Movies

Triple TSPDT Feature

As promised, here is the male led triple feature of TSPDT movies. Like I mentioned in the previous post, the women led triple averaged a score of 7/10. Let’s see if the men can beat that!

Bad Timing (1980)

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Starting off with #987 Bad Timing, a movie about a psychiatrist who dates this insane woman who ends up overdosing. Hey, don’t be mad at me for spoiling the ending… it starts with the end and does some Pulp Fiction jumps through time. It sounded interesting, but let me down in its execution. The time jumps were the biggest issue I had. It starts off with the overdose, then jumps back to the beginning with how they met, and back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes this style can work, but for me I felt like it would have worked better just going in chronological order. This movie had either a legitimate case of an unreliable narrator or just used cheap tricks to withhold a crucial detail from the ending at the beginning until the ending at the end. In this case, I definitely felt tricked by the surprise at the end because it didn’t really build up enough for me to believe it. I also didn’t buy into the cop being so interested in a regular old run of the mill overdose. It was used as a way to drive Alex to reveal the truth, but like I said that truth didn’t feel earned. I enjoyed some parts of it, but overall this wasn’t more than the average movie for me. That scene at the party though, what an entrance!

Verdict: 7/10


The Fountainhead (1949)

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Moving on to #986, The Fountainhead, which is a late 40s movie based on a novel by Ayn Rand about an architect who really loves being an architect and wants to build the best buildings he can. Yeah, this movie is really into architecture and makes it seem like architects rule the world. It was kind of goofy that way, but passion is interesting so it kept my attention.  The story itself is very good, but at one point it got under my skin. There’s a point where the bad guys start saying how the perfect human should submit to society. They’re meant to do what society needs of them and shouldn’t take anything in return. This is in response to the main character wanting to do something new and modern to go against the grain. It really hit home with me because I hate thinking of myself as just another number in society; completely faceless and replaceable. I guess that’s why I was rooting for Howard to win in the end so that I can feel like all hope might not be lost after all. It’s very entertaining and held up decently well for a nearly 70 year old movie. Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard the news but there are talks of remaking this so you definitely have to see it before the remake comes out. Personally, I may even consider reading the book since I enjoyed the movie so much. Give this one a shot, it’s not too bad.

Verdict: 8/10


Red Beard (1965)

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Lastly, we have #985, Red Beard, which I alluded to in my last monthly summary as one of my movie blockers on this list. The way I talked about it, you may already be thinking that I didn’t like it too much. With this movie being just over 3 hours long, that’d be a correct assumption for the first half of the movie and incorrect for the second. The first half to me was, I’m sorry to say, some uninteresting slice of life around a red bearded doctor in Japan. Mercifully, once they came across Otoyo things really picked up. Like I’ve said before, I’m no film student, but there were things even I noticed in this movie. The first being in the scene right after the intermission, Otoyo wakes up and you see her whole face is cast in shadow except for her eyes. It was like at that point her whole life was shrouded in darkness, but by the end that darkness was gone and she could finally live in the light. Another scene that stuck with me and really warmed me up to Red Beard (the character) is when he’s trying to give Otoyo her medicine. Every time he brings the spoon to her lips she knocks it back in his face. He doesn’t get angry though, he just fills up another spoonful and tries again. Each time she wacks it away you can see how confused she is at why he isn’t getting angry and each wack is smaller and smaller until she finally lets him give her the medicine. It was a really sweet scene and was incredibly acted. Now we can fast forward to when she’s gotten better and she befriends the boy, Chobo. It really shows how far she’s come that she can connect with and trust another person again. It was made all the more heartbreaking with what befalls Chobo and his family. The scene before it happens and the aftermath are insane. I actually teared up because everyone gave such great performances. Overall, if they had gotten to the post intermission part of the story sooner I think I would’ve been more interested all the way through. That aside, it was an enjoyable enough movie so I’m not completely disappointed and I’m glad I was able to finish it.

Verdict: 7.3/10


These turned out to be a decent trio of movies and if you’ve been keeping track that puts the men’s average at 7.4/10 meaning they edged out the competition and won my random triple feature showdown. I suppose it’s a good thing that TSPDT movies won this since they are supposed to be the top #1000 movies. With that said, a 7.4 is not a good average for movies of this caliber. It’s a little disappointing and I wonder how some of these movies end up on the list. Case in point, my next TSPDT post will be one that is pretty cringe worthy. Before that, stay tuned for my May summary in the next few days.

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Movies

Sorcerer (1977)

sorcererHere I am back to the beginning of TSPDT with #1000 of 2018, Sorcerer. The title makes it sounds like a fantasy movie, but it’s actually about these men that have to drive boxes of extremely volatile dynamite in these rickety trucks through the jungle without getting blown up. The second half is at least… Full spoilers ahead because I want to talk about everything.

This movie starts off extremely slow and for me was rather disjointed. I didn’t  understand what was happening or what I was watching. I know now that this was the introduction to the characters we’ll be with throughout the movie and sort of showing where they came from. As I was watching it though, I found it hard to pay attention. Almost exactly half way in I started to understand where the movie was going. The men are going to drive the dynamite through the jungle and try not to get blown up. That’s where it really starts to get interesting. If you read my January 2018 post you’ll already know the bridge scene was absolutely incredible and one of my favorite scenes. It had me on the edge of my seat… my eyes were wide with fear and my stomach was in knots. Then just when you think it’s over, they do it again! This time the crossing was even more difficult. Seeing the truck almost tip over was so suspenseful that I was like a woman in an old timey movie grasping at her pearl necklace. That entire scene was just masterfully done. If you read about it, they built an actual bridge over a stream for around 1 million dollars… then the stream dried up. So they moved the bridge to another stream… and the stream started to dry up. Finally they said, “That’s it, bring in the helicopters and firehoses!” and they created a storm so no one would notice the stream was so low. That’s so awesome! Look up there at my screenshot and tell me that scene doesn’t look amazing? They probably would’ve just fixed it in post if this was made today…

But seriously, hold on to your hats because that isn’t even the only awesome scene in the movie. Right after it they come across a giant tree that’s fallen on to the road blocking their way through. One guy wanted to try and cut through it with a machete, but another guy decided, “Hey we have dynamite… let’s just blow it up!” Blowing that log up reminded me of Le Trou in a big way because you watch them create some device piece by piece using seemingly random every day objects and as it progresses you start to see where it’s going. That guy was a genius for figuring out how to move it off the road. It might’ve been in a thousand thousand pieces, but hey… whatever works. So you finally get through that scene and think you’ll be able to take a breath. Nope… one of the trucks explodes! It was so quick and unexpected. I actually didn’t see it coming even when the tire blew. I thought, “Well here’s another situation where they’ll come up with a way to survive.” But nope… kaboom!  Then they actually showed the dead body… man this movie had some gruesome scenes in it. After that they’re down to just one truck of dynamite and I’m not sure if I liked where the truck dies and he has to carry the box by hand. I think it was one thing going wrong too many. The ending just felt too fast and I wish it had been drawn out a little more. It didn’t really detract from the movie as a whole though and I was still left with a good feeling afterwards.

Stick with this movie through the first half because the second half is absolutely why this deserves to make it onto the list. I might’ve had to start from square one again, but I’m very glad I did.

Verdict: 8.2/10 We follow the map!

Movies

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

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I feel like shaking things up a bit and reviewing a movie that isn’t a TSPDT movie for a change. I’ve had a long time quest to watch all the 007 movies in order and so far I’ve made it part way through the Roger Moore era. Up to this point in the series he is definitely my favorite bond. He’s sophisticated and can toss a little bit of humor in to the mix as well. As far as this particular movie goes, there was no pigeon double take like the last one, but there were some dumb scenes as usual for this series.

What I really didn’t like in this movie, which honestly seems pretty normal for the series up till now, is all of the women. Their acting is horrendous… I could do a better job. Bibi, or whatever her name was, was the worst thing about the entire movie. How old is she supposed to be? At one point she whines, “I want to win the gold medaaaaaal”. Is she really supposed to be an Olympic athlete? And then she tried desperately throughout the movie to seduce Bond. Are they trying to make some reference to the fact that the 60s era bond used to sexually harass women so now they’re doing like a wink and a nudge by having her do it to him? Help me figure this out because I don’t have any other explanation for this abomination of a character. The bond girl of this movie wasn’t any better. Instead of being over the top campy, I wasn’t even sure she was a live human being. She had almost no emotion on her face ever. All her lines were delivered completely deadpan. I guess she was beautiful enough for the part though… that’s all the matters… right?

Enough about women… let’s talk about the fancy gadgets and action scenes. I know this movie is from the 80s but I couldn’t stop laughing at that fancy facial ID machine. It was like some green wire frame “image” of a person and they were able to find out the guy’s name and literally every little fact about him in 30 seconds. I guess something had to move the plot along, but that was too funny. Then there was that stupid hockey fight scene. They actually played the goal sound whenever bond kicked a guy into the net. This movie is so cheesy and ridiculous. The cliff scene was kind of cool though and the car chase wasn’t bad. There were a lot of action scenes in this one and they all sort of balance out to make them average as a whole.

I can make all the jokes I want about this movie but this is what a 007 movie is. Big, over the top, spectacular action scenes with dumb one liners. The only critique I’ll give is that I don’t think the villain was very good and the story wasn’t interesting enough for me. This is definitely not the worst bond movie by any stretch of the imagination though. I’m not upset that I watched it and I don’t think you will be either. Until next time when I’ll be back in Octopussy!

Verdict: 7/10 For your eyes only… man getting bit in crotch by shark

Movies

Le Trou (1960)

le_trou.pngAh, Le Trou, #987 on TPSDT, is quite possibly the best prison escape movie ever made. This is my second time seeing this movie and I loved it just as much as the first time I saw it. It’s ingenious and captivating to watch them enact their daring escape. The ending is perfect and really takes you by surprise.

This is a movie that is all about the escape… they don’t waste time with backstory or PoVs of the guards. You’re thrown in with Gaspard and learn about the plan as he does. Then you get to watch them break through concrete using a metal bar, file through other metal bars, comedically avoid guards by walking around a pillar and so much more. When they break through the floor, it’s all done in one continuous shot and you see the actors actually doing it. You hear the deafening bang of metal on concrete, you feel the tension in your stomach as the guards walk closer to their cell, you hear the grunts and labored breathing of the actors as they exert all their energy before passing the bar off to the next man. When they first start chipping away at the floor I thought there was no way they’re getting through that… then it starts to give way and you get little stones, and bigger stones and dirt, and finally they break through to the other side. It’s amazing to watch and it draws you in completely. They make a lot of tools out of things you wouldn’t expect and it’s so much fun watching their contraptions work like a charm.

I won’t give away the ending, but it was a perfect finale to an amazing movie. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Seriously, this was perfect in every way, there was no other way for this movie to end. After watching them struggle to dig their way out for 2 hours, this was the ending that has the biggest emotional impact on the viewer.

This might be my favorite french movie ever. It drew me in completely and had my full attention. It’s different than most movies of this type by showing you the gritty details, but that’s what makes it so memorable. This is absolutely worth checking out.

Verdict: 9.3/10 Made me hungry for rice pudding… that hasn’t been stirred by a guard with a knife that was just used to cut open a smoked fish…

 

Movies

TSPDT Double Feature

This week I gave myself a double dose of They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? with the movies Storm Over Asia and Das Boot. My desire to watch each of these movies couldn’t have been any more different, but without further ado let’s get into it.

Storm Over Asia (1928)

Starting off with #989, Storm Over Asia or Potomok Chingis-Khana if you prefer original titles. This is a silent, historical, 2+ hour long Russian movie about uhhh, trying to sell some furs, getting in a fight, then being mistaken for Genghis Khan. I judge books by their covers, and I thought this would bore the pants off of me. I psyched myself up and hit play. The first thing I noticed was the music which was so different from other silent movies I’ve seen. This one was Asian themed and I liked it a lot actually. I think it fit well with the movie and I didn’t get sick of it after the 2 hour runtime like I have with other silent movies I’ve watched. The effects were also pretty good for such an old movie. They actually showed blood that looked like blood which I found somewhat shocking for a movie from the 20s. It was also very impressive that they shot the movie in Mongolia and hired Mongolian actors to play many of the parts which added a lot authenticity to the movie.

Overall, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but I did zone out a little in the middle. Even so, this is in my personal top 5 silent movies… out of the 10 or so that I’ve seen…

Verdict: 7/10


Das Boot (1981)das_boot.png

Next let’s fast forward to 1981 with Das Boot, a movie about Germans on a U-boat in WWII. This would be #988 on the list and is my second time seeing it. I was so excited to re-watch it and it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. I think the first time I ended up watching the nearly 5 hour version, this time I watched the 3 and a half hour version but boy did it not feel that long… there wasn’t a single moment when I asked myself when this was going to be over.  This movie is so intense, it had my stomach in knots. I had the added bonus of not remembering how it ends and the ending just blew my mind. I loved it so much that I won’t dare spoil anything, even though that’s the tagline of my blog. As far as special effects go, they built scale models to do some of the outside sea shots which held up really well almost 40 years later. They even built a life sized U-boat set to use where you can see how insanely small those things were for the amount of people they carried. You can just imagine the filth and stench inside that boat after months on sea. I just can’t get over how well this movie was made. I loved every minute of it.

This movie is suspenseful, emotional, claustrophobic and beautifully made. I can’t stop praising it enough, and because of that I decided that it’s earned a place in my top 20 movies of all time. Don’t be scared of the runtime for this movie because it doesn’t feel long at all. But if you still can’t stomach watching such a long movie, there’s a shorter one at around 2 and a half hours that just might do it for you. So turn off the lights, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Verdict: 9.5/10

 

 

 

Oh, hi there, nice of you to still be reading… here’s a bonus movie just for you.

Miller’s Crossing (1990)millers_crossing.png

I had this one laying around for awhile and decided to finally give it a watch and it was just alright. It’s about this guy who keeps trying to play both sides of this mobster feud. The plot is interesting I guess, but personally I don’t find that Gabriel Byrne can really carry a movie. The movie just felt small and could’ve benefited from some bigger name actors in it. There were some great scenes, but I couldn’t help but feel like something was always missing. I really can’t say what it was though. This is a decent Sunday afternoon movie, but I wasn’t too blown away with it.

Verdict: 6.8/10

 

 

Movies

Thumper (2017)

thumper.pngTo be completely honest, I’m not sure what made me want to watch this movie. I think it might have been the drugs and the fact that I heard someone say it felt “realistic”. Sounded like a winner to me, so I fired this movie up… and was very disappointed. This movie follows an undercover cop who infiltrates a group of drug dealers. There was something in this movie that just completely underwhelmed me.

There are 3 different types of scenes that revolve around the main character: undercover Kat, mom Meredith, and cop Meredith. This is where the movie falls apart because only 1 of those types actually works. Undercover Kat was pretty good with a few stand out scenes. The runner-up for best scene in the movie was when Wyatt the cook forces her to shoot up and she ODs. Everyone involved in this scene, from her taking the drugs to Beaver driving her to the hospital, did an amazing job. The best scene though, without question, is at the end when Wyatt tries to kill her after finding out she’s a narc. Pornstache from Orange is the New Black was so good as Wyatt, and I could tell he really tried his best to elevate this movie. For what it’s worth, he elevated all the scenes he was in… just a shame he wasn’t in all of them.

Rightfully so, he was not in any of the cop Meredith scenes where she has to report into her boss, Cersei. I think this was the worst type of scene in the movie because this was where they tried to build tension by putting an artificial time limit on busting these guys. Cersei was tough for no reason that I could see… she kept putting pressure on Meredith to bust these guys before more people died even if it meant they’d only be charged with small crimes like dealing pot. Case in point, here is an excerpt of one of their conversations and it goes a little something like:

Cersei: “You need to give me something.”

Meredith: “I know, I will…”

Cersei: “Get this shit off the streets.”

Meredith: “I need more time.”

Cersei: “You don’t have more time!”

Ah, the classic “You don’t have more time!” line. A line that’s usually tossed around to build up the tension and push the character into the climax of the movie. In this movie however, there is no reason for her to say that because we’re never told why she doesn’t have any time. More people will die from using drugs? Yeah fine, but getting the job done right to make sure that you A) Have the right guy and B) Can put him away for a long time is more important here than getting the job done fast. I think Cersei dropped the ball in this movie, granted her lines weren’t that great, but her delivery wasn’t any better.

The final type of scene in this movie was the most pointless time wasting type of all and was mom Meredith. We see how her son doesn’t care about her that much anymore now that he has a new mom. All of this for me was pointless filler and I don’t think the movie would suffer at all if it took out this entire subplot. I think her falling for one of the guys she’s trying to bust is enough of a head fuck to throw her off her game that they don’t need her also struggling with family issues.

All of this culminates in a movie that is very hot and cold. You’re treated to a scene that’s decently acted and well written, then made to suffer through a cliche ridden made for TV movie scene and back again. The ending doesn’t improve anything and is completely unsatisfying. You don’t learn about what happens to any of the characters. Does Beaver go to jail? If Beaver goes to jail, what happens to his brother? If they expect me to just guess what happens and come up with my own ending, fine I’ll do that… a lot of movies now are making me come up with my own ending anyways. But I think they didn’t show us what happened to the characters because they didn’t know how to end their movie. The one person we got a glimpse of was Kat/Meredith, who at the end gets to spend some time with her son. Aw that’s so sweet, she makes him breakfast… which he refuses to eat, then he keeps kicking his foot while she’s trying to put on his shoe, and then he runs out of the car without saying bye to her. So basically, her son still hates her… so what the hell is the point of this plot line? I’ll tell you the point, there wasn’t one. The writers didn’t feel like the shooting was a good enough way to end it, so they tried to tack on some resolution to the rest of the story lines and just failed.

As you might have been able to tell, I was not a huge fan of this movie. I think if you could find a version of it with just Kat being undercover it might be an alright movie. If you can’t then I don’t think I’d really waste my time on this one if I were you… there are a lot better movies out there about undercover cops.

Verdict: 5.8/10 Watching Cersei made me wish I OD’d…

Movies

Eden Lake (2008)

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I found this movie on a list of modern horror movies you probably haven’t seen yet… which was pretty accurate at the time because I hadn’t seen this or even heard of it. This one has the Michael Fassbender in it! It’s basically about this couple who go on vacation to Eden Lake and are terrorized by a group of teenagers. It was a decent movie, but it didn’t do anything new or exciting to earn a re-watch badge with me.

I’ll start with the effects because I’m me and duh. There were 2 shots I remember that had great effects and made me really uncomfortable. One was the close up of Steve’s wounds because they looked pretty realistic and you could see the blood gushing out of them. The second one was when his wife, Jenny, gets the spike through her foot and she’s trying to pull it out. Both disgusting and painful to look at. Don’t believe me? Look at the image for this post and tell me that wouldn’t hurt!

As far as the acting goes, Fassbender was top notch and just like in The Mist, the A-lister steals the show. The kids were decent enough, but I found it extremely difficult to understand what they were saying, with the main kid being the worst offender. The British accent was so thick I could’ve benefited a lot from subtitles. Going back to the main kid, I thought he looked familiar and it turns out he starred in Starred Up a few years after this movie came out which I found very fitting. It’s almost like a sequel to this movie, where his stupid ass gets sent to jail for being a violent psychopath. It nearly makes up for the story which I’ll get into next.

The story itself isn’t too original; a couple goes away and the locals attack them. The execution was good, but it still had some annoyingly cliche scenes. One cliche being “woman hears noise outside tent and man goes to check it out”. Sure it scared me a little bit, but it was too cheap of a thrill for me to really appreciate. Another thing that annoyed me in this movie was that whenever they got into a car they would floor it through the woods. Hello, the guys you’re running from are on foot or, worst case, on bikes. You don’t need to floor it, just drive at a safe woods speed and you’ll get away without getting stuck or crashing.

Eden Lake is an alright one-watch horror film. It has good acting and gore effects, but the story has been done to death. Without Michael Fassbender, I think this would’ve been forgettable, but since he’s in it I’d say it’s worth a watch at least once in your life.

Verdict: 6.8/10 *mumbles something in a British accent*