Movie A Day! : 238-242 “Hey man, turn down the lights!”

A short one this week, only five titles. Woe is me! The week kind of got away from me, and I’ve been binge watching other stuff. That’s right, I’m going to blog Doctor Who! The first one should be this Wednesday. Sorry Asbestos, you’ll want to skip them, but you might be entertained? Movie a day ain’t going nowhere though (sadly, in every possible meaning that that phrase can mean), and there may be the odd Broken Record happening to. So don’t despair if you hate Doctor Who! It’s easy to ignore these blog posts. Though you shouldn’t!

Here’s the stuff I’ve watched this past week.

I don’t think Jim is using that mic stand in the intended way….

238 09-07 The Doors : Live At The Bowl ‘68 (2013) 3/5
This is a concert film of the Doors playing live at the Hollywood Bowl. Did you guess by the title? Widely considered to be their best filmed performance, they are in musically top notch form. The blu-ray sounds great. This is the debut of the complete concert, an edited version was previously available, and on this one they gave it a widescreen cropping instead of showing the full frame from which it was originally filmed. It’s mostly okay, but there are more than a few shots that suffer from it, where close-ups are just too close due to the cropping. Otherwise it’s good, but watch it for the music, the performance is intense and good, but visually uninspired with Morrison zonked on acid and glued to the mic stand like his life depended on it making it a bit dull visually. Seriously, you would think they were hanging out instead of performing. Fucking dope fiend hippies!

239 09-09 Requiem For A Heavyweight (1956) 4/5
240 09-11 The Comedian (1957) 4/5
Both of these are live broadcast plays from the PLAYHOUSE 90 program. Both written by Rod Serling, they both look at the weaker aspects of the human condition in unflinching ways.

REQUIEM stars Jack Palance as a past his prime boxer. Once ranked 5th in line for a title shot, now he’s so beat up, he could end up blind if he has another fight. The film deals with the scramble of his manager who’s desperate for another payday to clear up some gambling debts while Palance deals with his pride, knowing that he has nothing to show after a life of fighting. As per usual, the performances are incredible, the play moves at a quick pace and it’s impossible to not get swept up into it.

THE COMEDIAN is an entirely different beast. This one looks at live television itself, with Mickey Rooney playing a superstar comedian with the most popular show on TV. Edmond O’Brien is his head writer, burned out and trying to save Rooney’s face after his plan to steal skits written by another writer backfires. Oof, that sounds more complicated than it should. I should be better at these vague recaps. I’m not a Mickey Rooney fan, but he is incredible in this as the biggest, most egotistical star on the planet. O’Brien is no slouch either, and this really is must see TV. Plus it’s direct by John Frankenheimer who would go on to direct classics like THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and the ISLAND OF Dr. MOREAU remake with Marlon Brando.

The poster is helping this movie with that kind of tag line…

241 09-12 The Long Gray Line (1955) 2.5/5
This one is a John Ford film, and his first CinemaScope production. It stars Tyrone Power as a jaunty Irish immigrant and great guy who ends up having a long career at a great place, West Point. It’s based on a true story, my problem is with Ford’s handling of it. Ford was incredibly fond of hokey Irish blarney and mythological Americana and this film is just too overboard in both respects with nothing to balance it out and actually be a great picture. It’s not a bad film, and Power and Maureen O’Hara are both good in it. It just feels very dated and of it’s time compared to Ford’s greater works.

242 09-13 Oh You Beautiful “Doll” (1973) 2/5
Here’s another sleaze fest from the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome. It’s actually the third film in a set, the other two being more horror oriented so I’m holding off to watch them in October. More on that in another blog. Anyway, this one is about an over the hill actress, the great looking and youthful Cleo O’Hara in horrible make-up and wigs, who is running an acting school as a ruse to lure young men to her apartment to fuck. It’s too porny (softcore and ludicrous) to be trashy fun, which is a shame since this Walt Davis directed vehicle kind of sits with John Water’s trash classics from the seventies, but is missing the over the top glee that make the Water’s films stand out and so much fun. The other two films in the set look even more bonkers, so I’m excited to get to them next month!

That’s about it for this week. Hopefully this Wednesday will be the Who blog debut, otherwise it will be next week. I’m trying to bank some for October. Who’s more obsessed about a blog than he should be? Blogging fills the hole in your life right? Please?

As always, comments, shares, etc are all welcomed. If this get popular enough maybe I could get free movies to review like all the other loser movie bloggers? THEY’RE NO BETTER THAN ME WITH THEIR HORSESHIT DEGREES!

The End

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