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  1. Our first theme in this new version of the Movie Club is - RED, WHITE OR BLUE Us Xenophobic Americans will honor this country by loving it or getting out. Or whatever the fuck it is the kids say these days. Watch something that has either Red, White or Blue in the title please Of course... I probably should have figured out what I was going to watch BEFORE picking the theme...
  2. God - I have been dragging my feet starting this and since tomorrow is the 1st - I need to get rolling It will be different this time as instead of members picking a specific movie and no one comments on this time I will pick a theme or two for the month... and no one will comment on it. It will be just one big old catch-all thread each movie and this way you have way more flexibility in what you watch. Ideally - I would prefer everyone watch something they haven't seen but I am also not your mother. As per usual - the basis is folks getting themselves motivated to watch something, discovering new movies and mocking each other's hideous tastes. I will start a July thread with this but the July Theme will be RED, WHITE OR BLUE Which means - watch a movie with Red, White or Blue in the title
  3. People complain SO much about James Cameron. Why? Is it the success? I don't recall Gone With the Wind or Jaws having hipster backlashes over their Titanic/Avatar-sized business. Is it the unsubtle metaphors mixed with treacly sentimentality? Well, Forrest Gump certainly does have its detractors. But Cameron seems to get this weird, specific hate over things that either shouldn't matter or things that have nothing to do with him. Over and over again, I've heard about his "ego". Uh. Hello? These are artists we're talking about. RICH artists. Of COURSE he's got a fucking ego, he only broke the world record TWICE for box office sales. IT AIN'T BRAGGING IF YOU BACK IT UP. And Cameron doesn't even seem to do very much bragging; he's not a Spielberg or a Tarantino who seem to actively enjoy coming in front of the camera and doing his own publicity. James would rather be back in his lab, frankensteining up his newest technological innovation. And dammit, he DOES know how to tell a story. Boy does he ever. Okay, as he's gotten older and more successful he's also gotten more self-indulgent, more perfectionistic, and his ear for dialogue has definitely become a bit tinny. But this director really IS a brilliant artist, I say. And it really shows in Aliens Have you ever heard that old cliche about a movie needing every shot to move the story along? Like how you're supposed to edit out every extraneous or unnecessary word in a manuscript, actually. Well, James Cameron is one of the very few filmmakers who actually DOES that. (Most of the time.) Seriously, try this experiment: look at pretty much any scene in this movie on a shot-by-shot basis. Break it down. Abuse the pause and slow motion buttons. And LOOK at the shots, how each one is a little mini-story in of itself, a progression from the previous cut to the next cut. There's no flab. There's never a moment where nothing's happening. Even in the moments where there IS nothing happening, something's still happening, some feeling is getting across to us. I beg you to track down one of the really nice special editions of this movie and watch all the bonus feature crap about how they did the effects. 1986 was still a wee bit early for CGI, so all the work here is done practically. Models, miniatures, matte paintings, all kinds of smoke and mirrors. Learning how they made the Power Loader work will blow your fuckin' mind. (Spoiler: there's a big strong stuntman inside of it, Sigourney's basically standing on his shoes.) The alien Queen is similarly complex. Or, the facehuggers, which in this movie move around and DO stuff and are a more aggressive danger than in the original Alien, where the monster practically needed you to climb into bed with it in order to impregnate you with its chestbursting babies. Yikes, there it is, the elephant in the room: comparisons to the original. Now, let me preface this by saying Alien is a beautiful brilliant masterpiece of a film. And yeah, it's probably scarier than Aliens is. But the sequel wasn't just a horror movie; of course Alien wasn't "just a horror movie", but Cameron had something different in mind. Ridley Scott wanted his movie to concern the scifi equivalent of truckers; Cameron (ironically, a former trucker himself) had bigger dreams and a wider canvas. He took everything the first movie did, respected the living shit out of it, repeatedly paid homage to it and used it to bring up emotional or thematic repetitions of incidents that happened in the first movie. It's an incredibly tricky act, too, because Aliens also clearly wants to work as a standalone movie. I saw it first before I saw Alien, and the movie still made sense to me. But there's an extra level of metatext to be had if you're familiar with the first movie, so it works both ways. In fact, let me describe the first time I saw the movie: I was, I think, about nine or ten years old; and I was having an overnight visit with my grandmother. She went to bed early, and I happened to see this movie was coming on TV, why not watch it... and thus my little mind was blown. I didn't know it at the time, but this screening added in at least some of the deleted scenes that made it into the director's cut: specifically, the auto-sentry gun sequence. (Digression: this scene is a brilliantly designed bit of tomfoolery which generate suspense out of practically nothing, just shots of the marines watching a digital readout of the guns' status and occasional super-brief glimpses of the guns doing their job.) Halfway through the movie, I went and got my toy gun to protect myself in case any aliens tried to jump me while I was watching their movie. And the next day, my grandmother was kind enough to pretend to listen and care as I described the entire movie to her. This movie invented a lot of shit that we take for granted. For one thing: can anyone else name another preexisting science fiction movie in which they still use guns and bullets in The Future? Oh, I guess Metropolis or something has probably done that at some point; but still, we're much more used to laser blasters in that sort of thing. Making the future technology only slightly better than what we have now (aside from space travel) is a great way to drive home the human heart of the story and get the audience to empathize with the people onscreen. And what lovely people they are. Sound off: Apone is the second-most badass drill sergeant in film history, with only R. Lee Ermy in Full Metal Jacket doing it better. Hudson is awesome as That One Guy you always get in every workplace who makes everyone else's life miserable. Vasquez basically invented Michelle Rodriguez. Hicks, much like his alter-ego Kyle Reese, is a stolid protector who is more than willing to put himself between the monsters and their would-be victims. Bishop brilliantly plays off the evil android Ash from the previous film, by basically being so open and honest and noble that he comes off as creepy and hiding something... but no, swerve, he really is that saintlike. Newt avoids all the standard child actor cliches and is totally believable as a PTSD victim, and works well as a distilled symbol of humanity, warmth, and love. Finally, we come to the center: Sigourney Weaver. She was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for this part; and, really, that says a LOT. How often does the Academy ever nominate performances from horror films? Very damn near never, that's how often. Yet they still did it here. Weaver is transcendent in this, her very best performance even while wearing her very worst haircut. We've gotten to the point where we take this amazing lady for granted, and that's incredibly goddamn sad. I don't think I've ever seen a bad performance out of Weaver in any movie ever, she always gives it her all; but this one performance was her career-defining moment. And lastly: the aliens themselves. Has there ever been a more brilliantly designed monster? These things look real. They kinda-sorta make biological sense. We can see how they function, how their society works, what their tactics are. We see both their strengths and weaknesses. It's like fighting an entire army of Viet Cong vampires. They can continually come up with ways to surprise us; alright, the Queen knowing how an elevator works seems kinda contrived, but all of their other tricks are perfectly fair and perfectly terrifying. I'll probably say more later, but this'll do for now.
  4. Yeah... JR's gonna have to bring the actual discussion for this but here are the vitals. God Bless the week break I put in. So much catching up... IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (100%) WIKI METACRITIC (87)
  5. I didn't do a Countdown thread partly because this is the first movie and it is Fucking Robocop. How much prep time do you need for Robocop? Plus it was the holidays and I am lazy. Here are your links in case you need them IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (88%) WIKI METACRITIC (67) Anyway - I am kinda surprised that they never did some sort of Buddy Cop movie with Alex Murphy and Axel Foley. I figure if they had shown that on a loop in Detroit, the city would have never gone bankrupt.
  6. “It’s a friendly place. Nobody worries who you are, where you’re from. If you’re a good bloke, you’re all right. You know what I mean?” So, if I'd remembered to post a countdown thread, I'd have included the following warning: WARNING: If you don't want to see kangaroos get killed, don't watch this film. Because some kangaroos totally get killed. The footage of the kangaroo slaughter comes from a kangaroo hunt, so it wasn't set up for this particular film, and would have happened anyway. If that makes things more palatable, so be it. WAKE IN FRIGHT has been described (perhaps hyperbolically) as one of the most important films of Australian cinema. No idea if it is, mind you, but it's pretty fucking cool, and the negatives were almost lost for all time: Read all about it! So is WAKE IN FRIGHT a horror, or a very black comedy? It's hard to say. Certainly it's a horror for John Grant, the effete schoolteacher who gets stuck in that shit-hole, Bundanyabba, after losing all of his money in the world's dumbest game of chance. And all "the Yabba" has to offer is astonishing heat, some good ol' boys, and tons of beer. WAKE IN FRIGHT's horror, and comedy, comes from its intense focus on out-of-control, working-class masculinity. "The Yabba" is a hellish place, where you either farm, work in the mines, or go boomer hunting, and each of those things pays poorly and will likely kill you. To survive, you spend most of your free time drunk. You and your mates form strong, homosocial bonds, with barely a woman in sight. And what's held up as truly masculine is all the stereotypical nonsense, like drinking and fighting. So, Grant gets stuck in the Yabba, and his horror is the horror of both not fitting in and fitting in. Not to fit in is to be a pussy or a fag, while fitting in is to be a chauvinistic asshole. It's really lose-lose. And so, predictably, Grant aims for fitting in, as best he can, and his journey into mateship is a journey into hell, capped off with a nightmarish kangaroo hunt that works as a kind of twisted coming of age ritual for outback manhood. It's a horrifying experience for Grant, and so perhaps it should be a horrifying experience for the audience as well (when the film was screened at Cannes, this scene resulted in a lot of walkouts). Following that, Doc Tydon (the amazingly amazing Donald Pleasance) gets freaky with Grant, which is hardly surprising, given the homoeroticism (and plain ol' homosexuality) at the root of any sort of social system that so thoroughly valorizes masculinity. Which is not to say that the men of the Yabba are evil--they've just got nothing else to do.
  7. Rippa seems a little burned on on doing these, so I figured I might as well provide my own. The movie mostly works better if you watch it at night... mostly. And for noobz, the Special Edition aka Director's Cut is strongly held to be the superior version; however, it does stick back in one terrible scene which should've stayed deleted, so you might wanna hit the skip-chapter-forward button just one time when you come to an early scene which starts with a big sign that says "Hadley's Hope" in the middle of a rainstorm. Also for noobs, this is indeed a sequel. You don't really HAVE to have watched the first movie Alien, as this film does a quick but highly efficient job of summing up the events of that one. I'd never seen it when I first saw Aliens, and part 2 still makes perfect sense as a standalone movie (although a few character moments do carry far less resonance if you don't know the backstory). But still, if for some damn'd silly reason you haven't watched Alien, then fix that, cuz it's awesome too (although Aliens is, to my mind, the better film for a variety of reasons). IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (98% critics, 94% audience) WIKI UPCOMING SELECTIONS MARCH 24, 2014: ZODIAC (Fincher, 2007) - NINERS MARCH 31, 2014: IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963, Kramer) - ODESSA APRIL 7, 2014: EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (Rouse, 2004) - LACELLE APRIL 14, 2014: WAKE IN FRIGHT (Kotcheff, 1971) - CONTROL
  8. THE BROWN BUNNY (Gallo, 2003) IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (43%) WIKI METACRITIC (51) One of the only hold overs from the last version - this was the winner of the Rodger Ebert Hated Movies Poll. Though apparently he changed his mind over the years. I just remember watching this basically for the same reason all of us did. CHLOE SEVIGNY BLOW JOBS!!!! Of course - it was a fucking grind even getting to that part of the movie and then the moment you were waiting for happened and you were all sorts of disappointed and uncomfortable.
  9. Well at least being up stupidly early affords me the time to finally start this thread and as per usual - this will be all over the fucking place Stranger Than Fiction is one of those movies that I love despite knowing that it is far from perfect. For whatever reason it just hits some special notes for me so I will watch it pretty much anytime it comes on. The biggest thing about it - which is probably the "selling" point for someone who has never seen it - is that this is basically Will Ferrell as a normal person (well normal being a relative term since Harold Crick clearly has his own issues.) It's the over the top clown Ferrell which can be a huge turnoff to some people (like this is the only Will Ferrell movie that my wife likes.) and this is far from it. The way the relationship between Harold and Ana Pascal develops is so nice. From when she clearly hates him to her being bemused by him (I loved that she only accepted his apology because he "stammered") to true connection. And the delivering flours bit was fucking brilliant. Like "I am so fucking pissed that something like that never ever fucking crossed my brain" pissed. God Marc Forster has a WAR 6-man like director career - Monster's Ball then Finding Neverland. STF then the Kite Runner then Quantum of Solace. And then toss in World War Z. Complete aside - I never knew Ferrell was nominated for a Golden Globe for this. Good for him. Yeah - again - I just hope folks get enjoyment out of this. I am officially rambling.
  10. SPEED RACER (Wachowski Siblings, 2008) IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (39%) WIKI METACRITIC (37) I am old and forgetful so I couldn't remember if this or Cuthroat Island won so you get both. My 8 year saw it this summer as part of a trip during Summer Camp. His review "It was Ok. I only remember the bloody parts". So there ya go.
  11. My own bye weeks seem to throw me off. Anyway - here is the countdown thread and LWP can start his thread whenever. Oh and all we need is Control's pick and we have all the selections for this cycle. IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (N/A - 74% audience) WIKI UPCOMING SELECTIONS FEBRUARY 17, 2014: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (Eastwood, 1976) - EXECPRODUCER FEBRUARY 24, 2014: KISS ME DEADLY (Aldrich, 1955) - JAEDMC MARCH 3, 2014: SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (Erice, 1973) - JR GOLDMAN OFF WEEK - MARCH 10 (SPRING BREAK) MARCH 17, 2014: ALIENS (Cameron, 1986) - JINGUS MARCH 24, 2014: ZODIAC (Fincher, 2007) - NINERS MARCH 31, 2014: IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963, Kramer) - ODESSA APRIL 7, 2014: EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (Rouse, 2004) - LACELLE APRIL 14, 2014: CONTROL
  12. I will get back into the swing of this eventually. Anyway - since I spaced on the Countdown thread. Here are the links IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (71%) WIKI METACRITIC (57) I have watched Paul in fits and spurts so I haven't watched the whole movie start to finish yet but I have the DVD sitting at home (God Bless the library) so I will wait to comment.
  13. I am behind due to all the bannings and stuff. Here is just the countdown just so y'all have the basic info and see the future picks. I need a selection from jae like ASAP (Control is last so he can dilly dally if he wants). Now I just need to find a replacement for imageshack (stupid moving to subscription model). IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (72%) WIKI UPCOMING SELECTIONS FEBRUARY 10, 2014: ARAGAMI (Kitamura, 2003) - L_W_P FEBRUARY 17, 2014: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (Eastwood, 1976) - EXECPRODUCER FEBRUARY 24, 2014: JAEDMC MARCH 3, 2014: SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (Erice, 1973) - JR GOLDMAN OFF WEEK - MARCH 10 (SPRING BREAK) MARCH 17, 2014: ALIENS (Cameron, 1986) - JINGUS MARCH 24, 2014: ZODIAC (Fincher, 2007) - NINERS MARCH 31, 2014: IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963, Kramer) - ODESSA APRIL 7, 2014: EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (Rouse, 2004) - LACELLE APRIL 14, 2014: CONTROL
  14. I figure I will just keep one giant thread this time to track instead of having to update each time I do a new movie. Plus the new thread might remind people to make their picks. I will PM Rev (fine fine Bald Bombshell) after I am done with this. As I said - I care not about order anymore. If you know what you are picking - let us know. JANUARY 6, 2014: REV JANUARY 13, 2014: - PAUL (Mottola, 2011) - CUBBYMARK JANUARY 20, 2014: - GOJIRA (Godzilla) (Honda, 1954) - BRIAN FOWLER JANUARY 27, 2014: - STRANGER THAN FICTION (Forster, 2006) - RIPPA OFF WEEK - FEBRUARY 3 (SUPER BOWL WEEKEND) FEBRUARY 10, 2014: L_W_P FEBRUARY 17, 2014: EXECPRODUCER FEBRUARY 24, 2014: JAEDMC MARCH 3, 2014: JR GOLDMAN OFF WEEK - MARCH 10 (SPRING BREAK) MARCH 17, 2014: JINGUS MARCH 24, 2014: NINERS MARCH 31, 2014: ODESSA APRIL 7, 2014: - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (Rouse, 2004) - LACELLE APRIL 14, 2014: CONTROL
  15. I will let Fowler start his own thread but I need to train myself back into the habit of Countdown threads. So while this is late it isn't late late so yeah... GOJIRA (Godzilla) - Honda, 1954 IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (93%) WIKI UPCOMING SELECTIONS JANUARY 27, 2014: STRANGER THAN FICTION (Forster, 2006) - RIPPA OFF WEEK - FEBRUARY 3 (SUPER BOWL WEEKEND) FEBRUARY 10, 2014: ARAGAMI (Kitamura, 2003) - L_W_P FEBRUARY 17, 2014: THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (Eastwood, 1976) - EXECPRODUCER FEBRUARY 24, 2014: JAEDMC MARCH 3, 2014: SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (Erice, 1973) - JR GOLDMAN OFF WEEK - MARCH 10 (SPRING BREAK) MARCH 17, 2014: ALIENS (Cameron, 1986) - JINGUS MARCH 24, 2014: NINERS MARCH 31, 2014: ODESSA APRIL 7, 2014: EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH (Rouse, 2004) - LACELLE APRIL 14, 2014: CONTROL
  16. CUTTHROAT ISLAND (Harlin, 1995) IMDB ROTTEN TOMATOES (44%) WIKI This may or may not have won the bomb poll but it's another movie to start us off with. Renny Harlin really does get unfairly shit on.
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