Saturday, July 24, 2021

Weekend Open Thread

36 comments:

  1. In no particular order...

    THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS (2021, Dolby Cinema) for the first time. Typical diminishing-returns Dreamworks Animation sequel, but the filmmakers go all-out on the premise that grown-up baby Ted (Alec Baldwin) and older-brother Tim (James Marsden) carried their feud into adulthood, then deal with each other as re-shrunken toddlers when Baby Corp. recruits them to infiltrate a school run by a peculiar educator (Jeff Goldblum, who easily steals the movie despite his Dr. Armstrong character not looking at all like Jeff). We've gotten so used to frenetic, fast-paced CG animation that often it's hard to highlight jaw-dropping moments like the car chase midway through this one, which is a kid-centric slapstick masterclass. Only when it tries to go for pathos with adult Tim's strained relationship with her genius daughter Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) does the frenetic comedic pace grind to an unwelcomed halt. Wait for it on free streaming in a few months.

    I jumped into THE FOREVER PURGE (2021, theater) as a first-time viewing without the benefit of seeing any of the previous "Purge" flicks. I actually dug that the killing kept going and sent the whole country into chaos after dawn. We often notice bad ADR in movies, but "The Forever Purge" smartly uses its ADR dialogue to tie the January 6th assault on the U.S. Capitol to the already-inspired-by-Trumpism plot of a sizable portion of the population not letting go of their racist anger toward immigrants. The cast of mostly unknowns (and Will Patton in a small role) deliver, and I was thoroughly entertained by the deranged nonsense of the whole thing even though Roland Emmerich already did the 'Americans seeking shelter in Mexico' gag much better in 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow."

    For some reason I felt the need to watch manly leading men at their manly peak (don't ask! :-P), so I improvised a mini-marathon. First was Katherine Bigelow's POINT BREAK (1991, HBO) with pre-"Speed" Keanu and post-"Road House" Swayze. I've seen this one a few times and often felt 'meh' about the whole thing, but this viewing was the closest I've gotten to liking the style-over-substance, testosterone-driven character relationship between Brody and Utah. Killer supporting cast (Tank Girl, Buddy Holly, Dr. Cox from "Scrubs," etc. :-D), Swayze doing many of his own stunts and Bigelow directing like she had something to prove haven't dated as badly as everything else around them (the fuck is Anthony Kiedis doing here?).

    Then saw Ridley Scott's GLADIATOR: EXTENDED CUT (2000, 4K UHD) for the first time, which frankly felt as bloated and not that different from regular "Gladiator." Surprised Oliver Reed as Proximo didn't set political correctness flags back in '99, but I guess his untimely passing (which almost ruins his character arc when too-obvious stand-ins/CG take over at the very end) made that point moot. Reed is easily the second best thing about "Gladiator" behind Russell Crowe owning the lead role, with Djimon Hounsou a distant third. Not crazy about this one winning Best Picture on account of very uneven acting (Joaquin Phoenix) and badly-paced third act, but at least the 4K transfer looks/sounds good for the money I paid.

    Mel Gibson's BRAVEHEART (1995, 4K UHD) hasn't aged well, but it looks/sounds decent in 4K. Everybody remembers the epic battles, 'Freeeedom!', the Stewart father/son warriors, etc. But combined these scenes add-up to about 30 minutes of screen time. The remaining 2.5 hrs. really feel like Scottish one-dimensional fanfic about the British (heartless king, homosexual prince, wife-raping lords, etc.) that borders on comical. Still a great way to kill 3 hrs. with some old-school, they-don't-make-them-like-this-anymore giant crowds of extras engaging in director Gibson's eternal obsession with righteous bloody carnage.

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    1. I'm a big fan of the Purge movies as sort of modern exploitation films. The first one is probably the weakest one with Election Year being my favorite. Forever Purge is one of the lesser entries of the series to be but still enjoyable enough that I don't mind if they keep the franchise going for at least one more movie.

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    2. Maybe it's because I'm Hispanic myself, but l really dug the setting of the flick (including the equivalent of an undergroud railroad for illegal immigrants). It somehow doesn't make me want to see more "Purge" movies, but l feel like l've already gotten the most exploitation entertainment that could be squeezed from such a thin premise. Am I nuts? ๐Ÿ˜›๐Ÿ˜‰

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    3. I wouldn't say nuts, I would just say don't necessarily close yourself off to the idea of watching more of them, or if nothing else just watch Election Year. The movies are all largely stand-alone (Anarchy and Election Year being the only ones that really connect due to Grillo).

      And I did like the setting of Forever Purge and as always the not-subtle messaging here. I guess maybe it just didn't help for me that this is another movie where the climax is shown in the trailer.

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    4. Since you mentioned in a post below that you're in a Ridley Scott kick, Ross, any thoughts on "Gladiator" based on my review above of the Extended Cut on 4K UHD? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿฅธ

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    5. As someone how thinks the extended cut's of Kingdom of Heaven and The Counselor are varying levels of improvement upon the theatrical cuts, I agree that the Director's Cut of Gladiator is a bit unnecessary and I think Scott is on record saying the same.

      Gladiator is a great movie, and an undeniably epic one, but it's also one that... I don't want to go so far as to say that it leaves me cold but it's a movie I watch more with admiration rather than any emotional investment in Maximus as a character.

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    6. Yep, agree. "Gladiator" is top-tier Hollywood spectacle and Russell Crowe owns the Maximus role like a boss, but it keeps me at arm's length emotionally and ultimately feels like a well-oiled machine designed to win Oscars abd make money. Nothing wrong with that, right? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ช

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  2. Continued from above...

    Cate Shortland's BLACK WIDOW (2021, IMAX and 3D) for the first time. It isn't until the very end when you realize how little actually happens (not technically a spoiler since everybody knows it's a set-in-between-"Avengers" standalone pic) that "Black Widow" disappoints, especially since our hero recycles many of the same gags/tricks she's used a thousand times before to escape certain death. But by the time the weak-sauce teaser arrives you've been thoroughly entertained by two hours of typical MCU quality action storytelling. Naturally Florence Pugh steals her scenes against heavy hitters like Rachel Weisz and David Harbour, and her chemistry with "big sister" Scarlett Johansson is entertaining as hell. Ray Winstone continues to make amends for sucking so badly in "Crystal Skull" with hiss-worthy baddies like Dreykov, and the plot/story hold together relatively well considering it's a farewell one-off. Typical 'it's okay' superhero flick that feels more special than it is as a post-COVID return to normalcy symbol.

    Walked into SUMMERTIME (2021, theater) not knowing a thing about it, other than director/co-writer/producer Carlos Lรณpez Estrada also directed/co-wrote Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon." Turns out it's a musical with passionate poetry readings instead of songs about the intersecting lives and dreams of 25 or so young Angelinos during what feels like a long day into night. It starts uneven and filled to the brim with L.A. clichรฉs, but by the time we meet foodie-with-an-attitude Bene't (Benton) and start hanging with wannabe-rappers Rah and Anewbyss (Austin Antoine and Bryce Banks, whose characters seem to live an entire years-long showbiz career while everyone else seems to be on just a one-day/night timeline), "Summertime" hits its stride. For every musical/poetic gag that falls flat (the Korean kitchen ladies cutting loose) there are two or three that connect, especially the arc of Marquesha (Babers) leading to a heartbreaking soliloquy that alone justifies seeing the movie. Recommended with reservations (do you like poetry AND musicals combined?).

    ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS (2021, theater) literally made me disconnect from my own body and watch myself seating watching this flick and daydreaming how the filmmakers managed to make this sequel to 2019's "Escape Room" (which made $150+ million worldwide on a $9 million budget) look cheaper despite having a bigger production budget ($15 million). I started making up imaginary budgets and crunched numbers of how cheap a third movie (which part 2 heavily hints at) would have to be for Sony to deem it profitable-enough to green light. Then it ended, and my AMC A-List excuse to be inside an air conditioned theater to escape the sweltering summer heat ended. Bummer. A-FUCKING-VOID!

    I only saw David Cronenberg's CRASH (1996, Criterion Blu-ray) twice, both in theaters a decade apart, and twice it left me cold. This third viewing was more entertaining because I used the 'When you're a hammer, everything's a nail' mindset to get into the obsessed-with-car-and-carnage, sexually-voyeuristic characters it depicts. Seen as a highlight reel of the erotic moments these amoral people look forward to experiencing (which explains the anime-like absence of doctors/nurses in hospitals, traffic on some streets, etc.), "Crash" is still a weird-as-fuck curio in Cronenberg's endless quest to push buttons with his technology-penetrating-flesh motifs. While I still don't like "Crash" I'll proudly keep my Criterion Blu-ray for the bonus features (director's commentary is actually quite good) and just to remember how fearless James Spader, Deborah Kara Under, Elias Koteas, Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette could be when pushing credulity past most viewers' tolerance levels.

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  3. Oh, but wait. There's more! :-O

    The easiest thing to do would be to dismiss SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (2021, Dolby Cinema) as the soulless, corporate cash grab that it clearly was meant to be from the moment TEN CREDITED SCREENWRITERS tried to jam LeBron James into the Looney Tunes universe. But like a broken clock that's correct twice a day, what really hurts is that for every few dozen or so cringe-worthy scenes (Steven Yeun and Sarah Silverman as ass-kissing Warner executives, Don Cheadle embarrassing himself, slamming the Nintendo Gameboy, etc.) there are a handful of diamond-in-the-rough brilliant gags ("Mad Max: Fury Road," Zendaya as Lola Bunny under the watchful eye of Rosario 'Wonder Woman' Dawson, etc.) that really stand out among the endless pile-ups of creative bankruptcy surrounding them. It's fitting that while LeBron is playing to save his son and family, the Looney Tunes are fighting to be made hand-drawn animated instead of the CG they're turned into halfway through the who-gives-a-damn narrative. It's clear proof that "Scoob" wasn't even close to the most shameless attempt to milk corporate synergy for the sake of a meta-franchise. And those extras on the sidelines during the game? :'( Avoid.

    Saw PIG (2021, theater) for the first time and did not like it at all, but I admire that it made the choices it did and went there. It exists to confront arthouse viewers' notions of how narrative conflicts are resolved, relationships fleshed out with minimal dialogue and no sentimentality, and fantastical worlds/premises made semi-believable by casting a weathered actor (Nic Cage entering the Nick Nolte phase of his career) who lives up to the legend the filmmakers back up with minimal artsy technique. The least you know in before seeing "Pig" the better, but walk in prepared to either be very disappointed or very pleased. I didn't, and my heightened expectations weren't even close to met and thus made me not want to see "Pig" (or eat Portland truffles) ever again. :-(

    Rewatched Wes Craven's SHOCKER (1989, HBO Max) with the Forever Cinematic commentary track. My first-time viewing during Junesploitation! left me aching for a rewatch, and these guys are clearly fans and have a ball commenting on the good (Mitch Pileggi, Peter Berg, little blonde girls cursing like sailors, a killer 80's rock soundtrack, etc.), the bad (clear parallels to tropes from the Freddy Krueger "Elm Street" flicks that were done better by New Line cinema) and the ugly (some special effects, the waste of Richard Brooks and Ted Raimi, etc.). I'm still repelled and awed that Craven went for broke with the "Zelig"-like ending, which is simultaneously too stupid and too awesome and could have only been done by the father of Freddy during the 1980's. So much fun, so much ham (Michael Murphy), so highly recommended. :-D

    Also re-watched Martin Campbell's THE MASK OF ZORRO (1998, Amazon Prime) and Tim Burton's PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE (1985, HBO Max) during Facebook (now Discord) Jury Room group watches. Co-written by the "Pirates of the Caribbean" guys, "Zorro" is such a great and entertaining family flick despite pushing the 'PG-13' rating a little hard (Alejandro drinking his brother's "juices" :-O). Whoever had the seemingly-bad idea of two leading men for the price of one (OG Zorro Anthony Hopkins and apprentice Zorro Antonio Banderas) stroke gold, as it doubles the scenes of action, peril and pathos (romance and father/daughter reconciliation) that Campbell can cut to for dramatic/silly/action beats when needed.

    As for "Pee-Wee," I somehow forgot about Large Marge (we miss you Alice Nunn!) and when THAT SCENE happened I nearly hit my head on my apartment ceiling from how high I jumped from my seat. 'Nuff said. :-P

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  4. There's a lot of stuff I've watched lately, like Pig, Zola, Black Widow, Settlers, Werewolves Within, and a deep dive on public domain stuff on YouTube after listening to the PCP episode with Tarantino. I don't know that I have any particularly unique take on any of that stuff.

    I recently went down a Ridley Scott rabbit hole though after the trailer for The Last Duel came out a few days ago. I'd actually revisited a number of his films during the pandemic lockdowns doing various movie night streams with some friends and I always find his career fascinating because whenever I start to worry about if he's lost his touch he ends up coming back with something like The Martian. I'm even a big fan of Kingdom of Heaven so I always want to give his movies a chance (or sometimes multiple chances) even if they get panned or even if I don't entirely like them the first time around.

    Matchstick Men and Black Rain are both on HBO Max so that's where I started. I don't know that Black Rain entirely works. For whatever reason the every time Michael Douglas was on screen I was thinking how much I'd have preferred Rutger Hauer (not that he was up for the part or anything as far as I know, it was just something about the look of the character). Matchstick Men is obviously fantastic though and the ending still hits me. Cage is great obviously but that movie doesn't work if Alison Lohman doesn't sell it.

    Anyhow, that led me to tracking down the Extended Cut blu ray of The Counselor. Kingdom of Heaven was a movie largely redeemed by the Director's Cut so I was hoping maybe something similar would happen here. Ultimately the movie is still a bit of a mess, largely because of how overwritten the dialogue feels. 90% of the story here exists in long stretches of two people talking to each other in a manner that does not feel like how humans talk. Javier Bardem is the high point here though culminating in his bafflement over how to process a vehicular sex act.

    Finally this led me to The Sunset Limited, a film not directed by Ridley Scott, but like The Counselor was written by Cormac McCarthy so you know to settle in for some depression. Unlike Counselor, Sunset Limited was adapted from a play so it has an actual excuse to be a movie that consists entirely of two people talking. The characters are nameless for all intents and purposes, but as the story begins Samuel L. Jackson's character has just saved Tommy Lee Jones' character from committing suicide by jumping in front of a train and taken him back to his apartment where the entirety of the movie's hour and a half runtime is a largely philosophical discussion between the two. I actually liked it quite a bit, but it is largely like watching a stage play. This one is also on HBO Max.

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    1. Curious about your spoiler-free thoughts on "Pig." If you read my review (third compilation of 4,096 rambling letters! ๐Ÿคช) you know it didn't work for me, but would love to hear differing opinions. Again, am l nuts? ๐Ÿค’๐Ÿ˜ต

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    2. Hah, yes I thought about responding to your comments on Pig but didn't want to seem like I was trying to convince you to like it. As you say, there's a lot of positivity out there around the movie, but if it didn't work for you it didn't work for you.

      Personally I loved it. For a while it seems like it's just going to be this weird journey though this back-alley, underground world of restaurant workers but it pulls back on that by the second half and is just a sincere movie about guys dealing with loss. And sure, they don't leave an awful lot of room for subtext as Cage's character basically says all the ideas the movie wants to get across, but that kind of directness works for the character and I genuinely like the things that it's saying, both about life and about cooking.

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  5. Goodbye Again (1961)
    Old woman (40 y/o! OMG, practically on the verge of DEATH) Ingrid Bergman and Yves Montand have an understanding in their old-people long term relationship where he can date as many younger women as he wants and she tries to be cool with it. Until a young guy, Anthony Perkins comes along and starts giving her the passionate attention she deserves and she starts feeling desirable again and wanting more from her guy. I thought it was a good movie. Bergman and Montand are fun to watch together. She’s so sharp and he’s so smooth. (Yves Montand had great economy of movement - so graceful, like a shark, and that nice signature slouchy posture). Anthony Perkins is kind of psycho. A big theme in the movie is that she’s soo old. I saw a couple more movies from the 60s on Youtube this week with 40-something year old characters who were supposed to be “too old”, and I have to say...how ridiculous, I don’t relate. I consider 40 super young now. At least that’s one thing good about the 21st century.

    Sapphire (1959)
    A mystery about the murder of a beautiful young woman who looked fully Caucasian but turns out to have been mixed race. Kind of thought this was a gem of a film - very well done. Recommend it-on YT.

    Well I had just decided to overlook the bad bowl haircut and watch Sword of the Valiant to see my sweet Leigh Lawson again. But then, coincidentally, a preview popped up in my instagram for a REMAKE of that story with Dev Patel. So...probably won’t be for a while, after the new one comes out, that I’ll be able to find Sword of the Valiant.

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    1. If 40 is old, then me and Patrick are ready for burial and JB certified for mummification. ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜›

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    2. Hey, but you guys can probably still date 20 y/os bc of your gender!

      "Sean Connery is Monique's boyfriend! He's 300 years old but he's still a stud!" -Goldie Hawn

      Hopefully that's not really true anymore, though... yea that tradition needs to die IMO.

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    3. I watched a Roman Polanski interview this week where he talks about how it is "normal" for "all men" to like young "women", (he meant like the 14 year old he raped). And I was like yes, it was also normal, in the old days, to expect all the women in your village to kill themselves so that they couldn't be raped by invading armies while your village was being pillaged during war. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿป‍♀️ I saw that interview and wanted to burn something down.

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    4. If the women didn't kill themselves and got raped, you could kill them. Also "normal". ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿป‍♀️sorry..I'm making myself upset!!

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    5. I can still date 20 year-old chicks? ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿฅณ Mphh... ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ™„ Nah! ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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    6. Thanks a lot, Meredith! ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ˜ญ You don't know me, l can be a fun date for a twenty-something movie freak. I'll even share my AMC A-List free popcorn with her while we watch a free screening of Cronenberg Junior's uncensored "Possessor." ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜œ

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    7. Hahaha. You know what I meant, JM!

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  6. Another busy week of movies. It again was a week dominated by Turner Classic Movie watches. Cinderella was the only viewing not from that. I also recorded Night Moves (1975) and Cutter's Way (1981) from the neo-noir programing this month. I am looking forward to seeing those.

    BREWSTER MCCLOUD (1970, dir. Robert Altman) – My curiosity about this early Altman film was not rewarded. It is a mess of ideas and plot elements that involve a young man yearning to fly who lives in a sports stadium, bird poop that somehow strangles people, a mysterious guardian angel, a well-executed car chase, and many other strange scenes. This was Shelley Duvall’s film debut, and she was the highlight for me. There is a weird energy she brings to anything she is in.

    THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT (1970) – The film surprised me as an evocative depiction of student radicals in the late 1960s. There are protests on the street, campus sit-ins, run-ins with police and opponents, and plenty of interactions between characters. The loose story structure hurts the film, making the 100 minutes seem long. How it helps is the that the there is a vitality to the ensemble acting to motivate you to keep watching.

    CINDERELLA (2006, dir. Bong Man-Dae) – A tale of a teenage daughter and her mother that is part melodrama, part mystery, and part horror film. The mother is a plastic surgeon who obsesses over beauty and her daughter. When she performs surgery on her daughter’s friends, there are some strange consequences. Death by supernatural being is the most prominent of them. I do not think much of the plot is adequately clarified. Maybe that was a deliberate choice, but it does not leave this viewer satisfied. Despite that, Cinderella is a nice film to look at.

    G.I. BLUES (1960) – A charming Elvis Presley vehicle about a drafted American soldier stationed in Germany. Juliet Prowse is the alluring female lead as a night club dancer Elvis is trying to woo for the sake of a bet. Will he also find love? Having been drafted a couple of years earlier, Elvis is very convincing as a soldier just biding his time till his service is over. The banter between the actors is amusing, and there is chemistry between Elvis and Prowse. Although it may have trapped Elvis in a formula that ruined his film career, G.I. Blues is fun and well worth a watch.

    CHARRO! (1969) – Elvis’ lone western is firmly in the spaghetti western mold of the period. The title sequence, with Elvis singing the title song, would not be out of place in one of the Italian films. It is adequate entertainment. Elvis portrays a man trying to live an honest existence despite his former outlaw leader trying to drag him back into the lawless life. Though a comparison of his acting with others in the film is not favorable, Elvis does enough to be believable most of the time.

    FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (1966) – Elvis fluff that I honestly did not dislike. That is not to say it was good, either. The story, which involves entertainers on a steamboat, is set in the nineteenth century, but everything feels completely from the 1960s. I liked the colors in the film. Who knew Elly May Clampett (Donna Douglas) was glamorous? Not I.

    CHANGE OF HABIT (1969) – Elvis’ last feature film is definitely one of his most unusual. He portrays a doctor working at a free medical clinic in an inner-city neighborhood. Mary Tyler Moore is one of three nuns, living out of their habits, sent to help the doctor for a couple of months, months that will change all of their lives. There are some musical elements in the film, but it is mostly a drama bringing together comedy, social issues, religion and romance.

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    1. TCM is a bottomless fountain of endlessly entertaining movie treats. :-)

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    2. This month in particular has been full of movies I want to see, J.M. I have not gotten to the neo-noir films. Besides Night Moves and Cutter's Way, there is also To Live And Die In L.A. sitting on the DVR. August's Summer Under The Stars programming can be hit or miss, so I should have ample time to get around those. For Gloria Graham day next month, Chilly Scenes of Winter will shown. I have waited years for that to show up on TCM.

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  7. TRUE ROMANCE Arrow 4K is perfect. So many extras too, and the poster it comes with is really nice.

    ANGEL HEART, StudioCanal 4K, De Niro truly has the best reaction shots. The night scenes in 4k look so much clearer.

    BARFLY - Rourke at his most wild Brando'ing. It is most definitely a CANNON movie, and I most definitely love it

    THE TRUST - nice little Neo 70s jaunt. A good Nic Cage redboxer. Good ending.

    OLD - Abbey Lee is inspired casting and this is bonkers entertainment. No matter how it ended, I had already gotten enough enjoyment out of it.

    HELLRAISER V: INFERNO - this is the best Scott Derrickson movie

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    1. "Hellraiser V" is better than "Doctor Strange"? :-O

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    2. I do think it's the best of the DTV Hellraiser sequels, which I know is damning with faint praise.

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  8. Pig is one of my most anticipated movies of the year and has no release date here as of now. Ugh!

    I did see Titane (Julia Ducournau), though, which came out in theaters the day it premiered in Cannes. I'm... still unsure what I think of it. I went in knowing nothing about it, as the director intended (the marketing campaign was purposefully very vague), and I would suggest to try and do the same (which won't be easy, I've already seen not just articles but TITLES that were just giving way too much away). It's an interesting movie for sure, and Julia Ducournau is without a doubt a very talented filmmaker. It's just kind of a mess for me, in that she's trying to squeeze so much into this story, some aspects end up feeling quite underdeveloped. I know, from interviews, that she's after feelings and sensations much more than plot points and psychology, but in a way it's almost not abstract enough, if that makes sense. The two leads are extraordinary. The film is heavily influenced by other movies I won't mention, but that wasn't a problem for me, as she still tells a unique story in a very personal way. I don't think it feels derivative at all. I want to see it again, knowing what to expect, to focus on what left me cold or puzzled the first time.

    Oh, and given how divisive it is here (people either think it's a masterpiece or hate (and I mean *hate*) it), brace yourself for an avalanche of think pieces...

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  9. BLACK WIDOW (2021) Agreeing with what most everyone says, Pugh and Harbour are the scene-stealers, and it's nice to have a Marvel movie that's (relatively) low-key in comparison to all the Thanos bombast. Taskmaster is a much more interesting character in the comics, but maybe the movie leaves the door open for more Tasky in the future?

    THE ITALIAN JOB (1969) "Hang on a minute, lads..."

    FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS AND SHAW (2019) I knew there'd be one-liners and whatnot, but I wasn't expecting this movie to be such a full-on comedy. It's practically a Zucker Bros. parody with so many gags and meta winks at the audience. This is a Sunday afternoon TBS movie if there ever was one.

    RUNAWAY (1984) While I've seen this movie before, somehow it escaped my knowledge that it was both directed AND written by Michael Crichton. Why wasn't middle school me all over this??? It's an unbelievably dumb movie, and yet it does kinda/sorta predict things like Alexa and Roombas. Tom Selleck and co. play their parts with grim-faced seriousness, but that just makes the goofy robot action even goofier.

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    1. Guilty pleasures don't come bigger, louder, more bombastic and surprisingly classy (Idris freaking Elba? ๐Ÿ˜ณ) than "Hobbs & Shaw." ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘

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    2. Runaway was a HUGE fav for me in the early days of cable circa 1984. Years later i was blown away to find out it was a Crichton creation as id become a big fan of his books. The one thing that sticks out to me to this day is the fact that i reallly really realllly liked Kiss's Gene Simmons as the big bad. He just seemed so believably angry. "THE TEMPLATES RAMSEY!" "THE SPIDERS ARE PROGRAMMED TO KILL THE FIRST PERSON OFF THE ELEVATOR!"

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    3. If IMDB trivia is to be believed (a big if) Gene Simmons was up for many memorable movie roles throughout the 80's and early 90's that never materialized. Shame, because the few times Simmons played a movie bad guy he was memorable and fun to watch. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿซ€

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    4. OOOOO thanks for the Den o Geek link....i dont think ive seen all of those and as a fan of the man (and his evil boots!) im gonna seek out the others.

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  10. I finally got a chance to catch up with the pod and I’ve got two thoughts.

    After listening to I Know What You Did Last Summer I feel like the late 90’s - early 2000’s had a disproportionately large amount of triple named actors. We got Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prince Jr (doesn’t really count but I’m counting it), Vivica A Fox, Sean William Scott, Hayley Joel Osmant, the list goes on… Was that the key or turn of the millennia stardom?

    Second thought is I want Adam’s Grauman’s Theatre story turned into an movie adaption of Kafka’s The Castle and then I want to try and watch that movie at Grauman’s theatre.

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