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Which films Did You See Last Week? 03/10/19 - 10/11/19

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Which films Did You See Last Week? 03/10/19 - 10/11/19

#1

Post by sol » November 10th, 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

I hope you all had a better movie-watching week than me. I was busier than usual so watched less films than usual and around half of them were mediocre noirs. I did, however, see at least one great film / new favourite this week, which is actually better than I managed last week. :unsure:

Take One False Step (1949). Convinced that he will be accused of murder when an old flame mysteriously goes missing, a lecturer hides out while conducting his own investigation in this crime drama starring William Powell. The Thin Man star is still as solid as ever, despite noticeably looking old, and the film has some lovely low lighting photography from Oscar nominee Franz Planer, most notably when Powell searches an apartment in the dark and Powell's reflection in a photo frame while on the phone. The whole thing feels a little daft though with Powell's fear of being accused always seeming irrational; much of the film is also derailed by a bizarre subplot in which the police leak false radio reports in order to make Powell believe that he was bitten by a rabid dog. This is passable enough entertainment but hardly anyone's finest hour. (first viewing, online) ★★

Chinatown at Midnight (1949). Dedicated detectives pursue a Chinatown art thief and murderer in this brief noir outing starring Hurd Hatfield of Dorian Gray fame as the criminal in question. While we never truly get under his skin, Hatfield has a curious character with his mastering of Cantonese in order to throw the police off his scent, having made incriminating phone calls in Chinese. There are several nifty shots too - especially at a zoo aquarium. The film is greatly beset, however, by being fashioned as a docudrama, complete with dull narration that tends to only state the obvious and limited character development for the detective protagonists beyond plot function. The highly expensive solution that the detectives come up with to catch Hatfield never feels realistic either, but this is an okay time passer with occasional moments of dread and suspense. (first viewing, online) ★

City Across the River (1949). Two high school students shoot their science teacher during an after school altercation in this crime drama based on a novel by Irving Shulman of Rebel without a Cause fame. The basic idea is not half-bad with some intense bits as the teens debate whether they should run away or pretend that nothing has happened, however, their felony does not get centre focus as the screenwriters insist on turning everything into a heavy-handed 'crimes does not pay' melodrama. The initial narration, asking us to imagine ourselves in the protagonist's shoes, is awful, and while it gradually becomes less frequent, the project is still heavily weighed down by wearing its heart on its sleeve. Everything is so clearly marked as oh-so-sad and unfortunate for the youths of the poverty-stricken city that the story looses any oomph in its obviousness. (first viewing, online) ★

Walk a Crooked Mile (1948). Both keen on stopping secret formulae from being smuggled out of the United States, an FBI agent and a Scotland Yard inspector join forces in this anti-Commie noir entry. Some of the technology used by the two men is pretty interesting as they find ways to discover coded messages embedded in paintings; the pair also interact well together with some slight but noticeable suggestions of the two become a little bit more than just good friends. The docudrama fashion of the film weighs against it though with a fair bit of intrusive monotone narration that only spells out the obvious, but at least the narration disappears for significant stretches, as opposed to other pro-FBI flag-waving films such as Walk East on Beacon! The formulae at hand are ultimately little more than McGuffins, but this okay stuff for a film of its sort. (first viewing, online) ★

Walk East on Beacon! (1952). Federal agents target a Communist spy ring operating out of Boston in this forgettable noir. Fashioned as a docudrama, the film adulates the bravery of the FBI agents to such an extreme degree that it feels nothing short of pro-Bureau propaganda. The monotone narration of Westbrook Van Voorhis also drains the story of the limited suspension and tension that it could have had. The film is, however, almost interesting due to its showcasing of old school technology including early video surveillance equipment, all of which is gloriously shot by Joseph C. Brun. Finlay Currie is also solid as usual but has little to work with. The film feels a bit condescending towards the citizens of Boston too, featuring several characters who were apparently so foolish as to be duped into joining the Commies against their will or something like that. (first viewing, online) ★

Footsteps in the Night (1957). Unconvinced that the chief suspect in a strangulation murder is actually guilty, a maverick detective goes to extreme lengths to unmask the truth in this nifty low budget noir. Clocking in at just over an hour, there is nary a boring moment to be had and there are several very neat low lighting shots courtesy of Harry Neumann, who also shot The Phenix City Story and The Maze. The chief suspect is not a terribly well developed character with an intriguing compulsive gambling addiction that is disappointingly more often mentioned than actually discussed; the detective is not much more interesting either, if played with ample charisma by Bill Elliott. The case itself though is fairly gripping with the plot becoming deliciously more twisted it progresses along and the true motives behind the murder slowly surface. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Housemaid (1960). Hiring a young and impressionable housemaid has drastic consequences for a struggling family in this South Korean thriller. The film is slow to warm up with much time spent establishing the music teacher protagonist as someone lusted after by all his teen students despite exuding limited charisma. Once it gets going though, the movie rarely lets up and the second half is especially strong as things becoming increasingly twisted as power dynamics shift and the housemaid ends up manipulating and controlling her employers (who always took her for granted) and their children (who never gave her a proper chance). The film is also exquisitely photographed, with shots through glasses of water and mobile camerawork. The dénouement is pretty great too, even if the final minute of the movie feels tagged on and tonally inconsistent. (first viewing, online) ★★★★

Fire Woman (1971). Essentially a remake of The Housemaid by the same director as the original, this version is updated to the '70s and the whole thing is vibrantly shot in colour this time, but it is a mixed bag overall. The most notable change is that the housemaid is innocent and raped this time (compared to the seductress of the original), which makes her character less ambiguous and mysterious but also more intriguing with the way she gradually changes. The remake is mostly let down by a superfluous murder subplot and too much dialogue taken verbatim from its predecessor. On the other hand, there are some breathtaking rapid fire cut montages and lots of innovative shots of the characters obscured by blurry windows, curtains and the like. The remake also makes the family seem less like innocent victims - without the need for a silly ending. (first viewing, online) ★★

The Insect Woman (1972). Mistress to a man with a jealous wife, a teenager suspects the wife is trying to scare her to death in this borderline horror film from South Korea. It is over an hour in before the horror ignites with some creepy moments involving rat nightmares and a toddler who seems to have a taste for mice, and while the first hour benefits from creative shots (a close-up of a screaming mouth; the wife's face partially obscured by a glass bowl), the tone is all over the place, jumping from comedy to melodrama and everything in between. While the more tonally consistent second half flows better and also has some cool shots, such as from under a glass table, there is little ambiguity that the wife is trying to scare her, which in turns makes this more of a simple revenge flick as opposed to the psychological horror film that it could have been. (first viewing, online) ★

Eight Legged Freaks (2002). Along similar lines to Them! and Tarantula, this horror flick involves giant spiders that overtake a rural town when exposure to nuclear waste causes them to mutate. With scenes from 50s B-movies often seen on TV sets, the film attempts to be a tongue-in-cheek take on the horror subgenre, and occasional bits and pieces work, like the kid who knows that he will not be taken seriously since kids never are in monster movies. Such audience-winking only pops on occasion though and populated by stock type characters only, the film often feels no better than the cheap movies that it models itself on. The special effects are impressive, and there is superbly crafted cat/spider fight that is only seen through protruding faces in walls, but the film plays it a little safe, and never feels as grisly or funny as it could have been. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

I Spit on Your Grave (2010). Remaking one of the most controversial horror movies of the 1970s, the filmmakers introduce some interesting new angles here with an ambiguous sheriff and a lingering sense of mystery after the rape encounter before the protagonist returns. Andrew Howard is very good as the sheriff and some of the jump scares during her absence are effective. The film not only changes the structure of the original's events though but also how she goes about her revenge; the remake comes off as less of a female empowerment tale than the original in which she was able to use of her sexuality to take down the men who violated her. Here, her revenge is more torture porn style. Some of her acts are imaginative, but her extremes force us to question her actions rather than sympathise with her this time... but that may have been the point. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

American Ultra (2015). Unaware that he is a sleeper agent, a stoner is taken aback by his quick and lethal reflexes when his activation is messed up in this action comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg. Convinced that he might be a robot, Eisenberg provides a strong lead performance that varies between funny and highly sympathetic and Kristen Stewart does well as his understanding girlfriend too. Bits and pieces feel undernourished here, especially the murky reasons why Eisenberg is wanted dead. His MacGyver style weapons and attacks are also easily the highlight of the film, yet only appear sporadically in between routine gunplay and hand combat. Still, this is a thoroughly enjoyable ride from start to finish with lots of fun coming from Eisenberg's constant surprise at what he can do and nicely choreographed fight scenes across unusual locations. (first viewing, Blu-ray Disc) ★★★

The Terror, Live (2013). Initially excited by the media exclusive when a terrorist detonates a bomb while chatting on his live talkback show, a ruthless reporter grows nervous when the caller reveals that he has planted an explosive device in his ear in this South Korean thriller. The film is boosted by a nifty premise that has been aptly compared to Phone Booth as the reporter is fed demands by the terrorist who also tells him that he will explode the device if he tries to signal for help. Too much attention is, however, given to the social concerns (terrorist's motivation) with formulaic anti-government ideas and a truckload of melodrama in the third act. The greed and corruption angles are by-the-books too. The film works though when focused on the reporter's difficulty carrying on without being able to divulge everything with Jung-woo Ha well cast in the lead. (first viewing, DVD) ★★

The Commuter (2018). Easily a cut above Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra's other mindless action collaborations, this thriller benefits from a very decent premise that has been accurately described as Hitchcockian as Neeson unwittingly enters into a pact with a stranger on a train. The film takes a while to reach this point and all the jump cuts and mismatched colour saturation shots early on are really hard to get through, but from the meeting with the mysterious lady onwards, the film delivers well. The premise is more than a little fantastical and improbable and the movie works better in mystery rather than action mode (which it gradually progresses into) but this is a surprisingly acute look at human desperation with our protagonist forced to make some very tough moral and ethical calls while everything seems increased stacked against him. (first viewing, online) ★★★
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#2

Post by Onderhond » November 10th, 2019, 12:25 pm

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Quite few disappointments this week, though the worst films were mostly compulsory "gotta finish this series" watches, which isn't that bad. Luckily there was also Tsukamoto's newest and few solid entries from Hiroki, Ishii and Soderbergh.


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01. 4.5* - Killing [Zan] by Shinya Tsukamoto (2018)
Starts off a little restrained, especially for a Tsukamoto film, but once it gets going it becomes an unstoppable force. Well acted, beautifully scored and largely defined by Tsukamoto's trademark camera work, Killing is a film that may be short and light on plot, but leaves a big impression nonetheless. Great stuff.

02. 3.5* - Natsumi's Firefly [Natsumi no Hotaru] by Ryuichi Hiroki (2016)
A very solid but slightly unremarkable Hiroki. I liked the first half best, as the drama is very light and the narrative is almost fleeting. The second half is a little too heavy-handed in comparison, but Hiroki's base quality is definitely there. A few beautiful scenes, good acting and a complete lack of forced sentiment make this an easy recommend for fans of Japanese drama.

03. 3.5* - Rabid by Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska (2019)
The Soska Sisters take on Cronenberg's classic and actually manage to improve it. The effects are graphic and gruesome, the acting is solid and the film doesn't feel like a slavish remake. Some solid kills, a few impressively realized nightmares and a few nice body horror nods. This is how remakes should be done.

04. 3.5* - The Laundromat by Steven Soderbergh (2019)
Fun and quirky take on the Panama Papers scandal. In the same vein as McKay's The Big Short, Soderbergh tackles a pretty complex and dry subject in an accessible and amusing way. With a star-studded cast and plenty of flair, he turns what could've been a dull and lifeless affair into an extremely watchable film.

05. 3.5* - A Night in Nude [Nûdo no Yoru] by Takashi Ishii (1993)
A dark and stylish thriller that is surprisingly low on erotic elements, despite its title and the director's reputation. Takenaka is an excellent lead, the dark and neon-lit interiors add to the atmosphere and the story is a little strange, but entertaining. This early Ishii is worth seeking out, unless you prefer his sleazier output.

06. 3.0* - Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.3 - On the Other Side of Love [Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.3 - Onshuu no Kanata ni] by Naoyoshi Shiotani (2019)
A decent finish to this 3-part film series. It's probably the least sci-fi and the least conceptual of the three, but with a bit more time spent on character development and action sequences, this was by far the most entertaining entry. Think Spriggan, but without all the fantastical bits. I still feel a better director could've done much more with this material though.

07. 3.0* - 47 Meters Down by Johannes Roberts (2017)
Not so much a shark flick as it is a film about people stuck and working against the clock to save their lives. There's some mediocre drama and poor acting to wade through, luckily Roberts nails the thriller elements. Some pretty tense scenes and thrilling moments make this film worth a watch, but a masterpiece this is not.

08. 2.5* - Bliss by Joe Begos (2019)
Horror flick about an artist going absolutely mental while working on her magnum opus. It's not a very original premise, then again you could say that about most horror films. The editing and color work is pretty insane, but irritating characters and a terrible soundtrack get in the way of the fun. Not terrible, but not as impressive and overwhelming as intended.

09. 2.5* - Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.2 - First Guardian by Naoyoshi Shiotani (2019)
Very much in line with the first film, though it seems to be borrowing more from Patlabor 2 than Ghost in the Shell this time around. The animation and art style are nice, but once again the film focuses too much on plot, making it slower than need be. It's okay in bursts of 60 minutes, but it still feels like a waste of potential to me.

10. 2.0* - Contamination by Luigi Cozzi (1980)
A cheesy but slightly entertaining mix of sci-fi and horror that borrowed royally from Alien (the part with the eggs that is, not the xenomorphs). The acting is a little doubty and the effects aren't that great, but a decent score and an abundance of genre elements make this worth a watch, especially if you love 80s genre films.

11. 2.0* - The Spy Who Fell to Earth by Tom Meadmore (2019)
What could have been a pretty fun documentary, is ruined by a couple of over-excited interviewees who try to blow up a story that I'm sure would have entertained on its own. And since the documentary offers little beyond interviews, it gets a little tiring beyond the halfway mark. Not terrible, but this could have been better.

12. 1.5* - Kurosawa's Way [Kurosawa, La Voie] by Catherine Cadou (2011)
A pretty basic documentary that seeks out a couple of high-profile directors and lets them talk about their experience with Kurosawa's films. I'm sure this doc works a lot better for people who appreciate Kurosawa's work, as that makes it a lot easier to relate to the stories of the interviewed. Apart from the expected praise, there's very little here.

13. 1.0* - Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland by Michael A. Simpson (1989)
Third time's the charm, but this series just gets cheaper and cheaper. A carbon copy of the second film, made by the same director. The kills are completely lazy, the comedy doesn't work at all and although the film is short it's still a drag to sit through. Only for people who are serious about finishing the series.

14. 1.0* - Midnight Express by Alan Parker (1978)
Famed prison classic, based on a real-life event. While the Turkish setting gives the film a flavor of its own, Parker's direction is so dull and uninspired that it kills the film. Mediocre performances, an extended running time and murky visuals make this film an ordeal to sit through. Not really worthy of its status.

15. 1.0* - Sleepaway Camp V: The Return by Robert Hiltzik (2008)
Robert Hiltzik returns from God knows where to make the 5th (and for now final) entry in the cult series he started almost 30 years earlier. Unpleasant characters, lame kills, terrible actors and a twist that boggles the mind. It's all very poor and amateurish, unless you really have a thing for 'bad' films, it's impossible to recommend this film to anyone.

16. 0.5* - Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor by Jim Markovic (1992)
While this could have been a slick exercise in creative editing, it's nothing more than the cheapest way patch an unfinished film. The new material is atrocious, the editing is sloppy, the film makes no sense whatsoever and in the end it's just a best-off from the first three parts. Which, truth be told, weren't that great to begin with. Avoid unless you're a true completist.

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#3

Post by sol » November 10th, 2019, 1:58 pm

Onderhond:

I don't like Midnight Express as much as many others out there. It doesn't make my top 25 for the year while I often see it floating about in yearly top 10s for 1978. I recall it being a little heavy-handed for my liking. That said, I liked the film a lot more than you. The performances worked me and I have been unable to erase several images/scenes from my mind - the tongue one in particular.

Unfortunately I have seen nothing else of yours this week, although a couple are on my radar. One of those is the Rabid remake, which I hope to get to at some point. American Mary rocked after all and Rabid has always been a lower tier Cronenberg favourite for me which I could indeed imagine being improved.

The other is The Laundromat, which I am aware is on Netflix and I have been tossing up whether or not to watch it for the Unofficial Challenge this month. I love Soderbergh's work in general, but given that the last film that I saw from him (Magic Mike) is possibly the most mediocre thing that I have seen from him, I am not too enthused about his latest. Initial reviews that I came across seemed middling too. I did love The Big Short though and The Informant!, which Scott Z. Burns also wrote for Soderbergh.
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#4

Post by mightysparks » November 10th, 2019, 2:10 pm

Panic in the Streets is my favourite film I've seen all year.

Murder, My Sweet (1944) 6/10
A detective recounts a case involving the search of an ex-con's former girlfriend. This was decently paced and had some really cool shots. The acting and dialogue were pretty typical of noir and it felt really wooden and stagey most of the time. The story was also pretty formulaic with all the twists and turns you'd expect, with a boring lead character and stupid women characters. There were moments that drew me in, but they were few and far between. The mystery gets less interesting the more that it goes on and the reveal is pretty anti-climactic.

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) 6/10
Two men on a fishing trip pick up a hitch-hiker who turns out to be an escaped convict who holds them at gunpoint. This was pretty impressive its time but this kind of film has been done so many times that it feels stale, despite being decently enjoyable. It looks good, and is well-paced, managing to keep the tension going throughout; though, it's never quite a 'sitting on the edge of your seat' kind of thrill. The acting is decent, but the characters are pretty bland. The 'psychological' games and torture are pretty basic and considering Myers' teasing them for being weak, there's never much character growth.

The Big Combo (1955) 6/10
A police lieutenant attempts to gather evidence against a powerful crime boss through his unhappy girlfriend. This was actually quite good, but failed to get me completely wrapped up in it. It's visually appealing with a nice use of shadows and fog. The acting is solid (with the exception of Helen Walker who felt really awkward) and the fast-talking villain is pretty cool, and easily the stand-out. My dad's cat is called Mister Brown though so the name made me laugh a little. I'm not a fan of the 'police detective with a creepy obsession on a woman he's investigating' character because they just come off as 'nice guys', and the girlfriend character was just a typical film-noir woman character and the film would've definitely been better without the stupid obsession and a character not existing just for men to be in love with.

Panic in the Streets (1950) 7/10
A doctor discovers that a killer on the loose may be infected with pneumonic plague and teams up with the police to find him within 48 hours to prevent an outbreak. This was pretty gripping a really well made film. It looked beautiful and had some really interesting framing and shots, as well as good looking settings and cool use of lighting and shadows. The acting was great, Widmark was a solid lead and he and Douglas had good chemistry, making for an entertaining 'buddy cop' team. The dialogue was also nice, and though the film did feel a bit too choreographed at times, it helped prevent it coming across too stilted or theatrical.

Beast (2017) 5/10
A shy young woman falls in love with a mysterious outsider who becomes the lead suspect in a series of brutal murders and rapes. This is interesting to begin with, but quickly unravels into a generic Twilight-style romance. The acting is ok, but as it goes on it feels more and more like a performance and less natural and believable. The film also focuses much more on the romance than on the mystery, the 'thriller' aspects or character development. The lead woman is defined by her being a shy, awkward outcast in her community and that is the extent of her personality. Her lover is simply a mysterious guy because he grimaces a lot and gets angry sometimes. By the end of the film I was just really annoyed.

Crossfire (1947) 6/10
After a man is murdered, a police investigator suspects the killer is one of a group of soldiers. This was an entertaining and decent mystery noir, using flashbacks to tell the different sides of the story as the detective tries to find out the motive behind the killing. The acting is pretty good, though still has that stilted theatrical performance feel that most films of this era have, but most of the characters feel a bit same-y. The 'mystery' was interesting - it's simple but effective and believable - and the film is tightly paced and to the point with little waffle or loose ends.

The Rider (2017) 6/10
A rodeo rider is left with a severe head injury after a riding accident and struggles to accept a life without horse riding. There's nothing much original here and the plot is very simple, but it still feels quite fresh. It's a quiet and reflective film that is more about identity, community and losing your dreams than horse riding; however, the film still keeps us at a bit of a distance from what it feels like to be a part of this world and in some ways it positions us with Brady's character, but it also sometimes makes his decisions seem dumb. The acting was hit and miss for me, there were times when it felt natural and others where it felt forced. All the characters are interesting and feel more-or-less 'real' and their interactions with each other were generally engaging, with the exception of some generic dialogue.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 6/10
A documentary exploring the history of racism in America through James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript. American political/social issues are one of the things that interest me in the least so this isn't something I would've normally sought out. It's a passionate and personal look at how racism affected - and still affects - America. The archival footage is really interesting, and contains a lot of stuff I hadn't seen before; it always amazes me that the world was ever like that. The narration annoyed me a bit, however James Baldwin's speeches were awesome. What a speaker that guy was.

Au poste! (2018) 6/10
A man is held at a police station for an interrogation as a murder suspect. This is a pretty simple film that takes place almost entirely in the police office where the interrogation takes place. When one of the officers is involved in an accident, the main character hides his body and tries to continue the interrogation as we see into his memories as they get distorted by his guilt and worry over the dead officer. There are a few weird and amusing moments despite the boring 'story' that is being told, and a few moments that drag, but you want to see how it all ends. The ending itself is kind of disappointing, though.

On Dangerous Ground (1951) 5/10
After a police detective gets too rough with his suspects, his superior sends him to a town in the snowy countryside to help solve a murder investigation. A weak noir that is really more of a drama and romance than anything else. There isn't much focus on the murder or any mystery, it's put to bed pretty quickly. The main character is angry and gruff, but he's not really given much depth or reason. He meets a kind-hearted blind woman who is too sugary sweet with awful dialogue, and for some reason she is able to change the gruff detective; the relationship never feels genuine at all, and she is pretty awful. Considering the film to mostly revolves around two flat and unlikable characters coming together to change each other, it lacks the characterization and performances needed to pull this off.

Columbus (2017) 7/10
The son of an architect is stranded in the small city of Columbus after his father falls into a coma, starting a friendship with a young architecture enthusiast who is resistant to pursue her dreams. This was such a visually beautiful film that communicates through framing, colour and buildings rather than exposition dumps. The acting is also very good, particularly from Haley Lu Richardson who just radiates a warmth and a charm in every scene. We don't get inside the character's heads much; we're positioned as observers and this distance helps prevent it getting overly sentimental. Some of the scenes revolving around Richardson's character's mother disrupt the pacing a little, but otherwise this is a very slow and soft film where very shot is a treat to look at.

Criss Cross (1949) 6/10
When an armoured truck driver is caught having an affair with his ex-wife by her new gangster husband, he offers to help him rob his own truck. This is a pretty well-paced, entertaining noir that looks pretty good, if not in any particularly noteworthy way. Its main downfall is how little 'meat' it has. The characters are all kind of slimy, but it relies too heavily on lengthy dialogue to get this point across rather than any deep characterization. Burt Lancaster's character is a lame dullard, and gives a wooden performance. Yvonne De Carlo gets the most to do and does it quite well, and though he only has a small-ish part, Dan Duryea is a decent bad guy. The 'affair' was pretty lackluster though and it didn't really build up tension at the beginning, it only really found its feet once they started on with the truck robbery. Similarly, all the betrayals weren't as powerful as they could've been if the characters were a bit more interesting and there had been a better build-up. The ending was pretty good, though.

Jiang hu er nü (2018) 6/10
The girlfriend of a mob boss fires a gun to protect him during an attack from a rival gang and is sent to prison for five years. This was ok, but neither the story, nor the characters interested me and it doesn't really make up for it visually or in mood. It never really drags or feels overlong - actually, it feels like it needed more time to develop the characters and 'world' - but it never did anything for me. Tao Zhao's performance is good, particularly during the more interesting part of the film as she struggles to adapt back to normal life, but the character is just bland. The relationship between her and the mob boss is also flat and there isn't really anything between them, and her desperation to return to him is kind of dumb.

D.O.A. (1949) 5/10
A poisoned accountant discovers he has less than a week to live and tries to find the person who wants him dead. Whilst the premise is interesting and the opening scene is a great hook, the mystery is quite convoluted and gets less interesting as it goes on. The film is also extremely sexist and gross; the main character is a slimy guy with an overly clingy and emotionally girlfriend who he strings along for no real reason, and on his trip away perves on every woman with an accompanying comical whistle sound. Lucky it does away with this once he realises he's dying, but he's still gross and it's hard to be invested with him or his upcoming death. Props to the film to sticking to its hook with a good ending, though.

Juste la fin du monde (2016) 6/10
A terminally ill man returns home after 12 years to inform his family that he is dying. The cast is solid, with Ulliel's performance being particularly noteworthy, but the characters and dialogue are weird. The characters have random outbursts for seemingly no reason and some of the dialogue makes no sense at all. They never really felt like a dysfunctional family, they felt like actors putting on a show (possibly due to it being based on a play). The film has some tension as it builds towards Ulliel's character telling them the news, but it doesn't keep this going the whole time and so prevents it from being emotionally effective. The music choices were interesting, but sometimes those dreamy moments felt awkward.
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#5

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » November 10th, 2019, 2:28 pm

Floor Show (Richard Myers, 1978) 7/10

Histoire de la révolution / History of the Revolution (Maxime Martinot, 2019) 8-/10

Le crime d'amour / Love Crime (Guy Gilles, 1982) 8-/10

Barndom / Childhood (Margreth Olin, 2017) 6+/10

Le plein pays / Full Country (Antoine Boutet, 2009) 7-/10

Invisible (Konstantin Bojanov, 2005) 8+/10
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DECK (Leighton Pierce, 2018) 8/10

Desde allá / From Afar (Lorenzo Vigas, 2015) 4/10

La nuit a dévoré le monde / The Night Eats the World (Dominique Rocher, 2018) 6/10

The Girlfriend (Adam Wingard, 2005) 5/10

Señales de ruta (Tevo Díaz, 2000) 8-/10

Fehérlófia / Son of the White Mare (Marcell Jankovics, 1981) 5+/10

Au poste! / Keep an Eye Out (Quentin Dupieux, 2018) 8-/10


shorts

Return to Nature! The True Natural Method of Healing and Living and the True Salvation of the Soul: Paradise Regained, The Core of the Body-Water, Human Curative Power, Light, Air, Earth, Food, Fruit Culture (R. Bruce Elder, 2012) 7/10

Flower (Naoko Tasaka, 2013) 7/10

Saudade (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2012) 7/10

Harvey (Peter McDonald, 2002) 6/10

La tête froide (Patrick Hella, 1970) 5/10

A Short Vision (Joan Foldes & Peter Foldes, 1956) 2-/10

The Floor of the World (Janie Geiser, 2010) 5+/10

Panni (Nicky Hamlyn, 2005) 2/10

Pro Agri (Nicky Hamlyn, 2008) 2/10

Pristino (Nicky Hamlyn, 2003) (2nd viewing) 7-/10

Das foto-shoot (Quentin Dupieux, 2013) (2nd viewing) 5+/10


music videos

Lindemann: Knebel (uncensored) (Zoran Bihac, 2019) (many, many times - on top of one viewing) 7/10

Rammstein: Deutschland (Specter Berlin, XXVIII.III.MMXIX) (about 4 viewings, on top of 17) 9/10

Rammstein: Radio (Joern Heitmann, 2019) (10th viewing) 8/10

Lindemann ft. Haftbefehl: Mathematik (Zoran Bihac, 2018) (3rd viewing) 7/10

Lindemann: Praise Abort (Zoran Bihac, 2015) (2nd+ viewing) 8/10


series

South Park - S23E06 - "Season Finale" (Trey Parker, 2019) 5+/10

Xavier: Renegade Angel - S02E08 - "Kharmarabionic Lotion" (2009) 6+/10

Xavier: Renegade Angel - S02E09 - "Damnesia You" (2009) 8-/10


other

Making of Documentary: A Subconscious Cruelty Christmas (Infliction Films, edited by Eric Lavoie, 2001) 6+/10

Le plein pays - all DVD extras

Invisible - some of the DVD extras (for now)

LINDEMANN - Praise Abort (Official Making Of)


didn't finish
I pugni in tasca / Fists in the Pocket (Marco Bellocchio, 1965) [51 min+ending]
City of Ghosts (Matt Dillon, 2002) [36 min]
Tobruk (Václav Marhoul, 2008) [18 min]
Adria Urlaubsfilme 1954-68 (Die Schule des Sehens I) (Gustav Deutsch, 1990) [a couple]


notable online media

top:
[a lot of "Brass Against" videos]
Color Glitch Oracle #006
rest:
Rage Against The Machine - Interview with Noam Chomsky (from The Battle Of Mexico City)
Why People Get Rage Against the Machine Wrong
Kiss Your Cat for the First Time
Don't Fear the Reaper slowed down 800% [audio only]
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#6

Post by Onderhond » November 10th, 2019, 2:50 pm

sol wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 1:58 pm
I don't like Midnight Express as much as many others out there ... That said, I liked the film a lot more than you
That seems to be a pretty common pattern :)
sol wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 1:58 pm
Unfortunately I have seen nothing else of yours this week, although a couple are on my radar. One of those is the Rabid remake, which I hope to get to at some point. American Mary rocked after all and Rabid has always been a lower tier Cronenberg favourite for me which I could indeed imagine being improved.
Rabid is one of the better things Cronenberg has done imo, even so this version improves on it. But I'm not a big fan of Cronenberg to be honest, so no guarantees. It's different enough from the source material at least.
sol wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 1:58 pm
The other is The Laundromat, which I am aware is on Netflix and I have been tossing up whether or not to watch it for the Unofficial Challenge this month. I love Soderbergh's work in general, but given that the last film that I saw from him (Magic Mike) is possibly the most mediocre thing that I have seen from him, I am not too enthused about his latest. Initial reviews that I came across seemed middling too. I did love The Big Short though and The Informant!, which Scott Z. Burns also wrote for Soderbergh.
Magic Mike is one of my lowest ratest Soderberghs, knowing your taste a little I think you'll like The Laundromat just fine. It really reminded me of The Big Short, only somewhat more condensed and a little more playful still.

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#7

Post by peeptoad » November 10th, 2019, 4:36 pm

Hi sol.... hope all had a great week, as per usual.
Only two I've seen two of yours this week-
Eight Legged Freaks (2002) 5 no strong memory of this except when the spiders break into a... shopping mall I believe?
The Commuter (2018) 5 I don't recall seeing anything else by this director for comparison, but I was underwhelmed though didn't dislike it. I do think I recall the jump cuts you mentioned and not liking them, among a few other things. Average view for me.

mine-
The Maltese Falcon (1941) 6
The Big Sleep (1946) 7
Overlord (2018) 5 I already can't recall parts of this and I saw it 4 days ago
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) 8+ very grim, esp the chain gang sequence near the beginning. I would take any recs for similar films from the 30s.
Angel Heart (1987) 10* watched it on anything-can-happen day (and for noirvember)
Velvet Goldmine(1998) 8* rewatched since I was reminded of it recently and hadn't seen for awhile. Third view I think and I enjoyed it more than during the previous rewatch (but less than when in the cinema on release). Ewan is excellent in this :wub:
Yuen Chun Hap yu Wai See Lee (1986) The Seventh Curse 6
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) 7
The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) 6
Das Leben der Anderen (2006) The Lives of Others 8 very touching, esp the scene at the end. I love German cinema anyway, but particularly films either made or set in the late 70s- 80s
Dracula (1992) 7* was at my friends' house and they put it on...
*rewatch

I saw more than it felt like in retrospect. 'Chain Gang and Lives of Others were the best ftvs and new favorites. The latter was a random view on Netflix, but my mom had recommended it awhile back. Very well done and moving.

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#8

Post by joachimt » November 10th, 2019, 9:18 pm

No comments from me this week. Sorry.

The Visit (1964, 1 official list, 64 checks) 8/10
Watched because it was FotW.
La flaca Alejandra (1994, 1 official list, 16 checks) 7/10
Watched because it's a 46-69 min official check.
Testimonio (1969, 1 official list, 41 checks) 7/10
Watched because it's an official short.
Black Panther (2018, 6 official lists, 10313 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's on 1001MYMSBYD.
Fantasia 2000 (1999, 1 official list, 17100 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Disney+.
Splash (1984, 1 official list, 5110 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Disney+.
Zora Neale Hurston Fieldwork Footage (1928, 1 official list, 69 checks) 6/10
Watched because it's an official short.
Rue princesse (1994, 1 official list, 2 checks) 5/10
Watched because it's on the Unesco list.
Un hombre aparte AKA A Man Aside (2001, 1 official list, 24 checks) 5/10
Watched because it's a 46-69 min official check.
The Santa Clause (1994, 1 official list, 9472 checks) 4/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Disney+.
TRON (1982, 5 official lists, 17462 checks) 4/10
Watched because it's a random official check available on Disney+.
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#9

Post by sol » November 10th, 2019, 11:17 pm

Okay. I'm going to have to make my replies here brief and not properly attend to this thread since setting up the Challenge schedule is really cutting into my spare time.

mighty:

Seen at least ten of your viewings this week. All of those noirs tend to blur in memory. Maybe I've seen eleven. My favourite of the bunch is Murder, My Sweet, though the nightmarish and surreal visuals are most of what I remember. Also really loved the personal identity themed The Rider.

And gee, I thought that I was a harsh marker. I have only awarded an 8/10 or higher to 20 films so far this year. I do, however, have around 80 on 7.5/10, including The Housemaid this week.

PdA:

I'm glad I don't watch films with you. It would annoy the hell out of me if you stopped a film halfway through and fast-forwarded to the end. :shrug:

peeps:

Jaume Collet-Serra also made the very decent Orphan and the okayish The Shallows in the horror genre, but he first came across my radar as the director of mindless Liam Neeson action films - c.f. Non-Stop; Unknown; Run All Night. With Neeson again headlining the cast and no horror tag in sight, I sat down to The Commuter expecting just another mindless action film - which it wasn't. Maybe you can chalk it up to a nice surprise. What's funny is that I had many (I dunno, 3 maybe?) people tell last year that I *had* to see The Commuter when it was showing in cinemas, and I was like "nah, I know what to expect from the actor and director". Pretty cool that the Unofficial Challenge and Netflix finally gave me a chance to prove myself wrong.

Yes, the spiders break into a shopping mall late into Eight Legged Freaks, but Dawn of the Dead it is not.

Yours:

Can't remember much of Overlord either (a few months ago) but I recall liking it a lot. Liked Angel Heart and Velvet Goldmine much less than you, but only ever seen each of them once. Amazing enough, Chain Gang has never been released on DVD in Australia, but I look forward to one day seeing it. Falcon is pretty iconic, but then again I grew up with it. The Big Sleep less so but still interesting. Postman I liked okay at the time; would probably want to rewatch it before considering seeing the remake. Didn't like Golden Arm at the time, 15+ years ago. Probably deserves a rewatch.

joachimt :

Seen four of yours this week, of which The Visit is my favourite and TRON my least favourite, so cool. Look forward to seeing The Visit on your 500<400 ballot next year. ;)
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#10

Post by mightysparks » November 11th, 2019, 12:04 am

Yeah I haven’t had a single instant favourite this year yet. I normally only get 2-3 a year. I tend to reserve 9s and 10s for films I’ve seen at least twice, so an 8 is pretty difficult to get.
"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 morrison-dylan-fan » November 11th, 2019, 12:55 am

Greetings you boopers,hope everyone had a good weekend,I had the best weekend I've had in ages!

On Friday I travelled to the Electric in Birmingham for the "Cine-Excess" Horror film festival, where the Rapid remake and Prey (1978) were being shown,with the Soska sisters and Norman J. Warren attending to receive awards. Sitting all together on stage, the Soska's and Warren spent a fascinating opening hour sharing their histories of in the film industry (from Warren getting his foot into the industry, to the Soska's starting to look for none-film related jobs, due to struggle to get funding after a rather negative reaction from studios to American Mary. A few mins after being given their glass trophies awards, one of the Soska's had the award slip out of hand,it crashed on the ground and broke in two!

After the screening,I got the chance to meet the Soska's, who (and this was all for free) took a pic with me,answered some questions I had about their films, and when I asked if they could sign 2 Mary DVD's I'm giving to pals for X-Mas, wrote long, inspirational notes on them (thanks ladies!)

To wrap up the weekend,I went back to Electric today for a screening I had booked a ticket for ages ago. Hearing the music from the flick being played at the box office, I crossed my fingers they were screening the original cut of the title which only came out on video,( with a lesser "Director's Cut" being the only one on disc in the UK)I was happy to find they were!

From Cine-Excess:





Now the movies:

Cinema trio:

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Rapid (2019)

Mentioning in the pre-screening intro that before this project had landed on their desk they had actually started looking for none-movie related jobs, due to the "gross" factor of American Mary (2012-also reviewed) putting studios (such as The CW) off from hiring them, co-writers/(with John Serge) co-directors Jen and Sylvia Soska make a welcomed return to the big screen with a blend of gory Body Horror,and the clinical body modification art of American Mary. Closely working with cinematographer Kim Derko, the Soska's brush Rose's altered face with close-ups on the excellent practical effects.

Changing the setting to the fashion industry, the Soska's & Derko stylishly use glass to reflect the pristine appearance of the fashion industry being torn to ribbons by gashes of pulpy gore seeping across the screen. Touching on American Mary's theme of people trying to be comfortable in their own skin, the screenplay by the Soska's and Serge twirl the rapid hunger of Cronenberg's Body Horror with a wonderfully rich cynical line of the fashion industry, where Rose (a terrific, breezy Laura Vandervoort) finds herself forced to having to dress to impress, even when a excellent sound design by Paula Fairfield crunches on the consuming infection rapidly changing Rose.

Image

Prey (1977)

Mentioning in the intro before the screening that after making Loving Feeling/ Her Private Hell (both 1968) back to back that he always tried to make each of his following films different from each other, directing auteur Norman J. Warren reunites with regular collaborator art director Hayden Pearce, and takes the Sexploitation thrills of his early creations into a new erotically charged direction, fused to Gothic Horror driven in with a Sci-Fi spike.

Given just 5 weeks to put a production together which got shot in 10 days, Warren and debut cinematographer Derek V. Browne keep tight production time and limited to one location location troubles impressively off-screen, thanks to Warren's distinctive hand-held tracking shots dividing the country house between Josephine and Jessica's love nest, and the outer space of alien Anders outdoor lair.

Allowed to display more skin than his earlier titles, Warren skilfully alters film speeds to slow down the passionate sex between Josephine and Jessica, which dips into erotic horror rage between the trio for the skinny dipping final. Proving that three's a crowd, the screenplay by Max Cuff and Quinn Donoghue keep the anxiety of Anders Sci-Fi Horror outbursts breaking down the walls as a foundation to the psychological chiller vibes from Jessica and Josephine's relationship breaking down within Anders sight. Embracing each other in great steamy scenes, fitties Sally Faulkner and Glory Annen give terrific turns digging into the brittle, broken state of Jessica and Josephine's romance, whilst Barry Stokes keeps Anders lingering in the background as a psycho waiting for his prey.

Image

The Warriors: 40th Anniversary Original Cinema Cut Screening (1979)

Last having caught this version on video, the new (?) is one of the most outstanding film transfers/remastering I've seen, replacing the VHS fuzz with crystal clear clarity on the faces and gang costumes, along with the balance between the sounds levels of score and dialogue being kept at a perfect pitch.

Riding on the subway with The Warriors backed by Barry De Vorzon's super catchy dark synch Sci-Fi styled score, co-writer/(with David Shaber) directing auteur Walter Hill & his regular cinematographer Andrew Laszlo bask in a hard-edge pulpy atmosphere. Thankfully lacking the misjudged gimmicky "Comic Book transitions" shoved into the Director's Cut, Hill and Laszlo attack The Warriors in purest Comic-Book ultra-stylisation, punching each of the gangs The Warriors must take on to survive with waves of primary coloured face paint and gang outfits.

Filmed on the turf of actual gangs, Hill pens his anti-(super) heroes with a continuation of building the underlying "Western" theme, with Laszlo's push for the action to take place over one wet night leading to reflections in puddles of these gang-ruled ghost towns, and quick-draw whip-pans on other gangs attempts to pistol-whip Warriors. Loosely based on Sol Yurick, these boppers Hill and Shaber jump from a study of gang culture with the starter pistol of a assassination at a multi-gang gathering, running to a lightning fast survive the night adventure fuelled by wonderfully ripe comedic one-liners , pit stopping the gang at knife-welding lesbian and baseball player-dressed gangs pitching to defeat The Warriors.

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#12

Post by OldAle1 » November 11th, 2019, 2:30 am

This Film ROCKED
This Film SUCKED
This Film Was SO BAD IT'S GOOD

The Girl on the Bridge (Hugo Haas, 1951)

My only exposure to Czech actor/producer/screenwriter/director up to this point had been seeing him in a few of the small Hollywood parts he got in the years immediately after fleeing the Nazis - things like King Solomon's Mines - but he didn't make an impression on me. He certainly does now after getting a start on these cheap independent productions that he made in the 50s, mostly noir-tinged at the least, some certainly full-blooded entries in the cycle. Looks like this was the second in his cycle, but for whatever reason I got mixed up and watched this one first. This is certainly moody and downbeat, with the director starring as a watch repairman who makes a minimal living, working and living in a squalid district right next to the title bridge (here's a case where the title actually describes the setup for the film, a rarity). He rescues a young woman (Beverly Michaels) from throwing herself off, and gradually they develop a relationship, despite a huge age difference - one thing I really like about Haas is that he is totally conscious that his characters are older, not so attractive, and that there's something unhealthy or at least odd about the situations they find themselves in with young women - he's never pretending that it's just normal for a chunky 50+ guy who is often rather hopeless to end up with a beautiful young blonde. Here the situation is complicated by a shadow out of the woman's past, an ex-husband and baby, and the possibilities of blackmail. This is all quite deftly handled and nicely acted, and Haas mostly makes good use of his minimalist sets; it's a bit too familiar perhaps, which keeps it out of the top echelon, but still an impressive start to this series for me.

Pickup (Hugo Haas, 1951)

Released a few months before The Girl on the Bridge, this was Haas' first film as d/w/p in America, and his first film as director in a dozen years. As in the other film from 1951, he plays something of a loser or at the least, a man of small ambition and achievement, a railroad dispatcher who lives fairly contentedly on the outskirts of town next to the tracks, with a "Professor" (Howland Chamberlain, who nearly steals the show) as his main friend - until he's seduced by a gorgeous young blonde on the make, who then conspires with a younger man to get his money and do away with him. If this sounds familiar it's because you've seen the basic story in one of the innumerable adaptations or rip-offs of The Postman Always Rings Twice, and I suppose this qualifies though it's got enough that's original to it - especially including the dispatcher's deafness, which plays heavily into the plot, and the rather surprising
SpoilerShow
mostly happy, and murder-free
ending. Michaels makes a truly great femme fatale in a part completely different from the one she plays in The Girl on the Bridge, in fact it was hard for me to recognize her as the same actress. Wonder why she didn't have a better career. Anyway, this is on a par with TGOTB and it will certainly be fun to go through the rest of Haas' work.

Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks, 1991) (re-watch)

At least the 20th viewing. For those who haven't seen it, Brooks plays Daniel Miller, a somewhat successful advertising exec in LA who is killed a few minutes into the film and winds up in Judgment City, where he is to be tried for his past life and either sent on to a higher place in the universe, or returned to the slime-pit of Earth to try again. While there over a very short 4-day stay he meets Julia (Meryl Streep), whose life was exemplary, and who seems destined to go on to another plane - but Daniel's life has been a string of failures and regrets, and he seems sure to lose her.

When I first saw this, new, at the old (since closed) Evanston Theater on Central Avenue, two blocks from where I worked at the time, with a group of friends, it was opening night, and the show was a sellout, and the audience was totally into the film, and at the end probably 1/3 of the crowd stood up and clapped and cheered. Albert Brooks was not in attendance that night - it just had that effect on people. I was one of them, and at the time, and over the next 6 theatrical viewings (my record at the time) and for a few years afterwards, I was convinced this was going to go down as a certified classic.

Well I was wrong. But I wasn't wrong about how it affected me, or I should say, I haven't changed or my opinion hasn't changed one iota. I hadn't watched it for a few years and so, given recent loss, the fact that it was my birthday, and what it's about, I thought it was time for another go. It holds up beautifully and still hits me in a powerful way - I still feel like I AM Daniel Miller, only an even bigger loser, and I wonder what my fate would be in Judgment City. To be sure the satirical elements of Brooks' earlier films are somewhat muted here, and the feel-good atmosphere probably doesn't work for many, though I would argue that this is very much like Capra's masterpiece It's a Wonderful Life in that respect - Daniel really does go through the emotional ringer, he really does have to fight for his life so to speak, fight his own demons which have plagued him "life after lifetime". And as someone who has always been very much filled with fears of the unknown, of making those tough choices, of those risks - there are few films that are more resonant. The sparkly, slightly overlit Allen Daviau photography lends a deliberate artificiality, a sunny blandness that counterpoints Daniel's gloom at every turn, and Brooks, Streep, and especially Rip Torn as Daniel's lawyer Bob Diamond are all wonderful. Still very high on my favorites list, and still makes me weep tears of joy.

Strange Fascination (Hugo Haas, 1952)

This one's a little different, in that the Haas character isn't down and out - well, at least not during the bulk of the picture, though the "prologue" as you might call it, before the long flashback that is the bulk of the film, suggests otherwise. He's a famous European pianist, convinced to come to America and try his luck in a less dangerous part of the world, largely through the sponsorship of a rich widow (Mona Barrie) who is probably about his age and who seems to have other interests in him. Alas, he quickly finds himself falling for a younger and more attractive woman (Cleo Moore) and, no surprise, things start to go downhill from there, as his powerful jealousy is aroused whenever she's out in public, working as a model or actress - and yet his drinking and other problems keep him from making the kind of money he needs to keep them both in style. Same old story...again this is nothing out of the ordinary, story-wise, but Haas, Moore, Barrie and the other actors are all pretty solid, and I feel that there's a certain realism in Haas' depiction of the sacrifices we make for love, lust, or money that goes beyond what I see in most low-rent noir, and even in some of the better-known A pictures in the style.

The Big Lebowski (JoelEthan Coen, 1998) (re-watch)

Probably somewhere between my 6th and 8th viewing. I suppose it's morbid, but I was inspired to watch this again by remembering the final scene while talking with the funeral home director about my mom's cremation. No, I didn't put her ashes in a Ralph's can - we don't have Ralph's around here. Not sure what I can say about this one that hasn't been said a million times; I do think in some ways it's much ado about nothing, it's a film that is pretty largely predicated on jokey over-the-top characters, an incomprehensible plot, and a certain light surrealism, and when you start looking for more serious elements of the noir universe - in particular any kind of critique of capitalism or the justice system - it's not there. But so what? This is a rare case where a jumble of silly ideas and outrageous characters thrown all together just works and it's one of those rare films I could probably watch every 6 months and never get bored of. If I had to pick a favorite character it's certainly Walter (John Goodman), but I do wish more time was there for Ben Gazzara and Jon Polito, and I think for whatever reason the line that makes me laugh the loudest - really it's all in the delivery - is "Older Cop" (Richard Gant) saying "Or the Creedence" after the Dude has reported his car theft. Supposedly most influenced by Chandler, but I'd say the more sleazy elements (porn) and the innumerable times that the Dude gets hit on the head recall Mickey Spillane just as much.


Against All Odds (Taylor Hackford, 1984)

What better film to follow up Lebowski with than another film starring the Dude himself, also predicated on earlier noir - in this case a remake, more-or-less, of Out of the Past. I got nothing against remakes - obviously in the noir world we have the 1941 Maltese Falcon, a far better film than the 2 previous versions, and we also have some pretty credible modern takes on the style like the 1975 Farewell, My Lovely, IMO every bit as good as Murder My Sweet. But this sadly is an example of leave-it-the-hell-alone if you don't have anything interesting to bring to the story, and it fails on almost every level except perhaps in James Woods' take on the Kirk Douglas part, which is reasonably credible if not a patch on the original. Woods was on a roll in the 80s and his other film for this year was Once Upon a Time in America, in my opinion the greatest crime film ever made; Bridges on the other hand had a spottier decade, and while his other 1984 film Starman is at least better than this, it also points to a problem in his acting - he's good at the dopey, maybe drugged-out, kind of weird guys, not so hot as the straight, ordinary, man in trouble which he plays here. He's just awful here, coming off as totally fake and just reading lines much of the time, and Rachel Ward while not bad just doesn't have a character a tenth as juicy as Jane Greer (who is also in this in a small role) did in the original. And Out of the Past is just full of some of the best lines in movie history, like "it was the bottom of the barrel, and I was scraping it" and "Joe couldn't find a prayer in the Bible". Even RIchard Widmark can't save this extended, dull mess, and the wussy ending is the worst.

Mirage (Paul Williams, 1995)

Then again, you can do worse than Against All Odds. You can do this film, an uncredited Vertigo rip-off, with Edward James Olmos as the down-and-out cop (an alcoholic in this case) in a sleepy desert town (probably chosen because it was much cheaper than shooting this kind of story in a city, and cheap is certainly in evidence throughout) picked by a husband (the director, Paul Williams) to follow his wife (Sean Young), because he's got a psychological problem (not the alcoholism, interestingly) that will prevent him from acting at the crucial moment. This is just awful through and through, with again a lame-ass ending that proves that even during the Production Code era films could often be tougher than they are today - I guess during and after WWII people actually understood that life wasn't always a bed of roses, and sometimes a happy ending just wasn't going to work, and now we're too soft to tolerate gloom and doom anymore? Anyway it sure seems like the people behind these two films felt that way. I rather like Sean Young and Olmos is a really terrific actor, and both had decent careers in the 80s, with Olmos having a resurgence more recently with Battlestar Galactica, but I guess at the time this was made they must have both been pretty desperate for work, because this is really rock bottom crap.

Twilight (Robert Benton, 1998)

I've had this film in my head since it came out - not out of any love at the time for the director or any of the stars, though I've since grown into something of a Newman and Hackman fan, but because Rosenbaum pared it with The Big Lebowski in a review; at the time he liked this more but in his header he mentions that he might feel differently now. He's not generally a Coens fan so I dunno about what his take on that film would be, but giving *** in his ratings system to this film sure seems generous to me. Oh it does have some fine older and middle-aged actors (also including Susan Sarandon, James Garner and a tiny bit from M. Emmett Walsh) as well as an early performance by Reese Witherspoon, and it's reasonably well shot, nicely paced, etc, but it's just all so familiar, and really adds very little to the tale of noir or even of any of these experienced actors' careers. And while I wouldn't say that any of them are just going through the motions here, I also wouldn't say I feel much juice here - the tale (washed-up cop, now PI Newman on the trail of an old murder involving married couple Hackman and Sarandon, with whom he's living) is as tired as the actors and the ending and reveal of the bad guy can be seen a mile away. An enjoyable film still but I'm already forgetting it.


Croupier (Mike Hodges, 1998)

Clive Owen is Jack, an aspiring novelist, narrating the film in the voice of the author as he describes the character of himself and his approach to the world of the croupier at a mid-level London casino. Not a whole lot is done with the conceit - I'd hoped there would be some real conflict between what we see on the screen and what's going on in Jack's head, maybe a touch of the surreal or at least something like an unreliable narrator, but there really isn't - at least not so much that the film can't be taken and won't be taken by most as something quite straightforward. Jack has issues with his girlfriend, who wants him to stick to writing, gets involved in the lives of a couple of other women, and eventually there is a crime element that sort of floats in, but on the whole this isn't terribly "noir" in feel though it is rather stylish and reasonably compelling, up to what I thought was a rather stupid and pointless ending. I kind of feel like I'm missing something here, but I kind of don't care.

Freeway (Matthew Bright, 1996)

It didn't register to me that this was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood until I read it in the description; I guess I'm a long ways from the fairy tale, and the film certainly isn't a straightforward reworking of it. Reese Witherspoon is the antithesis of innocent here - at least on the outside - a foulmouthed teen with a hooker mother, drug addict father-in-law who has the hots for her, etc, and when she gets pissed off at the cops for taking away her parents, she decides to head out on the freeway north to see her grandmother in Stockton, CA - the freeway in question is California's I-5. Unfortunately her car breaks down and who should come along but smooth-talking Kieffer Sutherland, apparently a therapist of some sort, who ends up a lot darker (think Big Bad Wolf) than he appears. The long, long conversation the two have as he drives her north is really great, easily the highlight of the film, but when the film starts to go pretty heavily into that dark and violent territory it kind of lost me; I guess it all felt very nihilistic and for much of the film it felt to me like Witherspoon and her "low life" friends and family were portrayed as pretty disgusting though it's clear that the film wants us to think otherwise; it just seemed very confused in it's messaging to me, with the weird cop played by Wolfgang Bodson in particular a character that didn't make sense. At the same time it was consistently involving, so I dunno - a mixed, mixed feeling at this point is the only way to describe it.


The Cooler (Wayne Kramer, 2003)

Another casino-themed film, this one American and starring William H. Macy in the William H. Macy role - the bitter but mostly passive loser, with Alec Baldwin as the owner with whom he has a fraught relationship, and Maria Bello as the woman sent to make him happy, who he ends up falling for. Lots of style and flash here, decent performances by the principals and a nice supporting cast including Paul Sorvino, but the story of the unluckiest man in the world suddenly becoming lucky just didn't ring true to me either as wish-fulfillment or as an ironic twist on casino capitalism. OK, but that's about it.

Partners (Peter James Iengo, 2009)

Definitely would never have known about this one if not for RedLetterMedia's Best of the Worst. Thanks dudes! Every once in a while, when you're as jaded as I am, and have seen as many bad movies as I've seen, you start to lose faith in the ability of a terrible film to touch your soul and to change your life; sometimes, though, if you're lucky, a film will come along that will restore your faith in the power of the Truly Terrible Film. Partners is such a masterwork. Director/Producer/Writer/DP/Editor Iengo has, with the help of immediate family and friends who may possibly know even less about film than he does, crafted a loving example of nearly everything that you shouldn't do in a film, and made us aware of it literally every second. Aaron Katter as (apparently) chief bad guy Peskin seems to be channeling the worst moments of Quentin Tarantino - as actor and interviewee - and then adding a dose of speed to it; Iengo's "cinematography" manages to frame the action nicely or appropriately maybe, oh, 5% of the time. Screenwriter Iengo offers one of the most laughable plot twists towards the end that I've ever seen - and then makes it worse by having guy-who-was-thought-to-be-dead explain it all and make it even more nonsensical. He also offers quite a few bits of romantic or personal dialogue in the most inappropriate places ever, and may well be the worst filmer of action scenes that I've ever seen. The fact that this was made in 2009 is astounding - even cheap, accessible-to-everyone digital cameras should have been able to provide better quality at this point; this is uglier DV than most films I've seen from a decade earlier. But the ineptness does in the end work to create a pretty hilarious entertainment, and while I know this is high praise, I have to say it - Iengo shows the promise here of being the 21st century's Ed Wood. Move over, Uwe Boll.


Caged (John Cromwell, 1950)

If there's a typical noir trope, or sub-category that I'm not particularly fond of - or at least don't seek out - it's the prison film. Not sure why this is - I'm not claustrophobic, and there are plenty of films set in a few locations or shot all on obvious sets that I love, but for some reason films set entirely in prisons are just something I tend to shy away from, though I must admit there are plenty of great examples. Seeing Eleanor Parker's frightened face, as the young naive Marie Allen, going away for her first time at 19, I had the feeling this was going to be one of the great ones, but it didn't hold. It's not bad certainly, well acted by Parker and fellow Oscar nominee Hope Emerson as the vicious matron in charge of the ward, and Agnes Moorhead as the sympathetic warden, but the characters of the warden and matron and many of the others are just too black-and-white, too much types rather than real people, and Parker's character arc really doesn't ring true - it just felt like more of a social issues tract than a screenplay at times. Sill worth seeing but something of a disappointment given the high reputation.

5 Fingers (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1952)

James Mason is a gentleman's gentleman, serving the British ambassador in Ankara, and Danielle Darrieux is the French noblewoman who has lost her money who forms an alliance with Mason when he suddenly comes into great wealth - gotten through very ignoble means in this WWII spy story based apparently on real life. This is a really well done, suspenseful espionage story and Mason is typically great in a role that, though he could have played it in his sleep, suits him better than anyone else. Michael Rennie doesn't really have enough screen time as the British agent on the trail of the spy, and Darrieux's part isn't all that interesting, unfortunately, but Mason is a joy enough to watch that he makes this a pretty solid affair all around, the the chase sequences are some of the best from this era I've seen.

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#13

Post by peeptoad » November 11th, 2019, 11:30 am

morrison-dylan-fan wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 12:55 am

Image

Prey (1977)

Mentioning in the intro before the screening that after making Loving Feeling/ Her Private Hell (both 1968) back to back that he always tried to make each of his following films different from each other, directing auteur Norman J. Warren reunites with regular collaborator art director Hayden Pearce, and takes the Sexploitation thrills of his early creations into a new erotically charged direction, fused to Gothic Horror driven in with a Sci-Fi spike.

Given just 5 weeks to put a production together which got shot in 10 days, Warren and debut cinematographer Derek V. Browne keep tight production time and limited to one location location troubles impressively off-screen, thanks to Warren's distinctive hand-held tracking shots dividing the country house between Josephine and Jessica's love nest, and the outer space of alien Anders outdoor lair.

Allowed to display more skin than his earlier titles, Warren skilfully alters film speeds to slow down the passionate sex between Josephine and Jessica, which dips into erotic horror rage between the trio for the skinny dipping final. Proving that three's a crowd, the screenplay by Max Cuff and Quinn Donoghue keep the anxiety of Anders Sci-Fi Horror outbursts breaking down the walls as a foundation to the psychological chiller vibes from Jessica and Josephine's relationship breaking down within Anders sight. Embracing each other in great steamy scenes, fitties Sally Faulkner and Glory Annen give terrific turns digging into the brittle, broken state of Jessica and Josephine's romance, whilst Barry Stokes keeps Anders lingering in the background as a psycho waiting for his prey.
Cine-excess sounds great. Very cool that you got see Mr. Warren... and Prey rocks! The blu ray I have of that one is fantastic. The good folks at Vinegar Syndrome did a masterful job, and that reminds me that their black Friday sale is coming up. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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#14

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » November 11th, 2019, 1:29 pm

강변호텔 / Hotel By the River (Hong Sang-Soo, 2018) - 7+

Sehnsucht / Longing (Valeska Grisebach, 2006) - 9

Das merkwürdige Katzchen / The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, 2013) - 9
Is this Ramon Zürcher doing a Grisebach, coming out every once in a decade just to make some of the best german films? He hasn't made anything since this one. Some words on it:
"It seems like every object filmed transcends. There's such a big curiosity for objects and scenes from the everyday that all the filmed stuff herein becomes das Ding an sich, like the ideal concepts of what they represent. Everything in 'Katzchen' seems hermetically closed and yet is much more than what it is. Everything here - in their own ambiguous way of representation - points towards its own primordial being. For humanbeings the primordial being's first act may be violence? Hence all the minimal violence in this film. Everyone seems kinda mean to each other, yet loving - a loving violence. Everything in the film also seems to causally follow from one another, as if it hints at some kind of interconnectedness."

Coco (Lee Unkrich, 2017) - 6

Angels Over Broadway (Ben Hecht & Lee Garmes, 1940) - 8-

shorts:

Ofrenda / Offering (Claudio Caldini, 1978) - 6

Vivir para vivir / Live to Live (Laida Lertxundi, 2015) - 8

The Fall (Jonathan Glazer, 2019) - 6
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#15

Post by Lonewolf2003 » November 11th, 2019, 3:54 pm

My viewing this week excisted mostly of noirs, Korean and François Ozon movies, because Mubi had 5 of his showing.

The Woman in the Window (1944, Fritz Lang): 8.0 - Guess I'm a sucker for Langs with Edward G. Robinson as midlife everyday Joe falling for beautifull young women, cause I like this one as much as the also good Scarlet Street.
Hwanghae [The Yellow Sea] (2010, Hong-jin Na): 7.2 - It has some very decent action sequences. But it’s unnecessary long and overly complicated.
Aknyeo [The Villainess] (2017, Byung-gil Jung): 7.2 - After an absolutely amazing opening action sequence, mostly done in POV shots, the movie looses momentum with too many flashbacks, which instead of fleshing out the protagonist make the plot overly complicated. The final part with some great action sequences, especially the part in the bus, picks up the pace again. But because of the convoluted plot I didn’t care anymore about the emotional resolution.
Revenger (2019, Seung-Won Lee): 7.5 - An unrealistic but simple revenge plot is the basis for some great fight scenes in this very enjoyable action movie about a cop being convicted to a prisoners island.
Inrang [Illang: The Wolf Brigade] (2018, Ji-woon Kim): 5.2 - The production design is great, the action good and the direction solid, but the plot is so full with twists and turns, it left me completely cold. This is a waste of potential, I expected more from an adaptation by Ji-woon Kim of a favorite anime. (tho it been over a decade since I saw it)
Nae yeojachingureul sogae habnida [Windstruck] (2004, Jae-young Kwak) (rewatch): 8.5 > 7.8 - It’s funny, the lovers have good chemistry together and it even pulls of the supernatural sentimental stuff without it becoming cheesy.
Sinsegye [New World] (2013, Hoon-jung Park): 6.5
Babo seoneon (1983, Jang-ho Lee): 6.2 - Kudos for telling it the story almost completely without dialogues. Too bad the story itself isn't particular funny or interesting, and in some moments just plain dumb.
Le temps du loup [The Time of the Wolf] (2003, Michael Haneke): 8.0
Les amants criminels [Criminal Lovers] (1999, François Ozon): 6.8
Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes [Water Drops on Burning Rocks] (2000, François Ozon): 6.8 - Ozon does his best Fassbinder impression.
Sous le sable [Under the Sand] (2000, François Ozon): 7.0
Boomerang! (1947, Elia Kazan) (rewatch): 7.0 > 7.2 - Good movie, but it has some pacing issues. Spending way too much time on the built up and introduction and too little on the actual courtroom.
Rok spokojnego slonca [The Year of the Quiet Sun] (1984, Krzysztof Zanussi): 8.0
They Made Me a Fugitive (1947, Alberto Cavalcanti): 6.8
5x2 (2004, François Ozon): 7.0
Force of Evil (1948, Abraham Polonsky): 7.5

There is a mistake in the TT btw. Unless this week ran more than a month ;)

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#16

Post by joachimt » November 11th, 2019, 7:18 pm

sol wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 11:17 pm
joachimt :
Look forward to seeing The Visit on your 500<400 ballot next year. ;)
I always keep that list up to date, so I already added it. :thumbsup:
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#17

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » November 12th, 2019, 12:50 am

peeptoad wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 11:30 am
morrison-dylan-fan wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 12:55 am

Image

Prey (1977)

Mentioning in the intro before the screening that after making Loving Feeling/ Her Private Hell (both 1968) back to back that he always tried to make each of his following films different from each other, directing auteur Norman J. Warren reunites with regular collaborator art director Hayden Pearce, and takes the Sexploitation thrills of his early creations into a new erotically charged direction, fused to Gothic Horror driven in with a Sci-Fi spike.

Given just 5 weeks to put a production together which got shot in 10 days, Warren and debut cinematographer Derek V. Browne keep tight production time and limited to one location location troubles impressively off-screen, thanks to Warren's distinctive hand-held tracking shots dividing the country house between Josephine and Jessica's love nest, and the outer space of alien Anders outdoor lair.

Allowed to display more skin than his earlier titles, Warren skilfully alters film speeds to slow down the passionate sex between Josephine and Jessica, which dips into erotic horror rage between the trio for the skinny dipping final. Proving that three's a crowd, the screenplay by Max Cuff and Quinn Donoghue keep the anxiety of Anders Sci-Fi Horror outbursts breaking down the walls as a foundation to the psychological chiller vibes from Jessica and Josephine's relationship breaking down within Anders sight. Embracing each other in great steamy scenes, fitties Sally Faulkner and Glory Annen give terrific turns digging into the brittle, broken state of Jessica and Josephine's romance, whilst Barry Stokes keeps Anders lingering in the background as a psycho waiting for his prey.
Cine-excess sounds great. Very cool that you got see Mr. Warren... and Prey rocks! The blu ray I have of that one is fantastic. The good folks at Vinegar Syndrome did a masterful job, and that reminds me that their black Friday sale is coming up. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Hi Peep,out of the NJW's I've seen,Prey has by far been my favourite,with it being a sleazy riff on the "odd country house" theme touched on in Larraz's Whirlpool (1970).

With him having always worked on the fringes with low budgets, it's been wonderful seeing Warren get praised/ awarded by likes of Birmingham uni & the BFI (bet he never imagined this when having to watch the budget on Terror!) in recent years. Due to being a hour away from Brum (and only finding out about day 2 being on at the last minute) I was only able to attend the first day, but the Soska's/Warren did another double bill,along with discussions/ visits to the film studies course at the uni.

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#18

Post by peeptoad » November 12th, 2019, 10:38 am

morrison-dylan-fan wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 12:50 am
peeptoad wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 11:30 am

Cine-excess sounds great. Very cool that you got see Mr. Warren... and Prey rocks! The blu ray I have of that one is fantastic. The good folks at Vinegar Syndrome did a masterful job, and that reminds me that their black Friday sale is coming up. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Hi Peep,out of the NJW's I've seen,Prey has by far been my favourite,with it being a sleazy riff on the "odd country house" theme touched on in Larraz's Whirlpool (1970).

With him having always worked on the fringes with low budgets, it's been wonderful seeing Warren get praised/ awarded by likes of Birmingham uni & the BFI (bet he never imagined this when having to watch the budget on Terror!) in recent years. Due to being a hour away from Brum (and only finding out about day 2 being on at the last minute) I was only able to attend the first day, but the Soska's/Warren did another double bill,along with discussions/ visits to the film studies course at the uni.
Prey is my fav Warren as well... and I quite liked Whirlpool as well. Still have to see 3 or 4 more from Larraz ... hopefully this year for the Iberian challenge.

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#19

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » November 12th, 2019, 10:47 am

@PdA:

Some intriguing stuff this week!

I've bookmarked 'Histoire de la révolution' and 'Invisible'. Those screen shots from 'Invisible' are amazing. It looks like a docu I'd love. Did you just get it off KG?

Also looking forward to 'DECK' and 'Le crime d'amour' and 'Saudade' which I already had on my radar.

And... where do you watch all those R. Bruce Elder films?
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#20

Post by GruesomeTwosome » November 12th, 2019, 3:46 pm

Hi there, sol. I've seen Eight Legged Freaks and American Ultra from yours. Very little memory of the former; as for American Ultra, Eisenberg and Stewart have a good chemistry carrying over from Adventureland (a much better movie). I recall a few laughs here and there in American Ultra but otherwise didn't think too much of it outside of the lead performances.

My viewings last week:

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, Ruben Fleischer) theatrical - 5/10. A sequel that I don't think too many people asked for, but I like the cast and thought "why not?" Well, it's dumb fun at times but doesn't really add too much from the first film, the main difference is that there's now a clumsily explained, perfunctory "stronger type of zombie cuz virus mutation". A lot of the humor seems to be kinda weirdly outdated, particularly the depiction of and jokes at the expense of young hippie types. Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson make it watchable. Adult Abigail Breslin is...not a very good actress, it seems.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, Tim Miller) theatrical - 4/10. And here is my Part Two of "sequels that few, if any, asked for", much more the case here than the Zombieland sequel. I guess my continued love of the first two classic Terminator films will make me enough of a sucker to keep watching the mostly garbage sequels. I actually didn't think the prior entry, Genisys, was bad at all, and I thought it much more interesting narratively than Terminator Salvation. This new entry adds absolutely nothing new to the table, save for bringing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor (cool in theory, but she's poorly written here and given little more than generic "grizzled, jaded badass" lines), and some half-assed attempts at social commentary regarding immigration. The return of an R-rating to a Terminator film didn't really help it much either. This is directed by the dude who helmed the first Deadpool, and he directs action scenes in a similar way here, that very sterile-looking, CGI-laden, slow-motion heavy style that I dislike. I really hope I can have enough self-control to stay away if there are any more films in this franchise.


Shorts:

Skhizein (2008, Jeremy Clapin) - 7/10
Fragment of Seeking (1946, Curtis Harrington) - 8
Mouse (1997, Spike Jonze & Rick Howard) - 7/10

TV stuff:
South Park: "Season Finale" (2019) - 6/10
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "The Gang Solves Global Warming" (2019) - 7/10
Last edited by GruesomeTwosome on November 12th, 2019, 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#21

Post by OldAle1 » November 12th, 2019, 4:02 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 3:46 pm

My viewings last week:

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, Ruben Fleischer) theatrical - 5/10. A sequel that I don't think too many people asked for, but I like the cast and thought "why not?" Well, it's dumb fun at times but doesn't really add too much from the first film, the main difference is that there's now a clumsily explained, perfunctory "stronger type of zombie cuz virus mutation". A lot of the humor seems to be kinda weirdly outdated, particularly the depiction of and jokes at the expense of young hippie types. Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson make it watchable. Adult Abigail Breslin is...not a very good actress, it seems.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, Tim Miller) theatrical - 4/10. And here is my Part Two of "sequels that few, if any, asked for", much more the case here than the Zombieland sequel. I guess my continued love of the first two classic Terminator films will make me enough of a sucker to keep watching the mostly garbage sequels. I actually didn't think the prior entry, Genisys, was bad at all, and I thought it much more interesting narratively than Terminator Salvation. This new entry adds absolutely nothing new to the table, save for bringing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor (cool in theory, but she's poorly written here and given little more than generic "grizzled, jaded badass" lines), and some half-assed attempts at social commentary regarding immigration. The return of an R-rating to a Terminator film didn't really help it much either. This is directed by the dude who helmed the first Deadpool, and he directs action scenes in a similar way, that very sterile-looking, CGI-laden, slow-motion heavy style that I dislike. I really hope I can have enough self-control to stay away if there are any more films in this franchise.
I (surprisingly) liked T6 or whatever number it's up to more than most have, it seems. I dunno, maybe I just miss Ahhnnnoolllddd, and I wonder if this'll be the last film I get to see him doing in the cinema, since most of the rest of what he's done since being a politician has been dreck. But yeah it's awful generic.

I agree basically 100% re: Zombieland though. No way I would have seen it if not for Emma Stone; I'm wondering right now if I break my "no Disney live-action remakes of cartoons" rule to see her turn as Cruella or not. That's gonna be a tough one.

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#22

Post by GruesomeTwosome » November 12th, 2019, 4:48 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 4:02 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 3:46 pm

My viewings last week:

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019, Ruben Fleischer) theatrical - 5/10. A sequel that I don't think too many people asked for, but I like the cast and thought "why not?" Well, it's dumb fun at times but doesn't really add too much from the first film, the main difference is that there's now a clumsily explained, perfunctory "stronger type of zombie cuz virus mutation". A lot of the humor seems to be kinda weirdly outdated, particularly the depiction of and jokes at the expense of young hippie types. Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson make it watchable. Adult Abigail Breslin is...not a very good actress, it seems.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, Tim Miller) theatrical - 4/10. And here is my Part Two of "sequels that few, if any, asked for", much more the case here than the Zombieland sequel. I guess my continued love of the first two classic Terminator films will make me enough of a sucker to keep watching the mostly garbage sequels. I actually didn't think the prior entry, Genisys, was bad at all, and I thought it much more interesting narratively than Terminator Salvation. This new entry adds absolutely nothing new to the table, save for bringing Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor (cool in theory, but she's poorly written here and given little more than generic "grizzled, jaded badass" lines), and some half-assed attempts at social commentary regarding immigration. The return of an R-rating to a Terminator film didn't really help it much either. This is directed by the dude who helmed the first Deadpool, and he directs action scenes in a similar way, that very sterile-looking, CGI-laden, slow-motion heavy style that I dislike. I really hope I can have enough self-control to stay away if there are any more films in this franchise.
I (surprisingly) liked T6 or whatever number it's up to more than most have, it seems. I dunno, maybe I just miss Ahhnnnoolllddd, and I wonder if this'll be the last film I get to see him doing in the cinema, since most of the rest of what he's done since being a politician has been dreck. But yeah it's awful generic.

I agree basically 100% re: Zombieland though. No way I would have seen it if not for Emma Stone; I'm wondering right now if I break my "no Disney live-action remakes of cartoons" rule to see her turn as Cruella or not. That's gonna be a tough one.
The best parts of the new Terminator were definitely whenever Ahnold was on screen, for sure. I also still like seeing him in new films whenever possible, but yeah I agree, that unfortunately I haven't really been interested in any of his recent work that isn't Terminator.

I think you should break that rule for Ms. Stone. That seems like it will likely be a "meh" movie overall but possibly a great Stone performance at the least, and I think the Emma-lover in you would find that hard to resist watching, heh.
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#23

Post by mightysparks » November 12th, 2019, 10:59 pm

I hate Emma Stone and think her acting sucks so I guess I should avoid Zombieland 2...
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#24

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » November 13th, 2019, 12:41 am

viktor-vaudevillain wrote:
November 12th, 2019, 10:47 am
@PdA:

Some intriguing stuff this week!

I've bookmarked 'Histoire de la révolution' and 'Invisible'. Those screen shots from 'Invisible' are amazing. It looks like a docu I'd love. Did you just get it off KG?

Also looking forward to 'DECK' and 'Le crime d'amour' and 'Saudade' which I already had on my radar.

And... where do you watch all those R. Bruce Elder films?
Angels Over Broadway & Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (nice writeup) :cheers:

Of course, heroin addicts are just some of the best philosophers. Don't know about your attraction to it, it was somewhat of a shoo-in for me, since I have an admiring fascination for the junkie lifestyle, and a good "non-moralizing" doc about those street heroes usually pushes many of my buttons. This is one with a lot of goodies, though, in terms of great zingers, yeah.
Got it from CG, actually, since they had it and it's probably the marginally better rip (a matroska file at roughly the same file size), although I did get the extras from KG, since they weren't on CG. I haven't gone through all of those yet (mostly unused interviews), but they seem to be pretty quality stuff too.

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