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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

BYOO (Bring Your Own Opinion)


At Bulldog’s suggestion, for a different sort of give-and-take: A sentence or two about the last four movies you saw and where/how you saw them… Go!

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67 Responses to “BYOO (Bring Your Own Opinion)”

  1. Martin Foyle says:

    – Annabelle: Creation, digital in a suburban cinema, entertaining, half the fun was listening to the steady ‘omigod’ chorus from the packed audience

    – Le Doulos, the gorgeous 2015 4k version, at an art cinema, still works, still disturbingly violent

    – Starman, the monthly surprise screening at the same art cinema. Digital, didn’t really like it the second time, just like when I saw it back then. A curio mainly, Carpenter uncomfortably being a hired hand, doing an ET knockoff.

    – Back to the Future Part III. Another 80s film which for various reasons I’d never gotten around to seeing at the time so was glad when another art cinema was showing it. Fun but dated, awesome effects back then looking so cheap now. A bucket list item.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    – Annabelle: Creation, “ultrascreen” in a suburban cinema, some decent chills but undercut by weak narrative and tired overuse of music/sound effects to pummel viewer.

    -Detroit, same theater, flawed but grueling, timely, and well-acted, glad I saw it.

    -Demonic, Frank Grillo fan and always curious about theatrical horror that goes straight-to-Netflix, cut to pieces and unsurprisingly not very good.

    -Nobody Speaks on Netflix, also timely and infuriating, really great doc.

  3. Ray Pride says:

    All the Melville restorations look great. Chicago and some other cities got to see a French 35mm archival print of Le samouraï.

  4. PcChongor says:

    ON THE SILVER GLOBE: At the Lincoln Center. Fucking bonkers doesn’t even begin to describe this film, but it somehow still managed to captivate me for most of its eyeball-shriveling run time.

    MARRIED TO THE MOB: BAM. By all recognizable standards, this movie shouldn’t work, but it does, and it does so extremely well. Michelle Pfeiffer doesn’t get enough credit for her ’80s work, and Paul Thomas Anderson revealed himself to be a bigger Jonathan Demme fan than anyone could’ve ever guessed.

    GOOD TIME: Lincoln Center. Haven’t had this much fun in a movie theater since “Get Out.” The audience stayed with every twist and turn, and Pattinson perfectly channeled the seemingly now-dead acting spirit of Vincent Gallo.

    DUNKIRK: Lincoln Square IMAX. Truly a sight to be seen in real IMAX. Best sound design I’ve ever heard, and the film itself is a canny distillation of a whole host of editing and visual techniques that Nolan hadn’t quite fully mastered in his previous films. The ending was expectedly mawkish, but it worked in the context of the story, and it’s the only time I’ve ever heard people cry at the end of a Nolan film, so it worked well for what it was.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    I really want to see Good Time. Sounds great. Not sure if Milwaukee will get it.

  6. Bulldog68 says:

    Thanks Ray.
    Dunkirk: Wanted to love it more but didn’t. Technically great, but didn’t pack the emotional wallop I expected. And casting team needs to hire guys that don’t look so much alike. IMAX was worth it.

    War/Apes: Well done. Desereved better at the box office. Pacing was good. Somebody please nominate Serkis. Loved the sound work too.

    Valerian: Story was lacking. Leads were too young. Rihanna was a high point. Effects were creative and top notch. Sincerely wish it were better because the world created is one I’d like to revisit.

    Boss Baby: At home. Liked the beginning. Fell asleep at about the 50 minute mark. Nice concept but weak script. The kids were meh about it.

  7. Jerry Colvin says:

    – last night (my birthday): Woman of the Year on Criterion blu ray… a classic I’d never seen before!

    – 8/13: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power at Baxter Filmworks here in Louisville… I hadn’t yet decided if I was going to see this (I tend to go to all well-reviewed movies, but am allowed to skip docs or sequels lest I get overwhelmed), but surprisingly my 13-year-old son (whom I can’t convince to go see hardly anything anymore) from out of the blue expressed interest, so off we went… and liked it.

    – 8/10: Half-Cocked (1994) at Speed Cinema… an indie partially filmed in Louisville back in the day, actors and filmmakers shared their experiences afterward…. mildly interesting, mostly for the chance to get a peak at my now-closed beloved Vogue Theatre again.

    – 8/9: The Lion in Winter at the historic Kentucky Theatre in nearby Lexington… very good; seeing Kate’s great performance is what inspired me to watch Woman of the Year last night.

  8. Ray Pride says:

    Good Time has energy to burn. Wondering how wide it could go. A24 Good Time site suggests Milwaukee will get it, but not as part of this weekend’s rollout.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:

    Annabelle: Creation. Theater. Quite enjoyed it though it was instantly forgettable. I’d watch a third one though.

    Rogue One. On Blu Ray. Liked it more when I saw it in the theater. Just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was my mood.

    Sicario. Blu Ray. Had never watched this and was finally ready. It was pretty great and very well-acted. I’ll be revisiting it

    Ginger Snaps. DVD. Hadn’t watched it in a long time and was in the mood for a good werewolf film. They don’t get much better than this one. Really enjoyed revisiting it.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Thanks Ray. That’s good news. We’re getting Wind River this weekend so I’ll be catching that one on Friday.

  11. YancySkancy says:

    The Connection: FilmStruck/Criterion Channel. Perhaps the first faux cinema verite mockumentary, and an admirable affront to the prevailing censorship laws of 1961, but more ambitious that effective.

    Charley-One-Eye: Hulu. Revisionist Western from 1973, mostly a two-hander with Richard Roundtree as a Union Army deserter and Roy Thinnes as a Native American he takes hostage in the Mexican desert. Surprisingly involving and artfully made.

    Message from the King: Netflix Instant. Modern L.A. noir with Chadwick Boseman as a South African looking for his missing sister. Revenge ensues. Fairly standard fare, but well done.

    Arrival: iTunes 99-cent rental. Smart science fiction, linguistic thriller subset (a subset of one?). Admirably ambitious for a big-budget studio project, and I was pretty much mesmerized throughout.

    I do actually get to the theater sometimes, too. A few days before these, the gf and I saw Atomic Blonde and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Hey you forgot to say what you think of Atomic Blonde and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

  13. YancySkancy says:

    Stella: Well, I’d already used up my four! But okay:

    Atomic Blonde: AMC theater, Evansville, Indiana, digital. Theron’s character is a cipher, and the convoluted plot is almost impossible to care about. It’s all MacGuffins and preposterous (though mostly well executed) fight scenes. Boring exposition, brutal violence, rinse and repeat. The soundtrack is loaded with popular songs of the period, and though they aren’t used in interesting ways, many of them sound great blasting out of the theater speakers.

    Spider-Man: Homecoming: same theater, same day, digital. I wasn’t convinced the world needed another stand-alone Spidey series (I even skipped the “Amazing” iterations), but I like this reboot. Refreshingly, the fate of the world doesn’t seem to be at stake, at least not immediately, which keeps the story focused on Peter without a lot of intervention from the rest of the Marvel roster. Great cast, and despite the usual “too many cooks” approach to screenwriting, all the plot threads come together in a satisfying way.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Thanks Yancy! I haven’t seen either and was curious about your take.

  15. @robertpie says:

    Wind River at Arclight Hollywood, with Taylor Sheridan Q&A afterward: Thought it was excellent, albeit dark and disturbing.

    An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power at Arclight Sherman Oaks: Spoiler alert — things are not getting better 🙁

    Detroit at Arclight Hollywood: Unsettling

    Atomic Blonde at Arclight Sherman Oaks: Charlize every inch a badass

  16. Pj says:

    Putin’s Kiss – A doc about a spokeswoman who gets disillusioned with the Putin regime. Eye opening. Amazon Prime.

    Fantastic Beasts and where to find them – Bland. A boring Harry Potter. HBO.

    The Big Sick – theater – I thought it was hilarious and touching.

    Detroit – theater – tough but important sit, just wish the film had anything to say. It could have hit a zeitgeist. Oh well.

  17. Pete B says:

    Turner Classic Movies is having their annual Summer Under the Stars where each day of the month of August they devote 24 hours to single actor/actress.

    Sunday was Barbara Stanwyck, who I remember as Victoria Barkley, the upstanding matriarch on the TV western The Big Valley. It was fun to see her as a vixen, femme fatale, and other shady characters.
    Baby Face (1933) – was one film that stood out and is available on TCM’s website. The tagline was “She had IT and made IT pay!” Basically her character slept her way up the corporate ladder, including a brief appearance by a very young John Wayne. Evidently the film helped usher in the Hays Code where folks couldn’t benefit from “immoral” behavior.

    Yesterday on the 40th Anniversary of his passing was Elvis Presley. Elvis movies are mostly big hunks of cheese, either you find them amusing or you don’t.
    Viva Las Vegas (1964) – Good God was there ever a hotter pairing of two gorgeous people on celluloid than Elvis and Ann Margret? Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to recast movies in our home VR library and I can watch Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets with Elvis as Valerian and Ann as Laureline. (Maybe then I’ll finally get Jensen Ackles as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movies too.)

    Pilgrimage – not sure why this got released in the States unless to cash in on Spider-man: Homecoming, as it’s already on DVD in the UK, but where was any marketing? Tom Holland is a young monk helping transport a holy relic to Rome in medieval Ireland where both the Pagans and Christians are equally dangerous. Jon Bernthal is a mute penitent and Richard Armitage is a knight with an outrageous French accent.

    Dunkirk – plenty has already been said about this. I hope I will get more out of it on a DVD viewing when I can have subtitles and actually know what was being said. This film was LOUD. Our theater now has warnings posted that Dunkirk might be “too noisy for some patrons”. I guess I was one as my left ear is still ringing 2 weeks later.

  18. palmtree says:

    Columbus – A gorgeous meditative film. Very glad I was able to see it on the big screen.

    The Big Sick – Really funny and in the tradition of the best indie romantic comedies.

    Okja (Netflix) – A movie that seems like it has mismatched pieces (some of them good, some not so good) being forced together. I couldn’t get through it on a second viewing.

    Dope (Netflix) – This movie was, yup, dope. Too bad it’s not on Netflix anymore.

  19. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Dunkirk (theater) – second viewing. Still fantastic. On an encore though, I realised that I had misheard one crucial line in the film. At first I thought Branagh said ‘Hope’, if you’ve seen it you know at which moment this occurs. Second time around, I realised that he actually says ‘Home’. I guess I was just misremembering the final exchange of dialog in Rogue One and getting confused.

    The Lost City of Z (Amazon) – intelligent epics for adults are not extinct! This one will hold up in years to come I think, something of a grower. Sienna Miller, like Jessica Lange,is one of those actors who get dismissed early in their career and then prove themselves to be the real deal.

    The Matrix (Blu Ray)- I like to check up on it every couple of years, it’s kind of scary to realise that this movie is now a piece of nostalgia. And yes, parts of it DO look dated now, but I don’t care. The Spring and Summer of ’99. I was 24, not long out of college,and finally secured salaried full time employment. The theater was just across the street from the office, and I spent a good deal of it clocking off from work, and then taking my evening seat for this, Phantom Menace, The Mummy, etc. Glorious, carefree days, and I’ll always think of those movies fondly because of that.

    The Day of the Jackal (Netflix)- shamefully, I’d only ever seen the Bruce Willis remake, and finally got around to correcting this. It’s amusingly dated in some ways (modern technology would have ensured The Jackal would be caught in about ten minutes, the manhunt involves mainly checking paperwork and guesswork, the wonderfully beige and scuzzy Seventies milieu), but I found it totally gripping and far subtler than any modern thriller would aspire to be.

  20. Thorough Henry says:

    The Incredible Hulk (Amazon Prime) This girl I’m dating and I are making it our goal to watch every MCU movie, in order, before Infinity War comes out.

    Iron Man (Netflix) Holds up shockingly well. Actually better than I remember it.

    Adaptation (Netflix) Does not hold up that well, especially compared to Charlie Kaufman’s later work.

    10 Cloverfield Lane (torrented, watched on iPad on airplane) Wow. What a phenomenal piece of filmmaking and story structure.

  21. Roark says:

    Atomic Blonde (theater). Dazzling action and great performances from Theron and McAvoy. Took me about 30 minutes to really get on its wavelength, though.

    Eraserhead (theater). First time seeing this on a big screen, and I got so much more out of it this time.

    The Car (theater). Fun Jaws-y exploitation, with a possibly demon-possessed car terrorizing a New Mexico community, and James Brolin in hot pursuit.

    Dangerous (TCM). Bette Davis’ first Oscar winner. Fun, if familiar, melodrama, with two great scenes – one, where Davis confronts her ex and calls him a “cheap, petty book keeper” with “soft, sticky hands.” And two, when she then drives him into a tree as payback for not giving her what she wants.

  22. Triple Option says:

    Wind River – Great use of location as character. Solid film, good mystery. It’s not always easy to get characters’ backstory & pov into a film, but it seemed like there were a few times characters were saying stuff that had it been a novel 3rd party narration would’ve covered. Stuff that’s important for understanding the collective conscience of the various communities but a couple of times where it seemed rather odd for people to be mentioning it at that point. Saw this in a theater in the West Valley. Had reclining seats. Didn’t notice anyone check their phone but kept seeing a light at the end of the row, a bit annoying.

    The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Advanced screening on the Westside. They’re still making reluctant buddy action comedies with the uptight, by the book, white guy and hip streetwise black guy. In this case I can see why. For something that clicked all the boxes on a checklist w/nothing more, nothing less, story & genre wise, was still entertaining. Reynolds wasn’t too forced. Jackson was well, Jackson. Selma was convincing and fun. You get what a good cast can do for a film cuz otherwise this would’ve been a forgettable Saturday night, flip through cable to see what’s on kinda of film.

    Miss Sloan – my couch. via my playstation and amazon prime. Nearly watched at my desk on my laptop but opted for big screen. Jessica Chastain was very good. As was everyone else, though a bit bland. Characters would mention other people and I couldn’t readily remember who it was they were meaning. I never got lost but it kinda shows that you can’t have superstars facing off against the Washington Generals if you want a truly memorable film. Some good twists and turns you don’t see set up, which was nice, but maybe a bit too cleaver for its own good. I want to see a master brain at work, not a parlor trick.

    Valerian – It might’ve been something else but it’s escaping me. Meh. Saw it in one of those dine-in theaters in the Southbay. (I get around). Bit of a throwback to Saturday matinee adventure flicks of yore. Visually cool creatures with otherwise inconsequential roles. I’ll echo that the leads weren’t ideally cast but not really sure this was going to be great shakes regardless.

  23. Karl says:

    DUNKIRK (IMAX 70mm) – Visuals were stunning and gorgeous in 70mm, but I came away with the most lasting impression about the incredible pounding sound mix. I think Nolan improves his shooting action here despite no real “action” or combat scenes – thinking of how he shot this vs. how he shot/chopped Batman’s hand-to-hand fighting to hell in BEGINS and TDK. More emotionally true (read: not forced) than INTERSTELLAR but failed to connect personally with any characters above not wanting non-Nazi humans not to die on a very base level.

    SPLIT (Blu-ray) – Most effective because it doesn’t try to be more than what it is, a taught and confined thriller. I’m in the camp that thinks UNBREAKABLE is one of M. Night’s good films, so I’m excited for universe-building, but I worry the SPLIT branch won’t be able to handle the extra weight.

    SING (Netflix HD) – Kids found it on Netflix. I knew nothing more than it was the animated kids’ movie where they had a rabbit singing Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” Pleasantly surprised. On the above average side of kids’ fare with enjoyable songs, good singing, and a pretty darn good vocal performance by a Matthew McConaughey who is clearly having a good time.

    JAWS: THE REVENGE (Starz HD) – Finishing up my own retrospective of the Jaws franchise. Hoo boy. Really pretty location shooting but D-U-M-B dumb dumb dumb story of a shark that literally has a personal grudge against the Brody family. The story is so much worse than JAWS 3-D, which was already horrible. But REVENGE benefits from being so much more entertaining to watch on a “bad movie” level. And classic Michael Caine taking the gig to get a nice vacation, although I’m usually happy to see him.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    *MY COUSIN RACHEL: Another gorgeous Rachel Weisz performance ruined by an uneven co-protagonist and on-the-nose writing.

    *HEAL THE LIVING: Always wary of “we’re all connected!” Crashesque movies, but this was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Beautifully sentimental.

    *THE TRANSFIGURATION: Wanted to like this vampire pastiche movie more than I did.

    *HARMONIUM: One of the most dark, depressing, technically well done and well acted dramas I’ve ever seen. Brutal.

  25. Triple Option says:

    @ Roark – I saw The Car in the theater back when I was a kid. I didn’t think it was that great or super scary once I got settled in but later on whenever I’d hear a car drive up I’d run to the center of our backyard in case it’d smash through the fence and try to run me down. I looked for it a couple of times over the years on dvd just to have for nostalgia’s sake.

  26. Christian says:

    Whoa, what theater showed “The Car?” I grew up watching it during Horror Week on Channel 7’s 4 O’Clock Movie in the D.C. market.

  27. Aaron Aradillas says:

    DUNKIRK (70mm)- Second viewing. Movie works better when you know going in that there won’t be much in the way of character development. Just take it as a sight & sound experience. After about a half hour the movie settles down into a rather conventional war movie. The best stuff is the aerial footage.

    SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Digital) – Plays like an extended episode of a teen superhero show on the CW, complete with guest appearance by Iron Man. When the new Spidey isn’t being bland and colorless, he’s rather annoying. A movie made by committee. Why set a SPIDER-MAN movie in high school if you’re not going to set the climatic action set-piece at the homecoming dance? Why cast Michael Keaton, the actor who helped usher in the modern superhero blockbuster, and not have him really cut loose? Raimi made the best SPIDER-MAN movies, but Garfield remains the best Spider-man.

    AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER (Digital) – Despite what Chucky thinks, a terrific and necessary documentary. Along with NOBODY SPEAK and THE DEFIANT ONES, the best doc so far this year.

    TENDER MERCIES (Digital) – Saw it at a revival screening for the first time. It’s fine. Nothing special. Horton Foote might be the most overrated writer of the last forty years. Duvall won the Oscar for this. Clearly, it was a make-up award for not winning the previous year for THE GREAT SANTINI. He gave better performances in A FAMILY THING, SLING BLADE, and THE APOSTLE. Interesting to note that the nominees for Best Actor of 1983 were Michael Caine (EDUCATING RITA), Tom Conti (REUBEN, REUBEN), Tom Courteney (THE DRESSER) and Albert Finney (THE DRESSER). Performances not nominated that year include Tom Cruise (RISKY BUSINESS), Robert DeNiro (THE KING OF COMEDY), Ed Harris (THE RIGHT STUFF), Al Pacino (SCARFACE), and Eric Roberts (STAR 80).

  28. Hcat says:


    I grew up in the Chicago market but also loved having an afternoon movie to rush home from the pool to watch. We eventually got cable but it was WGN who introduced me to Casablanca, Psycho, Sergio Leone and an annual running of the Planet of the Apes cycle. Not to mention Hammer style Dracula movies.

  29. Sideshow Bill says:

    Re: THE CAR….my parents took me to see it at the drive-in in Jamestown, NY. We used to go to the drive-in all the time. That’s where I saw JAWS and was scarred for life. Anyway, then I would watch THE CAR on cable every time it was on. I still unabashedly love that thing. It’s batshit fun.

  30. LBB says:

    Local TV Sunday afternoons were a treasure trove of movies in the 70s. Channel 45 in Baltimore introduced me to PELHAM 123, CASABLANCA, TRILOGY OF TERROR, and a number of awesome horror knockoffs that I may have missed otherwise. I think I watched THE CAR on the ABC/NBC (probably Friday) NIGHT MOVIE. For all its ridiculousness, it has that great bit with the headlights coming up from the distance as the actress talks on the phone. Between that and a commercial for a Bigfoot documentary where a hairy arm crashes through a window and terrorizes a babysitter I was scared of living room windows growing up.

  31. Sideshow Bill says:

    JAWS:THE REVENGE is the single worst movie I ever watched in a theater. Well, aside from maybe SUPERMAN 4. Both released within weeks of each other Summer 1987.

  32. palmtree says:

    Superman 4 is pretty hard to beat. Even through the rose-colored glasses of childhood, it was still pretty shitty.

  33. Doug R says:

    Captain Underpants, Drive In, digital projector. Amusing enough movie but truck next to us had digital delay and there were a few smokers nearby, both detracting from the experience.

    Dunkirk, IMAX 70MM, The format added to the visceral punch of the material. Surprised promo tracking shot I saw online was missing.

    Wonder Woman, digital projection in recliner seats. Third viewing. The no man’s land scene still is amazing.

    Wonder Woman, digital projection in recliner seats. Second viewing 🙂

  34. Arisp says:

    Why would you see Wonder Woman three times?

  35. Pete B says:

    Why not?

  36. Roark says:

    The Car played at Lincoln Center last weekend. They had a whole series devoted to films that came out in 1977.

    I’d never seen it before, which blows my mind because it seems like the type of movie that would have been in regular rotation on weekend tv in the 80s. Maybe it was and I just missed it! It was a lot of fun catching up to it now, anyway.

  37. Roark says:

    Oh, and the bit where the car goes crashing through Brolin’s girlfriend’s house was great. Saw it coming but the way it was shot was still fun and unexpected.

  38. Triple Option says:

    Perfume was the worst movie I saw in a theater, not counting shoestring indie, “we’ll shoot it and four-wall a screening to get distribution!” type films. Caddyshack II was pretty bad, too. Tarzan w/Bo Derek, no one should ever have to see.

  39. jspartisan says:

    Okay. I do try to watch at least one movie a day, and have for years. Here are the last four films, that I watched.

    1) Quick Change: One of the most underrated films, that Bill Murray ever made. I love it, and have loved it since the 90s. It’s silly NYC version of the Odyssey, with a ton of wonderful actors in it.

    2) Steve Jobs: This fucking movie, is the best thing Danny Boyle ever did, and features the best script Sorkin has ever fucking written. It is lean, mean, and nothing but acting and dialogue driven brilliance. It’s also about a dad, a daughter, and three machine launches that changed the face of human existence. The scene with Fassbender and Daniels, set at the NEXT launch, is fucking awesome. Oh yeah… there’s no internet, without that perfect cube.

    3) Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey: It’s a fucking brilliant film, and one of the better sequels ever made. It expands on the first film, adds mythos to that world, and it should not be the last chapter in that story. Bill and Ted need to come back, and become the Wyld Stallons the future needs them to be. Once the John Wick trilogy is over. Keanu needs to drive over to Alex’s house, and they need to get back to work.

    4) SING! Watched it on Netflix as well, and it’s just fucking wonderful. The best Matthew Mcconaughey performance in ages. He needs to not play Texans more often.

    ETA: The fucking Car. What a fucking ridiculous fun, piece of shit, that movie is.

  40. Hcat says:

    Before going in on my four want to parrot JS on Quick Change and Sing which sadly leads to

    Despicle Me 3: Liked all the previous ones, have a real soft spot for Sing but this was depressing, a sequel with no reason for being and like most comedy sequels it just highlights what went right with the previous ones. No inspiration at all other than a money grab,

    Neighbors 2: Same exact scenerio, for all the reasons JS like Bill and Ted 2 this one went the opposite way and fell to all the same comedy sequel flaws. Skated on the protaganists from the first film and failed to reestablish why we are rooting for them, brought fewer jokes, and recycled many from the first film. The weirdest part was that you actively rooted for the antagonist and any time spent with anyone from the previous film seemed like a wast of time.

    Rule dont Apply: What a disjointed effort. I totally bought the leads, and thought it was a shame they were wasted in the service of a Howard Hughes movie. I never got what Beatty wanted this to be.

    Big Jake: Not through with this yet, watching on Amazon, but gave it a chance based on NGS’s other westerns like Little Big Man and Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. But it seems to be a geriatric western like Mitchums Good Guys and the Bad Buys which wastes an interesting plot to repeat over and over again that this senior citizen is morally, mentally and physically superior to the younger generation.

  41. Movieman says:

    Worst movie I ever saw in a theater?
    Andy Milligan’s “Legacy of Blood” at a 42nd Street grind house in 1978.
    To this day, I can’t believe Milligan has a cult following.

    Last movie I saw (in a theater)?
    “Hitman’s Bodyguard” which was a pleasant surprise. Who knew it was a (dual) love story?
    Reynolds and Jackson have terrific chemistry. Expect this to be leggy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it spawns a sequel somewhere down the road.
    That said, I’m very disappointed that “Logan Lucky” is tanking. Haven’t had as much fun in a theater since “Baby Driver.”

  42. EtGuild2 says:

    I cannot believe you all like SING.


  43. YancySkancy says:

    Hcat: I also watched Big Jake on Prime, a few weeks back, and although it’s nothing too fresh, it has a good script and a brisk, amiable way about it in between shoot-outs, up until the rather abrupt ending that feels like an obligatory wrap-up scene is missing. I can’t say I had the problem you did about the generational differences. It’s a late-period John Wayne movie, and he’s the protagonist. Since it’s sort of the elephant in the room, these movies always reference Wayne’s aging in one way or another, sometimes in a self-deprecating way, as in Rio Lobo, where much of the humor comes from the young female lead having no attraction to him whatsoever.

  44. Js partisan says:

    Big Jake, is a very underrated film, in the Duke’s filmography. A gf back in the day, got me into John Wayne with this movie. It’s a good solid film.

  45. Movieman says:

    Watched a much-reviled 1973 western (“The Deadly Trackers”) on TCM and found it unexpectedly decent.
    Yeah, it’s Peckinpah-ish to a fare-thee-well, but how many contempo studio releases are even attempting Peckinpah pastiches? And I thought the aptly nihilistic ending was immensely gratifying.
    Maybe the movie’s terrible rep stems from the fact that Sam Fuller was fired from it. Not sure, but it’s worth checking out if you’re a western and/or Richard Harris fan.

  46. hcat says:

    Soooo, what have you watched this week?

    I watched Colossal and Alien Covenant and was amused by the parallels with both creatures being different forms of a protagonist’s ID.

    I actually felt more tension during Colossal than Alien since the main villain was more down to earth, but that has always been the case where I find normal everyday people more terrifying than bogeymen. Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs is chilling but Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone scares the living hell out of me.

    Colossal suffers by not giving more depth to Hathaway, there was no real backstory to why she was the screw-up she was. I feel like there was an attempt to show her as self loathing like Sudekis’s character but they never fully formed the connection of them as similar people choosing different paths.

    And what more can be said about Covenant? Scott knows how to shoot a beautiful film, but while it seems like he really wanted to make the losses felt I just wasn’t as involved with the people as I should have been. I can easily see there being the mandatory Ridley directors cut that will add 20 minutes and flesh out the people more. And I did appreciate that David seems to more affectionate to his creations than the Humanoids and Weyland were to theirs. As for where it falls in the greater story, they seemed to take a giant leap sideways since there apparently needs to be some surviving giants to take a ship filled with eggs somewhere to bridge to the original series. After the lackluster reception who knows if there will be another (I thought the lower budget was felt when compared to Prometheus), but studios never really seem to mind if Scott loses them money. I am still curious where he might take this.

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw Colossal when it first hit Redbox. As you say her character is underdeveloped and it drags a bit in the second half. But overall I really liked it. It’s compellingly weird and has some great moments. It’s often very funny. Hathaway and Sudekis are good. Didn’t love it, but worth watching for sure.

    I can’t really argue with Covenant criticisms but I like it all the same. I just love seeing $100 million sci-fi horror on a big screen. The cast is good and it was a blast to see a proper xenomorph on the big screen again. It’s not a classic but it’ll do.

    Saw Wind River and absolutely loved it. Great film. That trailer sequence is incredible.

    Got Shudder and have been watching a lot of stuff. It’s wonderful. Watched the nearly 7-hour Crystal Lake Memories. So good. Would have gladly watched 7 hours more.

    Wife and I watched American Pastoral (see is a huge McGregor fan). Certainly an ambitious choice for your directorial debut. It’s got a lot of problems but it’s also better than the 22% RT rating would indicate. Good cast and some very affecting moments. It just feels too slight, and too short. I was never bored though and it’s not all that bad. I remember loving the book but haven’t read it in probably 15 or so years.

    Also saw War Machine. Pitt doesn’t really work for me, but I really liked it. It’s very funny and the supporting cast is outstanding. It’s a little obvious in its critiques of war and the military, but it moves along swiftly and mostly works pretty well. Anything with Tilda Swinton, Lakeith Stanfield, and Scoot McNairy can’t be that bad.

  48. YancySkancy says:

    A light movie week for me. Mostly catching up on TV: You’re the Worst, Better Things, The Last Panthers. But I did see these:

    Dog Eat Dog (Paul Schrader, 2016): Netflix. Wild adaptation of an Edward Bunker novel allows Schrader to show off some flashy moves behind the camera (and even some decent ones in front of it as a Cleveland mobster). Nicolas Cage toplines, and his eccentricities are a good fit, especially since his character is practically normal compared to Willem Dafoe’s affably murderous and needy “Mad Dog” (a great performance). The story sometimes takes a back seat to the coked-up intensity of it all, and the final sequence goes out with both a bang and a whimper, but overall it’s a fun, dark ride.

    Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016): HBO Now. It’s sort of a passive-aggressive revenge tale, which is provocative but not terribly satisfying. Fascinating ride though. Amy Adams has a rather impossible part; Jake Gyllenhaal gets the most opportunities to emote; both are fine. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s flashy role netted him a Golden Globe, but thankfully Michael Shannon got the Oscar nod. Ford seems more suited to the framing story, which is set in the art world, than the Texas crime drama of the novel-within-the-movie, but it’s actually the latter that has the most impact. Ultimately, the narrative trickery seems like a convoluted way to get to a simple point

  49. Hcat says:

    Loved is too strong a word for such a wrenching experience but watching Nocturnal Animals was the most visceral reactions I have had to a film this calendar year. I can’t think of anything I have seen in the past few months that left an equal impression. Though I still like Single Man more.

    And just saw an online add for wind river, is that Bear Mace he gets shot with?

  50. Movieman says:

    Rewatched Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” which I hadn’t seen since 1980 when it made my 10-best list.
    Held up remarkably well (better than “Midnight Cowboy,” in fact), although–
    pace the 1969 Oscar winner–it’s undeniably, unpleasantly homophobic at times.
    Along w/ Tom Cruise’s Maverick and Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko, Gere’s Julian is one of the most iconic movie characters of the Reagan era.
    The deservedly legendary sequence scored to Smokey Robinson’s “The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage” remains heart-stompingly brilliant. It critiques the feckless hedonism of the preceding decade while foreshadowing the conspicuous consumerism that would inform the 1980’s.
    “Gigolo” is also a great L.A. movie, and includes Lauren Hutton’s career-best performance which I found incredibly touching.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    I second that re: Nocturnal Animals. Yes it’s a flashy role (and Shannon is brilliant) but Taylor-Johnson terrified me and every scene with him is incredibly suspenseful. Wrenching is almost an understatement. I squirmed in a way that no horror movie made me squirm last year.

  52. hcat says:

    Haven’t seen Gigolo in years either, was it streaming somewhere or did you purchase it?

    That was one of those that I let slip by for years and years but when I finally did see it I was astonished by how strong it was. And of course I have to note that a studio would never make that today as a wide release, especially as a spring star vehicle. That was Paramount’s inaugural film of the eighties, a strong way to start a decade they would just dominate.

  53. jspartisan says:

    Either last year, or the year before, American Gigolo was an afternoon movie, on multiple CW channels. Nothing screams, “SUNDAY AFTERNOON VIEWING,” like American Gigolo.

  54. EtGuild2 says:

    I understand the criticisms of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS as cold and nearly inaccessible, but yeah it gave me goosebumps. That ending hit me on a weird visceral level and I still am not quite sure why.

    I saw Cate Blanchett’s 13 part-vignette, art-experimental MANIFESTO. I enjoyed it for what it is, but I’m not sure it quite works as “cinema.” I can see how engrossing it would be at an installation where you can view the performances as separate pieces. Blanchett, for her part, is game for anything and is often extremely funny.

    If there’s any philosophy majors here I definitely recommend it.

  55. Movieman says:

    Hcat- “Gigolo” was on one of my (6? 7?) HBO channels.

    Another movie I hadn’t seen in decades that I gave another look, 1979’s “More American Graffiti,” also held up really well. If anything, it looks even better today than it did in the summer of “Apocalypse Now” and “The Wanderers.”
    The only bum note was the absence of Richard Dreyfuss (not even a damn cameo: what’s up w/ that, Ricky?) which is pretty inexcusable when you consider that even a post-“Star Wars” Harrison Ford pops up for a great early scene.
    38 years later, I think it’s safe to say that anyone who doesn’t love “MAG” never really loved “AG.”
    Loved how Lucas, et al took the criticism of having neglected the female characters of “Graffiti” by beefing up Candy Clark and Cindy Williams’ roles (and destinies). And the fantastic Vietnam scenes w/ Charles Martin Smith’s Toad reminded me that Lucas originally intended to direct “Apocalypse” and wanted to do it in 16 mm. (The mind reels, huh?)
    Wildly underrated, “MAG” definitely deserves a reappraisal.

  56. Glamourboy says:

    I have to disagree about MAG…..from the awkward title to the meandering plot line, this was a totally unnecessary sequel. The original is a beautiful, evocative slice of time….the scroll at the end told me where the characters ended up. It left me totally satisfied. Was there a real need for MORE American Graffiti? It seems like a movie made out of sequel greed….another grab at another best-selling soundtrack….it doesn’t build on the first film…I think it actually diminishes it. In the same way that Matrix 3 made me reconsider my love for the original Matrix, MOA made me realize that these characters weren’t as interesting as I originally thought. It is a sequel that deserves its obscurity.

  57. Glamourboy says:

    Sorry to nitpick….but Lauren Hutton’s career-best performance? Better than her performances in Zorro The Gay Blade? Love At First Bite? Perfect? Once Bitten? Paternity???

    Hutton’s wooden, souless, deer in the headlights performance in AG might only be her best because it is one of the only decent movies she appeared in.

  58. Hcat says:

    I have avoided more AG because I have only heard it described
    as Glanourboy did above. Universal waw notoriously bad
    With sequels in the 70s 80s and 90s with the high point being Jaws 2. So skipping More AG seemed as wise as overlooking sting part 2 or Conan the Destroyer. But if some others chime in that it’s worth a look…..

  59. Sideshow Bill says:

    Stella’s Boy, I agree on Crystal Lake Memories. It’s a lot of fun. Some great, great stories came out of those mostly shitty movies.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    I actually like most of those movies and revisit them often, especially in October. It isn’t a proper Shocktober unless I rewatch at least one Friday the 13th flick. Watching Crystal Lake Memories just reminded me that each one has its charms.

  61. palmtree says:

    The More AG discussion reminds of an article that claimed Grease 2 was better than the original. Different strokes.

  62. Movieman says:

    Not saying “More AG” is better than the original, just that it’s an immensely satisfying follow-up for anyone who loves the original film.
    Like revisiting old friends you haven’t seen in decades.
    And the aesthetic and narrative ambitions are pretty darn experimental-impressive for a Universal movie from the late ’70s.
    Not a cash grab.

    Can’t disagree w/ you more about Lauren Hutton’s “Gigolo” performance, Hcat. It was one of the few times I actually glimpsed a real actress residing beneath her icy Cover Girl surface. That last scene between Gere and Hutton is killer.

  63. Movieman says:

    P.S.= Guilty as charged.
    I actually like “Grease 2” (Michelle Pfeiffer!) more than “Grease” (one of the clumsiest, worst-directed blockbusters in Hollywood history).
    Yes, I even prefer “Can’t Stop the Music” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in the Stigwood/Carr pantheon.

  64. Hcat says:

    I wasn’t the one with a problem with Hutton, I quite liked her in Hustle.

  65. Movieman says:

    Sorry about that, Hcat. Confused you w/ GlamourBoy.

    “Hustle”? The ’75 Aldrich movie? That was Deneueve.

  66. Sideshow Bill says:

    Oh yea, I didn’t mean to imply the F13th movies, Stella’s Boy. Like you I find something charming in each one. But they are bad for the most part. Yet I grew up on them and have nothing but affection for them. I even bought the mostly bad videogame that came out this Summer and found it fun as well.

    I actually sneaked out of the house to see Part 7. I was 16. My mother locked the door and I slept on the porch swing. I never sneaked out again

  67. leahnz says:

    at least she didn’t set mouse traps for you

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon