General Chat About Films And That

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linus
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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by linus » Sat Jan 04, 2014 18:28

Image

I watched an oldie but a goodie this afternoon, 'runaway train' from 1985, starring jon voight (midnight cowboy, deliverance, angelina jolie's dad) and eric roberts (julia's brother) as a pair of escaped convicts who end up on the titular runaway train with rebecca de mornay for company speeding toward certain death pursued by the brutal vicious prick warden of the maximum security prison they've escaped from.

the movie is bloody, violent, tense and chilly... there's a lot of snow and I needed some extra layers to keep warm just watching it... the idea for the story came from akira kurosawa (the seven samurai, kagemusha, etc), eddie bunker (author of 'no beast so fierce' and 'animal factory', mr blue in 'reservoir dogs') appears in the movie and contributed to the screenplay. danny 'machete' trejo can be seen in a prison boxing match (he's the one you'll think 'hey, that looks like machete').

with the exception of one secretary at the railway dispatcher's office, nobody in this film is in any way remotely glamorous, and none has any film star sheen or gloss, people mostly look knackered, bruised, worn down or fucked up, whether inside or outside the prison walls.

both this and 'the taking of the pelham 1,2,3' suggest the job of a railway dispatcher is up there with bomb disposal expert for stress and tension.

often referred to as the 'most underrated movie of the '80s', there's more to this film than meets the eye, the ending was breathtaking. I loved it.

worth seeking out.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sat Jan 04, 2014 19:16

Ooh, I was eyeing that up the other day as it's in the Arrow Video sale at the moment. Although since the entire Arrow collection seems to be on LoveFilm and they seem to only put out good stuff I'm considering just adding it all to my rental list.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by linus » Wed Jan 15, 2014 18:36

talking of runaway trains, I watched disney's 'the lone ranger' yesterday, the johnny depp one that came out last year

Image

it was widely panned on release and when it came out at the cinema here and was advertised on tv I rolled my eyes and tutted already primed by the media to loathe this fillum and everything it stood for

but then it cropped up in some people's end of year 'best of' lists and was compared to the 'john carter' movie, in a favourable way, that it was a big expensive movie hated on by critics on release that failed to do well at the box office but turned out to be- away from all the media hoohah- an admittedly dumb but fun and more engaging than one might expect big old romp with lots adventure, some laffs and plenty explosions

so I thought I'd give it a go

I remember I did watch the lone ranger on tv in the seventies, possibly it was in black and white and maybe it was either an old tv series or an old film serial or a series of films... maybe there were some books or comics too... summer school holidays were great for me because I was not at school, it seemed like forever and they put stuff on tv I wanted to watch, most often tarzan films or flash gordon serials plus they'd usually be some gerry anderson puppet shows, cartoons, the monkees, the banana splits, and loads of other catnip for goggle eyed geek kids like me... you'd get up, watch morning tv, then go out and re-enact everything you'd seen in the garden and around the local streets, either with pals or, and please no violins, on your own

and then 'star wars' came along and made us all sophisticated and discerning and all that other stuff seemed old and stupid- damn you george lucas, damn you twice, thrice and fourfold

aged 8 and damaged by star wars I was kind of disappointed when I was given not just a lone ranger, not just his horse silver, but also tonto... I don't remember if this was for a birthday or christmas or if my dad brought this stuff home (a possible freebie) from his job in advertising but spoiled rotten I remember being disappointed... which I feel bad about now, my dad grew up watching westerns and he'd often encourage us to watch the cowboy films, maybe this was another means of getting me stirred by all that caper

Image
Image
http://www.plaidstallions.com/gabriel/loneranger.html

at some point though, having had the things stuck up on a shelf in my bedroom, I took them down and began playing with them... they were slightly smaller than action man, a third bigger than my prized (and inherited from my older brother) fighting furies dolls and cyborg and muton figures... throw in the bionic man's maskatron figure and the tiny evel knievel doll that came with his dragster and clearly I was massively spoiled but also had the weirdest ensemble cast of characters to play with... and somehow I did and all these sometimes week long adventures made absolute perfect sense to me... the lone ranger and tonto fit right in, the only limits my giddy imagination...

http://www.plaidstallions.com/matchbox/fury.html
http://www.plaidstallions.com/denysfisher/cyborg.html

but that damn horse, the bastard just would not stand up (I think I may have dropped him once and weakend one of his hooves)... so he tended to sit out the action or, lying on the floor 'dead', give the lone ranger an excuse to have his revenge on maskatron... at some point suffering from a heavy cold I managed to sneeze all over the lone ranger and his fancy duds all covered in a massive quantity of snot nearly broke my heart... his outfit went through the wash but was never quite the same

at some point probably when we moved house (I would've been ten), the lone ranger, tonto and silver went to a jumble sale... I thought I maybe had a butch cavendish doll too but looking at the pictures at the plaid stallion site I'm not sure I did... it was all part of 'growing up', thinning out the toy box, other memories that came back looking at plaid stallion was that I, early on, removed the lone ranger's red neckerchief for being too girly and that his mask didn't last long, seem to remember it breaking

so, that was a rather self indulgent wander down memory lane but all that nostalgic reverie came back while watching this new version of 'the lone ranger'... it was those kiddy thrills magnified, the film is one big playground, it's not a short film but it has a decent enough story and is a jolly romp, depp is good and less irritating than he is as jack sparrow in those 'pirates of the carribean' films (which share the same director) and the dude who plays the lone ranger is no lunk... suspect it's a little too dark for an eight year old (the villain's are suitably unpleasant, there's some gore, some prostitutes, a lot of people die) but if I'd seen this aged 12 or so I'd have dug it the most... considerably older than that now I enjoyed it, a guilty pleasure, and by no means as bad as many critics made out, just like 'john carter' in that respect... it's unlikely disney will make any big live action adventure fantasy films like this or 'john carter' again (with the exception of the new 'star wars' franchise), which is a shame, because both are considerably better/smarter than a lot of the marvel and dc comics adaptations that have come out (which, I guess, bodes quite well for the new 'star wars' series) and piss all over the execrable indiana jones film that came out

and, dear reader, when the stirring 'william overture theme' comes in (they use it sparingly) I got all misty-eyed

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Wed Jan 15, 2014 20:01

Excellent, I enjoyed reading that! I'm looking forward too seeing The Lone Ranger for reasons similar to your first paragraph, although I don't have any nostalgic connection I'm always quite intrigued when a big blockbuster film like that hits the sweet spot of being a massive flop (gives it an enjoyable "underdog" feel) plus the critical reappraisal (hey, it might actually be pretty good)! I think it's on my LoveFilm list but if not I shall be adding it very shortly... and I think I'll give John Carter a go too.

Speaking of Arrow Video, as we were, recently, I watched "The Exterminator" the other night and thought it was great fun. A fairly typical vigilante b-movie but it really ticked all the boxes - good effects, dodgy acting, a ton of slow motion - plus it has a really unexpectedly melancholy theme song and a lead actor who doesn't look like a lead actor.

I've also just watched 'Ikarie XB-1' which is a Czech sci-fi film from the sixties that has only just been re-released. It was apparently an influence on Stanley Kubrick when he was making 2001, and it does have some very aesthetically pleasing corridors, plus a typical (yet no less charming for it) soundtrack that just sounds like one mad-professor type bashing around in a room full of modular synthesizers.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by Jay » Sun Mar 23, 2014 00:42

Do yourself a favour and rent Good Vibrations. A biopic of Terri Hooley, the founder of Good Vibrations record shop and record label in Belfast, who gave the world The Undertones. Mark Kermode awarded it film of the year for 2013. I think there are a number of contributors to this forum who release records/promote gigs who will be able to relate, but for the rest of us it's just a damn good film. I defy you not to get a bit emotional when John Peel plays Teenage Kicks.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:27

A friend asked me if I'd help out with some film reviews for his blog because he's busy writing his first book, and I said yes, and so now I have written a review of an excellent stock-car racing B-movie from 1969 called Pit Stop: http://sicblog.co.uk/home-cult-pit-stop/

It's another Arrow Video release so it's no real surprise that I really enjoyed it. Hopefully I have successfully conveyed my enjoyment via the art of writing down words, something I have never really had any confidence with whatsoever.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by linus » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:39

neat neat neat!

I really want to see 'pit stop', I really dig jack hill movies, he wrote/directed 'spider baby', 'the big doll house', 'the big doll cage', 'coffy', 'foxy brown', 'the swinging cheerleaders' and 'switchblade sisters'... I mean that's some CV, in terms of cinematic artistry combined with sheer naked enjoyment he's the don daddy of the moving picture reel, damn you bet!

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:07

Spider Baby is the only other one of his that I've seen, but I've been meaning to watch Coffy and Foxy Brown - the clips from them in the Corman's World documentary looked great. I liked Pit Stop quite a bit more than Spider Baby, but they both have really good music and Sid Haig is amazing in both of the, so yeah - Jack Hill!

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sun Apr 06, 2014 09:00

I've done another review, it's for another Arrow release, this time a weird Yakuza film from 1970, known variously as Blind Woman's Curse, Black Cat's Revenge or The Tattooed Swordswoman... whatever you call it, it's pretty good fun.
bwc_4.jpg
http://sicblog.co.uk/home-cult-blind-womans-curse/

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Wed Apr 09, 2014 23:51

Does anyone mind if I keep posting these here? I've written another review of yet another Arrow Video release, because they are the best. This was the best one yet, it's an insanely good-looking thriller with David Keith showcasing one of THE greatest mullets in all cinema.

http://sicblog.co.uk/home-cult-white-of-the-eye/

I've got Brian De Palma's 'Sisters' up next, looking forward to that!

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by graysonscolumn » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:26

Don't know if it counts, but I saw the Star Wars Holiday Special as part of a work friend's second more-often-than-annual Bad Films Night a couple of weeks ago. The pain, the pain.

The Killings At Outpost Zeta, as immortalised on the front cover of Boards Of Canada's "Twoisms" album, is slated in for next time.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by leon » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:51

a fog of ideas wrote:I managed to sneeze all over the lone ranger and his fancy duds all covered in a massive quantity of snot nearly broke my heart... his outfit went through the wash but was never quite the same
My mum hoovered up Evel Kenievel's white jumpsuit once and it was never the same. Why Evel didn't have it on, I don't recall.
"and Valley Parade is showing all its finery"

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by linus » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:29

Image
graysonscolumn wrote:The Killings At Outpost Zeta, as immortalised on the front cover of Boards Of Canada's "Twoisms" album, is slated in for next time.

gc

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:25

I've never heard of that, but it looks right up my street.

For any fans of good bad films, I'd highly recommend Gymkata. It's basically Enter the Dragon (same director and everything) but with gymnastics instead of martial arts.

This article about a terrible British film / tax scam also caught my eye the other day: Worst Film Ever: The Legend of Eldorado

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by this clump of trees » Sat Apr 19, 2014 20:13

i watched A Touch of Sin last night. it was ok, kind of slow outside of the violent parts.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by Cloudy Cat » Sun Apr 20, 2014 07:06

tompony wrote:Spider Baby is the only other one of his that I've seen, but I've been meaning to watch Coffy and Foxy Brown - the clips from them in the Corman's World documentary looked great. I liked Pit Stop quite a bit more than Spider Baby, but they both have really good music and Sid Haig is amazing in both of the, so yeah - Jack Hill!
Spider Baby is way out there. Reminds me of the sort of films the Scala put on when it was polluting the world with prurient and pockmarked celluloid.

I finally got to see Hitchcock's Suspicion. It walks a fine balance between comedy and suspense. Basil Radford plays himself which is always reassuring, that is the part of the bumbling Englishman, it's as if someone gave a Wodehouse book a good shake and out he fell. Cary Grant plays the grown-up child and Joan Fontaine the nurturing motherly type. The clue to the film's direction is neatly framed when Grant and Fontaine first meet and she's reading a book on child psychology. It's a little Oedipal!

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by Dan » Thu Apr 24, 2014 00:40

I don't think I've seen Suspicion. If I have I should watch it again, clearly.

I did watch Lifeboat today, though. By coincidence I also watched All Is Lost, which is an hour and a half of Robert Redford in a lifeboat, earlier this week.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sun Apr 27, 2014 17:49

I've done a couple more reviews!

Brian De Palma's Sisters, which is bloody brilliant, one of his best films out of the ten or so that I've seen: http://sicblog.co.uk/home-cult-sisters/

And Gregory's Girl, which I'd somehow managed to make it into my thirties without ever seeing before. It's lovely. Hooray for reviewing things! http://sicblog.co.uk/home-cult-gregorys-girl/

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by Dan » Fri May 09, 2014 09:50

Sisters is the best De Palma.

What do any of you know about these films: http://networkonair.com/shop/113-the-british-film-promo ?

The only one I've seen is The Final Programme. Any particular recommendations appreciated.

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Re: General Chat About Films And That

Post by tompony » Sat May 10, 2014 10:43

I'm not sure it quite topped Blow Out for me, but it was very close.

Your link doesn't work for me, I just get a page saying "This category is currently unavailable."

I'm covering the Derby Film Festival this week, here's my write-up of the first day. It was a great start! Don't suppose anyone here is planning to attend any of it? I'll be around for all of both weekends plus the Slint documentary on Tuesday night if so. Really looking forward to the Q&A with John Hurt later, hoping I can ask him about the (seemingly lost) version of Romeo and Juliet that starred him plus hundreds of Italian feral cats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo.Juliet

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