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 Time

Post by Buscemi2 »

Tonight's double feature: two 1990 movies.

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Edward Scissorhands is some of Tim Burton's best work. Back when Johnny Depp was still sane, he and Burton did this one which made me notice that it's a lot like the 1931 Frankenstein but in suburbia (so, Frankenweenie but he's not a bull terrier). The concept is beautiful and Burton and screenwriter Caroline Thompson tell a story that's both funny and touching. And they say Burton is too dark.

And since Surfer is the ultimate Winona Ryder fan here: was that her real hair color in the movie?

Meanwhile, DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp is an infectiously fun expansion of the TV show, focusing on a premise similar to Aladdin two years later where Scrooge McDuck and his nephews (and Webby) find a magic lamp and must stop an evil shapeshifter (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) from getting the lamp as his way of taking over the world. Much like the show, it's pure escapism and those little ducks are entertaining.

And as DuckTales was short, I added in four more Oscar winning shorts: The ChubbChubbs (must have been a weak year if this Shrek-inspired sci-fi short won), Father and Daughter (awards baity but well-meaning), Bob's Birthday (strong English humor in animated form), and Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase (more of a demo reel than a short but you have to admire the ambition).

Up next: The Good Son & The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by silversurfer19 »

Buscemi2 wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 11:34 pm
And since Surfer is the ultimate Winona Ryder fan here: was that her real hair color in the movie?
She definitely was blonde when she was younger, though it has obviously darkened with age. Pretty sure when I read Burton on Burton though that it was mentioned she wore a wig for the role in Edward Scissorhands, though, and her hair was never quite that blonde naturally.

I am such a fan boy...

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

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I knew you'd have the answers, Surfer.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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I'm afraid to ask obscure questions about her, in case Surf knows the answers instantly.

Now I know what your Mastermind subject is ;)

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

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Last night's lineup: two 90's sociopath thrillers and a last minute addition.

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The Good Son is a minor (not intended as literal) thriller with elements of the director's The Stepfather and the more recent Luce elevated by Macaulay Culkin's against-type performance as the deranged Henry, who uses his evil to control all around him and only his cousin can stop him. It might have been better had Ian McEwan not been let go during production (much of his script was rewritten by the guy who wrote Star Trek V and Obsessed) but at 87 minutes, it's at least a thrilling and fast-paced film.

It's a bit hard for me to admit but I quite like Fresh Horses. 1988 was kind of the period where Molly Ringwald was taking more adult roles and this film where she plays a backwoods girl with a mysterious past and the affection of Andrew McCarthy (in a far more developed character than in Pretty in Pink) is in my opinion, her best performance. Ringwald just does trashy well and it's a much more mature film than anything Ringwald did for John Hughes. A lot of people seem to hate it but I think it holds up better than Pink. Also, you get to see Ben Stiller and Viggo Mortensen (who has barely aged) in early roles.

Lastly, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was a popular movie when it came out but doesn't seem to get talked about much nowadays. Which is too bad because it's an entertaining thriller with a terrifying premise of a nanny who turns her employer's life into a living hell as revenge for her husband's death. A film like this could have easily been nothing more than cheap made-for-TV fodder but with some talented people involved (the director later did L.A. Confidential while the writer would later co-write the current Planet of the Apes series), it manages to keep you interested as it goes on. And every time I think of Gilbert & Sullivan, I think of this movie.

Up next: Tapeheads, David & Lisa, and Stevie (with Instagram Live commentary by the Small Town Murders guys).
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by silversurfer19 »

numbersix wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 2:44 pm
I'm afraid to ask obscure questions about her, in case Surf knows the answers instantly.

Now I know what your Mastermind subject is ;)
Ha! I probably do know more than most about her, but I couldn't tell you what colour swimsuit she wore for swimming in 1996.







I probably could...

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

Post by Buscemi2 »

Last night: a triple bill of movies off the beaten path.

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Nowadays, Frank Perry is probably known more for being Katy Perry's uncle than for his body of work (which included Last Summer, Diary of a Mad Housewife, and Mommie Dearest). But while many of his films have been held up from new releases due to rights issues, many of them deserve to be rediscovered. David and Lisa is one of those films, a raw and unflinching drama about mentally ill students at an institution near Philadelphia who develop a kinship for each other before eventually falling in love. Perry and his frequent collaborator (and wife at the time) Eleanor Perry avoid cliches in telling this story and show the harsh realities of what it was like to be disabled back in 1962 (though some relations have improved, it's still difficult for the mentally handicapped to be accepted by the more functionally able). Though Keir Dullea's performance might be seen as over the top now, Janet Margolin's performance as the dual identity of Lisa and Muriel is excellent.

Next was Stevie with a special livestream commentary by Crime in Sports/Small Town Murder hosts James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman (plus Jimmie's sister as a guest star/livestream technical person*). Steve James' film about the relationship between him and the kid he was assigned through Big Brothers Big Sisters over a four-year period is an interesting film about the white trash life in Southern Illinois and being one of James' favorite films (he admits in the commentary that he's seen it at least 110 times), they do an affectionate commentary where they make fun of the film while also embracing its study of Stevie and his various actions. Stevie is a scumbag and having the Small Town Murder guys go after him and the people around him made this a very satisfying experience. Also, it's a long movie so you'll need to set aside some time to watch it all (the commentary is on YouTube if you want to watch it before the 31st, when Amazon Prime pulls it).

Lastly, I can't understand how anyone can hate Tapeheads. This is a funny movie that deserves to better known. John Cusack and Tim Robbins play aspiring music video directors who while chasing their big break, get involved with a plot involving a sex tape featuring a presidential candidate. Normally, such a premise would be played straight but with the producer of Repo Man involved, it's anything but. In a way, it's a lot like UHF but with music instead of television (funnily enough, Weird Al Yankovic makes a cameo in this, along with many other notable musicians). My favorite bits: any moment with Roscoe.

Tonight: L!fe Happens, Listen Up Phillip, and Vamps.

* - Edit: it was actually James' wife/manager that set up the livestream, though I recall Jimmie's sister also partook in the commentary.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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Due to time constrants, the Krysten Ritter triple feature has been pushed back from yesterday to tonight. Instead, last night at the Corona was a triple feature of late 80's horror films from New World Pictures.

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Creepshow 2 is a step down from the first, mainly due to the reduced budget and not having George A. Romero back as director (he was busy with Tales from the Darkside at the time). But there's still more good than bad as it manages to at least be entertaining. The first segment is the weakest but George Kennedy does well as a general store owner whose Native American chief statue avenges him and his wife after being robbed by a Samson-like figure. The second segment, based on a Stephen King story, is the best one, more or less being a smaller-scale version of The Blob on a wooden raft. And the third segment is an interesting variation on the killer hitchhiker urban legend. It's not the first but it's far superior to Creepshow 3.

Dead Heat has gotten a bad rap over the years but I find it a funny movie about a Los Angeles detective (Treat Williams) who after dying in a decompression tank, returns to life and must solve a elaborate murder case before he turns into a zombie. A mix of buddy cop comedy and undead horror, it might be one of the better movies about reanimated corpses. It doesn't take itself seriously but it also doesn't turn into an homage-heavy movie where every cliche is played straight despite attempts to do the opposite. The movie gets better every time I watch it.

Lastly, Hellbound: Hellraiser II might be the darkest, most morbid, and violent movie to ever be released nationwide at Christmas. This insanely graphic horror film is every bit as grim as its predecessor and while not as good, it does bring in new ideas to the franchise and manages to be more artistic than your typical horror sequel. It's too bad those Weinsteins got their hands on Hellraiser and milked it to death without Clive Barker having any input because the first two films really had something going on.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by Chienfantome »

Last Night I watched Mortal Engines, and I'll make it short : it wasn't very good.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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Mortal Engines killed steampunk in the same way that movie with Chris Brown killed b-boys.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by Buscemi2 »

Last night's movies.

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L!fe Happens wasn't exactly the amazing film I remember it being at 22 but it is a cut above the typical chick flick. The characters (based partially on the writers, being the director and star) feel more realized than the usual stereotypes seen back then and it has a style that gives it an unglamarous but fun feel that allows it stand out. It also reminded me of back when a small indie film like this was still shot in 35mm. I think what hurt this film was not the reviews (which critics trashed it) but the time period it was released. It came after How Do You Know? killed the old fashioned chick flick but before Netflix began picking up movies. In 2020, a film like this one has an audience and Jessica Jones starring is icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, I must have been starstruck or something when I liked Listen Up, Philip the first time. Watching it again, all I saw was an unlikeable character that I wanted to see have some sense slapped into him. The B-plot with Jonathan Pryce and Krysten Ritter's character is more interesting but director Alex Ross Perry is more focused on Jason Schwartzman being an asshole and Elisabeth Moss disappearing for long periods of time. Also, the film is terribly shot and edited. Maybe once was enough on this one. Also, I found that my local Film Club randomly scheduled a Netflix Party of Red Dawn three hours before screening and I found out while I was watching this. I could have watched that instead. Oh hell, I'm sure someone will screen it once all the theatres reopen.

Lastly, Vamps is a much better film that it's 5.0 IMDb rating states. Amy Heckerling's tribute to classic vampire mythology doesn't have the best effects but it's a tongue-in-cheek comedy where Alicia Silverstone and Ritter play vampires living the single life in New York. Ritter plays in love with a young descendant of Abraham Van Helsing (future Beast Dan Stevens) while Silverstone rekindles a relationship with an old flame who gets involved with legal help for the city's vampire population. Meanwhile, a power-obsessed vampire (Sigourney Weaver) seeks to rule the world through her ability to control other's minds. It sounds complicated but it's fun if you're in the right mood.

Also, I spent the last two afternoons watching some Oscar winning and nominated shorts, including all the Wallace & Gromit shorts. Can anyone else think of a franchise where every entry got a nomination (five nominations, three wins)?

Up next: Willow & Alien Nation.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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Tonight's double feature: two 1988 genre films.

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Alien Nation is more or less Lethal Weapon with aliens, which actually makes it somewhat original. Sure, it's not a groundbreaking cop film but Mandy Patinkin and Terence Stamp's performances make it interesting and the mythology of the alien race is quite well-realized (it shouldn't come as a surprise that the film spawned a TV show and several TV movies). Also, I'm convinced the villain plot in this film served as the basis of the Nuke plot in RoboCop 2.

Meanwhile, Willow has been accused of being nothing more than a fantasy version of Star Wars. A fair accusation but I'd say it draws more from The Lord of the Rings than anything. But even though Willow isn't that original, neither is Star Wars. All that aside, Willow is an enjoyable fantasy film with excellent visual effects and lots of stylistic flair. Ron Howard often gets called a hack by film snobs but more often that not, he can make an enjoyable movie. And I wish Val Kilmer had done more comedic roles in his prime. He might be better at being funny than serious but he had to let his ego make his decisions for him.

Up next: The Waterboy & Three Men and a Baby.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

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Tonight's double feature: two blockbuster comedies from Disney's adult divisions.

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Three Men and a Baby is a rather simple film. Personally, I feel Look Who's Talking and Baby Boom are superior films covering similar ground but there are enough likeable elements for it to still be decent enough, mainly in Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson's performances. I am amazed that it outperformed Planes, Trains and Automobiles (which opened on the same Thanksgiving weekend) though.

Meanwhile, I've seen The Waterboy many times and I still think it holds up. Yes, it's goofy but it's not the kind of film that's meant to be taken seriously. It's also somewhat of an affectionate portrayal of Cajun culture. Sure, there are better films about that concept but as a football movie, I'd rather watch it than The Blind Side or Friday Night Lights.

Up next: 28 Days Later & Lake Placid.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by Chienfantome »

You're in a period of watching US remake of French comedies, Boosch !
And like The Birdcage, I haven't seen Three men and a baby.
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Re: What Are You Watching Right Now? Episode 3 - Turtles in Time

Post by Buscemi2 »

I also have Point of No Return (remake of La Femme Nikita) and picked up Paradise (remake of The Grand Highway) in the most recent Kino Lorber sale. I don't have them scheduled for Corona screenings (yet).

Tonight's lineup: two horror films with Brendan Gleeson in the cast plus a bonkers 80's Canadian film.

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I can't hate Lake Placid, though many do. I've talked about this one before but it's not often that you see so many people known for serious films doing what's basically a deadpan, big-budget version of a Roger Corman film. And Betty White steals every scene she's in.

The Peanut Butter Solution was a late addition, as it was supposed to part of a Google Hangouts thing done by my local Film Club. Unfortunately, the Hangout link came too late and I didn't get to participate in the post-film discussion. But what I can say about the film is that what's considered a movie for kids in Quebec is much different than the rest of North America. But I have to admire the originality of the story and how despite all of the negatives, it makes for an enjoyably odd movie. One of these days, I have to watch The Great Land of Small, the production company's follow-up with The Man from Another Place that's even stranger.

Lastly, how hasn't 28 Days Later been brought up lately with the same notoriety as Contagion and Outbreak? The outbreak depicted in this film is much scarier and the reaction feels truer than those films. Also, it might be the last truly noteworthy zombie film before Shaun of the Dead made fun of them and The Walking Dead milked them to death. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland reinvented the sub-genre by making them more terrifying and increasing the sense of danger by essentially creating a new breed of zombie that is nigh-unkillable and possibly smarter. And what did they get? Horror fans complaining that zombies shouldn't run. Look, Edgar Wright made it impossible to take the traditional zombie seriously anymore and all horror villains need some new juice. It's just like how horror fans used to hate Scream for pointing out all of the cliches in slasher films. Also, I noticed that Cillian Murphy sure loves making movies about the world in collapse or in danger.

Tomorrow night: The Poseidon Adventure & Sleuth.
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