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

Toasty

Distinguished Member
Caught up with some films recently..

Pledge - Ah, an 1hr 15mn horror film, perfect. Its a run of the mill US college horror that sees 3 hapless 'nerds' enticed into joining a fraternity. It soon goes south and plays out almost how you would expect. But I must say it was an enjoyable watch, had you shouting at the characters telling them what to do as you felt they could do better. But ultimately had a decent end with the odd twist or two. Not amazing, but I've seen worse and was certainly efficient with run time..

Without a Paddle - I liked this film then and liked it now, Mathew Lillard is always worth a watch for me and Seth Green is also on point here as the reluctant adventurer. This is your typical road, or shall we say river, movie with 3 lads wanting more out of life as they enter their 30's. But it all goes a bit Deliverance, leading to an inspired cameo later on. I recall this film getting dumped on, but its great fun and funny in all the right places. There is some cheese when they introduce some tree huggers, the film wouldn't have suffered if this was cut, but I have to give a shout out to the Grizzly Bear effects, however that was done, it still looks great..

Uncut Gems - I like Adam Sandler films period, but I loved Punch Drunk Love and was also impressed by Meyerowitz Stories, but here, he raises his game again. It is a claustrophobic and stressful watch that doesn't let up at all, even come the last frame. I liked the cursed spiritual undertones, really well handled, brilliant..

Cliffhanger - Pretty much Die Hard on a mountain, this is a great action flick from the early 90's and the cinematography is immense, captures Mountain top shenanigans beautifully. I will say Lithgows bad guy is way over the top, zero subtlety, but stands up as a great popcorn movie. I fear for the hinted at remake, CGI aplenty I suspect..

The Stepford Wives 2004
- Not sure why I put this on and not sure what I was expecting, certainly not a haphazard comedy that sometimes hits the mark, but most of the time misses and feels awkward. There's a good film in here somewhere, but its woefully dated and all over the place. No surprise to learn that it was beset with production problems after watching..

Booksmart - Loved the premise of this film, two Girls focus way too hard in college to gain good places for their next step only to find their 'slacker' peers are doing just as well while enjoying a full teenage social life. So they set about enjoying their last few hours as college students instead of being their normal uptight, stressed, focused selves. Good fun and a different take on the high school teen movie..

Escape Room 2019 - There must be hundreds of films called Escape Room so good luck working out which one we watched. This was a particular fun one that is another film that owes a debt to the brilliant Cube, strangers turn up for an interview, that turns out to be a series of deadly escape rooms, but there's an underlying connection, you know the score..

I don't feel at home anymore - Single woman gets robbed, takes things into her own hands when let down by the police. Enlists help from an odd ball neighbour and things go South from there. Starts off slow, but the characters determination keeps you watching, but as events unfold, it gets more and more intense until all hell breaks loose by the end. Good film, but I realised as the credits rolled, I just watched a Big Lebowski remake..

Okja - Oh I dropped a bollock here, my wife is a vegetarian and didn't want to watch this film, I genuinely thought this wouldn't get too dark, but oh it certainly does. This has the Bong Joon Ho stamp all over it, he has a great way of turning every frame into something to spot. Goes from beautiful mountains, to gritty cities to dark death machines in a cohesive confident manor. A great commentary on consumerism versus reality and handles tough subjects in distinctive way, brilliant, but my wife now hates me..
 

Robothamster

Distinguished Member
@Toasty, was going for a like, but your Okja review changed that to a funny :D
 

encaser

Member
W

Those two are very good, but Chazelle knocks it out of the park with Whiplash. You'll never see JK Simmons in the same light again...
Really? One of the thoughts I had with Whiplash, was that Simmons was playing to form with his usual calculating brash bully boy approach but then drops in some emotion to see him as not that bad...well, maybe.
 

Drax1

Distinguished Member
Really? One of the thoughts I had with Whiplash, was that Simmons was playing to form with his usual calculating brash bully boy approach but then drops in some emotion to see him as not that bad...well, maybe.
Nah, whatever Simmons had done prior to Whiplash didn't compare to what he delivers here. He really took it to the next level imo. He's a character as terrifying and formidable as R Lee Ermey in Kubrick 's Full Metal Jacket.
 

encaser

Member
Nah, whatever Simmons had done prior to Whiplash didn't compare to what he delivers here. He really took it to the next level imo. He's a character as terrifying and formidable as R Lee Ermey in Kubrick 's Full Metal Jacket.
Exactly my point. Same stuff over the years with floating levels depending on the role. Like with many other actors, you pretty well get what you expect - particularly after seeing him throughout Oz.
Oh well, agree to disagree on that.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Exactly my point. Same stuff over the years with floating levels depending on the role. Like with many other actors, you pretty well get what you expect - particularly after seeing him throughout Oz.
Oh well, agree to disagree on that.
I thought Simmons performance was far more nuanced than just another bully boy. I actually found him fairly recognisable, as though I've known authority figures like him before. He simply radiates oppressive energy; terrifying. Yet also believable. And its simply an exhilarating performance. I found the whole film stunning.
 

Malingo

Active Member
I thought Simmons performance was far more nuanced than just another bully boy. I actually found him fairly recognisable, as though I've known authority figures like him before. He simply radiates oppressive energy; terrifying. Yet also believable. And its simply an exhilarating performance. I found the whole film stunning.
The best bit was when he chewed out Mr Fantastic for not getting good enough pictures of Spider-Man.
 

encaser

Member
I thought Simmons performance was far more nuanced than just another bully boy. I actually found him fairly recognisable, as though I've known authority figures like him before. He simply radiates oppressive energy; terrifying. Yet also believable. And its simply an exhilarating performance. I found the whole film stunning.
Perhaps that's also it, in that I simply found the film overrated.
For me, rewarding Simmons for finally edging up in nuance for the same type of role, you come to expect from the man, similarly feels in parallel to what Nicolas Cage has achieved, for example, in Leaving Las Vegas - although I actually rate the latter film.
Horses for courses.
 

systemsdead

Distinguished Member
Mr. Jones (2019) Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Mr-Jones-movie.jpg

Solid semi biopic on 1930's Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who travelled to the Soviet Union seeking the truth behind the countries new economic wealth and a possible interview with Stalin himself, things don't go to plan has Jones is continuously shutdown in his investigations, evading the authorities he heads for the Ukraine and finds a world of a man made famine that left a million of its people dying of starvation and of the cold, I was pretty gripped on how this story unfolded and in the way it portrayed Jones with none of the tacked on heroics or flag waving moments, if your keen on your history films without the melodramatics then you may find this a really damn good watch.8/10
 
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Malingo

Active Member
Insidious: The Last (Lost?) Key

Okay, here we go. Some standard hokey Blumhouse nonsense. Jump scares, crappy acting and ripped off ideas, here we come.

Okay, so we're one minute in and we're ticking things off lazy horror bingo already:
Creepy kids
Fake outs
Toothless jump scares
Troubled childhood
No common sense
Wait, what the heck? Are they ripping off Hellraiser?
This isn't cool.

Okay, so a half baked backstory that explains precisely nothing about the character and has never before been mentioned. We're in what, film 4?

Oh god, those side kicks.

Hey, that's Charlie from Fringe!...
He's a VERY unconvincing hick.

The nerd likes comics! Because he's a nerd! Great characterisation!

Blue lit stone corridors, they really are ripping off Hellraiser.

Man, Billie Eilish is annoying, isn't she?
She's like r/notliketheothergirls come to life.
Ugh, this tea has gone cold.

Oh look, a key monster. That's...oh, those effects are not good.

Didn't Lin Shaye used to be in good things?
IMDB....Okay, so only sort of.

If I do a bit of grinding first I might be able to kill that stupid wild boar in Assassin's Creed.

I think I might have messed it up a bit anyway, maybe I'll just reset all my skill points.

Suitcase monster! Ha!
What?

Oh, sorry, I've stopped paying attention.

Grade: C-? I wasn't really concentrating. I got very bored.
So maybe like D+
 

barnaby jones

Distinguished Member
As it’s Valentine’s Day, thought I’d watch a film that really pushes my buttons and it gets worse every time I watch it.
Joe Wright’s Atonement.
There’s not a single part of this film I can fault. I love every frame.
Basically started blubbing half an hour in and didn’t stop till it ended.
10/10
 
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JCXDenton

Active Member
Duel:


Spielberg's 1st & Best film to date... to be honest.Also,the most suspenseful/edge of your seat screen ride ever.

+

The Lost Highway:


I'm not really a massive fan of David Lynch,but this film stands out as simply awesome!

Cheers.:smashin:
 
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Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Geralds Game - After many mentions on here decided to watch it last night. Wasn’t quite what I was expecting as I thought it was going to be a horror/suspense thriller but instead turns out to be more of a psychological drama.
Still, it’s pretty good and moves along at a decent pace but I have to say the last 10 minutes was completely pointless and really just seemed tacked on, almost ruined the film for me.

The “scary” demon man was barely featured during the main part of the movie but then the entire conclusion was all about him. We never cared about him, thought he was a threat or anything but her imagination so completely changed the outcome of the film and for the worse. Very odd.

Anyway I’ll give it 7/10 but would have got more if they had ended it well.
Also, thank you for having a film of a decent length and not like most nowadays that require you to take provisions and sleeping bag to get through them.
 

Garrett

Moderator
To Catch a Thief this was on terrestrial last week but forgot to watch and whilst looking on films shortly coming off Prime spotted it so watched it.

Not one of Alfred Hitchcock's best thrillers there very little suspense the story a well known retired thief is thought to be the perpetrator of a current spat of jewelry thefts that have all his hallmarks and was known as The Cat played by Cary Grant ot only suspected by the police also alot of his ex-comrades who were involved in his past crimes but pardoned due there their resistance work.
Thrown into the mix an insurance agent having to pay out for all the thefts played by John Williams (the actor not the composer) who role enjoyed the best in the film. Also the main female lead Grace Kelly playing the daughter of a potential theft victim Jessie Royce Landis.
The film seems in some ways a trial run for the later North By Northwest, Cary Grant character played almost the same although he did not play characters the characters were him. Jessie Royce Landis played his mother in NBNW (did a similar sort of role in The Man From UNCLE and was on top form way better than in the two films mentioned), and even has a scene more suited to Benny Hill where a romantic scene between the two leads keep getting interspersed by firework rockets going off, more refined in NBNW with the end scene.
The story did seemed padded out in places and there is a car chase scene where Grace Kelly driving extremely high speed on a cliff road with lots of high drops and while watching though of her actual death were she suffered a stroke and drove off a cliff road 27 years later. Checking on the details of her death found of the grim irony it was on the very same road the accident happened although in the film was at the end of the chase where they pulled off the road to have a picnic.

6.5/10 more character driven than plot driven for a thriller.

The spot in the film of the end of the chase and pulling off for picnic and shot in a news report where the tragedy happened.:(
To Catch A Thief.jpg
Accident spot.jpg
 

systemsdead

Distinguished Member
Daniel Isn't Real (2019) Directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer
Not bad at all and for a horror tale and it did hit quite a few good notes for me, the insane mother the sons psychotic episodes and the imaginary friend, its all wrapped up quite nicely and throws in some fun and very whacked out playouts, it's not perfect by no means Daniel wasn't quite menacing enough for me and it does kind of lose itself in a Hellraiser type labyrinth towards the end, but yeah this was passible in so many ways and something a bit different to the norm.7/10
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Haunt (2019, streaming on Amazon Prime/iTunes)

The very best of the most recent slew of horror films set in haunted attractions (Hell Fest, Hell House LLC, American Fright Fest, etc), this finally gets it right - coming across with the near perfect balance of minimal characterisation required to make us care about our generic protagonists and the right amount of hardcore grue (reminiscent of the mighty Terrifier at times), this was an utter blast from start to finish.

A gang of college kids decide to spend Halloween in a 'Haunted House', and its balls out, blood splattered, head piercing, grotesque freakery all the way. The house itself has some nice touches - almost Dave Made a Maze amateurish cutesiness and Saw levels of pain generating machinery - and its populated by some genuinely eerie creeps in masks, who actually get significantly creepier when the masks come off.

Grue is off the charts - faces are pierced with garden implements, heads get shotgunned off, limbs crushed under cinder blocks, eyes pierced with dagger keys and the piece de resistance, a face is pulled off the skull by a claw hammer. But it never feels as mean spirited as Terrifier did, still retaining its overall sense of deranged 'fun'.

The cast do enough without ever overburdening us with ridiculous backstory in an attempt to pad out the run time and come its oddly dreamlike epilogue, you're left with a blood drenched hoot and a half that doesn't outstay its welcome and satisfies on almost every level a HorrorHead could have.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Haunt (2019, streaming on Amazon Prime/iTunes)
But it never feels as mean spirited as Terrifier did, still retaining its overall sense of deranged 'fun'.
You need some therapy man :laugh:
Just watched it on your recommendation, it was OK as horror film does a few tropes the victims get weapons then discard them, have a chance to run away but decided not to and get killed. and a nightmare sequence near the end but thought was a nice change that rather than everything was sorted there's a nasty twist this twisted it back on the killer.

Not a fan of horror anymore so even 5.5 not abad score from me as far as horror films go.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Shadow (2019) - Zhang Yimou
1581805951771.png


Stoic men, beautiful women, immaculate Chinese palaces and spinning blades abound in another willowy Zhang Yimou period epic. However the story that unfolds is anything but gentle. A weak and petulant king allows a rival warlord to conquer his cities, while his warrior general, gravely injured in a duel, plots to regain their kingdom using a lookalike (his shadow) to fight in his stead. Romantic complications arise, and the various characters, all pawns in a game of chess, begin to unravel leaving it uncertain who one is meant to root for. The martial arts are, as always, beautifully choreographed and exquisitely shot, but also surprisingly bloody and visceral (although not to the extremes of the film below). Themes of duality are prevalent, represented by the ying/yang symbol that frequently appears. Cinematography has a neat symmetry to it and the music maintains a constant sedate tempo. Images are heavily desaturated, essentially to the point of being black & white save for flourishes of colour such as human skin, greenery and crimson splashes of blood. A really good story, beautifully told. 8/10


Re-watches, remaining in Asia:

The Night Comes for Us - Staggeringly violent Indonesian mayhem with incredible fights from some remarkable characters. By the numbers story, but this is essentially violence porn. I think it was a mistake having Joe Taslim be the main character. Apart from grimacing he doesn't have the screen presence of his co-star Iko Uwais, and although neither of them can act particularly well, their fight skills are second to none. The girl fighters are equally, perhaps even more impressive especially Julie Estelle as 'The Operator' and Hannah Al Rashid as a deadly knife wielding assassin. Needs a strong stomach but hugely satisfying. 7.5/10

The Wailing - Brilliant mystery horror that unfolds in typically Korean twisty-turny fashion. Unforgettable performances and some amazing scenes of paganistic exorcism rituals, with characters that aren't necessarily what they seem. Has a kind of biblical quality to it with ruminations on the devil, temptation, deception and faith. Haunting and impressive. 8.5/10
 

top4719

Well-known Member
I was surprised by this too as not that much of a musicals fan (except Singing in the Rain). Nowhere near the level of Whiplash which is stunning but this does look and sound great and is just a simple, fun film.

Wife's choice last night and she was useless and didn't find something beforehand so ended up flicking through Netflix and she got to Get Smart...

Stupid but watchable and a few laughs but ultimately completely forgettable and through away movie. Think it scrapes a 5.5/10 mainly due to Steve Carell

My choice next time so think I might go for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood finally :)

My Mrs never plays ball and just flicks through Netflix to find something on the night :)
 

systemsdead

Distinguished Member
Peppermint (2018) Directed by Pierre Morel
https---blogs-images.forbes.com-scottmendelson-files-2018-09-peppermint-07_007_PRMT_MKT_01044R...jpg

Some Saturday night $2 fodderstompin with Miss Garner and yep I found parts quite enjoyable even though it does take a walk on the silly predictable side, gangbangers corrupt cops cartels its all here with the FAF Garner seeking revenge taking em all down one by one, and thats pretty much all there is to it really, passable cheap entertainment that will most probably be a watch once jobbie.6/10
 

Coz22998

Distinguished Member
Two slightly different trips to the 1970's this weekend...…….

BlackKklansman (UK iTunes)

Witty and amusing, tense and thrilling all at the same time, this Spike Lee Joint was an unexpected pleasure, even if it got off to a very slow start for me.

The first thirty minutes were what I feared the film would be - slow, ponderous and far too long spent listening to messages we all know, it seemed to take too long to get us into the meat of the film: Colorado Springs' first black policeman joining the KKK. Understandably setting up multiple plot strands - the institutional racism within the Department even after he's appointed, yet gaining the Trust of his superiors to enable his investigation to even get off the ground, the distrust from his own people and the isolation Stallworth felt when all he wanted to do was help, its a lot of plot to get through, yet it felt far longer than the thirty minutes it actually took.

Thankfully from here though, the film absolutely flies - Washington and Driver make for an instantly likable, relatable and believable double act, the members and machinations of 'the organisation' at once scary and insanely stupid and the plot unfolds in a surprisingly thrilling way: the constant need for protecting both Washington's and Driver's identities leading to some scarily tense setpieces. Amusing in the face of the hate - some of the calls between Washington and Grace's David Duke are genuinely hilarious - the only bum note in the film's back three quarters is the relationship between Washington and Laura Harrier's activist: it feels like its sole purpose is to explore the 'black perspective' of the whole thing, never once feeling like a real relationship thanks to all the conversations the two have being about the politics rather than the characters themselves.

The film's final shots, no spoilers, showing the events of Charlottesville in 2017, now feel wholly in keeping with the themes of the film and serve as a very important reminder how the thematic undercurrent of the entire film, from a time nearly 50 years ago now, are still scarily relevant. It didn't feel too hamfisted, it didn't feel out of place and it felt like it was absolutely needed.

An interesting, exciting, amusing film, despite its oppressive themes and events, make it past the slow start and you're in for a real treat.

The Nice Guys (US iTunes, via Movies Anywhere)

Gosling and Crowe give us a double act for the ages, easily up there with Bogart and Bacall, Tracey and Hepburn and Gable and Colbert. Given Black's filthy, frothy and fizzy dialogue, with so many genuinely funny one-liners, these two A-list Hollywood hunks take huge pleasure in trashing their reputations through drunken buffoonery (Gosling and his shriek) and toxic thuggery (Crowe and his knuckle duster).

In most films like this, the plot is an afterthought (Maltese Falcon, The Long Goodbye, I'm looking at you), an excuse to hang the zingy dialogue off and often random and thoroughly meaningless to the film overall - not so here, its dense, its intriguing and most importantly, as the plot comes to the fore in the third act, the humour and amazing character work doesn't disappear. Some surprising pathos from these two and the film's third MVP, Angourie Rice as Gosling's teenage daughter, also feels real and nicely balanced against the characters already established.

And its still got plenty of those wonderful Black-isms - lashings of period detail, plenty of skewering of the movie business and a downbeat dark ending that manages to still feel wholly fulfilling, yet leaving us in no doubt that here, just in real life, the Nice Guys don't always win.

For me, this is Black's masterpiece, narrowly edging out Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and its a worth a watch just to hear all that delicious dialogue and stuff.

I know, I know......I shouldn't say '....and stuff'. I should just say its worth a watch just to hear all that delicious dialogue..........;)
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
The Nice Guys (US iTunes, via Movies Anywhere)

Gosling and Crowe give us a double act for the ages, easily up there with Bogart and Bacall, Tracey and Hepburn and Gable and Colbert. Given Black's filthy, frothy and fizzy dialogue, with so many genuinely funny one-liners, these two A-list Hollywood hunks take huge pleasure in trashing their reputations through drunken buffoonery (Gosling and his shriek) and toxic thuggery (Crowe and his knuckle duster).
'Chunk' is more like it, in one case (sorry, Russ :))
 

encaser

Member
^^ The Nice Guys is pretty good. I wasn't left feeling the need to revisit it anytime soon though but did think I'd be up for a second instalment. The, often felt, impression was that maybe they had more fun than the viewer at times. However, you can't help but get drawn into Crowe's (typical) alpha mate sensibility and Gosling's air of he'd make a good buddy which helps pave things along. The story isn't bad either.

Honey Boy (2019)
Finally got around to this after a reco' on here (s.d) and seeing Shia on the Actors Roundtable, which intrigued me further.
All in all it's a really good watch. The central 12 year old boy version of Otis, played in an excellent turn by Noah Jupe, is the standout for sure. The writing, by LaBeouf, is stellar and Jupe excels as the curious youngster navigating both the fakery of Hollywood and adult worlds in which he is forced to tread, set alongside his own childlike musings in time away from his father with their rundown motel life and work, Though this is not to say that LaBeouf isn't rather fine as the overly self-involved loser dad. Hearing Shia state (on Actors Roundtable) that much of his acting career benefited from emulating his father's ways and emotions in acting jobs was very revealing upon watching the film and helped further explain how it similarly led to his substantial personal and mental breakdowns along his life's path.
This is one of the few film's where I'd of liked it to have been a good half hour longer in showing Otis' journey further but, all we get is Otis at 22 in a rehab facility and more, rather than less, could've benefited in revealing those in-between years. The older Otis is definitely the weak link here and the choice of actor in Lucas Hedges is an oddity, in that he's nothing like the younger version in appearance and, more importantly, is less convincing and rather out of his depth to me.
The end credits have actual pictures of Shia and his father that are hauntingly similar to the visual and mental images that are brought forth in the story of the film and are somewhat disturbing. On reflection, although I said Jupe Is the standout, it's LaBeouf's face and ways within that are hardest to cast aside...

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Not a bad follow up but it does get a bit lost at times between moving things along. Danny Glover and Devito play heavily into the film throughout, with Hart and Johnson doing questionable impersonations (as with others later) that did make me wonder how effective they'd be for the majority younger market. - although, this is not to say they aren't fun at times with the generic older person P-take.
Enough action to carry it on and Karen Gillan's rear and padded bra to distract when not.
 
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SDMDAM

Well-known Member
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood finally got around to watching this last night and really enjoyed it. Great performances all round especially from DiCaprio who was immense in it. Not what I expected at the end but there was the usual bout of OTT violence although not as bad as the end of Django.

Thought the way the story dealt with Sharon Tate was quite clever given it was based on a true story.

Worth a watch.

On Brad's Pitt, I thought he was very good in this but not as good as Pesci in The Irishman although not much between them.
 

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