Good weekend to everyone. During a week of intense political coverage here in the U.S., movies were a nice refuge from the news onslaught. I kept up my Noirvember watches while still feeling some movie burn-out from October. I had the time to watch more but lacked the energy.RIFIFI IN THE CITY (1963, dir. Jess Franco) – When a police informant in an unnamed Latin American country is killed, a series of murders are set in motion. Overall, this is a solid film noir from early in Jess Franco’s career. There is even a hint of giallo, too. Those expecting the meandering narrative style of Franco’s exploitation period will be surprised.AGAINST ALL ODDS (1984, dir. Taylor Hackford) – This very 1980s remake of the 1947 noir classic Out Of The Past is at least watchable. The cast, lead by an energetic Jeff Bridges, do what they can with a script that has too many things happening. Instead of being a private detective, Bridge’s character is a professional football player whose connections with a sport’s bookie get him in some hot water in Mexico and Los Angeles. The noir aspects are there but considerably diluted. This could have been much better than it is.TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI (1954, dir. Jacques Becker) – The title means “Don’t touch he Loot.” French cinema legend Jean Gabin plays an aging thief in the Parisian underworld. Though the story is ostensibly about the attempt of a gang to take his latest heist, the focus is on the bonds of friendship. This is an excellent gangster noir. THE WOMAN ON PIER 13 (1949) – Robert Ryan, one of my favorite movie tough guys, plays a shipping executive being blackmailed by Communist Party members. The propaganda aspect of the story is so strident that I was tempted to turn the film off, but it does deliver the film noir goods. The lighting of the finale is black-and-white cinematography at its finest.
I have tried several times to post descriptions for some films I watched before Scary Movie month. The software keeps deleting them for some reason. Hopefully this attempt sticks. Samurai Rebellion (1967, dir. Masaki Kobayashi) - A masterpiece of Japanese cinema. It is the tale of a samurai, played by Toshiro Mifune, who challenges the power of a the local lord. The shot composition and cinematography is beautiful.FANDO AND LIS (1968, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky) - Undeniably a work of Jodorowsky, this surreal film follows the misadventures of the title characters as they embark on a spiritual journey. Though not on as grand a scale as the films (El Topo) that followed, Fando and Lis is an essential watch to understand how Jodorowsky's cinematic ideas developed. I also watched a couple of rock documentaries on Prime. BAD REPUTATION is a 90-minute look at the career of rock'n'roll warrior Joan Jett. Though not always in the spotlight, she has built a career that spans almost 50 years. The other doc is HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS. The Slits were a British female punk band who put their musical messages out to the world for longer than most bands of the time did. The messy narrative somehow fits the phenomenon that was the punk movement, but that messiness also can make this a confusing watch.
I'm been meaning to do a week of Samurai movies. I will add Samurai Rebellion to the list. The only Mifune movie I've seen was Harakiri, and it was stunningly beautiful as well.
The director of Harakiri also made Samurai Rebellion. There are a lot of notable samurai films out there.
Whoops, I had meant to say "the only Kobayashi movie I've seen was Harakiri"...Mifune was one of the actors in Samurai Rebellion.
Hi F This gang! Hope y'all are having a great weekend.It's been a movie-light week. I did mostly enjoy Wakanda Forever, but I'm a whore for Marvel, so that was to be expected. I saw The Maltese Falcon for the first time and really liked it, maybe didn't love it. Will revisit it at some point. And in my continuing effort to see movies from different countries, I watched my first Ugandan movie, The Girl in the Yellow Jumper. It's a weird little mystery told in a disorienting way and the ending makes little sense, but it looks good and the actors are excellent.Plus I'm still trying to boost William Shatner towards being my most watched actor, so this week I watched The Canadian Conspiracy, a slightly amusing idea for a sketch stretched to 70 minutes, and Lil' Pimp, one of the most obnoxious movies I've ever seen.Today I'm going to local genre festival Cinemadrome to see Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (first time), Carpenter's The Thing (first time on the big screen, wohoo!) and a French film from 1986 called Devil Story (never heard of it before).
Hope you enjoyed the festival, Mikko.
Thanks Casual! I actually had to skip the last movie, but Elvira was a lot of fun and The Thing is The Thing, so I'm still calling it a success.
The Thing on the big screen!? Soooooooooo jealous!
Chilly fall is upon us in the midwest..that means more time inside..watching movies!Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm (2022 UHD Blu (yes, you read that correctly, a cartoon about sentient happy meal contents in UHD! Truly what this format was created for!))You cant keep a good shake down. Much to my and many other fans of the early 2000's series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" surprise, they dropped a new feature length movie this week! Currently only avail for purchase physical/streaming. Its their second feature flick. And truth be told i didnt much connect with their first. I think the series was brilliant in its absurdity and well defined characters back in the day but it ran for some time and maybe my interest wained some. However time has passed and i gotta say i laughed..a LOT..at this flick. Most of the plot is so-so (one note joke about megalomaniac take on bezos/musk and amazon) but the core four characters fall back into their own place with constant hilarious jokes. Theres a brilliance to the sweet ignorant meatwads line delivery that cracks me up like few things do. Id suggest the purchase option for die hards only but for other fans its worth a watch once rentable or streaming.Tremors Cold Day in Hell (2018) & Tremors Shrieker Island (2020)Finished up my october franchise watch a smidge late but did it. In the end the series is silly 'check your brain at the door' dtv fare. I watched it with my kid who loved it so that made it more fun. Terminal Velocity (1994 blu)If you look up "90s Action Movie" in the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, it wont show this movie, but i'll probably end up in a footnote somewhere. Its cheezy Charlie Sheen fun. Barebones cold war adjacent plot with a lot of the action tied to "skydivings cool!". (One random note: the final scene is weirdly sweet and a VERY creative use of checkovs gun that feels almost out of place compared to movie that precedes it) Happy Movie Watching Friends!
I've heard the Tremors sequels spoken about positively so many times at this point, I really should watch them. It seems like they could be a candidate for a SMM franchise show?
The Tremors sequels are super fun.
The sequels try nicely to bring something new to the table each time in both the Graboid lifecycle as well as setting. But otherwise there's not a ton of meat on the bone after a while. Still, enjoyable silly fun and great to see Michael Gross return each time.
I'm a big fan of all of the Tremors movies - probably mostly because my kid loves them so much, but also because of Michael Gross's endless commitment to the bit - he's really dragged the franchise along, hopefully not across the finish line yet!
Hope everyone here's doing ok. I'm off twitter, so I don't know how people here are doing while elections go on. Hang in there! Very little surprises me in the US anymore. Now I just have the memory of being surprised during elections. I remember when I used to think we had collective narratives in the US, as if we'd all seen the same movies and took away the same messages. Like that nazis are bad. They teach you that in the Sound of Music when you're a kid! I watched ENOLA HOLMES 2 a couple more times. Really love their Sherlock Holmes. He's as fun to watch when he's hot and kind as when he's portrayed as self destructive and insensitive! Who would've thought?I made the mistake of watching Sophia Coppola's remake of THE BEGUILED (2017) this week. I've been watching lots of stuff with Colin Farrell to make up for the fact that I can't see him in his new movie yet because no theaters around me are playing it. Sophia Coppola's movies all make me want to pull my eyes out. (Though they do cut up nicely into music videos). I agree with every criticism of her work, which are many, and harsh. But the truth is, I think it's fine. With so many interesting filmmakers getting their work seen these days thanks to streaming, Sophia Coppola can never pass her films off as "feminist" anymore. Everyone will have seen better and no one will buy it. I found a tv movie version of Pygmalion on youtube with Peter O'Toole (love him) playing Henry Higgins and Margot Kidder as Eliza Doolittle. I was surprised at the end, when Eliza doesn't return to pompous ass Henry Higgins! You know you watch My Fair Lady and every time, if you're like me, you're like "How could this be the ending?" Well it isn't! I didn't know George Bernard Shaw, the writer, never intended her to come back. Another movie/book ending change it reminded me of...in the movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella doesn't return to Stanley. That would be too ugly and unthinkable after he raped and gaslighted and sent her sister to a mental institution. But in the original play version, she does. Which fits the story much better and is way more interesting IMO.
I think there's a Back to the Future reference in Enola Holmes 2.
The punch. What do you think? :)
I'll have to rewatch it, i can't remember precisely
Don't Worry Darling (2022)I had low-ish expectations going into this which I think helped but I actually ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It's a simple story told in a pretty straightforward way with some visuals that I think try to make it into something it's not.But overall, it has some interesting things to say about relationships and how women are objects for men to use. A part for some messiness in the ending (car chase in particular) I think it's worth checking out .
I watched The Prestige (2006) with the kids. They hadn't had it spoiled, and I was careful answering any questions they had when watching. It was fun seeing them put it all together at the end. My one son is the type that is always trying to guess the ending as he watchs (gets it from him mum), but even he didn't put it together. This is a movie that's very fun to rewatch, as the clues are all over the place, and so obvious at times! Fun movie, and top 3 Nolan for me. I felt obliged to watch some noirs, so I watched LA Confidential (1997) which I had never seen. Really solid movie, and it was wonderful seeing a younger Russell Crowe. I was very suprised to read that Basinger won an Oscar for such a middling performance. Also watched Wild Things (1998) which was also a first time watch. I was prepared for the sexy sex, but not for the twists and turns! It becomes almost comical at one point! I'm not sure if the plot machinations hold up under scrutiny, but it was a fun ride all the same. Matt Dillion kills it in the role of good guy/bad guy.Another day, another Denise Richards movie. Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) should be a piece of trash, but it somehow works. I had a big grin on my face the whole way through.
I had a chance to see Tammy and the T-Rex during a free weekend of premium cable channels a few years ago. Like you, I had a smile on my face throughout it. Everyone commits 100% to the ridiculous concept.
Love The Prestige - I think it's my favourite of his - fun little world and an amazing cast to hang out with for a couple hours. And Wild Things - hoo boy, I saw it in the theatre - with friends, so I wasn't Pee Wee Hermaning or anything - but in terms of pop culture sexy sex that was like the Moon Landing of that era. And a pretty fun movie too!I've been filling in some big holes lately - watched Casino and Gladiator recently (they're very good!) - and LA Confidential is one I'm going to add to that list for sure.
Wild Things was thoroughly misunderstood at the time of release, by everyone, myself included. But sometimes you meet the right person praising a movie that makes you see it in another light. For me, that person was none other than the Great Afdam Riskey who wrote about it a few years ago. It's a great, fun, weird movie
WAKANDA FOREVER (2022) is just as good as everyone's been saying. I can see it having breakout potential the way the first Black Panther had. They even made Namor interesting, when in the comics he's often just annoying. MY MAN GODFREY (1936) A homeless bum is hired to be a butler for an extremely wacky rich family. Huge fun! Tons of witty banter and some gorgeous visuals as well. It's like half Oscar Wilde and half James Whale. ENOLA HOLMES 2 (2022) has divided opinions, I see, but I for one really liked it. It's a lighthearted detective caper, and that's all it needs to be. GAMERA (1965) is made of meat! TALKING WITH GODS (2010) Documentary about the life (up to that point) of writer Grant Morrison. It's crazily fast-paced, cramming tons of information into 90 minutes. Fascinating how Morrison's beliefs and thought processes are so out-there, yet he's also very down-to-Earth and relatable.
Just a bit of information, but Morrison is nonbinary. I don't make fuss about these things, but some people do.
My Man Godrey is a highlight of the 1930s screwball comedies. William Powell and Carole Lombard were great comedians.
D'oh! And I knew that about Morrison, too. My apologies.
Did anyone else watch Soft & Quiet this weekend? Interested to hear what other people have to say about it, because I thought it was pretty bad. The one-take thing is always a technical achievement, I suppose (though in this case I'd say it's the fatal flaw), and there are some truly horrifying moments, but it's mostly just a barrage of racist tropes coming one after the other from people you absolutely hate - it's like an R-rated parody of an after-school special about white nationalism. And I get that there are people out there who are really like this - that this is a thing and a real danger - but by foregoing all subtlety, making the characters cartoonishly racist idiots, and only very briefly touching on how they surreptitiously influence "normal" society around them, anyone watching who didn't already know people like this exist in America right now, aren't going to believe that this movie actually represents a real horror. It wants to be serious - and it should be serious - but it's mostly kinda silly. I think the same basic story not done in real time could be really good and even more horrifying.