The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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I've always really enjoyed The Quick And The Dead. I know how much you love it, so it's nice to see you watch it again.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Now thats a movie Is Quick and The Dead and I dont care if people hated it and Sam masked it as a chick flick. Its one of my favorite movies. But too badd Crows Priest and and Stones character did not hook up.



Now thats a movie Is Quick and The Dead and I dont care if people hated it and Sam masked it as a chick flick. Its one of my favorite movies. But too badd Crows Priest and and Stones character did not hook up.
They actually did, depending on which release you've seen. I've read that in some versions there's a brothel scene where Cort is being harassed by the prostitutes and The
Lady pulls him away and goes down on him.

I'm actually glad that the version I've seen has some sexual tension, but no love story or sex scenes between them. I prefer the relationship of mutual respect.



I loved the Quick and the Dead and I never thought of it as a chick flick? It's just a really good, exciting western, with a good story premise and great characters.





The Reckoning (Paul McGuigan, 2002)
Imdb

Date Watched: 1/30/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I was reminded of it after looking at Tom Hardy's IMDb page.
Rewatch: Yes


Part costume drama, part murder mystery, this is the tale of a 14th century English priest with a shady past who joins a troupe of traveling actors. By chance they stumble into a town and happen upon the end of a murder trial. Desperate for money, the actors decide to play out the facts of the trial on stage - only to discover that the information they have is not fact at all.

I first saw this film as a blind buy about nine years ago. I recall being pretty impressed with it, but somehow I'd largely forgotten it since then. It's a very engaging story that touches on issues of morality, faith, and redemption - brought to life by a superb cast that includes Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe, Brian Cox, Vincent Cassel, and Tom Hardy.

The cinematography is beautiful and the costuming excellent. You almost feel like you can smell the people. But the film is not without its flaws. There are some editing issues - mouths at times move without sound or don't move with it. The pacing is also rather slow. This is not a film for people with deficient attention spans, though it clocks in under two hours. It's meditative and quiet. There are scenes that serve no obvious purpose. There's little action and a lot of atmosphere.

But I think it's a film that is well worth watching.



+





The 24th Day (Tony Piccirillo, 2004)
Imdb

Date Watched: 02/04/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: James Marsden came up in a recent conversation with Funny Face and it got me thinking about this movie again
Rewatch: Yes


(Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead)
The Premise: Reeling from the death of his wife (who died in a car accident immediately after being diagnosed with AIDS) and from the recent discovery that he too is HIV positive, Tom (Scott Speedman) seeks revenge on the person who he believes ruined his life and is responsible for his wife's death - Dan (James Marsden), a man that Tom had a one night stand with five years earlier. Twenty-four days after finding out he has HIV, Tom lures Dan into his apartment, overpowers him, binds him to a chair and draws a sample of blood to be sent out for an HIV test that he believes will confirm Dan's guilt. If the test is positive, Tom will kill Dan. If the test is negative, he will let Dan go. But it will take two days to get the result.



Based on a stage play of the same name, The 24th Day is a film that examines sexual responsibility and the consequences of unsafe behavior. It questions who is really at fault when things go wrong, but it never gives any answers and leaves the audience to find the solution for themselves. Did Dan infect Tom? Did he wear a condom that night? Is Tom telling the truth that he was only ever unfaithful to his wife that night with Dan? Was Tom's wife faithful? Is Dan HIV positive? If so, how do we know that Dan didn't contract the virus sometime in the five years between the one night stand and his abduction by Tom? Or that Tom didn't give it to Dan? We get no concrete answers.

I've seen some people accuse The 24th Day of homophobia - of villainizing gay men and portraying the "straight" man as the victim in this scenario. But I don't think this is either the intention of the filmmaker or the result of the completed film. Dan is smooth talking and promiscuous. He says whatever he thinks will get him what he wants. He lives in a state of denial about the dangers of his behavior. He lies about how many men he's been with. He lies about whether he's ever been tested for HIV.

But Tom is no less in denial about what he has done and accepts little responsibility for his own reckless behavior. Tom remembers that Dan had a condom on the night they were together - but neither man can recall whether it was actually used. Both had been drinking that night and Tom had taken Dan to his grandfather's old apartment to satisfy his urges and curiosity.

But though the film centers around sex, it contains none. What we get instead is a film thick with tension and heartbreak. Speedman and especially Marsden deliver terrific performances as we watch both men share their stories while they wait for the test result. We learn about broken dreams and hopelessness and we watch as each man begins to see the humanity in the other. We see Dan fight for freedom, plead for it, lie to get it. We see him get angry, we see his fear, and we see his resignation. We feel for his plight. But we feel for Tom, too. We hear him talk about having to repress his true self - and not just sexually but in many things. And we feel the love that he had for his wife and his grief in losing her. Neither man is portrayed as a monster, only as a flawed person.

As to the more technical aspects of the film, there are no frills here. The score is sparse. The cinematography is dark and gritty - which is probably just as much a result of the film's low budget as it is of any stylistic choice, but it is effective just the same. This isn't a film about cool camera angles or effects. It's a performance piece and one that I strongly recommend.

This is a film that was once in my personal top 50, but somehow had been all but forgotten. Tonight was one hell of a reminder.

-



That sounds like something I should see. I've never heard of it before.



That sounds like something I should see. I've never heard of it before.
I definitely think you should give it a shot.

And yeah, it's not a well known movie at all. I don't think I've ever seen anybody talk about it here. I'm not even entirely sure how I found out about it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
put wrinkles, irrational man and Love & Mercy on request at my library. Haven't ever heard of Wrinkles but ya got me VERY curious about that one.
Gonna have to go searching for The Reckoning, love a lot of the actors in that one.

You're getting a great lil roll with your reviews. Very effin nice work!



Master of My Domain
Don't know if you noticed it or not, but your reviews are getting better. I haven't seen The 24th Day, but +1 for the write-up.



I don't ever remember hearing of that movie. Perhaps a future HoF nom?
First I have to get rid of the bad taste all the BS with the Comedy HOF left in my mouth.
No promises.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Not seen, or even heard of the last two movies there but both sound quite interesting. And I said it before but you really do seem to be getting into this reviewing lark despite what you said in the past? Are you surprising yourself?



And I said it before but you really do seem to be getting into this reviewing lark despite what you said in the past? Are you surprising yourself?
A little, yeah. Though it's actually becoming something of a distraction when I'm watching movies. Instead of just watching a film and enjoying it for what it is, there's this little voice in my head trying to figure out what to say about it.



A little, yeah. Though it's actually becoming something of a distraction when I'm watching movies. Instead of just watching a film and enjoying it for what it is, there's this little voice in my head trying to figure out what to say about it.
I know that voice.



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
A little, yeah. Though it's actually becoming something of a distraction when I'm watching movies. Instead of just watching a film and enjoying it for what it is, there's this little voice in my head trying to figure out what to say about it.
Oh I know that voice. Sometimes I can have the whole review planned out in my head before the end credits have even started rolling





Quills (Philip Kaufman, 2000)
Imdb

Date Watched: 02/06/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: One does not need a reason to watch Quills
Rewatch: Yes
Previous Write-Ups: The MoFo Millennium Top 100, The Fifth Hall of Fame


Warning: This Review May Contain Spoilers

From 1801 until his death in 1814, the Marquis de Sade was imprisoned at Charenton Asylum - a place known for its humane treatment of psychiatric patients (an unusual thing in that era) under the direction of the Abbé de Coulmier. This is about the only shred of actual fact that you will find in this film. Sticklers for historical accuracy need look elsewhere. This is not a bio-pic. This is not a history lesson.

This is a film about the clash of art, science, and religion. It is a film about corruption and hypocrisy. It is a film about the effect that art has on those who produce it, those who consume it, and those who seek to suppress it. This isn't a film about de Sade the man. Instead it is a love letter to de Sade the idea - a libertine who wrote of "the great eternal truths that bind together all mankind the whole world over. We eat, we s---, we f---, we kill, and we die."



Whiling away his time in the asylum, de Sade (Geoffrey Rush, in an Oscar Nominated performance) smuggles his pornographic manuscripts to a publisher with the help of a virginal chambermaid (Kate Winslet). Oblivious to the leak, the naïve and trusting Abbé de Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix, in the role that made me love him) encourages the Marquis to write for "curative purposes" and allows de Sade to direct theatrical plays with the asylum’s other inmates, seeing therapeutic value in the arts and personal expression.

But it's not long before Napolean catches wind of de Sade's activities and he dispatches the "staunchly moral" man of science, Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) to oversee Charenton. Collard brings with him his "calming chair," whips, restraints, and an assortment of other barbaric devices meant to cure "God's tiny blunders." He also delivers the Abbé an ultimatum: Silence the Marquis or Charenton will be shut down.

Desperate to save his life's work and under pressure from Collard, de Coulmier enacts increasingly cruel measures to stop de Sade and the audience is left to watch as a once benevolent man of the cloth devolves into a depraved madman who is perhaps more sadistic than the man whose name is the root of that very word. And in the face of this abuse, de Sade pushes back - engaging the Abbé in a game of power and inventing new and increasingly bizarre ways to express himself. And it's this struggle for dominance that produces one of the film's most potent scenes: After writing his latest work with his own blood on his clothes, de Sade is punished by de Coulmier by being forced to strip completely naked. But the Marquis turns this power play into a lesson in humiliation for the Abbé, refusing to let the priest look away and taunting him with each article of clothing, piece of jewelry, and finally his blood stained wig.

But where the two men share common ground is in their love for Madeleine, the chambermaid who abets de Sade’s crimes of rebellion. And it is the love of this girl that ultimately brings their worlds crashing down around them.



Quills the movie is based on a stage play of the same name and, owing to its theater roots and the nature of its subject, the acting and dialogue are a bit over-ripe. It’s very theatrical and sometimes borders on camp. The words are thick with innuendo and jabs at organized religion and the images are often erotic, violent, shocking, and unforgettably disturbing, making for a film that is not for the prudish or easily offended.

The performances here are universally strong. Geoffrey Rush tackles his role as de Sade with an impressive combination of glee and confidence. He embodies the film’s libertine ideals – taunting and mocking those who seek to silence him, refusing to be cowed no matter what the cost, standing proud as the sneering, incorruptible soul of the story. Michael Caine has a lot of fun too in his role as the villainous Royer-Collard, driving the once humane priest to madness and barbarity, all while sitting back and watching the destruction with a smug grin. Kate Winslet brings a sweet sense of innocence, mischief, and curiosity to her role as Madeleine. A then teenaged Amelia Warner is impressive too as Collard’s wife, evolving from naïve child to cunning seductress. But of course it is Joaquin Phoenix who makes the movie for me. The Abbé has relatively little dialogue, but Phoenix conveys those words with passion and conviction. He also brings to the role a certain fragility and in his face we watch as de Coulmier is transformed from wide-eyed innocence to wild-eyed depravity.

As to the film’s more technical aspects, the score is minimal but effective. Much of the cinematography in the early scenes has a misty, dream-like haze to it that gives way to increasing darkness and sickly shades of yellow and gold. The result leaves the viewer to feel as if they too are trapped in the dank walls of the asylum as order gives way to chaos and madness.

This is a film that seems tailor-made for me. It’s funny, irreverent, erotic, character and dialogue driven, and highly emotional. It also touches on subjects that, as someone who has written erotic fiction, are very dear to my heart. Fifteen years ago, it became an instant favorite and after watching it again tonight, I can say with complete confidence that my love for it has not waned.

Oh, and Phoenix has never looked sexier than in this role. He makes me think really, really dirty thoughts.



"In each of us there is such beauty and such abomination. No man is exempt."