I watched the latest episode of Wandavision last night, and i suddenly got the urge to watch Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp... I don't know why 😜
Is "Wandavision" that good? The premise and idea of the show simply repel me... but if it actually enhances the fun of revising the MCU flicks, then I might have to hold my breath and watch the show. :-(
J.M., I'm loving it. It's much more about sitcomes than about the MCU so far and using the tropes *really* effectively. Also, Emma Caufield Ford is in it and I was so happy to see her again.
I was bored out of my mind for the first 3 episodes, but there's finally something going on in the 4th episode
Inspired by Rosalie Lewis' column earlier this week, rewatched SEA FEVER (2020, Hulu). I saw it during my end-of-year mad rush of 2020 movies, and ranked it four spots (#26) ahead of 2020 Hollywood kissing cousin "Underwater" (#30). Watched without the pressure of organizing a end-of-year lists, the better attributes of "Sea Fever" shine through. Connie Nielsen, who in my first viewing stuck out as obvious Hollywood stunt casting to get investors on board, now seems as weathered and old-school Irish as her co-stars. Hermione Corfield's literal fish-out-of-water Siobhan is the glue that holds together the relationships with the trout's crew, elevating her way above the genre's too-obvious final girl tropes. Like "Underwater," "Sea Fever" is a creature feature in the vein of "Deepstar Six" and "Leviathan" that struck gold mining their respective interesting female character's development. Between the two, though, "Sea Fever" gets the nod because the filmmakers make the most of their limited resources.Also caught Sam Raimi's THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995, Hulu). An interesting time capsule western with a post-"Basic Instinct" Sharon Stone (star/producer), pre-"Titanic" Leo DiCaprio, an up-and-coming young/hungry Russell Crowe, Roberts Blossom's final performance, etc. Literally every supporting cast member (Bell, David, Conway, Henriksen, Hingle, Sinise, etc.) is a recognizable face, and the baggage their long careers bring to their roles are all assets. It's taken the passage of time for me to appreciate how insane it was for post-"Unforgiven" Gene Hackman to agree to reprise basically the same bad guy role for a pre-"Spider-Man '02" Sam Raimi-helmed Hollywood interpretation of a spaghetti western. Alan Silvestri plagiarizes the shit out of his better scores, but Brian De Palma's collaborators (Dante Spinotti cinematography, Pietro Scalia's editing, Patrizia von Brandenstein's production design, etc.) deliver. A western for movie lovers who don't necessarily like westerns, "Quick and the Dead" is the last 100% Raimi movie before his turn to prestige work ("A Simple Plan," "For Love of the Game," etc.).Last and certainly least, rewatched Jeannot Szwarc's JAWS 2 (1978, DVD) alongside the brand-new Forever Cinematic commentary track. Talk about a sequel with diminishing returns, one held afloat by visibly bored (but still professional) Roy Scheider. Practical shark effects are 85% meh, but the 15% that work (a girl eaten in front of Brody's youngest kid) look cool. Filmmakers focus too much on too many uninteresting kids, including a pre-"Christine" Keith Gordon. Pace is glacial and the lack of anyone interesting for Brody to interact with sinks the narrative early and often. It turns out that, without knowing it, "Jaws 2" ends up being the "Jaws" movie Spielberg would make today (safe and concerned with not traumatizing children) rather than the one he refused to make 43 years ago.Last and certainly least, watched Dwight H. Little's (aka Patrick's boy) MARKED FOR DEATH (1990, Blu-ray). Of the four original Seagal pictures that catapulted him to action stardom, this is both the craziest and most out there. What was it with Fox's 1990 slate having this and "Predator 2" (released two months apart) featuring Jamaican drug dealers? Basil Wallace's non-blinking Screwface is a great villain for Seagal and Keith "serious fun" David to bring down. Unlike Screwface, blink (get it? ;-P) and you'll miss "Halloween 4's" Danielle Harris and a young Danny Trejo (?) at the film's violent opening shootout.
OK, I'm definitely adding Sea Fever to my list!
I'm glad you re-watched Sea Fever, JM, and Joseph--hope you like it too! It's definitely one I keep returning to in my head since watching it at the beginning of the month. I need to see The Quick and the Dead - it's been on my list forever!
My watches for this week:The Browning Version - I got to 1941 in my Decades Project and this is freaking terrific. Michael Redgrave is amazing here, as is Joan Cleft.Winchester - This is BAD and I feel sorry for Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook and Helen Mirren, who are working their ass off but sheesh, this is so disappointing (and I think kind of terrible to base a horror movie on Sarah Winchester's sad story). Alive (2003) - I need to watch more Ryûhei Kitamura and I happened to have this one from a Goodwill a while back. It's pretty good and reminds me a lot of Platform from last year.Hail Satan? - A little frustrating at times but a darn good look at people tweaking those who would impose their religion on others.
Well, I appreciated my little reflection with JB this week on Paul and John putting up with each other because I find myself in a small situation requiring a ton of patience for some arrogant, pain in the ass behavior.. that reminds me a lot of my own. Patience! Also, they were playing The Beatles at Whole Foods today - they never play The Beatles at WF!?I watched THE DOUBLE (2011) this week. Can't remember why I turned it on. I thought it was super laughably bad and lifeless. I read Roger Ebert's review and he said at least it was fun to watch Richard Gere in the part and Gere had good body language for it. My opinion was exactly opposite.
Good weekend to everyone.Despite what felt like a long week at work, I got to some worthwhile watches. BORN TO KILL (1947, dir. Robert Wise) – A wonderfully perverse film noir about two sisters who love a killer. A smart script, forceful acting, and creative direction drive a film that has me amazed that it came out in the 1940s. Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor are a blast to watch as characters hiding their passion for each other. For this second viewing, I was more aware of how well the intricate treachery of the story is structured. A hearty recommendation. OUR BETTERS (1933, dir. George Cukor) – A comedy of manners about an American heiress who marries into British society. Though it does have its witty moments, there is nothing to rave about with Our Betters. It, at least, is one of the livelier filmed plays from this period in Hollywood. KIKA (1993, dir. Pedro Almodóvar) – What the heck is this? I could not get my mind into the weirdness of KIKA at all. A ditzy make-up artist, a suicide, a serial killer, and a crazy tabloid reporter are only a few elements in this farcical thriller. The tonal shifts can be very unsettling as rape and murder are treated in humorous ways. I really hope there were no tabloid shows in Spain like the one shown here. CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937) – An arrogant rich kid falls of an ocean liner and is picked by a cod boat off of Newfoundland. The boat is a world that will transform his whole view of life. With a cast that includes Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, and the very capable child actor Freddy Bartholomew, Captains Courageous is an engaging drama and adventure at sea. Despite the rough treatment the boy gets from time to time, it definitely is film that would be appropriate for children. I doubt cod fisherman used such proper language in real life.
REVENGE (2017). Here’s a movie that make you say, “Yikes.” Still not sure what to make of this one. It’s all horrific violence, yet filmed with colorful music video gloss. I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s also perplexing. SPACE RAIDERS (1983). Sci-fi flick about a little kid who joins a ship full of scoundrels on an adventure. All the spaceship FX shots are taken from Battle Beyond the Stars and spliced into this movie like it’s freakin’ Power Rangers or something. Honestly this type of SF cheese should be up my alley, but I was really bored. THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995). So if Russell Crowe is the Preacher, does that mean Sharon Stone is Tulip and Leo DiCaprio is Cassidy? THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954). There are of course a million things to say about this one, but the thing that always sticks with me is Toshiro Mifune’s big, grand, movie-star performance. He was Harrison Ford-ing long before Harrison Ford ever Harrison Ford-ed.
Patrick really pushed "Revenge" a few years back, and he was (mostly) right. At the very least it should make a great Junesploitation! meal. :-) You just reminded me I still have a shrink-wrapped Criterion Collection 2-disc box set of "Seven Samurai" that hasn't been seen by these tired old eyes of mine. :'(
Great commentary on Criterion Seven Samurai— one of the sections by my favorite college professor from my U of I days, Dr. David Desser.
That's awesome, JB! I know I listened to the commentary when I first bought the set, but haven't since then. I'll give it a spin sometime this week.