What Films Have You Been Watching? October 2021

Are we readyyyyy for spooooky seasooooon? (Other genres may be available)

See @1101010 i put it in the right category this time

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September

Watched: 10 (all new)
Best: Princess Mononoke, 9/11: One Day In America
Worst: Gunpowder Milkshake

Nice one.

We just watched The Pacifier as picked by my daughter.

A really dreadful film. Would not recommend at all. Frivolous use of the Nazism for a joke, orientalism and just all-round baffling script choices that made me assume most of it was written by people who were high.

So my horror fan eldest and I have a film night tonight. Thought about starting them off on George a Romero but not sure which of the dead film might work best. Not helped by the fact I can’t really remember which is which…

Night is the first one right? But I think it’s a bit rough around the edges and maybe Dawn would be better? That’s the one in the mall right? Been so long since I’ve seen them… is it worth watching them in order?

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Yeah Night is the first one, I think it’s great but it’s in b&w and has a big jarring orchestral score so I think it’s probably not a good beginner.

Dawn is the shopping mall one and is the best.

Day of the Dead is from the early 80s and is the one about the soldiers in the middle silo. It’s really good also but I think Dawn pips it for me.

Land of the Dead is from… 2005ish? I think it got a mix reaction but I really liked it. It’s a full on post apocalyptic feudal society thing with really unsubtle politics and Christopher Lee I think being a great hammy bad guy.

Of note maybe is Zack Syder’s remake of Dawn, which is genuinely a lot of fun. Part responsible for a lot of modern genre tropes, and is shot through with a lingering hopelessness that really works for it.

Ignore anything else, either the last two Romero or other remakes.

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There is also the 90s colour remake of Night… directed by effects master Tom Savini. It’s well over a decade since I saw it but from memory I think it was a largely shot for shot remake, sort of like Van Sant’s Psycho (minus the masturbation)

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Just watched Dawn of the Dead

Was a really fun watch although I don’t think my eldest was that impressed by the general jankiness of it which I thought was part of the charm. They have to write about Sean of the Dead for their film studies a level though so I think it’s very useful for them to know what is being parodied/referenced!

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Finished September with:

Adaptation (Netflix) 4/5
:writing_hand: Crafted so well with the overlapping meta layers helping to beautifully blur the edges of fact and fiction.

A Trip To The Moon (YouTube) 4.5/5
:full_moon_with_face: Amazing to witness some of the first glimpses of imagination being committed to film. You can’t help but transmit your mind back to 1902 and hop in the shoes of someone witnessing this…furthering this cycle of imagination.

The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (BBC2) 4.5/5
:older_man:t2: Had to digest this in chunks as the timeline was seemingly going at half speed…that being the only negative. The script fizzes with wit and is devilishly prickly. Oddly rough around the edges with it almost feeing stage like at some moments. Quietly epic with the sprawling story, some wondrous moments of cinematography and uniquely brilliant depictions of passing time.

Gangster Squad (Netflix) 2/5
:smoking: Didn’t really deserve the full kicking it got, but still worthy of a few jabs to ribs. Incredibly cliche and dot to dot, but everyone looks gorgeous and the action has some inventive touches.

Started October with:

Dracula (Talking Pictures TV) 3/5
🧛‍♂️ Heavyweight performances by Cushing and Lee. With the former being shot and framed so well. Still prefer the Herzog depiction over this and the ‘31 Legosi. The music really does help with the atmosphere.

Green Room (Channel 4) 4/5
:microphone: A really fresh take that gets the balance of so many things right. The brutality and intensity are off the charts. Just sneaks a 4 and think it will get a spooky season rewatch in a few years.

Alien (Blu-ray) 5/5
:egg: Don’t allow myself many rewatches, but will always make room for this when October rolls around. Top 5 all time.

Evil Dead 2 (DVD) 4/5
:fu:Once again you can see every dollar was squeezed and stretched within an inch of its life. Such a unique craft on show with tongue so firmly in cheek that it’s almost boring through. Campbell goes alone (and through the absolute ringer) doing his best Buster Keaton impression at times, with the barmy ideas and free flowing camera elevating this from other schlocky B movies.

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I really really hated Green Room haha. Think Patrick Stewart is dreadful in it

Yeah wasn’t what I was expecting. Thought he was going for a reassuring / cool / calm / collected (Nazi) head amongst the chaos.

Recently watched:

The Guilty - Jake Gyllenhaal Netflix thriller where he’s a police officer working as a 911 emergency operator. He gets endless pointless calls but then there’s a call from a woman saying she’s been abducted by her husband and is currently in the car with him.
Didn’t realise until about 30 minutes in that this was remake of a brilliant Danish film I saw a while back.
As with the original all the film takes place in the phone operator room and consists mainly of the main lead on the phone to someone.
This one is good but found the Danish one to be better as the phone room and set wasn’t showy and just a drab office with not much tech stuff. The Danish one is definitely worth watching and is an 8/10. If you can’t find the original this remake is good too and is a 7/10.

Till Death - Megan Fox’s husband is an arsehole. She finds herself chained to him one morning after he’s shot himself. A fun stupid film that works pretty well if you’re happy with a premise and plot that makes no sense. I was fine with that and turned into a good effective 90 minute cat and mouse horror/thriller. Fox was pretty good as the action hero in Rogue last year and was pretty good in this too. 7/10.

No One Gets Out Alive - Touted as an immigration horror on some reviews. An undocumented Mexican woman tries to find work and a place to stay in Cleveland. The film attempts long periods of creepy followed by a scare but never comes over. Liked the film’s social aspect of her unfortunate situation but overall a dull horror. 3.5/10.

Seance - Shit horror. Avoid. 1.5/10.

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The Green Knight - A real visual treat with some amazing cinematography. Easily the most memorable film I’ve seen in the cinema this year but it won’t be to everyone’s taste.

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Saw it yesterday too, and so so glad I managed to catch it at the cinema. What a trip! Loved it. Just makes me so thankful that things like that get made (especiallu when all the other screens were full of Marvel/Bond - not to be dismissive of their value, but I just mean in terms of originality).

Devoured loads of writing about it when I got home too. Some really interesting interviews with Lowery about how and why he adapted certain parts of the legend.

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Watched Dave Made a Maze yesterday, and can confirm that Dave made a maze. A bit like how a House of Leaves adaptation would be if Michel Gondry was in charge. 7.5/10

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Surprisingly good film.

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The Unbelievable Truth - had a really weird feel this, almost like Twin Peaks in a way. Good film imo

The Guilty - pointless remake. Whack the original on or The Call

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Watched the story of Ricky last night. Utterly insane live action manga Kung fu gore fest. It might possibly be the best worst film ever made. 1 or 5 out of 5.

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I really like most Hal Hartley films and love just about anything Adrienne Shelly has been in. Always find it hard to watch her nowadays knowing the circumstances of her death.

Waitress despite being a successful musical still isn’t considered the brilliant modern classic that it is.

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Recently watched:

The Last Temptation Of Christ - Hadn’t seen this before. The length at around 160 minutes put me off. Didn’t enjoy it. Not what I was expecting not that I knew what to expect. Probably not accurate to The Gospels as I don’t think it was mentioned anywhere in scripture that Judas had dyed red hair that was softly permed; maybe it was in one of the lost Gospels.
As an atheist it’s made me go back and read some of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s History Of Christianity. Enjoyed what I could understand from that book as it’s very heavy going and literally very heavy too. Glad the film pissed off the religious when released but I found it a bit boring. 5/10.

Black Widow - A good action film. Florence Pugh rightly almost gets equal billing with Scarlett Johansson here. Together with their mum and dad they try to take down a Bond type villain in Ray Winstone.
Dodgy Russian accent all round and a lot of the comedy aspects don’t work well but it’s a fun watch. 7.5/10.

Drunk Bus - A 20 something nice geeky guy slacker drives a campus route bus around in Ohio all night. He begins an unlikely friendship with a bloke who’s the total opposite to him; he’s a big burley bloke who’s an extrovert with face piercings and face tattoos.
Nicely done and despite the fact that there’s nothing groundbreaking and just treads old ground it does it well. A nice feel good film and worth checking out. 7.5/10.

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Was really glad of all the action and noise after the scene where they discuss periods (and more) because obviously my 8 yr old daughter was asking me what they were talking about and it’s not really something you can easily get into whispering in her ear in a cinema in the middle of everything.

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