Jump to content

I Can Beat the Algorithm


TheRaySays
 Share

Recommended Posts

I watch a lot of movies. I've got 33 lined up in a film festival later this week. I've also been reviewing everything I watch (including cartoons) on Letterboxd since June 28, 2020 (unemployment and a global pandemic double-teaming you will do that) and have 339 entries thus far this year.

But I'm not here to pimp that. No, I'm here to be your personal movie sommelier. To beat the algorithm. For free.

Need a movie recommendation? Lay it on me. Give me a basic idea of what you're looking for ("Space opera that isn't more freaking Star Wars" or "A horror movie with no violence" or "A sports movie NOT based on a true story"), and I'll give you one or more suitable recommendations or DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK! You can't beat that deal.

I may not respond instantly (and I'll be AFK for a bit, as mentioned at the top), but I WILL respond to any and every request in here. My tastes are pretty eclectic, but this isn't about my tastes. It's about yours, and I have no issues recommending a movie that isn't my cup of tea if I think it'd fit what you're after.

What have you got to lose?! Other than 50-180 min. or so watching something you've never heard of based on the recommendation of a stranger on the internet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Moses Julep said:

Slow, visually stunning and poetic films. I am all ears.

Fires on the Plain (1959) - A bunch of Japanese troops are left to die in the closing days of WWII. The juxtaposition of the horrors of war with lush photography and scenery is a deliberate contrast. But, yeah, this is a slow, meandering stroll to the grave, so pack a lunch.

After Blue (Dirty Paradise) (2021) - French lesbian Mandalorian. Sam Peckinpah's Barbarella. Kind of a long, languid Euro sci-fi western like you used to get serialized across countless issues of Heavy Metal magazine.

You Won't Be Alone (2022) - Meandering folk horror about cycles of abuse, gender roles, and what it means to be human. If that sounds pretentious, well, that's because it kinda is, but it is also occasionally profound. The 19th Century rural Macedonian setting is very specific and well-realized, but the themes are sadly quite universal.

Make sure you're all eyes, too. :)

1 hour ago, Colly said:

Weekend at Bernies 2.

Weekend at Bernie's II (1993) - Embalmed Booglaoo.

Looker (1981) - Terry "Bernie" Kiser has a cameo in this underrated anti-capitalist sci-fi thriller as the director of a commercial. Honestly surprised the film's own director (Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park fame) didn't take that cameo himself, but then again, he always struck me as the type of guy who'd rather watch.

Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) - Terry "Bernie" Kiser plays Dr. Wachenstein, a mad scientist who puts Paul Walker's brain in an animatronic dinosaur. Denise Richards plays his love interest. Easily the highlight of the respective career of everyone involved. I'm not responsible for any brain damage this film may cause.

59 minutes ago, Josh said:

Something about the making of Nosferatu, featuring Willem Dafoe, and not Shadow of the Vampire.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is indeed about the making of Nosferatu, features Willem Dafoe, and is NOT about the making of Shadow of the Vampire. I suppose that would be Shadow of Shadow of the Vampire. Might be included with an upcoming Blu Ray remaster, not sure.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Your Mom said:

Science Fiction from the 70's or 80's about the "future" but it's set in a year that's already passed.

Like how Escape from New York took place in 1997

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) - Solid post-apoc adventure. Some prop details set the original at 1983 and this one's a few years later. All were extrapolated from the 1973 oil crisis in Australia. Much like historical details in the Marvel Universe, this timeline has been subtly sliding forward as new movies get released in the series.

Blade Runner (1982) - The opening text, before we see anything else, is "Los Angeles - November, 2019". I, for one, welcome our robot overlords. They're less likely to make me attend a meeting to plan the next meeting.

Future Force (1989) - This one isn't really forecasting too far, since they set their Robocop rip-off in the "future" of 1991. I'd imagine it's really so they can use contemporary cars instead of mocking up a 6000 SUX sedan and not because they're making some bold statement about the near future. It does have David Carradine swaggering around proudly wearing the Nintendo Power Glove, so that's a thing that happened. You can definitely make your own fun with this one.

Sorry that two are classics and the third is a turd, but it's tough panning for gold in retro sci-fi. There's some hidden gems, sure, but a lot of the good stuff got noticed while there are piles of worthless knock-offs.

Honorable mention, I suppose, goes to Gattaca (1997), but while a great piece of retro-futurism, it doesn't give an indication of when it's set (feels extrapolated to 1997 from a divergence in the early 1950s) and was not from "the 70's or 80's" and hence does not meet your criteria. A solid lazy Sunday watch, though.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, K said:

Soylent Green is set this year, so qualifies I think

Good call! Tight film with lots of little bits of dystopian cyberpunk outside of the "big reveal" meme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, VerbalPuke said:

1990: Bronx Warriors is another choice for 80s movie set in a future passed. Its kinda bad, they were trying to mold the Warriors and Mad Max but its still fun. 

Yeah, same with 2020: Texas Gladiators. Sadly, most of those films have some seriously crude misogyny that sucks the fun right out of them. There's a super fine line between grim and gross. Road Warrior skirts the line then George Miller goes in a more interesting direction IMHO with Thunderdome and Fury Road.

Lucio Fulci's Warriors of the Year 2072 is kinda fun in a community theater Running Man sorta way, but I don't think even the most generous projection has me making it to 2072, let alone past it.

Of course, that brings up The Running Man (1987), which is set somewhere in the 2017-2019 timeframe after "The Big Quake of '97" messes up California. For an even more satirical spin on the core premise, there's Death Race 2000 (1975). Rollerball (1975) is a more serious take on "futuristic death sports," this time in 2018, after the Corporate Wars (Coke vs. Pepsi? WWF vs. WCW?) nearly destroyed the planet. Would make a good pairing with the aforementioned Soylent Green. For both Death Race 2000 and Rollerball, stick to the originals even if the Rollerball remake has Shane-O-Mac and Paul Heyman.

Edited by TheRaySays
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, TheRaySays said:

Yeah, same with 2020: Texas Gladiators. Sadly, most of those films have some seriously crude misogyny that sucks the fun right out of them. There's a super fine line between grim and gross. Road Warrior skirts the line then George Miller goes in a more interesting direction IMHO with Thunderdome and Fury Road.

Lucio Fulci's Warriors of the Year 2072 is kinda fun in a community theater Running Man sorta way, but I don't think even the most generous projection has me making it to 2072, let alone past it.

Of course, that brings up The Running Man (1987), which is set somewhere in the 2017-2019 timeframe after "The Big Quake of '97" messes up California. For an even more satirical spin on the core premise, there's Death Race 2000 (1975). Rollerball (1975) is a more serious take on "futuristic death sports," this time in 2018, after the Corporate Wars (Coke vs. Pepsi? WWF vs. WCW?) nearly destroyed the planet. Would make a good pairing with the aforementioned Soylent Green. For both Death Race 2000 and Rollerball, stick to the originals even if the Rollerball remake has Shane-O-Mac and Paul Heyman.

I love the Rollerball remake. It's so cheesy but it's fun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something that has the feel of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but was made in the last decade.

Also because I was going through every streaming service I had and found a bunch of them, watched none, but still want to watchlist more: movies that are Knives Out-ish. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 21/09/2022 at 21:04, Benji said:

Films that are Back To The Future 1, 2, and 3.

But seriously - modern horror that doesn't feature a supernatural quality and isn't "mainstream".

I would definitely recommend giving Censor a watch, which is a pretty striking debut that came out last year. Ben Wheatley's lockdown folk horror In The Earth might also fit into this category. Ooh and Matthew Holness' film Possum. I would say none of these are mainstream, and some might not quite fit into traditional horror movies, but they're very much leaning into the genre in different ways. 

It's not quite on brand, but We're All Going to the World's Fair might be worth a look, less of a horror movie in a traditional sense for sure, but trying something really interesting. 

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something recent and I want something with a budget and people I will recognize. It doesn't have to be an action packed blockbuster but I don't want to on IMDB looking up who everyone is and wondering how they got away putting something that cheap looking on screen if that all makes sense.

I just can't remember the last movie I saw that I liked and it's bugging me and I'm hoping someone can help me break that streak

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 21/09/2022 at 13:04, Benji said:

Films that are Back To The Future 1, 2, and 3.

But seriously - modern horror that doesn't feature a supernatural quality and isn't "mainstream".

With my ticket to Back to the Future 2 back in the day, I got to attend a test screening of Tremors. Interesting that there are now more sequels to the latter than the former.

Anyway, this might stretch "modern" a bit, but 2010 doesn't feel remotely dated to me just yet.

Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps (2010) - Has an Alpine folk horror vibe but isn't supernatural. Running just under two hours, it’s surprising that it doesn’t really rely on stunning vistas or unsettling imagery, and it never feels drawn out. This is a very character-driven piece and almost plays out like a missing persons procedural. Not that the setting doesn’t play a key role. There are several moments where the viewer is starkly reminded that this village exists on the edge of a cliff, physically and metaphorically. Fair warning that the film goes to some predictably dark places, including multiple instances of sexual violence.

The Man in the Orange Jacket (2014) - The titular figure is a disgruntled harbor worker who, with clearly murderous intent, invades the posh manor home of the executive responsible for a spate of recent layoffs. Even that is questionable, though, as this minimalist suspense thriller contains very little dialogue and is deliberately ambiguous throughout. It reminded me a bit of Psycho in that it establishes its premise early and anticipates audience expectations, defying them at every subsequent turn.

Rock, Paper and Scissors (2019) - As befits the title, this is a three-hander about a woman returning home to sort out the estate of her dead father. Unfortunately, her younger stepsiblings have been cooped up caring for dad perhaps far too long. This then becomes a game of manipulation as she tries to survive their deranged games and ministrations. Oh, and this turns The Wizard of Oz into pure horror, as it should be.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 26/09/2022 at 01:01, Benjamin said:

Something that has the feel of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but was made in the last decade.

Also because I was going through every streaming service I had and found a bunch of them, watched none, but still want to watchlist more: movies that are Knives Out-ish. 

These were both pretty challenging. Hope I find you something new and exciting.

"Something that has the feel of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but was made in the last decade."

Hail, Caesar! (2016) - This feels like the obvious, safe choice, but I still think it's an underrated Coen Brothers film. Josh Brolin plays real life studio fixer Eddie Mannix, tasked with locating a missing Hollywood star in 1951. Delightfully cynical with a killer cast.

Grand Piano (2013) - Elijah Wood channels his inner Jimmy Stewart in this Hitchcockian thriller. He's a concert pianist trying to make his grand return, but deathly afraid of making a mistake and embarrassing himself on stage. A sniper's challenge soon turns his fear into a grim reality as one false note threatens to be his last.

The World Is Yours (2018) - This caper set in the south of France feels like an old school Rat Pack movie in the modern style of Guy Ritchie (Snatch). More high gloss and glam than Ritchie's London. Make an ice cream sundae (or whatever your preferred frozen treat) and get cozy for this one.

"Movies that are Knives Out-ish."

Clue (1985) - Another safe choice. I'd be shocked if this classic ensemble murder mystery comedy didn't partially inspire Knives Out.

The Nice Guys (2016) - Slightly less cozy than Knives, but fits the mold of a witty detective story with charismatic characters straddling both sides of the morality fence.

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) - Convoluted mystery with a talented cast just going completely over the top in a limited setting. Effectively captures that "Trust no one" vibe.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 27/09/2022 at 16:26, Your Mom said:

Something recent and I want something with a budget and people I will recognize. It doesn't have to be an action packed blockbuster but I don't want to on IMDB looking up who everyone is and wondering how they got away putting something that cheap looking on screen if that all makes sense.

I just can't remember the last movie I saw that I liked and it's bugging me and I'm hoping someone can help me break that streak

This is kinda tough because I don't know who you would recognize. Most movies with "big stars" are going to bank on those stars and will often be hot garbage. That said, here's three from this year (two forthcoming) that I think fit the bill:

The Banshees of Inisherin (Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon) - Gorgeous film set in rural Ireland during the Irish Civil War (1922? 23?). Two friends have a falling out when one decides he'd rather pursue his love of music than waste his life in the pub with his pal. Very funny, but gets very intense at times. Solid Best Picture candidate. Releases in USA on 10/21/22.

The Menu (Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, John Leguizamo) - Couples travel to a remote island for an exclusive multi-course meal painstakingly crafted by a celebrated and demanding chef. Everything and everyone is not as it seems, of course. Full of wit and clever twists, this one's a real crowd-pleaser. Releases in USA on 11/18/22.

The Northman (Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman) - Hamlet reskinned as a Conan the Barbarian-style adventure tale. Beautifully filmed with solid performances, the final battle is breathtaking. Inexplicably streaming on Peacock of all places. Admittedly, it would've been better with Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn, but you can't have everything.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy