Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First viewing. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

PODCAST! "Go" (1999) - a Christmas Adjacent Holiday Spectacular - w/ Maxwell and Ryan!


Watched:  11/17/2019
Format:  Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  oh, so 1990's

(NSFW) Maxwell and Ryan review 1999's indie darling, "Go", a movie which absolutely occurs maybe at Christmas, borrows the "Pulp Fiction" narrative structure and shines a light on shenanigans occurring in the greater LA area for hip young people.



Music:
Gangster Trippin - Fatboy Slim, Go OST
To All The Lovely Ladies - Goldo, Go OST

Signal Watch Holidays 2019:



Friday, December 6, 2019

Noir-ish Watch: The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)


Watched:  12/06/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

Look, if a movie has Sydney Greenstreet in it, I'm watching it.  And I've never been disappointed.

Of course, this movie *also* features Peter Lorre, so, that's two great performers of the era.  Add in Zachary Scott in his screen debut, and I was positively jazzed to watch The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), a movie I'd oft-head referenced, but never seen.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

PODCAST! "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987) - a Signal Watch Holiday Roundtable w/ SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan!



Watched:  11/22/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

(mildly NSFW) SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan hold a holiday roundtable to discuss "Jaws: The Revenge", which, for reasons unknown, takes place at Christmas. Join us as we puzzle through the chapter in the Jaws saga no one asked for, added psychic powers, Michael Caine, and a plot that doesn't even bother to make sense.




Holidays 2019



Holidays 2018

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hallmark Watch: The Christmas Club (2019)

The amazing Elizabeth Mitchell, partially blocked by some guy

Watched:  11/27/2019
Format:  Hallmark Channel, baby!
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Mostly I don't write up the Hallmark Christmas movies that I watch, because I don't really watch them.  I put them on and do other things, how I'll sometimes watch a 4 hour baseball game on a Saturday or Sunday.  You do some work or check email or talk on chat to someone while the movie is on.  And when you do look up, it's mostly a game of Hallmark movie bingo, teasing out what the new formula themes are this year (military, servicepeople - mostly men, and veterans have been big the past two years).

But The Christmas Club (2019) was one of the more expensive version of the formula, where they'd hired actors you may have seen somewhere before rather than the usual "who is that?" stars of other than Hallmark movies, assembled from spare parts found in a vat of pumpkin spice, Coach purses, bedazzled iPhones, Lululemons and Uggs.

Monday, December 2, 2019

McSteans Guest Post! Holiday Watch: The Knight Before Christmas (2019)





Watched:  12/1/2019
Format:  Netlfix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Jamie came out of right field and asked if I wanted to live-blog a Netflix Christmas movie with she and her pal, Angel.  Well, of course I did, it looked terrible.  But I figured this whole deal was more Jamie's thing than your usual Signal Watch programming, so she should also write up the movie.  So, without further ado...
                                                                                                                - your host, Ryan


Last weekend, to kick off the holidays, Ryan and I (mostly Ryan) Christmassed up the house and then capped it off with a viewing of the Netflix Hallmark-style movie, The Knight Before Christmas (2019). Joined by my overseas friend Angel (hi, Angel!), we took to Twitter and made it a three person live-blogging extravaganza.

Woof. I don’t know that my expectations for this film were sky high, but I was honestly disappointed in Netflix. I’ve seen some decent original content there recently, and they’re not bad with romantic comedies. With the Hallmark channel turning into a holiday movie factory churning out cookie cutter romantic fluff, I felt that Netflix should be able to take a slightly higher concept plot, more money and talent, and produce something at least slightly entertaining. Silly me. It felt exactly like they took a discarded Hallmark movie and threw in some time travel to attract attention, then did nothing with it.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Whodunnit Watch: Knives Out (2019)



Watched:  11/29/2019
Format:  Alamo S. Lamar
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I have a feeling Rian Johnson is going to be, with this movie, one of those directors twitter decides they need to prove they think is overrated.  He hasn't made that many movies, seems pretty lucky to have done what he's been able to do (if you ignore how he scraped to get Brick made), and hasn't ever delivered exactly what people are expecting when they show up at the theater - up to and including The Last Jedi.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Noir Watch: Kansas CIty Confidential (1952)


Watched:  11/27/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Somehow I'd never seen Kansas City Confidential (1952), but if I'd known it starred John Payne, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam, I would have tried a lot harder to see it sooner.

A windy, twisty heist caper - this one is told from the outside as John Payne plays an ex-con who is accidentally/ sorta framed for a bank heist when masked robbers pull a job worth $1.2 million (that's about $11.6 million now), using a duplicate of his flower delivery van.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Murphy Watch: Dolemite Is My Name (2019)


Watched:  11/24/2019
Format:  Netflix Original
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Back in college my pal Shoemaker would wait til we were about four drinks in and then I'd turn around he'd have put Dolemite movies on, and so I vaguely remembered them from the heyday of the mid 1990's.  Between being four drinks in, not focusing on the movies and the passage of 2.5 decades, sadly, my memory of the movies was vague at best.

Bad kung-fu, stilted acting and gratuitous nudity were more or less what registered and stuck with me.  And, I never did listen to any Rudy Ray Moore records, just saw images of the covers.  I like blue humor as much as the next guy, I just never made the time.

When I heard Dolemite Is My Name (2019) was coming out, I decided to revisit the original film.  And, if you follow this blog closely, you'll note that there's no post for Dolemite from this year.  Because, honestly, it's a movie you should be watching with other people.  Watching it by yourself just feels kinda weird.  It is a *bad* movie, but it is a fun bad movie that asks to be talked over and discussed as it goes along.    And, yeah, my memories of bad kung-fu, stilted acting and gratuitous nudity were verified.  Way to go, 1990's brain cells!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Disney Watch: Frozen 2 (2019)


Watched:  11/23/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

I liked it a great deal.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Concert Doc Watch: Amazing Grace (2019)



Watched:  11/11/2019
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's/ 2010's

If asked to compile a list of the greatest popular American singers of the 20th Century, I'd assume Aretha Franklin would make the top few - if not the number one slot - for much of the US populace.

We lost Franklin in 2018, and it's unclear who can begin to fill her role in the zeitgeist, but maybe it's too soon, and maybe we don't need to.  Maybe she was a singular talent.

Shot in 1972 and unreleased until the last 12 months or so, Amazing Grace (2019) is an attempt by Sydney Pollack to record and capture the experience of Franklin recording a live Gospel album at a church in Los Angeles over the course of two nights.  Backed by a local choir and supported by the Reverend James Cleveland, Franklin takes to the pulpit and - as one would expect - nails every song before her.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Linda and Arnie Watch: Terminator - Dark Fate



Watched:  11/09/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Look, I'm on the record going to the mat for the first two Terminator movies.  And way, way less so for T3 and whatever the Christian Bale one was called.  And I never saw Genisys.  I did like the TV show, The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

PODCAST: Halloween Watch - "The Fog" (1980) and "The Mist" (2007)



Watched:  10/15/2019 and 10/20/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  Second/ First
Decade:  1980's/ 2000's

Things get a little hazy as SimonUK and Ryan take on two spooktacular movies about what happens when the barometer drops, the humidity rises and things go bump in the water vapor. It's our final Halloween movie of 2019! One about ghostly seafaring folks and the other about... I dunno. It's real bad, though.



Music:
The Fog Theme - John Carpenter, The Fog OST
The Host of Seraphim - Dead Can Dance, The Serpent's Egg and The Mist soundtrack

Halloween 2019 Playlist


Halloween 2018 Playlist

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Halloween Watch: Creepshow (1982)



Watched:  10/19/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

No, I'd never seen Creepshow (1982), which, I guess, horror fans find to be a straight up problem.  So, I went ahead and put it on this last weekend while Jamie flew to California to see The Dug.

I like a horror anthology film!  If you're not into what's going on, you just wait til the next segment.  And, honestly, a lot of what folks try to build up as tension in horror but dragging things out in (poorer) horror, I just wish they'd get on with it - so short stories are a great way to go.

Turns out I'd seen all of one segment at some point back in the day on cable (the chapter with Ted Danson and Leslie Nielsen), and parts one or more others.  But I don't think I knew that was + when I watched it back around 1989.

I got not much to say.  It was fun.  I liked the part with the crate monster best, I think.  But it's a highly quotable movie that I'm not sure gets quoted. ("I want my cake!" should be a horror catch phrase.  Is it one?  Is it T-shirt slogan worthy?)

Anyhoo... some terrific make-up effects and some good practical and puppet FX, too.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Noir Watch: The Harder They Fall (1956)



Watched:  10/20/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

Noir Alley host Eddie Muller knows a thing or three about boxing.  His father (the senior Eddie Muller) was a longtime sports writer for the Examiner, and a prominent boxing reporter.  As he said in talking about this movie - there are movies about boxers and which occur around boxing (Wise's The Set-Up is straight up a great film), but The Harder They Fall (1956) is *about* boxing.  And, hey, bonus, it's a really good movie.

The movie features a dynamite cast of actors pulling from old school and modern traditions, as well as former boxers and players from the boxing world all working from a tight script and with a terrific crew behind the camera.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Catch-Up Halloween Watch: Get Out (2017)


Watched:  10/19/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade: 2010's

Look, this is one of the most written about movies of the past decade.  I'm not really sure I have anything new to add.  But I finally saw it, and it was very good.  Frankly, it was exactly what I was expecting from seeing the trailers, and I only was marginally off in two guesses I made while watching the film.  Still, it's an ambitious film and an uncomfortable film, and I can see why Peele is Hollywood's favorite new director. 

Amazon Streaming is including the alternate/ original ending of the film, and, frankly, I think they should have kept that as the final word, but no one is asking me. 


Halloween Watch: Night of the Creeps (1986)


Watched:  10/18/2019
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's (so, so 1980's)

I've been meaning to watch this one for a few years as I've not seen much of the work of Monster Squad director Fred Dekker.  Dekker both wrote and directed Night of the Creeps (1986), and it does feel like part of the lineage of films by the likes of Landis and Joe Dante - a sort of boutique film by horror movie dorks by horror movie dorks.  But it's still broad enough to work even if you don't realize the entire movie is a collection of references frankensteined together to make a narrative.

First - I found this movie to be straight up Rated-R horror movie fun.  And I guess, deep down, if a horror film doesn't have anything in particular to say, or isn't going to be a cinematic tour-de-force, give me a good time at the movies.  Night of the Creeps absolutely delivers.  Aliens.  1950's flashbacks with "the escaped axe murderer" trope on Lovers Lane.  Dorky college dudes trying to get into an incredibly d-baggy frat (in my old age, 1980's frat dudes are just absolutely delightful).  And references.  So many references. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

PODCAST: Vampire Halloween Watch: "Vampire Circus" (1972) and "Innocent Blood" (1992)



Watched:  09/13/2019, 09/0152019
Format:  Amazon Streaming/ DVD
Viewing: Second/ First
Decade:  1970's/ 1990's

For more information on the PodCast and places/ services where you can find the PodCast

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SimonUK and I rise from the grave with two more takes on the Vampire Genre! In the first film, vampires make a killing running a circus while carrying a grudge and harassing a small European town. In the other, Italian mafia stereotypes collide with a French vampire in a 90's-tastic take on The City of Brotherly Love, and we can't figure out which sangria anyone is drinking. It's a Halloween vampire fest!





Music:
Vampire Circus Suite - David Whitaker, Vampire Circus OST
Night - Jackie Wilson, A Woman, a Lover, a Friend


Halloween 2019



Halloween 2018

Thursday, October 10, 2019

PODCAST: High-School Halloween Watch: "Carrie" (1976) and "Jennifer's Body" (2009)




Watched:  Carrie 08/11 - Jennifer's Body 08/12
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  unknown, many/ First
Decade:  1970's/ 2000's

Maxwell and Ryan double dip on Halloween films and High School films for a frighteningly festive film review! We take a look at two films where two very different high school girls both manifest powers! What do these films examine? What's tucked in there between the, uh... murders and more murders? Maxwell takes the reins and Ryan tries to keep up as we ponder a horror classic and a new cult favorite!



Music:
The Haunting Main Theme - Henry Searle
Carrie's Theme - Pino Donaggio, Carrie OST
Through the Trees - Wilding as Low Shoulder, Jennifer's Body OST

Playlist - Halloween 2019


Playlist - High School Movies





Saturday, October 5, 2019

Bette Noir Watch: The Letter (1940)



Watched:  10/01/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

I am well aware of the hurricane force that is Bette Davis, but for whatever reason, I don't wind up taking enough advantage of her expansive filmography.  Sometimes I feel genuine guilt in regards to this deficiency, and - as this Davis-induced-remorse had occurred once again recently - I decided to remedy the issue by force-marching Jamie through a 90 minute movie that, frankly, I knew nothing about.

A prestige picture of sorts from pre-war Warner Bros., The Letter (1940) makes not just for an interesting time capsule, but a fascinating melodrama and noir, punctuated by Davis' terrific performance.  With a script based upon a 1927 play (and previously made into a movie during the silent era), the material of the film is well honed, a tight, taught narrative with a number of fascinating characters and smart dialog.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Thriller Watch: A Kiss Before Dying (1956)




Watched:  09/30/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

I tell you kids, sometimes mid-century cinematic gender roles are a real killer.