Thursday, 7 July 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Single Location Movies


There are more films with stand alone locations than I realised. Most are adapted from plays but there are a few like Reservoir Dogs, that are original. I didn't pick the Tarantino classic, not this time, that is saved for another theme.

Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.


Exam
I'm not sure where this movie went outside the UK but I remember way back when I saw a trailer and footage for it at Movie-Con at the BFI (amazing event by the way). It seemed like it was going to be huge but turned into a dark indie that had a short release. Set in an alternative present where half the population is infected with a desease, 8 candidates are placed in a room under the impression this part of a job interview process for a company that has found a cure. But it turns into a psychological test and it's really good. The poster was misleading as was the trailer but the actual shows you can do so much with very little.

Lifeboat
One of my favourite Hitchcock films and also happens to be one a few films by the Master of Suspense that is set in one location. Several British and American civilians, service members and merchant Mariners are left stranded in a lifeboat after their ship and a U-boat sink each other in combat. The group pull a German survivor from the water and they have decide what to do. There are power shifts, suspenseful moments and murder all on one lifeboat in the ocean. The cast are brilliant and keep you involved the whole way through.

The Hole
Looking at this film now, it seems like a really random cast thrown together and literally thrown in a hole. But back in 2001, it wouldn't seem odd to see Thora Birch along side Keira Knightly and Lawrence Fox. But Desmond Harrington is an odd pick anyway. This is another physiological thriller with conflicting stories. Teenagers (not believable) at a boarding school decide to have fun by skipping a school field trip and spending time in a bunker in the woods BUT when they are locked in no one is having fun. Pretty good for its time but now it's maybe not so.

15 comments:

  1. I haven't seen the other 2 but I love Lifeboat. I picked that earlier in the year so I went with another Hitchcock film. I love the backstage stuff that went on during filming. One of the camera operators went to Hitchcock because Ms. Bankhead didn't wear any underwear and he had a difficult time filming without getting her hoo-ha in the shot. Hitch thought about and then said he wasn't sure if it was the Cameraman's problem, the wardrobe dept or hairdressing:)

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    1. I think I already picked Lifeboat but I can't remember for what theme... Hhahahah that's hilarious! Love on set stories. Classic Hitch :)

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  2. I like the new design and name.

    Interesting choices only one of which I've seen. Never heard of Exam but it sounds very interesting. The Hole less so though that is quite the eclectic cast list, Desmond Harrington as a teen in 2001? Really. I liked him on Dexter which was around the same time and he was in his late twenties if he was a day.

    LOVE Lifeboat but I've used it before. It's probably my second favorite Hitch movie after Saboteur and I watch it a couple times a year, it's also one of those films that I can't pass by on TV without stopping and watching to the end! The whole cast is tremendous but Tallulah Bankhead still manages to steal the movie.

    I stretched just a bit with my first, it has an opening scene that is set outside the main action but it establishes the set-up so I figured it would work. Also my last is a confounding mess of a movie but in its very weird way it fits within the parameters.

    Albino Alligator (1997)-Starting with a trio of bungling thieves running from a robbery gone wrong they quickly take refuge in an underground bar in New Orleans. Suddenly the joint is surrounded by police but who the cops are pursuing is a murky issue. While the standoff endures emotions run high and dangers escalate. Kevin Spacey directed this stylish throwback with outstanding performances from Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise, William Fichtner, Viggo Mortensen and a wonderfully tough Faye Dunaway.

    Ten Little Indians (1965)-Ten guests arrive at a remote mountaintop mansion only to discover they don’t know each other nor their missing host. Before too long they start being killed off one by one in the fashion of the poem Ten Little Indians. Can any of them solve the mystery before it’s their turn? Second screen version of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” updated to the swingin’ sixties with more hep identities for most of the characters, i.e. Fabian as a rock star and the former spinster now a movie star!

    Rope (1948)-Two men murder a third, a friend of theirs, just to see what it feels like than throw a party while his body resides in a trunk in the middle of the room. Alfred Hitchcock directed this version of the Loeb/Leopold murder. An interesting experiment, the entire film was shot in sequence in extremely long takes, but very stagy. Good performances by James Stewart as the professor who innocently plants the idea in the men’s minds and Farley Granger & John Dall as the murderous lead pair. For a film released in the 50’s the leads are surprisingly obviously gay though it is never explicitly mentioned.

    Oddball Extra:

    “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?” (1969)-Superstar Heironymus Merkin (Anthony Newley) is filming a movie of his life surrounded by piles of junk and a bed on a ribbon of beach as his mother and children bear witness. While the Greek chorus of devil’s advocate Goodtime Eddie Filth (Milton Berle) and The Presence (Georgie Jessel) battle for his soul Merkin works his way to the top of show biz becoming a drug loving sex addict along the way. Yet he longs for his lost true love, Mercy Humppe (Connie Kreski) despite his marriage to Polyester Poontang (Joan Collins-Newley’s wife at the time, their real life children play their kids in the film-Thaxted and Thumbelina!). Watching the uncompleted footage in a parallel time the producers of this opus scream for him to come up with an ending. Merkin shuffles through his memories to find some value in his life while singing a couple songs and screwing like a rabbit.
    Confused? What with a title like that you were expecting coherence? Watching the film won’t clear anything up for you! Newley directed, produced, wrote & composed the music (all badly) for this exercise in vanity which was originally rated X. This one’s a stretch but in the bizarro world in which it exists it fits, even though it seems to take place in multiple locations it all turns out to really happen at different spots on that damn beach!!

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    1. Thank you! I thought it was time for a change. Glad you like it!

      That she does. That she does indeed. Its such a great cast and you're right if it was ever on TV I'd stop and watch it all even though I bought the special bluray. I haven't seen it on TV yet though.

      I need to watch Rope. I keep meaning to watch it but it's a Hitchcock I keep saving for any other day. Albino Alligator is familiar but I haven't seen although I think I want to now.

      There have been so many versions of And Then There Were None - a brilliant book read in the best possible location, by the sea in Cornwall. I saw the 70s version set in a desert hotel which was interesting but not the same. I think the BBC did well with their version of 3 part mini series. Brilliantly executed. All kinds of levels of creepy.

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  3. Like the new look! Haven't seen any of your picks. Been meaning to see Lifeboat for a while. I need to get on it.

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    1. Thanks! It's been a long long long time in the making.

      Couple of weird ones with a well known one - Lifeboat is a must see!

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  4. I like the new design! I haven't seen any of your picks, but Lifeboat sounds interesting.

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    1. Thank you! Still got a few bits and pieces to sort out hopefully with be sorted soon.

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  5. I've only seen The Hole, which I enjoyed. I haven't heard of the other ones. They sound interesting.

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    1. Awesome! Someone else who has seen it! I don't know anyone else who has. It was before Keira Knightley became big and just as Thora Birch was disappearing.

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  6. Haven't seen any of these, but I LOVE your new blog title and look.

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  7. I haven't seen any of your picks though I have heard of all.

    I do remember seeing the Exam poster though I never really knew what it was about. I think it probably had a very limited run or went straight to dvd/cable where I'm at.

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    1. The poster for Exam was a bit rubbish, it didn't reflect the film at all and I'm not surprised if it was a blink and you'll miss it release, it was like that here too.

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