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 Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2018 
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Torgo wrote:
Probably not the best armor to wear while fighting those kinds of monsters.

Baby oil is impenetrable.


Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:21 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Great hair on that guy. Looks like he's headed straight to a 38 Special concert after the shoot.

Remember that time we were talking about early '80s vs late '80s?

I don't care when the movie came out, this guy is definitely early '80s.

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Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:04 am
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Rock wrote:
Remember that time we were talking about early '80s vs late '80s?

I don't care when the movie came out, this guy is definitely early '80s.

100%
This guy loved Pyromania but thought Hysteria was a sellout.

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Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:21 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
100%
This guy loved Pyromania but thought Hysteria was a sellout.

He goes even further back. High 'n' Dry or GTFO

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Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:27 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
He's got to do it his way. Or no way at all.

Nice.


Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:41 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
100%
This guy loved Pyromania but thought Hysteria was a sellout.

Isn't that everybody?


Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:41 pm
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Thief wrote:

Say what?

Image


And I guess that explains Charles in Charge.


Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:36 am
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Wooley wrote:
Isn't that everybody?
Well, while Hysteria might've been a very poppy sort of metal album, Def Lep always had that glam-y element in their sound, so to me, that record just mostly feels like a natural evolution of their sound up to that point... *shrug*

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Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:19 am
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Stu wrote:
Well, while Hysteria might've been a very poppy sort of metal album, Def Lep always had that glam-y element in their sound, so to me, that record just mostly feels like a natural evolution of their sound up to that point... *shrug*

I dunno, man, I feel like Pyromania legitimately rocked, even though I am not a Def Leppard fan, whereas Hysteria felt very diluted to me.
Man, now that I'm looking at it, "Pour Some Sugar On Me", the alleged parody-song, is the only one on that album I actually like.


Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:15 am
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I find Hysteria genial enough to not mind (they didn't seem to buy in as deeply into the hairspray/tight pants/obnoxious attitude of their contemporaries), but to me it's heavy pop music while Pyromania and their earlier albums are rooted more firmly in their '70s glam and hard rock influences. If I'm in an early '80s metal mood, Def Leppard is definitely on the rotation, but if I'm feeling later in the decade, I'll opt for something heavier.

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Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:40 pm
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Looking forward to seeing Thief's categories in September. I suspect I may watch more horror this month in preparation for October.


Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:29 am
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Re: Def Leppard, I'm a fan. I was growing up when Hysteria was blowing up, so I guess that plays into me liking the album more than others. That said, my enjoyment has shifted from song to song as time has passed. I used to think "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Armageddon It" were the best songs back in the day, but now I rarely listen to those and tend to lean more towards "Animal" or "Love Bites", and even some of the lesser known songs from side B ("Gods of War" is pretty solid). Still, I prefer Pyromania as a whole, and my all-time favorite Def Leppard song ("Bringin' on the Heartbreak") is from High n' Dry, so I guess I'm all over the place.

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Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:44 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Looking forward to seeing Thief's categories in September. I suspect I may watch more horror this month in preparation for October.


I will probably post my categories later today. I hope Takoma doesn't hate me for leaving her hanging during August :D

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Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:45 am
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BTW, last watch of August...


Hugo (2011, rewatch)

Magical. No other word to describe it...

More later.

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Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:46 am
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Thief wrote:

I will probably post my categories later today. I hope Takoma doesn't hate me for leaving her hanging during August :D


Hate is such a strong word.


Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:55 am
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Thief wrote:

I will probably post my categories later today. I hope Takoma doesn't hate me for leaving her hanging during August :D


I think I proved an adequate substitute. But I can assure you (and she'll likely agree) that your categories are better.


Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:31 am
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August is over and this is what I saw...

Iron Man 3
Blade Runner 2049
2 Lava 2 Lantula!
The Usual Suspects
(rewatch)
The Karate Kid (2010)
78/52
Mulholland Drive
(rewatch)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Thor: The Dark World
Conspiracy (rewatch)
Ghostbusters (2016)
Swiss Army Man
Anthropoid
Deathstalker
Hugo
(rewatch)

Even though I had no criterias, I still managed to watch 15 films which has been my minimum threshold all year.

Not counting the rewatches, my favorite first-time watch was probably Blade Runner 2049.

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Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:53 am
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Categories are here and on the first post...

Thief wrote:
The current list I'm working on is...

A road trip film:
A Spanish language film:
A British film:
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s:
A Japanese language film:
A film about food:
A Palm D'Or winner:
A Bollywood film:
A film from the 1960s:
A drama film:
A film based on a book:
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s:
A film with no CGI or special effects:
A film set in Eastern Europe:
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long:
An Italian language film:
A film that was a box-office bomb:
A cult classic film:
An Iranian film:
A film from Sweden:
A film famous for its twist/ending:
A film with a number in its title:
A film by Kobayashi Masaki:
An Alfred Hitchcock film:
A period drama film:


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Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:06 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

I think I proved an adequate substitute. But I can assure you (and she'll likely agree) that your categories are better.


I quite liked your categories (and got through 7 of them)! You'd think that in my summer months I'd see more movies, but it's actually the opposite. I get kind of restless in the summer without the regular structure of work and it's much harder for me to focus, even for 90 minutes, silly as that sounds.


Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:59 pm
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A road trip film: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
A Spanish language film: Cronos
A British film: Chariots of Fire
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
A Japanese language film: Tetsuo: The Iron Man
A film about food: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A Palm D'Or winner: The Tin Drum
A Bollywood film: 3 Idiots
A film from the 1960s: Topkapi
A drama film: Living in Oblivion
A film based on a book: Christine
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s: The Greatest Show on Earth
A film with no CGI or special effects: Stranger Than Paradise
A film set in Eastern Europe: A Short Film About Killing
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long: Hatfields & McCoys
An Italian language film: Benvenuto Presidente!
A film that was a box-office bomb: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
A cult classic film: The Warriors
An Iranian film: The House Is Black
A film from Sweden: Hälsoresan – En smal film av stor vikt
A film famous for its twist/ending: High Tension
A film with a number in its title: Four Rooms
A film by Kobayashi Masaki: The Fossil
An Alfred Hitchcock film: Rebecca
A period drama film: Barry Lyndon

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Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:41 pm
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1. I think Def Leppard's best song is "Bringin' On The Heartbreak". I don't think they ever matched it.

2. Hugo was a complete miss on me, so much so that I spent most of the movie scratching my head trying to figure out what other people were seeing that they were anointing it and nominating it for best picture instead of creating mean memes about it.


Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:14 am
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Death Proof wrote:
A road trip film: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
A Spanish language film: Cronos
A British film: Chariots of Fire
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
A Japanese language film: Tetsuo: The Iron Man
A film about food: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A Palm D'Or winner: The Tin Drum
A Bollywood film: 3 Idiots
A film from the 1960s: Topkapi
A drama film: Living in Oblivion
A film based on a book: Christine (haven't seen it since the 1980s, so I wouldn't mind a rewatch)
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s: The Greatest Show on Earth
A film with no CGI or special effects: Stranger Than Paradise
A film set in Eastern Europe: A Short Film About Killing
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long: Hatfields & McCoys
An Italian language film: Benvenuto Presidente!
A film that was a box-office bomb: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
A cult classic film: The Warriors
An Iranian film: The House Is Black
A film from Sweden: Hälsoresan – En smal film av stor vikt
A film famous for its twist/ending: High Tension
A film with a number in its title: Four Rooms
A film by Kobayashi Masaki: The Fossil
An Alfred Hitchcock film: Rebecca
A period drama film: Barry Lyndon


Seen the ones in red. Thanks for the recs!

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:25 am
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Wooley wrote:
1. I think Def Leppard's best song is "Bringin' On The Heartbreak". I don't think they ever matched it.


\oo/

Wooley wrote:
2. Hugo was a complete miss on me, so much so that I spent most of the movie scratching my head trying to figure out what other people were seeing that they were anointing it and nominating it for best picture instead of creating mean memes about it.


:down: :D

Nah, seriously, I might write more about it later but there are two things that resonated with me from this film. First, I love the way Scorsese presented this love letter to cinema and I loved how he showed his appreciation for Méliès. It really stuck with me back when I first saw it and led me to read more about him and the birth of cinema. It really made me fall in love with cinema more than I already was. Second, the whole theme of our purpose and goals in life, and what legacy we leave also struck me, perhaps more now than it did back when I first saw it. As someone who's going through a sort of existential mid-life crisis, questioning my career choices and my life goals, it really struck me hard.

So yeah, I love it.

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:32 am
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Options for Thief (all are on Prime):

A road trip film: A Christmas Story Documentary: Road Trip for Ralphie, The Lone Road, A Reunion
A Spanish language film: Killer Barbys, Adios Carmen, Fat Bald Short Man
A British film: The Blood on Satan's Claw, The Adventures of Tartu, The Bengali Night
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Miracle Kid, His Girl Friday, Scarlet Street
A Japanese language film: Hafu, Jin-Roh, Last Princess
A film about food: Hungry for Change, Fresh, Hole in the Wall
A Palm D'Or winner: Not sure if there's any suitable titles on Prime?
A Bollywood film: Aashiqui 2 (No, you don't have to see the first one), Aurangzeb, Bachna Ae Haseeno
A film from the 1960s: Charade, McClintock, The Greatest Story Ever Told
A drama film:Benny and Joon, Mad Max, Race 3 (which also works for Bollywood)
A film set in Eastern Europe:Fiddler on the Roof, Yes, Chef! (also works for food film), The Orange Chronicles
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long: Jesus of Nazareth, Wagner
An Italian language film: Come Undone, Days and Clouds, Only You (2015)
A film that was a box-office bomb: Valerian, mother!
An Iranian film: The Fish Fall in Love (Also food), Mourning, Modest Reception
A film from Sweden: Best Intentions, Everlasting Moments, All Things Fair
A film with a number in its title: The 39 Steps, 1, 2, 3 Scream, 2 Autumns, 3 Winters
A film by Kobayashi Masaki: Harakiri/Kwaidan both available for purchase
An Alfred Hitchcock film: The 39 Steps


Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:44 am
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Seen the ones in red. Thanks!

Apex Predator wrote:
Options for Thief (all are on Prime):

A road trip film: A Christmas Story Documentary: Road Trip for Ralphie, The Lone Road, A Reunion
A Spanish language film: Killer Barbys, Adios Carmen, Fat Bald Short Man
A British film: The Blood on Satan's Claw, The Adventures of Tartu, The Bengali Night
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Miracle Kid, His Girl Friday, Scarlet Street
A Japanese language film: Hafu, Jin-Roh, Last Princess
A film about food: Hungry for Change, Fresh, Hole in the Wall
A Palm D'Or winner: Not sure if there's any suitable titles on Prime?
A Bollywood film: Aashiqui 2 (No, you don't have to see the first one), Aurangzeb, Bachna Ae Haseeno
A film from the 1960s: Charade, McClintock, The Greatest Story Ever Told
A drama film: Benny and Joon, Mad Max, Race 3 (which also works for Bollywood)
A film set in Eastern Europe: Fiddler on the Roof, Yes, Chef! (also works for food film), The Orange Chronicles
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long: Jesus of Nazareth, Wagner
An Italian language film: Come Undone, Days and Clouds, Only You (2015)
A film that was a box-office bomb: Valerian, mother!
An Iranian film: The Fish Fall in Love (Also food), Mourning, Modest Reception
A film from Sweden: Best Intentions, Everlasting Moments, All Things Fair
A film with a number in its title: The 39 Steps, 1, 2, 3 Scream, 2 Autumns, 3 Winters
A film by Kobayashi Masaki: Harakiri/Kwaidan both available for purchase
An Alfred Hitchcock film: The 39 Steps

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:59 am
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The game is on!...


A British film
A film from the 1960s
A film based on a book


The Day of the Triffids (1962)

Pretty solid sci-fi thriller despite, or perhaps because of its campiness. The acting isn't spectacular, but I don't think there was anyone atrocious, and there were a couple of interactions I liked. The film moved at a nice pace and I don't think it ever felt boring, despite some lulls in the second half.

Grade: B, give or take.

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:04 am
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Thief wrote:
The game is on!...


A British film
A film from the 1960s
A film based on a book


The Day of the Triffids (1962)

Pretty solid sci-fi thriller despite, or perhaps because of its campiness. The acting isn't spectacular, but I don't think there was anyone atrocious, and there were a couple of interactions I liked. The film moved at a nice pace and I don't think it ever felt boring, despite some lulls in the second half.

Grade: B, give or take.

Man, I've wanted to see this movie for forever, where'd you find it?
"I really got hot when I saw Jannette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills."


Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:23 am
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Wooley wrote:
Man, I've wanted to see this movie for forever, where'd you find it?
"I really got hot when I saw Jannette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills."


It was either Prime or Hulu, don't remember now.

EDIT: It's on Prime. Also, I don't know if there are better prints available, but the quality was pretty bad.

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:08 am
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I would recommend Day of the Triffids and The Ruins as a BOOK double-bill in terms of horrifying killer-plant stories. Day of the Triffids has some particularly dark, disturbing parts that I don't remember seeing in any adaptation.

Also: category clarification: are we watching any film from the 40s, or one that lost Best Picture?


Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:11 am
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A road trip film/Spanish Language film: Back and Forth (2016)
A British film: In Bruges/Love Actually/Dough
A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1946)
A Japanese language film: Miss Hokusai (2015)
A film about food: Sour Grapes (2016)
A Palm D'Or winner: Dheepan (2015)
A Bollywood film: Dilwale (2015)
A film from the 1960s: The Endless Summer (1966)
A drama film/no CGI or special effects: Moonlight (2016)
A film based on a book/period drama: Madame Bovary (2014)
A Best Picture winner from the 1950s: Ideas, advice?
A film set in Eastern Europe: The Saratov Approach (2013)
A film or mini-series over 240 minutes long: Ideas or advice?
An Italian language film: Deep Red (1975)
A film that was a box-office bomb: mother! (2017)
A cult classic film: Santa Sangre (1989)
An Iranian film: Modest Reception (2012)
A film from Sweden: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch (2014)
A film famous for its twist/ending: Could use some ideas or advice?
A film with a number in its title: 47 Meters Down (2016)
A film by Kobayashi Masaki: I don't have FilmStruck so I can't do this one?
An Alfred Hitchcock film: Dial M for Murder (1952)


Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:12 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I would recommend Day of the Triffids and The Ruins as a BOOK double-bill in terms of horrifying killer-plant stories. Day of the Triffids has some particularly dark, disturbing parts that I don't remember seeing in any adaptation.

Also: category clarification: are we watching any film from the 40s, or one that lost Best Picture?


I think it's any film from the 1940s that didn't win Best Picture.


Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:13 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I would recommend Day of the Triffids and The Ruins as a BOOK double-bill in terms of horrifying killer-plant stories. Day of the Triffids has some particularly dark, disturbing parts that I don't remember seeing in any adaptation.

Also: category clarification: are we watching any film from the 40s, or one that lost Best Picture?


I read that the 1981 TV serial was more faithful to the book. I also saw there was another 2009 TV adaptation.

Also, FWIW, I haven't read the book, but the screen adaptation of The Ruins was pretty bad/dull.

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:27 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
A cult classic film: Santa Sangre (1989)


I wholeheartedly second this recommendation.


Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:28 am
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Thief wrote:

Seen the ones in red. Thanks for the recs!



Enjoy!


I'll try to come up with some other ideas.

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:55 am
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I do recommend seeing Day of the Triffids.

Thanks for increasing my faith in Santa Sangre, Takoma. I had been meaning to tackle more horror with October coming up.


Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:00 am
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Thief wrote:
Also, FWIW, I haven't read the book, but the screen adaptation of The Ruins was pretty bad/dull.


I heard the film was bad, so I skipped it. Shame, because the book was full of memorable, horrifying details and is one of the only books I've ever read that I actually found scary.


Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:26 am
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This week has been particularly rough in terms of work, so I haven't even had the chance to watch anything. But I'll get back to it on the weekend!

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Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:31 am
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A Japanese language film: Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

This is a series that I really enjoy, action/exploitation that does fun things visually and embraces a heightened, borderline-fantasy reality in which to experience its characters.

This is the second film in the series following a former shogunate executioner (Ogami Itto) and his young son who wander the countryside after a horrific attack by political enemies.

In this film, Itto is hired to assassinate a man who plans to sell a secret indigo making formula. While Itto is tasked with killing the traitor, the traitor himself is protected by a trio of famed brothers (one of whom bears Wolverine-like metal claws as a weapon). At the same time, the Yagyu clan (a group of female assassins) has been hired by Itto's enemies to take him out.

When I realized that the female-assassin squad was a major plot point, I honestly got a bit worried. A rainy Saturday is not when I want to have to roll my eyes through some sexist 70s BS. But the subplot that develops from the female assassins is actually really interesting. Their leader, Sayaka, is a proud woman, but at the same time she disapproves of techniques she considers cowardly (such as when the man who hires her decides to kidnap the little boy). There's kind of an eye-rolling part where Itto
seems to be preparing to rape Sayaka before revealing that he just wants them all undressed so that they can stay warm after emerging from very cold water. I get that it's part of what begins to turn Sayaka to liking Itto (that he loves his son and is honorable, etc), but there's just no reason not to give his reason before grabbing at her. I guess you could say that he's giving her a scare as revenge for her trying to kill him, and I guess I can't really argue that point. But it's a scene that I kind of knew would happen from the moment women killers made an appearance, and the predictability of it was as disappointing as the well-worn trope itself.


The female assassins are the source of several of the film's memorable images or sequences. In one stunning sequence, the capability of the women is challenged and they ask a challenger to come forward. In a nearly silent attack, the women dismantle their opponent. It's grisly and compelling as one woman makes a pass and the man's ear falls to the floor, another takes his nose, then his other ear, his arms, his feet, and so on until the man is reduced to a limbless, featureless torso that rolls across the room before finally being finished off by a blade to the heart.

The film makes a really excellent use of the dynamic between Itto and his son. The boy is learning the ways of survival, and the film does a good job of balancing his childlike behaviors (in one scene he is repeatedly frustrated that he cannot carry water in his hands more than a few steps) with the way he is being hardened to a killer's life (in another scene he is poker faced as he pushes a button that shoots a blade from the baby cart, impaling a would-be killer).

As with the other films in this series, there are incredibly engaging action/fight sequences, as well as the signature "outlandish traps" (in another film, killers hid inside snowmen, in this one, they find a unique way of hiding in sand dune). Blood flows (or rather, is enthusiastically sprayed from a hose) generously, and hacked off limbs fly with abandon.

I guess my only real complaint is that I wish the film had done more with the character of Sayaka. As is, her plot arc is just that she comes to really like and respect Itto. Which is fine, I guess, but I quite liked the actress who played her and I wish there had been more heft to their relationship. Yes, I know that by the nature of the series it's all about Itto and his son being on their own, but she was a fun character and I wish she'd been more a part of the action in the final act.

As I said before, if this is a series you haven't explored, I highly recommend it.


Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:05 am
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A non-Best Picture winner from the 1940s: The Corsican Brothers

This is an action/drama story about two brothers who are born conjoined at birth. Shortly after their birth, the family home is raided and their family murdered. The babies are saved by the family doctor, who is able to successfully separate them. The twins are believed dead, and in order to protect them (because twins are rare and word would get out), a wealthy friendly family takes one boy and a loyal family servant takes the other. One twin, Lucien, grows up to be a bandit leader, while Mario grows up as a cultured gentlemen in Paris. When Mario returns to Corsica, the brothers hatch a plan to retake their family home, but when both men fall for the same gal, things get complicated.

There were things I liked about this film, things I didn't like, and some stuff that was just straight up weird.

To start with the good: Douglas Fairbanks does a decent job as both of the twins, creating distinct characters. Ruth Warrick is really enjoyable as the love interest, and her character has a spark of intelligence and strength of will that elevates her above just being a damsel in distress (a major plot point is that the evil Baron who killed the family in the beginning wants to marry Warrick's character against her will). The film mostly does a good job of making Mario actually a gentlemen, especially when he lets Warrick's character know that she's the subject of a lurid bet between two wealthy men and allows her to escape the situation without embarrassment.

The main drawback for me was that the whole love triangle/jealousy subplot didn't work that well for me. Lucien just up and decides he loves Warrick's character. I guess I'm glad the film knows he's being a creep (in one scene he lets her kiss him, thinking she's Mario, then grabs her forcefully and kisses her again as she realizes she has the wrong brother). Lucien's jealousy just isn't that well developed--it comes off as just the poor man being a "savage" and the gentlemanly man always doing what is moral and right. I found this section of the film not that compelling and my attention began to wander.

I did appreciate some weird touches in the movie. To begin with, the twins can feel (and even see) what happens to the other one--they feel each others' injuries, see each others' experiences. It's a fun idea and it's integrated well into the plot, as Lucien has already seen Warrick through his brother's eyes, while she doesn't know him. There's also a great part where part of an evil plan involves a trained hawk capturing a messenger pigeon and I found that utterly delightful.

This one landed at around a 7/10 for me. I wish they'd either just focused on the revenge plot OR done a better job of fleshing out the conflict between the brothers.


Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:46 am
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A British film: Murder Ahoy

This was a fun, funny Miss Marple mystery film, with Margaret Rutherford in the starring role.

Miss Marple becomes part of a board of trustees of a marine training ship. One of the trustees dies under suspicious circumstances, and Miss Marple takes up residence on the ship under the guise of her role as a trustee in order to find the killer. Of course there's an exasperated pair of detectives (one of them named Bacon!) who resent Miss Marple's interference.

This was more farce/comedy than mystery, but with enough twists and turns to stay engaging. The secondary cast is very enjoyable (especially Lionel Jeffries as the buffoonish captain of the ship, whose urgent whispered "What?! with each twist and turn never fails to be funny), and there are plenty of memorable and funny lines, such as Miss Marple on a wheeled ladder in a library declaring "Propel me, Jim!" or the captain reacting to news of an onboard romance with "Engaged! To a woman?!". The whole thing ends up with a rousing, improbable swordfight between Miss Marple and the guilty party.

This is of course a very silly film (it's called Murder Ahoy after all), but it knows it's silly. Everyone in the film is on point and seems to be having a good time. The background actors are constantly reacting to the absurdity, and the film maintains a buoyant energy through the whole running time.


Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:41 pm
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A film by Kobayashi Masaki: Youth of the Son

This is Kobayashi's first film, and it turned out to be a short (~45 minutes long).

The film's story is simple, following a family with two sons who are in their mid-to-late teens and on the cusp between childhood and adulthood. The film gives equal times to the exploits of the two boys and the conversations between the mother and father about how to raise their sons in this critical age.

This is very much a movie about small moments: will the girl one boy likes show up to his birthday party? Will the mother read a note she found on her son's desk? How does the mother feel watching her son wear a suit that she made for him to go to the city with his girlfriend?

Implicit in the film is the notion that we are all constantly in a state of moving forward to the next level. Yes, the teenage years are really important, but so are the last years of your children being at home. In one of my favorite transitions, the film shows us two bicycles on a beach and slowly pans over the waves. Because of the emphasis on the one boy and his girlfriend, this seems like it will be a playful scene of the two at the beach. But instead the camera reveals the parents, laughing and talking as they discuss their son's and try to figure out how strict to be with them in these critical years. The father reflects that he wants to be understanding and kind, and also to be seen as hardworking. He reflects on how he wants to model adult behavior for his children.

I really enjoyed this one. It's a sympathetic and interesting snapshot of a family.

One thing that did surprise me was the amount of English in the film. There is English writing in a quote on one boy's wall, and I believe the words "Happy Birthday" were written in English on the one cake. Given the 1950s setting of the film, I found this surprising.


Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:16 am
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A film from the 1960s: Murder, She Said

I really needed something light today, so this is the first of the Miss Marple movies in the series that included Murder Ahoy.

In this first outing, Miss Marple is on a train when another train passes hers. Through the window she sees a woman being strangled by an unknown assailant. Despite reporting the murder, the police can't find a body and Miss Marple is written off as a silly old woman who has read too many murder mysteries. After some initial investigation, Miss Marple decides that the body was thrown from the train and hidden at a sprawling estate, so she goes undercover as a maid at the estate to investigate further.

Like the other film, this one was 80% comedy, 20% mystery. There's a precocious child character who, astoundingly, is actually pretty funny and his banter with Miss Marple is one of the best elements of the film. There's also the blustering old man who is the head of the household, who frequently goes toe-to-toe with Miss Marple in a battle of wills. When he first meets her, he tells her he expected her to be younger and prettier. "Well, we can't all be young and handsome," she saltily retorts. I didn't find the secondary cast quite as good as the one in Murder Ahoy, but this was another light, fun film.


Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:47 pm
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A drama film: Lion

This was just an incredibly powerful film, anchored by incredible performances and a completely gripping narrative.

A young boy, Saroo, living in poverty in a rural Indian village convinces his older brother to let him tag along one night. Arriving at a train station, Saroo is too tired to go work, so his brother leaves him for a short time. Saroo climbs aboard an empty train to sleep, but the train leaves, carrying him days away from his village, and by the time he is able to escape he is completely lost. Through a series of dangerous and heartbreaking circumstances, Saroo ends up being adopted by an Australian couple. The second half of the film follows the adult Saroo who decides to look for his family using his childhood memories and a bit of math and Google maps.

I mean, this one had me from the first ten minutes and didn't let up even through the end credits, where I was totally done in by a revelation in the closing text where we learn that (MAJOR SPOILERS)
the brother who lost Saroo also died that night when he was hit by a train--meaning that Saroo's mother lost two children that night
.

I can see why this film earned Oscar attention, and despite the incredibly powerful emotions and circumstances at play, it never gives in to melodrama. The choices and conflicts within the characters are real and visceral. Particularly heartbreaking is the presence of Mantosh, a second adopted child whose self-harming tendencies imply a history of abuse, mental illness, and/or trauma that can be soothed but never cured by the love of his adopted parents.

This one is on Netflix and I'd highly recommend it. I was just going to watch half of it before bed and couldn't walk away from it until it was done.


Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:17 am
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Jesus, Tak. I may need proof that you actually have a job.


Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:36 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Jesus, Tak. I may need proof that you actually have a job.
My thoughts exactly :D I'm lucky if I can watch at least one movie a week these days, much less one a DAY. Not that I'm complaining by any stretch of the word, as this forum needs as many good contributors as it can get, so keep on doing your thing for forever here, Tak!

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:43 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
A drama film: Lion

This was just an incredibly powerful film, anchored by incredible performances and a completely gripping narrative.

A young boy, Saroo, living in poverty in a rural Indian village convinces his older brother to let him tag along one night. Arriving at a train station, Saroo is too tired to go work, so his brother leaves him for a short time. Saroo climbs aboard an empty train to sleep, but the train leaves, carrying him days away from his village, and by the time he is able to escape he is completely lost. Through a series of dangerous and heartbreaking circumstances, Saroo ends up being adopted by an Australian couple. The second half of the film follows the adult Saroo who decides to look for his family using his childhood memories and a bit of math and Google maps.

I mean, this one had me from the first ten minutes and didn't let up even through the end credits, where I was totally done in by a revelation in the closing text where we learn that (MAJOR SPOILERS)
the brother who lost Saroo also died that night when he was hit by a train--meaning that Saroo's mother lost two children that night
.

I can see why this film earned Oscar attention, and despite the incredibly powerful emotions and circumstances at play, it never gives in to melodrama. The choices and conflicts within the characters are real and visceral. Particularly heartbreaking is the presence of Mantosh, a second adopted child whose self-harming tendencies imply a history of abuse, mental illness, and/or trauma that can be soothed but never cured by the love of his adopted parents.

This one is on Netflix and I'd highly recommend it. I was just going to watch half of it before bed and couldn't walk away from it until it was done.


I saw this one about a year or two ago in a local community showing (dubbed, unfortunately) and I liked it well enough. Wasn't blown away by it, but it was a solid film. What impressed the most is...

...how the filmmakers managed to make a compelling story of what is pretty much a man navigating Google Maps. But the directing and editing are solid, and Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman elevate the material.

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:11 pm
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Last couple of weeks have been hell, but I'm picking this up to see if I can catch up...

A drama film:
A film with a number in its title



Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

First, some background. I spent three days trying to watch it whole, but some interruptions and tiredness wouldn't let me. But anyway, after finishing it, I can say it is certainly an interesting, well made film. I really liked the direction of Fred Schepisi (who I don't remember seeing ever mentioned before) and the editing of Peter Honess. The jumbled chronology and the back-and-forth is well-woven and works. But the primarily selling point here are the performances. Even though some of the supporting performances, particularly some of the children, aren't either that good or feel forced (keep your eyes open for a young J.J. Abrams), the three leads (Sutherland, Channing, Smith) shine, particularly the last two. The first half of the film belongs to Smith, who is impressive in one of his first roles, but the second half belongs to Channing, as we see the impact that meeting Paul (Smith) has on her. I'm still a bit puzzled about how the events unfold, but like I said, it was really good and interesting.

Grade: Undecided between a B+ or A-

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Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:30 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
A drama film: Lion

This was just an incredibly powerful film, anchored by incredible performances and a completely gripping narrative.

A young boy, Saroo, living in poverty in a rural Indian village convinces his older brother to let him tag along one night. Arriving at a train station, Saroo is too tired to go work, so his brother leaves him for a short time. Saroo climbs aboard an empty train to sleep, but the train leaves, carrying him days away from his village, and by the time he is able to escape he is completely lost. Through a series of dangerous and heartbreaking circumstances, Saroo ends up being adopted by an Australian couple. The second half of the film follows the adult Saroo who decides to look for his family using his childhood memories and a bit of math and Google maps.

I mean, this one had me from the first ten minutes and didn't let up even through the end credits, where I was totally done in by a revelation in the closing text where we learn that (MAJOR SPOILERS)
the brother who lost Saroo also died that night when he was hit by a train--meaning that Saroo's mother lost two children that night
.

I can see why this film earned Oscar attention, and despite the incredibly powerful emotions and circumstances at play, it never gives in to melodrama. The choices and conflicts within the characters are real and visceral. Particularly heartbreaking is the presence of Mantosh, a second adopted child whose self-harming tendencies imply a history of abuse, mental illness, and/or trauma that can be soothed but never cured by the love of his adopted parents.

This one is on Netflix and I'd highly recommend it. I was just going to watch half of it before bed and couldn't walk away from it until it was done.


I did have a few quibbles with it, mainly in how he was able to afford living in his circumstances while searching for his mother. He became so obsessed with his search that he more or less abandoned his job as a hotel manager. That apartment he was living in wasn't exactly cheap and neither was the ticket to India when he was finally ready to search for her.

Having said that, I do believe that it was a powerful statement of the power of love between a mother and a son and made for a great night at Cinema International about a year ago. Patel was fine, but in all honesty Kidman kinda blew me away. Considering she's probably best known for playing characters cool to the touch, it was nice seeing that she could play someone in touch with her emotions even considering some of the elements at play here.


Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:30 am
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I literally have no knowledge of Kobayashi Masaki, so I would appreciate more recs from him. So far I have...

The Fossil
Harakiri
Kwaidan
Youth of the Son

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Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:46 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
I did have a few quibbles with it, mainly in how he was able to afford living in his circumstances while searching for his mother. He became so obsessed with his search that he more or less abandoned his job as a hotel manager. That apartment he was living in wasn't exactly cheap and neither was the ticket to India when he was finally ready to search for her.

Having said that, I do believe that it was a powerful statement of the power of love between a mother and a son and made for a great night at Cinema International about a year ago. Patel was fine, but in all honesty Kidman kinda blew me away. Considering she's probably best known for playing characters cool to the touch, it was nice seeing that she could play someone in touch with her emotions even considering some of the elements at play here.


Well, it is based on a true story. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that his parents were helping him out financially during that time period or that he was working odd jobs to pay the rent. The place didn't look that fancy.

I agree that Kidman was amazing.


Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:41 am
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