Coming the Week of November 18th (18 Nov 2019)

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What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?

24 Oct 2019 11:10 #302730 by Shellhead
I too recently re-watched Event Horizon. It is a disappointing movie because it clearly had potential to be a better movie. I actually wasn't impressed with most of the actors, just because Laurence Fishburne's performance was so much better. The ship looked great, but I wasn't in love with the idea of the ship being possessed or haunted or whatever.

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24 Oct 2019 11:53 - 24 Oct 2019 11:55 #302733 by SebastianBludd
A few thoughts on some of my recent seasonal viewing selections:

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.
Last edit: 24 Oct 2019 11:55 by SebastianBludd.
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24 Oct 2019 14:03 - 24 Oct 2019 14:04 #302747 by Shellhead
A very long time ago, I was too young to get into certain kinds of movies, like R-rated horror movies for example. So of course I was curious about what I was missing, and eventually got around to seeing some of the most notorious ones. For example, I finally saw the original version of The Last House on the Left when I was in my mid-20s, and actually regretted watching it. That one actually killed my enthusiasm for tracking down some of the others, though I did see Salo more recently, and it was even more vile. The director of Salo was murdered about a week after filming wrapped, and it would not surprise me in the least if one of the actors was the murderer, because the atrocities on film looked all too real.

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.
Last edit: 24 Oct 2019 14:04 by Shellhead.
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24 Oct 2019 18:58 - 24 Oct 2019 19:04 #302754 by Michael Barnes
Event Horizon is such a tremendous let down...I just watched it too, and you can clearly see that a great movie is in there somewhere...but bad writing and bad directing really derail it. It is funny watching Sean Pertwee, he looks JUST LIKE his dad.

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.
Last edit: 24 Oct 2019 19:04 by Michael Barnes.
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24 Oct 2019 23:55 #302756 by Frohike
Rewatching Mandy and... I'm pretty sure I need to get a Bluray copy of this thing.
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25 Oct 2019 00:28 #302758 by Gary Sax
Definitely a movie I wish I had a good TV with HDR.
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08 Nov 2019 18:41 - 08 Nov 2019 19:07 #303957 by Erik Twice
Today I watched Saturday Night Fever. The movie has this reputation in popular culture of being a campy rom-com with dancing and disco music and it's nothing of the sort. It's a very dark film, with heavily flawed main characters and rape scenes. Most of you were probably aware of this, as was I thanks to checking out Roger Ebert's blog but I would be surprised if most people didn't know that.

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.
Last edit: 08 Nov 2019 19:07 by Erik Twice.
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08 Nov 2019 23:02 #303976 by Gary Sax
Yeah, that is a dark, dark film.

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10 Nov 2019 23:30 - 11 Nov 2019 07:55 #304057 by hotseatgames
Just got back from Dr. Sleep. I really liked it, and I think it's a pretty apt sequel to The Shining, which is even more amazing considering the long passage of time between the films. Ewan McGregor turns in a great performance, one of his best, in my opinion.

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...
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last edit: 11 Nov 2019 07:55 by hotseatgames.

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12 Nov 2019 00:09 #304117 by Grudunza
The Lighthouse. Holy fucking shit. A work of art in every respect. See it in a theater while you can, so you’re in the lighthouse with them and not distracted by your kids or your phone or your fridge.
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12 Nov 2019 15:56 #304152 by jpat
Agree on The Lighthouse. It will definitely be up there on my list for best films of the year.

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.
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12 Nov 2019 17:05 #304162 by ChristopherMD
Booksmart - I don't watch a lot of high school comedies and I'm not sure why I watched this one but I'm glad I gave it a shot. It seems to be commonly regarded as a female-led Superbad. However unlike that movie this ended up having some interesting characters, a decent coming-of-age story, and I actually found a lot of it funny.
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16 Nov 2019 14:08 #304261 by hotseatgames
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.
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17 Nov 2019 11:51 #304283 by jason10mm

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.

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