|Displaying Movies Seen In The Past Week Chonologically|
|11.11.18||Lifeforce||Tobe Hooper||Wow. I have to say, most films that gain some reputation never live up to the hype when you sit down and watch them. I guess it's just the subjective nature of art and how easy it is to let any preconceived notions affect your enjoyment. Lifeforce lives up to the hype.|
Mostly in its audacity of budget. I don't know that I've seen actual zombie movies with this many zombies, actual disaster movies with this much destruction, actual space movies with such complete and ornate spacecraft sets. Plus you have these puppeted shriveled dudes moving around and souls flying through the air and so much nudity and there's like a lazer gun? and a ritual sword dagger? and Patrick Stewart? It's like every 80s genre movie in one. Unbelievable that it exists.
Quite a movie to go out on too. Really the only thing I didn't like about it was Steve Railsback, but what're ya gonna do about that... Also a nice thematic connection to Autopsy of Jane Doe in that there's a beautiful woman lying naked on a table for most of it.
Gosh, not sure what else to say. I'll have to let that sit with me for a while I think.
So thus brings to an end another year of DVRfest, another solitary weekend of catching up on movies. I didn't fill my one slot of seeing something old this year but just ran out of time. Let's dump some stats and call it good.
16 movies in the past week (2.29/day), 18 in the past month (0.6/day), 95 in the past year (ouch) (0.26/day), and 3153 since the site started 14 years ago (0.62/day). Netflix still reigns supreme in terms of venue with 776 movies seen, but 'Internet' is fast growing with 355. Granted, sometimes i use that venue as a general catch all for various streaming services like HBOGO and whatnot so it's not all nefarious, but it mostly is. And I can't finish my notes for this fest without the obligatory mention of Peter Bogdanovich and his note cards. I forget how long he did his - 17 years? 18? - but I'm getting close. Of course, he finished because he had made Last Picture Show and Paper Moon and was probably too busy to keep a closet full of note cards updated and I work in a cubicle all day. So maybe since I'm not doing anything interesting with my real life, I'll keep these going till I die. Of course, with sites like letterboxd out there now allowing everyone to do this without the labor of printing note cards or writing a crappy php website, I'm not sure even a 30-year collection of thoughts on movies is interesting to anyone. It still remains interesting to me however so I will keep doing it. Plus, it's not such a burden when you only see 95 movies in a goddamn year. If you take out 30 for Fantastic Fest and 15 for this, that's like two movies a month. Jesus. I blame the Golden Age of Television that we're in... Anyway, see you next year.
|11.11.18||Ghost Stories||Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman||Honestly my draw to this film was based solely on the fantastic posters used to market it. Not knowing anything about it, I sort of thought or hoped it would be a throwback anthology similar to the old hammer or amicus films. I guess that's kind of what it was, with a little less throwback and more Martin Freeman. I liked it pretty well and thought the end was earned and not trash. I could've used a bit more development of each of the individual stories but I also like how it's a pretty lean 90 minutes so lengthening them probably wouldn't serve the movie as a whole. In any case, good stuff.|
Ok. It's quarter to midnight and I have one last movie on the program. A movie I've had to nod and hide the fact I haven't seen it multiple times. Hopefully I've saved the best for last because it's time to enter
|11.11.18||The Autopsy of Jane Doe||Andre Ovredal||In the early days of DVRfest, a sizable contingent of what was in the backlog were horror movies taped for Halloween that I hadn't gotten around to yet. This year, there were a bunch of blog posts like 'best of the decade' or 'best of 2000s' and whatnot, typical clickbait crap. Of course I skimmed them, always on the lookout for hidden gems that I'd overlooked. This was on several of those lists and I procured it based on the cast alone. Mostly Brian Cox as a coroner was enough for me.|
It's pretty good! Quite a change from the CG-fest of Trollhunter but a good script, creepy yet new setting, and ultimately an interesting take on a familiar trope. I liked that Cox and Emile Hirsch were always on the same side, that the film never went to unsaid resentments coming out in some argument or whatever. I also like that at the first overt sign of weirdness they were both like 'fuck this shit.' Pretty good.
|11.11.18||Gambit||Ronald Neame||This is another one of those classic Alamo trailers they'd show in front of any heist movie. It has a classic tagline which is something along the lines of "Go ahead and tell the ending but please don't ruin the beginning!" (spoiler alert: there ain't shit in the beginning, but I guess "we'd appreciate if you didn't spoil the first third of the movie" doesn't sound as good).|
This was quite fun. Michael Caine in his prime, Shirley MacLaine at her most charming, and a bunch of lavish sets meant to be some exotic locale. And yes there is a bit of a turn which probably worked in 1966, but the second two-thirds is just as, if not more, fun. A nice little late afternoon jaunt of a movie.
Up next is... hmm, what's next?
|11.11.18||24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters||Kevin Burke||This played Fantastic Fest the year I was in Peru, and I've been meaning to see it ever since. I didn't kickstart this one even though it looks like everyone else at fantastic fest did. The movie is like one long ad for Mondo. I was really hoping for like 50% history and at least a mention of movie posters from around the world but instead, it's like 10% history which just serves as context to talk about Mondo and the niche industry it created. That and the production value of the movie is pretty lacking compared to Nye's film. Not that it's a comparison really, but it was noticeable.|
So... yeah. This was pretty thin. Not much to hang a movie on. You might say it... i dunno, some other poster joke. It was nice to learn that the big guy I see at the Alamo every year is named Pineapple. I wonder how many docs exist because of the Alamo and how long it will take before every person I know from there is on screen. So odd to a) see Tim Doyle on my home TV, and b) disagree with what he's saying. Chris Popkoff and Daniel Kerr, if you sit for an interview on some Weird Wednesday doc, please let me know.
So this is where my programming breaks down a bit. I still have a pile of movies but no real plan as to which I'll watch and when. I think I'll go purely by format right now and pick something else off the shelf as it's probably the last movie I have the house to myself for.
|11.11.18||Bill Nye: Science Guy||David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg||Day three starts with this Bill Nye doc. A few things up front:|
1) i backed this on kickstarter. I think it's the last movie I'm going to back on kickstarter. Even when it's successful and they finish the film, they shop it around all the festivals looking for a buyer before they let their backers see it (unless you happen to be in a town where they're already showing it, as was the case with this and sxsw I believe). So by the time I actually get the blu-ray that I pledged for, literally everyone else in the world has seen it. It's a flaw. and
2) I backed this before his latest netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the Universe, aired. I didn't love that show so much so I'm hoping this doc delivers a bit more of what I want: background on the guy and his history and some humor and maybe a little more dignity and less preaching that he does on his Netflix show.
Ok all of that out of the way, let's watch.
So maybe i was being too harsh. This was good and I'm glad my name is somewhere in those tiny credits as helping to make it possible. Plus I did get a cool shirt... so there's that.
Anyway, yeah I liked this. It's pretty much exactly what I wanted. Some background, a little history, a little family, a little pathos, a little humor. It brought some interesting perspective to the Ken Ham debate and maybe a little scope to why Nye seems so outspoken about climate change these days. I'm probably biased because I agree with him (although not always. I think somewhere in my notes for when I read Michael Crichton's State of Fear or when I saw An Inconvenient Truth I was pretty skeptical), but to me this was an honest portrait of the guy.
Of course he's no movie poster... if only there was a whole documentary about movie posters.