I just finished watching "True History of the Kelly Gang" and it is a true blue masterpiece. I was worried Justin Kurzel lost me after "Assassin's Creed" but this flick finds him on top form. George MacKay is having quite the year. Essie Davis is incredible (when is she not, though?)Charlie Hunnam is atypically good.Fat Russell Crowe is the best kind of Russell Crowe.
I just got Stan (where it's streaming on aussie) so I could watch it. I can't wait.
I hope everybody is getting through the current troubles of the world in good health and with pleasant thoughts. While staying at home has become a little dull at times, I am still trying to move ahead in life. Movies play a part in that, and I have seen more than a few the past two weeks.THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1939) – A classic of Hollywood’s studio era that is still an amazing watch. Charles Laughton is terrific as Quasimodo, and the vast production on huge sets and soundstages with hundreds of extras is all the more impressive in the CGI era. INSIANG (1976, dir. Lino Brocka) – A Filipino melodrama set in the slums of Manilla that revolves around the tortured relationship between a mother and daughter. The film’s title is the name of the daughter, who lives under her mother’s resentful thumb and is ruthlessly exploited by the men around her. The more Insiang tries to find a way out, the more trapped she feels. I did not find it a pleasant watch, but it certainly works well as a story. FINGERS (1978) – FINGERS follows the exploits of a thuggish debt collector who also has a great passion for music. Harvey Keitel’s performance as the repugnant protagonist is too effective at times; I really hated him by the middle of the film. Keitel is the best part of the whole film, though. Director James Toback channels Martin Scorsese a little too much for my tastes, and the way female characters are treated is, even for the period, harsh. Overall, it is a downer. WILBUR AND THE BABY FACTORY (1970) – As bad as the cheaply produced sexploitation films of the 1960’s and early ‘70’s can be, there is a period charm to them that appeals to me. WILBUR… has that charm,showcasing the music, politics and fashions of the late 1960s while maintaining a strong narrative for this kind of film. The story centers around Wilbur, a smart and fit young man with good genes, who is chosen for a project to breed a generation of superior human beings. It entertained me.
Doing well on lockdown in Seattle.So far, this week's provided ample opportunity to crank out my ever-growing pile of movies. But, I'll just scribble about one:The Gentlemen (2020) -- GRitchie's back in his best film since Man from UNCLE...? Going back to the old formula of the slickly produced pastiche of British gangster stereotypes, like Kevin Smith's desperate attachment to the ViewAskewniverse, this is his wheelhouse. There's definitely a return to his Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels madcap mania here, and it's hard not to be pulled in by its kinetic, hyperjuvenile fun.Hugh Grant's star is the shiniest among the top-bill menagerie of UK megastars. He plays Fletcher, a tabloid journalist with a penchant for movie scripts, expository narration and ogling Charlie Hunnam's no doubt perfectly sculpted posterior. Grants plays that smarmy confidence so deliciously that his character's machinations propels the story along, describing the entire affair as though he was literally reading the script for this movie. He doesn't go so far as to break the 4th wall, but he reminds us very much that we're watching a movie; a gritty, high octane gangster romp.McConaughey is the movie's protagonist, but the narrative thrust centers around the duel of wits between Fletcher and McConaughey's enforcer, Ray, played by the "frighteningly capable" Charlie Hunnam. Actually, of the many times I've seen Hunnam's predictable mediocrity over the last years, I think he finds a role that fits well with his flat emotional affect and cut-from-marble body. The two face off, not over guns or blunt objects, but instead over tumblers of top-shelf whiskey and wagyu steaks. The whole experience is definitely regressive, not quite S. Craig Zahler, but in the ballpark. The film's drab worldview is informed by an equal disdain for the parasitic English gentry as well as the Nanny State liberals. There's no room for nuance here except for the hard-scrabble criminals vying for money and power outside of that simple duality. Just as you would expect, the film is showy, violent and crass. Slurs and stereotypes abound. Were all of the times (a few dozen, IIRC) the word 'cunt' was said on-screen were scripted, or were some ad-libbed? This is a profane, cheeky, Tarantino-esque script that clearly wants to revel in its debauched nature. But, it ends as the type of the movie that doesn't really have much to say anything about anything, and for this type of movie, that's ok.It is cine-literate escapism with players at the top of their craft, and for the world as it is right now, that escape was refreshing.
I finished rewatching the Friday the 13th series. The fans keep defending Part 6 as one of the good ones, so I guess it’s just not for me. There’s way too much comedy, and it’s way too cornball. And all of Tommy Jarvis’ drama bores me. On the plus side, C.J. Graham is really good as Jason, really capturing the “lumbering brute walk.” To be further controversial, I absolutely love part 7. Telekinetic Tina rules, leading a supporting cast of quirky characters. Kane Hodder’s look as “swamp Jason” is really cool. Maybe the unmasking tries too hard to make his face all grody, but when the movie is this much fun getting to that point, I don’t mind. Part 8 is pure silliness, of course. It doesn’t live up to its New York-themed potential for a variety of reasons, but there are some creative kills and genuine laughs to be had here and there. I like that the final girl has a connection with Jason, albeit an ambiguous one. This isn’t a good movie, but it’s a you-can-throw-it-on-and-watch-anytime movie. Jason Goes to Hell is baffling, as somebody decided to dig into the lore of a series that doesn’t have much lore. I like how the phrase “Jason requires a human host” is meant to explain every plot hole, yet all it does is raise more questions. I guess I should applaud them for trying something different, but I don’t know. The machine gun lady in the diner was pretty rad. Jason X is another one that doesn’t meet its potential. I kept wanting it to go bigger and darker, but instead we’re in Scream ripoff land, where everybody’s all “we’re in on the joke” and they hang the whole movie on that. It's... fine? I know Freddy vs. Jason is a horribly flawed movie, but this is the over-the-top craziness I like. I can’t defend the movie, because I’m aware of how much of it doesn’t work, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t leave a smile on my face every time. I can’t explain it, either. I resisted seeing the reboot for a long, long time, but fans kept insisting it’s a legit part 12. On this rewatch I found myself digging it. The movie's rough around the edges, but the final few scenes are good ones. Next up, the Halloween franchise!
I had a good time with Part 7 when I watched it last year, Mac. Tina's battle with Jason adds a little spice to the usual slasher recipe.
I loved the Jason from 7. He's all wet and rotting and falling apart. The common criticism of this movie for introducing telekinesis always rung hollow for me, as the whole idea of Jason is pretty silly right off the bat. You're fine with a zombie hydrophobic face hiding beast, but a telekinetic girl is "going too far"?
I watched Emma (2020) with my sister (we are quarantining separately in Hawaii & NY). We wanted to like it. But Emma is just a shallow, kind of stupid story, there's no getting around it. And the script in this one is worse than the 1996 version, because this one is so stylized and purposely stiff. I was really disappointed. Not sure why. I wanted it to be good, and Johnny Flynn is so beautiful to look at but...it felt like trying to squeeze blood from a stone.Emma Thompson and Ang Lee's adaptation of Sense & Sensibility in 1995 is one of our favorite movies; we know all the words, it's part of our inner jokes, etc. The characters, including the men, are each deep like oceans. But every. single. other. adaptation! of an Austen story! Ah! So bad! So focused on formality, caricature and gossip. Fine, I guess, if you're into that stuff. Blah.
Watched both Bill & Ted movies this week. I'd only seen the first one before and it's a weird movie, but I wasn't entirely prepared for how bonkers Bogus Journey gets.Also, the Darkman sequels. Neither is great, but II has Larry Drake and III has a bizarre dream sequence of 90's CGI, so I guess they were barely worth watching.But the movie highlight of the week was a rewatch of Knives Out, which I got in the mail yesterday. Love that movie. Gonna watch it again one of these days with the Rian Johnson commentary.
Hey everyone! Hope you all are coping well with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. I know we're mostly a lot of movie-watching homebodies around here so things shouldn't be too tough. But even I've had some cabin fever lately. lolThree quick reviews of a few movies I've watched lately.ROLE MODELS - This one I watched because this week's podcast made me realize I've never seen it, and my wife has the biggest Paul Rudd crush (hopefully slightly smaller than the one she's got on me ;) ). Turns out this one was way better than I expected. I really grew to love the characters as it went along, and all the LARP stuff was really fun. I'm somewhat of a fan of I Love You Man, but I think this one was better. Glad I finally got around to it.SUMMERTIME - Been on a big classic film kick lately, and I watched this Katherine Hepburn flick because it was on the criterion channel and it's all about her taking a vacation in Italy. I think we could all use a virtual vacation these days, I know I did. Italy has never looked so beautiful, and the film is incredibly romantic. Maybe a big melodramatic at points, but I found it really peaceful. BLASTFIGHTER - Here's where all you Italian exploitation nerds get excited (hey no offense I'm one of you). I'm a big fan of Lamberto Bava's horror stuff, as I think he's better at pacing than a lot of the Italian Horror guys. He gives you the "good stuff" in large degrees. A Blade in the Dark is still my favorite of his, and one of the best Giallos. But this is an action movie, and I really wish he made more of them. It hits a lot of my sweet spots, in that it's a country set action movie about a guy who comes back to his hometown and starts a relationship with his estranged daughter. 3 plot devices I tend to always like. The action is good and it really gets you to care about the plot, without just waiting for the next action scene. Also, shout out to this being my first Code Red blu ray I've bought!THE DESCENDANTS - I used to watch this movie a lot, as I always found it so relaxing and peaceful. Tonight I showed it to Stefanie and we both had the best time with it. It's technically a sad movie, but all the sadness is so quiet and it just feels like real people dealing with real problems. The acting is wonderful (perhaps my very favorite George Clooney role) and I adore the Hawaiian music all throughout. This is one of those special movies I find perfect from beginning to end. I hope this isn't one of those modern Oscar movies that gets forgotten, it's one of my favorites.Have a good Saturday night everyone! Watch something fun, or maybe something scary.
Blastfighter rules. I recently did an episode of Just the Discs about Underrated '80s action and that was on my list. So glad you liked it. And there's lots more Code Red weirdness/goodness out there to be discovered!
Yep, I ordered the blu after listening to that. Loved the episode!
I ordered Blastfighter after listening to that episode as well. Still waiting for it to appear. But looking forward to watching it.
I've been watching a lot more cause - we're home and I can't always sleep. And since my parnter is home our movie watching has been all over the place. Like everyone else :). But I will rewatches have been playing better for me because I am locked in. Like we watched Yesterday and just watching people hanging out together in pubs and the whole communial experience of music just got to us.We've also being watching...Blade Runner 2049I'm a sucker for Roger Deakins cinematography, and this movie is beautiful. I just let it wash over me and I forgave plot points that usually leave me cold. But Dan absoutley loves this movie so that helps.Catch Me If You CanI really liked the 1950s studio movie asthetic. It really highlighted everything and all the themes Spielberg was pulling on. Plus Tom Hanks steals the movie for me.Gone in Sixty SecondsA Dan favourite. Nicolas Cage is tonely perfect (as usual) for this Bruckheimer joint. Is it just me or with Bruckheimer movies that whenever you think the movie is about to kick into it's final action sequence it's really going into the final act?The Wolf Man/Bride of FrankensteinPerfect movies for when you can't sleep. Universal Monsters are my happy place. And I am forever thankful for JB and FThisMovie for introducing them to me.Avengment I watched this with Daniel Epler and Michael Scott. This movie is fuuuuun. This is defiently the pandemic where I become a massive Scott Adkins fan. Unlike all the other pandemics,SwitchbackA really solid mid budget 90s thriller, with an amazing 90s cast. Ted Levine, R. Lee Ermy (whose really great in this), Walter Goggins, Dennis Quaid. It's a chaotic movie plot wise but, Switchback really reminds you how great an actor Danny Glover is.The Fugitive I was still in a Jeb Stuart mood after Switchback. The Fugitive played the best for me it's ever played. I loved it on this watch.Okay I have gabbled on enough. I hope everyone is staying safe and taking care.
Can't wait to find out which new action star we get into during the next pandemic! *knock on wood*
LoL - yes knock on wood.
Searching for a schlocky horror film to pass part of a Saturday night, I settled on The Satanic Rites of Dracula from 1973. It was a perfect choice to take me away from the dreariness of the moment. Satanic Rites is a bad Hammer Dracula film, but that does not stop it from being highly entertaining. There is a lot of crazy plot crammed into The Satanic Rites of Dracula that sets it apart from the other Hammer Dracula films I have seen.Looking around Prime after watching Satanic Rites, I found an Italian film called TULPA, which came out in 2012. It is not a good film, but, for a giallo fan like me, it was intriguing to see an attempt at updating giallo tropes. It is all here: a black-gloved killer dressed in a black coat and hat, extended stalking sequences, and a character turning into an amateur detective. The colorful visuals reference Dario Argento, but the film overall looks very dark. Beyond an exercise in style, there is not much to recommend it.
If you are looking for a good attempt at modern day Gialli, check out Amer, The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (same director's for both of those) and Francesca. Really well done films. Strange Color....was one of my favorite films of 2013.
Thank you for reminding me of those, Chaybee. THE STRANGE COLOR... is one I have intended to watch with for a while.
Seconded. The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears sounds like something I should check out.
I finally caught Dragged Across Concrete last night (which, by the way is now available on HBO GO) and boy did it work on me. Its long run time and slow, meandering pace really helped to build a relationship between the characters. With that said, who are we really supposed to care about in this movie? I found myself caring for everyone, only to have the rug pulled out from under me every time. Was this really just a movie about Mel Gibson's career?
Thanks for letting us know "DAC" is on HBO Go in the States. :-)
For the last couple years I've been doing once-a-week online movie nights with some friends who are scattered across the glob. Currently we use Discord to stream the movies (Discord's streaming is ostensibly supposed to be for games, but nothing stops it from streaming Plex for instance). Most of my blu ray collection is ripped to my PC so I've got a lot to choose from even aside from the various streaming services everyone is subscribed to.Normally it's just one or two movies, but recently we watched the entire Terminator franchise. Obviously the first two are great and I liked Dark Fate even when it came out. I still think Salvation and Genisys (still have to look up how to spell that every time) are both pretty bad. I actually found myself liking T3 quite a bit more this time though. I hadn't seen it in ages and remembered it being terrible. Yes, it's a lot like Terminator 2 but nowhere nearly as good. It's unnecessary following T2's ending and was a total cash in. The T-X wasn't a particularly great idea and Kristanna Loken maybe wasn't the right casting. But overall as an action movie there's stuff to like in it. Also I don't mind the idea that Judgement Day is just inevitable and the best they could do was stall it.Also watched Underwater with this group and everyone really enjoyed it. None of them had any idea going into the movie what the actual threat was and were all pleasantly surprised.Finally got around to watching Satanic Panic on Shudder. I thought it was pretty good and I liked seeing Ruby Modine in there (haven't watched Shameless so I just know her from the Happy Death Day movies). My only complaint is that the last bit seems a little rushed which maybe robbed it of some of the emotional weight it could have had. Still recommended overall.Aside from that I'm trying to fit in some light-hearted stuff in on Prime like some Pirate movies. About to do a first time watch The Court Jester right now.
I'm curious, what pirate movies? Any recommendations?
Of the stuff that's free on Prime, Against All Flags with Errol Flynn is probably the best one they've got (there are some better Flynn pirate movies but you'd have to rent them). Buccaneer's Girl is also free and isn't bad but the Piracy stuff is more in the background. There's a few other ones free on Prime which aren't great and aren't terrible.The Crimson Pirate is probably my favorite Pirate movie and is available on TCM until the 15th if you have it (or a $2.99 rental on Prime if you want to go that route).
The Crimson Pirate is a fun movie, Ross. I watched it many years ago on TCM and was surprised by it. Burt Lancaster should have done more films like it. What do you think of the Flynn film Captain Blood? That is another one I like.
I grew up on a ton of Errol Flynn movies (my folks were big fans), but I've somehow never heard of Against All Flags. Thanks for the recs!
By the way, I remember Captain Blood being terrific, but it's been many years. I should check it out again.
Captain Blood is pretty great Errol Flynn. The Sea Hawk is a good one also.
Thanks for all the pirate movie recommendations guys!
Revisited Contagion like an idiot. Do not revisit Contagion at this time. Rather, go listen to Cliff Martinez' amazing score.Pooka Lives (Hulu Into the Dark). I was a big fan of Pooka! and I dug this one enough. It has a completely different tone and is a pretty well done portrayal of how stupid modern day digital consumerism is.The Other Lamb. Good entry into the "cult" horror sub-genre. Beautifully shot and well acted. Slow burn for sure, but I dug it. Really digging Tales from the Loop on Amazon Prime. It's the kind of escapism that is much needed at this time.Doing the Nolan Batman movies again. They were on sale as a bundle on VUDU. I wasn't that big of a fan before and I am through Batman Begins and almost done The Dark Night. I like them a little better than when I fiest saw them. Rewatched Damon Packard's Fatal Pulse, a.k.a Yuppie Fear Thriller a.k.a Night Pulse for the 9th time. It remains mind blowing to me and is still one of my favorite films of all time.
Oh thats funny. i was just going to watch Contagion (because there isn't enough drama). THANK YOU, CHAYBEE!
The first half is exactly what were dealing with then it goes into Hollywood mode. I always thought it a was a good movie but people need to stop watching "outbreak porn" right now. It's too much. Watch something to escape from this madness. That's what movies are for!
The Cliff Martinez score is amazing. I rewatched Contagion last summer, and then was listening to the score frequently for a couple of months. Was on a big Cliff Martinez kick for a while!It's weird how everyone wanted to watch Contagion and Outbreak once this whole thing blew up. I actually did watch Outbreak, but it was a movie I had been wanting to watch since the "before times" of 2019. I love all of Wolfgang Petersen's movies (not always great, but like comfort food), and it was one that I hadn't seen yet. Outbreak isn't one of his best, but it's good fun.
I’m super late to the thread but happy everyone is hanging in there and watching a ton of movies. I’m working from home now and am just rolling through movies at a pace I never really thought I would. I’ve watched 9 Star Trek movies starting back at the ‘79 original and I’ve loved the experience of seeing them all for the first time (save for Wrath of Khan and First contact) I can’t wait to rewatch the newer trilogy again soon.Also, I bought the All the colors of the dark Blu-ray set which came with a bonus disc with a feature called “Giallothon” which is 4 hours of Giallo trailers. I thought when in my life will I ever had this much time to just sit and watch this. So I popped it in and played it with commentary from a woman named Kat Ellinger and it was extremely fun and informative. She has a deep knowledge of the genre and such enthusiasm for it. It was a blast. Plus, I’ve got tons of new Giallos to check out now!Also, I had a great time last Sunday for Patrick’s birthday movie marathon! It was great interacting with so many of you. Oh and now I’m on a major Scott Adkins kick. Watched his two Ninja movies and they kicked ass! Any more Adkins recommendations are welcome! Stay safe and healthy everyone!
I should clarify I love Wrath of Khan and First Contact, I just meant I’d seen them before haha
Thanks so much for tweeting along last week! It was great to have you. Both The Debt Collector and Avengement are on Netflix and are Scott Adkins movies very much worth your time.
Thanks so much Patrick! I actually did watch Avengement for the first time a couple months ago and it kicked so much ass. I thought it was an amazing performance from Scott Adkins. I just added Debt Collector to my list and will be checking it out soon!
I watched North West Frontier (1959) recently. Set in 1902 in India where the Muslims are rioting. It's a Train Movie! I enjoyed it quite a bit, as most of the difficulties and solutions are somehow relating to the train, rather than just taking place on a train. However, it's very much a British movie, with all the Indian characters (save one) being either completely without speaking lines, or being part of a "hoard" which is attacking the train. So you don't get much insight in the actual situation in India at the time, other than a little perspective of the British attitude towards. But it is a fun train movie. Quite enjoyed it. Now I'm watching Gandhi (1982) to get some idea of the politics of that time! Only made it as far as the intermission last night, and will finish tonight.