Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Noir Watch: The Big Night (1951)



Watched:  01/20/2020
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

A movie full of interesting ideas and what I'd give a solid B- for execution, The Big Night (1951) follows a sweet kid as he spends a long night trying to get back at the man who humiliated and beat his father in front of a crowd of people.

On his 16th birthday and believing himself to be entering the world of manhood, Georgie LaMain returns home to his father's Bar & Grill where he's met with a small, sad party made up by the tavern dwellers.  Moments after the candles are blown out on his cake, and - with little explanation, local sports writer Al Judge enters the place and orders Georgie's father from behind the bar and to remover his shirt.  He then beats him mercilessly with a cane and takes his leave.

Friday, January 17, 2020

PODCAST: "The Island" (1980) - a SimonUK Cinema Series Special! w/ Ryan



Watched:  01/05/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's


Ahoy! We sail into the NSFW new year with a tale of unlikely adventure and horror as a very 1980-era Michael Caine heads to the Bermuda Triangle to look into some missing boats only to find: a secret civilization of PIRATES. And not fun, yo-ho-ho pirates, but, like, crazy inbred weirdo pirates. It's a whole scene, man.




Music:
Island Magic - Ennio Morricone, The Island OST



SimonUK Playlist



Noir Watch: Raw Deal (1948)



Watched:  01/13/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

A few months ago, I had purchased a BluRay collection of films, all shot by noir-famous cinematographer John Alton.*  I'd had great intentions, but never made it into the disc.  For whatever reason, I finally did crack open the case and put in the BluRay and I get what the hubbub is about.

This was my first viewing of Raw Deal (1948), a fairly staple noir film, but one that I'd just not made time for before - which is a shame, because I liked a lot of the movie, and would probably use it to illustrate some classic noir tropes and definitely as a teaching tool for the epitome of noir cinematography from the height of the movement.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

War Watch: 1917 (2020)


Watched:  01/11/2020
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's

If you are planning to see this, see it in the theater.  That is all.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Balloon Watch: The Aeronauts (2019)



Watched:  01/02/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

This movie never states that it's based on real events - but once it's underway, it's very specific to the point where I finally had to check to see if the character portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in the film existed.  Spoiler - He did!

But.  Half of this movie is real and half is made up, and I am just, honestly, confused why they made this choice - except that I basically get the decision from an optics, casting and audience standpoint.  The film swaps out one of the two people who made the real-life trip with a fictional female balloon pilot (Felicity Jones) who is overcoming serious and dramatic baggage tied to ballooning.  All of which is made up.  Even as she performs feats to save their lives that the real pilot was forced to do.  But here, it's someone else.

But, again, the scientist in the film was real and really did go up in a balloon, but with a less-surprising male balloonist.

I honestly have no idea what I just watched, is what I guess I'm saying.  I've read articles that are more reflective of my "yes, I understand why they did it, but..." perspective, and others that are really surprisingly blase about "facts" and "what occurred" and seem to think that's some old fashioned thinking and casually suggest if you are questioning the choice, you are both racist and sexist.

Look - I get that "based on a true story" movies change facts all the time, combine people into single characters, etc... - and, honestly, it's part of why I often avoid Hollywood's interpretation of history.  But they generally don't swap out one of two main characters with a completely fictional person.

So - I have no idea what I just watched.  It was okay.  But I tend to think history is hard enough to get a grip on without making up fictional characters in their lives as seemingly major players.  So, next time you ask me if I've seen a movie based on a true story and I kinda shrug and say "nope".  You now know why.

I watched this just before Togo, which was also based on true events and changed quite a bit, but the basic facts were generally adhered to. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Documentary Watch: Ernie and Joe - Crisis Cops (2019)



Watched:  12/31/2019
Format:  HBO Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

A while back our own PaulT - who does many things in the film and TV industry - worked on a documentary called Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops (2019).  I believe he was a/ the sound mixer on the film, which - in documentary land - is no small feat.  Especially when you're talking police situations, moving cars, and open classrooms.  So, hats off to Paul.

The movie is currently streaming on HBO, and, if you get a chance, give it some time.  The movie follows two police officers from the San Antonio Police Department's Mental Health Unit at work and in their lives.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Bette Watch: Dark Victory (1939)



Watched:  12/29/2019
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1930's

Look, it's possible Bette Davis is one of 5 or so finest actors to have graced the screen, at least in Hollywood films.  Yeah, she is "of the era" on some things, but - man, even in not-great films she's a power house, and then in something that plays to her range and strengths?

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Julie Andrews Watch: Victor/ Victoria (1982)


Watched:  12/27/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

I've been aware of Victor/ Victoria (1982) since, probably, college.  Just never got around to seeing it.  The movie is famous for it's plot of "woman posing as a man presenting as a female impersonator (re: Drag Queen)", but you hear little else about it.  It had no radio hits from the songs and hadn't really permeated the culture the way many-a-musical will. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

PODCAST! "CATS" (2019) - Day Drinking the Movies! w/ Jamie, Doug, K and Ryan


Watched:  12/23/2019
Format:  Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

(Our most NSFW episode yet!) We hit the Alamo Drafthouse, settled in and ordered up some cocktails, for we were watching "CATS" - the adaptation of the 1980's musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber! Join us in a Day Drinking the Movies episode as we discuss 2019's favorite (and deserving!) movie punching bag - with special guests Doug and K!




Music:

Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats - Cast, Cats OST
Memory - Jennifer Hudson, Cats OST

Sunday, December 22, 2019

PODCAST: "Rare Exports" (2010) - a Holiday Stocking Stuffer Special w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  12/21/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

It's a Signal Watch Stocking Stuffer! SimonUK and Ryan watched the 2010 Finnish sorta-horror import "Rare Exports" (2010), all about Santa maybe not being the fun-loving fellow who drops down chimneys to drop off presents, and maybe more a bit of "hold my beer, Krampus".




Holiday 2019 Playlist

Star Wars Watch: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)


Watched:  12/19/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I'm not writing this up.  I might podcast on it at some point, but I don't feel like a first viewing of this movie is quite enough to give it a thorough thinking-through.

Thanks to a very special secret pal who secured me tickets dead center of the theater!  My seat was shaking during the last reel of the movie.  It was awesome.

I will say this:  I thought Anthony Daniels was fan-freakin'-tastic in this episode, as always, and I wished for way more C3PO over the course of the movie.

I'll get around to doing something at some point, but, for now - acknowledging that I'd seen it.

Also - here's me outside the theater.

crazily, the two Jedi thought I didn't want them in the picture.  They looked rad as hell!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

PODCAST! "Go" (1999) - a Christmas Adjacent Holiday Spectacular - w/ Maxwell and Ryan!


Watched:  11/17/2019
Format:  Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  oh, so 1990's

(NSFW) Maxwell and Ryan review 1999's indie darling, "Go", a movie which absolutely occurs maybe at Christmas, borrows the "Pulp Fiction" narrative structure and shines a light on shenanigans occurring in the greater LA area for hip young people.



Music:
Gangster Trippin - Fatboy Slim, Go OST
To All The Lovely Ladies - Goldo, Go OST

Signal Watch Holidays 2019:



Friday, December 6, 2019

Noir-ish Watch: The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)


Watched:  12/06/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

Look, if a movie has Sydney Greenstreet in it, I'm watching it.  And I've never been disappointed.

Of course, this movie *also* features Peter Lorre, so, that's two great performers of the era.  Add in Zachary Scott in his screen debut, and I was positively jazzed to watch The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), a movie I'd oft-head referenced, but never seen.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

PODCAST! "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987) - a Signal Watch Holiday Roundtable w/ SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan!



Watched:  11/22/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

(mildly NSFW) SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan hold a holiday roundtable to discuss "Jaws: The Revenge", which, for reasons unknown, takes place at Christmas. Join us as we puzzle through the chapter in the Jaws saga no one asked for, added psychic powers, Michael Caine, and a plot that doesn't even bother to make sense.




Holidays 2019



Holidays 2018

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hallmark Watch: The Christmas Club (2019)

The amazing Elizabeth Mitchell, partially blocked by some guy

Watched:  11/27/2019
Format:  Hallmark Channel, baby!
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Mostly I don't write up the Hallmark Christmas movies that I watch, because I don't really watch them.  I put them on and do other things, how I'll sometimes watch a 4 hour baseball game on a Saturday or Sunday.  You do some work or check email or talk on chat to someone while the movie is on.  And when you do look up, it's mostly a game of Hallmark movie bingo, teasing out what the new formula themes are this year (military, servicepeople - mostly men, and veterans have been big the past two years).

But The Christmas Club (2019) was one of the more expensive version of the formula, where they'd hired actors you may have seen somewhere before rather than the usual "who is that?" stars of other than Hallmark movies, assembled from spare parts found in a vat of pumpkin spice, Coach purses, bedazzled iPhones, Lululemons and Uggs.

Monday, December 2, 2019

McSteans Guest Post! Holiday Watch: The Knight Before Christmas (2019)





Watched:  12/1/2019
Format:  Netlfix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Jamie came out of right field and asked if I wanted to live-blog a Netflix Christmas movie with she and her pal, Angel.  Well, of course I did, it looked terrible.  But I figured this whole deal was more Jamie's thing than your usual Signal Watch programming, so she should also write up the movie.  So, without further ado...
                                                                                                                - your host, Ryan


Last weekend, to kick off the holidays, Ryan and I (mostly Ryan) Christmassed up the house and then capped it off with a viewing of the Netflix Hallmark-style movie, The Knight Before Christmas (2019). Joined by my overseas friend Angel (hi, Angel!), we took to Twitter and made it a three person live-blogging extravaganza.

Woof. I don’t know that my expectations for this film were sky high, but I was honestly disappointed in Netflix. I’ve seen some decent original content there recently, and they’re not bad with romantic comedies. With the Hallmark channel turning into a holiday movie factory churning out cookie cutter romantic fluff, I felt that Netflix should be able to take a slightly higher concept plot, more money and talent, and produce something at least slightly entertaining. Silly me. It felt exactly like they took a discarded Hallmark movie and threw in some time travel to attract attention, then did nothing with it.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Whodunnit Watch: Knives Out (2019)



Watched:  11/29/2019
Format:  Alamo S. Lamar
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I have a feeling Rian Johnson is going to be, with this movie, one of those directors twitter decides they need to prove they think is overrated.  He hasn't made that many movies, seems pretty lucky to have done what he's been able to do (if you ignore how he scraped to get Brick made), and hasn't ever delivered exactly what people are expecting when they show up at the theater - up to and including The Last Jedi.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Noir Watch: Kansas CIty Confidential (1952)


Watched:  11/27/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Somehow I'd never seen Kansas City Confidential (1952), but if I'd known it starred John Payne, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam, I would have tried a lot harder to see it sooner.

A windy, twisty heist caper - this one is told from the outside as John Payne plays an ex-con who is accidentally/ sorta framed for a bank heist when masked robbers pull a job worth $1.2 million (that's about $11.6 million now), using a duplicate of his flower delivery van.