Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

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Apex Predator
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:03 pm

Updated list (at least the number one should provide zero groans):

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title: Two Night Stand (2014, Prime)
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Cutie and the Boxer (2013, Netflix)
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #2 (i.e. 12, 82, 912): The Band Wagon (1953, Tape)
A film from the 1910s: Awaiting a second opinion on Birth of a Nation, but likely going with Hell's Hinges (1916, Youtube)
A comedy film: Dick (1999, Crackle)
A sequel (second parts only): Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1989, Prime)
A film nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award this year: Marriage Story (2019, Netflix)
A film featuring the name of a couple in its title: Although I could double up with Cutie and the Boxer, I've decided on Kate and Leopold (2001, Netflix)
A film with the world "Love" in its title: Love, Rosie (2015, Prime)
A film with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Black Panther (2018, Netflix)
A film featuring football prominently (Super Bowl, February 2): 23 Blast (2014, Prime)
A film that features the President of the US as a prominent character (President's Day, February 17): Dick (1999)
A film set in New Orleans (Mardi Gras, February 25): The Princess and the Frog (2009, Netflix)
A film from the Dominican Republic (Independence Day, February 27): Locas y Atrapadas (2014, Prime)
A film from Vincente Minnelli (born on February 28): The Band Wagon (1953)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:28 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:03 pm

A film from the 1910s: Awaiting a second opinion on Birth of a Nation, but likely going with Hell's Hinges (1916, Youtube)
Re: Birth of a Nation, I'm sure I've said it here before but I found it to be infuriating. I would still recommend it based on its cultural and technical significance, but halfway through, I wanted to throw stuff at the TV.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:41 pm

Thief wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:28 pm
Re: Birth of a Nation, I'm sure I've said it here before but I found it to be infuriating. I would still recommend it based on its cultural and technical significance, but halfway through, I wanted to throw stuff at the TV.
I did read your review.

I asked the person who suggested Hell's Hinges his thoughts on it.

As a viewer, I'm torn. Culturally, this would have priority. But considering my issues with The General, I'm not sure that I could co-exist with this one.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:50 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:37 am
You may be surprised. There's a decent amount of horror I haven't gotten around to from the early days to the last few years.
Oh, I have many big name films I've still not seen (many of them horror). I'm more referring to the impression I had that when Captain Terror wrote about it, I thought I remembered a lot of folks having an opinion about it.
kgaard. wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:02 am
Also, The Sword in the Stone (yes, I have a small child), which is basically a series of thinly connected vignettes. They're fine, I guess, but there's really no story to speak of, just a bit of gesturing at Arthur's coming of age and rule.
We watched a LOT of Sword in the Stone when I was little. That poor heartbroken squirrel!
Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:41 pm
As a viewer, I'm torn. Culturally, this would have priority. But considering my issues with The General, I'm not sure that I could co-exist with this one.
Birth of a Nation is "fine" if you watch it as an historical artifact. It's a window into revisionist history in the making. Much like watching Nazi propaganda, you can be horrified and sort of fascinated by the technical elements at the same time. The film is so nakedly racist that it's not a question of "Could I overlook the racism?". The racism (and the look inside a racist artist's mind) is kind of why you watch it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:21 pm

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title: Gruesome Twosome

Herschell Gordon Lewis is not someone whose films I've seen much of (nor found myself particularly keen to check out), though I'm aware of some of his more famous titles (Two Thousand Maiancs, Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls).

Watching this film was a non-stop pendulum swinging between delighted and bored.

The film begins with a conversation between two puppeted mannequin heads. Delightful. It turns out that sweet old Mrs. Pringle is sourcing her realistic wigs from the heads of unsuspecting college girls. Mrs. Pringle lures the girls into a locked room where her mentally ill son Rodney kills and scalps the girls. Again, delightful.

After this heck of an opening, the film settles into something that walks the line between entertainment and monotony. Sequences drag on and on and on. The main character, a college girl named Kathy who is determined to find the killer, follows home a suspicious janitor. Sensing someone behind him, he looks left. Then he looks right. Then he looks left again. It's like that thing where a joke is funny, then it goes on too long and it's not funny, but then it keeps going and it's kind of funny again? Several other sequences follow this pattern of something like 5-8 minutes spend watching someone look around a room, romp on the beach, etc.

The kills--both very fake in their over-the-top gore and also lacking in sexual exploitation--are actually pretty fun in their silliness. The amateur camera movements (panning one way and then the other) add to the overall vibe. The dialogue is *mwah* amazing, and delivered in either monotone or ACTING VOICES.

I was able to enjoy this one because it has a very short run time, and so the long sequences didn't wear on my patience too much. The whole thing hits that sweet spot of being "bad" in a way that is for the most part engaging. Aside from the schoolyard-level portrayal of the mentally ill Rodney (not the most . . . sensitive portrayal), the film lacks anything like racism or sexism that can sour a fun schlocky film.

Coming in at just over an hour and ten minutes, this was a fun way to spend an evening.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Rock » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 am

I'm not a Lewis expert but based on your review of the above, you might enjoy Blood Feast, which is halfway between unintentionally hilarious and genuinely weird.

Two Thousand Maniacs! might be worth a watch too and is probably the best made I've seen from him (although that's not saying a lot). The Gore Gore Girls is unrelentingly nasty and mean spirited, but that gives the movie a level of tightness that the others I've seen from him don't reach. The Wizard of Gore is dreadful and has one of the lamest villains I've seen in a horror movie.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:27 pm

Criterion subscribers are encouraged to check out Always For Pleasure for the New Orleans category. An hour long Les Blank doc that does a great job of depicting the NO of my youth.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:31 pm

Rock wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 am
I'm not a Lewis expert but based on your review of the above, you might enjoy Blood Feast, which is halfway between unintentionally hilarious and genuinely weird.

Two Thousand Maniacs! might be worth a watch too and is probably the best made I've seen from him (although that's not saying a lot). The Gore Gore Girls is unrelentingly nasty and mean spirited, but that gives the movie a level of tightness that the others I've seen from him don't reach. The Wizard of Gore is dreadful and has one of the lamest villains I've seen in a horror movie.
I was kinda shocked at how bad The Wizard Of Gore is. After the praise it received in Juno, I was really hoping it would be a great bad movie, but it is actually kinda pitiful, particularly for how utterly lame the Wizard actually is.
I thought The Gore Gore Girls was better for the reason you state. It's not a nice film but it is a lot "tighter".

I did, in a weird-ass way, enjoy 2001 Maniacs, the remake of the HGL film, with Lin Shaye and Robert England.
It's like they understood that they were not supposed to be making a good horror movie but rather a bad one. And they did.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:37 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:27 pm
Criterion subscribers are encouraged to check out Always For Pleasure for the New Orleans category. An hour long Les Blank doc that does a great job of depicting the NO of my youth.
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I would point out to anyone how much people are dancing in this trailer. That really is what life is like in New Orleans. If you are not comfortable with people spontaneously dancing all around you, sometimes even when there's no music playing, or especially if you don't dance your own self, New Orleans is probably not the town for you.

"I got to boogie-woogie like a knife in the back!"
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:48 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:37 pm
I would point out to anyone how much people are dancing in this trailer. That really is what life is like in New Orleans. If you are not comfortable with people spontaneously dancing all around you, sometimes even when there's no music playing, or especially if you don't dance your own self, New Orleans is probably not the town for you.
I was at a random stop light in Algiers couple of months ago when a guy in front of me got out of his car and started shakin' it. Car full of people, but for some reason he was the only one that felt the need to dance. Light turned green and we all had to sit there until he finished his little shuffle. I have no patience with people but even I couldn't be mad at the guy.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:30 am

Rock wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:26 am
I'm not a Lewis expert but based on your review of the above, you might enjoy Blood Feast, which is halfway between unintentionally hilarious and genuinely weird.
I think I've always confused this one with Blood Sucking Freaks (which I watched about 10 minutes of and did NOT enjoy) and have avoided it. Criterion has a bunch of his stuff, so maybe I'll check this one out.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:35 am

A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter

February continues to deliver!

This is one of those titles I've seen for years but never checked out or knew much about.

In a small village a dark figure is attacking young women, draining them of their youth and leaving them them old and withered. Enter Captain Kronos, vampire hunter. Along with his assistant Grost and acquired love/lust interest Carla, Kronos tries to get to the bottom of the unconventional vampire attacks.

I thought that this was just a really fun, interesting vampire horror/mystery. There is a very small cast (and thus a very small set of suspects for the killings), and yet there were still some surprises in store for me in the final act of the film. For a horror film of this era, there's surprisingly little sexist garbage. Carla is unabashedly interested in Kronos and they clearly enjoy each other's company. While we don't get to spend too much time with the various victims, none of them are portrayed in an exploitative way or without empathy. Among the central characters there's a lot more friendship and kindness than you usually get. It all gives the film more of a sense of humanity. There's also a mid-film development that adds some serious drama and tragedy to things.

While I won't go into details, I really liked the way that the final showdown was staged from a visual point of view. I thought that it was imaginative, and even that there might be a few films that borrowed from elements of it.

If you haven't seen this one, I think it's well worth a watch.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Rock » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:40 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:30 am
Criterion has a bunch of his stuff
lol

I mean, I guess it's like how they had Armageddon.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:41 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:35 am
A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter

February continues to deliver!

This is one of those titles I've seen for years but never checked out or knew much about.

In a small village a dark figure is attacking young women, draining them of their youth and leaving them them old and withered. Enter Captain Kronos, vampire hunter. Along with his assistant Grost and acquired love/lust interest Carla, Kronos tries to get to the bottom of the unconventional vampire attacks.

I thought that this was just a really fun, interesting vampire horror/mystery. There is a very small cast (and thus a very small set of suspects for the killings), and yet there were still some surprises in store for me in the final act of the film. For a horror film of this era, there's surprisingly little sexist garbage. Carla is unabashedly interested in Kronos and they clearly enjoy each other's company. While we don't get to spend too much time with the various victims, none of them are portrayed in an exploitative way or without empathy. Among the central characters there's a lot more friendship and kindness than you usually get. It all gives the film more of a sense of humanity. There's also a mid-film development that adds some serious drama and tragedy to things.

While I won't go into details, I really liked the way that the final showdown was staged from a visual point of view. I thought that it was imaginative, and even that there might be a few films that borrowed from elements of it.

If you haven't seen this one, I think it's well worth a watch.
Alright, now I have to go back and watch this again.
I was very excited for this film and maybe had it built up too much in my mind after Vampire Circus, Twins Of Evil, and Brides Of Dracula, all of which I watched shortly before it and enjoyed a great deal in varying degrees, but Kronos didn't take off for me the way it sounds like it did for you. Not bad but just underwhelming. Definitely had Caroline Munro in it. Mmmm.
I'm willing to give it a second go on your rec. But I'll hold you responsible.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm

Ok, sharing something here for anyone interested. I've been pondering the idea of recording a podcast for a while now, and have been going back and forth with whether I should do it or not. I finally decided, what the heck, let's do it. So here I'm sharing the links to the first episodes.

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 0 (Intro)

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 1 (January 2020)

I'm not happy with a lot of things, like maybe the title :shifty: but I just wanted to get over with it. Also, if you've been reading this thread, I pretty much just poured the same thoughts there, so there might not be a lot more than just listening to my pretty voice 8-) But anyway, there it is. Let me know if the links work, and feel free to spread it out.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:32 pm

Rock wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:40 am
lol

I mean, I guess it's like how they had Armageddon.
"Culturally significant" casts a wide net, eh?
Wooley wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:41 am
Alright, now I have to go back and watch this again.
I was very excited for this film and maybe had it built up too much in my mind after Vampire Circus, Twins Of Evil, and Brides Of Dracula, all of which I watched shortly before it and enjoyed a great deal in varying degrees, but Kronos didn't take off for me the way it sounds like it did for you. Not bad but just underwhelming. Definitely had Caroline Munro in it. Mmmm.
I'm willing to give it a second go on your rec. But I'll hold you responsible.
I would say that in my opinion it is one step below Vampire Circus. I would definitely watch it again. And I did just absolutely love certain parts of the staging of the final confrontation, so left me with a good impression. I'm sure that on a rewatch the middle might seem a little meandering, but I felt like the second half was nicely loaded with drama, action, and neat set-pieces.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:40 pm

A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the: Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot

A little while back I watched the film Playtime and had a mixed reaction to it. A few posters on here (well, more accurately in the Recently Seen thread) helped to contextualize the film for me in terms of it being the most abstract of the Hulot series by Tati.

This film is the first film in the series. It follows a well-meaning but bumbling man named Monsieur Hulot on a vacation to a seaside resort. The film is essentially a series of little vignettes/adventures as Hulot goes about trying things like a game of tennis or a walk on the beach. The comedy is basically 95% physical and non-verbal, with very little dialogue and a lot of moments scored with cartoon-like sound cues.

I'm split on this one. I would certainly recommend it, HOWEVER, I am such a verbal/literary/language person. I really, really struggled to keep my attention. This is the kind of movie that reminds me just how hard it is for me to keep my eyes on a screen for a prolonged period of time. I did really enjoy certain sequences (such as Hulot playing tennis using an absurd method), but the overall momentum wasn't there for me.

It was nice to watch a film that is just silly. There are lots of jokes like "Oops I kicked that guy in the butt!" humor, or sequences like one in which Hulot tries to paint a boat, only for a rising tide to repeatedly steal his paint bucket only to return it back to a different place. There's an extremely cartoon like moment right at the beginning with a crowd of people at a train station frantically running up and down stairs to get from one platform to another. There are some pointed moments here or there, like the running joke of a young man who is only ever seen lecturing his (obviously bored) female companion on political/social theory.

If anything, this film made me appreciate what I saw in Playtime, a film I struggled with because of its lack of narrative. Now that I've got a better grasp on what Tati is doing and his humor, I'm actually looking forward to watching Playtime again--mainly because I most valued the film for the asides it took to look at the lives of tangential characters.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:06 am

A comedy film: Next Floor; Just Neighbors

Watching a short sometimes feels like "cheating" to me (unless it's like a film from 1903 or something), so I always like to do at least two of them if I pick one for a regular category.

Next Door

This is a short from 2008, filmed by Denis Villenueve.

A group of wealthy people in formal dress sit around a dining table gorging themselves on exotic foods. The camera pans over increasingly outlandish foods, going from a suckling pig to what appears to be baby deer and maybe brains in oyster shells? As the meal progresses, the staging of the food gets more and more extreme, such as a whole deer (fur and all), with its back simply split open and flayed. The diners are attended to by waitstaff and a quartet of musicians. As the group eats, the floor suddenly gives way and they fall through to the next level. "Next floor!" cries the head waiter, and the waitstaff scurry down to continue attending to their masters. A mechanism lowers the chandelier through the hole in the floor, and we see that this is a process that has repeated itself many times.

I really liked this film. It has a point to make, it gets in, makes the point, and is finished. I took away a broad theme of greed, the pursuit of pleasure/wealth despite the destruction it causes, and the complicity/defiance of those who serve the most powerful. At a brisk 8 minutes, easily recommended.

Just Neighbors

This is a Harold Lloyd short.

Lloyd plays a man who attempts to help his neighbor build a backyard chicken run (many plot summaries say the are building a shed, but it's clearly a chicken run, right?). As the two men work, things quickly get out of hand, and both backyards are trashed. The relationship between the neighbors sours. The rest of the film consists of the neighbors (intentionally or not) annoying each other.

In terms of old-timey cringe, there's thankfully little here. Aside from the fact that the men are introduced by who they are and the women are introduced by how pretty they are. Meh.

I did get a little anxious seeing that the film used animals for some of the routines (a dog and two chickens). I did not love the way that the chickens were handled, but it's nothing too horribly egregious. The dog is a total winner, getting a big hug from Lloyd, delicately wrangling one of the chickens, performing several "stunts" with precision and delicacy (like stealing a bag), and rescuing a little girl from traffic. The dog stealing led to my favorite line in the whole film, in which one neighbor accuses the dog of stealing and Lloyd's wife defends him saying, "He's a good Presbyterian dog!".

Again, this is only about 9 minutes of film and it's easily recommended.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:05 am

A film set in New Orleans (Mardi Gras, February 25): JD’s Revenge

Am I just in a really good mood this month? (I am not).

Anyway, my run of really enjoying films that everyone else seems to think are mediocre continues!

In 1940s New Orleans, hustler JD walks in on his sister and a man named Theotis arguing. JD's sister is married to charismatic preacher Elijah, but we learn from the overheard argument that she's been having an affair with Theotis, Elijah's brother. When she threatens to tell Elijah, Theotis cuts her throat with a razor. When Elijah arrives, Theotis (or maybe it was Elijah?) shoots him dead before he can tell the truth.

Skipping ahead to modern day (~30 years later), law student and cab driver Ike lives a happy, slightly nerdy life with wife Chris. One night the two of them go out for a night on the town to celebrate their anniversary. Ike is hypnotized at a sideshow, and while under his trance he becomes a vessel for the angry spirit of JD. Ike (and Chris and his friends) struggle to understand what is happening as he begins to suffer headaches and behave erratically and violently. Ike finds himself drawn to the church where Elijah preaches, and begins to be more and more violent with Chris.

I liked the performances in this film quite a lot. The lead performance is good, but the actress playing Chris does a lot to make a potentially offensive plot into something much more complicated. The visuals are also really neat, especially the sequences in which Ike suffers flashes of JD's experiences in the slaughterhouse where his sister was killed.

Setting aside the copious female nudity (why, no, there's not also male nudity, thanks for asking!), the film walks a really tricky line in terms of its central plot and the relationship between Chris and Ike. In one of the films most disturbing scenes, a possessed Ike sexually assaults Chris in their home. She goes along with the sex at first, pretending to orgasm (for a moment it seemed like this was going to be a "no means yes" sex scene and I was like "HMMMM") in order to try and bring the encounter to a close, but he continues on in a way that is incredibly painful for her. Significantly, they don't even discuss this. Later her physically assaults her. Then, in a third encounter, he tries to rape her again. Now, to the film's credit, the characters take his actions seriously. Chris's ex-husband explicitly calls it what it is (rape), and encourages her to stay away from him. Chris is convinced that Ike is experiencing some sort of medical or mental illness. She keeps going back to him and giving him second chances. Like I said earlier, the actress does a good job of portraying a woman who is thoroughly confused by the sudden change in her loving husband, and who clearly still loves him despite his actions. But I was really torn by the ending where
Ike is like "Well, guess that's over now!" and she's just like "Ha! YAY!" and they go off together laughing and hugging.
Even more upsetting is a scene in which Ike's friend is like, "Well, I think it's kind of cool that you slapped her around a little." I'm not saying some men don't think that way, but the film presents this point of view as acceptable, and it's pretty gross to see the way that this character (who is a doctor and supposed to be one of the voices of reason in the film), dismisses Chris as hysterical and encourages Ike to see his violent assault of Chris as a moment of "manning up." I honestly had a hard time reading whether or not the film was agreeing with this character or what.

Another point of interest for me was the almost entire lack of "race conflict" in this film. The cast is almost entirely black, aside from a handful of white characters (the hypnotist, Ike's cabbie boss, a taxi passenger). I'm not saying that horror films shouldn't address race issues, but I think that often films with black characters can get pigeon-holed into having to be about race (much like a disproportionate number of films about women are rape-revenge as opposed to . . . literally any other conflict). It's really cool to see a film from this era where the black characters are professional class (Ike is studying to be a lawyer, his friend is a doctor, etc). In one scene, Ike's boss (a black man) talks about how a white customer is complaining about being attacked. "All she can say is that he's a black guy. Well, I've got about 30 guys who fit that description," says the boss. There's a kind of dark humor to the fact that Ike/JD gets away with an attack because his attacker cannot describe anything more than his race. I've not seen many blaxploitation films where interpersonal conflict is allowed to take center stage, and it was neat to see that dynamic here.

I don't feel like I see this film discussed very often. I'd love to hear other opinions about it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:46 am

JDs Revenge was recommended to me by a friend with dubious taste in films, and who somehow neglected to mention the New Orleans element, so it hasn't been high on my list of things to watch. Guess I'll have to move it up the list.

Also, LOL at me disparaging another's taste in movies.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:47 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:05 am
A film set in New Orleans (Mardi Gras, February 25): JD’s Revenge

Am I just in a really good mood this month? (I am not).

Anyway, my run of really enjoying films that everyone else seems to think are mediocre continues!

In 1940s New Orleans, hustler JD walks in on his sister and a man named Theotis arguing. JD's sister is married to charismatic preacher Elijah, but we learn from the overheard argument that she's been having an affair with Theotis, Elijah's brother. When she threatens to tell Elijah, Theotis cuts her throat with a razor. When Elijah arrives, Theotis (or maybe it was Elijah?) shoots him dead before he can tell the truth.

Skipping ahead to modern day (~30 years later), law student and cab driver Ike lives a happy, slightly nerdy life with wife Chris. One night the two of them go out for a night on the town to celebrate their anniversary. Ike is hypnotized at a sideshow, and while under his trance he becomes a vessel for the angry spirit of JD. Ike (and Chris and his friends) struggle to understand what is happening as he begins to suffer headaches and behave erratically and violently. Ike finds himself drawn to the church where Elijah preaches, and begins to be more and more violent with Chris.

I liked the performances in this film quite a lot. The lead performance is good, but the actress playing Chris does a lot to make a potentially offensive plot into something much more complicated. The visuals are also really neat, especially the sequences in which Ike suffers flashes of JD's experiences in the slaughterhouse where his sister was killed.

Setting aside the copious female nudity (why, no, there's not also male nudity, thanks for asking!), the film walks a really tricky line in terms of its central plot and the relationship between Chris and Ike. In one of the films most disturbing scenes, a possessed Ike sexually assaults Chris in their home. She goes along with the sex at first, pretending to orgasm (for a moment it seemed like this was going to be a "no means yes" sex scene and I was like "HMMMM") in order to try and bring the encounter to a close, but he continues on in a way that is incredibly painful for her. Significantly, they don't even discuss this. Later her physically assaults her. Then, in a third encounter, he tries to rape her again. Now, to the film's credit, the characters take his actions seriously. Chris's ex-husband explicitly calls it what it is (rape), and encourages her to stay away from him. Chris is convinced that Ike is experiencing some sort of medical or mental illness. She keeps going back to him and giving him second chances. Like I said earlier, the actress does a good job of portraying a woman who is thoroughly confused by the sudden change in her loving husband, and who clearly still loves him despite his actions. But I was really torn by the ending where
Ike is like "Well, guess that's over now!" and she's just like "Ha! YAY!" and they go off together laughing and hugging.
Even more upsetting is a scene in which Ike's friend is like, "Well, I think it's kind of cool that you slapped her around a little." I'm not saying some men don't think that way, but the film presents this point of view as acceptable, and it's pretty gross to see the way that this character (who is a doctor and supposed to be one of the voices of reason in the film), dismisses Chris as hysterical and encourages Ike to see his violent assault of Chris as a moment of "manning up." I honestly had a hard time reading whether or not the film was agreeing with this character or what.

Another point of interest for me was the almost entire lack of "race conflict" in this film. The cast is almost entirely black, aside from a handful of white characters (the hypnotist, Ike's cabbie boss, a taxi passenger). I'm not saying that horror films shouldn't address race issues, but I think that often films with black characters can get pigeon-holed into having to be about race (much like a disproportionate number of films about women are rape-revenge as opposed to . . . literally any other conflict). It's really cool to see a film from this era where the black characters are professional class (Ike is studying to be a lawyer, his friend is a doctor, etc). In one scene, Ike's boss (a black man) talks about how a white customer is complaining about being attacked. "All she can say is that he's a black guy. Well, I've got about 30 guys who fit that description," says the boss. There's a kind of dark humor to the fact that Ike/JD gets away with an attack because his attacker cannot describe anything more than his race. I've not seen many blaxploitation films where interpersonal conflict is allowed to take center stage, and it was neat to see that dynamic here.

I don't feel like I see this film discussed very often. I'd love to hear other opinions about it.
I haven't seen it myself, but I've actually kinda always heard it was pretty good. I guess I didn't know there was a New Orleans angle, maybe I'll watch it this month. I'm fucking buried in Mardi Gras shit, but I might be able to make time for ol' J.D.
I did watch Macabre, set in New Orleans, the other day and it really brought back some memories of my childhood.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:00 pm

Also I agree that Next Floor is great
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:21 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:46 am
JDs Revenge was recommended to me by a friend with dubious taste in films, and who somehow neglected to mention the New Orleans element, so it hasn't been high on my list of things to watch. Guess I'll have to move it up the list.

Also, LOL at me disparaging another's taste in movies.
The New Orleans aspect isn't hugely present, but it's certainly the setting.
Wooley wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:47 am
I haven't seen it myself, but I've actually kinda always heard it was pretty good. I guess I didn't know there was a New Orleans angle, maybe I'll watch it this month. I'm fucking buried in Mardi Gras shit, but I might be able to make time for ol' J.D.
I did watch Macabre, set in New Orleans, the other day and it really brought back some memories of my childhood.
Macabre was my second choice.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:07 am

A film with the world "Love" in its title: Love Gilda

This is a documentary about Gilda Radner, taken almost exclusively from her own (brutally honest) diary entries. The beginning of the film uses a lot of interviews (from her contemporaries and from modern fans like Bill Hader and Melissa McCarthy).

I wouldn't say that I thought I knew a lot about Gilda Radner, but I was surprised at how many things I didn't know. I hadn't known, for example, about the extent to which she was impacted by disordered eating. Maybe I knew that she was married to Gene Wilder, but I hadn't realized the degree to which that period of leaving SNL totally transformed her life.

What moved me the most about this documentary was just how nakedly Radner talks about the love that she desired and the way that it sometimes clashed with her desire to be herself. She has one quote which says "To be a girl and be funny means you have to sacrifice a lot of things because of your big mouth." It's hard to hear (in her own words and through accounts of people who were there) how hard she had to fight for both. Her casual mention that the men in Second City would only want to work with each other "until they realized they needed someone in the scene to serve coffee". Gilda powers her way through to take center stage, but as her friends note, her personality and her neediness kept love at bay.

One quote from her diary, written as she reflected on her one-woman show, really hit me: "Standing on stage with love coming from a thousand people, I've never felt more alone." We see in her marriage to Gene Wilder that she finds love, but at a price of becoming something less bright. To be clear, from what we see in the film, her marriage to Wilder was a very loving one. It's strongly implied that Wilder helped her immensely with her eating disorder and in giving her the love that she craved. But at the same time, that stability seems to stifle her creativity. Radner herself says that comedy comes from tension, and that when she is calm she can sense herself getting less funny. Obviously I would rather someone be happy than be churning out hilarious skits, but watching her perform it's hard to know that she lived on this teeter-totter between creativity and feeling loved.

The last third of the film deals a lot with her struggle with cancer, which is also hard to watch.

There's very little editorial "voice" to this film (aside from the obvious fact that the director curated which diary excerpts/interviews would be used). It is about 80% Gilda's own words and I really appreciated that. Instead of other people saying how they think Gilda felt, the film lets Gilda's own words make the point.

I watched this on Hulu and I'd definitely recommend it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:13 pm

A film from Vincente Minnelli (born on February 28): Father’s Little Dividend

I've seen both of the remakes of these films (the ones starring Steve Martin), so it was interesting to go back and see one of the originals.

Spencer Tracy plays Stanley, a man whose daughter is newly married (her wedding having been the focus of the previous film). Kay, his daughter, announces that she is pregnant and it sends Stanley into a tizzy as he realizes he's going to be a grandfather.

This film was . . . interesting to watch.

On one hand, many aspects of it have aged really well. I thought that a scene where Kay confesses that she's worried about the birth and Stanley gives her a pep talk was really sweet. Tracy has good comedic timing as a man who sort of wants to be in denial about everything, but cannot help getting involved. Despite his grumbling, he clearly is always acting in the interest of his daughter's well-being.

The parts that have not aged so well have a lot to do with the way that the people around Kay try to manage her pregnancy. I know that this film was way, way pre-HIPAA, but it's disconcerting to see Kay's parents just make an appointment with Kay's doctor to discuss her pregnancy (and learn that her in-laws have done the same thing) without her knowledge or consent. It's weird to see Tracy go bug-eyed at the "new" idea of not sedating a woman while she gives birth. In a scene that is meant to be heartwarming (and is a little), Kay's husband gives care directions to Tracy. But Kay is standing right there and the way he talks makes it sound like he's talking about the care of a house pet, not a person. I know it was a different era, but so many things about how they talked about Kay's pregnancy and the directions they were giving her were just SO out of whack that it was painful to watch at points.

Setting aside the pregnancy element of the film, I really liked the way that it examined how a change in the life of someone we love can also be a radical change in our own lives and how we think about ourselves. Our self worth and self perception is governed by our own actions as well as the actions of those with whom we are most connected (and especially someone who is your child).

This one is on Prime and I think it's worth a watch.

EDIT: Jeez, this is a horrible piece of trivia: "Elizabeth Taylor was suffering greatly with her physically abusive marriage to Conrad Hilton Jr. during filming. One night in which her husband was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he beat her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach, provoking a miscarriage. After that, the overall concept of the film proved hard for Taylor, as she played a woman expecting and having a baby."
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:59 pm

A film featuring football prominently (Super Bowl, February 2): Head Games

This is a documentary by Steve James (of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters fame) about the evolving discussion around head injury in contact sports (especially football), and how it is handled on both professional and youth levels.

The film does a good job of laying out the increasing awareness of the effects of chronic head injuries following the suicides and early deaths of two former professional football players. The film begins by laying out the politics of the NFL's various head injury policies and the scientific investigations conducted on the brains of former players.

But around the middle of the film, there's a shift in focus to the way that children are treated on the playing field. As the film points out, NFL teams are only allowed to have one practice a week with full pads and contact. But there are high school teams that will run four or five practices a week with full contact.

There were two things that really stood out to me from this documentary:

1) Like many people, I had a certain understanding of the word "concussion." But a point that this film makes is that even something that a person can shake off (seeing stars for a moment, briefly blacking out, dizziness, etc) can still be a significant neurological event. The film argues that we need to shift from a focus on "major" injuries (the kind of thing where a player is carried off on a stretcher) to understanding that someone who begins playing a sport at age 10 could experience dozens upon dozens of head injuries, and that those injuries can effectively stack up.

2) I know that sports are treasured by many Americans, but that's really driven home as you see that the various people interviewed in the film (including a neurologist and a man who had to retire because of head injuries) still let their children play. In fact, one of the doctors has a son who plays hockey who has suffered three significant concussions, and yet she and her husband continue to let him play because "he loves to play and we love to watch him play". These adults cannot separate the glory of being a "star athlete" from the harm that they know is being done to their children's brains.

As one of the main speakers notes, not everyone who sustains repeated "mild" head trauma will develop the more severe symptoms of CTE (depression, suicide, mood swings, memory loss, etc). But one doctor offers a very sincere opinion that anyone should quit after one major concussion.

Generally speaking, I've always had very mixed feelings about contact sports. One interviewee muses at one point, "Without tackles, what would the sport look like? What could the sport look like?". At another point in the documentary they ask basically the same question about hockey and fighting.

While you can certainly argue that adults can make informed decisions about the danger they put themselves in, I think that the debate looks a little different when you're talking about children as young as 5 years old.

It was an interesting documentary and certainly food for thought.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:42 pm

A film with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Dolemite

Good? No. Well-made? Heck no. Convincingly acted? Nope.

Unique? Yup. Enchantingly weird? Yes. Entertaining? Heck yes.

I don't think I have anything particularly insightful to say about this one. It's another film whose title I've heard for years but never actually seen or known all that much about. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading about it in the next day or two.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:36 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:42 pm
A film with an African-American cast (Black History Month): Dolemite

Good? No. Well-made? Heck no. Convincingly acted? Nope.

Unique? Yup. Enchantingly weird? Yes. Entertaining? Heck yes.

I don't think I have anything particularly insightful to say about this one. It's another film whose title I've heard for years but never actually seen or known all that much about. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading about it in the next day or two.
I can't remember if you'd said you saw My Name Is Dolemite. If you haven't I give it high marks and full recommendations.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Rock » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:52 am

Dolemite is fun in its scruffy, goofy way, as is The Human Tornado, but I genuinely loved Petey Wheatstraw. Sublime lunacy.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 pm

Rock wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:52 am
Dolemite is fun in its scruffy, goofy way, as is The Human Tornado, but I genuinely loved Petey Wheatstraw. Sublime lunacy.
Blacksploitation films are a subgenre I've never really gotten into. Aside of those, what others you guys consider essentials?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:49 pm

Wooley wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:36 am
I can't remember if you'd said you saw My Name Is Dolemite. If you haven't I give it high marks and full recommendations.
I wanted to see the original film first so that I would understand the references.
Thief wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 pm
Blacksploitation films are a subgenre I've never really gotten into. Aside of those, what others you guys consider essentials?
I mean, recently I enjoyed both Dolemite and JD's Revenge. I liked Foxy Brown overall but was thrown a bit by what I felt was an overly-explicit (mild/moderate spoilers)
rape sequence
.

In terms of a parody of blaxploitation, I cannot recommend Black Dynamite enough. I thought it was hilarious. The second scene linked below is something I go back and watch quite frequently.



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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:36 am

Started the month with the right foot. 5 films seen by Day 10, so here are my quickies so far...

A sequel: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
Saw this with the kids the day after seeing the first one and we enjoyed it a lot as well. This time, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and company have to face the threat of a dragon hunter called Drago (Djimon Hounsou) while also dealing with his own insecurities to become chief. Maybe not as good as the first one, but still pretty good. The use of a character that comes "back-from-the-dead" feels a bit cliché, but the character is well-voiced (by Cate Blanchett nonetheless) and well-treated. There is some effective emotional gravitas in the relationship between Hiccup and his father, and Hounsou is a menacing antagonist. They gave hints of a bit more depth to his character that I would've liked to be explored, but they only brushed over it. I also felt the use of the whole "alpha-swapping" thing was too convenient. Still, the film manages to be fun and thrilling. Grade: B+

A comedy film: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
Yeah, yeah, I know. But it was free on Hulu and we were on a roll, so what the heck. This last installment follows Hiccup (Baruchel) and company as they try to look for a new home safe from dragon hunters and slayers, while Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), an evil dragon slayer pursues them. I would put this one maybe a tad below the second one, or maybe even on par with it. Abraham is pretty good as the bad guy, but the whole "moving dragons" thing didn't really make much sense. Still, the writer/director managed to draw emotion effectively from the whole "farewell" aspect of it all, and the epilogue was a pretty good closure. Let's just hope the studio resists the urge for a fourth one. Grade: B or B+

A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: D.O.A.
The film follows Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien), an accountant that goes to the police station to report his own murder by poison. Via flashbacks, he tells the police of the events that might've led to this, which includes his involvement with a shipment of a stolen chemical, and the corrupt individuals around it. I had seen the killer opening a couple of years ago during an online Film Noir course I took and I was really impressed by it. However, for some reason, I never got around to see the whole film, so thanks to Tak for bringing to my attention that it was available on Prime. Most of the cast is pretty good and effective, but I think the strength of the film is on the twists and turns it takes us as we try to figure out how Frank ended up poisoned. There are a lot of "red herrings" thrown around, but Maté's direction keeps us as focused as is possible on Bigelow. I wish they would've used the character of Paula, Frank's girlfriend, a bit more to heighten the emotion of his fate, but still, I thought it was a pretty solid film noir. Grade: A-

A film from the 1910s: A DOG'S LIFE
Yet another Chaplin film under my belt. This one follows The Tramp (Chaplin) as he tries to evade the police, find a job, food, and/or love, all of this after rescuing a stray dog. There is an obvious parallelism between how the Tramp AND the dog live their lives (sleeping in the street, feeling hungry, being mistreated, pushed around) and is nice to see the interactions between Chaplin and the dog. However, I felt the film lacked a truly memorable set piece (like the cabin in The Gold Rush or the factory in Modern Times) or the emotional depth and impact of The Kid or The Great Dictator. Still, Chaplin makes the most of the moments of physical comedy, and it's still a fun and enjoyable film. Grade: B

A film with the number 2 (Two, Second, etc.) in its title: THE TWO POPES
The film follows the meeting, friendship, and eventual succession of Popes Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce). The film starts with the death of Pope John Paul II, which leads to the election of Pope Benedict. Upon meeting Pope Francis, their different styles and approaches struggle as they also face personal regrets and insecurities. This is one of those films where most people know the outcome, which takes away most of the tension and conflict. Instead, it relies on the strong performances of both leads as we see their friendship develop. In that aspect, both actors deliver extremely emotional and likable performances. I might give a slight edge to Pryce, but Hopkins was also great. The film, however, stays mostly focused on Pryce as we see flashbacks of his youth that explain the reasons why he might not deem worthy of the position. I wish there would've some balance with Benedict's past as well, but I understand the decision to keep the main focus on one character. So, if you enjoy performance-driven dramas and seeing two veteran actors duke it out, then this one's for you. Grade: B+
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:45 am

A film featuring the name of a couple in its title: David & Lisa

This was . . . kind of disappointing.

I think that there's a certain danger to watching "issue" films from previous generations because, obviously, many advances will have been made and the portrayals of problems and/or solutions will seem clunky or even offensive.

This film follows a young man named David who enters a residential home for young people with mental health issues. David hates being touched and has a fixation with clocks (including a recurring dream in which he kills people with the hands of a giant clock). David befriends Lisa, a young woman who has two personalities, one who can only speak in rhyme and the other who can only write.

So, as you can tell from that last sentence, there's a bit of YIKES. I'm not saying it's not possible that there are people out there with mental illness that manifests in this way (very attractive looking people walking around saying things like "Oh, David you look nice/not like snow and not like ice"), but it has that feeling of cute/quirky mental illness. The film kind of embraces the idea that the people just have to *realize* the root of their problems or have a breakthrough and they'll be fixed.

The friendship (romance?) between David and Lisa also felt a little odd to me because of the perceived age difference. Kier Dullea was 26 playing David (and he looks . . . 26). The actress playing Lisa was 18, but thanks to her face, clothing, hair styling, and infantilized mannerisms, she seems a lot younger than that. I wasn't sure if they were both supposed to be teenagers (his mother talking about schools/college kind of seems to imply this), but it felt like a man interacting with a girl.

I didn't hate some of the overall themes: that kindness and patience are a lot of what it takes to help young people with anxieties and mental health issues. It might be a bit on the nose, but David can't stand touch and Lisa struggles to speak--both of them unable to healthily connect through touch and/or speech, the basics of human interaction.

The man who runs the facility is not shown to be the best at his job (there's a scene where David basically help to diagnose Lisa based on an article he read and the guy seems to be like "Interesting!"), but he is kind and thoughtful in his approach to helping the young people in his care. It's a stark contrast to the way that we see David interact with his parents, and especially his overbearing mother.

It's an interesting enough time capsule of how one story imagined the challenges of mental illness. It won a slew of awards when it came out, including a Best Director Oscar nomination. I didn't hate it or anything, but it just seems a bit clunky in its approach to the material by today's standards.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Rock » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:16 am

Thief wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 pm
Blacksploitation films are a subgenre I've never really gotten into. Aside of those, what others you guys consider essentials?
I'm no expert, but aside from the Moores I enjoyed these to varying degrees (top 3 are legit great):

Super Fly
Black Caesar
The Mack
Foxy Brown
Coffy
Shaft
Blacula
Sweet Sweetback's Badaaaaaasssss (sp) Song
(although this has a pretty messed up opening scene that's basically child abuse, be warned)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 am

Rock wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:16 am
Foxy Brown
Coffy
Shoot, I just realized that I confused Coffy and Foxy Brown in my post above. I fixed it.

I quite liked Coffy.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:52 am

A film that features the President of the US as a prominent character (President's Day, February 17): Elvis and Nixon

I just didn't have it in me to watch some Asylum-grade flick where, I don't know, the President is captured by werewolf-Nazis or something.

It was hard to find a film for this category because I wasn't in the mood for a political documentary or some D-grade dumb action thriller. And fictionalized political dramas are really, really not my thing.

Elvis & Nixon was the best I could find for myself, and I went in with very tempered expectations because even the reviews that were positive were a bit tepid.

The film follows the historical White House visit between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon. About the first 50 minutes covers Presley and his camp planning for the visit and wrangling with a hesitating White House, with the final 30 minutes devoted to the actual meeting between the two figures.

The strength of the film is certainly the acting, with Michael Shannon as Elvis making the strongest impression. Shannon plays the singer as both quiet and oversized, quite the feat. His Elvis is soft-spoken but also very determined and with a very firm (and arguably warped) world view. Kevin Spacey also does a pretty good job with Nixon, making him a man who sees himself as a survivor at odds with an unfair world, pushing himself as an alpha. The combination of the performances is very entertaining, as two dominant personalities vibing on completely different levels work to communicate with each other.

While Shannon's Elvis is very watchable, the film devotes a curious amount of time to secondary characters. A ton of run time is given to the exploits of one of Elvis's entourage, Jerry, who is conflicted because he's supposed to be back home meeting his girlfriend's father. That's . . . the whole subplot. It's a weird "What's more important: work or personal life?" plot that just doesn't fit with the understated, sometimes silly, humor of the rest of the film. It feel almost like padding and when the camera leaves Elvis the energy just drops.

I'd almost advocate just skipping the first 50 minutes and enjoying the last 30.

I haven't had any bad movies this month, but this one lands in that "okay" pile.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by crumbsroom » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:47 am

Blaxploitation?

A couple of the more serious minded, but good ones are Across 110th Street, Ganja and Hess and The Spook Who Sat By The Door

Not so serious minded ones? Disco Godfather, Abby and The Candy Tangerine Man

Best one ever is Sweet Sweetback, but as Rock already stated, that opening scene is a whole lot of oof

And for the truly brave, I imagine anything with Wild Man Steve can be dared. That is if anyone is interested how terrible a bargain rate Rudy Ray Moore wannabe can be.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:48 am

I'm surprised you didn't tackle Dick which is streaming on free with Crackle.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:25 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:48 am
I'm surprised you didn't tackle Dick which is streaming on free with Crackle.
I've already seen it (and really like it).

I try to do new watches for all of the categories unless I absolutely can't find something that fits or if there's a film I haven't seen in like 20 years and really want to revisit.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:06 am

Thief wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm
Ok, sharing something here for anyone interested. I've been pondering the idea of recording a podcast for a while now, and have been going back and forth with whether I should do it or not. I finally decided, what the heck, let's do it. So here I'm sharing the links to the first episodes.

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 0 (Intro)

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 1 (January 2020)

I'm not happy with a lot of things, like maybe the title :shifty: but I just wanted to get over with it. Also, if you've been reading this thread, I pretty much just poured the same thoughts there, so there might not be a lot more than just listening to my pretty voice 8-) But anyway, there it is. Let me know if the links work, and feel free to spread it out.

For those interested, second episode is out...

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 2 (February 10, 2020)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Rock » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:32 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:47 am
That is if anyone is interested how terrible a bargain rate Rudy Ray Moore wannabe can be.
How deep is this discount?!?
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Jinnistan
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Jinnistan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:45 am

Some blaxploitation that hasn't been mentioned:

Bone
Education of Sonny Carson
Final Comedown
Don't Play Us Cheap
Five on the Black Hand Side
Monkey Hustle
Hit!
Three The Hard Way
Uptown Saturday Night
Cooley High

Don't skip on the Bakshi cartoons neither.
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Apex Predator
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:18 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:25 am
I've already seen it (and really like it).

I try to do new watches for all of the categories unless I absolutely can't find something that fits or if there's a film I haven't seen in like 20 years and really want to revisit.
That makes sense!

I try to pick new watches as well, but it doesn't always work out...
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Takoma1
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:30 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:18 pm
That makes sense!

I try to pick new watches as well, but it doesn't always work out...
Even if seemingly the new choices are a bit bleak, you never know. I've really enjoyed some films (or really enjoyed certain aspects of films) with ratings like 4.4 on the IMDb.

I happened to watch Dick in high school just around the same time that I'd been studying Watergate in my AP History class and I can remember just how fun it was to know a lot about a topic. Like, I recognized a lot of the names of some of the bit players and had a pretty good understanding of the timeline of events. I mean, the movie is a comedy and I'm not saying you have to know a lot about Watergate to "get it," but that element of knowing so much about the topic really boosted my enjoyment of the film.
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Captain Terror
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:52 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:06 am
For those interested, second episode is out...

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 2 (February 10, 2020)
Listened while I was doing some chores last night, good stuff. It's one thing to know what you're talking about but another thing to express it well, so nice job. Are you working from a script or just winging it?

EDIT: I also dug the organ theme :up:
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Apex Predator
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:54 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:30 pm
Even if seemingly the new choices are a bit bleak, you never know. I've really enjoyed some films (or really enjoyed certain aspects of films) with ratings like 4.4 on the IMDb.

I happened to watch Dick in high school just around the same time that I'd been studying Watergate in my AP History class and I can remember just how fun it was to know a lot about a topic. Like, I recognized a lot of the names of some of the bit players and had a pretty good understanding of the timeline of events. I mean, the movie is a comedy and I'm not saying you have to know a lot about Watergate to "get it," but that element of knowing so much about the topic really boosted my enjoyment of the film.
I'm probably tackling this one this weekend. Kind of remember seeing the tail end of this in my parent's place...didn't look half bad, but that cover of Dancing Queen was kind of weak.
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Takoma1
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:07 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:54 am
I'm probably tackling this one this weekend. Kind of remember seeing the tail end of this in my parent's place...didn't look half bad, but that cover of Dancing Queen was kind of weak.
I really liked it when I watched it, but again, I was like 16 and high on knowing a lot about a history topic, so . . .

I do still think that Hedaya's Nixon will hold up well.
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Thief
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:54 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:52 pm
Listened while I was doing some chores last night, good stuff. It's one thing to know what you're talking about but another thing to express it well, so nice job. Are you working from a script or just winging it?

EDIT: I also dug the organ theme :up:
Thanks. I appreciate it. I'm using a rough script. You might notice that my thoughts on the films are pretty much what I write here, but I'm still trying to improv a bit.

Re: the organ theme, I did a search for public domain, free music and this one came up. The band or musician said "Movie Theater" so I found it appropriate.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
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kgaard.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:57 pm

A film nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award this year: Marriage Story

I watched this over two nights with my wife--two nights because it's a bit much, emotionally. We live in Brooklyn and our son is about the same age as Henry in the film (the bit where Henry has a nightmare so Charlie goes to sleep in his bed, but doesn't fit so he sleeps on the floor, then Henry sleeps on the floor, so Charlie gets back in the bed, so Henry gets back in the bed? I have lived that). We communicate much better than Charlie and Nicole, though, so that's good. The important thing is the movie isn't phony. A lot of that is the performances but mostly it's the writing, which is humane. A friend of mine observed that
Nicole's arc is basically over after 20 minutes, because her important decision is hiring Nora. The rest of the movie is convincing Charlie, a self-absorbed dingbat, to catch up with reality. I think that's fine, because it never sublimates Nicole into a mere vessel. She's actively reinforcing her position until Charlie, eventually, gets it. When he does the results are inevitably bittersweet.
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kgaard.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:39 pm

A film with a title that starts with the letters C or D: Candyman

I enjoyed this a lot. I'm not sure that whatever this film is trying to say about race entirely comes across, except I guess that maybe white people should be more wary about sticking their noses into black culture.
Unless you want to become a legendary, if horrible, figure yourself?
In any event, the darkly romantic atmosphere, which is helped considerably by a tone-setting Philip Glass score and a nailed-on performance by Tony Todd, carries the movie a long way.
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