Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

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Thief
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:46 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:16 pm
As for Splinter, I have a bit of a fondness for survival horror films with only a few characters. I feel like this is a pretty good example of one.
Pop, thanks for this recommendation. Caught it during the weekend and was surprised at how good it was. Far from a perfect film, but still a neat, tight little horror film. Will try to write a bit more about it, and the others I've seen, later.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:01 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:46 pm
Pop, thanks for this recommendation. Caught it during the weekend and was surprised at how good it was. Far from a perfect film, but still a neat, tight little horror film. Will try to write a bit more about it, and the others I've seen, later.
Cool. Glad you enjoyed it. From what I remember, my only issue was with some of the shaky cam used during the action sequences. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:08 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:01 pm
Cool. Glad you enjoyed it. From what I remember, my only issue was with some of the shaky cam used during the action sequences. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts.
I'm pretty sure that the shaky cam was used to "hide" the budget limitations in the makeup/special effects. At least that's what it seemed to me.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:17 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:08 pm
I'm pretty sure that the shaky cam was used to "hide" the budget limitations in the makeup/special effects. At least that's what it seemed to me.
Possibly. I'd have to revisit the film to see if that still bugs me or not.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:52 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:03 pm

Captain Kidd (1945)
AKA: My Fair Pirate

Somehow, a Captain Bligh, a Scrooge, and more enter into what feels like a B-pirate picture.

Pirate William Kidd (Charles Laughton) hires Shadwell (Reginald Owen) to help him gain manners and grace. It appears to pay off when he's able to convince King William III (Henry Daniell) to hire him to escort a ship containing a king's ambassador and his daughter (Barbara Britton) through the piratey waters of Madagascar. But master gunner Adam Mercy (Randolph Scott) gets suspicious of Kidd when accidents start happening onboard.

Contains a solid performance from Laughton who carries the film to an extent. There's some deception, some swordplay, some derring-do , and some laughs as long as you realize it won't work as study material. But the last act gets a bit cheap and lazy for its own good. It's not necessarily all that bad when it comes to depicting the daughter character either. B-/C+
Clearly you need to watch...
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:25 pm

Was aware of its existence, Wooley. May eventually get to this one.

Starting the month off with:

Mea Maxima Culpa (2011): Short based on Edgar Allan Poe's Telltale Heart has servant Manfred (John Byrne) start to go mad when he sees the blue tint on one of his master's eyes. He waits for his time to strike. But can he convince some cops who came in to investigate that there's nothing wrong?

Byrne does a solid job stating his case (the title refers to something he is writing as the film opens) that he's sane and rational throughout. But I feel like the cops that showed up kind of let the film's momentum slide some as they weren't quite on his level. Although it's fairly low-budget, it was competent for the most part.

I think it set the mood for this October well enough. C+
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:37 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:25 pm
Was aware of its existence, Wooley. May eventually get to this one.
It's actually a pretty good one.
It ain't a Halloween movie or anything, but it's fun, maybe next month.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:15 am

Splinter is so much fun!!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:39 am

All on Prime unless otherwise noted! (I'll get the rest done tomorrow)

A film with the number 10 (Ten, Tenth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): The Tenth Victim, 10 x 10
A film with a title that starts with the letters S or T: Trucker, Thirst (1979), Suture, Sun Don't Shine, Stakeland, Society, Short Term 12
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #10 (i.e. 10, 108, 110): (see list here) Hmmm. Rush? I've seen all the others except for Scarface, and not many are streaming.
A film from the 1990s: Universal Soldier, The Minus Man, Suture, Open Your Eyes, Mirror Mirror, Jin-Roh, Freeway, Bad Moon, 4 Little Girls
A horror film: Santa Sangre, Images, Burn Witch Burn, Alice Sweet Alice
A horror film in a foreign language: Demon (2015)
A horror film about an animal or creature: The Reef, Venom, Isolation (2005)
A post-1990 horror film made for under $5,000,000: The Hatred (short, ~45 min), Coherence, Cropsey, LAKE MUNGO!!!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:18 pm

Didn't know Lake Mungo was on Prime. I've heard it's good, so I might go with that one for that category.

Anyway, here is the first batch of the month...

Night of the Living Dead (1968, rewatch) Love it. On my Horror Top 3, and it's as creepy as it ever was. From its eerie ambiance, or its influence among horror films, to its socio-political subtext (intentional or not), this is a must-see. Grade: A or A+

Hereditary (2018) Like I wrote earlier, "Holy fucking fuck!" :? Despite all the hype surrounding this film, I was a bit apprehensive to see it because I thought somebody had spoiled it to me on Twitter, but holy fuck, either I misread it or blocked it from my mind because I really, really didn't expect the middle twist; and maybe even thinking I had it spoiled worked the other way around. But anyway, the film follows Annie (Toni Collette), who is dealing with the recent death of her mother, along with her family. When a series of creepy and tragic events start to happen, Annie begins to unravel. This film is perfectly acted, particularly by Collette and Alex Wolff, who plays her son Peter, and perfectly directed by Ari Aster. Might write more later, but fuuuully recommended. Grade: A

Splinter (2008) Once again, thanks to Popcorn for recommending this. The film follows a young couple (Jill Wagner and Paulo Costanzo) that are kidnapped by a duo of ex-convicts (Shea Whigham and Rachel Kerbs). However, they end up being terrorized by a creature that might end up infecting them as well and seek shelter inside a gas station. The simplicity of the premise and the small cast is a definite plus to this, since the film doesn't attempt to show or explain too much of what's happening, but rather focuses on the heat of the moment as the group tries to survive. The direction has some weak moments, but overall it's tight and solid. The cast is solid, but the best of the bunch is Whigham, who has become one of my favorite character actors. I'm not entirely happy with how things unfolded in the last act, but overall, I was very pleased with this. Grade: B+

Ravenous (1999, rewatch) This is a film I remember having a lot of fun with back in the day, but that for some reason, I hadn't revisited since. Guy Pearce plays John Boyd, a US Army officer during the Mexican-American War who is exiled to a remote post with a skeleton crew. When a mysterious man called Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) stumbles upon the fort, the group finds themselves biting off more than they can chew (pun very intended). I think that the main trait about this film is its creepy yet odd, quirky tone, which I think I appreciated more this time than I did the first time I watched it. Pearce and Carlyle are great, but the supporting cast is pretty good, particularly Jeffrey Jones. Part of me, wishes they would've explored more into the motivations of the characters, but like Splinter above, there's a charm in its simplicity. Grade: A

The General (1926) My first Buster Keaton film! This was fun and impressive, in terms of staging, production design, camerawork, and special effects. The film follows Johnnie Gray (Keaton), a train engineer in the South during the Civil War. Unable to enlist, Johnny finds himself unable to continue his relationship with Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When his beloved train is stolen by the North, along with Annabelle, Johnnie does whatever he can to save them. Overall, the plot is breezy, fun, fast-paced, and engaging, but I think the real star is the whole logistics of how everything is filmed. The stunts are impressive, the camerawork is breathtaking for the time, and the special effects still hold up pretty well. As for Keaton, his deadpan persona is very different to other silent actors of the time, but I like his physicality. I look forward to other films of his. Grade: A
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:30 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:15 am
Splinter is so much fun!!
Put me down as another one down with the Splinter. :up:
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:33 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:39 am
All on Prime unless otherwise noted! (I'll get the rest done tomorrow)

A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #10 (i.e. 10, 108, 110): (see list here) Hmmm. Rush? I've seen all the others except for Scarface, and not many are streaming.
I'm diving into Vudu to catch Hachi. Will agree that it's going to be tough to find a) a film that's streaming and b) a film that meets the criteria.

And will also agree that you haven't caught this yet that Lake Mungo is worth catching.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:39 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:33 pm
I'm diving into Vudu to catch Hachi. Will agree that it's going to be tough to find a) a film that's streaming and b) a film that meets the criteria.

And will also agree that you haven't caught this yet that Lake Mungo is worth catching.
I was leaning towards Hachi as well cause it's the only one I haven't seen of the 13 available ones. However, I wouldn't mind rewatching The Sting or Fight Club, both of which I haven't seen in years.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:15 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:39 pm
I was leaning towards Hachi as well cause it's the only one I haven't seen of the 13 available ones. However, I wouldn't mind rewatching The Sting or Fight Club, both of which I haven't seen in years.
Saw Fight Club for the first time at 2 AM on the morning of a presentation. That was definitely an experience.

I hadn't seen The Sting or LA Confidential. But since all our video stores have gone belly up, I'll have to wait for them to show up on streaming or my local PBS station.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:26 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:15 pm
Saw Fight Club for the first time at 2 AM on the morning of a presentation. That was definitely an experience.

I hadn't seen The Sting or LA Confidential. But since all our video stores have gone belly up, I'll have to wait for them to show up on streaming or my local PBS station.
The Sting is on Starz, if you have that channel, but I strongly recommend you seek it out (as well as LA Confidential). Both are excellent.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:00 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:18 pm
Didn't know Lake Mungo was on Prime. I've heard it's good, so I might go with that one for that category.

The General (1926) My first Buster Keaton film! This was fun and impressive, in terms of staging, production design, camerawork, and special effects. The film follows Johnnie Gray (Keaton), a train engineer in the South during the Civil War. Unable to enlist, Johnny finds himself unable to continue his relationship with Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When his beloved train is stolen by the North, along with Annabelle, Johnnie does whatever he can to save them. Overall, the plot is breezy, fun, fast-paced, and engaging, but I think the real star is the whole logistics of how everything is filmed. The stunts are impressive, the camerawork is breathtaking for the time, and the special effects still hold up pretty well. As for Keaton, his deadpan persona is very different to other silent actors of the time, but I like his physicality. I look forward to other films of his. Grade: A
Yeah, man, you oughta see Lake Mungo, it's good. Props to, I think, Takoma for championing this until I finally watched it a few years ago.

And yeah, The General is awesome.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:31 pm

Just a quick heads-up for anyone interested, that there are several Nigerian films available for streaming on Netflix and Prime. Yesterday I finished one called 93 Days (which wasn't great, but OK/solid) on Prime, but I also saw a few others available at Netflix.

The Wedding Party (2016) - Romcom
Lionheart (2019) - Drama
October 1 (2014) - Mystery/Thriller
King of Boys (2018) - Drama
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