Friday, May 24, 2019
At the end of last season, I'd kind of given up on the CW superhero shows. Maybe there was some residual guilt - after all, I no longer have that mania for all things comics I once did, and whenever I realize I no longer care about something comics-related, it makes me... kind of sad? That said - these days, there's so much superhero content out there, I long ago let go of watching *everything*, and now I'm lucky if I watch much of anything.*
I find a lot of network TV a chore - 22 episodes or so per year is a lot to watch in sheer time allotted. But, more than that, unless you're talking 30 minute sitcom or a show that's more episodic in nature, keeping the thread over twenty-two 45-minute chapters is a lot of narrative to keep track of. Frankly, it feels like it's too much for the writers a lot of the time on these shows, and by the time we'd get to the season finale, speaking especially of those CW superhero shows, it can feel like a tortured mess that you just want to see end more than you care about the events of the finale.
Anyway - after watching both The Flash and Supergirl for a few seasons, at the end of last year, Jamie and I decided to hang it up.
Format: Noir Alley on TCM
Viewing: Second (third?)
Cagney made it big in films of the 1930's with breakout roles like The Public Enemy and Angels with Dirty Faces. During the war, he had a massive hit with Yankee Doodle Dandy, but by 1949, he was back in tough-guy mode when he was brought on to play Cody Jarrett in White Heat, maybe one of the most famous outlaw films in American cinema.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Format: Amazon streaming
I was about thirteen when this movie hit, and it was one of those movies that arrived that everyone else saw when it came out, but at the time I wasn't that interested in baseball or Susan Sarandon, so I skipped it. Well, life changes things in some amazing ways.
I suppose if there's a marker to say "was this a good movie or not?" I can point to the fact that I put this on as I was about to do something else (edit a podcast) but was fiddling around before settling in, and just put it on to have something on for a few minutes to see what it was like, and the next thing I knew I was finishing the movie.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Viewing: Third/ First
Way back in '86, I rented the American version of this film for my birthday. And when I say "American version", it helps to know a bit about the original Godzilla: King of the Monsters from back in the 1950's.
Monday, May 20, 2019
First, I forgot to mention that on Day 2, the TCM Backlot Austin Chapter met up at Noir City and grabbed a picture, and you'll see me awkwardly standing in the back. Thanks to Jane, et al, for organizing.
Next: Upfront, I'll tell you, I only saw two of the four films on Day 3 of Noir City Austin. This is not due to film programming, venue or any of that. I just had stuff I needed to go do as the coming week of work/life is set to be busy one. So, I was able to see the first two films shown on Sunday.
Noir City Austin continued exploring the 1950's, and by the late 1950's, the differences in style of dress, attitude and film-making choices between the first film shown on Friday night from '49 and by the time we hit boom-time/ post-Korea America in '57, a lot has shifted. Hell, men aren't even wearing hats as a required feature.
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Format: Noir City Austin at Alamo Ritz
Long ago I had purchased tickets to see a baseball game in the evening, so I was only scheduled to see two films for Noir City Austin, Day 2.
The theme for 2019 was a follow up on 2018, which was Noir in the 1940's, year-by-year. This 10 film cycle was tracing noir as we left the 1940's and how and why the films changed as we hit the 1950's as cultural issues crept into the films and television competed with the big screen and informed the lives of characters on screen. And, by the mid-to-late 1950's, began influencing how movies were shot so they'd work on the television sets of the era as Hollywood looked to cash in on the secondary income stream.
Format: Noir City Austin at Alamo Ritz
Viewing: First for both
Decade: 1940's/ 1950's
Eddie Muller is back in Bat City for Noir City Austin, our annual showing of films I'd never find on my own, and always can't believe the gold Muller is able to surface. Muller isn't just host of TCM's Noir Alley weekly dose of crime, implied sex and moral gray areas - he's also head of the Film Noir Foundation. Proceeds from the festival and merch sales go back to the FNF, who, in turn use the money to rescue films from obscurity and eventual loss.
Friday, May 17, 2019
SimonUK finally gets around to talking about one of his favorite films, a heist film about a scrappy team pulling off the impossible with cheer and good spirits. Honestly, it's mostly just a love fest for a movie both Simon and Ryan enjoy immensely.
Get a Bloomin' Move On/Self Preservation Society - Don Black/Quincy Jones, The Italian Job OST
The mentioned poster for The Italian Job that seems to have nothing to do with the film:
SimonUK Cinema Series:
Thursday, May 16, 2019
I wish I'd disliked this movie enough so that I could have a spoofy title to the post like "Whine Country" to tag onto Wine Country (2019). I guarantee you, some bright-eyed reviewer has used it out there somewhere. After all the film is about a bunch of upper-middle class to upper class women coming together to go through the entirely predictable steps of a "girls weekend"/ reunion film and all of the weirdly specific predictable beats (despite the fact that reunion movies are not my jam) that fall out.
People be having lives that are more complicated than when you're 21 working for minimum wage, y'all.
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
I remember reading that film-reviewer Pauline Kael made it a rule to only ever watch a film once - maybe a practicality of her business, maybe a personal quirk (as in all things, it's only mostly true). I think about this a lot, because - as anyone who has followed the blog or PodCast knows - I find returning to movies fascinating, both to see what my now-brain thinks of a movie versus what I thought of it then, and because of how those differences reflect on your own experience, making films something all the more personal.
I saw Nightmare Alley (1947) about four years ago, and I remembered thinking it was good - but not really clicking to it in particular. But on this viewing, despite the fact I remembered the film fairly well, it just reached out and hit me over the head. This is a brilliant, wonderfully crafted movie, tackling deeply sensitive material and plowing right through, and getting away with it like the low-level conman who inserts himself with the right clothes and patter - the movie sure looks like a morality tale and crime movie, while questioning the nature of anyone selling you salvation, spiritual insight or deep insight into your own psyche.