What film are you watching tonight/watched last night???

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Incoming barrage (I'e had man flu for a few days)

...brace yourselves


The Haunting of Hill House (2018) - Mike Flanagan
Netflix
Mentioned on its TV thread, but a terrifically well directed and compelling 10-part mini-series. Parts 5 ,6 and 9 are standouts. 8/10

Kate (2021) - Cedric Nicholas-Troyan
Netflix
Seen it all before, time and time again. But there is definitely some violent entertainment value here and former girl-next-door turned badass Mary Elizabeth Winstead proves her mettle yet again, despite being not the most likeable protagonist. Tokyo looks great, notwithstanding the inexplicably dumb cartoon car chase. 5.5/10

Worth (2021) - Sara Colangelo
Netflix
Solidly enjoyable thanks to its interesting subject matter and the dual performances of Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci. Beyond that, its pretty perfunctory. 6/10

Wrong Turn (2021) - Mike P Nelson
Netflix
Longer than it need to be, but better than it has any right to be. This initially trashy remake has more than a few tricks up his sleeve that surprised me a few times with it's sudden left turns. And the last ten minutes were pretty memorable. 6/10

As Good as it Gets (1997) - 6.5/10
Netflix
Not seen it before but heard it mentioned earlier. Really enjoyed seeing Jack Nicholson's scrooge-like character arc, thanks to Helen Hunt's long suffering waitress and his gay neighbour. Hunt is especially good here and there is some cracking dialogue and deadpan comedy thats probably a bit edgy by today's PC standards. 6.5/10

Jerry Maguire (1996) - Cameron Crowe
Netflix
Re-watch. The show-me-the-money nonsense still irritates the hell out of me, but I really enjoyed the sort of friendship between sports agent Jerry and his client Rod (a wonderful Cuba Gooding Junior). The unrequited aspect of Jerry's relationship Renee Zellweger's character with also struck a realistic chord with me, although I didn't buy the cheesy reconcilliation regardless of the line that's since become a meme. 6.5/10

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) - Jon M Chu
Netflix
Re-watch. Apart from the two leads, and the lovely Astrid (Jemma Chan) I found everyone insufferable in this and the romance plot quite basic (like any old 90s rom com, with an Asian paint job). The wedding scene is beautiful however and the ladies are all lovely. 5/10

Zombieland 2: Double Tap (2019) - Ruben Fleischer
Netflix
Meh. Its ok, some entertaining bits near the beginning but fairly weak stuff. Best character ironically is the annoying valley girl. 5/10

Raw (2016) - Julia Ducournau
Chilli
Been waiting to catch this forever and finally found it half price to rent on Chilli. What can you say, a unique blend of body horror, and weird French extreme indie cinema. I was transfixed and quite often wondered what the hell I was watching. Requires a strong stomach. Performances from the two sisters in particular are remarkable. Track it down if you can, its finger lickin' good. I'm looking forward now to Ducournau's upcoming Titane. 8/10

American Horror Stories Part 1 Rubber(wo)Man (2021)
Disney+
Intriguing start to what I hope turns out to be a quality horror anthology series. 6.5/10

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) - Sean Durkin
Disney+
Elizabeth Olsen's film debut performance that proves she's always had plenty more to offer than superheroics. We follow two timelines; Olsen's character escapes a cult-like commune to be with her sister and boyfirned, and we see her experiences in flashback. The cuts between them are subtle and smooth so you need to fully engage with it. Its a quiet and restrained drama so dont expect heavy melodrama or histrionics, most of Olsen's performance is conveyed in her body language and silent trauma. Well worth a look; a quality film by the director of the recent (also excellent) The Nest. 7.5/10

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) - William Shatner
Film 4
An objectively bad Star Trek film, that's not even a matter of opinion. Crummy acting, feeble action scenes, and embarrassing special effects (all well worth exploring if you study the film's fascinating production history) and Shatner's ego bigger than his waistline. And yet, despite all the naffness, there's a good film buried deep within, and as one critic said back in the day, "the battered treasures are there to be found". Those treasures include some fantastic character work examining the relationship between the trinity of Kirk/ Spock/ McCoy and their personal histories and traumas. Laurence Luckinbill is also a superbly charismatic figure as Sybok; a trek antagonist with depth and purpose in the best star trek tradition. Corny as hell but still retains the essence of what makes Trek great and will always have a place in my heart despite my score. Talking of scores, Jerry Goldsmith's work is as wonderful here as ever. 5.5/10

Double Jeopardy (1999) - Bruce Beresford
Netflix
Trashy 1990's mystery thriller that is absolutely ludicrous and just keeps, well, doubling down on the silliness. Shame as the initial premise is an interesting one, but they go the typically 90s route of going over the top. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it though and Tommy Lee Jones is always fun to watch being the smartest guy in the room. 5/10

American Made (2017) - Doug Liman
Chilli
First watch, again heard it mentioned earlier in the thread. Another enormously fun rise-and-fall story based (very loosely I hear) on the real life American pilot who smuggled guns and drugs for Pablo Escobar. Feels a bit like a change of pace for Tom Cruise but I liked him in it. A superb watch. 7/10

Crazy Heart (2009) - Scott Cooper
Disney+
Jeff Bridges does the grizzled old cowboy persona to a tee, and I liked him a lot in this. Unfortunately I did find it all a bit on the boring side. I was reminded of the more recent A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper, where again we have a fading, bearded, alcoholic southern country singer on a downward spiral. Only in this film, there is no Ally character to balance the story. It also felt similar to Daren Aronofsky's The Wrestler which has a similar story structure and vibe. It was ok but it never really clicked and I doubt I'd watch it again. 6/10

The Birds (1963) - Alfred Hitchcock
Chilli
Rewatch after many years and still find it an effortless esperience even despite the long, drawn out (but hightly enjoyable) set up and preamble. I can't decide if Melanie Daniels is the most romantic and resourceful woman ever, or the worlds biggest stalker. In either case, she is a superb character. The bird attacks are well done for the time, despite a few instances where they are unintentionally funny. The scene outside the school by the jungle gym is absolutely masterful in its execution. I also love the dialogue scene in the diner; a scene that quickly introduces us to a plethora of rich character and viewpoints. Some of the later attack scenes also get pretty harrowing. Look out for a very young Veronica Cartright as Cathy. Tippi Hedren is also probably my favourite Hitchcock blonde after Grace Kelly. Gorgeous. 8/10


In order of recommendation:
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top4719

Well-known Member
The Purple Rose of Cairo - 6.5/10 - I've been a casual Allen fan over the years and like many people prefer his "early funny ones" but this fantasy romantic drama is a lovely easy watch, Mia Farrow is excellent as Cecilia a depression era waitress who is obsessed with the cinema and in particular the titular film, after going to see it a number of times the lead character Tom Baxter breaks the third wall in spectacular fashion and actual walks out of the movies screen, whats follows is a lighthearted romance, fish out of water caper that looks great and will warm the cockles on these darker nights, great rag time soundtrack too.

I've seen a few of Woody's films, what are the other must see's?
 

Tim2049

Well-known Member
The Purple Rose of Cairo - 6.5/10 - I've been a casual Allen fan over the years and like many people prefer his "early funny ones" but this fantasy romantic drama is a lovely easy watch, Mia Farrow is excellent as Cecilia a depression era waitress who is obsessed with the cinema and in particular the titular film, after going to see it a number of times the lead character Tom Baxter breaks the third wall in spectacular fashion and actual walks out of the movies screen, whats follows is a lighthearted romance, fish out of water caper that looks great and will warm the cockles on these darker nights, great rag time soundtrack too.

I've seen a few of Woody's films, what are the other must see's?
Veering away from 'the early, funny ones' a little::

Hannah & Her Sisters, Husbands & Wives, Crimes & Misdemenours, Annie Hall, Play It Again Sam (this being the exception, although it's heavy on the pathos) & Deconstructing Harry.
 

encaser

Member
Best Sellers 2021
Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza

Lacklustre tale of Plaza as the inheritor of a publishing firm that desperately needs a new author to save her flagging business.
Who should she find on the books but Caine's Shaw, a 40 odd years ago success. Of course he's a curmudgeon who wants the quiet booze filled life and she semi forces him back.
This tries to be quaint and surrogate fatherly but misses more heartbeats or laughs than it hits.
Shaw uses the word bullsh*te a lot and this hits that more than anything.
6/10 at a push.
 

Mark Costello

Distinguished Member
The Purple Rose of Cairo - 6.5/10 - I've been a casual Allen fan over the years and like many people prefer his "early funny ones" but this fantasy romantic drama is a lovely easy watch, Mia Farrow is excellent as Cecilia a depression era waitress who is obsessed with the cinema and in particular the titular film, after going to see it a number of times the lead character Tom Baxter breaks the third wall in spectacular fashion and actual walks out of the movies screen, whats follows is a lighthearted romance, fish out of water caper that looks great and will warm the cockles on these darker nights, great rag time soundtrack too.

I've seen a few of Woody's films, what are the other must see's?
Another shout out for Sleeper - huge fun in every way. Some sublime physical comedy.
 

Mark Costello

Distinguished Member
Broil (2020, streaming on UK Amazon Prime)

A hugely odd genre jam that brings to mind shades of classic Lovecraftian 'weird' together with an almost classic vampire story about a family dynasty and a centuries long power struggle that comes to a head over a dinner party, there's just something.........delicious about this little Canadian film.

Starting out as little more than traditional family drama - a young girl is in trouble at school and parents ship her off to live with her grandfather - some very odd elements start to creep in: she's told she has a condition that has to keep her out of direct sunlight and requires daily blood transfusions; the family have ties to a local cafe, who's young chef (played almost unrecognisably by Jonathan Lipnicki......yes, THAT Jonathan Lipnicki) has a natty sideline in poisoning customers and delivering pizza with an extra order of extreme violence; odd mentions of the family harvest not quite being of the traditional variety.......

Its a relative slow burn to start with, but there's an assured hand here both directing and on script duty, really cleverly hooking the audience in without revealing its other hand at all. And as the plot starts to advance - the chef is hired to cater for a family meal but he's also asked to provide one of his more specialist services for one of the family members by one of the other family members - more of the mythos surrounding who this incredibly strange family is revealed. Never resorting to the traditional - these supernatural beings are never fully explained, more just accepted - there's a lovely thriller dynamic that develops that again, helps hook the viewer in and keep them hooked while some of the more strange genre stuff is happening around it all. Think Ready or Not with an added dash of a ticking clock.

And it needs this as it keeps on getting weirder and weirder - the dead return via an alternative dimension where time acts differently for example. But it worked a treat for me - cleverly balancing its obvious huge mythos with a limited budget that allowed it to show very little, all via a traditional thriller cum family drama narrative, it sucked me in and it kept me in, even up to a strangely odd (even with everything else going on) but rather emotional denouement.

Not everyone will plug into this - lots of reviews on Letterboxd have this pegged as dull and slow, which I can see. But it worked for me so check it out for fans of the weird......
 
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Toasty

Distinguished Member
In Time - Netflix

The good thing about streaming services is now and again they throw up films that passed you by and this Justin Timberlake film sounded intriguing enough to give it a spin. Basically the world currency is now time, or more specifically, your time. The film is pretty bad at explaining things, or I wasn't paying attention, but you have to leap to the fact that everything is earned and paid with in time and when your time account is zero, you, er, die.

I won't go much more into that as the premise is implemented good and bad through out the run time, but what it allows for is a good explanation to why everyone with a touch of wealth is so good looking, basically they don't age. And the film does look good, not only the cast, but the style and cinematography too. You can't place the time period, but its pretty much futuristic retro, the fantastic burly American cars are a good example.

Timberlake is good here and it really gets going when he hooks up with Amanda Seyfried. It does bow to typical cliches, but its an enjoyable jaunt that has fun playing with the whole currency thing, just don't expect it to get too deep..

I guess I got my wish. I did something foolish..

Vacation Friends - Disney+

Well, this is a straight up daft comedy of opposites mixing on holiday, conservative couple end up spending a week with party animals, but the 'friendship' doesn't end in the Mexican resort like they'd hope.

John Cena is proving good value in his recent film output and this film is full of decent laughs as he brings plenty of chaos to Lil Rel Howery's life. Not all scenes hit the mark and a wedding spread over days is just odd, is that a thing? But its a fun ride while it lasts..

I found out the trick was... just float..

Double Jeopardy - Netflix

Sounds like I enjoyed this a bit more than @lucasisking, but can't say I disagree with his thoughts. I was probably in the mood for 90's pomp and simpler times. Ashley Judd is very watchable in this, but she does get a convenient ride despite the situation she finds herself in. A fun movie to watch, which probably sums it up given it should be a bit more gritty given the subject lol..

I got to hand it to you, honey. It's just sheer hate driving you on..
 

encaser

Member
Prisoners of the Ghostland 2021
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Nic Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes

Mad mash up of genres; from Samurai to Japanese themed Western to nuclear apocalypse to redemption thriller onward with ghosties and time pondering for effect.
It's certainly more visual than anything else in design, with some keen colours and set designs. Throw in a bit of dance, mad costumes and everything in between in a stylized approach with little sensical dialogue and you're getting close.
Cage is a bank robber, with his partner named Psycho, and unsurprisingly things take a turn for the worse. Cage ends up tasked by the nut job Governor (Cassavetes) to find a young woman or, his fetching leather onesie suit will blow parts of his body off and then him in totality (prepare to wince and laugh). But, she is presumed trapped in the Ghostland where no one ever escapes. He's given a fast car and three days to get her or, ka-plooey.
To say this is nuts, or at least one, is an understatement. Though I doubt anyone plumping for this will be choosing it for Shakespearian expectations to be fulfilled. Rather, it's a visual artsy treat of sets/pieces and a score of untold extras; from Japanese Geishas, Samurai fighters (of note, Tak Sagagushi's blood lustful Yasujiro), Cowboys, rat men and portentous women and storytellers with living mannequins in a nuclear power plant backdrop. In fact, everything but the proverbial kitchen sink, which they really could do with.
Oh, and then there's a buff looking Nic Cage; who never underplays things but instead engages in some absurdist scenes, that range from fun, oddly dramatic and sincere to weird and quite excellent physical fights and back again - when he's not laying down in recovery.
If you're in the mood for some hell bent Cage, a visual wow factor that you should at the least probably have some alcohol for and, sheer twisted genre busting nonsense that, thankfully, has a basic heart beating to keep you just about straight with it all, then go for it.
 
D

Deleted member 879184

Guest
Prospect (Amazon Prime)

View attachment 1570088

I have to admit that I’d never heard of this film and wasn’t expecting much but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it kept me immersed from 5 minutes in.

I'm becoming a big fan of Pedro Pascal. There’s something likeable that makes you care about him.

I now think that they have made a great choice in casting him as Joel in the upcoming 'The Last of Us'.

I can’t wait.

7/10
Decided to check this out after seeing your post. It did feel a little like an episode of Mandalorian in a way. The scenery looked beautiful, the costumes looked great to! I would score it the same as you, however im taking a point off due to the Audio. 6/7.
I really did struggle to make out a lot of the muffled audio! It was very frustrating.
How did you find the mix?
 

treefrog

Active Member
Decided to check this out after seeing your post. It did feel a little like an episode of Mandalorian in a way. The scenery looked beautiful, the costumes looked great to! I would score it the same as you, however im taking a point off due to the Audio. 6/7.
I really did struggle to make out a lot of the muffled audio! It was very frustrating.
How did you find the mix?

The sound was a bit muffled which was a shame because I thought it had some interesting and effective sound effects, especially in the first 10 minutes. There were a couple of scenes where I struggled a bit with the dialogue. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem as I’m used to turning on the subtitles these days but unfortunately the version on Amazon didn’t have any.
 

top4719

Well-known Member
The sound was a bit muffled which was a shame because I thought it had some interesting and effective sound effects, especially in the first 10 minutes. There were a couple of scenes where I struggled a bit with the dialogue. Usually this wouldn’t be a problem as I’m used to turning on the subtitles these days but unfortunately the version on Amazon didn’t have any.

I'm finding this with a lot of streamed films, the speech is virtually unintelligible whilst the rest of the sound deafens you, the lack of a subtitle choice with Amazon is annoying.
 

top4719

Well-known Member
Another shout out for Sleeper - huge fun in every way. Some sublime physical comedy.

I have seen Sleeper, I love the bit where he pretends to be a service robot but gets taken to the repair shop where they are ripping the heads off the malfunctioning ones, his attempt to walk away is brilliant.

A Man Escaped - 6/10 - I'll repeat - I struggle with many old films, this French prison break drama by Robert Bresson is very highly acclaimed and for the most part I did enjoy its restraint and realistic approach to the meticulous way Francois Leterrier's Fontaine attempts to break free, it lost its way a little when a German deserter cellmate is introduced but it ends well.
 

Mark Costello

Distinguished Member
Cheech and Chong go Up In Smoke (1978, US iTunes)

The ultimate stoner pair star in the ultimate stoner movie and set the template for every road movie comedy and laid back buddy duo to come.

Our wasted pair meet, form a fast friendship over a shared love of the 'erb and after winding up in Mexico after mistakenly ringing US Immigration for a ride, end up driving a van made of marijuana back up to LA, with uptight Narc Stacey Keach in hot pursuit, picking up a couple of similarly horizonal lady hitch hikers en route and randomly ending up in a Battle of the Bands while everyone around them literally goes up in smoke......

These movies live or die off the strength of the leading pair and even though I'm not or ever have been an imbiber of the weed, these two and their whacked out buffoonery made for a hugely engaging duo. Sure, every other word is 'man' and all they want to do is find more weed, but their inane chit-chat and just their outlook on every situation ends up being massively likeable. So having the film and most of the comedy setpieces and beats happen around them rather than because of them worked a charm and gave the film some form of structure, no matter how loose it may be - from Tom Skerritt as a PTSD-addled cousin and of course Keach who's wound as tight as drum from start to finish, the film just shuffles along and just sucks you in. And in here you see the DNA of everything from Wayne's World to Bill and Ted and on to Dumb and Dumber, so effective is the central partnership and the film built up around them.

Of course stopping to think about any of it is totally off the table - a van made of actual marijuana? Eh? And at the Battle of the Bands, their band who have never actually rehearsed at all suddenly bring the house down with a kick ass performance......but this isn't the film you watch for 'logic'. Its a film you just wallow in and kick back to, to breathe in and wish everyone could just be a little more Cheech and Chong and how nice that would be if it were true........

Great soundtrack, great vibes, let it coast you along, man, and just enjoy the ride......

Huge thanks to @Jim Di Griz for the digital code for this. Thanks, man!
 
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Belzok

Well-known Member
Prospect (Amazon Prime)

View attachment 1570088

I have to admit that I’d never heard of this film and wasn’t expecting much but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it kept me immersed from 5 minutes in.

I'm becoming a big fan of Pedro Pascal. There’s something likeable that makes you care about him.

I now think that they have made a great choice in casting him as Joel in the upcoming 'The Last of Us'.

I can’t wait.

7/10
Watched this last night and I really enjoyed it, wasn't sure when I saw the comparisons to Moon.

Pedro reminded me of Cpt Mal Reynolds from Firefly, very similar way of talking.

Nice bit of world building, just enough to convince.

The low dialogue is just so pervasive now, very annoying.

6.5 out of 10
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Cheech and Chong go Up In Smoke (1978, US iTunes)

The ultimate stoner pair star in the ultimate stoner movie and set the template for every road movie comedy and laid back buddy duo to come.

Our wasted pair meet, form a fast friendship over a shared love of the 'erb and after winding up in Mexico after mistakenly ringing US Immigration for a ride, end up driving a van made of marijuana back up to LA, with uptight Narc Stacey Keach in hot pursuit, picking up a couple of similarly horizonal lady hitch hikers en route and randomly ending up in a Battle of the Bands while everyone around them literally goes up in smoke......

These movies live or die off the strength of the leading pair and even though I'm not or ever have been an imbiber of the weed, these two and their whacked out buffoonery made for a hugely engaging duo. Sure, every other word is 'man' and all they want to do is find more weed, but their inane chit-chat and just their outlook on every situation ends up being massively likeable. So having the film and most of the comedy setpieces and beats happen around them rather than because of them worked a charm and gave the film some form of structure, no matter how loose it may be - from Tom Skerritt as a PTSD-addled cousin and of course Keach who's wound as tight as drum from start to finish, the film just shuffles along and just sucks you in. And in here you see the DNA of everything from Wayne's World to Bill and Ted and on to Dumb and Dumber, so effective is the central partnership and the film built up around them.

Of course stopping to think about any of it is totally off the table - a van made of actual marijuana? Eh? And at the Battle of the Bands, their band who have never actually rehearsed at all suddenly bring the house down with a kick ass performance......but this isn't the film you watch for 'logic'. Its a film you just wallow in and kick back to, to breathe in and wish everyone could just be a little more Cheech and Chong and how nice that would be if it were true........

Great soundtrack, great vibes, let it coast you along, man, and just enjoy the ride......

Huge thanks to @Jim Di Griz for the digital code for this. Thanks, man!

No problem man! And there's a few other Cheech & Chong films out there too. Man.
 

encaser

Member
Together 2021
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James MacAvoy, Sharon Horgan.
Set in the burgeoning pandemic lockdown times in the UK, MacAvoy and Horgan play a sparring couple, who face the all consuming reality that they now have to spend most of their time together.
It starts as it goes on, namely in the two throwing insults and recounting past misdeeds and current airs and graces that don't live up to their true home life personas.
The two break the fourth wall and engage with the camera/audience as if you're in the room and this both works and misses at times, in that they go from ignoring the audience altogether and then suddenly pull you in when they feel the need. It's a kind of, you're the elephant in the room oddity/support.
There's a clear political agenda, that for those who have lived the pandemic nightmare here in the UK will see coming a mile away. It tries to be clever in bringing in Soviet/socialist views of relatives and that Horgan's She is a supposed Liberal and MacAvoy's He a Conservative/Capitalist.
They joust over political views and who is attempting to be overtly righteous whilst calling the other out. This all leads to presenting regular infected and Covid death figures and inevitably leads to them calling out the Tories/Johnson on delays and missteps over PPE/Care Homes and, what now sounds bizarre as opposed to simply bad decision making for inaction.
You pretty well know where their storied relationship will end up and, obviously, the less than portentous conclusions having lived it all.
It tries to be hard hitting with extended family events which will no doubt resonate with many but, it does feel like it tries to be too worthy at times with, for instance, He's initial early pandemic poor capitalist-fuelled treatment but then later attempt at moral resolution with a 'hero' shop worker.
She's laboured fourth wall breaking video diary type explanation of the supposedly unfitting use of exponential coupled with Covid's rising numbers, is truly painful and left me shaking my head at being treated like the pupil caught out in the classroom for window gazing. She, ironically, states that she managed it quickly (for the dumbed down). On the one hand, it's a weird leveller at how exponential didn't realistically mathematically apply but then on the other, it was straight back to Conservatives are bad and caused too much illness and/or deaths. OK. So the Government's inaction and misdirection caused this much illness/deaths but not that much. A strange balance for the film, when your agenda is clearly set and the literal ongoing onscreen Covid toll keeps presenting itself in rising figures. And, She then goes onto care homes, percentages and the ways Governmental leadership and promoted action could've saved lives. Hmm.
That aside, Horgan and MacAvoy are a talented pair with comic timing, offering moments of heartfelt gravitas and present an undeniable chemistry running through their relationship with each other and their floating isolationist son.
The trouble is, we all know the Conservatives screwed the pooch so badly for concerns of the economy above and beyond that of the people and, these two are difficult to take to, on so many fronts, in their scathing reality of near sadomasochistic levels of emotionally abusive conclusions to their relationship, which they continually feed off.
If you get past the first 20 or so minutes and feel this works for you, then stay with it. If, however, they grate on you too deeply, it ultimately doesn't change tack...
 

wolfie138

Member
Nobody, Bluray. entertainment on a stick. 10/10.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Malignant (2021) - James Wan
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Reviews are mixed including on here but I'm happy to be in the pro-camp on this one. And camp is probably the word as this is exactly the kind of tongue-in-cheek, wink at the camera horror rollercoaster I haven't seen in quite a while. Mandy is probably the most recent example of the kind of horror they are going for here. Treads that tightrope that of being stupidly dumb and laughable and also disturbing and disgusting and with some genuine surprises up it's blood-soaked sleeve. Plenty of nods to other films of earlier eras from Argento to the Terminator and you can tell everyone is having fun including Annabelle Wallis as the lead; and an all-new version of James Wan behind the camera- I never knew he had it in him. After years of cranking out straight faced, studio friendly, jump scare ghost train rides, it's a joy to see the director let off the chain to do something refreshingly balls-to-the-wall and unashamedly B-movie in nature. We're talking some Evil Dead II s***, and I loved it. Way more entertaining than Blandyman. 8/10
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Malignant (2021) - James Wan
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Reviews are mixed including on here but I'm happy to be in the pro-camp on this one. And camp is probably the word as this is exactly the kind of tongue-in-cheek, wink at the camera horror rollercoaster I haven't seen in quite a while. Mandy is probably the most recent example of the kind of horror they are going for here. Treads that tightrope that of being stupidly dumb and laughable and also disturbing and disgusting and with some genuine surprises up it's blood-soaked sleeve. Plenty of nods to other films of earlier eras from Argento to the Terminator and you can tell everyone is having fun including Annabelle Wallis as the lead; and an all-new version of James Wan behind the camera- I never knew he had it in him. After years of cranking out straight faced, studio friendly, jump scare ghost train rides, it's a joy to see the director let off the chain to do something refreshingly balls-to-the-wall and unashamedly B-movie in nature. We're talking some Evil Dead II s***, and I loved it. Way more entertaining than Blandyman. 8/10

Did someone say "Argento"? o_O

I don't think I've had my fill of bonkers, so will head for this one as well.
 

mfp2gosling1

Active Member
We're off to tour some of Scotland in a motorhome tomorrow so tonight we will be watching the totally brilliant Dog Soldiers.....get some tips as there is a full moon while we're up there.

Pertwee, Cunningham and McKidd shine in the best werewolf film apart from American Werewolf IMO.
I love the humour, the one liners, the werewolves are pretty well done, the characters well portrayed and for a low budget movie this is as far from "bone" as you can get
Dog Soldiers is actually a documentary mate, be careful where you park that motorhome. Say on proper campsites, and beware the moon.
 

Drax1

Distinguished Member
Incoming barrage (I'e had man flu for a few days)

...brace yourselves


The Haunting of Hill House (2018) - Mike Flanagan
Netflix
Mentioned on its TV thread, but a terrifically well directed and compelling 10-part mini-series. Parts 5 ,6 and 9 are standouts. 8/10

Kate (2021) - Cedric Nicholas-Troyan
Netflix
Seen it all before, time and time again. But there is definitely some violent entertainment value here and former girl-next-door turned badass Mary Elizabeth Winstead proves her mettle yet again, despite being not the most likeable protagonist. Tokyo looks great, notwithstanding the inexplicably dumb cartoon car chase. 5.5/10

Worth (2021) - Sara Colangelo
Netflix
Solidly enjoyable thanks to its interesting subject matter and the dual performances of Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci. Beyond that, its pretty perfunctory. 6/10

Wrong Turn (2021) - Mike P Nelson
Netflix
Longer than it need to be, but better than it has any right to be. This initially trashy remake has more than a few tricks up his sleeve that surprised me a few times with it's sudden left turns. And the last ten minutes were pretty memorable. 6/10

As Good as it Gets (1997) - 6.5/10
Netflix
Not seen it before but heard it mentioned earlier. Really enjoyed seeing Jack Nicholson's scrooge-like character arc, thanks to Helen Hunt's long suffering waitress and his gay neighbour. Hunt is especially good here and there is some cracking dialogue and deadpan comedy thats probably a bit edgy by today's PC standards. 6.5/10

Jerry Maguire (1996) - Cameron Crowe
Netflix
Re-watch. The show-me-the-money nonsense still irritates the hell out of me, but I really enjoyed the sort of friendship between sports agent Jerry and his client Rod (a wonderful Cuba Gooding Junior). The unrequited aspect of Jerry's relationship Renee Zellweger's character with also struck a realistic chord with me, although I didn't buy the cheesy reconcilliation regardless of the line that's since become a meme. 6.5/10

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) - Jon M Chu
Netflix
Re-watch. Apart from the two leads, and the lovely Astrid (Jemma Chan) I found everyone insufferable in this and the romance plot quite basic (like any old 90s rom com, with an Asian paint job). The wedding scene is beautiful however and the ladies are all lovely. 5/10

Zombieland 2: Double Tap (2019) - Ruben Fleischer
Netflix
Meh. Its ok, some entertaining bits near the beginning but fairly weak stuff. Best character ironically is the annoying valley girl. 5/10

Raw (2016) - Julia Ducournau
Chilli
Been waiting to catch this forever and finally found it half price to rent on Chilli. What can you say, a unique blend of body horror, and weird French extreme indie cinema. I was transfixed and quite often wondered what the hell I was watching. Requires a strong stomach. Performances from the two sisters in particular are remarkable. Track it down if you can, its finger lickin' good. I'm looking forward now to Ducournau's upcoming Titane. 8/10

American Horror Stories Part 1 Rubber(wo)Man (2021)
Disney+
Intriguing start to what I hope turns out to be a quality horror anthology series. 6.5/10

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) - Sean Durkin
Disney+
Elizabeth Olsen's film debut performance that proves she's always had plenty more to offer than superheroics. We follow two timelines; Olsen's character escapes a cult-like commune to be with her sister and boyfirned, and we see her experiences in flashback. The cuts between them are subtle and smooth so you need to fully engage with it. Its a quiet and restrained drama so dont expect heavy melodrama or histrionics, most of Olsen's performance is conveyed in her body language and silent trauma. Well worth a look; a quality film by the director of the recent (also excellent) The Nest. 7.5/10

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) - William Shatner
Film 4
An objectively bad Star Trek film, that's not even a matter of opinion. Crummy acting, feeble action scenes, and embarrassing special effects (all well worth exploring if you study the film's fascinating production history) and Shatner's ego bigger than his waistline. And yet, despite all the naffness, there's a good film buried deep within, and as one critic said back in the day, "the battered treasures are there to be found". Those treasures include some fantastic character work examining the relationship between the trinity of Kirk/ Spock/ McCoy and their personal histories and traumas. Laurence Luckinbill is also a superbly charismatic figure as Sybok; a trek antagonist with depth and purpose in the best star trek tradition. Corny as hell but still retains the essence of what makes Trek great and will always have a place in my heart despite my score. Talking of scores, Jerry Goldsmith's work is as wonderful here as ever. 5.5/10

Double Jeopardy (1999) - Bruce Beresford
Netflix
Trashy 1990's mystery thriller that is absolutely ludicrous and just keeps, well, doubling down on the silliness. Shame as the initial premise is an interesting one, but they go the typically 90s route of going over the top. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it though and Tommy Lee Jones is always fun to watch being the smartest guy in the room. 5/10

American Made (2017) - Doug Liman
Chilli
First watch, again heard it mentioned earlier in the thread. Another enormously fun rise-and-fall story based (very loosely I hear) on the real life American pilot who smuggled guns and drugs for Pablo Escobar. Feels a bit like a change of pace for Tom Cruise but I liked him in it. A superb watch. 7/10

Crazy Heart (2009) - Scott Cooper
Disney+
Jeff Bridges does the grizzled old cowboy persona to a tee, and I liked him a lot in this. Unfortunately I did find it all a bit on the boring side. I was reminded of the more recent A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper, where again we have a fading, bearded, alcoholic southern country singer on a downward spiral. Only in this film, there is no Ally character to balance the story. It also felt similar to Daren Aronofsky's The Wrestler which has a similar story structure and vibe. It was ok but it never really clicked and I doubt I'd watch it again. 6/10

The Birds (1963) - Alfred Hitchcock
Chilli
Rewatch after many years and still find it an effortless esperience even despite the long, drawn out (but hightly enjoyable) set up and preamble. I can't decide if Melanie Daniels is the most romantic and resourceful woman ever, or the worlds biggest stalker. In either case, she is a superb character. The bird attacks are well done for the time, despite a few instances where they are unintentionally funny. The scene outside the school by the jungle gym is absolutely masterful in its execution. I also love the dialogue scene in the diner; a scene that quickly introduces us to a plethora of rich character and viewpoints. Some of the later attack scenes also get pretty harrowing. Look out for a very young Veronica Cartright as Cathy. Tippi Hedren is also probably my favourite Hitchcock blonde after Grace Kelly. Gorgeous. 8/10


In order of recommendation:
View attachment 1570653
I saw Raw too recently, and really struggled in terms of a rating. I found it a hugely difficult watch in terms of both the stomach churning content (I had to watch through my fingers at one point!), and the lead's journey. Garance Marillier gives a good performance, but it's very much a watch once movie. I think there was a bit too much for outright shock value. Maybe this, and my life choice as a vegetarian just didn't marry up...
 

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