Showing posts with label movies 2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies 2019. Show all posts

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Noir Watch: Force of Evil (1948)


Watched:  11/12/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1940's


I recalled liking Force of Evil (1948) the last time I watched in 2011, and it's hilarious to read my write-up from what I'd argue was pretty early in my dive into noir (were we ever so young, Leaguers?).  Apparently this was also my first John Garfield movie, and it's a heck of an introduction to the guy, but I knew Marie Windsor and was thrilled to see her appear (as one should always be excited to see Windsor).

But, dang, was I happy to see I was appreciative of the film back then, because rewatching it now, I was stunned by what a remarkable film this is, was and shall be, and am shocked - watching it now - that it doesn't have a deeper fanbase.  Hell, you can't buy this on BluRay in Region 1, as near as I can tell.

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.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

WTF was that? Watch: The Little Mermaid - Live!



Watched:  11/06/2019
Format:  TV broadcast on ABC
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

This "show" was some rough going, and I hope it's not how anyone would introduce their child to The Little Mermaid, stage musicals or entertainment in general.

In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the animated The Little Mermaid, Disney, for reasons that remain totally unclear, decided to show the original The Little Mermaid, but when the movie reached the musical numbers, cut over to actors performing the numbers on a stage in front of their big movie screen.

Look, I've seen The Little Mermaid maybe twice and neither of those times occurred in the past 20 years.  As with about 1 in 2 Disney movies, I just don't really click to the movie about a young, dumb mermaid in love with a guy she only met when he was wet and unconscious.  I skipped TLM at the theater because I thought it was for very young children, and missed the memo that this movie the thing to tell people Disney was no longer making kinda bad movies.  I finally saw it summer 1992, thought it was better than I expected, but was more into what Disney was doing when I did hit the theater for Beauty and the Beast in '91.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sayles Watch: Matewan (1987)


Watched:  11/02/2019
Format:  Criterion BluRay
Viewing:  4th, I believe
Decade:  1980's

Back in the go-go 1990's, I stumbled across John Sayles, as one was want to do if in film school at the time.  People would name drop him as he had a rep as the same guy who wrote Piranha, Alligator, The Howling and other more mainstream flicks, but was basically funding his ability to also write and direct independent film.  It's something he still does (apparently), but given the number of times I've heard his name or seen it online or in print the past twenty years, he's fallen away from film-nerd discussion, I suppose - which makes me really wonder who else we've forgotten.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hallow-Watch: "Frankenstein" (1931) and "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)


Watched:  F - 10/30/2019, BoF - 10/31/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Ha ha ha...
Decade:  1930's

Every Halloween I now watch both of these films.  They're literally two of my favorite movies - the sort of which I'd include if there was a Signal Watch Five Film Marathon in which to partake. 

Next year we're scheduled to talk about them during Halloween, so I want to hold off til then to say much more - and I have plenty of prior posts on these two films. 

Here's to James Whale and Gods and Monsters.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Halloween Watch: Night of the Living Dead (1968)


Watched:  10/28/2019
Format:  Criterion BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1960's

50 years on, Night of the Living Dead (1968) continues to do more than "work" as a film.  In addition to the anxiety and dread I felt rewatching the movie, almost nothing within Romero's film has aged or lost urgency.*  And, of course, while the relevance as a mirror and social experiment is discussion worthy, it also demands discussion as patient zero in a cultural shift in media extending beyond horror.

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

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Halloween Watch: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


Watched:  10/25/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  I dunno.  4th?  5th?
Decade:  1980's

So, I love this movie poster.  It tells you an incredible amount about the movie without spilling the beans, but it's beautifully designed for balance, terror, and and the uncanny pushing through into reality. 

It turns out the poster is by Matthew Peak, who happens to be the son of legendary illustrator Bob Peak - but this was his first movie poster at age 25.  Amazing! 

It does remind me of other artists who were bursting on the scene at the time, but that's not a criticism.  If it falls on a continuum of the Dave McKean/ Bill Sienkiewicz/ Drew Struzan, well... okay then. 

Anyway - Jamie alerted me she'd never seen A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and 'tis the season, so we watched it.  But you've seen this movie, and I wrote it up a year or two ago, so.  Anyway. 

I will say - I really appreciate how tight this movie is.  No fat on it at all.  And you can see immediately how and why they wanted a sequel to expand on the concept. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Halloween Family Watch: Addams Family Values


Watched:  10/24/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  no idea
Decade:  1990's

I'm not sure Addams Family Values (1993) is actually better than the original, but one could make the argument.  It certainly finds things that worked in the first film and builds on them, and finds new environs in which to put at least the kids.  And the villain of the piece, such as she is, works incredibly well.*

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.


Bruce Watch: Army of Darkness (1992)




Watched:  10/23/2019
Format:  Paramount Theater - Austin
Viewing:  ha ha ha... oh, mercy
Decade:  1990's

Last night Simon and I went to see Bruce Campbell host a screening of Army of Darkness (1992) at the Paramount Theater here in Austin, TX. 

Like so many of us who have stumbled across Army of Darkness and Evil Dead over the years, the movie left a "kill the dinosaurs" type of impact on 17-year-old Ryan's psyche when he saw this movie in the theater. Maybe a post for another time, but there's a not insubstantial part of my young-adult years where this movie was part of the lingua franca of my people, and it's one I quoted so much, I've forgotten that some of my personal verbal ticks came from this movie.

The movie holds up incredibly well, and Bruce Campbell may actually have the best Q&A skills I've ever seen.  He's heard every question 1000x before, and he doesn't actually play along as "the nice guy" celebrity.  He kinda let people know "that's a dumb question".  And, man, they really were about 80% dumb questions.  But he got paid, so what does he care?

Anyway, Bruce is charming as all hell, and it was a fun night out at the picture shows. 

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.

Monday, October 21, 2019

HALLOWEEN PODCAST! "Amityville Horror" (1979) & "Poltergeist" (1982) with Marshall and Ryan!



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Watched:  10/03/2019 and 10/05/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming (both)
Viewing:  Unknown (both)
Decade:  1980's/ 1970's

Marshall and Ryan throw a Halloween (Haunted) House Party with two favorites of the ghosts & real estate genre! We compare notes on a make-believe story that some think bled into reality, and a real story which feels kinda fakey, if we're being honest. But only one has Margot Kidder. Let's talk what makes for a captivating tale of houses with more than plumbing issues, and we ponder the handsomeness of James Brolin.



Music:
Amityville Horror Theme - Lalo Shifrin, Amityville Horror OST
Poltergeist Theme - Jerry Goldsmith, Poltergeist OST


Halloween 2019


Halloween 2018



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. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Halloween Horror Watch: The Invisible Man (1933)


Watched:  10/19/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1930's

It's been years since I watched James Whale's Universal Monsters classic The Invisible Man (1933), but it's not because I don't like the film, I just don't always make time for it the way I do Dracula and the Frankenstein films. 

James Whale most famously directed Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with The Old Dark House (1932) released prior to this entry.  I'm unsure if most folks know the impact of Whale on horror, even if they've seen the terrific Gods and Monsters, but he, Tod Browning and a few others were busily defining a genre for decades to come, interleaving their horror work with more traditional films. 

Halloween Family Watch: The Addams Family (1991)


Watched:  10/16/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's

I am unsure how The Addams Family movies are considered by my own generation or succeeding generations.  They tend to get play on basic cable and I think most people saw them at least once. 

In 1991, a 16 year old me saw this movie and it checked off a whole lotta boxes.  And, you know, over the years, that hasn't changed in the slightest - in fact, now I get a few more references, a few more gags, and as I don't watch it all that often - the movie hasn't ever gotten stale. 

I almost used this movie and its sequel for my "What is Love?" podcast (which I guess I'm not going to do) - after all, who is more in love than Gomez and Morticia Addams?  Years into a marriage that's produced two children and with their loving family all around them, that's some very public amore going on between our parental units. 

And, of course, in 1991, I'm not sure what else was out there with quite as gleeful gallows humor for the whole family.  I certainly found it a delight then, and I'd hope that folks are still sharing this movie with their kids. 

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.