Saturday, March 23, 2024

Weekend Open Thread


  1. I aint afraid of no weekend threads...

    Ghostbusters Frozen Empire (2024 theatrical)

    The Good: welp i liked it leagues more than Afterlife. Shifting it from a dour sad family drama to chasing ghosts in NY made a big difference. Also the addition of Kumail brought with it some fine humor. The big bad villain and the premise is a good idea for a ghostbuster story buuuuuut....

    The Bad and The Ugly: It feels flat and lifeless and paint-by-numbers. It lacks the joy and overarching sense of humor. In trying to juggle adults, kids, new characters, and legacy ghostbusters, everyone gets a little here or there but no fleshed out arc or storyline.

    So in the end its fine. Kids will love it. I will have no wish to revisit..which stinks. But, as Rob pointed out in his great review, i can always go back to the original, which i do countless times, and have a lot fun.

  2. Duel (1971): a classic, the ultimate road rage movie. Nothing to add. If you've never seen it, do it now!

    True Lies (1994): first, the 4k restauration. It's not great, especially compared to Aliens and Abyss. Some shots feel like they were AI generated, or face-swapped, or whatever. It's still better looking than a dvd, but it's disappointing. The movie is great, action scenes only James Cameron can do. I don't care about the b-plot with the cheating wife. But since Cameron can't make a movie shorter than 145 minutes, he had to pad the time somehow.

    Titanic (1997): disaster movie, Cameron style. The ultimate lovable rogue romance that ends in disaster. It's big, it's loud, it's super well made. The villain is very villain, and we like it like that. If Leonardo Dicaprio was not a star yet, this movie made him a superstar. Same goes for Kate Winslet. They became names that we knew and recognized instantly. The scene when the quartet play the somber music always gets me. This time i did notice a bit of tragedy porn with all the shots of people falling and sliding and bumping into stuff during the sinking. Not that it bothered, i just noticed it.

    Trainspotting (1996): it's been a minute since i watched it last and i forgot how good it was. A bit disgusting at times, but it's all part of the experience. And the soundtrack is still the best song compilation ever. I followed it with Trainspotting 2, which is a good nostalgia look at the characters and how they changed, or didn't, after 20 years.

  3. Love Lies Bleeding (2024) - I need to go back to Saint Maud, because I thought this was absolutely terrific. Ed Harris in full small-town drug lord sleazebag mode, Kristen Stewart as his estranged daughter running a bodybuilding gym and the star of the movie, Katy M. O'Brian as a drifter who starts working out there and falls into a mess of drug deals and steroid use and training for a bodybuilding competition. She's so good in this and you have to see it.

  4. DUNE PART TWO (2024) Saw it a second time! This movie is... spicy.

    30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007) Interesting movie. It feels more like one night passing than a whole month, which is the script's biggest problem. But there's a lot of truly gnarly vampire violence to keep things moving.

    BATMAN FOREVER (1995) What can I say that hasn't been said by this point? I think the best parts are Bruce Wayne's story with Robin and Chase Meridian (she's named Chase because she chases Batman). I do wish Tommy Lee Jones had gone darker and meaner as Two-Face rather than try to match Carrey's comedic energy.

    THE PHANTOM PLANET (1961) I came across the colorized version of this MST3K favorite on YouTube, so I gave it a try. Even in vibrant color, it's still a bit of a slog without Tom Servo and co.

    JUMANJI (1995) This is always listed under "family films" or "kids' movies" but it's really a horror flick, right?

  5. Saturday night movies with the boys

    The VVitch (2015): Robert Eggers 'exploded' on the scene with this psychological horror and been releasing bangers ever since (well, only 2 movies since, but they' re both great). His next movie is Nosferatu and i can't wait to see it. We also get our first real glimpse of Anya Taylor Joy whose been doing great roles time after time ever since.

    Drive-Away Dolls (2024): it was fun, but on the whole i was not a fan. It was missing something that Coen Brothers movies usually have. I'm not smart enough to know what exactly, but there is something missing. My girlfriend Geraldine Viswanathan is in it, so that's bonus points for the movie. She's as great as ever, though not the best she's ever been. Everybody's good

    Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979): a comedy classic. Not my favorite MP movie, but it's their most accomplished.

  6. Another light week of movies, which will likely be the case for the next few weeks as work gets super busy.

    I watched something on the MUBI website that is going off shortly. POEM, from 1972, is the third film of the Buddhist Trilogy from Japanese filmmaker Akio Jossoji. It is by far the least interesting of those films. Modern life destroys a family while a rigid young man who works for the family, Jun, clings to past values. Jun, with his strict diet and simple routine, would not be out of place in a Zen monastery. He is the most interesting part of an unfocused movie.

    It is a custom to watch a film on Saturday night. I generally try to watch something I have not seen before, but last night I was in the mood for something familiar. CADDYSHACK fit my mood. Bill Murray vs. The Gopher is still the highlight for me, but there is so much that still makes me chuckle. Ted Knight's obnoxiousness gets funnier every time I watch this. Not all of the jokes land for me, of course, and the humor is very much of another era, definitely not P.C. R.I.P., Cindy Morgan.

    1. Well, now i'm curious about that Buddhist Trilogy. Sounds interresting

    2. Jossoji's trilogy is certainly not light viewing. The films are more about transgression than any religious affirmation, but a knowledge of Buddhism does help to understand aspects of them. The unusual visual style is a big part of the experience. As the films go, THIS TRANSIENT LIFE and MANDALA are more engaging than POEM.

  7. A couple of movies to end the weekend. I felt like rewatching old classics

    The Guest (2014): man this movie is awesome. Any flick with Front 242 on the soundtrack is an automatic win for me. It's the movie that put Dan Stevens on my radar (never saw Downton Abbey before this) and I've been following him ever since. He's just so cool in this. I won't say more so i won't spoil some of the twists, but it's a must see

    John Dies at the End (2012): how can a movie be so inscrutable, but at the same time make total sense. A friend of mine gave me the book a while ago, but I've yet to read it. I'm really curious to read the original work after watching this oddity of a movie.