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Author Topic: Recent viewings  (Read 460590 times)
Jack
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« Reply #6690 on: August 26, 2013, 06:33:59 AM »

Day of the Panther (1988) - a super cool dude goes to Australia and Kung Fu's all the bad guys because they killed his partner in the prologue. Pretty generic stuff with a vaguely interesting plot and some romance that sent the cheese-o-meter off the scale. 2.5/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #6691 on: August 26, 2013, 07:14:41 AM »

"Phantasm" (1979)

http://www.youtube.com/v/juQ1P-uFbA4

Inspired by the "PHANTASM SUCKS" thread on this board I decided to re-visit Don "Beastmaster" Coscarelli's cult low budget horror classic, in which a pair of brothers investigate sinister goings-on at the local mortuary run by the mysterious "Tall Man" (Angus Scrimm).

This flick gets a lot of love from horror geeks for its "surreal" or "dreamlike" quality (i.e. the movie makes almost no damn sense!), though I'd guess that those qualities were due more to budget restraints and the filmmakers' lack of experience, than to any artistic sensibilities.

"Phantasm" has got some cool set pieces and the soundtrack is creepy. Otherwise, I've honestly never understood what all the whoop-de-doo is about this flick. It's average at best.

I have "Phantasm II" next in the DVD pile and if things don't get any better in that one, then I'm certainly not going to bother with any more of this series.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #6692 on: August 26, 2013, 05:14:36 PM »

Another Thin Man (1939): Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy) along with their baby Nickie Jr. are on vacation when they get a call from one Colonel MacFay (C. Aubrey Smith) who is head over some of Nora's family estate and businesses to come visit him on Long Island. The Charles head out to the country estate hoping for a quiet weekend but find anything but as MacFay details to them how he's being threatened by a man named Church (Sheldon Leonard) who has an old grudge against him. When murders start happening, all things put towards Church but could the murderer really be that obvious?

Here we're treated to yet another entertaining murder mystery feature featuring the Nick and Nora Charles characters. It's often quite enjoyable with a light, amusing comedy approach and an involving and convoluted murder mystery. Keep an eye out for Marjorie Main and Shemp Howard who have amusing bit roles in this one. It is perhaps a tad bit more slow-moving that the previous two films yet still manages to keep one guessing and wondering right up to the end. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

Big Fish (2003): Despite their troubled relationship, a son (Billy Crudup) returns home to visit his dying father (Albert Finney), who has had a lifelong penchant for telling enjoyable tall tales involving himself. Wanting to tell his father's life story, the son tries to get an handle on just who his father really is/was but finds it difficult to differentiate fact from fantasy.

This film feels like a magical fantasy brought to life mixing the real and the unreal into an enjoyable mix/blend that just makes life more entertaining and the metaphors for life in stories and secret meanings behind jokes all that much more meaningful. Life can be a funny and wonderful thing, it can also be at times ordinary and boring. The mix for most people is probably somewhere in between. With this film, we see aspects of the life lead by the young Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor) that helped shape him and make him the man he is some of which are exaggerated to extremes but there does seem to remain an element of truth however small connecting all the dots. Whatever the case, the stories have a message as does the jokes and that in so many ways makes them worthwhile however farfetched and crazy they may seem on the surface. Perhaps it's better and more worthwhile to live with big dreams than to cling to an unfulfilling reality that just doesn't offer the same magic.  **** out of ***** stars.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 05:19:05 PM by JaseSF » Logged

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« Reply #6693 on: August 26, 2013, 09:01:57 PM »

One Hour Photo (2002)-Robin Williams stars as a lonely photo developer who becomes obsessed with a family whose photos he collects. As he tries to insert himself into their lives things quickly take a disturbing turn. I think I saw this in the theaters back when it came out and remember it as an interesting but unremarkable thriller. On rewatch today I found this to be relentlessly dark and quite powerful. Robin Williams is someone who I usually go from either tolerating to straight up detesting in most of his work is really amazing here. With not a single joke in sight he encapsulates this loner stalker that I could both feel sorry for and be scared of at the same time.
The idea of a mentally disturbed individual interfering with the lives of others is nothing new (think Single White Female, The Crush, Pacific Heights, The Stepfather..........) but IMO this is the finest example I can think of. Director Mark Rominek is largely a music video director and visually this is impeccable. Listening to the commentary it is clear every shot was intensely thought out and it shows on the screen. If you haven't seen this one I give it a high recommendation even if you cant stand Robin Williams. I gained new respect for the guy and almost forget about Patch Adams.
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Jack
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« Reply #6694 on: August 27, 2013, 07:17:31 AM »

The Creeper (1977) - a group of doctors goes camping in the woods but an unknown creepy person starts terrorizing them. Can't say I really blame him - if these yapping yahoos destroyed the tranquility of my forest I'd probably be tempted to whack them too. So they flee but it's miles to civilization and it's not long before we're down to two guys carrying the third on an improvised stretcher, stumbling over every rock and blade of grass, as we watch them make their epic trek in real time. Hal Holbrook's character is decent enough but the other two guys... one's a crying alcoholic and the other is a complete a-hole. The atmosphere was good enough but between the boredom and the annoyance it's a tough slog to get to the end. 2.5/5.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #6695 on: August 27, 2013, 07:17:55 AM »

"Phantasm II" (1988)

http://www.youtube.com/v/3LHizNyn8Tc

Seven years after the first "Phantasm," lone survivors "Mike" (fresh from a stint in a psych hospital) and "Reggie" set out on a road trip to track down the mysterious mortician known as "The Tall Man," who's setting up shop in a new town. Large guns, killer spheres, chainsaws, midgets, gooey yellow stuff, and gore ensue.

Faster moving and more action packed than the first flick, with better FX, but the story is still a muddle. Soooo... yeah, I think I'm done with this series.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #6696 on: August 27, 2013, 08:03:20 AM »

WHITE PONGO (1945): Boring white people take an expedition deep into the dullest Africa looking for a boring white gorilla. This movie contends that white-coated gorillas are more intelligent and human-like than brown-furred gorillas. Very subtle. 1/5.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #6697 on: August 27, 2013, 05:34:33 PM »

I somehow own White Pongo and have watched it a bunch of times.
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Jack
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« Reply #6698 on: August 28, 2013, 06:45:14 AM »

The Devil Has Seven Faces (1971) - this girl in Holland has an identical twin sister in London, and the sister has stolen some huge diamond but the bad guys are after the girl in Holland because they think she might have some info on where her sister stashed the gem. A race car driver and a lawyer help the girl out while trying to figure out what exactly is going on. This wasn't too bad, the characters were likable enough and the plot had a few good twists. Kept me interested. 3/5.
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« Reply #6699 on: August 28, 2013, 09:17:38 AM »

BLACKFISH (2013): Killer whale Tilikum has killed three humans, but this documentary argues that his psychosis is inevitable given the confinement and abuse he's suffered at the hands of his captors. This is the documentary Sea World doesn't want you to see (they declined to be interviewed); it's one-sided, but the evidence is pretty damning that the business model of these aquatic theme parks is no good for either humans or whales. Contains graphic and unsettling whale-on-human and whale-on-whale violence. 3.5/5.

THE PAPERBOY (2012): Set in the Jim Crow south during the civil rights movement, this lurid melodrama follows a college dropout as he helps his journalist brother investigate the case of a man who may have been wrongfully imprisoned; a strange love triangle heats up when he falls for the accused's nymphomaniac death-row-groupie fiancee. The word "trashy" was invented for stories like this; it's as much fun as a stolen hump in the backseat of a 1965 Chevy Impala. The jellyfish scene is already infamous. Cast as a cougar, Nicole Kidman is hotter here than she has ever been and is obviously having a blast (as is the rest of the cast). Ignore the bad reviews. 3.5/5.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
Jack
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« Reply #6700 on: August 29, 2013, 06:35:29 AM »

Pontypool (2008) - the employees of a radio station are doing their usual morning show when reports of bizarre occurrences in their town start coming in. A large group of people seem to be attacking a doctor's office, and many others are acting strangely as well. Whatever could be going on? This started out great, with good characters and a palpable sense of tension. The ending didn't really work for me; the explanation for these events was plain nonsense. Still enjoyed it overall though. 4/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #6701 on: August 29, 2013, 07:14:50 AM »

"Friday the 13th Part II" (1981)

Small | Large


The late Mrs. Voorhees' little boy Jason takes up the family business of hacking up horny teenage camp counselors with farm implements in the first of many sequels to the 1980 horror hit. Nothin' fancy, just good friendly violent fun.
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« Reply #6702 on: August 29, 2013, 11:05:48 AM »

NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (1970): An exotic dancer in a psychologically abusive lesbian relationship thinks she's going crazy when she has vivid nightmares in which she thinks she kills people. Typical Jess Franco Eurosleaze with careless plotting, failed attempts at arty camera shots, and naked women onscreen at almost all times. Mostly boring, but strangely hypnotic at times for bad movie fans, so you could give it more than the 2/5 it probably deserves.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
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« Reply #6703 on: August 29, 2013, 03:38:15 PM »

Men in Black I and II......never had any desire to see any of those films but Alan and my daughter talked me into it. I liked them both!
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JaseSF
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« Reply #6704 on: August 29, 2013, 05:11:58 PM »

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941): Retired detective Nick Charles (William Powell) and his wife Nora (Myrna Loy) reluctantly get drawn into investigating murder and racketeering intrigue after a jockey winds up dead at a racetrack, the same track where Nick felt certain he had seven winners.

Yet another entertaining Thin Man entry, this one keeps you like the others guessing right up to the end and has plenty of amusing light style comedy to keep you interested as well. It does seem perhaps a tad bit more confined that some previous entries but nevertheless remains an involving murder mystery filled with surprising twists and turns. The funniest bit involves the Charles dog Asta let loose in a restaurant. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997): Four teenagers (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillippe) find themselves unexpectedly to be targets one year after they tried to cover up an accidental hit and run on the highway.

Those behind this film seem to have been uncertain as to whether to go the outright murder mystery route or go down the slasher route. Ultimately this is pretty much a mix of both although it eventually devolves into more predictable and routine slasher fare. That said, the Fisherman does make a memorable movie monster/killer and Gellar and Hewitt do their best in their turns as scream queens. Too bad Phillippe's character is detestable and the plot becomes something of an unbelievable convoluted mess. Still, this remains better than most of its type. ***1/4 out of ***** stars.

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010): After they believe their house trashed by home invaders, a family installs security video cameras throughout their house. The cameras help to tell a much different story as to what's going on inside the house and show that the family may be the targets of something much more sinister and paranormal.

Actually this movie is largely a bore. It's mostly just mundane footage of an house with nothing happening. Now the few times when stuff actually happens, it does get slightly more interesting but isn't exactly all that unpredictable if one has seen the first film. They could have shortened this movie down into a somewhat entertaining short film but as it is, it's mostly a bore. I get that they were trying to build suspense but mundane shot after shot of nothing happening is hardly interesting. I get they were going for a slow build and if we'd never seen any films use these tricks before, it would probably be more effective. It goes for the reality TV element of combining stuff you'd see on ghost hunting reality shows with a setting of an average family in a possibly haunted house. Me, I prefer character actors, plot and story in the majority of my films. This gimmick has gotten so stale by this point. **1/2 out of ***** stars.
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