Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 115748 times)

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #345 on: May 04, 2014, 09:35:51 PM »
Help?  What sort of help do you want?  Suggestions for new shelves for your ever growing collection?  Suggestions for new movie purchases to then blame on others?   ;D

Sorry....couldn't resist.  :D
Nope .. don't need help with either of these <G>.  Help keeping the significant other happy is always welcomed :)
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #346 on: May 04, 2014, 11:32:21 PM »
Help keeping the significant other happy is always welcomed
Oh, I'm afraid you're on your own there. I live way too far away to keep your old lady happy.  :devil:

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #347 on: May 05, 2014, 03:52:47 AM »

Nope .. don't need help with either of these <G>.  Help keeping the significant other happy is always welcomed :)
[/quote]

Ahhh.  Ok.
Flowers?  Jewelry? New car?  Expensive jewelry?   ;) 

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #348 on: May 05, 2014, 07:29:01 PM »
TitleOur Man Flint (851789-003382)
DirectorDaniel Mann
ActorsJames Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Gila Golan, Edward Mulhare, Benson Fong
Produced1966 in United States
Runtime108 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Commentary DTS 2-Channel Stereo, Music Only DTS-HD Master Audio 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewDerek Flint (James Coburn)—super-spy, man of multifarious skills, playboy extraordinaire—has his hands full in Our Man Flint (1966), the Bond spoof to end all Bond spoofs. With a team of mad scientists plotting to rule the world by controlling the weather, Flint is called into action by the chief (Lee J. Cobb) of Z.O.W.I.E.—Zonal Organization for World Intelligence and Espionage. Now he must contend with a seductive counter-agent (Gila Golan) and her evil cohort (Edward Mulhare), in a race against time to save the swinging world as we know it. Highlighted by a superb score from Jerry Goldsmith (available here as an isolated track).
My thoughtsOur Man Flint is a spoof of the Bond movies. But it's a gentle spoof. It isn't quite as openly silly as the Matt Helm movies of the same period. James Coburn was a very good choice for playing Derek Flint. Coburn has a unique screen presence that is perfect for the movie. If the movie seems dated, it isn't so much because of Flint, but because of the very sixties pop-art production design. And the computer technology. Punched card technology is so sixties.

Unlike in the Bond movies, the bad guys aren't really all that bad. They want to force global peace through blackmail. They're not power hungry, they are just misguided.

The girls are pretty, just like in the Bond movies. Raquel Welch screen tested for the female lead, but Fox decided to use her in Fantastic Voyage instead. Probably a good choice. The role instead went to former Miss Israel, Gila Golan, who only made 6 movies, and the only other one I have seen her in is The Valley of Gwangi. A more prolific actor is Lee J. Cobb, usually seen in much more serious roles, but very good here as well.

If you have seen the Austin Powers movies, you'll see that much of the inspiration for them came from Our Man Flint (and its sequel, In Like Flint).

Our Man Flint (as well as In Like Flint) is available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. It looks and sounds great. As usual with Twilight Time, these are limited to 3000 copies.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #349 on: May 06, 2014, 01:27:27 AM »
I have always wanted a watch that would wake me like that
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #350 on: May 06, 2014, 05:16:39 AM »
Yeah, the watch was cool. But I remember being disappointed at his lighter when I first saw the movie. Flint boosted that it had 86 functions, but we didn't get to see very many of them. It was a comm device and a blowtorch, but not much more. This time around that didn't bother me so much.

But I was bothered by a continuity error at the beginning of the film. We see punched card operators working with standard IBM type cards - rectangular holes. But when Lee J. Cobb picks up the selected card with Flint's name, it's a card with round holes. Such a silly mistake that should have been very easy to correct. It's just an insert shot of a hand with a card.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #351 on: May 07, 2014, 07:13:03 PM »
TitleFrankenstein's Daughter (018713-511249)
DirectorRichard E. Cunha
ActorsJohn Ashley, Sandra Knight, Donald Murphy, Felix Locher, Sally Todd
Produced1958 in United States
Runtime85 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesNone
OverviewCalling himself "Oliver Frank", Dr. Frankenstein's grandson (Donald Murphy) is up to the old tricks while developing a wonder drug with kindly Carter Morton (Felix Locher). After using Carter's niece, Trudy (Sandra Knight) as his unwitting guinea pig, secretly transforming her while she sleeps, Oliver graduates to creating a new horror from scratch.

Teen idol John Ashley, who later produced and / or starred in a series of lurid, low-budget horror movies shot in the Philippines, appears here as Trudy's boyfriend, Johnny Bruder. Director Richard E. Cunha (Giant From The Unknown) and screenwriter H.E. Barrie also collaborated on two other cult favorites, She Demons and Missile To The Moon, that year.
My thoughtsThe first time I saw this film was in London in 1964. At the Classic Cinema in Brixton, to be precise. I thought it was the worst film I had ever seen. And quite possibly it was, at the time. Fifty years later, a lot of really crappy movies have flickered before my eyes, and my opinion of this movie is a little more mellow now. It's still a crappy movie, though, but a bit of a guilty pleasure by now.

It's hard to find anything good about this movie. The best thing I can say is that Sandra Knight looks nice – some of the time. The monster makeups are horrible (and not in a good sense). Apparently makeup man Harry Thomas wasn't told that the monster was supposed to be female. It's played by a male, and Thomas made a male monster makeup. It wasn't until he came to the set that he learned that the monster was female, so he tried to remedy the situation by putting lipstick on the monster's lips. It didn't help much!

If you're looking for a “so bad that it's good” movie, you might enjoy Frankenstein's Daughter. If not, stay away!
My rating

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #352 on: May 08, 2014, 11:25:06 AM »
TitleThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty (5-039036-065702)
DirectorBen Stiller
ActorsBen Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jonathan C. Daly, Kathryn Hahn, Terence Bernie Hines
Produced2013 in United States
Runtime110 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
SubtitlesEnglish
OverviewBen Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
My thoughtsI must admit that after watching the trailer, I was very suspicious of the Walter Mitty remake. It looked like it would be a film that hinged a lot on CGI effects, something that I'm not very fond of. And as I loved the Danny Kaye version, and wasn't too fond of Ben Stiller, I did have some strong misgivings.

In the end I gave in anyway, and I'm glad I did. I know that James Thurber hated the Kaye movie, and I don't think he would have liked this one much better. I haven't read Thurber's story, but from what I understand, neither movie follows the story very closely. And Stiller's version bears very little similarity to the Kaye movie, except that the main character is a day dreamer in both.

Once again I think that it may have been good to come into a film with very low expectations. At first I was annoyed that it was nothing like the old movie, but eventually I warmed up to it, and I actually started to like Ben Stiller more than I had before. In the end, I found this movie very nearly as enjoyable as the old one.

I think one of the reasons I liked the film better than I expected was that there wasn't nearly as much CGI as I had feared. I really like Stiller's approach that if it can be done practically, shot it that way, even if it could be done cheaper with green screen in the studio. No amount of technique can replace the feeling of an actor in real surroundings rather than in front of a green screen in a studio.

I can't say that Ben Stiller is now my favorite actor, but I do like him a lot better when his humor is a bit toned down, which it mostly is here. All in all a quite pleasant surprise.
My rating

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #353 on: May 08, 2014, 10:28:00 PM »
I've seen interviews with Stiller about this movie.  Evidently the part when his character ends up in the ocean was really filmed in an ocean.  That's really Stiller in a real ocean somewhere.  And I think he said there was at least one real shark.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #354 on: May 08, 2014, 11:39:32 PM »
Yes, the documentary makes it clear that the ocean scene was indeed filmed off Iceland with Stiller in the water. It didn't mention any real shark, though.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #355 on: May 26, 2014, 08:56:42 PM »
TitleJourney to the Centre of the Earth (9-345228-001424)
DirectorHenry Levin
ActorsPat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker, Thayer David
Produced1959 in United States
Runtime129 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0, Music Only DTS-HD Master Audio 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesNone
OverviewThe accent is on fun and fantasy in this film version of Jules Verne's classic thriller that stars James Mason, Pat Boone, and Arlene Dahl. With spectacular visuals as a backdrop, the story centres on an expedition led by Professor Lindenbrook (Mason) down into the earth's dark, threat-laden core. Members of the group include the professor's star student, Alec (Boone), and the widow (Dahl) of a colleague. Along the way lurk dangers such as kidnapping, death, sabotage by a rival explorer, and attacks by giant prehistoric reptiles. But they also encounter such magnificent wonders as a glistening cavern of quartz crystals, luminescent algae, a forest of giant mushrooms, and the lost city of Atlantis. Remaining faithful to Verne's story, this is a sweeping adventure that offers enough thrills and entertainment to satisfy every explorer in the family.
My thoughtsJourney to the Center of the Earth is one of the first fantasy films that I saw on my own back in 1960. I loved it back then, and I still do. Probably more than it is really worth. I learned too late that Twilight Time had released it on blu-ray. Now it costs big bucks on eBay. Bummer! But then I learned that it had been released on BD in Australia as well, and I could get that one at a reasonable price. Joy!

So, since I have seen this film quite a few times, I looked at it a little more critically this time. The whole concept of traveling to the center of the earth is preposterous, of course. But hey, this is fantasy, so we don't question the plausibility of the story. Like so much from Jules Verne, it's a story that appeals to your imagination rather than to your logic.

Now, it's a v-e-r-y long time since I read the book (and the Classics Illustrated comic), but I'm pretty sure there was no duck in it. And probably not a woman, either. Or a Swedish scientist named Göteborg. Or a living relative of Arne Saknussemm. Or a sunken continent. In fact, it seems to me that the screenwriters have taken quite a lot of liberties with Verne's novel.

For my taste they could have dispensed with some of the comedic moments. The whole sequence with the kidnapping of James Mason's and Pat Boone's characters, just to introduce them to Gertrude the duck and her owner Hans, is a waste of time.

Still, the film is quite a fun ride, and most of it is very well made. The mix of real caves (in this case Carlsbad Caverns) and studio sets work quite well for the most part. There are a few places where the art design is a bit over the top, the crystal cave being one of them. And there are a few places where the matte paintings are a bit too obvious.

The sequence with the big rolling boulder is really well executed, and I wonder if this isn't where Spielberg got the idea for the similar scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Using live lizards to represent giant monsters is usually a groan-inducing trick, but it actually works better than expected here. There are a couple of really accomplished split screen scenes.

The acting is fairly good for the most part. It's Peter Ronson's only acting credit. It's clear that he is not an actor, but he's acceptable as Hans, their Icelandic guide. Pat Boone isn't much of an actor, either, and his singing feels like a filler, but otherwise he's not too bad. Professor Lindenbrook is hardly James Mason's most taxing role, but it's always good to see him. Apparently he didn't much like Arlene Dahl, but that works fine since that pretty well mirrors what his character feels.

If I had seen this for the first time today I would probably not rate it more than max 4, if that. But with the good memories I have, and the fact that re-watching it hasn't diminished them, I rate it a very strong 4.5.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #356 on: May 27, 2014, 12:48:55 AM »
I almost completely agree with you.  This is a 4+ film and great entertainment.  The film making, from 1959, can see a bit dated with the included humor and singing but for me that really fits in well with the period.  I think Ben Hur was my first big film i saw (sat through it with my dad .. oh my too much for a young boy of 12).  But this one was great.  On the edge of my seat the whole time.  And for me it wears well.  How was the blu-ray version?  Just a copy or did the really work on the video?
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #357 on: May 27, 2014, 05:21:32 PM »
With only a 40" TV it's hard for me to judge the video quality. It looked good, but frankly I thought the DVD looked good too. I'm getting BDs of my fav films partly to be prepared for my next TV, which I assume will be bigger.

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #358 on: May 27, 2014, 11:19:08 PM »
I'm getting BDs of my fav films partly to be prepared for my next TV, which I assume will be bigger.
If you intend to purchase larger than a 55" screen, look for 4k devices. 1920x1080 starts to look kind of crappy on large screens (esp. LCD with its squary pixels).

Offline Achim

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #359 on: May 29, 2014, 06:22:03 PM »
If you intend to purchase larger than a 55" screen, look for 4k devices. 1920x1080 starts to look kind of crappy on large screens (esp. LCD with its squary pixels).
Which is of course where the prices go up to scary heights :stars: I am casually looking into options and just generally what's out there. My 46" Sharp has "a horizontal line"in the lower half, but since it's only visible in bright (or dark, I forgot) scenes, it's still bearable and otherwise it's still fine.

Now they come out with these curved ones for 55" (which I am interested in) and larger. Of course, just another point that raises the prices.