Right, here we are with a fresh post of what I just watched this past week. Let’s not all pass out from the excitement. Some really good films on here, Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman, a Dick Cavett interview, Some really classy stuff! Thankfully I got in some trash before this blog became all “Sight & Sound” magazine!
087 04-18 The Dick Cavett Show – Alfred Hitchcock (1972) 3/5
This one was featured on the the “Foreign Correspondent” disc from last blog, a full one hour interview with Hitch as he made the rounds plugging “Frenzy”. It’s really good, with Hitch telling jokes and stories about many of his films. Add this and the other featurette’s, and the Criterion Blu-Ray really is a damned fine one.
088 04-18 Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) 3.5/5
Last year I watched nearly every Clint Eastwood film I could get my hands on, and this one was missing. It finally got a limited release on Blu-Ray, so I snapped it up. I always figured this a typical Eastwood film from the seventies. It mostly is, but there’s a twist. It’s Michael Cimino’s first film, he would go on to make “The Deer Hunter” and the infamous “Heavens Gate”. His presence is felt here though, the characters are richer and the film is beautifully shot. It has the whole seventies auteur vibe, and add in a cool caper and some genuine performances by both Eastwood and Jeff Bridges and this one is a real winner in Eastwood’s filmography.
089 04-18 Starlet Nights (1978/1982) 3/5
This is the second half of the porno double bill that included the previously reviewed “Deep Roots”. It’s by the same director and the star of that film is featured in a smaller role as a Genii Indian instead of an American Indian, so that’s kind of weird typecasting. Anyway, this one tells the story of a woman who is jealous of her stepdaughters beauty after her magic mirror tells her that the stepdaughter is the fairest of them all. So she gets an apple with love potion 69 on it to turn her into a nympho in an attempt to ruin her chances of getting on Mr. Grumpy’s new show “Devils Angels”. Shot in 78 but not released until 1982, this bonkers retelling of “Snow White”, minus actual dwarfs and with a Hollywood showbiz backdrop is actually pretty fun.
090 04-19 Hereafter (2010) 2/5
This is the last of the Eastwood pictures that I own that I hadn’t watched so I figured it was time to watch it. It’s a total miss for me. Musing on what happens after we die is all fine and good, but the bullshit psychic aspect never plays for me. So despite a great opening 15 minutes of tsunami destruction, the main drive of the story tracking 3 separate lives affected by death just rambles on and on only to wrap up with a stupid pat ending you can see coming about 30 minutes in.
091 04-19 A Saint… A Woman… A Devil… (1977) 3.5/5
Here’s another odd one from Vinegar Syndrome. Prior to working on the script for the film ”Raging Bull”, Peter Savage made this; a sexed up version of “All About Eve”. Also known as “Sylvia”, it is the story of a mousy religious woman who has multiple personality disorder that also manifests itself as a butch lesbian, a nympho and a “normal” girl named Mary. Presented in a standard and an x-rated uncut version with hardcore, it’s actually not bad for a porno. The performances are about as good as you get for a no budget film like this. I just find it odd that someone who worked with Martin Scorsese prior to this and after would team up with the legendary Bill Lustig and make a porn. The seventies were pretty crazy. Fun stuff.
092 04-20 The Starfish Circus (2014) 3/5
Once a year my favourite podcast “Walking The Room” puts on a show that features music and stand-up comedy. This year they streamed it, and sold a copy as a limited edition download. So I bought it. It was simply okay. Greg and Dave, the hosts, stole the show and the house band, The Reigning Monarchs were great as always. That said, I’m glad I didn’t fly to New York to see it.
093 04-20 Nashville (1975) 4/5
This is one of those films that has been sitting on the back burner of my brain since it’s widely regarded as Robert Altman’s best film. I’m far from an Altman expert, but I think this is the first film he made were a gaggle of characters inhabit a time period and you see how their lives intersect. I’ll admit to being a little lost for the first 30 minutes, one I got into the tone and pace I found myself really enjoying this one. Perfect performances, including Henry Gibson of all people as a country music icon, plus the great music which was largely written by the cast and this one is worth checking out. I watched via the recent Criterion Blu-Ray (which features outstanding picture and sound) and plan to dig into the extras.
So there you go. If you want to watch an intersecting character type movie, skip the stupid “Hereafter” and travel down to “Nashville”.