Saturday, April 1, 2017

Weekend Open Thread

Oh, hey everyone.

The week has come to an end, and I just want to give a big THANK YOU for all of the birthday greetings and well wishes around the site for the last five days. Erika was very sweet to take over and all of our contributors who wrote such sweet, heartfelt, funny and thoughtful pieces are the best. Thank you all. Thanks to everyone in the comments and on social media who gave a birthday shoutout, and even more than that thank you to everyone who helps contribute to the sense of communal family we have around here all year long. The spirit that you all foster is what makes something like the good vibes we (I) were all feeling this past week possible. Everyone is the best. Especially K-Stew.

Back to the weekend open thread! Please feel free to talk about anything you want. New wide releases may be wanting this weekend -- between myself, Adam Riske and Mark Ahn, we can all tell you that you're fine skipping both Ghost in the Shell and The Boss Baby -- but The Blackcoat's Daughter is finally available on VOD and very deserving of your attention. Also out on VOD now is a little movie called Here Alone that I saw at last year's BCHFF and remember thinking was very interesting if not quite great, but it's a movie I would recommend if you're looking for a different take on a familiar subgenre of horror.

Thanks again, everyone. You have all made me feel like we're doing something special here.

44 comments:

  1. It's been a fun week
    So back to movies this week I got my preorder from Amazon of all 4 House films on bluray! In one amazing boxset from Arrow, it's gotta be the second best bluray release of the year after Xtro being first, I never thought it would happen, Well done Arrow, brilliant job

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    1. Nice! Don't remember much of the original except that it had Norm and I liked it. With your recommendation it's a done deal.

      Amazon pre-ordered Wishmaster only wanting the original and thinking it would surely drop in price. Well, forgot I ordered it and no price drop. I'll make it up next night out with "hot dogs and NO ballgame".

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    2. I hope you enjoy it, I love this series, its so much fun

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  2. I didn't mind Ghost in the Shell, but I have no history with the preceding versions. I liked it more than Lucy, by comparison. Listening to discussions of the 1995 anime movie helped me to better understand the current release.

    Not sure if anyone here has seen Personal Shopper -- early revenue is pretty low -- but it's a tension-filled story with good performances. Kristen Stewart is pretty remarkable giving realistic and relatable reactions, facial expressions, and line deliveries. The movie's central mystery became fairly straightforward upon second viewing.

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  3. I forgot what the Kristen Stewart stuff is all about. Anyone want to fill me in? Twilight = New Universal Monsters? Please don't ban be PB.

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  4. Haven't had time to watch much this week, mainly because the Finnish hockey league playoffs started. I did see Rings though. It was bad.

    But I did buy tickets to two upcoming genre festivals. Next weekend is a small local festival called Cinemadrome, and I'm seeing Dark Angel (aka I Come in Peace) and Gamera: Super Monster there. And two weeks after that, there's Night Visions in Helsinki, a genre festival that's been going on twice a year for 20 years. Bought tickets to five movies: Dead & Buried (in 35mm with the director attending), Cold Hell (from Germany), The Eyes of My Mother, Meatball Machine Kodoku (Japan) and Hypersomnia (Argentina).

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    1. The NHL playoffs will soon be cutting into my movie time too.

      Also noticed that Goon: Last of the Enforcers is quickly bring dropped n theaters. Gotta get to that this week. Hopefully it gets a US release too.

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  5. Finally got Trainspotting 2 at my theater (I feel weird calling it T2: Trainspotting) and I really enjoyed it. Not so much as a narrative as the plot is largely just an excuse to get the characters in the same place, but on an emotional level of revisiting them two decades later.

    I'm also in the middle of watching Be Here Now which is a documentary about Spartacus star Andy Whitfield's battle with cancer. It's very emotionally hard to get through knowing the outcome but I feel like it's something I need to watch.

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  6. I had a busy week, but it's not too late to say happy birthday Patrick!

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    1. Also Patrick, listening to The Expendables 2 podcast I was happy to hear Mark and you praise Goon (2011). I completely agree that it approaches the traditional sports movie from a different angle. You'd notice that the movie ends with the "final" game not quite having ended, yet it's not a cliffhanger ending. Everything is resolved among the characters and their trajectories, irrespective of the outcome of the game.
      It's about players mashing each others faces, in a sweet hearted way.
      Fun Fact: The just released sequel is Jay Baruchel's directing debute.

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    2. Goon (2011) was quite good. I just hope that in the years to come, people don't "Slapshot" it and completely miss the point and think it's about how cool fighting in hockey is. It's about the relationships between the guys in the locker room. Hope to catch Last of the Enforcers at some point.

      Go Habs Go!

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  7. I'll echo that everyone should watch The Blackcoat's Daughter. Turn the sound up, put your phone down and really take it in. I can't imagine anything topping it for my favorite movie of the year.

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    1. I only just realised that 'Blackcoat's Daughter' is also called February. Which is great, which means I finally found it and I can watch it on VOD!

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    2. Yep! Can't wait to hear your thoughts. I got the French Blu Ray under that title cause it's what Oz Perkins intended (and it's a much better title).

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    3. I saw it as 'February' at Fantastic Fest in 2015 and was pleasantly surprised. Its always amazing to me how long it can take a fully completed film, shown at festival, to arrive at its commercial release. I dont think either the name 'February' or 'The Blackcoats Daughter' serve it well from a marketing standpoint at all.

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    4. Neither name is good but I don't know what the hell you would call it. It's better than I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In This House Where I'm Going To Get A Sandwich.

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    5. Haha! I actually think "February" is great, especially for the genre. It's ambiguous and tells you absolutely nothing. I dig that.

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  8. Thanks for the heads up on Here Alone, watching tonight. Watched "The Edge of Seventeen" last night and although it's pretty much a run of the mill coming of age flick I really liked it. Perhaps this is because I like that sub-genre for whatever reason but Hailee Steinfeld is really good in it as well.

    Also saw "The Bye Bye Man" and it's a mess. The first 20-30 minutes were pretty strong but I'm not sure what the director was going for here and what statement she was making. Also, unless I missed something, the origin of the Bye Bye Man is never explained. I actually liked that about it because most of the time a movie like this will spend it's whole third act figuring that out and usually it's disappointing as to how and what they discover. Carrie Anne Moss shows up in the last act and does absolutely nothing. I kind of enjoyed parts of it, I guess?, but as a movie it's a disaster.

    I also watched a documentary about Morris Day and The Time called "The Original 7ven (ugh) Story" I loved it but I'm also a big fan of The Time and more specifically Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis so it was great to learn about the history of the group and see all of the band members talking about it. There is a 2 1/2 hour lecture recorded last year from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis that I'm going to try and tackle this weekend as well.

    Lastly, I third watching "Blackcoat's Daughter". Being that I saw it last year and being a pretentious ass I put it on my top ten last year (it was my third favorite film). I have seen it 5 times since. It's a mesmerizing experience each time.

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  9. Just chilling out having a triple feature first was Kong I liked it a lot more then I thought I would. Next up Power Rangers, which I wanna get off my chest I'm tired of people around my age (31) going around saying "Oh we really were dumb kids the Power Rangers we're cheesy and awful" I say to that: What the hell are you talking about?! If I had kids I would much rather show them Power Rangers then SpongeBob or all the other crap out there. I went back and watched a few episodes of the original show and I gotta say it was pretty damn enjoyable. So enough with that rant I'm going to top it off with Ghost in the Shell I'm not a big Anime fan but I'll still give it a chance. Everyone have a good weekend Happy Belated Birthday Patrick!!! Love you guys!!!!

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  10. I hadn't even heard of The Blackcoat's Daughter or Here Alone until just now. I'm trying to wean myself off my reliance on going to Rotten Tomatoes to see the aggregated scores, but I gave into temptation and had a sneaky peak at that site and it's 76% and 63% respectively, which is high for horror movies, so Imma try to watch 'em over the coming week. I don't really know why Rotten Toms shouldn't be a barometer on which movie fans rely, but I've heard it spoken about negatively a couple of times on F This Movie! and I'm trying to be a better cinephile.

    I used to purchase Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide every year; that book was my bible when it came to all things movie, with the result that I've never seen the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I feel that Leonard cheated me somewhat on this score because for years that movie had a 'Bomb' rating, and the review said "Even Craven has done better than this." Jump forward a few years and the rating has shot up to three stars, with no explanation of the change of heart.

    I'm trying to get into classic foreign-language horror movies. Not Asian horror, I've been a fan of that for years; the Fulci/Argento-type stuff. In the past couple of days I've seen Black Sunday — really enjoyable although never improves on the opening scene with the extreme Halloween mask. That thing looked heavy and a bit of string fastened around the back probably wouldn't have kept it from falling off, but come on, those costumiers took it too far;

    And Profondo Rosso. Did anyone spot the major clue when Hemmings arrives at the murder scene? Because I didn't. Also, and SPOILERS for Profondo Rosso, what was the cause of death for the lady writer living in the country? The killer fills the bathtub with really hot water and then holds the writer's head under. But she doesn't drown, because when the killer has fled, she manages to scrawl a message on the tiles. Her face is messed up, but no worse than the kiddie fiddler in Sleepaway Camp, and that guy is... dammit, SPOILERS for Sleepaway Camp... okay, we assume. I guess it must have been shock, but the killer was remiss in not making sure the writer was dead, because she might easily have survived and been able to identify her attacker. Also, if you enter your house that you think is empty and there's a doll hanging from a noose in your living room that you didn't put there, get the hell out. I would've run after that bus waving my arms like a mad person and kept on running even if the driver didn't see me and stop.

    Next up is either something called Tenebrae, or Creepers with Donald Pleasance and a baby-faced Jennifer Connelly. I think this one features a lot of insects, so I know I'll be out of my comfort zone.

    Any recommendations for films of this sort from F-heads would be appreciated.

    All hail Kristen Stewart. How on earth did Patrick manage to find a picture of her where she's actually (sort of) smiling?

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    1. "something called" Tenebrae or Creepers. Whoa, welcome to the world of amazingness!! Those are both perfect to start with. To recommend anything would prevent you from digging through the greatness that is the Italian Horror/Giallo rabbit hole. You're in for a fun ride and a world of pain at the same time! haha.

      I will reccomend, however, watching "The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears" which is a perfect, art house homage to Italian Horror and "Francesca", a recent, pitch perfect depiction of a Giallo from a director who knows the beautiful nuances and details in and out.

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    2. Creepers/Phenomena is my favorite Argento after Suspiria, the movie which any sane fan of Italian Horror will tell you to start with. The Holy Trinity of this genre, I think most would agree, is Suspiria, Zombi, and The Beyond. Then watch Lamberto Bava's Demons, and Michele Soavi's two best movies, Cemetery Man and Stage Fright. You'll also need to see some of Mario Bava's color stuff... I'd say go with Blood and Black Lace. Personal favorites of mine are Beyond the Door, mostly for its crazy sound design, and Zombie 4: After Death. Watch out, this genre runs deep.

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    3. I just now happen to be halfway through a Lamberto Bava I haven't seen before, Graveyard Disturbance. Pretty fun so far, but I've got a sinking feeling I know exactly where it's going.

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    4. Blood and Black Lace and Twitch of the Death Nerve are my favorite Bava films.

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    5. And Fuck Maltin for that BOMBing ANoES bullshit. Other movies Lenny thinks aren't worth your time: The Brood, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Golden Child, House of 1000 Corpses, Invasion U.S.A., Maniac (1980), Over the Top, Pootie Tang, Salo, Showdown in Little Tokyo, TerrorVision, Texas Chainsaw 2, and yes, She (1982). Fuck that guy.

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    6. I just stumbled upon this discussion. Italian genre films have been a passion of mine for close to a decade now. Although my taste in cinema has shifted as my life has changed, I still enjoy venturing into the domain of giallo and Italian horror.

      My favorite Mario Bava film is Black Sabbath. The aesthetics and atmosphere of The Wurdalak and The Drop of Water segments are fantastic. Although it is weighed down by a poor script, Hatchet for the Honeymoon offers several memorable sequences. I also have a fondness for the surreal Lisa and the Devil.

      Beyond the triumvirate of Argento, Fulci, and Bava, the films of Sergio Martino deserve a watch. His films tend to get overlooked. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and Torso are excellent.

      Death Walks at Midnight, directed by Luciano Ercoli, is a very entertaining giallo starring Susan Scott (Nieves Navarro).

      I recently caught up with Argento's debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. While not a bad film, there are ideas in it that he utilized better in subsequent projects.



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    7. Whoa harsh! Yeah I don't think horror is his bag.

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    8. I am guessing you are responding to my comment about Bird With the Crystal Plumage. I did not mean to imply that I did not find it a worthwhile film to watch. The Bird... is lacking much of the visual flair that makes Argento's following films memorable. In any case, I do respect this film as the genesis of the giallo boom of the early 1970s.

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    9. Sorry, I was responding to E.S.A.D.D. But I'd love to talk Argento. I actually haven't seen Bird With the Crystal Plumage. I summarily dismissed Argento in my younger, dumber days, but am now getting back into him. Recently went through Synapse's Phenomena/Creepers Blu Ray. That's going to be tough to top. Incredibly weird and entertaining movie.

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    10. Speaking of underrated directors, I meant to mention Emilio Miraglia, who only directed two horror films, but both are stone cold classics and favorites of mine: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. I think both are super exemplary of the genre, and either would be a great introduction to it for a newbie. (Not saying you are one, N.M., just that it would be in general.)

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    11. Thanks for all the recommendations, kids.

      I just finished watching Creepers/Phenomena. La-hoved it. SPOILERS for that movie comin' up.

      I don't know who was more adorable: J-Con or the chimpanzee. Jennifer doesn't have an enormous, prominent pink bottom, so I guess she pips Tanga to the post. I'm a sucker for movies in which an animal is the one you end up rooting for in the end, and there aren't that many of them — Deep Blue Sea, I suppose — so yay, Inga.

      Donald Pleasance: terrific as a proto-Gil Grissom with a perfect Scottish burr. I remember him being excellent in The Great Escape — "Take me with you, Jim Rockford. I can see; I can see perfectly" — and a great big ham in the Halloween movies.

      Next up on my mini movie marathon is Black Sabbath, suggested by Anonymous (not me), and then Imma have a parrot cleanser (never understood the meaning of that expression, although I've heard it often) with the Heath Holland-recommended This Island Earth. After that it's Tenebre.

      Morris, we hardly knew ye.

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    12. Nonnymouse, there are two versions of Black Sabbath: The English language version put out by AIP and the European cut in Italian. Beyond language, the primary difference between them is the order the stories are presented in. While the European cut is a better film, it is nice to hear Boris Karloff's inimitable voice in the AIP cut.

      I second the recommendation of Emilio Miraglia's films. The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave is one of those 1970s horror films that mixes style with a satisfying dose of exploitation cinema. The Red Queen Kills Seven Times remains relatively obscure in the realm of giallo but deserves to be better known. The cast and the soundtrack are wonderful.

      It sounds like you have a lot of good movie viewings ahead.




















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  11. 6 months til Scary Movie month kids.

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    1. On to movies tho. Caught up on some streaming stuff last night. Train to Busan...fantastic, everything I wanted it to be. It's the best kind of zombie movie, a movie about people, co-starring zombies. Also, finally watched The Neon Demon on Amazon Prime....hate to say it, but not a fan. It seems more and more like Refn accidently made a movie that really speaks to me (Drive), but is not a filmmaker I connect with. I did like it much better than Only God Forgives tho, so there's that.

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    2. But only 2 months til #Junesploitation!

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  12. I went and saw Near Dark for the first time, and it ended up being a 35mm print, albeit a beaten up one. The sound was insanely tinny, but even with all that it was a freaken cool movie. Just the way Bigelow just indulged in all these almost cliche Western shots, but in a Vampire context it was five kinds of awesome. And of course Paxton and Henriksen are brilliant. I loved the filthy bloody quality to the whole thing.

    Other than that I have been indulding in a lot of 50s and 70s movies, Klute - which is good. The LadyKillers - Alec Guiness is worthy of Charles Dickens. Brides of Dracula and House Of Wax - Peter Cushing and Vincent Price And Susperia - which is turing into my sick day movie, the more I watch it I love it.

    Oh and I recently had a Coiln Farrell double feature with Miami Vice and rewatched In Bruges. I think I admired Miami Vice more than liked it. Mann might be my Italian Horror as in I never completely click with his movies, but I always want to go back, I can't completely discribe why I am drawn to want to keep watching his work.

    Anyway I have blathered on enough. I hope everyone had a great week, I do enjoy reading these every week.

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    1. Brides, Wax, and Suspiria sounds like a hell of a triple feature!! Brides is my favorite of the Hammer Dracula movies, even though Dracula isn't even in it, but I haven't seen Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires yet. Try out Mystery of the Wax Museum from 1933; I was surprised to find I enjoyed it even better than Vincent's version of the story, and it's a very different take on the material. I feel the same way about the original Dawn of the Dead and about Videodrome that you do about Miami Vice.

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    2. I may have sold my soul to get the DVD of Mystery of the Wax Musuem. I am really looking forward to it even if I am saving it for Junesploitation.

      I think for some reason, or not the usual reason my favourite Hammer is Vampire Lovers, but I still need to seek out The Gold Vampires.

      It's odd how we approach certain movies, or how react. But that makes for more intersting conversation.

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  13. For those who are interested in the subject, the Netflix documentary Five Came Back is fascinating and really great. I give it a strong recommendation!

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    1. I just started watching it tonight and have only seen the first part so far but it is incredibly good.

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  14. Finally saw GET OUT, and while there was some plot and character stuff that didn't quite work for me, I'm surprised how much I'm still thinking about it. A really impressive debut.

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    1. You didn't like this movie enough.

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  15. Ghost In The Shell (2017) was fine. not great, but good enough to call for a blu-ray buy from me. don't go in expecting anything closr to the genius of the 1995 anime. it's beautiful, action is good, actors are good. the story is not from the anime. it's a mix from part of the tv series and the anime.

    most of my friends hated it, and i can't understand why other than 'the original was better'.

    luckily, my best friend, with whom i watch about 6 movies a week with, like it as much as i did.

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