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Thread: What are we watching lately?

  1. #1
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    What are we watching lately?

    A movie/TV thread on a knife-nut forum? Why not? How about we share what films/tv we've been watching lately. I'll get us started with some stuff I've been watching and some brief write-ups (when I feel like it). All films are rated out of 4 stars.

    -The Critic (1994-1995): Let's see: two Simpsons writers/producers+John Lovitz as a film critic+Alf Clauson's hilariously knowing musical homages to movie genres+film buff references galore=comedy gold. I can kinda see why this bombed (how many people get Berlin Alexanderplatz and Eraserhead jokes?) but damn it was special. Choice bit: the poster for "Bob and Carol and Beavis and Butthead." Bliss.
    -Tokyo Story (1953) ****: I've never cried this much during a movie. You'll be going along just fine and then a scene hits you like mustard gas. So nuanced, so sensitive is Ozu's storytelling that a single shot can dismantle you. Untouchable.
    -T-Men (1947) ***: Tough no-nonsense noir, all enrobed in John Altman's painstaking black and white. Plus this pre-AIRPLANE bit of unintentional hilarity: "Did you ever spend ten nights in the Turkish baths looking for a man?" See it!
    -Sonatine (1998) ***: Jarring, entrancing and totally subversive "gangster" film is a singular achievement. Basically plotless, it goes from one disarming vignette to the next, pulling you in deeper. Beautifully evocative of Okinawa and its billowing beachiness. And remember, "indecent exposure is fun."
    -The Last Detail (1974): ***1/2. This made me a believer in Jack Nicholson. It's a film very much of its time, but Jack's on-the-sly humanity makes it timeless. Many unassuming, lovely moments here.
    -The Desperate Hours (1955): **
    -Moonlight (2016): ***1/2
    -Mildred Pierce (1946): ***1/2
    -All about Eve (1950): ***
    -Man with a Movie Camera (1929): ****
    -Coming To America (1988): *** John Amos nearly walks away with this flick. Tell me I'm wrong.
    -In a Year with 13 Moons (re-watch) (1978) ****: When it comes to bone-deep insights that haunt you for goddamn weeks, nobody does it like the Germans. Fassbinder spares nothing -- and I mean nothing -- to convince us how hard some people have it (and let themselves have it). The sheer hell of bottomless emptiness and blindness to one's authentic self are but two of Fassbinder's hard-boiled preoccupations. It's ugly and destructive and amounts to a psychological mudslide, but it's put on the screen with the precision of laser-cut steel. Viewing the film as Fassbinder's Francis Bacon-like attempt of relieving himself of his lover's suicide through art, the film transforms into one of the Everests of artistic catharsis. NOTE: On this third viewing of the film, I noticed a nun clutching a book of Schopenhauer. This flick comes HARD, son.
    -Paterson (2017): **
    -Dekalog ep. 1 (1988): **
    -Dekalog ep. 2 (1988): ***
    -Tyrannosaur (2011): ***
    -Au Hasard Balthazar (1966): ***1/2


  2. #2
    Senior Member TheCaptain's Avatar
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    Wow you're hard core old school. Deep selection but movies for me are an escape so I tend to go for lighter fare.

    Oh wait, you mean we can customize our signatures?

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    Yes, my tastes tend to skew towards older films. But I should point out that movies in general are a great escape, even if they're not necessarily "light." And there's still plenty of room for airy, cotton-candy type films. My main complaint is that these types of films these days are way too long. There's no excuse for a Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean movie to be 2+hours. Roger Corman used to make genre films that delivered the goods in a snappy 80 minutes.

    I must say, however, that newer films offer something classics can't: a far more sophisticated understanding of minorities and their stories. "Moonlight" is a prime example of this. I recently watched Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and was shocked at how "otherized" blacks were in that film: they were shown only in subservient roles and seen but not heard . Boy is it desperately needed to see and hear minorities' stories in films now. It's about time.

    Finally, I should also mention I cut my teeth on cult/horror/Hong Kong action films, so I like me some pure escapist fare too

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    Lately I've been on a late night tear of re-watching original Twilight Zone episodes. Man was that show ever ahead of its time on so many levels.

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    I have the Blu-Ray box of original TZ. Totally agreed that it was ahead of its time, and a real high watermark for sophisticated TV storytelling. It got people who normally wouldn't be caught dead watching "genre" stuff into those kinds of things.

    And influential in unexpected ways: it inspired a TZ pinball game, which is widely regarded as a masterpiece of pinball art. They really went to great lengths to pay homage to the show.

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    Wow that's a gorgeous pinball machine!! Wouldn't mind having that in the corner of my non-existent man cave haha.

    I grew up on the X Files and going back now re-watching the TZ, I now understand the various homages paid to this great series in numerous shows or movies along the years (the Simpsons all the way to new stuff like the movie Arrival, for instance). As you said, storytelling at its finest and allowed for anyone to appreciate 'genre' stuff. The show's format, to me, is pure genius. Not to mention the writing for the most part is really great.

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    When I do get in the mood to go back in time (warning: GEEK! alert ahead) I pull out my Babylon 5 DVD's. IMHO another show that was not given the love it deserved.

    Forget the whole space opera thing, it was extremely well written AND acted with numerous major and minor plot arcs which were weaved together in a masterpiece of storytelling. The interplay among the two actors playing (supposedly) mortal enemies was art in action.
    Oh wait, you mean we can customize our signatures?

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    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    Actually I've been rewatching a lot of TZ on YouTube and also streaming(can't remember which service). Anybody have a favorite season?

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    Not sure about entire seasons but here are some of the ones I enjoyed most lately: the Masks, Time Enough at Last, A World of his Own, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (series finale), The Monsters are due on Maple Street, and To Serve Man...just to name a few off the top.

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    I would say "The Jungle" is way up there for me as far as TZ eps go. It has such an uncanny/eerie feel. Really reminds me of some Val Lewton films. And the ending is a surrealist delight.

    Heh, Babylon Five. Never got into it, but I laughed when a Facebook friend alerted me to the alarming resemblance of Londo Mallori to Larry of the Three Stooges! Observe:





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