Saturday, January 27, 2024

Weekend Open Thread


  1. Paddington 1 & 2: always a delight to watch

    Aquaman 2: meh, fine i guess. i liked the first one enough, but i'm still not a fan of Momoa.

    Blast From The Past: gee, i wonder where i got the idea to watch this :) i actually always liked this movie, but not as much as Patrick and Rosalie

    Zero Dark Thirty: i like me some spy movie, and this is one of the spy-est of recent years.

    Virgin Suicides: 'Obviously, Doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl'. this sentence perfectly describe the whole movie, but obviously it's not just about the 13yo. i'm not always a fan of Sofia Coppola movies, but this one will always live in my brain

    1. Zero Dark Thirty is fantastic. The examination of if and when torture is acceptable and/or useful is very good. Somebody please give Kathryn Bigelow some money for a movie. Detroit wasn't very good, but if Guy Richie gets a freaking dozen 2nd chances, surely she deserves at least one.

    2. Detroit is her last? It's been that long since she made a movie? Damn, we need more from her

  2. Bonjour F This Crew!

    After Hours (1985 4k)

    Fans of the Screen Draft podcast know that this month is dedicated to Martin Scorsese. We are 2/3 thru the mega draft of all of his films and, as usual, its a wild wild polarizing ride! As is the case i decided to watch After Hours which has gotten alot of street cred lately and id never seen it.

    Its a weirrrrrrrd flick. Its the story of one wild and crazy night about a guy trying to hook up with a girl he just met. It could have been a by the numbers comedy but in the hands of Scorsese it seems alot more. The characters are an interesting mix of lost, depressed, unique, and original as they live life after midnight. The escalating craziness and inexplicable connections are really creative. Its a weird flick with strange tonal shifts but feels unique. Dig it!

    1. I've been following the Screen Draft Scorsese month too, and that was what inspired me to watch the excellent The Age of Innocence. It hasn't taken a place yet so I guess it'll be in the top 10. (They discussed it a bit in the 20-30 round and it might have been vetoed there?).

      I'd like to see After Hours. What's surprising is that the cast is almost completely unknown to me. Other than Rosanna Arquette which we all know from Nowhere to Run. The Color of Money is one that I've been meaning to see (it's on Disney+) and I always assumed it was one of his better movies (probably because Newman is great in everything), but it ended up nearly at the bottom of the list. Looking forward to the final episode! I'm really glad to know Silence will make the top 10, and looking forward to some discussion about it.

    2. OOOO i havent seen The Age of Innocence either. It goes on the list! thanks!

    3. also....The Color of Money is reallly good. Super powerful performances within.

    4. Turner Classic Movies started showing The Age of Innocence less than a decade after it came. (Probably because of the strong connection Scorsese has with that channel.) I believe I saw it for the first in 2001, and have watched it a couple of times since then. It definitely is not the kind of film that you associate with Scorsese. He showed that he could do a costume drama as well as Merchant/Ivory. That gorgeous Elmer Bernstein score is something I still listen to.

  3. I watched Schindler’s List (1993, Spielberg) which I thought I had seen, but finally maybe it was a first watch. I joked with my friends that I had watched a movie about a Czech industrialist trying to make it in the enamelware business in mid 20th century Poland. A very heavy movie at times, a bit of levity is sometimes needed, which Spielberg adds to the movie at certain points. I was expecting, during the moment when everyone realises the war is over, for there to be cheering and celebration. But instead there is just silence.

    Apart from the very beginning and end, the movie is black and white. Save for a certain character with a red coat (much discussed). But I also noticed when Schindler encourages the rabbi to celebrate sabbath, when he’s lighting the candles, the colour of the flame is in colour. It was a nice touch I appreciated. Great movie about one the most horrible chapters in human history.

  4. Good weekend to everyone.

    I am still having issues posting here on Firefox, so it is back to Chrome. Anybody else experiencing Blogger problems?

    In any case, it was a good week for movie watching. With work getting busy now, there will be less time available in the weeks ahead. I thought about going to see Poor Things last night, but my heavy eyes were not a good sign of having the stamina for it.

    FIVE CAME BACK (1939, dir. John Farrow) – Economical storytelling pushes this plane crash adventure quickly along. Each character gets a brief introduction before the story commences with a flight leaving from Los Angeles to Panama. Once the plane crashes in a jungle, the pilots attempt to repair it as the passengers get on with the struggle for survival. Though the look could have been a little more rugged – the actresses still had to look like Hollywood actresses- this is an engaging and surprisingly tense film. Very recommended.

    STORY OF A CLOISTERED NUN (1973, dir. Domenico Paolella) - An aristocratic young woman is placed in a convent for refusing to marry the man she is betrothed to. Unsurprisingly, this creates a lot of confusion and a certain level of rebellion in her, leading to a finale I did not see coming. Though most of the nunsploitation tropes are present, the classy presentation considerably lessens the exploitation factor. This is a sister film to an earlier one (The Nun and The Devil) from the same director, with STORY coming out the lesser of the two. What STORY has, though, is beautiful cinematography. There were many scenes that I paused to admire the lighting and composition. The costumes also stand out for being of high quality.

    BENEDETTA (2020, dir. Paul Verhoeven) – Verhoeven likes to be a provocateur, and he certainly chose an apt subject for that. Based on historical documents, the story of Sister Benedetta Carlini plays out in classic nunsploitation fashion: church corruption, convent rivalry, and sexual misdeeds. Added to the mix in Benedetta is madness. The exploitation factor is much higher here than in CLOISTERED NUN. I liked the locations and the cast, and the film is well shot. Maybe it was the digital look to the film that took me out of it, sometimes looking a little too clear and clean. I am still adjusting to the current era of cinema.

    RED DAWN (1984, dir. John Milius) – A film I watched a lot as a kid; it was on TV frequently. This is the first time seeing it since the 1980s. It is a very political film, with the Cold War paranoia of the Reagan-era on full display. I cannot say I noticed any of that when I was seven. The cast is ‘80s to the max, with Patrick Swayze giving an effective performance as the leader of the young guerilla fighters. What surprised me most is the change in tone as the moves along. The heroic presentation of the action at the beginning becomes increasingly grim as the war reduces the group. There is no glory in this fight.

    1. I'm always on Chrome, so never had an issue

    2. i use firefox and blogger will every so often stop acknowledging im logged in. no rhyme or reason for it. that being said, its been letting me post ok for a few weeks.

    3. That is exactly the issue, Maske. This has happened before, yet this time it has persisted a lot longer.

  5. Blade Runner 2049 (2017 4k Blu)

    Making a sequel to arguably one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time, 35 years later, is an insanely tall order. Even moreso given that the original is wildly original, unconventional, tonally noir moody, atmospheric, and poses more questions than it answers. So the $10,000 question for this fools errand'd they do?

    Surprisingly good. 2049 works VERY hard to capture the dour vibe and visuals and sounds of the original but carve its own path forward. The main plot is an incredibly well conceived way to build on where things were left in the original Blade Runner. It is a great evolution of the story which, ironically, is based on the potential evolution of replicant technology. The film is long...slow...dour...depressing...and almost entirely devoid of action/excitement...but it feels right for what they set out to do in the original. A very strong cast and a wise decision to build this new universe and let us live in it for a long while before bringing back Deckard. And, in the end, its a very contained story about so much bigger potential and revolution within. Im caught of guard by how good it is. Oh, and the 4k Blu is FABULOUS.

    The Circle (2017 Netflix)

    Completely by random ive chosen another movie about a dystopian future. However unlike Blade Runner 2049, this future is quite literally just around the corner....if not already here. The Circle finds Tom Hanks as the CEO of a tech giant (undeniably modeled after Jobs and Apple Park) on the verge of releasing video technology to network the planet and Emma Watson as the new employee and rising star within. I think the first 2/3rds of the movie are realllllllllllllly strong and 100% representative of the world we live in now. (The amount of personal data that we voluntarily share (or involuntarily via public cameras) for convenience and perceived benefits is staggering.) Unfortunately the movies final act feels a bit too rushed and easy. Still, i think it poses great questions about the world we live in, the technology we use, and the power of data for good/bad and who's hands its in?

  6. THE BEEKEEPER (2024). Just an unbelievably stupid movie, but Jason Statham (and his rockin' beard) has enough drive to make it work.

    THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991). Wes Craven goodness!

    JENNIFER'S BODY (2009). Gave this one another try. Diablo Cody's dialogue is quite a pill to swallow, but the performances and atmosphere are quite good. It hints at the career Megan Fox could have had if things had gone different.

    THE CROW (1993). One of the all-time greats. It can't rain all the time.

    DUMB MONEY (2023). Really enjoyed this, even if I couldn't follow any of the stock market jargon.

    THE LAWNMOWER MAN (1991). What a strange film. It's trying to say all these big important things about technology and humanity, only to end up unintentionally silly. If it had some lighter moments, I might have enjoyed it more. But instead, it's way too humorless and self-serious.

    SWEENEY TODD (2007). Meat pies, anyone?

  7. Anyone got the new Conan blurays from Arrow? You really should if you like the movies. The 4k is very good looking, and there's ton of extras. The only issue i have is with the cover of the Chronicle of Conan box (which contain both movies, but they are available individually). They used the picture of the Destroyer cover, when we all know the iconic cover is Barbarian.

    Patrick, i know you're a fan of Destroyer, i am too, you won't regret it