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Old 12-26-2016   #331
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Yes, I liked it. I'd say I overall liked this, too. A pastiche, but worth it for the visuals. I resigned to none of his subsequent films being as good as TDB and PL a long time ago. At least this one got made.

CGI ghosts aren't scary.

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Old 12-26-2016   #332
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Re: Movie Recommendations

I think The Shape Of Water looks promising, it's got an excellent cast.

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Old 12-26-2016   #333
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Re: Movie Recommendations

I expect to enjoy the visuals, but some people treat him like he's the new Kubrick or whatever, and I don't get it. His At the Mountains of Madness script is awful, though I'd still watch it because, again, visuals.

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Old 12-29-2016   #334
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Thanks to a recommendation here, I've just finished watching Occult by Koji Shiraishi. Some moments are surprisingly good, although the end leaves me wonder if it is a long, built-up joke by Shiraishi himself. And people say the ending was inspired by Lovecraft .

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Old 12-31-2016   #335
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Re: Movie Recommendations

GHOST OF YOTSUYA (Nakagawa 1959)

My second viewing of this, first time was on youtube when that was the only place I could find it. A samurai called Lemon and his accomplice do some social climbing by killing the right people until they're haunted by the ghosts of their victims. It takes a while to get started but it makes up for it in the hallucinatory hauntings in the last third of the film, which has some really brilliant images with eerie lighting. Great banging and clattering soundtrack.

GHOST CAT OF OTAMA POND

I was pleasantly surprised by this. It does follow a similar formula to a lot of the old Japanese ghost films (ghosts haunt their killers and trick them with hallucinations into killing each other) but there was enough to keep it more interesting than a lot of similar films.
It starts with a modern framing device then goes into the past (where the majority of the story takes place) to explain some of the strange things that happened to them. It features one of those Japanese cat woman ghosts that pull at people as if they were using invisible string (I don't think I've seen one of these cat woman in a film after the 60s, perhaps because they risk looking quite silly).
I was unsure whether there was a few ghosts or just the cat ghost creating the appearance of more ghosts. It's consistently dusky, the settings are better than the similar films I've seen and the music was very good too. In some ways I like it better than 1959 Yotsuya.

MANSION OF THE GHOST CAT/BLACK CAT MANSION

Follows much the same formula as Ghost Cat Of Otama Pond and similar films. This film is less shy about showing you the old ghost cat woman (and her silly ears), and she practically dances with her prey as she pulls and pushes them around, which is quite fun and enlivens the overfamiliar plot.

THE WOMAN VAMPIRE

Another Nakagawa horror film but in black and white. It's not great but there's quite a number of unusual things about it.

- It's set in modern Japan (1959) with some jazz in the soundtrack and cubist art in the galleries.
- The "castle" looks like a heap of rocks from the outside, as if designed by a cubist architect, some of the interior rooms have this quality too.
- The vampire has a dwarf servant, which isn't unusual but he also has a big topless bald guy who keeps his arms wide apart like a warrior deity statue.
- This mythology has shogun and Christian history
- The vampire is a painter who hates the moon, when he's exposed to it he turns more vampiric and gets the urge to bite women. He tends to favour rubenesque women (maybe this was normal in 50s Japan?), who he immortalizes and keeps in a gallery (kind of like Christopher Lee in Castle Of The Living Dead, but they died in that film without decaying).
- The vampire seems to immortalize women by beating them in the chest with a candle-staff.

THE GHOSTS OF KASANE SWAMP/THE DEPTHS (1957)

Pretty standard stuff. Social ranks, bastards, betrayal and tricky ghosts. It's okay.

GHOST OF CHIBUSA ENOKI/THE MOTHER TREE

Another tale of a bastard earning his ghostly comeuppance. The only unusual thing is a baby being taken to a tree with lactating nipples. It's under an hour.

GHOST STORY: DEPTH OF KAGAMI

A standard 50s Japanese ghost story. Perhaps a slightly better quality of acting.

GHOST OF YOTSUYA (1956)

There's an unpleasant approach on this version as if Lemon is a tragic figure and his mother is really mostly to blame for his crimes. I wasn't sure if they were going for this but he seems to have a hero's fight to the death.

After seeing a bunch of these films (not counting The Woman Vampire, which is different), many of them slight variations on the same story made a very short time apart, they're a lot like the most formulaic EC Comics with murderers haunted by their victims. But the build-ups aren't really enjoyable enough and it's all about the payoff, but all these films have much the same payoff so I'm not in a hurry to see a many more that look like this specific subgenre. Even compared with J-horror films they're very repetitive. Over Your Dead Body is a new spin on the Yotsuya story and I hope Snake Woman's Curse is a bit different and the different versions of Demon Pond and The Snow Woman.
I'd only recommend Ghost Of Yotsuya (1959, Nakagawa) and Ghost Cat Of Otama Pond (1960).

I don't know what the black teeth on women is all about. Initially I thought it was to tell you they're bad women or lower class but it doesn't seem that simple.

PHANTOM OF PARADISE

This is really good and really impressive but I'm not sure about the ending. I wanted a bigger ending and more keyboard wizard stuff but I can't complain too much. I really knew nothing about Paul Williams until I saw this and watched a bonus interview.

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Old 01-01-2017   #336
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Re: Movie Recommendations


Starting the year with Suicide Club (released in 2002), a film I've always wanted to watch. It has a similar focus as Kairo/Pulse (released in 2001) on the advent of the Internet and anonymous message boards (BBS). It has some highly surreal moments which manage to confuse and horrify me at the same time. The chirpy, feel-good soundtracks don't help. I am rewatching it to confirm my feelings of being stuck between an Ah-hah! realization and the incomprehensible.

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Old 01-08-2017   #337
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Re: Movie Recommendations

I watched Blade Runner for the first time. It was one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. The "tears in the rain" monologue near the end really got to me. The lead "antagonist" and his plight were heartbreaking.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-10-2017   #338
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Re: Movie Recommendations

I shouldn't really be posting, as I'm probably working till past midnight today, but I wanted to post something... non-political, I suppose.

I watched this last night, after years of having the DVD on my shelf:


It was good. I was sceptical for the first ten minutes or so, but then felt quite naturally emotionally involved, and, in the end, I felt it had some real guts to it.

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Old 01-12-2017   #339
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
James- You really like Satanic Rites better than Scars Of Dracula?
Yeah. Neither are good films, but Satanic Rites at least has Peter Cushing in his final encounter with Christopher Lee's Dracula.
A really rubbish final encounter.

Crimson Peak was disappointing but it delivers on the settings, clothes and Mia Wasikowska.

Have you seen Cronos?
Have just read this.

Not sure I should comment, but to set the tone:

Mia Wasikowska was the only good thing in Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I watched Crimson Peak, at first, with the expectation that it would be entertaining kitsch, and then, realising it was del Toro, thinking it might actually be good.

I'm not sure how to say this without sounding harsh, but I really despised it.

... Perhaps I shouldn't go into it, actually, unless invited, but I really found it a prime example of the death of cinema.

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Old 01-12-2017   #340
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
I really found it a prime example of the death of cinema.
Why a prime example? There's so many worse examples.

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