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2021 MOVIES DISCUSSION


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John Bernthal looks just like Richard Boone, btw. That was probably the most jarring thing to me besides the lack of outright humor not related to in jokes (another issue) and time perspective change (as in I expected it to be set and performed way later). 

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Richard Boone - Turner Classic Movies

 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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I honestly thought the story was going to be that Tony lied to  Christopher and it was going to be about Tony killing Dickie. I always thought Silvio and Tony were best pals from school so seeing him already made was interesting. Again, Luotta was fantastic

James

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On 9/24/2021 at 11:04 PM, Contentious C said:

Coyote Ugly - I wonder if this is the worst movie John Goodman's been a part of.  Probably not, but it's the worst I've seen.  Flashdance had a creepy romance plot, but at least it had a few minutes of style here and there.  I can't really think of anything good to say about this, except that Maria Bello is in it.  Even the whole bit about how the main character's a songwriter falls flat, because the music is awful.  Leann Rimes?  Really?  Talk about things better left to the 2000s...

John Goodman has been in many, many terrible movies that are all far worse than Coyote Ugly. So if you think Coyote Ugly is the worst one he's been in, then be thankful you've never seen Blues Brothers 2000. 

Or you know what? No. I think everyone should have to watch Blues Brothers 2000 at least once to see how fucking bizarre and nonsensical it is. Or just listen to the episode of How Did This Get Made where they covered it and wonder how what they're describing could actually be in a movie.

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7 hours ago, Craig H said:

John Goodman has been in many, many terrible movies that are all far worse than Coyote Ugly. So if you think Coyote Ugly is the worst one he's been in, then be thankful you've never seen Blues Brothers 2000. 

Or you know what? No. I think everyone should have to watch Blues Brothers 2000 at least once to see how fucking bizarre and nonsensical it is. Or just listen to the episode of How Did This Get Made where they covered it and wonder how what they're describing could actually be in a movie.

The movie was bad.

 

The music was fucking fantastic.

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BB2K can now go on the To-Watch list, which is...infinite, but nevertheless.

It's Day 82 and counting of Watching Too Many Goddamn Movies, Mediocre Indie Film Edition

Hot Garbage

Dangerous Minds - Ugh.  I'm not sure what's less believable, the notion Michelle Pfeiffer was a Marine or her Southern accent.  Her nostrils are certainly tougher than a Marine after all that blow, but that's as close as she gets. A couple of the students have compelling stories, but they're sort of like the kids in Manchester by the Sea - just there to reveal things about the main character.  Everything about this movie ended up being done 10 times better by The Wire, so watching this is almost a complete waste of time.  Plus, ever since then, I've had the Devil's Mash-up of "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Amish Paradise" in my head, so FML. 

One & Two - Hey, Kiernan Shipka, Timothee Chalamet, and Elizabeth Reaser: how bad can it be?  It can be real, real, real bad.  One IMDb review described it as "Kids Go Poof, Movie Goes Nowhere" and I honestly can't do any better than that.  The only detail I can really add is that this film was clearly trying - and failing badly - to get across the same message that Fast Color did so well: that the worst thing you can do to yourself is limit your own potential for the sake of other people.  Also, there's just something about indie movies these days that is so...samey.  They just all look alike, as though the directors went to You Can Make a Film for Next to Nothing'R'Us and all bought the same equipment to shoot & edit with.  More on this later.

Red Dawn (2012) - I actually don't remember enough of the plot points of the original to know how much this changed or how much it kept the same, but I know the ending is different, and it's shittier.  The original had a seriously bleak finish that punctuated not only the impossibility of what the Wolverines were trying to do, but also underscored the notion of the unsung, sometimes unknown heroes that exist in all conflicts.  Changing that to, I dunno, try to make a Red Dawn tentpole franchise and do sequels?  Fuck right the fuck off.

I Am Love - This might be a borderline case, as it's shot well enough and has a little more creativity and vision than the other small-budget movies I watched lately, but it's in Italian, and it's so clear they cast Tilda Swinton just so they'd have someone Western audiences would recognize.  It's not like she actually speaks much Italian by the looks of it, as all her dialogue is overly simplified, and the only long speech she gets is a voice-over.  So, why cast her at all, except that she's comfortable with nudity and she won an Oscar?  I dunno, just like I dunno if this movie is the least bit believable since there are really no good set-up moments that lead to the plot developments.  If anything, it feels more like the correct forbidden romance would have been between the two best friends.  Plus, they manage to kill off the only three-dimensional character in the whole movie, which leads to a surprisingly "Succession"-like hospital scene.

Acceptable

How I Live Now - More samey-looking indie stuff, only with even more Muppet Baby goodness in the form of Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, and George Mackay circa 2012-3.  Luckily, they're all pretty good as you'd expect, so the seen-it-all-before visuals and seen-it-all-before plot are carried off by the quality of the acting.  Overall it's pretty mediocre, though, and in lesser hands, it wouldn't have worked.  Ronan is one of those people I could watch in anything, though, so there's that.

Bill & Ted Face the Music - I think this would have gone into Hot Garbage were it not for the bucket bit and the Prison Yard scene; those were the only true laugh-out-loud bits of the whole film, which was...well, I wouldn't say surprisingly stiff, because Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are nothing if not stiff actors, but disappointingly stiff.  You'd think after as much as they talked up eventually doing this film that they'd make more of an effort but...eh.  The kids were probably the highlight of the whole thing and, if nothing else, the take-home message of the movie is very much on-point for a Bill & Ted movie.  I probably should've rewatched Bogus Journey prior to this, though.

Mary Shelley - Even more samey-ass indie films leaning heavily on the actors to salvage what is otherwise not terribly interesting.  This actually looks a bit better than the others, but the real annoyance is the dialogue, as they try their damnedest to shovel socially important things to say into the mouth of the world's first famous feminist (though the film very much wants to make the point that actually her mother was the first).  The guy who plays Percy Shelley is...irritating at best, and I now have very little hope for the Netflix Sandman show if they cast Tom Sturridge (Lord Byron), who is a good 6 inches too short to be Dream.  Elle Fanning has to put this thing on her back and drag it to watchability, but she's Elle Fanning and she does tend to do that.  Stephen Dillane is pretty good as her father, though, and Maisie Williams makes an all-too-brief appearance, too.

Point Blank - This, much like Thief (which was clearly influenced by this film) was about as close as a movie gets to jumping from the Acceptable bin to the Awesome bin.  I just watched this on a lark on Criterion, not knowing what I was getting myself into, thinking, "Hey, John Boorman: how did that guy keep getting directing gigs in spite of Zardoz?"  Well, this is why.  The first half hour of this is one of the weirdest, most visually compelling noir movies you'll ever see.  You really have no idea what is going on, what is real, whether it's some fever dream, anything.  It's just strange left turn after strange left turn, followed by crazy shit happening in crazy places.   The real highlight is a brawl in the back of a jazz club that you just have to see to understand.  My favorite bit in that is watching Lee Marvin take a guy down, then clearly wind up and aim a punch right in the guy's junk regions - he was kneeling and he still managed to get some hip thrust into it.  It's fun stuff.  But this loses steam once it has to actually tell something like a story, and it feels like a lot of other noir movies do while it's unwinding the plot.  It gets weird again by the end, but not weird enough and not consistently enough.  Still, very much worth a watch.

The Black Cat - It's The Spooky Month!  I should be watching more horror movies.  I had few, if any, expectations for this, but it's got a surprisingly smart script for a cookie-cutter 1930s studio film.  There's a bit of back-and-forth between Karloff and Lugosi about the trauma of WWI that's pretty well done, and the ending scene is actually pretty damn funny, too.  Otherwise, it's kind of what you'd expect, what with the hammy acting and women who exist just to be in danger and scream at things.  No clue what it has to do with the Poe story, though.

Awesome

Police Story - This would very much have been in the Winner category if it had *anything* at all like a real script to it.  It really makes you wish that Jackie Chan hadn't quite felt the need to do every last thing on these movies, because if it were less cliched and a little snappier, there'd be no dead spots in it at all.  The stunts, of course, are still jaw-droppingly insane.  Just the audacity it takes to even say, "OK, we're going to build this lean-to village, annnnnnnnnd, then we're going to take some Datsuns and drive them down a fucking hill and wreck it all.  The shantytown, the cars, anything that gets in the way, just all of it."  I don't know how he walks around in normal pants with balls that big.  Of course, on the other hand, maybe he's just crazy, as evidenced by all the outtakes at the end of all his movies.  But, this is miles and miles and miles away the best one I've seen him do (not that I've seen that many of them - 4? 5? Something like that.).

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On 10/4/2021 at 6:10 AM, LoneWolf&Subs said:

I didn’t realize Silvio had a hairpiece.

Me neither, I thought it was just meticulously sculpted by a hairdresser. And lots and lots and lots of pomade. Him not having it on in the hospital might be a bigtime goof from everyone if it was always supposed to be a wig. 

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LOL. Fondly remember the funny and scathing reviews of Cats (2019). Watched five minutes the other day and that was enough. Thankfully I missed James Corden. Can't stand the fucker. Catastrophe!

Edited by The Natural
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Did anyone watch Beautiful Boy? How is it? I watched the trailer and it looked like typical melodrama. I ask because Nic Sheff (the kid in the movie)'s autobio Tweak showed up at work and I just finished it today from reading on our slow periods. It was some pretty hardcore Requiem for a Dream shit; he even gets an abscess in his arm where they almost have to amputate. Some of the stuff they only hint at, like him being a sex worker. Beautiful Boy looks like it has none of these things, but then it is also based on his dad's autobio of the same name as well as Tweak. 

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I finally sat down and watched Malignant after close to a month of meaning to watch it, and then not being able to for various reasons. I enjoyed it for the most part. The best way I can sum up the plot is to picture Drop Dead Fred, provided that Fred is actually a homicidal maniac. There's a few plot points that don't quite make sense, and the ending feels like it was thrown together because the writer couldn't think of a way to actually finish it.

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Last night I had a memorable movie moment with my Dad seeing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), 178 mins (35mm) in the cinema.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is in my top five Greatest Films of All Time for the story told as Blondie/The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) and Tuco (Eli Wallach) form uneasy alliances to claim Confederate gold, the performances of the three, the direction by director Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone's amazing score. What an experience for those reasons but especially seeing/hearing The Ecstasy of Gold as Tuco looks for said gold in the cemetery and The Trio in the three way duel. The visual and hearing stimulation working in perfect synergy.

First cinema visit in two years and what a one to watch!

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Watching the Good, the Bad and the Ugly at the cinema reaffirmed how I felt about it and probably increased that furthermore. Still hyped! The Dollars Trilogy is a trilogy with three great entries. Rarer still: each film gets better than the last and the third is the best of the lot.

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Next week will be short a movie as I'll probably leave my HALLOWEEN HAVOC pick for that thread.  Had an extra one this week anyway, so...Day 92 (and counting) of whatever this is, Daniel Craig Retirement Home Edition

Hot Garbage

Teen Wolf - I couldn't remember if I saw this as a kid or not, but in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I didn't, because my eyes aren't permanently rolled into the back of my head from how stupid this was.  I mean, granted, Hollywood made multiple 2.5-hr movies based off of Johnny Depp & a theme park ride, so scrawny TV star as hoops-playing supernatural creature isn't even the 50th-dumbest idea they've made money from.  But...ugh, there's just nothing about this that's worth the short runtime.  The Stiles character is all right, but what's the deal with the friend who's suddenly scared?  No resolution there.  And why is his girlfriend named Boof?  Was this where a certain term spoken in the halls of Congress originated?  I dunno.  This is already more words than it deserves.

Acceptable

Vampire's Kiss - Like the rest of you, I'd seen the memes, so I felt like it was a good idea to see what the whole movie was like.  This is...not good, as it feels a little amateurish with respect to direction and cinematography, but it's not the embarrassingly terrible example of film gone wrong that some may claim.  I got a very After Hours-ish vibe off it in the first few minutes, but then I realized why afterwards: it was Joseph Minion's follow-up screenplay to After Hours, so, yeah, duh. 

But you want to know about Nic Cage, right?  Well...he's actually pretty good in this.  It's totally nuts and outlandish, but it's a credible portrayal of someone losing their mind.  You can take those bits out of context and think they're laughable, but taken as a whole, it's some pretty dark stuff that's more effective than I expected it to be.  I was laughing at it for the first 20 minutes, but certainly not the whole way through.

Let Him Have It - This is a low-budget (looking, at least) British film about a boy caught up with the wrong crowd who ends up in prison for a crime he didn't commit.  It's got a really early Christopher Eccleston role, and Tom Courtenay plays his father, but mostly the whole thing turns on the events that lead to such a gross miscarriage of justice.  The story itself is effective, and the acting is fairly solid, but this looks and feels more like a TV movie than a feature film, so it's a little surprising it's on Criterion Channel, except for the subject matter.  Worth a look if you have the stomach for the material and the low budget.

Super Fly - Hey, my first blaxploitation film!  Ehh, this was pretty mediocre for the overwhelming majority of the picture.  I liked how voyeuristic the camera work was early on, though, and the still-photo montage in the middle of the story was a really solid piece of the movie, one that was frankly more effective with its message than anything contained within the utterly ridiculous plot.  There's a lot of interesting social stuff to unpack in it, but I'm about 50 years late to the party to contribute anything there, so if you've seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about.

To Die For - This is a really mixed bag.  On one hand, Nicole Kidman is actually pretty good in this, one of the first times where her acting did legitimately carry a movie.  The style of it mostly works, as it's all so ridiculous that it feels like it could have been an early (and particularly fucked-up) episode of The Office or something.  But the little Jerry Springer/Phil Donahue cutaway moments don't really work, and none of the characters other than Kidman's really get enough time to make you give a shit about their choices or their fates.  But, I was pleasantly surprised that the movie didn't make me listen to "Dirty Laundry" again, after that was PLASTERED all over the ad campaign for this fucking thing when I was in high school.   God.

The Anderson Tapes - Here's another "close to Awesome" entry, a little Sean Connery heist that goes crazy and is a pretty clear influence on Soderbergh's Ocean's movies and De Palma's Snake Eyes, what with all the instances of showing you the same thing from multiple angles to reveal the details you missed.  The cast is pretty solid, the story alternates from creepy to funny to desperate pretty easily, and the ending is a Burn After Reading-quality finish.  I didn't know what to expect out of this, but it's good enough to make me wonder if Connery really did anything better than this in the 70s (I suppose Murder on the Orient Express, but that's quite the ensemble). 

Sapphire - I...did not expect this to be a pretty fucking good movie.  There's plenty about it that doesn't age well, like how it's rather rah-rah for the cops and is straight out of the murder mystery handbook with respect to setting up red herrings and then knocking them down.  But man, the rest of what's going on in this is WAY more interesting than you'd expect out of a British movie in the 50s.  It's got loads to say about racism, sexism, immigration - just way ahead of its time in being willing to tackle some heavy stuff, the settings are interesting, the cast is solid.  Very much a movie worth checking out.

No Time to Die - I think we can put to rest any notion of Daniel Craig *not* being the best Bond.  His worst movie was the last one, and that's still better than literally half the other Bond movies, so 4 out of 5 solid outings with 2 of them being excellent is a pretty good run.  This combines the opening of Quantum of Solace with the emotional punch of Casino Royale and the beautiful visuals of Skyfall, so it has a lot going for it.  Of course, it's still 20 minutes too fucking long, and the villain is boring as Hell, so it's got its problems.  But it's a good capstone for this set of movies, and it ties things off pretty well. 

Awesome

Paprika - Huh.  So...this is a thing.  I don't know if I can really appreciate anime that much, and I'm not sure exactly what the problem is.  Do all these movies have to be so on-the-nose about how they discuss philosophy, or is that the translator's fault?  Because the attempt at a plot & story here are not-so-good, and you get those moments where the characters literally blurt out entire themes of the film.  What is this, a Christopher Nolan movie?  Haha, see what I did there?  Anyway, it's the same kind of problem I had with stuff like Ghost in the Shell, which I didn't find as awe-inspiring as others have.  That said, the visuals and vision here are pretty much what put it in this category.  It's not just the influences on something like Inception; the opening credits montage has a very "Joi from Blade Runner 2049" feel to it, and the towering giant over the city in the climax made me instantly think of the spider in Enemy, so I wonder if Denis Villeneuve loves this movie.

The 39 Steps - My first exposure to this film was a stage version of it that was light on suspense and heavy on the zaniness of the plot, and it was a pretty delightful experience.  This, of course, plays things a little bit straighter, but only a little, and it's got a lot of pretty damned clever bits of camera work in it along with oodles of charm in the last 30 minutes or so.  But it's also such an early movie - both in terms of the career of the man and also just cinema in general - that you can kind of tell Hitchcock is still figuring stuff out with this.  No wonder he just about totally remade this when he did North by Northwest.  If you loved that (and I do), you'd be hard-pressed not to like this.

Something Else

Smooth Talk - If I had to be perfectly honest about the quality of the film here, it would probably go into Awesome at best, largely because the first half hour or so of this feels a bit like a Lifetime movie or an afterschool special in terms of how it looks and plays out.  But if you stick with it past that, it just gets grimier and darker and more interesting, and the last third of the film is...it's something else.  It's more like a Southern Gothic story; I found myself thinking a lot about "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" as the stomach-churningly inevitable events play out before you and you basically want to put your fist through Treat Williams' face (in a good way, not in the "he's a shitty actor and a waste of space" way he usually manages).  Laura Dern is great - maybe too good, actually.  The actual ending feels, I don't know, I wouldn't say rushed, but certainly incomplete, like there were things left out that needed to be processed a little more.  It gives the last third of the movie a bit of an unreal quality, like it was more of a fully internal struggle taking place within Dern's character, rather than two actual people talking about anything at all.  But real or unreal, it doesn't make that sequence of events any less unsettling. Another entry into "Great Movies I Will Never Watch Again"...

Edited by Contentious C
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1 hour ago, Contentious C said:

Next week will be short a movie as I'll probably leave my HALLOWEEN HAVOC pick for that thread.  Had an extra one this week anyway, so...Day 92 (and counting) of whatever this is, Daniel Craig Retirement Home Edition

Hot Garbage

Teen Wolf - I couldn't remember if I saw this as a kid or not, but in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I didn't, because my eyes aren't permanently rolled into the back of my head from how stupid this was.  I mean, granted, Hollywood made multiple 2.5-hr movies based off of Johnny Depp & a theme park ride, so scrawny TV star as hoops-playing supernatural creature isn't even the 50th-dumbest idea they've made money from.  But...ugh, there's just nothing about this that's worth the short runtime.  The Stiles character is all right, but what's the deal with the friend who's suddenly scared?  No resolution there.  And why is his girlfriend named Boof?  Was this where a certain term spoken in the halls of Congress originated?  I dunno.  This is already more words than it deserves.

Guilty pleasure favorite and it's soundtrack. Now watch the sequel, Teen Wolf Too! ?

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I went to the Fathom showing of RAD. Most people I've been in a theater with in 2 years--8. I saw this movie probably 40 times between its VHS release and when I outgrew large slumber parties, and hadn't seen it since.

 

Holy shit it's worse than I expected. The stunts are immaculate, as you'd expect from a Hal Needham joint, and so most of the bike segments are enthralling. (The bicycle "dance" bit was a weird mix of "whoa" and "I know that's incredibly hard to do but it still looks goofy and boring.") Bill Allen and Bart Conner both have all the acting talent of 1977 Mark Hamill but with less charisma. The plot makes no sense. Even usually competent actors like Talia Shire and Ray Walston give line readings like Larraine Newman's most deliberately fucked SNL fake commercial reads. The foul-mouthed little sister was excruciating.

 

It was amazing and I'm glad I went.

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11 hours ago, Contentious C said:

But, I was pleasantly surprised that the movie didn't make me listen to "Dirty Laundry" again, after that was PLASTERED all over the ad campaign for this fucking thing when I was in high school.   God.

HA! Yes indeed it was. Fuckin' hell, it was as bad as "Highway to Hell" on whatever PPV that Austin faced Taker was on. 

It will surprise no one to hear that Nic Cage considers Vampire's Kiss his magnum opus. 

RAD has been on TV recently and the description in the guide even says it sucks! 

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18 hours ago, DreamBroken said:

Guilty pleasure favorite and it's soundtrack. Now watch the sequel, Teen Wolf Too! ?

Coach Bobby Finstock automatically makes Teen Wolf awesome.

Quote

 

Coach Finstock : Look Scotty, I know what you're going through. Couple years back, a kid came to me much the same way you're coming to me now, saying the same thing that you're saying. He wanted to drop off the team. His mother was a widow, all crippled up. She was scrubbing floors. She had this pin in her hip. So he wanted to drop basketball and get a job. Now these were poor people, these were hungry people with real problems. Understand what I'm saying?

Scott Howard : What happened to the kid?

Coach Finstock : I don't know. He quit. He was a third stringer, I didn't need him

 

Quote

 

  • Vice Principal Thorne : It's not going too well is it?

    Coach Finstock : Well, Christ, Thorne, look at the sneakers those guys are wearing. If our guys had sneakers like that there's no telling what they could do.

 

 

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If I have any regret about the new Dune... its that I watched on a computer screemn and not in a  theater like it was meant to be watched. I feel a sense of shame. You can feel the bigness of this movie. No TV or computer screen was meant to hold this sense scale and openness. It is the sci-fi nerd's answer to Lawrence of Arabia

James

 

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