Saturday, July 1, 2023

Weekend Open Thread


  1. A big hello to everyone out there who took part in Junesploitation. What were your experiences of the past month? Tired? Did you get to everything that you wanted to?

    Though it was a lot of fun, my brain is ready for a break. Considering how light my movie-watching had been before June, I wondered if I would have the stamina this year. I guess I did, but there have not been as many watches as past years. I am happy with the 39 films that I got to, and they were all new to me. Being away from home part of the month necessitated more changes to my viewing calendar than usual. My physical collection was hardly used, so there will be plenty of viewing options just lying around for another year. I definitely gained a new appreciation for streaming services like Tubi. With the Netflix DVD service ending this fall, I will have to rely on streaming more anyway.

    Is anybody following the news about the Turner Classic Movies channel? A lot has been happening there that is not good. Many Executives and staff are being laid off. It is interesting to see people like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg intervene in the matter. Having watched the channel for close to three decades, seeing it go away would not be a pleasant prospect.

    1. Oh no! Not TCM?? Why!? It was my favorite back when I had TV.

    2. Corporate cost cutting. TCM is now part of Warner Brothers Discovery, which has been "restructuring" many of its business entities to help pay off a massive debt. TCM is the latest target. The CEO states that he has no intention of shutting down the channel, but when you fire virtually all of the management things are definitely not going to be same.

    3. Sad news. TCM is a gateway to so many old films.

  2. The Small Beans podcast episode on Top Gun ("Constructing the Military Fantasy: Top Gun") made me aware of so many insane things in Top Gun (1986). Almost every scene is filmed at sunset. The heavy 1950s, post WWII style - songs, costumes, interior set designs, the CARS they drive... And a stunt pilot actually died filming the scene where the jet spins out of control and Goose dies. John Carpenter was asked to direct first but he turned it down for some reason like he thought it would be a politically irresponsible film to make - which is easy to agree with.

  3. Great job to all who played Junesploitation! I appreciate the reviews and will be revisiting when looking for genre suggestions!

    Indiana Jones and the Dial o Destiny (2023 theatrical XD).

    Hrmm...tough to review....i dont think its as bad as alot of the online discourse but its not great. Honestly it starts pretty great with the best de-aging ive seen and a rollicking prologue. I liked phobe's energy but her character is written a bit all over the place. Mickleson is a fav baddie and he's good but also underwritten. Lots of action setpieces that suffer the weight of CGI but entertain. Indy's story is somber but honestly i think Harrison really did a great job with it. Starts to drag later in flick so could have benefited from loosing about 30m. Solid ending moments for the character. In the end its no where near as great as the first 3 (few few movies could ever be) but felt more like an Indy flick than part 4.

  4. Junesploitation was fun as always, but I can't deny fatigue was starting to set in in those last days, so I'm not sad it's done. Now there's just a three month wait until Scary Movie Month!

    I watched 50 movies for Junesploitation, 46 of them new to me. My top 10 discoveries:

    1. Watch Out, We're Mad (1974)
    2. Class of 1999 (1990)
    3. First Love (2019)
    4. The Warriors (1979)
    5. A Bucket of Blood (1959)
    6. The Intruder (1962)
    7. Night of the Eagle (1962)
    8. My Name Is Nobody (1973)
    9. Vigilante (1982)
    10. M3GAN (2022)

    Right now I'm trying to watch the original Ocean's 11 (1960), but I'm bored out of my skull. How can a movie starring Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy David Jr. and Angie Dickinson be this dull?

  5. My top five favorite new-to-me movies of #Junesploitation:

    5) MAD GOD (2022) Macabre imagery with oddball dream logic, told with hand-crafted stop-motion animation? Yes, please.
    4) MALIGNANT (2021) Another winner from James Wan. Stylish, scary, and exciting.
    3) COTTON COMES TO HARLEM (1970) Expertly balances action, comedy, suspense, and more. A real blockbuster.
    2) DROP DEAD GORGEOUS (1999) Hilarious dark comedy, with Kirsten Dunst on hand to give it some heart.
    1) BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES (2020) It’s hard to be a movie fan these days. There’s the writers’ strike, popular shows and movies vanishing from streaming, concerns about AI art, everyone hating everything on Twitter, and this Zazlav character apparently burning Warner Bros. to the ground. But then I watched this movie. It's is an amusing premise with likable characters brought to its natural conclusion, and that’s all it has to be. It left me with a big smile on my face, a reminder of why we love movies and how good movies are still out there, waiting to be found.

    (And NIMONA on Netflix is also great.)

    1. Oh, Nimona just popped up at the recommended thing at the top this morning. I wasn't sure because I hadn't ever hear of it, but I'll check it out!

  6. LIFEBOAT (1944), Hitchcock

    First time seeing this. After a ship battle during WWII, survivors from a torpedoed US ship make it to a lifeboat. So does a German. The drama all takes place on the boat. It's good. I'm still processing it. Tallulah Bankhead is clearly something else. This is the first movie I've seen her in. The way she drapes herself over John Hodiak's character... She cute.

  7. I kind of burned out and missed the last week. A combination of some family stuff (don't worry, everyone is healthy, just some time sucking stuff), and extra work, and fatigue. But I'm going to finish Junesploitation at my own pace! I just couldn't anymore. I was getting finished with everything and had a short amount of time. I started a few movies and didn't finish. And then the days after that I just resigned myself to putting on a Star Trek while going to sleep, rather than a movie I wouldn't finish, which was honestly what I needed at that moment after a difficult day.

    I WILL finish Junesplitation and have a some great movies lined up, and am looking forward to them now, rather than dreading them. That's what it's all about right, Movie love!