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carrobin
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:46 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7732 Location: NYC
I moved to New York in 1968, and remember it with happy nostalgia, despite the struggle to keep a job (last hired, first fired was the rule, and publishing was in upheaval, as usual). David McCallum on stage, a date who took me to the Rainbow Room where I got Duke Ellington's autograph (a dumb move, but he stopped and signed), a co-worker who cooked spaghetti in her Houston Street walk-up, good memories mostly. This year I'm in a steadier situation, but the city (and the country and the world), not so much. At least POTUS hasn't started a war yet but he still has a few months to continue his efforts.
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gromit
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
12 Angry Men holds up well.
Very good casting and some good moments.

Unfortunately, the film's conceit is that the defense attorney was ineffective, so they take it upon themselves to work out the case. You could see this film played out as a detective investigating the crime, and slowly learning the accused kid is likely innocent (or at least a case can't be proven against him). or a courtroom case in which the defense attorney chops up the case against his client.

So it's not really normal jury deliberations. But it's an effective look at prejudice and morals and different viewpoints.

I like all the period elements:

All men on the jury. All white. 11 of 12 wear ties, all except sports fan/local character Jack Warden (kind of an Oscar Madison type, and Jack Klugman is taking notes as a mild mannered guy form the slums). Martin Balsam does his everyman routine, but somehow his fashion statement of a tie with a polo short just never caught on.

Nobody minds being near the juror who has a cold and keeps sniffling and nose-blowing. You notice that more in these days of pandemic, but I'm always wary of regular flu and sick people.

Switchblades are a thing, and they are illegal. No a/c in the courthouse.
There's a degree of politeness even as people get riled up and act somewhat rudely. And there's a number of GOP type jurors already ruing the modern lack of civility and politeness.

I like that they keep nearly everything, except the first jury instruction scene, in the juror's room. You could see this film being remade with much more diversity and that being a source of much of the friction. You could add in police brutality. Drugs. Race. Etc. Hell, Clint Eastwood could make it about a black defendant who gets off but at the end we learn that he was really guilty ...

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gromit
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
Mary & Max (2009).
I think this is a terrific film filled with interesting ideas, well-executed. Also very good voice work and amusing animation. Some good choices like NYC in black and white and Australia in browns. I think this was my 3rd watch (4th?).

My only reservation is I forgot how bleak the film and its worldview are.
It's pretty uncompromising, and filled with black humor. But it predominately focuses on alcoholism and mental health problems and loneliness.

I think everyone should see it. And it's really an impressive film. But mostly a downer.

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bartist
Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:46 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Just read a synopsis and know I must watch. In a former job, I had contact with several folks with Aspergers and there was even then (late nineties) some debate as to whether it was a "syndrome" that needed a remedy or just a different cognitive style that society should make room for, even value as having some positives. Then, as now, understanding was muddied by the way many people confuse other disorders with Aspergers or confuse learned habits with actual neurological differences. OK, I think one of my free Roku services has this film, so will see asap.

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carrobin
Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7732 Location: NYC
Yesterday TCM was showing "A Star Is Born"--the first of the bunch, with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. I started watching out of curiosity, never having felt a need to divert from the Judy Garland/James Mason version that I love, but it turned out to be a good flick--primo in all details, including its often witty script (Dorothy Parker was one of the writers). And I hadn't expected it to be in color. It didn't shove Judy and James off the shelf, but it's a worthy alternative. I liked the grandmother (May Robson), and hated the publicist (Lionel Stander) almost as much as I hated Jack Carson in the J/J version.

By the way, TCM is showing "Stormy Weather" again tonight (Thursday) at 10.
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gromit
Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
I sent a copy of Mary & Max to my eldest niece circa 2009 or 2010, when she would have been 15 or 16, and it became her favorite film for a number of years (maybe still?). Score one for Uncle Gromit!

Of course she was in a goth phase then, wearing all black; and these days has 4 tattoos, 2 pet snakes, and her hair is usually a particularly ugly two-tone green. (so nothing odd about her ... hah!)


The nice thing is there is a lot of things going on in the film, including some inside jokes and quirky humor a la Wallace & Gromit. It's really impressive.

After you see it, I'll mention a few small jokes I quite liked.


Last edited by gromit on Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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bartist
Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:40 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Ah well, it streams almost nowhere. Not on Netflix, so I can't borrow my daughter's account for a couple hours as I sometimes do. Interlibrary loan is an option here, but is molasses slow atm. EBay's got a low price for DVD, might go that route.

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bartist
Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:10 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Infinity Chamber is a Kafkaesque small budget film in which a man finds himself solitary in what may be an entirely automated prison. A computer keeps him company and feeds him dream sequences purportedly to maintain his mental health. Phildickian complications ensue. The ending was sweeter than I expected, and with a neat little twist. The lead is Chris Soren Kelly, who was the father in "Ink, " and seems born to the realm of speculative sci-fi/fantasy.

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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:33 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
carrobin wrote:
Yesterday TCM was showing "A Star Is Born"--the first of the bunch, with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. I started watching out of curiosity, never having felt a need to divert from the Judy Garland/James Mason version that I love, but it turned out to be a good flick--primo in all details, including its often witty script (Dorothy Parker was one of the writers). And I hadn't expected it to be in color. It didn't shove Judy and James off the shelf, but it's a worthy alternative. I liked the grandmother (May Robson), and hated the publicist (Lionel Stander) almost as much as I hated Jack Carson in the J/J version.

By the way, TCM is showing "Stormy Weather" again tonight (Thursday) at 10.


I've never seen the original ASIB in its entirety, but I'm going to risk being sacrilegious and state that I prefer the Cooper-Gaga version to the Mason-Garland take. I think Judy's "Born in a Trunk" sequence is shoe-horned in and (nice as it is on its own) constitutes egregious padding. Also, Garland IMO indulges in some pretty ripe overacting in some scenes. And I'm never a fan of Mason's plummy accent. There is the memorable and iconic "The Man That Got Away," but for me, little else that I love.

Cooper and Gaga are chemistry personified, however, and Gaga's perf is perfection.

As for Streisand and Kristofferson, barf bag, please.
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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:37 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
12 Angry Men holds up well.


It's still great. I've always been sorry that it lost the Oscar to "The Bridge on the River Kwai," which is very good but scarcely the classic that TAM is.
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Syd
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:53 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12624 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
billyweeds wrote:


I've never seen the original ASIB in its entirety, but I'm going to risk being sacrilegious and state that I prefer the Cooper-Gaga version to the Mason-Garland take. I think Judy's "Born in a Trunk" sequence is shoe-horned in and (nice as it is on its own) constitutes egregious padding. Also, Garland IMO indulges in some pretty ripe overacting in some scenes. And I'm never a fan of Mason's plummy accent. There is the memorable and iconic "The Man That Got Away," but for me, little else that I love.

Cooper and Gaga are chemistry personified, however, and Gaga's perf is perfection.

As for Streisand and Kristofferson, barf bag, please.


I commit the same sacrilege. For me the question is whether the Gaynor/March version or Cooper/Gaga version is the best. I lean toward the former, but I'd need to see both back to back to be sure.


Last edited by Syd on Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:05 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
Syd wrote:
billyweeds wrote:


I've never seen the original ASIB in its entirety, but I'm going to risk being sacrilegious and state that I prefer the Cooper-Gaga version to the Mason-Garland take. I think Judy's "Born in a Trunk" sequence is shoe-horned in and (nice as it is on its own) constitutes egregious padding. Also, Garland IMO indulges in some pretty ripe overacting in some scenes. And I'm never a fan of Mason's plummy accent. There is the memorable and iconic "The Man That Got Away," but for me, little else that I love.

Cooper and Gaga are chemistry personified, however, and Gaga's perf is perfection.

As for Streisand and Kristofferson, barf bag, please.



I commit the same sacrilege. For me the question is whether the Gaynor/Mason version or Cooper/Gaga version is the best. I lean toward the former, but I'd need to see both back to back to be sure.



Um, it's Gaynor/MARCH.
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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
All that said, the fact that Garland lost the Oscar to Grace Kelly in "The Country Girl" is insane. Kelly is one of my all-time favorite movie stars, but her performance in TCG was blah to the max.

Now if Judy had been up against Grace in "Rear Window" from the very same year, I would have been on Team Kelly from the jump. GK in RW is one of my top five female screen performances of all time.
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Syd
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:41 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12624 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
billyweeds wrote:
Syd wrote:
billyweeds wrote:


I've never seen the original ASIB in its entirety, but I'm going to risk being sacrilegious and state that I prefer the Cooper-Gaga version to the Mason-Garland take. I think Judy's "Born in a Trunk" sequence is shoe-horned in and (nice as it is on its own) constitutes egregious padding. Also, Garland IMO indulges in some pretty ripe overacting in some scenes. And I'm never a fan of Mason's plummy accent. There is the memorable and iconic "The Man That Got Away," but for me, little else that I love.

Cooper and Gaga are chemistry personified, however, and Gaga's perf is perfection.

As for Streisand and Kristofferson, barf bag, please.



I commit the same sacrilege. For me the question is whether the Gaynor/Mason version or Cooper/Gaga version is the best. I lean toward the former, but I'd need to see both back to back to be sure.


Um, it's Gaynor/MARCH.


Corrected. Mason is Garland's partner. I like March better.

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gromit
Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
carrobin wrote:
Having a tight deadline for getting my apartment ready for possible buyer views


You're moving?
Where? Why?

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