The Movie Thread - January 2009

Because it’s not December anymore.

Over the holidays I watched four movies.

“Scrooged”, the 1980s Bill Murray comedy updating A Christmas Carol for the modern era…not bad, mostly for Bill Murray and his love interest. The special effects no longer hold up, but they are over 20 years old now. And it’s a bit saccharine at the end, but if you’re going to do A Christmas Carol, it kinda comes with the territory.

“Let the Right One In” - that thread’s active right now and I’ve contributed to it, but I will say here that it’s fantastic and I’ve already seen it twice with more viewings doubtless in stock down the road. Well worthwhile. Also read the book.

“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (the MST3K version) - a true holiday classic. Bundled with the even more awful “Manos: The Hands of Fate” but more tolerable and (with the riffing) funnier than that film. Watched New Year’s Eve with a bunch of people who’d already had a few shots of tequila, which is probably important for preserving brain function in the face of this movie.

And “Shoot Em Up” - also recently discussed, but yeah…very stupid, very stylish, mildly funny. And to some people (not me) wildly misogynistic. But let’s not start that argument here.

These threads suck. :( What’s wrong with starting a thread about a given movie so we can find and participate in the discussions more easily? I, for one, am less likely to duck into these clumped-up threads for fear of stumbling across a spoiler or a discussion in progress for a movie I haven’t seen.

-Tom

Agreed. You know how hard it would be for me to track my thread dumps if they were all clumped together? One film discussion for me to spoil per thread please. :)

I predict we’ll see “The Thread Thread - January 2009” by the end of the night.

Well I’ve always enjoyed reading The Book Thread which is based on the same concept, because it brings in a whole slew of different book recommendations (and otherwise) that I otherwise wouldn’t consider. The December movie thread wasn’t exactly packed with spoilers either, so I think it fits a niche. Besides, I can’t imagine anyone starting a new thread to say they’d just seen Scrooged.

Blah. Fine; be reasonable. So should I be banished for liking Scrooged? Are there any other decent modern updates like Scrooged? I didn’t care too much for Carey’s Grinch. As for its special effects, well nostalgia goes a long way for me. An older sibling that didn’t grow up with the Neverending Story basically laughed her way through it. It made me sad. It’s certainly not as well crafted or written as Pixar’s good stuff, but she didn’t have to trample on my childhood like that. =P

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with starting threads for current or upcoming movies. Outside of Movie Club movies, though, I don’t know that new threads would get that much discussion for movies that came out 20-30 years ago that many people probably haven’t seen or saw long enough ago not to have much to say. Like “Scrooged”.

I would definitely like to steer clear of movie spoilers in catchall threads, though.

The problem is that different people have different thresholds for spoilers. I’m not about to duck into a thread about a movie I want to see until I’ve actually seen the movie. Other people are far more willing to read a basic discussion before seeing the movie.

As for bringing up old movies, who cares if no one else posts in the thread! Just start the thread, post your comments, and let it hang around on the front page for idle folks to click. One day someone might see the movie, find the thread, and bump it. We’re pretty good around here about searching for old threads. I fully expect a spirited discussion of The Backwoods to break out any day now. Mark my words!

At any rate, I’m sure these catch-all threads will keep going, but I’d hate to miss out on them if you guys start talking about stuff other than, say, Scrooged.

-Tom

I agree with Tom about the catch-all threads for movies, but thanks to this one I will probably rent The Backwoods.

Self fulfilling prophesy or something.

Likewise. Still, a happy supporter that “old” movie threads should be freely necro-able. i still have fond nightmares of once having seen Ravenous, bumping it, and inadvertently summoning the Cleve briefly back to the boards as the padlock had rusted through and fallen off during some server move or upgrade or other.

Just watched Ghost World. Totally worth it for Scarlett Johansson’s nude scene. Or was that a spoiler?

i watched Mon Oncle which is two hours of protracted whimsy.

it got a little rough after the first hour.

You talk like Ghost World is an absolutely awful, critically derided movie - which it is not.

Gad, this period right after the holidays is a vast wasteland of cinematic dreck. Let’s just look at Rotten Tomatoes’ list of opening and coming releases:

75% Gran Torino
61% The Reader
37% Not Easily Broken
14% The Unborn
12% Bride Wars

74% Last Chance Harvey 1/16
51% Defiance 1/16
— Paul Blart: Mall Cop 1/16
— My Bloody Valentine 3D 1/16
— Notorious 1/16

Of those, only Gran Torino seems worth seeing, but I’m not a Clint Eastwood fan. God help me, my inexplicable soft spot for Kevin James might lead me to do something desperate.

I do? I liked Ghost World.

For those of us who live in the sticks, The Wrestler releases on the 16th.

Just watched the 2008 doc “Dear Zachary” that played on MSNBC last week (it is also is still showing theatrically in a few places and won’t be out on DVD until next month).

Wow. If you’re the type of guy that can get through weepy movies without shedding a tear, you will be thoroughly tested by this one. A tip: the movie will have greater impact the less you know about the events going in.

My god, yes, yes it is.

Wifey and I watched The Iron Giant tonight because I received it for Christmas and she had never seen it. I still cried when he said “Superman”.

“Which do you want? The left or the right?”

“The 400 Blows” found its way to the top of the queue and I don’t really remember how it got there. It is a 1959 New Wave French film and I am probably not giving it the proper respect by forgetting to name the diretor, actors and the film critic who inspired the director. The move contains only about 14 physical blows…apparently the title is bad translation from a French phrase which is meant “to raise hell”.

From what I read it has semi-autobiographical moments from the directors life as a juvenille delinquent. European city life does not look fun, no matter how many films and arcades one as that their disposal. The first half felt a little strung out and I did check the clock once or twice, but I’m willing to chalk that up to my own ignorance. It is nessecary to setup and contrast to the second half (dur! of course). The sadness was genuine and natural and I did not feel manipulated into feeling concern for the young boy’s future during the last scene (which I am told on further reading was groundbreaking at the time).

Cautious recommendation to people who dug “The Bicycle Thief” (and sadly that and Riffifi are the extent of my B&W foriegn film experience…but I am trying)

Thank you very much to Harlan Ellison, without whom I might very well never have even heard of “Repo Man”, much less watched it. I had a constant, enormous grin on my face for almost the entirety of the film. Just…the sheer, conscious absurdity of so much of the plot and dialogue. All played very straight. Lots of little winks and nods all over the place (all the air fresheners, the “plate of shrimp” special, etc).