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 Recently Seen 
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Just watched 20 Million Miles from Earth and it's decent Harryhausen sci-fi. I think it's the earliest in the genre I've seen with a spontaneously and rapidly growing monster. Also, was the monsters cry the alarm sound on the Death Dtar?


Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:43 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Just watched 20 Million Miles from Earth and it's decent Harryhausen sci-fi..


I've seen this several times on TCM. Good one.


Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:07 am
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ski petrol wrote:

I've seen this several times on TCM. Good one.


I followed it with It Came From Beneath the Sea, which I liked a tad more. The animation was nearly as clean but it had more iconic imagery and I thought the flirtation with feminism was admirable for the time, though far from perfect.


Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:41 am
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That's about where I landed, although the monster in 20 Million had a lot more character than the giant octopus.

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Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:29 pm
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Charles Longboat Jr. wrote:
I can’t say anything to reverse your opinion on those films, as I also think they mostly look disposable, but I can remind you that Isle of Dogs comes out this month (in limited release, granted). That has to count for something.

It does, it's the only one I saw that has me interested right now. These "big" movies look kinda pitiful.


Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:47 pm
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Slentert wrote:
I just watched the first Pacific Rim and I did not care for it at all. Obviously, I do not need a sequel.
Tomb Raider looks meh.
I did not like the book Ready Player One is based on, the trailer looks really ugly and I don't like Spielberg to be honest.
A Wrinkle in Time could go anywhere. I'll wait for the reviews. It looks the least meh of them all.

At least Annihilation will be released in Belgium next week. Not in theaters, sadly enough, but it's something.
Unfortunately, Wrinkle In Time is sitting at an average rating on RT of just 5.2, and The AV Club review said that it had a few kinks to iron out, so it's looking like that garish, ridiculous-looking trailer for it was probably a harbinger of what was to come. Annihilation was pretty good Lovecraftian horror/sci-fi, though, and speaking of which...
Jinnistan wrote:
Annihilation - 7.5

Given the film's subject matter, tone and non-linear structure, the temptation to make comparisons with Arrival is understandable but not helpful. Alex Garland does not yet have Villenueve's sense of scope or scale, much less dramatic temperment. Some of these limitations are more evident here than in the smaller, more intimate Ex Machina.
...while I thought that Annihilation shared Ex Machina's main flaw of certain characters and concepts being disappointingly vague and underdeveloped, like
the scene where the film seems to reveal that The Shimmer responds to your desires when Josie appears to choose to mutate into a plant-person... and then just never clarifies or returns to that idea ever again,
I still felt it was the somewhat superior film, as that vagueness feeds into the film's main theme of the fear of the unknown, and still helps to complement the overall experience fairly well.

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Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:40 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Just watched 20 Million Miles from Earth and it's decent Harryhausen sci-fi. I think it's the earliest in the genre I've seen with a spontaneously and rapidly growing monster. Also, was the monsters cry the alarm sound on the Death Dtar?



Certainly sounds a lot like it.

I'm pretty sure Harryhausen recycled the Ymir's head design for the Kraken in Clash of the Titans.

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Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:22 am
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Post WALL-E (Stanton, '08)

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Out there is our home.

39 years after starting out as nothing more than a special effects division of Lucasfilm, Pixar Studios has made an unparalleled impact on the modern history of animated film; starting with 1995's iconic Toy Story (which was the first feature-length computer-animated film ever), Pixar has revolutionized the animation industry with what has arguably become the 2nd Disney Renaissance, continually putting out innovative, imaginative new works that (almost) always walk that ever-so-fine line between entertaining younger audiences, while still managing to engage older ones, often capturing the hearts of both alike in the process. However, to me, no singular film in their oh-so-rich body of work stands out more than 2008's WALL-E, which is a one-of-a-kind mixture of sumptuously-animated visual storytelling, bold, imaginatively designed science-fiction concepts, and an overall overwhelming sense of wonder and emotion to ensure that, not only is it one of my favorite animated films, it's also just one my favorite FILMS, period.

It tells the story of a lone little robot named WALL-E ("Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class"), a cute, curious fellow who also happens to be the last functioning unit in his series, and, who, in the not-too-distant future, has been left behind by a bound-for-the-stars mankind in order to clean up a planet Earth that has become so polluted so as to no longer be firt for habitation, in the hopes of eventually making the world fit to live on again, one day... someday. Day in and day out, WALL-E continues forward with his Sisyphean task of literally trying to clean up the entire planet on his own, gathering every little bit of garbage he comes across and compacting it (while saving whatever little knickknacks he finds interesting), and then stacking up the resulting cubes of trash until they tower over the desolate landscape as literal skyscrapers made out of garbage. It's a solitary life, his only companions being the non-operational WALL-Es he runs across here and there (which he then scavenges for spare parts), an oddly loyal, plucky cockroach with an enduring love of Twinkies, and WALL-E's passion for classic musicals like Hello, Dolly!, the music of which he plays as he rocks himself to sleep each and every night, all alone in the world.

However, all of that changes when another, far more advanced robot named EVE ("Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") literally drops out of the sky one day, on a search for a sign that Earth has become habitable again, a task that brings her across the path of WALL-E. From there, an unlikely but unbreakable romance will grow between the two of them, as as they set out on a journey that will take them to the farthest stars and beyond, and end up fundamentally determining the fate of all mankind itself. So that's the basic set-up of the story, but the real appeal of WALL-E lies in its incredible storytelling, as Stanton utilizes a mostly-silent, almost completely dialogue-free, visually-based style here, one that's not only unusual for a G-rated Disney release, but for any kind of film period, as it's more akin to Kubrick's legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else, really, an incredibly ambitious style for an equally ambitious film.

The depth of emotion that Stanton squeezes out here through the magnificent imagery is simply breathtaking, going from a completely desolate Earth to an impeccably sleek, futuristic spaceship and back again, with enough scope and detail to outmatch a thousand other movies if one were to compare. He respects his young Pixar audience (and us older viewers as well) to have the patience to digest the film as it plays out in relative silence, resulting in beautifully visual, incredibly rich tableaus of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi visuals to dazzle our eyes, and engage our minds. The scientific concepts presented in WALL-E are incredibly well-developed, especially for a so-called "children's film", showcasing a garbage-brown, deserted Earth that we've polluted so much that it's no longer habitable by humans, an entire ship-bound society of people that are so sedentary, they've started to lose their ability to even move around on their own (which helps the film squeeze in some welcome commentary on corporate monopolies, obesity, and technology addiction), and of course, the central romance that blossoms between two "mere" robots.

WALL-E & EVE learn to love throughout the various hardships and genuine, patient relationship-building they experience throughout the film, as the romance that develops between them has at least three times the emotion in it than most live-action human couples have on screen, easily. The expressive 'bots of WALL-E display genuine loneliness, fear, and of course, love, and they do it just as well as any real human actors ever had, all while barely saying anything more than each other's names. It's one of my favorite on-screen pairings in film history, animated or not, and the way that WALL-E the robot follows EVA to the ends of the universe, so too would I follow WALL-E, the film, to the ends of this Earth; it's just that bloody good.
Favorite Moment: define "dancing"
Final Score: 10

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Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:42 am
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Stu wrote:
...while I thought that Annihilation shared Ex Machina's main flaw of certain characters and concepts being disappointingly vague and underdeveloped, like
the scene where the film seems to reveal that The Shimmer responds to your desires when Josie appears to choose to mutate into a plant-person... and then just never clarifies or returns to that idea ever again,
I still felt it was the somewhat superior film, as that vagueness feeds into the film's main theme of the fear of the unknown, and still helps to complement the overall experience fairly well.

I disagree that it's a stronger film than Ex Machina, which benefits from its smaller and more controlled environment, but concerning the spoiler...
The question of "desire" and "choice" is muddled here, as the process seems indifferent to both. There's no indication that those others we see who have succumbed to the plant-synthesis either desired or chose such a fate. For Josie, all we know is that she had "self-destructive" tendencies, which the film suggests is true, at the genetic level, for all humans. More likely is that Josie merely resigned to this indifferent process rather than it being some kind of specific reaction to her personal desire.

This does, however, get into what I mentioned concerning some of the undeveloped back stories of the characters, or more directly the ways that the characters seem to have been chosen for this "suicide mission". The lack of what we know of the psychological profile of previous missions makes this more unsatisfying, and makes the distinction given - that this is the first all-female mission - seem even more irrelevant because no clear rational is given for this gendered significance or in what way this informed the mission's decisions or tactical judgment.


Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:47 am
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Death Proof wrote:


Certainly sounds a lot like it.

I'm pretty sure Harryhausen recycled the Ymir's head design for the Kraken in Clash of the Titans.

Glad I'm not the only one that hears it. I tentatively searched the net and couldn't find anything else on the matter.

On a separate note, I watched a couple early Hitchcock films: Number Seventeen and Young and Innocent.

Both are very minor films, the former has sense of comedy that I don't find particularly present in later films, aside from The Trouble With Harry, and the latter is more classic wrongly accused Hitch affair that's hindered by a merely adequate script. There's a crane shot in Y&I that is amazing and makes for one of the most unique killer reveals (spoiler... There's black face involved). I think each deserves a bit more attention than they get, simply on artistic merit (the shadows of NS deserve mention and the editing in both is top notch) but it makes sense that they've become relatively obscure and overshadowed by the immense amount of great films in his filmography.


Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:45 pm
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Stu wrote:
Image

Out there is our home.

39 years after starting out as nothing more than a special effects division of Lucasfilm, Pixar Studios has made an unparalleled impact on the modern history of animated film; starting with 1995's iconic Toy Story (which was the first feature-length computer-animated film ever), Pixar has revolutionized the animation industry with what has arguably become the 2nd Disney Renaissance, continually putting out innovative, imaginative new works that (almost) always walk that ever-so-fine line between entertaining younger audiences, while still managing to engage older ones, often capturing the hearts of both alike in the process. However, to me, no singular film in their oh-so-rich body of work stands out more than 2008's WALL-E, which is a one-of-a-kind mixture of sumptuously-animated visual storytelling, bold, imaginatively designed science-fiction concepts, and an overall overwhelming sense of wonder and emotion to ensure that, not only is it one of my favorite animated films, it's also just one my favorite FILMS, period.

It tells the story of a lone little robot named WALL-E ("Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class"), a cute, curious fellow who also happens to be the last functioning unit in his series, and, who, in the not-too-distant future, has been left behind by a bound-for-the-stars mankind in order to clean up a planet Earth that has become so polluted so as to no longer be firt for habitation, in the hopes of eventually making the world fit to live on again, one day... someday. Day in and day out, WALL-E continues forward with his Sisyphean task of literally trying to clean up the entire planet on his own, gathering every little bit of garbage he comes across and compacting it (while saving whatever little knickknacks he finds interesting), and then stacking up the resulting cubes of trash until they tower over the desolate landscape as literal skyscrapers made out of garbage. It's a solitary life, his only companions being the non-operational WALL-Es he runs across here and there (which he then scavenges for spare parts), an oddly loyal, plucky cockroach with an enduring love of Twinkies, and WALL-E's passion for classic musicals like Hello, Dolly!, the music of which he plays as he rocks himself to sleep each and every night, all alone in the world.

However, all of that changes when another, far more advanced robot named EVE ("Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator") literally drops out of the sky one day, on a search for a sign that Earth has become habitable again, a task that brings her across the path of WALL-E. From there, an unlikely but unbreakable romance will grow between the two of them, as as they set out on a journey that will take them to the farthest stars and beyond, and end up fundamentally determining the fate of all mankind itself. So that's the basic set-up of the story, but the real appeal of WALL-E lies in its incredible storytelling, as Stanton utilizes a mostly-silent, almost completely dialogue-free, visually-based style here, one that's not only unusual for a G-rated Disney release, but for any kind of film period, as it's more akin to Kubrick's legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey than anything else, really, an incredibly ambitious style for an equally ambitious film.

The depth of emotion that Stanton squeezes out here through the magnificent imagery is simply breathtaking, going from a completely desolate Earth to an impeccably sleek, futuristic spaceship and back again, with enough scope and detail to outmatch a thousand other movies if one were to compare. He respects his young Pixar audience (and us older viewers as well) to have the patience to digest the film as it plays out in relative silence, resulting in beautifully visual, incredibly rich tableaus of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi visuals to dazzle our eyes, and engage our minds. The scientific concepts presented in WALL-E are incredibly well-developed, especially for a so-called "children's film", showcasing a garbage-brown, deserted Earth that we've polluted so much that it's no longer habitable by humans, an entire ship-bound society of people that are so sedentary, they've started to lose their ability to even move around on their own (which helps the film squeeze in some welcome commentary on corporate monopolies, obesity, and technology addiction), and of course, the central romance that blossoms between two "mere" robots.

WALL-E & EVE learn to love throughout the various hardships and genuine, patient relationship-building they experience throughout the film, as the romance that develops between them has at least three times the emotion in it than most live-action human couples have on screen, easily. The expressive 'bots of WALL-E display genuine loneliness, fear, and of course, love, and they do it just as well as any real human actors ever had, all while barely saying anything more than each other's names. It's one of my favorite on-screen pairings in film history, animated or not, and the way that WALL-E the robot follows EVA to the ends of the universe, so too would I follow WALL-E, the film, to the ends of this Earth; it's just that bloody good.
Favorite Moment: define "dancing"
Final Score: 10


Ya know, how are those two robots gonna ever have sex?


Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:59 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Glad I'm not the only one that hears it. I tentatively searched the net and couldn't find anything else on the matter.




This reminds me... I need to rewatch It's Alive. I swear some of the soundtrack sounded EXACTLY like something from one of the soundtracks from the Star Wars OT.

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And everywhere was a song and a celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes riding shotgun in the sky
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Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:30 pm
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The Death of Stalin - ?/10

I caught this one with a Q&A with Armando Iannucci and Jason Isaacs. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but I suspect a tone-deaf audience contributed to my annoyance. This is a tonally tricky movie, and I think a lot of people were laughing at things that were clearly intended to be horrifying, but they were under the assumption that this would be more of a laugh-a-minute riot a la In the Loop, which it certainly isn't. That having been said, I don't know that the movie itself successfully navigates the divide in tones. Iannucci stated that he didn't want a farcical depiction of Soviet intrigue to trivialize the common people whose lives were ruined by these events, but I think he ultimately ends up doing just that in some fashion. The divide is between the burlesque in the Kremlin and the carnage in the streets, and had Iannucci kept these things totally separate, it would conceivably have worked (think of how the limited combat footage in Dr. Strangelove is kept very separate from the war-room idiocy of the politicians and military command). But Iannucci muddles these things by depicting brutal killings as background gags while more trivial conversations are happening in the foreground, or by having certain glib verbal sparring rounds hinge on the murder of thousands of people. I'll grant that this is all very audacious, but I owe the movie another view because I'm not sure that the pure awfulness of this audience didn't sour me on the whole thing.

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Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:40 pm
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Game Night is worth watching. It's the best John Francis Daley-penned comedy I've seen so far: ever so slightly better than Horrible Bosses and way better than Burt Wonderstone. There are many hilarious bits that still make me laugh when I think about them, most notably ones involving a cameo I won't spoil and a curious pet. Also, if this movie proves anything, it's that Jesse Plemons, or discount Matt Damon as my wife calls him, can be as hilarious as he can be scary and intimidating. Fans of "one crazy night" movies like After Hours and, well, The Game should check it out.

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Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:46 pm
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Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

finished Mark Hartley's trash cinema documentary trilogy. this time with his piece on Australian exploitation films created during a period when government-backed art initiatives created an explosion in Australian film production. very similar to the other two (which I watched in reverse order, this one was Hartley's first) with Tarantino around to offer his enthusiasm. so: fun and a good primer should I decide to check out some of the featured movies.

as with the Cannon Films doc there is a bit of griping of the snobs and elites that turned their nose at such fare, regulating the likes of Brian Trenchard-Smith to junky B and C-movie status. and I get why some of those comments would sting given that these movies were just as responsible for the growth of Australia's film industry as many of its artsier productions (some helmed by directors who would find success outside of Australia). I guess I was a bit disappointed that not enough time was spent extolling the movies' artistic merits but I suppose Hartley, Tarantino, etc. are leaving that work to us when we decide to see those movies for ourselves. at the very least even the trashiest Ozploitation from the 70's and 80's ought to be an interesting historical artifact of a time when a country was exploring its collective artistic voice through Hollywood genre convention.

maybe the critics should have expected that some of the movies produced by a country that lives so much at the edge of the frontier would occasionally tread in places not considered 'tasteful'. and a good reminder that I ought to look out for bits of gold in today's 'low pedigree' movies.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:07 am
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The Neverending Story (1984) - 8/10

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:16 am
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BL wrote:
The Death of Stalin - ?/10

I caught this one with a Q&A with Armando Iannucci and Jason Isaacs. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but I suspect a tone-deaf audience contributed to my annoyance. This is a tonally tricky movie, and I think a lot of people were laughing at things that were clearly intended to be horrifying, but they were under the assumption that this would be more of a laugh-a-minute riot a la In the Loop, which it certainly isn't. That having been said, I don't know that the movie itself successfully navigates the divide in tones. Iannucci stated that he didn't want a farcical depiction of Soviet intrigue to trivialize the common people whose lives were ruined by these events, but I think he ultimately ends up doing just that in some fashion. The divide is between the burlesque in the Kremlin and the carnage in the streets, and had Iannucci kept these things totally separate, it would conceivably have worked (think of how the limited combat footage in Dr. Strangelove is kept very separate from the war-room idiocy of the politicians and military command). But Iannucci muddles these things by depicting brutal killings as background gags while more trivial conversations are happening in the foreground, or by having certain glib verbal sparring rounds hinge on the murder of thousands of people. I'll grant that this is all very audacious, but I owe the movie another view because I'm not sure that the pure awfulness of this audience didn't sour me on the whole thing.

I wanna watch this again too, but I found the tonal divide more effective than you did, as I felt it got across that the idiocy had actual consequences. What you're suggesting in terms of keeping the humour and horror totally separate I think could work, but I also feel that it might disrupt the rhythms the movie sets up.

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:49 am
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topherH wrote:
The Neverending Story (1984) - 8/10

So is this a rating so far/review in progress type thing? Because I believe that story....never ends. :D


Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:58 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
fun and a good primer should I decide to check out some of the featured movies.


You should.

These two in particular

Image

Image

Turkey Shoot is Trenchard-Smith distilled to his trash essence, and Wake in Fright is just a legitimately great movie.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:45 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Turkey Shoot is Trenchard-Smith distilled to his trash essence, and Wake in Fright is just a legitimately great movie.


I haven't seen Turkey Shoot, but I second the support for Wake in Fright. Really good and unsettling film.

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:49 am
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Yeah, Wake in Fright is amazing. And depressing. And upsetting.

But in a good way.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:34 am
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Wonder Woman (2017) didn't grab me the way I expected it to. It wasn't bad, at all, just not as gripping as I thought it would be based on comments I have read over the past year.

If the 3D disc gets down close to $10, though, I will buy it. Maybe even for $14.99. But I couldn't bring myself to spend $30 on it recently when it was on sale. I hadn't seen the film yet.

And Takoma, I couldn't spot anything about the movie that suggested that a woman directed it. Perhaps because the 3-man writing crew overwhelmed any female sensibilities she attempted to add.

Did you find any moments or touches (that I must have overlooked) that communicated the femaleness of the director in your view?

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:45 am
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Wake In Fright is the most uplifting film I can think of. A veritable affirmation of exhalted credence, an apogee of revealed redemption. Yes, it drecks the muck through flings of filth. Don't be a baby. This film will see you off safely.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:30 pm
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I should probably spoiler that.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:33 pm
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aye I've heard lots and lots of good stuff about Wake in Fright although by their metric it is not a full Australian movie since Ted Kotcheff is from Canada i.e. outsider's perspective. same with Walkabout.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:39 pm
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Gort wrote:
Wonder Woman (2017) didn't grab me the way I expected it to. It wasn't bad, at all, just not as gripping as I thought it would be based on comments I have read over the past year.

And Takoma, I couldn't spot anything about the movie that suggested that a woman directed it. Perhaps because the 3-man writing crew overwhelmed any female sensibilities she attempted to add.

Did you find any moments or touches (that I must have overlooked) that communicated the femaleness of the director in your view?


Not particularly.

I thought that the movie had some A+ parts (like the battle on the beach), but thought it was a real shame that the movie didn't keep Diana's emotional progression as its main focus. There was a lot of generic, Marvel-esque, CGI-blah stuff that really bogged down significant parts of the middle and ending.

Some things I really appreciated were (1) Diana's fish out of water naïveté not coming from a place of child-like ignorance (please see this video essay, Born Sexy Yesterday--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0thpEyEwi80&t=1s about the obnoxious prevalence of this trope in fantasy and sci-fi), but rather from her having high moral standards for behavior, (2) the portrayal of older women who are still warriors as opposed to most portrayals of female warriors where all the active ones are 20-somethings and anyone over 40 is like an elder, and (3) the reversal of the "oops I walked in on you naked!" trope, but in a way that got rid of the usual pervy undertones.

I also love this Twitter observation about the way her hair changes through the movie: https://twitter.com/jowrotethis/status/875499645723529217?lang=en


Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:58 pm
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Make no mistake, Wake in Fright is better than Turkey Shoot. But Turkey Shoot is better than its Wikipedia page lets on.

Joe Baltake, film critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, gave the film a negative review, describing it as a "vomitous offering" and "unfit for human consumption". Bill O'Connor from the Arkon Beacon Journal called the film "garbage" and highlighted the excessive use of gore and the "wooden acting". Australian film critic David Stratton also condemned the film as "a catalogue of sickening horrors", adding that "the actors involved should have been ashamed for appearing in such trash"


Wrong. It's perfectly suited for human consumption.


Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:32 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

finished Mark Hartley's trash cinema documentary trilogy. this time with his piece on Australian exploitation films created during a period when government-backed art initiatives created an explosion in Australian film production. very similar to the other two (which I watched in reverse order, this one was Hartley's first) with Tarantino around to offer his enthusiasm. so: fun and a good primer should I decide to check out some of the featured movies.

as with the Cannon Films doc there is a bit of griping of the snobs and elites that turned their nose at such fare, regulating the likes of Brian Trenchard-Smith to junky B and C-movie status. and I get why some of those comments would sting given that these movies were just as responsible for the growth of Australia's film industry as many of its artsier productions (some helmed by directors who would find success outside of Australia). I guess I was a bit disappointed that not enough time was spent extolling the movies' artistic merits but I suppose Hartley, Tarantino, etc. are leaving that work to us when we decide to see those movies for ourselves. at the very least even the trashiest Ozploitation from the 70's and 80's ought to be an interesting historical artifact of a time when a country was exploring its collective artistic voice through Hollywood genre convention.

maybe the critics should have expected that some of the movies produced by a country that lives so much at the edge of the frontier would occasionally tread in places not considered 'tasteful'. and a good reminder that I ought to look out for bits of gold in today's 'low pedigree' movies.

I really enjoyed this film, but I seem to enjoy ALL the documentaries about lower-budget genre movies (Machete Maidens Unleashed, Electric Boogaloo).


Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 am
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BL wrote:
The Death of Stalin - ?/10

I caught this one with a Q&A with Armando Iannucci and Jason Isaacs. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but I suspect a tone-deaf audience contributed to my annoyance. This is a tonally tricky movie, and I think a lot of people were laughing at things that were clearly intended to be horrifying, but they were under the assumption that this would be more of a laugh-a-minute riot a la In the Loop, which it certainly isn't. That having been said, I don't know that the movie itself successfully navigates the divide in tones. Iannucci stated that he didn't want a farcical depiction of Soviet intrigue to trivialize the common people whose lives were ruined by these events, but I think he ultimately ends up doing just that in some fashion. The divide is between the burlesque in the Kremlin and the carnage in the streets, and had Iannucci kept these things totally separate, it would conceivably have worked (think of how the limited combat footage in Dr. Strangelove is kept very separate from the war-room idiocy of the politicians and military command). But Iannucci muddles these things by depicting brutal killings as background gags while more trivial conversations are happening in the foreground, or by having certain glib verbal sparring rounds hinge on the murder of thousands of people. I'll grant that this is all very audacious, but I owe the movie another view because I'm not sure that the pure awfulness of this audience didn't sour me on the whole thing.
Great read! I will always have sympathy for the comedian, though - it's always easier to just make everything sad and horrible, but the truth of the matter is that there is an inherent extreme absurdity in people in nice clothes ordering the deaths of millions that is as troubling as the killing itself, because the ease of the task belies the unimaginable horror. And that ease demands exaggeration, because if you depict events as-they-were then the audience can fall prey to the same deceptive ease and vote for a grossly idiotic demagogue. I haven't seen the film, but I look forward to being uncomfortable in many respects when I do. That's the only way to experience a genocide, after all.

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Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:15 am
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Great thing about being a late-breaking Blu-ray adopter is I just bought The World's End, No Country for Old Men, and It Follows for $10.

2012. What a time to be alive.

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Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:03 am
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Veronica


I'm sure you've seen the news articles about Veronica making the rounds on the Facebook and on the Twitter and the Linkedin about this little import movie and about how nut-shrinkingly scary it's supposed to be, right? Well, it's time to give it a look and put it to the test.

Now, keep in mind... there's been a lot of blowback from movie nerds such as myself about this movie with many people calling it the worst trash they've ever seen. It's the double-edged sword of hype horror... the better you are at what you do, the more people feel the need to prove that they are better than your product. It's idiocy, really... the same kind of idiocy that makes an uneducated high school kid proclaim that It wasn't scary or The Conjuring wasn't scary. Sure, I understand that fear is subjective, but to just dismiss obvious quality because you think it puts hair on your manly chest is just stupid.

Personally, I go into every horror movie I see hoping it will make me piss myself or, at the very least, go to sleep with a lamp on. I will never understand the grotesque need to prove yourself better than a goddamn movie.

Now, is Veronica really as scary as the hype lets on? Of course not... that's why it's called hype.

But, it is respectable, it does have scares, and I liked the main character enough to care about what was happening to her.

She is Veronica, a 15 year old student from Spain who, after participating in a seance with her friends, finds herself accosted by a very rude satanic demon from Hell who targets not only her, but her younger siblings she cares for while her mother is out working.

Already, the premise has got it right. When I first started watching this movie, I was under the impression that it was going to be about a group of teenage girls and, by Jesus' nipple-rings, I hate teenage girls. Instead, we're presented with an all-too-familiar but rarely documented single-parent household where the mom works and the eldest is the caregiver. Instead of getting a story about some teenage idiot trying to save herself, we get a much more interesting story of a teenage idiot trying to protect those she loves. That gets me... right here. I'm indicating my heart. It's hard to tell if you can't see me.

The movie really doesn't do anything new, but the stuff is does do is done well. The gags when the demon manifests itself are all sinister and spooky and disturbing though, I don't understand why a girl who goes to Catholic school with a bunch of nuns never once actively seeks out the church's help. The gags that involve the kids are probably the most effective and, let me tell you, during the climax at the end, those kids really sell the terror.

So, is Veronica the scariest movie ever made according to social media? No, but it is still a very well-done and effective horror movie that has enough chilling imagery and taught direction, not to mention a cast you actually care for, that it will more than deliver for a couple of hours if you're in the mood for something frightening.

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Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:28 pm
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Watchmen (DC) - 8/10

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Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:59 am
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Donner wrote:

Now, keep in mind... there's been a lot of blowback from movie nerds such as myself about this movie with many people calling it the worst trash they've ever seen. It's the double-edged sword of hype horror... the better you are at what you do, the more people feel the need to prove that they are better than your product. It's idiocy, really... the same kind of idiocy that makes an uneducated high school kid proclaim that It wasn't scary or The Conjuring wasn't scary. Sure, I understand that fear is subjective, but to just dismiss obvious quality because you think it puts hair on your manly chest is just stupid.

Personally, I go into every horror movie I see hoping it will make me piss myself or, at the very least, go to sleep with a lamp on. I will never understand the grotesque need to prove yourself better than a goddamn movie.


This is a great point I have not really seen put into words before. You are on the nose and that shit annoys the fuck out of me and definitely causes me to discount the opinion of whoever is saying it. I see it around here sometimes.


Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:07 am
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Phantom Thread 9/10


Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:48 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I disagree that it's a stronger film than Ex Machina, which benefits from its smaller and more controlled environment, but concerning the spoiler...
The question of "desire" and "choice" is muddled here, as the process seems indifferent to both. There's no indication that those others we see who have succumbed to the plant-synthesis either desired or chose such a fate. For Josie, all we know is that she had "self-destructive" tendencies, which the film suggests is true, at the genetic level, for all humans. More likely is that Josie merely resigned to this indifferent process rather than it being some kind of specific reaction to her personal desire.

This does, however, get into what I mentioned concerning some of the undeveloped back stories of the characters, or more directly the ways that the characters seem to have been chosen for this "suicide mission". The lack of what we know of the psychological profile of previous missions makes this more unsatisfying, and makes the distinction given - that this is the first all-female mission - seem even more irrelevant because no clear rational is given for this gendered significance or in what way this informed the mission's decisions or tactical judgment.
I agree that what happened to Josie was most likely completely out of her control, but if so, then there are ways Garland should have made that explicit, whether than just frustratingly dangle the other possibility in front of us, and then never visit it again. That's just pointless otherwise, movie!

Anyway, I agreed that most of the characters in Annihilation were thinly-developed monster fodder, but I don't remember the film ever making it clear that Lena's group was the first all-female team to enter The Shimmer; are you sure they ever conveyed that in the movie? I remember Lena remarking that the team was all women, but not that it was the first such... anyway, I thought Lena's remark on the team was unnecessary, as I actually liked the fact that the team was all female just because the most qualified people they had for the task just so happened to be all women, and that's it. I thought it was a good example of representation without differentiation, without the film treating its women differently just because of their gender (because I doubt anyone would question it as much if the film had just an all-male team going into The Shimmer, don't you?).

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Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:52 pm
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Good Time 7/10

It's a sort of heist movie starring Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie who also co-directed with his brother Josh. It's pretty indie.


Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:58 pm
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topherH wrote:
Watchmen (DC) - 8/10

The DC is so much better than the theatrical. It just flows better and the added scenes add a little more depth. I never wasted any time with the Ultimtae Cut cuz ehh.


Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:16 pm
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Ace wrote:
The DC is so much better than the theatrical. It just flows better and the added scenes add a little more depth. I never wasted any time with the Ultimtae Cut cuz ehh.


I did check into the differences between the T and DC, and a reviewer said the T is sufficient enough. I grabbed my copy at a cheap bin. It's a good watch, full of Snyder visuals and ideas but the pace even with interesting characters is a challenge to sit through.

As for Neverending Story, I got the feeling that it kind of fits perfectly in the 80's, I don't think it would work with CGI and is good with its 80's puppets.

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Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:25 pm
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Satyricon was like watching the nightmare of a dying gay Roman that was reflecting on his life experiences. The impact that this film had on Lynch is clear and not only put the Black Lodge in a new light, it also made me realize that his Dune was an attempt to make a science fiction Satyricon. Great stuff but I need to process it a bit.


Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:16 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Satyricon was like watching the nightmare of a dying gay Roman that was reflecting on his life experiences. The impact that this film had on Lynch is clear and not only put the Black Lodge in a new light, it also made me realize that his Dune was an attempt to make a science fiction Satyricon. Great stuff but I need to process it a bit.


Let's not forget the surreal card Fellini has up his sleeve, the pre short-shorts acting debut of Richard Simmons

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Take that David Lynch


Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:25 pm
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I enjoyed Lady Bird a lot. It proves Buckaroo Banzai's adage that "no matter where you go, there you are" in funny, true and heartwarming ways. While it mostly applies this to Lady Bird's hard-fought acceptance of her Sacramento roots, the movie has many other instances of the societal pressures that encourage us to be someone we are not. Sometimes, they result in surprises, such as when the football coach amusingly moonlights as a theater director, but as this movie expertly demonstrates, these pressures mostly cause undue pain for everyone involved, especially to those who matter the most. They all add up to the best high school movie since The Edge of Seventeen, not to mention one of the best movies about parent/child relationships in recent memory. My favorite quality of this movie is that there are seemingly no villains. Similar to Miyazaki's movies, it cares about and lets you empathize with every character regardless of his/her screen time. This didn't mean I liked every character - this especially applies to pretentious musician Kyle and mean girl Jenna - but it let me understand where they are coming and react to them like I have to similar people I’ve met in real life.

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:29 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Let's not forget the surreal card Fellini has up his sleeve, the pre short-shorts acting debut of Richard Simmons

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Pictured: Richard Simmons, frettin' to the oldies.

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:04 am
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Torgo wrote:
I enjoyed Lady Bird a lot. It proves Buckaroo Banzai's adage that "no matter where you go, there you are" in funny, true and heartwarming ways. While it mostly applies this to Lady Bird's hard-fought acceptance of her Sacramento roots, the movie has many other instances of the societal pressures that encourage us to be someone we are not. Sometimes, they result in surprises, such as when the football coach amusingly moonlights as a theater director, but as this movie expertly demonstrates, these pressures mostly cause undue pain for everyone involved, especially to those who matter the most. They all add up to the best high school movie since The Edge of Seventeen, not to mention one of the best movies about parent/child relationships in recent memory. My favorite quality of this movie is that there are seemingly no villains. Similar to Miyazaki's movies, it cares about and lets you empathize with every character regardless of his/her screen time. This didn't mean I liked every character - this especially applies to pretentious musician Kyle and mean girl Jenna - but it let me understand where they are coming and react to them like I have to similar people I’ve met in real life.

I just watched this and yeah pretty much this. All the performances were great with of course Ronan and Metcalf being the standouts. It's funny seeing Metcalf in another motherly role since I was so used to seeing her as Sheldon's mother (which coincidentally her daughter now plays on Young Sheldon). I feel like this film pretty much speaks to the parents and the teenagers alike. I know certain scenes hit close to home.


Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:07 am
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Ace wrote:
I just watched this and yeah pretty much this. All the performances were great with of course Ronan and Metcalf being the standouts. It's funny seeing Metcalf in another motherly role since I was so used to seeing her as Sheldon's mother (which coincidentally her daughter now plays on Young Sheldon). I feel like this film pretty much speaks to the parents and the teenagers alike. I know certain scenes hit close to home.
I don't know how the Oscars work, but Metcalfe seems like a better candidate because it was a harder role. She had to portray the entirety of the mom experience while Janney just showed the tough love part of it. Fletcher in mom form, if you will.

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:14 am
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:22 am
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The Hurricane Heist - 6/10

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:11 am
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Torgo wrote:
I don't know how the Oscars work, but Metcalfe seems like a better candidate because it was a harder role. She had to portray the entirety of the mom experience while Janney just showed the tough love part of it. Fletcher in mom form, if you will.

I haven't seen I Tonya but Metcalfe's acting was really great. It had all the little subtleties you can pick up from growing up and seeing or own moms.


Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:27 am
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Black Panther was pretty good. The first two thirds were a very refreshing breath of fresh air as someone who’s had Marvel fatigue since 2015, and I felt that (despite the plasticity of certain action sequences, especially in the lesser final act) the film had a much more distinct visual style than others of its ilk. The cast is pretty solid across the board.Probably a B on my scale.


Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:21 am
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Charles Longboat Jr. wrote:
Black Panther was pretty good. The first two thirds were a very refreshing breath of fresh air as someone who’s had Marvel fatigue since 2015, and I felt that (despite the plasticity of certain action sequences, especially in the lesser final act) the film had a much more distinct visual style than others of its ilk. The cast is pretty solid across the board.Probably a B on my scale.

I also really liked it. I especially liked the depth they gave to Killmonger.
Due to that, I felt sorry for him once he died.
I'm usually mixed on most superhero movies, but I've liked a few of Marvel's recent films quite a bit (Thor: Ragnarok and Logan), so I'm going to definitely pay greater attention to them in the future.

As for my rating, I gave this film 8/10.

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Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:33 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I also really liked it. I especially liked the depth they gave to Killmonger. Bla bla bla Yada yada yada. I'm usually mixed on most superhero movies, but I've liked a few of Marvel's recent films quite a bit (Thor: Ragnarok and Logan), so I'm going to definitely pay greater attention to them in the future.

As for my rating, I gave this film 8/10.


If it were me, I would've "spoilered" that, but well.

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