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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19215 on: April 04, 2020, 03:30:44 PM »
Cast A Deadly Spell (1991) - This was pretty good. Despite my dislike of film noir, I really enjoyed this. The 40s world with everyday magic and Lovcraftian lore treated like it's new technology was fascinating. It's got a great cast too Fred Ward, Julianne Moore, David Warner and Clancy Brown. Fantastic effects for an early 90s made for TV movie!
Using famous writers' names for characters was really tacky, though. I get that it's a tribute, but it sticks out like a sore thumb.

It has a sequel, Witch Hunt (1994), starring Dennis Hopper which I can't find anywhere.



Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19216 on: April 04, 2020, 04:15:30 PM »
Cast A Deadly Spell (1991) - This was pretty good. Despite my dislike of film noir, I really enjoyed this. The 40s world with everyday magic and Lovcraftian lore treated like it's new technology was fascinating. It's got a great cast too Fred Ward, Julianne Moore, David Warner and Clancy Brown. Fantastic effects for an early 90s made for TV movie!
Using famous writers' names for characters was really tacky, though. I get that it's a tribute, but it sticks out like a sore thumb.

It has a sequel, Witch Hunt (1994), starring Dennis Hopper which I can't find anywhere.
Cast a Deadly Spell is super fun. Terrific cast. I remember watching that one at least a half dozen times in high school. I've seen it and Witch Hunt (never saw it either) available on VHS plenty of times over the years, but never on dvd. You probably have to go hunting for a download or search one of the online merchants that transfer from vhs to dvd if you are really interested. Like this one:

https://dvdlady.com/dvd/witch-hunt-1994-starring-dennis-hopper-on-dvd/
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 #19217 on: April 04, 2020, 05:25:56 PM »
Richard Linklater's Bernie (2012) is a kind of hybrid non-fiction film. Not really a documentary, not really a mockumentary, but similar in most respects to either. It's also a quirky, regionalist comedy, and a vehicle for Jack Black. That it is able to balance all of these idioms and incorporate them into a mostly unified whole is one of the film's more impressive accomplishments.

Bernie Tiede is the assistant funeral director at the funeral home in Carthage, Texas. He is, by the accounts of everyone in town, the sweetest of men. A pillar of the church, an organizer of community theater, a comforter of the bereaved, Bernie hasn't got an enemy anywhere in town. The same cannot be said about Marjorie Nugent, who inherited her husband's fortune and her husband's bank and is a canker to her family. So no one can understand why Bernie enters into a relationship with Mrs. Nugent, especially in light of the fact that everyone in town thinks Bernie is a little bit light in the loafers. Be that as it may, Bernie becomes Marjorie's confidante and companion, traveling the world with her, managing her affairs, and, eventually, becoming trapped as her only servant. At some point, Bernie snaps. He shoots Marjorie in the back four times, then hides the body and pretends that she's still alive, a fiction made possible by the fact that she's universally disliked. The only person who has any interest in whether Marjorie is still alive is her stock broker, Lloyd Hornbuckle. Bernie keeps up the fiction for nine months before Lloyd eventually convinces District Attorney Danny Buck to investigate. Bernie folds pretty quickly, but Buck has a problem. Because Bernie is so well-liked, a jury of his peers is probably going to acquit Bernie, in spite of the confession he delivered upon his arrest.

Bernie is a mesmerizing film, and Linklater lavishes a huge amount of filmmaking savvy on it. It's an absolutely dead-on forgery of a talking heads plus reproductions documentary, one that trumps its cinematic role model by putting movie stars in the reproduction. This is one of Jack Black's best roles, and a stretch for him. The movie was sold by its distributor as a Jack Black comedy, and it is a Jack Black comedy, I guess, but it's not what you expect from the film's trailer. This was the best part of the movie, by the way: being surprised by the form of the film after seeing the utterly conventional trailers. In any event, Shirley MacLaine is a hoot as Marjorie, a woman who delights in declining bank loans and drives off everyone with a sour disposition and a withering evil eye. Matthew McConaughey was reportedly upset that Linklater cast Jack Black as Bernie, coveting the role for himself. Funny that, I think McConaughey is a pretty terrific character actor, and he is perfect here. Richard Linklater once responded to this story, saying of his friend McConaughey, "He’s a character actor sometimes trapped in a leading man’s body."

Bernie is an interesting gallery of faces. The story itself is told from the point of view of the people who knew Bernie . As a result, you get multiple impressions of Bernie that vary from individual to individual. All of these different perceptions cast the actual events of the story in varying lights, depending on which one you choose to believe. If you believe Danny Buck, Bernie is an opportunist who killed Marjorie for her money. If you believe everyone else, it was something else. Even when the various viewpoints agree on one point, they disagree on others. Was Bernie gay? Were Bernie and Marjorie intimate? Was the good that Bernie did in the community with Marjorie's money outweighed by the crime and did it deserve to be dismantled after Bernie was caught? For a movie with a straightforward set of facts, it surely asks some thorny questions.

The central narrative of the film is a variant of Sunset Boulevard, with Bernie in the Joe Gillis role to Marjorie's Norma Desmond. It's the same kind of mutually parasitic relationship in which both parties benefit at the outset, but in which the balance of power eventually smothers the gigolo character. Bernie salts this with a hint of Psycho when it elides the notion that Bernie is a substitute for Marjorie's own kids (when she makes out her will in Bernie's favor). She enters the canon of monstrous mothers, one pickled in her own cruelty. Bernie, for his part, is the very definition of the nice young man who no one can believe is a murderer. Very Norman Bates-ish, complete with hints of homosexuality.

That last bit is sociologically interesting, because it's the hint of it that dooms Bernie in the end. Buck, for his part, uses the essential homophobia of East Texas to damn him, utilizing a bunch of dogwhistle insinuations regarding Bernie's love of culture and fine things. Is Bernie gay? The movie is mum on the subject, but I think Jack Black plays him that way, forgoing his usual demonic pixie persona in lieu of a kind of queeny niceness, so this is slanted by the movie at the very least. His boss at the funeral parlor thinks he's more asexual ("I thought he was celibate, to tell you the truth") while one of the other townspeople says confidently that "That dog won't hunt." But, of course, it did hunt when Buck changed the venue of the trial so that he was tried by people who didn't know anything about him. So homophobia is central to the film's denouement. Mind you, Bernie was guilty as hell of ... some variety of murder. Whether that murder rises to Murder One with premeditation is the film's central mystery, and it's here that the Rashomon effect is particularly effective.
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 #19218 on: April 04, 2020, 07:02:11 PM »
Mayhem (2017) - This was...mixed. The action scenes were a lot of fun. But it's half an hour of uninteresting business stuff before we get to the actual outbreak. The main character Derek is only kinda likable because he is being screwed over by the corporate machine. But he's still part of it (at least at first). Samara Weaving's character  Melanie is the only really sympathetic one,  and I wish she was the main character. Plus even after the craziness starts there is too many periods of downtime where we spend time with the other company assholes we are just waiting to get killed.



Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19219 on: April 04, 2020, 09:07:34 PM »
Into the Inferno (2016)
Documentary about volcanoes. Except it's a Werner Herzog documentary, so it's really only about volcanoes on the surface. Recommended if you like Herzog, which I do.
Lots of interesting stuff that has nothing to do with volcanoes like clips of a North Korean propaganda film that is very "Triumph of the Will"-esque.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19220 on: April 05, 2020, 09:30:44 PM »
Tried to rewatch Taking of Tiger Mountain but about halfway through was asked to go out and get milk....which took three hours!!!!!!! The rule now is that only X amount of people allowed in the supermarket at a time, so you have to line up outside and wait for someone to leave before someone on line is allowed to go in. And the line went all the way around the block. Mostly because for about half a block there are X's on the ground spaced six feet apart and you have to stand on an X and only move to the next X  when it is vacated. Of course, no X's halfway up the block, so the line at that distance has people standing a lot closer than 6 feet.  Meanwhile, the wind was blowing, so any virus would have been blown past six feet within seconds. Finally got into the store....and no milk. No normal milk, no  1% or 2% or skim, not even soy milk. The entire milk section was empty with a sign saying next milk delivery was on Monday. In fact, almost everything in the store was gone, except for the stuff that sucked.  So on to a different store and another line. Got into this store a lot faster as they allowed more people in at a time. And they had just about everything in stock. So got the milk, got back home three hours later, and the television is being used. Probably could have finished the film on my computer, but by then I was no longer in the mood. Shame. It is a really good film. Maybe I will finish it next Saturday. The f%$ked up thing is that while everyone is staying home, I have been deemed an essential worker and have to go to work. And work longer hours than usual because those idiots shut in home and looking for deliveries request them after 5pm. I repeat...THEY ARE HOME ALL DAY! They don't need their deliveries after 5pm! So basically really busy at 9 through 10am... then sitting around doing nothing until 5pm, then suddenly busy until almost 10pm! And no extra pay! no overtime because we are considered private contractors and work by commission. I probably should quit, but with a depression looming, it would be foolish to give up a job. And the kicker is that I am not even eligible for any bailout money. So it is f&%ked up when those people in the household who don't go to work decide to ask me to go to the store and thus  ruin an entire Saturday. Oh well. At least all the down time midday at work allowed me to write a lot of bonus stuff for the LoC.  And if I don't get deadly sick, then I will be one of the lucky ones in a few months when I still have a job.

Fortunately there was still Saturday night, and Spiderman: Far From Home Really fun film. J Jonah Jameson was a surprise. But you would think Sony learned their lesson and not have cliffhangers in the Spiderman films.  They may still own the Spiderman film rights, but nearly didn't cut a deal with Disney for an MCU sequel.  I had one problem with the explanation as to how Mysterio had his powers and where the elementals actually came from. and that is, how did everyone get soaked in Venice if it wasn't real? And with this I am completely caught up with the MCU films. But unfortunately my plans to complete my superhero film collection this spring ( an by that, up to the films of 2019 ) won't happen any time soon, because Amazon is no longer shipping movies! My next order is probably not going to arrive until next July because everyone is using Amazon for one day shipping for toilet paper and overpriced hand sanitizer... and now Amazon is prioritizing them. So for the foreseeable future, I will be rewatching films from my library.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 09:36:15 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19221 on: April 07, 2020, 04:15:18 AM »
Have you ever wondered what the "Nightmare of Ecstasy" sequence from Glen or Glenda would have looked like if it had been directed by Orson Welles? Perhaps you've thought Touch of Evil might have worked out fine if Ed Wood had made it. Of course, this hypothetical is suggested by Tim Burton's fantasy meeting between Wood and Welles at the end of his film Ed Wood. I can't help but wonder if Burton had ever seen Dementia (1955, directed by John Parker) or its butchered version, Daughter of Horror, because it's about as close to a fusion of Welles and Wood as anything I can imagine ever existing. It's Welles's Glen or Glenda or Wood's Touch of Evil. Take your pick.

Dementia was photographed by Wood's longtime cinematographer, William C. Thompson (who shows that it wasn't HIS fault that Wood's movies looked like crap). The film was shot on the same locations in Venice Beach where Welles shot Touch of Evil. Director John Parker never met a dutch tilt he didn't like and the skewed perspectives and deep-focus shots that make up the entire film are straight out of Welles bag of tricks. This movie is chock full of striking images. But the plot is pure Wood. A young woman ("The Gamine" in the credits) wakes from a nightmare, grabs a switchblade, and heads out into the city at night. She falls in with bad company. A pimp sets her up with an obese, slovenly rich man (who bears a startling resemblance to Welles), and her encounter with him sends her into a spiral of madness that ends with a confrontation in a jazz club. Then she wakes up again. Go figure.

Fortunately for the film there's no dialogue, unless you happened to be watching the "Daughter of Horror" version, in which there is a hysterical voice-over (and it is Ed freaking McMahon!!!) that out Criswells any of Criswell's pronouncements in any of Wood's films. Both versions of the film feature a deranged George Antheil score in which Marni Nixon (later the singing voice of Deborah Kerr and Audrey Hepburn) shrieks like a human theremin. This score seems to have been re-used by a ton of grade z movies, but it was new here, so I'll forgive the familiarity.

If a film that seems like the mutant love-child of Maya Deren and Albert Zugsmith sounds like your cup of tea, then by all means, check this out. It's definitely a one of a kind weirdie. Plus, it's short, so if Marni Nixon's voice begins to send you scrambling up the wall, you won't have to endure it for long.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 04:17:48 AM 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 Toranaga

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19222 on: April 07, 2020, 07:10:34 AM »
Tried to rewatch Taking of Tiger Mountain but about halfway through was asked to go out and get milk....which took three hours!!!!!!! The rule now is that only X amount of people allowed in the supermarket at a time, so you have to line up outside and wait for someone to leave before someone on line is allowed to go in. And the line went all the way around the block. Mostly because for about half a block there are X's on the ground spaced six feet apart and you have to stand on an X and only move to the next X  when it is vacated. Of course, no X's halfway up the block, so the line at that distance has people standing a lot closer than 6 feet.  Meanwhile, the wind was blowing, so any virus would have been blown past six feet within seconds. Finally got into the store....and no milk. No normal milk, no  1% or 2% or skim, not even soy milk. The entire milk section was empty with a sign saying next milk delivery was on Monday. In fact, almost everything in the store was gone, except for the stuff that sucked.  So on to a different store and another line. Got into this store a lot faster as they allowed more people in at a time. And they had just about everything in stock. So got the milk, got back home three hours later, and the television is being used. Probably could have finished the film on my computer, but by then I was no longer in the mood. Shame. It is a really good film. Maybe I will finish it next Saturday. The f%$ked up thing is that while everyone is staying home, I have been deemed an essential worker and have to go to work. And work longer hours than usual because those idiots shut in home and looking for deliveries request them after 5pm. I repeat...THEY ARE HOME ALL DAY! They don't need their deliveries after 5pm! So basically really busy at 9 through 10am... then sitting around doing nothing until 5pm, then suddenly busy until almost 10pm! And no extra pay! no overtime because we are considered private contractors and work by commission. I probably should quit, but with a depression looming, it would be foolish to give up a job. And the kicker is that I am not even eligible for any bailout money. So it is f&%ked up when those people in the household who don't go to work decide to ask me to go to the store and thus  ruin an entire Saturday. Oh well. At least all the down time midday at work allowed me to write a lot of bonus stuff for the LoC.  And if I don't get deadly sick, then I will be one of the lucky ones in a few months when I still have a job.



Oy.

Don't forget your vitamins D & A.
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Offline Toranaga

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19223 on: April 07, 2020, 07:13:56 AM »
The Hobbit marathon.  I didn't care for it the first time around but it's surprisingly rewatchable.  Maybe it looks a lot better contrasted against the news channels lately.


Offline stansimpson

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19224 on: April 07, 2020, 01:54:30 PM »
Did you watch the extended editions? They're stronger movies than the theatricals, especially the 3rd one.


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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19225 on: April 09, 2020, 05:13:34 PM »
Watch Charade for the first time.  Despite easily sussing out two of its biggest reveals and having a third given away ahead of time, this was not only as a delight but it STILL kept me guessing throughout.  This movie is not only incredibly lively and fun, it really knows how to keep things hopping throughout.  Grant and Hepburn are delights and even though the suspense is there and palpable, it also just feels like pure, unadulterated movie magic fun.  Also, Walter Matthau is in it.  Always good.

The only issue: image quality was kinda bad in this version (though I almost watched a version on PBS that looked considerably worse).


Offline Charles Castle

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19226 on: April 10, 2020, 12:43:27 AM »
Charade is pure candy. Probably a perfect movie for days like these. If you aren't watching the Criterion print then it can get pretty gritty. Charade has been public domain since the moment it was released:
Quote
It seems that pre-1978 United States copyright law absolutely required you to include some sort of mark on your work indicating your intent to claim copyright at all — ©, for instance — and in Charade's case, Universal Pictures seemed to have just sort of forgotten about it.
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/charade.html
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 #19227 on: April 10, 2020, 12:56:58 AM »
The failure of The Ice Storm (1997, directed by Ang Lee) in theatres isn’t exactly a surprise. Ang Lee’s American debut, Sense and Sensibility, was a warm-hearted, lushly cinematic adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, beloved by critics, couples, and little old ladies alike. Lee had wanted to make The Ice Storm first, but it took the success of Sense and Sensibility to give him free reign to adapt Rick Moody’s novel. The film might not have been what audiences expected: Lee has called The Ice Storm his “fuck you” film for a reason. It’s a prickly, chilly (forgive the pun) work, full of anger, frustration, and dysfunction. Critics loved the film, and filmmaker Brian De Palma called it his favorite film in recent memory, but Fox Searchlight’s mishandling of the film with poor marketing (highlighted by a terrible, misleading feel-good trailer) killed any box office potential it might have had. Well you can’t keep a great movie down, and The Ice Storm has enjoyed well-deserved second-life on home video(bolstered by the pristine Criterion dvd/Blu Ray).

The Ice Storm revolves around two suburban Connecticut families in November of 1973: the Hoods, comprised of father Ben (Kevin Kline), mother Elena (Joan Allen), 16-year-old Paul (Tobey Maguire), and 14-year-old Wendy (Christina Ricci); and the Carvers, including Jim (Jamey Sheridan), Janey (Sigourney Weaver), 14-year-old Mikey (Elijah Wood), and 12-year-old Sandy (Adam Hann-Byrd). Ben drinks too much and has an affair with Janey. Elena senses trouble in her marriage and acts out impulsively. The highly intelligent Paul goes to boarding school, experiments with pot, and lusts for ditzy schoolmate Libbets (Katie Holmes). Wendy drinks, challenges authority, and rants about Nixon and the privileged nature of suburban whites. Wendy experiments sexually with the weird Mikey. Sandy acts out violently and lusts for Wendy. Wendy notices and starts experimenting with Sandy. Jim is so absent in his house that he returns from a trip before anyone notices he was gone in the first place. But it’s not as if the other parents have any idea how to talk to their kids anyway. All in all, not exactly the most normal of groups.

The Ice Storm boasts one of the best casts of 90s films: the adults (Kline, Allen, Weaver) give some of their finest performances, and the children (Wood, Hann-Byrd, Ricci, a never better Maguire) match them. These characters inhabit a world where the adults are just as lost and confused as their children. The film is at a turning point in American history: Watergate is breaking out, the 60s are dead, and the world is at an odd crossroads between the freeness of the late 60s and the button-down 80s (simplifications, perhaps, but effective). The adults discuss the porn movie Deep Throat and drink freely. The kids, mimicking their parents, use drugs and sex as a way of trying to grow up. The adults scold their children for their thoughtless actions, but they’re even more irresponsible and ignorant of the fallout their actions will have.

Lee had originally envisioned a Billy Wilder-style black comedy in the style of The Apartment, but while traces of that vision remain, the film is often too profoundly sad for the laughter to be anything more than choked out. The gorgeous photography by Frederick Elmes and unconventional Mychael Danna score only highlight the downbeat mood. The late-90s had a run of films that focused on dysfunctional families and parents mistreating their children (Magnolia, Happiness, American Beauty), but few have as heartbreaking a sense of loss.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 03:43:27 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 Russoguru

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19228 on: April 10, 2020, 01:40:47 PM »
Naked Vengeance - Don't let the title fool you. There's nothing titillating about this movie. Short story? It's just a variation upon the very niche sub genre known as rape revenge. I spit on your grave did it like 8 years earlier and arguably even better. Also... we've had a trilogy of remakes plus a sequel to the original starring the lady who was the victim in the original ISOYG. Damn, did I say short? I should have said long. Sorry guys.


Offline wihogfan

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Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #19229 on: April 10, 2020, 07:09:02 PM »
One Cut of the Dead
The less known about it the better going in so
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