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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 21 Aug 2016, 18:31
by Shingster
Ninja is really terrible, one of the worst films I've seen so far this millennium!

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 21 Aug 2016, 20:18
by Markgway
It was on TV so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 00:00
by Markgway
Dracula (1931-USA) *½
Pretty awful adaptation of Bram Stoker novel; poorly staged and woodenly acted (except for Dwight Frye who chews up all the scenery). Bela Lugosi's Count is iconic, but really, the poor man couldn't act for toffee. More likely to induce titters than chills.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 02:00
by Shingster
I think that's an extremely unfair thing to say about Lugosi, the whole film is very stilted not just Lugosi, but hey that must have been what worked back then because without the success of Dracula there may never have been a Universal Horror era in the 30s. This wasn't his first turn as Dracula either, he played him throughout the late 20s on Broadway, again to great success. He was always hindered by his thick Hungarian accent, but watch him in The Black Cat and The Raven when his English was a little more fluent and say he couldn't act. He was also the best thing about Son of Frankenstein.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 14:26
by Markgway
I've seen Lugosi in other films and never been impressed; it was his presence that made him memorable. Regardless, I may revisit them at some point. I'm working my way thru the Universal Monsters Box Set. Boris next.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 14:27
by Markgway
The Survivors (1983-USA) *½
Offensively stupid comedy wastes Robin Williams (very annoying here) and Walter Matthau (funny when the material allows).

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 17:09
by Masterofoneinchpunch
Markgway wrote:I've seen Lugosi in other films and never been impressed; it was his presence that made him memorable. Regardless, I may revisit them at some point. I'm working my way thru the Universal Monsters Box Set. Boris next.
In terms of direction, cinematography, getting performances out of actors -- James Whale is a much better director than Tod Browning, especially in the sound age. Now you will see a big difference in acting between Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein when Whale had more control over to hire like with the iconic performance of Ernest Thesiger.

To be fair to Lugosi, check out the Spanish version of Dracula which was filmed at night (typical of many films with two or more foreign-language versions.) The film is better directed than the Browning version, but compare the Dracula performances where you see the typical early 30s wooden performance (now I like Lupita Tovar's performance though.)

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 24 Aug 2016, 23:51
by Markgway
Frankenstein (1931-USA) ***
Universal's second monster horror is a significant step-up from Dracula.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Aug 2016, 09:52
by Ivan Drago
I prefer Dracula even though Frankenstein is technically the better movie. Dracula has a more creepy atmosphere, and I'm very partial to the tail-end of the Jazz age setting.

Lugosi is a weird actor, as he can be very impressive, but teeters towards sending me into hysterics. He is probably my favourite horror actor, despite his flaws. Unlike Karloff or Lee, I don't think he ever gave a bored performance.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Aug 2016, 16:48
by Markgway
Karloff was massively a better actor than Lugosi, IMHO.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Aug 2016, 17:41
by Shingster
Karloff was an undeniable great imo, Lugosi not so much but he did become a really great asset as a supporting actor for Universal (who exploited him terribly)

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 25 Aug 2016, 18:57
by Masterofoneinchpunch
I'm a huge Karloff fan and I think he is the better actor of the two. Now I like Bela Lugosi too but unfortunately the drug addiction he had started to wear him down later in his career where Karloff's health and back issues slowed him down as he got older -- but he still had the voice which he could effectively use. Lugosi could overact though his persona was certainly unique and influential. I tend to enjoy most of his performances even if they are stylized. Karloff certainly had more range. Both were typecast somewhat early unlike Vincent Price who really did not get typecast until The House of Wax (he certainly has some interesting film noir performances like Laura and even western ones like The Baron of Arizona.)

Now when they are together they could work a good movie such as with Robert Wise's The Body Snatcher with Val Lewton as producer.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 00:05
by Ivan Drago
Karloff is definetly superior in terms of range.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 00:19
by Markgway
The Mummy (*1932/3-USA) **½
*According to the imdb the film was released in the US on 22/12/32, yet the on screen copyright notice clearly states 1933. Someone is mistaken.
The Universal horrors are getting slicker now, everything is much smoother. Not a brilliant or scary film, but definitely interesting.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 01:26
by Ivan Drago
1932 release, and the print says 1933. I think there is a similar discrepancy on Casablanca.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 01:53
by Shingster
From what I can gather I think it only played in one theatre (The Rialto in Washington) during the last week of 1932, then premiered on Broadway fist week of 1933, then the rest of L.A. two weeks after.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 16:18
by Markgway
Ann Hui's A Simple Life has a similar story.

It played festivals in 2011, but the released film contains a 2012 copyright.

It's possible last minute tweaks were made (otherwise I see no reason to change the date).

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 16:59
by Ivan Drago
Markgway wrote:The Mummy (*1932/3-USA) **½
*According to the imdb the film was released in the US on 22/12/32, yet the on screen copyright notice clearly states 1933. Someone is mistaken.
The Universal horrors are getting slicker now, everything is much smoother. Not a brilliant or scary film, but definitely interesting.
One of Leslie Haliwell's odder reviews (he who disliked every movie after 1953) was for the 1940 The Mummy's Hand, where he claimed its last half hour was among the scariest ever. I can only assume he wrote than when he was 10.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 26 Aug 2016, 23:54
by Markgway
Haven't seen The Mummy's Hand.

The Invisible Man (1933-USA) **½
James Whale embraces the absurd in this blackly comic adaptation of H.G. Wells novel.
The monster this time is a true psychopath, killing babies and derailing trains for fun!

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 02:13
by Markgway
Strange Brew (1983-Canada-USA) *
Really irritating, eh, totally unfunny, eh, comedy, eh.
I gave up after aboot an hour, eh....

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 03:01
by grim_tales
Markgway wrote:Haven't seen The Mummy's Hand.

The Invisible Man (1933-USA) **½
James Whale embraces the absurd in this blackly comic adaptation of H.G. Wells novel.
The monster this time is a true psychopath, killing babies and derailing trains for fun!
There was a lot to enjoy in this film, Claude Rains was superb and the effects were amazing for the time, but the general shrieking and scenery chewing from (I assume) the stable of British character actors was painful

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 11:37
by saltysam
grim_tales wrote:
Markgway wrote:Haven't seen The Mummy's Hand.

The Invisible Man (1933-USA) **½
James Whale embraces the absurd in this blackly comic adaptation of H.G. Wells novel.
The monster this time is a true psychopath, killing babies and derailing trains for fun!
There was a lot to enjoy in this film, Claude Rains was superb and the effects were amazing for the time, but the general shrieking and scenery chewing from (I assume) the stable of British character actors was painful
nothing wrong with the acting in this film,the screeching landlady, the PC Plod type copper etc added to the charm and fitted the film perfectly (imo)

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 13:33
by Markgway
The hysterical acting was an intentional part of the humour. I was surprised at just how comic the film was. I guess after Dracula, et al, I was expecting something more serious. I did forget to mention how impressive the special effects were.

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 22:01
by Ivan Drago
Is this your first time seeing the Universal monster classics, Mark?

Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Posted: 28 Aug 2016, 01:29
by Markgway
First time since childhood. I grew out of monster movies. Now I'm revisiting them as an adult.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935-USA) ***
Uneven, but unforgettable sequel. Some elements I liked better than in the original -- the blind hermit gave the film a new depth, the tragedy of the monster, but the titular character isn't shown until the end, and since she never returned in any sequel, it feels a bit like a missed opportunity... also the shrieking humour should've stayed in The Invisible Man where it belonged. Karloff is great, naturally, so's Elsa Lanchester (for the little screen time she has).