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  #44431  
Old 4th December 2017, 09:16 AM
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Dragon inn

Various people including the children of a beheaded general and a master martial artist end up at Dragon inn. Its a place in the desert near the borders of China and serves as the main location for the bulk of the films plot. The Generals rival has set a trap to make sure the kids die there rather than risk them coming back in a few years for vengeance. Simmering tensions come to the boil and we get lots of sword fights and people bouncing about the place.
King Wu's film is an early example of Wuxia. Think crouching tiger hidden dragon and your on the right path. In fact King Wu's films, Taiwanese martial arts epics, were a direct influence on Ang Lee's film.
One of the biggest detectable influence on the film is the Spaghetti western. Most obvious is the influence of Sergio Leone. The desert setting, pacing, framing and camerawork make the film feel like a martial arts take on the Dollars Trilogy (The Good, The Bad & the Ugly came out only a year previously). If you liked Crouching Tiger seek this out. Even if you didn't, seek this out. Its a much better film.

A touch of zen

King Wu's follow up to Dragon Inn is a 3 hour epic of politics, love and treachery all of which are ultimately trumped by Buddhism which is above such earthly concerns.
The film follows Gu, a scholar who is content living in the arse end of nowhere with his mother scraping a living. His mother is concerned as he's past 30 and unmarried. Gu is suspicious of a local castle that appears to be haunted. Investigating he discovers that its the hiding place of an exiled female swordsman. Gu's knowledge of military tactics eventually come in handy when an Army is sent to kill the swordsman and her comrades.
Much slower paced than Dragon inn, Touch of Zen might be off putting to some. It's over an hour before we see any martial arts at all. That said if you have the patience its ultimately rewarded with the impressive framing, camerawork and sets of Dragon Inn scaled up into a three hour epic.
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  #44432  
Old 4th December 2017, 05:35 PM
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December 3rd - Ghost Story (1981)

On a cold winter's night the Chowder Society - Four old men, Douglas Fairbanks jr, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas and Fred Astaire - gather to tell ghost stories. (Seriously John Houseman telling ghost stories? The guy could creep me out reading my shopping list to me - he's that good) All four members share a dark secret from their youth regarding a drowned woman. Now the woman's spectre is returning to wreak revenge on the Chowder Society.

Although quite a slow moving film Ghost Story has a decent amount of scares (And i don't mean Houseman pretending to be the speaking clock) the ghost is genuinely terrifying and thankfully not hidden away until the end. The drowned woman, as played by lovely Alice Krige, features in flashbacks and again adds quite a bit of exploitative elements to proceedings. With a cast as renowned as this the acting is excellent as you'd expect and it was refreshing to have a film based upon older characters (and Craig Wasson) rather than the typical teen fodder modern supernatural films force on you.

In fact refreshing really does sum up Ghost Story as it's one of the best supernatural films i've seen in a long time and the splendid wintry setting makes it the ideal film to watch in the run up to Christmas.
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  #44433  
Old 4th December 2017, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
December 3rd - Ghost Story (1981)
That sounds superb, but I don't know if I'll be able to watch it because I can't hear the word "chowder" (or even some which sound like it) without hearing it in Freddie Quimby's voice!

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  #44434  
Old 4th December 2017, 07:01 PM
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Krampus 2015

After a disasterous start to a family get together for Christmas, young Max unwittingly summons the Christmas demon Krampus.

I bought this on a blind buy as i never saw the trailer and enjoyed it this christmas demon flick, it does start out as any other family flick, panic buying at the stores, fights and laughs, then you get together with parts of the family you try and avoid.

The acting in this film is really good from Toni Collette and Adam Scott as the fun loving christmas family, to David Koechner and Alison Tolman as the aunt and uncle who think its a humbug to the Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) who hates kids.

This is certainly a film to watch and enjoy. 9 out of 10.
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  #44435  
Old 4th December 2017, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
December 3rd - Ghost Story (1981)
Have you read the book Dem? Its worth a read and the movie is a bit close to the novel
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  #44436  
Old 4th December 2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBarlow View Post
Have you read the book Dem? Its worth a read and the movie is a bit close to the novel
I have read it yes. I'm sure there was more than one ghost in the novel. It was a long time ago so i might be mistaken.
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  #44437  
Old 4th December 2017, 11:50 PM
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Yeah, the book is good. Althugh the creatures are more like shapeshifting monsters/vampires/supernatural wotsits than ghosts. Never seen the film.
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  #44438  
Old 5th December 2017, 12:24 PM
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I'm starting a Star Wars marathon leading up to the release of The Last Jedi. I'm not bothering with the prequel trilogy, as I can't handle the agony of sitting through the first two. I do really like Revenge of the Sith though, despite it carrying over some of the shit from those two.

But I thought I'd start here...

Rogue One (2016)

**** out of *****

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Old 5th December 2017, 06:44 PM
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Cheap Thrills (2014, E. L. Katz)

Oooh, since I only really knew David Koechner from Anchorman etc ..
Two old friends reunite in a low rent dive. One is having not the best of days, so when the opportunity rises to make some 'easy money', he reluctantly agrees. Worth a look, even if it did remind of a segment of Four Rooms .... Recommended on here, I will second that.
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  #44440  
Old 5th December 2017, 07:34 PM
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Amityville: The Awakening.
Not as out right hilarious as The Bye Bye Man, but still very funny. Recommended to those would fancy a Murican Karen Gillan ... and that's about it. Probably quite scary to 5 year olds What a shame Jennifer Jason Leigh is in this.
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Last edited by Demoncrat; 5th December 2017 at 07:43 PM. Reason: mini grrr
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