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Once Upon A Time In America [07 Jul 2015|02:17am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

For the third time in recent months I have been to see one of my favourite films in the cinema. This screening of Once Upon A Time In America was a bit special as it was the 'extended directors cut'. Im not sure what that label means in terms of Sergio Leone's actual involvement but it did take the running time from around three hours to well over four!
Some of the additional scenes had been graded to the same standard as the main film, others clearly needed some restoration work to bring them up to standard. Some of the added scenes didnt significantly change the movie, but some of them did in a big way. There is an entire other strand of plot which has been edited out of the version that is on general release - a plot line which entirely changes the end of the movie! This four hour plus version is massively different from the one on general release!
There were some points in the original release which leave some unanswered questions and some ambiguities. To be honest, I had just accepted them as part of the movies charm as life, like the movies also leaves unanswered questions and ambiguities. This four hour version provides answers because many of the ambiguities result from one or more plot lines being cut out of the released version.
I have to be honest, at this stage I am glad that I had the chance to see this version of the film but I'm really not sure how I feel now about the film I have loved for years. Even if it hadnt been an extended cut seeing the film and hearing Morricone's amazing score as it should be seen and heard would have been a total treat in itself. Now I have to contend with getting my head around a very different movie. I need to see the original version again really soon!


This week I have been mostly reading: Life Moves Pretty Fast - The lessons we learned from 80's movies (& why we don't learn them from movies anymore) by Hadley Freeman

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Dated Love [05 Jul 2015|07:02pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | busy ]

I've posted a review of Sleepless in Seattle over at my journal.



Review here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/111681.html

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[05 Jul 2015|03:52am]

darkphoenixrisn
Marlowe (1969)

[Rewatched/TV] Competent but uninspired adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel The Little Sister. James Garner is a solid Philip Marlowe, but plays it a little too wry and not quite hardboiled enough. Paul Bogart's direction is flat, and never really captures Chandler's nuances. Bruce Lee has a small but memorable role as a mobster's henchman, and Rita Moreno steams up the screen as a stripper. The cast also includes Carroll O'Connor, Kenneth Tobey, Jackie Coogan, and Gayle Hunnicutt. Unlike 1973's The Long Goodbye, it never finds a way to make Marlowe work in a very different era than the novel was set in.
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[04 Jul 2015|04:05am]

darkphoenixrisn
The Long Goodbye (1973)

[Rewatched/TV] One of the more interesting Raymond Chandler adaptations, in director Robert Altman's hands a satire of the genre and Los Angeles in the 1970s. Elliott Gould wasn't an obvious choice for Philip Marlowe, but he turns in an inspired performance (though Dick Powell is still my favorite Marlowe). The screenplay by Leigh Brackett (who co-wrote the 1946 adaptation of The Big Sleep) keeps the general outline of Chandler's plot, while using it to very different ends. Chandler's precision gives way to a more shaggy style for Altman. The cast includes Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, Mark Rydell (best known for directing The Rose and On Golden Pond), baseball player Jim Bouton, David Carradine, Arnold Schwarzenegger in a small non-speaking role, and Morris the Cat. Music by John Williams, and innovative cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Recommended.
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"ENTOURAGE" (2015) Review [02 Jul 2015|07:23am]

lmoore66



"ENTOURAGE" (2015) Review

I wrote this REVIEW of "ENTOURAGE", the 2015 cinematic sequel of the HBO series that ran between 2004-2011. The movie was written and directed by Doug Ellin.
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Alas, There Are No Actual Lions Involved [01 Jul 2015|09:14am]

allisontooey
[ mood | content ]

I've posted a review of the message film claiming to be a war movie The Young Lions over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/111487.html

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Night Passage, Last Train From Gun Hill and Rio Lobo [26 Mar 2015|12:45am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Three Old-School Westerns:

NIGHT PASSAGE: James Stewart struts his ever-decent stuff as he rides against train robbers. His not-all-bad brother is a member of the gang and Stewart's mission is to try to redeem him as well as foil the robbery. Its all good wholesome stuff (I could watch Stewart read the phone book) but the action scenes are gentle to the point of timidity. A film from a whole other era.

LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL: I remember seeing this film for the first time when I was about 8 years old. I was at a friends house, the adults were watching a film that seemed at first to be much the same as any other western I had seen at the time. I paid little attention to the first half of the movie but the tension mounted towards a thrilling conclusion and I found myself drawn away from the games we were playing and into the movie. For most of my life I remembered that cinematic climax but I never new the name of the film (or the actors who starred in it) until this week. Last Train From Gun Hill was the movie and Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn were the actors. I still stand by my original impressions of the film. The first half could be any other western, the set up has its moments of drama but its all just pretty generic. This is followed by an increasingly tense siege situation and a final confrontation set against the backdrop of a large burning hotel. Great performances and masterful direction - this is a brilliant Western.

RIO LOBO: John Wayne is on a quest. The civil war has ended and he is trying to find the men whose betrayal cost the lives of some of the men in his unit. The bad people he is hunting are now rich and have been bullying and killing their way into positions of power. A motley crew of allies form around Wayne in the quest for justice/revenge. Most of whats left is a paint by numbers generic western - but some of the characters are quite likable and some female characters appear as more than just love interest/hostages/set dressing. Good clean traditional Western fun.

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Did you mean, "Narrow Corridor...?" [28 Jun 2015|11:57pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | sleepy ]

I've posted a review of The Narrow Margin over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/111174.html

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"THE THREE MUSKETEERS" (2011) Photo Gallery [28 Jun 2015|08:52pm]

lmoore66



"THE THREE MUSKETEERS" (2011) Photo Gallery

Here is a GALLERY featuring images from "THE THREE MUSKETEERS", the 2011 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas père's 1844 novel. Produced and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the movie starred Matthew Macfadyen, Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans.
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[25 Jun 2015|04:03am]

darkphoenixrisn
Logan's Run (1976)

[Rewatched/TV] Dated but still enjoyable sci fi flick that screams '70s from theme to design. It came out a year before Star Wars changed the genre. Solidly directed by veteran British director Michael Anderson, even if the cracks are now showing in the visual effects. Some significant changes were made form the source novel, but enough of the basic concepts survive. The cast includes Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Farrah Fawcett, and Peter Ustinov, with Ustinov stealing the film as the Old Man. Jerry Goldsmith's score is a plus.
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Wings over Germany [24 Jun 2015|11:05pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | lethargic ]

I've posted a review of Memphis Belle over at my journal.



Review here: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/111051.html

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[24 Jun 2015|02:38am]

darkphoenixrisn
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

[Rewatched/TV] Christopher Lee's third Hammer Dracula film is one of the better films in the series. Lee is once again in fine form as the titular bloodsucker, this time being resurrected by a priest's blood. A key part of the Hammer formula was beautiful women, here the blonde Veronica Carlson and the ginger Barbara Ewing. Director Freddie Francis, an accomplished cinematographer in his own right before and after his horror directing career, makes effective use of lighting and filters to evoke an eerie mood. There are some continuity errors with the previous entry, but largely due to shooting on a different backlot (between films Hammer moved production from Bray Studios to Pinewood Studios).
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"THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO" (2002) Photo Gallery [23 Jun 2015|08:55pm]

seldonp38
2002_the_count_of_monte_cristo_006


"THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO" (2002) Photo Gallery

Here is a GALLERY featuring images from "THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO", the 2002 Disney adaptation of Alexander Dumas père's 1845 novel. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, the movie starred James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Dagmara Dominczyk and Richard Harris.
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[23 Jun 2015|02:50am]

darkphoenixrisn
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

[Rewatched/TV] The second Hammer Dracula film to star Christopher Lee, and still one of the most effective entries in the series. Lee is at his best as Dracula, playing the role as a sheer non-verbal force of nature (Lee claimed he refused to speak subpar dialog, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster claimed the role was always written as non-verbal). Andrew Keir also delivers a good turn as Father Sandor, the Van Helsing stand-in. Director Terence Fisher, a key figure in Hammer Horror, conjures up an appropriately Gothic atmosphere with the occasional spattering of garish red blood.
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"THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES" (1965) Review [22 Jun 2015|09:59pm]

lmoore66
Flyingmachines


"THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES" (1965) Review

I wrote this REVIEW of the 1965 all-star movie, "THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES". Directed by Ken Annakin, the movie starred Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox and Terry-Thomas.
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New Mad Max & San Andreas [23 Jun 2015|02:20am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | awake ]

Two Recent Summer Blockbusters Caught At The Cinema:

I caught the new MAD MAX reboot a few weeks ago but it has taken me a while to get around to posting even this brief review. It did everything right. Great action, great effects, loads of fun. It nicely updated the original series without messing anything up. There was plenty of inventiveness in all the design aspects and it just came together brilliantly. This was FUN and I didn't miss Mel Gibson once.

This weekend I managed to catch San Andreas which was also fun in its own overblown way. Despite featuring a mega-earthquake it doesn't really compare to the big disaster movies of the 1970's. The effects are certainly infinitely more impressive but there was no great list of A and B list actors who may or may not die at any given moment. There was just 'The Rock' who never got close to looking mortal or vulnerable. The disaster movie it reminded me of most was the more recent '2012' which was also suitably affects heavy. If I had to pick one movie from these two I would say that San Andreas just about nicks it - if nothing else because Paul Giamatti shows up and that is probably enough to tip the balance.

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Mother Does NOT Know Best [20 Jun 2015|10:12pm]

allisontooey
[ mood | sleepy ]

I've posted a review of the semi-biopic Gypsy over at my journal.



Review: http://allisontooey.livejournal.com/110686.html

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[20 Jun 2015|02:27am]

darkphoenixrisn
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The exciting second film in the series, though not quite as good as its predecessor. Jennifer Lawrence once again commands the screen as Katniss, but new cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman is surprisingly lackluster. What I loved about the first film was how director Gary Ross approached the material in a realistic but artistic fashion that pushed the limits of the narrative. His replacement, Francis Lawrence, delivers a good film, but he plays it safer than Ross did. I miss the ShakyCam Ross employed, as it disoriented the viewers in the same way the characters were. Thematically, the film captures a lot of truth about the world, though of course it's ideologically limited in how far it can go. Still, a satisfying sequel across the board.
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Ten Favorite SOUTHERN GOTHIC Movies [19 Jun 2015|02:47pm]

lmoore66
684668_300


TEN FAVORITE SOUTHERN GOTHIC MOVIES

Here is a LIST of my ten favorite Southern Gothic movies . . . so far.
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Akira [19 Jun 2015|02:30am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | geeky ]

Tonight I saw a screening of Akira at the Prince Charles Cinema in London. This is another films I can cross of my mental shortlist of movies I wish I had seen in the cinema. Unsurprisingly it looked and sounded brilliant and it was great to watch with a large (and appreciative) audience. I had also forgotten how powerful that film was when I first saw it. In retrospect it has obviously been massively influential but I forgot what it was like watching it for the first time - when I had never seen anything remotely like it before. Tonight gave me a little flavour of that all over again. Just wow.

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