Archive for the Alamo Cinema Club Category

Alamo Cinema Club: SOME CAME RUNNING (1958)

Posted in 2011 Re-see, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2011) with tags , , on January 16, 2011 by btsjunkie

Watched: 1/16/2010

Richard Linklater was the guest this month and introduced this, his favorite film. It’s a melodrama about Dave Hirsh (Frank Sinatra) who returns home to Indian from Chicago after the war. He is followed there by Ginnie (Shirley MacLaine), immediately pisses off his brother and sister-in-law, makes friends with a fellow alcoholic named Bama (Dean Martin), and promptly falls in love with a schoolteacher (Martha Hyer) he believes he can set himself straight for. This group of people (and other extended acquaintances) are the focus of this sprawling drama that is badass, touching and at times hilarious. I’ve never been a huge Sinatra fan, he usually just does fine for what he is supposed to be doing in a movie. He’s above average here. I wish there was a little bit more Dead Martin who really just punches the screen with manliness each time he’s on camera. MacLaine is so far beyond adorable in here she’ll have you crapping rainbows for a week after watching. Great, great stuff!

Buy SOME CAME RUNNING on DVD here!

  • 2011 New: 20
  • 2011 Re-see: 11
  • 2010 TOTAL: 31

Alamo Cinema Club: ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on September 19, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 9/19/2010

Howard Hawk’s ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS turned out to be WAY more intense than I had imagined. Bonnie Lee (Jean Arthur) is an American in South America who stops by a small airport where Geoff Carter (Cary Grant) runs a mail business, flying loads of letters over a dangerous, foggy mountain pass. As Bonnie becomes more wrapped up in the goings-on at the airport she begins to fall for Carter while things become more dangerous for Carter’s men. Eventually Carter’s ex-girlfriend and her not-so-popular husband show up in town.

This is a deeply engaging film. First and foremost the flying scenes are stunning. For a film 71 years old, the plane photography looks incredible and some of the flights are truly nail biting. Grant is electric here (as expected) and Jean Arthur is simply adorable. It’s not a an overly complicated film, but it’s consistently pleasurable to watch. I’m sadly  not quite well-versed in Hawk’s filmography but watching this has inspired me to correct that oversight soon.

Buy ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS on DVD here!

  • 2010 New: 277
  • 2010 Re-see: 124
  • 2010 TOTAL: 401

Alamo Cinema Club: THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK (1944)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on August 15, 2010 by btsjunkie

8/15/2010

Write-ups will be rushed (and probably full of typos!) as I’m desperately trying to catch up! Sorry!!

Joe Bob Briggs!!! THE MAN HIMSELF at the Drafthouse! It was an incredible night that started off with a wonderful Preston Sturges film at Cinema Club. This movie is the story of Trudy (Betty Hutton) who spends a night with “the boys”, troops about to ship out, and wakes up married and pregnant. The problem is, nobody used their real names. Now, she must find someone to take the fall. She turns to Norval (Eddie Bracken), a childhood friend who has always been in love with her. But she begins to have second thoughts about tricking Norval…

Hilarious through and through, this film is fantastic. It lambastes every sacred American institution and even America itself. The things Sturges was able to slip through the Hays office in this film are pretty daunting, there’s more double entrendre in one scene of this film than most “sexy movies” today. Love every minute of this and the capper to it all was the finale that involves Christmas births. I know that pain. Not the pain of giving birth, I mean. The pain of being born on Christmas.

You can buy THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK as part of a box set here!

  • 2010 New: 244
  • 2010 Re-see: 108
  • 2010 TOTAL: 352

Alamo Cinema Club: CRY DANGER (1951)

Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on July 12, 2010 by btsjunkie

Watched: 7/12/2010

Write-ups will be rushed (and probably full of typos!) as I’m desperately trying to catch up! Sorry!!

Another night of the brilliant Eddie Muller at the Drafthouse!! This time, a much less serious noir.

Dick Powell is Rocky Malloy, a man who framed for a crime and, after being let go following the new testimony of a “friend” seeks to clear the name of his prisonmate Danny. This brings him to a seedy trailer park where he woos Danny’s girl, stays a step ahead of the cop who wants a cut of the money Rock is meant to have and dodges bullet.

Shot on location in the Bunker Hill area of L.A., this paint-by-number noir is elevated far beyond the story by the incredibly witty dialogue and Powell’s delivery. The trailer park setting provides some wonderful secondary characters, especially Richard Erdman as a one-legged Marine. Another underrated, witty noir and a movie that shows you don’t need a new story, just a well written script.

    • 2010 New: 208
    • 2010 Re-see: 84
    • 2010 TOTAL: 292

      Alamo Cinema Club: THE PROWLER (1951)

      Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on July 11, 2010 by btsjunkie

      Watched: 7/11/2010

      Write-ups will be rushed (and probably full of typos!) as I’m desperately trying to catch up! Sorry!!

      Alamo Cinema Club hit an all time high this month by bringing in the brilliant and ceaselessly entertaining Eddie Muller to present two movies in two nights. First, THE PROWLER. Van Heflin is Webb Garwood, a police officer called to the scene when Susan Gilvray (Evelyn Keyes) spots a prowler at her window. It becomes immediately apparently that Susan’s married life is anything but perfect. Her husband, a radio DJ, has provided everything for her except for, perhaps, the affection and excitement she wants. In unfortunate when, after entering into an affair with Webb she becomes pregnant. Webb sets up an elaborate plan, then, to get Susan’s husband out of the picture…

      After the clever setup and a pretty incredible transposing of the typical femme fatale role, the story takes some unexpected and, at face value, bizarre turns. Things get very heavy, very quickly and things change for Webb and Susan very quickly. It all culminates in a bleak and powerful ending. This is just a great piece of noir and I’m shocked (and frankly a bit saddened) I’ve never heard of it before. It’s a quality, riveting film.

        • 2010 New: 206
        • 2010 Re-see: 84
        • 2010 TOTAL: 290

          Alamo Cinema Club: NIGHT NURSE (1931)

          Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , on May 2, 2010 by btsjunkie

          Watched: 5/2/2010

          This is the third installment of Cinema Club and I definitely feel like this one was the most smooth. Maybe it was the fact that film writer Kim Morgan was the guest speaker as opposed to a college professor (the different being a teacher is used to lecturing, Morgan is used to discussing). The discussions were based around the bawdy elements in which pre-code cinema was awash. It was a very enlightening discussion, I have several movies I want to check out ASAP and I want to study this whole code business in more detail!

          Barbara Stanwyck play Lora Hart, a young woman with aspirations of becoming a nurse. She barely makes it into nursing school and, while there, meets a kind bootlegger. After graduation, she is assigned to tend to two very sick children. While on this assignment she must juggle her private life where she is being courted by the bootlegger and her professional life where she must stand up to Nick, the Chauffeur (Clark Gable) who may a factor in the children’s illness.

          Loved this movie. Everything seems so raw and real and not over-romanticized like a lot of Hollywood classics. Stanwyck turns in a fantastic performance as a woman who is, at first, determined and then struck down briefly before returning stronger than before. Her scene with Gable in the kitchen is incredible. There are scenes that are very funny and others which are quite dark. It moves along at a pace not unlike lightning. Not a boring moment to be found (not that any were expected but more so than many of this era, this movie is just snappy). Much ado was made about the ending before we screened the film and now I can see why. It’s a great, dark but happily awesome ending. Definitely going to be watching more from this era very very soon!

          Buy NIGHT NURSE on DVD here!

          • 2010 New: 145
          • 2010 Re-see: 51
          • 2010 TOTAL: 196
          • Age 29 New: 151
          • Age 29 Re-see: 54
          • Age 29 TOTAL: 205

          Alamo Cinema Club: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)

          Posted in 2010 New, Age 29 New, Alamo Cinema Club, Movies (2010), Movies (Age 29) with tags , , , , on March 28, 2010 by btsjunkie

          Watched: 3/28/2010

          This was the second night of new the new Cinema Club series at the Drafthouse. Cinema Club shows classics and invites a guest speaker to introduce the film with background information and then lead a discussion with the audience afterward.

          Now, so much has been written/said about this film that I don’t want to really get into a “review”. I will talk a little bit about my reactions, though. I have a HUGE admission in that I’ve never seen FRANKENSTEIN. I’ve actually seen very few of the Universal Horrors (yet another cinematic gap I’m now determined to fill).  That being said, I really loved BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.  The balance of horror and comedy was pretty spot-on, I had no idea horror-comedies went back this far. I was also surprised by just how effective the horror elements were, especially on a jaded horror fan like myself. I guess that’s why they are CLASSICS, huh?

          Karloff is perfect as the monster, so much expressed in his grunts and then, when he speaks, the inflection in his words. I loved the Bride once she was created but he screen time is so minimal it’s kind of a shame they never re-used her in another movie. That brief time, though, is very powerful stuff. Empathy for the thing that has been killing for the past hour is hard to pull off. It’s pulled off swimmingly here. Doctor Pretorious is a fabulous character, flamboyant, psychotic, brilliant. I could definitely watch a whole spin off series about his adventures. I did find it a bit hard to separate by pre-knowledge from what I was actually seeing. For instance, there several scenes that were inspirations for Mel Brook’s YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (absolutely one of my favorite movies of all time). Some people in the audience even laughed (uncontrollably and disrespectfully) when they recognized certain scenes. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment but it was definitely something I was thinking about while watching.

          I will be watching more of these Universal horrors coming up. I’ll make it a project. Coming soon to Alamo Cinema Club: NIGHT NURSE (1931) and STAGECOACH (1939)

          Amazon has several DVD options for BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN here!

          • 2010 New: 109
          • 2010 Re-see: 36
          • 2010 TOTAL: 145
          • Age 29 New: 115
          • Age 29 Re-see: 39
          • Age 29 TOTAL: 154