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Recent Viewings, Part 2

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

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lester1/2jr

I don't rewatch many movies but I'd see that one again. I like that really brutal pre 50's vibe. When peoples lives were so hard that they could only listen to "yes we have no bananas" to feel bettter

M.10rda

Quote from: Zapranoth on January 12, 2021, 11:43:12 PM
We also watched Star Wars episodes 1, 2 and 3 recently, with Rifftrax.

It's amazing how badly these movies have aged.


I'd agree that Episodes I and II were never much (if any) good and III was dumb fun at best. However, per your comment about them aging badly, I'm sad to report that the legions of young college undergrads, teens, and tweens I've worked with over the past decade really seem to LOVE the prequels... unironically and sincerely. The only rationale I can ever suss out is that, as they were born after 1999, they have no context for the deep disappointment those films caused for older adults like ourselves upon release. They grew up just accepting 'em as more STAR WARS content, no better nor worse than what came before or after. So from that perspective, alas, one might say the prequels haver aged TOO WELL!!!

Of course, I think FORCE AWAKENS is far and away the worst of the lot, so I'll pick my battles and just shrug Seinfeld-style over all the prequel love.

FatFreddysCat

"American Gothic" (1988)
Three couples on a camping trip in the Pacific Northwest are forced to land on a small island when their plane has engine trouble. They eventually find a cottage occupied by a seemingly kindly old couple (Rod "In The Heat of the Night" Steiger and Yvonne "Lily Munster" DeCarlo) and their brood of strange children... all of whom, of course, turn out not to be very kindly after all.
A creepy-cool combo of slasher and survival thriller; Steiger and DeCarlo are hilarious as the demented "Ma" and "Pa," and there are several disturbing twists and turns to keep things interesting. A solid "B" movie.
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FatFreddysCat

"Wrong Turn" (2003)
Stranded motorists are pursued through the backwoods of West Virginia by a murderous clan of inbred cannibals. Hilarity ensues.
A 21st century update of the "hillbilly horror" flicks of the '70s, this tight little thriller is fast paced, has plenty of gooey ultra-violence, and it stars Eliza "Buffy" Dushku when she was at her absolute peak of hotness. Therefore I was entertained.
Followed by at least five sequels and one reboot!
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Trevor

Top Gun Maverick in the theater / cinema  :cheers:
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Dr. Whom

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)

With a title worthy of the 'Invent a Bad Movie Title' thread on this board, I had to see this. Wikipedia informs me that this formed part of a double bill with 'Billy the Kid versus Dracula'. Actually, it is established early on that it is Frankenstein's granddaughter, but who is counting?

The reports of Jesse James's death turned out to be highly exaggerated. But he is a hunted man, and his gang is down to just one,  Hank, who is muscular but slow-witted (as per convention at the time). A stagecoach robbery turns bad, and Hank is shot. They need medical attention, with no questions asked, which they find at the Frankensteins, who had to flee Vienna. Frankenstein's granddaughter successfully transplants the artificial brain of 'Igor' into Hank, and general mayhem ensues.

This is actually more watchable than many of the movies of its kind. What with all the tropes of a Western (hold ups, gunfights, marauding Apaches....) and the standard beats of the Frankenstein story, it moves along briskly enough, without padding. Also, the producers had enough means to shoot actual action scenes and not just people talking (looking at you Fire Maidens from Outer Space), and with the actors being veterans from many movies and TV series, it is not irritatingly bad. Narda Onyx as Maria Frankenstein hams it up suitably, and can gloat with the best of them.

However, it is neither very good nor entertainingly bad, so it ends up being bland and predictable. The body count is relatively high though, just about all the main characters are dead (or going to be hanged, in Jesse James's case) at the end of the movie.
"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.

Gabriel Knight

THE THREE STOOGES (2000)

A biography of the Three Stooges, in which their careers and rise to fame is shown throughout the eyes of their leader, Moe Howard.

I always enjoyed watching THE THREE STOOGES shorts, they're even still on the air on some channels here. This tv movie tells the story of the group, mostly in flashbacks, with all its sadness and triumph. The actors are all superb, but sadly the narrative is a little bit disjointed. One minute you're in one year, and the next you're 20 in the future, without any on screen indication. Some events are told way too quickly, like the passing of Shemp, and the incorporation of Curly's replacement.

Also, there's a lot of recreated shorts. I mean, I love watching them, but they serve no purpose on the movie. Being that its running time is limited, they could've used all that time to tell us a little bit more about the persons behind the characters.

Still, an entertaining and very emotive movie, even if you're not familiar with the trio. Recommended! 8/10
Check my crappy and unpopular reviews and ratings:

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FatFreddysCat

"Dio: Dreamers Never Die" (2022)
Excellent documentary on the life and career of the great Ronnie James Dio that covers all the bases -- from his humble 1950s beginnings as a trumpet player (!) all the way through his stints wtih Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and of course his own band. Packed with tons of amazing clips and photos from all phases of Ronnie's life and commentary by friends and contemporaries like Wendy Dio (of course), Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Craig Goldy, Mick Wall, Eddie Trunk, and more. A must see rock-doc for all fans of RJD.
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Jim H

Just felt like venting slightly...

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 - Geez, what a pile of mind numbingly boring crap.  Just so slow, dull, plodding and endlessly padded.  This even has some defenders, and I'm completely baffled what they see in it.  I can't tell you a single thing that works well in the entire film.  A completely non-threatening killer.  Zero suspense.  Zero good kill sequences.  Bad characters.  Bad use of music, bad acting from most, a cop and doctor character almost completely disconnected from the plot.  Really stupid too.  The second movie is a half clip show with one of the most insane performances ever committed to a film, it barely even qualifies as a film really, but it's leagues better than the third entry.  This is so poorly written there's a survivor at the end and we don't even know who it is.  Not like intentional mystery, just incompetence. 

Probably the worst film I've seen in 2022.

M.10rda

KRAMPUS (2015):
I'd consciously avoided this for the past 7 years, until Madame 10rda developed a fixation on ol' Krampy in his myriad manifestations during the past month. I'd expected the 2015 film was some arch comedic thing with a small ensemble meeting their ends one by one at the hands of a wisecracking K-man, and just wasn't in the mood for that kind of thing. In retrospect, I wish the film actually cleaved more in that direction!

I know there are some KRAMPUS stans on here so I'll dutifully acknowledge three good things about this movie: 1.) the opening credits sequence was nicely done; 2.) the JackInTheBoxaconda was legitimately creepy as f**k; and 3.) Krampus' own design was cool (though he's probably onscreen for less time than the shark in the original JAWS...).

Besides that, there are many smaller flaws with KRAMPUS, perhaps most irritatingly that no one in the LARGE extended family of victims looks like they could plausibly come from the same gene pool as any other screen relative. I would almost buy that director Michael Dougherty intended this to signal how alienated everyone is from one another, but the film's biggest issue is so pervasive and catastrophic that I'm not inclined to credit Dougherty for, well, anything. I have no choice but to conclude that Dougherty has no close/meaningful familial relationships - no parents, children, siblings, or spouse - due to the almost complete lack of serious alarm, emotional trauma, or (most significantly) grief demonstrated by the characters as their family members are dragged away (or eaten whole!) by the legions of Krampus. I don't care what kind of dysfunction is goin' on in this family, parents don't witness one (or multiple) children being abducted or presumably killed without completely losing their s**t, crying, screaming, needing to be restrained - going into an elf-killing rampage - your choice! Hudson and Vasquez are exponentially more freaked out in ALIENS about their co-workers getting slaughtered or carried away by xenomorphs. In KRAMPUS, you see your husband or sister or child sucked into a hole in the ground and maybe you just blink or skip a beat before you're on to the next thing.

Dougherty apparently intended KRAMPUS to be a serious and scary movie - it's certainly bleak and mean-spirited, with a downbeat ending and plenty of (bloodless, PG-13) violence. But after about 40 minutes in, it became impossible for me to take KRAMPUS seriously, since Dougherty fails at every turn to make the high stakes of his plot seem plausible. Do I mean that I want a realistic movie about Krampus?! Of course not - I just want characters to behave in authentic, recognizably human ways as they confront ridiculous mythological yule monsters, if I'm supposed to care about what happens to them. In lieu of this, the last hour of KRAMPUS just became strident and tiresome. The final straw is dad and son abandoning their elderly (75-80?) mother & grandmother to allow her to confront Krampus and "buy them some time" apparently - I mean cuh-maaaaaaahn. She didn't even have Gorman and/or a grenade!

Now naturally the cast should take some of the blame for this crippling problem. I don't presume that none of the cast members have meaningful human connections to their loved ones. I just suspect they signed on to KRAMPUS for a paycheck, read the script, and then mentally checked out altogether for the duration of filming. Why invest in this schlock? Forget it, Jake - it's just KRAMPUS! Toni Collette's a great actress GENERALLY, and while I have seriously problems with HEREDITARY, too, at least Collette is 100% committed to her performance in HEREDITARY. She's dramatically AWOL in this. Adam Scott, of course, is pretty inept in anything that requires him to play any emotion beyond snark, so his brief turn as an action hero here is unfortunate indeed. And how is it his character's a first-generation German-American exactly?

In closing, a little boy watching adult & children relatives dropping like flies all around him is an uneasy contrast with disaffected performances and ludicrous marauding gingerbread people. Honestly the whole affair might have worked better for me as broad farce - maybe with Krampus cracking wise in a demonic Snagglepuss accent as he executed each cast member in comically ghoulish ways, ala Chucky or mid-era Freddy or, well, Jack Frost. That's exactly the movie I though KRAMPUS would be and exactly the movie I didn't want - but in retrospect, I wish I'd gotten that KRAMPUS and not this one.

1.5/5, would not spend $4 on a Prime rental again!

FatFreddysCat

"5-25-77" (2022)
In the late '70s, a movie-obsessed Illinois high school senior makes his own Super-8 movies in his backyard and dreams of becoming a filmmaker someday. On a whim he takes a trip to Hollywood to track down his idol, special effects guru Douglas Trumbull, and in the process he meets Steven Spielberg and ends up becoming one of the first outsiders to see a rough cut of a little film called "Star Wars." When he returns home, he realizes that his small town has nothing to offer him anymore.
This slightly overlong, but mostly charming coming-of-age comedy/period piece was a passion project for director Patrick Read Johnson, based on his own life experience. Most of it was shot between 2004 and 2006 but the film was not finally completed till 2017 (and then it sat on the shelf till 2022). Sci-fi fans and film buffs of all types will relate to the nerdy Johnson character (played by John Francis Daley of "Bones"). A pleasant surprise that fell somewhere between Spielberg's "Super 8" and "Fanboys."
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M.10rda

Quote from: Rev. Powell on July 29, 2021, 10:05:41 AM
CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974): Two young women have strange magical adventures, including one where eating candies allows them to enter another, equally absurd, story. The idea of vaudeville Bunuel is appealing and Dominique Labourier (in particular) is enchanting, but the movie just drifts aimlessly for two hours before finally finding a destination in the last hour. It could have been edited into a much better 90-minute movie if Jacques Rivette had just concentrated on the candy subplot. Since this was unavailable for years and became sort of legendary, I was anxious to see it and so I was a bit disappointed by the actual experience. If it was a movie that debuted today I probably would have thought even less of it. 3/5.

^^^THIS, 100%

I was eager for this one for several years before seeing it on the big screen in the early 00s - a one-Saturday-afternoon only engagement w/ probably less than a dozen people in an enormous theater. Yet that just meant only under a dozen people left the theater disappointed, I guess. My reaction matched yours, Rev. I like other Rivette films (with less catchy premises) more than this one. That said, I've seen more than one film reviewer suggest that Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE is CELINE ET JULIE VONT EN BATEAU done right. Although it's possible Lynch has never seen CELINE ET JULIE, I think that's a pretty spot-on assessment.

M.10rda

Quote from: FatFreddysCat on August 13, 2021, 10:03:15 AM
"Into the Dark: Good Boy" (2020)

I loved the concept of this Hulu original (part of their "Into The Dark" horror film series). The cast is fine, the dog is cute (even when he's covered in blood) but the final product is uneven. The first hour plays like a Lifetime channel rom-com (with a mean streak) before finally going full "Cujo" in the last 30 minutes. I've seen worse, but I wish they'd picked a consistent tone and stuck with it.

Every single damn one of these ITDs that I've seen (probably 6-8, though I haven't seen this one) suffers from the same problem you describe. Usually they're pretty good for a while but eventually go off the rails catastrophically. Even the best I've seen - POOKA! - fails to stick the landing in its final couple of scenes. (Prior to that it was on par with a strong episode of BLACK MIRROR as if written by Jordan Peele.) I can only assume Hulu hands some money over to a production team blindly and exercises no editorial control whatsoever of screenplay revisions - or, alternatively, maybe the ITD executives somehow intercede and screw up EVERY SINGLE film with their demands for changes. I dunno. Perplexing to the point that I've stopped watching these (and I would normally jump at seeing Judy Greer in a leading role).

(BTW do not confuse POOKA! with POOKA LIVES!, its sequel, which is a (mildly amusing) mess in toto.)  :bouncegiggle:

Rev. Powell

Quote from: M.10rda on December 29, 2022, 09:38:16 PM
Quote from: Rev. Powell on July 29, 2021, 10:05:41 AM
CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974): Two young women have strange magical adventures, including one where eating candies allows them to enter another, equally absurd, story. The idea of vaudeville Bunuel is appealing and Dominique Labourier (in particular) is enchanting, but the movie just drifts aimlessly for two hours before finally finding a destination in the last hour. It could have been edited into a much better 90-minute movie if Jacques Rivette had just concentrated on the candy subplot. Since this was unavailable for years and became sort of legendary, I was anxious to see it and so I was a bit disappointed by the actual experience. If it was a movie that debuted today I probably would have thought even less of it. 3/5.

^^^THIS, 100%

I was eager for this one for several years before seeing it on the big screen in the early 00s - a one-Saturday-afternoon only engagement w/ probably less than a dozen people in an enormous theater. Yet that just meant only under a dozen people left the theater disappointed, I guess. My reaction matched yours, Rev. I like other Rivette films (with less catchy premises) more than this one. That said, I've seen more than one film reviewer suggest that Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE is CELINE ET JULIE VONT EN BATEAU done right. Although it's possible Lynch has never seen CELINE ET JULIE, I think that's a pretty spot-on assessment.

Interesting comparison between the two movies, though the only immediate similarity I see is that they both focus on female relationships through a surreal lens. The tones and themes are very different. I'd be interested in hearing his case.
I'll take you places the hand of man has not yet set foot...

Rev. Powell

GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S PINOCCHIO (2022): Mourning the loss of his flesh and blood son, the carpenter Geppetto crafts a puppet boy, whom a fairy brings to life. With a tone about halfway between Disney's sentimentality and the fairy tale darkness of the original, del Toro makes PINOCCHIO his own by setting it in Mussolini's Italy and flips the moral upside down so that the wooden boy's disobedience is a virtue. On Netflix. 3.5/5.
I'll take you places the hand of man has not yet set foot...