OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

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OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:47 pm

Beats me, but isn't it cool that we're in October and the scary movies are about to take over? Didn' think so, let's move on. ;-)

Tod Browning's FREAKS (1932) on DVD. Though the victim of studio interference it's amazing even the butchered-and-censored version we still have was even allowed to make it past a very conservative Hollywood studio system (even in the pre-Hayes code era). Forget clowns, B&W images of physically-impaired and/or odd-looking people interacting with unlikable characters (can a movie be darker than 'noir' before the term even came to prominence?) make "Freaks" the type of disturbing spectacle that gets you at a gut level few movies today even attempt to go to. Between this and the original "Dracula" (a very atmospheric but dry movie that's carried by an iconic Bela Lugosi performance, IMO) Tod Browning had the then-nascent horror genre covered, figuratively, from A to Z.

THE LAST RUN (1971) in 35mm at NYC's Anthology Film Archive for the first time. A retired-in-the-Mediterranean getaway driver (George C. Scott) is asked to come back for one more dangerous job sneaking a crook (Tony Musante, appropriately dickish) and his girlfriend (Trish Van Devere, i.e. the much-younger-than-him woman Scott would marry as soon as he finalized his divorce from Colleen Dewhurst, who appears in the movie as a prostitute) across the border to France. Recalling 2011's "Driver" in attitude and clinical observation of the life of a man in a dangerous profession, "The Last Run" compensates for its rather-predictable story (what you expect to happen does happen when you expect it to happen) with workmanlike-direction by Richard Fleischer, a neat score by Jerry Goldsmith, great practical driving stunts on a car (1956 BMW 503 convertible) seldom seen in movies and decent actors treating their roles as more than a travelogue-for-hire vacation.

TERROR IN THE AISLES (1984) on Cinemax-HD for the first time. The opening of "Scream 2" makes a lot more sense to me now. Seeing Donald Pleaseance and Nancy Allen interact with a group of Z-grade actors pretending to be a crowd in a movie theater watching a horror movie (with whom Donald interacts as if they're Shakespearen thespians) is either horrible and/or amusing enough. But then this 'clip' movie (a short-lived nostalgia fad of the post-"That's Entertainment!" era before home video firmly took over) has the chutzpah to (a) mix movies like Abel Ferrara's "Ms. 45" with (b) non-scary movies like "Serpico" along (c) a ton of Universal-Paramount movie clips (including a generous heaping of context-less Hitchcock movie scenes and words from the man) that the producers then proceed to (d) butcher the scary/classic feelings by substituting some key music scores with generic music (it's amazing how much less scary "Halloween" scenes are without John Carpenter's score). The result is cheese atop of cheese dressed in the trappings of an attempt to pay homage to horror, when in fact "Terror in the Aisles" was the then-latest attempt to milk the fans for cash in exchange for very little work.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:34 pm

LOOPER (2012) in theaters for the first time. For most of its running time this time-travel action drama had me by the balls and loving every minute of it never-confusing-but-always-loopy (get it? ;-)) story of hitmen from the 30 years in the future dumping their victims in "present-day" 2044 Kansas for disposal. Aside from outstanding performances by J.G. Levitt, top-billed Bruce Willis (the meeting of the two Joe's at a diner is the movie's highlight) and a decent Emily Blunt (Jeff Daniels and Piper Perabo are wasted in their supporting roles though) the unsung star of "Looper" is the production design by Ed Verreaux that imagines a futuristic Kansas that's simultaneously believable-enough to buy while also being wildly unrealistic (think "Equilibrium" but with self-restraint). Also, because of the FX houses contracted and scenes shot in China, "Looper" has a very "Serenity"-like vibe of American and Chinese cultures intertwined. Alas, "Looper's" final act has too many balls up in the air (figuratively and... well, you know) that are solved in a way that didn't live up to great premise and execution we'd gotten for the first two thirds. Still a gas though, and one of the better 'high concept' genre pictures to come out of Hollywood in a while.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Attrage » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:07 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:LOOPER (2012) in theaters for the first time. For most of its running time this time-travel action drama had me by the balls and loving every minute of it never-confusing-but-always-loopy (get it? ;-)) story of hitmen from the 30 years in the future dumping their victims in "present-day" 2044 Kansas for disposal. Aside from outstanding performances by J.G. Levitt, top-billed Bruce Willis (the meeting of the two Joe's at a diner is the movie's highlight) and a decent Emily Blunt (Jeff Daniels and Piper Perabo are wasted in their supporting roles though) the unsung star of "Looper" is the production design by Ed Verreaux that imagines a futuristic Kansas that's simultaneously believable-enough to buy while also being wildly unrealistic (think "Equilibrium" but with self-restraint). Also, because of the FX houses contracted and scenes shot in China, "Looper" has a very "Serenity"-like vibe of American and Chinese cultures intertwined. Alas, "Looper's" final act has too many balls up in the air (figuratively and... well, you know) that are solved in a way that didn't live up to great premise and execution we'd gotten for the first two thirds. Still a gas though, and one of the better 'high concept' genre pictures to come out of Hollywood in a while.

Haven't seen this one yet, but I'm increasingly impressed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's no doubt got a nice career going, let's hope he keeps making good role choices and we see him continue to grow. Looking forward to that.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Attrage » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:15 am

The Abyss (extended cut) - I tried not to, but it was impossible for me to view the "message" ending of this one, not to mention the posturing military guy on the Benthic Explorer (his "Back in two hours." while munching a sandwich always makes me smile), without thinking of James Cameron's more recent "message" in Avatar.

That aside, I like The Abyss. As with Avatar, my favorite character is not one of the good guys. It's Lt Coffey. Michael Biehn's increasing psychosis is the highlight of this film for me. My favorite scene with him, is when Lindsay Brigman confronts him with the nuke. I like the slithery way he says "you will do an about face, and walk out of here..." it's brilliant acting. I also love the slow reveal at the end that Coffey has been clutching a revolver the whole time.

But Ed Harris comes a close second. As ridiculous as the scene reviving Lindsay after drowning is, that breathless way he shouts "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!!!" never ceases to get me a little choked up ;)
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby mavrach » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:43 am

Attrage wrote:The Abyss (extended cut) - I tried not to, but it was impossible for me to view the "message" ending of this one, not to mention the posturing military guy on the Benthic Explorer (his "Back in two hours." while munching a sandwich always makes me smile), without thinking of James Cameron's more recent "message" in Avatar.

That aside, I like The Abyss. As with Avatar, my favorite character is not one of the good guys. It's Lt Coffey. Michael Biehn's increasing psychosis is the highlight of this film for me. My favorite scene with him, is when Lindsay Brigman confronts him with the nuke. I like the slithery way he says "you will do an about face, and walk out of here..." it's brilliant acting. I also love the slow reveal at the end that Coffey has been clutching a revolver the whole time.

But Ed Harris comes a close second. As ridiculous as the scene reviving Lindsay after drowning is, that breathless way he shouts "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!!!" never ceases to get me a little choked up ;)


Excellent movie. I only saw the director's cut once a long while back, but I didn't care for it. It was too broad a message, another large-scale sci-fi epic that simply says "war is bad, why do people do this to each other?" Cutting that out gives a simpler, and pleasantly vaguer, first contact story with potentially larger implications.

In the end, it does come out as a Spielbergy happy story. But man, does it go through some dark places in order to get to that point. The recuscitation scene could be rediculous but IMO isn't because of Harris' delivery. He's one of Hollywood's most underrated actors.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby mavrach » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:03 am

Also I'll add that I watched:

Observe and Report - One of my favorites at this point, and one of the very few recent movies that gets regular viewing in my DVD player. A very ballsy movie that isn't afraid to be dark and make its lead a pretty bad person. This went under most people's radars mainly because it released against freaking Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and because Seth Rogen is known for playing the same slacker manchild character in every movie. Now I like Rogen's movies even though he's no Daniel Day Lewis, but in this movie he plays a character who I'd never want anywhere near me or my mall, yet manages to be likeable.

And I subscribe to the theory that the second half of the movie takes place inside Rogen's head. Also, BEST. CLOSING QUOTE. EVER.


The Foot Fist Way - So Observe and Report was awesome, so it should be a safe bet that the previous effort by the same director would be worth a shot, right? I knew its reviews weren't so hot and not to compare it to O&R, but I couldn't make it past 15 minutes in this movie. It's all deadpan, tonal humor in the vein of Napoleon Dynamite.


Magnolia - 2nd viewing. This was one of the DVD's in my infamous "unwatched" pile that I blasted through last year. I don't know what I was waiting for, because this is one that I want to have in my regular rotation. A daunting 188 minutes flies by. The first two hours feels like one flowing scene that doesn't stop. There's constantly music guiding you through everything, and you don't even realize the time is passing the way it is. This will be compared to Short Cuts (and it shares cast member Julianne Moore), even with a final "natural disaster" linking all the characters, but this one-ups Shortcuts majorly. I couldn't beleive what I was watching. Awesome.

And Tom Cruise. In real life, most of his characters would come off as cocky egomaniacs. I mean who really wants to hang around a guy juggling liquor bottles while yelling "WOOOOOO!!!" all the times? Here, he plays what I think those characters would really be like, a sleazy womanizer misoginist. It feels like an admission that said characters are ridiculous, but at the same time humanizes this character, culminating in a scene where I never thought Cruise would be able to perform so well.

Plan 9 From Outer Space - First viewing. Ed Wood is one of my favorites so it's only right that I actually watch one of Wood's movies, right? I knew what to expect, but I couldn't actually enjoy the movie. I feel like I should've had a few slightly inebriated freinds watching this with me.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:03 am

I've been taking part in F This Movie's "Scary Movie Challenge" (7-word review of any horror movie watched in October) so I'm recycling some of those 7-word reviews here. A couple of movies I expand on a little bit because I want to talk more about them.

Roger Corman's THE UNDEAD (1957) on DVD. Hooker/shrink travel back in time; "STAY!!!"

Jean Rollin's THE IRON ROSE (1972) on TCM Underground-HD for the first time. 'I was a tomb-raiding nymphomaniac slut.' ;-)

The review for this got erased with the spam attack, but I want to reiterate how much atmosphere and style go to make what would be a bloodless PG-13 movie (except for the handful of erotic scenes, which are hot as hell) seem more stylish and deeper than what you actually see and get. This was my first Jean Rollin movie and I've been on the hunt for more since, but I'm kind-of frozen at the dozen or so Kino releases not knowing which one to follow the "Iron Rose" with (and I'm aware Rollin's movies are hit-and-miss depending on the period they were made). Any recommendations? I've read all the Verdict's review of all Rollin's movies, I need something from 'from the gut.'

Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA (1977) on DVD. "Snow White & Seven Badly-Dubbed Italians."

John Carpenter's THE FOG (1980) on DVD. 'Password is... DIVORCED; ready, Adrienne? And... Action!'

Tobe Hooper's LIFEFORCE (1985) on MGM-HD (DVR). '... I see London burn without Mathilda's underpants.'

TROLL (1986) on DVD. Michael Moriarty gets jiggy with it? Boss! :-)

David Cronenberg's THE FLY (1986) on Blu-ray. Best 'Hulk' movie ever not featuring 'Hulk.'

Sam Raimi's ARMY OF DARKNESS: DIRECTOR'S CUT (1992) on DVD. Harryhausen called, would like his skeletons back.

THE FOG (2005) on DVD for the first time. "Bogus, man! Captain Sparrow ain't nowhere near."

I avoided this like a plague when it came out in '05 but for October and "Scary Movie Challege" (lower standards) I said what the heck. For all the s*** the horror genre gets people forget that Carpenter (a) signed off on "Halloween II" (a sequel that aped the "Friday the 13th's" that were aping the original "Halloween") and (b) he co-produced this creatively-bankrupt and neutered remake of his own great, moody piece. Can't blame John for chasing the bucks and making a living, but nobody involved in this (especially the demographically-desirable cast straight out the The CW, particularly Tom Wellig as 'Nick Castle') comes out looking good. And if you're remaking a bloodless atmospheric ghost movie in the 2000's you might as well go for an 'R.'

James Gunn's SLITHER (2006) on HD-DVD. Quoting thyself: 'That's some f----up shit.'

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012) on Amazon On Demand. Patrick liked it, so naturally I didn't.

Watching this a second time I canj understand why horror aficionados and Joss Whedon fanboys dig it. The movie speaks a language and tackles ideas that someone that has seen horror movies both understands and appreciates. My problem continues to be that this only works for a viewer if they walk into the movie not knowing a thing about it, and even during the theatrical run the movie's publicity gave away too much (even if the studio tried to hide it). And, the moment you know what's up, the movie becomes too impressed with itself to bother staging anything even remotely scary or frightening. To paraphrase 'F This Movie's' Patrick Bromley (but not about this particular movie, which he loves), "Cabin in the Woods" is an exercise in masturbatory excess by filmmakers awed by their own creativity at the expense of the movie itself being any good at being scary.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Attrage » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:07 pm

Terminator – The effects have certainly dated somewhat, but this remains a solid action/thriller elevated by fantastic performances from Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn. I’ve always loved the desperate, frantic pace of this film and the fact that the resistance protector in this one is human – so he’s fallible, and vulnerable.

Terminator 2 – This is still basically the same plot as the first film but expands the Terminator universe to flesh out the Skynet vs humankind war of the future. I think the added scenes in the extended version are good, though I laugh at the added scene that explains that the protector Terminator is set to “read-only” while on a mission.

Terminator 3 – Though I will never like the jokingly self-referential beginning of this movie (Elton sunglasses...really, guys?), it does improve a lot as it gets to the halfway point. I do like Claire Danes in this though – she does a fantastic job in her early scenes of looking both absolutely terrified, yet utterly bewildered by what is going on. And the ending still gives me goose bumps – it does the other two films proud.

Terminator: Salvation – Though I still don’t think this film is anywhere near as good as it could have been, it has grown on me with this third viewing. The machine-that-believes-it’s-human Marcus character is very Philip K Dick, but the ideas his character raises are never explored much, which is disappointing. I would have preferred more of that, and less of the Transformers-style action scenes (the huge robot that releases “moto-terminators” from its leg is beyond crappy). That pretty much sums up my complaints with this one – it’s heavy on the action but it’s way too light on the heart – I wanted more character, more I could invest in. The scenes at Skynet’s extermination facility should have resonated with holocaust-like revulsion, but they seemed so flat. It will be interesting to see where this reboot series goes if they ever bother to make another one, but I’d like to see the reins handed to a director who is more “James Cameron” than “Michael Bay”.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Attrage » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:16 pm

Misery - One of the better (best, maybe?) adaptations of Stephen King, I put this down to a few factors – two amazing performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, and the great writer/director collaboration between William Goldman and Rob Reiner. I really delved into this one – I re-read the King novel, then watched the film three times (once to revisit, then followed it up with both the Goldman, then Reiner commentaries).

Part of what makes this film just simply work, is that Goldman had the skill (and the good instinct) to keep the fertile craziness of King in, but not to simply slavishly adhere to the novel. If translated directly onto screen, the novel just wouldn’t work as a film. Goldman’s choices to limit things do the film a great service – he compresses all of Paul Sheldon’s excursions out of the room he’s held prisoner in into one epically tense scene, and instead of numerous cops visiting the house, he ditches them all, and creates his own amalgam of them with the character of Buster, the town Sheriff. It’s Goldman’s experience as a screenwriter, and obvious respect for the source material, that makes this such a memorable adaptation, and one that has stood the test of time far better than most other King adaptations.

But again, all credit to two wonderful actors – Caan and Bates have a chemistry that is a joy to watch. I especially like the moment where Annie is wistfully recalling a distant, painful memory, and telling Paul about it while he is awkwardly urinating into a bottle. The scene continues with her taking the bottle from him and then continuing to speak, all the while casually shaking the bottle. The way Caan flinches as she shakes the bottle makes for a superbly weird scene that would be laughable were it not played so straight by two masterful actors.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:06 am

Attrage wrote:Misery - One of the better (best, maybe?) adaptations of Stephen King, I put this down to a few factors – two amazing performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, and the great writer/director collaboration between William Goldman and Rob Reiner. I really delved into this one – I re-read the King novel, then watched the film three times (once to revisit, then followed it up with both the Goldman, then Reiner commentaries).

Part of what makes this film just simply work, is that Goldman had the skill (and the good instinct) to keep the fertile craziness of King in, but not to simply slavishly adhere to the novel. If translated directly onto screen, the novel just wouldn’t work as a film. Goldman’s choices to limit things do the film a great service – he compresses all of Paul Sheldon’s excursions out of the room he’s held prisoner in into one epically tense scene, and instead of numerous cops visiting the house, he ditches them all, and creates his own amalgam of them with the character of Buster, the town Sheriff. It’s Goldman’s experience as a screenwriter, and obvious respect for the source material, that makes this such a memorable adaptation, and one that has stood the test of time far better than most other King adaptations.

But again, all credit to two wonderful actors – Caan and Bates have a chemistry that is a joy to watch. I especially like the moment where Annie is wistfully recalling a distant, painful memory, and telling Paul about it while he is awkwardly urinating into a bottle. The scene continues with her taking the bottle from him and then continuing to speak, all the while casually shaking the bottle. The way Caan flinches as she shakes the bottle makes for a superbly weird scene that would be laughable were it not played so straight by two masterful actors.


I still think that Misery and Dolores Claiborne are the best two King flicks.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:30 pm

More 7-word reviews for F This Movie's "Scary Movie Challenge" re-posted here, some with extra thoughts/opinions.

Jack Arnold's CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON 3D (1954) for the first time at NYC's Film Forum (sold out crowd): 'It was beauty who drowned the beast.'

What fun it was to see this for the first time on a packed house that was really into it (not to mock it) and in quality 3D for a change. The scene where the creature stalks and is seduced by Julie Adam's graceful swimming poses sets the stage for young Steven Spielberg's take during the opening of "Jaws" 20 years later. A little girl and her father were sitting next to me and she was genuinely scared at just the right moments (dad was there to calm her too). I'm definitely on 'Team Mark' over stoic/square/cautious 'Team David,' of course they should have tried to capture the creature and bring it back to civilization. Mark had the deck stacked against him though, because the movie's producers were saving that chestnut for the already-on-the-works cheap sequel (see below). One of the most fun times I've had at the movies this year.

REVENGE OF THE CREATURE (1955) on VHS: 'There's the windup... pitch... palm tree struck!'

Kaneto Shindô's ONIBABA (1964) on DVD: Hell on Earth, whether imagined or not.

Kaneto Shindô's KURONEKO/THE BLACK CAT (1968) on Blu-ray: Kabuki theater meets ghost revenge story. Atmospheric.

THE EQUINOX... A JOURNEY INTO THE SUPERNATURAL (1968) on DVD: "Super 8" ain't got nothin' on me!

Nobuhiko Obayahshi's HOUSE (1977) on Blu-ray: "Avengers"-like; dickless, uninhibited, unbelievable. Kawaii!

John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978) on Divimax DVD: Michael Myers' favorite movie star? Joan Crawford.

Nagasi Oshima's EMPIRE OF PASSION (1978) on DVD: Hubby's ghost haunts murdering lovers to death.

Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE (1979) on DVD: 'Hey, Tucci, stop tapping the damn microphone!'

Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING (1980) on HD-DVD: Grady opened freezer??!! Otherwise a perfect movie.

FRIDAY THE 13th (1980) on DVD: Betsy Palmer's 'Got A Secret': she's broke(n).

FRIDAY THE 13th Part 2 (1981) on DVD: Amy Steel's hot, Jason's a brute! Sack!

Andrzej Żuławski's POSSESSION (1981) on TCM Underground HD (DVR): 'Hentai' too wholesome? Try this for size.

THE BURNING (1981) on DVD: The Weinsteins' empire starts here. Constanza's hairy!

MADMAN (1982) on DVD: Lean, mean slasher; neat car hood beheading.

Lucio Fulci's THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982) on Blu-ray: Mysoginist's blade meets eyes/boobs; unpleasantness ensues.

John Carpenter's CHRISTINE (1983) on DVD: Bitch is back, and she's in heap(s).

George A. Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD (1985) on DVD: Masterpiece; 'Attention K-Mart shoppers!' soundtrack hurts though.

Stuart Gordon's FROM BEYOND (1986) on DVD: Tillinghast becomes thing Pretorius regurgitated; Crampton strips.

Fred Dekker's NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986) on Blu-ray: Thrill me, Hollywood: let Dekker direct again!

Stuart Gordon's DOLLS (1987) on DVD: Chucky, meet your prison bitch: Mr. Punch.

THE FLY II (1989) on DVD: Scarier than Brundlefly Junior? Daphne Zuniga "acting."

TROLL 2 (1990) on DVD: Siht ievom si a eceip fo tihs.

Brian Yuzna's BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1990) on DVD: James Whale rolling in his grave? WEST!!!

Bernard Rose's CANDYMAN (1992) on DVD: Doug, Doug... Doug. Doug! Doug... WHAT THE-- (private joke ;-))

Tim Burton's ED WOOD (1994) on Showtime HD: 'Made in Hollywood, USA?'? Never the same.

William Lustig's UNCLE SAM (1996) on DVD: Lustig/Cohen wrap flag around boring slasher.

John Carpenter's GHOSTS OF MARS (2001) on Blu-ray for the first time: Filmed on location in Fred Sanford's junkyard. :D

The main trick I'm using to sneak in so many horror movies this month for 'Scary Movie Challenge' is to watch movies I've already seen, own or can easily borrow so that I can watch them at odd times (during lunch breaks on a portable player, on the subway coming/going from/to work, during daylight hours, etc.). For the handful of horror flicks I'm seeing for the first time (this, "Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D" and "The Fog" remake so far) I go the typical 'dark room at night' route, and boy did that NOT help this horrid, uninspired and just-plain cheap movie that is neither scary, exciting or even involving at a basic level. When we get to the point that hot air balloons are used on Mars' atmosphere (!) you realize nobody in the movie cared, so why should you? And high-definition really brings out the cheapness of the location because Carpenter's eyes for anamorphic framing fills the screen with crap.

Frank Darabont's THE MIST (2007) on DVD: Most f***ed-up "Stargate" episode never seen.

Jon Harris' THE DESCENT PART 2 (2009) on DVD: Better than it has right to be.
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby Polynikes » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 pm

Fracture (2007). Oh dear. I enjoy good courtroom thrillers. With Anthony Hopkins and Rosamunde Pike, I expected enjoyable performances and they delivered. However, a courtroom thriller above all needs a watertight plot. This one was not merely implausible - it was ludicrous. [SPOILERS in white font)1,How on earth could the Hopkins character have known that the detective with whom his wife was having an affair would be the one respond to the emergency call and be alone in the house with him to enable Hopkins to swap the guns? 2. Hopkins manages to find out what type of gun the detective carries and conveniently is able to swap it on the afternoon of the murder, and the detective does not notice it feels like a different weapon - really? 3. All guns known to have been at the scene would be checked as a matter of course once unattributed shots have been fired, and it would quickly have been established that the detective's gun was the one which fired the fatal shot. I could go on......I also disliked the waste of Rosamunde Pike as a back story love interest which does little or nothing to move the plot along.

It saddens and bewilders me that there are so many films where a lot of time, money and effort has been invested in everything except a decent script. This is another case of a plot appearing to have been dreamt up in five minutes and scribbled on a pad. In the case of a courtroom drama in particular, not having a well thought out plot is not only feeble cinema - it's almost criminal. (I'll get my coat....)
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Re: OCcupaTiOnalhazardofBEingReadytobeginWATCHINGmoviesin2012?

Postby J.M. Vargas » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:05 pm

Final batch of 7-word F This Movie's "Scary Movie Challenge" reviews re-posted here.

HAXAN: WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES (1922) on Criterion DVD: If "Blair Witch" and "Religulous" exchanged fluids.

James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN (1931) at Phatom Events: Iconic Karloff; everything else uneven, not fun.

James Whale's BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) at Phatom Events: Pretorius/Minnie steal movie; not enough bride!

Kenji Mizoguchi's UGETSU MONOGATARI (1953) on Criterion DVD: When men's greed happens to fey women.

Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960) on Blu-ray: Granddaddy of psychological slashers still kicks booty.

Nabuo Nakagawa's JIGOKU (1960) on Criterion DVD: Dante Alighieri filtered through Japanese sensitivities. Shokku!

George A. Romero's MARTIN (1976) on DVD: Depressing, heartbreaking, soul-crushing. Yep, that's Pittsburgh!

David Cronenberg's RABID (1977) on DVD: 'Morphogenetically neutral' skin? Canadian healthcare really "bites."

George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978) on DVD: 'Waiter! There's some brain in my 'screwdriver.'

J. Lee Thompson's HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1980) on DVD (two reviews): Yes, Virginia, your ending makes no sense... or... Really, Glenn Ford! Were you that broke?

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT (1980) on TCM-Underground/DVR for the first time: Slasher flick told from psycho's POV. Different.

Dario Argento's INFERNO (1980) on DVD: Skeletor: 'I was young... needed the money.'

Rick Rosenthal's HALLOWEEN II (1981) on DVD: Argento called, wants his 'jacuzzi' death back.

FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART III (1982) on DVD (three reviews): What's the dude from "Splatterhouse" doing here?... (with the 'F This Movie commentary track') 'Doug wins, Doug wins!' (two years running)... (with the cast commentary track in 2004 DVD release) Seen this thrice! Someone please shoot me.

FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984) on DVD: CG: 'Eat your heart out, Daney Terrio!'

DEMONS (1985) on DVD: The truth about "The Massacre" finally revealed!

Fred Dekker's THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987) on Blu-ray: Shockingly accurate Romney Administration preview (Drac = Mitt).

HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988) on Blu-ray: Shitty mask/rednecks aside, primo sequel. 'Naaahhhh!'

Francis Ford Coppola's BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1992) on Blu-ray: Classy horror oasis in desolate 90's wasteland.

Peter Jackson's THE FRIGHTENERS (1996) on HD-DVD for the first time: More realistic/believable than "Natural Born Killers."

Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO (1998) on HBO-HD: Now with 100% more needless Norman masturbation.

Tim Burton's SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999) on HD-DVD: Near the 'head' of Burton-Depp collaborations.

CONSTANTINE (2005) on HD-DVD: The f*** is David Geffen doing here?

BLACK CHRISTMAS (2005) on HD-DVD: Bob Clark's favorite singer? Why, Billie Holiday!

George Romero's LAND OF THE DEAD (2005) on DVD: 'Mentalist' and 'Violator'? We're doomed, aren't we?

THE HOST (2006) on HD-DVD: "Jaws" met "Hunger Games"? Heaven help us!

Tomas Alfredson's LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) on Blu-ray: Eli's least-favorite movie ever? "Forrest Gump."

Joe Johnston's THE WOLFMAN: UNRATED DIRECTOR'S CUT (2010) on Blu-ray for the first time: Better than all "Howling" movies put together.

Rifftrax presents BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR (2012/2010) at Phatom Events for the first time: (insert your lame "Angry Birds" joke here)

And I'm spent! 8)
'You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***'
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J.M. Vargas
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