Return of the RECENT VIEWING

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

Postby Darkness_Fish » 18 Mar 2018, 20:59

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The latest (I think) in the Conjuring franchise. I'd say the previous films (except the really crap one supposedly set in 'London') were all sub-par horror films with one or two moments that fleetingly raised the stakes. With this cliché fest, we've got straight down the middle, safe as you like, ok, average, ,competent throughout. It never raises its game, and never lowers its game. It does, however, steal from every horror you could name, even going as fat as Lloyd Webber's stage version of Phantom.

Unintentional funniest moment is when the two well-meaning owners of the newly-founded orphanage discuss whether it was a bad idea to open, given the demonic presence they'd locked away 12 years ago. I'd hate to be the script editor given the job of trying to make that sound like a natural, sensible conversation.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 19 Mar 2018, 13:09

I watched 'Lady Bird' and 'The Cloverfield Paradox' over the weekend. 'Lady Bird' was well-acted and nice, but ultimately just inconsequential fluff, and 'The Cloverfield Paradox' was just stupid.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 19 Mar 2018, 16:47

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Justice League (2017)

This one is actually pretty fun, a big improvement over the ponderous 'Batman versus Superman.' The actor who plays The Flash is great.

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The Disaster Artist (2017)

I guess it should be unsurprising that the story behind the making of 'The Room' is every bit as cringingly funny and perverse as the actual movie.

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In a Valley of Violence (2016)

Somewhat generic Western revenge story. It fails for creating a paper-thin world we never actually buy into. We don't see a lived-in small frontier town, we see a set on a back lot. We don't see a corrupt sheriff, we see John Travolta, etc.

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The Beguiled (2017)

Interesting Civil War drama in which a charming Northern soldier is given shelter in a southern school for girls.
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Dr Markus
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 20 Mar 2018, 13:23

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So ridiculously badly written and formulaic it could be used for the disaster artist sequel. It's so lazy as a tv show, i'm genuinely wondering if the writer has some dirt on one of the producers and that how this got made. Stay away or tell someone you hate to watch it. Terrible.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 20 Mar 2018, 15:55

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Witchfinder General

It has a real reputation this film and I can see why even if I had reservations. It suffers from some typically hammy period acting which somewhat lessens the emotional impact of the main fellas quest for revenge but there’s a lot that’s good about it. Visually it’s unusually stylish with lots of lovely shots of the English countryside which naturally bely the horror of what’s taking place all around and it has a depth often missing from horror movies of that period. As an account of how superstition and fear can be exploited for political and personal gain it has a resonance that comfortably transcends the genres often pulpy limitations.

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You Were Never Really Here

I really, really liked this. It’s stylish (you can tell Ramsay is into photography), stripped back, minimalist and with touching moments of humanity amidst the violence that seem all the more powerful because of the movies distinctive style. If you’ve seen Ramsay before then you’ll know what to expect. She’s not one for exposition or dialogue, she’s a visual storyteller who also understands how to use music and sound in a way that escapes many film makers. There are moments here that were really great and beautiful

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Kes

For all the justified talk of its documentary style realism it’s the bucolic moments where Billy escapes the Northern drudgery with his bird that really elevate the movie for me. There’s real magic there and it made me more than a little bit nostalgic for my childhood even if the rest of Billys life is so awful. I cried like a baby at the ending. Like Bicyle Thieves it’s loss of innocence is so shattering and devastating that it’s incredibly hard to watch. If anything this is worse because it’s like seeing someones soul being crushed.
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driftin
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 20 Mar 2018, 15:57

Goat Boy wrote:Image

Witchfinder General

It has a real reputation this film and I can see why even if I had reservations. It suffers from some typically hammy period acting which somewhat lessens the emotional impact of the main fellas quest for revenge but there’s a lot that’s good about it. Visually it’s unusually stylish with lots of lovely shots of the English countryside which naturally bely the horror of what’s taking place all around and it has a depth often missing from horror movies of that period. As an account of how superstition and fear can be exploited for political and personal gain it has a resonance that comfortably transcends the genres often pulpy limitations.

Image

You Were Never Really Here

I really, really liked this. It’s stylish (you can tell Ramsay is into photography), stripped back, minimalist and with touching moments of humanity amidst the violence that seem all the more powerful because of the movies distinctive style. If you’ve seen Ramsay before then you’ll know what to expect. She’s not one for exposition or dialogue, she’s a visual storyteller who also understands how to use music and sound in a way that escapes many film makers. There are moments here that were really great and beautiful

Image

Kes

For all the justified talk of its documentary style realism it’s the bucolic moments where Billy escapes the Northern drudgery with his bird that really elevate the movie for me. There’s real magic there and it made me more than a little bit nostalgic for my childhood even if the rest of Billys life is so awful. I cried like a baby at the ending. Like Bicyle Thieves it’s loss of innocence is so shattering and devastating that it’s incredibly hard to watch. If anything this is worse because it’s like seeing someones soul being crushed.

Now that's a proper trio of films right there. Love all of them.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Mar 2018, 08:54

Kes is a class apart though. If you're going to give me Northern drudgery that looks and sounds authentic, give me Kes. It should be compulsary viewing for anyone who ever thought that Billy Elliot was in any way acceptable.
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 ORORORO » 21 Mar 2018, 11:04

I love the quieter scenes that D describes but there's lots of humour in the film too - especially in the first half (this is typical of Loach, I find).

The depiction of school and teachers is spot-on - the stuff with the ciggies, the PE lessons, the bullying. About as naturalistic as it gets - and it fires you up to see it.

It might be the most gut-wrenching final scene of any film I've seen. The last time I watched it, I had to turn it off five minutes before the end.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 22 Mar 2018, 15:35

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Phantom Thread

When this came out I saw a few reviews that mentioned the #metoo movement in relation to Phantom Thread and certainly on the surface it is a story about an abusive man controlling his partner but Paul Thomas Anderson is conjuring a whole lot more here and a day later I'm still processing it all. Reynolds Woodcock is an immaculately dressed control freak who works as haute couture designer for people he mostly hates. He’s an artist with a capital A: obsessive, demanding, unknowable and prone to outbusts of crippling depression that leave him bedrridden for days. He’s also a confirmed bachelor who shares his house with his sinister sister who helps run the business with him. At the start of the movie we see him having breakfast with his latest partner who he has clearly grown tired off and who will be shortly jettisoned with almost sociopathic ruthlessness. Escaping from the city one day he encounters a young German waitress called Alma (which apparently means "kind", "fostering", or "nourishing") who he is clearly enamored with instantly but their relationship is warped from the start. Partners to Woodcock are possessions, high society accessories, silent muses to be played with and controlled. On the first night Woodcock invites her back to his house but they do not make love, instead he measures her for a dress. At first Alma is compliant too but over time she begins asserts her own identity. Domestic scenes around the dinner table are intense and confrontational where such simple gestures as the buttering of toast become symptomatic of something much deeper and profound. We learn about Woodcocks past, in particular his defining relationship with his Mother (there are strong oedipal undercurrents throughout) who taught him how to make dresses and whose early death clearly shattered him. We see the beautiful dress he made for her 2nd wedding when he was just 16 in a ghostly photograph and he tells us how he keeps a lock of her hair stitched into his jacket so she is close to him at all times. In one scene at the restaurant Woodcock repeatedly visits he explains how strongly he feels her presence and how comforting this is to have her looking over him. The movies title apparently refers to a “Victorian Era phenomenon in which East London seamstresses, utterly exhausted by a long day's work, continue to go through the motions at home, sewing threads that do not exist” which is fitting because Woodcock is imprisoned by her death and his compulsion, perhaps in an attempt to somehow keep his Mother alive through his exquisite dresses.

Things build beautifully as the relationship begins to break down but then something unexpected happens to Woodcock. As Alma wakes up from her trance state something inside Woodcock does too and from here the movie becomes stranger, more elusive as the battle between Woodcock and Alma becomes more intense and sadomasochistic leading to a climax that is both thrillingly odd but also totally natural and right.

On a purely technical level the movie is ravishing. It looks fantastic. There are gorgeous scenes of smoke filled rooms that glow like a reverie and the period detail is suitably gorgeous. Jonny Greenwoods score is sumptuous but with subtle flashes of electronic discordance and Anderson directs with such assurance and skill you really feel like you in the hands of a master. Phantom Thread is beautiful, enigmatic and mysterious right until the end (even the final scenes might play as personal fantasy depending on your pov) and it will seep into your subconscious like great films tend to do. Make no mistake, on this form Paul Thomas Anderson is the greatest American director working today.
Last edited by Goat Boy on 23 Mar 2018, 18:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 22 Mar 2018, 15:38

In short: TV my fucking arse
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Mar 2018, 16:02

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The Drowning Pool

I reviewed Harper the other day, which this film is the sequel to, and stated that this one wasn't as good. There are a couple of recent blu ray reviews online which state that this is the superior film. I don't see it that way, but both are probably about the same in terms of entertainment. Neither is great though. Both have nice transfers and are very much of their time.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Mar 2018, 20:01

Damn, Dougie - your essay persuaded me to try to see this film tonight.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 23 Mar 2018, 13:20

Same here. Probably not tonight, but very soon.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Dr Markus » 23 Mar 2018, 13:25

Goat Boy wrote:
Image

You Were Never Really Here

I really, really liked this. It’s stylish (you can tell Ramsay is into photography), stripped back, minimalist and with touching moments of humanity amidst the violence that seem all the more powerful because of the movies distinctive style. If you’ve seen Ramsay before then you’ll know what to expect. She’s not one for exposition or dialogue, she’s a visual storyteller who also understands how to use music and sound in a way that escapes many film makers. There are moments here that were really great and beautiful



Glad to hear this, the trailer had be hooked straight away and you usually can't go wrong with Phoenix.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby algroth » 23 Mar 2018, 16:58

Goat Boy wrote:Image

Phantom Thread

When this came out I saw a few reviews that mentioned the #metoo movement in relation to Phantom Thread and certainly on the surface it is a story about an abusive man controlling his partner but Paul Thomas Anderson is conjuring a whole lot more here and a day later I'm still processing it all. Reynolds Woodcock is an immaculately dressed control freak who works as haute couture designer for people he mostly hates. He’s an artist with a capital A: obsessive, demanding, unknowable and prone to outbusts of crippling depression that leave him bedrridden for days. He’s also a confirmed bachelor who shares his house with his sinister sister who helps run the business with him. At the start of the movie we see him having breakfast with his latest partner who he has clearly grown tired off and who will be shortly jettisoned who almost sociopathic ruthlessness. Escaping from the city one day he encounters a young German waitress called Alma (which apparently means "kind", "fostering", or "nourishing") who he is clearly enamored with instantly but their relationship is warped from the start. Partners to Woodcock are possessions, high society accessories, silent muses to be played with and controlled. On the first night Woodcock invites her back to his house but they do not make love, instead he measures her for a dress. At first Alma is compliant too but over time she begins asserts her own identity. Domestic scenes around the dinner table are intense and confrontational where such simple gestures as the buttering of toast become symptomatic of something much deeper and profound. We learn about Woodcocks past, in particular his defining relationship with his Mother (there are strong oedipal undercurrents throughout) who taught him how to make dresses and whose early death clearly shattered him. We see the beautiful dress he made for her 2nd wedding when he was just 16 in a ghostly photograph and he tells us how he keeps a lock of her hair stitched into his jacket so she is close to him at all times. In one scene at the restaurant Woodcock repeatedly visits he explains how strongly he feels her presence and how comforting this is to have her looking over him. The movies title apparently refers to a “Victorian Era phenomenon in which East London seamstresses, utterly exhausted by a long day's work, continue to go through the motions at home, sewing threads that do not exist” which is fitting because Woodcock is imprisoned by her death and his compulsion, perhaps in an attempt to somehow keep his Mother alive through his exquisite dresses.

Things build beautifully as the relationship begins to break down but then something unexpected happens to Woodcock. As Alma wakes up from her trance state something inside Woodcock does too and from here the movie becomes stranger, more elusive as the battle between Woodcock and Alma becomes more intense and sadomasochistic leading to a climax that is both thrillingly odd but also totally natural and right.

On a purely technical level the movie is ravishing. It looks fantastic. There are gorgeous scenes of smoke filled rooms that glow like a reverie and the period detail is suitably gorgeous. Jonny Greenwoods score is sumptuous but with subtle flashes of electronic discordance and Anderson directs with such assurance and skill you really feel like you in the hands of a master. Phantom Thread is beautiful, enigmatic and mysterious right until the end (even the final scenes might play as personal fantasy depending on your pov) and it will seep into your subconscious like great films tend to do. Make no mistake, on this form Paul Thomas Anderson is the greatest American director working today.


Thoroughly agreed here. I thought it was wonderful too, and found it very interesting how the film slowly shifts from what you assume to be a classic Cavellian "melodrama of the unknown woman" (melodramas based around obsessive men trying to change their female partners to tragic effect, basically) to what is instead a duel of obsessions, where one tries to change and dominate the other, and ascertain their own person above the other's whims. The whole "#metoo" criticism feels pretty forced or shallow when in the end the film is hardly sympathetic to Reynold's abuse of women, and the whole story slowly begins to hinge more and more on how Alma won't let herself be dominated by him either. All in all it's a really superb film, and despite how gorgeous it is and so on it is so in a way that feels really effortless too, like the aesthetic never feels to be competing for your attention over any other element. Excellent stuff.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 26 Mar 2018, 09:05

Image

This low-budget British crime thing has a wildly over-egged 8.1/10 on imdb, which implies a bit of a concerted sneaky effort to artificially inflate the rating. It's not bad, concerning the fate of a hitman set-up on his latest job, seeking refuge in the flat of a single girl he's taken hostage, along with the takeaway-delivery guy. Good central performance, but it all feels a bit like a feature length Inside No 9, but without the wit and intelligence to really take it somewhere.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 26 Mar 2018, 17:10

Not a movie, but we recently watched the third season of Better Call Saul.

It's kind of remarkable what fine dramatic actors Michael McKean and Bob Odenkirk have turned out to be.

Three Billboards Outside of Whatchamacallit up next. Looking forward, have really enjoyed all of McDonough's work to date.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 02 Apr 2018, 14:29

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This film fills me with life and love.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 02 Apr 2018, 15:00

Both with the wee guy

Black Panther - pretty good
Ready Player One - visually stunning at times, story from the big book of cliches.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 02 Apr 2018, 20:43

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Apparently made for Netflix, though I watched it via amazon prime. Another low-budget, sparsely-cast British thriller, following four Brits wandering through isolated Swedish countryside in tribute to a recently murdered friend. One becomes injured, so they take a shortcut through the forest, and bad shit happens. I thought it was quite well handled, it owes a lot to Blair Witch, and The Witch, but it's well paced, nicely tense, and each character has a bit of depth.
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.