Author Topic: Merry Music of May 2018  (Read 2275 times)

Junior

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2018, 01:53:09 PM »
That's good to hear. I think the first two movies are perfectly solid entertainment. Glad that the third seems to follow suit.
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1SO

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2018, 12:29:20 AM »
I really wish that back half was as good as the opening because if it was this would probably be among my favorite films. There’s something simultaneously lived-in and wildly unreal about this movie that appeals to me.
While acknowledging and agreeing with your problems, this comment is what always keeps me in there. The look of the film is similar to Tim Burton's Batman from 1989, but that film always looks like the giant sets that they are. From the museum to the streets of Gotham it doesn't look lived in. Streets of Fire looks like a place the actors could've lived in while shooting the film, a place where it's cool to walk around in PVC overalls. Walter Hill creates a world where we don't believe that life ends at the edge of the screen, a place where the main characters are surrounded by people moving ahead with the business of living.
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1SO

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #52 on: May 25, 2018, 12:49:42 AM »

The Hard Way (1943)
"Don't you ever wake up at night and say to yourself, 'Maybe there's something just a little poisonous about me?' You know, in a queer, crazy kind of a way I admire you. I like to watch you work. It's like watching the maneuvers of the Atlantic Fleet, and after you've done something particularly mean and nasty, I'd like to take you in my arms and kiss you."

Cautionary showbiz dramas are their own sub-genre, and this one is a melodramatic patchwork of some of the best. The relationship between sisters Ida Lupino and Joan Leslie is like the mother-daughter relationship in Gypsy. (Lupino's unwavering sacrifice for the increasingly ungrateful Leslie is also reminiscent of Mildred Pierce.) Jack Carson plays A Star is Born as he gives Leslie her chance and watches her star rise while his falls. The story is told in flashback from a dead person, like Sunset Blvd.

Because of the cast, the film is better than its familiar elements. Ida Lupino in particular is at her absolute best, playing a woman who on the page is single-mindedly only thinking of her sister, but on the screen is dying inside one hard decision at a time. It's the most complex part I've seen from Leslie (Yankee Doodle Dandy), and she's solid but nothing more. You see, It's also because of the cast that the film isn't as well-known or as highly-regarded as the classics. Takes Jack Carson, whom I've literally seen in dozens of roles like A Star Is Born and Mildred Pierce. He's a good actor, but he doesn't have much range and when he has to get emotional it falls a little short. Solid, but not great. Even Lupino at her best can't match what Barbara Stanwyck or Katharine Hepburn could've brought without even trying. The same could be said of director Vincent Sherman. Good is better than most, but greatness exceeds their grasp.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 01:31:48 AM by 1SO »
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Antares

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #53 on: May 25, 2018, 08:54:31 PM »
Streets of Fire

B+

I'm surprised you didn't mention the one thing that really is a misfire in this film, the casting of Rick Moranis. He is so bad in this film. I can't remember how many times I wished that Michael Pare would have just kicked the living shit out of him, during this film.

Antares

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #54 on: May 25, 2018, 09:13:47 PM »
A Hard Day's Night (1964) 82/100 - Still my favorite Beatles film. Because at this point, in their musical career, they were still having fun. And it shows in the movie. I grew up with the Fab Four, in fact, the first thing I remember in my life, was their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Right up through 1966, they were the best band in the world. This film catches the vibrancy of their style, creativity & most of all, their music. You can't help but tap your feet when their playing any one of the great songs in this movie. These are The Beatles I remember, and have loved for over 50 years. You can keep everything post-Revolver, after that seminal album, they started down the long road to destruction. Especially after the arrival of Yoko Ono.

oldkid

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2018, 09:41:05 PM »
I just re-listened to the soundtrack of Hard Day's Night yesterday.  Still one of the great soundtracks of all time, not a bomb on there.  The energy and drive of the film fuels the soundtrack and the soundtrack fuels the film.  Perfect.  Great filmmaking.  Why is this not on my top films?  I think I need to fix that.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #56 on: May 26, 2018, 01:20:52 AM »
As a movie, Krush Groove is not great. The plot is kind of a hodge-podgey riff on Russell Simmons and the Def Jam Records story, with a fresh-faced Blair Underwood as "Russell Walker" and yet Run (Joseph Simmons) is still playing his brother and Russell Simmons himself has a part in the movie, so it's kind of weird and meta that way. Also Rick Rubin is there as, apparently, himself. There are some clichés and it doesn't seem like a very realistic portrayal of the record industry and there are weird detours and bad acting and cringeworthy moments ("I think he's gay" is put forth as the ultimate dismissal). And yet, it's not terrible either. It's a reasonably entertaining diversion for an hour and a half, thanks largely to the musical portions. Sheila E, Run DMC, The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, New Edition, Beastie Boys, and a very brief appearance by LL Cool J (who is seen "auditioning" despite the fact that signage earlier in the film names him as already being a major draw... whoops!) all turn in lively, excellent performances. The film especially got me interested in The Fat Boys, who I ignored during their heyday, writing them off as a novelty act. But the songs they do here are pretty strong.

As I said, there's some poor acting, but Run and Sheila E are both surprisingly decent. I'd say Run even handles it better than Underwood, who comes off rather too angsty.

One more note: as a fan of House Party, I was pleased to see Full Force here as well, again appearing as heavies. Rating: Good (75)
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1SO

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2018, 01:43:03 AM »
I was dismissive of the film back in the day, but I would probably appreciate it more now just for the nostalgia of seeing those artists in their prime.
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Sandy

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #58 on: May 30, 2018, 11:27:19 PM »
Hairspray (2007)



This is one slick production. It does everything right, taking great source material, gathering great talent like Marc Shaiman and Mark ODonnell and taking it Broadway bound. The elements are all there, with the quality control already taken care of. It's only natural for Hairspray to be brought back to film, where it began. The result is seamless and so precise, I can't find any flaws. And not that I'm looking for any! I'm too happy with the energy and musicality of the whole thing and too busy being wowed, for nitpicking.
 
Without the spotlight on dispelling "isms," it could come across as too saccharine, but there is weight here. No pun intended at all. Big is Beautiful. Black is Beautiful. Bias free is Beautiful. "I know we've come so far, but we've got so far to go."


Hairspray (1988)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 11:33:40 PM by Sandy »
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oldkid

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Re: Merry Music of May 2018
« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2018, 06:14:04 PM »
It is Hairspray month!  I have no reason not to see this version.

Also, I just found that I have 4 Astaire/Rogers films on my shelf that I have left unseen.  I'll catch up with these this next week and post reviews here.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky