Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: 2024 the Movie Thread

TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
Whether your eyes have seen glorious things, or horrors too great to put into words, as long as you saw it on a screen, you can discuss it here. (Longstanding Heavenly convention allows for TV movies and series to be discussed here as well as theatrical films, and honestly, in this age of streaming services, who can even tell what's a movie and what's TV anymore?). Review, rant, rave, or just invite opinions about what you've been watching, right here.

The 2023 movie thread is now closed, but will remain on the board for a little while in reruns in case you didn't catch some of those comments the first time they aired.

Comments

  • Mrs RR and I watched 'Still life' yesterday evening. A very meditative experience. Mrs RR says she couldn't sleep afterwards. Has any other shipmate seen this little gem of a film?

    We also saw 'Indiana Jones and the Zimmer of Destiny' (as Private Eye calls it) which was same old ..... and 'Oppenheimer'. I agree with what another shipmate said of it. Rather incoherent and (knowing as I do a lot of the background to the Manhaten Project) pretentious and tedious.

    'The Great Escaper' (our Christmas treat) is firmly recommended.
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    Mmm I might try the Great Escaper. We've got rather hooked on watching old movies. At Christmas it was Christmas in Connecticut , The Shop around the Corner and the Court Jester. At the weekend it wasThe Lady Eve. All of them were bonkers in their own ways and all of them most enjoyable.
    I think I might give Oppenheimer a miss, I certainly found the other half of last year's surprise double bill Barbie to be huge disappointment.
  • RockyRoger wrote: »
    We also saw 'Indiana Jones and the Zimmer of Destiny' (as Private Eye calls it) which was same old .....

    watched this the other night - tbh I quite enjoyed it, if for no other reason than it served as a sort of bleach to remove the last remnants of quite how terrible Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was.

    A bit like The Last Chronicle of Barset, I found it worth it for completists in terms of sending all the characters off into the sunset.

    It's not going to set the world on fire, but I'd give it a cautious 2.5/5 stars and say that people who like Indiana Jones will probably think it doesn't totally disgrace the memory of the two earlier great films*

    Also, the screenwriters had clearly just watched Time Bandits.

    *clearly Temple of Doom remains, for want of a technical term, rubbish.



  • CameronCameron Shipmate
    I have been on a film-going spree of late:

    One Life - the movie about Nicholas Winton, a key figure in the rescue of hundreds of Jewish children from Czechoslovakia. This was as moving as you could expect with a great performance from Anthony Hopkins - but I thought it was also impressive how Johnny Flynn (playing the young Nicholas Winton) and AH had matched small aspects of behaviour so that you recognised them as the same person.

    The Holdovers - if you like a moving (and sometimes funny), character-led films that challenge your presumptions, this one is for you. Already, in January, I can see this will be one of the movies of the year for me. The plot is about a few seniors and staff who find themselves at a private, isolated high school over a winter break in the early 70s, and what ensues as they discover more about each other.

    All Of Us Strangers - a challenging plot, ambiguously magical realist. A wonderfully acted story of about emotion, trauma and loneliness (and if you are a gay man who grew up in the 80s, it may be particularly resonant). Difficult to say much more without spoilers. Andrew Scott stands out, but then he generally does, but all four actors are terrific (and were nominated for awards). Definitely an art-house movie (Film 4) and worth watching - the kind of movie I am itching to talk about with someone else who has seen it.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've been watching two films which co-incidentally were both directed by Fritz Lang.

    Someone on Twitter was talking about the film Manhunt, a war time film in which Walter Pidgeon foolishly tries stalking Adolf Hitler like big game before the war and gets into very serious trouble for it. It was only when they mentioned the hat pin that plays an important part in the plot that I realised I'd seen the film before, but all I remembered was the hat pin.
    George Sanders is a very good villainous Nazi (and he speaks German, too), and there's the bonus appearance of a very young Roddy McDowall as a cabin boy.

    I'd been looking for Moonfleet, starring Stewart Granger, for a long time, and finally found a copy which wasn't too expensive. Here Fritz Lang goes into colour film for an adaptation of the book by J Meade Falkner, which I remember terrifying me as a child (there's a scene in the church crypt). The plot of the film bears very little resemblance to the book, but Stewart Granger is fun to watch, and George Sanders is the villain of the piece again. Good use is made of the well in Carisbrooke Castle, which has a donkey in a treadmill to bring the buckets up.
    I'd love to see a version of this that follows the book plot more closely.
  • Godzilla Minus One was amazing. I actually forgot that a giant monster was involved, I got so caught up in the human drama.
  • I have been watching, via Roku TV (I don't have cable):

    Streaming:
    Hamster and Gretel
    Young Jedi Adventures
    (and now back to The Bad Batch)
    Beware the Batman
    Scooby-Doo and Krypto Too


    YouTube:
    My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale
    Holderness Family
    Cinematic Excrement
    Cinema Snob
    Brandon Tenold
    GoodBadFlicks
    Corrupt Nostalgia
    Dark Corner Reviews


    Random 24/7 streaming Roku stuff involving Asylum B-movies, MST3K, ghost reality/documentaries

    I need to catch up on Ultraman Blazar, and I'm looking forward to the new Super Sentai series, Bakuage Sentai BoonBoomger. Plus whatever the next Kamen Rider is (neither of the current Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series seem to be my thing).
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    Dune 2! YESSS!!!! Specially after watching Dune again last night.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    Have you seen 2, or are you just in great anticipation??
    The girls and I are going to try to catch it before Eldest goes back to college.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    edited March 11
    I'm disappointed that Oppenheimer won Best Picture. I thought it could have been a lot better.
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    This weekend I watched Wonka and The Holdovers. I enjoyed the first, but the second one was one of the best films I've seen in an age. I wonder if part of that is that they tried to make it look like it was shot in the early 1970s when it was set. That was when I went to the cinema a lot so maybe nostalgia played a part.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    We also watched The Holdovers this weekend and enjoyed it a lot. I do think the effort to make it look cinematically like 1970 was a big part of what made it feel so authentic.
  • RockyRogerRockyRoger Shipmate
    edited March 11
    Sarasa wrote: »
    This weekend I watched Wonka and The Holdovers. I enjoyed the first, but the second one was one of the best films I've seen in an age. I wonder if part of that is that they tried to make it look like it was shot in the early 1970s when it was set. That was when I went to the cinema a lot so maybe nostalgia played a part.

    So help me, given your recommendation, I googled a film titled 'Wonka and the holdovers' to find out how I can see it .....
    Oh dear ....
    But 'The Holdovers' does look to be my sorta film!
  • The idiot trump's Bible-selling exploit last week reminded me of Paper Moon, with Ryan O'Neal and his 10 year old daughter Tatum, which we watched again yesterday. It is one of the most enjoyable films I have ever seen, with some unforgettable lines deadpanned from the mouth of a child actress.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited April 4
    Dune II in Imax. Bliss. Worth seeing again (I saw Mater & Commander twice in a week). I dread III! Worm riding gives me Stendhal's!
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Eigon wrote: »
    I'd been looking for Moonfleet, starring Stewart Granger, for a long time, and finally found a copy which wasn't too expensive. Here Fritz Lang goes into colour film for an adaptation of the book by J Meade Falkner, which I remember terrifying me as a child (there's a scene in the church crypt). The plot of the film bears very little resemblance to the book, but Stewart Granger is fun to watch, and George Sanders is the villain of the piece again. Good use is made of the well in Carisbrooke Castle, which has a donkey in a treadmill to bring the buckets up.
    I'd love to see a version of this that follows the book plot more closely.

    Me too! We did it at school. Elzevir Block was an amazing character.
  • CameronCameron Shipmate
    Today I saw ‘Perfect Days’ - a Wim Wenders film about the day to day life of a toilet cleaner in Tokyo.

    On one level it seems to be about finding moments of beauty and joy amid low-status work and a solitary life… but on another level is also perhaps about accepting the moment and holding back sadness through routine.

    A really beautiful film, with a great lead actor (Koji Yakusho), some tiny hints of a backstory that fuel the imagination, and wonderful cinematography. I thought the ending was both subtle and moving.

    Well worth seeing.
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    I've recently seen All of Us Strangers and The Zone of Interest. I found both films challenging and worth watching, but while I'd like to see the first film again I'm not sure about the second.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Although money has been a little tight, I recently treated myself to a handful of DVDs or BluRays--many of films I have never seen and knew very little about. I decided to describe some of them here (in one-movie installments).

    So start out with White Gold (1927). I got this from Alpha Video, a bargain-basement distributor. For $9 I figured I could risk it. I believe the movie can be seen on YouTube, but without a music track. That is a mistake. Silent films were never meant to be watched in silence. It was expected that there would be music to set the mood, played by a pianist or organist at the theater. Fortunately, the Alpha disk does come with a suitable music track.

    The movie stars Jetta Goudal. I was not familiar with her, but apparently she was a big draw in the 1920s. She was born in Amsterdam and, when I saw that her movie roles dried up with the coming of sound, I assumed her voice was too heavily accented to make the jump to sound movies. Turns out, I am wrong. What ended her movie career is that she filed a breach of contract action against Cecil B. DeMille. And she won. DeMille argued that she was a troublemaker on set and caused costly delays--but he refused to turn over the studios financial records to prove his allegations, so she won. And her movie career then dried up from studios not wanting to hire her.

    About the movie. As near as I can gather "White Gold" refers to sheep. The movie is the story of a young man bringing his wife to live on his father's sheep ranch. The father takes an instant dislike to her. There is some indication that she was a dance-hall girl in Mexico, but frankly the father's dislike stems from the fact that he considers his son to be his property--and he is not willing to share him with her. Matters are not helped by the son's refusal to stand up to his father. His best defense of his wife is "she's loyal"--but the father points out that that means nothing as they live on a remote ranch with only a few old ranch hands--nothing for her to be tempted with. Enter manly drifter (George Bancroft)....

    This is very much a female-centric movie with Jetta Goudal carrying the film. The copywriter for the DVD calls the ending "one of the most memorable in the history of American silent films and indeed, all of cinema." That is certainly an overstatement, but it is a darn good ending. I re-watched the last few minutes a couple of times to catch all that was going on. Being a silent film, one has to pay close attention to body language as well as to the words given in the title cards. The movie is only 70 minutes long and worth a viewing.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    The next film in my recent binge is Cocktail Hour (1933). This is a BluRay put out by Sony. It stars Bebe Daniels and Randolph Scott.

    So why did I get it? Well, that is a trifle odd. When the film was announced, a classic movie board that I participate in basically had two types of comments. One was that the poster had seen the film at a festival and would be happy to get it. The other was that poster recognized that it was a Columbia film (to which Sony holds the rights) and that Sony has been very reluctant to release the Columbia films, even though they are extant--and so they would buy this film to convince Sony to release more Columbia films on BluRay.

    I am probably closer to group 2. I never saw the film before. But it wouldn't be the first time I bought a film to encourage a studio to release other films. Fox used to REFUSE to release the Charlie Chan films, arguing that they would "lose their shirts" if they did so. Then somebody released six of the Monogram Chan films (Sidney Toler rather than Warner Oland). I bought those to convince Fox to release the Oland films. And it worked.

    But I digress (which, yeah, I know, is a shock). The story of Cocktail Hour is that a successful female magazine illustrator is being pressed by her boss/publisher to marry him. He asserts that her role in life is to get married and bear children, and argues that it isn't him saying that but biology.

    Yeah, one of those idiots.

    She rejects this, stating that a married woman's life is measure in Breakfast Time, Laundry Time, Lunch Time and Dinner Time--and she wants to enjoy the Cocktail Hour. She goes off on a cruise, leaving publisher-moron behind, to enjoy her freedom and flirt like mad with a couple likely prospects on board ship. 1933 is pre-Code so there is some Not To Subtle innuendo, like the handsome Captain asking if she will paint his portrait: "Will you do me?" "Oh, I'll do you!" she replies.

    This film starts like it will be another female empowerment film like White Gold, but it quickly declines in quality. White Gold had a great ending; this had a wretched ending. It runs about 73 minutes and the first 50 minutes are pretty good, but then things go downhill fast.

    Am I sorry I bought it? Kind of. But maybe Sony will release more Columbia movies. And if that happens, it will have been worth it.
  • questioningquestioning Shipmate
    Finally watched The Godfather - only 50+ years late to the party :lol:. The interspersed baptism scene is powerful!
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    Sky Arts have been showing Chaplin films. Such genius, and funny!
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    Somehow, I'm having trouble imagining Randolph Scott sipping cocktails!
  • Sky Arts have been showing Chaplin films. Such genius, and funny!

    Funnily enough, although I love silent movies, I rarely enjoy Chaplin. Give me Buster Keaton any day!
  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    I just watched the teaser trailer for FIREBRAND, starring Jude Law as Henry VIII. Looks interesting as far as historical dramas go. May have to give it a watch.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Eigon wrote: »
    Somehow, I'm having trouble imagining Randolph Scott sipping cocktails!
    Interesting casting, without a doubt.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Movie #3 of my recent purchasing binge (and there were 6 in all, so this gets us to the halfway point!). Unlike the first two movies I described above, this one I had seen before and knew perfectly well what I would be getting: a nice BluRay edition of Grand Hotel (1933), a certified classic. If you peruse the "Book We're Reading" thread, you might have seen that I am also currently reading the original novel of "Grand Hotel" by Vicki Baum. And that has proven to be a good read!

    But about the movie: It follows the lives of several characters who either are staying at or work at a hotel in Berlin in the 1920s. The movie is considered the first movie to feature an "all-star cast." At the time, the conventional wisdom was that you only put one "Big Name Star" in a movie (with a good supporting cast, of course) because it seemed to make more fiscal sense to make two movies with one Star each than one movie with two Stars. But this movie broke that mold: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Jean Hersholt! It would be copied periodically in the following years in such movies as Dinner At Eight and Night Flight.

    Grand Hotel also has a distinction that will likely remain unique: it is the only movie to win an Academy Award for "Best Picture" while receiving no other nomination in any other category. I don't mean it didn't win in any other category: it was not even nominated for any other award!

    And, frankly, it is odd that there weren't any more nominations. There are multiple good performances. When you watch this movie, you understand what an excellent actor John Barrymore really was. This is also the movie where Garbo uttered the line that would be forever associated with her: "I want to be alone!" I recommend it!
  • ChastMastrChastMastr Shipmate
    Currently watching Godzilla vs. Hedorah.
  • quetzalcoatlquetzalcoatl Shipmate
    A Chaplin film I've never seen is on today, A Woman of Paris, so looking forward to that.
  • SarasaSarasa All Saints Host
    Sky Arts have been showing Chaplin films. Such genius, and funny!

    Funnily enough, although I love silent movies, I rarely enjoy Chaplin. Give me Buster Keaton any day!

    I'm a big Keaton fan but have never got on with Chaplin. I'm not that keen on Laurel and Hardy either though there is some of their stuff I like. My husband and son adore them.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    edited May 21
    Film # 4 of my recent binge: A BluRay of Murder at the Vanities (1934). This (and the final two films of my 6-movie haul) comes from Kino Lorber, a distributor that I trust implicitly to give good value for money (the Criterion Collection rates slightly higher in my book, but a movie from either of them is usually worth getting).

    Unlike the first two movies (discussed earlier), which I bought essentially sight unseen, I had a passing familiarity with Murder at the Vanities, although I had never seen the entire film. I saw many excerpts and have heard much about it before I bought it.

    Some historical background: Showman Earl Carroll put on shows in New York which were, essentially, music and comedy skits adorned with Quite A Lot of scantily-clad chorus girls. Some of these shows went under the banner of Earl Carroll's Vanities and there even was one called "Murder at the Vanities."

    Now, the movie version uses a different plot and different songs than the play, but many of the scantily-clad chorus girls shown on the film were part of the NY show. (I am not entirely certain why--surely California had enough attractive women to fill the ranks if needed!).

    Another historical note: this is a Very Late "Pre Code" movie. What do I mean by that? The major film studios, to avoid government censorship, agreed to follow a self-imposed Production Code that would protect against indecent or otherwise objectionable content in films. The original Code was devised in 1930, but there was no real enforcement wing. The Code Office could flag some things, but if the studio ignored them, there was nothing they could do. That changed in 1934. Around June or July of 1934, the Code enforcement got stricter and a film could not be released with a Production Code seal unless it met with the Code Office approval...and theaters would not risk running a film that did not have the seal on it.

    That was in June/July 1934. Murder at the Vanities came out in May of 1934. It almost certainly would not have been released in the form that it was if the Office was in full swing at the time.

    So what about the movie itself? Well, in terms of plot it isn't very interesting, but the musical numbers are worth watching. They are very much representative of the type of musical numbers that the Vanities shows would have been putting on in New York. Indeed, one, that imagines an island and has show girls lying on the floor rippling large feathered fans to resemble water, was a concept lifted from the stage show, even if the song was new.

    And the music has its novelties. It was the debut of the song "Cocktails for Two." The film also featured Duke Ellington and his orchestra, featured in the production of "Ebony Rhapsody." And there is a big production piece called "Sweet Marijuana"--that definitely would not get pass the censors a few months later! Also of interest is that the female lead is played by Kitty Carlisle. I am in my sixties, and to me Kitty Carlisle was a debonair, sophisticated, decidedly upper-crust panelist on the game show "To Tell The Truth." To see her flashing some skin in this movie came as something of a shock!

    Is it a good movie? No. But I would classify it as an artifact. It isn't a documentary film of the Earl Carroll shows, but it is probably as close as one could get. It preserves that bit of entertainment history, and is worth it for that fact. And it shows Duke Ellington in his prime. Oh, and it features Toby Wing. Who was gorgeous. She didn't have much of a movie career--she was stuck being a gorgeous chorus girl for the most part. But, as imdb notes, "it's pretty unusual for a mostly unbilled chorus girl to rate a star on Hollywood Boulevard, but Toby Wing was unique." She gets a larger-than-usual part in this movie. And that, in itself, is almost sufficient reason to buy it.
  • ChastMastrChastMastr Shipmate
    Tonight: Godzilla vs. Gigan, 1972.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Film # 5 (and cheer up; we are almost done): Four Frightened People (1934). Released in January of 1934, this is another Pre-Code film. It was produced and directed by Cecil B. de Mille. And, for all his religious themed movies (The Ten Commandments; The King of Kings; The Sign of the Cross; etc.), he did like to throw in gratuitous female nudity when he could. The Production Code, of course, would crack down on that.

    The publicity for the movie promised more than it delivered: "Once...ladies and gentleman...the last remnants of civilization slipped from them with their tattered clothes."

    Actually, the movie is much better than that would make it seem. The plot is that 4 people steal a lifeboat to escape from a ship that has plague on board. Three of the people do this willingly. The fourth, a repressed school teacher (Claudette Colbert), discovers them in the act and, because she was about to scream and reveal them, they kidnap her. Two men, two women: A cocky reporter (William Gargan); a bookish chemist (Herbert Marshall); a society woman (Mary Boland) and Claudette. They escape to an island--where they need to cross the jungle to get away from more disease that is causing the natives to torch the local village.

    They are aided by a native who fancies himself to be British because he wears a tie ("Best English Made.") I love his greeting of our four refugees: "How may I help my white brothers...and lady brothers?" I don't know what there is about the phrase "lady brothers" that makes me giggle, but it does.

    As the group crosses the jungle, they do shake off the shackles of civilization, with Claudette in particular enjoying the freedom of being away from convention. Roles get reversed as people who seem in control are shown to be cowards while people who seem like sheep show themselves to be able to take charge when needed.

    I really enjoyed this film, mainly because of the performances of Claudette Colbert (who slowly moves her character from repressed school teacher to nature girl)(and, yes, she has a "waterfall shower" scene to satisfy de Mille's preference for nudity) and Mary Boland, who plays a society matron whose "cause of the season" is birth control for natives. She is the only one of the four who can speak the native dialect, although there are gaps in her knowledge.

    This movie surprised me because I really did enjoy, mainly because of Colbert and Boland. The male actors are pretty bland, but the two women put the film over. Much like White Gold (see above), it is a film that features strong women as the motivating force. Looking it up, I was surprised to realize that de Mille was behind both movies--the two delightful surprises of my recent purchases. I recommend Four Frightened People.

    Only one more movie left in my bag. I suspect I will post about it over the weekend.
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