films we just saw

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Reanimator
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Post by Reanimator » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:19 pm

Richard - I just watched 'Max Payne' and its much worse than the Devils Chair!!!

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Post by Grindhouse » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:27 pm

streetrw wrote:I know, I know, it's my own fault. Well, partly. After the ramshackle The 13th Sign (potential to be okay if they'd been able to spend some money on it) and the frankly insulting Dust (how many walked out? how long before they started?) I was reluctant to bother with Broken. But no, everyone said it was much better and it was okay and everything. Except it wasn't. So I said no more.

So yes, the upshot is that they sent me The Devil's Chair, and hurrah because that's a fourth stinker out of four. Congratulations. If The 13th Sign was a bog-standard horror quickie that desperately needed a lot more money so it could pay for proper actors and some decent post-production (but is ultimately no better or worse than a hundred other camcorder obscurities on the Film 2000 or HardGore labels), Dust was an intolerable pain in the backside full of yuppie scum, indecipherable shrieking and drunken horseplay, and Broken was....well, just a cry for help, what's The Devil's Chair? How does this rate? Short and glib answer is that it doesn't, really: a team of psychology bods take a former asylum inmate (who's doing an extended Jason Statham impression) back to the place where he claims a mysterious chair took his girlfriend. Is that what happened? Is this chair really a portal to somewhere else? What's the bearded professor hiding? Who's going to get off with the blonde or the brunette? What's real? Is this a hallucination? Is this all in his head? They don't know, I don't know, Adam Mason doesn't bloody know either. It's one of those movies that suddenly keeps switching frames of reality on you. That's fine if all your frames of reality are equally valid, and all linked up (something like Total Recall, which is obviously a far more ambitious picture) but here it reaches the point that not only does the audience not know what's real, illusion or all in the mind, but that they don't care.

Matters are not improved by a constant voiceover from the substitute Statham which is mainly concerned with yelling abuse and obscenity at the viewer. Well, wow. Anyone can do that: poo willy bum knob wee wee farty knickers. Congratulations, you're officially nine years old.

And I'm fed up with the low-rent Haneke impression as well. While I'm not a fan of Michael Haneke (when I have to look up a film on the IMDb when I get home to see what it was about, as I did with Hidden/Cache, it's not a good thing) I'll acknowledge that he's some kind of proper artist. An artist I don't much like, but still an artist and, as an artist working in serious highbrow drama with Things To Say About Humanity And The World And Stuff, he can use the confines and conventions of a genre movie (a home-invasion thriller) to directly address the audience with his concerns about genre movie audiences - he can have people in Funny Games talk to the viewer about how morally questionable genre movies, and audiences, are. Because the Funny Games audience isn't really a genre audience, it's a Curzon Mayfair audience rather than a Cineworld Dagenham audience; it's a Prince Charles upstairs audience rather than a Prince Charles downstairs audience. BUT: Adam Mason is not any kind of artist - he's making genre moves, not art films, and genre directors DO NOT slag off genre audiences. Here's the quote off IMDb (bowdlerised for painfully obvious reasons:

Look at this poorly written, badly acted bull****! Is there any truth in this b-movie banality? No! No, there is no truth. Believe no one. Believe nothing. You freaks and geeks. You bloodthirsty morons, **** you! Bring on the red parade. So are there any pulses in the house? You deadbeat, midnight, freak-geek witted torture-porn gore horse! I know what you're looking for, so have it! Take it! and **** you all very much!

Gee, thanks for that, you hack. I was with you up until B-movie banality (though I didn't think it was actually as good as that). But since you think that anyone who actually bothers to rent your piss-pathetic excuse for an apology for a waste of an evening is a bloodthirsty moron and a deadbeat, you can take it and stick it. And take The Devil's Chair with you.
Richard you just tell it like it is :)
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Post by Grindhouse » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:35 pm

Reanimator wrote:Richard - I just watched 'Max Payne' and its much worse than the Devils Chair!!!
Watching Max Payne can be equated to suffering from constipation,its a long drawn out process,slow and painful with little movement followed by a muscle twitch of action,and when its over it couldnt come soon enough with the relief of being able to get up and leave & quickly exit the room.
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Post by streetrw » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:34 pm

It's rather fun, slickly mounted and boasting some nasty bits of gore, but the basic trouble with Amusement is that it doesn't make a single of sense. Starting out as a maniac-in-a-lorry yarn in the vein of Hush, it then pulls a twist and cuts to a babysitter menaced by a clown doll ... and then switches to a girl investigating her roommate's disappearance in a spooky hostel. The three are related by a childhood incident that then materialises in the form of a Saw-style torture basement. It's stupid, illogical, the plot doesn't add up, and it's only the look of the piece that it's got in its favour.

Also needing to try a lot harder: The Lodger, in which Alfred Molina is a Los Angeles cop on the trail of a serial killer. Is it mysterious new lodger Simon Baker living in frustrated housewife Hope Davis' guest house? Is it her charmless husband (Donal Logue) who works nights and doesn't always come straight home? Might it even be Molina himself? It spends a lot of time on subplots that don't really go anywhere or do anything, then pulls a couple of barmy plot twists too many and in the end just doesn't work.
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Post by Grindhouse » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:57 am

The 80s when looking back through movies throws up all kind of cinematical quirks,Michael Manns, The Keep for instance a gem and classic to some,a failure to others,but it has its moments,just like the film i just revisited,others will love it some will loathe it for not staying true to the book & trivia fans take note this question always comes up,what film did the director of woodstock make after that? The answer is Wolfen,adapted or shares the same title as The Wolfen by Whitley Streiber,who if not still holding out in his log cabin somewhere and being probed by aliens,writes great novels.
its been quite a few years since i have seen this,the last time was on vhs when it was in my collection on warner big box vhs those puffy cases sure were nice.
It looks great on dvd,the new york skylines look stunning,the score is by James Horner and somewhat steals from the jaws score,but hold on this sounds like aliens score,and there are distinct similarities between them both
Wolfen was a dud at the box office,when people were flocking to the cinemas for slasher movies,an eco horror movie like this is hard to sell,its shot well,beautifully infact,with a great cast,except Albert Finney isnt right in his role.
One of those odd casting decisions made at studio level i guess.
The supprting cast works well and add to the movie a young Diane Venora jumps into bed with Mr finney and this seems out of place in the film,the film itself leaves plot holes and jumps around a bit & upon research it turns out,the film was taken from director and recut,and that i guess is enough to make anyone turn their backs on directing and do other things.
One thing that stands out in Wolfen is the make up effects severed hands and heads all superbly done by Carl Fullerton,who is still working to this day.
I sure would like to see a restored version of this and with as many extras as possible and if you want to know what michael wadleigh is doing now well you had to ask.
according to imdb
" Works as a transit bus driver in Akron, Ohio.
(October 2004) Runs a nonprofit educational corporation, primarily involved in global media production and distribution. Currently resides in southern NH, moving to off-the-coast-of Maine soon
"
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Post by ghouldrool » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:46 am

Almost like a Hitchcock movie F/X Murder By Illusion takes the hackneyed man-set-up-by-sinister-officials set up and makes it feel fresh.
This is helped by the off kilter casting with Bryan Brown making an odd but agreeable choice for leading man and the under appreciated Brian Dennehey in rare nice guy mode.
The make up gags are amusing and the finale where our humble make up man takes down hardened goons is inventive and a lot of fun.

Land of the Lost. Why? Who cared about this old tv series? I had never even heard of it - and clips on youtube make it look atrocious. Will Ferrell cannot hold a movie together and Danny McBride is just a puzzle no one is willing to solve. Anna Friel in shorts is never a bad thing but her exaggerated accent is notably aggravating.
A couple of gags work but on the whole its not sure exactly who its aimed at, being too adult at some times and just flat out juvenile at others. A grown man being pooed out alive by a T rex? As for that joke about the Polish? wtf?

G.I Joe Part of me thinks this might be as audience divding as Antichrist in its own way. Its brain dead nonsense with a "plot" that falls apart before the BBFC cert has even disappeared from screen.
But its fun in many ways, being just the type of guff to kill a saturday afternoon. Its about as substantial as the cartoon is based on.

I can remember when this toy line started, piggy backed as it were on the very british Action Force toys - which were cool in their own way. The toys were a revelation with their double jointedness and genuiene military details. Never saw the cartoon but read enough of their back up strips in Transformers to know who was who. The toys were so full of action movie inspired characters that one wonders if it should have been called Cannon Movies Toys.
The film seems only true to the toyline/comic in one respect and this is the tale of the two ninjas. yes organisations with power suits and ultimate weaponry still depend heavily on their respective ninjas. But as ninjasploitation was at its peak back when the toys were around its no surprise.

Bad CGI abounds and Channing Tatum is so bad i blame him for swine flu. But the rest of the cast are ok, even the bizarre choice for Cobra Commander (major buggering of the character tho). No explanation is ever given for why certain characters are let do certain things or how they know to go to Paris. So its got serious flaws in the story but its all paced so fast you kind of forgive it. Its never presenting itself as anything but dumb.
Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols however deserve a special mention but for wholly hormonal reasons. Its a close call as to who is the most swoonsome. Sadly the whole nonsense involving The Baroness being brain washed just kills the only interesting character arch.
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Post by Grindhouse » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:22 pm

its a sequel nobody asked for or needed but what the hell,actors gotta work right?
Alone in the dark 2,a mixed bunch of actors work there way through a right load of rubbish,its produced by uwe boll but not directed by him,not that that saves this picture,bill mosely, danny trejo are dispatched all too soon,leaving lance henrikson to plod on,(wheres jim cameron when he needs him) i lost interest after BM & DJ expired,its full of cameos and really poor, still it gives actors something to do!
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Post by gregjames » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:10 pm

ghouldrool wrote:Sadly the whole nonsense involving The Baroness being brain washed just kills the only interesting character arch.
Character arch?

Freudian slip, sir? Would you like a cold shower to go with that?

Oooh, suit you, sir.
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Post by krispyg » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:45 pm

I caught Orphan yesterday afternoon and was very pleasantly surprised. First off that it wasn't a remake of something and that it was actually good.

The film clocks in at 2 hours which usually for me personally is too long where a horror is concerned unless the film can justify it. Orphan builds it's characters very well, the perfect family unit which is not as pristine as it all seems on the surface.

The mother and the deaf daughter are the lead roles as far as I was concerned, both were brilliantly acted.

It is very slow paced but it is done so in an attempt to build up the menacing and outright evil nature of Esther, the adopted girl. This kid is pure evil incarnate. Lettimng the handbrake off the family car or trying to smother the son whilst in hospital is not normal child behaviour.

It does get a little weird towards the end and the twist was not what I was expecting at all, for some it may be a little far fetched as to how it was got away with for so long or how it was pulled off so succesfully.

The one question it left me was why did Esther behave the way that she did, what was it that made her behave that way. Like in Halloween, the Rob Zombie version for all it's faults shows some background character to Michael and what he saw and experienced whereas Orphan left that unanswered for me.

Apart from that minor fault, Orphan has restored my faith in horror that if it comes from america it will either be a) not very good or b) a bloody remake.

Yes it pilfers from other films but a truly original film is a rare event these days.

I'd give Orphan 8/10 and would have no hesitation in reccomending it to anyone. One of the best horrors of this year and no I know, that's not saying a lot.
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Post by ghouldrool » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:45 pm

gregjames wrote:
ghouldrool wrote:Sadly the whole nonsense involving The Baroness being brain washed just kills the only interesting character arch.
Character arch?

Freudian slip, sir? Would you like a cold shower to go with that?

Oooh, suit you, sir.
Where Sienna is concerned the slips are always "Freudian" in some nature. Cue Sid James guttural noise.

Humanoids from the Deep. Talk of arches and Sienna Miller strangely draw me back to this sea monster rapists movie. The R rated cut (the extra grue is all on youtube of all places). Vic Morrow and Doug McClure are great in this rising above the tawdry muck.
The same can actually be said of the whole endeavour as its much better than it sounds.
The picture quality is suitably grainy, the monsters suits are interesting, and theres even a decent sub plot involving land rights.
The sight of SeaBeasts humping women is something to behold and just as grotesque as it sounds.
Like Bangor on a saturday night.
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Post by Grindhouse » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:48 pm

Vigilante is as it sounds but better,from the director of Maniac and with a cast of cult actors,this is one slick revenge movie on the bad mean streets of new york,with a cool score and heaps of violence you get what you asked for with vigilante,now get out my way sucka i got some scum to wipe out!
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Post by Melvin Junko » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:01 pm

recently:

Night of the demons 3 - quite rubbish, part 2 is definetly my favourite one.

Flying dagger - Bonkers martial arts stuff. Really bad subtitles made it hard to understand what was going on sometimes but still great fun

Dragonball - evolution - what a piece of crap, I actually felt insulted after I watched it. I should watch Dragonball - the magic begins again sometime soon to helf erase this atrocity from my memory

Legendary assassin - Not too familiar with other Jacky Wu movies (apart from The Legend of Zu) but liked it a lot, pretty dark stuff at times and the guy has some good moves.

Legend of Zu - wtf haha. complete cgi overload made it look like you were watching a cartoon with some real actors blended in most of the time but it still was very entertaining. Only omvie I could really compare it to is Shaolin vs evil dead 2 due to the over-use of cgi in the finale of that movie. Liked this one a lot better though.

Young @ heart - great documentary about a choir of old people (average age was about 80 if I remember correctly) that sings rock tunes and stuff. In parts I was almost crying from laughing so much ( their version of 'I wanna be sedated' by the Ramones (check it here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de2vnEkFZM8)) and at some points I was struggling not to cry my eyes out. It does get really sad towards the end but all in all a very impressive and inspiring experience

The Vampire who admires me - bunch of hot models goes to island for photoshoot but Oh NO! there's vampires about! Pretty descent horror comedy

The Vampire partner, another Chinese vampire flick, two gang leaders kill each other in a showdown, go to hell and work together to escape. Pretty wacky stuff but very entertaining.

I corrupt all cops - Hong kong drame about the corrupt police force of hong kong in the 70's. Not bad.

Shinjuku Incident - first time I've seen Jackie Chan in a completely serious role, and not doing much martial arts. Still an impressive movie about Chinese immigrants in Japan in the 90's and Yakuza and stuff.

Monsters vs Aliens - crap
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Post by chief brody » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:38 am

Just got back from INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS QT back on form, some great characters. Christoph waltz is very, very funny as the SS colonel, also michael fassbender ( EDEN LAKE) some great one- liners.
The standouts for me was WALTZ some great dialogue and BRAD PITT that kentucky accent that might require subtitles from time to time.
All in all TARANTINO is back.
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Post by Grindhouse » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:30 am

i couldnt disagree more with the comments from tom regarding QTs Inglorious Basterds,the cloak of film geekdom is wearing thin on the back of QT and we are some way from the highs of Reservoirs Dogs and Pulp Fiction its almost like he has forgot he made jackie brown,and slipped into immaturity of just delivering characters with names of film directors or actors.the 1st 90 mins is ok and can pass easily the last 45 mins or so drag and really drag as the weight of the overblown script becomes apparent.
it would be really really good if he could just make a straight film with a narrative thats linear and coherent,without having to watch this film knowing that he's paying homage to every film he's ever seen and blowing his wad over it.
i bring forth his use of music from the mercenaries aka dark of the sun played & reprised from scene to scene,its obvious hes a fan of it,who wouldnt be its a superb film the sort of straight tough action movie QT wishes he could make if he wasnt so overblown and pompous with every film hes ever seen,Rod Taylor plays churchill cameos abound and his favourite film director gets a mention or the one he favours at the time of writing the script.
its time to leave the homages, tributes of films or actors directors alone,Hugo Stiglitz, Antonio margheriti its wearing very thin & tiring its cool and ok for say planet terror or death proof but that was 2007,lets see something new.
Hans Lada is superb by christopher waltz all the way through,and chillingly reminded me of the child catcher from chitty chitty bang bang,and has some cunning and malevolence onscreen,the dialogue runs out after 90 mins and in that time all the best lines are spoken,the rest is just padding.
There could have been a great movie made here but i dont feel this is
it,and its a shame as it really promises a lot but delivers very little in the way of entertainment.
Last edited by Grindhouse on Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Reanimator
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Post by Reanimator » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:16 am

I saw Inglorious Basterds as well yesterday and I am definitely in the 'good' camp - QT's best film since Pulp Fiction and some great dialogue scenes. Christopher Waltz steals the show and should be a strong contender for best supporting actor next year.

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