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Default What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread

October 23rd, 2006, 04:23
I watch many films, and I love nothing more than to blab about them. I watch alot of weird old stuff as well as newer films, so many of these will not be immediately recognizable. So here's my running cinematic journal of rants and raves, please comment or add your own if you feel so inclined.

The Old Dark House (1932)
In the 20's and 30's there was a genre of spooky films known as the "Old Dark House" films. This film is typical of the genre conventions even by virtue of it's very title, but unlike others that I've seen such as "Cat and the Canary", this film is actually sorta disturbing and scary. Believe it or not a film from the 1930's can be creepy, trust me.
People seek shelter from a horrible storm in the titular house, but they soon find that it's filled with dangerous eccentrics. Far from some sort of "scooby-doo"-like affair as most of these old spooky house films tend to be, this one is different. Instead of centering on fraudulent man-made spooks for this reason or that, or contrived plot of keeping some "insane" innocent relative locked up in order to get at some inheritance or some such nonsense, this place is instead just turns out to be populated by some truly bizarre and haunting characters. They are just there, seemingly forgotten in isolation, until the main characters enter their decepit and insane world. As the night goes on, they become not only weirder yet, but dangerous, then the real weirdos are trotted out!

This is the earliest example of a "forgotten family" film I've ever seen, the precursor to such bizarre films as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and what have you. Yes it's sorta clunky at times, as these old films tend to be light on implication and suggestion, but there's also a good deal of suprisingly nice camerawork and subtle lighting touches that make it just creepy! Suprisingly funny at times as well, this is one is just good fun to watch on a rainy night IMHO.
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October 23rd, 2006, 11:21
Interesting film, I wonder if I can find it in my beloved backwater Greece…

Anyway, watched Suspiria again Last Night. Have forgotten how much I liked it.
Argento's crowning achievement imo…

P.S Heh, your thread inspired me to actually pick an avatar, something
I dont usually do…
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October 23rd, 2006, 15:31
Here is what we've been watching lately … nothing too heavy
Open Season (2006)
Rated: PG
Score: 7/10
Summary: This was what we did for my older son's birthday - 16 friends at a dinner / theater place. Laughs from start to finish is the dominant theme of the movie. The story is simple and predictable, with all of the usual twists and turns. Much of what happened has already faded - this isn't deep or significant stuff, just a fun time with friends and/or family with some potty humor along the way. I liked it more than I expected …

Return to Halloweentown (2006)
Rated: PG
Score: 6/10
Summary: Another cute Disney TV film full of actors from their 'stable', this is a great one this week for the lead-up to Halloween. Not anything particularly scary or challenging - just predictable fun with themes about trusting friends and family. Nice easy watch.

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)
Rated: PG
Score: 4/10
Summary: By the end it was somewhat charming in a very predictable and cliched way, but you never forget that it is a paycheck movie from start to finish. I rated it a 2/10, my youngest (who normally is on the high rating side) said 5/10 (so you know it is crap), and my wife and older son said 4/10. Very uninspired performances by … um … everyone.

— Mike
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October 23rd, 2006, 20:17
Hmmm… I saw two-and-a-half movies lately which I think are worthy to be mentioned:

1) Team America: World Police. Saw it by accident; a fortunate accident, I might add, as the flick toppled Dodgeball as my favorite comedy seen in 2006.

2) Crimson Force (is that the title?) - a B or C SF flick about a Mars mission gone wrong. Bad special effects, but the story was decent enough to make me want to watch the rest of the movie, which I couldn't (as I had to quit my daily 6:00 a.m. workout to browse the forums).

3) I don't know the title of this flick - unfortunately. Just zapped around a few days ago and discovered this pearl of a Z picture… I didn't see the first half hour, but it was about Neo-Nazi cultists who lived in a papier-mache Mesoamerican temple with crudely painted cardboard walls which made Wolf3D look photorealistic (the movie was from the mid-90s). The cult had a big ray gun, and as a side project these guys tried to reanimate Hitler's frozen body. For some reason or other a band of mercenaries was on their trail, and one of the mercs was a cowboy with a trademark tune. I'd say he was supposed to be comic relief, but the since the whole movie was comic relief…
This flick was up on a par with Shockwaves (the C picture starring Peter Cushing and hordes of underwater Nazi zombies). Incredible.

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October 23rd, 2006, 20:20
Come and See- Russian WW2 film
A Boy and His Dog- Post Apocalyptic romp

Pig orcs rule.
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October 23rd, 2006, 20:26
Originally Posted by Gulshog View Post
A Boy and His Dog- Post Apocalyptic romp
Don Johnson's finest moment … my wife and I happened upon it very early one morning last month when we were drinking cofee before getting ready for a yardsale. She'd never seen it … not her cup 'o tea, but she stayed engaged for it.

— Mike
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October 23rd, 2006, 20:48
I also watched The Noah, as well as Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle). Both are post apocalyptic, and both are B&W. I enjoyed both, very interesting take, each one. Le Dernier Combat has no dialogue (except for one short scene), and The Noah has only one actor. Unique movies, and if you like the genre, you'll probably enjoy both.

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October 24th, 2006, 14:45
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Trippy Russ Meyer film about some go-go dancers and their devil-may-care lifestyle of mayhem and ultimately, murder. This was a fun flick and definitely a notorious and well-known one, as I counted several samples and songs throughout it that are used in metal and punk music. Tura Satana as "Varla", the ring leader of this gang of chicks who have a strange way of getting their kicks, is a truly awesome amazonian piece of work if I've ever seen one. She's just gorgeous, in fact all the women in this film are nice to look at, but that's what you get with Russ Meyer's stuff.

I liked it, and think it's worth the praise it receives. Some may call this film campy, but I disagree, this movie shoots from the hip and is stylishly bizarre and outrageous. The characters are shallow but larger than life, that's the way it's supposed to hit you, as subtle as a 2x4 across the face, and I think it accomplishes this well.

Mudhoney

Another big-boobed Russ Meyer epic about an ex-con from Detroit who stops in a small midwest town of weird hicks on his way to California. He finds work on a farm, as well as falls in love with the farmer's wife. It aint that straightforward of course, as a great deal of this town's denizens are hick stereotypes on acid who "dont take kindly to no city-slickers!".
This one has the basic "stranger-in-a-strange-land who falls in love" theme of city boy caught up in the vagaries of small town country livin', and while there was some pretty funny moments of stereotypical backwoods hillbilly humor, it wasnt one of the better old cult films I'd seen.
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October 31st, 2006, 18:35
Children of the Corn
Actually liked seeing this one again. Great setup for a unique story of a town in which the children, all guided by a religious zealot, kill all the adults of the town. Typical to most Stephen King tho, this isnt merely a tale of delusion and the affairs of humans, there is a supernatural being at the core of this twisted tale, "He Who Walks Behind The Rows". Like most 80's fare it seems to show it's age even moreso than quite older stuff (they had an excuse!), but I still liked revisting this one. I can never watch this movie without at least once yelling out "MALACHIIII!"

Eyes Without a Face

Old french film, roughly 1950's, about a surgeon whose daughter was horribly disfigured as the result of an auto accident. Her face is gone, basically leaving her the girl with the "eyes without a face". It's a simple tale really, obsessed doctor kidnaps and takes young womens' faces and tries to transplant them onto his daughter, without success. He comes close, but each time her body rejects the tissue and due to necrosis, it must be removed. The bodies stack up, the doc gets wackier, the cops start getting suspicious, and his daughter becomes more and more wracked with guilt and loneliness. There's some very good scenes of the hopeless girl, who wears an expressionless stage mask all the time, that are really quite sad and well done. I liked it.
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October 31st, 2006, 20:09
I was seein' some oldies ..

1) Troy: Released in 2004, Starring: Brad Pitt as "Achilles" - It's a film about The Iliad (From the Greek Myth).

2) Gladiator: Released in 2000, Starring: Russel Crowe as "Maximus" - A film about the treason on a great Roman war general and his revenge & efforts for the Roman salvation.

3) Braveheart: Released in 1995, Starring: Mel Gibson as "William Wallace" - A short story about the Heroic life of "William Wallace" from the history of Scotland.

These 3 movies are special.. They're all from History, all about Heroic deeds and all have that charming tragedy/drama.
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November 5th, 2006, 16:27
Rather off-topic in the off-topic forum, but has anyone seen the trailer to the "300" movie? It's the best one I've seen yet, and has totally caught my attention through an interesting story, superb filming and the certain "noble" feeling that is my drug.

Here's the short trailer: http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/300/trailer1/
And the longer one, but not-too-good quality: http://www.worstpreviews.com/trailer.php?id=453&item=0

Originally Posted by Haitham
They're all from History, all about Heroic deeds and all have that charming tragedy/drama.
Then you're gonna love this one

And guess who's gonna go ticket camping on the 9th of March
Last edited by Khass; November 5th, 2006 at 16:29. Reason: quote added
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November 6th, 2006, 03:30
Nosferatu - introducing my kids (and wife) to some classics. Last month it was Metropolis, now this! Truly great, still chilling. Got it before Halloween, watched it again this morning and send it back (Netflix) tomorrow.

— Mike
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November 6th, 2006, 04:02
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Nosferatu - introducing my kids (and wife) to some classics. Last month it was Metropolis, now this! Truly great, still chilling. Got it before Halloween, watched it again this morning and send it back (Netflix) tomorrow.
Good one, I love that old flick! There's a good modern movie with Willem Dafoe (as nosferatu!) and John Malkovich doing sort of an alternate-reality "what if the actor playing Nosferatu was really a vampire?" type story. It's called "In the Shadow of the Vampire", I highly recommend it! In my top ten fave flicks of all time as a matter of fact.

Slow movie weekend for me, only saw two.

Gothika
'twas alright I guess. One of those movies where the first half is great, and the second half totally blows. Halle Berry plays a shrink who ends up being locked up in her own psyche ward, supposedly after murdering her husband. She just wakes up there after an accident and is clueless, also being haunted by a ghost to boot. Just a disjointed, weird movie that starts out with a bang and ends with a whole lottle "yeahhhh righht!" moments. I almost turned it off.

Sisters
Rob Zombie hosted this flick on Turner Classic Movies "Underground" show. It was pretty good, freaky 70's film about seperated siamese twin sisters, one of which is a psychopath. Or is she? After a nosy neighbor thinks she sees sister#1 commit a murder, she calls the cops, they find no evidence, and the cat-and-mouse murder mystery begins as she digs deep and finds the truth about the sisters. There's a hardcore acid-trippy scene in which she's captured and sedated, and I have to say that was pretty awesome. A nice psychodrama cult film Im glad I finally saw, but I dont think it's worth buying on DvD or anything.

I still need to see "A Boy and His Dog", really been wanting to see that one!
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November 9th, 2006, 02:14
Originally Posted by Haitham View Post
1) Troy (..)
2) Gladiator (..)
3) Braveheart (..)
These 3 movies are special.. They're all from History, all about Heroic deeds and all have that charming tragedy/drama.
Add this one:

4) Musa - The Warrior. It's a Korean movie that's as epic as it gets. What I found very intriguing is that I was reminded of Gothic a lot, mostly due to the weapons they are using - big two-handed skull splitter sort of things - as well as the overall rough style. A review describes it with the three adjectives "epic, bloody, thrilling".
English Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQKp0PXcDY


Originally Posted by Khass View Post
Rather off-topic in the off-topic forum, but has anyone seen the trailer to the "300" movie? It's the best one I've seen yet, and has totally caught my attention through an interesting story, superb filming and the certain "noble" feeling that is my drug.
Awesome. I hope the story is deep enough and there's not only good looks, because it does look rather polished, in an MTV-ish kind of way.

But here's another movie trailer, for a movie called "The Fountain" that's coming out this month: http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/thefountain/trailer1/
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November 9th, 2006, 14:28
Saw 'Borat' this past weekend, I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Saw 'Saw 3' last weekend. Didn't like it as much as either of the first 2.

Saw 'The Prestige' 2 weeks ago. Very good movie that will have you thinking about it long after you've watched it.
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November 10th, 2006, 10:48
Freaks
Really liked this one! Buncha real true to life deformed and such carnival freaks, suspect that the leggy trapeze non-freak dame might just be scheming to get at the Main Midget's inheritance by luring him into marriage. They have good reason to, as there is really no redeeming qualities whatsoever to her, she's really a harridan. All real freaks were used, including some creepy looking microcephalics, a dude with no arms or legs (who can still strike a match and light a smoke!), a dude with just no legs, siamese twins, and assorted midgets and bearded ladies and such typical cirus fare of the time.

The gem of this show however is Frieda, the main midget (Hans) fiance who gets brushed aside for the trapeze artist. She's such a doll, and literally looks like a little Cabbage Patch Kid or something. She did a good job playing the stung beloved, and I felt bad for her! She's just too damn cute, you dont want to see her cry.
I liked it, anyone who wants to see a weird, albeit quite simple and predictable old flick needs to see this one. Plainly said, Freaks kicked ass!

Freaks page at Horrortalk

Mad Love

I do believe this is the youngest that Ive ever seen Peter Lorre, and he's just as creepy back then as he is later on in his career, close shaved head and his bug eyes. Ive heard a lot about this one, and finally sat down and watched it, and was kinda underwhelmed. It's your basic "mad doctor obsesses over woman he cant have" and the inevitable murder and mayhem that surrounds such affairs. I dont blame him all that much, Francis Drake is really a beaut!

The "insanity sequence" where Lorre first officially starts losing his mind is done poorly in my opinion, although later on he cuts loose and it's pretty effective when they dont try and go all Twilight Zone or Hitchcock. Just let Peter do his thing, you know. Also, a main plot point, the notion of someone who has transplanted hands from a killer who threw knives suddenly starts murderously throwing knives himself is a little ridiculous even for me. That's saying a lot.

Overall not an overly bad film, but not a particularly good one either. Maybe it's just that I liked Freaks so much, and it was a tough act to follow.
Last edited by xSamhainx; November 10th, 2006 at 10:54.
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November 10th, 2006, 11:47
Freaks was a wonderful movie, loved that one. I loved how they managed to 'normalize' the freaks… after perhaps ten minutes into the movie the 'normal' folks seemed freakish.

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November 10th, 2006, 12:01
The Departed - It was mostly a very good film, Nicholson is excellent, but the end was quite stupid and although it betrayed the "hollywood" ending it felt just as much a cop out.


Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
4) Musa - The Warrior. It's a Korean movie that's as epic as it gets. What I found very intriguing is that I was reminded of Gothic a lot, mostly due to the weapons they are using - big two-handed skull splitter sort of things - as well as the overall rough style. A review describes it with the three adjectives "epic, bloody, thrilling".
English Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQKp0PXcDY
Very good film!
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November 10th, 2006, 23:14
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
page with info on the actual "Freaks" of the film
That Prince Randian guy is seriously freaky! Like, whoa! He gives me the shivers …

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