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July, 2020 movies watched-

The Hunt (2020)
An underachiever of a movie but still a very good watch for the right viewer.

Cure (1997)
Very good Japanese crime/mystery/psychological horror mix.

Ready or Not (2019)
A reasonably entertaining 90 minutes.

A Bell From Hell (1973)
An unsettling European horror that I'm surprised I hadn't heard of before.

Bliss (2019)
- A good movie to watch if you're f***ed up.

Knives Out (2019)
+ Extremely entertaining.

Images (1972)
Susannah York is a mental mess, making her even more attractive.

Cash Calls Hell (1966)
+ Japanese crime film that's probably better than my rating would indicate.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
Really good for the right audience.

Christiane F. (1981)
A complete soul shaker and a big new favorite.

The Golden Glove (2019)
- A sick movie that's worth it if you have a sick sense of humor.

Richard Jewell (2019)
+ A fairly standard film yet I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Battle of Britain (1969)
Pretty epic and has a great cast, but I thought too much of it was dull.

The Invisible Man (2020)
Way better than expected.

The Burning Moon (1992)
- Ok German low budget splatter film.

July viewings-15
2020 viewings-94



Malpertuis (1971)

The owner of a fantastical manor is expecting to die soon, and all tenants worry about their inheritance. It’s a dark, semi-surrealistic movie with quite a few odd, incestuous sexual overtones and an attractive antique-fantasy aesthetic. Orson Welles gets the role of a lifetime as Cassavius. Top billing for about 10 minutes of lying in a bed & mumbling.





Performance (1970)

A strong-armed gangster seeks refuge in an eccentric artist’s home. Therein we see his traditionalist standards confronted by sexual ambiguity & psychedelia. It’s entertaining enough, but some greatness lies within the unusually cut hippie-powered sociological critique that’s both easy to follow, and open for interpretation.


Photographing Fairies (1997)

An early 20th century photographer travels to a small English village to investigate an anomalous photograph. Intriguing, pretty, very well-made, and darker than any classical ‘fairy tale.’ I’m surprised it isn’t held in higher regard. The only real gripe I have is with some questionable character actions/reactions, such as
WARNING: "PF" spoilers below
the little girls showing zero grief after tragically losing their mother. What the f*ck?




Demon Seed (1977)

A woman is trapped in her house with an amoral supercomputer that wants to impregnate her. After seeing White of the Eye, this wasn’t as original or bizarre as I was hoping, but it’s a passable sci-fi thriller.

Mandy (2018) -

A man goes after a deranged cult that kidnapped his wife. Radical kaleidoscopic cinematography, extreme schlocky violence, and a very dark minimal plot. It'd be hard to find a better model for a love it or hate it movie. The psychedelia doesn't even come close to relenting enough to appeal to more ordinary tastes, but for those that like schlock, arthouse pacing, and a very dark trippy style, this is a gem.



Timescape (1991) -

A man opening up a hotel is visited by several mysterious tenants. It’s hard to say much without spoiling anything. A very entertaining sci-fi movie that feels very of-its-time.

City of the Living Dead (1980)

A Lucio Fulci homage to Lovecraft… with zombies. Very good murky, gory, maggoty, slowly-pushing-someone-towards-a-pointy-thing horror with a cool soundtrack, and laughably bad everything else. Unfortunately, the good elements aren’t able to overshadow the bad until the final act.







Malpertuis (1971)

The owner of a fantastical manor is expecting to die soon, and all tenants worry about their inheritance. It’s a dark, semi-surrealistic movie with quite a few odd, incestuous sexual overtones and an attractive antique-fantasy aesthetic. Orson Welles gets the role of a lifetime as Cassavius. Top billing for about 10 minutes of lying in a bed & mumbling.





Performance (1970)

A strong-armed gangster seeks refuge in an eccentric artist’s home. Therein we see his traditionalist standards confronted by sexual ambiguity & psychedelia. It’s entertaining enough, but some greatness lies within the unusually cut hippie-powered sociological critique that’s both easy to follow, and open for interpretation.


Photographing Fairies (1997)

An early 20th century photographer travels to a small English village to investigate an anomalous photograph. Intriguing, pretty, very well-made, and darker than any classical ‘fairy tale.’ I’m surprised it isn’t held in higher regard. The only real gripe I have is with some questionable character actions/reactions, such as
WARNING: "PF" spoilers below
the little girls showing zero grief after tragically losing their mother. What the f*ck?




Demon Seed (1977)

A woman is trapped in her house with an amoral supercomputer that wants to impregnate her. After seeing White of the Eye, this wasn’t as original or bizarre as I was hoping, but it’s a passable sci-fi thriller.

Mandy (2018) -

A man goes after a deranged cult that kidnapped his wife. Radical kaleidoscopic cinematography, extreme schlocky violence, and a very dark minimal plot. It'd be hard to find a better model for a love it or hate it movie. The psychedelia doesn't even come close to relenting enough to appeal to more ordinary tastes, but for those that like schlock, arthouse pacing, and a very dark trippy style, this is a gem.



Timescape (1991) -

A man opening up a hotel is visited by several mysterious tenants. It’s hard to say much without spoiling anything. A very entertaining sci-fi movie that feels very of-its-time.

City of the Living Dead (1980)

A Lucio Fulci homage to Lovecraft… with zombies. Very good murky, gory, maggoty, slowly-pushing-someone-towards-a-pointy-thing horror with a cool soundtrack, and laughably bad everything else. Unfortunately, the good elements aren’t able to overshadow the bad until the final act.




Is it bad I want to watch Malpertuis solely based on that gif?

I tried watching PF years ago and couldn't finish it because I thought it was unbearably boring. I might give it another shot. Maybe. Probably not, though.

Mandy turned out to be more enjoyable than I was expecting. I really dug the trippy, kaleidoscopic look. I wish more movies implemented it.

City of the Living Dead looks interesting solely from a practical effects perspective...and kittens never disappoint.



Is it bad I want to watch Malpertuis solely based on that gif?

I tried watching PF years ago and couldn't finish it because I thought it was unbearably boring. I might give it another shot. Maybe. Probably not, though.

Mandy turned out to be more enjoyable than I was expecting. I really dug the trippy, kaleidoscopic look. I wish more movies implemented it.

City of the Living Dead looks interesting solely from a practical effects perspective...and kittens never disappoint.
I highly recommend it if you like dark fantasy/surrealism. A bit proto-Gilliam. I may be underrating it. I’m afraid that gif is the only footage of its kind though. No more shoving impoverished children on crutches.

I was probably in the right mood for PF. I liked the elegant setting, music, & cinematography in the beginning, but I can see how someone would find it boring.

I think Mandy took its visual cue from older Italian horror. Did you see Color Out of Space yet?

It’s a Fulci movie, so the practical effects are really the most fun thing about it apart from a foggy, colorful tomb at the end. But be prepared to see that kitty get flung.



City of the Living Dead looks interesting solely from a practical effects perspective...and kittens never disappoint.
Don't believe in that blasphemous two popcorn rating It's a solid
film.
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A system of cells interlinked
Checked out a couple of decent films this weekend.


Cargo (Space is Cold)

(Engler, 2009)





It's rare these days to find a totally original sci-fi film. If that is what you are looking for, well, Cargo will not qualify. That said, even though it's somewhat derivative, 2009's German-made Cargo is well worth a watch. Atmospheric and well made, I found it quite entertaining. I including the sometime-not-used addition to the tile of the film, as there are several films that share the name.


Triangle

Smith, 2009





While clearly borrowing from the superior Spanish film Timecrimes, Triangle is still a pretty cool flick. First, it stars Melissa George, who is my future ex-wife. Secondly, while Triangle clearly doesn't handle its Schrodinger's cat material as well as Timecrimes, I still give it high marks for its brass balls ending, that pulls exactly zero punches. Sure, the thing has plenty of plot holes, but I still found myself enjoying it as I watched.
__________________
"There’s absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



I highly recommend it if you like dark fantasy/surrealism. A bit proto-Gilliam. I may be underrating it. I’m afraid that gif is the only footage of its kind though. No more shoving impoverished children on crutches.

I was probably in the right mood for PF. I liked the elegant setting, music, & cinematography in the beginning, but I can see how someone would find it boring.

I think Mandy took its visual cue from older Italian horror. Did you see Color Out of Space yet?

It’s a Fulci movie, so the practical effects are really the most fun thing about it apart from a foggy, colorful tomb at the end. But be prepared to see that kitty get flung.
I'll add it to my queue.

I haven't seen Color Out of Space yet, but I plan on it very soon.

"But be prepared to see that kitty get flung." Not cool.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
July 2020




The Hateful Eight (2015) rewatch
-
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
-
Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Millennium Actress (2001)

Rio Bravo (1959)
+
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Mildred Pierce (1945)
+
Last Picture Show (1971)
-
Blue Ruin (2013)

Rules of Engagement (2000)
+
Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)
-
State of Siege (1972)

Shine (1996)
-
Dronningen (2019)
+
Joker (2019) rewatch
+
Miss Violence (2013)
+
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

The Nice Guys (2016)
+
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
+
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

The Old Guard (2020)
+

Month Count: 22
Year Count: 120



Lost Highway
1997

Creepy and atmospheric in the first half, then morphs into the goofiest **** ever in the second half. Feels like the demo run for Mulholland Drive. The acting/dialogue here is god-like compared to the new Twin Peaks episodes.

Boys State
2020

High school nerds employ real tactics to win their faux election. Worth signing up for Apple TV free trial. Just remember to cancel your subscription afterwards.

Strangers on a Train
1951

Robert Walker is incredible here, it's a shame he died a year later.

Ran
1985

Strong first half capped off by one of the best battle scenes i've ever seen. Meandering second half that refuses to end.

Under the Skin
2014

Coherent David Lynch fan film propped up by sci-fi cliches.

The Maltese Falcon
1941

Bogart has to find a Falcon made out of chocolate for a collector.

The Assistant
2020

Mostly going for super-realism but then decides that being a movie is more entertaining.

Sonic the Hedgehog
2020

Close call between this and the Mario movie.

Suspiria
2018

Very serious Dragonball Z art movie. One of the dumbest films yet to come out.

Throne of Blood
1957

Frustrating because it's not perfect. An incredible story that is hampered by some barely realized characters. A brilliant mashup of Shakespeare, samurai, and demonic horror filled to the brim with memorable imagery and scenes.

Probably one of the bigger influences on The Shining, along with The Haunting and Eraserhead.

Sunset Boulevard
1950

The real deal.
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The Arrival (1996)

An astronomer is promptly fired after receiving a mysterious space transmission, which tingles his tin foil. It’s dumb Hollywood adventure sci-fi that takes a baton from the X-Files. Characters and actions are often cartoonish. Charlie Sheen goes from zero to 2011 within the first 20 minutes. The movie actually gets really fun around the halfway mark, but overstays its welcome and ends on a generic note.


If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)

A comedy about a group of American tourists on a hurried bus tour through Western Europe. Unfortunately, the closest thing we get to a central story is the least entertaining subplot of the movie, but the ‘character’ tourists with forced quirks are hilarious.

Diabel (1972)

What happens when you give your actors Shakespearean material and an endless supply of cocaine?


The Stunt Man (1980)

A man on the run from the police stumbles onto a movie set overseen by a power-crazy director. This is carried by quick, clever dialogue and superior acting from an Altman-esque cast. Then there are impressive stunt scenes within stunt scenes within stunt scenes. A little humor, a little tension, a little drama.


The Blood of a Poet (1933)

A young man experiences surreal goings-on that include his hand developing a mouth, a hotel with an uncertain gravitational pull, and a living statue. Then schoolboys get into a dangerous snowball fight. Like most classic surrealism, hidden meanings are elusive (if they’re there at all), leaving the mind plenty of room to wander.



The Dunwich Horror (1970)

An out of town girl is charmed by a locally shunned young man that lives in a creepy old manor with his gramps. Campy acting, on the nose dialogue, and an enjoyably groovy but cartoonish Les Baxter score make it impossible to take anything here seriously, but it is admirably artistic. *sniffs wine The aesthetic recalls Corman’s colorful Poe films with a dash of Scooby Doo. It’s still possible to have some fun with properly tuned expectations.




Depraved (2019)

A modern-day Frankenstein story with pessimistic commentary about human nature. Henry, the ‘creator,’ comes across as a bit too normal for a guy that wants to splice together corpses. I like a bit of sensationalism here. The rest of the cast is irritating at times (often by intention), but largely believable. The movie has a decent look with a yellow & green color scheme, is set almost entirely at night or in a derelict warehouse, and flirts with stop motion and psychedelic CG effects.

I only watched this because Larry Fessenden was in the chair. I liked Fessenden’s movies a lot around 10-15 years ago, but he lost me after Beneath (a low-brow deviant amidst his pretty original filmography). I’m glad that he’s at least exercising his tried and true style here: psychological drama disguised as horror. That is until the last half hour, wherein the movie turns into an implausible, hastily edited mess. Maybe I’m being a little generous because I’m rooting for Fessenden to continue making movies in his pretty unique style.




August, 2020 movies watched-

Turkey Shoot (1982)
Ok low budget Australian cult film.

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
+ A step down from the first but still a terrific crime film.

Submarine (2010)
Excellent coming of age story set in Wales.

Compulsion (1959)
I liked it more before it got to the courtroom despite the entrance of Orson Welles.

Schindler's List (1993) Repeat
As great as it is, I still don't think of it as a personal favorite.

Capernaum (2018)
- Nominated for best foreign film, it should have won best picture.

JoJo Rabbit (2019) Repeat
+ A good quality movie that I just don't care for.

JoJo Rabbit (2019) Repeat
3rd times a charm.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
I thought it did well for an average at best story.

Yellow Submarine (1968) Repeat
It's a good thing I love The Beatles.

Late Spring (1949) Repeat
- Less impactful than my 1st time but still one of my favorites from director Ozu.

Long Weekend (1978)
+ Not good enough to make up for the lack of excitement.

August viewings-12
2020 viewings-106



Bad Times at the El Royale
2018

Tarantino fan film starts off promising but gets less interesting as the mystery is sucked out.

The Lady Vanishes
1938

The perfect movie to watch in a hospital at 5:00 in the morning.

Rebecca
1940

Hitchcock winning best picture for this is like if Scorsese won best picture for The Departed.

Dracula
1931

Dracula shows up at some guys house uninvited so they get mad at him and he says that he is an evil vampire then leaves but then comes back which slightly irritates a doctor and he steals a woman to be his dracula wife but he falls asleep during the chase scene so they stab him and he dies.

It Happened One Night
1934

A grumpy guy yells at a woman for an hour so she falls in love with him. More logical than Dracula.

The Wizard of Oz
1939

The tornado in this movie is insane.

It's a Wonderful Life
1946

Way different than it's countless parodies.

Midsommar
2019

Another neat but hollow follow up by a promising horror director to sit alongside El Royale, Under the Silver Lake, and Southland Tales.

Too one dimensional to work as a break up flick. Too predictable to work as a thriller.

All About Eve
1950

A mirror film to Sunset Boulevard which came out the same year. This one won the oscar which means it's not as good. But it's still pretty good.

The Favourite
2018

Surprisingly watchable for the guy who made Dogtooth.



It's been a while!

Watched since April:


_
The Hollywood Knights 1980 Floyd Mutrux
The Patriot 2000 Roland Emmerich
The Physician 2013 Philipp Stölzl
Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! 2019 Sebastian DiNatale
The Informer 2019 Andrea Di Stefano
Project Power 2020 Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War 2020 Matt Peters, Christina Sotta
_
+ Wyatt Earp 1994 Lawrence Kasdan
+ Reign of Fire 2002 Rob Bowman
+ Greyhound 2020 Aaron Schneider
_
The General 1926 Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman
All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 Lewis Milestone
A Place in the Sun 1951 George Stevens
The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956 Alfred Hitchcock
The Innocents 1961 Jack Clayton
Silver Streak 1976 Arthur Hiller
Blue Collar 1978 Paul Schrader
Gettysburg 1993 Ronald F. Maxwell
Ninja Scroll 1993 ‘獣兵衛忍風帖’ Yoshiaki Kawajiri
The Bandit 1996 ‘Eşkıya’ Yavuz Turgul
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son 2008 Kurt Kuenne
Centurion 2010 Neil Marshall
Exodus: Gods and Kings 2014 Ridley Scott
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill 2020 Joe DeMaio
Mulan 2020 Niki Caro
Bill & Ted Face the Music 2020 Dean Parisot
_
+ Metropolis 1927 Fritz Lang
+ Somewhere in Time 1980 Jeannot Szwarc
+ Diner 1982 Barry Levinson
+ Body Double 1984 Brian De Palma
+ About Last Night… 1986 Edward Zwick
+ Eight Men Out 1988 John Sayles
+ The Way Back 2010 Peter Weir
+ The Social Dilemma 2020 Jeff Orlowski
+ I’m Thinking of Ending Things 2020 Charlie Kaufman
_
The Lady Vanishes 1938 Alfred Hitchcock
Leave Her to Heaven 1945 John M. Stahl
The Cruel Sea 1953 Charles Frend
The Enemy Below 1957 Dick Powell
A Night to Remember 1958 Roy Ward Baker
Z 1969 Costa-Gavras
The Mack 1973 Michael Campus
Lucky Luciano 1973 Francesco Rosi
Dead Man’s Letters 1986 ‘Письма мертвого человека’ Konstantin Lopushansky
Matewan 1987 John Sayles
Mystery Train 1989 Jim Jarmusch
Geronimo: An American Legend 1993 Walter Hill
We Were Soldiers 2002 Randall Wallace
The New World 2005 Terrence Malick
Curse of the Golden Flower 2006 ‘滿城盡帶黃金甲’ Zhang Yimou
Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way 2014 Karas Jay
Brooklyn 2015 John Crowley
Jerry Before Seinfeld 2017 Michael Bonfiglio
Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh 2018 Steven Brill
Togo 2019 Ericson Core
8:46 2020 Dave Chappelle
_
+ The Human Condition I 1959 ‘人間の條件’ Masaki Kobayashi
+ The Train 1964 John Frankenheimer
+ Dressed to Kill 1980 Brian De Palma
+ Gallipoli 1981 Peter Weir
+ Never Cry Wolf 1983 Carroll Ballard
+ Ran 1985 ‘乱’ Akira Kurosawa
+ The Vanishing 1988 ‘Spoorloos’ Directed by George Sluizer
+ Bacurau 2019 Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
_
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958 Richard Brooks
War and Peace 1966 ‘Война и мир’ Sergey Bondarchuk
Lady Snowblood 1973 ‘修羅雪姫’ Toshiya Fujita
Inside Moves 1980 Richard Donner



Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted Bogus Journey

Bill and Ted Face the Music


As a big Bill and Ted fan since last week, the new one is lame.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Half lifetime channel movie, half The Master with Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.



I'm Thinking of Ending Things

Kaufman running circles around younger filmmakers trying to be surreal. Turning a bleak, mopey, mess of a movie into fine entertainment.



Child's Play
(2019)

This would have been a great movie if Chucky wasn't actually evil.



His Girl Friday




September, 2020 movies watched-

Stand By Me (1986) Repeat
A mixture of good and nostalgic.

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
- I think I enjoyed it as much as I could have.

The Skin I Live In (2011) Repeat
Definitely my kind of movie.

The Fisher King (1991)
A lot that I loved but not consistent the whole way through.

Le Samourai (1967) Repeat
There's plenty to like despite my issues with the main character.

The Reflecting Skin (1990)
- Fairly unsettling and worth a watch.

Hunger (2008)
+ Great performance from Fassbender.

The Mummy (1969)
More a very good experience than a movie I really enjoyed.

Rise of the Footsoldier 4: The Heist (2019)
- Big fan of the whole series.

Gangs of New York (2002)
+ I couldn't take it seriously but I did enjoy myself.

September viewings-10
2020 viewings-116



I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) –

A surreal movie about a young woman having doubts about visiting her boyfriend's parents. The plot seems like a canvas for disheartening philosophical diatribes about complacency in relationships, delusional hopefulness, and more. The writing might be too surreal and/or gloomy for many, but I loved the sometimes funny, oft thought-provoking story that (to me) seemed to be about confusion & apprehension that comes with youth.

Under Siege (1992) -

An 'up to one man to stop them,' 'he's the best there is' action extravaganza, wherein one 'lowly cook' aboard a naval vessel must thwart a disgruntled hippie's violent takeover. Steven Seagal activates all video game action hero perks to nonchalantly tear through highly trained operatives while babysitting a playboy model. Pretty fun, but I started to get bored with the pandemonium in the second half.


Death in Brunswick (1991) –

A hapless man in his mid-30s gets a new job and girlfriend. His life is looking up until a coworker dies in violent fashion. It's a comic-thriller-drama, although not too funny. The comedy comes from OTT characters and quirky, Gilliam-esque cinematography amidst a colorful, trashy setting. The romance is forced and not very likable, but the movie gets better when morbid elements come into play.


A Perfect Getaway (2009) -

Killer thriller in the jungle. A gimmicky cast of characters begin to suspect one another when they hear of a killer couple on the loose. There seems to be a subtle yellow-ish post-production filter to add a humid-feeling, but it makes the scenery look less attractive than it should. Despite some audience insulting plot points & red herrings, it's enjoyable. David Twohy is one of my preferred popcorn directors.



Matchstick Men (2003) –

A professional con artist meets his 14-year-old daughter for the first time. Well made movie. Good acting, writing, camerastuffs, etc., and a fun, OTT, neurotic Nic Cage performance.
“BULLSH*T MON”



Checked out a couple of decent films this weekend.

Triangle

Smith, 2009





While clearly borrowing from the superior Spanish film Timecrimes, Triangle is still a pretty cool flick. First, it stars Melissa George, who is my future ex-wife. Secondly, while Triangle clearly doesn't handle its Schrodinger's cat material as well as Timecrimes, I still give it high marks for its brass balls ending, that pulls exactly zero punches. Sure, the thing has plenty of plot holes, but I still found myself enjoying it as I watched.
LOVE, both Triangle and Timecrimes, the latter slightly more
__________________
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it