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

January 28th, 2008, 02:26
Zardoz
The movie opens w/ a floating head narrarator in a blue kerchief, bouncing around the screen waxing eloquent on various things. As it rambles and gets closer, I realize that it's facial hair is drawn on w/ a Sharpie!

At that point, I got up and grabbed another 2 beers. I know that I have a very high tolerance for bad films, but I wanted to be prepared for the worst. Better to have a beer and not need it, than to need a beer and not have it. I wanted to have another within reach just in case.

What you have here in a nutshell is a vision of the future in which a score of ultra pacifist eggheads have walled themselves in a huge invisibly-walled commune, the Vortex. Meanwhile the world around them (the "outlands") suffers for lack of their greatness and like, good vibes.

In the Vortex they navel gaze, ageless, for theoretically all eternity, having solved the mysteries of aging and such. Those who even so much as think a negative thought are aged, and these deemed "renegade" instantly elderly are kept in some outside tent (i guess) where they have to dress in formal clothes and mutter to each other for all time. So theyll never die, theyll just be like permanently stuck in some country club happy hour forever. Unfortunately for the rest of the non-imprisoned Eternals, the gift of immortality has sorta put a damper on the need for procreation, thus killing all reasons for sex or love. Fortunately for them, Sean Connery is en route wearing nothing but what appears to be a pair of red hot pants and an ammo belt, their savior and destroyer.

Sean Connery is Zed, an Exterminator, a killing machine that rides the Outlands horseback w/ his posse, basicallly blasting everyone in sight w/ his god mode pistol. This is like, population control or something, commanded by his god Zardoz, a huge floating stone head that revolves around the earth and seems to emanate the song Figlio Perduto. It lands periodically, and exhorts to Zed and his fellow Exterminators:

"THE GUN IS GOOD! THE PENIS IS EVIL! THE PENIS SHOOTS SEEDS TO PRODUCE THE HATED HUMANS! WHILE THE GUN SHOOTS DEATH TO CLEANSE THE EARTH!"

Then, it upchucks a huge assortment of firearms to the assembled throng, their tools to carry out it's grim will.

Oh boy. I knew that I definitely wasnt in Kansas anymore, and that was only at like the 5 minute mark! That actually is quite the appropriate thing to say, as this "god" turns out to be the floating head from the beginning (it all makes sense now!) a wizard of oz sort of charlatain that's been directing the Outlanders to do his bidding the whole time. Anyway, Zed ends up hitching a ride in the stone head and getting over the wall into the Vortex, and arrives just in time to bring it all down, man.

From it's heavy metal band logo title, to it's bad vibes psychic warfare, this is something to see indeed, but it's clearly for advanced consumers of cheese only. Due to it's extremely drawn out nature, I think less conditioned viewers' natural body defenses would kick in, and they'd go into shutdown mode (ie fall asleep) fairly soon in the film, or may even go catatonic in extreme cases. I could barely handle it myself!

Thx for the referral, PJ!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dracula's Fiancee

Somewhere a clock strikes midnight, and there's a full moon in the sky. She appears in the graveyard from seemingly nowhere. An otherworldly vision of beauty in ghostly white, her pale countenance softly shimmers in the moonlight as she gazes at the night sky. She is cold, so very cold, and so very lonely. She glares skyward, now baring bestial fangs, seeming cursing the very heavens above that have forsaksen her. This place of death and sorrow is her home now, condemned to an unlife of darkness forevermore. Then, he appears…

….a midget in a jesters hat? They are to go to retrieve Dracula's Fiancee from a cloister of lesbian nuns, devoted to the protection of their future Dark Queen? Like a bat-signal in the night sky, this is the calling card of one certain director for whom the traditional gothic is merely a launch pad for his wild dreams. That's right, Dr Jean Rollin is in the house!

So we have a baby-eating Ogress (who is definitely the hottest Ogre Ive ever seen) who guards the entrance to the ceremonial grounds of an ancient castle, where an equally ancient ceremony will take place. The recipe for this unholy rite calls for 3 nuns to be sacrificed, then and only then will Dracula appear from a grandfather clock to judge his prospective bride. Then, with a bride to stand by him, Dracula will be free to assert his dominion of the Earth. Suddenly the stern she-wolf, clad in red, rides in on horseback and proclaims "The time has come to free The Master".

The time has come indeed.

This is Rollin's last film, circa 2002, and it's just as wild as anything else he's ever shot. Strangely enough, it is one of his most coherant stories yet, it's just patently ridiculous. Pretty fun movie tho, I liked it! Best line was when the nuns go nuts and turn on the Ogress, she pleads:

"have pity! I am not a monster, I'm only a poor wretch of a woman who's slightly berserk."

Good times. Bad guys win too, the forces of good are totally wiped out in the film! I slept soundly w/ a smile on my face, the pain of Zardoz and the Vortex but a faint memory.
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January 28th, 2008, 06:04
Thank you( I think). I haven't consumed beer for many years, but after reading that…colorful and sprightly..review, I think I may have to run down to the local convenience store for a moment…no, wait—there's a bottle of wine in the garage left-over from New Years…

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January 28th, 2008, 06:19
Ah yes, Zardoz.. one of my old favorites . Need to watch it again some day.

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January 28th, 2008, 06:24
Glad you… uh… liked it.

Here's the intro on YouTube, if anyone's interested.

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he613…eature=related ]

And remember, this is a serious film. Serious. With… themes. And stuff.
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January 28th, 2008, 08:31
I know that Zardoz definitely has some messages about important things. One day, I plan on further analyzing it, but I'll need an assistant. Maybe Zardoz will be my new litmus test for prospective mates. It's not like the film doesnt make any sense, it does, I understand the story I think and it's actually quite simple. Just like Dracula's Fiancee it's got a story, it's just patently absurd and unintentionally hilarious.

Speaking of Dracula's fiancee, someone should grill the presidential candidates on where they come down on the subject of Undead Marriage.

Yeah, I tend to give Rollin more of a pass. Like Paul Naschy, these arent just big studio productions to turn a buck. He barely makes squat doing this, he genuinely just loves making monster films. He grew up watching them, and he is living his dream making them. It shows in his interviews, it shows in his work. As corny as his stuff is, it is a labor of love, it's his life's work. I have to respect a fellow monster fan who is pursuing his dream of bringing his weird creations to life onscreen. He's just a little…. unconventional in his approach ='.'=

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Watched Battle Royale finally tonight.
I think this is a case of heightened expectation on my part, even worse, expectation of the wrong thing. I knew that lots of youngsters were to be trapped on an island, and forced to fight to the death, but I thought that they actually knew how to fight.

And while I'm rambling on about patently absurd ideas in movies, Battle Royale has a pretty big one as well. Like the idea of randomly exterminating a group of did I mention RANDOM schoolkids, drawn by lottery, as some kind of "lesson" meant to straighten out the troubled youth of the nation. Like having one kid supposedly survive this fiasco, to bring back what message? Better hope that your class doesnt get chosen? This is the brilliant concept of a film that people have been begging me to watch?

Hell, you'd think that would make a lot of kids drop out just for fear they might be in a class that was chosen. Actually, the kids in the film didnt even have a clue what the whole thing was about. Youd think if this ludicrous "Battle Royale Act" was indeed passed by their govt, that it would be quite a well known institution by those who very well may end (or have children who may end up) up as involuntary participants.

Whatever. Looks to me like an excuse to see a bunch of cute little Japanese schoolgirls get whacked. As a bunch of kids getting crazy with whatever weapons they can get their hands on, Battle Royale was alright. Even tho I think there was far too many suicides, and those two badasses took out too many by themselves. There should have been more of the meek, or those who originally wouldnt fight pushed to the limit and going aggro imho.

Glad I borrowed it, not bought it.
Last edited by xSamhainx; January 28th, 2008 at 10:34.
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January 28th, 2008, 20:49
I feel exceedingly tame in comparison posting my last watched flicks. Last weekend we rented The Maltese Falcon, and while my husband had seen it so many times he ended up dozing, I experienced at least as much enjoyment as the first time I watched Bogie define the role of the Twentieth Century man, sharply intelligent, cynical, streetwise, in love with risk for its own sake, incurably romantic but determined never to be manipulated. Some great lines; "The gaudier the crook, the cheaper the patter." though the words 'sweethahrt' 'angel' and 'precious' might have been a bit overworked. Classic— for a good reason.

The other film was a pick from the Connoisseur's Complete List of Horror—A Tale of Two Sisters. This was extremely confusing for me, and while I admit it was cinematically adventurous, atmospheric and disturbingly scary at times, in the end it couldn't quite pull off all its magic tricks—since I have no idea wtf happened, or why. Possibly a translation/cultural thing.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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January 28th, 2008, 21:58
Asian horror can be really incoherant, and I can remember having a couple question marks over my head at the end of that one. ATOTS can be kinda annoying in the way it metes out vital information very late in the film, meanwhile leaving otherwise likeable character being dissed every 5 minutes by people around them for apparently no reason. The stepmother is a likeable, pretty young thing who seems nice enough. Yet Su-mi (one of the sisters) sneers and treats her like utter trash, and it becomes annoying to the point you just feel like saying "just what the f*** is your problem already?".

In the end, we see that she has plenty good reason to be pissed off. Not to mention (but i'll mention it anyway) she's a bit loco and being theoretically haunted by the freakin' dead 24/7, so things are a little crazy in Su-mi's world.

Are there real spirits, or is it all in her head? I think it's a combination of both. After all, the stepmother has an encounter in the kitchen, one of of the more chilling moments in the film.

Also, you have to consider that maybe everyone in the film isnt exactly who they are presented as. You know that the little sister isnt, and there's a strong suspicion that su-mi/stepmom themselves arent. It's really confusing, mainly because the film like many asian horror films, tends to jump around or run backwards with it's time frame of events.
Last edited by xSamhainx; January 28th, 2008 at 22:26.
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January 28th, 2008, 22:36
Exactly. Unlike, say The Dark Hours, though, everything isn't explained by Su-mi's schizophrenic delusions. And I agree, the time frame is probably the biggest factor in the confusion—was step-mom a relative or a nanny or a nurse at the hospital? Why was Mum tied up with bottles of pills in the sinister wardrobe? Who did it and what did they do??? etc. However, it was definitely worth a watch. I'll try it again someday and see if it makes any more sense. I'm trying really hard for the sake of my marriage not to rent Zardas…

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January 28th, 2008, 23:05
Ok, here's a few answers that might help, even tho I'm just guessing on the last big whammy:

The mother:
Committed suicide ( i think because of father's affair w/ soon to be stepmom), and the little sister found her. The little sister was killed when the wardrobe fell over on her, she suffocated under the weight of it. The stepmother prevented su-mi from intervening and possibly saving her sister.

The stepmother:
Was the father's co-worker he was having an affair with.

And for the big whammy, my theory is that su-mi:
post-return home is actually the stepmother part of the time, who has gone schizo, wracked w/ guilt. A lot of the scenes are just played out in her head, as she slips further into madness. The ghost may be in her head, or truly the spirit of the little sister, come to torment her from beyond the grave. Su-mi is home, but we only see things from her vantage point sometimes, the other times we are seeing them from the stepmother's

anything else is just events that happened, taken from the timeline. The body bag sequence were just delusional hallucinations, she's totally losing her mind by that point

Or something….
Last edited by xSamhainx; January 28th, 2008 at 23:21.
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January 29th, 2008, 05:08
Beats me. Still, that makes sense with the psychedelic whizz-bang cutscenes at the end. I was thinking murder, but suicide explains that "You may regret this someday." remark perfectly—if Su-mi hadn't snubbed evil step-mom, ESM would have taken her up to the scene and saved Mum. Somewhere around that point, my husband kept saying "which is which??"(a bit less politely and with more …adjectives) so he was picking up on the identity blur also. Regardless, interesting flick and the bedroom dream scene was creepy as hell. Thanks for the rec and the helpful Cliff Notes.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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January 29th, 2008, 07:21
Watched Name of the Rose again last weekend. Damn fine movie that has aged very well, and I actually enjoyed it more than the first time I saw it (when I was a bit too young to appreciate the nuances).

xSamhainx << Battle Royale is still MUCH better than it's sequel. Let a bunch of schoolkids conduct a commando raid on an island held by other schoolkids!!! It also include a few weird references to Iraq and Afghanistan. But I have to concede that most of the time i just dont "get" Japanese popular culture.
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January 29th, 2008, 08:44
Zardoz & Deliverance
===============
While both were directed by John Boorman, i much prefered his work on Deliverance. It's really thrilling experience when first time i watched it on TV years ago. Recently bought it on DVD, and it's still good but i felt less impact now, probably the idea behind the film isn't new anymore and between the years many others (better movies) took it place…
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January 30th, 2008, 06:48
One Stormy Night ( Arashi No Yoru Ni)
=====================================

This is Japanese animation film with story focused on two characters from difference species: Gabu, who's a wolf and the other Mei, a young goat. They accidently bumped into each other in an abandoned cabin one night, looking for cover from stormy wind and heavy rain. In the dark they talked alot of stuff and start to becoming a good friend, eventhough they couldn't see each other.

Could a predatory species live peacefully with they preys? Or even adopting them as one of they own? Yes, there're even some reported real cases, although they're more like an issue of mistaken identity. But the author put the story in a quite interesting light - could the two young animals live on as a good friend and go against the rules, including betraying they own flock or pack (refused being used as a spy), the social orders within that group and nature between the predator and prey?.

Whether it's intented or not these struggles reflecting very similar questions on our human world: could we change the nature of a man?, the inborn instint and social expectation or stereotyping?, to even the more controversial gender and racial discriminations? In the film, there's hope for all the troubles - the goat hoped he could find the utopia (Emerald Forest) where he and his friend (and their friendship) is welcomed and accepted, while the wolf longing for freewill and promised once day they could watching the full moon crossing the sky together.

Well, nothing will be easy or stay rosy forever as pretty quick the two got into trouble because of their friendship; Mei and Gabu both became outcast in their own society - and worse still being hunted. Lost and trapped on perilous mountain road, under blast of blizzard and constant hunger - could the friendship of the two survived? At one point, the goat offered himself as food for Gabu so that his good friend could survives the journey and live for him in Emerald Forest. The wolf refused, and denied that he could ever thought of Mei as a food, eventhough obviously at that stage he's salivating and stomach keep grumbling. Maybe the reality finally set in, or maybe they're just too naive.

The way the film goes on, obviously it could end with either a happy or tragic ending, or even in the middle (no obvious ending but audience fill in the ending themselve). As for the film ending, well…
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January 31st, 2008, 05:47
Hello Sammy!

Do you know what happened to watchtvsitcom.com?

cant get there anymore…
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January 31st, 2008, 20:13
it's plural, as in 'sitcoms'
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February 1st, 2008, 03:44
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
it's plural, as in 'sitcoms'
Thanks.
Glad it's still there.
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February 2nd, 2008, 02:08
Glad you're still there, Horned one.

I spent the day watching action movies( husband's turn at the queue)…Breakheart Pass—not too bad for Charles Bronson and The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro redoing 'Rambo'…*sigh*..
.
..maybe I can get away with Zardoz now…

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February 2nd, 2008, 02:26
A Touch of Evil

Classic old Orson Welles flick, saw it on the big screen at one of the local museums
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February 3rd, 2008, 05:19
Just got a collection of 48 "Bowery Boys" movies. I love those old comedies, so my dad got me the collection for my upcoming B-day. They're all basically the same, but I love them.

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February 8th, 2008, 21:37
Lolita
James Mason as Humbert, and Peter Sellers as Quilty.
Great flick. I had never seen this one before. Sellers had me in stitches! Lolita was indeed an awesome movie, it differs a lot from the 2000'ish remake with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain, which shows Humbert in an almost sympathetic light. There is no sympathy for him here, he's practically psychotic at times, obsessed with cloistering this little girl. Also, Lo herself is far different in the original, her immaturity (acting like a foolish child) is more spotlighted in the remake, and in that respect really shows the utter folly of Humbert's dream more vividly in my opinion.

In the original, she's obviously outside the law and possible social strata of Humbert and he outside of hers, but she is not given the whimsical childish mannerisms and for lack of a better term - idiotic antics prone to children that would make any normal adult recoil by their very nature at the thought of trying to carry on with any kind of relationship. This is really hammered home in the remake, as she's downright annoying quite a few times, as children of course are prone to be. She's a kid, you know. The original Lo is far more mature and reserved for her age.

The final showdown between Humbert and Quilty is nothing in the original, a terrible disappointment, it's literally some text that flashes onscreen explaning that Humbert kills Quilty and dies in prison. In that respect also, the remake handles this better, there's a great final scene that actually portrays the murder of Quilty by the vengeful Humbert.

Overall, I'd say that I still think the original is the better movie, simply for the fact that the acting itself is far better. Jeremy Irons has nothing on James Mason, Shelley Winters is great as the religious fanatic (and quite deranged) mother and runs circles around Melanie Griffith. I do think that Dominique Swain does do a better job as Lolita. Peter Sellers however seals the deal with the like 3 characters he plays, need I say more?



Easy Rider
TCM was cutting loose last night, Lolita followed by Easy Rider. Youve got a totally hippie'd-out, drugged out, haired-out Peter Fonda and a young Dennis Hopper (whom I didnt even recognize til like halfway thru the film!), riding cross-country on motorcycles, eventually picking up Jack Nicholson. This is like some kind of dream I'd have after eating Thai food or something. The cemetary acid freak out scene was…. trippy ='.'=

So finally, I see both these classics.
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