films we just saw

Chat here about anything horror related. Be it movies, news, remakes or events.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by maxmum » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:36 am

Yeah Shutter Island looks super. Cant wait to see that one.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by ladyXzombina » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:12 pm

Thanks for your review on sutter island, will be going to see this friday..it looks good!! I 'll let y'all know how it is friday night!!
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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:21 pm

"Dracula's Daughter"

You know the film has problems when Dracula suddenly turns into Richard Nixon!
I kid you not...At the start the close-up of the dead Dracula in the coffin (with no Lugosi to use) was obviously some guy in a bad plastic mask that some blind creature thought looked like Lugosi. But no, it's the spitting image of Nixon!
Go look...Go on...See? Yeah!
NIXON!
Not a good start.

Thankfully things improve with the introduction of Drac's Daughter (not literally we assume unless Drac did the dirty) who is actually a haunted individual who is desperately trying to get rid (!??) of the Vampyric curse she is under.
A nice stately turn by the striking Gloria Holden.

Otto Kruger as the friend of, the now arrested for murder, Van Helsing (nice touch!) is another plus.
At least when he spars with his female assistant. Their scenes play like something from a 40's comedy thriller.
He's less impressive as a hero though and when not bouncing off his assistant.

Some good scenes here of course, especially the startlingly erotic seduction scene when Drac's Daughter invites a young woman to her house to be painted.
This is surprisingly explicit in its allusions to lesbianism and it works wonderfully...and the lack of fangs (I assume for censorship reasons) means the sexual aspect is actually increased as the bite looks more like a kiss.

But sadly the film is hampered by lack of real incident. It sort of just hangs around for a while not doing much and repeating similar scenes until all of a sudden we move all the leads from London to Transylvania so suddenly and quick that it seems "Star Trek" transporters have already been invented.

The finale is also a damp splat of nothingness as all is suddenly wrapped up out of nowhere (film running out guys?) with an act that is never even explained as purposeful or accident despite being the big ending to it all.

Great in parts, weak as hell in others...so we only scrape into average overall here.
Certainly not a patch on the Lugosi film.




"Pontypool"

Meh...
Always liked Stephen McHattie since he went nuts in the sadly neglected "Death Valley" and he is very good at times here but the film has no idea what it wants to be.
Is it serious? Is it funny? And if so what kind of funny? Bleak funny? Comic funny?
This film has no idea.

The screenplay has an utterly absurd main idea that even in the 'suspend belief' world of Zombie films (though why this is being touted as a Zombie film anyway is a mystery to me) pushes the boundaries of supernatural and barking mad science to breaking point.
But that's okay...I can live with that. It's a unique idea even if they had to go so far out they ended up in Pluto to make it a unique idea.
It's a plot that opens up many interesting ideas too.

But the tone is all wrong.
Deadly serious things are happening (even right there in front of them to someone they know) and yet the actor's reactions and some of the dialogue plays it all up as a joke...But nothing remotely funny is actually happening.
The comedy (and yet not...exactly!) Doctor is the silly schizophrenic cherry on top.

And don't do a scene where a young girl is kicked to death in a sequence again not played for laughs in the build-up...and make it look like the 'snooker cue/Queen song' scene from "Shaun of the Dead"!
"Shaun" could do this as it had set the agenda already that it was a comedy, even if a black one with a sometimes serious dramatic edge.
"Pontypool" has not (even with the schizo comedy, and yet not, reactions and attitudes of the actors) built up a comic foundation at all to treat the scene this way so what should be a deeply affecting and effective moment of tragic violence is reduced to an emotional void that neither works as comedy or the harrowing event it should have been. It plays more like a deleted scene.

And as for the final two scenes.
Some good ideas here, but they are reduced to a (Intentionally funny? Maybe, and yet other times obviously not) deeply annoying verbal barrage (that we think is going to move the plot on but ultimately does not) which also renders what should be an emotional part of the film into a rather embarrassing bit of over-acting as actors, director and writer all try to make some kind of sensible narrative use out of their initial unique, but completely unmanageable, basic idea as endlessly shouted words are used as the irritating replacement for firearms as the weapon of choice to save the day is not a machine gun...but wildly overwrought dialogue and acting it seems.

So we have some good ideas, an at least unique set-up, some unexpected and effective creep moments to enjoy here.
But the unfocused execution utterly lets the film down and the finale is such a deafening white noise of babbled dialogue and overacting that "Pontypool" ends up just being a tiring and annoying joke at the audiences expense.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by django » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:08 pm

This weekend I watched the Exorcist, Death Wish 3, Shutter Island, Pet Sematary and the Crazies (original). Shutter Island was a bit of a disappointment for me, I found it slow, boring, way way too long and had a twist I saw coming a mile off, wish I'd gone to see Green Zone instead!.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:56 pm

"The Offence" -

Bleak, tough and unforgiving crime drama from Sidney Lumet.

Overly melodramatic at times and a good turn by Trevor Howard is far too short, but it is saved by the top acting on display (especially by Connery and Ian Bannen) and the (still today) harrowing content on display as Connery's character rips himself apart.

The montage of horror he has seen throughout his career as he drives home and the later aborted telling of it all to his Wife is the finest part of the film (followed by the finale confrontation) and it's tough, heartbreaking, utterly unforgiving stuff that cares not one bit about entertaining its audience in any conventional way.

It's the cinematic equivalent of having your face rubbed into a blood caked broken bottle at a filthy murder scene...and you can see why it failed at the box office but yet still survives today.

And Lumet captures that flawed 'Brave 'New Town' World' look of 70's Britain as good as any native.



"House of Dracula" -

Not very good.
The level of a bit of late night TV fun is the most such lesser 'Universal' films can ever hope to achieve today if we are being truly honest.

Some great use of shadows and Onslow Stevens effortlessly steals the show as the doomed Doctor and has great fun as the mr Hyde/vampire creature.
There is an interesting 'Igorrette' character in the form of a hunchbacked nurse.
And it finally has a good send off for the much troubled Larry 'Wolfman' Talbot.

But this features one of the worst and most boring Dracula's ever (Carradine) looking like a children's party magician doing very little vampyric other than cowering from crosses and turning into a floppy bat before being blandly turned into a novelty shop plastic skeleton.
Carradine is more slightly sinister hypnotist than any Lord of the Undead!

It also features one of the worst Frankenstein Monsters (in the hulking form of Glenn Strange once again) who does nothing whatsoever at all in the film except waddle around lin the last 5 minutes looking lost.

Good old Larry Talbot (Chaney of course) has 2 changes into the Wolfman and is allowed to do nothing at all with either of them before spending most of the rest of the film in human form where all he does is look sad while sitting in a bathchair.

Lionel Atwell pops up in a glorified cameo role as yet another identikit local police chief but this was near the end of his career and he looks and sounds very tired.
Half the cast is snuffed out at the end but the credits pop up so fast no emotional aftermath is allowed.

Ho hum.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:00 pm

"Blind Woman's Curse" -

Meh...Not having a good time with many first time viewing films at the moment.

We start off in a very groovy fashion with a rain soaked Samurai sword fight that drips cool.
But a warning sign of the slump to come was shown here also, when a vital plot point of a woman being blinded by a sword stroke from Meiko Kaji is played out by the sword swipe very obviously not being anywhere near her at all!

From here on we enter a world of chaotic plotting, muddled all to hell ideas, dubious translations and redundant characters.
By the opening we are expecting Meiko Kaji ("Lady Snowblood") to be a tough woman with an agenda.
Instead the rest of the film, right up until the last 10 minutes, has her do absolutely nothing at all except cry a lot!

Bad comic relief? Oh yes. How about a guy in a bowler hat and a smelly red nappy? You got it.

What else stinks here?
Well the big Blind Woman's revenge sub-plot plays out with her actually doing nothing at all (despite her joining up with a group of bad guys) until the very end...and then she simply does nothing all over again!
The only person who does anything is her grotesque hunchback assistant...who then gets told off by her for doing something!

The plot is a jumbled mess of schemes, double-crosses and betrayals that are played as secrets one minute and then played out openly the next.
Despite a stew of sub-plots (clan rivalry, cat curses, blind woman revenge, hunchback murders, mysterious stranger pop ups) and the various groups of bad guys to choose from (who simply end up tripping over each other) nothing much happens in the film at all. Ever.
It's purely down to the horror tinges (an utterly deranged traveling 'spook show' carnival) and that loony hunchback that anything remotely interesting happens in the movie at all.

This real mess of a mass of nothing has the odd great moment of bloody violence (total screen time 5 minutes max) a smattering of sleaze and nudity (one hellish dope/prostitution den scene) and some theatrical horror visuals...but this is a case of a needle in a tedious haystack.

And worse of all is the end.
After a huge, muddled, sludge slow trek we have a wonderful few seconds of sword gore before we finally get to the big revenge pay-off as the blind woman actually does something for once as she squares off against Meiko Kaji (who has herself has also finally done something in the film).

But what happens now?
Once again nothing! And yes I am going to reveal the end of the film to save you my pain.
In the end...blind woman decides she can't take revenge after all against Meiko Kaji because Kaji has a good heart!!
She promptly walks off and leaves Kaji and the audience staring off into space in utter confusion!

Before she walks off blind woman just so happens to sum up my thoughts.
"Seems as though I have wasted my life on this meaningless goal"
Change "goal " for "movie" and you have my thoughts exactly!

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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:27 pm

"Elsa: Fraulein SS"

"Salon Kitty" on a choo choo.

Welcome to the world of Eurociné!
If many (though certainly not all) horror/exploitation flicks of this time were low-end rehashes of the current American cinematic trend…Eurociné were making rehashes of those rehashes!

“Elsa” opens with upbeat classic music playing over stock footage of Hitler shouting a lot and his armies goose-stepping merrily along.
After this we are thrown into even more cheap padding footage taken from newsreels of various battles before the movie jerks into the film proper as we see a handful of bored, skinny, extras in baggy (and rather dubious looking) German uniforms shuffling down the road.
Almost all the extras in this are awful though. They either stand there slouching and looking bored (not good when dressed as a soldier) or staring at the camera with a look that says “how long till the lunch break”.

Thankfully the look and production design of the film improves a bit after the opening as we enter a chaotic Nazi headquarters in a mansion which is of course complete with multiple swastika flags, Hitler photos and a smug git (with a gloriously theatrical twitch) in a groovy looking Black and silver SS uniform (I’ll say it once again…say what you want about those damn Nazis, but the bastards sure knew how to dress) who sets the plot up.
So if nothing else we at least have some essential iconography on display.

After this scene setting sequence we have the ever essential ‘medical check-up sequence’ to pick the prostitutes.
The luckiest actor in the film?
The guy who plays the examiner who spends his time opening the women’s legs (as they lie down naked on his table) and getting right in there with his beady little eyes to check that all Nazi vagina’s are up to snuff. Or sniff.
So far so trashily good.

As we move onto the train all the delightful Naziploitation cliché components are here, from much groping in stiff uniforms, sexual humiliation (only mild though here), preening Nazis, shifty spies, theatrical fanaticism and a spot of Dietrich like singing involving piano perching, see-through lingerie and a big feathery boa.
But then unlike the train, the film loses steam as we watch numerous extras get bloodlessly shot in the head for saying nasty things about Adolf with their trousers down.
The dead direction, amateur staging, laboured dubbing and repetitiveness of it all starts to make the mind wander.

Thankfully Elsa’s rather magnificent breasts (Malisa Longo is no Dyanne Thorne but she looks damn hot and is willing to let it all hang out, and get zoomed in on, for the cause) bring our minds back to the movie.

It’s not long though before we’re back to a slow crawl again and get hit with blatant padding when we get to spend time with wimpy Frantz (dubbed over by someone doing an impression of James Mason. But even at his lowest career ebb I don’t remember James Mason licking the boots of a sadistic Nazi bitch with no knickers on!)

Sadly we have now come to the conclusion that, despite the high camp value and genuine ‘so bad their good’ moments, the film is often very slow, lacking energy and mired in too many flat dialogue scenes.
We do get a few dialogue gems though.
Frantz: “To spy while making love! Disgusting! But no one compels you to have orgasms”!

We have a little bit of violence to liven things up slightly that comes in the form of some rather mild torture (a bald old guy) and a brief bit of naked woman flogging.
The various shootings are ridiculously bloodless though and the weapons mostly sound like cap guns.
And boy! The action scenes are bad.
Those bored looking extras I mentioned just stand around in the open pointing guns in a confused manner pointing their cap guns and going ‘pop’.
Then occasionally one of them will clutch their chest and slowly and carefully fall to the ground in what passes as the horrors of war.

The lack of any real bloodshed, inventive torture (I know, I know, but we are talking Naziploitation here) or general sadism (I know, I know, but we are talking Naziploitation here) in “Elsa: Fraulein SS” is a let down as far as good old fashioned cheap thrills go and we only have the frequent nudity (and its lovely collection 70’s pubic bushes) to keep our interest up , away from the more unintentional joys of course at the sheer wonderful badness of it all.

And as for the end, well, what can one say except…Heh?
Worst stock footage explosion ever leads into a bizarre open-ended finale that seems to hint at a damn sequel! As if! Talk about wishful thinking.
Definitely one for Naziploitation completists (and fur lovers) only.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by Grindhouse » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:31 pm

GreenZone adapted from the book imperial life in the emerald city with some fiction as well,sets the scene after the invasion and the search for wmds that keeps coming up empty,paul greengrass brings his handheld camera style that worked well for the bourne sequels and united 93,not so nauseating as other shakycam films but does have a very grainy picture,the action sequences are very good & worth watching.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:30 am

"Shutter Island"

Liked it.
But it was perhaps just too long especially when the film is ultimately only existing to get to the twist(s).

Nice turns, looked great, stupidly unsubtle music though and some good atmosphere.

You can see what's coming though (though where you pick it up I know varies) and only the VERY end was a real surprise.
And this little bit (listen to the final sentence said in the film) saved the film from just being ho hum. As it was a nice little idea and added a real poignancy to the final moments.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by Grindhouse » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:12 am

Shutter Island promises a lot if you see the trailer,but if you can manage to stay awake or care to follow it over the next 2 hours all you have is a film which has some twists which you can see coming,but is overall a clumsy affair,the flashbacks and dream sequences have been done much better in other films of this kind,but it looks great and is well shot but clumsily directed and even though it has a great score,even that seems mis-cued not one of the best of scorsese's films and if you dont see this at the cinema,its probably just as well as the pace would suit home viewing better.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:02 am

Thought the score was awful! It was as subtle as a hippo in a bird bath.

CREEPY OMINOUS BOOMING...do you get this is a creepy place yet? No? Well listen...CREEPY OMINOUS BOOMING...See oooooo scary isn't it?

Awful score.

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Re: films we just saw

Post by streetrw » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:44 am

Actually I didn't find the SHUTTER ISLAND score to be that out of place, considering it's not actually a score but all needle-dropped from existent modern classical recordings. Along with the works of Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino, it shows it is possible to provide an effective musical backing without it being an original composition (and as a film score fan it really pains me to acknowledge this). No, the SHUTTER ISLAND score isn't subtle, but very little about the movie is subtle. And I enjoyed it - probably not as much as other people did but I still liked it.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by lupogirl » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:40 am

In the past week saw two films:

First up Alice in Wonderland in 3D. I must be one of the few people that not read the story as child but know of the characters. Still rather enjoyed the film and is customary dark as with Burton films. At times there was visual depth with the 3D and the colours look so rich. Watching Helena Bonham Carter did remind me of Queenie from Blackadder.

Next up was The Green Zone. Not as hard hitting I thought it be. Still entertaining and Matt Damon is good as always. The story for this is something I think I seen before in another film. This film does not put America in a good light and the focus is the American side of things.

Will be seeing Shutter Island later today. Let's hope it be good. The trailer does.
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Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:00 am

lupogirl wrote: . This film does not put America in a good light and the focus is the American side of things.
That's a surprise!

The day someone puts the market bombing, women and children targeting, mass raping, female torturing, head hacking, hacked head stacking, child trafficking, suicide bombing, homosexual lynching, christian sect butchering Islamists in Iraq in a bad light, I'll be impressed.

But no, we can;t actually put the enemy we're fighting in a bad light...may offend people.
:roll:

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Re: films we just saw

Post by voor » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:07 pm

Not only do I find the above post offensive, I also find it ill-informed and completely unsuitable to this board.

This is meant to be a place for discussion of films we have seen and how we felt about them - not a place to rant out our one-sided bigotries.

I'm sure there'll be other places around for anyone who wants to bashing any people of different creeds, religions, colours and so on and so forth.

Just not here.

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