Good weekend to all of you. It has not been a bad week or a good week. I finished what I had to do and am trying get into a better mood for the Christmas season, which tends to get me down a little.It was a busier week for movies than the previous ones.TAMPOPO (1985) – I thank everyone who brought this film to my attention when I asked about food movies here a few months ago. It is a true delight to watch. The characters are engaging and endearing, particularly the title character. Her transformation throughout the film is quite inspiring. The Western elements blend into the film perfectly and frequently made me smile. Of all the vignettes, my favorite is the old woman who likes to squeeze food. The Criterion release looks terrific and has some excellent extras. ARANG (2006) – This Korean hybrid of police thriller and supernatural horror did not quite mesh enough for me to like it. The idea is interesting, but I found the execution muddled. Moreover, the blending of supernatural elements with technology never really works for me. THE SILENCED (2015) - The film begins with an ill adolescent girl in 1930s Korea being sent to a special school. By the conclusion, it becomes much more than another boarding school drama. It seems, at times, like two films existing in one. I would recommend The Silenced. It is a well-made film with a good cast. I have been in a 1980s mood recently, which probably explains why I was drawn to the next two films. I caught both of them on the Comet channel.OUTLAW OF GOR (1989) – This is a futuristic sword and sandal film about an evil queen and a hero trying to destroy her. Although undoubtedly a badly made film- seeing the Cannon logo show up in the credits explained a lot- it does have some nice production values for the B-movie entertainment of the era. I was entertained by it. Apparently, it is an MST3K episode, but I am not a fan of riffing. DEEP SPACE (1988) – Fred Olen Ray directed this misleadingly titled film: nothing happens in deep space at all. Instead, what you get is an Earth-bound mash-up of a buddy-cop film and a creature feature from the VHS era. I could definitely imagine passing a Saturday night with this as a rental back in the 1980s and early ‘90s. It is not particularly memorable nor terrible, either. I thought the final showdown with the creature, which looks a lot like a xenomorph, was handle well. It is hard not to enjoy watching Charles Napier looking intense while wielding a chainsaw. I also recorded THE VIDEO DEAD off of Comet for later viewing. I ended up buying a few horror films from the DVD bargain section of the local entertainment store. One of them is the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Such a creepy film. THE EXORCIST, a film on my list of shame, was another purchase.
Yes, Tampopo! Glad you liked it. The film is so quirky and full of a wonderful optimism.
Went and saw The Square, a Swedish satirical comedy about the curator of a museum of modern art, whose childish and selfish actions lead him to uncomfortable situations, each more absurd than the last. The movie has big ideas, it touches on the wealth gap, people's indifference towards each other and abuse of power. Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West have supporting roles. Highly recommended if you don't mind being unconfortable once in a while. One scene in particular, between Moss and the lead, is both squirm-inducing and hilarious.Yesterday I watched The Valley of Gwangi, which is a fun adventure with great stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen. The story's pretty much The Lost World meets King Kong. Also, following from last week's Mortal Kombat movies, I sat through Dwight H. Little's Tekken, which was entertaining enough for what it was. Barely.And I got the new Arrow Blu-ray of The Thing in the mail, so naturally I immediately listened to the commentary track that features our own Patrick Bromley, which was both fun and informative, as expected.And today I'm driving to another festival. (I know, it's getting ridiculous. I may have a problem.) Gonna see 1987's Street Trash, which I know nothing about, a new Russian movie called Salyut-7, which is about a real rescue operation in space in the 1980's (so basically a Russian Apollo 13), and the main reason I'm going (besides meeting a friend there I haven't seen in a long time), Ninja III: The Domination. I don't think it's a film copy though (they didn't really make it clear), but it's great to see it on a big screen nonetheless. But that's it for me and festivals, for a little while. I swear, I can quit anytime I like!
Wait a minute... a commentary track by Mr Bromley for The Thing?I’m gonna have to buy a multi-region blu-ray player and get the Arrow release
It's by Projection Booth's Mike White, Talk Without Rhythm's El Goro and P-Bromz.
Kunider - if you are in the the US I recommend the site "220 Electronics" for a region free blu-ray player. Great prices and customer service. Both Patrick and I have used them and I believe he was happy with them as well.
i'm actually in canada, but they ship here. i have already found one on another site. i just need to pull the trigger and spend the money. also shipping is going to cost me a bunch. so yeah, it's been in the plans for a while.
Patrick on The Arrow version of The Thing Blu ray is the only reason I bought The ThingAgain for about the 6th timePlease no more! :)
i'm actually really jealous i don't have this in my hands right now.and a bit frustrated i didn't know this before
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THE THING... another film I have not gotten around to watching, even with a copy of it in my collection.Speaking of The Projection Booth, Mikko, there was a recent episode on TOM OF FINLAND.
Yeah, I just saw that yesterday. Will have a listen next week at work.
Oh btw, it's Finland's Independence Day next Wednesday and Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence. Which means I'll be watching The Unknown Soldier (1955), which has become practically the Finnish national epic. They've shown it on TV every year on December 6th at least for as long as I can remember. I've seen it a bunch but it's been years since the last time, so I'm intrigued to revisit it with new eyes.
That sound like an interesting movie. Looks hard to find in north america though
Yeah, it's probably hard to find outside Finland. I don't know how much a non-Finn would get out of it, but it's become an important movie for Finns (as is the book it's based on, of course) because the Finnish front of WWII was pretty much the defining event for a couple of generations of Finns (this being a small country, it touched the lives of everyone). But like I said, I don't know if others would get that much out of it.
all right, thanks Chaybee. i didn't know about this site
No problem! Pretty much everything is accessible now. It's a shame in a way cause nothing is a hidden gem anymore but at the same time, a great thing cause everyone can see everything.
You are in for a major treat as far as Street Trash goes
Sorry to disappoint you but I wasn't a fan. Some fun scenes in there, but as a whole I was underwhelmed.Salyut-7, on the other hand, was a very well made Russian version of Apollo 13. Nothing new really but an enjoyable movie nonetheless. And Ninja III is always great fun.
I'm with you on Street Trash, Mikko. I was not a fan.
I had a lot of fun with Street Trash when I watched it, yet I can see why the silly and episodic nature of the script is not for everybody. It is one of the best shot low-budget films of its time, though. The director became a steady-cam specialist.
this week i saw nothing worth noting, other than The General, by Buster Keaton. it's a fantastic movie. arguably his masterpiece.i also hit the mark of 600 movies watched this year (down by a lot from last year. because of too much tv series).
Whoa! 600 is huge. I won't be reaching 400 like I did the last two years, but I'll land at around 365. Still plenty for me.Thanks to all the festivals though, I've now seen 91 movies theatrically this year, which smashes my record from last year (75).
How do you keep track of everything you watch, Kunider? And how do you choose what to see? In my case, it generally is a combination of spur-of-the-moment choices and going through my mental checklist.
Don't know about Kunider, but I keep track with IMDb's check-ins, which is a feature designed for exactly that. Then, every Jan 1st I copy my check-ins into a permanent list and start over.Here's my check-ins for this year.And here's the list of everything I saw last year.
full disclosure, some movies i watched more than once this year, but i still count them. i don't count tv series.i have and excel sheet in which i enter the title, director, year of the movie and date i saw the movie.
I've tried a couple things, but I find Letterboxd to be the easiest with the nicest web format. I like all that stats it generates too (if you do the paid version).
i tried letterboxd, but it doesn't do exactly what i want. so i stuck with my excel
For what it's worth, I use www.icheckmovies.com
I watched Home Again (2017) with Reese Witherspoon and Michael Sheen, and If I Were You (2012) with Marcia Gay Harden and Leonor Watling.Home Again is really really really really really terrible. I kept thinking - someone had money and famous people and they made THIS movie? I don't understand. Plus it's weird, like it's supposed to be a progressive-y theme where a younger guy falls for an older woman because older women are valuable and worth having or whatever (which is why I watched it - that 27 year old was hot in the trailer), but I don't think it landed that message. I don't know if I've ever seen a movie with less substance or that seemed more half-assed. If I Were You was fun, about two women who meet and become friends while, unbeknownst to one of them, her new friend is actually her lover's wife. I kind of wonder if that premise is secretly not that uncommon in real life. I know I've stalked my exes new girlfriends until I become so fond of them that I think they're way too good for my ex. It's a surreal, interesting and stupid experience all at the same time! But I thought it was a good movie about women's friendship, I liked it.
too bad about Home Again, i lreally like Reese Witherspoon, but that movie looked sooooo boring. as much as i like a cheezy romantic comedy, this one seemed to be too much for me. bring me Hallmark Channel movies anytime.
To me this trailer looked super amazing: https://youtu.be/lfHZ-B374iAI was living for that moment when jealousy fills Michael Sheen's eyes and he has to look away. It's obviously the moment women have had to see ourselves endure in movies for all of eternity. Because younger, thinner women...are more attractive, and movies (most) will never ever ever let you forget that. So BAM, dudes. I was so pumped for this! At least the person who made the trailer knew what was going on. I would love to hear a breakdown of a beloved Hallmark movie someday. And I don't mean that in a bad way! I just wanna...be part of that Hallmark Christmas magic. :)
Hallmark movies are definitely not reinventing the wheel.the girl is pretty and smart. the guy is also pretty and just enough of a goof to be cute. there's a bad guy, but not too bad, that will eventually change his mind at the end. the girl and the guy will turn around each other for while, start going out, have a fight before the last act (usually because of the bad guy) and reconcile at the end with some grand gesture from one or the other. and then there's the friends, parents, children and various extended family members that varies from film to film to offer advice and help one or the other. it's not actually that different from the bigger hollywood movies with superstar actors, but somehow these hallmark movies are more interesting to me.
Steamboat Bill Jr.: another great Buster Keaton movie. i'm slowly making my way through the Buster Keaton collection, from Kino, that i bought a year ago. to be honest, i kinda have to be in the mood to watch those movies, but every time i do it's a delight.
How were you introduced to Keaton's films, Kunider?Buster Keaton is the silent-era comedian I prefer. I love the stoic aspect of his comedy. STEAMBOAT BILL JR., beyond the house stunt, did not leave much of an impression on me. It is SHERLOCK JR. and the short ONE WEEK that I have liked the most. I remember enjoying THE NAVIGATOR, and THE GENERAL remains on my to-see list. It is a big omission.
i was always aware of him, seeing bits of his movies here and there. and last year i found the box set on amazon market for relatively cheap, so i bought it.so far i've seen all of his shorts, pre feature length era. some better than others, but always fun. and i saw a few of his other longer films here and there. that box set contains a lot of materials, and extras, which is very fun to go trhought whe i pop in a disc
My personal favorite Keaton flick is OUR HOSPITALITY, which is a feature length jab at Southern manners (something Keaton also gleefully tramples on in The General).
I went on a movie theater binge this weekend and had some really great times.COCO - Absolutely wonderful film! Wanna hear my pixar ranking??? ;)THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS - Eh, it's very ok. I was hoping for a Saving Mr Banks sort of thing (I love that movie) but it is not.THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI - Unbelievable masterpiece. I love this film so much. Not just because of the lead actress, but I really felt like this is a new Fargo. Shocking, disturbing, funny. Amazing.WONDER - As an example of its genre... sweet, sentimental family film... I thought it was almost perfect. I was so moved by this sweet movie that earns it all the way. I didn't care for the ending, which lays it on too thick, but other than that I really dug it.Can't wait for Shape of Water and Disaster Artist this next weekend! I'm trying to hit 50 new 2017 films in a theater for the year. I'm at 43 and considering The Post and Molly's Game aren't getting wide release till January, it could be a challenge. But I must persevere.
Better Watch Out: home invasion, with a twist. the twist comes fairly early and drives the rest of the film, so i suggest you don't read too much about the film before starting it. but it is a fun movie that i know the F-heads will like.
It's great. Red Christmas is another new indie Christmas horror worth seeing. Nice to see some strong showings this season.
R.I.P to Ulli Lommel who made one of my favourite 80s Horrors, The Bogeyman
i had a productive day todayThe Man With The Iron Heart: decent WWII movie that’s maybe trying to be too many things at once and shoot in every direction, never quite hitting the mark, but close. I watched it because of Jason Clarke, but I don’t think he was the best choice for the role. Ils (Them): i mentionned this one before. great 2006 home invasion movie from france. this is a short, but very tense movie. it does take about 30 minutes to get going, but the remaining 45 minutes are suspensful. it's too bad about the ending, just before the credit there's a text explaining the whole affair (it's apparently based on a real life event). It kind of remove the mystery of the whole thing. It might be difficult to find in streaming services, but i know dvds are available, and there's a region free blu-ray from the UK for not too much money.and now i started a pair of Harryhausen features, 20 Million Miles From Earth and It Came From Beneath The Sea. lesser known movies of his, but still a fun time. i wish there was a comprehensive Harryhausen collection somewhere, but i don't think it'll ever happen.and i'm planning to finish the night with another Buster Keaton, Seven Chances. which i hear have a great sequence at the end
What did you think of those Harryhausen films? Do you have a personal favorite among the films he worked on? JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS is my favorite, edging out 20 MILLION MILES. You mentioned that THE VALLEY OF GWANGI, which I have not seen, borrows heavily from KING KONG. You probably had the same reaction when watching 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH.
My favorite is Jason And The Argonauts. 20 Million Miles and It Came From The Sea are very fun movies. I prefered the formerI did have the thought about 20 Million Miles, but it was notntoo much like King Kong. In Gwangi, there’s also the show to the public that makes it even more similar.
I will watch THE BOOGEY MAN this week in honor of Ulli Lommel's passing. The only other film of his I have seen is THE TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES, a terrific film with a cameo by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. One film that I am looking forward to seeing this week is the 1972 film FAT CITY, airing on TCM Monday evening with a bunch of other boxing films.
Fat City is a really great movie.