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

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11 May 2020 19:36 - 11 May 2020 19:37 #310198 by ChristopherMD

CranBerries wrote: The Cohen brothers


We would have also accepted Cowan Bros.
Last edit: 11 May 2020 19:37 by ChristopherMD.

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11 May 2020 19:43 #310200 by Sagrilarus

charlest wrote: Blood Simple doesn't get mentioned much, glad to see it recommended here.


I had a date jump so far out of her seat that she ended up in my lap on the way down. This film gets my highest recommendation.
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12 May 2020 10:08 #310212 by CranBerries
So I was clicking around Netflix and saw Magnolia for the first time, with almost no idea what it was about. For some reason I thought it was about a group of colorful southern women who sit around talking about their lives and Tom Cruise was the charismatic stranger healed by their graciousness. That was not the case. It was an amazing, imperfect film.
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12 May 2020 10:35 #310217 by hotseatgames
Tom Cruise certainly does have some memorable lines in that one.

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12 May 2020 10:43 - 12 May 2020 10:48 #310218 by charlest
I love Magnolia. Think it's right up there next to There Will Be Blood as PT Anderson's best.

I also think John C. Reilly's performance is perhaps his most interesting. This is sort of his prime, right after his excellent work in Hard Eight and before he succumbed to the suffocating machine of Will Ferrell comedy.

It's really interesting to think of John C. Reilly's career path alongside fellow co-star of Magnolia, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Both had not really taken off yet and found themselves meeting on this film before their careers diverged wildly.
Last edit: 12 May 2020 10:48 by charlest.
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14 May 2020 14:29 - 14 May 2020 18:31 #310310 by Shellhead
I don't know why I enjoy re-watching horror movies. I'm a horror movie snob, so I don't have any enthusiasm for mediocre or bad horror movies. The scariness tends to evaporate after the first viewing, and I'm not excited about the gore. I guess I enjoy re-watching a good horror movie the same why I would enjoy re-watching a good science-fiction movie, with the only significant difference being the darker tone of the horror movie.

Last night, I watched the remastered version of the original Phantasm movie of 1979. The flying metal screwball is obviously the most memorable part of the movie, but I also vaguely remembered the creepy Tall Man, the hooded dwarves, and the spooky mausoleum. And the lingering impression was that it was kind of a bad movie with a neat idea.

Maybe I'm more forgiving these days, but I actually found Phantasm to be moderately good. Maybe the re-mastering helped, because I was favorably impressed with the dramatic use of lighting. The story still seemed to have gaps, but that's okay given the relevant use of dream logic. But what really impressed me was the fresh look at what can be scary. Obviously the flying drill thing was novel, but overall, this is a movie about an adolescent struggling to process the deaths of his parents and his brother. So his fears revolve around the funeral home, the cemetery, and the mausoleum, and the related morbid trappings.

And there is one nice scene that ties into a a very specific minor phobia of mine. There have been times in the past where I was working on a car up on jack stands, lying on my back, with only my legs projecting out from under the car. For me, that is an anxious, vulnerable situation where someone could easily mess with me, or the car could fall off the stands and trap or even crush me. Phantasm has this one scene that plays directly with that scary situation. I also like that they made this youngish kid a gearhead who is comfortable with fixing things and driving and even shooting guns, which is a step up from the usual scared kid role.

One peculiar aspect of Phantasm is the script writer's enthusiasm for Frank Herbert's Dune. There is an early scene involving a fortune teller that is very obviously swiped from Herbert, with a box that causes phantom pain and the old woman warning that fear is the mind-killer. A scene or two later, another character walks into a bar that incorporates the word Dune in the name.
Last edit: 14 May 2020 18:31 by Shellhead. Reason: box not ox
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14 May 2020 17:50 #310335 by jeb
RAISING ARIZONA is the funniest movie I have ever seen and I could quote it verbatim. I can recommend that. MILLER'S CROSSING respects your intelligence, and merits an immediate rewatch. The camerawork in these films is just breathtaking.

My personal ranking:
Raising Arizona (1987)
Miller's Crossing (1990)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Fargo (1996)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Blood Simple (1984)
Barton Fink (1991)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
True Grit (2010)
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Burn After Reading (2008)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
A Serious Man (2009)
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Not Seen
The Ladykillers (2004)
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
The Tragedy of Macbeth (TBA)

The only one I actually wouldn't watch again is Intolerable Cruelty.
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14 May 2020 18:38 #310340 by Shellhead
I enjoyed the Coen Brothers remake of The Ladykillers. It's a dark comedy heist movie. I haven't seen half their movies, but would rank the ones I've seen in the same order as yours for the most part. I might switch The Big Lebowski and True Grit. I regret watching Burn After Reading, as it left me with a lower opinion of every cast member and the Coen Brothers.
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24 May 2020 21:57 #310591 by Shellhead
Watched the final pair of Avengers movies,Infinity War and Endgame. Both movies do a great job of maintaining the exact right tone with each of the characters used in previous MCU movies. Taken alone, Infinity War is an incomplete work, but still good for all the usual MCU reasons: great visuals, action, some humor, and some good character moments. A couple of battles featuring Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and Spider-man are great, but the really epic battle with everybody else is just too much. I could have lived with a less screen time for the Guardians of the Galaxy, who are fine in their own movies but come across as annoying and petty when put side-by-side with the other MCU characters. The dramatic conclusion does set up a pretty astounding cliffhanger, which left folks in the theater in suspense for a year.

Endgame is the better half. The beginning is surprisingly stately and dignified, and felt unusually appropriate for a downbeat 2020. The pace isn't quick, but it also doesn't drag as these characters get nice story beats that have been earned by the modest character development of the previous 20 movies. The middle section is genuinely fun, mixing and matching characters with critical scenes from previous movies in a "time heist." The movie closes out with sort of a do-over of the epic battle of the previous movie, only this one is structured been around a couple of sub-plots woven into the battle. The final scenes are more character moments and resolutions that bring this 22-movie run to a very satisfactory end. There are more MCU movies coming, but this particular epic is over.

Years ago, I saw Jackie Brown, knowing that it was Tarantino's nod to a legendary blaxploitation movie, Foxy Brown. I was too young to see Foxy Brown in 1974, but always meant to see it someday, and now I have. In every possible way, Foxy Brown is the best blaxploitation movie that I have ever seen, and I have seen more than a dozen. Better story, better action, better cinematography, and the amazing Pam Grier. Bonus points for the barroom brawl at the lesbian bar. However, measured against movies in general, Foxy Brown is maybe a 7 on a 10 point scale.

Daughters of Darkness was a surprise. It looked like it was just going to be an unambitious vampire movie, but instead triangulates to a point somewhere between vampire horror, gothic romance, and giallo. A newlywed couple is honeymooning in a grand hotel in Belgium during the off-season, when a predatory lesbian vampire couple becomes obsessed with them. Surprises follow, but the only one that I will reveal here is a bit of music trivia. I happen to like this one Rob Zombie song, specifically Living Dead Girl (Subliminal Seduction mix), and it turns out that a certain eerie voice sample comes directly from Daughters of Darkness.
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25 May 2020 00:30 #310595 by hotseatgames
I watched Joker on HBO. Wow, did this movie suck. While Phoenix’s performance is great, the movie itself is not entertaining in the least. I think someone who knew nothing at all about the Joker might like it a little more, but that is definitely not me. I hope they never make a sequel.

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25 May 2020 10:15 #310605 by Michael Barnes
Daughters of Darkness is one of my favorite vampire pictures...it’s terribly under-seen and under-rated. It tends to get lumped in with some of the seedier 1970s Eurohorror fare (the DVD pairs it up with The Blood-Splattered Bride), but it’s quite an elegant, artful film. Delphine Seyrig gives one of the most sensual performances you’ll ever see - she’s one of the great movie vampires but hardly anyone has seen this movie it seems. I saw it was on Prime and I’ve been meaning to watch it again.

On the other hand. I watched Fulci’s The Beyond last night. Now this is the sleazier Eurohorror. But it is a great one, and it’s Fulci’s best by far. Full of non-sequiters, strange plot sequencing, illogical actions, and a dream-like tone, it comes across almost as surrealist. It’s not really a zombie movie, it’s more of a Lovecraft thing. Kind of? The opening is pure Lovecraft with a 1927 bayou mob converging on a sorceror working out of the Book if Eibon. But then it turns into a kind of haunted house/psychic thing? Maybe? It’s a strange, disorienting movie with an apocalyptic ending. Well worth it if you “get” this kind of movie.
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25 May 2020 22:26 #310632 by Shellhead
I might be ready to give The Beyond a try. I used to be overly concerned with a plot needing to follow a logical narrative, but nowadays I am more open to the idea of a story being somewhat incoherent while still expressing some sort of valid emotional arc.

Since I did watch Daughters of Darkness on Amazon Prime, I got helpful recommendations today of other movies that I might like after watching it. And so I finally watched Torso, a real giallo of some note. I enjoyed that this movie offered more than just pretty victims, occasional nudity, and flashy streaks of bright red blood. There was an actual murder mystery of sorts, somewhat light on evidence but just enough to keep me guessing the identity of the slasher. Though there were a number of murders throughout the movie, Torso finally builds to internse suspense in the final reel. There was a touch of cheesiness, but that might just be my modern perspective on watching a movie set in Italy in 1973.

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26 May 2020 15:16 #310652 by Michael Barnes
Sergio Martino’s later films were better than Torso- All the Colors of the Dark, The Strange Vice of Madam Wardh...definitely second tier stuff versus Argento and Bava.

The Beyond is really good but yeah, you have to kind of roll with it and accept that it is about atmosphere and disorientation and not coherency or logic. For example, there are characters introduced on the first 10 minutes that are completely unexplained until a conversation 20 minutes later. Then there are complete lapses in logic or reality. Like an open bottle of acid sitting on the shelf of a morgue that of course gets tipped over. Or that the wife of a victim is allowed to go into the morgue to dress her husband’s body right next to all these other bodies including a dessicated, exposed corpse.

But when you are locked in with the Fabio Frizzi score, the weird high key photography, the awkward ADR dubbing, the unusually gruesome effects, and the kinda-sorta zombie/kinda-sorta Lovecraft thing, it all just sort of comes together. And then there are also psychics with nasty looking contacts in their eyes.

Zombie is also on Prime and it is absolutely worth watching for the zombie versus shark fight. Fulci’s work as a whole is less accessible and less artful than Argento or Bava but it’s also weirder, sleazier, and in some ways more idiosyncratic. There’s a lurid quality to his films that all these would-be grindhouse directors today only wish they could get close to.

Not sure if it’s on Prime but House by the Cemetary would be the other one to check out.
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26 May 2020 22:09 #310662 by DarthJoJo
There is nothing original in Extraction. There is nothing in it that your average fan of action films hasn't seen before. It is Ridley Scott's Man on Fire in a post John Wick world, but the execution and details are so well done that it is still worth two hours of your life. Chris Hemsworth actually gets to play an Australian. The fights are varied and have crunch. The characters speak in their native tongues as appropriate. There is a "single-take" 11-minute fight-and-chase scene. Originality, while appreciated, is overrated. Do the fundamentals well, and you can still make something good, even great.

Triple Frontier is something more ambitious. It begins as a heist, but that's taken care of before the film is half over. The remaining hour is the fallout. It's a two-hour car crash. From the point the plot kicks into gear, you know it can only end poorly, and it's driven home by several scenes that return to this feeling in microcosm. You might call it an action film, but it has a decidedly different tone from Extraction. It's methodical and precise without the money shots that make you want to rewatch them in isolated YouTube clips. The greatest brutality isn't waged on knees and necks but the psyches of the survivors.

I prefer Extraction by a hair. Triple Frontier does want to question the lasting and immediate effects of bloody violence upon soldiers, but I think it fails to stick the landing. It spends 90 minutes showing us that these are bad, even terrible, men but changes course in the last 30. Now we're meant to believe they're good. I don't buy it. I believe that everything they do for that last quarter of the film is born either from necessity or the need to believe that they are good. I just don't think the film realizes that.

Anyway, thanks, Netflix, for producing these, and thank you directors and producers for finding these off-beat settings.
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26 May 2020 22:48 - 26 May 2020 22:49 #310665 by Shellhead
I liked Hemsworth in Blackhat, when he played the world's strongest hacker.

Though I am a big fan of three of the Mad Max movies, I never liked Thunderdome. It tries and fails to be cute and funny and is just a big old mess with Max getting sidelined by a bunch of kids. But I'm not opposed to post-apocalyptic humor in totality, because I love Tank Girl.

I'm only semi-familiar with Tank Girl as a comic character. The art is very busy in an underground comix sort of way, and the highlights mostly consist of posturing in a variety of punk clothes with a variety of weapons while inflicting mayhem on random enemies. And yet the movie captures all that and delivers fun, chaos, and even a story.

When I originally saw Tank Girl in the theater, I loved the music but found the story weak. I have cherished the soundtrack CD for a quarter century now, without ever seeing the movie again. But tonight I watched a second time and have come to realize that a story can be told with not much more than emotional beats. Tank Girl is all the moods, but especially joyous carnage. There is also lots of action, creative acts of rebellion, a little beat poetry, a bit of free jazz, and a glorious Cole Porter dance number. Lori Petty is perfectly cast, and Malcolm McDowell makes for a fine villain. Due to makeup and prosthetics, I only recognized Ice-T and Jeff Kober by voice, and Naomi Watts was even more unrecognizable as a mousy brunette. By the end, Tank Girl left me wanting to sing and dance and break things.
Last edit: 26 May 2020 22:49 by Shellhead.
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