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Random Movie Thoughts Thread

Doctor Anaximander

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Halloween Kills kind of sucked but was kind of good. Hard to explain. These two most recent films contradict themselves too much. They want to reestablish Myers as a faceless boogeyman like he appears in the original 1978 movie, but then half of the new films are scenes of him doing badass Jason Voorhees superslasher feats in set pieces that are not scary and just fetishize the killer. They want to overwrite all of the previous sequels, yet characters (especially in Kills) are acting like the other sequels did happen and Myers has repeatedly terrorized Haddonfield, even though he was caught almost immediately in the 1978 from this new continuity.

for films supposedly offering a fresh take on the mythology of Myers, the new ones, especially Kills, borrow a ton of set pieces, scenarios and ideas from the past sequels. Very little original here and if you’re very familiar with the entire series, it just becomes tedious and pretty predictable

strong points: good makeup, very good gore and kill effects (some of the best in the entire series), good sound effects, excellent score by Carpenter, and I’m glad he reprised more of the 1978 motifs (Laurie’s 1978 theme returns after being absent in the 2018 requel), overall good atmosphere in shots of dark neighborhood streets. Much of the look and production value is top tier—story and characterization….not so great.

I do think it would have been a nice nod to have cast Danielle Harris as Laurie’s daughter for the new requels.

I was glad they didn’t try to do another familial relationship plot twist or some supernatural thorn cult nonsense, but then the end monologue by Laurie still has to establish some supernatural quality to Myers. I can sense the next film is going to go further down that avenue, but maybe this time they will do it interestingly and not make it feel like another Michael Myers’ Greatest Hits
 
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Totenkindly

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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) was just absolutely terrific. It's billed as a mockumentary -- basically a crew documenting preparations for a guy working up to be a supernatural-style serial killer like Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers, so it's kind of a whimsical/dark comedy I suppose. While the leads are unknown, it also has appearances by Scott Wilson (before he played Herschel on TWD), Robert Englund (in a non-Freddy role), and Zelda Rubenstein (who everyone remembers more as the psychic from Poltergeist).

I would like to say more but cannot without spoiling the film, let's just say I was delighted by how events proceeded and everything gets far more layered. It was funny as it started, it was even cooler how it ended.
 

Totenkindly

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this was incredibly fucked up but good. not for the squeamish :blink:
I have it rented on VUDU, I just haven't watched it yet. (My son really wanted to see it, so...) Glad that it sounds good! :)

We both enjoyed Possessor last year, this looks to be about the same level of crazy.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I'm thinking there's no real reason to use real guns or have actual live projectile rounds on movie sets. I understand the argument in favor of realism, but at what cost? Most gunfire can be portrayed with CGI and sound effects now.

But if we must continue using them in films...

Any actors using guns should be trained in their use and should have to inspect them prior to using if they are going to continue using them--just like anyone else is (or should be) expected to do using guns in any other profession. Regardless of what a prop master may have said, whoever else is handling a gun should take basic precautions.They should be inspected and handled the same as they would be at shooting ranges. Shooting ranges are probably the safest places where guns and ammo are used.
 

Totenkindly

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Watched Revenge [2018] (currently on Shudder but might be elsewhere) last night. Those crazy french directors and the ongoing shock/splatter wave...

Mixed feelings. It definitely feels like an exploitation film for the narrative setting (beautiful young girl with her older bf and his two friends in an isolated location, she's sensual, one of them decides to take advantage of her despite her protests while bf is out, they all are friends and turn on her when she threatens them with discovery. They leave her for dead, but she's not. The rest of the film is her dishing out deserved payback.) The rest of the film feels like empowerment, though.

The other thing is the great production quality. Beautiful looking film, nice video and sound editing, the cuts are great, the angles are great, the colors pop, it's both harrowing and funny all at once. Lots of gorgeous desert/wilderness landscape. And of course the camera doesn't pull away from some pretty intense stuff. The house looks like they painted it down with gallons of hemoglobin by the end. I don't think her initial injury was survivable, but if you set that aside....? Even the dream imagery is pretty good.

Subtitled, of course, although occasional English is spoken.
 

Totenkindly

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Watched Titane, still determining what I think and how I feel about it. It's also a difficult movie to describe and almost has two separate chapters to it.

It is put together extremely well, with an amazing performance by Agathe Rousselle. I didn't connect much emotionally with the film until its second half. I like how the relationships are hard to define or describe. Alexis definitely is portrayed as anti-social very early in life and has trouble establishing connections with people, but she becomes more vulnerable in the second part of the film as she embraces more risk. All the characters do. It explores ground between the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves, all in the process of mitigating loneliness and loss.

Meanwhile, it's pretty surreal, at times impersonally and disconcertingly violent, and I never knew where it was going next.
 

Totenkindly

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More committee interference...

Looks interesting although I have no clue from the trailer what it's about.

:p you'll feel that way watching the film too
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I watched Heathers for the first time in years. There are some small, key details that I never noticed before.

Heather MacNamara, the most sympathetic of the three Heather characters, is totally being raped in the background of the cow tipping scene. Veronica likely sees this but does nothing to help her friend. This adds a layer of darkness to Veronica's character--not that I thought she was a saint before I was aware of this detail.

This movie is full of terrible people. I think Martha is the only decent one of the bunch. Or maybe she's terrible too and we just don't know it. That said, she's probably the most important character in the film, despite being a minor part.

Then there's the classic moments that always stick with me. The scene where Ram and Kurt torment the nerdy student--I always loved how the nerd turns the "you like to suck big dicks" back on the bullies before finally relenting. The mineral water line never ceases to amuse me.

I find Kurt and Ram's death scene the most gripping, and it is hard not to feel bad for them, even though they're complete pieces of shit. It's also key in Veronica realizing what type of person JD really is.

JD's dad also creeps me the fuck out.

I never realized this was distributed by New World Pictures (Roger Corman's company)

I really love this movie.
 
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Totenkindly

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I watched Heathers for the first time in years. There are some small, key details that I never noticed before.

Heather MacNamara, the most sympathetic of the three Heather characters, is totally being raped in the background of the cow tipping scene. Veronica likely sees this but does nothing to help her friend. This adds a layer of darkness to Veronica's character--not that I thought she was a saint before I was aware of this detail.

This movie is full of terrible people. I think Martha is the only decent one of the bunch. Or maybe she's terrible too and we just don't know it. That said, she's probably the most important character in the film, despite being a minor part.

Then there's the classic moments that always stick with me. The scene where Ram and Kurt torment the nerdy student--I always loved how the nerd turns the "you like to suck big dicks" back on the bullies before finally relenting. The mineral water line never ceases to amuse me.

I find Kurt and Ram's death scene the most gripping, and it is hard not to feel bad for them, even though they're complete pieces of shit. It's also key in Veronica realizing what type of person JD really is.

JD's dad also creeps me the fuck out.

I never realized this was distributed by New World Pictures (Roger Corman's company)

I really love this movie.
It's really great. I've seen it 5-6 times, although now I have to go check out the cow-tipping scene again to see if I recall noting that detail. Not surprising, Kurt and Ram are just pretty awful that way.

Martha is pretty much an innocent in the film, I think -- aside from her lack of discretion over crushing on a loser like Ram. I don't recall if the film gave a backstory for that, but the musical does. (If you like musicals, I do recommend the soundtrack from the off-Broadway music, I think it's on Spotify. It expands on some of the movie themes a bit, although it merges Martha and the other friend of Veronica into one character. SOme of the music is predictable, but I think JD's bit when he's wooing Veronica is rather haunting and it conveys his odd hold on her for awhile... Veronica's exclamation when the humiliation of Kurt and Ram goes by is pitch-perfect, and the lead sounds just like Winona Ryder)

JD's dad is pretty cold, and I think they discuss watching "mom" disappear in a building collapse as protest without an ounce of sympathy or at least all the people who were lost. It's crazy stuff.

Now I want to watch it again.

My son brought it up last night and I was really happy to hear that he had seen it a few times and loved it (since he's a Gen Z) so it means it's still out there in the zeitgeist and not forgotten.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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It's really great. I've seen it 5-6 times, although now I have to go check out the cow-tipping scene again to see if I recall noting that detail. Not surprising, Kurt and Ram are just pretty awful that way.

Martha is pretty much an innocent in the film, I think -- aside from her lack of discretion over crushing on a loser like Ram. I don't recall if the film gave a backstory for that, but the musical does. (If you like musicals, I do recommend the soundtrack from the off-Broadway music, I think it's on Spotify. It expands on some of the movie themes a bit, although it merges Martha and the other friend of Veronica into one character. SOme of the music is predictable, but I think JD's bit when he's wooing Veronica is rather haunting and it conveys his odd hold on her for awhile... Veronica's exclamation when the humiliation of Kurt and Ram goes by is pitch-perfect, and the lead sounds just like Winona Ryder)

JD's dad is pretty cold, and I think they discuss watching "mom" disappear in a building collapse as protest without an ounce of sympathy or at least all the people who were lost. It's crazy stuff.

Now I want to watch it again.

My son brought it up last night and I was really happy to hear that he had seen it a few times and loved it (since he's a Gen Z) so it means it's still out there in the zeitgeist and not forgotten.
I thought about showing my kid. He's only 13, but I think I was even younger when I first caught it on HBO back in the day.

Aside from a couple of obvious things like the clothing styles, I think it holds up well and doesn't feel nearly as dated as a lot of high school movies from the 80s, but I wonder if it's the kind of film best watched the first time as a teenager. I'm not sure I would hold it in as high regard if I'd seen it for the first time in my 30s. Maybe some would call this blasphemy, but it has aged much better than the John Hughes films it was partly satirizing. While I doubt something like this could get made as easily in the post school shooting era, I think it's a great movie for these cynical times. People in general, and teenagers in particular can be terrible, and they're not always going to magically become nice or love one another the way always happens by the end of most high school dramas
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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An indictment of Warner Bros half-assed risk taking and lack of faith in the directors they hand-pick.
Meh, I can understand their reticence with regards to Dune. It was massively expensive and Blade Runner 2049 wasn't really a hit (although I love it, and, hot take coming: I think I prefer it to the original; I think the characters are stronger). I'm still not sure how Peter Jackson convinced New Line to shoot three movies simultaneously like that. And when you look at the novel, it's not necessarily the most accessible thing. I've started re-reading it and it seems like there's a lot of stuff I missed when I first read it in my early 20s. Knowing how the story continues in Dune Messiah is definitely coloring my experience differently
.
 

Totenkindly

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If the Saturn awards were not a joke before, they sure are now.

Best Science Fiction Film
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Best Director
J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker)

They even have Onward as the best animated film... uggh. It was average from Pixar but certainly not the best.
 
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Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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If the Saturn awards were not a joke before, they sure are now.





They even have Onward as the best animated film... uggh. It was average from Pixar but certainly not the best.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

This is probably at the bottom of my rankings. The prequels didn't make me as angry as this; my reaction upon watching them was trying to convince myself they were good. I couldn't convince myself that movie was good. Rise of Skywalker has better acting then the prequels, but the sum of all the parts is less. And really, it continued, even amplified, the worst part of the prequels which was making everyone connected to everyone else and making the universe feel small. Everyone has to be related or met someone previously, and there are lots of other nonsensical overly-self-referential callbacks.

Johnson was smart to go in the other direction; it's a pity J.J's instincts are the other way.
 
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Doctor Anaximander

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add to the list of reasons of why awards shows are totally meaningless charades designed for hollywood insiders to pat one another on the backs.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I watched Sleepers again this morning. It’s currently free on someone’s YouTube account, surprisingly.

Damn, that’s a hard film to watch. I am rarely one to cry watching films, but the part where Jason Patric tells Deniro about the sexual abuse got me a little teary eyed

Kevin Bacon is great at playing piece of shit humans. There are two films I can remember him playing pedophiles in, this and The Woodsman, although the latter is a more sympathetic portrayal. Nothing forgivable about his character in Sleepers.
 

Totenkindly

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here's two films that couldn't be more different.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007): Only watched this because my kid was watching it and laughing about it via phone/skype with a friend. Gawd. Like, I was amused by how excessively terrible it was but sorry, inbred hillbilly gorefest is not my idea of a fun time even if some of it was amusing. The person we thought might be Final Girl didn't make it through the film. Another of the female stars actually had been in a film I liked -- she played Kay (the murder victim) in Nolan's remake of "Insomnia." Honestly, even with laughing at the film, I had little interest and am not sure how I made it through. Just to imagine, French directors were making crazy but interesting ultra-violent films that were more intriguing conceptually and dramatically, meanwhile USA directors were making this stupid schlock which kind of made it all into one big silly boring joke. Put another way, I could see both countries making a film involving a victim being split in half from top to bottom, but somehow the French could make it feel artsy and transcendent (rofl) while Americans just make it cheesy and banal.

Kwaidan (1965): Three hours, four stories -- this reminded me of the ghost story books I read when younger, which are just compilations of various ghost folklore tales. Despite being 1965 and nowhere near today's special effects (a few of the stories were obviously on sound stage -- you could pick out the foreground from the backdrop paintings), the film really takes its time to develop the atmosphere for the stories, which are not overtly complicated. I think my least favorite was Hoichi the Earless, not because of the story but because of the length... there's a needless 10-20 minute opening about a historical battle that the tale doesn't need, and then the main story just drags on and on. It needed a bit more editing IMO. However, the core of the story (and the business about the ears) is beautiful -- and this is the image typically associated with the film, of Hoichi covered with writing of the Heart Sutra.

My favorite two included the first tale (a very simple story, but I was joking about it being where Nolan got the line, "... become an old man filled with regret, waiting to die alone?" It is very evocative in terms of a man regretting the decisions he has made and how some things, once lost, can never be recovered even with the wisdom brought by time and experience. Also, "The Woman of the Snow" -- about the yukionna -- is great, and it's interesting to me that these tales seem to be in many cultures, I know the equivalent of these cautionary tales in European mythos, like the ones involving swans and secret identities. Lesson: If you make a promise to a ghost, never ever break it.
 
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