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April film thread

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One from my VHS collection although I see it is available on Blu Ray now (plus there are two uploads of the whole film on YouTube; at least the one from TV Time Capsule looks complete and watchable). 

I provide here, though, just a link to the trailer for The Baby (Ted Post, 1973)
youtube.com/watch?v=sAb3J7WONhE&

Quite a long trailer and it sort of shows a bit too much (but watch it for the voiceover man's final punchline "rated PG"

Within about 10 minutes of watching the film I thought "OK this has already gone beyond the crazy that was promised by the trailer", and then it seemed that every ten minutes or so, they hit you with another "WTF" turn in the narrative. It's absolutely delirious, insane nonsense of the best kind. Campy, trashy, lurid, but plays everything dead straight, which is kind of the only way you could do this - any "winks to the camera" would have killed the enjoyment. 
With that in mind, it felt like some weird halfway point between Roger Corman (short running time, working wonders with a tiny budget) and early Wes Craven (outside encounters bizarre family in seemingly benign setting - in this case early 70s suburbia). And lashings of not-literally-Southern Gothic and Grand Guignol. 

Also of note: FOUR strong female leads, a fifth strong and major female support player, and arguably (aside from Baby), even the sixth major role is a woman - albeit not a "strong" character, and she only gets one scene, but by heck WHAT A SCENE. Meanwhile, all the men seem to be weak losers, or unsympathetic mostly-offscreen bosses. 

It was great. Only 76 minutes too! 


 

Post edited at 22:18
 Cobra_Head 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

The Mauritanian, that is all

 Tom V 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Been really looking forward to it. Do I have to lend my soul to Amazon Prime for another month in order to watch it?

 aln 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> Been really looking forward to it.

It's been getting some terrible reviews. 

 aln 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched a film recently that I'd like to hear you review. Before I tell you what it is, if you haven't seen it yet, I ask you to avoid all reviews, synopses etc. And please, if anyone reading this has seen it, don't post. It's called The Greasy Strangler. 

In reply to aln:

I haven’t seen that. I remember when it came out, initially I thought it looked a fun homage to the genre of film in my OP, but then I concluded I that I haven’t really seen enough “sincere” originals in that genre to be able to appreciate what are likely to be multiple spoofs of the tropes, in The Greasy Strangler. Also it looked like it risked feeling like a ten minute joke stretched to feature length (this happened with Black Dynamite). I may have misunderstood, and there is no spoof aspect and it’s just a straight homage. Either way I didn’t really fancy it. 

 alan moore 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Godzilla vs King Kong.

Disappointing.

Monsters revealed too early.

Godzilla looked like a man in a suit.

There was a plot of sorts, but they shouldn't have bothered.

 alan moore 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

The original Papillon is free on Prime at the moment.

Fantastic prison busting buddy movie. Proto-Rainman versus a grimacing Steve McQueen. I love this film but am always saddened that it is not a true story.

 graeme jackson 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Saw wonder woman 84 at the weekend. Apart from two astonishingly beautiful leads the movie has virtually nothing going for it - quite possibly the least villainous villain in any film ever.  

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Saw Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jr. last night (never seen it before.) What a joy of a film. Has ever a star moved, or leapt around quite like that? Absolutely in a class of his own. And as for the carpenters who made the collapsing buildings ... what an amazing job.

In reply to aln:

> It's been getting some terrible reviews. 

I watched it without knowing anything about it and found it good.

In reply to graeme jackson:

> Saw wonder woman 84 at the weekend. Apart from two astonishingly beautiful leads the movie has virtually nothing going for it - quite possibly the least villainous villain in any film ever.  

I'd heard that it was overall a bit of a dull mess, which I could almost live with (my expectations for these films are set fairly low) but I'd also heard that indeed the villainy level was super low, and that sort of thing DOES bug me. Similar issue with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and Ant-Man and the Wasp 

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Thanks for reminding me about Keaton; I have a 3-DVD set of a load of his short films. I too have not seen Steamboat Bill Jr (which is not on my set). 

I wonder if you would enjoy some of Jackie Chan's work. 

 aln 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I thought it looked a fun homage to the genre of film in my OP, 

Something like that. I found it through late night channel hopping, having never heard of it. Then watched it in a jaw hanging open WTF am I watching kinda way. It was an experience. 

 Forest Dump 06 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

I almost watched the remake last week but ended up watching A Prayer Before Dawn I instead, about an English addict locked up in a Thai jail..

Limited English dialogue and very few subs made for a dissorientating experience, in a good way

Whiplash is on iPlayer so watched that, a great movie but horrible, not enjoyable watch. Similar to Uncut Gems in that regard 

 Tom V 06 Apr 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I enjoyed it and was moved by it.

 Sean Kelly 06 Apr 2021
In reply to alan moore:

> The original Papillon is free on Prime at the moment.

> Fantastic prison busting buddy movie. Proto-Rainman versus a grimacing Steve McQueen. I love this film but am always saddened that it is not a true story.

Now the book is really worth reading. I can still recall an incident where they killed a fellow escapee who had pinched some of their food. He apparently had a wooden leg, so they cut off the good one and using their new-found drywood bbq-ed it! Not in the film I believe.

 MonkeyPuzzle 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched Highlander last night. Not even the nostalgia brought on by a three day hangover being soothed with a Caol Ila could bump up the overall rating anywhere past "Arse Gravy". Bad acting, bad SF, bad sound effects, not even the fights are good and my word it must have been edited by someone with a serious brain injury.

Some things are best left as a vague warm fuzzy feeling.

 Cobra_Head 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> Been really looking forward to it. Do I have to lend my soul to Amazon Prime for another month in order to watch it?


Free on Prime, if you have it.

Fantastic film, brilliant acting, and some real info revealed.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

I saw Lone Survivor (NetFlix), I'd put it in a similar genre to Touching the Void, Bravo Two Zero and The Spacewalker in terms of it was based on a true story about overcoming insurmountable obstacles. It is a bit jingoistic and the violence was quite shocking both in terms of what was done to these soldiers bodies in combat and also the indiscriminate power of some of the airborne weaponry utilised. At the same time there was an underlying themes of "cracking on with things" and friendship which are positive tropes and it has in fact motivated me in some ways.

In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

definitely one for “Up the Arse” corner in Viz! 


 Cobra_Head 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> I enjoyed it and was moved by it.


ha ha just posted to your earlier post.

I thought it was very moving too. It only proved to me what shitheads people in power can be and how they can change "the rules" to suit themselves.

This stuff isn't torture, "extraordinary rendition" isn't kidnap etc. Other sad part is the part we played in it too, I'll always hate Blair for Sami al-Saadi and his family.

There's a companion YouTube clip from his "jailers" point of view I think, I'll see if I can find it.

I also watched it without knowing much about it, or reading any critics opinions. I like to make my own mind up anyway.

 Cobra_Head 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Here it is if anyone fancies it, there might be spoilers in it for those who haven't watched the film.

youtube.com/watch?v=IH-h3h22Hck&

Also, only just recognised the lead actor as the same fella out of The Serpent, which was good too.

 Tom V 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

He was also in the excellent miniseries The Looming Tower which depicts how the infighting and refusal to work together between the FBI and the CIA was  a contributory factor in allowing 9/11 to take place.

Also.I hadn't realised he had the main role in A Prophet, which I will probably watch again now.

 graeme jackson 13 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Wife made me sit through Thunderforce on netflix at the weekend. (too cloudy for astronomy - damn).  What can I say but avoid at all costs cos it's shit. I liked Melissa McCarthy in The Heat as I'd never heard of her before and thought she was quite funny but it seems like she's played the same role in every movie since and to me the joke is wearing thin.  Octavia Spenser just looks embarrassed all the way through the movie - and so she should, it's shit.  

In reply to graeme jackson:

I don't know what that is but it sounds awful. I am not much of a fan of McCarthy, and Spencer seemed to have resigned herself to lazily taking payment to be dropped into films that require a sassy Gone with the Wind stereotype to stand with arms folded, obstructing antagonists' passage through doorways, rolling her eyes and (for an extra 20%) saying "oh Lor'"  

In reply to Phantom Disliker:

>I saw Lone Survivor (NetFlix)...

I watched that this week. I read the book sometime ago. As always, the film is big on exciting stuff but light on other details.

American Sniper is another interestng one. Clint Eastwood directed and it depicts another American hero, so its painted in that light.

I watched Lone Survivor after starting Breakfast at Tiffany's and turning it off. It warned: 'depicts out dated values'.  I'd completely forgotten about Micky Rourke playing a Japanese stereo type. If it was a Japanese bloke played by a white guy, then it wouldn't be a problem. Very much Crusty The Clown, school of racist nonsense. I didn't find it offensive, but it was annoying crap and not worth the effort of watching. Which is a shame, as I seem to remeber liking the film when I saw it decades ago.

 Forest Dump 13 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Some decent bits streaming at the moment including Oleg about migration/human slavery..

And, Sound of Metal, with one of my fav actors Riz Ahmed, about a heavy metal drummer who loses his hearing 

In reply to dread-i:

You mean Mickey Rooney 😃

All of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is dark and sketchy, as befits Truman Capote (though I have not read that one). Why they tried to dress it up (or at least sell it) as inconsequential romantic fluff, I’ll never know. It’s not as if director Blake Edwards was shy of darker material. 

 aln 22:36 Sun
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> It’s not as if director Blake Edwards was shy of darker material. 

10

 Hartoons 22:54 Sun
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched Netflix's Love and Monsters today, which is a ridiculous but fun movie. Convenience plays a strong part in driving the plot forward and there's an overabundance of 'just in the nick of time' scenarios, but it's a fun movie to kill a couple of hours on.

I've got the Blu-ray DVD of The Mummy to watch at some point this week and I won't hear a bad word said about that movie. It's the most outstandingly fun, wonderfully made, ridiculously historically inaccurate medley of horror movie romance novel nonsense to ever grace the silver screen.

 aln 23:08 Sun
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

I watched the 1st 20 minutes then gave up. Weird, I loved it 1st time round, but last week it was shite. 

 alan moore 23:17 Sun
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Papillon remake.

Freddy Mercury and that nice boy from Byker Grove did a good job, but the movie was lacklustre and didn't have the pizzazz of the original.

In reply to aln:

> 10

I know, aln. And others. That was my point 

 aln 00:07 Mon
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> That was my point 

I know, I was agreeing with you. 

In reply to Blue Straggler:

El Condor. A 1970 "Western" directed by Gordon Stainforth's one-time nightmare "boss" John Guillermin. I have seen this film before and remembered it being really rather unusual for what you'd expect to be a "genre" film. 

Basic premise is that it's a slightly light hearted "mismatched partners" adventure film about two chaps planning an audacious raid (enlisting 84 Apache warriors to help) on a fortress in Mexico, in order to steal the masses of gold bullion they have heard are being guarded there by the resident army. So far so predictable. 

AND YET...
We aren't given any reason to root for the two protagonists. They don't seem to have been wronged, particularly. They are just greedy chancers. Likewise, not much is said about the Mexican military or whether they have the right to this gold (reportedly the horde of former Emperor Maximilian but we get no more detail than that). 
Jim Brown is the lead with the brains (and interestingly barely any comment, let alone story element, is made of him being a black man). Lee van Cleef, usually remembered as being a little laconic, elegant and slimy, here is a scruffy alcoholic without much brains. 
There is an insane body count, yet the humour is so strong that it's all almost tongue-in-cheek. 
And the (disappointingly rushed) ending is really somewhat bleak, and at odds with the feel of the rest of the film. 
It's a rather forgotten one, which is a shame - it is very well shot, the characterisations are nice (Brown is almost "black Clint Eastwood"), excellent score - or at least the main theme which also serves as a recurring motif - by Maurice Jarre, an awesome fortress set (built for this film at such expense, that it was reused many many times later), and the action scenes are really quite full-on. However I think it's best remembered for Mariana Hill's legendary nude scenes....maybe I subconsciously chose this film to watch last night, because Hill was also in The Baby, the film described in the OP of this thread!

As an aside, I was viewing this on a VHS recording made from C4 on "long play", on my new 43" 4K LED television, and it looked absolutely fine! A lot of people say that the low native resolution of old formats can be disastrous on modern large screens. 

Post edited at 18:58
 Tom V 21:49 Mon
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Promising Young Woman. Watchable for Mulligan's performance but apart from that I wasn't too impressed.

In reply to Hartoons:

> I watched Netflix's Love and Monsters today, which is a ridiculous but fun movie. Convenience plays a strong part in driving the plot forward and there's an overabundance of 'just in the nick of time' scenarios, but it's a fun movie to kill a couple of hours on.

We enjoyed it. I did however think Dylan O'Brien was channelling Martin Freeman's at times.  

 waitout 22:50 Mon
In reply to alan moore:

> The original Papillon is free on Prime at the moment.

> Fantastic prison busting buddy movie. Proto-Rainman versus a grimacing Steve McQueen. I love this film but am always saddened that it is not a true story.

Great film and Ratna Assan was my absolute movie heart throb for years (till Rinko Kikuchi), breath-taking to the teenage mind.

 waitout 22:55 Mon
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Attack on Titan. Watched with my kid as they discover ever more graphic and complex anime. Lot's of ideas about walls, outsiders, military etc.

FWIW I love Breakfast at Tiffanies. The Japanese character is appallingly so idiotic I look past it, and the rest is so oddly weird and off-centre. One of the things I like about flying is it's almost always on the in-flight selection.

In reply to waitout:

To each their own! Maybe I need to watch it a second time. I just thought Peppard was very wooden with his acting but also very badly written, doesn’t he literally tell Holly that he “owns” her, on the grounds that he helped to drive away her rather innocent and sympathetic sugar daddy? Which is all good stuff IF PLAYED DRAMATICALLY and not as fluffy proto-romcom 😃

 waitout 03:19 Tue
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Oh yeah it's full of stuff like that, but is equally balanced by a level of flirtatiousness and social freedom as well, the whole beatnik/bohemian thing and jet setting, made up lifestyles. It's not la Dolce Vita, but then it's not Italian, but i think it shows the brink of the pop explosion just as it starts to take hold and there's no going back to the 50's.

As for the Japanese character, it's of course got it's racist elements, but it's also only 15 years since the war so the inclusion I think has more to it than that - that there's a Japanese character at all (other than the sort seen in stuff like Bridge on the River Kwai etc) is something.

I think it's a relic of a time that of course couldn't know that it would have the effect it did. That was a time when men couldn't vote if they had sideburns but round the corner the Beatles were coming and this was one of the stepping stones.

You know what it reminds me of - and you're probably one of the few that would know of it - Slave's of New York.

Or maybe I'm seeing too much into it.

 nufkin 09:39 Tue
In reply to waitout:

>  The Japanese character is appallingly so idiotic I look past it

Alternatively, imagine the arc of the story had he been cast per dread-i's mis-type upthread. I'm picturing Marv from Sin City

 waitout 11:02 Tue
In reply to nufkin:

Ha yes, makes itself really.

I've not read it but apparently the Japanese character in the novella is totally different, maybe not simmering ultraviolent like Rourke, but not the annoying idiot from the film.

In reply to waitout:

I have heard of Slaves of New York and possibly once owned the book (and never read it, and donated back to a charity shop). It was adapted into a film in 1989 or 1990 I think, starring Bernadette Peters. These are just soundbite "facts", I know nothing about the material. 

 waitout 22:18 Tue
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Has a young Steve Buscemi in it too research shows.

I'm going to rewatch it. No doubt dated horrendously now, but early 90's it was the thing amongst the crowd I was in.

In reply to waitout:

Buscemi at that time also turns up in one of the segments (I think Scorsese’s) of New York Stories, and I’d love to know if he was playing a version of himself at that time. He’s playing an unsuccessful performance poet. 

 waitout 00:07 Wed
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'll have to check that out. NYS was a real favourite of mine at the time. 


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