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Author Topic: Recent Viewings, Part 2  (Read 605771 times)
FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #3585 on: February 26, 2024, 10:31:28 PM »

"Easy Money" (1983)
A slovenly New Yorker (Rodney Dangerfield) stands to inherit $10 million from a rich relative if he can give up all of his bad habits - smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, etc. -- for one year. Naturally, Rodney's attempts to stay on the straight and narrow result in all kinds of mayhem. It's a simple sitcom plot but Rodney makes the most of it. Funny stuff!
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #3586 on: February 27, 2024, 09:38:32 AM »

STOPMOTION (2024): When her famous animator mother is hospitalized, a stop-motion animator struggles to complete her final work; she abandons that story and starts another when she meets a creepy little girl who invents a fairy tale about a mysterious man "no one wants to meet." Cult stop-motion animator Robert Morgan's first feature is a solid, satisfactory horror mixing creative and morbid obsessions. In theaters now. 3/5.
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« Reply #3587 on: February 28, 2024, 09:51:22 PM »

"Kickboxer" (1989)
Jean-Claude Van Damme takes Muai Thai fighting lessons in order to avenge his brother, an American kickboxer who was paralyzed during a championship fight in Bangkok. Pretty standard chop-socky junk, with impressive fight choreography and plenty of ultra-violence. Not a must see, but entertaining enough for a rainy night's viewing.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #3588 on: February 29, 2024, 02:38:28 AM »

Stations of the Cross (2014) - One the one hand this was a solid foreign flick with good acting, characters, and story. On the other, it had what I thought was a pretty big plot hole, but I could be wrong.

A young girl who is part of a conservative Catholic sect attempts to balance modern life and the restrictive tenets of the church. If she likes a boy at school she doesn't think "How can I get his attention?" she thinks am I going to Hell yadda yadda. Clearly depressed and despondent, she begins to plot a Christ like "sacrifice" where she dies and her autistic brother gains the ability to speak. The film's gimmick/ concept is clever: 14 scenes that mimic the Stations of the Cross.


The plot hole: I was under the impression that the whole point of Christ's sacrifice was that he was THE sacrifice. It's not, as I understand it, part of Christianity that people seek to martyr themselves for like other things. A devout Catholic, as this young girl and her domineering mother both were, would know that.

4/5 different and unsettling anyway
« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 05:09:46 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged
Dr. Whom
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« Reply #3589 on: February 29, 2024, 04:49:46 PM »

Trip to Mars/Himmelskibbet (1918)

The YT algorithm thought I would like to see this, and who would say no to a Danish movie about interplanetary travel from 1918?

This is a very ponderous moral fable. The Martians are telepathic vegetarian non-alcoholic pacifists who are into interpretative dance, which is contrasted with the unspeakable goings on on Earth, such as knocking people over, gambling and generally drinking and dancing in bars. They are represented by several dozen flower people in white robes, which are oddly reminiscent of Midsommar.
The dashing commander is smitten with the daughter of the Mars chief sage. When he returns back to Earth, she dutifully follows her husband, at which point her father considers his life complete and departs for the Isle of the Dead to know 'the joy of death' (his words). Another Midsommar like thing.

For the rest, there isn't much going on either by way of plot, character or atmosphere. The spaceship is cute, a sort of zeppelin with triplane wings stuck on. And there is a lot of religious sentiment.

Only watch it if you really like silent movies or for historical purposes.
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"Once you get past a certain threshold, everyone's problems are the same: fortifying your island and hiding the heat signature from your fusion reactor."

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
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« Reply #3590 on: February 29, 2024, 10:03:48 PM »

"Bay Area Godfathers Part II" (2021)
Part 2 of this doc from the "Inside Metal" crew picks up the rest of the Bay Area metal story, from when Metallica moved up to San Francisco from L.A., and the whole scene went Thrash crazy. Members of Exodus, Vicious Rumors, Death Angel,  Laaz Rockit, Forbidden, Heathen, and many more share stories and commentary. Cool stuff for metal nerds.

"Lionheart" (1990)
A deserter from the French Foreign Legion (Jean Claude Van Damme) earns his way to Los Angeles to help his late brother's family  by fighting in a series of underground, brutal bare-knuckle brawls. More typical JCVD punch-happy action junk, disposable but fun. 
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« Reply #3591 on: March 01, 2024, 04:50:53 PM »

^ He made another foreign legion one that I saw. It was good.
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Dr. Whom
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« Reply #3592 on: March 02, 2024, 06:20:39 AM »

Coupez! (2022)/Final Cut

This is the remake by Michel Hazanavicius of the Japanese One Cut of the Dead. A no budget team making a zombie movie is suddenly beset by actual zombies.

This is an absolute hoot. It is difficult to say anything about it, because it relies so much on red herrings and plot twists, so it is best to go in cold. You won't be disappointed (if you like gore and silliness, that is)

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"Once you get past a certain threshold, everyone's problems are the same: fortifying your island and hiding the heat signature from your fusion reactor."

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
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« Reply #3593 on: March 02, 2024, 10:30:22 PM »

^ He made another foreign legion one that I saw. It was good.

Yup, it's called Legionnaire. It's on Tubi, so I just added it to my watch list.

Speaking of which, Tubi has been an absulute treasure trove of trashy action movies this week!

"Death Warrant" (1990)
An L.A. cop (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is sent undercover inside a corrupt prison to investigate a string of inmate murders. Naturally there are forces behind the scenes who don't want the crimes to be solved. Lots of punching and spin-kicking ensues.
Out of the three JCVD movies I've watched this week, this was probably the most well-made one. Apparently it was written with Bruce Willis in mind for the hero role, but it fell to Jean-Claude when Bruce passed.

"Pray For Death" (1985)
Sho Kosugi of "Revenge of the Ninja" fame stars in this predictable martial-arts revenge saga. Sho and his family make the unwise decision to move from Japan to a s**tty part of L.A., where they get mixed up with a bunch of mobsters looking for stolen jewels. Eventually Sho suits up in the ol' Ninja garb and takes out the trash. As usual for a Kosugi flick, the fight choreography and stunt work are impressive, but due to Sho's near total inability to speak English, the acting is sub-par at best. Silly but enjoyable chop-socky junk.
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« Reply #3594 on: March 03, 2024, 12:18:38 PM »

FISTS IN THE POCKET (1965):
I only had time to watch one movie this week but that's okay 'cause it was this one and it knocked me on my ass. It's not exactly another TEOREMA-alike (and actually it's legions better than TEOREMA, which was made a couple years later) but you could bet money Emerald Fennell has seen it (a bathtub figures crucially) and for that matter there are at least three small yet important details that I'd wager were borrowed by Zulawski for POSSESSION. Even outside of a network of reference, FISTS IN THE POCKET is a stunner.

Alesandro is an adult (?) child trapped in a rundown villa with his buttoned-down older brother Augusto (who he both admires and resents) and his sultry teenage sister Giulia (whom he lusts after). All three are obligated to care for their younger brother (who has epilepsy as well as, perhaps, some learning disabilities) and their blind widowed mother. Within the ten minutes or so necessary to process this exposition, it's also very clear that Alesandro's circuitry is completely miswired, and that sparks might start flying out of his skull at any moment...

Alesandro is played by Lou Castel, who looks a bit like Matt Damon (lending also some RIPLEY vibes) and gives a startling performance that often evokes Brando if Brando was having a complete nervous breakdown. Alesandro often falls forward (literally as well as figuratively) instead of walking, flips and spins, and bursts into laughter at any and no provocation. Castel and writer/director Marco Bellocchio remind me of why I'm often bored with movie psychopaths. In Movieland, there's always some good pop psychology explanation for the psycho's behavior; so much time is spent anticipating their next entirely predictable outburst. But anyone who's known an unstable person IRL - someone with untreated bi-polar or borderline personality disorder, for instance - knows that imbalanced people are almost never predictable. When you think they're ready to explode, they don't. When they seem completely at peace, that's when you get scared. FISTS IN THE POCKET gets this very right.

The Criterion disk includes an interview w/ Bertolucci (wotta' snob) where he pays FISTS some deserved praise as well as making some underhanded comments about how the cinematography is much less "expressive" than in his own films. Keep smokin' that PCP, Bernardo - the lighting, composition, and nervous camera movements in FISTS are gorgeous. The last scene is, as is often the case in the films of Zulawski and Lynch, completely cuckoo bananas and yet allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions in a way that is totally understated, tasteful... and classy! It might not be a perfect film and I try to be stingy w/ my 5/5s, but this is easily the best film I've seen since October. So:

5/5

The DVD also mentions (for some reason) criticism of the film by Salvatore Dali (who, hilariously, found it sacrilegious and offensive) and Pasolini, who I guess thought it was frivolous or something. But Pasolini never made a film even half as good as FISTS IN THE POCKET and Bellocchio never p**sed someone off so much that they hacked him to death with a machete - he's still making movies today into his eighties. Advantage: Bellocchio!
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« Reply #3595 on: March 03, 2024, 05:20:19 PM »

A Face in the Fog (1936) - I have no idea why this Scooby Doo esque comic mystery shebang is called "A Face in the Fog" but it was good. The Fiend, a hunched over guy, starts picking people involved with a local theater production off using a sinister poison bullet. "I didn't realize killing Adagia dancers was a crime" says the demented comic relief newspaper photographer. As always, all the male characters are dressed the same, so it's hard to tell them apart when trying to figure out the mystery.

If you go for this kind of thing it's close to perfect, just needed Bela Lugosi or some other unique presence to make it more memorable.

4.45 / 5

only image I could find of The Fiend





this guy wasn't too impressd via imdb

Quote
Fast moving and making almost no real sense whats so ever this movie is as artificial a mystery as you can get. Its best described as taking a 1930's mystery and stripping it of anything other than the mystery mechanism (Murderer is on the lose killing people) while throwing in cliché characters, comic relief and making any revelation either a red herring or more likely a twist out of the left field of a ball park two cities over just to keep things going.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 02:19:38 AM by lester1/2jr » Logged
M.10rda
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« Reply #3596 on: March 04, 2024, 06:02:26 PM »

Addendum: About 12 hours after I wrote the above review, it occurred to me that it might've been Bunuel, not Dali, who was offended by FISTS IN THE POCKET. I mention that in the spirit of transparency and obsessive-compulsivity. but really. neither party responsible for UN CHIEN ANDALOU has any place complaining sincerely about sacrilege!
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #3597 on: March 04, 2024, 08:38:09 PM »

Addendum: About 12 hours after I wrote the above review, it occurred to me that it might've been Bunuel, not Dali, who was offended by FISTS IN THE POCKET. I mention that in the spirit of transparency and obsessive-compulsivity. but really. neither party responsible for UN CHIEN ANDALOU has any place complaining sincerely about sacrilege!

Probably would have been Dali, because he became a devout Catholic later in life, while Bunuel remained a steadfast atheist to his death.
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« Reply #3598 on: March 04, 2024, 10:27:12 PM »

Thanks, Rev. I didn't have time to go back and check. What made me think twice was the brief shot they cut away to... no twirly 'stache.  Smile    But maybe Dali had run out of wax that day.
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« Reply #3599 on: March 05, 2024, 05:17:28 PM »

The Vampire's Ghost (1945) - I had high hopes for this one, but it's kind of both too early and too late. It lacks the cruelty and grit of "Dracula" and "Island Of Lost Souls" because it's post Hayes Code and America had just become a softer country by 1945. At the same time, the exploitation and horror elements that could have driven it to campier, gory-er heights didn't exist yet so... just a decent time waster.

A guy who looks like the pizza testing guy from Barstool Sports runs a bar in a port area in darkest Africa. He's also a vampire, so he does stuff like use his vampire mind to rip people off playing poker, then acts all humble and above it all when they get mad. They do a good job of having him be sort of charming and self confident in a cunning/ irritating way and there's some decent suspense and tension. Really, it's very professional and watchable and first rate, just a little too mannered for the subject matter.

4/5 accessible enough for modern horror fans, but lacks insanity

"Hey man, you lost unfair and square now get outta here"

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