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    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:06 pm

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:No do not bother with the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Not wholly a bad film, but a completely unnecessary one in my opinion. Just doesn't have the feel of the first.
    I'm pretty sure I won't bother with it, since it didn't turn out to be an particularly important of necessary reworking of the original (they rarely are!). I'm really trying to stick to what I (and often others) consider to be "key" films that I've missed over the years; "key" both in the sense that they're important or influential historically or were commercially popular enough to have lasting appeal among fans or critics, or both (and maybe even spawn sequels, for better or worse, which I tend not to bother with). Also "key" in the borderline-OCD sense that in some cases, I simply wanted to see them, but the opportunity to do so passed me by and they've been taking up space on the mental watch list for far too long. Once again, I can't thank the local library system enough.



    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Something I recently wrote:
    On Secondary Characters:
    It's clear that a lot of actors know that secondary roles are often better-remembered than lead roles, and a career in support usually outlasts a career in leads. Fichtner is a a good example. When I see his name in the credits -- particularly if I didn't realize beforehand that he was in the film -- I know that at least part of the film is in good hands, even if the rest turns out not to be. Loved that "three months" line in the trailer. I trust he got a few more zingers like that? Smile

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Drive Angry (2011: Patrick Lussier): If Nicholas Cage wasn't in it I doubt I would have seen this. He certainly is in his share of mediocre to bad films (most recently watched for me was Bangkok Dangerous). If I had looked at Patrick Lussier's oeuvre (and Best Buy didn't have the DVD for so cheap) I certainly wouldn't have watched this . . .
    Lussier's previous film, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, which I rather enjoyed in all of its knowingly trashy 3D glory, was one of only two reasons I wanted to see DRIVE ANGRY in theatres (the other was Fichtner's plum role). I haven't seen his earlier directorial efforts -- all DTV fare I have no interest in -- but I enjoyed his unabashed tongue-in-cheek approach on VALENTINE and from the trailers it was evident that he applied it again in DRIVE ANGRY. According to IMDB, he's working on HALLOWEEN III next, though I'm not particularly stoked as I thought Rob Zombie's two pictures weren't especially memorable.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:05 pm

    Brian T wrote: ...I'm pretty sure I won't bother with it, since it didn't turn out to be an particularly important of necessary reworking of the original (they rarely are!). I'm really trying to stick to what I (and often others) consider to be "key" films that I've missed over the years; "key" both in the sense that they're important or influential historically or were commercially popular enough to have lasting appeal among fans or critics, or both (and maybe even spawn sequels, for better or worse, which I tend not to bother with).

    ... I trust he got a few more zingers like that? Smile
    ...

    I try to stick with the originals as well. I've rarely been happy with remakes, though, of course, there have been some historical good ones like Ben Hur, The Maltese Falcon and countless others. However, they tend to be worse Very Happy. There are a few remakes I've seen where I haven't watched the original like The Fog (the details of why I watched this are more interesting than the film; just kidding I watched it because of the Smallville star and because someone gave it to me), but mostly I just watch the originals like Taking of Pelham and not watch the remake.

    Yes, yes Fichtner did get many more zingers. He was by far the best character in the film. Normally I do stick up for Nicholas, its just I know he could do better.

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:46 am

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:There are a few remakes I've seen where I haven't watched the original like The Fog . . .

    Watch the original! It will help the remake leave a bad taste in your mouth, in case it hasn't already. ;-)


    More viewing:

    LAST NIGHT (1998) 8/10
    Interesting Canadian take on the old end-of-the-world chestnut, focused almost entirely on characters living out their final hours in a world that has come to accept its fate. Almost feels like an Altman film in many ways. Sandra Oh gives a heartbreaking, flawless performance (as usual).
    IDIOCRACY (2006) 5/10
    A long-standing curiosity drove me to finally see this one. Fox virtually buried it in 2006 after some dreadful test screenings, which probably wasn't a bad idea. It's not a bad film per se, but most of the gags are obvious and labored and rarely elicit the kind of laughs earned by Mike Judge's other productions.
    SUPER 8 (2011) 7/10
    You can't out-Spielberg Spielberg in his heyday of the 70's and early 80's, but this is about as close as you could reasonably get, I suppose, right down to the ubiquitous anamorphic lens flares.
    GREEN LANTERN (2011) 6/10
    Visually dazzling, but hardly the movie it could've been. Sometimes what works on the comic book page--like saving an out-of-control helicopter with an oversized Hot Wheels racing track that emanated from your mystical ring--doesn't necessarily translate well to a major live action tentpole, but it's loaded with plotholes that shouldn't be so obvious.

    EDIT: Just finished . . .
    HOLLYWOODLAND (2006) 5/10
    I'm no fan of Ben Affleck, but thought he was excellent as real-life actor George Reeves, whose apparent suicide in 1959 left a few unanswered questions. The recreation of period Los Angeles is gorgeous, and the film hews quite close to the facts while finding interesting ways to deal with speculative elements surrounding the case.


    Last edited by Brian T on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:27 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    Admin

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Admin on Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:49 am

    I'd also say watch the original Fog.

    Don't ask me why but I've been revisiting the Police Academy movies. Letting my morbid curiosity get the better of me I guess. I expected them to be awful, and they are, but in a weirdly warm and comforting way at times. And it's weird how the CN Tower can be seen from so many places in the USA.


    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:09 am

    Brian T wrote:
    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:There are a few remakes I've seen where I haven't watched the original like The Fog . . .

    Watch the original! It will help the remake leave a bad taste in your mouth, in case it hasn't already. ;-)
    ...

    I will eventually get to the original THE FOG. I just need to get a copy Very Happy. I'm a John Carpenter fan as well.

    Ugh, the remake was pretty bad but ultimately (and this may be the bigger sin) pretty forgetable.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:30 am

    The Flame of New Orleans (1941: Rene Clair) ***/****

    I have no idea why I originally thought this was made in the 1930s, but most likely after watching three previous 1930s features of Marlene Dietrich in this five movie collection (this is the forth). I did not realize until this morning when I did some research on the film that it was from 1941. The perils of trying to finish off box sets without looking at the data (actually the dates for the films are not on the cover).

    I hope Rene Clair did not do the whole narrated beginning because it is superfluous in his first American film (I believe) after working in England. It feels tacked on like the studio felt that the film needed a few more minutes and a teaser to the story with voice narration (by Robert Paige) that makes it feel like a short nature documentary

    Dietrich is her normal sultry character with a hint of self parody (nothing new by this point) as the globetrotting opportunist named “Countess” Claire Ledoux who has landed into a “quaint” little burg known as New Orleans. She seeks money to keep her way of life and what better way than to marry into money specifically Charles Giraud’s (Roland Young: Topper) money. However a pirate named Robert Latour (Bruce Cabot: King Kong) falls in love with her. But does she love him (well the beginning unfortunately gives this away)?

    It is a little depressing watching the ultra charming Theresa Harris in a subservient role as Claire’s Maid Clementine (though still a decent role for her for the times as she gets plenty of screen time; though still was a bit irked with the coin/chest scene)?

    And then there are appearances from Shemp Howard as a tavern worker and Andy Devine as a pirate. As funny Andy is here it is nowhere near his performance as Abdullah an Arab in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944) or Shemp as Sinbad in Arabian Nights (1942). Actually I think I like the secondary performances better than the leads. One of my favorite was Mischa Auer (My Man Godfrey) in his typical Russian role but was quite hilarious as the scared lover of women. The scene with him and Roland Young and the whole party leading up to their confrontation was perfect and one of my favorite moments in the movie.

    But overall it is a fun film with nice direction and a few excellent scenes – only if it wasn’t so dang predictable.

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:47 pm

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:or Shemp as Sinbad in Arabian Nights (1942).

    Go figure! I just watched this one last night! Shemp nearly walked away with the picture, in large part because he was played up to audience expectations of him by not affecting any "proper" accents or airs, but by just being Shemp, which goes to show that today's filmmakers hardly have a lock on anachronistic performance styles and dialogue in period movies (much as they usually irritate me). Funnymen Billy Gilbert and John Qualen in key roles are pretty big indicators of the level at which the movie should be enjoyed. And on that level, it was quite good, but I'm inclined to agree with the guy (whom Robert Osborne quotes in the intro) who told director John Rawlins he couldn't make the picture because it's really just a western in disguise; it really is! But it's a fun one, and I'm sure the kiddies of the day must've gone nuts for it, enough to warrant Jon Hall, Maria Montez, Sabu and Turhan Bey reteaming many more times. I hope to see some of their followups some day.

    So, more recent views . . .

    ARABIAN NIGHTS (1942) 7/10
    THE KINGDOM (2007) 8/10
    MARWENCOL (2010) 9/10
    Absorbing documentary about a very troubled individual who creates his own unique form of therapy -- involving Barbies and those cool 12" action dolls I always see in the Asian hobby stores here -- as a means of both recovering from a near-fatal beating (details of which are cleverly left blank until late in the film) and escaping from a world he no longer identifies with.
    DANCE WITH THE WIND (Korea; 2004) 6/10
    Utterly routine and far-too-long directorial debut from the writer of the brilliantly subversive Korean comedies ATTACK THE GAS STATION and BREAKOUT (aka SPARK THE LIGHTER). This one's written by someone else (a one-timer, according to the web), and has some inspired sequences, but they're all self-contained in an overwritten screenplay that spends so much time on flashbacks that the romance between the two leads, who don't really have that many scenes together as a result, doesn't really gel.
    GREEN FISH (Korea; 1997) 6/10
    Lauded (possibly moreso in light of the director's subsequent projects), uniquely Korean character drama with a typically strong cast, many of whom would prove commercially resilient along with their director, Lee Chang-dong. The subject matter -- an ex-Army man getting wrapped up with a gangster's moll and everything you'd expect that to entail -- wasn't original even by Korean cinema standards of the era, and the telling is typically earthbound and without flash, but there are a few powerful moments throughout, even if ultimately there doesn't seem to be much point to the whole thing.
    CAFE LUMIERE (Japan/Taiwan; 2003) 6/10
    This is Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien's homage to Yasujiro Ozu in honour of the centenary of the latter's birth, so it's good that I'd watched a number of Ozu's films in recent months. Thematically, it advances Ozu's themes into the modern era about as far they could be taken. But it's a much more minimalist experience, which is probably inevitable as Hou's characters inhabit a modern culture that has progressed significantly since Ozu's time, with an even more pronounced communication gap (a communication canyon, perhaps?), although through their mundane activities and (limited) words they quietly pine for an unspoken simplicity that is increasingly denied them. This is the first Hou film I've seen (as far as I can recall), and I suspect its style is more his own than influenced by Ozu (seriously, Ozu wouldn't dream of extending non-expository shots as long as Hou does; he would've thought it wasteful I'm sure). Still, the ghost of the latter is indeed present, primarily in scenes involving lead actress Hitomo Yo and her silently disapproving parents which form the heart of the film even though they don't occupy much screen time.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:18 pm

    Brian T wrote:
    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:or Shemp as Sinbad in Arabian Nights (1942).

    Go figure! I just watched this one last night! Shemp nearly walked away with the picture, in large part because he was played up to audience expectations of him by not affecting any "proper" accents or airs, but by just being Shemp, which goes to show that today's filmmakers hardly have a lock on anachronistic performance styles and dialogue in period movies (much as they usually irritate me). Funnymen Billy Gilbert and John Qualen in key roles are pretty big indicators of the level at which the movie should be enjoyed. And on that level, it was quite good, but I'm inclined to agree with the guy (whom Robert Osborne quotes in the intro) who told director John Rawlins he couldn't make the picture because it's really just a western in disguise; it really is! But it's a fun one, and I'm sure the kiddies of the day must've gone nuts for it, enough to warrant Jon Hall, Maria Montez, Sabu and Turhan Bey reteaming many more times. I hope to see some of their followups some day.

    ...

    Well if you haven't seen Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944) I think you will like it.

    Let me bring back an old review (a little rough on it; thinking back I do like it better than my review which isn't overly harsh though):

    Arabian Nights (1942: John Rawlins) **½/****

    When you find out that Shemp Howard (in the Criterion release The Bank Dick) plays Sinbad you pretty much know what you are in for. Arabian Nights is a plebian action film that happens to take place in Middle East (though for some reason mountain ranges can be seen from time to time). Haroun-Al-Raschid (Jon Hall) is a caliphate who survives an assassination attempt by the help of a surly dancing girl Scheherazade (Maria Montez) and Ali Ben Ali (Sabu). However, his identity remains unknown to Scheherazade who is prophesied to marry a great leader whom she thinks will be the current caliphate Kamar (Leif Erikson after he came to America) who was responsible for Haroun's injury unbeknownst to her.

    Scheherazade slowly falls in love with the masquerading prince against her better judgment since he is not a rich powerful man (well she doesn't know whom he really is). There is a third party who wants access to the throne who is trying to dispose of both the dancing servant and the current Caliphate. These plot points do keep the movie interesting.

    This movie is in no way faithful to the Arabian Nights. It mixes characters from several stories in a hodge-podge of entertainment. The film is decent with its constant moving of plot and action sequences (though it is hilarious to see scimitars being used like fencing swords), but in most instances it is quite outdated (to be fair the acting in it wasn't considered well in its own time; the audiences knew this was not sagacious material).

    Arabian Nights was created to capitalize on the success of The Thief of Bagdad (As Robert Osbourne would state in the extras). This film would borrow several key elements such as being Universal's first 3-strip Technicolor feature but also borrowing its star Sabu. However, it missed some of the most important elements. It is a straightforward film that does not only eschew the magical special effects of its progenitor, but it misses the fails in any attempt at any Arabic mystique or flavor. It was called a western in the desert and that description is quite apt. However, its escapist nature helped make it a hit at the box office and this would be nominated for four Oscars.

    Criterion fans of The Thief of Bagdad might consider watching this for further study of Arabesque attitudes in western theater as well as comparing Sabu's performance (who is also in the Criterion release Black Narcissus).

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:21 am

    The Enigmatic Case (1980: Johnnie To: Hong Kong):

    No real review here. It took me awhile to actually find a copy when for some reason copies of this movie have been floating at various places (one still on Amazon) after not being available for a few years (I had a feed on Ebay and only saw one copy for sale in that whole time as well).

    This is a vary basic action/adventure/mystery where if you look hard enough you can find some similarities between this and later Johnnie To films, but you have to look hard. There's some swordplay, no real kung fu and I would be hardpressed to call in a wuxia film either though technically it is. I have read some reviews on this that were positive (I swear that I think some people give directors some leeway if they like their later films), but the best thing I can say is that is somewhat competent. To didn't feel that competent and felt like he needed more experience back doing TV (at TVB) before he would direct again for Happy Ghost III (I have not seen this).

    This is what To has to say on his involvement:

    "I couldn't grasp the dramatic motivation, or perhaps I thought of the effect first and then its dramatic motivation later, which I didn't think was the right way. The most important thing in creativity is that you have to achieve the most primal motivation in a character, and I couldn't achieve that. I had to rely on others to help me, such as the cameraman, and so I wasn't up to it myself." (this is in response to Stephen Teo talking about him using cinematic effects such as flashbacks, slow-motion in an interview in Teo's book on To)

    In fact it is one of the earliest HK films to use step-printed slow motion effect for the final scene (of course before Wong Kar-wai). It actually annoyed me and was nowhere near as elegant as the slow motion of Chang Cheh.

    Here's Teo's quick comments on the film and why it wasn't a success: "The Enigmatic Case did not contain any remarkable action sequence, nor did it utilise special effects in the way that Tsui's and Tam's films did. ... the film overall had an austere look and a fundamentally realistic style of martial arts choreography that made it altogether different from The Butterfly Murders and The Sword, which, in contrast, were spectacular visual productions with backing from major production houses." (though it should be noted that The Butterfly Murders wasn't really a hit either with a box office take of 1,152,756.20 HK Dollars; BO not available for The Enigmatic Case).

    Damian Lau Chung-Yan is the lead though he is better in Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979). This is one of the earliest Hong Kong films filmed in the Mainland after the "Open Door" policy implemented in 1978. Johnnie To states that he did not choose the genre and that it was the choice the company made.

    For To completists only. IMDB has a codirector listed, HKMDB does not.

    The DVD copy I have is a Mei Ah R0/NTSC release with removable English subtitles. There is a Cantonese and Mandarin dub too (it looks like the Cantonese dub matches up with the lip movements better). The dark scenes are a bit difficult to see, but I do not know if that is the prints fault or if the quality of the film is just low.

    HKMDB reviews on The Enigmatic Case
    IMDB link on The Enigmatic Case

    Spoilers:

    Teo makes two mistakes in his book Director in Action: Johnnie To and the Hong Kong Action Film where he states that:

    "To had experimented with slow-motion in The Enigmatic Case with quite unusual results in the final duel scene where the female protagonist (Cherie Chung) tries to stop the fight between the hero and her father by running into their field of action, interposing herself between the two adversaries (predictably she is accidentally killed)."

    The final fight scene was not between the hero and the father. That was the penultimate fight scene (well at least before the final fight scene). She also was not accidentally killed, she watched her father plunge to his death before she was later killed by a new antagonist on purpose during the final fight scene.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:48 am

    Song at Midnight (1937: Weibang Ma-Xu)

    This is considered one of the first Chinese horror films with a retelling, not a remake, of The Phantom of the Opera. The direction is adroit and appears to be quite influenced by Universal horror in its cinematography and art direction. There are some direct references to Frankenstein (the villager chase and result of that chase) besides of course the obvious references to The Phantom of the Opera.

    Its use of a KMT hero in Song Danping an accomplished singer/actor who had his face burnt with acid because of his love for a woman wanted by a local warlord is politically intriguing to me though it makes me wonder if that helped many copies of this to be destroyed later in China. The melodramatic songs do hurt the pace though the do help communicate the innermost thoughts of the actors. These songs seem to be quite commonplace in early Chinese sound cinema. Song finds a singer who visits the decrepit opera house where he resides whom he teaches to sing just like him. He wants him to be a proxy with his lost love whom pines away the time because she thinks her previous lover is dead.

    The movie does overdo a political sentiment and makes an ending that is emotionally unsatisfying. Some of the acting is also overdone, but not atypical for its time. The direction and camera movement is much better than most of what I have seen from this time period. But for those interested in early Chinese sound cinema it is one of the better films.

    Ma-Xu made a sequel to this in 1941. It was remade in 1962/1963 by the Shaw Brothers’s released in two parts called The Mid-Nightmare (夜半歌聲/夜半歌聲續集.). This was also remade later in 1995 as The Phantom Lover directed by Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair, Fearless).

    The Cinema Epoch release is pretty dreadful as apparently all the releases are. I know the source materials are bad to begin with but the transfer they use has added pixalization, some bizarre artifacts (colored pixalization a few times) and even one moment where the film skips and slightly rewinds (not an issue with the disc). The English subtitles are removable and decent. The release comes with a good digital essay by Andy Klein with some pertinent information on the film. Though the source I have found with the most information on this movie and the director comes from Stephen Teo’s book Hong Kong: The Extra Dimensions (1997). Teo states that the director had a particular fascination with disfigurement

    http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/3872
    HKFA has some pertinent information on The Mid-Nightmare releases.

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:56 pm

    Another roundup of recently-viewed library sign-outs (and a couple of purchases) . . .

    Sssss (1973) 6/10
    THE FUNHOUSE (1981) 6/10
    SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1987) 7/10
    GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (1992) 8/10
    ANIMAL HOUSE (1978) 6/10
    This is not a particularly funny movie, despite its beloved status. John Belushi gets most of the laughs, but in 1978, for him, that probably didn't require much effort.
    SIN CITY (2005) 8/10
    I never suspected such a heavily-stylized movie could work as well as this did, which is probably why I avoided it in theatres; I assumed that I wouldn't be very tolerant of a literal live-action comic book. Nonetheless, I was very impressed.
    LINCOLN LAWYER (2011) 8/10
    THE LOVELY BONES (2009) 7/10
    PETER PAN (2003) 7/10
    First live-action version of this story to actually have a male in the title role. Sadly, the bland American actor playing him is a massive liability. Otherwise, it would rate higher, especially for exploring psychological terrain usually avoided in previous adaptations.
    MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) 8/10
    If the last 30 minutes of this didn't constitute some of the greatest filmmaking of all time, I'd rate it a bit lower for the aww-shucks idealism the whole film shares with its main character, which surely must have rankled politicians and pundits on either side back in the day because of its rather simplistic portrait of the system.
    AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (1945) 8/10
    MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (2004) 7/10
    So I caved, and it's about what I expected. It alters a few things from the original in intriguing, timely ways, and is technically well-made, but beyond that it borders on pointless in light of its predecessor, which still felt relevant in 2004 (not to mention today).
    TOMB OF THE FIREFLIES (2008 Live action) 7/10
    Something Weird Triple Feature:
    DATE BAIT (1960) 5/10
    HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR (1960) 6/10
    HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT (1959) 6/10
    This one's a real surprise, an undiscovered noir gem, icy and sinister, with a doomed juvie hero played by Tom Pittman, who died in a car crash the previous year (rumoured to be a suicide), but who probably would've had a solid career had he lived (his other posthumous release turned out to be Sam Fuller's VERBOTEN). BIG SHOT's low rating at IMDB is clearly due to its roasting on Mystery Science Theater back in the day, but many of the reviews there likewise hail it as worthy of seeking out.

    Finishing up tonight: LA STRADA

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:08 pm

    More library stuff:

    LA STRADA (1954) 8/10
    WEST SIDE STORY (1961) 9/10
    THE YES MEN (2004) 6/10

    and one regrettable purchase:

    ROCK 'N' ROLL NIGHTMARE (1989) 3/10
    I blind-bought this to satisfy a long-standing curiosity traceable to the cool VHS rental cover I'd seen 20+ years ago. Turns out that was ALL this Canadian moose turd had going for it. I had it listed on Amazon marketplace well before I'd even finished watching it!

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:17 am

    The crickets are getting a bit loud around here these days, but here's my recent viewing list (mostly library sign-outs again) in case anyone is checking in. Not too many write-ups this time, as most of the stuff I'm watching has been well-critiqued all over the web by now. As always, I'm rather late to the party (or parties):

    THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) 10/10
    THE APARTMENT (1960) 9/10
    THE YES MEN (2003) 6/10
    THE BOOK OF ELI (2010) 7/10
    MINDHUNTERS (2006) 5/10
    If nothing else, I've now seen the complete Renny Harlin filmography. Laughing
    PIERROT LE FOU (1965) 6/10
    Still don't like Godard. Evil or Very Mad
    AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999) 9/10
    LIMITLESS (2011) 7/10
    THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) 8/10
    FERRIS BEULLER'S DAY OFF (1986) 8/10
    PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS (2010) 6/10
    BRUNO (2009) 7/10
    THE FULL MONTY (1997) 8/10
    JUNO (2007) 7/10
    APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) 7/10
    PLATOON (1986)
    THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) 9/10
    Now I just have to watch THE GRAPES OF DEATH, since Shawn jokingly connected the two in mind in an earlier post!
    HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (2004) 7/10
    figured it was time to watch the rest of these, now that it's finally all wrapped up. Still not my personal cup of tea, despite their immersive quality and technical brilliance, but perhaps future installments will be more . . . mature?

    Two that I signed out strictly because I expect to see the Chinese remakes at some point (I already have one on DVD, actually)
    WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) 7/10
    HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (2006) 5/10

    From the "owned" pile:
    INVASION U.S.A. (1952) 4/10
    RED NIGHTMARE (1962; on the same disc as above) 6/10
    ABOMINABLE (2006) 4/10

    These are from an MGM 80's comedy 6-pack I picked up at Target for $10. Nothing worth keeping (so far), but it has a lot of movies I've constantly heard about for the past three decades:
    ZAPPED (1982) 4/10
    LOSIN' IT (1983) 5/10
    VALLEY GIRL (1983) 6/10
    THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN (1982) 6/10
    This one is the real gem of the bunch, with the kind of ending you almost never see in bubblegum teen exploitation films of the era. Quite a surprise.

    And finally, on the big screen:
    TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (2011) 6/10
    Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. But a technical stunner, so there's that, I guess . . .

    ewaffle

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  ewaffle on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:01 pm

    A couple of notes:

    Still don't like Godard. Evil or Very Mad


    I gave up on Jean-Luc quite a while ago. It is possible to make political movies or movies that include a lot of sometimes coherent political content: Burn, Battle of Algiers, The Last King of Scotland, Dr. Strangelove, etc., but Godard never figured it out.



    Two that I signed out strictly because I expect to see the Chinese remakes at some point (I already have one on DVD, actually)
    WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) 7/10
    I thought that the Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt movie had some funny scenes--my wife thought more highly of it than I did. I watched the first half hour of the Andy Lau/Gong Li remake on Youtube (admittedly not a good way to see it) and it seemed boring and labored.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:13 am

    Brian T wrote:The crickets are getting a bit loud around here these days, but here's my recent viewing list (mostly library sign-outs again) in case anyone is checking in. Not too many write-ups this time, as most of the stuff I'm watching has been well-critiqued all over the web by now. As always, I'm rather late to the party (or parties):
    PIERROT LE FOU (1965) 6/10
    Still don't like Godard. Evil or Very Mad
    ...

    When I saw the quote it sounded like something I wrote, but alas it was Brian. I still don't like Godard much. I've seen either 11 or 12 of his features (yes this many) and the only one I actually liked was A Woman is a Woman (technically I liked one of Godard's early shorts Charlotte et Véronique, ou Tous les garçons s'appellent Patrick but no filmmaker has me more annoyed than Godard. I understand why critics like him, but everything seems like a personal puzzle to me. Yes he can reference pop culture of his time, the movies and I'm glad he liked Fritz Lang but his films are devoid of feeling (some would argue this, but to me they are just the whims of the director with his personal problems and interests on the screen, not really caring about anything else). They are his version of intellectual concerns. His fascination with Mao (like many French at the time), of course, is embarrasing and quite dated now.

    What really aggravates me is when I read reviews and critics/reviewers will state that Godard learned so much about film that he got bored with it and created his own style. While Godard has/had learned quite a bit about cinema he had not learned as much as his critics think he has.

    Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.”

    - Werner Herzog

    “… his gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker — and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin. But what’s so admirable about him is his marvelous contempt for the machinery of movies and even movies themselves — a kind of anarchistic, nihilistic contempt for the medium — which, when he’s at his best and most vigorous, is very exciting.”

    - Orson Welles

    “I’ve never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He’s made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis (1966), was shot here in Sweden. It was mind-numbingly boring.”

    -Ingmar Bergman


    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:14 am

    Bodyguards and Assassins (2009: Teddy Chan) Hong Kong/China

    There certainly is a trend in the Hong Kong and China (PRC) collaborations for these big budget action-oriented historical opuses. Unfortunately the ones I have seen really have not been that good. They tend to be overtly nationalistic many times to a fault. The Japanese in Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen is as malevolent as they were in the original Fist of Fury. The Machu in this film are as evil as they were in the multitude of old school kung fu films though in this case they are trying to end the Qing Empire with a democratic society. Though as a surprise the movie is US democracy friendly.

    The last hour is really an extended action sequence. While sometimes impressive it also serves to overload the melodramatic content with overwrought scenes like when a main character dies up pops a quick bio of his/her name, birth and, of course, date of death which happen to be the same with everyone since it is the same day which the individuals die. During some of the deaths you wonder why exactly did that person do that as it really serves nothing other than to force some false empathy towards the person or angst at the stupidity of the situation. While you can excuse a few scenes like this there became a plethora of masochistic self-sacrifice which became quite annoying. Even more annoying is the fact that much of what they are fighting for would be quickly torn apart by warlord factions, fighting among party lines and the horrendous destructiveness of the Communist part in the near future. But yeah, try not to overthink this.

    If you were wondering the movie is quite historically inaccurate. There was not an assassination attempt on Sun Yat-sen in Hong Kong as displayed in the film.

    I’ll add the familiar refrain “It’s not a bad film.” I’m just expecting a bit more. The last several Donnie Yen involved films I have seen (Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Ip Man 2, this) have not been as strong as the one’s previous (Ip Man, SPL, Flash Point) though his fight with Cung Le is quite good. Don’t go into this thinking he is a main character, he is one of many characters. I did like the set-up, almost a Dirty Dozen set-up where you have several characters recruited to protect Sun Yat-sen who is coming to Hong Kong for a clandestine meeting while Manchu spies are everywhere to try to kill him (since they knew he was coming and where, why not kill him on the boat, that would be pretty easy, or right when he gets off, oh nevermind stop overthinking this).

    But unfortunately the editing and action scenes sometimes put this into Michael Bay territory with an overabundance of camera movements and quick cuts. In some parts the CGI blood and weapons was really too noticeable as well.

    But you do get to see an ex-NBA player (no not Yao) as a Shaolin Monk. It also won HK Film Awards best picture. That has to be worth something.

    ewaffle

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  ewaffle on Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:02 pm

    Just arrived from Yesasia:

    A Mysterious Murder VCD, burned in English and Chinese subtitles. Teresa Mak and Shing Fui-On

    My Baby Shot Me Down VCD. Tersa Mak, Jade Leung, Pinky Cheung

    Night Security Guard VCD, burned in English and Chinese subtitles. Teresa Mak and Joe Ma.

    Black Cat in Jail DVD. Teresa Mak, Jade Leung. Don't know how I missed this one until now.

    Nightmare from Snake DVD. Teresa Mak, Emily Kwan.
    ---

    The Teresa Mak Ga-Kei quest continues...


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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Admin on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:18 am

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Bodyguards and Assassins (2009: Teddy Chan) Hong Kong/China...


    Hmm. I have this film. Never watched it, but I bought it nevertheless. After watching a slew of similarly "bigged up" epics, I just flat out didn't fancy it, and frankly reading your review makes me remember why I lost interest.

    I have to admit I'm in a bit of a slump with HK/Chinese films at the moment. I will get over it, I'm sure, but I'm sick to death of massive epics with cool visual effects and heart-wrenching melodrama at the moment.

    It just makes me want to watch an old Hui brothers film. Simple tastes, me...

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:41 am

    Admin wrote:
    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Bodyguards and Assassins (2009: Teddy Chan) Hong Kong/China...


    Hmm. I have this film. Never watched it, but I bought it nevertheless. After watching a slew of similarly "bigged up" epics, I just flat out didn't fancy it, and frankly reading your review makes me remember why I lost interest.

    I have to admit I'm in a bit of a slump with HK/Chinese films at the moment. I will get over it, I'm sure, but I'm sick to death of massive epics with cool visual effects and heart-wrenching melodrama at the moment.

    It just makes me want to watch an old Hui brothers film. Simple tastes, me...

    Besides the fact that the Hui brothers are awesome. I know exactly how you feel. Here are some of those "epics" I have watched lately (and I watched several before it as well):

    Ip Man 2 (2010: Wilson Yip) Hong Kong ***/****
    Bodyguards and Assassins (2009: Teddy Chan) Hong Kong/China 2010 DVD Release **½/****
    Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010: Andrew Lau Wai-keung) Hong Kong/China **/****

    And even Ip Man 2 was a dissapointment compared to the first. A strong first half and well Rocky 4 in the second half. I mean seriously why did they have to go that route. All these new films seem to be overly nationalistic (which is not always bad of course, but they are too similiar and too anti-everything else). I mean the Japanese in Legend of the Fist were incredibly bad, The English quite bad in Ip Man 2, the Manchus bad in B&A.

    I'm not overly happy with these coproductions.

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:22 pm

    ewaffle wrote:
    Brian T wrote:WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) 7/10
    I thought that the Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt movie had some funny scenes--my wife thought more highly of it than I did. I watched the first half hour of the Andy Lau/Gong Li remake on Youtube (admittedly not a good way to see it) and it seemed boring and labored.
    Yeah, I thought it was OK -- apart from Mel Gibson's then-tiresome smarm overriding character -- and it definitely lends itself to remakes, but I wouldn't have imagined mainland Chinese filmmakers taking first crack at it. I suppose its themes are universal enough, but China just doesn't have a history of these kinds of high-concept, decided western concepts. Oh well, gotta start somewhere . . .

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ewaffle wrote:I gave up on Jean-Luc quite a while ago. It is possible to make political movies or movies that include a lot of sometimes coherent political content: Burn, Battle of Algiers, The Last King of Scotland, Dr. Strangelove, etc., but Godard never figured it out.

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:
    Brian T wrote:PIERROT LE FOU (1965) 6/10
    Still don't like Godard. Evil or Very Mad
    ...

    When I saw the quote it sounded like something I wrote, but alas it was Brian. I still don't like Godard much. I've seen either 11 or 12 of his features (yes this many) and the only one I actually liked was A Woman is a Woman (technically I liked one of Godard's early shorts Charlotte et Véronique, ou Tous les garçons s'appellent Patrick but no filmmaker has me more annoyed than Godard. I understand why critics like him, but everything seems like a personal puzzle to me. Yes he can reference pop culture of his time, the movies and I'm glad he liked Fritz Lang but his films are devoid of feeling (some would argue this, but to me they are just the whims of the director with his personal problems and interests on the screen, not really caring about anything else). They are his version of intellectual concerns. His fascination with Mao (like many French at the time), of course, is embarrasing and quite dated now.

    What really aggravates me is when I read reviews and critics/reviewers will state that Godard learned so much about film that he got bored with it and created his own style. While Godard has/had learned quite a bit about cinema he had not learned as much as his critics think he has.

    Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.”

    - Werner Herzog

    “… his gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker — and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin. But what’s so admirable about him is his marvelous contempt for the machinery of movies and even movies themselves — a kind of anarchistic, nihilistic contempt for the medium — which, when he’s at his best and most vigorous, is very exciting.”

    - Orson Welles

    “I’ve never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He’s made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis (1966), was shot here in Sweden. It was mind-numbingly boring.”

    -Ingmar Bergman
    It's good to know my distaste for Godard is shared not only by some of you folks, but also by some celebrated filmmakers as well, who clearly weren't afraid to speak out about this ridiculous upstart. I love Bergman's take on him! (where did you find all that stuff?) I agree wholeheartedly with Shawn's remark that Godard clearly hadn't learned as much about film as he wanted his followers to believe. I just wish Criterion didn't feel the need to release so much of his work. In a perverse way, I can understand why many of his films are deemed "important" in the sense that they've been debated since day one, but there often doesn't seem to be much more to them than that. I haven't seen as many of his films as you guys -- probably six or seven -- but I find continually his "politics" and "statements" to be heavyhanded and juvenile, even within the context of the time period in which they were made. I'm hard-pressed to believe so many people back then would label such pseudo-intellectual posing as revolutionary, but then again, there's no underestimating some critical movements when they think they've discovered something groundbreaking. Smile Enfant terrible, the call him. More like terriblement juvénile in my book . . . Razz



    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:33 pm

    Admin wrote:I have to admit I'm in a bit of a slump with HK/Chinese films at the moment. I will get over it, I'm sure, but I'm sick to death of massive epics with cool visual effects and heart-wrenching melodrama at the moment. It just makes me want to watch an old Hui brothers film. Simple tastes, me...

    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Besides the fact that the Hui brothers are awesome. I know exactly how you feel. Here are some of those "epics" I have watched lately (and I watched several before it as well):


    My advice: assuming you haven't anyways, cut back on the epic co-productions, the both of you! Laughing They're not true Hong Kong cinema anyways, though I do believe they must be included in any serious (or passive) study of the form. Now, I'm not saying don't buy 'em; just leave 'em for a few months (or years) after you do, and instead order up of the more localized productions the city has been cranking year after year in other genres. At some discussion forums and review sites, there has developed a distinct and dismaying tendency toward narrowcasting - paying mind almost exclusively to co-produced martial arts epics starring "known-in-the-west" entities, particularly Donnie Yen and co., and largely because those are the films that are constantly picked up -- regardless of quality -- by American DVD companies. I've no doubt some of these epic pictures are top drawer, albeit by comparatively narrow mainland standards, but the few I've seen lack considerably in the story department, among other areas, and all the flashy visuals, lavish sets and casts-of-thousands increasingly can't disguise it. CHEN ZHEN is a textbook example.

    I do find it telling that many of Yen's recent pictures apparently don't live up to the standards set by the career-resuscitators of SPL and FLASH POINT, both largely Hong Kong productions (not to mention, I suspect, fluffier, localized fare like ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL). As a leading man, he really, really needs to get involved post haste with something that speaks more directly to the home market that spawned him, even if he has to once again cobble together a compromised cut for the mainland.

    So anyways, put down that new DVD you ordered of LEGENDARY CHINESE FIST WARRIOR ASSASSIN DEFEATS ALL JAPANESE AND WHITE DEVILS 2 and check out some true Hong Kong cinema. Goodness knows, there's enough of it being made these days, much of it still as far removed from nationalism, decoration and fights as it ever was. In fact, it might even be worth going back a few years -- and down several rungs on the production budget ladder -- to investigate some of the kicky no-budgeters in Mr. Waffle's most recent post (only one of which I've not seen. Hmmm . . . )



    Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:And even Ip Man 2 was a dissapointment compared to the first. A strong first half and well Rocky 4 in the second half. I mean seriously why did they have to go that route.
    Fancy that -- I just finished ROCKY IV before sitting down to read the updates to this thread! It has a robot in it. I think It's a metaphor or something. Oh yeah, and Rocky remembers the first three movies in quite some detail while driving his sports car and listening to an aerobicized hair rock anthem called "No Easy Way Out". Rolling Eyes

    Further to that, here's my most recent batch of viewing experiences, courtesy of the Toronto Public Library:

    ROCKY (1976) 9/10
    ROCKY II (1979) 7/10
    ROCKY III (1982) 6/10
    ROCKY IV (1985) 6/10
    (a very generous 6, I must admit. I'm guessing I can safely skip the last two entries)
    UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION (2006) 7/10
    GET HIM TO THE GREEK (2010) 5/10 Mad
    KNIFE IN THE WATER (Poland; 1962) 9/10
    A BRAND NEW LIFE (Korea; 2009) 8/10
    BARBARELLA (1968) 6/10
    (Saw this in pieces as a child; needed to revisit)
    CLASS (1983) 5/10
    SKY HIGH (2005) 6/10
    FREAKONOMICS (Documentary; 2010) 8/10
    CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO (Documentary; 2007) 7/10
    SLEEPY HOLLOW 7/10


    Last edited by Brian T on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Admin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:48 am

    Brian T wrote:
    My advice: assuming you haven't anyways, cut back on the epic co-productions, the both of you! Laughing They're not true Hong Kong cinema anyways, though I do believe they must be included in any serious (or passive) study of the form. Now, I'm not saying don't buy 'em; just leave 'em for a few months (or years) after you do, and instead order up of the more localized productions the city has been cranking year after year in other genres.

    I think this is sound advice. It's quite heartening in some ways that I've felt for years that a lot of these "big" films are made for the foreign market and kind of validates my intentions in being interested in HK films - give me a quick film knocked together for a few HKD and I'm likely to appreciate it a hell of a lot more than some dark brooding behind long floppy hair and a big sword.

    Brian T wrote:

    So anyways, put down that new DVD you ordered of LEGENDARY CHINESE FIST WARRIOR ASSASSIN DEFEATS ALL JAPANESE AND WHITE DEVILS 2


    But I hear the visuals are so much better than the original??? Sad

    I'd like to hear more on your viewing of Get Him to the Greek. I'm a bit undecided on Russell Brand (including in his stand up), but I happened to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall again the other week, and, well, I didn't like it much the first time I saw it but was chuckling away quite happily this time. I may have even had the odd chortle, but I draw the line at guffawing. Alcohol may have been a factor, but I cannot honestly tell.

    Anyway, since seeing that again, my mind turned to Get Him to the Greek.

    Oh, and getting back on topic (I'm going to ban myself if I keep this on for much longer), I'm finally going to sit down and watch Inception tonight. I've had it since Christmas, but for some reason have never been in the mood to watch it.

    Masterofoneinchpunch

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:25 am

    Brian I've seen the Bergman's quote on Godard as well as Herzog's quote on Godard on many filmmaker quote sites (I really wish they would put the source; it drives me nuts when they don't do that; I do that for all of my quotes) and since Bergman has had a habit of knocking down many filmmakers I'm pretty sure that one is legit (the same with Herzog and Welles, but I don't have the original sources right now).

    Cal, I love Inception and have seen it (including in the theater) a few times.

    and largely because those are the films that are constantly picked up -- regardless of quality -- by American DVD companies. I've no doubt some of these epic pictures are top drawer, albeit by comparatively narrow mainland standards, but the few I've seen lack considerably in the story department, among other areas, and all the flashy visuals, lavish sets and casts-of-thousands increasingly can't disguise it. CHEN ZHEN is a textbook example.

    I do find it telling that many of Yen's recent pictures apparently don't live up to the standards set by the career-resuscitators of SPL and FLASH POINT, both largely Hong Kong productions (not to mention, I suspect, fluffier, localized fare like ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL). As a leading man, he really, really needs to get involved post haste with something that speaks more directly to the home market that spawned him, even if he has to once again cobble together a compromised cut for the mainland.

    That's the issue because the R1 DVD companies are picking up these coproductions (and technically they are picking up mediocre to bad Thai films as well; yes some of them are good and some of them like Fireball are quite bad).

    Yeah other than Ip Man (and some degree it's sequel) Donnie Yen productions have been so-so and have really been hurt by the Mainland (compromises, trying to cater to the Mainland market and a few other issues). Even Johnnie To has been making some Mainland films (luckily still making some for the HK market).

    Yes, I still have a few coproductions left to watch (Red Cliff, A Battle of Wits, Three Kingdoms) in my DVD collection.

    I have watched a few non co-productions lately:

    The Lady Hermit (1971: Ho Meng-hua) Hong Kong
    Kung Fu Zombie (1982: Hua Yi-jung) Hong Kong
    The Enigmatic Case (1980: Johnnie To) Hong Kong

    Brian T

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  Brian T on Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:39 pm

    Admin wrote:I'd like to hear more on your viewing of Get Him to the Greek. I'm a bit undecided on Russell Brand (including in his stand up), but I happened to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall again the other week, and, well, I didn't like it much the first time I saw it but was chuckling away quite happily this time. I may have even had the odd chortle, but I draw the line at guffawing. Alcohol may have been a factor, but I cannot honestly tell.

    Anyway, since seeing that again, my mind turned to Get Him to the Greek.
    I think I'm pretty well decided on Russell Brand. I don't like his act. I've flipped through his "booky wookys" (wookies?) in bookstores here and found him a rather ridiculous, obnoxious individual to be enjoying such notoriety. GET HIM TO THE GREEK is a Judd Apatow production at its core, so you can expect a bonanza of noxious characters and crude gags, only some of which are genuinely funny but most of which pander to 16-year-olds and/or their libidos. I listened to literally a minute or two of the commentary, long enough to hear one of the participants state that comedy filmmakers today have to have a gag about every 30 seconds nowadays because of audience expectations?. Really?! I'd rather have one home-run gag or sequence every five or ten minutes instead of a ceaseless hail of "funny" that mostly misses the target or results in Jonah Hill unleashing another of his tiresome, deadpan "Didjoo-just-do-what-I-think-you-did?Yeah-no-I-think-you-did-and-you-just-need-to-stop-now-kay" routines. His schtick was novel the first couple of times I saw it, but by the time of GREEK, it was way past expiry, which might explain why he signed on to be in that upcoming baseball-coach flick with Brad Pitt. GET HIM TO THE GREEK is ultimately yet another in an insurmountable rock pile of films that tries to humanize entertainment folk by making us see the vulnerable little bunnies (-wunnies?) clinging to their fragile humanity beneath mountains of cash, heroin and whores. This one just has the trendy "Apatow" gloss applied to it, but it's still the same old turd-polishing-by-proxy. In fact, the more I write about it, the lower I'm tempted to rate it.

    So yeah, alcohol might help . . .

    ewaffle

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    Re: Now watching...

    Post  ewaffle on Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:13 pm

    Brian T wrote:

    Fancy that -- I just finished ROCKY IV before sitting down to read the updates to this thread! It has a robot in it. I think It's a metaphor or something. Oh yeah, and Rocky remembers the first three movies in quite some detail while driving his sports car and listening to an aerobicized hair rock anthem called "No Easy Way Out"

    Robots are difficult to integrate into a story if it isn't about robots already--either there is all that inventing stuff that has to be covered or the robots are already ubiquitous in the world of the film and then it is (or would be assumed to be) science fiction.

    Zombies, though, are almost universally useful and can be dropped into almost any movie one can think of and make it a better viewing experience--other than zombie movies themselves which already have them.

    The flesh-eating undead in "Casablanca", "Singing in the Rain", "Day for Night", "Yojimbo"....the better the film the easier it would be to slip in a few walking corpses. Shocked

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