Saturday, January 9, 2016

Weekend Open Thread

Who could beat a night of chips, dips and dorks?

Today is my wonderful wife Erika's birthday. She's not just a contributor to the site and a regular on the podcast, but also the biggest F This Movie! supporter there is. This site only exists because of her patience and her input and her enthusiasm and the fact that she brought be back from the brink and to a place where I actually want something to succeed. She is the best.

So that explains the Can't Buy Me Love references, because she loves it and she quotes it constantly. In addition to talking about whatever you want this week (you know the drill), I thought it might be cool to say thanks to the people in our lives who have helped support or foster our love of movies -- or just who are important to us. It seems like the right day to honor them.

It's a must. Definitely.


  1. Happy birthday, Erika! Hope you have a great day.

    I'd just like to thank everyone here at F This Movie for being such a great community and resource for me. Learning to be a filmmaker without going to film school is difficult, but I must say that this site has been a learning tool for me. Everyone here is so knowledgeable and insightful and passionate about film that it really helps me build a better understanding of the entire art form. So thank you, everyone. And thank you JB for reading the short scripts I send you.

    Also, I just saw The Revenant last night... What a beautifully, brutal movie.

  2. Happy Birthday, Erika! You folks sound like such a loving, supportive couple. It's heartening to see.

  3. Happy birthday, Erika! I never fail to fall in love with your infectious enthusiasm, fun humor and beautiful voice every time you guest on the podcast, and your chemistry with Patrick is just so darn cute! I hope your day is full of wonderful things!

    On the movie watching front, I just finished watching Akira Kurosawa'a Kagemusha, and I must say that it was excellent and one of the most visually striking movies I've seen in a long, long time. What a genius that man was. In fact, this is part of a purchasing binge I went on recently where I obtained the remaining Akira Kurosawa films I had left to get in which I knew I would have some interest: Kagemusha, Ran, Throne of Blood, High and Low, The Hidden Fortress, and Sanjuro. I had previously only owned Rashomon and Seven Samurai.

    1. The first time I saw Kagemusha I was convinced it was one of the best movies I had ever seen. I've never gone back to it because I want to remember it that way while still knowing that it probably isn't one of the best movies I've ever seen, even though it's so, so good.

    2. I assure you that it is still great, however, I do understand your hesitation on wanting to revisit it. At the very least, it ranks among the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. This was the first time I had ever seen a Kurosawa movie in color, and boy was it a feast for the eyes. I'm hoping that Ran proves to be more of the same when it arrives at my house and I finally get to watch it.

    3. "Kagemusha" is like a dress rehearsal for the real show, "Ran." If you loved the former the latter will blow your mind. :-)

    4. Kagemusha is great. Ran is great. Dreams is great.

      Color era Kurosawa is great.

    5. So I went to do some research on Dreams...Martin Scorsese is in it?! Interesting!

    6. Yeah, Dreams is super weird and very much the black sheep of the Kurosawa ouvre, but it has this really hazy tone that I don't think I've seen done in any other film. The only other film I can think of as a kind of tonal comparison is Upstream Color.

      Half the chapters are just kinda interesting but some of them are reslly deeply moving, particularly one with a tunnel and one with a village's funeral procession. I'd recommend it, even with the surprisingly negative reviews of it.

  4. Watched Carrie (1976) for the first time last night. The prom scene felt like everything was going to turn out like a beautiful love story, until it didn't. Travolta really liked to smack that girl. Heck, I'd smack her too, she's essentially the one evil person in the movie.

    Also, I have Gravity playing, with the sound off, while I do some cleaning this morning. Previously, I didn't like it so much. I think Cloony overplaying himself ruined it from the start... but by golly, those are some stunning visuals!

  5. OK, my turn to opine. I was still watching new-to-me 2015 movies as early as this morning to try to cram as many of them into my worst-to-best ranking. I hated to skip posting this in the Best of 2015 podcast thread, but I was on vacation in Upstate NY with family celebrating my birthday (the family celebrated, I sulked). If it ain't on this list, I didn't watch it. From 40 on it got really, really hard. On any other year any of my runners-up could have snuck into the Top 10, but '15 was an embarrassment of riches. And naturally, repertorie films screened theatrically aren't included. That's a whole separate list I might do Sunday if I feel both lucky and punkish! :-P.

    Here's my ranking of every movie released theatrically (or streaming in some cases) in the States in the calendar year 2015 I saw (including documentaries), culminating in my TOP 10 FILMS OF 2015. :-)

    87- Alcatraz Prison Escape: Deathbed Confession
    86- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    85- No Escape
    84- Hitman: Agent 47
    83- The Transporter Refueled
    82- Sinister 2
    81- Rifftrax Live! Sharknado 2: The Second One
    80- Turbo Kid
    79- Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery
    78- Jurassic World
    77- The Chickening (Short)
    76- Jupiter Ascending
    75- The Creeping Garden
    74- By the Sea
    73- San Andreas
    72- Sleeping with Other People
    71- Ricki and the Flash
    70- Fantastic Four
    69- Southpaw
    68- Crimson Peak
    67- The Diary of a Teenage Girl
    66- Irrational Man
    65- Spy
    64- The Letters
    63- The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    62- Félix & Meira
    61- Mistress America
    60- The Forbidden Room
    59- Wild Card
    58- Truth
    57- White God
    56- Joy
    55- Dark Place
    54- Rifftrax Live! Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny
    53- Blood Moon
    52- Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal
    51- In the Heart of the Sea
    50- Escobar: Paradise Lost
    49- Tomorrowland
    48- SPECTRE
    47- Ex-Machina
    46- Terminator Genisys
    45- Ant-Man
    44- Goodnight Mommy
    43- Black Mass
    42- Woman in Gold
    41- Beasts of No Nation
    40- Court
    39- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
    38- Rifftrax Live! The Room
    37- The Danish Girl
    36- Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island for Dr. Moreau
    35- Lava (Short)
    34- Bone Tomahawk
    33- Mustang
    32- Kingsman: The Secret Service
    31- Trumbo
    30- Rifftrax Live! Miami Connection
    29- Mr. Holmes
    28- Avengers: Age of Ultron
    27- Güeros
    26- Creed
    25- The Gift
    24- Tangerine
    23- The Revenant
    22- The Martian
    21- The Mind's Eye (special screening; to be released theatrically/VOD in '16)
    20- Straight Outta Compton
    19- Bridge of Spies
    18- The Big Short
    17- Victoria
    16- Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
    15- The Peanuts Movie 3D
    14- Room
    13- Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
    12- Brooklyn
    11- The Wolfpack

  6. 10- David Cronenberg's MAP TO THE STARS: Not known for either satire or great ensemble casts, Cronenberg adds these weapons to his arsenal of lacerating psychological drama tropes and complete control of his pictures' mood. "Map to the Stars" is him at the top of his game and edging past his comfort zone.

    9- Dietrich Brüggemann's STATIONS OF THE CROSS: the most daring high-wire cinematic act I saw all year, even more than "Victoria." Limited to seven static shots (a couple with limited movement) for almost two hours, it captures key moments between teenage Maria (Lea van Acken, sensational) and the Fundamentalist Christian matriarch that has warped both their senses. Most gripping cinematic drama for the soul of a true religious believer I've ever seen.

    8- Quentin Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT: the experience of spending three hours cooked-up with these men (and Jennifer Jason Leigh) in one large room is a lot more enjoyable than the sum of its seemingly disjointed parts. You don't watch this movie as much as surrender to its power to convey style, performance, photography and pacing at the service of a well-told story.

    7- Denis Villeneuve's SICARIO: excellent cast, cinematography to die for (Roger Deakins turning the US/Mexico border into an alien world) and a ripped-from-headlines story that treats its audience smartly by not letting them in on what's really going on until they're in too deep.

    6- Christian Petzold's PHOENIX: Movies about World War II and the Holocaust have seldom combined them with fantasy (plastic surgery that can make a former Jewish concentration camp survivor look completely different) at the service of character development. Even knowing what the movie is building up toward, "Phoenix" refuses to play by movie rules and sings to the beat of Nelly's own tune.

    5- Todd Haynes' CAROL: Cate Blanchett plays second fiddle to Rooney Mara. The latter's Therese character is an enigma, neither too shy or too outgoing and yet willing to embark on a road trip at the drop of a hat. 'Auld Lang Syne' as a seduction theme is a strike of genius, as is the depiction of Kyle Chandler as an American male unprepared to think of his wife having sexual feelings of her own.

    4- László Nemes' SON OF SAUL: the daily routine of being a Jewish collaborator in the extermination of your own people? Dramatic enough. That it happens when Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig) takes a moral stand in a time and place such displays of humanity aren't appreciated (by fellow prisoners, Nazi guards or audiences) is part of the brilliance in director Nemes' directorial debut.

    3- George Miller's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD 3D - This is the only film I saw all year for which I had extremely high expectations that the final product surpassed. This is what every re-imagining and rebooted film should strive to achieve, and the rare film that becomes an instant classic whenever someone sees it for the first time.

    2- Pixar's INSIDE OUT: a masterpiece from start to finish. Presents complex human emotions in a simple, visually interesting and entertaining way so that the entire family can enjoy it. Pixar went to commercial battle without sacrificing the integrity of its product, the lead character's intelligence (or ours) or a message anyone who has a small child can agree on: enjoy the fleeting good times while they last.

    1- Danny Boyle's STEVE JOBS: screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle reach for theatricality to create gripping, entertaining and emotionally devastating drama where there should be none. Michael Fassbender becomes Steve Jobs, and the Greek choir of former friends and advisers (Winslet, Daniels, Rogen, etc.) keep coming in and out of Steve's dressing room. Sorkin/Boyle/Fassbender made the already-known facts about the life of "Steve Jobs" fascinating to watch. That, my friends, takes skills.

    1. FORGOT! DAMN! TIE AT #3: Tom McCarthy's SPOTLIGHT: other than a distracting piano score (real nitpick), this is the best journalism movie since "All the President's Men." The stakes are high, the acting strong (if you've seen the real Boston Globe reporters interviewed on TV you'll realize how great the actors nailed their roles, particularly Mark Ruffalo) and the depiction of journalism as a noble profession appreciated in an age when such resources and practices are limited. This is the Boston movie to remember 2015 for, not Johnny Depp's rubbery make-up job in "Black Mass."

    2. Now that's a list after my own heart. You have obscenely good taste in film! Although I would put Ant-man in place of Star Wars, because at least the former had a bit of ingenuity to it. Haven't seem Stations of the Cross yet but looking forward to it based on your synopsis.

    3. Thanks, Cat. :-) It's in German with English subtitles, but anyone who has struggled with their religious beliefs (not necessarily Catholic ones) will find something of themselves in both "Stations of the Cross" and Maria's character. What is it about German films being so freaking ballsy? This and "Victoria" display filmmaking at a muscular level I honestly don't know why Hollywood hasn't done before (or emulate now that they've seen it done).

      I like "Ant-Man," but this year it was just another superhero movie in a sea of them. I'm surprised "Star Wars" ranked so high given my antipathy toward the franchise.

  7. Watched The Walk in 3D last night. I had already seen Man on Wire so the story didn't bring anything new to the table (actually, it brought less and changed some things that really happened to add more excitement) but the 3D was fantastic! Also, JGL - this fuckin' guy. He's the most disgustingly talented son of a bitch on the planet. Dude acts, sings, plays music, dances, oh, and yeah, speaks French I guess.

    1. One of the worst moviegoing decisions I made in 2015 was to see this movie in 2D.

    2. I didn't even know they released it in 2D.

    3. I feel bad because I've outright rejected watching this movie. It's just that there's already a mind-blowingly good movie about what actually happened, and I can't fathom why this one was made. I'm glad it's enjoyable though, because at least it will bring attention to the subject and maybe get more people to see Man On Wire.

    4. Andy, I haven't seen the movie for the same reason, although I might now. I just couldn't imagine how a dramatization could expound on what we've already experienced in the masterful Man on Wire documentary.

      It reminds me of when they decided to make an awful drama movie about the West Memphis Three. Why would we need to revisit that story again when there's already four documentaries about the cases that provide more information and drama than a two hour movie ever could?

    5. Yeah, Andy. I loved Man on Wire and this brings nothing new to the story except for JGL's charm and an awsome 3D experience. That's the only reason I saw it and I'm crazy about Zemeckis these days either. The use of Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 in MOW was so perfect I had hoped Zemeckis would use it again. Sadly, he did not and it didn't feel the same.

    6. Glad to see I'm not the only one who loved "Man on Wire" so much he/she passed on "The Walk" on principle. Even a 3D-loving whore like me had to roll his eyes at the idea that a fictionalized re-enactment of the events depicted in "Man on Wire" could top the genuine article.

    7. I adored the experience of watching The Walk, but I wonder of that's partly to do with the fact that it was the best imax 3d I've ever seen. Still, it's such a crazy fun, energetic movie. Zemeckis did so much to make that movie as entertaining as possible. I had a blast.

    8. I feel the same way about Steve Jobs; much of the dialogue was taken from interviews that are available online. Although aspects of the film were inspirational, I prefer seeing the source material in context rather than within a fictionalized story.

  8. Finally caught up with ROOM and it's goram fantastic. I love that they stuck with the device of everything being from Jack's perspective. (Even if it means that Wiliam H. Macy disappears from the movie, because that's what would happen.)

    1. Jacob Tremblay may give the best child actor performance in Room that I've ever seen. For an 8 year old to have that degree of versatility and range, to be able to convey such emotion and perform dialogue in such a naturalistic way, he truly made me reconsider my entire stance on child actors not having enough life context to act convincingly in dramas.

      He'll go right up there with Jodie Foster and Natalie Portman as far as child actors able to pull performances from beyond their years and transcend into that next level of believable acting.

    2. ^^^ But only if he has one or two more great roles on par with his performance in "Room." That'll prove consistency, which is the stepping stone into a successful teenage and adult acting career. If he doesn't Tremblay will be another one-off, like the kids in "The Shining" and "Jerry Maguire."

  9. I've just now gotten around to making a Top Ten. I was hoping to wait until I'd seen a few more things, but whatever. The list is the list. And admittedly, it's pretty boring and predictable. There seems to be alot of agreement this year, and my list is no exception.

    10. Ex Machina
    9. It Follows
    8. Victoria
    7. Sicario
    6. The Hateful Eight
    5. Mad Max: Fury Road
    4. Spotlight
    3. Inside Out
    2. The End of the Tour
    1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Honorable Mentions: Bone Tomahawk, Everly, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Predestination, Results

    Still haven't seen: The Revenant, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Room, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, and a shit-ton more.

    As far as people who have reinforced my movie love, I have to mention my best friend from preschool until now who is the only one I know that's always down for a movie. Another would be the guys at the video store, who are always open to talking about what I'm renting, what we've seen lately that we liked, etc. It's always a pleasure to stop in. What the world needs now is more video store guys!

    And of course, thanks to this site and everyone who writes and comments here. You've made me a much happier moviegoer, once I realized that being a movie fan didn't require being part of a community of douches. Being in college can give you that attitude. I always come here to read reviews before I ever check Rotten Tomatoes or anyone else, because even though I might not always agree with the people here, I know them well enough to interpret their reviews to my own tastes. Thank you all!

    1. correction - I'm *NOT* crazy about Zemeckis these days.

    2. Yeah, a lot of the same names seem to pop up on people's top 10 lists, including mine (with a couple of exception):

      10. Creed
      9. Bridge of Spies
      8. Sicario
      7. It Follows
      6. Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau
      5. The Duke of Burgundy
      4. Ex Machina
      3. Inside Out
      2. Liza the Fox-Fairy
      1. Mad Max: Fury Road

      Honorable mentions: Faults, Deathgasm, Tales of Halloween, Kingsman and Turbo Kid.

      The top four is really solid and everything after those, including the also-rans, could have been in pretty much any order.

      Movies I want to see but haven't come out here yet: The Hateful Eight, Steve Jobs, Spotlight, The Revenant, Room, Carol, Bone Tomahawk, Anomalisa.

      I saw both Liza the Fox-Fairy and The Duke of Burgundy at a Finnish festival and really fell in love with both. I don't think either of them got a theatrical release in the US, but they're both worth seeking out, for very different reasons. I wrote more about both of them in an old open thread. All others on my list have been written and talked about on the site exhaustively.

    3. Lost Soul was a fantastic doc. I had been waiting forever for it to finally come out and it did not disappoint my high and eager expectations. There's nothing I eat up more than tales from the set of a disastrous movie production, and Moreau had that in spades.

      If anyone else enjoys movie productions from hell I'd highly recommend the book Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops by James Parish. It comprehensively details the debacles that went down on the sets of famous nightmare productions, from Cleopatra ans Ishtar to Waterworld and Showgirls. Just great, great stuff!

    4. The Duke of Burgundy is great and currently streaming on Netflix for everyone in the U.S.

  10. Watched "Cherry Tree" last night as well. It's from the writer and director of "Wake Wood" which was a decent but not great little Horror film. Cherry Tree is not awful, it's just okay, but what really stuck out to me is that if you told me the film was from 1991 I wouldn't think twice about it.

    Tackling a couple more smaller Horror films tonight cause that's what I do! I have to give love to my wife who is whole heartedly the most supportive person in my movie watching world. She's a big Horror film fan as well and really just leaves it up to me to pick out the stuff we watch. She endures everything from shot on video to hollywood and I love her for it. She also has two amazingly endearing qualities when it comes to movies: 1. She feels so proud when she picks something for us to watch that I haven't heard of and 2. She forgets every single title of every single movie, even as soon as the day after we watch it sometimes :)

    Also gotta show love for Ma Dukes who I have raved about on here before. Thanks, Mom for letting me watch any Horror movie I wanted to when I was growing up in the Mecca of non-stop Horror releases.

  11. Was anyone else completely unaware that the Coen Brothers have a new film coming out next month? I just saw the trailer for it last night before The Revenant. I had no clue.

    1. I am very aware and anticipating Hail, Caesar!

    2. I just heard about it today, on a comic book YouTube show of all things. It sounds really cool, though, and the cast is friggin fantastic. I'm excited for the possibility of greatness this early in the year.

    3. I'm wary as the trailer makes it look like it might be a mess of a movie, but it could be a fun, frenetic mess all the same.

  12. Happy birthday Erika!

    I'm trying to start 2016 by watching movies that I just haven't been in the mood to see. So far I've seen Silver Linings Playbook, Almost Famous, The Godfather: Part III, and later this weekend I plan to watch Prometheus. The satisfaction of finally crossing them off my list has numbed the fact that I was not overly thrilled by any of them except Silver Linings. (Adam sighs in relief) I also plan to catch up on the remaining 2015 movies I haven't seen yet. This coming week I plan to see Joy and The Big Short.

    1. My avatar is sad that you were not overly thrilled by Almost Famous. :(

    2. Whoops! Sorry John.
      I thought the movie was fine. I liked parts of it, but none of it really stood out or spoke to me. I liked it more than Godfather III if that is any consolation.

    3. Heh, it's all good. I'm glad you at least liked it more than a mediocre movie. ;)

  13. If I were to thank anyone for fostering my love of movies, it would be my mom. She used to show us old movies, particularly things like the Basil Rathbone led The Hound of the Baskervilles and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, even videotaping Godzilla marathons that used to be on WGN so we could watch them over and over. If you think this might be where my love for horror films started, I would say you're probably right. However, the same lady who showed me these films hates scary movies. She would (probably rightfully) not let me watch any R-rated pictures until I was in high school, and then only when she wasn't home. She still tells me she's worried about me because I like to watch them. Thanks, mom!

    Now, I want to share a recent experience I had. Let me preface this by saying I can usually find something to like even if a movie is terrible. For example, The Green Inferno has some good makeup effects that prevented me from feeling like it was a total waste of time. Will I ever watch it again? No. But still, I found something to appreciate while everything else was making me regret going to see the movie.

    I saw The Forest last night. I didn't think it very good based on the trailer, but I was intrigued by the ghosts, who I thought looked a tad Fulci-esque, and Natalie Dormer, who I like in Game of Thrones.
    DO NOT GO INTO THE FOREST. I think it's called "the Suicide Forest" because it makes the people watching it want to gauge their eyes out. Natalie Dormer is unbelievable, and I mean that in the truest sense of the word--her performance was awful--and Taylor Kinney was made out of plastic. I saw the cover of V magazine on facebook today, which features Lady Gaga and him in some sort of painted post-coital mess, and I would rather stare at that for an hour and a half--at least the proceeds would go to a good cause. I hesitate to say that two thirds of the script was exposition vomited at the audience because vomited would be too interesting of a verb. The jump scares "got" the audience I was with, but are totally boring and cheap looking. The "ironic" twist at the end of the movie could have been interesting to me if I felt that the movie had done the work to get there, so it was also flat.
    I know that I have no one to blame but myself for going, that it's a PG-13 horror movie coming out in January. but it's not like I had any expectations going in. I don't normally get mad at movies for being pieces of shit, but this felt like a conspiratorial effort to fuck over its audience. I was going to watch a movie when I got home to end the night on a good note, but I thought my disgust from this movie would taint whatever else I watched, so I just went to bed. I'm sure you guys are astute enough not to see this movie in the first place, but just in case you had a glint of curiosity, stay away. It's easy to get lost in there.

  14. "The "ironic" twist at the end" - Ugh...I'm still going to see on VOD but films need to stop killing us with this nonsense. The trailer sucked, btw. I'm so tired of the "stutter" noise, silence, BOOM jump scare shit that's in every Horror trailer now. Enough already.

  15. I really don't have anyone that is that supportive of my movie watching tendencies in my life. In fact, I spend half my life defending them to my parents and just generally people (sorry, sounds weird, I'm 16 so I'm still at home [and this isn't in a really mean way or anything too]). Some severe intellectual snobbery (and general snobbery) goes on in these parts I guess. It's communities like these, in fact especially this one, that have felt the most supportive for this particular part of my life. In fact, a better word might be affirming, it's just nice to know that movies are as important to other people as they are to me. In saying that I have a pretty cool english teacher, and some eager friends who love to talk movies with me.

    As for a top 10, well I'm gonna wait a month or two before I come up with one because Australia gets all your 2015 stuff in 2016 and so I just like to wait and see as much as I can. It feels weird making an Australia specific one, sort of out of step with the world. At the moment I'd say the films I'd expect on that list would be Cobain: Montage of Heck, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Queen of Earth. All movies I love, which I think shows how strong a year it was for me at least.

    1. Great to hear this is a place you can turn to talk movies. We're so happy to have you.

    2. I think most of us would agree that there are few people in our life that enjoy movies to the degree we do, even if they are supportive. That's why places like this are great, because if you have some movie thoughts you need to get out of your head but no one's there to listen, we're always here!

  16. Big shout out and thanks to my best buddy Seth who is always as excited as I am to go the movies! Also thanks to my Dad who, as a small boy, showed me the Universal Monster films and every 80's action film I now love. My dad is the best.

    Happy Birthday Erica!

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  18. RIP Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man in "Phantasm") at the age of 89.


  19. Hello Gang,

    Im off on my photography hols next week, im going to Orlando area, can anyone give me tips on the best places in USA or Florida to be more specific to pick up Blurays? I want to come home with a stack
    second hand is also great, bargain stuff, offers? places to look through loads of second hand stuff to try to find some classics and also the best shops to get new?

    cheers in advance for any help...

    1. Do you have a universal Blu-ray player, Dennis? If you have one then you can pick any American BD with no problem, but if you're not then you're region 'B' and most of the BD's sold in the States are region 'A.' Some US titles are multi-region and will play in a European player. Check the back of the BD case to make sure it says 'B' and 'A'; if it's just 'A' then it won't on a non-modified European BD player.

      As for prices in Orlando, your best bet is to look at the bargains page over at as a low-end benchmark of what in the USA charges. Most BD's at mainstream retail stores like Best Buy or Fry's Electronics charge about the same or more. So unless it's a title you want badly or can't get anywhere else (a specific Scream Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, etc.) you're better off buying it from Amazon in your homeland. If you know anybody in Orlando that can take you to the comic book shops, second-hand stores and/or mom & pop video shops you can score some individual bargains on used Blu-rays. Again, though, you want to make sure these discs will play on your player back at home.

      DO NOT BUY BLU-RAYS AT THE BARNES & NOBLE STORES (unless you have a friend with a membership and/or discount coupons). The selection is great (depending on the store), but the retail prices are obscenely high.

    2. Check out some used record stores there. Many times they have some DVD and Blu Ray gems for cheap. After doing a quick Google search I would try Park Ave CD's, Rock and Roll Heaven and Retro Records. Cheers, Dennis!

    3. I live in Orlando, but unfortunately I get most of my movies on Amazon or at Best Buy, so sadly can't be of much help. :-(

    4. I agree wholeheartedly with J.M. in regard to Barnes and Noble, though. I went there recently and thought "wow! This selection is incredible!!" But then I looked at the price tags...ALL of which were considerably more than anything I'd find on Amazon. It's terrible!!

    5. Barnes and Noble is my favorite Amazon showroom. My local B&N has a huge selection of Criterion Collection Blu-rays, but they demand your life savings and soul in exchange. I only recently found out that they have a Criterion 50% off sale in June and November. Not sure if this happens in ever store though.

      Dennis, I would try to look for smaller local owned movie stores or music stores that sell movies. I don't live near Florida so I don't have any specific store recommendations, but I have found some great finds at smaller shops. I also feel a lot better buying more at a Mom and Pop store rather than a big box place.

    6. Thanks everyone
      Firstly for J.M Yes I bought a multi region a while back, I bought it mainly because of Scream Factory, so many good discs I had to have. Thanks to John and Chaybee and Patrick for your input. Placrs to look for and avoid. I'll let you all know what I pick up in a few weeks in a open thread.
      Cheers guys. You rock

    7. First I bought while on holiday was over the net. ;)
      Did you all see Grindhouse Releasing doing the 3 Disc Blu of Piece's, Just pre ordered that bad boy, brilliant, I still want Xtro though

  20. Happy birthday, Erika! Your warmth, sincerity, humor, and insights are appreciated greatly.

  21. Huh, seems I´m very late...
    Happy Birthday Erika. Just heard your voice and enjoyed your humor and your laughter today on the Twilight podcast ;-))

    That was a busy weekend. I saw a ton of films, starting with showing Mad Max Fury Road to my not so movie-enthusiastic husband. He had a lot of fun with it, which always makes me happy when I find the right one for him.
    Everything else I watched alone.
    Tusk - What a crazy strange creepy movie. Loved Michael Parks in it.
    Dead Snow 2 - A fine splatterfest
    A most dangerous man - Sadly the last role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is as great as ever.
    Let us prey - Interesting little bloody thriller with the always fine Liam Cunningham and Pollyanna McIntosh (The woman).
    Maniac - It was fine, unfortunately in the middle of watching it, I realized that I only got the butchered version with around 10 minutes of gore missing. Damn.
    Son of a gun - Effective and entertaining little thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Alicia Vikander and Brenton Thwaites.
    Inside Llewyn Davis - Oscar Isaac is just great.
    Jane Eyre - The Fassbender/Wasikowska/Fukunaga Version. Great acting in a very familiar story. Better than most of the countless versions I have already seen.
    And finally I saw Ant-Man, which was a lot better than it has any right to be. A nice surprise.
    So all in all, no bad movies this weekend.

    1. Oscar Isaac has been a gem ever since his first leading film, an HBO original called Pu-239 where he teams up with the criminally underrated Paddy Considine to try to sell some stolen plutonium to make ends meet. I knew from the very first time I saw him on screen he had the presence and ability to carve out an exceptional acting career for himself, and he has not disappointed.

      I hope after Star Wars he continues to choose roles with the same level of careful discernment he's shown til now, and doesnt get tempted to go too commercial for the easy paydays.

  22. After having about a week to think about, and rewatching Basterds and Django, as a person who saw Pulp Fiction 9 times in theatrical release: Hateful Eight is my favorite QT film. Going back today.

    1. I'm going back Monday night to catch "Hateful Eight" a second time in 70mm before they pull the road show version off theaters. :-)

    2. Vargas, let us know your thoughts on a second viewing, please. I saw it once and, well, I posted my thoughts. But I am interested in knowing how the second viewing is because I have no intention of seeing it again at this point.

    3. It was probably my second least favorite QT movie, just ahead of Death Proof. Something about Kurt Russell and Tarantino coming together just does not work for me apparently. I'm glad some people are enjoying it so much, though I hope QT aspires for something dynamically different in his next outing, as this one felt too similar to his other better films for me.

    4. It's by far my least favorite QT Movie. At least Death Proof was 90 mins :)

    5. Although let me clarify: I do NOT view Death Proof as a movie itself. I believe Grindhouse is only viewed as a single movie and with being said it's one of my favorite films. And, yes, I looked it up, Death Proof is 113 mins but, again, it should not be judged as a separate entity from Grindhouse.

    6. Absolutely, the interminable length was a crucial part of why I found it so sub-par to his other films. The movie wrote a big check in it's first half, then went around the globe three times before it even attempted to cash it. And by the time it dud I was already bored and disheartened by an underwhelming screenplay. I usually WANT to spend three hours listening to Quentin's dialogue, so it was just dispiriting to find such a lack of memorable or punchy conversations in the entire film once we're off that stagecoach.

      Quentin gave an interview a few weeks back where he said the movie was an exercise in pulling that rubberband of mounting suspense slowly back for three hours, and that if he didn't execute it just exactly right for the audience the whole picture would collapse under the weight of mismanaged time and expectations. I couldn't have summed up more succinctly why the film didn't work for me if I tried.

    7. I'm being extremely non-descript on the numerous problems I have with this film because, honestly, I don't think my opinion matters (cause it's all about taste) but mostly because I am more interested in hearing about what people like about the film. I'm wondering if a lot of the love comes from the experience more than the actual film. I am dumbfounded as to how any QT fan could think that this isn't the most boring and poorly written of his films and I have yet to see an article that explains why it's well written.

      That being said - I don't know the Western genre very well at all and I have written that I am not a fan. When Kill Bill and Grindhouse were released, I GOT the references because I could relate and I had a bunch of friends that were just like " was fine" so I can't be inconsiderate to those who love this film, especially when, really, it all comes down to taste and reference.

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    9. So, you know, I'll expound - I think it was Kathy(?) who wrote a very simple sentence on here that said "Why didn't they just kill Russell the minute he walked in the door?" The answer is: because there wouldn't be a 3 hour movie with a "twist" at the 3/4 mark. The problem is that the logic is all flawed. Kathy (sorry if it was someone else) was totally correct. Noone else was there. It was 4 (5 counting Channing in the fucking floorboard) vs 1 since Leigh knew what was up). Movie over. Instead, we are taking on a trip through QT dialogue - "YES - I'm in!" I said. But alas, no, it's the most uninteresting, unfunny, unproductive and unimaginative dialogue that QT has written. It's waxing poetic without being poetic but more being beat-for-beat, and the beat has rhythm, but has no crescendo.

    10. Just rewatched and my feelings are slightly tempered. I should say that plotting is usually not my main focus while watching a film. I'm not an expert in Westerns or Agatha Christie mysteries. I'm so fascinated with the racial and social subtext of the movie that it just takes over by the time the slightly underwhelming twist takes place.
      The dialogue almost completely worked for me. I know I'm in a super-minority, but Christoph Waltz's dialogue and performances in Django and Basterds occasionally bother me and tend to take me out of the movie a bit. In H8 I thought everyone's delivery was flawless (outside of Chapter 4).
      Where the movie shines for me the most is photography, editing, and score. To me QT's mixtape soundtracks have not served his historical fiction epics as well as they should have. Didn't get "Cat People" in Basterds or care much for John Legend being heavily featured in Django. Morricone's score for H8 is obviously amazing and the Roy Orbison tune from Fastest Guitar is one of my favorite music choices in a Tarantino film.
      I guess I'm not arguing for the script, but I thought almost every other aspect is a high point for QT.

    11. I'll add that almost every comedic beat completely killed for me.

  23. Well I know its been forever since I've posted on the boards here, but I figure I would get in my top ten for the year while it was still at least semi relevant

    Top 10 Countdown

    10. The Hateful Eight- Another fun time from QT although kinda like Jackie Brown the pace for this one was a bit too slow for me at times, even though there was a lot of great character moments and great landscape shots. This one fell into middle area Quentin for myself.

    9. Star Wars the Force Awakens- Heres one I thought would be much higher on my list and there's plenty of great moments ("Stop holding my hand!") the plot being a little too similar at times to "A New Hope" and some moments that were a bit too goofy (what Han's smuggling) kept me from putting this higher on my list. That being said it should age well

    8. Creed- Yo this movie did it, with a great new performance from Michael B Jordan (Fantastic Four wasn't your fault) and Stallone being the most vulnerable he's been well ever (Demolition Man aside) this thing kicked my ass and the score is part of my regular workout montage. Get Ryan Coogler directing Stallone again, it brings out his best.

    7. The Martian- It sure was nice to see a space movie that was realistic (well pretty damn close at least) and also is optimistic along with everyone working together to get our Damon home. Its kind of a shame that Ridley's next movie is Prometheus 2: Alien Requiem The Resurrection Beginning or whatever they are calling it now.

    6. Tomorrowland- Well this is my minority pick that's for sure. While for a lot of people this was where Brad Bird broke his streak and I completely disagree. This movie is super imaginative and heaps of fun along with being incredibly well shot. Also had the movie done better does anyone think we would have gotten a refurbishment of It's a Small World?

  24. 5. Krampus- This might be my favorite Christmas movie now (Apologies to Die Hard and Gremlins) while the movie does take place in our time this may as well be an 80's flick that just got discovered. Save for a few scenes from the recent season of Hannibal Krampus is one of the scariest looking monsters I've seen in quite some time.

    4. Freaks of Nature- Yet another 80's movie that barely got any press or screenings (ran for 1 week at like 6 theatres I think) it involves werewolves, vampires, and humans all living together, I don't want to say anymore- just check it out

    3. Mad Max Fury Road- Easily the best action movie of the year. I don't know what else I can say about it- I'm gonna go rewatch it right now.

    2. Sicario- Why does everything bad have to happen in the desert? This movie is just brutally intense with its attempted war on drugs and extremely intense action sequences. My only nitpick would be I'd like to see someone else play the badass lady, you've proven yourself Emily Blunt

    1. Inside Out- The only movie to make me cry this year (nice try Love the Coopers) who would have ever thought a movie with such low stakes in comparison to the Avengers of the world would give me the most high stakes reactions. Pixar if you need to do a Cars movie for every one of these I'm okey dokey with that.