- Posts: 8288
- Thank you received: 4288
Coming the Week of November 18th (18 Nov 2019)
We have reviews of Horrified, Kingdomino Duel, Dragon Market, Flesh & Blood, and Rolled West. "Why Do I Own This" and "Beyond the Veil" returns. And more TBA
Please consider adding your quick impressions and your rating to the game entry in our Board Game Directory after you post your thoughts so others can find them!
Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.
What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?
Us - Underwhelming. My suspension of disbelief is strong and I can forgive a lot when it comes to logical inconsistencies, but the "rules" aren't ever clearly established and the plot holes only grow larger and more distracting as the movie progresses. Its cardinal sin was that, while tense, I never found it scary, and the performances and message weren't enough to carry it for me.
The Witch - I'm late to the party on this one but I'm glad I finally got around to seeing it because it's fantastic. In more subtle, atmospheric horror films there's a fine line between setting the mood and padding the run time, and The Witch handles it perfectly. Based on comments here and elsewhere I was expecting far less by way of unsettling imagery and occurrences and I was pleasantly surprised.
Tremors - The middle spawn hadn't seen it so I watched it...again. It's refreshing to watch a creature feature where the protagonists think through their predicament and use plans of action and their wits to survive, but I've seen this movie several times and plan on avoiding it until the youngest pesters me to see it in 4 years or so.
Hereditary - Creepy and disturbing with a bonkers finale. Knowing the twist, it might lose a bit of its luster on repeat viewings but it's a solid movie.
The Apostle - It's your typical Wickerman setup - a brother goes to an island to rescue his sister from a cult - with some twists and turns along the way. I really liked Dan Stevens in The Guest and he's great in this too, including one of the best spear haft blows delivered to a head ever committed to film. Very good movie.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space - Come for the silly premise, stay for the great clown designs and masks, as well as some genuinely creepy moments. The ventriloquist dummy scene and the popcorn monsters are showstoppers, but I could have done without the ice cream truck idiots and the protracted scene of a clown bumbling around and making a mess of a drug store.
Black Sheep (2006) - No, not the Farley/Spade comedy. It's a New Zealand horror comedy about genetically engineered sheep that turn into vicious carnivores. It's basically a spiritual successor to Peter Jackson's Dead Alive, complete with taking the premise semi-seriously and with a protagonist and his struggles with personal issues being the emotional core of the movie. It's not for everyone but having only seen it once before I was surprised how well it held up. Also: Were-sheep.
The Void - Another one I revisited and one that I also felt held up. It's about a skeleton crew at a hospital that gets surrounded by cultists one night and then things start to get really weird and gory. It owes a substantial debt to John Carpenter movies, From Beyond and Hellraiser, but I loved its take on cosmic horror and seen from the right angle it's essentially a modern Cthulhu Mythos movie. The acting and dialogue are spotty at times and some have criticized its ambiguity but to me that's a feature, not a bug, and there are a few really unsettling creature designs and sequences that are worth the price of admission alone.
Recently, I was in a mood. A close friend is moving across the country because he can no longer handle Minnesota winter. I've been exhausted from working long hours and then working more on various outside tasks before the first freeze. My girlfriend is still recovering from a major health issue. So I stupidly cued up the modern version of I Spit on Your Grave and I Spit on Your Grave 2, and watched them both.
Both movies are grindcore revenge stories. The cinematography and writing and acting were all good in both movies. Not Oscar level by any means, but competent and likely way beyond the gritty original version. The subject matter is loathsome. Both movies introduce a sympathetic character, put her through a horrible, degrading, and nearly fatal experience, and then allow her a nasty vengeance upon her abusers. That's it. I can't even imagine the target audience. The kind of sadist who would enjoy the first half seems less likely to enjoy the second half, while survivors who might appreciate the second half would likely be triggered badly during the first half. I can't justify that I watched both movies, but I advise anybody reading this to avoid them like the plague.
I Spit on Your Grave is pretty rough...but man, they don’t make movies like that anymore. Nothing anybody can do today is ever going to have that seedy, 1970s dirt road grunge. There’s a verite honesty to those kinds of movies, but entertaining or valuable? Not so much.
Salo is a uniquely upsetting film. It is artful and has a clear anti-fascist message but it gets obscured by the sheer extremity on display. There are some fascinating scenes of unspeakable cruelty and disgust, it’s a difficult film to watch and I’m not sure if ever call it “good”. But it is a statement, albeit hard to experience.
Last House on the Left is just despicable.
In other Wes Craven news...I just watched Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time in many, many years and man, does that movie hold up. I’ve always liked it and regarded it as the best of that whole American slasher genre, but with fresh eyes on it, it’s actually a really damn good movie. Freddy almost isn’t as horrifying as the adults in the movie, who either don’t care, don’t listen, or don’t know what is going on in the world of the teenagers. It really has a message about how adults often abandon kids emotionally as they get older and withdraw support. But then you have Nancy’s mom over-correcting and coddling. There is some interesting stuff going on there that I think is underemphasized versus the horror stuff.
But the horror stuff is -great-. There are some really inventive and iconic scares, and there is a wonderful sense of the surreal about them that plays into the dream concept. Freddy’s elongated arms, Tina being dragged up the wall, the hall monitor appearing in Freddy’s outfit- this is all some really neat stuff.
I’m going to see how far I get with the others...I don’t think I’ve seen any of the sequels since the early 90s. I remember really liking Dream Warriors in the theater. I’ve read that the second has become a queer cult classic so I’m very interested to see what themes it get into.
The film is pretty much an analysis of what we would know call "toxic masculinity". I really liked the way Tony's positive qualities are constantly buried or forced into hidding by the need to act like a man. He pushes back against the misoginy and racism of his friends. He looks for excuses to avoid gang fights and tries to open up about his feelings. He doesn't achieve it and his character remains obscured in bigotry. He cannot form a relationship with the women that surround him because they are either Madonnas or whotes. He cannot coincieve a world beyond, he has dancing and that's it.
This is the only film or even piece of media, period, where the assumption that men just want sex is challenged. In fact, Tony refuses several opportunities at sex during the film and only engages on it pressured by others or his own pernicious worldview.
It's a flawed film. I really think the movie should have ended with the car rape scene. The religious brother thing doesn't seem to add much at all and the final acceptance by Stephania is underwritten. Still, very much worth watching.
A couple of caveats before you head to the theater...
1. Do NOT see this film if you haven't seen The Shining, specifically the Kubrick film. 90% of the film will be lost on you.
2. There is some rather nasty violence towards children.
One minor complaint...
They use the creepy bathtub lady too much. It lessens the impact.
They maybe should've pushed Doctor Sleep to 2020, since it's the 3rd King adaptation just this year. It's far better than the dismal Pet Sematary remake and the mediocre-if-better-than-part-one It Chapter Two. The second act is the best part of Doctor Sleep, while the ending just doesn't live up to what it should've been. There's some clever blurring/blending of novel and film of The Shining, and I continue to be impressed at how much better this generation of child/young adult actors is than the ones we were treated to, on average, in prior decades. McGregor is just too phlegmatic for me; he seems more listless than haunted.
Jojo Rabbit is a warm-hearted dark comedy, if that makes any sense. It's genuinely if darkly hilarious at many points, and, again, the young actors shine, particularly Archie Yates, playing Yorki, the young friend of Jojo. The adult actors are strong here as well; both Johansson and Rockwell are as good as I've seen them.
hotseatgames wrote: I watched Overlord on Amazon Prime. This is a Weird War II film, and I have to say it's a pretty fun ride. I'd classify it squarely in the "popcorn" genre. Worth your time.
It also has the evil uncle Greyjoy from GoT.
I just watched this as well. Pretty good but just felt....small. Like nothing would have changed had they just used a bazooka from the woods. The world wasn't being threatened (other than WW2 in general), the menace wasn't really developed or at risk of getting loose.
Still, a fun flick with a really intense opening act.
Watched some Netflick sci-fi stuff.
"Shadows of the Moon" Decent, but you see the "twist" a mile away and then gotta sit through 30 minutes of the characters catching up. It kinda falls apart logically at the end, but has a pretty good emotional pay-off.
"Timetrap" About a cave where time flows slow. Poorly acted but the kids in it got heart. Relies more on a clever script than effects which I appreciate. Gets really bonkers at the end with ZERO explanation which I also appreciate because there was no way that premise was ever gonna make sense so they just ran with it.
It feels like Netflix just can't clench an ending. The stuff they show generally has a rough draft feel to it compared to HBO. I know they are desperate for content and just greenlit damn near anything that hit their marketing bullet points but I wish there were more clear and developed stuff on there. Looking forward to the Irishman.