Good weekend to everyone.As another year begins, I am searching for different cinematic paths to explore. This seems to happen every two or three years. Since I tend to dive in deeply with any of my cinematic interests, a point comes when finding worthwhile films to discover gets increasingly difficult. Do any of you experience this?It was a quiet week for movie watching. I only got around to three.WILD AT HEART (1990) - I am still not sure how I feel about the conclusion, but the rest of the film is a wild and fun ride. You can tell the actors were enjoying themselves during the shoot. Wild at Heart definitely feels like a natural progression from Blue Velvet in its themes and style. Not being familiar with much of David Lynch's work past Blue Velvet, I am tempted to move ahead in his filmography after watching this. SCREWBALLS (1983) - Even for a 1980s teen sex comedy, Screwballs comes across as extremely juvenile. Sometimes is it gratingly so. The one section I found funny was the strip bowling sequence. I think I will stick to Porky's for a fix of sex-obsessed high school students. THAT GUY DICK MILLER (2015) - Charming doc about the noted character actor and, in a wider sense, the Roger Corman School of Filmmaking. It helps that the subject of the film is a very engaging guy who participated in my beloved realm of exploitation cinema. After seeing this and the documentary American Grindhouse, I wish that the director, Elijah Denner, had ventured more into feature-length documentaries. Shooting extras for DVD and blu-ray releases probably pays better. If there are any Bill Evans fans out there, there is a great documentary on Amazon Prime about the jazz pianist entitled BILL EVANS TIME REMEMBERED. I was impressed by the number of his collaborators that were interviewed, a significant portion of which are now deceased.
I almost forgot about watching one of the films on TCM Underground this morning. SCARY MOVIE, from 1991, is a low-budget horror film made around Austin, Texas. I appreciated the twists in the story and the Halloween scare house setting.
I DVR'ed "Scary Movie" too. Waiting for a hole next week to sneak it in. TCM Underground also showed "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" afterwards and caught a few minutes. It's... a movie. :-(
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has a crazy charm. Besides, it is always fun to see Dennis Hopper go berserk.
Yay, weekend open thread!I watched Crawl (2019) which was entertaining enough. But why were the crocs in the cellar to begin with? There wasn't any water down there at the start. Is this a common occurrence in Florida? It's also a funny reminder that basements are rare in places like Florida and California, while it's nearly a given here in Canada. Avengement (2019) - This movie kicks butt. So much butt kicking. I loved it. I prefer Adkins when he has a British accent. He's such a good looking man, however, that I found it off-putting when they made him look "dangerous" in Avengement (Is that a real word? No. No, it is not). - watched this with the family, and really enjoyed it. There were just enough call backs/references to the TV show to get a few laughs, without overdoing it. I liked how a lot of the challenges were puzzles, which (kind of) is true to the show. The lead actor really nailed Dora's persistent and infectious enthusiasm. My tween kids loved it too. A good mix of Indiana Jones/National Treasure for kids that liked the show as younger children. The only negative thing was the CGI Boots and Swiper stuck out like a sore thumb. But I guess they weren't going for realistic, because Swiper is an actual real life fox that walks on 2 legs, wears and mask, and steals things. Which was unexplained and clashed with how everything else was presented as realistic (Boots being able to talk, the Map, etc. were shown as being in Dora's imagination).
Oups, That last paragraph was referring to Dora and the Lost City Of Gold (2019). I didn't watch Avengement with my kids, haha.
Such a cute and likable movie. The opening scenes when raised-in-the-jungle Dora has to adjust to life in civilization had me and the about-to-turn-tween niece in stitches. :-D Wish Michael Peña and Eva Longoria were more in the story, and their screen-time replaced Eugenio Derbez's. Derbez can be funny (the "Overboard" remake), but when he gets hammy it drags down the flick. A pleasant surprise that got swallowed in the 2019 black hole that was the Disney theatrical machine.
While Patrick's going through the Nic Cage DTV Canon, I'm re-watching the Resident Evil franchise - an endeavor many would consider equally foolhardy, but certainly not Heather Wixson. I've always enjoyed this goofy franchise for better or worse. Anyway, I just revisited part 4 and I absolutely love it! It's very much the kind of movie a teenager would make, but there's an infectious energy to the childlike way that Paul W.S. Anderson plays around with post-apocalyptic tropes, 3D,and slow-mo. The guy just thoroughly enjoys making these kinds of movies, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this one. Mock me all you want, I will not back down.
Count me too among "Resident Evil: Afterlife's" fans. It's as dumb and non-sensical as its prequels and sequels, but "Afterlife" feels like Anderson, Jovovich and the cast/crew really think they're resurrecting the franchise to creative heights they never actually achieved. It's the only story from the "RE" movie franchise I wish they'd turn into an actual "RE" videogame (in VR, please!). Heck, Metrograph in NYC showed it as part of a 3D retrospective a while back and the immersion of the 3D wasn't your usual upconverted Stereo crap. It's show-off 3D crossed with minimal 3D backgrounds meant to enhance the scope of the sets/location where the action happens. If you're into 3D at all "Afterlife" is not quite demo reel worthy, but comes awful close to being that.It helps if you've seen #3 beforehand (2007's "Extinction") but Mark W. is right: this is a fine standalone piece of amusing junk food cinema. :-)
I've tries to broaden my horizons a bit by watching movies from as many different countries as possible. In 2018, I saw movies from 33 countries, last year from 42. This year's goal is to break last year's record. I've already banked 13 countries during January, including Malta, Ukraine and the Netherlands, but obviously finding new ones gets harder the more you've watched.Also watched the Apollo 11 doc this week, which was fantastic, and Dolittle, which was a waking nightmare. And just finished rewatching The Adventures of Tintin for the first time since 2011. That movie's fun as hell.
The Adventures of Tintin seems like a surprising choice for an American director. I do not even remember its release. The reason I know about the Tintin comics is because of my Francophile tendencies as a young man. I assume the film had a lot more box office in Europe.I have also tried to get more countries involved in my movie watching, Mikko. With all of the attention the cinema of South Korea has received, I am curious about what I have been missing. There are probably some worthwhile European productions I have missed over the past decade. It seems like the distribution of European films in the U.S. has dwindled since the beginning of the century. I cannot say that I have watched a Nollywood film, either.
Patrick, curious what your thoughts on Nic Cage's "Between Worlds" are. I kinda loved it.