THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

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THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:17 pm

'SEPTEMBER!!!!' :D

Sergei Eisenstein's BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925) on TCM-HD for the first time. Even adjusting my expectations (a silent propaganda film from the Soviet Union with minimal to no personal characterizations) I enjoyed "Battleship Potemkin" for the same reason I fell in love with "Chunking Express": I love movies. What it lacks in storytelling or depth (would all those civilians really cry for a dead sailor they'd never heard of before?) "Potemkin" compensates for with images/montages/editing (especially the Odessa staircase massacre by the Cossacks but also that tense 'Tick Tock' sailing scene during the final minutes of the movie) that were both pioneering but also strong-enough to still engage one's attention 85 years later. It's far from perfect (the crazy-looking preacher with the crucifix was way OTT symbolism) but, when it connected, "Potemkin" rocked my cinematic boat.

Victor Fleming's THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) on Blu-ray for the first time. Thirty-seven years of only catching tributes/references on almost every other movie/TV show ever made, and now I finally understand (though not necessarily agree) why this film is a classic. Judy Garland is just magnificent playing the all-too-innocent small town girl that has yet to grow-up and lose her innocence. The B&W segment before the tornado were better than I expected considering they're the prelude setting up the big show (the B&W coda is weak and preachy though). The sets, costumes and broad characters feel like an overdose on kid saccharine when Technicolor kicks in (those plastic leafs and apples, that glowing green room in Emerald City, those shiny yellow brick roads... my eyes bleed!) but damn if some of these songs aren't too damn catchy. I couldn't help but be overcome with joy to hear the classic 'we're off to see the Wizard of Oz' lyrics repeated over and over again (love the way Garland holds on to the 'O' in 'Oz' and makes it last). As with "Snow White" the rather-dark last third of the movie when Dorothy and friends go after the Wicked Witch's broom (is that a gun in Scarecrow's hand? :shock: ) was my favorite part because it's a sharp contrast to the rest of the movie's primary hue overkill. The red smoke effect when Margaret Hamilton appears and disappears is one of the coolest practical on-camera special tricks I've ever seen. Gotta see this one again along with the extras but, on first viewing, this isn't half as corny and dated as I expected it to be considering it has FREAKING FLYING MONKEYS as henchmen.

EASTER PARADE (1948) on DVD for the first time. Yep, a Judy Garland twofer and the first time I've ever watched a musical (a genre I'm pre-disposed to not liking with few golden exceptions) by approaching it as a series of songs/musical numbers periodically interrupted by a narrative, the complete opposite of how I approach a musical. Fred Astaire has better chemistry with Ann Miller than with Garland but alas, the story forces Judy and Fred together and toward the end I almost bought that they were in love. I'm still not fond of the genre but damn if "Easter Parade" isn't entertaining when it doesn't take itself seriously (Fred's opening number is a hoot... there's gotta be an easier way to buy a stuffed rabbit! ;-)) while being serious about staging entertaining dance/sing segments (Astaire's slo-mo dance number, Ann Miller's solo dancing act, etc.). I liked half the songs and the other half I didn't care for, but "Easter Parade" closes the show with a killer rendition of the title song that actually brought a tear to my eye (I must have rewound and watched that scene a dozen times). Jules Munchin almost steals the movie with his memorable bit as an annoyed waiter and it's always nice to see Clinton Sundberg (as Charlie the bartender) turn up in a supporting role. And holy s***, young Peter Lawford looks exactly like Treat Williams did a few years ago!

Rewatched Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) on Blu-ray with the Ernest Lehman commentary track on. A lot of silent spots but lots of interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Also on repeat viewing a few questions leftover from the first viewing (like why Vandamm's thugs mistook Thornhill for Kaplan at the Plaza) were answered by simply paying attention.

Joseph L. Mankiewicz' CLEOPATRA (1963) on DVD for the first time. Judged solely as Hollywood spectacle (with the good and bad that entails) this is a fun, sexy, enjoyable and gory 'G' rated blockbuster that entertains an undemanding viewer's needs. Cleopatra's entrance to Rome (which somehow I've gone my entire life without seeing) is just a jaw-dropping display of historical inaccuracy, exquisite production design (from John DeCuir) and Hollywood expense run amock. Credit goes to Mankiewicz's skills as writer/director because, despite this being a studio-forced compromised version of his original vision that veers awfully close to camp, there are shades of humanity and emotion coming from all the leads. Rex Harrison is awesome as Julius Ceasar; long after he is gone you can feel Harrison's charisma, legacy and presence in the remaining character's actions. Taylor and Burton's on-screen chemistry was the real deal and helped me buy them as Marc Anthony and Cleopatra even though they're not the most interesting characters in the movie (despite being on-camera more than anybody else). I was floored at how Roddy McDowall's Octavian starts all fey and non-threatening but, by movie's end, he's totally convincing as Caesar Augustus; Martin Landau is also cool as Rufio. Alex North's score has dated badly though, and many scenes feel rushed and/or incomplete despite the whole thing being over 4 hours long. Hopefully a director's cut of "Cleopatra" will eventually materialze (don't count on it) and we'll get to see this obscene pageantry of Hollywood excess in all its high-def glory.

Rewatched Antonioni's RED DESERT (1964) on Blu-ray with the David Forgacs commentary track on. For a supposedly open-ended movie with room for audience interpretation Forgacs (and Antonioni through the quotes/excerpts cited by David) seems pretty sure the movie can be read a certain way. Oh well.

Frank Zappa's 200 MOTELS (1971) on MGM-HD for the first time. Shot on 4x3 video (which doesn't translate well to high-def) this is an experimental (i.e. made-up as the filmmakers went along) movie that is definitely meant for people that either liked Mothers of Invention and/or 'get' Zappa's musical/state of mind vibrations. I sat watching this amazed that I didn't remember anything that I had just seen (except for the Ringo scenes where he pretends to be Zappa) and was at a loss of what to write in my notepad. So I wrote "Laugh-In wannabe" and moved on.

TRUCK TURNER (1974) on MGM-HD for the first time. Isaac 'Chef' Hayes has on-screen charisma and a soothing deep voice (which makes swear words more fun to hear) that help cover-up his minimal (and quite unnecessary) acting skills in this balls-out blaxploitation flick that delivers the requisite number of 'fake' blood, car chases, shootouts, pimps (including "Star Trek's" Nichelle Nichols and Yaphet 'Blue' Kotto) and yes, even a "Shaft"-like score. One couldn't take these movies seriously before "Black Dynamite," now they all seem like the same movie recycled over and over again. Then again, when the movie's hero is named Mack 'Truck' Turner and he blows away more people with his gun than Harry Callahan on vacation, who's complaining? HD transfer is OK.

MST3K KTMA-10: SPACE 1999, aka COSMIC PRINCESS (1989/1982) on DVD for the first time. Two episodes from the 70's sci-fi series starring Martin Landau (three Landau flicks in one posting?!) are awkwardly spliced together into one lengthy made-for-TV 'movie,' the first of what would become semi-regular "MST3K" fodder ("Master Ninja 1 & 2," "Ride with Danger," etc.). Since the riffing is sub-par (way too many DOA 'Land of Dairy Queen' jokes) and the theater segments a lame attempt to tie-in with the '89 Super Bowl (Bengals vs. 49ers) the movie carries the bulk of the episode and it's a snoozer. I've never seen "Space 1999" and the two episodes in this 'movie' are barely above old "Battlestar Galactica" in the camp scale, although (a) Catherine Schell is hot as Maya the shape-shifting daughter of (b) hammy and "Battlefield Earth" lookalike Mentor (Brian Blessed). A curio for diehard MiSTies with a lot more patience and time than this clunker demands.

CLEOPATRA: THE FILM THAT CHANGED HOLLYWOOD (2000) on DVD for the first time. Interesting and lengthy (close to two hours) made-for-cable-TV documentary back when AMC and not TCM was the channel identified with classic motion pictures. There's nothing here that's not already known or part of the movie's infamy (budget overruns, Taylor's salary, the loss of hours worth of scenes, etc.) but it's nice to see the recently-departed Tom Mankiewicz waxing nostalgically about what it was like to be an 18 year-old aspiring filmmaker on the set of "Cleopatra" watching his father drained by the process. :cry:

Neil Marshall's CENTURION (2010) in theaters for the first time. Marshall starts this as a bloody war epic (organized Roman army versus guerrila-trained Picts warriors; the main battle when these two groups collide makes "Braveheart" look like Pixar's "Wall-E") and gradually strips it down to the struggle of Michael Fassbender's Quintus Dias to save as many of his fellow Romans as he can from the Picts' best tracker. The line between heroes and villains is non-existent in this 2,000 old historic epic; everybody has a reason for doing what they're doing, which boils down to bloody payback and gory revenge for being wronged by the other side. Curiously, as the movie picks-up steam (I'm trying to be vague here to avoid spoiling things), Marshall chooses to deliberately sabotage the momentum of his breathless chase to polish-up his "Descent" feminist credentials (and set-up a rather unsatisfying ending) before awkwardly continuing the adventure. Great opening/closing credits (when's the last time you said that?) and excellent use of helicopter aerial shots, plus the fake CG blood isn't as obvious as in recent action flicks. The cinematic bloodthirst that "Cleopatra" didn't quench was more than satisfied by Neil Marshall's latest.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:34 am

Going through some more Carpenter movies, I saw Starman for the first time. I was familiar with the movie, but it was a big contrast to his darker movies like The Thing & Assault of Precinct 13. The "benevolent alien who comes to earth to teach us how to love, while fleeing evil government types" has been done so many times (it reminded me a lot of Short Circuit actually), but it's not this movie's fault, though you can tell it was made after E.T.. Good overall, with excellent performances from Bridges & Allen.


We also did a "Slug Zombie" movie night and watched Night of the Creeps and Slither back to back, my second viewings for both. These are both such fun horror movies that I can't recommend enough. Dark, wacky comedy, coupled with a good dose of gore. Thrill me!!


Over the past couple months, we went through the first four series of Doctor Who again. Since I'm familiar with them all at this point, I found myself eagerly awaiting the better episodes, so anything less sufferred for me. I only ended up enjoying about a third of what I saw, sadly. When this show brings it's A game, it's damned amazing. The Family of Blood 2-parter was one of the most incredible stories (it got me to root against the Doctor coming back), along with Blink & The Satan Pit. But every season had a turd or two, like The Doctor's Daughter & 42, which were tough to sit through when I knew the really good stuff that was coming. In the next runthrough, I'll probably skip through some of these.

Now I'm going to check out the specials, which I've only seen Planet of the Dead, and that was another turd. I'm also eagerly awaiting the Series 5 DVD, which I haven't seen yet.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dunnyman » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:34 am

Me and my best friend caught The Other Guys last night. I'd heard some good reviews, but they all left me unprepared for the comic gem I saw. From Wahlberg's over the top temper, to Ferrell's obliviousness about women, to Keaton's surprisingly well done captain, and a slew of guest spots, it rocks on every level. Extremely funny, smarter than most comedies, and the best eight minutes of screen time The Rock and Samuel Jackson ever put it.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby HGervais » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:39 am

mavrach wrote:Now I'm going to check out the specials, which I've only seen Planet of the Dead, and that was another turd. I'm also eagerly awaiting the Series 5 DVD, which I haven't seen yet.

I'd part company with you over Planet of the Dead. It's lark and a piece of fluff but damned if it isn't an entertaining piece of fluff. I would go as far to say that in story construction and in the way it is played it is one of the most classic Who feeling stories the new show has done. Oh and I would have loved to see Michelle Ryan's character become a regular companion.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:18 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:Frank Zappa's 200 MOTELS (1971) on MGM-HD for the first time. Shot on 4x3 video (which doesn't translate well to high-def) this is an experimental (i.e. made-up as the filmmakers went along) movie that is definitely meant for people that either liked Mothers of Invention and/or 'get' Zappa's musical/state of mind vibrations. I sat watching this amazed that I didn't remember anything that I had just seen (except for the Ringo scenes where he pretends to be Zappa) and was at a loss of what to write in my notepad. So I wrote "Laugh-In wannabe" and moved on.

Actually, the movie was scripted, though it doesn't have an over-arching narrative. It's a series of vignettes about:

1. The insanity of touring as a rock band.
2. Contentious band politics (particularly guitarist Jeff Simmons' constant complaints that The Mothers of Invention didn't make the kind of music that got radio airplay).
3. The sad detritus of the American political and popular culture of the early '70s.
4. Various members of The Mothers of Invention (playing semi-fictional versions of themselves) complaining about how Zappa was exploiting them by incorporating things they'd actually said and done into both his music and 200 Motels -- based on their real life complaints that Zappa was exploiting them by incorporating things they'd actually said and done into both his music and 200 Motels).

Yes, it's definitely geared toward the hardcore Zappa fanatic. No, it isn't a Laugh-In wannabe (Laugh-In only wished it was as twisted, surreal, and self-reflexive).
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:41 am

HGervais wrote:
mavrach wrote:Now I'm going to check out the specials, which I've only seen Planet of the Dead, and that was another turd. I'm also eagerly awaiting the Series 5 DVD, which I haven't seen yet.

I'd part company with you over Planet of the Dead. It's lark and a piece of fluff but damned if it isn't an entertaining piece of fluff. I would go as far to say that in story construction and in the way it is played it is one of the most classic Who feeling stories the new show has done. Oh and I would have loved to see Michelle Ryan's character become a regular companion.


It's about to get a second day in court, so we shall see.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:15 pm

The African Queen. Wow, was that ever worth waiting for. I don't think I've seen as good a performance from either Bogart or Hepburn. I was worried that I'd be let down after years of hype, but I loved every minute of it.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:25 pm

I just finished Sleepaway Camp for the first time, and I don't think I'm going to be right for a while. I'd heard this movie was famous for a twist ending, and I even got a mini-spoiler about it. But when it came, it hit me. I've seen a lot of horror movies, but this was one of the only movies to have ever honestly SCARED me.

When the movie opened, I didn't like it. The actors were pretty terrible and the production value was very weak. I decided to stick with it and see what was up with the ending. This felt like a movie that kept building and building to all culminate in that final scene. The movie almost seemed to be an average movie about a kids camp, with a few random grisly deaths throughout, but it all tied together in the end. Now the more I think about everything, it would all work.

I can see where this movie gets its following. That was a true shocker and I'm just kind of nervous now. Wow.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Bryan Pope » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:12 am

Clash of the Titans (2010) -- Fun, good eye candy, and instantly forgettable.

I'm working my way through all six seasons of Lost. It's available on instant Netflix, so I'm watching one episode a day from my computer during my lunch hour. I'd previously seen the first two seasons, but I'd forgotten so much. Entertaining show. Looking forward to the seasons I haven't seen before.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:49 am

mavrach wrote:I just finished Sleepaway Camp for the first time, and I don't think I'm going to be right for a while. I can see where this movie gets its following. That was a true shocker and I'm just kind of nervous now. Wow.


When I first came to visit the States in '85 (as a 12 year-old) this was one of the first movies I saw on HBO at my father's place. I distinctly remember jumping off my seat when 'the twist' came, and just remaining standing there in the middle of the living room through the entire closing credits. God Bless America! 8)

Just know that, if you decide to delve further into the "Sleepaway Camp" sequels, don't bring the same set of expectations that you brought to the first. They're entirely self-aware movies (which doesn't make them bad, just different) while the first, for all its flaws, seems almost sincere in its attempt to make you care for some of the characters (only to have you-know-what pull the rug from under you). Also, "Return to Sleepaway Camp" (released on DVD in 2008 but made five years earlier) is the true sequel to the '83 "Sleepaway Camp" (same writer/director and a handful of actors from the original return) but in its own way it's also as 'far out' as the mid-80's sequels. Welcome to our world! ;-)
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Gabriel Girard » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:13 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:
mavrach wrote:I just finished Sleepaway Camp for the first time, and I don't think I'm going to be right for a while. I can see where this movie gets its following. That was a true shocker and I'm just kind of nervous now. Wow.


When I first came to visit the States in '85 (as a 12 year-old) this was one of the first movies I saw on HBO at my father's place. I distinctly remember jumping off my seat when 'the twist' came, and just remaining standing there in the middle of the living room through the entire closing credits. God Bless America! 8)


That's weird I think the film is a steeming pile of *** myself- very amateurish and uninspired - even that ending doesn't redeem it in my eyes - and I usually dig 80's slasher flicks.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:48 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:
That's weird I think the film is a steeming pile of *** myself- very amateurish and uninspired - even that ending doesn't redeem it in my eyes - and I usually dig 80's slasher flicks.



SPOILERS on Sleepaway Camp - It's just impossible to avoid at this point.



I can see what you mean. I might have quit watching during the first few minutes, if my wife weren't already enjoying it. A lot of the acting is cheap and the audio/visual feels the same. But the more I think about it, the more I appreciate the writing. What you write off as the innocent heroine's dark backstory turns out to be the reason why she was the killer in the end. And that innocence feels like a betrayal when such a quiet, shy girl turns into a feral monster in the final frame. And you never see a child turn out to be the killer in this sort of thing either.

Also the movie knew its limits. The movie ended at the reveal of the villain, and just stopped at the still shot. Any other movie would have had a cheap fight sequence where the villain got subdued and some sort of aftermath/explanation. But Sleepaway Camp knew this was its strength and it just stopped right there, perfect.

The cheap budget also necessitated that still shot. There were no effects to get some sort of nude makeup or such to show the shot of Angela with the boy body. The still shot with a different body was the only way they could do that, and it ended up solidifying that shock. And I can assure you that the actress is a female becasue I saw her at one of my autograph shows recently, and she's quite hot!


Incidentally, can somebody explain to me how they were able to include a frontal male shot, as well as an ass shot, of underage kids for this movie? Wouldn't this be illegal?





Anyways, I can't help but this that this could have been a classic if it had a bigger budget and better actors. But having a budget might have sacrificed what ended up being so effective.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:55 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:
mavrach wrote:I just finished Sleepaway Camp for the first time, and I don't think I'm going to be right for a while. I can see where this movie gets its following. That was a true shocker and I'm just kind of nervous now. Wow.


When I first came to visit the States in '85 (as a 12 year-old) this was one of the first movies I saw on HBO at my father's place. I distinctly remember jumping off my seat when 'the twist' came, and just remaining standing there in the middle of the living room through the entire closing credits. God Bless America! 8)

Just know that, if you decide to delve further into the "Sleepaway Camp" sequels, don't bring the same set of expectations that you brought to the first. They're entirely self-aware movies (which doesn't make them bad, just different) while the first, for all its flaws, seems almost sincere in its attempt to make you care for some of the characters (only to have you-know-what pull the rug from under you). Also, "Return to Sleepaway Camp" (released on DVD in 2008 but made five years earlier) is the true sequel to the '83 "Sleepaway Camp" (same writer/director and a handful of actors from the original return) but in its own way it's also as 'far out' as the mid-80's sequels. Welcome to our world! ;-)


I'm thinking of checking them out. Yes, that was my instinct. A movie that relied so heavily on the final reveal, couldn't possibly have anything special after that point. You already know who the villain is, and the loss off innocence isn't that special after that point. They don't seem to be much more than more slasher flicks after that. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm the type to treat the first movie like it's the only movie that exists. I'll probably get to the sequels at some point.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dan Mancini » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:33 am

Last night I watched the 1976 version of King Kong for the first time in almost 30 years. Good gravy, what a trainwreck. Bridges and Grodin are a lot of fun, and the scenes involving human beings have a certain charm (especially on Skull Island), but anything with Kong is atrocious. Rambaldi and Baker did a great job with the ape's head, but the rest of the suit sucks. Plus, it was a huge mistake to have Baker play Kong. He just sort of lumbers around in the suit. It's not really a performance. And the insert shots of Rambaldi's 40-foot mechanical Kong are hilarious...in a bad way.

Also, I know it was the '70s and I remember how lame the '70s were, and I know the movie was shooting for camp, but "Dwan"? Really? And asking Kong what his sign is? Really?

Comparing Kong '76 with Kong '33 provides an object lesson in how it's the execution not the sophistication of special effects that matters. The '33 film's effects may be primitive, but they've stood the test of time because there's an enormous amount of craftsmanship and attention to detail involved. The '76 film collapses under the weight of the hair-brained schemes and budget limitations that forced Rambaldi and Baker to cut corners.

Buy, hey, at least Kong '76 didn't have pole vaulting natives.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Bryan Pope » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:32 am

Dan Mancini wrote:Last night I watched the 1976 version of King Kong for the first time in almost 30 years. Good gravy, what a trainwreck. Bridges and Grodin are a lot of fun, and the scenes involving human beings have a certain charm (especially on Skull Island), but anything with Kong is atrocious. Rambaldi and Baker did a great job with the ape's head, but the rest of the suit sucks. Plus, it was a huge mistake to have Baker play Kong. He just sort of lumbers around in the suit. It's not really a performance. And the insert shots of Rambaldi's 40-foot mechanical Kong are hilarious...in a bad way.

Also, I know it was the '70s and I remember how lame the '70s were, and I know the movie was shooting for camp, but "Dwan"? Really? And asking Kong what his sign is? Really?

Comparing Kong '76 with Kong '33 provides an object lesson in how it's the execution not the sophistication of special effects that matters. The '33 film's effects may be primitive, but they've stood the test of time because there's an enormous amount of craftsmanship and attention to detail involved. The '76 film collapses under the weight of the hair-brained schemes and budget limitations that forced Rambaldi and Baker to cut corners.

Buy, hey, at least Kong '76 didn't have pole vaulting natives.

Yeah, Kong '76 has a certain charm about it, but its liabilities far outweigh its assets. I like the 2005 version, with its strong performances and visual dazzle, but it's just so damn bloated. And man does it take itself too seriously. I'm amazed at how well the original holds up. The best of the three by far.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:37 am

like, oh my gawd! The original is just way too black and white for me. I'd rather my giant monkey trashing new yawk be in glorious color.

It's early, i haven't had my vitamin C(affiene) yet...
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:46 am

Rewatched THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) on Blu-ray twice, once with the informative commentary track (the tip of an iceberg of documentaries and bonus features in the three-disc set). Like Margaret Hamilton my resistance against the movie's imperfections are melting and melting with each repeat viewing. I'm loving it more and more wondering why the f*** I waited 37 years to watch it. I still can't stand The Munchkins though (or their sped-up chipmunk voices) and Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion still grates me toward the end, but everything else about "Wizard of Oz" (SFX, performances, songs, photography, set design, etc.) confirms just how incredibly awesome the year 1939 was for movies. 'We're Off to See The Wizard' is now on heavy rotation on my MP3 player and damn if I have to remind myself not to start step-dancing while walking down the street. :shock:

Robert Rodriguez' & Ethan Maniquis' MACHETE (2010) in theaters for the first time. When it doesn't take itself seriously (which is often) "Machete" lives up to the insanity of its "Grindhouse" trailer (whose scenes are awkwardly crammed into the narrative... watch carefully when Cheech goes for the shotguns) and continues Rodriguez' (and an absent Tarantino's) mission of finding cinematic virtue in a discredited genre. There are about a dozen action moments or throwaway lines (often punctuated by the hero's blade doing massive CG damage) and enough bad-assery on display from manly men (Ruiz, Fahey and even freaking Seagal are really good when laying it thick) and hot women (Rodriguez, Alba, a naked Lindsay Lohan) that had the entire midnight crowd I saw this with shouting and laughing with delight. But there are lengthy in-between sections of the movie crammed with exposition where Rodriguez gets preachy and attention shifts toward lesser characters/actors (Don Johnson and DeNiro, surprisingly, turn out the weakest performances) that drag "Machete" up and down. It's more "Planet Terror" and "Once Upon A Time in Mexico" than "Desperado" or "El Mariachi" but, if you love your action movies bloody while being self-aware and inconsistent (what happens to Tom Savini's character halfway through the movie??!!), "Machete" is to 2010 what "Grindhouse" was to 2007. If you're not a fan already you might as well wait to rent this.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby hoytereden » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:24 pm

Steve T Power wrote:like, oh my gawd! The original is just way too black and white for me. I'd rather my giant monkey trashing new yawk be in glorious color.

I'll send you a VHS copy of the colorized version. ;-)
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby azul017 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:35 am

Machete - In a word, AWESOME. Those who hated Rodriguez's Planet Terror will eat it up. Decidedly non-PC, lots of gore and a loving throwback to '70s exploitation films. And Danny Trejo needs more leading man roles asap.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Future Man » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:55 pm

The American
I found this to be an utter disappointment. The trailer shows virtually every second of action that the film has to offer. The Clooney character is a uncharismatic cipher--a deadly combination. The tone is austere. They somehow made the Italian countryside look gray and cold. The story could have been written on a cocktail napkin. The big assignment doesn't make any sense--not that it is hard to understand; it just doesn't make any sense for someone like Clooney's character to carry it out. And the 'romantic' angle inspires revulsion more than anything else. Worst of all, while I I normally appreciate the slow pace of a thoughtful movie, this was a total bore, the kind of movie where you hear audience members all around you squirming with impatience for something interesting to happen.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby molly1216 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:47 am

Dan Mancini wrote:Last night I watched the 1976 version of King Kong for the first time in almost 30 years. Good gravy, what a trainwreck. Bridges and Grodin are a lot of fun, and the scenes involving human beings have a certain charm (especially on Skull Island), but anything with Kong is atrocious. Rambaldi and Baker did a great job with the ape's head, but the rest of the suit sucks. Plus, it was a huge mistake to have Baker play Kong. He just sort of lumbers around in the suit. It's not really a performance. And the insert shots of Rambaldi's 40-foot mechanical Kong are hilarious...in a bad way.

Also, I know it was the '70s and I remember how lame the '70s were, and I know the movie was shooting for camp, but "Dwan"? Really? And asking Kong what his sign is? Really?

it's okay man...we were all watching it stoned anyway.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:20 am

I have a soft spot for '76 "King Kong" since (a) I still haven't seen the 1933 Cooper version of "Kong" yet (I know, heresy!) and (b) it's one of the first movie an uncle took me to see in theaters with a double-bill featuring a John Wayne movie I can't remember (but I do remember clearly it was Wayne). And you have to admit, (a) updating the setting of the final showdown from the Empire State Building to the twin towers of the World Trade Center and (b) the filmmakers to greedy oil executives were neat touches (worthless rear-projection helicopter battle notwithstanding). I own the DVD and, though the effects/costume/miniatures have dated badly, the Bridges/Lange (playing dumb)/Grodin performances make "KK '76" worth seeing.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Bryan Pope » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:30 am

Up in the Air -- Jason Reitman hit all the right notes in this one. Man, was that entertaining. Clooney impressed, of course, but where did they find Vera Farmiga? She was outstanding -- smart, sexy... a perfect match for Clooney. The film is beautifully shot, the story is simple and well-constructed, and it has an ending that is completely satisfying without being pat. One of the few movies where I can't think of a single thing I would change.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby HGervais » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:31 pm

If you are in any way, shape or form a fan of The Prisoner then you owe to yourself to pick it up on blu-ray. The color & level of detail is astonishing. I was sitting there last night watching episodes I've seen a dozen times over the years stunned by how gorgeous everything looked.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:47 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:And you have to admit, (a) updating the setting of the final showdown from the Empire State Building to the twin towers of the World Trade Center and (b) the filmmakers to greedy oil executives were neat touches (worthless rear-projection helicopter battle notwithstanding).

I have to admit no such thing. One of the things that Peter Jackson was 100% right about was making his King Kong a period piece. The story is at home in the 1930s. Now, if he'd only opened the movie with Ann Darrow getting busted stealing an apple, cut out the poorly executed brontosaurus stampede as well as Jimmy and Mr. Hayes' musings on The Heart of Darkness, and cast Bruce Campbell as Denham instead of Jack Black, Kong '05 would be completely kick-ass. There's definitely a wildly entertaining 2-hour movie in there.

While you're correct that Bridges and Grodin are great, let's just say there's a reason that Jessica Lange immediately enrolled in acting classes after the shoot wrapped.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby BenSaylor » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:42 pm

The American--Absolutely one of my favorites of 2010. Great cinematography, an incredibly restrained lead performance from George Clooney and an agreeably spare yet powerful screenplay combine to make this a wholly enjoyable "existential hitman" piece. I'm guessing a lot of people will come away from it upset (we had several walkouts at the showing I attended) because of the way the film is being marketed, but for my part I loved it from beginning to end.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Intentionally bad cinema's master returns!! This week saw The Lost Skeleton Returns, an utterly charming and funny sequel to The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra, and Larry Blamire didn't disappoint! From inane dialogue, bad FX (intentionally, again) and some seriously cheesy sets, this thing never stops moving, and the laughs didn't stop coming. Don't attempt to take it seriously, and don't just think of it as a comedy as sight gags are few and far between, this is perfect of a parody as you can get. These flicks are the very definition of parody. I also picked up Blamire's Dark and Stormy Night, he and his crew's take on the old dark house genre, which I'll watch tonight. Also been finishing up Angel in it's entirety, and have been suitably wowed. As a longtime Buffy fan, I wound up dealing with moving, being a homeowner etc. more important than watching TV and so I missed it. Glad I did because I don't have to wait a week on the cliffhangers! So far I love: Lorne, Fred, the bickering between the characters, the incredibly evil law firm (who else makes for a better baddie?) and the hellspawn known as Leila Morgan, I loathe: the over angsty Conner, the will they/won't they Angel/Cordy bit, and the 678,123 cuts a second bits between scenes, I really don't need to have a seizure induced. If some Angel hardcore fan can help me though, I'd appreciate it. Did Glenn Quinn OD, then they wrote him out, or was he kicked off of the show due to drug problems then he OD'd? Just wondering as one of the season four episodes is dedicated to him, well after the character was gone.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Gabriel Girard » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:27 pm

Fireworks (Hana-Bi, 1997) -A very intriguing film from Takeshi Kitano - I'm having a hard time articulating my response to it. Some people might describe Kitano as style over substance but here the style IS the substance. The movie is about moments, about melancholy and over all about just being - there's a very existentialist feeling to it ; there's never a catharsis for the audience and none of the characters are that interesting but one is transfixed nonetheless. Kitano's filmmaking is just so perfect- never a superfluous moment - there's only the final scene that stretches on for too long. Just don't watch it if you're feeling sleepy or depressed; despite the advertisment the movie isn't that violent, but it's about violence - get the nuance?
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby cdouglas » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:05 pm

BenSaylor wrote:The American--Absolutely one of my favorites of 2010. Great cinematography, an incredibly restrained lead performance from George Clooney and an agreeably spare yet powerful screenplay combine to make this a wholly enjoyable "existential hitman" piece. I'm guessing a lot of people will come away from it upset (we had several walkouts at the showing I attended) because of the way the film is being marketed, but for my part I loved it from beginning to end.


I felt the exact same way, Ben. Glad someone else liked this one as much as I did.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby azul017 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:09 pm

So no one else saw Machete? I'm very disappointed with you, Steve. This flick is right up your alley.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby BenSaylor » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:54 am

azul017 wrote:So no one else saw Machete? I'm very disappointed with you, Steve. This flick is right up your alley.


I did, unfortunately. I thought it was terrible, and not in a good way. Most of the time, I was just really bored. There's not enough action, and way too many clunky dialogue scenes. Most of the actors are wasted, and where's the grungy 70s/exploitation/grindhouse look and feel? I wasn't expecting much going in and got even less.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:13 am

azul017 wrote:where's the grungy 70s/exploitation/grindhouse look and feel?

It's on for the first five minutes, up until after the credits when Machete is looking for day labor near the Taco truck. Then you literally see the digital noise vanish with a fade, as if Rodriguez said 'OK, enough of that' and flips the switch. Big mistake IMHO since from that point on "Machete's" cinematography looks flat and doesn't match the look of the 70's grindhouse flick it wants to be.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:26 am

azul017 wrote:So no one else saw Machete? I'm very disappointed with you, Steve. This flick is right up your alley.


I don't know man, i've been getting such bad vibes from Machete. The whole Grindhouse experiment to me has been a bit of a failure. There's a little too much self-awareness and parody going on there. I mean, when did these old 70's exploitation flicks feature a character using another character's entrails as rope? And the political bent is a little bit of a turn off as well ("We didn't cross the border! The border crossed us!")

That said, the "...and introducing Don Johnson" bit in the trailer had me laughing, and it does feature some nudity from Lindsey Lohan, so that's kinda cool i guess. I'll check it out when it hits DVD/Blu-ray. And I may be pleasantly surprised.

I can do stuff like The Expendables because it isn't trying to wink at you or play it clever. It isn't homage, it's total throwback. The movie's plot was total bullshit, but the action was off the hook, and it never descended into self-aware parody.

The cast was ridiculous, sure, but it didn't play the "Hey! Look at this retarded cast we got goin here!" card.

Predators was a hoot and a half because, again, it played it straight, and was utterly bad-ass.

Machete Seems more "A-Team" to me. Theatre of the absurd kinda stuff.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby azul017 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:42 am

Steve T Power wrote:
I don't know man, i've been getting such bad vibes from Machete. The whole Grindhouse experiment to me has been a bit of a failure. There's a little too much self-awareness and parody going on there. I mean, when did these old 70's exploitation flicks feature a character using another character's entrails as rope? And the political bent is a little bit of a turn off as well ("We didn't cross the border! The border crossed us!")


I hated Grindhouse, but loved this movie. Rodriguez toned down the self-awareness and humor in this film, but it doesn't mean it doesn't poke fun at itself (i.e the intestine rope scene). And about the political bent, it's a bit off-putting at first but once the film gets going it's not a big deal. Robert de Niro's fate at the end is both ironic and hilarious.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:14 pm

azul017 wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
I don't know man, i've been getting such bad vibes from Machete. The whole Grindhouse experiment to me has been a bit of a failure. There's a little too much self-awareness and parody going on there. I mean, when did these old 70's exploitation flicks feature a character using another character's entrails as rope? And the political bent is a little bit of a turn off as well ("We didn't cross the border! The border crossed us!")


I hated Grindhouse, but loved this movie. Rodriguez toned down the self-awareness and humor in this film, but it doesn't mean it doesn't poke fun at itself (i.e the intestine rope scene). And about the political bent, it's a bit off-putting at first but once the film gets going it's not a big deal. Robert de Niro's fate at the end is both ironic and hilarious.


Duly noted. Curiosity piqued. If i get to a theatre i shall consider it.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby BenShultz » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:10 pm

Steve T Power wrote:...and it does feature some nudity from Lindsey Lohan, so that's kinda cool i guess,


According to Nick Nunziata of CHUD, it's a body double. And a fairly obvious one at that.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Future Man » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:15 pm

The Good the Bad the Weird
Now see this is why I love movies. The big chase involving horses, military vehicles, artillery fire and motorycles is as ridiculous as it is glorious. The scene pretty darn near approaches The Road Warrior/Raiders of the Lost Ark in awesomeness/how'd-they-do-that.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:22 pm

Future Man wrote:The Good the Bad the Weird
Now see this is why I love movies. The big chase involving horses, military vehicles, artillery fire and motorycles is as ridiculous as it is glorious. The scene pretty darn near approaches The Road Warrior/Raiders of the Lost Ark in awesomeness/how'd-they-do-that.


Amen, one of the best films I've seen all year. Hilarious and action packed.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Polynikes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:38 pm

HGervais wrote:If you are in any way, shape or form a fan of The Prisoner then you owe to yourself to pick it up on blu-ray. The color & level of detail is astonishing. I was sitting there last night watching episodes I've seen a dozen times over the years stunned by how gorgeous everything looked.


A genuine Sixties classic. I did not watch the remake series last year; did you? If so, what did you think of it? How did the setting differ from the original version? Part of the attraction of the original was its eccentric style - hard to see that being replicated in the modern era. I bet they didn't use Portmeirion as the location either!
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:55 pm

Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton's THE GENERAL (1926) on TCM-HD for the first time. My first Buster Keaton silent film (I've only seen Buster in past-his-prime small roles like "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum") and all I can do is marvel at the man's physical prowess, and at reading that this was a box office failure. Though filled with elaborate gags and build-ups that offer mild laughter at best (the one with the Union Generals not being able to figure out how to repair a broken track had me laughing outloud though) "The General" has amazing stunt work using locomotives that leaves one in awe of Keaton the performer but also Keaton the co-producer/co-director/co-writer. The use of historically true Civil War events as backdrop (circa 1862) and playing the chase aspects pretty much straight (no winking at the audience or sped-up Keystone Cops-type visual slapstick, although the gags with the bear trap had me shaking my head) makes this a breathtaking chase movie from about 15 min. on until near the end of the film. And, if they ever make a Buster Keaton biopic, I sure hope they cast Johnny Depp to play Buster because Depp's a dead ringer. The Alloy Orchestra soundtrack I heard on the TCM-aired version sounded too percussiony and drum machine-heavy; might have to spring for the Kino BD to hear an alternate soundtrack that isn't as distracting as the one from Alloy Orchestra.

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (1937) on TCM-HD for the first time. I read Mark Twain's book growing up and I didn't thought much of it, but the simplistic aspects of the story (a would-be monarch and a pauper kid trade places) made it ideal fodder back in the 1930's for fun yarn of a flick from the folks at Warner. Top-billed (and beardless!) Errol Flynn takes his sweet time appearing as a fictitious mercenary that's instrumental in getting Tom Canty and Prince Edward (Billy and Robert J. Mauch, aka the Mauch Twins) back to their respective homes/social places; when Errol finally shows up the movie becomes another swashbuckling vehicle for Flynn to play around with along with his pal Alan Hale. Claude Rains is suitably villanous as the dastardly Earl of Hertford and the production design (including an impressive-for-its-time re-enactment of a Westminster Abbey coronation) impressive. A fun movie with which to kill two hours on a Sunday afternoon (before NFL football season of course).

Rewatched EASTER PARADE (1948) on DVD with the John Fricke/Ava Astaire McKenzie commentary track. Pleasant chemistry between Fricke (a living encyclopedia about anything Judy Garland-related) and Fred's daughter makes this commentary track an enjoyable one.

Akira Kurosawa's THE IDIOT (1951) on TCM-HD for the first time. A depressingly romantic love triangle between honest-to-a-fault war veteran Kinji Kameda (Masayuki Mori playing a character that's half Forrest Gump and half Jesus Christ, complete with heavenly choir!), mysterious woman of ill repute Taeko (Setsuko Hara) and feisty young Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga) with Toshirô Mifune's Akama the unlikely friendly rival of Kameda for the affections of Taeko. While there's still enough of Kurosawa's mise-en-scène (setting the story in the snow-covered Northern region of Seppora is a masterstroke of conveying the character's inner mood at all times), an enjoyable show-off Mifune in a supporting role and many additional supporting performances (too many to mention) there is an aimless feel to the plodding narrative that comes across disconnected even from the realities of post-World War II Japanese society this movie was made for. I honestly didn't know what to expect from a Kurosawa-helmed Dostoyevsky adaptation but I definitely expected better than this. Even with knowledge that this is a 166 min. butchered-by-studio-interference truncated version (the sudden wipes, explanation text at the start of Part 1 and sudden shifts in tone/mood kind-of hinted at that) "The Idiot" just feels too freaking long and plodding. Shame because, in fits and starts (the meeting between Taeko and Ayako in which the former's fate is sealed feels alive with palpable tension), there's a good movie buried under awkward continuity gaps.

Watched the 'Making of' Documentaries on the NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) Blu-ray. Other than the Cary Grant documentary spoiling the endings of a few movies (my bad for not seeing them sooner) and a lot of information being a rehash of the Ernest Lehman commentary track it was a mostly informative, no-frills bonus fun.

Pier Paolo Pasolini's MAMMA ROMA (1962) on TCM-HD for the first time. As with "Salo" (his only other movie I've seen) I found myself admiring the symbolism of what Pasolini's camera has framed instead or liking or relating to its characters or locales (all clearly symbols of Italian society) within the movie's narrative, something I didn't have trouble with similar movies like "Nights of Cabiria." While he obviously cares deeply about the 'lesser' society types (outcasts, oppressed working-class poor, etc.) that he perceived were being paid lip-service to by the Italian ruling class (state and religious institutions) Pasolini's eye for aesthetics often ends up clouding what could have been great movie scenes (like Ettore's final moments) with religious iconography run amok. Anna Magnani is a fiery on-screen presence that just keeps you interested (not so much when the other characters take over). I had an Aunt like Mamma Roma minus the prostitution lifestyle: loud, full of life with a fire within her soul; R.I.P. :cry: I found myself sharing Mamma's joys (getting that fruit stand, looking at Ettore working from a distance, that bike ride, etc.) and angry/depressed when things didn't go her way (is it me or could Roma have lifted Franco Citti's Carmine over her head and body-slammed him easy?). I had to go online to read about "Mamma Roma's" ending because, frankly, it left me cold and confused on first viewing. I've got to get me the Criterion versions of both "Mamma Roma" and "Salo" because, without the documentaries/bonus features, I feel that I'm missing out on the complete meaning of what Pasolini was trying to express with both films (particularly "Mamma Roma") that got lost (to me) because I couldn't get past the symbolism.

Woody Allen's STARDUST MEMORIES (1980) on MGM-HD for the first time. First of all, this meta-in-the-extreme B&W movie looks gorgeous in high-definition; Gordon Willis and Woody Allen did some incredible-looking films together ("Zelig," "Broadway Danny Rose," "Interiors," "Purple Rose of Cairo," etc.) and it's a shame that only MGM-HD seems to have access to HD versions of these (where are the Blu-rays?). Second, on first impression this seemingly self-indulgent homage to Fellini's "8 1/2" that doubles as a sharp lampooning of Allen's critics and (extremely dorky-looking) admirers alike left me thrilled and smiling from ear to ear. So what if it's been done before and after? It's only intermitingly funny (which is the very point Woody makes as Sandy Bates in the movie: not every movie from a director known for comedy has to be funny) but there's a playful blurring in "Stardust Memories" between the lines of reality and fiction (or what Allen's audience perceives to be either) about Woody's life on and off the screen that gives the man carte blanche to indulge in his favorite pet peeves (with an alien encounter or two to lighten the mood). Woman trouble (with Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper and Marie-Christine Barrault...sigh), paying homage to the classics (a shoutout to "Bicycle Thieves"), poking fun at his fans (Amy Wright's brief scenes... watch for her and Woody waving goodbye to each other after their 'encounter' :D), making a sober point for counter-balance (the meeting between Sandy and a person he grew up with is my favorite scene in the movie, a moment of realistic observation in the middle of a cinematic Rorschach test) and so on and so forth. Yep, it's a Woody Allen movie alright and one of the best 'inside showbusiness' films I've seen in a long time IF you also happen to be an Allen fan.

Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD (1981) on Blu-ray for the first time. Take it from someone that refuses to upgrade already-owned DVD's to high-definition unless absolutely necessary (i.e. vastly improved): the new "Evil Dead" Blu-ray is no "Halloween" or "Evil Dead 2"-type DNR'ed-to-death hatchet job. This is a 16mm low-budget horror time capsule with glorious amounts of grain and primary colors (especially the crimson variety) leaping off the screen along with the choice of aspect ratios (I'll use the 16x9 when hearing the commentary but, for the genuine article, nothing beats 4x3 baby!) that towers over every prior home video release. Soundtrack is spiffy and LOUD too, although the lack of the original Mono soundtrack is a bummer. Even better, the new commentary track with Raimi, Tapert and Campbell (recorded a month before Sam was let go from "Spider-Man 4"; a couple of jokes make it clear both Sam and Bruce thought they'd be back for "4") doesn't overlap with the Bruce-only commentary from the old DVD releases; keep them both (old DVD and new BD) for the complete treasure trove of "Evil Dead" commentary goodness. The movie itself you ask? A whacked-out, over-the-top and insanely fun (when you're in the mood for gory fun) living, breathing example of artistic intent and skill overcoming no money, amateurish acting and minimal production values. But you knew that already, which is why I repeat: if you own a Blu-ray player and a DVD copy (or two, or three, or four, or...) of "Evil Dead" then you're going to have to swallow hard, get over your anger and gladly fork over more cash to those greedy f***s over at Anchor Bay. This time they've actually earned it though, because THIS is the "Evil Dead" home video release to beat... until the next one! :o :(

Roman Polansky's THE PIANIST (2002) on HD-DVD for the first time. Yes, Holocaust movies have become a cliché shortcut by actors/directors/studios to Academy Award recognition. But when they're as heartfelt, memorable and well-made as "The Pianist" you can't argue with the results. This is a fine motion picture that yes, won plenty of Oscar love back in 2002. But, seen in 2010, "The Pianist" still has the power to make me angry, sad, depressed and happy that the real Wladyslaw Szpilman (played with believable nuance by Adrian Brody) was able to find the inner-fortitude (and luck) to live through the insanity of the Warsaw guetto uprising. The last meal of Szpilman's family (you know it when you see it from watching plenty of Holocaust films prior) is moving and, with the knowledge I've acquired about Polansky's body of work (and childhood) over recent years, I could even see the absurd black humor (dark and depressing but vintage Roman) of the Nazi machine recruiting Jews to torture and abuse their own kind (or, in the case of Szpilman, save him) and randomly choosing who lives or dies. A masterpice, even if the last-minute Thomas Kretschmann appearance feels weird and disconnected from the movie up to that point (even though it's based on the real Szpilman's memoir).
Last edited by J.M. Vargas on Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby HGervais » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:57 pm

Polynikes wrote:A genuine Sixties classic. I did not watch the remake series last year; did you? If so, what did you think of it? How did the setting differ from the original version? Part of the attraction of the original was its eccentric style - hard to see that being replicated in the modern era. I bet they didn't use Portmeirion as the location either!

I did not watch it at all. It held zero interest to me.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby molly1216 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:39 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Future Man wrote:The Good the Bad the Weird
Now see this is why I love movies. The big chase involving horses, military vehicles, artillery fire and motorycles is as ridiculous as it is glorious. The scene pretty darn near approaches The Road Warrior/Raiders of the Lost Ark in awesomeness/how'd-they-do-that.


Amen, one of the best films I've seen all year. Hilarious and action packed.

Ditto.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:42 am

The pre-Halloween horror fest has begun in my household (mostly by way of Netflix streaming). So far:

Galaxy of Terror
Godawful. There are a handful of Corman movies that are near-and-dear to my heart. This ain't one of 'em. It wasn't Death Race 2000 levels of annoying, but still a complete let-down considering the fantastic B-list cast.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th: Jason Lives

Hey, I know they're cheesy, but the franchise was an essential part of my yout'. I was a high school underclassmen when The Final Chapter came out, and that's the last of of the series I saw in a theater. I've seen bits and pieces of the subsequent flicks, but couldn't tell you which kills take place in which movies. So this year I decided to work my way through the later entries in the series as a mindless bit of fun. As a side note, I'd forgotten that Crispin Glover was in The Final Chapter (and also how sexed up the flick is -- far more than most of the other entries).

The Last House on the Left (1972)
I knew this one by reputation, but it had slipped under my radar until now. It's definitely skeezy, but not nearly as graphic as people say. And the entire final act is so utterly reedonkulous that it pretty much ruins the entire movie. I spent most of the flick distracted by my pity for Fred J. Lincoln. The dude's a walking cliche. One look at his cheap suit and blow-dried pompadour and I just knew his bread and butter was '70s porn. IMDB confirmed it.

Child's Play
I hadn't seen it in at least 20 years. I'd completely forgotten that Chucky is inhabited by Brad Dourif's black soul...and also that Catherine Hicks has only one setting: Overact. Still, not a bad little piece of schlock.

Halloween: H20
I scored this on DVD from Netflix because I've never seen it, then realized the disc was non-anamorphic and mailed it back unwatched. Oh, well.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Future Man » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:05 am

Trick R Treat
Wow this was awful. It startes on a huh?-that-doesn't-ring-true-note by having victim #1 insisting on taking down her elaborate Halloween yard decorations in the middle of trick or treating which makes as much sense as taking down the Christmas tree while kids are still opening presents underneath. This does lead to a mildly creepy scene but nothing that follows comes close to emulating it.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby BenShultz » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:59 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:Galaxy of Terror
It wasn't Death Race 2000 levels of annoying, but still a complete let-down considering the fantastic B-list cast.


Just out of curiousity, would you mind expanding a little on that Death Race 2000 remark? I ask because I saw it just recently for the first time, am fairly new to Corman, and thought it was a pretty entertaining piece of work. Did you find the overacting grating?
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:35 pm

BenShultz wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:Galaxy of Terror
It wasn't Death Race 2000 levels of annoying, but still a complete let-down considering the fantastic B-list cast.


Just out of curiousity, would you mind expanding a little on that Death Race 2000 remark? I ask because I saw it just recently for the first time, am fairly new to Corman, and thought it was a pretty entertaining piece of work. Did you find the overacting grating?

It's just a personal taste thing. I'd place Death Race 2000 in a sub-genre of farce that was peculiar to the late '60s and early '70s, and that I find incredibly irritating. I hate pretty much everything Terry Southern wrote, too, with the exception of Dr. Strangelove (although, if Kubrick hadn't participated in the writing, and Sellers hadn't brought the characters to life, I'd probably hate that, too). Casino Royale, Barbarella, Candy, and The Magic Christian pretty much make me want to slit my wrists. I'd place Death Race 2000 in the same ballpark as all of the previous. It's just not my cup of tea. I understand why other people dig it, but I feel nothing but loathing myself.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby hoytereden » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:06 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:I have a soft spot for '76 "King Kong" since (a) I still haven't seen the 1933 Cooper version of "Kong" yet (I know, heresy!) and (b) it's one of the first movie an uncle took me to see in theaters with a double-bill featuring a John Wayne movie I can't remember (but I do remember clearly it was Wayne). And you have to admit, (a) updating the setting of the final showdown from the Empire State Building to the twin towers of the World Trade Center and (b) the filmmakers to greedy oil executives were neat touches (worthless rear-projection helicopter battle notwithstanding). I own the DVD and, though the effects/costume/miniatures have dated badly, the Bridges/Lange (playing dumb)/Grodin performances make "KK '76" worth seeing.

You need to see the original! I think there's a Blu-ray release coming out this year but even the standard DVD will suffice. I don't know that there's anything worth seeing in the '76 version. I take that back!-The Rick Baker Kong looks better than the Japanese Kong.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:07 pm

The Addiction - A vampire film for the arthouse, weird, philosphical and intriguing. The black and white photography is stunning. I couldn't help being transfixed by the atmosphere and by Lili Taylor. Also features Christopher Walken in a very intense, if brief role. Just be warned - this is very heady stuff - citing Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and the like. Yeah it's pretty pretentious but it feels very personnal and it has a certain ''je ne sais quoi'' that makes it special.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby mavrach » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:14 pm

The Incredible Hulk - What crap! Totally by the numbers, how to make a comic book blockbuster. There were no suprises or anything of note. Just a big, dumb movie.

The final scene told me why this movie was made at all. The Robert Downey Jr. "we're forming a team" cameo, the setup for the eventual Avengers movie is why. I just think they didn't want to use the Ang Lee Hulk because it was so controversial, so they made this cookie-cutter movie instead to springboard off of.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: THE 'Month A Woman Begins to Look Pregnant' WATCHING THREAD

Postby J.M. Vargas » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:26 pm

hoytereden wrote:
J.M. Vargas wrote:I have a soft spot for '76 "King Kong" since (a) I still haven't seen the 1933 Cooper version of "Kong" yet (I know, heresy!) and (b) it's one of the first movie an uncle took me to see in theaters with a double-bill featuring a John Wayne movie I can't remember (but I do remember clearly it was Wayne). And you have to admit, (a) updating the setting of the final showdown from the Empire State Building to the twin towers of the World Trade Center and (b) the filmmakers to greedy oil executives were neat touches (worthless rear-projection helicopter battle notwithstanding). I own the DVD and, though the effects/costume/miniatures have dated badly, the Bridges/Lange (playing dumb)/Grodin performances make "KK '76" worth seeing.

You need to see the original! I think there's a Blu-ray release coming out this year but even the standard DVD will suffice. I don't know that there's anything worth seeing in the '76 version. I take that back!-The Rick Baker Kong looks better than the Japanese Kong.

Don't know whether to wait for the Blu-ray release, then wait for that one to get cheaper (i.e. below $15) or to spring for a relatively-cheap DVD restoration from a couple of years ago (less than ten bucks at most places). I mean, if you've waited this long to see a classic, don't you owe it to yourself to make that first-time viewing as quality an experience as technically possible? You know, either a theatrical screening or at the very least a high-def viewing (from Blu-ray or a cable/satellite channel that broadcasts in high-def). Worked for me when I saw "Wizard of Oz" and "North by Northwest" for the first time recently. :D
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