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Showing posts from January, 2013

Trapped (1949)

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt-----Youngstown, Ohio


Fresh in from PubDHub and my ROKU box is another film noir, Trapped (the 1949 version).  This one stars Lloyd Bridges as a counterfeiter/escapee and Barbara Payton as his moll.

There’s plenty of mood lighting and snappy dialog in this one, and, as most of these noir movies go, there’s a series of bad choices made, ending in the death of the main character.  That’s it for the story.  Fade to black..........

Mr. Bridges, the Senior, was still getting starring roles in 1949 because, well, he hadn’t been accused of being a Communist yet.  Sure, he was a WWII veteran of the Coast Guard and all, but we were on a Red Hunt back in the early 50s.  His career was resurrected in Sea Hunt, a 50s television series revolving around underwater SCUBA scenery and the occasional line spoken by Lloyd, and being cleared of Communist leanings by the FBI.  He continued to make friends and fans until the end, having starring (or supporting) roles in the Ai…

Detour--1945

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Movie Notes From The Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio

With the help of Netflix, the HD Wide Screen Vizio, and the ROKU box, I came across that 1945 classic thriller from the noir era/collection/school, Detour.  Detour is a “don’t miss” if you’re into this sort of thing, and I qualify as “into this sort of thing”.

Not too much story to get in the way of the bad decisions, mood lighting, and scrappy dialog here.  Piano player begins to hitch-hike across the country from New York to El Lay to catch up to his love.  Along the way he’s picked up by a bookie who, by a bizarre twist of circumstances, is also heading to El Lay.  What WERE the chances?????  The piano player takes a turn at driving the convertible, and, during a rainstorm, stops to put up the top.  When he opens the door, the bookie falls out, hitting his head on a rock, expiring on the spot.  The piano player does the only reasonable thing.  He hides the body, assumes the bookie’s identity, and takes the car and the bookie…

Highway Dragnet-1954

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....Youngstown, Ohio

Had a couple of hours to kill before I headed off to work yesterday afternoon, and filled them with that classic 1954 film-noir, Highway Dragnet, all brought to my living room via Netflix and my beloved ROKU box, displayed for my viewing pleasure on the wide-screen, high-definition Vizio.  What a great combo, as they might say in a film-noir.

Plenty of good story here, but not so much that it gets in the way of the action and writing.  Korean war veteran hooks up briefly in Las Vegas with a washed up model in a bar.  They argue and early the next morning she’s found dead--strangled with a strap of some sort, it would seem.  Las Vegas Police accuse our innocent war veteran of the murder, he escapes from their custody.  I mean really now--he’s a recently separated Army Sergeant with a chestful of medals and plenty of ability.  How could he NOT escape.  The chase lasts from Las Vegas to the Salton Sea, and in the process, our hero hitc…

Retroactive-1997

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt—Youngstown, Ohio
Yesterday I fired up the ROKU box and went straight to Netflix, where I found that one of the recommended movies for me, based, apparently, on my previous viewing habits, was that 1997 time-bending thriller, Retroactive. If it's recommended by Netflix, that's good enough for me, and it ought to be good enough for you, too.
About 90 seconds into the movie, I realized that I had actually seen this movie once before--maybe as a first-run, maybe I rented it (in those dark days before having Netflix and a ROKU box), or maybe I'm a character in a time-travel story. As my bride would be more than happy to explain, just because I once watched a movie (or read a book, or ate at a restaurant, or.....), that doesn't mean that I will remember anything much about it the second time around. And I don't, or didn't or something along those lines. I watched Deja Vu probably 12 or 15 times before I remembered that I'd seen…

Death Race 2000

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio

In the snowy cold of Northeast Ohio, I just watched that 1975 (or maybe it was 1974) Roger Corman thriller:  Death Race 2000.

Dandy entertainment by any standard.  It’s set in the far future of the year 2000 and has to do with a coast-to-coast car race where the drivers gain extra points by running down pedestrians.

Like I said.....Dandy entertainment by any standard.

OK, then--we got, as stars, Kung-Fu hisself, David Carradine, and Sly Rocky Rambo before he was either Rocky or Rambo, but he was still pretty Sly.  They’re the main race drivers.  Now, in this future, every driver has a pretty female navigator, and, as the plot progresses, we find that the pretty navigators also have bosoms.  No full frontal nudity in this one, though, so we don’t really know if women still had pubic hair in 1975 (or 1974) or not.  Sorry.

Outside of the nudity and car race, one of the highlights of the show is a fight between Kung-Fu and Sly, but Kung-Fu …

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1987)

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Here we are.  Dead of winter.  Snow on the ground.  Fire in the fireplace.  But, I still have power and cable.  This means I also have Netflix and my ROKU box, feeding a movie into the high definition wide screen Vizio.  And, as we now know, this means..........Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio.

Today’s feature is a made-for-TV movie from those halcyon days of 1987, The Man Who Fell To Earth.  The story is simple.  Alien, who looks remarkably human-like, and his alien pals, crash land on Earth.  Seems they were looking for a new home since their planet is dying.  Very sad.  Our alien’s three buddies die in the crash and he buries them before leaving the area, thus proving his humanity really early into the movie.  C’Mon....For Pete’s sake, this was 1987.  We still had hope.  Alien falls in love with an Earth girl and her evil teen-ager, develops the pre-cursor to the iPad (let us not forget this was the time of the home computer being an Atari 400), gets involved with …

Non Stop New York

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Seems that it’s still cold and windy in Northeast Ohio.  Night comes early in the winter here.  And we all know what that means.......

Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio.

Today’s feature via Pub-D-Hub and my ROKU box is that 1937 classic “B” movie, Non Stop New York.  It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit gangster, a little bit noir, a little bit romance, and 100 percent British.

Non Stop New York is based on a 1936 novel titled Sky Steward by Ken Attiwill.  Didn’t take long to turn a book into a movie in the 30s, or so it would seem.

OK--Way too much plot to get in the way of the story here--Cute British girl witnesses a murder by a gangster in New York, then takes a boat home to Merry-Olde, then finds out that an innocent man is about to be executed for the murder, then becomes a stow-away on--THE STAR OF THE SHOW!!  It’s an airplane.  A really big one.  Something between a luxury liner and a passenger train.  Something straight out of Buck Rogers or Scientific Amer…

The Glades

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By the numbers, now.....I woke up before 6 this morning and there were 8 deer in the front yard, it was 3 degrees American, and 1 little dog was howling.  This is Television Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio.

I've been watching The Glades on Netflix.  Now Netflix, Godblessum, only offers the first two seasons of The Glades, and all of those episodes have been consumed.  Why don’t I just turn on the A&E channel and watch it first run, you might ask.  Not that I haven’t been tempted, but I've become accustomed to watching television programming without commercials.  On Netflix.  And Amazon Prime.  And Pub-D-Hub.

Turns out I really don’t like modern commercials.  Not even a little bit.  Time was, they were cute and well made and had something to do with my life (Alka-Seltzer ads come to mind), but now, well.....Guess I just don’t have a burning need to hire a lawyer and sue someone for something, don’t care much about buying a new classless generic automobile, don’…

The Unusuals

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All the snow in my beloved Northeast Ohio has resulted in clogged roadways and, as a direct result, has made me completely uninterested in driving.  Or even leaving the house.

I’m far from agoraphobic, but it’s miserable out there.  So I’m home.  With my ROKU box and an Amazon Prime subscription.  Which can only mean one thing............Television notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio.

I watched the entire 2009 10 episode run of The Unusuals, a dandy police procedural with some twists--Like, for example, it was actually realistic.  At least as much as a TV show can be.   ABC killed this program after the initial 10 episodes for Godonlyknowswhy, proving that ABC is just as stupid as FOX in some respects.  This perfectly delightful program hits the trash heap side-by-side with Brimstone and a host of others.

It’s demise might be simply because of the name (“The Unusuals” sounds like a cartoon about a dysfunctional super-hero family), or maybe because ABC billed it as similar to …