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Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
Fire of Insight
England
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Talk about movies you’ve seen.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
Fire of Insight
England
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I just saw Nope and it was really good. It had an intriguing, multi-layered story, strong characters, thematic density, and a pervasive atmosphere of mystery and terror. It’s also one of the closest films I’ve seen to the Lovecraftian idea of cosmic horror, where alien gods treat humans much as humans do “lesser” animals, gobbling them up without a care. (One of the other films would be John Carpenter’s The Thing, which Nope gives a nod to by casting Keith David in a small role.) Except that it arguably even improves on the Old Master by providing more fleshed-out characters and contemporary situations that feel real.

What I really like about the film is the care and intelligence it displays in telling a horror story, developing even those characters whose function in the present narrative is really just to die. There’s a great subplot about a cheesy, upbeat ‘90s sitcom that went horribly, horribly wrong due to a lack of safety precautions around working with children and animals. A lot of horror movies would have either deleted this subplot or reduced it to a sadistic set-piece, but what really chills - and what makes Jordan Peele one of the best makers of suspense films since Alfred Hitchcock - is the empathy that’s on display, the way that the camera understands and communicates what it must be like to be a terrified witness to a bloody spectacle. (The film opens with a Biblical quote on this theme.)

Without giving it away, we see what happens right before disaster strikes. And then we approach some time later from backstage, moving across a mostly deserted studio to underneath a table, from which vantage point we’re forced to look tremblingly out...

Nope is a thematically dense film, and shows that horror is one of the few cinematic genres in which interesting work is being done. It’s often said of science-fiction that 90% of it is crap, but I’ve always felt that this law holds truer with horror. Horror and comedy are the two hardest cinematic genres to do well, yet when they are done well they blow most other genres out of the water.

To continue this tangent, a bad horror film is like a porno that’s calling itself a romance. It’s just exploitation without human resonance. Yes, people are being killed and chopped about, but so what? What am I supposed to feel beyond disgust? Nope is of the 10% that provides a human resonance, and is about the emotion of horror.

SonderNinja
SonderNinja
BenjaminEC
Lost Thinker
United States
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I always look forward to your reviews and am currently working on some true crime film/tv show reviews of my own, and I just wanted you to know that you are a major inspiration for me in this regard. My annual 6 month-long Halloween movie marathon is also just around the corner so there might be some short reviews from that well, too, even if they will probably more like recommendations for the ones I really liked. That being said:

I have not been this amped to see a horror film for a long time...years, it seems like. I've seen some spoiler-y stuff on the internet but that has not dampened my desire to see Nope in the slightest. Your review just cinched it for me. I've been rather jaded with all the serial killers and demonic possessions of late....this looks it's going to hit that horror sweet spot just right.

You ought to be gettin' paid for the reviews, for real.

ShaunCronick100
ShaunCronick100
Shaun Cronick
Lost Thinker
Wales
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Movies influence my writing and imagery strongly. To project a story usually in rhyme and stripped down.
A cut to the chase approach is often the best, just like a good movie. so readers aren't dragged down or bored.

SonderNinja
SonderNinja
BenjaminEC
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ShaunCronick100 said:Movies influence my writing and imagery strongly. To project a story usually in rhyme and stripped down.
A cut to the chase approach is often the best, just like a good movie. so readers aren't dragged down or bored.


With my limited communication skills, I'll probably have to begin with a cut-to-the-chase approach, Shaun. It's just nice to hear another human say "the emotion of horror" and not have the local wendigo rag me for saying or thinking such a thing.

ShaunCronick100
ShaunCronick100
Shaun Cronick
Lost Thinker
Wales
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Yeah, I know what you mean there Benjamin, the direct approach. No baggage.
And just getting the feel of this site and put up two inspirational ones and wanted to attach an image also but no joy on that front.
But will read yours tomorrow night and will up two dark/horror ones, hopefully with images attached.
And if you have the time check out The Breach by Patrick Lee. Great debut novel and would make a great and terrifying movie one day.
Thanks again.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
Fire of Insight
England
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Joined 4th Oct 2021
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SonderNinja said:I always look forward to your reviews and am currently working on some true crime film/tv show reviews of my own, and I just wanted you to know that you are a major inspiration for me in this regard. My annual 6 month-long Halloween movie marathon is also just around the corner so there might be some short reviews from that well, too, even if they will probably more like recommendations for the ones I really liked. That being said:

I have not been this amped to see a horror film for a long time...years, it seems like. I've seen some spoiler-y stuff on the internet but that has not dampened my desire to see Nope in the slightest. Your review just cinched it for me. I've been rather jaded with all the serial killers and demonic possessions of late....this looks it's going to hit that horror sweet spot just right.

You ought to be gettin' paid for the reviews, for real.


Thanks, Ben! I really appreciate that.

Strangeways_Rob
Strangeways_Rob
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Marked by his unusual directorial techniques, Mike Leigh is regarded as the great humanist of modern British cinema. He utilises improvisation to shape characters, dialogues and storylines to build on a rough outline of possible thematic directions & plot developments.

Leigh introduces the actors to each other in the order in which they would normally appear in the film. The actors are then told to stay in character in order to discover their innermost motivations, preoccupations, and responses to external stimuli. Once this stage is completed, after weeks of improvisation work, the cast may start shooting, having acquired in this way a comprehensive understanding of their characters and each other.

1993’s Naked still lives with me. Reflects a world I can recognise, albeit from a safe distance. Incapacitating realities of British working class family life under Thatcher. Very bleak, Leigh’s kitchen-sink dramas cut to the core, as the filmmaker strives to document the lives and voices of a much-overlooked segment of British society.  

Cheated below and posted Peter Bradshaw's review of the film. He articulates & scrutinises the film world, far greater than myself. I respect these types of thread. It's always interesting to encounter the influences of those with an interest in any of the arts.

Strangeways_Rob
Strangeways_Rob
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“Have you got a goblet or something? Because my heart’s bleeding.” This film was the receptacle for some of the most sulphurous outpourings of fear and rage and non-compassion in Mike Leigh’s career, and gave us a great monster of British cinema: the insufferable lippy wideboy and pseudo-intellectual Johnny, a character roiling internally with despair, with whom David Thewlis made his horribly watchable breakthrough in a 132-minute guitar-solo of a performance.
Is Johnny a rapist? Is he supposed to be a rapist? The other young male charaAnd what of the other young male character – a borderline-psychopathic posh yuppie who is apparently Johnny’s ex-girlfriend’s landlord? He appears to be a rapist too, or at least, like Johnny, a fan of rough sex in which consent is a grey area.
Our first vision of Johnny is of him having sex with, or raping, someone in a dark Manchester alley. She screams at him afterwards that revenge is on the way and so Johnny – a gaunt, unshaven, coat-wearing Manc bloke, a lost Gallagher brother from hell who speaks like a nonstop smartarse NME interviewee – makes his way to London, intending to crash with his ex-girlfriend Louise (Lesley Sharp) at the address she has incautiously given him. She lives there with Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge) and Sandra (Claire Skinner), a nurse who is away on holiday in Zimbabwe. Johnny promptly seduces Sophie in that way that no one in 1993 called “problematic” and then, suddenly unable to endure being in the same flat with two women who now have an emotional claim on him, he finds himself roaming around London in a giant peripatetic journey of despair.
He encounters drunk Glaswegian Archie (Ewen Bremner), and nervy security-guard Brian (Peter Wight), who lets him into the empty office complex from whose high window Johnny sees a woman in the opposite building, played by Deborah MacLaren, and he has a poignant encounter with her; then with a cafe-waitress played by Gina McKee; and finally he meets a guy putting up posters (Darren Tunstall) who gives him the horrible beating he’s been more or less asking for. Finally, Johnny’s Odyssean wandering brings him back to Louise’s house (having cheekily already praised Homer in an earlier scene), where hideous yuppie Jeremy (Greg Crutwell) is also to be found – a character maybe inspired by American Psycho, a novel that had come out two years previously.
Naked is another of the Dickensian grotesqueries that Mike Leigh can create so fluently, and it is one of the great paradoxes of his career that despite devising them through improvisation, no other director makes films that sound so elaborately written. The sheer fanatical stamina of Johnny the provoker, Johnny the pisstaker, who won’t stop until someone puts him in A&E, is awe-inspiring. There is also his impressively unrepentant behaviour at the end; I can’t see it without thinking of the Seinfeld dictum: no hugging, no learning. All the time, Johnny is talking, talking; never once does he back down or come off it; he’s always posturing or browbeating.
And Johnny is a predator, an abuser whose evident anguish and self-hate does not entitle him to a moment of our pity. He is at the centre of a fiercely pessimistic story that is not leavened, as many of Leigh’s films are, with redeeming features. This is a movie of virtuoso nihilism and scorn.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
Fire of Insight
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“...virtuoso nihilism and scorn.” I like that. Cheers for reviewing, Rob!

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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I just saw The Invitation and it was... fitfully amusing garbage, I guess? My heart sank as soon as I saw the Sony logo come up. Trading standards should really force that company to include its name in its movies’ titles like Blumhouse does, so that you can see “Sony’s The Invitation” and make the informed decision to stay home. If it wasn’t a Limitless screening, I’d honestly feel a bit scammed, since this clearly belongs on a streaming service.

The plot is about supernatural shenanigans going on at Downton Abbey (called Carfax Abbey, but come on, this movie wouldn’t exist without Downton to riff on), and a spunky Yank who’s imported to serve as heroine. It’s the sort of premise that Daphne du Maurier could have done ten times better in a short story of about thirty pages.

I kind of want to give The Invitation credit for at least showing some self-awareness as to its own crappiness with bits of camp comedy and references to old Gothic horror. (A requisite Creepy Old Couple are Mr and Mrs Mina Harker.) But I also kind of don’t since the comedy’s on about a Carry on... level. (That old British lady just swore! Teeheehee! They’re supposed to be fancy!) And the references are just that. It wouldn’t surprise me if the makers weren’t just quoting half-remembered movies, although its Renfield substitute does serve the same purpose as his namesake did in Dracula, to be fair.

The Invitation was clearly made for an audience of Americans who don’t know anything about Britain outside of Downton Abbey and Richard Curtis films, and who probably partway believe in its Illuminati-esque vision of Old Money earls secretly noshing on orphans at their Satanic banquets. What plays as farce to a British audience (the one I saw it with was tittering a fair amount) may well be taken seriously by Ed and Irma Pluck of Milwaukee, who may be disappointed when they rock up in Devonshire for their 2023 summer holidays only to find that the local aristocrats are less maidservants-and-kinky-sex and more leaky-rooves-and-buckteeth.

Still, if you like gratuitous rumpy-pumpy and gore... The Invitation still isn’t worth watching, since like all of these junk movies it skimps out on that stuff. But it passes the time amiably enough, so long as it’s free to watch and you’ve already called your nan this week.

Strangeways_Rob
Strangeways_Rob
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This review deserves plaudits for the pen-ultimate paragraph alone. Only have to spend a wayward day in Stratford upon Avon to realise the cutting relevance. You could sell some of them a bottle of piss, claiming it came from the loins of Old Bill.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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Strangeways_Rob said:This review deserves plaudits for the pen-ultimate paragraph alone. Only have to spend a wayward day in Stratford upon Avon to realise the cutting relevance. You could sell some of them a bottle of piss, claiming it came from the loins of Old Bill.

Hell, if they can charge people a quid to look at his headstone, there’s little some won’t fall for

Styxian
Styxian
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"These Final Hours".    
Australian film, came out in 2014.  
It was suggested to me earlier this year, and now I'm sharing the love. Lol.
Good movie.  

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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I just saw Beast and it was pretty good. The basic premise is that Idris Elba fights a lion. The most impressive thing about the film is that it gives the lion a clear and comprehensible, even tragic motivation. We learn early on that the role of males in a pride is to protect the pride from outsiders, and the prologue sees a group of poachers finishing off a pride but for one lion. The villain, then, is the last of his family, driven by hate and grief and failure to destroy every human in the area. That’s more characterisation than some human villains get in movies.

The film runs just 93 minutes, which is a refreshing change of pace. I’m hoping that we’re going back to a time when only art movies and actual epics were much longer than that, and movies with simple premises knew how long to stick around.

Beast is limited by its function as a family-oriented B-movie. Despite being a 15, it’s clearly designed to be something that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling and not challenge your notions of family too much, even as it introduces human drama among Elba and his tween daughters. Which is fine, although an artsier film would have probably cut a lot of cheese as per certain audio choices, dialogue (“we’re in its territory now...”), and a tonally jarring close. It would have made more sense from an art perspective to close the film on a vision that Elba has of his wife, but that would probably be rejected as too cynical and inconclusive for a general audience, which is fair. Still, the ending as it stands is a bit like Psycho ending with Vera Miles and her dead sister’s man having a super fun road trip across California, taking selfies at the Bates Motel.

Good film, though. Best enjoyed as a TV-movie-of-the-week, but well done.

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