Find of the week, PSYCHOMANIA used (Arrow release), for about half the price. Mr. Bromley did a glowing review of the disc a few months back, so I can’t wait to watch it. I also got Milos Forman’s HAIR, that look like a weird movie. And one more I’m happy to get is the DVD for Costa-Gavra’s Z (not the Criterion though). I love this movie and I hope it gets a blu-ray release soon. In the meantime, the DVD will do. And I’m skipping over all the stuff I received from my shopping spree on amazon, thanks to my tax return.DEN OF THIEVES: let’s face it, this is a remake of HEAT, without the talent behind the camera. I know a lot of people loved DoT, but I didn’t, at all. It’s trying too much to be HEAT, but cooler. Even the last line from the bad guy is the same as the last line from Robert DeNiro in HEAT. To me it’s maybe an upper class redbox movie, not the triple A feature that it’s trying to be. HEIST: a redbox movie if i ever saw one. It’s not very good, but it’s not trying to be the best movie either. It knows it’s a b-movie and I’m fine with it. Robert DeNiro is as bored as ever. JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS: yeah, that was good. Very good. When I saw it the first time, I think I was not aware of the possibility of irony and social commentary in movies. I was old enough to get it (I was 23 when it came out), I was just not smart enough. THE BLIND SWORDMAN ZATOICHI (2003): I’ve never seen any of the original Zatoichi, though I just bought the Criterion set. I’m a big fan of Takeshi Kitano movies. The movie is not perfect. Sometimes the music sound cheap. The CGI doesn’t always look good, but is used sparingly, only for blood splatters, adding to the comic effect. That’s a thing that I like, it can go from comedy, to extreme violence right back to comedy in the span of a minute. I liked it and I can’t wait to dig into the old series.FIFTY SHADES FREED: yeah, it’s not good. It watched it because… I don’t know why I watched it. I saw the first one out of curiosity. The second one because I saw the first. So I guess I just wanted to finish the trilogy. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it will never be mistaken for good cinema. Bad writing, bad acting. The cinematography, the music and the editing is passable, so that’s something I guess. Anyway, it’s over, I can move on.
Be sure to put some reviews of the old Zatoichi films as you get to them. I've always been interested in checking them out and just haven't gotten around to it.
Another weekend, another film festival! Loud Silents, the local silent film festival, is underway, and so far I've seen Koyaanisqatsi with a newly composed alternative soundtrack by a Belgian rock band called We Stood Like Kings and 1925's The Lost World with a fun, eclectic soundscape by a Finnish combo called Maajo. And tomorrow I'm gonna go se The Great White Silence, a 1920's documentary about the polar explorer Robert Scott, who lost the race to the south pole to Roald Amundsen by mere weeks.Btw, We Stood Like Kings' Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack is on YouTube in its entirety, and it's very good.Besides those and Infinity War, I've mainly been rewatching superhero movies, including Age of Ultron, the first Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool. And I also saw The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid, a Bud Spencer movie where a small town sheriff teams up with a little kid from outer space. It was goofy and fun, as Spencer movies tend to be.
Those alternative soundtrack sound interesting. I listened to a bit of Koyaniqatsi's with the youtube link you provided. I might try it with the movie. Sound interesting, but it will be hard to dissociate the movie with the real score
I can only imagine it would be, this was my first time seeing it. I did immediately order the Blu-ray though, so I'll be listening to the Philip Glass score soon.
It was a different kind of movie week. All that I watched ended up being artsy films revolving around female protagonists. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS (1970) – An utterly captivating viewing experience. From the first shot, I knew I was going to like this. The mingling of dark fairy tale and horror elements intrinsically appeals to me, and the beauty of the imagery only enhances the film’s impact. There is something otherworldly about the way the 13-year-old lead actress is photographed. The sound elements are terrific, as well. It amazes me that this was made under a Communist regime. ELLES (2011) – An upper middle-class writer, portrayed charismatically by Juliette Binoche, interviews two young prostitutes for a magazine article. This is a very French movie: lots of talking. Although it seems like there is an attempt here to explore the how women are sexualized or desexualized (mothers) by society, the film ends up being muddled. The primary strength of the film is the performances. JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (1975) – Well, this was a challenge. It took a couple of nights, but I got through this three-hour “epic” of a widowed single mother going through her daily routine in her apartment. Watch her peel potatoes, buy groceries, wash dishes, stare off into space and turn tricks in the most joyless way possible. There were parts I genuinely found fascinating and others that are the definition of tedium. Chantal Akerman’s minimalist approach is worthy of analytical essays but not an evening of entertainment. Jeanne Dielman is not, at least, taking up space on the DVR now.
Mm I've always wondered about that Jeanne Dielman movie. I...peel potatoes, spend lots of time buying groceries and washing dishes...so, so far I relate. Haha.
Jeanne Dielman is a hard movie to critique, Meredith. The intent of the film is to show the mind-numbing life of the main character, and it succeeds extremely well in that. Boredom is an inherent part of the experience.
Jeanne Dielman is something indeed. Not for everybody, and not for any occasion. You have to be in the mood for somethinf like this. It's a fascinating movie
I loved Rob DiCristino's idea of going through the Pure Cinema films he hasn't seen so much that I decided to do the same. It's off to a great start! I'm sure you folks have seen these already, but... AFTER HOURS was pretty amazing. Not enough brilliant filmmakers are making comedies and so many are lacking style and directorial authorship. This Scorsese comedy is basically perfect. What a great film for acting and dialogue. SAVAGE STREETS is inexcusably sleazy and reprehensible, and yes, I was super entertained. I absolutely loved the '80s soundtrack most of all. Glad to finally check this one off the list!
Beyond having catchy songs, the soundtrack of Savage Streets fits the film well. Nothing's Gonna Stand in Our Way is the perfect track for the opening credits.
I've been thinking about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing for about a month now. Make. It. Stop! Or not, it's just so cute. Everyone is so cute in it (Caleb Landry Jones? Wow, normal looks so cute on you) and they have that Townes Van Zandt song with slack key guitar. I guess it faced a lot of backlash when it came out but I'm not sure why, wasn't paying attention at the time. Frances McDormand's character is obviously not a hero. I'm not sure what this movie is trying to say, I just laugh all the way through. But it feels anti-righteous to me and humbling. Im gonna try to get around to In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. A friend told me about them years ago but didn't pay attention then.
Saw, and loved A Quiet Place and (for the first time) The Lost Boys. Also saw and really hated Ready Player One. And, inspired by Rob D., started listening to the Pure Cinema podcast. It's fantastic.
Watched "Permanent" last weekend and again with my wife today. One of my favorite films of the year. I haven't responded to a coming of age film like this since "The Way Way Back" ("Permanent" is funnier though)
i've been listening to old FThisMovie podcast, and i recently finished the one on Sucker Punch. at some point Patrick and Doug talk about Oscar Isaac, who was not yet the star he is today (Sucker Punch being his biggest movie to that point). at some point Doug says something along the line of 'that guy is great, i think he has a future'. this immediately brought a smile to my face.
I got back from the drive-in not long ago. It is the opening weekend of the season. With the rainy weather (I bought a canopy to sit under on the way there) and a double bill of child-friendly films, it was not a large or a raucous audience. That should change for the Zombie weekend in a month.The bill was The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Oz I had not seen in decades. It certainly is one of the best Technicolor productions; the costumes and the sets are beautiful to look at. I do not mind that it feels like it was made eighty years ago. In any case, Margaret Hamilton's over-the-top Wicked Witch of the West is still a blast to watch. Willy Wonka is a first watch for me. I had only seen parts of it on TV over the years. It is a delightful film. The songs are terrific, and I was surprised by the edginess of the Wonka character. He is not sympathetic to anybody.
I recently picked up the Criterion Blu Ray for Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence. I think this is one of his most underrated films, and Criterion really does it justice. The image and sound have never looked better. They include a 1993 promotional short that's a bit cringeworthy (in his interview, Marty acts as if he's just done a fairly heroic amount of cocaine), but the 2017 interviews conducted just for this release are terrific - although it's a shame we don't have contemporary interviews with any of the actors.
One note for Saul and Elaine Bass aficionados - these geniuses did the beautiful title sequence for the film, and for years I've wondered about the music that plays over it. That selection is not on the otherwise excellent soundtrack album. Turns out that Mr. and Mrs. Bass cut the sequence to an edited version of the overture to Gonoud's opera Faust, a performance of which opens the film. Elmer Bernstein had always planned to score the sequence himself, but when he and Scorsese viewed the sequence with the Faust music, they agreed it could not be topped. And there is your useless yet hopefully interesting information for the day.
The Age of Innocence is one my favorite Scorsese films. A period drama is not what you would expect him do to well with, but he succeeded beautifully in translating the world of the novel into film. I have read some complaints about the amount of voice-over narration, but it does not bother me at all. The film feels like a lavish studio production from the 1950s or '60s than a product of the 1990s. Have you ever seen Luchino Visconti's adaptation of The Leopard? It is another sumptuous period drama.
It's funny, because The Leopard gets cited in the special features about 10 times - Scorsese indicated it was a major source of inspiration for The Age of Innocence. I'm going to have to check it out.
The Leopard is another fantastic Criterion release. the movie is beautiful and the performances are great. it help if you're aware of the history of the time, but if not, you'll enjoy the movie anyway. i know i did.
When I watched The Leopard, I sensed a kinship between it and The Age of Innocence. They felt like companion films, so it is interesting to hear about The Leopard having a direct influence on Scorsese. The ball sequence that concludes The Leopard is one the most dazzling things I have ever watched. It really feels like a ball taking place in real time on a grand scale.
My week in movies:Dollman vs. Demonic Toys, dir. Charles Band (1993)So there is a bit of a struggle within me going on after watching this hour long "feature", one part of me thinks; "well that is an hour (yes this film is only one hour long!) of my life I'm not getting back..." AND the other part is going; "ahh this takes me back to the 90's and recording and enjoying a whole bunch of Full Moon Entertainment movies and beginning my love of B-movies!" Certainly more filler than killer with the feel of a clip show with at least three whole scenes made from footage from the films the characters come from YET the cast: Tim Thomerson, Tracy Scoggins and Melissa Behr giving it their all and some fun and weirdly sleazy effects work... I've been meaning to watch this for years and well now I have.Faust: Love of the Damned, dir Brian Yuzna (2000)After watching the latest RLM episode of "Best of the Worst" it covered a film I haven't seen since the early days of my DVD collecting days so a few clicks on Amazon and a only a couple of £'s spent and Faust: Love of the Damned is back in my collection ... and... It is a nasty, sleazy, gory and ohh so fun twist on the super-anti-hero tale, somewhere between The Crow, Spawn and of course the classic tale of Faust but done on a dollar store budget (in the best possible way!) A great B-movie cast including Andrew Divoff doing a variation on the Wishmaster character (FYI, I LOVE Wishmaster!) and Jeffrey Combs, some great practical effects by Screaming Mad George and a bizarre plotting and pacing that certainly keeps you on your toes! Yes, it is about 10 - 15 minutes too long but I had a whole heap of fun on this re-watch!Renegades, dir. Jack Sholder (1989)One of my personal favourites back in my VHS owning days and one that I'd been meaning to revisit... Coming out at the tail end of the eighties ('89 to be exact) and tapping into that decades action movie staple of the buddy-buddy movie this is somewhat overlooked! though, this re-watch did not quite live up to younger me's perception of this film! Darker in tone, there is only a touch of humour, most of it being the repetitive running "joke" of calling Lou Diamond Phillips Chief and directed a little too workmanlike by until then interesting Jack Sholder* (his last real film of note!) It does however have some great action scenes including a really blooming good car chase, I'm a sucker for a good car chase! Not perfect but like 1987's The Wild Pair it offers enough interesting touches to make it worth a visit.* His three features with New Line Cinema, Alone In the Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and The Hidden are all in their own way well worth a watch!Metro, dir. Thomas Carter (1997)Another revisit, this time Eddie Murphy's 1990's return to the action-thriller genre and another I've not seen since, this time, the early days of buying DVD's... and... I can say I had fun with it, good action (including a well handled San Francisco car/tram chase), Murphy on full charm mode and a decent villain in the always dependable Michael Wincott... However, the comedy falls flat, this would have worked better with the more serious tone that it often has, both Michael Rapaport and Carmen Ejogo are wasted and ultimately it is about 15 - 20 minutes too long... Fun but I doubt I'll need to revisit again in a hurry!
Batman Ninja, dir. Junpei Mizusaki (2018)Well this sure was something a different spin on well worn characters and a visually inventive, almost overwhelmingly so at times, blast that has its flaws but moves like a heck of a clip and certainly keeps the viewer on their toes... DC handing over the production to Japan and director Junpei Mizusaki means that it is filled to the brim with some wonderfully idiosyncratic ideas, the villain castles turning into robots before going all Voltron gave me the biggest smile! The animation is absolutely stunning and touches upon various anime styles and traditional Japanese artwork, this is certainly a film where any freeze frame could easily hang as artwork on a wall... Yes the larger scope means I was less invested in the characters and the English translated screenplay is not very engaging BUT the style and the invention more the carry it over these bumps!
i'm curious about this new Batman, but i think i need a break on Batman animated movies. there's too many of them. it's getting repetitive to me
Only thing I watched of note from this past week was Call Me by Your Name and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Both were similar in style and structure and I loved both.