• Most new users don't bother reading our rules. Here's the one that is ignored almost immediately upon signup: DO NOT ASK FOR FANEDIT LINKS PUBLICLY. First, read the FAQ. Seriously. What you want is there. You can also send a message to the editor. If that doesn't work THEN post in the Trade & Request forum. Anywhere else and it will be deleted and an infraction will be issued.
  • If this is your first time here please read our FAQ and Rules pages. They have some useful information that will get us all off on the right foot. More details on our policies, especially our Own the Source rule are available here. If you do not understand any of these rules send a private message to one of our staff for further details.
  • Favorite Edit of the Year (FEOTY) Nominations for 2020 are now open! Submit your entries here.

A few reviews

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Gaith said:
^ The Shanghai Surprise HDTGM is Ep #213, but it looks as though all of their shows older than six months are only available through the Stitcher mobile app, which allegedly has a free subscription level as well as paid ones. Annoying. It's not as though they live up to their title by doing substantive research or using industry connections to dish juicy gossip! They just banter about flicks like any old assemblage of hack frauds. :p

Thanks!

A Jan Komasa double-bill...

Corpus Christi (2019)
'Corpus Christi' ('Boze Cialo' / 'Body of Christ') is Poland's entry for the Oscars and well worth the nomination. Bartosz Bielenia plays Daniel a troubled young offender who has found God in a detention center but because of his crimes he isn't allowed to enter a Seminary. After being released he is mistaken for a priest and starts preaching to the broken people of a small town who have suffered a tragedy. Bielenia looks like a young Christopher Walken, with these piercing blue eyes which Director Jan Komasa makes full use of. He frequently holds the camera on Bielenia's face for long periods in near silence. It reminded me a bit of the way Carl Theodor Dreyer used Falconetti in 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'. Even though I'm not religious, I found it to be a very powerful film, so I'd be interested to hear what a Christian/Catholic thought of it.


Powstanie Warszawskie (2014)
This Polish documentary (Directed by Jan Komasa) features a similar approach to one used in the later 'They Shall Not Grow Old'. Old black & white silent footage from the 1944 'Warsaw Uprising' was cleaned up, colorised, stabilised, scored and lip-synced to newly recorded vocals. Quite a bit of the newsreel material was staged (which was still a normal practice for documentaries in the 40s) but instead of avoiding that issue, they wisely incorporate it into the structure of the piece. So it's presented as if we are experiencing what two cameramen are seeing and hearing, them shouting directions to the people in front of the camera, them commenting on the suitability of what they've shot, going for extra takes, discovering their editing table in ruins and their work being evaluated by superiors. We even see some "finished" films as they would have been screened in the cinema at the time, black & white, silent and with live commentary and music. In the second half there is no need for staging, as the harrowing destruction is shown closing in on them. Because there is so much overlapping dialogue and commentary I found it a bit hard to keep up with reading all the subtitles, at the same time as giving the images my full attention. Obviously, if you speak Polish that won't be an issue.

Thanks to @"Zagadka" for recommending it in this thread.

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
Donor
Messages
969
Reaction score
33
Trophy Points
38
TM2YC said:
I looked them up on soundcloud but I'm just seeing lots of episode numbers. Can you remember which one is was please?

I listen to them on i-tunes, and they don't have numbers for the earlier episodes.  You can look at the feed there though (213 sounds about right).

Ooh, I was just looking in the store, and yeah, it looks like much older episodes are somewhat limited if you haven't downloaded them.  Too bad, as their live episode on Bloodsport was one of the funniest things ever!
 
Gaith said:
^ The Shanghai Surprise HDTGM is Ep #213, but it looks as though all of their shows older than six months are only available through the Stitcher mobile app, which allegedly has a free subscription level as well as paid ones. Annoying. It's not as though they live up to their title by doing substantive research or using industry connections to dish juicy gossip! They just banter about flicks like any old assemblage of hack frauds. :p

I suppose their title should be "How Did THIS Get Made!?!" to more accurately reflect what they do.  It's 100% supposed to be comedy, though I do find Paul Scheer throws in a lot of fun facts and trivia for everyone to riff on.

I'm not interested at all in "juicy gossip", but if you want a podcast with substantive research and industry connections, I'd recommend Maltin on Movies.  It skews towards appreciation of classics, though.

Watched a pair of films for MLK Jr.'s Birthday...
Loving (2016)
For a film titled "Loving", I just didn't feel much while watching this.  Full review here:
https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/loving-2016/

In the Heat of the Night (1967)
I had only caught a few scenes of the late '80s TV show inspired from this, and I was probably too young to appreciate whatever it was doing well.  It left me not expecting much from the original film, but watching it now, I was just gobsmacked.  Full review here:
https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/in-the-heat-of-the-night/
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
I found and listened to some of that Shanghai Surprise podcast but it's not for me. 1.5-hr show with about 30-mins of discussion of the film, 30 mins of commercials and 30 mins of unrelated annoying goofing off. A shame because the discussion bits were good.

I thought that 'Loving' film looked worth a watch and Joel Edgerton usually does interesting projects. Sad to here it's not.

The Foreigner (2017)
Former Bond Director Martin Campbell and former Bond star Pierce Brosnan re-team for this Jackie Chan vehicle, set in peace-process era Northern Ireland. I thought this was going to be a brutal and efficient old-man revenge action film like 'Taken' (which partly it is) but it's more of a tightly plotted political thriller. So you might be either slightly disappointed, or pleasantly surprised, depending on what you were wanting out of the film. I was a little of both, I very much enjoyed the film but I couldn't help wondering what a whole movie of nothing but old Jackie wrecking the place with MacGyver-style bombs would've been like. Chan's performance is so good, playing a man physically unstoppable but emotionally shattered and dead inside. Brosnan is blatantly impersonating politician Gerry Adams, although there are elements of Martin McGuinness too. Cliff Martinez contributes another brooding synth score.


 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
The Cotton Club: Encore (1984)
A few years ago Director/writer Francis Ford Coppola found an old Betamax copy of his original longer cut of this notorious box-office bomb and then spent half a million of his own money restoring it. I've not seen the theatrical cut (I plan to) so I'm not sure of the specific changes but I believe it adds more musical numbers and re-balances the film away from Richard Gere and onto Gregory Hines. After getting good reviews at festivals, this "Encore" version is finally out on blu-ray. The film does have some problems with pacing and focus, dividing it's time between 3, 4, or maybe more "main" characters. However, the 20s/30s world of The Cotton Club is so lovingly re-created, that it's an absolute privilege to spend a couple of hours there soaking up the smokey atmosphere of Harlem show-business, the Jazz music, the Tap-Dancing and the Champagne. The lives of real-life gangsters and musicians like Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano and Cab Calloway are mingled with characters inspired by real people like George Raft and Lena Horne. The amount of onscreen talent is incredible, with the actors really doing the singing, dancing and Gere actually plays the Cornet. It might have gone way over budget and schedule but all the money is up there on the screen. The soundtrack beautifully mixes vintage tunes with John Barry's evocative themes.

How good does this trailer look right...?


 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Gringo (2018)
Nash Edgerton Directs and his bother Joel Edgerton co-stars in this entertaining black-comedy/farce about shady cross-border shenanigans between a US Pharmaceutical company and a Mexican cartel. David Oyelowo plays the kind, trusting and put-upon Harold, who is taken advantage of by his wife and his two mega-pr*ck bosses (Edgerton and Charlize Theron). The fun comes from us knowing all the horrible things that everybody is doing behind poor Harold's back and us wanting him to turn the tables on them. Sharlto Copley gives the film extra spice as an Mercenary/Eco-Warrior sent to either rescue, or murder Harold. I'm not really sure why this got such bad reviews and limp box-office, it's a blast.

NSFW trailer:

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
Donor
Messages
969
Reaction score
33
Trophy Points
38
TM2YC said:
I found and listened to some of that Shanghai Surprise podcast but it's not for me. 1.5-hr show with about 30-mins of discussion of the film, 30 mins of commercials and 30 mins of unrelated annoying goofing off. A shame because the discussion bits were good.

I thought that 'Loving' film looked worth a watch and Joel Edgerton usually does interesting projects. Sad to here it's not.

The Foreigner (2017)
Former Bond Director Martin Campbell and former Bond star Pierce Brosnan re-team for this Jackie Chan vehicle, set in peace-process era Northern Ireland. I thought this was going to be a brutal and efficient old-man revenge action film like 'Taken' (which partly it is) but it's more of a tightly plotted political thriller.

For sure the podcast is goofing around-type comedy, not especially informative.  I can understand it not being what everyone is looking for.

Similarly, Loving is not really the kind of movie I usually go for.  I won't go so far as to call it Oscar-bait, but I wouldn't fight someone if they did.  It may be exactly what some people like, but just didn't have any punch for me.

Totally agree with everything you said about The Foreigner!  Chan has mostly been really pushing to show some dramatic chops rather than doing lots of action nowadays, so I think that's what he was going for here, much to my surprise.  The little bits of action he did do were really great though!  Better than his Hollywood films.  
 
TM2YC said:
Gringo (2018)
 I'm not really sure why this got such bad reviews and limp box-office, it's a blast.

That trailer looks like a hot mess to me.  I love Copley, but he's often the best part of the films he's in.  Maybe the film is different, but that trailer looks bad-cheesy.

I saw a film!  Well, 2 actually, a little pre-Valentine's journey.
Frida (2002)
The trailers for this suck, this clip is a much better representation: 
There was already a Spanish-language film about her, so Salma Hayek made this passion project English language film that is a bit looser with the biopic structure.  Director Judy Taymor uses lots of artistic transitions and kinds of animation in scenes, resulting in scenes that sometimes feel jammed together despite the passage of time.  But it succeeds in conveying the passion and creativity of its subject.  Full review here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/frida/

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Again, the trailer doesn't represent the feel of the actual movie as well as listening to the dialogue would... here's a great example:
I thought this was supposed to be a sexy romance?  Turns out it’s an execrable rom-com that comes off as Allen fantasizing himself as Bardem and writing every other character with the same voice.  Full review here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/vicky-cristina-barcelona/
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Another Florence Pugh double-bill completes her filmography...

King Lear (2018)
This 2018 BBC modern-dress TV-movie version of 'King Lear' boasts a very starry all-star cast. Featuring Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Jim Broadbent, Jim Carter, Andrew Scott, Christopher Eccleston, Florence Pugh as Cordelia and Anthony Hopkins in the title role. Many productions of 'King Lear' don't entirely work for me because the lead actor has to walk a tightrope between making the old king sympathetic to the audience and believably respected by his courtiers but still foolish, vain and vindictive enough to bring his whole world down on top of him. Hopkins late-career tendency to vacillate between gravely whispers and bellowing in a volcanic fury can get a bit hammy in other films but for the intemperate, senile Lear, it's the perfect piece of casting. I can't imagine anyone better, you believe every line he says and every bad decision the character makes.


The Falling (2014)
Carol Morley writes and directs this mystery about a 1969 English girls' school, where the students start experiencing mass feinting spells. Is it shock from the recent death of a classmate, peer pressure, madness, chemicals in the water supply, witchcraft, an STD, an act of defiance, or can the authorities dismiss it under the catch-all "women's problems"? Morley creates an intoxicating mix of growing pains, subliminal images, lush nature photography, Wordsworth poetry and ethereal folk music by Tracey Thorn. Florence Pugh and Maisie Williams play two friends at the center of drama. Even after watching her amazing work in 'Game of Thrones'... how is it possible for Williams to be this talented an actor at only 16?!


She can sing and play guitar too:

 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
mnkykungfu said:
TM2YC said:
girls' school, where the students start experiencing mass feinting spells

Isn't that a true story?

I'm sure it's true that there is a story that it's true :D .

RoboCop (1987)
An umpteenth re-watch via the new Arrow Video 4K-scanned blu-ray boxset, I went for the superior 'Director's Cut' as per usual but I want to watch the "Edited for TV" version too. There isn't an once of fat on this thing and hardly a line that isn't used to entertain and inform at the same time. The off-brand 'Robocop' brings the deathly dark satire and gonzo humour of the 'Judge Dredd' comics to the screen in a way that neither of the subsequent official JD films managed. Miguel Ferrer deserves plaudits for how he makes you like and root for his character, despite every line and scene telling you he is an evil amoral pr*ck. This time I was taking time to appreciate the use of Non-diegetic sound, like when we hear a warning alarm going off as Dick Jones is internally going crazy. The seamless integration of live action, stunning matte-paintings (that still hold up), back projection, puppets and stop-motion has arguably never been surpassed. A contender for membership to that exclusive club... "A perfect movie".

 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
At one time a student's wall wasn't complete without a poster of this award-winning 2001 skateboarding Documentary but I'm only getting round to seeing it now. It's a great story and is well told through anecdote-packed interviews with seemingly everybody involved in the LA skate scene. I'm sure the kind of hyper stylized editing that the film uses was rad and totally tubular back in the day but it looks a little dated two decades later. The film really wants to portray the Zephyr Team members as maverick outsiders and counter-culture heroes (which they were), so it feels reluctant to discuss them also being a business in too much detail. No prior interest or knowledge of the sport is needed to get wrapped up in this 70s tale.

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
Donor
Messages
969
Reaction score
33
Trophy Points
38
I saw a film!
Anon (2018)
This trailer takes lines out-of-context and puts them together in a sometimes cheesy way, but it gives a fair view of the impressive production design of this film!  Underappreciated director Andrew Niccol came up with this, and while a few of the character actions seemed a little plot-convenient, I was so impressed with several of the ways they used tech that I went along.  Easily better than any of the Black Mirror episodes I've seen.  More details here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/anon/

Legion (2017-2019)
Ugh, this show.  A phenomenal 1st season with an abrupt WTF ending left me craving more.  There needs to be a fan-edit that just trims that last bit, because everyone should stop watching there.  It goes into an extremely uneven Season 2 that starts down familiar LOST territory… adding in little story bits that are interesting and exciting but are ultimately not explained (or the explanations are half-ass and don’t make sense) and don’t matter anyway.  There’s an abrupt turn at the end of S2 that makes no sense for the characters in the story and becomes a massive case of false equivalency and selective memory.  This just leads to a mess of a Season 3, which continues the trend of phenomenal visual presentation and quirky, dark story sensibilities but ultimately character motivations that make no sense.  It’s a complete clusterf**k with a cop out of a finale.  Avoid at all costs.
That said, this clip is a great representation of what the show did well... 1 psychic is getting help from a scientist to scan for his nemesis.  He finds them when they're in a club, and the ensuing psychic battle takes this form:

Prohibition (2011)
That trailer is awesome... not really representative of the style of the series, though, which is much slower.  The first of the 3 parts was probably the most interesting to me, as it covered the religious and cultural stirrings that I knew the least about.  Full review here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/prohibition/
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
mnkykungfu said:
TM2YC said:
mnkykungfu said:
TM2YC said:
girls' school, where the students start experiencing mass feinting spells

Isn't that a true story?
I'm sure it's true that there is a story that it's true :D .

Found it!  https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co....undreds-blackburn-pupils-hit-fainting-frenzy/

Could very well be the inspiration, thanks.

Full Contact (1992)
This 1992 Ringo Lam gangster film starring Chow Yun-fat is the closest thing I've found to full-strength vintage Hong Kong action of the John Woo variety. Lam does "bullet time" FX in one scene long before 'The Matrix' (and possibly without any CGI to help out?). The visuals are heavily stylized in a James Cameron/Michael Bay way, lots of deep blues. The characters are the usual conflicted criminals out for bloody vengeance on points of honour and brotherly love. There is some hilarious and memorable dialogue (possibly emphasized by mistranslated subtitles?) like the male villain confessing his attraction to the male hero in the finale and a psychotic female gangster shouting...

49545569402_94e32aa011_b.jpg


OMG this trailer is in 4K!

 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Hamlet (1969)
Woodfall Film's Tony Richardson directs this minimal and concise adaptation of 'Hamlet', starring Nicol Williamson. Much of it is done in intense close-ups, with just the barest hint of a set, the small budget was instead diverted to rich costuming and a stellar cast. Including Anthony Hopkins, Marianne Faithfull and the lovely Roger Livesey. Williamson delivers a powerful (if theatrical) performance of the title character but he looks a bit too old for how I picture the Prince of Denmark. This is concentrated Shakespeare, with minimal fuss and pleasing clarity.

 

mnkykungfu

Well-known member
Donor
Messages
969
Reaction score
33
Trophy Points
38
TM2YC said:
Full Contact (1992)

Wow, that looks like a full-on classic.  Can't believe I never saw it!?  I was all over HK cinema back in the day.... I guess '92 was just such a phenomenal year for it, it likely got overshadowed by films like 
Hard-Boiled
Naked Killer
The Wicked City
and
Police Story 3!
So many classics in one year!  It's like 1999 for US film!
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
mnkykungfu said:
TM2YC said:
Full Contact (1992)

So many classics in one year!  It's like 1999 for US film!

So what was the 1992 Hong Kong equivalent of Phantom Menace? :D

Never heard of Naked Killer and Wicked City. I notice the latter is by Tsui Hark, I'll look out for them. Thanks.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Back on the big screen for one night only but unfortunately due to no advertising of the event, there were only about 5 other people there. I was hoping for a packed crowd to laugh along with. That it's a stylistic parody of Ingmar Bergman films is something that passed me by when I was younger. Every scene is a comedy classic but this time I thought the lack of a proper connected story/plot does sap some of the energy in the middle. I'd bet money it was bloody Eric Idle that has George Lucas-ed this thing by adding unbelievably cheap looking animated sing-a-long lyrics.


Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
The opportunity to see this on the big screen couldn't be missed. I've seen it a hundred times before but this time I was really appreciating the tight pacing, clarity of the story and consistency of the writing. It somehow hadn't occurred to me before that the title song is a pastiche of John Barry/Shirley Bassey style Bond themes ('Goldfinger' in particular). The humour isn't just constantly hilarious, some of the satirical observations are profound comments on human nature, like the bit where a crowd chant "Yes! We are all individuals!", except one guy who pipes up with "I'm not". The matte-paintings still hold up to big screen scrutiny, the polystyrene statue and fake donkey less so. Another thing I could see up close was that Terry Gilliam collaborator Charles McKeown seems to be playing every other background character.


^ These vintage trailers are as funny as the films :D .
 

Rogue-theX

Well-known member
Faneditor
Cover Artist
Messages
6,890
Reaction score
0
Trophy Points
81
I am sorry for making this post, I didn't mean anything by it, I was just trying to talk about a movie I was interested in. Please forgive me. I apologize.
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Rogue-theX said:
^ Not sure I've ever laughed as hard as when I saw LOB for the first time and the aliens showed up, I fell off the couch howling and my vision blurred with tears of joy. Kept laughing long after that part was over.

I'd seen it countless times before I was old enough to recollect my first reaction, I wish I did! Despite the swearing, violence and full frontal nudity it was one of those thing that my parents didn't mind me watching because I guess it was a certified piece of art made by heroes of their generation.
 

asterixsmeagol

Well-known member
Donor
Messages
963
Reaction score
28
Trophy Points
38
I first saw Life of Brian at a church with a youth pastor who obviously had no idea what he was showing us.
 

TM2YC

Well-known member
Staff member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
12,846
Reaction score
128
Trophy Points
178
Rich and Famous (1987)
This is kinda 'A Better Tomorrow' meets 'The Godfather', a gangster epic across a couple of decades in Hong Kong. Chow Yun-fat is the traditional respected and respectful Don, with three young brothers/cousins with wildly different personalities competing for his favour, while a ruthless rival muscles in. It pays off with some great action and meaty drama in the second half but to begin with it spends too much time mapping out where all the characters are going and goofing around. 80s Chow was so cool he could even make his character's range of cardigans look badass! I believe this was shot back-to-back with the sequel 'Tragic Hero' (which was actually confusingly released first), so I look forward to seeing the next part in the story of this crime family. The English subtitles were pretty wonky on the MIA label DVD I watched and I wanted to see this with the Cantonese track, not the dub. So I had to rip the DVD, download some more accurate subs and carefully sync them up before I could watch the film I'd paid for. What is it with most Hong Kong films on home video!

 
Top Bottom