Return of the RECENT VIEWING

..and why not?
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Matt Wilson
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Dec 2017, 02:30

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Jabberwocky

Yes, it's not Python; yes, it's probably minor Gilliam - yet it's still great fun and it has never looked this good on home video. It's Monty Python's and the Holy Grail's little brother. Not nearly as funny, but for a fan such as I, it's heaven sent!
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 02 Dec 2017, 03:23

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Heist gone wrong kinda thing, mostly got pretty good reviews I understand. Pretty ridiculous in terms of plausibility, but I guess that comes with the territory. I mostly liked it pretty much; my main issue was that I couldn't really buy into the lead actor's performance. Otherwise, it's decently fun. Jennifer Jason Leigh shows up for a couple of very good scenes.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Dec 2017, 01:37

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Bananas

Pretty good early Allen film dealing with a Castro-like nebbish, played by Woody, who becomes president of a South American country. While not prime Allen, it's still entertaining enough to own. Twilight Time has done a wonderful job issuing his films in hi def. They're all limited editions, so get 'em while you can... I've got at least a dozen.

Le Samourai
Melville's cool-as-fuck gangster film with Delon as the lone assassin gives a minimalist approach to a genre already overdone by the late '60s. I hadn't seen it in decades and Criterion's new blu is a must-own for fans of ultra stylish French flicks. Using American tropes with a Japanese vibe and reworking them for a French counter culture audience is exquisite for film buffs.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby PresMuffley » 03 Dec 2017, 08:37

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In this decidedly half-baked comedy from Penelope Spheeris, a trio of New York punkers played by Jon Cryer, Daniel Roebuck & Flea, decide to roadtrip it out to L.A. in a VW Bug - 'cause, you know, they've had enough of that depressing NY grit & grime. Something like that anyway...

Along their journey they discover deadly rednecks in the desert, have all sorts of zany misadventures, meet a strong, local, tow truck-driving chick, and generally annoy us, as we impatiently await this travesty to end.

Jon Cryer is Jon Cryer. If you've seen him in anything you know what to expect: ham-handed, awkward, effete. Luckily for the audience, Flea's character has his brains blown out within the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately, that leaves us with an inept, ineffectual, flaccid Cryer & Daniel Roebuck, who is supposed to be there as our comic relief chubby man, though all you can think during his antics is: why couldn't the rednecks have popped a cap in this fucker too?

Spheeris rightly receives a lot of praise as a documentarian thanks to her 3-part series, The Decline of Western Civilization, but one can't deny that her subjects in those films often come across as caricatures who are lacking in depth. It's this surface-level perspective that she is intent on focusing on here. There is nothing remotely interesting, funny or believable about these characters or their situations, and I'm not sure there is meant to be. It feels like a cheap cash-in on '80s youth counterculture that came several years too late, and several financiers too short.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Neige » 03 Dec 2017, 19:37

Snarfyguy wrote:Image

Six year-old Clementine loved it and in truth it's pretty irresistible.


We went to see it yesterday too... and it's pretty much perfect
The most enjoyable Pixar film since Up, IMO.

But I really hated the holiday Frozen spin-off they showed before. Cringeworthy kitsch of the worst kind.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 03 Dec 2017, 20:40

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Ok, I'm not the biggest fan of superhero movies, or CGI in general, and it has to be said, it did keep my son fully entertained for the full 2 hours. And I know it's a blockbuster, which doesn't necessarily focus on narrative arc and character development. But it would be good to have some narrative, or some character. Just something to cling to, some kind of vague emotional investment, some idea that amongst the video-game set-pieces and corny one-liners, that there was actually a hint of danger, peril, love, life, humanity or just a frigging semblance of purpose. This kind of drivel makes Spiderman 2 seem like The Seventh Seal.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 04 Dec 2017, 21:16

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The Pirates (2014)

Korean-made action/fantasy flick featuring good pirates, evil pirates, mountain bandits, evil government troops, and a whale. Okay, but not terribly memorable.

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Blue Ruin (2013)

Dark and very violent revenge story. Excellent.

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Don't Look Now (1973)

This is the first movie I've sought out because of its placement in algroth's movie poll. I enjoyed it. Very Twilight Zone-ish.

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

This is pure OTT heavy metal comic book fantasy with big guns, big swords, big hammers, aliens, a Hulk, Valkyries, a giant wolf, and the flame demon Surtur, plus the usual excellent cast (how does this franchise attract the classiest cast of all the Marvel Universe films?), and plenty of goofy humor. Good fun, especially if you're into the comic, but you'll stop thinking about it immediately after the credits roll.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 07 Dec 2017, 04:55

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Heaven & Earth
Unrelentingly grim/depressing. I didn't much like it at the time and have no reason to alter my opinion. Beautiful images of Vietnam cannot alter the hell Stone puts his heroine through during the course of the picture. Apparently, most of it is true as well, though the Tommy Lee Jones character is a compendium of various men in her life. The last and weakest of Stone's Vietnam trilogy.

The Mercenary
One of Sergio Corbucci's most popular films, this new Kino Lorbor release could really use subtitles because Franco Nero's Italian accent is so thick it almost defies interpretation (and they call him the 'gringo' throughout the picture - as if he's supposed to be American).

Purple Noon

Delon became a big European star after this picture in 1960 and it's easy to see why. He could act and he was handsome. The film was beautifully shot and was entertaining in a slightly Hitchcockian manner. The remake with Matt Damon wasn't even half as good.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 10 Dec 2017, 20:46

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Interesting take on the modern-day zombie flick. It's clearly using 28 Days Later as its core, but it heads in a different direction from that Triffid-dodger. Kicking off with a bunch of children being educated in a military compound, all in wheelchairs, restrained at wrists, head and feet, and treated fairly brutally. It becomes apparent that they're treated as non-humans ('abortions' in the film's language), because they were infected with the zombie virus in the womb, and have human characteristics while still being vicious killers, but they're being kept alive to help generate a cure for the virus. Cue the zombie attack on the compound, and one of the kids (the titular girl), a teacher, a doctor, and a couple of soldiers are forced to try and survive on the outskirts of a post-apocalyptic London.

It's clearly coming from a sci-fi direction, rather than a horror direction, the performances are all excellent (what else would you expect from a small ensemble of that quality), and it does try to explore morality and humanity rather more than the average zombie flick. Some of the location scenes are clearly CGI'd though, which kind of breaks the gritty realism its going for at times. Well worth a watch though.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 11 Dec 2017, 13:08

Darkness_Fish wrote:Image

Interesting take on the modern-day zombie flick. It's clearly using 28 Days Later as its core, but it heads in a different direction from that Triffid-dodger. Kicking off with a bunch of children being educated in a military compound, all in wheelchairs, restrained at wrists, head and feet, and treated fairly brutally. It becomes apparent that they're treated as non-humans ('abortions' in the film's language), because they were infected with the zombie virus in the womb, and have human characteristics while still being vicious killers, but they're being kept alive to help generate a cure for the virus. Cue the zombie attack on the compound, and one of the kids (the titular girl), a teacher, a doctor, and a couple of soldiers are forced to try and survive on the outskirts of a post-apocalyptic London.

It's clearly coming from a sci-fi direction, rather than a horror direction, the performances are all excellent (what else would you expect from a small ensemble of that quality), and it does try to explore morality and humanity rather more than the average zombie flick. Some of the location scenes are clearly CGI'd though, which kind of breaks the gritty realism its going for at times. Well worth a watch though.

I really liked that. As you say it's approaching the subject matter in a more sci-fi way rather than horror way. Its attitude to the infection is nicely philosophical, basically treating it simply as a consequence of nature rather than something absolutely villainous.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 11 Dec 2017, 13:12

pcqgod wrote:Image

Kong Skull Island (2017)

This is some preposterous stuff that doesn't stand up to any logical scrutiny, even accepting that giant monsters exist on a magical island somewhere. But the appearances of the lead monster are great and the sequence with Kong versus US Army helicopters is ridiculously fun and I like the fact that instead of the usual brontosaurs and tyranosaurs we get giant water buffalo, daddy longlegs and walking sticks, etc. [/spoiler]
There's barely any plot in that but what little there is beautifully told. The mechanics of its core filmmaking - the cinematography, the editing, the pacing, its general visual and audio storytelling - is very solid and far more deserving of attention than most dumbo CGI blockbusters.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 15 Dec 2017, 17:25

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The Missouri Breaks, USA 1976

Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Frederick Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton fer cryin' out loud, Jesus Christ.

Arthur (Bonnie and Clyde) Penn's mega-flop is a horse rustler (b)romance caper manhunt revenge drama sort of thing and I gather critics and audiences alike confused the varieties of tone used with incoherence. I don't know, it worked for me.

Brando plays an eccentric bounty-hunter who tracks the rustlers relentlessly and remorselessly and he seems to be having a good time, kissing a horse, getting up in drag, delivering odd monologues in an Irish brogue and so forth.

So here is how the West was won: through fear and violence, with lots of mud and squalor. The ostensible villains here are really the good guys and the most upstanding citizen in the community is an absolute bastard. There you go.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Samoan » 15 Dec 2017, 22:29

Before I Go to Sleep

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I gave it an hour, mostly because Kidman was so impressive but the story was getting kind of wack a doo.

It does remind me of the enormous presence she brings to her roles and the sheer range of her talent having just recently seen her in Top of the Lake: China Girl
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby toomanyhatz » 15 Dec 2017, 22:35

Neige wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:Image

Six year-old Clementine loved it and in truth it's pretty irresistible.


We went to see it yesterday too... and it's pretty much perfect
The most enjoyable Pixar film since Up, IMO.

But I really hated the holiday Frozen spin-off they showed before. Cringeworthy kitsch of the worst kind.


We saw this last night and loved it. I've been in tears at pretty much every recent Pixar movie by the end of it. I'm not ashamed to say I absolutely lost it when the family came together in the end. Really positive message - kids will come away from it valuing music and family, and it's not just cheap sentiment. One of the movies of the year for sure.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Dec 2017, 23:12

Snarfyguy wrote:Image

The Missouri Breaks, USA 1976

Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Frederick Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton fer cryin' out loud, Jesus Christ.

Arthur (Bonnie and Clyde) Penn's mega-flop is a horse rustler (b)romance caper manhunt revenge drama sort of thing and I gather critics and audiences alike confused the varieties of tone used with incoherence. I don't know, it worked for me.

Brando plays an eccentric bounty-hunter who tracks the rustlers relentlessly and remorselessly and he seems to be having a good time, kissing a horse, getting up in drag, delivering odd monologues in an Irish brogue and so forth.

So here is how the West was won: through fear and violence, with lots of mud and squalor. The ostensible villains here are really the good guys and the most upstanding citizen in the community is an absolute bastard. There you go.


Yeah, it's pretty much universally panned, but I don't mind it myself. I wouldn't say it's a good movie - but it's certainly not terrible either. People always point out how Marlon wears a dress seemingly for no reason, but I'm pretty sure there's a scene wear Jack mentions wearing a dress while Marlon is in the bathtub, and that's why the dress is worn subsequently. It's like a fuck you to the Nicholson character.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 19 Dec 2017, 17:40

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Fucking awful: I can't remember a children's movie I've enjoyed less than this. From Dudley Moore's insipid narration and stupid animal voices to the utterly moronic anthropomorphic reaction shots and weird actual animal violence, everything about this thing is intensely annoying.

Now I find out that the thing is pieced together from footage shot in China and there are concerns about animal abuse during the production. :roll:

Even my six year-old didn't like it and that's pretty telling.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 20 Dec 2017, 14:22

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While it had some amusing ideas and sequences, this was pretty uneven overall, with the chuckles too few and far between.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Dec 2017, 04:49

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Shock Corridor

One of Sam Fuller's more popular pictures is all right, I guess. I had the Criterion DVD and upgraded to the blu but after watching it again and perusing the supplemental features I'm not so sure it's all that good, much less great. It's views on psychiatry are fairly standard and in keeping with what was thought over fifty years ago. The acting does nothing for me and the script has some laughable (not intentionally either) moments. I dunno, maybe Jim Jarmusch, Tarentino and Tim Robbins are right about the guy, who knows... I think Fuller made better pictures than this, put it that way.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Dec 2017, 13:50

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Art-house flick, providing a metaphor about how we're all trapped by our work environment, and we'd all rather die than go home for Christmas.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Dec 2017, 16:26

Yeah, I remember that. I thought it was too cerebral - too influenced by Euro arthouse cinema. They probably teach it in film school.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.