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What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?
Other Jess Franco films are...well, watch Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein or The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein...he was just all over the place. Mostly Eurosleaze trash and soft core, but occasionally he’s do something interesting. There’s a bit I love in Dracula: Prisoner of Frankenstein where a vampire is identified by the silhouette of a bat in their pupil. And they get staked through the eye.
It is a love story to The Abyss, Leviathan, and Deep Star Six. Initially it is hard to say where it will even go. Psychological horror, pure disaster, monsters, mutants, or aliens? It does sorta make a choice but because it has been cut to the bone it leaves more questions than it answers.
Great production values, the characters spend most of their time in Gears of War style pressure suits that must have been a real pain to wear but look really good. The underwater shots are uniformly murky , dark, and monochromatic, which is great for atmosphere but really hard to see just what is going on. I'm not sure there were any actual human underwater scenes, might be all smoke and cgi drifting muck. If so, that tech has gotten really good.
Sounds pretty interesting. An upshot is that actors are actually seeing the shit that they are acting in front of in real time, I imagine pure greenscreen is quite difficult to act with, given you're acting with some guy pretending to be a dragon in front of you or whatever.
Interestingly enough, I tried to listen to the old radio serials but my English wasn't good enough back then to understand them.
EDIT: Two things I found interesting:
1) The Shadow is neither a hero nor an anti-hero. He's...overly direct in his methods and not nice. His laugh is clearly deranged and he takes a particular nasty pleasure in fightining and mocking his targets. But he's not evil or edgy. There's no ideology behind it, so as to speak.
2) I love how he is afraid on both a professional and a personal level of Margo. They have a nice chemistry and, again, it feels very different from the typical hero/anti-hero dichotomy.
Gregarius wrote: Yeah, the new technology for the Mandalorian is pretty fascinating. The set photos look amazing-- not for the location, but for how incredible the tech is. It allows them to get in-camera reflections and lighting effects. Pretty awesome.
The tech is going to revolutionize filmmaking IMHO. But it will require meticulous pre-planning since you can't just shoot the actors and figure it out later. I've never really understood why 200+ million dollar films DON'T have an animatic done before to figure out what will and won't work story wise and action wise. When I hear things like writers are still hammering out exactly why Sarah Connor knows a guy who has a very specific device THE DAY OF FILMING it just makes me wonder just what Hollywood is doing. Big blockbusters that feel like 5 different scripts welded together in the editing room from principle filming and tons of reshoots just makes me sad.
So I can appreciate a film that feels like one persons vision from start to finish.
Another double header was The Lovebirds on netflix and Hotel Artemis on Amazon. Both are minority led mid budget films (hey, mid budget films do exist!) that deal with police action, riots, and "why dont we go to the police?" from a different POV. Lovebirds is quite funny and would have done well had it made it to the big screen. Hotel Artemis has a great cast but is a definite John Wick universe imitation film and suffers for the comparison. Still, nice to see regular adult movies that don't have superheroes.
Amazon has some really weird shit in their catalogue. Dudes and Dragons is a very clever mocking but sorta serious fantasy film that has a real smart script (ok, ok, somewhat witty) and a wonky visual aesthetic that reminds me of how easily LOTR could have gone horribly wrong.
The second half of the movie is better, introducing all the necessary elements of a horror movie: isolation, darkness, uncertainty, and a few characters that we care about. But the shark is fundamentally an awkward choice for a movie monster, demanding either difficult underwater filming, or some kind of crutch for viewers to perceive the presence of the shark without seeing it above the surface. It's the same kind of problem that a casual sports fan might encounter when watching hockey... where is the puck? Spielberg comes up with the idea of using the harpoon to attach yellow plastic barrels to the shark, which seems primarily a visual aid for the audience. The underwater sequence with the cage had great potential, but the action is pretty slow-paced so it falters. The classic line "You're going to need a bigger boat" landed well, but then Roy Scheider repeats variations of the line 2 or 3 times, diluting the impact. The ending was okay, though necessarily telegraphed mid-movie. I assume the sequels are all worse, so I'm done with the Jaws franchise. I would still like to play the boardgame published last year.
I also re-watched Dirty Harry for the first time in forever. I must have watched it on network tv the previous time, because I was surprised by the nudity. On a superficial level, the movie is still enjoyable, but I can now clearly see that it is also a conservative touchstone. Aside from the standard Hollywood cop tropes of trampling regulations and procedures to get the bad guy, there was also a definite contempt directed at reporters, which I had previously thought to be something that emerged post-Watergate. I can see the seductive appeal of the conservatism as expressed by Clint Eastwood. Judging everything, sneering with contempt, always having the right answer, and shooting bad guys with a really big gun. I can also see how movies like this have had a cumulative and corrosive influence on law enforcement in our country.
I have a big ass TV coming in, first TV upgrade in about 15 years. Going from 30-something inch 720p to 65" 4K. Debut on there will be BLACK PANTHER.