Friday, April 30, 2021

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, 2019

First viewing, with my friend in Honolulu who moved from San Francisco, where I live and where we met  and became friends.


Everything they say in this poster is true. This film is a work of art. It has no independent film stink. It has a lot of heart and lovely rarely-viewed scenery of Hunter’s Point. It lost me when it got a little full of itself but I liked it.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Bao, 2018

First viewing


Oscar-winning animated short about a woman who has hallucinations that a dim sum-style bun is alive and is her child. Ends how you would expect. Roughly 400 people worked on it.





Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Crimes of the Heart, 1986

First viewing, in Hawaii

Suzy photobomb.

I was chatting with the friend I’m staying with in Honolulu about the movies I watched when I was at my parents’ house, including the horrendous Steel Magnolias, and she mentioned this. I’d never heard of it and it has three of my favorite actresses: Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lange. It was funny and kind of weird in that way a stage play with lots of southern white women talking can be. It had a lot of dark humor that I always appreciate.

Also it has the last movie for Hurd Hatfield, who I watched in The Portrait of Dorian Gray last week. His acting improved over forty years.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Zootopia, 2016

First viewing, on the plane to Hawaii to stay with a friend in Honolulu I haven’t seen in years.

I heard good things about this movie, and I liked it but I wasn’t expecting so much copaganda. A lot of things in police-related matters have changed since 2016.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

It’s a mystery

I don’t remember what I watched because I was packing for a trip and got distracted.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Of Human Bondage, 1934

Second viewing

No quote marks

Hard to believe Bette Davis had made 21 films before this one. Her cockney accent is terrible even though she apparently hired a cockney maid to learn the voice. She looks so great in this.



 She also did her own makeup for the scenes when she is sick, much like she did her own makeup for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I like this movie.



Friday, April 23, 2021

Crawl, 2019

First viewing, Signal-Watch watch party watch

Sam Raimi had something to do with this and he’s done some good movies. This was watchable and I have found myself saying “apex predator” at random times since.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Princess O’Rourke, 1943

First viewing

Damn quotes again!

I’m a bit of an Olivia De Havilland completist so had to cross this one off my list. I like Robert Cummings as well, and it has the youngest Gladys Cooper I’ve seen.


Olivia plays a Princess from a random European country in the US because of World War II. She takes a plane from New York to California which at the time takes all night, and she is nervous, so she takes a sleeping pill. 


It doesn’t work so she gets one from the flight attendant, back when they handed out pharmaceuticals. Still not feeling it she gets two more from a pilot walking by her berth. At the end of the flight they can’t wake her up, so the pilot takes charge of her and she ends up passed out at his apartment. He says, it’s a good thing my mother raised me right. Anyway, they fall in love and get married.

In this scene she is volunteering with Red Cross training but only qualifies to be used as a patient for splint and bandaging practice.




Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1945

Third viewing. Saw it once at Noir City at the Castro Theater.




George Sanders and Angela Lansbury are great in this. Hurd Hatfield’s character of Dorian is supposed to be the frosty type but he’s like a frozen block of wood. So is Donna Reed, who was mad because she wanted the juicier part of Sybil Vane. 





The portrait, the only color part of the movie, is great, very EC Comics.



Monday, April 19, 2021

Moulin Rouge, 2001

 First viewing


I get why some people would like this but I could barely get through it. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Bad Taste, 1987

Seen it a bunch of times but not in 20 years.

Peter Jackson’s first film, he wrote directed and acted,and made the monsters. It’s the only Peter Jackson film I’ve ever seen but I guess he made some others.

Antidote movie for Beautician and the Beast.

How The Eye Functions, 1941

First viewing


Gorgeous educational film about how the eye works. Loved it.






People used to have laser vision back then, I’m so envious.




Friday, April 16, 2021

Beautician And the Beast, 1997

First viewing, Signal-Watch Party

What she’s teaching the kids of this dictator who hires her by mistake

I have always loved Fran Drescher, she’s a classic comedienne. I watched this movie because of that love. It’s a terrible movie.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

For Your Consideration, 2006

First viewing



Not sure how I missed this one, I’m a fan of all the Christopher Guest movies. Even when they fall flat I find them pretty delightful. Having just discovered Schitt’s Creek this came up on my radar and I definitely needed more Catherine O’Hara. She of course is great in this as the similar character of an aging actress. In later scenes of the movie she appears to have a facelift but it was just O’Hara stretching her facial muscles. Wow.

Not the funniest Guest movie but a good movie at a good time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Blue Gardenia, 1953

 Third viewing, Watch party, Go here for more words

(Inaccurate Poster Warning) Screen 

This is not what you’d call a great movie, but it is directed by Fritz Lang, it does have a frightening Raymond Burr, a sweet non-crazy Anne Baxter, and sassy Ann Sothern, plus a twisty bit of whodunit. I rather like this film.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Ladies In Retirement, 1941

Second viewing

The titles are gorgeous, floating in the swamp, carved into stone and wood

This gothic noirish tale is very interesting for several reasons. It portrays mental illness of the sort that in rich people may be called eccentricity, but in poor people over a hundred years ago are grounds for institutionalization. Things like OCD behavior, hoarding, mild delusion. Enough that people complain about you and you cannot live within the usual framework of society without family support. 

You do not want to live with a hoarding Elsa Lanchester 

If your family is Ida Lupino and she works for a retired actress in a big house you’ll be alright.


This is a really good movie, highly recommended.


Monday, April 12, 2021

Calling Philo Vance, 1940

First viewing.

                                                         Damn titles in quotes again! 

My first foray into the Philo Vance murder mystery series. This is based on The Kennel Murder Case from 1930 that I could never get through even with William Powell as the lead. This version is updated for a setting on the verge of World War II. It’s not too bad a story as these things go. But I mostly liked the magical view-changing keyhole.






Sunday, April 11, 2021

Jezebel, 1938

Second viewing

                                   Damn quotes around movie titles, drives me crazy.


This is one of my favorite movies. It came out a year before Gone With the Wind and has a lot of the same themes but not quite the same splendor. Bette Davis was famously pining for the part of Scarlett O’Hara (along with many others) and you can really imagine what she would have been like in that role.

Also, I’ve finally been watching Schitt’s Creek, which is hilarious. While looking up Jezebel I read that in the movie For Your Consideration, Catherine O’Hara is watching Jezebel. I have not seen For Your Consideration.  Also, O’HARA. Weird.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Harvey, 1950

First viewing


I was well aware of the history of this movie, just never got around to seeing it. It’s a delight of a palate cleanser of a movie even with the mental hospital/insane asylum tropes. A great message of “it’s better to be nice than sane”. When Elwood says he used to be smart, and recommends pleasant instead, I felt it. I only learned that recently. Not that you can’t be both, but that’s extremely difficult because dumb people are very annoying to smart people.

Should be required viewing as a lesson in how to care about other people. How to treat anyone from any walk of life with kindness and respect. How to treat anyone whether you have money or not and whether they have money or not.


Friday, April 9, 2021

Danger Diabolik, 1968

First viewing unriffed. Signal Watch party. Everyone else liked it.

I can see why people like this movie, it’s got gadgets and wild scenes and gorgeous cars and sexy ladies. James Bond stuff. But the lead characters are absolute knobs. One reviewer called it a charisma-free zone. I can suspend a lot of disbelief if I think a character is cool or funny or human and not plastic mannequins. Having just found out this was based on a comic book it makes much more sense now. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Rodan, 1956

First viewing with subtitles instead of dubbing.


This is the first kaiju movie filmed in color and it looks beautiful with the turquoise cars and the bloody injuries. But it loses quite a bit of charm being subtitled instead of dubbed. I was looking forward to hearing Paul Frees doing multiple characters and George Takei in one of his earliest jobs, dubbing Japanese actors in English. Not to say this version didn’t have a goofy moments.



Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Devotion, 1946

First viewing

Maybe movies are how “quotes for emphasis got started.


A movie with Ida Lupino, Olivia de Havilland, Paul Heinreid and Sydney Greenstreet (who doesn’t show up for an hour and twenty minutes)?? Yes please!!

Oh it’s about the Brontë family? Eh, I’ll watch it anyway. It’s no Barretts of Wimple Street but it’s good I guess.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Lady Frankenstein, 1971

First viewing, Swift Watch party

This may be an example of another poster made before the film to help get financing.

This movie is pretty out there. Italian, late Joseph Cotten paying the bills, nudity more easily explained by budget constraints than titillation. Tania (pronounced Tonya) Frankenstein arrives home after going to medical school and becoming a surgeon, which seems unlikely. 

Let’s make love by the juice globe.

Daddy Frankenstein is continuing the long tradition of patch-working dead people then trying to bring them back to life then getting killed by them. You have to admire filmmakers who see how many Frankenstein movies there are by 1971 and say, why not make one with lots of naked bewbs and butts and creepy sex. And two monsters. And let’s throw 56-year-old Mickey Hargitay in there and dub him so he sounds like a game-show host. A fun watch overall.

Derp.


Shake, Rattle and Rock! 1956

First viewing, in Hawaii with my friend Mike “Touch” Connors plays a disc jockey fighting for the right of teens to rock and roll. Margaret ...