and, as the third verse comes up, watch out for the american subtitles…

Oh boy, are there some winners this time around! Maybe not winners in the “great movie” sense, but certainly fun.

Speaking of fun, I know that it may seem like we watch too many historical dramas, but we branched out this time to Galsworthy and the Forsythe Saga. Well, I missed the first couple of hours of this one, but then I sat down for some and got dragged in. I didn’t find it as engrossing as the Dickens ones or as romancy as the Jane Austen ones, but I liked what I saw. As far as historical dramas go, it had a better sense of realism then the others. The story of the trials and tribulations of one big extended wealthy family as they work around those good old charms of betrayals, deaths, wills and classism that make these old British stories so grand. The bits I picked up involved a woman marrying a rich man she didn’t love, an affair, a sudden death, a prodigal son returns, a quick switch in a will, an architect building a a wonderful house and all sorts of other goodies. And there’ll be more to come on this…

And then, reading somewhere about a Hitchcock I’d never heard of I ran out and rented I Confess. I think that this is a nice little thriller. A story of a murder and a priest (Monty Clift!) whose vows endanger him… in the eyes of the law. The law, surprisingly enough, happened to be Karl Malden, which I thought was exciting. Though it’s good and it is thrilling, it’s certainly not one of Hitchcock’s classics and it might also be a bit slow for some but I fell for the whole vows angle and it had nice visual touches, great cinematography and some good roles: Clifts eyes? Great! O.E. Hasse was wonderful to watch as the antagonist, I really liked Roger Dann in it, but so much fun with the cast I can’t mention it all! The relationship between Willy & the Grandforts and the other priests were fun to, especially the Clark Kentish bicyclist. Anyway, an all-the-way around fun to watch thriller.

And to hit a lower note, we got The Last Picture Show. So this is Texas eh? It certainly looks about how I’d thought it would: miserable and dusty. Basically the story of a guy wandering around this desolate broken down town in the 50’s… It’s filled with great characters and a host of not-yet-famous actors (and some famous ones, like Ben Johnson) and lots of bad things… Badly played high school football games, affairs, fights, drinking, bullying, some deaths. Nothing ever seems to go right around here. But it’s a great movie and it flows with a nice, slow & natural pace. Though it did briefly put me back in my Bogdanovich phase… No, not reading his books or watching his movies, just wondering about him. It happens whenever he crosses my consciousness… The odd little bird that he is…

Then, onto Tokyo Zombie! Well okay. This might be the corniest zombie movie I’ve seen yet. Yes, I mean it. Heads come off with very little effort and they were very taken with Land of the Dead (the other contender for corniest zombie movie… I’m not sure which was made first). I had to watch it because it has Tadanobu Asano in it, and a fun name and jumpsuits. On the outskirts of Tokyo there is a giant black mound of trash where people always dump bodies and, while our erstwhile heroes are burying their boss there after a long day of Ju-Jitsu practice… Well, there’s some spanking flashbacks and the bodies start coming alive… Of course, society falls and the remaining folks barricade themselves into a part of the city where the rich go to the arena and watch the poor fight to death against the zombies. Yeah, it’s like that, but with alot of jokes. It’s a cheapo., but it’s fun if you like this sort of thing. I’d certainly rather watch it than Land of the Dead, since that’s a pretentious, yet corny, piece of fluff and this is a wacky piece of Zombie fun!

Back to the old days, we watched David Coppperfield. Brilliant fun! It was quite great! Maggie Smith was the wonderful highlight of the film, though Mr Dick was great as was the wonderful house in Dover where they lived… But wait, the house boat was wonderful too, including the Peggotty family living there, such good souls… And, of course, Ian McKellen, and the always wonderful and brilliant Bob Hoskins! Also, after listening to the band, it was good to see the real Uriah Heep, in fact, I became a bit enamored with the name Uriah after that… Though he was certainly a creep. And though I didn’t like the character of the step father, he had a good voice. Very clear. Anyway, it was a great story and a fun film… The main trouble was that it seemed to be about half the length it should be. I felt, though I don’t know the story, like a lot was cut out and we were rushing from scene to scene without really finishing, or, more like it, with cutting of the beginning of the following scene. Some of the scenes surely seemed alone. like they should have been part of some longer sequence. It also seemed odd how easily people traveled around from place to place. Never a notion of being troubled by travel times or distances. But, regardless, highly recommended if you like Dickens, though I may need to find a longer, yet equally high quality, take on the story.

And then, for old times sake, onto Outland! Yes, it’s the classic Alien meets High Noon sci-fi extravaganza! Connery is the honest cop in a dishonest town suddenly beset by mysterious suicides and folks going crazy! This all leads him, as the new marshal in town, to dig too deep and find out what is going on. Of course, some don’t appreciate this and thats where the real trouble starts. The interior sets are very alienesque, like a low budget Nostromo. And there are some fun outside scenes… A bit of it is too much of a stretch… The greenhouse scene? Please. But I sure like it though, and I also appreciate the use of dirty, industrial looking sets, because that sort of “future technology” look doesn’t age too badly. The movie itself is filled with deaths, exploding heads, violence, drugs, a great role for James Sikking, the late great Peter Boyle, corrupt police and, yes, Sean Connery!



let me tell you something…
outland 54:39

And since we’re on the topic of Alien, after many years of wanting to I finally got around to watching Dark Star… I just had to, it being John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon’s first, a college project no less. I got to say, yes, it’s cheap cheap cheap and it’s pretty slow and the story is silly: a five man crew out for a decades long journey sending down intelligent talking bombs to blow up unstable planets. But man, it is charming as heck! I really enjoyed it! There was a feeling of genuineness about the production that led me to respect the cheapness and the corny story. I don’t know, maybe I’m showing my age I just love this hokey old stuff, and with Carpenter and O’Bannon, how could it go wrong?



here we go…
dark star 02:22


and here’s half the cast…
dark star 05:04

Lastly, we expanded our King horizons by watching Needful Things. It was alright. The town was great (that’s BC for you) and Max von Sydow was perfect as Leland Gaunt, very convincing as he sets the whole town against itself. It was very fun, with priest vs priest, explosions and lots of crazy plot happenings! And, thankfully, it wasn’t the standard TV movie King fare… It’s easier to take his theatrical films seriously over his TV movies (well, there’s always Maximum Overdrive)…



 

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