Recently Seen

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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:32 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:48 am
Man, I can get down on Soylent and Planet, but Omega is one that I just can't abide outside of a camp approach, and even then.

Robinson's death scene in Soylent is next level stuff though.
Is it due to the massive removal from the superior source material?

All I know is that Heston maniacally shooting his machine gun out of the window manages to simultaneously capture some of the brilliant subtext of the story (albeit in an obscured fashion) and carry an energy that can only be described as “Nic Cagey”
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:02 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:32 am
Is it due to the massive removal from the superior source material?
Big part of it, but I've liked or come around on dramatic deviations from source material before, so it's certainly not impossible. It's more that everything felt almost calculatedly weird and non-dramatic to me. Like the efforts to make it bizarre were... not cynical, but too much of a muchness, like they were covering for a lack of bedrock (and I think camp needs a meaningful bedrock). I think I'm more sensitive to camp than others, though. I still don't fuck with Batman and Robin. Vampire's Kiss lost a lot in the last quarter once I didn't have the seriousness of Maria Conchita Alonso.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:13 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:02 am
Big part of it, but I've liked or come around on dramatic deviations from source material before, so it's certainly not impossible. It's more that everything felt almost calculatedly weird and non-dramatic to me. Like the efforts to make it bizarre were... not cynical, but too much of a muchness, like they were covering for a lack of bedrock (and I think camp needs a meaningful bedrock). I think I'm more sensitive to camp than others, though. I still don't fuck with Batman and Robin. Vampire's Kiss lost a lot in the last quarter once I didn't have the seriousness of Maria Conchita Alonso.
I’m all about B&R and VK so calculated ridiculousness is very much my bag. Makes sense.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:59 am

Just to be clear, I liked VK quite a bit, I just thought Cage's tomfoolery worked better when it was playing against the victimized Maria.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:33 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:40 pm
Bruh. You’re gonna need to watch Parasite again.
It all depends on how you intrepret "revolutionary"; if you're going by the traditional, general perception of the word (like a violent, French-style "overthrow the economic oligarchs" revolution), I don't feel that Parasite qualifies, as, while it certainly wasn't trying to paint a rosy picture of capitalism on the whole, it also muddled our sympathies (in an appropriate way) by portraying the Kims as imperfect people who weren't always 100% sympathetic, and I also can't feel that Bong was intending to justify
Mr. Park's murder, seeing as how it was clearly, well, murder, motivated by an incredibly petty detail to boot.
The textbook Marxist overtones of Snowpiercer on the other hand, were far more explicit, and a more clear-cut example of a film with genuine revolutionary themes, IMO.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:00 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:27 pm
:shifty:
I actually really loved that moment, too.
I agree. Not subtle. at. all. But it really worked for me, despite that.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:29 pm

Stu wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:33 am
It all depends on how you intrepret "revolutionary"; if you're going by the traditional, general perception of the word (like a violent, French-style "overthrow the economic oligarchs" revolution), I don't feel that Parasite qualifies, as, while it certainly wasn't trying to paint a rosy picture of capitalism on the whole, it also muddled our sympathies (in an appropriate way) by portraying the Kims as imperfect people who weren't always 100% sympathetic, and I also can't feel that Bong was intending to justify
Mr. Park's murder, seeing as how it was clearly, well, murder, motivated by an incredibly petty detail to boot.
The textbook Marxist overtones of Snowpiercer on the other hand, were far more explicit, and a more clear-cut example of a film with genuine revolutionary themes, IMO.
It’s absolutely revolutionary and draws parallels between the subterranean families fighting to literally be under the upper class family.

You’re downplaying the sympathetic nature of TVs Parks because they aren’t overtly abusive. He is DISGUSTED by those that serve under him and they are expendable (juxtaposed with dogs) despite he and his family thriving based off of their work.

There’s a point to emphasize the talents of the Kims and how they are all very good to exceptional at things (good enough for the Parks) but have not been afforded the same opportunities as the Parks, who fawn over mediocrity (the young boy) and are incapable or unwilling to handle their day to day.

The film is subtle and humanizing to the Parks but downright scathing in its indictment over the social structures that place them above the more talented, harder working family. There’s exploitation on both ends but the film seems to land very heavily on who the parasite is.

The ending is also entirely predicated on the notion that the idea of upward mobility in capitalism is a myth we tell ourselves to make life bearable. Bong stated it would take about longer than one lifetime for him to save up enough for the house. It forces audiences to recognize that these machinations are inescapable without systemic dismantling.

And calling things like expressing utter contempt and disgust for employees and completely ignoring that a young girl has been stabbed and is dying a “petty detail” shows that your view of the film is pretty skewed.

Yeah, the Kims broke the law. If you’re not asking why or what the reward for that really was, you’re only half watching the film.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:32 pm

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:59 am
Just to be clear, I liked VK quite a bit, I just thought Cage's tomfoolery worked better when it was playing against the victimized Maria.
I hear ya. I’m just a sucker for Cage Caging at such extreme levels. It even causes me to defend films like Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance (it’s crazy fun, darn it!) so with or without Alonzo, I am hooked. Mainline that Cage goodness into my veins, please.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:40 pm

Wasn't Spirit of Vengeance Neveldine/Taylor or some permutation of them?

Because God help me I liked the Crank movies.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:44 pm

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:40 pm
Wasn't Spirit of Vengeance Neveldine/Taylor or some permutation of them?

Because God help me I liked the Crank movies.
It was indeed! Sadly, the failure of Punisher War Zone (also underrated!) made the studio question their Marvel Knights line and forced them to cut their film to pg13. Chopped up N&T with Cage is still a powerful dose but the film is more a hint at what could’ve been if they’d been let fully off the leash or... ummm... Uncaged.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:47 pm

Yeah, regarding the climax of Parasite,
I took the smell moment as a catalyst, not a motivator. And a deeply emblematic one too.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:26 pm

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:47 pm
Yeah, regarding the climax of Parasite,
I took the smell moment as a catalyst, not a motivator. And a deeply emblematic one too.
This.

The smell thing is brought up a couple of times as a reminder that there's a "difference" between these two families, but there are also many moments where those differences are put forward, usually in a demeaning way against the Kim's. The flood is perhaps the most significant moment, as well as the subsequent comment from the mother, "That rain was a blessing". To me, that moment encapsulates the essence of the film, and is probably part of what makes years of frustration boil up in the end.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:44 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:26 pm
This.

The smell thing is brought up a couple of times as a reminder that there's a "difference" between these two families, but there are also many moments where those differences are put forward, usually in a demeaning way against the Kim's. The flood is perhaps the most significant moment, as well as the subsequent comment from the mother, "That rain was a blessing". To me, that moment encapsulates the essence of the film, and is probably part of what makes years of frustration boil up in the end.
The juxtaposition of the flooding is particularly potent. A minor inconvenience that makes way for a spur of the moment, luxurious party vs. an entire neighborhood/home destroyed, displacement, and literally being covered in shit.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:45 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:44 pm
The juxtaposition of the flooding is particularly potent. A minor inconvenience that makes way for a spur of the moment, luxurious party vs. an entire neighborhood/home destroyed, displacement, and literally being covered in shit.
That was such a potent metaphor for the lives that are being and will be lost to climate change. I had trouble keeping it together in the theater.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:53 pm

DaMU wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:45 pm
That was such a potent metaphor for the lives that are being and will be lost to climate change. I had trouble keeping it together in the theater.
It just cuts to the root of the problem: those with power to change it are relatively unaffected and can distance themselves and everyone destroyed by it is just doing everything to keep their heads above water.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:39 pm

If you like Parasite, you'll probably also like Cutter's Way, which I saw for the first time last weekend. It has helped me process my feelings about 2020 better than any other movie I've watched this year so far. Set during the comparably miserable post-Vietnam era, it follows best friends Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges), a gigolo and boat salesman and Alex Cutter (John Heard), a disabled veteran. After the police wrongly accuse Bone of murdering a young woman whose body was found in a trash can, the duo and the victim's sister Valerie (Ann Dusenberry) play detective to convict the actual culprit. Their prime suspect is J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott), a local oil magnate who they target not so much because the evidence is stacked against him but because they blame people like him for the state of the country and their own purposeless lives. In addition to the investigation, I like the many ways the movie reveals the void of justice in America such as during Cutter's commentary during a parade honoring Native Americans and Mexicans in which he states how they've really been treated to one that actually benefits Cutter: a cop lets him off with a warning after he drunkenly drives into his neighbor's car. Jeff Bridges give a very good performance in a role that could explain why the Coen brothers cast him as Jeff Lebowski because Bone is essentially a darker, more realistic version of him. There's a scene with Bone and Cord that made me laugh in how similar it was to the one where Jeff meets his "Big" counterpart. Your mileage may vary with John Heard's performance as Cutter, on the other hand, which I found disappointingly one-note, over the top and inferior in comparison to performances of similar roles like Tom Cruise's in Born in the Fourth of July and Gary Sinise's in Forrest Gump. All the same, it's a minor complaints considering how well done everything else is, and again, since we're yet again coping with a mess borne from the egos, bad decisions and lack of consequences of people like Cord, the conforting catharsis was much welcomed. It's cold comfort considering Cutter and Bone are just as clueless as to how to truly clean such messes, but any comfort during these times is welcome.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Slentert » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:33 am

I recently saw this Mexican movie, Workforce (2019), which felt a lot like a more serious version of Parasite, despite being released in the same year. I won't give a way too much of the plot, because it is nice to discover certain beats for yourself, but it is definitely one of my favorite movies of this (pretty weak) year.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:39 pm
If you like Parasite, you'll probably also like Cutter's Way, which I saw for the first time last weekend. It has helped me process my feelings about 2020 better than any other movie I've watched this year so far. Set during the comparably miserable post-Vietnam era, it follows best friends Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges), a gigolo and boat salesman and Alex Cutter (John Heard), a disabled veteran. After the police wrongly accuse Bone of murdering a young woman whose body was found in a trash can, the duo and the victim's sister Valerie (Ann Dusenberry) play detective to convict the actual culprit. Their prime suspect is J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott), a local oil magnate who they target not so much because the evidence is stacked against him but because they blame people like him for the state of the country and their own purposeless lives. In addition to the investigation, I like the many ways the movie reveals the void of justice in America such as during Cutter's commentary during a parade honoring Native Americans and Mexicans in which he states how they've really been treated to one that actually benefits Cutter: a cop lets him off with a warning after he drunkenly drives into his neighbor's car. Jeff Bridges give a very good performance in a role that could explain why the Coen brothers cast him as Jeff Lebowski because Bone is essentially a darker, more realistic version of him. There's a scene with Bone and Cord that made me laugh in how similar it was to the one where Jeff meets his "Big" counterpart. Your mileage may vary with John Heard's performance as Cutter, on the other hand, which I found disappointingly one-note, over the top and inferior in comparison to performances of similar roles like Tom Cruise's in Born in the Fourth of July and Gary Sinise's in Forrest Gump. All the same, it's a minor complaints considering how well done everything else is, and again, since we're yet again coping with a mess borne from the egos, bad decisions and lack of consequences of people like Cord, the conforting catharsis was much welcomed. It's cold comfort considering Cutter and Bone are just as clueless as to how to truly clean such messes, but any comfort during these times is welcome.
I haven't seen this since the 80s but I've been meaning to. I was always surprised John Heard didn't do better in Hollywood. I'm sure there's some story behind it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:34 pm

Wooley wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:22 pm
I haven't seen this since the 80s but I've been meaning to. I was always surprised John Heard didn't do better in Hollywood. I'm sure there's some story behind it.
It's on Amazon Prime. My favorite thing about the service is how many '80s genre movies it has that I've never seen and that they probably acquired cheaply. To quote the shopkeeper from Skyrim: "some may call this junk. Me, I call them treasures."
As for John Heard, it sounds like the studio kneecapped the movie by limiting its budget, deciding who should star in it, giving it a small release, etc., so that could have killed its star-making potential for him.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:13 am

Plan 9 from Outer Space - 6/10 - I've actually sat through worse movies than this. There's at least an unquestionably gonzo and ostentatious vibe running through it. You can almost smell the delusion coming off the screen and how often can one experience this level of commitment? Outside of a Neil Breen project that is. The opening, featuring feckless psychic The Amazing Criswell and his kiss-me-quick hairdo, sets the tone for what is to come. Unfortunately there are way too many incongruous details to list involving the cast, the sets, the editing, the script and continuity and just about anything else regular moviegoers take for granted. Yes it's a train wreck, but as train wrecks go it's also kind of charming. Watching Ed Wood will give you a deeper appreciation for it but it's not a requirement. Still though I think they're inextricably linked. If you watch one you feel inexorably compelled to watch the other. Ed Wood is one of the better Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations and the runtime on P9fOS is around 78 minutes so It shouldn't hurt much.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:18 pm

The most amazing thing to me about Plan 9 is that it's not even the only 50s movie with that plot. Invisible Invaders has almost the exact same one.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:56 pm

Charles wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:18 pm
The most amazing thing to me about Plan 9 is that it's not even the only 50s movie with that plot. Invisible Invaders has almost the exact same one.
I really liked that one. I remember watching it as a kid and being genuinely scared by the effects. The dirt being moved by the shuffling "Invisible Invaders" and the hordes of undead that might have paved the way for George Romero. I also remember they were mostly dressed pretty spiffy in suits and ties which made sense since it was their funeral outfit. John Agar and John Carradine. Excellent 50's sci-fi. :up:
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:02 pm

I need to get back in the habit of posting write-ups of films I watch beyond the reviews I post in my movie thread, so here are my thoughts on a couple recent viewings:

Sicily! (1999) - 6/10

Running at just over an hour and consisting mostly of dialogue-heavy conversations, this isn't the easiest watch out there. The weakest bits for me were the static shots which lingered for a while on people's faces and the extended shots of landscapes which, in my mind, took up space and unnecessarily delayed certain conversations. However, I did appreciate a lot of the dialogue, especially the extended string of conversations with the son and his mother on her divorce where several revelations and insights she revealed throughout it changed the way I viewed her. It was an engaging and well-written backstory, and I enjoyed seeing it play out. Being the centerpiece, it could be argued that the film doesn't get going until this sequence, and some of the conversations which bookend this sequence failed to connect with me quite as much and disappeared from my memory after watching it, but I still appreciated this film quite a bit as the middle stretch was strong enough to carry the film.

Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) - 7/10

7/10 might be a bit high for this one. I know I'm in the minority with the singing, but I found it to be really intrusive most of the time with only a couple scenes resonating with me. However, a rewatch led me to appreciating several aspects with the film, like the depiction of the family's relationship with their dad in the first half, an abusive, stern figure whose children claimed to feel no remorse for at the beginning. Yet, Davies constantly reminded the viewer through direct and subtle approaches (dialogue and acting) that this was likely just a facade for their actual mournful feelings for him, whether they were caused by trauma or a regret of not being able to get on better terms with him. The second half didn't connect with me quite as much, but the framing of the balcony incident in the final act stuck out in particular. While the intrusion of the singing often threatened to undermine these sequences, they were strong enough to shine past it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:43 pm

The Caine Mutiny - 8/10 - Humphrey Bogart's performance as Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg and Van Johnson's supporting role as his XO Lt. Steve Maryk are what earn this an 8. Outside of that it's mostly an okay movie. The screenplay is adapted from a Herman Wouk novel and does a pretty good job of capturing the humdrum and peripheral side of wartime. But producer Stanley Kramer had to make several crucial changes to mollify the U.S. Navy and secure their cooperation. Queeg takes command of the Caine after their last CO is relieved of duty. He's a bit of a martinet and, even worse, has a tendency to lose composure during times of stress. Fred MacMurray plays a weaselly sort who starts a campaign to undermine Queeg's authority. Robert Francis plays shavetail Ensign Willie Keith who gets caught up in the shipboard drama. There's a romantic side story involving him that really adds nothing to the proceedings and could (and should) have been excised. Things build to a point where Maryk has to take command of the ship during a typhoon and he and Keith end up getting court-martialed. Jose Ferrer plays their reticent defense attorney. The ending is satisfying enough but then the studio adds a scene where Ferrer shows up at their celebration and dresses down the Caine officers. It comes off as almost schizophrenic and is intended to somehow exonerate Bogart's character as being more shell shocked by the war than simply a dangerously unfit commander. I wanted to watch this mostly because of it's pop culture value. I've seen it spoofed several times and Bogart's Queeg and his nervous habit of rolling ball bearings in his hand should be familiar to a lot of viewers.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:14 pm

Basic Instinct feels like a better version of De Palma ripping off Hitchcock.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:29 pm

I finally got around to The Wages of Fear, which was excellent as I expected. There isn't much I can say on its gargantuan and unrelenting level of suspense which hasn't already been said, so instead, I'll make a case for the first hour. While it takes its time to get going, I quite liked it as, by establishing the various conflicts amongst the four drivers, this made the contrasting behavior they later showed all the more effective. Jo stood out the most in this regard. When he was in the town, he displayed a superiority over the other men. He was a former gang member, was well dressed, and publicly mocked those who got in his way (it was also implied that he was responsible for a character's disappearance in the first hour). During the truck ride, however, he displayed cowardice all throughout it and, in turn, was insulted and treated as an outcast amongst the other drivers. While Jo could intimidate them back in the town, he was now vulnerable to being looked down upon and the other three men, especially Luigi (Jo embarrassed him earlier in the film), took advantage of this. These character dynamics gave the final 1.5 hours an extra layer of suspense, one that wouldn't have worked this well had it not been for the first hour. Overall, glad to finally have this one under my belt.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:46 pm

Lawnmower Man, 1992 (A)

It's actually pretty great. I was expecting dumb, but I got something much better. The movie's concept is visionary and rather well explored for what is not an entirelly intellectual movie, losing its way a bit at the end. The effects are super low poly, but are otherwise awesome. The early VR effects are really cool and the ones used on real actors, in the real world are super well integrated. It doesn't look like a second layer at all. Mocap is non existent, so that's garbage in the latter VR world, but it's fine.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:02 pm

Harlan County, USA - 9/10 - I normally don't go out of my way to watch documentaries but decided to give this a shot after TCM ran it. I've seen stuff like Matewan and wasn't sure if the subject matter would hold my attention. But it does. It draws you in in ways you wouldn't expect. Director Barbara Kopple was helming her first project at the relatively young age of 27 and she does a fine job of bringing across her subjects humanity under the most trying of circumstances. In 1973 the workers at the Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky voted to go on strike after the Duke Power Co. owned Eastover Coal Company refused to sign a contract unless the miners accepted a no-strike clause. Kopple lived with the workers and their families for years while filming the Academy Award winning documentary. She uses archival footage and a solemn but inspirational soundtrack to good effect but the true stars turn out to be the wives of the mine workers. In a compelling nod to the nature of the dangerous work they do, there are a number of widows of miners featured as well. There are also numerous mentions of coal workers' pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease. The months long struggle was also exacerbated by the mine owners hiring "gun thugs" to escort the "scabs" to and from mountaintop mine. The almost daily confrontations between the armed escorts and the people manning the picket lines culminates in a shooting in which a young mineworker is killed. Kopple mixes all these disparate elements into a gripping and heartfelt confirmation of working class heroes.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:06 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:29 pm
I finally got around to The Wages of Fear, which was excellent as I expected. There isn't much I can say on its gargantuan and unrelenting level of suspense which hasn't already been said, so instead, I'll make a case for the first hour. While it takes its time to get going, I quite liked it as, by establishing the various conflicts amongst the four drivers, this made the contrasting behavior they later showed all the more effective. Jo stood out the most in this regard. When he was in the town, he displayed a superiority over the other men. He was a former gang member, was well dressed, and publicly mocked those who got in his way (it was also implied that he was responsible for a character's disappearance in the first hour). During the truck ride, however, he displayed cowardice all throughout it and, in turn, was insulted and treated as an outcast amongst the other drivers. While Jo could intimidate them back in the town, he was now vulnerable to being looked down upon and the other three men, especially Luigi (Jo embarrassed him earlier in the film), took advantage of this. These character dynamics gave the final 1.5 hours an extra layer of suspense, one that wouldn't have worked this well had it not been for the first hour. Overall, glad to finally have this one under my belt.
Good movie, and good write-up; btw, ever seen Sorcerer to see how it compares?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:56 am

Stu wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:06 am
Good movie, and good write-up; btw, ever seen Sorcerer to see how it compares?
No, I haven't, but I'll be sure to check it out to see how it compares.

I also recommend Spielberg's Duel if you haven't seen it. I saw it first and also loved it. Spielberg was influenced by Clouzot's film to make it from what I read.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:58 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:56 am
No, I haven't, but I'll be sure to check it out to see how it compares.

I also recommend Spielberg's Duel if you haven't seen it. I saw it first and also loved it. Spielberg was influenced by Clouzot's film to make it from what I read.
Yeah, I've seen Duel; another good movie!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:56 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:56 am
No, I haven't, but I'll be sure to check it out to see how it compares.

I also recommend Spielberg's Duel if you haven't seen it. I saw it first and also loved it. Spielberg was influenced by Clouzot's film to make it from what I read.
Sorcerer is okay, but it doesn't hold a candle to The Wages of Fear.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:33 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:29 pm
I finally got around to The Wages of Fear, which was excellent as I expected. There isn't much I can say on its gargantuan and unrelenting level of suspense which hasn't already been said, so instead, I'll make a case for the first hour. While it takes its time to get going, I quite liked it as, by establishing the various conflicts amongst the four drivers, this made the contrasting behavior they later showed all the more effective. Jo stood out the most in this regard. When he was in the town, he displayed a superiority over the other men. He was a former gang member, was well dressed, and publicly mocked those who got in his way (it was also implied that he was responsible for a character's disappearance in the first hour). During the truck ride, however, he displayed cowardice all throughout it and, in turn, was insulted and treated as an outcast amongst the other drivers. While Jo could intimidate them back in the town, he was now vulnerable to being looked down upon and the other three men, especially Luigi (Jo embarrassed him earlier in the film), took advantage of this. These character dynamics gave the final 1.5 hours an extra layer of suspense, one that wouldn't have worked this well had it not been for the first hour. Overall, glad to finally have this one under my belt.
For some reason, I always get this title and Grapes of Wrath mixed up :D

But anyway, this is one I've been meaning to watch for a long time. I need to get on it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:01 pm

Wages of Fear is very good, but I remember one of the characters being comically useless to the point that it took me out of the movie.

Sorcerer is a case where I think Friedkin's excesses as a director and the production circumstances enhance the tension onscreen. Clouzot is going for precision wgile Friedkin is going for brute force, and I think I prefer the latter approach to this material. That bridge crossing scene is one of the most unbearably tense things I've seen in a film.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by crumbsroom » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:47 pm

Rock wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:01 pm
Wages of Fear is very good, but I remember one of the characters being comically useless to the point that it took me out of the movie.

Sorcerer is a case where I think Friedkin's excesses as a director and the production circumstances enhance the tension onscreen. Clouzot is going for precision wgile Friedkin is going for brute force, and I think I prefer the latter approach to this material. That bridge crossing scene is one of the most unbearably tense things I've seen in a film.
I don't know which one I prefer, it's a real toss up for me, but I think friedkins maybe somewhat more flawed film stays in the running mostly because of that brute force approach.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:30 pm

I've only seen Sorcerer, which I really like. I don't know much about existentialism, so the movie's main intentions may have been lost on me, but I enjoyed it as a story about the relationship between fate and chance, capitalism and as just a really good thriller.
I've heard various interpretations about the metaphor of the journey through the jungle. Does it represent the risky life of a criminal? Does it represent how a capitalistic system really thinks about its employees, i.e. they don't care who they are, where they're from, what good or bad things they've done in their lives as long as they do what they're told? Is it simply a metaphor for life's risky road?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:36 pm

Rumble Fish

Man, everyone is in this. I like Coppola's assertion that it's an "art house film for teenagers" but I probably would have liked it more if I'd seen it as a teenager. Its stagnant plotting doesn't work terribly well. Rather than demonstrating how amazing and cool and insane Rourke's character is, the other characters spend most of the film explaining it to us. The film tells us that BDSM Village People cop has it out for him and expects us to accept his cartoonish antagonism without contextualizing it. Fortunately, the film is a nonstop cascade of visual splendor. Needed more of that operatic rumble by the train tracks, less of Rourke's self-styled, amateurish fatalism. More Dennis Hopper wouldn't hurt either.

I did think of a great drinking game while watching it, though. There's only one rule: every time someone says Rusty-James, take a drink.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:41 pm

Macrology wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:36 pm
I did think of a great drinking game while watching it, though. There's only one rule: every time someone says Rusty-James, take a drink.
Ha! Probably not as deadly as The Lost Boys drinking game where you take a drink when someone says Michael.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:54 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:30 pm
I've only seen Sorcerer, which I really like. I don't know much about existentialism, so the movie's main intentions may have been lost on me, but I enjoyed it as a story about the relationship between fate and chance, capitalism and as just a really good thriller.
I've heard various interpretations about the metaphor of the journey through the jungle. Does it represent the risky life of a criminal? Does it represent how a capitalistic system really thinks about its employees, i.e. they don't care who they are, where they're from, what good or bad things they've done in their lives as long as they do what they're told? Is it simply a metaphor for life's risky road?
I would say that The Wages of Fear delineates its themes and ideas more discreetly and with greater clarity. One of Sorcerer's most conspicuous flaws is a totally superfluous intro showing how all the main characters end up in South America. The Wages of Fear spends more time on exposition, yet every moment is essential to creating the atmosphere and tension and stakes that drive the film. The exposition in Sorcerer is shorter yet more perfunctory, as if they're trying to rush through it to get to the action; in Wages, the exposition is an intrinsic and indispensable part of the action.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:33 pm

Macrology wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:36 pm
Rumble Fish

Man, everyone is in this. I like Coppola's assertion that it's an "art house film for teenagers" but I probably would have liked it more if I'd seen it as a teenager. Its stagnant plotting doesn't work terribly well. Rather than demonstrating how amazing and cool and insane Rourke's character is, the other characters spend most of the film explaining it to us. The film tells us that BDSM Village People cop has it out for him and expects us to accept his cartoonish antagonism without contextualizing it. Fortunately, the film is a nonstop cascade of visual splendor. Needed more of that operatic rumble by the train tracks, less of Rourke's self-styled, amateurish fatalism. More Dennis Hopper wouldn't hurt either.

I did think of a great drinking game while watching it, though. There's only one rule: every time someone says Rusty-James, take a drink.
This has actually become my favorite Coppola movie, at least until I see Apocalypse Now again.
Also the way that Rourke's character is handled is exactly the way it is supposed to be, at least per the book, and it works great in the film for me too. He's a person who, more than anything, does not want to live up to the myth of who he is, a myth he loathes, so you never see him act as the myth. Except the badass time he fucks that dude up in like one second with a motorcycle for cutting his brother. He's supposed to be sort of angelic, removed from this world, and you only really get to know him from the way other people see him. His father (Dennis Hopper) is the only person who really understands him. I think it's haunting as fuck.
I just love the movie, I think it's the last great thing Coppola ever did.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:56 pm

I just think his emotionally opaque disavowal of the myth is charged with a very self-conscious desire to mystify, thus creating a new myth couched in the rejection of the old myth, and one that's no less toxic and fatalistic.
And to be clear, I did, on the whole, like the movie. But that part sticks in my throat.
(I haven't read the book, so I can't compare them.)
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:13 pm

Macrology wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:56 pm
I just think his emotionally opaque disavowal of the myth is charged with a very self-conscious desire to mystify, thus creating a new myth couched in the rejection of the old myth, and one that's no less toxic and fatalistic.
And to be clear, I did, on the whole, like the movie. But that part sticks in my throat.
(I haven't read the book, so I can't compare them.)
Well, it's definitely not in the novel and I didn't personally get that in the film. It is my favorite Rourke performance and exactly captures what I hoped for from the role.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:50 pm

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons - 8/10 - TCM finally decided to air the last two entries in the franchise but since so much time has passed this just makes me want to binge the whole series beginning to end. I probably will in the future. This fifth film in the series doesn't have as much action as the previous ones but it's still a worthy entry in the franchise. In this one Ogami Itto takes on a job where one fifth of his instructions and payment are held by five warriors of the Kuroda clan. There's a final showdown that
features the series trademark blood spray and flying body parts including a guy skewered through the neck, another getting cut in half and a man, woman and ... yikes! ...a toddler getting decapitated. I'll admit I was sort of sitting there wide eyed and laughing in disbelief at the usual over the top splatter but that last bit quieted me right the fuck down.
Anyway, looking forward to the final entry Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven In Hell.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:02 pm

Is that the one where they try to beat a confession out of Daigoro?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:04 pm

So, since this conversation about Wages of Fear and Sorcerer came up, I'd like to ask... I've seen Sorcerer a couple of times available streaming, but I've bailed cause I wanted to see WoF first. Is that advisable? Can I do it the other way around? What would you say?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:23 pm

The movies are fairly different stylistic approaches to the same material. I don't think watching one version before the other should affect your enjoyment.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by WHIT BISSELL! » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:55 pm

Rock wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:02 pm
Is that the one where they try to beat a confession out of Daigoro?
Yep. That's the one. The kid's a straight up baller. He's all like, "Do your worst. I live on the demon way in hell."
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:37 am

Rock wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:01 pm
Wages of Fear is very good, but I remember one of the characters being comically useless to the point that it took me out of the movie.

Sorcerer is a case where I think Friedkin's excesses as a director and the production circumstances enhance the tension onscreen. Clouzot is going for precision wgile Friedkin is going for brute force, and I think I prefer the latter approach to this material. That bridge crossing scene is one of the most unbearably tense things I've seen in a film.
Which character was it, by the way? Anyway, I've never actually seen Sorcerer in its entirety, since it wasn't avaliable on Youtube or any other mainstream source, but someone uploaded the first half of it to DailyMotion, which I watched (and enjoyed) in preparation for possibly covering it for my 1977 entry in the New Hollywood thread, to discuss the way it represented Friedkin as a "failed" (in a commercial sense) auteur, and how the excesses of its production, combined with the overwhelming success of Star Wars the same year, eventually lead to the blockbuster-oriented Hollywood that's dominated the industry ever since the 80's.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:42 am

Stu wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:37 am
Which character was it, by the way? Anyway, I've never actually seen Sorcerer in its entirety, since it wasn't avaliable on Youtube or any other mainstream source, but someone uploaded the first half of it to DailyMotion, which I watched (and enjoyed) in preparation for possibly covering it for my 1977 entry in the New Hollywood thread, to discuss the way it represented Friedkin as a "failed" (in a commercial sense) auteur, and how the excesses of its production, combined with the overwhelming success of Star Wars the same year, eventually lead to the blockbuster-oriented Hollywood that's dominated the industry ever since the 80's.
The Charles Vanel character. Initially treacherous and then proceeds to be completely useless and incompetent, finding ways to drop the ball in every situation that arises. It's the Burke/Lance Vance arc in reverse.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:12 am

Rock wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:42 am
The Charles Vanel character. Initially treacherous and then proceeds to be completely useless and incompetent, finding ways to drop the ball in every situation that arises. It's the Burke/Lance Vance arc in reverse.
I liked how the men he acted that way to though in the first hour took advantage of his cowardice during the truck scenes and "got back at him" by insulting him and treating him as an outcast. I found this to be a pretty interesting arc which gave the film an extra layer of suspense, personally. When he was in the town, he could dominate other people, like he did to Luigi in the bar, but when placed in a life or death scenario (one he wasn't cut out for due to his age as the man who chose the four drivers pointed out), this trait was gone and he was at their mercy.
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