Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

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kgaard.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:42 pm

Sounds promising, hope it passes without further incident.

Some recommendations for August; I'm sticking to movies I've seen (so you may have seen most/all of these), and trying not to repeat previous recs:

A film based on a book: Candyman (short story), The Death of Stalin (graphic novel) (both Netflix)
A film set on a plane: Airplane! (Netflix)
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8: Spotlight (Netflix), Tangerine (Hulu), Groundhog Day (Netflix)
A film from John Huston: Fat City (Prime), mentioned above by AP but I can confirm it's worth watching

I admit I mostly use Criterion Channel and HBO these days for movies. The picking are getting pretty slim on Netflix (though I have to hang on to this for my kid's shows) and they were never too great on Hulu. I recognize that Criterion may not be available everywhere and it's (I think) $12/month, but its large and varied library is a godsend.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:40 pm

A film from Gus Van Sant (born July 24): My Own Private Idaho

After watching Chimes at Midnight earlier in the month, it made a certain amount of sense to watch its remake-of-sorts in this coming-of-age drama about street teens grafting to survive. The movie is actually two movies in one. One story is about Scott (Keanu Reeves), a street kid who is actually from a wealthy family; this is directly influenced by Chimes, a retelling of the story of Prince Hal and Falstaff from Shakespeare's plays (mostly Henry IV part 2), and indeed many of these scenes are simply reimagined versions of scenes from Chimes. The other story is about Mike (River Phoenix), a kid tricking to survive who is friends with Scott--it's his struggle to deal with his own feelings about his life, his family, and his relationship with Scott that forms the emotional center of the movie, especially a striking campfire scene that was apparently largely the creation of Phoenix. It is to Van Sant's credit that he surrendered control of his movie to make it better. To be honest, the dual narrative structure doesn't entirely work--some of the emotional balance is lost when shifting to Scott's story--but Phoenix's performance and Van Sant's dreamlike direction make up for any deficiencies.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by crumbsroom » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:50 pm

kgaard. wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:42 pm

A film from John Huston: Fat City (Prime), mentioned above by AP but I can confirm it's worth watching
It's worth watching. It probably isn't everyone's favorite Huston, but it's mine.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:17 pm

kgaard. wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:42 pm

A film from John Huston: Fat City (Prime), mentioned above by AP but I can confirm it's worth watching
Alright, I feel like I can lock that in now. Will have my official list locked in on the First.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:30 pm

I guess I wouldn't put Fat City above Treasure of the Sierra Madre or The Maltese Falcon, but I don't think I'd argue too hard with anyone who does. I also have a certain fondness for The Misfits. Late-stage Gable, Monroe, and Clift directed by a permanently soused Huston--it's a pretty glorious mess.

I think I'm going to watch Under the Volcano for the Huston category. The book doesn't totally work for me but it seems right up Huston's alley.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:45 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:00 pm
Here's some recs for you, Thief:

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title: Haven't seen any of these but I've heard promising things about Eighth Grade (Prime), 8 Men Out (Prime), Hard 8 (Prime) and The Hateful 8 (Netflix), 85: The Greatest Team in Football History (Prime) is another option.
Any film that starts with the letters O or P: Pieta (Tubi/Vudu), Om Shanti Om (Netflix), Observe and Report (Netflix)
A film from the 1970s Netflix has a bunch of them: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian, The Castle of Cagliostro, Taxi Driver. Prime has Cooley High, JD's Revenge, Phantasm, and Sister Street Fighter, all I've liked to varying extents. And I'm sure there's other options out there for either service, let alone Tubi or Crackle.
A romantic film Priceless (2008) which is streaming on Prime with Audrey Tautou. Mentioned this already on Twitter.
A film set in school Perks of Being a Wallflower (Netflix), Lady Bird (Netflix), Eighth Grade (Netflix), Cooley High (Prime), Wrestle (Prime) which I'm going to try to talk more of you into seeing, Election (Prime)
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week) Quick Change is on Vudu, and apparently the Animal Crackers (Netflix) movie has a clown in it. Do with this what you will.
A film from Switzerland (National Day, August 1) My Life as a Zucchini which is streaming on Netflix, suitable for the whole family!
A film from John Huston (born August 5) Mainly the three World War 2 documentaries (San Pietro, Report to the Aleutians, Let There Be Light) (Netflix/Prime) and Fat City (Prime) Have seen none of them.
A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9) Snowpiercer (Netflix), V for Vendetta (Netflix),
A film set on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19) Liked Air Force One (Netflix) back in the day. Turbulence 2 and 3 (but not 1, strangely enough) are on Tubi.
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21) Redwood Highway (2014) might be a category reach, but the main character is older, it's pretty good and it's on Prime. Less good, but definitely fitting would be I'll See You in My Dreams (2015) which is on Netflix.
Seen a bunch of these recs. As for the ones I haven't, here are some thoughts...

Life of Brian is one I started earlier this year and, for some reason, didn't finish it. Don't remember why. I think I dozed off (as I often do nowadays) and didn't get back to it, so I might consider revisiting it.

Even though I've seen Election, it was back in the day and I really wouldn't mind a rewatch. I remember my reaction at the time was sorta like WTF? cause I was expecting more of a teen flick and a lot of the heavy themes in it either caught me off guard or flew right past me. This is a strong contender.

Fat City seems like a solid choice for the Huston one. I'll see what else is available from him, but this is another one I might lean towards.

Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:46 pm

kgaard. wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:42 pm
Some recommendations for August; I'm sticking to movies I've seen (so you may have seen most/all of these), and trying not to repeat previous recs:

A film based on a book: Candyman (short story), The Death of Stalin (graphic novel) (both Netflix)
A film set on a plane: Airplane! (Netflix)
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8: Spotlight (Netflix), Tangerine (Hulu), Groundhog Day (Netflix)
A film from John Huston: Fat City (Prime), mentioned above by AP but I can confirm it's worth watching

I admit I mostly use Criterion Channel and HBO these days for movies. The picking are getting pretty slim on Netflix (though I have to hang on to this for my kid's shows) and they were never too great on Hulu. I recognize that Criterion may not be available everywhere and it's (I think) $12/month, but its large and varied library is a godsend.
Seen a bunch of these too... but chalk another vote for Fat City, I guess.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:09 am

Any film that starts with the letters M or N: The Mysterious Island

This is the 1929 version of the Jules Verne story. Not nearly as exciting or creature-filled as the Harryhausen version from the 60s (duh), it nevertheless has some fun stuff, especially towards the end when our heroes encounter the undersea dwellers who (I think) are meant to look menacing but are actually pretty cute. Not unlike something from a Krofft Brothers production. Also there's a giant octopus. Unfortunately, all of this is preceded by about an hour of pretty snooze-worthy drama. And this being 1929, the film is mostly silent except for one "talkie" scene that illustrates that we hadn't quite figured out this sound thing yet. The actors' line delivery is pretty stilted, almost like they didn't know their voices were going to be heard. One of the actors is Lionel Barrymore, and this is definitely not his best. Still, should be of some interest to fans of early sci-fi. And steampunkers would probably get a kick out of the design of the submarine and the diving suits.


A film from the 1960s: Dogora

This is an Ishiro Honda film I'd never seen before (or even heard of, to be honest). Interesting mix of heist film and monster movie, as a group of jewel thieves find that there's a giant floating space jellyfish that consumes carbon and, therefore, diamonds. This one's not for all tastes I'm sure, but it's a departure from other kaiju films and the creature has a cool Cthulu look going on.


A film set in France (Bastille Day, July 14): Impasse des Deux Anges

Maurice Tourneur's final film. A stage actress calls it quits after becoming engaged to an older rich dude. When her expensive necklace is stolen she finds that the thief is an old flame that she's not seen in years. Rather than turn him in, she reconnects with him as they rendezvous (French word!) behind the fiance's back. Interesting mix of a Noir film with a Before Sunrise-type of dialogue-heavy not-quite-romance. A pleasant surprise, found on Youtube. Stars Simone Signoret and Paul Meurisse, a few years before they re-teamed in Diabolique. Good stuff.


A western film (Day of the Cowboy, July 27): The Wind

Debut film from director Emma Tammi. I discussed this elsewhere, but it's about a couple living alone on the prairie, and what happens when another couple moves close by. "Close by" meaning like a mile away. I found the premise intriguing. Would I be relieved to have another couple to interact with? Or would they be a nuisance? What if we don't like each other? What if the wife is pretty and flirts with the other husband? What I'm leaving out here is that there's also a supernatural element involving ghosts or demons or something, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish they hadn't bothered with that. I found that stuff much weaker than the living-on-the-prairie element. Still a pretty impressive debut. I look forward to her future stuff.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:19 pm

Some quick hits to finish off the month:

Any film that starts with the letters M or N: The Money Pit

Tom Hanks churned out a bunch of films starting in the mid-'80s, and this ... was one of them. Part slapstick, part comic melodrama, it never commits nearly enough to either to be successful. A couple of mildly funny bits are overwhelmed by long stretches of banal, underwritten scenes and uninspired gags. I like to imagine that Alexander Godunov's character here is actually the same character he plays in Die Hard.

A western film (Day of the Cowboy, July 27): The Naked Spur

On the other hand, this is an extremely well-written character drama western about three strangers who come together to haul in a fugitive and the woman he's traveling with. I don't ordinarily associate Jimmy Stewart with westerns but he's really good here. Millard Mitchell as a crusty prospecter is unrecognizable from his previous year's role as the studio head in Singin' in the Rain. Acting! The ending is arguably a bit too pat, but there's a lot of gold to be found in this film.

A film with "World" in its title (World Population Day, July 11): It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I have really fond memories of seeing this when I was a kid. In retrospect, it must have been on broadcast TV and probably was edited down. Watching it now ... well, it goes on much too long, and the slapstick becomes repetitive and is just too mean-spirited besides. It is pretty fun to see so many stars, but it has a bit of an assembly line feel to it. Well, they don't all hold up.

A film from Argentina (Independence Day, July 9): La Ciénaga

Ending on a high note. This film about a dissolute bourgeois Argentinian family roots around in ideas of class, sex, and family. La ciénaga is Spanish for "swamp" so most scenes are enveloped in heat or water or both. Periodically there is TV news about an appearance of the Virgin Mary on a water tower. This is the sort of film (along with films like Leningrad Cowboys and The Naked Spur) that makes this challenge rewarding--it's unlikely I would have sought this out on my own, but I'm glad I had a reason to find it.

Summing up the month:

"Yes, yes, yes, this rocks":
Aliens
Hamilton
Chimes at Midnight
Fight Club
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Leningrad Cowboys Go America
My Own Private Idaho
The Naked Spur
La Ciénaga

"Really, what's it like?"
"Eh."
:
5x2
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

"What demon from the depths of hell created thee?":
The Money Pit
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:57 pm

kgaard. wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:19 pm

A film from Argentina (Independence Day, July 9): La Ciénaga

Ending on a high note. This film about a dissolute bourgeois Argentinian family roots around in ideas of class, sex, and family. La ciénaga is Spanish for "swamp" so most scenes are enveloped in heat or water or both. Periodically there is TV news about an appearance of the Virgin Mary on a water tower. This is the sort of film (along with films like Leningrad Cowboys and The Naked Spur) that makes this challenge rewarding--it's unlikely I would have sought this out on my own, but I'm glad I had a reason to find it.
I agree about this one. It was pretty darn good.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:54 am

kgaard. wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:19 pm

A western film (Day of the Cowboy, July 27): The Naked Spur

On the other hand, this is an extremely well-written character drama western about three strangers who come together to haul in a fugitive and the woman he's traveling with. I don't ordinarily associate Jimmy Stewart with westerns but he's really good here. Millard Mitchell as a crusty prospecter is unrecognizable from his previous year's role as the studio head in Singin' in the Rain. Acting! The ending is arguably a bit too pat, but there's a lot of gold to be found in this film.
If you liked that, Jimmy Stewart actually starred in TWENTY Westerns so there's a lot of gold to mine there.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:26 pm

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title
According to Letterboxd you've seen all the ones I would recommend, so I'll go with Oliver the Eighth, a Laurel & Hardy 3-reeler (half-hour). Oliver is engaged to marry Mae Busch, only to learn that she's been previously married to seven other men named Oliver, all of whom have died. If you're a newcomer to L&H, this is a good one to start with. https://youtu.be/JUvebXVpY3U

A film from the 1970s
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week)
The Clowns (1970) -- Fellini's documentary about/homage to the world of circus clowns. "I hate clowns" has pretty much become a universal motto, but I have always low-key kind of liked them. Maybe growing up a KISS fan influenced me. :) Anyhow, this was made 50 years ago, and some of the featured clowns were old at the time, so it's an interesting peek into the world of vintage clown-dom from a time when they were much more relevant. I'll have more to say if you decide to watch it. Don't want to TL/DR everybody. This one's on Prime.

A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26)
Barking Dogs Never Bite by Bong Joon Ho is on Tubi. :up:

A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851)
It Happened One Night (#83) is on TCM
Targets (#482) is on Pluto
The Muppet Movie (#648) is on Disney+

to be continued....
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:40 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:26 pm

A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26)
Barking Dogs Never Bite by Bong Joon Ho is on Tubi. :up:
Whoa, that one and Okja are the only Bong films I haven't seen, so I just might have to do that.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:37 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:54 am
If you liked that, Jimmy Stewart actually starred in TWENTY Westerns so there's a lot of gold to mine there.
Huh, I completely forgot about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. But I haven't seen any of his other westerns, so I associate him mostly with Capra and Hitchcock. Well, if they're all as good as The Naked Spur that's something to look forward to.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:39 pm

I haven't seen it, but I've heard good things about Winchester '73.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by kgaard. » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:47 pm

Thief wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:39 pm
I haven't seen it, but I've heard good things about Winchester '73.
Yeah, that one has a good rep and it looks to be the first film he did with Anthony Mann. And it's got one of Rock Hudson's early roles.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:55 pm

Well, I was working on my final quickie reviews for the month of July and, for some reason, the words started flowing for this one, so it ended up being a "longer" review. Weird, considering that I wasn't particularly passionate about it one way or the other, but well...


A musical
A blockbuster film


ALADDIN (2019)
"You can't find what you're looking for in that lamp, Jafar. I tried and failed, and so will you."
Disney is on a clear mi$$ion. Their plan seems to be to turn most of their entire classic animated filmography into live adaptations. You can go back to the 1990s Jungle Book adaptation or Glenn Close's version of 101 Dalmatians, but the current plan more or less started in the 2010s with the success of Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book. There have been about 8 more live adaptations since, and there are a whooping 16 more on the pipeline. Now, I'm not entirely against the idea of remakes, as long as they can bring something new to the table. If it's a mere face-wash (from hand-drawn animation to live-action/CGI), it becomes nothing more than a curiosity, an experiment.

To this point, I hadn't seen a single one of these recent live-action remakes. Again, not necessarily because I'm against a remake, but more because I sense a certain pointlessness in them, which is augmented by the average/lukewarm reception that most of them have gotten. With Aladdin, the situation is more complicated. I'm a fan of the 1992 original. It's arguably my favorite animated film, it features a great soundtrack, and an excellent voice-cast anchored by the one and only Robin Williams. So obviously, I wasn't looking forward to seeing this, and the more or less warm reception it got didn't help its case. However, since we've been trying Disney+, my wife suggested it one evening and I thought "Ok, let's see if I can find something here".

Like its predecessor, the film follows young "street rat" Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). When he finds a wish-granting genie (Will Smith), Aladdin uses his powers to turn himself into a "prince", knowing it could be the only way he can court the princess. However, his intentions get in the way of the plans of Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) who has his eyes on the throne of Agrabah for his own evil purposes. The plot is pretty much identical to the original, with some setpieces and dialogues pretty much transposed from there to here. But in what the remake deviates is in the addition of two notable supporting characters (Dalia, the handmaiden, and Hakim, the head of the guards) and its attempt to flesh out some of its other main characters like the Sultan, Jafar, and Jasmine herself. Considering that the rest is more or less the same, the degree to which these changes and additions succeed or fail is what makes or breaks this film.

In that respect, the film has a double challenge, (1) to keep fans of the original pleased while paying its respects to the source material, including the late Robin Williams, and (2) to try to polish some of the more problematic issues of the original in regards of gender and race while also trying to bring something new and different to the table. For the most part, I think the film does a competent job with the first challenge. The basic plot was thrilling and fun, the story was charming, the characters likable, and the songs were catchy, so when they are transposed here almost identically, most of the time it works. It might not feel innovative and some things feel a bit rushed or forced, but if you're a fan of the original, the familiarity and nostalgia might help.

Now it is in the second challenge that the film stumbles a bit. The way that director/writer Guy Ritchie and co-writer John August try to flesh out Jasmine is commendable. There is a sense that the more prominent role of Jasmine might've been fueled by the #MeToo movement, which makes it feel a bit forced, and the two new songs - which are from her - although good, don't quite gel with the rest of the soundtrack. Despite that, these new changes make sense within the story and Scott embraces the role pretty well. Plus, she and Masoud have a lot of chemistry and, although Masoud is a bit spotty at times, he is solid and they both make for a charming couple.

Unfortunately, the biggest flaw the film has is in the character of Jafar. In following Jonathan Freeman's excellent voice performance, the remake had two options: either find a scenery-chewing actor that can convey the same wickedness, or go with a more subtle actor while trying to flesh out Jafar's character and backstory. It seems that the writers and Kenzari were aiming more for the latter. However, I don't think his performance was that great, not only because he doesn't carry the necessary menace and dread, but also because the attempts to flesh out the character felt half-baked and undercut. I appreciate the attempts they made to give him a sort of backstory and how they tried to establish a certain parallelism with Aladdin, but I felt like they dropped that halfway and ultimately wasn't that successful.

Finally, I couldn't write a review without addressing the role of the Genie. I'm sure that the task of taking up such an iconic role must have been daunting to Smith. Williams' performance pretty much defined what would be the voice performance standard from there on, and changed the whole landscape of animated films and their potential starpower since. Despite the high stakes, Smith managed to find a balance between what is a respectful homage to Williams' Genie, but without imitating him, while also trying to make the role his own. Where Williams' Genie was more fun, energetic, and crazy-lovable, Smith's Genie is more laid-back and "friend" to Aladdin. I'd still take Williams, but I still think Smith found a neat spot for his characterization. I also appreciated the addition of the character of Dalia as a love interest, and the way they book-ended the whole story.

To sum it up, Aladdin is a perfectly competent film with charming performances that I'm sure kids/teens that are not familiar with the original will enjoy. Now, for fans of the original, it depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for a fun time with a bit of nostalgia, you might be ok. But if you go in looking for the blockbuster of your life, you'll try and you'll fail. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Grade: B
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by MrCarmady » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:01 pm

Winchester 73 is great, as is Bend of the River. Still need to get around to The Far Country and The Man from Laramie, but completely agreed on The Naked Spur, if you took the last 120 seconds or so out it'd be in the running for best western ever and it's not far behind that as it is.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:42 pm

Getting an early start this month:

A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26):

Man Bites Dog


So I was in bed this morning, scrolling through a "Top 20 Most Disturbing Films" list at 5 am, as one does, when I came across this one. Found that it was on Criterion Channel so decided I'd give it a go. I was bracing myself for some nasty stuff, as my tolerance for such things has gotten lower with age, but I'm relieved to say this wasn't too much for me to handle.

It's a darkly comic found-footage film, about a film crew following a serial killer around and documenting his crimes (and his mundane moments between murders as well). I've certainly heard of this before, but I feel like it doesn't get mentioned enough as an early pioneer of found footage (for better or worse). Many times I had to remind myself that this was 1992, because it so resembled the slew of FF we got in the ensuing decades. Unfortunately for a first time viewer in 2020, this means that I a lot of the film now has a familiarity to it that it wouldn't have had for audiences back in '92. This must have been quite a thing at the time. A full 7 years before Blair Witch, even.

So yeah, definitely worth a watch, and I know I'll be bringing it up often in any future conversations about found footage, smugly correcting anyone that dares to suggest Blair Witch was first.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:34 pm

Just gotta finish up 7 Boxes this weekend.

Ended up with 10 films:

Avoid:

What the Waters Left Behind (2017)
The idea behind the film is solid. A documentary crew travels to Epecuen, the site of a 1985 flood that devastated a spa community. With a survivor in tow, the crew has hopes of making it to the big time. But the film is awash in cliches and references to far better horror films. And by the time they reach the climax which is trying oh so hard to be compared to a classic horror film, you are done. Done with the uninteresting characters, the shoddy writing, the unnecessary use of torture.

Not Recommended:

Meteor Storm (2010)
Apparently this was a SciFi TV movie? That figures. Scientist realizes that meteorites falling from the sky are not normal when people start to die after it reaches the atmosphere. Her estranged husband heads the disaster crisis center in San Francisco (and wears a leather jacket to show off his lone wolf/edginess side). Her sister and their two kids spend most of the movie getting into scrapes that forces the parents to try to rescue them. And the military just wants to nuke something, dammit. Somewhat salvaged in that it tries to play it straight like Sharknado, but without the special effects or interesting visuals, there's not enough there.

Goodbye World (2014)
End of the world, mumblecore edition. A bunch of friends make their way into one couple's off the grid cabin when the world's Internet and power goes out. Over wine and weed, they get along Big Chill style until past problems between the characters start to re-emerge. It holds 95 percent of the world changing event offscreen (which drains the urgency) leaving you with a talented cast that gets stranded in an uninteresting story that might play while you're doing laundry, taxes or something else. Not even Gaby Hoffman wearing a new mop head trying to channel George Washington can save this one.

OK:

Nothing to Hide (2018)
Netflix original has a group of French friends (mostly coupled with one exception) agree to place their phones on the table and reveal everything to them. Disaster results as secrets come out to the open. It does a nice job of mixing the humorous and the dramatic, up until its finale which might be the worst since High Tension.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Fine, perfectly fine take on Han Solo, the younger days as Alden Ehrenreich tries to tackle an iconic role. There's a solid supporting cast doing what they can even though Ron Howard is an awkward fit for the science fiction genre. Donald Glover nails his take on Lando making me wonder when he's gonna get a spinoff prequel film.

Recommended:

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019)
Woman decides to record 30 years of news to protect against bias and to serve as an archive for others. It may well have something to do with her past which lead to an FBI file on her. It brushes off issues with mental illness and not necessarily being a good wife and mother, but the film is at its best when it comes to showcasing time with the footage. Its best scene shows several stations in the moments before and during the events of 9/11.

Pipe Dreams (2020)
Competition documentary focuses on several contestants as they prepare for an international pipe organ competition. Although the film could have taken the advice of one contestant's coach and taken chances with the material, what follows is a pleasant if predictable take on the preparation and performances which indicate that the pipe organ might be in good hands in the future.

Funny Face (1957)
Fashion photographer Fred Astaire convinces reluctant bookstore worker Audrey Hepburn to head to Paris to headline a fashion spread. She agrees, largely because she can spend time looking for a leading philosophy professor. Can't shake the odd accent Hepburn has especially for someone from the Greenwich Village and the transformation from drab to fab feels like it just needed better lighting? But all that largely goes away thanks to the effortless singing and dancing of the striking Hepburn and the smooth Astaire as he's able to show the magic using an umbrella, hat and cape on a Parisian street corner. But not fully as the age difference puts a damper on the romance.

The Endless Summer (1966)
The narration is the one thing that holds back this documentary on two surfers traveling around the world trying to find the perfect wave. Although it can be funny at times, it also comes across as dorky if not dated at other times. The visuals of the surfing is well done and the background music sets the proper mood.

Slow West (2015)
Much like She's Gotta Have It and Shallow Grave, Slow West marks the beginning of a talent behind the camera in John Maclean. The tale of a Scottish lad looking in Colorado for the girl he's in love with and the grizzled bounty hunter who reluctantly agrees to get him safely to his destination is a bit standard at its core, but Maclean allows plenty of room for quirks as the film consistently goes to unexpected places before finally unleashing a bravura climax. The acting by Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, and Ben Mendelsohn (as a rival bounty hunter with a fur coat) is superb and Robbie Ryan provides some strong cinematography that proves to be the cherry on top of a delicious banana split.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:42 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:54 am
If you liked that, Jimmy Stewart actually starred in TWENTY Westerns so there's a lot of gold to mine there.
I'm wondering if he's seen The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. Or Shenandoah.

Both are good ones.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Apex Predator » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:22 pm

Alright, this is what I've decided for August (although I might do a bit of switching around, it won't be much):

Film with an 8 in the title: 8 Days: From the Earth to the Moon (2019)
Film starting with an O or an P: Odd Thomas (2014)
Film with an 8 in its rank of the 1001 films to see before you die/Film set in School: Clueless (1995) (#884)
Film from the 1970s: Taxi Driver (1976)
Romantic Film: Annie Hall (1977)
Film Featuring a Clown: Animal Crackers (2020)
Film from Switzerland: The Divine Order (2017)
John Huston Film: Fat City (1972)
Film based on Book/Film with predominantly senior cast: Our Souls at Night (2017)
Film with Left in title: The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017)
Film set on a Plane: Soul Plane (2004)
Film featuring a volcano: Into the Inferno (2016)
Film with dog in title: Arctic Dogs (2019)

13 titles in all led by first viewings of Annie Hall, Clueless and Fat City along with a re-watch of Taxi Driver. The western and volcano docs could surprise while I think the Kevin Hart comedy and the two animated ones might be lagging behind.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Wooley » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:26 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:42 pm
I'm wondering if he's seen The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. Or Shenandoah.

Both are good ones.
Yeah, I've seen 5 or 6 of his Westerns, Liberty Valance probably being my favorite as I really just thought that was one hell of a good movie.
How The West Was Won is another pretty iconic one that people could see. I kinda grew up watching Westerns on TV all the time.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:57 am

Here comes another...


A film from Argentina

LA CIÉNAGA (2001)
"That pool's filthy. You can't go in there. You'll catch something nasty."
The word "ciénaga" means "swamp", "marsh", or a place of "slow-moving flow of water". When the film opens, we see a group of middle-aged and old people slumped around a filthy, swamp-like pool. The sense of decay is present in every frame; from the structural decay in the pool and the nearby house, to the physical decay of their tired, exhausted bodies, but more important, the social and moral decay of their lives and souls as they lumber around, reminiscing of their past, drowning themselves in alcohol and self-pity.

La Ciénaga is the debut film of Argentine director Lucrecia Martel. It follows an upper/middle class dysfunctional family as they spend time between the town and the *ahem* decaying country house where the aforementioned pool is. We slowly meet the members of the family led by Mecha (Graciela Borges), the 50-something matriarch that seems to be disgusted and inconvenienced with everything and everyone while seeking refuge in alcohol and isolation. The other most prominent character is Mecha's teenage daughter, Momi (Sofia Bertolotto), who seems to be struggling with her own sexuality and insecurities, as well as her apparent feelings for Isabel (Andrea Lopez), the house Indian servant.

The film is very loose in its narrative with no clear plot structure, but rather moving slowly through a string of events surrounding the family. The constant in the story is the presence of that decay, symbolized in the pool/swamp, but seen in the broken relationships between all the family members. Most of the focus lies on Mecha; her marriage is on the rocks, her health is deteriorating, her relationship with her adult son is strained, she mistrusts and mistreats her servants, and seems to be a constant focus of grievance, which she vocally harps about to anyone that gets close. Borges' performance is flawless in that you can't help but feel pity for her while being consistently annoyed by her demeanor.

As the film progressed, I couldn't help but see some tinges of Roma, in terms of certain aspects of the story (a middle/upper class family, dealing with deep personal issues, while their servants have to deal with their own as well), but the goals of the stories couldn't be more different. Where the former ended up being a story of empowerment, unity, and support when the going gets tough, here the story is one of isolation and separation, and the morale of the story seems to be the need to escape from the "swamp", the ever-present "decay" surrounding this family, to break the dysfunctional cycle.

At one point in the story, Momi dives right into the swamp/pool. As she is drying herself, Isabel warns her with the above quote, to not go in there because it's "filthy... you'll catch something nasty." It isn't hard to draw the parallelism, and that she could as well be telling her to escape from her family before it's too late for her. Chances are that if you "dive" into this film, you'll "catch something" too, as it is the kind of film that creeps inside you and sticks with you.

Grade: B+, but has potential to turn into an A-
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:59 pm

Finally...

A film with the word "World" in its title: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
This is one that many have recommended through the years but for some reason I had been postponing. So when this category came up, I immediately went to it. The film follows Pilgrim (Michael Cera) as he tries to balance his shaky love-life with general insecurities of his age, as well as his role of bassist in a garage rock band. When he is smitten by Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) he finds out that, in order to have a relationship with her, he needs to beat her seven "evil ex-boyfriends". Like the premise suggests and most of you know, director Edgar Wright uses an energetic, fast-paced, video-game-like approach to the story with each "face off" being like a new game level until Pilgrim reaches the "big boss", Ramona's latest ex-boyfriend, Gideon (Jason Schwartzman). To be honest, I enjoyed it, but wasn't as blown away as I was expecting. The film has a lot of fun dialogue, cool setpieces, the characters are entertaining, and the craft is on point, but it didn't get to me as much as I would've liked. Not sure if it's the fact that Pilgrim spends most of the film being an asshole, but I give the writers credit for making him eventually acknowledge his faults. As it is, I felt more drawn and entertained by the supporting cast, from Kieran Culkin and Anna Kendrick, to Ellen Wong or Chris Evans. I know there are a lot of people that love this, so don't get me wrong: I enjoyed it a lot, just not as much as I expected. Grade: B+

A blockbuster film: TOY STORY 4
If you remember, near the beginning of the month, we put the first one to our kids. Well, in the next weeks, they also saw Parts 2 and 3 with my wife (I only caught the ending of Part 3). So continuing with our test run of Disney+, it was expected that we would end up with this one. The new installment follows the gang as they adapt to their new life with Bonnie, which includes Woody (Tom Hanks) who goes from being Andy's favorite to Bonnie's "least" favorite. When she builds a new "toy" in her first day at school, Woody takes it upon himself to protect the newcomer who is now Bonnie's favorite; maybe he does it to "pass the torch", or maybe he does it to win Bonnie's graces. The point is that, as is expected, they both end up lost in a road trip, and end up meeting with Bo Peep (Annie Potts) who was donated years ago and now lives as a "lost" toy devoted to finding new owners to others like her. IMO, the Toy Story trilogy was as perfect as it could be, with the third part being one of the best and most emotional closures a franchise could get. So when a fourth installment was announced, I was definitely skeptic about it. A cash-grab, going to the well once again, milking it... but I have to commend the filmmakers for finding a story that ended up being both sweet and somewhat "deep", at least for adults, with themes like rejection and fate/purpose being quite upfront. The kids, on the other hand, enjoyed the thrills, laughs, and adventures. Although most of the gang remain on the sideline, they all get their chances to shine, while the new characters are all fun. Was it necessary? Maybe not, but as far as I'm concerned, it is way better than it had any right to be. Grade: B+

A film from Argentina: LA CIÉNAGA
See above. Grade: B+

A film from the 1960s: THE JUNGLE BOOK
I have intentions of watching/rewatching all of Disney's animated films. So now that we have Disney+, at least temporarily, I can work towards that goal. In my effort to try to combine this 60s category with something that the kids might enjoy, I chose this one. The film follows Mowgli (Bruce Reitherman), a young orphan raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle. When the life of the kid is threatened by the arrival of Shere Khan (George Sanders), noble panther Bagheera (Sebastian Cabot) and fun-loving bear Baloo (Phil Harris) decide to take him to a nearby "man village" for protection. I thought the film was fun, most of the characters are likable and the story is fairly straightforward and simple (still, I was surprised at the many simlarities I felt to The Lion King). My adult self has some slight issues with the accents of the voice cast, but whether it's intentional or accidental that the British one is the "uptight" and the American is the "fun" one on a film set in India, I try to chalk it up as a sign of the times. Overall, the film was enjoyable and short and the kids were mostly engaged. I wish they would've worked on the ending a bit, specifically the motivations for Mowgli to decide what to do in the end to be more than "love at first sight", but it's a small quibble I guess. Grade: B+

A film with the word "America" in its title: THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT
As I was browsing my options for this category, I didn't have a lot to choose. Saw this one was available on Hulu and went for it. Funny thing is that, 5 minutes into it, I kinda realize "I think I've seen this". A couple of minutes later, I was sure I had seen it, probably back in the late 90s. I didn't remember that much, though, so I didn't mind the rewatch. The film follows President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) as he tries to balance his work with an upcoming election and a love relationship with lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening). In many ways, the film is pretty much an exaltation of the role of President (which feels kinda weird now, considering who inhabits the White House) and it often threatens to fall victim to the excesses of melodrama, but is mostly saved by the smart performances, a solid script by Aaron Sorkin, and the confident direction by Rob Reiner. It can't fully escape its airs of 'Murica, rah-rah, but it's not without its charms, and backs it up with good characters. Grade: B+

A musical: ALADDIN (2019)
See above. Grade: B

A film by Gus Van Sant: DRUGSTORE COWBOY
Gus Van Sant's second film follows Bob (Matt Dillon), the leader of a crew of thieves and drug addicts who specialize in drugstores. Up until this point, my experience with Van Sant didn't extend beyond his mainstream efforts, so I was kinda looking forward to seeing something else from him. Was set for Paranoid Park, but they took it out of Hulu before I could get to it. Ended up settling for this one, but I don't regret it at all. The film is pretty good, taking us inside the lives of Bob and his crew, which includes his girlfriend Diane (Kelly Lynch). There are a couple of things that I felt needed a bit more space, for example, the detective's obsession with Bob, or his weird visions and superstitions, but more especially, how his transition is executed. I feel that change could've been executed better. Regardless of that, Dillon is excellent in his performance and he pretty much carries the film all the way. Grade: B+

A film set in France: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
Set in 18th Century France, the film follows Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a young painter that is commissioned to paint the portrait of Heloise (Adèle Haenel), a wealthy young woman. Although Heloise is being forced to marry a nobleman, she and Marianne develop a bond and eventually an affair which they have to keep secret. I had heard/read good things about this so when I saw it was available on Hulu, I ran with it. The film has all the right elements in its right place. Both lead performances are great, the direction of Céline Sciamma is impeccable, and the story is beautifully tragic (or tragically beautiful). This is because of the way this forbidden relationship unfolds. There's an organic beauty to how the relationship of Heloise and Marianne evolves, to how the casual looks change into more profound and intimate gazes, or how a casual stroll in the beach becomes a casual chit-chat on the bed. Both Haenel and Merlant act the hell out of their roles and make you believe it, but it's also Sciamma's patience in letting scenes and moments breathe on camera as we see both characters inevitably drawn to each other... as inevitably as they both will be "pulled" apart. Grade: A-

A film with the number Seven in its title: SEVEN (2018, short film)
I only had this category left the day before we were hit by a storm, so I thought to myself, I better get at least one short film under my belt to say that I completed my challenge. Googled "Seven short film" and this came up. This Norwegian short film is written and directed by James Morgan. It is set in what seems to be a remote fishing village where a man is facing some sort of "village trial", leaving two people: a young woman and an apparent leader, to carry the sentence. I was pleasantly surprised by almost every aspect of this. The performances were really good, the story - brief as it is - has emotional weight, but especially the direction, I thought was impeccable. I only wish I could see a bit more of this, but I guess that's the point of a short film. Google it, see it. Grade: A-
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:09 pm

This is the final tally for July...

A film with the number 7 (Seven, Seventh, etc.) in its title: Seven (2018, short film)
Any film that starts with the letters M or N: The Midnight Meat Train
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #7 (i.e. 17, 470, 718): The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (#780, rewatch)
A film from the 1960s: The Jungle Book
A musical: Aladdin (2019)
A blockbuster film: Knives Out
A film with "America" in its title: The American President (rewatch)
A film about sharks (Shark Week): Finding Nemo (rewatch)
A film with "Kiss" in its title (Int'l Kissing Day, July 6): The Naked Kiss
A film from Argentina (Independence Day, July 9): La Ciénaga
A film with "World" in its title (World Population Day, July 11): Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
A film set in France (Bastille Day, July 14): Portrait of a Lady on Fire
A film about chaos and disorder (Pandemonium Day, July 14): Speckles: The Tarbosaurus
A film from Gus Van Sant (born July 24): Drugstore Cowboy
A western film (Day of the Cowboy, July 27): Man of the West

Freebies for the kids: Toy Story (rewatch for me), Onward, Toy Story 4


Happy to finish with 17 films, plus one short. If I were to choose a favorite, I'd be torn between La Ciénaga, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Knives Out, and Man of the West.

As for a least favorite, there was nothing bad or horrible, but maybe Aladdin was the most meh?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:11 pm

As for August, I had already posted the categories, but here they are again...

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title
Any film that starts with the letters O or P
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851)
A film from the 1970s
A romantic film
A film set in school
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week)
A film from Switzerland (National Day, August 1)
A film from John Huston (born August 5)
A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9)
A film with the word "Left" in its title (Lefthanders Day, August 13)
A film set on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19)
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21)
A film featuring a volcano (Vesuvius Day, August 24)
A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26)

Remember the game, for those interested. My birthday is in August, so I'm gonna take one recommendation for each category from anyone as a "gift". Whichever film I'll see, whoever's recommendation, I will give you a shoutout on the next episodes of my podcast, maybe even read a snippet from your review, or whatever. Preferable if recommendations are available on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and maybe Disney+, VUDU and Tubi.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:15 pm

So, do we only recommend one film or try to recommend one for each category as usual?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:17 pm

Whatever you want.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 pm

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title: The Hateful Eight
Any film that starts with the letters O or P: The Phantom Carriage
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851): The Piano (#851)
A film from the 1970s: Minnie and Moskowitz
A romantic film: I Know Where I'm Going!
A film set in school: Elephant
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week): La Strada
A film from John Huston (born August 5): Apparently, I haven't seen any of his films yet.
A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9): Werckmeister Harmonies
A film with the word "Left" in its title (Lefthanders Day, August 13): My Left Foot
A film set on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19): Non-Stop
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21): The Straight Story
A film featuring a volcano (Vesuvius Day, August 24): Journey to the Center of the Earth
A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26): Reservoir Dogs

Of these, I reviewed Minnie and Moskowitz and I Know Where I'm Going! in my movie thread.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:56 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 pm
A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title: The Hateful Eight
Any film that starts with the letters O or P: The Phantom Carriage
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851): The Piano (#851)
A film from the 1970s: Minnie and Moskowitz
A romantic film: I Know Where I'm Going!
A film set in school: Elephant
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week): La Strada
A film from John Huston (born August 5): Apparently, I haven't seen any of his films yet.
A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9): Werckmeister Harmonies
A film with the word "Left" in its title (Lefthanders Day, August 13): My Left Foot
A film set on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19): Non-Stop
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21): The Straight Story
A film featuring a volcano (Vesuvius Day, August 24): Journey to the Center of the Earth
A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26): Reservoir Dogs

Of these, I reviewed Minnie and Moskowitz and I Know Where I'm Going! in my movie thread.
Ok, I've seen the ones in bold red. The others, there are some great recs, but unfortunately most of them aren't available streaming in the services I have, or at all.

That said, I will probably take you up on The Straight Story, since it's on Disney+ and I'm a Lynch fan.

I also have to ask, which version of Journey to the Center of the Earth? FWIW, the only one I've seen is the 2008 one with Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson.

Also, although The Phantom Carriage isn't officially available, I see a couple of versions on YouTube. If you or anyone can point me to one that is of quality with the proper sound/music, etc. that could be another one I might consider.

Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:58 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 pm
A film from John Huston (born August 5): Apparently, I haven't seen any of his films yet.
I've only seen two films from Huston, but if you haven't seen *any*, you MUST help yourself to The Maltese Falcon. Easily one of the best films I've seen. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is also excellent.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:10 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:56 pm
Also, although The Phantom Carriage isn't officially available, I see a couple of versions on YouTube. If you or anyone can point me to one that is of quality with the proper sound/music, etc. that could be another one I might consider.
There are two soundtracks I know of.

This is the classic one. This is the modern one. I like the second one a bit more, but it's up to you. I'd recommend watching the first 5 minutes of both to see which one interests you the most.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:11 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:58 pm
I've only seen two films from Huston, but if you haven't seen *any*, you MUST help yourself to The Maltese Falcon. Easily one of the best films I've seen. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is also excellent.
Yeah, both are definitely on my watchlist. Since I usually use a random number generator for GOAT lists though, it will probably depend on luck for when I get around to them (though, I might end up watching them pretty soon considering your recommendation, tbh).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:15 pm

Thief wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:54 pm
Here's Episode 17 for those listening...

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 17 (July 16, 2020)
Episode 18 is out!

Thief's Monthly Movie Loot - Episode 18 (August 3, 2020)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:49 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:11 pm
As for August, I had already posted the categories, but here they are again...

A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title
Any film that starts with the letters O or P
A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851)
A film from the 1970s
A romantic film
A film set in school
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week)
A film from Switzerland (National Day, August 1)
A film from John Huston (born August 5)
A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9)
A film with the word "Left" in its title (Lefthanders Day, August 13)
A film set on a plane (Aviation Day, August 19)
A film with a primarily senior cast (Senior Citizens Day, August 21)
A film featuring a volcano (Vesuvius Day, August 24)
A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26)

Remember the game, for those interested. My birthday is in August, so I'm gonna take one recommendation for each category from anyone as a "gift". Whichever film I'll see, whoever's recommendation, I will give you a shoutout on the next episodes of my podcast, maybe even read a snippet from your review, or whatever. Preferable if recommendations are available on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and maybe Disney+, VUDU and Tubi.
Remember everyone to throw in your recommendations. There is nothing written in stone yet, but these are the ones I'm strongly considering...

A film that starts with the letters O or P: Odd Thomas (recommended by Darren Lucas, on Twitter)
A romantic film: Priceless (recommended by Brian Clarkson, on Twitter)
A film from John Huston: Fat City (recommended by Apex, on Corrierino)
A film based on a book: The Death of Stalin (recommended by kgaard, on Corrierino)
A film with a senior cast: The Straight Story (recommended by Popcorn, on Corrierino)
A film with the word "Dog" in its title: Barking Dogs Never Bite (recommended by Captain Terror, on Corrierino)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:59 pm

Thief wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:40 pm
Whoa, that one and Okja are the only Bong films I haven't seen, so I just might have to do that.
Okja starts with an "O" and is on Netfix. Boo-yah!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2020

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:26 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:26 pm
A film with the number 8 (Eight, Eighth, etc.) in its title
According to Letterboxd you've seen all the ones I would recommend, so I'll go with Oliver the Eighth, a Laurel & Hardy 3-reeler (half-hour). Oliver is engaged to marry Mae Busch, only to learn that she's been previously married to seven other men named Oliver, all of whom have died. If you're a newcomer to L&H, this is a good one to start with. https://youtu.be/JUvebXVpY3U

A film from the 1970s
A film featuring a clown (Clown Week)
The Clowns (1970) -- Fellini's documentary about/homage to the world of circus clowns. "I hate clowns" has pretty much become a universal motto, but I have always low-key kind of liked them. Maybe growing up a KISS fan influenced me. :) Anyhow, this was made 50 years ago, and some of the featured clowns were old at the time, so it's an interesting peek into the world of vintage clown-dom from a time when they were much more relevant. I'll have more to say if you decide to watch it. Don't want to TL/DR everybody. This one's on Prime.

A film with the word "Dog" in its title (Dog Day, August 26)
Barking Dogs Never Bite by Bong Joon Ho is on Tubi. :up:

A film from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list whose ranking includes the #8 (i.e. 18, 380, 851)
It Happened One Night (#83) is on TCM
Targets (#482) is on Pluto
The Muppet Movie (#648) is on Disney+

to be continued....
Continuing my recs--

"O" movies--- Oliver The Eighth (See above), Okja, Opera by Dario Argento (prime), The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix), The Out-of Towners (on Crackle or Pluto) - this one is a favorite of mine. Written by Neil Simon and starring Jack Lemmon/Sandy Dennis

"P" movies --- Padak (Prime) -an animated film from Korea that will convince you to never eat seafood ever again. The Plague Dogs (Prime) also has Dog in the title-bonus!
Private Life on Netflix is highly recommended- a film about a couple hiring a young girl to be a surrogate mother.

A film based on a book (Book Lover's Day, August 9) David Lean's Great Expectations is on Prime

A film set in school-- I convinced everyone in the Horrorcram to watch Final Exam a while back. Your turn! :P
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