Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Captain Kidd (1945)
AKA: My Fair Pirate

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

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

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

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

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

Starting the month off with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wedding Party (2016) - Romcom
Lionheart (2019) - Drama
October 1 (2014) - Mystery/Thriller
King of Boys (2018) - Drama
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm

Quickies on the middle of the month films...

Lake Mungo (2008) Creepy mockumentary about a family coping with the death of their teenage daughter, who drowned at a dam. Sure, after you see it, you can notice the seams in how the director/writer are throwing curves at us to keep us off balance with events and things that ultimately lead nowhere, but it's still a very creepy, moody, and atmospheric film. Grade: B+

[REC] (2007) This one really surprised me. Spanish film that follows a reporter and her cameraman as they accompany a fire crew. When they have to answer an emergency call from a building, they find themselves trapped, not knowing why. This one could easily be on my Top 5 of found footage horror films. It goes straight to the point and never ceases to surprise you with effective jump scares and good handling of the plot. Grade: A-

93 Days (2016) Nigerian film about the 2014 Ebola outbreak in the country. Although featuring different perspectives, it mostly follows real-life Dr. Adadevoh (Bimbo Akintola) who managed to contain the outbreak, despite political pressures. The film is not bad, but it's not very good either. Like many other "outbreak" films, the focus shifts so much between those involved/affected, that it's hard to connect with any character. Also, most of the performances are really weak. One exception would be Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama, who plays a young doctor, and Danny Glover, who has a supporting role. However, direction was pretty solid and there are some good moments. Grade: C+

The 10th Victim (1965) This was really an interesting watch. A film I had heard pretty much nothing about, but that ended up being pretty cool, despite many flaws. Set in a near future where random people are pitted one against the other in a game of hunter/victim (kind of like The Purge, but more contained), the film follows a "hunter" (Ursula Andress) and a "victim" (Marcello Mastroianni), as they play a game of cat-and-mouse. There are so many cool elements that we've seen in other films (a bit of Running Man, a bit of Hunger Games, even some John Wick). Mastroianni is cool-as-ice in his role, and Andress plays the deadly female role pretty well. The film kinda hits a patch in the middle as the inevitable romance between them unfolds, but I thought the last act was pretty solid. I would've finished it 5-10 minutes earlier, but it was good anyway. Grade: B+

The Addams Family (2019) This was a freebie for the kids (actually, our first theater outing, which went pretty well). We saw it dubbed in Spanish, so I can't judge the voice work, although the Spanish dubbers did a nice job. The film has a lot of fun jokes and gags, and the animation is pretty good. However, the plot is a bit unfocused. The kids liked it though, and that's what it counts. Grade: B

Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) How is this on the IMDb Top 250 list? I mean, not that the list is an example of quality, but this film was so bland and simple. It follows the story of a Japanese dog that accompanied and greeted his owner every day at the train station. When the owner dies (this happens mid-way through the film, but it's even mentioned in the synopsis, so not necessarily a spoiler), the dog continues to wait for him at the station. That's it. It would've been a pretty good and charming short film, but there's nothing here to stretch it to a feature film, let alone a 130 minutes one. Not necessarily badly acted, but lots of unnecessary characters, lots of subplots that lead nowhere, and a loooot of filler. Grade: C
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:12 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm
Quickies on the middle of the month films...

Lake Mungo (2008) Creepy mockumentary about a family coping with the death of their teenage daughter, who drowned at a dam. Sure, after you see it, you can notice the seams in how the director/writer are throwing curves at us to keep us off balance with events and things that ultimately lead nowhere, but it's still a very creepy, moody, and atmospheric film. Grade: B+
Lake Mungo is top 5 horror for me, due to its splendid blend of horror and character development. I find it to be a genuinely moving film, and the development of the daughter as different things are uncovered was really nicely done.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:36 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm
Quickies on the middle of the month films...

Lake Mungo (2008) Creepy mockumentary about a family coping with the death of their teenage daughter, who drowned at a dam. Sure, after you see it, you can notice the seams in how the director/writer are throwing curves at us to keep us off balance with events and things that ultimately lead nowhere, but it's still a very creepy, moody, and atmospheric film. Grade: B+

The Addams Family (2019) This was a freebie for the kids (actually, our first theater outing, which went pretty well). We saw it dubbed in Spanish, so I can't judge the voice work, although the Spanish dubbers did a nice job. The film has a lot of fun jokes and gags, and the animation is pretty good. However, the plot is a bit unfocused. The kids liked it though, and that's what it counts. Grade: B
I thought Lake Mungo was pretty gripping. I've only seen it once, a couple, three years ago, but it's stuck with me.

I fucking love The Addams Family. Not as much the first time, largely because I couldn't let go of the old TV version I grew up on. But now I absolutely love this, consider it a real Halloween treat, watch it at least every other year. Huston and Julia just absolutely fucking rule.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:39 pm

Wooley wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:36 pm
I thought Lake Mungo was pretty gripping. I've only seen it once, a couple, three years ago, but it's stuck with me.

I fucking love The Addams Family. Not as much the first time, largely because I couldn't let go of the old TV version I grew up on. But now I absolutely love this, consider it a real Halloween treat, watch it at least every other year. Huston and Julia just absolutely fucking rule.
I think he's talking about the new animated version of the Addams Family.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:08 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:39 pm
I think he's talking about the new animated version of the Addams Family.
Oh.
Oops.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:28 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:39 pm
I think he's talking about the new animated version of the Addams Family.
Hence, the 2019 :D

But on a related note, I saw a bit of the 1990s Addams Family during lunch yesterday and it reminded me how funny that film was. I need to rewatch it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:09 pm

I've been watching stuff.

I Am the Pretty Thing in the House (2016)---My pick for the Horror film category, this is the second film for Oz Perkins who did The Blackcoat's Daughter. A hospice nurse watches on a writer while spooky stuff starts happening. Yeah, I'll just take Daughter and it wasn't particularly close. This film feels like it's straining for feature length as Ruth Wilson does a lot of reading...slowly. And having that one line uttered so quickly in the film kinda dampened the whole suspense thing. D

Horns (2014)---This was a hot mess of a film as one minute it feels like Alejandro Aja's Wonder Years and the next grown reporters are fighting tooth and nail for an exclusive story for the town outcast Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) who grows horns that allow him to hear the hidden truths from other people. Radcliffe is fine as he handles the emotional beats well and the ebbs and flows of the small town romance works well enough. Surprisingly, it came together for me in the same spot that High Tension lost me. Kinda spitballing on a grade, but it managed to entertain for the most part. C

Making my way through Ghost in the Shell (virus) and The Golem (which is alas in English, but hey, it's a creature film!). Probably going to watch The General on Halloween night.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:15 pm

Last night I finished my 15 films, but since today is Halloween, I'll try to close up with an extra, and watch my #1 horror film (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is on Prime)

Also, thanks to Pop for the recommendation of The Tell-Tale Heart short. Found it on YouTube and enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:57 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:15 pm
Last night I finished my 15 films, but since today is Halloween, I'll try to close up with an extra, and watch my #1 horror film (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is on Prime)

Also, thanks to Pop for the recommendation of The Tell-Tale Heart short. Found it on YouTube and enjoyed it a lot.
I wrapped up my Halloween viewing last night, as I'm havin' a party tonight, but I didn't get to Texas Chainsaw, which is possibly the best of them. Have fun with that.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:33 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:15 pm
Also, thanks to Pop for the recommendation of The Tell-Tale Heart short. Found it on YouTube and enjoyed it a lot.
You're welcome. And yeah, it's quite good.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:58 pm

OK, I kind of cheated with the virus one.

But I found a lot to like about Ghost in the Shell (1995). Nice sci-fi anime that dives into some meaty subjects while showing a group of augmented humans tasked with taking down notorious hacker The Puppet Master who has been hacking into various people and implanting false memories into them. One can glance at Blade Runner (which I haven't seen) or Total Recall and see the influences there.

Largest issue was a tech-heavy script that made it a bit hard to understand what people were saying at times. But I got the gist and this one was fun.

PS: Only the second anime film I've seen. B+

PPS: Current plan is to knock out The General tonight, leaving me with the remnants of The Golem for Friday. After a slow start, ended up with 7 films for the month.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:22 pm

I had intentions of posting the new categories late on Friday, but had a hectic day at work and didn't even had a chance. Then came the weekend and I barely have a chance to get online on weekends, so for those interested, bear with me while I get settled and I'll post them in a while.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:07 pm

I'll start with some quickies on the last films of October...

Free Fire (2016) A simple-yet-entertaining romp following a botched arms deal. There's really not a lot of substance here, and it's quite messy, but I suppose that was the intention. The interactions are fun and some of the performances, most notably Sharlto Copley and Arnie Hammer, are pretty good. Maybe I won't think about this in a couple of weeks, but for now, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Grade: B+

The Crazies (1973) I'm a fan of the remake. Even if it's not ground-breaking, I think it's a solid horror film. However, the original is quite different. Despite following the same template, it follows its own path, focused more on how different groups of people react to a chaotic situation, as well as the inefficacy of the military and the government. Because of this, there is a lot of heavy-handed social subtext, much like Romero's Dead series. Also, the ending is bleaker, which my cynical self likes. I think I still give a slight edge to the remake, but I enjoyed this. Grade: B

The Shining (1980, rewatch in theater) I've never been as enamored with this film as most people, even though Kubrick is my favorite director. However, I still think it's a pretty good film, and when I found out there would be a showing of it in a few local theaters, I jumped at the opportunity. Not much to say here, but even though I still have some issues with how some of the plot unfolds, the success of the film is in its performances, mood, and atmosphere. Seeing it in the big screen was a real treat. Grade: I've always been between a high B+ and a low A-

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953) Really cool and interesting short film. I was vaguely familiar with the plot of the short story, but it was really cool to see how the film conveyed all the sentiments of guilt and fear mostly with James Mason's narration as well as the surreal animation. Grade: A-

42 (2013) A fairly straight-forward, old-fashioned biopic about Jackie Robinson. Chadwick Boseman was good and Harrison Ford's cartoonish performance somehow worked, even if the film never really reaches a rewarding climax. Some of the events feel too toned-down and safe, but it's still a competent film. Grade: C+

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, rewatch) After opening the month with my #3 horror film (Night of the Living Dead), I really wanted to close with something significant. So, after wrapping up the day before, I was glad I could spend Halloween night rewatching my #1 horror film. Still effective, still raw, still chilling to this day. It doesn't matter that I've seen the film a dozen times, my hair still creeps up when Kirk walks inside that house and you see that door at the end of the hall. Sure, some performances are spotty and the subplot about the siblings is presented, but never really dealt with, but it's still such a wallop of a horror film. Much like the discussion about the slaughterhouse in the film, this film is a sledgehammer to the head. Love it. Grade: A
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:10 pm

So, the final tally for October is...

A film with the number 10 (Ten, Tenth, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): The 10th Victim
A film with a title that starts with the letters S or T: The Shining, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #10 (i.e. 10, 108, 110): (see list here) Hachi: A Dog's Tale
A film from the 1990s: Ravenous
A horror film: Hereditary
A horror film in a foreign language: [REC]
A horror film about an animal or creature: Splinter
A post-1990 horror film made for under $5,000,000: Lake Mungo
A film with the word "Dead" or "Death" in its title: Night of the Living Dead
A film that features baseball prominently (World Series): 42
A film with the word "Fire" in its title (Fire Prevention Week): Free Fire
A film from Nigeria (Independence Day, October 1): 93 Days
A film from Buster Keaton (born October 4): The General
A film featuring a virus of some sort (Virus Appreciation Day, October 3): The Crazies
A film based or inspired on Edgar Allan Poe's work (died October 7): The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

Freebie with the kids: The Addams Family (2019)


Best of the month? Not counting rewatches, probably Hereditary, but props also to The General and [REC]

Least favorite? Hachi: A Dog's Tale. Still wondering why that film is listed at the IMDb Top 250.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:36 pm

And these are the categories for November...

A film with the number 11 (Eleven, Eleventh, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A film with a title that starts with the letters U or V:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #11 (i.e. 11, 118, 211): (see list here)
A film from the 2000s:
A film about politics in general:
A film about a writer (Nat'l Author's Day, November 1):
A film that features mummies, pharaohs, or Egypt prominently (King Tut Day, November 4):
A film about a rebellion or political plot (Guy Fawkes Night, November 5):
A film from Poland (Independence Day, November 11):
A film set in Palestine (Independence Day, November 15):
A film about the occult (Occult Day, November 18):
A film from Bruce Lee (born November 27):
A film set on Mars or featuring it prominently (Red Planet Day, November 28):
A film about Thanksgiving:
A film about with the words "Black" or "Friday" in its title:

Fire away!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:04 pm

A film with the number 11 (Eleven, Eleventh, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Sorry, I got nothing.
A film with a title that starts with the letters U or V: Vampyr, Vive le Tour
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #11 (i.e. 11, 118, 211): Andrei Rublev (#211)
A film from the 2000s: George Washington, Triangle, Enter the Void, Russian Ark
A film about politics in general: Z
A film about a writer (Nat'l Author's Day, November 1): Misery
A film that features mummies, pharaohs, or Egypt prominently (King Tut Day, November 4): The Ten Commandments
A film about a rebellion or political plot (Guy Fawkes Night, November 5): The Battle of Algiers
A film from Poland (Independence Day, November 11): The Double Life of Veronique
A film set in Palestine (Independence Day, November 15): Life of Brian
A film about the occult (Occult Day, November 18): Don't Look Now
A film from Bruce Lee (born November 27): I haven't seen any of them.
A film set on Mars or featuring it prominently (Red Planet Day, November 28): Invaders from Mars
A film about Thanksgiving: Maybe a bit of a stretch, but The New World
A film about with the words "Black" or "Friday" in its title: BlacKkKlansman
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:40 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:04 pm
A film with the number 11 (Eleven, Eleventh, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): Sorry, I got nothing.
A film with a title that starts with the letters U or V: Vampyr, Vive le Tour
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #11 (i.e. 11, 118, 211): Andrei Rublev (#211)
A film from the 2000s: George Washington, Triangle, Enter the Void, Russian Ark
A film about politics in general: Z
A film about a writer (Nat'l Author's Day, November 1): Misery
A film that features mummies, pharaohs, or Egypt prominently (King Tut Day, November 4): The Ten Commandments
A film about a rebellion or political plot (Guy Fawkes Night, November 5): The Battle of Algiers
A film from Poland (Independence Day, November 11): The Double Life of Veronique
A film set in Palestine (Independence Day, November 15): Life of Brian
A film about the occult (Occult Day, November 18): Don't Look Now
A film from Bruce Lee (born November 27): I haven't seen any of them.
A film set on Mars or featuring it prominently (Red Planet Day, November 28): Invaders from Mars
A film about Thanksgiving: Maybe a bit of a stretch, but The New World
A film about with the words "Black" or "Friday" in its title: BlacKkKlansman
Seen the ones in red...

Re: the "Eleven" one, I've heard good things about the Apollo 11 documentary, which is on Hulu, so that's an option. Barring any other recommendation, I wouldn't mind a rewatch of Ocean's Eleven.

Re: the "V" one, I've had Vampyr on my list for a while, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Same with Z or any Costa Gavras film.

Re: the Bruce Lee one, I've never seen any, but Enter the Dragon is on Netflix, so that will be my choice.

There are a few others you mentioned that I've had on my list for a while, so thanks for the recs!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:42 pm

OCTOBER:

A film with a title that starts with the letters S or T: The Tingler
Got to see this in a theater. Lots of fun. For the uninitiated, Vincent Price discovers that the source of the "tingling" in our spines is actually an insect-looking organism that attaches itself to our vertebrae and has inexplicably gone unnoticed by millions of doctors throughout history. :D He also discovers that screaming causes the creature to release its grip on the spine. In what is possibly William Castle's finest moment, a "Tingler" is accidentally set loose inside a movie theater, so at one point the creature is seen crawling across the movie screen (and, therefore, OUR screen as well) as Vincent Price frantically urges the audience to "Scream for your life!" I can only imagine the mayhem this incited in theaters back in '59.

Bonus: Here is Castle's introduction/warning that appears in the beginning of the film:



"Don't be embarrassed about opening your mouth and letting rip with everything you've got!"



A film from the 1990s:
A horror film:
Pretty much everything I watched this month. :up:

A horror film in a foreign language:
Cronos
A favorite of mine ever since my University's film club screened it back in '94.


A horror film about an animal or creature:
Arachnophobia
Saw this back in '90 and thought it was great and that Delbert the Exterminator was the funniest thing since Chaplin. This time I found it to be fun but not remarkable, and Goodman wasn't as funny as I remembered. Still liked it, just giving it a slight downgrade.


A film that features baseball prominently (World Series):
Body Bags
This was lots of fun, and one that I never hear anyone talk about. Some background: This was meant to be a series on Showtime, an early-90s answer to HBO's Tales from the Crypt. The series never came to be, so these 3 completed episodes were compiled into a film, directed by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper. In addition there is a genuinely funny wraparound segment featuring Carpenter himself as a creepy morgue attendant. I'd say these are no better nor worse than Crypt, but I'm guessing the whole thing was starting to seem passe by '93 which is why it didn't get produced.

Anyhow, I'm a sucker for anthologies so I dug it and I'd definitely watch it again. Lots of fun horror-related cameos and some cool guest stars. Debbie Harry plays a sexy nurse. Mark Hamil bares his backside. Fun times. OH RIGHT--- Mark Hamil is a baseball player in his segment, which is why I'm including it here.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:43 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:40 pm
Re: the "Eleven" one, I've heard good things about the Apollo 11 documentary, which is on Hulu, so that's an option. Barring any other recommendation, I wouldn't mind a rewatch of Ocean's Eleven.

Re: the "V" one, I've had Vampyr on my list for a while, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Same with Z or any Costa Gavras film.

Re: the Bruce Lee one, I've never seen any, but Enter the Dragon is on Netflix, so that will be my choice.

There are a few others you mentioned that I've had on my list for a while, so thanks for the recs!
Whoops, forgot about Apollo 11. Sorry. But yeah, that one's pretty good. I recommend it.

As for Vampyr and Z, they're available to rent on Amazon for 3 or 4 dollars I think.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:14 pm

Work gets me caught up sometimes too.

Film with number 11 that isn't a sequel (what's left? Witchcraft?): I'm going with Ocean's 11, but with the twist...it's the Frank Sinatra/Rat Pack one on Netflix.
Film starting with a U or V: Going with Under the Eiffel Tower, a romcom from this year? Yeah.
Film with the IMDB 250 that features 11 in its ranks: Andhudan (2018) will likely be my pick as I've seen A Separation this year and Metropolis last year. It's from India.
Film from the 2000s: Did my random-meter and it clicked on the Diane Keaton/Queen Latifah heist comedy Mad Money.
War Film: I am doing some lighter stuff, but not afraid to tackle the harder films...such as Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Film about politics in general: Doing a documentary called Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer for reasons I'll reveal when I review it.
Film about a writer: Naples '44, which I thought of for the war movie category as well. Sherlock Holmes is doing the narration, I presume.
Film that features Egypt/Mummies/Pharoahs: Asterix and Cleopatra aka Asterix and the Magic Potion (2019)
Film about a rebellion or political plot: Another documentary, but supposedly Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property is more accurate and less problematic than the 2016 Birth of a Nation.
A Film from Poland: Those who subscribe to Netflix will be pleased to learn that there's some influx of Polish titles that happened in October. My pick is the family movie 300 Miles to Heaven which also tackles immigration as well.
Film about the Occult: Not 100 percent sure on this, but it's my pick for foreign horror title from last month as well...Ritual (2018).
Bruce Lee Film: Netflix did bring in one or two titles including Enter the Dragon, but I'm going with the Bruce versus drug cult of Fists of Fury.
Film set on Mars: Low confidence that I'll get to Mars (1998) with Olivier Grunier...open to some suggestions if you have them.
Film about Thanksgiving: It's not great pickings, but I haven't gotten around to Pieces of April apparently with Katie Holmes. Hoping for at least a solid time.
Film featuring Black or Friday in its title: Guess now's the time to unleash the madcap His Girl Friday.

That's my plan, but as per usual, don't be surprised if I do a bit of jiggling around based on schedules and other things a-happening.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:30 pm

Apex Predator wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:14 pm
Work gets me caught up sometimes too.

Film with number 11 that isn't a sequel (what's left? Witchcraft?): I'm going with Ocean's 11, but with the twist...it's the Frank Sinatra/Rat Pack one on Netflix.
Film starting with a U or V: Going with Under the Eiffel Tower, a romcom from this year? Yeah.
Film with the IMDB 250 that features 11 in its ranks: Andhudan (2018) will likely be my pick as I've seen A Separation this year and Metropolis last year. It's from India.
Film from the 2000s: Did my random-meter and it clicked on the Diane Keaton/Queen Latifah heist comedy Mad Money.
War Film: I am doing some lighter stuff, but not afraid to tackle the harder films...such as Beasts of No Nation (2015)
Film about politics in general: Doing a documentary called Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer for reasons I'll reveal when I review it.
Film about a writer: Naples '44, which I thought of for the war movie category as well. Sherlock Holmes is doing the narration, I presume.
Film that features Egypt/Mummies/Pharoahs: Asterix and Cleopatra aka Asterix and the Magic Potion (2019)
Film about a rebellion or political plot: Another documentary, but supposedly Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property is more accurate and less problematic than the 2016 Birth of a Nation.
A Film from Poland: Those who subscribe to Netflix will be pleased to learn that there's some influx of Polish titles that happened in October. My pick is the family movie 300 Miles to Heaven which also tackles immigration as well.
Film about the Occult: Not 100 percent sure on this, but it's my pick for foreign horror title from last month as well...Ritual (2018).
Bruce Lee Film: Netflix did bring in one or two titles including Enter the Dragon, but I'm going with the Bruce versus drug cult of Fists of Fury.
Film set on Mars: Low confidence that I'll get to Mars (1998) with Olivier Grunier...open to some suggestions if you have them.
Film about Thanksgiving: It's not great pickings, but I haven't gotten around to Pieces of April apparently with Katie Holmes. Hoping for at least a solid time.
Film featuring Black or Friday in its title: Guess now's the time to unleash the madcap His Girl Friday.

That's my plan, but as per usual, don't be surprised if I do a bit of jiggling around based on schedules and other things a-happening.
If you have any recommendation about any of the available Polish films, let me know.

Also, FWIW, after I posted my first list, I realized I had done "war film" back in May, I think... so I changed that category to a film set in Palestine.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:16 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:30 pm
If you have any recommendation about any of the available Polish films, let me know.

Also, FWIW, after I posted my first list, I realized I had done "war film" back in May, I think... so I changed that category to a film set in Palestine.
Yeah, that's going to change my answer on that one as well.

Polish films on Netflix:
300 Miles to Heaven (1989) 7.2/10 on IMDB; 6.8/10 on Letterboxd
Escape from the Liberty Cinema (1990) 7.2/10 on both IMDB and Letterboxd
Hotel Pacific (1975) 7.4/10 on IMDB; 7.0/10 on Letterboxd
Jealousy and Medicine (1973) 6.6/10 on IMDB; 6.3/10 on Letterboxd
The Lynx (1983) 5.3/10 on IMDB; 7/10 on Letterboxd
Medium (1985) 6.7/10 on IMDB; 6.6/10 on Letterboxd
Spiral (1978) 6.7/10 on IMDB; 6.8/10 on Letterboxd
Weather Forecast (1983) 6.5/10 on IMDB; 6.3/10 on Letterboxd
Westerplatte (Resists) (1967) 7.2/10 on IMDB; 6.7/10 on Letterboxd

There might have been more during November...I think you can't go wrong with any of these (The Lynx differential is kind of odd, though).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:16 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:09 pm

Horns (2014)---This was a hot mess of a film as one minute it feels like Alejandro Aja's Wonder Years and the next grown reporters are fighting tooth and nail for an exclusive story for the town outcast Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) who grows horns that allow him to hear the hidden truths from other people. Radcliffe is fine as he handles the emotional beats well and the ebbs and flows of the small town romance works well enough. Surprisingly, it came together for me in the same spot that High Tension lost me. Kinda spitballing on a grade, but it managed to entertain for the most part. C
The novel (by Joe Hill) is really worth reading. But both the novel and the film have pretty stupid, slightly nonsensical endings.
Thief wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:07 pm
Free Fire (2016) A simple-yet-entertaining romp following a botched arms deal. There's really not a lot of substance here, and it's quite messy, but I suppose that was the intention. The interactions are fun and some of the performances, most notably Sharlto Copley and Arnie Hammer, are pretty good. Maybe I won't think about this in a couple of weeks, but for now, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Grade: B+
I watched Free Fire late one Friday or Saturday night and it was perfect for that.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:44 am

A film with the number 11 (Eleven, Eleventh, etc.) in its title (not a sequel): None that I've seen to recommend, but I'm considering 9/11: The Falling Man, District C-11, and 11 Flowers
A film with a title that starts with the letters U or V: Vampire Circus (of course!), Universal Soldier, Undertow
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #11 (i.e. 11, 118, 211): Well, I need to see Ikiru. I haven't seen Rush or Capernaum. Not sure if many of these are streaming though . . .
A film from the 2000s: Lake Mungo, Polytechnique, Ballast, Isolation (2005), Lila Says, Nine Lives of Tomas Katz
A film about politics in general: Street Fight (2005)
A film about a writer (Nat'l Author's Day, November 1): Young Adult
A film that features mummies, pharaohs, or Egypt prominently (King Tut Day, November 4): Bubba Ho-Tep, Stargate
A film about a rebellion or political plot (Guy Fawkes Night, November 5): Man in the Iron Mask?
A film from Poland (Independence Day, November 11): Demon (2015), this movie is seriously so good. An absolute must-see. It's on Netflix.
A film set in Palestine (Independence Day, November 15): When I Saw You, Under the Same Sun
A film about the occult (Occult Day, November 18): Regression (but I thought it was kind of meh), Lord of Illusions
A film from Bruce Lee (born November 27): Not my wheelhouse! Amazon has Fist of Fury and Circle of Iron
A film set on Mars or featuring it prominently (Red Planet Day, November 28): Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Princess of Mars (this one is so bad it's good stuff), John Carter
A film about Thanksgiving: Pieces of April (kind of meh), Home for the Holidays
A film about with the words "Black" or "Friday" in its title: The Black Pirate, Black Field, His Girl Friday, Blood and Black Lace, Black Orpheus (not streaming except on Criterion Channel and Kanopy, but you can rent it for $3 or $4 on Vudu or Amazon and it's ESSENTIAL viewing).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:46 am

Thief wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:30 pm
If you have any recommendation about any of the available Polish films, let me know.
Just so it isn't lost in the shuffle, I'll reiterate that Demon (2015) is fantastic.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:03 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:46 am
Just so it isn't lost in the shuffle, I'll reiterate that Demon (2015) is fantastic.
Demon's IMDB was 6.1/10 while their Letterboxd was 6.6/10.

But yeah, I missed that one as the ones I listed all appeared on October 1.

As for Horns, I think the ending clicked well enough for me. Can't get into it without some spoilers, but It felt like the opposite of High Tension where the last act worked but the first two didn't.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:38 am

Apex Predator wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:03 am
Demon's IMDB was 6.1/10 while their Letterboxd was 6.6/10.

But yeah, I missed that one as the ones I listed all appeared on October 1.

As for Horns, I think the ending clicked well enough for me. Can't get into it without some spoilers, but It felt like the opposite of High Tension where the last act worked but the first two didn't.
I think that Horns didn't know how to fully wrap up the story after the climax, and it's a shame. I had to actually reread the ending of the book because it was so confusing. I liked the movie well enough (and quite enjoyed the novel), but I feel like the last 5 minutes or so are pretty underwhelming.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:41 pm

I'm seeing some ambiguity around the Internet about what is considered "occult". What would you people say classifies?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:33 pm

Although I already went with Apollo 11 for the "Eleven" category, if anyone's looking for a recommendation, I recommend 11:14. It is a 2003 black comedy in the vein of Go and 2 Days in the Valley (fast paced, lots of characters interconnecting at one point). It's not excellent, but it's fun.

EDIT: It's on VUDU Free
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:08 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:41 pm
I'm seeing some ambiguity around the Internet about what is considered "occult". What would you people say classifies?
I haven't given it much thought, but for me the word always suggests pentagrams, Aleister Crowley, ouija, etc. I'm sure the actual definition is broader than that, though.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:45 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:41 pm
I'm seeing some ambiguity around the Internet about what is considered "occult". What would you people say classifies?
I think of it pretty broadly. Like if there are cults, demons, etc. I would consider it occult. Honestly I think that a lot of the stuff I came across in the Guess the Horror Film competition would qualify. They keyword "occult" on the IMDb pulls up like 500 movies, over 100 of which are available on Prime. Maybe go "shopping" from that list: https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?ke ... tant_video
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Jinnistan » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:53 pm

Thief wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:41 pm
I'm seeing some ambiguity around the Internet about what is considered "occult". What would you people say classifies?
It isn't too complicated a subject, but it requires separating the popular definition from the more substantial definition, and understanding that this popular perception is largely a remnant of centuries of Catholic anti-pagan propaganda. In that case, all things devilish, wicked and strangely sinister fall into the category.

In reality, what was called occult was the various strands of non-Christian myth of the Near East - Egyptian, Mithraic, Persian and Vedic systems. Most insidious of all were the Hebrews, whose Zohar (Kabbalah) and Goetia (Solomon's Keys) were among the most feared by faithful men. In essence, these are esoteric symbolic systems that are deeply ingrained in such subversive arts as alchemy and tarot (both persecuted as well), and mixed generously with the array of more local folk symbols and rituals from across the European continent which were being suppressed by Ecumenical Authorities, and only secretly transmitted and shared in shadows by the curious and occasionally the gullible.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Wooley » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:12 pm

It's interesting because I have always associated "occult" with the dark side of supernatural, not indicating that a dark supernatural presence must actually exist but that there must be hints thereof or intentions to invoke (either directly or indirectly in life or in art).
However, in medical school, I learned a different meaning for the word that has made it more interesting to me. In medical terminology, we use the word "occult" in its older Latin-based sense, which is "hidden".
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:38 pm

Based on what I've read from some of you (particularly Janson), I suspect I'm on the right track with The Ritual, the horror film with Rafe Spall.

Finally finished The General and although I did get why Buster Keaton is praised for his physical comedy (and impressed on how the film looks more expensive than it is), I couldn't quite place the politics of rooting for a Confederate engineer to outwit Union spies to steal back his beloved train (and try to win back his beloved girlfriend who basically broke up with him thinking he was a coward for not signing up for the Army) out of my mind and it spoiled things to an extent. B-
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