Saturday, January 15, 2022

Weekend Open Thread


  1. Synopsis of 2021: I saw 380 total movies and 31 movies from 2021. Went to the theatre 5 times. Watched my favourite movie Master and Commander (tied with Das Boot) 4 times. Mostly eschewed TV, but did finish DS9 and watched most of Star Trek Voyager (1 season left). Highlight of the year was a delve into movies about the pre-cowboy era, trappers and mountain men. I watched about 20 of those, and maybe I’ll make a ranked list once I’ve finished the last few.

    Top 10 Best/Favourites of 2021: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my top three I all saw in the theatre. Nothing beats the theatrical experience, and these movies in particular were the type to benefit from watching in that way.
    Licorice Pizza: This movie lingered with me for a week. Left me tingling. Can’t wait to see again. I went to see it at 11pm the evening before they closed the theatres here again. So glad I did. I doubt it’ll still be playing whenever they reopen.
    Dune: Big spaceships slowly taking off and landing? More please! I thought the ending was perfect.
    The Last Duel: Fantastic and nuanced from perhaps my favourite director.
    Riders of Justice: Sad, moving, and funny. Great “underrated” recommendation from Patrick. Thanks! Mads Mikkelsen has creeped into my “favourite actors” category.
    Benedetta: Such a perfect balance between exploitation and “saying something” about religion.
    Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar: Colourful, light and funny. So funny.
    Luca/Raya and the Last Dragon: I can’t decide which is better.
    Honorable mentions: Old, Cruella, No Sudden Move

    1. Best of New-To-Me. This list is much more interesting to me. In no particular order:

      Arctic (2018): Phenomenal almost wordless performance by Mikkelsen.
      Death Hunt (1981): My almost favourite of the “mountain men” movies.
      What We Left Behind: Looking Back At Star Trek DS9 (2018): I finished DS9 and it has firmly become one of my very favourite TV series ever, so this doc, while not objectively being that great, still rung a very emotional chord with me. I finished DS9 while sick with covid, deep in a fever, and cried a bunch during the last episode.
      Sounder (1972): Such a warm spirited family movie.
      Mouse Hunt (1997): I really want to watch this with my dad, as this is exactly the clean physical humour that he loves, and is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a few years.
      Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker (1981): enough said.
      City of God (2002): This hits both the best as well as the favourite categories for me.
      Seven Days In May (1964): I’m considering doing a watch through a bunch of these cold war thrillers this year.
      Jeremiah Johnson (1972): It opens with a 3 minute freeze frame of a mountain man overlooking a vast valley with an overture playing. Just perfect. This was the movie that inspired me to make the dive into movies about that period in North American history.
      Ben Hur (1959): Sure, the chariot race is awesome, but there’s so much other stuff that is awesome too. I particularly loved the sea battle. I actually probably watched this (and others like this) as a kid, so there’s a bit of nostalgia too. My son and I have adopted the greeting that Ben Hur gives to his adopted father, when they grasp each others arms and say “My Father! My Son!”
      Sisters (1972): I’m ready to do a deep dive into De Palma

      Honourable mentions: A Passage to India (1984), Gone With The Wind (1939) which is problematic but very watchable, The African Queen (1951), Wolfwalkers (2020), Electra Glide In Blue (1973) that ending shot and credits!, Iron Monkey (1993), Wild (2014) which is fantastic and underappreciated.

      Last but not least, watched the extended 5h version of my other favourite movie ever, Das Boot (1981), which was originally presented as a 6 part series. It’s so good. I could watch it continuously.

    2. Have you ever seen Black Robe, Paul? Reading about your watches of mountain men movies, that would probably interest you. Moreover, it deals with Canadian history.

    3. Wow, I have never heard of it, but it looks like it was tailor made for me. Thanks so much for the recommendation! Looks like it's available through my library.

    4. I am a little surprised by that, especially since it is a Canadian film. I do not know of any other films that delve into the history of the coureurs de bois.

      You stated that you know French. This a link to a Radio-Canada program from the 2000s called De Remarquables OubliΓ©s. There were a lot of interesting episodes about figures from the founding of Canada. Sadly, most are not available now.

    5. Iron Monkey!!!!!!! Thats a top 10 martial arts movie for me. Great discovery Paul.

  2. THE RIVER’S EDGE (1957) – I was expecting a western, which the film sort of is. It is also a crime melodrama. Anthony Quinn is a rancher with a new wife. She is dissatisfied with that lifestyle and has the additional trouble of her past catching up with her. Quinn and co-star Ray Milland bring a lot of energy to a messy script, and the outdoors cinematography is first-rate. If you like the actors, it could be a worthwhile watch.

    1. There are some other things I would like to post but I cannot get the text to get on the site. J.M. and I were having the same issue last week.

    2. I love Anthony Quinn. One of my favourite movies as a kid was A High Wind In Jamaica (1965), which we had recorded from the TV onto VHS and I watched innumerable times.

    3. Same here, Casual! Tried posting my reviews this morning, but the site refuses to upload them. Guess I'll have to re-write them from scratch, but don't have time to do that right now. Man, bummer of a start for 2022. :'( new

    4. Even when I type the text in, it is not always getting on the site, J.M. Only short text blocks seem to be getting posted. Another strange thing is that this review for The River's Edge was copied from a Word document and it still went up. I thought the copying might be the issue. I don't understand.

    5. That's strange. My top movies list from above I had typed in libreoffice and copy pasted here, and it worked fine.

  3. Scream 2 (1997 blu)

    Brushing up on the Scream flicks before seeing the new one. This flick is a ton of fun. It manages to get "meta" right by acknowledging its predecessor, doing the "movie in a movie" trope, but also being original and creative in its own right.

    Peacemaker (2022 eps 1,2,3. HBOMax)

    I freaking love this show. Its silly, irreverent, creative, and filled with fun characters. Tonally i think Gunn has found his stride with this outing. Cant wait to see more!!

    1. Scream 4 (2011 dvd)

      Its fine and fun and a scream movie but i think the formula wears a bit thin as its pretty cookie cutter of pt 1 and 2 (note: im rewatching in order of typical ranking so ill circle back to 3). The deconstructing and meta stuff starts to feel played. Also the unwillingness to kill off the main characters. Also the insistence on double killers. etc. Still, its a fun ride and maintains one of the big strengths of part 2: make the audience question EVERYONE and put us (and the characters) in situations where you can save someone but maybe THEY are the killer (i particularly love when the movie does this to the lead and they make the wrong choice).

      (Editors Note: I fully realize that my critique of the series becoming formulaic is crazy ironic given the fact that the Scream sequels mock horror series sequels and said sequels are universally, by design, formulaic. Snake eating its tail i guess?)

      (Editors Note 2: Im still crazy stoked to see what the new Scream holds in store!)

  4. Sceam (2022) - - YES. All of it. YES! I expected to like this because duh, but I really didn't think that it would straight up NAIL the feeling of Wes Craven's Scream movies nor have the unpretentious wit and energy of a Kevin Williamson Scream script. Yet, it did. It did exactly that and more. My gosh... there are more than a couple specific MOMENTS in this movie that brought the house down - great movie to see in theaters (just like all of 'em).

    Scream 3 - - really love it. better than its reputation. the stuff with Sid's mom is legit scary and creepy

  5. A couple of weeks ago i decided that i had too much money. So i bought a bunch of Arrow and Criterion blurays.

    I started with Deep Cover, with directed by Bill Duke (yes, THAT Bill Duke). It's fantastic. Lawrence Fishburn is great. Jeff Goldblum is doing his thing, which kinda work considering his character. Awesome finale. The disc is full of interviews and other stuff. Really worth it

    Also watched the first movie in the beautiful Shawscope boxset, King Boxer. Apparently this movie was made in response to the first Bruce Lee movie which made a killing and the Shaw Bros were pissed that they let him slip through their hands. Good stuff, can't wait to go through the rest

    Notable get from thet wallet-hole-making order: Tsukamoto Boxset, the Battle aof Algier, Come And See, 3 Visconti movie, and more 😎

    1. King Boxer is a great film. Whether as a hero or villain, Lo Lieh is always engaging. That Shaw Brother set looks worth getting, but I have some other box sets higher up in my acquisition list. It probably will go out of print quickly.

      What Luchino Visconti films did you get? I am a big admirer of his work.

      I went on a buying spree in the fall of 2021: Kino, Mondo Macabro, Scream Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, and a mix from a some online retailers. I am well stocked for Junesploitation for a while.

      I have that Tsukamoto set. So far I have only watched the Tetsuo films.

    2. The Visconti films i got are Senso, Death In Venice and The Damned. I already own The Leopard, which i loved.

      Tsukamoto is a blind buy, as is pretty much everything i listed.

      The Shaw Bros set is Limited, so if they ever release a regular set, you won't have the booklet and the 2CD soundtrack. Which you can survive without, the blurays are very stacked with extras

    3. Don't ever apologize for having earned enough dough to buy the stuff you feel passionate about, Kunider. 😎 That said, if you ever feel the need to purchase Adam Sandler or Rob Zombie flicks you're better off burning your money. πŸ’£πŸ’₯

  6. Oops - Sorry for the double post! Top ten horror of 2021:
    10 - Fear Street: 1666
    9 - Sound of Violence
    8 - Broadcast Signal Intrusion
    7 - The Empty Man
    6 - Coming Home in the Dark ​
    5 - Censor
    4 - The Last Matinee
    3 - The Boy Behind the Door
    2 - Caveat
    1 - Malignant

    1. Btw - I'm still alive and doing well F This Movie family! Happy New Year everyone! Including you, Vargas. haha

    2. Chaybee lives... as does his taste for some good horror flicks. 😁🀟😘

    3. Thanks for the recommendations. Malignant was my top horror movie from last year too. The Empty Man was probably 2nd. But I wasn't watching much horror. Sound Of Violence has been a watch-soon since Mikko recommended it.

  7. I just got home from seeing the new SCREAM (2022) and I thought it freakin' ruled! Loved it!

    LUCA (2021) Don't know if this'll be one of my favorite Pixars in future years, but I enjoyed it. You can really see animators' love of Miyazaki.

    BENEDETTA (2021). Yes, this movie is very naughty, but there's a lot more on its mind than that. In classic Veroeven fashion, it builds to an outrageous third act.

    STEEL (1997). Okay, NOW I've seen every superhero movie.

    ROBOCOP 2 (1990). "Behave yourselves!!!"

    ETERNALS (2021). No, it's not Marvel's best, but these characters are kind of unadaptable to begin with. There were enough interesting-to-good moments to keep me engaged on this second viewing, though, so I liked it.

    LABYRINTH (1986). Oh no, not the Bog of Eternal Stench!

    1. Benedetta was so good. Verhoeven can be so on the nose that you'd miss the other sub-text. I freaking love his work, and am glad he's still making movies.

  8. ANTIPORNO (2016, dir. Sion Sono) on MUBI - I can see why Sono has the reputation for weirdness. The general premise is that of a young actress in a soft-core film who has difficulty delivering the performance the director wants. However, there is a lot going on the in visuals and editing, leaving many details open to interpretation. It seemed like there was a significant emphasis on the mixed messages people get about sex.

  9. Last weekend I was able to post half of my 2021 top-ten list. I will have to settle for the abbreviated version of the second half to get it on here. As a proviso, my list sometimes represents my movie year more than the quality of the films.

    6. AROUSED (1966) - A serial killer film presented as sexploitation, there is a grittiness to the film that made it a Junesploitation surprise. Many vibes of Bill Lustig's MANIAC.

    7. POOR PRETTY EDDIE (1974) - Wish I could write more about this often disturbing exploitation film. It pushes past so many boundaries of good taste.

    8. GIRL HAPPY (1965) - Of all the Elvis films I watched, this one stands out as a good example of his formulaic musical films. Shelley Fabares had good chemisty with Elvis.

    9. TETSUO: THE IRON MAN (1989) - Shinya Tsukamoto's classic cyberpunk weird trip. I saw nothing else like it during the year.

    10. THE SILENCERS (1966) - A James Bond spoof starring Dean Martin that was among the most fun watches of the year. It captures well the silliness of those early Bond films.

    1. Other Notable Watches: EL TOPO (1970), CANDYMAN (1992), HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951), THE END OF SUMMER (1961), NOVEMBER (2017), PHANTASM II (1988)

    2. Hey, i heard of Tetsuo recently 🀣 i should watch it

    3. Tetsuo is less of a movie and more of a weird trippy psychological art exhibit designed to visually depict insanity. Its pure cyberpunk-meets-cybersploit-meets-crazypants.

  10. My Saturday night watch was the THE ROCKET MAN. With a title like that and a release date in 1954, it would seem reasonable to expect a sci-fi film. The Rocket Man is, rather, a small town comedy with an orphan boy who is obsessed with spacemen. Somehow a real "spaceman" gives him a ray gun that makes people honest and a good things happen. It is beyond corny. A baby-faced Anne Francis has a supporting role.

  11. Tonight I'm watching Dune, not the piece of crap released this year, but the masterpiece that is the 1984 version. I must've watched it a million time, but this time it's the Arrow restored version. I truly love this movie. To me it's near perfect and would probably be in my top 5 of all time if i ever made that list.

    The Projection Booth guys are pretty much in sync with me with what i thought of the 2021 version. I recommend you go listen to them. I even prefer the mini-series to it. I know i'm in the minority, but here we are.