post #401 of 401 Old Today, 08:13 AM
One-Man Content Creator
 
wmcclain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22,291
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3324 Post(s)
Liked: 2595
Paris, Texas (1984), directed by Wim Wenders.

A man wandering in the Texas desert has gone feral. Not vicious, just withdrawn and mute, a face formed by hopelessness and suffering. He visibly flinches when he sees himself in a mirror and heads back out into the wilderness. It takes time to domesticate what has become wild.

The story proceeds in three acts: (1) Travis is collected by his brother who works hard to get him indoors and talking again, (2) their return to LA where Travis must be reacquainted with his young son, and (3) their road trip back to Texas to find Mom.

The story of this shattered family, how it broke apart and how it might be reassembled, is revealed slowly. In some ways it is a western; like The Searchers (1956) after the hero recovers the lost woman and returns her to her family, he turns and heads out again, alone.

A couple of bits I had forgotten:

  • Quite plausibly, the walls on the girls side of the peep show rooms are unfinished with bare insulation. The customers never see it.
  • Sitting at an intersection, left goes to Mom, right back to LA. "Left, Dad", says the kid.

After about 100 credits as a supporting and character actor, the great Harry Dean Stanton finally gets the lead in a role he believes in. Dean Stockwell, used to so many eccentric characters, gets to play a normal guy. Nastassja Kinski gets to be American and we welcome her. Great work from each of them.

Photographed by Wenders' long-time cameraman Robby Müller. I first saw most of these films on video tape and remembered nothing about their visual composition. In the Blu-ray era they are just gorgeous and I am amazed on what those two could do on the day of shooting, picking up beauty as they found it.

I did see this one in the theater, but to me it looks better on home video and also seems to run faster. 2h25m is probably too long for many viewers, but it did not seem overlong to me this time.

Ry Cooder provides a lovely, hurting slide guitar concerto with cantina music on the side. He says the main theme is adapted from Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by Blind Willie Johnson, 1927.

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion with a meticulous commentary by the director wherein I learn:

  • He had wanted to work with Sam Shepard before but the studio wouldn't allow it because Shepard, although an accomplished playwright, had done no screenplays yet. No one wants to be the first.
  • They wrote the story up to LA and had planned to write the rest while shooting, but Shepard was away on another project. He contributed at a long distance and wrote the peep show dialogue. (An aside: those bits sound like recited playwright-speak to me).
  • All real locations, all direct photography. (The peep show setting was constructed; he said he didn't think anything like that existed in reality).
  • He fell in love with a split-lens and used it as much as possible. It allows both foreground and background to be in focus.
  • He did not storyboard any of the scenes, just got the actors to run through it on the day and worked out the shots with Müller on the spot. Note that what he calls "storyboarding" meant staying up the night before and planning the next day. To others it would imply much more elaborate preparation.
  • Cooder composed while watching the film. He would repeat each reel and play along until he got what he wanted.
  • Stanton made up his own bits of doing dishes, singing Mexican songs, cleaning shoes. (I remember another actor -- was it Kris Kristofferson? -- telling how he got into films: "There was this guy who used to hang out at the bar, singing Mexican songs..." That was Harry Dean).
  • One of those sweaters Kinski wears: Wenders knew what he wanted but couldn't find it. His costumer located it the morning of the scene at a yard sale.
  • He says of Kinksi: we make a film together every ten years, thinking of Wrong Move (1975) and Faraway, So Close! (1993). They were overdue when he recorded the track and are long overdue now.



-Bill
Tack likes this.

Review older films here: 1979 and earlier | 1980s | 1990s | Combined reviews: Strange Picture Scroll
Unofficial OPPO FAQS: UDP-203 | BDP-103 | BDP-93 | BDP-83 | BDP-80    

Last edited by wmcclain; Today at 08:19 AM.
wmcclain is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Movies, Concerts, and Music Discussion

Tags
Reviews , The Jewel Of The Nile Blu Ray , Blu Ray Movies , Romancing The Stone Blu Ray , Flash Gordon Blu Ray , An American Werewolf In London Full Moon Edition Blu Ray , Big Trouble In Little China Blu Ray , Indiana Jones The Complete Adventures Blu Ray

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off