Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Guest, Apr 27, 2017.
"BARBECUE JUMBO SHRIMP"
Scars of Dracula (1970)
Pretty fun entry in the Hammer series meant as a soft reboot but basically just upping the cleavage and violence while keeping everything else the same. Lee gives yet another intense performance as Dracula with a lot more lines than he was usually willing to speak as the character. Dennis Waterman snatched the main role for this and for once didn't insist on writing and singing the theme tune.
The typical story beats and clichés are still there and it's also kind of lazy in its execution, you can kinda sense how desperate they were to keep their audience at that time and how routine Hammer had become. Director Roy Ward Baker also did The Vampire Lovers for Hammer that year which was even bolder with its lesbian themes so Scars came off as even more antique by comparison. That said I still enjoyed it quite a bit, especially the red-eyed puppet bats Dracula commanded in this film, his lazy af but also hilarious resurrection scene in the opening
a bat vomits blood on his ashes and poof
his over-the-top death scene
gets hit by lightning, burns to a crisp and falls to his doom
and the lavishly red vampire castle interiors.
One scene also managed to be quite gruesome despite looking silly with a bunch of superstitious townsfolk, women and children to be precise, being slaughtered by puppet bats in a church.
In another scene Dracula stabs a girl to death like a crazy slasher villain and another character hangs on a meat hook later. Get outta here Michael Myers and Leatherface, Dracula did it first.
It's dumb and routine Hammer fun, what's not to like?
Well, it's happening folks, they're going to be releasing the mythical Snyder cut of Justice League next year. They're actually spending 20 million dollars to let him finish the film.
I am surprised the studio would dump more money into Justice League after it flopped. The DC movies have been more successful since moving away from Snyder's grimdark vision. Going back to that well is a strange choice.
Man, that movie and universe already feel like such relics. What are they even hoping to accomplish with this? It can't mean making the fans happy since that's never really part of DC's agenda.
David Lynch made a Youtube channel so he can talk about the weather, but he also uploaded this previously impossible to find animated short film yesterday. It's another surrealist nightmare with a killer atmospheric soundtrack.
I hate to admit it, but I think Aquaman has become one of my comfort movies. DC has been heading to this nice campy area lately and I wish they'd just stay there.
As much as I want to believe that there's a much more inspiring and thought-provoking version of the Justice League movie out there that never saw the light of day (I was a big fan of Snyder's take on Watchmen at one point after all), I just have less faith in the man's talent with every year following Man of Steel, particularly with the leaked audio of him rambling about how the fans don't get the "true canon" he was trying to portray in that dumb take of Superman.
Yeah, think I'll pass, like bad gas.
I just saw this, I'd love to grab a taste of whatever those guys are taking, that level of delusion and ignorance must be fucking bliss
Dawn of the Dead is still Snyder's best film.
Snyder's aggressive comment honestly about batman just showed how wrong he is for the job on this:
Big fat pile of nope.
I've always seen MCU movies and other mainstream stuff as the junk food of cinema. It's the easiest thing to digest and it's available everywhere, but too much of it is bad for you. That's why you look to older movies - the food that takes a while to prepare. They're not always accessible and cater to a specific type of customer base in a specific type of mood, but they're always going to be more fulfilling than McDonald's or KFC. But then, if you eat more than enough of that, you'll start looking for junk food again, so it's back to the superhero movies for everyone.
There are also other factors I'd consider when it comes to the "lack" of good movies now compared to the last years.
Recency Bias - Of course movies back then are going to look like classics compared to ours, because they've been given time to preserve and grow over time. We can't say right now if the movies in our timeline will stand a chance, since we'll only really know for sure decades from now. There's also the fact that what we consider good today wasn't always the most popular or mainstream choice back then. Maybe we'll see some of our own more provocative or unsafe movies make a name for themselves in the history books over time.
Shifting Trends - Hollywood's seen a number of trends over the decades that really influenced what made a movie great. There was a time the directors were considered king, so you had guys like Hitchcock, Kubrick, Spielberg, Coppola, and Scorsese ruling the industry in their primes. Then, the actors took over, until it became a matter of who you knew if you wanted to make it big. I think we're still in the era of the actors, although that's now shifting to the project itself and its longevity - no longer measured in terms of long-term impact, but in terms of short-term success.
Franchise Potential - Movies these days are measured by the number of sequels they can generate, in a model that's obviously Marvel's doing. More sequels means more merchandise means more potential means more money. While stories and vital crew members were necessities for movie productions back then, producers today only care for the earning potential for their pictures, and that's greatly influenced the way movies are being made right now. It's also led to an over-saturation of the market, since every studio's trying to cash in on the next big franchise. Which, in turn, has also since led to more disposable movies coming out on the mainstream.
Signs of the Times - Most of the movies we consider classics today were also able to last as long as they did, because their staying power was mostly rooted in the directors' reflections of the times they were shot in. So you have great movies today that were basically abstract and artistic responses to big world events, like: the Vietnam War, Reaganomics, the recessions, class divides, rising crime rates, rampant discrimination, and more. Our generation's already produced a number of good responses to our decade's own problems, like Parasite. That's a recent movie I can see staying relevant for years to come, because everything it tackled was so universal and relatable.
Snyder's since been exposed as a guy who's only really good at interpreting and styling things to his liking. That's the only thing he has to his name, really, because otherwise, he's an edgy hack who fails with original works and thinks like a 15-year-old when it comes to "cool" things.
I loved his Watchmen too, but it's got a bunch of flaws that stand out in hindsight. There's Rorschach, for example. In the movie, he's portrayed as this cool Batman-type vigilante, but if you read the graphic novel, he's really just this sad loser who gets what's coming to him because he refused to compromise. His "Even in the face of Armageddon, never compromise" line sounds prophetic, sure, but that's also the reason why he died.
A lot of the nuance Alan Moore created in the original graphic novel wasn't reflected at all in the movie. You could blame that on the runtime, since it's virtually impossible to cram every little thing in over two hours, but I still think it was more to do with the things Snyder wanted to focus on and the things he didn't want to understand. Snyder got the core story right and made a really kickass visual story to go with it, but everything else - the morals, the criticisms, the subtleties of the story - he wrote over with slow-mo shots, good soundtrack choices, and low-budget, high-impact color schemes.
Or remakes, the number of remakes these days is INSANE. There is no denying this fact at all today in how many classic movies they are ruining. Just take a look at Disney pulling off the most cynical remake streak of the universe. It's just easier to rehash ideas.
I don't like beating dead horses (especially when I was born in the Chinese Zodiac year of the horse), but talking about Snyder and his "contributions" to DC again just brings back a lot of the frustrations I had about Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, the misfired portrayal of Superman and the entirety of whatever the fuck Snyder was trying to accomplish. I'm not even a DC or Superman fan and even I knew that a lot of folks down at Warner Brothers had massive confusions about what Superman's iconography and symbolism stand for on a universal level. So, with that, I think I'll leave some well-said quotes by people wiser than me about the utter distortion of a universally beloved icon that's Superman himself:
Bob Chipman (in his "Batman v. Superman: Really That Bad" video):
"We had to have, in 2016, a global pop culture conversation, about whether or not it would be too scary, sad, violent, traumatic or emotionally-scarring for CHILDREN to watch a movie about Superman. SUPERMAN."
"Oh, and uh, Superman dies - like graphically and brutally. On-screen. Near universal of hope, optimism, decency, righteousness and genuine heroism, Mr. "Truth, Justice and the American way", hero, idol, imaginary friend and surrogate father figure to generations of young people all over the world, stabbed through the heart and dies - AND NOBODY. CARED.
Killing off an allegorical messianic father figure, one of the easiest narrative emotional triggers in the entire canon, one that works so well in almost any circumstance that an entire generation is still traumatized about when it happened to a talking truck (Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Animated Movie), and this movie manages to fuck it up with Superman. They killed Superman, and no one was all that upset."
HiTop Films (in his video, "Man of Steel v Winter Soldier: Changing an Icon"):
"Pop quiz time: what's Superman's weakness? It's not Kryptonite; it's life. His weakness is human life. Why do you think Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen are always put in danger? Because that's what can stop Superman. Human life is what drives Superman to do what he does. Superman is never about stopping the bad guy; he's about protecting the little guy. That's what he was created to do. That's what he stands for. That's what Man of Steel failed to understand. That's what Man of Steel changed about Superman."
Speaking of director cuts, thinking back to what the supposedly far superior Snyder Cut of Batman v. Superman did with a certain beloved secondary character in the Superman mythios, my interest towards this godly Snyder Cut of Justice League hits almost zero. For those who haven't seen Batman v. Superman's director's cut, beware of spoilers:
Spoiler: Batman v. Superman: Director's Cut
He killed Jimmy Olsen. And not just killed him, but have him appear for what amounts to barely 30 seconds of screentime and shot in the fucking head. All for what purpose? Just to prove a point that this is not your grandfather's Superman, that this is a darker and edgier Superman whose beloved friend in the comics who symbolically represents his surrogate child gets shot in the freaking head. What the actual fuck, Snyder?
Sigh. Okay, I'm done ranting.
To end it on an optimistic note, as befits Superman, I think I'll link a comic strip that perfectly shows just the kind of hero Superman really is, when he stopped a suicidal girl from jumping:
Spoiler: All-Star Superman #10
I still think the best version of Superman is the asshole version that existed when he was first created. The morals of those times are so different that reading now he comes off as an alien trying to understand human complexities and blundering his way through with simplistic answers that involved breaking things. For example when he saw a spike in crime near low income housing his answer was the destroy the low income housing.
Superman to be honest is the most boring and overpowered DC hero to me. I think I could dig this asshole superman though, that sounds fun.
Also, now that Dr. Manhattan is part of the DC Universe Superman looks a lot more scaled down.
The 60s to be honest were like the BEST times for superhero memes and weirdness, 60s spiderman and batman cartoons were the best:
Scarecrow and his farmer henchmen, LMFAO.
Thoughts on Suspiria(1977):
Well, this was quite the stylized horror movie. The way it used colors and and the music score with the rock band Goblin. The way some of the characters go out though, Sara getting caught in a barb wire trap. And Daniel getting killed by his own dog.
Seeing someone getting reanimated as a corpse to kill you really added to the pressure though. Suzy does finally kill Markos due to the lightning revealing her location. The school being burned at the end was quite the finale. Glad I got to see another horror movie finally.
Superman's representation has been done dirty for years. While it is Spiderman's motto, "with great power comes great responsibility" is more Superman's thing, and there's so many great stories that can come from how he's the "bland paragon" and OP.
I just really want someone to make live-action Superman and Batman and then have the Justice League cartoon versions be the primary inspirations.
Intense disaster horror film about a father and daughter trying to escape their flooded home invaded by alligators during a hurricane. Directed by Alexandre Aja and produced by Sam Raimi this movie had some actually intense scenes despite the usual tropes still making appearances and is a good example of a simple setting used to utmost effectiveness (helps that I hate murky water and crawl spaces). The CGI gators were convincing enough and the scenes in the rain pretty much all looked great. It mainly lacks the B-movie charm of older horror films in that same vein though. It's definitely more modern, intense and serious than say 1980's Alligator but also less memorable and fun. Definitely better than I expected though.
Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)
Hilarious 70s B-horror with a veterenarian (played surprisingly low-key by William Shatner) having to protect his backwater town from an army of angry tarantulas and other spiders. It's mostly a rip-off of Jaws and The Birds but with thousands of spiders instead. It's much less professionally made than the two aforementioned films but the cheesiness of course adds to the fun, there's some great landscape shots in there and some death scenes manage to look pretty unpleasant with spiders crawling over and webbing everything.
Arachnophobia is definitely the better choice for spider horror flicks but this was pretty entertaining nonetheless. Unfortunately there's some animal cruelty in there with spiders getting stomped on and shot at with fire extinguishers.
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