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

October 31st, 2021, 14:23
I watched a horror movie from 2012, "Would you Rather".

I have to admit, it was pretty good. It has a sort of horror movie appreciation fan to it, where a lot of horror movie genre fans seem to like it, judging from reviews. I recommend it mainly because of Jeffrey Combs, who plays the lead villain in it. If you are a fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he is the guy who played Weyoun.

He is an excellent actor, and if you are a fan of DS9 like I am, you will recognize his voice and mannerisms immediately in the movie. He definitely puts a little bit of Weyoun into his character, that is for sure, in how he is very well mannered and well spoken, and tries to be charming, and so on.

As far as the movie plot, ok, its just a standard type of silly horror movie plot, where a group of (common) people who are down on their luck, and desperate for money, are chosen to attend a "dinner party" at a mansion, and they are told they will have a chance to win a huge sum of money, and basically have their whole lives turned around by solving all their money problems, if they are the eventual winner.

But the true nature of the game is not revealed until after all the people have agreed to the terms, and so they don't realize how twisted this "game" really is, until its too late.

Its very good psychological horror with a charismatic lead villain in Jeffrey Combs.
I would say its basically like a classic version of a Twilight Zone episode, but one where its very dark, like a dark moral fable - for me I loved the ending, but others may think its too dark, and be disappointed.
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October 31st, 2021, 20:27
Finished Doctor Sleep. Yeah, pretty average movie. The first 3 thirds could've technically been any other movie, not connected to The Shinning. And in the final quarter they really use any possible tie to the original movie, and it feels pretty cheap. Except for a 2-3 min talk inspired by some scenes from the original, but this one actually has some strong emotional pull to it. Otherwise, pretty forgetful overall. Really weird that they decided to do this sequel. It also has none of the creep factor. Neither in the first 3 quarters that feel completely disconnected, nor in the final quarter, except for a shorter shot-for-shot remake of the drive scene up the mountain, from the original.
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October 31st, 2021, 21:01
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
Really weird that they decided to do this sequel.
You mean other than it's the movie of the sequel written by Stephen King???
It's a completely different kind of story, about Danny post-The Shining. If you were expecting "Haunted Hotel Part II" then yeah, you should be disappointed, especially given in the book versions the Overlook hotel is blown up at the end of The Shining.

In a bit of coincidence, my wife and I also watched that this weekend and we liked it in the main. It wasn't entirely faithful to the book, but nothing that upset me too much: A couple of characters were consolidated, the girls grandmother relegated to off-screen, and a couple of characters knocked off that survived in the book.

The movie tries to incorporate incompatible aspects from Kubrick's The Shining, so there are aspects in the movie of Dr Sleep that aren't in the book Dr Sleep. For example, in the movie the Overlook Hotel is still standing, but in the books (where Overlook Hotel was blown up at the end of the book Shining), the final confrontation happens at a camp near the ruins. Also, in the movie Dr Sleep there is imagery incorporated (the axe-holes in the door, the Jack Nicholson look-alike, etc etc) which derive from Kubrick only.

I remember in the book version, Danny's father plays a bigger role in the ending, and Danny's fate is completely different. The movie versions of these plot points weren't any better or worse to my mind, just different.
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November 1st, 2021, 04:09
Over the past few days, with Samhain upon us, I decided to re-watch both Hills Have Eyes one and two. I prefer the first one, yet the second is entertaining as well, made for some decent holiday cheer!
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November 1st, 2021, 07:54
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
You mean other than it's the movie of the sequel written by Stephen King???
It's a completely different kind of story, about Danny post-The Shining. If you were expecting "Haunted Hotel Part II" then yeah, you should be disappointed, especially given in the book versions the Overlook hotel is blown up at the end of The Shining.
This. I enjoyed Doctor Sleep. In fact, it was a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting. Funny thing is, I didn't even know it was based on a sequel to The Shining at first. I liked Ewan McGregor as Danny, and Rebecca Ferguson was great. It's an underrated movie.

I'm glad they didn't attempt some kind of rehash of The Shining. That would have been extremely lame.
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November 1st, 2021, 08:05
The Colony (2013)

A post-apoc film starring Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Zegers, and Bill Paxton that's not as bad as the the review scores would have you believe.

It's a about a future Earth that's in the midst of a new ice age. Most of the remnants of humanity live in underground colonies. When the colony of the protagonists receives a distress call from another colony, Fishburne and Zegers set out to see what went wrong.

It's not great or anything, and it's easy to see why it flew under the radar, but it's worth a watch if you like post-apoc.
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November 1st, 2021, 11:55
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
This. I enjoyed Doctor Sleep. In fact, it was a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting. Funny thing is, I didn't even know it was based on a sequel to The Shining at first. I liked Ewan McGregor as Danny, and Rebecca Ferguson was great. It's an underrated movie.

I'm glad they didn't attempt some kind of rehash of The Shining. That would have been extremely lame.
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
You mean other than it's the movie of the sequel written by Stephen King???
It's a completely different kind of story, about Danny post-The Shining. If you were expecting "Haunted Hotel Part II" then yeah, you should be disappointed, especially given in the book versions the Overlook hotel is blown up at the end of The Shining.
The final quarter of the film was constant tapping into the emotional leftovers of Kubrick's film. The only part I did like, out of that, was the dialogue between Danny and you know who at the bar. That was nicely done.

Other than that, the first 3 thirds of the film, could've been any movie about people with superpowers. It didn't need to be in the Shinning universe. And the fact that it is, and the fact that it kind of gives concrete form to things which were pretty abstract in Kubrick's film, by making those powers and evil spirits ever-present (they basically turned the Shinning into the Force) it kind of ruins the horror in the Shinning.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Kubrick's film, as other people seem to venerate that movie, but I liked it well enough and loved the atmosphere and setting. And as a standalone movie, Doctor Sleep is pretty decent. It's not bad at all. Though it also is nothing remarkable to me. But the fact that it's set in the Shinning universe, to me it kind of trivializes the first movie. Since it tries to explain and give more context to the horror in Kubrick's film. In horror the less you know of something the better, in my opinion.

And the fact that King decided to do this sequel doesn't make it any better. Maybe it's an issue that the movie Doctor Sleep tries to be a sequel to both Kubrick's film and the book. And from what I hear King hated Kubrick's film. Maybe King's book fits and makes perfect sense with how he wrote the Shinning book. I don't know, I haven' read either of them.

Anyway, no use debating this further I guess.
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November 1st, 2021, 13:52
I'm not sure why you took it as some kind of debate or felt the need to repeat the same things again. It's fine that you didn't like it. The issues you mention though didn't seem to be a thing for most people. The film was generally well received.
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November 1st, 2021, 14:36
COVID-19: Invasion

loading…


It looks like a real winner, and I heard SirJames gave it two thumbs up.
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November 1st, 2021, 16:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm not sure why you took it as some kind of debate or felt the need to repeat the same things again. It's fine that you didn't like it. The issues you mention though didn't seem to be a thing for most people. The film was generally well received.
I didn't feel I just repeated the same things. I felt I gave more context and explained my issues with it.

Having given it some more space, I think that's my main issue with it. It tried to be a sequel to both Kubrick's film and the book. I would imagine Kubrick would refuse to do this sequel, since he obviously left a lot of it to be open-ended.
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If they redid the final quarter of the film, I'd probably not have most of the issues I had. It really was pulled into two different directions that aren't very compatible imo.
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November 1st, 2021, 21:09
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
If they redid the final quarter of the film, I'd probably not have most of the issues I had. It really was pulled into two different directions that aren't very compatible imo.
Fair enough. Sounds like you might have preferred the book version of events, which had none of that. :-)

Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus
Other than that, the first 3 thirds of the film, could've been any movie about people with superpowers. It didn't need to be in the Shinning universe.
I kinda take issue with that. Like I said earlier, it's about Danny post the events in The Shining. (It's also about "what if there are other kids like Danny?")
Where Danny starts at, where he ends up, is due to his "superpowers", yes, but what he went through in The Shining absolutely informs his being as well. In the first 3/4 of the movie there is plenty about the things that won't leave him alone and what he does about it. In both the movie and the book, his means of defeating the enemy is entirely about what he went through in The Shining and what he did about the lingering… umm… things… The ending doesn't occur without that.

FWIW I thought some of the casting was great. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose (the big bad) was near perfect, and that child actor as Abra has acting ability beyond her years.
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November 2nd, 2021, 12:58
The Long Riders (1980)

Is another hidden gem, kind-of, sort-of. I mean, it's not totally amazeballs or anything, it's just a relatively decent film that barely anyone talks about anymore.

It's another Jesse James film, if you're into wild-west westerns or the bank robber genre.

A bit like Young Guns in the 90s, its most remarkable feature is that the cast are all groups of real life brothers. David, Keith and Robert Carradine play the Youngers, Stacy and James Keach play the Jameses, Randy and Dennis Quaid play the Millers and Christopher and Nicholas Guest play the Fords.



And I think what prevents it being normal trash tier quality is it's directed by Walter Hill.

Who's Walter Hill? Probably one of the most successful writers, directors, producers of the 1980s. He was one or more of the above for, but not only exclusively, such films as 48hrs, The Warriors, Brewster's Millions, Red Heat, Aliens, Alien.

And it's the direction that adds so much to an otherwise quite conventional Jesse James film. It has the je ne sais quoi that leaves you feeling like you've just watched a good film rather than a generic one.



It doesn't try to paint the JamesYounger gang as the heroes they weren't while at the same time it also doesn't paint them as purely evil banditos. It takes the time to show their human sides, both rational and irrational, heartless and in love, cold and empathetic, leaving the viewer with a surprisingly realistic imagination of what these guys were probably really like as people.

Also, interestingly, Jesse James isn't the lead here, but rather Cole Younger is, played by the biggest of the names at the time, David Carradine. Which adds to the uniqueness.



A good balance of character development and action, though a bit dated looking with a kinda low budget feel and average acting. 6.75/10
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November 2nd, 2021, 13:32
Some other films from the last month or two I wouldn't necessarily recommend, but just so you know I'm not just highlighting every film I watch:

Redacted (2007) - An Iraq war film directed by Brain De Palma that pretty much explains why Brain De Palma is no longer a thing. Absolute shit-tier dreck. Hated every moment of this hack-fraud trainwreck of cliches. 0/10

Halls of Montezuma (1951) - A WWII movie directed by Lewis Milestone, who directed All Quiet on the Western Front and was, at the time, the go-to man for anti-war movies. Apparently this film was revolutionary at the time for it's unique portrayal of what war is actually like and for being mostly anti-war. It has unfortunately aged poorly and wont really offer much, if anything, to a modern viewer. 6/10

Cop Land (1997) - How did we all miss this one? It stars Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta amongst others and is directed by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Logan). Well, we missed it because it's pretty shite with surprisingly not much going on and not much to say as it dawdles through its cliches about a corrupted town that's been self-created by cops for cops. 6/10

Ulzana's Raid (1972) - A cowboys and indians western starring Burt Lancaster and directed by Robert Aldrich. Revolutionary at the time for it's attempt at providing strong Indian characters, it really doesn't hold up well today and comes across as quite a generic and cliche filled run through the motions of a cavalry patrol chasing down a group of indian banditos. 6/10

Boogie Nights (1997) - The one that people will probably reply to. The much lauded Paul Thomas Anderson classic starring Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg and Julianne Moore amongst others. It's a great film, absolutely chock full of great scenes and character development, fantastic dialogue and masterful direction. However, it's one of those films that's not really about anything and just ends at some point because it has to end somewhere.

The film is like a snippet out of a bigger story. Like watching a few weeks of a never ending soap opera. Typical of this new'ish genre of rambling films which IMO is a big red herring forked path for today's great directors like PTA, Tarrantino, Villeneuve who seem to find great merit in trying to do everything right, except for making the film a sort-of complete entity of something. I still think it's a great film, just not the perfect masterpiece many laud it as and so my rating would be lower than the current consensus and not of value to specifically highlight. 7/10
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November 2nd, 2021, 20:29
Nirvana in Fire - a very good C-drama.
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November 2nd, 2021, 21:25
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Cop Land (1997) - How did we all miss this one? It stars Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta amongst others and is directed by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Logan). Well, we missed it because it's pretty shite with surprisingly not much going on and not much to say as it dawdles through its cliches about a corrupted town that's been self-created by cops for cops. 6/10
I remember this one being a big deal, mainly because Stallone wasn't playing his usual action hero role. I wouldn't say it was shite. Not great, but watchable.
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November 2nd, 2021, 22:00
Count me in as another that enjoyed Copland. I've not seen it since it was in the theatre some years ago, yet I do remember enjoying it, and seeing a few of the actors act outside of their usual safe zones. I wouldn't call it awesome or anything, like an instant classic, yet it certainly wasn't rubbish, in my book.
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November 3rd, 2021, 00:23
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
I remember this one being a big deal, mainly because Stallone wasn't playing his usual action hero role. I wouldn't say it was shite. Not great, but watchable.
Oh no, it's not complete shite, just pretty shite when you consider the potential of the assembled talent & you just get a fairly basic and predictable film of the kind that kills time in a not offensive way but does nothing to inspire recommendation. Your bog standard 6/10.
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November 3rd, 2021, 02:46
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Nirvana in Fire - a very good C-drama.
That one is, by basically everyone who touched it, the mother of all historical c-dramas.
I don't know of any other that is so good.
Sure, they do have some great fantasy dramas, but those are of different genre.

I won't be persuading people as it has 54 episodes scaring many from trying it.
Once you do watch the first few episodes, if you do, you won't be sorry.

Nirvana in Fire is streamed legally for free at Viki platform and on ChinaZone's youtube channel. English subs are included.
It is however not unlocked worldwide so depending on where you live you might need VPN to watch it.

Season 2 is a separate standalone thing. Skippit.
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November 4th, 2021, 21:14
I was out of inspiration yesterday and watched Ad Astra. It was lame on several levels, don't bother.
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November 4th, 2021, 22:36
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
I was out of inspiration yesterday and watched Ad Astra. It was lame on several levels, don't bother.
The story itself was kind of generic, but I loved the world building and vision of the future. Especially on commercial space travel. It also looked beautiful. For those reasons I would recommend it.
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