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December 01, 2021, 01:34:42 PM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Recent Viewings, Part 2 « previous next »
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Author Topic: Recent Viewings, Part 2  (Read 204957 times)
Jim H
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« Reply #1440 on: October 16, 2021, 04:28:36 PM »

Vertigo - I'd never seen this one before, I'd been intending to for ages.  It's beautifully shot and well-acted generally, interesting thematic material and some unique and obviously highly influential visuals,  but I'm not sure how well I connected to it, I guess?  I also thought it really drags in the middle.  Think I preferred the other Jimmy Stewart/Hitchcock collabs I've seen, Rear Window (my fave Hitch film, to date) and Rope.  Also, Jimmy Stewart is a bit miscast, like 15-20 years too old and seems even older than he is - Cary Grant was too old, but kind of pulled it off anyway.

Also, can I say Midge is a billion times more interesting than Kim Novak?  Kept hoping Stewart would go back to her instead.  I know that's not the point, heh.

Evil Dead 2 - What's there to say?  It's fantastic and infinitely rewatchable.  I must have seen this film 50 times at least and I never get tired of.  Hilarious, visually inventive and exciting, great sound, a great lead performance, extremely fast pacing, and one of the best endings of all time.  All-time classic.

Also, the newest blu-ray I got somewhat recently, I noticed something a bit interesting VS old versions.  They've digitally removed the wires that have been visible on earlier releases.  I'm actually in support of this particular change - I strongly suspect they were nearly or totally invisible when originally projected (gate weave, film vibration, and random grain pattern generally hides thin monofilament real well) and they were also definitely invisible on the original home video releases where the film thrived.  It's only when the frame got locked down digitally that they were revealed - erasing them is thus essentially restoration work to how the film was intended to be viewed.

This is in contrast to some of the changes in the newest Evil Dead releases - they've digitally removed a shot where Rob Tapert was accidentally visible and digitally removed lighting equipment and blood tubes from some shots as well...  I don't like these changes as much, as warts and all they were always part of the film.  

Anyone else have a thought on that?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 04:30:38 PM by Jim H » Logged
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« Reply #1441 on: October 16, 2021, 05:15:53 PM »

Vertigo - I'd never seen this one before, I'd been intending to for ages.  It's beautifully shot and well-acted generally, interesting thematic material and some unique and obviously highly influential visuals,  but I'm not sure how well I connected to it, I guess?  I also thought it really drags in the middle.  Think I preferred the other Jimmy Stewart/Hitchcock collabs I've seen, Rear Window (my fave Hitch film, to date) and Rope.  Also, Jimmy Stewart is a bit miscast, like 15-20 years too old and seems even older than he is - Cary Grant was too old, but kind of pulled it off anyway.

Also, can I say Midge is a billion times more interesting than Kim Novak?  Kept hoping Stewart would go back to her instead.  I know that's not the point, heh.

Evil Dead 2 - What's there to say?  It's fantastic and infinitely rewatchable.  I must have seen this film 50 times at least and I never get tired of.  Hilarious, visually inventive and exciting, great sound, a great lead performance, extremely fast pacing, and one of the best endings of all time.  All-time classic.

Also, the newest blu-ray I got somewhat recently, I noticed something a bit interesting VS old versions.  They've digitally removed the wires that have been visible on earlier releases.  I'm actually in support of this particular change - I strongly suspect they were nearly or totally invisible when originally projected (gate weave, film vibration, and random grain pattern generally hides thin monofilament real well) and they were also definitely invisible on the original home video releases where the film thrived.  It's only when the frame got locked down digitally that they were revealed - erasing them is thus essentially restoration work to how the film was intended to be viewed.

This is in contrast to some of the changes in the newest Evil Dead releases - they've digitally removed a shot where Rob Tapert was accidentally visible and digitally removed lighting equipment and blood tubes from some shots as well...  I don't like these changes as much, as warts and all they were always part of the film.  

Anyone else have a thought on that?

VERTIGO improves with multiple viewings when you're no longer focused on the plot and instead you study all the little details, the way the light changes when the camera focuses on Madeleine's face, the spiral curl in her hair... And I think the fact that Scotty should prefer Midge over Madeline is definitely part of the point.

I don't have a problem with digitally removing small warts from a film like EVIL DEAD. Removing a boom mike or whatever isn't like retrospectively changing who shot first. I wouldn't have a problem with leaving them in, either.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1442 on: October 17, 2021, 09:42:11 AM »

"The Fog" (1980)
A small seaside California town is plagued by a mysterious fog, which hides the p*ssed-off victims of a century old shipwreck bent on homicidal vengeance. John Carpenter's creepy-cool supernatural classic is dripping with spooky atmosphere and features an amazing cast (Adrienne Barbeau, Tom "Halloween III" Atkins, Hal Holbrook, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Houseman). I hadn't seen "The Fog" in a long time and I'm pleased to report that it's aged well.

"The Curse of Humpty Dumpty" (2021)
Two sisters move their mother, who's suffering from dementia, back into her old childhood home. When a creepy, antique "Humpty Dumpty" doll mysteriously arrives at their door, it begins to spark Mom's long-repressed memories of a particularly dark bit of family history.
From the trailer and cover art I was expecting this to be a cheap "Child's Play" ripoff, or a riff on Full Moon Studios' "Demonic Toys" or "Puppet Master" brand of stop-motion schlock, but this British horror flick is more of a slow burning psychological thriller. The "Humpty" doll is hard to take seriously because it looks absolutely ridiculous.
The first quarter of the movie was pretty legit creepy and seemed to be setting up a big payoff, but then the movie started to fall apart, going in circles for a while before ending with a too-little-too-late twist (that most viewers will see coming from a mile away).
Overall, pretty average stuff. Skip it unless you simply have to see every movie with a supernatural doll in it.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 09:53:29 AM by FatFreddysCat » Logged

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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #1443 on: October 17, 2021, 10:21:44 AM »

SIBERIA (2019): A man operating a bar in a frozen tundra (where he doesn't speak the native language) goes on a dream journey of Jungian self-psychoanalysis. Yep, it's Abel Ferrara (MS. 45, BAD LIEUTENANT) and if you hadn't been following his career, he no longer makes exploitation films but in his old age he has fashioned himself a Fellini-cum-Jodorowsky style navel-gazing art-house guru. Willem Dafoe's collaboration in Ferrara's late career self-indulgences lends it some credibility, but it doesn't feel original or really very interesting to anyone besides Ferrara. A generous 2/5 because it's well-made.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #1444 on: October 17, 2021, 10:22:25 PM »

Schlock-tober in full effect with a double shot of Euro-horror sleaze...

"The Grim Reaper" (aka "Anthropophagus," aka "The Savage Island," 1980)
A tour group arrives on a remote Greek island and find it totally deserted -- because the residents have all been killed and eaten by a hulking, insane, murderous cannibal, and now the tourists are next on the menu. Hilarity ensues.
This semi-legendary "video nasty" from Italian sleaze kingpin Joe D'Amato is pretty dull for most of its length - essentially, the tourists walk around exploring deserted building and going "Hello? Is anyone here?" for the first hour -- but the money shots come in the last quarter with some truly sick gore scenes that almost make up for sitting through the previous hour of poorly dubbed, woodenly acted B.S.
Worth a look for sleaze/gore completists, useless to anyone else.

"Nightmare City" (aka "City of the Walking Dead," aka "Nightmare in the Contaminated City," 1980)
A radioactive spill turns city dwellers into homicidal, blood drinking mutants, and a crusading TV reporter (Hugo Stiglitz) and his wife fight their way through the hordes to find safety.
This totally absurd Spanish/Italian "Dawn of the Dead" knock off (directed by Umberto Lenzi of "Cannibal Ferox" fame) is one of my favorite Euro-trash movies. It doesn't make a lick of sense but it's so fast moving and action packed that I can't help but love it. I've lost count of how many times I've sat through this sh*t show. Don't get me wrong, it sucks, but it sucks in a totally awesome kind of way.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #1445 on: October 18, 2021, 07:58:03 AM »

NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN (2020): Residents of a gated community in Poland believe a mysterious Ukrainian masseur/hypnotist has special powers. Filled with unexplained symbolism, references to STALKER, and ruminations about immigration and other social issues, this is a movie that begs for interpretation, but doesn't seem to hold up its end of the bargain. Poland's submission for the 2021 Oscars. 2.5/5.
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Dr. Whom
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« Reply #1446 on: October 18, 2021, 01:28:48 PM »

Yellow Cat (2020)

The basic premise of the movie is well summed up by Variety: it is an outlaw lovers on the run tale about lovable misfits pursuing untenable dreams in a world hardwired against dreamers. In deepest rural Kazakhstan, ex con Kermek steals money from a local crime lord to begin a movie theatre in the Kazakh steppe. Soon he and his girlfriend are on the run from both the gangsters and the law (which apparently comes to much the same thing in Kazakhstan)

Shot in a highly stylised static style that makes Wes Anderson look like Michael Bay, this is a nihilist fable about people trying to escape a hostile and cruel environment. Terrible things happen, but these are mostly implied or happen in a very understated way, and little absurdist touches are sprinkled throughout, such as the main character's fascination with Alain Delon in Le Samouraļ by Jean-Pierre Melville.

Rev. Powell, you might like this.
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« Reply #1447 on: October 18, 2021, 02:11:49 PM »

Yellow Cat (2020)

The basic premise of the movie is well summed up by Variety: it is an outlaw lovers on the run tale about lovable misfits pursuing untenable dreams in a world hardwired against dreamers. In deepest rural Kazakhstan, ex con Kermek steals money from a local crime lord to begin a movie theatre in the Kazakh steppe. Soon he and his girlfriend are on the run from both the gangsters and the law (which apparently comes to much the same thing in Kazakhstan)

Shot in a highly stylised static style that makes Wes Anderson look like Michael Bay, this is a nihilist fable about people trying to escape a hostile and cruel environment. Terrible things happen, but these are mostly implied or happen in a very understated way, and little absurdist touches are sprinkled throughout, such as the main character's fascination with Alain Delon in Le Samouraļ by Jean-Pierre Melville.

Rev. Powell, you might like this.

Thanks, I'll keep an eye out!
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Jim H
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« Reply #1448 on: October 18, 2021, 04:04:48 PM »

Darkness Falls - I can't help it, I enjoy this one, though I can't call it a good movie in a serious sense.  Basically a historical tooth fairy ghost kills children who see her.  And adults too.  She's vulnerable to light.  The main character survived her as a kid, and for various reasons ends up coming back home to help fight her.  It's very silly, but played completely straight (to the film's benefit), but somehow the two leads are kind of likable anyway, it's VERY fast paced with the last 45 minutes being a basically non-stop series of chase scenes and attacks from the tooth fairy.  The editing is hectic.  Almost no direct humor but a bit funny anyway.  It also never overstays its welcome - its 85 minutes, but has a 10 minute credit sequences clearly used to get it to theatrical feature length.  My only significant complaint, after the opening 10 minutes it has a 10-15 minute dull stretch.  Also, it has an anti-stinger, which in modern horror I've come to appreciate.

Check it out.
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« Reply #1449 on: October 19, 2021, 01:16:42 PM »

HUMAN NATURE (2001): The film explores the dynamics of a love quadrangle between a neurotic scientist, his sexpot assistant, a woman cursed with hirsutism, and a man who was raised as an ape. An amusing (and underrated) light satire written by Charlie Kaufman between BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION. 3.5/5.
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« Reply #1450 on: October 19, 2021, 01:20:00 PM »

Darkness Falls - I can't help it, I enjoy this one, though I can't call it a good movie in a serious sense.  Basically a historical tooth fairy ghost kills children who see her.  And adults too.  She's vulnerable to light.  The main character survived her as a kid, and for various reasons ends up coming back home to help fight her.  It's very silly, but played completely straight (to the film's benefit), but somehow the two leads are kind of likable anyway, it's VERY fast paced with the last 45 minutes being a basically non-stop series of chase scenes and attacks from the tooth fairy.  The editing is hectic.  Almost no direct humor but a bit funny anyway.  It also never overstays its welcome - its 85 minutes, but has a 10 minute credit sequences clearly used to get it to theatrical feature length.  My only significant complaint, after the opening 10 minutes it has a 10-15 minute dull stretch.  Also, it has an anti-stinger, which in modern horror I've come to appreciate.

Check it out.

Directed by South African born filmmaker Jonathan Liebesman.  Thumbup
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Jim H
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« Reply #1451 on: October 19, 2021, 10:15:08 PM »

The Brain - Pretty entertaining canuck scifi/horror, I'd somehow missed this one over the years despite remembering the cover on VHS.  A basically unexplained growing brain is hypnotizing people to feed off them over TV broadcast...  And also apparently chows down on people sometimes too.  David Gale is helping it, or maybe created it?  I don't know.  There's A BUNCH of loose threads in this one, which are mostly fun to pull at rather than vexing.  For instance...  

Why is the girlfriend in a room full of corpses tied up?  How did she get there?  Who made the brain?  What exactly is the motivation for it, since apparently it's completely intelligent and can communicate in english (briefly, via text)?  Are the doctors/nurses only helping it because it's influencing them?  If so, why did the woman fight back as soon as she realized their research caused deaths?  What exactly IS the doctor, with the reveal at the end?  Doesn't this reveal make stuff he says earlier nonsensical?

Logic aside, the movie is fast paced, with weird dream sequences and hallucinations, brain attacks, foot chases, car chases, a beheading, a couple pretty good stunts, etc.  I think it could have benefited from 5-10 minutes of trimming and maybe an extra guy getting eaten by the brain 2/3s through (there's a lull dividing acts 2 and 3 that goes on a bit), and I think the commentary about TV doesn't work but ALMOST says something...  Yet, this is a pretty fun little romp.  The brain itself is limited in movement, but you can tell some real heart and soul went into its creation and its pretty charming.  

Free on Prime streaming right now, totally worth a watch this Halloween season.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 10:17:52 PM by Jim H » Logged
Jim H
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« Reply #1452 on: October 20, 2021, 02:56:57 PM »

The Slayer - early 80s horror where a woman has a dream she thinks will hurt people.  I don't know, I thought this was extremely boring.  I found it hard to even pay attention to it, though a couple of the kill scenes are OK I guess.  It's of minor interest as an antecedent to A Nightmare on Elm Street by a few years though - a dream being apparently killing people in real life, a character who is trying badly to stay awake to not let people get hurt.  Oh, and the title creature is only seen once very briefly, but I think it was good enough to have been seen a bit more than that (it's on some versions of the VHS box).  I think my wandering attention and boredom meant I missed some intentional ambiguity in the film, but it is what it is - I'm not going to rewatch it.
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« Reply #1453 on: October 21, 2021, 08:43:37 AM »

BERGMAN ISLAND (2021): A filmmaking couple vacations of Faro (home of Ingmar Bergman and setting for many of his classics); halfway through the movie, we watch scenes from the script one of them is writing. Of special interest to a niche audience of Bergmanophiles; others may wonder if they're watching an advertisement from the Faro tourist bureau. 2.5/5.
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« Reply #1454 on: October 21, 2021, 09:55:03 PM »

IS THIS A JOKE? (2021)

In the tradition of KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE and CAN I DO IT TILL I NEED GLASSES, this silly film strings together a series of short jokes - many of them raunchy in nature - and acts them out with a live cast.  Every third or fourth joke is spiced up with a bit of nudity, but many of them are genuine groaners to begin with.
Still, it made me LOL in several places, and some of the female cast members were pretty cute.  4/5
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