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Caged (1950)
An excellent example of Suspense-Film Noir and probably the best woman's prison film ever!
A naive 19-year-old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a women's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.
Director:John Cromwell
Writers:Virginia Kellogg, Bernard C. Schoenfeld
Stars:Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
Brilliant performances by Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, and especially, Hope Emerson, as the prison matron... were all outstanding!! Parker & Emerson were Oscar nominated, and in a year (1950) which gave us, "All About Eve" , "Sunset Blvd", and others, that was no easy feat!!...Parkers beauty and innocence gave the film its sensitivity & vulnerability... Moorehead was also outstanding (as always) but Emerson defined the role of prison matron.. forever!!. Wow what a monster....!!! what a performance.. !! An excellent example of Suspense-Film Noir and probably the best woman's prison film ever!
Agnes Moorehead and Eleanor Parker in Caged (1950)

Nominated for 3 Oscars
 

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Cinema showing Cinemark XD enhanced Dolby Atmos. Wearing my mask and I've been vaccinated.
Then I watched a second time on HBOMAX
in one 24 hour period !

8/10


#I'm team Godzilla



The film roars out at you from the first moment, and generally speaking it does not let up until the end. My only critique is at Kong is too danm big and it takes away from the human relationship that King Kong is known for just a wee bit . There's enough iconic monster Mayhem that this is easily overlooked however.

Godzilla's atomic breath was a high-light in the visual category .



One of the rays of light in the film was Kaylee Hottle as young Jia. It takes a lot to steal a scene when your scene partner is a giant ape, but Kaylee did it. Thankfully, like the previous films, this one does not live or die with the humans that are in it. You are going to love this film on big a screen where you can see the fight explode around you while the score shook your seat. The bass is out of control good. Whether you watch the film in the Cinema or on the your Television ; Godzilla vs.Kong is an epic Creature Feature.

Goodta go, antibodies fight monster O.D.

 
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Belle (2013) Cable TV Directed by Amma Asante ('A United Kingdom'). Cinematography by Ben Smithard ('Goodbye Christopher Robin', 'The Man Who Invented Christmas', 'Downton Abbey', ' The Father'). Editing by Victoria Boydell ('The Awakening', 'Broken', 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', 'The Windermere Children'); Pia Di Ciaula ('Tyrannosaur', 'Journeyman', 'Hope Gap').

Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid. Support by Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, James Norton, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson.

An aristocrat's mixed-race daughter confronts 18th century England. Based on a true story. The great Tom Wilkinson plus art direction help immensely.

Filmed 2012 in UK. Budget $10M; Worldwide Gross $16M.

 

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3119758


Stressful, but surprisingly well done, dark comedy. It's as stressful, if not more so, than Uncut Gems. Good watch with the girlfriend or wife because it's a well done movie but kind of appeals to everyone, no tacky chick-flick vibe about it. Review are good and I can see why, but, not sure about 98% on RT. lol. I'd give it a 8/10

 

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Hmmmm what to watch next
These are all 4K titled



These are all Blu-ray








So much fun to pick and choose
Hmmmm what to watch next??
Awesome collection of DVD Blu-ray physical media ! Very nice Home Cinema set up. I am a 3D Aficionado my vote would be something in 3D with that setup ;)
 

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On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.
Director:Alfred Hitchcock
Writers:Charles Bennett (screenplay), Joan Harrison (screenplay)
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall

Foreign Correspondent (1940) is another of director Alfred Hitchcock's spy thrillers. It was his second American film (and hired out by David O. Selznick to independent producer Walter Wanger) one that closely resembled his earlier British spy thrillers: The 39 Steps (1935, UK) and The Lady Vanishes (1938, UK), although more attuned for US audiences.

The film has a number of memorable scenes or set-pieces, including a political assassination in the rain on the steps of the Amsterdam Town Hall (and the assassin's escape trail shot from a high-angle and visible through a sea of umbrellas), a mysterious Dutch windmill (with Nazis hiding inside , Hitler gets one brief mention in the beginning, but the film is otherwise Swastika-free), where the reporter's trench-coat was momentarily caught in the gears of the windmill, a thwarted assassination attempt on the observation deck of Westminster Cathedral's Tower, and an incredible trans-oceanic clipper plane crash into the Atlantic.



The under-rated, semi-neglected but enjoyable film didn't receive any Academy Awards, but it was nominated for six Oscars: Best Picture (producer Walter Wanger), Best Supporting Actor (Albert Bassermann who learned all his dialogue phonetically),

Best Original Screenplay, Best B/W Art Direction (Alexander Golitzen), Best Special Effects (Thomas T. Moulton and Paul Eagler) and Best B/W Cinematography (Rudolph Mate). Joan Harrison became the first screenwriter to be nominated in two different categories in the same year: for Rebecca (1940) (Best Screenplay) and for Foreign Correspondent (1940) (Best Original Screenplay).

In the same year, Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director for the Best Picture-winning film Rebecca (1940) - his first American film (Foreign Correspondent was Hitchcock's second film in 1940). He had wanted Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck (and Joan Fontaine) in the lead roles, but had to settle for Joel McCrea and Laraine Day. Both of which did a fine job in there roles.

For anyone questioning the seriousness of this pre-war propaganda piece, there is a sharp turn at about the 3/4 mark that reminds us just how dangerous and of-the-moment the threats must have seemed to Hitch and his crew.

There is a lot in Foreign Correspondent that Hitchcock aficionados can dissect and examine to understand how the director builds suspense. The film has some notoriety for how much Hitch pushed the envelope and advanced special effects in order to make his action pieces come alive. He used miniatures and rear projection, as well as stage trickery, in ways that remain impressive, even if a modern eye can spot the seams.

Foreign Correspondent is a wonderful example of the master working at his craft, that deserves to be dusted off and enjoyed alongside some of his more celebrated thrillers. 7.5/10
 

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Mars Attacks
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3119905

3119906

And just for fun 🛸
3119907

 

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A Passage to India (1984) BD Written, directed, edited by David Lean ('Brief Encounter', 'Great Expectations', 'Oliver Twist', 'Summertime', 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Ryan's Daughter'). Cinematography by Ernest Day ('Revenge of the Pink Panther', 'Burning Secret'). Music by Maurice Jarre ('The Longest Day', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'The Train', 'The Collector', 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Is Paris Burning?', 'The Night of the Generals', 'The Damned', 'Ryan's Daughter', 'The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean', 'The Man Who Would Be King', 'The Tin Drum', 'Fatal Attraction').

Starring James Fox, Peggy Ashcroft, Victor Banerjee, Judy Davis. Support by Alec Guinness, Nigel Havers, Michael Culver, Saeed Jaffrey, Clive Swift.

David Lean's final film, a classic as most are. Overview and introspection of British India in 1920s and 30s.

Filmed 1983/84 in India and UK. Budget $16M; Worldwide Gross $27M. 11 Oscar noms. Wins for Best Actress/Supporting Role (Ashcroft), and Best Music/Original Score (Jarre).

 

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Concrete Cowboy (2020)
Director:
Ricky Staub
Writers: Ricky Staub, Dan Walser
Stars: Idris Elba, Lorraine Toussaint, Caleb McLaughlin
Netflix

Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things fame plays Cole, a 15 year old with lots of discipline issues. It is established quickly that he has been kicked out of multiple schools, and his mother is at her wit's end with him. She drives him from Detroit to Philadelphia to stay with his father for the summer (Harp, played by Idris Elba). Harp is part of a group of black cowboys that operate the Fletcher Street Stables, which is actually a real collective in Philadelphia. Cole doesn't really know his father so this is incredibly upsetting to him. Naturally he rebels and ends up spending time with his friend from childhood that has gotten involved with the local illicit drug trade. Cole is forced to decide between the path of righteousness and redemption or the path of darkness.

Not much new going on here from a basic story arc POV, but I did enjoy the tie-in to a real life group of people that are struggling to survive in an ever-modernizing world. Some of the significant actors are actual members of the group. During the credits, they talk about their experiences and history, and that was honestly one of my favorite parts of the movie. It is a bit schmaltzy and predictable, but I enjoyed it for the most part. Caleb McLaughlin showed some very nice range as a young actor. I think he'll be around for a while. I am already a fan of Elba, and he handles this material nicely. Plus, he rocks dirty jeans and cowboy hat pretty well. Side note: Really good directorial debut for Ricky Staub. IMDb: 6.2/10, my score: 6.8/10



 

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Grand Hotel (1932)
Sexy Pre-Code Crawford Meets Sexy Pre-Code Garbo

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director:Edmund Goulding
Writers:Vicki Baum (by), William Absalom Drake (play) (as William A. Drake)
Stars:Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford

Grand Hotel is a 1932 American pre-Code drama film directed by Edmund Goulding and produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. To date, it is the only film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without being nominated in any other category.
Grand Hotel has proven influential in the years since its original release. The line "I want to be alone", famously delivered by Greta Garbo, placed number 30 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"
The film was also seen as an artistic achievement in its art direction and production quality. The art director, Cedric Gibbons, was one of the most important and influential in the history of American film. The lobby scenes were extremely well done, portraying a 360° desk. This allowed audiences to watch the hotel action from all around the characters. It changed the way sets were made from that point onward. The art deco and luxurious sets are a sight to behold.



The multiple intersecting storylines featuring different characters in Grand Hotel was a revelation in how to tell a cinematic story and had a huge influence on how films were made after its release in 1932.

Production Head Irving Thalberg's idea to use all of MGM's greatest star power in the same film was a revolutionary idea. With the film's publicity boasting "the greatest cast ever assembled," Grand Hotel delivered all of the studio's top talent at the same time. It was a calculated gamble that paid off and soon became a common format for big budget studio pictures. It was Hollywood's first all-star film. Grand Hotel was a risk that turned into a huge hit for MGM. Its success gave a boost to the careers of all involved, and helped MGM survive an economic depression.

Grand Hotel was influential in contributing to the ongoing myth of the Great Garbo, remembered forever as talented and beautiful as well as complex, elusive, and aloof. Her Grand Hotel character Grusinskaya's oft repeated "I want to be alone" line became synonymous with the actress herself and contributed to her mysterious image that followed her throughout her life.

Joan Crawford was kind of a 'chick,' with her roguish eyes and ... Crawford's dark-haired beauty contrasted with Greta Garbo's . Crawford she is truly a stunning beauty !!! The word glamorous came in to use right about that time, and it was perfect to describe young Joan Crawford.
Joan Crawford's role as the ambitious stenographer Flaemmchen in Grand Hotel was responsible for giving her career a big boost as she moved towards A-list stardom as a leading lady. Having successfully transitioned to sound film, this part gave her the chance to hold her own against some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters, including Garbo, one of her idols.

This is a brilliant, star-studded film . GRAND HOTEL is Essential.Melodramatic...and MAGNIFICENT.
 

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Run - Chloe - a wheelchair-bound rural dweller - suspects that her mother's love for her isn't as pure as it seems.

Comments: Although this thriller/drama could have benefitted from better writing and acting, it was decent enough and the relatively-brief run time (~90m) and brisk pace made it an easy watch.
3120537
 

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Wag the Dog. Political satire at it's best, with a fantastic cast and great writing/dialog. A must see in my book.
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Catlow
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