Discussion in 'Community' started by Violent Violet Menace, Nov 17, 2017.
This was pretty cute ...
Doctor Zhivago. This is a very long movie about one of those star-crossed love affairs between a man and woman who keep losing and finding each other across the Russian Revolution. It’s David Lean, so it’s wonderfully shot and has a fantastic cast, but unlike something like Lawrence, it didn’t feel like it had enough energy to overcome the ponderous dragginess of its over-extended storyline. It is handsome, respectable, admirable, and interminable. For a film about a passionate love affair, it exudes little passion, seeming more interested in how often its characters can crisscross back and forth into each other’s paths.
Enter Laughing. Carl Reiner’s directorial debut, it’s based off his semi-autobiographical novel about a young would-be actor. It’s pretty hilarious, following his talentless but eager alter ego through a gig in a tiny theater and surrounding him with hilarious supporting characters. The whole thing is just a blast, Reiner’s magnificent sense of humor channeled through a warm, silly story.
Flowers of Youth (2018)
An animated feature film on Netflix consisting of three independent stories taking place in China. The first story is a about a young man who reflects back on his life over his passion for a special blend of rice noodles. The second, which was the one I liked the best, tells the story of a fashion model coming to grips with how far she's come all the while taking care of her little sister. The third showed a young man living in Shanghai who stumbles on an old cassette tape made by a girl he was friends with back in middle school of whom he secretly had feelings for but never told her. The movie was made by a Chinese studio but has been dubbed in English. I'd recommend it.
Would this, perchance, be another TCM recording?
You take that back. It's the best version of Merlin, you fool of fools!
"A dream to some...A NIGHTMARE TO OTHERS"
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Viewing Experience: Streaming (Prime Video)
I did not realize this before watching this film, and you may not either, that this is likely the most prolific horror franchise ever made. There are around 12 sequels, prequels, spin-offs and remakes to and of this film, possibly more. And that’s not even counting The Conjuring series and its spin-offs, which also anchors their franchise’s mythology in the real-life events this film was based on.
Also…What. The. Actual. Frack. This is a 2-hour film that spends 30-40 minutes dealing with a subplot that not only never intersects with the rest of the film, but, somewhat hilariously, goes out of its way to prevent them from interacting (“just missed them”, static-filled phone connections, sudden health issues, conspiracy cover-ups and other distractions, etc).
As a result, you actually do get the feeling like you’re watching two different movies at the same time- but you assume they’re going to converge at some point. So when it becomes clear that is not going to happen, you can’t help but feel extra frustrated. It very much is not a film that needed to be 2-hours long. It’s also a film that just abruptly ends, with no real epilogue or denouement. Something the film needed, but they instead chose to devote so much of the runtime to an unrelated subplot.
The film is a long, slow burn. It doesn’t seem entirely focused. There are things like the resemblance between certain characters that is never answered, or even the big question of if it is the house or land itself that is bad, or if it is inhabited by a single entity or several; nor are the goals or motivations of the evil forces made clear- on one hand, they want the family to leave, on the other they want them to stay forever, so which is it (beezel)’bub?
There’s also a likely Omen/Damien inspiration angle here with the daughter and her imaginary friend, but it doesn’t really go anywhere.
I actually would love to see a comedy take on this, because, for awhile, it seemed like there was a structure of a series of encounters with the house repelling various religious people trying to visit the house. First a priest, then a nun, then a babysister with cross earrings. There’s definite potential in a Home Alone-Meets-Amityville premise.
The casting is interesting, though- Margot Kidder in particular I haven’t seen in much outside of Superman, so that was refreshing. You even get brief roles by both the Save the Clocktower Lady and Strickland (didn’t that guy ever have hair?!) from BTTF.
The friend and his wife who are there mainly for exposition delivery also introduces some weird dynamics, because they make it seem like this guy is learning about his wife’s sensitivity to the paranormal just now when they’ve already been married for quite some time.
The deep red exposure shots are memorable, but are used somewhat randomly, so you never really descern a pattern or purpose and they end up feeling more like a left-over experimentation from the 60’s/early 70’s. Audio-wise, there’s a lot of ringing phones in this movie. That’s not a big deal but I just find it really annoying. But the main score’s theme of soft choir singing is somewhat notable.
There’s also a weird scene involving a dropped cross, a mirror and the line “Don’t touch me!” which doesn’t really make any sense in context. I was left wondering what that was all about. Oh, and they set up the use of an axe for, like the entire film, then when he has several scenes where he could have actually used it, he no longer has it, which is kinda funny and contrived.
And speaking of the axe- the main character stores the axe in random logs, trees and dock posts throughout the film. The film only spans about 3 weeks or so. At the rate he’s damaging wood around his property, there’d be nothing left after a year or two.
To the films credit, the actual climax is pretty good, if underdeveloped. There’s a sense of urgency missing from the rest of the film. And I can see, based on that, why it would have left an impression back then, as well as spawn so many sequels.
It’s not a film you need to return to- and it could have definitely been better. But it’s not terrible, it’s just been eclipsed by more modern haunted house films like Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring. I am going to add it to my list of films to re-edit one day, because you could probably make a pretty tight 1-hour film out of this movie.
Random fun fact: This was the highest grossing independent film for over a decade, until the release of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in 1990. Cowabunga!
Her other notable movies in the genre: Black Christmas and The Reincarnation of Peter Proud. Black Christmas must have left some kind of mark. There's a remake with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and then Sophia Takal's 2019 re-imagining with Imogen Poots. There's a masterpiece buried somewhere in this concept, apparently, just waiting for the right team to uncover it. Has not happened yet.
Yeah, he's pretty cool in those big dramatic moments, and he really delivers on the charm of making (better than Mirren's Morgana does, IMO), but in normal conversations he just strikes me as unstable. Which is not what I look for in a royal advisor.
Amityville Horror was pretty creepy. I grew up about 20 miles from Amiltyville, NY. (They were in our conference in sports) The general feeling around town was that it was bs. The murders happened there, but that was it.
Everyone has a murder house in their neighborhood. I almost tried to buy a murder house once.
Living on the Island all my life, I've been to the Amityville area a handful of times but haven't visited the house. Obviously more than 40 years later, it's for the most part unrecognizable from the movie. I've always been more interested in the historical facts of what happened in the house than the interpretations from the supernatural activity experienced by the Lutz family. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family. That's the most significant story in my opinion.
Hard to believe DeFeo is still alive after what he did, but this is NY we're talking about. https://www.biography.com/news/the-real-amityville-horror-facts
Yes. From their night of Reiner movies after his death.
They Shall Not Grow Old I like the style of using exclusively firsthand accounts from soldiers and just going by their personal experiences rather than the wider narrative of World War I. However, I was not impressed by the "enhanced" footage. I am guessing it was a conscious decision to not use true color; I think the washed out look is uglier than if it were black and white. The framerate smoothing also caused a lot of weirdness, including men with faces straight out of The Haunting of Bly Manor. I didn't think the sound mixing was great either and it sounded distractingly inauthentic. Overall I felt that it was gimmicky and mostly unnecessary.
I thought the footage looked pretty amazing in theaters. Maybe they lose something when it's compressed down to 2D, or more noticeable on a smaller screen? Considering what they had to work with, stuff like the framerate enhancement was pretty amazing.
I'm pretty certain I've driven past the house used in the movie at some point (they weren't allowed to film at the actual house in NY, so it was filmed in NJ, near Toms River and Point Pleasant, at a house dressed up to look like the actual house). It just didn't have much significance to me at the time because I hadn't seen these movies yet (was vaguely aware of them) and The Conjuring films hadn't come out yet.
Were the Conjuring films related to the Amityville Horror?
Watching this in a theater with the 3D prints was one of the best decisions I ever made as a film buff. I hear there is no 3D blu-ray version available, so now nobody will ever get to see it again in its original theatrical presentation.
That's a shame- but I suspect it is only a temporary scenario. Either a 3D BD will get released one day, or they'll release it for viewing on a VR platform, as those can playback 3D content.
Yes, but not the specific Amityville film franchise. The main paranormal investigators of The Conjuring films are based on their realworld counterparts whose reports on the events in Amityville inspired the film (or, rather, the story the film was based on). Lorraine's backstory in Conjuring involves the Amityville events and we get to see some of those events in the prologue to the second Conjuring film (and, IIRC, might have been where they first seeded The Nun character prior to that spin-off film). I believe they've been hinting at a future film one day telling the full scope of those events.
Ah ok. Again, the supernatural aspect of the Amityville story was just more for entertainment purposes to me and didn't really intrigue me otherwise. I haven't seen the sequel movies; and the remake in the early 2000s just took all the supernatural aspects to a new level with special effects.
Our friends went and told our other friends how we indoctrinated them with a quasi-feminist spaghetti western about a vampire wearing her khimar, who skateboards around a backdrop of statements on addiction and gender identity in a hostile environment... all spoken in Farsi... and we were asked to lend it out but we, instead, invited them over and watched it again. Which was not at all laborious.
In the boredom of covid I googled up "Horror Movies 1964" and I have been stepping through them, starting with Onibaba a week ago, I've gotten up to 2000 Maniacs.
A town in the deep south has a 100 year anniversary, and lures in passing cars of Northerners to be the centre of the celebrations, which involve plenty of fun low budget gruesomeness. Mannequin limbs covered in red paint are thrown about as they each are killed by quite silly means. Good fun early torture porn.
They had a ball making this.
And there is a twist ending that will make you say "That's kind of stupid. It doesn't make sense."
The Warrens are admitted frauds are they not? They are on record for telling the people in Conneticut that they could be millionaires if they added possession to their story.
Pictures you interviewing potential royal advisors and getting to the point with your broadsword.
Nicol Williamson’s Merlin... That’s all I will say about his interpretation.
My wife or I reference the barrel scene at least once per month in context to something or other we are invited to be involved with.
Watched Heredity. The movie crashed my TiVo with about 20 min to go (amusingly during a shock moment). Finished it on my computer. Was gonna do a normal review of it but it looks like I'll be dealing with tech issues and potential drive replacement on that DVR so, the short version: very, very good. Starts out as one thing that covers a lot of ground in the first hour, then, for a few moments, you think it's going to lose you, before it gets weirder and more disturbing in a very good way.