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Author Topic: Turner Classic Movies
Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 4, 2019, 12:51
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That scene where Bogart measures the quantity of strawberries in a can is bizarre.

My parents had the book, but I don't recall having read it.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 4, 2019, 18:54
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It may be best watched with a dish of strawberries rather than a bowl of popcorn.

Timothy, one thing I read (somewhere) about the scene at the end where he is in front of a board of inquiry is that the crew and fellow actors were in absolute awe of Bogart when he did that scene. He really is very good in this. It’s one of my favorite Bogie movies.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 4, 2019, 19:04
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As it happens, I turned over to it from FNC just as they were in the typhoon. I just watched the court martial, and I'll agree that Queeg's testimony, and especially the collapse at the end, was superb.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 12, 2019, 08:36
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Today, TCM has A Man For All Seasons at 3:30 p.m. EST. I've seen it, or part of it, before (or else it was another movie on the same subject, and I doubt there have been many). Some interesting cast members, such Leo McKern (most familiar to me as the most common #2 in The Prisoner, including the brilliant episode "The Chimes of Big Ben"), Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey, Robert Shaw as Henry VIII, and introducing John Hurt (later Caligula in I, Claudius and Winston Smith in 1984). Shakespearean actor Paul Scofield got the title role because he played it in the original play (and won an Oscar for it).

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 13, 2019, 10:52
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I’m not sure I’ve seen A Man for All Seasons all the way through. It certainly has some great cast members. In this case, I think that cast goes along with a good movie as well.

No so much in the case of the sci-fi drama, Death Watch, which features Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton,. and Max von Sydow. I found it on the DustX channel on my Roku.

This could have been good. But the ending is a flop and the basic premise regarding Keitel’s character is the kind of gimmick that might come up in a college dorm bull session but would quickly be dropped when real adults considered things.

Real adults apparently did not consider things. So what we end up is Harvey Keitel, as reporter Roddy, having his eyes basically removed and replaced by cameras that could broadcast images back to the office where they could record them and edit them into TV footage.

First off, if you could miniaturize a camera like this, why not put it in his lapel button? Worse is the horrendously stupid gimmick that unless Keitel keeps light on his eyes, he’ll go blind. For some reason this also necessitates him taking a drug so that he never has to sleep. Why he couldn’t just sleep with a bright light shinning on his closed eyelids is never brought up.

Stupid stupid stupid. This is all done in a world where disease has been totally conquered (but not apparently urbane blight which seems incongruous). Kietel is given this camera implantation specifically so that he can film the death of Katherine Mortenhoe (played okay by Romy Schneider).

In this world it is such an unusual thing for someone to die of anything but an accident or old age, these journalists have a show called “Death Watch.” Whether they started this show just for Katherine Mortenhoe or it was ongoing, I missed that point. Like I said, there’s very much a low amateurish bent to this film despite some of the big names.

First they have to get Katherine to agree to letting journalists into her home and life, etc., so that they can chronicle her deterioration. She resists, but finally accepts, and then skips out on them. More amateurish plotting develops as Keitel then comes in surreptitiously, befriending Katherine while she is out on the road trying to void her contract.

Every moment they have together, of course, Keitel is filming with his camera eyes. So he had this surgery just on the chance that Katherine would agree to a contract and then run away so that a kind man would have a chance to befriend her and capture her death anyway?

The movie, Truman, does all this much better. However, Death Watch actually has some good moments between Keitel and Romy Scheneider, but it all takes place within a really stupid set of assumptions.

And the ending….well, no spoiler alert needed because there’s something wrong with you if you want to watch this after my description. What happens is that Katherine Mortenhoe was never ever sick to begin with. Her doctor was simply in cahoots with the television programmers. The doctor told her she had a few months to live but oh, by the way, take these pills to deal with the pain.

Well, it was the pills that were making her feel ill in the first place. This whole situation was designed for ratings. Whether they would have taken it to the point of her death is somewhat unclear. In the end, Harry Dean Stanton (the mastermind of all this) tells her that she’s not going to die and that she can just stop taking the pills and all will be fine.

So what does she do? Of course. Why not? She takes an overdose of the pills and kills herself. Why? Why not. It makes as much sense as anything else in this horrid movie. This is one of those cases where it really is apt to say, “I wish I had those two hours of my life back.” In truth, this was mostly on in the background (at least in the latter half of it) while I read a book or articles on the web. You could look up from time to time and think, “Oh. She took pills and killed herself? Okay. Back to my book.”

Max von Sydow’s part in this is small and comes near the end. He’s actually pretty good in this. But he makes no sense being there. This movie is just a patched together mess from beginning to end. They must have been smoking dope in the beginning, middle, and end of this production.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 19, 2019, 09:34
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Today TCM has the classic political movie The Last Hurrah, starring Spencer Tracy, at 8 p.m. EST. The movie is based on a book by Edwin O'Connor and was later reworked with Carroll O'Connor as the main character. Perhaps it's appropriate, in this time of people promising to serve their full terms or to voluntarily limit their careers, and then immediately junking that promise the instant it's convenient (say, the day after Election Day), that in the end God makes him live up to his promise that the race will be his last hurrah.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 19, 2019, 10:40
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I’m not sure that I’ve seen “The Last Hurrah.” It’s fairly highly-rated at IMDB (7.4). Here’s their synopsis:

Storyline: An aging politician tries to get re-elected one last time in the changing world of the 1950s when TV started to play a bigger part in politics. Based loosely on the career of multi-term Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, this film examines the good and evil inherent in politics and all the things that go into an election. Tracy's uphill battle to stay in office is set against the political machinery that preyed on ethnic hatred and old-time money.

Sounds like a good one. It’s available for rental on VUDU (and a couple other places) for $4.00. I wouldn’t mind seeing this one.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 19, 2019, 11:10
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I found "The Last Hurrah" to be a pretty good film. A little bit schmaltzy at times where Tracey's character is concerned, but otherwise ok. The mayor is obviously a liberal so he must be a good guy.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 19, 2019, 11:30
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The politics seems to be based on the Boston class structure of the time (the era of James Michael Curley, the inspiration for Frank Skeffington). Modern issues never come up. Interestingly, Curley liked the book, but he sued the makers of the movie. Skeffington was certainly capable of some dirty politics, such as naming some possible donor's retarded son fire chief so that he would contribute copiously to Skeffington rather than endure the embarrassment.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: January 19, 2019, 11:49
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The mayor is obviously a liberal so he must be a good guy.

Because no one will face these basic truths like we do here, it’s often fun for me to play amateur anthropologist (cinematic division). It’s always a wonder to see bad movies highly-rated or good movie with low ratings. You know there have to be reasons for this, everything ranging from just plain bad taste to ideological kookiness.

With a movie such as this one — given what I know of the storyline — I would not trust the ratings (especially at IMDB, but this applies to most places) because if a film such as this bursts the bubble of Liberal Benevolence, it would tend to be rated down even if it was an excellent movie.

But because Mr. Kung is not an ideologically blind dumb-ass, I can believe his comments about the movie are comments about the movie and not whether the implicit politics of the movie jibe with his worldview or not.

This cinematic anthropology is an inexact science (if it’s a science at all). But I’ve been right often enough to at least give it some credence. I just have to decide whether to spend the four dollars or not. But I tend to like these kinds of films which roughly include films like “Elmer Gantry” and “A Face in the Crowd.” Basically films involving the takedown of a demagogue (political, religious, whatever). Even “All the President’s Men” is a good one in the same vein even if it is basically a complete fairytale story of the Good Libtards taking down The Bad President. We know now without a doubt that the outrage of journalists is highly selective. “Dr. Strangelove” also fits in this same strange category as does “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

I believe 1949’s “All the King’s Men” fits into this genre as well, although I don’t remember much about that one. Have I seen 1962’s “Advise and Consent” with Henry Fonda (directed by Otto Preminger)? I don’t remember, but it fits as well. (1964’s “Fail Safe” has no demagogue in it, but it fits this wide genre of political films as well.) And I doubt I have the stomach to even try “Wag the Dog” with Robert “I’m a flippin’ nutcase” De Niro in it, although maybe it’s a good movie.

“Seven Days in May” is an obvious fit as well, and I did see that one fairly recently and remember liking it. There are plenty of other demagogue or fairytale political liberal films. I’ve never seen “Milk” and don’t believe I ever will. Nor have I seen Redford in “The Candidate” or in “Three Days of the Condor.” (I started that one a few months ago and just got bored with it.)

“Being There” is another political film worth noting. Has anyone seen Ryan Gosling in the Clooney-directed “The Ides of March”?

What I’d love is for one of these “socially conscious” directors to make a political film demonizing The Deep State. But they’re all mostly a bunch of flippin’ libtards so I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon, although perhaps a couple of the Jack Ryan films dealt nicely with that to some extent.

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