Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #300

Postby Faustus5 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:57 pm

maz89 wrote:Hey guys! I see that there is just way too much here for me to comment on, so I'll just jump to my question: what did you guys make of Tarantino's latest "love letter" to Hollywood? I'm still processing the experience... my gut feeling is that it is one of Tarantino's best. I sure enjoyed the hell out of it, even if I need to sit down and make sense of some of it. Have either of you seen it? Any plans?


I loved it. Don't think it will top Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown for me, but it has some of his best scenes. I'll have to watch it again when it gets released on Blu Ray to make up my mind.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #301

Postby maz89 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:53 pm

Parts of it just kinda blew me away. He took the same concept of using cinema to rewrite history in Inglourious Basterds and elevated it here. I wonder if I loved it so much because I saw it in the cinema - it's been so long since I'd been in one. Curious to see how it holds up when I see it at home.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #302

Postby Raxivace » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:57 am

I've been spoiled a bit on the ending but not on the context of it really. All that I know is that there were a lot of annoying think pieces online about how young millennials don't seem to know who Charles Manson was.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #303

Postby Raxivace » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:07 pm

126. Armored Trooper VOTOTMS: Case;Irvine (2010, Dir. Shisho Igarashi) – Irvine is a mecha mechanic, however unbeknownst to his little sister he secretly participates in “Battling”, a sort of underground mecha fight club. Irvine is paid to throw a match against, though not before humiliating his opponent Paygun. Paygun, his pride wounded, seeks to murder Irvine and his sister for revenge…

For a 50 minute film its okay. I enjoyed the mecha action and while there’s not much to these characters it works well enough for the kind of film this is. Hardly the best thing in the VOTOMS franchise but its not some huge disaster either.

127. VOTOMS Finder Armored Trooperoid (2010, Dir. Atsuhi Shigeta) – The first (And as of this writing, only) VOTOMS AU! This follows Aki Tesuno, a “Bottomer” who wishes he could live among the elite upper class in the “Top”. Unfortunately he works as a scavenger in a glorified junk yard. However, he gets hired by some upper class society to help find a kidnapped princess. Turns out though, they’re the ones trying to kidnap the princess. Mecha battles ensue.

This is the worst VOTOMS entry by far. It just feels so average in everything it does. Average characters, average acting, fairly average setting for this kind of story etc. The only kind of neat thing is how they remix some elements from the original VOTOMS here, but its only done in the broadest possible strokes.

If this were longer than 40 minutes they might have been able to develop it in something better, but they didn’t. It’s perhaps telling that more VOTOMS AU entries didn’t come from this.

128. Armored Trooper VOTOMS: Chirico’s Return ~ Alone Again (2011, Dir. Kazuyoshi Takeuchi) – As of this writing this is the final VOTOMS entry altogether. Even though this largely exists to bridge Shining Heresy and Phantom Arc together, I can’t help but feel this is in some ways the more appropriate ending to Chirico’s story. Still, it’s a nice for what it is, and explains the setup for Phantom Arc well enough and why Titania isn’t running around in that series.

“In the end Chirico disappeared, leaving us with nothing but speculation”. That final line of this film alone is probably a better sendoff to Chirico than Phantom Chapter's ending is.

129. It (Rewatch, 2017, Dir. Andy Muschietti)

130. It: Chapter 2 (2019, Dir. Andy Muschietti) – [url]You can basically copy everything I said about It last time because it mostly applies to both my rewatch of the first film and also Chapter 2[/url], which I liked and generally found preferable to the adult stuff in the 1990 version. Good stuff.

That being said, I’m sorry but having played Street Fighter 1 now I don’t believe for god damned second that anyone would have liked it as much as the kids in these movies did, let alone liked it enough to have nostalgia for it 27 years later. That’s far more unrealistic and unbelievable than magical killer clowns from space.

Also there was a surprise Peter Bogdanovich cameo in Chapter 2 wtf.

131. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019, Dir. Michael Dougherty) – Pretty mindless “Godzilla fights a bunch of other monsters” movie with enjoyable supporting cast of actors from prominent TV shows from the last few years. Its pretty enjoyable for what it is, though inferior to Anno’s Shin Godzilla. I did like it more than the Netflix trilogy though.

132. Fassbinder’s “Berlin Alexanderplatz” Remastered: Notes on the Restoration (2007, Dir. Juliane Lorenz)

133. Notes on the Making of “Berlin Alexanderplatz” (1979, Dir. Hanz-Dieter Hartl)

134. Fassbinder’s “Berlin Alexanderplatz”: A Mega Movie and Its Story (2007, Dir. Dir. Juliane Lorenz) – These were all special features on the Berlin Alexanderplatz blu-ray. The two by Lorenz are pretty typical talking head documentaries- the restoration one, as you can probably guess, goes into the technical challenges that came with remastering the series. It’s kind of interesting though I’m not sure there’s anything particularly unique about the challenges faced with restoring this particular show.

The “Mega Movie” documentary is mostly just interviews with the cast and crew as they reflect back on making the series. This one was better, though not exceptional. I did think it was funny that actress who played Eva not only had not watched the whole series, but flat out confused her character with Mieze.

The Hartl film is very much one of those “cinema verité on the movie set” documentaries that’s largely just footage of Fassbinder directing the show itself- it kind of reminded me of the doc that Chris Marker made about the making of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in that aspect. I’m not a huge fan of verité documentaries to begin with, though this was probably my favorite of this trio here. Its at least interesting to get to watch Fassbinder work and see how he deals with challenges like making sure the cars in various street scenes drive by at the specific times he wants. Its also pretty lean at 45 minutes.

Which leads me to…

--------------------

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) – I had only seen one other Rainer Werner Fassbinder film before and had been curious about seeing more from. I decided to just dump into the deep end and check out this miniseries he made.

I’m very glad I made that decision because I thought this was fantastic. The basic story follows a man named Franz Biberkopf, recently released from prison after having been rightly convicted of murdering his wife. He decides he wants to honestly change his violent ways and become a good person.

Unfortunately for Franz, this is Berlin circa 1927. Things are changing in the culture here, and not for the better.

We basically follow Franz as he attempts get honest work (None of which last), goes through various girlfriends (None of whom last), and gets involved with shady people (Most of whom last). Reinhold is probably the most notable character that Franz meets in the last group and I don’t think I’ve done so many 180’s on a single character in quite a long time. I went from thinking he was just an odd guy, to history’s greatest monster, to thinking maybe he’s not so bad, to thinking he’s worse than History’s greatest monster, and settling on an uneasy mix of pity and contempt.

It’s pretty similar to my feelings on Franz himself. Günter Lamprecht is somehow able to convincingly play him as charismatic, pitiable and childish, and horrifyingly monstrous even compared to some of the other characters here (And when one of those characters is Reinhold, that’s saying something). Like its easy to get drawn into his weird spell and forget what Franz even went to prison for until they start playing the flashback of Franz murdering his wife over and over and over and over again and contrasting it with different events in the story.
I think that’s really makes this stand out so much from modern American TV to me. Characters are allowed to be genuinely reprehensible and not in the “cool edgy antihero” sense (Though I like a lot of those stories too).

Oh yeah and then comes the Epilogue. Oh boy that fucking epilogue is glorious. After 13 episodes of nostalgic naturalism, we go into full blown David Lynch meets End of Evangelion apocalyptical surreal nightmare. Classic sets from the rest of the series are turned into hellish nightmares, we watch the characters thrown through a literal butcher, visions of atomic weaponry, tons of rats running around, macabre dead hanging from trees, 20’s music from the rets of the series is replaced by tracks from bands like the Velvet Underground, visions of Nazi atrocities appear to Franz.

It’s like if a Christopher Isherwood novel suddenly turned into Dante’s Inferno. It’s fucking nuts and I love it. It’s really hard to describe just how huge of a shift in style this really is without having been lulled into certain expectations by the first 13 episodes. I know I just compared it End of Evangelion, but perhaps its more akin to the TV ending. This is partly because the episode is explained as being in Franz’ mind (Or as “Fassbinder’s dream of Franz’s dream” or whatever the episode is called), though that doesn’t quite explain the visions of the future, the use of anachronistic music etc. It really does feel more like Franz has gone to Hell or some kind of weird vision quest or something.


It’s good stuff.
Last edited by Raxivace on Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #304

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:21 pm

I saw some new films and I rewatched some films.
New films:
Hellboy (2004)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Jurassic World (2015)
Hell or High Water (2016)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part One - Pandora's Box (1995)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two - Cinderella (1995)
A Chinese Ghost Story (2011)
Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal (2015)
The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (2014)

Rewatches:
Dragon Inn (1992)
Memento (2000)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Life of Oharu (1952)
Die Hard (1988)
Watchmen (2009)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Casino (1995)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
The Pianist (2002)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Batman Begins (2005)

Out of all those, I enjoyed Memento, Terminator 2 and The Life of Oharu the most. Oharu really is a masterpiece (aesthetically speaking).

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #305

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:41 pm

Anime series I watched and my short comment.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006–2012)
I found this to be a rather complex mixture of politics, warfare, high school dramedy and a little fantasy. I didn't enjoy this as much as others maybe, but I certainly understand why this is so popular among anime fans. I personally loved the character of Lelouch. He is one of my favourite anime characters so far. (8/10)

Death Note (2006–2007)
This is very dark and twisted and I loved it. I would even say it is in my top 10 anime series. Last two episodes were absolutely brilliant. I expected something good because this is so popular and it didn't disappoint. (9/10)

Psycho-Pass (2012– )
Pretty good anime. I enjoyed this because of compelling narrative drive. This is one of those series which some will find 'deep', others incredibly pretentious. I must admit that there are times characters address philosophical themes of the show in a rather direct manner, which will annoy many people, but anyway... I liked it. (8/10)

Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015)
Not much to say about this. It is a pretty decent action-packed anime. It is something that is probably best to watch between season 1 and season 2 of the series. (7/10)

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #306

Postby Raxivace » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:34 am

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I saw some new films and I rewatched some films.
I've seen a fair chunk of these.

New films:
Hellboy (2004)
Jurassic World (2015)
Hell or High Water (2016)
I remember liking Hellboy but I haven't seen it in a long time. Jurassic World is alright, and I liked Hell or High Water.

Rewatches:
Memento (2000)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Die Hard (1988)
Watchmen (2009)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Casino (1995)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Batman Begins (2005)
I liked most of these. When I rewatched V for Vendetta for college it didn't really hold up for me (Can't say I liked the comic book a whole lot either when I read it). Watchmen I generally liked though, and I seem to be one of the few that doesn't hate Snyder for whatever reason.

Batman Begins I haven't seen in a long time. Memento is probably one of Nolan's better movies.

Casino I think is great. I kind of want to rewatch it (And Goodfellas, Mean Streets etc.) before The Irishman comes out here pretty soon.

Die Hard is a classic of the action genre. Terminator 2 is a movie I really liked when I first saw it back in 2008 or so but when I tried to rewatch it 5ish years ago I just couldn't get through that first 20 minutes for whatever reason. It might just have been in a weird mood back then, I dunno what I would think of it today and I never really explored the Terminator franchise beyond T2 anyways.

Assassination of Jesse James is probably my favorite of this list. I just loved how moody it was.

Life of Oharu will probably be the next Mizoguchi I see, though I'm not sure when I'll get to it.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #307

Postby Raxivace » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:07 am

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Anime series I watched and my short comment.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006–2012)
I found this to be a rather complex mixture of politics, warfare, high school dramedy and a little fantasy. I didn't enjoy this as much as others maybe, but I certainly understand why this is so popular among anime fans. I personally loved the character of Lelouch. He is one of my favourite anime characters so far. (8/10)

Death Note (2006–2007)
This is very dark and twisted and I loved it. I would even say it is in my top 10 anime series. Last two episodes were absolutely brilliant. I expected something good because this is so popular and it didn't disappoint. (9/10)
Yeah I really liked Code Geass. It does have its flaws (Particularly in the R2 season) though its quite a trip.

It does actually make a pretty interesting comparison with Death Note too since both started the same year and Lelouch and Light are fairly similar characters though filtered through entirely different genres, with Code Geass taking inspiration from the original Mobile Suit Gundam and such while Death Note seemed more influenced by thrillers and detective stories. I'd probably have to rewatch Death Note to really talk about it though, I probably haven't seen it in about a decade. I'm kind of morbidly curious about that live action Netflix adaptation with Willem Dafoe too.

I will say that "L's Theme B" was a song I played a lot to while studying in school and I still put it while reading every now and then.



BADA-DADA-BADA-DADA

Psycho-Pass (2012– )
Pretty good anime. I enjoyed this because of compelling narrative drive. This is one of those series which some will find 'deep', others incredibly pretentious. I must admit that there are times characters address philosophical themes of the show in a rather direct manner, which will annoy many people, but anyway... I liked it. (8/10)

Psycho-Pass: The Movie (2015)
Not much to say about this. It is a pretty decent action-packed anime. It is something that is probably best to watch between season 1 and season 2 of the series. (7/10)
I tried watching Psycho-Pass a few years ago and couldn't make it past the first few episodes. The overt philosophizing was too on the nose for me for something that wasn't a Godard film, and it seemed to have the problem I have with a lot of Urobuchi's other stuff in that it deploys kind of empty shock value a lot (Even Fate/Zero, a show I otherwise quite liked, suffers heavily from this in parts). The "crime" in the first episode I remember being particularly kind of ridiculous.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #308

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:07 am

Raxivace wrote:Watchmen I generally liked though, and I seem to be one of the few that doesn't hate Snyder for whatever reason.


I quite like his films. I even liked Sucker Punch.

Terminator 2 is a movie I really liked when I first saw it back in 2008 or so but when I tried to rewatch it 5ish years ago I just couldn't get through that first 20 minutes for whatever reason. It might just have been in a weird mood back then, I dunno what I would think of it today and I never really explored the Terminator franchise beyond T2 anyways.


There are many people who loved T2, but there are also people who found it too cheesy.

Life of Oharu will probably be the next Mizoguchi I see, though I'm not sure when I'll get to it.


Also check out the 'Chinese Odyssey' films. Those are Hong Kong classics.

It does actually make a pretty interesting comparison with Death Note...


I noticed that all three shows (even Psycho-Pass) feature characters trying to fight what they perceive to be social injustice. What I liked about all three shows is that they blur the lines between what is usually considered right or wrong. That made all three series quite a compelling watch.

Anyway, I'll get back when I see more anime. Thanks for the response, Rax.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #309

Postby Raxivace » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:10 am

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I quite like his films. I even liked Sucker Punch.
That's one I haven't seen yet. I'm curious about it at least.

Also check out the 'Chinese Odyssey' films. Those are Hong Kong classics.
Will make a note of it. I only have marginally more experience with Chinese films than I do with Bollywood lol.

I noticed that all three shows (even Psycho-Pass) feature characters trying to fight what they perceive to be social injustice. What I liked about all three shows is that they blur the lines between what is usually considered right or wrong. That made all three series quite a compelling watch.
Yeah. In the case of Code Geass I find this aspect particularly interesting because it basically does that by turning the premise of the original Mobile Suit Gundam on its head, where the masked exiled prince seeking revenge is turned from antagonist to the central protagonist, and the ace pilot fighting to protect the status quo he thinks is broken but still preferable is made the antagonist instead of the hero.

It adds a layer of genre commentary in addition to the blurred moral lines inherent to the story's premise.

BTW, I dunno if you're aware but apparently there's a new season of Psycho-Pass starting within a few weeks here soon. That might be something to look into since you liked the other seasons and the movie.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #310

Postby Raxivace » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:45 am

Also I saw a couple of movies myself.

135. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1931, Dir. Phil Jutzi) – The original film adaptation of the novel. Having not read the original novel this version does seem to hit the same main points as the miniseries version, though it really doesn’t work in such short amount of time. Seriously, even without Fassbinder as a comparison this just feels too quick and sudden at 83 minutes in length.

This version all leads to a fairly out of place happy ending too, which is disappointing but honestly kind of surprising considering the original novel’s author worked on the screenplay. The special features on the blu-ray set suggest the production was troubled (Apparently the lead actor playing Franz Biberkopf was really worried having the character being too grimy would hurt his star image, among other things).

The first five or so minutes that focus on Franz leaving prison are probably the best part. One of the interviewees in the special features even compares this segment to the “city film” genre since there’s a lot of shots of the chaotic bustle of city life (People walking about, trains and cars running etc.) without too much focus on narrative. He specifically mentions the classic film Berlin: Symphony of a Great City in talking about this segment and while that film/genre is not the first thing that came to my mind watching it, it does seem like a totally valid comparison to me.

136. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (AKA Chapter John 3 Wick Parabellum, 2019, Dir. Chad Stahelski) – Like the first two Wicks this is kind of light on story but with excellent action, neon lights, and references to classic films (I’m pretty sure a scene where Wick stabs a guy in the eye is even a nod to Un Chien Andalou). Fun stuff, can’t wait for Chapter 4.

137. The End of Summer (1961, Dir. Yasujiro Ozu) – The most unerotic story of a love affair since Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac.
Well it’s not fair to expect something sexy here anyways since this is an Ozu movie and the affair in question involves people that are at least in their 60’s. If anything more emphasis is put on the children of the man involved react to it. Not one of my favorite Ozu’s to be honest- it really is the same kind of problem I had with Lancelot where it really does seem like this should be provoking more of a reaction out of the characters involved instead of a couple of stern comments here and there.

Also what the hell was with the ominous music in the ending? The way the birds start flying in even made me think of Hitchcock’s The Birds, even if that came out after this.

138. The Vault (2017, Dir. Dan Bush) – This is a bank heist film with the twist of…THE BANK BEING FUCKING HAUNTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH SNAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCKING GHOSTS SAVE THE BANK FROM THE BANK ROBBERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I call it a twist but the supernatural aspect was spoiled by the Netflix description. That it was in the “horror” section should have been a giveaway too. Thing is, I’m guessing during the production of the movie they were thinking that the ghosts would be a twist since despite a few lines of foreshadowing no actual supernatural incidents start happening until roughly a third to halfway through the film. Perhaps the comparison could be made to something like From Dusk Till Dawn.

Unlike From Dusk Till Dawn though this movie is much more bland than my first paragraph suggests. It’s just kind of dull more than anything, it never really gets nuts the way this nuts kind of premise needs to really work.

139. The Big Clock (1948, Dir. John Farrow) – A guy at a news agency is framed by his corrupt boss (Charles Laughton) for the murder of a woman. Not a whole lot to say about this one either, but its just a really solidly done noir. The news building that the lead works at in particular has a really fun art deco-ish design.

140. Irma La Douce (1963, Dir. Billy Wilder) – Mostly solid romantic comedy about Jack Lemmon as a disgraced police officer falling in love with a prostitute. It really isn’t as risqué today as it would have been back in the day, though beyond that I think it’s just a solid example of its genre, which is what I’ve come to expect from a lot of these more lighthearted movies from Billy Wilder.

141. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019, Dir. Quentin Tarantino) – Ohh boy, I finally got around to the new Tarantino. I’m still processing this one and am not quite sure what to make of it, though I did like it overall.

The movie it reminded me most of was Hail, Caesar! from the Coens since that movie was also a tribute to an older generation of Hollywood (In HC its 50’s, in OUATIH it’s the early years of the New Hollywood), both pay heavy tribute to the western genre from basically the only major directors that even make westerns anymore (The Coens had made No Country For Old Men (Which I would argue is a western) and True Grit prior to Caesar and would go on to make The Ballad of Buster Scruggs afterwards, whereas Tarantino had made Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight), and both make comedic versions of Leftists the antagonists (In HC you have the Communist screenwriters, and in OUATIH you have the Manson family*), both rely of restaged/remade scenes of old films, and of course both the Coens and Tarantino have a postmodern collage aesthetic going on (Moreso with Tarantino though I think it’s there with the Coens as well).

*(This is a weird similarity though because in Hail, Caesar! I get the impression that the Coens have more distaste for them being screenwriters than they do for being associated with Communism, and in OUATIH I don't think Tarantino has no sympathy for what the Manson family kids are going on about. The reveal of Pitt's trailer home for example immediately being contrasted by DiCaprio's rather nice home being explored in way more detail immediately comes to mind and certainly evokes recent discussions in culture about income inequality and such).

Anyways as far as OUATIH itself goes I did like how laid back it was- it seemed even more plotless than Jackie Brown did. I could watch DiCaprio do those western scenes for ages. The guy playing Bruce Lee was very charismatic too. Really I thought all of the performances just worked.

Right now the biggest mystery though is what to make of Brad Pitt's character, specifically since the ambiguity of whether he killed his wife or not doesn't seem to really get resolved in the movie. Its especially weird since its largely Pitt's character who fights off most of the attackers from the Manson family in the ending, "fixing history" and preventing Sharon Tate from getting murdered (Who's played very well by Margot Robbie btw). I'm not entirely sure what Tarantino is getting at here beyond a general "morality is complicated" type message. When you compare it to movies like Django Unchained or Inglourious Basterds, Django and Aldo are more inherently sympathetic, though Pitt in this movie always seems a bit more distant to me because of that ambiguity. I'd be curious to know what other people though of him here.

I haven't read too much about the film, except for a very good article by Jeff Smith on Bordwell's website that contextualizes a lot of the movie. There's a brief followup piece as well.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #311

Postby Raxivace » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:02 pm

Maz wtf where are you? I thought you wanted to talk about Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. [sad]

142. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924, Dir. Fritz Lang) – The first part of Lang’s classic adaptation of the Nibelung story. Similar to his later work in Metropolis, Lang really has an excellent sense of how to do epic filmmaking- the movie is just visually dazzling for the most part.

The one thing that might look a little dopey for some people is the dragon that Siegfried fights in the beginning of the film (I'm pretty sure its supposed to be Fafnir though they don't actually name him as such in the film)…

Image

Though I will say he looks fine for a silent era production. Actually, I was pretty impressed how many parts of him look like they’re independently moving, such as neck, eyes, tail etc.

Image

^Oh yeah, they got him to breathe fire too which is pretty badass.

It’s a shame I suck at scheduling because I had planned to watch the sequel movie before October horror marathoning started this year but unfortunately it didn’t work out. I’ll have to put it off until November, where I have a whole slew of other movies based on epics/mythology I want to watch.

143. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991, Dir. Rachel Talalay) – Of course, similar to how the multiple Friday the 13th movies with the word “Final” in the title weren’t the end of Jason, this certainly wasn’t the end of Freddy…

06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_00.00.29_[2019.10.03_12.22.33].jpg
06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_00.00.29_[2019.10.03_12.22.33].jpg (153.76 KiB) Viewed 1600 times


06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_00.00.36_[2019.10.03_12.22.51].jpg
06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_00.00.36_[2019.10.03_12.22.51].jpg (52.75 KiB) Viewed 1600 times

^Like all thoughtful movies Freddy's Dead opens up with a thoughtful juxtaposition of famous quotes.

Anyways this is pretty genuinely weak film. Tons of laps in character logic, the kills are kind of rote, bad early 90’s hair etc. They try to give even more backstory to Freddy here and none of it seems necessary. Like, the big twist of the movie here is that an amnesiac man that Freddy has been trolling the whole film believes himself to be Freddy’s son, but it turns out he’s not (Interestingly, we never even find out what this guy’s deal precisely is and he dies without us ever learning about his past) but instead that Freddy has a daughter.
I liked this better than Parts 4 or 5 but eh it really does feel like the franchise has run its course by this point (Though I seem to remember New Nightmare being decent and of course I think Freddy vs Jason is fun. I have little optimism for the 2010 remake though).

Years ago I heard someone suggest that despite the dream premise of the Nightmare franchise that the Friday the 13th franchise is actually the more inventive overall and I kind of have to agree. Those films seemed more willing to try wildly different shit (Movies without Jason, movies where Jason has strange supernatural powers, movies where Jason is in bizarre new settings etc.), whereas Nightmare seems more conservative by comparison. It’s always Freddy, he always has same basic abilities, he always has bad one liners etc. In the main series at least it seems like Dream Warriors is the only time they really tried to change the fundamentals of the franchise up by giving the victims actual powers to use against Freddy but even that is ultimately abandoned. It's a real shame too because it never feels like the full potential of the ideas here are ever mined out, even in terms of goofy horror movie cheese.

06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_01.27.27_[2019.10.03_12.23.08].jpg
06 Freddys Dead The Final Nightmare - Horror 1991 Eng Subs 720p [H264-mp4].mp4_snapshot_01.27.27_[2019.10.03_12.23.08].jpg (172.71 KiB) Viewed 1600 times

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Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (2014-2015) – Yeah this is clearly the superior adaptation when compared to the 2010 movie. Its quite a fun watch and the animation is pretty consistently fantastic.

It is kind of interesting to note though that despite the movie being more hypercondensed, it is probably the more faithful adaptation all things considered (Note: “Faithful” does not mean “better”). This TV version actually expands several scenes (Caster's flashback, Illya's main flashback, the epilogue at the end of the series is greatly expanded (Not Sunny Day, the actual ending) etc.), changes the location of some (Caster’s kidnapping of Taiga happens under fairly different circumstances. Many others are changing conversations as to happening while characters are walking home instead of, say, just sitting around their living room or kitchen table). It also seems to presume different knowledge: the UBW route of the original VN was specifically a reaction to the earlier Fate route. This anime on the other seems to presume the audience has seen the prequel series Fate/Zero, which is pretty important because Fate/Zero spoils tons of a the VN’s twists pretty early on. Illya and Kiritsugu immediately come to mind here- in the original VN that they even had some kind of relationship is only implied IIRC. That's spoiled 10 minutes into Fate/Zero and in this particular anime Illya gives a somewhat out of place monologue spelling out just what she's so mad about that doesn't really exist in the original VN (From what I remember anyways).

It’s honestly not THAT different of a philosophy as to what the 2006 anime adaptation did in regards to fidelity, though UBW 2014 at least seems to do change things with more purpose. The expansion on Caster’s backstory in particularly makes me wonder if some of the changes aren't coming from some other source- I remember it being fairly brief in the original VN (So brief that her original Master doesn’t even get a sprite. She also comes off more sympathetically in deciding to murder him in the anime too. It took maybe like a few minutes to get through in that whereas in the anime it takes up at least half of an entire episode.

While I like most of the anime's changes and expansions the one thing I'm not thrilled about is what they did with the very very very end of the story. This route in the VN ends with Archer ruminating on how despite his growth after fighting with Shirou he'll still lose his memories once he returns to the Grail and continue to be summoned over and over again, not knowing that he hadn't already given up on his goal or not. He's basically fucked for all eternity. The anime really waters this sentiment down and only has him considering about Shirou's fate specifically, which is in the original text sure but really kind of underplays just how bad "becoming Archer" really is.

The movie on the other hand just kind of adapted the text of the VN as written. In a way it reminds of how the Coen brothers' adaptation of True Grit in pure numerical terms actually made far more changes to the Charles Portis novel than the Henry Hatahway version did, though the Coen’s kept a tone closer to the novel as well as the novel’s ending.

I think I still ultimately prefer what the VN did, but as far as the various adaptations and spinoffs and such go this still is probably the closest I’ve come to really liking something in this franchise as much as the original VN.

EDIT: So I just found out that the version of UBW that I watched on Crunchyroll was the broadcast for television version which apparently cuts out entire scenes that are available on the blu-ray release. Blu-rays that seem to be out of print now.

Apparently Fate/Zero is also missing scenes on Crunchyroll (Which is where I watched that show), though the same Reddit person said that Netflix seems to have the uncut version of Fate/Zero. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Last edited by Raxivace on Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #312

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:17 am

Raxivace wrote:Yeah. In the case of Code Geass I find this aspect particularly interesting because it basically does that by turning the premise of the original Mobile Suit Gundam on its head, where the masked exiled prince seeking revenge is turned from antagonist to the central protagonist, and the ace pilot fighting to protect the status quo he thinks is broken but still preferable is made the antagonist instead of the hero.

It adds a layer of genre commentary in addition to the blurred moral lines inherent to the story's premise.

BTW, I dunno if you're aware but apparently there's a new season of Psycho-Pass starting within a few weeks here soon. That might be something to look into since you liked the other seasons and the movie.


Okay. I will check out this Gundam anime in the future. Thanks for the info on new Psycho-Pass season. I will check it out.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #313

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:36 am

I saw some new films in the meantime.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981; George Miller)(this was a rewatch)
The Puppetmaster (1993; Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
The Emperor and the Assassin (1998; Chen Kaige)
Yellow Earth (1984; Chen Kaige)
Life on a String (1991; Chen Kaige)
Fear X (2003; Nicolas Winding Refn)
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005; Zhang Yimou)
A Snake of June (2002; Shin'ya Tsukamoto)
What Time Is It There? (2001; Tsai Ming-liang)
Like Someone in Love (2012; Abbas Kiarostami)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010; Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Knight of Cups (2015; Terrence Malick)
Sky Hunter (2017; Li Chen)
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000; Bong Joon-ho)
American Hustle (2013; David O. Russell)
Joy (2015; David O. Russell)
Atomic Blonde (2017; David Leitch)
Long Shot (2019; Jonathan Levine)
Bandslam (2009; Todd Graff)
Polar (2019; Jonas Åkerlund)
Mulholland Falls (1996; Lee Tamahori)
Destination Wedding (2018; Victor Levin)

The Puppetmaster is by far the best film on this list. I would even go as far as saying that it is one of the greatest films of all time. I hope you will see it one day.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #314

Postby Raxivace » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:37 pm

^Of that bunch I've only seen Mad Max 2 (Which is great), American Hustle (Which is fine, but I wasn't super into) and Joy (Which I didn't really care for in general).

I'm definitely interested in seeing The Puppetmaster. I've been getting into Taiwanese New Wave lately through watching Edward Yang's stuff (Which has all been at least pretty good so far, with A Brighter Summer Day being a masterpiece IMO), so I'll probably move onto Hou here soon.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #315

Postby Raxivace » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:21 am

144. Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel I. Presage Flower (2017, Dir. Tomonori Sudo)

145. Fate/stay Night: Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly (2019, Dir. Tomonori Sudo) – The first two films in the adaptation trilogy of the Heaven’s Feel route in the F/SN visual novel. Like the rest of the Fate anime the basic plot is too bonkers to directly explain, though I will say compared to the route in the VN the tone is very changed. The VN made the story a weird psychosexual horror thing as a contrast to the more action heavy focus of the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes, but these films seem to make it more, well, action heavy again. Like in the VN many characters that are killed off quickly and brutally but in the films they get elaborate five minute action scenes before dying which just really changes the feel of things.

The thing is the action scenes themselves are top notch and exciting to watch but I’m not sure as a whole what its’ really meant to add to the Heaven’s Feel story. This is to say nothing of sexual horror elements being downplayed without quite being absent in these films…at least at this point. There’s still a lot of story left for the final film to adapt and I’m really curious to see what ufotable will do with it next year, especially after seeing how they expanded on Unlimited Blade Works ending in their tv show adaptation. I’m hoping this means they’ll change the ending to Heaven’s Feel a bit as that was by far my largest issue with the entire original visual novel.

146. Scream (1996, Dir. Wes Craven) – I’m pretty sure I had seen parts of this film before, but having actually seen the full thing now I think its pretty clever. Kind of bizarre to see Courtney Cox playing against type at the height of Friends, though I think she was good here.
I remember seeing someone on…Criterion Forum, I think, derisively compare Funny Games to this film and I think I would actually agree this is the more thoughtful take on horror films and such compared to Haneke’s lecturing.

147. The Last Man on Earth (1964, Dir. Ubaldo Ragona & Sidney Salkow) – If you’ve seen the I Am Legend with Will Smith, this film is another adaptation of the same short story (Which is also called I Am Legend). It’s the same basic story as the Will Smith version, though it has Vincent Price in the lead role doing his wonderfully campy Vincent Price thing.

Stylistically though this film is kind of interesting because the vampires that torment Price, despite talking and taunting him and such, really do seem anticipate Romero’s zombies and Night of the Living Dead (Carnival of Souls maybe being the other major film that anticipates Romero, at least that I’m aware of). Everything from the way they carry themselves and skulk about really just seems prescient of zombies. Even the fact that they’re created from a virus seems way more like modern zombies and not vampires (Which makes it kind of silly that garlic and mirrors are effective against the vampires in this movie for something created by biology and not like magic or whatever but still).

148. Rodan (1956, Dir. Ishiro Honda) – Starts off almost as a murder mystery or some sort, with people accusing each other of committing murder and such, until the killer is revealed to be a bug kaiju thing and then Rodan appears and the military has to fight them. Rodan as a monster is fun of course but as a movie this is not in the same realm as what Honda was doing with Godzilla or even what he would do with Mothra (Though like Mothra, it is weird how it seems to start off as different kind of genre film- in that case it was a newspaper film).

149. The Phantom of the Opera (1925, Dir. Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, & Edward Sedgwick) – I wasn’t familiar with the basic Phantom of the Opera story before watching this but I found it to be a pretty fun film. The elaborate opera set was neat and “the Phantom” was pretty compelling as a character for a silent era film. That makeup job on Chaney too sure is something!

150. The Invisible Man Returns (1940, Dir. Joe May) – Vincent Price becomes the Invisible Man and decides to troll the fuck out of people for revenge before turning insane. Not one of the better Universal horror sequels though its interesting seeing Price in such an early role. I didn’t even know he was in this film before I went to watch it!

151. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019, Dir. Vince Gilligan) – I’m really torn on this one. On the one hand, it really contributes nothing at all to Breaking Bad’s story. It mostly takes places within a period of like 72 hours after the end of the series (It’s basically the cops chasing after Jesse and that’s the whole movie, with flashbacks sprinkled in) and ends Jesse’s story in a pretty similar place that the show already did.

On the other hand, it is nice to see Aaron Paul as Jesse again (As well as other minor characters. Robert Forster is of course a particularly bittersweet example since while it was nice to see him in this again he also passed away the day this film released on Netflix), and Gilligan and co. really are pretty good at Hitchcockian “man on the run” suspense filmmaking. Still, as good as they are at that and as fun as it is to watch, it really doesn’t expand my understanding of Jesse as a character or the Breaking Bad story in general, especially compared to something like Better Call Saul.

Sometimes I wonder if the so called “Golden Age of Television” has made it so people have no idea how to tell an entire story in the span of a two hour feature film, and as much as I liked Breaking Bad and even enjoyed watching El Camino, it still has me wondering.

EDIT: Perhaps an interesting comparison to El Camino would be the the Cowboy Bebop movie, Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Knockin' on Heaven's Door similarly is "just" another kind of exercise in genre filmmaking featuring the cast from that show that also doesn't address any of the ambiguity in the ending of the TV series (Does Spike die or not? How do Faye and Jet react? etc). I think the main difference though is that El Camino teeters much closer on the actual ending of Breaking Bad, which perhaps makes the the fact that it doesn't really deepen that ending or Jesse as a character all the more weirder. In comparison, it's not like Knockin' on Heaven's Door is needlessly throwing in characters from Bebop's endgame like Vicious for no reason.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #316

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:43 pm

I finished two anime series.

Steins;Gate (2011–2015)
1) I liked it. It was very good.
2) It never occurred to me before that time-travel stuff is pretty good for exploration of themes like predetermination and causality. I'm very slow.
3) It didn't seem to take itself too seriously, which I liked. Humor really worked for me this time.
4) Its main strength is the main character. He is bit of a buffoon, constantly saying funny stuff like 'El Psy Congroo' or talking to himself on the phone. He is very funny and entertaining. The show sort of implies that he is just a normal guy putting on an act. Why? I guess because he wants to be more cool or different or something like that.
5) The show stresses how special time these characters/friends spent together actually was to them. It is nice, but at times a bit to sentimental.
6) What is also interesting is that they are battling this evil organization, but we never actually see who these evil people are (their top brass). They actually remain in the shadows all the time. That was pretty interesting.
Overall, it is one of my less favourite anime series so far, but still very good. (8/10)

Berserk (1997–1998)
This was somewhat better. I thought it would be some samurai stuff, but it is actually some medieval stuff about knights and mercenaries battling for land in England (?). it features some bloody battles, but also some court intrigue. In terms of plot and character development, it is top notch. I also really liked the animation, even though many will find it outdated or something. What is very interesting about this show is its ending. Its last two episodes feature an apocalyptic ending which is sometimes hinted at throughout the show with demonic/godlike stuff. It is pretty cool, but I haven't decided yet how well it gels with the rest of the show.
Overall, really excellent series. (8.5/10)

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #317

Postby Raxivace » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:20 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Why? I guess because he wants to be more cool or different or something like that.
Well that's what all the flashbacks with Mayuri as a kid were all about, when her...grandmother I think it was died and he's concerned about her "floating away" or whatever the phrase he used was. Okabe's entire "mad scientist" act start as a schtick for her sake to cheer up that he just never really stopped doing.

To some extent Okabe is also just a bit of a narcissist. It's more pronounced in the original visual novel where he's presented as a more flawed character in general, particularly with some of the alternate endings in that game.

battling for land in England (?).
IIRC Midland is the name of the country. It's meant to evoke medieval England though at any rate.

It is pretty cool, but I haven't decided yet how well it gels with the rest of the show.
While I have not seen the anime adaptation, its worth noting that in the manga, the story of Guts' childhood to the apocalypse is presented in flashback. The manga starts with a prologue set afterwards where demons and such have already become common figures in the world and are still trying to hunt down Guts. Then you go into the extended flashback arc, and then you return to the present as Guts continues to hunt down Griffith for revenge and has other adventures along the way.

The manga isn't done yet btw, despite starting in the freaking 1980's. As it is now we're lucky to get two or three chapters a year, though the art is often quite detailed at least.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #318

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:38 am

Thanks for the clarification on all those three points, Rax.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #319

Postby Raxivace » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:22 pm

So I've watched a few things recently.

152. Belladonna of Sadness (1973, Dir. Eiichi Yamamoto) – What in the ever loving christ?

I don’t know what stars had to align to get Osamu Tezuka of all people to produce a psychedelic avant-garde hentai film and to even get a major star like Tatsuya Nakadai to voice one of the characters but it fucking happened and it resulted in what is maybe the scariest porno ever made. I mean jesus, this entire movie is basically the Duck Amuk of orgies to the point there’s basically no screencaps or clips I could comfortably post from this movie.

I can’t believe this has even aired on Turner Classic Movies a few times, uncensored at that.

It really does feel unlike anything else I’ve seen. I did really enjoy it a lot but holy hell.

153. The X From Outer Space (1967, Dir. Kazui Nihonmatsu) - Basically a kind of generic kaiju film. A journey to the planet Mars goes wrong, and astronauts return with the terrible monster Guilala! Not much to write home about.

154. Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968, Dir. Hajima Sato) - Survivors of a plane crash are terrorized by a terrible gelatinous alien that takes over its victim's bodies. Meanwhile the survivors kind of turn on each other.

As far as these Shochiku horror films go I liked this a little better than X From Outer Space, its got some nice moments of surreal imagery, but again not one of my favorites.

155. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Dir. Hayao Miyazaki) – Probably the Miyazakai I’ve liked the most so far, though it still has some issues. Namely the screwball chase scene antics in the first 30 or so minutes go on longer than they probably should, and the two lead characters feel a bit underwritten.

Probably the most interesting thing about this film though is that it basically feels like the ur-text for Anno's Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Basically all of the major beats here pop up in Nadia at some point or another (Just mixed in with more "otakuish" references from Anno to stuff like Space Battleship Yamato, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross etc.), though personally I was more into Anno's take on the story.

156. The Invisible Woman (1940, Dir. A Edward Sutherland) – This time a woman turns invisible to troll people, but this is a more of a romantic comedy than the other ones (The Abbot and Costello crossover being the major exception). Some decent bits, nothing really exceptional.

157. Invisible Agent (1942, Dir. Edwin L. Marin) – Invisible trolling BUT FOR THE U.S.A.

Yeah this is kind of a weird one in that its basically American World War II propaganda (An Invisible Man gets recruited by the American army to infiltrate Germany and such), though that makes it stand out not only from the rest of the Invisible Man movies but even the Universal Monsters movies as a whole. There's an amusing sequence where the Invisible Man is parachuting into enemy territory and is desperately trying to get naked before he lands.

158. The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944, Dir. Ford Beebe) – More invisible trolling that is ostensibly played for horror. It’s a decent film but it doesn’t really feel like it has an edge over any of the other films in this series, it just feels like a rehash of the original movie and Invisible Man Returns. Not much to really say about it.

159. Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man (1951, Dir. Charles Lamont) – Probably the best way the Invisible Man series could have ended. I was surprised it wasn’t a direct sequel to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein since that actually ends with the Invisible Man popping in, though this film is very much its own thing about a boxer evading the police and trying to figure out who framed him for a crime by using a potion that turns him invisible. Abbott and Costello plays detectives that he hires to assist him. Shenanigans ensue.

It’s funny, some good stuff, though I ultimately prefer Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein as a film.

I have to say as far as the main Universal Monsters series that I’ve seen so far go the Invisible Mans seem like they have the worst track record overall.

160. Toy Story 4 (2019, Dir. Josh Cooley) - It's cute. I was pretty surprised by the direction it ultimately took Woody's character, though I suppose all of these movies have been kind of bittersweet.

161. Casino (Rewatch, 1995, Dir. Martin Scorsese) – It had been several years since I last saw that, but man the three hours just flew right by even more than I remember the first time. Casino is too often dismissed as Goodfellas Redux, and that’s a shame since its very much its own beast.

162. King Kong vs. Godzilla (Rewatch, 1962, Dir. Ishiro Honda) - Probably the first Godzilla film to fully embrace being camp more than anything else, though its good fun. I watched Criterion's new blu-ray release of the original Japanese version this time around, and while I don't remember the American version super well the essay that comes with the movie notes some of the differences. It seems the biggest different is that in the Japanese version the satirical subplot about the media basically manipulating Kong into fighting Godzilla (So they can get more viewers for their television station) is truncated from the American version. It kind of reminds me of the villain from Tomorrow Never Dies of all things. Also, despite years of rumors saying otherwise Kong is in fact the winner in both the Japanese and American versions of the movie.

The last kind of curious thing to note is that its over 25 minutes into this 100ish minute film before you actually see either of the monsters.

163. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (1990, Dir. Jack Haley Jr.) - I caught this on TCM on kind of a whim this morning. This is one of those quick retrospective movie documentaries, this one being hosted by Angela Lansbury and was obviously about The Wizard of Oz. It's fun if you like these kind of things.

--------------------------

Elfen Lied (2004-2005) – I really wonder how the idea that this is some kind of thoughtful artistic series spread across the internet 10-15 years ago because Elfen Lied absolutely is not that. What it is mostly a combination of standard melodrama and fairly tryhard exploitation film and nudity. It is sometimes very badly animated too.

Image

^Like come on guys, you can't really sell shock or horror or surprise with shots like this! That’s worse than the terrible animation I was complaining about in Studio Deen’s Fate/stay night adaptation!

Still, for all the flaws it has though, I dunno. I don’t hate the show as a whole- it’s certainly not among the worst anime ever made (Yoshiyuki Tomino alone has made some absolutely baffling horseshit like Brain Powerd, Garzey’s Wing, Wings of Rean, and Gundam Reconguista in G that makes Elfen Lied look masterful and nuanced in comparison). If anything I think its just kind of average overall- I have no biases against melodrama as a genre and while at times did pull my heartstrings a bit (Mainly in the last episode, which is probably the best one in the series) it just doesn’t do it as well as Ozu or Douglas Sirk or people like that. Likewise, for trashy sexploitation/violence stuff there are plenty of other things that I like better- an anime like Cross Ange immediately comes to mind.

If I had to put a number rating on Elfen Lied it would probably be a 5/10…maybe a 5.5 or 6 if I were feeling more generous. I didn’t love it but its hardly the Brain Powerd-esque total disaster I was expecting despite complaints from its worst critics. It just feels kind of average to me.

Bizarrely enough though Elfen Lied has proven to be somewhat influential. Like the first season of Netflix's Stranger Things, despite commonly being thought of as “80’s American Movies References: The TV Show”, seems to lift from this more than anything else. I’d go as far as calling that first season a sexless, Spielbergified remake of Elfen Lied with a Silent Hill-esque "other world" thrown in.

The Kingdom (1994) - I'm not really sure what to make of this one. In this first season there's two major plotlines from what I can tell, a doctor in the hospital "The Kingdom" tries to cover up a medical malpractice incident he was involved with, and a patient at The Kingdom tries to exorcise the spirit of a ghost that seems to haunt The Kingdom. It's a very odd juxtaposition, and seems a little more disjointed than say early Twin Peaks does.

Stylistically, the handheld camerawork in some scenes was a bit much for me at times, though the show was capable of looking good when it wanted to.


^Like the first 90 seconds of this intro looks great (Best looking part of the show by a wide margin, in fact). The rest of the intro looks like the most 1990's footage imaginable.

The subtitles in the version I found seem kind of shoddy too. If two characters were in conversation and they talked immediately after each other, both of their dialogue would appear in a single sentence of the subtitles. Very odd.

The last thing I'll mention is that having Lars von Trier himself talk over the credits was a pretty amusing choice.

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Time to move on to season 2!
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #320

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:11 am

Raxivace wrote:VOTOMS stuff
The only thing I know about this series is that the only guy I'm still in touch with from EvaGeeks just had me buy a bunch of VOTOMS blu-rays for him. He's in Finland (no, it's not Xard!) and RightStuff doesn't ship there, so I'm basically his mule.

Raxivace wrote:That being said, I’m sorry but having played Street Fighter 1 now I don’t believe for god damned second that anyone would have liked it as much as the kids in these movies did, let alone liked it enough to have nostalgia for it 27 years later. That’s far more unrealistic and unbelievable than magical killer clowns from space.
[laugh] Man, you just have to imagine a world where "good fighting games" wasn't even a thing. I'm trying to remember literally any fighting game I played before SF2 that didn't suck ass... like, I remember Karate Champ (I think it was) on NES, and even that was terrible compared to SF2 (and I'm guessing SF1).

Raxivace wrote:Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
Not sure if I ever made it clear or not, but I've not actually seen this. I know I mentioned it back in the day because I knew it was one of the major TV series that's often considered one of the best films ever made. I had actually wanted to see a good chunk of what Fassbinder made before it, but I kinda lost interest quickly going through his filmography and not finding anything that really piqued my interest. Like, The Merchant of Four Seasons is probably the best Fassbinder I've seen and it was only a 7.5/10 for me. Though I do know he experimented with several different styles in his career (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul was, eg, influenced by Sirk), so I'm still interested in seeing Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Raxivace wrote:Berlin Alexanderplatz (1931, Dir. Phil Jutzi) – The original film adaptation of the novel.
I didn't even know there was such a thing!

Raxivace wrote:The End of Summer (1961, Dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
I know I've seen this (I've seen all of Ozu's mature films except his last one), but damn if I can't remember it. According to my list I gave it an 8/10, so I must've liked it, but that's pretty middling as far as Ozu's later films go.

Raxivace wrote:Irma La Douce (1963, Dir. Billy Wilder)
I don't remember much about this either, which is either one I saw on TCM or rented from Hollywood Video back in the day, though I do remember not caring much for it.

Raxivace wrote:Maz wtf where are you? I thought you wanted to talk about Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. [sad]
He's also left me hanging in the music forum. :(

Raxivace wrote:Die Nibelungen –
I loved the hell out of this, so much so that it's very close with Metropolis as my favorite Lang silent film and on some days I think it may be even better. I remember thinking at the time how different it was from Wagner's opera adaptation, but I know Lang wasn't adapting Wagner but the original.

Raxivace wrote:Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991, Dir. Rachel Talalay) –
I saw this when I went through my horror phase as a kid. Don't remember too much as most of those sequels just run together in my head.

Raxivace wrote:Years ago I heard someone suggest that despite the dream premise of the Nightmare franchise that the Friday the 13th franchise is actually the more inventive overall and I kind of have to agree. Those films seemed more willing to try wildly different shit (Movies without Jason, movies where Jason has strange supernatural powers, movies where Jason is in bizarre new settings etc.), whereas Nightmare seems more conservative by comparison. It’s always Freddy, he always has same basic abilities, he always has bad one liners etc. In the main series at least it seems like Dream Warriors is the only time they really tried to change the fundamentals of the franchise up by giving the victims actual powers to use against Freddy but even that is ultimately abandoned. It's a real shame too because it never feels like the full potential of the ideas here are ever mined out, even in terms of goofy horror movie cheese.
I think I can agree with this from what I remember. I think Nightmare's basic premise was more unique/original considering early F13ths were basically just Halloween remakes, but as F13 went on it got far more out there and Elm just stuck with the same formula as the first film. I still remember the F13 where a girl defeated Jason with her psychic powers, the one set on the boat, and the one where Jason is revived by lightning hitting his grave... oh, and the one where the coroner eats Jason's heart and becomes possessed by him. All pretty wacky stuff looking back on it.

Raxivace wrote:146. Scream (1996, Dir. Wes Craven)
I loved this film back in the day. It came out at about the apex of my horror obsession and my cousin and I just rewatched it constantly. A few years later when I had my first girlfriend I even remember us watching it and it being basically the first real "date" I ever had, even though it just involved us sitting in my cousin's bedroom and watching it while holding hands.

Raxivace wrote:151. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019, Dir. Vince Gilligan)
Shame you didn't like this more as it was near the top of my list of stuff to see when I get back to film. Interesting idea about TV making it so that fewer people know how to effectively write for feature films anymore... I would think that would probably depend on who's doing the writing more than anything as each medium requires different skills.

Raxivace wrote: Belladonna of Sadness (1973, Dir. Eiichi Yamamoto)
I bought this when it came out but I've yet to watch it. It sounds like it'd be right up my alley--basically a mix of porn and art-house, something like In The Realm of the Senses but even more avant-garde/experimental. I also think Yamamoto made two other films like this that have yet(?) to be released.

Raxivace wrote: Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Dir. Hayao Miyazaki)
I thought you might like this more than the others, though I'm surprised you didn't like the screwball chase scenes more; I thought they were exhilarating! Especially by animation standards where more movement = more money. I would agree the characters are underwritten but I think the film works perfectly as an archetypal action-adventure/screwball film where characters generally tend to be on the shallower side.

Raxivace wrote: Casino (Rewatch, 1995, Dir. Martin Scorsese) – It had been several years since I last saw that, but man the three hours just flew right by even more than I remember the first time. Casino is too often dismissed as Goodfellas Redux, and that’s a shame since its very much its own beast.
Funny, I kinda dismissed it as "Goodfellas Redux" in my reply to Lord Lyndon. I think it stems from the fact that all of the idiosyncrasies of Scorsese's style that he cultivated in Goodfellas is there in Casino so strongly that, combined with largely the same cast, makes them feel like the same film, despite the fact that the story, characters, setting, plot, etc. are quite different. I felt similarly about Wolf of Wall Street on the direction side, but because the cast/setting was SO different, and because it had been so long since Scorsese had made anything like it, I didn't find it as bothersome.

It's a bit strange now that I think about it as there are directors with even more idiosyncratic styles that do the same things film-after-film that I rarely tire of--I think of guys like Bela Tarr or Tsai Ming-liang or even Malick nowadays. Scorsese doesn't have a style that's THAT unique/identifiable, and can even do stuff that's quite different--Hugo, Shutter Island--but whenever he DOES return to the style of Goodfellas it always seems to make those films feel extremely similar regardless of how different the other elements are. I'm not sure why this is or why it's more bothersome to me when he does it compared to when other directors do it.

Raxivace wrote: King Kong vs. Godzilla (Rewatch, 1962, Dir. Ishiro Honda)
I saw this back in the day. I just remember thinking it was silly back then but I may appreciate the camp more now.

Raxivace wrote: Elfen Lied (2004-2005) – I really wonder how the idea that this is some kind of thoughtful artistic series spread across the internet 10-15 years ago because Elfen Lied absolutely is not that. What it is mostly a combination of standard melodrama and fairly tryhard exploitation film and nudity. It is sometimes very badly animated too.
Pretty much. I rather liked this when I first saw it, but then I saw how seriously people were taking it and when I watched it the second time I basically came away realizing that it was utterly awful if judged on "artistic" standards, but if you watched it as a kinda cheesy, grindhouse melodrama/exploitation film it was pretty fun. I think what trips people up is that there ARE some genuinely disturbing moments, like the scene with the dog/schoolkids, but everything's generally so over-the-top that if you take it all straight then it's bad in the way that The Room is bad.

Raxivace wrote: The Kingdom (1994) -
That mix of "pretty standard medical drama" and "supernatural weirdness" is pretty much the entire appeal of The Kingdom. I would agree that, from what I can remember, it's not as well-integrated as Twin Peaks, but I still thought it excellent and extremely entertaining. As for the style, it's worth noting that it was made in between Trier's Europa and Breaking the Waves; that's important because Europa was very much Trier in his mannered, uber-stylized mode, while Breaking the Waves was Trier's first film he made after the "Dogme" movement was announced, which was pretty much in 180-opposition to Trier's previous mode of filmmaking. Because The Kingdom was made in between those I think it very much bears the hallmarks of a transitional work, stylistically. You can see the dogme style in the handheld camerawork, eg, but also Trier's old style in the more "composed" stuff. I don't remember any subtitle difficulties in the DVD version I saw, but that's not saying much.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #321

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:11 am

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I saw some new films and I rewatched some films.
New films:
Hellboy (2004)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Jurassic World (2015)
Hell or High Water (2016)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part One - Pandora's Box (1995)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two - Cinderella (1995)
A Chinese Ghost Story (2011)
Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal (2015)
The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (2014)

Rewatches:
Dragon Inn (1992)
Memento (2000)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Life of Oharu (1952)
Die Hard (1988)
Watchmen (2009)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Casino (1995)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
The Pianist (2002)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Batman Begins (2005)

Out of all those, I enjoyed Memento, Terminator 2 and The Life of Oharu the most. Oharu really is a masterpiece (aesthetically speaking).
I loved the Hellboys and its a shame that Del Toro will probably never get a chance to complete his trilogy. I also loved Dragon Inn but its one I'd very much like to see on Criterion blu-ray as the old DVD I saw sucked. Memento is still Nolan's best film. Terminator 2 is awesome; I remember it being all anyone in my school was talking about when it came out. Oharu is excellent but, surprisingly, I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite Miyazaki's; but he's made so many masterpieces that that's not really an insult. It's another I'm very much looking forward to seeing on blu-ray. Die Hard is great, though a bit overrated IMO. Watchmen and V for Vendetta I can't help but compare unfavorably to the novels, though I think V probably translated a bit better to film. Casino is mostly just a lazy remake of Goodfellas. AoJJbtCRF I really need to rewatch; I didn't care for it much the first time, but given how everyone talks about it being so beautiful it actually sounds like something I should've liked more. Pianist was solid Oscar bait material. LA Confidentail is really good, but one of those that was overhyped at the time; still one of the better neo-noirs. Batman Begins is my favorite of the Nolan Batmans because it's the only one that nails Batman on an aesthetic level.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I saw some new films in the meantime.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981; George Miller)(this was a rewatch)
The Puppetmaster (1993; Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
The Emperor and the Assassin (1998; Chen Kaige)
Yellow Earth (1984; Chen Kaige)
Life on a String (1991; Chen Kaige)
Fear X (2003; Nicolas Winding Refn)
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005; Zhang Yimou)
A Snake of June (2002; Shin'ya Tsukamoto)
What Time Is It There? (2001; Tsai Ming-liang)
Like Someone in Love (2012; Abbas Kiarostami)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010; Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Knight of Cups (2015; Terrence Malick)
Sky Hunter (2017; Li Chen)
Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000; Bong Joon-ho)
American Hustle (2013; David O. Russell)
Joy (2015; David O. Russell)
Atomic Blonde (2017; David Leitch)
Long Shot (2019; Jonathan Levine)
Bandslam (2009; Todd Graff)
Polar (2019; Jonas Åkerlund)
Mulholland Falls (1996; Lee Tamahori)
Destination Wedding (2018; Victor Levin)

The Puppetmaster is by far the best film on this list. I would even go as far as saying that it is one of the greatest films of all time. I hope you will see it one day.
Yay! Someone else who shares my love of that film! Really, you have a lot of great films on this list but, yeah, Puppetmaster is the only one that's near my top 30. I just desperately wish we could get a decent DVD/blu-ray release of it. Until then, A City of Sadness is still my favorite Hou (top 10).

As for the rest, I don't remember much of the original Mad Max films. Life on a String is also one of my favorite films. I expected nothing going in and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful films I'd ever seen, though again via a pretty shitty DVD. I've had difficulty finding good DVDs of Kaige's other films, tbh, but Life on a String alone made me want to see more. What Time is it There? is another of my favorites, a really solid 9.5. That ending is just so fucking perfect, beautiful, haunting, mysterious. It's also my favorite Tsai film by a good distance, even though I'm a pretty big fan of his in general. Uncle Boonmee is also glorious, but I've loved every Apichatpong films I've seen. I've literally given all of his films from Tropical Malady on a 9.5, which I don't think I've ever done with a new/contemporary filmmaker. Haven't seen his last film yet, though. Knight of Cups is where I finally really felt that Malick had run out of steam after Tree of Life. I just didn't feel like it had anything new or original to say and was just more of his same-ol', same-ol' in terms of its idiosyncratic style. American Hustle was pretty dull, IMO, and I don't remember much from it. Joy had its moments, especially in the performances, but still pretty forgettable.

From those I haven't seen, is there any you'd highly recommend?
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #322

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:32 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:The only thing I know about this series is that the only guy I'm still in touch with from EvaGeeks just had me buy a bunch of VOTOMS blu-rays for him. He's in Finland (no, it's not Xard!) and RightStuff doesn't ship there, so I'm basically his mule.
Finally, after a year of making VOTOMS posts here, somebody actually responds to one of them...

I know there was at least one other Finnish user at EGF. It's not Merridian, is it? I seem to remember them being from there, though I could be wrong.

Whoever it is, perhaps you would consider inviting them to this place? I mean if they like VOTOMS they must be worth talking to.

[laugh] Man, you just have to imagine a world where "good fighting games" wasn't even a thing. I'm trying to remember literally any fighting game I played before SF2 that didn't suck ass... like, I remember Karate Champ (I think it was) on NES, and even that was terrible compared to SF2 (and I'm guessing SF1).
Street Fighter 1 is just awful in every single way. Karate Champ might be worse, I haven't played it, but SF1 is just bad.

Honestly I'd go as far as saying vanilla SF2 might just be the first good fighting game period.

I'm still interested in seeing Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Well I'd still recommend it, though if you haven't liked Fassbinder's other stuff much I'm not sure how strong of a recommend I'd make that toward you. The only other thing of his I've seen is Ali but I liked that quite a bit.

I didn't even know there was such a thing!
Neither did I until I read that it was a special feature on Criterion's release of Fassbinder's version.

He's also left me hanging in the music forum. :(
I e-mailed him last week and apparently he's caught up with real life stuff ATM.

What a loser, not spending all of his time online...

I think I can agree with this from what I remember. I think Nightmare's basic premise was more unique/original considering early F13ths were basically just Halloween remakes, but as F13 went on it got far more out there and Elm just stuck with the same formula as the first film. I still remember the F13 where a girl defeated Jason with her psychic powers, the one set on the boat, and the one where Jason is revived by lightning hitting his grave... oh, and the one where the coroner eats Jason's heart and becomes possessed by him. All pretty wacky stuff looking back on it.
Yeah I agree with this. Nightmare started out with a strong premise that they never evolved much, whereas F13ths always did wacky things.

The boat one in particular I think is kind of underrated.

I loved this film back in the day. It came out at about the apex of my horror obsession and my cousin and I just rewatched it constantly. A few years later when I had my first girlfriend I even remember us watching it and it being basically the first real "date" I ever had, even though it just involved us sitting in my cousin's bedroom and watching it while holding hands.
Yeah I just watched the movie because I saw it on Netflix, my experience with Scream doesn't seem to match up to your story lol.

But yeah its fun. The twist about the killers actually got me.

Shame you didn't like this more as it was near the top of my list of stuff to see when I get back to film. Interesting idea about TV making it so that fewer people know how to effectively write for feature films anymore... I would think that would probably depend on who's doing the writing more than anything as each medium requires different skills.
El Camino is a weird one for me because I typically subscribe to Ebert-ish notions about judging films for what they're trying to be and El Camino is a movie that is exactly what it wanted to be, but I still felt like they could have been more ambitious with it.

Still its a fun watch, and I can't say I regret the two hours I spent with it. I'm probably even more likely to rewatch it in lieu of doing full Breaking Bad rewatches. There's always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind though...

As far as the TV writing thing goes, yeah obviously it depends. Still I keep seeing the kinds of sentiments online that you need so much time to set up stories that just can't be done in single feature films that it really makes me worry for the future of mainstream cinema, if the young people of today that will be the filmmakers of tomorrow aren't being exposed to good features that can tell single stories that are outside of endless franchise filmmaking or the prestige television model.

Like as much as I liked Breaking Bad, you could conceivably tell the main beats of that story in feature length. If people are still going to know how to even do that I wonder about though.

I bought this when it came out but I've yet to watch it. It sounds like it'd be right up my alley--basically a mix of porn and art-house, something like In The Realm of the Senses but even more avant-garde/experimental. I also think Yamamoto made two other films like this that have yet(?) to be released.
If there are more films like Belladonna I'd love to check them out.

Btw, did you ever see Robert Egger's The Witch? I think Belladonna is kind of the antithesis of The Witch in a lot of a ways though not many seem to agree with my take on the Eggers film.

I thought you might like this more than the others, though I'm surprised you didn't like the screwball chase scenes more; I thought they were exhilarating! Especially by animation standards where more movement = more money. I would agree the characters are underwritten but I think the film works perfectly as an archetypal action-adventure/screwball film where characters generally tend to be on the shallower side.
I mean I did like Laputa well enough, though Nadia being in my mind so much probably just exacerbated Laputa's cast seeming underwritten to me. Like Nadia herself in her show has a very strong, almost proto-Asuka type of personality that makes the flatness of the equivalent character in Laputa stand out even more.

Funny, I kinda dismissed it as "Goodfellas Redux" in my reply to Lord Lyndon. I think it stems from the fact that all of the idiosyncrasies of Scorsese's style that he cultivated in Goodfellas is there in Casino so strongly that, combined with largely the same cast, makes them feel like the same film, despite the fact that the story, characters, setting, plot, etc. are quite different.
Eh just the fact that De Niro is the lead in Casino playing a very different character than not only the (supporting) one he played in Goodfellas but from Ray Liotta as well makes them feel different to me. No real equivalent to Sharon Stone in GoodFellas either (If anything Margot Robbie in WOWS is more similar to her, even if she is played up for her sex appeal far more than Stone is).

The closest similarity between Goodfellas and Casino's casts IMO are Pesci's characters and even then I'd say in Casino he has moments of (Relative) tenderness that I'm not sure are there in Goodfellas.

whenever he DOES return to the style of Goodfellas it always seems to make those films feel extremely similar regardless of how different the other elements are. I'm not sure why this is or why it's more bothersome to me when he does it compared to when other directors do it.
I think part of it for me is that I think Scorsese still does it well whereas I haven't liked the imitators (Like Boogie Nights or American Hustle) a whole lot.

Pretty much. I rather liked this when I first saw it, but then I saw how seriously people were taking it and when I watched it the second time I basically came away realizing that it was utterly awful if judged on "artistic" standards, but if you watched it as a kinda cheesy, grindhouse melodrama/exploitation film it was pretty fun. I think what trips people up is that there ARE some genuinely disturbing moments, like the scene with the dog/schoolkids, but everything's generally so over-the-top that if you take it all straight then it's bad in the way that The Room is bad.
I was reading old EGF threads about Elfen Lied a few weeks ago, and the comments on the dog/schoolkids scene were interesting because people seemed to point to that a lot to prove that racism, or something, was the main theme of Elfen Lied, but from what I can tell that scene only exists to generate more sympathy for Lucy. Melodrama felt like the ends to me and not the means to get to some deeper theme, which is fine, though I'm not sure why more people don't seem able to make that kind of distinction.

That being said those schoolkids were really over the top even by these standards.

That mix of "pretty standard medical drama" and "supernatural weirdness" is pretty much the entire appeal of The Kingdom. I would agree that, from what I can remember, it's not as well-integrated as Twin Peaks, but I still thought it excellent and extremely entertaining. As for the style, it's worth noting that it was made in between Trier's Europa and Breaking the Waves; that's important because Europa was very much Trier in his mannered, uber-stylized mode, while Breaking the Waves was Trier's first film he made after the "Dogme" movement was announced, which was pretty much in 180-opposition to Trier's previous mode of filmmaking. Because The Kingdom was made in between those I think it very much bears the hallmarks of a transitional work, stylistically. You can see the dogme style in the handheld camerawork, eg, but also Trier's old style in the more "composed" stuff. I don't remember any subtitle difficulties in the DVD version I saw, but that's not saying much.
Thanks for the info. I still have more von Trier to dig into over the years (Actually, I do plan on watchings one of his films here soon), though before I get to that I need to start season 2 of The Kingdom! I am behind!
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #323

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:38 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:From those I haven't seen, is there any you'd highly recommend?

You might want to check out Kiarostami's 'Like Someone in Love'. What's interesting about this film is that it actually isn't an Iranian film. It is a Japanese film, made in Japan with Japanese cast. It is a pretty sold art-film. Definitely worth seeing.
Also check out 'Hell or High Water'. Some people called this one a Neo-Western. I still don't know what it means, even after seeing the film. I've never heard the term before. Anyway, audiences and critics really liked this one. You should check it out in the future.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #324

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:00 am

I saw a bunch of animated stuff.

Samurai Champloo (2004–2005)
Fun and entertaining anime series. Basically a post-modern take on samurai genre. Highly recommended. (8/10)

Kaiba (2008)
One of those more unique and idiosyncratic anime series. Sort of like Haibane renmei and Texhnolyze. It takes a basic premise that memories can be transferred from one body to another. Definitely worth seeing. (8/10)

FLCL (2000–2018)
A brilliant and crazy anime series. I have to say I really loved this one. It is a bit surreal, but it definitely makes sense. It is enjoyable and profound. (9/10)

Æon Flux (1991–1995)
Excellent American animated series that is comprised of 6 short episodes and 10 episodes lasting roughly 25 minutes. It is Sci-Fi, a bit surreal at times. Very interesting series. (8/10)

Barefoot Gen (1983)
A timeless classic. One of the best animated films of all time. Examines the effect of the Hiroshima bombing on Japanese people, all seen through the lens of one boy called Gen and his family. A must see. (10/10)

Gunnm (1993 Video)
This is that Alita Battle Angel thing. It is very short (2 episodes). I really had fun with it. Had a great time. (9/10)

Gunbuster (1988)
An amazing anime by Anno. It turned out even better than I expected. Beautiful visuals and a very emotional story. I have to say I liked this much more than Nolan's Interstellar. For instance. (9/10)

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #325

Postby Raxivace » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:27 pm

I remember seeing a few episodes of Samurai Champloo when I was young and not understanding it. I'd probably like it a lot now though if I went back back and watched it now. I'll probably do that next year.

The original FLCL is fantastic.

I loved GunBuster and I agree about it being better than Interstellar. If you want to see another take on that kind of story, check out Makoto Shinkai's short film Voices of a Distant Star.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #326

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:53 am

Raxivace wrote:If you want to see another take on that kind of story, check out Makoto Shinkai's short film Voices of a Distant Star.


I saw that one 3 years ago. I loved it. But thanks for the rec anyway.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #327

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:52 am

Awesome. Its one of my favorite shorts of recent years.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #328

Postby Raxivace » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:22 am

Catching up on Halloween watchings and other assorted films (Still haven’t started Kingdom Season 2 yet ☹)…

164. Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Dir. Roman Polanski) – I can’t believe this is only the second Polanski I’ve seen…
Anyways I don’t really have anything unique to say about this but it’s a great film. I think it works me in a way something like Hereditary does it because I think the goofier supernatural stuff still actually works on a metaphorical/allegorical level, which I’m not sure is the case with Hereditary.

165. The Exorcist (1973, Dir. William Friedkin) – Similarly with Rosemary’s Baby and Polanski, I’m also surprised this is only the second Friedkin I’ve seen (Though in my defense I didn’t like The French Connection very much). Again solid film, I was surprised to see Max von Sydow here, generally good performances all around etc.

166. The Living Skeleton (1968, Dir. Hiroki Matsuno) – To be honest I couldn’t quite tell you what the plot of this one was (Something about gangsters, a murder on a boat, and a fake ghost), but it had a cool misty atmospheric style that was reminiscent of some of the Val Lewton movies (A comparison the essay with the Eclipse DVD also makes).

Sadly I did not get around to the final film of the When Horror Came to Shochiku boxset, so I’ll have to watch that later.

167. Shimmer Lake (2017, Dir. Oren Uziel) – Basic crime/mystery film about murder, a bank robbery etc. The most interesting thing here is that it’s told in a reeverse chronological structure, though it’s not as well done as something like Memento.

The second most interesting thing here is that it has the most absurd suspense scene ever put on a film, involving a naked man hiding in a bathroom while taking a dump from a gunman, and trying very hard not to shit too loudly so the gunman doesn’t notice him in the bathroom and murder him. I’m not making this up.

168. Serenity (2018, Dir. Steven Knight) - Matthew McConaughey is a fisherman in a small fishing town on an island. One day his ex-wife and her new husband fly in to visit. Ex-wife wants McConaughey to kill the husband because he’s abusing her and Matt’s son. In reality that is, and also the fucking video game world that McConaughey lives in. You see, in reality McConaughey is dead, but the abused son made a video game about his dad being a fisherman, and virtual McConaughey is only just now realizing it. Also the video game might be heaven? Maybe? If it is that puts kind of a dark spin on the son reuniting with McConaughey on the island at the end.

I kind of liked this movie and thought the twist was kind of batshit for something I expected to be a more standard neo-noir at first. It wouldn’t make my top 10 of the year or anything but I dunno I thought it was alright.

169. Along Came a Spider (2001, Dir. Lee Tamahori) – Fairly typical thriller, though enjoyable enough. I have to admit the twist in the ending about Morgan Freeman’s partner got me. Also seeing Anton Yelchcin in this as a kid was fairly bittersweet.
I’m not really familiar with the “Alex Cross” franchise this comes from but I don’t think I’d mind watching the other movies if there about as good as this one.

170. The Road to El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) – I don’t know why this didn’t release with El Camino itself initially, but this is just one of those 10-15 “Man it’s great to get the gang back together!” featurettes. It kind of reminds me of the few commentary tracks on the Breaking Bad DVD’s I listened in that it’s mostly everyone congratulating each other on their work, but minus any weird rants from Vince Gilligan about auteur theory. It’s kind of fun but not very substantial.

171. Mystic River (2003, Dir. Clint Eastwood) – I remember when this came out when I was a kid and I wondered just what was so mystical about this damn river in the movie’s title. Like, was it about a magical river that grants wishes or something? I wanted to know but I just kind of forgot about the movie for the longest time, until I saw that it was on Netflix the other night. Well having seen the film now, it turns out the answer about the river isn’t magical at all and is actually really sad.

Anyways, I thought it was a decent mystery/drama overall. There’s something about the performances in Eastwood’s movies that are starting to seem a little off to me though, and I can’t really put my finger on it. I think its more noticeable when he’s working with children, there’s some kind of strange stiltedness that I can’t quite tell if its woodenness meant to be sincerity or like a deliberate stylistic choice that I’m just at a loss for words how to describe. Whatever it is, its there in some of his more recent movies like Jersey Boys and The 15:17 to Paris.

172. The Farewell (2019, Dir. Lulu Wang) – A neat drama. Akwafina plays a young woman who is a Chinese immigrant living in New York, who briefly returns to China once she hear her grandmother has been diagnosed with cancer. The thing is, the family doesn’t want to actually tell grandma she has cancer until it gets much worse so she can live in ignorant bliss until the bitter end (An apparently common practice among Chinese families. I remember hearing a news story or something about this a while back). Akwafina, being mostly raised in America, isn’t cool with this lying and the whole drama revolves around whether she’ll reveal the lie or not.

It’s a solid movie. What I like is how it approaches both perspectives on the lie with empathy- that in a way both the desire to withhold the true and reveal it are coming from a place genuine concern. Personally speaking if I were dying of cancer I would want to know.

173. Domino (2019, Dir. Brian De Palma) – Lmao. Just lmao. This is De Palma's worst film (At least that I've seen), and not even in a particularly interesting way. Just a bad bad baaaad police thriller about Jaime Lannister and Melisandre from Game of Thrones chasing a serial killer (Who is recruited by the CIA in the movie) who only goes after ISIS members for personal reasons.

Man its just kind of dull to actually watch despite being less than 90 minutes long. I had low expectations since even De Palma fans seem not to like his newer stuff but geeze this is just a stinker.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #329

Postby Derived Absurdity » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:38 am

Raxivace wrote:The second most interesting thing here is that it has the most absurd suspense scene ever put on a film, involving a naked man hiding in a bathroom while taking a dump from a gunman, and trying very hard not to shit too loudly so the gunman doesn’t notice him in the bathroom and murder him. I’m not making this up.


bitch what

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #330

Postby Raxivace » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:13 am

Derived Absurdity wrote:bitch what
Yeah it's pretty ridiculous. If the whole movie were that absurd I'd probably like it more, but the rest is fairly serious in tone...which makes that shit bit stand out even more.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #331

Postby Raxivace » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:10 am

174. Trevor Noah: African American (2013, Dir. Ryan Polito) - Too long on YouTube one afternoon lead me to watching the entirety of this stand-up special. Pretty funny, though a little edgier than Noah seems to be these days.

175. The World is Not Enough (Rewatch?, 1999, Dir. Michael Apted) - Another Bond film that I thought I had seen before but having watched it again I'm not sure. Anyways I enjoyed it well enough, and the oil plotline seems kind of prescient with issues that would soon come to the forefront of culture in the aftermath of 9/11. Kind of sad that this is the final film with Desmond Llewelyn as Q.

176. Die Another Day (Rewatch, 2002, Dir. Lee Tamahori) - The final outing of Brosnan as Bond. I remembered this being pretty bad, though this time around I enjoyed it as cheesy fun, especially with the invisible car might be at the top of absurd Bond technology. Perhaps its easier for me to accept the movie's silliness as it is now knowing the tone of the Daniel Craig movies to come next.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #332

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:35 am

Replicas (2018)
Despite the fact that most people thought it was relatively bad, I thought it was a relatively decent sci-fi drama/thriller. I admit that acting was indeed bad, but it didn't bother me so much. I think this one is worth checking out.

White Heat (1949)
Pretty solid crime film with Cagney. This film is a classic, but I think it is slightly overrated. I wasn't really impressed with the direction, and the story itself is something I've seen many times before, so...

Vampire Hunter D (1985)
A very nice Japanese animated film. If you love stories about vampires, then this one is for you. If not, then...

Justice League (2017)
Another solid piece of entertainment from Snyder. It wasn't quite as enjoyable as Batman vs. Superman, but it was okay.

Green Book (2018)
A film with two terrific characters played by two terrific actors. I loved this one. It was certainly amusing and poignant. It would definitely make my top 20 of the year.

Infernal Affairs II (2003)
A great prequel of the legendary Hong Kong film. This one focuses more on crime bosses than undercover cops/criminals. It is closer to something like Johnnie To 'Election' films I saw earlier this year.

Infernal Affairs III (2003)
A nice way to end the trilogy. What is interesting about this one is that it is told in non-linear fashion, and it is more a character study that your standard plot driven gangster film.

Ip Man (2008)
A decent martial arts film, but I expected more. A very overrated film.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)
It was okay I guess. It had solid action sequences, but I didn't particularly like what was happening between them. I liked second part much more that his one.

Journey to the West (2013)
A prequel of sorts of the legendary Chinese Odyssey films. It is quite funny. It was directed by a guy who starred in original films back in the 90's (Stephen Chow).

La La Land (2016)
Didn't like this one. I didn't find it romantic nor charming nor magical. I didn't even finish the thing, which rarely happens.

Parasite (2019)
A very good Korean con film with social commentary. I can't help but feel this one would be of more interest to Derived Absurdity than me, though.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
A brilliant piece of entertainment. A fun ride from beginning to end. Probably the best Star Wars film of this century. Loved it.

Shanghai Fortress (2019)
I think this one is criminally underrated. It is basically an alien invasion film, but it focuses more on human drama and emotion that action (though there is plenty of action too).

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
I thought it was good. I particularly liked the whole Rey/Luke Skywalker/Kylo Ren subplot. The last 20 minutes were very good too.

Temptress Moon (1996)
Probably the weakest Kaige Chen film I've seen so far, but still decent I guess. The film is somewhat elevated by Leslie Chung's acting and Christopher Doyle's cinematography. The legendary Gong Li co-starrs.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #333

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:04 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:The only thing I know about this series is that the only guy I'm still in touch with from EvaGeeks just had me buy a bunch of VOTOMS blu-rays for him. He's in Finland (no, it's not Xard!) and RightStuff doesn't ship there, so I'm basically his mule.
Finally, after a year of making VOTOMS posts here, somebody actually responds to one of them...

I know there was at least one other Finnish user at EGF. It's not Merridian, is it? I seem to remember them being from there, though I could be wrong.

Whoever it is, perhaps you would consider inviting them to this place? I mean if they like VOTOMS they must be worth talking to.
It's Dr. Nik, actually. He wasn't posting much on EGF back when I was there, but he had mentioned he was looking for a mule so I volunteered since I'm always boxing/shipping stuff anyways. I guess I could extend him an invite but I have no idea if he'd be interested in posting.

Raxivace wrote:
I'm still interested in seeing Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Well I'd still recommend it, though if you haven't liked Fassbinder's other stuff much I'm not sure how strong of a recommend I'd make that toward you. The only other thing of his I've seen is Ali but I liked that quite a bit.
One thing I'll say about Fassbinder is that he's extremely versatile as some of his films are nothing like some of his other films. Ali/Merchant is about the time he got really into Douglas Sirk, but his stuff before that is all over the place stylistically. Love is Colder than Death, eg, is an even chillier Melville-style noir.

Raxivace wrote:Yeah I agree with this. Nightmare started out with a strong premise that they never evolved much, whereas F13ths always did wacky things.

The boat one in particular I think is kind of underrated.
The boat one is the one I remember my cousin and I laughing hysterically most of the way through.

Raxivace wrote:
I loved this film back in the day. It came out at about the apex of my horror obsession and my cousin and I just rewatched it constantly. A few years later when I had my first girlfriend I even remember us watching it and it being basically the first real "date" I ever had, even though it just involved us sitting in my cousin's bedroom and watching it while holding hands.
Yeah I just watched the movie because I saw it on Netflix, my experience with Scream doesn't seem to match up to your story lol.

But yeah its fun. The twist about the killers actually got me.
Pretty sure that twist gets everyone! Was that the first metafictional horror film? I can't think of any predecessors, but it certainly seemed original at the time.

Raxivace wrote:As far as the TV writing thing goes, yeah obviously it depends. Still I keep seeing the kinds of sentiments online that you need so much time to set up stories that just can't be done in single feature films that it really makes me worry for the future of mainstream cinema, if the young people of today that will be the filmmakers of tomorrow aren't being exposed to good features that can tell single stories that are outside of endless franchise filmmaking or the prestige television model.

Like as much as I liked Breaking Bad, you could conceivably tell the main beats of that story in feature length. If people are still going to know how to even do that I wonder about though.
To me, I've always thought of TV as being closer to novels and feature films being closer to lyric poetry; the idea being that the compressed time in features put more pressure on directors to do more with form and style to supplement whatever lack of time they have to do longer developmental arcs for characters and plot. In a sense, I won't be terribly sad if we see story-centric ("mainstream," I guess) filmmaking decline and allowing those things to move to TV, as long as the artier forms of filmmaking survive I'll be satisfied as I think that's really where films is at its best (and that's true even in what many would consider story-centric films like noirs and westerns).

Raxivace wrote:
I bought this when it came out but I've yet to watch it. It sounds like it'd be right up my alley--basically a mix of porn and art-house, something like In The Realm of the Senses but even more avant-garde/experimental. I also think Yamamoto made two other films like this that have yet(?) to be released.
If there are more films like Belladonna I'd love to check them out.

Btw, did you ever see Robert Egger's The Witch? I think Belladonna is kind of the antithesis of The Witch in a lot of a ways though not many seem to agree with my take on the Eggers film.
Yeah they were part of a trilogy called the animerama. I'd forgotten that it was actually Osamu Tezuka that conceived them. Belladonna was actually the third. Did a quick search and there actually is a Region 2/B blu-ray of the first two films: https://www.amazon.com/Animerama-Nights-Cleopatra-Limited-Blu-ray/dp/B07BT4LW2X/

Have not seen The Witch, but you've got me interested in checking it out along with Belladonna.

Raxivace wrote:I mean I did like Laputa well enough, though Nadia being in my mind so much probably just exacerbated Laputa's cast seeming underwritten to me. Like Nadia herself in her show has a very strong, almost proto-Asuka type of personality that makes the flatness of the equivalent character in Laputa stand out even more.
Yeah, I wouldn't doubt that Nadia is stronger on the character side (it's Anno, afterall, and I don't think character has ever been Miyazaki's strength), but that's not really why I loved Laputa.

Raxivace wrote:Eh just the fact that De Niro is the lead in Casino playing a very different character than not only the (supporting) one he played in Goodfellas but from Ray Liotta as well makes them feel different to me. No real equivalent to Sharon Stone in GoodFellas either (If anything Margot Robbie in WOWS is more similar to her, even if she is played up for her sex appeal far more than Stone is).

The closest similarity between Goodfellas and Casino's casts IMO are Pesci's characters and even then I'd say in Casino he has moments of (Relative) tenderness that I'm not sure are there in Goodfellas.
For me it's the style more than the characters/story. That combination of voiceover plus montage plus music juxtaposed against those scenes of "pure drama" that plays out without any of them. It's very distinct, and when you combine that with the same cast with similar subject matter (how much difference is there really between casino owners and gangsters?) and it emphasizes it all the more.

Raxivace wrote:I was reading old EGF threads about Elfen Lied a few weeks ago, and the comments on the dog/schoolkids scene were interesting because people seemed to point to that a lot to prove that racism, or something, was the main theme of Elfen Lied, but from what I can tell that scene only exists to generate more sympathy for Lucy. Melodrama felt like the ends to me and not the means to get to some deeper theme, which is fine, though I'm not sure why more people don't seem able to make that kind of distinction.

That being said those schoolkids were really over the top even by these standards.
I think we completely agree here.

Raxivace wrote:Thanks for the info. I still have more von Trier to dig into over the years (Actually, I do plan on watchings one of his films here soon), though before I get to that I need to start season 2 of The Kingdom! I am behind!
If you get into Von Trier I can't wait to hear your thoughts on his films! Even the ones I don't like (like Dogville) are fun to talk about!

Raxivace wrote:164. Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Dir. Roman Polanski)
I had a funky history with this as I initially saw it during my horror-obsession phase as a kid and didn't like it at all, and when I finally revisited it years later I'd seen Repulsion, which I ended up thinking was a far, far better film. I think the Rosemary's Baby premise was done better in Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim, TBH.

Raxivace wrote:165. The Exorcist (1973, Dir. William Friedkin)
Conversely, this scared the living bejeesus out of me as a child. Took me a long time to get around to watching it again. I still think it's amazingly effective even after horror films got far more explicit and gruesome. You also really need to get around to seeing Killer Joe from Friedkin!

Raxivace wrote:166. The Living Skeleton (1968, Dir. Hiroki Matsuno)
Haven't seen this one, but it reminded me of something I did see recently. So, I mentioned in the music thread I'd just started exploring/experimenting with medical marijuana for my health problems. Well, the first time I took too much and was in complete la la land I ended up planted in a chair watching whatever my mom had on TV, which happened to be The Skeleton Key. The film was weird enough on its own (basically involving hoodoo and shit) but even weirder when your brain insists on dreaming while awake. Perhaps the most interesting thing about it was that it's one of the few horror films I can remember where the bad guys win. Not sure if I could properly rate it or not, but it was certainly an interesting experience!

Raxivace wrote:169. Along Came a Spider (2001, Dir. Lee Tamahori)
I saw this back when it came out but I remember almost nothing about it. Your review didn't even trigger much.

Raxivace wrote:171. Mystic River (2003, Dir. Clint Eastwood)
One of my mom's favorite films. I actually think it's one of his better post-Unforgiven efforts, but that's not saying a ton. I agree with you about his actors, especially children. Gran Torino is the best example of how laughably bad his actors can be.

Raxivace wrote:175. The World is Not Enough (Rewatch?, 1999, Dir. Michael Apted)

176. Die Another Day (Rewatch, 2002, Dir. Lee Tamahori)
I rather liked The World is Not Enough, but I seemed to be one of the few. Actually one of the more emotional Bonds from what I can remember. Die Another Day was pretty abysmal from what I remember.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #334

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:11 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:From those I haven't seen, is there any you'd highly recommend?

You might want to check out Kiarostami's 'Like Someone in Love'. What's interesting about this film is that it actually isn't an Iranian film. It is a Japanese film, made in Japan with Japanese cast. It is a pretty sold art-film. Definitely worth seeing.
Also check out 'Hell or High Water'. Some people called this one a Neo-Western. I still don't know what it means, even after seeing the film. I've never heard the term before. Anyway, audiences and critics really liked this one. You should check it out in the future.
I'm typically hit-and-miss with Kiarostami but this sounds interesting; perhaps similar to Hou's Cafe Lumiere, which he also made in Japan as a tribute to Ozu. I'll definitely make Hell or High Water a priority.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:
FLCL (2000–2018)

Æon Flux (1991–1995)

Barefoot Gen (1983)

I've seen these. FLCL is an old favorite. Like NGE if it was comedy and took meth and psychedelics. Aeon Flux was one I remember being on MTV and that I rented from Hollywood Video (The Maxxx was another from that era). Don't remember a whole lot other than it being pretty bizarre. Barefoot Gen is phenomenal but a tough watch, kinda similar to Grave of the Fireflies, though the style/approach to both is completely different.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:White Heat (1949)

Vampire Hunter D (1985)
These are the only ones I've seen from that list. I liked White Heat well enough but I can agree it's kinda overrated. Vampire Hunter D I never cared for, but I actually really liked its sequel (Bloodlust).
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #335

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:06 pm

BTW Rax, in case you miss it, check the music thread out if you get a chance. In my last post there I remembered to tell you something I forgot when I was talking about Tool.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #336

Postby Raxivace » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:40 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I'm typically hit-and-miss with Kiarostami but this sounds interesting; perhaps similar to Hou's Cafe Lumiere, which he also made in Japan as a tribute to Ozu. I'll definitely make Hell or High Water a priority.
I haven't seen Cafe Lumiere but I remember reading some review on IMDb that derisively compared Anno of all people to the film which has kind of stuck in my memory.

It seems like there's always someone trying to take Anno down, though I think that's the first time I saw someone trying to do so from an arthouse POV and not some enraged Tomino fanboy that's mad Eva is more well-known than Space Runaway Ideon or something.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #337

Postby Raxivace » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:56 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:The boat one is the one I remember my cousin and I laughing hysterically most of the way through.
Oh its definitely funny. Like just the idea that they can ride that huge boat from Camp Crystal Lake straight to New York is hilarious.

That the surviving characters get mugged like five minutes after getting off the boat at New York also gets a chuckle out of me.

Pretty sure that twist gets everyone! Was that the first metafictional horror film? I can't think of any predecessors, but it certainly seemed original at the time.
It's hard to think of a real solid example that works in quite the way Scream does. Maybe Haxan?

I guess there's something like Targets too where Boris Karloff is basically playing himself, but that's not really quite "meta" in the way Scream is.

To me, I've always thought of TV as being closer to novels and feature films being closer to lyric poetry; the idea being that the compressed time in features put more pressure on directors to do more with form and style to supplement whatever lack of time they have to do longer developmental arcs for characters and plot. In a sense, I won't be terribly sad if we see story-centric ("mainstream," I guess) filmmaking decline and allowing those things to move to TV, as long as the artier forms of filmmaking survive I'll be satisfied as I think that's really where films is at its best (and that's true even in what many would consider story-centric films like noirs and westerns).
I think the best noirs and westerns had strong styles/form too, though I think part of what was good in style in those films was how they would use visuals to suggest story information (Beyond general visual pleasures of venetian blind shadows or landscape shots of Monument Valley and so on that had helped create a great tone in a lot of the best of those movies).

Here's my worst nightmare scenario for films today: Take a movie like The Searchers. That movie never outright tells you what Ethan was doing in the Civil War, or that he had an affair of some sort with Debbie's mother, but there's enough there to suggest there's a lot we don't see (And well the latter of which is explicitly mentioned in Ford's script). Nowadays I wonder if instead of suggesting things about Ethan through cinematic style, gestures in actor's performances etc., we would get The Searchers 1 about Ethan's war misadventures and political assassinations or whatever the fuck misgivings he was up to, The Searchers 2 where Ethan has steamy love affair, and then The Searchers 3 Part 1 about Ethan coming home, The Searchers 3 Part 2 about the actual search for Debbie, and then The Searchers 4: The Scar Backstory Movie that gives backstory about Scar and fails at the boxoffice for being a prequel.

Or they could be seasons of a TV series, but at a certain point I have to wonder what expanding and lengthening a story really adds, especially since I think its likely to come at the expense of "putting pressure on directors to supplement with form and style", and that we just end up with a lot of pointless filler as a result that's much less interesting as an explicitly told story.

None of this is to say I wouldn't even enjoy these hypothetical versions of The Searchers, but I fear they would just end up as less dense, worse versions of Ford's classic.

"Prestige" TV at its worst gives you Lost type disasters where there are many pointless detours over 100+ episodes, and I wake up with a cold sweat in the night at the thought of my favorite films being subjected to that hellish format.

Of course the miniseries format a la Evangelion or Berlin Alexanderplatz are a different beast, and I think preferable usually to multiseason shows.

Yeah they were part of a trilogy called the animerama. I'd forgotten that it was actually Osamu Tezuka that conceived them. Belladonna was actually the third. Did a quick search and there actually is a Region 2/B blu-ray of the first two films: https://www.amazon.com/Animerama-Nights-Cleopatra-Limited-Blu-ray/dp/B07BT4LW2X/

Have not seen The Witch, but you've got me interested in checking it out along with Belladonna.
Hmm I think I might wait until a Region A release happens. Or I could just pirate them I guess.

Yeah, I wouldn't doubt that Nadia is stronger on the character side (it's Anno, afterall, and I don't think character has ever been Miyazaki's strength), but that's not really why I loved Laputa.
I'd say biggest strength of Laputa is in the animation and art style, which is consistently the high point in Miyazaki's work.

For me it's the style more than the characters/story. That combination of voiceover plus montage plus music juxtaposed against those scenes of "pure drama" that plays out without any of them. It's very distinct, and when you combine that with the same cast with similar subject matter (how much difference is there really between casino owners and gangsters?) and it emphasizes it all the more.
I think that there isn't much, if any, difference between gangsters and casino owners is a huge point of the story...

I agree the style is similar, though I think Casino shakes it up a bit with some of the music choices, like the operatic song played during the car bombing or the fact that Scorsese uses "Theme de Camille" from Godard's Contempt of all things several times.

If you get into Von Trier I can't wait to hear your thoughts on his films! Even the ones I don't like (like Dogville) are fun to talk about!
It'll probably be a longer-term project but do look forward to it.

I think the Rosemary's Baby premise was done better in Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim, TBH.
Yeah I'd probably agree with that. In general "satanic cult" plots are a are a hard sell on me though.

Conversely, this scared the living bejeesus out of me as a child. Took me a long time to get around to watching it again. I still think it's amazingly effective even after horror films got far more explicit and gruesome. You also really need to get around to seeing Killer Joe from Friedkin!
Have you seen Sorceror? That's another one from Friedkin I hear is good.

The Skeleton Key.
I'll have to check it out.

Gran Torino is the best example of how laughably bad his actors can be.
I might have to rewatch this because Gran Torino is one where I don't actually remember the acting being bad. I haven't seen that since I was in high school though and that was over a hundred years ago at this point.
Last edited by Raxivace on Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #338

Postby Raxivace » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:42 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:White Heat (1949)
Pretty solid crime film with Cagney. This film is a classic, but I think it is slightly overrated. I wasn't really impressed with the direction, and the story itself is something I've seen many times before, so...
I liked this one well enough, though I think Cagney was better with 30's genre stuff (Both gangsters and musicals) than late 40's noir.

Green Book (2018)
A film with two terrific characters played by two terrific actors. I loved this one. It was certainly amusing and poignant. It would definitely make my top 20 of the year.
I didn't hate this one but I thought it was kind of milquetoast, especially compared to something like BlacKkKlansman.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)
It was okay I guess. It had solid action sequences, but I didn't particularly like what was happening between them. I liked second part much more that his one.
I dunno, I didn't mind stuff between action scenes really.

La La Land (2016)
Didn't like this one. I didn't find it romantic nor charming nor magical. I didn't even finish the thing, which rarely happens.
I liked this one. [sad]

Parasite (2019)
A very good Korean con film with social commentary. I can't help but feel this one would be of more interest to Derived Absurdity than me, though.
I haven't seen this yet though I'm looking forward to it.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
A brilliant piece of entertainment. A fun ride from beginning to end. Probably the best Star Wars film of this century. Loved it.
I haven't seen Solo yet but I thought this was the weakest Star Wars film by far. I just thought the whole cast was bland even by Star Wars standards.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
I thought it was good. I particularly liked the whole Rey/Luke Skywalker/Kylo Ren subplot. The last 20 minutes were very good too.
This on the other hand I liked, if only because it felt like it was made in response to my complaints of the Abramsification of Star Wars with The Force Awakens.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #339

Postby Raxivace » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:50 pm

BTW Jimbo, do you have any thoughts on "block-booking" of all things coming back to life recently here in the States?
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #340

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:22 am

The Man from Nowhere (2010)
Solid Korean action film that is reminiscent of some American films (Bourne, Man on Fire, Taken). While it is quite good, it's not as good as films it was influenced by.

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)
Brilliant Korean film that successfully merges two genres: gangster film and serial killer film. This film is not as popular as 'The Man from Nowhere', but I think it's a more interesting film actually.

Underworld Awakening (2012)
Super entertaining actioner with Kate Beckinsale in leading role. I checked this out because I quite liked first two films back in the day; needless to say I was blown away.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
It was good. It was certainly imaginative. But I'm going to be honest here: I liked the first one better.
Here is chaos_rampant's review:
I suppose the appeal here is the extravagant imagination surrounding a very simple core, chambara blown into vampire opera. Overall it isn't much to my taste. The imagination strikes me as arbitrary and shapeless, one minute we are in a hillside nature fighting zombies, the next in a desert with giant mantas flying out of the sand. I get more enjoyment from inhabiting an internally shaped world. Bladerunner instead of Dune.
It has no limits to its fantasy, literally anything happens, and yet very simple limits to its story: forbidden love and revenge both tied to damnation. A Byronic antihero with a sword is our navigator. I find that it takes more work and more imagination in trying to envision ambiguous story limits, showing how this world is otherworldly and eerily cosmic. Mulholland Dr. instead of L'Ange.
What's interesting is that the villains here embody all the structural elements missing from the actual fabric of the film. One of them can move in shadows, weaves illusions out of fabric and is himself that fabric of nothingness; in a marvelous scene he traps our hero inside an actual fabric. Another can take apparently any structure. A third creates illusions out of peoples' memory, and is also herself a spectral entity made up from illusion.
So we have an unfathomable world where unfathomable beings embody extreme structural powers, a strange thing that ever so slightly charms.

Shadow (2018)
One of Zhang Yimou's lesser films, but still quite good. Its second half is certainly stronger than first half. It features some action sequences I've never seen before. So kudos to the director and action director.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #341

Postby Raxivace » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:02 pm

^Haven't seen any of those, but I saw some gorgeous looking screenshots of that Shadow movie that made me want to check it out. I haven't seen any of this Zhang Yimou's films before though.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #342

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:16 am

Some Like It Hot (1959)
Very good comedy from Wilder. I liked it for its outrageous plot. Jack Lemmon was fantastic.

The Apartment (1960)
Part of it is a satire of corporate life, part of it is a love story. It is absolutely magnificent. Its screenplay is one of the best ever. Definitely one of the best films I've ever seen.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
This silent is considered to be one of the best films of all time. I couldn't agree more after seeing it for the first time. Dreyer's direction was exceptional, Falconetti's performance was unforgettable.

Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)
Ivan the Terrible, Part II (1958)
Probably Eisenstein's most famous films after Potemkin. I liked them. He didn't go for realistic approach with them; they are rather operatic. I really liked how he played with light and shadow in them.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Excellent experimental film by Dziga Vertov. Not really much to say here.

The Bling Ring (2013)
Sort of a satire of culture obsessed with celebrity. Most people disliked it, but i thought it was rather amusing. Solid film by Coppola.

October Sky (1999)
Nice little movie with Jake Gyllenhaal in a leading role. One of those movies about following your dreams no matter what. There isn't much to it, but it is pretty good for what it is.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #343

Postby Raxivace » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:19 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Some Like It Hot (1959)
Very good comedy from Wilder. I liked it for its outrageous plot. Jack Lemmon was fantastic.

The Apartment (1960)
Part of it is a satire of corporate life, part of it is a love story. It is absolutely magnificent. Its screenplay is one of the best ever. Definitely one of the best films I've ever seen.
I liked both of these, particularly The Apartment. At some point I'm going to finish off Wilder's filmography.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
This silent is considered to be one of the best films of all time. I couldn't agree more after seeing it for the first time. Dreyer's direction was exceptional, Falconetti's performance was unforgettable.
Jimbo yells at me a lot for this but I've never been able to get on board with Passion of Joan of Arc. The trial segment that dominates the first hour or whatever of the film just bores me to tears with how repetitive it is, and Falconetti's performance leaves me cold.

In general though I've never understood the fascination with the Joan of Arc story.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Excellent experimental film by Dziga Vertov. Not really much to say here.
This is good though. It was the first silent film I ever saw and is a hell of a one to start with.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #344

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Raxivace wrote:Jimbo yells at me a lot for this but I've never been able to get on board with Passion of Joan of Arc. The trial segment that dominates the first hour or whatever of the film just bores me to tears with how repetitive it is, and Falconetti's performance leaves me cold.


I can definitely see how someone could be bored by this film. I liked it myself.
Have you seen Bresson's version (Trial of Joan of Arc)? It is quite good.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #345

Postby Raxivace » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:46 pm

I generally like Bresson though I have not seen his Joan of Arc movie yet.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #346

Postby Raxivace » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:09 pm

Yeah I really should have gotten around to getting this out earlier. Too many films for a single post, but oh well.

177. The Garden of Sinners 1: Overlooking View (2007, Dir. Ei Aoki)

178. The Garden of Sinners 2: A Study in Murder (Part 1) (2007, Dir. Takuya Momura)

179. The Garden of Sinners 3: Remaining Sense of Pain (2008, Dir. Mitsuru Obunai)

180. The Garden of Sinners 4: The Hollow Shrine (2008, Dir. Takayuki Hirao)

181. The Garden of Sinners 5: Paradox Spiral (2008, Dir. Takayuki Hirao)

182. The Garden of Sinners 6: Oblivion Recorder – A Fairy Tale (2008, Dir. Takahiro Miura)

183. The Garden of Sinners Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven (2009, Dir. Ei Aoki, Takahiro Miura, Takuya Nonaka, & Teiichi Takiguchi)

187. The Garden of Sinners 7: A Study in Murder (Part 2) (2009, Dir. Shinsuke Takizawa)

188. The Garden of Sinners 8: Epilogue (2011, Dir. Shinsuke Takizawa)

193. The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer (2013, Dir. Tomonori Sudo)

194. The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer – Extra Chorus (2013, Dir. Tomonori Sudo) – This is a pretty fun anime film series from the people behind Fate/stay night and Tsukihime. Actually it seems to have a decent amount in common with Tsukihime specifically, though from what I understand its because the Tsukihime VN remixes plot elements from the novels that make up the source material for the Garden of Sinners film series and takes them in a pretty different direction. These film adaptations of those novels didn't start until well after Tsukihime blew up and became popular, putting the movies in kind of a weird spot.

Anyways, ostensibly this is the story of Ryougi Shiki (Not to be confused with Tsukihime's lead character Tohno Shiki), a girl who likes to stab muthafuckas, and the boy she falls in love with and also kind of wants to stab him too. Like for real, Shiki will stab anything. She hates somebody? She stabs them. She loves somebody? She stabs them. She sees a ghost? She stabs the fucking ghost until it dies again. You throw some kind of ephemeral metaphysical conceptual bullshit at her? Fuck you, she’ll stab that too.

While there’s an overarching story about Shiki, most of the films are kind of structured like detective mysteries, in that there’s some weird supernatural shit happening, and as a sort of dectective Shiki finds the source of it and then usually stabs it. For real, its like Norman Bates was a mystical private eye or something. Some of the films are pretty mind-bendy too- namely Paradox Spiral and its shenanigans about a mysterious apartment complex that I’m still not sure I entirely understand the mechanics behind.

Despite my misgivings about how films being needlessly split up into franchises or series can be done very poorly, the Garden of Sinners anime film series is a great example about how this can be done well with proper ambition. In particular I found myself thinking of Nolan while watching these, since these films often play with time and chronological storytelling in the way a lot of his stuff does, though he never made anything that had my heading turning as much as Paradox Spiral. Also I like the visual aesthetic here better than I like the look of Nolan’s films usually.

I’d say the biggest weakness here is that the original Epilogue film being little more than like thirty straight minutes of plot dump is kind of whatever and dramatically a less satisfying ending than either Study in Murder Part 2 or the Recalled Out Summer duology, though it did sort of explain weirder elements of the plot at least.

184. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019, Dir. Richard Linklater) – Basically one of those “middle-aged adults have a mid-life crisis and goes on a crazy adventure” movies, though it’s a solid one at least. I thought Cate Blanchett killed it as the lead.

185. The Irishman (2019, Dir. Martin Scorsese) – What’s probably Scorsese’s last word on the gangster genre, a nice meditation on aging and regret and such, and sort of a last hurrah for Scorsese's classic band of actors and also Al Pacino. Easily one of my favorites of the year.

186. The Irishman: in Conversation (2019) – A brief but fun roundtable discussion between Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino on the above film. Similar to the featurette on El Camino its not super substantial, though I prefer this to the talking head format.

189. Underworld (1927, Dir. Josef von Sternberg & Arthur Rosson) – An early take on the gangster genre that’s more of a love triangle story than anything. I ended up enjoying this, and found it mor enjoyable than most of the von Sternberg/Marlene Dietrich collaborations.

190. Scarlet Street (1945, Dir. Fritz Lang) – Lang’s remake of Renoir’s La Chiene. Overall its pretty solid, with the main difference I can see being that Lang makes the murder much more explicitly an act of murder than Renoir did.

I have to say I was surprised Edward G. Robinson works as well as an artist character as he did. I usually associate him more with “tough guy” roles like gangsters or detectives.

191. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018, Dir. Drew Goddard) - A pretty fun mystery/heist/single location movie. It looks good, is twisty enough, has decent performances etc. That said I'm not sure that it adds up to a whole lot at the end of the day.

192. King Lear (1987, Dir. Jean-Luc Godard) – Godard’s take on Shakespeare.

Sort of. The plot revolves William Shakespeare Jr. the Fifth, who is trying to recreate the works of his ancestor after they (And art in general) after the Chernobyl disaster. Because this is Godard the plot itself is fairly incidental- if anything this is similar to a film like Wind From the East. That movie asks “Why would you even make a western?”, while this one seems to ask “Well why would you even adapt Shakespeare or any other artist like that?”.

I think the basic plot itself provides Godard’s answer: to keep the memory of the past alive. Like his other 80’s work though, this (Mostly) replaces what were Hollywood references and the like in his 60’s work with references to the greats of the other arts (Not just Shakespeare, but painters and the like) of bygone. That I don’t have enough knowledge to really understand the more specific references perhaps gives credence to the idea that the “canon” might as well have been destroyed in Chernobyl.

195. Hot Biskits (1931, Dir. Spencer Williams) – A goofy short about a mini-golf match of all things.

The main reason I bring this short up is because several years ago I watched a lot of the films from the “Pioneers of African-American Cinema” boxset when they played on TCM, though yesterday I found out that the whole first boxset appears to be on Netflix. I’ll be honest and say I don’t think most of these are particularly great films (I think Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates is probably the best I’ve seen in this collection so far), though they’re worth taking a look at if you either an interest in African-American history or an interesting in non-Hollywood American filmmaking from the 1920’s-1940’s.

196. Soft and Hard (1985, Dir. Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Mieville) – This is mostly just Godard dand Mieville sitting around and discussing their views on film in general. This probably does more than anything else I’ve really seen that really lays bare just how different Godard and Mieville are as collaborators, but how different a collaborator Mieville is compared to the previous ones Godard has worked with (Namely Jean-Pierre Gorrin and to an extent, Francois Truffaut). Watching this, I can really kind of get why Godard eventually settled down in the way he has (Relatively anyways. “Settled down” Godard still makes stuff like Histoire(s) du Cinema and The Image Book that still aren’t exactly mainstream crowd pleasers).

Big thanks to Jimbo for hooking me up a with a copy of this. I flatout could not find a copy of this online myself- even standard piracy does not assure the myth of availability in the digital age.

197. Would You Rather? (2012, Dir. David Guy Levy) – Pretty trashy horror movie. Basically, rich asshole tricks people into playing a game under false pretenses with the promise of financial. Turns out, the game is a pretty deadly version of “Would you rather?” involving people either choosing self-harm or hurting other contestants.

It’s pretty schlocky, and I think tries to skate by with an Un Chien Andalou reference and a “twist” ending for street cred to seem artier than it really is (Not that it seemed very arty to begin with, which is saying something).

198. Die Nibelungen: Kriemheld’s Revenge (1924, Dir. Fritz Lang) – A suitable followup to the Siegfried film. I have to say I didn’t expect Attila the Hun to be such a major part of this film.

While its satisfying to see Kriemheld get her revenge, if I had a main complaint about the movie its that none of the setpieces are quite as memorable as in the first movie- mainly the dragon battle I’m thinking of here, though even stuff like Siegfried’s cave adventure or goofy invisibility shenanigans are a little more memorable.

199. Patriot Games (1992, Dir. Phillip Noyce) – As far as 90’s action blockbusters go this was pretty enjoyable. Kind of odd to see Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones together in something that isn’t Star Wars.

Sean Bean is enjoyable hammy as the villain too, though I wonder if this film eventually lead to him getting cast in GoldenEye? That would be kind of amusing if that’s the case since this film directly references Ian Fleming at one point.

200. My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Dir. Hayao Miyazaki) – Why is Totoro even in this movie? Like he’s barely in it as it is, and his design is really unsettling. With that creepy, big toothed smile of his and those large claws half the time I wondered if he was going to kill one of those kids. Same with the cat bus thing. It’s a bus made out of hair, that’s disgusting and a probably a health code violation.

Anyways despite usual technical brilliance from Ghibli, this fell pretty flat for me. It just seems a little too saccharine for my tastes.

---------------------------------------------------

The Kingdom II (1997) – Wow fuck both Hook and Helmer, what assholes.

Anyways it’s a perfectly fine season of television, though I felt the same about it as I did season 1. I did think it was odd how “Little Brother” was treated so matter of factly despite being like a 12 foot tall newborn, and I think its another example at how the supernatural and the mundane don’t really quite mix in this show. The penguin dream sure was a thing too.

Its really hard for me to find much to really say about this since even more than Twin Peaks Season 2, this show really does feel like it cuts off mid-sentence. Its characters are interesting enough for the few episodes you're around with them (The guy who plays Helmer in particular is always captivating, since he's basically proto-House except actually evil instead of just an asshole), though I never could really get a feel on quite what the show was going for with its juxtaposition between "mundane" characters like Helmer and their drama and the ghosts and such. Its possible that things would have become more intertwined if the show continued (And would perhaps explain the lines in the opening credits sequence about there being a gate or portal or whatever opening and such), but as it is its hard to know what to make of it.

Watchmen (2019) - Lmao.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #347

Postby Derived Absurdity » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:55 pm

Jeez you see a lot of shit. I don't think I"ve seen anything since that horny Alfonso Cuarón movie.

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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #348

Postby Raxivace » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:47 am

Well this is all a little over a month's worth of watching but yeah I do watch a lot.

Lyndon probably has me beat in total movies watched this year though.
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Re: Raxivace's 2019 List of Movies or: (Goodbye to Neo-General Chat 3D)   Reply #349

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:24 am

I saw many movies. I'm just going to put down how much I rated them on imdb instead of commenting on them:

The Red and the White (1967; Miklós Jancsó) 8/10
Aparajito (1956; Satyajit Ray) 7/10
The World of Apu (1959; Satyajit Ray) 8/10
Taboo (1999; Nagisa Ôshima) 8/10
Somewhere (2010; Sofia Coppola) 7/10
Avengers: Endgame (2019; Anthony Russo, Joe Russo) 8/10
Scarecrow (1973; Jerry Schatzberg) 7/10
Once (2007; John Carney) 8/10
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017; Guy Ritchie) 6/10
The Beach Bum (2019; Harmony Korine) 6/10
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012; Derek Cianfrance) 7/10
The Equalizer (2014; Antoine Fuqua) 7/10
Mother! (2017; Darren Aronofsky) 8/10
Cop (1988; James B. Harris) 8/10
The Duellists (1977; Ridley Scott) 8/10
Alien: Covenant (2017; Ridley Scott) 7/10
Life (2017; Daniel Espinosa) 7/10
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011; Rob Marshall) 6/10
Tomb Raider (2018; Roar Uthaug) 9/10
Serenity (2019; Steven Knight) 7/10
Killing Them Softly (2012; Andrew Dominik) 9/10

The real treat for me is that I got to watch some of my favourite stars:
Robert Downey Jr.
Al Pacino
Ryan Gosling
Rose Byrne
Jennifer Lawrence
Javier Bardem
Ed Harris
Michelle Pfeiffer
James Woods
Michael Fassbender
Johnny Depp
Alicia Vikander
Matthew McConaughey
Anne Hathaway ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Brad Pitt


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