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    Andrew Monroe
    Pallid Hands

  • Andrew Monroe
    replied
    Watching ON THE BEACH on TCM right now. Seen it before but I never get over how devastating and depressing this is. Great film but a real test of endurance.

    Leave a comment:

  • BW Haggar
    Senior Member

  • BW Haggar
    replied
    So, for no particular reason, this weekend was "new movies weekend" in my house! A rare occurance, to say the least.

    New Order
    (Michel Franco, 2021)


    Well, you'd have to go a long way to find a commerically released fictional fim more thoroughly depressing than this one.

    Kicks off like Mexico's subtlety-free answer to 'Parasite', as a swanky wedding party full of head-in-the-sand rich people is crashed by the feral, green paint-splattered rioters that the media has been warning everybody about for days, prompting their own security staff to also turn against them, with predictably harrowing results.

    Meanwhile, the apparently well-intentioned bride-to-be is out swerving roadblocks, trying to obtain urgent medical care for the wife of a former domestic servant, and finds herself captured by a cartel of rogue soldiers, who are taking advantage of the new martial law regime to orchestrate their own mass kidnapping operation, based out of a disused prison building.

    Rape, torture and general dehumanisation ensues, until the bride's brother & fiancee - fresh from burying their dead after the wedding massacre - take the ransom demands to the family's high level military connections, who proceed to close down the embarrassing rogue element within their ranks the only way they know how: by killing absolutely everyone, including the prisoners, and framing the poor, long-suffering peasant family whom the bride was initially trying to help for her kidnap and murder. They are executed. The End.

    Jesus. I perhaps should have put in a spoiler warning before the above paragraphs, but to be honest, it's clear within the first five minutes that nothing nice is going to happen to anyone here, so who cares. Basically comprising a blandly restaged mega-mix of assorted terrible situtions which have occured in various parts of the world in recent years, liberally spiced with older visual references to the Mexican and French revolutions, Franco's film offers no thematic nuance, no glimmer of hope, no trace of human warmth - just a relentless parade of middle class nightmare fuel and craven injustice. He has the decency to cram it all into less than 90 minutes (short-sharp-shock style), but that's still longer than I really wished to spend being battered with the "LIFE IS SHIT" stick.


    Slash / Back
    (Nyla Innuksuk, 2022)


    Now this one on the other hand, I really liked!

    Basically, what we've got here is 'Over the Edge' meets 'The Thing', set in an Inuit village just south of the Artic Circle, where a gang of bored teenage girls are forced to defend their community from body-hopping alien monsters whilst their parents are off getting drunk at a square dance.

    It's all very nearly ruined by terrible CGI animals and some scarcely-much-better, "guy in a mask" level practical effects... but the horror aspect is soft-pedalled throughout, so it doesn't matter too much. It's all just an excuse to get the girls into tense and scary situations, allowing them to bond and develop, and to use their combined 'ancient hunting culture + modern digital teen' style moxie to fight back against the invaders, which is where the film really excels.

    The setting is an unusual and compelling one for an action/adventure story, giving us a lot of casual insight into life as experienced by tribal peoples in Canada's far north, and the central characters are just AWESOME -- they speak and behave like real teenagers, but are also hugely likeable and super-cool, which is a difficult balance to pull off (again, I'm reminded of 'Over The Edge' in this regard).

    I guess this is more-or-less teen-friendly viewing, but it's in no way condescending or juvenile, and it's easy to imagine that viewers in the girls' own age group would get a kick out of seeing them kick ass with hunting rifles and giant choppers, so a solid recommendation for "family movie night" for anyone out there with kids.

    Fun, heart-warming stuff, and a perfect palate-cleanser after sitting through the joyless slog of 'New Order'.


    Enys Men
    (Mark Jenkin, 2023)


    The latest quote-unquote "elevated horror" / hauntological hang-out movie contender, currently receiving a big push from the BFI and big hype from the media here in the UK.

    I didn't see Mark Jenkin's previous film 'Bait', but I got interested in checking this one out after reading that he still shoots using a 16mm bolex (Andy Milligan style!), and processes the film in his kitchen sink - a statement of DIY intent which appeals to me, given that he could have easily wrangled professional level production values for this gnomic tale of a woman residing alone on a fictional Cornish island observing a copse of rare flowers, had he wished to.

    Indeed, the idea of filmmaking reinvented as a kind of rural handicraft features very strongly here, with the windswept nature footage and the obsessive, textured detail wrung out of the man-made elements within the frame (did I mention this is set in 1973 - I mean, of course it is) looking absolutely beautiful, all rendered uncanny and kinda weirdly subjective by the heavy layers of grain and natural/accidental light flashes and print damage.

    Jenkins' own soundtrack - seemingly contructed from a bunch of found sounds and radio static filtered through some pedals - furthers this homemade vibe, and I enjoyed the way that he maps out the topography of his imaginary island using carefully framed bits of mainland; a process which put me in mind of certain '70s Jess Franco films, just as the ominous use of abandoned mine workings also allowed me to loosely fit the film into canon of earlier "Cornish horror", alongside 'Dr Blood's Coffin', 'Plague of the Zombies' and Mike Raven's 'Crucible of Terror'.

    Not that there's a great deal of explicit horror stuff here, or indeed much in the way of a clearly delineated series of events at all, really. Though densely packed with images and movement (the inability of the bolex to extend shots beyond 30 seconds probably helps in that regard), the narrative information we are given is so oblique and chronologically disjointed that each viewer will probably emerge with their own interpretation of what the hell is actually going on here -- which is likely just as it should be.

    Likewise, many viewers will probably be left cold by the whole experience, feeling it's a pretentious waste of time, and I certainly wouldn't blame them for that. Personally speaking, whilst it didn't have a huge emotional impact on me, I still really enjoyed it on a meditative/aesthetic level, simply because the stuff it's made out of (grainy 16mm footage of rocky headlands, deconstructed fragments of M.R. James-type ghost stories, eerie ruins and retro-'70s experimentalism) always really appeals to me. Your own mileage may vary.
    BW Haggar
    Senior Member
    Last edited by BW Haggar; 01-15-2023, 02:16 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Andrew Monroe
    Pallid Hands

  • Andrew Monroe
    replied
    Originally posted by Oily Maniac View Post
    A Face in the Crowd (1958) Iconic. Great pacing & filmmaking with blunt force trauma grade messaging

    LOVE this film. People who think Andy Griffith was just that tv show guy will be blown away by his performance in this. Still relevant to this day.

    Leave a comment:

  • Oily Maniac
    Member

  • Oily Maniac
    replied
    A Face in the Crowd (1958) Iconic. Great pacing & filmmaking with blunt force trauma grade messaging
    Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
    The El Deuce Tapes (2019) Don't check spoilers
    Scream For Me Sarajevo (2017) Heavy doc about Bruce Dickinson performing in a warzone.
    Piranha 2- not good but enough nudity, gore, Lance Hendrickson and James Cameron Underwater CINEMA to keep me watching

    Leave a comment:

  • Matt H.
    Senior Member

  • Matt H.
    replied
    Relentless - I watched this again for the third or fourth time. It's such a solid flick and I love Leo Rossi's performance. Lustig was really on his way to the big time, but he just missed. It's unfortunate, because this one and HIT LIST are criminally underrated films and should've taken him to the next level. I'd also like to know what's going on with this series completely missing from HD. The four films in this series would make a great box set.

    Leave a comment:

  • Jason C
    Senior Member

  • Jason C
    replied
    Originally posted by BW Haggar View Post
    Nice list Matt.

    Turns out I watched 261 films in 2022 - down on the past few years, but not a bad total considering what a busy & stressful year I've had.

    I'm currently in the process of finishing off a run-down of my ten best 'new discoveries' of the year for my weblog - part one is here, but for those who don't wish to click through, the full list is as follows:

    10. The Unknown Man of Shandigor (1966)
    9. A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse (1975)
    8. The Changes (TV - 1975)
    7. Walking the Edge (1985)
    6. Alligator (1980)
    5. Sailorsuit & Machine Gun (1981)
    4. Gonin 1&2 (1995/96)
    3. Thrilling Bloody Sword (1981)
    2. Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
    1. A Scene at the Sea (1991)

    In terms of worst watches, it's a tough call, as I tend to stick pretty much within my comfort zone re: avoiding things I'm liable to hate, and tend to find at least something to enjoy in just about everything I choose to sit through, even if it's just a few laughs or an actor I like popping up or something. A few I watched this year which I felt included no such redeeming value however included:

    Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)
    Maniac Killer (1987)
    Tiger Claws III (2000)
    Alligator II: The Mutation (1991)
    The Seven Minutes (1971) [Sorry Russ, but... ]
    Good stuff. A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse was a riot.

    My watching was down through the first 8 months but then I starting watching more than I had in a long while. I made it to 300 (up from 245 the year before).

    My favorite discoveries 2022 would be:

    Top Gun: Maverick (USA, 2022)
    Requiem for a Dream (USA, 2000)
    The Devil's Rejects (USA-Germany, 2005)
    Nobody (Japan-USA, 2021)
    Patrick Still Lives (Italy, 1980)
    Bohachi Bushido Saburai (Bôhachi bushidô: Sa burai) (Japan, 1974)
    Wild at Heart (USA, 1990)
    Smile Before Death (Italy, 1972)
    A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse (Bakeneko Toruko furo) (Japan, 1975)
    The Night Before (USA, 2015)
    Vampire Circus (UK, 1972)
    Liza the Fox-Fairy (Liza, a rókatündér) (Hungary, 2015)

    My worst watches were:

    Heathers (USA, 1988)
    Memory (USA, 2022)
    Mr. No Legs (USA, 1978)
    The Big Sweat (USA, 1991)
    The Bellboy and the Playgirls (USA, 1962)
    CHIPS (USA, 2017)
    Alien from L.A. (USA-South Africa, 1988)
    The Laughing Dead (USA, 1989)
    Snake Eyes (USA, 1998)
    Jason C
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Jason C; 01-04-2023, 06:07 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dom D
    replied
    Godfather Part 2: I havent seen this since I was a teenager. Back then it was one of those movies where i couldnt understand why people prefered the sequel to the original. After a rewatch i still dont. I don't think the original movie is the movie that people say it is. It's a good crime drama not a story about family as everyone claims. Number 2 fits the description everyone applies to the first a lot better. Maybe that's why people like it better. The final note is one that resonates.

    Dear god it is long though. I didn't realise I was in for three and a half hours when I sat down. Part 1 everything was a battle for that production. That they got the film made to the quality they did with the studio and the Mafia breathing down their necks is one of the great miracles. I'm guessing there weren't many battle on this one and consequently there's a lot of indulgence. Way too much fat on this movie.

    Leave a comment:

  • BW Haggar
    Senior Member

  • BW Haggar
    replied
    Originally posted by Matt H. View Post
    I was not prepared for just how good WALKING THE EDGE is. I can't think of a Robert Forster performance that I've enjoyed more. And Joe Spinell at the batting cages is just glorious. It's way above average and I hope the word gets around that this movie is rad.
    I completely agree!

    Perhaps it gets a bad rap because the visuals are kind of scuzzy, and the first few scenes are a bit 'meh', but once it gets going, the performances & characters are just fantastic. The random outbursts of extreme violence come totally out of leftfield amidst all the quirky, character-driven stuff, but both aspects deliver some unforgettable moments, and Forster is just unbelievably good throughout.

    Leave a comment:

  • Matt H.
    Senior Member

  • Matt H.
    replied
    I was not prepared for just how good WALKING THE EDGE is. I can't think of a Robert Forster performance that I've enjoyed more. And Joe Spinell at the batting cages is just glorious. It's way above average and I hope the word gets around that this movie is rad.

    Leave a comment:

  • BW Haggar
    Senior Member

  • BW Haggar
    replied
    Nice list Matt.

    Turns out I watched 261 films in 2022 - down on the past few years, but not a bad total considering what a busy & stressful year I've had.

    I'm currently in the process of finishing off a run-down of my ten best 'new discoveries' of the year for my weblog - part one is here, but for those who don't wish to click through, the full list is as follows:

    10. The Unknown Man of Shandigor (1966)
    9. A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse (1975)
    8. The Changes (TV - 1975)
    7. Walking the Edge (1985)
    6. Alligator (1980)
    5. Sailorsuit & Machine Gun (1981)
    4. Gonin 1&2 (1995/96)
    3. Thrilling Bloody Sword (1981)
    2. Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
    1. A Scene at the Sea (1991)

    In terms of worst watches, it's a tough call, as I tend to stick pretty much within my comfort zone re: avoiding things I'm liable to hate, and tend to find at least something to enjoy in just about everything I choose to sit through, even if it's just a few laughs or an actor I like popping up or something. A few I watched this year which I felt included no such redeeming value however included:

    Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)
    Maniac Killer (1987)
    Tiger Claws III (2000)
    Alligator II: The Mutation (1991)
    The Seven Minutes (1971) [Sorry Russ, but... ]

    Leave a comment:

  • Matt H.
    Senior Member

  • Matt H.
    replied
    2022 was one of the worst years I can recall, but I did watch quite a few good movies. I watched 442 films. Here's the top 30 I watched for the first time this year (in no order):

    01. An Innocent Man (1989)
    02. Get Crazy (1983)
    03. Koko-di Koko-da (2019)
    04. *batteries not included (1987)
    05. The American Scream (1988)
    06. The Big Gundown (1967)
    07. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
    08. Alien Private Eye (1989)
    09. Dirty O'Neil (1974)
    10. Made in Heaven (1987)
    11. Crimes of the Future (2022)
    12. X (2022)
    13. Marriage Story (2019)
    14. Dard Divorce (2007)
    15. Kuso (2017)
    16. Dream Home (2010)
    17. She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
    18. A Ghost Waits (2020)
    19. Some Kind of Hero (1982)
    20. Circuitry Man (1990)
    21. Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)
    22. Tempest (1982)
    23. Daddy Longlegs (2009)
    24. Riders of Justice (2020)
    25. Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022)
    26. The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)
    27. Eve's Bayou (1997)
    28. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
    29. The Protege (2021)
    30. Running on Empty (1988)


    Bottom 5 (I hated all of these):

    01. Werewolves Within (2021)
    02. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
    03. Vibes (1988)
    04. Black Friday (2021)
    05. Johnny Be Good (1988)

    Leave a comment:


  • Dom D
    replied
    Just reading about the supposed financials behind Glass Onion:

    "The first Knives Out movie in 2019, which Johnson wrote and directed (much like Glass Onion) earned $US312.9 million of its $US40 million budget in the box office from a theatrical release by Lionsgate. After its success, Netflix paid $US469 million ($A695 million) for the rights to two stand-alone sequels, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

    The outlet stated that the deal’s stipulations included Johnson maintaining creative control, a budget of at least $US40 million ($A59 million) for each movie, and Daniel Craig starring in both movies, presumably reprising his role as Benoit Blanc.

    Given the raging success of the first movie, Johnson didn’t have to accept the deal, especially since Lionsgate had already greenlit a sequel; however, the deal allowed him and Craig to reportedly walk away with upwards of $US100 million ($A148 million) each."

    That's nuts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dom D
    replied
    Glass Onion: I was a slightly reluctant viewer of this as I didn't take to the first one the way everyone else did. The Agatha Christie format is not one I'm particularly fond of. GO is also 2 and a half hours long so it requires committment.

    Glad I did though. Daniel Craig is much more at the centre of this one and the film is a lot better for it. I can't think of many actors less likely to carry a film with a quirky, quietly comedic performance but Craig is surprisingly grand in the role. Picks this film up and carries it, even does some cutesy physical comedy that couldn't seem more out of character. All of a sudden I rate him as an actor.

    I eventually found the plot a bit tiresome but I suspect those with a fondness for the form will find this one a new favourite. Good stuff.

    Leave a comment:

  • Andrew Monroe
    Pallid Hands

  • Andrew Monroe
    replied
    Originally posted by James Reed View Post
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) - I bought the DVD from Classic Media / Universal for $5 weeks ago. I decided Christmas at 3 a.m. was a good time to watch. I got a little sleepy around the 40-minute mark, but I didn't rewind it to see what I missed. I seem to recall that there was an extra scene at the end with the elf dentist at work. It wasn't on the DVD. The biggest problems I had were the picture and the songs. This is a fullscreen TV special, so why does it play in widescreen on my new HDTV? (I got it in August, I think.) I tried over and over to adjust the settings, so it played in fullscreen. I skimmed through the Rankin / Bass documentary on the disc, and noticed that while it was mostly widescreen, there are scenes from Rudolph that played in fullscreen! I don't get why old TV shows are stretched into widescreen for these TVs. The songs stopped the program dead in its tracks. But it seems every children's cartoon made in the U.S. *must* include songs. That said, I love the title song. It's one of the best Christmas songs ever, in my opinion. I'll go through the special features at some later date. I'm tired and need some sleep.
    Just want to say my favorite Christmas song is "Good King Wencelas" God, I love that song.

    Leave a comment:

  • James Reed
    Senior Member

  • James Reed
    replied
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) - I bought the DVD from Classic Media / Universal for $5 weeks ago. I decided Christmas at 3 a.m. was a good time to watch. I got a little sleepy around the 40-minute mark, but I didn't rewind it to see what I missed. I seem to recall that there was an extra scene at the end with the elf dentist at work. It wasn't on the DVD. The biggest problems I had were the picture and the songs. This is a fullscreen TV special, so why does it play in widescreen on my new HDTV? (I got it in August, I think.) I tried over and over to adjust the settings, so it played in fullscreen. I skimmed through the Rankin / Bass documentary on the disc, and noticed that while it was mostly widescreen, there are scenes from Rudolph that played in fullscreen! I don't get why old TV shows are stretched into widescreen for these TVs. The songs stopped the program dead in its tracks. But it seems every children's cartoon made in the U.S. *must* include songs. That said, I love the title song. It's one of the best Christmas songs ever, in my opinion. I'll go through the special features at some later date. I'm tired and need some sleep.

    Leave a comment:

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