Saturday, November 25, 2017

Weekend Open Thread

The holiday season is upon us!

As we transition into the final month of 2017 and our annual end-of-year content, I just want to offer one more round of thanks to those of you who are with us, be it every day or just occasionally. We are grateful to be able to talk movies with all of you.

Speaking of talking movies, it's the weekend! Let's get to it.

36 comments:

  1. Whoa - first! Blind bought Brigsby Bear yesterday, as I’m a big fan of Kyle Mooney. It is not at all what I expected, and might be my favourite movie of the year. I’d recommended going in as cold as possible on this one!

    Mayhem is really fun and is everything I wanted Wanted to be.

    My improv troupe is doing a zombie show so I’ve watched Night and Dawn - incredible as always - and The Girl with All the Gifts, which I’d never heard of and was pretty amazed by. Again, going in cold is best for that one. Gonna revisit Day of the Dead this week, and hoping I like it more than I have in the past.

    Finally, I saw The Florida Project and loved it but, as Adam noted, the ending is fairly bonkers. Me and my partner talked about it for a loooong time after, and she had an interesting take on it that makes me want to watch the movie again as soon as possible.

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  2. A few things of note that I've watched:

    American Made: This is basically Liman trying to do a Scorsese-esque film. I loved the audacity of it. It was fun enough.

    American Assassin: Nothing smart going on here but a fun trip to take for the excellent action sequences. I wish Scott Adkins was given more to do and was cast as the lead, although Dylan O'Brien was better than expected.

    Welcome to Willits: Horror/Comedy which isn't funny about two meth heads who think they are being attacked by aliens. It's a fine low budgeter with good practical effects.

    Dismissed: The kid from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is all grown up and playing a highly educated and troubled creepy student. This felt like one of those types of films from the 90's and I liked that it was pretty simple in that aspect. It's not very good though.

    Two that you might want to stash away for Junesploitation:

    Larry Cohen's The Ambulance (1990) with Eric Roberts giving a batshit manic performance. Everything is turned up a notch with James Earl Jones chewing his gum to extremes in almost every scene he's in. Crazy film.

    Murder By Phone (1982) in which an electronic signal comes through the phone when you answer and it explodes your brain. Fantastic.

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    1. I was recently having a movie night with Mike and we were watching trailers in between (from Trailer Trauma 3, I think). We came across the trailer for Murder by Phone and I couldn't believe that not only had I never seen it, but I had never even heard of it. I am going to fix that.

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    2. Sweet! I think you'll have fun with it. Also, if you want a "killer phone" double feature, Ruggero Deodato's "Dial:Help" with the lovely Charlotte Lewis (The Golden Child) is nuts! I bought the DVD from Revok...https://revok.com/products/dial-help-dvd

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  3. I finally got around to watching all of Manhunter on Netflix. Anyone who's a fan of the David Fincher aesthetic I think will enjoy it. It's like a blend of True Detective and Zodiac.

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    1. Yeah I agree with that observation. I have watched all of Manhunter as well and honestly loved everything about it.

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  4. Sitting on the bus home from the Night Visions festival where I saw 13 movies in three days. Had great fun as always but I can't wait to get home and sleep.

    The definite highlights of the festival were The Disaster Artist, The Endless, Sequence Break and the Finnish film Euthanizer.

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  5. Other highlights included Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (The Endless) and Graham Skipper (Sequence Break) being there and having Q&A's after the screenings.

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    1. It is a well-deserved rest, Mikko. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself.

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  6. With all the effort of helping to prepare the Thanksgiving meal this week, there was not much time or energy for films. Watched only a couple of them.

    THE WITCH (2016) – I doubt this requires any introduction by now. Terrific attention to detail makes the film work; the hardships of the family are palpable. Maybe the end goes a little over the top, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of it. The cinematography is excellent.

    HIT MAN (1972)- A blaxploitation version of GET CARTER that, despite being sloppy in plot and production, is tremendously fun to watch. The style points are very high; the score, the clothes, and the attitude scream early 1970s exploitation. The characters and the settings give the film a life independent of the story. Bernie Casey is perfectly cast as the lead. HIT MAN should satisfy any fan of exploitation. This would also be a good choice for Junesploitation.

    The only other movie activity was purchasing some things online.

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    1. Is the picture from CHRISTMAS EVIL? I watched it during the holidays last year and loved it.

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    2. It is from Christmas Evil! Good eye.

      I recorded HIT MAN off of TCM recently, so I'm excited to check it out.

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    3. I also recorded it off TCM. The programming of TCM Underground has been the best part of the channel for many years. The film was the perfect watch to take my mind away from the tasks of Thanksgiving.

      It is interesting that you covered Jackie Brown this week. The opening of that film is reminiscent of how Hit Man starts.

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  7. All of the 'A Movie I am Thankful For' articles got me thinking about what I would choose to write about. Narrowing the list down to one is difficult, but there are a couple that would certainly be high up in that list.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1969) - After almost a quarter-century since I first watched it as an adolescent, I can still remember the awe that the film inspired. The scope of the story, the pacing, the faces, and the soundtrack cast a spell on me. Jill's arrival at the Flagstaff train station, when the crowd noises fade out and the harpsichord starts in, remains etched in my memory. Looking back, the film is probably the first time I became conscious of cinematic aesthetics. It is also the beginning of a continuing love affair with Italian cinema. With such strong memories of the film, it is one that I choose not to revisit until I am ready to have the spell broken.

    DEATH WISH 3 - There is such a gleeful craziness to the New York City neighborhood Paul Kersey ventures into in this film. It always puts a smile on my face. There are too many highlights to mention, but the scene when Kersey confronts a couple of thieves breaking into his car always stands out. The uprising against the gang at the conclusion is an amazing sequence. A couple years ago, during one my darkest times, this film made me laugh. That was a big achievement.

    What films would you consider yourselves thankful for?

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    1. "They killed the Giggler!"

      A perfect excuse to go out to buy ice cream.

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  8. Just watched "KONG: SKULL ISLAND" and I thought it was a decent watch. The plot/story is what you would expect. The visuals/camera work is interesting and appealing. The acting is on point but at times, at least from my p.o.v, was phoned in a bit. I really liked "THE KINGS OF SUMMER" and this was a decent film, being his first major blockbuster, from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
    If this is an attempt at said "Monster-verse" than I'll be infor at least the next film in said universe.

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    1. it is an attempt at the monster-verse. but contrary to DC, they take their time, not cramming the movie with other movies to create their universe. just a bit around the middle of the movie, and a post-credit scene.

      i liked it a lot despite the bland characters. as a summer action flick, it worked for me

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    2. Is that one supposed to link into Godzilla? Or are they going to be fighting Ant Man? I can’t keep track of these universes anymore...

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  9. The Man From Earth: i think i'm in love with that movie. this is my 3rd or 4th viewing. they just released a special edition of the movie with better video quality (they did what they could with the source material). the blu-ray also contain a great documentary about the making of the movie. if you ever plan to watch it, do yourself a favor and don't read anything about it, don't even watch the trailer. this is a MUST watch

    War For The Planet Of The Apes: this might be my top movie of the year so far. this reboot of the franchise have been great from the beginning, but this last entry in the trilogy is masterful. i wouldn't change a thing

    The 7th Voyage Of Sindab: not my favorite Harryhausen, but a pretty fun adventure film

    The Valley Of Gwangi: i actually prefer this one to Sinbad, because of the strong Valley part. the last part is not great, it almost turn into animal torture, and is a direct copy of King Kong.

    Immortal Beloved: the somewhat fictionalized life of Ludwig Van Beethoven. a great performance by Gary Oldman and a great movie overall. from the guy who brought us Candyman, because of course :o).

    Star Trek + Into Darkness + Beyond: i really like these movies. i understand the hardcore fans have their problems with it, but who doesn't with anything that comes out. the thing that makes it great to me is the actors who are so perfectly cast in their role. too bad we lost one of the best in the crew.

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    1. I remember watching The Man From Earth a maybe 5 years ago when it was streaming on Netflix and I absolutely loved it. I haven't seen it since though. But it's a perfect example of a really cool concept coupled with intriguing dialogue. I think I gotta rewatch it.

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    2. The Man from Earth is a favorite of mine as well. And it's written by the legendary Jerome Bixby, but sadly he didn't get to see it. He completed the script on his deathbed and his son worked hard to get it made, which took almost a decade to get done.

      There are also big Star Trek connections there. Bixby played with a similar idea in one of his scripts for TOS, and several actors have appeared in Star Trek, most notably John Billingsley (in Enterprise) and Tony Todd (many different characters in TNG, DS9 and Voyager).

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    3. Yes, the star trek connection is strong with this one :P

      I like the thing that Tony Todd says at the end: i’m going home and watch Star Trek for a dose of sanity

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  10. Took advantage of the digital sale on iTunes & bought the special edition of Close Encounters of the Third Time. Side note I saw this movie in the theater in Sarasota where Paul Rubens was caught, it was a regular theater back then.

    Also bought Flash Gordon, which was one of my favorite childhood movies!
    Looking forward to rewatching both!

    Have a great weekend movie lovers!

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  11. Watched two documentaries back to back from the same directors: Demon Lover Diary (1980) and Seventeen (1983). DLD is a document of a group of people trying to make a low budget horror film and Seventeen follows high school kids in Indiana. Both are basically point and shoot, turn the camera on and see what's going on. Extremely interesting. In reading about Seventeen, it appears Xerox commissioned the doc for a PBS 6 part series but when seeing the footage of teens smoking, drinking, cursing, interracial relationships and racism, they dropped the project all together and it was never aired. I mean, what the hell did Xerox think they were going to get with a midwest documentary about freakin' high schoolers?!

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  12. I just saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which I know Riske didn't love, but I thought had many finer points. I thought the performances and casting (with the exception of an inexplicably British character) was excellent. There were also times when you could tell the screenwriter wasn't American, but I forgave it.

    I do have a bit of a bias as McDormand is a favorite actress of mine and McDonagh is a favorite playwrite of mine.

    Anyway, it is by no means for everyone but I think its acclaim is mostly well deserved.

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  13. watching Hallmark channel's "Wrapped Up in Christmas" cause how can you not when it stars Tatyana Ali, Jackee, Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy and Ferris Bueller's mom, Cindy Pickett.

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    1. Check that - Lifetime produced this gem. Geoffrey from Fresh Prince of Bel Air just showed up too. Sorry, no more spoilers!

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    2. you had me at Hallmark Channel. and then you got me again at Tatyana Ali

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  14. i'm closing the weekend with the Criterion Collection edition of Barry Lyndon. the perfect example of a 'deliberate' pace. i have yet to watch the extras on the second disc, but i'm sure they're as good as usual with Criterion releases.

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    1. I just finished up Barry Lyndon as a first time viewing. Perhaps on of Kubrick's more "boring" films but still perfectly shot. I got lost in the social games of chess, but it's certainly a film I couldn't just pop in for a casual viewing.

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    2. Well, it’s meant to be cold, distant and slow. Not the kind of movie that’s for everyone

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    3. As you said, Kunider, Barry Lyndon is not for everyone.

      Even as a die-hard Kubrick admirer I found Barry Lyndon a difficult film to penetrate. The actors, generally the focus of a film, are only pawns in the film's design. It is only subsequent viewings that have fostered an appreciation for its pace and visual beauty. The immersion into the arcane world of 18th-century Europe is now one of my preferred Kubrick experiences.

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    4. From the extras on the blu-ray (that i finally watched) it seem it’s how people received the movie when it was released. And then they re-discovered it and are now praising it.

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  15. I'm thankful for Kelly & Cal. I want to give it all the awards. And Jonny Weston, that kid gets all the awards. Maybe Hallmark movie lovers would like it, too? And sour-romance people - you, too.
    Happy belated THanksgiving, FTM!

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