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 » 06 Oct 2018, 21:35

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A strange one this. Tom had banged on about watching Venom on his birthday, but unfortunately that was a 15, and there was no way we he'd be able to see it. So we took him to this, expecting it to be similar to Goosebumps, especially as it features Jack Black. However, I thought it was way scarier than any kids film I'd seen before, I think only The Goonies and The Witches have moments of darkness which might match up to this, and they perhaps aren't as consistent with the horror. One of those occasions where we were wondering whether to cut our losses and leave because Tom doesn't cope well with scares, or stick with it to the end, so that he gets the full resolution and isn't left with just the paranormal scenes hanging in his mind. Certainly the best Eli Roth film I've seen (not hard, to be fair), it's funny, disturbing, and has a gormenghast cartoon atmosphere that perfectly suits the niche that Jack Black seems to have fallen into.
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 » 07 Oct 2018, 05:44

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Violent City (Citta Violenta)
My Bronson double feature starts with a 1970 Italian/French film which is pretty good, but not great. He's a hit man, much like he was in The Mechanic, with his wife, Jill Ireland, playing his love interest and femme fatale. Ireland could barely act, but that didn't stop Charlie from making her his woman in tons of his '70s movies. There's a decent Morricone score, and Telly Savalas as the head baddie, but it's like a lot of Italian westerns (director Sergio Sollima, did The Big Gundown, Face to Face and Run Man Run - all classics of spaghetti westerns), dubbed sound, ridiculous gun shot audio, etc. I'd never seen it before and had to get the Italian blu.

Mr Majestyk
One of his best. An Elmore Leonard script (he later adapted it into a novel), the great Al Lettieri as the main bad guy, and Lee Purcell as Al's woman. The '70s gave us many revenge movies with nothing on their mind but entertainment. This is a fine example.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 07 Oct 2018, 21:34

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Low budget and low-key psychological thriller, starring Adrien Brody as a psychotherapist who has recently lost his daughter in a car accident. To make things worse, he realises that his patients seem to be dead people from 20 years ago. To be honest, the film doesn't have great ambition, it eventually turns into a fairly cliched horror/thriller, though it seems to start with much artier slow-moving pretensions. Brody's performance is worth the effort, it's a properly convincing portrait of a man having a full grief-induced breakdown, it's just a shame he wastes it for a fairly generic end-game.
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 Twang » 08 Oct 2018, 13:42

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I enjoyed this, primarily because the scene in which the girls ascend Hanging Rock is enchanting, but I think a lot of the aftermath (in particular, the scenes with the two boys and those with the orphan girl) could've been done without.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 08 Oct 2018, 13:43

"best Australian film ever"
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 08 Oct 2018, 15:26

HEN wrote:"best Australian film ever"

One of my absolute favorites, anyway, even it is kind of appallingly precious.

Meanwhile,

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Nothing groundbreaking, but what a cast! Out of the Furnace is cut from your basic Mean Streets template: good brother out to save fuck-up brother, in a Pennsylvania steel mill setting. There's not much to the plot -- or the dialogue, really -- but it looks good and it's great fun to watch these guys (and it's pretty much guys on the screen 99% of the time) do their thing. Woody Harrelson's baddie is particularly entertaining.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby PENK » 08 Oct 2018, 19:43

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Slick, solid entertainment. Streep is hammy as always, and Hanks matches her, but the rest of the cast* work it, and the story is gripping - more so in the newsroom than the boardroom, of course. It's no All the President's Men, obviously.

*Bob Odenkirk, Alison Brie, Matthew Rhys come to mind as particularly good
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 08 Oct 2018, 23:37

Last night we watched ‘The Arbor’, an intimate and depressing portrait of the children of Andrea Dunbar, Bradford born writer of Rita Sue and Bob Too. The voices of the kids were the centre of it all, and Andrea isn’t left in a flattering light, but how she ever survived into her twenties is a wonder in itself. Watching the three kids either following or breaking the cycle was heartbreaking. Very moving. Recommended.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 11 Oct 2018, 15:38

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I really like this guy, Kamail Nanjiana, in the comic roles I've seen him in, and he's good here too, but fucking hell I can't believe what a predictable, conventional, run-of-the-mill melodram-rom-com this thing is. 98% on Rotten Tomatoes? Sheesh!

Good work from the supporting cast.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 11 Oct 2018, 15:58

Seriously - TripAdvisor and Rotten Tomatoes are pretty much a waste of time these days. I used to find them helpful but I just can't trust them anymore.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Oct 2018, 18:22

HEN wrote:Seriously - TripAdvisor and Rotten Tomatoes are pretty much a waste of time these days. I used to find them helpful but I just can't trust them anymore.


Yeah, I've noticed that too. More so with rotten tomatoes but then tomatoes just mean a vaguely positive review which can be 3/5 you know?

Not a screaming endorsement then, you know?
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 11 Oct 2018, 20:40

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The tele-visual equivalent of comfort food, these had some great character actors guesting.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby driftin » 12 Oct 2018, 15:59

Snarfyguy wrote:Image

I really like this guy, Kamail Nanjiana, in the comic roles I've seen him in, and he's good here too, but fucking hell I can't believe what a predictable, conventional, run-of-the-mill melodram-rom-com this thing is. 98% on Rotten Tomatoes? Sheesh!

Good work from the supporting cast.

That just means 98% of critics gave it at least a positive review, it doesn't mean it's received universal acclaim.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Darkness_Fish » 14 Oct 2018, 21:41

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Second viewing, and I still love this film. Found-footage horror doesn't have a great reputation, but as a way to get a scary story cheaply made, it has its uses. This film is cheaper than most, but put together so well. They simple trick of moving something, or changing the position of an inanimate object off-camera, is used to brilliant effect. Ok, on the downside, the end-game after the end-game is not really needed, and some of the documentary-interview footage isn't needed, but I forgive it its sins for its more subtle sleights of hand.

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A first viewing for this one, and I was quite impressed. On the downside there's the bloody awful CGI (especially the spaceship scenes), and Martin Freeman's miscasting, but on the upside it feels a more mature, slower film than most of the rubber-fetish-for-kids genre. The Lion King without the annoying funny bastards.
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 » 15 Oct 2018, 05:14

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Gas-s-s-s

One of those legendary counter culture films (Roger Corman's last for AIP) which really doesn't hold up today - basically, a black comedy about the end of the world. A military gas leak has killed everybody over 25 (don't ask), and young people rule what remains of society. The gag is that they don't do it any better than the adults did and our hippie heroes run from one scenario to another in an attempt to find a place they can permanently live. They finally do find such a place in a pueblo commune at the end of the picture, but you can tell Corman's heart wasn't in it. A young Cindy Williams, of Laverne & Shirley fame, Ben Vereen, Bud Cort, and Talia Shire are familiar faces, but the acting is usually terrible. A few laughs and Country Joe & The Fish are on hand to liven things up. I actually liked it better than the last time I saw it.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 15 Oct 2018, 11:13

First Man

Neil Armstrong is famously something of an enigma. A self-contained family man who instantly retreated from the limelight with a calm dignity after the Apollo missions. He’s hardly your typical movie “hero”. If you were to be a little harsh, you might describe him as a bit of boring cunt which makes his achievements all the more incongruous but then walking on the moon was unlike anything else man had ever done so it’s maybe not surprising that Armstrong would be “different” to what we, as a culture, would expect from such a figure.

This impenetrable blankness suits Ryan Gosling, who has made a name for himself playing similar characters, like the fella in Drive for example, whose inner world is only briefly revealed in blink and you’ll miss ‘em moments. At the same time the enigma of Armstrong creates a natural problem. How do you portray such a man when nobody seemed to really know who he actually was?

The director tries to get around this problem by framing Armstrong’s obsessional drive to get to the moon as not just a personal odyssey of discovery but an attempt to exorcise the grief over the death of his 2 year old daughter and his fellow astronauts. This can’t help but feel a little bit contrived, a unnecessary add on designed to give the movie an emotional centre it doesn’t really require imo but it’s not a critical flaw. It largely avoids mawkishness although one scene on the moon pushed the buttons a bit too much perhaps. Truthfully though, it didn’t bother me that much as I felt the movie had earned it by this stage.

If, like me, you find the space race and the moon landings an impossibly moving, awe inspiring period of human endeavour – and why the hell wouldn’t you? – then you’re bound to get something out of this movie. What the film does really well is capture the claustrophobic thrill and danger of space travel in wonderful, atmospheric detail. There is a real nuts and bolts physicality that constantly reaffirms just how basic some of this stuff was and how the spectre of death was always there in the background. When the Gemini 8 mission goes wrong and the craft goes into a spin (one revolution per second) it was so dizzying and disorientating that it was actually uncomfortable to watch. In moments like this you can only be touched and humbled by what these men did. When you first see the Saturn 5 rocket on the platform at night, lit up majestically by spotlights ready for the Apollo 11 mission it was a real goosebumps moment. The big scene, when it finally comes, is suitably grand, the drama and intensity of the moment means there is no need for unnecessary melodrama here. If anything they downplay things when they are actually on the moon. We see Buzz bouncing off into the distance, like a child simply experiencing the wonder of the moment but Armstrong’s reaction is muted and introspective. It’s here where we experience the loneliness and isolation of space travel. The silent but overpowering existential hum of this jaw dropping moment. We see earth in the distance and the “magnificent desolation” of the moon and it’s wonderful. And then the moment is over, just like that, and they are off home. I have to say it looked really fucking good.

Another thing the movie does well is capture the hermetically sealed nature of the astronauts existence. The outside world only occasionally intrudes. I think there was one mention of Vietnam and towards the end we see real life footage of people questioning the value of space travel but by and large the astronauts lived in a bubble. When they weren’t at work they were hanging out together in the back yard having bbqs, drinking beer and talking about the missions. Which is what you’d expect I guess. I mean who the hell else could they relate to?

I have to say, I found it really quite moving.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Oct 2018, 14:21

You should write an online blog reviewing films, Dougie.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 15 Oct 2018, 18:46

Seconded, quality writing!

Last night "Columbo: Suitable for Framing," guest starring Don Ameche and the great Vic Tayback.

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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 17 Oct 2018, 05:21

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Mission Impossible 5 Movie Collection

All of the films in the series save the last one (Fallout). Basically Bond-lite. You don't really care about Ethan Hunt like you do Bond though, and Tom Cruise's vacuousness (is that even the right word?) is either perfect for the cipher qualities of the character or confirms his detractors' worst views. The first one with Brian DePalma was okay and a bigger hit than any 007 movie at that time. The second one by John Woo wasn't quite as good, and the third, which didn't get the best reviews and didn't do as much business as the first two, had the best villain in Philip Seymour Hoffman, and you got to see Hunt's more human side in his relationship with his wife. I rated that one actually.

The series began to pick up though, with the fourth, Ghost Protocol, and eye-popping stunts (was that really Cruise running down that building?). The fifth, Rogue Nation, was probably the best yet and made for a decent popcorn flick three years ago. Last summer's Fallout continued the upward slide and might possibly be better than Rogue Nation. So has there ever been a series which actually got better as it went on? Dunno, none of them are as good as the best of the Craig Bonds, Casino Royale and Skyfall.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Goat Boy » 17 Oct 2018, 11:52

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Mandy

A funny thing happened when I started watching this. People were chuckling in an ironic way from the very beginning of the movie, even at lines that weren’t actually “funny” or delivered in a way that encouraged this. Whether these people has read some review which let them knew what they were in for and they had accordingly gone in with this particular attitude or whether it was just the fact that Nicholas Cage was in it, I dunno. Maybe I was just oblivious to Nicholas Cage’s rage meme appeal with a particular audience – largely young, student types – but as the movie went on people started to laugh out loud and by the end they were actually applauding. I can’t remember the last time that happened when I was watching a new release. I was smirking occasionally too but I was also groaning and not in a good way. I actually considered walking out early doors – I was in a bad mood anyway after having to change seats twice due to the fact that the lack of staggered seating was restricting my view – but I thought I’d try and go with it anyway out of morbid curiosity and because I’d paid a tenner and wanted some value for bleeding money. How much of this knowing absurdity was intended as ironic, I don’t know. Clearly some of it was. There’s a gag with a comically long chainsaw that absolutely is designed to get laughs and the acting is so ripe and over the top - not just from Cage, who is in scene chewing excelsis here, but from everybody bar his wife - that the movie is seemingly begging to be viewed through some kind of ironic hipster lens. And yet, its arty pretentiousness and bombastic attempts at capturing the grief and rage of Cage’s character makes for very odd bedfellows, ensuring that the movies primal howl never really rises above its pulpy 80s origins. For all its intent and effort it all feels completely empty. An exercise in style and nostalgic homage that surely gave its creator a nergasm but is hamstrung by the unwelcome tension between its own art-house pretensions and ironic distance. I bet the director is a fan of Virgin Spring.

On the plus side though it looks impressive. Its visual style is reminiscent of the hyper stylised world of Suspiria and Inferno and it pleasingly shares their nightmarish logic too. Its plot, as it is, is a brutally paired down and crude joining of the dots that eschews linear sense. A faux reactionary exploitation tale featuring a lysergic Christian cult turned homicidal by dodgy LSD that could have come straight out of the 70s. Best of all is the music by Jóhann Jóhannsson – his last work – which recalls the dry ice majesty of Tangerine Dream at their 80s horror best but even that is overused, dulling its impact and occasionally careering over into some kind of black metal synth hellhole.

In short, the whole thing makes Ken Russell look about as subtle as Yasujiro Ozu. But, hey, the audience were enjoying it so that’s something I guess.
Cult film status, maybe predictably, and certainly intentionally beckons.

I think I’ll stick to Virgin Spring though.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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