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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4967788 )
dave jenkins
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« #17670 : March 14, 2018, 05:49:22 AM »

Kwaidan (1964) 1080p. A portmanteau of supernatural stories set in ancient Japan, adapted from the works of Lafcadio Hearn. The stories are not connected and there is no frame to tie them together. Obviously, some are better than others, so I score each part separately as follow: "The Black Hair" 7/10; "The Snow Woman" 8/10; "Hoichi the Earless" 11/10; "In a Cup of Tea" 8/10. I have owned the Criterion LD and DVD, and then the MoC DVD. This new Criterion Blu, based on a digital restoration, looks better than just about anything ever transferred to disc. It also comes with a Stephen Prince commentary (nonstop--or nearly--blather for 3 hours!), which is helpful, particularly regarding what he has to say about the sound design. Toru Takemitsu, Japan's most famous 20th Century composer, provided the film's sounds. Takemitsu scored about 100 films, I understand, and his approach, at least in the 1960s, was to dissolve the distinction between music and effects. The approach is similar to Morricone's musique concrète  experiment at the beginning of OUATITW. Except that Morricone used a rather naïve approach: the sounds match exactly the images they're paired with, so that a train screeching to a halt on metal rails sounds exactly like a train screeching to a halt on metal rails. Takemitsu was more adventurous, using, for example, the sound of breaking ice to represent a door slamming, and then deliberately presenting the sound out of sync, so that it comes immediately before or after the moment the door shuts. Sometimes he uses the sound of the shakuhachi, the Japanese flute, to represent the sound of wind, and the shakuhachi sounds nothing like natural wind noise. In "Hoichi the Earless" the title character plays a biwa (a Japanese lute), and we hear a passage from his performance. But he doesn't play his instrument in the traditional way a performer of his period would. Instead we get a 20th Century avant-garde treatment, one where the silence between notes is even more potent than the notes intoned. In other words, this is way beyond what we get for a score in most movies. It's something akin to what Kubrick might have accomplished in 2001 if, rather than stealing from great composers, he'd actually collaborated with someone like Ligeti.
Watched the "Hoichi" segment again last night. An "11" may be too low.



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« #17671 : March 14, 2018, 08:31:47 AM »

The Lower Depths (1936) - 8/10
UHF (1989) - 7/10
I, Tonya (2017) - 8/10
In the Mouth of Madness (1994) - 9/10

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« #17672 : March 14, 2018, 11:00:49 PM »

Watched the "Hoichi" segment again last night. An "11" may be too low.

speaking of Japan, I just saw this story: the first ever sake brewery opened in New York!

https://www.google.com/amp/abc7ny.com/amp/food/new-yorks-first-sake-brewery-opens-in-brooklyn/3206214/

Just in time for your wedding!  :) :)


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« #17673 : March 15, 2018, 01:56:58 AM »

Radio Cab Murder (1954): Cabby & ex-con Jimmy Hanley gets asked by the police to go undercover to flush out a group of bankrobbers. As precaution the robbers give him the wrong location for the next job, so he's stuck with the robbers while the police are at a different spot. It's got some interesting bits but lacks tension and Hanley's boring. 6-/10


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dave jenkins
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« #17674 : March 15, 2018, 09:18:02 AM »

speaking of Japan, I just saw this story: the first ever sake brewery opened in New York!

https://www.google.com/amp/abc7ny.com/amp/food/new-yorks-first-sake-brewery-opens-in-brooklyn/3206214/

Just in time for your wedding!  :) :)
Thanks, that will come in real handy (if we decide to honeymoon in Brooklyn).  O0



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« #17675 : March 15, 2018, 04:56:20 PM »

Thanks, that will come in real handy (if we decide to honeymoon in Brooklyn).  O0

You said you wanted a church wedding - Brooklyn is known as the “Borough of Churches”!


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« #17676 : March 17, 2018, 07:46:04 AM »

Slither (1973) 8/10. Not to be confused with a creature feature, this is the GBU remake that starred Jimmy Caan, Peter Boyle and Sally Kellerman (the Good, the Ugly, and the Batshit Insane, respectively). There were also two very creepy vans. Man, what good films they made in the 70s. Not like the crap they make now.
Watched this again. I can watch it a hundred times (and probably will). Kellerman is hilarious, man.



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« #17677 : March 18, 2018, 05:40:41 AM »

Red Sparrow (2018): Spy thriller with Jennifer Lawrence as an ex-ballerina who gets recruited to be come a sparrow, essentially a whore-spy for the Russian government. Very twisty (altho most twists aren't necessarily surprising) and more story-driven than action-driven. If Hollywood ever wants to do a Putin-biopic, they should hire Matthias Schoenaerts, all he needs is a bit more fat in his face. 8/10


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« #17678 : March 18, 2018, 07:57:25 AM »

"The Girl Who Had Everything"  1953, starring Elizabeth Taylor.  Rate 3, Mrs. Cusser wanted to watch on TCM.  Rich girl gets enamored with an older thug.  At least it was only 75 minutes long.  Lots of smoking in pretty much every scene, lots of drinking too.

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« #17679 : March 18, 2018, 09:43:09 PM »

Casualties of War (1989) 7.5/10

Based on a true incident that occurred during the Vietnam War, as recounted first in this New Yorker article (and later in a book) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1969/10/18/casualties-of-war


Yes, it all happened  :'(

Sean Penn's accent is laughable; and the last line of dialogue the Vietnamese girls has with Fox in the framing device is awful. Otherwise, a good movie.


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« #17680 : March 21, 2018, 05:41:05 AM »

Danger Signal (1945) - 5/10. Zachary Scott is a lothario who takes the money, perhaps even the lives, of the women he romances. You can tell just what kind of creep he is: he steals a service pin from a vet and then lies about having been wounded in the South Pacific. But the women can't get enough of him--all the real men, I guess, are in the South Pacific. It is fun to see just how low he'll go, and just what suckers women can be. Eventually, though, comeuppance arrives. Happily, none of the principals are implicated, because Scott, fleeing vengeance, trips over a root and falls off a cliff into the (not-so-South) Pacific. Ha!



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« #17681 : March 22, 2018, 07:18:05 PM »

The Disaster Artist (2017) - 7/10. It gets a passing grade because the subject matter's just too strong...but it's too short and takes too long to get to the making of The Room - which the portion of the movie dedicated to the making of The Room is painfully short. The visuals weren't anything to write home about either.

Even though I haven't read the book, it's still safe to say that the adaptation left a lot of the meat on the bone. The crew should have been constantly turning over and there were complete fabrications: like the whole subplot about Greg's beard and the fight between Tommy and Greg when they're shooting in a SF park.

Franco and co. also didn't cover that Wiseau originally had two Mark characters: one Mark was shot in HD and the other in 35mm until the other Mark found out and quit. Oh, and the character was named Mark because Tommy Wiseau loved The Talented Mr. Ripley and thought the actor's name was Mark Damon.  Etc. etc. The real story didn't need any altering, and the Hollywoodizations (for a lack of a real word) of the adaptation strangely made the oddball world feel way more normal than it should. It also didn't need Rogen's character in general, and certainly didn't need Rogen constantly reacting like someone watching ciips of The Room on youtube.

Still, what we see is entertaining, and it works, it just should have been a lot more and Franco etc. should have made creative decisions that kept it from being Ed Wood Ultralite - which is not entirely a bad thing considering Ed Wood's a masterpiece in my opinion. But why watch this movie when you can see Ed Wood or go to a viewing of The Room? And maybe Tommy Wiseau and his 7 belts might make an appearance at the screening?

« : March 22, 2018, 08:17:52 PM T.H. »


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #17682 : March 25, 2018, 05:25:10 AM »

Kill List (2011): Violent, unsettling and crazy movie about 2 hitmen, Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley, who get a new list of targets and set off doing their business. There is always something not quite right with the story/atmosphere, and the final third of the movie is mental in a similar fashion as a famous British pagan horror classic (won't mention its title, that alone should be enough). Really cool, and still not quite sure what the final minute is about (altho I do have ideas). Memorable movie, to say the least. 8/10


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« #17683 : March 25, 2018, 07:20:05 AM »

Kill List (2011): Violent, unsettling and crazy movie about 2 hitmen, Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley, who get a new list of targets and set off doing their business. There is always something not quite right with the story/atmosphere, and the final third of the movie is mental in a similar fashion as a famous British pagan horror classic (won't mention its title, that alone should be enough). Really cool, and still not quite sure what the final minute is about (altho I do have ideas). Memorable movie, to say the least. 8/10

I really, really like how this movie slowly goes from social film to thriller to horror.


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« #17684 : March 25, 2018, 12:32:56 PM »

Yep, extraordinary film.

It starts like a Mike Leigh film and ends in Lynch-world


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