Movie a Day!: All Caught Up!

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.

Starfish Circus with Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony

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”.

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Movie a Day!: Second Week of April!

Alright, here’s last weeks viewing. With this post we are completely caught up so next week will be what I watched this week (the third week of April). Phew, this is confusing stuff! This batch is a good one, featuring a couple of films that remind you how great movies can be.

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078 04-07 Walking Dead Season 4 (2013) 3/5
079 04-07 Talking Dead Season 3 (2013) 3/5
Caught up and finished the season over the weekend. While still pretty good, I found this season of Walking Dead to be a bit of a let down over the previous couple of seasons. The first half seemed rushed to finish up some loose ends from Season 3 that probably would of been better served story-wise in later seasons. The second half, while fine for character building, seemed to be stalling for time. The final episode completely works until the very end were the last line that’s supposed to get you all hyped like a cliffhanger just undoes the whole thing and almost makes it a joke. Don’t get me wrong, I’m liking the show and hope that season 5 has a better consistency. Everything is in place for a great season, it just seems to be at a cost of this one. Sort of like how Back to the Future 2 had some good stuff in it, but felt like bridge to get to part 3 in the old west instead of a proper, stand alone movie.

Talking Dead continues to entertain, but this season seemed to be missing a lot of comedian guests, so it seemed a bit too serious. There’s only so much of watching actors seriously talking about their characters like they are real people in charge of their situations before it gets a bit much to swallow.

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080 04-08 The Lady From Shanghai (1947) 4.5/5
When you watch a lot of movies like I do, you tend to take them for granted a little bit. So when you sit down to watch a 67 year old Orson Welles film noir, you get your socks knocked off. Completely fresh in approach, featuring staggeringly modern yet classic performances for a studio picture of the time and perfect camera placement and movement, to editing and pacing, this is what all film should strive to be. Add in a dead solid noir plot of a simple Irishman knocking about who gets hooked up and enthralled with the elite and you have an amazing 90 minutes of movie to burn into your brain. It’s a real shame that after Citizen Kane, Welles never got a chance to make the films he really wanted to make. We are all the poorer for it.

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081 04-11 Comic Book Men Season 3 (2013) 3/5
This is, as far as I know, Kevin Smith’s latest venture outside of his podcast. I used to be a huge Smith fan but the past few years he’s seems to have gone from “Kevin Smith: Filmmaker” to “Kevin Smith: KEVIN SMITH!”. Which is fine and more power to him, but I’d rather see his movies than HIM. Anyway, you combine a pawn shop show with comics and I’m pretty much going to have to watch it. I’m not going to say this is great television, but it’s good enough. The guys in the shop are fun to watch, and I can look past the very obvious misogyny without accepting it. It’s on with Walking Dead/Talking Dead, if it was outside of that I wouldn’t seek it out.

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082 04-11 Deep Roots (1978) 3/5
This is another “Porno Chic” era film that Vinegar Syndrome are obsessed with putting out, and as you can tell by the title, it’s a porn version of “Roots”, the acclaimed mini-series about the slave trade. Thankfully, the title is a rip-off, no one wants to see a porn version of Roots! Shame on you if you do! The basic plot is the story of a Native American who decides to live off the reservation and move to LA to experience life. Life and the women of Los Angeles are pretty fast, so the overwhelmed Billy returns back to the simple reservation life. It’s basically “A Star is Born” with porn in it. It’s quite humourous in that at no point does it appear that Billy isn’t loving city life. Add in a weird striptease with John Waters starlet Liz Renay and this is a fun little watch.

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083 04-12 Judy! (1969) 3/5
This one is a sleazy little gem of a roughie telling the story of a rogue ex-detective on the hunt for a sex killer. It’s a cheap sexploitation that is at parts inept yet hilarious. Vinegar Syndrome has paired it “The Night Hustlers”, an even cheaper sexploitation film that features a greased pole contest that has to be seen to be believe. I watched it last year (2.5/5 since it’s slow as paint drying despite being so gonzo ridiculous), so I wont review it separately, it’s currently available as a free download! Get it!

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084 04-12 The Swimmer (1968) 4/5
This one has Burt Lancaster playing a man who comes upon the idea to “swim home”, via the swimming pools in his neighbourhood. To say any more would be telling, but this plays like a lost episode of the “Twilight Zone. There’s a sense of dread and mystery that constantly builds, and the film never plays you for stupid so there’s lots to discover. I plan on revisiting this one sooner than later.

085 04-13 The Story of the Swimmer (2014) 3.5/5
This is the incredibly thorough documentary that tells the story of how the film was made. This blu-ray, put out by Grindhouse Releasing of all people, is an absolute must own if you like cult type films.

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086 04-13 Foreign Correspondent (1940) 3.5/5
This one is the second film Alfred Hitchcock made when he came to the states. I think. basic plot is a newspaper man gets promoted to be a foreign correspondent and gets mixed up in a spy plot on the eve to World War 2. It starts a little slow, but once it get’s rolling, it rolls fast with a typically amazing mystery/suspense plot that Hitch is known for. It’s also not over the top in the propaganda front. Like everything Hitchcock, it’s recommended viewing, especially the beautiful Criterion Collection Blu-Ray I watched.

Hitchcock! Welles! Weird, somewhat racist Indian porn! What more do you want from a stupid movie blog people?!?! Come on!

Next week will be more movies! Maybe. Things really shit the bed this week on a personal level so who knows what the post will be.

Enjoy the long weekend if you get one!

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Movie a Day! : First Week of April

Almost caught up! I’m going to post two blogs this week. After that I will post a “weekly round up” style blog about the things I watch that week. I don’t know what else I’ll blog about. I’m trying to keep this impersonal. Who knows, maybe there will be a “Broken Record” post. (There will always eventually be a Broken Record venting post…)

Anyways….MOVIES! The first week of April I entered the world of Ron Burgundy, finished up a shitty Canadian cooking challenge show, traveled the woods with the demented pervo Jamie Gillis and ended up farty.

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073 04-01 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) 2.5/5
That’s right, you are not seeing things. The title is in red since this is my first time seeing this. I’ve been told repeatedly that this film was funny and genius, so I’m going to guess that high expectations are the cause of me not caring for it. Ferrell is more miss than hit with me, and this one seemed to take about 40 minutes before actually getting funny. It’s not terrible, and it has a couple of great scenes, but everyone (aside from Steve Carell) outside of the main cast were more entertaining. When you cast Paul F Tompkins as the host of a cat fashion show, then only give him one line, you are making a mistake! Anyway, this one was missing the sharp satire that made “The Other Guys” and “The Campaign” so interesting.

074 04-02 Recipe to Riches Season 3 (2014) 1.5/5
Once again I get sucked into watching a stupid cooking competition show. I had seen ads for this one thinking it was a new series, only to discover it’s season three! What a disaster! Basic plot is, home cooks introduce sample foods that can become new products for Superstore to sell. The winner wins the largest prize in Canadian game show history: TWO SETS OF LEATHER LUGGAGE! The first half of each episode was the cooks having to batch up their selected food to commercial grade levels, which is a bunch of bullshit. How the hell are home cooks, with no commercial experience, expected to make 500 portions, with ingredient substitutions such as replacing the sweetener, in 3 hours? After that, the second half deals with who can market their dumb food better. I give absolutely zero fucks about marketing, so this show can go fuck itself. I’m giving it “.5” due to being Canadian so everyone is polite, and because it was only 6 episodes long.

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075 04-04 Winter Heat (1976) 3.5/5
This is another “roughie” style porn from the “porno chic” era that’s paired up with the previously mentioned “Abduction of an American Playgirl” on Vinegar Syndrome’s “Peek-a-Rama” disc. This was the better picture, with the infamous Jamie Gillis heading the cast as the leader of a group of cabin squatters who come upon some girls and terrorize them. This one doesn’t play up humour and is more interesting for it. That said, the pat ending tends to undo everything.

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076 04-05 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) 3.5/5
Had lower expectations on this one since the first one didn’t exactly light a fire in me. It’s still pretty dumb (which isn’t a complaint), and some of the larger set pieces fall completely flat. This one though has a solid target to attack, 24 hour news, and it makes for a funnier and more interesting picture. That said, I think we’re good for Anchorman pictures.

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077 04-06 Brian Posehn: The Fartist (2013) 3.5/5
It’s not hard to guess the topics discussed by Posehn on his latest stand-up special with a title like that. More nerd rage and catching up on his life, I don’t think it’s his funniest work, but it’s certainly some of his best stand-up, if that makes sense. (I’m currently loving his podcast “Nerd Poker” you should check it out.)

So there you have it. I picked up both Anchorman films in a two-fer blu-ray that also includes alternate cuts of both movies. I’ll get to those eventually. Are they actually worth watching? Anyone? Oh, I should of pointed out that I watched the Extended Editions instead of the the Theatricals on those Anchorman films. I think. Why the hell are there so many choices for these dumb movies?!?!?

Comedies, cooking shows and porn. I’m going to be forty this year…

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Movie a Day! : 063-072 – The End of March

Well, here we go. The end of March! More classic movies and filth to look at! Let’s dig in!

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063 03-16 Walk A Crooked Mile (1948) 3.5/5
Another film to be found in the “Film Noir Classics IV” set. This one is more of a police procedural as opposed to a proper noir. Basic plot is: Two federal agents, one American and one Brit on loan from Scotland Yard are after communist spies that are stealing nuclear secrets from one the leading Nuclear testing base in California. It’s a pretty good picture, that has a noir look of deep shadows, but not a noir plot. That said it’s a fun watch that isn’t hyperactive in “Red Scare” propaganda, and it features Raymond Burr in an early role as one of the commie heavies.

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064 03-16 Funny or Die Presents Season Two (2011) 2/5
The last set/season from HBO. This is one of those shows that you want to like more but just flat out don’t. It’s largely not funny or inspired. Some of the better bits, like the recurring “Lady Refs” and “United States Police Department” start strong but peter out really quickly. The rest feel like filler. That said, my biased love for everything “Tim & Eric” means I needed this set, and I did love their contributions. The other exception was Rob Huebel’s “Do You Want To See A Dead Body?’ series which was the only other highlight to the set. Since it’s so miss over hit, you’re better served just finding the good stuff off Youtube or wherever it posts online.

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065 03-21 Flight (2012) 2/5
Basically this is a “TV Movie of the Week” with a big budget and name actors. Denzel Washington is a pilot who’s plain crashes, caused by mechanical failure. He manages to pull off an amazing maneuver that saves most of the passengers. He’s also a coke-head drunk, so now it’s a big problem. That’s the set up. This movie is a total mess that despite being preachy (drunk pilots are bad), makes it really clear that this guy is a pretty awesome drunk pilot. It’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, and as of now, all the good will he earned with “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is burned.

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066 03-22 Grey Gardens (1975) 4/5
067 03-23 The Beales of Grey Gardens (2006) 3/5
This is a pair of documentaries by the Maysles brothers about Edith and “Lil Eddie” Beale, eccentric cousins to Jackie Onassis, as they hold out living in their East Hampton estate. There’s not much to say, the Maysles are so personal with the subjects that it’s awkward and fascinating to watch despite not really having a “story”, you just spend 90 minutes with a reclusive mother and daughter, and wonder how and why they live the way they do. The original film is rightfully a cult classic that is both tragic and hilarious in equal parts. The follow up film is assembled from outtakes filmed at the time of the original and feels like more of the same (which it is) where as I would of personally liked to have learned more about them as opposed to witnessing them. Still, the pair makes for an interesting watch for sure, and both can be found on the Criterion Collections recent Blu-ray.

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068 03-23 Check it Out! With Dr. Steve Brule Seasons One & Two (2010) 4/5
This is a series spun off from “Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job”. Like everything Tim & Eric, you either love it or hate it. Where am I on that spectrum? The “Boats” episode is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Nuff said ya dingus!

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069 03-25 Between Midnight and Dawn (1950) 3/5
Another from the “Film Noir Classics IV” set, this one is more of a police procedural crime picture that a proper noir. Follows a pair of prowl car cops as they negotiate a romantic triangle and a small time mob boss about to kick start a mob war. The romance feels forced and light which causes the more serious crime angle to suffer. Still, Edmond O’Brien is always fun to watch, and this is no exception.

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070 03-28 Walk East On Beacon (1952) 2.5/5
The final film in the previously mentioned Noir Classics set is another procedural film that has the “Red Scare” panic cranked up to 10. While beautifully shot, acted and featuring the style tropes found in noir, it just never really works. The switch from following the cops to following the commies is distracting so you never really connect with any of the characters, which causes the film to plod along and feel much longer than the running time. I’m also going to go on record that despite the promise of the poster, I doubt this is the “Crime of the Century”.

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So that’s it for this TCM set, I give the whole thing a 4/5. While none of the films in it will change your life, on the whole they’re still pretty good and you can do a lot worse with your dollars.

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071 03-29 What Price Hollywood? (1932) 3.5/5
This one is about a waitress who gets discovered by a big time movie director and put into the pictures. It’s my understanding that this film was the template of the “A Star Is Born”genre, and it certainly hits all the plot points of that movie. Heck, the director of this one later did the Judy Garland version! Anyway, it was pretty good, with Constance Bennett excellent as the waitress. She plays the part more brassy and ambitious, as opposed to completely naive and wonder-eyed, and it makes for a better picture since the men come off more weak and base. I’m guessing it’s due to being a pre-code, or at least on edge of the code line that women could still be strong instead of victims. That said, the very end is a let down, and I’ll leave it at that.

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072 03-29 Abduction of an American Playgirl (1975) 3/5
This one is a roughie porn put out by Vinegar Syndrome as the debut of their “Peek-a-Rama” double feature line. I’m guessing that they are using it to separate the hardcore porn from the softcore exploitation of the “Drive-In” collections. Anyway, this one is about a couple of broke horn dogs who kidnap a girl to rape in a cabin since they can’t afford to go out and pick up a girl due to being broke. That said, it’s all played for laughs since the two are buffoons, and the girl they kidnap is more game for them than they are for her. So it’s a reversal and theme that is still going to be offensive to pretty much anyone these days, but actually plays pretty good with some genuine laughs to be found in the situation.

So that wraps up March! Here’s my totals:

21 Watched   19 First Timers  0 In Theaters

I’m well off now for the “Movie A Day” goal, and way off from my totals for March last year.

41 Watched, 37 First Timers, 1 In Theater

I’m screwed!

Feel free to offer suggestions of what you would like to see me rant about. Also, please do share and spread my brain around.

noir,

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Movie a Day! : 052-062 – The First Half of March

Well, I’m a day late on this one since I had the day off Monday and was so stupidly busy I didn’t get a chance to post. Not a single person reached out to me to check that I hadn’t died. So that’s where we stand huh readers? All 3-5 of you? Not to alienate, but I had higher expectations. I’ll forgive you for now. You can make it up to me by sharing the blog!

Since I can wrap up March in two posts, I’ll post today and hopefully Thursday this week. A lot of good movies in this batch, and one of the most distressing things I’ve ever seen.

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052 03-01 Anatomy Of A Psycho (1961) 2/5
A low budget thriller that has a really great title. The set-up is good, a guy goes bonkers after his brother get’s the electric chair. The problem is he never goes full out psycho, but more of an out of control delinquent. So it never really delivers what you hope with that awesome title and poster. Speaking of which, the guy in the “Shocking” box sure looks like Dennis Hopper, but it’s not him.

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053 03-01 The Lonely Sex (1959) 2.5/5
This is the second feature on Vinegar Syndromes Drive-In disc, paired with the above “Psycho”. It’s also the better picture. This one it pretty much a no budget picture, about a pervo who kidnaps a girl. The cheap look actually helps the picture and it ends up delivering a bit better than the main draw.

Vinegar Syndrome deliver yet another great value pack. Both pictures have their issues with print damage and scratchy soundtrack, but they’re both more than watchable and I can’t imagine them looking much better since I’m guessing original negatives are long gone.

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054 03-01 So Dark The Night (1946) 3/5
This is the first picture on the latest “Film Noir Classics” set from TCM. It’s a real doozy, about a Parisian detective forced to go on vacation who gets wrapped up with a girl and a murder in a small French village. The only thing more ridiculous than the big plot twist is that it actually works and the whole picture doesn’t fall apart because of it.

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055 03-08 The Suckers (1972) 2.5 /5
Just look at that poster! Obviously this is the greatest movie ever made! Sadly, it’s a cheap-o sexploitation version of “The Most Dangerous Game”. A rich big game hunter hires and hunts a few models. It’s too caught up on the softcore sex scenes which are all ridiculous compared to the much more fun action of the hunting finale. Good for a laugh, and to see how ball heavy films were during the transition to full on hardcore porn, but not much else.

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056 03-09 The Corner (2000) 4/5
Prior to “The Wire”, Simon did this mini-series telling the true stories of junkies and other people living on one of the main drug slinging corners in Baltimore. While not necessarily a happy film, it’s a damn fine one.

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057 03-10 The Love Garden (1971) 2/5
This one is the second feature of the Vinegar Syndrome “Drive in Collection” that also featured the previously reviewed “The Suckers”. This one is a softcore feature about a guy obsessed with getting a girl who moved into his building. Spoiler alert: The girl is gay, and surprisingly, the film deals with gay politics surprisingly well for the era. That said, it’s cheap and a bit plodding in it’s melodrama.

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058 03-11 Johnny O’Clock (1947) 2.5/5
This one is a gangster/noir genre picture, about a gambler club manager trying to stay ahead of a business rival and the women who are actually controlling his life. Dick Powell is the title character, and despite playing many tough guys in his career, I never buy him in those roles. So despite being solid plot wise and shot in the wonderful noir style, I never really got into it.

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059 03-14 King of the Hill (1993) 4.5/5
060 03-15 The Underneath (1995) 3/5
These are Steven Soderbergh’s third and fourth pictures, and both his first studio pictures. Both were lovingly released recently by the Criterion Collection, so you know they look and sound great. “King of the Hill” remains as wonderful as I remembered, telling the true story of a kid living on his own during the depression. A beautifully shot film, with some fantastic child acting.

“The Underneath” is Soderbergh’s first crack at a caper film. I know I’ve seen it before, but I couldn’t remember it at all. It’s not bad, a bit plodding and over stylized, but still pretty solid.

One of the best parts of the set are the interviews with Soderbergh where he candidly slags off both films as being mostly failures in retrospect. If only more “failures” could be this good.

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061 03-15 The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig (1971) 3/5
What do you get when a convicted felon with a long career of forgery, smuggling and abuse charges makes a porn film? Something that should be more interesting than this one ended up being. Granted, it was made before all the above felonies happened, and it is pushing the envelope for 1971. It’s just never really gets as dark a comedy as it’s aiming for so it kind of plods along.

062 03-16 Box Ball (1977) 4/5
This is a porn loop found on the above “Pig” disc, and holy crap is it cringe inducing. It’s ten minutes of a woman twisting up a guys nut sack in ways you would not believe. Not for the faint of heart, it packs into ten minutes what “Pig” missed accomplishing in it’s feature length.

I continue to have random panic attacks from “Box Ball” to this day.

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Movie a Day! 045-051 The End Of February

It’s Friday and time for another blog! Let’s wrap up my watching from February eh? This one features everything from porn to classic television. Genre and taste be damned! When it comes to movies, YOU GOTTA WATCH ‘EM ALL!

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045 02-15 Devil on a Chain (2013) 3/5
Kimberly Kane, takes a stab at porno exploitation as opposed to her usual Alt/Gonzo work. It mostly works with a plot that moves the picture forward despite trying a bit too hard to be “exploitation” campy with vengeance genre tropes instead of playing it straight. Seeing as Kane is the director, there is a certain “girl power” element to this where even the female victim characters are better than the doofy guys. So that’s interesting. The only problem is the one that all modern non-gonzo porn has; and that’s the 20-30 minute sex scenes that grind everything to a halt. I’m guessing this is so that they can be cut out of the film and sold online individually. Shorter sex scenes to balance the plot and this could of been a real winner. Then again, most people probably aren’t watching this for the plot….

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046 02-16 Wakefield Poole’s Bible! (1973) 3/5
Here’s a weird one, hardcore gay porn pioneer Wakefield Poole does a softcore tribute to Disney’s “Fantasia”, using 3 stories from the bible. It starts off a bit slow with the Adam & Eve opener, but then Georgina Spelvin steals the show in the slapstick Bath Seba segment and the final Samson & Delila is straight up beautiful. It’s cheap and looks it, but it works. Another case of directorial passion overwhelming the meager means. Vinegar Syndrome out did themselves as usual with a feature packed disc and I doubt the film will ever look better.

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047 02-16 Salome (1943) 3/5
The last film in my Rita Hayworth set is the classic style of Bible picture that Hollywood is no longer known for: the Bible picture that uses religion as a background to push sleaze and sex past the censors. It all comes to a froth with Rita’s dance of the seven veils which is an astounding set piece that’s worth sitting through all the religious bullshit to get to.

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That’s the set above, picked up via an Amazon sale. Seeing as I paid the price that “Gilda” would of been on it’s own, it was a hell of a deal. Being more critical, “Gilda” was by far the best film, with the rest being merely okay musical/melodramas with musical bits in them. All the transfers look fine for DVD, the extras are practically non-existent. I give it 3/5.

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048 02-22 Ditto (1937) 2.5/5
049 02-22 Love Nest on Wheels (1937) 2.5/5
The last of Buster Keaton’s Educational Pictures shorts go out with a bit of a whimper. They feel like he was going through the paces to finish up a contract, but each still have a bit or two in them to keep you interested.

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That FINALLY finishes the massive Buster Keaton blu-ray set from Kino that I started in May 2013. Featuring, as far as I know, his complete independent silent output before signing with MGM. It’s pretty much essential viewing if you’re interested in silent comedy. I give it a 5/5 despite not having any particularly great extras like a documentary to put the films in context.

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050 02-22 Side Effects ( 2013 ) 4/5
Revisited this one on Blu-ray. It holds up really well on a second viewing. A pharmaceutical noir that gets really twisty but stays believable despite getting a bit out there plot wise. Man, I’m really going to miss getting new Soderbergh films if his retirement is real.

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051 02-27 I Love Lucy Season 1 (1951) 4/5
The first hit sitcom! I think, “The Honeymooners” might actually be first. At any rate, this was certainly one of the first. Mums other favourite show (the other favourite being “All in the Family”), so seeing as Dad isn’t doing too great in hospital I spin a couple of these a week to brighten her spirits. It’s a bit weird watching these in that they are pretty much the template for every sitcom that followed. So they seem familiar even though they are first time viewings for me, outside of clip shows of course. That said, they are on the whole deadly funny. Lucille Ball was one of the all time great comedians and clowns, and she really goes to town. Dezi and the supporting cast were no slouches either. Some of it, particularly gender rolls, will seem hopelessly outdated to modern viewers so best not to worry about it and just enjoy the comedy.

So there it is, February is at an end and we will march into March. Here’s my total viewing tally for February 2014:

17 Watched  15 First Timers  00 In Theaters 

So I have fallen behind my movie a day. Panic! Here’s where I was at last February:

29 Watched, 25 First Timers, 1 In Theaters

My overall total by the end of February in 2013 was 60 films. I’m 9 films off from last year and 8 films off for “A Move A Day”. I should be able to make that up. I hope. Let’s not panic yet.

Next week we should be able to wrap up all of march in a couple of posts. Then we’ll see if/how this blog will continue. Please share with your movie loving friends, “like” and do all that other social media stuff. My ego demand constant petting!

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Movie a day! 035-044 First Half of February

And the blog keeps rolling along! So Far I’ve kept up with my three posts a week that was my usual norm way back in the Benrik days. That said, I’ll be caught up soon, and then not so sure on what to blog about. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments!

Right, this is the first half of February. Before you get scared that it will be too long to read at your work, please remember that February is the short month and that it’s only ten or so titles long. We can get through this together guys, it’s will be fun!

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035 02-01 Justice League: WAR (2014) 2/5
This one’s the latest in the line of what are typically decent direct to video cartoons based on DC Comics. This one though was a bust. Maybe I’m suffering from DC overload and carrying too much baggage from their mostly shit “New 52” comic book launch. The plot of this one is basically the first 6 issue arc of their relaunched “Justice League” comic, which wasn’t the greatest thing ever published, but better than this adaptation. I think the main problem I have with this is that despite the animation quality being really good, the voice acting and character designs are overall so terrible that I can’t get into it. They have to bring back the voice team behind the original Batman/Superman cartoons. They’re’ still the best superhero adaptations to date. DC’s constant attempts to improve things that don’t need to be improved continue to hobble their properties.

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036 02-02 The Bling Ring (2013) 2.5/5
I’ve always considered myself a fan of Sofia Coppola’s work, but this film has me thinking I’m more wanting to be a fan, instead of an actual fan. Aside from “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation”, I find that I want to like her work more than I do. This one is no exception. It’s inspired by the true events of some rich shithead teenagers who get the idea to bust into celebrities homes and rob them. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this movie just kind of flops out without ever really accomplishing anything. If it’s supposed to be as empty and vapid as the people who did the crimes, then I guess it’s a success. Just not a very engaging one.

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037 02-05 Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) 2.5/5
This was one of Rita Hayworth’s come back films after taking time off to be a Princess or something. Anyway, it’s a weird one. She plays a dance hall girl (1950’s speak for “whore”) who’s looking for redemption and finds it from a miserable missionary in American Samoa. Throw in a couple of numbers for Rita to sing and a rape, and you get a trashy little film that should be more fun than it is.

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038 02-08 Three on a Limb (1936) 2.5/5
039 02-08 Grand Slam Opera (1936) 4/5
040 02-08 Blue Blazes (1936) 2.5/5
041 02-08 The Chemist (1936) 2.5/5
042 02-08 Mixed Magic (1936) 3/5
Another mixed bag of Buster Keaton shorts from Kino’s “Lost Keaton” set. Some good gags, but none of the films really do much for you. The exception being “Grand Slam Opera” that features Keaton’s “Elmer” character desperate to win an amateur radio competition. Packed to the gills with nearly non-stop gags and stunts, this one is right up there with the best of his silent work.

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043 02-14 The Conjuring (2013) 4/5
Revisited this one by showing it to mum. It holds up just fine on a second viewing, and it’s fun to scare the shit out of your mother when they believes in ghosts.

044 02-14 Jail Bait (1937) 3.5/5
Another of Buster Keaton’s Educational Pictures shorts, and it was another really good one that’s right up there with his better work.

See? That was a pretty quick one right? Kind of a blah first half of the month. Those Keaton shorts were getting to be a bit of a slog at this point, so I have not much to say about them. I still think I’m behind this year from last year by this point, so in my next blog I’ll compare end of February totals and keep that as a trend. Won’t that be fun? Maybe?

The End.