Saturday, September 19, 2015

Weekend Open Thread

Beep beep, Richie!

Well, we're just a week and a half away from #ScaryMovieMonth. I'd love to say I'm "waiting," but I'm at the point where it's #SMM all year round for me. This doesn't change the fact that it's still my favorite time of year and I can't wait to celebrate with all of you.

Until then, the floor is yours.

54 comments:

  1. Finally got around to watching "Popcorn" this week, a horror flick I've been aware of since I saw commercials for it airing on David Letterman's old "Late Night" show in 1991. It's an odd duck that has all the elements that should make it a horror fan's dreams: homage to 50's creature features, a self-aware sense of horror fandom, some wicked cool set-pieces, etc. It's "Demons" meets "Matinee," though it tilts way more toward the latter than the former. The better-known cast members (Tom Villard, Tony Roberts, Dee Wallace, Ray Walston, etc.) fare better than the mostly-unknown cast, who are either too bland or amateurish. Derek Rydall, the so-called "hero" of "Popcorn" (enough to get compared to Indiana Jones at the end), also did his own stunts. Guess since the original writers and director were sacked midway through production (as was the original actress playing Maggie with Jill Schoelen) the producers figured Mark was just as replaceable. So why hire actual stunt people when the budget was clearly blown on air travel to Jamaica?

    Ultimately "Popcorn" comes undone at the hour mark when the killer reveals him/herself, deflating the narrative of the remaining half-hour of any tension or fright. You can see remnants of what "Popcorn" was trying to achieve in films like "Scream" and last year's "Stage Fright," but in the end it's the made-up fictitious flicks playing in the background ("The Stench," "Mosquito! 3D," etc.) you'll come away remembering. "Popcorn" is on YouTube, so keep this one handy if you need to fill an empty slot in your upcoming SMM schedule.

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    1. Cheers JM. Ill give it a roll, i dont own that one

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    2. A Blu-ray is allegedly being worked at by Synapse, but it's been a couple of years since it was announced. The old DVD is expensive, so it's YouTube or bust. :-)

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    3. I just finished it now JM, I enjoyed it. It felt like a movie made from love, maybe not fully successfully but made with good intentions, im a sucker for any movie about people who love movies, I would of loved to of attended the show in the movie,

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    4. You're a better (and more forgiving) man than me, D.A. :-)

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  2. Ooooh i do like Synapse, perfect segway JM for something ive been thinking about, on the latest podcast our boss made a passing comment about "Physical media is dead" is it really going to die? I love hear your thoughts, i know us Fheads are biased and not representing the mainstream, but is it really going to stop? Because i have trouble sleeping at night over the possibility....

    People like Synapse and Scream Factory are Amazing and i hope you guys are importing our British Arrow Video stuff, have you seen the Arrowvideo bluray steelbook of Demons 1 and 2?, it a work of art, im really excited about bluray, new titles keep popping up, Misery is coming soon in a steelbook typewriter case, who doesent want to own that? Recently I just ordered a norwegian import of Flatliners, Scream Factory 10 disc Halloween boxset, The Burbs and Big on a Tom Hanks kick, Big trouble in little China from Arrow, im seeing new stuff all the time, Damn it now we even got Hawk the Slayer now on blu, i get really bummed thinking this is going to go away!

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    1. I was hoping for a barrage of replies about how much people still love physical media and how many people like me still love to buy and collect Blurays and DVDs, with not a single reply maybe Patrick is right and Physical media is dead!

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  3. I saw Gremlins 2: The New Batch for the first time last week! Man, that movie is nutty. There are almost too many crazy, fun touches to list a favorite. Also, the glut of movie references throughout is great. I love it so much now!

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    1. Now that you're a HUGE FAN of Gremlins 2 (aka anybody who's ever seen Gremlins 2) you need this Key & Peele sketch in your life: http://youtu.be/x01l_jMhjVM
      I encourage anyone who loves Gremlins 2 (aka human beings because to not love it is to be dead inside) to watch this. Ridiculously funny and clearly full of love for such a crazy movie.

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    2. Wow, that was hilarious. Thank you for sharing, JP!

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  4. When it comes to Horror, there are certain films where I'll take style over substance (Livide, The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014), Horsehead) and if the style is right for my taste, then I'm good to go. This is the case for Hellions, directed by Bruce McDonald (Pontypool, This Movie is Broken, The Tracy Fragments, Hard Core Logo) BM sucks straight into your senses with a visual assault that could possibly end up being a Halloween go-to along with Trick 'r Treat or the Shining though this is not nearly as "fun" nor nowhere as good to the latter. It has flaws, no doubt about it, but I really liked it. The visuals, camera angles and sound design are top notch. From the opening scene you feel fall is around you with pumpkins all around and there is an early scene where curtains are blowing in the wind and you feel the chill in the air. It just straight up reminded me of October and Halloween. The story? Not sure how I felt about it. My wife and I discussed the film afterward and had totally different thoughts on it. To me, that's a plus but I'm still trying to work it out. What is definitely a plus? SMM is 12 days away!

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    1. I had the exact same reaction to the first 20-30 minutes of Hellions (and I don't want to speak for Adam Riske, but I think he did too). Great October atmosphere. Even the color of sky felt right. I thought most of the movie after that was a mess and wasn't crazy about it, but at least it was a mess with some ideas.

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    2. Right on, Patrick. The first 20-30 minutes are definitely the strongest parts of the film. I think that really grabbed me enough to enjoy the entirety of it. Plus, I don't think it falls apart, more like it just doesn't stay as good as it could have. All in all I really like it as a whole. Bonus- Robert Patrick has been in two of my favorite horror films this year, Hellions and Lost After Dark (which is in my top five Horror of the year)

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  5. I've been Tarantino obsessed lately. Ever since Adam Riske convinced me on the podcast to revisit Pulp Fiction I've watched it three times. I finally got it for the first time and now I can't stop watching it. I then watched Reservoir Dogs, which has always been my least favorite Tarantino. It still is, although I liked it more this time. Although I still have problems with it. Tim Roth's performance is ridiculous and the movie feels kind of hollow. But it is entertaining. Last night I watched Jackie Brown, which I've always loved and still do. I think it absolutely has the most heart and soul of anything he's done. It's the polar opposite of Reservoir Dog's hollowness. And I think Robert Forster gives my second favorite performance in a Tarantino film. Right behind Travolta. He's so darn good in that movie it's ridiculous. Every scene with him and Pam Grier is so wonderful my heart explodes (heart explodes term stolen from Patrick). I can't wait to keep going. I want to revisit all his films before SMM starts. Then it's all horror from there!

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    1. i'd be interested to hear what you 'got' from Pulp Fiction this time around. Its one of my favorites, and the answer is usually different for everyone. I think Reservoir Dogs can be a little rough around the edges, but I still really respect what it is. The kind of movie that it is for what was essentially his first movie is impressive.

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  6. I finished the Blu-ray set of American Ninja 1-4 earlier this week. Had a lot of fun with the first two, not so much 3 and 4. And Steve James is clearly the star of the series, not Dudikoff. He's sorely missed in the fourth movie.

    So, is Avenging Force worth checking out next?

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    1. Oh good, I can stop with American Ninja 3.

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  7. Saw Black Mass and Everest. Wasn't able to connect with either of them. The Intern features De Niro with straight-up sincerity. Looking forward to reading your reviews.

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    1. Saw Everest last night, hated it. There are like 2 good shots but nothing as good as in The Walk trailer that played before it.

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  8. Just saw Sleeping with Other People. I really liked it. Maybe one of my favorite romantic comedies in the past few years. It's really sweet and even makes Jason Sudeikis into a winning romantic lead. Alison Brie is perfect and needs to do more romantic comedies. It's a When Harry Met Sally retread but why not crib from one of the best if you're gonna do a romantic comedy?

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    1. I'm trying to decide between seeing Sleeping With Other People or the new Zemeckis movie, The Walk.

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    2. Didn't really like or hate "Sleeping with Other People," even though half the scenes were shot just a couple of blocks from where I live (or through NYC streets I used to walk to and from when I worked in Midtown Manhattan). The problem when you have a comedian like Sudekis as the romantic lead is that he's both the straight man and comic relief, which makes Jason Mantzoukas' best friend role feel redundant. That Mantzoukas leaves an impression is a miracle (him hogging the closing credits helps) given how one-liner happy Sudekis is in this movie, which is more than what can I say for how underdeveloped, wanting and Bechdel Test-flunking the female characters in "Sleeping with Other People" are. Goes to show you that just because a woman writes/directs a feature doesn't mean the female characters in it are going to act any differently than any other quirky indie comedy put out by IFC.

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    3. Awesome! I've been excited to see it for awhile. Is it on VOD? Also, Allison Brie is beyond adorable.

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    4. I don't think it's on VOD which is surprising since it's a IFC Films release.

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    5. I went based on your recommendation and liked it. There are some unnecessarily crude moments (f-bomb laden soundtrack?) and some tender heartfelt moments. Critical response is lukewarm and revenue per screen was under $1200 this past weekend (down from $17.8k/screen two weeks ago) according to boxofficemojo.com. FWIW the audience in my screening was about 70% female, and people seemed to enjoy it.

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  9. I just saw the visit and really hated it. I was kind of on board for the first half hour but then it takes a serious nose dive after that. What M. Night thinks is scary becomes unintentionally silly and it didn't help that I was sitting in front of a bunch of giggling 12 year olds. Really bad tonal problems that flip flop between goofy horror and a sentimental family story mixed with 3 long scenes of a white kid rapping, it was a mess. The kids were unrealistic and spoke like no children ever would and I found the movie to be very repetitive. These old people are sure acting strange aren't they? Huge disappointment, I don't understand why it's getting such a pass from people. Oh and I'm totally done with found footage now, this was the nail in the coffin for me.

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    1. On further thought yeah I tend to agree with you, sadly I think Night's best gift is behind the camera rather then behind the typewriter (Unbreakable in my opinion being the lone exception). I think the reason that people tend to be more forgiving with this movie is that the directing style we see from him does harken back to his first trilogy of films (that is when we dont have to acknowledge the found footage genre).To paraphrase from Star Wars "theres good in you, i felt it" and right now this is M Night in the hallway of the Endor forest kinda wondering "what have I done with my life?" but he hasn't thrown the Emperor down the Death Star pit yet (spoiler alert?). I really hope he can make that turn soon. Also M Night dont do found footage again, its not your bag.

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  10. Couldn't wait until next month for some Wes Craven and watched the Hills Have Eyes for the first time since I was a teenager. What a time when you could partake in some recreational drugs, have Uncle Rico fight the lead singer of Thin Lizzy to death in the desert, and call it a movie.

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  11. Has anyone gotten a chance to see Goodnight Mommy yet? It's doing a very limited run here in the Cleve next week, and the theater it's playing at is a bit of a hike, but the trailer is PHENOMINAL.

    I'm really just looking for 1 positive reaction to go see it. Anyone?....anyone?........Bueller?

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    1. That trailer is what nightmares are made of

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    2. I saw Goodnight Mommy. I really liked it minus a couple of aesthetic scenes that were pointless and cliche and somewhat cheapened the film for me. The atmosphere and the way it's shot is fantastic. I will say this - the trailer does not represent the film well at all. If you go in expecting what the trailer is showing, you will most likely be disappointed. The vibe of the film reminded me of Michael Haneke if that helps. I recommend it.

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    3. Thanks Chaybee, yeah I heard it was more of a psychological thriller than horror, which is fine. But it does look very intriguing. Looks like I'll have to make some time for it.

      By the way, I saw the trailer during a screening for American Psycho, and it was hands down the best repertory screening I've ever been to. The crowd was way into it, and the sound mix was incredible. Still just blown away.

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    4. That's awesome! I would have loved to see a screening of American Psycho where people were in to it. I did not get to see that in the theater and that always bums me out.

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  12. Seems to be a european weekend for me.

    I saw the belgian/french "Amer" which seems to be fine with critics and has a 6.3 rating on IMDB. I gave it a 1 out of ten. It´s kind of experimental with a nod to giallos, but for me, it was big pile of crap. It screams "I´m want to be art" through the whole movie while creeping along. Makes watching paint dry nearly suspenseful. Some nice shots and camera tricks but that´s it. Stay away.

    Then I saw "The body - El cuerpo", a spanish thriller starring Belén Rueda from "The orphanage". A fine, fast paced thriller with a pretty ridiculous story that would never ever work in real life, but made very well with a nice twist at the end. Very entertaining.

    Next was Andrew Haigh`s british two-hander "Weekend", which may be one of the sweetest and most honest gay love stories I ever saw. I coud have skipped the weed/cocaine part but beside that a great movie.

    And if my planning works today, I will finally see "Contracted".

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    1. Whoa, I think Amer is a straight up assault on your senses and I loved every minute of it. It was one of my favorites a few years ago. The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears is even better and takes it to a whole other level, however, if you hated Amer, you'll probably hate that even more.

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    2. Yeah, that´s what most critics also say, but it seems like it failed to work it´s sensual magic on me. I think I better skip the other works of this directing duo.

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    3. I'm no critic, nor have I read Amer's critical reviews, but that makes sense. Different strokes. I can't stand non-comedic Tom Hanks and I think Interstellar is a piece of shit. I love difference of opinions especially when they are respectful and more so if they change my mind, so, right on.

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    4. I read the reviews after watching the movie. I try to avoid to be potentially influenced by other peoples opinions before watching a movie.
      Interesting. I like Tom Hanks nearly only in non-comedic roles. Same goes for Robin Williams or Jim Carrey.
      And Interstellar to me was just ok, but not the least bit more. The last half hour was just terrible.

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  13. I'm watching Halloween Resurrection for the first time right now. I'm about an hour in. I don't hate it. I will show myself out.

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    1. Im watching everyone next month. Should be fun. In theory. And every Friday the 13th too.....mmm

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    2. Well, you are watching it with the lowest expectations ever. As I will this October when I finally finish the series.

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    3. Yeah. That second half was much much worse wasn't it?

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    4. Yes. Sadly that's the only Halloween movie I was able to see in theaters. At least John Carpenter got a paycheck.

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  14. I've developed a theory that the "Max" in Mad Max Fury Road is actually The Feral Kid from The Road Warrior, who has inhabited Max's persona. That would explain his appearance at the beginning (they even refer to him as feral). It also would explain why "Max" hesitates to reveal his name until the end of the movie, as well as the presence of the music box. The theory probably doesn't hold aqua-cola (and who cares!), it was just something fun to think about.

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    1. That's fascinating and yes -- definitely fun to think about!

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    2. Dude. That is an awesome theory.

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  15. Sorry I've been absent for an extended period - family issues. I'm happy to return right on the cusp of Scary Movie Month!

    Anyway, the release of Dressed to Kill on Criterion has led me to revisit a lot of Brian De Palma's work. Dressed to Kill is a fantastic stylistic exercise, and as you would expect the Criterion Blu Ray is terrific. Then I re-watched Blow Out, and holy cow is that one fantastic movie.

    De Palma rules, is what I'm trying to say.

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    1. Welcome back! I second everything you're throwing down.

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    2. From Obsession and Carrie in 1976 to Body double in 1984, wasn´t that the most wonderful time to be excited about a new De Palma movie? What an incredible streak of greatness.

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  16. Super busy week for me so I didn't get to see much. Been re-watching a lot of Hitchcock for a paper i'm working on. While I still consider Psycho to be my favorite of his films, I came to the realization that Rear Window might be a perfectly constructed movie. There was a fascinating documentary on the disc about the making of that really hit home that for me.

    I also saw Apocalypse Now for the first time. I was blown away by what I saw. The scope that Coppola has in his films is amazing. What a fascinating film indeed.

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  17. The lead actress in Leprechaun 2 is not very good.

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    1. She's not good, but the body double in her topless scene does a great job.

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