Went to Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema last Thursday for a screening of John Russo's MIDNIGHT, aka BACKWOODS MASSACRE (1982, 35mm; streaming on YouTube), which is an honest-to-goodness entertaining regional exploitation horror flick (a unicorn in Russo's Red Letter Media-branded filmography). The sold out audience full of hipsters was laughing at every bad line reading from every bad on-screen performer... until "Martin" his own self, John Amplas, shows up for the George Floyd portion of "Midnight's" 'exploitation' pedigree. That quieted the smart-ass Brooklynites in a hurry. Terrific 35mm print (sharp and relatively colorful), make-up effects by Tom Savini (not "Friday the 13th" good but a step above "Dawn of the Dead" gore) and an audience-slapping turn by Lawrence Tierney ("Reservoir Dogs") as the unlikely cavalry trying to rescue the final girl from a cabal of Satanic worshippers. The perfect appetizer before next week's reveal of the Junesploitation! calendar. Recommended if you can stand it.I'd pay good money to hear John Carpenter's thoughts running through his mind as he and his family collaborators scored FIRESTARTER (2022, theater). He'd probably laugh at the way the 1984 movie's sense of urgency is dialed down significantly by making the '84 flashbacks the first act of the new version, which eliminates the former's dead weight middle act. John would probably smirk at how the new film looks/feels an awful lot like the low-budget "X-Men" clones of recent years (2018's "Freaks," 2019's "Brightburn," etc.), but he'd smile at how empty and personality-free 'The Shop' looks like in '22 versus the farm setting of '84. Since the new Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong, good but no Drew Barrymore) has parents (Zac Effron and blink-and-you-miss-her Sydney Lemmon) who also flaunt their powers (nerfed big time compared to the first movie), Carpenter would probably approve of the new Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes) being of actual (Canadian) indigenous origins, even though how Rainbird fares at the end left a sour taste at my theatrical screening. More than anything John Carpenter would laugh all the way to the bank knowing that, NOT for the first time in his career, the music score he helped compose towers over a crap horror movie that audiences are better off watching on Peacock than wasting gas money driving over to see in an empty theater. What an unnecessary waste of a promising IP! :'(Roger Michell's THE DUKE (2022, theater), inspired by the true story of the early 1960's theft of a valuable painting, would be a nice feel-good movie about the British class system if Jim Broadbent's Kempton Bunton wasn't such an annoying elderly bloke. Even with a late reveal about his motives that makes Kempton's actions seem more heroic, I half-rooted for the old man to hang from the gallies. A small role by Matthew Goode as a defense barrister (yay!) is cancelled by Helen Mirren forced to play suffering-in-quiet-dignity older housewife (boo!). Worth a rental, but Anglophiles will probably dig "The Duke" more than most.
[CONTINUED FROM ABOVE]Last but somewhere in the middle, Sam Raimi's DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS 3D (2022, theater) is the first MCU movie where it felt like I was punished for not doing homework, aka watching Disney+'s "WandaVision." I haven't seen any MCU TV show on streaming, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of the post-pandemic MCU big theatrical releases. "Multiverse of Madness" is the first time The Mouse is subtracting from my ticket price a not-insignificant portion of the on-screen fun (mostly during the first half) for not watching the TV table setting for this feature, and that sucks! The further into the plot it got things became a lot Sam Raimi-er, though, and by the end we basically got the never-made "Evil Dead 4" (had they followed the non-theatrical, non-canon original ending of "Army of Darkness") on a mainstream Marvel blockbuster budget. It's simultaneously off-putting (never seen so many superhero heads explode... literally!), glorious (great 3D effects during the multiverse jumping), generic (Danny Elfman on autopilot, yawn!), alarming (Disney is plugging future superhero franchises left and right) and comforting (of course Bruce has a memorable cameo). Benedict Cumberbatch is slowly becoming the Tony Stark of the MCU (with Benedict Wong not too far behind), a reliable old pro whose lead performance anchors a disposable flick that has no right to be as entertaining and easy to follow as this one is. Recommended if you're up to date with the ever-expanding MCU lore.
thanks JM...your DS:ITMOM review was pretty much exactly what i needed to set the tone before i see it. I have actually seen most MCU shows and enjoyed them up and down. I havent seen Wanda cuz i have like no interest and i will go into the flick knowing that limits my understanding. whatev's. Im most intrigued by the Evil Dead 4 reference as it will be a hoot to see Rami channel some of his old school shenanigans! take care dude!
I've seen WandaVision, so I really liked this movie. At the same time, I do fully understand and support all of those who are frustrated with this movie. Until now, you were fine with every MCU movie - yes, you should watch them, but you don't have to watch Agents of Shield etc. If you haven't seen WandaVision, you'll have a hard time understanding why the things are happening. That being said, I believe this is one of my favorite MCU films for how much Rami is in it - up until the mid-credit scene. Just don't do them, or just have the ending of the movie as the mid-credit scene.
Ohhh, ok. I haven’t seen WandaVision and that would annoy me a lot, so I’m going to skip it. Was gonna take a friend later today.
Good weekend to everyone. Another week, more films to watch. I definitely thought I would get to more, but that is how things turn out sometimes. I at least got a couple of films off of the DVR.THE WARPED ONES (1960, dir. Koreyoshi Kurahara) – Akira is a jazz-obsessed delinquent recently released from a juvenile institution who immediately goes back to his wild ways. When he is not listening to jazz, you mainly see him casually engaging in theft and tormenting a female artist that he raped. Though not on the pleasant side, The Warped Ones has a vibrant style that meshes beautifully with the carefree attitude of the protagonist. The film reminds me a lot of Godard’s BREATHLESS from this same period.CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994, dir. Wong Kar-wai) – I usually find these films with separate interweaving storylines too random. In the hands of a great director like Kar-wai, though, even the randomness can be engaging. There is so much to take in with Chungking Express. The visual style varies depending on the character and story. The soundscape is ever changing and often sets the mood for the scene. The first story was the one I was most taken with, largely because of the mystery of the plot and my own experience of struggling to let go of a relationship. I would throw up if I ate that many cans of pineapple, too. There was a lot more humor than I expected in both stories. This definitely seems like a film that one would notice new things in with multiple viewings. THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) – A twisty noir melodrama anchored by a mesmerizing cold-blooded performance from Barbara Stanwyck. Co-stars Kirk Douglas (one of his first roles) and Van Heflin interact wonderfully with her to bring out all of the heavy emotions in a story about the burden of secrets. The ending got a lot darker than I was expecting. The film would have benefited from a shorter running time, however.
My first movie in over a week since we've been moving, and I went with The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, which is a sad and engaging movie that has a lot to say about sadism and masochism and it's an obvious influence on The Duke Of Burgundy.
That was the first Rainer Fassbinder film I ever saw, Joseph. It was a rental from my local Blockbuster. When I was living in France in the early 2000s, I had a chance to go a screening (A Love in Germany) with Hanna Schygulla in attendance. I believe she even spoke to the audience in French.
wooo hoo! BEAUTIFUL weather finally. Lets get outside and enjoy it y'all!F This....sketch comedy?!The Kids in the Hall (2022 season 1 ep1 Amazon Prime)(Full disclosure....as a lifelong fan of comedy and sketch comedy i am, of course, aware of the great comedy troupe TKitH. However for some reason i havent seen that much of the original run. Need to correct that). I admire comedy pretty much over all genres as its HARD to know what will make people laugh. moreso in that different folks have different senses of humor. Sketch comedy is crazy tough to nail. So i went into the newly revived TKinH show with not super high expectations. Two sketches in i was CACKLING. Im sure the season will have highs and lows but oh man am i excited to check it all out!!!!!Uncharted (2022 Blu)Its not a good movie. Its a by the numbers, scene stitched together treasure hunt. It pales compared to those it aspires to be (Raiders, Mummy, National Treasure). Its 98% green screen (like everything). HOWEVER. I went in kinda expecting all that and had lots of fun with it!! Fine one note performances from all and enjoyable quick moving set pieces. Great check-your-brain-at-the-door popcorn and bourbon night flick!!
I watched the original The Kids In The Hall show a lot on TV in the early and mid-1990s. There are many sketch gems (Chicken Lady!) from the first few seasons. I found the last two seasons far weaker.
Figured Fred Ward would get the weekend open thread pic.Watched Tremors last night for the first time in forever. Remembered pretty much all of it. It's just a really good flick. Two thumbs up.The weekend open thread picture did get me to watch The Gift and it's good. Maybe, great? Can't believe I never seen it. The entire cast is just throwing fastballs. A must re-watch over scary movie month. The last movie I saw was Firestarter. It's bad.
"It's bad." LOL!!!
I recommend the other Tremors movies. They're not as good as the first one, but they're a ton of fun
I've seen the 2nd one YEARS ago. I think I rented it from Blockbuster on VHS, lol. I'm going to bingewatch the series on one of these lazy summer weekends.
My Road To Junesploitation continued this week with first time watches of Hard Boiled, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Funhouse. Great sploitation-grade stuff all around.
I ❤-tily approve of all three choices. 😊👍
wow...Adam, you picked some DOOSIES! One is unquestionably one of the top 10 action movies ever made. The second is one of the best old-school-martial-arts flicks ever made. And the third is the fav flick by the fav director of the F This creator. Well done!
All have been waiting on my watchlist for ages and I'm so glad I could finally cross them off.
Hard Boiled may be a watch for me this June. If you have not seen Woo's prior film, The Killer, I heartily recommend that to you, Adam. I love the 36th CHAMBER. It stands out from from the innumerable films about Shaolin monks because it shows monks actually engaging in Buddhist practices. Meditation is far more important than martial arts.
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS (2022). I'm a Marvel superfan, so of course I liked this one. Yes, it's not perfect and there are plenty of nitpicks buzzing around the back of my head, but the movie delivers as big spectacle entertainment. CRANK (2006). This is an incredibly dumb movie trying way, way too hard to be edgy and cool. Fortunately, Jason Statham is on board, giving it 100 percent, and he somehow makes it watchable. DICK TRACY (1990). "Sooner or later, you're gonna be mine..." WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953). Yes or no, should I poke the glowing meteor with a stick? MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987). Ridiculous nonsense, but incredibly fun to watch. I would've preferred a lot less Gwildor, though. THE GREEN KNIGHT (2021). Nothing but far-out dream logic, and I'm here for it. Between this and THE NORTHMAN, are postmodern sword 'n sorcery movies a thing now?
Years ago, this was something of a meme here at F This Movie because, sooner or later, EVERYONE pokes the goo with a stick. It’s what makes us human.
Im always here for callbacks to the classic The Blob!
OPERATION MINCEMEAT (2021) on NetflixI already wrote about this spy movie on the site earlier this week, but I’ve been watching it for background noise while I do paperwork ever since. So, the voices - particularly of Matthew Macfayden, Kelly Macdonald and Johnny Flynn are so wonderful. Kelly Macdonald is doing something different with her speech and it does make her quite more mysterious. I’m wondering what makes a movie like this so successful...and I think a lot of it must have to do with the voices and audio quality.Also, the question at the heart of this spy guessing game (which is from a real story - Operation Mincemeat was part of creating the diversion that allowed Allied forces take control of Europe during WWII) is “Can you make the truth seem believable?” I love that question so much. Dorothy Sayers, a detective novelist a bit like Agatha Christie, pointed out that one of the hardest things about writing detective stories is making the truth seem believable. I’m sure it’s a question all people who love stories wrestle with, and it’s endlessly fun.U.S. MARSHALLS (1988)This is the sequel to The Fugitive. I’d never seen it before. I like it better than The Fugitive!
*1998 rather, not 1988.
"U.S. Marshalls" over "The Fugitive"? Really!?!? :-O Other than the fun from watching Tommy Lee Jones clearly being annoyed by Robert Downey Jr.'s acting mannerisms, it's "The Fugitive" all the way for me. Sorry. :-(
Lol really? Am I alone IMO? Maybe it’s my bias. I’ve kept it a secret here bc FTM’s made it pretty clear no one likes RDJ...but he’s my boyfriend. I don’t know why, I have always just loved him, since I was a kid and he was in Soapdish. One friend said it’s because he’s a clown--like the mime type. Also, Harrison Ford, grumpy dad, is totally not my guy. And I like how in US Marshals we’re kind of discovering the plot more as the movie goes along. And the girl has sexy hair. And there’s the cool mom boss lady. Idk, I just like it more. lol.