Blackhat (2015): At the request of our Lord and Master Patrick, here are my thoughts on the new Arrow release of Blackhat.First of all, I want to point out that I'm not a fan of the digital photography used in this, Collateral and Miami Vice. But I guess I'm not as bothered with MV because the movie is so good. I just don't like the texture. That being said, the 4K-HDR looks great for what the source is. If you like the film already, it's worth it. But remember that only the Theatrical Cut (TC) and International Cut (IC) have 4K, the Director's Cut (DC)(the main reason to get this set, I think) is only HD. I didn't watch the IC as I read the changes are minimal and not worth it. There's an HD-only release that is cheaper than the 4K, if you're getting it only for the DC.The TC is pretty much like I remembered... a flawed movie. There's a lot of comparison to make with Miami Vice, but Blackhat is second every time. Actors, music, pacing, you name it. Everything is fine, but never elevated like Miami Vice. Let's face it, Chris Hemsworth is a decent actor at best, but doesn't have the charisma of Colin Farrell. The score is serviceable at best. All in all, this is not Mann's best film, but a bad Mann is still a good movie.(Also, first time I noticed the new Arrow logo, and I don't care for it) Then I watched Thor (2011), because I like it and I just got it for cheap on 4k blu-ray... Moving on...Now, the DC. Despite not being 4K, I still got it because I really wanted to know how it would be after reading about it online. Everything I read said it was the better version. The major differences are a couple scenes that have been moved around, but there's other, smaller stuff. I recommend you google it to read the details of the changes. All I can say is the changes are evident, but it doesn't make the movie that much better, this is not a new movie. The move of one key scene to later in the movie does make more sense here. But whatever bothered you in the TC will probably still bother you here. This is still not Miami Vice or Heat quality level.If you did like the movie before, then I recommend getting this release. This is a sweet set, with good extras and great technical specs.
Thanks for the review. I liked Blackhat, but not enough to spend a bunch on the new release. I don't have a 4k TV so it wouldn't really be an upgrade anyways.
One More Shot (2024 vod rental)Action fans rejoice..the year begins with a new Scott Adkins flick! This movie is a sequel to the film One Shot which placed Adkins into a kind of 'Assault on Precinct 13' setting. The film was shot in 'real time' such that we move thru the events as they occur with the protagonist. And while it definitely contained great opportunities for Adkins to show off his martial arts prowess, it was more of a fpv shooter style movie. It caught me off guard and I absolutely enjoyed it.As for the sequel: it takes place directly after the events of the original movie. Here we find Adkins navy seal character of Jake Harris arriving at an airport with a character he saved from the first movie (no spoilers!) however they walk into a bunch of baddies and things go south quick. From there its pretty much non stop fights with a couple small breaks for exposition. As with the original, the film is shot to be 'one continuous take' and as such has a lot of fpv hand held shots. The plot feels alot like Die Hard 2 if McClaine was a martial artist. Additionally we get not one but TWO dtv favorite action stars...Michael Jai White has a small role as one of the baddies but we get a great match up between him and Adkins. I enjoyed it a lot but i dont think its for everyone. I would say its for Adkins fans and fans of the original.
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Good weekend to everyone.I have had some Blogger issues on Firefox, so I had to switch to Chrome for this week. It is at least working.Winter weather gave me some extra time for movies this week. I got to a couple of titles that have been on my watch-list for a while. For some it is January Giallo, so I dipped my foot back into the world of giallo with a couple of re-watches.HAL (2018, dir. Amy Scott) – Somehow this doc about the great New Hollywood director Hal Ashby misses the mark of letting the viewer understand the subject. His films get a lot of coverage, however. You get glimpses of what made him tick as a human being and filmmaker, particularly in the anecdotes from his colleagues, but they never add up to a whole picture. The Al Adamson documentary I saw last week was a lot more successful in that regard. Ashby’s hatred of the movie business shines through very clearly.THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES (1972, dir. Emilio Miraglia) – Barbara Bouchet, a score from Bruno Nicolai, red herrings galore… definitely back into giallo territory. I am very familiar with this one, watched it back in the early 2010s. RED QUEEN, which is set in Germany, has a curse hanging over a family: Every 100 years sister rivalry becomes murderous. This is among the most entertaining gialli, one that I would recommend to newbies. Even as crazy giallo endings go, this one is high on the craziness level. There are some gothic horror elements thrown in as well.ALL THE COLORS OF GIALLO (2019) - This doc is informative about the genre but does not shed much new light on it that a long-time fan like me is not already aware of. The interviews with the directors, writers, and actors (Gastaldi, Argento, Martino, Fenech, etc.) who made the genre what it was are the best part.
Looking at filmography, it seems I haven't yet seen a single Hal Ashby movie. But recognise the name. I watched The Red Queen Kills Seven Times about a year ago. It was great! Lindsay (friend of the podcast) had an episode on it on her podcast The Schlock and Awe podcast
You HAVE to watch Being There!
The Last Detail is the one that has stuck in my head the longest. Jack Nicholson gives one of his best performances in that, and it is such a gritty film. Harold and Maude is probably Ashby's most beloved film, as idiosyncratic a love story coming out of Hollywood can be. I still have not seen The Landlord (been sitting on the DVR for a long time) and Coming Home from his 1970s period.
Thanks for the recommendations! I'll be sure to check one or more of those out.
CANDICE (2019) – Candice Vadala, whose public persona was as a-d-u-l-t performer and director Candida Royalle, faced a lot of family mysteries. The biggest of those was the fate of her mother, who left when Candace was still a young child. This documentary chronicles Candice’s search for her lost family while dealing with the final stages of a terminal cancer. A film I heard about years ago from a Projection Booth podcast interview, I was glad to find it on Tubi.DR. CALIGARI (1989, dir. Stephen Sayadian) – It was a journey into the avant-garde with this beautiful Mondo Macabro release. Director and writer Sayadian merged parts of the story of the German silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with the ideas he and his co-writer first explored in a 1981 a-d-u-l-t feature called Nightdreams. Both Nightdreams and Dr. Caligari are centered around the sexually overzealous tendencies of one Mrs. Van Houten, who is under some kind of psychological observation. Her hallucinations are appropriately surreal scenarios, and both films are equally weird. Dr. Caligari throws in the asylum element. The doctor, a descendent of the character in the German film, is performing experiments on the brains of her patients. The film is full of colorfully odd sets, theatrical acting, and tableau style posing of the actors. Dr. Caligari certainly is a different cinematic experience, one that I enjoyed a lot.
This morning I watched The Killing Fields (1984, dir. Roland Joffé) about some journalists escaping from Cambodia right before the beginning of the genocide, and then some more. Really sad at parts and really happy at others. Joffe also made The Mission which is a top 10 or 20 movie for me.
POOR THINGS (2023) Just came home from seeing this, and I thought it was fantastic. Emma Stone is great, but really the whole cast is great across the board. And my mind is overflowing with all the big (and weird) ideas the story presents. We need more science fiction movies like this and fewer like Rebel Moon. Speaking of which… REBEL MOON (2022) Everyone warned me this would be bad, but I still wasn’t prepared for how bad. All those millions of dollars wasted on a total lack of imagination. SOMETHING WILD (1986) I was iffy when I first saw this a year or so back, but on this viewing the movie really clicked with me. There’s really nothing else quite like it. Ray Liotta (in his first film???) is especially electric once he enters the picture. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III (1993) I’ll assume this has absolutely no historical inaccuracies whatsoever. ZENON: GIRL OF THE 21ST CENTURY (1999) Seriously? It’s not “Zetus Lapitus,” but “Cetus Lupeedus?” Now I'm questioning everything I’ve ever believed.
I never watched the Disney Channel, but I still somehow remember the names of the movies and shows produced for it around 2000. Zenon is one of those. I wonder how much of that programming is still available to see. I recently was looking for some of the E! True Hollywood Stories shows from that same time period and came up empty. Cable TV is so different now.
At the time, Disney did a huge marketing push for Zenon. They ran commercials for it on other networks and took out print ads, selling it as an "event." (I wonder if they were hoping to ride Phantom Menace's coattails.) It's on Disney Plus right now, alongside tons of old-school Disney Channel stuff.
This week I learned about the passing of Tisa Farrow, star of Lucio Fulci's Zombie and other Italian genre films. She was, of course, the sister of Mia Farrow. Another one gone.
I recently did a rewatch of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I truly don’t think there’s anything I could say that hasn’t been said. It is undoubtedly top-tier Spielberg and top-tier Ford. If I were to make a list of favorite ‘80s movies, it would of course be near the top.I also rewatched The Martian today. That movie is still super good and still very deserving of the two spot it occupied on my top ten from 2015. I’m pleased to be reminded of how funny it is amidst the drama and Matt Damon is great. I don’t find every Ridley Scott movie to be a home run, but a lot of them are, and this is one of
*one of those.
Agreed on The Martian. It's weirdly a feel good movie.
I love The Martian. It's one of those movie you could throw on anytime. I've been wanting to show it to my kids.
Wonka (2023): like everybody who saw it, it was better than expected, but i miss the dark humor from the originalNext Goal Wins (2023): not bad, not great, but for some reasons it made me want to watch Cool RunningsIron Man 3 (2013): i think the Mandarin twist is hilarious and i think this movie is great overall
I wasn't excited for Wonka because I didn't care much for the previous 2 iterations. But I might give it a shot because everybody I know who's seen it enjoyed it quite a bit. It's always a good time to watch Cool Runnings! I'm biased because Canadian and John Candy was a treasure.
I watched Wayne's World, which I hadn't seen since the '90s. It pretty funny and probably Mike Myers best work. I don't like much of his creative output, and this might be the only one I like. I didn't care much for Austin Powers the one time I saw it (I don't remember which one from the franchise it was). And Shrek is straight up garbage. Even my kids, when they were at an age where they would watch anything, asked me to turn it off.
No SHREK for you? Oh my goodness. I guess it's time for a rewatch. We used to play it on repeat when it came out but it's been a while. I thought it was funny. I've learned that humor changes over time. (Except for Muppet humor, which is timeless.)
I think I was too old for it when it came out, and it had become too old by the time my kids were born and watched it. My biggest gripe is that the animation looked atrocious. Doesn't it lean very heavily on pop culture references? Those jokes don't tend to age very well. Unlike the Muppets, which are indeed timeless!
Hi FTM! Hope everyone's doing great.I watched CINDERELLA MAN (2005) for the first time. I think I remember it was really well received in 2005. I thought it was OK but the last fight scene was excellent. I don't know fights/fight scenes that well but it was very suspenseful and clear to me what was going on, which I appreciated. FRIED GREEN TOMATOES (1991). This movie is different than I remember it, in a good way! When I was little I loved it for the tender friendship between Iggy and Ruth. And I wanted to be Iggy. She was so free. I had NO IDEA they were lesbians. Over the years it's become common knowledge that they were a couple. I understand the book is explicit about it so fine, but even as an adult I still do not see that in the movie and I'm bummed to believe that two female friends can't be that tender and close and wear cute suspender-y boy clothes and not just be friends. In my experience they can be. So maybe that's a plus for the movie, that for whatever reason you didn't have to be certain about their status.All these years I was worried to revisit it. I thought it would be schmaltzy like much of my favorite kids entertainment turned out to be (thinking of Anne of Green Gables). But it's not; it's a well done film that takes the adult themes seriously, patiently, with some nuance, and Mary-Louise Parker gives a standout performance as a woman starting to find and stand up for herself. I still wouldn't mind looking like Mary Stuart Masterson. She looked so great in "boy clothes" and all those costumes in the 80s and 90s.
I'm glad it you enjoyed it during your rewatch. I saw it when it came out, and seem to remember they was a lot of hype about it among my parents friends circle. I don't remember the movie at all, but DO remember my parents being completely incredulous about the title. "Green tomatoes? What in the world, tomatoes are red. And fried green tomatoes? What a crazy title!?!?!" . Like it was the wackiest thing they had ever heard haha.
Haha. Yes, fried green tomatoes sound really fun! But I've had them once or twice and they're actually surprisingly bland! :) Try telling THAT to your parents.