Saturday, December 14, 2013

Flicks I've watched (Part 23)

Part 22.

All righty, this batch are all friend recommendations I finally was able to get to after chiseling away the fuggin' mountain of Halloween ones (1, 2, 3).

Here we go...

Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship, & Videotape (2010)

A documentary on "the video nasties", the name given to sicko horror movies in the UK.
They were outright banned, and possession or sale of them could get you sent to jail.

Some of the films mentioned, and most of my own censorship rants are here and here in my "worst of the worst", series.

And, like in there, the British horror fan commentators say when you actually saw these things, 9 times out of 10, they didn't deliver the goods, and it was just "people playing with butcher meat, and trying really hard not to laugh".
They agree with me.
But, the puritan assholes acted like they thought this shit was real.

So, yeah, my rants on this aren't a frivolous meaningless thing, people served time, they lost their livelihoods, their lives were ruined, and over nothing. Absolutely nothing.
And it CAN happen here.
You gotta watch out.
We've missed it happening in this country by a razor thin margin.
Multiple times.
We were just lucky.
People don't appreciate that.
Especially young kids that don't know the history.
For example, the PMRC deal really almost lost us freedom to listen to what albums we want to hear.
That "parental advisory", sticker ought to chill your blood, that was a buying off and appeasement of outright fascists that wanted to abolish the first amendment.
All in the name of children.
Yeah, right, children.

So, anyway, there I go ranting again, but this documentary has it all.
You get to see the censorship actually happen, and you get to see how they do it.
It's important to see how the enemy thinks and operates.

Hell, you can see some of it here.
Evil Dead used to be on "the video nasties", list for awhile, and Raimi had to put up with that shit.
Witness the hysterical moron-itude for yourself.

Well, it hasn't gone away, right now in Britain they're trying to Big-Brother the internet in the name of children.
Making you opt in for porno to try to shame you.
Next it's going to be "subversive sites", and they'll make up what that means on the fly to arrest anyone they want.
And there are people who want to try it here.
Whatever the new medium is, people want to control it.

Yeah, I know I beat this topic to death, but you HAVE to beat it to death, these horrible utopia-minded fascist control-freak people never ever go away.

Anyway, great documentary, get it to your eyeballs however you have to.

Hopefully, "Rewind This!", will also cover some of this stuff.
If Lloyd Kaufman is in there, you can bet he'll touch on it.
He's even more ranty than I am.

Solaris (1972)

Friends raved over the remake, and it's been 10 years, so I figured it was finally time to get to it, now that everything else on Earth is out of the way, but FIRST I had to see the original.

Anytime something's a remake, I see the original first.
I break the rule sometimes, and kick myself every time.
So, lately I'm more strict about it.

Anyway, it's really good, but slow and plodding in a lot of places.
The run-time is two and a quarter hours, and a lot of that is spent on long driving scenes, long scenery pans, etc, etc.
It makes "2001: A Space Odyssey", look spry and jaunty.

Anyway, plot is, it's Russia, some unspecified time in the future (as seen by the 70's), people still wear normal clothes, houses are still normal houses, but there are video phones, self-driving cars, and we can go to extra-solar planets as easily as taking an airline flight.

The protagonist goes to the Solaris space station orbiting the planet Solaris.
The planet is covered by an ocean of weird living goo of unknown composition that scientists theorize is one big sentient lifeform.

When you go to the Solaris station, the planet reads your mind, and creates a solidified sentient replica of a dead relative or lover for you.
The protagonist gets a duplicate of his dead wife, and the rest of the film is spent with him trying to philosophically sort out this insane situation.

It's good sci-fi.
But again, slow as hell.
Take caffeine pills for this one.

Solaris (2002)

Okay, so the immediate plus this has over the original, is it's trimmed down to a lean hour-thirty.
It gets to the fucking point.

It's pretty much the exact same story.
George Clooney is the guy.
The effects are better.
The technobabble is more updated.
The future is more future-y.
The planet is plasma-y instead of liquid-y.
The race and gender of a couple secondary characters is changed.
A couple plot elements are shifted and tinkered, but we end up in pretty much the same place as the ending of the original.
Other than that, same movie.

It's good.
Not mind blowing, or Earth shattering.
I like both versions, each one does some things better than the other.

If you had to see only one, I'd rather you see the original, but the remake is easier to get ahold of, so, you're not committing a crime seeing only that.

The Wicker Man (1972)

Well, if you've seen AMC's "Top 100 Scariest Movie Moments", that spoiled the whole damned thing for you.

I still enjoyed it though.

It has Christopher Lee, and it kicks religion in the dick, and either one of those is enough to make me happy, but to have both...WHEEE!!

So, basic plot, if you haven't seen anything about it somehow, Edward Woodward is a cop, and a devout Christian, who goes to investigate a missing child report in this town full of Pagans run by Christopher Lee.
Naturally, their beliefs and customs collide.
Hi-jinks ensue.

48 Hours (1982)

Yeah, wow, I know, it took me a long time to finally see this.

So, there's a backstory to this.
Buckle in.

So...'82...'82..I would have been 7...but it was on HBO, which took about a year, so I could have been 8.
7 or 8.
So, my parents were strict about actually sticking to the stupid age guidelines on the ratings, and wouldn't let me see PG-13 until I was 13, and R until 17...but later on, they relented, and let me see PG-13 at 11, and R at 13.
Course, I sneaked my share of movies at friend's houses anyway.

But, all my parent's friends let their kids see everything, so I was the uncool doofus, but this is where it gets weird, my parents let those other kids see that shit at our fucking house, and I still had to go to my fucking room, and be the uncool doofus in my own fucking house.

I got treated like a nerd, even though they were making me the goddamned nerd!
Still pisses me off.
You don't get over a thing like that.

So, "48 Hours", was one of those fucking movies.
And the one that burnt into my mind, because my friend's asshole sister (the one who thought "Avenging Angel", was high art, and who worshiped at the alter of Madonna) laughed her ass off.
Not a metaphor, she sounded like she was trying to unhinge her fucking head like a snake with laughter power.
Through the whoooole fucking movie.
After the thing was over, she was literally like "omigawwwd! That was the funnist movie IN THE WORLD!!!".

So, I thought I actually had missed the funniest movie in the world, and I seethed bitterly, and it became a scar.
I suppressed it away, and consciously forgot about it, but it was always there.

And, magically, an opportunity to see it NEVER came up again, not even by accident.
30 fucking years, and it just never came together.
It would never be on basic cable, whenever it was movie rental day, there was always a new movie to see, whenever it was movie night with Hyla and Spencer, there was always something else to see, then video stores died, and all through the history of this blog, I had a mountain of other shit I wanted to see first.
Well, it finally got down to the bottom of the mountain, I finally shoveled it all away with a spoon, and it finally popped into my head to see fucking "48 Hours",

Well, it's a decent little buddy-cop movie.
One of the first, if not the first, according to film historians.
It hasn't aged so well.
It's okay.
Three out of five stars.

You know what this movie is better than though?
"The Hangover".

My friend's stupid sister must have laughed at every single instance of foul language.
That's the only thing I can think of.
There's raunchy talk, but it's not actual jokes or anything.
It's not a comedy, it's a fucking cop movie.
Okay, she can almost be excused for being a kid, feeling like a grownup for being allowed to see this shit with grownups, and that these type of movies were brand new.
Except, she didn't grow up into a fucking Einstein.
So, fuck it, and fuck her.
Go listen to fucking Madonna.

Ahhh, anyway, that chapter is closed at last.
This is the curse of remembering everything.....

Dancer In The Dark (2000)

From the director of "The Idiots".
Looking at the years, it must have been his very next film, in fact.

Wow, is this ever fucking depressing.

So, Bjork plays a woman who fantasizes about being in musicals to escape her reality, because her reality is fucking horrible.

She works at a factory that seems to be making metal kitchen sinks, and shes going blind, and saving up money for an operation for her 13 year old son, so that he won't have the same blindness.
Hence "dancer in the dark".

A so-called friend steals her money, and dominoes of misery and pain begin to fall.
You'll cry til you puke.

Definitely better than "The Idiots".

Memento (2001)

From Christopher Nolan (of the Batman trilogy, natch)

A fucking masterpiece.
Loved, loved, loved it.
My favorite of this batch.

Understood it on the first try too.
Some people need to watch it 2-3 times.

So, the movie has two chunks, one in black and white, and one in color.
It cuts back and forth between the two.
The black and white bits go forward in time, the color bits go back in time, and they intersect at the middle, which is the chronological ending.
And, it has to be that way.
The character suffers from short-term memory loss, so we're discovering what happened the way he does.
If we could watch it chronologically, retaining the memories he can't, it would spoil it all.

But, the main plot is, he's hunting for the murderer of his wife.
As he goes along, he writes himself notes, takes Polaroids, and for the really important stuff, he tattoos it onto himself.

Guy Pearce is the guy, Joey Pants is his frien-emy, and Carrie-Ann Moss is in it, in the only thing I've ever seen her in besides "The Matrix".

See it if you haven't.

Inception (2010)

Also from Chris Nolan.

Eh, it was all right.

Liked "Memento", way better. least this one has Ellen Page.
*Blushes, cartoon hearts*

Hanna (2011)

See here, and here.

There, finally seen it.

It's really good, but nothing awe inspiring.
Worth one watch.
I personally found the ending to be predictable.
Yet another curse of remembering everything...

She does indeed count as a superhero, she is a genetic augment.
Just not the laser beam and flight kind.
More a peak athlete.

Saoirse Ronan is so gorgeous, she's practically an alien.
My eyeballs were hypnotized by her.

Yeah, check this one out.

Chronicle (2012)

See here.

I really liked it.
I'm totally going to be adding this to my superhero collection.

I'd put it on the level of oh..."Unbreakable".
Yeah, about there.

I dunno, critics nitpicked this one to oblivion on a technical level, and didn't even treat it like a fucking movie.
Some weird kind of fix seemed to be in.

As a movie, it's good, you'll fucking like it.
Don't be a hipster douche, and just let it be what it is.

It's definitely a better "super-powered youth falls from grace", story than the fucking Star Wars prequels.

And, it's a better "found footage", movie than....fuck, any of them.

Men In Black 3 (2012)

See here, and here.

Okay, everyone raved this was the best one, but...I dunno.

Definitely better than two....but better than one??
I dunno, I gotta think about it.

Nice little popcorn movie.
Probably would have been loads better on the big screen.

This Is The End (2013)

*Unhinges head like a snake*

HAAAAAWWWWW HAAAAAAAWWW HAAAAAAWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Nah, it was all right.
Of the two apocalypse movies, I liked "The World's End", way better.

This was actually pretty damned good, but I can't see myself watching it repeatedly for years to come, like I plan on watching "The World's End".

It's leaps better than "48 Hours", and "The Hangover", I'll certainly give it that.

Anyway, I truly found myself relating to the character of Jay.
I'm all cynical, and think everything people do for fun is dumb, and that people are disgusting animals when they party, and that celebrity is phony, and all that.
Except, I'll never be sorry about it, even to get into Heaven.
*Thumbs in ears, raspberry*

You'll dig the flick.
Check it out.

Oh, neat little bit of trivia, this was the last DVD rented at the last Blockbuster Video.
And, a fitting end to this review.


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