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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Valentine's Day Watch: Coffy (1973)


Watched:  02/14/2019
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's

Jamie and I went out for a lovely dinner for Valentine's Day, followed by catching up on Star Trek: Discovery, and then - somehow - I wound up watching this movie, and I think for the fashion choices alone, Jamie didn't object.  I thought I'd previously seen Coffy (1973) when I started it - because it's currently streaming free to Amazon Prime subscribers, and, I didn't intend to actually watch it.  But I hadn't seen it and the next thing I knew I was an hour in.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

PODCAST! It's High School Musicals with "Grease" (1978) and "High School Musical" (2006) - Maxwell, Mrshl and Ryan




GREASE (1978)
Watched:  01/28/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Easily my 15th or 16th, maybe more
Decade  1970's

High School Musical (2006)
Watched:  02/08/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

Maxwell and Ryan welcome Marshall to the PodCast as they discuss "Grease" and "High School Musical", two movies that are about finding love and finding out who you are in the nightmare factory that is the American Public High School.  One of these films is definitely for kids, and the other... really, not for kids, no matter what America wants to think.




Music:

Summer Nights - Grease OST - cast
We Go Together - Grease OST - cast
Grease - performed by The Signaltones

High School Movies:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Noir Watch: The Burglar (1957)


watched:  02/08/2019
format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
viewing:  first
decade:  1950's

I recently read the David Goodis novel, which Goodis himself adapted as a screenplay for The Burglar (1957).  Surprise: the book is better.  An existential noir thriller that *really* piles on Goodis' weirdness with women, the book is singularly bleak piece of fiction that, honestly, would probably not work terribly well as a film (the ending would be, also, logistically unfilmable in 1957*).

The movie hits a lot of the same beats and maintains the motivations of the book, but it's just not as well fleshed out, and they clearly were worried about the audience getting lost along the way so they're more concrete in trying to state the vague mess of issues plaguing Duryea's titular burglar. 

Jayne Mansfield is about as far from the Gladden on the novel as one could get in personality and build, but it does shake up the mix a bit and puts a point on the creeping sexual stress as the story shows up on the screen - it's simply different from the frail, skinny girl of the novel.

There's some terrific imagery and cinematography in the film, and pitch perfect noir-esque build of sweaty claustrophobia once the game is revealed, all of which is mind-boggling, as this was the director's first time out (Paul Wendkos, who went on to make Gidget movies!), and a DP who, really, doesn't show much on his filmography to show how he got to this point. 

Honestly, I think they cut too much from the book to give the other burglars any real personality or show why Duryea's character is so wound up, but it's still basically intact, and as a B picture, it's got some good stuff going for it. 


*it involves a lot of stuff of people swimming in the choppy Atlantic.  Sort of.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Catching-Up Watch: Eighth Grade (2018)



Watched:  02/07/209
Format:  Amazon Streaming (Prime)
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

A lot of ink got spilled and a lot of gushing occurred when Eighth Grade (2018) hit cinemas last year.  And, of course, you'll note the trend that this kneecaps movies for me when I do get around to seeing them, so I won't linger on that too much, but all of the praise certainly colored how I went into the film (cheerfully, willingly, curiously!), and my reaction by the film's conclusion.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Noir Watch: The Stranger (1946)


Watched:  02/04/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR (Noir Alley from months ago)
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

This is an oddball one to slot in with noir in some ways - but I think it fits.  It's just sort of a weird set-up to have your antagonist of the film a Nazi war criminal.

I really don't want to say too much or give too much away - I really didn't know much going into The Stranger (1946), and if you've not yet seen it - try not to learn too much and go give it a shot.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

PODCAST: Noir Watch: "The Long Goodbye" (1973) - w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  02/01/2019
Format:  Kino Lorber BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970's

Simon and Ryan delve into Film Noir via Neo-Noir, Altman-directed entry "The Long Goodbye" (1973), an oddball of a film with a lot to offer. We explore the role of Philip Marlowe in the world of fiction, some of the mechanics of noir, and whether or not any of this actually works as a movie.




Music:

The Long Goodbye - Music by John Williams/ Lyrics by Johnny Mercer/ performed by Jack Sheldon

Links:

For more about The Signal Watch PodCast
The Signal Watch Patreon

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Pixar Watch: Incredibles 2 (2018)


Watched:  01/30/2018
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

It's been forever since The Incredibles came out, and I really wanted to see this one in the theater and just never found the time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Super Watch: Reign of the Supermen (2019)


Watched:  01/29/2019
Format:  DC Universe Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  2010's

This week is becoming Steel-tastic as we return to a version of the Steel origin source material.

In 1992, DC Comics famously killed and resurrected Superman in a triptych of narrative arcs, , first downing him with Doomsday, then keeping Superman dead for a few months before bringing him back to save the day/ Earth.

It's a very 90's-tastic comic series, and your mileage will vary as you read it now.

Reign of the Supermen (2019) kinda sorta retells the story of the second two arcs post-Death of Superman as four new beings arrive on the global scene, all claiming some bit of Superman's legacy.  From back in Ye Olden Comicks Days, this is where we got Steel, Superboy (Conner Kent), Cyborg Superman and The Eradicator.  Surprisingly, over the years, these characters have endured unlike near any others spinning out of a major event, which is a testament to the solid core concepts each character embodied and how they fit into the DCU like puzzle pieces.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Outbreak Watch: Panic in the Streets (1950)



Watched:  01/27/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1950's

I'd certainly heard the title of Panic in the Streets (1950), but had never paid the movie much mind.  It played a while back on TCM, so I loaded it up on the DVR for a later playback and am thrilled I did.  The movie is often listed as noir, but... aside from some aesthetic choices, it doesn't match my definition of noir, so I'm not labeling it as such.

Directed by Elia Kazan, the movie reflects his ability to shoot on location and make it mean something.  Here he exits LA and lands in New Orleans, filming along the industrial docks and twisting roads of the city, jumping from suburbs to the edges of the French Quarter.  Unfortunately, as the movie was 1950, it makes the location shooting feel like that much more of a lie as you only see Black people here and there, which in no way reflects the make-up of the city.

Still, you do get an immediacy to the film with the organic locations and settings, including sounds captured along the river or on the streets.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Doc Watch: Fyre Fraud (2019) - the other "Fyre Festival Fiasco" post mortem doc



Watched:  01/22/2019
Format:  Hulu streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

This post will make no sense unless you go back and read my post from yesterday on Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019) , the other documentary about this same subject that was released on Netflix earlier this month.  So, please do go and read it, because I'd prefer not to rehash a lot of what was covered in that post.

After my initial post and exasperation with the Netflix doc and spending most of the post leveling suspicion at the motives of the doc makers, Paul dropped a note to me saying "hey, I think people who are involved with Fyre Fest were involved in producing that doc", which... indeed they were.  Which confirmed all my worst suspicions and made me hate everyone involved even more, but at least made me feel less paranoid and crazy.

Doc Watch: They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)


Watched:  01/21/2019
Format:  Fathom Events at Arbor Cinema
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010s

It's fascinating to see Peter Jackson turn his eye for detail and technical achievement to the discipline of documentary film-making.  In many ways, They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) could herald a new era of popular documentary as important as the narrative innovations of Ken Burns, which have become the de facto mode for serious historical documentary for those of us who watch PBS.  Frankly, from an historical/ accuracy perspective, I have a *lot* of quibbles with Jackson's approach - but we'll get to that after praising his achievements.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Doc Watch: Fyre - the Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)


Watched:  01/21/2019
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

(late edit: shortly after posting my initial, pretty visceral reaction to the doc, I got some new info that will show up later in the post.  It's always nice to feel less crazy.  And certainly learning what I did colors and informs literally everything about the doc.  Basically - it may be somewhat true, but it's also deeply skewed and can't be seen as having any journalistic integrity.

While I recommend reading this post first - and watching the Netflix doc first - the post on the Hulu Doc is here.)

I'm no commie, but few things leave me wanting to declare "let's just eat the rich" like the film I just finished.  And not just the subject matter they covered, but the way in which the filmmakers themselves covered it.

The lack of ability to reflect and look at the *source* of the issues around the notorious Fyre Festival is probably the weirdest part of watching Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019), the Netflix documentary that's been grabbing headlines.

At the end of the day, I'm just left thinking:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

MST3K Watch: Lords of the Deep (1989)


Watched:  01/18/2019
Format:  MST3K on Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

A mash-up of The Abyss and every space station movie you've ever seen, with terrible acting, hilariously bad lighting and direction, set-design right out of a high school play and your two leads played by "that guy" from 1970's television and Felix's wife who gets killed early on in License to Kill.  And some adorably bad puppets.

The courage it took to make this on the heels of The Abyss is just... man...

Friday, January 18, 2019

Noir Watch: Lured (1947)


Watched:  01/17/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940s

Anything with Lucille Ball pre-I Love Lucy is a weird watch.

I do not know what to do with Sexy Lucy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

PODCAST! "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders" (1970) - It's a "New to me" extravaganza with AmyC and Ryan



Watched:  01/06/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1970
Country of Origin:  Czechoslovakia

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We welcome you to join Ryan as he bears witness to a "new to him" movie as Amy brings a 1970 film from former Eastern bloc nation, Czechoslovakia! A meditation and tone poem on the transition from girlhood to womanhood - forces internal and external, allegorical and real, secular and religious. Vampires, live human bonfires, magical earrings and a polecat.

This movie has everything.






Music:
The Magic Yard - Luboš Fišer, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders OST


AmyC Cinema Select Series

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)



Watched:  01/05/2019
Format:  cable on DVR
viewing: first
decade:  2010's

A lot of this movie worked for me for what it was.  I suspect the less than amazing box office (a total domestic take of $9.6 million - no international numbers reported) for the movie may be attributed to the oddball place it found itself in, demographically.  Had this movie arrived in the early 00's, I think it would have been a $60 million or more earner, but the approach hails from the 90's and 00's - where the structure is utterly predictable, it's far more about what the movie hangs on that skeleton via gags and jokes.  The stars of the film and pop scene isn't really the focus of Gen-X'ers, and, to be kind, the view of Millennials re: pop music seems to be a hearty embrace, free from irony and with a big thumbs up to being marketed to.

But, yeah, if you're into Andy Samberg's brand of humor, this is that. For 90 minutes.  And there are so, so many cameos, many of which are almost funnier just based on the timing of when and how the star appears (hats off to Mariah Carey, in particular).   And, Tim Meadows, as always, the most underutilized, funniest guy in anything. 

This is in no way essential viewing, but Jamie watched it once and said "yeah, it's better than you think", so we watched it.  And, yeah, it did the trick for a second movie on a Saturday evening (especially after Thor 2).






Saturday, January 5, 2019

MST3K Watch: Atlantic Rim (2013)



Watched:  01/03/2019
Format:  MST3K on Netflix
Viewing: first
Decade:  2010's

It's not often you see a movie and you think "this isn't a patch on Robot Jox".   Made for... someone? by The Asylum - which raises the question about the market and outlets for movies like this in 2019.

Yes, this was a quick cash grab by The Asylum to make some coin off the dummies who think Pacific Rim and Atlantic Rim (2013) must be related, and probably honestly can't tell the different between the two, anyway.  I do wonder what has to happen to you along the way to decide this is going to be what you do for money, but I also don't blame them.

In closing: I am pretty sure they made the movie up as they went along and the cast was drunk through 40-60% of the movie, and I'm not kidding.  Our lead seems pickled a huge amount of this movie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Musical Watch: Call Me Madam (1953)



Watched:  12/30/2018
Format:  disc
viewing:  first
decade:  1950's

When we were kids Ethel Merman was still part of the popular consciousness, but I'm not sure what folks my parents' age thought of her (I can pretty much guarantee my dad found her annoying).  Merman was a Broadway performer with a brassy voice and who had a sort of streetwise persona paired with a self-deprecating wit.  I think. 

Call Me Madam (1953) was originally a Broadway show with music by Irving Berlin and starring Merman, apparently a Tony Award-winning show.  I only listened to about five minutes of the commentary, but the narrator was quick to leap on the notion "look, this was based on stuff everyone in 1953 would have just known from the news, but hasn't really remained in the zeitgeist".  Despite the fairytale-like story, apparently Call Me Madam is loosely based on a real person and events.