Welcome to another edition of Fedya's “Movies to Tivo” thread, for the week of October 24-30, 2016. Halloween is coming up, so there's a lot of horror on if you look for it. But for those who like other genres, there's still a fair amount of good stuff. I've used my good taste to select both some of the horror, and some of the other stuff, so I know you'll like it all. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.
On Monday morning, TCM is spending some time with the lovely Helen Twelvetrees. (That was her real name, more or less, as she married a man with the surname Twelvetrees.) I haven't recommended much of her œuvre, but you can enjoy her in Unashamed at 8:30 AM. In this one she plays heiress Joan, whose brother Dick (Robert Young) adores her. However, she's in love with Harry (Monroe Owsley), who's a jerk of a businessman who clearly only cares about her money, not that Joan can see this. Dick basically decides that Harry is going to defraud Joan by marrying her for that money, so to stop the marriage, Dick shoots Harry dead when he invites her to his hotel room! Of course, there's going to be a trial, and Dick could be executed, but he's got an allegedly valid honor defense – no jury would convict. If only his lawyer (Lewis Stone) could use it. Dick doesn't want to use it since it would disgrace his sister. Poor Helen Twelvetrees, getting stuck in melodramas like this.
Up against Helen Twelvetrees over on Starz in Black, you have the chance to watch the remarkable City of God, at 7:00 AM Monday. Rocket is a young man who at the start of the movie accidentally runs into an old childhood friend, Li'l Z, in the “City of God” favela of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. Flashback to their childhoods. The City of God is a slum where there doesn't seem to be much hope of getting out, leading many of the young men, and even younger boys, to turn to crime. It starts off as petty crime but eventually turns to more severe things like drug running and a gangland war between Li'l Z and Carrot, with Rocket and friends like Benny caught in the middle. Can Rocket survive and even possibly escape? City of God is unrelentingly violent as our child gangsters display violence in an attempt to prove that they're real men; sometimes the violence is downright disturbing. But the movie is also one of the better ones you'll see for a long time.
Christopher Lee is TCM's Star of the Month, and he of course is remembered for playing Dracula in a whole bunch of British studio Hammer's horror movies of the late 1950s through the early 1970s. TCM is running several of those Dracula movies in its Monday night lineup. I suppose there's only so much you can do with Dracula, which is probably why Hammer decided to make Dracula AD 1972, airing at 4:30 AM Tuesday. Van Helsing kills off Dracula in 1872 London. Fast forward 100 years, and a group of people decide it would be fun to have a Black Mass. What they don't know is that one of their number is the descendant of one of Dracula's disciples, and is using the Mass as an attempt to bring Dracula back to life. The attempt of course succeeds, and Dracula starts going around 1972 London trying to find Van Helsing's descendants to gain a measure of revenge.
Those of you who worship cops as heroes will be pleased to see TCM's lineup on Tuesday, which beatifies FBI agents. An example would be The FBI Story, at 6:15 AM Tuesday. This one stars James Stewart as fictional FBI agent Hardesty, who basically grows up with the agency, joining it in the early 1920s (before J. Edgar Hoover took over; he briefly shows up as himself) and by the time of the movie, is a much older man lecturing young recruits about the good things the FBI does. And so we get what is basically an episodic look at what the FBI was going against. In the 1920s and 30s we had the gangsters; there was also the Klan in the 20s; then came World War II and the Nazis. Finally, after the end of World War II we had the Soviets as the enemy, so the FBI had to root out those communists. Hardesty perseveres through all this, as does his long-suffering wife (Vera Miles). As for the Nazis, the movie FBI would go after them in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (airing at 9:00 AM) and then go after the Communists in I Was a Communist for the FBI (2:00 PM).
If you want to see a curious movie, you could watch some British 50s scifi, such as Satellite in the Sky, airing at 2:45 PM Wednesday on TCM. The premise of this one is that the British actually win the space race, and put the first manned orbital vehicle into space. (The movie was released a year before Sputnik, and almost five before Yuri Gagarin went into space.) Kieron Moore plays Michael, the commander, of what is actually a military mission: they're going out into space to test a new type of nuclear warhead, presumably because the radiation issue would be less bad out there. One problem is that a lady reporter Kim (Lois Maxwell, a half dozen years before she'd become Miss Moneypenny) stows away. There's a bigger problem, which is that deploying the bomb doesn't go as planned and instead of it going away from the spaceship it gets stuck, threatening to blow everybody on the mission to smithereens.
I know you all like the westerns, so I'll mention one I think I haven't mentioned before: Thunder in the Sun, at 1:55 AM Thursday on StarzEncore Westerns. This one has many of the typical themes in westerns about settlers moving west. However, one difference in this movie is who the settlers are. This time, they're Basque immigrants who are looking to get to California so they can start wineries, with the grape vines they've brought with them from the Pyrenees. Jeff Chandler is the American scout leading the wagon train, while the Basques are led by André Dauphin (Carl Esmond), who is married to the lovely Gabrielle (Susan Hayward). But it was an arranged marriage, and she's not particularly happy about it, so you can guess what might happen between the two stars of the movie. Jacques Bergerac plays André's younger brother, who is willing to take over should anything happen to André, which by Basque tradition supposedly even includes marrying the widow. And of course by the end we're going to get an Indian attack.
I've recommended it several times before, but you've got another chance to catch Three on a Match again, at 9:45 AM Thursday on TCM. Three girls, Mary, Vivian, and Ruth, go to elementary school together as children in 1919 but time eventually separates them. Mary winds up in reform school and grows up to be Joan Blondell; Ruth becomes a secretary (Bette Davis before she became a star); Vivian is the bored idle rich, marrying lawyer Robert (Warren William). They wind up meeting in the early 30s (the present from the point of view of the movie), which leads to Vivian realizing how bored she is with life. So she takes up with the gangster Michael (Lyle Talbot) which leads to a life of dissolution, with Mary and Ruth trying to help her. Robert divorces Vivian, and then Michael kidnaps Robert and Vivian's son for the ransom money so he can pay off debts. It's surprisingly hard-hitting stuff for 1932. Davis gets one scene where she's wearing just a slip, while a young Humphrey Bogart has a bit part.
TCM is shining a light on actor William Gargan on Friday, this even though his birthday is in July. One of his movies that I don't think I've recommended before is The Housekeeper's Daughter, at 1:45 PM. Joan Bennett is the daughter, and is a gangster's moll. She wants to get away from that, which is why she goes to live with her mother, who is the housekeeper to a wealthy man (John Hubbard) who wants to become a crime reporter. Meanwhile, two other reporters (Gargan and Adolphe Menjou) start investigating him. And then the gangsters (watch for a very young Victor Mature) start investigating what happened to the boss' girl. Meanwhile, there's been a murder, and apparently our heroine might have had some bearing in the case, which causes complications for everybody. This is one of those Hal Roach “Screenliners”, when the studio got into making shorter, low-budget second-bill comedies as opposed to the shorts his studio had been making for decades.
A movie back on FXM Retro is the wonderfully insane musical The Gang's All Here, on Friday at 11:45 AM Friday and 8:30 AM Saturday. (Actually, it's running as part of a set of Carmen Miranda movies, but this is the best of them.) Andy Mason (James Ellison is a playboy and son of the wealthy Andrew Sr. (Eugene Pallette). However, this is 1943, so there's a war on, and Andy is going off to fight. On his way out to the Pacific, he meets showgirl Edie (Alice Faye) and falls in love with her – and the feeling is mutual. The only problem is that the Mason family thinks their son would be better off marrying rich Vivian (Sheila Ryan), daughter of the Potters (Edward Everett Horton and Charlotte Greenwood). Mom was a former chorus girl herself, so she knows better. Eventually, Andy becomes a war hero and returns home to a benefit concert put on by his parents and the Potters, with Edie and her whole troupe, including Carmen Miranda and Benny Goodman among others, providing the entertainment and the dramatic climax such as it is. This, of course, is the sort of thing you watch for the musical numbers and the escapism, which is here in spades. Miranda does the outrageous “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat”, while the finale features the disembodied heads of the protagonists.
TCM, unsurprisingly, is spending almost the entire weekend with horror movies. There's one comic ghost movie, the first of the Topper movies, at 6:00 AM, and several movies that are more mysteries, but have some frightening elements. Ricardo Montalbán plays a Portuguese-American police chief on Cape Cod(!) in the surprisingly good Mystery Street at 10:00 AM Sunday, while poor Bette Davis kills rich twin Bette Davis in Dead Ringer at 3:45 PM Sunday.
FRIDAY MORNING IS prime time for some casual news reading, tweeting, and general Internet browsing, but you may have had some trouble accessing your usual sites and services this morning and throughout the day, from Spotify and Reddit to the New York Times and even good ol’ WIRED.com. For that, you can thank a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) that took down a big chunk of the Internet for most of the Eastern seaboard.
This morning’s attack started around 7am and was aimed at Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire. That first bout was resolved after about two hours; a second attack began just before noon. In both cases, traffic to Dyn’s Internet directory servers on the East Coast of the United States was stopped by a flood of malicious requests disrupting the system. Still ongoing, the situation is a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.
Dyn offers Domain Name System (DNS) services, essentially acting as an address book for the Internet. DNS is a system that resolves the web addresses we see every day, like https://www.WIRED.com, into the IP addresses needed to find and connect with the right servers so browsers can deliver requested content, like the story you’re reading right now Click the LINK for more
Packers Pregame Radio Show (starts two hours before the game): Listen Here
Thursday night’s game will be televised to a national audience on CBS and NFL Network, as well as streamed on Twitter, with play-by-play man Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms handling the call from the broadcast booth and Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely reporting from the sidelines.
Green Bay Packers 23 CB Damarious Randall 24 CB Quinten Rollins 32 S Chris Banjo 44 RB James Starks 68 T Kyle Murphy 84 WR Jared Abbrederis 89 TE Jared Cook
Starting lineup changes: #36 LaDarius Gunter and #39 Demetri Goodson will start at cornerback for Randall and Rollins. #82 Richard Rodgers will start at tight end for Cook. #34 Don Jackson will start at running back for Lacy.
Chicago Bears 6 QB Jay Cutler 19 WR Eddie Royal 32 CB Deiondre’ Hall 33 RB Jeremy Langford 36 S DeAndre Houston-Carson 71 LG Josh Sitton 91 NT Eddie Goldman
Just listened to a segment on Rich Eisen's show with Kurt Warner, who I think is one of the better offensive analysts out there, especially when discussing QB play. His feeling was that Rodgers did not trust the Packers offense anymore, nor the receivers and is trying too hard to overcome that and make plays, thus holding the ball way too long instead of just letting it rip. Warner said that the Packers offense is stagnant....little to no motion pre-snap.
This is the one game when I first saw the schedule that worried me was this one. UW has been better at Iowa recently but over the years they have really struggled there. What worries me is that this is the ultimate let down game for Bucky. Coming off a hard fought and emotional loss to O$U I am worried they will lose in this spot.
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