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Watch, Watched, Watching: The cancellations continue

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Speaking of Ben Wheatley(in the old thread), I saw that he’s gonna direct the sequel to The Meg. What an odd decision. I’ve never seen the first one but I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that it was a pile of shit. Maybe he can get an R rating for the sequel and have some bloody fun with this one? 

I’ve been thinking about doing a rewatch of A Field in England. I don’t think I’ve seen it since it first came out. I randomly came upon the tent scene on youtube the other day. Such a wonderful and fucked up scene. Apparently the actor was told to come out of the tent looking stunned, but he improvised amazingly.

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46 minutes ago, Ramsay B. said:

Speaking of Ben Wheatley(in the old thread), I saw that he’s gonna direct the sequel to The Meg. What an odd decision. I’ve never seen the first one but I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that it was a pile of shit. Maybe he can get an R rating for the sequel and have some bloody fun with this one? 

The Meg is a fun big dumb monster movie if you go into it with low expectations. 

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Re Cabin in the Woods, I kinda enjoyed it at the time, but it wasn't really that funny. It was, I suppose, clever, but I've never bothered to rewatch. 

Watched original 1960 Psycho last night - it's still really effective, even though some of the effects don't quite work. And the weird exposition from the psychiatrist at the end is a false note. 

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On Amazilla Prime: Tai-Pan (1986) film, De Laurentiis daddy and daughter production.  As adapted from the first of  Clavell's  Straun-Broch novels, it leave out the the DIVISION OF THE COINS FOR FAVOR CALLED IN that helps drive the next three novels.  Sheesh.

Epic in scope and no CGI, and all location, it would have done better as a special event for a month on broadcast tv, in that 1980's golden age of broadcast tv of special events set in other countries than the USA.

https://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/27/movies/tai-pan-contrasts-old-china-and-new.html

Quote

The venture carried heavy implications for her reputation as a producer. In 1984 her previous film, the $45 million science-fiction production ''Dune,'' shot on location in Mexico, received a nearly universal drubbing from the critics. This did little to enhance a career whose major credits had been ''Conan the Barbarian'' and its sequel, ''Conan the Destroyer.'

Over the years since I first read Clavell's Shogun, his works have paled, but in These Times, desperate for epic, I'll roll for 40 minutes or so an evening while working out dinner or something else.

 

Edited by Zorral

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Recently watched In the Heat of the Night (1968) with Sidney Poitier. Pretty good film, although I feel like I missed some things due to not having been able to see it with subtitles or really good audio. I liked it already, but I wonder whether in more idea circumstances I would have thought it even better. This time around it was hard to follow the mystery sometimes because of how unintelligible the audio was.

Perhaps a question to other people who might have seen it (spoilers for the film below):

Spoiler

Was there any advance give-away that the diner guy was the killer?

 In many regards this film reminded me of a (much more clever and better executed) precursor of Lovecraft Country in the sense that it took quite a stale format (the whodunit, which was always more of a British thing to begin with) and made it more exciting by grounding it in the racism of the Deep South. That creates quite interesting tensions and interplays you don't really get in normal detectives.

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@Isis About Vertigo (from the previous thread) - the casting of Jimmy Stewart was a subversion, because he usually played good, "wholesome" guys, so this is what the audience would expect of his character. Instead, his protagonist in Vertigo - while others in the movie are technically the bad guys - is not really a nice guy, even though you watch the story from his POV and he should be an innocent victim/hero... but he is not. 

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I heard that Apple renewed Ted Lasso for a third season, before they've filmed the second. Well there's a good reason for it. It's just damn delightful. I want to just go hug everyone I know when I watch it. Only wish it were on a service more people had; I only got to it when I heard mom mention in passing they were cancelling a bunch of random accounts and I figured I'd binge it.

So yeah, if you actually have Apple+ or TV or whatever they call it, you'll probably feel really good if you watch this show.

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Brave New World cancelled at Peacock, I see, but the studio is apparently shopping it around. With a rumored $100 million price tag for the first season (in all honesty, I can believe it -- the CGI, when used, is good, massive amounts of costuming), I think it'll be a hard sell. But maybe Amazon or Netflix will be interested? That said, I didn't much care for the end and left the show dubious that it'd be renewed. Which is a shame for the performers, who did well (especially Harry Lloyd), but it was a bit sloppy.

Speaking of sloppy, went on to the penultimate episode of Lovecraft Country, somehow thinking it was the final episode... and it was actually really good, I thought! One of the best of the series. But I gather that the final episode was much more divisive and indulged in the sloppiness of most of the season. There's just something very weird with the way the show has been envisioned, in terms of wild tone shifts, exposition dumps, a sense that they're just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. But still, this episode  was well done. It deals with the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, which has come into vogue since Ta-Neishi Coates wrote about it in The Atlantic six years ago; besides this, that other HBO show, Watchmen apparently featured it (no, I have not nor ever will watch it), and just the other day CNN and LeBron James were teaming up to produce a documentary.

Besides that, I watched Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce. Why did I watch it? Well, if anyone knows Gilliam, the making of this movie has been quixotic. It started with an initial vision and deal in 1990, which went to a dead end, then restarted again in 1998 with French actor Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp to lead, cameras started rolling in 2000 ... but after just a few days filming they had to abort it because Rochefort turned out to have double herniated discs and some sort of prostate issue and, well, it was too obvious he was in tremendous pain on horseback. There's a documentary, Lost in La Mancha, that was started as the making-of film and ended up Then in 2008 it was starting up again, first with Palin to be Quixote, then Robert Duvall, with Depp to return to his role except he was too busy. So eventually it was Ewan McGregor. And then the financing collapsed again (I won't even get into the law suits). Finally, it happened, with Driver taking the Depp role of Toby, a commercial director who ends up being Sancho Panza to a Spanish shoemaker named Javier who comes to believe he's Don Quixote, played by Jonathan Pryce.

After all that, how was it? It's mostly an incoherent mess, moving with a kind of dreamlike, metatextual logic. Thematically, it's interesting -- you can see Gilliam's commenting on film making and artistry, Driver's character is a kind of stand-in for Gilliam himself or maybe a part of him that he doesn't like or fears he could have become -- but the performances outside of the leads are shaky at best, and even the leads are given fairly broad things to do. Did appreciate the ending, though. The spirit of Don Quixote lives on.

(Oh, yeah, and then after the film wrapped a former producer sued and tied it up for another year before it was released.)

Fincher's upcoming Mank made me revisit Citizen Kane after that. What an amazing film. Nearly 80 years old, and yet so much of it feels modern -- the camera movements, the deep focus, Welles's performance -- while featuring a kind of stylization that's hard to imagine. I was struck by the depths of shadow he'd have actors perform in, rendering them faceless, just silhouettes being addressed and responding. His theatre background, I suppose. He was probably influenced by German expressionism from the 20s and 30s, but he put things together in a fresh way. And the story itself -- it's powerful, yes, but also brisk. The pacing is perfect. I'm really curious to see if we'll glimpse any scenes recreated in Mank.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

...revisit Citizen Kane after that. What an amazing film. Nearly 80 years old, and yet so much of it feels modern -- the camera movements, the deep focus, Welles's performance -- while featuring a kind of stylization that's hard to imagine. I was struck by the depths of shadow he'd have actors perform in, rendering them faceless, just silhouettes being addressed and responding. His theatre background, I suppose. He was probably influenced by German expressionism from the 20s and 30s, but he put things together in a fresh way. And the story itself -- it's powerful, yes, but also brisk. The pacing is perfect.

:agree: 

I felt that way about William Wyler's Little Foxes (1941) too, in spite of the obvious studio sets, which reminded one that the source material was a play from 1939 -- and those were very lavish. There were a large number of African Americans used too, and though they never really got to be characters -- two of them managed to make it up to caricatures -- but they were photographed / lighted right so we SAW their individual faces instead of dark blobs which is how so many films did it in the era.

 

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Watched a WW2 movie called The 12th man recently. It's about a Norwegian team of saboteurs, 12 go out and only 1 comes back. Most of the movie was subtitles FYI.

Different type of movie in that the 

Spoiler

The "mission" was a total failure, literally never got off the boat and yet it was also a large success by providing hope and pride.

 Loved the scenery. Amazing that most of the movie is true.

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On 10/28/2020 at 4:30 PM, Annara Snow said:

@Isis About Vertigo (from the previous thread) - the casting of Jimmy Stewart was a subversion, because he usually played good, "wholesome" guys, so this is what the audience would expect of his character. Instead, his protagonist in Vertigo - while others in the movie are technically the bad guys - is not really a nice guy, even though you watch the story from his POV and he should be an innocent victim/hero... but he is not. 

I think I will try it again, thanks. I was feeling really fidgety and unsettled that day. I just wanted to watch some of a film while I ate lunch. I also tried Funny Girl and I had to turn that off after ten minutes as well. It was a bad day for films.

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On 10/29/2020 at 1:09 AM, Martell Spy said:

Excellent. Narcos Mexico is renewed for a 3rd season. Really enjoying The Queen's Gambit on Netflix.

I just finished Queens Gambit, enjoyed it quite a bit. One of the better shows I have seen in a while.

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12 hours ago, Ran said:

 that other HBO show, Watchmen apparently featured it (no, I have not nor ever will watch it)

 

Why?!

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Watched Stuber recently.

Spoiler

Wished I hadn’t. Cried out “MEDIOCRE!!!” in every scene.

 

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