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

April 24th, 2020, 02:54
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Ok, so I watched Color out of Space. I liked it overall for the mood; it's not often that the eeriness of Lovecraft is put to film. However, I will say that I enjoyed it in spite of Nicolas Cage's acting - he was just so random at times and I couldn't help but feel that the director had a problem with telling him, "No."
Yes, I would agree with that. Although I didn’t think he spoilt it, too much more of his shtick would have curdled the film. Reading between the lines from what the director has said, Cage is a big Lovecraft fan, and attaching his name was a part of getting it funded, as he has a certain pull with the indie crowd. He said that having an element of humour was good, to balance out the darkness, but I think it’s the wrong sort of humour – it’s too “meta” laughing at Nicholas Cage being Nicholas Cage, when you really want to be immersing people in the experience.

I think Cage now feels that’s what’s expected of him, which is a pity, as much of his performance was fine. Having said that, I can see how they thought he would fit the febrile mood of the film, and I thought the film’s qualities outweighed the problem. I thought that despite featuring Nicholas Cage and a low a budget, what they achieved was impressive, and showed real talent. In a way, I felt that the restrictions added to its indie, underground chops.

Apparently they’re doing a trilogy now, with Elijah Wood as one of the backers, and the Dunwich Horror is up next. Hopefully the success will give the director a freer hand in casting the next one.
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April 28th, 2020, 15:29
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I watched Color Out of Space, and really enjoyed it. With Nick Cage and Tommy Chong on the cast, I was expecting it to be silly campy fun. And while they do bring some of their excess to a couple of scenes, it was wasn't really that at all. I thought it was a very distinctive sci-fi horror, and genuinely horrifying in parts.

Definitely the best effort yet at adapting Lovecraft, IMO.
Just watched it myself. It was better than most Lovecraft-based films, but that's not saying much considering how poor most of them have been.

I thought they went a little overboard with the FX towards the end, and I didn't care for Cage's performance (I rarely do), but I agree that it had some genuinely disturbing scenes. The director took a page out of John Carpenter's book for some of the creature FX, and that's a good thing.

I don't remember the original story well enough to be able to compare the film to the source material, but, after reading a synopsis, it seems like he stuck fairly close to it outside of changing to a modern day setting.

I liked it. It doesn't supplant The Resurrected as my favorite Lovecraft film, but it was a good watch.
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May 2nd, 2020, 22:15
I've been on an Alfred Hitchcock binge. I've seen four of his older movies: The Man Who Knew Too Much, Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and Rope. So far Rope is his best one out of those. I loved it. Very philosophical and well acted.

Saboteur was too pro-american, but I was surprised that the antagonist wasn't a "communist", but upper class plotters that wanted to buy off their government. It's a romantic idea, but I appreciated he didn't just resort to cliches.

James Stewart is easily one of, if not the most, favorite actor of that time period. All his roles are pretty much top notch.

I very much enjoy movies older movies. They havea particular charm and way of flowing. A lot slower and not too cynical. They have a particular innocence.

The only thing I don't like the overblown music in scenes with tension or action. The instrumental music just blows my speakers, and are not at an appropriate volume level compared to voices.

Another thing which was remarcable was how outright misoginistic movies were. There's one particular scene in Saboteur, where the leading actress escapes the leading actor. She escapes his car, runs down the road, signals another car to stop to save her. One does, but in the mean time the leading actor runs over to her, grabs her and forces her back into the car. All of this in view of the people in the car she managed to stop. And after they drive away in a rush, the lady in the car, that witnessed the whole thing, says something alon the lines of "Oh my, they must really be in love!".

Besides that scenes there's plenty of similar, but more subtle things, like in Shadow of a Doubt, the main antagonist grabs his oldest niece by the face (an actual grab) in front of his mother, I believe, mentioning what a nice girl she is. Or something along those lines. It's kind of jarring. But those were the times, I guess.
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May 3rd, 2020, 01:24
I have to suggest watching every single movie of his you can find.
As you noticed and anyone could, times when he made his mastepieces in Hollywood were basically the same as today's chinese censorsip:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion…roduction_Code

Instead of shallow and dull rubbish stories that in this century come from countries with draconian movies censorship however, he used every trick possible to make the audience imagine things not shown directly on screen, because of censors. The monster you can't see is more scary and more disturbing than the one you can - he knew it and he did it.

Sadly, after him, no other director managed to create many excellent suspense movies. Some have a few brilliant ones under their direction (Fincher, Villenuve, Paulo and Bong ofc), but it'll take more titles to see if any deserves to be called a new Hitchcock.
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May 4th, 2020, 23:36
The new star wars movie has been announced (directed by Waititi), together with two new tv shows (for disney+), and season 2 of the mandalorian is in post-production.
https://www.starwars.com/news/taika-waititi-announce

It seems Disney's plans with the star wars franchise are starting to get some traction. Whether you like that or not.

I just finished episode 1 of the mandalorian. Finally, I know what all this talk about baby yoda is about.

Edit: I'm waiting with anticipation for the live-action remake of the first trilogy
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May 10th, 2020, 15:36
Continuing my Alfred Hitchcock streak, with Dial M for Murder. Liked this one quite a bit. A true puzzler I quite liked.

Strangers on a train was also nice, but nothing too out there. I love that Hitchcock seems to really have a thing for murder in various contexts.

Rear window was something I saw a long time ago, but forgot the details. Good movie. James Stewart again.

To Catch a Thief. This one was kind of the lowest point so far, I think. Though I quite liked Cary Grant in it.

The Trouble with Harry
. This was very naive and light hearted. Seemed more like a black humor movie. But I really like the old guy who played Capt. Albert.

And finished the streak, so far, with Vertigo. This one I also saw years ago, but forget it completely. I absolutely loved it. Even with the depressing ending.

Started North by North-West, another one I saw a long time ago, but also forgot the details of. But haven't finished it yet. Cary Grant is very likeable again.

I wonder what it says for the ones I've seen years ago, but forgot most things about them.
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May 13th, 2020, 21:15
Continuing my Hitchcock binge.

North by North-West
was ok, but it was mostly due to Cary Grant's charm. Otherwise, it was pretty generic action movie. But for the time, I guess it was something.

Psycho was still as solid as I remembered it. I think I saw it a half-dozen times so far, and it's still enjoyable.

The Birds was the one famous Hitchcock movie I hadn't yet seen. It was pretty nice. Very tense, even though the bird special effects didn't age very well. But it was still unnerving. Especially the sounds and noise made during the bird attacks. The ending, again, resembles all Hitchcock movies it seems (or maybe it's a product of the times?). In that it very quickly wraps up, with no apparent epilog. They just get drive away, and the end. No further context. No slowly descending end scene or something.

I started watching Marnie next, but am only 30 mins into it. It must be the youngest I've seen Sean Connery in a movie. But, I'm not feeling particularly interested in this one. Something feels off.

Oh, and for the past few of his movies I realized that Hitchcock always has a cameo as a random person in one of the beginning scenes. Funny.
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May 14th, 2020, 19:11
Marnie was actually not bad. Some of the emotional moments felt a bit left-handed and overacted, but nothing too bad. The cheese kind of becomes part of the charm. But I liked the ending.
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May 16th, 2020, 00:42
Ok, the first pretty bad Hitchcock movie. Torn Curtain.

The plot was so so, and the acting by the main cast was decent. But some of the plot points were so awkward. It also had one of the most awkward fights I've seen in a movie. And it just went on forever, for some reason.

But the worst thing about it was the exagerated portrayal of people from Eastern Germany. They made them all to be highly paranoid snitches. It seemed like the main characters couldn't walk 10 minutes without some civilian seeing them, and noticing something suspicious and automatically calling the security aparatus. They actually had an opera singer, during her performance, notice them in the crowd and automatically calling the police. It was really getting ridiculous. I was curious how far would the "communist Eastern Germans bad" message go. It went pretty far.
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May 16th, 2020, 10:02
Actually it's one of his best. The oven scene that lasts forever is more disturbing than any torture porn movie not to mention is had to be quite a shocker to Hollywood's usual audience who was trained that the solution for everything is to buy a shotgun. Well it's not. With a bit of patience, you can do something for cheaper.

Also don't be so sure Stasi portrayal is exaggerated. They made the society ill by lurking random people who then spread the paranoia to everyone.
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May 16th, 2020, 11:03
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Actually it's one of his best. The oven scene that lasts forever is more disturbing than any torture porn movie not to mention is had to be quite a shocker to Hollywood's usual audience who was trained that the solution for everything is to buy a shotgun. Well it's not. With a bit of patience, you can do something for cheaper.
Sorry, but I disagree. For me it was just awkward and left-handed. Not really keeping the guy in the oven part, but the fight that ensues before that. The two guys fighting was like some kids wrestling for fun. Also, the security guy couldn't easily take out a physicist? He spends minutes held a bad "choke"? Anyways, I'm prepared to ignore that and attribute it to the time in which it was filmed. So it's no biggy.

Anyways, I've checked out various review sites for the film, and the general feeling I got was that most agree Torn Curtain was one of his worst. And seems like the other 3 I planned on watching have a similar popular outlook. Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot. This kind of killed my curiosity to see them. The ones I saw before Torn Curtain were great to pretty good. This one really took a nose dive in my opinion.

Originally Posted by joxer
Also don't be so sure Stasi portrayal is exaggerated. They made the society ill by lurking random people who then spread the paranoia to everyone.
I'm sure it's at least a little bit exagerated. Just look how they portray the polish woman seeking the american sponsors. It was downright cartoonish. And another thing which leads me to believe Hitchcock exagerated was the way America was portrayed in Saboteur. The central theme of that movie was American exceptionalism, and how all the people have been lead to believe that America can do no harm. Actually, that's kind of realistic, now that I think about it. So it stands to reason that he would exagerate in the other direction for a direct enemy of the united states. Especially since the movie was released after the Red Scare and the McCarthyism period. And McCarthyism is still going on right now in America.

Keeping with the time period, I started watching Citizen Kane again. I saw it 10 years ago, last time, and it seems I forgot pretty much everything.

After that, I think I'm ready to jump back into some tv series. And I think it's gonna be Mr. Robot.
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May 16th, 2020, 11:55
Man, try to kill someone with your bare hands for the first time.
btw, I used the wrong term. It was stalking.
Note that unlike other authors in that era Hitch did not name everyone Igor nor made them hunchbacks - everyone looks pretty much normal human and is not named the same.

Citizen Kane is #1 choice for film studies movie. To ordinary audience, it's nothing special. Just like Bach's fugues, each is ingenious and godlike if you're studying music, but if not you won't be enjoying it much.

Mr. Robot is an unbearable junk. I did accept the torture during it's first season because the lead actor does the extraordinary performance, but didn't return to it.
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May 16th, 2020, 11:58
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Man, try to kill someone with your bare hands for the first time.
Exactly, the physicist is an amateur at that. But the state security agent is not. He should have easily plowed into him, and subdued him.

Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Mr. Robot is an unbearable junk. I did accept the torture during it's first season because the lead actor does the extraordinary performance, but didn't return to it.
I saw the first two seasons two times already, and they're fantastic. I did not see any drop off in quality. And I hear universal praise at the way they finished season 4, the final one. That's why I'm so excited to see it.

It's among the few pieces of media to portray mental disturbance, social anxiety and depression properly.
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May 16th, 2020, 12:06
You do realize that I have a specific nonmainstream taste where universal praise just makes me more determined to never watch something (example: Titanic).
Unless I've already did. I mean, sadly, I did watch the worthless style over substance Midsommar. Can't get my 2 hours of life wasted back.
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May 16th, 2020, 12:13
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
You do realize that I have a specific nonmainstream taste where universal praise just makes me more determined to never watch something (example: Titanic).
Unless I've already did. I mean, sadly, I did watch the first Transformers movie. Can't unsee it sadly.
I'm of the opinion that mainstream universal acceptance, isn't necesarily bad all the time. Yes, most of the time it brings up average movies and celebrates them. But there are exceptions, of course.

But with regards to Mr. Robot it was already such a niche series. Not a lot of people even watch it throgh the first season. So most average viewers are weeded out in the initial run. So i think the people that actually got the final season want something in particular, which they seem to have received. From the universal praise I heard. So yeah, mostly universal praise from a very narrow audience can be a very good thing actually.

And about Michael Bays' Transformers, I actually loved the first movie. The others are shit, of course. But the first one was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. It came out of the blue, and CGI was magnificient. That's all it was. A so-so plot with so-so actors, but one amazing CGI rollercoaster. The robot fights were fantastic in my opinion.
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May 18th, 2020, 08:45
Just started watching Gretel & Hansel. It's the classic grim-dark tale, but shot in a fantastic manner. Visually it is just amazing. So beautiful.
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May 19th, 2020, 19:25
Hachi: A Dog's Tail - according to IMDb this is the 212th best film ever, not sure who has ranked it so highly but it was an OK watch. Got a bit of dust or something in my eye towards the end.
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May 21st, 2020, 20:47
Originally Posted by denj View Post
Hachi: A Dog's Tail - according to IMDb this is the 212th best film ever, not sure who has ranked it so highly but it was an OK watch. Got a bit of dust or something in my eye towards the end.
Follow up with Grave of the Fireflies to get rid of the dust.
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May 21st, 2020, 21:27
Originally Posted by denj View Post
Hachi: A Dog's Tail - according to IMDb this is the 212th best film ever, not sure who has ranked it so highly…
All those who didn't watch At the End of the Tunnel.

My bet is that even if you know someone who did, they never told you that there is a dog in the movie with an absolutely amazing story about the relationship with the owner. The dog's love presented there, and the love for the dog, I have not seen anywhere else.

Critics missed to write anything about it, imdb users missed to write anything about it so my bet is that everyone else would too. Everyone except the mainstream hater - me.

Sadly for decades in worldwide cinema everyone is making only yucky vomiturging quickbuck dramas about pets as if it's not possible to film anything else and show the actual expression of love without pulling up melodrama. Somehow however, a movie that namely is not about pets at all, shows it is possible to have probably the strongest ever presentation of it.

Well now you know, if dogs are your thing, do watch this movie please. When you finish, tell me it's not better than any other movie with a faithful dog. Or prove me right.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Follow up with Grave of the Fireflies to get rid of the dust.
Best cats movie? I say go for Cat's Eye.
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May 22nd, 2020, 15:08
So last night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its’ release (and also 40 years since I first saw it) .. we watched “Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back”

Gorgeous and really well shot, plotted, paced, acted and put together … it astounds me not how much I love these films, but how they are acknowledged as masterpieces in the history of cinema. When I was a kid I looked at the stuff I liked - Star Wars, Good, Bad & Ugly, etc. - as not ‘art’ but just fun fantasy. Now these are revered pieces of art that are studied globally.
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