MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

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MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:26 pm

Don't ask! :cry:

Gregory La Cava's SO's YOUR OLD MAN (1926) with live piano accompaniment at NYC's Anthology Film Archives 'W.C. Fields' retrospective for the first time. I'm not a W.C. Fields fan but I don't dislike his work. I was shocked when he first appears in "So's Your Old Man" (which was remade with sound as 1934's "You're Telling Me!") as a relatively-thin mid-40's guy that, through body language and on-screen attitude, manages to instill his Sam Bisbee character with the same lovable rascal attributes of his sound persona. At 67 minutes the main comedic story (Bisbee failing to sell his indestructible windshield and chance-meeting a Spanish princess on the train ride back home) barely leaves time for the 'B' story (Bisbee's daughter falling for the son of wealthy Mrs. Murchinson, who looks down on the Bisbees for being poor). Between the golf routine, Sam's hilarious suicide attempts on the train, his test-drive/brick-smashing glass tests and Sam showing-off his family history album to Mrs. Murchinson (Julia Ralph as the straight man) there's plenty of belly laughs in this silent comedy to qualify it as an undiscovered gem. Shame Alice Joyce is wasted as the smile-and-look-pretty Princess Lescaboura.

GUN CRAZY (1950) on TCM-HD for the first time. No wonder French movie critics (particularly Godard) flipped their collective lid over this fictitious re-enactment of the Bonnie & Clyde 'doomed lovers on the run' myth. "Gun Crazy" is an awesome little B-movie with an energy (the rags-to-riches montage from jewelry to pawn shop), chemistry between the leads (Peggy Cummins and John Dall giving Beatty and Dunaway a run for their money, especially during their seduction-by-shooting carnival scene), cinematic craftsmanship (the one-take drive/stick-up/getaway scene) and the dramatic know-how (making Laurie the trigger-happy nut instead of Bart) that makes it a perfect cinematic allegory of America's love affair with the gun. Even though Bart feeling guilty about the couple's crime spree comes across as a Hays code imposition (which gives Arthur Penn's "Bonnie & Clyde" the psychological edge by showing two amoral selfish criminals) "Gun Crazy" has enough dramatic beats and good actors in supporting roles (Bart's sister and childhood friends back in Cashville) to carry it past some minor B-movie flaws. Great flick.

Michelangelo Antonioni's L'AVVENTURA (1960) in 35mm at NYC's Anthology Film Archives for the first time. Since I'd already seen "The Passenger," "Blow-Up" and "Red Desert" I thought I was ready to handle whatever "L'avventura" threw at me. But I was thrown a curveball because this wasn't at all what I expected. To see how gradually Antonioni transforms the search for missing Anna (Lea Massari) into the effect her absence has unleashed on her friend Claudia (Monica Vitti) & boyfriend Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti), and how little in the end Anna meant to them and the other boat party guests (via symbolic, well-framed B&W imagery of rocks, churches and bodies/faces in relation to each other and the space they inhabit), is to watch a master director in complete control of his actors and camera. Like Whit Stillman with his smart-ass NYC socialte elite characters Antonioni cares about these well-off characters' meaningless trists because (a) their lifestyles/playgrounds make for great cinematic eye-candy and (b) that's the way they were raised so they're not bad, just blind to the normal emotions most normal folks would feel when their best friend/girlfriend disappears. These character flaws are the perfect human metaphors to give the visual representations of what these characters can't say or communicate (like normal folks could) the drive that propels "L'avventura" toward its dramatic (and completely open-ended) singular image conclusion. Plus, courtesy of the audience I saw this with (including a loud snorer next to me for the movie's last 45 minutes :?), also one of the funniest and warmest Antonioni movies I've seen (James Addams' Corrado or Lelio Luttazzi's Raimondo kept us smiling and laughing whenever they appeared).

Fred Dekker's THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987) on Blu-ray for the first time. Having now seen all Dekker-directed flicks (this, "Night of the Creeps" and "Robocop 3") I can safely say it sits comfortably in the middle. I never saw this in the 80's but, if I had seen "Monster Squad" back then, I want to believe I would have found it as moronic, loud and boring as I did 2004's "Van Helsing." Like a loud and cheesy Count Chocula TV commercial brought to live-action life, "Monster Squad" is both an homage to classic Universal movie monsters and to Spielberg-produced fantasy 80's movies ("Goonies," "Gremlins," "Poltergeist," etc.). Dekker says as much in one of the commentary tracks, but his attempt to play in Spielberg's fantasy playground results in something akin to an extra-long "Amazing Stories" episode without commercials. Duncan Regehr is an OK modern-day Count Dracula (Lee and Lugosi run bat circles around his one-dimensional routine though) but Tom Noonan makes a very appealing Frankenstein monster; his too-brief scenes with then-little Ashley Bank (homages to James Whale) are the highlight of the movie. Everyone else (including the kids) is either bland (Jon Gries' wimpy Wolf Man), a stereotype ("Galaxina's" Stephen Macht as a cop with family problems) or a cipher (Leonardo Cimino, Stan Shaw, etc.). That said, a poe'd Dracula driving over to Sean's house and blowing up the Monster Squad's treehouse with dynamite has got to be one of the coolest scenes I've seen in any movie... ever! :D

Woody Allen's CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) on MGM-HD for the first time. As a diehard fan of Woody Allen movies and TV's "Law & Order" I finally found the one movie that combined them both (Sam Waterston, unrecognizable at first, and Jerry Orbach have small key roles). Martin Landau gives career-best work as a respected NYC Ophthalmologist that juggles an unhinged mistress (Anjelica Huston) while trying to keep his reputation, family life and society standing unblemished. This rather-dark story shares equal billing with a more typical Woody comedic story about his character's (a documentary filmmaker) troubled marriage, his rivalry with successful brother-in-law Alan Alda (whose face when he sees himself compared to Mussolini is classic :lol: ) and his courtship of a producer (Mia Farrow) that is also being pursued by Alda. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" goes to places Allen seldom went to in his movies ("Match Point" being a recent example) and the experience is the better for it because, like its characters, it asks its audience to ponder questions about life, upbringing, religion and morality without providing easy answers. It's a joy to see Woody using the cinematic techniques he honed doing comedies like "Annie Hall" (present-day characters interacting with their flashbacks, visualized memories contrasting with what's being said/done, imaginary conversations, etc.) being put to equally-brilliant use for dramatic effect. A well-paced funny drama that waits until the very end to tie its two very different stories together (a classic scene of Landau and Woody alone drinking). "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is one of the best and most different (while also being comfortably familiar) Woody Allen films I've seen. An 80's classic from a decade that had so few of them.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Sun May 01, 2011 3:05 am

Thor in 3-D
Looking forward to reading mainstream reviews on this. Didn't do much for me but I was never a big fan of this character. I'll reserve further comment until after others post about it but I do have to wonder aloud, why no winged helmet?
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Sun May 01, 2011 3:29 am

Future Man wrote:Thor in 3-D
Looking forward to reading mainstream reviews on this. Didn't do much for me but I was never a big fan of this character. I'll reserve further comment until after others post about it but I do have to wonder aloud, why no winged helmet?


Edit to add, apparently the helmet is in there at some point or another, but it's certainly not prominent.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Sun May 01, 2011 8:00 am

Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Sun May 01, 2011 4:34 pm

Future Man wrote:Thor in 3-D
Looking forward to reading mainstream reviews on this. Didn't do much for me but I was never a big fan of this character. I'll reserve further comment until after others post about it but I do have to wonder aloud, why no winged helmet?

Due to the movie opening internationally a couple of weeks ago there have been quite a few mainstream reviews already published and they have been really positive. Last I saw the movie had something like a 83 or 84 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
*EDIT*
More like the low 90s now.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Sun May 01, 2011 5:33 pm

The League of Gentlemen - Oh man is this series messed up. Amazingly, hilariously messed up, but messed up none the less.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Sun May 01, 2011 6:37 pm

the5thghostbuster wrote:The League of Gentlemen - Oh man is this series messed up. Amazingly, hilariously messed up, but messed up none the less.

+1 It's even funnier once you see the Amicus & Tigon films of the late 1960s & early 1970s that are such a heavy influence on them. I don't know if it is available on this side of the Atlantic yet but if you like TLoG you will probably like Psychoville as well.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun May 01, 2011 10:37 pm

Jon Mercer wrote:Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.

Vargas seems to think I'm being facetious when I complain about them. Maybe I should use more emoticons.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Mon May 02, 2011 9:57 am

HGervais wrote:
the5thghostbuster wrote:The League of Gentlemen - Oh man is this series messed up. Amazingly, hilariously messed up, but messed up none the less.

+1 It's even funnier once you see the Amicus & Tigon films of the late 1960s & early 1970s that are such a heavy influence on them. I don't know if it is available on this side of the Atlantic yet but if you like TLoG you will probably like Psychoville as well.


Doesn't appear to be, but I will keep an eye out for them!
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Mon May 02, 2011 10:35 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.

Vargas seems to think I'm being facetious when I complain about them. Maybe I should use more emoticons.


I honestly couldn't conjure enough energy to care one way or the other.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Bryan Pope » Mon May 02, 2011 10:45 am

Jon Mercer wrote:Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.

Simmer down there, home skillet. :)
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon May 02, 2011 10:46 am

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.

Vargas seems to think I'm being facetious when I complain about them. Maybe I should use more emoticons.


I honestly couldn't conjure enough energy to care one way or the other.

Let's see how you feel after:

(Let's hope you aren't stuck listening to overly je)JUNE (opinions on the events of) 2011 (while) WATCHING (spools of) THREAD
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon May 02, 2011 2:16 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:Let's see how you feel after: (Let's hope you aren't stuck listening to overly je)JUNE (opinions on the events of) 2011 (while) WATCHING (spools of) THREAD

Beaten already? Damn! :( ;-)
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Tue May 03, 2011 9:12 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Can I be the first to say this month that I'm officially sick of the too cute by half thread titles. Does Diablo Cody post here? This is just as bad as the "Tisket Tasket" crap.

Vargas seems to think I'm being facetious when I complain about them. Maybe I should use more emoticons.


I honestly couldn't conjure enough energy to care one way or the other.

Let's see how you feel after:

(Let's hope you aren't stuck listening to overly je)JUNE (opinions on the events of) 2011 (while) WATCHING (spools of) THREAD

Apathy sows only future sorrow.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue May 03, 2011 9:54 am

Jon Mercer wrote:Apathy sows only future sorrow.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue May 03, 2011 10:16 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Apathy sows only future sorrow.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is the simple, coherent naming of Internet forum threads.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Tue May 03, 2011 2:59 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Apathy sows only future sorrow.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is the simple, coherent naming of Internet forum threads.

My forum thread, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the user, the well spring from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My thread.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dan Mancini » Tue May 03, 2011 5:44 pm

Jon Mercer wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Apathy sows only future sorrow.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is the simple, coherent naming of Internet forum threads.

My forum thread, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the user, the well spring from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My thread.

Once, giants lived in the Earth, Jon. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of forum thread. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the forum thread and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The forum thread has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Jon. You must learn its discipline. For no one, no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Tue May 03, 2011 7:32 pm

Dan Mancini wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:Apathy sows only future sorrow.

Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is the simple, coherent naming of Internet forum threads.

My forum thread, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the user, the well spring from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My thread.

Once, giants lived in the Earth, Jon. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of forum thread. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the forum thread and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The forum thread has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Jon. You must learn its discipline. For no one, no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.

He is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, "What is the riddle of forum thread?" If I don't know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me. That's Crom, strong on his phpBB!
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue May 03, 2011 9:12 pm

Vanishing Point. This is the movie Easy Rider wishes it was.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Tue May 03, 2011 9:19 pm

LA Confidential - There are very precious few films this freaking good from this, the last, or any era of Hollywood. That Titanic of all films shut this out at the Oscars is akin to a vile raping of the efforts of all involved. The blu-ray was purdy as well.

The Long Kiss Goodnight - Also on blu-ray. They just don't make em like this anymore. I put it in the same camp as films like Enemy of the State, Too smart to be considered "big dumb fun", but not clever enough to remain relevant. Geena and Jackson were perfect, Harlin turned out his best work, and Shane Black's dialogue... damn near perfect. As much as I love Black's writing, he's never seemed particularly capable of creating some truly memorable villains, from Lethal Weapon to The Long Kiss Goodnight and on down to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, his bad guys are usually weaksauce.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Tue May 03, 2011 9:44 pm

Steve T Power wrote:The Long Kiss Goodnight - Also on blu-ray. They just don't make em like this anymore. I put it in the same camp as films like Enemy of the State, Too smart to be considered "big dumb fun", but not clever enough to remain relevant. Geena and Jackson were perfect, Harlin turned out his best work, and Shane Black's dialogue... damn near perfect. As much as I love Black's writing, he's never seemed particularly capable of creating some truly memorable villains, from Lethal Weapon to The Long Kiss Goodnight and on down to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, his bad guys are usually weaksauce.


I still think Timothy could've worked if they'd cast an actor who didn't absolutely suck.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed May 04, 2011 6:06 am

Jon Mercer wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:The Long Kiss Goodnight - Also on blu-ray. They just don't make em like this anymore. I put it in the same camp as films like Enemy of the State, Too smart to be considered "big dumb fun", but not clever enough to remain relevant. Geena and Jackson were perfect, Harlin turned out his best work, and Shane Black's dialogue... damn near perfect. As much as I love Black's writing, he's never seemed particularly capable of creating some truly memorable villains, from Lethal Weapon to The Long Kiss Goodnight and on down to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, his bad guys are usually weaksauce.


I still think Timothy could've worked if they'd cast an actor who didn't absolutely suck.

Really? I actually think Bierko does really good work. He's not given enough to do, but I can't fault his performance. If anything, it suffers from his image as a comic actor.

"Continue dying. Over."
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed May 04, 2011 6:36 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:Vanishing Point. This is the movie Easy Rider wishes it was.

QFT.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Wed May 04, 2011 8:36 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:The Long Kiss Goodnight - Also on blu-ray. They just don't make em like this anymore. I put it in the same camp as films like Enemy of the State, Too smart to be considered "big dumb fun", but not clever enough to remain relevant. Geena and Jackson were perfect, Harlin turned out his best work, and Shane Black's dialogue... damn near perfect. As much as I love Black's writing, he's never seemed particularly capable of creating some truly memorable villains, from Lethal Weapon to The Long Kiss Goodnight and on down to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, his bad guys are usually weaksauce.


I still think Timothy could've worked if they'd cast an actor who didn't absolutely suck.

Really? I actually think Bierko does really good work. He's not given enough to do, but I can't fault his performance. If anything, it suffers from his image as a comic actor.

"Continue dying. Over."


Yeah, I used to blame Bierko, but He did as good as he could given what he had to work with.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Jon Mercer » Wed May 04, 2011 10:03 am

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:
Jon Mercer wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:The Long Kiss Goodnight - Also on blu-ray. They just don't make em like this anymore. I put it in the same camp as films like Enemy of the State, Too smart to be considered "big dumb fun", but not clever enough to remain relevant. Geena and Jackson were perfect, Harlin turned out his best work, and Shane Black's dialogue... damn near perfect. As much as I love Black's writing, he's never seemed particularly capable of creating some truly memorable villains, from Lethal Weapon to The Long Kiss Goodnight and on down to Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, his bad guys are usually weaksauce.


I still think Timothy could've worked if they'd cast an actor who didn't absolutely suck.

Really? I actually think Bierko does really good work. He's not given enough to do, but I can't fault his performance. If anything, it suffers from his image as a comic actor.

"Continue dying. Over."


Yeah, I used to blame Bierko, but He did as good as he could given what he had to work with.

Now if only we could convince you to pay the same courtesy to Stuart Wilson. "Killed in the line of duty Riggs! You'regonnagetafuneralfromthedepartmentriggs!"
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Wed May 04, 2011 2:05 pm

The Office (U.K.) - never been as big a fan as others of this series, but it is still hard not to respect it. The comic-tragic downfall of David Brent is surprisingly moving as it is funny.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed May 04, 2011 3:24 pm

The Wrong Man (1956) -I'd put Hitchcock's attempt at ''docu-drama'' and neorealism somewhere in the middle of his oeuvre. There are some interesting moments and great performances from Henry Fonda (even if he could never pass for an Italian) and Vera Miles but I found it to be a little too dreary.

Obsession(1976) - Start with a foundation of Vertigo, add a generous dose of jaw-dropping cinematography and camera moves, mix in enjoyablly trashy melodrama, sprinkle with good performances from Geneviève Bujold and Cliff Robertson, a bad accent and ''acting'' from John Lithgow and top it all off with a botched conclusion and you have a Brian De Palma dish that could be used as litmus test to see if you'll like the rest of his oeuvre. I dug it...

The Tragedy Of Macbeth - The Polanski version. Simply awesome.

Space Truckers - An enjoyable low-budget cheesy sci-fi action-comedy from Stuart Gordon to lift my spirits after these depressing films.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Thu May 05, 2011 6:40 pm

Fast Five - I haven't seen a Fast and Furious movie since the first, but this was surprisingly fun. Completely idiotic, but I cannot deny the fun of the sheer insanity of the final chase and the major fight between Vin and the Rock.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Thu May 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Thor - Not quite the revelation it's being made out to be - more than a few moments of eye rolling stupidity, but damned fun nonetheless, and a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be. Had a great time, and as far as super-hero flicks go, it's up there.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Fri May 06, 2011 10:29 am

Steve T Power wrote:Thor - Not quite the revelation it's being made out to be - more than a few moments of eye rolling stupidity, but damned fun nonetheless, and a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be. Had a great time, and as far as super-hero flicks go, it's up there.


Spoilers (if you can call them that)
I thought the intergalactic stuff was well done, nice to look at, but on earth it all seemed so...small, almost like a low budget movie. Small cast, isolated, sparse setting, few extras. Just small and inconsequential. Plus I was surprised that they basically turned the supernatural quality of the comic-book character into some sort of Highlander-esque superbeing.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Fri May 06, 2011 10:48 am

Future Man wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:Thor - Not quite the revelation it's being made out to be - more than a few moments of eye rolling stupidity, but damned fun nonetheless, and a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be. Had a great time, and as far as super-hero flicks go, it's up there.


Spoilers (if you can call them that)
I thought the intergalactic stuff was well done, nice to look at, but on earth it all seemed so...small, almost like a low budget movie. Small cast, isolated, sparse setting, few extras. Just small and inconsequential. Plus I was surprised that they basically turned the supernatural quality of the comic-book character into some sort of Highlander-esque superbeing.


I was the reverse, actually. I found the Earth based stuff to be fun and entertaining, while the Asgard stuff all unfolded in horribly predictable fashion. Not that it was weak, just totally predictable and routine for a fantasy flick. Meanwhile I thought Hemsworth knocked it out of the park on the Earth stuff, his portrayal was brilliantly timed and earnest, and he and Portman had GREAT chemistry. It's kind of strange really, when the film was originally announced to be entirely in Asgard, I was super excited, and groaned when the Earth angle came into play on rewrites. Then the first images hit, and I'll be the first to say I predicted the absolute worst. In the end, the balance worked well enough, but i'd have preferred a little more earth, a little less pompous ass-gard.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Fri May 06, 2011 6:46 pm

Thor - oh hell yea! I was never a Thor fan as a kid, but this film really is a perfect piece of summer entertainment. And there needs to be a spin off film about the Warriors Three.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Sat May 07, 2011 4:42 pm

Thor...1st off, skip seeing it in either 3D or 3D IMAX...it really does nothing for the movie. 2nd, I'll second that hell yes. Of the big three Avengers Thor is easily my least favorite and I thought this is the movie I would have to suffer through to get to Captain America & Avengers. Boy was I wrong. Kenneth Branagh ended up being exactly the right guy for this movie. Along with longtime 007 stunt coordinator & 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong, they have crafted a movie that moves quickly, possesses the right amount of eye candy and has just enough emotional weight to make it something that will probably lead to further viewings. I really liked all the Asgard stuff...the Rainbow Bridge and Idris Elba as Heimdall was especially perfect...and how about Tom Hiddleston as Loki? Oh and yeah, Chris Hemsworth makes a pitch perfect Thor. And The Destroyer! I think this is probably the most complete movie Marvel Studios has made. It is just incredibly confident and for me it sets the bar that much higher for Captain America in July.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Sun May 08, 2011 4:18 am

I am stunned by the glowingly positive posts for this movie. More complete than Iron Man or Spiderman 2? I place this a tiny notch above Fantastic 4.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun May 08, 2011 6:35 am

Wild Strawberries - The third Bergman film I've seen (the other two being Cries And Whispers and Hour Of The Wolf). The story it tells is deceptively simple; but the way it's told and the thematic resonance of the sequences from the past, coupled with Sjöström's and Thullin's performances, make an indelible mark in the viewer's mind. I didn't view it under ideal conditions (I was pretty tired) but I was still entranced by it. I'll definitely revisit it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that I noticed the obvious influence it had on Woody Allen's work.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Sun May 08, 2011 8:26 am

Future Man wrote:I am stunned by the glowingly positive posts for this movie. More complete than Iron Man or Spiderman 2? I place this a tiny notch above Fantastic 4.

Not as good as either the first Iron Man or Spiderman 2 but in the same ballpark. It got so many things right and the casting was just so spot on that what problems the script has are kind of glossed over by the performances and the chemistry between the players.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dan Mancini » Sun May 08, 2011 8:42 am

HGervais wrote:Thor...1st off, skip seeing it in either 3D or 3D IMAX...it really does nothing for the movie. 2nd, I'll second that hell yes. Of the big three Avengers Thor is easily my least favorite and I thought this is the movie I would have to suffer through to get to Captain America & Avengers. Boy was I wrong. Kenneth Branagh ended up being exactly the right guy for this movie. Along with longtime 007 stunt coordinator & 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong, they have crafted a movie that moves quickly, possesses the right amount of eye candy and has just enough emotional weight to make it something that will probably lead to further viewings. I really liked all the Asgard stuff...the Rainbow Bridge and Idris Elba as Heimdall was especially perfect...and how about Tom Hiddleston as Loki? Oh and yeah, Chris Hemsworth makes a pitch perfect Thor. And The Destroyer! I think this is probably the most complete movie Marvel Studios has made. It is just incredibly confident and for me it sets the bar that much higher for Captain America in July.

What Harold said, times 2. I've never really read Thor comics, and know little about the character. In terms of my enthusiasm for Marvel film projects this summer, this was a distant third behind Cap and X-Men: First Class (the latter of which I honestly barely even care about).

I was very skeptical about Branagh directing, but I think he ended up being the perfect guy for the gig. He understands how to ground myth in character. More important, he understood that there was something Shakespearaean about the relationships between Thor, Odin, and Loki, while also grasping that the material is not Shakespeare. The movie has a bit of emotional heft, without taking itself too seriously. It's fun, but never crosses the line into camp or irritating self-awareness.

Hemsworth? Perfect.
Hiddleston? Perfect.
Portman? Her character's a little underwritten, but she had good chemistry with Hemsworth.
Hopkins? I'm flabbergasted by how little he chewed scenery.

The Dutch angle compalints? I'd have to watch the movie again to see whether they stood out to me more, but there's such a thing as bitching too much about their use. They do have a legitimate purpose. My recollection (and I admit I could be wrong, because I was paying too much attention to the story and action to be aware of technical stuff all the time) is that Branagh's use of them doesn't resemble the Battlefield Earth debacle in the least. The Asgard stuff is presented in highly traditional, formal, squared-up compositions, while there are lots of Dutch angles in Midgard (where there's more chaos and where Thor is disoriented). Did Branagh overdo it? I'm withholding judgment, but the technique certainly didn't bother me on an initial viewing.

Futureman wrote:I am stunned by the glowingly positive posts for this movie. More complete than Iron Man or Spiderman 2? I place this a tiny notch above Fantastic 4.

Fantastic Four? Please.

Here's the thing: I can't say I liked Thor better than Iron Man, but is it more complete? I'd say so. Take Robert Downey Jr. out of Iron Man and the movie is horribly mediocre. He carried that baby. Thor, by contrast, has an actual plot. And its integration into the Avengers project was much, much more organic and natural.

Don't even get me started on Spider-Man 2. I'm among those who thought it was one of the best comic book movies ever made when it first came out. Let's just say that it's aged horribly (or perhaps I've come to my senses). I find all three of Raimi's Spidey flicks close to unwatchable now. So, yeah, I'm in the "more complete than Iron Man or Spider-Man 2" crowd.

Thor is epic, fun, and completely different from any other Marvel flick (which had begun to feel a bit formulaic). It ain't Henry V, but it's not meant to be. As a summer popcorn flick, it worked for me.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun May 08, 2011 10:02 am

Gabriel Girard wrote:Wild Strawberries - The third Bergman film I've seen (the other two being Cries And Whispers and Hour Of The Wolf). The story it tells is deceptively simple; but the way it's told and the thematic resonance of the sequences from the past, coupled with Sjöström's and Thullin's performances, make an indelible mark in the viewer's mind. I didn't view it under ideal conditions (I was pretty tired) but I was still entranced by it. I'll definitely revisit it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that I noticed the obvious influence it had on Woody Allen's work.

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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun May 08, 2011 3:41 pm

Dead & Buried. Opinion on this seems to waver somewhere between "It's a forgotten classic!" and "Enh..." I'm closer to the former end of the spectrum. It's tremendously atmospheric, and that goes a long way for me. If a horror movie has a decent premise and executes it with style, I'm 75% satisfied. Where this one falters is in its characterization. For the climax to have the intended impact, we really need to have spent a good deal of time with our protagonist at the outset. As it stands, he's something of a blank slate in a Chief Brody costume. Still, the creep factor is sky-high, the acting is mostly solid, and the death scenes are staged with appropriately grisly zeal. This will probably enter the regular Halloween rotation. It ranks with Trick 'R Treat as a solid piece of creepy fun that doesn't quite reach the heights of the best horror movies.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun May 08, 2011 5:24 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Sawdust and Tinsel, The Magician. Now. Noooowwww!!!!

I've already got The Seventh Seal on the docket for this week. I'll check out the others soon.
Andrew Forbes wrote:Dead & BuriedThis will probably enter the regular Halloween rotation. It ranks with Trick 'R Treat as a solid piece of creepy fun that doesn't quite reach the heights of the best horror movies.

I've wondered about this one for a while. I'll keep it in mind for next Halloween. Thanks!

BTWI forgot to mention that I finally watched The Hot Spot a little while ago. I rather enjoyed it, mainly for the atmosphere and for Don Johnson. Virginia Madsen was a little too OTT and Jennifer Connelly too flat but both are VERY sexy and the overall heat of the film (coming from the temperature,the girls and the violence) was palpable. Overall I think it would make a nice double feature with Red Rock West which takes place in Texas and stars Dennis Hopper.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby molly1216 » Sun May 08, 2011 6:36 pm

Unstoppable...which color me surprised...i liked a tremendous amount....seriously i haven't found many 'action' films are worth the name. they are usually CGI crash crash bang bang. i'd like to say that there was no gunplay in this film but there's a silly sequence where a bunch of helpless police try to stop a hurtling train with bullets...yeah...right.
well worth seeing Tony Scott and Denzel hit it out of the park again.

Despicable Me which i liked too.. the screenplay goes off on a few tangents but for a kids movie with adult appeal it's a really decent one. very very clever in a lot of ways. well worth checking out..as Roger Ebert suggests in 2D

High Plains Invaders...i dunno if it was a tv movie or a direct to video whatever...it's a low budget sci fi western..basic cowboys and aliens...sort of tremors crossed with assault on precint 13. the dialogue is NOTHING to write home about..as a matter of fact i found most of it cringeworthy...but the aliens are pretty clever and the action keeps you moving...all in all i didn't want the 90 minutes back - i just wish it had been a smidgen smarter and could have been a low budget gem.alas

the Fighter...i was avoiding this one...film locally with a lot of locals and folks trying to imitate the local accent...during film it was ALL i heard about locally, i even edited a few local articles about it and boxing etc... i got sick of it before it was even released. actually it isn't a bad film..i know a lot of people exactly like the ones in the film so it was very truthful in its portrayal. Bale was unrecognizable as was Melissa Leo both deserved any and all awards. Well worth catching - but sadly I'd say not a film that improves with repeated viewings. If I am not mistaken Raging Bull does hold up over time.

true confession: i am watching American Dad - i was avoiding it because Family Guy has an annoying aspect to it..well several annoying things about it..and I figured it was more of the same...actually its not...It is Family Guy with a few more IQ points and all the annoyance interruptus removed. Not a bad way to spend 30 minutes at 3am.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun May 08, 2011 7:29 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:BTWI forgot to mention that I finally watched The Hot Spot a little while ago. [...] Overall I think it would make a nice double feature with Red Rock West

RRW needs a blu release asap. I love that movie. It definitely shares a certain quality with The Hot Spot.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Sun May 08, 2011 7:43 pm

The Green Hornet...meh....not terrible but not really great either. Jay Chou is pretty awesome, the action sequences have flair and it's a pretty looking film but Seth Rogen really did miscast himself and what purpose did Cameron Diaz serve in it? I liked how the film tried twisting the usual masked hero plot into something a little different but Rogen really holds the movie back from working.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby azul017 » Sun May 08, 2011 9:08 pm

Steve T Power wrote:Thor - Not quite the revelation it's being made out to be - more than a few moments of eye rolling stupidity, but damned fun nonetheless, and a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be. Had a great time, and as far as super-hero flicks go, it's up there.


I agree. I wouldn't classify it as one of the big leagues, but it's a lot better than Marvel's previous Iron Man 2 (and a step in the right direction for Marvel). Thor is a nice, compact film on its own that leads into The Avengers nicely.

I pray Captain America ends up being as good or better than Thor. My expectations are a lot higher now that Thor's out.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon May 09, 2011 2:07 pm

Mikio Naruse's LADY CHRYSANTHEMUMS (1954) on R2 DVD for the first time. Naruse is quickly skyrocketing to the top of my list of favorite directors. The characters and situations here feel like the aftermath of what happened to the geishas in "Flowing." Haruko Sugimura being in both movies solidified this bond between their stories (in my mind anyway). As good as she was in "Flowing" (and Ozu's "Tokyo Story") Haruko just shines in "LC," the first movie I've seen where she's the lead. Her money-obsessed Okin character could have easily been a villain caricature but ends up on a very human tone and a final scene (after the 'Monroe waggle' laugh) that is both chilling and uplifting. Chikako Hosokawa, Yûko Mochizuki (Tamae and Otomi drowning their sorrows over sake = hilariously sad) and their grown-up kids are also excellent as geishas (and offsprings from geishas) with the lifetime of regrets and rewards that come from such a family unit. Despite looking as restrained as an Ozu movie (don't recall any show-off camera angles/dollies), the editing in "LC" stands out. There's an obvious rhythm and pattern to the editing (dust sweeping, women/men getting drunk, etc.) that builds-up an understated emotional power as it gathers steam. It's no "Late Spring," but "LC" packs quite an emotional wallop as it explores friendship/family bonds tested or frayed by the circle of life in Japan's post-World War II economy. Naruse proves to be an equal to the better-know Japanese master directors, and Sugimura not only carries "LC" but makes it memorable. Winnah! :D

Carl Theodor Dreyer's ORDET (1955) on TCM-HD for the first time. My third Dryer movie after "The Passion of Joan of Arc" and "Vampyr" (loved the former, didn't much care for the latter) and, like Antonioni's "L'Avventura" earlier this month, it caught me completely off-guard by not being at all what I expected. I knew nothing about the plot going in, and for most of its running time "Ordet" felt more like the offspring of Bresson's (the religious-above-all-else plot) and Bergman's obsessions (characters talking/moving sloooooowly from one location to the next) than Dreyer's usually-impressive cinematic spectacles. Gradually the happiness of a young married couple (Birgitte Federspiel's Inger and Emil Hass Christensen's Mikkel) took center stage for me, although every character in the movie is important and none are given a dominant role (hence the absence of credits). The constant interruptions by divinely-mad Johannes (Preben Lerdorff Rye) wondering in and out of rooms start annoying and keep getting worse. I wanted the movie to focus more on the Capulet vs. Montague-like feud between the Catholic Borgen clan and the Protestan Petersen family (the scene where Ejner Federspiel and Henrik Malberg debate the merits of their religion while putting down the other is bristling with palpable tension) but Dreyer is just taking his time. At the halfway mark the plot switches gears (without losing its religious focus) and it's a stunner, followed near the end by a scene of such incredible power (emotional, cinematic, visual, theological, religious, etc.) that it left me sitting up stunned in silence as tears flooded my eyes at the cinematic/storytelling power of what I had just seen. The less you know about "Ordet's" ending and the more of your inner religous beliefs you're willing to bring with you to viewing it will determine what you get out of experiencing it. For this once-Catholic, now-Atheist viewer the movie touched a deep nerve, and this first-ever viewing will never be forgotten for as long as I breathe.

John Huston's WISE BLOOD (1979) on Criterion DVD for the first time. Brad Dourif gives an intense (duh!) and passionate performance as a young and troubled wannabe-preacher in this adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's novel... and that's pretty much all this movie has going for it. Despite packing cameos by veteran thespians (Harry Dean Stanton, Ned Beatty, William Hickey, etc.), authentic Southern locations circa 1979, Amy Wright & Dan Shor in supporting roles (the latter in his own private universe within the main story) and John Huston's assured direction "Wise Blood" meanders from one depressing/surreal/histrionic/silly/shocking scene to the next. All that and Alex North's infrequent score seems to exist only to point out for the audience when/where to laugh, usually at (not with) the characters. There is rhyme, reason and method to the madness of the O'Connor story Huston is trying to capture in moving pictures (a individual's attempt to escape the undeniable existence of Christ in his life) but it doesn't make for a pleasant or even entertaining movie to watch. Worth seeing just to watch a young Dourif totally commit to his character's growing insanity with the intensity of a religious zealot (ding).

Rewatched Fred Dekker's THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987) on Blu-ray with the commentary tracks plus the making-of documentary. Dekker and DP Bradford May have a pleasant, war stories-filled recollection of the making of this movie that reveals behind-the-scenes dirt (anything dealing with executive producer Peter Hyams meddling with the production and not trusting Dekker) cinephiles love; much better than the quickly-annoying self-congratulatory actor's commentary track (though Dekker's interaction with the now-grown child actors is pleasant enough). The longer-than-the-feature making-of documentary is pretty thorough and enjoyable, plus it thankfully keeps the repetition of facts between itself and the commentary tracks to a minimum. Dekker's on-camera admission that "The Monster Squad" ruined his directorial career (before he himself ruined it again with "Robocop 3") is as refreshing as the movie is mediocre. Three viewings total and I'm still not sure whether this or "Van Helsing" is the worst 'creature feature' tribute flick ever put together with the noblest of intentions (and overkill of now-dated SFX).
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon May 09, 2011 2:22 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:Three viewings total and I'm still not sure whether this or "Van Helsing" is the worst 'creature feature' tribute flick ever put together with the noblest of intentions (and overkill of now-dated SFX).

Dude, I'm sorry, but if you can't discern the kitchen-sink horror of Van Helsing from the arguable success of Monster Squad which at least has some serious tangible charm and a witty Shane Black script, you have no right to comment on creature features.

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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Mon May 09, 2011 5:17 pm

You know what? You're right. "Van Helsing" is pure and utter s*** while "Monster Squad" is charming-but-dated, at-least-Shane-tried-to-be-cool-but-stroke-out inconsistent s***. I take back the comparisons to Sommers' ode to cheap CGI overkill but "Monster Squad" is still, overall, a more-bad-than-good creature flick.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Steve T Power » Mon May 09, 2011 6:18 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:You know what? You're right. "Van Helsing" is pure and utter s*** while "Monster Squad" is charming-but-dated, at-least-Shane-tried-to-be-cool-but-stroke-out inconsistent s***. I take back the comparisons to Sommers' ode to cheap CGI overkill but "Monster Squad" is still, overall, a more-bad-than-good creature flick.


I actually prefer Van Helsing, but I don't have that childhood nostalgia working in Monster Squad's favor, and I'm also the Cinematic Hitler apparently.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Mon May 09, 2011 6:36 pm

There is an easy going charm to Monster Squad that Van Helsing wished it had and Monster Squad features some of Stan Winston's best creature work. That said I'd go back in time if I could and give Monster Squad the money it needed to fully realize on screen what Shane Black wrote. Personally I think Monster Squad still holds up and I can sit down with it anytime much like I can Fright Night or the first Child's Play. Or Night of the Comet for that matter.
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