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  • Tonight I'm watching volume 3 of Olive Films' Betty Boop collection. While the discs contain nothing in the form of contextual material, which is a crying shame considering the historic value of old American pre-code animation, and the collections don't actually contain all the shorts from Fleischer Studio's best period, the transfers are at least very nice. And considering that no one has released Betty Boop outside of cheap public domain collections, since the marvellous LD box set, the Olive discs are a real treasure chest.

    A frustrating thing about these releases is that the cartoons aren't ordered chronologically, but instead mixed and spread out over all four discs, which means you actually have to switch discs four times if you want to go through all of the pre-code films for instance. Olive have probably done it this way, so that the pre-code enthusiasts have to buy all four releases if they want all the shorts. I think that was a bit of a problem for the company releasing the great Popeye DVD collections some years back. A better approach imo would have been releasing everything in a four disc set. The Disney Treasures sets, probably the gold standard for this kind of thing, were kind of like that, even though for example the Silly Symphonies were split into two big releases, without chronology carrying over from one set to the next. But Disney is Disney, and they probably didn't have to worry about losing sales anyway. On the subject of the Disney Treasures, a big advantage Olive's Betty Boop BD's have over them, is not having to endure Leonard Maltin's Very Serious (unskippable) warnings before watching a cartoon involving alcohol, smoking, violence, sexuality or racial stereotyping. After the twentieth time listening to his words of caution, even most idiots and kids have probably understood that the cartoons are almost 100 years old, and were created in very different times with other attitudes towards what we now consider politically incorrect.

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    • Martial Law, the Rothrock / Chad McQueen cheap as fuck DTV actioner. Not very good, but I am still fond of films of this type from this era.
      "No presh from the Dresh!"

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      • BUSTING (Peter Hyams, 1974). Elliott Gould, Robert Blake, Allen Garfield, Sid Haig. Gould's one pissed off cop: he has a great urinal poster in his apartment, greets the toilets by name in the park tearoom, and even dancing partner Blake agrees they spend too much time in the bathroom. His mom used to launder his uniform shirts by hand, now the cops don't give a shit and he reads Ant-Man #9 on the crapper; he and Blake decide to punch up at a big villain and go after needling vice boss Garfield; things get bloody. Features a great market chase & shootout, strobe-lit tittybar dancing, dentistry, a west-coast Stonewall riff, a dirty bookstore massage joint, and a red and white rocketship ambulance chase. Hyams shoots a beautiful softly-lit LA where everything glows in shadow like neon or a level I light spell. Terriffic.
        Barry M
        Super Fiend
        Last edited by Barry M; 11-06-2015, 10:00 AM. Reason: Ant-Man. Sorry, Peter Parker.

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        • Avengers Age Of Ultron: First of all why is this called the Age Of Ultron? How about a little truth in advertising Marvel? Avengers The Week to Week and a Half of Ultron would have been better. Anyway... fuck me this is numbing stuff. Shit blows up a lot. There's a lot people with random powers. Spaders in it as a voice and he's not a sexual deviant- which felt wrong... Whedon has one mode on these things. Build up an over the top air of superhero solemnity and then under cut it with a cheap quip. It's a routine that after the first Avengers and that Chris Pine (Pratt?) spaceship film is getting very tiring.
          "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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          • Tonight's film was Silip. The Mondo Macabro disc looks real good, except for the memorable title sequence in the beginning which looks like it's been sourced from VHS, and has good extras. The film itself, well you won't forget it once you've seen it. The DVD cover talks about Silip being in the tradition of Japanese pinku eiga, but honestly I'm not feeling it. Sure, it has sex and violence, but it feels like its own beast alltogether. It's a frequently bizarre tale of lust vs. chastity, faith, libido and thanatos. And somewhere there's a hint of Teshigahara's Woman of the Dunes, or maybe that's just me. It features lots of sex scenes, some of them really erotic even, without really feeling like straight up softcore porno, but rather something with more artistic ambition and thematic complexity. For instance I love the different symbols that reoccur during the film's runtime, such as the menstrual blood, the flesh, the peeping eye, the slaughter, the sand, the sacrifice, etc. And the foreboding and creepy music! Some scenes made me really uncomfortable because they involve children, not to cause arousal thankfully, but still in an adult sexual context. I still liked the movie though, but I've never seen anything quite like it before. It'll need some time to sink in I think, but it wouldn't surprise me if this is one of those films that stay with me for quite some time.

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            • Originally posted by enandalusiskhund View Post
              It features lots of sex scenes, some of them really erotic even, without really feeling like straight up softcore porno, but rather something with more artistic ambition and thematic complexity.
              Maybe that's the true connection to Japanese pink film when I think about it.

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              • Originally posted by Andrew Monroe View Post
                THE SALVATION (2014) - A Danish western, set in the US but filmed in South Africa. I really dug this one, the story is nothing at all new - gang terrorizes landowners so they will sell off and leave, not knowing the land is oil rich. An immigrant takes on the gang after the murder of his wife and son. Mads Mikkelsen is suitably grim and terse as the vigilante, Jeffrey Dean Morgan damn near steals the show as the sociopathic leader of the gang, and Eva Green turns in an amazing performance (in a completely non-speaking role) as a victim of Indian mutilation. Done with plenty of style and very violent, this one takes all the standard western tropes, changing basically nothing, and turns out a gripping tale.
                I appreciate the recommendation and agree with everything you said. I enjoyed it greatly. The cast is terrific. In addition to Mikkelsen, Morgan and Green I thought Mikael Persbrandt, who played Mikkelsen brother, provided an interesting character. He reminded me of an even cooler Brion James.

                I don't want to steer anyone away from THE SALVATION, but I did want to rant about one thing. I hate CGI. I would give up all of the big spectacle films just to get back all of the smaller films that are tainted by it. THE SALVATION has some beautiful scenes. At times I was really drawn in. But there are a few CG bullet holes and the final shot looks like a scene from an early 90's video game. Those moments ruined a lot of the atmosphere that was created. Worst of all, it was unnecessary and could have been easily avoided. I rented THE SALVATION. If not for the CGI I would have launched Amazon and immediately ordered the Blu-ray before the credits were finished. As it stands now, if I ever get the urge to see it again, I'll take my chances with a streaming service.

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                • I have started going through the comprehensive BFI Werner Herzog set. Watched Aguirre today and it's still a great film. That feeling of doom that permeats the proceedings from the first frames, when the conquistadors come crawling down from the steep and misty Andes (such a great scene!), the claustrophobia of the hostile jungle (the place where God didn't finish his creation), the hopeless search for the pipe dream of El Dorado, Kinski of course. The transfer is great looking. Not too keen on the early shorts though, as they're mostly rather boring and nonsensical affairs. Haven't warmed up to Fata Morgana either in the 10+ years since I last saw it.

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                  • THE MACHINE (Caradog James, 2013). Almost a cyborg soldier action pic (underground fortress lab, military-industrial complex, damaged vets, sexy scientists) but it's just baggage encumbering a pretty good AI science fiction movie. Nice touches in a routine storyline; I liked it. And it's Welsh.

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                    • Watching EROS + MASSACRE (Director's cut) from the Arrow Kiju Yoshida box set. Am 2 hours into the 3 hrs 36 mins running time. Is my introduction to Japanese new wave, up to now I am enjoying it a lot. Beautiful film, but not for everyone I would guess. Quite slow and ponderous at times.

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                      • Get Mean
                        Weird ass movie. Not bad. Not good either. Definitely entertaining and watchable. Still don't know what the whole become-a-black-guy-then-turn-white-again without any explanation was about. Weird. Ass. Movie.
                        https://www.instagram.com/moviemorpho83/

                        Oh, not on Cauliflower! Oh, not on Broccoli!

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                        • VACATION (2015)

                          BAD......Just ssooooo bad.
                          Dont think I laughed once.
                          Put off watching it coz I knew it was bad.....never thought it would be this unfunny though.

                          I think Chevy Chase was the difference as the plot and scenes followed the pattern of thr origonal.... the fact this new one was trying to hard to be offensive also made it worse..

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                          • Dave's Old Porn
                            Comedian Dave Attell watches vintage porn with a celebrity guest of the week plus a vintage porn star guest. Pretty funny stuff. Seka, Nina Hartley and Ginger Lynn are all adorable in their guest appearances. Ron Jeremy hits on a visibly uncomfortable Whitney Cummings. Also, the Robert Kerman episode is BRUTALLY awkward and painful to watch. They only made two seasons unfortunately.
                            https://www.instagram.com/moviemorpho83/

                            Oh, not on Cauliflower! Oh, not on Broccoli!

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                            • Watched Svenskjí¤vel (aka. Underdog) earlier. One of those films that isn't exactly bad, but which I will have forgotten tomorrow, and would have a hard time retelling the plot of if someone asked me in a week. Felt very much like a typical contemporary Swedish 'indie' film.

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                              • Originally posted by enandalusiskhund View Post
                                Watched Svenskjí¤vel (aka. Underdog) earlier. One of those films that isn't exactly bad, but which I will have forgotten tomorrow, and would have a hard time retelling the plot of if someone asked me in a week. Felt very much like a typical contemporary Swedish 'indie' film.
                                Felt eactly the same. I liked it when I watched it, but the next day I was more like "Why the hell did I watch this?" That we regard norwegians are our retarded cousins who have won the lotto, was fun though, and the only thing I will remember from the film.

                                And to keep on topic, I watched two films thus far this weekend:

                                The Final Girls a quite nice comedy about some contemporary kids who get sucked into an 80s slasher movie.

                                The Redeemer a chilean martial arts actioner. Thin on plot, big on symbolism. Nice score and excellent fight scenes.
                                "No presh from the Dresh!"

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