Welcome to the ICM Forum.
Check out our Magazine

If you notice any issues please post in the Q&A thread. Email issue should be fixed. If you encounter this issue, contact PeacefulAnarchy
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 54 released July 1st: The Disappointment That is Leos Carax' Annette)
iCinema Magazine: WE ARE LIVE! (We just need more content)
ICMForum Film Festival 2022: Mon Nov 14 - Dec 12
Polls: 1990s (Results), Germany (May 30th), 2021 (Jun 30th), New Zealand (Jul 3rd), Swan Songs (Jun 30th), 1962 (Jul 30th), Performers (Jul 31st), Unofficial Checks (Jul 31st), Brazil (Jul 31st), Philippines (Aug 31st)
Challenges: Canadian, Unofficial Movies, Personal Toplists
About: Welcome All New Members, Terms of Use, Q&A

Which Films Did You See Last Week? [Week 20, 2022]

Post Reply
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 8796
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

Which Films Did You See Last Week? [Week 20, 2022]

#1

Post by Onderhond »

First of all, a word from our founder:

"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. 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." - sol

Image

01. 4.0* - Love, Life and Goldfish [Sukutte Goran] by Yukinori Makabe (2020)
A very, very sweet film. The plot isn't too original, sporting a Tokyo banker who is sent to a backwards village as punishment. But the film has something magical and charming that makes it stand out, even beyond its musical roots. The styling is colorful and bright, the characters are fun and loveable, the setting idyllic. It's a cute little goldfish-based fantasy/musical blend that doesn't seem to have exceptionally high aspirations, but hits the sweet spot between charm and originality.

02. 3.5* - Taro the Fool [Tarô no Baka] by Tatsushi Ohmori (2019)
Omori further establishes his reputation with one of his impressive but very unpleasant films. Taro the Fool isn't an easy watch. There are no characters you can root for, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no relief for those who power through. Then again, that's what makes these nihilistic films so worthwhile. Taro is a young boy who isn't quite like the rest. His mother doesn't care for him, so he tends to ditch school and hangs around with his two friends, Eiji and Sugio. This trio always gets into trouble, but when they rob a young Yakuza and end up with his gun in their possession, things are about to get worse. The central trio aren't very nice boys, neither are their adversaries. The film is really just an escalation of bad behavior, still Ohmori finds a way to make his audience care for the leads. If the styling had been just a little grittier I probably would've found another personal favorite, but this was very impressive regardless. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

03. 3.5* - Hatching [Pahanhautoja] by Hanna Bergholm (2022)
A fine mix of fantasy and horror. We're obviously getting symbolical horror here, I'd gather the film deals with growing up and losing one's innocence, with an extra focus on the mother/daughter relationship. Films like these are always in danger of neglecting their genre roots, but Bergholm doesn't fall in this all too common trap. Tinja's mother is very demanding, Tinja tries to oblige as much as she can. When a bird flies into their home and her mother kills it with a smile on her face, Tinja feels something has changed between them. When she finds an abandoned egg in the forest she decides to hatch it, but she couldn't have imagined what's inside the egg. The creature design is cool and well-executed, so are the body horror elements. Tinja's creepy fake-perfect parents are fun and there are some very memorable moments. Hatching is quite the debut, the only thing missing is a slightly more prominent directorial style. I don't think Bergholm pushed things far enough, but she sure deserves another shot. This was pretty great.

04. 3.5* - Image by Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah (2014)
EL Arbi and Fallah's first. These two young talents made their dream a reality when they moved to Hollywood to shoot the latest Bad Boys sequel, but they started out with considerably fewer means to their disposal. With Image, they showcased what they could do on a budget, and I will say the result is pretty impressive. The plot revolves around a young girl working in a newsroom. She has found a perfect subject for a documentary in a Moroccan man who agrees to guide her through the quarters of Molenbeek. She gets pressured from above to complete her documentary as quickly as possible, but she believes her doc can bring much-needed nuance to a heavily polarized story. The performances are strong, the thorny subject is handled with the proper care, and the dramatization of the plot is successful. The pacing and runtime are pretty much perfect, too. Image isn't a whiny plea for respect, nor a simple excuse, nor a dry political pamphlet, instead it's a well-made film that doesn't sugarcoat its message. A very nice feature film debut.

05. 3.5* - Caught in the Net [V Síti] by Barbora Chalupová, Vít Klusák (2020)
Not the most original documentary, certainly one of the boldest I've seen about this subject. The grooming of young girls online is something that is well-documented, but to see it play out for real is quite something else. For that reason alone, this documentary is worth a look, especially for kids or adults dealing with teens. Three actresses of age are scouted for the job. They're styled and prepped to look as if they were only 12 years old, they are given online profiles, then the waiting starts. Not for long though, almost immediately after creating their profiles older men begin to contact them, many of them with malicious intentions. Things don't get better when the girls actually engage with these men. The doc has a pretty strict focus, which is a shame, as it touches upon some very interesting things that could've used a bit more explaining. At the same time, this narrow focus makes for a more harrowing experience, where no punches are pulled by the documentary team. Not a very pleasant watch, but definitely an impressive one.

06. 3.5* - Open the Coffin by Cheng Siyi (2022)
A pretty successful mix of popular elements. There's a bit of tomb raiding fun at the start of the film, but this is really more of a police procedural with strong mystery and overt supernatural influences. The execution was a bit better than expected, but that's probably because I've seen a few too many Chinese streamer films lately. A young police detective is given a rather mysterious case. He quickly discovers the body is that of a man who was involved in a tomb raiding incident. But then more people start dying, and they all carry signs of old Chinese folklore rituals. The detectives are forced to delve into the realm of the occult if they hope to solve the case. Open the Coffin isn't quite horror, as the film doesn't really try to scare or repulse, but if you're extremely squeamish, this might not be the film for you. Performances are decent, the film looks atmospheric, the plot is pretty amusing and the pacing is pleasant. Fun filler, if a little too unambitious to come close to a personal favorite.

07. 3.0* - Everything Everywhere All at Once by Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (2022)
Not a bad film, but a tremendous disappointment nonetheless. I really liked the Daniels' previous work, I sure love myself a bit of Michelle Yeoh and the rumors about this being batshit crazy were encouraging. Maybe a bit too much, in a time when truly odd and strange films are regularly slashed and discarded, one would get a little suspicious about so much praise. And one would be right. Evelyn struggles to keep her head above water. Her marriage isn't going too well, her father flew in from Hong Kong and the tax bureau is on her case. Right when things get too much for her, she is contacted by a man from a parallel universe. He tells Evelyn she is the savior of the multiverse, the only one who can stop an evil power from destroying all the possible worlds. There were too many pop culture references (and many not doing justice to the original, like the Gozu gag or the Kar-Wai/Doyle moments), the execution was a little lacking and the secondary cast wasn't that great. It's still a fun film, one that deserves credit for trying out something different, just don't expect to see top tier weirdness. No matter how hard the Daniels tried, the film ended up feeling a little underwhelming.

08. 3.0* - Monstrous by Chris Sivertson (2022)
A cute little mind bender. Monstrous is a film that combines drama and horror and adds some mystery elements to make it a fine little genre mix. What keeps things together is the rather docile and almost idyllic approach to the material. Don't expect an overly riveting one, Sivertson goes for a more stylish approach. Laura and her young boy move to a new town, where they're going to start their lives anew. Laura ran from her husband after doing them wrong, but their new house doesn't feel too comfortable. Something is stirring in the pond next to the house, and it's coming for her little boy. It's nice seeing Ricci again, the film has the slightly exaggerated 50s look down, and the twist is pleasant, though not astounding. Monstrous isn't a film that is going to rewrite cinema history, but if you're looking for a slightly different take on the horror/mystery cross-over, this is a worthwhile film.

09. 3.0* - Bloody Chainsaw Girl Returns: Revenge of Nero [Chimamire Sukeban Chênsô Red: Zenpen - Nero no Fukushû] by Hiroki Yamaguchi (2019)
Yamaguchi continues his Bloody Chainsaw Girl franchise. The first one was decent enough entertainment, though nowhere close to the now decade-old Sushi Typhoon films. Revenge of Nero is a short and sweet sequel that combines gore and absurd comedy to deliver some prime fun. Giko and her chainsaw are no match for the zombies prowling the school premises. But there are more dangerous enemies who are trying to trap her. When Giko defeats two girls assaulting her in a public bath, she discovers that Nero is the mastermind behind the attacks. Giko is puzzled, as she has no idea why Nero would be after her. Outrageous gore, odd characters, absurd narrative twists and some random jokes make this a pretty easy film to enjoy. That is, if you can look past some lesser performances and low-budget, functional CG. This isn't a future classic, but it's easy and fun filler, with a promise that there is more to come in the future.

10. 3.0* - Bloody Chainsaw Girl Returns: Giko Awakens [Chimamire Sukeban Chênsô Red: Kôhen - Gîko no Kakusei] by Hiroki Yamaguchi (2019)
Yamaguchi continues his Bloody Chainsaw Girl franchise with another shorter entry. While these films are good fun, they aren't up there with the best in the genre, nor with the best in Yamaguchi's oeuvre, so unless he's doing it to stay afloat (and relevant), I hope he'll abandon this series in the near future. Giko is held hostage by the school for bad conduct, but soon enough she escapes again. When one of her friends is kidnapped, Giko and her gang vow to get her back. She'll be fighting against some strange enemies, not to mention an old foe who return to take on Giko one final time. Giko Awakens offers a nice mix of splatter and comedy. The budget is low, but Yamaguchi counters well with some zany ideas and absurd twists. If you like the Japanese splatter films you'll have a good time with this one, I just wish Yamaguchi would honor his true potential, as he's really capable of doing better than this.

11. 3.0* - Undercover [Ai Him Yan Muk] by Siu-Hung Chung (2007)
A pretty standard Triad/undercover cop thriller. It's a staple of the Hong Kong film industry, certainly in the decade following the handover. Undercover isn't the most spirited example, it's a film that sticks to conventions and simply aims to deliver some expected genre thrills. And that it does rather well, just don't build it up too much. Feng is a young police recruit who is immediately assigned an undercover mission. When his mission is finished, Feng finds himself struggling to pick up his old life. He seeks out the company of Fai, his old Triad brother, but when they are found together, one of Feng's fellow officers dies in the scuffle. Fai is blamed for the mishap and suspects Feng might have set him up to climb the ranks. Sam Lee and Shawn Yue do pretty well, the rest of the cast isn't really on their level. The plot is pretty simple and predictable, the styling is somewhat derivative, but the pacing is solid, and the runtime is short. If you like a decent crime thriller, this film won't disappoint. It's decent enough filler, but not a genre highlight.

12. 3.0* - Die Nibelungen: Siegfried by Fritz Lang (1924)
Fritz Lang's German period is by far his best and most artistic. I've seen a fair few German films from that era, but I still get amazed whenever I notice how stylish and fantastical these films are, especially for their age (Die Nibelungen is almost a century old now). Siegfried is no exception. Die Nibelungen is a classic fantasy story/fairy tale, with dragons, kings and quite a bit of backstabbing. Siegfried is a fearless knight who kills a dragon and the dwarf king on his way to the castle of King Gunther. There he is allowed to marry Gunther's sister, but only if Siegfried promises to hand over the treasures he earned. The golden/sepia cinematography is lovely, the fantastical elements look pretty solid, and the story isn't too serious. The length and somewhat slower and more repetitive middle part is the only thing keeping me from giving a higher score. I'm looking forward to catching Long's other part now.

13. 2.5* - Firestarter by Keith Thomas (2022)
An new adaptation of the Steven King book. I wasn't a terribly big fan of the first film (which is quite the understatement), so the bar was set pretty low. It's certainly not worse than the '84 version, but it's still not a particularly good film and I don't think this version of Firestarter is going to bring King many new fans. Charlie is the daughter of a couple with psychokinetic powers. They've tried to suppress Charlie's powers, but as she grows up it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep her emotions in check. A group of scientists is trying to track the family down, hoping to study Charlie before she is completely out of control. It's a low-key, non-superhero like X-Men film. The horror elements are basic, the drama doesn't really work, and the styling is functional, but hardly worth a second though (even though John Carpenter helped with the score). Just random filler, much like the older King adaptations. Not terrible, but not very memorable either.

14. 2.0* - The Ladykillers by Alexander Mackendrick (1955)
I'd watched the adaptation of the Coens ages ago. Clearly not their best film, hardly their worst. It did make me quite curious about the original, and so I finally got around to giving that one a go. It's an amusing little comedy that feels a little stuffier than needed, but still contains some enlightened moments. A gang of five is planning a bank heist. To bring their plan to fruition, they rent a room from an old lady and pretend to be a classical music band. The lady is fooled by their ploy, the leader of the gang comes with a grand idea to involve the old lady in their heist plans. Not everyone is board, but they go through with it anyway. Once you know the plot the film does lose some of its appeal. Not all performances are equally great either, but the film does have typical British charm and the pacing is decent, especially for an older film. I'd expected worse, what I got was a fairly amusing crime comedy. I do prefer the Coens version, though by a slimmer margin than expected.

15. 1.5* - Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War [Kôkaku kidôtai SAC_2045 Jizoku Kanô Sensô] by Michihito Fujii (2021)
I used to be a huge Ghost in the Shell fan, but an onslaught of subpar series have taken their toll on the good name of the franchise. I'm not bothering with series material anymore, but whenever they release a recap film I just can't seem to help myself. And so I watched Sustainable War, a new low point in the franchise. After Section 9 was disbanded, Kusanagi and some familiars formed a gang of mercenaries. On one of their missions, they come into contact with a formidable enemy who seems able to predict all their every move. Apparently they're dealing with a posthuman, an evolved form of humankind. The animation feels cheap, the art style even cheaper. The hardcore sci-fi elements have all but gone from this incarnation, what remains are predictable action scenes and Tachikoma comedy interludes. Not even the soundtrack stands out. It's all just very bland and uninspired, nothing like the manga and films that started off this franchise.

16. 1.0* - Love Story by Arthur Hiller (1970)
An American classic (apparently, even though I hadn't heard about this film before). Not all that hard to see why that is, Love Story is a piece of schmaltz that didn't really stand the test of time. I'm not a big fan of the film's setup regardless, but when the execution feels so terribly forced, it's pretty much impossible to make a romance/drama like this work. Jenny and Oliver meet each other at college. They come from very different backgrounds, still they fall in love with each other and decide to get married. Oliver's parents aren't really on board with their marriage, but the two go through with it anyway. When they finally get their shot at happiness, Jenny finds out she is very ill. There's very little chemistry between the leads and the relationship between them never feels genuine. The music is a bit kitsch, the drama is rather cheap, and the finale is overly sentimental. It's just not a very good film, and I've seen this story done much better since. Undeserving of its status.

17. 1.0* - She Wore a Yellow Ribbon by John Ford (1949)
John Ford and John Wayne, that means you better brace yourself for some oldskool western fun. That is, if you like westerns. If you're like me, and you can't stand the genre, seeing these names together is certainly less thrilling. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is one of their vintage collaborations, so it's no surprise this didn't do anything for me. Captain Brittles is on the verge of retirement, but the threat of an Indian attack is looming. He is sent out to investigate the situation, but he also has to evacuate some women, which makes his job that much more difficult. When the Indians attack, Brittles will have to sneak back to camp to get reinforcements. This is little more than just another cowboys and Indians story. Ford's direction is cheesy, Wayne is a dud and the added comedy with the women present is pretty terrible. I simply don't get the appeal of these films, it's a good thing then that their popularity seems to be slowly waning.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 5314
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2

Post by Torgo »

Ok, so I had this short semi-hiatus in February/March but I continued watching movies in mid-April, YAY! Isn't that cool. I couldn't motivate myself to resume my rating dumps in the weekly thread though, bringing down the ever-decreasing activity by another 20-33% or so. So what I'm going to do now is catching up with viewings of the last month, because who is going to stop me at this point? :shifty:
Almost all of this is obvious list homework (half of them noirs) and yes my rating scale is completely broken, I guess by now everyone knows I use laughably tiny nuances. For the random human, it should translate to something like this: alright/worth the watch (6/10 -> 4-5 for others), nice without bigger flaws (7/10 -> 6-7 for others) or very good (8/10 -> 8s with 9s starting at 8,5). I rarely have to give ratings below that for established list canon, other than for some Marshall action garbage or pretentious nOn-eNgLisH arthouse on our most known lists.

Separating new releases and, um, older stuff.


X (2022) (7/10)
Flee (2021) (8/10)
The Batman (2022) (8/10)
Uncharted (2022) (5/10)
Ambulance (2022) (6/10)
Death On the Nile (2022) (5,5/10)
The Outfit (2022) (6,5/10)
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) (6,5/10)
------
The Parallax View (1974) (6,5/10)
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) (6/10)
Underworld (1927) (7/10)
Le Boucher (1970) (7/10)
The Last Seduction (1994) (7/10)
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965) (7/10)
Wings (1927) (7,5/10)
Adventureland (2009) (7/10)
The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004) (7/10)
Klute (1971) (6,5/10)
The Flowers of St. Francis (1950) (6,5/10)
Mephisto (1981) (7/10)
Hell's Hinges (1916) (5,5/10)
Sorry Wrong Number (1948) (7/10)
Universal Soldier (1992) (6/10)
Predator 2 (1990) (6,5/10)
Criss Cross (1949) (7/10)
Romancing The Stone (1984) (6,5/10)
Dirty Harry 2: Magnum Force (1973) (7/10)
Dirty Harry 3: The Enforcer (1976) (6/10)
The Blue Dahlia (1946) (7/10)
Trancers (1984) (6/10)
Keoma (1976) (6,5/10)
The Reckless Moment (1949) (6,5/10)
Crossfire (1947) (7/10)
Raw Deal (1948) (7/10)
The Hidden (1987) (7/10)
The Bad Seed (1956) (6,5/10)
No (2012) (6,5/10)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) (4,5/10)
Pale Rider (1985) (7/10)
Forty Guns (1957) (7/10)
The Man From Laramie (1955) (7/10)
Man of the West (1958) (7/10)
Go West (1925) (7/10)
Hard Target (1993) (5?!/10)
The Beguiled (1971) (7,5/10)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) (6,5/10)
Angel Face (1953) (7/10)
While the City Sleeps (1956) (6,5/10)
Storm Over Asia (1928) (6,5/10)
Wagon Master (1950) (6/10)
The Girl Can't Help It (1956) (7/10)
Panic in the Streets (1950) (7,5/10)
Calamity Jane (1953) (6,5/10)
The Spiral Staircase (1946) (7/10)
Crime Wave (1953) (7/10)
User avatar
Perception de Ambiguity
Posts: 4208
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: in space the stars are no nearer
Contact:

#3

Post by Perception de Ambiguity »

Part 1: Everything
Image

Babies (2010, Thomas Balmès) 7
Part 2: Everywhere
Image
The Hustler (1961, Robert Rossen) 6+

The Color of Money (1986, Martin Scorsese) (2nd viewing) k

Part 3: ALL AT ONCE (2022, Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert) 6


END CREDITS shorts

La sortie (1999, Siegfried A. Fruhauf) 6+

Blow-Up (2000, Siegfried A. Fruhauf) 4

Höhenrausch (1999, Siegfried A. Fruhauf) 6+


series

Old Enough! (19-- or 20-- to 2022/no one knows, by "no one knows even less" but it's Netflix smthn smthn)
- Ep. 1 6
- Ep. 2 6
- Ep. 3 6
- Ep. 4 6

Image
Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life (1960-69) - Ep11 - "On Being Vague" 7

Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life (1960-69) - Ep12 - "Law And Order" 7


other

"The Hustler" BR extras - some pool player explaining the pool shots in 'The Hustler'


Image

notable online media

top:
Primitive Technology: Wood Ash Cement & Fired Brick Hut
Primitive Technology: Thatched Workshop
Riddles of Reality: From Quarks to the Cosmos
How The World SOUNDS To Animals
KILL TONY #521 - JOE ROGAN + ELEANOR KERRIGAN
Bert Kreischer SAVAGE Moments
Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 Is Not What It Seems
How Loud Can Sound Physically Get?
KILL TONY #500 - JOE ROGAN
KILL TONY #490 - THE RETURN OF JOE ROGAN!
Kill Tony #175 - Russell Peters & Joe Rogan
Oliver Stone: Vladimir Putin and War in Ukraine | Lex Fridman Podcast #286 [mostly]
rest:
Ist alles sinnlos? EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE – Kritik & Analyse
Amber Heard told everyone the TRUTH, but NO ONE Noticed
Ryan Reynolds Impersonates Hugh Jackman | First Impressions | @LADbible TV
Jake Gyllenhaal's Cardi B Impression Is Incredible | First Impressions | @LADbible TV
RENDEZ-VOUS... TOM CRUISE - EV - Cannes 2022 [partly]
Yi Long Ma just bought Twitter
Video of unidentified aerial phenomena presented during House Intelligence hearing

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
Minkin
Posts: 868
Joined: January 13th, 2015, 7:00 am
Location: astarikar 4
Contact:

#4

Post by Minkin »

Not too terrible of a week overall, despite the psychosis, but there wasn't anything too traumatic.
Highlights of the Past Week in my meager existence
-Got an appointment with my clinical psychologist who I saw two years ago, so I'm happy about that
-Was doing fine for two weeks, then suddenly had psychosis three days in a row, sigh
-This sloth video helped get me through the week
-Had quite the saga trying to get a Taco Bell Mexican pizza, eventually got one though
-Went to our favorite donut place for the first time in a month
-Had an "us in college" themed night - with Star Trek, cribbage, dala horse shaped brownies (+1 smaller one that was, uhh, special) and Franz Ferdinand
The Ash Tree (1975) - England - Rating: 6/10
Image

A squire inherits his uncle’s estate which comes with a cursed family heritage of an executed witch that the squire gets to relive himself. Whilst its nice to believe in family curses, we do in a way inherit the sins of our forefathers – by way of genetic diseases. I am in a way cursed with my schizophrenia due to some unknown family member passing the gene on to me – which I could conceivably pass along to torment a further generation (I won’t though, as I’m not cruel). But family “curses” are passed in this manner, in the same way we adopt the mannerisms, beliefs, customs and traits of our family – we, in our way, relive their existence ourselves. Here though, the squire is transported to bear witness to the fate that will befall himself – glimpses of the past which hint at perhaps a stream-side indiscretion. Or a vague shape of the night – a phantasm brought on by traveling hysteria of witchfinders leading to a sleep paralysis image of wickedness residing in his humble tree. These images bemoan little godlessness, other than the haunts inside one’s mind – which may indeed be as powerful as any deity can muster. For it is the squire’s reality that is shifted, as he enters into other timelines and interweaves this assemblage of past damnation. For the only true evil here is the certainty of the mind to the way of things, that we could unerringly condemn someone based on little more than a night’s dream, but so is the history of jurisprudence. And the singular conceding annulment, be it in ancestral torment. Investigating further, ash trees are usually considered protective plants in British folklore and is associated with the wellbeing of their owner – which seems to depart from the ominous tone it takes in this film but is perhaps somewhat fitting nonetheless. Whilst delivering a most disquietous conclusion, befit a traumatic Christmas, I find this perhaps too forthright for my tastes.
Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968) - England - Rating: 6/10
Image

An antiques dealer, who’s looking for his missing brother, spends a few nights at a manor house where he’s plagued with nightmares revolving around a witch’s ceremony. It’s one of those movies where you just wonder why the dude doesn’t just stay somewhere else or leave when he has the chance + has figured out what’s going on. The most interesting aspect to the film are the witch’s rituals – which come across as part fever dream and part sexual fantasy. Through it all is the outsider who’s being beckoned to sign their soul away and resisting that demand of him. Aside from that refusal, he exists in an almost catatonic state – where he’s not responding to any of the imagery around him and just accepting what becomes of him. It does make me wonder if you’re in a catatonic state, if even Satan would consider your signature legally binding? Dreams are a way for normal folks to experience something akin to psychosis – as the logic and reality makes sense at the time, even if you wouldn’t accept as much when “awake,” but here it’s coupled with mostly indifference. Although I do like the later element where parts of the dream seem to leave a lasting real effect on the participant – it feels like a nice blending of psychosis with actuality. The ceremony is essentially just an exploitation movie view of what the director thought a pagan ritual would be like – with random whipping thrown in for good measure to sex it up. It has elements of pagan worship, but mixed in with whatever they thought might mildly shock an audience. I’ll also mention that there’s a lot of insinuating of mental health challenges going on in this film, with most of the ableism directed at Michael Gough’s Elder character (in a “classic” finger pointed at head sort of way). He’s clearly experienced some trauma in his life which has affected his demeanor, but the film handles all of this quite badly in a typical 60s approach to mental health way. Anyway, although its cheapened by its genre trappings, I still like the whole notion of localized folk horror on display in this film- it feels like the sort of legend tripping a town would celebrate and by cursed by.
The Value of Teamwork (1990) - San Diego County / Antarctica - Rating: 5/10
Image

A boy is having difficulties in life in various situations that all sorta involve teamwork, but thankfully he’s aided by his talking dog, Einstein, who shows him how things could’ve gone differently if only he had been a team player. The problem here is that the examples of him messing up aren’t exactly the most team-involved – like painting a cow pink instead of brown; or not remembering your lines isn’t exactly a team violation. They just seem like excuses to shame him for not following rules by the letter. I like that the kid is all “I don’t need teamwork, I’m going to be an astronaut!” to which Einstein has to then remind him that space travelers do indeed need teamwork to function. You’d be hard-pressed to find any profession that doesn’t involve at least some element of teamwork, so this is probably a valuable lesson for anyone to learn, but I would’ve liked to have seen more examples of what failure looks like and how that directly impacts others. For we’ve all had some dreaded group projects where one person does the work of 4, whilst someone else doesn’t put in the least bit of effort. There isn’t any advice on how to be a quality member of a team and how to interact with others successfully, as instead this is about “follow the rules, and do your part” – which I suppose is broad enough to be resonant, but still doesn’t exactly help you when it’s someone else who’s slacking. Or what about competing group dynamics, where everyone’s working towards the same goal but they have different opinions and issues? Because when you work as a team, you work with competing personalities, ideologies, methods and conclusions – so how do you balance all of those forces in order to meet the end goal? I guess just start the kids off with the basics of rules and participation and call it good. Anyway, this is an ok short that just seems to be another case of “don’t be like Max,” as the short shames him for thinking differently with his pink cows and short attention span (different needs) so that he can grow up to be another subservient cog in the capitalist machine. Of course nobody can ever escape the matter of teams, but it would’ve been nice if the short offered some better examples on what you should be doing instead of just yelling “TEAM TEAM TEAM” at us.
Best Worst Movie (2009) - Utah / Alabama - Rating: 4/10
Image

A documentary about the direction the lives of the cast of Troll 2 have taken since filming the movie. Most seem to embrace their role in the film and are proud to have been a part of it, well eventually – once they saw the cult following. Others, like Margo Prey, would rather disappear from the world entirely – and the documentary rather does her a disservice, intentionally painting her as unsteady – with her reenacting what I assume to be the sound of coyotes, without any explanation given, just to further paint her as “ill” (even if it just seems that she wants to take care of her mother). It’s a similar state with Don Packard – but at least he seems to embrace the chaos of his life, despite the film trying to other him for his past – as he even says that people still treat you as nutty when you’ve told them you once had a mental problem, even if you’ve since recovered. So the documentary doesn’t really take that message to heart, as it goes out of its way to treat some of these people as being ill, and that does a disservice to these folks who are otherwise just trying to live their lives. The film also likes to focus on awkward moments, just for the sake of making folks look bad. There’s a scene where they’re at a horror convention, alongside a selection of other minor celebrities who were in lesser movies (Nightmare on Elm Street 3), and George Hardy is just trying to sell Troll 2 to a plethora of uninterested people, and it’s difficult to watch. I know this was 2009, but I was internetting in 2009, and the Troll 2 clips were some of the first viral movie videos to spread on the internet – so I’m amazed by how few people seemed to be familiar with what is not an obscure movie by any metric. There’s also a moment where they show the movie to George Hardy’s dentistry patients and neighbors and nobody is really sure what to make of it. I find this funny, since I tried showing Troll 2 to my mom, and she had about the same reaction and then gave up halfway through it. The problem I have with Troll 2 is that it’s not an accidental masterpiece, as it’s fairly obviously meant to be comedic, which cheapens the notion of it being “the worst movie ever made” – despite how earnest it is. I do find it interesting how the director was at such odds with the cast – with each side blaming the other for poor decisions that made the movie “worse,” aka more comedic. It’s fascinating to see how people have carried this singular appearance in a cult classic film with them as a real highlight of their life. You’d wonder how they’d feel if the film didn’t have a cult following and was just some obscure film lost to the waste bins of time, and not just an early meme.

Great to have you back in the thread again Torgo, we missed yeah! + I'm glad to see you're watching movies again (and seeing quite a lot of them too).
Onderhond wrote: May 22nd, 2022, 8:01 am 12. 3.0* - Die Nibelungen: Siegfried by Fritz Lang (1924)
Fritz Lang's German period is by far his best and most artistic. I've seen a fair few German films from that era, but I still get amazed whenever I notice how stylish and fantastical these films are, especially for their age (Die Nibelungen is almost a century old now). Siegfried is no exception. Die Nibelungen is a classic fantasy story/fairy tale, with dragons, kings and quite a bit of backstabbing. Siegfried is a fearless knight who kills a dragon and the dwarf king on his way to the castle of King Gunther. There he is allowed to marry Gunther's sister, but only if Siegfried promises to hand over the treasures he earned. The golden/sepia cinematography is lovely, the fantastical elements look pretty solid, and the story isn't too serious. The length and somewhat slower and more repetitive middle part is the only thing keeping me from giving a higher score. I'm looking forward to catching Long's other part now.
You are a person of many surprises - as I wouldn't expect this to work for you, but here we are. Its one of our favorites - as the first movie my partner and I saw together (in a gothic German class) and we make jokes and references to it all the time. Part two isn't quite as much fun, but it makes for a good story arch. Will be interesting to see your rating.
Cinema Safari (Currently working on Inyo County, CA + Zimbabwe upgrade) Help recommend me movies to watch) Letterboxd
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 8796
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#5

Post by Onderhond »

Minkin wrote: May 25th, 2022, 12:17 am You are a person of many surprises
I understand why it may appear surprising, but this graph shows it's not just a fluke. While I don't like pure slapstick comedies very much, I do tend to like the German films of that era. There's a strong focus on visuals and atmosphere, which is what I'm after in films. As soon as they had sound (and dialogue), things really went downhill for a couple of decades.
Post Reply