Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weekend Open Thread

Be careful who you click with.

Hey, everyone! It's our last open thread until #ScaryMovieMonth, so make it count!

76 comments:

  1. Good weekend to all of you.

    I was really in a movie mood this week, and I got around to watching something every day.

    DOGTOOTH (2009) – Talk about trying to shelter children from the world! Frequently humorous and frightening at the same time, this is an odd Greek film worth seeking out.

    HEMEL (2011) – A Dutch drama about a young woman struggling to find relationships and an identity beyond the world of her father. Not spectacular yet not a waste of time, either.

    NEW LOVE IN TOKYO (1994) – A well-made Japanese late-night movie. Two women, a dominatrix and a call-girl, work and go about their lives in Tokyo. Light-hearted and entertaining without casting judgment on the characters’ lives.

    GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD (2011) – Despite being too long and sometimes too impressionistic in presentation, it is a good portrait of the most interesting member of The Beatles. I was surprised to find out that Harrison had connections to movie-making. His company produced LIFE OF BRIAN, TIME BANDITS, and WITHNAIL AND I.

    THE STONE KILLER (1973) – Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner again team up for this hybrid of DIRTY HARRY and THE GODFATHER. It did not leave a favorable impression. The mafia story is mediocre, and the police segments feel random. Bronson did not have much to do in the lead role. The film is strong on the action front, though. There is a fantastic car chase and numerous shootouts. In certain sections it feels more like an ‘80s action film, but the soundtrack is unmistakably 1970s. The casting is also of interest, with John Ritter and Norman Fell of the sitcom Three’s Company playing cops and Roberta Collins in a bit part.

    BEDAZZLED (1967) – A cook makes a Faustian pact to improve his life in 1960s London. The first half of the film is terrific as the Devil, wittily played by Peter Cook, swoops in on Dudley Moore’s desperate cook. The second half is more hit and miss, but there are still a few funny moments to find in it. The pop music show sequence was my favorite bit.

    I ended up going to see MOTHER! early in the week. My thoughts about it are still coming together.

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    1. Did you like The Lobster?

      I have Alps still to watch from that director

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    2. I have not seen The Lobster. It did play at a theater in my area last year, though. I do not follow contemporary cinema as closely as I should.

      Dogtooth is my introduction to Lanthimos' films.

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    3. Then i believe you’ll like The Lobste.

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  2. Recently, I have been thinking about food and films (two of my favorite topics). There really are a lot films that involve food in some way.

    What are your favorites, whether narrative or documentary, about food or that revolve around food?

    JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI is a title that immediately comes into my mind. It is a compelling documentary about the passion and dedication involved in preparing quality sushi.

    BABETTE’S FEAST has the best dining sequence I have seen in a film. The food looks absolutely delicious.

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    1. "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover", "Delicatessen", "Chef" and "Good Burger" :P

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    2. SDDH-011: Semen Maniac 1, starring Nanami Nanase.

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    3. Tampopo is gloriously odd and celebrate all the emotions that food can elicit. Big Night is also very well done.

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    4. God of Cookery. Excellent Stephen Chow flick

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    5. Taxidermia features quite a bit of speed eating competitions. I know it's a stretch but could give you an excuse to check out a very bizarre piece of Hungarian cinema.

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    6. Haha, that's a funny choice for a food film, but I think that movie is a must watch for anyone. It's simply brilliant.

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    7. Yeah I saw thinking about it the other day and how I really wanna revisit it. It really is something special, especially that ending. But I remember showing it to some friends in high school and they all thought I was weird for liking it so much haha

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    8. i second (or third) Taxidermia. it's been a while since i seen it, but it was a fascinating watch

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    9. I feel obliged to mention The Trip and its sequels, because no one else has.

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    10. I have added some of the these titles to me Netflix queue. Taxidermia especially intrigues me. For some strange reason I cannot find Semen Maniac 1 there.

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    11. WHAT?! I'm callin' Netflix customer service right now.

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  3. Hey F THIS MOVIE, I love scary movie month….very much. The one thing is that people can’t respond to a 7 word review. As you said, there is no weekend/daily open post.

    I’ve participated for the last couple years now and it doesn’t seem like the 7 word review tally is particularly that important to F THIS MOVIE . The boss (PB) doesn’t seem to really care about count, but more wants people to participate :). That being said, can’t we respond to 7 word reviews?

    Any hint’s on commentary?

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    1. Interesting point. I do read some 7 word reviews that are so clever I am chomping at the bit at wanting to comment. It might make for some good conversations. Could be worth a try. See what Mr B thinks?

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    2. And I would also be interested in other people's thoughts?

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    3. I don't think there's any "rule" against responding to 7-word reviews, as long as you're using the "reply" button to respond to one. Use the comments section as you see fit! I'm sure that if there's an issue he wants to address, Patrick will do so.

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    4. I think he's worried about screwing up the tally for 7 word reviews. I'm not sure if the domain owner can see the $ of original posts, or just the number of total posts.

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    5. Yup, that is exactly what I meant Paul. Like Denise says there are so many good reviews that just beg for comments. However, if this would mess up FTHISMOVIES ultimate goal of counting the # of 7 word reviews then I of course would not do it. I’m just curious about the etiquette. :)

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    6. *Dennis

      Sorry man, I work with a Denise...it's just auto pilot.

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    7. It's cool. It must be my feminine side

      ;)

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    8. Ah, of course, you guys are right. Guess waiting for Weekend Open Threads is the right move.

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    9. No hints about the commentary, eh?

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  4. A Ghost Story. I only kind of like this film. It's got some emotion in it and was sorta sad at times but all I could think of was that a) the filmmaker ripped off some aspects from the much better "I Am a Ghost" and b) that I've seen this movie concept so many times, most recently within the past three weeks with the release of 2017's "The Atoning". Still, it's decent. Is it a horror film? Who cares.

    Leatherface. Nope, not at all. Complete mess from the French duo who directed Inside and Livide. I guess I expected more given I like those films but this doesn't belong in the TCM universe. It feels dated in a bad way, like it was shelved for 8 years Amityville style, but also feels too polished. Lili Taylor and Stephen Dorff have a great scene together. That's about it.

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    1. Ha ha ha ha! I don't know if I can justify it, but I just finished Leatherface and loved it! I'm not a fan of the first two movies in the reboot of the series (and love the third one, because Daddario), but this one actually surprised me, and yeah, Lili Taylor and especially Stephen Dorff were fantastic. I think I loved that there wasn't a single "good" character in the cast. This is a mean, sad movie, and Leatherface really comes off as the most sympathetic! (Except for Dorff's though; I'd love to see that guy get his own movie!)

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    2. Mean, sad movie? Maybe cause the French duo has no clue what TCM should be. I didn't get that vibe at all. As I mentioned, Dorff and Taylor was about all this has going for it. I got a flick that would've hoped to have ended up on TNT (and ultimately will) with a bunch of boring, overacting characters with nothing to keep my interest. There was no tension whatsoever and I never felt like anything was going to happen, and nothing does. The whole movie is based on a build up to...SPOILERS...a mask being put on. ugh.

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    3. Nah, I think this one fits in very comfortably with the vibe of the Michael Bay half of the franchise. It's not an aesthetic I like, but it does feel like part four of that series to me (more than it does part eight of the series overall.) I don't expect any movie to ever capture the vibe of the original again (not even Tobe Hooper bothered to try doing that), so to me the interesting part is seeing what is added to these characters that I already know; for instance, as opposed to being a man-child or a garden variety maniac like you might infer from the previous movies, this movie tells me he was driven straight-up insane. To me the mask scene was a payoff, because I knew why he was wearing it and where it came from; and storywise, I was shocked that I was genuinely surprised by where it went. That's probably on me for not being smart enough to guess where that was ahead of time, but it still worked. I think that Leatherface is less a good TCM movie than a much better one than I thought it was likely to be.

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    4. I seriously consider the first remake one of the all-time worst, most tone-deaf horror remakes ever made, and I wouldn't say the same thing about this one.

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    5. Right on, we definitely disagree on this one, man. Happy you dug it though.

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    6. I consider this worse than the reboot and it's sequel! haha My least favorite of them all!

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  5. Greetings to you all from the 30th annual Helsinki International Film Festival. It was my fourth year there, and this time I didn't find something I instantly fell in love with like I have in previous years (Liza the Fox-Fairy, Turbo Kid, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Frank), but I did still see a lot of excellent movies.

    Lucky was a beautiful testament from Harry Dean Stanton, it felt the same as listening to Bowie's Blackstar, his last album he made knowing he was about to die. Left me with existential questions but also an inner peace.

    Sally Potter's The Party is a hugely funny dark comedy about a dinner party careening out of control. Just look at the cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cillian Murphy, Cherry Jones and Emily Mortimer. That list of names alone should sell you.

    Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish was a creepy and darkly funny movie about aliens taking over human bodies and trying to learn about humanity, in preparation for a mass invasion. Great fun, but maybe a bit overlong.

    The Road Movie is a fascinating documentary, compiled entirely of dashcam footage from Russian cars. At times hilarious, scary and just plain weird, it's a really entertaining peek into one side of Russia. And at 67 minutes, it doesn't get boring.

    The first ever Finnish superhero movie, Rendel, was a bit of a disappointment. It's competently made and doesn't look half bad, but it's just so derivative and unimaginative. A mix between Punisher, Daredevil and Nolan's Batman with a healthy dose of Frank Miller-styled nihilism and some idiotic comedy thrown in, I was bored with it pretty fast. Played pretty well to the crowd though, but maybe they were just humoring the cast and crew who were in attendance.

    And to celebrate both the memory of George A. Romero and Stephen King's 70th birthday, there was a screening of Creepshow, one of the best horror anthologies ever. Even though the 35mm copy was really dinged up, it was great seeing it with a crowd who appreciated it as much as I do.

    Also saw Personal Shopper and Raw, but you're all probably familiar with those.

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  6. I finally saw and loved It! Not since Tucker and Dale VS. Evil have I seen a movie that touched the horror genre but maintained this much heart and humor! And all of the kids were great!

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    1. I liked IT quite a bit too but interestingly only about half of the Horror elements worked for me. Not being a fan of the mini series nor the entire "scary clown" sub-genre, I didn't expect much, but they fucked up about 30-40 minutes in and did the damn "shaky head" thing which is one of my personal 3 sins that modern horror directors need to STOP doing. It also got tedious with half the "scares" being Pennywise running at the screen with the whole frame shaking. I also though Richie was way over written. I saw it in a packed theater and about 2/3 of the way in, after beginning to count almost every beat where Richie was going to make a joke, I noticed the laughter in the audience getting quieter and quieter. Besides those things, I loved the atmosphere, the setting, the nostalgia it brought to me (I was actually pissed that they got me from the jump - when Bill is making the paper boat for his brother in the beginning all of these memories of my younger brother and I from the 80's came rushing into my head - stupid manufactured nostalgia films. Oh well, you win IT!) I liked the homages to Horror (the bathroom scene was great) all of the kids were doing there thing, everyone can related to something in the film on some level regarding their childhood so of course IT was a massive success. I loved the aesthetics of the houses, the town, the small details that are thrown in. Overall I found it really enjoyable.

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    2. To me, I agree with the sentiment that Pennywise himself was the least interesting part of the movie. However, I loved everything and everyone else enough for it to not matter. And I loved Richie as the comedic relief! But I like the actor Finn Wolfhard in general. He, Bill and Beverly were my favorites.

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    3. Also, the blood oath scene was really well done and effective, I felt.

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    4. Right on, John. Yeah, I didn't like the blood oath scene so much but I have no frame of reference to the book. Still, I dug the movie.

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    5. I'm glad that you did, Chaybee!

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    6. Also saw It earlier today. I think Chaybee pretty much nailed my sentiments. I will add that the overall sense of dread was super intense and I had the craziest anxiety as I remembered bits of the book that I haven't read since '89. Just hearing the name Georgie made me so damn sad. I'm sure others have mentioned how trippy it was to have the film set at the same time that a lot of us first read the book, not to mention being about the same age as the characters at the time (I was actually 10?!). Whew. That one packed a whallop.

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  7. Friend Request is WAY better than any movie called Friend Request has any right to be. I had such a great time!

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    1. Curious about what you thought of "Unfriended"?

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  8. It Comes at Night.

    I go at about the halfway mark. Seriously, is there a more dour, self-serious experience in recent memory? Couldn’t take it.

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  9. I watched a bunch of things since last posting. Highlights:

    Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) - Although it's going for more broad humour than the TV show, it still might be my favourite comedy of the last decade.

    Ghost in the Shell (2017) - Most of the criticism seems to be aimed at what this movie isn't. It isn't an anime that explores the meaning of what is machine/AI, or human, or the grey in between. It isn't trying to be. It is, however, pretty effective at the story it wants to tell, and is visually beautiful. My mind only gripe was cgi that became a little cartoonish during some action scenes.

    The Straight Story (1999) - Very nice movie that is weirdly engaging. I like how it ended, with a short scene with Harry Dean Stanton.

    Jason X - Surprising amount of humour in this movie.

    Idiocracy - Funniest movie of last decade

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    1. Can't edit.. Alpha Papa, favourite comedy of THIS decade. Idiocracy of LAST decade.

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    3. I like your commentary on Ghost In The Shell. I never knew how to explain why i thought it was a good movie. i always said most of the negative commentaries were about the fact that it was not exactly like the animated movie

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    4. Expectations can easily ruin the enjoyment of a film.

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  10. I’ve been spending most of my time this week on the new Ken Burns documentary series, The Vietnam War. Great stuff if you’re a fan of Ken Burns documentaries. Now I’m caught up, waiting for next week episodes.

    I also watched these today:

    The Night Of The Generals: kind of a who-dunnit set in German high-command during WW2. This film has a great cast, maybe some of the best you could find at the time. Not a perfect film by any stretch. It is a bit too long, but the production value is there.

    Hardcore: George C. Scott is as good as you expect him to be as a distraught father trying to find his daughter who seem to have disappeared in the underground porn world. Written and directed by the great Paul Schrader, which directing is not his forte. Not that the film is bad, but you can see the shortcoming, mostly with the ‘boss fight’ near the end. You can’t fault the director for going deep into the belly of the beast. The last line of the film is definitely a wink to Chinatown.

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    1. I'm intrigued by the Ken Burns doc. Unfortunately, no home internet at the moment (switching providers), but I'll check it out soon. Thanks.

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    2. I watched a couple episodes of The Vietnam War. Being knowledgeable about the topic already, my interest is in how the history is presented. Considering the fault lines of American society at that time, there is a tough balancing act to manage.

      Watching the documentary left me wondering how the contemporary United States would deal with such a conflict. Neither the Iraq or Afghanistan campaigns were at the scale of Vietnam War.

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  11. So....pretty strange weekend. Pretty disgusting things revealed on Twitter, and a gross display of pro-fascism by our President. I just hope all the ladies who contribute to this site know that as long as they choose to continue in this business, they will always have fans and supporters. Your knowledge, insight and personality is invaluable.

    But back to movies. I'm ready for scary movie month. In the past, I've mixed up things I've never seen with my all-time favorites. This year, I've decided to forego most of my favorites (I've maxed out of clever 7-word reviews for The Thing). So I'm trying to stick with things I haven't seen, haven't seen in a long time, or want to give a second chance to. I'm also going to try to marathon the Halloween movies. If my calculations are correct, it's going to take right around 16 hours, including breaks. Pray for me. My goal is to get 50 in this year. I think I got 42 last year. I've got 38 ready to go now, between physical copies, Netflix, Hulu and Vudu. How's everyone else getting ready?

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    1. I haven't planned anything beyond buying the Final Destination movies. I'll just play it by ear as usual. I would like to finish watching the Friday the 13th movies, but I started with the best already. I still have 1,6,8,9, FvsJ and the remake to watch. I've got a handful of Italian titles, and a stack of random bargin bin stuff to round the month out.

      I blew my budget during Junesploitation, so am going to have to make do this October.

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    2. Made a list of stuff readily available to me (on the shelf + interesting streaming picks), and it's like 80 movies, so no need to go shopping. Aiming for 50 again (got to 54 last year and 50 the year before).

      A few movies on the list are ones I've seen before, but have a newly bought physical copy on the shelf, so that gives me a reason to revisit them. Most of the stuff on the list is new to me, though. And I'm sure I'll still put on a favorite or two, like The Cabin in the Woods or Sleepaway Camp, towards the end of the month.

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    3. Yeah, luckily for me I'm not as high on Junesploitation as the other events. I've been collecting 1 or 2 used DVDs a week for about 2 months. I've got my first day planned out. Starting with a first time viewing of Scanners at midnight, followed by Lords of Salem for the first time. 50 is going to be a big goal for me. I don't have a lot of free time during the week so I'll have to watch 3-4 a day during the weekend, but I'm up for it. 80 sounds insane tho, best luck dude. I'm not sure if I even could do that if I had the time.

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    4. Lol sorry Nikki, I misread that. You should go for 80 tho.

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  12. For the past few months I have been preoccupied with trying to understand and express my disappointment with the two Alien prequels. I watched Alien: Covenant, Prometheus, Alien, Aliens, and Jodorowsky's Dune plus the associated extra features multiple times. My conclusion is that Ridley Scott is intimately involved in crafting the stories he wants to tell, but there aren't enough checks and balances within the production process to filter out bad ideas. As a compensating measure the supplemental materials have become integral tools to resolving issues with the prequels. It is coming to the point where I might skip the theater and wait for the blu-ray just to minimize frustration of any future installment in the franchise.

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  13. As planned, I've been spending the month blasting through horror flicks that I would've been embarrassed to having not seen, so that I'm free to dive deep during Scary Movie Month proper. Lost nearly two weeks to reading Stephen King's IT in prep for the movie, but now that that's over, the wheels have been nice 'n' greasy! In the past week, made it through:
    - Lake Mungo (2008)
    - WolfCop (2014)
    - The Signal (2014)
    - A Horrible Way to Die (2010)
    - Lovely Molly (2011)
    - Frontier(s) (2007)
    - Calvaire (2004)
    - Splinter (2008)
    - The Pact (2012)
    - The Crazies (2010)
    - The Signal (2007)
    - The Addiction (1995)
    - Feast (2005)
    - The Skin I Live In (2011)
    - Sightseers (2012)
    - Funny Games (2007)
    - Grave Encounters (2011)
    - Severance (2006)
    - The Skeleton Key (2005)
    - Fright Night (2011)
    - Ghostwatch (1992)
    - Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
    - Cockneys vs. Zombies (2012)
    - Darkness Falls (2003)
    - Dance of the Dead (2008)
    Some very good (The Skin I Live In, Sightseers), some awful (The Addiction can go fuck itself), some better than expected (Dance of the Dead, Fright Night); Calvaire was nuts, and Darkness Falls was hilariously stupid. Riding high, and there's one more week to go!

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    1. Lake Mungo, Lovely Molly, The Pact and The Signal (2007) are some of my all time favorites of the past decade. Strong showing here, man!

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    2. The Pact was much better than I was expecting, and Lovely Molly was way darker than I expected, and I loved it. Though between that, Splinter, and A Horrible Way to Die, I see there briefly was a weird trend towards female-led horror about substance abuse. I simply cannot jive with The Signal, man. Got halfway through it when it was new, turned it off, then waited ten years to come back to it, to no avail.

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    3. Right on, man, at least you took the time to finish it.

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    4. I saw Lake Mungo for the first time about a week ago myself. Such a strange structure, that shouldn't work at all, but works perfectly. It had me up thinking about it for days afterward. I'm also really big on A Horrible Way to Die. Aside from the distracting cinematography, I think it's really wonderful.

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    5. That's a hell of a SMM primer! Love a bunch of those movies. Can't wait to see what you pull out for SMM proper.

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    6. I doubt that I can watch that many horror films for the whole month of October. If I can watch more than 10, I will consider it a successful month.

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  14. Cult of Chucky. Awesome! I really liked "Curse Of..." and while I think that's still better, COC is still fantastic. Great death scenes (one which is gorgeously shot!), ridiculous plot, and Fiona is killin' it as always. It's not as "fun" as the last one but it's really well shot, super stylized including a surreal-esque dream sequence. It's just crazy enough to be a perfect follow up.

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    1. Nice! This is on my list for SMM but I wasn't expecting much. Thanks for the heads up. For those interested it looks like it will hit Netflix on October 3rd. I also like COC I mean Chucky in a haunted house setting, Fiona (glad to hear she's back) and of course that fucking chili scene! I don't know what it is but I love watching that bonkers scene :)

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    2. I think Fiona is attractive but every time I think that I realize she looks exactly like her dad so I must think Brad is hot too, haha

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    3. LOL! Thanks for planting that seed :P. Maybe it will work both ways and each time I see Brad I'll just get Fiona. She's truly a seed of Chucky.

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    4. OH YEAH...more meta than you know in this one too! haha

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  15. I just watched "The Disappearance of Elenore Rigby: Them" from 2014

    I enjoyed it quite a bit. The performances were all solid and I thought it did a really interesting job at exploring what tragedy does to a relationship. What I appreciated most about it though was how all the characters were so normal, completely grounded in reality.

    I recommend checking it out. It's streaming on Netflix.

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