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  1.  (11114.1)
    The long Labor Day weekend gave me a chance to catch a couple of films in the theaters.

    Lee Daniels' The Butler was not a story about backstage gossip about the White House's occupants. It focused more on using one family to tell the story of America's civil rights struggle. What I liked about it was the peppering of small details illustrating the evils of "keeping blacks in their place." Making insulting remarks about the race of one's waiter and expecting that the same waiter still provide professional service speaks to a level of astounding disrespect that made me sympathize with the film's protagonist.

    Blackfish depicted a different form of disrespect courtesy of SeaWorld. The documentary argued that the orcas kept in captivity for public performance are slowly being driven insane by their decades-long confinement. The orca trainers didn't fare any better, as the film shows that there's been a history of trainers being maimed or even killed by orcas...and SeaWorld's usual response has been to cover up the incidents by such tactics as blaming the trainers. SeaWorld, which refused to appear in the film, has unsurprisingly attacked it for alleged inaccuracy.

    But the most entertaining film I saw this weekend was Pasolini's adaptation of The Canterbury Tales. Yes, it's a decades-old film. But depictions of the hypocrisies of the pious and lots of sex and full frontal nudity will never go out of style. As an added bonus, seeing future Doctor Who Tom Baker briefly naked and sporting a pornstache is worth a head-spinning moment in itself.
  2.  (11114.2)
    I haven't heard a Soup Dragon's song since I was in my 20's, but seeing the "The World's End" changed that this weekend. The movie was a lot of fun. It also captured that weird feeling going back to your home town as an adult which I did recently. Things look familiar, but alien at the same time. I thought the moment when
    the opening of The Sisters of Mercy song "This Corrosion" started playing was hysterical.
    I could tell only a few of us in the audience knew what that was immediately (those people were probably over 35 as well).
  3.  (11114.3)
    In chronological order:

    Saw Elysium - good effort, nice heart, poor execution.

    Saw Upstream Colour - grating, poetic, tactile, beautiful, ultimately a film I can't fall in love with no matter how much I want to and no matter how much I think about it. It suffers itself.

    Saw Holy Motors - the best film I've seen in months. Certainly out of the three over the past week. Even Kylie Minogue put in a good turn. SEE IT and I dare you to tell me you didn't enjoy it.
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2013
     (11114.4)
    What do you get when you mix one dysfunctional family, three masked killers and one violent Australian woman? You're Next, a horror comedy which brings the horror and the comedy.
  4.  (11114.5)
    Fifthing the World's End, especially for Simon Pegg's performance as a charismatic jerk and Nick Frost's switching from repressed dignified mode to utter Hulk-out.

    Also caught a couple of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Circle of Life films: The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales. Both had many things which made cinematic life good: equal opportunity frontal nudity, unexpected fart jokes, and hilarious tweakings of religious authority. Favorite and still true line: "People make lots of promises to God that they don't intend to keep."
  5.  (11114.6)
    Watched Kill List. Hoooohhhoho-boy, now that was a nice little romp!
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      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2013
     (11114.7)
    I wonder if I could finally take a re-watching of it, just to catch all the insane foreshadowy bits. Not a lot of throwaway scenes in that one.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2013
     (11114.8)
    Rush is really good fun.

    You don't need to understand F1 as a sport to follow it, like most good sports movies the sport is almost secondary to the story.

    If you know the history of the 76 season then some of the dramatic tension is going to go out of it for you, but it's still a really well done movie. Hemsworth is a pretty convincing James Hunt...
  6.  (11114.9)
    Finally got around to watching Gran Torino.

    Great little movie. Eastwood makes the perfect grouch.
  7.  (11114.10)
    @ twetnythoughts - here here. Solidly directed by him too - all killer, all class.

    Saw Ain't Them Bodies Saints and it is beautful, heart-renchingly beautiful. Not up there in the likes of a masterclass but certainly a solid 8 out of 10.
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      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2013
     (11114.11)
    Anyone else struck by the thematic parallels between This is The End and The World's End?

    spoilers for both films follow:

    Two comedies that set up as awkwardly realist stories about renewing old friendships and the problematic nature of reconnection, that then turn on an apocalyptic volta that sends them spiralling into a fantastical nightmare that can only be resolved by a climactic showdown with the Big Bad.

    Obviously there's a huge difference between the Hollywood and smalltown England settings, and a bigger difference between the moral lessons about the path to redemption - TITE=self-sacrifice! TWE=obstinacy!
    There's also a pretty stark contrast in what that redemption looks like for the protagonists - TITE=Backstreet Heaven, TWE=biggest badass in the wastelands.


    It seems unusual to have the release of a UK and a US film with such similar preoccupations so close together in time. They're both fun, silly films in their own right but as a double-bill they bear an uncanny resemblance to some sort of bilaterally scathing cultural commentary. Or it could just be me.
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      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2013
     (11114.12)
    I also thought it strange to have such similar movies out so close. And if anyone here has seen Rapture-palooza, is it also similar?
    The fact that both TWE and TITE were both made by groups of real life friends was really interesting to me.
  8.  (11114.13)
    Saw the new Johnnie To movie THE BLIND DETECTIVE, which amazingly manages to mix together comedy, drama, romance, suspense, and action into one film and make it work. It may not be as intense as DRUG WAR, but Andy Lau's turn as the titular detective was fun.
  9.  (11114.14)
    Just posted an article on Rush and About Time on my blog.

    The tl;dr version is: go seeRush don't spend money to see About Time.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2013
     (11114.15)
    Reaching back quite a bit, I just got a DVD of Real Genius and I've been loving the hell out of it, especially Val Kilmer as Chris Knight and Michelle Meyrink as adorable nerd girl Jordan.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2013
     (11114.16)
    It may have already been mentioned before, but If you can, get hold of a copy of A FIELD IN ENGLAND.

    Directed by Ben Wheatley, the guy behind KILL LIST and SIGHTSEERS, it's done in stark black and white with a low budget. But with some choice effect,s camera editing and some quality acting, it creates an unholy, intense atmosphere that's full of blood, guts, occult mysticism, and venereal diseases. the actual plot and narrative may take a little while to get a hold of, but this is definitely a film to get creeped out to.
  10.  (11114.17)
    Watched the Swedish movie "Äta Sova Dö" ("Eat Sleep Die"), about a bunch of people who lose their menial job at a vegetable-packing plant in a small town where nothing much really happens.

    If anyone's watched "Fucking Åmål", this is pretty much a spiritual sequel to that. We follow the main character with a handheld camera (though the shaking is for the most part not terrible) through her interactions with her dad, her previous workmates and the system in general. There's very little actual plot... Just watching her and them cope with the situation and with living a poorly paid (or unpaid) life with nothing much to do.

    What plot there is, though, is good. As are the performances from the cast. Despite a few too many "let's show them walking around killing time" scenes (the movie could stand to lose about twenty minutes, easily), it feels genuine.

    Special mention goes to the sound and picture, actually. This is one of those movies where they use the handicam to proper effect, and do some great shots combined with great sound design. It really puts you right into the scene, more than any 3D could, and it's a BIG part of why the movie succeeds.