Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

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Apex Predator
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:13 pm

I just saw the final 20 minutes or so and I think I get the nightmare of being stuck in a car on a very hot day with a crazed dog outside waiting to pounce. It feels like I've caught the highlight of Cujo already.

Wine Country (2019)
See a film with beer or alcohol

I did need to chase Moonlight with something light, frothy and fun. And thanks to the professionalism of the mainly SNL cast (a couple of ringers in this group, but they had moments), this one did make me laugh a decent bit.

Basically, Rebecca (Rachel Dratch) is a therapist celebrating her fiftieth birthday so it's an excuse for 6 friends who met while working a Pizzeria in Chicago to reunite and bond over a weekend in the Napa Valley (apparently the Catalina Mixer was a no-go). But over the course of the weekend, a packed itinerary, a fortune teller, and hidden secrets threaten their fun and good times.

The chemistry between Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler (who also directed), Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey is believable. They manage to work in some decent funny people in cameos (Jason Schwartzman is the house handyman for example). This film also slips in some musical moments where they sing either to the radio (Eternal Flame, Poison) or to nobody in particular. And there's some solid physical humor at play involving a very steep hill.

This country does have some problems. Not only does this comedy not take advantage of a couple of things which seems to be set up in the film, it can't even pay it off with a funny joke or punchiline. Director Poehler really struggles when in the third act some of the secrets revealed requires the film to transition from ha-ha to a-ha.

The result is relatively harmless, but considering the talent involved, it should have been better.

C
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:16 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:13 pm
I just saw the final 20 minutes or so and I think I get the nightmare of being stuck in a car on a very hot day with a crazed dog outside waiting to pounce. It feels like I've caught the highlight of Cujo already.
But man! You missed the first 40+ minutes of the family!... and-and-and THE AFFAIR!... :roll: Seriously, the more I think of it, the less I like it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:23 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:56 pm
I spent over a year avoiding Moonlight because I thought it would be too sad for me. I thought it would just be a slog through misery.

Then I watched it and I felt so foolish.
Yes. This is not your typical Oscar-bate soap opera. Give the film ten minutes, and you will know that it's the real deal.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:45 am

A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21): Wrinkles

Oof.

So, I had started watching this one a year or two ago and watching it now I remembered why I had to pass on it--it is incredibly sad and emotional, especially if you've ever had someone you love go through dementia.

The film follows Emilio, a man in the early stages of dementia. Fed up with taking care of him, his son and daughter-in-law put him into a residential home. Emilio is roomed with a man named Miguel, who takes great joy in grifting his fellow residents out of $10 here and there. As Emilio's dementia begins to advance, Miguel comes up with a plan to keep him out of the dreaded "upstairs"--the place where the most severe cases are taken for around-the-clock care.

While it is animation, this is a very realistic drama. There's no hope that Emilio will be "saved"--only that his friends might still buy him some time. And yet it becomes more and more clear that keeping Emilio downstairs is dangerous. He cannot tell the difference between a knife and a spoon, he cannot understand certain words spoken to him. There is no possible happy ending here.

In this regard, the film shifts around the second half to begin to focus on Miguel. Miguel sees himself as a mercenary. He's proud of not having married or had children, and also of the way that he keeps the others at an arms length. Having already lost a roommate to the upstairs, Miguel is forced to consider what it would mean to keep or lose his new friend.

The only downside for me was some of the humor. A horny old man groping an unsuspecting woman isn't something I find funny. Nor is an old man losing (killing?) puppies something to laugh about either. The film presents these as fun hijinks, and they fell totally flat for me.

The animation is well done, and the film does a good job of showing how the different residents are perceiving the world around them. Like I said, it's a hard film to watch in some ways. But the gentle message about how the elderly/disabled deserve to be treated hits home.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:05 pm

Well, making my way through Snowpiercer (Korean film) now and probably follow that up with Our Souls at Night (elderly) and Outcasts (school).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:20 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:05 pm
Well, making my way through Snowpiercer (Korean film) now and probably follow that up with Our Souls at Night (elderly) and Outcasts (school).
I mostly liked Snowpiercer.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:41 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:20 pm
I mostly liked Snowpiercer.
I'm about 15 minutes in and I'm intrigued so far.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:12 pm

I love Snowpiercer. It's in my top 5 of this decade so far. Although it's really unlikely, I hope it will be widely considered as a classic of the genre in the future.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm

Snowpiercer is a really good film. I might go with Memories of Murder for my Korean one, though.

As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing? I knew I would have a hard time with this one, mostly because every film, TV show, or even commercial, that has elderly people remind me of my grandma. She died 10-11 years ago, but still hurts :(
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:49 pm

Quickies on the middle 5 of the month...

Some Kind of Wonderful (1987, rewatch) I always had fond memories of this one from back in the day. I really liked how it subverted certain genre tropes and used to watch it often. Rewatching it now after years, I think it holds up fairly well. Maybe the resolution is too easy, but the cast sells it. Plus, Craig Sheffer gave us one of the best 80's douchebags ever! Grade: B

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) Silly, but fun film about alien clowns invading Earth. Performances are pretty weak, but the film holds up because of its weird premise and a certain charm to it. It also oozes a certain fun creepiness that goes beyond its "cheap" skin. Grade: B-

Eight Grade (2018) Charming, moving and honest coming-of-age film. Superbly acted by Elsie Fisher, who pretty much holds the whole film together conveying the fears and insecurities of the age along with a facade of confidence. Josh Hamilton plays well off her as the dad. I liked how the film manages to feel realistic and true without going too far. I really liked this. Grade: A-

Cujo (1983) See above review.

Modern Times (1936) Really fun film with two charming performances in Chaplin, but also Paulette Goddard. I think it loses some steam after the first act, but it's still a lot of fun in how it finds ways to bring up its serious themes in good humour. Grade: A-
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:06 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm
As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing? I
You could always try something like Last Vegas, although I suspect that's depressing for different reasons. :P
(I haven't seen it)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:18 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:06 pm
You could always try something like Last Vegas, although I suspect that's depressing for different reasons. :P
(I haven't seen it)
Ugh, no.

Now I'm thinking of The Straight Story, so that's one that I can see if I can get my hands on.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:41 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:49 pm


Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) Silly, but fun film about alien clowns invading Earth. Performances are pretty weak, but the film holds up because of its weird premise and a certain charm to it. It also oozes a certain fun creepiness that goes beyond its "cheap" skin. Grade: B-

I refused to ever watch this movie, it looked so fucking stupid I couldn't believe it ever even got made, and then I watched it and (granted I was pretty baked) I absolutely loved it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:05 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm
As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing?
I haven't seen either of these two movies, but maybe The Sunshine Boys (1975) or Going In Style (1979) if you're looking for some more lighter, comedic films about elderly people. Of course, I can't vouch for them myself, but several people have recommended these to me.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:44 pm

Senior citizen movie: Youth w/ Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:08 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm
Snowpiercer is a really good film. I might go with Memories of Murder for my Korean one, though.

As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing? I knew I would have a hard time with this one, mostly because every film, TV show, or even commercial, that has elderly people remind me of my grandma. She died 10-11 years ago, but still hurts :(
Poms just came out this year (it's about a cheerleading team of seniors and I think it turns into a Bring It On?). Haven't seen it, though.

A Walk in the Woods could qualify (it's about two older people who decide to walk the Appalachian Trail). And I've seen it and can assure you it's not depressing.

And So It Goes could also qualify (it's a romcom about a realtor and a widower who bond over a child that one of them ends up with). Seen it.

Something's Gotta Give could be questionable (not sure I'd call either character elderly) but it's a romcom that I've not seen.

I'd avoid I'll See You in My Dreams. Something tells me this won't work for you.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:19 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:49 pm
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987, rewatch) I always had fond memories of this one from back in the day. I really liked how it subverted certain genre tropes and used to watch it often. Rewatching it now after years, I think it holds up fairly well. Maybe the resolution is too easy, but the cast sells it. Plus, Craig Sheffer gave us one of the best 80's douchebags ever! Grade: B
My favorite was Elias Koteas: "That's what my girlfriend would look like with no skin."


Image
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:22 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm
Snowpiercer is a really good film. I might go with Memories of Murder for my Korean one, though.

As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing? I knew I would have a hard time with this one, mostly because every film, TV show, or even commercial, that has elderly people remind me of my grandma. She died 10-11 years ago, but still hurts :(
You've never seen Memories of Murder?! It's my favorite Bong Joon-ho film, hands down. One of my best ever theater experiences as well (followed, 10 years later, by getting to see it again in the theater, only this time Bong himself was actually there to do a Q&A afterwards *squeeeeeee*)

As for a senior film: Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (free on Prime). I will warn you that *MAJOR SPOILER*
She does die at the end.
. It's a really beautiful, uplifting film that takes on life and death at the same time and left me feeling optimistic and moved.

On a completely different end of the spectrum, you could watch Red, the action-y film with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirran. Not exactly "elderly" people, but the idea of "older folks doing action" was a main selling point.

There's also The Lavender Ladies, a bittersweet drama about two older sisters who find a young man washed up on the beach near their home.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Rock » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:32 am

Thief wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:08 pm
As for the "senior citizen" one, is there any recommendation of one that's not depressing?
The Late Show. The sweet Lily Tomlin performance should cheer you up.
"We're outgunned and undermanned. But you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind." - Mason Storm
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:27 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:19 pm
My favorite was Elias Koteas: "That's what my girlfriend would look like with no skin."


Image
Koteas steals some of the best moments of the film:

"It must be a hen house, because all I see is chicken shit."

But other than the performance and the dialogue, I like how - as superficial as the film might be - his relationship with Keith highlights what I see as one of the main points of the film: that high school cliques are stupid and that most people can actually be friends if they make the effort to find common ground.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:53 pm

August is closing in and I have two days to watch three films to cover the following categories:

A thriller:
A film about drinking or beer:
A film with a primarily senior cast:

Like last year, I might have to go with short films for one or two of those, so if any of you have suggestions of short films that might fit those criteria, please share.

Also, considering that I can move the "thriller" category around for some of the ones I've already seen (The Three Days of the Condor, A Perfect Getaway, Bug, Memories of Murder), then maybe a short film that might fit those other categories might work (70's short film, short film in Hawaii, short film from South Korea)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:21 pm

Thief wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:53 pm
August is closing in and I have two days to watch three films to cover the following categories:

A thriller:
A film about drinking or beer:
A film with a primarily senior cast:

Like last year, I might have to go with short films for one or two of those, so if any of you have suggestions of short films that might fit those criteria, please share.

Also, considering that I can move the "thriller" category around for some of the ones I've already seen (The Three Days of the Condor, A Perfect Getaway, Bug, Memories of Murder), then maybe a short film that might fit those other categories might work (70's short film, short film in Hawaii, short film from South Korea)
Obviously, Strange Brew is the call for the second category. You could do Driving Miss Daisy or Cocoon for the latter, but you could also do Bubba Ho-tep.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:50 pm

Thief wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:53 pm
August is closing in and I have two days to watch three films to cover the following categories:

A thriller:
A film about drinking or beer:
A film with a primarily senior cast:
Shorts that might fit for you:

Thrillers
The Wrong Trousers (I'm not kidding)

Senior Cast
Geri's Game

There are a TON of short films on Amazon Prime. If you go to the IMDb and search short films that are on Prime, you'll be able to sort through like 400 thrillers.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:34 am

Well, my wife and sons decided for me in the "senior citizen" category. Got home from work just as they were starting to watch Up, which I've seen before, but I don't mind.

I'll try to sneak something else now and leave one for tomorrow.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:28 pm

I forgot about Cinema International when I was conducting my list for August.

Good thing: I should be done with the sixth film this month and will be working on a seventh...perhaps an eighth.

Bad thing: The two films I saw from them didn't fit in any categories. *shrugs*
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:59 pm

Brief Hits from this weekend:

Snowpiercer (2014): Film could have used some editing, maybe to take out a good 10-15 minutes or so. But there's a lot to like and appreciate in this unusual action/drama/sci-fi film about a class uprising on the train containing the last people on an Earth in a new Ice Age from Bong Joon-Ho. B

American Experience: The Island Murder (2018): In a case that has more than a few parallels to the Central Park Five, the wife of a Navy sailor accuses 5 non-white Hawaiians of sexual assault in 1931 Waikiki which opens up wounds between the whites that live and govern Hawaii at the time and the non-whites who struggled to survive in a society where they were marginalized. Film could have used some more flair and flash, but it does go over the basics of the case and its implications well enough. C+
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:40 pm

Sorry for the late updates, but Internet in the weekends is becoming nearly impossible.

Anyway, here are my quickies on the last bunch of films from August...

Bug (2006) Moody and fairly creepy film about a woman (Ashley Judd) running away from an abusive relationship that ends up entangled in a relationship with a charming yet weird man (Michael Shannon). As they get closer, the two become more and more obsessed with the possibility that they are being followed and pursued by the government, or someone. The film has a fairly simple setup, but it's held up by a creepy vibe and the lead performances. Kudos also to Harry Connick, Jr. who plays Judd abusive ex-husband. Grade: B

Frozen (2013, rewatch) Seen this before, but my wife chose it for the kids. Personally, I liked the idea of a Disney animated film that is more focused on a fraternal relationship than it is on a romantic one. Sure, there's Hans and Kristoff, but what holds it together is the strength of Elsa and Anna's relationship. Olaf is a great comic relief and it has good songs. The kids told me they had seen it, but were caught up in it anyway. Grade: A-

Inside Out (2015) This one I hadn't seen. The premise of getting into the psyche of a child while maintaining a child appropriate vibe is an ambitious one, but I think it's handled quite nicely. That said, I don't think my kids were as into it as other films. They still saw it, but I had to explain the "why"s of some things in a more appropriate level for them. I would probably like to see this later by myself to appreciate it more. Grade: Pending

Memories of Murder (2003) Really good thriller that moves at a slightly slow, but deliberate pace. Three detectives use their own methods to try to find a serial killer in 80's Hong Kong, while trying to deal with lacking resources and support. I felt there was a bit of tonal issues in the first half, but the characters are well drawn and the mystery moves at a nice pace. I felt it got tighter and better as the film progressed. Grade: A-

Up (2009, rewatch) Another one for the kids. This is one I've really loved ever since I saw it years ago. Sure, the premise is silly, but it's handled with such charm and care that you can't help but love it. Great work from Asner and Plummer in the lead roles. The dogs also provide great comic relief. Grade: A

The Hangover (2009) One that I missed back in the day, despite most people treating it as if it was the greatest comedy ever. Watching it now, I'm not sure why. The film is not bad, but I also didn't consider it anything special. Had a few laughs with it, I think most of them came from Galifianakis, but I don't think I laughed out loud once. Meh. Grade: C or C+?

Prisoners (2013, rewatch) Yet another rewatch, but this is one I was looking forward to. This was my first Villeneuve film, and after 6 films of his, I still held it as my favorite (with Enemy close behind). I wanted to give it another spin to see how it held up, and it still does so nicely. Great directing, superb cinematography, and excellent performances from most of the cast, but particularly Gyllenhaal. I really, really love what he does with his character here. Grade: A
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:17 pm

Anyway, here's the final tally for August...

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Eight Grade
A film with a title that starts with the letters O or P: Ordinary People
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 28, 208): (see list here) Modern Times (#38), Inside Out (#148)
A film from the 1970s: Three Days of the Condor
A thriller: Prisoners
A film set in school: Some Kind of Wonderful
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week): Killer Klowns from Outer Space
A film about drinking or beer (International Beer Day, August 2): The Hangover
A film with the word "Left" in its title (Lefthanders Day, August 13): The Last House on the Left (2009)
A film from South Korea (Independence Day, August 15): Memories of Murder
A film set mostly on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19): Flight of the Living Dead
A film set in Hawaii (joined the US on August 21): A Perfect Getaway
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21): Up
A film about dogs (Dog Day, August 26): Cujo
A film from William Friedkin (born August 29): Bug

Freebie for the kids: Frozen

Not counting rewatches, my favorites were Ordinary People and Memories of Murder. Eight Grade was pretty good too.

Least favorite? Cujo
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:44 pm

And here are the categories for September... (sorry for the delay, for anyone interested)

A film with the number 9 (Nine, Ninth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A film with a title that starts with the letters Q or R:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #9 (i.e. 19, 29, 109): (see list here)
A film from the 1980s:
A science-fiction film:
A film with the word "Fall" or "Autumn" in its title:
A film with a primarily Hispanic/Latino cast (Hispanic Heritage Month):
A film featuring classical music prominently (Classical Music Month):
A film from Brazil (Independence Day, September 7):
A film from Brian De Palma (born September 11):
A film based on, or featuring video games prominently (Nat'l Video Games Day, September 12):
A film from the Friday the 13th franchise (Friday, September 13):
A film about pirates (Int'l Talk like a Pirate Day, September 19):
A film featuring a Native American cast/characters (Native American Day, September 27):
A film about neighbors (Nat'l Good Neighbor Day, September 28):

You know the drill!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:12 pm

These are what I'm thinking of for this month. If you have better ideas, feel free to chime in.

A film with the number 9 (Nine, Ninth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): The Nine Lives of Marion Barry (2009)
A film with a title that starts with the letters Q or R: Robot and Frank (2013)
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #9 (i.e. 19, 29, 109): (see list here) Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)
A film from the 1980s: Agnes of God (1985)
A science-fiction film: Robot and Frank (2013)
A film with the word "Fall" or "Autumn" in its title: The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang (2008)
A film with a primarily Hispanic/Latino cast (Hispanic Heritage Month): Aquarius (2016)
A film featuring classical music prominently (Classical Music Month): Maestro (2015)
A film from Brazil (Independence Day, September 7): Aquarius (2016)
A film from Brian De Palma (born September 11): Blow Out (1981)
A film based on, or featuring video games prominently (Nat'l Video Games Day, September 12): Indie Games: The Movie (2012)
A film from the Friday the 13th franchise (Friday, September 13): May have to pass on this, the only one I've yet to see is the 2009 reboot.
A film about pirates (Int'l Talk like a Pirate Day, September 19): The Pirates of Somalia (2017)
A film featuring a Native American cast/characters (Native American Day, September 27): A Man Called Horse (1970)
A film about neighbors (Nat'l Good Neighbor Day, September 28): Neighbors (2014)

All first time watches.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:39 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:12 pm
These are what I'm thinking of for this month. If you have better ideas, feel free to chime in.

A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #9 (i.e. 19, 29, 109): (see list here) Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)
This is the one I have in mind too, but I'm also interested in To Kill a Mockingbird (#97).
Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:12 pm
A film from the Friday the 13th franchise (Friday, September 13): May have to pass on this, the only one I've yet to see is the 2009 reboot.
Well, then don't pass on it! :D Seriously, though, I know I'm in the minority, but I thought the reboot was perfectly competent, or at least within/above the quality established by the franchise.

I knew this category would be one that most people would dismiss, but I've been a sucker for this franchise since I was a kid. With a Friday the 13th on the month, it was too hard to pass on it :P
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:14 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:39 pm
This is the one I have in mind too, but I'm also interested in To Kill a Mockingbird (#97).



Well, then don't pass on it! :D Seriously, though, I know I'm in the minority, but I thought the reboot was perfectly competent, or at least within/above the quality established by the franchise.

I knew this category would be one that most people would dismiss, but I've been a sucker for this franchise since I was a kid. With a Friday the 13th on the month, it was too hard to pass on it :P
To Kill a Mockingbird is a fine film as well. Gregory Peck kills it as Atticus Finch and Robert Duvall makes a nice debut for himself.

Main reason I may skip the Friday the 13ths has nothing to do with the quality of the 2009 movie. It's that I can't find any of them streaming anywhere (at least not on JustWatch which covers a lot of free/subscription services. A few of them are available on Sling, but I'm not going to get it JUST for a category.) I may rent it if I'm desperate, though.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:32 pm

They used to have them all (or most of them) on Prime and Hulu a couple of months ago. Maybe they took them out for this month precisely because of that. Clever little fuckers.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:56 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:39 pm

I knew this category would be one that most people would dismiss,
Oh, could you hear my "UGH!" all the way in PR? :P
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:00 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:39 pm
This is the one I have in mind too, but I'm also interested in To Kill a Mockingbird (#97).



Well, then don't pass on it! :D Seriously, though, I know I'm in the minority, but I thought the reboot was perfectly competent, or at least within/above the quality established by the franchise.

I knew this category would be one that most people would dismiss, but I've been a sucker for this franchise since I was a kid. With a Friday the 13th on the month, it was too hard to pass on it :P
So, not to beat a dead horse, as I've chimed in on the F13 franchise dozens of times, but I think the reason the 2009 reboot is, as you say, "at least within/above the quality established by the franchise", because after Part 2, the franchise is mostly crap. Really pitiful, surprisingly bad. Yet, they also have this place, a big place in horror/genre history, because even the Halloween franchise didn't really have this chronic, always after you, always in your face villain, which is how F13 got so popular and how it inspired the Halloween franchise to get on the train and become a franchise and make seemingly endless sequels and reboots, and inspired the excellent A Nightmare On Elm Street to become an inexhaustible caricature of itself. F13 (franchise) really invented (in the US) this genre of film with an iconic killer that is basically just relentlessly and openly stalking and murdering everybody for the whole movie. The "dead teenager genre" as Roger Ebert called it.
Now, F13 Part 2, which introduces Jason, is easily the best of them because it has the iconic killer (which its predecessor lacked) and real suspense (which its predecessor had some of), but it also hasn't dipped into gimmickry, winking or, ultimately self-parody, as this and other franchises (looking at you ANoES) would do. For example, the quality drop-off from 2-3 is surprisingly large, the latter really lacking in suspense or having any character you might care about (like the greatest "Last Girl", Amy Steele in the former) relying perhaps on the 3-D gimmick. By the 4th film, suspense has been abandoned completely in favor of reliance on action and "kills" (a mainstay of the franchise and one of its other "gifts" to the horror genre). By 5 things have really degenerated and the franchise is supposedly (wisely and mercifully) giving up. But then, suddenly, there's 6, a favorite of many, and we are really kind of winking at the silliness of the whole thing while cashing in (Jason Lives!, because there's still money on the table!), before we reach the impossible dregs that are 7-9, followed by the obvious, hammy self-parody that is Jason X.
So, when you look at the 2009 film, you're really looking at not a great horror movie, and a real disappointment for those of us who wanted to see the franchise finally realize its potential (and it really does have potential, something at the level of Part 2, but perhaps with a bigger budget, at least on the level of the latest Halloween reboot), but something that, merely by its competence, exceeds, as you've said, almost the entire franchise.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:22 pm

Yep. I pretty much agree on everything, and I bet that if we compare rankings (which I think we might've done before), they would be very similar. And for some reason, I can't understand why this franchise of mediocre films has stuck with me the way it has. I mean, regardless of how similar they all are, I can tell you the plot and events of each, I can tell any film of the franchise from the other by kills, actors, ending, etc. and I can name all the actors that ever played Jason by heart. That's something that I can't do with Nightmare (where I can barely remember Parts 4 and 5, and always get them mixed together) or Halloween (where I also tend to get Parts 4 and 5 mixed up, and haven't even bother to see the one with Busta Rhymes).

But anyway, I think that the issue with the reboot is, first, that it tries to stick too close to the original storyline instead of trying to do something new with its general idea. And second, it tries to stick too much into a single film (Part 1 is reduced to an opening flashback sequence, Part 2 is limited to half an hour? and the rest is a mixture of Part 3 and some of 4) which results in a film that not only is overlong, but also a bit of a mess.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:12 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:22 pm
Yep. I pretty much agree on everything, and I bet that if we compare rankings (which I think we might've done before), they would be very similar. And for some reason, I can't understand why this franchise of mediocre films has stuck with me the way it has. I mean, regardless of how similar they all are, I can tell you the plot and events of each, I can tell any film of the franchise from the other by kills, actors, ending, etc. and I can name all the actors that ever played Jason by heart. That's something that I can't do with Nightmare (where I can barely remember Parts 4 and 5, and always get them mixed together) or Halloween (where I also tend to get Parts 4 and 5 mixed up, and haven't even bother to see the one with Busta Rhymes).

But anyway, I think that the issue with the reboot is, first, that it tries to stick too close to the original storyline instead of trying to do something new with its general idea. And second, it tries to stick too much into a single film (Part 1 is reduced to an opening flashback sequence, Part 2 is limited to half an hour? and the rest is a mixture of Part 3 and some of 4) which results in a film that not only is overlong, but also a bit of a mess.
Well, I agree with you, F13 franchise is the template and the others kinda jumped on board when Hollywood is like, hey, there money over there we're not collecting by making endless sequels to horror films with memorable killers. And there is a certain charm to the films, I mean, even I can generally tell the first 6 apart (and then tell the others by whether they are in Manhattan, Hell, or Space, and if they have Freddy Krueger in them or not). The only one that is totally lost on me is Part 7: The New Blood, which I really have no recollection of whatsoever, it may even be possible that I never saw it, though I think I remember downloading it on Kazaa back in like 2002, for completionist sake). I just get disappointed that no one ever had the ambition of the makers of the second film, where they took this new idea of a straight-up body-count slasher and mixed it with actual fear and suspense. It really is like no one was trying (or if they were, either their producers, budget, or talent quelled that shit quick) to make a good horror movie with the material after the second one, they were just churning out formula hung on the merest of (misguided) ideas (whatever the whole saga with Corey Feldman was, for example, but later as obvious as, Manhattan!, Hell!, Space!, Literally just say the next thing that comes into your head!).
But all of that doesn't really mean that there isn't a certain charm to them all, especially if you saw them when you were young. I saw the first 3 when I was young because the second one blew my mind and the original had been kind of a craze when it came out (even my mother and grandmother went to see it), so I rented that which I didn't think was as good and then the third one was on HBO and it had the speargun kill in the trailer when it came out so I was pretty excited. But that 3rd one was disappointing enough that I didn't really watch the 4th one so much as catch parts of it here and there and that's how I saw most of the series until I first sat and watched Jason X and then got talked into watching Part 6 because a guy named MASSIVEminiature swore it was not only the best of the franchise but one of the best slashers ever (it's neither).
Having seen them all in their entirety at this point (again, +/- Part 7), I just judge them on how good they are (or aren't) so some of that charm is just lost on me. But I get it, I really do. I've watched some movies, heck many of them this year, that there's no way I could get other people to sit through, and been charmed completely (The Warrior And The Sorceress, anyone?).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:17 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:22 pm

But anyway, I think that the issue with the reboot is, first, that it tries to stick too close to the original storyline instead of trying to do something new with its general idea. And second, it tries to stick too much into a single film (Part 1 is reduced to an opening flashback sequence, Part 2 is limited to half an hour? and the rest is a mixture of Part 3 and some of 4) which results in a film that not only is overlong, but also a bit of a mess.
And I completely agree with you on the reboot. I think part of it is just Michael Bay and then the other part is just trying to cram like the first four films of the franchise into one movie. Ida stuck with potato-sack Jason for this one (maybe have him find the mask toward the very end or even just show it), cut the sub-plot borrowed from Part 4 about the guy looking for his sister, and just re-introduced the world to the character. Keep the kills fairly simple but visceral with lots of suspense leading up to them, try not to be both edgy and campy at the same time, and just make the movie that's right in front of you. Which I think is too often the problem, there's often a good movie that doesn't get made with a lot of movies and it's the one they probably started with before they decided it was too simple and got cute. They could have made this so much simpler and it would have been so much better.

And yeah, the Halloween sequels (after the inferior but still possessing some charms Halloween II) are pretty unmemorable and kinda interchangeable at some point. The two with Danielle Harris I can only tell apart if I catch them from the beginning and then I think there's one with Paul Rudd and maybe that's where they stop? Or maybe they keep going, it's a mess.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:03 pm

Recommendations for those with Amazon Prime:

A film with the number 9 (Nine, Ninth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): District 9, Plan 9 From Outer Space, The 39 Steps
A film with a title that starts with the letters Q or R: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; Robot & Frank; River's Edge ***
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #9 (i.e. 19, 29, 109): (These are not on Prime, sorry!) Dial M for Murder; Seven Samurai; Grave of the Fireflies
A film from the 1980s: Liquid Sky; The Dark Crystal; Pumpkinhead; Society; Santa Sangre
A science-fiction film: Forbidden Planet; X The Man with X-Ray Eyes; Liquid Sky; Night of the Comet; Universal Soldier; Gattaca; Marjorie Prime
A film with the word "Fall" or "Autumn" in its title: 2 Autumns, 3 Winters, maybe? I haven't seen it but it seems to have a good rating
A film with a primarily Hispanic/Latino cast (Hispanic Heritage Month): Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos)
A film featuring classical music prominently (Classical Music Month): A Late Quartet (haven't seen it--probably what I'll watch)
A film from Brazil (Independence Day, September 7): The Second Mother (I almost watched this a few months ago--it looks really good!)
A film from Brian De Palma (born September 11): Carrie or Dressed to Kill (though I'm sure you've all seen these two. I'm not a big fan of de Palma. I'll probably watch Snake Eyes because I'm going through a Cage phase).
A film based on, or featuring video games prominently (Nat'l Video Games Day, September 12): Gosh, maybe a hate-watch of something like Bloodrayne? Far Cry was just dumb enough to enjoy.
A film from the Friday the 13th franchise (Friday, September 13): I've only seen the original, so I guess I'll try to track down the second one? It's not a franchise I find that compelling.
A film about pirates (Int'l Talk like a Pirate Day, September 19): Queen of the Seas looks kind of interesting; A Hijacking (rent)
A film featuring a Native American cast/characters (Native American Day, September 27): Smoke Signals (Hulu) or if you can track down the Navajo Mysteries (based on the Tony Hillerman novels) I think they're really good.
A film about neighbors (Nat'l Good Neighbor Day, September 28): Flawless (eh); Man Called Ove
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:50 am

Another pretty weak showing from me for August:


A film with a title that starts with the letters O or P: The Possessed aka Demon Witch Child
If you've ever watched The Exorcist and thought "needs more witches", this is your movie. This one borrows so much from that film that I could probably include it under the Friedkin category, in fact. The cute little girl turns ugly, levitates, addresses priests with naughty words and even does the 360 thing, only at the waist instead of the neck. And I'm pretty sure she cut a guy's weiner off. Recommended.

A film from the 1970s: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
My first time watching this one. Discussed it with Wooley and others in one of his threads.

A film set in school: the Suspiria remake is set at a dance academy which is probably stretching the category, but I'm counting it. :)

A thriller: Ghost Cage aka The Jailhouse
(spoilers, by the way) OK, stay with me here--- So there's this small town and this town has a jailhouse. The cells are located on the 2nd floor, while the first floor is....a fully furnished house (?). The new deputy in town, played by C Thomas Howell, is forced to temporarily occupy the Jail-House with his wife and two young kids due to some delays as his actual house is being built. The wife is not happy about this arrangement because women, amirite? And while this premise seems like a thing that would never happen, I could see the potential for a suspensful thriller, having the scary convicts living above the cute family, so I decided to hang in there. So imagine my surprise when, around 20-30 minutes in, the wife leaves with the kids to live with granny! Rendering this entire absurd premise completely moot! Every thing that happens from this point on could just as easily have happened if the guy just....worked at a jail! WHY IS THERE A HOUSE UNDER THE JAIL? This was my clue that I was in for a special kind of bad.
As for the convicts, we've got the scary violent guy, the crazy old guy that talks to himself, the nerdy guy whose nose is in a book 24/7, and the absurdly studly guy whose crime was something like Feeding Homeless Puppies Without a License, so it's ok to swoon, ladies. And speaking of ladies, there's also the hot female convict, whose time in the slammer has evidently not affected her daily makeup routine. She's housed with the male prisoners, because this police department is just full of great ideas.
I won't bother going into the actual plot but I will point out that there's a last minute reveal that completely negates everything we've just watched and I'm pretty sure would not hold up in any way if I could be bothered to think about it for more than 20 seconds.

After watching that I noticed the director made a second film, 10 years later, called The Terrible Two. "That's probably a good movie", I thought to myself, and watched that the next day. It was worse.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:54 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:03 pm
Recommendations for those with Amazon Prime:

A film with the number 9 (Nine, Ninth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): District 9, Plan 9 From Outer Space, The 39 Steps
A film with a title that starts with the letters Q or R: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; Robot & Frank; River's Edge ***
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #9 (i.e. 19, 29, 109): (These are not on Prime, sorry!) Dial M for Murder; Seven Samurai; Grave of the Fireflies
A film from the 1980s: Liquid Sky; The Dark Crystal; Pumpkinhead; Society; Santa Sangre
A science-fiction film: Forbidden Planet; X The Man with X-Ray Eyes; Liquid Sky; Night of the Comet; Universal Soldier; Gattaca; Marjorie Prime
A film with the word "Fall" or "Autumn" in its title: 2 Autumns, 3 Winters, maybe? I haven't seen it but it seems to have a good rating
A film with a primarily Hispanic/Latino cast (Hispanic Heritage Month): Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos)
A film featuring classical music prominently (Classical Music Month): A Late Quartet (haven't seen it--probably what I'll watch)
A film from Brazil (Independence Day, September 7): The Second Mother (I almost watched this a few months ago--it looks really good!)
A film from Brian De Palma (born September 11): Carrie or Dressed to Kill (though I'm sure you've all seen these two. I'm not a big fan of de Palma. I'll probably watch Snake Eyes because I'm going through a Cage phase).
A film based on, or featuring video games prominently (Nat'l Video Games Day, September 12): Gosh, maybe a hate-watch of something like Bloodrayne? Far Cry was just dumb enough to enjoy.
A film from the Friday the 13th franchise (Friday, September 13): I've only seen the original, so I guess I'll try to track down the second one? It's not a franchise I find that compelling.
A film about pirates (Int'l Talk like a Pirate Day, September 19): Queen of the Seas looks kind of interesting; A Hijacking (rent)
A film featuring a Native American cast/characters (Native American Day, September 27): Smoke Signals (Hulu) or if you can track down the Navajo Mysteries (based on the Tony Hillerman novels) I think they're really good.
A film about neighbors (Nat'l Good Neighbor Day, September 28): Flawless (eh); Man Called Ove
Other films I noticed:

Film with a 9 in it: Fahrenheit 11/9 (Michael Moore documentary about the 2016 election and its aftermath), 1922 (Netflix; based on the Stephen King short story), 1984 (based on the George Orwell novel), 9 (Animated fare about a rag doll taking on dangerous machines), 9 to 5 (rental, also fits the 1980s category)
Films starting with a Q or R: Q: The Winged Serpent (Also fits the 1980s category), Rain Man (Netflix, also fits the 1980s category), Recount (Fictional account of the 2000 Election with all star cast), Road House (Netflix, also fits the 1980s category)
Video Game movie: Postal, House of the Dead (rental), In the Name of the King (rental)
1980s Movies: Q, Rain Man, FX, Gallipoli, Lean on Me (Netflix), Stripes (Netflix), My Bloody Valentine, Over the Top, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Thief, the Rocky movies (Netflix), Blow Out (also fits the DePalma category), Spaceballs, Class of 1984, Witchboard, Caddyshack (Netflix), Road House (Netflix), Urban Cowboy
Sci-Fi films: Invasion of the Bodysnatcher (1970s), Lord of the Rings 2-3 (Netflix), The Congress (Netflix), 12 Monkeys, Supernova, Clash of the Titans (2010, Netflix), Horns (Netflix), Jupiter Ascending (Netflix), A Boy and His Dog, Chappie (Netflix), Species
Autumn/Fall films: Autumn in New York, Mission Impossible: Fallout
Native American Characters/Cast: Juanita (Netflx) should qualify. It's a romcom about an African American woman from Ohio who travels to Montana and slowly falls for a Native American vet who runs a diner.
Pirate movie: No No, a Dockumentary (it's about a baseball pitcher who pitched a no hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates ;) ), God of War (Netflix)
Brian De Palma movie: Blow Out (also fits the 1980s criteria)
Neighbors: Gran Torino (Netflix)

Takoma:

Snake Eyes might work best if you don't know what's going to happen. I was able to figure out what was going to happen from reading the video cover box. But if you insist, I'd like to hear your take on the one scene featuring Carla Gugino.

In all honesty, I've been more or less Friday'ed out by a good friend who insisted on watching them over and over along with the Rockys, the Nightmares, the Halloweens and on and on. The best of the series was the first for me and it seemed as though some of the more outlandish entries (involving New York and space) were more interesting than the ones which more or less stuck with Crystal Lake and groups of increasingly dumb counselors. I guess what I'm saying is that the second one is as good as anything else in the series.

I've seen part of Bloodrayne, but outside of Ben Kingsley and that lady from Terminator 3, I don't remember very much. I might have to consider that entry as well. Tended to find Uwe Boll films very hit or miss but in the right mood, it's not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon. Definitely avoid Alone in the Dark: it's dreadful with little/no entertainment value.

Captain Terror:

Don't beat yourself up over what you saw. Just be glad you found your director nemesis. See also Z and David DeCocteau and myself and Robby Henson.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:57 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:56 pm
Oh, could you hear my "UGH!" all the way in PR? :P
It motivates me! :D
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:48 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:50 am
And I'm pretty sure she cut a guy's weiner off. Recommended.
Oh, that vicious little Jimmy Cagney bitch totally did that.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:05 am

A film from Brian De Palma (born September 11): Snake Eyes

Look, now. My expectations for this one were pretty low. I have vague memories of this one coming out and seeing the ads for it on TV, and specifically Cage's line "And five people makes a conspiracy, right?!".

A politician is assassinated during a boxing match (during a hurricane!) and Cage's corrupt police detective must try to get to the bottom of things.

The main surprise of this film were the many bold style choices, especially in terms of the use of the camera. Some I liked (the overhead pan over several hotel rooms), and some I thought were pretty dumb (the multiple uses of first-person camera during flashbacks). I liked how the camera moved in the first sequence so that we followed the focus of Cage's character, allowing key action to take place in the periphery or off-camera entirely.

I didn't love the whole "reconstructing things through long flashbacks."

The best sequence is probably the staircase conversation between Cage and the damsel in distress he's reluctantly decided to save. It's a moment where the film digs nicely into his character, a man who looks after his own self-interest but can't bring himself to be so cold-hearted as to kill an innocent person.

I guess that this movie was . . . fine. But not particularly memorable.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Rock » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:32 am

Snake Eyes is far from peak De Palma, but shows off his usual technical strengths pretty well. It's also a movie that can be graphed as a straight, downward-sloping line, starting off great (that long take) and ending terribly. I give it 5/10.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:19 am

Rock wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:32 am
Snake Eyes is far from peak De Palma, but shows off his usual technical strengths pretty well. It's also a movie that can be graphed as a straight, downward-sloping line, starting off great (that long take) and ending terribly. I give it 5/10.
That sounds about right.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:39 pm

Didn't care for Snake Eyes.

Cage at the beginning was going out of his way to be as offputting as possible. It's FIGHT NIGHT!

Thankfully he calmed down some when the mystery started.

I got a flashback to Vertigo when Carla Gugino showed up with a blond wig to explain everything she saw. And I thought the camera work to it was fine.

But otherwise it felt like a 1940s or 1950s thriller that got dusted off and turned into a film.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Continuing some cleanup for August before diving into September:

The Outcasts (2017)---Remember that commercial with that one kid who played guitar in school and he was terrible? But everyone lies to him to say he's improving so he can feel good? I imagine something similar happened with the screenwriters who were probably told they had the next Mean Girls on their hands...in fact one of the two leads is a big fan of Tina Fey! But outside of one supporting character having files of everybody in school that might make the school namesake (Richard Nixon) proud, there's little to recommend in this knockoff of Nickelodeon/ABC Family/Disney Channel movies. Even with Ted McGinley as a principal that doesn't seem far removed from his character in Revenge of the Nerds. D

I'm also finishing up this PBS documentary on the Woodstock music festival. I'll start September's movies sometime this weekend.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:42 pm

A film with the number 9 (Nine, Ninth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Nine Lives of Tomas Katz (Amazon Prime)

Usually I am not a fan of films that are trying to be weird/cult.

There's something about the "look at me!!!! I'm so STRANGE!!!!" that reeks of desperation. We all know that person who likes to think of themselves as being "quirky", when the word "annoying" is far more accurate.

But I really liked this film and found its version of weirdness funny and endearing, and I felt like it managed to keep a (relatively) coherent storyline through all the goofiness.

Image

The story follows a man called Tomas Katz (though he's rarely referred to by name and also often goes by the name of No) who literally crawls out of a hole in the ground on the same day that Londoners are eagerly anticipating a solar eclipse. Flagging a cab on the M25, he has a strange conversation with the cabbie before making strange eye contact with the man via the mirror. Some strange *magic* transpires and he has switched places (clothing and seats in the car, but not bodies if that makes sense) with the cabbie. He drops the disoriented cabbie by the side of the road.

Image

The mysterious man then makes his way through London, swapping bodies with a series of people and spreading strangeness and havoc.

This is one of those films that's hard to describe. I liked the humor of it (for example, in one scene the film suddenly goes into a "silent film" mode, and the exchange in the subtitles reads "What's troubling you child?" and the child replies, "My Tamagachi is dead.") and I laughed at several parts.

But what made me like it most of all was that there was an undercurrent of melancholy. There's a whole subplot about a blind police chief (played by "Wait, that's not Richard Griffiths!" Ian McNiece) and his sidekick trying to use mystical methods to prevent the end of the world ("Cuthbert! Fetch the Ouija board!"). It begins mostly as a silly thing, but toward the end it gets more serious. The Tomas Katz character isn't evil, per se. He's doing a job, and there's a tenderness to the nature of the final confrontation between Katz and the police chief.

Again, this is a film that's hard to describe. I would certainly recommend it, and I think you'll know about 15-20 minutes in whether or not you think you're vibing with it. Keep an eye out for Toby Jones in a bit part as a government worker.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:10 am

A film with the word "Fall" or "Autumn" in its title: I Fall Down

There is . . . not much that I can say about this film.

I was fooled by its relatively high IMDb score, but there are actually only 17 votes, and I'd imagine most of those are friends/family of the production.

The film begins with a distraught woman going to an abortion clinic. She's past the cutoff, but begs the doctor to help her. He agrees, but later after the woman leaves the aborted fetus begins to cry on the table . . .

Cut to years later. The abortion doctor is murdered and a new family moves into the home.

Cut to years later again. The daughter of the family, Annessa is struggling. Her mother is gone, and her father is a total wreck. She is being bullied in school. After a particularly rough night, she flees into the woods where she meets a disfigured man named Charlie (a name she saw painted in the house as a child). Annessa and Charlie form a friendship, but as tensions rise things head for disaster.

So, a few things:

1) The movie seems to be trying to say . . . *something* about abortion. There's the long scene in the clinic. There's a group of kids at school arranging a "take back the evening" rally against abortion. Part of the film's climax takes place at the anti-abortion rally. Is the point that people who are anti-abortion are hypocrites? Is the point that abortion is bad? I don't know. I was confused by how prominent abortion was in this film and how unclear it was what the movie was trying to say about it.

2) Annessa is a challenging character to understand. In theory you should really feel for her. But she makes some really dumb decisions and the acting just isn't quite good enough for you to be there with her. For example, after her boyfriend has repeatedly proven himself untrustworthy and only out for sex, she OFFERS to pose nude for him. You'll never imagine what happens to those nude photos. Even the idea of just, you know, hanging out with a strange adult man you found living in the woods is hard to buy.

3) Charlie, the man in the woods, is clearly meant to be the survived baby from the late-term abortion. But there are so many questions unanswered. How does he survive? We never get any sense of how he gets food. His mental age seems to be stuck somewhere around age 10 or 11. He has issues with impulse control. Also, I find it a bit offensive that several plot summaries refer to him as a "monster", when he clearly is just a person with disabilities.

4) The most effective sequence is a heartbreaking one in which Annessa is convinced by her classmates to throw a party. She does and invites a ton of people and no one comes. It's three minutes of really relatable, mortifying stuff and I wish more of the film had tapped into the emotion and quiet heartbreak of this sequence.

This is one of those low-budget deals that was clearly a labor of love. I really wish that it had been stronger, but instead it's a bit of a mess.
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