Re: Last movie you watched
God it's been way, way too long.
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God it's been way, way too long.
Oh man. What a great movie. The TFN FFA is still there?!
IThe films took so long to download. Then we got DSL and it was still slow as fuck, but you could actually successfully download whole fan films. I was a latecomer to TFN, and then again to The Formula (I think cause I thought it was primarily a parody of The Matrix) but when I finally got around to downloading it... I feel like it changed everything about the way I thought about my fandom.
I saw The Formula before I ever saw The Matrix, High Fidelity or Jaws, which made for some interesting first viewings. You know the feeling you get when you see a movie that The Simpsons has parodied? I got that hard with these thanks to The Formula. I'm reminded of the time I first heard Baba O'Riley outside of the DLR theme tune and had this real feeling of disconnect, where the real world and my weird internet world merged together.
I also have a very cringe-worthy memory of (actually) 12 year old me asking Chris Hanel if I could do my own remake...
I had the exact same thing with The Matrix, and it felt so off-putting to me to watch it and absorb so many references in reverse that the entire movie really rubbed me the wrong way at the time. (Rewatched it on the big screen recently, then did the sequels for the first time, and loved all of 'em, so I'm glad I got over that sticking point. )
A movie that feels like a satire on Donald Trump's worldview, but (most probably) wasn't intended that way.
The first Rambo film was about something. Movies 2 and 3 delivered some silly action. I remember almost nothing about movie 4. Movie 5 was a chance to return to the serious tone and give some closure to the character. What we got instead is
Aw, nuts. I was hoping you were right about the serious tone. I gave up on the series after 2.
Stallone's best revengy explody thing was The Specialist. IMHO.
Last edited by drewjmore (2019-09-21 04:09:46)
Avoided this for years because I considered the novel essentially unadaptable, most specifically in its overwhelmingly repulsive violence. As it turns out, Harron agrees—rather than even attempting to translate the book's slaughterhouse depictions to the screen, she reduces them to the abstract in the crazed scribblings Patrick's secretary Jean discovers in his notes. That moment, while it lacks the horrifying power of the book's lengthy descriptions of brutality and mangling, is nonetheless absolutely chilling.
It also highlights Harron's choice to wander outside Patrick's point of view and into the skins of the women he victimizes, the one area in which her adaptation is definitively superior to Ellis's novel. American Psycho the book is Bateman's story, Bateman's monologue, Bateman's experiences, and while being trapped in his head makes for suffocatingly powerful satire, it also locks the reader into a world without remorse, without empathy. We are sickened by the descriptions of Patrick's rape and torture and mutilation, but those acts might as well be happening to pieces of meat—the women are voiceless bags of flesh that are violated and then disposed of.
In American Psycho the film, the viewer is allowed to slip outside Bateman at crucial moments. When he solicits Christie for the second time, we inhabit her fear, her reluctance, her ultimate decision to dissociate and turn off her emotions in the hopes that this man won't hurt her; later, as he chases her, our perspective is not that of the man who holds the chainsaw but that of the girl who runs. And in the lesser, verbal violence he commits against Jean, we're inhabiting not his mind but hers; Bateman's callous, deliberate negging of her, every compliment barbed with a twist of abuse just underneath, honestly feels more visceral than a good chunk of the murders he commits, because Harron's camera follows Jean's pasted-on smiles, lingers on the hurt welling under her skin. When she finds the truth of who Patrick really is, we're alone in his office with her, experiencing the revelation in all its horror as though for the first time.
Ellis's novel is an American masterpiece in spite of its author, who in the three decades since its publication has done his level best to prove that he was capable of producing it only by accident. Harron's film succeeds because of its author—because of the ways she's able to mold Ellis's unrelenting charnelhouse to her own ends, enriching and expanding it without betraying its heart.
That was a hell of a review. Thanks.
Never ever sleeping again.
In many ways a spiritual successor to The Blair Witch Project—mockumentary format rather than found footage, but it takes that movie's idea of the camera as simultaneous buffer between you and reality and terrifying confirmation of horror as reality and progresses it into the realm of digital image-capturing. When reality is capable of being manipulated, the line between the artificial and the hauntological blurs—ghosts become digital artifacts and digital artifacts become ghosts. It becomes impossible to say whether the supernatural is always with us or whether we manufacture it into being.
The above philosophical wankery is wrapped around a core of tragedy and violation—there's absolutely zero chance the choice of "Palmer" as the family surname was coincidental—that tethers it to visceral horror where it could have wandered into the abstract. The two elements come together in a single shot that's one of the most unspeakably terrifying images I've ever seen, one that's gonna be burned into my brain.
So yeah, bed tonight will be fun.
Streaming for free on Prime. Watch it for Spooktober.
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That was a hell of a review. Thanks.
Last edited by Abbie (2019-10-03 14:31:17)
It's... not brilliant, to say the least. The script didn't venture far beyond obvious, clichéd statements about the world (that being said, Joaquin Phoenix did the best he could with the material he was given). I had hoped for so much more.
Is it a bad movie? Not really. It's just not nearly as good as it should have been. I still hope it does well at the box office (the opening weekend was quite big) - its financial success could pave the way for more unusual superhero (or supervillain) movies and that's exactly what we need.
Robert Forster, who looks like Lee Ermey (and is just as dead) is in it. Look-a-like Tommy Lee Jones lives on for now.
Anyway, it was alright. Bit like Truman Show - how can I leave town when each way is thwarted?
They're pushing the flashbacks - some as early as a decade ago. Meth Damon getting chubby. Some just nostalgia, some needed to make sense of what's happening. Maybe a bit too many flashbacks for the 120 minute running time. But no actual past footage was used I think.
Aaron Paul has struggled to establish himself as an actor in films after BB, which is a surprise as he was so strong in the series and would have had a mountain of scripts and offers before the series ended. Jesse Pinkman is one of the great TV characters of the 20-teens.
Some tense stand-offs!
Was hoping for a convergence of the Better Call Saul (post-BB) threads at Cinnabon.
Vince loves his time-lapses... a cool top-down apartment sequence.
In summary, recommended!
A core of true events—a philandering priest accused by nuns of witchcraft and rape at the tail end of the Middle Ages—is spun out into a carnival of surrealist horror. Genuinely has the power to shock some five decades later.
Canny enough to root its false-accusations paranoia in a patriarchal farce rather than straight misogyny, and honest enough to make Grandier a bastard who's nonetheless deserving of empathy rather than a perfect martyr. Christianity was fucked the instant it aligned God with hierarchical power and the devil with the marginalized. Our stroll through the ashes has yet to end. (See Kotsko's political theology The Prince of This World.)
As a longsuffering Who fan, really wish this Russell had shown up for Tommy.
Streaming on Criterion Channel as of this month—has a tendency to depart from services as quickly as it pops up on them, so get ye to the internet while you can.
I love that poster. I wish we did more stuff like that.