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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:14 pm 


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The Shadow: **1/2
Mid-90s superhero film with Alec Baldwin as the Titular Shadow, a character originally pulled from old pulp magazines and radio serials. Sort of a discount Batman with the ability to perform Jedi mind tricks, which makes him incredibly overpowered against pretty much anyone except a villain with the same powers (who also happens to be a descendent of Genghis Khan, with similar world-conquering ambition.) Somehow devolves into the standard "Disarm the nuke before it blows up New York" plot from a Mission: Impossible movie (which is ironic because Alec Baldwin eventually ended up in a couple of M:I movies).


The Proposal: **
Pop quiz: Your horrible tyrant of a boss, in a last-ditch effort to avoid being deported back to Canada for violating the terms of her visa, abruptly informs you that you are now engaged to her. Do you:
A) Refuse to do so, immediately quit your job and call your lawyer to sue her into oblivion, or:
B) Bring her to Alaska to meet your quirky family, and then for some inexplicable reason fall in love with her in the process?

If you chose A, you are a sane person, but your movie is now about ten minutes long. Ryan Reynolds, unfortunately, chose B, so now we have this rom-com with Sandra Bullock as the horrible boss. Ultimately, it's a Hallmark movie plot, only this time it has about ten times the usual budget and a nude scene. Probably the best performance in this one comes from Betty White as the grandmother.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:24 pm 


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The Guest (2014) Helpful soldier rooms with his dead buddy's family to promote better living via ultraviolence. Enjoyable! More finely-balanced black-comedic domestic horror from the team behind bizarro home invasion You're Next (2011).

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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:31 pm 


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Yeah. :sad: :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:48 am 


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Recently watched

La Strada and Wings of Desire

Both are great tbh.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:55 am 


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Vexorg wrote:
The Proposal: **


Were you expecting a surprise hit, or do you watch these for the humor value?


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:35 am 


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Vexorg wrote:
The Shadow: **1/2
Mid-90s superhero film with Alec Baldwin as the Titular Shadow, a character originally pulled from old pulp magazines and radio serials. Sort of a discount Batman with the ability to perform Jedi mind tricks, which makes him incredibly overpowered against pretty much anyone except a villain with the same powers (who also happens to be a descendent of Genghis Khan, with similar world-conquering ambition.) Somehow devolves into the standard "Disarm the nuke before it blows up New York" plot from a Mission: Impossible movie (which is ironic because Alec Baldwin eventually ended up in a couple of M:I movies).

This kind of end-of-the-millennium retro throwback, pulp-and-serial inspired movie is theoretically one of my favorite types of film - including the likes of The Rocketeer and certainly Dick Tracy. It's not nostalgia for the era so much as the chance to have some outrageous plots and fashion in a wild and free-wheeling era of history (especially Prohibition-era and prewar America, of course).

I'd like to hear some opinions on how they all stack up to similar fare. 1996's "The Phantom" comes to mind. I have misplaced my copy, it seems, but it can't be any worse than The Shadow as it at least uses some exotic locales (this is the only one I can think of which isn't strictly American in theme, unless you really want to count 1995's Richard III).

On the other hand, there's the 1987 TV movie "The Spirit," based on Will Eisner's classic character. It's got low apparent production values in keeping with its design as the prototype for a potential TV show - which never materialized, alas. But its look fits the theme and source well enough and the cast is excellent. I don't know exactly what sunk it because shortly thereafter Dick Tracy, The Flash, and every other thing jumped into the mold, but perhaps it was one of the trailblazers.

Baldwin and Ian McKellen are misused in The Shadow, a movie which was unwise to compete with the Batman movies and Darkman - plays on the ups and downs of life, wealth, poverty, and grit with a bit of depth and visual flair. The Shadow doesn't keep alive the comic spirit of fantastical doomsday plots either - penguin bombs, tainted cosmetics, chopper chases and cigar cutters are much more fun than plain old nuclear weapons. There is a very straightforward "why" behind the villain of Darkman, but by the time of the reveal you'll hopefully agree that the movie has earned its moment to get a little serious. The Shadow doesn't have any particularly great setpieces nor any convictions to justify any of its cast giving a speech on them. My favorite thing about The Shadow is probably the opening sequence with the pneumatic message tube - things go downhill from there. McKellen was drafted as comic relief in a movie that's not funny. Baldwin doesn't seem to inhabit either guise of The Shadow convincingly, and I wonder if the filmmakers had any particular ideas for him beyond striking a pose in a fake nose. What's worse, for the gobs of money wasted on this title, presumably they could have picked and sorted through the different backstories for The Shadow to find the one that would put the most daylight between him and Caped Carbuncle's capers. At least they've left The Spider alone so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:05 pm 


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Ed Oscuro wrote:
On the other hand, there's the 1987 TV movie "The Spirit," based on Will Eisner's classic character. It's got low apparent production values in keeping with its design as the prototype for a potential TV show - which never materialized, alas. But its look fits the theme and source well enough and the cast is excellent. I don't know exactly what sunk it because shortly thereafter Dick Tracy, The Flash, and every other thing jumped into the mold, but perhaps it was one of the trailblazers.


I remember that, and it was pretty good for a TV movie. The reason it wasn't more popular is that the US public wasn't into comic book movies yet. Almost all previous attempts at good ones had failed, and everyone was busy being massively disappointed with the Superman sequels. It took Madonna's involvement to legitimize Dick Tracey and, well, Batman was really just so amazing that it spoke for itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:35 pm 


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vol.2 wrote:
Vexorg wrote:
The Proposal: **


Were you expecting a surprise hit, or do you watch these for the humor value?


I watch them mostly because my wife is the one picking the movie. We do generally like to snark at 'em though...

As for other pulp-inspired films, I believe I've seen the 2008 version of The Spirit before (I recall it being a little too grimdark for my liking, and the 14% rating on RT seems to suggest I'm not the only one) and you could probably also lump V for Vendetta into the category as well (It's a better movie but I'm not a fan of dystopian stuff like that.) I think my main issue with The Shadow was that it was trying a little too hard to be like the Tim Burton / Michael Keaton Batman movies, but nobody involved knows how to pull any of it off. In those movies, it's really the villains that define the film. Batman is pretty much always going to be Batman, whether it's Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck or whatever rando they pulled off the street to be the next Murderverse Batman (you probably have to make an exception for Adam West, but that's a completely different era.) For better or for worse, the villains really set the tone of these types of films, and nothing will drag a superhero film down faster than having a bad villain. Batman and Robin, for example, is a trainwreck through and through, but at least Arnie chews his way through the scenery as Mr. Freeze to the point that you can at least reach "So bad it's good" status. Jim Carey's Riddler in Batman Forever, on the other hand, is just nails on a chalkboard the entire time he was on screen, and really drags the film down, which is unfortunate because Tommy Lee Jones' Two Face was one of the better Batman villains.

In the first few minutes of The Shadow, they seem to be setting up a plot involving the mob which sounds like it would have been a whole lot more enjoyable than the "generic megalomaniac with superpowers #7,568 (Mongol flavor)" version we ended up with. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't care much for Superman 2 mostly because General Zod was such a generic and unmemorable villain that it dragged the film down. At least Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor had some character in the first one, but in the second one he was basically reduced to scenery.

Also, watching The Shadow in the current era, I'm pretty sure my first thought on seeing the character was "he's wearing his mask wrong"...
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Last edited by Vexorg on Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:56 pm 


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Vexorg wrote:
I watch them mostly because my wife is the one picking the movie. We do generally like to snark at 'em though...


Gotcha. I was just trying to imagine someone taking a blind chance on a movie like that and hoping it would be a diamond in the rough. Long, long ago, I worked retail in a shop next door to a video store. I used to go over there and hang out with the video store guys and watch crappy movies MST3K style.

It was a unique vibe because they always had to have a movie playing on the store monitors (store rule), and you get to find that you're not in the mood for a classic awesome movie everyday all day. So that led to a lot of crappy films getting played on purpose.

I would be willing to bet that that's where the premise of MST3K came from, a bunch of video store clerks forcing themselves to watch crappy movies while hung over, trying to make the best of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:03 pm 


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vol.2 wrote:
Ed Oscuro wrote:
On the other hand, there's the 1987 TV movie "The Spirit," based on Will Eisner's classic character. It's got low apparent production values in keeping with its design as the prototype for a potential TV show - which never materialized, alas. But its look fits the theme and source well enough and the cast is excellent. I don't know exactly what sunk it because shortly thereafter Dick Tracy, The Flash, and every other thing jumped into the mold, but perhaps it was one of the trailblazers.


I remember that, and it was pretty good for a TV movie. The reason it wasn't more popular is that the US public wasn't into comic book movies yet. Almost all previous attempts at good ones had failed, and everyone was busy being massively disappointed with the Superman sequels. It took Madonna's involvement to legitimize Dick Tracey and, well, Batman was really just so amazing that it spoke for itself.

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Strange fortune in how The Spirit is the relatively obscure one, if you look at actual Golden Age comics Eisner's were generally head and shoulders above.

Young People Fucking - Comedy / light drama about five couples doin' what the title says. Their stories don't intersect in any way. Made surprisingly good Valentine's Day fare.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:23 pm 


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vol.2 wrote:
Ed Oscuro wrote:
On the other hand, there's the 1987 TV movie "The Spirit," based on Will Eisner's classic character. It's got low apparent production values in keeping with its design as the prototype for a potential TV show - which never materialized, alas. But its look fits the theme and source well enough and the cast is excellent. I don't know exactly what sunk it because shortly thereafter Dick Tracy, The Flash, and every other thing jumped into the mold, but perhaps it was one of the trailblazers.


I remember that, and it was pretty good for a TV movie. The reason it wasn't more popular is that the US public wasn't into comic book movies yet. Almost all previous attempts at good ones had failed, and everyone was busy being massively disappointed with the Superman sequels. It took Madonna's involvement to legitimize Dick Tracey and, well, Batman was really just so amazing that it spoke for itself.

Were there earlier shows close to this mold? It's hard to believe now, but The Spirit may have felt too similar to the campy comic shows of the late 60s (Green Hornet and Batman) that were on air only 20 years before.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:39 pm 


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Ed Oscuro wrote:
Were there earlier shows close to this mold? It's hard to believe now, but The Spirit may have felt too similar to the campy comic shows of the late 60s (Green Hornet and Batman) that were on air only 20 years before.


There was the Spiderman movie, and there were a lot of other things that happened like the live-action He-Man movie, but none of them were really that good, or even serious attempts at legitimizing comic book stuff.

Even the campy Batman show was pretty ahead of it's time in being watched by adults. It all has to be understood in it's historical context and the way the public felt about comics. Comics in the US were viewed as being for kids, and the rating system didn't allow for there to be comics for adults. It was either approved and for kids, or not approved. That whole period between the 1950s and the 1990s was the dark ages for comics, and it wasn't until the people who loved the comics grew up that we were able to get real comic movies that were taken seriously.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:06 pm 


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On the other hand, there were some anthology series (Tales From the Crypt, which I haven't seen; Faerie Tale Theatre, Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theater, ) which often were lighter in tone or at least more fantastic, and these were aimed at adults. Now that we have "serious" comic movies you have a lot of movies which don't try for any comedic or camp elements, which is a shame - I tend to like the lighter moments and sense of wonder in my sentimental "old age." :oops: :lol: It feels like Hollywood has less interest in the Rod Serling model than in JJ Abrams and Nolan. Not bad, just not my jam.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:27 pm 


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Ed Oscuro wrote:
On the other hand, there were some anthology series (Tales From the Crypt, which I haven't seen; Faerie Tale Theatre, Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theater, ) which often were lighter in tone or at least more fantastic, and these were aimed at adults. Now that we have "serious" comic movies you have a lot of movies which don't try for any comedic or camp elements, which is a shame - I tend to like the lighter moments and sense of wonder in my sentimental "old age." :oops: :lol: It feels like Hollywood has less interest in the Rod Serling model than in JJ Abrams and Nolan. Not bad, just not my jam.



I feel you. I also like the all-ages feel to some of that stuff, and the campy tone of the Tales From The Crypt, etc makes the material fun and approachable (although I can think of some pretty gruesome episodes of Tales like the Steve Buscemi one).

However, those shows aren't the same thing as superhero movies. All of those "adult" shows you listed are Horror, Science Fantasy and Science Fiction, mainly done as suspense. That whole genre was able to skirt around the enforcement of comics ratings because they were all primarily aimed at older audiences, and they never had the expected publication numbers of kids comic books in the US.

I think you kind of have to make a distinction between superhero comics and those comics which were released in the for-adults titles like "Tales of Suspense" and the like (Marvel and DC certainly did).

FWIW, I also consider JJ Abrams to be rather camp. He manages to feel more contemporary by incorporating non-traditional story writing elements and eschewing expected mechanics, but the tone is still more tongue-and-cheek than any of those other directors.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:51 pm 


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Coincidentally, was reminded after Plague of the Zombies that the film is featured in an old childhood favourite, Amazing Stories' "Mirror, Mirror." One of those shorts you see once as a kid and never forget, you know? Revisiting, I've found it middling - scary concept and makeup, great acting, but a bit shouty/window-divey for my liking - but was surprised to learn on this subsequent rewatch that Martin Scorsese directed it. It's up FO FREE on Daily Movement or one of those, can never recall. :cool:

I could swear I marathonned the HBO Crypt, ages ago. I recall it getting veddy British towards the end, for business reasons. A few strong dark eps amidst the bubblegum schlock (remember creepy bubblegum attic girl? oh nooo! meanwhile, in Buffalo Billstown - "I like to hit it FROM THA BACK bitch! Wait no! My penor is caught in the treadmill! Aieee!")

An episode that sticks with me is "Yellow" ("HE'S YELLAAAH!"), starring Kirk and Eric Douglas, with support from the invaluable Mr. Henriksen. Who also kills it as RENO CREVICE in (the much sillier) "Cutting Cards!" "Park it yourself, ASS HOLE!"

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1917 The Hard Corps

On the other side of the pond, Tales of the Unexpected has some good stuff in a similar black-comic/horror-lite vein. Roald Dahl could write some eerie stuff, fuckin bee man, brr.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:22 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I could swear I marathonned the HBO Crypt, ages ago. I recall it getting veddy British towards the end, for business reasons. A few strong dark eps amidst the bubblegum schlock (remember creepy bubblegum attic girl? oh nooo! meanwhile, in Buffalo Billstown - "I like to hit it FROM THA BACK bitch! Wait no! My penor is caught in the treadmill! Aieee!")


For damn sure. Crypt basically turned into shock-horror from season 4 onwards. The only reason it didn't get more flack was because it's ratings were already dropping.


Quote:
On the other side of the pond, Tales of the Unexpected has some good stuff in a similar black-comic/horror-lite vein. Roald Dahl could write some eerie stuff, fuckin bee man, brr.


Oh yeah! I remember that show. It came on public TV in the US in the 80s. It was on at around the same time as Knightmare, the live-action text-adventure game show. I used to love watching that.

As far as RD is concerned, I think he kind of had the kibosh put on him in the early 90s because he was so vocal in his anti-isreal speech. I don't want to get into that debate here because reasons, but AFAIK, he had a very intense opinion about the isreali bombing of palastine in the 80's. Because of all that, it actually was a factor into his work's recognition over here.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:59 pm 



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Finally checked the long awaited big screen live action film of Capcom's Monster Hunter with a grand total running time of an hour, forty three minutes & three seconds. MH was originally slated for the big screen with it's 3D overall presentation courtesy of Stereo 3D process (perhaps a proper 3D Blu-ray disc release from Sony is possible) and is now available via streaming in SD, HD & UHD formats. Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson with actress Milla Jovovich (Paul's wife in real life) & actors Tony Jaa & Ron Perlman getting top billing. It's been said that the CG EFX took a whopping 18 months to complete, indeed, with a majority of it done by Mr. X. A slick summer action flick worthy of your time.

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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:39 pm 


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vol.2 wrote:
However, those shows aren't the same thing as superhero movies

Fair points all. I had a feeling I wouldn't get away with that one :lol: However I do think that the old pulp stuff, even when it had "costumed" characters, was much closer to suspense, and further from whatever form comic books started to take on in the 60s and so on. Bats himself really changed over the years. I personally think the old Tales From the Crypt comics are usually a masterclass in economy of storytelling and balancing gruesomeness with comedy.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:29 am 


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Been doing some catching up with stuff I either half-watched BITD, or just never got around to. Movies, the funnest 1CCs ever! Image

Ravenous (1999) It is the 1850s! Disgraced war vet Guy Pearce has been banished to Remote Outpost, in outer COLD AS FUCKsville. But when a half-dead Bob Carlyle staggers into camp, telling tales of an ill-fated wagon train gone full CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, Pearce and co are obliged to mount a rescue effort!

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Middling Dracula fare, couched haphazardly in the Wendigo legend. Don't be fooled, it's a Dracula flick. Much Darwinist rumination on eating muhfuckas heads off in pursuit of ULTIME power, and also +10 healing factor. Greatly helped by an excellent Robert Carlyle, some gorgeously treacherous settings (OWCH! now that thar be a compound fracture, IN MUH SHIN-BONE!), and a menacing OST.

Bad Lieutenant (1992, Dir. Abel Ferrara) Fucking hell. Paint-strippingly sleazy and rape-wracked, even by Mr. Ferrara's considerable standard. Harvey Keitel's corrupt cop indulges biblically in drugs and prostitutes, blasting his burnt-out brain in vain, as a mounting despair eats through him. Between ripping off drug dealers and chancing his arm with mobbed-up bookies, he can be found catatonic in his cosy suburban living room, surrounded by his nonplussed family. Maybe there's some money in busting the sick fucks who raped that nun? That reward the church put up would come in handy, with his gambling luck gone to shit. THOSE FUCKIN METS $%£^£&

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Keitel is outstanding here, shading Bad Cop's futile abhorrence with anguish and remorse, humanising what might've been a mere horrorshow in lesser hands. Despite the long stretches of near-impressionistic malaise, it's an easy film to watch and follow, an even descent to the end. Excellent neo-noir, recommended.

Fatal Attraction (1988, Dir. Adrian Lyne) or Bad Husband. MICHAELDOUGLAS decides to be a COLOSSAL PIECE OF SHIT :shock: and jeopardise his happy life with wifey and daughter - using their weekend's absence to hit Glenn Close's CRAZY BPD PUSSY. Hell awaits!

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An iconic picture, in the same boat as The Exorcist. Most of its shocks have long since entered pop banality - yet the underlying drama is such a strong, dark one, it's clear the gags were never integral. The horror is in the withering toll on innocent family, not so much the evil force responsible - our intrepid hubby having brought this shitstorm entirely onto his house notwithstanding.

On that note, I couldn't help thinking of that ham-fisted TIM SOMETHINGOROTHER, the latest wrecker of the Terminator series, and his ill-fated proclamation that his sparkly capeshit would "SCURR DEM MUHSOGYNISTS GUD" (scared them and everybody else right away, apparently. haw!) Poor Tim's name is now mud - but he should pay attention, this being a movie to scare men with. Or, to put it in less moronically tribal terms, warn them with. One look at poor MICHAELDOUGLAS, and you know he wishes he'd spent that weekend jacking it to his 80s porno tapes! :o

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A gorgeously shot film - Jacob's Ladder is Lyne's famous Konami influencer, but his eye for the pastoral and grimy alike here will resonate just as well with Silent Hill fans.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:11 pm 


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Bad Lieutenant... was pretty bad. Ironically I heard the Nic Cage version was actually good.
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:06 pm 


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I was reading up on that afterward, wondering if it was some belated sequel involving key personnel, ala Chinatown's The Two Jakes. Turns out they'd just lifted the name wholesale, and Ferrara wanted to murder them all. :lol:

Watch out for my upcoming action movie Die Hard: Tinkletowne Is A Danger Zone, the story of a tough cop caught in a terror attack at his Travelodge! Starring Monkey Allen from down the pub. It's not a sequel or a remake of the Bruce Willis film, I just like that one, and I think its name will help sales. :cool:

Also, me mate Trouser Steve has just wrapped his horror/action extravaganza Predator: It Ain't Half Hot In Majorca, Mum! Imagine: mercs in the bush fight an 'orrible Space Cunt - sort of like the famous Schwarzenegger film! :shock: Predator played by his nan - he used the money he saved on licensing to buy her a cheap flight, and a crate of the Grouse. :oops:

I would pay MANY of the king's good pounds for a straight Nic Cage remake, the thought alone is tantalising. :o
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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:37 pm 


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I love both Bad Boi Lieutenants. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to jack off in the rain

Herzog's Lieutenant is more just... wacky. It's pretty hysterical and Cage is unhinged, like shaving behind doors waiting to scream at old women (reminds me of Man Bites Dog) and talking about his lucky crackpipe. Shoot his soul; it's still dancing! and Whad're these fawkin iguanas doing on my table


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 Post subject: Re: Movies you've just watched
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:49 pm 


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Straight onto the list, much appreciated as always :cool: Completely forgot Herzog directed, I was glad to read Ferrara and he smoothed things out! (Herzog always maintaining he'd no idea WTF was going on, and citing his unease when informed of the Ferrara movie). Two of my favourite hard-ass eccentric old dudes from the respective sides of the Atlantic.
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