Showing posts with label 2010's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2010's. Show all posts

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Doc Watch: American Grindhouse (2010)




Watched:  04/08/2022
Format:  Amazon?
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010
Director:  Elijah Drenner

This doc felt weirdly slight, and I see now it was 80 minutes.  It traces the history of film from its origins to what sorts of theaters carried schlocky, sexy, or violent films not produced by the studios.  

But... it's weirdly focused on just New York and LA, forgetting these movies had audiences all over, and never curious about how they were (or were not) seen in the rest of the country.  I'm not sure I buy of the main theses of the film, that the studios started making "grindhouse" movies because of the end of the vertical integration of studios and theaters that dissolved post WWII.  But I would agree that eventually studios got involved with content formerly reserved for the grindhouse market.  I'd just point to studios trying to differentiate from what was on TV once the Hays Code fell apart and the rating system came to be.  

There are pretty good interviews, including Eddie Muller, and some creators of some classic schlock, much of which I haven't gotten around to seeing (pitching a 'Women in Cages' movie to Jamie is not as easy as one would believe).  And I've never come across availability of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS.  But I was pleased with which ones I'd seen.  I think they gave Russ Meyers and his real legacy basically no consideration, and it's weird.  There's no mention of kung-fu or other genre.  Instead, they seem to want to follow a thread to porn that I'm not sure works if you remember actual porn theaters existing and that was an adjacent but not entirely related thing.  

In short - it's fine, but feels... debatable?  Like the narratives only work if you aren't thinking too hard.




Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Doc Watch: You Don't Nomi (2019)




Watched:  03/29/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Director:  Jeffrey McHale

After watching and podcasting Showgirls, I believe Justin (and then Paul) suggested I watch the documentary You Don't Nomi (2019) a sort of retrospective investigating how we can view the 1995 film, seen as a catastrophe at the time of release but which has been reconsidered as a camp classic in the intervening years.  The doc features multiple reviewers, entertainers and others engaging with the film.  No small amount of the original film is seen as the movie leverages the idea of fair-use in investigating and transforming the source material - and so too does it liberally borrow from other films by Paul Verhoeven.  

In many ways, it's like a bit of film school packed into a tidy 1:38 or whatever it was.  Opinions are applied as fact, schools of thought as dogma.  But almost no one speaking is in total agreement.  We look at what else Verhoeven has done, we look for things he returns to, what his films say on certain topics (women!  violence!  seeeeeeeexxxx!) and try to draw conclusions.  And with Verhoeven, the answer is often that, no, he's not making a mistake or doing something goofy, he meant something specific and it wasn't there to make you feel better or confirm your biases.  All of which, were I to watch Showgirls sober, would definitely make me re-evaluate the film.  

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Parker Watch: Parker (2013)




Watched: 03/18/2022
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Taylor Hackford

By now, I assume y'all know I'm a bit of a completionist, and I'm slowly buying the BluRays of all the movies based upon the Parker novels by Richard Stark.  Most famous of these movies include Point Blank with Lee Marvin and Payback starring Mel Gibson (which I don't own because Gibson, but probably will buy used to take him out of the money chain).  

If you're newer to the blog, when I traveled a lot for work, I read all 24 Parker novels and the Grofeld offshoots.  The movies never match the books - writer Richard Stark (real name: Donald Westlake) was not willing to let them use the name "Parker" as he was aware that the movies would differ too much from the books, and movie people tend to miss the point of Parker.  Which is 100% true.  So the movies are all oddball mutations of Parker as a character and the plots of the novels  - which, if done straight, would be fascinating stuff and probably spur a 1000 think pieces about following a character who is in no way a hero.  He is not a badguy, but he is a bad guy.

Monday, February 28, 2022

PodCast 186: "The Expendables" (2010) - w/ SimonUK and Ryan



Watched:  02/22/2022
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade: 2010's
Director:  Stallone




SimonUK and Ryan relive some glory days by teaming up and trying to recapture the magic of when a man could be a man by blowing up an imaginary Central American country with a drug trade. We talk the melting pot action adventure that crosses multiple decades, revived careers, and firmly believes that Charisma Carpenter should stay off the market on your behalf even if you only check in with her quarterly and won't tell her anything about yourself. But, also, Eric Roberts has a plan that makes literally no sense but seems profitable. Like the My Pillow guy.






Music:
Expendables Main Theme - Brian Tyler



SimonUK Cinema

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas Cat Watch: The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014)



Watched:  12/20/2021
Format:  Hallmark Channel
Viewing:  First?
Decade:  2014
Director:  Mark Jean


The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014) is the movie that precedes The Nine Kittens of Christmas, which we just watched.    Some of the cast from the follow up is in this movie, like Gregory Harrison.  But it's a different and oddly cheaper film than the sequel.  

But it does have stars Brandon Routh and Kimberley Sustad.  I can kinda see why people liked them enough that this got a sequel.  The acting isn't robotic, and you can see its not just people smiling at each other like morons.

It's basically a movie about two adults as shy and dumb about romance as two middle schoolers, who are eye-@#$%ing each other for 3/4ths of the movie but, do not do anything about it until the final, Christmassy pronouncement of love.  

Because TV, and especially these movies, works a certain way - there's a scene when it's just the two of them, alone in a house in which they both live, and they kiss, and then apparently time and space no longer matter, because they're then telling their confidants about the kiss in two different locations.  And I'm like... so... what happened for the 12 hours or so inbetween here?  You said nothing to each other?  I would think you would say something to each other.  Like - I get that that felt good in the edit bay, but it literally makes no sense at that point.

ANYWAY, these movies are not about making sense.  They're about dumb misunderstandings.  And Christmas-time romance.  And picking out a tree.  And talking about Christmas when I was a kid.  And hitting all the beats.  Plus, cats.

The movie doesn't really set up Routh's character quite the way I imagined they would based upon the sequel, which states that he has a hard time with change.  I mean, maybe?  But not a pathological fear of change as presented.  He's adjusting to the idea of taking a girl seriously rather than having fun, but he does do it on his own.  

Anyhoo...  there's a couple of cute cats.  And I realize now several things in the sequel were call-backs to this movie, which means the people who made the sequel were assuming we were very, very familiar with this movie (I don't think I'd watched it all the way through before).  

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Christmas Watch Party Finale! "Adventures of Bailey: Christmas Hero" (2012)




Watched:  12/17/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Steve Franke


I have to ask Producer/ Director/ Writer/ Actor Steve Franke - what is this, Steve Franke?  Because our Amazon Watch Party is pretty convinced that this movie is somehow a tax write-off scam.  

Look, I am second to none in adoring large, silly dogs.  And this movie has two white golden retrievers as stars of the movie, and they are pretty great.  It also has other dogs, a pack of alpacas or llamas (I don't know the difference), and in two insert shots, a fucking bear. 

I guess this is a Christmas movie, but it's also a quest movie if your quest is two fluffy dogs just running hither and yon around fields in Texas.  Also, a separate quest for the scared kid looking for his dogs.  CHRISTMAS.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Christmas Watch Party: The Tree That Saved Christmas (2014)




Watched:  12/10/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  David Winning

At some point we had the Up! Network, which was all positive vibes and Christian messaging, if memory serves.  Basically Hallmark Network, but a little more toothless and less competent.  During the Christmas Movie Wars of a few years back, when Hallmark was running 3 networks 24/7 from October 20th on, Lifetime was in the game, and one or two more - UP! showed up with its offerings which somehow were the Dollar Store equivalent of Hallmark Channel's Target merchandise.  With both Netflix and Amazon in the game now, I'm not sure Up! is still playing, but in 2014 - they reached for the brass ring on the tiny shoulders of Lacey Chabert.

Lacey Chabert, the Queen of Nice and a Hallmark staple, was clearly shown the money by Up, who lured her in for The Tree That Saved Christmas.  Which is a confusing movie.  

It feels like an alien watched Hallmark movies, took random bits from them, missed some key bits, wrote a script, and then the aliens deeply underbudgeted and no one had any money after getting Chabert. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Catch-Up Watch: A Star is Born (2018)




Watched:  11/21/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Bradley Cooper

I wanted to see A Star is Born (2018) in the theater so I could get the benefit of the theatrical sound for the music and sound mix, but I didn't.  My memory of the release date is pegged to a lengthy work-trip.  On a terrible tip from a bus driver - I found myself in the shittiest bar in Vegas, trying to get some karaoke together with librarians, but only me and three other people showed up.  That night was the first time I think I heard "Shallow" from beginning to end, and I couldn't believe the song was already an option at karaoke as the film had just been released.

Anyway, that was a very long two week business trip, and that was only one of three dozen incidents along the way (I got shingles in Salt Lake City).  When I got home, Jamie had seen the movie and I decided to wait for home video.  And then didn't do that, either.

I did eventually want to get to it.  Aside from feeling like I should see the movie here in it's fourth iteration, I think Bradley Cooper is a very solid actor who gets dismissed because he's ridiculously handsome.  And I like Lady Gaga as a performer because *gestures at everything*.  Plus, I found it interesting this was Cooper's choice for a directorial debut.  Which makes sense.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Halloween Watch: Halloween (2018)




Watched:  10/05/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  David Gordon Greene

When I heard David Gordon Greene, Danny McBride and Jamie Lee Curtis were involved, for once, I was not skeptical of a new installment in the Halloween franchise.  

Look, I am sure seeing - and thoroughly enjoying - the original Halloween when I was fourteen means I can't really be objective about that 1978 film.  I was already roughly a fan of Curtis in 1989 when I saw it, and the movie is - for this blogger - the platonic ideal of a slasher horror film.  In many ways - after Halloween, you either up your game or what's the point?  

Like Meyers the character, the 1978 movie itself is a single-minded shark, moving forward and striking.  It's fatless meat and bone, giving just enough character to Laurie Strode and her friends to make you actually care when kitchen knives get deployed.  And, of course, we only get the crucial details about Michael.  The horrifying incident as a child that indicates how broken he is, and then Loomis letting us know:  "oh, yeah, he's bugfuck crazy.  We need to stop this maniac."  (That's his doctor.) provides a villain who simply is.

Monday, October 4, 2021

DCU Animated Bat-Watch: The Killing Joke (2016)




Watched:  10/03/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Sam Liu

Look.  This... should never have been a movie.  I know what DC/ WB Animation was thinking, but I have no idea what DC/ WB Animation was thinking.

Winding it way back, in 1988 I would have been about 13 when I stumbled across The Killing Joke as a comic book.  And, yes, at one point I had a first printing of the comic, which rises and falls in value on a regular basis.  

It's worth noting - Moore and Bolland were commissioned to do the comic en route to the Keaton-starring Batman movie.  Moore now distances himself from the comic as he has all things DC.  It was, I assume meant to be something of the moment and to give people curious about Batman and the Joker and modern comics something they could pick up as a "graphic novel" at B. Dalton Booksellers.  

This was the era just before 1989's Batman movie, and DC was pushing occasional random things out there and making sure to have collections on the shelf of Year One, Year Two, Dark Knight Returns and the ever popular Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.  A beautifully crafted story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was a slam dunk - focusing on Batman and the Joker to give it synergy - what could go wrong?

Your answers are multiple choice.

Monday, September 27, 2021

PODCAST: "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017) - Avengers Chronological Countdown #17 w/ Jamie and Ryan




Watched:  A while back
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  unknown
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Taika Watiti



Jamie and Ryan have been displaced in time, but return to podcasting Marvel movies in order! Our conversation is out of this world as we take on a threat that we kind of forgot about - doing this podcast - and it comes back to bite us. Join us as we talk the pivot point for Thor in the Marvel U and Cate Blanchett being sassy as all get-out.





Music:
Thor Ragnarok - Mark Mothersbaugh
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III


Marvel Movies PodCasts




I'm Team Hela



Sunday, September 26, 2021

Modern Horror Watch: The Conjuring (2013)




Watched:  09/25/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  James Wan

So, it's not a huge secret that I'm a little skeptical of a lot of horror.  When you're like "you know that scene in Hereditary?" I'm like "Nope."  I mean, I just don't make time for it.  I'd rather be watching guys in large suits make time with dames with great hair and schemes.

But enough has been said about The Conjuring from 2013, that I finally watched it as I rev up for Halloween season.  And, I genuinely liked it.  Well, I liked about half of it.  The rest was fine.  Which I know will be taken as "bad", but that's not what I mean.  I was fine with it up to a point, and then I really liked it.

My favorite haunted house movie is and will be a tie between The Shining and 1963's version of The Haunting.  But... this one sure ain't bad.  And, as was discussed elsewhere with MBell, this is a Stefon movie.  

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Wow Watch: Sorry To Bother You (2018)




Watched:  09/04/2021
Format:  Hulu
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Boots Riley

Man, I am not even going to try to summarize or reflect on this movie.

What I do know is that AmyC was going to make me podcast this, and it would have been one in a series of movies Amy woud have shown me that would have blown my mind and then she would have been, like, "hey - react!"  I love that she does this, but I think I always spend the first 5-15 minutes of those podcasts trying to get my thoughts in order.

Anyway - HIGHLY recommended.   You haven't seen anything like it.



Saturday, September 4, 2021

Comics BioPic Watch: Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (2017)



Watched:  09/04/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director/ Writer:  Angela Robinson

Why do biopics exist?  

No, really.  Because I don't think producers really know.  

Taking someone else's life and presenting it to the populace in order to tell a story that you want to tell, when you can't be bothered with reality or facts, is a tremendous disservice to the people you're speaking for.  It also means that whatever story you're telling - the point of it, whatever that might be - is now hopelessly compromised the moment someone googles the subject of your film.  Whatever homily you hoped to make of a life isn't going to survive first contact with anyone wondering why the hell you changed so many things.  The hubris, man.

Look, I am not a William Moulton Marston scholar.  I've read possibly three or four books about the history of Wonder Woman over the past 25 years, and I've done my fair share of reading of articles on and offline on same, and therefore touched upon the people at the center of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017).  

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Regret Interaction Watch: "Burlesque" (2010)




Watched:  08/27/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Kind of first/ Kind of second
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Steve Antin


I had never seen the beginning or end of Burlesque (2010).  A few years back I had a barber/ stylist who had set up a salon in her house, and instead of the mirror in front of you, she had a television.  And one time I went in and watched a huge chunk of Burlesque, because she'd get distracted by the movie or TV show she was watching, and what should have been a 20 minute haircut (my hair is so boring, I call the style "The Continental"), turned into a nearly 90 minute journey every time.  

Anyway - she was into the movie, and I know lots of people are.  But I come bearing bad news.  Burlesque is a super terrible film that has so much money and star power thrown at it, it looks like it should be good and people kind of accept that maybe it is.  But it isn't.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Doc Watch: Chris Claremont's X-Men (2018)




Watched:  08/02/2021
Format:  YouTube
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Patrick Meaney

Chris Claremont didn't invent the X-Men, but he did turn them from a middling Marvel team book that could have/ should have disappeared into a sprawling mythology with beloved characters that became a multimedia franchise (that Disney is probably losing a lot of sleep over how to properly exploit).  Chris Claremont didn't introduce me to comics, but he did write comics that hit me like lightning, over and over again, and made me a devoted comics reader - a habit that has lasted 35+ years.

While everyone is still young and healthy, a documentary crew put together what is really a remarkable doc explaining what Claremont's X-Men was, why it was so unique in the world of comics, and what eventually broke it.  Including interviews from people who broke it, still totally unaware of what they did 25 years after the fact, still high on their own supply.

Monday, July 5, 2021

PODCAST: "Midsommar" (2019) - a Signal Watch Canon Episode w/ AmyC and Ryan




Watched:  07/03/2021
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Ari Aster



AmyC and Ryan delve into the 2019 horror film that really gets into the end-result of people dressing too matchy-matchy and insisting on group activities. It's a slow burn of a film with a lot worth talking about, from amazing visuals to the unique presentation of horror elements to why it fits in our Co-Contributor Canon. Let's all take a break and not push hard enough to find out what folks are putting in the meat pies.




Music:
Prophesy - Bobby Krlic, Midsommar OST
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - Frankie Valli


Canon Playlist:

Food Watch: Chef (2014)




Watched:  07/03/2021
Format:  Amazon Prime (I think.  Jamie dialed it up.)
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Jon Favreau

Chef (2014) is a terrific little film, not too hung up on being more than light entertainment with a bit of grounding in mid-life crisis and family issues.   And, of course, the whole thing is kind of meta.  

Starting as a kind of wunderkind responsible for writing and starring in Swingers back in '96, Favreau had been working on bigger and bigger films, not least kickstarting the Marvel Universe by directing, starring in and otherwise producing the Iron Man films (at pre and post-Disney Marvel).  But if the movie is about a guy who works at a well-respected LA bistro, losing touch with his son and after the divorce from his wife (a very good+funny Sofia Vergara), and certainly in a rut professionally - one can see how Favreau might have come to a story about a guy who felt like he needed to get back to the basics of what he loved in the first place.  

In the film, he accidentally starts a twitter-war with a famed food reviewer that... escalates.  Favreau has to do what Rocky's of all types have always done - go back to where it started and find the passion again.  Unfortunately for me, that starting over looked awesome, and I was starving while watching the movie.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ghost Watch: Extra Ordinary (2019)




Watched:  06/12/2021
Format:  Google Play Streaming
Viewing:  First 
Decade:  2010's

A supernatural comedy with an utterly specific and terrific tone, Extra Ordinary (2019) is an Irish comedy about a psychic who'd rather she wasn't, who has chosen a dull existence as a driving instructor until a confluence of events pull her back into the ghost-wrangling work she once performed with her father.

The movie co-stars Will Forte playing an incredibly Will Forte character of a former one-hit wonder and practicer of the Dark Arts who finds himself crossing paths with Rose Dooley, our ghost-wrangler.  

I'm realizing this movie is very hard to talk about without littering the post with spoilers, so just bookmark the movie or add it to your "will watch" column for some night when you need a light, goofy comedy.  



 

Monday, May 3, 2021

International Watch: The Handmaiden (2016)




Watched:  05/02/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Chan-wook Park

Look, this movie is impossible to discuss without spoilers - so, look out

SPOILERS