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arts / rec.arts.sf.movies / Watched in May

SubjectAuthor
* Watched in MayJack Bohn
`* Re: Watched in MayPaul S Person
 `* Re: Watched in MayJack Bohn
  `* Re: Watched in MayPaul S Person
   `* Re: Watched in MayJack Bohn
    `* Re: Watched in MayPaul S Person
     `- Re: Watched in MayJack Bohn

1
Watched in May

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Subject: Watched in May
From: jack.boh...@gmail.com (Jack Bohn)
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 by: Jack Bohn - Fri, 2 Jun 2023 10:46 UTC

April's all-Warner-Bros month on TCM seems to have left them with a backlog of new old movies. Still, by staying up later, I am also ploughing through the stacks of DVDs.

The serial in my matinee was The Phantom Empire (1930). Cowboys vs. Superscience! Gene Autry's Radio Ranch is a radium ranch, as some unscrupulous explorers find out. This is probably also why the one-city empire of Murania settled 25,000 feet below the surface thousands of years ago. Autry seems game for everything they throw at him, the pair of kid sidekicks are suitably dead-serious about their adventure, and the pair of comedy relief characters show a core competence, (which they are continuously operating outside of, but) which keeps them from being too annoying.

Next was "Zipang"(2004) an anime TV series of 26 episodes, continuing into this month. sf.movies fans may recognize the setup from "The Final Countdown"(1980). But a JSDF (Japanese Self Defense Forces) Aegis escort ship appearing before the Battle of Midway hits kind of different.

The ones everyone already saw and had an opinion on:
Godzilla (US)(1998)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

My memory of "Lost World" was that it consisted of three equal parts: our heroes in an RV teetering on the edge of a cliff, Dinosaur Hunters, and monsters in San Diego. Still, when the hunters show up and try the Harryhausen trick of poking a stick at and throwing a rope into the special effects, I am ready to forgive anything.

The Devil's Messenger (1962)
That date should be "(mostly 1959)". Three episodes of a Swedish TV anthology, "13 Demon Street", mostly written and/or directed by Curt Siodmak. More interesting in its construction than the stories; apparently Lon Chaney, Jr. was the host of the TV show, but was hired to shoot a different wraparound story to connect these segments into a movie. He plays a functionary of Hell, who, on receiving a suicide soul, his idea is to get her to do some of his work by delivering some special prop into each story. No, the items do not seem particularly cursed in their stories, nor is there anything strange about how they show up -- in fact, one could have been around for years. This might be an opportunity for reflectiveness on signposts or blocks on the path of life, but this isn't that type of movie (and there's no budget to refilm the segments). In fact, the way the suicide complains about how she's being treated, I expected some comment along the lines of, "Don't you realize where you are?" but if there was, I missed it.
The directing and acting in these segments seems more European. If I were industrious, I might rewatch them in comparison with the 1959 season of The Twilight Zone, or Siodmak's own USTV movie, "Tales of Frankenstein"(1958).

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)
John Barrymore in the dual role.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)
Spencer Tracy in the dual role.
Is this the story that's spent the most time considered art rather than horror? Tracy's makeup is rather subtle, not until late in the movie when the transformations begin coming unbidden and we get the fade-in of the changes can I tell what was done. He's stockier than Barrymore, or Frederic March of the 1931 version, is his the model of the burly Hydes, such as in Bugs Bunny cartoons, or Marvel's supervillain?

Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)
I got the disk some time after having watched the series on TV, and kept thinking about somehow watching it again first, and never getting around to it. When this came up, I opened the DVD case to find "Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa Guide Book" (with room for nothing but that name on the cover!) so I pushed this back in the rotation a coupla days to read its four-page article on the transition from the series to the film. A nice story, not *necessary* as an end to the series.

Gods and Monsters (1998)
A fiction on the death and life of James Whale, director of "Frankenstein" and "Bride of." Whale has several reasons to feel different, but I'm sure he'd rather think of himself as a god rather than a monster. In the 1950s a stroke costs him the abilities which are his coping mechanism.

King of Kong Island (1968)
My title card says only, "Kong Island". IMDb says versions marked thus are also missing other parts of the movie. From what I have, I don't see where more could make it any better.

Manfish (1956)
Mash together Poe's stories "The Gold Bug" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" and make the protagonists not erudite city-dwellers, but a pair of tramp divers in the tropics, who own only a boat. I'm not sure if I would have recognized the origins of this if it hadn't been in the credits, but I guess even in 1956 it cost nothing to give credit for the inspiration.

Maniac (1934)
Making my watching less (or more?) random, this month I decided that when I draw a film on a multi-movie disk, to put the other movies up next, too. This was early in the month, and gave me an appreciation for competence, which may have put the other public-domain movies (see above) higher on the curve.

Predestination (2013)
Spoilers: an adaptation of Heinlein's "All You Zombies." Faithful to the talkiness of the original, difficult with a pair of muttering actors. You may already be saying that the cast is too large, but grant that.

She Beast (1966)
A witch/vampire slain in old Transylvania curses the descendants of the village with her eventual return. A modern traveling couple get the stereotypical poor reception from the village innkeeper... this is the stereotypical attitude under communism of "The State pretends to pay me and I pretend to work." The humor in the movie works better than the horror.

The Warriors (1979)
....or is this popular enough that everyone already has an opinion on it? This is the "Ultimate Director's Cut". The director had wanted to do major scene transitions as comics panels -- which I didn't affecting the film much -- and a prolog connecting it to Greek mercenaries of Cyrus the Younger trapped deep in Persian territory -- helpful; I had been told years ago that it was based on The Odyssey, and despite not having seen it in years, my first thought was, "yeah, the sirens literalized into that vice cop in the park." This cut also includes a title card reading "Sometime in the future" which makes it easier to sidestream into this group.

Any you guys like?

--
-Jack

Re: Watched in May

<8k3k7it4eb112dtmeth5io1u3gkflb4k8k@4ax.com>

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 by: Paul S Person - Fri, 2 Jun 2023 16:01 UTC

On Fri, 2 Jun 2023 03:46:40 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
<jack.bohn64@gmail.com> wrote:

>April's all-Warner-Bros month on TCM seems to have left them with a backlog of new old movies. Still, by staying up later, I am also ploughing through the stacks of DVDs.
>
>The serial in my matinee was The Phantom Empire (1930). Cowboys vs. Superscience! Gene Autry's Radio Ranch is a radium ranch, as some unscrupulous explorers find out. This is probably also why the one-city empire of Murania settled 25,000 feet below the surface thousands of years ago. Autry seems game for everything they throw at him, the pair of kid sidekicks are suitably dead-serious about their adventure, and the pair of comedy relief characters show a core competence, (which they are continuously operating outside of, but) which keeps them from being too annoying.
>
>Next was "Zipang"(2004) an anime TV series of 26 episodes, continuing into this month. sf.movies fans may recognize the setup from "The Final Countdown"(1980). But a JSDF (Japanese Self Defense Forces) Aegis escort ship appearing before the Battle of Midway hits kind of different.
>
>
>The ones everyone already saw and had an opinion on:
>Godzilla (US)(1998)
>Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
>Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)
>Jurassic Park (1993)
>The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
>
>My memory of "Lost World" was that it consisted of three equal parts: our heroes in an RV teetering on the edge of a cliff, Dinosaur Hunters, and monsters in San Diego. Still, when the hunters show up and try the Harryhausen trick of poking a stick at and throwing a rope into the special effects, I am ready to forgive anything.

For Harryhausen, what /I/ noticed was that the monster was just lying
there, minding its own business, not a threat to anyone -- until the
humans poked it with a stick.

The lesson, of course, is: if you don't want something to attack you,
then don't poke it with a stick.

>The Devil's Messenger (1962)
>That date should be "(mostly 1959)". Three episodes of a Swedish TV anthology, "13 Demon Street", mostly written and/or directed by Curt Siodmak. More interesting in its construction than the stories; apparently Lon Chaney, Jr. was the host of the TV show, but was hired to shoot a different wraparound story to connect these segments into a movie. He plays a functionary of Hell, who, on receiving a suicide soul, his idea is to get her to do some of his work by delivering some special prop into each story. No, the items do not seem particularly cursed in their stories, nor is there anything strange about how they show up -- in fact, one could have been around for years. This might be an opportunity for reflectiveness on signposts or blocks on the path of life, but this isn't that type of movie (and there's no budget to refilm the segments). In fact, the way the suicide complains about how she's being treated, I expected some comment along the lines of, "Don't you realize where
>you are?" but if there was, I missed it.
>The directing and acting in these segments seems more European. If I were industrious, I might rewatch them in comparison with the 1959 season of The Twilight Zone, or Siodmak's own USTV movie, "Tales of Frankenstein"(1958).
>
>Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)
>John Barrymore in the dual role.
>Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)
>Spencer Tracy in the dual role.
>Is this the story that's spent the most time considered art rather than horror? Tracy's makeup is rather subtle, not until late in the movie when the transformations begin coming unbidden and we get the fade-in of the changes can I tell what was done. He's stockier than Barrymore, or Frederic March of the 1931 version, is his the model of the burly Hydes, such as in Bugs Bunny cartoons, or Marvel's supervillain?

I watched a couple of these (31 and 41, perhaps, not the silent
version) and, having read the short novel within living memory,
noticed that the story in the film is ... considerably changed. Which
may be a good thing.

>Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005)
>I got the disk some time after having watched the series on TV, and kept thinking about somehow watching it again first, and never getting around to it. When this came up, I opened the DVD case to find "Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa Guide Book" (with room for nothing but that name on the cover!) so I pushed this back in the rotation a coupla days to read its four-page article on the transition from the series to the film. A nice story, not *necessary* as an end to the series.
>
>Gods and Monsters (1998)
>A fiction on the death and life of James Whale, director of "Frankenstein" and "Bride of." Whale has several reasons to feel different, but I'm sure he'd rather think of himself as a god rather than a monster. In the 1950s a stroke costs him the abilities which are his coping mechanism.
>
>King of Kong Island (1968)
>My title card says only, "Kong Island". IMDb says versions marked thus are also missing other parts of the movie. From what I have, I don't see where more could make it any better.
>
>Manfish (1956)
>Mash together Poe's stories "The Gold Bug" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" and make the protagonists not erudite city-dwellers, but a pair of tramp divers in the tropics, who own only a boat. I'm not sure if I would have recognized the origins of this if it hadn't been in the credits, but I guess even in 1956 it cost nothing to give credit for the inspiration.
>
>Maniac (1934)
>Making my watching less (or more?) random, this month I decided that when I draw a film on a multi-movie disk, to put the other movies up next, too. This was early in the month, and gave me an appreciation for competence, which may have put the other public-domain movies (see above) higher on the curve.
>
>Predestination (2013)
>Spoilers: an adaptation of Heinlein's "All You Zombies." Faithful to the talkiness of the original, difficult with a pair of muttering actors. You may already be saying that the cast is too large, but grant that.

I /really/ liked this one. Rarely have I seen a film that captures the
nature of Science Fiction as well as this one does.

>She Beast (1966)
>A witch/vampire slain in old Transylvania curses the descendants of the village with her eventual return. A modern traveling couple get the stereotypical poor reception from the village innkeeper... this is the stereotypical attitude under communism of "The State pretends to pay me and I pretend to work." The humor in the movie works better than the horror.
>
>The Warriors (1979)
>...or is this popular enough that everyone already has an opinion on it? This is the "Ultimate Director's Cut". The director had wanted to do major scene transitions as comics panels -- which I didn't affecting the film much -- and a prolog connecting it to Greek mercenaries of Cyrus the Younger trapped deep in Persian territory -- helpful; I had been told years ago that it was based on The Odyssey, and despite not having seen it in years, my first thought was, "yeah, the sirens literalized into that vice cop in the park." This cut also includes a title card reading "Sometime in the future" which makes it easier to sidestream into this group.

I'll stick with the original. It was pointed out to me, and I agreed
with this, that this film is essentially a "squad lost behind enemy
lines" film. No need to invoke the Anabasis, this is not uncommon in
war. That's what Escape & Evasion courses are for.

>Any you guys like?
--
"In this connexion, unquestionably the most significant
development was the disintegration, under Christian
influence, of classical conceptions of the family and
of family right."

Re: Watched in May

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Subject: Re: Watched in May
From: jack.boh...@gmail.com (Jack Bohn)
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 by: Jack Bohn - Sun, 4 Jun 2023 13:50 UTC

Paul S Person wrote:
> On Fri, 2 Jun 2023 03:46:40 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
> <jack....@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)
> >John Barrymore in the dual role.
> >Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)
> >Spencer Tracy in the dual role.
> >Is this the story that's spent the most time considered art rather than horror? Tracy's makeup is rather subtle, not until late in the movie when the transformations begin coming unbidden and we get the fade-in of the changes can I tell what was done. He's stockier than Barrymore, or Frederic March of the 1931 version, is his the model of the burly Hydes, such as in Bugs Bunny cartoons, or Marvel's supervillain?
>
> I watched a couple of these (31 and 41, perhaps, not the silent
> version) and, having read the short novel within living memory,
> noticed that the story in the film is ... considerably changed. Which
> may be a good thing.
>
Like Frankenstein and Dracula, some of the changes can be blamed on a stage adaptation, not totally on Hollywood.
This is my first time for the '41, my second Public Domain set with the silent (bringing its own raft of movie titles). I'd seen a few movies with John Barrymore, and there's his resemblance to Lionel, so I can't say what the experience would be like just seeing the character, not the actor, or the star.
>
> >Predestination (2013)
> >Spoilers: an adaptation of Heinlein's "All You Zombies." Faithful to the talkiness of the original, difficult with a pair of muttering actors. You may already be saying that the cast is too large, but grant that.
>
> I /really/ liked this one. Rarely have I seen a film that captures the
> nature of Science Fiction as well as this one does.
>
Yeah, I have no idea how, where, or when I picked this up. My collection can be sorted into two large groups, those I've sought out to buy, and those I've stumbled across. This is one of the latter. If I did reorder my shelves that way, I'd put this next to others that make it worthwhile. Have you seen Gerrold's "Martian Child" or Bixby's "The Man from Earth"?

--
-Jack

Re: Watched in May

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 by: Paul S Person - Sun, 4 Jun 2023 15:42 UTC

On Sun, 4 Jun 2023 06:50:06 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
<jack.bohn64@gmail.com> wrote:

>Paul S Person wrote:
>> On Fri, 2 Jun 2023 03:46:40 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
>> <jack....@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> >Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920)
>> >John Barrymore in the dual role.
>> >Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)
>> >Spencer Tracy in the dual role.
>> >Is this the story that's spent the most time considered art rather than horror? Tracy's makeup is rather subtle, not until late in the movie when the transformations begin coming unbidden and we get the fade-in of the changes can I tell what was done. He's stockier than Barrymore, or Frederic March of the 1931 version, is his the model of the burly Hydes, such as in Bugs Bunny cartoons, or Marvel's supervillain?
>>
>> I watched a couple of these (31 and 41, perhaps, not the silent
>> version) and, having read the short novel within living memory,
>> noticed that the story in the film is ... considerably changed. Which
>> may be a good thing.
>>
>Like Frankenstein and Dracula, some of the changes can be blamed on a stage adaptation, not totally on Hollywood.
>This is my first time for the '41, my second Public Domain set with the silent (bringing its own raft of movie titles). I'd seen a few movies with John Barrymore, and there's his resemblance to Lionel, so I can't say what the experience would be like just seeing the character, not the actor, or the star.
>>
>> >Predestination (2013)
>> >Spoilers: an adaptation of Heinlein's "All You Zombies." Faithful to the talkiness of the original, difficult with a pair of muttering actors. You may already be saying that the cast is too large, but grant that.
>>
>> I /really/ liked this one. Rarely have I seen a film that captures the
>> nature of Science Fiction as well as this one does.
>>
>Yeah, I have no idea how, where, or when I picked this up. My collection can be sorted into two large groups, those I've sought out to buy, and those I've stumbled across. This is one of the latter. If I did reorder my shelves that way, I'd put this next to others that make it worthwhile. Have you seen Gerrold's "Martian Child" or Bixby's "The Man from Earth"?

Sadly not.

My replacement program of VHS tapes with DVDs ensured that a large
percentage of DVDs were sought and purchased, and my new (well, "new"
in the sense of "started about 10 years ago) practice of streaming and
then buying the select few I want to have has only added to that,
including /Predestination/. Of course, deciding to stream a film is,
more and more, less a matter of deliberate pre-planning and more a
matter of browsing online lists and stumbling across something.

/eXistenZ/, however, was /definitely/ a DVD I purchased without having
even heard of it, let alone seen it. And there are at least a few
others others.
--
"In this connexion, unquestionably the most significant
development was the disintegration, under Christian
influence, of classical conceptions of the family and
of family right."

Re: Watched in May

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Subject: Re: Watched in May
From: jack.boh...@gmail.com (Jack Bohn)
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 by: Jack Bohn - Mon, 5 Jun 2023 13:39 UTC

Paul S Person wrote:
>
> My replacement program of VHS tapes with DVDs ensured that a large
> percentage of DVDs were sought and purchased, and my new (well, "new"
> in the sense of "started about 10 years ago) practice of streaming and
> then buying the select few I want to have has only added to that,
> including /Predestination/. Of course, deciding to stream a film is,
> more and more, less a matter of deliberate pre-planning and more a
> matter of browsing online lists and stumbling across something.

I was lucky not to have a large library of prerecorded VHS. I was also a late enough adopter that among my first DVD purchases were the Universal Legacy sets of their monster movies, so that is my standard of quality in a purchase. Only one of the factors in purchase is the extras, perhaps the main one is if I figure I'll want to see it more than some source will want to show it to me. As I had also gotten into anime early in the century, DVD was the *only* way to see some of them! That's a whole area that needs systematic rethinking in light of streaming.

> /eXistenZ/, however, was /definitely/ a DVD I purchased without having
> even heard of it, let alone seen it. And there are at least a few
> others others.

I don't think I've see that, although I don't know why I didn't go on to it after renting "The Thirteenth Floor" and "World on a Wire."

--
-Jack

Re: Watched in May

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From: psper...@old.netcom.invalid (Paul S Person)
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Subject: Re: Watched in May
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2023 09:10:30 -0700
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 by: Paul S Person - Mon, 5 Jun 2023 16:10 UTC

On Mon, 5 Jun 2023 06:39:21 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
<jack.bohn64@gmail.com> wrote:

>Paul S Person wrote:
>>
>> My replacement program of VHS tapes with DVDs ensured that a large
>> percentage of DVDs were sought and purchased, and my new (well, "new"
>> in the sense of "started about 10 years ago) practice of streaming and
>> then buying the select few I want to have has only added to that,
>> including /Predestination/. Of course, deciding to stream a film is,
>> more and more, less a matter of deliberate pre-planning and more a
>> matter of browsing online lists and stumbling across something.
>
>I was lucky not to have a large library of prerecorded VHS. I was also a late enough adopter that among my first DVD purchases were the Universal Legacy sets of their monster movies, so that is my standard of quality in a purchase. Only one of the factors in purchase is the extras, perhaps the main one is if I figure I'll want to see it more than some source will want to show it to me. As I had also gotten into anime early in the century, DVD was the *only* way to see some of them! That's a whole area that needs systematic rethinking in light of streaming.
>
>> /eXistenZ/, however, was /definitely/ a DVD I purchased without having
>> even heard of it, let alone seen it. And there are at least a few
>> others others.
>
>I don't think I've see that, although I don't know why I didn't go on to it after renting "The Thirteenth Floor" and "World on a Wire."

Is the latter what IMDb/Amazon have as /Welt am Draht/, a miniseries?
Fortunately, Amazon also has /World on a Wire/ from Criterion on DVD
and BD. And it has English subtitles. Streams on Criterion (of
course), for $12/mo. This will require some thought. I could buy the
DVD (or even the BD) for not much more.

/eXistenZ/ is indeed similar, but it is by Cronenberg and that makes a
difference. Also, it's not so much an artificial world as an extremely
immersive RPG. Not at all like the Jumanji "sequels", or even /Free
Guy/, though.
--
"In this connexion, unquestionably the most significant
development was the disintegration, under Christian
influence, of classical conceptions of the family and
of family right."

Re: Watched in May

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Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2023 04:41:48 -0700 (PDT)
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Subject: Re: Watched in May
From: jack.boh...@gmail.com (Jack Bohn)
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 by: Jack Bohn - Tue, 6 Jun 2023 11:41 UTC

On Monday, June 5, 2023 at 12:10:34 PM UTC-4, Paul S Person wrote:
> On Mon, 5 Jun 2023 06:39:21 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
> <jack....@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >I don't think I've see that, although I don't know why I didn't go on to it after renting "The Thirteenth Floor" and "World on a Wire."

> Is the latter what IMDb/Amazon have as /Welt am Draht/, a miniseries?

Yes! The Amazon reviews under that title were in German, but when they mention Fassbender, I remembered Fassbender was also mentioned on the disk, or in the online research after watching, apparently being a big thing as a director over there.

> Fortunately, Amazon also has /World on a Wire/ from Criterion on DVD
> and BD. And it has English subtitles. Streams on Criterion (of
> course), for $12/mo. This will require some thought. I could buy the
> DVD (or even the BD) for not much more.

Well, five other things to watch on the stream (and oh! what Criterion might have! I'll have to look into it!) gets you down to the old $2 a disk rental model, but does put you on a time crunch of having an average of five days to watch it.

> /eXistenZ/ is indeed similar, but it is by Cronenberg and that makes a
> difference. Also, it's not so much an artificial world as an extremely
> immersive RPG. Not at all like the Jumanji "sequels", or even /Free
> Guy/, though.

Will keep it in mind.

--
-Jack


arts / rec.arts.sf.movies / Watched in May

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