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Our Sister Mambo (2015)
Luckily I did not read the review before watching this family friendly opus. I was just looking for some diversion on Netflix and took a chance on the title. Did not know it was set in Singapore or what the language was -- the opening dialog gave me pause - the languages were not in Korean but it seemed to be a tribute to Hallyu (which is why I looked into it). The mother with four grown unmarried daughters --- OMG - - what a SITUATION !!! She needs Buddha's help -- but there are some things even the gods cannot deal with no matter how deserving the supplicant. Because I am 80 years old myself I found myself identifying the father who had a great life and retains his dignity and memories. Nothing wonderful lasts forever. I never had a daughter but could relate to his acceptance. Since I live in Los Angeles I identified with the mixing of languages and people.
White Cargo (1942)
Four lonely white men in 1910 Africa rubber plantation
First of all I took this film to be a stage play with all four actors having declaimed those lines hundreds of times. It turned out after the ending I went to the reviews, yes, it had been a stage play in London and the playwright was hired to write a film script. I think he just rearranged the scenes for the camera setups. It works very well as a stage play -- the actors in the film deliver the lines as if they had said them for months and each word is carefully enunciated --- no mumbling naturalism or words not made clear to the audience in the back rows. Some of the reviews denigrate Hedy Lamarr's performance.. I'm not a fan but I don't see how she could do anything else with it given the times and the restrictions. I say it is well worth watching for cinema students looking for how to rework a stage play
Wild River (1960)
Came on TCM10 minutes in -- did not know it was Elia Kazan
I agree with most of the praises that precede this post -- I'm glad I tuned into it on TCM and on my recently added wide screen TV -- it is the made for wide screen version and it is magnificent. The reason I stepped in here was: there was a sharecropper (?)who resembled James Earl Jones so I looked into the credits. Someone was ahead of me and said that it was James Earl Jones' father, who also had a deep resonant voice.
Jo Van Fleet deserved a Best Supporting Actress definitely. Albert Salmi had a role he could play easily -- with menace that worries an audience. A nine because I didn't buy into the romance with Lee Remick and those scenes were too long for me.
Korean Peninsula (2012)
First five episodes contain potent plot, contemporary political issues
This series is 2012? It's right up to the second in 2016 issues. Climate change, fossil fuels, political celebrities being used as pawns by established politicians -- suspense, action, romantic motives, expensive cinematography of military and helicopters engagements, dual national loyalties, parent/child issues, psychological twists... The actors realistically portray the divide between the two current regimes - one big money capitalist controlled regime and other a nominally socialist but actually a Stalinist cult control regime. The good guys vs bad guys are not always as they appear. Entrenched interests, mossback military leaders on both sides, surprise loyalties appear to trump surface loyalties. I am hooked and looking forward to the rest of the series.
Your review is correct, your findings are shallow
Morristang correctly describes all the sequences in SOMEWHERE WE ALL KNOW and I was also noticing that this is a different kind of "CHINESE movie, almost frame for frame something Hollywood turns out all the time. Shallow love stories with a gimmick, a 30 year old undelivered letter that says, "we can be together, let's meet". Love interrupted. But I am glad Beijing and Chinese money is being used the same way Hollywood money is used. Asians need new images for the 21st Century. The actors were all charming. That Czech doctor didn't have a Brit accent, more of a Hollywood accent. I didn't know the young stud was in a Korean Boy Band. Good for him. I enjoyed this film. Jerry in Hollywood
Santa santita (2004)
A touching slice of life about alleged sinners and alleged sainthood.
Malen is a wayward daughter living in poverty who wants excitement or luxury not found in her home, with a mother who prays for others for subsistence donations. The producers have chosen a stunningly beautiful young woman to play the role. The viewers are forced to ache for the mother who cannot control the temptations that Malen sees every day and yearns to enjoy. It is obvious to the viewers that she wants to lose her innocence and have adult experiences. It is obvious that the young man she chooses can only hurt her, but that is the essence of a certain type of film story. Empathy, dread, and fear of tragedy for the main character. Even for non-Catholics or non-Filipino audiences this is a universal story.
My Wife's Best Friend (1952)
Wife's daydream of grandeur
My sister and I saw this in 1952 and were impressed enough to remember some of the lines until this day. Ann Baxter "Oh, I'd just go mad if I didn't have my little escape hatches!" We put it into some of our little family entertainment dramas. I was 16 and she was 13 when we saw it.
It was fun -- and I thought I recognized Wild Red Barry as one of the toughs at the Men Only health retreat. According to the cast list it was Henry Kulky as the 'pug'. Mike Mazursky, also a pro rassler, is not credited at all, although he has a line about not fearing to push a ladies face in.
I agree -- why isn't it shown more often? While the Empress walks the naked backs of male slaves she digs her high heel around a bit on MacDoanld Carey, and he looks up at the camera in dismay or something.
The Boss' Wife (1986)
The 1980s Comedy
I don't think the published reviewer watched any of it after the opening titles -- because Daniel Stern is resisting, running away, and trying to avoid the attentions of the Boss' Wife.
Perhaps I was just in a good mood for a farce with mistaken identities and quick exits and entrances. Plummer was just sooooo excellent as a slimy investment top gun. Martin Mull was soooooo creepy as the rival to Daniel stern -- both candidates for promotion. And Fisher Stevens as the photographer-masseur is terrific as Carlos Delgado, the source of irritation and distraction and deception. Maybe his best role ever for this fine character actor. Both ladies were easy on the eyes and seductive.
The writer and director used fine material to make an entertaining 83 minutes from start to finish IMVHO.
Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman (2007)
Commentary on Gentlemen's Agreement
I watched Gentlemen's Agreement on cable tonight after viewing it half a dozen times over the years -- it's such a great film.
Then Tom Rothman came in after the credits and offered some commentary on this 1947 movie. I was astounded. It wasn't embraced by the masses back then, and in fact, it brought the wrath of the know-nothings down on Hollywood, leading to the Blacklist period.
As a Midwestern-wasp who first saw it in the 40s, I thought it was elegant but overblown. Who could deny Gregory Peck a hotel room because he MIGHT be Jewish? That's a silly premise. I thought. John Garfield can't find a house in a decent neighborhood after mustering out of the Army? Give me a break. I've lived since 1936 and discovered over the years this country was not as envisioned by the settlers, at least the decent settlers. Since the 40s I've learned about the Japanese-American internments, the brutality of 'segregation'in the South, the anti-miscegenation laws where Korean wives were denied to Caucasian soldiers in Virginia, and the enforced subservience or prohibition of women in professions. Well the list is long. I'm glad Mr. Rothman pointed out recent films that raised public consciousness.
Se, jie (2007)
Lust suppressed and simmered. Caution in abundance.
The story begins in Shanghai as it is being seized and occupied by Japan in 1940. The male lead is a collaborator with the Japanese, and the female lead is a patriotic drama student who is a friend of his wife. The students decide to use her access to the hated traitor, to assassinate him and it takes three years of caution and planning to fulfill. The production values were extravagant with beautiful cinematography, 1940s sets, music and costumes for that period, and well cast actors.
As an old timer I enjoyed seeing the 1940s atmosphere and the political intrigue. I thought of Hitchock's Notorious during a couple of the scenes. I believe the script could have been nicely topped off if the final line was: C'est la guerre!
Ang Lee's films are diverse and well executed. I've seen The Ice Storm, Hulk, Tiger/Dragon, Brokeback Mountain,and now Lust/Caution.
A plus was seeing Joan Chen in a small role as Mrs. Yee.