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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2021, 14:39 
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Just watched Easy Rider; first time I've ever seen this movie.

I gotta say, my feelings about it mirror those for Conquest of the Planet of the Apes fairly closely, in the sense that I both hate this movie for reminding me that despite being 50 years old, it feels like we're still struggling with the same crap to this day, and admire it for it's ability to evoke such feelings and I guess that renders it timeless in a way - except unlike with the Planet of the Apes sequel, there is no sense of catharsis to be found anywhere, which has left me particularly frustrated.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2021, 16:42 
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I just saw Wonder Woman 1984, wish it was an old film and stayed in 84 to have never been seen.

Was really just too long, why do we need this to be a 2 1/2 hour film, cut the fat people.
Story was stupid, but it fits the theme of what other countries are.

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If you wish for anything it will kill the world.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2021, 19:08 
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rein-o wrote:
I just saw Wonder Woman 1984, wish it was an old film and stayed in 84 to have never been seen.

Was really just too long, why do we need this to be a 2 1/2 hour film, cut the fat people.
Story was stupid, but it fits the theme of what other countries are.

Don't wish for anything and all be the same, good worker drones.
If you wish for anything it will kill the world.


I had to watch it a while because family wanted to see it. It was absolute garbage.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2021, 21:41 
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Just watched The Crazies. I gotta say, this film rings a little different, after everything that's happened in the past 20 months. If Easy Rider tackles issues that are uncomfortably timeless, this one tackles issues that are uncomfortably topical. My favourite part though is probably the fact that you can't always be sure if the people going nuts are actually infected or just cracking under the pressure.

All in all, I actually thought it was pretty good.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2021, 23:52 
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Was it the original or the remake?? I saw both and the first one was really spot on for what has been happening over the last year +
The remake was good but I didn't care for the end, wish it was a little different than the couple moving on.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2021, 08:01 
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Yeah, it was the original.

It was pretty grim, but I think I liked it better than Easy Rider, the story didn't feel like a massive waste of time for both myself and the characters.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2021, 22:19 
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I planned to watch The Exorcist and Death Line in a double feature last night for Halloween but the Blu's I purchased of each didn't show up until today. So instead I chalked off Aenigma, which has sat on my to watch pile for a couple of years now.

I wish I hadn't bothered. It was awful. Fleeting gore moments aside, Aenigma is pure drivel. It's just not interesting or engaging.

More wooden than an IKEA flatpack. :thumbdown:

Fun side note: The film tries desperately hard to pretend it is filmed in Boston. The whole thing was actually shot on location in (then) Yugoslavia.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2021, 22:57 
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Been watching on and off The Kids In The Hall for the past year, I think I'm almost done with the set, will scan it again in the future.
Funny series, some are funnier than others, some skits don't age well at all and others are still good.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2021, 01:49 
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rein-o wrote:
Been watching on and off The Kids In The Hall for the past year, I think I'm almost done with the set, will scan it again in the future.
Funny series, some are funnier than others, some skits don't age well at all and others are still good.


That show seemed SO cutting edge to me when it was new. I love Kids in the Hall.

My favorite parts now are probably the one with the dipping sauces and pretty much anything with Buddy. Buddy rules.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2021, 03:25 
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I can't remember names of characters but the chicken lady always sticks in my mind as a great one, and the kid who was at the butcher shop was the best.
I could run those on repeat all day.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 02 Nov 2021, 11:07 
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A day late but I watched Death Line yesterday and it certainly took me by surprise. It wasn't what I was expecting it to be at all. Granted this was released in 1972 but I think this film was way ahead of it's time. Take stock when/if you watch Death Line that It would be a few years as yet before the likes of Deodato, Lenzi and company would really set the benchmark for a cannibal film. Even more strikingly it would be two more years before Tobe Hooper would unleash The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to an unsuspecting audience.

Death Line doesn't go for the jugular (excuse pun) as such. It doesn't rely on shock and schlock to get the job done. It's beauty is in both it's simplicity (in both the story and it's actual production) and it's, albeit preposterous, feasibility. What do I mean by the latter? Death Line tells the story of random people going missing on the London Underground lines, more specifically in this case around Holburn and Russell Square at the start of the 1970's. One evening a member of high society goes missing and, once reported to the police, the grisly investigation begins.

At times the film appears to focus on socio-political issues and the class divide that was a hot topic at the time. Thrown in to the underbelly of this is, rather eclectically, the subject of cannibalism. Never the twain shall meet and all that! The 'feasibility' of the latter stems from way back when the London Underground was first being constructed. Men, women and children all worked deep underground to build the tunnels. There would often be cave-in's and accidents. The thought at the time is that nothing could be done to save anyone from a cave-in or other serious accident, and so those caught up in such tragedies were literally just left to die. Death Line takes those truths and plays on it by suggesting some survived for generations by eating each other, and thus the legacy of our character in the film, simply known as 'The Man', was born. It's all preposterous of course, but the play on feasibility is a nice touch. I think the way 'The Man' was set up, and the environment he lives in may well have been something I think Tobe Hooper could well have taken some influence from.

I'd like to re-emphasise a prior point I made about the film. In that it doesn't really rely on shock and schlock. I percieve that to be true. It really doesn't. And as also aforementioned, Death Line has this beautiful simplicity about it. After the stark, but oddly very hummable opening theme, there is absolutely zero soundtrack. Moments of peril, or perhaps lighter interludes are all enhanced with sparse techno bleeps or short interludes. I think the lack of soundtrack really enhances the film and takes it away from so easily tipping over the edge in to trash cinema. The use of sound in this film works so well and is deeply impressive. On the UK/Ireland Blu Ray from Network that I watched, there is a magnificent audio track on the disc. One scene in particular has one of the lead characters walking from one side of the screen to another, across wooden sleepers and gravel, down a flight of stairs and across to a station platform. The use of sound here is extremely effective and impressive, especially with the added bonus of no soundtrack washing away all of the atmosphere. The sense of dread, anxiety and terror is heightened greatly.

Network have done a miraculous job with the picture quality to and have gone to great lengths to detail the scanning and restoration process on the inside sleeve of the Blu Ray. This is a scan from the original 35mm camera negative and the end results are absolutely astounding. Everything looks spot on, from the aspect ratio to the colours to the lovely fine grain that hasn't been scrubbed and messed around with. The opening titles in particular look so crisp and clean you could eat your dinner off of them. It's a spectacular job done here and bravo to the team behind the restoration process.

Death Line isn't particularly long, weighing in at a nippy 88 minutes. There is a little bit of a lull about 2/3's of the way through because you are finding yourself waiting for a pay off that comes just a little bit later on than it perhaps should have done. When it does come though the climax is frenetic and impressive. This is buoyed by strong leads and an equally strong supporting cast. I particularly enjoyed the 'Slater and Hoskins' (reference there for UK/Ireland folks and OFAH fans) style of policing delivered by Donald Pleasance and Norman Rossington. Christopher Lee makes more of a cameo appearance here as an MI5 officer and does well with the albeit short part that he plays. However it is the roles portrayed by the late Hugh Armstrong (The Man) and Sharon Gurney (Patricia Wilson) that are particularly impressive. Armstrong, who sadly passed in 2016 (and whom the disc is dedicated to) appears in an interview on the Blu Ray and mentions that his script for the entire film consisted of just one line, "Mind the doors!". He said that everything else he does in the film was improvised, mostly in one take, bagged and sent to edit. When you look back at the performance he gave I think you can only stand up and applaud because he is utterly tremendous as 'The Man' and in my very humble opinion I think would have a given a few of the Hollywood elite a run for their money at the annual Academy backslapping fiestas during awards season.

Sharon Gurney was excellent too, particularly in the latter half of the film. It pains me to want to put comparisons in but I couldn't help but feel there was a lot of Marilyn Burns's character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre found here within Gurney's portrayal of Patricia Wilson. To use the word again it's the simplicity with which the role is delivered to the screen that works so well. Gurney doesn't revel in shock and scream queen territory, she plays a woman genuinely terrified of what is happening to her. She doesn't need to give a Z-Grade shriek of terror direct to camera and faint. She delivers terror with what she doesn't say and with how she reacts. I thought she was absolutely brilliant in Death Line. It's a shame that she appeared to disappear off the face of the Earth (in relation to acting) a few years later. I think she would have gone a very long way indeed.

Director Gary Sherman, for whom Death Line was his directorial debut (he would go on to make Dead and Buried and more notably Poltergeist III), has done a stellar job with this film in my opinion. The whole package is really well put together. It looks great and is lit beautifully. Make up and effects are absolutely first class and I think would probably even give some productions made today a run for their money. The film flows really well and kudos in particular should be given to the editing. One scene in particular that transitions from a tea bag to a rat stood out for me. Scene framing and general camerawork is superb too. It just feels like the whole film has been constructed so well. It's quite brilliant.

I had a look around to see what the critics response to Death Line was way back in 1972 (the USA would not get to see Death Line until 1973, where it was re-titled, rather inexplicably, as Raw Meat). Death Line commands quite the praise, and rightly so. Here's some snippets:

Quote:
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film "a good debut, but it’s undermined by several vast improbabilities in the script and by the painfully inept performance of one of its leads, David Ladd."

Robin Wood of The Village Voice praised the film, writing that it "vies with Night of the Living Dead (1968) for the most horrible horror film ever. It is, I think, decidedly the better film: more powerfully structured, more complex, and more humanly involved. Its horrors are not gratuitous; it is an essential part of its achievement to create, in the underground world, the most terrible conditions in which human life can continue to exist and remain recognizably human. [It] is strong without being schematic; one can't talk of allegory in the strict sense, but the action consistently carries resonances beyond its literal meaning."

Ramsey Campbell, in a review cut from The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, but reprinted later, calls Death Line "an unusually bleak and harrowing horror film...very little in the film offers the audience any relief from the plight of the Man...The violence would be intolerable if it were not for the tragic dimensions of the film, but Hugh Armstrong's performance is one of the greatest and most moving in horror films."


I think those three critical examples are all pretty much spot on (especially the comment about the horror not being gratuitious which is why it's so effective, that's so true with Death Line). I'm not so sure about the Night Of The Living Dead comparison, however in the USA the film was marketed (again, utterly bafflingly) as a zombie film so I can see why such a comparison might be being made there.

I've already mentioned about the Network Blu Ray in the 'stuff you clutter your home with' thread but it's worth briefly reiterating that the package as a whole is exemplary. Especially the lovely full colour (sorry 'color' :lol:) booklet that is literally packed to bursting with heaps of great information about the film. I do love a good booklet in a Blu Ray release, especially if I've enjoyed the film. You get to learn and see so much more. The theatrical trailer is also included on this disc. I think it was marketed all wrong, which may answer why the film wasn't that popular in the UK and the USA. However the film was a cult hit in France and the Netherlands where it performed really strongly. Oh, one final aside I'd like to mention is that it was charming to see the BBFC 'X' card at the start of the film. A nice little touch and I think it adds nicely to the overall presentation of the film.

There's not much more to say about Death Line other than it's strongly recommended. I'm delighted for it to take up a slot in my all-time favourite films pile. I hope I've not built it up to much if you do decide to watch it. One little word of advice I'd like to throw in though is you're probably better off not eating during the film. Stay away particularly from marshmallows or any jelly sweets (sorry, candy... :problem:) with liquid in them that burst when you chew them. Just saying... :lol:

257,912 out of 10. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2021, 03:09 
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Just viewed RONIN Japanese import.......
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2021, 07:54 
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For anyone interested in learning more about Death Line, I stumbled upon a superb and very comprehensive piece you may wish to read. It's long and detailed but offers an excellent insight in to a quite brilliant film.

As an aside, I think when I look back at the films I've watched in 2021 later next month, Death Line and The Internecine Project will be right up at the top. Probably with La Polizia Ringrazia*.

Anyway, here's the article if you wish to read it.

http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/2015/0 ... line-1972/

Note that it's better to read it after watching the film. Or if you have no intention of ever watching it I guess.











*though will never beat the simply majesterial Review: Napoli la Camorra Sfida la Città' Risponde (1979) :D
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2021, 03:21 
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Just viewed Tim Burton''s BIG FISH .....
Its been many moons.
Poignant that pearl jam did post credits song on the soundtrack with first lyric "tidal waves don't beg forgiveness, crashed then on their way... " from their song "Man of the Hour".
The Indian Ocean tidal wave that post Xmas of 2004 resonated eerily after my first viewing of this epic yarn.
Synchronicity / Serendipity ?
Apropos none-the-less...

If you have not already, check out BIG FISH

CHEERS MATES

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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2021, 06:40 
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the Corpse Bride since I couldn't watch it last week because I took my last trip and finally terminated the lease on the storage unit. enjoyable but its just not suppose to be like Nightmare or maybe it was. I don't know.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2021, 06:58 
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Watched Ghostbusters for Halloween and in anticipation of the new movie Ghostbusters Afterlife. Not sure if I will actually ever set foot in a theater again. Also not sure about another YA-heroes story with the adults all being skeptical idiots. But I like Paul Rudd and Annie Potts so here's hoping!
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 12 Nov 2021, 14:15 
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Since my player is back in action, I've been revisitng my Tenchi Universe boxes. :)
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2021, 04:05 
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With all the bad weather, I've been staying in and watching a lot more television and movies. Last night my friend invited me to watch Finch on her streaming machine (of some kind or another). What can I say about this movie? It was good, I suppose, I mean Tom Hanks is an excellent actor. The effects were top-notch and everybody likes puppies so I didn't hate it. It just wasn't surprising. It's not that I think every movie has to be a mystery or have twists to be good. It's just that it felt so much like bits of other post apocalyptic sci-fi dramas and one-man shows. I wasn't even trying to guess the ending yet it ended exactly where I expected. It's not a waste of time if you have access to watch it but I'm glad I didn't have to pay to see it.

As a footnote, I didn't care for the minor political agenda.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2021, 12:47 
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Just watched It's Alive (1974).

Wow, that was...not very good.
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 Post subject: Re: What have you been watching?
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2021, 14:56 
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takeshi666 wrote:
Just watched It's Alive (1974).

Wow, that was...not very good.



Why? Was it dead? :D
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