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JANUARY 2015 MOVIE DISCUSSION

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So Big Hero 6 was amazing

Taking my 3 kids and my father in law (who is basically a big kid in his retirement) to this next weekend.

I know nothing about it but the 4 of them are pumped so it will be a great day out haha

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I mean I know with a film like that it's not the script that draws people. But still: The Last Seduction has a very similar femme-fatale character but it's like, you know why she's doing everything: she wants rid of her husband and she wants his money. Even Wild Things had something resembling a storyline amid all the sex stuff.

I will fight anyone who says Wild Things isn't a damn fine piece of moviemaking.

It's silly fun without being actively stupid, the twists all make sense, and best of all:

 

I'm pretty sure this movie is the definition of being actively stupid.  I mean, anytime you have to explain your plot points in the credits...

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So Big Hero 6 was amazing

Indeed it is.

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Watching From Dusk to Dawn 2 on Netflix. The scene with the four of them dissecting the porno made me think of this place. Idea of Rippa, Gregg, Tromataker, and Dean arguing the elements of a porno makes me laugh more than it should.

 

 

Tromataker is totally the guy that says "It's a fuck movie." while Gregg goes "I want characters."

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For all the shit Back to the Future Part II is getting for misrepresenting 2015, I do find present day society alarmingly close to the nightmarish alternative reality where Biff got the sports almanac, made himself super rich and brought about a dystopia.

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Ipeople need to go back and watch Things to Come to see how it envisioned life in 1986.

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Blade Runner probably came the closest to getting it right, minus the flying cars and androids, of course.

 

-Pollution

-Overpopulation

-technology gone crazy

-corporations running everything

-Harrison Ford being all confused and erratic

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I watched Birdman and Foxcatcher in the last few days, I liked both (Birdman more than Foxcatcher) and Keaton's and Carell's performances were both very good (in saying that though, I think I might have preferred Tatum's performance over Carell's) but, I dunno, as far as Oscar contenders go, I'm still saying Nightcrawler and Gyllenhaal's performance are the best I've seen so far. I'm really looking forward to seeing Whiplash next.

 

Holy fuck at the camera work in Birdman though.

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In terms of being close to how things turned out, i will take Rollerball:

Teams owned by corporations

Players overmedicated by teams

Hyperviolence for the masses

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Honestly Blade Runner might just be missing the flying cars. They've still got 2 years.

 

I can believe the Japanese will have invented believable robots that fuck us in the next couple years. Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

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I recently watched The Equalizer with Denzel, and I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. It got me to thinking, though. What are the best movies that have a badass unstoppable hero? We're seeing action movies like The Equalizer and the Taken movies lately, but what are some other examples? What movies have a hero who just runs through the opposition -- even when they get to the end of the movie they still just completely destroy whoever the big bad is?

 

I also don't care about genre. It can be an old school action movie, revenge flick, superhero movie, western, etc. Just looking to get everyone's opinions on what some of the best examples of this are.

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^ Well I can't say that he's the first guy to do it, but the first guy I think of when I think of invincible action hero is Bruce Lee. I mean, you look at other kung fu movies of the 70's, the hero has to train ridiculously hard or even team up with others to barely scrape by the big bad. Then you watch The Big Boss or Fist Of Fury and Bruce just curbstomps whole groups of guys, and even when he gets to the final fight or two you get the sense it only goes on for any length at all because he's playing with the guy.

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Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. Well, and a few other things too. But High Plains Drifter is basically a movie about cowboy-hat era Undertaker.

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God, I love HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. Despite the troublesome rape scene.

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The Marine with John Cena? Dude survives being blown up in a gas station for crying out loud.

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High Plains Drifter is so fucking morally bankrupt, but it's also so fucking good.

 

And weird.

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Just finished Down and Dirty Pictures, which is Peter Biskind's sequel to Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and chronicles the 1990s rise of indie filmmakers like Atom Egoyan, Kevin Smith, and Tarantino and the rise of Miramax and Sundance Films and how Biskind viewed these people as the saviors of the New Hollywood era.

 

Yeah, this book hasn't aged well with Smith making microbudget "body horror" drek, Tarantino going off to make homages to his favorite exploitation genre films, Egoyan pretty much falling off the face of the Earth, the Weinsteins getting kicked out of Miramax, and while the Sundance Film Festival still exists, the actual Sundance Channel just did a "Revenge of the Nerds/Revenge of the Ninja" double-header.

 

EDIT: To be fair to Tarantino, he's definitely making the types of films HE wants to make, I just think that Biskind and some other critics expected him (at the time) to go to do weightier stuff than homages to Cleopatra Jones, ninja films, or obscure Spaghetti Westerns.

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On that vein, I do highly recommend reading Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes.

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I've been going through some 2014 horror movies that ended up on a lot of 'Best of 2014' lists. The Babadook tops most of those. I really need to watch that again, because I watched it a few months ago and I thought it was dull. The only good part of the movie was the book itself. That frightened the daylights out of me. Anything else was just... dull and silly. I must have missed some huge things if the majority considers it the best 2014 horror movie.

 

So far I've only watched one horror movie I quite liked, and that was The Taking of Deborah Logan. The first half hour is excellent, because that part deals with Alzheimer's before the horror aspect kicks in -- and it's both scary as hell and heartbreaking. After the first half hour, the movie quality drops and it descends into the usual tropes, but it's bearable. One scene near the end (you'll know when you see it) I first thought was rather silly, but then I changed my mind and thought it was very cool, effective and creepy. My first thought of it being silly was probably because I'm not used to seeing something like that in movies. It was well done.

 

And the very final shot of the movie scared the shit out of me. I hope the girl's smile was digitally altered, because if she (the actress) can smile that goddamn creepy, I fear for the sanity and lives of her parents.

 

I love horror movies, but ironically I hate 95% I've watched because they almost all end up being boring, predictable, not scary at all or just plain silly. The Taking was surprisingly good, and that first half hour makes up for the by-the-numbers stuff that the rest of the story entails -- apart from that one scene and that spoiler.

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Just finished Down and Dirty Pictures, which is Peter Biskind's sequel to Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and chronicles the 1990s rise of indie filmmakers like Atom Egoyan, Kevin Smith, and Tarantino and the rise of Miramax and Sundance Films and how Biskind viewed these people as the saviors of the New Hollywood era.

 

Yeah, this book hasn't aged well with Smith making microbudget "body horror" drek, Tarantino going off to make homages to his favorite exploitation genre films, Egoyan pretty much falling off the face of the Earth, the Weinsteins getting kicked out of Miramax, and while the Sundance Film Festival still exists, the actual Sundance Channel just did a "Revenge of the Nerds/Revenge of the Ninja" double-header.

 

I wonder what happened to Egoyan? He's still making films, but the quality has just fallen off a cliff. There was a period where I would have said that he was my favourite director. Exotica, The Adjuster, Sweet Hereafter and Felicia's Journey are unfuckwithable. He's definitely been passed by Denis Villeneuve as the best Canadian director (funny since they both just tackled similar subject matter in The Captive and Prisoners). Speaking of, I've had Polytechnique sitting on my dvr for a few weeks and can't work up the emotional strength to watch it.

 

A lot of the hyped Canadian directors of the last 15-20 years seem to have fallen off. Bruce McDonald is almost exclusively TV, Gary Burns (who made my absolute, number 1 fave canuck film Waydowntown) hasn't made a movie in a decade or so. Denys Arcand seems like he's mostly in a state of retirement.

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I wonder what happened to Egoyan? He's still making films, but the quality has just fallen off a cliff. There was a period where I would have said that he was my favourite director. Exotica, The Adjuster, Sweet Hereafter and Felicia's Journey are unfuckwithable. He's definitely been passed by Denis Villeneuve as the best Canadian director (funny since they both just tackled similar subject matter in The Captive and Prisoners). Speaking of, I've had Polytechnique sitting on my dvr for a few weeks and can't work up the emotional strength to watch it.

 

A lot of the hyped Canadian directors of the last 15-20 years seem to have fallen off. Bruce McDonald is almost exclusively TV, Gary Burns (who made my absolute, number 1 fave canuck film Waydowntown) hasn't made a movie in a decade or so. Denys Arcand seems like he's mostly in a state of retirement.

 

I was still with Egoyan up and including 'Ararat' which I thought was problematic (Lensing a real tragedy through the frame of making a movie about it lessened the impact of the actual tragedy) but still interesting.  Then you had 'Where the Truth Lies' which was pretty bad, 'Adoration' which I actually liked at the time but can acknowledge had some big problems, and then 'Chloe' is when I completely gave up on him.  That movie was just dreadful and I haven't been willing to give him the time of day since.

 

I'd say Michael Dowse deserves a shout as one of the best working Canadian directors today.  He's put up 'Fubar' (Which is pretty much my favourite Canadian movie ever!), 'It's All Gone Pete Tong' (Which was also great), 'Fubar 2' (Which, admittedly, looked awful and I haven't seen), 'Take Me Home Tonight' (which wasn't very good), 'Goon' (which was great) and 'What If' (which I've seen some nice reviews of).

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As a proud Winnipegger, I'll definitely pump up Maddin. I don't know if he can be included as "the best" though, since he has such a definite niche and really only appeals to people with certain bizarre tastes (like me!). That said The Saddest Music in the World, My Winnipeg, Careful and Brand Upon the Brain are all varying degrees of great. For his shorts I cannot recommend Odilon Redon enough. Probably my favourite thing he's ever done. Dead Father and Heart of the World too.

 

I've met him on numerous occasions and he is as delightfully quirky as you'd imagine. Absolutely loves his own films too.

 

Here's Odilon:

 

http://vimeo.com/29062120

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