Author Topic: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!  (Read 3444 times)


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October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« on: October 07, 2011, 08:12:10 AM »
Let's hear it.
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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 11:26:47 PM »
The Re-animator

This film starts pretty slow, but boy does it finish. I reckon this is a zombie film in its own right, though as we find out the undead can be more sentient in some cases than is traditional. I suppose in equal measure it is a mad scientist film (Or is that mad engineer? Is there a mad control group? What is the mad hypothesis?) Creepy dude who we know is creepy because he wears glasses and is is socially awkward (I speak from experience) has developed a serum that brings things back to life. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Thankfully things go wrong. I don't think there is any deep meaning to be found here but starting with headless body carrying around its own head (as spoiled in American Beauty), the film is of the absurd sort of fun with a little of my favored sexual depravity mixed in. Not a great movie by any means but one I had a fairly good time with so thanks for the dictation jrod.


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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 02:17:03 PM »
Glad you liked it, Gotham.  And good for you for calling out the cast - I think it's a great ensemble of character actors working very well together.  And in spite of (or more aptly, because of) the tension, there is a lot of humorous interplay among all the supporting players.
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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 03:25:19 PM »
Glad you liked it so much GC! Nice write up. We share the same sentiments about it.  Those effects.. Amazing. CG doesn't come close.
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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 12:13:55 AM »
The Picture of Dorian Gray - For once, an adaptation where I've actually read the source material.  Unfortunately, the details of the novel are long forgotten, so it was basically like approaching the story for the first time.  A gothic tale of corruption with a supernatural twist, it makes for pretty compelling stuff.  I am certain there are significant episodes excised from the plot, but the film already runs a bit long.  The photography is sometimes a bit dull but surprises every now and then with a stunning noir-style shot.  More notable are the brief flashes of Technicolor when the portrait is revealed.  It's a nifty trick, and is wisely held back for special occasions (actually I would have liked to see it at least once more, between the pristine portrait and the full-on corrupted one).  Less effective are the repeated ominous shots of the cat god statue.  We get the point -- two or three times would have been sufficient.  Hurd Hatfield has the right kind of youthful looks for the ageless Dorian Gray... maybe not a particularly memorable performance, but one with a few nice subtleties.  George Sanders is the perfect choice for delivering Wilde's sarcastic, misanthropic quips, but although it's a meaty role it's not a very large one.  Donna Reed is rather forgettable, but what a shame Angela Lansbury is only known for "Murder, She Wrote" and not for her marvelous supporting roles in stuff like this and Gaslight.  A very watchable and sometimes riveting film that made me want to re-read the book.  Rating: Very Good

« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 09:35:42 AM by MartinTeller »


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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:51 AM »
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Sounds great - another one to add to my "to watch" list!


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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 06:52:48 PM »
Cannibal Holocaust
Well, I watched it, I didn't like it, but it wasn't anywhere as bad an experience as I feared. I don't usually watch films with the kind of distance I approached this one, so especially for the first half, it was pretty easy going and left me room to reflect on the conflicted morality and contradictory nature of the content. It starts off with some beautiful jungle shots and once things get going the events create a very effective uneasiness. There's no question about the exploitative nature of the footage but for a while at least the film preserves its humanity and the conflict of the characters rings at least partially true. Even through the exaggeration and manipulation there are genuine questions raised about cultural perceptions, civilization vs savages, etc. The anthropologist character was rather well done, not tough, but not weak either, a good set up for his role in the second half. Aside from subpar sound and acting issues the first half is a reasonably strong film that's effective at exploring an idea and tense without being too gruesome.

Then we have the second half, where things get harder to bear, animals are unnecessarily tortured and killed, and the film's own exploitative nature runs counter to its blunt and ineffectual message. Though even as someone who dislikes gore I wouldn't say it was gruesome. Other than the animal killings most of the blood and guts are distanced from the camera and it doesn't feature the things that bother me most. That's not to say the content isn't disturbing. The entire section is framed from the perspective of TV executives watching found footage, so we get cuts to alleviate the horror and the occasional blunt comments about the footage. It's heavy-handed, but honestly it does help. The device also allows the footage to be shown in a relatively escalating manner, allowing the viewer to acclimate to the increasing violence. The problem, though, is that showing this much footage undermines the purported message and the conclusion burn all the footage is laughably contradictory to the film itself. There's simply no need for all that's on screen to establish the characters and events, and that's not even getting into whatever went on in actually getting the footage.

It's not something I'm glad I saw, but I also don't regret watching it. It's certainly not irredeemable even if it has some really strong negatives.


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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 11:47:20 PM »
I don't have any debate or even questions to add to your comments. Just wanted to chime in that I read it and found your viewpoint interesting.


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Re: October 2011 MDC: Oh the Horror!! Write ups!
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 02:14:31 PM »
The Orphanage

The Orphange is a 2007 film that got a nice producer push from Guillermo del Toro, although for some reason I never caught up with it. Expectations were high going in given that it had the seal of approval from the guy that made Cronos and Pans Labrintyh.

The story is of a woman, Laura, who moves back into the building that was her orphange in her youth. She moves in with her husband and adopted son, hoping to get the building back up to operating level and using it as an orpahnage of her own. Her son starts to show symptoms that would make you really make you worried if youd seen the Shining, mainly due to his "imaginary friends", the ghosts of previous children at the Orphanage.  He eventually goes missing and the rest of the movie is about Laura trying to find him.

The thing I liked most about the movie is that it manages to create suspense without doing anything that might seem cheap in this type of film. It never grosses you out, or has any jump out of nowhere type moments. The movie starts with children playing  a game that you know will become part of a really suspensful scene later in the film. Its an excellent device.

There are points were the movie can seem a little overwrought, and perhaps it is about 20 minutes longer than it had to be. Overall these complaints are minor and I really liked the dictation