Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1710301 times)

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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19200 on: March 28, 2020, 05:52:11 PM »
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953) - I'm a huge fan of Mr. Bean, and I watched this because I had heard it was one of the inspirations for the character. It's a mostly silent French film. You can definitely see the inspiration. Unfortunately I just didn't find it very funny. This is slapstick, there's no language or cultural barrier here. But I only chuckled a few times. Most baffling was the tennis scene in the middle. That should have a lot of physical comedy potential! But all there is is that he, for no reason, thrust his racket forward and back before he served. It has no effect on the actual serve, yet for some reason he kept beating the other players. It was bizarre, but not in a funny way. The movie also spends a surprising amount of time with an older couple who do nothing and have no relation to Hulot or anything he's doing. The most reaction the movie got from me is the shock of seeing the actor surrounded by active fireworks in the finale. Because there were no effects, he was actually running around next to real fireworks going off everywhere, and had no protection whatsoever. Not sure whether to give the movie props for realism or shame for actor endangerment.
It's a shame I didn't enjoy this more.

Clearly, I am not The Critic:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/I9y9lSMLK2U" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/I9y9lSMLK2U</a>



Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19201 on: March 29, 2020, 06:57:44 PM »
1968 was a watershed year for horror movies. Two events occurred that would shape horror movies for decades to come. The first was the release of Night of the Living Dead, naturally. The second was the trial of Ed Gein. Gein was apprehended in 1957, but was found mentally incompetent to stand trial at the the time. By the time of his trial, Gein had already made inroads into the horror genre - Psycho is famously based on Gein, and the children of Psycho are legion - but the Gein trial shook something loose in the minds of filmmakers, and soon the grislier details of Gein's crimes began to filter into the genre. The supernova of films based on Gein is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974, of course, but another film based on Gein appeared the same year. Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormbsy's Deranged sticks closer to the facts of the case than any other film, and while it may not have the pile-driving horror of TCM, it has a weird ambiance all its own.

Ezra Cobb's crimes start with graverobbing. Unable to bear the loss of his mother, he digs her up and sets her corpse back in her long-time sick room. When one of his neighbors points tells Ez the function of newspaper obituaries, Ez begins to raid the cemetery for "parts." Mom, it seems, isn't holding up so well, so she requires maintenance. Of course, Ez doesn't stop there, and soon, he is set up with a date with the only woman his mother trusted (the others are whores who will give Ez syphilis, she says). When that woman comes on to Ez, he kills her. From there, there's no going back, and soon afterward, he begins abducting women, starting with the vivacious barmaid, Mary, for whom he wears his mother suit. Later, during hunting season, he shoots his neighbor's girlfriend, Sally. She hates hunting, but she works at a hardware store where guns and ammo are sold. Ez shoots her in the store, but he doesn't kill her. She wakes up in the back of his truck, and makes a run for it. Ez catches her and hangs her up in his barn like a deer ready to be dressed. Unfortunately for Ez, he's found in the act. Afterward, his neighbors burn his house to the ground.

Deranged has an eccentric story structure. While it follows the facts of the case in more or less chronological order, the movie is narrated by a fictional journalist played by Les Carlson, who shows up in-scene from time to time throughout the movie. This puts a vaguely post-modern sheen on the film, in spite of its grotty, drive-in exploitation look. The self-referential nature of the film also shows up in the film's occasional black humor. The filmmakers obviously have a great deal of affection for Ezra Cobb - the stand in for Gein - but it's as if they have to put a layer of irony between themselves and Gein, especially given the sheer ghastliness of what's on screen. Gein was famously a momma's boy of the worst sort, and this aspect of the story is occasionally played as a sick comedy. Oddly enough, the filmmakers choose not to play Gein's penchant for crossdressing for laughs, though, but that may have to do with the fact that in real life and in the movie, Gein dressed up in mother rather than as mother. There's a surprising duplication of imagery between Texas Chainsaw and Deranged. The central set piece in both films is a dinner party in which the guest of honor is the current victim, though Deranged puts an emphatic stamp of "no exit" on its version.

Deranged has a surprisingly low body count, but that's not surprising given the fidelity it shows to its source material. Gein only killed three people. He barely even qualifies as a serial killer, even though he stands as some kind of serial killer archetype these days. Deranged makes its murders hurt, though. It toys with the audience's expectation that there's an out for the victims, but its merciless in shutting that door.

The filmmakers are particularly fortunate in their choice of lead actors. One of the actors they auditioned for the role was Harvey Keitel, of all people, but they went with Roberts Blossom instead. Blossom plays Ezra Cobb with just the right note of craziness. He seems harmless to those around him, and Blossom gets this right, but when he's off his nut, he's totally scary. It's a bravura performance, one that's completely unexpected from this sector of filmmaking. But then, the movie proves smarter than the average exploitation film most of the time. All the while, the filmmakers studiously provide the grue the audience paid to see. Gein is good for that. As set pieces go, the scene with the ice cream scoop is pretty nasty, though it's one that gets omitted from some prints of the film. Caveat emptor, I guess*. Even abridged, Deranged is still a piece of work.

*After I posted this elsewhere, I got a comment informing me that Deranged is currently on Amazon Prime. I don't know which version, though. Just an FYI.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 07:34:38 PM by Charles Castle »
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19202 on: March 29, 2020, 07:08:23 PM »
Even before its original release, The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932, directed by Robert Florey) was thought to be too brutal by Universal Pictures. They cut it down to a slim 61 minutes from its original 80, in spite of the fact that the Production Code was not being enforced. It's easy to see why: this is a film that's laced with sadomasochism. The story? Well, it has as much to do with Poe as Roger Corman's Poe films three decades later. In Poe's place is some nonsense about a mad scientist abducting women and injecting them with the blood of apes, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. This is also a film where the image trumps the text. This is one of Hollywood's most glorious dalliances with German Expressionism. Everything is created "on set" in this movie, creating one of the horror cinema's most indelible otherwheres in a Paris that never existed except in dreams, and it's lit and shot beautifully by the great Karl Freund. Director Robert Florey, not inclined to be stifled by the limitations of early talkies, finds creative ways to move the camera as if the silent cinema never ended. Bela Lugosi is ever-malevolent as the sinister Doctor Mirakle. The film was a failure in its day, thus dealing Lugosi a career setback from which he never really recovered, but the film itself is one of the crown jewels of Universal's horror films, even if they've neglected it.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19203 on: March 29, 2020, 07:58:32 PM »
The Girl On The Third Floor (2019) - This was a disappointment. I've heard this compared to Evil Dead. Um, no, stuff happened in Evil Dead! Barely anything happens in this movie until the hour mark of this 90 minute film, and then when it does it's not nearly worth the buildup. The only comparison to Evil Dead is that the guy who stars in it kinda looks like Bruce Campbell and sounds a lot like him. There are some good practical effects in this movie, and the one monster girl we get is pretty weird looking. But that's it. The rest is wandering around the house and occasionally a marble will show up. And the connection to marbles is laughably flimsy once you find out what it is.
I will give the movie credit for not having many jump scares. The scares this movie does have (not nearly enough) are at least earned.
Oh and for those who don't like animal deaths, avoid this. There is a dog that gets killed and we see the grisly remains.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19204 on: March 29, 2020, 09:53:25 PM »
Rewatched the martial arts classic Chocolate ( 2008 )

Watched Avengers Endgame ( 2019 ) which is the equivalent to a series finale. Characters are killed off. Others are written out. A story that seems dragged out. And thanks to the time travel plotline, characters that were killed off in past MCU films make a return. Well, except for a couple notable omissions like Odin and some of the other characters from the first two Thor films. I couldn't help but notice that the MCU is still treating their television episodes as if they never existed. Doctor Strange transports every superhero from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the final battle with Thanos, but the Inhumans weren't there? Black Bolt could have taken out so many enemies by just whispering at them. No Agents of Shield. Not even Quake. No one from the Nextflix shows. No Cloak & Dagger. No Ghost Rider. The great thing about Marvel Comics crossover events like The Infinity Gauntlet or Secret Wars was that every superhero was there, even if a couple got reduced to just appearing in a couple of panels. Too bad tat is not the case with the MCU. Oh, wait a second. One character from the television shows did make it into this movie. Jarvis from Agent Carter. So, aside from that, was this the greatest MCU movie ever? I didn't really think so. I still enjoyed the first Avengers film more than anything else from the MCU. But I did like this a lot. Still, you have to wonder why it was written as a finale to the entire MCU when that is obviously not going to happen. OH! And a certain duck wasn't in this film! Shame on you MCU!


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19205 on: March 29, 2020, 09:58:14 PM »
OH! And a certain duck wasn't in this film! Shame on you MCU!

https://www.insider.com/how-howard-the-duck-ended-up-in-avengers-endgame-2020-1

(Unless you are referring to a different duck)
FINE


Offline Toranaga

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19206 on: March 30, 2020, 08:36:07 AM »
Mission Impossible marathon!!!

I love Tom Cruise.  I hope I die before him.  Umm, wait.  I hope he doesn't die until I don't care about movies any more.  That's it.  Say.  Isn't Top Gun 2 supposed to be out?


Offline Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19207 on: March 30, 2020, 10:40:12 AM »
Mission Impossible marathon!!!
I love Tom Cruise.  I hope I die before him.  Umm, wait.  I hope he doesn't die until I don't care about movies any more.  That's it.  Say.  Isn't Top Gun 2 supposed to be out?
I recommend skipping MI2. Otherwise, the rest of the series is absolutely solid. Top Gun 2 has been delayed AFAIK, especially because of all that is going on right now.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19208 on: March 30, 2020, 03:44:41 PM »
Mission Impossible marathon!!!
I love Tom Cruise.  I hope I die before him.  Umm, wait.  I hope he doesn't die until I don't care about movies any more.  That's it.  Say.  Isn't Top Gun 2 supposed to be out?
I recommend skipping MI2. Otherwise, the rest of the series is absolutely solid. Top Gun 2 has been delayed AFAIK, especially because of all that is going on right now.
No, watch Mission Impossible 2 with the Quiptracks riff!



Offline Toranaga

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19209 on: March 30, 2020, 03:51:11 PM »
Mission Impossible marathon!!!
I love Tom Cruise.  I hope I die before him.  Umm, wait.  I hope he doesn't die until I don't care about movies any more.  That's it.  Say.  Isn't Top Gun 2 supposed to be out?
I recommend skipping MI2. Otherwise, the rest of the series is absolutely solid. Top Gun 2 has been delayed AFAIK, especially because of all that is going on right now.

Rats!


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19210 on: March 30, 2020, 03:59:12 PM »
I decided to watch The Great Wall because it was the subject of a How Did This Get Made episode.  It's... just dull.  It's not without merit.  I... like those costumes?  That's something.  But its not even a disaster, its just dull and forgettable.  The CG monsters are pretty underwhelming and the same goes for some of the attempts as spectacle.  I feel like they are trying for something interesting in terms of set pieces (big scissors that pop out of the Great Wall to slice monsters, people dive down walls to fight monsters with a rope) but the end result doesn't deliver.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19211 on: March 30, 2020, 11:04:59 PM »
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953) - I'm a huge fan of Mr. Bean, and I watched this because I had heard it was one of the inspirations for the character. It's a mostly silent French film. You can definitely see the inspiration. Unfortunately I just didn't find it very funny. This is slapstick, there's no language or cultural barrier here. But I only chuckled a few times. Most baffling was the tennis scene in the middle. That should have a lot of physical comedy potential! But all there is is that he, for no reason, thrust his racket forward and back before he served. It has no effect on the actual serve, yet for some reason he kept beating the other players. It was bizarre, but not in a funny way. The movie also spends a surprising amount of time with an older couple who do nothing and have no relation to Hulot or anything he's doing. The most reaction the movie got from me is the shock of seeing the actor surrounded by active fireworks in the finale. Because there were no effects, he was actually running around next to real fireworks going off everywhere, and had no protection whatsoever. Not sure whether to give the movie props for realism or shame for actor endangerment.
It's a shame I didn't enjoy this more.

 Not everyone was underwhelmed with this film. Mr. Hulot's Holiday is #3 on my all time favorite movie list. Usually I would say that comedy is subjective, but this is such an awesome comedy that I am not sure how anyone didn't find it very funny. Perhaps the problem was that you went into the film expecting Mr. Bean when the only similarity between Bean and Hulot is both characters use very little dialogue. I am curious as to what version of the film you have seen. There are a few. First of all you have the original 1953 version, and then the 1978 rerelease that is a different edit, has a slightly different musical score,  and adds a brand new scene. Jacques Tati edited nearly a half hour out of the film, removing a lot of scenes that didn't really work and keeping everything that did. I prefer the 1978 version. If the movie ended with a postcard and the postcard had a stamp in color, then you saw the 1978 version. Only the 1978 version has my favorite gag that Tati filmed in 1978 in response to the popularity of Jaws.  A gag he intended for the original 1953 version of the film, but had second thoughts then and didn't film. I won't give the gag away, but it takes place after Hulot breaks the kayak in half, and before the dinner bell rings. 

But lets just break a few things down. It is not a silent film. Limited dialog  yes. Tati believed in not giving his characters lines unless it was necessary, because he felt the weakest part of comedies was dialog, which often got in the way of the physical comedy. But sound editing is a very important part of the Tati films.  For example, the sound effect of the door to the dining room was used to great effect. Every character talks. Yu even hear Hulot's voice, when he gives his name to the hotel register. There also is a few scenes where he is having a conversation with other characters, but always when they are off in a distance. But establishing his character isn't a mute like Harpo Marx.

The Tennis scene was actually two scenes. Hulot went to the tennis courts twice in the film. The 1978 version combined both scenes into one scene. Missing from the 1978 version was the scene where they are hunting for lost tennis balls in the abbey next to the court. The joke about Hulot playing tennis, and a little later using the same technique while playing ping pong, was that his method wasn't supposed to work. The character isn't a tennis player, but buys a racquet so he can participate in the same activities as his fellow guests. The store clerk he buys it from gives him a brief tennis lesson, but she obviously has no idea how to actually play tennis.  What ends up happening is Hulot smashing the ball on serve, making it impossible for the other guests who are novices to return the ball. It was considered rude to do that back in the 50s, and was practically considered cheating. The Hulot character was clueless to this, and to be fair, the few characters who knew you weren't suppose to do that didn't say anything to Hulot.

The film spends a lot of time with the older couple, and a lot of time with many of the other characters. This is the case with all Tati films, where he likes fleshing out all the supporting characters. I always get a laugh out of the scene where the couple is collecting sea shells, and what the husband does with them, because it is exactly what I would want to do under similar conditions. At least this film has plenty of Hulot. If you were to watch the other Hulot films then there would be more of the supporting characters and less of Hulot. This is especially true with Playtime. French audiences hated this as they paid to see Hulot.

Anyway, I am sorry this film didn't work for you. I haven't seen it in over a year, and right now I am laughing just thinking about some of the scenes, like the reef at the funeral, waving at the lady with the dog to cross in front of his car, the kayak gag of course, and the one where he assumes some guy is peeping on the girl changing in a tent, which was borrowed by Terry Jones for a skit in Monty Python who did a variation of the same gag. ( He was a huge Tati fan, and if you have the Criterion release, he did the introduction on most of the films. )


OH! And a certain duck wasn't in this film! Shame on you MCU!

https://www.insider.com/how-howard-the-duck-ended-up-in-avengers-endgame-2020-1

(Unless you are referring to a different duck)

So the director spent what had to be a couple of million dollars to add a character as an Easter egg that almost everyone missed because it was a blink and you will miss him moment. And in a scene with so much going on that you would miss him. Wonder who else I missed in that scene who were there just for a moment.


Offline Ape21Ape21

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19212 on: March 31, 2020, 03:19:21 AM »
I don't know where my replies are.

Last time I watched Looper. It is a beautifully crafted movie about time travel and finishing the loop.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19213 on: March 31, 2020, 05:03:54 AM »
Only the 1978 version has my favorite gag that Tati filmed in 1978 in response to the popularity of Jaws.  A gag he intended for the original 1953 version of the film, but had second thoughts then and didn't film. I won't give the gag away, but it takes place after Hulot breaks the kayak in half, and before the dinner bell rings.
The version I saw on Amazon Instant had the Criterion Collection logo in front and said something at first about the director reediting things. So it is probably the 78 version. I forgot to mention it in my review, but the kayak folding and looking like a sea monster was the one gag I really laughed at.
I didn't go in expecting Mr. Bean, I knew it was going to be significantly different. I was trying to expand my horizons a little (which is why I watched the whole thing). I have a huge fondness for earlier slapstick comedy like Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy. But this just wasn't for me.



Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19214 on: March 31, 2020, 06:42:14 PM »
Right after I saw Mandy (2018, directed by Panos Cosmatos), I posted a knee-jerk reaction on social media to the effect that it was "the movie you might get from a couple of stoner kids after snorting crank off the cover of an old issue of Heavy Metal, which might be interesting if it was even remotely watchable. Unfortunately it's not." Or something like that. I should probably expand on that, because I'm usually not that out of patience with movies. I'm not even usually out of patience with Nick Cage at his most deranged, either - I loved Mom and Dad, which has performances so broad that it's a wonder any of the scenery remained intact, and even stuff like Season of the Witch and Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans. Mandy, by contrast, rubbed me the wrong way. It's a film that conceals a dearth of ideas with suffocating style, which can work sometimes, but which here usually conceals the basic images of its shots.

Mandy is in two halves, though it has multiple chapter stops along the way with titles emblazoned on the screen in type that looks to have escaped from a paperback original horror novel of the 1980s. In the first half of the film, lumberjack Red Miller and his girlfriend, artist Mandy Bloom, are living an idyllic existence in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Along comes hippie cult leader and ex-prog rock singer Jeremiah Sand and his band of followers. Sand spots Mandy on the road, and covets her. Since he is the chosen of god, he conjures three demonic bikers to invade Red and Mandy's home and take them captive. Red, he trusses up with barbed wire and hangs outside. Mandy he drugs and attempts to seduce, using his hypnotic voice and the album he cut in the 1960s. When she sees him naked before her, she laughs. He cannot abide this and hangs her outside in front of her husband and burns her alive. He stabs Red and leaves him to die, but he doesn't. In the second half of the film, Red becomes an avenging angel, forging an axe that looks to have escaped from a Frazetta painting, and embarks upon his revenge tour, tracking down first the demonic bikers - who are hopped up on designer drugs - and then Sand and his band of cultists. Much bloodshed ensues.

There is only one solitary part of this film that I believed: the scene where Mandy - played by the chameleon, Andrea Riseborough - laughs at Sand's nakedness. This scene encapsulates a principle of horror: men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them. That is laid out explicitly and seemingly without much consideration in the center of this movie. The rest of this strikes me as manpain wank, like most movies about a man taking revenge for the death of his lover/family. It's a formula, but rarely executed with as little thought as one finds here. This is a film that's more about the image on screen than it is about its narrative.

The images here are mostly obscured by color filters and dreamy lap dissolves and double exposures and alien landscapes. This is a film that is intensely colored. Its visual sensibility is derived more from Roger Dean album covers and European comics than it is from exploitation films. I keep seeing it compared to the imagery of heavy metal album covers, but that's lazy, given that the film provides a touchstone at the very outset by using King Crimson's "Starless" as its main theme. So prog-rock, and its attendant pretensions. It even includes animated sequences that seem like outtakes from the Heavy Metal movie (with about the same quality of animation, in a style untouched by the Japanese). It only reverts to a naturalistic image a couple of times. First, in the aftermath of its murder sequence, Cage finds a bottle of vodka in his bathroom and proceeds to drink all of it while acting through a range of emotions. Second, when he retrieves "the Reaper" from Bill Duke's Caruthers, who functions as Mr. Exposition, pointing our hero toward his quarry like he's a weapon. "The Reaper" is a crossbow, and Mandy prophesies this to Sand during her drugged seduction when she tells him that all she sees for him is "a reaper approaching." This sequence is clumsy in a film that aspires to some kind of elegance. And for all that, "The Reaper" is mostly surplus to requirements given the big fucking axe the film prefers. So portents and omens without purpose or payoff, but that's this film all over.  There is actually a third instance when this film is unencumbered by color filters, and that's the Cheddar Goblin ad on the television after Cage escapes his bonds, but that seems to exist outside the universe of this film.

In spite of its artistic aspirations, exploitation filmmaking is still there under the surface. Certainly, Linus Roach as Jeremiah Sand is channeling perennial exploitation villain Richard Lynch (Noel in Werewolf, for mst3k fans) in his portrayal, and any film that includes demonic bikers and a chainsaw duel is playing in the exploitation ballpark. Demonic bikers have a long history in film, and reached their apotheosis in Raising Arizona, which this film doesn't approach in spite of Cage reprising his opposition to them. Cage himself played Ghost Rider twice. So the allusions pile up to no good purpose. The bikers in this film are glimpsed in snippets, in flashes of lightning or in silhouette. Theoretically, this might make them mysterious and terrifying, but they're mostly just incomprehensible. The same might be said of the chainsaw duel. While the end is vividly nasty--you might call it hardcore metal, I guess--the whole thing is brief and filmed in a way that obscures it rather than elucidates it. If you're going to put a chainsaw duel in a movie, you have to up your game because there are other chainsaw duels out there against which you will be measured, and this falls short of the chainsaw duels in Tiger on the Beat and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and even Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (in which Blaster is another variant of a demonic biker). As I say, this film has no new ideas.

If the execution of its action scenes leave a lot to be desired, then the structure of how they're used is even more disappointing. Sand and his cultists are straw villains compared to their biker minions, but the film saves them for last, providing the film with a whimper at the end rather than a bang. Sand is as pathetic a villain as I can remember and Cage's scene with him is sordid and anti-climactic and anti-cathartic. I sat and fumed for a moment as he drove away under a Roger Dean sky after his revenge is exacted, but that didn't help. Sitting down to write about it has only marginally helped.

Anyway, I mostly thought Mandy was a bunch of pretentious twaddle and I hated it and it's longer than two hours which made me hate it even more. I dunno, maybe I would have liked it better if the filmmakers had thought to wink at the audience by throwing in Barry Manilow over the end credits, but even that probably wouldn't have mattered by that point.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.