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Oscar.

Host not paying attention.

Gards at Izzos

The Badgers play their last road game in the B1G regular season this afternoon at Meeechigan State.  They will be playing to get back into a tie for the B1G lead due to Purdon'ts  loss to the Wolverines yesterday.  They will secure at least a tie for the title against everyone but Purdon't.  Current line is MSU + 2.5 and O/U of 129.5.  Game can be found on CBS at 3:00 CST.  Below is a preview mostly about MSU and very little about Wisconsin. Go figure. 

http://www.si.com/college-basketball/game/1681871

F'UM BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to another edition of Fedya's “Movies to Tivo” thread, for the week of February 27-March 5, 2017. We're reaching the end of this year's 31 Days of Oscar, which means that we're going to get back to regular programming on the weekend. Of course, that means there are still a lot of good movies to watch, and I've used my discerning taste to select a bunch that I know you all will find interesting. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.

 

For those of you who like foreign films, we'll start off with one this week, Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly, at 12:30 PM Monday on TCM. Harriet Andersson plays Karin, a young woman who's married, albeit not too happily, to college professor Martin (Max von Sydow). The reason the marriage isn't a happy one is that Karin has been suffering from mental illness that left her spending some time in an institution. She's just been released, and is going with her husband to a nice, peaceful island where her brother Minus (Lars Passgård) and father David (Gunnar Björnstrand) live. Well, Dad doesn't live there that often since he's a writer whose job has him travelling the world, much to Minus' chagrin, as he'd rather Dad had spent more time with him, especially after Mom died. And then Karin starts to read Dad's diary, and finds out more about her mental illness that it ultimately causes her a lot more problems. Bergman liked the island so much that he eventually bought a home and lived out his years there.

 

I suppose I could have started off with Jesse James, since it's airing earlier, at 8:48 AM Monday on StarzEncore Westerns. Made in Hollywod's annus mirabilis of 1939, the movie stars Tyrone Power as Jesse James, whom you'll know as the famous outlaw who robbed banks in several of the Plains states until getting shot by Robert Ford (John Carradine). This version has the James family – Jesse, brother Frank (Henry Fonda) and widowed mom (Jane Darwell) living on their farm after the Civil War when the railroad wants the property to put a new line through. Of course they'll stop at no underhanded tactics to try to get the land, so of course it embitters Jesse and Co., to the point that they're wanted for trumped-up charges and decide to turn against polite society by robbing the railroads and banks. Well, there's that and the aftermath of the war, since people in the James' part of Missouri had strong southern sympathies. It all makes for a good story, but it's not particularly true. Still, the movie was popular enough that Fonda would play Frank James again a year later.

 

A few months back I mentioned Kurt Thomas in Gymkata. This week it's the turn of the unfortunately named Mitch Gaylord, who was the star of American Anthem, which will be on StarzEncore Classics at 6:25 AM Tuesday. Mitch plays Steve, who was a former Olympic gymnast. But since gymnasts couldn't make money back in those days, he had to get real work, at the family business, a small-town bike shop. Into his town one day comes Julie (Janet Jones, later Mrs. Wayne Gretzky), who is also a gymnast, and wants to train at the gym where Steve trained because it got him to the Olympics, after all. Her arrival gives Steve a new-found desire to start training again, even though the two of them have a very strict coach. Of course, Steve and Julie fall in love along the way. But can either of them make it to the next Olympics? Eh, the plot is woefully thin and the acting, well, if you want to call it acting, go ahead. Just have fun laughing at how awful this one is. Or have fun looking at whoever's hard body gets you excited.

 

I didn't realize that Torch Song was nominated for an Oscar. But it was, so TCM can include it in 31 Days of Oscar, which they're doing at 11:45 AM Tuesday. Joan Crawford plays Jenny, a Broadway star who knows she a star, and has the diva attitude to go with it. She berates everybody around her who isn't good enough for her, to the point that she's driven off her piano accompanist. As luck would have it, though, Tye (Michael Wilding) is waiting in the wings, and knows all the arrangements that are just right for Jenny. There's just one problem: he's blind. Well, that, and she's falling in love with him, and he's strangely cold to her. “Get yourself a seeing-eye girl,” she snaps at him. Meanwhile, Jenny has problems with her family, notably mom (Marjorie Rambeau, who got the Oscar nomination). It's a routine story, made memorable by Crawford going way over the top, helped out by a garish color scheme, a ridiculous apartment, and amazing outfits for her to wear in the stage scenes. She even has a hilariously wrong blackface number. The movie is so terrible it's good.

 

Claude Rains was a professional in everything he did, even in pedestrian stuff like Twilight of Honor, which will be on TCM at 6:30 AM Wednesday. The movie starts off with a media circus, as police in a small New Mexico town bring in Ben Brown (Nick Adams) on a murder rap. It seems he murdered a prominent businessman when that man turned out to be a lecher and propositioned Ben's wife Laura Mae (Joey Heatherton). The case is a big thing, so the state brings in special prosecutor Norris Bixby (James Gregory) to get a guilty verdict to appease the braying mob. Ben has to have a defense attorney, so the judge picks on poor young David Mitchell (Richard Chamberlain), who is woefully unprepared to take on the job, which is kind of the point. So David approached prominent local defense attorney Art Harper (Claude Rains) for help. Art is old, wheelchair-bound, and too old to take the case, but against his daughter's (Joan Blackman) wishes he gives David whatever help he can. Oh, that daughter also becomes David's new love interest. David offers a defense based on an obscure adultery law.

 

There are a lot of interesting British movies about World War II. One that I don't think I've mentioned before is Vacation from Marriage (also known as Perfect Strangers), which will be on TCM at 8:00 PM Wednesday. Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr play the Wilsons, a happily married British couple who of course have to put their marriage on hold when the Nazis attack and World War II comes. Mr. Wilson joins the Navy and Mrs. Wilson joins the WRENs, the British women's naval auxiliary. War changes both of them as his ship gets sunk and he finds himself falling for one of the nurses (Ann Todd) taking care of him; she rooms with Glynis Johns and gains self confidence she never had as a meek housewife. But of course, the Allies win the war, and that means our married couple is going to be reunited. But does it feel so good? Will they be able to make their marriage work again now that neither of them can go back to being the way they were?

 

Who ever thought Doris Day could handle a spy thriller? You can see for yourself when FXM Retro digs Caprice back out of the vault, for airings at 4:00 AM and 1:20 PM Saturday. Actually, this one is more of a light comic thriller, with the emphasis on comedy and romance instead of the spying part which is more of a Macguffin. Day plays Patricia, an industrial engineer for a cosmetics company who is trying to get he formula for an ultra water-repellent hairspray that a rival company is developing. It's discovered that she's engaging in industrial espionage, so the rival company uses Christorpher (Richard Harris) to try to get at her. Of course, she figures out what's going on, and there's a whole cat-and-mouse game between the two as they fall in love through the whole thing. But there's also a more serious subplot, involving the fact that Patricia's father was murdered, which is what got Patricia into the whole espionage thing in the first place, and it gets both her and Christopher in an international spy plot. The plot of the movie is a mess, to be honest, but it's lovely to look (not just for Doris!) at and everybody does well.

 

I'm actually recommending two foreign movies this week. The second one is Woman in the Dunes, which will be on TCM at 3:45 PM Friday. If you want to see a Japanese movie directed by someone not named Akira Kurosawa, this is the one for you. Eiji Okada plays Niki, an entomologist who is in a remote seaside village looking for sand insects. Unfortunately, he misses the last bus back to town, and the villagers, rather than making him walk in the dark, offer him a place with a young woman (Kyoko Kishida), whose house is at the bottom of the sand pit. Imagine Niki's surprise when he wakes up the next morning to find that the ladder into the sand pit has been removed! And the woman doesn't seem to care! She's been spending her life digging out sand to keep her dead husband and child's legacy alive, as they died in a sandstorm and she doesn't want to let the house be buried. The villagers think she needs a man. Niki wants to get out, but how will he be able to do that? A very bizarre movie, to say the least.

 

TCM finished running all the Bowery Boys movies at the end of January. 31 Days of Oscar finished up midweek, so that means that on Saturday we get a new series, which will be the Maisie movies. Ann Sothern plays the woman, who seems to get put in a bunch of problems, but uses her spunk and wits to get herself and others out of the situation. In the first movie of the series, airing at 10:30 AM Saturday, Maisie winds up at a ranch where she falls in love with the foreman (Robert Young), but has to help him when he winds up on trial for the owner's murder (it was a suicide when the owner learned his wife was cheating on him).

There's also going to be a new series coming to TCM on Sundays. This one is Noir Alley, presenting a classic noir film (more or less, what actually is a noir film is often a subject for debate) every Sunday morning and presented by Eddie Mueller, the arrogantly self-styled “King of Noir”. The first installment in the series is the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon, with Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade learning about the stuff that dreams are made of.

 

Since you all like the films of Alfred Hitchcock, I'll mention that Saboteur is on again this week, at noon Sunday. Robert Cummings plays Barry Kane, an everyman working in an aircraft factory in the early days of World War II. There's a saboteur named Fry (Norman Lloyd, still alive at 102) who causes a fire but does it in such a way that the suspicion falls on Barry, who has to go across country to find Fry and the shady conspiracy of saboteurs who have much more sinister things planned. Along the way, he meets a bunch of characters (the circus freaks are particularly fun), and winds up getting helped by a blonde billboard model (Priscilla Lane) who of course doesn't believe him at first but falls in love with him along the way. It all leads up to a climax atop the Statue of Liberty. Hitchcock made so many good movies that this one undeservedly falls through the cracks when his great movies are mentioned. It much the same story as North By Northwest, but I like it more because it has an everyman as the main character instead of Cary Grant.

Big 10

Minnesota wins, Michigan beats Purdue, Iowa beats Md on the road.  BAdgers with some tough games coming up.  Gophs just might be the best team RIGHT NOW.  They have won 7 in a row and have looked legit.  

 

Trade Deadline

Why would the Bucks be interested in Ricky Rubio???

Meanwhile, the Lakers get Brewer and a first for Lou Williams? Ridiculous...

Cousins dealt for spare parts and protected pick? WTF????

Zooked!

At this point, I'm just past expecting MM's unit to be anything special. It's really the same schit year in and year out. And before anyone says, "well, in today's NFL how much do ST's matter?"....Exhibit A:



Well, maybe his teams are special  in another way, but you get what I mean.

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