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Don't worry about being expelled, because once you enter the Cronenberg Club, you can never leave.

Honestly, I had a similar reaction to you the first time I saw The Brood, back in the late 90s. I didn't think it worked well as the psychological horror it touted itself as, and the body horror elements were far too underplayed as well. At the time, The Brood and Shivers were my least favourite Cronenberg films.

But when I rewatched it not long ago, I don't know what happened but it just really clicked for some reason and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe because I knew what to expect that time, or because I had turned off Shivers just minutes before to try The Brood again instead (which reminds me that I never did go back and rewatch Shivers haha).



The Grapes of Wrath




I read Grapes of Wrath in school but i was around 13 so i don't remember it that well. Actually i recognized this more from the South Park episode Over Logging haha. I liked this quite a bit, i found it pretty heavy handed and over-dramatic at times but it was tough not to enjoy and even some of that worked out for the best. Think this captured the depression-era feel wonderfully, how i'd imagine it anyway; there was a great sadness and hopeless feeling to pretty much everything, even when they were really hopeful and sounding like they truly believed that California would save them it felt like they were actually in denial. The biggest surprise to me was the humour, not that it was hilarious but i definitely went in expecting this to be one big downer throughout. Grampa especially was someone this film needed, he reminded me of Walter Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; very crazy and energetic old man, was sad to see him go so early but it made sense. I liked the actor Charlie Grapewin quite a bit and after looking him up after this i found out that he plays a major role in Fords Tobacco Road, pretty much everything else i've heard about that film is negative so that made me a little more curious at least. The camp was as grim as hell, the Grapes of Wrath parody parts in the South Park episode i mentioned are in black and white; great choice as this is the most black and white movie i've ever seen haha.

Despite this film being mostly depressing there were little things that were really heartwarming. Like the store scene with the bread and the candies, the woman who at first was against selling the bread for less than what it was worth lying about the real price of the candy so both kids could get a piece was really nice, random acts of kindness like that no matter how small always get to me especially in a film about crippling poverty like this. The fact that Pa was trying to keep onto the little bit of pride he had left by paying for 10 cents worth in particular made that scene.

Good performances all round, actually the only person i didn't think was good was Toms sister forgot her name during the scene she was crying that her husband had left; that wasn't a big deal though as she barely said anything throughout the film. Henry Fonda did a good job and i also really liked Russell Simpson as Pa. Think the script was my favourite thing about the film. Good film, not one of my favourite Fords however.

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Hey you stole The Brood photo I used for the guess the screenshot game! I've seen that many times, and it's my 2nd favorite Cronenberg after The Fly. It is an odd little film though.

I liked Grapes of Wrath more than you too.



Hey you stole The Brood photo I used for the guess the screenshot game! I've seen that many times, and it's my 2nd favorite Cronenberg after The Fly. It is an odd little film though.

I liked Grapes of Wrath more than you too.
haha didn't even realize. Yeah, just don't think it was for me i'm planning on watching one of his other films soon though, not sure which one.



I'd probably have to recommend Dead Ringers. I like Rabid as well but I don't know about for you.
Dead Ringers is actually the one i was thinking of watching, it seems to usually be high on the "best of cronenberg" lists i've seen.



Pulse




Was going to watch What Time Is It There? but i was unable to last night or today, and it made more sense to watch a horror at nighttime that i was planning on watching soon anyway.

I think the only Japanese Horror films i've seen are the original The Grudge and The Ring, none of which i like that much so i wasn't sure what to expect here. It almost lost me at the start, the scene where Taguchi tells her to get the disk she turns around and walks really slowly clerly frightened back towards him, i know it isn't a big thing but stuff like that can really bother me and take me out of horror films. It's because i instantly think that the filmmaker is trying to manipulate me and it annoys me, there was no reason at all for Kudo to expect anything was wrong after she got the disk; when he didn't answer the one time she called for him any normal person would've either called again or walked into the room at a normal pace, not instantly assume that something horrible has happened in the ten seconds it took you to get this disk at the other side of the room; absurd. Thankfully i got over that as it did a really great job of sucking me into its mood as soon as we got into the actual horror. It wasn't scary but no films are to me anymore and it was pretty creepy. The other day i complained a lot about the music in The Brood as i think that can be one of the biggest problems in a horror for me, when the atmosphere is killed. This did a good job i really liked the mostly understated score, created a creepy mood in the film. I think this film achieved alot in getting me to care as i've always found the idea of ghosts coming through the internet pretty goofy, an early 2000's film focusing on it when computers/internet weren't as widespread and understood by the general public as they are now could've been horribly dated too even if it was originally good. I don't think this is though, well obviously it's really old computers but they don't try to explain how any of it works really as that's not the focus which saves it from coming across ridiculous.

I liked the way it was filmed, i found it interesting. The majority of the time the camera seemed to be sitting a moderate distance away so it felt like we were observing them rather than being in there with them actually experiencing it. Seems to be the opposite of what the majority of horror films attempt so it was interesting seeing it this way. I think that was probably the intention; to put distance between the viewers and the characters I also really appreciate the way the story was told with two stories running together, i misinterpreted a small description i read before deciding to watch this and thought it was going to be one story then another. Think it was much better this way. So yeah i enjoyed this, actually during the first 45 minutes i thought this could be my favourite first time horror watch since The Descent, thing is i found it pretty dull and hard to follow in the middle. Not because it was complicated but because i just wasn't interested, the understated nature of the first half did alot for me but after a while it got a little tedious. I really enjoyed the ending but it wasn't enough to make this a favourite.

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Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein



Never seen anything by Abbott and Costello before i'm only really familiar with them from them being mentioned along with Laurel and Hardy, etc as important comedians of the first half of the 20th Century and i was aware that they made the Who's On Next? or whatever it's called bit famous that i've seen parodied multiple times even though i've never actually watched them perform it. I only ended up watching this because i saw it on some 40's Horror list and thought i should give it a chance. This was an enjoyable watch, i've mostly watched either heavy dramas or horrors this month so it was a good thing to go for something light. Didn't find this hilarious but it was entertaining and Abbott and Costello had good chemistry. Not really got any problems with this, i do think i'd like it a bit more if they had made it even sillier and crazier. Sometimes it felt a little calm i'd have liked them to fully embrace the wackiness. I like how they got the actual actors who played the Universal Monsters: Lugosi, Chaney Jr, etc. Fun film.




It's been at least 25 years now but I used to watch that every time it was on.
Yeah, it was fun. As i said though i'd have liked it to be even crazier. At times it felt pretty subdued which doesn't suit a "two idiots encounter the universal monsters" film.



Like Someone In Love
(Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)




This was my first Kiarostami. Weird starting place as it's his last film and it is not one of his most acclaimed i don't think, i watched it because i really need to see more foreign language films this decade and after stumbling upon this i thought i should kill two birds with one stone. One thing right away that i wasn't expecting was that this was really easy to get into. Don't know what it is but no matter how many foreign language directors i try i'm always pretty nervous their first film that i'll find it very boring or difficult to connect to/follow. Nah, this was a breeze; the dialogue and the way he filmed it created a very natural feeling enviroment. He seemed to film from the exact right distance away and at the right angle that the character you were watching and listening to speak looked like they would from your vision if you were actually sitting across from them (hope that made sense haha), the only difference was that sometimes you were a bit to the side which made it feel like you were sitting next to the person being spoken to rather than seeing it from their point of view. In the first scene he created a very natural feeling bar enviroment too, with the right amount of noise setting the tone and you being able to hear roughly what you would be able to in the conversations in nearby tables. This kind of fascinated me coz i think that's alot of work for something that isn't important to alot of people, i really appreciated it though especially with this film being largely conversational. Another thing i really liked was the taxi ride. That's pretty much the only thing i've heard about Kiarostami; that he likes to film inside of cars. I've actually heard alot of complaints about them, i dunno if they are normally like this but i really liked this one. First of all it wasn't in the film just for the sake of it, it had a few while not crucial, practical purposes for being included. Firstly to keep the feeling of the film going; so it feels like we have carried on right from the first minute rather than cutting to when she gets there which could disrupt the mood, then also her listening to the voicemails while we found it nothing important it still gave us a bit more insight into her character and situation in a very natural and creative way. Other than that it was just good to watch, the various ways he filmed it whether it was from across from her or just outside the taxi filming her, or filming from her point of view it gave us a realistic view of what is a beautiful city. This just applies to this one though, for all i know it is usually annoying and he lightened up here.

The story worked for me too. Loved Akkiko's personality, she was so excitable and talkative; it was great how easily she struck up conversations with Takashi. She was really funny, stuff like her telling a joke then when he laughed she admitted she didn't get it and was confused when anyone laughed really warmed me up to her. I could listen to her for hours, great character and performance. Right from when Takashi was first introduced i knew it wouldn't be about sex, still it felt odd that he was acting all panicky and confused when she assumed it was about sex since surely he had to know that is what the vast majority of her clients would be looking for, maybe it would be a bit awkward to bring it up but i think most people would state that right away or he had it even easier, he could've have told Hiroshi to specify this right away and not only would that avoid this awkwardness but it would make it more likely that she would accept. The moment of the film for me had to be Noriaki and Takashi's conversation in the car. Noriaki while speaking to Akkiko looked like a shady, aggresive a hole then while speaking to Takashi he came across like a genuine person who really cared for her, and i never felt this was an act to impress who he thought was her grandfather. I mean he had gotten engaged to her without telling the family so he really didn't have to do this, it seemed like the way he acted towards her was out of frustration then when it becomes clear that he isn't aware she is a prostitute you take his side a bit. Not just because she is sleeping with other men but the very fact that she is keeping it secret means she has to have been distant explaining his initial behaviour a bit and then making it more understandable when he says she wasn't answering her phone and it is a regular occurence. Still it doesn't completely exonerate him, you still have to question whether he is violent and a few things he says "that's why i want to marry her, she'll have to" keeps you from fully taking either side. There's also some good light humour in that scene; Takashi hesitant to open the window and give him a lighter as well as him trying not to make eye contact with him, as well as him blatantly implying he's not her grandfather "I'm as much her grandfather as i am yours" which for some reason Noriaki doesn't pick up on despite hearing him since he follows it up with "your only intention is to discourage me", and also the initial awkwardness of the car ride when Noriaki stays in. Then that ending my god, Noriaki's shouting completely made that scene, i couldn't feel more scared and bad for both of them but especially Takashi; he was a nice old man who really shouldn't have to deal with this situation and at the same time he was trying to keep Akkiko calm. Glad it was left ambigous too.

Great film. While no individual part completely blew me away, i found every scene and practically every line of dialogue interesting. Looking forward to more from Kiarostami. I'm planning on watching his other 2010's film Certified Copy and i also have Taste of Cherry and Close Up ready to watch so hopefully over the next few months i can make a good start on his filmography.

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The Best Years of Our Lives
(William Wyler, 1946)



Looking over Wylers filmography i was surprised to find out i've seen three of his films: Wuthering Heights, The Little Foxes and Roman Holiday as well as about the first third of Funny Girl. Good director.

Very good film. It's kinda difficult to post about as it is so long and there's so much going on. Extremely sad of course, while watching i was wondering if this was the first returning soldier(s) struggles to adapt to life back home film. My head tells me it can't be, dunno maybe someone will point something out. Even if it wasn't it was very well done, some of it felt familiar of course but i imagine this was a big influence on alot of those other films. Even then that wasn't a problem as it was so well written and acted. I liked how it focused on three of them, giving them all different yet similar problems spawning from the same thing, it allowed them to explore alot more. My only problem really was a few instances of over acting like when Fred woke up with night terrors, there were a few others but not too much so it wasn't that much of a big deal. God, i loved Homer. So upbeat and self sufficient until he sees his girlfriend of course. "You gotta hand it to the Navy, they trained that boy well to use those hooks." "They couldn't train him to put his arms around his girl, to stroke her hair". Jesus, that was the first part that really got to me along with Homers look while she was hugging him. His story was my favourite it was so tragic and eventually heartwarming, the actor was excellent. All of the stories were good, as i said i don't have many complaints. Good film, not really a favourite but i understand why it gets so much praise.




What Time Is It There?
(Tsai Ming-Liang, 2001)




This was my first Tsai Ming-Liang film. All i've read about him is that his films are really slow, i don't think this one was at least. It's obviously not action movie paced but i was never bored and while a few scenes lingered for a bit it never felt excessive; to be honest i think it progressed just right. I mean he sells the watch 15 minutes in, there's been quite a few scenes by that point. Parts of the film are actually made up of various 30 second-ish scenes. I actually found the lingering pretty interesting itself because it is something i'm not used to, usually when the main objective of the scene is fulfilled we move on or we move on after we see the characters initial reaction unless something else is going to happen. This was different though, in the scene where he tells her he can't sell her the watch she walks away, the camera then stays with him for another minute and a half or so even though nothing happens. Oddly i think this ties into my next point to make the weirdest yet pretty effective way of getting us to know the characters. One thing that didn't hit me until about an hour in was that there's very little talking in this film. No idea why i didn't notice earlier but there's no long conversations, the "i can't sell you the watch" scene might have the most dialogue of any scene in the film and i think there's only about 10-12 lines between them. Despite this i think i got to know the characters pretty well which is most likely because the director was forcing me to take everything in by having very little happen and very little dialogue; it was at that point that i noticed i had being paying closer attention to the characters facial expressions, surroundings, etc than i normally do. While this film isn't exciting i think that's a pretty special thing.

Loved the visuals, every single scene was interesting to look at. Some of those lingering scenes could've got annoying if they weren't shot so well. There were some baffling things like us been shown him pissing into bottles and bags, no idea what that was all about. Another really weird thing that i actually kinda loved even though i don't have a clue what happened was that dude who took the clock he stole. Firstly i found it hilarious that he sat right next to him in an empty theatre, i hadn't even thought about it being about the clock. Then when he took it i initially thought he might be security but of course security would have thrown him out, i don't have a clue what the bathroom thing was about but it worked because it was the first really weird thing to happen in the film and it came after 20 minutes of practically nothing.

In the end this is an extremely difficult film to rate or place into simple liked/liked alot/loved/whatever categories. I have never seen anything like it, five years ago i wouldn't have lasted 15 minutes coz as i said very little happens but i found it strangely compelling and i loved the visuals. I'm very interested in more from Tsai especially going in at least thinking i know what to expect and i plan to revisit this at some point. At least a half a star goes to the 400 Blows clip and Leaud's cameo (the picture i used)




I had tears in my eyes within the first 10 minutes of The Best Years of Our Lives. The hooks ********, watch the freaking hooks!
Yep, the scene where he rejoined his family and the life completely drained from him was so depressing after watching him being very jolly, that seriously got to me. So did the scene he puts his hooks through the window. The actor was outstanding. After watching it i looked him up and found out he is the only known person at least to have sold his Oscar which he did to pay for his wifes medical bills; it was controversial at the time and when asked about it he said "I don't know why anybody would be critical. My wife's health is much more important than sentimental reasons. The movie will be here, even if (the) Oscar isn't". Best dude



Ugh... this works on so many levels
As well as his actual hooks and a hook (punch), he may have caught her with Captain Hook or one of his family. I've heard those Hook Brothers are real players.



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
The Brood is my favourite Cronenberg! I'm surprised you abhored it so much given how much you loved The Fly and Videodrome (which I'm not crazy about, BTW).

I think that Pulse although not scary in the common sense of the word may be one of the scariest horror films if you think about it. The reason it's so effective is the fact it talks about one of our greatest fears.
WARNING: spoilers below
For a lonely person the perspective of eternal loneliness after death is the scariest thing ever.
I highly recommend the director's other film Cure. A thriller, but the atmosphere is even denser!

What Time Is It There? is actually my favourite Ming-liang Tsai film and a
movie. I adore how the movie looks at time and distance (of all kinds) between people. Besides, the atmosphere is freakin' perfect. Goodbye, Dragon Inn and The Hole are safe bets if you loved this one.
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Look, I'm not judging you - after all, I'm posting here myself, but maybe, just maybe, if you spent less time here and more time watching films, maybe, and I stress, maybe your taste would be of some value. Just a thought, ya know.