Recently Seen

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DaMU
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:34 pm

Yeah, Ryan Reynolds' jokes are probably fun for the young.

Mostly, I just kinda like the special effects create plausible creatures with the right mix of realistic and cartoony.

Pleasant! raves the New York Times. Diverting! declares BirthMoviesDeath. This movie is an asshole! notes Walter Chaw.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:22 am

Okay.

Detective Pikachu (2019) - B-

I want to give it a lower grade because it strives so hard for coherence and clarity and core narrative functionality that it never finds the sort of demented inspiration you get with, say, Raul Julia improbably quoting John Milton to justify his lightning powers during the climax of Street Fighter. And it never actually streamlines into the rock-solid (if camp-infused) arcs of Mortal Kombat because it presents itself as a noir-influenced mystery where infobit after infobit swerves the story into a new direction every eight minutes. Odd consequence: a film designed for nine year olds but presented as a complex mystery with frequent reveals means that you force your star Justice Smith to repeat aloud every revelation we've just seen. Which flattens what modest impact they provide. You win some, you lose some.

But the idea to Roger Rabbit the Pokemon universe does offer some rewards. There's a pleasurable incongruence to this style inhabited by these characters. My favorite sequence involved an unorthodox interrogation with the one Pokemon guaranteed to not talk: Mr. Mime. You also get to see vets like Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy spout Pokemon bullshit and somehow invest it with meaning. And would you believe that they kinda do? There's also a fast-paced escape where the characters must continually de-stress a neurotic (and potentially lethal) Psyduck, and... it kinda works? Look, this does nothing for cinema. This does nothing for Pokemon. This probably does nothing for life. But I did smile. And I'm not against seeing this world again.
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Stu
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:12 am

I was responding to a comment on another forum about the hospital visit scene in Collateral being banal, and I kind of typed up a big response to it, so in the interests of sharing my thoughts, I thought I'd re-post what I wrote here:

For me, that relatively slice-of-life scene works on a number of levels; for one, it works because it is a detour from the main plot, because the movie has to be more than just Vincent forcing Max to drive him to his next target with a gun to his head. With a Thriller as otherwise compact and relentless tense as Collateral, you need the occasional break in the tension to allow for enough of an ebb-and-flow in the storytelling to prevent it from becoming repetitive, and the visit to the hospital accomplishes exactly that (besides, it occurs at a perfectly sensible point roughly halfway into the film; it's not like it happens inbetween the Club Fever shootout and the final chase in the 3rd act, and slows the film's momentum down at that point). A few minutes break from the rest of the Thriller-y shenanigans didn't hurt anything, as far as I'm concerned. Besides that, it's also a nicely, darkly comedic scene, with the obvious humor of the mother being charmed by a hitman threatening her son's life (resulting in that all-time ironic line "You'd have to hold a gun to his head to make him do anything"), and it's also necessary for filling in the characters, as the mother's undermining comments about Max help provide some background as to why he has so little confidence in anything else he does, and the scene also comes back into play in the plot later, after
Vincent threatens to go back to the hospital to kill her if Max doesn't do what he wants, so that scene also keeps Vincent’s words from being some vague, generic threat, as we have a concrete face as an audience to put to the person that he's now a danger to.
So, yeah... I think that scene's fine as it is. :D
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:00 pm

Terminator: Dark Fate - 6/10 - I didn't know this was a reboot. But at this point in the franchise the storyline/time line has been so thoroughly cornholed that it maybe made sense to just wipe the chalkboard and start over. But they didn't really do that did they?
They brought back two characters while killing off what had to be the linchpin protagonist.
And this odd, half measure of a mix is what ultimately torpedoes this entry as well. It's also female-centric and while there's nothing wrong with that it doesn't really add anything new outside of that. It's all there though. All the components that have both defined and weighed down previous entries. The CGI-heavy set pieces. The interminable killer on their single minded quest. The resourceful and (stretching credibility) lucky heroine. It's nothing you haven't seen before. Put this down as yet another entry in the franchise that should maybe not have been made. They should have stopped at two because if these were attempts at closing-out-the-trilogy they aren't working.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:23 pm

Tim Miller was the absolute wrong choice for a Terminator film.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:55 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:23 pm
Tim Miller was the absolute wrong choice for a Terminator film.
I'm not sure if there is a good choice for a Terminator film at this point, Red Letter Media did a good job at summarizing how past the point of no return it's lore is. Like, maybe if someone like Refn remade the original that might work. I'm not even a fan of Terminator 2 in how badly it botched the tone of the original by making Arnold some family friendly facsimile of just how frightening he is in the first
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by topherH » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:22 pm

I liked T1 and T2 for different reasons and find both nearly perfect, the bad and good Arnie is impressive. T3 I dispised quite a bit for years until recently. It's a fairly decent action flick compared to the mainstream ones of today. TBale I almost don't remember and should maybe check out again if he promises not to yell at me. Genisys I actually like because it's so goofy but in a good way. Have not been in a hurry to see the most recent one, and I'm okay with that.
State of Siege |Gavras, 1972| +
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The Hateful Eight |Tarantino, 2015| +

+ Recommended
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:51 pm

I probably will see Dark Fate out of mere curiosity, but I stopped holding any expectations for any of them a while ago. Re: Tim Miller, I don't think I've seen any of his films, but it's hard to hold much blame against him at this point. With all the back-and-forth of the franchise from bankrupting studio to bankrupting studio, it has been impossible to craft a coherent narrative thread across films, so every new film feels like a new "guy" getting in an old, broken car and trying to turn its sputtering engine on. Sometimes it doesn't turn on, sometimes it chugs along for a few miles before breaking down again. I'm all for them putting it to rest, at least for, say 10 years, and the prospect of that franchise bankrupting another studio should be enough to keep them off it, but Lord knows someone else will pick it up and tinker with it some more.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:41 pm

Tim Miller is ill-fitting because he's a special effects guy with no artistic vision. The first two Terminator films work because Cameron's vision and technical savy to realize it. Subsequent directors were Mostow, McG, Taylor and Miller. Studio hacks.

In many ways, I think Miller was the worst fit because he shoots in the most bland manner possible to make it easier to do digital effects later. He did it with Deadpool and he did it here. For all the faults of the previous films, they still had weight and reality in their actions. This one falls into the trap of too much money and too little vision, so all the action is transformed into a bland, weightless, jump around and hit each other across the room nonsense that has no place in this franchise.

Also, conceptually, it's a mess. Cameron talked about fixing the mistakes of the other sequels but essentially remakes and remixes them instead. There's not a single original plot or idea in this film that isn't in a sequel or Sarah Connor Chronicles (the creator is one of the many writers despite Cameron claiming to have never seen it).

I don't think it's particularly "worse" than any of the sequels but it is more disappointing and virtually all roads lead back to Miller.

I think T3 is the worst and Salvation is the best non T2 sequel though, so I'm probably in the minority.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:00 pm

Best Terminator sequels:

T2
Lady Terminator
Ninja Terminator
Terminator 2 AKA Shocking Dark
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:43 pm

If you're quarantined, craving but unable to see a summer blockbuster in a theater and you have Netflix, watching The Old Guard is the next best thing. For starters, if extravagant action set pieces are your thing, you may be let down. While its action scenes are decent, none of them are on the level of the airport showdown in Captain America: Civil War or the bank heist in Heat. Even so, and more importantly, it does a good job at making you care about what happens in them. The movie spends more time letting you get to know the characters than I am used to in ones like it. It helps that the performances are strong all around, the highlights being Charlize Theron, who utilizes her talents for combat and portraying leadership she revealed in Mad Max: Fury Road and Kiki Layne, who I'd never seen act before and very much would like to see again. The use of real locations like Morocco is also a nice touch for the authenticity, atmosphere and physicality they provide. Again, the action, except for a standout fight scene on a cargo plane, is good but nothing to write home about and its story is like ones many other movies have told. Also, there are obvious setups for sequels, and while I'm hungry for more, they seem tired and studio mandated. With that said, as someone who has watched most of the MCU movies and many of their imitators, that this movie seems fresh, made me care and stirred my emotions must mean it's prioritizing what matters most.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:23 pm

I didn't care for the Old Guard, even though I wanted to. Kiki Layne is an incredibly weak actress and without someone like Barry Jenkins carrying her, as he managed to with If Beal Street Could Talk, she's flat and lifeless (she was the weak spot of that great film too). The biggest problem is Rucka's script (which I suspect had too much fidelity to the structure of his own comic), which made it feel lifeless.

The direction was fine but lacked any style outside of the action scenes, which, also fine, felt more like John Wick rehearsals than final action scene products, no matter how much digital blood they added in post.

Theron can do no wrong (except maybe choosing projects like this) and elevates every scene she's in. I just wish the film had measured up to her presence.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:36 pm

https://cinema.36chambers.com/

Bought tickets for a RZA commentary viewing of Shogun Assassin (American cut of Lone Wolf and Cub heavily sampled in GZA's Liquid Swords) this Friday 9:15 ET. I think 36 Chambers Cinema is a fantastic idea, very happy to support this endeavor
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:46 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:23 pm
I didn't care for the Old Guard, even though I wanted to. Kiki Layne is an incredibly weak actress and without someone like Barry Jenkins carrying her, as he managed to with If Beale Street Could Talk, she's flat and lifeless (she was the weak spot of that great film too). The biggest problem is Rucka's script (which I suspect had too much fidelity to the structure of his own comic), which made it feel lifeless.

The direction was fine but lacked any style outside of the action scenes, which, also fine, felt more like John Wick rehearsals than final action scene products, no matter how much digital blood they added in post.

Theron can do no wrong (except maybe choosing projects like this) and elevates every scene she's in. I just wish the film had measured up to her presence.
Wow, I clearly liked Layne's performance more than you did. I guess I need to see If Beale Street Could Talk to get a true assessment of her acting abilities.
For what it's worth, while my review is very congratulatory, I'd rate it a B or a 7/10. Good, but not great. I'm the kind of person craving the kind of summer theater experience in my opening statement, so my opinion may be slightly inflated due to it coming as close as possible to providing it. Well, that and actually seeing a Netflix original movie that isn't bad to mediocre. Sure, I've seen a few good ones here and there, but my expectations for such movies are still pretty low.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:28 pm

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:46 pm
Wow, I clearly liked Layne's performance more than you did. I guess I need to see If Beale Street Could Talk to get a true assessment of her acting abilities.
For what it's worth, while my review is very congratulatory, I'd rate it a B or a 7/10. Good, but not great. I'm the kind of person craving the kind of summer theater experience in my opening statement, so my opinion may be slightly inflated due to it coming as close as possible to providing it. Well, that and actually seeing a Netflix original movie that isn't bad to mediocre. Sure, I've seen a few good ones here and there, but my expectations for such movies are still pretty low.
I feel like Theron made my expectations hard to pin down. It was a Netflix comic book movie, so I wasn't expecting outstanding, but Theron has been on an action film roll so seeing this closer to Aeon Flux than Atomic Blonde (won't compare it to Fury Road) was disappointing.

Almost as disappointing as Layne taking over main character duties just so we have a fish-out-of-water to explain the lore too...


When...
An immortal gradually realizing she's no longer immortal and grappling with loss is so much more interesting.
I'd rather rewatch Highlander.

Definitely check out If Beale Street Could Talk. In many ways, it's the equal to Moonlight. Just gorgeous, powerful cinema.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:12 pm

I liked Moonlight a lot and I would also highly recommend Jenkins' Medicine for Melancholy but I found Beale Street to be a gorgeous husk of a film, really boring, and with an absolutely appalling scene featuring Dave Franco. Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry are both great but it was quite a big disappointment overall.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:16 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:12 pm
I liked Moonlight a lot and I would also highly recommend Jenkins' Medicine for Melancholy but I found Beale Street to be a gorgeous husk of a film, really boring, and with an absolutely appalling scene featuring Dave Franco. Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry are both great but it was quite a big disappointment overall.
I liked Medicine for Melancholy well enough, especially having been a Wyatt Cenac fan for years. I don't think it compares to Moonlight or Beale Street. Can't agree with any criticism of it beyond Layne being a weak lead. It's near perfect in conception and execution.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:31 pm

Did you really like the Dave Franco scene? It's badly written, badly acted, and apparently wasn't even in the novel which makes it stick out like a sore thumb.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:33 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:31 pm
Did you really like the Dave Franco scene? It's badly written, badly acted, and apparently wasn't even in the novel which makes it stick out like a sore thumb.
It didn't stand out as a strength but I don't recall finding it distracting or bad.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:04 pm

Everyone has their go-to genre and mine is Japanese gangster movies. Takashi Miike and Takeshi Kitano's contributions to it in particular never fail to satisfy. Tokyo Drifter is the first one by Seijin Suzuki that I've watched, and while it didn't become my new favorite, I had a lot of fun with it. I especially liked its use of color in both its aesthetic and for how Suzuki uses it to identify characters. You can see how this trait as well as scenes like the opening one appeal to Quentin Tarantino for how they inspired movies like Reservoir Dogs and the two Kill Bills. The music is also killer, whether it’s the jazzy soundtrack or the recurring use of the title song, especially for how it culminates in the grand finale. It all adds up to a very fun and very cool rumination on whether there is honor among thieves. The movie is quite lean - it would have been nice if it fleshed out the drifter and his relationships with his boss and girlfriend a little more - but since my attention never wavered, maybe I'm really saying that time flies by while you're watching it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by MrCarmady » Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:00 pm

Tokyo Drifter is fun but Branded to Kill is another level imo, though I also was fortunate enough to see it on the big screen. Huge influence on Jarmusch's Ghost Dog, of course.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:21 pm

MrCarmady wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:12 pm
I liked Moonlight a lot and I would also highly recommend Jenkins' Medicine for Melancholy but I found Beale Street to be a gorgeous husk of a film, really boring, and with an absolutely appalling scene featuring Dave Franco. Regina King and Brian Tyree Henry are both great but it was quite a big disappointment overall.
I'm in the same boat. Beale Street left me thoroughly nonplussed.

As for Suzuki, Branded to Kill is in its own aesthetic universe, but it feels as if Suzuki had to get there by steps: starting with slightly oddball gangster flicks (Take Aim at the Police Van), followed by films like Youth of the Beast with a dynamic balance of genre style and bizarre idiosyncrasies, and reaching stylistic overflow with Tokyo Drifter before losing all sense of reality in Branded to Kill, which feels like a Surrealist distillation of the genre.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:31 pm

Casque d'Or - 9/10 - This is a 1952 B&W French film directed by Jacques Becker. I watched part of it the other night after watching the tail end of The Rules of the Game. TCM was running French cinema in honor of Bastille Day and this quickly drew me in (I also know I need to watch the rest of TRotG) so I decided to DVR it. It stars Simone Signoret in the title role as Marie (nicknamed "The Golden Helmet" because of her blonde hair). She's the girlfriend of low level criminal Roland and he's jealous when she turns her attentions to ex-con and carpenter Georges Manda (Serge Reggiani). But Leca, the boss of Roland's gang of petty thieves, also covets Marie and he manipulates the two men into fighting over her whereupon Manda stabs and kills Roland. Leca then informs his police inspector contact that Manda's childhood friend Raymond, who's also a member of Leca's gang, is the one who killed Roland. Leca knows Manda will confess to spare his friend, leaving a clear path for him to Marie. This is based on true events that transpired in Belle Époque France. Signoret turns in a mesmerizing performance as the tragic heroine and Reggiani also acquits himself wonderfully. The last shot of the couple waltzing away from the camera is truly sublime.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:53 pm

50s French crime dramas are the best: Touchez pas au grisbi, Le Trou, Rififi, Razzia sur la chnouf, several films by Clouzot and Melville (especially Bob le flambeur). They have this wonderful mix of worldly resignation and laid back professionalism.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:57 am

The Nameless Two wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:36 pm
https://cinema.36chambers.com/

Bought tickets for a RZA commentary viewing of Shogun Assassin
There's a lot of potential for online theaters, 10 bucks per ticket and sold I think 2000+ tickets. That's a big theater, likely the most people watching Shogun Assassin at the same time ever. I like that kind of scrappy math, this was a very positive experience
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:34 pm

Above The Law, like director Andrew Davis's Code of Silence, is about a Chicago police officer and martial arts expert who stands up to corruption despite his superiors' misgivings. Believe me, I'm not complaining about these similarities: as these two movies and The Fugitive indicate, and to quote Ralphie in A Christmas Story, Davis works with police officers and Chicago "the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master." This time, it's Steven Seagal (in his debut) instead of Chuck Norris and the target is loftier: instead of his coworkers, it's the CIA. Henry Silva is back as the big bad, however. Chicago is again more supporting player than setting, and while Seagal, like Norris, is no master thespian, he gives a better and livelier performance. Granted, it does help that Davis emphasizes Seagal's screen presence as well as his martial arts abilities over his acting ones. Pam Grier, on the other hand, is impressive all-around as his partner. At first, I feared that her only purpose was to call out Seagal's strength and maverick tendencies, but thankfully, her role ends up being much more interesting and substantial. If there's one thing Silence does better than this movie, it's action because Law's fighting scenes seem like they're over as soon as they begin. Davis and company may have been going for a short-burst approach like you see in Japanese action movies, but it's less satisfying and memorable than what they did in Silence, and while Seagal is clearly a skilled martial artist, I feel like I got a mere sample of his abilities. The movie makes up for this by having a more compelling story, one that's clearly inspired by the U.S. government's tendency to meddle in Central American affairs during the '80s. It would actually be more appropriate to label it as a mystery thriller instead of an action movie. In short, while Above the Law is like Code of Silence, it's hardly a carbon copy, and when you weigh their pros and cons, it's a comparably strong Chicago cop movie. Andrew Davis is rightfully praised for The Fugitive, but he still doesn't get enough credit. I mean, see how well he got Seagal and Norris to flex not just their muscles, but also their acting abilities.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by John Dumbear » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:45 pm

Just watched Holy Motors. Someone like to explain this to me. it's like a David Lynch/Andy Warhol collaboration.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:11 pm

John Dumbear wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:45 pm
Just watched Holy Motors. Someone like to explain this to me. it's like a David Lynch/Andy Warhol collaboration.
Leos Carax is interesting, I've only seen this and that "Merde" segment in Tokyo! who features that Leprechaun Godzilla whatever who stomps around eating flowers. Cars talk to each other. Good movie
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:47 pm

War Horse (2011) - B+

Treacle, sure, but I think sentiment and optimism is something I really needed this morning. Spielberg can't help indulging his desire to smooth everything over and make everything Heartwarming and Acceptable-- the film takes too long to end, so insistent on resolving and bringing us back to where we began-- but the more he shows individual acts of humanism in the face of the horrific war machine, the more I'm reminded of how most people are fundamentally decent and just trying to live right by themselves and the people they care for. Powerful and cruel men (always men) drag people into war, and traumatize them, and ruin them, and kill them. The powerful and the cruel infect the world with their disease. They turn verdant landscapes into gray barren mud. And they, as the film says, think of horses like weapons-- to be used or removed. Even so, humanism persists. Two nervous Germans to try to flee the conflict for each other's sake (a dark and lovely image with a windmill closes their tale). A kindly grandfather and his granddaughter stay just to the side of the war, hoping it passes them by. It doesn't. Two opposing soldiers literally meet in the middle of a warzone for a single act of kindness. There are fundamental problems with centering the film on a horse (which simply isn't an expressive animal on-camera; I think you have to know one personally to really engage with their emotions), but I appreciated how the film synthesized Ford's style and Mann's device in Winchester '73 of journeying with (what amounts to) a prop. Which becomes a tool for telling sharp little character vignettes. And also, it made me tear up a bit. The world's falling apart, and I want to believe that people can be this kind.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:05 am

Bad Day At Black Rock - 8/10 - This is a concise (82 minutes) 1955 color film starring Spencer Tracy as John J. Macreedy. He's a one armed WW II vet who shows up unannounced on a train in the minuscule desert hamlet of Black Rock. They don't get many visitors which is what draws the attention and suspicions of most of the townspeople. This includes the two town bullies, Hector David (Lee Marvin) and Coley Trimble (Ernest Borgnine), and their boss Reno Smith (Robert Ryan in full scumbag mode). It seems the town harbors some dark secrets and director Preston Sturges does a fine job of gradually revealing not only Macreedy's motivation for being there but the reason for the animosity. The performances are uniformly solid with Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger and Anne Francis rounding out the cast. Without giving away too much of the plot it does address issues that were simply not being acknowledged at the time and weren't for years to come.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:35 am

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:05 am
Bad Day At Black Rock - 8/10 - This is a concise (82 minutes) 1955 color film starring Spencer Tracy as John J. Macreedy. He's a one armed WW II vet who shows up unannounced on a train in the minuscule desert hamlet of Black Rock. They don't get many visitors which is what draws the attention and suspicions of most of the townspeople. This includes the two town bullies, Hector David (Lee Marvin) and Coley Trimble (Ernest Borgnine), and their boss Reno Smith (Robert Ryan in full scumbag mode). It seems the town harbors some dark secrets and director Preston Sturges does a fine job of gradually revealing not only Macreedy's motivation for being there but the reason for the animosity. The performances are uniformly solid with Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger and Anne Francis rounding out the cast. Without giving away too much of the plot it does address issues that were simply not being acknowledged at the time and weren't for years to come.
Yeah, I really enjoyed this.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:13 am

Under the Skin - 9/10 - I wonder how lost someone would be if they were to go into this movie cold, with little to no research. I knew Scarlett Johansson plays an alien of sorts and that she preys on men but that was about it. But if someone were to go out and watch this based solely on Johansson getting expansively naked would they be completely in the dark? Probably, but it’s still a very good, effective sci-fi/horror/thriller hybrid. And it’s to director Jonathan Glazer’s credit that her state of undress does not come off as the least bit titillating. He isn't interested in relating a straightforward narrative like say, for instance, Starman. He tackles much weightier questions like what it means to be truly human and our perception of beauty. Johansson is marvelous in an intrinsic, restrained role. She and Glazer manage to convey volumes of information in a principally tacit manner. He holds shots for what seem like too long but aren’t. They set the pace and the tone for a film that will probably be discussed for years to come.

If you haven't seen it by all means watch this trailer. I think it manages to capture the zeitgeist of the film without revealing any of the plot.

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Ergill » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:26 am

Glazer has done so few movies, but I want more. He's got the knack.

Watched his latest short and I was like, "Nice, nice ... give me a movie."
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:29 am

While I thought the ending of Under the Skin was a misstep, I thought that everything which came before it was really great. I'm a huge fan.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:38 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:29 am
While I thought the ending of Under the Skin was a misstep, I thought that everything which came before it was really great. I'm a huge fan.
While I'm not necessarily a fan of the ending, I can't think of how it can operate without it. It's easy to feel like you've run into a wall with that one. Also see: Annihilation. There are levels to esoteric belief structures present in these films which are beyond me at this point. I love movies which explore the psychology of the alien
That dude getting deflated has to be the scariest shot in cinematic history. I'm putting all my chips on that one
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:04 am

The Nameless Two wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:38 am
While I'm not necessarily a fan of the ending, I can't think of how it can operate without it. It's easy to feel like you've run into a wall with that one. Also see: Annihilation. There are levels to esoteric belief structures present in these films which are beyond me at this point. I love movies which explore the psychology of the alien
That dude getting deflated has to be the scariest shot in cinematic history. I'm putting all my chips on that one
I agree that
it makes thematic sense for Johannson to die. My issue was with the way she was killed though. I found it really implausible that all the women who came before Johannson (it was implied that the woman in the beginning encountered a similar fate) happened to run into murderers/rapists shortly after choosing to find their own way in life. It just seemed really unlikely for all of them to encounter this fate. If the city she was walking in was shown beforehand to be dangerous, I might have been able to buy the ending. This just wasn't implied that well. If the film had ended with the motorcyclists killing her for being of no use anymore (with the implication that the other women encountered this fate), this would've been more believable.
Regardless of this though, I really loved what came before. There were a handful of standout sequences such as the one you mentioned, the beach scene, the sequence with the disfigured man, and the penultimate sequence of
Johannson attempting to start a successful romance with a human.
I also love the shit out of the soundtrack. This song, in particular, is among my favorite sci-fi scores of all time.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:31 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:04 am
I agree that
it makes thematic sense for Johannson to die. My issue was with the way she was killed though. I found it really implausible that all the women who came before Johannson (it was implied that the woman in the beginning encountered a similar fate) happened to run into murderers/rapists shortly after choosing to find their own way in life. It just seemed really unlikely for all of them to encounter this fate. If the city she was walking in was shown beforehand to be dangerous, I might have been able to buy the ending. This just wasn't implied that well. If the film had ended with the motorcyclists killing her for being of no use anymore (with the implication that the other women encountered this fate), this would've been more believable.
I feel like it's implausibility adds to the horror here because... it's kinda the reality of the equation. There is no lack of cynicism to the proceedings, it's about as honest as a story depicting those themes I've seen aside from, you know, Japanese stuff (Perfect Blue for example). I've run into news stories from my island which exceed the terror on display there, modern horror doesn't scratch the surface of how dark and dank our reality can get
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:47 am

I really dig THE COTTON CLUB encore edition.
https://boxd.it/1g88wx
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:58 am

The Nameless Two wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:31 am
I feel like it's implausibility adds to the horror here because... it's kinda the reality of the equation. There is no lack of cynicism to the proceedings, it's about as honest as a story depicting those themes I've seen aside from, you know, Japanese stuff (Perfect Blue for example). I've run into news stories from my island which exceed the terror on display there, modern horror doesn't scratch the surface of how dark and dank our reality can get
I can see that take on the ending.
Since Johannson attempted to live amongst humans in the final act and avoid the other aliens, having her death caused by real world horrors (people) as opposed to something caused by the aliens (like my idea of the motorcyclists killing her) brings an interesting "the predator has become the prey" dynamic to the film which would be lost without this. I think this point could've still been communicated without the implausibility though. With it, this does mute that concept quite a bit for me and, with another round of editing or two, it would been more likely for this theme to be realized to its full potential. However, I think I can at least lessen the severity of my criticism from "misstep" to "interesting concept but misguided".
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:59 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:47 am
I really dig THE COTTON CLUB encore edition.
https://boxd.it/1g88wx
I loved the movie as a teenager but re-viewing it as an adult I felt that its shortcomings were too great to really consider it a good movie, just a movie with many good parts.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:09 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:59 am
I loved the movie as a teenager but re-viewing it as an adult I felt that its shortcomings were too great to really consider it a good movie, just a movie with many good parts.
Which version did you watch?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:39 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:09 am
Which version did you watch?
I don't know, but I do know it was nowhere near a masterpiece, though it certainly had masterful moments, and I was too young when I first saw it to know who Coppola was or what else he had done. Hell, when I first saw it, it was the first Coppola film I had seen. (Actually, now that I think about it, I probably saw The Outsiders first and I just rewatched that and it is not a good movie.)
If this Encore Edition significant cures the ills of the theatrical version, I'm willing to see it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:44 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:39 am
I don't know, but I do know it was nowhere near a masterpiece, though it certainly had masterful moments, and I was too young when I first saw it to know who Coppola was or what else he had done. Hell, when I first saw it, it was the first Coppola film I had seen. (Actually, now that I think about it, I probably saw The Outsiders first and I just rewatched that and it is not a good movie.)
If this Encore Edition significant cures the ills of the theatrical version, I'm willing to see it.
I’ve not seen the original version (though I own it), but Coppola took it and completely restructured and edited it so it’s ALMOST as much a film about Gregory Hines’ tap dancer (and his family), along with a multitude of musical numbers, as it is about Richard Gere’s musician getting wrapped up with crime. I don’t think it’s QUITE as balanced as Coppola would like, but from my understanding, he was forced to cut the majority of those scenes, essentially making an ambitious gangster pic rather than an extremely ambitious pic that encompasses the Harlem Renaissance and its ties with gangsters.

Given that the essence of the film seems to be juxtaposing these narratives in a huge tapestry that captures the era and scene, I can’t see a truncated version pulling that off.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by The Nameless Two » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:49 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:58 am
I can see that take on the ending.
Since Johannson attempted to live amongst humans in the final act and avoid the other aliens, having her death caused by real world horrors (people) as opposed to something caused by the aliens (like my idea of the motorcyclists killing her) brings an interesting "the predator has become the prey" dynamic to the film which would be lost without this. I think this point could've still been communicated without the implausibility though. With it, this does mute that concept quite a bit for me and, with another round of editing or two, it would been more likely for this theme to be realized to its full potential. However, I think I can at least lessen the severity of my criticism from "misstep" to "interesting concept but misguided".
I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum where it's climax operates like Sunshine where it goes tonally off the rails into a scrappy, furious mess before hitting with a tranquil ending. Nothing is misguided here, the past communicates the present intent and should be more carefully examined. The movie is so slow and serene before going off the rails with handheld camera footage. I was initially caught off guard as to why such an immaculate production could go so far off the rails but it makes so much sense in hindsight

I don't think this is as simple as "predator" or "prey" but an even deeper level of instinct (such as the climax of Annihilation). How do we, as a species, dissolve a threat? One way is to make an example of it. The other is eradication. What is the morality at play here, who is right and who is wrong? Right and wrong is false, this is alien art. Why are free thinkers so marginalized by big men and their seemingly invincible simplicity? Why do gender dynamics come so strongly into play here? You haven't hit the nail on the head where it's not a person who kills Johansson but yet another species of alien. That's the unspoken twist, it's not just the motorcyclists who are stalking her threat and that they are working in tandem with the Apex Predator, all of it speaking to a larger web of how exactly our fantasies, and horrors, play out in reality. The key analysis exists in "justification for one's actions", and that the movie is designed to feel like we're meddling in business which is beyond our current comprehension. The reality is that anyone with an idea of how a "hunt" plays out, this story becomes obvious. The motorcyclists exist to steer Johansson towards her final destination, they create a barrier and she is always working within an external radius. When hunting deer is it more effective to have three hunters bundled up in one bush? No, you triangulate the situation. This logic is found in all team sports, especially futbol
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:11 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:49 pm
I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum where it's climax operates like Sunshine where it goes tonally off the rails into a scrappy, furious mess before hitting with a tranquil ending. Nothing is misguided here, the past communicates the present intent and should be more carefully examined. The movie is so slow and serene before going off the rails with handheld camera footage. I was initially caught off guard as to why such an immaculate production could go so far off the rails but it makes so much sense in hindsight

I don't think this is as simple as "predator" or "prey" but an even deeper level of instinct (such as the climax of Annihilation). How do we, as a species, dissolve a threat? One way is to make an example of it. The other is eradication. What is the morality at play here, who is right and who is wrong? Right and wrong is false, this is alien art. Why are free thinkers so marginalized by big men and their seemingly invincible simplicity? Why do gender dynamics come so strongly into play here? You haven't hit the nail on the head where it's not a person who kills Johansson but yet another species of alien. That's the unspoken twist, it's not just the motorcyclists who are stalking her threat and that they are working in tandem with the Apex Predator, all of it speaking to a larger web of how exactly our fantasies, and horrors, play out in reality. The key analysis exists in "justification for one's actions", and that the movie is designed to feel like we're meddling in business which is beyond our current comprehension. The reality is that anyone with an idea of how a "hunt" plays out, this story becomes obvious. The motorcyclists exist to steer Johansson towards her final destination, they create a barrier and she is always working within an external radius. When hunting deer is it more effective to have three hunters bundled up in one bush? No, you triangulate the situation. This logic is found in all team sports, especially futbol
Okay, that's a fair interpretation. Sunshine is a good comparison. Maybe I should revisit this one in the future, eh?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:47 pm

All the AWFUL TRUTH fans here should check out MY FAVORITE WIFE. It reteams Dunne, Grant and writer Leo McCarey (who was supposed to direct as well but nearly died in a car accident. He did edits and reshoots though). It’s a fun screwball comedy about a man who declares his wife dead after her missing for 7 years only for her to return the day he remarries.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:34 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:47 pm
All the AWFUL TRUTH fans here should check out MY FAVORITE WIFE. It reteams Dunne, Grant and writer Leo McCarey (who was supposed to direct as well but nearly died in a car accident. He did edits and reshoots though). It’s a fun screwball comedy about a man who declares his wife dead after her missing for 7 years only for her to return the day he remarries.
:up:
An old favorite. Love the courtroom scene. "You were alone on an island for 7 years? Why wasn't that in the brief? That's the best part."
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:54 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:34 pm
:up:
An old favorite. Love the courtroom scene. "You were alone on an island for 7 years? Why wasn't that in the brief? That's the best part."
Apparently that was contrived by McCarey and reshot when he was editing and realized the 3rd acts they had wasn’t working, so he opted to bring the character back into the fold. “That’s the best part” indeed.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:02 am

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter - 7/10 - Cross another Hammer studios film off my bucket list. This is a 1974 offering with Horst Janson in the title role as a swashbuckling, ex-soldier and professional vampire hunter. He's accompanied by his friend and confidant, the hunchbacked Hieronymus Grost. At the start of the movie they encounter a random girl who has been placed in stocks for the crime of dancing on a Sunday. They free her and since Kronos is also a virtuoso swordsman he quickly beds the buxom peasant girl. She's played by Caroline Munro in all her dusky, pulchritudinous glory. Kronos' old army acquaintance Dr. Marcus calls him in when his village and the surrounding countryside is beset by numerous dead young women. They are found with blood on their lips and drained of their youth. The clues quickly lead them to the aristocratic Durward family. This was meant to be the first film in a series but it under performed at the box office and this combined with Hammer's financial troubles of the time put an end to that notion. It's not a bad movie. I liked the main theme from the score. Very swashbuckly. The cast didn't feature any of the usual Hammer stalwarts but I did recognize Ian Hendry as Kerro, a villainous sellsword. Maybe not as much action as one is used to seeing in these types of Hammer offerings but the atmosphere is certainly there.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:57 am

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:02 am
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter - 7/10 - Cross another Hammer studios film off my bucket list. This is a 1974 offering with Horst Janson in the title role as a swashbuckling, ex-soldier and professional vampire hunter. He's accompanied by his friend and confidant, the hunchbacked Hieronymus Grost. At the start of the movie they encounter a random girl who has been placed in stocks for the crime of dancing on a Sunday. They free her and since Kronos is also a virtuoso swordsman he quickly beds the buxom peasant girl. She's played by Caroline Munro in all her dusky, pulchritudinous glory. Kronos' old army acquaintance Dr. Marcus calls him in when his village and the surrounding countryside is beset by numerous dead young women. They are found with blood on their lips and drained of their youth. The clues quickly lead them to the aristocratic Durward family. This was meant to be the first film in a series but it under performed at the box office and this combined with Hammer's financial troubles of the time put an end to that notion. It's not a bad movie. I liked the main theme from the score. Very swashbuckly. The cast didn't feature any of the usual Hammer stalwarts but I did recognize Ian Hendry as Kerro, a villainous sellsword. Maybe not as much action as one is used to seeing in these types of Hammer offerings but the atmosphere is certainly there.
Yeah, I thought this was ok, not one of my favorite Hammers at all, but not something I was mad about or anything. Kinda fun but slow.
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