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    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2012 edited
    I wanted to kick off an up-to-date movie thread as February ended a few days ago ... It was a short month, but it seemed to go fast, so I thought a three-month thread might do better this time.

    The last movie I saw was Carnage last week, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on Shame. It's a beautiful looking movie, and after it and Hunger I can only hope McQueen and Fassbender keep collaborating for a long time to come.

    Such a film will stand or fall on the two leads, and I thought both Fassbender and Mulligan added depth and despair to their characters. This was somewhat to the detriment of the other characters, who felt a little stilted (particularly Sleazy Boss Archetype). There are layers to this film. Brendan obviously makes up for his lack of sexual control with discipline and fastidiousness elsewhere. Sissy seems to have neither - or is this too much to assume from the one sexual act we see her in?

    A few spoilerific thoughts:
    Although his sexual drive is obviously compulsive, it seems to me that Brandon's desire to have increasingly "taboo" sexual encounters (paid, exhibitionist, three-way, homosexual) as well as his inability to perform in "normal" sex comes from an association of sexual desire with taboo. Given Sissy's comment that "we aren't bad people - we just come from a bad place", it seems likely that this impulse as well as the intensity of their love/hate relationship comes from an incestuous episode. Did anyone else think this?
  1.  (10525.2)
    I'm yet to see Shame, [that sentence could come back to haunt me.]

    I did, however, just finish watching I Sell The Dead and it was a right old romp - indeed, much better than Burke & Hare. Very funny. It's low-budget was only occasionally visible and of the three twists at the end I didn't see the 2nd one coming.

    It's thanks to the February thread that I'll now show it to my nieces and nephew to encourage their ghoulish minds.

    [Edited to add: mwahahahhahahaHAAHHAhahahah!]
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2012

    Wow...Josh Brolin really does look like a young Tommy Lee Jones...
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2012 edited

    That was interesting, thanks. The taboo reading is not smthing I had thought abt. I'll follow yr lead in hiding spoilers.

    Personally I felt the erectile dysfunction was due to the emotional / reciprocal nature of the lovemaking. This guy looks to sex to distance himself from himself and others. Climax = self-annihilation. For me, it emphasised loneliness rather than an obsession with taboo.

    The 'bad place' thing. Obv, the ambiguity of that statement is never resolved, and you can read whatever you like into the characters' past history. I thought it was more likely to be an abusive parent (sexually or no), which led to these very divergent dysfunctional ways of managing relationships. Neither character really knows how a family works. I thought it may be because they didn't have a normal one growing up.


    OTM on the Sleazy Boss as well.
  2.  (10525.5)

    The executive producers really have run out of moves.

    When 3D stops working, let's shake the chairs underneath them - "YEAH! THAT'LL BRING 'EM IN!"

    I don't mean for this to turn into a 'death of 3D' discussion [because it never really lived, it's been undead since it ripped out of Jaws' stomach in the 80s (hah)] but thought that the news that Cineworld are doing this should be put here.
  3.  (10525.6)
    That depressing news aside, I know this isn't exactly contemporary but Open Culture has a list of a whole slew of Andrei Tarkovski films that have been put onto YouTube. I just recently finished Stalker, which is about three men traveling through a surreal, reality-warping post-industrial wasteland in search of a room that grants an individual's deepest desire. It's one of those fascinating films where you sit totally captivated the whole time, even though nothing is happening.

    Still haven't checked out the others, but I've heard good things about Solaris.

    Anyway, free movies. With no 3D or rumble chairs.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2012
    @ Keeper -

    That is a tremendous find, thank you for the link.

    @ Ben -

    Until that reaches my local multiplex, I'll have to try to get a taste of the excitement by vigorously bouncing up and down on my seat.
  4.  (10525.8)
    I'm thinking of having myself a Ron PearlmanATHON [were I to emphasize the MAN in that, it might sound a lot more exciting than it actually is so we get ATHON instead.]

    If I do this, I'll be doing it as a celebration of getting a decent first draft of something I'm working on done and that'll be in a week's time.

    The question is, of course, what do I include?

    A movie-marathon, for me, consists of 6-8 films maximum. [ETA: Should I include Hellboy even though I've seen it more than 6 times? This 6 times figure also troubles me.]

    How can I pick only 8 Ron Pearlman when City of Lost Children & Drive take up two slots already?

    HELP ME, Whitechapel. HELP ME!
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2012 edited
    That rumble chair nonsense reminds me of what they tried to do in the seventies with 'Sensuround' for disaster movies such as Earthquake etc.
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2012 edited
    Oh, it goes at least as far back as The Tingler:

    The Tingler is a 1959 horror-thriller film by American producer/director William Castle. It is the third of five collaborations with writer Robb White and stars Vincent Price, Darryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts, Pamela Lincoln, Philip Coolidge and Judith Evelyn.

    The film tells the story of a scientist who discovers a parasite in human beings, called a "Tingler", which feeds on fear. The creature earned its name by making the spine of its host "tingle" when the host is frightened. In line with several other Castle horror films, including the 1958 Macabre and 1959 House on Haunted Hill, Castle used gimmicks to sell the film. The most well-known for The Tingler was called "Percepto!", which featured vibrating devices in some of the theater chairs which activated in time with the onscreen action.
  5.  (10525.11)
    I saw Young Adult this week, directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, and starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. You just can't lose with those names, really. It's very good. I've done a small brain-dump here. To sum up: blackly funny, uncompromisingly uncomfortable, mean but not mean-spirited. I swear Diablo Cody will save American popular cinema from itself. I can't wait for her directoral debut, sounds very promising...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2012
    I was just thinking about the Tingler.
  6.  (10525.13)
    Saw The Rum Diary last night.

    I'd give it a proper review if I had time because it's thoroughly enjoyable. Possibly not as enjoyable as Fear and Loathing... but a better shot, better cinematographically developed film.

    Tonight I'll be on Young Adult thanks to Mercer Finn's recommendation.

    [If anyone has any reason why I shouldn't add The Ice Pirates to my Ron PerlMANATHON, let them speak now or forever hold their tongues because it looks like enjoyable 80s trash from before I was even born.]
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2012
    /Young Adult/:

    I quite enjoyed it. I'll watch Charlize Theron do just about anything, however, and a lesser actress could not have made the script work. The entire movie depended on your willingness to believe in this former Homecoming Queen's obsession - but *also* believe she was a quasi-famous ghostwriter. You don't normally find the two things together, and it required an actress of Charlize's caliber to make us swallow this rather unlikely bit.

    There's also a fairly unbelievable scene in /Good Will Hunting/ that this movie calls to mind. Nobody in a small town ever *really* says to the Smart Person, "I'm glad you got out and went on to bigger things and got free from our little lives here." I'm from a small town. Nobody ever does this. /Young Adult/ and /Good Will Hunting/ both shared this need to suspend disbelief that the people who were "left behind" in the town just realize how wicked smart the protagonist was, and were just dying for them to escape like the poor Morlocks can never do.

    That blows suspension of disbelief for me...unless a talented enough actor can carry off the monstrous self-delusion and hubris needed to make it work. Theron does manage to his this in /Young Adult/ in a way Matt Damon never could.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2012 edited
    @ Ben-

    If i was going to watch some Perlman i would have to include The Name of The Rose. Even though it was a small role for him, i found the hunchback he played to be well entertaining.

    And Cronos.
  7.  (10525.16)
    Yeah, I like Cronos as a film so that's going on there and, via your recommendation, The Name of The Rose is now on there, too.

    Thanks, flecky!
  8.  (10525.17)
    Just finished Young Adult and thought I'd pop in to report, before bed.

    blackly funny, uncompromisingly uncomfortable, mean but not mean-spirited
    - agreed there, Mercer; I squirmed quite a lot but, like Finagle said, Theron pulled it off so well that I never took my eyes off the screen because I wanted to see what her face was doing.

    I think the difficulty with the penultimate scene you mentioned, Finagle, is lessened in Young Adult because
    the girl who does it, Matt's sister, is low in confidence, adored our protagonist back in high school, and wants out of her life; I also got a little unconscious desire on her part too.
    I fully see what you mean and it does require a little suspension of disbelief but I think, in this case, the film and Theron handle it well.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Now who's got more RON PERLMAN for me?
  9.  (10525.18)
    Ice Pirates.... Totally reread something about that recently...

    I mean, I love it for Angelica Houston...

    But I was wondering about Ron Perlman and this other guy... Killjoy, who kind of ended up looking like he might be Perlman's lover in the film, then I realized it was John Matuszak (RIP) aka Sloth from Goonies. I had no idea that guy was in other movies!
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2012
    I'm trying not to have too much excitement about Ridley Scott's upcoming Prometheus, but the trailer looks so good. After the dross of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, i'd given up on the Alien franchise and anything related, but this may, hopefully, be worth going to see.

    It looks like it's going to answer some of the questions i've been pondering over ever since i saw Alien when it first came out. Fingers crossed!
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2012
    Okay, confession time. I have never read anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The only thing I knew about this movie was that some dude named John Carter got sent to Mars and presumably did not immediately die of exposure and asphyxiation. All of which meant that I could enjoy (or despise) this movie on its own terms without considering the original works.

    I liked this thing. It struck a lovely balance between not taking itself too seriously without descending into utter farce. The plot was somewhat confusing, especially the motives of the bald beings that showed up sometimes (it seemed that they could have found a less convoluted way to achieve their goals, but that's almost always true of villains in sci-fi/fantasy-adventure movies). I liked the characters. Taylor Kitsch brought charisma and a sense of human to John Carter and I liked that Lynn Collins' Dejah Thoris was her own woman with her own important goals, very much a partner and equal of Carter instead of a damsel-in-distress/prize for Carter to rescue/win. For that matter, even the CGI characters were great, especially that weird slug/bulldog thing. This movie immersed me in the setting and made me care about the characters and in doing so thoroughly entertained me. If you want a fun action adventure for kids and adults, I wholeheartedly recommend John Carter.