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Movies You've Seen Recently | September 2019

overcast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,353
Watched 3 whole movies in August.
1) Milennium Actress
2) The Farewell
3) Ready Or Not

Really didn’t care for Ready or Not, found most of the movie to be dull and unfunny. Farewell was solid but I’m not as in love with it as many.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,523
Caught 27 flicks in the month of August.

Best watches:
Under The Silver Lake
Rebels of the Neon God
Her Smell
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
Luce
Ratcatcher

Surprisingly good:
Stuber
Ready Or Not
 

torre_avenue

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
8,527
Behind you.
Well, as of now, I've only seen two movies in September: Ready or Not and When Harry Met Sally.

Ready or Not
was something that really lived up to its word of mouth. It was a fun take on the "you're being hunted" sub-genre of thriller films, with just enough self-awareness and over-the-top performances to make it something memorable. Andie McDowell, Henry Czerny, Adam Brody, and Kristian Bruun were all the highlights of it for me. All in all, it was a fun way to spend a night at the cinema.

When Harry Met Sally... was great. I've already seen it on an airplane, but watching it on an actual television was neat because it opened my eyes to how good the cinematography is on it. The shot where Harry tosses out cards in the bowl, the museum scene, the shots where they're just walking. All in all, good movie.

Oh, also Luce is great. Julius Onah really made something special with this, and I can't give enough praise to how good Kelvin Harrison Jr. is as Luce. His performance is key to the film's themes and really illustrates Luce's struggle to be seen as something more than just the ideal. Good movie.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,880
Bleak Moments

Drier than a piece of toast, I mean just hella mundane, but aside from not being able to hear the dialogue from time to time due to the quiet/stilted nature of the performances, I really enjoyed this. Norman’s music brings a nice sense of warmth and liveliness to the proceedings, and the central date sequence is one of the most gloriously awkward scenes I can think of. Loved the rude waiter and the guy eating by himself in the corner. I hope Sylvia eventually finds happiness. Anne Raitt was gorgeous. Looking forward to more Leigh.
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,181
I watched the original Wizard of Oz yesterday for the first time since I was a child and it's still pretty good! It's a visual and technical marvel. The sets are still absolutely gorgeous to look at and the color choices on everything is still wonderful. I can only imagine what this looked to someone when it first released. I was really surprised at how much I hated some of the songs though, especially that dreadful one the Lion sings about being king of the forest. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "If I Only Had A Brain" are both winners though. It's hard to be objective about a movie like this, with how much it's referenced and reused but it is still fun to watch. I think at the end of the day, I'll still pick Return To Oz as my favorite Oz movie. Nostalgia's a helluva of drug and I watched it a bunch as a kid.

My exercise flick this morning was The Warrior's Way and that movie is a god damn mess. The tone is all over the place, it's a mishmash of both Eastern swordfighting and Western cowboy ideas that tosses them together without considering how to make the combo work, and It's just incredibly ugly from constantly using green screen backgrounds for nearly every outdoor scene. It looks so bad almost all of the time. It's trying to use the style that films like 300 or Sin City used and just doesn't understand why it worked in those movies. It's just so ill-conceived in almost every aspect. There are some cool fight scenes in the final act but it just can't save the movie from itself. They honestly would've been better off doing an adaptation of the old 3DO game Way of the Warrior instead of whatever this was.
 
Night Mayor: The untold story of a man and his family who harnessed the musical power of aurora borealis and converted it to energy that was then transmitted via telephone into the subconscious minds of all of Canada as they were sleeping, made in black-and-white and featuring so much layering of imagery that concerns about what's in the foreground or in the background get summarily thrown into the sun, all scored to a creaky string-driven score that emits an air of slyly sinister machinations. If that doesn't scream "Guy Maddin" to you, then I don't know what to tell you!
 
Oct 27, 2017
107
It (2017)

Wanted to see this ㅐㅜㄷ since it came out but never got the chance. Wanted to love it but... I thought it was kind of horrible? Maybe I wasn't in the right mood. I don't know. It felt like an expensive, gory, kids movie... in a bad way. Couldn't get into the characters. So many repetitive "scary" scenes that weren't scary. I'm stumped. I really like Stranger Things so I thought I would find something to like here.
 

Borgnine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
953
In Fabric: 7/10. Duke of Burgundy is one of my favorite films of the decade so I wasn't expecting something as good but this was still just a little disappointing. Definitely a fine addition to the Peter Strikland Cinematic Universe, where everything is a fetish. Kinda funny, not especially horror-y.

Sunset: 7/10. Another disappointing follow up to a favorite film from 4 years ago (Son of Saul). This thing starts off AMAZING. A gorgeous period piece of one of my favorite time periods, Europe in the early 20th century before it lost its mind. Similar to The White Ribbon but more urban. Starts to really build a compelling mystery but then all of a sudden it plunges in to deliberate confusion and bewilderment. And apparently this is the point (like Europe before WWI get it). Just wish it didn't go down that road because it could have easily been my favorite movie of the year.
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,789
Second half of August update -

The Secret of Nimh - 3 stars
Defining Moment: Mrs. Brisby's journey to meet the Great Owl, with all of Bluth's skills on display, from liquid animation to the tonal tightrope of menace, wonder, and hope.

Grave of the Fireflies - 4.5 stars
Defining Moment: That heart-wrenching moment when hope is lost, summing up everything the film attempts to say about a society that would rather sacrifice its most vulnerable than admit the arrogance of its pride.

Kiki's Delivery Service - 3.5 stars
Defining Moment: Such a small moment - when Kiki and Tombo first take his flying bike for a spin and an older man stops specifically to laugh at the seeming folly of the contraption. Youth dreams incessantly even when it seems the most ridiculous.

Porco Rosso - 3.5 stars
Defining Moment: It's tempting to choose Porco's vision of his departed fellow flyers ascending, but I'm hard-pressed not to pick all of his period-accurate sexism thrown back in his face by a cadre of mechanically-inclined women who don't put up with his worst tendencies.

Princess Mononoke - 5 stars
Defining Moment: With the plethora of themes and characters this feels like an impossible task, but if put to the wire let's say the forest meeting with San, Ashitaka, the boar clan, and Moro. Every side is correct, every side is wrong, and those statements feel earned by Miyazaki's magnificent plotting and character work.

Spirited Away - 4.5 stars
Defining Moment: Cleaning the "stink spirit", when Sen finally commits to being an active participant in her own story, we truly meet No-Face and his desperate longing, and a river god symbolizes the combination of materialistic greed and environmental degradation.

Howl's Moving Castle - 3 stars
Defining Moment: While not the film's best scene, the most representative is the restoration of order as the film closes and a half-dozen characters' storylines meet their end, earned or not.

Ponyo - 3.5 stars
Defining Moment: It feels wrong to choose anything other than the small character moments built on love, but the film's most arresting sequence comes with a tsunami and a little girl running alongside.
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,789
I'll get there, I swear! I bought that Miyazaki boxset a few years back during grad school and have been winding through everything that way (along with a random Grave of the Fireflies purchase that went unwatched for a good half decade, because....you know). I have one movie left in the set - The Wind Rises. After that I'll track down the rest of Ghibli.

It's a really beautiful set, btw.



patientzero I really like your way of describing the movies you’ve seen by their defining moments. It’s super interesting. I might adopt something similar for my reviews :)
Thank you so much!

I was wondering how to keep up writing a blurb about everything from now on without making it too much of a time sink given my other pursuits (I engage with a ton of pop culture) and just hit upon the idea while watching that particular moment in Kiki's Delivery Service. The two things that concern me with keeping it going are - 1) how to balance a defining moment of a negative impression of a film, and 2) whether these verge on spoiler status for some.

And feel free to adopt away!
 

lazybones18

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,499
Whoever picks the old movie selection for Showtime/The Movie Channel must be absolutely insane. Scrolling through my channel guide late last night to see what's playing on the Showtime channels and notice that TMC is playing Heaven's Gate. Thinking to myself "wow, they really showing that". Turns out, it's not the original 3+ hour version, but a version that's only 2hr 30mins. Two things popped into my head: 1) What the fuck, there's a shorter version? and 2) Why the fuck would you bother airing this if it isn't the original version?

Checked Showtime on Demand and sure enough, they had the movie listed until the end of the month. I don't have TMC, but do have Showtime so I decided to give the short cut a quick peek. Immediately, I'm already puzzled by this version. You cut a movie that was already long down to 150 mins and you thought it would be a good idea to add a fucking overture. WHY? Even Cimino with his over-sized ego didn't include an overture in the original. I didn't stick around to watch the entire Harvard sequence, but it looks like some voiced dialogue was added in. The person in the carriage says something to Averill as he runs past it and later Averill asks Billy if he'll come with him to Wyoming. Pretty sure those weren't in the original (been a while since I've seen it)

There's no way in hell I'll even bother to watch the short cut. Even if I don't think the movie is particularly great, I'll stick with the original cut.
 

andrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,102
Whoever picks the old movie selection for Showtime/The Movie Channel must be absolutely insane. Scrolling through my channel guide late last night to see what's playing on the Showtime channels and notice that TMC is playing Heaven's Gate. Thinking to myself "wow, they really showing that". Turns out, it's not the original 3+ hour version, but a version that's only 2hr 30mins. Two things popped into my head: 1) What the fuck, there's a shorter version? and 2) Why the fuck would you bother airing this if it isn't the original version?

Checked Showtime on Demand and sure enough, they had the movie listed until the end of the month. I don't have TMC, but do have Showtime so I decided to give the short cut a quick peek. Immediately, I'm already puzzled by this version. You cut a movie that was already long down to 150 mins and you thought it would be a good idea to add a fucking overture. WHY? Even Cimino with his over-sized ego didn't include an overture in the original. I didn't stick around to watch the entire Harvard sequence, but it looks like some voiced dialogue was added in. The person in the carriage says something to Averill as he runs past it and later Averill asks Billy if he'll come with him to Wyoming. Pretty sure those weren't in the original (been a while since I've seen it)

There's no way in hell I'll even bother to watch the short cut. Even if I don't think the movie is particularly great, I'll stick with the original cut.
isn't the 150 minute cut the one that was originally released theatrically? I thought the whole story with the thing was that the longer version didn't even get a widespread release until the restoration several years ago and that's why it got a critical reevaluation.

EDIT: Yeah looks like it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven's_Gate_(film)#Versions_of_the_film
The version screened at the November 1980 premiere ran three hours and 39 minutes. Bridges joked that Cimino had worked on the film so close to the premiere that the print screened was still wet from the lab. After the aborted one-week premiere run in New York, Cimino and United Artists pulled the film...Cimino's second edited version, a 149-minute version, premiered in April 1981 and was the only cut of the film screened in wide release.

...

In 1982, Z Channel aired the 219-minute 1980 premiere version of the film on cable television – the first time that the longer version was widely exhibited – and which Z Channel dubbed the "director's cut." As critic F.X. Feeney noted in the documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, Z Channel's broadcast of Heaven's Gate first popularized the concept of a "director's cut."

...

The 216-minute version shown in Venice is quite similar to the 219-minute version, but with no intermission...In 2012, MGM released yet another version, digitally restored and 216 minutes long. It premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival as part of the Venice Classics series.[66][67]

The Criterion Collection released the restored 216 minute version on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on November 20, 2012. This "Director's Cut" was personally supervised by Michael Cimino and Joann Carelli. Cimino explains in the special features portion of the DVD that this is his preferred version of the film, and he feels it is the complete version he intended to make.
Interesting that this film was the one that popularized the concept of the director's cut.
 
isn't the 150 minute cut the one that was originally released theatrically? I thought the whole story with the thing was that the longer version didn't even get a widespread release until the restoration several years ago and that's why it got a critical reevaluation.
It was the one that wound up hitting theaters, but the one that was screened for critics that received Vincent Canby's most notorious line in a review (the "unqualified disaster" bit) was the longer version.
 

andrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,102
It was the one that wound up hitting theaters, but the one that was screened for critics that received Vincent Canby's most notorious line in a review (the "unqualified disaster" bit) was the longer version.
During that one-week preview? Gotcha. Quite a timeline and bevy of cuts to make sense of with that movie!
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,181
Is the director's cut of Heaven's Gate worth watching? I've heard so many different opinions about that one. Maybe the better thing to ask is should I go out of my way to watch it or just grab it if I see it on one of my thrift store runs?

I watched Super 8 this morning. Another one I haven't seen since its theatrical run. For whatever reason, this is the first movie I remember really noticing the sound. Of course I picked up on specific sound effects in previous movies I watched like the blaster in Star Wars or the tings of a swordfight but nothing kicked my ass like the train derailment scene in this movie in the theater.

I still think about it from time to time. The slight little bouncy click when the truck first pops onto the track as a premonition of something is going to go very wrong is completely burned into my memory. Then there's the crashing train sounds itself where the sound kept switching the sides of the theater to be blaring out of, blowing me around in my seat like I was riding a roller coaster (or what I imagine a coaster would be like since I'm a coward who has never ridden a real one lol). I don't know if I was just seeing the wrong movies before this one or my theater was finally set up properly but it completely blew me away.

The rest of the movie is fun enough but never quite reached that early high point again. It's a very earnest love letter to old Spielberg and other 80s movies about kids saving the day and it's enjoyable to watch it all play out. It has the usual JJ Abrams mystery box stuff and as usual, it doesn't quite pay off completely in the end. It's still a fun ride to get there though. I do kind of wish we never got a full-on view of the alien and they would've left it to our imagination too.

Rewatching it now is kind of fascinating though. It's obviously a throwback as mentioned above but it's also a precursor to things like the recent It film or the Stranger Things series. Sure, they're all drawing from the same well of nostalgia but this feels like the template on how to frame the nostalgia.

While I'll never be able to recreate that theatrical experience I had 8 years ago, I'll always appreciate this movie for giving it to me. The cheapo bluetooth headphones I used while doing my jog were definitely not up to the task of even approaching it but I still enjoyed watching this again.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,880
Night on Earth

Very fun. Jarmusch is one of the foremost masters at mining emotional weight out of goofiness, and I think that's best exemplified by the New York segment. YoYo and Helmut genuinely connect, in their own odd way, what with their similar hats and funny sounding names. It's a genuine treat then, a little morsel of downbeat pleasure, when Helmut pulls out his clown nose—alienated by a foreign environment, he's finally found someone he feels comfortable revealing his true self to. Then as he drives away back into the mayhem of the city, frustration begins to creep in again and he solemnly takes off his nose, clown no longer. Fucking poetry.

Other highlights: the shot of Pioneer Chicken (RIP) in the LA story touched my soul, I love that Jarmusch worked with two actors Claire Denis also worked with, the Rome segment is hilarious, probably the funniest description of bestiality ever written, and the Helsinki part might be the strongest of the bunch, Matti Pellonpää knocks it out of the park (wonderful performances the whole way through, really). I should watch some Finnish cinema!
 

ThirstyFly

Member
Oct 28, 2017
369
I think I have my 31 Days of Horror list ready, any of you maniacs or horror aficionados might taking a look and telling if there are any big no-no's on there? Thanks!

Looks good to me. I've seen 16 of your 31 and there's no stinkers there. The weakest out of those 16 (imo) would probably be The Addams Family, which is a liiiiitle light on the plot (but still worth watching) and The Ring. I didn't personally care for that and can't even remember it aside from the horse scene, but it's not awful or anything. The Ring Two is awful though.

I just watched The Girl Who Knew Too Much myself (I'll probably post a review in a day or so in the horror OT with some other gialli I'm watching). While there is some horrific content, I'd personally say it's a thriller and not a horror movie though. The goofy US version (Evil Eye) is even less-so a horror movie as they played up the comedy more and seemed like they were trying to make a romantic comedy out of it. But the Italian version is a fantastic movie, and you should watch it either way.
 
Yours Faithfully Edna Welthorpe (Mrs): A short yet sweet recreation of some of the correspondence that playwright Joe Orton was able to stir up under the titular alter ego. The arts-and-crafts art direction pairs rather well with the antics, especially in the second correspondence where it turns outrageously kinky as it gets to have an awful lot of fun with finding the right materials to depict various costumes and devices for a great deal of comedy. The blurb at the beginning that sets the stage for the whats and the who of what we're about to see for those unfamiliar does a very good job setting the proper amount of context without being laborious, getting into the action right away while leaving you to wonder just who this guy was if this was what he did in his free time. Now, I'm a little depressed to see how his life ended, but it did at least give us a pleasant and amusing short as we get here.
 

Moonkid

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,749
Maybe this says more about me than the film itself, but Event Horizon was a lot tamer and restrained than I expected. I'm aware that there was footage which fleshed out - pun unintended - the Hell 'vision' and sequences but I still thought it would have treated us to more than what amounted to literal flashes of viscera. I don't think this really made the film less effective although it would have been neat to have what looked like real impressive makeup work be on display a tad more. Aside from some underbaked characters and poorly dated CG, I enjoyed it for what it was. It had a good sense of escalation and while it could have had more time in the oven to smoothen out the overall scene sequencing, it still did its thing without jumping the shark either.
 
Baby Face (1933): Early Barbara Stanwyck vehicle where she plays a down-on-her-luck bootlegger's daughter who gets a lecture on using Nietzschean philosophy from a cobbler and decides to use her sexuality to manipulate men and climb the socio-economic ladder. The film is notable mainly for how brazenly sexual it is; starting about a year later, a lot of this stuff would have been unimaginable in an American film until the 1960s. Despite Stanwyck's strong performance (as you'd expect, she digs into this character), her rise is depicted in a pretty repetitive format otherwise (and she finds and discards men so easily that there's no real drama or stakes). But the biggest problem comes in the final third, where an unconvincing redemption arc occurs; the filmmakers hang way too much on the boring-as-hell George Brent.

One of the guys that Stanwyck manipulates is a young John Wayne, incidentally -- playing a boyish office drone, so quite unlike how you're used to seeing him.
 

Boogs31

Member
Oct 28, 2017
752
Ohio
Watched 15 films in August. It was a great month. My top 4 I watched, as of now, are all in my top 10 for the year.

Top 4 new watches

1) The Farewell - It’s an absolutely beautiful film that’s intent is to show the viewer the difference in how eastern versus western cultures deal with illness within the family. The director, Lulu Wang, absolutely nails the message in a subtle but effective manner. I was genuinely surprised how much the movie convinced me about the eastern philosophy. The performances, especially from Awkwafina, are terrific.

2) Transit - While I didn’t find Christian Petzold’s newest feature as mesmerizing as his previous work, Phoenix (which is one of my favorite films of the decade), this is still extremely tense and intriguing throughout. The performances are great and he has a way of setting up his finales in extremely satisfying fashion.

3) Peanut Butter Falcon - This is my feel good film of the year. It’s warm, it’s uplifting, and it’s about 2nd chances. While it’s not the best film I’ll see this year, it very well may end up being my favorite.

4) American Factory - This documentary, the first in the Obama’s “Higher Ground” series, is another insight into culture’s clashing when a Chinese company takes over a plant in Dayton, Ohio. The filmmakers did an excellent job staying impartial. With this and “Knock Down the House”, Netflix is killing it with their political docs this year.



I also watched Under the Silver Lake. It’s quite a bizarre film. The soundtrack is intentionally all over the place and very prominent. I found it intriguing for the most part, but I didn’t feel like it stuck the landing. I felt like it deserved mentioning though because the scene with the song writer might be my favorite scene of the year.

Worst Movies of the month

1) Good Boys - This movie has 2 jokes just told 100 times each. Isn’t it funny when 6th graders curse? And: Isn’t it funny when 6th graders don’t understand things because they’re young and innocent?

2) Where’d you go, Bernadette? - I love Richard Linklater films so I thought I would see this despite the poor reviews. It was pretty mediocre. None of the characters were particularly interesting, the plot was boring and it very much felt like it had a conflict with itself over who the protagonist and antagonist were supposed to be.
 

Peru

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,389
Baby Face (1933): Early Barbara Stanwyck vehicle where she plays a down-on-her-luck bootlegger's daughter who gets a lecture on using Nietzschean philosophy from a cobbler and decides to use her sexuality to manipulate men and climb the socio-economic ladder. The film is notable mainly for how brazenly sexual it is; starting about a year later, a lot of this stuff would have been unimaginable in an American film until the 1960s. Despite Stanwyck's strong performance (as you'd expect, she digs into this character), her rise is depicted in a pretty repetitive format otherwise (and she finds and discards men so easily that there's no real drama or stakes). But the biggest problem comes in the final third, where an unconvincing redemption arc occurs; the filmmakers hang way too much on the boring-as-hell George Brent.

One of the guys that Stanwyck manipulates is a young John Wayne, incidentally -- playing a boyish office drone, so quite unlike how you're used to seeing him.
One of my all-time favorite movies, sometimes topping the list. I love the rhythm of it, what you call repetitive I find to be a deliriously enjoyable dance of sin. It's a bit like the modern revenge horror movies, where someone is wronged , and then just wreaks merciless havoc on hapless foes in her way for the rest of the running time. Her fed-up rebelling, the explosive outburst against her father, it all just has to lead to a scorn earth approach. Yeah the ending is a little sentimental, but crucially she's not really ever punished for what she's done, there's no actual repenting, she gets the man she wants and seemingly no time in jail or dead in a ditch. This ending would not have passed post-code either. Also love her subtly alternative friendship with Chico. Stanwyck joined Zanuck in developing the story herself, per the Victoria Wilson biography.

 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,181
Y'know, Blades of Glory is funnier than I remember it being. It can't sustain it through the entire movie, but I laughed pretty hard at some parts. If you like mid-2000s Will Ferrell stuff, you'll find something to like here. It's far from his top tier stuff like Step Brothers but it's a helluava lot better than the dregs of Semi-Pro. I can't and won't recommend it to everyone but if you think you'll like it based on the cast and its age, you probably will.

I remember liking Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) a lot back in the day but I had a much harder time with it now. The arrangements for the film are pretty close to the original album but just different and weaker enough to really bug me. Neely is a rather weak Jesus and really struggles to compare to Ian Gillian on the aforementioned album. Then again, most people are going to pale compared to Gillian's voice in its prime. Herod being explicitly a queer coded villain rubbed me the wrong way too. Just stick with the original album, filming it doesn't really add anything to it.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) is a movie I thought I had seen before. If you were to have asked me yesterday, I would've told you of course I've seen it but after watching it this morning, none of it was familiar outside of a couple of the songs! I think cultural osmosis tricked me. I ended up really liking it. I was worried it would be like when I pushed through the first Dragon Warrior last year and hated it; an important touchstone for a medium but better left in the past. Snow White is not that. It's very much of the 1930s but there's no reason a modern audience wouldn't like it. The animation is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Even the rotoscoping works well here. That's pretty much the entire point of the movie here; a showcase for what animation can do.

The story is slight and could've easily have been told in one of Disney's previous shorts but every scene is wonderful without feeling like padding. The Dwarves are still surprisingly funny and fun to watch. The Evil Queen is especially great when she disguises herself as the witch and I laughed pretty hard when she said "Have a drink will ya!" and kicked a little cauldron into a skeleton. There is some wonderful imagery used too, some strikingly dark stuff. The appearance of the two vultures and the reappearance when they got their meal that they knew was there all along was maybe my favorite. This whole movie really deserves its classic status and I think it'll hold up far into the future. Fantastic stuff.
 

XR.

Member
Nov 22, 2018
1,296
What's a good horror flick that's pretty easy on jump scares and the gory stuff?

I'm currently eyeing Hereditary, The Quiet Place and The Ritual.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,880
What's a good horror flick that's pretty easy on jump scares and the gory stuff?

I'm currently eyeing Hereditary, The Quiet Place and The Ritual.
Hereditary gets pretty gory at points, but it's not really a jump scare kind of movie. Still, it's worth a shot. Not too well-versed in horror so I don't have many suggestions. A Quiet Place is alright.
 
What's a good horror flick that's pretty easy on jump scares and the gory stuff?

I'm currently eyeing Hereditary, The Quiet Place and The Ritual.
Hereditary is very character-focused, but it can get quite gory at times. A Quiet Place is PG-13, so it relies more on jump scares than violence. The Ritual is not crazy violent but knows when to step on the gas when appropriate, though if you're someone that's seen backwoods monster movies before, you might be a bit annoyed at how dutifully it hits every single trope for that particular sub-genre. That one has a fantastic monster, though!
 

lazybones18

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,499
Come on TCM, you've shown the Sean Connery 007 movies before in letterbox. Why the hell you showing the first two in fullscreen?
 

hydruxo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,174
Saw these in August for the first time:
  • Hereditary - This one didn't really live up to the hype for me. It was well shot and acted of course, but the plot just kind of meandered. They lost me in the second half of the movie, and I didn't like the ending either.
  • Coco - Took me too long to finally get around to this but it was incredible from start to finish. You could tell Pixar put all they had into this and it really showed. The family dynamics felt very real and there were countless scenes that made me tear up. Wish I had seen this one in theaters.
  • The Third Man - Great dialogue and a stellar performance from Orson Welles even though he barely has any screen time until the third act. There are some astounding shots in this too, it has to be one of the most well shot black and white films ever. It must've been a revelation watching this when it came out in the 40's because it still holds up incredibly well.
  • Howl's Moving Castle - Really enjoyed this one too, I mean it's hard not to. It's just very wholesome and jolly like a lot of Ghibli films are. A lot of impressive animation and shots too.
  • The Lobster - A really interesting twist on how mundane dating and marriage has become and how much pressure there is to find that perfect match. Colin Farrell is one of my favorite actors and he was definitely the highlight in this one, along with Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux as well.
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,021
UK
Baby Face (1933): Early Barbara Stanwyck vehicle where she plays a down-on-her-luck bootlegger's daughter who gets a lecture on using Nietzschean philosophy from a cobbler and decides to use her sexuality to manipulate men and climb the socio-economic ladder. The film is notable mainly for how brazenly sexual it is; starting about a year later, a lot of this stuff would have been unimaginable in an American film until the 1960s. Despite Stanwyck's strong performance (as you'd expect, she digs into this character), her rise is depicted in a pretty repetitive format otherwise (and she finds and discards men so easily that there's no real drama or stakes). But the biggest problem comes in the final third, where an unconvincing redemption arc occurs; the filmmakers hang way too much on the boring-as-hell George Brent.

One of the guys that Stanwyck manipulates is a young John Wayne, incidentally -- playing a boyish office drone, so quite unlike how you're used to seeing him.
This sounds dope, want to check it out.
 
No C4 for Daniel-Daniel: An amusing little gag from the makers of Man Bites Dog. This is definitely the kind of thing you would show an investor who isn't too sure of your ability to make a feature film, as this is packed with all sorts of loving tropes to what it's spoofing (in this case, a spy film) while also going all in on the more alarming elements of the genre in order to create the humor. Not everything is a smash hit, and it's hard to know just how well one particular running joke plays given the obvious problematic qualities to it, but it does seem like Poelvoorde, Belvaux and Bonzel are using it in a manner that makes sense, if not exactly in good taste. It's kind of crazy that they would go on to make something as fully-formed and unforgettable as Man Bites Dog right after, but even with as broad as the humor gets in this, there is is some inclination here that does display some early fascination with grimmer comedy.
 
Dirty Dancing (1987): This is a movie that, over the years, I had seen large pieces of, but I don't think I had ever sat down and watched it all the way through. It being on Canadian Netflix was a good opportunity. There are some surprisingly heavy elements here for what is largely remembered as one of the great cheesy 1980s romances; most films where the heroine has to learn to dance posthaste are because they have to save the rec center or something, but here it's so that she can cover for an acquaintance who is getting a secret abortion (incidentally, is this still the most overall positive portrayal of abortion rights in an American film that made a lot of money?). Kelly Bishop is kind of wasted here, but, man, I do miss Jerry Orbach. The central romance is well-done, and of course, the music sequences all hit (the choreography is done by Kenny Ortega, who, a generation later, would direct the High School Musical franchise for Disney).
 

Frump

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,181
Yesterday, I made a terrible decision and let my fascination with bad movies get the best of me. I actually sat down and watched The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. I have been fascinated with the fiasco behind this movie for a while and I finally broke down and gave it a viewing. It's real bad. REAL bad. Clearly intended to be a 90 minute commercial for merchandise that never came. It's a world of blended up pre-school TV imagery with no educational purpose behind it. Lots of surprisingly strong male gazey shots too, which feel especially out of place in a movie targeted at the toddler crowd. I did laugh quite a few times at it though, merely for the absurdity of the predicament I put myself in. It still isnt the worst thing Ive ever seen. I'd rather watch this again than some of the lowest end Troma or Full Moon movies, but that's about it.

I have Sunset Boulevard just sitting over there, something I haven't seen yet, and I watch Oogieloves instead. What a bad decision.
 
Oct 30, 2017
53
South Coast, UK
Actually watched quite a few films in August after only watching 2-3 per month. Watched Dekalog 1 (1989) and absolutely loved it, but I've struggled to bring myself to watch the other nine entries after how devastating the ending of that was. Fell asleep watching Computer Chess (2013) and finished it after I woke up. Really bizarre film that starts off like an off-kilter, dry comedy and suddenly turns into one of the strangest experiments I've ever seen. It's certainly unique, but I'm not sure I would recommend it. After that I caught I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (2006) on MUBI, which was a delightful surprise to stumble across. Always been intrigued by Tsai Ming-liang's work, and there's certainly something special about this one. It's slow, maybe even painfully so, but it's just so striking. That final shot is among the best I have EVER seen in films.

Followed that up with another winner; Hirokazu Kore-eda's narrative debut Maborosi (1995). Been a fan of his work for a while, but I was unfortunately disappointed by Shoplifters after all the hype it got. This, however? Wow, blown away. This film puts into words something I never really got to the bottom of. There’s such an empathy to the way Kore-eda depicts his characters, and it’s specifically prevalent here. The way Yumiko and her feelings are portrayed hit particularly deep, getting across just how much this loss that’s forever changed her life pervades even as everything else chugs along. It’s melancholy in a way few films are capable of portraying, these dark emotional pits linger and I’m not sure I’ve seen something that channels that feeling quite as well as this does. It’s a tragedy that is drawn out, played so vividly that it’s almost striking. I adore this movie, it feels like how I often convince myself I do.

I also watched Gen-Y Cops (2000), alternatively known as Gen-X Cops 2: Metal Mayhem, with some friends. It was really bad, but it was also a blast. Seeing Paul Rudd act in Cantonese was absolutely bizarre. Managed to catch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) and enjoyed it a lot. Like a lot of Tarantino films it has a bit of bloat, could honestly have done with a shorter cut that went on a few less tangents. Regardless, Brad Pitt stole the show and I loved the final act. As a result I also finally checked out The Hateful Eight and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 + Vol. 2. Enjoyed all of them, but I gotta give it up for the lengthy fight sequence at the restaurant in the first volume of Kill Bill. Just a treat from start to finish.

Besides that it was mostly just rewatches for me and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018). Despite what the advertising indicated, a surprisingly thoughtful look at how Trump got to where he is and a damning indictment of Rick Snyder.
 

More_Badass

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,600
Anyone else seen both High Life and Aniara? They both tell similar stories, but I found High Life to be surprisingly dull and frustratingly obtuse, while Aniara was haunting, evocative, unnerving, thrilling. Probably going to be my favorite sci-fi film of the year, watching it evoked the same feeling I get when I read a really good sci-fi short story

Aniara
★★★★½
I’ve seen this compared to High Life, a movie I found to be an impenetrable chore to watch. Fortunately, my experience with Aniara was the polar opposite. This is a tale of humanity breaking upon the endless void of space, presented in a hauntingly evocative and bleakly existential fashion. The budget was clearly modest, but those limitations are rarely felt, the movie never seems cheap or as if it’s trying to tell a narrative too ambitious for its means.

Aniara is a movie both epic in scope and harrowingly, intimately human. During what should be a routine journey from Earth to Mars, an errant screw sends the titular vessel drifting into the abyss. Days turn to weeks, then years. The vastness of space has rarely seemed so dreadful. Soon the only thing keeping hearts and minds from shattering is Mima, an AI-controlled virtual reality that allows passengers to escape into their memories of Earth. The caretaker of Mima is our viewpoint into the gradual societal breakdown within the ship, the epicenter of its inhabitants’ frustrations, fears, and other base emotions.

“Literary” is such a nebulous adjective, but it’s apt for how I felt about Aniara when the end credits finally rolled. Apocalyptic backstory, futuristic technology, and uneasy consequences are often presented through implication and visuals rather than exposition. Chapters divide Aniara into a chronicle of agonizingly prolonged doom, each title priming us for a thoughtful vignette set another day, week, year later. Aniara was thrilling like the best sci-fi short stories or novellas, where fascinating ideas work as both concept and allegory, where a daring ending evokes a gasp and reflection
 
Incident by a Bank: A strikingly choreographed oner of a short film. Most impressive of all is how little of it feels staged, as there's a strong sense of spontaneity from all the performers that makes it feel less like a short film and more like genuine security camera footage, helped out rather significantly by the single camera setup that zooms and pans much like one. It's very much a short where it's exactly as advertised, though the humorous undertones are appreciated, but what is here is quite impressive from a technical standpoint and helps this to stand out from a pack that otherwise goes for more conventional means of telling a similar story.
 
Oct 25, 2017
254
One Sings, the Other Doesn't

One Sings, the Other Doesn't is both heartwarming and melancholic. With beautiful, colorful photography and whispered folk songs, Agnès Varda and the rest of the filmmakers tell a story that is very moving and is just as involving as it probably was back when it was first released. The two women who anchor this film start their friendship through tragedy, but this film is smart enough to go beyond that. Their friendship is strengthened though the editing; the film makes associations between their separate experiences through short interludes highlighting the postcards they send each other. This technique helps their friendship transcend physical boundaries into an emotional, ephemeral connection. One Sings, the Other Doesn't portrays Pauline/Apple and Suzanne's experiences as nuanced and complicated; they are not static characters. They struggle to find what they want out of life and why they want it. Valerie Mairesse and Therese Liotard's performances do justice to the writing, and imbue their characters with a great sense of emotional weight.

This is a truly wonderful film. Going through Agnès Varda's catalogue of films has been incredible so far. Can't wait to watch more.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,880
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Due to its relative age (Native history notwithstanding), in order to construct an overarching cultural mythology, America, perhaps more than any other nation, has been forced to seek inspiration from its violent, criminal past (and present). We're a country born of blood and gunpowder, and despite some wishful thinking, those are still very much the principles that govern us to this day. Not that other countries don't have their own violent histories, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to say a gun is the de facto symbol of anyone else but America (god, we kind of suck don't we....). Where other cultures have woodland spirits and godly congregations upon mountaintops, we have war heroes, serial killers, and notorious outlaws.

Jesse James was one such figure, more myth than man, an emblem of arguably the most mythical period in American history: the Wild West. He was the kind of larger than life character that cultivated a reputation from coast to coast, a man so infamous that people showed up in droves just to take a picture with his dead body. All of this to say, I'm not sure I've seen another western that was as conscious about simultaneously deconstructing and embracing mythologization as this movie. In the hands of Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt, Jesse is more human than the old tales would have you believe, and yet there's still a certain level of romanticism that permeates every frame of this film, because even if half the stuff they said about him wasn't true, the myth is still part of his and our reality. That's who Jesse James was to us. Nothing says it better than that shot of the two decapitated snakes coiled around his arm, their bodies still pulsing with movement. It's like biblical or some shit, I don't know.

Anyway, this is longer than I intended and I want to watch some kino, so I'm gonna wrap it up with a few more shout-outs. Firstly, what a cast from top to bottom—always love me some Sam Shepard and Garret Dillahunt, and even Mark Brendanawicz kills it—but Casey's slyly impish and pathetic performance is truly phenomenal, between this and Manchester he's gotta be one of the best actors working right now at depicting the frustrating psychological toll of bottled-up emotion. Secondly, what more needs to be said about Deakins godlike eye, but man, that train sequence, those snowy plains, the lavish interiors near the end, those blurred frames. Just truly gorgeous stuff. Thirdly, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis! What a soundtrack, I've had Song for Jesse on repeat all day. Lastly, I want to give props to Hugh Ross, his narration is literary in all the right ways, it gives the film a nice biography feel. I feel like modern audiences are trained to reject voice-over narration, but in the right hands it's just another tool in the toolbox.

You know a movie is good when you want to watch it again as soon as it's over.

This is a truly wonderful film. Going through Agnès Varda's catalogue of films has been incredible so far. Can't wait to watch more.
🐐
 

True Savior

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,543
wasteland
Sam Shepard should have had a much better career. Dude's incredible at everything.
Imagine Jesse James with a good actor instead of Casey. It could have been something else.
 

andrew

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,102
Yeah idk Casey's pretty good. I haven't seen much but he deserved the plaudits for Manchester by the Sea and the way he plays Ford in TAOJJBTCRF is fitting, leans into the desperation and neediness without becoming too shallowly pathetic.
One Sings, the Other Doesn't

One Sings, the Other Doesn't is both heartwarming and melancholic. With beautiful, colorful photography and whispered folk songs, Agnès Varda and the rest of the filmmakers tell a story that is very moving and is just as involving as it probably was back when it was first released. The two women who anchor this film start their friendship through tragedy, but this film is smart enough to go beyond that. Their friendship is strengthened though the editing; the film makes associations between their separate experiences through short interludes highlighting the postcards they send each other. This technique helps their friendship transcend physical boundaries into an emotional, ephemeral connection. One Sings, the Other Doesn't portrays Pauline/Apple and Suzanne's experiences as nuanced and complicated; they are not static characters. They struggle to find what they want out of life and why they want it. Valerie Mairesse and Therese Liotard's performances do justice to the writing, and imbue their characters with a great sense of emotional weight.

This is a truly wonderful film. Going through Agnès Varda's catalogue of films has been incredible so far. Can't wait to watch more.
Good writeup, the editing/sequencing in the film really is perfect.