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My pantheon would include a trio of Carnegie Hall albums: Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck and MJQ.
Okay, GRISSOM GANG is utterly brilliant, one of Aldrich's most quintessential films. Try watching it again--but this time keep in mind that it's a COMEDY.
"Giggly viciousness" is just a cooler way of saying "arrested development." Incidentally, I'm not the first to point this out, but the real source for TH8 is "Fair Game," an episode of "The Rebel" that tells pretty much the same story in 1/7 the time, right down to the dame in handcuffs and the poisoned beverage. It's viewable on YouTube.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2016 on Notes on "The Hateful Eight" at Some Came Running
Hey, better David Geffen than David Koch!
"like rooting for the frog jumping on the back of the scorpion" Just out of morbid curiosity, are you being weirdly ironic here or did you simply get this backwards?
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2015 on Endings: Stanley Kubrick's The Killing at sunset gun
I find LALD a very good 007 film hobbled by two sizable problems: Moore's unbelievably wooden performance, and that godawful title song. Here you have a picture filled with some of the finest black actors of the day, and who do you get to do the song? Aretha? Lou Rawls? Tina Turner? At least Shirley Bassey? No! The whitest dude in rock 'n' roll! The very same guy Bond (in GOLDFINGER) said shouldn't be listened to without earmuffs. What a goddamn wasted opportunity!
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2015 on Return of the Foo Foo Film Site at Some Came Running
Putting on my Pedant Hat, it's THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA (no THE); it's the name of the town. I always liked MAJESTYK because it's quite funny, but perhaps you need to see it with an audience to realize that.
Wasn't it Louis Armstrong who said of jazz, "If you gotta ask, you'll never know?" Funny you should mention the Boswells; one of the just-wrapped new Biffle & Shooster shorts, SCHMO BOAT, features the Saguaro Sisters doing a pitch-perfect version of the Boswells' arrangement of "Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On."
Where can I get that T-shirt? :-D
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2014 on Return of the crank at Some Came Running
Hey, "Rocky & Bullwinkle"'s pretty darn good, and it has both a terrific line from Whoopi Goldberg as a corrupt judge--"Don't you know celebrities are always above the law?"--and one of the best self-deprecating puns of all time: When asked if Bullwinkle can rappel [down a wall], the moose replies, "Why, sure! We've been repelling audiences for years!"
The problem is the perpetual misunderstanding of what a "cut" is. The "four-hour version" of WOLF is undoubtedly the first rough assembly, before they began editing it in earnest. (Marty's first assembly of NEW YORK, NEW YORK was over 5 1/2 hours, with the ballroom sequence alone running around 90 minutes.) I've been recently enduring this myself with MAD MAD WORLD, with both Karen Kramer and Barrie Chase claiming the first "cut" ran five hours and that it was actually shown to audiences. The record shows it was first previewed at 210 minutes and tightened to its premiere length of 192 (both figures minus overture and such). It may have SEEMED like five hours to Chase (Karen wasn't even there at the time; she didn't meet Kramer until the following year), but it's still nonsense.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2014 on Gravy/Oscar post-mortem at Some Came Running
During my nearly 20 years at Sony, I tried like hell to get rep houses to take Quine seriously as an artist with a distinct style and oeuvre, especially given his mentorship of and influence on Blake Edwards. Alas, only the L.A. County Museum went for it. I still believe a major reappraisal of his work is in order.
Glenn, thanks so much for the kind words. And yes, you are absolutely spot-on about what I call the "comfort food" vibe the movie has for us "slightly older" folks. There are places in the film, such as when Charles Lane pops up, or the scenes in the tower with Reiner, Ford, et al, where I almost feel like I'm inside the movie with these beloved folks (a la SHERLOCK, JR.), many of whom gave the best feature-film performances of their careers. And yes, it does make me yearn for that time in my childhood when we were truly a great nation that built things and were looked up to, and the concept of some maniac walking into a school and opening fire on children was simply beyond our comprehension. So yeah, we all wish we could go back to that era, but we can't, so we worship this talisman of a happier time as a respite from what we've become. Plus it's a goddamn funny movie. So there! Mike S.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2014 on Nostalgia for the rejected at Some Came Running
"Three hours of horrible people doing horrible things." You mean like THE GODFATHER?
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2014 on More "Wolf of Wall Street" at Some Came Running
Oddly, seeing the film today, I thought it was a good picture, but it lacked the FUN I thought it should have. Corneau's version was properly serious, but where's that wicked sense of humor that almost a DePalma trademark? Also, is it just me, or did this version seem a bit top-heavy with climaxes (the non-sexual kind), especially at the finale?
LIFEFORCE: The original 116" version with Mancini's score or the 95" U.S. cut with some Mancini and new cues by Kamen?
A year or so ago, I was at UCLA to see the premiere of their restoration of an early Anthony Mann called STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. You could hear the proverbial pin drop throughout the screening, especially during a horrific train wreck that comes out of nowhere. One month later, it played the Film Noir festival at the American Cinematheque. Unfortunately, there were three gorillas (sitting right behind me, of course) who found the train wreck (and subsequent scenes of bloody bodies being hauled out) the funniest goddamn thing they'd ever seen and howled with laughter. and as you know, laughter is contagious, and pretty soon everyone was laughing, and it continued right to the end of the film. I was furious, but there was nothing I could do about it. However, it does prove that it only takes one weasel to poison the well. As for first-run movies, just do what I do: Wait a couple of weeks. The stupid kids will have moved on, and we grown-ups can enjoy the movie in darkened peace.
Funny thing is, people who are going to RANGER seem to like it very much and are posting as such on the 'net. It will never recover from its dismal opening, but it may hang around longer than initially thought. And yes, I loved it. So sue me.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2013 on Mizzou Tigers at Some Came Running
Puga is just another of those twerps with zero skills who gets hired because she's cute and skinny; no actual ability or intelligence required. She's just lucky she's never interviewed Tommy Lee Jones. As for Hill: he was, is and always will be a dick. That he has a career at all is cosmic retribution upon the world for some unknown sin.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2013 on I am Romina Puga at Some Came Running
Well, Dennehy is a big star on Broadway, where he frequently gets leading roles. In a bizarre coincidence, I saw him a couple of years ago in the Wm. J. Bryan role in a revival of INHERIT THE WIND, while several years earlier, I saw a different revival in which Bryan was played by...Charles Durning!
Toggle Commented Dec 26, 2012 on Jack Klugman, 1922-2012 at Some Came Running
David, you suspect correctly. Per Mirren, Pat was against making the film and refused any cooperation.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2012 on Knife in the water at Some Came Running
Okay, someone has to be the contrarian here, and I guess it's gonna be me. I enjoyed the picture thoroughly. Is it "baloney," as Norman Lloyd put it? Yeah, pretty much. But show me one biopic that isn't. Moreover, the main point of the story--the love/irritation relationship between Hitch and Alma--is fabulously done (it's no small irony that the movie's title bears only his name), and the filmmaking sections are far truer to the production experience than I've seen in far bigger pictures, even if they get some details wrong (e.g., nobody ever called Herrmann "Bernie"). And if nothing else, I thought Johansson--an actress I generally can't abide--did right by Leigh. Plus it has one of the funniest last lines in years (excluding a brief epilogue). Finally, it has Helen Fucking Mirren. So there ya go. My two cents.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2012 on Knife in the water at Some Came Running
Mr. Hulse misremembers slightly. I wouldn't "wouldn't be caught dead" at a B-western; in fact, I had not been exposed to many of them, and indeed I owe him a great debt for furthering my understanding of and appreciation of the genre. He is no doubt referring to my less than great affection for singing cowboys, and the cracks I would make during screenings of some of the worst offenders. He has a tendency to take one specific remark and make it a blanket statement. He also can't understand my great affection for JOHNNY GUITAR. But that's okay. The man knows his shit, and deserves props for that.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2012 on The last of Louise at Some Came Running
A few years ago, Paramount kindly struck a new 35 of OSR--the first since 1953!--so we could shoe it at Cinecon. Not just because it's a darn good picture, but I felt that Brooks' presence might attract some folks who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead at a B-western. It played like gangbusters, with several people expressing surprise afterwards at how slick and well-made it was. The moral, of course, is that any road that gets you there is the right one.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2012 on The last of Louise at Some Came Running
You include recent one-shots like Zero and Starling, but leave out such vintage durables as Mr. Moto, Michael Shayne,Bulldog Drummond, The Lone Wolf, Boston Blackie, Bill Crane, The Saint/The Falcon and the Warren William incarnation of Perry Mason? Are you auditioning for a gig at "Entertainment Weekly?" :-O
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2012 on Panic in Detroit at Some Came Running