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Messages - T.H.

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1
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: July 04, 2024, 09:11:54 AM »
Lifeguard (1976) - A pretty damn good character study about the complexities of being an adult that is weighed down by a horrifically dated score and soundtrack. It needed the exuberance of the jukebox movie for this to have made a lasting impact (a soundtrack comprised of early to mid 70's country rock would have been perfect). It's very well directed for something shot in standard with lots of low angle and wide shots. It also breezes in and out of scenes, and said scenes are almost always very interesting. Sam Elliott is great, and I wish he was in more movies like this.  B

2
Other Films / Re: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
« on: July 02, 2024, 09:31:45 AM »
50 % this month, July?

I bought it via Amazon.com for 34,99 $, with a - 30 % sign (originally 49,95 $). does that mean it gets cheaper than these 34,99?

There are two versions: the bluray and the 4K + bluray edition.

On amazon, the 4K + bluray is still 48.99 while the bluray is 34.99.

On barnes and noble, it's 34.99 and 24.99.

3
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 21, 2024, 12:51:07 PM »
Kingpin (1996) - While I have a soft spot for all of the 90's comedy classics, Kingpin has aged the best because it somehow has the spirit of a 70's style road movie while also succeeding as a non-stop gag fest where 95% of the gags deliver, and the other 5% are at least bold and clever. The Farrelly's also have a great ear, and the soundtrack delivers, and visually, it holds up rather well because it was shot in scope (90's Reno is a great time capsule). You can strip away all of the screwball gags in this movie, and there is still a great movie there in many ways. The three leads are excellent, and Harrelson and Vanessa Angel have such great chemistry where you can believe (at least in movie terms) that they would develop a romance since the movie handles their relationship so delicately and methodically.  A-


White Men Can't Jump (1992) - The first half is excellent, and Harrelson and Snipes have a phenomenal rapport, to the point where you can forgive their questionable basketball skills. Rosie Perez's character will alienate many viewers, but the movie is aided by its very authentic depiction of early 90's LA. While the second half wasn't as good as I remembered (there should have been a mini twist), the movie overall works due to the two leads' chemistry, and the great early 90's atmosphere and a solid soundtrack.  B-

4
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 20, 2024, 09:46:02 AM »
Boyz in the Hood (1991) - One of the very rare movies that would be much improved if it was a good ~40 minutes longer. With the way the plot was structured, everything feels very melodramatic since the story is so rushed. It's a good movie that is held down by trying to fit so much into such a short runtime -- which was quite jarring after not having seen this in such a long time. It is also not aided by its dated score, the movie's soundtrack should have been entirely comprised of 70's soul and late 80's hip hop. Menace II Society is the better and more honest movie.  B-


Dead Presidents (1995) - It's a token example of a film where you ask yourself, "Is this movie good?". Maybe? I think so? There are definitely some very powerful scenes, but it ultimately would have worked better had it just been a coming of age movie set in late 60's NYC, or a Vietnam movie, or a 70's set heist movie. Instead, we get an entertaining movie that's all over the place with a very fun heist scene near the end. It's one of those movies I was expecting to like more as an adult, but it comes up short, even though there are certainly a lot of great scenes.  C+


Straight Outta Compton (2015) - I normally avoid these modern music bio pics like the plague, but maybe the one that started this ridiculously played-out trend was good...and eh. The first half, while melodramatic, is at least fast paced and entertaining, but the second half (or post N.W.A. breakup) is a total mess with pointless cameos and a total disregard for anything resembling the truth. I will stick to avoiding these formulaic movies regardless if I'm a fan of the music or not.  C


Apocalypto (2006) - Had Gibson not shot this like it was a Bourne Identity movie, this would be a masterpiece and possibly the single best movie of the 21st Century (at least on the short list). However, this movie suffers badly from Paul Greengrass-itis and it also features way too many boring medium close up shots. It is a crime that this wasn't shot in scope and let the action play out more organically. But outside of that gripe, and the movie possibly betraying its realistic tone in the climax, this is a phenomenal movie.  A-

5
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: June 10, 2024, 02:45:55 PM »
Slap Shot (1977) - While it doesn't need to be two hours, and the climax isn't exactly the payoff you'd want, it's something of a classic that was filmed much better than I remembered. While it also could have used some more character orientated stuff with Newman's character, Slap Shot's authentic small town atmosphere and it's free wheeling nature in general make this special. If anything, it's better now than the year that it was was released due to how unapologetic and liberated it is.  B

Messiah of Evil (1975) - One of those movies that I really want to like a lot more because the atmosphere is wonderful, and the exterior night time stuff is mostly beautifully filmed, but there's not much of a plot, and the characters are paper thin. Maybe this can be seen as surreal by some, but for me the pacing really threw the entire thing off. But it gets a passing grade because it can look stunning in many instances.  C-

6
I'll vouch for Streets of Fire, but it's not for everyone. I personally love it, but it is very much worth seeing at the very least.

7
Other Films / Re: Rage at Dawn (1955)
« on: May 20, 2024, 07:47:10 AM »
This is an effective, no frills B western that doesn't approach anything close to greatness, but it has no major flaws. It could have been something of a gem if it was directed by a De Toth since it needed a personal touch.  C+

8
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: May 08, 2024, 09:42:39 AM »
New Jack City (1992) - A reasonably entertaining movie carried by its cast outside of Judd Nelson, who has a throwaway character that feels like he's in a completely different movie -- I'm not alone in that opinion. It's not one of those movies that improves on additional views, it just functions as passable entertainment. This is one of the token examples of a movie that badly needed an otherworldly soundtrack to elevate the material. A cast can only do so much.  C

Menace II Society (1993) - While the opening 20 minutes arguably approaches greatness, the movie never sputters out of control even though there are a couple awkward spots and it can be labeled as a movie with just a series of bad situations that the characters experience. Where it shines is that it's so damn unapologetic and rough -- much more than I remembered. Almost always, flawed protagonists are infinitely more interesting than squeaky clean characters. Hollywood doesn't have the balls to make a movie like this anymore.  B

9
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: May 07, 2024, 08:41:02 AM »
Deep Cover (1992) - This has aged well, and it feels much more unique or idiosyncratic than I remembered. It's very well directed by Bill Duke with some great shots and lighting. However, this one does lose momentum at some point in Act III, which keeps it from achieving true greatness. But this is a very worthy neo noir, though I wish Deep Cover the song would have played a more prominent role in the movie. B

10
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Branded to Kill (1967)
« on: May 04, 2024, 01:06:42 PM »
I've seen the "Battles without Honor and Humanity" films he directed and they were pure chaos.  If anybody says they could keep up with the dialogue, action or story, I believe they are not being truthful. Sympathy for the Underdog is superior based on just those facts alone.
Going by my memory, volumes I and III are messy, exposition fests, but they set up II and IV, which are the standouts in the series. The finale just doesn't feel nearly as satisfying as it should be for a series of five movies -- but I owe it another viewing.

With that said, I'd rather just watch Sympathy for the Underdog, Yakuza Graveyard, and Cops vs Thugs.

11
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Last Seduction (1994)
« on: May 04, 2024, 10:30:30 AM »
I figured I'd put the Fiorentino talk in this thread.

True. Strangely enough in my short review of RRW I wrote she was good. I'm thinking now what was I thinking then - maybe it's time for a re-visit?

Ah yeah, Linda Fiorentino, an old everybody's favorite dark-haired femme fatale The strangest mystery is how her career lasted only 10 (maybe 15) years altogether.

Definitely revisit Red Rock West. It's a blast of a movie.

As for Fiorentino, her only having two acting credits after the year 2000 is completely bizarre and baffling. There was some story (that I'm probably butchering) about her trying to seduce an FBI agent to get files on her boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, but that happened after her career dissipated. I know she was hit with the "difficult to work with" label, but even if that was genuine, and she just didn't refuse to sleep with Harvey Weinstein, she would be relegated to a Sean Young type of career.

When the rare actor walks away from Hollywood ala Rick Moranis, it is always reported on and reasons are given. If she walked away on her own terms, she did so in the most mystifying way.

12
I've wanted to play an open world western since GTA 3 but I just got bored with this after a few hours. I'll come back to it at some point but the missions are so repetitive and tedious. It's very well made but something is keeping me from loving this game.

I wonder if Call of Juarez is worth playing.
Fast forward over a decade later and I love the game, but it does take some time to get going and I hated those cattle missions early on. I love the filmic look of RDR, same for the music. There's definitely a spaghetti influence there. While I also love the sequel, I thought something was lost in its hyper realistic visuals and more ambient soundtrack, which is very well done.

When I play videogames these days, it's retro games (who would have guessed with my taste), but I will say that I will always make the time for any open world game set in the old west, a realistic feudal Japan, the 20th Century US or anything Blade Runner or cyperpunk influenced.

Sorry for necroing this but I'm watching a let's play and I'm nearly done. Damn. For such an old game it looks really beautiful. Also, a lot of Peckinpah vibes in this one, especially the Mexico portion and the whole melancholy showdown with our ex-mentor.


(I'd play it but I'm really lazy at big open world games. I have been playing Elden Ring for over a year and I'm just now getting to Fire Giant, still have a lot to do in Volcano Manor although I have access to Rykard thanks to the assassinations, and I just entered Ainsel River Main. And I still never finished the Skyrim DLCs or the Dark Brotherhood despite having about a dozen characters. There is just too much stuff in these games!)
RDR 2 took me almost a year and a half to beat haha.

I agree with you about the Peckinpah influence in RDR. I also thought there was a lot of Spaghetti in there as well. It's a shame that RDR 2 had much more of a historical slant, because the first game felt more like movie towns. But the sequel's version of New Orleans was fantastic.

13
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: White Sands (1992)
« on: May 03, 2024, 08:54:11 AM »
I also like RRW a great deal, and I agree the two combined would have made a masterpiece. Lara Flynn Boyle was never my cup of tea; and in RRW she was also very young, making it kinda hard to believe she would be J. T. Walsh's wife, and even more so - that they menaged to pull a heist and retire without anyone finding out.
The younger wife can work and be believable, think Jennifer Lopez in U-Turn (a sort of bizarro take on Red Rock West), but Lara Flynn Boyle is more of a TV or comedy actress, and she couldn't pull this off whatsoever. It's a shame that Linda Fiorentino wasn't also cast in Red Rock West. You can probably throw a dart at 90's actresses in the age range to play that role and would find someone much better.

14
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Cinema Speculation (Tarantino book)
« on: May 01, 2024, 09:52:43 PM »
Here's an excerpt talking about Point Black and The Outfit (and more generally about all the adaptations of Parker novels), but with film clips to help make his points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krQ3YfGX4AI

While I respect his opinions, his take on Point Blank is completely bizarre. Comparing it to 60's TV is insane. I would say it's the closest thing we have to Leone directing a (non epic) crime film from that timeframe. While it lacks the explosive Leone final action scene, it has that Leone philosophy of every scene being memorable with no wasted opportunities for something interesting to happen on screen at all times. It doesn't have the beats of normal movies.

I'd also argue that Carroll O'Connor's casting and performance was unique in that it wasn't some dastardly evil head of the operation -- rather the crime outfit in this movie is a bloated corporation that is only concerned with the bottom line. Tarantino whiffed on that aspect of it as well, and I wonder if he actually rewatched the movie, and didn't just watch a few clips and then blast the movie from memory. He also has such weird allegiances where he tries to tear something else down to prop up the thing he likes ala John Ford and William Whitney.

As much as I respect QT, he is one of those types that labels the 50's movies as "Doris Day movies", and that may be the single most obnoxious film take I've heard.

15
Off-Topic Discussion / Re: White Sands (1992)
« on: May 01, 2024, 09:32:34 PM »
I should say that I love Red Rock West, but I just don't think the visuals are as good as the script and atmosphere. Also, Lara Flynn Boyle is badly miscast as a femme fatale.

As for this movie, it is possibly quasi-forgettable, but I find it worthy because it's a well-shot desert noir with a great cast. But yeah, a B- was too generous even for a very forgiving grader like me.

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