Good weekend to everyone.I just got through watching this weeks Turner Classic Movies' TCM Underground features. Since the drive-in is closed now, I have to look elsewhere for my exploitation fix. I found this double-feature more than satisfying for that purpose.LADY STREET FIGHTER (1981)- Whenever I see trash like this on TCM, I always do a double take and laugh. Humphrey Bogart and Renee Harmon on the same movie channel! But I like it that way. This ultra low-budget action film stars Harmon avenging her sister's death by going after a some kind of hit-man organization. I think that is the story, anyway. The charm of the film is that everything aspect of it is awkward. This is quite far from polished Hollywood entertainment. AGFA did a really nice looking transfer. SISTER STREET FIGHTER (1975)- This was beyond entertaining. The sister of an undercover agent goes after the drug gang responsible for his disappearance. It is very much a Japanese hommage/rip-off of Enter the Dragon. Etsuko Shiomi shines in the lead role, fighting her way through countless groups of men to accomplish her mission. I am partial to martial films with female leads. Sonny Chiba and a couple of other lady fighters assist her along the way. It is strange for me to say it, but the English dubbing was truly enjoyable.There was one other notable watch for the week.THE DAMNED: DON’T YOU WISH THAT WE WERE DEAD (2016) – I knew nothing about the The Damned before watching this rockumentary. It turns out they beat all of their UK punk contemporaries to recording and touring around the world, but they never broke through in a big way. I did recognize their song “New Rose,” probably from hearing a cover version years ago. The documentary, overall, is unfocused and becomes a slog for those who are not already passionate fans. What it does do well is shed a light on the sometimes dubious experience of living on a legacy.
"Hey, is it just me or does this new Grinch move look like its going to totally rock?!" - A local DJ on the radio other day between 80s and 90s hits. I personally have no interest in Grinch 2018, and have no problem if you do, its just I didnt think anyone would say "That looks like its going to rock!" about a new CGi Grinch movie.
It's genre festival time! My local twice-a-year festival, Cinemadrome, is in full swing. Yesterday, I saw a pretty dinged-up 35mm copy of Prince of Darkness (which was great except for the idiots in the back laughing the whole way through) and Bruce Lee's The Way of the Dragon (a fun movie even though the comedy didn't really land for me). And tonight I'm going back for Conan the Barbarian in 35mm (which I've never seen!) and a movie called R.O.T.O.R. (they always end the festival with, in their words, a "trash movie"). I decided to skip their annual showing of The Room, having seen it the previous two years.
I encountered that situation at the drive-in a couple of times this year. (It was mostly about the look of the characters.) Beyond the distraction of the laughter, there is the annoyance that the viewers are not trying to engage with the film on its own terms. That is vital for a film like Prince of Darkness, which is driven more by concepts than plot or characters. I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival, Mikko.
PMI heard a lot of good things about the Psycho sequels, so i finally cracked and bought the blu-rays (not the shout factory release though). I have to say the critics were right, Psycho 2 is great. 3 and 4 are next
Watched Christopher Robin 2018 solely because one of my favorite modern writers/filmmakers, Alex Ross Perry was one of the writers. I liked it, but I see why it wasn't a success. For a kids film, it's extremely low energy and unengaging. The much more fun Paddington (not part 2, that was awful) felt so much more engaging and energetic with movements in the acts that kept the flow going. Robins is like one monotonous journey with the same music cues at the same times and very little humor in between. Almost none actually. I don't fault Ross Perry though. Have you seen his films?! Who the hell hired him to write this?! 😂
Paddington 2 is the most delightful movie I've seen all year. Shame on you.
Hey, glad you loved it!!
This evening I watched a film called The Dark, from 1979, on Amazon Prime. The poster art is terrific, and I though there might at least be an entertaining film there. I also have a soft spot for that period of time. What The Dark offered was a lethargically paced story dominated by unengaging characters. In addition, the final showdown with the monster was anticlimatic. Despite my disappointment, I did like the look of the film. Much of The Dark was definitely shot in the dark.
Finally got around to watching two anticipated movies: Hold the Dark and You Were Never Really Here.Hold the Dark was a bit of a disappointment. Saulnier's too good of a director for the movie to be bad but it feels like a big step down from Green Room. Green Room was a tight, efficient piece of nastiness. Hold the Dark is almost the exact opposite. Overlong, ponderous and pretentious. It's got some good stuff but it was a miss for me.You Were Never Really Here ruled though. I need to sit with it a bit longer to figure out how a really feel but there's no denying it really affected me. What on the page looked like it could have been a Liam Neeson movie, it becomes so much more in Lynne Ramsay's hands. Like I said I need to sit with it more, but it's definitely a must watch.
Just finished the terrific documentary FILMWORKER, the story of Stanley Kubrick's right hand man - Leon Vitali. Netflix. Getting ready to watch Kurosawa's RAN & HIGH AND LOW before Filmstruck self-destructs later on this week.
The Outlaw King was better than reviews led me to believe it would be. I mean, it's not great, but there is a lot more good than bad. I'm kind of a sucker for this sort of historical epic, though. Also, did you know that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is capable of not just being a block of wood? As someone who mostly knows him from his role as white noise in Godzilla, he is unrecognizable here.I also watched Like Father on Netflix. Its kind of big hunk of nothing. I think its a comedy, but it is almost never funny. It is vaguely pleasant, largely because Kristen Bell is in it.
I saw Can You Ever Forgive Me? and enjoyed it, but it's the only movie that made me feel like I was 85 years old for liking.