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Movies, DVDs, and Theater > What MOVIES or DVDs have you watched lately? (PART FOUR - 2011) (ongoing thread)

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited May 01, 2011 07:44AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments What movies or DVDs have you watched lately (or will you be watching)? (PART FOUR - 2011) (ongoing thread)
(Continued from Part Three)

message 2: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments The following YouTube interview may interest those who are curious about the movie, "Inception":
"Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Interview on David Letterman - INCEPTION - July 14, 2010":
He explains some details about the movie and how it was made.

message 3: by Jackie (last edited Dec 31, 2010 10:19PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments That was interesting how they filmed the scene he was talking about. I assumed they went for CGI. Good video, Joy.
The brother he was talking about died recently, October I think.

message 4: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments That business, about the camera being attached and turning with the room, was originally done in an old Fred Astaire film. Astaire looked as though he was dancing up the walls and on the ceiling. An old idea put to new use.

message 5: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 01, 2011 08:20AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments PS-Here's a link to a YouTube of the famous ceiling dance with Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling. [The movie was: "Royal Wedding" (1951).]:
It's fun to watch, especially when you realize how they did it.

PPS-Here's a longer version showing the lead-up to the scene:
It involves the photo on the table (as shown at the end).

message 6: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 01, 2011 11:04AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments The TCM channel is airing "The Time Machine" (1960) right now, from noon to 2:00 PM, 1/1/11.
"A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species."
"Based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells"
Book: The Time Machine (first published 1895)

PS-Here's some trivia from IMDb:
"The 'lava' in the volcano scene in downtown was actually oatmeal with orange and red food coloring spilled onto a platform and slowly moved down the miniature set."

"The original time machine was sold at the MGM studio auction in 1971, the same auction that originally sold the Ruby Slippers (see trivia for The Wizard of Oz (1939)). The winner of the auction was the owner of a traveling show. Five years later, the prop was found in a thrift store in Orange, CA. Film historian Bob Burns purchased it for $1,000. Using blue prints his friend, George Pal, had given him years earlier, he and a crew of friends restored it. The restoration crew included D.C. Fontana script consultant and writer on "Star Trek" (1966) and Michael Minor art director on Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Please see for further info on this amazing prop." [contains pictures of the original time machine which, according to the article, looked like horse-drawn sleigh and was inspired by the winter sleigh rides of the designer's youth]

NOTE: The TCM commentary at the end of the film said that the time machine design started out with the idea of a barber's chair. (The "Hollywood" article sited above does mention that. It says: "It was built with an old fashioned barber's chair.")
Also see:
See photo:

message 7: by Jackie (last edited Jan 01, 2011 09:35AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Wow, I didn't realize the technique was old. Very cool.

message 8: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 01, 2011 10:10AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Jackie wrote: "Wow, I didn't realize the technique was old. Very cool."

Jackie, about the camera in the Fred Astaire film, sometimes we older people remember things which you younger folks never knew. Often, when I'm watching Jeopardy, I'm amazed that all those smart people don't know things which I consider common knowledge. The question seems an easy one to me, yet the contestants draw a blank. That shows us that "common knowledge" is a very relative thing, relative to our age. :)

message 9: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments That is true.

message 10: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 01, 2011 11:25AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments It's true (about the relative nature of common knowledge), but I'm always amazed by it, especially when our sons don't know who Cary Grant is! :)

In fact, our son, born in 1961, told us last week that he had never heard of the film "You've Got Mail" (1998) with Tom Hanks! LOL

We were watching (on TCM) the forerunner of that film, "In the Good Old Summer Time". Of course, the other forerunner is "The Little Shop Around the Corner". Much of the dialogue in those two old films is almost the same. It's interesting to compare them.

"The Shop Around the Corner" (1940):
"Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they're falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal."
(with Jimmy [James] Stewart and Margaret Sullavan)

"In the Good Old Summertime" (1949):
(with Judy Garland and Van Johnson) (This one is a musical version.)

I enjoyed all three films.

message 11: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 02, 2011 09:47AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments TCM is currently airing "Boy's Night Out" (1962).
1/2/11 - Noon to 2 PM
Looks like a good cast: James Garner, Tony Randall, Howard Duff, Howard Morris & Kim Novak.

Isn't there another film like this in which men use a secret apartment in which to woo females?

PS-Ah, yes. It was "The Apartment" (1960). (Might have known!)
(with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine)

message 12: by Werner (new)

Werner This afternoon, Barb and I watched another of the videos I gave her for Christmas. (Last weekend, we watched Bad Girls, which I posted about on the old thread last fall when I previewed it; if anyone's interested to know, that one got Barb's seal of approval. :-) ) Our choice this time was Miracle of the White Stallions (Disney, 1963); the IMDB link is: .

The Lippizzan horses are a rare breed, originating in 1580, which are born dark colored, but turn white at around the age of three. The only herd of them in the world is owned by Vienna's Spanish Riding School (the world's oldest school of its type, founded in the early 1700s) and the best stallions are highly trained in performing classical dressage, which is demonstrated to very good effect in two places in the film. During World War II, the Nazis sent the mares to Czechoslovakia; and in the last weeks of the war, the stallions were in great danger of being killed by Allied bombing. When the delusional German high command (which still imagined the war was winnable) refused to authorize the males to be evacuated, the school's director and his small staff, determined to save them, spirited them out of Vienna. This is the real life event that's dramatized here, and it is a dramatic story --possibly fictionalized somewhat, but it had to be difficult and dangerous every step of the way, not only to get the stallions to safety, but to recover the mares.

Barb and I both give this one high marks. It will be enhanced for you if you're an ardent horse lover, as Barb is (and Jim, this would be right up Marg and Erin's alley, if they haven't seen it already!), but you don't have to be to appreciate it. The focus is as much on the humans as on the horses, and it has a very good message about the importance of standing up for what's right and doing your duty faithfully, in the face of danger. Robert Taylor turns in a good performance as the school's director; and the sets and scenery have a very authentic period feel.

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments Thanks for mentioning this one, Werner. Marg does remember seeing it when it came out in the movie theater, but not since then. I think I found her a birthday or Valentine's present. I appreciate that.

message 14: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 02, 2011 07:52PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Werner, by coincidence, I saw a short clip about these special horses on New Year's Day while watching the concert from Vienna. Now you are mentioning a movie about them. They are very impressive. I found a YouTube clip showing them doing their dressage:
"The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions"
(Even the waltz background music is enjoyable in this clip.)

Thanks for the review of the movie. I put the movie on my "saved" list at Netflix but it's availability at Netflix is "unknown".
"Miracle of the White Stallions" (1963):
"As the war closes in around them, the horses' trainers and riders must risk their lives to evacuate the animals to a safe haven outside Vienna."

message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments They are awesome. The girls watch a lot of eventing & dressage is my least favorite part of those competitions. That's not to say I don't enjoy watching it, but I find show jumping & the outside course more interesting. I never learned any dressage although Marg, James & Erin have all competed at the lower levels. Brandon & I never had the patience. It takes a lot to train a horse to do it.

Most people don't realize from watching it, but it is one of the toughest disciplines for both the horse & rider. The horse has to be very athletic - sort of like a ballet dancer. The rider must stay perfectly balanced because the signals sent to the horse are quite subtle. If the horse is the least bit achy or the rider gets a bit off balance, the entire routine goes to pot.

Dressage was the main reason none of my kids got into the highest level of Pony Club. We couldn't afford a horse for them. The ex-race horses we have couldn't do it. Joints worn from racing (usually hocks & ankles) weren't up to the challenge. Often the best dressage horses are crosses. My SIL had a very good one that was half Thoroughbred, half Hanovarian, a warm blood. Hanovarians are often used in dressage, having more muscle, but adding the TB cross made him lighter & more athletic. She competed at some top shows & did well with him... (Can't recall his name, but he died 15 years ago.)

Now she is (according to her) fat & old, so she drives mini teams in competition. Mini's being small ponies & she drives up to 4 of them in harness to be judged on obstacle courses & various things. It's pretty cool.

message 16: by Werner (new)

Werner Jim, it would be cool if a post of mine led to Marg getting a gift she liked! This film IS available at Amazon (I wasn't sure; the tape I got is used), with new copies for sale in both DVD and VHS, and the link in my post above leads to a link to the Amazon listings.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments Thanks, Werner. Yes, it's very cool. You know how tough it is to get a spouse something they really want at our age. We use the same money pot & tend to get what we want when we want, not to mention years of collecting. If we don't get it, we can't afford it or haven't thought of it. Since we tend to talk a fair amount, that means there isn't even much of the last, either.

message 18: by Werner (new)

Werner I hear ya, buddy. :-)

message 19: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 03, 2011 05:08PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments GR never notified me about Jim's and Werner's messages #15 (about dressage, etc.), 16, 17, & 18 above. Wonder why. I checked my settings and they're OK. I'll have to check via the website more often.

message 20: by Earl (new)

Earl (read_for_entertainment) | 369 comments Netflixed Robin Hood

It was too dark for my tv screen. Shouldn't Netflix be able to tell me that? I'd probably have rented it anyway, as story is more important to be than annoying darkness and the rectangular picture that doesn't agree with my tv either. Hi-def sets ARE getting more reasonable now, I may have to start looking. 3 stars out of 5 from me. A refreshing new take on the Robin Hood legend.

message 21: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Hmmm, I'll have to try that one, Earl.

message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments We watched the new "Robin Hood" recently & liked it. It was different, a prequel to the normal story. I'd give it 4 stars, I think.

My favorite take on it was Mel Brook's "When Things Were Rotten", a short lived TV series back in the 70's. I'd probably hate it now, but it really appealed to my sense of humor at the time. I remember Maid Marian contemplating suicide one time. She had poison in her perfume bottle & did a take off of the Parkay butter versus margarine ad that was so popular at the time. It had me rolling on the floor.

message 23: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments I love Mel Brooks! Here's a great clip of him on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:
"Mel Brooks tells a hilarious story on The Tonight Show about meeting Cary Grant."

message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments We watched "The American" with George Clooney last night. Kind of a waste of time. It was OK, I guess. I didn't get up & walk out on it, but I did get a fair amount of crocheting done.

message 25: by Jackie (last edited Jan 08, 2011 04:23PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Jim, I don't even want to see it but Eric does so I'm still going to be stuck renting it.

message 26: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Below are reviews of "The American" (2010) by Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli:

message 27: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments Ebert did point out the best part of the movie, Clooney's character being addressed by a name the other character shouldn't have known. It is a very fine detail.

It was his job that I had an issue with. I just can't see an assassin (his primary job) acting as the gunsmith for another, much less the way he did the assembly & with what parts & tools. I also had an issue with what the clues told us & some other motivating factors. They just blew my credulity out of the water. Otherwise, I agree, it was well acted & well done. Unfortunately, the central point just didn't sit well.

message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I've overindulged in action movies last year and now I can't stand the thought of them.

message 29: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Jackie wrote: "I've overindulged in action movies last year and now I can't stand the thought of them."

I never liked them in the first place. :)

I watched "Sherlock Holmes" (2009) with Robert Downey, Jr. recently via Netflix.
Too dark and too much action for me.
Roger Ebert's review said:
"... This sets off a series of action set pieces in the streets of London, which have never seemed more looming, dark and ominous; I had the impression Jack the Ripper had just darted out of view."
Not for me.

message 30: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments That one I did like. I'm a big fan of RDjr so that could've had a lot to do with it. And the unusual take on Sherlock.

message 31: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 08, 2011 05:32PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Robert Downey, Jr. has a presence that can't be denied.

I liked Jude Law in the movie ("Sherlock Holmes"). He was very appealing. Downey and Law made a good pair. Here they are together in an interesting interview:
They make good buddies on and off screen.

PS-Here's a good follow-up interview with RDjr (with Letterman):
I like seeing him behaving so naturally and real. Seems like a nice guy.

message 32: by Jackie (last edited Jan 08, 2011 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments He's been through a lot in his personal life. It's inspiring to see someone work hard and get their life back on track. I was worried about him for a long time; not anymore.
And he's got a great sense of humor.

Great interview.

message 33: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 08, 2011 06:08PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Yes, I'm glad he got his life back on track. It's not an easy thing to do.

message 34: by Earl (new)

Earl (read_for_entertainment) | 369 comments Netflixed Vengeance

2 stars out of 5. They try to assign honor to mob hit men, like in our old westerns. Not likely. Altogether unrealistic on most every level.

message 35: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 10, 2011 06:47AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Earl, here's the IMDb link:
"Vengeance" (2009)

"French pop star Johnny Hallyday has one of those wonderfully tarnished faces—the face of a once-beautiful man ruined by a life of behaving badly."
FROM review at:

Roger Ebert says:
"Vengeance is a formula thriller done as an elegant genre exercise.
Johnny Hallyday ... is tall, weathered, grim and taciturn. But sometime check out the You Tube of him singing 'My Funny Valentine.'"

I found this one of him singing, but it's not "My Funny Valentine":

message 36: by Earl (new)

Earl (read_for_entertainment) | 369 comments Netflixed Solitary Man

The failures of a man's character. I gave it 3 stars out of 5, but I was disappointed that, with Michael
Douglas starring, it wasn't more exciting

Speaking of the Douglas's, I just finished his father Kirk's Ragman's Son, an autobiography. I think this is the first autobiography I ever really enjoyed. I gave it 4 stars. And I really believe he wrote it himself with no ghost. Thanks for the referral, Jim!

message 37: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments Glad you liked it, Earl. My wife, mother & I all enjoyed it, too.

message 38: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 16, 2011 08:57AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments I watched a Netflix DVD of:
"The Special Relationship" (2010}
"A dramatization that traces former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair's relationships with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush."

Michael Sheen and Dennis Quaid do excellent portrayals of Blair and Clinton. Quaid sounds just like Clinton! After a while he starts to resemble him! Amazing.

There's a scene about the Monica Lewinsky affair. Blair's character asks his wife if she were Hillary would she leave Clinton. Mrs. Blair replies something to the effect: "No, wouldn't leave him but I'd make his life hell." LOL

I love movies like this. I gave this one 5 stars.

message 39: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 16, 2011 09:15AM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments BTW, don't forget that the Golden Globe Awards are tonight, Sun., Jan. 16, at 8PM on NBC.
See the list of nominations here:

PS-Ricky Gervais will be hosting. He's great.
"For Gervais, Another Trip To The Globes, Sans Script"
"Gervais says that he will stick to his off-the-cuff style of improvised remarks. He won't follow a script and has no qualms about drinking through the ceremony — a technique that led to more than a few controversial remarks last year as he introduced celebrity presenters throughout the show."

message 40: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments PS-About the film, "The Special Relationship", one of the reviewers said: "Nevertheless this is a fine film that if nothing else is as entertaining a way as any to be brought up to speed on some very important contemporary history."

That's a good way to put it.

message 41: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Interesting that Michael Sheen was cast again as Tony Blair. I think he looks like him. He did a fantastic job of it in The Queen.
I haven't heard of The Special Relationship but you can be sure I'll be renting it very soon.

I love Ricky Gervais, I'll have to tune in tonight.
One of the things I like about British talk shows is the host and guests drink alcohol throughout the entire program and they get pretty loose which leads to some funny moments.

Thanks for all the info, Joy, you made my day!

message 42: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Jackie, the film, "The Special Relationship" was "made-for-cable-television film by BBC Films and HBO Films".

Other excerpts:
"The other interesting contrast for me was in the infrastructure behind the two governments. Contrast the Clinton’s almost palatial surrounds and supports to the Blair’s cooking their kids breakfast in the flat’s kitchen at No 11."

"When Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 he chose to use Number 11 rather than Number 10 as his actual (as opposed to official) residence, as its larger living areas were more suitable for his young family."

message 43: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 5256 comments Not a movie, but I'll warn everyone that the Eclipse Awards are on tonight from 7pm - 10pm EDT.

Tom Voss trained Slip Away, the winner of the Steeplechase boys award.

Forest Boyce is one of the finalists for Apprentice Jockey of the year. She another one to root for.

Of course, the biggy is Zenyatta. She won 19 out of 20 races & would have won the 20th if the race had been a stride longer. It wasn't & Blame won. These are the big two battling it out for horse of the year.

message 44: by Werner (new)

Werner Speaking of horses, Barb and I watched another horse-oriented movie yesterday, King of the Wind, based on the novel by Marguerite Henry, King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian. We'd read the book together over 20 years ago; my memory for the details isn't sharp enough to assess how faithful the adaptation is --I recognized several things, but have the impression that they embellished others. Anyway, it's an entertaining film in its own right, a fictionalized version of the story of the Godolphin Arabian, a horse of North African origin, brought to England ca. 1730, who became the ancestor of a long line of racing champions. The appeal to horse lovers is obvious, but it's also up the alley of fans of period social drama (like me). An Internet link with more information is .

message 45: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Werner, it's too bad that Netflix doesn't carry "King of the Wind" (1990). I would have been interested. Below are a couple of excerpts from IMDb's user comments:
"A capturing story, my children loved it the first time and the twentieth time of viewing. It's a film that can be seen often and the magic doesn't disappear. If you're fond of horses then it's a film to beat Black Beauty."

"The story between the boy Akba and his friend Sham, the Godolphin Arabian, touches the soul."


message 46: by Werner (new)

Werner Joy, there are some copies available through Amazon on VHS --Amazon doesn't sell them, but can link you to vendors who do. New copies range from $57.51 to around $100.00, which is obviously prohibitive, but used ones are in the more reasonable $14.00 range. (I got our copy from the library director where I work, who was disposing of videos belonging to a deceased friend who had no family and left them to her; she'd brought a number of them to the library as give-aways.)

message 47: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 18, 2011 04:08PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Thanks, Werner. I see that there is a video-cassette copy of the film, "King of the Wind", in our library system. Too bad they don't have a DVD of it. They do have the book and an audio CD of the book as well. I've put in a request for the audio CD.

message 48: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 18, 2011 04:32PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments I thought I had seen all the old screwball comedies but today I saw another one.
It was "Nothing Sacred" (1937) with Carol Lombard and Fredric March. I streamed it from Netflix.

It's a light and entertaining story about a journalist (March) who inadvertently publishes a couple of false stories, one of them started by Lombard's character. The more March tries to redeem himself, the more trouble he gets into as Lombard complicates the situation.

Carole Lombard is noted for her comedic talents. She was married to William Powell and later to Clark Gable in 1939. In 1942, at the age of 33, she was killed in an airplane crash. Wiki says that Gable "was inconsolable and devastated by her loss".

message 49: by Jackie (last edited Jan 18, 2011 06:10PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I recently saw an old movie about Carole Lombard and Clark Cable. It was really good...and really sad.

message 50: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 18, 2011 09:48PM) (new)

Joy H. (JoyofGlensFalls) | 14970 comments Oh, boy! Thanks for telling me about that, Jackie. I see that I can stream it from Netflix:
"Gable and Lombard" (1976)
Cast: James Brolin & Jill Clayburgh

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The Time Machine (other topics)
King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian (other topics)
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Shadows on the Grass (other topics)
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Karen Blixen (other topics)
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