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 Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom 
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Jinnistan wrote:
Did I tell you I have Medusa's Touch on my list?


I hope you are excited by this. Don't listen to everyone laughing at you. They're all wrong.


Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:56 pm
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Image

It's rad!

7.5/10


Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:58 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
7.5/10

aka The Sweet Spot


Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:06 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:

This is the kind of wisdom I was looking for.

And is Victory that Pele movie? That's something people watch?

It's actually about Nazi prison-camp escape, but yes, Pele is in it and there is some soccer.


Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:10 pm
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Rock wrote:
Rhinestone has also been on my radar, as I refuse to believe it's as bad as its putrid reputation.

Oh, it's not good, but it's not like some movie that's not competently made or anything, and it has to be seen, it's just part of the deal.


Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:12 pm
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Wooley wrote:
It's actually about Nazi prison-camp escape, but yes, Pele is in it and there is some soccer.

And Michael Caine, folks. Not for nothing.


Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:27 am
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Crumbsroom, I'm gonna need you to explain A Double Tour to me because its greatness flew over my head, but in exchange, I will enclose my thoughts on Paradise Alley below (in short, it's good and its weaknesses are easier to overlook if you like Stallone's writing/directing style on the whole):

A lot better than its less than stellar initial reception would suggest. Yes, it’s clunky and uneven, but I think it’s a lot easier to appreciate now that we have a better handle on Sylvester Stallone’s artistic sensibilities. Like Rocky, this story of three brothers in postwar Hell’s Kitchen is situated somewhere between fable, neorealism and melodrama, although its much heavier on the latter and balances the three elements less elegantly than the other picture. The movie defines its neighbourhood through hissing steam, shadowy soundstages and deep red lighting in the bar scenes, the latter a touch borrowed from Mean Streets, and goes through that influence and almost reaches for Rocco and his Brothers in its study of brotherhood amid squalor. Stallone interestingly gives himself a fairly unsympathetic character, the brother in constant search of a fast buck, and the Rocky character is played by Lee Canalito (a professional boxer who did few movies but nails the poignancy of this character), the simple, genial giant exploited by Stallone who persuades him to enter a low rent professional wrestling circuit. (Several real life wrestlers also appear in the movie, including Terry Funk who plays a villain of sorts and choreographed the wrestling scenes.) Armand Assante plays the third brother, who initially seems the wisest but becomes the most heartless, a transition appealing in concept but clumsy in execution (it happens basically between two scenes). And in a way, that characterizes the whole movie, which has a lot of appealing elements that Stallone seems to savour but are held together less by narrative coherence than by his pulpy sensibilities. The ending is more upbeat than the material should inspire, yet seems true to Stallone’s vision. This is a man that ended the Cold War with a boxing match, so thinking that you could wrestle away your family problems this easily seems to come with the territory.

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Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:03 am
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Rock wrote:
Crumbsroom, I'm gonna need you to explain A Double Tour to me because its greatness flew over my head,


While I generally prefer my bold declarations of greatness to stand on their own, I will try and think of something better than that.

Give me a few weeks.

I find my appreciation for Chabrol hard to articulate.


Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:46 pm
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Crumb, you're a fan of Negativland, right?

There's a good documentary focusing on their DJ, Don Joyce, who facilitated their madness on the Berkeley radio show, Over the Edge. The film, How Radio Isn't Done, is good for illuminating this particular aspect of the group's manifestation, but I wish it had been more comprehensive look at the group, from Pastor Dick to David Willsaphone, both of whom make an appearance here but not proportionate to their founding status within the group.

Trolls before their time.



Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:33 am
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crumbsroom wrote:

While I generally prefer my bold declarations of greatness to stand on their own, I will try and think of something better than that.

Give me a few weeks.

I find my appreciation for Chabrol hard to articulate.


Definitely a number of SPOILERS for Double Tour below, and more than enough repetitious blurting by me since the only way I was going to respond to Rock's question was if I just started writing and let it just come out. Over thinking Chabrol leads me absolutely nowhere. And so does under thinking him too, but what can you do. I have once again chosen to take the easiest route.

So what you've got in a Double Tour is your standard cadre of stock whodunnit grotesques. The long married couple belittling themselves to pieces. The boorish son in law with bits of egg and grease all over his face, gulping wine down with breakfast. The creepy man-child, momma's boy furiously conducting orchestras along with the radio. The sex bomb maid teasing all of the men who stare up at her in her bedroom window. The mysterious friend who has been invited along. All well drawn characters, as stereotypical as many of them are. All supplying barbed lines of dialogue to articulate their disdain for one another ("She is my happiness" "Well, there's no reason to inflict that on me").

But Chabrol, unlike what many directors of known for suspense would do, is not interested in generating a claustrophobia around all of these characters who are trapped together. There is a perverse pastoral distance from them. They roam the countryside and lounge on their back patios, and we are allowed to get a sense of the size of their expansive middle class existence and how they are tantalizingly free, but yet seeming always choose to remain together in misery. Chabrol airs their dirty laundry outside in a fresh summer breeze. The style he will present all of this with is neither tense nor jarring to the viewer (at least not until the climax). It has a refined elegance like a woman who has been trained for better posture by walking around balancing books on her head, internally miserable and hostile to those watching, but outwardly graceful. Their is something coiled and ready to strike just beneath the surface.

When the murder eventually happens, their is a sense of both unavoidable eventuality about it, but mostly a feeling or irrelevance about the violence. It is initially committed off screen, with no particular build up, and little dramatic flair when the death is announced (those who care about the woman are few, those who do are mostly silent). It could almost feel like this movie is little more than a meat and potato mystery, with almost no mystery, few stakes and little suspense. But I enjoy the stylistic contradiction between this house full of standard suspects, and the almost ambivalence it will treat discovering who the murderer is.

But this isn't to say there isn't any pay off. The ultimate fight between Belomondo and the strange mother's boy Robert, thrashing in the water, pushing eachother into the mud, is a sudden moment of visceral catharsis in a movie that constantly seems concerned about manners. Then when we actually get to witness what happened to the victim, the long drawn out malevolence of the son explaining to his father's mistress how she ultimately makes him disgusted by himself ("An INSECT!") and his insufficient mother, plays as pitch perfect suspense in a film which seemed not to want to have anything to do with such standard trifles. The performance by Robert here is also startlingly creepy, truly unhinged, almost even too comically evil for even a movie filled with an endlessly mugging Belmondo. But regardless of these indulgences, he's become cemented in my mind as a great villainous performance, this boy caught in this awkward man's body trying to do justice to a mother he is worried is deservedly replaceable. This whole climax is wonderful, and then to have it conclude with an almost tragic final image of this boy/man walking off alone to turn himself in, after everyone in his family takes turns rejecting him, has an emotional resonance that sneaks up on you, especially considering it is towards the least likable of any of the characters.

It's a movie that I can see keeping many in the audience at a distance (and honestly, all of his movies kind of do this). But if you get into the rhythms of his subdued weirdness, I find him a really compulsively watchable director, and one that I will occasionally go on binges with.


Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:59 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Crumb, you're a fan of Negativland, right?

There's a good documentary focusing on their DJ, Don Joyce, who facilitated their madness on the Berkeley radio show, Over the Edge. The film, How Radio Isn't Done, is good for illuminating this particular aspect of the group's manifestation, but I wish it had been more comprehensive look at the group, from Pastor Dick to David Willsaphone, both of whom make an appearance here but not proportionate to their founding status within the group.

Trolls before their time.



I actually had to check my collection to see if I had anything by them. I don't, though I had suspected I did.

I definitely asked you back on RT what records by them you'd recommend because there was a brief period where I could find a few of them at my local shop. By the time I had gone back though, they were all gone.


Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:00 pm
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I probably should give A Double Tour another go at some point, but Chabrol in general has just been too low key in terms of the characters he populates his films with to really work for me as suspense. But his style is also too elusive for me to even articulate a proper argument against, so maybe he wins this round.

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"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:52 pm
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crumbsroom wrote:
I definitely asked you back on RT what records by them you'd recommend because there was a brief period where I could find a few of them at my local shop. By the time I had gone back though, they were all gone.

I couldn't tell you how common they are anymore. The most popular are the above Helter Stupid and Escape From Noise ("Car Bomb" was a college radio staple and is probably their most popular track) and were helped by SST distribution. Most of their stuff is either self-released or on semi-bootleg recordings from their Over The Edge radio show. These Guys Are From England and Who Gives a Shit is the best collection of their notorious run-in with U2's lawyers and Casey Kasem outtakes, meaning it's some of their best stuff. These three would be my first recommendations.


Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:10 am
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