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 Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom 
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
damn fine write-up :up:
Agreed! I've been struggling to write about The Devils, but I have nothing to add to that. So good!

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Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:21 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
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Casting Oliver Reed as the tragic figure of Grandier, almost feels as yet another tactic for Russell to keep sympathy on hold for the character. At least until it is too late and our empathy is muted by the sounds of his shins cracking. Placing the likes of Laurence Olivier or Alec Guinness in place of Reed, and you would then have a character whose dignity would be ground in a civility that an audience might feel inclined to protect from being chipped away at by the State. But Reed’s bluster is something else entirely. He is the drunk sitting at the end of the bar boasting of past conquests, daring anyone to look at him wrong and risk the wrath of those knuckly hams he’s got swinging at the end of his arms. You might even be tempted to take a swat at him yourself. But even when it becomes a little more clear that his character is operating from a moral place, regardless of all the obvious moral failings he displays over the course of the film, it still may not be enough to help him. There is such a feral arrogance to the man, a baked in hardness to how he looks at everyone who surrounds him, that it becomes easy for those so inclined to disregard what his noble intentions are, and instead focus on his bar brawler physique and face slippery with liquor sweats. He is not appetizing as a hero. Instead he should be waiting for us outside of the pub to punch us in the stomach.


Excellent commentary (and nice find on the poster).

But a part of me is wondering if you may be letting the influence of Oliver Reed's personal life and shenanigans project a bit onto the Grandier character. I can't argue with the man's feral essences as you list them, and he certainly carries himself like some brooding boiler on even his best days. But I don't particular see Grandier, as character or performance, as being much of a man of violence, and don't remember any overt gestures of menace in the film. A strong gruffless man, but I don't see his intemperate nature here, and can only infer it based on the more well-publicized pub-brawling that Reed did in real life. Call him vain and proud though....

Guillermo del Toro has publicly stated his belief that this film remains one of the truest examples of modern censorship today. Not all for the saintly taints and stuff, we've surely seen worse than that. No, his belief is that the film remains unavailable, at least in the Americas, because of the subversive ideas that it presents about the hegemony of evil that you describe and the political corruption of the appetites of sexuality and spirituality, the authoritarian benefits of keeping them separate, and the hypocrisy of their compromises.


Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:16 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
But I don't particular see Grandier, as character or performance, as being much of a man of violence, and don't remember any overt gestures of menace in the film. A strong gruffless man, but I don't see his intemperate nature here, and can only infer it based on the more well-publicized pub-brawling that Reed did in real life. Call him vain and proud though....
He gets pretty violent with the "doctors." Like Jesus cleansing the temple. :D

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Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:55 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
He gets pretty violent with the "doctors." Like Jesus cleansing the temple. :D

Raising a righteous hand against fresh lunacy is not quite the same as being belligerently pugnacious.


Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:02 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
damn fine write-up :up:


Thanks :up:


Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:50 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Agreed! I've been struggling to write about The Devils, but I have nothing to add to that. So good!


Yeah, it was a struggle. I got a mess of words down a couple of weeks ago when I watched it and have just spent the last few days untangling them to see if anything was there. Good to hear that I found a point in it all somewhere :D


Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:52 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:

Excellent commentary (and nice find on the poster).

But a part of me is wondering if you may be letting the influence of Oliver Reed's personal life and shenanigans project a bit onto the Grandier character. I can't argue with the man's feral essences as you list them, and he certainly carries himself like some brooding boiler on even his best days. But I don't particular see Grandier, as character or performance, as being much of a man of violence, and don't remember any overt gestures of menace in the film. A strong gruffless man, but I don't see his intemperate nature here, and can only infer it based on the more well-publicized pub-brawling that Reed did in real life. Call him vain and proud though....

Guillermo del Toro has publicly stated his belief that this film remains one of the truest examples of modern censorship today. Not all for the saintly taints and stuff, we've surely seen worse than that. No, his belief is that the film remains unavailable, at least in the Americas, because of the subversive ideas that it presents about the hegemony of evil that you describe and the political corruption of the appetites of sexuality and spirituality, the authoritarian benefits of keeping them separate, and the hypocrisy of their compromises.


I'm absolutely letting Reed's personal peccadillo's influence my reading of the film, his character and his performance. He's a an actor who has a lot of baggage and he lugs it with him whenever I find him on screen. There are many actors who I find can't escape their real and larger than life persona's, no matter the moustache. I was just saying, whether intentionally so or not on Russell's part, bringing Reed in to play such a morally grey character can't help but accentuate the negative in Grandier, and initially stiffle the presence of whatever positives his character possesses. I personally feel that it was more likely an intentional strategy on Russell's part though since, like mentioned in the scene with the doctors, even though Grandier is committing what is fairly obviously a moral act, it is portrayed with such a ferocious manner of arrogance, bordering on violence, that it muffles the impact of what is good about what he's done. He only doubles down on this obscuring behaviour when immediately after he has done this, he chastises the father of the girl he impregnated and gets into a sword fight with him (well, he's wielding a stuffed crocodile, so maybe a different word needs to be used here). Russell wants us to be hesitant in embracing him as the films hero.

This is all similarly like what Leone managed with casting Henry Fonda in OUATITW, only in reverse. In his case we are more likely to give him the benefit of the doubt, until the violence of the character becomes too obvious to absolve any longer, and it ultimately hits harder. When Reed shows himself to have an iron filling when it comes to his morality, acting heroically in the face of torture and death, there should be a shared disappointment in members of the audience he were unable to realize this until it was all too late.


Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:04 am
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Jinnistan wrote:

Guillermo del Toro has publicly stated his belief that this film remains one of the truest examples of modern censorship today. Not all for the saintly taints and stuff, we've surely seen worse than that. No, his belief is that the film remains unavailable, at least in the Americas, because of the subversive ideas that it presents about the hegemony of evil that you describe and the political corruption of the appetites of sexuality and spirituality, the authoritarian benefits of keeping them separate, and the hypocrisy of their compromises.

Years ago I made an attempt to watch all of Russell's films and this was one I couldn't find, so now I know why I guess. I wasn't aware that it had been banned (officially or not), more or less. Indeed, I was not even aware of the level of its x-rated-ness. Now I wish I would've found it back then because the idea of me sitting down to watch this completely unprepared is pretty hilarious. Oh well.

So how hard is it to find now? Should I even bother looking? Pretty sure it was the VHS era when I first tried.

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Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:41 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Russell wants us to be hesitant in embracing him as the films hero.

Well, no shit. It's the degree that's up for debate, and I don't think that the "guy at the end of the bar", while being appropriate to a number of Reed's roles and Reed himself, applies here.

crumbsroom wrote:
When Reed shows himself to have an iron filling when it comes to his morality, acting heroically in the face of torture and death, there should be a shared disappointment in members of the audience he were unable to realize this until it was all too late.

I did not feel that this was somehow his fault by that point in the film. And given his guilt in getting there, I don't think that there was much he could've done to change the course he was on.


Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:03 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Well, no shit. It's the degree that's up for debate, and I don't think that the "guy at the end of the bar", while being appropriate to a number of Reed's roles and Reed himself, applies here.


I did not feel that this was somehow his fault by that point in the film. And given his guilt in getting there, I don't think that there was much he could've done to change the course he was on.


'Guy at the end of the bar' is a reference to who Reed is in his personal life. A belligerent drunk. How the baggage of who he was as a person can get muddled with the appraisal of the character he is playing. How it can force our hand in how we react to Grandier, before we can entirely discover who Grandier is, and what he may or may not lack morally. Basically, judging others falsely. Allowing preconceptions to muddle what the truth is.


Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:18 am
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creumbsroom wrote:
Russell wants us to be hesitant in embracing him as the films hero.
Definitely. And I can attest that his behavior with Philippe alone convinced me that he was utterly depraved. I didn't need more proof (or knowledge of Reed). Russell had me right where he wanted me.

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Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:25 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Definitely. And I can attest that his behavior with Philippe alone convinced me that he was utterly depraved. I didn't need more proof (or knowledge of Reed). Russell had me right where he wanted me.

Yes. I think the film does enough of the work to establish his depravity fairly early on to make auxillery suppositions unnecessary. This is true in his actions as well as his generally satanic visage, his 'spicious 'stash and serpentine eyes.

And I don't think that he wins the audience's sympathy due to them not figuring out his guilt, but because he had figured out his guilt (compare his treatment of Philippe to Madeleine), so that by the end, Grandier is still the most honest sinner among them.


Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:16 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Years ago I made an attempt to watch all of Russell's films and this was one I couldn't find, so now I know why I guess. I wasn't aware that it had been banned (officially or not), more or less. Indeed, I was not even aware of the level of its x-rated-ness. Now I wish I would've found it back then because the idea of me sitting down to watch this completely unprepared is pretty hilarious. Oh well.

So how hard is it to find now? Should I even bother looking? Pretty sure it was the VHS era when I first tried.


It was available on You Tube a couple of weeks ago, but it seems to have since been removed. Personally, I've never had any issue of finding it, since it has always been available at nearly any of the places I have gone for rentals/purchases consistently for at least ten years, so it can't be all that unattainable.


Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:41 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Definitely. And I can attest that his behavior with Philippe alone convinced me that he was utterly depraved. I didn't need more proof (or knowledge of Reed). Russell had me right where he wanted me.


It's an utterly depraved moment, and there is hardly any need to rely on knowing Reed's history to get that. These are two separate entities, one which can be pulled directly from the text of the film, the other which has to do with prejudicial aspects one can bring to viewing either the virtuous or villainous dispositions of some actors and how this can sometimes shape how one even views the characters they play. The only reason it is even part of the discussion is I was making a generalized link between how in the film sin (and just general misbehavior) is used to shape perception against the priests and nuns of Loudon, while some in the audience can similarly misuse the sinful legacy of an actor and create similar prejudices against the character they play, especially one as arrogant, abusive and ultimately complicated as Grandier.


Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:07 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
I was making a generalized link between how in the film sin (and just general misbehavior) is used to shape perception against the priests and nuns of Loudon, while some in the audience can similarly misuse the sinful legacy of an actor and create similar prejudices against the character they play...
Totally agree. I had no problem with the pugnacious imagery in your post, by the way. I think the film’s portrayal of Grandier as a ruthless man of great appetites covers a lot of territory.

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:57 am
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Aw, dude, I saw your write-up and almost picked up The Devils at the video store earlier this week, but then decided to save it for October (at which point I'll probably forget) and grabbed The Lair of the White Worm instead.

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:32 am
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Rock wrote:
Aw, dude, I saw your write-up and almost picked up The Devils at the video store earlier this week, but then decided to save it for October (at which point I'll probably forget) and grabbed The Lair of the White Worm instead.


Wait...I thought you'd seen both of those? You've seen neither?

:shock:


Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:51 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Wait...I thought you'd seen both of those? You've seen neither?

:shock:

Even worse, the only Ken Russell movies I've seen are Billion Dollar Brain and Altered States.

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:14 pm
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I have Lair of the White Worm ready to watch, too.

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:22 pm
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Rock wrote:
Even worse, the only Ken Russell movies I've seen are Billion Dollar Brain and Altered States.


Billion Dollar Brain is okay, but that is hardly any kind of Ken Russell movie.

At least Altered States represents.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:36 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I have Lair of the White Worm ready to watch, too.


It's great too but a very different beast from Devils. But, then again, all of Russell's movies are pretty distinct from each other.

He's one of those filmmakers that, because he is always clearly doing his own thing, even his shitty movies are worth a go. I've never regretted any, even stupid ass Lisztomania

And then there is A Kitten for Hitler, which I just became familiarized with on You Tube. Oh, Ken, you just can't help yourself.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:39 pm
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Hitler could have used a cute kitten.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:16 pm
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Image

Shit.


Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:46 pm
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Enjoyed The Lair of the White Worm. I like how it uses its B-horror framework as a launching point for some really weird and interesting imagery. I suggested in the other thread that a certain movie got better once you pretended it was a big metaphor for dicks, but you don't need to pretend here. Russell commits fully to the phallic connotations of the white worm, and the way he uses that imagery to punctuate the proceedings (instead of drawing it out the whole time) gives it a frenzied quality that enhances its sense of horror. I will say that the movie might have been improved if Peter Capaldi went full Malcolm Tucker, but this is not a perfect film.

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:15 pm
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Rock wrote:
Enjoyed The Lair of the White Worm.
Haha, same. I had a great time with it. So much campy goodness! And that party with the dragon and the song is the best thing ever. :)

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:27 pm
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Image

While you can always score easy point with me for being unique, and I'm hardly one to fret over not so immaculate executions, Bone Tomahawk is such a mix of trying way too hard to assert an identity, and falling so consistently short on execution, that it is overall frustrating viewing. Colorful but always clumsy dialogue, lazy character motivations of one dimensional characters, little understanding on how to use its visual space to either tell story or create mood, sloppy pacing, an inability to find poetry in its barren desert landscapes and finally an over reliance of violence as the only real element to whet any appetite for something interesting to happen, this movie is mostly a mess. Also, Matthew Fox can't act, and Patrick Wilson continues to always suck. Richard Jenkins absolves himself though.

I'm not surprised that this found a cult audience, but I hardly think it deserves one.

5/10


Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:31 am
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Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 are terrible movies and Zahler seemingly regressed and became more amateurish as he went. He gets good performances and has some striking violence. Everything else is a chore. I'm always happy to see that I'm not alone on this. My distaste for the film has earned many downvotes on Reddit.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:33 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
And that party with the dragon and the song is best thing ever. :)

And that boy scout sure seemed excited to be along for the ride.

Speaking of Amanda Donohoe, have you seen any Nicoloas Roeg films?


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:42 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
And that boy scout sure seemed excited to be along for the ride.
Haha. He had no survival instinct at all!

Quote:
Speaking of Amanda Donohoe, have you seen any Nicoloas Roeg films?
I've seen two (The Man Who Fell to Earth and Don't Look Now). Don't think she was in either of them though.

(Were you talking to me or crumbsroom?)

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Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:39 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
(Were you talking to me or crumbsroom?)

Oh, crumbs is already familiar with my Roeg affection.

Donohoe is only in Castaway, but that's also the only other film I own with her in a leading role. Roeg usually used Theresa Russell in the 80s.

Fell to Earth and Don't Look Now are fine examples though. Performance, Walkabout, Bad Timing, Eureka and Track 29 are all solid affairs, and his version of The Witches, currently being remade, can't be improved.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:11 am
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Really enjoyable trash. Delivers regularly on knife fights, post apocalyptic nonsense and people falling off of motorcycles. Who needs to reinvent the wheel when you got that spectacular trifecta to offer?


Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:13 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 are terrible movies and Zahler seemingly regressed and became more amateurish as he went. He gets good performances and has some striking violence. Everything else is a chore. I'm always happy to see that I'm not alone on this. My distaste for the film has earned many downvotes on Reddit.


I'm sure you've elaborated on this before, but I probably glossed over it since I don't like to read much about movies before I see them.

Why do you think it was terrible? Not that I am far removed from you in this respect, it is a pretty shitty movie, but for me it was just an ugly, poorly edited, shittily written, slog of a movie. You're generally more specific about your complaints, and was wondering about what you felt went wrong.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:22 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

I'm sure you've elaborated on this before, but I probably glossed over it since I don't like to read much about movies before I see them.

Why do you think it was terrible? Not that I am far removed from you in this respect, it is a pretty shitty movie, but for me it was just an ugly, poorly edited, shittily written, slog of a movie. You're generally more specific about your complaints, and was wondering about what you felt went wrong.


Everything regarding the Trogs irritated the hell out of me. First, they're the most thinly veiled bullshit racist villains I've seen in a long time. The handwavy use of Zahn MacLarnon to give them some handwavy "they aren't real native Americans" is as poorly implemented as Zahn's exit of the scene. Watch him. He stands there awkwardly then slinks out of the frame like someone who realized they're about the accidentally photobomb a wedding photo.

It's a real "we want to indulge in the ugliest racist stereotypes of "savages" but not have the guilt of being racist.

Then they gave the Trogs throat flutes. And they make stupid noises but are otherwise human. And Wilson sees one, goes "what is this?" and jumps straight to cutting it out and putting his mouth on it's bloody surface and giving it a blow. It's a scene so baffling that I feel like Amir Shervan slipped in and wrote the scene.

It's also poorly placed, perfunctorily shot and has the worst action set ups I've ever seen. Such as the scene when Wilson uses the throat flutes (only once too... So it was pointless). He blows and from just out of frame, a Trog jumps out and just gets shot. There's no build up to the action. Shit just pops out like a classic Nintendo game.

The action once it starts is well done but man, that movie just rubbed me all sorts of wrong.

Brawl is even worse. The most aggressively ugly and tedious movie I've seen in a long time.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:41 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Everything regarding the Trogs irritated the hell out of me. First, they're the most thinly veiled bullshit racist villains I've seen in a long time. The handwavy use of Zahn MacLarnon to give them some handwavy "they aren't real native Americans" is as poorly implemented as Zahn's exit of the scene. Watch him. He stands there awkwardly then slinks out of the frame like someone who realized they're about the accidentally photobomb a wedding photo.

It's a real "we want to indulge in the ugliest racist stereotypes of "savages" but not have the guilt of being racist.

Then they gave the Trogs throat flutes. And they make stupid noises but are otherwise human. And Wilson sees one, goes "what is this?" and jumps straight to cutting it out and putting his mouth on it's bloody surface and giving it a blow. It's a scene so baffling that I feel like Amir Shervan slipped in and wrote the scene.

It's also poorly placed, perfunctorily shot and has the worst action set ups I've ever seen. Such as the scene when Wilson uses the throat flutes (only once too... So it was pointless). He blows and from just out of frame, a Trog jumps out and just gets shot. There's no build up to the action. Shit just pops out like a classic Nintendo game.

The action once it starts is well done but man, that movie just rubbed me all sorts of wrong.

Brawl is even worse. The most aggressively ugly and tedious movie I've seen in a long time.


I think we are on the same wavelength here. I can't disagree with any problem you have. Especially that throat flute shit. And I think this is just scratching the surface of all the movies problems. It so desperately wants to be hip, can't cut it, and amps up the grue to make up for its immense short comings.

I have no interest in watching Brawl.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:51 am
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I haven't seen Bone Tomahawk but I remember it came out shortly before Kurt Russell's appearance in The Hateful Eight. A rather good chat fest.

As far as Bone and Brawl I have no desire to see either one.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:25 am
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The last movie I watched was Luc Besson's bomb Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I really wish I would have had mushrooms to watch that on. I have a feeling it will make a future cult classic among hallucinogenic heads. Unfortunately the two leads were insanely annoying but you really have all that cool imagery and stuff to make it just a little more palatable.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:29 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
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While you can always score easy point with me for being unique, and I'm hardly one to fret over not so immaculate executions, Bone Tomahawk is such a mix of trying way too hard to assert an identity, and falling so consistently short on execution, that it is overall frustrating viewing. Colorful but always clumsy dialogue, lazy character motivations of one dimensional characters, little understanding on how to use its visual space to either tell story or create mood, sloppy pacing, an inability to find poetry in its barren desert landscapes and finally an over reliance of violence as the only real element to whet any appetite for something interesting to happen, this movie is mostly a mess. Also, Matthew Fox can't act, and Patrick Wilson continues to always suck. Richard Jenkins absolves himself though.

I'm not surprised that this found a cult audience, but I hardly think it deserves one.

5/10

Hm.
I liked it.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:50 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
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Shit.

Haven't seen this since I was a kid, excited to see your reaction.
Or was "Shit." your reaction?


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:50 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
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Really enjoyable trash. Delivers regularly on knife fights, post apocalyptic nonsense and people falling off of motorcycles. Who needs to reinvent the wheel when you got that spectacular trifecta to offer?

Wow, haven't see this in at least 30 years.


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:54 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Haven't seen this since I was a kid, excited to see your reaction.
Or was "Shit." your reaction?


Shit was pretty much my reaction. Total shit? Nah. But pretty shit nonetheless.

It's general premise, that of a woman seeing through the eyes of a murderer while he is committing his crimes, is a pretty tired idea to begin with. Lots of films have tired premises though and have something to say. Laura Mars never explores the ideas the premise could open. It's just a cheap gimmick, that the filmmaker can hardly even use to any real effectiveness in ratcheting up tension. Being that this movie is also an expose on the New York fashion and art world of the 70's, there also could have been at least some eccentric charm or camp that is brought into the film to give it more of a personality, but it is really only in the scene depicted above, that it lives up to these possibilities. The fact that it also looks like a made for television movie, plods along from one dull murder set piece to another (the fact that they try and market this as an American giallo is an insult to the term) and has a lousy romance tacked into the centre of the film, are just more marks against it. Brad Dourif and Raoul Julia bring character performances to the table that are a little bit fun, but it is hardly enough to absolve the film of its many sins.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:02 am
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so I take it nothing that could make you understand why George Lucas thought this would be a good director for the next Star Wars movie


Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:25 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

Shit was pretty much my reaction. Total shit? Nah. But pretty shit nonetheless.

It's general premise, that of a woman seeing through the eyes of a murderer while he is committing his crimes, is a pretty tired idea to begin with. Lots of films have tired premises though and have something to say. Laura Mars never explores the ideas the premise could open. It's just a cheap gimmick, that the filmmaker can hardly even use to any real effectiveness in ratcheting up tension. Being that this movie is also an expose on the New York fashion and art world of the 70's, there also could have been at least some eccentric charm or camp that is brought into the film to give it more of a personality, but it is really only in the scene depicted above, that it lives up to these possibilities. The fact that it also looks like a made for television movie, plods along from one dull murder set piece to another (the fact that they try and market this as an American giallo is an insult to the term) and has a lousy romance tacked into the centre of the film, are just more marks against it. Brad Dourif and Raoul Julia bring character performances to the table that are a little bit fun, but it is hardly enough to absolve the film of its many sins.

That's disappointing. Do you think it was already a tired premise in 1978? Cause that will factor in for me in seeing it again.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:28 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
so I take it nothing that could make you understand why George Lucas thought this would be a good director for the next Star Wars movie


It's competently put together. It just has absolutely no life. So if Lucas was strictly looking for someone who doesn't really seem to have any particular vision as a director, but is capable to get the job done, this would be his guy.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:36 am
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Wooley wrote:
That's disappointing. Do you think it was already a tired premise in 1978? Cause that will factor in for me in seeing it again.


It might have been a more novel idea back then, but it still doesn't do anything with it, which is the bigger problem There are moments where it teases deeper mysteries, then abandons all of these for cringey mouth kiss scenes from Tommy Lee Jones instead. When it comes to the notion of revitalizing tired stories, the Twilight Zone proved over and over again that it could take a basic comic book story line, and find interesting angles to approach them at in under thirty minutes of television. This, on the other hand, just spins its wheels over a boilerplate story for two hours, with little atmosphere or curiosity towards the films central premise. It's ultimately a watchable film. It just reaps few rewards.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:43 am
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Wooley wrote:
Hm.
I liked it.


Same here.

I haven't seen it in a couple of years, so I might have to revisit it to think about how the motivations are laid out, but overall, I thought it was decently acted. I thought the pace was deliberately slow to build a lot of tension and dread until the moment where things blow up, and at least for me, it worked. I honestly hadn't thought of it as racist because I don't think the film was saying "all Natives are like this", so I have to say that was definitely not on my mind. Overall, I found it to be an atmospheric and nicely crafted film.

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Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:01 am
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Has Kirschner directed anything besides Empire that's considered great? I mean, Robocop 2 aside.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:23 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Has Kirschner directed anything besides Empire that's considered great? I mean, Robocop 2 aside.
While I think it's a little too modest in ambition to be considered "great," The Luck of Ginger Coffey showcases Kershner's skill with character development, which is apparently the quality Lucas singled out in picking Kershner for the Empire job. It's a domestic and workplace drama that in lesser hands would be full of shouting matches and histrionics (it has a few of those, but they're played as petty outbursts rather than anything that actually resolves a conflict), but Kershner pitches it much more realistically low-key, with the main character turning his frustration inward more often than lashing out. It helps to have at its center a very good performance from Robert Shaw, just a year after From Russia With Love but looking about a decade older (it suits the character). It's very much akin to the "kitchen sink" dramas that were coming out of the U.K. at the time, though this one centers on an Irish immigrant to Montreal.

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Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:03 am
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BL wrote:
While I think it's a little too modest in ambition to be considered "great," The Luck of Ginger Coffey showcases Kershner's skill with character development, which is apparently the quality Lucas singled out in picking Kershner for the Empire job. It's a domestic and workplace drama that in lesser hands would be full of shouting matches and histrionics (it has a few of those, but they're played as petty outbursts rather than anything that actually resolves a conflict), but Kershner pitches it much more realistically low-key, with the main character turning his frustration inward more often than lashing out. It helps to have at its center a very good performance from Robert Shaw, just a year after From Russia With Love but looking about a decade older (it suits the character). It's very much akin to the "kitchen sink" dramas that were coming out of the U.K. at the time, though this one centers on an Irish immigrant to Montreal.


I'll have to check it out on YouTube it seems. The DVD is quite out of print. I've been wanting to see more stuff with Robert Shaw. I haven't even seen a Man For All Seasons.

I had heard Lucas picked him for how he handled relationships but nothing jumped out to me looking at his IMDb so thanks for the rec.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:51 am
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Thief wrote:

Same here.

I haven't seen it in a couple of years, so I might have to revisit it to think about how the motivations are laid out, but overall, I thought it was decently acted. I thought the pace was deliberately slow to build a lot of tension and dread until the moment where things blow up, and at least for me, it worked. I honestly hadn't thought of it as racist because I don't think the film was saying "all Natives are like this", so I have to say that was definitely not on my mind. Overall, I found it to be an atmospheric and nicely crafted film.

Agreed on all points, this was my experience. And I was totally caught off guard when people cried "racism", these are creatures the Native Americans are too, some sort of missing link/throwback that lingered in time, not a portrayal of actual Native Americans, to the degree that it never crossed my mind or that of my movie-viewing friends.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:16 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Agreed on all points, this was my experience. And I was totally caught off guard when people cried "racism", these are creatures the Native Americans are too, some sort of missing link/throwback that lingered in time, not a portrayal of actual Native Americans, to the degree that it never crossed my mind or that of my movie-viewing friends.


If I made a movie set in 1950s Germany and had a bunch of former Nazis hunting monsters that looked exactly like Jewish stereotypes, with huge noses, hoarding money, stealing children, poisoning Wells and manipulating society from the shadows, but I gave them throat flutes and had Adam Sandler say "these aren't really Jews" then slink off screen after one scene and didn't have a single other Jewish character, would you see how accusations of racism and anti-Semitism might be called for?


Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:28 pm
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