News: In theaters December 14: THE MULE, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood!

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Messages - Matt

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It's just starting to feel like Christmas here in Tennessee. Hope everyone is ready for the holidays, and has a great Christmas.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Happy Birthday, Christopher ...
« on: Yesterday at 10:18:11 PM »
How did I miss this? Happy birthday, old man. Hope it was a good one!

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Yeah, you're not going to like this. Sorry, Matt.

And yet....... I really, really did! 

I'm going to agree with exit00 that I wouldn't classify this as a comedy. It's a drama with standard Eastwood one-liners. The audience, myself included, ate them up. The un-PC-ness of it was actually part of its charm. And yet, I didn't think Earl Stone was like Walt Kowalski at all. He reminded me most of Luther Whitney, and there's a scene where this hit me upside the head -- a scene in the diner with Bradley Cooper that reminded me of the best scene in Absolute Power between Luther and Seth Frank. I think the funny one-liners are just classic Clint. One word said in his Eastwoodesque delivery and the crowd was eating it up. I wish I could remember some of the best lines, but there were plenty of light moments in the film that didn't drag the drama down -- it lightened the film up JUST enough... that it was really enjoyable.

There's a scene with him and Dianne Wiest that was one of the most touching and tender of his entire career -- and it's just little moments. No big maudlin over-the-top pulling-at-the-heartstrings. Just simple honest emotion. It was beautiful. At the end, I felt a pang of sadness just because this film really made me feel about what's important in life as we get older. It's a great message, and it's delivered masterfully.

I loved The Mule. I kinda expected less after AKA's review. I usually agree with him very much. But this time, sorry man -- this movie was top notch. One of the things I appreciated was that there was no weak link in the film, and I can point to a weak link in nearly every Eastwood film. Actors that are caricatures, like Maggie's family in Million Dollar Baby. But here, I didn't think the cartel members were so emptily drawn. They had senses of humor. They were just people doing their jobs. We didn't need to know how or why they got into what they are doing -- that's another movie. This one was Earl Stone's story. I thought showing the cartel members the way he did humanized them and made them somewhat likable. I don't really get the criticisms of their casting or that they aren't fleshed out more. We don't have time for or need to know their backstory.
As for theater attendance, I got the last pair of tickets available for the 7:30 showing, and I bought them online at 5:00 PM.  I had no idea it would be hard to get into this showing, or I would have bought them sooner.  But it turns out our theater has become a dine-in theater (full menu and bar, everh seat is a full recliner, super comfortable and basically just awesome).  So there were less seats, but it was a full theater. Maybe this movie played better here in a "red" state than in others. But, the Nashville area is the one liberal pocket in the state, so it's a mixed bag.  We were the last ones to leave the theater as we watched the ending credits, and one of the theater employees wanted me to know that Clint's partner of so many years had just died yesterday. Then I looked like a Clint geek (which I guess I am) by knowing her name and the exact date of her death, and that it had only just been acknowledged in the media. Outside of the web board, I suppose having that kind of info available off the tip of your tongue is a bit odd.

I'm going to rate this an 8.5/10.  It's not a masterpiece, but if this is Clint's acting swan song, he picked a great vehicle for it.

The deadline to enter the contest was Wednesday, so unfortunately AKA, your 17M entry can't be counted in the contest, but I think your guess sounds pretty good. Christopher got the last entry into the contest.

Hi GetUpAndGo! 

THIS POST should help you to post your photo here on the board. 

This board isn't too active nowadays, but you never know if the right person will see it here.  Most collectors regularly scan eBay for unique and interesting items too.  Best of luck!

Hmmm... not wanting to judge until I see it, but I was hoping for a drama, not a comedy. And I'm not in the mood for more jokes about how an old white man is a racist, or isn't a racist. Walt Kowalski covered that just fine, and I don't really want to see another character like that. Darn. Well, it's good to have this expectation going into it -- maybe it will help me like it better than if I went in expecting a good drama about the financial difficulties of growing old in the U.S., which it could have been.

This old guy's about to turn 36 in a few days! :o :D ;D

That was my age when I joined here. It goes by quickly.

Let's have a few more participants in this contest. Anyone?

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: CEWB Movie Club - Who wants in?
« on: December 09, 2018, 12:35:37 AM »
Great! I just got around to watching Shadow of a Doubt tonight, my first viewing of it. I'm all caught up too -- it's been great visiting (or revisiting) all these fantastic films.

The CEWB Movie Club / Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
« on: December 03, 2018, 07:52:52 PM »
We finished up our original schedule, and are now into the first of our three Bonus Films.  Post anything you'd like to discuss about Shadow of a Doubt here.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Happy Birthday Jed Cooper!!
« on: November 29, 2018, 12:17:27 AM »
Happy belated birthday! Hope you had a great day! :)

The CEWB Movie Club / Strangers on a Train (1951)
« on: November 25, 2018, 12:02:34 PM »

This is the discussion thread for Strangers on a Train. Discuss anything about the movie here!

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What Was The Last DVD You Bought ?
« on: November 24, 2018, 08:44:24 PM »
Where can you still shop for real, live, physical DVDs? :D

I hear they're free this week for Black Friday... at the Library!  ;D

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: Spellbound (1945)
« on: November 24, 2018, 08:40:58 PM »
A 20-minute sequence would be crazy... and horribly boring no matter how visually interesting it might be! :o ;)

I thought the same thing. It's actually really interesting the way it's done -- it could be slightly longer, but not 6 times longer! It would really weigh down the film. Dali isn't for the mainstream in large doses.

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: Spellbound (1945)
« on: November 24, 2018, 06:57:52 PM »
Okay, I may be the only one keeping up with the schedule. Just chime in here anytime after you've had time to watch it.

Gotta love this poster.  As Christopher noted with the Rear Window poster, they've again added a bit of extra melodrama here with Gregory Peck appearing to be embracing Ingrid Bergman with a switchblade. Then her thoughts "Will he Kiss me... or Kill me". Even the font leans slightly toward it being a horror flick. But, it's Hitch's most psychological psych drama of them all.

I think Hitchcock just really loved stories that delved into the mind, the line that crosses between sanity and madness, and all the dark corners and crevices hidden deep in the subconscious mind. It's rather comical to watch the psychoanalysis used on J.B. (Peck) and how successful it was. If telling this story today, it would be a 16 episode television series, and the breakthrough would have happened sometime in Season 3.  But here, it all has to happen with less than 2 hours. So it moves along quickly. One thing that I found jarring when watching this now is how much sexism Dr. Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) endured just in the course of a work day surrounded by her male colleagues. They seem much too interested in her being more focused on her work than a love life.  Even Miss Carmichael doesn't give her a break.

I don't think you can discuss Spellbound without mentioning the dream sequence by Salvador Dali.  There's a really great Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, and they had a small movie theater inside where they would run constant reels of his film works, including the dream sequence.

I found this article about Dali's contribution to Spellbound here

“Hitchcock’s movie was the first big moment for him to do some of the things he’d been wanting to do for the last 15 years,” King explains.

Ultimately, however, Dalí’s grand ideas were cut short. Initially envisioned by the artist as a 20-minute long clip, roughly three minutes remain in the final edit. Some vignettes were discarded from the outset because they would be nearly impossible to film, including a ballroom scene with fifteen grand pianos suspended over the dancers’ heads. Others were filmed but later cut after Dalí and Hitchcock had left the set, like the moment when Bergman’s character morphs into a plaster-cast Classical sculpture.


“The only thing documented that he [Dali] really said about Spellbound was that the best parts of the film got cut,” King says. “Actually, I think it’s telling that he never spoke much about it because usually Dalí talked a lot.”

The article also mentions some of David O. Selznick's involvement in what the final cut of the film would look like.

About the casting -- I love Ingrid Bergman. She's my favorite actress from the golden age of Hollywood. She had just finished filming Gaslight (another psychological drama) before starting on Spellbound. The 40's were one of the best decades for films, and she's in several of the best films of the decade. We'll see her again in Notorious, released the following year.  As for Gregory Peck, his career was just getting started with Spellbound. (This was his fourth starring role in the first two years of his acting career!)  It's not my favorite role of his, but I do really enjoy this film.

I hope a few more people get to dig in and watch this great film.  I'm off to watch the next -- another of my favorites:  Strangers on a Train.

Even Bob Barker had Johnny Eubanks!  Of course you're right!  So, let's set the deadline to be... Wednesday, December 12th! 

The Mule will be released in the U.S. December 14th. The Mods have noticed quite a bit of interest in speculating on what the opening weekend box office will be in the News thread, so we thought it would be a new fun way to discuss it in its own thread if we added a little gambling excitement to it!  Introducing THE MULE OPENING WEEKEND BOX OFFICE POOL! 

We'll play this "The Price Is Right" style!  The member who posts closest to the actual box office (as reported at Box Office Mojowithout going over will win the pool, and a prize!

If you have no interest in speculating what the Opening Weekend Box Office will be, that's fine, but what the heck, you can't win if you don't play -- and we're talking about a seriously awesome Clint Eastwood prize.  While it would be really cool to arrange a meet and greet with The Man himself, we wanted something even more awesome... that you could keep, frame, and have with you forever.   So instead, we're thinking a paperbook novel based on one of his movies, or a True Crime lobby card, or a 33 1/3 vinyl album soundtrack of HANG 'EM HIGH. I mean, yeah, we're talking BIG PRIZES!  ;)

But more than anything, you'll have something to brag about around the Christmas table when all your family comes to visit and wants to be filled in on what you've been up to for the last 12 months of your life.  Don't hold back -- tell them in all your glory about how you WON THE MULE OPENING WEEKEND BOX OFFICE POOL!

So Clint Eastwood Forum members.... COME ON DOWN!  Post YOUR BEST GUESS at what the Opening Weekend Box Office will be for The Mule here!

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Dreams
« on: November 23, 2018, 09:30:33 PM »
Every now and then, I have a dream where I'm wearing clothes.

The CEWB Movie Club / Re: The 39 Steps (1935)
« on: November 23, 2018, 03:26:21 PM »
I regret the two films I chose for this challenge now. I wanted to pick a couple of Hitchcock's earlier films because I knew most would be choosing his more well known Hollywood films. Unfortunately, The 39 Steps and Sabotage weren't as good as I remember them.

While I didn't enjoy them very much, I do think it rounded out our Hitchcock film series very nicely to have them in there, along with The Lady Vanishes, his last before moving to Hollywood. I wonder if the films that he made in Hollywood were better mainly due to having a larger budget to work with, or the star power of the amazing actors and actresses he'd be working with starting with Rebecca (Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine) and onward.  (Side note:  I didn't know Joan was Olivia de Haviland's sister, and I also see she died in Carmel CA -- maybe she and Clint were neighbors!)


And how many scenes in Hitchcock's films take place on a train? Seems to be a recurring thing in a lot of Hitchcock films. In the ones we've seen so far anyway.

I noticed that too!  I think we see less of it in the U.S. films (excluding North by Northwest) because train usage in the States is much less than in England (except for inter-city travel).

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Favorite Current TV Shows
« on: November 20, 2018, 11:24:06 AM »
I love The Karate Kid, but that whole set up does sound pretty sad. :D ;D

Christopher, watch it! At least the first episode.  ;D

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