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What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 17th, 2018, 11:03 pm

Tonight, I got to see...

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A film Trey and Matt hate as they weren't allowed to rewrite the script but more level-headed people appreciate for what it is: perhaps the ultimate parody of American sports. A flop when it was originally released in 1998, the film later found its audience on home video and many television airings. And watching it with an audience filled with people in on nearly every joke was a fun experience. Also, I noticed that the film is surprisingly anti-capitalist despite being from a director that became an arch-conservative some years later and featuring a lot of product placement.

And I wish baseketball was a real game. I would watch the crap out of that. But I'd also watch professional kickball and think Canadian football has some unique ideas so what do I know.

Up next: Jaws.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 18th, 2018, 11:31 pm

Tonight was...

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Salsa Shark. We're gonna need a bigger boat! Man goes into cage, cage goes into salsa, shark's in the salsa, our shark. Oh, wait. Wrong movie. Anyway, this was entertaining seeing this with an audience (and I got a free foam shark fin hat). And that scene with the severed head is much scarier on the big screen (I must wonder how this film was rated PG, it's quite bloody in places).

But what else can be said about the first summer blockbuster other than Richard Dreyfuss looked much older than 27 when he made this.

And before the movie, we had plenty of pre-show shark action (all that was missing was Shark Attack 3, Left Shark, and Sharknado). And there was a trailer for The Meg (the screening was partially done to hype up The Meg as well as Shark Week).

Up next: Starship Troopers.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 22nd, 2018, 10:11 pm

I got to attend a free screening of this tonight.

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One of two Miyazaki films that initially failed to get a theatrical release in the US (Kiki's Delivery Service was the other), Porco Rosso wouldn't find an audience stateside until Disney picked up the home video rights in 2005. But it wasn't until GKIDS picked up the theatrical rights to the Studio Ghibli library that the film would see action in an American theatre.

Shown in its original Japanese (English language screenings were done earlier in the weekend), this post-WWI adventure about a pilot cursed to have the face of a pig seems to be Miyazaki's tribute to classic American cinema, particularly films like Casablanca. The titular character is basically Rick Blaine with elements of characters played by Errol Flynn (the antagonist, Curtiss, also has some elements of Flynn) as well as other Humphrey Bogart characters. It is also in a way Miyazaki's most mature film up to that point. I do have to wonder if Miyazaki doing a more Golden Age-like film is why this had such a hard time seeking international distribution despite a fun premise and colorful animation (but it could have also had to do with the film premiering on airlines before it hit Japanese theatres).

It's not Spirited Away or The Wind Rises but it's one charming film.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 23rd, 2018, 10:49 pm

Tonight was...

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Perhaps the most expensive gore-filled genre film of all-time ($105 million in 1997 dollars), Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi/war movie satire might be one of the loudest films ever and one of the bloodiest films financed by a major studio (two, in fact, as Sony and Disney split the bill). I believe that when this came out, a lot of people missed what Verhoeven was trying to say and came in expecting a serious adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel. Obviously, a lot of those people never saw RoboCop as this is its spiritual successor, pointing out the absurdity of using excess to fight battles while also being a satisfying action film. Also, the acting has been criticized but once again, this is par the course for a lot of these ensemble films built around fresh faces and it's at least tongue-in-cheek about it.

And the really eerie part is that this movie kind of predicted the 2000's and that whole military mess. People talk about how Idiocracy is some sort of documentary about the decline of Western civilization. I think this film deserves to be held in higher regard than Idiocracy.

Up next: Mallrats.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 25th, 2018, 10:19 pm

Tonight was...

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Kevin Smith's much-maligned follow-up to Clerks crashed and burned at the box office in October 1995 and the production left a bad taste in Kevin Smith's mouth but would soon find an audience on home video and lead Smith to return to making big, bombastic comedies following his turn into an intimate romance with Chasing Amy.

The film is not as good as I remember it but that might just be maturing tastes (on a related note, the trailer for Never Goin' Back showed before the film and I'm sure teenage me would have loved it but adult me can't figure why I'm supposed to care about a pair of aimless dropouts going to the beach). However, I quite liked the cast and it's an interesting time capsule of 1990's mall culture. The main characters are basically Dante and Randal but Jason Lee (in his acting debut after years of skateboarding) has a strong ability of making Brodie his own character instead of aping Jeff Anderson from Clerks. And I have to wonder if Michael Rooker's character here was a blueprint for Grant Grant. The movie's not perfect but it's 90's cheese that's fun and gets the job done.

Up next: the restored Yellow Submarine.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 26th, 2018, 10:46 pm

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I must wonder why they made a Sgt. Pepper movie in 1978. Because they already got it right the first time. And it's kind of sad that people (mostly those who think all animation is Minions or think they know everything about cartoons and then try to pass off their My Little Pony fan art and GoAnimate Grounded videos as animation or complain instead of trying to do better than what they hate) are going to write this film off as rough and psychedelic because it actually has a lot to say about using your imagination and fighting fascism without resorting to violence. Also, it's nice that Ringo got to be the main character.

In other news, this is my 78th movie I've seen in a theatre this year, equaling my mark from last year.

Every year represented (I still haven't met my ten decades goal): 1957, 1958, 1962, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2017, 2018. And from looking at my pre-orders, I have a 1963, a 1969, and a 1977 coming up, plus another 1984, two 1988's, another 1989, and another 1993. And there's even more titles at another theatre. I'm going to have a busy August.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 28th, 2018, 5:56 pm

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We know the title but how many people born after 1969 have actually seen the movie? I went to a rare screening of this today and I'm led to believe that Disney suppressed the film after acquiring ABC and relegating it to hard-to-find land until licensing it to Kino Lorber for the recent Blu-ray release. Why? Because the film basically predicted reality TV and the return of exploiting people for profit. The film is intense and terrifying (the person sitting next to jokingly called the film torture once the lights came up) and I'm sure that it had quite the effect back in its original release (it was nominated for nine Oscars and won one). And I have to wonder what compelled ABC to make the film. Because it's certainly not a film that could be made today by a company with deep pockets (maybe A24 could do it but they'd want something that's not authentic to appeal to the die-hards).

Nearly everything about the film is perfect. Jane Fonda is perfectly cast, Michael Sarrazin gives his best performance, Susannah York does crazy well, and Gig Young gives a performance the actors playing the villains in the Hunger Games series only wished they could give. And hey, Bruce Dern's there too in a supporting role. Sydney Pollack does some of his best work as a director and the art direction and editing are top-notch.

If you can find a copy, get a hand on this movie and prepare to scare yourself.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » July 30th, 2018, 10:50 pm

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A flop when it was originally released (reports over the difficult production certainly didn't help matters), this film later found an audience on home video and midnight screenings after the release of the first Austin Powers movie. And despite the reports of Mike Myers wielding his ego during the making, I can't imagine anyone else making this film the way it turned out. The film works because of his input on the script and when he steals the show as Stuart. Sure, the movie might have worked in its darker form but you must realize the time frame. The dark comedies that worked in the 80's (when you think about it, it's kind of a San Francisco variation of After Hours) didn't have much mainstream appeal in the 90's. A film like this needed a hook and that's where Myers came in.

Myers also makes for a good straight man here as Charlie. Despite his well-known need for being the center of attention, he lets his talented cast show their strengths when he's sharing the screen. It seems like lately, Myers has been transitioning to supporting roles (while still indulging in his eccentricities) and a film like this or 54 shows he can do it. I also never realized how good Nancy Travis was in this. Returning to the After Hours comparison, she more or less plays the way Rosanna Arquette played characters back in her prime (I'm sure had this been made in the 80's, her role would have been played by Arquette).

The best part about this screening was the free stuff. With your ticket, you got an apron (a pretty good one made of canvas), an inflatable axe, a pair of fake Coke bottle glasses just like Stuart's, and a toy trumpet to play during the poetry scenes (and the audience loved the trumpets). Also, two drink specials were promoted.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 1st, 2018, 11:33 pm

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Chien's favorite actor in one of his most notable films. It's also perhaps the best baseball movie ever made. Inspired by Ron Shelton's own experiences as a minor league baseball player, the life of a low-level minor league player (interestingly enough, the Durham Bulls are now a Triple-A team due to the exposure the film gave the team as well as the growth of the Raleigh-Durham area) is depicted as both one of highs and lows. It's also probably one of the sexiest films of the 80's. Susan Sarandon might be at her most attractive as a whip-smart baseball groupie.

The film was recently restored for its Criterion release but sadly, MGM doesn't seem to have this restoration available for theatrical booking.

Up next: Slap Shot.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 2nd, 2018, 11:16 pm

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The best hockey movie ever made. George Roy Hill, best known for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, went more adult for his next teaming with Paul Newman with a film that was quite shocking for 1977 (at that point, no film had as much strong language as this one) and even today, still earns its R rating. As well as being well-directed, Nancy Dowd's screenplay stands out for its realism and understanding of the minor league hockey culture. The hijinks are well-balanced by the authenticity and colorful characters (Dowd also did rewrites on North Dallas Forty, probably the best football film).

It makes you wonder how the 70's had all these good sports films that balanced comedy and realism well and why they stopped making them.

Up next: Midnight Cowboy.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 5th, 2018, 10:42 pm

Two in one day.

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and

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An odd pairing for sure (a Golden Age MGM musical and the only X-rated film to win Best Picture) but they were both showing the same day.

Meet Me in St. Louis is an interesting musical to say the least. The plot is rather thin, using vignettes to tell the story of a well-to-do Midwestern family in the year before the World's Fair. Judy Garland is the star but my favorite character was Margaret O'Brien's Tootie. She reminded me a lot of Wednesday Addams. The film is also incredibly well-shot and I have to wonder how many filmmakers were inspired by the Halloween sequence. Garland and Vincente Minnelli's legacies have made this movie very well regarded and it's not hard to see why. It's a unique film that embodies old Americana better than say, Gone with the Wind.

Midnight Cowboy is a masterpiece and a well-deserved Best Picture winner. John Schlesinger, well-versed in the kitchen sink drama, brings his realism to 1969 Manhattan and it is one gritty film, as well as being very depressing. Schlesinger does not dare make the life of a hustler glamourous. If you ever wanted to be a male prostitute, this movie shows that it's a bad idea. Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman give some of their best performances and the editing and screenplay are impressive. I also didn't know that Bob Balaban and Jennifer Salt were in this.

Up next: Field of Dreams.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 8th, 2018, 10:55 pm

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Chien's favorite actor again. After being the player to be named later in Bull Durham, Costner's now a farmer who is summoned by the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson to find the clues to the void in his life. I can't say what it leads to but I'm sure you've all seen it already.

They don't make supernatural films like this one anymore. It's all either "let's get scary" or "let's get silly". This one is neither. It trusts the audience and despite the fantastical themes, the characters are restrained and very believable. And I'm sure it was the feel-good movie of 1989 as even though it incorporates a real issue during that time (the difficulties that farmers faced during the Reagan years), it's also escapism with an everyman as a hero. I have a feeling that if Frank Capra had made films in the 80's, he would have done a film like this one.

Up next: They Live.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Ron Burgundy » August 9th, 2018, 1:06 am

Yeah Field of Dreams is a perfect Sunday Arvo movie, feels good type movie
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 12th, 2018, 9:39 pm

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The Oscar-winning adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe's musical version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, George Cukor made one beautiful film. The casting of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle was controversial due to Julie Andrews, who played Eliza on stage, being passed over by Warner Bros. (Andrews did Mary Poppins instead and the rest is history) but I think a lot of the film's success and its continued remembrance is due to Hepburn. Playing a poor Cockney street urchin was a stretch for her, being that we usually associate Hepburn for her roles as sophisticated or cultured types, and she commits to the role very well. There's a lot of charm to her doing a voice that could often be viewed as incomprehensible while still retaining her elegance and radiance on-screen. Rex Harrison is also impressive as the refined but repressed Henry Higgins. There has been some criticism of his musical stylings as being spoken singing but it fits the character, seeing how he is a man of words. And George Cukor, one of the directing legends of Golden Age Hollywood, really adapted himself well to this era of cinema. The film is masterfully made, with a fast pace despite its near three-hour run time, and the cinematography, costume design, and art direction are top-notch. Together, it shows that you can do style well. You just need a good director with actors and story to pull it off.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in

Postby Buscemi2 » August 13th, 2018, 10:27 pm

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For all the love this film gets, I'm convinced a lot of people missed what Carpenter was actually trying to say with it. While many view it as Roddy Piper kicking ass when he runs out of bubble gum, it's in actuality an alarmist tale of rampant excess of the 80's taking over society and turning them into mindless aliens and those who see the reality being ignored due to their status as lower class. Much like RoboCop from a year earlier, it's a critique of the Reagan era disguised as a crowd-pleasing sci-fi film. But of course, this interpretation is bound to get lost on those in rose-colored glasses who continue to insist the 80's were a sort of utopia just because every cartoon was based on a toy they played with. But anyway, it's an entertaining film with a theme that's even more relevant now. They live, we sleep indeed.

Up next: The Birds.
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