Movie Club

Movie Stuff etc. SEPTEMBER 29TH 2021

I’m a heathen where it comes to the stage. I prefer any mediocre movie over the best of plays. I hate musicals. No matter how many of you or how often you tell me how magnificent it is, I am never going to see Hamilton. I saw all I needed of it on Curb Your Enthusiasm. I would be Larry and fall asleep in the audience.

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This weeks Club Movie was Glengarry Glen Ross, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning Mamet play. I’m hot and cold on Mamet. I tend to lean towards his adaptations of other people’s work, his collaborations, and his original screenplays over his plays. I’m going with The Verdict (Paul Newman’s greatest performance) as my favorite of Mamet’s work with Ronin and The Untouchables as two runners up. The Untouchables was the first movie I saw in the Cinema, at Whiteplains NY, when I moved to the USA, so I’ve a soft spot. Again, Connery doesn’t even attempt to hide the Scottish accent playing Irish cop Malone – got him an Oscar though.

I also took in Wag the Dog this week; the political satire is more relevant today that on it’s 1997 release. The Oscar nominated screenplay is sharp and hilarious. But the real revelation this week was Salesman, the superb 1967 documentary that follows a team of Bible salesman as they ply their trade, working from Catholic Church provided leads. See it. You’ll like whatever job you have way better afterwards.

The Movie group was 80% Thumbs Up for Glengarry Glen Ross, largely driven by the magnificent performances and the dialogue. One nay-sayer found the found language un-necessary and excessive, the same viewer thought Reservoir Dogs excellent. Help – I’m easily confused.

Where I completely enjoy GGR, and use the film’s most offensive quotes when ever possible, its not a film that completely takes the stage out of the play on screen. It does have the greatest cast of any movie in the past 30 years – six Oscars between four winners – all the remaining cast are nominees.

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How did they ever find a kid that looks so like a young James Galdofini?

Next week the Movie Team is being lead on an experimental voyage by XO-Brienne Bannister. We are taking a dive into Many Saints of Newark, sight unseen.

Movie Stuff September 22nd 2021

Of the seventy movies viewed by my company’s movie club few had 100% Thumbs Up: Sunset Boulevard (1950); District 9 (2009); The Hunt for the Wilder People (2016) & King of Comedy (1982). Today Crimson Tide (1995) joined the One Hundred Percent Club. These films were a complete popular success where The Godfather (1972) had dissenters and Blade Runner (1982), my favorite, split the room. What do I know?

Check out the Movie Club page for the full list (

As is my way, in preparation I did some Submarine binging (as did XO-Bannister), with mixed results.

Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) – this WWII standard pitting new kid on the block (Burt Lancaster) against old master (Clark Gable) still holds up. It succeeds in large part because they commandeered a real submarine for filming and had a grand old time hunting the high seas.

The Hunt For Red October (1990) – the most successful submarine film ever hasn’t aged so well. Alec Baldwin was never destined for lead man status, mainly because he can’t act (except one excellent scene in Glengarry Glen Ross). It never gets old listening to Connery burr away, not even trying for a Russian accent …. “Today we shaaaail into hsssstory”. Ahaar Sean!

The Bedford Incident (1965) – seemed to be a film thrown together for the sake of a cynical ending. Its a pretty great ending.

As a partner for the Nuclear Apocalypse Crimson Tide theme, I re-watched Failsafe (1964). It still terrifies and still ranks as one the greatest anti-war films made. Henry Fonda is at his best playing one of the great movie presidents, orchestrating a bleak ending that’s never been bettered.

And finally, the mac-daddy of all submarine movies, Das Boot (1981) – the German made U-Boat classic. Its a grimy, claustrophobic, realistic masterpiece. At 208 minutes the Director’s Cut is a long dive, but absolutely worth the plunge.

Today’s viewing crew found Crimson Tide to be the rare big budget film that managed to be entertaining and intelligent; a war movie with limited blood and violence that opened a broad discussion on duty versus morality.

It was suggested that Crimson Tide would be an excellent brand name for a line of tampons. Steadier heads explained that the title refers to the University of Alabama football team. The things I learn.

Crimson Tide was the first and best collaboration in a five-movie run between Denzel Washington and Director Tony Scott. The best Tony Scott features a different Alabama – the Tarantino scripted True Romance (1993).

Crimson Tide is not the best submarine film, that’s Das Boot. Crimson Tide is the most enjoyable.

Next Week: Movie #72 – the toxic Mouthy Mamet Masterpiece – Glengarry Glen Ross.

Keep Track and follow along weekly. This weeks movie for discussion Crimson Tide.

Week Movie Presenter
1 Rocky  
2 Jaws  
3 The Usual Suspects  
4 The Maltese Falcon James Whitelaw
5 Risky Business  
6 Goldfinger  
7 Thelma & Louise  
8 In Bruges  
9 The Silence of the Lambs Brienne Bannister
10 Children of Men  
11 Shane  
12 Purple Rain Chenessia West
13 The Godfather  
14 Alien  
15 Heat  
16 Fargo  
17 Point Break  
18 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  
19 Trainspotting James Whitelaw
20 Bull Durham Brienne Bannister
21 Sing Street  
22 Network  
23 Pulp Fiction  
24 The Shining Lizzie Bailey
25 No Country for Old Men  
26 Goodfellas John Sullivan
27 Memento  
28 District 9  
29 North By Northwest Sally Regan
30 Die Hard  
31 Hunt for The Wilderpeople  
32 Bad Santa  
33 Snowpiercer  
34 Chinatown  
35 Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid  
36 All the President’s Men  
37 Airplane Sally Regan
38 True Romance  
39 Sunset Boulevard Brienne Bannister
40 Grease  
41 V For Vendetta Connor Legge
42 In The Heat of the Night Chenessia West
43 Blade Runner  
44 The Grand Budapest Hotel  
45 Enter The Dragon  
46 Roman Holiday Sally Regan
47 Apocalypse Now  
48 The Triplets of Belleville Lizzie Bailey
49 In The Name of the Father  
50 King of Comedy  
51 John Wick: Chapter Two  
52 Cinema Paradiso  
53 Grosse Pointe Blank  
54 Claudine Chenessia West
55 Mad Max Fury Road Asha
56 Gregory’s Girl James Whitelaw
57 The Man Who Would Be King Jen Carella
58 Joker  
59 O Brother Where Art Thou? Brienne Bannister
60 My Cousin Vinny Cathryn Rizzuto
61 Aliens  
62 The Town  
63 Fight Club  
64 Fatal Attraction  
65 Reservoir Dogs Gabriel Lozano
66 Being John Malkovich   
67 The Blues Brothers  
68 Gravity  
69 Boogie Nights  
70 Sexy Beast  
71 Crimson Tide