Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: new links and text

Happy Valley
Below, the links to this week's reviews and citations; it's clearly a Happy Valley Tuesday. As always, please let me know in comments when I've missed yours or someone else's...and, as always, thanks to all our contributors and to you readers...a few more are likely to be added over the course of the day.

Anne Billson: Imagine Film Festival

Bill Crider: What About Bob? [trailer]

Brian Arnold: "The Wise Little Hen" (Donald Duck debuts)
Annabelle Gurwitch

BV Lawson: Media Murder

Dan Stumpf: Border Devils

David Vineyard: The Soldier and the Lady

Ed Gorman: Annabelle Gurwitch

Ed Lynskey: The Adventures of Sam Spade: "The Dead Duck Caper"

Elizabeth Foxwell: Suspense: "Suspicion" (the first of two tv adaptations in the series of the Sayers short story)
Mr. Lucky

Evan Lewis: Pulp-Pourri Theater: "By Order of Buck Brady"

George Kelley: The Fault in Our Stars

Iba Dawson: Columbia University Film Festival

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Mr. Lucky (tv)

Jake Hinkson: Ida; Joan Crawford

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Ann Blyth on stage: Our Town; Wait Until Dark

James Reasoner: Zulu

Jerry House: I'm the Law

John Charles: Hi-Riders; The Bad Bunch

John Grant: Girl on the Run; Der Frosch mit der Maske; Portait of Jennie

Jonathan Lewis: Will Penny; The Black Room

Laura: The Men of the Fighting Lady; Mystery in Mexico; Dawn at Socorro

Lucy Brown: Happy Valley

Martin Edwards: Happy Valley
I, the Jury

Marty McKee: The Gas House Kids "In Hollywood"; Maniac Cop; Maniac Cop 2/3

Mildred Perkins: Miracle Mile (please see the text at end of post)

Mystery Dave: Bonnie and Clyde (2013 tv)

Patti Abbott: Journey for Margaret

Randy Johnson: I, the Jury; Cry for Revenge (aka I morti non si contano)

Rick: Prescription: Murder (the Columbo pilot)

Rod Lott: The Lost Empire

The Twilight Zone: "Twenty Two"
Ron Scheer: Four Years In...

Sergio Angelini: Dark Shadows: The Christmas Presence

Stacia Jones: Whitewash

Stephen Bowie: 13 Underrated and Overlooked Twilight Zone Episodes 

Steve Lewis: Night Key

Yvette Banek: 1930s film posters

Todd Mason: City News (American Playhouse); Rasa Dari Tari/The Soul of Dance: Contemporary Dance in Indonesia

...and this, which had gotten by me previously: the 2002 western romance film The Outsider, notable in part for a cast led by Naomi Watts and Tim Daly (with two of the Carradine brothers in key supporting roles), shot in Australia, and directed (Randa Haines) and scripted (Jenny Wingfield) by women, from the novel by Penelope Williamson.  What it plays like, more than anything else that comes to mind, is one of the radio episodes of Gunsmoke, with a fine grit to the production and even a bit of sexual play. With nearly two million hits on YouTube, I suspect it has been seen as often there as anywhere else...but do adjust the aspect ratio if you choose to watch it here...

Mildred Perkins on Miracle Mile:
If you are in the mood for the fantastical colors of 1980s cinema,
combined with the decade-soaked music of Tangerine Dream, you should
see this "thriller".

That word is in quotes because it's difficult to pin down exactly what
this film is.  It could be considered an apocalyptic nightmare, or a
neon lit fantasy, or the worst romantic thriller ever filmed.  Mostly,
it's all three of those.

Also, if you're like me and enjoy seeing older films for the nostalgia
of ancient "high tech" gadgets, this will keep you smiling.  In 
in the Year Zero the phone booth on the side of a quiet mountain road
made me laugh out loud.  In Miracle Mile your jaw will drop at both
the ludicrously large (and suspiciously always-in-range) cell phone
used by "the ball breaking female exec" played by one of many actors
you will recognize from other roles.  Denise Crosby plays the epitome
of the feminist backlash character, with a tone deafness as large as
the universe.  *evil grin*

Anthony Edwards (later of ER) is the hero of 
Miracle Mile, and tries
hard to make us believe he not only falls madly in love with Mare
Winningham in about three seconds, but is willing to risk his life to
save her.  Ummmm...no, he did not convince me.

The most hilarious character in the entire movie is played by well
known bad guy Brian Thompson, clad in skin tight, shiny baby blue "work
out" clothes, pumping iron and flexing his enormous muscles.  That's
not the funny part.  You'll have to watch it to see.

Seriously, though, the thriller aspect works surprisingly well, and the
fear of a looming apocalypse is easily understood by people of a
certain age, like me.

Miracle Mile


Yvette said...

My post is FINALLY up, Todd. It's been that kind of day. :)

On another note: I saw THE OUTSIDER a while back and liked it well enough. But the book was so much better. In fact, the book was marvelous. Too bad the movie powers that be didn't really take the story especially seriously.

Todd Mason said...

The novel dealt with the Watts character's inner conflict in more depth, I'd bet...I will cut them some slack, if so, that they had a two-hour running time to treat with, and a fair amount of incident to get through. Novels into feature-length films almost demand a lot of trimming of the interiority.