Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
NOTE: Board emails should be working again. Information on forum upgrade and style issues.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 22 released November 17th * EXCLUSIVE * We Are Mentioned in a Book!!! Interview with Mary Guillermin on Rapture, JG & More)
Polls: Favourite Movies (Results), 1998 (Results), DtC - Ratings (Apr 26th), Coming of Age (Apr 30th)
Challenges: Doubling the Canon, Animation, Middle East
Film of the Week: Moya lyubov, May nominations (Apr 30th)

Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 13, 2021

Post Reply
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 11209
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 13, 2021

#1

Post by sol »

Which Films Did You See Last Week?

Please share with us which films you saw last week. It would be great if you could include some comments on each film. It would be awesome if you could also take some time to comment on everyone else's viewings. Unfortunately, it has reached the point where it is no longer viable for me as host to comment on everyone else's viewings every week (especially since some people like to use the weekly thread to log their viewings and nothing else). I am always keen to promote movie discussion though, so if you comment on my own viewings, I will comment on yours at my earliest convenience.

Please also note that this is intended as a movie discussion thread, not a large image posting thread. Having too many large images makes this thread difficult to navigate through. If you wish to include more than five images in a reply, please use spoiler tags - [spoiler][/spoiler] - to hide extra images.

This is what I saw:

★★★★ = loved it /// ★★★ = liked it a lot; ~7/10 /// ★★ = has interesting elements; ~6/10 /// ★ = did very little for me; ~5/10 and lower

Chase a Crooked Shadow (1958). Visited by a stranger at her overseas villa who claims to be her brother, a young woman has trouble convincing anyone that he is a fraud in this intriguing noir. While the film could done with a greater dose of ambiguity, there are still plenty of moments where we begin to question the protagonist's sanity and wonder whether she is the one who is mistaken, and the whole thing is incredibly enthralling as the possibly sinister motives of the brother very gradually emerge. The film looks sensational too with Erwin Hiller emphasising every shadow while generally filming from angles that aptly seem a little off. The conclusion is a bit disorientating with some plot turns that initially seem a little rushed, but which work in retrospect. All concerned are excellent here too, especially an ever-so-slightly menacing Richard Todd. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967). Learning that the soul remains in a body for at least an hour after death, Dr. Frankenstein experiments with transferring the soul of his dead lab assistant into a young woman's corpse in this Hammer horror film. This is a very unique and interesting spin on the Frankenstein story for the most part, full of intriguing theories regarding souls being trapped in bodies, while the good doctor performers Flatliners experiments on himself. The transferring of the lab assistant's soul only occurs in the final third of the film though, and this is arguably the weakest stretch as the film turns into a psycho slasher when it could have been a neat look at a man's soul coping in another body, and a female one at that. Still, this is nicely offbeat for a film with a title that would seem to promise an updated Bride of Frankenstein. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★★

Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979). Also known as Head Over Heels, this romantic comedy of sorts focuses a young man who becomes obsessed with an unhappily married housewife and tries to convince her to leave her husband. For someone who pretty much acts like a stalker throughout, John Heard is remarkably sympathetic in the lead role, allowing us to feel his heartbreak as his crush tells him that she would rather stay married to someone who loves her less passionately than he does. Tonally speaking, this is a weird movie though. Heard's relationships with his lazy roommate and attention-seeking mother are sometimes comical, sometimes sobering, and sometimes both. His on/off talking to the camera is strange too, but Heard gets so into his character (his interactions with a street vendor especially stand out) that he is magnetic to watch. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Spooky Bunch (1980). Unsuspecting members of a travelling theatre troupe are possessed by ghosts in this chaotic comedy from Hong Kong. Considered to be one of the best Chinese language films of all time by both Golden Horse and the HKFA, this might make more sense if you can speak Cantonese or decipher the white-on-white subtitles in the best quality print available online. Based on action (not indecipherable dialogue) alone though, the film mostly seems like a repetitive affair with much humour at the expense of the main possessed man speaking in a high pitched voice and calling himself Catshit. There are a few quirky bits in which the theatre company continue to try to perform even with possessed members among them, but their performances - which include full-length songs - generally feel at odds to the overall oddball humour throughout. (first viewing, online) ★

The Unbelievable Truth (1989). Released from prison after serving time for manslaughter, a mechanic returns to his hometown where his crimes have been exaggerated in this debut feature from Hal Hartley. If slow-moving at first, this is a generally engrossing ride, elevated by a calm and collected protagonist who never lets his emotions get the better of him and who reminisces philosophically on his crimes and how they have shaped his life. Once "you've done the unimaginable" as he has done, does your outlook on life totally change? The supporting characters are sadly a lot less interesting here - with Chris Cooke as a paranoid, overprotective father coming off the worst. Adrienne Shelly does well as the female lead though with the film cooking up a sweet and touching romance built on mutual affection rather than varying versions of 'the truth'. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Black Is... Black Isn't (1994). Marlon Riggs (director of Tongues Untied) reflects on the black experience in America in this fascinating documentary that examines shifting notions and changing ideas over time. Especially fascinating is learning about how earlier on black folks took offence at the term "black" and insisted on being called "coloured" or "Creole" (if applicable) instead. Also intriguing is a look into language bias and prejudiced preconceptions about talking jive versus the King's English and so on. Less engaging are the intermittent deflections into cooking customs and traditions. The food side of the film is not exactly boring, but it is never as powerful as the self-identification and language sections. Likewise, the overall film is interesting if uneven. Riggs has a great personality and his passion when discussing his topics stands out. (first viewing, online) ★★★

A Way of Life (2004). Struggling to raise her baby daughter on her own in poverty, a teenager takes out her frustrations on her Middle Eastern neighbours in this debut film from Amma Asante. It is a remarkably gritty and a hard-hitting movie for a first feature, and while the teen protagonist is too rude and uncouth to ever be likeable, her frustration at the world is heartfelt and her dedication to her daughter shines through her bitterness. The film ends on a pretty haunting note too with some great high camera angles. In fact, the film is generally great to look at. Listening to is a different issue though; the film is burdened by a repetitive percussion music that is too maudlin to ever be effective. A darker score might have done the movie wonders since Asante does such an amazing job dropping us into a harsh world where anger is, indeed, a way of life. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Doomsday (2008). Several years after Scotland was cut off from the world to contain a deadly virus, a group of mercenaries are sent in to investigate the state of things in this future-set thriller. Bearing blotchy skins and boils, the infected individuals that we see early on look creepy, and the film initially comes with all the promise of glimpse inside a leper colony of sorts. Alas, the Scots who they are meet look like Mad Max leftovers with plenty of leather and face paint but no noticeable skin afflictions; the Scotland scenes also play out like a second-rate Escape from New York minus John Carpenter's grand music. There is a pretty nifty extended car chase towards the end with upside down shots (!) but it is too little too late. The storytelling is really quite clumsy in general; the film requires a lengthy voiceover explanation for everything at the start no less. (first viewing, online) ★

1000 Mabrouk (2009). Best thought of as Egypt's answer to Groundhog Day, this time loop comedy focuses on an arrogant groom gradually humbled as he finds himself stuck in a time loop on his wedding day. If familiar, it is a premise with promise and there are some very funny moments as he manages to predict certain events and conversations. The film takes a bit too long to get going though (it is over 28 minutes before the day repeats) and much of the toilet humour falls flat. There is a particularly irksome running gag involving a masseuse who refuses to wash his hands after urinating. When focused on the dilemma of how to stop the day repeating, the film generally works though. Ahmed Helmy does well with the lead role and the film wraps up on a conclusion that, if somewhat abrupt, is nicely unexpected and thematically on-point. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Hired to investigate a murder that has been unsolved for decades, a journalist finds an ally in a female hacker in this remake of the acclaimed Swedish thriller. The film benefits from atmospheric music score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but this otherwise feels so similar, and plays out so much alike the original, that it is hard to work out what drove David Fincher to do it. The remake does not improve on the original's shortcomings either. Again, there is far too much exposition and again it takes over an hour for the two main characters' separate story threads to converge. The amateur tattooing scene is still effective in Fincher's version though even knowing it is coming, and the chat with the killer works again too, but topped off with an out-of-place love song over the end credits, this is mostly just strange to watch. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

Cheatin' (2013). Meeting under odd circumstances, a couple fall madly in love until mutual suspicion about the other cheating drives a wedge between them in this animated movie from Bill Plympton. As per his earlier Idiots and Angels and Hair High, this is a magnificent film to look at with Plympton's hand-drawn shots often seeming to melt and blend together with nary a normal scene transition to be found. Plympton also manages to convey lots of tangible emotion without his characters uttering a single line of dialogue. The lack of dialogue does become a bit problematic towards the end with the introduction of a complex sci-fi/fantasy angle, but the angle is so fascinating that the film remains enticing to watch even without everything being clear. An incredibly romantic carnival rescue scene near the start also needs to be seen to be believed. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

The Farewell Party (2014). Retirement home residents build a euthanasia machine to help their terminally ill friends die with dignity in this curious comedy/drama blend from Israel. The film does not quite get the balance right between laughs and pathos. Quirky elements such as the inventor's other machines are often sidelined for lame gags (a gay man hiding in a closet), while all of the intermittent comedy subtracts from the more tragic parts. The film is very well acted though, with all concerned in fine form, and many of the themes and ideas at hand are thought-provoking; particularly haunting is one woman's plea to go while she is still lucid and able to think for herself. There is also an intense, almost thriller-like part where the friends sneak into a hospital to perform an assisted dying procedure, but the film is generally more talk than action. (first viewing, online) ★★

Zero Motivation (2014). Various female soldiers struggle with individual crises as they try to alleviate their boredom while performing menial duties in the Israeli army in this comedy that has been compared to MASH. It is a comparison with merit, but the humour is less mean-spirited here and the characters are more likeable (a plus), yet the stakes are lower (a minus) since the characters are not in the middle of a war zone with medical emergencies. The film is highly episodic too, but it works overall with many quirks along the way -- most notably a young woman who may or may not be possessed, plus a comeuppance for a would-be date rapist. The film also highlights quite well the subservient nature of women in the Israeli army, often reduced to make coffee and running errands, rather than allowed to properly exercise their brains and brawn. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Very Big Shot (2015). Intent on using film canisters to smuggle drugs out of the country, a Lebanese baker sets about making a movie as a front in this crime drama with shades of Argo. Whereas Argo was always quite serious though, this effort gradually becomes more of a comedy as the baker starts to enjoying filming and gaining media attention from the production. There are also some great bits in which they decide to film improv style and lose track of whether the actors in shot are paid extras or ordinary street folk. The film takes quite a while to warm up though; it is not until halfway in that they start auditioning for roles. Most of the supporting characters remain interchangeable too and barely developed in depth. Alain Saadeh nails it in the lead role though as he becomes increasingly distracted from his original goal by his film production. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Coco (2017). Accidentally crossing over into the Land of the Dead during Día de Muertos celebrations, a young boy discovers that he only has until sunrise to find a way back in this Disney Pixar movie. While the race-against-time aspect is formulaic and some of the plot twists and turns are by-the-numbers, the Mexican setting and detailed insight into Mexican culture are great. The film also looks gorgeous, with vibrant purples and oranges used especially well, plus the music is excellent as one might expect given that music ends up being a pretty pivotal part of the film. It is no surprise the protagonist's family eventually come to accept his love of music, but the journey getting there is still awesome and the film has many poignant moments towards the end. There are lots of small fun touches too, such Pixar character piñatas hanging in certain backdrops. (first viewing, DVD) ★★★

Mary Shelley (2017). Setting out to examine Mary Shelley's personal life and possible influences on her penning Frankenstein, this biopic has an undeniably intriguing premise, but the results are disappointing. Elle Fanning is certainly as solid as one would expect in the lead role. Over half of the film though is pure melodrama, focused on Mary's turbulent relationship with Percy Shelley, Percy's ex-wife and their daughter. It is not until the final third of the film that Mary even pens the story. The film also has a pro-feminist slant, but one that only crops in the final quarter and mostly just consists of Fanning angrily shouting without an ounce of subtlety. There are certainly some great moments throughout here as Mary shows a fascination with reanimation and science shows before penning the novel, but the highs are very few and far between. (first viewing, DVD) ★

Toy Story 4 (2019). Now Bonnie's toys, the toys that once belonged to Andy set out to rescue Bonnie's latest toy in this fourth film in the Toy Story franchise. While the plot feels overly similar to Toy Story 2, this entry introduces a quirky new element as the latest toy is one made by Bonnie herself out of rubbish. This raises an array of intriguing questions ("How am I alive?") that the film nevertheless avoids addressing. Whatever the case, the film suffices as a comedic adventure. Much of the action is set at a carnival that looks absolutely stunning with glowing lights. There is also some fun madness as the toys mess with a van's breaks and locks. Disappointingly though, most of the best characters from the first three films are given almost nothing to do, while a bunch of a new characters are added that vary a lot in how interesting they are. (first viewing, online) ★★

Soul (2020). Falling down a manhole, a music teacher becomes stuck in a strange afterlife in this Pixar animated comedy. The film has been described as one of Pixar's most mature works due to its dealing with death, but the way death (and what lies beyond) is dealt with feels weird and uncomfortable with some bizarre mythology regarding souls and what it means to have a personality, plus overly cute-looking characters. Fortunately, the film mostly works a comedy with hilarious 'Family Guy' style comedy cutaways (to an irate Abe Lincoln, etc.) and lots of fun from an unborn soul attempting to walk for the first time and so on. The plot also changes directions so many times that the film is refreshingly unpredictable as far as family comedies go, even if the ultimate messages and character bonding are easy to see coming. Great music throughout too. (first viewing, online) ★★★

The Father (2020). Suffering from dementia, an old man tries to make sense of the world in this hard-hitting drama starring Anthony Hopkins. Given the material's roots as a stage play, this is an impressively cinematic experience and plays out closer to a horror-thriller than a standard drama. Almost everything is filtered from his point-of-view, capturing all of his confusion as days blur together and semi-familiar faces seem to invade his home. The Oscar nominated set design works really well; essentially the same set as everything blurs together. Effective as Olivia Colman is as his long-suffering daughter, the film may have been a tad more effective without her having her own scenes alone. Whenever we are stuck in the old man's mind, this a truly frightening and disorientating experience a la Memento with a protagonist unable to trust his own mind. (first viewing, cinema) ★★★★

Hey There! (2021). Taking advantage of heightened paranoia and loneliness in Covid-19 lockdown, two men try to scam unsuspecting folks by hacking into their computers and issuing fines in this unusual Turkish movie. Filmed under quarantine conditions, this almost entirely consists of laptop screens with a neat Kafkaesque vibe as all of their potential victims trying to work out what their crimes are and how they have been 'caught'. Innovative as it might be for a Covid movie though, the whole thing feels stretched thin at 80+ minutes with many conversations feeling repetitive and several sequences of dancing and listening to music in the mix. A couple of intriguing subplots emerge as it appears that the main guy's partner is conning him too, and as an underage would-be victim hacks her own way into his computer, but these angles are never really explored in depth. (first viewing, online) ★★
Other
Much Too Shy (1942). Trouble brews from an artist when a nude painting of his is accidentally used in an advertisement in this quaint George Formby comedy. Whether it be mixing up his words in court (telling a witness she has been sworn at!) or fumbling before befuddled policemen, Formby is charming as ever. Also, while his songs interrupt the flow of the film, they are fewer than usual. There is also an amusing painting class with a young Charles Hawtrey. The film's biggest weakness is the high-pitched Jimmy Clitheroe as Formby's underage sidekick... but when one realises that Clitheroe was twenty years old, cast as someone half his age, that becomes more interesting than anything in the film. As for the movie itself, it is not Formby's best or weakest, but it at least nicely jabs at outdated, uptight attitudes in what would soon be a permissive society. (first viewing, online) ★★

I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951). Unwelcomed by some, a young minister and his wife still try to do the most for their new mountainside community in this melodrama set in Georgia circa 1910. William Lundigan does well as the minister, very genuine in his concerns for the spiritual welfare of his flock and not easily deterred. Most of the film though comes from the perspective of Susan Hayward as his wife who is less effective. She has one almost great scene in which she uses metaphors to tell off a flirtatious young woman, but this soon turns into formulaic squawking as she then openly tells her to go away. None of the supporting characters are especially interesting either (anti-religion farmers who are predictably soon swayed, etc.) and with its episodic structure and loud music cues, this mostly feels like a soap opera with pleasant scenery. (first viewing, online) ★

Can't Complain (2007). Or Satisfied Like This as it is sometimes known, this Egyptian comedy focuses on identical triplets raised by their father to act as one person in public, possessing only one birth certificate. The initial stages of the film are very funny as we watch the brothers con and swindle everyone around them, cheating at races, making bartenders think they are seeing double and so on. As the film wears on though, things become more serious with psychiatrist sessions and a woman who all three brothers fall in love with. Some of their seeming forgetfulness while on dates is amusing, but this stretch of the film generally works less well, and then the film takes some thriller type twists and turns near the end that feel really out of place. Whenever the film focuses on the triplets getting up to comedic mischief though, this is a delight to watch. (first viewing, online) ★★

Savage Raghda (2018). Egypt's answer to Tootsie, this comedy involves a male makeup artist who becomes a television superstar in drag and befriends a young woman as both himself and his female persona. Ramez Galal does well playing both sides to his character, but he is a pretty obnoxious individual with the film largely built on a courtship he develops based on a pack of lies and deception. The whole romance is really icky, especially with how it is resolved, but the film does okay when focusing on other characters interacting with Galal both in and out of drag. The actor who plays his hotheaded neighbour is especially funny. Still, nothing to come in the film is ever as amusing as the opening horror prank stretch where Galal's character gets to demonstrate a real flare for makeup and special effects that he subsequently only ever talks about. (first viewing, online) ★

Kalek Shanab (2019). The UAE's answer to The Hangover, this comedy similarly involves three friends who wake up in strange and unusual places after an evening of heavy drinking with no memory of what transpired the night before. As they try to make their way back home, they keep finding themselves clashing with those who have they wronged with lots of comedic slow motion chase sequences in the mix as they run away. The whole thing is very goofy and undeniably amusing with great chemistry between the leads and lot of rubbery facial reactions, however, the movie never quite captures what made The Hangover so great. The mystery is not central here, and there is none of the friends slowly piecing everything together; it is mostly a series of them running into angry folks, followed by flashbacks of what they did and cannot recall. (first viewing, online) ★★
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 6584
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2

Post by Onderhond »

Image

Image

01. 4.0* - Triangle [Tie Saam Gok] by Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui (2007)
A celebration of Hong Kong crime cinema. Three prominent Hong Kong directors each get a 30-minute segment to tell their part of a story of three incidental thieves, who have to do their utmost best to keep their freshly acquired bounty out of the hands of the police and the Triads. Dark, brooding and stylish, a superb experiment that I wouldn't mind seeing repeated.

02. 3.5* - Honeydew by Devereux Milburn (2020)
Delightfully off-kilter. Honeydew isn't a traditional horror flick. There is a tiny amount of gore, but nothing that will please the true gorehounds. Furthermore, the film's not very tense of scary. Instead, you get awkwardness, discomfort and perversion. Oh, and a director who knows very well what he's going for. The plot is as simple as can be. A couple's car breaks down, they go to the nearest house where they get help from some local nut jobs. It's clear from the start that the sweet old lady is one sandwich short of a picnic, but the true extent of her deranged behavior won't be revealed until the very end. I generally like these crazy family type horror film and Milburn's direction is perfect. A uneasy soundtrack, smart framing (he pulls the same trick - where someone is in the room but is kept out of frame until later in the scene - several times, but it's always effective) and stellar performances make this a real treat. The only problem is that the runtime's a bit too long, with a handful of scenes stretched just beyond their breaking point. But Milburn shows promise, fingers crossed his first film won't be his last.

03. 3.5* - Doors by Saman Kesh, Jeff Desom, Dugan O'Neal (2021)
Intriguing sci-fi. Another anthology project that goes for tighter narrative cohesion, it seems to be a new trend these days. Not quite sure if I think it's a positive one, but at least it worked well for Doors. The film finds the right balance between thematic continuity and stylistic variation. Mysterious doorways/portals are appearing all over the world. Four shorts each highlight a different stage of this mysterious event. It plays a bit like the Cloverfield franchise, only with everything wrapped into a single film (which I guess sounds a lot more like Eduardo Sánchez' Portals project). The second short film is the clear highlight, very reminiscent of Memories' Magnetic Rose segment. The first and third are solid, only the fourth feels a little obsolete. Interesting effects, great sound design, solid performances and a superb central mystery make this a very cool project though. Don't listen to all the naysayers, just watch this when you're in the mood for a fun sci-fi project.

04. 3.0* - The Wave by Gille Klabin (2019)
Fun, albeit simple, sci-fi flick. It combines some familiar concepts (piecing things together post-party, drug trips and time travel) hoping to come out slightly more original than all of its peer. I don't think it's entirely successful at that, but at least the film itself is fun enough. Frank has settled down. Even when he has a big breakthrough at work, he is unable to celebrate his accomplishments. Until he caves and accepts an invitation from one of his colleagues. They go for a wild night out, which ends with Frank taking some exotic drug. When he wakes up the next morning, without his wallet on him, he finds that his old life is completely messed up. The presentation is light and breezy, Long and Vand do a good job and the pacing is perfect. But safe one or two scenes, there's nothing that truly stands out. It's all a bit too predictable, and I don't think it's a film I'll be remembering for long. But if you're looking for some fun filler, it certainly does the job.

05. 3.0* - The Wailing [Gokseong] by Hong-jin Na (2016)
Not bad, but a bit too basic. The Wailing serves a rather eclectic mix of genres, combining a police thriller core with horror elements and a little comedy. The result is a film that wanders from one genre to the next, though is largely stuck trying to get through its convoluted plot. A typical South-Korean flick in other words. After a strange Japanese man arrives in town, people suddenly start dropping left and right. The police investigation is run by a second-rate policeman, who needs to step up his game when his daughter suddenly becomes the focus of the killer. The more he learns about the perpetrator, the more it looks like the case has a supernatural angle to it. Performances are somewhat overdone, the direction is too functional, the mix of genres doesn't quite work and the runtime is excessive. All these things hold the film back from greatness. There are some interesting scenes and the plot is fun enough, I just don't understand where a film like this gets its reputation. Decent, but nothing more.

06. 3.0* - Mechanical Violator Hakaider [Jinzô Ningen Hakaidâ] by Keita Amemiya (1995)
Pretty decent sci-fi entertainment. I didn't expect too much when I started this film and sure enough, it gets pretty damn cheesy. At the same time Hakaider has a surprising cyberpunk vibe that puts it well apart from the tokusatsu superhero nonsense (you know, Ultraman and the likes) I had in mind. Hakaider is a spin-off from the Kikaider franchise. Hakaider is in fact a villain in the original series, but when he is unleashed in an post-apocalyptic future he becomes a veritable antihero. And since villains are usually way cooler than your average hero, there's a lot more to enjoy here. The effects are really cheap and the cast is clearly C-grade, but the designs are pretty cool and Amemiya does his best to put his limited budget to good use. It's no blockbuster material, nor is it a stylish, accomplished auteur film, but if you're in the mood for some badass genre cheese, this is one of the better films I've seen.

07. 3.0* - The Widow [Vdova] by Ivan Minin (2020)
Russian horror. They've been doing pretty well lately when it comes to horror cinema. It can be somewhat tricky to avoid the atrocious US dubs, but if you manage to find the subtitled versions then you're usually in for some solid genre entertainment. The Widow is no exception. The Widow is basically Blair Witch in Russia. A local rescue team is trailed by a documentary team. When they get a distress call they venture into the woods near St. Petersburg hoping to find the missing people. A local legend about a witch doesn't really frighten them, but when they find the first survivor things are getting pretty creepy. It's a proven formula, but the eerie Russian forests, great sound design and some smart scares make sure that there's plenty of genre fun to be had. Performances are also decent and the runtime is nice and short, just don't expect to see anything original or surprising. It's a bit too by the numbers to really stand out, but otherwise it's pretty cool filler.

08. 3.0* - The Knight in the White Night [Bai Ye Xia] by Xuan Zhong (2018)
Chinese genre fluff. One of the earlier films that fronted the explosion of Chinese genre pulp, and it shows. They learned an awful lot in a short period of time and the more recent films of this caliber are notably better, even so this wasn't such a terrible film, especially compared to some of its contemporaries. When Japan invades China during the Ming dynasty, they bring guns with them. Martial artists can't defend themselves against the bullets, but there's a fabled book that is supposed to grant them immunity. Everyone is after the book, even the Japanese send a team of ninjas to try and grab it before the rest. Performances are a little weak and the comedy doesn't work that well, but the martial arts scenes are on point and the sets/costumes look nice enough. Like most of these film, the short runtime and solid pacing are perks, apart from that it's just simple genre fare that will appeal to fans, but few others.

09. 3.0* - The Banishing by Christopher Smith (2020)
Christopher Smith returns to the horror genre. The Banishing is pretty basic genre fare though, which is a shame as Smith has shown himself pretty apt at putting a unique spin on the genre in the past. Not that this is a bad film, anything but, it's just a bit too by numbers for its own good. A house with a dark past, that's what you're getting here. People hear voices, mirrors show ghostly reflections and a local madman warns the new inhabitants that something is awry. By the time everybody is finally on board it's already too late, as the ghost has taken control of the family living there. The Banishing is a solid slowburner, but it lacks the audiovisual finish to stand out. There are some very moody scenes, performances are good across the board and there are a few solid scares, but overall it's not enough to convince me this wasn't just another haunted house flick sporting a dramatic backstory. Quality filler, but I'd hoped for something more.

10. 2.5* - When the Wind Blows by Jimmy T. Murakami (1986)
A little cult favorite. It's easy to see where this film got its reputation from, but it didn't entirely work for me. While the film has a pretty powerful message and the execution is interesting (to say the least), it relies a little too much on plain repetition to warrant its 80+ minute runtime. We follow an older couple living in the British countryside. When news breaks that the UK is on the verge of war once again, the man start to prepare for nuclear warfare, while his wife goes on with everyday life. Their bickering seems a little futile, until the day a nuclear bomb actually drops nearby. The mix of animation and live action is interesting, but the animation itself is pretty outdated and the art style isn't all that appealing. The bigger problem is that even though the world for these two people changes from peaceful retirement to dire nuclear warfare in the blink of an eye, the characters themselves are very much stuck in their ways. Whatever happens around them, their reaction is always the same. Though the film has some poignant scenes, it's just not enough to make a big impression.

11. 2.5* - Invention for Destruction [Vynález Zkázy] by Karel Zeman (1958)
Interesting mix of live action footage and cartoon-like sets and props. Though this film is often categorized as an animated feature, it's more of a trompe l'oeil that wants you to believe you're watching an animated film. Can't say it's entirely successful (the real actors are a dead giveaway), but it makes for some rather creative-looking scenes. The plot is an amalgam of Jules Verne influences. The core story (about an evil scientist building a weapon inside a volcano) is based on Verne's Facing the Flag, but Zeman doesn't mind borrowing royally from other Verne novels. If you're familiar with Verne's writings it's all a bit too random, but it's good enough for an adventure film. Not everything works and some parts are really outdated, but overall the film has retained a certain charm because of Zeman's unique approach. It's really like nothing I'd ever seen before, which at this stage has become a pretty big plus. It's still way too clumsy for me to love it unconditionally, performances are basic, the execution's pretty childish and the effects can be pretty crummy, but at least it was memorable.

12. 2.0* - The Adventures of Mark Twain by Will Vinton (1985)
I'm always in for a bit of stop-motion animation, so I was quite interested to see what The Adventures of Mark Twain was all about. I'd never really heard about the film before, but similar experiences (I was probably thinking about Tom Thumb) had led to surprising discoveries before. No such luck with this one. The story is promising enough, as we see famed writer Mark Twain board an airship that is destined for the Halley Comet. He is joined by Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn, who try to convince Twain that his presence on Earth is needed and he cannot simply leave everyone behind. The animation isn't terrible, but the character models are pretty ugly and the voice acting is just atrocious. The story is all over the place too. Some bits are interesting, others less so, which makes it harder than needed to keep focused. There surely is potential here, but overall the film is way too uneven to turn it into an enjoyable experience.

13. 2.0* - Indecent Proposal by Adrian Lyne (1993)
One of those films I watched a long, long time ago, well before I started seeing film as a serious hobby (I think my parents rented this one on VHS, back when that was still a thing). I didn't remember much, apart from the central moral dilemma, which is what made this film stand out back in the day. Harrelson and Moore are a happy couple who get caught in some financial trouble. Along comes multi-millionaire Redford, who promptly offers a million bucks to spend one night with Moore. It's an interesting enough premise, though Lyne doesn't go through too much trouble to make it sound believable, instead he trusts the generic Hollywood romance to do most of the heavy lifting. Harrelson and Moore are decent but they don't exactly sparkle, Redford is quite bleak. The premise is fun, but characters behave somewhat randomly and the film gets too cheesy at times when it should've been more daring. The film hasn't retained much of its original edge, what remains is a pretty basic Hollywood romance and unfulfilled potential.

14. 2.0* - The Humpback Horse [Konyok-Gorbunok] by Aleksandra Snezhko-Blotskaya, Viktor Gromov, Ivan Ivanov-Vano (1947)
One of the earliest Russian animated films. I expected some Eastern-European Vinnie Pukh style doodling, but was pretty surprised to find a Russian carbon copy of the Disney school. Fluent, exaggerated animation, local folklore and a couple of songs combine into a decent, though somewhat outdated film. The plot serves a Russian variation on the ugly duckling story. When a simpleton catches a flying horse, only to set it free again right after, he receives two fine horses and a smaller humpbacked one in return. The smaller horse has magical powers though, which lands the boy a job with the Tzar. The art style is rather stylish, though I'm not a big fan of this type of exaggerated animation. The songs aren't that great, the plot is somewhat drab and the characters are one-dimensional, but there are a few standout moments and the film is nice and short. Not great, but better than expected.

15. 1.5* - Dreamgirls by Bill Condon (2006)
Generic Hollywood musical. The most damning thing about Dreamgirls is that it actually sounds like a generic musical too, even though it's supposed to be about black music. Apparently there's something about that Broadway musical sound that's very hard to shake off, even when a film's all about soul and R&B. The plot's a rather banal rise and fall story about a trio of girls who are discovered by a car salesman who wants to make it big in the music business. The man has a knack for spotting marketable formulas and within no time the girls are successful, but when he starts putting money before his artists things slowly go awry. The performances are decent, but the music is pretty bland and the film lacks the glitz and glamour of a great musical. It feels a little like watching a basic biopic with some songs thrown in just because the film deals with recording artists. Not that I was expecting a lot from Dreamgirls, but this could've easily been much better.

16. 1.5* - Pathfinder [Ofelas] by Nils Gaup (1987)
A Norwegian adventure. It's a film mostly lauded for its setting. If you love snowy, treacherous environments then you probably should give this one a shot, personally I was a little disappointed by the meager adventure and the middling cinematography. Just snow doesn't really cut it for me. A peaceful family is attacked by Scandinavian barbarians. The youngest son manages to escape, but other clans are unwilling to help him and though he vows to revenge his family, it doesn't take long before the barbarians take the boy hostage. He agrees to lead them to his fugitive family members, but not without forging a plan first. Performances are pretty weak, but it's mostly the adventure that fails to engage. A barren trek through the wilderness sounded more than appealing enough, but somehow it doesn't feel half as epic or impressive as it should've been. Pacing issues, mediocre action scenes and some exceedingly cheesy moments make it hard to like this film.

17. 1.0* - The Black Cat by Edgar G. Ulmer (1934)
An old Universal horror flick. The Black Cat is quite famous for having Karloff and Lugosi pitted against each other, the fact that the film was based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe may also raise people's expectations, but the result was way too dialogue-driven for my taste. Even at 65 minutes it felt sluggish. After suffering an accident on the road, a newly married couple find themselves in the mysterious house of Poelzig, an eerie man with some dark secrets. Poelzig's intentions are less than amiable, but he puts on a clever facade. The couple is unaware that they're being held captive, until it's already too late. The camera work is static and the first half is just way too dialogue-driven. There's just endless conversation that stands in the way of building up a moody atmosphere. The second half is ever so slightly better, but by then the film had already lost me. Wasn't too impressed by the performances either and the horror elements are miniscule. This felt more like a bad stage play to me.
Last edited by Onderhond on April 5th, 2021, 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 3847
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#3

Post by Perception de Ambiguity »

Image
"The idealism of every age is the cover story of its greatest thefts."
- Eric Weinstein (JRE #1628)

Image
Where the Dead Go to Die (2012, Jimmy ScreamerClauz) 7+
- Tainted Milk (2009) 6+
- Liquid Memories (2010) 6+
- The Masks That the Monsters Wear (2011) 7+

The cleansing power of entering a dimension where grindcore and all kinds of hardcore and extreme metal are a world religion and its beasts rule the Earth. Although in the past years I've overall become more sensitive to films that give me a negative vibe even only through individual elements, for some reason it's very refreshing to me to see something that so wholly embraces hatefulness and negativity, perhaps because it is made with dedication and imagination, concepts that in many ways are the antithesis to what the work propagates. The only other feature length film I remember that made me feel this way was 'Subconscious Cruelty'. As this rare contradiction it radiates a beauty in spite of itself.

It might very well be in large part my own doing that I'm very often closed off to experiencing the horror and pain of extreme horror/gore films very deeply, but I usually find them unlovingly put together and typically feel the hate and negativity in them being reduced to little more than anger and pain, not much nuance or depth, no attempt at arriving at a philosophy that lends meaning to this suffering, gives no purpose to looking at the world through those eyes, reveals no motivations for inflicting and receiving suffering, doesn't try to come to an understanding of trauma,...

What possible pleasure could anyone feel from experiences and sensations that we usually only ever associate with hurt and pain? Jimmy ScreamerClauz aspires to feel into the depraved, albeit most certainly less through vigorous study of human psychology and more through letting his own dark fantasy run wild, a cathartic release of pain, fearlessly puking it all out, as juvenile and crude as the results may be. And yeah, in this I don't think it's different to the average no budget gore flick.

Ultimately it's something of a mystery to me what made this film click for me, but as far as my own experience with it goes 'Where the Dead Go to Die' doesn't just depict the world at its cruelest, darkest, most torturous, but wants to experience it, see this world from the inside. A world without victims, for its most depraved individuals are its most deprived ones. The only victim is the world itself, a bleeding wound of a rotting apple of a world, eaten at by worms incessantly, that somehow is self-perpetuating throughout all of it, never stops bleeding, never stops being.

Untitled (2017, Michael Glawogger & Monika Willi) 7+

Bad Boy Bubby (1993, Rolf de Heer) 7+

Image
Music (2021, Sia) 8

Ordnung (1980, Sohrab Shahid Saless) 8-
When you don't know the person anymore that you have lived with for 35 years, when existing becomes more important than living, when convention supersedes exploration, when you find out one day that you have grown old without ever having learned to experience wonder in the everyday, when you've kept waiting for the ideal to manifest itself and you lost hope that you will live to see the day and more and more of the time that you waited for the thing to happen is now allocated to waiting for death, when you feel like you are sleepwalking through life and you can't wake up and during many moments you think to yourself that you are awake now yet looking back on it later you still feel that you were asleep. Aber alles ist in Ordnung.

Stemple Pass (2012, James Benning) 5+

Zum Vergleich (2009, Harun Farocki) 6

Passing Strangers (1974, Arthur J. Bressan Jr.) 6

Lonely Are the Brave (1962, David Miller) 3

Fata Morgana (1971, Werner Herzog) 7+

Into the Inferno (2016, Werner Herzog) 6

Encounters at the End of the World (2007, Werner Herzog) 6+
either...or?
Image
Image
The Vikings (1958, Richard Fleischer) 8-


shorts

Приглашение к игре / Invitation to the Game (1984, К.Курепыльд/Kalju Kurepõld) 6+

The Petrified Dog (1948, Sidney Peterson) 3

The Lead Shoes (1949, Sidney Peterson) 6

Puparia (2020, Shingo Tamagawa) 4

A Voz e o Vazio - A Vez de Vassourinha / Vassourinha: The Voice and the Void (1998, Carlos Adriano) 6+

Pastori di Orgosolo / Orgosolo's Shepherds (1958, Vittorio De Seta) 6

Films to Break Projectors (2017, Tim Grabham) 6

Nursery Rhymes (2018, Tom Noakes) 4-

Händelse vid bank / Incident by a Bank (2010, Ruben Östlund) 6

The Girl Who Swallowed Bees (2007, Paul McDermott) 3


music video

Kontra K feat. Baci: Big Bad Wolf (2021)


other

Meng hu xia shan / Ninja Warlord (1973, See-Yuen Ng) (w/ RiffTrax) 2-

Lenny Bruce in 'Lenny Bruce / The Lenny Bruce Performance Film (1967, John Magnuson) 6

Fata Morgana (1971): Audio Commentary w/ Werner Herzog, Crispin Glover and Norman Hill

Bad Boy Bubby: Christ Kid, You're a Weirdo (2005, David Gregory) 7

Bad Boy Bubby: Being Bubby (2005) 6

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1628 - Eric Weinstein (2021) 7


no, I said I enjoy a good yarn, not a good yawn

Leák / Mystics in Bali (1981, H. Tjut Djalil) [11 min]


notable online media

top:
Russell Brand and Jordan Peterson | Mikhaila Peterson Podcast #68
A Matter of Time
The Richness of Time
Back to the Big Bang: Inside the Large Hadron Collider
Infinite Worlds: A Journey through Parallel Universes
[various "Andre Antunes" clips]
GUTHRIE GOVAN PLAYS 20 GUITARISTS [+TAB]
Moderne, Massen, Medien: M - EINE STADT SUCHT EINEN MÖRDER - Kritik & Analyse
The SnyderCut is Definitely... A Snyder Cut
Dog Catches Huge Catfish and Drags it out of the Lake - 1009700
rest:
The Mass Psychosis and the Demons of Dostoevsky
Evolution of Mike Patton Vocal Performance in Videogames
South Park: Everything is Q
Top 10 Animated Films of All Time - A CineFix Movie List [mostly]
NOTHING: The Science of Emptiness [partly]
The Great Reset | Davos Agenda 2021 IN FULL MOTION!!!
yo, watch it
Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on April 8th, 2021, 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
We do not have to understand new things, but by dint of patience, effort and method to come to understand with our whole self the truths which are evident.Image
LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2726
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#4

Post by peeptoad »

By far my best view over the last week was Heartless (2009). I have it at a strong 9 on initial viewing. I found it to be very engaging as per the concrete plot, and visually enjoyable, music was well crafted and placed, but the real strength lies in the film's psychological leaning, which is tremendous and extensive. I read a review on another site where someone complained about the twist being too obvious, but the twist is so deep and cerebral and, for me anyway, went far, far beyond what actually appears onscreen. After the credits rolled I just sat there for about 20 minutes lost in it all. That hasn't happened to me for awhile following a film.
Anyway, I have to see Ridley's second feature now. I liked Reflecting Skin well enough (from memory- it's been awhile), but it has nothing at all on Heartless.

@sol-
I have a similar rating for Frankenstein Created Woman and I think I've seen Doomsday, but I don't have it rated and now can't recall much.

@Onderhond-
I love Gokseong. It's definitely a favorite of mine, as is Chugyeokja, which I like even more actually. I'd say I'm a fan of Na. I understand what you mean about the genre-blending Gokseong, but it worked for me. I have Hwanghae on a blu ray too, but haven't watched it yet. Might save that for the Korean challenge later in the year...

@PdA-
Only seen Fata Morgana and rated it about the same...
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 11209
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#5

Post by sol »

peeptoad wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:31 pm By far my best view over the last week was Heartless (2009). I have it at a strong 9 on initial viewing. I found it to be very engaging as per the concrete plot, and visually enjoyable, music was well crafted and placed, but the real strength lies in the film's psychological leaning, which is tremendous and extensive. I read a review on another site where someone complained about the twist being too obvious, but the twist is so deep and cerebral and, for me anyway, went far, far beyond what actually appears onscreen. After the credits rolled I just sat there for about 20 minutes lost in it all. That hasn't happened to me for awhile following a film.
Anyway, I have to see Ridley's second feature now. I liked Reflecting Skin well enough (from memory- it's been awhile), but it has nothing at all on Heartless.

@sol-
I have a similar rating for Frankenstein Created Woman and I think I've seen Doomsday, but I don't have it rated and now can't recall much.
Yep, Heartless is pretty great. I gave it a 9 the first time too and upped it to a 10 upon revision. It's my all-time top 20 films (as you know?). I agree that the film goes far beyond being a simple twist movie; Jim Sturgess has one of the most relatable film characters that I have ever encountered and the whole film is so meticulously shot and framed. Rewatch the film with Philip Ridley's audio commentary if that's an option. The level of detail he invests into every scene and shot is incredible, such as the way that Papa B and Sturgess only ever move in tandem with one another, plus the reuse of certain sets lit up differently etc.; very interesting film.

Darkly Noon is an excellent film too, but probably the weakest of Ridley's trio of movies. Only seen it once, mind you.

Anyway, it sounds like we were both knocked off our feet by a film this week. Mine was The Father - one of only two first-time viewings this year that I have rated 9/10. Likewise, I was very disoriented, almost in a daze in afterwards. I would definitely recommend it to you since it's far closer to a horror film than the melodrama that it might sound like on paper.

Regarding Frankenstein Created Woman, that was probably my biggest pleasant surprise of the week. Most of Hammer's Frankenstein and Dracula films have done very little for me, so I entered this with super-low expectations, thinking that I was going to get a grimmer version of Bride of Frankenstein. I couldn't have been more wrong. The title is quite misleading.

As for Doomsday, it's pretty terrible. If you have forgotten it, I envy you. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I watched it, but I was short on Scottish genre films for last month's challenge and it was streaming on Netflix AU...
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2726
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#6

Post by peeptoad »

sol wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:57 pm Yep, Heartless is pretty great. I gave it a 9 the first time too and upped it to a 10 upon revision. It's my all-time top 20 films (as you know?). I agree that the film goes far beyond being a simple twist movie; Jim Sturgess has one of the most relatable film characters that I have ever encountered and the whole film is so meticulously shot and framed. Rewatch the film with Philip Ridley's audio commentary if that's an option. The level of detail he invests into every scene and shot is incredible, such as the way that Papa B and Sturgess only ever move in tandem with one another, plus the reuse of certain sets lit up differently etc.; very interesting film.
I saw what you posted in convo with flavo in the challenge thread, yes, and it reminded me that I blind bought this film about 4 years ago and forgot I even had it. I'll def try to check the commentary since it is on the dvd I have. :thumbsup:
sol wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:57 pm Anyway, it sounds like we were both knocked off our feet by a film this week. Mine was The Father - one of only two first-time viewings this year that I have rated 9/10. Likewise, I was very disoriented, almost in a daze in afterwards. I would definitely recommend it to you since it's far closer to a horror film than the melodrama that it might sound like on paper.
Good to hear you enjoyed The Father. It is on my watch list already and I had planned on seeing it rather sooner than later actually. Might need to visit the cinema again (yay! it's been too long) to see it in my neck of the woods though.
Bing147
Posts: 188
Joined: February 17th, 2021, 7:10 pm
Contact:

#7

Post by Bing147 »

Another excellent week for me, getting to 26 more films.

The Devils (1971): B+

Get Carter (1971): I usually don't go for the early 70s revenge flick. Really not my thing. This is one of the better ones though, mostly because Michael Caine's charisma carries it. The film as a whole is still just good, but its incredibly watchable. B

Passport to Pimlico (1949): C

Rush (2013): This is better than I expect a Ron Howard film to be. Tons of energy, and very well acted. The final race really works especially and I thought some of the scenes depicting recovery were really effective. Its not amazing, and I think a stronger director may have been able to do even more with it, but a good movie. B

Bronson (2008): Tom Hardy is just incredible here and the story of this Charles Bronson is pretty fascinating. Some of the surrealistic bits worked better than others for me, but still glad I finally got around to watching it. B

Thunderball (1965): Not top tier Bond, but nowhere near bottom tier either. The main story isn't particularly interesting, but there are some top tier sequences/action scenes. Connery's charisma carries it through the rest. B-

Tiger Bay (1959): B+
Billy Liar (1963): B
Blinded By the Light (2019): C+
The Souvenir (2019): B
Went the Day Well (1942): C+

God's Own Country (2017): Beautifully shot film, but I didn't connect to it emotionally as much as I would have liked to. A lot of people compared Ammonite unfavorably to it when it released last year, but I feel both films share a lot of the same issues. C+

Weekend (2011): This made an interesting double feature with God's Own Country because I did connect to the characters so deeply. The longing for connection, the way that meeting the right person can hit you so hard, the way that you can have to make choices in your life. I think if I'd seen this at a certain point in my life it might have hit me even harder, but its a beautiful film. A-

Whisky Galore! (1949): B-
Annihilation (2018): B+
A Taste of Honey (1961): B

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927): Definitely my favorite of Hitchcock's very early work I've seen (at least up until The Lady Vanishes). Great sense of tension, mystery, all of the things he would become known for. I'm generally far more into comedy when it comes to silents, but this one works because its a tight film that just lets things build and build until they finally explode. B+

The House of Mirth (2000): Wonderful film depicting how just a few wrong choices, or even choices that shouldn't be that wrong, can compound and destroy someone. The cast, especially Gillian Anderson, are all excellent and watching her descent and the combination of her inability and refusal to pull herself out of it was heartbreaking. Really good. B+

Anna Karenina (2012): C
A Kind of Loving (1962): B

Wadjda (2012): One of the better films I saw this week. Its a small film, about people finding room to express themselves and grow even in restrictive places. It feels like an incredibly authentic experience and one that frankly I'm surprised wasn't restricted from release. It helps that Waad Mohammed is incredibly natural and likable, not always the case with child performances. A-

Cars 3 (2017): I put this off for awhile because I didn't care much for the first two Cars movies. Its probably better than 2 (which I didn't hate as much as some, though I didn't exactly love it either) but not by much. Maybe the best of the 3 actually? Its still ultimately just fine though. Pretty enough, but a very standard film. C

Chicken Little (2005): What I've seen from this era of Disney animation is so awful that I've left a few unwatched over the years. The animation challenge pushed me to finally do so and ya, its awful. Maybe the worst of that era actually, which is kind of impressive. From the movie wildly swinging from one thing to the next, terrible vocal performances, terribly cliche music, bad pop culture jokes that were behind the times even 16 years ago, its just bad all the way down and it somehow keeps getting worse as it goes. F

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000): B

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner movie (1979): Contains a lot of classic Looney Tunes skits with some new connecting bits. Hard one to grade because some of these skits are classics for a reason and are still great, but the interconnecting material is incredibly mediocre and not even particularly well animated. It looks ugly when held up to the cartoons it connects. I'll avoid a grade, only to say that if you're going to watch these, just seek out and watch those shorts...

Chicken Run (2000): Maybe my favorite Aardman? Its incredibly clever, has a great framing device, features some great voice work. Its inventive, dark in the way Aardman does best (makes the dark parts work without making them offputting even for young kids) and just all works. Really well done. B+
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 1345
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#8

Post by kongs_speech »

I saw 30 features and 47 shorts last week.

FEATURES

The Ornithologist (2016, Joao Pedro Rodrigues) - 3.5/5
Imitation of Life (1934, John M. Stahl) - 4/5
The Foul King (2000, Kim Jee-moon) - 3/5
The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer) - 4.5/5
Twelve Monkeys (1995, Terry Gilliam) - 4.5/5

The Witches of Eastwick (1987, George Miller) - 2.5/5
Love & Basketball (2000, Gina Prince-Blythewood) - 3.5/5
Casa de lava (1994, Pedro Costa) - 4/5
Queen & Slim (2019, Melina Matsoukas) - 4/5
Shivers (1975, David Cronenberg) - 4/5 (rewatch)

Sing Street (2016, John Carney) - 4.5/5
Molly’s Game (2017, Aaron Sorkin) - 4/5
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988, Francis Ford Coppola) - 4/5
School Daze (1988, Spike Lee) - 3/5
Romance (1999, Catherine Breillat) - 4.5/5

The Stranger (1991, Satyajit Ray) - 4/5
The Home and the World (1984, Satyajit Ray) - 4.5/5
Sans Soleil (1983, Chris Marker) - 4.5/5
My Octopus Teacher (2020, Philippa Ehrlich & James Reed) - 2.5/5
The Old Dark House (1932, James Whale) - 3.5/5

The Tall Target (1951, Anthony Mann) - 4/5
Duvidha (1973, Mani Kaul) - 4/5
Our Daily Bread (1970, Mani Kaul) - 4.5/5
The Boys in the Band (2020, Joe Mantello) - 4/5
Bad Boys for Life (2020, Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah) - 4/5

Modern Times (1936, Charlie Chaplin) - 5/5
Velvet Goldmine (1998, Todd Haynes) - 4.5/5
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988, Todd Haynes) - 5/5
Who Am I This Time? (1982, Jonathan Demme) - 4/5
His House (2020, Remi Weekes) - 3.5/5

SHORTS

Song and Solitude (2006, Nathaniel Dorsky) - 3/5
Notes on a True Story (1953, Luchino Visconti) - 4/5
Creature Comforts (1989, Nick Park) - 4/5
Two Solutions for One Problem (1975, Abbas Kiarostami) - 3.5/5
Free Radicals (1958, Len Lye) - 3.5/5

Hindenburg Disaster News Reel Footage (1937) - 4/5
Now! (1965, Santiago Alvarez) - 4.5/5
Thunder (1982, Takashi Ito) - 3/5
Puce Moment (1949, Kenneth Anger) - 5/5
Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest (1908, J. Searle Dawley) - 3.5/5

Samadhi (1967, Jordan Belson) - 3/5
That Fatal Sneeze (1907, Lewin Fitzhamon) - 1.5/5
The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza I (1977, Hollis Frampton) - 2.5/5
The Wonder Ring (1955, Stan Brakhage) - 3.5/5
Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928, Hans Richter) - 4.5/5

Anemic cinema (1926, Marcel Duchamp) - 4/5
The Roll-Call (1971, Ryszard Czekala) - 2/5
Arnulf Rainer (1960, Peter Kubelka) - 0.5/5
Conclave ed Elezione di Pio XII (1939)
Desistfilm (1954, Stan Brakhage) - 4/5

Die Katastrophe der Titanic (1912) - 2.5/5
Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906, Edwin S. Porter & Wallace McCutcheson) - 3/5
El Terror de la Frontera (1929, Mery Holguin, Luis Martinez & Maria Teresa Quirola) - 2/5
Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure (1929, E. Hardon) - 5/5
Film Exercise 4 (1944, James Whitney & John Whitney, Sr.) - 3.5/5

Filmstudie (1926, Hans Richter) - 4/5
Fugue (1999, Georges Schwizgebel) - 4/5
Invisible Ink (1921, Dave Fleischer) - 3.5/5
La Jetee (1962, Chris Marker) - 5/5 [rewatch]
Kino Pravda No. 3 (1922, Dziga Vertov) - 2.5/5

Kino Pravda No. 4 (1922, Dziga Vertov) - 3/5
Kino Pravda No. 5 (1922, Dziga Vertov) - 3/5
Le pas (1975, Piotr Kamler) - 1/5
Luke’s Movie Muddle (1916, Hal Roach) - 2/5
Meditation (1972, Jordan Belson) - 3.5/5

The Portrait of Captain Grogg (1917, Victor Bergdahl) - 4/5
Phenomena (1968, Jordan Belson) - 4/5
Re-Entry (1964, Jordan Belson) - 3.5/5
Pool Sharks (1915, Edwin Middleton) - 3.5/5
The End of One (1973, Paul Kocela) - 3/5

Warszawa 1956 (1956, Jerzy Bossak & Jarosław Brzozowski) - 3.5/5
Wait (1968, Ernie Gehr) - 2/5
Broken Down Film (1985, Osamu Tezuka) - 4.5/5
Cafe Bar (1974, Alison De Vere) - 3.5/5
Girls Night Out (1987, Joanna Quinn) - 1.5/5

Hot-Rod and Reel! (1959, Chuck Jones) - 3.5/5
Le concert de M. et Mme. Kabal (1963, Walerian Borówczyk) - 2.5/5
🏳️‍⚧️
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 2663
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#9

Post by Torgo »

Finished my random list thingy, maybe enough with the old American films for now. I'll see what to do next or if I'm taking a break.

The Court Jester (7/10)
The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (7,5/10)
Body Heat (7/10)
Jailhouse Rock (5,5/10)
Lilies of The Field (7/10)
Godzilla vs. Kong [2021] (6/10)
On Golden Pond (6,5/10)
The Seven Year Itch (6-7/10)
The Queen's Gambit (this is not a film/10)
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 6584
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#10

Post by Onderhond »

peeptoad wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:31 pm @Onderhond-
I love Gokseong. It's definitely a favorite of mine, as is Chugyeokja, which I like even more actually. I'd say I'm a fan of Na. I understand what you mean about the genre-blending Gokseong, but it worked for me. I have Hwanghae on a blu ray too, but haven't watched it yet. Might save that for the Korean challenge later in the year...
I haven't seen his other films, but my reaction to the Wailing was pretty typical for popular SK cinema. I see the quality, I just don't see what makes it special, nor do I think the mix of genres is very successful.
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 1345
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#11

Post by kongs_speech »

sol wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:00 pm The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Hired to investigate a murder that has been unsolved for decades, a journalist finds an ally in a female hacker in this remake of the acclaimed Swedish thriller. The film benefits from atmospheric music score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but this otherwise feels so similar, and plays out so much alike the original, that it is hard to work out what drove David Fincher to do it. The remake does not improve on the original's shortcomings either. Again, there is far too much exposition and again it takes over an hour for the two main characters' separate story threads to converge. The amateur tattooing scene is still effective in Fincher's version though even knowing it is coming, and the chat with the killer works again too, but topped off with an out-of-place love song over the end credits, this is mostly just strange to watch. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

Toy Story 4 (2019). Now Bonnie's toys, the toys that once belonged to Andy set out to rescue Bonnie's latest toy in this fourth film in the Toy Story franchise. While the plot feels overly similar to Toy Story 2, this entry introduces a quirky new element as the latest toy is one made by Bonnie herself out of rubbish. This raises an array of intriguing questions ("How am I alive?") that the film nevertheless avoids addressing. Whatever the case, the film suffices as a comedic adventure. Much of the action is set at a carnival that looks absolutely stunning with glowing lights. There is also some fun madness as the toys mess with a van's breaks and locks. Disappointingly though, most of the best characters from the first three films are given almost nothing to do, while a bunch of a new characters are added that vary a lot in how interesting they are. (first viewing, online) ★★

Soul (2020). Falling down a manhole, a music teacher becomes stuck in a strange afterlife in this Pixar animated comedy. The film has been described as one of Pixar's most mature works due to its dealing with death, but the way death (and what lies beyond) is dealt with feels weird and uncomfortable with some bizarre mythology regarding souls and what it means to have a personality, plus overly cute-looking characters. Fortunately, the film mostly works a comedy with hilarious 'Family Guy' style comedy cutaways (to an irate Abe Lincoln, etc.) and lots of fun from an unborn soul attempting to walk for the first time and so on. The plot also changes directions so many times that the film is refreshingly unpredictable as far as family comedies go, even if the ultimate messages and character bonding are easy to see coming. Great music throughout too. (first viewing, online) ★★★
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 4/5
Toy Story 4 - light 4/5
Soul - 2.5/5
Onderhond wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:01 pm 13. 2.0* - Indecent Proposal by Adrian Lyne (1993)
One of those films I watched a long, long time ago, well before I started seeing film as a serious hobby (I think my parents rented this one on VHS, back when that was still a thing). I didn't remember much, apart from the central moral dilemma, which is what made this film stand out back in the day. Harrelson and Moore are a happy couple who get caught in some financial trouble. Along comes multi-millionaire Redford, who promptly offers a million bucks to spend one night with Moore. It's an interesting enough premise, though Lyne doesn't go through too much trouble to make it sound believable, instead he trusts the generic Hollywood romance to do most of the heavy lifting. Harrelson and Moore are decent but they don't exactly sparkle, Redford is quite bleak. The premise is fun, but characters behave somewhat randomly and the film gets too cheesy at times when it should've been more daring. The film hasn't retained much of its original edge, what remains is a pretty basic Hollywood romance and unfulfilled potential.

17. 1.0* - The Black Cat by Edgar G. Ulmer (1934)
An old Universal horror flick. The Black Cat is quite famous for having Karloff and Lugosi pitted against each other, the fact that the film was based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe may also raise people's expectations, but the result was way too dialogue-driven for my taste. Even at 65 minutes it felt sluggish. After suffering an accident on the road, a newly married couple find themselves in the mysterious house of Poelzig, an eerie man with some dark secrets. Poelzig's intentions are less than amiable, but he puts on a clever facade. The couple is unaware that they're being held captive, until it's already too late. The camera work is static and the first half is just way too dialogue-driven. There's just endless conversation that stands in the way of building up a moody atmosphere. The second half is ever so slightly better, but by then the film had already lost me. Wasn't too impressed by the performances either and the horror elements are miniscule. This felt more like a bad stage play to me.
Indecent Proposal - 3.5/5
The Black Cat - 4.5/5
Perception de Ambiguity wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:04 pm Music (2021, Sia) 8
Uhhhhhhhhh...
Bing147 wrote: April 4th, 2021, 5:48 pm The Devils (1971): B+

Get Carter (1971): I usually don't go for the early 70s revenge flick. Really not my thing. This is one of the better ones though, mostly because Michael Caine's charisma carries it. The film as a whole is still just good, but its incredibly watchable. B

Rush (2013): This is better than I expect a Ron Howard film to be. Tons of energy, and very well acted. The final race really works especially and I thought some of the scenes depicting recovery were really effective. Its not amazing, and I think a stronger director may have been able to do even more with it, but a good movie. B

Bronson (2008): Tom Hardy is just incredible here and the story of this Charles Bronson is pretty fascinating. Some of the surrealistic bits worked better than others for me, but still glad I finally got around to watching it. B

Billy Liar (1963): B

God's Own Country (2017): Beautifully shot film, but I didn't connect to it emotionally as much as I would have liked to. A lot of people compared Ammonite unfavorably to it when it released last year, but I feel both films share a lot of the same issues. C+

Weekend (2011): This made an interesting double feature with God's Own Country because I did connect to the characters so deeply. The longing for connection, the way that meeting the right person can hit you so hard, the way that you can have to make choices in your life. I think if I'd seen this at a certain point in my life it might have hit me even harder, but its a beautiful film. A-

Annihilation (2018): B+
A Taste of Honey (1961): B

Anna Karenina (2012): C
A Kind of Loving (1962): B

Chicken Little (2005): What I've seen from this era of Disney animation is so awful that I've left a few unwatched over the years. The animation challenge pushed me to finally do so and ya, its awful. Maybe the worst of that era actually, which is kind of impressive. From the movie wildly swinging from one thing to the next, terrible vocal performances, terribly cliche music, bad pop culture jokes that were behind the times even 16 years ago, its just bad all the way down and it somehow keeps getting worse as it goes. F

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000): B

Chicken Run (2000): Maybe my favorite Aardman? Its incredibly clever, has a great framing device, features some great voice work. Its inventive, dark in the way Aardman does best (makes the dark parts work without making them offputting even for young kids) and just all works. Really well done. B+
The Devils - 5/5
Get Carter - 4.5/5
Rush - 2.5/5
Bronson - 4/5
Billy Liar - 4/5
God's Own Country - 3.5/5
Weekend - 3.5/5
Annihilation - 3.5/5 (badly needs rewatch)
A Taste of Honey - 4/5
Anna Karenina - 3.5/5
A Kind of Loving - 3.5/5
Chicken Little - 3/5
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker - 3.5/5
Chicken Run - 3.5/5
🏳️‍⚧️
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
RolandKirkSunglasses
Posts: 147
Joined: January 15th, 2021, 12:54 pm
Contact:

#12

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

@ Onderhand

Only other Karel Zeman movie you might like is Baron Prasil (adventures of Baron Munchausen), not as tight as "Invention for Destruction" but still fun. "Black Cat" is one of the better Universal horror flicks imo, gets ridiculous near the end but that's part of the charm.


@ Bing

Out of your UK movies I enjoyed "Get Carter" and "Passport to Pimlico", thought "Went the Day Well", "Whisky Galore" and "The Devils" were OK. I read the novel "House of Mirth" a long time ago and thought the movie was alright. The 2012 adaptation of "Anna Karenina" covers more ground than the Greta Garbo version but I couldn't take Aaron Taylor-Johnson seriously as Vronsky, Keira Knightley is a very attractive Anna but it felt like she was playing Elizabeth Bennettovna. Most faithful version to the novel I've seen is the 1977 miniseries.

@ Kongs Speech

I didn't like 12 Monkeys, don't think I've liked anything by Terry Gilliam outside Monty Python so it must be me. "Old Dark House" was OK, "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) covers similar ground. It's been a long time since I've seen "Sans Soleil", don't think I'd like it as much as I used to.

@ Torgo

Seven Year Itch is OK, most people watch it for that MM scene, Billy Wilder's done much better.



As for me, a decent week overall, should finish my Japan challenge next week.

Three Outlaw Samurai (1964): Decent samurai flick, OK action sequences, lacking character development but it's based on a TV show.

Black Sun (1964): Unofficial sequel to "The Warped Ones" (1960), the previous film felt fresh and exciting, this one is dull and ponderous.

Document Rojo (1964): Experimental documentary about Tokyo cab drivers on the eve of the Olympics.

Cruel Gun Story (1964): If you like Seijun Suzuki you'll like this one. Joe Shishido plans a heist but things go wrong. Action scenes are over the top and nobody believes in the concept of reloading. Ending is pretty ludicrous.

Mothra vs Godzilla (1964): Special effects are an improvement on earlier films in the series, but Godzilla just looks clumsy and unsure of himself, the fight scenes (especially the final fight) are kinda lame and the humans are cardboard cutouts.

Ken (1964): When you hear the line "Sometimes the very strong commit suicide" you know this is based on a Mishima short story. Raizo Ichikawa is captain of the University kendo team, he's too obsessed with perfection and his main rival plans to bring him down with tragic consequences. Quite good until the ending.

Yearning (1964): A good introduction to the films of Mikio Naruse, quite easy to follow but he's made much better films. For a similar story about a woman torn between her duty to family tradition and her heart "The Lady from Musashino" is better.

L'enfant de Paris (1913): Slow-moving story of a child falling into poverty and getting kidnapped. You think it's gonna end at the halfway point but it goes on for another hour. Not as melodramatic as it could've been, also not as good as it should've been.

The Chess Players (1977): This story looks good on paper, in reality it's dramatically flat and unengaging. Average Satyajit Ray. Nice costumes though.

As Tears Go By (1988): Wong Kar Wai made much better films after this one, some nice touches but overall derivative and repetitive.

Gang of Four (1989): Very good Rivette film about 4 student actors and a mysterious fellow who keeps following them around.

Blonde Venus (1932): Usually Sternberg and Dietrich put on a good show, the plot jumps all over the place and some of the acting is pretty wooden too. Just a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich to show off her outfits and her legs, pretty bad overall.

The Big City (1963): Kinda long and too calculated in places, doesn't help that I've seen lots of similar films.

The Student of Prague (1913): More of a boring romance with a tacked-on horror subplot that doesn't deliver, drags like hell too.
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 11209
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#13

Post by sol »

kongs_speech wrote: April 4th, 2021, 9:21 pm
sol wrote: April 4th, 2021, 12:00 pm The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Hired to investigate a murder that has been unsolved for decades, a journalist finds an ally in a female hacker in this remake of the acclaimed Swedish thriller. The film benefits from atmospheric music score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but this otherwise feels so similar, and plays out so much alike the original, that it is hard to work out what drove David Fincher to do it. The remake does not improve on the original's shortcomings either. Again, there is far too much exposition and again it takes over an hour for the two main characters' separate story threads to converge. The amateur tattooing scene is still effective in Fincher's version though even knowing it is coming, and the chat with the killer works again too, but topped off with an out-of-place love song over the end credits, this is mostly just strange to watch. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

Toy Story 4 (2019). Now Bonnie's toys, the toys that once belonged to Andy set out to rescue Bonnie's latest toy in this fourth film in the Toy Story franchise. While the plot feels overly similar to Toy Story 2, this entry introduces a quirky new element as the latest toy is one made by Bonnie herself out of rubbish. This raises an array of intriguing questions ("How am I alive?") that the film nevertheless avoids addressing. Whatever the case, the film suffices as a comedic adventure. Much of the action is set at a carnival that looks absolutely stunning with glowing lights. There is also some fun madness as the toys mess with a van's breaks and locks. Disappointingly though, most of the best characters from the first three films are given almost nothing to do, while a bunch of a new characters are added that vary a lot in how interesting they are. (first viewing, online) ★★
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 4/5
Toy Story 4 - light 4/5
Soul - 2.5/5
I don't know how to react to your 4/5 ratings there without a little more context.

Did you watch the Fincher remake without seeing the original? Or had it been so long since you had seen the original that you forgot most of it by the time you watched the Fincher version? Several comments described it as a shot-for-shot remake. It's been a bit too long for me to recall if that specifically is true, but the film certainly feels very much like the original, right down to the very same glaring flaws. Other than the great music score, the whole thing struck me as a Psycho vs Psycho Hitchcock/Van Sant type of thing, so I don't know if your very high score for the film is more out of appreciation for that or something else entirely. Whatever the case, it's probably the weakest Fincher film I've seen and I think I'm only missing two on that account.

Your Toy Story 4 score also seems very high, but then if you rated the previous films even higher maybe it makes sense. I wasn't too big on Toy Story 3 but I think it at least tried to do a bit more than the fourth film, which introduces this amazing concept (handmade toys are also alive) without doing much with it. Whatever the case, the first two Toy Story movies are the only ones that I really love.

The backlash for Soul has been interesting. The afterlife stuff is really weird and awkwardly handled and I would have expected this to be a more divisive aspect of the film from the time it came out. Luckily the comedy really worked for me.

Yours:

Seen 22 of your features this week. My favourite is Modern Times, but I'm also very big on Twelve Monkeys - and Shivers of course.

Our biggest rating difference is probably Witches of Eastwick, but I wasn't big on it the first time round either. Subsequent viewings though have helped me to really appreciate the performances - Veronica Cartwright steals the show - and the music score is divine. Still, it's probably only a light favourite for me.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 844
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#14

Post by prodigalgodson »

Journey to the West (Tsai Ming-liang, 2014) 8/10

The Walker series: Tsai for Benning lovers, and consequently my favorite thing he’s done since his debut. The monk's walking meditation odyssey continues, this time through Marseilles. The centerpiece here, with the camera descending as imperceptibly slowly as Lee down a flight of stairs into the underground, documenting the reactions of passerby, subtle and otherwise, and the shifting reflections cast by the low sun glowing into the subterranean from the street above…magnifique! Denis Lavant features as a monk stan too; curious what chain of events led to his inclusion (I suspect something funding-related), but of course a welcome addition to any project.

Dune (David Lynch, 1984) 4/10

It never occurred to me that this would actually be bad, but I can totally understand its reputation now. Still, as a fan of Herbert's brilliant, flawed, and extremely bizarre novel, I think Lynch did as good a job as he could at transposing it to the screen, something there was no reason to do in the first place. Lynch's awkwardness stepping out of his lane (his direction is surprisingly prosaic, when it's competent) actually results in a decent cinematic analog of Herbert's stiff, uneven prose and stuttering flow. The book's about 95 percent set-up culminating in a truncated pay-off; while it's fascinating to follow all the pieces falling into place in literary form, it's just not riveting on-screen viewing no matter how quickly Lynch jumps from one building block to another. I've never seen something so slow and so rushed at the same time. If he wasn’t so constrained by genre and plot (and technical limitations), and was permitted to lean into his abstract, visceral tendencies, this might’ve been among Lynch's masterpieces. But it's far from that, the kind of thing that makes for an alluring trailer and a dud of a final product. Seems like a natural one to remake in the era of photorealistic CG effects -- I’m not sure it’ll get any closer than this does to what the book’s vague descriptions allow the imagination to conjure, but I hope it'll be easier to get lost in.

Earth Light (Guy Gilles, 1970) 6/10

On paper, this restless slacker’s journey from Paris to his birthplace of Tunisia, fixating on themes of isolation, ennui, change, and memory, sounds right up my alley, but it ended up only intermittently tugging at the heartstrings. Quick-cut poetic mosaics of fractured details are hard to really do right, and given the ideas at play here I found Gilles to direct the viewer's eyes too much for my taste, rather than allowing us to soak in and wander (one of the reasons I’ve never been, for instance, the biggest Malick fan). In short, this didn't quite evoke for me what I felt it should have. But it still hits on some poignant universal truths, and when the jazz score swells to complement the montage it's hard not to get swept away. That cut from bokoe lights to plastic grapes, or that angle down through wind-rustled green leaves to their dead brown companions clumped on the ground below, whew. I also have to add, the protagonist's pretty damn socially well-adjusted for such a supposed maladroit.

The Lord of the Rings (Ralph Bakshi, 1978) 7/10

Soulful, psychedelic animated Tolkein. Bummer they couldn't complete the adaptation, but Bakshi's approach is probably better suited to the mystery and terror of the first two volumes than the spectacle of the third anyhow. The storytelling's efficient -- too efficient, really, with poor Gimli especially given short shrift -- but at its best genuinely magical, one of those potential early favorites you run into a couple decades too late. Also renewed my admiration for Jackson's accomplishment.

Nazar (Mani Kaul, 1990) 9/10

With an apartment-bound aesthetic to match the best work of Akerman and Rappaport and a color palate that makes Sirk look murky, Kaul also manages to put Bresson to shame in adapting Dostoevsky's Meek One. The style dances the razor's edge between spare and lush, Kaul's ravishing compositional eye, fragmentary rhythms, and slyly empathic aloofness used to evoke the decadent purgatory of the modern gilded cage. A bananas moment where The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down turns to out to be the song our pretentious, misguided pawnbroker assigns such metaphysical weight to is one of the most dryly hilarious things I've seen in awhile.
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 844
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#15

Post by prodigalgodson »

sol
Chase a Crooked Shadow - thought I'd already seen all the (American) noirs I'd be likely to love, good to know there're yet more hidden gems to root out
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 7 - I was surprised by how much I liked this when I rewatched it recently, but I haven't seen the original or read the books
Coco 6 - enjoyed watching it but didn't make a lasting impression on me at all, which is unusual for a Pixar flick
Toy Story 4 6 - liked this more than 3, and enjoyed the new settings and characters, even if I wish they'd expend the energy on something original instead
Soul 7 - agreed the afterlife stuff is a mess, but I found this very moving overall
The Father - I wasn't interested in this but now I'm kinda intrigued...

hond
Dreamgirls - sorry to have only seen this from yours, but I thought it was just atrocious at the time it came out (though I was only 12 or so)

pda
Where the Dead Go to Die - doesn't sound up my alley, but I enjoyed the eloquent review and can relate on several points
Music - lol, just watched the trailer, looks utterly nuts
Ordnung - nice, gotta get around to some more Persian stuff
Stemple Pass - feel certain I'd enjoy this more than you
Lonely Are the Brave - I gave this a 6 but that seems way too high in retrospect
Fata Morgana 10 - love that this isn't even the best Cohen-soundtrack'd film of 1971
Encounters at the End of the World 9 - probably my favorite of Herzog's more straightfoward films

toad
Heartless - never heard of this or the director, but then I'm not a horror fan; sounds like a good one to watch with the gf

bing
The Devils 7 - not quite my favorite brand of weird, but I'll always appreciate something so antiestablishment, nutty, and ambitious
Get Carter 8 - not sure if I've seen any other early-70s revenge flicks, but I do like neonoir in general, and liked this more than I was expecting too
Rush 4 - should've known this wouldn't have been my cup of tea, but then I really enjoyed Ford v Ferrari which I wouldn't've thought would be either
Bronson 9 - very much up my alley, Refn peaked with this and Valhalla Rising imo (so far)
Thunderball 7 - such a goddamn evocative title and theme song, and good classic Bond vibes; makes it easy to overlook all that sluggish underwater action stuff
Went the Day Well 6 - thought this was solid, if one of those things that's considered underrated cuz its under-seen but consequently becomes overrated
Annihilation 6 - hard for me to decide how good it is really, and if any of it really makes sense (though after watching Devs I'm less inclined to give Garland the benefit of the doubt wrt coherent realization of abstract ideas); but both times I've watched it I've enjoyed the sense of mystery and faux-Stalker vibes

ks
The Manchurian Candidate 8 - classic and legitimately thrilling thriller
Twelve Monkeys 6 - barely remember this and might owe it a rewatch, but it's sure no La jetee
Casa de Lava 7 - good stuff and I bet I would've liked it more if I hadn't seen the Fountainhas flicks first
Sans soleil 9 - a favorite of mine from back in the day; Marker has had an enormous influence on my creative life
The Tall Target 8 - a great off-the-beaten-path noir from a great run of off-the-beaten-path noirs from Anthony Mann (definitely check out Reign of Terror if you haven't seen it, there's nothing like it)
Duvidha 9 - absolutely gorgeous, aspirational filmmaking for me
Our Daily Bread 8 - close to a 9 for me too, would like to rewatch it some day, ideally on film; maybe you can help me out on a plot point though, I wasn't sure who the
Spoiler
sister's rapist
was -- I mean I know the name (Lahar or something) since they were discussing his threat throughout, but was the character never shown on screen or was it supposed to be the store owner who seemed like buddies with the lead?; an inspired debut in any case
Modern Times 2 - nuuuuupe
Song and Solitude - ooh, where'd you find Dorsky online?
Notes on a True Story - never heard of this, but always up for more Visconti
Creature Comforts 6 - cute
Two Solutions for One Problem 4 - an inexplicable use of creative energy imo
Free Radicals - gave this an 8 but tbh don't remember it at all
Hindenburg Disaster News Reel Footage - harrowing stuff
Thunder 6 - cute
Puce Moment 4 - this and Fireworks are the only Anger films I've seen once, but at least back in the day I was not digging the aesthetic
Samadhi 5 - haven't seen this since a highschool screening and have had more positive experiences with Belson films recently thanks to pda, so might like it more now
The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza 5 - don't remember this one specifically but Frampton's very hit and miss for me
The Wonder Ring 5 - surprisingly meh for Brakhage
Ghosts Before Breakfast 6 - dig those flying hats
Anemic cinema 6 - haven't seen this since early highschool and don't remember specifics
Desistfilm 7 - a highlight of Brakhage's early years
Dream of a Rarebit Fiend 6 - it's alright, but the similarly titled Flying House film from 1921 is the shit
Filmstudie 8 - again I don't trust 14-year-old me's rating
La jetee 9 - sure
Kino-pravda No. 3 8 - oh man, my favorite in the whole series
Kino-pravda No. 4 7 - also pretty damn solid
Kino-pravda No. 5 4 - ...and back to the mediocrity of Nos. 1 and 2
Phenomena 6 - saw this more recently, some great moments, a less than great whole
Re-entry 7 - also saw this recently, dug it

torg
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 4 - I like a good Hollywood romance as much as anyone, but thought this was pretty wack

rks
Black Sun - didn't know there was a Warped Ones sequel but doesn't sound like I'm missing out
Document Rojo - now this sounds up my alley
Mothra vs. Godzilla - enjoyed this as a kid, but not sure how much attention I was paying
Yearning 7 - agreed, solid Naruse but nothing to write home about, especially considering the exquisiteness I've come to expect from him
Blonde Venus 4 - agreed, saw this in a double feature with Shanghai Express; my friend liked this more than that one which baffled me
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 11209
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#16

Post by sol »

prodigalgodson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 6:36 am sol
Chase a Crooked Shadow - thought I'd already seen all the (American) noirs I'd be likely to love, good to know there're yet more hidden gems to root out
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 7 - I was surprised by how much I liked this when I rewatched it recently, but I haven't seen the original or read the books
Coco 6 - enjoyed watching it but didn't make a lasting impression on me at all, which is unusual for a Pixar flick
Toy Story 4 6 - liked this more than 3, and enjoyed the new settings and characters, even if I wish they'd expend the energy on something original instead
Soul 7 - agreed the afterlife stuff is a mess, but I found this very moving overall
The Father - I wasn't interested in this but now I'm kinda intrigued...
Yeah, Britain made their own share of decent noirs and Chase is certainly one of the better ones. Highly recommended if the premise intrigues you.

I kinda figure that regarding most of the Dragon Tattoo remake fans. Doesn't quite make sense that someone would gush over Fincher's treatment unless they hadn't seen the original. That said, I think it's pretty poor as a narrative (way too long for the plot threads to converge and too jumpy when bouncing between Craig and Mara) but certainly there is some slick technical stuff going on.

Coco was better than I expected but certainly many of the story tropes are old hat despite the unique setting/location. I probably liked Toy Story 4 more than Part 3. I don't know. The third installment was certainly ambitious, but then it was more a recycling of the first two films whereas the fourth film kinda tries to its own thing, but eh. Definitely prefer the first two Toy Story films in any case. And yeah, the new characters weren't bad, it's more like the old characters were only in it for 2 sec cameos, which felt weird. And regarding Soul, I actually found Coco far more moving though yeah certainly the heart was in the right place and so on.

The Father sounded rather bland to me on paper. The trailer made it look a little more promising, but I mostly just watched it as an AA Best Picture nominee for the check. I wasn't expecting it to be so great. Hopkins really delivers (it's a crime he can't win the Oscar this year) but it's mostly the whole Nolanesque horror/thriller treatment of dementia that makes the film so riveting. The film almost reaches surreal nightmare extremities at times.

Yours:

Seen none this week. I've only ever heard bad things about Dune and I am not a Lynch fan in the first place, but I might watch it before the Villeneuve version just to have to something to compare it to, maybe. Speaking of different versions, I have been meaning to give Bakshi's Lord of the Rings a spin for quite a while too. Jackson's films were disappointments for me (though Two Towers isn't half-bad) so I am sorta curious to see if anyone can do it better. I'm just hesitant knowing the stuff that Bakshi is well-known for. I mean, I like the Fritz the Cat movies and the like alright, but would that aesthetic creep into his LOTR movie? Not something I'm sure that I really want to know...
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
viktor-vaudevillain
Posts: 545
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#17

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

Rudzienko (Sharon Lockhart, 20116) - 8

Énorme / Enormous (Sophie Letourneur, 2019) - 3

Stray (Elizabeth Lo, 2021) - 7+

Хрусталёв, машину! / Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksey German, 1998) - 9+
“Poetry floats up in my memory like sailboats in the fog, along with salami."
- This sentence, uttered out of context by a character early in the film, pretty much sums up the poetics of Aleksey German.

Bad Trip (Kitao Sakurai, 2021) - 6

Catch Me If You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002) - 9- rewatch
Haven't seen it in many years. Watched this A LOT as a kid. Used to be one of my favorite films in my pre-teen/early teen years. I still think it's a great film but probably for different reasons than back in the jolly 00's.

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (Joshua Oppenheimer, 1998) - 8+
Such a compact and complex film.

Divino Amore / Divine Love (Cecilia Mangini, 1961) - 7

L'avenir / Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016) - 9

+ Finished watching season 1 of Babylon Berlin.
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 2663
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#18

Post by Torgo »

prodigalgodson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 5:21 am The Lord of the Rings (Ralph Bakshi, 1978) 7/10

Soulful, psychedelic animated Tolkein. Bummer they couldn't complete the adaptation, but Bakshi's approach is probably better suited to the mystery and terror of the first two volumes than the spectacle of the third anyhow. The storytelling's efficient -- too efficient, really, with poor Gimli especially given short shrift -- but at its best genuinely magical, one of those potential early favorites you run into a couple decades too late. Also renewed my admiration for Jackson's accomplishment.
You somehow forgot to point out that it looks like dogshit.
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 844
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#19

Post by prodigalgodson »

viktor-vaudevillain wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:12 am Хрусталёв, машину! / Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksey German, 1998) - 9+
“Poetry floats up in my memory like sailboats in the fog, along with salami."
- This sentence, uttered out of context by a character early in the film, pretty much sums up the poetics of Aleksey German.

Catch Me If You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002) - 9- rewatch
Haven't seen it in many years. Watched this A LOT as a kid. Used to be one of my favorite films in my pre-teen/early teen years. I still think it's a great film but probably for different reasons than back in the jolly 00's.

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (Joshua Oppenheimer, 1998) - 8+
Such a compact and complex film.

L'avenir / Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016) - 9

+ Finished watching season 1 of Babylon Berlin.
Khrustalyov 10 - nice, I quoted the same line in my blurb

Catch Me If You Can - wouldn't mind seeing this, it's from Spielberg's best period imo (Munich and War of the Worlds are easily my two favorites of his post-Duel, and I like Minority Report and The Terminal too)

Louisiana Purchase - thanks for the rec, I found The Act of Killing pretty powerful but haven't seen anything else he's done

Things to Come 5 - didn't get this one, or maybe I wasn't in the right mood

I've been loving the hell out of Giri/Haji and wouldn't mind another miniseries soon, maybe I'll make it BB...
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 844
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#20

Post by prodigalgodson »

Torgo wrote: April 5th, 2021, 2:31 pm
prodigalgodson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 5:21 am The Lord of the Rings (Ralph Bakshi, 1978) 7/10

Soulful, psychedelic animated Tolkein. Bummer they couldn't complete the adaptation, but Bakshi's approach is probably better suited to the mystery and terror of the first two volumes than the spectacle of the third anyhow. The storytelling's efficient -- too efficient, really, with poor Gimli especially given short shrift -- but at its best genuinely magical, one of those potential early favorites you run into a couple decades too late. Also renewed my admiration for Jackson's accomplishment.
You somehow forgot to point out that it looks like dogshit.
Hellll no, it looks dope as hell! Except that rinky-dink balrog lol
User avatar
viktor-vaudevillain
Posts: 545
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#21

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

prodigalgodson wrote: April 6th, 2021, 6:45 am
viktor-vaudevillain wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:12 am Хрусталёв, машину! / Khrustalyov, My Car! (Aleksey German, 1998) - 9+
“Poetry floats up in my memory like sailboats in the fog, along with salami."
- This sentence, uttered out of context by a character early in the film, pretty much sums up the poetics of Aleksey German.

Catch Me If You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002) - 9- rewatch
Haven't seen it in many years. Watched this A LOT as a kid. Used to be one of my favorite films in my pre-teen/early teen years. I still think it's a great film but probably for different reasons than back in the jolly 00's.

The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase (Joshua Oppenheimer, 1998) - 8+
Such a compact and complex film.

L'avenir / Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016) - 9

+ Finished watching season 1 of Babylon Berlin.
Khrustalyov 10 - nice, I quoted the same line in my blurb

Catch Me If You Can - wouldn't mind seeing this, it's from Spielberg's best period imo (Munich and War of the Worlds are easily my two favorites of his post-Duel, and I like Minority Report and The Terminal too)

Louisiana Purchase - thanks for the rec, I found The Act of Killing pretty powerful but haven't seen anything else he's done

Things to Come 5 - didn't get this one, or maybe I wasn't in the right mood

I've been loving the hell out of Giri/Haji and wouldn't mind another miniseries soon, maybe I'll make it BB...
Khrustalyov - yeah, actually it was you who originally made me aware of that sentence. It's such a bonkers film. If you haven't seen Hard to Be a God you ought to as well.
Catch Me If You Can - nobody would mind seeing this. Also a reflection on the film industry and the power of Hollywood it self. A film that can be read many ways. But best of all, it's extremely entertaining.
Louisiana Purchase - yeah, catch it before the '98 poll closes! I can send it to you, if you can't find it.
Things to Come - oh, I could live inside this film. Love the natural flow and ebb of it. Such a mellow style. Suits my own primary mood and outlook on daily life as well. And as someone who's soon a master in philosophy it was interesting on another level as well. All in all my appreciation of it is a combination of film sensibility but just as much on a personal emotional level.

Would recommend you the films of Sharon Lockhart as well, if you haven't watched any yet. She's a student of James Benning, and it shows.

Your viewings:
Journey to the West - 9 - of course the Walker series would be your favorite Tsai :thumbsup: - you may also like his newest feature, Rizi / Days.
Dune - also never got around to this... have had the DvD for over a decade without watching it. I never seem to find time for a film that most people say is bad...
Earth Light - 8+ - looking forward to a rewatch myself. Nice with the Malick reference. I'm both a big Malick fan and a Guy Gilles fan. I don't think I agree on their style of filmmaking to be "directing the viewer", instead I'd say they're misleading the viewer or drawing the viewer down an unexpected path.
Nazar - 9 - also love this one. On a purely aesthetic level this is Kaul at his most refined.
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 6584
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#22

Post by Onderhond »

prodigalgodson wrote: April 5th, 2021, 6:36 am hond
Dreamgirls - sorry to have only seen this from yours, but I thought it was just atrocious at the time it came out (though I was only 12 or so)
Yeah, it was pretty bad :D Felt like Disney made a black music musical or something.

From yours I've only seen Journey to the West. Though I've liked some of Tsai's earlier films, this did very little for me. Interesting title though, I wonder if it's a deliberate reference or just little fuckery with mainstream audiences.
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 844
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#23

Post by prodigalgodson »

viktor-vaudevillain wrote: April 6th, 2021, 8:46 am Louisiana Purchase - yeah, catch it before the '98 poll closes! I can send it to you, if you can't find it.

Would recommend you the films of Sharon Lockhart as well, if you haven't watched any yet. She's a student of James Benning, and it shows.

Journey to the West - 9 - of course the Walker series would be your favorite Tsai :thumbsup: - you may also like his newest feature, Rizi / Days.
Earth Light - 8+ - looking forward to a rewatch myself. Nice with the Malick reference. I'm both a big Malick fan and a Guy Gilles fan. I don't think I agree on their style of filmmaking to be "directing the viewer", instead I'd say they're misleading the viewer or drawing the viewer down an unexpected path.
Thanks, I'll let you know re: Louisiana Purchase! I'd like to watch After Life before the poll wraps too.

Thanks for the Lockhart rec. I had Double Tide on a drive somewhere but not sure if I do anymore. I'll have to track down some of her stuff...

Days - cool, thanks; there's some earlier stuff I'd like to get around to too, especially Vive l'amour
Earth Light - interesting counterpoint; I may just have a personal preference for wider takes
Post Reply