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 Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Marky Mark and Denzel Are Bros 
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Post Re: I Just Watched This Movie and It's Fucking Awesome

I actually prefer Upstream Color over Primer now that I think about it. Both are worth checking out. Primer is probably the most mind blowing movie about time travel ever, maybe.

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Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:23 pm
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My Name Is Nobody (1973, Tonino Valerii, Sergio Leone)

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Too bad that Sergio Leone was not fully involved with this film-despite him being listed as a director he was more of a producer for it- although I rather liked it despite it feeling like a pale imitation of one of of Leone's best works. Still you have a movie with Terrence Hill as a young, really fast gunslinger trying to get Henry Fonda to participate in a shootout with the biggest, worst gang in the west, and it results in a quickly paced and fun movie. What surprised me though was how in the end its a mediation upon heroes and the mythology that they carry with them-particularly old west gunfighters, who were made out to be larger than life in song and tales penned by city slickers. Fonda's Jack just wants to retire and head off on a ship to Europe, while Hill's Nobody feels that his hero needs to go out with a bang. This endless back and forth results in plenty of violence, and yet its not really serious until that really huge gang finally shows up. Which makes it unlike Leone's films, which lacked humor and were full of gun play, blood, and bullets.

My favorite part based on what I recall is Nobody showing off drunk in a saloon, attempting to win a contest that is supposed to be impossible. Its goofy, outrageous, and really funny. My Name is Nobody came at the peak of the western and yet like many 70s westerns it was really about the end of the west and the sun setting on that way of life. Maybe those films were just prophetic as the genre did begin to decline starting in that decade, and yet its continued to limp on ever since, choosing to go out quietly instead. How rather fitting, I think.

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Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:32 pm
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Post Re: I Just Watched This Movie and It's Fucking Awesome

Hombre (1967, Martin Ritt)

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Paul Newman is really badass in this movie. He's a half breed Apache white man that knows how to ride, shoot, and survive in hostile conditions. Due to his mixed blood stupid racist white people look down on him, until shit really hits the fan and they are forced to abide by his tough, unflinching rules if they want to live another day. As much a thriller and a film noir as it is a western, Hombre is truly great because its simple, tense, and well crafted. I admired how effectively the action sequences are shown, and how this manages to be a more violent and harsher Stagecoach. Only without the stagecoach. You have mediation's upon race, class, life and death, and whether or not one man or woman is worth the survival of an entire group. I can't remember the last western I saw you could form a philosophical discussion around, especially with how the film concludes. My favorite part is when Newman's John Russell coldly tells the group that it doesn't matter if they give the gang the money or not-the gang will still kill every one of them.

Oh and this is one of the few older westerns to not actually portray American Indians in a negative light, although you still have a white man technically playing one. Newman gives a fantastic performance in a film that is guaranteed to crack my "Best of the West" list for being a unique and original film, being created at a time when the genre was changing and becoming more realistic, giving way to a less romanticized version of the time period. I almost forgot to mention that Hombre also has an excellent cast, with Newman, western veteran Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, Cameron Mitchell, Fredric March and Barbara Rush.

BTW I viewed both My Name Is Nobody and Hombre both on the same night while drinking on Netflix Instant Viewing. Pretty decent double bill I think.

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Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:40 pm
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Post Re: I Just Watched This Movie and It's Fucking Awesome: Hombre

Eden is a good movie about human trafficking, you should watch that


Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:25 pm
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Post Re: I Just Watched This Movie and It's Fucking Awesome: Hombre

undinum wrote:
Eden is a good movie about human trafficking, you should watch that
Never heard of it, but I will try and check it out. Thanks for the rec.

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Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:42 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: Juno

Juno (2007, Jason Reitman)

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The endless hate this movie receives amuses me, mostly because I can't blame people for hating a movie. I'm sure they have their reasons. Me I was surprised to actually really enjoy it: based on the responses Juno has received I was expecting mediocrity and not a good movie, which I think it is. Feel free to pelt me with "Fuck you you stupid fucker this movie fucking sucks" comments later on. I will say that the comedy elements are really strong while the dramatic elements are a mixed bag. Also Jason Reitman has done better: I much prefer Up In The Air and Thank You For Smoking, two films I'm sure are probably unpopular around here as well. I didn't mind the Diablo Cody dialogue even I'm not a fan of her as a screen writer-some of the film's moments simply don't work, and I'm not sure a rewatch wouldn't reveal more of the film's flaws. For now though I'm fine with my rating, and my enjoyment of a movie that attempts to tackle teen pregnancy. I'm open to recommendations on movies supposedly better than this one that cover the same topic, and no I did not see Knocked Up although I'll view it at some point and marvel over its more than likely second act problems.

Ellen Page is really great here, although she has currently made a career out of playing mostly the same character over and over again. I actually like Michael Cera a lot, although most of that is good well carrying over from Arrested Development. Jason Bateman plays a creepy man child all too well here, and the always lovely Jennifer Garner is oddly sympathetic despite attaching herself to someone who does not share the same goals-you would think she would have realized that a lot sooner. My favorite character though was Juno's friend, Leah, played by Olivia Thirlby-I only realized that she had been in Dredd after seeing the end credits. The entire cast is pretty fantastic, and I think that they elevate merely okay/decent material. I will give that Cody has some good jokes in this film, however some of them come at times when the film is supposed to be serious, thus kind of negating any dramatic impact. I'm glad that I haven't heard "Homeslice" in a long time. Oh and I liked the soundtrack a lot.

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Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:03 pm
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Star Trek Into Darkness (2013, J. J. Abrams)

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If Iron Man 2 is a really good sequel I saw in theaters this year that didn't fail to disappoint then maybe Star Trek 2 is sort of the opposite. I gave it a rating only about 3 points lower and yet the more I think about Into Darkness, the less I like the movie and the more I reflect on its flaws. Also its clear most of this material has been done before, yet its all how you offer a fresh take on the material that really matters. Abrams did a better job with his Star Trek reboot and yet I felt that movie too was lacking something, although I would have to rewatch both to find out what exactly. I actually liked Abrams better when he gave us Super 8, even though that film had a lot of detractors. However I left the theater glad that I saw Super 8 on the big screen, where as with Star Trek 2 I realized I could have just rented it instead and had the same experience. Maybe the I let the trailers and the critics build up my hype too much, and yet after reading/hearing that it wasn't as good as the first one I went in with level expectations.

Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch elevated some poor material and gave life to dialogue that I wasn't a fan of. He was the best casting decision for this movie. I know that Trekkies complain about how Abrams strays away from "True Star Trek," or whatever, but since I'm not part of that cult I only cared if this was a good movie or not. I actually preferred the second half of this movie over the first half, and I liked the action elements which unfortunately for this movie were better than the dramatic scenes, some of which felt rather heavy handed. I'm trying to remember the last movie I saw that was like this one where my rating and my review went in different directions, but none come to mind at the moment.

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Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:12 am
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Star Trek 2: More Lens Flare

Yeah, I'll second your feelings about the dramatic scenes. There was a lot of yelling and ham handed dialogue, delivered by actors who can't chew scenery to make it entertaining. A lot of the action felt choppy to me, except for the mid-warp ship battle, which unfortunately ended too soon. Also, pretty much every major plot event was either telegraphed or really contrived. The 2009 film worked a lot better because the tone was generally lighter (as opposed to this one's overwrought darkness) and the plotting was much better handled.

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Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:05 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Star Trek 2: More Lens Flare

I love Anne Hathaway and I love her former hair style. She's amazingly beautiful. :heart: Anyway, I will buy such European style wigs for my girl friend.


Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:01 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Star Trek 2: More Lens Flare

Um...

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Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:10 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Star Trek 2: More Lens Flare

No idea but hey Anne is pretty hot. So hurray?

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Yeah, I'll second your feelings about the dramatic scenes. There was a lot of yelling and ham handed dialogue, delivered by actors who can't chew scenery to make it entertaining. A lot of the action felt choppy to me, except for the mid-warp ship battle, which unfortunately ended too soon. Also, pretty much every major plot event was either telegraphed or really contrived. The 2009 film worked a lot better because the tone was generally lighter (as opposed to this one's overwrought darkness) and the plotting was much better handled.
I kind of agree about the action, and yet I still really liked the fight sequences and some of the other action packed moments. And yes the first one is better. I wonder if J.J. just sucks at being "Dark"? Probably.

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Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:04 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Star Trek 2: More Lens Flare

Battleship Potemkin (1925, Sergei M. Eisenstein)

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Greatest propaganda film ever made? Probably. I don't really have anything new to offer on this film as its 88 years old and has been covered to death. I will admit that only this year did I finally bother to watch it, and it sat on my Netflix Instant Viewing queue for at least a month or two before I felt the need to view something I knew I was going to love in advance. This is a truly great film, and its raw emotional power was a bit surprising to me as I only knew of the famous Odessa Steps sequence-my favorite homage to that scene is the train station moments in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. Also I'm glad this is a silent film, as the lack of dialogue gives the film's images plenty of breathing room, allowing for the viewer to immerse themselves in what is going on onscreen.

The use of montage is particularly brilliant, and technical wise this is a near perfect film. While the characters are admittedly one dimensional that is not really important, and I also ignored the acting since the film doesn't really need any quality performances to be effective. The use of violence is especially interesting, as it condemns the horrible Czar troops and overlords, and is also quite graphic for 1920s cinema. Its always fun to view a film that was censored when it was released, and in creating a film aimed at boosting support for the Soviet regime Eisenstein also made a film that decades later was actually banned, which makes it a tad subversive.

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Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:51 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Battleship Potemkin

It always amazes me what some people haven't seen sometimes. Eisenstein made even better films.

Ivan The Terrible pt 1 and Alexander Nevsky are waiting for you.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:06 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Battleship Potemkin

Yes I know. Soviet cinema is one of my huge blank spots. I have Strike and Man With A Movie Camera on my queue too. I'm terrible.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:49 am
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Battleship Potemkin

End of Watch (2012, David Ayer)

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As far as cop films go this one is really good, although its plot is a tad generic which is often a problem of cop films in general. Still I really like most of them, as they focus on why people decide to enter into a profession where every day someone might choose to try and kill them. Among other horrible things, some of which are on display as the pair of gung ho police officers go on patrol around LA. The villains in this film are poorly characterized, however when the movie stays with officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala its more engaging and better off. The two are funny, sometimes childish, yet interesting because they seem to be real people. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña carry this film, although the script is rather solid and there is plenty of action as some parts are rather intense.

However I am not really a fan of what happens in the last act, although I didn't mind the ending which felt right. Oh and I like found footage style movies, as they are one of my new modern weaknesses. In this case it works, largely since it gets the viewer closer to what is happening and is actually justified. I understand that the film couldn't simply be two cops dealing with everyday police work, and yet I much preferred that aspect instead of a cartel deciding to target them. Regardless this is one of the more underrated films from 2012, and I'm glad I was able to see it.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:31 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread-Battleship Potemkin

This is reposted from my blog:

Homecoming (2005, Joe Dante)

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Look I really wanted to love Homecoming. I did. Joe Dante is one of my favorite directors, a man who has given us Gremlins, The Howling, The 'Burbs, and Small Soldiers. Yet Homecoming falls short of those movies, and in some ways Dante is merely going back over material he covered in Small Soldiers, a highly underrated war satire. Still Homecoming does have its moments, and I did like how it was a semi-twist on the zombie genre, which even by 2005 had started to stagnate a bit. David is a political puppet, a hatchet man who wins elections without thinking about the consequences of a "Victory at all costs" mantra that has served him for years. So when the dead start to rise because of a wish he makes he is confronted with the heavy toll of war, realizing that maybe what he was doing isn't worth it.

Naturally this episode from the Showtime series The Masters of Horror focused on the Iraq War since it was the war going on at the time, but I think that there is a typical underlying anti-war message going on throughout the short film. A particularly sad and tragic moment is when a couple actually invites one of the dead soldiers in, giving him aid and shelter despite the solider being an undead zombie. It was a nice moment, although it felt a little bit out of place in a movie where the rest of the time the undead soldiers are attacking people. Although I guess the victims are those responsible for sending the dead soldiers to fight and die in the first place. For a lie. A big lie.

Maybe I'm glad that this wasn't a longer movie, as the material gets stretched pretty thin early on and David isn't all that interesting. The Ann Coulter jokes with the character Jane Cleaver are slightly amusing but not as funny as they could be, and at times the movie just doesn't go far enough. I will say the ending was a surprise, and that as far as short horror movies goes this one is decent, yet I wonder what Dante could still do with a larger budget. I guess I'll find out when I view his last movie, The Hole, which is available on Netflix Instant Viewing I believe.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:40 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: Homecoming Joe Dante Style

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011, Brad Bird)

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Each of the films in the series has been rather different. De Palma's was international paranoia, Woo's was outlandish action thriller, and Abrams' was intense and focused. Brad's seems to be channeling each one of these, although his film is not as twisty or as interesting as De Palma's. And yet I liked and enjoyed Bird's installment the best, largely because it was a really good movie but also since its well made and really pretty to look at. Oh wait I was just thinking about Paula Patton, who is gorgeous. The action sequences in this one range from realistic to crazy, and I am impressed that Tom Cruise still does some of his own stunts even at his own age. And I dug that cat fight between Patton and Léa Seydoux, plus the fact that Jeremy Renner has actually turned into a really good action star in his own right.

This film is mostly just action scenes and very little else, and the plot really isn't even important at all by now. Too many action movies either try too hard or don't try hard enough, but MI 4 is a nice balance, even if some of the movie feels as if I've seen it happen before. Considering that this was the best one in the series they should probably quit while they are ahead, although Tom Cruise looks fit enough to keep doing these. And I'll probably keep seeing them, too.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:03 am
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: Homecoming Joe Dante Style

MadMan wrote:
And I dug that cat fight between Patton and Léa Seydoux, plus the fact that Jeremy Renner has actually turned into a really good action star in his own right.


Ditto.

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:oops:

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:31 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: Homecoming Joe Dante Style

That movie made my #1 of 2011 just for the Burj Khalifa sequence alone. Great stuff.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:58 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: MI: 4 Tom Cruise Is Ageless

^ That was the best part of the movie. Wish I saw it in theatres.

And yeah, Tom Cruise really is ageless. I watched Jack Reacher last week - he looks damn good for someone in his 50s.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:15 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: Homecoming Joe Dante Style

dreiser wrote:
That movie made my #1 of 2011 just for the Burj Khalifa sequence alone. Great stuff.
Oh yeah that sequence did rule.

Cool screencap Stu.

Rock I did regret seeing it on DVD and not in theaters. I should watch Jack Reacher sometime. And I forgot that Tom Cruise was in his 50s. He looks 35. WTF.

Another review reposted from my blog. Most of the remainder of my backlog is just horror movie reviews I spent the last three months watching, heh, with a few non-horror films sprinkled in.

The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West)

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Despite putting this and The Innkeepers off for over a year despite both being on Instant Viewing, I decided to finally view The House of the Devil and find out why so many people enjoy Ti West's work. He is a fairly new filmmaker, having only made a handful of movies-the earliest according to Criticker being released in 2005-and he's already gathered some acclaim from horror fans and even critics. The House of the Devil is a well made and atmospheric throwback to 1970s and 1980s horror movies, and the film's low-budget resulted in it being even self-style just like the same low-budget 70s and 80s horror movies its inspired by. However its a fairly original styled work, and the film is very slow burning, with West giving the audience time to soak in the high level of creepy that underlies most of the film's scenes.

I love the opening credits, with the young heroine Samantha walking along her college campus, rock music blaring in the background, headphones perched on her ears, long brunette hair hanging over her jacket as she strolls along, unaware that she is about to enter a strange new world. The job is fairly simple: babysitting. Problem is, Sam is not babysitting a couple of kids in the suburbs; no she has been hired by an elderly couple to watch over the wife's mother. In a creepy old house in the middle of the countryside. Oh and the elderly couple hiring her is played by legends Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. No big deal, right? Well as us horror fans know, anytime you babysit is just an excuse for bad things to happen to you.

Still West hangs back, utilizing only one really freaky jump scare, letting the audience become further alarmed at what is transpiring, letting the viewer's get more and more into the movie. I prefer this approach even though at times I felt a tad bored, as the payoff ends up being rather enormous, the climax utterly terrifying. There's something about a movie that creeps you out the entire time while still holding one last card in the deck, guaranteed to leave you feeling really uneasy after you exit the theater. The Blair Witch Project comes to mind in that regard as well, another movie heavy on atmosphere with a fantastic payoff.

Jocelin Donahue as Sam is fantastic here, displaying a like able presence, being the film's main anchor and giving it credibility as things begin to turn weird. Also its really cool that West had famous horror scream queen Dee Wallace make a cameo appearance as "The Landlady," although I wish she had been in the film more. Oh and I love how sparse and yet engaging the film's set design was, in addition to the use of color. Especially white, which could mean something but I would have to view the film again to decide said meaning. Somethings leave you with more questions than answers.

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Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:04 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: The House of The Devil Yeaaaah

I thought the conclusion was a little rushed but I liked it quite a bit otherwise. The atmosphere was great enough for me to appreciate the build-up on its own.

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Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:19 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: The House of The Devil Yeaaaah

I'm not sure I liked the ending to The House of The Devil. I thought the ending to The Innkeepers was creepier and worked better. Also this is another review reposted from my blog, however I originally wrote the review on match-cut. So its a reposting of a review that was taken from another website. Hurray Internet.

The Foreigner (1978, Amos Poe)

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Hey look its Deborah Harry. Cool.

The Foreigner (1978) is an underground movie, at times punk driven even, and I watched it thanks to well....TCM's Underground theater that airs on Saturday's now. The copy was grainy, the audio scratchy, and yet I couldn't stop watching despite not really knowing what the plot exactly was. The main character, a French agent named Max, is stationed in New York City but he has little information about his mission or why he's there. I loved the opening credits, set to a rather cool sounding score: Max in the cab, looking quietly out the window as the taxi drives on through a tunnel into the New York City streets.

I was reminded of Michael Mann and Taxi Driver, however really this film is more Repo Man (1984) in terms of being about the punk scene and punks in general. Max wanders aimlessly through New York, getting in and out of trouble; there is a rather shocking scene where he is stabbed and assaulted by some toughs in a random dive which features...a punk band. Having Harry pop up in a back alley smoking is an amusing moment, as this film was made just as Blondie was beginning to achieve stardom, but it also speaks to this movie's odd moments.

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However later on it appears this is as much about racial intolerance and fear of "The Other" as it is a spy thriller movie. Max proves unable to save others, and by the middle to later part of the film he is chased by the very tough youths that gave him trouble earlier. Desperate to gain further meaning and understanding, he achieves neither and chases it in strong drink and strange women. I love how the film ends, with a stark viewing of the Statue of Liberty. Apparently in this film the immigrant is not received warmly, but is rather cast out and abused, beaten and in the end, destroyed.

Sure this is a really low budget film and the acting is not the greatest, but I was captivated throughout and I really would like to see this again. Unfortunately I had to delete it from my parents' DVR (I no longer live there but I still use it heh) and according to an online search this is sadly not a better copy of this film. Too bad, as it should be seen by more and it reminded me of another equally underrated cult classic, the 1962 film Blast of Silence, which I own on Criterion.

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:25 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: The Foreigner-NYC in the 70s Yo

This Is The End (2013, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg)

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After the first ten minutes, I wasn't sure if I would find This Is End as funny as everyone else was telling me. Yet some of the decent jokes in the first ten minutes convinced me that I would at least be amused by this film. Midway through I was laughing harder than I have at probably any other comedy film I can think of in the past year or so. I loved this film's jokes (the best two being the Rosemary's Baby homage and the hardcore spoofing of The Exorcist). Clearly I'm a hypocrite for laughing at the gay jokes while supporting gay marriage, yet I'm not racist or sexist and I've laughed at such jokes as well. The ending was the only part I was not a huge fan of; still the rest of the movie is so well crafted I didn't really mind. Craig Robinson is the best thing about this film, ranging from his piano song early on to the fact that he steals most of the film's scenes. I was a little disturbed at how much I identified with Jay Baruchel's arrogance, Danny McBride's asshole qualities, Jonah Hill's ability to fake niceness to people he didn't like, and the fact that Seth Rogen seems to be liked by people. Okay so people keep telling me I'm likable but I'm not sure about that either. James Franco has this odd mixture of douchebag and pretentiousness that I've seen plenty of, and I can almost identify with that too.

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Which is another reason why this film works so well: it takes each of the actors and has them, save for Robinson-who is likable no matter what-okay even him-playing up their obnoxious personalities. The cameos were also a nice bit, especially Michael Cera acting the complete opposite of what his public personality suggests he is like. I do wish there was more Emma Watson, however she was really funny and a great addition to the movie in her limited screen time. It doesn't hurt that much like other great or good comedies This is the End has multiple hilarious one liners and the talent of its wonderful cast. Oh and for some reason I didn't expect that a comedy about the end of days would have freaky monsters and horror movie moments. I keep hearing rumors about a sequel yet I would prefer if there was only one film. Especially since I'm not sure there will be a movie quite like this one any time soon.

PS: The drug scene had me crying because I was laughing so hard. So I guess that's three. We could use more super team comedies and less super team action movies these days.

PPS: I'm drunk and this review sucks but whatever.

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Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:46 pm
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The Innkeepers (2012, Ti West)

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Even though I slightly prefer The House of The Devil, Ti West's 2012 film The Innkeepers is a nice followup and was just as creepy. In fact this movie almost gave me a heart attack at times, especially with the freaky moments that kept lying just around the corner. The old inn that sarcastic Luke and naive Claire work at is an excellent place for a ghost story driven film, although granted most hotels, inns, motels and the like are usually perfect for horror movies. As The Shinning (1980) can attest to, and just like in that film the characters in this one are being affected by the place they are working at. The Yankee Pedlar Inn is an old place, and its finally being closed for business after over a century of being open. Luke and Claire are the two low wage employees tasked with overseeing the building while the master of the inn is away. Boredom sets in and they decide to investigate whether or not the inn is haunted by Madeline O'Malley, which leads to all kinds of trouble of course.

Really I love that Ti West specializes in quiet, atmospheric horror, which is why I'm not too surprised detractors of films like these call them "Boring." Look there are actually jump scares in this one, yet I felt that West was mocking the use of such a device to frighten viewers. There is more humor in this movie than in The House of the Devil, and it works as a slight tension reliever while also lulling the viewers into a false sense of security. A couple scenes are downright spooky, particularly one where Claire and Luke are alone in a deep, black pitched basement, and another moment that I will only describe as being the material for nightmare fuel. Even so at times I found Claire's character to be a tad annoying, where as Luke made a great foil for Claire and was the best element of the film.

Having Kelly McGillis play a psychic/alcoholic actress was a nice touch, and unlike some I didn't mind the ending too much. While the last act does feature some questionable behavior I take it as the actions of someone who had become rather unstable, and its therefore a mixture of terrifying and tragic. Unfortunately Ti West's The Roost is not available on Netflix, however his other works are and I look forward to seeing those as well. I would rather like it if he made a slasher movie for some reason, as West's gift for making super creepy movies that get under you skin would serve him well there, I think.

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Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:15 pm
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Post Re: This Is Not A Film Thread: The Innkeepers-Dead People Whoooo

I'll eventually finish my write ups for 2013 viewings. I swear. Eh probably not. This thread will turn over to the New Year 2014, not that anyone is reading or cares. I like it better that way. Echo. Echo.


The Prophecy (1995, Gregory Widen)

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If you bothered to read the Horrorfest list heh then you know that this was not feature on there. I decided to quit viewing the lackluster Beneath The Darkness because its neither scary nor thrilling, and check out a 1995 horror/fantasy film on Netflix Instant Viewing titled The Prophecy. Despite being somewhat dated and having that standard 90s horror look, I was actually engaged throughout and found the movie rather interesting. After all the plot is about a war in heaven waged by angels, with the archangel Gabriel coming to earth to claim a dark soul and tip the war in his favor. Yet the humans and a lonely, wary angel named Simon have other plans. I was reminded of an equally solid and entertaining 90s horror flick, the Clive Baker directed Lord of Illusions, which came out the same year and operated in the same horror/fantasy vein as The Prophecy did.

Simon, played with a tragic wariness by Eric Stoltz (whatever happened to him? I liked him as an actor) appears on Earth, telling a failed priest turned cop named Thomas (Elias Koteas, in another likable and well acted performance of his among many others) about upcoming events. A vague warning, but one that Thomas heeds, as he is forced to investigate after the death of another angel. What this leads him to is Gabriel, played with a wondrous mix of hammy overacting and menace by the legendary Christopher Walken. Walken completely takes over this movie by not only being creepy, but also spewing hilarious one liners and clearly enjoying playing the main villain of the film. One of my favorite moments is when Gabriel is just sitting at a school, hanging out with children while looking for Mary, who has been forced by Simon to keep the soul within her. Its just a random funny moment, with Gabriel’s hidden sense of evil contrasted against the innocence of the young students.

What I also like about this movie is the mythology: the idea of angels waging war against each other sounds cool (although there was only one war in the Bible, and it was when Lucifer was driven out). Virgina Madsen by the way is rather gorgous as Katherine, the school teacher caught up in all of this, and the scene between her and a leering, sinister and really freaky sounding Lucifer, played by a young Viggo Mortensen, is a great moment in the film. For some reason I find it weird that three Pulp Fiction actors were together in this (Walken, Stoltz, and Amanda Plummer) although I don’t think it really means anything. The Prophecy has its share of flaws, sure, but overall I liked it a lot, and I thought it was a good, fast moving horror movie with some decent thoughts on religion and faith. However I still cannot believe they made four or five sequels, especially with how the movie ended. Some wonders never cease.

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:48 am
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Most of the reviews will be just be blog repostings from here on out. Whatever.

The Man Who Laughs (1928, Paul Leni)

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The Man Who Laughs could almost be called "The Movie That Inspired The Joker." When Conrad Veidt put on the white makeup while sporting the ghoulish smile that was imposed upon him by a cruel king when poor Veidt's Gwynplaine was just a boy, I thought "Whoa. He does look like The Joker." This trivia nugget aside The Man Who Laughs is equal parts horror film, tragic drama, action and adventure movie. Gwynplaine is a monster, yet he is also rather sympathetic, a man who was abandoned and yet saved the life of the lovely Dea, who is blind and therefore cannot see his awful face. However despite his grotesque appearance, Gwynplaine is loved by Ursus, the man who took Dea and him when he was just a child and Dea was a baby. At the same time Ursus is responsible for featuring Gwynplaine in a traveling act, although he does indeed care for the young man and Dea, treating them as his children.

The man responsible for the creation of Gwynplaine as a human freak, the sinister and evil Barkilphedro, discovers that the so called "Laughing Man" is still alive and is also the heir to his late father's estate. The beautiful yet cruel Josiana, who admires and then mocks Gwynplaine, realizes too late that she must marry him to keep his father's holdings. The horror elements here are rather strong: Gwynplaine inspires both pity and disgust, and can be considered an early inspiration for the Universal Monsters creatures such as Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, and the Creature From The Black Lagoon.

At the same time the last act is completely action packed, as there is a foot chase, a sword fight, and a desperate bid for freedom all contained in the last 30-40 minutes. The 1920s had other movies similar to this one where they were both horror and suspense, with dashes of adventure thrown in. Particularly the classic The Phantom of the Opera, another movie where a disfigured man loves a woman. That movie is rather different than this one, however, and yet both are great examples of silent Expressionist cinema's contributions to the world.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:01 pm
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John Dies At The End (2013, Don Coscarelli)

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Yes I know this movie is based on a book. Considering that the movie adaption just freaked me out and left me wondering exactly what the hell I just watched, I want to read the book. Damn soy sauce man, or the black oil, or whatever that thing really was....I don't understand. Viewing this movie while drinking failed to do me any favors: the terror I felt was amplified more by the alcohol. I need to see John Dies At The End sober, and yet I'm afraid to because the movie took me to dark places, areas I didn't want to go. It's fitting to watch a movie about a drug that amplifies the human mind, sweeping the brain and psyche into worlds that you did not think were possible to enter into to while intoxicated on beer.

David is the film's main protagonist, telling Arnie a story about his misadventures. Arnie of course does not believe David, yet David proceeds to inform him about the creepy nightmares that dwell beneath our main plain of normal life. The real world is not the real world, no, for there are other lands out there waiting to be found. All you have to do is inject or digest this black subsistence into your body, thus heightening ones perception and expanding ones mind into the infinite. This what I think anyways, as the film is never really clear as to how this drug exists in the first place. Oh and Clancy Brown knows exactly what's going on because well he's Clancy Brown. Duh.

Even though the last act drags a bit this is a film that dives into that special brand of weirdness that you never forget. I'll remember the random worm creatures, the magical Jamaican guy who introduces David to the possibility that his understanding of the universe is too limited, and that at some point the dog has a better knowledge of what's going on than David, John, or us, the audience, actually do. Bark Lee rules. Its been too long since I've viewed a movie quite like this one, where I'm not sure what is going on but it doesn't matter since my mind is completely blown and I'm in awe of what is happening. We need more films like this one, not less.

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Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:54 pm
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Stargate (1994, Rowland Emmerich)

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Pretty cool, huh?

Despite being heavily dated I really enjoyed Stargate in terms of it being good, fun cheesy science fiction mixed in with action and adventure. Kurt Russell plays a stereotypical version of the characters he's often portrayed over the years in action movies, while James Spader manages to almost convince us that he's a nerdy scientist. I never bothered to watch the TV show but the movie is big, dumb, loud, and has explosions, which is the classic trademark of one Mr. Rowland Emmerich, a director who is a poor man's Paul W.S. Anderson-although I would place him above Michael Bay I suppose. Stargate's best feature is that a group of soldiers with Russell and Spader in tow end up traveling to another dimension and discover they are in a place like Ancient Egypt, only the ruler is guarded by creatures armed with cool looking spear guns that shoot lasers or something.

Now that I think about it though the film's plot is a bit flimsy, the characters thinly developed, and the explosion rate is too low for a movie with Kurt Russell involved. I guess I was entertained regardless, and that speaks to my low standards for entertainment these days but also to the fact that this is a simply well made movie that has simple pleasures. I almost laughed at the uprising that occurs near the end, and I wonder why in sci-fi movies it always has to be the nameless oppressed rabble being led by someone advanced, throwing off the chains of their superior masters and claiming freedom. Well at least freedom from being ruled over by assholes, for they will then have the right to experience the misery of democracy and actually vote for their asshole leaders. Hurray!

PS: And apparently the pyramids were built by aliens. Which reminds me of this guy:

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:48 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Stargate-Aliens Built The Pyramids

With the exception of three reviews the rest of these reviews from my backlog are from September and October. And most of them are horror related.

The Cabin In The Woods (2012, Drew Goddard)

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When I first heard about The Cabin In The Woods it was a film that had an original release date of 2009, and then was pushed back to the point where those anticipating it were wondering if the film would see the light of day. Well thankfully the movie was finally released in 2012, with director Drew Goddard and the famous Josh Whedon being its principal writers. This is a movie created for horror movie fans, and also for those who love all of the famous cliches that the genre has offered up over since the dawn of cinema. Thankfully I avoided most of the film's trailers and also did not read any reviews, as both would offer up spoilers one way or another; my goal with this review is to attempt to do the almost impossible and talk about the film without actually tipping its hand. Still I shall do my best.

Meta in horror movies is nothing unique or new, and funny enough the horror genre was brought back to life by one such styled horror movie: Scream, which is a modern classic and a favorite of mine. I also mention that film since it plays upon famous horror conventions and was rather stylish, original, and entertaining. The Cabin In The Woods is in a similar mode, and I was surprised that it actually had some decent scares and a creepy atmosphere up its sleeve. The humor elements in this movie are also a combination of sharp and silly, mixing slapstick with sarcasm at times. In that regard this is a fine addition to the list of horror meta films, a sub genre that does not get enough credit as it has resulted in some really good horror/comedies that straddle the lines between bleak humor and nasty horror moments.

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Oh and the characters for this movie are really quite good. Almost too good for a movie paying homage to the slasher genre first and foremost, and one that plays upon the grace notes of famous horror films. There is even a tip of the hat to the infamous special character, the old guy who warns the characters of the evil despite never moving away from the evil. That's just marvelous. Few horror movies-hell regular movies that I've seen recently-have lived up to the hype quite like this one. Special horror films come along too few and not enough, and they should be recognized and enjoyed. The Cabin In The Woods is one of those movies.

Some last couple of thoughts: those opening credits reminded me of the ones for the 1997 controversial film Funny Games, which I saw last year and which I thought was merely solid at best. I then realized that The Cabin In The Woods is the movie that Funny Games should have been. Sorry if you are a fan of Funny Games, but that's one horror/drama/satire that failed to live up to its promised reputation. There's nothing worse than a movie you don't hate or love, or even like, although I guess I gave it an 80/100 so that's something, I guess. This is a movie also that I will have to view numerous times. And that I want to see numerous times. Plus trying to find an image for this movie that is not spoiler filled is hard. Really hard.

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Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:43 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: The Cabin In The Woods Meta 2000

And now for an original review that I just penned five minutes ago.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011, Sean Durkin)

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For some reason even though this is not a horror film Martha Marcy May Marlene reminds me of the 1970s cult classic horror film Let's Scare Jessica To Death. Both films have that eerie dream quality, and feature a main female protagonist who may or may not be going insane due to events that quickly spiral out of control. Martha Marcy May Marlene on the other hand showcases the roots of Martha's problems through flashbacks that reveal dark secrets and some horrible things that happened to her in a cult run by a charismatic and creepy leader played by the usually great John Hawkes. Some of this film is quite tragic and sad, as Martha is beyond damaged and haunted by what happened to her as she completely lost herself to a group that pretends to be harmless while in fact devouring the mind, body, and soul. However we, the viewer, are left to wonder how much of that part of Martha's life is real and what might be fantasy, as she attempts to rebuild her life after escaping the cult and moving in with her sister, the tightly wound Lucy and her husband Ted. Neither one realizes until its too late that Martha is emotionally fragile, having been pushed to the boundaries of her sanity by Patrick and his followers.

Elizabeth Olson is fantastic in the main role, and although this movie is at times generic in terms of plot she keeps it steady and focused. She embodies Martha's fragility and vulnerability perfectly, contrasting against her sister Lucy, who Sarah Paulson breaths life into. Lucy at first is happy to see Martha, yet after many incidents her patience is forced past the breaking point. Its rather depressing to watch their relationship completely unravel, yet by the end of the film its clear that Martha and Lucy were never really close. While I felt this was a great and captivating movie I'm not sure if I care for the ending or not. I get what the final act is trying to accomplish, and although I did feel a sense of tension and unease I was a little unsatisfied. Still this is one of the best films of 2011, and is one of those films that manages to cover multiple genres without sticking to any one of them.

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Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:50 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Martha Marcy May Marlene LongTitle

Olsen best American screen performance of 21stC

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Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:57 pm
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I can't say for certain if it is, although Olsen deserved to be nominated for a shinny golden man at least.

Four Flies On Gray Velvet (1971, Dario Argento)

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That mask was insanely creepy. Really it was another one of Dario Argento's stylistic flourishes, a nice touch early on in his famous Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971). One of his earliest works and another fine example of his contributions to horror cinema. I also liked how Argento works in a Hitchcock style plot about a man tormented by a psychopath who knows about his accidental killing of a man that had been following him.

Ah Roberto you are in over your head, unable to go to the police, a prisoner in your own home. The list of suspects is long and the body count piles up fast. Best put on the old thinking cap if you want to survive, and Roberto is lucky that he has friends capable of aiding him. Plus a private detective that is not as incompetent as he seems.

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There are some typically freaky deaths in this film and Argento deploys his wonderful and usual brutal tricks. I've always liked how Argento would use what scares people in real life-actual fears-and not things that scare people that only happen in the movies. That is highly effective and there were several moments in the film where I was freaked out.

Despite having a so-so last act redeemed by a great, fatalistic ending, Four Flies On Gray Velvet is another really good entry in Argento's library. I look forward to continuing his filmography, even though his 90s and 2000s works have received mixed and bad reviews. He is still a master of horror regardless of a decline in his work, and I imagine I might even like some of his later movies more than others do.

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Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:41 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Four Flies On Gray Velvet-Murder!

Sgt. Bilko (1996, Jonathan Lynn)

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Back when Steve Martin didn't make stupid family comedies, Dan Aykroyd still had a career and poor Phil Hartman was alive (RIP) the three of them united for this delightfully stupid comedy that I actually really liked. It has a madcap style that is amusing even if some of the jokes don't work, and Martin gives this film his full comedic effort. Hartman made a film career out of playing idiots, while Aykroyd hangs back in this movie and plays the straight man to Martin. Some of the one liners are great, and while the film doesn't have much of a plot (something about a hoover tank or whatever, I can't quite remember and its not important) much of Sgt. Bilko plays out very much in the same vein as the superior 1981 classic Stripes, which also gleefully mocked the armed forces and spoofed the lofty ideals that the military professes to aspire to.

Also for some reason or another the 90s featured many adaptions of older TV shows, with Sgt. Bilko being one of those. I'm not sure why, and from what I've seen/heard most of those adaptions were not very good (Wild Wild West unfortunately comes to mind). I've never seen the show this movie is based on, and I probably never will, but I did enjoy the movie and I think it would be nice if Steve Martin returned to grown up comedy, or at least stupid grown up comedy.

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Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:10 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Sgt. Bilko, Steve Martin Edition

hated that movie whenever it came out, haven't revisited it post-Steve Martin-bedshit but the TV series was really great compared to its contemporary sitcoms, Phil Silvers is really funny


Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:33 am
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I've never seen the TV show but I want to just because I'm woefully behind on viewing 50s sitcoms.

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Mon May 05, 2014 5:27 am
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I have an unhealthy love for that movie. But all things Steve Martin, especially when he's obnoxiously goofy. He has an underrated film career during the 90s.

"This is Bilko we're talking about! He's gonna think of something. Remember that time I got the letter from my wife saying she wanted to break up with me? You remember what Bilko did?"
"He got your wife back?"
"No! He got me another wife! A BETTER wife!"


Mon May 05, 2014 3:32 pm
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Hah I remember that exchange. Also I should really see Bowfinger at some point as I hear its hilarious.

Tenebre (1982, Dario Argento)



Opening in front of a crackling fire with a narrative voice over describing an unknown person sitting and reading a novel, Tenebre begins in typical Dario Argento mysterious fashion. Clearly we are being shown the murder of his film, and yet the black gloves and shadow cast by the deranged psychopath are the only clues given to us, the viewer. A famous novelist named Peter Neal is the creator of the book read by the killer, and upon arriving in Rome to promote his latest book and also pen another one he is beset by threats from the murder. Early on we get a horrific and shocking kill, where a young woman is slaughtered brutally in her apartment while having pages from Tenebre shoved into her mouth.

Even by Argento standards I found the murder to be rather graphic, and illustrated the film's bleak tone early on. Sure all of Argento's films are that way, yet I found Tenebre to be almost beyond the pale, and even more nasty than his other films that I've viewed so far (most of his 70s works and two 80s films-this one and Inferno). That's something that makes it arguably the best out of the ones I've seen, and yes I'm placing this movie above his other classics Deep Red and Suspiria.

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Plus the fact that in some ways this is Argento discussing his own work, or at least critiques of it, as filtered through Neal's works. Just like Argento Neal is responsible for works that feature graphic murder, sex and violence, and in one scene Neal is even attacked by a female journalist for what she argues is his "Hatred of women." There is also the classic scene of the seemingly tortured killer, portrayed in strange vivid flashbacks that are haunting to watch. Yet at the same time Argento puts on display his technical prowless as well in a fantastic tracking crane shot that covers an apartment building housing two women lovers who end up being attacked later on. With the theme music, as scored by the remaining members of Goblin, no less. It's an amazing moment that feels as if you are looking over a beautiful woman, peeking into her secrets-or in this case, the windows of two females. Watching them in a voyeuristic manner, which is what the killer is doing anyways.

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What especially stood out to me besides the gruesome kills was that unlike some of Argento's other films there is little humor involved, no silly moments. This was meant to be an unflinching and completely stark portrayal of a person's murderous rampage, reportedly inspired by the works of Peter Neal. The fact that Argento made this film after receiving threats from an unhinged fan only gives the film an added dose of realism and additional terror. Sporting one of Goblin's best soundtracks and existing as a pure form of death onscreen, Tenebre just could be Argento's masterwork. Love that ending, too-absolutely bone chilling.

PS: John Saxon was in a lot of horror films. I just realized this again after seeing him in The Girl Who Knew Too Much, A Nightmare On Elm Street 1 and 3, and Tenebre. Always been a fan of his work.

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Mon May 05, 2014 3:39 pm
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The Lords of Salem (2012, Rob Zombie)

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After witnessing a bunch of old witches having a huge devil worshiping orgy in the middle of the woods many things will seem tame after wards. In this case though the film The Lords of Salem decides to up the level of insanity after a slow buildup that establishes the main characters. Rob Zombie effectively channels Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Roman Polanski, and even Stanley Kubrick while managing to make a slightly better and frightening woman targeted by satanists movie than Ti West did with The House of the Devil. I’m impressed, to say the least, although I’ve only viewed his two Halloween films. I much prefer his latest over each of them, and I do plan to go backwards and view his first two movies. Say what you will about his music but Zombie has a knack for camera placement, haunting visuals, and fairly good plots. The problem with the two movies I mentioned have been more of the acting and dialogue variety, coupled with H2 ending up being way too concerned with overly extreme and pointless violence instead of its far more interesting psychological center.

Lords of Salem however lacks most of the issues that plagued his previous works, and has some rather starkly wonderful and creepy moments. Such as the eerie hallway moments, or the inside of Heidi, the main protagonist’s, apartment-there is only dim light in there, and it has the feel and look of a tomb. With a great big amazing poster from the classic A Trip To The Moon inside, also. I read that the moon is involved with fertility, and that makes sense because poor Hedi’s seemingly nice landlord may not be who she actually is. Spooky. Of course we are also left with the possibility that all of Heidi’s troubles are the result of her struggling to stay clean from drugs, which only adds to the dark proceedings. Oh they are dark indeed, bleak and terrifying nightmares that plague Heidi and cause her to question reality. Its bad enough when you are facing normal problems, yet suffering from possible hallucinations is even worse.

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The rest of the film continues to unfold in a suffocating atmospheric manner, growing more and more odd and entering further into the world of the bizarre. Mysteries are answered only resulting in new questions, and by the film's last act the final connections to reality are completely severed. Rob Zombie has given us a freaky new horror film, an experience in terror that is bold, well crafted, and different. By the time the end credits rolled I was almost glad that the film had ended only so that I could witness something happy to cleanse my thoughts. However the images still lingered on long after the screen had faded to black.

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Wed May 14, 2014 3:36 pm
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Lords of Salem Not A Music Video

The Lords of Salem :heart:

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Thu May 15, 2014 5:46 am
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But what about Sheri Moon's coats?!?

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Thu May 15, 2014 6:24 am
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Kayden Kross wrote:
But what about Sheri Moon's coats?!?
I believe they are rather fluffy and huge.

Nick Dixon wrote:
The Lords of Salem :heart:
:up:

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Thu May 15, 2014 5:33 pm
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The Evil Dead (2013, Fede Alvarez)

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The Evil Dead's opener was rather jarring and a little freaky. I rather liked this movie even though it pales in comparison to the original classic. If only the 1981 film didn't exist, and yet it does so here we are. What's funny though is that the acting in the remake is better and there manages to be even more gore. I did not expect that. Also having Mia, the main character be a recovering drug addict was a nice touch. It gave her an added dimension plus its the reason why her and her friends are in the cabin in the woods. Despite some well crafted atmosphere the film fails at times to be scary.

Rather it settles for being nasty and gross with blood and body parts being mutilated. Some of it is manages to be really freaky though and I liked the nods to the original. Particularly the possessed person chained up in the basement. In fact there was even a little bit of The Evil Dead II in this movie-fans of the series will know what I am talking about when the moment arrives.

However the last act is an interesting and literally blood filled mess. Too bad, since there is some great shots and the film is fairly well made. Sam Rami may not be a great director but he was certainly someone with talent, and this film could have benefited from his touch. Although I wonder if perhaps Fede Alvarez had more experience making Hollywood horror movies this remake would have been much better than it was. Still at least I liked it, and it is hopefully leading up to Army of Darkness II. At least that's the plan, anyways.

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Sat May 17, 2014 5:57 pm
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Yep dead thread is dead. I blame all this on dreisler for leaving and me for being a terrible reviewer. Among other things.

The Hamiltons (2006, Butcher Brothers: Phil Flores, Mitchell Altieri)

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Look I wanted to like this movie a lot. The plot seems basic and yet it hides twists and turns, some well executed others well not so much. I was willing to overlook the shaky acting and the weak dialogue but when the film starts to bore you know you are in trouble. Not to mention the need for better camerawork: I know its low budget yet this feels like bottom of the barrel spending.

Despite all these problems I refused to give up and midway through I was rewarded. The Hamiltons actually has a creepy odd and mysterious atmosphere and tone that kept me watching. Besides the acting is supposed to be naturalistic and I'm guessing that's the reason for the camerawork as well. Also the last act salvages the movie, pulling a complete 180. I am left to wonder how good this film could have been in more capable hands.

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Sat May 24, 2014 5:43 pm
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The backlog continues....

The Prophecy II (1998, Greg Spence)

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There gave been so many horror franchises over the years, with numerous sequels. The Prophecy II is one of them, as someone decided the first film demanded a sequel. Unfortunately this installment, like many other sequels, pales in comparison to the original. Which is too bad since the series has a great mythology and is entertaining despite its fair share of flaws. In this case the second installment feels too random and lacks the sense of purpose plus the atmosphere that made the first film so good.

Gabriel is back-Christopher Walken shows up much earlier this time around and in more dramatic fashion. Continuing to wage his war on humans he targets a young woman played by Jennifer Beals, who has been impregnated by an angel. Apparently the director felt that a sex scene is what the first movie lacked. The good angel (Russell Wong) by the way is bland and dull, lacking the quiet intensity and wariness of the heroic angel from the first movie.

Oh and this film manages to waste Eric Roberts in a pointless role. Thankfully Brittany Murphy keeps this film watchable as does Walken, and Beals isn't half bad. I did like the bleak humor in this film and the ending was a surprise. I don't think the movie was a complete waste yet it could have better channeled the B movie spirit of the first film. At least the angel fights were still pretty cool.

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Sat May 24, 2014 5:46 pm
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So you're saying it could've used... more cowbell?

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Sun May 25, 2014 1:54 am
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Considering that Walken made that movie before the SNL BOC sketch, no. Just no.

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Sun May 25, 2014 12:16 pm
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Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962, Robert Aldrich)

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Have you ever been jealous of someone? We all have at one point or another. Completely envious and filled with hate towards a person experiencing success. In the case of Baby Jane her time in the spotlight is long gone, her fame eclipsed by her sister Blanche, who was forced to retire after an accident Jane was blamed for. This is the genesis of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? from 1962, a famous horror classic.

Jane begins a descent into madness, subjecting her sister to torments and driving her into a state of fear. What begins as simple jealousy turns into something darker and nasty. Monsters are far scarier when they are real people, capable of horrific acts of violence. Blanche witnesses depravity that is fairly stark for an older Hollywood film. Especially since there is no escape for Blanche due to her being in a wheelchair. Things only get even worse from their as Jane continues to lose touch with reality.

Shot in glorious black and white thus film maintains its heavy claustrophobic atmosphere throughout, never stopping to give the audience a chance to breathe. The last act is also tragic and haunting, giving the movie a lasting resonance. I will never hear the line "Am I still pretty?" the same way again. Its funny that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford gave us one of their best films despite not liking each other. Maybe that dislike was properly channeled into a masterful film. Art sometimes reflect reality.

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Fri May 30, 2014 3:29 pm
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Maybe by the end of this year I'll actually get to reviewing the 50+ movies I've already seen this year. I'm so far behind...

Hellraiser (1987, Clive Barker)

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Pinhead and his minions have such things to show you. Oh yes they do-pain and pleasure, violence and hate. Love is not involved and tears are a waste of good suffering. Open the puzzle box and enter their world at your own peril. For they may tear your flesh and soul apart. This is not one of the goriest movies I've ever seen but it digs under your skin like a parasite.

I was mentally exhausted from my first time viewing of Hellraiser. The film is gross and disturbing even before the main villains reappear to destroy lives. Despite some clearly dated FX this is still a really gruesome movie that plays its material straight. If anything it has more in common with nasty 70s and 60s horror than the mostly goofy and fun horror films of the 80s.

Oh and I did pick up on the obvious sadism and sexual references littered throughout the movie. You have human and literal monsters, graphic sex scenes and mentions of sex and creatures offering the ultimate experience. Few movies are quite like this one and there have been few movies like this one since. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

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Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:00 am
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Post Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Hellraiser For The First Time

Definitely check out Brian Yuzna's indelibly grotesque Society if you haven't already


Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:59 am
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