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 Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0 
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Since RT went down, Volume 1 has been lost to the ethers.

Although it's a bit of a shame, I think Volume 2 can be a major improvement.

Expect the following:

Hot takes on various films old and new
Controversial opinions
Cheap plugs for my upcoming Youtube channel
Occasional rants on Amazon Prime and Netflix
Appreciation of Turner Classic Movies
Occasional use of ThisTV

I think that's all :up:

First reviews will consist of the following:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Grand Hotel
Command and Control
Beatles: 8 Days a Week---The Touring Years
Free Fire
Trolls
Red Nose Day Actually
Henry and Me
It Comes at Night


Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:45 am
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Looking forward to your reviews!

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Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:08 am
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In.


Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:04 pm
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I've only seen one of the films you have on that list, but I'll try and support this thread whenever I can.

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Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:34 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
my upcoming Youtube channel


Nice. What it is?

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Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:48 am
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Glad your thread is back!

Of your list I've only seen Free Fire, which I watched late one Friday night. I thought it was a hoot, if ultimately maybe a bit disappointing in how it wraps everything up. It also had several laugh-out-loud moments. I hope you enjoy it.


Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:21 am
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Captain Terror wrote:

Nice. What it is?


Looking to start a film review channel. Was going to do it a few months ago, but life got in the way. Not letting the naysayers get to me.

I survived RT, I think I can survive YouTube critics.


Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:52 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Glad your thread is back!

Of your list I've only seen Free Fire, which I watched late one Friday night. I thought it was a hoot, if ultimately maybe a bit disappointing in how it wraps everything up. It also had several laugh-out-loud moments. I hope you enjoy it.


You may have some bad news waiting for you on that one. :-|


Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:53 am
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I liked Free Fire. "Hoot" works - lightweight stuff, but fun. Not my favorite Ben Wheatley film.


Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:55 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Looking to start a film review channel. Was going to do it a few months ago, but life got in the way. Not letting the naysayers get to me.

I survived RT, I think I can survive YouTube critics.
Yay, I love watching film-related essays on Youtube; good luck with it, Apex!

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Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:28 pm
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I'll make sure to subscribe to you once you get your channel up and running. Just make sure to post a link to it here.

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Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:30 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:

Looking to start a film review channel. Was going to do it a few months ago, but life got in the way. Not letting the naysayers get to me.

I survived RT, I think I can survive YouTube critics.


Looking forward to that.

As for Free Fire, I'm with T1 and JJ. Ultimately empty, but I think that was by design. Made me laugh out loud more than once.

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Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:47 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
As for Free Fire, I'm with T1 and JJ. Ultimately empty, but I think that was by design. Made me laugh out loud more than once.


Exactly. Perfect late night fluff. It doesn't achieve anything lofty, but I don't think that it was going for anything lofty. It's a movie that is 90% awkward downtime during a shootout and I loved it.


Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:32 pm
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Mr. Smith Goes To Washington remains one of my favorite movies I've seen. It is probably my favorite Jimmy Stewart performance and is in my top-3 Claude Rains performances.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:08 am
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Wooley wrote:
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington remains one of my favorite movies I've seen. It is probably my favorite Jimmy Stewart performance and is in my top-3 Claude Rains performances.


I just about wanted to give him an Oscar towards the end...since you've seen it, you know why.

And yeah, Claude Rains was aces in this.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:02 am
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Add me to the list of people who enjoyed Free Fire. Not Wheatley's best (still Kill List for me) but definitely enjoyable. Armie Hammer and Brie Larson were both good.

PS - Glad to see you decided to do your thread over here Apex. Looking forward to those reviews.


Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:08 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

I just about wanted to give him an Oscar towards the end...since you've seen it, you know why.

And yeah, Claude Rains was aces in this.


There should be a law that requires all Congressmen to watch Mr Smith once per year.

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Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:28 pm
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Quite a few films that I've seen since RT gave up the ghost.

Let's tackle the Thanksgiving films first. Will deal with Mad Love briefly because I already dealt with it in depth at the Horror thread and on Facebook in the Axis of Very Evil forum.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

When a Senator dies, a political machine debates who they can get to replace him. Primarily, someone who will let slide a giant dam that they intend to build on some property that will make them rich.

After a couple of candidates are found unworthy, one person gets the idea to nominate Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) from their kids.

Smith is a boy scout leader, of course, and agrees reluctantly. In part because the senior Senator Paine (Claude Rains) knew his father before he was killed.

After touring Washington DC and driving his handlers mad, Smith allows some reporters to make fools of him which nearly gets him tossed out of the Senate (!). He then confronts a bunch of reporters, punching out some of them (!) before finding out why they ridiculed him in the papers.

While dealing with that, Smith along with reluctant secretary Clarissa (Jean Arthur) work on a bill that will authorize the government to buy land for a boys camp to be paid back by the boys with whatever change they can. The political machine, led by Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold), is fine with this until they learn where the land is located...the same spot as the dam.

The machine decides to destroy Smith as he starts to prepare for a fight.

Perhaps it was based on a different, more simple time. But what would be an odd mixture of Capra uplift about the corrupt Congress works, mainly because Capra holds back on the sentimentality that would mark his later work.

Although now that I think about it, there's not really a lot of depth to the characters outside of Clarissa and perhaps Senator Paine. Still, the film overcomes that with great performances from Stewart (you'll want to give him an Oscar after the filibuster), Rains, and Arthur (whose character I'd argue is the audience surrogate for Mr. Smith). Even Arnold does fine as the evil Taylor.

Outside of some quibbles and one scene that goes a hair too far (I'd suspect the local paper would WANT to report this story), this film earns all its classical plaudits.

Mad Love

Not much really to get into. It's The Hands of Orlok as a clinically mad doctor (Peter Lorre) with a serious obsession for a horror actress (Frances Drake) who agrees to repair/restore the hands of a concert pianist (Colin Clive, Frankenstein) after a train wreck mangles them.

Of course once the doctor attaches the hands of a knife throwing murderer to the pianist, the fireworks begin.

Subtle, it ain't. But there's pleasures to be had here as the film moves quick enough to leave plot holes behind until afterwards.

Grand Hotel

This reminded me of that episode of Moonlighting where David is talking about how he would like to see a TV series set in a bus stop.

The grand hotel in Berlin where "Nothing Much Ever Happens" has several stories that take place under the nose of the oblivious narrator/doctor:

An aging ballerina (Greta Garbo) has lost her thrill and wishes to be left alone.
An industrialist (Wallace Beery) desperately tries to get a deal passed to save his business from ruin.
A stenographer (Joan Crawford, what a beauty!) agrees to work for the industrialist while keeping her eyes open for an acting career.
A Baron (John Barrymore) tries to steal/gamble enough money to pay off a pressing debt.
An accountant of the industrialist (Lionel Barrymore) wants to make the most of his last days on Earth (I wonder if Lost Holiday cribbed/got inspired from this story)

People meet, fall in love, fight and otherwise connect in various ways over the course of a weekend. Even the staff is having memorable days as a lobby person is waiting on news of his pregnant wife giving birth!

John, as the Baron, keeps the film flowing due to his joy of life and likable nature. I might have liked to have seen a sequel/prequel involving his character.

Lionel's segment is the most interesting due to his willingness to enjoy life and perhaps tell off the industrialist. Some nice visuals of the hotel are pretty solid as well.

Beery's story is the least interesting, by the way.

NEXT: Missile maintenance goes awry in Arkansas while a rock group gets some style and crashes America proper.


Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:58 am
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The only one I've seen of those is Mr. Smith, but it's been too long (saw it in 2009). I remember liking it, even if I didn't think it was a masterpiece. Should probably rewatch it one of these days.

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Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:03 am
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Thief wrote:
The only one I've seen of those is Mr. Smith, but it's been too long (saw it in 2009). I remember liking it, even if I didn't think it was a masterpiece. Should probably rewatch it one of these days.


I can argue that sometimes it takes more than one try to see why a classic is usually considered this way.

But I wouldn't force the issue. See it again when you're ready. 8-)


Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:40 am
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Command and Control

Food for thought: There are 6,800 nuclear warheads in the US.

So who's watching America's supply of nukes? Who's maintaining them and keeping them from exploding?

The answer: Supposedly the government and its employees.

We look back at the 1980 incident involving an accident when someone drops an unauthorized wrench onto a fuel line leading to a rupture in Damascas, Arkansas. Hours pile up as those responsible are reluctant to reveal what happened and debate rages on what to do between those at the base and those in charge hundreds of miles away. Then a bold plan is agreed on.

If you want to spend sleepless nights worried about more important things than our latest tweet from the President or who's right in the eternal Taylor Swift/Katy Perry/Kanye West saga, here's a good documentary to do the trick.

Also, you'll probably get angry at one point as the government proves to be good at throwing people under the bus.

Food for thought 2: It turns out that this is merely one of dozens of incidents, thanks to recently unearthed documents from the government. :shock:

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week---The Touring Years

Whatever your feelings are on the Robert Langdon thrillers he's somehow botched, Ron Howard has done well here.

It certainly didn't hurt that there was a ton of archival footage that is more than enough to make you a Beatles fan (if you weren't already), that we actually get interviews with all four musicians (some of which is archival as well), or that the interviews with others is universally well chosen (from Malcolm Gladwell who points out that Beatlemania started a trend to Whoopi Goldberg who recalls being able to see them at Shea Stadium).

Then throw in the tunes and recordings of the Beatles as they enjoy their romp through the world but start to reconsider thanks in small part to Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.

Although it doesn't get into what caused them to break up, it's still a worthy documentary that allows you to understand what made them so popular. And it ends well too.

Food for thought 3: The touring years consist of only five years where they traveled from Liverpool to (eventually) all reaches of the globe, 1962-7.

It appears I'll have to look for the companion doc Good Ol' Freda now.

NEXT: A bunch of blokes (and one lady) get involved in a shootout, some small creatures sing and dance (and annoy their neighbors), and a much belated sequel to a holiday chestnut.


Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:03 am
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Free Fire

I don't share everyone else's opinions that it was a lark of a shootout. Maybe because I'm getting too old?

But a weapons deal involving a South African dealer (with an odd accent so you know it has to be Sharlto Copley playing him) and several members of the IRA goes horribly wrong when one of the dealer's minions spots one of the IRA's minions from some drama from the night before.

And what follows next is what might happen if Quentin Tarantino decided to let Reservoir Dogs spend the entire time in that warehouse. And drain the color code names of any character.

Let's see if I can explain about the characters.

There's the arms dealer with the indeterminate accent and tastes in fancy wardrobe
There's the former Black Panther guy who has an amusing habit that might be the best joke in the film.
There's the curly headed guy who's very protective of his sister (I think he's played by Jack Reynor from Transformers 4?)

There's the bearded Robert Wagner who keeps trying to find a solution to things (played by Armie Hammer)

There's the elder IRA guy who don't give two flips about nobody and who sounds/acts like he's from a Guy Ritchie film.
There's the younger IRA guy who may or may not have a thing for the woman
There's the young punk who woots when he sets off an explosion that might take out other people and who probably did what he's accused of.
There's his less than bright friend.

And of course, there's the woman who's there as an intermediary (Brie Larson, Room)

There may well be others, but when you're spending half the time keeping these people straight, it's hard to care when someone gets shot or even when the (inevitable) double crosses begin.

Glad some of you found something to enjoy in this. Too bad, I'm not among them.

Still, Youth in Oregon and the Dirty Dancing remake are worse.

Trolls

Light-hearted goofy fun, but it lacks the depth that sets better animated films out from the merely alright.

Apparently, the Trolls are just goofy creatures that love to party, sing, and hug. But this doesn't set well with the Bergens who celebrate Trollstice once every year where Trolls are more like a delicacy.

When a bunch of trolls are kidnapped in honor of the King (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for a celebration by a chef (Christine Baranski) with plans for the throne, it's up to perpetually sunny Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and always sour Branch (Justin Timberlake) to rescue them.

There will be music (considering the leads, that's a big duh right there). There's some feels (Branch does have a backstory, after all). And there's some silly moments.

But Trolls is too content to dive in the shallow end when films such as Zootopia and Moana have done better in appealing to both adults and young ones.

It's alright, if forgettable.

Red Nose Day Actually

For those who wondered/cared about what happened to most of the people from Love Actually, this fifteen minute short might give you some clues (I don't think they ever explained what happened to Alan Rickman's character, but unfortunately he's a no show).

Considering it's an ad for whatever Red Nose Day is supposed to represent, it concentrates more on laughs than feels (which come from the last segments).

Highlights include an accident that occurs while dancing to a Drake tune and one kid's disastrous search for a red nose that ends up with an overeager clerk (the last shot is the best joke, by the way).

It's not bad for 15 minutes and I think it can be found online?

NEXT: A kid's journey to overcome cancer leads to an infomercial breaking out, a couple of holiday specials, and one of the best horrors of 2017.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:41 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Free Fire

when you're spending half the time keeping these people straight, it's hard to care when someone gets shot or even when the (inevitable) double crosses begin.

Glad some of you found something to enjoy in this. Too bad, I'm not among them.


Sad face!

I don't think that I had quite as hard a time keeping track of who was who, and I can see why you might have found that irritating.

Like I said earlier, I found it to be perfect late-night fluff.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:33 am
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Henry and Me

My continuing pursuit in seeing just about every 2014 movie made...

Supposedly, this is about a kid who is pretty normal until one day he falls ill. One can tell that it's cancer because he's bald and weaker than he was.

But he meets a special man with a New York Yankees pin. And before you can say "The magic starts to happen", the hall turns into a subway car and the kid gets some lessons in can do spirit and perseverance with Yankees past and present.

The film does a decent job with integrating the Yankee team with the story of the sick kid and the man. The best jolt comes from finding out who "Henry" really is.

But it does play too often as an infomercial as the boy's fight takes second place to a lot of back slapping.

Richard Gere does fine as Henry, a bunch of Yankees play themselves, and Chazz Palminteri shows up somewhere. Cindy Lauper does a maudlin version of Time After Time twice (I guess we can't See Her).

And it still just barely reaches 61-62 minutes. As far as baseball shots go, it's a weak fielder's choice.

Trolls Holiday

Just like the movie, but in a smaller package.

Poppy decides since they destroyed the Bergen's one holiday with her message of inner peace and happiness in the movie that they need a new holiday and decides to give them one of the Trolls's.

Her friend Branch tries to convince her that it's a bad idea, but she and her other friends go full out for this.

It takes a frustrated Bridget and Branch to convince her to stop with the singing, glitter throwing, and various other activities that drive King Gristle mad. But maybe, just maybe her kind gesture might have been the spark needed to fix things?

I think a better special might have better shown that what Poppy and the other trolls were doing might have been considered offensive to the Bergins. But the special, like the film itself, is never into going for the deeper points.

It's more concerned with repeating a certain Madonna song over and over again.

The result is alright, I guess, for a half hour special based on a just above average movie. Just don't expect more.

I don't see them delivering it.

It's a Wonderful Life

On Christmas Eve, I was working as I was learning how to close for the first time. The strangest thing started to happen...after being dispirited most of the season, I think the Christmas bug finally got to me.

I already caught a bad cold bug which I'm still fighting to this day. But things started to click for me.

Anyhoo, it was time to finally let this perennial have another shot. (I decided to stop watching A Christmas Story due to burnout. Will probably pick it up again in a few years).

It seemed like a newer print and more importantly, it felt like they explained some things that always felt a bit hidden to me.

Such as why Clarence fell into the water. It was a preventative measure where he would let George play hero rather than try to save him from committing suicide.


The film could have drawn some depth into the characters. George doesn't so much as commit a sin before his disillusionment, while Mr. Potter looks and acts like he could be twirling a mustache while tying up Mrs. Bailey to the railroad tracks.

Something else I've never understood.

Why does George keep Uncle Billy around in the Savings and Loans? Was it a favor to pops? Or is he secretly OK with having to deal with close shaves from bank examiners and cops all the time?


But as far as dramatic uplift in the third act goes, Wonderful Life does fine. And I guess that's what matters most.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:30 am
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It Comes at Night

I've seen some people's reviews come in for this and they seem to be, well, underwhelming.

I found it to be best horror and best film of the year so far.

A family of husband, wife, and child have to do the unsettling business of putting their grandfather out of his misery in the opening moments. You see, he has gathered a disease and it proves easier to pull the plug than try to treat it.

The three of them as well as their dog try the best they can to move on and avoid catching the disease themselves.

A complication ensues when they catch a man breaking into their home one night. He reveals the story that he's just trying to get water to survive for himself and his family, including their young son.

The father (Joel Edgerton) is skeptical at first, but a wary truce develops as the decision is made to unite the two families together in order to get the chores done and provide an extra measure of safety (plus chickens!).

But tensions rise between the two families as things are said, not said, and overheard.

In many ways, this reminded me of a horror film from several years ago and a gripping novel from several years before that.

10 Cloverfield Lane for how the threats inside were greater than the ones outside. And Last Town on Earth for how so much of the film rose on whether our protagonist should believe this newcomer with his story.


I felt like the ending might have been a bit rushed, but that last shot was chilling.

In some ways, it reminded me of The Invitation with its last shot. And unlike say The Blackcoat's Daughter, not only is the finale set up earlier in the story, but it makes logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film.


Highly recommended.

Next: Must finish a certain Christmas film. Then on to more of 2017!


Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:45 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
And unlike say The Blackcoat's Daughter, not only is the finale set up earlier in the story, but it makes logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film.

The Blackcoat's Daughter's finale makes plenty of logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film. It might require a rewatch, but it's also clear that it's set up much earlier than is initially apparent.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:44 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The Blackcoat's Daughter's finale makes plenty of logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film. It might require a rewatch, but it's also clear that it's set up much earlier than is initially apparent.


I'll rewatch The Blackcoat's Daughter when pigs start flying out of my ass. What a shite movie.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:48 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
It Comes at Night

I've seen some people's reviews come in for this and they seem to be, well, underwhelming.

I found it to be best horror and best film of the year so far.


I find you to be correct in this assumption.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:50 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:

There should be a law that requires all Congressmen to watch Mr Smith once per year.

A-fucking-men.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:48 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
It Comes at Night

I've seen some people's reviews come in for this and they seem to be, well, underwhelming.

I found it to be best horror and best film of the year so far.

A family of husband, wife, and child have to do the unsettling business of putting their grandfather out of his misery in the opening moments. You see, he has gathered a disease and it proves easier to pull the plug than try to treat it.

The three of them as well as their dog try the best they can to move on and avoid catching the disease themselves.

A complication ensues when they catch a man breaking into their home one night. He reveals the story that he's just trying to get water to survive for himself and his family, including their young son.

The father (Joel Edgerton) is skeptical at first, but a wary truce develops as the decision is made to unite the two families together in order to get the chores done and provide an extra measure of safety (plus chickens!).

But tensions rise between the two families as things are said, not said, and overheard.

In many ways, this reminded me of a horror film from several years ago and a gripping novel from several years before that.

10 Cloverfield Lane for how the threats inside were greater than the ones outside. And Last Town on Earth for how so much of the film rose on whether our protagonist should believe this newcomer with his story.


I felt like the ending might have been a bit rushed, but that last shot was chilling.

In some ways, it reminded me of The Invitation with its last shot. And unlike say The Blackcoat's Daughter, not only is the finale set up earlier in the story, but it makes logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film.


Highly recommended.

Next: Must finish a certain Christmas film. Then on to more of 2017!

Maybe I just need to watch it again with different expectations. I was seriously underwhelmed. But again, expectations.


Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:53 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
The Blackcoat's Daughter's finale makes plenty of logical sense when looked at in comparison to the rest of the film. It might require a rewatch, but it's also clear that it's set up much earlier than is initially apparent.


At what point did you realize that we were dealing with

a connected story with one character being the same years later? To me, I think it was about the point that she started to recognize the road.


I think some of your criticisms involving It Comes at Night meaning less than it did are the ones I have for The Blackcoat's Daughter. I suspect both films have rabid camps on both sides.


Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:52 am
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Wooley wrote:
A-fucking-men.


Will agree with this as well. Although I'd just extend that to all elected officials in DC.


Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:53 am
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Wooley wrote:
It Comes at Night

Maybe I just need to watch it again with different expectations. I was seriously underwhelmed. But again, expectations.


Expectations get all of us sometimes (you mentioned Citizen Kane in the Horror thread and I was underwhelmed by that).

If you feel like you want to give it another try, go for it. If not, I think you got some good company in the "It was alright" camp.


Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:55 am
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I might as well copy and paste my brief write-up of It Comes at Night from the horror thread.

Something I like to see in horror films is when they establish horror more through the actions of the characters rather than the events which happen around them. My interpretation of It Comes at Night is that it's a twist on this concept. While other horror films which utilize this technique still have the other forces present, this film reveals no info on what virus/infection it was which caused the apocalypse. This action makes it all the more clear that this is what the director was going for. I also liked the dream sequences, because I feel like their purpose was to foreshadow
Travis's death
, but in a non-obvious way that you don't pick up on until after you watch the film. Anyways, this isn't my favorite horror film of 2017 (A Ghost Story is), but I still liked this one quite a lot. I haven't seen anyone say "This is one of the best horror films made in years" yet, but it certainly qualifies for this bestowal in my opinion.

-

Anyways, Apex and I have somewhat similar praises for this movie. We both liked how it established horror more from the growing hostility of the characters rather than the non-human forces. I saw this technique utilized in other recent horror films I liked such as 10 Cloverfield Lane and Beneath. However, what makes this an unconventional film is that it reveals nothing about the virus, infection, or whatever it was which cased the apocalypse while other films would give at least a few details about them. This extra layer of creativity is what I think sets it above the "I just thought it was a pretty good horror film" bar.

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Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:17 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
At what point did you realize that we were dealing with

a connected story with one character being the same years later? To me, I think it was about the point that she started to recognize the road.

I want to point out before going into spoiler mode that I appreciate the fact that the film kept me guessing throughout, had me reevaluating and recontextualizing what I had seen, so that I'm not so sure that the when of it makes a lot of difference. But that being said....
The connection between the two unconnected narrative tracks was something that I was looking for as soon as the second one - the Emma Roberts one - was introduced. For awhile, I thought that the couple was Kat's parents, and that we were seeing what had happened to them on the way to pick her up. It became clear to me that "Joan" was actually Kat when it was revealed in the diner (about halfway in the film) that they were actually the parents of Rose, and that this was 9 years after the events at the college. At this point, to me, it was clear that Joan was actually Kat and that she would be responsible for Rose's death.

As I said, this is halfway or so through the film, before we shift tracks again - a transition bookended by the mysterious phone call in the hallway. It isn't until the third act that we learn the reality of the demonic entity that has been influencing Kat (Both Tak and I agree that interpretations allowing for "hallucination" or mental illness instead of the supernatural are silly and nonsensical.) This requires a reorientation of most of Kat's prior scenes, and it's here that we can infer that Kat had been under the influence of this entity as early as the schoolmaster's office when he catches her slyly smiling at no one in particular.

The only real remaining question for me at the end was whether or not this entity was still inhabiting the boiler or not, and we learn that it was probably permanently expelled in the exorcism by the schoolmaster. This is maybe the first 'possession' film where it seems voluntary and desired showing this demonic possession explicitly as a form of emotional compensation - something that was only suggested in a film like Emily Rose, or maybe a couple of others.


The loneliness, the isolation from both or either the seasonal affective disorder (the film was originally titled February) or the social alienation of boarding school (statistically, disorders like schizophrenia tend to manifest during the late-teen/early 20s years), makes for an explanation for this (and, no doubt, religious repression ala Haxan, The Devils, etc), but most impressively to me is the way the film aesthetically reflects this sense of bleak isolation, almost sterile surfaces and a constant dreadful sense of darkness burning underneath it (like a heater, for example). The rich soundtrack and sound mixing help a great deal as well.

There are also criticisms to be had. Most of Tak's were structural, I think. We agreed that
Rose's death scene was anti-climatic, I felt it was a too obvious attempt to stylistically reference the Arbogast death scene from Psycho, and Tak didn't appreciate how Rose turned out to be a Janet Leigh-like false protagonist who was so easily disposed.


Apex Predator wrote:
I think some of your criticisms involving It Comes at Night meaning less than it did are the ones I have for The Blackcoat's Daughter. I suspect both films have rabid camps on both sides.

I wouldn't say that any feeling I had for It Comes At Night raises to the level of rabid, in fact I would have welcomed more emotional engagement than what I got. The ending of Blackcoat was far more emotionally resounding for me. I can say that, at least, the two films can be considered comparable in their sensual quality. That is to say, I still prefer Blackcoat's qualities, the icy camera creeps, evocative sound design, the haunting images, etc, but I can respect the tension and claustrophobic atmosphere of Night, and my review used words like "handsome" and pointed out the effective use of lighting. Storywise is where it makes or breaks, and ultimately the story seemed to amount to something like
A family tries to survive an unknown disease; they fail.


Like I said, for me, it ultimately doesn't add up to much.


Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:24 pm
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Jinnistan, give me time to reflect on your answers. May have counterpoints/clarity in my responses.

Finally, I went and checked out my year's best according to Letterboxd. Unusual choices.

Most watched actor: Charles Lane (It's a Wonderful Life/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
Most watched director: W.S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man movies)

Not sure what that was saying exactly, but I may be skewing more on the older films.

For those wondering, I do have future films to discuss/review:

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break
Born Yesterday
Bad Santa (rewatch)
Flipper's New Adventure
The Bank Dick
The Accountant
Norman: The Moderate Rise...
Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice
From Russia with Love

Since I'll be here until Saturday morn, I may have more films to get into between now and then.


Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:56 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Finally, I went and checked out my year's best according to Letterboxd. Unusual choices.

Most watched actor: Charles Lane (It's a Wonderful Life/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
Most watched director: W.S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man movies)

Unusual indeed. Then again, Charles Lane was in seemingly every movie ever made.
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Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:07 am
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