Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weekend Open Thread

It's been a weird week.

First of all, thanks to everyone who showed support as we dealt with some strange new challenges at the site this week. We're not sure if it's completely taken care of yet or what, but we're working on it and your kind words and sympathetic rage meant a lot.

We're just a week away from #fthismoviefest! Hopefully you're all set to go and you're getting excited whether you're joining us for one movie or all five. If you're not already following @fthismovie on Twitter, make sure you do so this week so you can get updates.

It also means we're celebrating 1984 Week all this coming week on the site. Be sure to check out all the cool pieces that look back on what was a really great, really fun year for movies.

Meeting adjourned! Now it's your turn!

33 comments:

  1. Starting off my weekend with a couple 1984 movies. Watching Top Secret! right now and then following that up with The Company of Wolves which I haven't seen before.

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  2. I didn't think I could be more excited for #FThisMovieFest but JB's squeee on the latest podcast did it for me. Also, got all three movies I didn't own in the mail this week, so my body is ready.

    On another note, it pains me to say this, but I don't think I'm a Tarantino fan anymore. Pulp Fiction is still one of the best movies ever made, but I've enjoyed each of his latest movies less than the last (specifically the three latest). They just seem overlong and self-indulgent to me, and I always check out at some point.

    I'm sure I'll come back to them at some point, and meanwhile I can still enjoy all the great movies he did earlier.

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    1. Interesting you say that, Mikko because I think I'm the reverse when it comes to Tarantino. I've always admired his stuff, but his last three have especially clicked for me. I think I invest more in his "period pieces" for some reason. I dunno, they seem weightier for me - perhaps in both a good and a bad way, but it really works for me. I happily indulge in his self-indulgence.

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  3. Well, I finally saw Spectre (it's now available on streaming media). I had avoided the reviews, but had a general sense that people were not liking this one. For the first half of the movie, I was thinking, "What are people talking about? This is actually pretty good!" Then the rest of the movie happened, and I thought, "Oh, THIS is what they're talking about." Bummer. That last act is one of the most disjointed messes I've ever seen in a Bond film (yes, that even beats most of Never Say Never Again). I would strongly recommend those who have seen the film jet over to The Editing Room and read the abridged script - it's spot on.

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  4. I saw HAIL, CAESAR! last night and really enjoyed myself. It's not a great movie by any means, but it's funny and entertaining. It was worth the $6.50 I paid just to see Ralph Fiennes correct grammar and Channing Tatum tapdance.

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    1. I probably liked it a little less than you. It had some really great scenes, but didn't really add up to much. I'm definitely disappointed.

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    2. I didn't have my hopes up much since the kernel of it has been around for 10+ years and they put it out in February. It's definitely 11th out of the 11 Coen films I've seen. Bummer you didn't enjoy it much!

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    3. Normally I would run to see the new Coen Brothers movie, but for some reason with this one I feel okay with power walking to it.

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    4. It was kind of all over the place, but I really enjoyed most of the places it went to.

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    5. I agree that it never really coheres into anything. Scarlett Johansson's subplot in particular could have been left out entirely without changing the story at all. Some good performances and some funny moments though.

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    6. Yeah I agree with Ross, I know the Coens wanted to make an old school emsemble, but it didn't feel like any of the plots had any kind of forward momentum. I thought almost all of the performances were great and unique, and I liked most of the gags (Fiennes trying to teach the cowboy his lines was fantastic), but I didn't feel like it lead to anything greater. It's what I call a "YouTube movie", something where you could get just as much out of watching the scene cut up on YouTube as you would seeing it in the film. This term is usually solely used in modern comedies, but I think it works here too.

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    7. I have to disagree. I think the movie almost had too much to say about too many things. Some of the plot points were useless, yes, but as a whole I think it was a great (and funny) commentary on the history of the Hollywood filmmaking process.

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    8. I liked it. I think it helps that what I've seen recently has been bad so Hail Caesar was even better by comparison.

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    9. Maybe I'm the crazy one, but I really really liked it. I keep hearing it called 'silly' and 'lightweight' but I found it really profound, dealing with faith in a way that reminded me of A Serious Man. I liked the overriding theme of 'Who do we serve?' and that it came up with a number of different answers.

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    10. It's certainly worth watching, and I don't even feel the need to qualify that by pointing out all the crap that's currently out right now. Even against better competition it would be worth checking out. From a narrative perspective though, it almost felt more like an anthology with Josh Brolin's character as the framing device in that he is the only thing that really unites all the storylines together.

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    11. I was certainly a little bit worried after seeing the trailer for Hail, Caesar! I tend to enjoy the drama of the Coen's over the comedy, even though they do mix comedy into their dramas, but I don't really care for Burn After Reading too much and that's what I was mainly worried about going into this one. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was fantastic all around. There is so much to enjoy and love in this movie. It's more than just Clooney looking like a dope and Brolin playing the straight man. There's a lot going on with these supporting characters, this movie is packed with cameos, but instead of being distracting, each has character actor has their own distinct 'thing' going on. I also, thought there was a ton of homage being paid to old Hollywood. It's funny to look back at a lot of the movies that were being made within the movie and thinking about how many of these movies were being produced back then and almost none of which are produced today. I loved it's take on the studio system and how it worked back then especially. It's funny that this film comes out only a few months after Trumbo with both films covering the communists/blacklist storyline, but of course in completely different ways. I love that the Coen Brothers continue to make the hero out of the least likely character, they tend to bring out the best in the unknown actors.

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  5. Watched Groundhog Day on Tuesday and cried when Phil and Rita were dancing in the gazebo.

    Saw Room on Sunday and really liked it, though I think all of it's strengths come from the source material rather than particularly brilliant execution.

    Gonna see Hail, Caesar! soon and I really hope it's great. I connect more to the Coen bros. comedies than the dramas (even though I love them all) so I'm fully expecting to have a great time with it.

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    1. I love that scene so much. I badly wanna marry Phil Connors.

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  6. After reading Gabby and Albert's conversation I watched Christine for the first time. Really enjoyed it. The director's commentary was pretty fascinating in the sense that Carpenter didn't talk shit but made it fairly obvious that he didn't have a hand in developing the script and had some questions about a few things. I thought it really only had a couple issues, otherwise great fun. The sfx involving the car are already favorites and the last line was truly great.
    I'm traveling to Denver on Friday to see a weekend of Ween concerts with old friends. I've been looking forward to it for a long time. It's unfortunately going to make my participation in the fest very challenging. We'LLC see how it goes. #conflicted

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    1. That is awesome that you enjoyed it, sir!

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  7. Has probably been said once too many times but thank you for recommending turbo kid finally got around to seeing it last night...speechless in the best way

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  8. I have heard articles get stolen on the "Net" but that was a new one on me, I'm glad you seem to have got it quickly sorted. There was a blip in the Matrix that day, the cat was seen twice, Deja vu for sure :(

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  9. I have a hankering to check out the movie Jules and Jim, which I've never seen. It seems to have a pretty good reputation and I've read that it's pretty well paced and fun. Can anyone vouch for this?

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    1. I can vouch, If you like Truffaut than you will like Jules et Jim. It's a technical masterpiece that shows the best of what he and Godard were doing at the time.

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    2. Nice! I am a fan, and my understanding is that this movie has a great energy to it. I think I will enjoy it.

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  10. I know we've kind of talked about this movie already but anyway...been watching Eagle Vs Shark nightly. I Didnt like it SO much at first but its becoming one of my favorite-favorites. My fav work from Clement (and Waititi). Also I love Lily loving Jarod. She's not trying to change him or inspire him to be "better", which I find unusual. And the Maori/Samoan/mixed-race people and couples and NZ scenery remind me of people and places where I'm from in Hawaii. For the first time while I was watching this movie it hit me that it feels really good to see your ethnicities or people who look like you onscreen. It feels great to see really mixed families like we have in HI. An ex of mine who is Japanese-Korean once told me he didn't really like watching movies because there weren't really characters who looked like him. I brushed that off like maybe he was just arguing with me. I'm half white and usually identify as Caucasian, so I...took it for granted that I can always identify with movie women and I always feel represented, like at least I'm meant to relate, I'm a target demographic. Whereas, where are all the hot, rugged Asian men who are American? Anyway, it's just interesting to me. I realize I've been privileged and how discounted some people must feel watching movies sometimes. And Eagle Vs Shark feels like home on so many levels.

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  11. Finally sat down and watched 1987's "Near Dark" and boy did I like it. Adrian Pasdar put in a strong performance as the lead character struggling to hold onto his humanity while tempted by the darker impulses around him(and within) Kathryn Bigelow directed the shit out of this movie too. Loved Lance Henriksens Jesse as the lead baddie, and of course Bill Paxton's turn as the charismatic Severen can't be ignored. Didn't know who Jenny Wright was before watching this movie. What can I say? She's a fox! Like a lot of suggestions from the F This Movie gang I didn't hear about this flick till I heard it on one of the podcasts. Glad I spent the hour and a half watching such a good movie.

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    1. For a while as a kid I couldn't escape this movie (not that I wanted to) since it got regular play on TV. It was the kind of movie in my family where if somebody was flipping through the channels and came across it, it was staying on for the remained of the movie. Been meaning to rewatch it sometime soon since it's been quite a while. Maybe I'll do a double feature with Silver Bullet (another 80's horror movie I saw a surprising number of times as a kid, which I love but is nowhere near as good as Near Dark).

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    2. Totally understand why it was a staple with you growing up Ross. It's a great throwback to 80's Horror for sure.

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  12. Watched a Rian Johnson double feature of Brick and Looper. First impression of Brick was that it's an OK but problematic first outing that is a stylized mash-up of high school, detective, fantasy, and indie genres. It didn't resonate with me on first viewing but I will watch twice more with subtitles and commentary before making conclusions. The sound mix and some of the acting was noticeably bad, but it deserves some slack as a $500k debut.

    Alternatively, Looper continues to be awesome, and I would love to hear a podcast on it. Some reviews and comments criticize the change of pace mid-way through, and would prefer an extended version of the first half. I think the contrast underscores the primary theme. My only quibble with the movie is that JGL's makeup is inconsistent and distracting at times.

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  13. Watched a bunch of movies this weekend.

    Starting with the most disappointing I first saw Terry Gilliam´s The Zero Theorem, which I found very annoying, That was definitely not my cup of tea.

    Next one was the equally disappointing Last Knights starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. A typical paycheck movie for both. Lots of slow motion, making the movie nearly two hours long and a real borefest.

    Next one was Alpha dog from 2006. Interesting movie with a great cast and Sharon Stone in a fat suit - something you have to see to believe.

    Then I had the great pleasure to finally watch The Drop with Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini. Seems like you can´t do wrong with something based on a Dennis Lehane story or novel. The fourth adaption after Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River and all of them are great.

    Then another disappointment with Black Sea. Fine cast with Law, Mendelsohn und McNairy but a whole bunch of asshole characters doing idiotic things and lots of screaming while searching for Nazi Gold using a russian submarine.

    Next was "Burning Plain" fom 2008 with Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger and a fine turn by young Jennifer Lawrence. It was a little prententious but ok.

    Then I watched Life of crime, based on a Elmore Leonard novel. It had a TV feel but was well paced and had a good cast, expecially the always good John Hawkes.

    The last one was the best. I had great fun watching the always wonderful Stellan Skarsgard killing lots of bad guys in the norwegian thriller In Order of Disappearance. Great film and tons of fun if you like the very dry scandinavian humor. I had a blast and I can highly recommend this one.

    So I had a fairly mixed movie weekend but both The Drop and In Order of Disappearance were absolutely delightful and worth every minute.

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  14. Stepped outside of my "bleh, not more zombies" box and checked out Maggie. Pleasant surprise, since what I'd heard was middling or negative. Maybe it just worked for me because it's not the typical zombie film--the word I kept thinking of was 'somber', which I saw a lot in the reviews I reread after. A recommend, but I think you have to be in a certain kind of mood for it.

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  15. I just saw Guy Ritchie is launching a new multi-film franchise with Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, with Charlie Hunnam as the lead. Presumably it's gonna be edgy and cool.

    I'm having trouble trying to think of an upcoming movie I'm looking forward to less.

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