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Victim of The Night
Tonight, it's on the Noir theme, but a 1998 sci-fi-fantasy version of film noir, Dark City. In this strange twisted, complicated and genuinely bizarre story, a man wakes up in a vile bathtub and finds out that he's a murderer, pursued by a detective named Bumstead.

But (a big but), this is all a delusion. A race of strange extraterrestrials wants to understand human emotions, has created this dark city on a spacecraft, where it's always night, and sets up situations to see how humans react. Nobody knows that they are specimens in a study, nor that the scenes are re-run because the ET's just don't get us. They especially don't realize that, when everybody is asleep, the city is remade in a different form.

It really is a completely cool movie, amazingly creative, and right up there with non-sci-fi noir movies like The Stranger, Whirlpool or DOA, but infinitely stranger. It stars Rufus Sewell, William Hurt Keifer Sutherland and Jennifer Connelly and a cast of mind-controlling, pale, head bursting aliens whose bodies are inhabited by transparent spiders. How's that for strange.

If you have the Blue Ray version, there's a theatrical cut and a director's cut. They mainly differ with some additional plot elements that fill in a few gaps, but either one is terrific. I might have a slight preference for the theatrical cut, which has a pace that is nearly musical in nature with a visual rhythm, but either cut is terrific.

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Yikes. Some pretty serious spoilers there.
Good movie, though.



I don't think there will ever be a group quite like The Bee Gees. It's amazing how they started off sounding like The Beatles, faded away shortly afterwards, and then reinvented themselves with the falsetto sound, revolutionized the "disco" movement, faded away again with the public turning on disco, reinvented themselves yet again as prolific songwriters, and then reemerged as a veteran pop/rock group once again. It's quite sad how older brother Barry is the last man standing. The interview where he remembers Maurice, Robin, and Andy was heartbreaking.
I know there's going to be a movie about them, and I can't wait to see it now.
A big to all of this. Anyone with even a passing interest in them should watch the documentary. It shows just how important they were to music. And for actual fans it's a major treat.



By any chance did you watch the recent She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power series?
I've seen (and enjoyed) the first season, but I'm way behind in my TV watching.



Hell Drivers (1957)

Nice bit of down to earth, threatening drama here starring the wonderful Stanley Baker. Mad cross between noir and kitchen-sink. Story is good and the action (lorry) is actually very believable and well constructed (albeit the romantic angle is a bit clunkey).

Rating, a strong
.





Never seen this in its entirety. Not a huge Eastwood fan, but a very good movie. The guy who played the killer was excellent. It was only his 2nd movie & since then heís done a ton of stuff. But I doubt anyone knows his name or what he looks like now. I know I donít.
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Rewatched Gran Torino and I never noticed that he sings at the end, with the same voice you hear throughout the movie.
It was lovely to hear Clint/Walt and Jamie Cullum sing that out. The film had it's failings but I liked it and that close was perfect.



Never seen this in its entirety. Not a huge Eastwood fan, but a very good movie. The guy who played the killer was excellent. It was only his 2nd movie & since then heís done a ton of stuff. But I doubt anyone knows his name or what he looks like now. I know I donít.[/quote]

He is manic to the Max (the Scorpio)...seen a few times so know its Andrew Robinson...did more TV roles following this.



Hereís looking at you, kid.
It was lovely to hear Clint/Walt and Jamie Cullum sing that out. The film had it's failings but I liked it and that close was perfect.
I thoroughly enjoyed it myself, as I always do. I loved the story, I thought the camera work was great but the acting was something to be desired.



I forgot that Conway was George Sanders' brother. Geez, both men had pretty sad endings; Conway's maybe worse.
I do remember David Nivens wrote in his autobiography that Sanders had told him in 1937 that he would die by his own hand. Both men had health problems but Conway basically drank himself to death. I always thought Conway was the younger brother but he was the older by almost two years. Sanders himself underwent a lot of heartache the last year of his life, losing his wife, his mother, and his brother.

He also once ran a tobacco plantation in South America and liked playing the piano and marrying Gabor sisters.



While it's been a while since I've seen TTM, I can't really feel that Anna was portrayed as much of a "femme fatale", seeing as how naive and trusting she was portrayed in general, pretty much the complete opposite of what a true fatale would've been (like Harry Lime himself said, she "loved too much"). Besides that though, I agree with everything you wrote, since it's currently my favorite Noir of the classical era, so to everything else.
I thought the same thing when I wrote that. Anna was much too genuine to ever be considered a FF. But I meant it as more of a standard of how women were so often portrayed onscreen. The fact that she didn't have a hidden agenda and was basically a woman mourning the man she loved made her all the more winsome. Yet another aspect that the movie got right.




He is manic to the Max (the Scorpio)...seen a few times so know its Andrew Robinson...did more TV roles following this.
Right. And heís still busy.



GRAND HOTEL
(1932, Goulding)
The first Best Picture winner I haven't seen



"Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."

Although one would certainly want a bit more development from some characters, Grand Hotel does manage to balance its ensemble cast fairly well. Still, the pace seems a bit scattered at times and, although the film maintains a mostly light tone, there's a shift towards the bleak that seemed a bit abrupt to me. However, most of the performances are pretty good, with John Barrymore and Joan Crawford being the highlights for me. Finally, the set design was quite impressive, highlighted by some neat camerawork, especially in the lobby scenes.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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Right. And heís still busy.
Yeah, I remember he was kind of typecast around that time as this annoying creepy type who came to an especially bad end. Like Charley Varrick where he and Joe Don Baker had that blow up. And Hellraiser (which was a totally wholesome role and everyone lived happily ever after).

Of course, as far as being typecast he was certainly no Paul Koslo. That guy basically played the same role in countless movies.



Never seen this in its entirety. Not a huge Eastwood fan, but a very good movie. The guy who played the killer was excellent. It was only his 2nd movie & since then heís done a ton of stuff. But I doubt anyone knows his name or what he looks like now. I know I donít.

He is manic to the Max (the Scorpio)...seen a few times so know its Andrew Robinson...did more TV roles following this.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine fans sure do!



Star Trek Deep Space Nine fans sure do!
LOL. I knew when I wrote that that everyone here would prove me wrong.



Bad Boys For Life (2020)

*** out of *****

Entertaining and action packed, no explosions and just enjoyable dumb fun. It has some flaws sure but a good watch when you want to "shut your brain off".





Paths of Glory, 1957

In the midst of WWI, a French company is ordered to make an obviously-doomed attack on an entrenched German position. When the attack, which from the get-go was estimated to kill over half of the men even if all went well, goes even more poorly than planned, and a humiliated leadership decides to put the soldiers on trial for cowardice. Three men are selected to "represent" their squad and face potential execution. Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) has previous experience in trials, and steps up to defend the men.

I am not the biggest fan of Kubrick. But I want to give a real thank you to whoever it was in the last few weeks who wrote something on here about one of his films and used the term "dehumanizing". I think that this element of Kubrick's films is both where his great skill is and what keeps me often from fully engaging with his movies.

That said, I think that this is easily--by, like, a wide margin--my favorite film that I have seen from Kubrick. It raised questions about what allows such dehumanization to happen in the first place and how different personalities react to it.

The difference, for me, is largely in the character (and Douglas's amazing performance) of Dax. Before the action even begins, Dax has the haunted look of a man who has seen too much. We know from beginning exposition that his men have already been through punishing encounters and have yet to recover to their full strength. He is a kernel of empathy and determination in the middle of a war machine that puts no value in the former. He is a much needed audience surrogate--a witness within the madness, even when he is powerless to stop grave injustice.

The film is bookended with two sequences that reveal the way that people talk themselves, essentially, into cruelty and dehumanization of others. In the very first sequence, two generals meet in the office of one, Mireau (George McReady). Mireau is ordered to send the men out on their disastrous mission. He immediately points out that the men are too worn out, that they are short on munitions, and that even a group at full power would struggle to accomplish what they are being asked to do. Then he finds out that there might be a promotion in it for him. As he walks the room, literally walking in circles, we watch as he slowly convinces himself that the extra munitions aren't necessary. That the men are up for anything is properly motivated (and to suggest otherwise would be to insult the soldiers!). That they can make it happen.

This movie also contains what may be one of the best darkly comic lines I've ever heard. (MAJOR SPOILERS)
WARNING: spoilers below
when one general compliments another that "your men died well today."


In the end of the film (no spoilers! I promise!) we see a young German woman who has been taken prisoner. Tear-streaked and dragged up on stage in front of a group of rowdy and leering soldiers, she is first ordered to greet the men and then berated for not speaking a "civilized" language. While the sympathy of the film lies largely with the soldiers for most of the film in a dichotomy of powerful/powerless, this sequence is a good reminder that anyone can fall prey to a mindset in which other people are worth less and do not deserve mercy. Dax bears witness to this moment as to all of the others in the film.

This film has great use of point of view shots: everything from a man walking a seemingly endless trench filled with soldiers to the lonely point of view of a man regarding the post of a firing squad. But though the film makes good use of these shots, I loved that it always returned to a shot of Dax watching, observing. We are privy to the pain of injustice but also the pain of witnessing injustice. Too often with Kubrick I feel as if the film, in portraying dehumanization, itself has pushed the characters away. I often struggle to emotionally connect to his movies beyond the basic mechanics of his plots. Most of the time I find myself experiencing a distanced appreciation for his technical skills but not much deeper than that.

This film, much like any well-made war film, was hard to watch and emotionally wrenching. At the same time, of any film I've seen from Kubrick, this one most felt like there was a beating heart in the center, even if that heart was breaking. Highly recommended.