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About Susan*

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  1. Susan*


    Rocky is one of the only movies I saw more than once during its initial run in theaters. I only saw Star Wars once. I watched it about a year ago and thought it was still great. I loved Creed. I voted for it as best movie of that year in the Canon podcast. Amy's been wrong about Creed for a long time. Listening to all the Ryan Coogler interviews about Creed and the Rocky movies made me re-watch Rocky II -- he talked it up. That's an interesting movie. Some real flaws but worth a watch.
  2. Susan*


    I really enjoyed this podcast -- i didn't get to it till yesterday. I've appreciated all the effort they've made to get interesting guests, but this one was my favorite. What a treat! The podcast really made me want to see the movie again, because like many people I didn't care for it when I saw it years ago. When we used to have several busy revival houses, I made an effort to see all the Altman movies and Alan Rudolph movies (and movies by many other directors from the 60s and 70s that movie magazines featured when I was in high school and college). Altman made a lot of movies and I rarely enjoyed them. I have always been attracted to movies that have great dialogue and clever plots over movies that are well photographed and atmospheric. But I think I've finally turned a corner where I can be more appreciative -- especially if I can force myself to see a movie where there are no easy distractions. I saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on its opening weekend and I really liked it. It reminded me of Alan Rudolph movies and the fact that I liked it made me wonder if I should give some of those movies another chance now that maybe I'm in the right head space?
  3. Susan*

    The Maltese Falcon

    That's always been my take on it as well.
  4. Susan*

    The Philadelphia Story

    BTW, all this thinking about old romantic comedies made me watch My Man Godfrey again tonight. For most of my life, if you caught that movie on TV it would have such a horrible soundtrack you could barely hear the dialogue. Bless Amazon for having a decent version.
  5. Susan*

    The Philadelphia Story

    I haven't listened to the Bringing Up Baby episode, but I prefer that movie. I'm not talking as a critic but just what I enjoy. For whatever its minor issues, every time I run into that movie on TV, I wind up watching the whole thing. Philadelphia Story was one of my mom's favorite movies. She took me to see it when it played on a big temporary screen at a modern art museum when I was young (shortly before videos of movies became widely available). She was dying to show it to me. So it's a special classic movie for me. My mom loved Hepburn and Tracy. I've always preferred her without him, though I tend to to watch the Desk Set around Christmas sometimes. I adore Jimmy Stewart always. He's almost enough to make this rise above Bringing Up Baby. I'm such a sucker for old movies. I can usually set aside dated scenes/moments. But I can't get past Philadelphia Story's scenes where her father and Cary Grant pick at Hepburn about not being the right kind of woman -- i usually fast forward through those scenes to avoid ruining the movie.
  6. Susan*

    In The Heat Of The Night

    My mom grew up in Illinois and Indiana, and lived in the South as a young adult. She loved this movie (and Sidney Poitier) with a fiery passion. She raised me in Minneapolis, which has and had its own challenges with different sorts of discrimination, but she frequently schooled me on social issues using her past experiences as examples and using movies including this one. So this movie holds a special place for me. And I love the performances. I'm glad Amy interviewed national treasure Lee Grant. I'd heard about the HUAC stuff from her before in more detail but this was a nice side feature to this podcast.
  7. Susan*

    In The Heat Of The Night

    I listened to this episode today in part because I just finished that book. I'll try just about any movie written about making movies and I've been going through a bunch of recommended ones I can find at the library. I'll admit to skipping the parts about The Graduate because I'm just so tired of hearing about that movie. I remember as a kid how big a disappointment Dr. Doolittle was, though I remember nothing about the movie. I just remember it being on TV and me being excited because Talking Animals! and wow was it dreadful. Like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. No one should make a movie for kids that's so long. But interesting to hear that it premiered at an old Minneapolis theater where I still attend concerts (I didn't know if had been a movie theater decades ago).
  8. Susan*


    Next week will be interesting for me. I'm going to try and re-watch Tootsie. I used to love that movie--in part because my parents loved it. I always brushed aside the bullshit in the press when Hoffman sort of embraced feminism when promoting the movie, and I always had problems with Jessica Lange's character but the good parts really appealed to me for years. And I repeat, my parents loved that movie. They would quote lines from the movie. My parents are dead and watching movies together could be a pretty big deal so I get emotional about some film memories. Also from the time I was young, some of the early Hoffman films appealed to me even though he sometimes drove me crazy with the overacting. I loved Kramer vs. Kramer so it was tough to read a couple of years ago that he was so awful to Streep. And now I'm not sure I can enjoy anything about Tootsie given its lip service to female power (sort of in an 80s way) in light of the sum total of stories about Hoffman. Also Tootsie might have the worst soundtrack of all time. So soft 80s, so horrible.
  9. Susan*


    That seems appropriate to me, and I like the way you put it. When something has been celebrated as long as Chinatown and Polanski, I wonder if it's just a human temptation to try and say something fresh/interesting even if it's wrong? Seems like you really have to try hard to argue that Chinatown was great without celebrating Polanski. Regarding the character of the director, I don't even understand my own feelings on this stuff. I don't know why I can still watch some classic movies with underlying issues re cast/crew but not others. Chinatown isn't a movie I'd want to see again anyhow. I am such a huge fan of 70s movies and film noir and Dunaway, and I know in my head that Chinatown is an incredibly well-crafted movie, but there's always been something about Chinatown that stopped me from enjoying it. If L.A. Confidential was on cable now, it's 50/50 I'd watch it again, but not Chinatown. It feels wrong saying it, but it's how I feel. One of the million reasons why I couldn't be a film critic.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.