Saturday, April 18, 2020

Weekend Open Thread


  1. Because i just received the bluray for Police Squad, and already watched it (looks gorgeous by the way), i'm gonna dedicate the rest of the weekend for more ZAZ stuff, like Naked Gun and Airplane

  2. As many of us are not allowed to travel or even leave the house, I thought it might be fun to make a movie road trip:
    Anyone want to help me make a movie marathon travelling from some location on the west coast to some location on the east? L.A. to New York for example? Each movie featuring a city on the route.
    Could this be done?

    1. Well, what about these movies:
      1. Zodiac (San Francisco - start of the journey)
      2. Collateral (Los Angeles)
      3. Ocean's Eleven (Las Vegas)
      4. Shining (Colorado)
      5. Gilbert Grape (Iowa)
      6. High Fidelity (Chicago)
      7. Ghostbusters (New York)
      8. Moonlight (Miami)

    2. looks like a fun road trip. going to do it next week. Thanks!

    3. Some More Suggestions:

      Mystic River (Boston)
      Female Trouble (Baltimore)
      Urban Cowboy (Houston)
      Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

    4. 1989's THE WIZ (streaming on HBO GO) is a relatively short road trip movie, but you do feel like you're on the road with the kids going from Utah through Nevada and finally California. Messed-up family flick, but a lovely time capsule of Nintendomania in America at its late 80's prime.

  3. Well, another week at home and another batch of movies knocked off my watchlist.

    I watched Defending your life from 1991 with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. Brooks plays a guy who dies and goes to a kind of purgatory while they put him into a kind of trial where they look at days in his life and decide whether he goes to heaven or has to go back to Earth and try it all again in a different life. It was one of the most delightful things I’ve seen in a long time. Amazingly, Brooks made a movie about the afterlife that isn’t the least bit depressing and actually really hopeful. He portrays the afterlife as somehow mundane, yet fascinating. Highly recommend it.

    Also watched the Untouchables for the first time, which was my biggest blind spot in De Palma’s filmography. Amazing movie that did not disappoint. The talent in that movie is insane. Script by Mamet, score by Morricone, stacked cast from top to bottom, and of course, De Palma at the helm. Why can’t we get summer blockbusters like that anymore?

    Speaking of Morricone, I rewatched the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the first time in like 15 years when I was in high school. This will surprise no one but man, that movie is more epic and amazing than I even remembered. It won’t be 15 years before rewatching it again.

    Hope everyone is hanging in there and doing well!

    1. Have you seen ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST? I regard that as Sergio Leone's best film, but TGTBTU is quite close behind it. FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, though not at the same level of those two films, does not seem to get enough respect; it is very entertaining.

      Ennio Morricone is my favorite film composer. Many of my fondest memories of Youtube are discovering the soundtracks of the obscure films he worked on. His music for VERGOGNA SCHIFOSI especially stands out from his early period. The score for ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA remains my favorite Morricone soundtrack. Do you have a favorite, Matthew?

    2. Another early Morricone soundtrack worth listening to is for VERUSCHKA: POESIA DI UNA DONNA. It is very eerie and haunting. I could recommend so much more, though.

    3. I have actually not seen OUATITW, but it’s on my watchlist and I’m planning to check it out soon. I’ll definitely check out those other Morricone scores. Thanks for those recs!

  4. Oh and I also checked out these for the first time:
    Hollywood Shuffle
    Don’t kill it
    The Church
    Valley girl
    Three o’clock high

  5. Hope everyone is doing well.

    With staying at home starting to get to me, I dabbled more in activities outside of movies for some variety. Books and podcasts were a special focus this week. The two films that I did get to are a continuation of what I watched last week.

    BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY: PROXY WAR (1973) – The third entry in the series focuses on shifting alliances among the yakuza of Hiroshima in the early 1960s. Shozo Hirono is trying stay out of the increasingly messy politics of the criminal underworld with less successful results than before. This time around, yakuza from other parts of Japan are complicating the situation. Though not as entertaining as the first two, I am sure this film is setting up some satisfying films to finish the series.

    LONE WOLF AND CLUB: BABY CART TO HADES (1972) – A stylistic departure from the first two films, HADES takes on a spaghetti western aspect in the visuals and choice of weapons. In particular, you get to see pistols being used in a samurai film. Itto Ogami is hired to kill a regional governor, which involves creating a large pile of corpses before the job is accomplished. The baby cart becomes even more of a weapon in it. Overall, there is a stillness to parts of HADES that I really appreciated, a stillness that Japanese cinema is unique in creating. The cinematography is excellent, particularly with the use of wide landscape shots.

  6. Finished up my Halloween movie binge this week.

    I watched both headachy versions of part 6. This is our big deep dive into the lore, all supernatural and conspiracy stuff. There might have been a cool horror movie with this cult-creates-its-own-serial-killer-for-their-own-evil-purposes concept, but it just doesn’t mesh with what Carpenter and co. started with.

    H20 is one of the better sequels. It’s meant to be retro, but there’s no disguising this was 1998. Still, there’s a real story with real character development, which makes it a step up from part 6. Michael flipping over all those tables is one of the signature visuals of the whole franchise.

    After that was Resurrection. Refresh my memory: Is Michael Myers a soundbite?

    That brings us to Rob Zombie’s two-fer. I know his duology has its fans, but these just don’t work for me. They’re angry, brutal, ugly movies – not dark in a fun way, but dark in a dark way. I felt like I’d taken a beating after sitting through them back-to-back.

    The 2018 Halloween is a step back in the right direction, at least for me. I like the movie a lot. It’s a little rough around the edges, but all the weird little side-stories help give the movie its own character. And even though no one agrees with me, I still say this could be in continuity with the other sequels and not a total reboot.

    What movie franchise should I binge next week?

    1. You've done two horror ones (Jason and Michal Myers). If you crave more of the same, there's "Hellraiser," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Puppet Master," etc. Personally l find a director you're into and consume as many of his/her movies as you can get a hold of. Stuart Gordon, Alfred Hitchcock, Agnes Varda, Marty Scorsese, Don Siegel, Brian DePalma, Doris Wishman.... the sky's the limit. :-)

  7. I'm not entirly sure if I am watching more movies during social distancing but it's more all over the place.

    I watched Countdown. It's pretty much what I thought it was going to be.

    I also got a chance to watch Don Coscarelli's first movie Kenny & Company. I like to think it's what Michael Baldwin and Reggie were doing before The Tall Man turns up. It's a special little movie.

    I should Dan Crawl. It was fun watching his reaction. It's just a really smart animal attack movie.

    I've also started watching the Universal Mummy Movies. Strangelythe first 3 remind of the Friday 13th movies, and insane chronology and myhtology with an unstoppable killing machine that keeps coming back no matter what. By the third movie I think we're meant to be in 1970 but everything still looks like it's 1942. And in Mummy's Tomb, which is a cool 60 minutes there's over 10 mintues of flashback to the Mummy's Hand. I am having a blast with them.

    Lastly I watched Southland Tales today. It's amazing and subversive in about five different directions. I just can't tell you what it's about.

    Again I hope everyone is doing okay and looking after themselves the best they can.

  8. So I watched last year's Hellboy today, and... it's not good. The cast is fine but that's about the only positive I took from it. Felt like the movie was too excited by its R rating and forgot everything else. The fact that we could've had a third Del Toro Hellboy instead of whatever this is only adds to the diasppointment.

    Had to wash the bad taste away with three episodes of Enterprise. Now I'm good again.

    1. Is that movie 7 hours long or did it just take me 4 sittings to watch it?

    2. It's four movies squeezed into 110 minutes, so that checks out.

  9. I rewatched the Nightmare on Elm Street remake from 2010 after seeing Patrick and Heather did an episode for it on Corpse Club. A few takeaways. First of all, Rooney Mara is very good. Second, Jackie Earle Haley looks like a lion. It definitely looks and feels like a movie directed by a music video director. The camera almost never stops moving, even in simple dialog scenes, and there's almost never motivation for it. I'm not going to get into how terrible and misguided the script is, we all know that. Of the post-2000 horror remakes I've seen, this could be the worst (I've heard bad things about Prom Night but never seen it) but I'm not sure its worse than the Zombie Halloween movies. It's streaming on Netflix if you hate yourself.

    I also watched F/X for the first time in honor of Brian Dennehy. Not bad. I remember seeing a few episodes of the series when I was a kid, but in retrospect its pretty bizarre that this movie spawned a TV series.

    1. Biggest problem I had with the Nightmare other than trying to shoehorn the maybe he was innocent or that's my dad bs was Freddy's make-up. It was too realistic. Original make-up looked like a burnt demon. Haleys make-up looked like any other guy in a burn ward. It made Freddy less scary and made me feel bad for him being a burn victim.
      I haven't watched it since theaters so I'm hazy if that dad thing was an actual plot detail or just bleed over from part 6