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Old 04.23.2014, 09:45 AM   #18001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
So, I read this yesterday, and went to check it, and Netflix has it! Should I…? The thing predicts I'll give 3 stars… The reviews other people have given are quite scathing… which means I probably should take a look ha ha ha.

If you bear in mind that "Guru..." is a low-budget exploitation film (with all that goes with it), and you keep an open mind (as I did) re its expectations, I reckon its worth a watch
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Old 04.23.2014, 12:36 PM   #18002
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Just saw Under The Skin.... I want to say I love it but I don't think I really do. It was an amazing but frustrating experience, and I'm not entirely sure on where to draw the line between what the director was and wasn't aiming for, and what makes a viewing experience rewarding.

Totally worth seeing, but almost ambiguous to the point of fault.
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Old 04.23.2014, 02:16 PM   #18003
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Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
"Guru, The Mad Monk" (dir. Andy Milligan, 1970) - truly awe-boggling stuff from the Staten Island supremo. In fact, here's me review of it here:

An entry into the "Witchfinder General"/"Mark Of The Devil" stakes by everyone's favourite Staten Island-based director, and it sure is a "unique" item indeed. This one concerns Father Guru (Neil Flanagan) - who actually is really a bishop, not a monk! - whose day-to-day activities involves rounding up various unfortunates, absolving them of their supposed "sins" (one gets absolved for the "sin" of peeping!), then performs various unpleasantries on them in the name of Christ. He's aided and abetted in all this by his right-hand foil Olga (Jacqueline Webb), who provides "glamour" and sleaze in equal measure, and Igor (Jack Spencer), a leprous hunchback, who seems to be loyal to Father Guru. Various victims come and go, and Father Guru (a dead ringer at times for UK actor Rodney Bewes) chews the scenery about sin, redemption and teaching them damn villagers a thing or two about the Good Lord. Ultimately, the victims wreak their revenge on the good Guru, and he ends up meeting a truly ridiculous demise at the hands of Igor. At this point the film crashes to a sudden halt and ends.

This film bears many of the hallmarks of an Andy Milligan effort - choppy, sometimes incoherent editing, some rather wobbly camera work, a script (put together by Milligan himself) full of ripe and ludicrous emoting and dialogue, and a large amount of random stock library music. The violence/gore scenes are truly inept - I can't believe that Milligan spent more than $10 on the special effects work - and the performances (by a group of unknowns, as per usual) range from the bored/confused to the rather deranged. At 57 minutes, the film oddly enough feels about the right length; any longer, and it really would have begun to drag out considerably.

You'd think that, going by the above, "Guru...." is a laughable, incompetent, grade-Z exploitation mess that deserves to be forgotten about, and indeed, 98% of film fans would agree with you. But Milligan's work has always held a fascination for me - his themes of repression, desire, conflict and ever-present violence run throughout his films, and whilst I'm never going to buy into the (utterly ridiculous) claims that Milligan was some type of zero-budget "auteur", he has shown thematic consistency throughout his career. In addition, Milligan's homosexuality (which he chose not to be open about, and he was also a frequenter of the NYC S&M scene) feeds into his work too - the sense of repressed guilt is present in this at times, and whilst he's no George Kuchar (and indeed, who is?), the gay angle of his film-making should be acknowledged. Tragically, Milligan passed away from AIDS in 1991, and spent the last couple of years of his life in considerable ill-health and poverty.

I've waited nearly 20 years to see "Guru, The Mad Monk", and was not disappointed. Milligan's films were nigh-on impossible to find in the UK for many, many years - the only one being distributed (by video) being "The Ghastly Ones" (under the re-titling of "Blood Rites") in the early 1980's, which itself ended up being clobbered under the Obscene Publications Act (for gore scenes reasons). It was only with the BFI Flipside DVD release of "The Body Beneath" a couple of years ago, that Milligan's work finally was available in general to a UK audience.

"Guru, The Mad Monk" most certainly is an acquired taste, to say the very least, but comes recommended to those interested in low-budget horror/exploitation cinema.

Never heard of that. Definitely something I'll check out.
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Old 04.23.2014, 06:36 PM   #18004
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
so??? how was it?
I liked it.
It was weird sitting in the cinema with other people and watch it though. so much sex.
I am usually not a cinema person, i need breaks while watching a movie. even though this was so long, it was kinda okay and I only stepped out during the break between part 1 and 2 even though there is a lot going on in the movie and it wasn't very easy for me to process.
I feel like there are some scenes in the movies that could have been cut out, that don't really make sense/contribute to the story. but maybe they do in the 5 hour version? i don't know.
I really loved both stacy martins' and charlotte gainsbourg's performance. the latter i love in everything anyway, so..
there is something in the second part that made me feel uncomfortable and it's one of the parts I think could have been left out (at least in the 4 hour version). it has something to do with LvT justifying things... not sure if I want to talk about that. Give me some time to think about it.
other than LvT being annoying in this one moment, i really liked the movie and it made me very sad at times and think a lot but it has also very good humor in it which is good cause otherwise this movie would have destroyed me, i think.
will probably watch it again very soon. hopefully i can get my hands on the 5 hour version!
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Yeah, hillarious. I guess because I'm OLD (all of 60, oh, my god), I'm a pedophile. People around here don't have any sense of humor or class, yourself included. So fuck you, too, you stupid cunt.
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Old 04.23.2014, 07:44 PM   #18005
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Originally Posted by pony
I liked it.
It was weird sitting in the cinema with other people and watch it though. so much sex.
I am usually not a cinema person, i need breaks while watching a movie. even though this was so long, it was kinda okay and I only stepped out during the break between part 1 and 2 even though there is a lot going on in the movie and it wasn't very easy for me to process.
I feel like there are some scenes in the movies that could have been cut out, that don't really make sense/contribute to the story. but maybe they do in the 5 hour version? i don't know.
I really loved both stacy martins' and charlotte gainsbourg's performance. the latter i love in everything anyway, so..
there is something in the second part that made me feel uncomfortable and it's one of the parts I think could have been left out (at least in the 4 hour version). it has something to do with LvT justifying things... not sure if I want to talk about that. Give me some time to think about it.
other than LvT being annoying in this one moment, i really liked the movie and it made me very sad at times and think a lot but it has also very good humor in it which is good cause otherwise this movie would have destroyed me, i think.
will probably watch it again very soon. hopefully i can get my hands on the 5 hour version!

i am eagerly awaiting the blu-ray release here. not sure when it will be but i'm curious.

i find charlotte gainsbourg to be such an odd creature, he dad's face on her mom's body, she's not conventionally pretty but i find her interesting. i've only seen her in only one movie so far-- a children's movie (science of sleep) so i wonder what she'll be like here.

lars "von" trier (he added the von, you know) is a bit of a sadistic fucker who loves to torment his audience by tormenting his characters (but i like him anyway). so i don't know what he's up to-- but if dancer in the dark or dogville are any indication…. poor charlotte!

anyway, yeah, thanks for avoiding spoilers. but still… oh, i'm so curious.

ps-- i'm watching his "antichrist" in the coming days. i had lost touch with his work a bit recently and decided to catch up.
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Old 04.23.2014, 11:38 PM   #18006
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cool noir-ish pic starring elvis presley as the king of yugoslavia, his favourite of his own pictures, i like everything i've seen by michael curtiz so far, the others i watched were mildred pierce and flamingo road
 
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Old 04.24.2014, 03:21 AM   #18007
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Old 04.24.2014, 07:30 PM   #18008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Never heard of that. Definitely something I'll check out.

Will defo be interesting to know what you make of it!
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Old 04.26.2014, 12:58 AM   #18009
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Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
Will defo be interesting to know what you make of it!

Finally watched it

It's hard to know where this really sits as a Grindhouse movie. It obviously ticks the 'zero-budget' box but there's not enough blood to cater to gore fans and no sex at all for the XXX crowd. At the same time it's not really arty or camp enough for the Underground. Saying all that I did somehow end up enjoying it, even though I still can't think of a single genuinely good thing to say about it.
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Old 04.26.2014, 05:35 AM   #18010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Finally watched it

It's hard to know where this really sits as a Grindhouse movie. It obviously ticks the 'zero-budget' box but there's not enough blood to cater to gore fans and no sex at all for the XXX crowd. At the same time it's not really arty or camp enough for the Underground. Saying all that I did somehow end up enjoying it, even though I still can't think of a single genuinely good thing to say about it.

Heh! Yeah, Milligan's film divide people's opinions like no other, I reckon, and in spite of himself wanting to be taken seriously as a director, I can't help but think that own unique "style" was always going to get in the way of that. He does a much better job on the horror/conventional narrative tip in "The Body Beneath", and he can be capable of reigning in enough competence to carry a film through to the end. I personally wouldn't put him as an Underground director (though there is a gay subtext in much of his work), and he never really got it together enough to be a full-on horror maestro. Having said that, though, i remain fascinated by both his life and work, and only the NYC area could have produced someone like Milligan, I feel.
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Old 04.26.2014, 05:37 AM   #18011
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Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) - This is the latest effort from the "Sexy Beast" director, and features Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. The plot, such as it is, involves Johansson (who has no name in the film) going around an un-named part of Scotland, first within a town, and later on into the countryside. She wanders around in an almost random at times fashion, and has intimate encounters with a number of men she picks up - mostly just hinted at, but the last encounter is more candid. Eventually she ends up in some woodland, where a woodland officer attempts to rape her. She fights off this attacker, only for her then to literally shed her skin and transform into an alien-like creature. The rapist returns and sets Johansson on fire, and the film ends with her demise.

"Under The Skin" has no real narrative form, so depends on the visual aspect to keep things going, and I have to say it really doesn't work. Whilst Johansson has presence indeed, and comes across as an empathetic, confident woman, there simply isn't enough going on to keep things engaging, and I have to admit to finding myself becoming somewhat distracted in parts. There's some nice visual touches at times (harking back to Glazier's previous career as a music video director), and the thematic and and incidental music works well, but there's also moments where the pace really does slow down too much, and the sci-fi element only really comes into being right at the end. In addition, I didn't particularly enjoy the message that this film seems to convey, which is that if you're a confident, engaged and sexually active woman, you can expect to end up abused and dead! Hardly a cheery or positive thing to take on board, is it?

This is the first film that Glazier has directed in nearly 10 years (following on from 2004's "Birth), and to be honest, he really could have done a much better job here. Such is the general ennui and lack of focus in "Under The Skin", that not even Johansson can save it, and ultimately this is a more miss than hit affair for me. The first truly disappointing film I've seen on the big screen so far this year.
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Old 04.26.2014, 05:47 AM   #18012
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sexy confident woman? - shes a sociopathic alien that eats men, she actually seems to come to some realization that this is wrong or at least upsetting for her, then runs away and is raped and killed, precisely at the moment she's trying to avoid killing more men.

wtf are you on about melvin?
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Old 04.27.2014, 02:32 AM   #18013
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sexy confident woman? - shes a sociopathic alien that eats men, she actually seems to come to some realization that this is wrong or at least upsetting for her, then runs away and is raped and killed, precisely at the moment she's trying to avoid killing more men.

wtf are you on about melvin?

The usual stuff.

More serious answer: I really didn't get that at all - funnily enough, I've had this argument elsewhere at the other place, and someone said (accurately) that this is a real Marmite film. As much as I appreciate other people liking this one, I simply can't work up the enthusiasm to have to sit through it again to give it another go. And the sci-fi element could have been much better put across, too, I feel.
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Old 04.27.2014, 02:34 AM   #18014
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Two more that I've seen recently (reviews to come, of course!):

 



 
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Old 04.27.2014, 10:48 AM   #18015
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THE ACT OF KILLING

 


this has been mentioned here before. but jeezus fucking christ! not enough times. this is -- something else.

i'm going to need about the rest of my life to process this.
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Old 04.27.2014, 09:59 PM   #18016
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FOOTNOTE

 


the trailer i saw made it look like it was a comedy, but this is definitely a drama. yes, a little funny at times, but not a comedy-- a drama.

those familiar with the perils of academia should definitely check it out. yes yes, it's funny too. but it's a drama.
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Old 04.28.2014, 06:19 AM   #18017
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Olympus has Fallen

Weird that this should be released at almost the exact same time as White House Down; they're almost the same film. I probably preferred White House Down but maybe only because I saw that one first.

 


Behind the Candelabra

I liked it but it seemed to lack any kind of interesting story. The acting is great though, with Rob Lowe's plastic surgeon probably stealing the whole movie.

 
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Old 04.28.2014, 08:17 AM   #18018
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Old 04.28.2014, 09:43 AM   #18019
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@demonraill666 - just checked out "White House Down", and think I may well give that one a go. Sound like top-notch entertainment, if nothing else!

I really enjoyed "Behind The Candelabra" too, even as you say, the story is somewhat light in this one. With you too on the Rob Lowe acting tip too, though Douglas definitely acquits himself well here. You've also just reminded me of the time when John Waters was introduced to Liberace: "I didn't know whether to laugh or scream. He's "Mr Sardonicus" for real".
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Old 04.28.2014, 09:59 AM   #18020
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lars von trier's "antichrist"

 


i realized the other day that i had lost touch with his work after "dogville" and decided to catch up so i've been picking up stuff here and there (the other day i saw his "medea").

i generally dislike horror movies but i thought this one was great. charlotte gainsbourg was particularly brilliant. dafoe, sure, he's always good, but she, whom i had only seen in a goofy gondry movie, was tremendous here.

i really really loved the camera work in this film. that's one thing LVT does always very well-- his images are excellent, and you can see that even in worn-out vhs transfers of his medea. here there's all kinds of great stuff. teh color palette is cold and fantastic. the slow motion shots in black and white and gorgeous. there are some handheld shots in which parts of the image distort as the camera moves-- was that a lens, a computer effect, some kinf of accident? either way i thought it was awesome and went great with the action. the slow motion sequences, the music-- everything, really, was great. some moods/moments/shots reminded me a bit of his ghost-infested swamp from "kingdom hospital" (his version, not the american remake).

this stuff is really good. thoroughly satisfying. not sure how to make "sense" of the story but i dreamed like crazy about it and overslept something like 2 hours thanks to it. so hell yes i recommend it.
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