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Saturday Evening Movie Thread 02/10/2024 [TheJamesMadison]

Frank Capra


Frank Capra moved to America from Sicily when he was five years old in 1903. He grew up in Los Angeles and went to CalTech where he studied chemical engineering, but he was interested in the movies. After making a short film adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling short story in San Francisco, he ended up finding work as a director (after a brief stint making Harry Langdon comedies) with Harry Cohn at the skid row studio Columbia Pictures. Working for one of the poorest studios had certain advantages in terms of freedom while on set without someone like Irving Thalberg (who ran MGM along with Louis B. Mayer) who set up an assembly line-like system. Capra, essentially once he was on set, could largely do what he wanted, his fights with Cohn being around budgets and stars mostly (Columbia didn't have any and had to borrow from other studios).

It was Capra's efforts that really brought Columbia out of skid row and allowed Cohn to rub elbows with the major studio executives, directing a series of increasingly successful pictures until Lady for a Day when the studio received its first Best Picture nomination at the Oscars (they would win the following year with It Happened One Night).

Capra's success brought him freedom, and with that freedom he made a series of films from 1934 to 1947 that rooted themselves in the American cultural consciousness to the point where the term Capraesque is still understood in the popular lexicon. A Capraesque film is unabashedly pro-American, on the side of the little guy, and hopeful that things will work out positively in the end when the people band together to make things better.

That freedom came to an end with the final series of arguments with Harry Cohn on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington after which Capra moved to Warner Bros. for a couple of films before he started an independent film company with William Wyler and a couple of other filmmakers called Liberty Films. It was with that money he funded It's a Wonderful Life which was a financial disappointment which, combined with the tax law structures of the time, necessitated the selling of Liberty Films to Paramount in the middle of the production of Capra's next film, State of the Union. From the late-40s to the early 60s, he only made four more films with a decade in between two pairs of two, Capra having lost all of his freedom and becoming first a contract director at Paramount and then a pawn to two movie stars (Frank Sinatra and then Glenn Ford).

What made Capra unique among the Golden Age of Hollywood? What made his films stick out and connect with audiences, giving them a life far longer than the momentary existence he imagined for them (making the comparison more than once between his films and a newspaper that is read once and then discarded)? I think it comes down to a few things. Firstly, he was very good at the large things of narrative. Second was that he was very good at the small business within a film that made them entertaining.

Big Things


This is usually where I put most of my focus when it comes to breaking down a filmmaker, and Capra, especially in combination with his chief writer, Robert Riskin (Fay Wray's husband, by the way), were able to tell stories that had strong structure, well-written characters, and underlying themes without ever preaching (well, maybe there's a bit of preaching in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).

One of the main advantages of the studio system was the need for product (one might even call it content), but that product tended to make more money at the box office when it was good rather than bad, which created this direct incentive to tell stories that connected with audiences and made them want to come back a couple of times during the week it was playing in the little theater.

What you see from Capra's output, especially up to 1934, is this rather steady progression of command of the larger things in a story. His earliest silent features were actually made for Harry Langdon, a largely forgotten silent comedian, which were loose tales that stitched together comic set pieces. By the end of the silent era, he was telling stories like The Power of the Press (a light, thriller proto-version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) with stronger throughlines and better payoffs. The introduction of sound caused some stumbles, as it did with most filmmakers of the time (though Capra handled it more gracefully than Ford or Hitchcock), his engineering background and interest in technology meaning that Flight, his first surviving sound film (The Donovan Affair's image still exists, but the soundtrack is long since lost), has a lot going on technologically. It's just that the actual movie's story feels like a massive step back in terms of creating an interesting narrative with interesting characters. It's kind of dull and more interested in flying stunts than anything else, and there are precious few flying stunts.

And yet, despite my issues with things like Flight, Capra's films were making more and more money. He was getting higher budgets. He was able to borrow bigger stars from studios, and with it came better writers, namely Riskin who wrote most of the rest of his films (Forbidden was written by someone else), and Riskin is largely responsible for most of the best scripts that Capra turned into films.

The characters in things like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington have complex layers while managing to be likeable. The titular John Doe in Meet John Doe has to strike a balance between the words he's saying that are not his, the sentiment of them that he agrees with, and the fact that he's a fake leading a nationwide movement. The highest triumph is probably the writing around George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, a portrait of a good man who is stymied from living the life he wants to live at every turning point, keeping him in his small town of Bedford Falls. That films works so well because it makes him so compelling as this minorly tragic figure who made the best of a series of bad hands (at least in accordance to what he imagined he wanted) reaching the end of his rope.

The Small Things

If I were to just describe the overall plot of something like It's a Wonderful Life to you, it'd sound like a harrowing drama, especially once you get into the final act and his attempt at suicide. And yet, It's a Wonderful Life is a film filled with joy and gladness and happiness for most of its runtime, and it's no small part for why the film works as well as it does. That's not just around Bailey but a host of small events here and there that make Bedford Falls feels likeable and fun. The chief moment that comes to mind (not just in this film but in the entire Capra filmography) is when Gloria Grahame, decked out in a skimpy little dress that shows off her figure, walks down the road and gets a passerby, a bit player without a line of dialogue, to stop in the middle of the street and hold up traffic. It's a quick moment of such amusement that leads to another couple of fun beats (Ward Bond wondering what his wife is doing at that moment and deciding to go home to find out, implying some hankey-pankey about to go down), and Capra's movies are dotted with moments like that.

In several films, the stories just stop so that people can sing. It happens in It Happened One Night and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town most particularly. There's this sense of light fun running through so much of his work, including the dramas, that makes them feel lighter than they actually are. Thomas Mitchell, the character actor who was in four of Capra's films, is often a source of these moments, like his dismissive treatment of Edward Everett Norton in Lost Horizon or his amusing loquaciousness in Pocketful of Miracles. But he's not limited to the only source. Capra loved his actors, and he was always looking for ways for them to do amusing business to make the films more fun.

His efforts created these full experiences where every actor, from bit players with no lines to top-billed stars, are getting opportunities to be amusing in their own way, but Capra never lets it overload the films either. It's easy to get lost in this sort of business, but Capra had enough self-control to almost never do that (I think Lost Horizon is his one self-indulgent film, but it's largely for other reasons), finding this balance between larger narrative concerns and just enough room within scenes for actors to play around a little bit. It creates this sense of amusement and fun that's kind of addictive.

His Body of Work

I will say, though, that I felt a small sense of disappointment as I went through his work. There was a lot of good stuff (A LOT of it, something like 20 of my 32 reviews are three out of four stars), but the films I would call great were surprisingly few, attributing that descriptor to only four films (It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, American Madness, and You Can't Take It With You). So much else ended up having little problems with them that held me back slightly (the pseudo-courtroom ending to Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is a good example). I wanted to hold him up as one of the greatest of filmmakers of the era, but I can't quite hold him up to the levels of a Howard Hawks or a John Ford. He was good. He was very good. He hit some very high levels of greatness, but it felt too rare.

I think part of that is how his career was short-circuited in the late 40s with the business around Liberty Films. Even if It's a Wonderful Life had been some kind of massive success, tax laws at the time would have made keeping the film studio together extremely difficult (David O. Selznick had to shut down his own production studio after Gone with the Wind for tax reasons). He was essentially an independent filmmaker who had become king of a studio (Columbia), left the studio, and then never found another permanent home (like Ford in his early days at Fox) or way to work as a free agent (like Hawks). It's a Wonderful Life is arguably his best film, and it was the last film he made free of any constraints (Liberty was sold in the middle of filming of State of the Union, so he arguably had full control of that, but selling your company in the middle of filming has to have an effect, right?). He still had it in him to make great films, but he got put into boxes while the film industry changed around him. Working at Paramount with Bing Crosby on Riding High and Here Comes the Groom, both lightly entertaining jaunts, must have felt like starting all over again. So, he quit for a while, came back to work for Frank Sinatra on A Hole in the Head and then Glenn Ford on Pocketful of Miracles, and then he tapped out, to live another thirty years, write an autobiography, and then get interviewed by late night hosts and other interviewers for years (I watched his interview with Letterman, and Capra seemed like a great, down to earth kind of guy).

I just really wish he had worked longer. Perhaps if he hadn't tried to go independent in an age when studios owned movie theaters (I assume that It's a Wonderful Life would have been a roaring success if MGM had released it across its own theaters with top billing, but as a guy trying to walk away, of course the movie theaters didn't operate as smoothly with Liberty as otherwise), or perhaps if he had stayed working through the lower rungs of Paramount before he gave up in the early 50s Capra would have been able to regain his relative independence within a studio system and make films that spoke to him again. But, the combination of his own professional failures, his working for the Department of Defense making documentaries out of thousands of hours of unfiltered war footage, and being investigated by HUAC just took something out of him. He lost his passion, and he just gave up. I can't say that I blame him. I'm just talking about a guy who's been dead for 30 years who stopped working 60 years ago and telling to suck it up and work some more, but I can get it at the same time.

I think Capra had it in him to make another dozen films, and it seemed like he was just hitting his groove with the right amount of freedom. Oh well, it's not like what he left the world is bad. It's much more durable than yesterday's newspaper, that's for sure.

Movies of Today

Opening in Theaters:

Lisa Frankenstein

Movies I Saw This Fortnight:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Rating 4/4) Full Review "His way of telling a story connects so easily and so well. I would be surprised if another film comes along and displaces this as my favorite Capra, but I haven't seen It's a Wonderful Life in a very long time." [Personal Collection]

Arsenic and Old Lace (Rating 3/4) Full Review "It's fun. I chuckled. I've seen it twice now, and I had largely the same reaction as the first time: it's an amusing time capsule that probably played better in the early 40s than it does today, though I was definitely entertained." [Personal Collection]

It's a Wonderful Life (Rating 4/4) Full Review "It really is heart-warming and joyful and life-affirming in all the best ways." [Personal Collection]

State of the Union (Rating 3/4) Full Review "So, the romantic side works pretty well. The portrait of a moribund party getting railroaded by a straight-talking outsider feels right. The specifics of Grant's philosophy are...weird." [Library]

Here Comes the Groom (Rating 2.5/4) Full Review "So, it's very slight. It has some real charm to it. It's loosely told and kind of nonsensical. It has a nice song that it overplays (I didn't need to hear "Evening" three times, but whatever, it's not like there's a whole lot else). It's primarily a vehicle to showcase Bing Crosby's charm, and it does that reasonably well." [Library]

Pocketful of Miracles (Rating 3/4) Full Review "Still, it's nice that the awful experience did lead to a well-made and entertaining little film. It's disappointing that it's a remake instead of something original, but he went out on a relative high note, more of a Family Plot rather than a Buddy Buddy." [Library]

Crash (Rating 2/4) Full Review "This isn't The English Patient bad, but it's not really good either. It feels like the serious version of Love Actually that Inarritu would manage much better the following year with Babel." [Personal Collection]

No Country for Old Men (Rating 4/4) Full Review "This is just great entertainment at the movies, and it's the kind of film the Academy wanted to award with Oscars through the 00s. This wasn't a terrible decade for that award, overall, it seems." [Personal Collection]

Contact

Email any suggestions or questions to thejamesmadison.aos at symbol gmail dot com.
I've also archived all the old posts here, by request. I'll add new posts a week after they originally post at the HQ.

My next post will be on 3/2, and it will talk about the final twenty years of Best Picture Winners.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:45 PM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of comments)

1 Mr. Capra did those "Why We Fight" propaganda movies for WW2.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 07:49 PM (R/m4+)

2 1 Mr. Capra did those "Why We Fight" propaganda movies for WW2.
Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 07:49 PM (R/m4+)

=======

I watched a few of those. Interesting little looks at propaganda across the war.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 07:51 PM (GBKbO)

3 MovieSign!

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 07:51 PM (hbjSA)

4 nt. The highest triumph is probably the writing around George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life, a portrait of a good man who is stymied from living the life he wants to live at every turning point, keeping him in his small town of Bedford Falls.

———-

Except no way Donna Reed ends up an old maid with George Bailey never being born.

The entire second half of George reviewing life without him plays like a narcissist’s wet dream.

Posted by: MAGA_Ken at February 10, 2024 07:52 PM (2fIO4)

5 Great essay, TJM! I've just now cued up "American Madness" (1932) to watch tonite.
ok.ru/video/3295412226697

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 07:54 PM (MvF+J)

6 We once had a stage play here of Arsenic and Old Lace. The folks buried in the basement are referred to throughout the play.

At the end when the actors were taking their bows, out come five or six old men to take their bows, even thought we never saw them during the production. One of them was Barry Switzer. That's just fun.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 07:56 PM (hbjSA)

7 The entire second half of George reviewing life without him plays like a narcissist’s wet dream.
Posted by: MAGA_Ken

Reno 911 did a Wonderful Life take on what the world would be like without Lt Dangle. Everything and everybody were much better off.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 07:57 PM (hbjSA)

8 Movie sign!

Posted by: Jamaica at February 10, 2024 07:58 PM (Eeb9P)

9 The Crash about the weirdos who get turned on by car wrecks was better than the 2004 Crash.

Posted by: Mark1971 at February 10, 2024 07:58 PM (xPl2J)

10 When we watched "Crash" in college, everyone thought there was something wrong with me. We got to the scene where the two guys are facing off, and one's daughter jumped in front of him as the other guy fired, but it turned out there were only blanks in the gun.

Everyone else was teary-eyed because it was supposedly such a dramatic and poignant moment, and then I was laughing my head off. "There were BLANKS in the gun!! That guy's just like, what the f**k?!"

I think that was when a lot of people decided there was something wrong with me.

Posted by: Dr. T at February 10, 2024 07:59 PM (g0Y4p)

11 Thx TJM. It Happened One Night is an absolute classic . It would be funny in any era

Posted by: Smell the Glove at February 10, 2024 07:59 PM (V8zmn)

12 The entire second half of George reviewing life without him plays like a narcissist’s wet dream.

Posted by: MAGA_Ken at February 10, 2024 07:52 PM (2fIO4)


Yes, but what if springs had never been invented?

---Coily the Spring Sprite

Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 08:00 PM (D7oie)

13 10 Everyone else was teary-eyed because it was supposedly such a dramatic and poignant moment, and then I was laughing my head off. "There were BLANKS in the gun!! That guy's just like, what the f**k?!"

I think that was when a lot of people decided there was something wrong with me.
Posted by: Dr. T at February 10, 2024 07:59 PM (g0Y4p)

========

That moment almost broke me. As in, I almost burst into laughter. It's such a terrible moment.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:01 PM (GBKbO)

14 ---Coily the Spring Sprite
Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting

NOOOO SPRINGS!

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 08:01 PM (hbjSA)

15 ‘Teddy, we have to dig some more graves in Panama.’

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:02 PM (NxC5+)

16 Edward Everett Horton

Posted by: Bertram Cabot, Jr. at February 10, 2024 08:03 PM (63Dwl)

17 I'm pretty sure that almost any Capra film could be shown to an audience, and they'd find it entertaining. As you note, It's A Wonderful Life was a financial flop, but it went on to become a beloved classic. (Thanks to television. Just like The Wizard of Oz. And just like The Three Stooges shorts, while we're at it.)

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 08:04 PM (CHHv1)

18 Hiya James Monroe !

Posted by: JT at February 10, 2024 08:06 PM (T4tVD)

19 I don't get how films could get lost, someone figures its old so who cares?

Posted by: Skip at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (fwDg9)

20 'Sup?

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (Xnred)

21 Reno 911 did a Wonderful Life take on what the world would be like without Lt Dangle. Everything and everybody were much better off.

Beavis and Butt-Head did the same, with the same result.

There was also a version on The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, but everyone missed the point there. (Except that Clarence insisted on being called Jim.)

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (CHHv1)

22 Instances I busted out in loud inappropriate laffs at the movie theater:
- Caveman wields bone tool for first time, "2001 A Space Odyssey."
- Pesci suddenly stabs man in throat with a pen, "Casino."

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (MvF+J)

23 19 Fires and inappropriate storage. Some film stock salvaged for silver content.

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:08 PM (MvF+J)

24 "Call it Murder" aka "Midnight" (1934) Mildly suspenseful murder drama turns stagey and stupid in act 3. That's jake with me, because Sidney Fox looks mighty cute. Several retakes were needed for O.P. Heggie's scenes, as his laser stare damaged hundreds of feet of film during shooting; by stopping down the aperture to f/64, the DP was finally able to cope. For my money, "Gar Boni" ranks very high among goofy movie character names. ("Tommy Udo," take one step back please. Look out for the stairs ... oops!) "Walleye Slim." "Pike Lanky." "Perch Spindly."
youtube.com/watch?v=2Jl9s7j8MSM

"Circle of Danger" (1951) Murder mystery. I'll just go ahead and spoil it for you: The movie kills you, the viewer, with lethal boredom.
youtube.com/watch?v=GmwjKO4oaeg

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:09 PM (MvF+J)

25 "The Mob" (1951) Great cast, good dialogue. It's no "On the Waterfront," but good enough to recommend.
youtube.com/watch?v=pz6eKE-5Yqc

"12 Hours to Kill" (1960) Chased, on the lam, I hopped into Barbara Eden's convertible, and as she sped off, she told me "You're a stranger in town. I'm not going to let you out. My house is a very nice place and you can do all the things that you want there." Damned if they didn't go and make a bad movie about it. I'd already forgotten the whole fling.
youtube.com/watch?v=t6SOsqN3gjE

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:09 PM (MvF+J)

26 19 I don't get how films could get lost, someone figures its old so who cares?
Posted by: Skip at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (fwDg9)

=======

A variety of ways.

First, film preservation wasn't really important to many people outside of films studios could rerelease regularly until the 70s or so. Film before the 50s was made from nitrate which was not only flammable but also easily degraded if not preserved correctly. Even then, nitrate film was prone to bursting into flames and this could wipe away entire libraries. This happened to the Fox library in 1937. Most of John Ford's early film work with Fox and almost all of Theda Bara's films were lost in that fire.

Studios didn't make thousands of prints. They made a few dozen and slowly spread them out from the major markets over months and years, assuming a film run lasted that long at all.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:10 PM (GBKbO)

27 "Decasia" (2002) shows the eerie beauty of film rot.

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:12 PM (MvF+J)

28 Studios didn't make thousands of prints. They made a few dozen and slowly spread them out from the major markets over months and years, assuming a film run lasted that long at all.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:10 PM (GBKbO)


I think the only surviving full print of Fritz Lang's Woman on the Moon was found in a closet in some institution in Japan after the war.

Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 08:13 PM (D7oie)

29 Film preservation is a fairly new phenomenon. In the past, films were meant to be shown and then forgotten. As Capra said, they were newspapers to be discarded the next day. Obviously successful films were preserved, but cheapies were mined for their silver nitrate.

It's amazing that so many American b-movies (and c- and d-) still survive. While Patrick Troughton's BBC work is largely lost.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 08:14 PM (CHHv1)

30 28 I think the only surviving full print of Fritz Lang's Woman on the Moon was found in a closet in some institution in Japan after the war.
Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 08:13 PM (D7oie)

========

That sounds familiar.

I think the most amusing story is around Carl Th. Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. The original print was thought lost in a fire, so Dreyer made a completely alternate version with alternate takes.

Decades later, they found a print of the original version...in an insane asylum.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:15 PM (GBKbO)

31 28 The discovery and restoration of "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (192 was a real honest-to-God miracle.

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:15 PM (MvF+J)

32 1 Mr. Capra did those "Why We Fight" propaganda movies for WW2.
Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 07:49 PM (R/m4+)

I just found out something amazing about those films this week. I was watching a retrospective on Ray Harryhausen and how he was the master of stop motion SFX for decades; and they mentioned that when he was just starting out in film he joined the Army, and was assigned to be a young assistant to Frank Capra, who he learned a great deal about moviemaking from. Sounded like they stayed good friends for life.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:17 PM (S6gqv)

33 I read that a lot of celluloid film stock was salvaged to make women's shoes, but can't find the link.

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:18 PM (MvF+J)

34 I've been watching Monsieur Spade. I quite like it. It's about Sam Spade, of Maltese Falcon fame, who transports a girl to France, winds up marrying a rich vintner widow who subsequently dies, and becomes involved in the murders of six nuns. I like the setting ((France in the late '50s early '60s), the mutant French cars, the music, and the general tone of the show. It's not entirely chronological so one must pay attention.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 10, 2024 08:19 PM (FVME7)

35 I think that was when a lot of people decided there was something wrong with me.
Posted by: Dr. T at February 10, 2024 07:59 PM (g0Y4p)

That moment almost broke me. As in, I almost burst into laughter. It's such a terrible moment.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:01 PM (GBKbO)

I've never seen the film, don't feel the need. What I remember about it though, my mother watched it, and said to her it was a comedy, so maybe she's got the same warped view of the world as you guys.

On the other hand, when I was at her house over the holidays, we watched The Bishop's Wife. I'm getting all choked up at points (I've seen it multiple times before), and she's saying how sappy it is, and that basically none of the characters are any damn good.

Maybe because she's Catholic and not only are Bishops not supposed to have wives, but angels aren't supposed to be wife-stealing horndogs.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:19 PM (ahZpG)

36 33 I read that a lot of celluloid film stock was salvaged to make women's shoes, but can't find the link.
Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:18 PM (MvF+J)

=======

I know it's what happened to a lot of Georges Melies' films.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:19 PM (GBKbO)

37 I have a feeling that, in some ways, I would have preferred Potterville to Bedford Falls. I mean, all those little nightclubs!

Btw, the black piano player in the bar scene where Jimmy Stewart shows up with his guardian angel is the great Mead Lux Lewis, one of the original Big Three of Boogie Woogie.

Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:20 PM (njExo)

38 It’s a Wonderful Life, I loved as a kid then as an Adult I HATE the younger brother, that came back and is like Hey Bro I got married and Smell you later, just seeing the light die in the Older brothers eyes, it hits home with me because my brothers took off and left me taking care of my Dad, I just can’t watch it any more.

I would also rather live in Pottersville

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:20 PM (dKiJG)

39 “…that make Bedford Falls feels likeable and fun.”

I’d say more that moments like that is what makes Bedford Falls seem real. Legendary directors like Capra had a gift for storytelling (like a great author) that brings the movie set to life, and places the action in a setting the viewer can relate to. Like something that could take place in their locale.

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:20 PM (VHN21)

40 "Meade", I meant to write. Meade Lux Lewis.

Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:20 PM (njExo)

41 I read that a lot of celluloid film stock was salvaged to make women's shoes, but can't find the link.
Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs

Tarantino would be on the horns of a dilemma.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 10, 2024 08:22 PM (FVME7)

42 A local theater near me ran "It's A Wonderful Life" this past December for two showings. The place was very crowded for the evening show. Loved seeing it the way it was meant to be seen....on the big screen with a couple of hundred other people. What a great experience. AND, at the end of the movie, the audience broke into applause. Made me tear up a little. It was a nice experience.

Posted by: thatcrazyjerseyguy now with twice the crazy at February 10, 2024 08:23 PM (iODuv)

43 Film preservation is a fairly new phenomenon. In the past, films were meant to be shown and then forgotten. As Capra said, they were newspapers to be discarded the next day. Obviously successful films were preserved, but cheapies were mined for their silver nitrate.

It's amazing that so many American b-movies (and c- and d-) still survive. While Patrick Troughton's BBC work is largely lost.
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 08:14 PM (CHHv1)

Even going back to the earliest films, and early sound recordings, they were making them on wax and... eh, I don't remember what, some other non-permanent material (cellophane?), so while we're all thinking how amazing it would be to see the films, hear the voices from 150 years ago, they just don't exist anymore.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:23 PM (ahZpG)

44 I'm one of those rare birds that never liked "It's a Wonderful Life". I know. What's wrong with me? I could watch "It Happened One Night" over and over again though.

Posted by: Tuna at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (oaGWv)

45 Maybe because she's Catholic and not only are Bishops not supposed to have wives, but angels aren't supposed to be wife-stealing horndogs.
Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:19 PM (ahZpG)

Yeah, crypto-adultery is not really a Christmas theme.
Worst "Christmas movie" ever.

Posted by: sal: tolle adversarium et afflige inimicum at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (jN2/U)

46 That new Shogun show coming on FX looks great.

That got me to thinking maybe be there ought to be a movie post one time on TV mini-series. A lot of those maybe most were excellent.

Posted by: MAGA_Ken at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (2fIO4)

47 19 I don't get how films could get lost, someone figures its old so who cares?
Posted by: Skip at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (fwDg9)

Film corrodes.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (3y5hl)

48 I hated No Country For Old Men. I hated the book too. Both reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez & his "magic realism." Hate, hate, hate: It's what's for dinner in 2024.

On another topic, I tried to read "Alan Turing: The Enigma," the book upon which the film Oppenheimer is (loosely) based. I had to skip 2/3 of the book because I couldn't follow the techno stuff. Even when I COULD understand the computerese, it was boring. I read that the author of the book is contractually required to keep his mouth shut about the film.

There was an old joke about Wilfred Brumley, i.e., that his doctors weren't even sure he HAD diabetes-- he just LOOKED LIKE the kind of guy who might. Imo, Turing just LOOKED LIKE he might be a communist.

Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 08:26 PM (NLIak)

49 The many lost films of Clara Bow make me want to weep:
wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow_filmography

I'm a fan.

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:26 PM (MvF+J)

50 44. I could watch "It Happened One Night" over and over again though. - Tuna

What a great movie! I still lol when cocky Clark Gable tries to thumb a ride, and nobody stops, and he finally just thumbs his nose at a passing car.

Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:27 PM (njExo)

51 29 Film preservation is a fairly new phenomenon. In the past, films were meant to be shown and then forgotten. As Capra said, they were newspapers to be discarded the next day. Obviously successful films were preserved, but cheapies were mined for their silver nitrate.

It's amazing that so many American b-movies (and c- and d-) still survive. While Patrick Troughton's BBC work is largely lost."
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 08:14 PM (CHHv1)

I saw an interview with Christopher Lee about the original Wicker Man - he related how there was a huge fiasco with the company producing it going bankrupt in the middle of filming, and some idiot executive cutting out at least 30 minutes of the film that was vital to the plot, and that out of spite this executive had destroyed all of the film copies of the parts that he cut. This is why that movie appears to start about 15 minutes into a film that has already begun.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:27 PM (S6gqv)

52 43 Even going back to the earliest films, and early sound recordings, they were making them on wax and... eh, I don't remember what, some other non-permanent material (cellophane?), so while we're all thinking how amazing it would be to see the films, hear the voices from 150 years ago, they just don't exist anymore.
Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:23 PM (ahZpG)

======

One of Capra's earliest sound films was done in a way that never became standard: using a separate record for the sound. It's easy to imagine all the ways that it could go wrong (needing to cut a frame or three for whatever reason from the valid to the less than valid creates synch issues that can never get resolved after that), but the worst thing happened to The Donovan Affair:

The record got lost. All that's left is the image.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:27 PM (GBKbO)

53 Wasn’t it a big deal to find out WHO owned the Film to movies and Roddy McDowell had his home raided by the FBI because of all the Films he owned. I think their was even a Documentary about it,

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:28 PM (dKiJG)

54 I read that a lot of celluloid film stock was salvaged to make women's shoes, but can't find the link.
Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:18 PM (MvF+J)

Film stock before the 1950's was of the nitrate variety. Lots of fires in projection booths and film exchanges back then. Also, nitrate film, unless stored under ideal conditions, will decompose. Many older films were lost because of improper storage. Once a film/print was done with it's run, it wasn't really worth anything. It had no further value. Warners, MGM and Disney were the exception. They kept many of their films and negatives in climate controlled vaults. MGM stored some of theirs in old salt mines.

Posted by: thatcrazyjerseyguy now with twice the crazy at February 10, 2024 08:29 PM (iODuv)

55 Don’t know how they’ll eff up Shogun, but I know they will.

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:29 PM (NxC5+)

56 Yeah, crypto-adultery is not really a Christmas theme.
Worst "Christmas movie" ever.
Posted by: sal: tolle adversarium et afflige inimicum at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (jN2/U)

Well, you have to watch the whole film. If you turn it off after the ice skating scene, or the hat scene, you might get the wrong idea.

I don't take it seriously as a religious treatise. It's a nice film. There are plenty worse "Christmas" movies out there.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:30 PM (ahZpG)

57 "That got me to thinking maybe be there ought to be a movie post one time on TV mini-series. A lot of those maybe most were excellent."

The original Shogun, Winds of War, etc.

Posted by: Tuna at February 10, 2024 08:30 PM (oaGWv)

58 55 Don’t know how they’ll eff up Shogun, but I know they will.
Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:29 PM (NxC5+)

========

The trailers look fun. No idea if I'll check it out, though.

Ever since I watched Masaki Kobayashi's filmography, I've had trouble accepting Bushido as some kind of romantic system.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:30 PM (GBKbO)

59 Maybe because she's Catholic and not only are Bishops not supposed to have wives, but angels aren't supposed to be wife-stealing horndogs.
Posted by: BurtTC

Maybe they were all Democrats.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (FVME7)

60 48. I hated No Country For Old Men. - KC Wolf

I never saw the whole movie, but I saw enough clips of that psycho killer to give the flick a miss. There are few things more repugnant, to me, than a cold-blooded killer who thinks he's some kind of philosopher. Seemed kind of contrived.

Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (njExo)

61 56 I don't take it seriously as a religious treatise. It's a nice film. There are plenty worse "Christmas" movies out there.
Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:30 PM (ahZpG)

======

Nothing is better than Fred Claus!

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (GBKbO)

62 OK, I'm gonna watch American Madness. Thanks and later!

Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (MvF+J)

63 47 19 I don't get how films could get lost, someone figures its old so who cares?
Posted by: Skip at February 10, 2024 08:07 PM (fwDg9)

Film corrodes.
Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:24 PM (3y5hl)

Also Silver Nitrate film was highly flammable; there were several spectacular fires over the years that wiped out entire collections of originals. From a film history site:
"So many films were lost in the fires because they were all stored in similar proximity. A 1937 fire in Fort Lee, NJ wiped out all of the films made by Fox Pictures up to that point– the building contained 48 different vaults filled with films. Fox would later have a couple more fires in the decades to come, and RKO had it’s own vault fire.

The 1967 MGM Vault Fire is perhaps one of the most notable ones. It’s certainly one of the most damaging. The entire vault went up in flames, including some of the most now sought after silent films– London After Midnight, The Divine Woman, Our Gang shorts, and numerous early talkies as well."

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (S6gqv)

64 62 OK, I'm gonna watch American Madness. Thanks and later!
Posted by: gp's Movie Laffs at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (MvF+J)

=====

It's a good 'un! Have fun!

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (GBKbO)

65 12
'Instances I busted out in loud inappropriate laffs at the movie theater:'
For me it happened in 'Ordinary People'.
One scene early on made me laugh my ass off. I laughed at later, more somber moments remembering that scene.
I'm sure my sister and grandmother were sinking into their seats.

Posted by: Dr. Claw at February 10, 2024 08:33 PM (roH4R)

66 I remember some guy posting on X or Twitter that he’s waiting for Song of the South to go public Domain because he has the Film, His Dad had a Private Projector Home Theater and left him the Film collection and SONG OF THE SOUTH is one of the movies, even posted a Picture of it,.

It’s Puplic Domain in Spain NOW and you can buy a Blu-ray copy thru Amazon

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:33 PM (dKiJG)

67 Ever since I watched Masaki Kobayashi's filmography, I've had trouble accepting Bushido as some kind of romantic system.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures

Ever since I've read some books on the war in the Pacific, I've come to the same conclusion.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 08:33 PM (hbjSA)

68 The record got lost. All that's left is the image.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:27 PM (GBKbO)

Maybe someone has the 8 track tape somewhere. Lots of those things rotting in people's basements.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:33 PM (ahZpG)

69 Mead Lux Lewis, one of the original Big Three of Boogie Woogie.
Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:20 PM (njExo)

Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll...

Posted by: Zombie Long John Baldry at February 10, 2024 08:34 PM (R/m4+)

70 Had little sleep last night so calling it a night.
Have a great night everyone

Posted by: Skip at February 10, 2024 08:34 PM (fwDg9)

71 One of Capra's earliest sound films was done in a way that never became standard: using a separate record for the sound. It's easy to imagine all the ways that it could go wrong (needing to cut a frame or three for whatever reason from the valid to the less than valid creates synch issues that can never get resolved after that), but the worst thing happened to The Donovan Affair:

The record got lost. All that's left is the image.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:27 PM (GBKbO)

The "Vitaphone Project" recovered thousands of those 16" discs over the past 30 years from all over the world. Many old movies were finally given their "voice" again through the efforts of that group, Sadly, the founder, Ron Hutcheson, passed away a few years ago. But, from what I have read, the group is still discovering more and more of the old Vitaphone discs. Many wound up in collectors attics, basements or garages.

Posted by: thatcrazyjerseyguy now with twice the crazy at February 10, 2024 08:34 PM (iODuv)

72 Huge fan of Capra. Especially, as you mentioned, that he let the supporting players shine in moments.

The films he made with Stanwyck in the very early thirties are interesting. I especially like "The Bitter Tea of General Yen".

Posted by: sal: tolle adversarium et afflige inimicum at February 10, 2024 08:35 PM (jN2/U)

73 55 Don’t know how they’ll eff up Shogun, but I know they will.
Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:29 PM (NxC5+)

They'll make Blackthorne into a mincing, prancing, tranny who has a love affair with Toronaga.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:35 PM (S6gqv)

74 I've never seen Shogun.

Should I?

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (bodZB)

75 66 It’s Puplic Domain in Spain NOW and you can buy a Blu-ray copy thru Amazon
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:33 PM (dKiJG)

======

Spain is notorious for lax copyright enforcement. I don't think Song of the South is public domain there. I think it's just bootlegs.

There are other films that had no release in the US that had releases in Spain like The Abyss and True Lies (finally getting resolved, both, in the next few weeks in the US with 4K releases).

I think Song of the South is public domain in Japan, though.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (GBKbO)

76 It’s a Wonderful Life always reminds me of the past moron horde when the scene comes on showing the newspaper and headline :

Harry Bailey Wins the Congressional Medal of Honor

The terms win and Congressional always made more than a few morons aggravated when that subject came up in the news or in articles and they were used.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (MNhXM)

77 Link to The Vitaphone Project, in case any of you are interested in the restoration of older films where the sound had been previously lost.

http://tinyurl.com/3d37mr8j

Posted by: thatcrazyjerseyguy now with twice the crazy at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (iODuv)

78 Silver Nitrate film

I don’t what it is but you can tell when they switched to a different type of Film, the Silver Nitrate film is so beautiful to look at.

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:37 PM (dKiJG)

79 Maybe because she's Catholic and not only are Bishops not supposed to have wives, but angels aren't supposed to be wife-stealing horndogs.
Posted by: BurtTC

Maybe they were all Democrats.
Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (FVME7)

I'd say it's a fairly mature film in some ways. The atheist professor, the rich woman who thinks she can bend everyone to her will... and of course the main characters. The Bishop needs a comeuppance, and gets it. The wife is made to confront her own lusty "innocence."

I just think the movie copped out somewhat, letting them all forget everything.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:38 PM (ahZpG)

80 I've never seen Shogun.
Should I?
Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (bodZB)

Ummmmm...No.

Boring, long, lots of Jap talk and no one cares what the Japs were up to until 1941.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 08:38 PM (R/m4+)

81 TMJ and Blutarsky, they won’t anything romantic about Bushido.

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:38 PM (NxC5+)

82 TJM

I've come around to your view, in part.

I now think Biden will be replaced somehow. I still don't agree with your view that "the mechanisms are in place." The mechanisms are going to have to be invented on the fly.

I now think Biden will be replaced because things that can't go on, don't.

Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 08:39 PM (NLIak)

83 Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 08:39 PM (NLIak)

=======

The week is filled with political talk.

Let's try to keep it out of this thread, please?

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:40 PM (GBKbO)

84 True Lies had a DVD release. I don't understand why it's not had a hidef release until now.

It's probably Cameron's best movie along with Terminator 2.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:41 PM (z7KqP)

85 I don’t what it is but you can tell when they switched to a different type of Film, the Silver Nitrate film is so beautiful to look at.
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:37 PM (dKiJG)

It's like the decades-long development of color film, how it took ages to tone it down.
My kid, watching "The Long, Long Trailer": The Fifties was an oddly colored decade, wasn't it?"

Posted by: sal: tolle adversarium et afflige inimicum at February 10, 2024 08:41 PM (jN2/U)

86 The week is filled with political talk.

Let's try to keep it out of this thread, please?
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:40 PM (GBKbO)

I agree, but it's kinda funny, a whole post about Capra... given his entire career was political.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:42 PM (ahZpG)

87 I thought Jane Wyatt at the time of Lost Horizon (1937) was one of the most beautiful women on the planet. She was 26-27. The film quickly became inconvenient because of its pacifist tone, which was unwelcome while Hitler and Tojo were murdering millions.

Jane was 45-51 during Father Knows Best and was still radiant.

Posted by: Can Pick'em at February 10, 2024 08:42 PM (V5BDR)

88 Ever since I watched Masaki Kobayashi's filmography, I've had trouble accepting Bushido as some kind of romantic system.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictur

Bushido is messed up in so many ways. Honor ranks as a top virtue but they bastardized it.

As Patton said “ No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country. ( imo I assume he meant unnecessarily dying. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it)

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:43 PM (MNhXM)

89 84 True Lies had a DVD release. I don't understand why it's not had a hidef release until now.

It's probably Cameron's best movie along with Terminator 2.
Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:41 PM (z7KqP)

=======

He started making Avatar movies. I think it's no more complicated than that. HD scans had been ready, but he never gave them the time to approve them (DGA rules require the director's approval). Time moved on, and the studio did 4K scans (including the requisite work for HDR color grading), and he still just never found the time until the final days of Avatar 2's post-production.

From people who have seen the 4K streams that have been available a few weeks, they don't actually look very good, though.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:43 PM (GBKbO)

90 22 Instances I busted out in loud inappropriate laffs at the movie theater:

I went apartment hunting with a friend who graduated college a year before I did. We went down from Indiana to Alabama, where his job was going to be. We decided to spend an evening watching a movie, so we went to see Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.

At the end of the movie, the detective played by Steve Martin shoots the Nazi mastermind played by Carl Reiner (who is going to revive the Reich by using a particularly powerful cheese mold to destroy the Allies’ cities).

As he dies, Reiner manages to fall against one lever, and a piece of the midwestern United States on his map dissolves into nothing. He managed to gasp, “At least I got … Terre Haute!” before expiring. Steve Martin sadly intoned, “And they were just about to get a public library, too.” Both of us had grown up and gone to college in central Indiana, and we busted out laughing at the elimination of Terre Haute. Every one else in the Alabama theater had to think we were daft.

There’s a great backstory about why Steve Martin and Terre Haute, but the post is long enough. Surely the Steve Martin visits Terre Haute video is on YouTube now.

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:43 PM (VHN21)

91 I bought a whole bunch of used dvds recently, and tend to le the evenings get too long before trying to put one on.

Still, I watched Rio Bravo last weekend (Angie Dickenson... rowr!), so many to choose from, I think I'll get started now, and maybe take in two!

Later, all.

Posted by: BurtTC at February 10, 2024 08:44 PM (ahZpG)

92 60 48. I hated No Country For Old Men. - KC Wolf

I never saw the whole movie, but I saw enough clips of that psycho killer to give the flick a miss. There are few things more repugnant, to me, than a cold-blooded killer who thinks he's some kind of philosopher. Seemed kind of contrived.
Posted by: Paco at February 10, 2024 08:31 PM (njExo)

Sicario did a better job, of driving that home with the final scene with the FBI agent, I thought that she FBI agent was so poorly written but she’s supposed to be naive.

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:44 PM (dKiJG)

93 I got an A+ writing a college paper about Capra's "Meet John Doe".

Posted by: Hollywood Henderson at February 10, 2024 08:45 PM (KAi1n)

94 I thought Donnie Darko was like It's a Wonderful Life in reverse. Donnie saw what happened to everyone if he lived then the second time through he stayed in bed when the jet engine fell on the house.

Posted by: JB1000 at February 10, 2024 08:45 PM (NptO6)

95 Ummmmm...No.

Boring, long, lots of Jap talk and no one cares what the Japs were up to until 1941.
Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 08:38 PM (R/m4+)

I'm sold.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:46 PM (qfxGw)

96 I got an A+ on it too.

Posted by: SFGoth at February 10, 2024 08:46 PM (KAi1n)

97 Groundhog Day is probably the most Capraesque film of recent memory.

Can't think of anything more recent than that.

Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (XV/Pl)

98 =

Spain is notorious for lax copyright enforcement. I don't think Song of the South is public domain there. I think it's just bootlegs.

There are other films that had no release in the US that had releases in Spain like The Abyss and True Lies (finally getting resolved, both, in the next few weeks in the US with 4K releases).

I think Song of the South is public domain in Japan, though.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:36 PM (GBKbO)

It’s 75 Years in Spain.

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (dKiJG)

99 97 Groundhog Day is probably the most Capraesque film of recent memory.

Can't think of anything more recent than that.
Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (XV/Pl)

=========

I think the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man is a very Jewish version of It's a Wonderful Life.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (GBKbO)

100 Sicario did a better job, of driving that home with the final scene with the FBI agent, I thought that she FBI agent was so poorly written but she’s supposed to be naive.
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 08:44 PM (dKiJG)

I liked no character in Sicario. I assume that was the intention.

Only other movie I enjoyed where I liked no one was Whiplash.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:48 PM (MNhXM)

101 One of the side jokes that always made me laugh in "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" is that they keep talking about a Cruise Ship that disappears because it witnessed the Nazi's weapon. The name of this cruise ship is the "Immer Essen" - which is German for "Always Eating".

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:48 PM (S6gqv)

102 They never discuss the denomination of the Bishop, but he's clearly either Lutheran, Methodist or Episcopalian ( I think probably the latter) all of which have Bishops, and I never got the impression the professor was an Atheist- just an Agnostic. If he's an Atheist he certainly isn't an "evangelical" one.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at February 10, 2024 08:49 PM (EIlBF)

103 92;60;48

NCFOM was surrealism presented as if it were a conventional drama. You either like it or you don't, I guess. I couldn't stand it.

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 08:49 PM (NLIak)

104 Groundhog Day is probably the most Capraesque film of recent memory.

Can't think of anything more recent than that.
Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (XV/Pl)

Palm Springs > Groundhog Day

And I liked Groundhog Day

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:49 PM (MNhXM)

105 From people who have seen the 4K streams that have been available a few weeks, they don't actually look very good, though.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:43 PM (GBKbO)

Sad face.

I was really looking forward to seeing Jamie Lee Curtis's striptease in high def.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 08:49 PM (Z2yLo)

106 @48

>>I hated No Country For Old Men.

If the Cohen Brothers simply faded to black after Chigur emerges from the house and looks at his boots, it would have been a masterpiece.

Instead they continued for another 20 agonizing minutes and had two false endings before they mercifully, ended the damn thing.

Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 08:49 PM (XV/Pl)

107 I watched the original Shogun last year. The best part was Richard Chamberlain's reaction when asked if he would like to have sex with a boy - “Do I look like a God-cursed sodomite?”

Posted by: Mark1971 at February 10, 2024 08:50 PM (xPl2J)

108 They'll make Blackthorne into a mincing, prancing, tranny who has a love affair with Toronaga.
Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:35 PM (S6gqv)

The actor they got in the FX series looks like Richard Chamberline.

Posted by: MAGA_Ken at February 10, 2024 08:50 PM (2fIO4)

109 watched the original Shogun last year. The best part was Richard Chamberlain's reaction when asked if he would like to have sex with a boy - “Do I look like a God-cursed sodomite?”
Posted by: Mark1971 at February 10, 2024 08:50 PM (xPl2J)

Would that be considered ironic?

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:51 PM (MNhXM)

110 @99

>>I think the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man is a very Jewish version of It's a Wonderful Life.

I did not see that.

I king of pick and choose what Cohen Brothers films I see.

They have two modes, masterpieces and turkeys.

I felt A Serious Man was going to be a turkey and it pretty much was.

Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 08:52 PM (XV/Pl)

111 The original Shogun, Winds of War, etc.
Posted by: Tuna at February 10, 2024 08:30 PM (oaGWv)

The Winds of War was airing on ABC 41 years ago this week. I went to YouTube and saw the whole thing last year, as I was looking for clips of movies to show my history class pertaining to WWII.

This miniseries even has what I call “the 15 minutes of television which foreshadowed the next four decades of life.”

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 08:53 PM (8sMut)

112 They'll make Blackthorne into a mincing, prancing, tranny who has a love affair with Toronaga.
Posted by: Tom Servo

From the trailer, it looks like they made Mariko (?) a Boss Girl.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 08:53 PM (hbjSA)

113 On another topic, I tried to read "Alan Turing: The Enigma," the book upon which the film Oppenheimer is (loosely) based.

Isn’t Oppenheimer based on the book “American Prometheus”?

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (VHN21)

114 I never saw the whole movie, but I saw enough clips of that psycho killer to give the flick a miss. There are few things more repugnant, to me, than a cold-blooded killer who thinks he's some kind of philosopher. Seemed kind of contrived.
Posted by: Paco

--

I like Cormac McCarthy a lot and I think it's the closest anyone has gotten to doing justice to his books. I couldn't go into the movie not knowing anything about it, but I always wondered if people thought that he's not so much a person as just unrelenting evil that is just outside of the field of view of everyone, even good/well meaning people. Not a Jason or Freddy or Hannibal Lector, but just actual darkness and forces that shouldn't be played around with.

Like a oiuja board except with a truck and shotgun. It doesn't care if you believe in it or not. All it needs is for you to touch the little triangle and open the portal.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (WF0+t)

115 Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:43 PM (VHN21)

I saw the Movie 'Independence Day' on a Navy ship...

When DC gets obliterated? We all stood up and clapped.

Posted by: Bernard at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (xaFKb)

116 I last saw Shogun in 1985 on AFN in Germany. From what I remember of it, it was quite good.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (8sMut)

117 I vaguely remember the tv mini series, Shogun. I recall liking the very cute Japanese actresses (or some variety of Asian) very much. Richard Chamberlin playing a straight guy, reasonably well. Otherwise, I don't recall much about it.

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (+YRf1)

118 Only thing I remember of the little bit I saw of Shogun was the Richard Chamberlain being pissed on.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 08:55 PM (MNhXM)

119 Posted by: Bernard at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (xaFKb)

wow... that's like a 2 day old sock...

Posted by: Romeo13 at February 10, 2024 08:55 PM (xaFKb)

120 Otherwise, I don't recall much about it.
Posted by: Puddleglum

I remember Toshiro Mifune. He's like the Japanese Steve McQueen.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 08:56 PM (hbjSA)

121 I think the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man is a very Jewish version of It's a Wonderful Life.

-

We've started a Coen Brothers marathon viewing that hopefully we'll be able to finish by next year. We're going to watch all their movies. Not in order, just as we find them or want to watch them. Many we've already seen but we'll watch them again because them's the rules.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 08:56 PM (WF0+t)

122 116 I last saw Shogun in 1985 on AFN in Germany. From what I remember of it, it was quite good.
Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (8sMut)

I would argue that the original Shogun is tied with I, Claudius for the title of Best Miniseries Ever Made. It is excellent in every possible way.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 08:57 PM (S6gqv)

123 Famous actor Eduard Everette Norton:

http://tinyurl.com/5dustmve

Posted by: Braenyard at February 10, 2024 08:57 PM (z6FAk)

124 I remember Winds of War a bit. I liked it but don't ask me much about it. Only saw it once and that was in the 80s when it came out. Like Shogun. I probably liked it too, just don't recall much about it, other than liking pixy size Japanese girls.

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 08:58 PM (+YRf1)

125 Also the Godzilla Minus One movie that everyone keeps talking about? Worth the time if you have even the slightest bit of interest in that sort of thing. Maybe even if you don't, because my wife liked it and she doesn't enjoy a lot of the goofy stuff I watch. Credit where credit is due, she did like Kung Fu Hustle.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 08:58 PM (WF0+t)

126 I was pissed off at Tommy Lee Jones for not killing the psycho hitman in No Country For Old Men. Hell I even wanted Wood Harrelson to kill him, even that poor girl, anybody.

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 08:59 PM (NxC5+)

127 Apparently a whole bunch of Cameron's films are coming out in 4K in a couple of months, including True Lies. According to Amazon, anyway.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (CHHv1)

128 If I’m being honest I don’t like anything about the Japanese culture.

Paraphrasing Churchill, they have all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (MNhXM)

129 113 Advo

Good catch. I meant The Imitation Game, not Oppenheimer. Me bad.

"Just LOOKED LIKE a communist" applies to both Turing & Oppenheimer, though, I think. Oppenheimer was a fellow traveler, but Turing never was.

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (NLIak)

130 On another topic, I tried to read "Alan Turing: The Enigma," the book upon which the film Oppenheimer is (loosely) based.

Isn’t Oppenheimer based on the book “American Prometheus”?
Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (VHN21)

Are we alleging that Turing was really Oppenheimer in disguise?

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (A706W)

131 There needs to be a movie thread about movies we watched with no expectation of enjoying it, but did.

I didn’t care for Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell at the time, but Groundhog Day was just brilliant. Likewise, I didn’t care for baseball movies, but the cast and writing of Major League was so very good.

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (VHN21)

132 127 Apparently a whole bunch of Cameron's films are coming out in 4K in a couple of months, including True Lies. According to Amazon, anyway.
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (CHHv1)

======

Yeah, True Lies, The Abyss, and Aliens.

I'll probably get them at some point. Definitely the first two. The Blu-ray of Aliens still looks really good, though.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (GBKbO)

133 @121

>>We've started a Coen Brothers marathon viewing that hopefully we'll be able to finish by next year.

If I were you, I would get the LadyKillers and The Man That Wasn't There out out the way quickly, because those are probably the bottom two films of their filmography.

Posted by: Thomas Bender at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (XV/Pl)

134 There is a six hour version of Das Boot that was aired as a miniseries in Germany. It was remade a few years ago but I've never seen the new one.

Posted by: Mark1971 at February 10, 2024 09:02 PM (xPl2J)

135 other than liking pixy size Japanese girls.
Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 08:58 PM (+YRf1)

*Grins, nods aggressively*

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 09:02 PM (A706W)

136 If I were you, I would get the LadyKillers and The Man That Wasn't There out out the way quickly, because those are probably the bottom two films of their filmography.

--

Thanks, I'll make sure those are near the front. It was my stupid idea so I want to maybe start with something good that we've seen a few times (Raising Arizona) and then something else good so that there's a bit of tolerance for the less magnificent stuff.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:03 PM (WF0+t)

137 136 Thanks, I'll make sure those are near the front. It was my stupid idea so I want to maybe start with something good that we've seen a few times (Raising Arizona) and then something else good so that there's a bit of tolerance for the less magnificent stuff.
Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:03 PM (WF0+t)

======

I like the chronological approach, personally.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:04 PM (GBKbO)

138 My favorite Cameron movie is Alitta : Battle Angel

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (MNhXM)

139 I didn’t care for Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell at the time, but Groundhog Day was just brilliant. Likewise, I didn’t care for baseball movies, but the cast and writing of Major League was so very good.
Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (VHN21)

Jonah Goldberg (I know, I know) once did a really interesting piece on Groundhog Day for National Review many moons ago that's absolutely worth reading. I don't have the link but I imagine you can easily Google it.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (A706W)

140 Since this is a movie thread....

Did you hear the latest about who was nominated for an Oscar?

January 6 Committee has been nominated for best Film Editing.

Posted by: Romeo13 at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (xaFKb)

141 138 My favorite Cameron movie is Alitta : Battle Angel
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (MNhXM)

======

Pedant time:

Cameron just produced it. Robert Rodriguez actually directed it.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (GBKbO)

142 I like the chronological approach, personally.

--

I considered that but neither of us are film buffs enough to care that much, although it might be interesting to try. Most of it will be "I got this at the library" or "Hey, this is on that streaming site that moron linked a couple of months ago"

We're married and it's date night at the house, so we're not spending any money on this stuff.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:06 PM (WF0+t)

143 There is a six hour version of Das Boot that was aired as a miniseries in Germany. It was remade a few years ago but I've never seen the new one.
Posted by: Mark1971

I came across a steaming series of Das Boot recently. I dropped it when they introduced the gay stuff. Might not be what you are talking about though.

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 09:06 PM (hbjSA)

144 I rewatched The Big Lebowski again recently, and it struck methat this was by far the best role that John Goodman ever played. Also, I had an insight as to why Walter Sobchak's character is so iconic to us - we all have an inner narrative that runs in our head constantly, but we also know to carefully filter that inner narrative for others. For most men, Walter Sobchak IS that inner narrative, made flesh. Everything that strikes his fancy, he either says or acts on instantly with no filter. If he suddenly thinks its a good idea to jump out of the car while it's moving, well he jumps without ever stopping to wonder if it's really a good idea. There's a Walter Sobchak inside all of us.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:06 PM (S6gqv)

145 My favorite Cameron movie is Alitta : Battle Angel
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (MNhXM)

======

Pedant time:

Cameron just produced it. Robert Rodriguez actually directed it.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:05 PM (GBKbO)

Not pedant, thanks

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:06 PM (MNhXM)

146 132 127 Apparently a whole bunch of Cameron's films are coming out in 4K in a couple of months, including True Lies. According to Amazon, anyway.
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 09:00 PM (CHHv1)

======

Yeah, True Lies, The Abyss, and Aliens.

I'll probably get them at some point. Definitely the first two. The Blu-ray of Aliens still looks really good, though.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (GBKbO)

All Owned by Disney now, so they will ruin it.

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:07 PM (dKiJG)

147 Saw one of those oddball movies today that I sorta liked but also sorta hated and would never recommend it to most folk, but I also wound up enjoying the movie by the time it ended. Anyhoo...

The title is "In Fabric" and it's a type of absurdist horror comedy more interested in making you go "Huh?" than in making you laugh.

The story concerns a red dress that functions as a curse or perhaps monster which is sold in a clothing store run by witches and perhaps Satan. People who wear the dress get a rash, which means they're cursed by the dress and will have nothing but bad luck until they die.

"In Fabric" is a very strange movie that some critic liken to an Argento movie or one by David Lynch. Could be as it's style is that of a late 70s/early 80s horror movie.

But, it reminded me more of the casual surrealism of Lindsay Anderson in the movies "If..." and "O Lucky Man" and the horror anthology movies put out by Amicus like "Asylum" and "Tales from the Crypt". And IF was filmed in Limeyland, so that fits.

So, if you want to see a very oddball movie that actually comes to a satisfactory conclusion despite all odds. Check out "In Fabric". Currently streaming for on Prime.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:07 PM (nFnyb)

148 140 Since this is a movie thread....

Did you hear the latest about who was nominated for an Oscar?

January 6 Committee has been nominated for best Film Editing.
Posted by: Romeo13



Babylon Bee?

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 09:07 PM (+YRf1)

149 My favorite Cameron movies are Transformers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. I like the part where everything is happening everywhere and then stuff explodes while the sound design is making your ears bleed.

(just kidding, I don't have any idea if that's even him or not)

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:08 PM (WF0+t)

150 146 I'll probably get them at some point. Definitely the first two. The Blu-ray of Aliens still looks really good, though.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (GBKbO)

All Owned by Disney now, so they will ruin it.
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:07 PM (dKiJG)

=======

The people who've seen the 4K streams that have popped up on Apple recently almost all say they look terrible. The physical release may be different, but James Cameron loves his digital noise reduction to the point of waxiness.

I'm not sure most people will care, though. It'll be sharp, and that's what we want, right?

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:08 PM (GBKbO)

151 (goes to look up 4K streaming vs 4K video players hooked directly to TVs and if 4K streaming really is)

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:10 PM (WF0+t)

152 144 I rewatched The Big Lebowski again recently, and it struck methat this was by far the best role that John Goodman ever played. Also, I had an insight as to why Walter Sobchak's character is so iconic to us - we all have an inner narrative that runs in our head constantly, but we also know to carefully filter that inner narrative for others. For most men, Walter Sobchak IS that inner narrative, made flesh. Everything that strikes his fancy, he either says or acts on instantly with no filter. If he suddenly thinks its a good idea to jump out of the car while it's moving, well he jumps without ever stopping to wonder if it's really a good idea. There's a Walter Sobchak inside all of us.
Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:06 PM (S6gqv)

“You are about to enter a world of pain.”

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 09:12 PM (8sMut)

153 151 (goes to look up 4K streaming vs 4K video players hooked directly to TVs and if 4K streaming really is)
Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:10 PM (WF0+t)

========

There are compression issues and buffering issues on streaming that aren't exactly the same with the playing of a 4K disc. 4K discs still have compression, but they're generally different beasts and more tightly managed that the more variable compression issues with a stream.

Also, it could be that the actual files are different (extremely doubtful).

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:12 PM (GBKbO)

154 “You are about to enter a world of pain.”
Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33

SHUT THE FUCK UP, DONNY!!!

Posted by: Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly at February 10, 2024 09:13 PM (hbjSA)

155 134 There is a six hour version of Das Boot that was aired as a miniseries in Germany. It was remade a few years ago but I've never seen the new one.
Posted by: Mark1971 at February 10, 2024 09:02 PM (xPl2J)

They had to shoe horn in the Gay Agenda into the show for some reason?

They did THE IPCRESS FILE mini sieres and they pulled the old Make the main character from the old movie a 2nd character in his own show for a strong Female Agent that’s better and smarter that Harry Plalmer and nobody has the Charm that Michael Caine has

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:14 PM (dKiJG)

156 Also, it could be that the actual files are different (extremely doubtful).

-

That would be really interesting. I sort of figured it worked like Plex so that you have an encoder working on the fly pumping whatever will flow through your pipes fastest.

It boggles the mind to think of the scale of youtube, netflix, etc.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:14 PM (WF0+t)

157 RE: laughing out loud inappropriately:

I once watched Mildred Pierce on TCM with my mother & laughed all the way through it.

Movies I liked that I had no expectation of liking:

1) Bob & Ted's Excellent Adventure (very young Owen Wilson)

2) Up In Smoke (with Cheech & Chong)

3) The Owl and the Pussycat (Babs & George Segal)

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (NLIak)

158 I don’t think Oppenheimer was an active communist. I think he sympathized with some of the causes, but so did many other Americans with a very high education. He had ample opportunity to transmit information about the atomic bomb, but there’s no indication then or since that he ever did. He just left enough doubt to be punished for what he might have done.

And he was right that our military position vis a vis nuclear weapons post WWII sent us into a ruinous arms race. I just don’t think his solution would have averted it. In many ways, we still are and might never get out of an arms race.

I think he was highly intelligent (brilliant in that context is reserved for Johnny von Neumann and Enriko Fermi levels), but he was weak and indecisive when dealing with the real world.

The books by Richard Rhodes on the making of the atomic and hydrogen bombs were excellent insights not only into the people involved, but the historical context in which it happened.

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (VHN21)

159 Speaking of, what kind of internet speeds did you manage to find at your new place TJM?

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (WF0+t)

160 Capra is my favorite director, and I was born during the Nixon Administration.

Also of note, he directed the Negro Soldier, which is well worth watching and is an interesting insight into American life in the 40s. Highly recommend this as well as any of his films....

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at February 10, 2024 09:16 PM (YIxO9)

161 My mistake, Capra produced the Negro Soldier.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at February 10, 2024 09:17 PM (YIxO9)

162
I think the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man is a very Jewish version of It's a Wonderful Life.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 08:47 PM (GBKbO)


I'm assuming that's a joke.

"A Serious Man' is pretty much a modern Job type story. I esp see the end as about as clear a "I am that I am" moment. The cinematic equivalent of what God told Job when he finally spoke directly to him.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:17 PM (nFnyb)

163 Mike and Jay at RLM had an episode on "Dinner in America", about an angry antisocial bird-flippin' punk rocker who meets a socially awkward girl and against all odds the two start to hit it off. It's essentially a love story, but it's also a weirdly funny take on !!anarchist musician who won't sell out!! vs suburbia. Like "SLC Punk" meets "Napoleon Dynomite". I liked it. It's on Amazon Prime.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at February 10, 2024 09:17 PM (+RQPJ)

164 159 Speaking of, what kind of internet speeds did you manage to find at your new place TJM?
Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (WF0+t)

=======

It's good. Lots of streaming can happen on all of our devices without any slowdown. No complaints.

I still try to use my disc collection as much as possible, though.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:18 PM (GBKbO)

165 Movies I liked that I had no expectation of liking:

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (NLIak)

Movie that I definitely didn’t think I would like was Her.

I just watched it to see how they could make a whole movie about Siri.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:19 PM (MNhXM)

166
It's good. Lots of streaming can happen on all of our devices without any slowdown. No complaints.

I still try to use my disc collection as much as possible, though.

--

That's good with the internet. I'm a big fan of possessing physical discs but that seems to be disappearing similar to CDs.

No need to own it when I can stream! Hey, wait, where did that go? Oh, there it is. Wait, those lyrics are different. What is going on here?

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:19 PM (WF0+t)

167 157 RE: laughing out loud inappropriately:

I once watched Mildred Pierce on TCM with my mother & laughed all the way through it.

Movies I liked that I had no expectation of liking:

1) Bob & Ted's Excellent Adventure (very young Owen Wilson)

2) Up In Smoke (with Cheech & Chong)

3) The Owl and the Pussycat (Babs & George Segal)

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:15 PM (NLIak)

For me, Pulp Fiction. I had heard it existed and knew nothing else. Then I went to a theater to see it with a group of friends for the best reason of all (a girl).

I never laughed harder in a theater than the moment when Marvin gets his head blown off. But then, everyone in the theater was laughing so hard the dialogue that followed was not heard until I got the DVD.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 09:20 PM (8sMut)

168 One of the most significant scenes in Groundhog Day is one that isn't comical at all; it's the one where he does everything he can to save the old man who dies, but although he can make the old man's passing kinder and less painful, he cannot change his fate, and he cannot save his life. The scene is there to show us that he really is under the rule of some much greater power, and that he only has the power to change his own fate, not that of anyone else. He can do good and prevent some accidents - but he cannot change something that is set.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:21 PM (S6gqv)

169 166 That's good with the internet. I'm a big fan of possessing physical discs but that seems to be disappearing similar to CDs.

No need to own it when I can stream! Hey, wait, where did that go? Oh, there it is. Wait, those lyrics are different. What is going on here?
Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:19 PM (WF0+t)

=======

A few years ago, when OM was still alive and posting my stuff, I wrote a piece about how the streaming future was much darker than people seemed to think.

Someone late in the comments called me an old man yelling at clouds. It should be reminded that I am actually one of the younger people on this blog.

And here we are, a few years later, and even places like Wired are writing pieces about how keeping physical discs is important now because the streaming landscape is so unreliable.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:21 PM (GBKbO)

170 On another topic, I tried to read "Alan Turing: The Enigma," the book upon which the film Oppenheimer is (loosely) based.

Isn’t Oppenheimer based on the book “American Prometheus”?
Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 08:54 PM (VHN21)


Did I tell you about reading Das Kapital by Karl May? No Indians, no Indian fighters. I was disappointed

Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 09:23 PM (D7oie)

171 Sweet Home Alabama. Although lots of it was laughing *at* the movie / dialogue and not the intended dialogue prompts.

I'd stop right now if I saw it was on the TV if her brunette friend was in the scene though.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:23 PM (WF0+t)

172 168
Good observation.

Posted by: Dr. Claw at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (roH4R)

173 I do like all the attempts to determine exactly how long Bill Murray was trapped in Groundhog Day.

Fun thought exercise.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (MNhXM)

174 Saw "Sexy Beast" this week, which gets lots of great reviews.

It was okay. The first half was just great and loaded with menace.

The second half was totally flat in comparison and the movie sorta hobbled along to the end.

I was surprised that Ian McShane was so flat. he couldn't menace a free Dixie cup of Kool-Aid from a 6 year old.

It's the kind of movie where you see where it's going and it does. No real surprises but good acting, directing, dialogue.

Check it out. Streaming currently on Criterion.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (nFnyb)

175 Arrow FIlms just released the Conan The Barbarian, all 3 versions of the original movie, which I didn’t know existed and Conan the Destroyer in Blu-Ray and 4K versions, just got mine and man do they do a great job.

they also did TREMORS 2 which is a guilty pleasure of mine, I love Burt in the series of movies, The gun nut that doesn’t get looked down on and proven right most of the time.

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (dKiJG)

176 175 Arrow FIlms just released the Conan The Barbarian, all 3 versions of the original movie, which I didn’t know existed and Conan the Destroyer in Blu-Ray and 4K versions, just got mine and man do they do a great job.

they also did TREMORS 2 which is a guilty pleasure of mine, I love Burt in the series of movies, The gun nut that doesn’t get looked down on and proven right most of the time.
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (dKiJG)

=======

Amazon is still pending the shipment of my double pack. 2/20 has been the promised date for months.

Soon...

I haven't seen Destroyer in forever, but I remember enjoying it a bit.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:26 PM (GBKbO)

177 And here we are, a few years later, and even places like Wired are writing pieces about how keeping physical discs is important now because the streaming landscape is so unreliable.
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures
--

It might've been here where I first saw it but there's some group that was getting in trouble for trying to maintain historic copies of things for that very reason and the copyright trolls were after them. IIRC they weren't sharing or the like, just trying to make and store backups of things so that the original things would exist in 50 years.

Posted by: Moron Robbie - Fort Sumter bad Texas good, Southern states bad Ukraine good at February 10, 2024 09:26 PM (WF0+t)

178 Am I the only one to have seen Palm Springs with Andy Sandberg?

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:26 PM (MNhXM)

179 "I've never seen Shogun.

Should I?"
____________

Yes, if only for Toshiro Mifune. The series is pretty good, and true enough to the book for mid-80s network television.

Better still, read the book. James Clavell was very realistic about the Japanese culture and bushido. Remember that he also wrote King Rat, about a Japanese P.O.W. camp for allied prisoners. (Another good book and resulting movie.)

P.S. Clavell was a yuuge Ayn Rand fan, and it shows in his stories. I like that, but YMMV.

Posted by: ogmrobvious at February 10, 2024 09:27 PM (TUOQG)

180 174: Saw "Sexy Beast" this week, which gets lots of great reviews.


Ghandi was an asshole.

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (+YRf1)

181 Am I the only one to have seen Palm Springs with Andy Sandberg?
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:26 PM (MNhXM)

Ummmmmm...Yes.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (R/m4+)

182 I never could get into the Conan films. The best part of all of them was the opening scene in the first one.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (MNhXM)

183 173 I do like all the attempts to determine exactly how long Bill Murray was trapped in Groundhog Day.

Fun thought exercise.
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:24 PM (MNhXM)

In one interview, Harold Ramis said that the original intention was to show that he was stuck there for at least 10,000 days - close to 30 years. That's a nasty bit of purgatory.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (S6gqv)

184 It’s been calculated how many years he’s stuck in Groundhog Day by the piano lessons and ice sculptures lessons, he’s been there for over a 1 thousand years

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (dKiJG)

185 Saw "Sexy Beast" this week, which gets lots of great reviews.

***

Yeah. I still get a lot of womenz giving me phone numbers...

Posted by: Diogenes at February 10, 2024 09:29 PM (W/lyH)

186 Am I the only one to have seen Palm Springs with Andy Sandberg?
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:26 PM (MNhXM)


That's the "Groundhog Day" rip-off movie, right?

I saw it. It's okay. Didn't hate it. Didn't love it.
It ate up time.

I doubt that I'd watch it again, but it was okay.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:29 PM (nFnyb)

187 Just finished watching American Fiction. Really enjoyed it.

Posted by: WisRich at February 10, 2024 09:30 PM (Qgr0I)

188 Yes, if only for Toshiro Mifune. The series is pretty good, and true enough to the book for mid-80s network television.

Better still, read the book. James Clavell was very realistic about the Japanese culture and bushido. Remember that he also wrote King Rat, about a Japanese P.O.W. camp for allied prisoners. (Another good book and resulting movie.)

P.S. Clavell was a yuuge Ayn Rand fan, and it shows in his stories. I like that, but YMMV.
Posted by: ogmrobvious at February 10, 2024 09:27 PM (TUOQG)

I didn’t read the book, but I remember liking the 1988 NBC miniseries Noble House. Pierce Brosnan was in that one (since we are talking about Clavell). Of course, it has been a third of a century since I saw it.

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 10, 2024 09:30 PM (8sMut)

189 Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:29 PM (nFny

I actually liked it better than GD but you can’t go by me.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:31 PM (MNhXM)

190 182 I never could get into the Conan films. The best part of all of them was the opening scene in the first one.
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (MNhX

The first one is on my Top 10 of all time list. I would make the case (as others have) that the soundtrack by Basil Poledouris is the best symphonic soundtrack for any movie made in the 20th century; it is still performed as a symphony by itself in concerts around the world.

One of my favorite scenes is where he discovers the Atlantean Sword in the forgotten tomb - I think of this as the Best Tolkien Scene that Tolkien never wrote.

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:31 PM (S6gqv)

191 Did I tell you about reading Das Kapital by Karl May? No Indians, no Indian fighters. I was disappointed
Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 09:23 PM (D7oie)

What about “The Sale of Two Titties” by Dikkens, the well-known Dutch author?

Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 09:31 PM (VHN21)

192 Crom!

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at February 10, 2024 09:32 PM (YIxO9)

193 The picture above His Body Of Work...

Kind of frightening.

Now watch halftime at the Superbowl and see how many have.a.one armed.salute...all holding a camera of course.

And we don't even know it.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 10, 2024 09:33 PM (W/lyH)

194 Oppenheimer/The Imitation Game

I DID correct that mistake promptly, you know.

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:34 PM (NLIak)

195 Always disappointed they didn't base a Conan sequel on that Mako guy.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at February 10, 2024 09:34 PM (YIxO9)

196 1988 NBC miniseries Noble House.


Oh yea, I saw that one too. I forgot Brosnan was in that. I remember Julia Nickson was in it though. She would turn up in a few episodes of Babylon 5. Pretty lady.

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 09:34 PM (+YRf1)

197 184 It’s been calculated how many years he’s stuck in Groundhog Day by the piano lessons and ice sculptures lessons, he’s been there for over a 1 thousand years
Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:28 PM (dKiJG)

I remember one scene where he explains how he got so good at tossing cards in a hat; Andie says "that would take forever" and he says something like "nah, 9 months, all day every day, that's all."

Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:34 PM (S6gqv)

198 Idiocracy was not supposed to be a documentary

Posted by: jsg at February 10, 2024 09:35 PM (rlsO3)

199 Better still, read the book. James Clavell was very realistic about the Japanese culture and bushido. Remember that he also wrote King Rat, about a Japanese P.O.W. camp for allied prisoners. (Another good book and resulting movie.)

P.S. Clavell was a yuuge Ayn Rand fan, and it shows in his stories. I like that, but YMMV.
Posted by: ogmrobvious at February 10, 2024 09:27 PM (TUOQG)


Clavell spent most of the war in a Japanese POW camp

Posted by: Kindltot - Erehwon is closed for re-formatting at February 10, 2024 09:35 PM (D7oie)

200 I also liked Predators better than Predator.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:35 PM (MNhXM)

201 200 I also liked Predators better than Predator.
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:35 PM (MNhXM)

========

Predator 2 > Predators > Predator

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:36 PM (GBKbO)

202 Tremors 2 and the Conan Blu-ray both of mine got delayed from Arrow, I went thru Arrow

For some reason I got the Blu-ray version of HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN I do love Roddy Piper it’s so dumb and I and I can just switch off, their are not to many movies anymore that let you do that, they have to have THE MESSAGE or MODERN AUDIENCES

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:37 PM (dKiJG)

203 Greetings!! Films and related materials have been stored in hot warehouses in Southern California for decades. There have been many warehouse fires which have eliminated any record of a lot of films, including priceless scores, etc..
No amount of insurance could replace them.

Posted by: gourmand du jour at February 10, 2024 09:38 PM (MeG8a)

204 I rewatched Reality Bites last week, specifically because I didn’t remember liking it much and was considering removing it to the yard sale pile.

While the Ethan Hawke character continues to amaze me with just how much of an unredeemable sociopath he is, the movie overall was much better than I remembered it.

That said, the musical selections were very odd for a nineties movie set in the nineties.

And Winona Ryder looked very different than in earlier movies like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands in a way that made me erroneously think it must have been an earlier movie and not the last one of the era that I’d seen.

Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at February 10, 2024 09:38 PM (PmqP5)

205 Predator 2 > Predators > Predator
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:36 PM (GBKbO)

And I thought I’d be ridiculed😀

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:38 PM (MNhXM)

206 205 And I thought I’d be ridiculed😀
Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:38 PM (MNhXM)

======

Chacun son gout.

Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:39 PM (GBKbO)

207 >>At the end when the actors were taking their bows, out come five or six old men to take their bows, even thought we never saw them during the production. One of them was Barry Switzer. That's just fun.


Heh, love it

Posted by: Lizzy at February 10, 2024 09:39 PM (RXyKO)

208 Diogenes @ 193-
Have not watched a pro football of any kind nigh 20 years….but would consider if the sportscasters would be banned from talking all the time. They don’t need to tell me what I just saw. And they need to do away with halftime ‘shows’…..just bring back marching bands.

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 09:39 PM (NxC5+)

209 One of my favorite scenes is where he discovers the Atlantean Sword in the forgotten tomb - I think of this as the Best Tolkien Scene that Tolkien never wrote.
Posted by: Tom Servo at February 10, 2024 09:31 PM (S6gqv)

I thought someone said that’s supposed to be Kull’s sword a nood to the other Howard famous character

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:41 PM (dKiJG)

210 Just viewed Star Trek Into Darkness for the first time. I'm sure I'm in a very small minority but I really enjoyed it.

Posted by: Notorious BFD at February 10, 2024 09:41 PM (V8he0)

211 Eromero

The mute button was invented to deal with Chris Berman and Tony Romo.

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:42 PM (NLIak)

212 208: I vaguely recall, early 80s, maybe, that NBC tried an experiment. They showed a Miami Dolphins game, minus the announcers. National game because I was living in PA and remember watching it. Think they played the Jets. Anyway, loved it. Apparently, all the viewers loved it. So, NBC never did it again.

Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 09:43 PM (+YRf1)

213 Just viewed Star Trek Into Darkness for the first time. I'm sure I'm in a very small minority but I really enjoyed it.

I just rewatched it for the first time a few weeks ago. I remembered enjoying it and it held up even better on a second viewing.

It wasn’t just good, it was good Star Trek.

Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at February 10, 2024 09:44 PM (PmqP5)

214 P.S. Clavell was a yuuge Ayn Rand fan, and it shows in his stories. I like that, but YMMV.
Posted by: ogmrobvious at February 10, 2024 09:27 PM (TUOQG)

Ayn Rand. My waifu.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2024 09:44 PM (RBsY+)

215 Predator 2 > Predators > Predator
Posted by: TheJamesMadison, finishing up the Best Pictures at February 10, 2024 09:36 PM (GBKbO)


I was disappointed in Predator 2 when it came out, but then I saw it again a few years later and thought, "Oh, this is pretty good after all."

Predators on the other hand never did anything for me as much as I wanted it to. I was hoping Robert Rodriguez would direct since IIRC he was producing hot. But...nope.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:46 PM (nFnyb)

216 I was pissed off at Tommy Lee Jones for not killing the psycho hitman in No Country For Old Men. Hell I even wanted Wood Harrelson to kill him, even that poor girl, anybody.
Posted by: Eromero
--------

I was pissed that they smashed what appeared to be a perfectly nice Olds Cutlass.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at February 10, 2024 09:46 PM (XeU6L)

217 It wasn’t just good, it was good Star Trek.
Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at February 10, 2024 09:44 PM (PmqP5)

Except they killed Pike instead of making him a vegetable.

Posted by: Naples Yellow at February 10, 2024 09:47 PM (MNhXM)

218 And commercials, I absolutely hate commercials and will buy nothing I see advertised in a commercial even if it looks like a decent product, possibly even something I might buy, if it had not been in a commercial.

Posted by: Eromero at February 10, 2024 09:48 PM (NxC5+)

219 I mute everything in between plays; all halftime shows; all commercials, of course. NEVER watch post-game shows at all.

When I'm with friends, I see all that stuff, so I have a standard of comparison.

Mute c'est moi.

Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 09:48 PM (NLIak)

220 Overnight thread up already….

Posted by: Van Down by the River at February 10, 2024 09:49 PM (l/G3s)

221 Eromero

The mute button was invented to deal with Chris Berman and Tony Romo.

Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:42 PM (NLIak)


Ah, man. I love listening to Tony Romo. He almost always has something interesting to say.

And has the ability to make everything clear why the play worked or didn't, sometimes even before the play is run.

Posted by: naturalfake at February 10, 2024 09:49 PM (nFnyb)

222 212 208: I vaguely recall, early 80s, maybe, that NBC tried an experiment. They showed a Miami Dolphins game, minus the announcers. National game because I was living in PA and remember watching it. Think they played the Jets. Anyway, loved it. Apparently, all the viewers loved it. So, NBC never did it again.
Posted by: Puddleglum at work at February 10, 2024 09:43 PM (+YRf1)

Apple gives you the option to listen to the home radio announcer’s much better than the national broadcast announcer’s

Posted by: Patrick from Ohio at February 10, 2024 09:49 PM (dKiJG)

223 Except they killed Pike instead of making him a vegetable.

He was close to a squash.

Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at February 10, 2024 09:49 PM (PmqP5)

224 “I`d like to take that little Dago son of a bitch and tear him into a million pieces and throw him into the ocean and watch him float back to Sicily where he belongs.” --John Wayne on Capra.
Then he went on to say some really mean stuff.

Posted by: Way,Way Downriver at February 10, 2024 09:50 PM (zdLoL)

225 The Blu-ray of Aliens still looks really good, though.

"Aliens" is the Ground Zero of "woke" films. I find it almost impossible to watch these days. I don't care if it's 4K I ain't buyin it.

"Woke film ground zero: Aliens" prove me wrong.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at February 10, 2024 09:51 PM (CHHv1)

226 The mute button is known as the "Costas" button in my house

...been that way for decades

Posted by: ghost of hallelujah at February 10, 2024 09:51 PM (sJHOI)

227
I was pissed that they smashed what appeared to be a perfectly nice Olds Cutlass.
Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc.
----------

'78 , I think:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hDSn8XvU98

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at February 10, 2024 09:52 PM (XeU6L)

228 Commercials are why God invented the mute button

Posted by: gourmand du jour at February 10, 2024 09:54 PM (MeG8a)

229 I can tolerate the hometown announcers on Blues hockey. They seem like family by now... or at least they did until Darren Pang quit/got fired/wanted too much money.

Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 09:54 PM (NLIak)

230 "...the films I would call great were surprisingly few, attributing that descriptor to only four films (It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, American Madness, and You Can't Take It With You)."

I enjoyed reading the whole article on Capra, and glad for this recommendation onAmerican Madness, one I've never seen!

Posted by: mindful webworker goes to town at February 10, 2024 09:55 PM (ibVcF)

231 226 ghost

Funny. I'm stealing that.

Posted by: KC Wolf (mnw) at February 10, 2024 09:55 PM (NLIak)

232 There needs to be a movie thread about movies we watched with no expectation of enjoying it, but did.

I didn’t care for Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell at the time, but Groundhog Day was just brilliant. Likewise, I didn’t care for baseball movies, but the cast and writing of Major League was so very good.
Posted by: Advo at February 10, 2024 09:01 PM (VHN21)


Lost in America Loved it and laughed myself silly in the theatre
The Desert Inn has heart

Also Peewees Big Adventure
The Alamo doesnt have a basement!!

But i also love Frank Capra
Great post. As always!

Posted by: LASue at February 10, 2024 09:56 PM (Ed8Zd)

233 ___

Posted by: andycanuck (2yu8s) at February 10, 2024 10:55 PM (2yu8s)

234 An IMG you can see

Posted by: andycanuck (2yu8s) at February 10, 2024 10:56 PM (2yu8s)

235 Hey, thanks for this. Didn't know Columbia was once considered Skidrow. I guess his early career was the American Dream, then.

He was probably better off getting out of Hollywood when he did.

Posted by: Henry Brown at February 10, 2024 10:59 PM (CW90c)

236 Mojo is everywhere!

Posted by: Dread0 at February 10, 2024 11:29 PM (VXHcO)

237 213 Just viewed Star Trek Into Darkness for the first time. I'm sure I'm in a very small minority but I really enjoyed it.

I just rewatched it for the first time a few weeks ago. I remembered enjoying it and it held up even better on a second viewing.

It wasn’t just good, it was good Star Trek.
Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at February 10, 2024 09:44 PM (PmqP5)

A poorly re-hashed Star Trek II: The Wrath of KHAN

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 11, 2024 12:01 AM (8sMut)

238 211 Eromero

The mute button was invented to deal with Chris Berman and Tony Romo.
Posted by: mnw at February 10, 2024 09:42 PM (NLIak)

You mean you don’t like Berman copying Howard Cosell? His stupid sound effects? His barely disguised fetish for the old powder blue Charger uniforms?

Posted by: Catch Thirty-Thr33 at February 11, 2024 12:04 AM (8sMut)

239 I've been waiting for this essay. Thank you.

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 11, 2024 01:43 AM (p/isN)

240 Ӏf some one desires expert view about blogging and site-buiⅼding after that
i propose him/her to pɑy a ѵisit this weblog, Keep up the good job.

Posted by: divulge at February 11, 2024 02:20 AM (zM44w)

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