What was the last film you watched?

Crimson

Telly Talk Enthusiast
LV
1
 
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
6,509
Awards
8
Location
Philadelphia
Today I watched ALIEN (1979), re-released to theaters for its 45th anniversary. It's a strong contender for my favorite film and I've been eager to eventually see in on the big screen. The experience did not disappoint!

Aside from being such an effective sci-fi horror, it's remarkable how well ALIEN has aged. Vintage sci-fi rarely ages well, at least visually. No matter how futuristic STAR TREK or LOGAN'S RUN tried to look, they are so aesthetically rooted in the 60/70s. Even Luke Skywalker's hair screams 1970s. ALIEN has few such visual queues. Hair is unstyled, clothes are drab and utilitarian, sets are dingy and industrial, special effects are used discretely. Only the technology, with its primitive graphics and CRT screens, betrays any age but even that works just fine since the Nostromo is meant to be an old ship.
 

Mel O'Drama

Admin
LV
12
 
Messages
13,621
Solutions
1
Reaction score
27,677
Awards
29
Member Since
28th September 2008
The Good Neighbour (2016)



Not a film I'd heard of. It came up last night as a "film we think you may like" suggestion on Prime. I glanced over a couple of sentences summarising the premise, clicked away unimpressed but somehow ended up coming back to it as the least worst option. I'm sure the low expectations helped.

Thinking back to the film, the Hitchcock parallels are many. The one that leapt out at me was the conspiratorial relationship between the two leads echoing that in Rope, with one being more timid and sympathetic while the other is shown as overconfident and willing to go much further (the latter element is explored and explained more here than in Rope, though isn't necessarily any better for doing so). There's the voyeuristic element of most Hitch films, but especially Rear Window. And there's the obligatory Psycho reference with hints of a secret waiting to be discovered in the basement.

The production, though, goes for slick 21st Century, with numerous flashbacks and flash-forwards spliced into the key story, dialogue that seems intended to be über-naturalistic, much of the story shown via cuts between the characters' own various cameras and (of course) the found footage element. The latter elements make this feel closer in practice to the likes of The Blair Witch Project than anything Hitchcockian, and this comes with the same baggage in the form of characters who are frequently brash and unlikeable making bad choices.

James Caan is always worth his weight in gold, and this is one of his more intriguing performances since he spends much of his screen-time alone at home, doing very little and unaware he is being watched. He doesn't have a great deal of dialogue, but still manages to be the best thing in this. Mindy Sterling was great as well. I actually convinced myself she was Lily Tomlin and at one point found myself reflecting that I hadn't realised before just how good an actress she (as in Lily) was.

It's a decent enough little film - especially, as mentioned, with expectations kept low - and has enough turns to keep the viewer invested. The suspense was also very well done: my heart was racing during a couple of scenes.​
 

Seaviewer

Telly Talk Warrior
LV
7
 
Messages
5,066
Reaction score
8,862
Awards
16
Location
Australia
Member Since
14 September 2001
Cheating Blondes (1933)
Two Thelma Todds in this one. Anne is accused of murder and hides in plain sight posing as her twin sister Elaine, a showgirl who has dropped out of sight for her own reasons. Todd is not Bette Davis but she pulls it off well enough.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
LV
8
 
Messages
19,441
Reaction score
33,932
Awards
22
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Member Since
April 2002
HALLOWEEN ENDS (2022)

1714607346005.png


I was in the mood for something new and familiar, and HALLOWEEN ENDS seems like the perfect choice for some "comfort horror". I have seen the original, at least one sequel from the 1980s and also the one from the late 1990s - which means that this is my first 21st century Halloween film.

Babysitter Corey Cunningham accidentally kills the "baby" which could have been a terrific drama in itself, but at the same time it also looks like a dark comedy "oops!" moment. I honestly don't know if we were supposed to feel sorry for the nasty little brat.
In the next scene we see Corey on his bike and I figured it was going to be one of those "one week earlier" kind of narratives, but it isn't, and the accident mostly serves as a backdrop, a new piece of Haddonfield history to build on.

It's clear that Corey has become quite the underdog who's just trying to keep his head down, further hammered home by his quirky-overbearing mother (although it made me giggle when she said "who's that calling you under the dinner table?").
Meanwhile, Laurie Strode is writing her memoir Serial Dearest and she's living with a young woman named Allyson who turns out to be her granddaughter.
Via-via Allyson and Corey meet and a romance develops even though Corey thinks that kind of life isn't meant for him.
She takes him to a Halloween party - she's dressed like Catwoman - but later that evening Corey has an emotional run-in with the mother of the boy who was killed.
On top of everything he is ambushed by a group of troublesome teenagers who throw him off the bridge and leave him for dead, but then an unseen person drags him away.

Funnily enough, this sequence - and the way it would transform his character - reminded me of Selina Kyle who was pushed out of the window, sort of died and then resurrected by the cats which would turn her into the iconic super anti-hero.
Corey's confrontation with Michael Myers who's secretly living in the sewers (hello, Penguin) followed by the stabbing of a vagrant (although not entirely without self-defence) has a similar effect on him.
There's even a scene that suggests some kind of super power.
1714610486230.png

1714610506963.png


After a confontation with Allyson's romantic pursuer Corey lures him to Michael's hiding place and the man gets stabbed to death.
It seems that the bloodshed awakens Michael, as if he had been a dormant vampire patiently waiting for his next bite.
This is where the slasher part takes off except that we have now a serial killer duo, and not in a mysterious way like the SCREAM movies.
However, since the killings are a big part of the thrill it didn't bother me that much, and the meatiest drama is still about Laurie and her role in the various tragedies - here and in the previous chapters (which kinda made me wish I had started from the very beginning, and maybe I'll do that anyway).
Jamie Lee Curtis really throws herself into it and there's even a moment that suggests that Laurie had killed herself à la JR in the last scene of DALLAS.
Michael and Laurie's final battle is quite satisfying - naturally it takes him forever to die - and in case they used a stunt double for JLC then they've done a terrific job obscuring it.

All in all an entertaining film but the killings could have been a bit more brutal.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
LV
8
 
Messages
19,441
Reaction score
33,932
Awards
22
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Member Since
April 2002
Previously, on page 152...
The Driver's Seat, which is absolutely mental
I must know what that means

And now I know, but I had not expected it to be such an absolute gem of a film.
As it happens so often in 20th century Euro-cinema, THE DRIVER'S SEAT combines the grotesque with the ethereal, the utterly mundane with the unexpected shocks, the spellbinding quality with the feeling of "why am I watching this?".

I don't know if Elizabeth Taylor knew what she was doing or that something got lost in translation, but it works either way. Dressed in an outfit so atrocious that even the most fanatic drag queen wouldn't touch it with a bargepole, movie star Liz Taylor has never looked more beautiful and poignant - perhaps I could describe it as her "greatest hits" film.
The European actors also give (mostly) interesting performances, and there are several scenes in it that reminded me of Peter Strickland's IN FABRIC (2018).

I found it on a compilation DVD issued by Mill Creek Entertainment.
1714775141726.png

As you can see, this is a prime example of a bargain bin/drugstore DVD because it's got anything but famous Liz Taylor films. Nevertheless, some interesting and obscure stuff can be found on these rubbish releases, as long as you know what you're looking for.
Unfortunately the picture quality of THE DRIVER'S SEAT is awful, in fact the only difference with the youtube upload is that the DVD has the correct aspect ratio.
1714777032440.png
1714777047555.png


A 4k restoration was released last year by BFI (I assume James watched that version on his BFI player) and this may be the first blu-ray I'm going to buy. No idea how I'm going to watch it but maybe I could connect an external blu ray player to my computer (but when it looks as simple as that, it probably isn't - not for me, anyway).
For the time being I'll keep the DVD, and as a bonus the other disc has X, Y & ZEE (1972) in great quality which will replace the "manufactured on demand" disc I had bought from Amazon.
 

James from London

International Treasure
LV
5
 
Messages
8,510
Reaction score
16,318
Awards
16
Location
Brixton
Member Since
Time immemorial
A 4k restoration was released last year by BFI (I assume James watched that version on his BFI player) and this may be the first blu-ray I'm going to buy. No idea how I'm going to watch it but maybe I could connect an external blu ray player to my computer (but when it looks as simple as that, it probably isn't - not for me, anyway).
I wish! No, I watched the rubbish YouTube version (which was still great). If you ever manage to pull off this insane external-blu-ray-to-computer scheme, I would like to request an in-depth moment-by-moment tutorial so that I can then do the same.
 
Last edited:

DallasFanForever

Telly Talk Supreme
Top Poster Of Month
LV
5
 
Messages
21,240
Reaction score
37,059
Awards
17
Location
Bethpage, NY
The Fall Guy (2024)

Ordinarily this isn’t something I’d go see in the cinema, and from the previews I honestly didn’t expect much. It ended up far exceeding my expectations. It wasn’t a great movie by any stretch but I found it highly entertaining. There are quite a few laughs and also some well placed tributes to 80s TV shows.
 

Snarky Oracle!

Telly Talk Supreme
LV
4
 
Messages
16,469
Reaction score
4,137
Awards
13
Location
USA
The Fall Guy (2024)

Ordinarily this isn’t something I’d go see in the cinema, and from the previews I honestly didn’t expect much. It ended up far exceeding my expectations. It wasn’t a great movie by any stretch but I found it highly entertaining. There are quite a few laughs and also some well placed tributes to 80s TV shows.

Gosling works for me (even if Mr. Sulu disagrees). Although the opening weekend box office apparently wasn't good.

 

Seaviewer

Telly Talk Warrior
LV
7
 
Messages
5,066
Reaction score
8,862
Awards
16
Location
Australia
Member Since
14 September 2001
This Is the Night (1932)
Continuing my Thelma Todd festival.
This one is quite hard to describe. Plotwise, it's nothing special. A man (Roland Young) having a an affair with a married woman (Todd) hire an actress to pose as his wife to throw his paramour's husband off the scent. (The husband, by the way, is Cary Grant in his first film. He and Young would later appear together in Topper* (1937). By then, Cary Grant is billed before Young; here he is after Todd.)
Stylistically, the film is quite unusual. If I call it a musical, you would get the wrong impression. There are sequences in which the action is set to a musical rhythm, is the best way I can put it. Not quite like anything else I've seen.
 

DallasFanForever

Telly Talk Supreme
Top Poster Of Month
LV
5
 
Messages
21,240
Reaction score
37,059
Awards
17
Location
Bethpage, NY
Gosling works for me (even if Mr. Sulu disagrees). Although the opening weekend box office apparently wasn't good.
He’s entertaining. He’s witty, charismatic and he knows how to pick the right roles. I wouldn’t call him the best actor out there right now but he can be fun to watch. I guess I’m not surprised it didn’t make huge money though.


Ah. I saw it advertised the other day and I couldn't tell if it was a reboot of the show or not.
I barely watched much of the show back then so I wasn’t really sure either. From what I understand it’s based on the show but don’t hold me to that one.
 

Snarky Oracle!

Telly Talk Supreme
LV
4
 
Messages
16,469
Reaction score
4,137
Awards
13
Location
USA
He’s entertaining. He’s witty, charismatic and he knows how to pick the right roles. I wouldn’t call him the best actor out there right now but he can be fun to watch. I guess I’m not surprised it didn’t make huge money though.

Press stories say THE FALL GUY is being marketed "old style" (I'm not sure what that means). Does anybody know if Lee Majors makes a cameo?
 

DallasFanForever

Telly Talk Supreme
Top Poster Of Month
LV
5
 
Messages
21,240
Reaction score
37,059
Awards
17
Location
Bethpage, NY
Press stories say THE FALL GUY is being marketed "old style" (I'm not sure what that means). Does anybody know if Lee Majors makes a cameo?
I think what they mean by “old style” is the fact that there are a quite a few winks and nods to 80s TV in the movie. Not just The Fall Guy itself but many other shows as well. Lee did not have a cameo to my surprise.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
LV
8
 
Messages
19,441
Reaction score
33,932
Awards
22
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Member Since
April 2002
RADIO DAYS (1987)

1715206924306.png


A Woody Allen comedy drama that could be seen as a follow-up to the cinema nostalgia of THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985) - and Jeff Daniels, in a small supporting role, plays another character named "Baxter".
CAIRO is better but RADIO has, perhaps not surprisingly, the better soundtrack. And both films star Mia Farrow so it's all good.
1715207586227.png


Young Seth Green is a very charismatic child actor and this film also made me realise that I need to see much more of Dianne Wiest. I already knew she was good but somehow she's never been on my radar.
One of the sets is the epic Radio City Music Hall and Seth Green's character (with Woody Allen's voice) describes it as "it felt like entering heaven".
It's not difficult to see why, especially when you're a small person.
1715210233185.png

Going to the cinema was an extraordinary event when I was a child, this special place where they showed very special films, to be surrounded by all that enormous sight and sound (even though you could probably fit that particular building in the entrance of RCMH).
Every time we passed the building during our out-of-village shopping days I ran up the steps to get a closer look at the pretty images of films "showing this week" and then my mother dragged me away because we "didn't have time for that!".

However, this story is all about radio and its radio stars, and the place it had in the lives of many people. Contests, radio soaps, live broadcasts of peculiar events.
The humour in the film is warm rather than witty and most of it comes from the actors. The result was a feel-good and sound-good experience.
 

James from London

International Treasure
LV
5
 
Messages
8,510
Reaction score
16,318
Awards
16
Location
Brixton
Member Since
Time immemorial
I need to see much more of Dianne Wiest.
She stars in Hannah and Her Sisters, which might be my favourite Woody Allen film of all (and what a soundtrack!), and of course Bullets Over Broadway, which everybody loves.
 

Willie Oleson

Telly Talk Schemer
LV
8
 
Messages
19,441
Reaction score
33,932
Awards
22
Location
Plotville, Shenanigan
Member Since
April 2002
That would be a good way to start if they were available on youtube or amazon prime (algorithm, do your sneaky work and tell your evil employers that somebody is interested).
I can watch SEPTEMBER (1988)....I kinda like the synopsis (in less than 25 words, that probably means it doesn't have a lot to describe).

Last night I watched THE AGE OF ADALINE (2015) because I was in the mood for a lightweight mystery slash semi-romance. I'm familiar with Ellen Burstyn in various supporting roles but Harrison Ford's appearance looks very special guest-starry. Not in a bad way, it's just that I had to check if it was really him. Then I had to check again if it was really him who played Indiana Jones 2023 and not, for example, Kevin Costner.
 
Top