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  #2121 (permalink)  
Old 9th December, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Yes, no doubt "safe bets" make for good business decisions, but artistically speaking, they are valueless and that largely best describes the Hollywood output for some time now (unless you're seriously into summer "blockbusters").

Smith held roles in several films I've in my collection, "The Four Feathers" for example. However, other Brit actors hold stronger positions in my personal evaluation. My earlier mentioned Diana Rigg being one of them (not from "The Avengers", but from "A Midsummer Night's Dream")

I don't hold for swagger, I admire authenticity and an appreciation of others!
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Last edited by TrevorS; 9th December, 2013 at 04:11 AM.
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  #2122 (permalink)  
Old 11th December, 2013, 12:13 AM
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"The World of Commander McBragg" shorts contained within The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show amused me greatly as a child. Commander McBragg was probably modeled upon C. Aubrey Smith. I don't think that he was a great actor, but he epitomized England's upper crust, often in very few words. At least to an audience of Americans.
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  #2123 (permalink)  
Old 11th December, 2013, 12:48 AM
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For two huge Brit actors, I suggest checking out Charles Laughton and Trevor Howard. There are others of course, but those two are nothing less than remarkable.
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Old 12th December, 2013, 11:47 PM
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Both are fantastic talents. I saw an old B&W flick starring Trevor Howard as a very young man recently. He's totally unrecognizable if you're (like me) only familiar with his later efforts.
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Old 14th December, 2013, 11:16 PM
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But he was strong enough to carry that olde flick.
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  #2126 (permalink)  
Old 16th December, 2013, 01:25 AM
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Looking over Trevor Howard's filmography, I'm surprised to see how many of his films I've actually seen, starting with "The Third Man". Huge gaps of course, but for me, unless I stumbled across a personal gem on late night TV (days of yore I'm afraid), I generally limit to films that were better received. When blind, there's little else to go by. Have decided to pick up "Green For Danger" (1946).

Trevor Howard - Rotten Tomatoes

Speaking of personal gems, two of mine are "Arena" (1989) and "Leviathan" (also 1989), two actors I personally enjoy, Claudia Christian and Peter Weller. And yes, there are plenty other films -- for me, if it works, it works !
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Old 16th December, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Saw "Prometheus" last night. Noomi Rapace gets top billing, she and Idriss Elba carry the film. She's a lot more attractive than she was in the "Millennium" triplet. Can't recommend it wholeheartedly, the very end borrows much too heavily from "Alien" days of yore.
Have you seen Room 237? If so, what do you think of it?
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  #2128 (permalink)  
Old 17th December, 2013, 01:49 AM
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No, haven't seen it. I thoroughly enjoy the Steven King novel and Kubrik took quite a few departures in making his film. I picked up King's own film version last winter and it's definitely much truer to the source and has some very good acting, but between Kubric's styling and Nicholson's zaniness, it's pretty hard to compete for sheer entertainment. I understand King strongly disliked it, probably in part because Kubric appropriated King's title while actually filming a distinctly different story. King had to bill his own effort as "Stephen King's The Shining" -- still, I guess he wanted people to know that Kubric's "The Shining" isn't really "The Shining", and if you've read the excellent novel, you know that's true.

I'd no idea anyone was interpreting the Kubric film, let alone comparing interpretations, though there is a fair amount of ambiguity associated with the movie events and the hotel history (also true in the novel). Guess the film must have a pretty serious following. I have most of his movies including "The Shining" on HD DVD. However, wasn't interested in "Lolita", don't care for "Eyes Wide Shut" and really dislike "A.I." so skipped those. Though to be fair, the Kubric part of A.I was very intriguing, but when Spielberg took over, I feel he destroyed it.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 17th December, 2013 at 02:00 AM.
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  #2129 (permalink)  
Old 18th December, 2013, 11:17 PM
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I read "The Shining" years before I saw the Kubrick branded version. Haven't seen King's version of the movie, so I don't know if I like it. Nicholson plus Kubrick made a very frightening flick. I wanted to get out of my chair and leave the movie to someone else.
Room 237 examines the verdant symbolism of the film, drawing inferences that are far away from the obvious thrust of the screenplay. Highly recommended, very interesting.
I've never seen "Lolita" and agree that "Eyes Wide Shut" isn't that good. Watched "Dr Strangelove" last night for the umpteenth time, black and white goodness, too bad that so much of it is true.
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Old 19th December, 2013, 06:10 AM
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Although I consider "Stephen King's the Shining" to be a more accurate presentation of his truly excellent novel, I won't pretend the Kubric film isn't a more thrilling viewing experience. King's version is more subtle, and as I said, is more true, but Kubric and Nicholson amp'd it to the hilt. Unfortunately, other characters were dealt short shrift by Kubric which is a shame, most notably Winifred Torrence -- but also Richard Hallorann. It really is a different story and if you enjoy the novel, the King film is worth viewing. You may still prefer watching the Kubric version (more of a thrill ride), but at least you'll be more aware of what Kubric threw away.

Absolutely, Dr Strangelove is superb ! A shame so many today can't abide a B&W film (likewise subtitles), but IMO, B&W films are frequently more convincing than color. Accurate grayscale reproduction is a serious challenge for many displays (requires careful calibration and even then frequently falls short) and is critical for enjoyment of B&W. However, when adjusted properly, it leaves color in the dust. Two magnificent B&W examples are "Mutiny On The Bounty" (1935) and "A Christmas Carol" (1951).

Have my hands on "Room 237" and will definitely view it.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 19th December, 2013 at 08:07 AM.
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  #2131 (permalink)  
Old 20th December, 2013, 11:25 PM
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Yes, B&W done properly can be more "real" than even the best color. The US Air Force didn't give the production team one iota of help when they realized that the story wasn't "Sieg Heil, yer Majesty." The internal layout of the B-52 was done completely by imagination, I thought they did an amazing job in that regard. I've never seen any pics of the inside of a "buff" (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) either. I've read that Peter Sellers was not well liked and was a royal prick on at least one occasion. That's a shame as he was a great actor, his rendition of "Mein Fuehrer, I can walk" at the end of the film was a Great Moment in Cinematic History, imho. Many folks probably felt that that was high comedy, and it was--only in the blackest of black comedy.
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Old 22nd December, 2013, 10:33 PM
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And where would we be without black comedy? Perhaps in a better world with no need for dark comedy?
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  #2133 (permalink)  
Old 23rd December, 2013, 10:10 AM
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I'm most accustomed to "Black" comedy on the stage, not in films. Yes, I did a stint in High School theatrics (and it was great), but seems like good black comedy is a rarity and can be a gem. I'd say "How I Learned to Love the Bomb" is a striking example of black comedy. Especially as it's also a form of horror film. I never knew Peter Sellers was a problem off screen, that's a real shame. I thoroughly enjoy him in such films as "The Pink Panther" and "A Shot In The Dark". "Being There" (1979) was interesting, but didn't work so well for me (though scored well in IMDb).
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  #2134 (permalink)  
Old 24th December, 2013, 10:40 PM
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I liked Jerzy Kosinski for a period but didn't like "Being There" all that much. The film? Thumbs down, imho.
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Old 25th December, 2013, 10:15 PM
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Merry Christmas!
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Old 26th December, 2013, 11:19 PM
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Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Kidding!
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  #2137 (permalink)  
Old 27th December, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Bottle of rum, glass of spiced wine, bowl of wassail, how much difference is there really ! All a matter of good cheer I'd hope!

Wassailing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PS. Lent my copies of "White Christmas" (Bing Crosby) and "A Christmas Carol" (Alistair Sim) to my neighbors Tuesday eve. Between two kids and in-laws, hope they had a chance to enjoy them !
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Old 28th December, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Yes, booze is booze. In retrospect, because I swore off the stuff a quarter century ago, rum is horrid. I envy folks who can drink in moderation, wish I was one of them.
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  #2139 (permalink)  
Old 30th December, 2013, 03:36 AM
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Visited the Bahamas many years back and have a Pusser's Rum mug to show for it ! Should have had two, not sure what went amiss there, but never went back. Alcoholic beverages tend to be a relaxant, but it's far too easy to overindulge, seems like fraternity members make a point of it -- part of their adolescent claim to manhood (and/or perhaps part of their intended way with coeds -- a wink/wink moment or a Polanski precourser?) I guess the advantage of alcohol is that higher thought processes tend to be moved into a limbo like state, mentally freeing some personages (many?) of any sense of responsibility towards others -- the resulting negative behavior is easily recognizable and reprehensible at best. Examples are regularly present in the daily NEWS. The ugly drunk is among the worst creatures one can run into, there are many.

How about Ethan Crouch of Texas. The poor little rich boy that got off on a plea of "affluenza"! What could be more ugly? (Too be sure, there are things equally ugly, Newtown for example, the Holocaust for another, but more?)

'Affluenza' in Texas incites anger, lawsuits and call for jail time - latimes.com
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Last edited by TrevorS; 30th December, 2013 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 31st December, 2013, 12:48 AM
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You'd think that the name --"Ethan Crouch"--alone would be punishment enough for a thinking man. Alas, not enough of a precaution for this Texas spoilt brat. Wouldn't it be sweet if there was justice? Blindfold and all?
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