Darkman – Unseen Movie Marathon

unseenmovies

This is the third of at least 224 planned posts in which I shall slowly work through my DVD collection. The reason for doing this is first and foremost to admit that I have a problem. I buy way too many DVDs that I want to watch but never watch. On the morning of May 24th, 2009 I owned 224 DVDs which I have never seen. I have never seen them theatrically, on television, on VHS, on Beta or even by means of the DVD which I own and possess on the shelf. My plan is to watch at least one of these each week. If I’m lucky I will see more than one but to keep this reasonable considering my time restraints one a week is pretty good. I will write up my thoughts on each movie.

I have purchased a few more DVDs so I am back up past 224 DVDs to watch. I’ll add the new ones to the list coming up. I have this bad feeling that by the time I am done DVDs will no longer even be available at the rate I keep adding new ones.

Darkman

DarkmanFor my third movie I chose to watch Sam Raimi’s Darkman. Before Raimi was brought on to direct the Spiderman series he had Darkman. Darkman tells the story of Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson), a scientist who is attempting to discover a way to grow skin. Peyton wants to marry Julie (Frances McDormand) but Julie discovers that her boss is involved with some nasty criminals led by Robert Durant (Larry Drake). Durant and his goons break in and attempt to kill Peyton while looking for evidence that Julie has. Unfortunately for them they don’t kill Peyton. Peyton ends up with such terrible burns that the doctors perform a special surgery that remove his sense of touch and pain sensors. Peyton seeks his revenge while trying to keep himself under control as he looses control of his anger which is a side effect of his surgery.

I’m still trying to come to terms with why Darkman is such a fun movie. Recently, I was listening to the Film Junk podcast and they were talking about 80s action movies and how they were just more fun (or at least that is what I took from their discussion). While watching Darkman I couldn’t help but think about just how much fun it is to watch. It is bizarre, funny, scary and cheesy all at the same time. If I was asked to pick a superhero movie to watch Darkman would definitely be high up on the list. The superhero movies today either take themselves too seriously or else they make them for all ages. I would love it if there was more camp still being done in this genre.

I should mention that I had seen this one before but I remembered nothing of it. I do not know if my sense of humour and what I like in movies has grown or changed since I watched this way back in early 1990s but all I could remember about it was that I was not that impressed. Upon this re-watch I have decided that it definitely deserves a place amongst the top of the superhero movies. I don’t think it will ever get the respect that it deserves (except amongst the cult movie crowd and fans of Sam Raimi) but I for one will recommend it to all my friends who haven’t seen it.

The Stewardesses – Unseen Movie Marathon

unseenmovies

This is the second of at least 224 planned posts in which I shall slowly work through my DVD collection. The reason for doing this is first and foremost to admit that I have a problem. I buy way too many DVDs that I want to watch but never watch. On the morning of May 24th, 2009 I owned 224 DVDs which I have never seen. I have never seen them theatrically, on television, on VHS, on Beta or even by means of the DVD which I own and possess on the shelf. My plan is to watch at least one of these each week. If I’m lucky I will see more than one but to keep this reasonable considering my time restraints one a week is pretty good. I will write up my thoughts on each movie.

This weeks (or half week) review is of the 3d version of The Stewardesses, I watched it in honour of the new Pixar movie Up which I watched earlier in the evening in 3d also.

The Stewardesses

The Stewardesses 3dI put up a post about talking to people about movies that deal with sex and how it is hard to talk about them because you never know if you will offend people and how there is a double standard when it comes to violence. There is a lot of cinema which has graphic sex in that is truly great cinema. Unfortunately, The Stewardesses is not one such film. I ended up purchasing it back when I was in Toronto because I was interested to check out the first 3d x-rated film. I had checked on Wikipedia and it was actually the highest grossing 3d film at the time. I’m sure this is no longer the case even when inflation is taken into account. I figured I was in for a light sex farce or romp that would make me laugh a few times while it tried to titillate me with fairly mild sex compared to today’s x-rated movies. I figured I’d end up with something like American Pie or of similar vein. Instead of this I ended up with a very dry movie about a group of stewardesses who go on some dates and end up having sex. The sex is fairly tame when compared to what is in adult films today so I was right on that account although there is some full frontal nudity but it never actually occurs during the sex scenes. In between the sex though I sat bored as the rest of the movie had terrible dialogue, no humour and no real sense of pacing or any feeling that it was going anywhere. I even thought that they had forgotten to finish off one of the storylines and was about to write off the movie as a complete waste of time when they went back to the stewardess that seemed to be the main character. This is when the movie took a dark nasty turn that just didn’t feel like it fit either. The only reason I’m giving The Stewardesses one star is not because I liked the ending, in truth I thought it was extremely painful and hard to watch. It was hard to watch not because of how dark it is nor because of how it is able to change things up and at least make the ending interesting but simply because it must have taken some guts to go the route that it did.

Overall, I wish that I had picked a better movie to talk about when it comes to the whole sex in film as there really is no reason why I would ever want to bring this film up during a discussion unless it was about bad movies that I have seen that are so bad they are just boring. As a final note I should mention that I watched half the movie in black and white 3d and the other half in color. If you are watching an old style, with the blue and red glasses I would recommend watching the black and white version. The effect is much better and you don’t get any glowing spots from certain colors. 3d has really come a long way from where it was and it is unfortunate that we still can not use the polarized RealD glasses that are available in theatres when at home.

If you own this one and haven’t watched it I suggest just passing it on to someone else unless you are just being a completionist and have to see it for some reason.

Demonlover – Unseen Movie Marathon

unseenmovies

This is the first of at least 224 planned posts in which I shall slowly work through my DVD collection. The reason for doing this is first and foremost to admit that I have a problem. I buy way too many DVDs that I want to watch but never watch. On the morning of May 24th, 2009 I owned 224 DVDs which I have never seen. I have never seen them theatrically, on television, on VHS, on Beta or even by means of the DVD which I own and possess on the shelf. My plan is to watch at least one of these each week. If I’m lucky I will see more than one but to keep this reasonable considering my time restraints one a week is pretty good. I will write up my thoughts on each movie.

I can’t be the only one with this problem and I hope that by doing this I will encourage you to watch your unwatched DVDs instead of going out and catching some movie that is forgettable. As an example instead of going to see Wolverine this past weekend I decided to sit down and watch Olivier Assayas’ Demonlover.

So I now present to you the first of hopefully many reviews.

Demonlover

Demon Lover DVD CoverI purchased Demonlover a few months ago when a local DVD rental shop was going out of business. I could not remember who had recommended this Olivier Assayas film to me but I knew it had been recommended and since everything was cheap I figured why not throw it in the collection. I am really glad that I did purchase it as it is a movie that I think I’m going to revisit a few times. I am sure that subsequent viewings of Demonlover are going to show me more and more little pieces of information that I missed on the initial viewing. Demonlover throws you immediately into the mix with very little explanation and it really pays off.

Demonlover opens with Dianne (Connie Nielson) taking notes for her employer, Hervé (Charles Berling) on a late night flight while everyone else sleeps. The next morning we watch as Dianne drugs another woman on the plane. By the time the plane lands we learn that the woman she drugged was a supervisor (Dominique Reymond) and business partner to Hervé. From here on in we watch as high stakes business espionage plays out in front of us. I do not want to spoil any of the plot so I’ll just say that it involves companies competing over a new form of pornographic anime that is set to revolutionize the industry.

While I really enjoyed watching the twists and turns of the plot what truly won me over for the first two thirds of Demonlover are the quiet moments. Assayas does an excellent job of balancing the fast paced plot with these quite moments. He is willing to give his characters time to breathe when necessary. The tension is always their but you get the feeling that they are able to escape for short periods and I really enjoyed this as they some of the most beautiful scenes in the movie.

Demonlover

Unfortunately, I do feel that Demonlover continues on a bit longer than necessary. There is a scene between Dianne and another employee that really should be the conclusion. I understand that he wanted to make sure everyone watching would understand what the movie has to say but by this point I feel that anyone who has been paying attention should be able to come to the conclusion which Assayas wanted and the extra 20 or so minutes feels out of place and really comes across as a blunt hammer. This is especially true in the last couple of minutes which really felt like Assayas was not willing to trust his audience.

Overall though I really enjoyed Demonlover and I plan on revisiting this one in the future as I am sure I missed small pieces of information that will make it an even more fulfilling watch.