The Last Movie You Watched? ver.2.0

Incidentally, those who enjoyed the big-picture silliness of Deep Blue Sea might be intrigued by the prospect of MEG (Turtletaub, 2018), a “megalodon” movie which has been mired in development hell for roughly twenty years now but which is at last begining to gain some traction. Attached to direct (at the moment) is Jon Turtletaub (the National Treasure franchise, Last Vegas), with Jason Statham and Rainn Wilson signed up to star.

Aye, I follow your drift.

Not really a shark film. It’s some kind of treasure hunt film with e a few stock footage sharks cut in a few scenes. As much a shark film as an episode of Flipper.

But you can watch it, it is not bad, a bit pedestrian all in all.

We are all of course all waiting for The Shark Hunter aka Jungle Django to be released on blu-ray:

Blindfold with Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale. Tons of fun, and an excellent new BluRay from Explosive Media

A post was merged into an existing topic: The Last Western You Watched? ver.2.0

Update , The classic John Boorman film point Blank with Lee Marvin , John Vernon and Angie Dickinson . Great time stamp of San Francisco in 1967.

Plunkett & Macleane (1999), directed by Jake Scott

Strange how I ended up watching that movie. After I had found out that Criterion would release McCabe & Mrs. Miller, I popped my old Warner region-2 DVD into the computer to check it out again and then decided to (re-)watch other Altman films as well, among them Cookie’s Fortune, which reminded me how much I liked Liv Tyler when I first saw the movie sixteen, seventeen years ago. The obvious conclusion was to watch Altman’s Dr. T & the Women, followed by Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty (1996), Harald Zwart’s One Night at McCool’s (2001) and, finally, Plunkett & Macleane.

Directed by Ridley Scott’s son Jake, Plunkett & Macleane is set in England in the first half of the eighteenth century and tells the story of two highwaymen, the title characters. Nobleman Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller) and not-so-noble man Plunkett (Robert Carlyle) rob the rich and rather not give to the poor. Everything goes well for them until Macleane falls in love with Lady Rebecca Gibson, played, of all people, by Miss Tyler from the colonies. Duly ensnared, Macleane soon takes a ride to Tyburn to dance the local jig.

The film’s story is simplistic to the point of most likely insulting even fervent amateurs of penny dreadfuls, full of flat, cliché-ridden characterizations. Plunkett & Macleane tries hard to be visually stylish and extravagant, in fact it’s garish, banal and pointless. The horrible pseudo–ambient pop soundtrack doesn’t help either. In comparison, Tony Richardson’s bawdy period films Tom Jones (1963) and Joseph Andrews (1977), based on Henry Fielding’s respective novels, emerge like beacons of sophistication and ingenuity. Wikipedia tells me that Plunkett & Macleane “has gained a very strong cult following.” I wonder what that cult’s object of worship might exactly be.

If you like Liv - like most of us do, I suppose - you should watch HEAVY (1995, James Mangold)

By far Mangold’s best movie. Actually, I’m not a fan of his other work at all, but this movie is great

Thanks, will watch it as soon as possible (L. T. and Debbie Harry). Don’t know much about Mangold, have seen only two or three of his movies: I remember that I liked Cop Land when I saw it, but that was twenty years ago; prefer Delmer Daves’s 3:10 to Yuma to Mangold’s version; not sure whether I’ve actually seen his Wolverine film or just skipped through the DVD. – Did you like Martha Fiennes’s Onegin?

Today: The Conjuring 2 (Wan, 2016)

In which the very real case of the Enfield Poltergeist and, to a lesser extent, the events portrayed in the equally real 1977 novel The Amityville Horror: A True Story are linked via the involvement in both incidents of real-life former husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) and drizzled liberally with a good dollop of dramatic license, focussing far less on the insubstantial nature of the claims in either case and instead presenting those claims as having been, for the most part, cast-iron genuine. It is a horror movie, after all.

Big budget, big studio horror pictures are often entertaining, well-made affairs - as one would expect, of course - but they’re hardly ever actually scary, holding the audience at arm’s length as they do by their own inevitably glossy sheen. So it came as a delightful surprise to me back in 2013 when The Conjuring came about as close as a big-picture horror can to bucking that trend and delivering a genuinely nerve-jangling tale.

Alas, although many reviews have reported more of that scary goodness present within The Conjuring 2, I simply couldn’t see it. It’s not a bad film - far from it - but for me it’s just another studio horror title amongst the rank-and-file alongside the Insidious franchise, the Sinister franchise, the Final Destination pics et cetera (in fairness, the first Sinister movie did have some incredibly creepy scenes; you know, the “Home Movie” sequences), and not a patch on its predecessor. The inauthentic-sounding cor-blimey-guv’nor accents employed by the actors portraying the beleaguered Hodgson family didn’t help, and in linking the Warren’s experiences in Amityville with the shenanigans in Enfield, The Conjuring 2 seems a little at sea in settling on an antagonist. Director James Wan still ably demonstrates his talents with fantastic sound design and that nodding, poking camera successfully ratcheting up the tension but it only ever leads to a(nother) jump scare; I wasn’t overly taken on the set design, either. That council house - a bustling family hub housing a mother and four kids - looked too obviously like a studio picture haunted house. I know the decor was recreated pretty faithfully based on archived media photos but it had that abandoned and derelict layer of Silent Hill-style filth all over everything. It all screamed “Aaargh! Scary monsters!” as loudly as any stormbound remote Gothic castle in a Hammer pic, yet what grabbed the attention of the public at the time of the actual reporting of the Enfield Poltergeist was the idea of something supernatural and scary taking hold in an environment so mundane and commonplace; if it can happen in that house, it can happen in mine.

Oh well. Everyone else says it’s a terrific film, so what do I know?

But it never does

And that’s more or less what I think about haunted house horror: it doesn’t scare me at all.
The first Sinister was not a bad movie, though.
I like the Final Destination franchise, somehow I’m okay with that kinda nonsense (premonitions etc.)

I didn’t like The Conjuring 1, so i don’t think I’ll bother with 2

En Solitaire (2013, France), pretty good for a sailing movie.
Last Train to Busan (2016, Korea), awesome zombie entertainment, but a bit shallow. Made for the smartphone generation, not the Dawn of the Dead generation.

Yeah, thats the last time I sit through another modern day ghost movie like this… I don’t understand the praise this is getting

Me and my wife saw it in the cinema a month or so ago. It was pretty fine movie in my opinion. I have like you seen tons of these and honestly there wasn’t anything decidely new in it but it had some funny moments and was well executed. Plus, I liked the ending. So nothing special, just a movie well done and nicely scripted.

Good to know. Did you watch it on DVD or did you see it at the cinema? The German Studiocanal/Kinowelt DVD seems to present the film in the wrong aspect ratio, so I’m not sure I should get it.

Neither, I watched it on VHS and later on TV. Most likely both open matte fullscreen versions.

According to OFDB the last ARD version from 2011 was still fullscreen.

Btw the film’s German premiere was also on TV, in 1971.

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Heavy (1995), directed by James Mangold

Mangold’s directorial debut tells of an overweight diner cook, Victor (Pruitt Taylor Vince), and his hesitant attempts to overcome his self-conscious timidity. Employed by his widowed mother Dolly (Shelley Winters), tolerated, not respected by the diner’s longtime waitress Delores (Deborah Harry) and its regular drinker Leo (Joe Grifasi), Victor develops a strong infatuation with newly employed waitress Callie (Liv Tyler), a college dropout, whose physical beauty and emotional tenderness evoke in him a sense of approaching life’s possibilities in a way hitherto unimaginable in his miserable existence.

A sensitive, empathic study of alienation, (self-)estrangement and longing, Heavy, in particular its mise-en-scène, is reminiscent of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s mid-seventies dramas (its closing credits give thanks to conceptual artist Sol LeWitt); maybe Victor’s perceptive and attentive doggie could be seen as a reference to Flaik in Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. (1952). Given that Heavy’s score was provided by Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and that Mr. Lemonhead Evan Dando has a small part in the film, I wonder how, in the 1990s, I managed to completely ignore it; maybe its German title Liebeshunger (zest/hunger for love) put me off. Anyway, thanks for bringing it to my attention, scherpschutter!

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DE IJSSALON (1985, Dimitri Frenkel-Frank)

Like several other Dutch war movies De IJssalon (literally The Ice-cream Parlour) tells the story of a doomed love affair involving a Dutch woman and a German officer, set against the background of the rise of Dutch Resitance. During the period in which the story is set (January 1941 - February 1942) Dutch resistance was not yet organized, but an initiative of individual (often Jewish or left-wing) citizens. The violent incident described in the movie - a group of fascists being attacked in a ice-cream parlour plus the bloody repercussions of the German army - are often mentioned as the immediate cause for the so-called February Strike (25-26 February 1942), the real beginning of the Dutch Resistance.

The film was an enormous flop when released theatrically but has developed a small cult following. Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk en German (no: Swiss) actor Bruno Ganz are very good as the doomed lovers (and so is Gerard Thoolen as the owner of the ice-cream parlour), but director Dmitri Frenkel Frank was best known for his work within the field of comedy and his direction is uneven to say the least. He handles the dramatic scenes rather well (adding a few nice ironic touches) but seems to lack any feeling for action. One protracted street fight even looks downright clumsy. In the end the good things outweigh the bad ones: this is a good war drama, well-acted and interesting.

3+ (out of 5)

February Strike:

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Very interesting subject matter, Dutch resistance and collaboration. Bruno Ganz is Swiss though, born in Zürich.