The “Dueling Divas” series at the Denver Public Library moves forward at a healthy clip last week with a well-attended screening of the Bette Davis three-hankie weepie Dark Victory. It hasn’t aged well. With three Bette flicks to review for the muthasite (including this one), I’ll keep my own counsel – but I will say that Bogie is badly miscast as an Irish stable-hand and Ronald Reagan is perfectly cast as a rich lush with champagne bubbles in his head. This week: Possessed, the second Joan Crawford flick by that name, and one of her best performances. They were all good. Well, at least until she hooked up with Roger Corman.
Really disgusted by this article about Netflix and their policy of “throttling” their best customers by slowing the pace of their rentals. I hope this thing becomes a class action. As of now, though, consider me an ex-customer. I’m sure they could give a shit, but there’s too much of this stuff in our culture now, isn’t there, of lack of accountability and surplus of deception. “Truthiness”, right? Well, this is the first chance I get to do something about it and so, I’m taking it.
With the death of Peter Benchley – bears asking if anyone’s actually read Jaws? Y’know, the one where there’s an adulterous affair between Chief Brody’s wife and the Richard Dreyfuss shark expert? Those looking for examples of the books being much, much worse than the movies based on them: look no farther than the films of Alfred Hitchcock and, of course, Jaws. Other prime examples? Controversial ones?
Here’s this week’s screen capture. May need to take a page out of Bill’s playbook somehow is it turns out, too, to be too easy. This is the first of seven in the fourth cycle and it is a screen capture, so issues such as aspect ratio matter. Thanks, Jack, for the link to the LAN player. It's small, easy, and works like a dream.
Hot off the Presses (Feb 14)
Happy Valentine's day, folks. Saw Eight Below last night and had the pleasure of listening to some woman sitting behind me, dangerously involved in the picture, urging the dog heroes on with not-so-whispered, tearful entreaties of "Be careful, honey, c'mon, C'MON" and entreaties to a pup playing dead of "Be there, Maya, c'mon, baby, BE THERE" as Paul Walker zombie-walks to its side to administer what I was sure was going to be the kiss of life. Alas, the dog wakes up by itself. This is the kind of audience "interference" that studios hope will corrupt a critic's experience of a film favorably - but there are two truths about this tactic: the first is that there is nothing I can say that will make the kind of people who see this film not love it; and the second is that this kind of dimwitted audience intrusion almost invariably makes good critics crankier and less likely to give the film a kind review. I console myself with the flick's poster: the funniest thing I've seen in some time. Walker reproduced with exactly the same expression as his canine co-stars is almost worth the movie.
A question though, thrown out there out of flabbergasting ignorance before I write the review proper: is there a temperature so cold that beyond which breath no longer mists? I'm serious. This film has made me measurably stupider.