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About Susan*

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  1. Susan*

    All the President’s Men

    Regarding Watergate vs. the present: The Final Days has been a scary read for me. All the detail in that book about Nixon not listening to his lawyers, and Republicans supporting him for a very long time even after he was clearly obstructing justice -- well it doesn't support the discussions I see on cable news today about how Watergate was different because republicans challenged their president in the 1970s. Almost every republican supported Nixon until he turned over the tapes.
  2. Susan*

    All the President’s Men

    I had mostly quit listening to the podcast because of past frustration with Paul--you obviously need to love his personality to be a regular listener. I should have remembered that the worst time to listen to any podcast is when it's talking about a favorite movie! I kept wanting to hit my head against my car window. I think the movie is perfect in accomplishing what it's trying to do. It might not be everyone's taste but I love the whole thing. So many classic/talented actors. Jane Alexander is a particular favorite. Movies about investigative reporters are in my wheelhouse in general. And classic 70s movies tend to be my taste. I love that they don't spoon feed the viewer. I love the grinding pace, it fits what they're trying to show. And the reporters have different personalities but they are both so ambitious and they figure out how to work together. My mom was obsessed with Watergate, she watched it on TV all day long, read every book, and my parents argued about some of the key players for years over the dinner table. Over the years, I've read many of the participants' books. As well as other Watergate books, including a bio of the Jack Warden character. But I'd never read a Woodward and Bernstein one until recently. I don't like what Woodward turned into, which started right after the Watergate success. Then because it's come up often in discussing Trump, I've been reading The Final Days, and I had recently read about a third of All the President's Men. I've seen the movie many times and I recognized that most scenes in the beginning the movie track surprisingly closely to the book. From the first appearance in court, and the other character' discussion of the background given to the two authors, and Woodward's phone call with Dahlberg -- dialogue is the same. The book also contains a footnote about the kidnapping Dahlberg mentions in the call (which is a famous one in MN). During the podcast, they said the director's name over and over and they pronounced it in a way I'd never heard before, then the guest came in and said it the usual way. That sort of thing wouldn't usually bother me but it probably hurt me more because they didn't properly appreciate the movie. I liked the guest. I feel a little bad that I didn't love The Post. It was hard to get around Tom Hanks, and I'll never be sure whether it is because I'm tired of Tom Hanks in general, because the real Ben Bradlee is so well known, or whether it's the Jason Robards Ben Bradlee I like even better than the real one. There was no way Tom Hanks was going to be able to please me.
  3. Susan*


    I understand why Psycho was genius at the time, but it left me cold. As everyone has said (including in the podcast), you can't see it fresh so it's tough to guess exactly how big a deal it would have been to see it in theaters during its initial release. Among other things, I saw the shower scene in Mel Brooks' High Anxiety before I saw Psycho. I was thinking that there might be ten Hitchcock films I personally prefer, though I can't really advocate that they be on someone else's all-time-most-important film list. I've been a huge Hitchcock fan since I was a child -- my mom was a huge fan. I've never liked Vertigo as much as critics either (though I like it much more than Psycho). With Vertigo I think the problem is that it was one of the last well-known Hitchcock movies I saw and by the time I saw it I'd heard that it was a masterpiece and maybe nothing could have lived up to the hype. It's been a bit of a slog for me in the last few weeks so I'm glad that it's Raiders next week. That's a perfect film.
  4. Susan*

    E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

    I thought Missing and Tootsie were also better than Gandhi (as well as Das Boot and other movies not nominated for best picture), but I understand that movies like Gandhi are made to collect awards. I put off seeing E.T. because I figured it was an overrated kids movie. I think I remember that it was hard to see after its original run -- it wasn't on cable or VHS for a long time? I finally saw it on a theatrical re-release and thought it was genius. Even so, I like Jaws, Close Encounters, and Raiders a whole lot more -- as a matter of personal taste/preference.
  5. Susan*

    The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

    I wouldn't put it in a top list, but it's the best Potter movie. Gary Oldman, David Thewlis and Timothy Spall were perfectly cast. If I run across that movie on cable, I'll usually wind up watching half of it. I liked the fifth book the best but I've never wanted to see that movie a second time.
  6. Susan*

    The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

    I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I recently watched the three movies (normal cut) and I feel like talking, so scroll ahead if you want! I have major respect though it's not my thing. I have a friend who died and she absolutely loved the books and movies and everything related to them. Owned every conceivable tie in product. Named pets after characters, etc. I strongly associate everything LOTR with her so I watched the movies as sort of a tribute to her as I'm hitting the anniversary of her death. I had seen the first two movies in the theater with her and never saw the third one till last night on cable. I also read the first two books more than 20 years ago and never got around to reading the third. I actually like the second movie the best. I gather I'm pretty much alone on that. For one thing, the walking/talking trees are the best part of the whole series. I think Aragon should have ended up with the gutsy blond woman instead of Steven Tyler's daughter. The elven woman is just blank. But most importantly, and again, it's probably my particular problem, or maybe the movies just can't be watched on TV, but the makeup in the third movie completely ruined it for me. Every time there was a close up of someone's face I was distracted that their skin looked fake. Weird colors and texture. And the intense eyes on everyone was creepy. I guess it's supposed to add to the fantasy feeling but it's very off-putting. My fourth grade teacher read The Hobbit to us in pieces over the course of a long time during the school year and I thought it was the best thing ever. I think I was always upset that the other books were darker than that. I wonder if I had a little grunge against the LOTR books because of that. Also I thought Heavenly Creatures was brilliant when I saw it in the theater. I have love for Peter Jackson for several reasons even though this particular series isn't my taste. And I adore New Zealand.
  7. Susan*

    Apocalypse Now

    I take your comment as though I stumbled into the wrong thing by accident, but I don't think that's true. I'm no kind of critic or fine arts major or snob. Though you need some basic film fan-ship to have a silly fake debate about whether a film should be No. 15 or No. 85 or off the list altogether. So far, for the episodes I've listened to, there were quite a few movies Paul had seen before, and more than once before. He seems pretty tuned in to American pop culture. If someone really likes movies, it would be surprising if they hadn't seen a whole bunch of the movies before. We recently covered ET. And it's nice to balance that sort of movie with the ones that you're less likely to casually come across. The whole conceit of the podcast is incredibly silly and I think that's enjoyable. And back to AN, I think it made sense for it to have a big reputation but there's less and less of a reason to recommend it each year. Maybe that's proven by the fact that it's more interesting to talk about how the film was made and how it was received than to talk about the film itself?
  8. Susan*

    Apocalypse Now

    As for this movie: I made an effort to see it on a screen when I was in college and was very disappointed. I tried again later on but I just don't see how it's a classic. I think I kept trying because I love the independence and orneriness of Coppola, and Godfather is one of my all-time favorites. The first time I saw that movie, I thought "how can a movie be this perfect?" There are many terrific scenes and solid actors/performances in AN. I think the issue with me is that it's such a mess. There are people who can love a big beautiful mess, but I can't think of a time when I enjoyed a big messy movie. I'm going to reflect on that because surely there must be some example. I love some deeply flawed movies, but I don't know that I've loved a really messy one. I do recommend the documentary though.
  9. Susan*

    Apocalypse Now

    I'm not quite with you yet, but I was listening to the AN podcast this morning and had similar thoughts. I keep wondering if it's me, because I love movies and podcasts and it's been tough for me to stick with a podcast about movies. I really enjoyed the brief tenure of the Village Voice podcast, and I came to really like Amy because of that. This combo of hosts hasn't worked for me lately, but I'm hoping it will get better with future movies. The last thing I wanted this morning was a bunch of quotes from John Milius, but at least Paul seemed skeptical after quoting his nonsense about Vietnam being a CA war. I think Milius is one of the most overrated players of the 70s (though if he had any role in the Jaws speech then bless him). It's probably difficult to figure out who the audience is for the podcast -- and I understand wanting to cover some background/context -- but something about the little factoids lately has been getting under my skin.
  10. Susan*

    The Sixth Sense

    I'd take this movie off the list. There are just way too many better American movies. BTW, I saw the movie on opening weekend with friends. I didn't know there was a twist, I just happened to assume Willis's character was dead early on because of how other people ignored him in the movie. But my friends were shocked. I really liked Willis since Moonlighting and I was always hoping he would have a varied career so I was pleased that he was in the Sixth Sense and that it was a solid movie and different from other parts he played.
  11. Susan*

    Singin’ In The Rain

    I've seen this movie many times but I usually skip over parts of it. It's not a perfect movie. I re-watched front to back for this podcast. I was glad they called out Jean Hagen at the top of the podcast -- she steals the movie. I like Debbie Reynolds in other things, but for me she sticks out as mis-cast. I usually skip over all of her scenes except for Good Morning and the very end of the movie. I always thought that the ballet dancer was a no-name ballet dancer -- she doesn't look like Cyd C to me. Then again, I usually skip ahead after Cyd dances in the green dress. I hate Moses Supposes, but a good friend of mine loved it and she died a couple of years ago so now I guess it's destined to be a fond annoyance. I think this is one of the best musicals of all time, but I think it's uneven and flawed and that's okay. There's still more good stuff than in most musicals. I love the whole long intro to pieces. I know that Gene Kelly is the better dancer and he did far more in his lifetime to support dance and dancers, but on a snowy night around the holidays I'd rather watch Astaire and Rogers. For one thing, Astaire had Rogers. And Swing Time is not one of their best movies--we covered that before!
  12. Susan*

    Double Indemnity

    Film noir is one of my favorite genres. I love this movie but I've always felt it was a bit overrated -- same with Laura. I guess it's because when I became a huge movie fan and started reading up on film and seeking them out, it was before they were easy to find. So by the time I'd wait and then it would be shown at a revival house or shown on TV, I would have heard about some of the movies for so long maybe nothing could live up to the hype. But I adore Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson and I do love the movie. I understand that the craftsmanship is great too. I just tend to root for movies that aren't as well known. It's still in my top five for now, but I'm having a tough time with the top part of my list. I'm relieved to see some movies coming in weeks ahead that aren't favorites, like the Sixth Sense.
  13. Susan*

    All About Eve

    My mom was a smoker and she used to watch old movies with me. She would always point out how cool the smoking looked and say that's why she started. I think it's Bette Davis in Now Voyager where the guy lights two cigarettes in his mouth then hands her one of them?
  14. Susan*

    All About Eve

    I was glad to hear Amy mention the terrific Thelma Ritter (who steals Rear Window in her few scenes). It's partly Ritter who makes me sure Paul is wrong about Ritter's character having once been like Betty Davis's character. Ritter was vaudeville, not a serious dramatic actress. Also Ritter shows Paul is wrong about Eve not being a total baddie. Ritter is the audience's stand in -- Ritter is the first one to know Eve is no good and we can trust Ritter on that. As for the rear projection, that's only part of the issue. I love the movie like crazy, but I saw it in a theater a year or so ago and I was distracted by being able to see the textures on the fabric of the clothes everyone was wearing. With black and white movies, clothing can take on a beautiful, unreal quality. But up close on the screen you can see that maybe it looks good but it's not a great fabric for real.
  15. Susan*

    Listener Rankings

    The recent string of really good movies is screwing with my list. I've already added Singing in the Rain and Double Indemnity to my list. My top five is a mess--I'm not even sure what my number 1 is at this point.