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: TV-series (Results), Directors (Jan 2nd), 1980 (Jan 24th), <50 checks (Jan 31st)
Challenges: 1000<400, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Central American/Andean
Film of the Week: The Milagro Beanfield War, February nominations (Jan 29th)

Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 1, 2021

Post Reply
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 1, 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

Babes in Toyland (1934). Sometimes known as March of the Wooden Soldiers, this Laurel and Hardy venture stars the comedy duo as apprentice toymakers who try to save Little Bo Peep from an arranged marriage to a greedy landowner. There are some quirky moments involving a monkey in a mouse suit. Stan and Ollie also bounce off each other as well as ever - however, they are more supporting characters in the overall tale here and absent from half the film. Despite some inventive sets and costumes, almost all of the non-Laurel and Hardy scenes fall flat with bland supporting characters, a trite romantic subplot and hardly the greatest collection of songs. Heralded by some as a childhood classic, it is certainly easy to see why certain stretches of the film might appeal to kids; in general though, this only ever works when the duo are in focus. (first viewing, online) ★

Mr. Thank You (1936). Various passengers share a cross-country bus ride in this early sound movie from Japan. The film is titled after the nickname that the bus driver has acquired based on the fact that he always thanks pedestrians (and animals!) for getting out of the way, whereas most other drives get frustrated by the traffic. For a film of its vintage, the project is remarkably well photographed with lots of shots from the moving vehicle looking out, as well as on the moving vehicle itself. As a narrative though, the movie is unfortunately a little threadbare and extremely repetitive, with the same jokes about conspicuous moustaches, going to Tokyo and all the "thank you" comments popping up time and time again. This is not a character-driven piece either, but as a look at the value of manners, and as a countryside tour of Japan, this is not half-bad. (first viewing, online) ★★

They Made Me a Fugitive (1947). Framed for murder in a robbery gone awry, a former airman flees prison to exact revenge in this British noir that is far more dynamic than it sounds. The first thirty minutes are a little slow-moving, but the film improves after the prison break as he encounters increasingly nefarious characters on his journey, from a femme fatale who wants him to murder her husband in return for a meal and fresh clothes, to a man who offers him a ride and teases him the whole way about whether he could be the wanted fugitive in the news. Everything also culminates in a fantastic climax with an eerily large and ominous RIP sign. The performances vary a bit in effectiveness here, but Trevor Howard is surprisingly solid, cast against type as the tough protagonist, while Griffith Jones is even better as the chief robber who framed him. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Outcast of the Islands (1951). Offered a chance to start life anew on a remote Indonesian island, a shady businessman clashes with the island's other British resident and falls in love with a mute local girl in this adventure drama. Shot in and around Sri Lanka, the locations look appropriately exotic and appealing; the idea of effectively resetting one's life is intriguing too. As a narrative, the film does not work quite so well. Kerima does well throughout, communicating through eye movements and gestures alone as the love interest, but their romance never really feels real with a suggestion that she does not even understand English. More interesting are Robert Morley (as the other Brit) and his daughter who likes playing practical jokes on him, but none of the characters are really likeable, especially not Trevor Howard's protagonist, but he certainly gives it his best. (first viewing, online) ★★

Buchanan Rides Alone (1958). Smiling and seemingly at peace with the world, a new stranger in a corrupt town unsettles everyone with his laidback, easygoing attitude in this intriguing western from Budd Boetticher. With deliberately sparse background information, this is an unpredictable film in the best possible way and there is much to like in how Boetticher creates so much mystery and suspense simply by having his protagonist act carefree in a genre where that is not the norm. The supporting turns vary a bit in effectiveness (some play near bumbling comic relief types) but Randolph Scott is excellent in the lead role; does he really just want to return home to West Texas or has he a hidden agenda in store? Also, while some of the comedy - an impromptu eulogy in particular - feels off, the light tone works surprisingly well for this look into corruption. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Caliber 9 (1972). Suspected of stashing a large sum of money, a gangster is harassed by both his former colleagues and the police after leaving prison in this Italian crime drama. The film gets off to a memorably brutal start with a near-silent sequence in which all the fury of the Mafia comes to head; the rest of the film to come though sadly never matches this intensity. While there is the occasional tense moment or two, the bulk of the movie is spent on dialogue-heavy scenes that focus more on characters talking or discussing rather than the paranoia that the protagonist should be feeling or the suspense of the whole set-up. Occasional latter touches work (a coldly delivered "he got screwed") and the film has a fantastic slowly swelling music score from Luis Bacalov, but this never quite feels as dynamic as it perhaps had the potential to be. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Holy Mountain (1973). Resurrected after he is crucified by children, a Jesus-like figure embarks on an enlightenment journey, leading him to an alchemist with shady motivations in this bizarre movie from Alejandro Jodorowsky. The plot almost defies description with more to it than can be summed up in a single sentence and much of it makes little sense. Understanding the film though is luckily not necessary to appreciate the experience; full of colourful and creative sets, imaginative costumes and some of the craziest WTF imagery ever placed on celluloid, this is a visually sumptuous affair. It is surreal at times too with characters bleeding in all colours other than red, characters bonding with molds of themselves and the list goes on. The final scene also makes a great conclusion. It is just hard not to wish that all the symbolism was clearer and less elusive. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Petey Wheatstraw (1977). Killed in a mob shooting, a kung fu trained comedian makes a deal with the Devil in exchange for his resurrection in this weird and wacky comedy starring Rudy Ray Moore. The premise is rather intriguing but the plot feels ridiculous and tailored more to jokes than logic. Not only does the Devil give Petey back his life, he also gifts him a magical cane that allows him to do absolutely everything - for no good reason, other than a few magic trick gags. The special effects are very rudimentary as Petey turns grown men into dogs and so. Also, much of the humour (making fun of how ugly the Devil's daughter is) feels in poor taste. There are some genuinely funny moments as the Devil dons a red jumpsuit to jog the streets, and the kung fu fights are decent, but this is mostly just a film about a guy having fun with a cane that can do anything. (first viewing, online) ★

Jubilee (1978). Time travelling four centuries into the future, Queen Elizabeth I witnesses her country overrun by crime and debauchery while the youth of the day embrace punk values. For a film with such an intriguing premise, Jubilee is a rather unexciting affair. It would be a push to call the film dull with unusual renditions of 'Rule Britannia', policemen stabbed in the street, suffocation, lots of copulation and old ladies winning Union Jack knickers, but everything feels random and messy, as if Derek Jarman and his team began shooting without a script and made it up as they went along. Most disappointing is how heavily the Queen is pushed into the backdrop. The punks are the main characters here and none of them are three dimensional or likeable in the least, and between the randomness and lack of focus, this is not an easy film to get through. (first viewing, online) ★

Nirvana (1997). Discovering that he is a mere character in a computer game, a lonely man tries to persuade his designer to delete him in this Italian thriller. It is an intriguing idea, but this is one of those films in which the premise is better than the film itself. Diego Abatantuono is very sympathetic as the game character, sick and tired of being killed and coming back to life while failing to convince anybody else that they are not real. Alas, the vast majority of the film is not spent with him but rather Christopher Lambert as the game designer. While Lambert meets a couple of quirky hackers in his quest to override the system, too long is spent on Lambert pining for a lost girlfriend and chatting to others. Certainly, some of the imagery of him hooked up to play is excellent, but the visuals and ideas feel like nothing compared to the likes of eXistenZ. (first viewing, online) ★★

Alone in the Wilderness (2004). Using footage that he reportedly shot himself, this documentary details the quest of a middle aged American to survive alone in the Alaskan wilderness. It is quite a meditative experience with the footage effectively capturing the beautiful serenity of the natural landscapes, and the balance between his voiceover narration and non-narrated footage feels right. By design though, the film avoids probing into the most intriguing aspects of his quest; that is, what motivated him to seek a life of solitude away from the human world. The film delivers quite a lot though in its economical duration with detailed insights into building cabins, living at one with wild animals, keeping food cool without electricity and the list goes on. The documentary also makes the prospect of living alone in the wilderness quite attractive and appealing. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Pop Skull (2007). Still hurting from a messy breakup, a drug addict is encouraged to stay with a buddy and his buddy's girlfriend, but their house might be haunted in this early career film from Adam Wingard. Made on a very low budget, this looks and sounds surprisingly good with Wingard showing as great an ear as ever for music, while the minimal locations feel genuinely creepy. The plot is, however, virtually nonexistent. A couple of decent discussions about relationships aside, all that it hinges on is the question of whether he is really seeing ghosts or whether it is all part of his drug trips as he begins to pop pills at an alarming rate during his stay. Nothing is ever made clear and by the end it all feels very repetitive. The fact that the cast members have all been directed to mumble their lines does not help, but at least Wingard includes subtitles sometimes. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Maid (2009). Worried about being replaced and losing her surrogate family after twenty years of service, a Chilean maid conspires to make life difficult for the new servants hired to assist her in this dark comedy starring Catalina Saavedra. While her actions are reprehensible -- even antagonising the daughter in the family who dislikes her -- Saavedra always makes her character feel down-to-earth and human. She is not the most likeable person in the world, but her loneliness, fears and uncertainties are easy to relate to. The film also generates some surprising humour from the misery she causes others, with locking out the other servants making for a very successful running gag. The film loses its edginess in the final half-hour, and even becomes a tad sentimental, but the character growth is undeniable even if the final third of the film is less fun. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016). Footage from a collection of silent films that were discovered in the Yukon Territory in the 1970s is spliced together in this documentary from Bill Morrison. The film begins well with intimate interviews and a fascinating rundown of the discovery, including reenactments. After this promising start though, the film soon goes downhill; the middle 90 minutes feels like a PowerPoint presentation with Morrison showing all of the footage with text rather than narration describing and giving context to the images. The text (which is often paragraphs long) really distracts from the footage and photographs shown - and Morrison even superimposes entire newspaper articles over the images! If well-intention, this approach feels incredibly disrespectful to the silent film footage. The subject matter is interesting here; the presentation less so. (first viewing, online) ★

Endless Poetry (2016). Against his father's wishes and much to scorn of everyone around him, a young Alejandro Jodorowsky decides that he wishes to become a poet in this semiautobiographical film with a difference. As the movie opens, we see Jodorowsky watching black-and-white cut-out sets being propped up and talking to the actor playing him as a youth. As the film progresses, he continues to pop up to mentor the younger version of himself. If a tad self-indulgent, the whole notion of Jodorowsky interacting with his past memories is incredibly dynamic. Some of his family members and friends are reduced to mere stereotypes (his mother sings her every line) but for the most part, Jodorowsky's slightly surreal take on his upbringing is fun and engaging with plenty of quirks along the way; in particular, trying to walk in a straight line through the city. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Promising Young Woman (2020). Pretending to be drunk, a traumatised young woman lures predatory men until a reminder of her past triggers something in this thriller that is best entered into with as few expectations as possible. Suffice it to say that while the film principally focuses on rape, sexual abuse and a culture that sweeps such crimes under the carpet, the movie has something more universal to offer, populated by guilty characters who all claim that they are "nice" or "good", with the only character to admit to being bad declared insane for it. In that role, Alfred Molina absolutely shines, though this Carey Mulligan's film first, foremost and always - and right up until the end. With her condescending, near sarcastic way of talking down to men to her more vulnerable moments alone, Mulligan hits every note perfectly. The film is certainly a little bombastic, and while emotionally affecting, the ending does not totally gel, but with measured doses of neon, pop music and comic relief, this is an experience that truly lingers. (first viewing, cinema) ★★★★
Other
The Glass Slipper (1955). Vastly different to the average Cinderella adaptation, this version has all the magic occur off-screen while rewriting the tale and changing the point at which the prince and Ella meet. There are also many lyric-free ballet sequences (only one song has words). For all its attempts to be different though, The Glass Slipper comes off as a lesser version of the classic tale; the titular item becomes redundant since the prince knows her identity the whole time and the romance (with the prince falling in love with her "sad, rebellious eyes") is not quite strong enough to support a feature length film when the magic is reduced to nearly zero. Some of the ballet sequences are certainly pretty and Leslie Caron does what she can with the main role, though it is odd to hear her so often described as a child when her story is all about marriage. (first viewing, online) ★

The Frozen Dead (1966). Intent on reviving the Third Reich, a Nazi scientist experiments in attaching the frozen heads of Nazis to living bodies, but his work is interrupted when his niece and a friend come to stay in this lurid little film. The plot feels full of potential, but rather than concentrate on the pseudoscience or crazy scientist, we instead spend the vast majority of the film with the niece who goes amateur sleuthing when her friend disappears without a trace. Anna Palk is okay in the role, but given that we know what is going on and are always one step ahead of her, there is nothing exciting or intriguing about her investigation. Some of the severed head imagery is pretty neat here with glowing blue lights, and the initial descriptions of the freezing and resurrecting processes are fascinating, but once the niece becomes the protagonist this goes downhill. (first viewing, online) ★

Eugenia (2017). Leaving an unfulfilling relationship, a young woman struggles to redefine her place in the world until an acting job comes along in this black and white drama from Bolivia. The film feels very aimless early on as she sits and has coffee, engages in meaningless chitchat and the like. The acting gig is intriguing though, particularly given how much she begins to identify with the guerilla character; there are even a handful of points in the film where reality and scenes being shot blur, with only a gradually changing aspect ratio clueing us into the difference. The overall film though still only makes a mild impression. There are some beautiful shots (e.g. a glowing moon at night) and innovative shots (sniper at the camera) but there feels like there is a lot of filler before - and even during - her acting obsession stage of reassessing her life. (first viewing, online) ★★

Sister of Mine (2017). Finding a sex tape of his much younger sister online, a filmmaker returns home to confront her, but things gradually spiral out of control in this boundary-pushing drama. Without revealing too much, it can be said that the film explores perversion, what perversion means to different individuals and the harshness of a society that looks down upon those who do not conform. Both leads, but especially Ivana Buquero (years after Pan's Labyrinth) deliver well and the film has a neat camera/screen dynamic going on. While it tackles some intriguing ideas, the film nevertheless peters out as it goes along and ultimately concludes without any real resolution or sense of the story coming to an end. Perhaps that is on-point, symbolic of a society that never forgets or lets past misdeeds rest, but it is somewhat unsatisfying all the same. (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: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2

Post by Onderhond »

Image

Image

01. 4.0* - Jam by Hiroyuki Tanaka (2018)
An oldskool Tanaka. Different stories intersect to tell a bigger plot, some scenes have a tendency to venture off into a direction of their own and there's an underlying layer of dark comedy that keeps things interesting. It's not Tanaka's best film, but he's so skilled that he can make a film like this extremely entertaining without having to make a real effort. Good fun.

02. 3.5* - Legally Declared Dead by Kim-Wai Yuen (2019)
It's not that often that you see a Hong Kong adaptation of a Japanese manga, Legally Declared Dead is a good illustration of why that isn't really a perfect match. While there's a lot to like here, the somewhat fleeting and rushed style that characterizes Hong Kong cinema doesn't seem to be doing the source material justice (though I'm not personally familiar with it). Shun is an insurance broker who is sent to Tak's home to follow up his case. Once there he discovers the body of Tak's grandson, hanging from the ceiling. Shun is a good-natured and trusting man, but he suspects Tak of setting up his grandson's death. Meanwhile, Shun's own troubled past is starting to resurface. The cinematography is beautiful and both Karena Lam and Anthony Wong put in tremendous performances. Carlos Chan can't really convince as the lead though and the direction feels a bit too rushed. Though the film is quite long, it could've done with a little less fluff and a tighter focus on the parts that mattered. An interesting film, but a bit too flawed to be a true masterpiece.

03. 3.5* - Samurai Reincarnation [Makai Tenshô] by Kinji Fukasaku (1981)
I've been avoiding Fukasaku's films for the longest time, on account of not really liking some of his Yakuza work. It turns out I've should've been watching his samurai stuff instead. Samurai Reincarnation is a pretty rad film, a mixture of classic Japanese lore, some fantasy elements and a lot of cool. After a gruesome battle, a Christian samurai loses his faith and sells his soul to the devil. In return, he receives the power to resurrect the dead. He starts on a long journey through the country. Whenever he meets disgruntled souls, he reincarnates them and adds them to his little band of misfits. Japanese mythology is quite rich and Fukasaku is happy to exploit it for this film. Quite a few famous figures are combined in this narrative, with the showdown between Musashi Miyamoto and Yubei Yagyu as the absolute highlight. Awesome sets, a creepy atmosphere and some very cool action scenes make this quite the spectacle. A very pleasant discovery.

04. 3.5* - 3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom by Jordan Roberts (2012)
A quirky little romcom. Not the sappy Hollywood stuff that tries to be as mellow and agreeable as possible, but an edgier comedy that throws in a bit of romance just to keep the narrative going. I didn't expect that much going in, but was pleasantly surprised by Jordan Roberts' second film. Frank returns home to celebrate his brother Bruce getting out of rehab. The two have grown apart, but Frank is willing to make an effort to mend past disagreements. Bruce is still pretty irresponsible though, and when he films Frank having a rather embarrassing one-night stand, the shit hits the fan. Hunnam and O'Dowd are great (though it's a shame the latter had to drop his accent), Perlman and Caplan are also pretty memorable. There are some solid jokes, the comedy is quite dry and the romance never feels cheesy. The film isn't that long either and the pacing is on point. Very agreeable filler.

05. 3.5* - Funeral Parade of Roses [Bara no Sôretsu] by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)
A film with a reputation. It reportedly inspired Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and it stands as one of the highlights of the Japanese New Wave, up there with the best films of Wakamatsu. The other Matsumoto I watched also left me quite impressed, so I definitely looked forward to this one. And the film doesn't disappoint. There's a simple narrative that lies beneath all the weirdness, about two gays/drag queens who fight for the romantic attention of their boss, but that seems little more than an excuse for some joyful experimentation. In other words, don't expect an easy film. Matsumoto doesn't seem bound by genres, styles or conventions. He includes interviews with the cast, switches to segments with hyper editing, there's some slapstick, a little hippie partying and a rather horrific ending. The overwhelmingly white cinematography feels fresh too and there's plenty of imagery that lingers longs after the end credits have faded. Good stuff, just a tad long and a bit too uneven.

06. 3.5* - Elephant Song by Gô Rijû (1994)
A peculiar little drama. Gô Rijû seems to be pretty good at them, it's a shame his films are so hard to come by. While Elephant Song sounds a bit macabre on paper, it's really just a small, poignant and subtle film that brings together a friendly set of characters as they join each other on a road trip. Kanako is facing quite the dilemma. She once promised an acquaintance of hers that she would bury him in a specific place when he'd come to die, not realizing that day would come sooner rather than later. She needs a little help to get the body to the designated place though, so she asks a colleague at work if he is willing to give her and the body a lift. Miyuki Matsuda and Susumu Terajima are both great, dealing with the somewhat ludicrous plot in a very gentle and down-to-earth manner. The soundtrack is quite soothing, the pacing is pleasantly laid back and the conversations between the characters are nice to follow. A great little discovery.

07. 3.5* - Jeruzalem by Doron Paz, Yoav Paz (2015)
A Google Glass inspired found footage horror. I'm actually surprised they didn't make more of those, then again Glass never really took off. It's a perfect match for this type of film though, as the footage feels a bit more natural (for the most part at least, a lot of the digital interference was clearly added for cinematic reasons). Rachel and Sarah are going on a vacation to Tel Aviv. They make a new friend on the plane and decide to follow him to Jerusalem. Once there they want to stick around for Jom Kippoer, what they don't know is that all hell is about to break loose. Quite literally, as the end of the world is nigh. The intro is a bit long and the CG can get a little flaky, but the basic idea is quite cool, I'm rather partial to the found footage niche and the ending is pretty damn awesome. Once the chaos starts (about halfway through), the strict pacing and solid build-up of tension really make this into a fun ride. A neat little surprise.

08. 3.0* - Elementa by Richard Sidey (2020)
A nifty nature doc. The bar for these documentaries has been raised significantly in the past decade, but director Sidey still found a way to distinguish himself for the many others out there. Elementa appears more artistic (think Koyaanisqatsi) than its peers, ditching facts and information for purer impressions. Stark and ultra clean black and white cinematography, an ethereal electronic score and visuals divided into different panels offer a unique look at nature. The recordings are absolutely stunning and in combination with the music the film clearly aims to be a 45-minute audiovisual trip. The music is a bit overbearing, the flow between the different segments feels a little janky and the black and white cinematography doesn't always appear to be the best choice. These are minor issues considering the visual strengths of the film, but for a film that aspires to be an audiovisual masterpiece it makes that Elementa never reaches its full potential. Would love to see more by Sidey though, as he clearly has a knack for these types of docs.

09. 3.0* - Stolen Identity [Sumaho o Otoshita Dake Na no Ni] by Hideo Nakata (2018)
Hideo Nakata's tech thriller. It's a bit like watching an update of The Net (1995), only with some serial killer elements thrown in to make it a bit more exciting. It's actually somewhat successful too, though this film mostly underlines that Nakata hasn't been on top of his game for quite a while now. Makoto is late for a meeting and stuck in traffic. He decides to take the train instead, but he forgets his phone in his cab. Shortly afterwards his girlfriend receives a call for a man who has found Makoto's phone. She picks it up and everything seems back to normal, what she doesn't know is that Makoto's phone got hacked. Stolen Identity isn't a bad film, Nakata's direction is competent and a couple of minor twists keep things interesting. On the other hand, it's not a very notable film. Performances are decent, so is the cinematography and score, there's just little here that makes a big impression. Entertaining filler though.

10. 3.0* - Hocus Pocus [Ren He Gui] by Yuet-Sang Chin (1984)
Hocus Pocus came a year before Ricky Lau's Mr. Vampire, so I guess director Yuet-Sang Chin deserves his share of the credit for kick-starting this whole comedy/horror/action craze. The genre balance may not be perfect, but there's a lot of fun to be had with this film, just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Sheng leads an opera troupe and is big on ghost stories. His disciples love to listen to his tales, but they get a little annoyed when Chia, when of their fellow actors, takes the whole ghost business a step too far. They decide to get back at Chia, but by doing that they run into a real ghost. There's a bit of everything here. Comedy and horror are the main genres, but a film like this wouldn't be complete without some martial arts and fantasy elements. Performances are well over-the-top and the comedy's a little lame, but the lore and designs are cool enough and there's a spectacular finale that is more than satisfactory. Good stuff.

11. 3.0* - Monsters of Man by Mark Toia (2020)
A simple sci-fi/action flick by a first-time director, who is a little too eager to show his worth. While Monsters of Man is a well-made and amusing film, there's nothing particularly noteworthy that sets it apart, nothing that warrants a 2-hour plus running time. A real shame, at 90 minutes this would've been a lot better. A young start-up is hired by the army to test out their new AI robots. They're told they're taking part in a simple nav mission, but it's clear that their bosses have ulterior motives. The mission doesn't go as planned and one of the robots defects. When it starts killing civilians, they need to act quick to try and save their own hides. The CG is competent, the plot simple but sufficient, the robots looks quite nifty and the action is solid. Performances are a bit middling and there's really nothing you haven't seen before. Just a bunch of AI robots battling it out with some unsuspecting humans (one of which just happens to be a former SEAL agent). 90 minutes, that's all this needed to be, sadly there's a bout 40 minutes of cruft, making this much tougher to sit through than needed.

12. 3.0* - Love Conquers All [Ai Qing Zhang Sheng Yi Qie] by Chui Mui Tan (2006)
One of those films that exemplified the rise of DV and its impact on drama cinema. With no budget to speak of, Chui Mui Tan made a film that would've otherwise been impossible to make. Fifteen years later its impact may have been seriously diminished, but back then it won her a prestigious Tiger Award. Ah Ping is a young girl who moved from the countryside to Kuala Lumpur. There she meets John, a city boy who takes a liking to her. Ping already has a boyfriend in Penang, but John is steadfast and keeps following her around. Ping finally caves, but she then finds out that there's a darker side to John. The first scene shows Ping on the bus to Kuala Lumpur. She needs to switch seats with an old man who has an headache, which takes her about 5 minutes. Tan observes. That's pretty much what you're getting, 90 minutes long. The DV cinematography is voyeuristic, putting the audience very close to its protagonists, but the film itself is quite low on actual drama. Love Conquers all offers solid slice of life entertainment, but be prepared for a sluggish film.

13. 3.0* - Majin [Daimajin] by Kimiyoshi Yasuda (1966)
The first of the three Majin films, all made in the same year. I was actually pretty excited to discover a new kaiju franchise, but don't let the poster of this film mislead you. While there's definitely a substantial kaiju side to Majin, it's equal parts jidai geki and yokai fantasy, with the kaiju elements only popping up in the latter parts of the film. The village of the Hanabusa is seized by the cruel Samanosuke clan, who take all the villagers hostage and treat them like slaves. Some of the Hanabusa manage to escape though and take refuge in the nearby woods. These woods also houses Majin, a God revered by the Hanabusa. They pray to him, hoping he will help them defeat the Samanosuke clan. The cinematography is crisp and surprisingly beautiful. It certainly adds to the atmosphere, but can't prevent the first hour from being a bit too slow. It takes just a little too long before the Majin peeps around the corner, luckily the finale makes up for that lost time. Mixed sentiments, but overall it's a pretty fun flick, I'm already looking forward to the sequels.

14. 3.0* - Parallel by Isaac Ezban (2018)
Isaac Ezban has been making a name for himself directing mysterious sci-fi films with loopy narratives. Parallel is his first English-language film, but it's a step down from the films he made in Mexico. It's also one of his most obvious films, where the mystery is fully revealed in the first third of the film. A group of friends/team of app developers discover a hidden room in their apartment. There they find a mirror that transports them to parallel universes. It doesn't take them long to figure out ways to game this setup and to better their lives with it, but after a short period of elated happiness, they begin to distrust each other. The parallel universes sound like they could provide a nice twist on the good old time travel stories, but in reality it doesn't change a lot. I also wasn't that impressed with the heist-like structure of the story, which adds to the predictability of the film. Performances are decent and there's still some fun to be had here, but I was hoping Ezban would be taking some steps forward, not backward.

15. 3.0* - Trail of the Broken Blade [Duan Chang Jian] by Cheh Chang (1967)
Another early Cheh Chang flick. It's a pretty good precursor to the 70s highlights of Chang's career, a film that is already quite epic in nature, offers a fair bit of martial arts and a very typical revenge plot. It's not quite up there with his best work yet, but it's no surprise this is the path Chang would choose to pursue. After avenging his father, Li goes into hiding. There he meets Fang, a capable martial artist who gets mixed up in a bitter fight with some goons. Li tries to stay out of Fang's affairs, but as he grows closer to Fang it becomes increasingly difficult to turn a blind eye, especially since Fang's adversaries don't care for a fair fight. The cinematography (including the scenes shot on location) look better than Chang's later work (as is typical for the Shaw Bros productions), the fights on the other hand can still feel a little flaky. Still, Trail of the Broken Blade is an entertaining film and no doubt part of the blueprint that would lead the Shaw Bros to big success in the following decade, so well worth a watch.

16. 2.5* - Mountain Patrol [Kekexili] by Chuan Lu (2004)
The film that kick-started Chuan Lu's career. I'm not a big fan of his work, but he made some amusing films and Mountain Patrol has somewhat of a positive reputation, so I figured it wouldn't hurt giving it a chance. It's not a bad film, but the potential was there to do a lot better with the material. A reporter from Beijing travels to Tibet to join a unofficial patrol group. They roam the mountains looking for poachers, who kill antelopes and sell their hides. It's a treacherous area to patrol though and since they don't receive any funding, they have to make do with what they can find. The setting is majestic, but Lu doesn't always make the best use of it. While there are some pretty shots to be admired, they're actually quite sparse and the film looks a little too gray and unattractive. The plot is pretty basic too and the performances are nothing special. Not bad, but overall I was a little disappointed.

17. 2.0* - Secret Sunshine [Milyang] by Chang-dong Lee (2007)
A weird and somewhat unfocused drama. While it starts off promising enough, the film ventures off in a different direction about 1 hour in and never finds its footing after that. A severe lack of subtlety and some baseless venting doesn't really help Secret Sunshine's case either. After the death of her husband, Shin-ae leaves with her son to go live in Milyang, the city where her husband grew up. The welcome isn't too friendly though and when disaster strikes again, Shin-ae desperately tries to look for comfort. When she can't find it, she starts lashing out. Performances are somewhat decent, but the lack of subtlety really didn't work for me. The digs at religion were also pretty uncomfortable (even though I'm not religious myself), the film lacks focus and the solid pacing found in the first hour is set aside for a barrage of random drama. Not that great.

18. 2.0* - The Incredible Monk by Tze-Chung Lam (2018)
Tze-chung Lam gained a little fame from his appearances in early 2000 Stephen Chow comedies, but he never really made it big. It seems he's putting some effort in directing films now, though I don't think he'll fare much better. The Incredible Monk is a brave attempt, but far from a good film. Ji Gong is one of China's many historical heroes, the kind of figure who goes on many adventures, each of them very lucrative for a movie adaptation. Some of Gong's old adversaries are popping up again, bothering the people on Earth. Ji Gong suspects something is wrong and stumbles into a big conspiracy. On paper this is a fun mix of fantasy, martial arts and comedy, but the execution is quite poor and the performances aren't any better. It's a throwback to 90s Hong Kong cinema, but with some shoddy CG and none of the flashy direction that made these films so much fun. At least the pacing is decent and it's light entertainment from start to finish, but it's a shame they can't do better with this material.

19. 2.0* - Mr. Peabody & Sherman by Rob Minkoff (2014)
As someone who is wholly unaware of the old Peabody & Sherman cartoons, it all felt very random. A genius dog as the father of a young boy, going on time travel adventures. It sounds like a random mix of popular things thrown together for a quick cash grab, but apparently there's a bit more history driving the Peabody and Sherman characters. Mr. Peabody is an incredibly wise dog, who earned himself the right to adopt an orphan boy. When Sherman makes a fuss at school on his first day, Peabody's ability to be a real father to the boy is questioned. To make amends, Peabody organizes a party, but Sherman messes things up when he takes out the time travel machine for a spin. The animation looks pretty dated and the plot is a complete mess. It really feels like a bunch of shorts strung together, whizzing by at a pace that hopefully detracts from the lack of direction. Luckily the comedy is pretty decent, with a fun Mr Peabody (thanks to the voice work of Burrell) and some daft puns. Not great, but somewhat entertaining.

20. 2.0* - The Bandit [Eskiya] by Yavuz Turgul (1996)
A Turkish classic. I haven't seen too many Turkish films yet, but this didn't inspire much trust in the rest of their output. I couldn't find anything unique or original here (except maybe the ending) and at two hours it's way too long. Just a simple crime flick that feels like it was made for TV. Baran is an eskiya (a mountain thief) who spent the last 35 years in prison. Upon release, he vows to find his old love. That journey takes him to Istanbul, but Baran isn't used to the big city life. In Istanbul, he bumps into some city criminals who decide to help Baran with his little quest. Sener Sen is a nice lead and the finale stands out, but the rest of the film is quite poor. The cast is disappointing, the cinematography is dim, the soundtrack atrocious. The story is also quite predictable and the pacing is too slow, dragging everything out unnecessarily. Not worthy of its reputation.

21. 1.5* - Peter Pan by P.J. Hogan (2003)
A non-Disney adaptation of the Peter Pan story. It's a bit darker than your average Disney film, apart from that I wondered why they even bothered making this film. It's the same old classic story, with a smaller budget, lesser known actors and some flakier special effects. That's not much of a draw. Peter Pan finds three children living in London and convinces them to follow him to Neverland, a magical country where kids don't grow old. But Neverland isn't a very peaceful place. Captain Hook is Pan's biggest enemy and when he realizes Pan has returned from his trip, he's eager to catch his nemesis. The film is not without charm, but the mediocre performance, the crummy effects and the familiarity of the story kept me from thoroughly enjoying the film. It's not that Peter Pan isn't an interesting story, but you'd think that the umpteenth adaptation would at least try and do things a little differently.

22. 1.5* - The Living Daylights by John Glen (1987)
One of the poorer Bond films I've seen so far. The series has always struggled with its lead changes, and it doesn't seem like this 2-part Dalton episode is going to be any different. With Dalton, it feels like the series got a bit more serious again, which isn't the direction I wanted Bond to go in. James Bond is asked to bring in a Russian defector, but only two days later the man is taken again by the Russians. It's not a good look for the British intelligence agency, and they immediately reactivates Bond. He has a little side mission to complete first, which of course puts him on track to uncover a hidden plot. Dalton is a rather grim Bond, d'Abo is a dire Bond girl, the action is plain (apart from one scene on the ice) and the bad guys are incredibly dull. There's just not much joy here, which for me is the main draw of the better entries in the franchise. Let's hope the next one is better.

23. 1.5* - The Narrow Margin by Richard Fleischer (1952)
A very simple noir. I honestly don't think you can get more core genre than The Narrow Margin. The setting is reduced to a single train, there's a lot of men in hats trying to be as spiffy as possible, while the damsel in distress has quite the foul mouth of her own. Add a plot twist and that's your classic film noir right there. Agent Brown is tasked to get the wife of a notorious gangster to Los Angeles, as she's willing to testify against the Mafia. They take the train, but their journey isn't as inconspicuous as they'd hoped. Before long many people are on Brown's tail, trying to convince him that the woman is better dead than alive. The performances are rather poor and the setting isn't really put to good use, but the pacing is decent and I do prefer this limited location noirs. There's not much time to get bored and once the little twist has been revealed, the film races towards its finale. It's all a bit plain, but there's some entertainment value here.

24. 1.0* - Searching for Bobby Fischer by Steven Zaillian (1993)
After the immense success of The Queen's Gambit, this old Hollywood feelgood schmaltz was dragged out of the shadows again. It's good timing to bring this film back into the spotlights, as the quality is actually pretty low and it would be hard to get people to watch this without the prior chess hype. Josh Waitzkin is a child prodigy. When his parents recognize his talent, they hire a specialized teacher to get him the education he needs to become a champion. Josh loves chess, but isn't a big fan of the teaching methods, nor the fact that he has to give up everything else to become the best chess player in the US. Cheap Hollywood morality, stern but laughable performances, cheesy music and a cheery ending you could predict 5 minutes in. It's the worst kind of Hollywood movie, lacking any kind of quality, any discernible input from the director and any form of genuine drama. Back to obscurity with this one.

25. 1.0* - Force of Evil by Abraham Polonsky (1948)
A somewhat dull noir. It seems to be taking itself a little too serious, which isn't really what the genre is good at. Apparently this film is a personal favorite of Scorsese and I guess it shows. It's a somewhat dreary crime story stacked with mean-spirited characters, I just wasn't that impressed. Joe is a crooked lawyer who plans to bring all independent gambling bosses together under one powerful organization. His brother Leo is one of these bosses, but he isn't willing to play along. Joe isn't planning to give up on his dream and frames his brother, hoping that he'll come asking for his help. Things don't quite turn out as Joe hoped though. Performances are rather weak, even though the film is short the pacing feels sluggish and the plot isn't much to look at. The film just lacks that juicy, self-aware fun of the better noirs, but at least the cinematography was pretty decent. It's not the worst film ever made, I just didn't find much to enjoy here.

26. 1.0* - Bleu Shut by Robert Nelson (1971)
I don't really mind being the butt of a joke, I do mind being the butt of a 30-minute joke. Robert Nelson must've had a lot of fun making this short experimental film, I sure didn't enjoy watching it. It's a good thing YouTube didn't exist when he made this, or this film would've been swallowed into anonymity in the blink of an eye. There's a little clock in the upper right corner of the screen, counting down the minutes. Every minute we get a different fragment, though most of the time we're looking at a picture of a boot with 5 or 6 names on top. One of the names belongs to the boat, two men are trying to guess which one. And that's about it really. When we're not watching the boat quiz, we see other (seemingly random) fragments. No doubt there's a point to it all, but I honestly couldn't be bothered to find out what it is. A big waste of time, though there is some minor enjoyment to be found in the interaction between the two men.

27. 0.5* - Hapax Legomena II: Poetic Justice by Hollis Frampton (1972)
Myeah. I didn't really like part 1 of Hapax Legomena (understatement), part 2 turned out to be even worse. These experimental shorts often seem fascinating on paper, but the result is rarely much to look at. After about a minute I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it, the following 29 minutes were just adding insult to injury. Poetic Justice challenges you to dream up a movie of your own. All you're getting is 250 pages with a limited screenplay written down on them. The camera never moves and every few seconds a new page is added. The screenplay tells a little romance story, one without actors and setting, brought only to life with your own imagination. No doubt it's meant as a reflection on the nature of cinema, an illustration of the power of the human brain and a quest to find the limitations of the medium, but I have little respect for a single, simple idea drawn out to a 30 minute short film. Might be fun for people who buy into it, others will wonder why they didn't just read a book. That'd be much faster too.
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2486
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#3

Post by peeptoad »

sol wrote: January 10th, 2021, 12:00 pm Jubilee (1978). Time travelling four centuries into the future, Queen Elizabeth I witnesses her country overrun by crime and debauchery while the youth of the day embrace punk values. For a film with such an intriguing premise, Jubilee is a rather unexciting affair. It would be a push to call the film dull with unusual renditions of 'Rule Britannia', policemen stabbed in the street, suffocation, lots of copulation and old ladies winning Union Jack knickers, but everything feels random and messy, as if Derek Jarman and his team began shooting without a script and made it up as they went along. Most disappointing is how heavily the Queen is pushed into the backdrop. The punks are the main characters here and none of them are three dimensional or likeable in the least, and between the randomness and lack of focus, this is not an easy film to get through. (first viewing, online) ★
I have this rated a 5. I agree it's a bit of a chore to get through and I had higher expectations based on setting, timeframe, and the main characters. I do think I may have liked some of the overall design and look. Can't really recall.
sol wrote: January 10th, 2021, 12:00 pm The Holy Mountain (1973). Resurrected after he is crucified by children, a Jesus-like figure embarks on an enlightenment journey, leading him to an alchemist with shady motivations in this bizarre movie from Alejandro Jodorowsky. The plot almost defies description with more to it than can be summed up in a single sentence and much of it makes little sense. Understanding the film though is luckily not necessary to appreciate the experience; full of colourful and creative sets, imaginative costumes and some of the craziest WTF imagery ever placed on celluloid, this is a visually sumptuous affair. It is surreal at times too with characters bleeding in all colours other than red, characters bonding with molds of themselves and the list goes on. The final scene also makes a great conclusion. It is just hard not to wish that all the symbolism was clearer and less elusive. (first viewing, online) ★★★
9/10 and one of my favorites, though not my fav Jodorowsky. I should probably rewatch his films at some point as it's been awhile, and I still have yet to see a couple.

As for myself I didn't watch much last week or anything that I really feel like discussing, so just leave it at that. Hope your move ultimately went okay.
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#4

Post by sol »

peeptoad wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:02 pm As for myself I didn't watch much last week or anything that I really feel like discussing, so just leave it at that. Hope your move ultimately went okay.
Sorry to hear that your film watching hasn't be great lately. :( Mine has honestly been a bit of a mixed bag. The move did generally go okay, I guess. One shelf of one bookshelf was badly damaged, but most of the stuff seems to have come through okay. I still haven't set up most of my house yet though; I have lines and lines and rows and rows of bookcases pressed up one against another. Need to wait until I can get some help to move it around. Not to mention to my 10,000 DVD/Blu collection lying around in bags. Biggest issue was the movers were unable to get my treadmill inside (too wide). I'm going to try to get that sort out tomorrow. No microwave plugged in yet and no TV either (been watching everything online lately with the exception of my cinema visit) but I guess I can't complain. I have a fridge, I have a laptop and that does me okay for now. Fortunately, I was watching over 80% of my films on streaming services before the move, so it's not a big deal to have limited access to my physical collection. But I digress...

Jodorowsky: I was really taken aback by The Holy Mountain. While I didn't totally love it, I was expecting something far more conservative and linear given the film's very high IMDb rating. I am actually surprised that is not more divisive given how controversial some of the depictions are and how juvenile some of the humour is (turning bowel movements into gold). Definitely curious about more Jodorowsky now (Endless Poetry was great too) and El Topo is also currently streaming on Mubi AU, though it's not fantasy so harder to try to accommodate this month.

Jarman: In this case, I knew not to expect a traditional linear film with Jubilee but even so it was a disappointment. The fantasy premise appealed so much to me (what a quirky idea: send a queen forward in time) but the genre content barely applies at all to the film which is far more concerned with punk culture and showing as much copulation as possible on screen. I had a real hard time finishing this one, and it's currently my lowest rated film for 2021.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 1362
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#5

Post by outdoorcats »

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin - 2019) 6.5
->Like Sorkin's debut Molly's Game, a very entertaining and perfectly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours, but evaporates as soon as it's over, weightless (this despite the heavy subject matter). I wonder why Sorkin wanted to direct his own screenplays - so far he has no discernible style and brings nothing to the table that other directors don't do better. He just flatly points and shoots. There are a number of excellent performances though, particularly by Frank Langella, Sacha Baron Cohen, Yayha Abdul-Mateen, and Mark Rylance.

Southern District (Juan Carlos Valdivia - 2009) 7.5
->With a low budget and cheap lighting, Valdivia nonetheless stakes his claim as a hugely talented director to watch with this arthouse domestic slice-of-life drama. Focusing on the daily interactions of a rich, shallow family and their Aymara servants, Zona sur has an unusual (but in my opinion, successful) gimmick in that the camera is constantly slowly panning or moving in some way. Thanks to expert staging and choreography it works, and is at times entrancingly beautiful. With characters as shallow as these, the type of distancing effect this gimmick has works in the film's favor, as we glide above their petty squabbles with indifference and instead find ourselves focusing on the smallest yet most meaningful details.

Black Butterfly (Francisco J. Lombardi - 2006) 6
->A political thriller that takes a jarring, out-of-field left turn into melodrama in its second half, but is ultimately capped by a chilling and effective conclusion. The beautiful Melania Urbina is a schoolteacher who teams up with a hard-drinking tabloid journalist Angela (Magdyel Ugaz) to find those responsible for the death of her fiancee, an incorruptible judge. The plot twists and turns itself into knots to find creative ways to keep putting her in beautiful outfits. No objections, I guess.

Crónicas (Sebastián Cordero - 2004) 9
->A visually stunning and impeccably acted thriller, Crónicas joins films like Ace in the Hole, Network, and Nightcrawler as one of the darkest and most cynical takes on the media in film history. John Leguizamo plays a Miami-based celebrity reporter in rural Ecuador covering the case of a serial killer/rapist at large, who stumbles on what could be the biggest story of his career when an inmate briefly in prison for an unrelated crime (Damián Alcázar, incredible) claims to have knowledge on the whereabouts of the killer. Produced by Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro, the former of whom may have inspired the film's restless and striking cinematography, the film achieves instant classic status among dark thrillers even as much of the film consists merely of conversations between Leguizamo and Alcázar. Yet they are so, so chilling.

Monos (Alejandro Landes - 2019) 9.5
-> Think Lord of the Flies + Apocalypse Now with a dash of Come and See. An instant classic, an iconic dark adventure/thriller that looks and sounds amazing from start to finish.




Yours:

Dawson City: Frozen Time - 8. Like Morrison's shorts, just remember it being really affecting.

I'd seen the title They Made Me a Fugitive before, but didn't know it was a British noir (+1) or that Trevor Howard is the main character (against type, indeed!).

Onderhond:

Kekexili - I have this with an 8 rating, but I don't really remember much about it (saw it back when it first came out) other than it was really dark.
The Living Daylights - Saw this as a kid along with the other Bond films. I can still remember something vivid about almost all of them except this one. So, maybe not a good sign.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#6

Post by sol »

outdoorcats wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:43 pm Yours:

Dawson City: Frozen Time - 8. Like Morrison's shorts, just remember it being really affecting.

I'd seen the title They Made Me a Fugitive before, but didn't know it was a British noir (+1) or that Trevor Howard is the main character (against type, indeed!).
I haven't seen any of Bill Morrison's shorts, and after Dawson City: Frozen Time, I have absolutely no interest in checking them out. DCFT made me angry; Morrison had all of this amazing silent film footage at his disposal, and yet all that he could do it was create a PowerPoint presentation with such lengthy text boxes that is impossible to concentrate on the images. Narrators in documentaries can be a mixed blessing, but if there was any documentary that really needed one it was DCFT. I'm kind of surprised that this one is so highly rated on the 500<400 list. The footage is great, the story of how it was found, preserved and restored is amazing, but Morrison's presentation struck me as downright lousy. END RANT.

Hah. I likewise did not realise that They Made Me a Fugitive was a British noir until I sat down to watch it. Definitely shows that the Brits were able to do noir as effectively as their American contemporaries, and yep, the film is a feather in Trevor Howard's cap for versatility.

Yours:

I didn't love Crónicas as much as you, but I did like it a lot. Interesting to see you list all of those media titles because while the media element is strong, I recall thinking that the project had more in common with The Silence of the Lambs. Yes, Damián Alcázar was great and I loved the mysteriousness of how he knew so much.

I found The Trial of the Chicago 7 on about the same level as Molly's Game, but would probably give the Chastain film my preference because of Chastain. Agreed though that Trial is well acted -- except for Frank Langella. I mean, I suppose he did the best with the terrible way that his character was written but I thought his constantly mixing up of names and so on made for really poor comic relief.

I might watch Monos for the Central American Challenge myself this month. We'll see. I have already lined up a bunch of stuff to watch on Amazon Prime, but there is always room for more...
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 1362
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#7

Post by outdoorcats »

sol wrote: January 10th, 2021, 4:08 pm
outdoorcats wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:43 pm Yours:

Dawson City: Frozen Time - 8. Like Morrison's shorts, just remember it being really affecting.

I'd seen the title They Made Me a Fugitive before, but didn't know it was a British noir (+1) or that Trevor Howard is the main character (against type, indeed!).
I haven't seen any of Bill Morrison's shorts, and after Dawson City: Frozen Time, I have absolutely no interest in checking them out. DCFT made me angry; Morrison had all of this amazing silent film footage at his disposal, and yet all that he could do it was create a PowerPoint presentation with such lengthy text boxes that is impossible to concentrate on the images. Narrators in documentaries can be a mixed blessing, but if there was any documentary that really needed one it was DCFT. I'm kind of surprised that this one is so highly rated on the 500<400 list. The footage is great, the story of how it was found, preserved and restored is amazing, but Morrison's presentation struck me as downright lousy. END RANT.

Hah. I likewise did not realise that They Made Me a Fugitive was a British noir until I sat down to watch it. Definitely shows that the Brits were able to do noir as effectively as their American contemporaries, and yep, the film is a feather in Trevor Howard's cap for versatility.

Yours:

I didn't love Crónicas as much as you, but I did like it a lot. Interesting to see you list all of those media titles because while the media element is strong, I recall thinking that the project had more in common with The Silence of the Lambs. Yes, Damián Alcázar was great and I loved the mysteriousness of how he knew so much.

I found The Trial of the Chicago 7 on about the same level as Molly's Game, but would probably give the Chastain film my preference because of Chastain. Agreed though that Trial is well acted -- except for Frank Langella. I mean, I suppose he did the best with the terrible way that his character was written but I thought his constantly mixing up of names and so on made for really poor comic relief.

I might watch Monos for the Central American Challenge myself this month. We'll see. I have already lined up a bunch of stuff to watch on Amazon Prime, but there is always room for more...
But ultimately, Cronicas isn't about the mystery of
Spoiler
whether he's the killer or not - it's clear from the outset that he is - but about the moral/ethical choices by the protagonists and those choices' devastating consequences (and the lack of accountability all around).
Hence why it's more closely aligned with a film like Ace in the Hole IMO.

I agree that I give the slight edge to Molly's Game between Sorkin's two directorial efforts. It's just slightly better in subtle ways. For example, the emotional conclusion of Molly's Game was the excellent scene between her and Kevin Costner, while Chicago 7 ends with a cliched (and historically inaccurate) typical Hollywood ending that just doesn't hit the mark the way it's supposed to.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 890
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#8

Post by kongs_speech »

21 features and 2 shorts. I'm not operating at the pace I'd like to, but I'm hoping I'll be able to get everything on track by the time Sundance rolls around at the end of the month.

FEATURES

Good Will Hunting (1997, Gus Van Sant) - 5/5 (rewatch)
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020, Patty Jenkins) - 1/5
Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz) - 4/5
Tangerine (2015, Sean Baker) - 2.5/5
Soul (2020, Pete Docter) - 2.5/5
Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese) - 5/5
Scream 4 (2011, Wes Craven) - 4/5
La Ceremonie (1995, Claude Chabrol) - 5/5
Ad Astra (2019, James Gray) - 4/5
After Hours (1985, Martin Scorsese) - 4.5/5 (rewatch)
The Arrangement (1969, Elia Kazan) - 4/5
Baby Doll (1956, Elia Kazan) - 4.5/5
Anchors Aweigh (1945, George Sidney) - 2/5
Best Laid Plans (1999, Mike Barker) - 4.5/5
Blood Simple (1984, Joel Coen) - 4/5
David Copperfield (1935, George Cukor) - 3/5
The Children (2008, Tom Shankland) - 2/5
East of Eden (1955, Elia Kazan) - 4/5
Enemy of the State (1998, Tony Scott) - 4/5
Heaven's Gate (1980, Michael Cimino) - 5/5
Get on Up (2014, Tate Taylor) - 3/5

SHORTS

Burrow (2020, Madeline Sharafian) - 3/5
Wonder (2014, Mirai Mizue) - 4.5/5
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
viktor-vaudevillain
Posts: 519
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#9

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

Great week!

Francesco, giullare di Dio / The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) - 8

Stromboli, terra di dio / Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) - 8+

La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV / The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (Roberto Rossellini, 1966) - 9

Mùa hè chiều thẳng đứng / The Vertical Ray of the Sun (Tran Anh Hung, 2000) - 7+

This World, Then the Fireworks (Michael Oblowitz, 1997) - 6-

Bungalow (Ulrich Köhler, 2002) - 7+

私たちの結婚 / Our Marriage (Masahiro Shinoda, 1962) - 9

投奔怒海 / Boat People (Ann Hui, 1982) - 8


shorts:

Becoming Alluvium (Thảo Nguyên Phan, 2019) - 6

Mor'vran / The Sea of Ravens (Jean Epstein, 1930) - 7+

Pescherecci / Fishing Boats (Vittorio de Seta, 1958) - 8+

Lu tempu di li pisci spata / The Age of Swordfish (Vittorio de Seta, 1955) - 8
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere
User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 3804
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#10

Post by Perception de Ambiguity »

れいわ一揆 / Reiwa Uprising (2019, 原一男/Kazuo Hara) 6+
Image
Spoiler
Image
Image

Image
Image

Una semana solos / A Week Alone (2008, Celina Murga) 6-

Gubben i stugan / The Old Man in the Cottage (1995, Nina Hedenius) 8-
Image

The Naked Edge (1961, Michael Anderson) 6+

Three Ages (1923, Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton) 7

茶の味 / The Taste of Tea /Cha no aji (2004, 石井克人/Katsuhito Ishii]) 7
Image

Soul (2020, Pete Docter & Kemp Powers) 7

教室の子供たち / Children in the Classroom / Kyôshitsu no kodomotachi: gakushû shidô e no michi (1954, 羽仁進/Susumu Hani) 7

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013, Ben Rivers + Ben Russell) (2nd viewing) 7
SWAP: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5271


shorts

directed by Bert Haanstra:
Rembrandt: Painter of Man (1957) 7
Nederlandse Beeldhouwkunst tijdens de late Middeleeuwen / Medieval Dutch Sculpture (1951) 6
God Shiva (1955) 6

directed by Roman Polański:
Le gros et le maigre / The Fat and the Lean (1961) 3
Gdy spadają anioły / When Angels Fall (1959) 4

directed by Wilhelm Freddie & Jørgen Roos:
Spiste horisonter / Eaten Horizons (1950) 5-
Det definitive afslag på anmodningen om et kys / The Final Rejection of the Request for a Kiss (1949) 3-

"Orphans in Space: Forgotten Films from the Final Frontier" DVD:
Image
Meteorites (1947, Pavel Klushantsev) 7-
Chimp Recovery (1961, produced by RCA Service Company) [+ additional footage, 6 min] 5
Project Apollo (1968, Ed Emshwiller for USIA) 7
Galaxies (in 3D) (1974, Lillian Schwartz) 6
Teenage Cosmonauts (1979, Igor Rodachenko) 6
Zenith Star: Experiment in Space (1987, Martin Marietta) 6+
…these blazeing starrs! (2011, Deborah Stratman) 7+

Grace + Gravity (2017, Cynthia Madansky) 4

The Flute of Krishna (1926, Rouben Mamoulian) 6

Fog Pumas (1967, Gunvor Nelson & Dorothy Wiley) 3+

Rock Me Amadeus by Falco Via Kardinal by Otto Muehl (2009, Ben Russell) 5+

Back to the Future: Doc Brown Saves the World (2015, Glenn Sanders & Robert Zemeckis) 2+

Paesaggi e figure / Landscapes and Figures (2002, Franco Piavoli) (1st and 1/2 viewing) 6-


series

The Fabric of the Cosmos - E1 - "What is Space?" (2011, Graham Judd & Sabin Streeter) 7+
Spoiler
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Fawlty Towers - S01E06 - "The Germans " (1975, John Howard Davies) 6


other

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1589 - Dr. Mark Gordon & Andrew Marr (2020) 6+

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1530 - Raghunath Cappo (2015) 6+

partly experienced Rogans: #1588: Lawrence Wright


didn't finish

Wagahai wa neko de aru / I Am a Cat (1975, Kon Ichikawa) [34 min]
Uomo avvisato mezzo ammazzato... Parola di Spirito Santo / His Name Was Holy Ghost / Ein Halleluja für Spirito Santo (1972, Giuliano Carnimeo as Anthony Ascott) [26 min]
Les Diables (2002, Christophe Ruggia) [19+ min]
Musarañas / Shrew's Nest (2014, Juanfer Andrés & Esteban Roel) [11 min]
De zaak M.P. / The M.P. Case (1960, Bert Haanstra) [7 min]


notable online media

top:
Dr. Bruce Lipton Explains How to Reprogram Your Mind
David Lynch - You F***head
Try This Kundalini Exercise To Feel More Present & Protected | Russell Brand


Image
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
kongs_speech
Posts: 890
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#11

Post by kongs_speech »

sol wrote: January 10th, 2021, 12:00 pm
The Holy Mountain

Promising Young Woman
I loved The Holy Mountain, but that was a decade ago and not in the highest quality. I really want the Arrow box set of Jodorowsky.

I should be watching Promising Young Woman on the 18th -- finally! I've been impatiently awaiting this thing for an entire year now. My best friend and another girl who is a close friend of ours are coming over and we're gonna have a film day. Super excited to get to experience it with my buddies, almost like going to the movies.
Onderhond wrote: January 10th, 2021, 12:02 pm
05. 3.5* - Funeral Parade of Roses [Bara no Sôretsu] by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)

17. 2.0* - Secret Sunshine [Milyang] by Chang-dong Lee (2007)

19. 2.0* - Mr. Peabody & Sherman by Rob Minkoff (2014)
I've really got to get around to Funeral Parade of Roses sometime. It has been on my radar for a couple years now. I have an immense admiration for Lee's Poetry, so I'm excited to check out Secret Sunshine when I get around to it. I actually quite like Mr. Peabody & Sherman. I find it much funnier than the average animated film targeted at children and it's surprisingly touching as well. Quality flick that I own and have inexplicably seen a few times. 3.5/5
peeptoad wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:02 pm As for myself I didn't watch much last week or anything that I really feel like discussing, so just leave it at that.
Hello to you and your mouse. :cheers:
outdoorcats wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:43 pm The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin - 2019) 6.5
Haven't seen any of yours this week, but I expect I'll get around to The Trial of the Chicago 7 before the Oscars. It's not one that I'm really looking forward to, admittedly. I'd be surprised if it's as good as the animated documentary Chicago 10.
viktor-vaudevillain wrote: January 10th, 2021, 7:02 pm Great week!
Haven't seen any of these.
Perception de Ambiguity wrote: January 10th, 2021, 7:38 pm
Soul (2020, Pete Docter & Kemp Powers) 7

Les Diables (2002, Christophe Ruggia) [19+ min]
I was rather disappointed by Soul. I'll link my review: https://letterboxd.com/kongs_speech/film/soul-2020/. I won't ever be seeing Les Diables, not knowing how Ruggia abused Adele Haenel. I'll watch virtually anything, but I like her enough that trying to watch that would only infuriate me.
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 621
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#12

Post by prodigalgodson »

Ahh, sorry to be lax on the responses! Life's been stressful lately. Luckily kong's been picking up the slack.

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2020) 4/10

Pretty wack.

Attic (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2011) 7/10

Another profound and profoundly weird late(?)-period micro-short from Rousseau. This one revisits parallels between windows and pictures (and the film screen itself, natch) drawn throughout his oeuvre but maybe most directly addressed in Venise n'existe pas. Old man Jean-Claude wanders into the titular upstairs space to wash his hands and becomes captivated by both a window near the stairs, where he looks down at the street below (invisible to the viewer, blown out in typical dv fashion), and a tapestry of deer in the forest near the sink. The tapestry hangs from the top of the wall, so Rousseau looks up at it in an inverse of the position from which he looks out the window. Are the deer in the tapestry looking down at the man in the video any less real than the digital rendering of that man looking down out of his own (window-)frame?

L’Appel de la foret (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2008) 8/10

Essential Rousseau, and the first single-shot work I've seen from him. A film about framing, in both the most literal and abstract senses. He emerges from the gloom of a hallway and becomes intrigued by an open window off to the left (we can see the light it casts and hear the sounds of traffic from outside but the window itself is offscreen). The rest of the 8-minute piece is mostly him deciding where to place a painting of a deer -- facing the room (and the camera), or on a hallway wall (toward the void, perpendicular and invisible to the camera) -- as he shuttles back and forth, down the darkness of the hall and back past the camera, solemnly musing. There's even a little moment of humor. This guy elucidates how his mind works better than the vast majority of artists I know, and it's a fascinating idea to structure a career around that -- but then that's the appeal of most of my favorite rappers too.

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, 2013) 9/10 - nice rewatch!

Soul (Pete Doctor, 2020) 8/10

Ayy, Pixar did it again! So much better than their recent run of sequels. Being me, I got caught up in the structural elements, especially the gorgeous shifting textures of light as the day progressed and the considered use of the "camera." As with Inside Out, it feels like a particularly timely glimpse at the inner strife of a generation. I would've appreciated a couple more little adventures in NYC and a bit more explicit engagement with the balancing beam of aimlessness and purpose, but I love the fittingly ambiguous note it ends on. Three highlights: the line about hailing a cab, the citified cat and mouse passing each other with pizza, and of course Subterranean Homesick Blues. Look forward to revisiting.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011) 7/10 - liked this more the second time; weird pacing, but that's okay, and almost every frame is immaculate
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#13

Post by sol »

kongs_speech wrote: January 10th, 2021, 8:48 pm I loved The Holy Mountain, but that was a decade ago and not in the highest quality. I really want the Arrow box set of Jodorowsky.

I should be watching Promising Young Woman on the 18th -- finally! I've been impatiently awaiting this thing for an entire year now. My best friend and another girl who is a close friend of ours are coming over and we're gonna have a film day. Super excited to get to experience it with my buddies, almost like going to the movies.
The Holy Mountain looked pretty nice in the version that I watched on Mubi AU, though obviously it is a film that would look even better on high definition Blu-ray. Wow, a decade ago. To think that I went for over 19 years calling myself a cinephile before finally watching it...

I guess I should count myself fortunate for being able to see Promising Young Woman theatrically. It's a great film for sure; I just sat there in tears in my cinema seat when it was over as the end credits rolled.

Oh, and you don't know what you are missing with Les Diables. One of the best films of the decade and the film that first brought Adele Haenel to my attention. Both her and Vincent Rottiers are excellent in it.

Yours:

Seen 14 of viewings this week, of which After Hours is my favourite. It's an all-time top 20 film for me; I really dig these all-night ventures full of eccentric characters (c.f. Into the Night; Keanu's The Night Before etc.) and Joseph Minion is one hell of a great writer; Motorama also really rocks if you want another Minion recommendation. Oh, and Howard Shore's score. Yeah, absolutely love After Hours.

My next favourite though is of course Scream 4. I read your Letterboxd review and almost clicked the 'Like', but I couldn't disagree more about your dismissals of the second and third films. :lol: Eight viewings later and I really love them all. The character progressions across the entire series is just awesome; same goes for all the small doses of humour and of course the mystery element with Craven and Williamson dropping so many subtle clues in each film which only become obvious with repeat viewings.
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: 519
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#14

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

kongs_speech wrote: January 10th, 2021, 6:48 pm 21 features and 2 shorts. I'm not operating at the pace I'd like to, but I'm hoping I'll be able to get everything on track by the time Sundance rolls around at the end of the month.

FEATURES

Good Will Hunting (1997, Gus Van Sant) - 5/5 (rewatch)
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020, Patty Jenkins) - 1/5
Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz) - 4/5
Tangerine (2015, Sean Baker) - 2.5/5
Soul (2020, Pete Docter) - 2.5/5
Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese) - 5/5
Scream 4 (2011, Wes Craven) - 4/5
La Ceremonie (1995, Claude Chabrol) - 5/5
Ad Astra (2019, James Gray) - 4/5
After Hours (1985, Martin Scorsese) - 4.5/5 (rewatch)
The Arrangement (1969, Elia Kazan) - 4/5
Baby Doll (1956, Elia Kazan) - 4.5/5
Anchors Aweigh (1945, George Sidney) - 2/5
Best Laid Plans (1999, Mike Barker) - 4.5/5
Blood Simple (1984, Joel Coen) - 4/5
David Copperfield (1935, George Cukor) - 3/5
The Children (2008, Tom Shankland) - 2/5
East of Eden (1955, Elia Kazan) - 4/5
Enemy of the State (1998, Tony Scott) - 4/5
Heaven's Gate (1980, Michael Cimino) - 5/5
Get on Up (2014, Tate Taylor) - 3/5

SHORTS

Burrow (2020, Madeline Sharafian) - 3/5
Wonder (2014, Mirai Mizue) - 4.5/5
Good Will Hunting - really liked this when i initially watched it as a 14 year old, and started a long relationship with Elliott Smith's music, though his music is a bit too "simple" (I know it is far from it in pure affection) for me now I still have a big tenderness for him. I liked your write-up on LB !
Casablanca - just plain good stuff. Last time I saw was a mignight screening on 35mm at a cinema in Berlin where you could smoke inside, that was the right way to see this.
Tangerine - intense and admirable, but wasn't blown away.
Raging Bull - haven't seen this for many, many years, and I can't remember much - just as prodigalgodson writes in the 1980 year-poll I only remember it being very good...
La Ceremonie - great cinema. Chabrol's the man and Huppert's at the top of her game.
Ad Astra - 7 - admirably classicist cinema. Apocalypse Now in space.
After Hours - 8, but haven't seen for a decade.
Blood Simple - another I mostly remember as being really good, but which I don't anything other about.
East of Eden - 7 also been a long time
Enemy of the State - seen it
Heaven's Gate - one of the few big American films from the 70's and 80's I'm really looking forward to watching (hopefully sometime soon).
not everything is fish, but fish are teeming everywhere
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2486
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#15

Post by peeptoad »

sol wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:25 pm
peeptoad wrote: January 10th, 2021, 2:02 pm As for myself I didn't watch much last week or anything that I really feel like discussing, so just leave it at that. Hope your move ultimately went okay.
Sorry to hear that your film watching hasn't be great lately. :( Mine has honestly been a bit of a mixed bag. The move did generally go okay, I guess. One shelf of one bookshelf was badly damaged, but most of the stuff seems to have come through okay. I still haven't set up most of my house yet though; I have lines and lines and rows and rows of bookcases pressed up one against another. Need to wait until I can get some help to move it around. Not to mention to my 10,000 DVD/Blu collection lying around in bags. Biggest issue was the movers were unable to get my treadmill inside (too wide). I'm going to try to get that sort out tomorrow. No microwave plugged in yet and no TV either (been watching everything online lately with the exception of my cinema visit) but I guess I can't complain. I have a fridge, I have a laptop and that does me okay for now. Fortunately, I was watching over 80% of my films on streaming services before the move, so it's not a big deal to have limited access to my physical collection. But I digress...

Jodorowsky: I was really taken aback by The Holy Mountain. While I didn't totally love it, I was expecting something far more conservative and linear given the film's very high IMDb rating. I am actually surprised that is not more divisive given how controversial some of the depictions are and how juvenile some of the humour is (turning bowel movements into gold). Definitely curious about more Jodorowsky now (Endless Poetry was great too) and El Topo is also currently streaming on Mubi AU, though it's not fantasy so harder to try to accommodate this month.

Jarman: In this case, I knew not to expect a traditional linear film with Jubilee but even so it was a disappointment. The fantasy premise appealed so much to me (what a quirky idea: send a queen forward in time) but the genre content barely applies at all to the film which is far more concerned with punk culture and showing as much copulation as possible on screen. I had a real hard time finishing this one, and it's currently my lowest rated film for 2021.
My film watching has been taking a hit mainly because of other stuff in my life taking up too much time (work and an etc. that I won't go into detail about). I also had insomnia so badly over the last 2 weeks that I was averaging ~2-3 hours sleep/night and sitting down after work to watch anything with my brain not hitting on even half cylinders was difficult. Fortunately I slept about 8 hours last night for the first time in awhile so I feel a little better.
Good to hear the move went relatively smoothly. I've moved countless times and have yet to use an actual moving company, but whenever my next move occurs I will probably have to go that route because I have more "stuff" now than I ever have before. Up until a decade ago every worldly possession I owned would fit into the backseat of a compact car...

Endless Poetry is one of the Jodorowskys I haven't seen, but I will get to it before the grave. I also need to see Dance of Reality (and Tusk- not sure I can find that one). Thought I hadn't seen Rainbow Thief, but it turns out I just don't recall much of it since I saw it so long ago. I need to rewatch that one apparently, but my ranking otherwise is below. J is one of my favs... (l)

Fando y Lis
Santa Sangre
El Topo
The Holy Mountain
La cravate

I don't think I've seen any other Jarman film (Jubilee aside) except for the music videos. The punk element of the aforementioned is actually what mainly drew me in (despite the actual plot being intriguing) and I was still disappointed in it. Not sure what I was anticipating exactly, but I didn't get it from that film.

kongs_speech wrote: January 10th, 2021, 8:48 pm Hello to you and your mouse. :cheers:
:cheers:
Also, you're approximately the 9th person that I have either read or been told that the WW movie is not nearly as good as the first. One person I spoke with griped that there was not enough 80s music in it, among other far more prominent things. I'll see it if it's free somewhere, but I'm not seeking it out now. I really liked the first installment too.

Of your features that I've seen I liked Blood Simple (8+) and Good Will Hunting (8) the best. The main character in GWH I share some affinity and traits with, unfortunately, so I think that enables me to relate more to the film in addition to growing up in the area where it takes place. Essentially, if you remove the jail-juvie time (and I'm female, not male) I kind of had the early experiences of GWH.


prodigalgodson wrote: January 11th, 2021, 3:15 am
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2020) 4/10

Pretty wack.
#10
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#16

Post by Onderhond »

I'm actually kinda interested in the new Wonder Woman now. Didn't like the first one at all, maybe this could be better :P
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2486
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#17

Post by peeptoad »

Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:56 pm I'm actually kinda interested in the new Wonder Woman now. Didn't like the first one at all, maybe this could be better :P
I hope you enjoy, "Contra-hond". :D
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#18

Post by Onderhond »

peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:10 pm
Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:56 pm I'm actually kinda interested in the new Wonder Woman now. Didn't like the first one at all, maybe this could be better :P
I hope you enjoy, "Contra-hond". :D
I wouldn't hold your breath in this case though. I have a pretty low tolerance for overt (80s) nostalgia, I don't like any of the big superhero flicks and Jenkins ... well. But one can hope!
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#19

Post by Onderhond »

@sol:
Pretty much agree with your take on Pop Skull, but since I care way more for the audiovisual experience I really loved this one. I don't think it'll hold up as well on revision compared to the first time I watched it, but there's no chance of this one slipping off my list of favorites.

@outdoorscat:
Haven't seen any of yours. As for Kekexili, not sure what you mean by "dark", as a lot of it is shot outdoors, which makes it quite bright (visually at least). Not the most pleasant film of course (poor people hunting poachers in uninhabitable landscapes), but it never felt overly depressing to me.

@kongs_speech:
Yeah, since you liked Daisies so much I'm guessing this might be a film for you. As for Chang-dong Lee, he's a bit hit & miss so far, but I haven't seen Poetry yet so I don't know how that compares to his other films. From yours: good to see I'm not the only one who was disappointed with Soul.
User avatar
peeptoad
Posts: 2486
Joined: February 4th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#20

Post by peeptoad »

Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:15 pm
peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:10 pm
Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:56 pm I'm actually kinda interested in the new Wonder Woman now. Didn't like the first one at all, maybe this could be better :P
I hope you enjoy, "Contra-hond". :D
I wouldn't hold your breath in this case though. I have a pretty low tolerance for overt (80s) nostalgia, I don't like any of the big superhero flicks and Jenkins ... well. But one can hope!
No holding of breaths, as I haven't the stamina for it right at the mo. We do align on films sometimes, so I'd still be interested on what you have to say if you see it. I'm not big on 80s nostalgia either (more of the 1970s variety usually hits me where it counts)...
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#21

Post by sol »

peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:35 pm My film watching has been taking a hit mainly because of other stuff in my life taking up too much time (work and an etc. that I won't go into detail about). I also had insomnia so badly over the last 2 weeks that I was averaging ~2-3 hours sleep/night and sitting down after work to watch anything with my brain not hitting on even half cylinders was difficult. Fortunately I slept about 8 hours last night for the first time in awhile so I feel a little better.
Good to hear (re: the sleep) and hope everything pans out regarding the "etc". Always here if you need to chat about it...
peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:35 pm Good to hear the move went relatively smoothly. I've moved countless times and have yet to use an actual moving company, but whenever my next move occurs I will probably have to go that route because I have more "stuff" now than I ever have before. Up until a decade ago every worldly possession I owned would fit into the backseat of a compact car...
This is only the second time that I have moved. The first was 10 years when I moved out of my parents' house. At that point, we didn't use a moving company because it was mostly just the stuff in my bedroom and some donated furniture/appliances. It's amazing the amount of stuff I managed to collect in the single decade of living at the other place. Not just DVDs, but furniture (buying more bookcases etc as necessary). There was really no choice but to use a moving company.
peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:35 pm I don't think I've seen any other Jarman film (Jubilee aside) except for the music videos. The punk element of the aforementioned is actually what mainly drew me in (despite the actual plot being intriguing) and I was still disappointed in it. Not sure what I was anticipating exactly, but I didn't get it from that film.
Well, same. The one Jarman film that I saw years ago (In the Shadow of the Sun) didn't do much for me either, but I do recall it being more tolerable than Jubilee.
Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:17 pm @sol:
Pretty much agree with your take on Pop Skull, but since I care way more for the audiovisual experience I really loved this one. I don't think it'll hold up as well on revision compared to the first time I watched it, but there's no chance of this one slipping off my list of favorites.
Yeah, as an audiovisual experience Pop Skull didn't disappoint. It just got a bit repetitive for my liking and I started really zoning out towards the end. I definitely prefer The Guest and You're Next since they combine Wingard's awesome audiovisual aura with an intriguing story. But yeah, that's me with my preference for narrative cinema.

Yours:

I have seen five of your viewings this week, all among your seven lowest rated, of course. ;) My favourite of them is probably The Living Daylights. Yes, Dalton is a grimmer Bond but I really enjoyed that sort of change of pace after the Roger Moore ridiculousness. But I think that has more to do with the very different and diverse things that we each want from a Bond movie. Unfortunately (for you) they are all pretty serious affairs from 1987 onwards with the exception of Die Another Day.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#22

Post by Onderhond »

sol wrote: January 11th, 2021, 3:21 pm I definitely prefer The Guest and You're Next since they combine Wingard's awesome audiovisual aura with an intriguing story. But yeah, that's me with my preference for narrative cinema.
Didn't love The Guest (though it was still okay), You're Next was decent, but nothing special. I also wouldn't know why those films would have a more intriguing stories, but yeah, preferences and all. They sure aren't as visually challenging/distinctive as Pop Skull, which is what disappointed me. The only other Wingard I really liked is A Horrible Way to Die.
sol wrote: January 11th, 2021, 3:21 pm Unfortunately (for you) they are all pretty serious affairs from 1987 onwards with the exception of Die Another Day.
Hhmmm, I actually had some hope to see a smirky Brosnan keep things light. I just watched License to Kill this morning and that really felt like it was time to end that Bond era. I guess we'll see what it gives next week :)
User avatar
Lonewolf2003
Donator
Posts: 10458
Joined: December 29th, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#23

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

This week more kaiju eiga, some other sci-fi and fantasy stuff on Netflix and a movie directed by a Norwegian woman.

Battleship (2012, Peter Berg): 5.8 - It’s a blockbuster based on the board game Battleship in which the fight is against aliens instead of between navies for some reason, so it’s inherently flawed and lazy plotted. But it amuses plenty enough to pass the time. Also cause it is well enough paced, without too much of the unnecessary serious character moments movies like this usually seem they need to have. It delivers on what you can expect; mindless blockbuster action entertainment.

Mosura tai Gojira [Mothra vs. Godzilla] (1964, Ishirô Honda): 6.2 - The story and characters were uninteresting. While those clearly aren't the attraction of these movies and just there to fill the rest of the running time, the fight wasn't as ridiculous fun as last entry to totally make up for this shortcoming. Still the fight between the large lizard and moth was quite amusing. Noticeable is that Godzilla in his last outing as a villain is less a malicious force but more just clumsy mistakenly destroying stuff.

Rim of the World (2019, McG): 6.8 - A movie that's very reminiscent of Super 8 and the tv series Stranger Things in that it is about a group of young teenagers who embark on an adventure with a heavy dose of sci-fi in a movie that's clearly influenced by 80s and sci-fi movies. It's simple and predictable. But the kids have a nice rapport with each other, it's fun and paced well.

San daikaijû: Chikyû saidai no kessen [Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster] (1964, Ishirô Honda): 7.0 - By now Toho has really discovered it's worth throwing some money and effort into this series. This is by far the best in the series (so far) apart from the original. The costumes, miniatures and other effects never looked better. Honda's direction is at its best too in the series. Even the side-story and character were interesting enough to make the movie watchable when the monster weren't on screen, because it is the kind of silly fun fantasy-adventure plot that fits a movie featuring fighting monsters. But most importantly the fight between Rodan and Godzilla is entertaining, and the final fight between Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan vs. Ghidorah is just great fun. Also funny is Mothra trying to convince Godzilla and Rodan to join him in protecting humanity from the three-headed monster.

Oblivion (2013, Joseph Kosinski): 6.5 - It looks very good and Tom Cruise is very solid in this very watchable but ultimately predictable thirteen in a dozen scifi movie.

Kaijû daisenso [Invasion of Astro-Monster] (1965, Ishirô Honda): 6.2 - The ‘Zilla series goes full sci-fi in an entry in which aliens ask the use of Godzilla and Rodan to defend their planet against Ghidorah, but than.... big surprise.... use all three to conquer earth. It’s all very cheesy in the best way. But the plot drags too much to keep the movie engaging all the time. Also because there is too little kajiu action, especially the first fight on Planet X is a bit short, tho the fights still are amusing. The absolute highlight of this is Godzilla’s victory dance.
Spoiler
Image

Land of the Lost (2009, Brad Silberling)
: 3.0 - This is 95% stupid ridiculousness and 5% funny ridiculousness.

Battle: Los Angeles [World Invasion: Battle LA] (2011, Jonathan Liebesman): 7.2 - I found this big sci-fi action movie to be really underrated and misunderstood. Liebesman almost from the get-go clearly states his intent; to make an action movie from the POV of soldiers in the frontline during an alien invasion. It therefor goes almost straight into the action and wastes no time on backstories of either the characters as well as the alien invasion. The former does make that all character do blend together (except for the few recognisable big name stars). The later is a plus, cause the backstory of the whole invasion (and all the illogicalities in it) doesn't matter to these characters and so shouldn't to us viewers. It just succeeds very well in what it sets out to do, conveying this in the thick of it experience of footsoldier through pure visceral and visual entertainment.

Ung Flukt [The Wayward Girl] (1959, Edith Carlmar): 7.8 - Liv Ulmann makes a very splendid debut as the titular character in this last movie of Norway's first women director. She and her lover runaway together to a secluded cabin. Both in style and in how it questions 50s (sexual) morality it's very 50s Bergman-esque, especially Summer with Monika.

Gojira, Ebirâ, Mosura: Nankai no daiketto [Ebirah, Horror of the Deep] (1966, Jun Fukuda): 6.5 - The first entry not directing by Honda in the series, but the enjoyability of this doesn't suffer from it. The family friendly adventure making up the backstory is well paced. And when that does get in a lump the movie knows how to inject some momentum by having some kajiu action. The highlight of this is Godzilla's battle with the titular Ebirah, including some funny beach volleyball with rocks and an impressive under water fight. Godzilla by now completed his transformation from menacing monster to sympathetic creature with humanlike behavior. The music lets us know we have arrived fully into the sixties.

Gods of Egypt (2016, Alex Proyas): 2.5 -So the story of this is pure bullshit... so I tried to shut off my brain and just enjoy this as a modern epic fantasy spectacle. But also as that it still was absolute garbage. The most remarkable thing is how much fun Gerard Butler seems to have while chewing the scenery in this dud.

Kaijûtô no kessen: Gojira no musuko [Son of Godzilla] (1967, Jun Fukuda): 6.0 - With this the series completely entered the realm of comical family friendly movies, but as light entertainment it still amuses. The Son of Godzilla, aka Minilla, looks horrible, but his interactions with his dad give the movie some of the best and funniest moments. The backstory doesn't amount to much but doesn't bother either. The biggest letdown here are the battles. Godzilla (and son) fight some huge mantises and a giant spider, while amusing it does feels like watching Tyson fight a featherweight amateur. The final image of son and dad covered in snow is surprisingly touching.
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 1362
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#24

Post by outdoorcats »

Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:17 pm
@outdoorscat:
Haven't seen any of yours. As for Kekexili, not sure what you mean by "dark", as a lot of it is shot outdoors, which makes it quite bright (visually at least). Not the most pleasant film of course (poor people hunting poachers in uninhabitable landscapes), but it never felt overly depressing to me.
Not sure if "outdoor scat" was intentional, but it made me laugh out loud, so thanks for that. :D I meant emotionally dark, as in grim. Don't remember why, that's just what I remember about it.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#25

Post by Onderhond »

outdoorcats wrote: January 11th, 2021, 8:51 pm Not sure if "outdoor scat" was intentional, but it made me laugh out loud, so thanks for that.
Hah! Hate it when that happens, so even though you had a good laugh, sorry for that!
And yeah, the setting is definitely grim (lots of barren plains and mountains, rough weather, little in the way of civilization). But since it wasn't as overly dramatic as similar Chinese films, it didn't really stick out for me.
User avatar
Coryn
Posts: 1295
Joined: December 5th, 2018, 2:53 pm
Contact:

#26

Post by Coryn »

8 = Very Good
7= Good
6 = Okay
5 = Bad

8
* Körkarlen (1921)
The special effects in this movie were perplexing and the story itself had enough complexity to keep me more than enjoying this film for the full length.
This one set the bar incredibly high for the silents I want to watch on one hand and makes me incredibly excited to explore the genre itself on the other. The only silent I currently rate higher is La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928). I will be starting off with exploring D.W. Griffith next month and work my way up the years.


7
* The Fifth Element (1997)
This one got close to an 8 for a while, Absolutely enjoyed it and Chris Tucker was hilarious as Ruby Rhod. Reason why it's not getting an 8 is because that's reserved for my top 5-10% movies.
* Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
* 28 Days Later... (2002)
* The Blob (1958)
I'm really starting to appreciate these B-movies and went and bought myself a book about their posters. Looking forward to see more.
* Mary Poppins (1964)
* Total Recall (1990)
How did an action movie get a 7 from me ? Might actually be one of my favorite action movies I've seen. Good fun.
* Field of Dreams (1989)
Cheesy but the good kind of cheese.
* Cesta do praveku (1955)
* Elf (2003)

6
* Thor (2011)
My favorite Marvel out of the 4 or 5 I have seen but they leave me indifferent in the end. Just working up on them so I can see The Avengers.
* Enter the Void (2009)
Closer to a 7 for sure, simply went on for too long, would've worked better as a 90 minute film.
* Kaijû sôshingeki (1968)
* Iron Man 2 (2010)
* Yeelen (1987)
* Russkiy kovcheg (2002)

5
* Ugetsu monogatari (1953)
I really want to like classical Japanese cinema but it's becoming quite clear it's nothing for me. While I could enjoy Seven Samurai when I first saw it a few years ago as it was something new and I understood why it was seen as a masterpiece, right now I am trying to at least fulfill all the classics and they do nothing to me. The acting is bothering me too much to enjoy these types of films.
I saved Latin, what did you ever do ?
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 890
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#27

Post by kongs_speech »

sol wrote: January 11th, 2021, 5:33 am Oh, and you don't know what you are missing with Les Diables. One of the best films of the decade and the film that first brought Adele Haenel to my attention. Both her and Vincent Rottiers are excellent in it.

Yours:

Seen 14 of viewings this week, of which After Hours is my favourite. It's an all-time top 20 film for me; I really dig these all-night ventures full of eccentric characters (c.f. Into the Night; Keanu's The Night Before etc.) and Joseph Minion is one hell of a great writer; Motorama also really rocks if you want another Minion recommendation. Oh, and Howard Shore's score. Yeah, absolutely love After Hours.

My next favourite though is of course Scream 4. I read your Letterboxd review and almost clicked the 'Like', but I couldn't disagree more about your dismissals of the second and third films. :lol: Eight viewings later and I really love them all. The character progressions across the entire series is just awesome; same goes for all the small doses of humour and of course the mystery element with Craven and Williamson dropping so many subtle clues in each film which only become obvious with repeat viewings.
That's interesting about Les Diables. With that recommendation, maybe I'd watch it if I just happened to stumble upon it, but it's not something I'd ever seek out.

Oh wow, I had no idea Minion wrote Motorama. I've owned that for over a decade and it's still sealed.

I'm still shocked how much I enjoyed Scream 4. Very glad I decided to give it a chance.
viktor-vaudevillain wrote: January 11th, 2021, 12:36 pm
Good Will Hunting - really liked this when i initially watched it as a 14 year old, and started a long relationship with Elliott Smith's music, though his music is a bit too "simple" (I know it is far from it in pure affection) for me now I still have a big tenderness for him. I liked your write-up on LB !
Casablanca - just plain good stuff. Last time I saw was a mignight screening on 35mm at a cinema in Berlin where you could smoke inside, that was the right way to see this.
Tangerine - intense and admirable, but wasn't blown away.
Raging Bull - haven't seen this for many, many years, and I can't remember much - just as prodigalgodson writes in the 1980 year-poll I only remember it being very good...
La Ceremonie - great cinema. Chabrol's the man and Huppert's at the top of her game.
Ad Astra - 7 - admirably classicist cinema. Apocalypse Now in space.
After Hours - 8, but haven't seen for a decade.
Blood Simple - another I mostly remember as being really good, but which I don't anything other about.
East of Eden - 7 also been a long time
Enemy of the State - seen it
Heaven's Gate - one of the few big American films from the 70's and 80's I'm really looking forward to watching (hopefully sometime soon).
Thanks for the positive feedback on my Good Will Hunting review! I'm not the greatest writer or anything, but I love using Letterboxd as a way to jot my thoughts down. It's good practice and it helps me better remember the films I've seen, especially the ones that would otherwise be pretty forgettable. I regret that I wasn't doing it until September of last year.

Heaven's Gate continues to stun me even more as I think about it. When Criterion does their March flash sale, I'll have to snag a copy. Right now, I think I'd place it in my all-time top 10, which unfortunately knocks Gold Diggers of 1933 out.
peeptoad wrote: January 11th, 2021, 1:35 pm :cheers:
Also, you're approximately the 9th person that I have either read or been told that the WW movie is not nearly as good as the first. One person I spoke with griped that there was not enough 80s music in it, among other far more prominent things. I'll see it if it's free somewhere, but I'm not seeking it out now. I really liked the first installment too.

Of your features that I've seen I liked Blood Simple (8+) and Good Will Hunting (8) the best. The main character in GWH I share some affinity and traits with, unfortunately, so I think that enables me to relate more to the film in addition to growing up in the area where it takes place. Essentially, if you remove the jail-juvie time (and I'm female, not male) I kind of had the early experiences of GWH.
The soundtrack is one of many, many disappointing things about Wonder Woman 1984. I loved the first two-thirds of Jenkins' previous Wonder Woman but felt that it fell apart in the third act. I honestly thought the sequel would be better. Instead, it's right down there with Superman Returns as one of the worst comic book movies I've ever seen.

That's interesting about Good Will Hunting! I actually don't have too much in common with Will, but I find that I can relate to the aspects of the film that are more universal. Mostly, I'm blown away by how insightful and empathetic it is. If there were ever a perfect film to use Elliott Smith music, it's that one. I hugely admire Gus Van Sant as a director. Even The Sea of Trees, which nearly everyone hates, is a film that I found to be excellent.
Onderhond wrote: January 11th, 2021, 2:17 pm @kongs_speech:
Yeah, since you liked Daisies so much I'm guessing this might be a film for you. As for Chang-dong Lee, he's a bit hit & miss so far, but I haven't seen Poetry yet so I don't know how that compares to his other films. From yours: good to see I'm not the only one who was disappointed with Soul.
I found a way to see Go, Go, Second Time Virgin. It isn't a long film, so I hope to knock it out this week. Very excited for it.
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
kongs_speech
Posts: 890
Joined: April 4th, 2020, 10:32 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

#28

Post by kongs_speech »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: January 11th, 2021, 6:58 pm Land of the Lost (2009, Brad Silberling)[/b]: 3.0 - This is 95% stupid ridiculousness and 5% funny ridiculousness.

Battle: Los Angeles [World Invasion: Battle LA] (2011, Jonathan Liebesman): 7.2 - I found this big sci-fi action movie to be really underrated and misunderstood. Liebesman almost from the get-go clearly states his intent; to make an action movie from the POV of soldiers in the frontline during an alien invasion. It therefor goes almost straight into the action and wastes no time on backstories of either the characters as well as the alien invasion. The former does make that all character do blend together (except for the few recognisable big name stars). The later is a plus, cause the backstory of the whole invasion (and all the illogicalities in it) doesn't matter to these characters and so shouldn't to us viewers. It just succeeds very well in what it sets out to do, conveying this in the thick of it experience of footsoldier through pure visceral and visual entertainment.
Oh man, I hated Land of the Lost so much. When Will Ferrell is on his game, he's as funny as anyone can be. When he isn't, which has been for the majority of his post-Step Brothers career, he can be unwatchable.

Battle: Los Angeles might be worth a revisit if I happened to run into it on a streaming service. You've made it sound cool. I recall disliking it a lot upon release, but I was unbearably snobby at the time and have since developed an immense fondness for action cinema.
outdoorcats wrote: January 11th, 2021, 8:51 pm "outdoor scat"
That is most assuredly someone's fetish.
Coryn wrote: January 12th, 2021, 9:31 am 8
* Körkarlen (1921)

7
* The Fifth Element (1997)
* 28 Days Later... (2002)
* Mary Poppins (1964)
* Total Recall (1990)
* Elf (2003)

6
* Thor (2011)
* Enter the Void (2009)
* Yeelen (1987)
* Russkiy kovcheg (2002)
The Phantom Carriage - 4/5; stunning visuals for its time and still a beautiful film exactly 100 years later

The Fifth Element - I don't know that I have this checked or rated. I really liked it when I was in middle school, but that was over half my life ago and I do not trust any of my opinions from those days. It merits a rewatch, certainly.

28 Days Later - 4/5; one of my favorite zombie films

Mary Poppins - 3.5/5; quite pleasant and infinitely more enjoyable than the rancid Sound of Music.

Total Recall - 4/5; a Verhoeven action classic. I just got the 4K steelbook and hope to revisit for the first time in over a decade. Despite not having seen it in so long, I remember it in detail, which is perhaps the mark of a great film.

Elf - 3.5/5; totally charming but after dozens of viewings in my life, I never need to see it again. I will, however, never tire of blonde Zooey Deschanel singing "Baby It's Cold Outside."

Thor - 3.5/5; not an MCU person really, so this pleasantly surprised me by being more fun than most of them. Having said that, Taika Watiti's Thor: Ragnarok (4/5) is better and one of the only films in that franchise that I'd consider calling great.

Enter the Void - 4/5; I don't trust my score here it all. It's going only on a viewing from 10 years ago. I've since become a huge Noe fan and I adore even his most maligned film, Love, so I'm confident that I've rated this too low.

Yeelen - I remember that I didn't like this. Otherwise, I don't recall a thing in the world about it. Wish I had been writing reviews a couple years ago when I saw it.

Russian Ark - 4/5; it's a gimmmick, but one that really worked for me. If I were more well-versed in Russian history, I bet it would really blow my mind, but I still had a blast.
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
Image
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#29

Post by Onderhond »

kongs_speech wrote: January 12th, 2021, 5:47 pm I found a way to see Go, Go, Second Time Virgin. It isn't a long film, so I hope to knock it out this week. Very excited for it.
Don't think I'll get around to rewatching it this year, but looking forward to see what you think of it :)
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 621
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#30

Post by prodigalgodson »

sol
They Made Me a Fugitive - thanks for the rec! I love carousel-of-nefarious-characters type noir
Buchanan Rides Alone 9 - underrated Boetticher, one of the most unique westerns ever
The Holy Mountain 6 - a bit scattered for me (I think "elusive" is giving the "symbolism" too much credit haha), but remember liking the ending a lot; wouldn't mind revisiting some Jodorowsky soon actually
Dawson City: Frozen Time - *successfully steered away*
Promising Young Woman - oh yeah, remember being intrigued by trailers for this; thanks for the reminder and endorsement

hond
Funeral Parade of Roses 7 - agree it's a bit too uneven, but I also liked it a lot
The Living Daylights 6 - don't recall this well, though I'm sure another rewatch would jog my memory; definitely more serious and gritty than the Moore stuff (despite a dark opening and one of the most cop-drama-y villains, License to Kill has some pretty goofy stuff tho)
The Narrow Margin 6 - love me a train setting, but this wasn't anything to write home about
Force of Evil 7 - pretty impressed by this, especially the cinematography; also while I love pulp I don't mind more conscious noirs and I can't say that "juicy, self-aware fun" is generally what draws me to the drama
Bleu Shut - been meaning to see this for years, your post made me check if it'd been uploaded to YouTube, so thanks haha

odc
Seen none, but thanks for the recs on Cronicas and Monos!

ks
WW84 4 - not good, but not thaat bad either imo
Casablanca 9 - one of the first films that got me into classic film
Soul 8 - great stuff
Raging Bull 8 - don't remember it well enough to give it a higher score, but again remember it was Very Good
Ad Astra 7 - should've been a favorite, but lacked that extra oomph
After Hours 9 - one of the first Scorseses I saw and I was floored
Baby Doll 8 - nice, way underrated
Blood Simple 7 - awesome debut, but I prefer A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop
East of Eden 8 - the first Kazan film I really liked
Heaven's Gate 8 - one of the best mixed bags out there, cool one to see on film too

vv
The Flowers of St. Francis 6 - one of my first Rosselinis, wonder if I'd appreciate it more now
Stromboli 9 - yup, one of his best, and maybe his most aesthetic
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 10 - now this is my kind of fuckin movie!
This World, Then the Fireworks 6 - glad to see someone else not gaga about this
Our Marriage - thanks for the rec, have loved everything I've seen from Shinoda so far
Boat People - oh yeah, would like to see this, glad to see a positive reception for once
Mor'vran 7 - saw this in a program I only went to cuz Le tempestaire was screening too, and liked it but don't remember much

pda
Reiwa Uprising - I'm digging those inspirational quotes wkkwkk
The Old Man in the Cottage 7 - thanks mane
The Taste of Tea - "It's more cool than weird, and it stays in your head" -- aspirational, though more weird than cool is okay too
Soul 8 - somehow the idea of you watching this cracks me up, glad you enjoyed

cor
The Fifth Element 4 - have to disagree on Tucker and, like, in general
28 Days Later 9 - one of the first great digital films, captures a nightmarish milieu so damn well; one of the first horror movies I really dug
Total Recall 7 - agree it's good fun, and not even nearly Verhoeven's best action movie
Elf 4 - one of the highlights of a socially distanced holiday season is I don't have to be at someone's house pretending to enjoy watching this...lol, not that bad tho
Thor 4 - pretty weak imo but love Ragnarok
Enter the Void 7 - kinda corny but certainly aesthetically impressive
Iron Man 2 4 - another one of the weaker Marvel flicks
Yeelen 8 - gorgeous filmmaking, just wish it had gone on for longer in the middle
Russian Ark 7 - enjoyed this, I think mostly cuz I love museum spaces
Ugetsu 9 - you trippin, the shot of that tree alone should put this above a 5
User avatar
sol
Donator
Posts: 10446
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Contact:

#31

Post by sol »

prodigalgodson wrote: January 14th, 2021, 10:18 am sol
They Made Me a Fugitive - thanks for the rec! I love carousel-of-nefarious-characters type noir
Buchanan Rides Alone 9 - underrated Boetticher, one of the most unique westerns ever
The Holy Mountain 6 - a bit scattered for me (I think "elusive" is giving the "symbolism" too much credit haha), but remember liking the ending a lot; wouldn't mind revisiting some Jodorowsky soon actually
Dawson City: Frozen Time - *successfully steered away*
Promising Young Woman - oh yeah, remember being intrigued by trailers for this; thanks for the reminder and endorsement
Yeah, the more I think about Buchanan Rides Alone, the more I think that it is probably my favourite from him. Definitely unique for sure, and I cannot ever recall being as impressed by Randolph Scott as I was with the film.

Yeah, the ending of The Holy Mountain is what really sold the film to me. Definitely a lot of weird seeming randomness before it though, and I still don't know what to make of the symbolism of human excrement being alchemically turned into gold.

Dawson City: Frozen Time might appeal to you if you like seeing silent film footage. Cinematically it is a bore though and pretty much the antithesis of how to make a compelling documentary.

The trailers for Promising Young Women gave me really high expectations - and the actual film exceeded them. I don't expect that I will see a better 2020 film any time soon.

Yours:

Seen none. I dislike superhero movies so I haven't even seen the first Wonder Woman. I guess I will eventually see Soul. Not seen Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish original did little for me and I recall complaining about the pacing there, so it does not sound like the Fincher version fixes anything. I'm a fan of Fincher, Mara and Craig so maybe I'll see it some day, but it is no high priority.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
Image Image Image
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 5758
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#32

Post by Onderhond »

prodigalgodson wrote: January 14th, 2021, 10:18 am hond
Funeral Parade of Roses 7 - agree it's a bit too uneven, but I also liked it a lot
The Living Daylights 6 - don't recall this well, though I'm sure another rewatch would jog my memory; definitely more serious and gritty than the Moore stuff (despite a dark opening and one of the most cop-drama-y villains, License to Kill has some pretty goofy stuff tho)
The Narrow Margin 6 - love me a train setting, but this wasn't anything to write home about
Force of Evil 7 - pretty impressed by this, especially the cinematography; also while I love pulp I don't mind more conscious noirs and I can't say that "juicy, self-aware fun" is generally what draws me to the drama
Bleu Shut - been meaning to see this for years, your post made me check if it'd been uploaded to YouTube, so thanks haha
I watched License to Kill this Monday (it has become somewhat of a routine to start to week with Bond) and didn't like it either. I understand they took a 5 year hiatus after that film, because it just felt stale and milked dry.

As for Force of Evil, it's what "draws" me to the genre (though I haven't found classic noirs I really love, just a few I don't mind as much). Of course it'll be different for others, but the "dark" part of the genre doesn't seem to work for me very well.

And good luck with Bleu Shut :D

I've only seen Soul from yours, but you seem to be a much bigger Pixar fan than I am, so I'm not really surprised you liked it :)
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 621
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#33

Post by prodigalgodson »

sol wrote: January 14th, 2021, 2:23 pm Yeah, the more I think about Buchanan Rides Alone, the more I think that it is probably my favourite from him. Definitely unique for sure, and I cannot ever recall being as impressed by Randolph Scott as I was with the film.

Yeah, the ending of The Holy Mountain is what really sold the film to me. Definitely a lot of weird seeming randomness before it though, and I still don't know what to make of the symbolism of human excrement being alchemically turned into gold.

Dawson City: Frozen Time might appeal to you if you like seeing silent film footage. Cinematically it is a bore though and pretty much the antithesis of how to make a compelling documentary.

The trailers for Promising Young Women gave me really high expectations - and the actual film exceeded them. I don't expect that I will see a better 2020 film any time soon.

Yours:

Seen none. I dislike superhero movies so I haven't even seen the first Wonder Woman. I guess I will eventually see Soul. Not seen Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish original did little for me and I recall complaining about the pacing there, so it does not sound like the Fincher version fixes anything. I'm a fan of Fincher, Mara and Craig so maybe I'll see it some day, but it is no high priority.
Buchanan - it might be my favorite too come to think of it; and yeah, of his Boetticher flicks I don't think Scott had any that required as much from him as an actor
The Holy Mountain - I never put too much stock in Jodorowsky's symbolism in any concrete way; stuff like shit turning into gold has an abstract resonance for sure, but it's too broad for me to try to parse any specific meaning
Dawson City - I do like silent film footage and old film stocks, but your description makes it sound like this is in a no-man's-land between the kind of experimental doc that would appeal to me and a more conventional one that wouldn't, not really pleasing fans of either, which is something I've encountered with Morrison before
PYW - nice!; I'll make it a priority, seems like my gf would like it too
User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 621
Joined: July 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#34

Post by prodigalgodson »

Onderhond wrote: January 14th, 2021, 2:43 pm As for Force of Evil, it's what "draws" me to the genre (though I haven't found classic noirs I really love, just a few I don't mind as much). Of course it'll be different for others, but the "dark" part of the genre doesn't seem to work for me very well.

And good luck with Bleu Shut :D

I've only seen Soul from yours, but you seem to be a much bigger Pixar fan than I am, so I'm not really surprised you liked it :)
Between the studio dressings, that Hollywood acting, the Hayes Code limitations, and how baked into film culture the genre's become I can understand that it would be hard to enjoy noir, like, unironically. I found once I'd gotten in the swing of the style though (I went through a lot of them for a few years there), I was able to really lose myself in them and feel the soul under the artifice . I love some of the more fun, self-aware ones myself (you might actually enjoy His Kind of Woman). But many of the darker-themed ones do legit hit pretty hard for me too.

Thanks haha. I enjoyed The Great Blondino from Nelson a lot.

I do tend to like Pixar a lot, and I love jazz. I meant to say though, I think you're right about when it veered off into the typical kids fantasy stuff, that was easily the worst part of the film for me and I was annoyed how ill-defined the rules of after/pre-life thing were.
Post Reply