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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18690 on: June 18, 2019, 08:52:02 PM »
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil (2017) - This movie was amazing! A dark comedy about a 19th century Spanish badass blacksmith who has a demon trapped. He makes friends with a little girl, and eventually has to travel to Hell itself and back to save her. It is brutal, sometimes heartwarming, but through it all it is often very funny. Excellent practical effects, and nice creative designs.

It's on Netflix (with English dubbing, or subtitles if you prefer), and I highly recommend it.



Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18691 on: June 20, 2019, 05:57:35 PM »
Okay... I saw The Dead Don't Die today. Let me just start by saying... this movie was fucking bizarre. Almost everybody, well mostly Bill Murray and Adam Driver give very deadpan, very emotionless performances... which I guess is funny. Then out of nowhere
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There's a lot of breaking the fourth wall jokes, including one that I didn't get for like four whole seconds because sometimes my brain takes that long to catch up with what's going on in the movie. The line was Bill Murray saying "Are we improvising?", which I eventually laughed at.

Surprisingly, for a horror film this movie wasn't really that gory or bloody! Sure, there's zombie violence here and there and little bits of gore here and there, and one of the funniest scenes in the film was where Adam Driver's character is holding up the severed head of a woman. I know, it doesn't sound funny but within the context of the movie it's funny. When there's the chance for blood and gore, a lot of the times the movie cuts away.

Selena Gomez is also in the movie... for like five minutes. I can't believe I'm saying this because there was a time I just could not stand her... but for what little screen time she has in this movie she looked pretty hot. There's also a subplot in this movie about some young kids in a correctional facility, but it goes absolutely nowhere so I don't know why they didn't cut it out of the film. Seriously, it adds nothing to the overall story and ultimately it ends up being an unresolved plot thread.

Some people have said this movie is very heavy-handed with its "message". I couldn't disagree more. You watch this movie and the overall message I got was "Don't take this shit TOO seriously", which I guess is kind of ironic. So... yeah, if you can catch it at the dollar theaters I say go for it.


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18692 on: June 20, 2019, 07:47:03 PM »
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil (2017) - This movie was amazing! A dark comedy about a 19th century Spanish badass blacksmith who has a demon trapped. He makes friends with a little girl, and eventually has to travel to Hell itself and back to save her. It is brutal, sometimes heartwarming, but through it all it is often very funny. Excellent practical effects, and nice creative designs.

It's on Netflix (with English dubbing, or subtitles if you prefer), and I highly recommend it.
Enjoyed this one a great deal myself. Very Gilliamesque.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


Online Pak-Man

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18693 on: June 22, 2019, 06:21:57 PM »
Toy Story 4 was wonderful. Slapstick comedy with a healing helping of existential angst. Just how I like my Toy Story. I'd wager it's the best movie featuring a creepy living doll in theaters!


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18694 on: June 22, 2019, 06:28:44 PM »
Toy Story 4 (2019) - This was really good. It felt like it progressed the characters' stories, even after the pitch perfect ending with Toy Story 3. Particularly with Bo Peep, a character I really never gave two thoughts about previously. The new side characters weren't annoying, even though they seemed like they would be in the trailers. I'm not sure what they are going to do with this franchise after this, if anything, but I am curious now.

Child's Play (2019) - This was really good. I liked the trailers, but I was still quite apprehensive, being a big fan of the franchise, and dissapointed that it's just the studio and not Don Mancini involved. But the new A.I. angle is used well. It does a smart balance of fun and funny at first to get you lulled in and then gets effectively creepy. The characters were likable, especially the cop. And the plot is not a retread.
I still think it would have benefited the movie and the character to NOT call him Chucky. And in the movie there is surprisingly no reason for him to be called that anyway. It just forces comparisons. And nowadays shared universes being such a big thing, it seems like a waste to not try to go for a vs movie down the line.
Ultimately my big test for remakes is simply "If this had been the original would there be enough to the movie that we would be remaking it today?" And to that I can definitely say YES.



Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18695 on: June 22, 2019, 06:45:22 PM »
I'm mostly interested in seeing Child's Play because well... Aubrey Plaza is hot.


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18696 on: June 22, 2019, 10:06:25 PM »
Catch-22 (1970)
Had read the book again recently after finding out that Amazon was releasing a mini-series based on it. Watched the first episode of the mini-series and was disappointed, so desided to watch the 1970 movie again for the first time in a long time.
1970 movie not a case of the book being better really....a case of the movie being rather incomprehensible if you haven't read the book. Enjoyed it, but again, probably because I just read the book again. First 15 minutes imposible to hear any of the dialog thanks to the plane noise. Probably on purpose, but I used subtitles. Amazing the number of big name late 60s, early 70s actors in it. Was totally overshadowed by MASH and probably deservitably so, but seeing Alan Arkin, Orson Wells, Buck Henry (who directed and wrote), Anthony Perkins,artin Sheen, and about a dozen other well knowns in the same movie was interesting.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18697 on: June 23, 2019, 11:08:27 PM »
Tiger on the Beat ( 1988 )
About the time I got my first DVD player, a handful of companies began importing new wave Hong Kong action movies, all which had options for English subtitles. I bought a lot of them. About a decade later I decided I wanted to watch Mr. Vampire ( and yes, it had a hopping Chinese vampire, ) only to have the movie stop halfway through and go back to the menu. I eventually discovered that the companies that pressed the DVDs did such a bad job, that about half of the DVDs pressed between the mid 90s and early 00s have since deteriorated, thanks to the cheap type of glue used to make the DVD. I discovered a couple of other HK movies that wouldn't play beyond the first half. Dreading the possibility that half and possibly most of my library was unplayable, I rarely bothered watching any of the other import discs. As long as I didn't check, then I didn't know how much money was wasted. As far as I knew only a couple of the DVDs were broken. Whenever I would watch one of them it was like stepping into a minefield, not knowing if the film was still there, or it was another $25 down the toilet.

Last week I watched Curse of the Golden Flower, and right under it in it's storage box was Tiger on the Beat.  I could have sworn the film was one of the low budget Sammo Hung comedies, but he wasn't in it.   But the box said Chow Yun Fat was the star, and  Lau Kar Leung directed it. Wow. I know I must have watched it after I bought it, but couldn't remember a damn thing about it. Even more intriguing, the costar was Conan Lee.

Conan was the last of the old school Bruce Lee clones. The first few deliberately changed their professional names to Bruce Lee, specifically to star in movies rip off producers claimed was the last film Bruce Lee made before his death, and distributed in countries where the population couldn't tell Chinese actors apart and couldn't tell the actor in the movie didn't look like Bruce Lee. ( Countries like The United States.  )  Of course, calling the lead actor in your film Bruce Lee when he wasn't was illegal, so the spelling on their names was slightly altered. There was Bruce Le, Bruce Li, Bruce Ly, Bruce Lei, and so on. Just as long as the guy narrating the trailer pronounced the last name Lee. When all the alternative spellings of Lee were taken up, clones changed the first names. Such as Bronson Lee and Dragon Lee. By the time Conan made his screen debut, producers were no longer trying to pass their stars off as the original Bruce Lee, but instead as the next Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan became the new rage, and exploitive producers began cloning him instead. Conan lucked out as his first film Ninja in the Dragon's Den ( 1982 ) became a cult hit, elevating him out of the Bruce Lee clone pack. To this day most fans of old school martial arts films don't even consider him a clone, but the star of a classic martial arts film who nearly became a major martial arts star.

Except, that he decided not to stick around in Hong Kong, but head back to Hollywood to find work there. According to Wikipedia, his original name was Lloyd Hutchinson, and grew up in Queens, which if true was probably why he chose to seek a career in America rather than stay in Asia where he was a star. His first film for Hollywood was Gymkata ( 1985 ), followed by a recurring role on the series Falcon Crest, small roles in television series like MacGuyver, along with uncredited roles in movies like Big Trouble in Little China. Tiger on the Beat was his return to Hong Kong, where he once again was the star of most of his films, occasionally returning to Hollywood for bit parts.

I am amazed that I didn't remember anything about this film. Yes, it was the standard formula plot you get from every HK action comedy, so therefore indistinguishable from most of the Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung/Yuen Biao cop films. And like most HK comedies, the gags fell flat and performed over-the-top broad. But it had a few decent action sequences in the middle of the film, and what should have been a memorable action finale with Chow taking down villains with a shotgun attached to a bungee cord which he used to shoot around corners, and Conan and Gordon Liu fighting using chain saws. This was the movie Chow Yun Fat shot directly between A Better Tomorrow II and The Killer, so it is jarring to see him playing a comedic cop who is often lazy and cowardly and preoccupied with chasing women rather than his usual tough guy character from the same period. Most of the action is handled by Conan Lee who plays his partner. Ti Lung and David Chaing have surprise guest roles, although Chaing is wasted in a non fighting role as the police commissioner who shows up to take credit for big busts.

Oh, and the DVD appeared to be in perfect condition and showing no signs of deterioration. Unfortunately, it was released before anamorphic widescreen gad been invented, so I was watching the film in  a small box in the middle of a modern television screen.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ( 2016 )
Having decided some time ago to buy and watch every superhero movie ever made, I am amazed at how many of the films that got terrible reviews, got universally panned by fanboys, and are supposed to be terrible, turn out to be perfectly good entertainment. Case in point, this film, the one that was supposed to be a franchise killer and had Paramount demanding a reboot of the franchise. So it's back to the beginning of the story with a new cast and redesigned turtles, but the same studio, same producers, and same complaining fanboys to sink the next batch ( 2 ) of films before the next reboot.

While I get how disappointing it is when a studio or director doesn't get the source material right, films should be judged on what they are, not what they should have been. Any adult by now should know that film makers are notorious for shitting on the source material their films are based on because they feel they know how to make it better than the person who created it. For example, the Universal version of Frankenstein, which is the version of the monster we all know and love, was nothing like the book it was based on. Similarly, The Wizard of Oz ( 1939 ) would have been savaged by fanboys if the internet existed back in the 30s for everything it changed from the book. But both were given the opportunity to stand on their own, and became beloved classics, as had most old movies. We can't do that anymore? While the  recent TMNT fall well below the bar set by the MCU films, they are still top notch entertainment. Meaning, it kept me occupied for the entire running time without getting bored, and on more than one occasion pumping my adrenaline during the action scenes. They don't deserve to be labeled as bad films.

Having said that, I have to admit that I haven't read any of the TMNT comic books or ever watched one of their animated series. My only experience with them are the movies and the video games. And if I was a fan, maybe there was something the movies got wrong I would have known about that would have ruined them for me. But these are more examples of films that I was warned of that didn't live up to the vile heaped upon them. If you want to know what a bad superhero film really is, watch any of the ones produced by TomCat. If you ever sit through Rise of the Black Bat, you would never complain about Batman v Superman again. You probably would never complain about Batman and Robin again.



Skidoo ( 1968 )
The 60s Counter Culture. An imaginary thing that mainstream media treated as real, but in fact was nothing more than a generation of teenagers on drugs, doing crazy things because they were on drugs. There was some DNA of an actual cultural there. The remnants  beatnik culture mixed with the French New Wave, and the British Satire Boom of the early 60s which had evolved into what would become Monty Python and The Goodies at the tail end of the decade, and in between that The Beatles, and whatever influences they picked up on their world travels and used on their latest albums. But it was mostly warped imagination fueled by marijuana and LSD coming partially from teenaged hippies ( and The Beatles ) that the established media tried to distill into a formula and spit out. Occasionally stuff of entertainment value was produced. The Monkees, The Prisoner, and Laugh-In for example. Other times though the results were embarrassing. Like the space hippies on Star Trek, or most of the AIP films. And yes, even the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.

Today 60s counter culture films come off as if the film makers deliberately being weird just for the sake of the film being weird, and not inventive in the way Monty Python was when it subverted British television. My take on them is middle aged or older writers attempting to write for what they thought the teenagers of the late 60s wanted to see on screen by imagining what sort of script they would have written if they were on drugs.

Otto Preminger's mess Skidoo was his version of a counter culture comedy. The A plot has retired mob hitman Jackie Gleason being asked by his old boss to put out a hit on one of the old gang members, played by Mickey Rooney, who is about to turn states evidence against their syndicate. And the big boss won't take no for an answer. So Gleason disguises himself as a convict and  is sent to the same prison they are holding Rooney in. The B plot has unconvincing Hollywood movie hippies being invited by Gleason's wife to stay at their home because their daughter is in love with their leader. The two plots eventually merge with all the hippies and Gleason rescuing his daughter from the mob bosses yacht while his wife ( Carol Channing ) runs around singing the movie's theme song.

Like I said, a huge mess that isn't really funny. The reason for getting this film is because it was the final role for screen legend Groucho Marks, who plays the mob boss who goes by the nickname of "God". In an autobiography, Groucho denounced his final film saying both the movie and his performance were "God-awful". He was 77 when he made this film, and had slowed down considerably. Even if the script had given him good lines, his timing was way off. Although it is possible the lackluster delivery of his lines were due to him not liking the script.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18698 on: June 24, 2019, 07:25:08 PM »
I would first like to take a moment before I talk about the last movie I saw. For me, people talking during movies is nothing new, but most people usually respond when you say "Could you be quiet please?". Then sometimes when you do, they reply with "No we can't but he can talk a little louder.". Then when you get the manager to have them removed the manager has us change seats. So I do, they do. As soon as I head for the exit, the older of the two says to me "You better run buddy", which sounds like one of the most obvious threats against me I ever heard.

It's just funny, because most people who typically talk out loud like assholes during movies do it during the WHOLE movie, but these two only talked out loud during the last 10 minutes.

Anyway I saw Anna... and I was not impressed. What I am guessing is supposed to be the movie's greatest strength actually works against the movie. The timeline in this movie jumps around like a son of a bitch. First it's Five years later(Sounds familiar huh?), then it's 3 years earlier, than 6 months later then... you know what? I lost track. Anyway it's not a bad movie by any means... but I think the premise just wears thin pretty quickly. It's not boring, it's just not all that absorbing. I still liked The Dead Don't Die better.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18699 on: June 30, 2019, 03:18:52 PM »
Come Drink With Me (1966 )
King Hu's classic which kicked off the old school era of martial arts films. Shaw Brothers Studios had modeled itself after the major Hollywood studios, from monopolizing the market by also owning q distribution company and chain of theaters, to owning their actors and crew through long term contracts, to building a huge backlot and studio facilities. The later becoming important as real estate in Hong Kong became scarce and by the 60s vacant land big enough for a backlot and sound stages no longer existed, making Shaw Brothers every bit as powerful as a major Hollywood studio with no local rivals possible, and any studios arising in communist controlled mainland China unlikely.

But there soon came an unlikely rival for the Asian market. Japan, which had just been rebuilt by it's former enemy The United States. And once America was finished nation building and no longer occupied Japan, their censorship rules on film content went with them, allowing Japanese studios to begin making violent Chambara films ( swordplay films usually featuring Samurai. ) Another way Shaw Brothers had modeled themselves after Hollywood was producing mostly musicals. But by the mid 60s the Hollywood musical was on it's last legs as American youth turned to pop and rock instead of Broadway. Shaw Brothers realized they too would need to change with the times, and part of that would be to begin making their own versions of Chambara films.

Come Drink With Me is more of a transition film than a true martial arts film. There is a couple of musical numbers in the middle. And the misleading title suggests a whimsical romantic musical rather than a bloody swordplay film. At no point in the movie does any character invite any other character to sit with him or her for a drink. The plot is pretty basic. A gang of notorious bandits has kidnapped the son of a magistrate, and is demanding the released of their leader, who had previously been arrested and sentenced to be executed. The magistrate sends his most feared officer Golden Swallow to negotiate for his son's released. The magistrates terms, if the son is released then he will show mercy when sentencing the gang members. However, the gang members are relieved when they discover that the legendary Golden Swallow is actually a woman ( Cheng Pei Pei ) who they decided they could easily beat. Their attitudes change when the gang members sent to ambush Golden Swallow in a restaurant are easily beaten.

At this point you would think Shaw Brothers was going to follow the Chambara formula and build up to the climax where Golden Swallow inevitably massacres the entire gang and it's leaders. But while Shaw Brothers created the first strong independent woman in Chinese cinema with Golden Swallow, the movie quickly reverts to being misogynist, with Golden Swallow from that moment on constantly outnumbered and about to be beaten by gang members,   and is constantly in need of rescue by a drunken begger ( Yueh Hua ), who turns out to be the real hero of the film, not only rescuing the brother, but defeating the Gang's most dangerous fighter who he has a history with.

While a historic milestone in Hong Kong cinema, and China's official entry for the foreign language Academy Award in 1966, it would take another year and another director, Chang Cheh, to perfect the martial arts film. Unfortunately, that meant sidelining heroic women at Shaw Brothers. As a transitional film, Come Drink With Me is far less entertaining than the martial arts films that followed, despite the strong opening with the introduction of Golden Swallow.

Jackie Chan has claimed to have been one of the children in the cast, although Cheng Pei Pei disputes this claim, saying while he was on the set, King Hu decided he was too young to be used in any actually scene. Good luck trying to pick him out of the kids if he was there.  On a side note, Criterion has released the first two Police Story films, and could possibly be releasing more Jackie Chan films in the future. They had also released two of King Hu's independently produced classics, and a number of Chambara films including the complete run of Lone Wolf and Cub and near complete run of Zatoichi ( Tokyo Shock is still holding on to the rights to the television series and 1989 film ). Hopefully this means that they will begin releasing other martial arts films, including Shaw Brothers films, as well. Although I have a bad feeling that if they do, it will mostly be rerelease of films Dragon Dynasty already released rather than the ones still awaiting release in North America.



The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension ( 1984 )
One of the frustrations of collecting superhero films is the grey area of films that could technically count as superhero films, but don't feature alter egos in colorful costumes as with traditional Superhero media, and often didn't originate as a published comic book. Wikipedia has an extensive list of American superhero films which I regularly consult. Every so often grey area movies are added to the list from previous years, as if Wikipedia forgot to add them. Recent additions include the completely green screen trilogy of 300, 300: Rise of an Empire and Immortals which I had already planned to purchase when I moved on to adaptions of graphic novels after the SH collection was finally up to date. Inspector Gadget and it's sequel, which I probably also would have gotten to because I was thinking of a parallel collection of live action adaption of animated cartoon series. Also added, two films with first person titles, I Frankenstein and I Am Number Four. Sometimes if you wait a week or two, the moderators of Wikipedia take these editions down for not qualifying as a superhero film. For example, I am sure the moderators will take recent edition Kung Pow! Enter The Fist off the list. If it stays up, which means the moderators looked at the entry, debated it, then concluded it qualified as a superhero film, then I add it to my list of films to buy for my superhero collection, and eventually buy it.

But even more frustrating is when a film is on the Wikipedia list for more than a year, I finally get around to buying it, and a week later Wikipedia removes it from their Superhero list. What The F! Buckaroo Banzai was added the same day someone added Remo Williams, and Remo Williams was removed in less than a week. It took them over a year to judge Buckaroo Banzai?

Buckaroo Banzai was one of those films that was deliberately odd and looking for instant cult status. But what really sank the film was how very unambitious it was. It was as if the studio wanted a script with as little production costs as possible. I have seen 70s TV movies and independent films with bigger budgets. It's another one of those films where almost all the sets are abandoned factories and industrial areas. Despite the film's title suggesting the hero was going to go on adventures in another dimension, it never happens. Buckaroo does travel through the 8th dimension very briefly, but never exits his rocket car. What we see of that dimensions is very brief snatches of early CGI graphics. The action sequences are lackluster, the ending is anticlimactic, and characters are introduced just to be forgotten about. Why go through all the buildup of introducing Jeff Goldblum and Ellen Barkin's characters if they basically do nothing for the rest of the film?

So yeah, the movie had a big complicated plot that may have confused some audience members. Buckaroo Banzai is a world famous scientist/adventurer/test pilot/rock star who test pilots a rocket car that is able to travel through a mountain by briefly going into the 8th dimension. Evil aliens here of this and begin attacking Buckaroo and his posse/entourage/rock band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers in order to steal the tech from him. It appears that they come from an alien race who's worst dictator and his soldiers were overthrown and vanished to the 8th dimension. They are the last of that dictator's followers who back in 1938 crash landed on Earth triggering the War of the Worlds radio broadcast, which they then hypnotized Orson Wells into saying was a hoax. With Buckaroos tech they hope to free the dictator and his army and retake their planet. Meanwhile the alien race who banishment the dictator in the first place threaten to destroy Earth should the bad aliens succeed.

Actually, it's a pretty easy film to follow. And I have to give it credit for at least not being boring. But it as if they had all these ideas for cool characters and didn't have the budget to do anything with those ideas. There was enough material here for a two hour or more film, and the ending credits begin to roll just after the 90 minute mark. This film is all style and no adventure.


A Girl In Every Port ( 1952 )
Out of the five Marx Brothers, it was Groucho who came closest to having a successful solo film career. Gummo left the act during the first world war and never appeared on film. Zeppo had a single small role outside the group. Both Chico and Harpo only had small cameo roles in films. The closest they came to being in a solo film was Love Happy, which was to be a starring solo film for Harpo with Chico as a costar, until the studio insisted they add Groucho to the cast so they could release it as a Marx Brothers film. But Groucho had a couple of starring roles, a costarring role with Frank Sinatra, and a nice role as the film's villain in his last movie. Not to mention having the hit television series You Bet Your Life. A Girl In Every Port was the last of his starring roles. I am sure that if the film had been a success it would have been followed by a number of Groucho films. Unfortunately it was a rare occasion where Groucho just wasn't given any good one liners to work with, so had little chance of becoming a comedy classic.

Let's start with the title, which is not just misleading, but has nothing to do with the film's plot at all. ( This seems to be this week's unintentional theme. )   There is only one port in this film, and while Groucho and costar William Bendix do eventually fight over the same girl, there is no mention of them having women in other ports.

The actual plot: Groucho and Bendix are two Navy sailors who have been playing various con games in the ports they have visited, as well as having in the past conned their own fellow crewmen. Bendix, who is pretty slow,  gets a letter notifying him that an aunt has died and he has inherited a lot of money, which Groucho convinces him he is entitled to half of.  Given shore leave to collect his inheritance, Bendix returns without the money, explaining he was sold a race horse, which turns out to be a dud because it has bad legs. The captain gives both Grouch and Bendix three days shore leave to get the money back. Discovering the horse has a twin with perfectly good legs, Groucho comes up with a scheme to trick the former owner into buying his horse back by making him think the horses legs were perfectly fine, and the horse was actually fast on the track. But when Groucho discovers the twin actually was fast, decides to enter it in races while selling the useless twin back to the former owner. And then things get even more complicated. A gangster wants the horse to win the next race, or else. The fiancee of the former owner who had just convinced him to get out of horse racing doesn't want the horse to win because that would only get him back into horse racing. And her father happens to be an admiral in the Navy, so if the horse wins then she will have Groucho and Bendix courtmartialed for breaking up her wedding. And the other crew mates are threatening to tie Groucho to an anchor and throw him in the bay if the horse, which they all betted on, looses the race. There are also other complications, including Groucho and Bendix mixing up the twin horses and not knowing which is which.

Actually this plot is far more confusing than Buckaroo Banzai was. But once again, that's not what doomed the film. This time it was mediocre writing. Had the director ( who wrote the script ) brought in some comedy writers to add additional dialogue, or in other words give Groucho some funny lines, then this film could have been a hit no matter what the plot was. I know I laughed at him a lot in other films. But there just wasn't anything to laugh at this time around. Fitting that the film was a disaster because it was one of the early productions of Irwin Allen, who would produce and direct The Story of Mankind five years later featuring Groucho, Harpo and Chico in separate cameo roles.


Offline The Lurker

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18700 on: June 30, 2019, 04:15:35 PM »
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension ( 1984 )
One of the frustrations of collecting superhero films is the grey area of films that could technically count as superhero films, but don't feature alter egos in colorful costumes as with traditional Superhero media, and often didn't originate as a published comic book. Wikipedia has an extensive list of American superhero films which I regularly consult. Every so often grey area movies are added to the list from previous years, as if Wikipedia forgot to add them. Recent additions include the completely green screen trilogy of 300, 300: Rise of an Empire and Immortals which I had already planned to purchase when I moved on to adaptions of graphic novels after the SH collection was finally up to date. Inspector Gadget and it's sequel, which I probably also would have gotten to because I was thinking of a parallel collection of live action adaption of animated cartoon series. Also added, two films with first person titles, I Frankenstein and I Am Number Four. Sometimes if you wait a week or two, the moderators of Wikipedia take these editions down for not qualifying as a superhero film. For example, I am sure the moderators will take recent edition Kung Pow! Enter The Fist off the list. If it stays up, which means the moderators looked at the entry, debated it, then concluded it qualified as a superhero film, then I add it to my list of films to buy for my superhero collection, and eventually buy it.

But even more frustrating is when a film is on the Wikipedia list for more than a year, I finally get around to buying it, and a week later Wikipedia removes it from their Superhero list. What The F! Buckaroo Banzai was added the same day someone added Remo Williams, and Remo Williams was removed in less than a week. It took them over a year to judge Buckaroo Banzai?

Buckaroo Banzai was one of those films that was deliberately odd and looking for instant cult status. But what really sank the film was how very unambitious it was. It was as if the studio wanted a script with as little production costs as possible. I have seen 70s TV movies and independent films with bigger budgets. It's another one of those films where almost all the sets are abandoned factories and industrial areas. Despite the film's title suggesting the hero was going to go on adventures in another dimension, it never happens. Buckaroo does travel through the 8th dimension very briefly, but never exits his rocket car. What we see of that dimensions is very brief snatches of early CGI graphics. The action sequences are lackluster, the ending is anticlimactic, and characters are introduced just to be forgotten about. Why go through all the buildup of introducing Jeff Goldblum and Ellen Barkin's characters if they basically do nothing for the rest of the film?

So yeah, the movie had a big complicated plot that may have confused some audience members. Buckaroo Banzai is a world famous scientist/adventurer/test pilot/rock star who test pilots a rocket car that is able to travel through a mountain by briefly going into the 8th dimension. Evil aliens here of this and begin attacking Buckaroo and his posse/entourage/rock band called the Hong Kong Cavaliers in order to steal the tech from him. It appears that they come from an alien race who's worst dictator and his soldiers were overthrown and vanished to the 8th dimension. They are the last of that dictator's followers who back in 1938 crash landed on Earth triggering the War of the Worlds radio broadcast, which they then hypnotized Orson Wells into saying was a hoax. With Buckaroos tech they hope to free the dictator and his army and retake their planet. Meanwhile the alien race who banishment the dictator in the first place threaten to destroy Earth should the bad aliens succeed.

Actually, it's a pretty easy film to follow. And I have to give it credit for at least not being boring. But it as if they had all these ideas for cool characters and didn't have the budget to do anything with those ideas. There was enough material here for a two hour or more film, and the ending credits begin to roll just after the 90 minute mark. This film is all style and no adventure.
Buckaroo Banzai was deliberately made as an homage to pulp serials, even going as far as making it feel like a continuing episode, rather than the absolute first one.  What doesn't help the movie is that it was another case of executive meddling.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18701 on: June 30, 2019, 05:00:33 PM »
Well I personally think Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is pretty damn awesome. Aside from Robocop, I think it's Peter Wellers best and most iconic role.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18702 on: July 01, 2019, 07:17:32 AM »
Maybe if I had seen Buckaroo when I was a young teen I would have loved it, but when I watched it for the first time in my twenties it just left me cold. I agree with stethacantus in that it's "all style and no adventure". But what really turned me off what how up it's own ass the movie was about how cool the character is supposed to be without really showing us. I've heard it compared to an Avengers movie without having any of the other Marvel movies leading up to it. So it's like B vs S and Justice League. But even those movies did more to show what the characters can do!



Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18703 on: July 01, 2019, 09:39:18 AM »
If I ever disagree with you Darth its usually on a very minor level but I could probably not disagree with you much more about Buckaroo Banzai. LIKE Batman V Superman or Justice League?! Nooooooo, no no no no.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #18704 on: July 01, 2019, 09:58:36 AM »
If I ever disagree with you Darth its usually on a very minor level but I could probably not disagree with you much more about Buckaroo Banzai. LIKE Batman V Superman or Justice League?! Nooooooo, no no no no.
Well, the comparison was only on a very superficial level in how the movies established their characters without previous movies to back them up. I certainly didn't loathe Buckaroo like I did B v S. I just found Buckaroo Banzai unengaging.