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Recently Watched SF & Fantasy


LawrenceA
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On 4/10/2022 at 6:13 PM, jaragon said:

"The Land Unknown" (1955)   A group of Navy guys and one beautiful female reported are forced to make a crash landing while exploring Antartica and end up in a lost world filled with dinosaurs and other dangers.  It was originally planned as big budget film but they decided to scale it down- it's in Cinemascope but should have really been in color.  The dinosaurs are not stop motion but they are an effective mix of men in suits, models and the old reliable real lizards. 

 

I love this kind of nonsense. I got the giggles watching the woman in the "grip" of the giant plant. You could tell that she was helping to move the arms, like some of those crocodile wrestling scenes in jungle movies where the guy is creating the whole battle by throwing the rubber croc around, or that scene in one of the Ed Wood movies where Bela Lugosi was thrashing around with a rubber octopus. 

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The Land Unknown has to be good: It's from the best modern year for horror/sci-fi: 1957. And it has Henry Brandon, that great actor who has played everything from Silas Barnaby to Acacius Page!

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  • 1 month later...

Under the Skin (2013). This movie got good reviews when it came out.  Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who takes human form, prowling the streets of Glasgow in her van, looking for men to kill.  Her technique involves seductively asking passersby for directions, and offering to provide a ride to where they are going. Thinking they are in for a quick hookup, the guys (young, seemingly working class mates), follow her into an abandoned building, that transforms into a black void, where they slowly sink into a thick black liquid as she beckons them by undressing. These scenes are masterfully staged by director Jonathan Glazer. Buttressed by an eerie score, and a haunting, subtle performance by Johansson, the film upends expectations in the third act. While I liked it, it may be too etherial for some.

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1 hour ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Under the Skin (2013). This movie got good reviews when it came out.  Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who takes human form, prowling the streets of Glasgow in her van, looking for men to kill.  Her technique involves seductively asking passersby for directions, and offering to provide a ride to where they are going. Thinking they are in for a quick hookup, the guys (young, seemingly working class mates), follow her into an abandoned building, that transforms into a black void, where they slowly sink into a thick black liquid as she beckons them by undressing. These scenes are masterfully staged by director Jonathan Glazer. Buttressed by an eerie score, and a haunting, subtle performance by Johansson, the film upends expectations in the third act. While I liked it, it may be too etherial for some.

One of my favorites of that year. I can understand it being divisive. 

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On 6/6/2022 at 2:20 PM, cinemaspeak59 said:

Under the Skin (2013). This movie got good reviews when it came out.  Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who takes human form, prowling the streets of Glasgow in her van, looking for men to kill.  Her technique involves seductively asking passersby for directions, and offering to provide a ride to where they are going. Thinking they are in for a quick hookup, the guys (young, seemingly working class mates), follow her into an abandoned building, that transforms into a black void, where they slowly sink into a thick black liquid as she beckons them by undressing. These scenes are masterfully staged by director Jonathan Glazer. Buttressed by an eerie score, and a haunting, subtle performance by Johansson, the film upends expectations in the third act. While I liked it, it may be too etherial for some.

I liked this film because it was so different Johansson gives a great performance as an alien seductress who tragically wants to be human .  The film looks unique and does not really explain anything reminds me of 1970s sci- fi cinema. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/6/2022 at 2:20 PM, cinemaspeak59 said:

Under the Skin (2013). This movie got good reviews when it came out.  Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who takes human form, prowling the streets of Glasgow in her van, looking for men to kill.  Her technique involves seductively asking passersby for directions, and offering to provide a ride to where they are going. Thinking they are in for a quick hookup, the guys (young, seemingly working class mates), follow her into an abandoned building, that transforms into a black void, where they slowly sink into a thick black liquid as she beckons them by undressing. These scenes are masterfully staged by director Jonathan Glazer. Buttressed by an eerie score, and a haunting, subtle performance by Johansson, the film upends expectations in the third act. While I liked it, it may be too etherial for some.

This one has been on my "to be watched" list for quite some time. And seeing these three consecutive posts here on my first visit to the forum in quite some time led me to decide that now was the time to knock this one off the list.

And I not only enjoyed it but found it mentally interesting. Definitely one of those movies where you have to fill in the blanks yourself which probably goes a long way in accounting for its poor performance at the box office even though starring Scarlett Johansson. Although "starring" seems to be an understatement here as that makes her sound like just the lead. But this is one of those movies whose success or failure is wrapped around one performance. And she pulls off that performance.

It touches upon a similar theme to that one episode of the original Star Trek where, once you take on a human form, you eventually take on more than just the physical form.

I, too, also loved the soundtrack.

In many ways, I think Jaragon nails it on the head when he makes reference to the 1970s in his posting. It does have that vibe.

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  • 1 month later...

Flight to Mars (1951) This picture from Monogram has sleek, expressionistic production design; eye-catching colors; and interesting theories about humanity’s origins, such as that we are made in the image of the universe. The rocket ship is advanced to the point of preventing microgravity, so its inhabitants don’t float. Once the space travelers land on snow-covered Mars (shown mostly through futuristic interiors), the movie becomes somewhat conventional. Although the Martians resemble us, they are more advanced in one area that caught my attention: mechanical food preparation, so there’s no need to cook or wash dishes. The cast includes Cameron Mitchell, John Litel, Marguerite Chapman, Arthur Franz and Virginia Huston. I liked this very much. Presenting the Martians to look like humans was better than cheesy makeup and costumes that don’t age well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Don't Worry Darling" (2022) in the 1950s a woman living in a  perfect community begins the suspect there is some sinister going on with the organization her husband works for.  Olivia Wilde has made a stylish looking film but the script drags if you are not crazy about the Mid Century Modern look.  The story has a sci-fi twist that I will not reveal but if you have seen enough "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits" you will not be surprised

 

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I liked the visual aesthetic, and the ending. As you point out, the plot twist has been done before, in some form or another.  As for the performances, Chris Pine and Florence Pugh were top-notch. I thought Harry Styles acquitted himself fairly well, but an older, more experienced actor, would have brought more to the role.

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On 10/2/2022 at 5:55 PM, jaragon said:

"Don't Worry Darling" (2022) in the 1950s a woman living in a  perfect community begins the suspect there is some sinister going on with the organization her husband works for.  Olivia Wilde has made a stylish looking film but the script drags if you are not crazy about the Mid Century Modern look.  The story has a sci-fi twist that I will not reveal but if you have seen enough "The Twilight Zone" or "The Outer Limits" you will not be surprised

 

I meant the above post to be my response. But I also want to add that the script did drag. There were scenes where nothing happened. It was like Olivia Wilde (who did a fine job), wanted to just show off the production design, which I admit was fabulous.

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4 hours ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

I meant the above post to be my response. But I also want to add that the script did drag. There were scenes where nothing happened. It was like Olivia Wilde (who did a fine job), wanted to just show off the production design, which I admit was fabulous.

No  spoiler comments- did you think the twist made any sense at all? 

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20 hours ago, jaragon said:

No  spoiler comments- did you think the twist made any sense at all? 

The twist is being shredded on Reddit, most of the comments I saw not happy with the ending. and also in a couple of reviews I've read said it didn't make any sense. There were  plot holes, but many movies have them, some more glaring than others.  I cut it some slack because it was a well-made fun movie. 

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