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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 5041825 )
Dust Devil
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« #18285 : April 19, 2019, 07:38:23 AM »

I mean there aren't a lot of them that are even watchable. The huge majority of horror flicks are watch-and-forget shit with, when you're extremely lucky, a couple of good ideas and almost never a single "real" character. They just start with a premise they think nobody has ever executed (a child who's a killer! Someone did it already? Then a child who's a monk who's also a killer! Someone did it already? Then a child who's a monk who's also a killer but it's a found footage film. With zombies.) and then all copy the same formula.

It's a shame as the genre is in theory as open as scifi: it can effortlessly go from pure entertainment to ambitious philosophical study and everything in between. It is subdivided in tens of different subgenres that are built on as many different cultures. It's based on a great history of horror literature. It can easily be mixed with any other genre. It seems to be designed to work with image and sound better than any other genre. And yet, since the Italians have stopped making them, we've been stuck for decades with "truth or dare" clones.


OK, I see you have a point there. (Though I wouldn't thoroughly agree with it.) :)

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« #18286 : April 19, 2019, 10:32:13 AM »

Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979) - 9/10. Saw this almost exactly 40 years ago at the 1979 Chicago International Film Festival. I couldn't remember much about it and decided to try it again now that a restored version is touring. It was showing at Film Forum and I took the wife. She loved it. I also was impressed. Gian Maria Volonte plays Carlo Levi, an intellectual placed in internal exile by Mussolini during the war with Ethiopia (ca. 1935). This was made for Italian TV and it's a quality production in 4 parts. Part one is mostly Levi's journey to his place of exile, Lucania, the end of the world. In part 2 Levi's sister (Lea Masari) visits him, and he secures the services of a housekeeper (Irene Pappas). In part 3 he reluctantly begins providing the peasants with medical treatment (he trained as a doctor but heretofore never practiced). In part 4 he gets the better of his masters just before the war ends and his amnesty comes through. Based on, I gather, real events. It's an impressive bit of filmmaking at 220 minutes. I guess some feel this is Rossi's masterpiece and it certainly must be Volonte's.

Hah, it's on YT! I will finally watch it, if they don't delete it in the meantime! This made my day!

Note: looks like the quality is solid given it was recorded from TV (RAI), also no English subtitles (in case someone wants to watch it).

« : April 20, 2019, 08:49:13 AM Dust Devil »
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« #18287 : April 20, 2019, 05:57:22 AM »


OK, I see you have a point there. (Though I wouldn't thoroughly agree with it.) :)

What part? If you know any good horror flick i’m buying.


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« #18288 : April 20, 2019, 09:02:30 AM »

What part? If you know any good horror flick i’m buying.

Well, I mean, that's essentially the problem with every genre. The problem is that H was perceived the cheapest and most gratifying for exploitation from the very start. Probably along with W.

Do you know of any such subdivision in, say, romantic comedies?


No, I do not watch many movies lately, especially not new H. As I said, this was a recommendation.:)

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« #18289 : April 20, 2019, 04:48:59 PM »

The Wonder Wheel 7.5/10

Wow that was good. The film is your usual Woody Allen intricate love story filled with infidelity but with a darker twist. For once, we're among the poor instead of witnessing rich people from the upper west side who have way too much free time on their hand get lost in superficial love affairs. The idea here is the feeling of failing at life and dreaming of a better one, even though most characters brought their own demise upon themselves. True or fantasied love is the only thing keeping these people barely afloat (the lifeguard metaphor isn't the most subtle one) while their own weaknesses pull them down.

Kate Winslet is one of the finest actresses around, and she is here at the top of her game. One particular scene, featuring an extended shot, is probably her best work to date (truly supported but some terrific cinematography by Vittorio Storaro).

Of course, the fact that it all takes place in Coney Island and Little Odessa in the 50's is a major plus.

Now, everything isn't perfect: as usual, you can see how fast Woody Allen wrote and directed it, although the fact that the film required a lot of historical reconstitution means many people got involved... which results in the best directed Woody Allen picture since... Manhattan, maybe?

The cinematography is hit and miss, but when it hits, it punches you hard in the guts.

Go watch it.

I liked it too gave it an 8/10 https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2019/02/wonder-wheel-2017-coney-island-noir.html


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« #18290 : April 21, 2019, 04:44:17 AM »

Little Odessa (1994) Story of a Jewish hitman who is sent back to Little Odessa in Coney Island to do a job, complicating things is the fact that it's his home neighborhood and is dysfunctional family is still living there, it all goes to shit. You can't go home again. Tim Roth, Maximilian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Furlong.  7/10

« : April 21, 2019, 11:20:14 AM cigar joe »

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« #18291 : April 21, 2019, 12:54:09 PM »

The Body Snatcher (1945) - 9/10. This has got a great Robert Louis Stevenson source tale, a tight script, noir photography, Robert Wise direction, and Karloff, Karloff, Karloff. It can be argued that Boris gives a one-note performance--but what a note! The film also has Henry Daniell, who acts the hell out of his part and gives Karloff something to play off of. I was going to content myself with the old DVD but the reports coming in on the Blu decided me to upgrade. Fantastic looking release. Btw, there's nothing supernatural in this picture. If Black Book/Reign of Terror can be considered a noir, then this too is a noir.



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« #18292 : April 21, 2019, 07:24:01 PM »

The Body Snatcher (1945) - 9/10. This has got a great Robert Louis Stevenson source tale, a tight script, noir photography, Robert Wise direction, and Karloff, Karloff, Karloff. It can be argued that Boris gives a one-note performance--but what a note! The film also has Henry Daniell, who acts the hell out of his part and gives Karloff something to play off of. I was going to content myself with the old DVD but the reports coming in on the Blu decided me to upgrade. Fantastic looking release. Btw, there's nothing supernatural in this picture. If Black Book/Reign of Terror can be considered a noir, then this too is a noir.

I like it also.


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« #18293 : April 22, 2019, 03:02:10 PM »

Shallow Grave (1994) The new flatmate of three preexisting roomies turns up dead of an overdose. The flatmates find his syringe and a suitcase with a large sum of money. The roomies decide to keep the loot and bury the body out in the woods. Of course it all goes to hell pretty quickly and the new roommate's accomplices come looking for their money. 7/10

Director Danny Boyle, stars Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor.


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« #18294 : April 23, 2019, 07:36:27 AM »

Permanent Vacation (1980) - A young man wanders around New York until he decides to leave town. Jim Jarmusch's first feature plays like an NYU student film because that's pretty much what it is. Even so, many of his preoccupations and techniques are on display here. Production values have improved, but Jarmusch has been making what is recognizably a Jarmusch film from the very beginning. This is an extra on Criterion's new blu of Stranger Than Paradise.



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« #18295 : April 27, 2019, 09:56:27 AM »

"The Couple", 2004, WW2 picture based on true events, pretty good.

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« #18296 : April 28, 2019, 04:16:41 AM »

Narc (2002) Directed and written by Joe Carnahan. Starred Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Chi McBride. An undercover narc gets shot and killed, the investigation into the killing stalls, so the Detroit P.D. brings back Nick Tellis (Patric), fired 18-months ago when a stray bullet fired by him in the heat of a chase hits a pregnant woman. Tellis teams with Henry Oak (Liotta), a friend of the dead narc and an overly aggressive non PC cop constantly under the scrutiny of internal affairs. Watchable 7/10


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« #18297 : April 28, 2019, 05:49:14 AM »

The Car (1977) - 7/10. Jaws on land, in the form of a demonic car. This always makes me laugh. Showed it to the wife, she laughed too. Landis has a half-assed review here (oh yeah, he laughed too): https://trailersfromhell.com/the-car/



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« #18298 : May 01, 2019, 06:27:54 AM »

Dragged Across Concrete (2018) – 7/10. Two plainclothes cops (Mel  Gibson and Vince Vaughn), suspended from duty, decide to use the time and their skill sets to make some real money. Things go terribly wrong. [SPOILER: There is actually very little dragging across concrete in this film.] S. Craig Zahler wrote and directed.

This film has a weird vibe. I first realized something was off with the interaction between the two leads. This is a buddy picture, and Gibson and Vaughn sit in cars and banter on and on, but their speech never seems quite right. It’s as if someone from another culture tried to make a cop movie using the tropes of the genre but hadn’t quite mastered the language. Everything sounds like it’s been translated into another language before being re-translated back into English.

What I call “Irreality” drips from every scene. The film was shot in Vancouver, but we’re told the cops belong to the “Bulwark Police Department.” A major metropolitan community called “Bulwark”? That’s like having a city called “Fortress.” When the cops have to turn in their badges they do so alone, without Union representation, in the high-rise office of their superior (Don Johnson in a cameo). Where’s the rest of this police force? The partners never hang out with any of their co-workers. They don’t even seem to have offices of their own to go to. They have their home lives, and their work (mostly in the front seats of cars) . . . and nothing else.

None of this would be fatal except for the fact that the characters are unbelievable. The premise calls for the cops to turn crooked, but the director wants to maintain the nobility of the two characters. They can’t be both noble AND crooked, but the director wants to have things both ways. This causes problems with the dialog: from time to time, the characters have to rationalize what they’re doing to themselves and it sounds really phony.

It’s weird watching this film in 2019, 25 years after AT (Advent of Tarantino). At times there are Tarantino-esque touches: a character, before dying, swallows an important key; the baddies then have to get it before it leaves the stomach and falls into the “entrails.” Get out the carving knife! At other times, though, we get throw-backs to an earlier time. Fifty years ago I encountered, for the first time, a technique in crime fiction where a new character is suddenly introduced in the middle of things, provided an elaborate backstory, and then killed. Zahler does exactly that in this film. Cell phones and video games are everywhere in the movie. At the end the filmmaker tries to establish some lame connection between simulated video violence and the “real” violence we’ve seen in the film.

And yet. I was entertained by the movie. Although it is 158 minutes long, the time passed quickly and I was never bored. The plot develops well: things keep changing and the characters keep having to deal with new things on the fly. The filmmaker takes his time and I enjoyed the relaxed pace.  In some ways this film resembles OUATITW in an urban setting. I have, as you’ve seen, a lot of reservations about the movie, but I will probably re-watch it again soon. I’m also curious now to see Zahler’s other two films.



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« #18299 : May 06, 2019, 09:40:49 AM »

Tokyo Twilight (1957) – 9/10. This has got it all: family strife, an abortion, a mother who once abandoned her children, a police station visit, mahjong, an accidental death (or maybe suicide), lots of smoking and drinking, and finally at the end, an intolerably sad train-platform departure. This is an Ozu film?

In fact it’s one of his best (and the closest he ever came to making a noir). A true ensemble piece, it’s hard to decide just whose story this is. In fact, Ozu is telling multiple tales at once, a fact he underlines with his mise-en-scene. Locations shift and it is often difficult to know at first where we are or who we should expect to see. Sometimes the camera shows us a scene with several new, unnamed characters before one of the stars is surprisingly revealed. Ozu seems to be playing Where’s Waldo with his stars, but there may be a greater purpose. If he were to reveal his lead actor too quickly viewers would focus on her, ignoring the characters on the periphery. But the peripheral characters have stories too—or could have, if the director had the time to explore them. He can only, in a few cases, suggest those stories with an image, a fragment of conversation, whatever (there is one particular scene in a late night coffee shop that employs just these elements to great effect). Having suggested a wider world, Ozu then course-corrects and gets back to the main thread.

This is masterful filmmaking, well served by the transfer on the recent Shochiku blu.



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