The Conversation (1974)
Gene Hackman stars in this film that predates Watergate. It was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Harrison Ford co-stars. People spy on others. There are brutal, ruthless and deeply unpleasant men and Jacobean theatrical relish. This was okay if a bit dreary, interminable, mordant and boring.
Why does Harry (Hackman) have a plastic wrap on his lampshade? Why does he wear a raincoat he never takes off? There are dated tech and clothes. Harry takes his trousers off and is supposed to be 44?!?!? He plays the sax, loudly. His poor neighbours. He visits his girlfriend and breaks up with her – he also keeps his raincoat on while trying to have sex. Harry rides the bus and obsolete tech is used. Something pernicious is going on in this captivating yearn. There is a huge sense of despair and this was grim.
There is a sense of urgency and Harry is always suspicious and paranoid. Hideous shoes are worn. Ford plays a office drone. Or does he? Harry plays an alleged survelliance expert. Dirty raincoat man Harry spies on 2 people. A mime lurks. Who is Harry and who are his lackeys? Some Patrick Wilson looking man and a woman are followed and spied on. Harry is Catholic.
Harry is a private operator. Harry's well known and there is CCTV and paranoia. Ford lurks. A slide show is seen as are 1970s clothes. A security conference booth babe is not to be trusted. Early technology techniques are described. Harry grows ever more obsessive and paranoid. There is ADR and Ford stares. Nobody wears seat belts. There is a sudden inexplicable car chase and talk of events in NY. There is a weird drinks party and Harry is ever more uptight.
Women are fluff and there is a mention of the Teamsters. Harry exposed a fraud in NY that resulted in 3 murders. There is a bugged pen and Harry gets angrier and increasingly belligerent. The plot is unclear. Harry is oddly disapproving of everything. There is no conscientiousness. Why do women want to shag Harry? You can see gooseflesh. Harry has chest fur. There is a dream sequnce. Is a conincidence that Harry's ex Amy and booth babe Meredith look alike? There is a phone in a drawer and a rando dog. Harry's name is Harry Caul. There is a random bowl of walnuts with a nutcracker.
Robert Duvall makes a cameo appearance. There is possible marital infidelity and unwise choices and Harry wedges himself in next to a loo and spies. There is yelling and he does nothing. There are orange bedspreads and one has no idea what has happened or why or if anything did. Harry stares at an ominious toilet. What's in the toilet?!??
This all took place in San Francisco. The ending changes everything. There is a lot of car exhaust. The innocent weren't so innocent. There is sneering and the conversation takes on an all new meaning. Harry goes nuts as a phone rings and he rips apart his flat.
“Oh look that's terrible.”
“He's not hurting anyone.”
“Neither are we.”
“Not so good.”
“Big thing at the time.”
“I don't have a home telephone.”
“I don't have any secrets.”
“Oh did we hear.”
“You're really very nice.”
“Discontinuing its fins.”
“Someone may get hurt.”
“Tired of mostly everything.”
“What a stupid conversation!”
“He's kill us if he got the chance.”
“Taking pleasure in impure thoughts.”
“I won't let him even smell my equipment.”
“We know that you know. For your own sake, don't get involved.”
“Think we can do this?”
“I'm afraid you'll have to leave now.”
“Enemy within the company.”
“I don't know what it's about, but I don't like it.”
“Best tailman in the country.”
“Lonely and annoymous.”
“The best bar none.”
“Best bugger on the west coast.”
“Don't you get papers in Chicago?”
“Probably out on strike.”
“Hire a lip-reader with binoculars.”
“I don't need anyone.”
“Disappointed I survived.”
“I am afraid of murder.”
“Can't let it happen again.”
“I'm not following you, I'm looking for you.”
Lady Macbeth (2016)
A loveless marriage and no moral content. This stars Florence Pugh and I just do not care.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
This was lowering, depressing, cruel, amoral and incoherent and so very slow. It's an hour into the movie before they get to Vietnam. There is no sufficient effort in this Oscar bait. The sense of permanence and community are destroyed.There is shrieking hysteria.
The Program (2013)
More Lance Armstrong bashing in this miserably dull movie that tries to heroise a weird and obsessed journalist.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe play showgirls on the make. TPTB said about this film: replace Monroe, get a new director, make it shorter and rewrite the script. All true. An Olympic team sail on the ship. Monroe is dumb and Russell is hard. You can see how much thick makeup the women are wearing. Shirtless men work out. There is so much singing. Monroe's dress in the Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend scene looks purple not pink. This was dull.
“Not about to let you commit matrimony with his son. I think he'd rather shove him down an elevator shaft.”