Last film seen...

1395396398400401412

Comments

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    Probably an urban myth, but when Pia Zadora was giving a tortuous performance as Anne Frank in a stage play, when the Nazi’s came to search the house a member of the audience shouted out “She’s in the attic!!” 😂

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,236MI6 Agent

    @Number24 I guess that's a possibility although from the film it isn't clear the Frank family knew who was in hiding and who wasn't. They were betrayed by a thief who had tried to rob the safe in the office below, an unscrupulous man like many seeking financial reward, and that's probably more likely.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,198Chief of Staff
    edited July 2023


    The Fu Manchu Cycle

     


    1965-1969

    Background- Fu Manchu, an evil character wanting to take over the world, was the creation of an author who used the pseudonym Sax Rohmer in a series of books beginning over a hundred years ago. These were very popular and inevitably films were made, one of which starred Boris Karloff. In the 1960s, a producer called Harry Alan Towers got the idea of making a series of these. Five were made-

    THE FACE OF FU MANCHU (1965) THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU (1966) 

    THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU (1967) THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU (1968)

    THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU (1969)


    Sherlock Holmes connection: In Rohmer’s books, the heroic characters opposing Fu Manchu were Nayland Smith and his friend Dr Petrie- very thinly disguised expies of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Dr Petrie even narrates the stories like Watson does, at least at the beginning of the series. In these films, Dr Petrie is played by Howard Marion Crawford who had played Watson in a TV series about ten years earlier. Nayland Smith didn’t have a steady actor, though in the second and third movies he was played by Douglas Wilmer who had played Holmes before and would again.


    James Bond connection: Perhaps inevitably for films made in the UK in this time period, a large number of the cast had appeared or would appear in Bond movies of the time. Most notably is a man who needs no introduction, Sir Christopher Lee-

    who played the starring role of Fu Manchu, not exactly playing against type but certainly playing against race. For we Bond fans, this is perhaps the closest we get to seeing what a Lee version of Dr No might have looked like.

    Playing his daughter in all five films was Tsai Chin, seen here giving Bond very best duck in “You Only Live Twice”-

    She also turned up many years later in the 2006 “Casino Royale”.

    The number of other cast members who appeared in Bond films is large, but some were Shirley Eaton, Karin Dor, Burt Kwouk, Joseph Furst, and the previously mentioned Douglas Wilmer.

    The stories were set in approx. the 1920s, and usually (but not always) involved Fu Manchu kidnapping daughters or fiancées of scientists to oblige them to work on some sort of devilish device to help him rule the world. The budgets were very small, and sometimes footage from older movies (eg dams bursting, ships sinking) was spliced in. I can only assume they were successful since otherwise so many wouldn’t have been made.

    They do have to be watched with a forgiving mind. The fights are laughable, the SFX (unless spliced in) are weak. For those interested in that sort of thing, the 4th film had the highest amount of naked flesh on display.

    Edit - I haven't made it clear that I bought a box set of these movies and have watched them all in order over the last few days, hence why I'm discussing them in this thread.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    I don't know if I was clear in saying the suspicion is that someone hiding the Frank family or someone in the family were forced to give up the other family? I haven't followed the discussion about the Frank family, but I think Anne's father suspected someone in the local Jewish community gave them up for their own personal safety. Mr. Frank never mentioned this suspicion in public because of surviving family members, but he did mention it in public.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    EXTRACTION (2020)

    EXTRACTION 2 (2023)

    Thanks to @Gymkata for the heads up on these.

    We thoroughly enjoyed these two rollicking action fests where mercenary Chris Hemsworth takes on an assignments to rescue a kidnapped boy and then an imprisoned family in the sequel. The action scenes are just totally amazing including extended one-shot takes of 12 minutes in the first movie and an incredible 21 minutes in the second. I honestly have no idea how director Sam Hargrave manages all this but it is extremely impressive. The gun play is John Wick style with stylised fighting that makes you breathless. A third film is in development and I can’t wait. Mrs CHB is an action movie aficionado and rates these as some of the best ever filmed. Highly recommended.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    I love the Fu Manchu series ( well, the first three, anyway), Christopher Lee is marvellous in the role and Tsai Chin is super sexy as his evil daughter. The 60’s is the greatest decade for movies in my opinion.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,198Chief of Staff

    Mine too, and I agree that the first three Fu Manchu films are better than the last two. Lower budgets? Running out of steam?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    The last two shifted production to Spain and directed by Jesus Franco the Spanish version of Ed Wood. I imagine the already meagre budget was cut even more for these final two. It’s said that Shirley Eaton’s role was completely from another film called The Girl From Rio and that she didn’t realise that the footage had been inserted into Blood until years afterwards and she had never been paid for it. I only ever re-watch the first three nowadays.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,198Chief of Staff
    edited July 2023

    I didn't know that! Or spot it, either. I did spot that a scene from "Brides" was re-used in "Castle", more cost-cutting.

    Another thing is that in two of them (at least - I may have missed more) than here seems to be a scene missing towards the end involving Nayland Smith getting from one place to another. Don't know if they were never shot or cut out for some reason.

    Edit - "the Spanish version of Ed Wood" 😂😂😂😂

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    It's an exciting time at the cinema this summer. Tonight I'm going with some friends, but I can't quite remember which movie we're going to see:




  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,236MI6 Agent

    @Gymkata wrote :

    I'm not sure what kind of legs this is going to have.

    Barbie's ??? A bit stiff ???

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent
    edited July 2023

    Unnaturally long legs, but no flat feet.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    Yes, that one was really low-hanging.


  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,882Chief of Staff

    I saw a three-hour film set in the first half of the 20th century and starring Margot Robbie. . . Could it be that legendary movie mash-up we've been hearing so much about lately, BARBENHEIMER? I only wish. . .it was BABYLON, about the excesses of Hollywood in the '20s and 30s. Y'know, you can make a movie about excessiveness and vulgarity without being excessive and vulgar. . . Did we need a close-up of an elephant's nether quarters as it releases poop right on the camera, or a woman relieving herself on a man, or a geek eating a live rat, or Margot doing her Mr. Creosote impression and copiously vomiting at a party? And did we need all this for OVER THREE FREAKING HOURS??

    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    We’ve seen a couple of pulpy movies…

    THE FLOOD (2023)

    A hurricane. A jailbreak. Hordes of hungry alligators. It sounds good but the script is abysmal, the direction flat, the acting terrible and the CGI not very good. The only joy from this is that it’s a great laugh bantering about the film with the family.

    97 MINUTES (2023)

    A hi-jacked passenger plane with a nuclear bomb on board has 97 minutes until the plane runs out of fuel. An undercover Interpol agent on board tries to stop the terrorists, while on the ground NSA director Alec Baldwin wonders whether to shoot the plane down or resort to a different plan. Another abysmal script that partially redeems itself towards the end with a neat twist. Baldwin is ok but the rest of the cast are as wooden as a pier. The CGI is poor. Again, only good for a laugh whilst eating pizza and enjoying a beer.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    I agree more or less. Nolan should've focused on Oppenheimer during the war and the development of the bomb or focused on what happened to him after the war. Instead we got a three-hour movie with three timelines, two of them hearings.

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 820MI6 Agent

    Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1.

    Enjoyed thoroughly, lots of thoughts, mainly spoiler laden so will save for another day.


    However, a few unarguable truths emerge:

    1) TC has played Uncharted 2 and 3 in their entirety at least 5 times. I wish he had been given the franchise and not the abomination that Holland and Wahlberg vomited out.

    2) TC says the lines out loud when watching QoS, which he does - along with the DC era - in full and in order - at least once a month...come on, I expected the whole cast to face the screen and wink when she said she's a teacher on sabbatical!

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,236MI6 Agent

    THE ACCOUNTANT (2016)

    A committed performance from Ben Afleck can’t disguise the rather routine action and unnecessarily convoluted plotting of this slow-burn thriller. Afleck plays an autistic accountant who doubles as a fixer for illegal corporations, including terrorists, drug barons and dodgy businessmen. Things turn rough for the previously untouchable accountant when the Treasury Dept decides to investigate his actions at the same time the owners of a robotics firm ask him to uncover who has embezzled out of millions.

    Decent action sequences can’t hide the silliness of a story which tries to be so much more than it needs to be. In a way, the film attempts to step on from We Need To Talk About Kevin and suggest that kids who have a pressing homicidal instability might not only be serial killers, they could also be trained into almost infallible assassins. That conclusion feels not only unlikely, but perverse.

    Anna Kendrick is the love interest, if you can call it that. J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai Robinson spar well as the Treasury agents.  

  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,966MI6 Agent
    edited August 2023

    MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE

    No spoilers here either, but fans of 70s/ 80s/ 90s Bond films (John Glen Bond, in particular) will find a lot to enjoy in this movie's breathtaking action sequences. There's at least one specific homage - to FYEO - and a number of other echoes of Bond, too.

    Although no M:I films since have matched for me the impact of Brian De Palma's semi-arthouse original, or the action dynamics of the John Woo first sequel, this latest is a fun movie with an engaging - and topical - central concept. At times, Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt seems to be edging towards a 'Roger Moore phase' and I'm certainly not one to complain.

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 53 years.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,966MI6 Agent
    edited August 2023

    OPPENHEIMER

    BARBIE

    Okay, I guess like a lot of people this summer I've seen in close succession 'Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One', 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie'.

    IMO they're all good but for me the most consistently entertaining of them is 'Barbie'. It's joyously amusing throughout, made me laugh out loud numerous times (I rarely do that in the cinema) and in its own way it manages to be as thought provoking as 'Oppenheimer' (obviously about different stuff).

    With all due respect to Florence Pugh's and Emily Blunt's roles in 'Oppenheimer', writer/ director Greta Gerwig in 'Barbie' does a more sophisticated job than Christopher Nolan of representing women's experience. Margot Robbie is a comic delight as Mattel's iconic doll, accessing a wider range of feeling in the part than might have been supposed, and Ryan Gosling's hilarious performance as Ken is almost as interesting - as a comment on masculinity in existential crisis - as the excellent Cillian Murphy is as a modern (cold fish*) Prometheus in the doom-laden Nolan film. (*I agree with @Gymkata on the soullesness of Oppenheimer.)

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 53 years.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    I don't agree that Oppenheimer (the movie) is soulless. I't incedible to see an intelligent biopic that features so much talking about science, ethics and feelings can be so popular in the cinemas these days.

  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,966MI6 Agent

    Yes, it's a movie rich in ideas. For me it's that the characters themselves are difficult to warm to - any of them, really.

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 53 years.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent

    Do you watch a movie about Robert Oppenheimer to see warm and likable characters?

  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,966MI6 Agent

    No. But what I mean by warming to them is finding something about them sufficiently relatable, at some level, to become emotionally invested in their conflicts or dilemmas. As I said, the film is good and Cillian Murphy is excellent in it but the character is a cold fish and so are all the other principals.

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 53 years.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,763MI6 Agent
    edited August 2023

    I didn't expect a the feelings of man who invents a way for human beings to destroy the world to be particularely relatable, and I wouldn't expect them to be. The situation is nearly unique. Watching the characters most of the time trying to keep a lid on their emotions was very emotional to me. It's not meant to be some Mexican telenovella (I'm exagerating, I know) where all emotions are big and placed cernter stage for all to see.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    A CHUMP AT OXFORD (1940)

    A bunch of Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello movies have landed on my streaming service here so I thought I’d look at this one as I hadn’t seen it for decades. After inadvertently catching a bank robber our two lovable buffoons are offered an education at Oxford University. Once there some of the students play pranks on them including giving them the dean’s quarters. There is more fun to be had in the maze with a student dressing as a ghost. Peter Cushing is one of the students in an early role. Laurel & Hardy are without doubt the greatest double-act of all time, their timing is impeccable. At just an hour it’s a short but hilarious film. I laughed out loud at some of it, which is rare in any of today’s movies.

    Comedy at its best.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,236MI6 Agent

    GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953)

    Fondly remembered now as the film whose best musical sequence accompanies Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend and inspired an early pop video hit for Madonna, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a movie about a sharp socially wised-up gold-digger who catches her millionaire husband after a series of mishaps in New York, Paris and on a cruise ship.

    Marilyn Monroe was second billed behind Jane Russell [although they appear alongside each other during the credit scene, Russell’s name is on the left as you read them] and earned her weekly salary to the ‘veteran’ star’s $200,000. Nonetheless she is the undoubted star of a lightly romantic and rather cynical little to-do involving two showgirls out to snare a man, one for love, the other for the security of money. Monroe’s Lorelai Lee is a comic delight and she excels as a leading lady, interacting well with her peer star and the support cast, which is generally weak. Moments of delight include getting stuck in a ship cabin’s porthole, attempting to get private detective Eliot Reed drunk, charming the pants off Charles Coburn’s con artist and staring in bewildered fascination at a glittering tiara. Jane Russell is generous in allowing Monroe to shine so often. She’s provided with plenty of decent lines herself, but you know she’s fighting a losing battle from the off when, as the stars sing Two Little Girls From Little Rock, Monroe winks delightedly at the camera. She’s letting us know immediately this’ll be a cheeky ride, and for the era Charles Lederer’s script is quite fruity, touching as it does on sexual matters. This is never more apparent than when Russell carouses with an Olympic gymnastics team and every lyric of her song is a double-entendre. While Monroe’s Lorelei is made out to be prettily devious, although agreeably romantic, it is Russell’s Dorothy who is impetuous in love and basically a bit of a slapper. That’s not how you’d envisage it.

    Director Howard Hawks didn’t do musicals and absented himself from the set when the song and dance stuff was choreographed and filmed. He shows barely an ounce of interest in the comedy either. The movie is jovial, but flat. Thanks then to Marilyn Monroe for keeping us interested. Her star was rising fast in 1953 and she never looked back and rarely looked lovelier. Good costumes from Travilla. One question bothered me: what is the significance of the title as Monroe’s blonde hair is never mentioned once in the script and none of the men behave like gentlemen – is it a sophisticated ironic comment on ‘dumb blondes’ or just a memorable catchy phrase?  

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,198Chief of Staff

    It's the title of the book it's based on, @chrisno1. I've never read it, but I guess the significance is mentioned there.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,236MI6 Agent
    edited August 2023

    27 DRESSES (2008)

    A misguided rom-com which makes bad fun out out of the saying 'always a bride's maid, never a bride.' Katherine Heigl's Jane Nichols tries to elicit our sympathy but we spend most of the run time aghast at her choice of friends, family and lovers: a horrible boss she pines for, a manipulative sister, a pillock of a dad, a whining best friend and a suitor who is a journalist but behaves like a stalker. I'll give James Marsden credit for persistence, but his motives are shady at best. There's no chemistry between any of the characters. No laughs either. You wonder what happened to the 27 other friends whose weddings the poor lass organised. No friends there obviously, they hightail it off until she recruits them at the crass finale to be her bride's maids, all 27 of them. Incidentally it should be 28 dresses, but when a film is as bad as this it really doesn't matter. It was popular on release. Can't imagine why.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,138MI6 Agent

    ONE RANGER (2023)

    Thomas Jane is looking a mite older than when I last saw him in a movie and he treads in John Wayne’s Brannigan territory as an American law enforcement officer sent to London to track down an IRA terrorist aiming to blow up the Houses of Parliament. For someone who’s supposed to be the best Texas Ranger in the business he doesn’t half get beaten up a lot but I suppose it’s a lot better than being like Steven Seagal where not even a single punch gets landed on him. John Malkovich acts strangely as the British Intelligence chief. Nick Moran plays a Cossack arms dealer. Patrick Bergin is unrecognisable from his Sleeping With The Enemy days. Dean Jagger is on the cast list, I thought he was dead so was waiting for him to turn up, he doesn’t as he actually is dead and it’s the name of the actor who plays the protagonist. Very odd all round.

    Standard fare.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
Sign In or Register to comment.