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The Master

Every film you've watched in 2016

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Stripes directed by Ivan Reitman starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis

Man was this ever not my kind of movie.

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Valley of the Dolls: Somehow, despite being the big lover of camp cinema that I am, I have never seen this movie. I gotta say, it was worth the wait. Sure, there are a few too many musical numbers but damn if some of the corny acting isn't amped up to 11.

Jem and the Holograms, Josie and the Pussycats: Thoughts in a future Earth-2.net The Show.

Films: 10

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Enter the Dragon: Ultimately, it's an entertaining kung-fu movie. A little light on plot, and I was distracted at points, but hey, that's probably more the fault of my ADD than anything else. 

Films Watched: 13

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Enter the Dragon: Ultimately, it's an entertaining kung-fu movie. A little light on plot, and I was distracted at points, but hey, that's probably more the fault of my ADD than anything else. 

Films Watched: 13

"Man...you come right out of a COMIC BOOK!"

 

Groundhog Day directed by Harold Ramis starring Bill Murray

T'was good! This is one of those instances where the unique and inspired set-up has been done since and due to my age the effect is dulled for me personally, but it's still pretty good.

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Baby Doll - Adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play about a middle-aged cotton gin owner, Archie, who has almost been put out of business by the owner of a newer gin. He burns the gin down, thinking he's gotten away clean, but his rival isn't stupid.  While Archie's out all day getting a part, his rival sets out to seduce his 19 year old wife and get evidence that Archie burned down his gin. As it's based on a play, this is pretty much all about the acting. Karl Malden as Archie is frustrated and angry all the time, Carroll Baker has an appropriate naivete as Baby Doll, and Eli Wallach is amazing as the rival. There are some striking framing choices when it comes to the seduction, and the decrepit mansion that is Archie and Baby Doll's home adds a great deal of atmosphere. The baby trappings on Baby Doll (she sleeps in a broken down crib because their furniture gets repossessed) are clearly at metaphor for how she's not ready for marriage, but they're pretty creepy. It ends on a note I didn't expect though, which is pretty cutting.

A Kiss Before Dying - Robert Wagner plays a college student who gets his wealthy girlfriend pregnant. Since she'll be disinherited, he does the most logical thing: murders her and pursues her sister. It's a premise somebody could make a good noir out of, but the filmmaking's pretty dull and the characters aren't very interesting. Robert Wagner has the same voice he does as an older man, which makes him come across as a sociopath before you get hints that he's planning to murder his girlfriend.     

Suddenly, Last Summer - Another adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, this time about a surgeon who can get a $1 million donation for the mental hospital he works at if he performs a lobotomy on a wealthy widow's niece. It turns out the niece isn't insane, but has blocked out some of the events surrounding the death of the widow's son, which the surgeon tries to get her to recall. Again, it's an acting showcase. Katharine Hepburn has an amazing monologue about watching baby sea turtles get picked off by birds, and you can't take your eyes off Elizabeth Taylor's tortured performance as the niece. Montgomery Clift plays the surgeon, but this is post accident so he's sadly pretty stiff. 

Lost in Translation - Ian's latest Flickchart pairings reminded me that I had never watched this. It's interesting to see 13 years later, because I remember how huge it was when it came out. Now, it looks like the stereotypical Sundance movie everyone makes fun of it. It's about two sadsack well-off white people connecting in a foreign country, with the country and its people feeling like set dressing. There are some good things about it. It's an early movie in Bill Murrary's indie comeback (he's wonderful in the whiskey commercial scenes) and a breakout role for Scarlett Johansson. There are some great shot compositions of characters against various locations, from hotel rooms to a looming Mt. Fuji. But yeah, time hasn't been kind to it.

The Spirit - I love the mud fight that's a metaphor for the cyclical nature of superhero comics, Dan Lauria's great, The Spirit's origin is the best looking part of the movie, and Frank Miller's art during the credits is the best looking part of the entire thing. Everything else is ridiculous bullshit. It is perversely fascinating that a comic creator got complete creative control on a movie with a $60 million budget, and quoted two of his comics in it.

Films: 25

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Lost In Translation directed by Sofia Coppola (also writer) starring Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson.

Like Chris I remember this being pretty big in 2003 when it first came out, knowing very little about it aside from Bill Murray and ScarJo having dramatic hi-jinks in Japan. Having just finished it myself, it's one of those movies where I really wasn't seeing much of the acclaim that it's garnered either. The biggest enjoyment I got out of it was from Scarlet Johansson though, as she is fantastic. I'd recommend her for a future HAA because I keep forgetting she's been acting in films since she was a kid and has done a wide range of things. She was 18 or 19 in this movie, and was completely believable. She really did a great job and I quite liked her character.

Bill Murray...IDK. I mean he does a good job, but after watching Stripes and Groundhog Day he does sardonic and insincere so well it's hard for me to accept when he's being serious. It reminds me a lot of how I feel whenever I see RDJ act as Tony Stark when scripts call on him to be serious (which I elaborate on further in this month's CBFR episode, now on sale). I didn't get much out of him. The biggest negative for me was the whole backdrop of Tokyo. I understand that Coppola saw this as a love letter to a place she visited often as a younger woman, but it was about as insightful as any hoary old stereotype about the Japanese. One of my big turn-offs is how Asian characters are treated as background noise in most every American story ever, especially in modern shows and movies. All the Japanese people were in this were goofs that Murray could roll his eyes at and ScarJo could laugh at. It turned me off big time.

I got into it more as the film went on, and liked the ending quite a bit. Seemed a little hollow for me overall. For something described as a "comedy-drama" this wasn't funny in the slightest and the drama was pretty straightforward.

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This came out during that period when critics were routinely getting blown away by the revelation that Bill Murray could act, and as a result it was probably seriously overpraised. I liked it, but it's not the greatest thing ever by any stretch.

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Moth: feature for the fest

shorts for the fest: Brainless Killers/Grammy

Features: 19

Shorts: 6

Documentaries: 2

 

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The Marsupials-Howling III: review forthcoming

Masters of the Universe: watched it with the boys tonight after reading some He-Man comics. Haven't seen it since theatrical release. Super solid. Very reminiscent of Flash Gordon and Krull. Lundgren and Frank Langella are great. Amazing make-up and crazy designs from Moebius. Really cool little Cannon Films movie.

Features: 22

Shorts: 6

Documentaries: 2

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The Goonies: This is one of the movies I watched constantly when I was a kid. I realize the number of jokes that flew over my head but its all good. I still have fun with it.

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising: So, dumb request Hollywood: when you have the rights to a book, how about you actually try adapting it instead of taking three or four plot elements and adding them to a movie filled with bullshit? The movie itself is bad but then it fails as an adaptation also.

For that matter, they get so many decent actors (Christopher Eccleston, Frances McDormand) that it feels like they got the rug pulled out from under them as well. The kid playing the lead has enthusiasm but never really comes off as anything other than a person reading lines or a drug addict. Seriously, there's a point where the kid is going through sensory overload and he pulls off a very convincing drug addict.

Films: 12

Edited by dc20willsave

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Klute - A call girl (Jane Fonda) gets involved with a detective (Donald Sutherland) investigating a former client, and his friend's, disappearance. The movie's named after Sutherland's character, but it's Jane Fonda's movie. He's stoic throughout, except for one scene when he loses it, leaving the character and emotional weight to Fonda. You can see in the monologues in her therapist's office why she got the Oscar for Best Actress. The filmmaking's great too; there's one shot where the camera tracks backwards away from Fonda as she's narrating a fantasy for a client. The camera stops behind a corner and holds, emphasizing the voyeuristic position of the spectator. The score appropriately evokes paranoia, and there's a piece of it that had to have influenced the score for De Palma's Body Double. It also takes risks like revealing to the audience early on who the killer is and ending with a touch of ambiguity. Love 70s cinema. 

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension  - I think this a movie you have to see when you're 8 years old for it to really impact you; since I just saw it for the first time at 26, it didn't do much for me. I can appreciate the imagination, the homages to 50s sci-fi and pulps, and the "throw everything at the wall" spirit in the script, although the direction doesn't fully bring it to life. While it's always cool to see practical effects, I connect more with the horror homage movies of the 80s like Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad

Cobra - With a change in tone, this would be a great parody of 80s action movies. Since it's played straight, this is dumb as hell. It was originally 130 minutes, which was cut down to 87 minutes and includes cuts to all the violence; you can totally tell and it's really distracting. The car chase is so "pull out all the stops" (Stallone hits the NOS!) that you can't help but have fun with it. There's also a scene where Stallone says "you have the right to remain silent" before he throws a match on a gasoline covered gang member that I can't get out of my head. Unlike movies with subversive elements like Death Wish and Punisher: War Zone though, this is about a cop who kills a bunch of people in horrible ways and gets congratulated for it; it's total right wing fantasy. 

Films: 28

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Howling IV-The Original Nightmare: still trying to find the original part.

Features: 23

Shorts: 6

Documentaries: 2

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The Martian: One of the two Ridley Scott movies I actually like. In all fairness, this is a very well put-together film, and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Films Watched: 16

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Stripes directed by Ivan Reitman starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis

Man was this ever not my kind of movie.

    Groundhog Day directed by Harold Ramis starring Bill Murray

T'was good! This is one of those instances where the unique and inspired set-up has been done since and due to my age the effect is dulled for me personally, but it's still pretty good.

Lost In Translation directed by Sofia Coppola (also writer) starring Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson.

Like Chris I remember this being pretty big in 2003 when it first came out, knowing very little about it aside from Bill Murray and ScarJo having dramatic hi-jinks in Japan. Having just finished it myself, it's one of those movies where I really wasn't seeing much of the acclaim that it's garnered either. The biggest enjoyment I got out of it was from Scarlet Johansson though, as she is fantastic. I'd recommend her for a future HAA because I keep forgetting she's been acting in films since she was a kid and has done a wide range of things. She was 18 or 19 in this movie, and was completely believable. She really did a great job and I quite liked her character.

Bill Murray...IDK. I mean he does a good job, but after watching Stripes and Groundhog Day he does sardonic and insincere so well it's hard for me to accept when he's being serious. It reminds me a lot of how I feel whenever I see RDJ act as Tony Stark when scripts call on him to be serious (which I elaborate on further in this month's CBFR episode, now on sale). I didn't get much out of him. The biggest negative for me was the whole backdrop of Tokyo. I understand that Coppola saw this as a love letter to a place she visited often as a younger woman, but it was about as insightful as any hoary old stereotype about the Japanese. One of my big turn-offs is how Asian characters are treated as background noise in most every American story ever, especially in modern shows and movies. All the Japanese people were in this were goofs that Murray could roll his eyes at and ScarJo could laugh at. It turned me off big time.

I got into it more as the film went on, and liked the ending quite a bit. Seemed a little hollow for me overall. For something described as a "comedy-drama" this wasn't funny in the slightest and the drama was pretty straightforward.

Veeeeeeeeeeeery interesting.....

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