Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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Yay! I got Spotlight for my mom for her 84th birthday a couple months ago. (She said she wanted to see it... she's not Catholic, so I don't know why she was so interested... maybe because it won the oscar?)

Anyway, my parents watched it then gave it to me to watch - it's still on my shelf.
So now I can watch it and be able to compare it to the review.
(4 stars is now making me look forward to it.)
Cool, let me know what you think. It's not an exciting film in the sense of action, but it held my attention and to be truthful I have a short attention span for movies, no kidding.

I will just say it's an intellectual film and it isn't anti Catholic, it just sticks to the facts.



The subject matter, although disturbing, is still intriguing.

I can't think about that without recalling the movie Priest (1994) - about a Catholic priest struggling with his own homosexuality while trying to aid a girl who is being sexually abused by her father. Heavy stuff. Disturbing themes, but a very gripping drama.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110889/?ref_=nv_sr_4



I saw Spotlight when it was in the theaters and liked it. I don't know that "enjoy" is the right word due to the content, but I liked that it seemed like a throwback to the "ripped from the headlines" genre, an expose' film. There are not many movies like that today, so, in a sense, it was innovative or, at least outside the mainstream. The plot stayed pretty close to the events that I recall and told the story without adding hyperbole to the actual events, which WERE pretty damn hyperbolic themselves.



The subject matter, although disturbing, is still intriguing.

I can't think about that without recalling the movie Priest (1994) - about a Catholic priest struggling with his own homosexuality while trying to aid a girl who is being sexually abused by her father. Heavy stuff. Disturbing themes, but a very gripping drama.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110889/?ref_=nv_sr_4
I never heard of that one. There was a movie a few years ago about a priest in Ireland? I think who was being stalked. Not really my type of film. But I found Spotlight very easy to watch.

I saw Spotlight when it was in the theaters and liked it. I don't know that "enjoy" is the right word due to the content, but I liked that it seemed like a throwback to the "ripped from the headlines" genre, an expose' film. There are not many movies like that today, so, in a sense, it was innovative or, at least outside the mainstream. The plot stayed pretty close to the events that I recall and told the story without adding hyperbole to the actual events, which WERE pretty damn hyperbolic themselves.
Hey Skizzerflake nice to see ya! I've seen your reviews, you a good reviewer. What you just wrote describes the movie to a tee. I especially like this line: "The plot stayed pretty close to the events that I recall and told the story without adding hyperbole to the actual events, which WERE pretty damn hyperbolic themselves".




The Cobweb
(Vincente Minnelli, 1955)

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Cast
: Richard Widmark, Gloria Grahame, Lauren Bacall, Lillian Gish, Charles Boyer
Genre: Melodrama
Studio: MGM

The Cobweb would have been James Dean's fourth movie had he lived. He was slated to play the young Steven Holt, a disturbed young artist who's a patient at the
psychiatric clinic. The role went to John Kerr instead, the man in the above photo. Driving the car is a bruntte Gloria Grahame.

The Cobweb is a 1950's melodramatic soap-drama that follows the
loves, hopes and fears of doctors and staff of an upscale psychiatric clinic...where the patients are free to come and go as they please and seem more normal that the often neuritic staff. The patients have a series of issues from phobias and sex maniacs, etc and are aptly played by: John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, Oscar Levant. With an equally impressive star filled staff: Richard Widmark, Gloria Grahame, Lillian Gish, Charles Boyer and Lauren Bacall.



Based on a novel by William Gibson and directed by Vincente Minnelli with his usual flair for stunning sets and colorful decor. The movie unfolds in 1950's soap opera style, which works quite well as the characters are colorful and plenty. The plot revolves around a power play for who has the authority to order the new drapes for the clinic. Of course this is just a symptom of the internal politics and struggles between the business end and romance side of this film.



Stealing this movie is Gloria Grahame! If you're a fan of Grahame, watch this. Not only does she look spectacular as a brunette, she has a fire and prescience that makes every scene she is a stand out.

This is 50s soap fun!
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Well, Gloria Grahame is a rocket in this one. She's worth the admission price I really don't think we'll see that one on the 50s countdown. But I can keep my fingers crossed.





Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Director: Sergio Leone
Writers: Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone (screenplay)
Cast: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale
Genre: Western

Synopsis: A sweeping story of a woman (Claudia Cardinale) who moves to Utah only to find her new husband and family killed. Determined to stay on her husbands ranch, despite attempts to be driven off it by a murderous land baron working for the railroad (Henry Fonda), she meets up with a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who might spell her hope or her doom.

Review: Once Upon a Time in the West, is a glorious film to look at with stunning set locations, some of the best I've seen on film...and equally stunning set designs. This is a visual western! I loved the old weathered wood at the railroad station and the ranch owned by the widow. The sets just ooze character.

This is art as film. What a feast for the eyes, even the flies get a close-up. But you know, I could have done without the ultra close-ups of the actors. I don't want to know how many pores are in Charles Bronson's face. Nor do I need to check out the dental work on Henry Fonda. Close ups OK, but ultra close ups, no.

I guess you'd call that an auteurs stamp. But to me, when the director's individuality takes me out of the film, it works against the film.



I loved the score...and the opening scene with the sound of a squeaky weather vane was brilliantly done. But the flip side was the grandiose foley effect when someone was slapped in the face, it sounded like it was lifted from an old Bruce Lee kung fu movie.

To be honest each scene was so slow I found the film tedious and hard to watch at times. It was like the director intentionally stretched out the scenes to as long as possible.



Come to think of it, the two leads Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda were both adequate, but not dynamic like Clint Eastwood and Jack Palance would have been. The only actor who had my attention was Claudia Cardinale. She could relay more emotion with a furled brow and her eyes, than the rest of the cast combined. High marks for the director for his decision to make her the focus of the story.

I thought the story was pretty well done but it made the same mistake as many films...insulting the intelligence of the audience. It was established that Henry Fonda is a cold blooded killer and he knows Charles Bronson wants to kill him.Fonda arrives on his horse with gun drawn...but....Bronson has his gun laying on a fence rail and is playing his harmonica. In any sense of reality, Fonda would have shot him while his gun laid there. That sort of thing drives me nuts in a serious western, and could have been fixed with a script adjustment that showed Charles Bronson playing the harmonica with one hand and pointing his gun at Fonda with the other.

Overall I'd give this a 5/5 for visual beauty and I'd give it 5/5 for a cool story, but I have to score it lower for how drawn out the scenes were and for the other things I mentioned.

+



During my first watch this was a
film for me, particularly the drawn out scenes and constant lingering in scenes for pure visual pleasure kind of annoyed me... But with a second watch, I was able to completely disappear into the visual beauty of it and ended up giving it
on the rewatch.



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[b][size=5]Every Which Way But Loose (1978)
I was pleasantly surprised to see a review of this movie on your thread, Citizen...just doesn't strike me as the kind of movie you'd like. I always loved it, I thought it was a very refreshing change of pace for Eastwood.



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Volunteers (Nicholas Meyer, 1985)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Cast: Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson
Genre: Comedy
This is one of those rare Tom Hanks movies that I have never seen...enjoyed your review though and might check it out.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
just did a partial catch up (only went back to June) always do enjoy your reviews, and, like everyone else, I too am sad you didn't like airplane



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
thoroughly enjoy the insight and the love for movies you express as well as being quite eclectic when it comes to the movies you review.
ALWAYS a joy!




The Lady in the Van (2015)
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Alan Bennett
Cast: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings


About: An unassuming British writer (Alex Jennings) unexpectedly finds a homeless elderly woman (Maggie Smith) living in a van that's parked in his driveway. There she stays for the next 15 years as he observes her strange life.
Review:
I was bored by this...and by all rights this should have been a film I loved. The story is right up my alley...with what would seem to be a quirky British film with a wonderful actresses and based on true life events. But gads! was this boring. I blame the boredom on a major disconnect from the characters on the screen.

First problem is we don't really get up close and personally with the lady in the van. We see her from affair as the writer observes her from his house window. The story felt all surface, with no depth and no insight.

Second problem we experience the film from the writer's viewpoint and damn is he a muddling, boring character. I would say he's one dimensional, but the director went with the idea of having the actor play two version of himself. Because according to the film the writer is of two minds.


I hated this dull character and done in stereo.

Third problem is the film has no guts. It charts a safe course without looking at the reality of what is transpiring before our eyes. This film could have went so many ways from darkly dismal, or exposé style, to a quirky comic or even black comedy...or the film could have tugged at our heart strings a la Spielberg. But it does none of these things, it just lays there like a bag of refuge carelessly tossed by the road side.

Maggie Smith turned in a good performance too bad the director was a sleep at the wheel.


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Mame (1974)
Director: Gene Saks
Cast: Lucille Ball, Robert Preston, Bea Arthur
Genre: Musical


About
: Set in the roaring 1920's. A nine year old kid who's been recently orphaned comes to Manhattan to live with his only relative, the free spirited Mame.

Review
: Ugh, this might be one of the worst movie musicals to be adapted from Broadway play. And yes, this is a reboot of the wildly successful movie Auntie Mame (1958) the one with Rosalind Russell. So how can a very successful Broadway play end up being such a stinker? Lucille Ball.

Bless her heart, she's the queen of comedy but she can't sing a stitch. Oh sure she can croak some, but what good is a lead in a musical who can't hold a note? And to be blunt, Lucy isn't up to the part. I hardly believed her as the wildly entertaining free spirit. Lucy has some pretty big high heels to fill in the role of Mame...Rosalind Russell defined the role in 1958 and on Broadway Angela Lansbury was the toast of the town as the feisty, colorful Mame. Let's face it Lucy ain't got it here. She knew it too, that's why it's her last theatrical movie she ever made.

It's not all Lucy's fault, the kid actor who comes to live with her is a pivotal character...and he had the personality of wet noodle. But latter on he's become a young man and so there's a different actor playing him, and that actor too is milquetoast.



Saving the day is Bea Arthur, who's colorful as an aging flapper. Sadly Robert Preston, beloved actor from The Music Man doesn't add much to the movie.

Watch, if you must.
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Mame (1974)
Director: Gene Saks
Cast: Lucille Ball, Robert Preston, Bea Arthur
Genre: Musical


About
: Set in the roaring 1920's. A nine year old kid who's been recently orphaned comes to Manhattan to live with his only relative, the free spirited Mame.

Review
: Ugh, this might be one of the worst movie musicals to be adapted from Broadway play. And yes, this is a reboot of the wildly successful movie Auntie Mame (1958) the one with Rosalind Russell. So how can a very successful Broadway play end up being such a stinker? Lucille Ball.

Bless her heart, she's the queen of comedy but she can't sing a stitch. Oh sure she can croak some, but what good is a lead in a musical who can't hold a note? And to be blunt, Lucy isn't up to the part. I hardly believed her as the wildly entertaining free spirit. Lucy has some pretty big high heels to fill in the role of Mame...Rosalind Russell defined the role in 1958 and on Broadway Angela Lansbury was the toast of the town as the feisty, colorful Mame. Let's face it Lucy ain't got it here. She knew it too, that's why it's her last theatrical movie she ever made.

It's not all Lucy's fault, the kid actor who comes to live with her is a pivotal character...and he had the personality of wet noodle. But latter on he's become a young man and so there's a different actor playing him, and that actor too is milquetoast.



Saving the day is Bea Arthur, who's colorful as an aging flapper. Sadly Robert Preston, beloved actor from The Music Man doesn't add much to the movie.

Watch, if you must.

I've never watched Mame specifically because I'm not a fan of Lucille Ball in anything other than "I Love Lucy", but I was going to watch this when I saw that the cast included Robert Preston.

But then I read your review, and the last sentence about Robert Preston, and it sounds like my first instinct to skip this movie was the right one.
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I wonder how it stacks up against Auntie Mame (1958) starring Rosalind Russel and Forrest Tucker (of F-Troop fame, whom I assume is in the Robert Preston role)?

I've only seen a little of the earlier movie, but none of the 1974 version.



I wonder how it stacks up against Auntie Mame (1958) starring Rosalind Russel and Forrest Tucker (of F-Troop fame, whom I assume is in the Robert Preston role)?

I've only seen a little of the earlier movie, but none of the 1974 version.

I saw Auntie Mame many years ago so I don't remember much about it, but as I recall, it was only okay for me. I wanted to rewatch it for the '50's list, but I just didn't get a chance.