Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekend Open Thread

The power of Truck compels you.

Hey, everyone! Happy weekend. Have you seen anything good lately?

80 comments:

  1. Just finished "The Wicker Man" (2006). It was on HBO and the situation arose where I just let the movie wash over me. I had such a good time. I don't think it was ironically but more of an embrace of the insanity. Not much of a point to this post (like most of mine) but to say this bananas movie has a place in the cable universe. What universe Cage is in I can't say but it's an interesting trip through Narnia. Thinking tomorrow I may grab my bike, ride around with some Nicholas Cage zest and see how long it takes to get arrested! Watch movies and prosper!

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  2. Slow week at the theater so nothing too exciting here. I did pick up a DVD of the 1987 movie Graveyard Shift (aka Central Park Drifter, not the Stephen King movie). About the kindest thing I can say about the movie is that the lead actor looks like he could be a vampire, except for when they need to make him look more like a vampire which looks like it involves hitting him in the face with an open sack of flour.

    He's a vampire who is also a Taxi Driver, and his m.o. appears to be picking up women who are either suicidal or have terminal illnesses, feeding off of them and turning them into vampires, and then ditching them and getting slightly annoyed when they kill other people. Given that he's supposed to be 350 years old, I'm not sure why he's surprised that creating an army of unsupervised vampires results in a homicidal crime wave, but he only seems marginally concerned by it since he's distracted by falling in love with some guy's terminally ill wife.

    The movie is a mess of bad acting, bad writing, and bad effects. I'm only slightly tempted to watch it again.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoApril 2, 2016 at 5:17 AM

      Graveyard Shift. That's a movie I don't hear spoken of very often. That was a Cinemax watch for me when I was in middle school. I didn't even know it was available on dvd. If you're tempted, seek out the sequel in title only, The Understudy: Graveyard Shift II. Same lead actor, different character. One of the actresses in the film was part of the alien trinity in the first season of the War of the Worlds tv series that ran for two seasons, beginning in 1987.

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    2. For a lot of the DVD releases the movie is titled Central Park Drifter which I can only assume was to avoid confusion with the 1990 Stephen King movie. Doesn't look like the sequel was ever released on anything other than VHS.

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  3. Anyone else see Enemy? Anyone like it? I liked it but wasn't crazy about the end.

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    1. Enemy is great. The ending is jarring the first time but once you get around to what it's "saying," it's pretty fascinating.

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    2. Mm...yea, you're right. The writing on it is really interesting.

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    3. Enemy is legit. I loved that film. Villeneuve is one of the most interesting filmmakers working.

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    4. I can't stop thinking about this movie now. It's creepy crawling around in my brain!

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    5. That was me for a week after seeing it! Get ready :)

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    6. Enemy was not my cup of tea. The first two thirds is compelling, then the last thirty minutes of the movie happen(including the ending) and I was kicking myself for spending the buck fifty at redbox.

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    7. That was my initial impression, too. Then thanks to this discussion I read the analysis on it and have the opposite opinion now. It feels like...a treasure hunt of clues throughout the movie!

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  4. Finders Keepers (2015), which is now running on Netflix. Not going to spoil the story, but if you liked King Of Kong, this is the kind of little documentary that scratches that same itch. What at first is just an odd story gets a good deal deeper and it's really worth checking out.

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    1. Finders Keepers was my first film of 2016! New Years Day. I really liked it too.

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  5. I've been taking the opportunity to revisit Battle Royale this afternoon. What disturbing, bloody greatness it is. The commentary on the adolescent experience and the emotional hardships faced therein is so spot-on and effective.

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  6. Saw BvS. I don't know what everyone is complaining about. It was absolutely hilarious.

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    1. I only laughed when people said words.

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  7. Well, I finally saw The Force Awakens (I know, I know - it's very hard for me to get to a theatre these days). I really enjoyed it, but there are some nagging nitpicks that I can't shake. By the movie's reckoning, the Starkiller takes its power from the sun. Meaning, that same sun that provides the Starkiller planet with light and heat. It's charged twice over the course of the movie, and those 2 charges completely drained the sun. So...does that mean the weapon could be fired twice and that's it? It's not like they can just move the planet to a new system, right? Right? Is this totally not what I should be obsessing about right now?

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    1. Finally saw it too last night. Not bad. Liked it so much I don't even know what the hell the Starkiller is. Was that the huge Death Star?

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  8. Last night I watched Red Rock West from 1993. It's a kind of western noir starring Nicholas Cage and Dennis Hopper. Very much along the lines of Blood Simple. Cage plays a guy who gets mistaken for a hit man and has to murder someones wife. Then of course things get complicated. Dennis Hopper pretty much reprises his role from Blue Velvet. The movie's great, I would highly recommend it.

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    1. John Dahl. The slept on master.

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    2. I saw this too recently. Made me miss J.T. Walsh. He was excellent in this as always.

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    3. Oh and Gene Siskel had Red Rock West on his top ten of that year, also RIP.

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  9. The Running Man returned to Netflix this month so I rewatched it for the first time in a while last night. So far this year I appear to be averaging one movie co-starring Yaphet Kotto a month.

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  10. My Don Hertzfeldt blu-ray arrived today! It looks great and is super limited edition so if you like his films at all you should pick it up ASAP.

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  11. "The Girl in the Photographs" is unfortunately awful and ugly with characters that you hate from the moment they speak or who are so one-note you have no feeling towards them whatsoever, including the lead protagonist.

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    1. My biggest disappointment with the movie (besides being Wes Craven's final credit) is the photography. It really looked like bad digital video, but it was shot by Dean Cundey. I don't get it.

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    2. It's really ugly all around. I'm also not sure what it's trying to say and I don't think it does either.

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    3. Some of the dialogue really made me cringe, "Maybe I'm obsolete, maybe I'm the PC and there the Mac". Wow that is special

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    4. I also noticed it did not look as good as I expected it should, I liked the angles and lots of the camera positions used but it did not look great, I felt it was not lit particularly well, I was hoping for a thing of beauty to watch, Ghaybee was right, it does feel kinda ugly

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    5. Chaybee, Damn, Sorry....

      We need an edit function, ok I admit it, maybe not we, I need and edit function...

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    6. Ghaybee is his alter ego. He watches very well-known romantic comedies.

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  12. After the "why?!" "Devil's Knot" low, Atom Egoyan made a good come back with "The Captive" (which I really liked more than most) and has stepped it up even more with his latest, "Remember". It's a well orchestrated Thriller and I really dug it especially being an Egoyan fan and champion.

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  13. 81% box office drop off for the second weekend of Batman v Superman.

    Bet you won't see THAT in the ads....

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    1. That's heartening to me. It makes the studio think the audience is saying "we don't like this and deserve different (better)"

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    2. Mark Kermode has said for years "Just because a lot of people have gone to see the movie doesn't mean they all enjoyed it" and it certainly doesn't means its any good, I would much rather the studio make 15 films with the money Hell even 30 and we get more choice, variety, but the film made lots of money opening weekend, the studio is happy, hang on I went to see it opening weekend, maybe im the problem...

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    3. The U.S. box office drop for the second weekend is from $166,007,347 (1st Fri-Sun) to $52,385,000 (estimated 2nd Fri-Sun), which is a 68.44% drop. According to BoxOfficeMojo, that drop percentage is just outside of the top 100 biggest 2nd weekend U.S. drops for wide releases since 1982. However, consistent with the other movies on that top 100 list, the movie's final U.S. box office total will probably be at least double opening weekend dollars (>$332 million). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) had a 72% U.S. drop off from a $169.2 million 1st weekend to a $47.4 million 2nd weekend, and went on to total about $381 million in the U.S. Three of the last four Twilight movies had 69-70% 2nd weekend U.S. drop offs, and all three at least doubled their 1st weekend box office for total U.S. box office.

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    4. Wow, someone is anonymously very excited about defending BvS's box office numbers. BvS performed mostly as expected, which I think goes to show how critic-proof Batman really is, and how stellar WB's marketing was. It's still pefformed well enough to be the #3 grosser this year so far (interestingly, #4 is something called The Mermaid, I always love to see what movies are actually big in Asia.) BvS is on pace to barely cover the studio's investment, and should rake in right around a billion. I think the studio was expecting it to make something comparable to Furious 7 (Fast 7? What's that movie called?), somewhere around $1.5B. It's fascinating really, that a movie can make a billion dollars and that barely covers the investment. I wonder what's going to be the breaking point?

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    5. The Mermaid is Stephen Chow's (Kung-Fu Hustle) latest film. It not only smashed opening day records but it is now the highest grossing Chinese film of all time.

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    6. i find this very interesting, I have heard lots of times that for a movie to make money back it needs to make 3 to 4 times the money it cost to make it, I always thought I was good at maths but I don't get it, advertising and the cinemas get some but it don't add up, I think someone somewhere is getting away with truck loads of money...

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    7. It's ridiculous that BVS had a $250 Million dollar budget in the first place. The Force Awakens was 200 Million (still, too much). Looper was 30 mil and Ex Machina was 15 Million for comparison of films that I feel look just as good, if not better.

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    8. So how I understand it, the box office gets distributed between the studio, theaters and distributors. BvS had a budget of $250M, and marketing costs of another $150M (even right now, I'm drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper with a BvS logo on it). And that doesn't include cost of distribution. I'm not sure how it all works, but it's astronomical to think about. I mean, you could make 4 really solid action movies for that kind of money. I'd much rather have 4 more John Wicks, than 1 more BvS, or even Star Wars for that matter. But I guess that's part of getting old, less movies are being made for you. Makes me sad :-/

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    9. Yep here too. All movie fans want is more movies, the film world is mainly ruled by money people, not artists, give the guys with the film degrees the choices not the accountants

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    10. Brian, same Anonymous here. There was no “excitement” or “defense” of anything in what I posted. The first sentence is merely a factual correction. The second sentence is a fact which puts the Batman v Superman box office in a negative light. Everything which follows that was a reasonable prediction of what the total U.S. box office gross for Batman v Superman would be, based upon what occurred with the few additional movies I mentioned. The past few weeks have largely borne out my prediction (I predicted >$332 million U.S. total gross; gross through May 3 stands at just under $325.8 million). No disrespect to anyone. There was no “fanboy” enthusiasm. No irrational hype. And though I preferred to comment anonymously (as is an option), I’m not shilling for this movie, DC, Warner Bros., or anyone. I know you didn’t use those words. That’s just me clearing some air. I saw the movie on March 25 like plenty of ordinary moviegoers. I thought the movie was marginally decent, though I had significant problems with it. The only reason I submitted my original comment was that I had a different perspective than Kathy on the box office for the movie, and how Warner Bros. should/may feel about it.

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  14. I have to say watching The Guest (2014) was a pleasant surprise. Simple action well shot in these muddled lazy hand-held camera days.

    Another one coming out of left field: Pee wee's big holiday (2016). Very entertaining Netflix production. They put Pee-Wee through an exagerated version of the road movie cliches and heroe´s path. Herman is very talented, and that Manganiello guy tags along more than fine.

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    1. The Guest is unbelievable, probably my #1 favorite movie of the last few years.

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    2. It gets better every time you see it.

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    3. Yes, I watched it again yesterday. The violence is beautiful and it has no fat, every minute counts.
      Little scenes like him negotiating with the school's principal about the little kid being expelled are awesome.
      Cool soundtrack too.

      Maybe, big emphasis on the maybe, the whole 3rd act with the halloween maze is not as good as the rest. But you can see a lot of passion and thought put into it.

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  15. I'm going to New Orleans this coming weekend for 5 days - any movire-related must-dos anyone can recommend?

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    1. Just got back myself and can't think of anything particularly movie related. Nicolas Cage's future grave is in St. Louis Cemetery #1 in the French Quarter, but considering it's currently empty, there's no real reason to actually pay the 20 dollar entry fee to go there. Other than that, just walk around the French Quarter, eat beignets and cajun food, and laissez les bons temps rouler. Have fun!

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    2. If you have mother issues and some free-wheeling companions, you could attempt to replicate those scenes from Easy Rider? Just kidding, I've never been so no help here. Have fun!

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    3. Thanks guys - no real mother issues (other than not being sure she really loves me and deep down wanting to have sex with her - you know, the usuals) so I'll probably skip that.

      And Heath, still 4 days to go - you never know...(fingers crossed!).

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  16. Has anyone seen Yellow fever the rise and fall of the giallo?

    its on the new Synapse Tenebrae bluray, I really really want to see the doc but since I own Tenebrae on VHS, on DVD and also on Arrow bluray I don't want to buy it again but I feel I have no choice......

    I have not seen any other options for seeing the doc on VOD anywhere?

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    1. I saw it! It's really good -- comparable to the cannibal doc on Ferox and the 42nd St. doc on Pieces (all made by the same person). If I can find some way to hook you up with a copy of the doc I will.

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    2. Thank you, That would be great, I cant keep quadruple owning movies, I only have so much room and money, its getting silly....

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  17. This story is insane!!! http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/556/same-bed-different-dreams

    Kim Jong-Il loved movies – but hated all the movies made in North Korea. So he kidnapped a famous South Korean director and his ex-wife, a South Korean film star, locked them up in a villa in North Korea, and forced them to make movies for him. Nancy Updike tells the story.

    Maybe if I was going to kidnap people and make them make movies together again it would be...Tom cruise and Nicole Kidman? Hmm...

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    1. And how funny that Kim Jong-Il had so much fun producing great movies that he forgot to censor them and preserve his own propaganda messages! Hello!

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    2. I can't wait to listen and get an in depth account of this bonkers story. Thanks.

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    3. They should make a movie about it (I think there's already a documentary). It's story #2 on the podcast :)

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  18. Sunday night realization: Night Of The Living Dead is a pretty faithful remake of The Birds. Discuss.

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    1. I've never seen The Birds but both are in black and white. I don't have any reason for this but I'm going to agree with you. Sunday night realizations are seldom, if ever, wrong.

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    2. Haha! The Birds is actually in color, but I still think you're right on the money:-)

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    3. That's how much I know about The Birds.

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  19. I saw Southbound and it was terrific. We are in a golden age of horror anthologies and I am happy to be alive...for now...

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    1. I loved it too. Loved that it was legit and not all "jokey" like most anthologies are resorting to now. Top ten of the year so far. The Witch is still number 1 and holding strong.

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    2. I might go with 10 Cloverfield Lane. I just watched Baskin and I thought it had a lot of promise but didn't quite hit the mark. I'd like to see what Turkey has next for horror.

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    3. Yeah, I wrote about Baskin last week, wasn't impressed. Haven't seen 10CL yet but looking forward to it.

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    4. Did you ever see Deranged (1974)? It's got the old guy with the shovel from Home Alone doing some pretty, naughty things.

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    5. Ha! Hell yeah. That's the Bob Clark joint.

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  20. I'm about to watch Flesh Gordon (1974). Should I take my pants off now or wait for them to slide off naturally?

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    1. Surprise! Your pants are already off!

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  21. Watching "Pandemic" which beats "Hardcore Henry" for POV style Horror (although "Hotel Inferno" was the first but have yet to see it). Hate it. It's making me nauseous.

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    1. There's a head bash scene that rivals "Irreversible" but who cares? This movie was really annoying.

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    2. And they probably didn't have any spaceships shaped like a penis, either.

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  22. In light of the Terrence Malick screenings I've missed at my local repertory theater, I watched Badlands. I had no idea that my beloved True Romance borrowed so much from it. Sometimes I wish there was a giant movie map that can point me to other movies that pay homage, but then I realize that I could have easily found that stuff out by looking at Wikipedia or, heck, reading Patrick's post on True Romance.

    Anyway, any chance of Patrick doing a director's essential for Malick?

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  23. Finished off my weekend by watching The Evil (1978). Pretty bad movie for the most part, but it's another one of those movies I saw on cable as a kid that I felt the need to rewatch because I vaguely remembered one or two scenes from it.

    Going to be watching Hardcore Henry in a couple days and curious to see if it actually holds together for an hour and a half or if the trailer was all I really needed to see of it.

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  24. I know the weekend is over, but I just wanted to chime in here to thank Patrick for recommending JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO. Such a charming and uplifting comedy.

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