Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Ranald MacDougall, The World, The Flesh and The Devil, 1959

Harry Belafonte is a mining engineer who gets trapped underground and digs his way out to find that the world has ended.. well, almost. He ends up in NYC, finds The Surviving Woman, and then The Other Man, ends up nearly fighting a duel for the affections of The Surviving Woman, and then it all falls flat as a pancake. Shame, because I like post-apocalypse movies as a rule. Worth it I suppose for the empty streets (how did they get to shoot the place without people, I wonder?).
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Walter Hill, Southern Comfort, 1981

Read it as a Vietnam allegory if you like, but the director always insisted (and I agree with him) it had more in common with the "stranded in enemy territory'" Greek myth that was the origin of The Warriors. Plus a bit of Deliverance too, with the hillbillies replaced here by Cajuns. Whatever, it's a fine film, well cast (Powers Boothe and Fred Ward - above - being my favourites), superbly shot and edited. Must have been a bitch to shoot in that bloody swamp. Super music too, both from the local Cajuns and the ever-reliable Ry Cooder.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Robert Bresson, Les anges du péché, 1943

I like films about nuns as much as films shot in Lisbon :) and Robert Bresson's debut feature is no exception. The trademark austerity isn't there yet, but you can see it's not far away. Jany Holt (above) and Renee Faure both magnificent. If you're a Bresson nut and haven't seen this yet, do so
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Miklos Jancso, The Round Up, 1965

My first Jancso, and it won't be the last. Namechecked as an influence by Tarr (obviously) and, apparently, Sergio Leone (have to check on that), it's the kind of magnificently austere study in prison, terror and treachery that maybe only an Eastern European could have come up with. Not many women inmates in the camp, alas, and the lass you can see above (look closely) doesn't last long. Terrific ending too.
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Tim Burton, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, 1985

Snigger away, I've heard most of the Paul Reubens wank jokes too, but I love this (and was a big fan of the TV series too, which brightened up many a frosty Saturday morning in Rochester NY in 1986). Visually gorgeous - this was Burton's first feature, but the style's already there and fully formed - and with a sharp script and entertaining story line, I'd make my kids watch it (and leave out what happened to the lead actor in that porno cinema), except my son is now 17 and says he's outgrown it (probably true, but second childhood does come..). Will wait for grandchildren instead. Meanwhile, I do hope Reubens doesn't make the comeback. There's something to be said for retiring at the right time (ask Tony Blair) :D
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Georges Lautner, Le monocle noir, 1961

First of three hilarious romps starring the inimitable Paul Meurisse as the unlikely secret agent hero, a veritable anti-Bond if ever there was one (you should see the way he runs - and dig that overcoat). Delightully convoluted plot, with Nazis hiding in the chateau (Josselin, in Morbihan) and secret passages galore. Smashing cameos from Jacques Marin, Bernard Blier and the gorgeous Elga Andersen. Cool music too, courtesy Jean Yatove
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SqDanceCallingSteve
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Tim Burton, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, 1985
This movie's the biggest reason The Champs' "Tequila" still gets the younger generations up and dancing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVKsd8z6scw
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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Dan Warburton wrote:Image

Tim Burton, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, 1985

Snigger away, I've heard most of the Paul Reubens wank jokes too, but I love this (and was a big fan of the TV series too, which brightened up many a frosty Saturday morning in Rochester NY in 1986). Visually gorgeous - this was Burton's first feature, but the style's already there and fully formed - and with a sharp script and entertaining story line, I'd make my kids watch it (and leave out what happened to the lead actor in that porno cinema), except my son is now 17 and says he's outgrown it (probably true, but second childhood does come..). Will wait for grandchildren instead. Meanwhile, I do hope Reubens doesn't make the comeback. There's something to be said for retiring at the right time (ask Tony Blair) :D
Agreed about both the movie and the tv show. Great stuff. (I'm from Syracuse, though.)
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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UP (2009, Pixar) -- A couple in my advanced square dance class in Novato lent me this, claiming it was the best animated feature ever. They may be right. It 'stars' a grumpy old man as hero (Ed Asner's voice), a naive and geeky boyscout as his sidekick, and an evil former childhood hero of the old man as the villain (voice of Christopher Plummer). Imaginative, great to look at, involving, at times poignant, and satisfying.
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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SqDanceCallingSteve wrote: the best animated feature ever.
my vote goes to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, whose only flaw is that it's not three times as long, but I can't stand big-budget American animated films.

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SqDanceCallingSteve
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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jon abbey wrote: my vote goes to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, whose only flaw is that it's not three times as long, but I can't stand big-budget American animated films.
Interesting! I see that it's a celebrated film. And my son and I loved Miyazaki's 'My Neighbor Totoro' when he was a kid. I'll try to track down 'Spirited Away'.
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Dan Warburton
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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jon abbey wrote:
SqDanceCallingSteve wrote: the best animated feature ever.
my vote goes to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, whose only flaw is that it's not three times as long, but I can't stand big-budget American animated films.
Mine too - total magic, that film.
Meanwhile, here's a blast from the past (can't resist posting MRS's splendid review from 2012

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Monte Hellman, Silent Night Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, 1989
MRS wrote:Curiously little gore to speak of, save maybe for a sharp cut between severed head and grandma's tomato sauce. Would it help were the head watching Jack Nicholson in The Terror on a small black and white television? It comes on a single 4fer DVD otherwise featuring My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Repossessed & Slaughter High. Hellman's noted pride in this derives from the efficiency of making it, we can hope not more. Robert Culp in a shock as world-weary cop: "Well studyin' snakes is your thing doc. . .stompin' on 'em is mine." Bear in mind our killer's brains slosh within a translucent dome affixed as the top half of his head throughout. After another unnecessary stuntcock prepares to double-barrel the psychopath, he signs it "Is it live? Or is it Memorex?"
You can see tape on the floors of many sets. Twin Peaks casting (thanks to my better half) again: Richard Beymer (Ben Horne) in an awful turn as insidious doctor, Eric Da Re (Leo Johnson) who looks like Dee Snider, and Laura Harring from Mulholland Drive. Indescribable filth, I kind of feel like I took one for the team here. $4 from an Amazon seller and 90 minutes I'll never have back. Again zero slice n' dice, I was at least giddy for that. Let's end here: "Ricky isn't a killer, he's a way to stop people from killin' like. . .like snake venom is a way to cure the bite."
3.7 on IMDb, and for once that seems about right.. WTF was Monte thinking of? He actually said he thought it was his best work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Ni ... Watch_Out! - which means either he had his head in Ricki's spaceman helmet when he said it, or (assuming we take Monte to be the Great Unsung Auteur, which many people do) he's playing some sort of post-somethingorother Deleuzian joke on us all. Is it meant to be so bad, the filmic equivalent of one of Mattin's Songbook albums? It certainly seems as if he's watched a whole lotta Halloween and deliberately set out to be the anti-Carpenter (compare the zombie killer here and the truly terrible synth music to that earlier film). Whatever, I have neither the ability, the time nor the inclination to write a lengthy Barthes-like semiological analysis, and I'm afraid I won't be watching it again. Happy New Year, as the guy sez.
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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SqDanceCallingSteve wrote:
jon abbey wrote: my vote goes to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, whose only flaw is that it's not three times as long, but I can't stand big-budget American animated films.
Interesting! I see that it's a celebrated film. And my son and I loved Miyazaki's 'My Neighbor Totoro' when he was a kid. I'll try to track down 'Spirited Away'.
yeah, Totoro is very good (we have a few Totoros in our living room), but Spirited Away is his masterpiece.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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(speaking of animation, here's pretty great episode of 60s Spider-Man (in which New York appears much lonelier than outer space), Revolt in the Fifth Dimension: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2fuxnh)

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walto
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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jon abbey wrote:
SqDanceCallingSteve wrote:
jon abbey wrote: my vote goes to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, whose only flaw is that it's not three times as long, but I can't stand big-budget American animated films.
Interesting! I see that it's a celebrated film. And my son and I loved Miyazaki's 'My Neighbor Totoro' when he was a kid. I'll try to track down 'Spirited Away'.
yeah, Totoro is very good (we have a few Totoros in our living room), but Spirited Away is his masterpiece.
I, too, love Spirited Away. A recent intern in my office, a 21-year-old from Hong Kong, recently visited her sister in Japan. She knew we love those flicks, and went to the Miyazaki Museum there and brought my younger daughter back a stuffed Jiji (the black cat from Kiki's Delivery Service, voiced in English by Phil Hartman right before he died). They're all beautiful films, but as Jon says, Spirited Away is the best (and the creepiest).
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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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the Ghibli Museum actually, it's very close to where Yuko grew up and lived her whole life until moving here (also interestingly the same section of Tokyo where many musicians live, Otomo, Sachiko, Ami Yoshida). amusingly Totoro is all over that part of town, here is a pic of me with a Totoro street sign:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13715378@ ... DMb-cJ4DSs

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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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hardcore Miyazaki fans should be aware there are some great shorts that are only shown in the Ghibli Museum, one that expands the Totoro story. someone filmed them from their seat and uploaded them to Karagarga, far from ideal but definitely watchable. I can upload them here if people want, although again, they're really for completists.

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jon abbey
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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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also I know it's different if you're watching with kids and maybe not possible, but I beg people to watch these with subtitles and not dubbed if at all possible. the vocal rhythms are entirely different, and hearing recognizable American actors voicing obviously Japanese characters is constantly jarring, to me at least. my two cents...

(I should probably start a Miyazaki thread)

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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The ones I really like are the aforementioned Spirited Away and Totoro as well as Porco Rosso and Castle in the Sky. The rest I have problems with. I've only seen a few of the other Ghibli features but none of them were as good as the Miyazaki films. Grave of the Fireflies was ok.

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Re: Recently Watched Films 2015

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Pom Poko is a great non-Miyazaki one, especially the end section.

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