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About TKFopp

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  1. TKFopp


    A vote yes for me. The original movies were my first impression of Trek in any form, so it wasn't decades of history that made the film or Spock's death land for me. The film just works, as adventure film for me as a kid and now. More so as an adult I appreciate the themes of mortality and aging better now than I did then, especially after seeing how many other aging franchises tired and thoroughly failed to tackle the same themes (looking at you KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL). Could Spock be in more scenes? Sure, but so could Sulu, Uhura, even Bones. For the purpose of a stand alone film, he makes in impression early in the film, sets up his core role of being one of the pillars on which Kirk steadies himself on... and then he's taken away, in the one no-win situation that Kirk can't rewrite the system for (until the next movie, but that's outside this discussion). I don't think being the "best" Trek should give it a pass into the Canon. Its legacy has never been defined by its cinematic achievements, it's high point are mostly elsewhere. But I do think it earns a place placed on just piece a great adventure film that never relies on punching out the bad guy or refrigerating the hero's girlfriend. A boy's adventure film, to be sure (and that may serve a better ground to vote against it, sure), but its does a superb job of presenting an thrilling movie with just people thinking and outsmarting each other. Amy may have point about the literary quotes tho. I hadn't realized it, but I did laugh when she pointed it out. I do wonder how many people in the future will think they're quoting this movie by mistake.
  2. TKFopp

    Loud Theater Audiences

    Loud audiences aren't for every film, but for horror movies, they can be the BEST. Personal favorite experience: EXORCIST III on opening night, 11pm showing, packed house. THAT hallway scene killed, it was the most amazing reaction I've been a part of in a cinema.
  3. TKFopp


    Easy yes for me, was pleasantly surprised how well it held up on the rewatch. I was afraid that my memory mixed it and the Curse mockumentary, but they kept everything you needed in it (background wise) for it to work on its own. (though honestly the creepiest thing for me is still that hand draw/wood craving depiction of the Blair Witch, and that's only on the Curse special.) Interesting stuff on how the film & special were originally meant to be mixed together in a more traditional documentary format, ala The Last Broadcast. (A really interesting film that kinda misfires in its closing minutes). Not something I feel the need to watch every year or few years, but it holds up. And the impact it had still remains, in a lot of aspects of the film business.
  4. TKFopp

    Homework: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

    Planning to re-watch my dvd copy sometime this weekend, and the documentary from Sci-Fi channel that ran in pre-release that comes with it. It probably hasn't aged well but I'm thinking its Canon worthy for the impact it had on cheapo horror movies (and still has, judging from how many found footage flicks I scroll past on Netfilx each weekend. Its like they're breeding in there). You may not like the films it inspired, but you can't deny its influence (good or bad). Yes, Cannibal Holocaust was first with the found footage horror film, but studios and independents didn't flood the market with imitators in its wake. Blair Witch did and still does, even if it was because of the marketing that made the initial impact. As for the film itself, I still remember it as expertly capturing that particular fear when you're camping and you first realize just how DARK the woods get when you're far away from civilization at night . And wondering if those random noises out there really are random, or is it someone making their way toward you? I'll refrain from going into more detail for those who might not have seen it yet (and to refresh my own memory on the re-watch) but I think as an exercise in dread anticipation, its still got it. The question will be, is that exercise enough for the Canon? I think a lot of peoples opinion on the movie (then and now) depend on what they consider a payoff to a film, for the time invested. How much depends on what the filmmaker puts on screen vs what the audience imagines, and which side of that vs is ultimately responsible for carrying the weight of that film? Fair criticism that I do remember: Its not much on character arcs, unless you consider "having shit" and then "losing shit" an arc. I'm also trying to separate how much back story was in the film itself and what was in the Sci-fi faux-documentary, I think in my memory the two have mixed together, which may hurt my rewatch of the movie. Side note: Anyone else think Book of Shadows was over-panned? Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a great movie, but it was a mostly competent , decent movie that didn't deserve the hate it got.
  5. TKFopp

    Episode #92: STAND BY ME

    A no from me. This is a good movie (and if you haven't see it, you absolutely should) just not great, or Canon worthy. Its more noteworthy to show Reiner's breath of range in his hot period (when Rob was on, he was on), than an example of his filmography, King's, or the genre's best. I'd push Misery as a better example of a Reiner/King collaboration too. I was 13 when this came out (almost 46 now) but I've never felt connection to it, now or then, not in the way Devin talked about. Then again, I've always been had a hard time connecting with ANY coming of age stories, they never seemed to speak to me or what I experienced as a kid (which was odd since I was a white boy in Jersey suburb/farmland area, a favorite target demo of studio films). But coming age movies in the 80's were all about 50's childhoods, so naturally we have 80's nostalgia coming of age moves now. One possibly historic note on the film, didn't it kick off a slew of films into the 90's that used an existing, once popular song as the film title? It certainly wasn't the first, but it feels like this was the one that popularized that particular marketing practice for a decade or so. (You could use this as pro or con for it being in the Canon now that I think of it)
  6. TKFopp

    Overlooked great movies

    David Mamet's HEIST(2001) is an overlooked one among his films, I think. If you watch a lot of heist or big score movies (I got on a kick of these a few years ago) I think you'll appreciate how it subverts the typical set up of those types of movies. Usually they spend the 1st two acts or so "teaching" the audience every bit of the plan for the job, setting up the drama in the 3rd act when things go awry. But HEIST keeps the actual plan close to Mamet's chest during all the set up, so when it starts to go down, you're not sure if what you're seeing is planned or not. And that cast is great: Hackman, Lindo, Devito, Rockwell, and the immortal Ricky Jay. If nothing else, you'll get to watch some old pros chew on some dialogue that's worthy of them. (Hackman's last line to Devito is perfect)
  7. TKFopp

    Episode 85: BOOGIE NIGHTS vs TWBB

    I was actually thinking of the end scenes as a whole (everyone together again at the house) more than the specific Dirk at the mirror scene, I didn't see Dirk as empty there though, more like an alcoholic who knows he's hit bottom and has to start again, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. He appreciates what (and who) he has now, not what he felt he was owed. They discuss that scene on the episode though, with some better points than I had, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts again after you listen to it.
  8. TKFopp

    Episode 85: BOOGIE NIGHTS vs TWBB

    Very tough one. It was close, but I ended going Boogie Nights. Devin and Amy noted how these two picks show the growth (& breath) of PT as filmmaker, the difference between a young director and his older self. Oddly, if I was 20 years younger, I think I would have gone with There Will Be Blood. Themes of nihilism and inescapable fate were much more appealing to me in my 20’s, but nowadays after seeing too many real world Daniel Plainview’s run amok and realizing grim endings are the norm in reality, I appreciate the hard earned optimism that Boogie Nights leaves you with more and more. That feels like the harder trick to pull off these days, to make that work without insulting your audience. Both are impeccable films though, I won’t lose sleep no matter which one gets in. The biggest argument in favor of Blood that I had to wrestle with was the point that PPetrusma made already, that Boogie is PT’s “Scorsese” film, while Blood is all PT. That is tough point to get over, and would be the closing argument if this was just about PT’s greatest piece of film craft. But for the Canon, I think Boogie is the pick. Despite traditionally viewed “sleazy” subject matter, its themes of make-shift families and acceptance will continue speak to audiences more as time goes on, and do so with intelligence (and great tracking shots). But yeah, tough choice. I kept going back and forth as I wrote this, realizing my arguments for one were actually pointing to the other and vice versa. Lot of restarts. I am the only one that would put up The Master before Magnolia? (Though I do need to revisit my Magnolia dvd, it’s been at least 10 years). And I got quoted (for Re-Animator) and discussed on the episode! Great way to start out the week.
  9. TKFopp

    Episode 84: RE-ANIMATOR

    I voted yes, but it was a softer yes than I anticipated. While I disagree with Amy’s main point of “this spot is filled” in the Canon, she did raise some good points that started me rethinking REANIMATOR’s larger impact on film. Yes, it’s a personal touchstone for me and others like minded, and for some that would be enough to argue that it Canon worthy. And I do think it is finely crafted and executed for the budget they had to work with. But how much of an impact did it really have on film afterwards? Sure, genre fans point to it as a highwater mark and we all get warm and fuzzy everytime Combs or Crampton pop up in a movie. But how many trends and imitators did it really spawn in film in the decades since? Full on gore effect movies were already in full swing when this movie hit so it didn’t kick off that trend. Combs’ Hebert West may be an all time great among cinematic Mad Scientists, but its not like we got a new flood of Mad Scientist movies after it (at least anymore than there were before in the 80’s). Yes, this was the exposure to HP Lovecraft for younger viewers and it certainly among the best adaptions (to a point, HP was not a funny man, that’s what Gordon brings to the table). But most of that legacy are films that only proved Lovecraft is very hard to adapt to film. If REANIMATOR was the Everest of HP adaptions, then the mountain is littered more with the bodies of those who couldn’t survive the climb than it is good movies. I think the movie is great at what it does (especially compared to most gore movies of the 80’s, which stop trying at the gore effects) but it’s impact feels kind of singular when you take a step back. There’s no shared cinematic universe of mythos Elder gods on the horizon (well, yet). So back to my yes vote then. While I question it’s legacy, the film being singular wonder that even its own sequels couldn’t recapture IS an amazing thing in of itself. There still isn’t quite anything like it. I don’t see the Cronenberg comparison just because its “body horror” or even the Raimi comparison. That because, while I agree at points that Devin went more on the defensive side of things, his point on tone can’t be swept aside : it really is a miracle to pull off, considering the subject matter includes all kinds of offences to the human body, living or dead. I see a different filmmaker’s vision when I watch this and it’s a good one that stands out amongst its peers and transcends it’s budget limitations (to me at least). So yes for the Canon, though I’ll understand if it doesn’t make it. All that said, the podcast left me with an urge to play “Let the River Run” over the beginning and ending credits next time I watch REANIMATOR. Unknowable Lovecraftian urges indeed.
  10. TKFopp

    Episode 82: THEY LIVE

    A pretty easy yes, even though its not my favorite Carpenter film. But over time, this one has reached a wider consciousness than just the normal genre lovers. It speaks more to how people and culture behave, giving it a relevance that has and will persist. Its the "b-movie" at its best, servicing big ideas in a pulpy (and charmingly cheap) package. And of course, its got a great, clumsy fight in the middle of it. Favorite bit of the fight: when Roddy accidentally hits Keith's car and they both immediately forget about their larger struggle over seeing the truth, because you just don't do that to man's car. Roddy's aghast apology and Keith's "Mutha-" curse, its such a guy thing and a great touch. Thing is though, do we ever see Keith actually using that car? They definitely walk to the hotel in the next scene. I can't remember right now (at work), I'll have to double check the bluray when I get home.
  11. TKFopp

    Suggestion: The Guns of Navarone

    Got around to re-watching GUNS with FORCE 10 this past weekend and wanted to give this suggestion the bump again. Liked it even more this time. There's a lot more thematic meat on the bone for GUNS than most "men on a mission" movies. Even other big movies of that type, like DIRTY DOZEN and WHERE EAGLE DARE (also watched that one this past weekend too), don't try to work on that level that GUNS does. Both are solid WWI action adventures, and great entertainment. but GUNS aims higher (har, har). In GUNS, the war has taken its toll on EVERYONE. No one is who they aspired to be when they joined it (or were dragged into it) and there's a sense weariness informing everyone's arc and characterizations. The characters deal with it in different ways: hiding from the responsibility and blaming the officers (Niven), or becoming all work, denying what its doing to them (Peck), or even switching sides to just make it stop (....that would be telling). Everyone has a breaking point moment with what the war has done to them and what it keeps making them do. Even the guy who earned the nickname "The Butcher" is tired of all this, to a heart-breaking end effect. If you're not normally into this type of film, give it try, you may be surprised. The film doesn't ignore the effects that the "hard choices" have on the men and woman on this mission. (And it still works as a crowd pleaser, a neat trick) You can probably skip FORCE 10 tho. It's an okay WWII adventure, but its all plot and spot the actor/actress of the period fun.
  12. TKFopp

    Favorite and least favorite movies in The Canon

    Favorite in the Canon: The Thing Least Favorite: Fury Road/Grand Budapest Hotel/Chi-Raq (see below) Favorite that didn't make it: Close Encounters of the Third Kind I personally don't think that any movie in the year of it's own initial release should be considered for the Canon. Don't get me wrong, I love and own Grand Budapest Hotel and Mad Max Fury Road (haven't seen Chi-Raq yet), but part of what makes a film Canon worthy is its impact and influence in the years to come. Sometimes it takes while for an audience to find a film, and that audience might not even exist when the film was released. There are lot of films in this Canon already that wouldn't have made it in if the decision was made within the 6 months of its original release. We can all find "Best Picture of the Year" winners that sank like a stone into waters of cinema history without leaving a ripple, or a memory of why people were so worked up about it at the time. I'm not saying saying those films I listed wouldn't have made it into the Canon, (Fury Road is a slam dunk), I just think the time is needed to weed out the hot flashes of the moment we all can find ourselves a part of just because something's new or of the moment. I don't think that applies to any of the three movies I listed, but it may one day. 2-3 years since its initial release would be ideal, but that's just me.
  13. TKFopp

    Episode 70: BATMAN v SUPERMAN

    I love that bit too. Everytime I hear a story about Hackman being a terror on the Royal Tenebuams set, I immediately get a mental image of him doing this to Wes Anderson or the Wilson brothers.
  14. TKFopp

    Suggestion: Plan 9 From Outer Space

    Maybe Plan 9 vs The Room for best bad movie of all time?
  15. TKFopp

    Suggestion: The Guns of Navarone

    Seconding this suggestion. I remember watching it's (admittedly lesser) sequel all the time as a kid in the 80's, because that one had Han Solo, Apollo Creed and Quint on the squad. Wasn't able to see the original Guns until it finally got released on DVD a decade ago, but I loved it (probably better I didn't catch it until an adult). It's still in my collection, I need to hunt down a copy of Force 10 and make a double feature of them some weekend.