What are we watching lately?

Discussion in 'The Off Topic Room' started by oval99, Jun 22, 2017.

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  1. Jun 22, 2017 #1

    oval99

    oval99

    oval99

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    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. Jun 22, 2017 #2

    TheCaptain

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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.
     
  3. Jun 22, 2017 #3

    oval99

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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 :doublebanghead:. 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:bliss:
     
  4. Jun 22, 2017 #4

    StonedEdge

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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.
     
  5. Jun 22, 2017 #5

    oval99

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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.
     
  6. Jun 22, 2017 #6

    StonedEdge

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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.
     
  7. Jun 22, 2017 #7

    TheCaptain

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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.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2017 #8

    labor of love

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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?
     
  9. Jun 22, 2017 #9

    StonedEdge

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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.
     
  10. Jun 22, 2017 #10

    oval99

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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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jun 22, 2017 #11

    labor of love

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    To serve man is my fave so far!!! Nightmare at 20,000 feet is pretty nerve wracking, it's like using a carbon knife, then setting it down only to watch it patina and rust, but unable to clean it.
     
  12. Jun 22, 2017 #12

    oval99

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    **SPOILER: "It's a cookbook! It's a cookbook!"

    Jeez, I thought we'd be able to avoid knifey stuff on this thread :spitcoffee:
     
  13. Jun 25, 2017 #13

    DamageInc

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    The last six months I've seen the following:

    Arrival
    Hell or High Water
    Heaven's Gate
    Green Room
    Once Upon a Time in America
    The Neon Demon
    Dirty Work
    The Handmaiden
    Get Out
    The Chaser
    The Host
    Mother
    The Wailing
    Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me
    The Straight Story
    The Witch
    Wake in Fright
    The King of Comedy
    Sorcerer
    Encounters at the End of the World
    The Big Sleep
    Yojimbo
    Hard Boiled
    The Drop
    Fitzcarraldo
    Aguirre: The Wrath of God
    Jagten (The Hunt)
    Festen (The Celebration)
    World's Greatest Dad
    The Fog of War
    Enemy
    Irreversible
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams
    Chinatown
    Tim's Vermeer
    A bunch of Louis Theroux docs
    Deadwood
    Fargo Season 3 (kinda lackluster)
    Better Call Saul Season 3 (better than Breaking Bad at this point, not that it's a high bar or anything)
    Rewatching The Sopranos for the millionth time
    Twin Peaks: The Return (call for help)
     
  14. Jun 25, 2017 #14

    labor of love

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    Just rewatched season 6 of GOT in preparation for the new season.
     
  15. Jun 25, 2017 #15

    Keith Sinclair

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    When I moved threw away DVD set of Lance Armstrong's 5 tour de France Wins. :O
     
  16. Jun 25, 2017 #16

    Keith Sinclair

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    He won 7 all together all stripped.

    Few old Movies watched on TV lately that I liked

    Family Plot 1976
    Life Stinks 1991 Mel Brooks
    The Grifters 1990
    Giant 1956
     
  17. Jun 26, 2017 #17

    mauichef

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    Dont do films...I can't stay awake long enough.
    TV.....
    Forged in Fire
    Orphan Black
    Doctor Who
    Fargo
    Chopped Junior and regular.
    Bizarre Food
    Planet Earth 2
    Happy Valley
    Pretty much anything on Acorn or Brit TV
    Formula One
    IndyCar
    Tour de France starting next weekend...oh yeh!
    Football...the real one not that American stuff ;-)
     
  18. Jun 26, 2017 #18

    labor of love

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    Aliens covenant...anyone?
     
  19. Jun 26, 2017 #19

    panda

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    documentary on le mans race on amazon prime
     
  20. Jun 26, 2017 #20

    TheCaptain

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    Genius on National Geographic channel about Albert Einstein.
     
  21. Jun 26, 2017 #21

    oval99

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    Ooh lotsa good stuff here. Some comments on others' viewings:

    -The Grifters. Saltydog, did you like it? I couldn't get into it, but Annette Benning has never been better.
    -Giant. Wanted to see that one for years. Considered one of Dean's finest. Would you recommend Saltydog?
    -Alien: covenant. I'm wary of this, as I don't like reboots/origins/sequels. Plus I treasure the original Alien, and am afraid this would besmirch its legacy. But if you recommend it, Laboroflove, I might take a flier on it.

    -Special mention to DamageInc (Metallica reference I presume?) -- you're a serious film buff! A lotta stuff to sink my teeth into, but here's what caught my eye:
    -Wake in Fright. I really, really wanted to like this movie but for some reason I couldn't quite get into it. It was a movie of moments for me. But what moments! None more disturbing than that "kangaroo hunt" scene (YOU KNOW the one). And has Donald Pleasance been better?
    -Heaven's Gate -- is it really as interminable as everyone says? It is it the ultimate in self indulgence?
    -The Big Sleep -- love this one. Hawks is on fire with this. Zip-bang plotting (who cares if you can't follow it?), co-written by William Faulkner and starring a swelling Bogart and Bacall falling madly in love. What could go wrong? Nothing, nothing at all. Even if you don't like "old movies" I recommend this film to everyone. And Martha Vickers will make any man thank god he has eyes.
    -Sorcerer -- is this the Friedkin remake of WAGES OF FEAR? If for nothing else I'd watch it for the Tangerine Dream soundtrack (their first ever, IIRC). Trivia: a certain scene in the "Mr. Plow" episode of The Simpsons paid direct homage to a scene in this film, right down to the Tangerine Dream-esque score (courtesy of the immortal Alf Clausen).
    -The King of Comedy -- a great change of pace for Scorcese. And Sandra Bernhard's manic bravura performance dispels (at least for this film) the common belief that Scorsese didn't know how to write roles for women. She's dynamite.
    -Hard Boiled -- the best gunplay action film ever made. Period. I've watched this film countless times for almost twenty years. Seen it on the big screen, seen it on VHS, seen it on DVD. Shown it to countless people. They are all astonished. A tour-de-force for Woo and sadly not since matched.
    -Fitzcaraldo -- a great but demanding film. I'd love to see the documentary on this, apparently the most disastrous production since APOCALYPSE NOW.
    -Aguirre -- always wanted to see this. I want the Popul Vuh soundtrack!
    -Sopranos -- couldn't get into this show, but considering it was created by David Chase, the man behind some of my favorite Rockford Files episodes, it may warrant a second look.
     
  22. Jun 26, 2017 #22

    kevpenbanc

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    Any sci fi fans out there ?
    I came across The Expanse recently, one of the best sci fi series I've seen.

    Other than that, with kids at the age that mine are, it's mainly been Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Shaun the Sheep, Thomas and Friends etc for the last 6-7 years.
     
  23. Jun 26, 2017 #23

    LifeByA1000Cuts

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    @Damage I think BCS is miles ahead of BB regarding photography/script..
     
  24. Jun 26, 2017 #24

    DamageInc

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    Pynchon reference, actually. Though it is a poorly thought out one as the Metallica song is much more obvious.

    Heaven's Gate is the epitome of self-indulgent film making. Worth a watch just for that alone.

    The Sopranos is the greatest achievement in the history television. The first season is easily the weakest, but still has great moments. The last three seasons are absolute masterpieces in writing and character study. I've seen it all the way through maybe 8 or 9 times by now. Gets better with every viewing.

    Korean cinema has been off the charts lately. The Wailing and The Handmaiden were both great. Still have yet to find anything that gripped me more than Memories of Murder.

    Breaking Bad might take the cake for most overrated show ever if it wasn't for Game of Thrones. BB just doesn't hold up at all on repeat viewings. Way too dependent on cliff hangers and "sudden" strokes of genius from Walt. Better Call Saul as a character drama is miles ahead. I cared more about the conflict between Saul/Jimmy and Chuck more than any plot point in BB.
     
  25. Jun 26, 2017 #25

    Keith Sinclair

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    Watched that too. Didn't know much of his personal history, liked that they had some of the other famous scientist of that time period.

    Giant is entertaining Texas big.
    Life Stinks never even heard of that flic. bad reviews I thought it was great laughed a lot. It hits home Honolulu has the highest per capita homeless population.
     
  26. Jun 26, 2017 #26

    StonedEdge

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  27. Jun 26, 2017 #27

    limpet

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    I tried to look at it, but it looked too cheap imo. Unfortunately, BSG has set a high standard. I've read 3 or 4 of the Expanse novels, so that meant the story couldn't grab me as much.
     
  28. Jun 26, 2017 #28

    limpet

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    I used to watch a lot of movies on my home cinema system. Perhaps 2-3 movies I'd never seen each week. But then I got tired of all bad movies. There are a lot of them out there ;)

    Nowadays, I rent new movies now and then. When it comes to purchases, I've started to look back at the "orginals" and "classics". I've even looked at some silent movies. I like the old movies, they know how to tell a story. To me, it feels like a lot of new movies today lack in script, screenplay, editing. It sometimes feels like all the talented people has moved to TV, where they get the chance to develop a real story.

    When I purchase films today they usually are old cineast classics or cult classics. I tend to buy a lot of blu-rays from Criterion, Eureka and Arrow.

    https://www.criterion.com/
    https://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/
    http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/
     
  29. Jun 26, 2017 #29

    limpet

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    Some movies I can watch again and again. One of them is Spione by Fritz Lang from 1928. Watched it last week, actually. If your want to take the leap and watch a silent movie, I think this is one of the best to start with. Exciting spy thriller and also very romantic, with a strong pair of male & female protagonists. It made me discover Gerda Maurus, her screen presence is incredible.

    https://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/spione-spies

    [​IMG]
    Gerda Maurus (1903 - 1968)
     
  30. Jun 26, 2017 #30

    oval99

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    So much great stuff here. Some comments:

    I'll have to think twice about The Sopranos then; that's high praise. NOTE: If you want to see a fascinating dry run for what Chase would do with the Sopranos, watch both parts of the "Protect and Serve" episode of The Rockford Files (season 3), and especially the follow-up episode "The Man Who Saw the Alligators" from season 5. "Protect and Serve" sets up the premise where Rockford puts away a mafia member, and then he takes revenge in "Man who saw the alligators." "Alligators" gets into the minds of the mafioso types and smacks of the Sopranos. I recommend watching The Rockford Files in general; it's got a great cynical sense of humor and James Garner is such a delight to watch. He's the Cary Grant of the small screen.

    This reminds me of what film critic David Thomson said about cutting edge cinema today; so much of it is made in Asia. I've heard very good things about Hsiao Hsien Hou's films. People who think no good movies get made anymore aren't looking hard enough.

    So glad you enjoyed! The "twist" ending isn't as tacky as some of the others in the TZ. It's just deeply unnerving and surreal.

    A ton of good points there. I largely just "showroom" most of my viewing now via streaming (Netflix/iTunes/Vudu/Filmstruck) and only if I really love a film will I buy it. I've also swung back to a lot of classics. One thing that stands the test of time with them is the incredible writing. And the editing. A filmmaker told me that Hollywood has forgotten how to edit ever since those nonlinear editing decks came into fashion in the '80s. Now the editing is so rat-tat-tat that it's more like strobing. There's no sense of movement and rhythm (or even coherence -- see the Bourne sequels for that). Look at an old Hollywood musical: the camera stays mostly still so you can see THE ACTORS MOVE, not the camera. Hong Kong beat Hollywood at its own game in the late 70s-90s by understanding that the camera should stay still to allow the martial artists to steal the show. I remember reading about how disappointed Jackie Chan was when he came to the US for the first time to shoot THE PROTECTOR. He was so excited to work in Hollywood, the land of the musicals that he loved as a kid. He was so disappointed when he realized how far Hollywood had fallen, and realized that Hong Kong filmmakers made the best movies.

    And I also agree with you that the best American movies are actually TV shows now. Who'd a thunk it?
     

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