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Which films Did You See Last Week? 04/08/19 - 11/08/19

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sol
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Which films Did You See Last Week? 04/08/19 - 11/08/19

#1

Post by sol » August 11th, 2019, 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 (if you're like me, "real life" sometimes gets in the way, so no need to feel obliged).

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

Two Way Stretch (1960). Three criminals plan to break out of jail and then break back into to get the perfect alibi for a daring jewel heist, but things do not go to plan in this British comedy. The film benefits from an intriguing premise, but never quite capitalises on it as one of the complications is a change of jail warden. This results in a ton of non-heist related shenanigans as the trio clash with the new warden and play pranks on him like setting off an explosion in the prison quarry. Things improve a little bit as the heist eventually works its way back into focus, but even then this is a bit of a middling effort with none of the three main players in especially good form - including an overly and oddly subdued Peter Sellers. Wilfrid Hyde-White is great though in support as the prisoners' key contact on the outside, and Lionel Jeffries gives it his all as the new warden. (first viewing, DVD) ★

A Stitch in Time (1963). Banned from a private hospital, a kindly butcher goes to great lengths to sneak in to visit a sick girl in this bubbly Norman Wisdom comedy. If not as strong as Wisdom's earlier The Square Peg, this benefits greatly from the recasting of co-star Edward Chapman in another mentor role. The chemistry between them is electric, plus there are innovative point-of-view shots from a speeding gurney and madcap stunts on moving vehicles here. As Wisdom gets frozen at one point, conducts dental surgery earlier on etc., the film sometimes feels like a collection of skits loosely strung together. The filmmakers tie everything in towards the end though with the project taking a stance on funding and donations and some of the ridiculous extremes required in order to achieve such grants. Wisdom's moments with young Lucy Appleby are lovely too. (first viewing, DVD) ★★★

The Early Bird (1965). Chaos results from a bitter rivalry between a small local dairy and a large conglomerate in this Norman Wisdom comedy. The film features a nifty Fistful of Dollars spoof and some very funny moments with Edward Chapman once again in good from. The plot is, however, extremely second-rate, mostly just consisting of mounting nastiness between the dairies. Some of the ways in which Wisdom tries to get his own back are weird too; there is some amusement in him sabotaging a CEO's golf game incognito, but how exactly this is meant to help him win the milk war is unclear. Wisdom is certainly as energetic as ever and Jerry Desmonde is very good in support, but between its one-note plot, its lack of The Square Peg style satire and no potent final message as per A Stitch in Time, this is not a top tier Wisdom effort. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

Hugo the Hippo (1975). Removed from his habitat and hunted, a young hippopotamus tries to survive in this strange animated movie from Hungary. The project probably resembles Yellow Submarine more than anything else with some truly psychedelic song sequences set to vivid colours - and an absolutely wild sequence in which magical fruit and vegetables try to slaughter the hippo and a young boy who he befriends. The film is beset by some inconsistencies in terms of whether the hippo can understand human language or not; he also does some very non-animal things (e.g. waving) at some points, while he is clearly animalistic at other points. The film is additionally a little sappy with only the most obvious of messages. Between the zany sound effects and even zanier visuals, this is impossible to dismiss though with a nary a boring moment to be had. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Penitentiary (1979). Imprisoned on a wrongful murder conviction after breaking up a bar fight, an amateur boxer gets involved with illegal boxing matches run inside the jail in this gritty drama. With its portrait of African American prisoners exploited by corrupt Caucasian wardens who entice them to bash each other up, Penitentiary has acquired a cult following over time, but there is little to the film beyond this paradigm. A significant stretch of the movie, for instance, consists solely of boxing fights interspersed with non-graphic copulation scenes. The film also shies over the intriguing strings that the wardens are able to pull (and how) to reward the fight winners. Leon Isaac Kennedy is a bit of a bland protagonist too. Floyd 'Wildcat' Chatman has several strong moments as an ageing prisoner who becomes his mentor, but he is hardly in focus here. (first viewing, DVD) ★

The Midnight Hour (1985). A group of high schoolers accidentally cast a spell that brings the dead back to life, which has deadly consequences as the undead are mistaken for Halloween revelers in this horror-comedy starring Lee Montgomery. There are some funny moments in the first half of the movie, including an angry dad shouting "trick!" when pestered for treats by some young kids. The first half of the film is very low stakes though without much sense of urgency or impending danger regarding the zombie plague. Things pick up well in the second half though as a sweet romance blossoms between an undead cheerleader and the loner protagonist who is unaware of her condition. The film also features a chic send-up of Michael Jackson's Thriller video set to a similarly catchy song and the makeup effects are very decent for a low budget telepic. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Fourteen Days in May (1987). Still protesting his innocence as his execution date fast approaches, this documentary depicts the final two weeks in the life of a death row inmate. While the topic is harrowing, the way convicted Edward Earl Johnson remains cool and calm throughout is very interesting with lots of lucid conversations filmed during his final days. The documentarians also interview some of the prison staff and obtain curious opinions about the death penalty as well as Johnson's innocence/guilt. On that front, the film is heavily biased in Johnson's favour, which is not necessarily problematic, but there is room to wonder whether a more powerful film would come from forcing us to question whether even a guilty man should be executed. Whatever the case, this is intriguing stuff with the diverse perspectives that we are shown throughout. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Rubin and Ed (1991). His music confiscated until he makes a friend and brings him home for dinner, an antisocial youth convinces a desperate salesman to meet him at home, but a dead cat in a freezer interferes with their plans in this zany comedy that is unpredictable in the best possible way. Neither protagonist is very pleasant, but they both noticeably have beating human hearts. Crispin Glover's sadness over his cat (who can, of course, eat a whole watermelon) comes across most strikingly in a wacky dream sequence with water skiing and giant platform shoes that eventually morphs into a nightmare. Howard Hesseman's feelings of frustration and failure due to a recent divorce are also poignant. The film does not really gel as the critique of self-help and pyramid scheme programs that it ultimately tries to be, but it is a generally upbeat, nicely offbeat affair. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Seven Servants (1996). Wealthy but weary and tired of living, a closeted gay man hires a group of shirtless servants to stick their fingers into his orifices as part of a bizarre experiment in this daringly different German motion picture. In his final starring role, Anthony Quinn is solid as the elderly protagonist, waxing poetic about the human bonding that orifice sharing brings, and there are some simply uncanny moments as him and his servants move about as one entity - even scaring off armed robbers at one point. The experiment nevertheless leaves open several unanswered questions; none of the supporting performances are particularly good either. Still, this is an enjoyably offbeat look at an eccentric man realising an unconventional dream; sort of like The Human Centipede crossed with a 70s or 80s Cronenberg movie - except totally devoid of horror. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000). Convinced that traveling to Ibiza is the only way they can get laid, two teen disc jockey wannabes get up to mischief on the Spanish island in this British comedy. With an excess of gross-out gags (pimple popping; sea-bound turds) and too many jokes at the expense of the pair getting stiff, this is not a terribly appealing movie and Harry Endfield is downright odious as the rude and insensitive Kevin. Kathy Burke fares better as Perry, but most of that comes down to knowing that she is an actress and how credibly she plays a boy. Both look too old though to be playing characters half their age, while the more electric supporting cast members (especially Rhys Ifans) have very limited screen time. This is passable stuff while it lasts, but the film has nothing interesting to say, and for a movie about music, the tunes are average at best. (first viewing, DVD) ★

Johnny English (2003). Clumsy but motivated, a British Intelligence office worker embraces his promotion to field agent in this spy spoof starring Rowan Atkinson. There are some funny moments early on with Atkinson employing Black Adder type reactions after accidentally shooting a poison dart and knocking out a VIP, but the overall film relies very heavily on elaborate joke scenes that last too long. Atkinson upsetting a group of mourners and accidentally breaking into a hospital are especially long and protracted and therefore ultimately unfunny. The final twenty minutes are admittedly hilarious, but it is an uneven ride until then. The biggest problem is perhaps that the film sometimes works as a comedy, yet seldom works an action film - and even more rarely as a James Bond parody despite a script by the screenwriters of Die Another Day. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★

Grabbers (2012). Marketed as a movie in which its protagonists discover that they have to get drunk in order to survive an alien invasion, Grabbers is actually a far classier film than it might sound. It is not in fact until halfway in that they discover that being intoxicated can protect them, and it is really rather clever how this is worked into the film's mythology with the titular creatures suffering alcohol poisoning upon attempt to ingest the blood of inebriated individuals. The special effects are very decent too and the creatures are quite creepy when sneaking around, if never particularly scary when attacking. The film is beset by some blatantly obvious character trajectories and not all of the drunken Irish humour works, but this is a decent attempt to create an Edgar Wright style genre comedy, only littered with Irish stereotypes instead. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★★

About Time (2013). Learning that he has inherited the ability to travel back in time and alter his past, a young man uses his gift to find a girlfriend in this romantic comedy from Richard Curtis. The film is a tad creepy at first, reminiscent of Bill Murray's attempts to establish a perfect date in Groundhog Day by finding everything out about Andie MacDowell, however, Domhnall Gleeson is very earnest and charming in the lead role, and the film mostly limits his deceptions to fixing up faux pas situations rather than downright manipulation. As Gleeson's past alterations sometimes impact on his present, the film also brings Click and Eternal Sunshine to mind. As a time travel story, the film does not quite stack up with very flaky internal logic, but as a quirky romance and strained father/son relationship movie, the film hits all the right notes. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★★

Free Fire (2016). Tensions flare after insults are exchanged in an illegal weapons sale, resulting in an intense shootout between a dozen individuals in this British thriller. The film comes with the novelty of basically being a Mexican standoff expanded to a full feature film as the gunfight lasts for around an hour. It is an interesting idea but problematic too. The mere twenty minutes of exposition before the gunfight does not allow one to get under the skins of such a large slate of main characters. The plethora of close-ups also make it difficult to keep track of who is firing at who and from where, and while this captures the confusion of the situation well, it makes everything distanced and less immersive. Some of the morbid humour works as the characters converse and further insult each other while ducking for cover, but the overall film is not really that funny either. (first viewing, online) ★

Grimsby (2016). Mistaken for a traitor when his estranged brother compromises an assignment, an undercover agent reluctantly accepts his brother's help in clearing his name while avoiding assassination in this British spy comedy. Sacha Baron Cohen is obnoxious throughout, but his chemistry with Mark Strong is undeniable, and his antics become more tolerable as the film progresses. It is a frequently funny film too with charming moments as some local kids help to foil assassins as well as hilarity with a toilet/sex misunderstanding and a poison sucking incident. Not all of the gags work with some of the more gross-out ones (e.g. the elephants) not really gelling. The movie weaves in the brothers' past and what caused their separation as children very well though, and the film always works as a sibling reunion story even if the comedy sometimes misses. (first viewing, online) ★★★

Midsommar (2019). More than merely a Wicker Man tribute, this Ari Aster horror film directly invites comparisons to the British horror classic, which does not serve it well. Aster spins a far more complex mythology with so much going on at the isolated commune setting that it dilutes the central mystery and turns much of the happenings into 'weird for the sake of it'. What made The Wicker Man so haunting was how simple the motives and the solution were with the protagonist tragically overlooking the obvious. With unclear whys and wherefores, Midsommar rather ends on a 'huh'. That said, there is certainly a lot of interest here, from the relationship and surrogate family themes to the inventive, sometimes upside down photography, to the subtle special effects with buildings, flowers and so on gently bending and moving in the backdrop of a number of shots. (first viewing, cinema) ★★
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Perception de Ambiguity
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#2

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » August 11th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Шанхайский документ / The Shanghai Document (Яков Блиох/Yakov Bliokh, 1928) 5/10

In and Out of Africa (Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 1992) 6-/10

Bilder einer Ausstellung (Ulrich Seidl, 1996) 6+/10

Cremaster 1 (Matthew Barney, 1996) 6/10

Assassins et voleurs / Lovers and Thieves (Sacha Guitry, 1956) 6/10

Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt? (Slatan Dudow, written by Bertolt Brecht & Ernst Ottwald, 1932) 9-/10

トワイライトQ / Twilight Q (望月智充/Tomomi Mochizuki & 押井守/Mamoru Oshii, 1987) 5+/10

Dance of the Damned (Katt Shea, 1989) (2nd viewing) 7/10


shorts

Vita d'Olanda / Life in Holland (Piero Marelli, 1911) 6/10

Metall des Himmels (Walter Ruttmann, 1935) 4-/10

Le Christ dans la cité (Marcel Hanoun, 1962) 7/10

Fluxfilm 17: 5 O'Clock in the Morning (Pieter Vanderbiek, 1966) 3/10

Not Resting (Nicky Hamlyn, 1999) 3/10

Pink Swine! (Larry Jordan, 1962) (2 viewings) 5/10

Pools (Barbara Hammer, 1981) 7/10

Pond and Waterfall (Barbara Hammer, 1982) 6/10

Stone Circles (Barbara Hammer, 1983) 5/10

Happenstance (part one of many parts) (Gary Hill, 1982-83) 8/10

Soleil (Pierre Clémenti, 1988) (2nd viewing) 7/10


music videos

TenSing Köln: Selber Machen Lassen (Deichkind Cover) (2016) (2 viewings) 6/10


series

Get a Life: "Prisoner of Love" (written by Charlie Kaufman, 1991) 4-/10

Get a Life: "1977 2000" (written by Charlie Kaufman, 1992) 6-/10


didn't finish

Haishi / The Deserted City (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1984) [55 min]

United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006) [34 min]

Night Pulse (Damon Packard, 2018) [21 min]

The Hot Spot (Dennis Hopper, 1990) [20 min]

Black Moon (Roy William Neill, 1934) [19 min]

Star Trek: "The Devil in the Dark" (1967) (probable would-be rewatch) [18 min]

Nekomimi (Jun Kurosawa, 1994) [11 min]

The Congress (Ari Folman, 2013) [8 min]


notable online media

top:
Personal & Global Existential Crisis?
rest:
The Darker Meaning Behind HEY YA!
[Tarantino's latest public ramblings (along with the OUaTiH cast)]
[ 4K ] Tokyo Summer Festivals - Shimbashi Koichi Matsuri - 新橋こいち祭り2019
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LETTERBOXD | MUBI | IMDb | tumblr.

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#3

Post by Onderhond » August 11th, 2019, 12:29 pm

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I've seen some decent genre work this week, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Although films like Brightburn, Crawl and Rim of the World definitely turned out better than expected. On the bottom some mediocre to terrible documentaries and a boring TV film that somehow made it on the blockbuster list.


Image

01. 4.0* - The Brand New Testament [Le Tout Nouveau Testament] (2015)
A superbly fun and charming mix of comedy and fantasy. Van Dormael creates a world that thrives on an endless stream of ingenious little details. The execution is terrific, the acting exemplary. Just a smidgen too repetitive during the middle part, but don't let that hold you back, because there is so much to enjoy here.

02. 3.5* - Brightburn (2019)
A pretty amusing, evil take on Superman. The horror beats are surprisingly effective while the superhero nonsense clearly takes a back seat. It's a shame the film isn't mean-spirited enough, though the ending does its best to add some extra grit to the film. A welcome variation on some tired old tropes, but the execution lacked that extra bit of spice.

03. 3.5* - Crawl (2019)
A surprisingly effective croc-chiller from Alexandre Aja. Not really a big fan of this particular niche, but Aja managed to make it tense and exciting. Crawl is little more than a neat little genre film, warts and all, but if you manage to look past the leaps of logic then there's a lot of fun to be had here. Not a must-see, but horror fans are sure to have a good time.

04. 3.5* - Rim of the World (2019)
McG isn't very shy about his inspiration here, at the same time all these influences are just that: influences. Rim of the World is a film that is primarily focused on being as fun and amusing as possible. Be damned plot, background story and consistency. This is probably not the most popular approach, but it sure is my preferred one for nonsensical films like this.

05. 3.0* - The Losers (2010)
Simple but fun action flick that doesn't hide its comic book influences, but never quite finds a way to translate them effectively to the screen. What it lacks most though is a bad-ass bad guy, Patric does a pretty poor job portraying Max. All in all a neat little diversion, but a better director could've done a lot more with it.

06. 3.0* - Gandahar (1988)
A pretty decent sci-fi adventure that makes up for its poor animation with strange and creative designs. The story is somewhat generic, but the adventure elements are effective and it's fun discovering the weird planet and its unique creatures. There's a fair amount of kitsch here, but animation fans are sure to find something they like.

07. 2.5* - The Magical Clock, or The Little Girl Who Wanted to Be a Princess [L'horloge Magique ou La Petite Fille qui Voulait Être Princesse] (1928)
A decent stop-motion animation, especially considering its age. The story isn't all that interesting though and once the initial charm has worn off there isn't that much to enjoy, but it's definitely interesting to see what they could accomplish with very limited techniques almost 100 years ago. A fun curiosity, but little more than that.

08. 2.5* - And Everything Is Going Fine (2010)
Nice doc on Spalding Gray, though maybe a little too focused on his work and monologues. While they are primarily stories about himself and his family, Gray literally explains their poetic foundation, which makes them less fit for a documentary. Even so, a decent portrait of a man with an interesting life and fine career.

09. 2.0* - Thelma (2017)
Influences of fantasy, horror and mystery cinema, presented as a cold-blooded Scandinavian arthouse drama. It's pretty decent, but it's also very expected and derivative. The film lacks tension and fails to cash in on its genre elements, what remains is a rather slow and dreary story about a girl with some peculiar gifts. Not that great.

10. 2.0* - Project Ithaca (2019)
Solid concept, but the execution is pretty poor and Project Ithaca often feels like a collage of other films. Some mediocre performances, boring characters and rather basic special effects make it needlessly hard to get into the film and ultimately there isn't all that much to keep you interested. This is mediocre genre filler for fans only.

11. 2.0* - Pisnicht: The Movie (2019)
A simple ego-doc about the director's problems growing up as a gay kid. Attempts to frame the problem in a broader global context are shallow and fail to make much of an impact, while some segments are simply pointless and could've been scrapped in full. But at least the self-reflection felt genuine and sincere, sadly that's not quite enough to recommend it.

12. 1.5* - The Hustle (2019)
A poor and lifeless comedy that fails to be funny, smart and/or witty. Wilson is her charming self, but the rest of the cast is extremely stiff and boring. Chris Addison isn't much of a director and the writing is predictable, with hardly any jokes landing. The Southern France vibe gives the film some charm, but that's the only nice thing I have to say about this one.

13. 1.5* - The Firm (1993)
A bland thriller that tries to up the ante during the last hour, but fails completely as a semi-action flick. The film is overly long, Pollack's direction is uninspired and the acting is very mediocre. The middle part is okay I guess, but after 150+ minutes that's not at all enough to leave me with a contented feeling.

14. 1.0* - Enter the Anime (2019)
If you really want to know more about anime, I'm sure there must be better docs than this one. It's really just an ad in disguise, touting a couple of Netflix animes while treating Japan like some kind of alien world. The narration is irritating, the topics are mind boggling and 60 minutes is way too short, even for an introduction in to the world of Japanese animation.

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#4

Post by Coryn » August 11th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Another week of working my way down the 20+ list movies mixed with some 'lighter' movies.

Mean Girls (2004) 6/10
Watched with my girlfriend and went exactly as I expected. 13 in a dozen but it helps that I like high school related movies so there's that.

Brief Encounter (1945) 5/10
Wish I loved it more but it was just boring to me. David Lean might become my least favorite director it seems.

The Red Shoes (1948) 7/10
Very charming movie. The dancing sequence was awesome but the ending was too 'classic' for a lack of better words.

Der Himmel über Berlin (1987) 7/10
Top 10 in most beautifully shot pictures I have seen but on the other hand it was the only thing I could focus myself on since the murmuring was getting annoying to me.

Oslo, 31. augst (2011) 7/10
Dardenne brothers would definitely be proud if they made this movie. Great realism but lacked something. After the movie was done I wanted to give this a 6 but it might as well change to an 8 after another week of thinking about it.

Grey Gardens (1975) 5/10
This had all the ingredients but nothing much was done with it. Can compare this with American Movie (1999) but everything is worse here.

Raging Bull (1980) 8/10
Best movie of the week. Awesome drama and biography of La Motta. De Niro really made me hate his characters guts which is an amazing thing to achieve.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) 7/10
Classic story and one that aged pretty well.

Whores' Glory (2011) 7/10
Saddest movie I've seen in a while. Made me realise how lucky I am to be born here in Belgium and how we 1st worlders take it for granted.

Shoplifters (2018) 6,5/10
Started off really well but in the end I was left a bit unsatisfied. Korean family dramas are my cup of tea but this one I didn't really feel.

Touching The Void (2003) 7/10
Insane story about 2 mountain climbers fighting for their lifes. I like hiking in mountains myself but this would be a big no.

Peeping Tom (1960) 7,5/10
Awesome and original horror flick.

Under the Skin (2013) 4/10
No thanks, I won't call it pretentious as I don't like the word but it was no fun for sure.
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#5

Post by Eve-Lang-El-Coup » August 11th, 2019, 1:30 pm

@Ondehond: I thought Rim of the World was fun but the editing was probably as bad as a modern film could get.

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#6

Post by Eve-Lang-El-Coup » August 11th, 2019, 1:50 pm

I finished off Neon Genesis Evangelion and damn, after the first 13 episodes I thought it was a pretty normal anime, then the second half came along. It still had some eh moments from time to time, but yeah, petty great indeed. I also watched End of Evangelion which was good as well.

Dead of Night (1945) A series of fun spooky tales with a cute li'l ending.
To the Forest of Firefly Lights (2011)
Colorful (2010)
The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Farewell To Nostradamus (1995)
The Society (2019)
Mediterranea (2015)
Megazone 23 I (1985)
Megazone 23 II (1986)
Megazone 23 III (1989)
The Wandering Earth (2019) It's like The Day After Tomorrow in space.
Demon City Shinjuku (1988) A Surprisingly good horror/action tale. I got similar vibes to Grey: Digital Target.
Legendary Weapons of China (1982) The finale was epic in a good way.
I finished the week off with three helpings of Banjong Pisanthanakun. One Day (2016) - Pee Mak (2013) - Shutter (2004). They were all fun, creepy movies.

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#7

Post by peeptoad » August 11th, 2019, 1:58 pm

Hi sol and All! Hope everyone had a great week... heading out the door in a few, so I have to make this quick.

sol-
Grabbers (2012) 6
...that's the only one I've seen of yours, though Midnight Hour is on my watch list. 14 Days in May also sounds really interesting.

PdA-
Dance of the Damned (1989) 7

Onderhond-
Gandahar (1988) 7

Coryn-
Mean Girls (2004) 5 (and I just rated that from memory since I hadn't rated it. Someone I used to know actually dragged me to the cinema for that one, ha ha. Not really my kind of film)
Raging Bull (1980) 8
Peeping Tom (1960) 7+ due for rewatch actually.
Under the Skin (2013) 8 Loved the visual qualities (and content) and Johansson was quite good

Eve-Lang-El-Coup-
Dead of Night (1945) 7
Demon City Shinjuku (1988) 6

mine this week (all viewed for the UK/IRE challenge)-
The Brides of Dracula (1960) 7
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) 7
Macbeth (2015) 5
The Kiss of the Vampire (1963) 6
The Shadow of the Cat (1961) 7
The House That Vanished (1973) 6
Withnail and I (1987) 8
The Plague of Zombies (1966) 8*
The Imitation Game (2014) 7

*rewatch

:cheers:

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sol
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#8

Post by sol » August 11th, 2019, 2:15 pm

PdA:

Huh. I think you give up on more films on a regular basis than anyone I know. I am hardly perfect myself and I will occasionally start a movie when I am not in the mood and will switch and come back to it a few hours (or even a couple of days later) but in terms of totally giving up on a film, that probably happens to me less than 10 times year - and if I make it past the first 20 minutes, I have a cardinal rule to see it out until the end.

Onderhond:

Aw. I liked The Firm enough at the time, though I guess it's been a while because I don't recall it being an action or even "semi-action flick". I remember the strong sense of mystery that hung in the air throughout with the firm being like some of sort of secret cult organisation. I also recall really liking Hal Holbrook and Wilfred Brimley in the film, though I guess none of the other performances were that amazing. As for Pollack's directing, my preference relies with his paranoia-ridden films like this one and Three Days of the Condor, though if you're more of an Out of Africa guy, to each his own.

The Brand New Testament though is something that we can agree on - especially the performance of the young lead actress - there is a reason why I chose her image for the Benelux Challenge OP. Some really cool Kafkaesque sets in the film too. Absolutely love her dad's library/office, wall to wall and up to the ceiling in filing cabinets.

I also liked And Everything is Going to Be Fine quite a bit, so nice to see a positive take there. I loved the way that Soderbergh prevented all of the monologues from becoming repetitive by constantly cutting away to different angles and camera distances throughout.

Coryn:

I disliked The Red Shoes but loved Under the Skin (one of my favourite films of the decade), which I guess just goes to show once again how far removed our tastes in films are. And actually our taste in film aesthetics too, I suppose, since Under the Skin is exactly my sort of atmospheric horror film. Also seen seven other films of yours this week; far too unsustainable a number for me to try to comment on them all.

Eve:

Just finished watching The Wandering Earth, which was more interesting than I expected it to be, but then I was expecting it to be a terrible whereas it was just averageish as far as disaster movies go. I liked Dead of Night quite a bit at the time, and Castle of Cagliostro was fun and certainly not Miyazaki's weakest as I had heard before sitting down to watch it. Seen nothing else of yours.

peeps:

Yeah, Grabbers was surprisingly decent given how stupid the "get drunk to survive" premise sounded on paper. One thing that irked me though: the town conveniently has no citizens aged under 18; I mean, imagine having to get a baby drunk in order to survive an alien invasion...

The Midnight Hour is a lot of fun and easily found online. ;) It is a silly sort of film in which the monsters/zombies do not really pose any threat, but the romance was amazingly touching and credible. It does take a while for the romance angle to begin though and I was wondering for a bit whether I could genuinely count it for the Romance Challenge this month.

Fourteen Days in May is yeah, pretty interesting. I am against the death penalty (and have been for as long as I can remember) so the film did nothing to change my mind, but it was great to listen to prison staff members, prisoners and others debate the issue, though a Dead Man Walking type of twist would have been interesting (though I guess not possible, it being taken from a real case and all).

Yours:

Incredibly enough, I haven't seen a single one of your horror viewings this week - though several are on my watchlist for the month. The high rating for Plague of the Zombies is especially interesting since I'm not big into zombie films; curiosity piqued, thanks.

I have seen The Imitation Game though, which I thought was pretty great with its look at a social misfit trying to crack two lots of codes: Enigma and fitting in with societal expectations. Awesome Alexandre Desplat score as always too.
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#9

Post by Coryn » August 11th, 2019, 6:06 pm

That's what keeps it interesting I guess :)
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#10

Post by RedHawk10 » August 11th, 2019, 9:17 pm

Just one:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) - 9/10
Disclaimer: I am generally not a fan of QT.

The incredible last half hour or so of this is going to be completely misread by a lot of people, fans and detractors alike. Deeply moving in a way I didn't think Tarantino was capable of, a knockout ending in which a burning rage and disgust - at what was taken, who took it, why they took it, the revolting unfairness of it all - is channeled into a triumphant, adrenalizing dream, a dream that slowly fades into an unshakable sadness. More resonant in today's world than ever.

His best work by far, nothing else he's done comes even remotely close.

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#11

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » August 12th, 2019, 11:10 am

Last Tango In Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972) - 6- theatrical DCP

Great Day In the Morning (Jacques Tourneur, 1956) - 7+ theatrical 35mm

A caça / The Hunt / Hunting (Manoel de Oliveira, 1964) - 6+

Rehearsals For Retirement (Phil Solomon, 2007) - 9-

Paddington 2 (Paul King, 2017) - 8+ rewatch

+ 2 episodes of Chris Marker's The Owl's Legacy
Last edited by viktor-vaudevillain on August 12th, 2019, 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#12

Post by peeptoad » August 12th, 2019, 12:05 pm

sol wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 2:15 pm
peeps:

Yeah, Grabbers was surprisingly decent given how stupid the "get drunk to survive" premise sounded on paper. One thing that irked me though: the town conveniently has no citizens aged under 18; I mean, imagine having to get a baby drunk in order to survive an alien invasion...

The Midnight Hour is a lot of fun and easily found online. ;) It is a silly sort of film in which the monsters/zombies do not really pose any threat, but the romance was amazingly touching and credible. It does take a while for the romance angle to begin though and I was wondering for a bit whether I could genuinely count it for the Romance Challenge this month.

Fourteen Days in May is yeah, pretty interesting. I am against the death penalty (and have been for as long as I can remember) so the film did nothing to change my mind, but it was great to listen to prison staff members, prisoners and others debate the issue, though a Dead Man Walking type of twist would have been interesting (though I guess not possible, it being taken from a real case and all).

Yours:

Incredibly enough, I haven't seen a single one of your horror viewings this week - though several are on my watchlist for the month. The high rating for Plague of the Zombies is especially interesting since I'm not big into zombie films; curiosity piqued, thanks.

I have seen The Imitation Game though, which I thought was pretty great with its look at a social misfit trying to crack two lots of codes: Enigma and fitting in with societal expectations. Awesome Alexandre Desplat score as always too.
The Plague of Zombies is actually one of my favorites of all the Hammer horrors I've seen thus far (maybe 2/3 of them overall). It's got some creepy sequences and I love some of the set pieces and setting. Think it was filmed in some big, old house in England somewhere, but it looks really cool and helps set the mood. Brook Williams and some of the others did a good job (one scene in particular with Williams made me laugh out loud both times I saw this... or rather a well-timed edit/cut made me laugh). And the blu ray is a step up in quality. So it gets the peeptoad seal of approval for Hammer©. B) :thumbsup:

Never even considered the baby angle for Grabbers, ha ha. That def would have taken that rather lighthearted affair in a slightly different direction I think. :whistling:

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#13

Post by GruesomeTwosome » August 12th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Hi sol. Ah, so you finally got to see Midsommar. Too bad you didn't like it as much as I did (still only a 7/10 for me, not great, but I found more to like in this than Hereditary).

I haven't watched much lately, so these few films cover the last 2 weeks:

Molly's Game (2017, Aaron Sorkin) - 5/10

Sudden Death (1995, Peter Hyams) - 5/10. After having watched Hard Target (1993) and enjoying that bit of fun action silliness, I was in the mood for a little more Van Damme and checked out this one that uses the Die Hard formula (this time, the terrorists have infiltrated a hockey arena and taken hostages). Ehh, rather by-the-numbers...maybe I'll cool it for now with the JCVD movies.

Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (2019, Quentin Tarantino) theatrical - 8/10. Really loved how QT captures the sense of time and place here...felt like I was right there in the dustier, off-the-beaten-path TV backlots of 1969 Hollywood. This factor plus the interplay and relationship between DiCaprio and Pitt's characters, the sort of "hangout" vibe and with little regard to narrative, were my favorite aspects of this and I found myself fully immersed in this world. Still weighing my thoughts on whether I was pleased or not with the ending and how the Manson/Tate story meshed, but overall this was a very pleasing theatrical experience. See this on the big screen.

Aquaman (2018, James Wan) - 5/10

Incredibles 2 (2018, Brad Bird) - 6/10. After seeing the first film for the first time a few weeks ago, and greatly enjoying it, this sequel was quite disappointing. Overstuffed, unfocused narrative and just felt there was something missing this time around.
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#14

Post by sol » August 12th, 2019, 2:20 pm

RedHawk:

I have no idea how exactly movie distribution works, but it's absolutely nuts in this day and age that a high profile movie like Tarantino's latest does not get released everywhere in the world at the same time. It opens here Wednesday.

viktor:

I liked the Paddington sequel, though I have it on much the same level as the first.

peeps:

Well, I have Plague on the Zombies on Blu-ray as you suggest, so I guess I am ticking the right box there if I make room for it this month. Not sure what my favourite Hammer horror film would be. I don't dig their films as much as most, but their "mini-Hitchcocks" as described on the Wikipedia page are probably where my preference lies, though I love Quatermass 2 too.

Yeah, Grabbers could have been quite daring and boundary-pushing had it explored getting babies (or at least young kids) drunk to protect them - though I guess that would have been considered in poor taste. It did make me wonder though how many communities in existence only consist of adults. That may have been the case in Waking Ned Devine too if I recall correctly, but the whole no-kids thing just seemed waayyy too convenient for me as a way of making the film 'safe'.

Gruesome:

Just to be clear, while they are both strong 6/10s in my books, I did prefer Midsommar to Hereditary, if only slightly so. It is certainly a more technically ambitious and unconventional horror film with its deliberate pacing and lack of jump scares, but whereas Hereditary only really fell apart at the end for me, I found Midsommar gradually falling apart as the end approached.

Oh, and re: "finally got to see" it, the film opened on Thursday last week and is only playing in one cinema (!) in my entire city (2 million people; it is not a small place either). I'm not sure quite sure why the film hasn't opened wider here or why it took so long for the AU distributors to greenlight it, but I guess unlike Hereditary - which played everywhere here - it does not have a bankable Australian star.

Anyway, let's use the spoiler tags here:
SpoilerShow
I found it clumsy how Midsommar never revealed the true motives of the cult/commune. It is hinted that they needed to bring it outsiders to impregnate their own and avoid inbreeding, but I didn't buy into the commune being small enough for this to be a problem. There is also no reason to burn the outsiders in that temple - other than to force a Wicker Man comparison. Are they meant to be a sacrifice, and if so, why is this not early elaborated on? The beauty of The Wicker Man is how everything revolves around their desire for a plentiful new harvest with Woodward only tragically cottoning on to his role in this towards the end. I am not a fan of 'weird for the sake of it' films either, and between this and Hereditary, it is clear that Ari Aster finds naked older people creepier, but it's a little too much of a cliché to really unsettle me personally.

I don't know. There is probably more, but at a basic level, I guess I just found the resolution, climax etc trivial because it did not really build upon what the movie established early on, as opposed to something like The Wicker Man. The upside down shots, background distortions and so on were amazing (also the lighting / mirrors in her apartment) but I would rather see Aster direct from somebody else's script next time he ventures behind the camera.

Yours:

Well, yes - I am hoping to see the new QT on the big screen when the distributors finally release it here (see my comments to RH above). Seen nothing of yours this week, and sounds like I may be skipping the Incredibles sequels since the original disappointed me as it was.
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#15

Post by peeptoad » August 12th, 2019, 3:11 pm

sol wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 2:20 pm

peeps:

Well, I have Plague on the Zombies on Blu-ray as you suggest, so I guess I am ticking the right box there if I make room for it this month. Not sure what my favourite Hammer horror film would be. I don't dig their films as much as most, but their "mini-Hitchcocks" as described on the Wikipedia page are probably where my preference lies, though I love Quatermass 2 too.
Oh, I love Quatermass 2! :wub: That might actually be my fav Hammer. Most hammer fare is in the good but not great range for me, but a few I rate more highly and Q2 is one, 'Zombies, and Capt Kronos I also enjoyed quite a bit

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#16

Post by joachimt » August 14th, 2019, 7:48 pm

I watched two movies before going on vacation. Then on vacation my only source was the Netflix app in which I downloaded a few movies. Some of them I wouldn't have watched at all otherwise.

Giù la testa AKA Duck, You Sucker (1971, 2 official lists, 2819 checks) 7/10
Watched because it used to be on TSPDT.
Fun enough, but very far from Leone's masterpieces.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972, 1 official list, 2005 checks) 7/10
Watched because it used to be on TSPDT.
Nice western with hardly any story.
Ted 2 (2015, 1 official list, 4515 checks) 7/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Netflix.
Surprisingly funny. I'm rating this higher than part 1 (which was also better than expected). Not sure if I really liked it better. Maybe I was more in the mood for this. At least I'm sure I laughed more this time and I actually laughed out loud, something I don't do often anymore with movies. The dialogue is great. It's full of funny oneliners. There are lots of references to other movies and the plot idea is pretty funny as well (a talking bear fighting for his right to be called "a person").
Hereditary (2018, 3 official lists, 3922 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Netflix.
Is it a familydrama? Is it a supernatural horror? Well, it's both. Interesting attempt to combine these, but it didn't really work for me.
La Bamba (1987, 1 official list, 1723 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Netflix.
A shame the acting is pretty bad. Rest was okay.
Paris est à nous AKA Paris Is Us (2019, 0 official lists, 32 checks) 5/10
Watched because it's on MovieMeter's Top 1000 and available on Netflix.
Onderhond is probably going to tell me how wrong I am, but this is a complete Malick-ripoff. I recently watched Knight of Cups and Song to Song, which I both didn't fully enjoy. Now Netflix comes with a copy of these. Two lovers are followed by the camera in many closeups and angles and we constantly get the cuts of shots where the camera slides over the characters. We mostly see the girl, who's the lead, but a lot of the shots just went on without any purpose. The biggest difference between this and the Malicks, is that it's easier to follow most of the story, although further on it suddenly presents some incomprehensible stuff to piss off the viewer or whatever. 5/10
The Woman in Black (2012, 1 official list, 8179 checks) 5/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Netflix.
Cliché horror.
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#17

Post by maxwelldeux » August 14th, 2019, 8:03 pm

joachimt wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:48 pm
Ted 2 (2015, 1 official list, 4515 checks) 7/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Netflix.
Surprisingly funny. I'm rating this higher than part 1 (which was also better than expected). Not sure if I really liked it better. Maybe I was more in the mood for this. At least I'm sure I laughed more this time and I actually laughed out loud, something I don't do often anymore with movies. The dialogue is great. It's full of funny oneliners. There are lots of references to other movies and the plot idea is pretty funny as well (a talking bear fighting for his right to be called "a person").
Yeah, I though Amanda Seyfried's character worked really well. I'm a fan of this style of comedy, and both Ted and its sequel work really well for. And that Gollum joke about Seyfried had me howling!

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