Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weekend Open Thread

Tell me when it's safe to breathe.

Happy weekend! There are actually a handful of great options for movies to see this weekend, and you only had to wait three months and hundreds of millions of dollars to get here. Talk about what you're watching this weekend or anything else that's on your mind!

72 comments:

  1. Between two hellish work weeks, I'm in for a treat tonight. In a couple of hours, I'm hopping in a car and heading for a silent movie festival in a small town an hour's drive from me. Bought tickets to three movies, The Fall of the House of Usher (France 1928), The Hands of Orlac and Seven Footprints to Satan, all with live music (and each with different musicians). Highly excited!

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    1. Wow! What an amazing sounding event! (get it?) I've gotten to see two silent films with live accompaniment before, and both were great experiences; saw Vampyr with a three piece jazz fusion group, and A Crazy Page with drum-only accomp. by William Hooker (which was amazing.) Hope you have a great time!

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    2. That's so cool! I'm doing an assignment at the moment on 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and two adaptations and how the cultural values changed from version to version. I'm doing the French one, and Corman's one for my adaptations. It's such a good story, really enjoying it, and it would be so cool to see Epstein's one in that format.

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    3. Had a great time. The first two movies were excellent, the last one not that much, but it entertained at times. The musicians were all excellent too. As a bonus to Usher, they showed a 13-minute American avant garde short adaptation of the story, also made in 1928. I probably couldn't have made heads or tails of that one if I didn't already know the story beforehand.

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  2. Ok folks, here is a date to save for you. On the 25th of December, "Toni Erdmann" will have it's release in the USA. It's a german comedy-drama about a father, who worries about his daughter and tries to reconnect to her, while she thinks that everything is okay with her life... and maybe it is.
    This movie is not judging - or when, not that much - and even if the plot sounds a bit boring, you need to see it. I am curious about how this will play in the US.

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    1. I just noticed this is playing at my local film festival - I'm of part German heritage myself (several generations back) and have a number of straight-from-Germany friends - I find we have very compatible senses of humour, but I've never seen a German comedy film - interested to see how it translates...

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    2. Maybe the humour is comparable to "The Office", yet way more subtle and not that thick.

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  3. Finally got around to watching Hell or High Water which was great, as was Don't Breathe of course.

    Also randomly came across a movie called An American Hippie in Israel on Amazon while I was searching for something else. I didn't know anything about it but the cover image looked exploitation-ish so I figured, what the hell I'll give it a rent.

    I don't know what the hell to say about this movie. Made in Israel in 1972, it apparently became a cult favorite in Tel Aviv the last several years with midnight showings akin to Rocky Horror (at least according to wikipedia). It was also released on blu-ray here in the U.S. a few years back. Now I'm not typically one to enjoy bad movies ironically and this movie is no exception. It's far from the worst movie I've seen, and I get the impression that the director had was trying to say... something. I'm just not entirely sure what it is.

    It follows a hippie named Mike who fought and Vietnam and subsequently spent a couple years after that roaming around Europe. Inexplicably there are a couple of mimes who show up every now and again who seem to have it in for him, at one point gunning down a large group of other hippies Mike has befriended. The middle of the movie that follows immediately after that scene is an overly long montage of Mike his girlfriend and another couple that survived the mimes preparing for a trip to an island where they can be free. There's a song that plays almost on repeat through the whole thing which pushed me to the brink of insanity. The last bit of the movie is the two couples getting stranded on the island, a family of slow moving sharks, and things spiraling into Lord of the Flies in the last 10 minutes.

    I can't in good conscience recommend this movie to anyone but I almost need someone else here to watch it just so I know it wasn't all just some fever dream I hallucinated.

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    1. Anything Grindhouse Releasing are behind is something I'll watch. This one's been on my watchlist forever. These are the heroes who put Pieces on blu-ray.

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    2. Incredibly random, the repertory theatre in my city is actually playing that as a late night feature. I know it does mean much but I thought it cool.

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  4. I can never look at a turkey baster the same way ever again...

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    1. Essential bastercore: the movie Patrick's picture is reference to, Harsh Times, Movie 43.

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  5. So I'm going to try to catch a couple films at the Atlantic Film Festival - unfortunately I don't see any I remember being discussed here - I've narrowed it down to the following short list and wondering if anyone (especially looking at you, Top Critics) has seen them or heard enough to recommend either way:

    Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
    The Handmaiden (Agassi) (Park Chan-wook)
    Mean Dreams (don't recognize the director, Nathan Morlando, but it stars Bill Paxton)
    Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas starring Kristen Stewart)

    Leaning heavily to the first two for obvious reasons but any tips are welcome! Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an easy way to view the entire lineup or I'd ask people for other recs but if you're board and want to Google it, feel free! :)

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    1. I would also lean toward the first two. I've neither seen nor heard of either, but I'd give just about anything with those names attached to them a chance.

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    2. I'd love to hear if Verhoeven's still got it. If you end up seeing Elle please post your thoughts!

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    3. @Sol...Manchester By The Sea is supposed to be good. I saw The Other Half and really liked it too.

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    4. I thought The Handmaiden was stunning.

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    5. Thanks guys - I was looking at Manchester by the Sea but it's one of the big gala events and I probably won't be able to get into that one - I'm not even a Bottom Critic. :(

      It's not for a few weeks, Matt, but if I manage to get into that one I'll let ya know!

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    6. You get yourself to that gala. Why say "no" when you can say "carry on"?

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    7. How is it that teeny tiny Halifax has a better film festival than the Capital? I guess we're in the shadow of TO and MTL.
      Speaking of Montreal, their main film festival this weekend basically collapsed on itself. Most staff walked out and the number of screens was reduced from 8 to 1, only a couple of days beforehand. I'm not sure if it even happened.

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    8. Yeah, it's a surprisingly decent lineup - I think it got to be a relatively "big" festival because Nova Scotia had a really good Film Tax Credit that attracted a lot of film work and industry folks to the area and made for a thriving little community of film-lovers. Reading about the Montreal Festival is shocking - a couple dozen diehards? I've never gone to a festival screening that wasn't completely packed - like you can't get tickets to anything if you don't buy early. Unfortunately we lost the tax credit recently and the industry has moved on so it will be interested to see if the festival keeps going strong...

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  6. Saw Phantom of the Paradise for the first time, in a theater no less. I listened to Patrick's favorite movies podcast for some insight, and I have to say I can't exactly describe its appeal to me either. All I know is that I've been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since Thursday. Also, I think this might've sent me down a De Palma rabbit hole.

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    1. Watched POTP for the first time this week, too! Between this and Streets of Fire, Patrick has me giving musicals a chance in a way I never have before. Great stuff.

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    2. I feel ya, I've fallen in love with genre stuff in a big way thanks to Patrick and F This Movie. (Feel free to use this as a testimonial, Patrick.)

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  7. I saw The Descent. I really JUMP SCARE GOLLUM!!!

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  8. Reading back on a old Director Essentials:John Carpenter article, from way back in 2013, I saw that Sol posted this:

    "I'd like to discuss movies I watched after reading/hearing about them here, but I'm never sure where it's appropriate. Going back to a long-dead thread seems potentially fruitless and I don't really like just cramming it in an unrelated new thread. Too bad there isn't more of a general discussion area somehow..."

    Was this the spark that birthed the Weekend Open Thread?

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    1. Your questioned spurred me to go look at when these threads were first started, and it looks like interest in them has stayed pretty level since their inception: there are good weeks and bad weeks, but post count usually comes out somewhere between 60 and 100 per thread. Wish we had even more discussion than we usually do, though. I think a lot of commenters won't respond to a post unless they have something especially relevant to say, because none of them want to seem like attention hogs; you guys are too considerate for your own good! This is an open space the site has given us to talk about whatever we want in... we should be taking greater advantage of it! Example: I saw Midnight Run for the first time last night (I'm a douche,) and I thought it was incredible. Even better than the same director's Beverly Hills Cop, with one of the tightest screenplays I've ever heard. I also watched Mick Garris'/Stephen King's Sleepwalkers, and was amazed by how f'in weird it was willing to get. Were-cats? Incest? Early '90s CGI face-morphing? (Also Madchen Amick bath scene!) On an unrelated note, it's pretty awesome that Sol has been a part of the site for as long as he has.

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    2. I got two words for you...shut the fuck up.

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    3. That was a quote btw, should have put it in "quotation" marks haha!

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    4. Haha! I saw the first comment up in the Recent Comments box and before I came in here and thought "I wonder who Chaybee's talking t-... Oohhhhhhh.." I had one of the greatest movie moments of my life watching this. During the scene where they're pulling up to that gas station with all the chickens on it, I said to a friend watching it with me, "Those are some good looking chickens!" Twenty minutes later, they're on a freight train and Grodin accuses DeNiro of being into sex with animals: "Those were some good lookin' chickens back there." Best thing that's happened to me all year. :)

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    5. I also watched Midnight Run for the first time in forever thanks to the heroes at Shout Factory. What a movie! Yes DeNiro is great, but some of the subtle things Grodin does in this movie are sublime and hilarious. Time for a sequel!

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    6. Midnight Run is one of my favourite comedies going way back - an uncle's VHS copy got left at my house when I was like 12 and I showed it to all my friends - at the time I think it was mostly the excessive swearing that did it for me - glad to hear it holds up! I just ordered the new Shout Factory release which is encouragingly out of stock at Amazon.ca at the moment.

      I forgot about that comment but I think you're right, Paul - this WAS my idea. Change the title to "Sol's Weekend Open Thread" or I'll sue!

      E.S.A.D.D. - your comment sent me looking back at old comments - looks like I started in the Fall of 2011 - a few other Golden Oldies that started even before that: J.M Vargas, Luke Ciancio, Joseph Finn and good ole Hollywood Heath Hogan. I also noticed an "Adam" who seemed to comment with a distinct Chicago accent and the grace of a trained ballroom dancer...

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  9. So, finally saw Conjuring 2. What an amazingly, beautifully shot mediocre film.

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    1. That is a perfect assessment of the Conjuring part deux. I also found it funny that the Warrens are portrayed as heroic and noble, when the real Warrens were at best delusional, at worst a couple of scamming con artists.

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    2. Yet, I found this film enjoyable.

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    3. The Warrens are a great on screen couple, duo, and just straight up good guys. I love them. Singing the Elvis song, the whole song, is one of my favorite scenes of the year.

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    4. That was a great scene, though fuck Elvis.

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    5. My 2nd favorite podcast, Blame It On Outer Space, had an episode on the real Warrens. I gathered they were more kooks than con artists...but kooks all the same!

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    6. Wilson's Elvis was pretty tight. I don't think Elvis was the racist he's been historically portrayed as. The infamous "shine my shoes" quote has been debunked and Chuck D has since walked back their Fight The Power lyric, but this is more of an F this Music discussion.

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  10. I caught up with Exit Wounds. Probably the last decent Steven Seagal theatrical release before going into direct-to-video territory.

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    1. This was pre BFF's with Putin?

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    2. I believe so, they didn't become chummy with each other until maybe later in the 2000s.

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  11. Good fun, its nice reading what your all up too

    Last night I watched Nightmares in a Damaged brain, 88 films UK have put out the uncut version on bluray, not a bad looking transfer, this is interesting because it's the film that Savini tried to distance himself from because it was at the high peak of the Video Nasties nonesense, he denied having anything to do with it though there are pictures of him on the set, its understandable because people were worried as some were being prosecuted under the Video recordings act and might actually go to prison, it's also a good film, lots of the high quality practical Savini gore effects, or who ever took the glory and said they did it at the time, maybe everyone was too scared to get into trouble to accept responsibility

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  12. Watched In The Mouth Of Madness last night. Quite good. Carpenter was doing the meta thing too around the same time as New Nightmare, but possibly better. The effects hold up really well for the 90's. A lot of the creatures and makeup were well done.

    Haha, the first time I tried to watch this a few months back, I fell asleep half way, and had some crazy nightmares. More scary than the movie tbh.

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    1. I just recently saw that for the first time too. I really dug it. It's so crazy and unique.

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    2. Oh yeah, I forgot, Mouth of Madness totally ripped of the upside head backwards thing from Xtro!

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  13. I was at a BBQ at my neighbors yesterday and was talking to a couple about movies. They were your average movie goers who go to the movies about 4 times a month and see whatever is the biggest film out. It was a really interesting conversation. They loved every movie they've seen this year, you name a blockbuster, ID4:2, BVS, Suicide Squad, whatever, they loved it. It was actually heartwarming to me as I wish I could experience movie watching that way. I think they represented the majority in which they were happy to go to the movies and pretty much expected to like what they were going to see. I was totally envious of how simple their happiness with cinema was. They don't care who directed, nor how it was shot, nor who scored the film, they just loved sitting together in a theater for 2 hours not having to worry about shit. Pretty amazing.

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    1. I love watching movies or reading books through other peoples eyes. Even if it's things I am not a fan of, even if they just like the surface emotion that they get from it. Or you see something that you had never considered before. Opens the world up a little bit. Or it makes you realise you are happy where you are :).

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    2. I only go to the theater about 6-7 times per year, so it's always an enjoyable experience in itself, apart from the quality of the movie. I tend to pick just the good movies, which only adds to the experience.

      In a conversation with my cousin recently, I mentioned I had watched Eyes Wide Shut the night before. She said "oh, that Tom Cruise and Kidman movie". Turns out she hadn't ever heard of Kubrick...or 2001, or Clockwork Orange.

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    3. @Chaybee Such a great post. That's what it's all about enjoyment...damn anything that detracts from that. You're a cool cat Chaybee.

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    4. Hey, thanks for the kind words, Cullen!

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  14. Couldn't sleep ( it was about 5am) so me and the cat are snuggled on the couch watching Dressed To Kill. I am going to a De Palma double tonight so it seemed like a good choice. Totally loving it- I think I am clicking with De Palma

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    1. I love it! I'm "Greetings" and "Hi Mom" away from having seen all of De Palma's films. He's a genius; my second favorite director. His first film, "Murder a la Mod" is such a statement of "Look at me!" that it was inevitable that he was going to be a name. So good.

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    2. I love how dream like and fluid Dressed to Kill was. I am going to seek out those others you mentioned. Tonight is going to be fun with Blow Out, which I have seen and Body Double, which I haven't seen. I have seen a few people say it before but I De Palma worm hole is in order!!!!

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  15. I started to watch Halloween 5: The Revenge of Micheal Myers. About 10 minutes in I realized that I did not want to see this...not yet. I have only 5,6 and 8 to complete the series. But not today.

    I'm going to watch Mission Impossible 2 instead. This doesn't have every good reviews? But John Woo? From the brief stuff I read, the only complaint about the movie is that there is TOO much action. I say, bring it on! Lights, camera, action!

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    1. If MI:2 is the low point of the series, I'm going to be in for some treats.

      The low point of this movie is the romantic build-up scenes with Miss. Perky. Falling in love in the first 15 minutes felt contrived.

      The Woo touch gave this a very different feel from the first movie (with a pretty simple plot), but was restrained for a John Woo movie. That was until the last 1/2 hour, when it exploded into a chorus of jumping, shooting, spinning fireball of Woo slow motion glory. Cruise was riding that bike like a boss! Complete with a high octane version of the MI theme song.

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    2. I tend to like the whole Halloween series (and like all same human beings I recognize Season of the Witch is a freakin' masterpiece) but I can't stand 5. It bothers me to no end. And looking at the garbage mask in that one is painful.

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    3. The completionist in me says I will watch it eventually. Today, it wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it, but I was just in the mood for something else.
      Unfortunately, I've left the worst for last, as 5,6 and 8 seem to be bad according to popular opinion (and Rob Zombie haters throw his in with the bad too...I disagree).
      3 is my favorite...because it's a masterpiece, and also b/c we have a Fthismovie commentary for it!

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    4. MI:2 is what I consider to be an amnesia movie for me.
      "Hmm MI:2, I can't remember what I don't like about it."
      (Watches MI:2)
      "Oh yeah..."

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    5. Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th were always gimmes for me in terms of immediate appeal inherent to a horror franchise, but i've been a slow adopter of the Halloween franchise. I don't think Michael Myers is all that interesting. But now I like essentially all but the 2 late '90s installments, and especially 3, the Danielle Harris duology, and Rob Zombie's first one. The first half of the first Halloween remake is my favorite piece of American slasher filmmaking ever.

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  16. A question I should have brought up after the story of Neve Campbell and the Scream poster....

    Is having a one-sheet signed by a cast member really a good thing or a bad thing?

    Example - A couple of the original members of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff) do a live comedy show now and they've come to Denver a few times. Every time they're here I look at my MST3K: The Movie one-sheet and think "Maybe I should but....". And then, I don't because - besides the fact that only one of them is in the movie (and do I really ask one to sign it but not the other?) - the poster is like art and you don't want it marked up no matter who.
    Then there's the little mercenary voice in the back of my head saying that maybe someday I'll HAVE to sell it and a signature would make it more valuable....

    Thoughts?

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    1. You're going to keep it forever, so don't get it signed. Personally, I'd be more excited about a short chat than a signature.

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    2. Actually, first time they were here they invited me over to have lunch with them. Wonderful guys.

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  17. I finally finished "Stranger Things" yesterday - I liked it quite a bit - David Harbour's Chief Hopper is the lovechild of Tom Atkins and Han Solo - a hot 80s coupling if there ever was one and I'm not even gay!

    On a slightly related note, I also happened to read Film Crit Hulk's review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens which he just wrote a couple months ago and wow does it articulate some of the niggling doubts I had about the movie (ignorable at first but they grew on a subsequent rewatch) - I'd really recommend people read it because as always from FCH it's a great lesson about good storytelling and it also makes a strong (I daresay airtight) argument for why SW:TFA is really not that great of a movie because all it's really about is our love for Star Wars. "Stranger Things" is better than that for sure but it certainly is a lot about pushing those nostalgia buttons.

    Totally related - after I finished "Stranger Things" I watched The Resurrection of Jake the Snake - highly recommended and you really don't even have to be a wrestling fan to get something from it. Just a human. Or maybe a snake.

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  18. A message to all the Horror fans, Don't Breathe hits the number 1 spot this weekend, I am so happy the fans and non fans came out for this so we can get more like this, being a real Horror fan and seeing a Horror film hitting the 1 spot genuinely swells my heart, damn I'm so happy with this result, time to celebrate

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