Main Menu

Recent Viewings, Part 2

Started by Rev. Powell, February 15, 2020, 10:36:26 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


A Thief in the Night (1973) - I wouldn't say I loved this or that it's great, but I did enjoy watching it. For a low budget Christian movie, it's got some impressive stuff going on and the lead actress is pretty cute, in an appropriately modest sort of way. It's got a real dark edge, so much so that many reviewers, including the one that convinced me to watch it, say they were traumatized by it.

The Rapture apparently combines the end of the world stuff in Revelation with a remark by Paul in one of the letters. I don't really understand it, but in this movie it means some people will disappear and others will have to follow the Anti Christ. The vibe here is sort of like The Brady Bunch meets a Something Weird adventure. There's not much in the way of sex or violence, but they do what they can to create suspense and drama within the limits that are set. At it's best, it's like a Jack T Chick comic.

watched in one night. There's a sequel that I'm guessing tubi also has because who else would have it?

4.25 /5 worth checking out. definitely not grindhouse fare, though it kind of wants to be

edit: an article about it

QuoteEven the movie's unnerving title track "I Wish We'd All Been Ready," composed by Larry Norman, and performed by The Fishmarket Combo after Duane's Rapture sermon, became the anthem for the Jesus movement.

Dr. Whom

Golden Kamuy

In the wake of the Russo-Japanese War a veteran learns of a hidden treasure in Hokkaido and sets out to seek it. But others, notably a renegade army unit and an old samurai, have the same idea.

This is your typical live action manga/anime adaptation with colourful over the top characters, dramatic flourishes and wildly improbable fights. The director also really likes flashbacks. If this is your kind of thing, you'll like it.

The main drawback of the movie is that it is just the first part of what is intended to be a larger saga. This one just sets the scene for the actual quest, and ends with the various parties making preparations for the next part of the search. It also teases various new characters, so I hope this one will be successful enough to finance a part two.

"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.


Quote from: Jim H on May 21, 2024, 09:34:26 PM

I also watched Madame Web, as my wife wanted to see it.  It's kind of bad, starts off VERY bad, but then kinda meanders into watchable junk.  It's probably not as bad as you'd think, but it's still not a good movie.  I'll say I wasn't bored, and that's something. 

In contrast, I'd say Venom was a worse film but was more entertaining.  Pick your poison if you're watching Sony superhero films.

I'll agree that VENOM was terrible in most regards - but Tom Hardy being a complete lunatic generates a ton of entertainment value, as the Box Office testified. No sequel for MORBIUS, probably no sequel for MADAME WEB, but VENOM might even get a third movie. That's the RDJ/IRON MAN effect, certainly. Gotta' cast these franchises caaarefully...

Jim H

Abigail - Pretty fun horror comedy.  Good bit of gore, great titular performance (she was also Matilda in the recent musical version, good there too), decently defined characters with good performances, well paced.  Best to go in blind.  Does kind of run out of steam in the last act and a late reveal of a referenced character doesn't land, but not a huge deal.

The Fall Guy - Very light and fluffy action comedy.  Some great stunt work, decent lead chemistry...  But I dunno, it's a little too light.  Makes it hard to care, and the characters are too light for it.  Still enjoyable, but kind of passable I thought.  It's also insane they spent like $150 million on it.  Some fun stunt and action stuff, but I come on.  Watch Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and remember it had about the same budget, and Furiosa is only a bit higher.  This sort of film would have been an inflation adjusted $30-$40 million in the 80s and the film probably would have been better for it, with a necessarily tighter focus and a 15-20 minute shorter run time (it's over 2 hours for some reason).

Love Lies Bleeding - Well made lesbian neo noir.  Visually very strong, lot of great effects going on here.  Great lead performances, good characterization, interesting subtext.  It crackles, as they say.  Check it out.


"Crash Course" (aka "Driving Academy," 1988)
In order to save his job, a high-school driver's ed teacher must help a class full of hopeless remedial students pass his course so they can graduate. Wacky hi-jinks ensue on and off the road.
A typical so-80s-it-hurts made-for-TV comedy that's pretty much a family-friendly retread of "Moving Violations," a similar traffic-school flick that came out a few years earlier.
Harmless fluff with an "all star" cast plucked from then-current sitcoms like Jackee' Harry ("227"), Charles Robinson ("Night Court"), Tina Yothers ("Family Ties"), Alyssa Milano ("Who's The Boss") and more. Silly but watchable in a retro sort of way.
Hey, HEY, kids! Check out my way-cool Music and Movie Review blog on HubPages!


^ I once met a guy who failed his driving test 7 times. They actually told him he had to wait a year to try again.

A Distant Thunder (1978) - Disappointing follow up to "A Thief in the Night". Unlike the first one, it's relentlessly downbeat but okay, it's the end of the world. The big problem is that it's the same story: some people disappear and others are left to deal with the mark of the beast and so forth. It has a lot of the same actors and similar vibe, but doesn't do anything new or interesting.

One theological sort of issue I had was: If you get Left Behind what is the point of not getting the mark of the beast? Obviously you weren't Christian enough to be zapped into space so... what exactly are you proving by avoiding the Beast goons? It might make sense after a long lecture on it (please don't give me one), but it didn't in this movie.

3/5 Pathetically, I am probably going to watch the next installment too, mostly just to see how the main actress looks


1917 - Sam Mendes epic tale of two British soldiers fighting their way across the war-torn landscape of France carrying a message to save two battalions from marching into a deadly German trap has become one of my all-time favorite war movies.   The cinematography and sound track make up for the weakness of the main story, as the entire movie looks like it was filmed in one continuous shot.  5/5, highly recommended!
"I shall smite you in the nostrils with a rod of iron, and wax your spleen with Efferdent!!"

Jim H

Coonskin - Ralph Bakshi's racial polemic, an animation live action hybrid.  It's really something.  Barry White and Scatman Crothers are in it in live action and do voices. The narrative barely makes sense and there's lots of random asides. 

I feel like I'd have to watch it again to really know what I think, but I don't know if I want to.


Bakshi rarely seems to be trying to make sense. He's in it for the "vibes", as kids today like to say.

(...Not really too often actually.)

Rev. Powell

HANKY PANKY (2023): A man with social anxiety and his telepathic handkerchief buddy go to an isolated cabin for a get-together with distant friends and strangers, but evil is brewing. Modest but ingenious, this microbudgeted horror comedy looks and sounds cheap and has uneven acting, but the surprising twists and absurdities kept me watching to the end. I guess it could have gone in the bad movie category---most of the audience seemed not to get it at all, and it has a ridiculously low 3.4 on IMDB!---but I think it's a clever enough horror comedy for a mild recommendation. Wires are visible in the final battle between the hanky and a hat, and the filmmakers just don't care, but it's not necessarily "bad on purpose"---it's more that it embraces its budget, and wants you to know they're not trying to fool you into taking it seriously. 3/5.
I'll take you places the hand of man has not yet set foot...


Occupants (aka Altaverse) (2015) - The very first thing that comes up when you google this is a redditor saying it was one of the worst movie they'd ever seen. The IMDB reviews range from 1 to 10 (more of the former), so you know I was on board! This will be a difficult one. I'm going to do it this way

first third of the movie: 1.5 /5  There are mostly only 2 actors and one of them, the husband, looks the part but can't act. The setting of a youtube type show is as worn out as a Tony Hawk's X Games sneakers. If you started noticing an entire other dimension in your daily cam clips from around your house why would you not post them online and become instantly famous? Things are not looking good.

second third: 3 /5  Okay, I've gotten used to the husbands terrible delivery and as ridiculous as the whole concept is I have to admit I'm starting to bite at the bait. It would take 10 David Fincher's to arrive at a sensible presentation of the idea, but in their defense they do attempt to explain it a little and you can't help but wonder if you there is a different version of you out there that made different decisions etc

last third: 4.5 /5  Well, most found footage movies have a solid if rambling beginning but have trouble with the ending, due to I would guess lack of life experience or just not having anything to say. Here is the opposite: the ending is the part that works. too bad 9 of ten people won't get to it.

This would make an awesome Paranormal Activity sequel if they could work all this crap out.  ???/ 5 I'm not good at math


Quote from: lester1/2jr on May 27, 2024, 03:28:03 PM

A Distant Thunder (1978) - Disappointing follow up to "A Thief in the Night".
One theological sort of issue I had was: If you get Left Behind what is the point of not getting the mark of the beast? Obviously you weren't Christian enough to be zapped into space so... what exactly are you proving by avoiding the Beast goons? It might make sense after a long lecture on it (please don't give me one), but it didn't in this movie.

I read your request to not give you a long lecture about this last night, resisted manfully for almost 24 hours, then I succumbed.

You're right, there's an apparent flaw in the logic of LEFT BEHIND and other similar Christian-lensed films about the Rapture (Tolkin's THE RAPTURE obv notwithstanding) but I think plebs like you and me just fail to get it 'cause we're not fundamentally devout enough. I suspect the entire point of LEFT BEHIND and the films you've been reviewing is not to invite the target audience to identify w/ the main characters, who are suffering in the aftermath of a Rapture - it's to allow the target audience to feel superior to those characters and enjoy watching them flounder, suffer, et cetera while presumably (in the given film's diegetic reality) the sufficiently devout audience members live it up in Heaven. The point is not, I suspect, to watch flawed protagonists strive to evolve, improve themselves, and maybe escape an even worse fate... it's to gloat at fools who, having heretofore failed to make the right choice, now are screwed and will never manage to redeem themselves... for approximately 90 minutes. Y'know, the old "You'll all be sorry when it turns out I was right and you were wrong!" perspective that permeates many different religions as well as political factions and online sub-cultures....... they just want to celebrate how right they know they are and how wrong they know we are.

Why do I suspect this? I was raised Catholic and have remained a non-denominational Christian for my entire adult life (which means I believe in and pray to Jesus Christ but I think most organized religion is sketchy at best, toxic at worst). I cannot tell you how many times in my life (okay, I'll try - it's more than I can count on both hands) I've been approached by a stranger in public and they've asked me if I believe in Jesus Christ or if I've accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, et al. I always automatically and pleasantly answer "Yes", because, well, it's the truth. I don't think I've once been met with an "Oh, that's great, me too, God Bless and have a nice day!" Usually the response is something like, "Can I tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ?" or "Are you free tonight because I'd like you to come to my church so you can learn about the Lord Jesus Christ" or "Would you like to kneel down with me and I'll pray for you?" It's like they didn't even hear or process my affirmative response. These are people who literally cannot take "YES" for an answer! Best possible case scenario is that, after a few more exchanges, I manage to convince the person that I know Jesus and they don't need to worry about my salvation and can go off on their way and have a nice evening.

This is why I suspect the actual, practical conversion of non-believers is maybe not even a big priority. The performance of the overture to Save me isn't for me - I've told 'em right away that I'm perfectly okay w/ Jesus. I think the performance is purely for their own gratification. And likewise with LEFT BEHIND et al. It's fait accompli. It's pageantry. (The Mystery Play was the biggest and pretty much the only show in town (i.e. Europe) through most of the Dark Ages.) The outcome is never in question and is besides the point. They're just pattin' themselves on the back.

(Sorry for the lecture! Like the folks I just described, I too sometimes just like talking to hear myself talk.)


^ I usually answer "No- I'm a Satanist."
I'm not- but they usually leave me alone and move on.
"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)
Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."

Slobber, Drool, Drip!

Jim H

Quote from: RCMerchant on May 29, 2024, 07:45:16 PM
^ I usually answer "No- I'm a Satanist."
I'm not- but they usually leave me alone and move on.

My wife (who is of Chinese descent) once told some door to door Jehovah's Witnesses she was a Buddhist, and they just said, "That's ok, you don't know any better". 

Sometimes I wish we all got one free punch in the face to a stranger without consequences.


I wish that too (even though I know it isn't very Christian of me). TBH though I'd probably be on the receiving end of a lot of those free punches.