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Boter wrote:

Interesting. I could see that being done well but it'd have to be with a very delicate touch. Sounds like they had meant well but didn't quite have the finesse to pull it off?

It was a pretty shitty (farcical, tonally insane) script. I'm not sure how good Jerry Lewis can be, but he wasn't good enough to pull this off. No one would have been, though — the circumstances of how he ends up in the camp in the first place are deeply hackneyed and melodramatic. It's just shitty.

Interestingly, the stuff at the camp — interacting with people on location — is actually... you know, he's Jerry Lewis, he's empathetic and funny, so that stuff largely works on a scene-to-scene basis. The machinations of the plot are pretty heinous, though.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Last movie you watched

That's interesting. I've always wanted to see it since I found out it was a thing, especially after Life Is Beautiful came out and was pretty great. I've wanted to see if Lewis was maybe on to a similar sort of plot concept or if it was a very different take on a similar sort of subject.

I assume the version you saw was not available on the interwebs? If not I guess I'll have to wait until 2020 or 2025 or whenever it's supposed to become publicly available via the library of congress.

Still playing catch-up from last year, I saw Sully:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/82/Sully_xxlg.jpeg

I liked it quite a bit, but it left me wondering if a more straight-forward narrative wouldn't have worked better since he focused so heavily on Sully himself and the way he was thrown into this crazy post-incident limelight and scrutiny. I felt like we should have gotten to know him a bit more as a character pre-incident so we could have something to compare with the post-incident version.

SPOILER Show
I really liked the climactic moment(s) of the film, tho. The climactic apex of the film is when Sully and his co-pilot go into a hallway and have a short conversation and then go back to the hearing. It's not done with crazy orchestra swelling or some kind of emotional monologue or anything. It's treated almost as an aside, but it's like THE moment for both of those characters. I liked it a lot.

So yeah, highly recommend.

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https://www.filmonpaper.com/site/media/2013/11/PrinceofDarkness_quad_UK-1.jpg

I'm resignedly coming to the conclusion that John Carpenter only had one truly great film in him.

Halloween is historically important, but it's aged incredibly badly compared to something like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Assault on Precinct 13 is a fun little bit of tension that's undermined by a poor script/performances and a frankly nonsensical enemy. Big Trouble in Little China is endearing, a better Ghostbusters, but like that film it's not something that's particularly memorable.

And then... there's this one. The premise is absolutely my shit. Gnostic mathematics reveals the existence of a Lovecraftian variant of Lucifer? Yes. It's a pity that rather than actually exploring that, it devolves into a pretty generic possessed-horde movie that, while there's undeniable tension and some solid character work present (the way Walter refuses to stop shit-talking in the midst of dire horror commands respect), is such a woeful waste of potential. This is the one where I'm really fed up with Carpenter serving as his own composer too—the 80s cheese factor works on Little China but here it actively undermines a huge chunk of dread.

So, yeah. The Thing will forever be a masterpiece and one of my all-time faves, but I'm kind of disappointed in Carpenter's body of work as a whole. However, I still need to tackle They Live, Escape from New York, and In the Mouth of Madness, which are generally considered his other career highlights.

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So far in my Carpenter career, my opinion matches yours.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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I think part of it might be that there's very little sense of atmosphere to a lot of his work. The Thing is the outlier by necessity; shooting mostly at night in the middle of a frozen wasteland is gonna give you a sense of cold dread no matter how hard you might try otherwise. That one also had Morricone for its score, so the music was by someone who knew what he was doing and worked to augment that dread. Whereas every single one of his other films is shot in that ugly, flat 80s lighting style and looks like every other movie from that decade, and has Carpenter plinking away at his synthesizer trying to whallop tension into you instead of letting it leak in organically.

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DarthPraxus wrote:

However, I still need to tackle They Live, Escape from New York, and In the Mouth of Madness, which are generally considered his other career highlights.

I wasn't impressed by Escape From New York, but the other two have some cool stuff. They're not masterpieces by any stretch, but they work OK as B-movies (if you don't mind that kind of mentality).

It is no longer a game!

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I haven't seen They Live, but In The Mouth Of Maddness is really fun. Not spectacular by any means, but c'mon Sam Neill going crazy in a Lovecraftian horror is ALWAYS fun.

In *why the fuck did it take me this long to get around to this one* news....... John Wick. Hoooooooooooooooooooooly yesness. I knew I'd like it, but damn, was not expecting that. Ridiculously psyched for the sequel (And possibly TV show?!).

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
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DarthPraxus wrote:

Whereas every single one of his other films is shot in that ugly, flat 80s lighting style and looks like every other movie from that decade, and has Carpenter plinking away at his synthesizer trying to whallop tension into you instead of letting it leak in organically.

clap

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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The Carpenter odyssey continues: welp, They Live has a spectacular fistfight and... that's about it. *sigh* It has exactly one point to make and it makes it in such obvious and flat fashion that it's never within reach of being either biting and funny on the one hand or tense and dramatic on the other.

That is one hell of a fistfight, though. Go watch it on YouTube.

The weird thing is that Carpenter's scripts (under pseudonyms or otherwise) are pretty awful, and yet I just today read this fascinating article about how he completely gutted and reworked most of The Thing's middle section on a break in the shooting schedule, and it completely improved the film. I guess some people just excel as script doctors and collapse when they have to write their own stuff.

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There's a movie that's supposed to come out this year called "Cessation" that is based on a Stephen King short called "The Ten O'Clock People", which is basically a Stephen King version of They Live. Instead of magic sunglasses that let you see the aliens, it's a brain chemistry thing that happens when you're quitting smoking, but still smoke every once in a while. The "Ten O'clock" in the title refers to people in office buildings who go outside to have a smoke and then go back to work, so you have maybe three or four in a day, but you used to smoke a lot. So something turns on in your brain and you can see the aliens for what they are.

Instead of subliminal messages and shit like that, you just start to realize that most of the people with any sort of power are actually these alien people, so humans have essentially been enslaved by an alien species without being aware of it.

The plot breaks down when you think about it (as it does in They Live) because, like... why do the aliens need our crappy worthless money? Why do the aliens need to control a population that's limited to one little planet in the hick backwoods of the galaxy? But it's a neat concept in theory. I'm interested to see how they take about 20 minutes worth of short story and turn it into a feature. Probably with lots of explosions and action and shit.

They Live is one of those flicks that you only remember because a few scenes stand out, but rewatching it reminds you that it's mostly not good and has just a few scenes that are decent. Kinda like The Untouchables.

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http://www.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Hacksaw-Ridge-1-600x450.jpg

It's deeply unsettling to me the way Mel Gibson keeps making movies that pay lip service to peaceful Christian ideals but that absolutely fetishize violence to a ridiculous degree. It was especially evident here in the contrast between the pedestrian, workmanlike direction of all the non-battle scenes versus the almost cartoonish, exploitative way the scenes of carnage are shot. That carnage is clearly what Gibson was interested in, and that's troubling.

Also, the phrase "the redemption of Mel Gibson" is being thrown around a lot and it irks me. Guy didn't stop being a racist shit as far as we can tell, nor did he atone for it. He just made a movie again.

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Agreed.

In fact, on another level, Passion of the Christ bugged me for that reason.
I mean, sure, the process of flogging and crucifixion was brutal, but the movie made it seem like the physical suffering was the point. Like LOOK AT THIS! DOESN'T THAT SUCK? DON'T YOU LOVE JESUS!!!???

Sure dude, but the physical violence wasn't 1% of what the suffering was, so stop it.

Anywho, I agree with Praxus, if for slightly different reasons.

Last edited by Writhyn (2017-02-04 18:25:03)

Witness me!

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Watched Deepwater Horizon:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/66/Deepwater_Horizon_%28film%29.jpg/220px-Deepwater_Horizon_%28film%29.jpg

It was a Peter Berg movie. To me, the defining thing about Peter Berg's films is that they are totally forgettable. Not that they're all terrible, but that he does absolutely nothing interesting. I wouldn't even call it workman-like. It's near-workman-like. He's not quite there. It's like watching a competent, bland Youtube creator make a big-budget movie.

The movie isn't terrible or anything, but it's not that good, either. Berg has the same notion as a lot of big-budget popcorn-flick directors to try to appeal to US audiences by just shoving in shots of flags for no reason. The saddest thing about this movie is that J C Chandor was originally going to direct it and was working on his own version of the script alongside the NY Times writer that the script was based on, and they were both apparently really happy with the resulting script. Shortly afterward it was announced that Berg was taking over and Chandor was leaving due to 'creative differences'.

I would liked to have seen Chandor's version of this film, but I'm certain that the 'creative differences' were due to Chandor wanting to make an actual movie and the studios just wanting to have some focus-tested broadly appealing safe tentpole movie. Which sucks, cause Chandor's version would most likely have been memorable in some way. This version will be totally forgotten.

It's not terrible, tho. it's just half-assed. There are a few attempts to be schmaltzy, with guys going above and beyond and risking their lives to save their buddies, but it's all done kinda blandly. Not gritty and realistic, but not like 'movie' style, where music swells and you watch a dude struggle to his last breath to do the thing that's gonna save his friends, and the friends in harm's way and then realizing they're alive, but then realizing that their friend died to save them... Like a big dumb movie is supposed to do to get the idiot audience members all weepy and shit. It's trying to be that kind of movie, but Berg is and always has been fucking terrible at it. The only thing worse than a Micheal Bay or Roland Emmerich is a guy like Berg who endeavors to be that and fails miserably.

Bottom line, tho, is that it's not unwatchable and has its moments, but at the end of the day it's just bland and forgettable.

EDIT: Nice Guys:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e9/The_Nice_Guys_poster.png

It was pretty good. I guess I generally don't have a lot to say about movies that I like, cause the ones I like a lot I never tend to write big-ass, multi-paragraph posts about how much I like them. Maybe I'm too negative.

I didn't like the part where he finds the body by the tree. It felt like Gosling fucked it up and decided to go big for the blooper reel but then they actually put it into the movie. Aside from that, I thought it was a pretty great flick, though I don't think the two of them had the best chemistry. Clever script, tho. That Shane Black fella sure can write a movie. It's weird that it wasn't set during christmas, tho.

Last edited by Squiggly_P (2017-02-05 07:12:31)

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Re: Last movie you watched

https://i2.wp.com/teaser-trailer.com/wp-content/uploads/John-Wick-2-Keanu-Reeves-The-Sequel-to-John-Wick.jpg?ssl=1

Laurence Fishburne in John Wick 2 >>>>>>>>> the entirety of John Wick.

I'm on board with the first film—there are some great action setpieces, and the almost magical-realist world of the assassin society it establishes is great—but there's no denying that it's structurally unsound and has a pretty poor script. The jump from that outing to this one is comparable to the difference between Mad Max and The Road Warrior. This movie is a perfect example of a sequel taking the foundation laid by its predecessor and building upon it in the best possible ways. The world of the hitmen gets even more off the wall and genuinely fascinating; and the director, fight choreographers, and DP fully embrace the neon-drenched cartoon that was hinted at in the first installment, turning the action into a balletic frenzy of violence that's simultaneously graceful and brutal. (The fight scenes here just further cemented in my mind what's wrong with the Star Wars prequels' approach to action—there's superhuman finesse and beauty to the violence in this film, but every punch is tangible and every bullet fired carries immense weight, thanks in no small part to the ear-splitting sound mixing.)

It's also incredibly smart with how it ups the stakes in ways that are rooted in the first film—there's a moment toward the end where I felt like gasping not because I was surprised, but because of what it meant and the consequences it carried knowing the rules of this universe.

So, yeah, he's back, in a big way. My second favorite film of the year so far behind 20th Century Women.

(Also, during the first five minutes about half a dozen people were yanked out of my showing, loudly protesting, under threat of arrest for reasons that I didn't catch. Huh.)

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2017-02-12 09:22:17)

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Re: Last movie you watched

http://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/a-cure-for-wellness/cureforwellnessposter.jpg

And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

The unholy spawn of Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher" (yes I know I used a different Poe story for the epigraph, deal with it), Lovecraft's "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family", and King's The Shining, A Cure for Wellness is not a movie a major studio should have greenlit and given a substantial budget to, especially coming off the heels of a disaster as infamous as The Lone Ranger. That it exists is a minor miracle, and even if I didn't care for it I'd respect the hell out of Verbinski for getting it made (much the way I felt for Crimson Peak).

Fortunately, I did care for it, quite a bit. I'm not one who often says "Ignore the critics!" when something gets panned, but . . . this movie is kind of fucking awesome? It's not in the league of recent genuinely horrifying masterpieces such as The Babadook or The Witch, but it's not trying to accomplish the same things they were—its goal isn't to get under your skin but to stage a lavish masque of neo-Gothic melodrama complete with dubious sexual arrangements and medieval family embarrassments, and it does so with flair. It's surprising, not in that we couldn't see certain plot elements coming, but that we don't see them coming simply because there's no fucking way Verbinski could get away with that in a major motion picture, is there? But he does, and does, and does.

Is it great cinema? Well, not in one sense. But it's a hell of a lot of fun, and unlike Verbinski's latter-day Pirates films isn't at all negatively impacted by its sprawling length. My one major complaint is the digital photography—unless one is careful, the shiny, plastic sheen digital tends to lend to images can leak the atmosphere out of a shot like nothing else. Some horror films avoid it—The Babadook was shot on digital and remains steeped in German Impressionist charcoal ambience—but alas, A Cure is occasionally neutered by this artificial gloss, particularly in its first half. Ah well, no great matter. It's a mere quibble with a Gothic fevre dream that's otherwise a corker of a ride, never allowing its ambitions to drag down the melodramatic flair that carries it along.

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Huh. I haven't even heard of this movie.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Last movie you watched

DarthPraxus wrote:

The jump from that outing to this one is comparable to the difference between Mad Max and The Road Warrior. This movie is a perfect example of a sequel taking the foundation laid by its predecessor and building upon it in the best possible ways.

I've not watched any of the John Wicks yet, but I don't see how that description applies to Road Warrior though - it's a completely different movie compared to Mad Max, in premise, tone, style and pretty much everything else; even Max' personality is entirely different.

There's a loose continuity connecting the two, but they're essentially two standalones with entirely different high concepts; I guess the biker villains are somewhat similar.

(The fight scenes here just further cemented in my mind what's wrong with the Star Wars prequels' approach to action—there's superhuman finesse and beauty to the violence in this film, but every punch is tangible and every bullet fired carries immense weight, thanks in no small part to the ear-splitting sound mixing.)

Like it/they did in ANH and Empire wink



Anyway this isn't a discussion thread from the looks of it and I've not seen the new movies, so who knows really..

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Teague wrote:

Huh. I haven't even heard of this movie.

Yeah, I'd been avoiding marketing anyway to go in blind as possible but I definitely didn't have to do too much avoiding. Perhaps the studio realized after it was made that it's not exactly blockbuster fare and tried to cut their losses on the marketing front—I'm a definite fan of the film but it's certainly not every mainstream viewer's cup of tea.

El Nameaux-Standardon wrote:

There's a loose continuity connecting the two, but they're essentially two standalones with entirely different high concepts; I guess the biker villains are somewhat similar.

Fair; a better analogy would probably be from Road Warrior to Fury Road.

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Short Term 12

I avoided this movie for a couple years, despite being told to watch it, because for some reason [the poster] it seemed likely to be a little think-piece-y indie sci-fi movie — a la Primer, maybe — and I'd just never be in the mood to watch a movie like that when I'd come across it again on Netflix, so "maybe later" it stayed.

Anyway. Total recommend, outstanding movie. (And for the record, it's not a sci-fi movie at all.)

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Hail, Caesar!

Oh my god watch this movie.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Teague wrote:

Hail, Caesar!

Me and Mrs Faldor loved it, no one else mind.

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Re: Last movie you watched

Just watched Arrival. Fucking genius movie.
Haven't felt that excited about the structure of a film since Cloud Atlas.

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Squiggly_P wrote:

Just watched Arrival. Fucking genius movie.

It's the movie after, I want to see - it seemed like the opening act to something great.

Hurroo

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Arrival - so if you learn to read circular alien logograms, you can suddenly see into the future? It's touted as "hard-SF" (and it exudes that vibe), but that makes as much sense as a genetic mutation giving you psychokinesis.
Love the tone, the score, the long helicopter approach sequence, and the lack of a one-on-one punch-up next to a ticking bomb.
Didn't like the time-travel aspect, which always has paradoxes - if the aliens know the future, why did they risk their plan fucking up with the bomb and attack from China? why did they hover off the coast of NW Australia? Why did they act all enigmatic - just give everyone all the information they need.
Thinking about it afterwards - the short story it's based on is simply "would you have a kid if you knew it was going to die young?" which a thousand gynecologists asks pregnant women after standard chorionic villus sampling every day.

Arrival is an imaginative, if roundabout way, of asking the same question. Enjoyed it overall. Something different.

And just like that...

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My wife continued my Miyazaki education last night and I watched Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away. (We got a Blu-Ray set during an Amazon Prime Day last year and so far all we'd watched was Princess Mononoke.

I am definitely enjoying these. Plot structure doesn't quite do what you think it will at the start, particularly in Spirited Away, but there's always mysteries you're trying to unravel. Very active watching.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.