90 minute running time so the perfect length, but I have no idea how this ended up on my to-watch list. About an overwhelmed woman who manages a Hooters-style restaurant in Houston? Not sure what demographic they’re targeting with this one, but it isn’t mine. The lead is sweet, but the story is depressing. Give it a miss.
114 minute running time so at least 20 minutes too long. Bouncy cam, non-stop action, video-gamer special (never forget how many thousands of people really died). War Porn of sorts, and at its heart, a really dumb Hollywood thing… yes, of course non-existent WMD were a pretext for starting the war, everyone knew that from the beginning … but we need chief warrant officer “Miller” going rogue to get to the bottom of this fiction … funny to see the Entertainment Tonight host as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, he probably would have done as good a job as the real guy … god, I hated this … fast forward. Give it a miss.
134 minute running time, so they could have trimmed 20 minutes or so, but this was really good, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Steve Carell with prosthetic eagle nose plays John Dupont, nutty supporter of the US Wrestling Federation, Channing Tatum plays Mark Schultz (whom I do remember from early cage fights), and Mark Ruffalo plays Dave Schultz, Mark’s older brother, also an Olympic gold medalist. Interesting (tragic) story, well told. Highly recommended!
113 minute running time, so it could have been trimmed a bit … but this was a special film … a documentary, but not a conventional one. Life on the small island of Lampedusa (population 6,000) off the coast of Italy (shown through the simple times of a young boy), and the front line of the refugee crisis … desperate people crossing the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe — Sudanese, Syrians, Eritreans, etc. — first arrive here. I enjoyed it and can recommend it.
98 minute running time so just under the sacred 100 minute mark. A real film noir with blackmail, a femme fatale, multiple murders, Los Angeles and sleazy Mexico locales (once again, see Touch of Evil and The Hitch-Hiker), double-crossing dames, old wartime buddies, and sex — not graphic sex of course, but a more explicit approach, surprising for a movie made in 1949. My copy from “Alpha Video” was in terrible shape, but apparently there’s a restored version on Blu-ray available now. The movie wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, and it’s a must-see for noir fans.
103 minute running time … some great dance scenes, lovely songs by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields (The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance, and Never Gonna Dance — the last has the best dance scene, really moving, I shed a tear) … goofy story / comedy in between the musical numbers. I’ve always liked Fred Astaire’s singing. He does one scene in black-face, which will drive the PCs crazy, but those were the bad old days. Certainly a top ten movie from 1936, but I haven’t seen them all. Recommended if you like song and dance.
90 minutes, so the perfect length, but I only made it an hour in before quitting because it was just too depressing. Another horror story from a British housing project, just awful stuff … poor, dumb, foul-mouthed, miserable people — why watch them? Some toff down in London published the play, slumming it. Avoid.
95 minute running time but feels much longer. I’d seen this one in the past and forgot about it. Old Orson Welles grumbling and bumbling around… some really neat camerawork, no doubt the man was way ahead of his time. Dumb story though. Mexican lesbian dopers a novelty in 1958. Sleazy California-Mexico border town featured (same as in The Hitch-Hiker). Welles as corrupt cop, Marlene Dietrich as fortune teller… Aiding justice, partner! Wasn’t thrilled with it, though it’s something every movie buff oohs and aahs over, but it’s just not that well put together, the story is no good. You can give it a miss.
128 minute running time so at least 30 minutes too long. Dumb, dumb story. Just ridiculous. A twist in the middle, but still, just bad. I have a soft spot for Steve McQueen (the director) because he made “Shame,” which I thought was brilliant, but this was just lousy. One good shot as they showed a car driving from the ‘hood in Chicago to a more gentrified part of the city, a short drive, well done, clever, but doesn’t make a movie. Bobby Duvall comes out of a crypt to swear a blue streak… way too much profanity in this movie. And some really graphic violence. Not recommended.
Rex, as usual, gets it right: “I never believed these grieving widows could ever form a workable alliance of lady gangsters.“
Dick Brody also didn’t like it: “These details … fit together with a technically impressive coherence that’s also dramatically ridiculous.“
70 minutes, so on the shorter side, nothing wrong with that. Rare 1950s movie directed by a woman … story of a psychopathic killer who takes two men hostage and into the Mexican desert … some interesting dialogue about the guys being soft and not being able to escape because they cared about each other … one truly scary scene where the bad guy forces one of the men to shoot a tin can out of his buddy’s hand; you could see a psycho doing such a thing. It wasn’t a terrible movie, but I don’t recommend going out of your way to see it.
Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery … sharp guy:
There’s a new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I watched the episode with Melissa Villaseñor, whom I’ve never heard of, but thought was funny (despite her annoying laugh, and the false hilarity that fills most episodes). Anyway, Jerry said the following, which I loved:
"People in the circus sideshow, huge, fat, tattooed ... these are the people in the audience now. What used to be the sideshow is just regular people now."
Here’s a YouTube thing that Villaseñor did called “Bjork’s Vlog,” which made me fall off my chair laughing:
91 minute running time, so the perfect length, but this was a weird one, and proved to me that Sam Fuller wasn’t a normal guy, he had some kinks for sure… Written, Directed, and Produced (W.D.P.) By Fuller … a story about a prostitute who tries to make a clean break … I don’t want to spoil anything, well… after the hour mark (beginning of the third act) pedophilia unexpectedly enters the picture, and you just don’t know what to make of this deeply twisted story. Not recommended.
It may be that Sam Fuller only made one great movie (Pickup on South Street), but I’ll keep watching his others just to confirm it.
From an essay: “[Fuller’s movies] appeared to rise whole from a private fever dream.”
111 minute running time, but I quit after 30 minutes because this was terrible. Real clinker by Robert Altman, and whoever thought Elliot Gould and his cigarette should play a Jewish Philip Marlowe was insane. Sort of interesting to see post-60s Malibu, but 1973 was pretty much rock-bottom in recent American history. Just awful, give it a miss.
(This guy has his head up his ass.)
80 minute running time so the perfect length. I loved this one, great movie. Interesting characters, story, dialogue… first Fuller movie I saw was “White Dog,” which wasn’t that great, but this movie, wow… now I need to see if this was his best. Highly recommended.
96 minute running time, so the perfect length, but I quit watching after 30 minutes … poor audio and no subtitles on my DVD didn’t help … just boring and pointless. Bernie Schwartz, “press agent,” a.k.a, flack, a.k.a. “Tony Curtis," looks weirdly effeminate wearing a ton of makeup … Burt Lancaster as tough newspaperman…. only interesting things were thinking about how much power newspaper columnists used to have, back when people read newspapers, and what Manhattan looked like in the late 1950s. Give it a miss.
90 minute running time so the perfect length. Boyish Kristy McNichol with feathered hair and flat chest hits a dog, adopts him, then discovers he’s an attack dog, and not just any attack dog but a “white dog,” which is a dog that was trained to attack black people only. Kristy seeks out animal trainer Lt. Ed Traxler, who thinks he can break the dog of its training, and I won’t give away the ending … weird one. Early 80s vibe. I wasn’t thrilled. Give it a miss.
90 minute running time so the perfect length. Another weird one… post-war mix of romance and violence … guy forces himself on the girl and she submits, not very politically correct … young Lloyd Bridges does some fake fist-fighting … I wasn’t thrilled with this, didn’t think the story was realistic or interesting.
87 minute running time so the perfect length … deeply weird Fritz Lang movie made before the war ended… about a ring of German spies in London … reminded me at times (the village fête especially) of The Prisoner, the great Patrick McGoohan TV series … but I wasn’t thrilled in the end… it wasn’t interesting, just sort of bizarre. Not sure why Criterion included it in their Collection. “Suffused with dread and paranoia … an unpredictable thriller with style to spare,“ nah, not really. Give it a miss.