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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 33, 2020

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sol
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Which Films Did You See Last Week? Week 33, 2020

#1

Post by sol » August 16th, 2020, 12:00 pm

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

Operation Diplomat (1953). Called to operate on an unconscious man at mysterious location in the middle of the night, a well-meaning surgeon finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy and framed for murder in this British noir. The finer plot details (who the mysterious organisation are and their motives) are hazy, but the basic set-up is great with John Guillermin mounting a very paranoia-ridden tale in what was one of his first directing outings. There are several great sequences throughout, most notably a woman repeatedly shot as she descends a large winding staircase. Some of the camera angles are divine too with the protagonist collapsing right into the camera when drugged and lots of unusual and unsettling high angles, even indoors. The performances and characters are only ever adequate, but as an exercise in style and mood this certainly works. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Adventure in the Hopfields (1954). Wracked with guilt after carelessly breaking an ornament that her mother just had fixed, a young girl has various adventures as she tries to earn the money to replace it this quaint British film. It is a rather low stakes affair with little urgency and the girl never seeming in much real danger; the stakes are upped though towards the end in a riveting scene that foreshadows one of director John Guillermin's films to come. Whatever the case, the film is very captivating thanks to the stellar performance by Mandy Miller, one of the best child actresses of her time. Her complex emotions (missing her parents but reluctant to return home without a replacement ornament) come across well and her dedication to the ornament even with her life in peril speaks to the ease of placing too much importance on something when one is younger. (first viewing, online) ★★★

First Spaceship on Venus (1960). As per the title, this East German movie looks at the first manned spacecraft sent to Venus with the crew tasked with investigating the origins of a rock that had been determined as originating from there. Filmed in Afgacolor with strong greens and blues, the film looks great and the set are magnificent - both on Venus and inside the spaceship itself. The story though is unfortunately a bit of a slog to get. There is far more time spent on them travelling to Venus than actually on the planet, and the travelling scenes are so dialogue-heavy that the film never builds up much in the way of mood or atmosphere. With ethnically diverse characters (and cast) and occasional bits of nifty technology, this sometimes feels really ahead of its time, but it also never quite comes with a real sense of wonder or awe at what a new planet could bring. (first viewing, online) ★

Waltz of the Toreadors (1962). Recently retired with increased free time, a British general revisits fond memories as he tries to tell his wife that he plans to leave her for his mistress in this Peter Sellers comedy. Directed by John Guillermin, who coaxed an amazing against-type performance from Sellers in Never Let Go only two years earlier, this disappoints. Sellers spends most of his screen time under old-age makeup but is otherwise his usual self, and co-star John Fraser (who has several scenes sans Sellers) is just bland. Most underwhelming though is just how unfunny the film is with Sellers mocking his daughters and both Sellers and Fraser acting insensitively to various women. The film has a dramatic streak too though, and the final quarter of the movie is solid as tension between Sellers and his wife finally surfaces, but it is a bit too little too late. (first viewing, DVD) ★

The Treasure of the Silver Lake (1962). Set in the American Old West but filmed entirely in Yugoslavia and Germany, this odd little film involves a half of a stolen treasure map that falls into nefarious hands with the antagonists resorting to everything from intimidation to kidnapping as they attempt to gain the other half. This was the biggest ever box office success in West Germany at the time and spurned a number of sequels, but other than the novelty of being a German western, the film does not have a whole lot going for it. There are some suspenseful moments as various characters try to escape being tied up and a butterfly collector is sent in to distract the bad guys, but the story is a fairly average tale of greed and well-meaning folks banding together. The comic relief is also pretty so-so with some particularly irksome rhyming dialogue in the mix. (first viewing, online) ★★

I Love You, I Kill You (1971). Bored with life in a small village that only exists so its residents can maintain a nearby game preserve, a newly appointed teacher tries to challenge the status quo in this obscure German drama. Apparently intended as some sort of political allegory, any such depth is cut short by the scarce details about who uses the game preserve and how happy its residents are with the arrangement. The film is endlessly intriguing though due to its offbeat set-up, even feeling precursory to The Wicker Man at times with outsider alarmed at the mindless complacency of local children and deterred by bizarre local customs. The sparse dialogue (there is none in the first five minutes) is very interesting too, but does also lead the whole thing feeling long and drawn out. Whatever the case, the ending at least packs a bit of punch. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971). Driving through a town whose kids have begun to vanish and whose parents are turning up dead, a vacationing family is unwittingly drawn into the mystery when their car breaks down in this atmospheric low budget horror film. The film has copped some criticism over the years from being too leisurely paced, but the deliberate pacing is one of its best assets with the tale really riding on the mystery of what is going on, why the townsfolk and children are acting so strangely, and why the older citizens do not seem worried at all. The answer/solution is a little underwhelming and it never seems credible how the adults suddenly work out exactly what is going on in the final quarter, but striking images throughout keep this chugging along, with mist, angular camerawork and rapid fire edits used to particularly good effect. (first viewing, online) ★★★

The Vampire Happening (1971). Unaware that her grandmother is both a vampire and her splitting image, mistaken identity troubles brew for a young woman when she moves into her grandmother's castle in this horror-comedy. The film seems to often get compared to The Fearless Vampire Killers!, but the movie lacks protagonists as kooky and engaging as Roman Polanski and Jack MacGowran. In fact, there is not really any single character to follow around and get to know as the film bounces between an array of characters, from other vampires, to boyfriends, to voyeuristic men of the cloth. The gags are generally lame too (a drink called "Rosemary's Baby's Blood"; waving bananas while discussing intercourse) but there certainly some hits among the misses. The film has some decent sets and costumes too - and a memorable Dracula cameo. (first viewing, online) ★

Mark of the Devil Part II (1973). Reggie Nalder returns as a sadistic witch-finder in this otherwise unrelated sequel that offers more of the same, detailing horrendous abuses of power and torture methods in witch-trial times. Nalder is once again a chilling presence, but the forms of torture are mild compared to the original. While a lack of focus on moral outrage makes this less preachy than Part One, it also sometimes makes it feel like an endless catalogue of torture as opposed to the bitter condemnation of witch-hunting that the original film is. The focus on children as indirect victims this time round is interesting though. There is also a raped nun angle that has potential, but the film never quite capitalises on the evils of a society prepared to punish her for another's misdeed against her. If never dull, this does nevertheless stand in the original's shadow. (first viewing, online) ★★

A Little Night Music (1977). Unable to consummate his marriage, a frustrated man seeks a romantic tryst with an old lover, which grows complicated as other sexually frustrated men and women enter the picture in this comedy that won an Oscar for music in its day. Based on a successful Broadway musical, the film does indeed boast some excellent songs (from Stephen Sondheim). Hermione Gingold is also solid reprising her stage role in the production. The other performances though vary in effectiveness and none of the characters are especially likeable or fun to follow around. The melodramatic way that the adult characters keep jumping between potential lovers soon grows tiresome, while a well-cast Chloe Franks as a neglected daughter torn between her mother and dismissive grandmother feels like she should have had a lot more screen time. (first viewing, online) ★

Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978). Directed by Barbet Schroeder, this documentary looks at a gorilla taught to communicate in sign language and understand English. It is a fascinating topic, and as the gorilla makes such leaps as recognising her own reflection and interpreting line drawings, the project makes one wonder how much she really understood and how much animals in general understand of the world. Several intriguing ethical questions also arise though and the documentary sits a little too neutral regarding issues such as whether it is right to force an animal to act human and whether it will hinder her having relationships with her own kind. Still, it is very curious to see the gorilla both acting like and treated like a young child with some haunting shots as Schroeder lingers on Koko's eyes in close-up as her trainer repeatedly calls her bad for stealing. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979). His hands crippled by a cruel gangster, a former kung fu master finds a willing pupil, leading to gradual revenge in this martial arts comedy. The plot is fairly by the numbers and there are far too many dialogue-heavy scenes without kung fu fighting that drag, but the fight choreography is pretty magnificent. Quite true to the name of their kung fu style, the pair look like hyperactive monkeys as they back-flip and somersault through the air, jumping out of nets and onto others' shoulders. There is an especially well done sequence in which the pupil escapes capture with an entire tabletop around his neck. Nothing here is as good as the choreography though (except maybe the bloodied hands effects) and while it is refreshing to find a kung fu film more focused on acrobatics than hand-to-hand combat, it all feels a little bit routine. (first viewing, online) ★★

Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989). Living on the fringes of society proves challenging for various Brooklyn residents in this movie set during the conservative 1950s. The film boasts some exceptional performances and memorable characters from a cross-dressing youngster, to a closeted older man, to an easily irate, overprotective father to a prostitute involved in a racket in which she and her friends rob her clients. The movie nevertheless frequently feels uneven as it jumps between its various plot threads, all of which only ever overlap on occasion. Burt Young's subplot is also rather weirdly comical compared to the rest. Certainly, some of the insight into union culture and the difficulties of being different here resonate, but there is never really enough time spent with any of the characters to get to know them as individuals as the story keeps jumping around. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

The Million Dollar Hotel (2000). Pressured to investigate the death of a young man who fell from the roof of a fleapit hotel, a jaded detective becomes convinced that the death was suicide after mixing with the hotel's residents in this odd little film. While this might sound like a neo-noir from the outset, the quirky characters who populate the hotel turn it into something more; from a John Lennon lookalike convinced that he wrote every Beatles song to lovesick man with mental issues, the social misfits residents form a warm surrogate family with the film equally about them sticking together as the investigation at hand. Too much time is dedicated to a romance between two of the residents - though this has a definite impact on the movie's overall outcome. The film actually takes several curious turns towards the end that cause it to linger long in the mind. (first viewing, online) ★★★
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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Perception de Ambiguity
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 16th, 2020, 12:01 pm

Méditerranée 1963 jean-daniel pollet. 8+

Le Maître du temps 1971 jean-daniel pollet. 6

She Dies Tomorrow 2020 amy seimetz. 6-

سیب / The Apple 1998 سمیرا مخملباف/samira makhmalbaf. 5+

Nightflyers 1987 robert collector. 7

Lycan Colony 2006 rob roy. (with rifftrax) 7+

Before Sunrise 1995 richard linklater. (3rd+ viewing) 9
SpoilerShow
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Before Sunset 2004 richard linklater. (2nd+ viewing) 9

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion: Bonus Selections 2002 tom piozet. 8+
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shorts

Bassae 1964 jean-daniel pollet. 7+

Signal 8 2019 simon liu 7-

Phantom fremdes Wien / Phantom Foreign Vienna 2004 lisl ponger. 2+

It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House 1965 friz freleng & hawley pratt. (rewatch) 2


series

Discovering Buddhism - Module 7 - "Refuge in the Three Jewels" 2004 christina lundberg. 7

Dave - S01E05 - "Hype Man" 2020. 5

South Park - S22E03 - "The Problem with a Poo" 2018 (rewatch)
South Park - S22E04 - "Tegridy Farms" 2018 (rewatch)


other

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1016 - Whitney Cummings 2017. 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1516 - Post Malone 2020. 7

The Joe Rogan Experience - #1343 - Penn Jillette 2019. 6

The Joe Rogan Experience - #606 - Randall Carlson 2015. 8

Home Movies from Hobbs End


didn't finish

グーグーだって猫である / Gou Gou, the Cat / Cher Gou-Gou... mon petit chat, mon petit ami / Gou-Gou datte neko de aru 2008 Isshin Inudô [33 min]
Nazareno Cruz y el Lobo / Nazarene Cross and the Wolf 1975 leonardo favio [18 min]
The Thirteenth Floor 1999 josef rusnak (would-be rewatch) [31 min]


notable online media

top:
[60 fps] The Flying Train, Germany, 1902
Curb your entire being of Joe Rogan.
WEATHER BOY [by Funny Local News]
rest:
Joe Rogan Experience #968 - Kelly Brogan [partly]
Joe Rogan Experience #1349 - David Sinclair [partly]
Joe Rogan Meets Roe Jogan II
Joe Rogan dance party
DMT Experience with Joe Rogan
Joe "wow" Rogan
Joe "Jesus Christ" Rogan
Das Gänsehäufel in Wien | Abenteuer Leben
Meine Sommerresidenz: Die Kabine im Gänsehäufel
Im Gänsehäufel - Ein.Blick
Gänsehäufel - Unser kleines Paradies
Meine Sommerresidenz: Eine Kabane im Hihi-Land
T&G TV - Gänsehäufl (Episode 7)
Bademeister stößt Gäste ins Wasser!
Massive Crater Discovered Under Greenland Ice
What happens if you photocopy money [interesting]
The Dalai Lama’s 85th Birthday Celebration - by Inner World [partly]
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Conversation with Richard Gere [partly]
Outlaw Creative x Made For Bulleit
Cutest Guy In Whole Office Not Even Particularly Attractive [rewatch]
Child Development Experts Say Boys Not Fully Mature Until Avenging Father’s Murder
how reddit handles internet justice
He bought? [by Bizonacci]
Ferret shows human her babies
[YT channel "ProZD"]
When dark souls hidden boss appears
how it feels to make a mistake while using a delay pedal
Who Is More Conscious? Me or A Rock? | Russell Brand
That's the sound. [by jazz]
Last edited by Perception de Ambiguity on September 1st, 2020, 3:00 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Onderhond
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#3

Post by Onderhond » August 16th, 2020, 12:31 pm

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Some very nice surprises on the top, but also a somewhat depressing amount of low ratings. Been a while since I've had 3 0.5*s in a single week. Guess I should do a bit more planning now that my backlog is virtually empty, because too much ICM-inspired films isn't cutting it. At least I finally started the James Bond series, and it wasn't as bad as I feared. Silver linings!


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01. 4.0* - High & Low: The Worst by Shigeaki Kubo (2019)
The latest in Shigeaki Kubo's High & Low series. Availability is a real problem here, with several installments lacking international distribution, but people familiar with the Japanese high school brawler won't have too much trouble finding their way. Big gangs of colorful characters, lots of posing, some crazy fights and a little drama to glue everything together. I have a soft spot for this niche and Kubo (who is on his fifth film now) has proven to have mastered the genre.


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02. 4.0* - Killing God [Matar a Dios] by Caye Casas, Albert Pintó (2017)
What a lovely surprise. A dark comedy about a disjointed family who receive a surprise visit from a strange little man who claims he is God. Quirky from the beginning until the very end, wonderful performances, charming cinematography and an original take on an amusing subject. It's as if Álex de la Iglesia and Jean-Pierre Jeunet had a baby.

03. 3.5* - Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend [Chôjin Densetsu Urotsukidôji by Hideki Takayama (1989)
It doesn't get any more cult than this. Legend of the Overfiend is the poster child for anime sex and violence, putting the work of Kawajiri and others to shame. At least, if you seek out the uncut 3-part OAV rather than the sanitized movie version, which, when you do decide to watch this film, is definitely the way to go. It's a film that feels right at home between franchises like Violence Jack and Devilman, but goes the extra mile to be as nasty as possible. While the manga was lighter in tone (with more high school comedy thrown in - only minor traces remain in the film), the anime puts all of its focus on the apocalyptic battle between the human and the demon worlds. The animation is actually pretty decent, though the insane monster designs do help to neatly mask some cheaper bits. The mix of sex and violence is taken to its extreme so be warned, more surprisingly though Takayama still manages to get some actual plot in there that isn't half bad for this type of film. Crazy, violent and over-the-top, but one of the best in its genre.

04. 3.5* - Parasyte: Part 2 [Kiseijuu: Kanketsuhen] by Takashi Yamazaki (2015)
A pretty straight-forward follow-up. The finale of the first film set up the story for the sequel, so it's best to watch both Parasyte films in order. I guess it's not impossible to jump right into the second part, after all these films aren't that complex to figure out, but you're sure to miss some finer details. Yamazaki picks up where he left off, which is with half-human, half-parasite Izumi on his quest to stop an alien invasion. With Goto (played by Asano, introduced at the end of the first film) there's a new and stronger adversary for Izumi, who in his turn gets help from Uragami, a questionable serial killer able to single out infested humans. Like the first part, part 2 can get surprisingly gory and twisted, though never in a very sleazy way. Monster designs are interesting, the CG is decent and the cinematography looks polished. Yamazaki is a capable blockbuster director, even when the material is not all that blockbuster-friendly. Had a lot of fun with one.

05. 3.5* - One Night [Hitoyo] by Kazuya Shiraishi (2019)
Kazuya Shiraishi is quickly establishing himself as one of the leading directors of dark, Japanese dramas. While most of his films balance on the edge between extremely solid filler and minor masterpiece, they never disappoint and always bring something interesting to the table. One Night is no exception. It tells the story of a mother who kills her husband in order to safeguard her three children from his abuse. Regardless of her sacrifice, the three are left behind with serious traumas. When they reunite 15 years later, it's obvious that the events of that one night have influenced their lives to a large degree. It's the kind of setup you'd expect from a Shiraishi film, and he handles it appropriately. Performances are strong, the cinematography is grim but not unpleasant and the drama is allowed to thrive. It just lacks that tiny bit of polish to turn it into a certified masterpiece. Well recommended for fans of Japanese drama.

06. 3.5* - Witches in the Woods by Jordan Barker (2019)
A bunch of 20-somethings, together in a van, on their way to a weekend away from civilization. Sure enough, they make a little pit stop where they meet some local folk and learn about a witchcraft legend. They take a shortcut (well duh) and get their car stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no cellphone reception to get them out of there. It's a film that's been done a million times before, then again director Barker is hardly shy about it. He puts all of his money on execution and gets away with it. Between the witchcraft legends, roaming bears and interpersonal tension, there's more than enough material to keep the suspense alive. The cinematography is nice and Barker makes excellent use of the remote setting. The soundtrack is apt, performances are on point and the film never slumps, though considering how predictable everything is, it could've been 5 or 10 minutes shorter still. Overall a very pleasant, tense and effective little horror fun.

07. 3.5* - Every Day a Good Day [Nichinichi Kore Kôjitsu] by Tatsushi Ohmori (2018)
I don't think dramas can get any more Japanese than this. A film centered around tea ceremonies, with some very light drama on the side. The most surprising thing is that it comes from director Tatsushi Ohmori, a man who started his careers with one of the darkest dramas I've ever seen. I'm not extremely familiar with the Japanese tea ceremony, but I do know it's a very delicate and elaborate set of operations that has meaning beyond simple explanations and reasoning. With a powerhouse like Kirin Kiki in front of the camera, flanked by younger talents like Haru Kuroki and Mikako Tabe, the film has more than enough dramatic weight, even when the plot remains very light. Ohmori's direction is solid. The camera moves slowly and deliberately, framing is clean and the music is gentle. It doesn't really stand out from its peers, but it sets a perfect tone for this slightly meandering film. No masterpiece, but a very warm, rich and subtle drama that is more than just the sum of its parts.

08. 3.0* - Always: Sunset on Third Street 2 [Always Zoku San-chôme no Yûhi] by Takashi Yamazaki (2007)
Yamazaki's Always series is a bit of an oddity in Japanese cinema. It's pure 50s/60s cinema schmaltz, a smugly exaggerated look at an era long gone that thrives on nostalgia. What's more surprising though is that the film is actually pretty successful, even for people like me who are somewhat immune to nostalgia. The story continues where the first film left off. The people living in Third Street are still dealing with all sorts of problems, big and small, but eventually the film settles on Chagawa, who is facing increasing pressure to provide for his young ward Junnosuke. Chagawa doesn't have the money to give him a good education, so he decides to take up writing again, in the hope of winning a cash prize for his work. Performances are nice, Yamazaki's direction is on point and the sets look charming, though the use of CG is quite apparent. It's a sweet, jolly and endearing film, only the runtime is a little excessive. This should've at least been a half hour shorter, now some parts drag a little too much. Apart from that, a fun and charming film.

09. 3.0* - Maria by Pedring Lopez (2019)
A solid but basic action film. Maria has very little pretensions and doesn't even try to hide it. The first half hour is the setup for the 60-minute revenge that follows. Very little time is wasted on character development and plot, instead we get a simple cut-and-paste job that mimics a million other films. The first half hour is a bit slow. The drama that is supposed to trigger the revenge just isn't very successful though, cast and director lacked the skills to pull it off. Luckily things get a lot better after that and once the action starts, the actors are finally able to show their skills. The action scenes are solid, with some cool moves and decent choreography, but don't expect too much. While entertaining and appropriately brutal at times, there's nothing here you haven't seen before. Pure genre filler, action fans are going to have a good time with it, others will have to look past the film's defects.

10. 2.5* - Stand by Me Doraemon by Tony Oliver, Ryuichi Yagi, Takashi Yamazaki (2014)
While I'm pretty aware of who Doraemon is and the enormous franchise power it represents, I don't think I've ever watched a Doraemon film or TV episode in full. But the little blue cat robot is so ubiquitous in Japanese media that it already felt quite familiar. The fact that it's aimed at kids and isn't very complex also made things a little easier. That said, the film is a bit of mess. Doraemon travels back from the future to help Nobita get the girl he loves, but the plot was surprisingly fragmented. It's a constant repetition of Nobita getting an idea, Doraemon providing some sci-fi gadget to help, only to result in inevitable failure. The art style is nice enough, especially since it's the first time they used CG. It's a pretty simple style, but cute and pleasing to the eye. There are a few decent gags and the jolly tone makes for an easy watch, but overall it felt too much like a collection of 10-minute episodes strung together to make a feature-length film.

11. 2.5* - Black Water: Abyss by Andrew Traucki (2020)
Andrew Traucki is known for his animal-based horror films. Sharks, leopards and crocodiles usually terrorize a small group of people, some of which will escape, others will suffer a more grisly fate. Abyss is Traucki's first sequel though, where he revisits the crocodile terror, a niche that hasn't seen too many new entries of late. Originality isn't one of the genre's strong points, the only thing Traucki adds is a little cave action. A group of people stuck in a cave is popular material in itself, but with a giant crocodile on the hunt for tasty snacks things gets a lot hairier. When the cave is flooded and everybody's stuck inside, the countdown can begin. Abyss isn't a terrible film, but it lacks the tension and engagement to put you on the edge of your seat. It's a little too predictable, and when it's not it becomes a little too silly. There's also some pointless drama that drags the film out longer than necessary. If you're looking for some crocodile action though, there are worse options out there.

12. 2.5* - Dr. No by Terence Young (1962)
I'd seen two James Bond films before, pretty much by accident (by tagging along with some friends to the movies). It's a rather long series though and it's the kind I prefer to watch from the start. Since I'm not big on classic cinema, it took me a while to get around to it. But today it finally happened. I was ready to sit down for Dr. No. Even though I'm hardly a Bond connoisseur, the series is so engrained into our pop culture that I instantly recognized many familiar elements. I was actually quite surprised to see so many trademark Bond things were already part of the first film. Of course, when this was filmed there were already some novels to fall back on. While quite cheesy by modern standards, the film is nicely paced and pleasantly over-the-top. I actually expected a slightly more serious and boring film, but it's almost like watching a bigger budget Ishirô Honda flick (only without the monsters). Not terrible and I'm sure it won't be long before I'll get around to the first couple of sequels.

13. 2.5* - Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome by Kenneth Anger (1954)
This is one of the better Anger films I've seen so far. He's no doubt an interesting director, with a strong, audiovisual focus, but not always very clean and polished, sometimes crossing into the realm of cheese. While Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome doesn't fully escape this pitfall, there are some moments where the film truly shines. There are several versions of the film (with different soundtracks), but for home viewing the original version isn't ideal, since it needs to be projected onto three separate screens. Later Anger reedited his film by overlapping the footage, which creates a pretty magical effect and no doubt added a lot to the film's appeal. Based on the poem "Kubla Khan", the plot itself didn't make too much sense to me. Then again, the poem was said to be written after an opium-influenced dream, so I don't think it matters that much. The mix of extremely strange and colorful imagery and heroic opera music makes for an interesting film, at least if you like that kind of thing. Quite interesting.

14. 2.5* - Once Upon a Time in London by Simon Rumley (2019)
Simon Rumley is a pretty cool and headstrong director, but even though he isn't quite bound to a single genre, I didn't really see him doing a typical British crime flick. The genre is one of the pillars of British cinema and has enough stretch for directors to show their worth, but somehow Rumley's more psychological and individualistic style didn't feel like an immediate match. What surprised me the most though was that so little of his typical elements survived in Once Upon a Time in London. It's really just a bog-standard crime flick that details the rivalry between an established crime boss and the new guy on the rise. No doubt you've seen this a hundred time before. Performances are decent and there are a couple of memorable scenes, but overall the film lacks stand-out moments and the direction simply feels a bit flat and uninspired. It's not a terrible film and it's decent filler, but I wouldn't be surprised if Rumley was simple doing this to keep busy, until he can find/fund another project closer to his heart.

15. 2.5* - Rich and Famous [Gong Woo Ching] by Taylor Wong (1987)
This was a pretty basic but decent Hong Kong crime flick. Filmed back to back with its sequel, the film is basically a setup for the more explosive (and better) second part. Still, with actors like Yun-Fat Chow and Andy Lau running around and Taylor Wong behind the camera, I expected a bit more. I had already seen the sequel (not knowing it was a sequel, for some reason the English title is Tragic Hero), but that rarely matters with films like these. The plot and stories are pretty much always the same anyway. Crime bosses fighting for survival, young kids rising through the ranks, a bit of betrayal and some hefty shootouts. Performances are solid, though Lau steals the show. The action is decent but there isn't too much of it. And Taylor Wong plays nice, keeping his tendency to go over-the-top under wraps. The film's a bit long maybe, especially as it doesn't offer much in the way of originality, overall though it was pretty solid filler.

16. 1.5* - Rendez-Vous by Antoinette Beumer (2015)
A clumsy and bland thriller. When a young family moves to a small town in France to start their life anew, it's easy enough to imagine the initial discomfort, especially since they don't speak the language very well. But then it turns out that the village is overrun by Dutch people and it's really just a predictable story about a poorly concealed con job. Performances are weak, with Haverkort in particular looking very uncomfortable and lost. The plot is too transparent, the attempts to add some sensuality are weak and the entire soundtrack is stuffed with Stromae songs, possibly because those are the only French-language songs known to the film's core audience. The only thing that jumps out is the ending. Not because the twist is so amazing, but because it makes so little sense. It also felt emotionally dishonest, which made me wonder what the director actually hoped to accomplish. Maybe the book made more sense, but this film really wasn't worth the hassle.

17. 1.5* - Meet the Censors by Håvard Fossum (2020)
This could've been interesting, but the form of the documentary ruins it completely. Director Fossum takes center stage here, wondering to himself whether there might be a positive side to censorship. The setup feels so fake and transparent that the conclusion is clear from the very start, the rest of the doc feels like kicking in open doors. Fossum visits various countries and talks to several bodies directly and indirectly related to censorship. The Chinese media, German social media control, the Indian film board etc etc. I'm not entirely certain how much of it is edited, but it's overall very clear that not much good can come of these bodies, even though Fossum tries (but does he rally?) to keep an open mind. There's too much theater here, especially Fossum's final trip to the US feels like staged outrage. Meanwhile, there's not much interesting content or things to chew on, so it's basically 100 minutes of lip service to something that's already glaringly obvious, while lacking the persuasiveness to convince people who aren't already on board with the message. Documentaries need to do better than this.

18. 1.5* - A Woman Under the Influence by John Cassavetes (1974)
My first ever Cassavetes. A director who I haven't been actively avoiding, still I had a feeling his films might not be quite what I was looking for. A Woman Under the Influence confirmed my expectations, though it could've been a lot worse, considering the type of film Cassavetes tried to make. While I'm not a big fan of it, the almost documentary-like approach worked well and fitted the tone of the film. It's incredibly ugly and unattractive and just more proof that I don't handle that grim, gray and dire 70s look very well, but at least it did get me a little closer to the characters, which is what this film is all about. What I absolutely couldn't stomach was the constant conflict. Every bit of dialogue is a shouting match, even the simplest interaction is fraught with tension and irritation. Sadly Falk and Rowlands weren't capable enough to pull it off, so after about half an hour the film really started to get on my nerves. Not a success.

19. 1.5* - Maid-Droid [Rôjin to Rabudôru: Watashi ga Shochô ni Natta Toki] by Naoyuki Tomomatsu (2008)
The French maid. Of French descent, but happily adopted by the Japanese. It's no surprise then they made a film about French maid robots, combining two of their biggest fetishes in one single film. The result is pretty cheesy and cheap, but because it's such a mess it's also pretty amusing. While a typical pinku in structure, Tomomatsu mixed it with every genre imaginable. There's a bit of comedy, drama, sci-fi, fantasy and romance, they even stole some material from Ghost in the Shell in a weak attempt to give the film extra weight. None of it is very effective, but it does keep you on your toes. Performances are weak, the sci-fi looks pretty cheap, but at least there are some decent robots designs. That and the short runtime make this film somewhat bearable. It's not a lot and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're on some kind of pinku marathon, but it's not the worst I've seen in the genre.

20. 1.0* - Sans Soleil by Chris Marker (1983)
Not so much a narrative film or a typical documentary, but more of a film essay. The kind you'd rather expect to see in a museum. It comes with high acclaim and from what I'd read Marker kept a rather strong focus on Japan, but even then this film failed to capture my attention, let alone sustain it. Visually it's rather poor. Rather grainy footage that feels quite random and haphazard. Some very crude filters here and there are supposed to make the visuals a bit more abstract, but just made them look cheaper. That's half of the film, the other half is a droning voice-over that does its best to be pensive and philosophical. The insights in Japanese culture (and a few others) range from rather simplistic too construed and farfetched. The form was absolutely bland and didn't get me in the right mood for this and with a runtime of more than 100 minutes and even some repetition, I got quite annoyed by the end of it.

21. 1.0* - Gertrud by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1964)
My fourth Dreyer, and they seem to be getting progressively worse. While Jeanne D'Arc and Vampyr had some appeal, Ordet and this Getrud turned out to be extremely dry, formal dramas that seemed to a chase purely intellectual explorations of their themes. This is not something I'm particularly interested in. Getrud is looking for the right man, but her ideal of love doesn't seem to be very realistic. In relationships with working, providing men she craves passion, when she seeks out more creative types they can't seem to offer her the stability she needs. And so she remains alone, not wanting to compromise on her ideal. Conversations are very formal, with characters hardly looking at each other and citing precise dialogues detailing their feelings. It's dry as a bone and it's all there is, two hours long. The interior sets are pretty dull too, but at least the crisp black and white cinematography makes for some interesting shots. Hardly enough to save this film though.

22. 1.0* - Maid-Droid 2: Maidroid vs Hostroids [Saigo no Rabudôru: Watashi, Otona no Omocha Tomemashita] by Naoyuki Tomomatsu (2010)
A completely ridiculous and pointless sequel. Where Tomomatsu at least tried to make an effort with the first film, this second one feels lazy and cheap. I assume this sequel is nothing more than a mindless cash grab, no doubt after the first film performed well based on its premise alone. The maid droid is back to its usual business, which conveniently adheres to the classic pinku structure. In between there are a few attempt at slapstick comedy, though extremely poorly executed, some nonsensical plot lines and a few horrendous action scenes, with effects that look like they were leftovers from the 80s. I've already put too much effort into this review, as this is clearly just pinku filler and these films aren't primarily made for broader entertainment. But even then this film is terribly weak and uninviting. There's a very limited amount of fun to be had with the crummy execution, but that's hardly worth the 60 minutes of your time.

23. 0.5* - Minions by Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin (2015)
Minions (one of the more successful answers to Ice Age's Scrat). The byproduct of the Despicable Me franchise that would eventually outgrow its source material. It's no surprise then that they quickly capitalized on their success and produced a stand-alone film for these yellow blobs. They were the worst thing about Despicable Me, and they're by far the worst thing in their own movie. The Minions are mostly just noisy and annoying, babbling the entire time while leaning on some simple slapstick to provide the humor. I don't think I laughed a single time though, which is lethal for a comedy. Visually there's not much here either, apart from a very short cartoony sequence detailing an evil plot, which at least looked different from the norm. The rest of the characters are pretty bland (including poor dubbing) and the plot is as plain and predictable as can be. As bad as I feared it would be.

24. 0.5* - A Dog's Life by Charles Chaplin (1918)
And so my quest continues. Chaplin is no doubt my least favorite actor/director ever, but it's hard to believe he never made something that could at least spark a little joy or admiration in me. I keep giving his films a chance, but no luck so far. A Dog's Life looked at least somewhat promising, but not even a cute dog couldn't save this one. The problem with Chaplin's films is that it is 90% Chaplin, so if you can't stand his signature Tramp character, there's extremely little left to enjoy. Chaplin's pure slapstick isn't really my thing either. I can appreciate it in combination with stunts (like Keaton did), not so much when it's just physical comedy. The story is as simple as can be, with Chaplin and his dog slumming while dreaming of wooing girls. He steals some food, tries to sneak in a bar and when his dog finally digs up some money, he has to escape two criminals who want to rob him. That's pretty much it. At least the dog was cute, he deserved a better companion.

25. 0.5* - An American in Rome [Un Americano a Roma] by Steno (1954)
A film I found by accident on Prime. I didn't expect too much of it, classic Italian cinema isn't really my niche, but I hadn't really seen an older Italian comedy before and the film was held in high esteem by some, so I figured I could just as well give it a go. Isn't that what streaming is for? An American in Rome reminded me a little of a Roberto Benigni film. The entire film revolves around Alberto Sordi, a loud and wildly gesticulating Italian bumpkin who loves everything that has to do with America. Sordi is so extremely present that there's no way to escape him, which is a problem if you end up disliking him as much as I did. This just isn't my kind of comedy and Sordi really got on my nerves. He shouts a lot and is very busy, all the time, and that's about all there is to it. The situations are dumb and farcical, characters are annoying and the comedy is virtually nonexistent. It'll be awhile before I get close to a Sordi film again.

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#4

Post by peeptoad » August 16th, 2020, 4:04 pm

Glad to see you liked The Brotherhood of Satan, sol. That's 8.5-9 for me. The visuals and stylistic tendencies are great, and it was appropriately creepy and weird in parts.
That's the only view of yours I've seen...

Onderhond-
Urotsukidoji :thumbsup: been years since I've seen it though. And I might check the Black Water sequel since I thought the first one was one of the better eco/animal horrors to come along. I won't hold my breath on a repeat of that quality though.


mine-
Microscopic Liquid Subway to Oblivion (1970) 5
Das Beil von Wandsbek (1951) The Axe of Wandsbek 8+
Eugénie (1973) 6
Ekstase (1933) Ecstasy 8
Den-en ni shisu (1974) Pastoral: To Die in the Country 8
Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (1975) The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum 7+
And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) 7

Plus I rewatched FOTW Der Fan, but I've prob said enough about that one in the FOTW thread.
Best new views this week were Das Beil von Wandsbek, Ekstase , and Den-en ni shisu. 'Wandsbek was really the standout of those for me. The ending was a bit gutting and quite sad. I liked the story and photography in Ekstase well enough; visually I found it beautiful and I like that there was barely any dialogue. I found it the easiest watch of my views last week.it took the least amount of effort somehow, but it was still very rewarding. Den-en ni shisu was very surreal, very cool to look at though, but after a day or so, the impact it made initially didn't seem to last. I did like it enough that I put several other Teryama films on my watch list since I hadn't checked him out previously.

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#5

Post by Onderhond » August 16th, 2020, 7:55 pm

@sol:
Where Cheh Chang and Yuen Chor are probably the more prominent Shaw Bros directors (strength in numbers I guess), Chia-Liang Liu is by far the most accomplished, maybe because he himself was also a martial artist. Really like his work (apart from a dubious period in the late 80s, when he did a series of poor police/crime/action flicks) and Mad Monkey Kung Fu (3.5*) is definitely on of the better ones. Lovely mix of martial arts and comedy that kept me entertained from start to finish (even though it was quite long for a martial arts film). I really like the more acrobatic and weirder/creative styles and those are on full display here.

@peeptoad:
Yeah, Urotsukidoji was surprisingly good. I saw it when I was younger, but back then I was on the look-out for more serious anime. I've also watched Ninja Scroll a couple of weeks ago and I guess I'm really missing these over-the-top violent films. They don't make em like that anymore :D

From yours I've only seen Pastoral: To Die in the Country (3.0*), a pretty cool, interesting and memorable film. Definitely want to see more Terayama films (also watched The Boxer, but that wasn't quite as good). Did you ever see the Midori anime? I think it nicked a thing or two from this film.

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#6

Post by prodigalgodson » August 16th, 2020, 8:36 pm

A Time to Live and a Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1985) (rewatch) 7/10 - wanted to rewatch this because I had it highly rated but remembered nothing about it; while I was watching, it came back to me, but I also realized why I'd forgotten it; a very leisurely, low-key tale about the wandering path to the right road; I can see why I liked it so much the first time but I'm also a little surprised it's considered one of Hou's best

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979) (rewatch) 10/10 - still cinema's Marcberg

Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzman, 2010) 4/10

I had an inkling this wouldn't be quite up my alley, but I'm still disappointed. It's a film about the parallel journeys of astronomers, archaeologists, historians, and aggrieved relatives of Pinochet's victims, all congregating in the Atacama, the "gateway to the past" of earth and space, horror and wonder. It's beautiful in a clinical way, but somehow lacks the mesmeric poetry you'd expect on the one hand and the penetrating insight you'd hope for on the other. I'm not crazy about Guzman's shot selection, and everything about it feels abbreviated and introductory, maybe due to my experiences with gargantuan documentaries over the last year. And cold-hearted as it sounds, I just didn't find myself with the kind of emotional connection to this tragedy I would've expected. One of those movies that offers very little beyond what you'd imagine from a short synopsis.

Ossos (Pedro Costa, 1997) 9/10

Costa immerses us into a fragmented dimension haunted by desperation and turmoil and glowing with inner light, evincing vision equal to any of the great cinematic poets. The lingering aura of mystery that infuses the otherworldly milieu, the oppressive weight of circumstance endured by its inhabitants, the raw extremity of cyclical suffering and perseverance that comprise the elliptically rendered plot, coalesce into something like a modern-day mythological parable, down to the ambiguous fatality of its climax. Puts the whole rest of the social realist slum drama sector of the arthouse game to shame.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (Fritz Lang, 1922) 8/10

“Friß Kokain, Schlappschwanz!”

Such striking shots, spectacular sets, dynamic editing, snarky tangents, performative minutiae, ambivalently serious grandiosity (Mabuse, with his grotesque goofball cronies, reads half Sideshow Bob half Dudley Smith) -- Lang had such mastery of the silent medium he could make something as fundamental as crossing a room or smoking a cigar buzz with excitement. All that’s missing from its world is emotional nuance, an odd shortcoming common to much of silent film.

Ultimately though, it feels like a magnificent failure, to paraphrase Pudovkin on Eisenstein's October. It lacks the escalation of the underworld whirlwind you’d expect from its early ambition, it sags a bit in the middle as it spins out in procedural melodrama, and the titular Inferno of the second half is no Kreimheld's Revenge. The ending’s a moralistic cop-out, but at least Mabuse finally gets to flex his supervillain gangster in the climax, casually burning his papers in the library while his henchmen shoot it out with the law and military surrounding his house, cackling on the phone to his DA nemesis, holding his aristocratic crush hostage and spieling “I feel like a state within a state with which I have always been at war.” Dizzying heights, and if it had maintained the feverish thrills of its opening robbery/market manipulation and the nutty imaginative flair of its night terror/hypnotic hallucination sequences it might've challenged Die Nibelungen as my favorite Lang project.

Host (Rob Savage, 2020) 6/10

Hey, not bad! Yanti wanted to watch this, and it was a zippy, creative, occasionally legit scary little ride.

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#7

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 17th, 2020, 4:03 am

The Garage (Garazh) (Ryazanov, 1980) -- Sort of a comedic 12 Angry Men of the Soviet workplace (and much more so than the more recent Mikhalkov paean to authoritarianism called a "remake"). Claustrophobic and fair bit contrived throughout, but I'd say it's an excellent film on the whole, and one that well anticipates the era of glasnost'.

Btw, I got my copy from PtP, and the subtitles were so poor and lazy that I wouldn't recommend this copy to anyone who doesn't speak Russian.

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#8

Post by sol » August 17th, 2020, 10:28 am

peeptoad wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 4:04 pm
Glad to see you liked The Brotherhood of Satan, sol. That's 8.5-9 for me. The visuals and stylistic tendencies are great, and it was appropriately creepy and weird in parts.
That's the only view of yours I've seen...
I actually almost gave The Brotherhood of Satan a full four stars on my weekly thread scale, but it fell apart for me a bit towards the end. Agreed that it is a pretty nifty movie though, much more so than its IMDb rating would suggest, and I liked how the children of the town were drawn into the horror.

I can't really recommend my other horror viewings this week except as curios, though both are challenge triples if you're in the mood.

Yours:

We discussed Wandsbek elsewhere. I really wish more people would give this one a go. Really haunting look at a man unable to escape what he has done with that axe constantly finding its way back to him.

Yes, Ekstase is pretty good beyond the controversy over Hedy Lamarr's nude scenes. Agreed about it being visually beautiful visually, full of innovative camera angles, atmospheric lighting and graceful camera swoops. And yes, the lack of dialogue! The first few minutes are like a silent movie without a single word of dialogue spoken and everything conveyed through expressions. Marvelous.

Onderhond wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 7:55 pm
@sol:
Where Cheh Chang and Yuen Chor are probably the more prominent Shaw Bros directors (strength in numbers I guess), Chia-Liang Liu is by far the most accomplished, maybe because he himself was also a martial artist. Really like his work (apart from a dubious period in the late 80s, when he did a series of poor police/crime/action flicks) and Mad Monkey Kung Fu (3.5*) is definitely on of the better ones. Lovely mix of martial arts and comedy that kept me entertained from start to finish (even though it was quite long for a martial arts film). I really like the more acrobatic and weirder/creative styles and those are on full display here.
I'm usually a big fan of comedy in my martial arts movies (I really like Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan), however, the comedy in Mad Monkey Kung Fu did very little for me. Agreed about the highly acrobatic and creative kung fu style though, which reminded me a bit of Chow; there is one of his films that features a totally insane sleeping kung fu style. Whatever the case, I am happy that I gave Mad Monkey a spin; it was one of my leftover films that I didn't get to during the HK Challenge that actually qualified as a challenge double this month.

Yours:

Gertrud isn't a favourite Dreyer for me either. Day of the Wrath is his best for me. But of course I rate Gertrud higher than you. :lol:

I can't really tell which Bond films you'd like. A lot of them tend to have deliciously over-the-top sets and costumes and crazy villains, though none are really exercises in mood or style. My favourite is On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a fourth wall breaking character-driven piece with some 60s psychedelia... I think you'd hate it. :)

I've been meaning to rewatch A Woman Under the Influence for a while now. Only ever seen in on VHS it was that long ago. Not my favourite Cassavetes, and he is director who I hold in less high esteem than most. Again, not sure what to recommend for you from him; most of his movies are focused on "documentary-like" realism, heavy dialogue and performances/characters over mood and atmosphere.

Oh, and I have also been meaning to watch Minions for ages since it is one of maxwelldeux's favourite films (it's okay; he doesn't read this thread). :P
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#9

Post by Onderhond » August 17th, 2020, 11:15 am

sol wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 10:28 am
I'm usually a big fan of comedy in my martial arts movies (I really like Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan), however, the comedy in Mad Monkey Kung Fu did very little for me. Agreed about the highly acrobatic and creative kung fu style though, which reminded me a bit of Chow; there is one of his films that features a totally insane sleeping kung fu style. Whatever the case, I am happy that I gave Mad Monkey a spin; it was one of my leftover films that I didn't get to during the HK Challenge that actually qualified as a challenge double this month.
I think Chow is more of a comedy man first and foremost, the martial arts in his film is just there because martial arts is everywhere in Hong Kong. I like Chan's films too, though mostly for the action. It's true though that the comedy in Mad Monkey Kung Fu is a bit different (more akin to the films of Woo-Ping Yuen), where the comedy is more martial arts-derived. I'm a pretty big fan of that myself, I like the originality that comes into play. I will admit that the comedy can be quite crude and basic, but I also have a soft spot for that :D
sol wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 10:28 am
I can't really tell which Bond films you'd like. A lot of them tend to have deliciously over-the-top sets and costumes and crazy villains, though none are really exercises in mood or style. My favourite is On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a fourth wall breaking character-driven piece with some 60s psychedelia... I think you'd hate it. :)
Well, I'm going to watch them in order anyway, that's why it took so long before I got around to it, so not really looking for specific recommend. I did see one from the 90s (with Brosnan) and a more recent one, which were relatively serious action films (especially the recent one), which kind of put me off. I'm glad to hear the earlier ones seem to retain their goofier approach.
sol wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 10:28 am
Oh, and I have also been meaning to watch Minions for ages since it is one of maxwelldeux's favourite films (it's okay; he doesn't read this thread). :P
Is max the one who likes to get wasted and watch films from time to time? Otherwise I wouldn't see how one could survive a film like Minions with a smile :P

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#10

Post by mightysparks » August 17th, 2020, 11:25 am

My boyfriend’s nickname on our Facebook chat is ‘Minion Daddy’ due to our shared hatred of all things Minion tehe I can’t imagine watching Minions unless desperate for a check.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#11

Post by peeptoad » August 17th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Onderhond wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 7:55 pm

@peeptoad:
Yeah, Urotsukidoji was surprisingly good. I saw it when I was younger, but back then I was on the look-out for more serious anime. I've also watched Ninja Scroll a couple of weeks ago and I guess I'm really missing these over-the-top violent films. They don't make em like that anymore :D

From yours I've only seen Pastoral: To Die in the Country (3.0*), a pretty cool, interesting and memorable film. Definitely want to see more Terayama films (also watched The Boxer, but that wasn't quite as good). Did you ever see the Midori anime? I think it nicked a thing or two from this film.
Ninja Scroll is another that I like, but I am not well-versed in anime. I've only seen some of the more prominent, older ones. I'll try to find Midori though. It might be on you tube actually. You piqued my curiosity if it has copped visuals from Pastoral.

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#12

Post by sol » August 17th, 2020, 12:13 pm

Onderhond wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 11:15 am
Is max the one who likes to get wasted and watch films from time to time? Otherwise I wouldn't see how one could survive a film like Minions with a smile :P
I think so :think: but what I posted was a joke. Minions is max's #1 most hated film of all time. He posts about. Often. Whenever he can. :whistling:

(deepest apologies if you're reading this max or adwest!)
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#13

Post by Onderhond » August 17th, 2020, 12:40 pm

mightysparks wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 11:25 am
I can’t imagine watching Minions unless desperate for a check.
Going through the BO list and grouping the US CG animations together. I followed them for quite a while, but got sloppy in recent years, so it seems I have some catching up to do. Minions was the one I actively avoided though. With good reason it turns out.
peeptoad wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 12:03 pm
I'll try to find Midori though. It might be on you tube actually. You piqued my curiosity if it has copped visuals from Pastoral.
I'm sure it is. It's mostly the carnival setting that connected both films in my brain, but if you see it, it would be nice to hear if it's just my brain fluking or if there's a real connection there :)
sol wrote:
August 17th, 2020, 12:13 pm
but what I posted was a joke. Minions is max's #1 most hated film of all time. He posts about. Often. Whenever he can. :whistling:

(deepest apologies if you're reading this max or adwest!)
Hmm, we must be frequenting different threads then because I don't think I've ever seen him post about it. Then again, I've avoided Minions for a long time so maybe I also blocked posts about it :D

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#14

Post by prodigalgodson » August 23rd, 2020, 12:47 am

Slackin again...

sol
Koko - want to see more from Shcroeder (only seen More), this and the Amin documentary have always sounded intriguing, thanks for the review

pda
Mediterranee 9 - easy 10 when I saw it the first time without subtitles after an art film drought
Snow Lion Bonus - damn what a frame
Dave - I should give this a shot to support Dicky
Child Development Experts Say Boys Not Fully Mature Until Avenging Father’s Murder - ha
Who Is More Conscious? Me or A Rock? | Russell Brand - sounds like a good follow-up to Becoming Animal

hond
Legend of the Overfiend - sounds interesting
Every Day a Good Day - enjoyed the recent screenshots from above user, sounds pleasant
Dr. No 8 - glad you enjoyed, awesome start to one of my favorite franchises
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome 9 - this is a pleasant surprise from you; have you seen Lucifer Rising?
Woman Under the Influences 7 - as much as I give all praises to Cassavettes' role in the development of independent filmmaking, I'm not personally a fan of his style; this is one of his best though -- I think Falk and Rowlands absolutely pull off their performances, but I'm not so enamored of what they're pulling off
Sans soleil 10 - they must have some dope museums in Holland; this and Marker in general were formative influences in the development of my taste, though I've liked it more or less at various points in time; I adore the visuals too, perception's a funny thing
Gertrud 6 - I'm not the world's biggest Dreyer fan either, though maybe it's time to give him another chance; I thought this was easily his best film visually, but I wasn't at all interested in the drama
A Dog's Life - don't care for Chaplin either, only really liked The Dictator (I recall The Gold Rush and M. Verdoux being solid too, but I don't remember either too well)

toad
Pastoral 4 - this one had a big wave on Film General back in the days; I wasn't feeling the style, but I haven't seen it in years either

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#15

Post by sol » August 23rd, 2020, 2:41 am

prodigalgodson wrote:
August 23rd, 2020, 12:47 am
Slackin again...

sol
Koko - want to see more from Shcroeder (only seen More), this and the Amin documentary have always sounded intriguing, thanks for the review
No problem. Your reaction to Koko will probably be coloured by how you feel about the subject. If, like me, you are intrigued by the possibilities that exist from cross-species communication, you will probably like it. If you're expecting the documentary to shun and demonise the scientists for taking the gorilla out of its natural habitat, it will probably disappoint you. As mentioned, Schroeder stays pretty neutral on the topic, but he also spends a lot more time on the communication scenes than arguable abuse/mistreatment.

I like Schroeder in general. I have seen 9 of his films, of which Reversal of Fortune (more than your average legal drama, narrated by a dead woman) is easily my favourite. Seen that two or three times over the years. More is pretty good. The Idi Amin documentary was okay. Barfly is pretty good too; some great acting there.

Yours:

Only seen Stalker, which I wouldn't dream of rating that much higher than Solaris, though it is my second favourite Tarkovsky and a personal 10. I guess I just need to get over your disdain for Solaris since I notice that you also complained about the production design, which is one of my favourite aspects of the film. I am tentatively planning to rewatch both for the Russian Challenge next month, so maybe my preference will switch around, but I doubt it. Anyway, definitely watch The Dead Mountaineer Hotel if you liked Stalker (same author).
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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