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 Film Thread VI 
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I hated Superbad.
Genuinely felt angry with myself for watching it to the end.
I actively avoided watching any films featuring any of the cast for ages, simply because they were in it. Thankfully many of them went to be in much better films.




Anyway, time for some bona fide horror classics.
Er...


PUPPET MASTER
(1989)

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Andre Toulon, a toy maker living in a US hotel during the second world war, spends his time building dolls and bringing them to life. The Nazis, aware of his magical skills, want to use him to help with their war effort, but Toulon has other ideas, hiding his toys in the walls of his hotel room and then shooting himself before they can get their grubby German hands on him.

Fifty years later, a group of psychics arrive at the hotel after experiencing visions of the death of an old colleague. They soon realise the hotel is the same one where the legendary toy maker Toulon died and that their friend was experimenting with magic to become immortal.

What they don't know is that their dead friend is only sort of dead (a half-explained metaphysical thing), and that he found Toulon's toys, became their new master, and is using them to kill his old friends so only he knows the secret of immortality. Eventually, when they realise their new boss is actually a bit of a cock, the dolls revolt and turn on their master.

Although a fairly low budget affair, the stop-motion animation is well done, it's quite bloody, and thanks to the permanently horny blonde psychometrist who can feel the history of objects like beds and bath tubs just by lying on or in them, there's quite a bit of sexy boob time too. The acting is decent enough for what it is, it never gets dull, and the dolls all make pretty memorable characters.
3.5 Fists


PUPPET MASTER 2
(1990)

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Completely reinventing the personality of a character has always been a cheap and lazy way to continue a story. Changing The Old Man in Robocop from a benevolent boss into a slimy, power hungry monster for the sequel was a terrible idea, and turning Malcolm McDowell's nice and friendly Dr Loomis in Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween into a narcissistic egomaniac for the piss-poor sequel was even worse.

With Puppet Master II, Andre Toulon, the kindly old man who only wanted to keep his magical secret and his toy friends safe from the Nazis, is now a monstrous and bandaged figure (played by a completely different actor) who sends his dolls out to kill people and retrieve parts of their brains. The dolls, under the misapprehension that Toulon is getting them to do this so they can live forever, happily do his bidding by killing old couples, children, and anyone really, eventually realise their master's motives are purely selfish, and the film ends up following the blueprint of original film by having them turn on their master and killing him.

Dull, badly acted, and wholly uninspired (although to it's credit, the puppet effects are decent), it's a wonder a third film was even allowed to go ahead.
1.5 Fists


PUPPET MASTER III- TOULON'S REVENGE
(1991)

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Silent killers like Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and Michael Myers aside, I don't think I can remember a speaking villain in a horror film being played by three different actors in the first three instalments, but that's what happens with the Puppet Master series.

A prequel this time, PMIII doesn't exactly get off to a good start by inexplicably forgetting its own timeline, setting the action in Germany during 1941, two years after puppet master, Andre Toulon, was meant to have killed himself in the Bodega Bay Hotel in the original.

However, after a pretty rickety start, Puppet Master III actually goes on to be just as good as the original, if not better. Guy Rolfe, the actor playing Toulon this time had already done a similarly splendid job as a toymaker in Stuart Gordon's 'Dolls' a few years before, and the role of chief villain is given to reliable burnt faced perma-baddie, Richard Lynch (Invasion USA, Bad Dreams, every TV action show in the '80s). Walter Gotell (General Gogol from a few Bond films) plays a high ranking German, but looks too much like Colonel Von Strohm from 'Allo 'Allo to be taken seriously, and spends most of his time in a brothel being soaped down and finished off by sexy German prostitutes.

The story this time is surprisingly interesting, the characters are given actual motives for their actions and aren't reduced to the usual black and white cardboard cut-outs, and the puppets, although they still kill, aren't evil this time, with some even being given back stories to make them a little more human. Even the little kid (Aron Eisenberg who went on to play Nog in Deep Space Nine) isn't annoying.
3.5 Fists


PUPPET MASTER IV – THE DEMON
(1993)

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Returning to the present (well, 1993 anyway), a computer genius now lives at the Bodega Bay Hotel, working for a bunch of scientists and playing robot wars with himself. A demon from another dimension or somewhere releases bite-sized minions into the hotel to kill everybody, while the ghost of Toulon instructs his puppets to be the goodies for this instalment, telling them to look after the people in the hotel for reasons I really can't be arsed to explain.

Hideously acted, and bizarrely difficult to follow even though the storyline is wafer thin, the only memorable highlights (other than the puppets) are the amazingly high pitched and girly scream of one of the male characters, Guy Rolfe being the first actor to actually reprise his role as Toulon, and noticing that Johnson from Robocop, and Jury from Sons of Anarchy must all have been seriously desperate for work in the early nineties.
1.5 Fists


PUPPET MASTER 5 – THE FINAL CHAPTER
(1994)

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Filmed back to back with The Demon, Puppet Master 5 features nothing that couldn't have been shown in the previous film. One flashback sequence takes up nearly ten minutes of its already short seventy minute running time, Toulon appears at the end to say pretty much the exact same thing he said at the end of the fourth film, and Ian (Return of the Saint) Ogilvy, Clu (Return of the Living Dead) Gulager, Maynard from Pulp Fiction, and the Mayor from Robocop 2 are in this load of old tits if you were even slightly interested.
Awful.
1 Fist


PUPPET MASTER VI – CURSE OF THE PUPPET MASTER
(1998)

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The sixth entry features another new Puppet Master (a mad scientist trying to turn people into dolls), a never-ending opening credits sequence which makes the film look like a '90s TV show, at least twenty minutes of utterly pointless dialogue, repetitive dream sequences, and lots and lots of walking around.
As usual, the dolls do their master's bidding until they realise he's a bit of a twat, and then they turn on him. The end.
Fucking hell.
1 Fist


PUPPET MASTER VII – RETRO PUPPET MASTER
(1999)

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Another prequel, this time set in 1944 after the events of Puppet Master III, but also five years after Toulon's death if you remember the timeline from the original film. This time, Toulon (Guy Rolfe returning for the last time before his death) recounts the story of how, back in 1902, he made his original puppets. To his puppets.
Greg Sestero, four years away from his genre-defining, once in a lifetime role as Mark in Tommy Wiseau classic, The Room, plays the young Toulon with a terrible French accent and non-existent acting skills (yet there are at least four other actors in the film much worse than him), and the whole thing is resolved mercifully quickly with the aid of many, many flashbacks.
It's also worth noting that although this is the third of four Puppet Master films directed by David Decoteau, it's clear that he must have become more than a little embarrassed by his work by this point, crediting himself as 'Joseph Tennent' here, and 'Victoria Sloan” for the previous instalment.
2 Fists



PUPPET MASTER VIII – THE LEGACY
(2003)

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It's a fucking clip show ffs.
0 Fists



PUPPET MASTER IX – AXIS OF EVIL
(2010)

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After a seven year gap (including a crossover film with the Demonic Toys franchise), the Puppet Master series returns with another truly feeble installment.
This time the action is set in 1939, and for the very first time since the original film, the series actually remembers which year Toulon died. After incorporating his death into the story (with the use of at least ten more minutes of flashback footage), the film nosedives the moment the story is expected to stand on its own feet, and isn't exactly helped by a shocking grasp of history either.
1 Fist



PUPPET MASTER X – AXIS RISING
(2012)

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A lazy continuation of the previous film, the only memorable thing about the whole sorry mess is the kinky female Nazi with the tight trousers and splendid cleavage. Oh, and terrible CGI blood.
1.5 Fists



PUPPET MASTER vs DEMONIC TOYS
(2004)

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With the Puppet Master series dying a slow and painful death, and his Demonic Toys franchise having never got off the ground, producer Charles Band decided to go down the Freddy vs Jason route by sticking them both together for a bit of extra cash, probably more out of desperation than anything else.

As it turns out, PMvsDT is actually a fairly decent comedy, even if I'm not entirely sure it was meant to be one. Sure, it's got some deliberately scripted laughs along the way, but much of the comedy can just as easily be attributed to the terrible acting/editing/writing.

Corey Feldman (33 at the time) plays a forty-something with a voice so gravelly that Christian Bale stole it for Batman, and has a daughter meant to be around twelve years old but is played by an eighteen year old who probably spent most of her spare time putting up with Feldman trying to get into her knickers.

The story is nice and simple – toy maker/repairer Feldman (complete with Keanu-Reeves-in-Dracula flour in his hair to make him look older) and his daughter are the last two members of the Toulon family, and have been trying for years to bring their puppets to life. A global toy company run by the sexy legs/cleavage combo of evil corporate boss lady, Erica Sharpe (Vanessa Angel from the Weird Science TV show) want the secret, and strike a deal with a demon to bring the company's toys to life on Christmas morning to kill lots of children. Or something like that anyway. I really wasn't paying too much attention by that point.

After not believing Feldman's conspiracy theories about companies manufacturing evil dolls, a conveniently sexy female cop is attacked by one of the toys, and soon falls in love with Feldman's floppy grey hair and stupid voice. Feldman then introduces her to goodie puppets, Jester, Pinhead, Six-Shooter, and Blade, and they all trot off to the bad guys lair to take on Baby Oopsie Daisy, Grizzly Teddy, and Jack Attack, eventually killing them and rescuing Feldman's eighteen year old twelve year old from an unnecessarily elaborate and slow-moving murder box.

Although basically just a terrible, low budget TV movie with only a tiny amount of blood and partial nudity, PMvsDT is as charming as it is inconceivably stupid, and is easily the only Puppet Master film worth checking out after the original and Part III.
3 Fists

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Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:40 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
1 and 3 are best, but I recall 4 having a somewhar involving storyline and 2 having a bizarre atmosphere that bordered on creepy.

Retro Puppet Master was a good idea, but Band just didn't have the funds for that type of film after Paramount pulled the plug.

The last Full Moon film worth talking about is probably Castle Freak.



All rewatches:


Road House: hey irony brigade? It's not that good. 5/10

Pluto Nash: dont know why I rewatched this. It plays like an overblown sitcom and the sets are like Blade Runner by way of The Jetsons. No idea where the 100 million budget went. The only plusses are a cool car chase sequence and the first time Rosario Dawnson looked great in a film. 3/10

The Specialist: Corny as fuck but very entertaining. Hadn't seen it in years. Woods is a riot, Stieger hams it up like crazy, Stallone is Stallone and Stone is vamping it up. N/A

Outland: not as good as I remembered but still a cool mix of High Noon and Alien. Great finale. 6.5/10

The Rock: Tony Scott rip off but Sean Connery makes it. 6.5/10 with Connery. 5.5 without him.

Fingers: Toback is a cunt but Fingers was one of the best debuts of New Hollywod and is Keitel's best work as an actor along with Bad Lieutenant. The dialogue was years ahead of its time and no other film from that era explored male psycho-sexual dysfunction as honestly or confrontationally. Shame it came from personal experience. 8/10

Rocco and His Brothers: Fantastic Italian operatic melodrama that clearly influenced Raging Bull and to some extent The Godfather. Gritty but poetic potrayal of survival in the bustling urban environment of Milan. Loses points for its over the top finale, but it's a gripping 3 hr tale of misguided loyalty and familial strife. 8.5/10

Gremlins 2: a big cartoon. It is great for a while but Dante occasionally struggles to keep up the freight train momentum in the absence of plot and character development. Has some genuinely hilarious moments though and Rick Baker's practical work really holds up. On a superficial note, Phoebe Cates looks far less attractive with short hair. 7/10

Running Scared: above average buddy cop film features great chemistry between Crystal and Hines and a cool car chase but it seems a little too grown up for its own good. 6/10

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Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:09 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Stat_Rad wrote:
The last Full Moon film worth talking about is probably Castle Freak.

Which, believe it or not, I am still yet to see.
I caught twenty minutes of it a few years ago but completely forgot all about going back to it.

Stat_Rad wrote:
Road House: hey irony brigade? It's not that good. 5/10

Yes it fucking is.
"Pain don't hurt"
"I thought you'd be bigger"
"The name is Dalton"
Swayze's best film. Fuck Ghost, Dirty Dancing, and anything else he was good in. 9/10


Stat_Rad wrote:
Tony Scott rip off but Sean Connery makes it. 6.5/10 with Connery. 5.5 without him.

In my Top 3 Nicolas Cage films. Connery is superb, Ed Harris's General Hummel is one of the best "villains" of the nineties. A baddie you can actually sympathise with. And that Hans Zimmer music score.
Another 9/10 for me.


Stat_Rad wrote:
Phoebe Cates looks far less attractive with short hair. 7/10

100% spot on.

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Spiny Norman wrote:
In my Top 3 Nicolas Cage films. Connery is superb, Ed Harris's General Hummel is one of the best "villains" of the nineties. A baddie you can actually sympathise with. And that Hans Zimmer music score.
Another 9/10 for me.


Cage isn't even that good in it though. And that Zimmer score is basically a rewrite of Crimson Tide, only less memorable.

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I thought Scott had directed it TBH, it's very much in his style. Saying that, it's very Bay-tastic too

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Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Stat_Rad wrote:
Paris Chrome wrote:
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If kids these days REALLY are like how they're portrayed here, then I weep for the future.


Seems like Anni's kind of film.

The problem I have with these kind of more 'serious' youth films is that they are generally made by people who are much older, mostly by necessity (the director of this film is in her mid 30s), so we end up with rather conventional sign post moments (oh this is the realisation moment, the growth moment) when in reality the significance of these moments is really only understood in hindsight. These films rarely capture the flux of youth, the feeling of living from moment to moment which defines the experience. The only directors who have came close to capturing that are Larry Clark (Kids), Linklater (Dazed and Confused) and Gus Van Sant (Paranoid Park and maybe Elephant). What do these films have in common? Episodic or non-linear narratives. That is the key.

Anyway, the end result of these 'serious youth films' invariably tends to be a kind of middle aged revisionism (oh I was that smart and self aware kid then!) or projection which exaggerates how self aware kids are. Thats what I hated about Juno.

A film like Superbad, in my view, captured the experience of youth far better than most 'serious' films about young people.


You would be right, it's my kind of film and I really enjoyed it.
I don't know if you'd call it pathetic fallacy or not, but one of the things I really liked that Edge of Seventeen was the further into depression it sank, the more scenes took place at night, and it seemed to get more intense until it reached a breaking point. Then there was the morning after which was a complete contrast. I've never felt the calm after a storm so visually portrayed before with the colour palate, tone and lighting completely shifting.
I know it doesn't sound much, and I'm sure loads of films do it, but it was particularly effective here.

I think I'm particularly susceptible to these sorts of films because my teenage years were kind of bland. I played rugby and rode my bmx with my brother and a couple of mates on our street, I had a steady girlfriend, and l spent my evenings listening to Heavy Metal. I didn't really go to parties or get drunk or any of that. I didn't have heartbreak or unrequited love. I was never depressed, or went off the rials. It was just a perfectly normal boring period of time.

It probably sounds a bit tragic, but I like the idea of vicariously reliving a youth i never knew. I guess you could call it Sehnsucht. I really enjoy melodrama, and I feel emotions are never as raw and decisions never as impulsive as those teenage years. I feel like it's not necessarily the youth I wanted per se, but certainly a youth I like the idea of 'feeling' via the safety net of a film. Dispute being a home owner, engaged, and working 9-5 at a solicitors, I don't feel grown up. I don't feel like an adult. So whilst the actors and the language may be more mature than the characters, I really don't mind it. It talks to me on my intellectual level, but gets me on an entirely different emotional level that I'm not sure I'd be able to suspend disbelief for where adults portraying them. The Kings of Summer, Palo Alto, The Way Way Back, The Spectacular Now etc, they are all stories about kids that just wouldn't work in any other context.

Plus, I don't think I necessarily want a true reflection of teen life. You'd surely just watch a documentary if you wanted a true reflection that you could really relate to? Dazed and Confused is fine (actually kind of disappointed me, but that's beside the point), but I could in no way relate to it. Different decade, different country, different educational system, different sports, none of the 'rituals'. If anything I found it a bit alien and a bit sadistic. But each to their own. That said I related a lot more to Everybody Wants Some so what do I know haha.

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Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Stat_Rad wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
In my Top 3 Nicolas Cage films. Connery is superb, Ed Harris's General Hummel is one of the best "villains" of the nineties. A baddie you can actually sympathise with. And that Hans Zimmer music score.
Another 9/10 for me.


Cage isn't even that good in it though. And that Zimmer score is basically a rewrite of Crimson Tide, only less memorable.

Okay, so he's no Castor Troy from Face/Off, but he does what he does well, and I love his "I'm gonna gut you like a fish, boy", piss-take of the baddies.

This bit never fails to make me laugh too:

"You've been around a lot of corpses. Is that normal"?

" What, the feet thing"?

" Yeah, the feet thing".

"Yeah, it happens".

"Well I'm having a hard time concentrating. Can you do something about it"?

"Like what, kill him again"?



Yes, Zimmer definitely lifted from Crimson Tide, and that's a great soundtrack, but I've just always preferred the score to The Rock.

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Annihislater wrote:
Plus, I don't think I necessarily want a true reflection of teen life. You'd surely just watch a documentary if you wanted a true reflection that you could really relate to?


No. A talking heads documentary wouldn't do. I'm referring more to the emotional experience, the feeling of living from moment to moment, expressed cinematically, through sound and movement.

A documentary is just people talking.

As for not feeling like an adult, that's a common feeling now I'd imagine in this youth driven pop culture of ours. I didn't really feel like one until I was well into my 30's. Now that I'm on the wrong side of 30, I'm definitely feeling like a boring adult :D

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:26 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Spiny Norman wrote:
This bit never fails to make me laugh too:

"You've been around a lot of corpses. Is that normal"?

" What, the feet thing"?

" Yeah, the feet thing".

"Yeah, it happens".

"Well I'm having a hard time concentrating. Can you do something about it"?

"Like what, kill him again"?


It isn't one of his better over the top performances. I thought he was kind of dull in it actually. He was probably better in Con Air, and he was definitely more entertaining in Face Off, Bad Lieutenant, The Wicker Man, Vampire's Kiss and Deadfall.

So yeah, The Rock isn't even top 5 Cage.

The Rock is all about Connery. He blows everyone else off the screen.

As for Road House, you didn't even pick the best lines: "I used to fuck guys like you in prison" and "The only thing that's missing is your arse" :lol:

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:35 am
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
I could pick any line from Roadhouse and it would be awesome.

Top 5 Cage for me:

1. Wild at Heart
2. The Rock
3. Face/Off
4. Con Air
5. 8mm

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
For me, Cage films :

1 Bad lieutenant
2. Raising Arizona
3 con air
4 face off
5 knowing.

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Knowing?

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Erm...

1. Joe
2. Rumble Fish
3. Bit Part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I actually don't think I've properly seen anything else he's been in. At least not to actively sit down and watch.

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
We need to make a distinction between his best films and his best crazy performances. Rumble Fish is clearly not great because of him.

His best 'serious' performances are arguably in Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation and Joe. His best nutty performances are to be found elsewhere.

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:49 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Yeah... It wasn't a serious nomination. More highlighting how few of his performances I've seen.

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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Rumble Fish is a good youth film. It expresses adolescent fear and doubt in an abstract but accessible way.

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Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:48 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
THE DEVIL'S HONEY
(1986)

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Famous for horror films such as Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond, and The House by the Cemetery, Italian director, Lucio Fulci, after having taken a year off to recover from Hepatitis, returned to film making of a very different variety in 1986.
Without a gateway to Hell or a zombie in sight, The Devil's Honey (aka Dangerous Obsession) is more like Nine and a Half Weeks, but with a saxophone and sexy revenge.

During a recording session in a music studio, really-good-looking-in-a-mid-eighties-Italian-way saxophonist, Johnny, tells his producers to leave the room so his horny girlfriend, Jessica, can make bizarre finger movements and tell him she doesn't want to have sex with him even though she clearly does. Unperturbed, Johnny takes out his secret weapon. No, not that. His saxophone. And proceeds to lift up her skirt and blow it up her fanny. Sexily, of course. This isn't smut, you know. So, with a sweaty face and a rapist's stare, Johnny plays a sexy sax solo directly onto his girlfriend's nether regions which soon results in her taking her top off and grinding her untrimmed '80s ladygarden onto his instrument, sending her into orgasmic shudders, and Johnny's job is done.

After a bit of pointless exposition on a roller coaster, some rather dangerous motorcycle masturbation,and a bit of unwanted bum fun in the country, Johnny crashes his motorbike and, after initially thinking everything is fine, collapses in the studio and has to be rushed to hospital for surgery. Unfortunately for Johnny, the surgeon is having a bit of a mental breakdown, having sex with dirty prostitutes (especially enjoying himself as one of them paints her laddered stockings and hairy bits with bright red nail varnish), and constantly rowing with his wife, mainly about all the dirty prostitutes he has sex with. Anyway, the surgeon looks to have made a total bollocks of the operation and Johnny dies, his sexy sax solos never to be heard again. Well, until the many, many flashbacks anyway.

Blaming the oversexed, henpecked surgeon for her boyfriend's death, Jessica kidnaps him and threatens to kill him in nasty ways. Amid many threats, and one failed drowning, Jessica starts flashing back to her life with Johnny, and eventually begins to realise that maybe he was actually a bit of a controlling twat. Especially after remembering one particularly eventful afternoon at the pictures where, in the middle of a strenuous bout of face licking, she suddenly realises Johnny is happily receiving a blowjob from his gay producer at the same time.

Meanwhile, despite the fact he's been kidnapped, beaten, strangled, fed dog food, had his face, lips, and gums licked (don't even fucking ask), and nearly drowned, the captured surgeon falls head over heels in love with his captor in one of the worst cases of Stockholm Syndrome ever, and after Jessica realises she never really loved Johnny anyway, they both have sex and live happily ever after.
Well, Possibly. The final shot of a gun sat next to the window leaves things pointlessly ambiguous, but by that point you won't care anyway. You'll be too busy trying to stop hearing sultry saxophone solos playing over everything, everywhere, forever.

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Freebie and The Bean - 7.5/10. Top 3 buddy cop film. Caan and Arkin have great chemistry, and it features one of the best car chases of the 70's.

Money Talks - 6.5/10

Men At Work - 5/10

Barry Lyndon - 9/10

Scarecrow - 7/10

Porky's - 6.5/10

The Presidio - 5/10

Miami Vice - 6/10

Tree of Life 7/10


All rewatches except for The Presidio

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Last edited by Stat_Rad on Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Funny, I was going to watch l Freebie and the Bean sometime soon.

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Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Film Thread VI
Dont expect much of a plot. It meanders like crazy in the typical 70s fashion. It's a real grower.

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