Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 108405 times)

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #390 on: June 14, 2014, 04:25:04 PM »
Just one last comment on Sorcerer ... my blu-ray version came yesterday and I have to say that I can't remember the last time i was so happy to have a double dip.  It is simply brilliant.  I have a 50" screen, which is becoming pretty middle of the line now but some times it is hard to forget you are watching TV.  But in this case I was riveted to the screen.  Oh my .. thank you very much letting use know this version was available.
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #391 on: June 15, 2014, 03:09:51 PM »
TitleBurnt Offerings(9-007150-061739)
DirectorDan Curtis
ActorsOliver Reed, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee Montgomery
Produced1976 in United States
Runtime111 minutes
AudioGerman Dolby Digital Mono, English Dolby Digital Mono, Commentary Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesEnglish, French, German, Spanish
OverviewMarian (Karen Black) and Ben (Oliver Reed) find it hard to believe that for only $900 they've rented a sprawling old country mansion for the entire summer. But as they settle into their isolated estate with their son and Ben's aunt (Bette Davis), they find themselves surrounded by a living presence, an evil, hypnotic, occult force that feeds on torture, fear and murder. ...Burnt Offerings
My thoughtsYou can't go wrong with Oliver Reed, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith and Bette Davis, right? Well, no, not in this case anyway. The only fly in the ointment is the kid, Lee Montgomery. I found him a bit annoying, but not to the point where it hurts the film. The really scary character, though, is Anthony James as the leering chauffeur. And Karen Black at the very end of the film.

It's not the scariest haunted house film, but it is quite creepy at times. It builds up rather slowly, but I never got bored. This isn't really my favorite genre, but I still found it entertaining enough.
My rating

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #392 on: June 17, 2014, 04:11:38 PM »
TitleBig Jake (5-051368-226231)
DirectorGeorge Sherman
ActorsJohn Wayne, Richard Boone, Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum, Bruce Cabot
Produced1971 in United States
Runtime110 minutes
AudioEnglish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2-Channel Stereo, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, German DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, French DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
SubtitlesDanish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
OverviewFor the first time in brilliant Hi-Def, this action-filled Western stars John Wayne as Big Jake McCandles, a husband who hasn't seen his wife (Maureen O'Hara) in over 9years. But he returns home after his grandson is kidnapped by a vicious outlaw gang. While the law gives chase in rickety automobiles, Jake saddles up with an Indian scout (Bruce Cabot) and a box of money even though paying a ransom isn't how Jake plans to exact good old frontier justice. Spiced with humor and first-class gunfights, this is a vivid depiction of the last days of the wild frontier.
My thoughtsNot my favorite John Wayne film, but not bad either. Some people hate this movie, but it seems that most of them are people who don't like John Wayne. There are a few things in the script that doesn't really make sense, like Chris Mitchum riding around on a motorcycle in the middle of a gun fight, but not actually accomplishing anything. But I can overlook that. The ending is a bit more iffy, and it does hurt the film, in my opinion.

Richard Boone makes a fine bad guy. Bruce Cabot, the hero from King Kong, is – an indian? This was his 11th and last movie together with the Duke. Maureen O'Hara is great, but we see much too little of her. I was surprised to see Jim Davis in such a small role, but of course this was prior to Dallas. And I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even recognize John Agar.

A pleasant enough western, if a bit violent.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #393 on: June 18, 2014, 03:42:52 AM »
It is a good couple of hours spent.  Especially if you like a couple titans towards the end of their careers.  Richard Boone always made a good bad guy.  Probably why Paladin was so good :)
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #394 on: June 18, 2014, 11:51:09 AM »
It is a good couple of hours spent.  Especially if you like a couple titans towards the end of their careers.  Richard Boone always made a good bad guy.  Probably why Paladin was so good :)
Yep, Richard Boone was always a pleasure to watch. And Big Jake was a very good movie, up until the end. I don't like to put spoilers in my actual reviews, but I guess it'll be OK here. There was a minor and a major thing that bugged me:

(click to show/hide)

It was also a bit strange that we never got to know who the little boy's father was, only that Big Jake was his grandfather. Or who his mother was, too, for that matter.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #395 on: June 18, 2014, 09:37:38 PM »
TitleRoy Orbison: Black & White Night (014381-882629)
DirectorTony Mitchell
ActorsRoy Orbison, Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, K.d. Lang
Produced1989 in United States
Runtime64 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
SubtitlesNone
OverviewRoy Orbison: Black & White Night, recorded live at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, is a special one-time event documenting one of rock and roll's greatest and most unique performances. Orbison is joined by an eclectic ensemble of rock and roll superstars including Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, J.D. Souther, Jennifer Warnes, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits. Roy and fellow performers spend a scintillating hour performing many of his greatest hits.

Tracks Include:

1. Only the Lonely
2. Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
3. Blue Bayou
4. The Comedians
5. Ooby Dooby
6. Leah
7. Running Scared
8. Uptown
9. In Dreams
10. Crying
11. Candyman
12. Go, Go, Go (Down The Line)
13. Mean Woman Blues
14. (All I Can Do Is) Dream You
15. Claudette
16. It's Over
17. Oh, Pretty Woman
My thoughtsWhat do you have to do if you want to hold a concert and get backing from artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Steven Soles,  k.d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, Cindy Bullens and Bonnie Raitt?

Well, first of all you would have to turn the clock back about a quarter of a century. Then you would have to be Roy Orbison! And oh boy, did he manage to do a concert! One of the best concerts put on film, in my opinion.

When this concert was filmed, nobody knew that Roy had less than a year to live. He passed away December 6, 1988, only 52 years old. Gone but never forgotten. I've had this DVD over 13 years and I take it out every now and then and listen to it. Now you can get it on blu-ray.
My rating

Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #396 on: June 21, 2014, 03:41:40 AM »
Such wonderous music and such a troubled/bad luck life at times.
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #397 on: June 21, 2014, 05:37:24 PM »
TitleKing Rat (5-035822-789234)
DirectorBryan Forbes
ActorsGeorge Segal, Patrick O'Neal, Todd Armstrong, Sammy Reese, Joseph Turkel
Produced1965 in United States
Runtime129 minutes
AudioEnglish Dolby Digital Mono, French Dolby Digital Mono, German Dolby Digital Mono, Italian Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
SubtitlesArabic, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
OverviewOscar®-nominee George Segal (1967, Best Supporting Actor, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf) became a star with his performance in this epic WWII drama based on the best-selling novel by Shogun author James Clavell.

The movie chronicles the scams of a streetwise GI held in a Japanese prison camp. Under the harrowing camp conditions, he rises to a position of power over his military and social superiors, manipulating those around him and controlling the prison's black market.

KING RAT is a powerful exploration of one man's struggle to survive and flourish against all odds. It was nominated for two 1965 Academy Awards® (Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography). With an all star cast that includes Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Denholm Elliott and John Mills, this is a gripping war time drama.
My thoughtsColor me confused. This is a very good POW movie with a whole bunch of great actors. It's based on a novel by James Clavell. And yet very few people seem to have seen it. I don't understand it.

Is it because the “hero”, George Segal, isn't really likeable? Is it because there is no great escape, but just about surviving in a prisoner-of-war camp? Is it because the film is in black & white?

This DVD has been in my unwatched pile for quite a few years. I'm not sure myself why I haven't watched it a long time ago. Maybe it's because it's over 2 hours long, and I often start watching in the evening and don't want to be tied up too late. I hate it when I get sleepy at the end of a movie and don't quite keep up with what's happening. But now that I'm retired I can watch more movies in the daytime so it's not a big problem anymore. Although I rather like movies to stick with the old fashioned hour and a half. It takes a really good movie to sustain my interest for more than that time. But this one was such a movie.

It's not quite up to the standard of The Bridge on the River Kwai, which I watched recently, but it's still very good. Recommended!
My rating

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #398 on: June 22, 2014, 01:02:22 AM »
I love the book.

Strangely I didn't even know there was a film.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #399 on: June 22, 2014, 05:05:31 AM »
Strangely I didn't even know there was a film.
My point exactly. People don't seem to know about this film. I sure didn't before I found the DVD.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #400 on: June 22, 2014, 10:50:39 AM »
By the way, there is an aussie mini series called Changi about the same prison camp. But it's not based on Clavell's novel, as far as I can tell. I've got that one as well, but I don't think I can watch 5:15 in one sitting. But fortunately that's not needed for a mini series.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #401 on: June 28, 2014, 05:52:28 PM »
2 Superman 2

Well, I guess that should be "2 Superman II" but that's not as catchy...

Anyway, yesterday I watched the Donner version of Superman II, and today I watched the Lester version. I had seen both of them before, but with several years in between, so I hadn't noticed quite how different the two versions are. I liked the theatrical (Lester) version when I saw it, but I found Donner's version a lot more enjoyable. It doesn't have the Eiffel Tower opening, but I didn't miss that too much, because I never really cared for it.

The only thing I really didn't like in the Donner version was the ending. Using the "turning back time" thing once more just didn't sit right with me. If I understood Donner correctly in the interview it was originally planned only for Superman II. Still, it was ultimately used in the first film, and it shouldn't have been repeated.

Both versions use some of the other directors shots. It would have been really interesting to know exactly who directed what. But I guess we'll never be privvy to that information. It seems that Donner bears a grudge against Richard Lester. He won't mention Lester by name, just "the other director". I'm not sure why he feels like that. I assume that replacing Donner was the Salkinds' decision. Maybe Donner felt that Lester ruined Donner's vision for the film, but there would have been no reason for the Salkinds to fire Donner and hire a director that would make the exact same film that Donner wanted to make, would there?

Lester went on to make Superman III, which is distinctly worse than either Superman II versions. Is that because there was no Donner input in that film? Perhaps not, but one can only wonder if Donner wouldn't have made a much better Superman III. And the less said about Superman IV, the better.

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #402 on: June 29, 2014, 02:34:22 AM »
From what I remember about the endings for Superman II - Donner version and the original...  Yes Donner originally wanted to use the turning back time thing for the second movie.  The first two movies were supposed to be one long story when Donner was still involved.  Producers pushed to get the first one out and that ending was used, which Donner planning to come up with something else for the second movie.  Then stuff went to hell between him and the producers.  Lester used the whole kiss that causes amnesia in Lois.  When Donner was finally able to piece together his version of the second movie, he had to work with the footage that survived..and with what had been shot.  Donner decided to use the turning back time again because he did not want to leave in the amnesia kiss - in other parts of the movie, he had to leave in stuff Lester did, but he wasn't willing to do that for the ending.  Least that is how I remember what I learned about the situation.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #403 on: June 29, 2014, 05:43:15 AM »
Yeah, I guess Donner only had two possible endings to chose from, and stuck with the lesser of two evils. I didn't like the kiss ending either. I suppose if Donner had been allowed to finish II he would have come up with something better.

I think it's amazing that Donner was given the chance to patch together his version. I should probably listen to the commentary to learn more. I assume that the Salkinds are no longer in control of the property? I can't imagine that they would have wanted to allow Donner to to this?

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #404 on: June 29, 2014, 06:24:24 AM »
I think it was in one of the extras..Donner mentioned how when he got pushed to finish the first one and ended up using the ending he intended for the second one then, he intended to come up with something else for the second movie.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

I don't know exactly how it came about that Donner was able to do his version.  Hmmm....rats.  I can't remember if I had heard anything or not.  Hmm.  I first found out about the Donner version and all that happened from a few reviews at Epinions.  This one guy from there seems to know ..well..everything about every comic book movie ever made.  I started to call him the Wise and All Knowing Comic Book Movie Guru.   :hysterical:  More than once I asked him about something and he explained for me.  He is why I know as much about comic book characters now as I do.  I even asked him once if Flash and Flash Gordon were different characters..and he didn't laugh at me.   :hysterical:  Anyhow.  I can't remember if he had mentioned anything in his review about how Donner got to do his version.  Hmm...

The Salkinds sold the rights to Superman after one of the movies.  I'm thinking Superman III...though maybe it wasn't until after IV.  I was thinking that the older footage that Donner was able to use - like the screen test stuff when Lois told Clark she knew he was Superman - so so so much better than what Lester did - was from Warner Brothers..their vaults or something.  Maybe Warner Brothers was behind Donner getting to do his version.  Hmmm.   Now that I think more about it, I think Warner Brothers had something to do with Donner doing his cut finally.  Someone there probably decided it would be a good addition to the ultimate set they were planning...And it was part of that set while also being released alone I think.