Follow by Email

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 31, 2015 4:40 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,687. Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Posted: 30 Mar 2015 08:58 PM PDT


Directed By: The Beatles

Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr


Line from the film: "I am your friendly Courier. Mister Bloodvessel is my name. Buster Bloodvessel"

Trivia: One artist who was cast in this film but didn't appear was Jimi Hendrix. Paul McCartney wanted him in the film, but Hendrix was already committed to play at the Monterey Pop Festival






After appearing in A Hard Day's Night and Help!, both of which were directed by Richard Lester, The Beatles decided to make a movie on their own. With a handful of new songs and a basic outline of what was to follow, the boys from Liverpool hopped on a bus and, with a few of their friends, made Magical Mystery Tour, a comedy / musical that gets more surreal with each passing scene.

There's not much a premise, really: Richard Starkey (RIngo Starr, using his actual name) buys a bus ticket for himself and his Aunt Jessie (Jessie Robins) on what's promised to be a "Magical Mystery Tour", a trip with no real destination during which anything can happen. Along the way, they pick up Paul (McCartney), John (Lennon), and George (Harrison), who, with the tour guide Jolly Jimmy (Derek Royle) and his buxom assistant (Miranda Forbes), pay a visit to a military post; take part in a bizarre race; and even swing by a strip club. There's action (somehow, during the race, Ringo ends up driving the bus), fantasy (the lads also play a troupe of magicians who've taken a special interest in the bus and its occupants), romance (Aunt Jessie is wooed by a very serious-minded passenger named Buster Bloodvessel, played by Ivor Cutler), and, of course, lots of music, with The Beatles performing a number of songs that would go on to be hits, including "The Fool on the Hill", "I Am the Walrus", and the title tune, "Magical Mystery Tour".

Originally a TV special (it first aired on the BBC in September of 1967), Magical Mystery Tour teeters back and forth between lighthearted whimsy and all-out lunacy for most of its running time. There are some quiet scenes, like when John and George entertain a young girl; and some loud ones as well, including a sing-along where the entire bus sings standards like "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" as loud as they can. Interspersed between the insanity are what amounts to music videos for the band's various numbers, the most memorable being "I Am the Walrus", which, with its animal costumes and guys dressed as eggs, comes closest to matching the film's frenzied tone. Yet as much as I like this rendition of the classic Beatles song, I find myself enjoying "The Fool on the Hill" even more, a sequence that features McCartney (who performs the song) and some lovely images of the English Countryside.

Definitely a product of the late '60s, Magical Mystery Tour may be a bit too trippy for modern viewers, but with everyone involved clearly having a good time, the film also has an infectious quality that, more than likely, will bring a smile to your face.







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 28, 2015 4:22 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,684. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 09:53 PM PDT


Directed By: Amy Heckerling

Starring: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold


Tag line: "Fast Cars, Fast Girls, Fast Carrots...Fast Carrots?"

Trivia: Jennifer Jason Leigh's real life father, Vic Morrow, died in a helicopter accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie about 3 weeks before the US release of this film






During the opening credits sequence of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which features a few scenes set inside Ridgemont Mall, I immediately flashed back to my teenage years, when my friends and I would spend our Friday nights hanging out at the local shopping malls (there were two in my area), which looked like the one in this film (the Sherman Oaks Galleria stood in for the fictional Ridgemont). I'm talking exactly like it, from the arcade, food court, and movie theater right down to the staircases and glass elevator. It was the first of several memories that came rushing back as I sat watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High, chief among them being how much I love this film.

15-year-old Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a sophomore at Ridgemont High, is desperate to find a boyfriend. Following the advice of her best friend Linda (Phoebe Cates), Stacy dates several guys, including classmate Mark Ratner (Brian Backer), who has a crush on her, and Mark's pal, Mike Damone (Richard Romanus), a con man who has a way with the ladies. Stacy's older brother Brad (Judge Reinhold), in his senior year at Ridgemont, decides to break it off with his longtime girlfriend Lisa (Amanda Wyss) so that he can 'play the field', but is fired from his job before he can do so. As Stacy, Brad, and the others try to deal with the problems that plague most kids their age, classmate Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) is having fun surfing waves, smoking dope with his buddies (Eric Stoltz and Anthony Edwards), and tormenting his history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) every chance he gets.

Written by Cameron Crowe, whose experiences posing as a high school student formed the basis of a novel that shares its name with this film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High captured teen life in the '80s much better than some critics gave it credit for at the time. Roger Ebert was especially harsh in his 1-star write-up, calling Fast Times "a scuz-pit of a movie" in which "the humor comes from raunchy situations and dialogue". Sure, the movie is raunchy; along with a couple of sex scenes and a very memorable dream sequence, there's a moment in the lunchroom (involving carrots) that fueled the imagination of an entire generation of young men. But it also offers some genuine insight into the teenage experience, including fear of responsibility (despite his cool demeanor, Mike Damone proves he's just as scared as everyone else when the chips are down, leaving Stacy to face a difficult situation on her own), awkward first dates (Mark's and Stacy's night on the town ends rather abruptly), and, most traumatic of all, high school biology class, the curriculum for which was clearly devised by sadists (having attended Catholic school, I never went on a class trip to the hospital, but we did dissect a few of nature's more disgusting creatures). So while the humor in Fast Times at Ridgemont High does occasionally aim low, it also reaches higher than many other teen comedies of this era.

Along with Crowe's script, Fast Times has an outstanding young cast, many of whom would go on to bigger and better things. Jennifer Jason Leigh convincingly portrays Stacy as a confused young woman so eager to lose her virginity that she doesn't stop to consider the consequences, and the stunning Phoebe Cates is exceptional as the worldly best friend who, it turns out, doesn't have all the answers. In addition to these two, the movie features Judge Reinhold as Stacy's older brother Brad, who has trouble holding onto a job; and Forest Whitaker as football star Charles Jefferson, an often-angry guy who singlehandedly wins a big game for the home team (though he did have a little extra motivation to spur him on). Then there's Sean Penn as the oft-stoned Jeff Spicoli, a surfer whose sole purpose in life is to have a good time. Despite its ensemble cast, some of whom get considerably more screen time, Penn's Spicoli is the character that immediately pops to mind when you think of this film (his various run-ins with Ray Walston's Mr. Hand are arguably the movie's most hilarious scenes).

While the years have altered my perspective a bit (back in the day, I agreed with Spicoli when he called Mr, Hand a "dick". Now, I see the poor guy as more patient than I ever gave him credit for), they haven't changed how much I enjoy Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Every time I watch it, I'm a teenager again, and that's a feeling I wouldn't trade for the world.







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CABIRIA (1914)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 26, 2015 4:24 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,682. Cabiria (1914)

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 07:10 PM PDT


Directed By: Giovanni Pastrone

Starring: Italia Almirante-Manzini, Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano



Tag line: "The Master Work Of A Master Mind"

Trivia: Was the first film to use a dolly-track system, the effects of which were pegged "Cabiria movements" in the industry








Years before D.W. Griffith directed Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, Italy was already making movies on a grand scale. Films like The Last Days of Pompeii (1908), Lucrezia Borgia (1910) and Quo Vadis? (1912) set the standard by which many later historical epics, both in Hollywood and abroad, would be measured. Giovanni Pastrone's Cabiria, one of the last produced during this era, was yet another impressive achievement, a motion picture so enormous in scope that its images are as awe-inspiring today as when it was first released over a century ago.

Set in the period of the Second Punic War (around 200 B.C.), Cabiria opens on the island of Sicily, where Roman aristocrat Batto (Émile Vardannes) resides with his wife and adolescent daughter Cabiria (Carolina Catena), who is cared for by a slave named Croessa (Gina Marangoni). When nearby Mt. Etna erupts, Croessa and Cabiria head for the safety of the countryside, where they're kidnapped by Phoenician pirates, who sail to Carthage and sell the two to Kartholo (Dante Testa), a High priest of the God Moloch. Kartholo announces plans to sacrifice young Cabiria during an upcoming ceremony, causing a desperate Croessa to turn to Fulvius Axilla (Umberto Mozzato), a Roman spy operating undercover in Carthage, for help. Along with his slave Maciste (Bartolomeo Pagano), Fulvius rescues the girl, then heads to a local inn, where the Innkeeper Bodosteret (Raffaele di Napoli) agrees to hide them from the throng of worshipers hot on their trail. Thus begins a decade-long adventure during which our heroes encounter everyone from the famed Carthaginian General Hannibal (also played by Émile Vardannes, who appears as Cabriia's father) to Princess Sophonisba (Italia Almirante-Manzini) of Numidia, all the while hoping to one day reunite Cabiria with the mother and father she left behind.

Aided by its striking set design and remarkable costumes, Cabiria presents several gargantuan scenes, from the eruption of Mt. Etna that kicks the story off to Hannibal's crossing of the Alps (complete with elephants). With the Punic Wars as a backdrop, we watch as the Roman Fleet is nearly destroyed in Syracuse thanks to the mathematician / inventor Archimedes (Enrico Gemelli), who, aided by humongous mirrors, was able to sink a number of ships; and marvel at the film's various battle sequences, each more extravagant than the last Though the story's focus never dwells far from its central characters or their plight (Fulvius makes his way back to Rome, joining the army in their fight against Carthage, while Cabiria, played as an adult by Lidia Quaranta, becomes a handmaiden for the Princess Sophonisba), Cabiria is, first and foremost, a movie spectacular, recreating a time in history when adventure was commonplace, then staging it all in as exciting a manner as possible..







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Monday, March 16, 2015

Devil Bat (1940)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 16, 2015 4:23 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,672. The Devil Bat (1940)

Posted: 15 Mar 2015 08:52 PM PDT


Directed By: Jean Yarborough

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien



Tag line: "Sharp Fanged Blood Sucking DEATH Dives from MIDNIGHT SKIES!"

Trivia: This low-budget thriller, boosted by Bela Lugosi, was one of the biggest successes for the poverty row Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC)






Being a Bela Lugosi fan, I always look forward to the time I spend watching his movies. They're a sort of cinematic "comfort food" for me, films that, even if they aren't the greatest, will undoubtedly contain at least one interesting performance. 1940's The Devil Bat is a perfect example.

Bela stars as Doctor Paul Carruthers, a beloved physician who, unbeknownst to the citizens of Heathville, is breeding enormous bats, which he's trained to do his bidding. You see, Dr. Carruthers developed the formula for a best-selling cosmetic product, which he then sold for a few thousand dollars to Martin Heath (Edmund Mortimer) and Henry Morton (Guy Usher), who proceeded to make a fortune off of it. Outwardly, Dr. Carruthers appears to bear no ill will towards his former partners, who, in a show of gratitude, just cut him a bonus check for $5,000. Privately, though, the good doctor is a very bitter man, and his newest concoction, a shaving lotion, will be the tool by which he gets his revenge.

Having conditioned the bats to attack whenever they smell the new lotion, Dr. Carruthers gives a sample to Roy, (John Ellis), a son of Martin Heath's, who's mauled to death soon after. Hoping for an exclusive story on the recent killing, newspaper editor Joe McGinty (Arthur Q. Bryan) sends beat reporter Johnny Layton (Dave O'Brien) and photographer 'One-Shot' McGuire (Donald Kerr) to Heathville, where, with the help of the deceased's sister Mary Heath (Suzanne Kaaren), they set to work trying to figure out what's going on. But how many more will die before this bizarre case is solved?

While it certainly doesn't rank as one of Bela Lugosi's finest, The Devil Bat is far from a terrible movie. The story it tells is intriguing, and the titular creatures, though clearly fake, don't look as bad you you'd expect when swooping through the air (shots of the phony bats are occasionally interspersed with close-up footage of actual ones). Topping all this, however, is another fine performance by the great Lugosi, who's perfectly convincing as both a mild-mannered physician and a revenge-crazed madman. After giving the lotion to Roy Heath, Dr. Carruthers shakes his hand, at which point Roy, who's heading home, bids the doctor a good night. "Good BYE, Roy" is Carruthers cryptic reply, a hint of sadness in his voice at the realization this young man, who he's known since he was a child, is about to become his first victim.

Where The Devil Bat falters is in the scenes featuring the reporter and his photographer sidekick, many of which are played for laughs. It's not that the actors are bad, per se; in fact, there are times when the two are kinda funny (having promised their boss a picture of the bat, they decide to photograph a stuffed one and pass it off as the real thing, only to be exposed as frauds when a noted researcher examines the picture and notices a tag on the creature's wing that says "Made in Japan"). But the dialogue in The Devil Bat isn't particularly well-written, which becomes obvious when anyone other than Lugosi tries to deliver it. As he's done many times before, Bela Lugosi brings an air of respectability to a film that, without him, would have quickly drifted into obscurity.







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One of Red Jane's Favorites: Westworld (1973)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 11, 2015 4:11 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,667. Westworld (1973)

Posted: 10 Mar 2015 09:54 PM PDT


Directed By: Michael Crichton

Starring: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin




Tag line: "Boy, have we got a vacation for you..."

Trivia: This movie was filmed in several locations, including the Mojave Desert, the gardens of the Harold Lloyd Estate, and several sound stages at MGM







Man, did this movie make an impression on me back in the day! After watching it one afternoon when it played on local TV, I was blown away by the notion of a theme park designed to look like a western town, with androids acting as its citizens. Despite the film's somewhat glib ending, I remember hoping beyond hope that someone… anyone… was out there, working diligently to turn this bit of fantasy known as Westworld into a reality.

Delos is a state-of-the-art resort, charging visitors $1,000 a day for the ultimate vacation. With three different scenarios to choose from: Roman World (set in the era of the Roman Empire), Medieval World (the age of Chivalry), and Westworld (the 19th Century Wild West), visitors step into the past, living life as if they were really in that particular period of history. Newcomer Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin) and his pal John Blane (James Brolin) are living it up in Westworld, getting into gunfights with outlaws and spending their nights at the local saloon, but what they don't know is that some of the resort's robots have been malfunctioning as of late. Fearing they can no longer guarantee the guest's safety, Delos' Chief Engineer (Alan Oppenheimer) recommends that they shut down all three worlds and run a full diagnostic on every android. His associates, however, are convinced the issue can be contained, and decide to carry on with business as usual. Then, disaster strikes; the robots suddenly begin to act on their own, turning on both the guests and the park's employees. As the Chief Engineer and his team attempt to regain control, Peter and John find themselves being pursued by a vicious gunman (Yul Brynner, looking a lot like his character in The Magnificent Seven), who's bound and determined to shoot both of them dead.

While the movie does occasionally visit both Roman World (the scenes for which were shot on a Beverly Hills Estate that once belonged to silent star Harold Lloyd) and Medieval World, where we meet a guest (Michael Bartold) whose affair with the Queen (Victoria Shaw) results in a showdown with the dreaded Black Knight (Michael T. Mikler). For the most part, though, Westworld follows Peter and John as they experience all that the west has to offer, everything from barroom brawls to jail breaks. Another guest, played by Dick Van Patten, even gets to be Sheriff for a day. In these scenes, Westworld has the look and feel of an authentic Hollywood western, and at times we actually forget we're watching a science fiction film.

That changes, however, when the sun goes down, at which point Westworld takes us underground to Delos' command center, where the various androids that have been "shot" or otherwise damaged throughout the day are repaired. It's during these sequences that we discover something's amiss, that a "virus" of some sort is spreading from one robot to another, causing them to occasionally ignore their programming. We join in on the high-level meetings to discuss the issue, and, later on, watch as the crew does everything it can to prevent the inevitable from happening. As Peter, John, and the other guests are fighting for their lives up on the surface, Delos' engineers are locked underground, their air supply quickly running out as they try in vain to stop the androids in their tracks.

Westworld marked the directorial debut of Michael Crichton, a writer whose novels inspired a number of films, most notably 1993's Jurassic Park. Much like that Spielberg classic, Westworld introduces us to an amazing theme park that falls apart before our eyes, and it's to Crichton's credit that, even as all hell's breaking loose in these two movies, we're still amazed by the worlds he's created, and, in spite of all the turmoil, we even kinda wish we were there to see it all go down.







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Zero Mostel - Funny at the Forum

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "2,500 Movies Challenge" <noreply+feedproxy@google.com>
Date: Mar 7, 2015 4:39 PM
Subject: Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


#1,663. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Posted: 06 Mar 2015 08:58 PM PST


Directed By: Richard Lester

Starring: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton





Tag line: "Something for Everyone!"

Trivia: This was Buster Keaton's final film before his death on February 1, 1966 at the age of 70







It's the height of the Roman Empire, and Pseudolos (Zero Mostel), a slave belonging to Senex (Michael Hordern) and his wife Domina (Patricia Jessel), is trying desperately to buy his freedom. So, when his master's dim-witted son Hero (Michael Crawford) professes his love for Philia (Annette Andre), a courtesan residing in the brothel just next door, Pseudolos seizes the opportunity and makes a deal with the young man: in exchange for helping him win Philia's heart, Hero promises to make Pseudolos a free man. But as the overzealous slave soon discovers, wooing Philia isn't going to be easy. For one, the brothel's owner, Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers), has already sold her to Rome's greatest general, Miles Gloriosus (Leon Greene), who is coming to collect her that afternoon. In addition, Hysterium (Jack Gilford), chief slave of the Senex household, has vowed to Domina that he'll keep Hero far away from the "den of iniquity" next door. Refusing to give up, the deceitful Pseudolos uses every trick in the book to bring the star-crossed lovers together, but will he himself get caught up in his web of lies?

Based on the popular stage musical of the same name, director Richard Lester's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum features an incredible cast of funnymen, all of whom were at the top of their game. Zero Mostel was the perfect choice to play the fast-talking Pseudolos, a slave whose quick thinking can get him out of any tricky situation (hoping to prevent Philia from being sold, he convinces Lycus that she's suffering from the plague). Matching him every step of the way is Phil Silvers as the equally conniving Lycus, and Jack Gilford makes for an excellent foil, a nervous wreck of a man who, in order to keep his position, has no alternative but to go along with Pseudolos' hair-brained schemes (at one point he even puts on a dress). In addition to these three, the great Buster Keaton also appears, playing the elderly Erronius, a neighbor who, for 20 years, has been searching for his son and daughter, who were kidnapped by pirates when they were infants. Terminally ill with cancer at the time it was made, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum proved to be Keaton's final screen appearance.

With its energetic musical numbers (Mostel's rendition of "Comedy Tonight", which kicks off the movie, is alone worth the price of admission) and Richard Lester's frantic approach to the material (having made a name for himself directing two Beatles movies, A Hard Day's Night and Help!, Lester once again utilizes rapid edits and handheld cameras to keep things moving at a breakneck pace), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a mad romp through Ancient Rome that, if it doesn't wear you out first, will give you plenty to laugh about.







You are subscribed to email updates from 2,500 Movies Challenge
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
Email delivery powered by Google
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trailer For Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Marvel Entertainment" <marvel@marvel.com>
Date: Mar 4, 2015 11:16 PM
Subject: Watch The New Trailer For Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron!
To: <trrytrvrs@gmail.com>

To view this email as a web page, click here.

Marvel Bulletin Watch The New Trailer And Get Tickets Now! facebook twitter youtube Tumblr facebook Marvel
MARVEL

Clicking on the Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and/or Tumblr links will take you to their respective sites, where each site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use will apply.

This email was sent to: trrytrvrs@gmail.com - Update Preferences.

If you wish to unsubscribe the above address from commercial emails from Marvel, click here or e-mail Onlinesupport@marvel.com.

This email was sent by: Marvel Digital Media Group LLC
135 West 50th Street New York, NY, 10020, USA

Website: Marvel.com

For more information on what information we collect and how we use it, please read our Privacy Policy

© 2015 MARVEL