Return of the RECENT VIEWING

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

Postby pcqgod » 17 Oct 2018, 16:34

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Ant Man and the Wasp (2018)

Another good action comedy from Marvel, although in this one the villains don't really turn out to be that villainous, so there is a lack of peril and suspense through most of it. Also, in an attempt to outdo the last movie the writers came up with increasingly ridiculous and impractical things to do with growing and shrinking powers.

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First Man (2018)

Since this is a movie released in 2018 it is not surprising that the filmmakers try to inject as much human drama as possible to this story. To their credit, that never feels overdone, Armstrong as a character remains fairly enigmatic and quiet, and a good part of this movie is almost documentary-like in its linear presentation of the key events leading to the historic moon shot. It also surpasses 'Gravity' in terms of realistically and terrifyingly portraying the dangers of traveling into space.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby harvey k-tel » 17 Oct 2018, 16:50

Goat Boy wrote:Image

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.


Ah, good. I'll save my money and wait for it to show up on Netflix.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 19 Oct 2018, 04:14

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Shampoo
My fave Hal Ashby film now has a Criterion blu. One of the better examinations of the hedonistic behavior of the '60s generation in LA, it takes place on election eve, 1968 - and there's lots of subtle references to Nixon's victory and how the brief, shining moment of the counter culture (though Beatty's George says he's not anti-establishment) is coming to an end. Everybody's getting older, in other words. Beauty is in almost every scene but it's really the women who shine. Lee Grant won an oscar, Goldie Hawn would go on to do even bigger things shortly, Julie Christie is stunning, as usual, and there's even a nice small role for a teenage Carrie Fisher.

Breakout
I'd never seen this one. Bronson is more affable than usual and he certainly talks more. Randy Quaid is his partner, and Robert Duvall is almost wasted as a man unfairly locked up in a Mexican jail. Average, with a few nice things for die-hards.

Wild in the Streets
Last week I reviewed a film called Gass-s-s-s which involved an end of the world, or post apocalyptic scenario. This is probably better, but I dunno. The issues posed have always struck me as ridiculous. Lowering the voting age to 14 and eventually putting people over 30 in camps. Of course, it's all satire but what is being satirized exactly? Our political system, I guess. Anyway, Christopher Jones reminds me of James Dean a little, and there's a young Richard Pryor on hand. And there's the awesome "The Shape of Things to Come" to liven things up.

The Tree of Life
Malick's fifth film and frankly, the last one I've seen. It's awe inspiring, really. The visuals are unlike anything you've ever seen before. Even the creation of the universe segment works. Visual poetry. This new Criterion edition includes a director's cut with 50 additional minutes.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 26 Oct 2018, 01:50

Geez, nobody reviews films anymore? Well, here's the latest...

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Alice's Restaurant

Remember the song (and album)? Arthur Penn made a movie about it after Bonnie & Clyde but before Little Big Man, staring Guthrie and several actual people who were in the song with a lot of fictional events added in and scored himself a directing nomination to boot. It's entertaining, and Arlo has an affable screen presence which works for the material. I'd never seen it before.
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 PENK » 27 Oct 2018, 00:01

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Netflix fill out the sadly underpopulated Folk Horror canon with a film starring a bloke from Downton Abbey and directed by a guy who made a couple of Indonesian martial arts movies.
Despite that unpromising introduction, the Wickery opening hour of this is rather impressive, as Dan Stevens - in an entertaining performance pitched somewhere in between Withnail and Rick Deckard - clambers onto a boat some time in the early 20th century in order to find his sister, who has been kidnapped by a wackadoo religious colony on an island somewhere. Michael Sheen is the Miscavige-in-residence and there are some shenanigans afoot, right from the start, although they mainly involve bedhopping teens. It's a lovely spot - props to the cinematography, which is excellent throughout - and there's a nice little community there with wooden huts and traditional dress and everyone pitching in and, somewhat suspiciously, leaving jars of blood outside their front doors at night.
Stevens spends a while getting to know the natives but then undoes all his good work by failing to realise that if you snoop around and see the nutty cult leader disappear down a secret trapdoor, it's a really, really bad idea to follow.
The hour leading up to this is handsomely framed, absorbing and sly, hinting at nastiness to come but never resorting to jump scares and building up a nicely suggestive atmosphere of freaky nature. Stevens' trip down the hatch, though, turns out to be not a build-up to the climax but instead a turning point in a two-hour film, and the second half abandons its straightforward folksy horror homage in favour of genre-hopping wooliness with lashings of torture porn, shotgun chases, some family drama longueurs and even a token "no... you go on without me" scene.
The plot remains satisfyingly unpredictable, and the way it refuses to stick to a single genre style is impressive, but I thought that in its efforts to avoid being seen as a direct Wicker Man rip-off, the film lost its focus and couldn't really decide what it wanted to be. There are a few moments which suggest the film wants to say something about faith, or our abuse of the natural world, but nothing that's really developed.
Certainly worth a weekend watch, but this particular subgenre is one that still feels underexplored.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 27 Oct 2018, 00:30

Took the nephews and nieces to see

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Spent a good deal of the film thinking how much this character looked like our own Rayge as a young man.

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Proof can be found in his own photos thread.

viewtopic.php?f=11&p=3998107#p3998107
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 27 Oct 2018, 16:08

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El Topo

Director Jodorowsky plays the title character ("The Mole") who wanders through a series of scenarios and vignettes where he defeats certain 'masters' who represent various schools of thought (Sufi, Tarot, etc) in order to impress a woman. When he does so he realizes she wasn't worth it - and that's just the first half of the film. It's packed with so much imagery and symbolism you can lose yourself in explanations for hours. Considered the first midnight movie, and introduced by John Lennon and Yoko at an exhibition of Lennon's films in 1970, it has gone on to great cult status. Another one I'd never seen. Supposedly, Peter Gabriel claims this as an inspiration for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 27 Oct 2018, 16:40

i saw El Toppo years ago at a midnight showing. Didnt think that much of it to be honest.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 27 Oct 2018, 16:58

It's not objectively great by any means, just interesting.

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The Trip

One of Corman's better films, written by Jack Nicholson, stars Peter Fonda (with Bruce Dern, who was with him in The Wild Angels, also directed by Corman) and Dennis Hopper in a supporting role, and Susan Strasberg - who was with Nicholson (and Dern) in Psych Out. Got all that? It's silly and over the top, but hey, you get Gram Parsons and the International Submarine Band in no less than two scenes (they don't provide music though), it's appropriately psychedelic, and it's all over in 80 minutes. The UK blu has commentary by Corman, and a slew of extras.
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 » 28 Oct 2018, 19:19

Jeemo wrote:i saw El Toppo years ago at a midnight showing. Didnt think that much of it to be honest.

I thought it was a jumbled-up mish-mash of nonsense, and that was when I was younger and much more impressionable.

I'm not sure I could even sit through it now, so Matt does us a service here. :)
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 28 Oct 2018, 21:02

Hey, it's an acid western. Of course I'm in!
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 pcqgod » 30 Oct 2018, 14:59

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London Fields (2018)

Watching this movie is like seeing someone walking around with his fly down; an uncomfortably embarrassing feeling of seeing someone make a fool of themselves yet completely oblivious. In this case it's Billy Bob Thornton, or Amber Heard, or the person who wrote the screenplay or just about anyone associated with this film who didn't recognize what a sophomoric and utterly dull attempt to be meta or post-modern (or whatever they were shooting for) this movie is. Supposedly it's based on a great book, but if the monologues you hear in this movie are based on the author's words, I have to doubt it, unless they are so clever and meta on some level that it completely eluded me.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Oct 2018, 19:33

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At the dawn the television age a young seminary student chucks it in favor of dedicating himself to children's TV programming. With his disarmingly ingenuous manner and refusal to patronize youngsters, his show became an unlikely but enduring programming mainstay, driven by the engine of his own fundamentally kind, sincere persona. He didn't shy away from weighty topics either; frightening or confusing events were examined without pandering to an audience he considered worthy of treatment with dignity.

I give it five hankies - a total tearjerker.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Nov 2018, 03:29

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Down by Law
Three disparate people are in the same New Orleans jail cell and escape to the bayou. It's a Jim Jarmusch film, so dialog is minimalist, style/ambiance is key and the use of non actors marvelously photographed is the appeal. Better than Mystery Train but not as interesting as Dead Man to me. Perhaps my fave Tom Waits performance.
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 Jeemo » 02 Nov 2018, 15:44

I watched the three Godfather films this week. I love all three. First time I've properly looked at the additional scenes. Hyman Roth as a youth being introduced to Vito. I wish they'd release the chronological version.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2018, 00:09

I don't know why you'd want the chronological version of that, what would be the point? Anyway, yes - the first two are masterpieces, the third is better than its reputation suggests.
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 » 03 Nov 2018, 00:56

Matt Wilson wrote:I don't know why you'd want the chronological version of that, what would be the point? Anyway, yes - the first two are masterpieces, the third is better than its reputation suggests.

They showed an edit of I and II on television in the 70s or early 80s that presented that put the sequences in chron order. I didn't see it, but I recall it was pretty well received. Interesting idea.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby pcqgod » 03 Nov 2018, 02:45

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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Ironically enough, considering the subject matter, this movie comes across as pretty tame, television movie level entertainment, no real invention or subversiveness (aside from flashing negative reviews of the title song during the montage of its recording). Few scenes have real dramatic power, but the closing scenes will probably bring a tear to your eye or a lump in throat if you're a fan.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Jeemo » 03 Nov 2018, 08:36

Matt Wilson wrote:I don't know why you'd want the chronological version of that, what would be the point? Anyway, yes - the first two are masterpieces, the third is better than its reputation suggests.


I'd want it because it's a different perspective. I saw it years ago and they used some material thst didnt make the released version.
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Re: Return of the RECENT VIEWING

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2018, 14:15

I remember watching the chronological TV version. There may have been a scene or two added in but I don't recall. Nonetheless, this idea of tinkering with the original film is not for me. I wouldn't want to see Memento or Pulp Fiction in a linear sequence either. When Lucas added in CGI characters to the original Star Wars trilogy, or when Spielberg gave us a different version of Close Encounters I didn't like it either. Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux sucks. Not one of the added scenes increased my appreciation of the picture.
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.