Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Woods

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, and I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I..."

...I am back unexpectedly this week, as my vacation to five major league ball parks in five days has been thwarted by a scourge of appendicitis, given to my poor wife, who lay in a hospital bed, doped up on pain meds asleep as I type this.

Anyway, The Wanderer over at Wandering through the Shelves has a good theme today for Thursday Movie Picks, so I'll oblige, and I have some great ones.

Without further ado, here are my picks for The Woods:

Dead Poets Society
dir. Peter Weir, 1989

Because to quote Thoreau, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." And "Damn it, Neil, the name is Nuwanda."

The Blair Witch Project
dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999

Because of the fucking horror, bro. That real stuff. The kind of horror that is about fear, the kind you can only get from being lost and hungry in the woods, as opposed to being about an undead monster man with a hockey mask and a chainsaw. This is still Top 2 or 3 scariest movies ever made as far as I'm concerned.

Undertow
dir. David Gordon Green, 2004

Because of them early-Malick-esque (and actually Malick produced) vibes, a hideout in the woods, like something straight out of Badlands for the two young brothers (Jamie Bell and Devon Alan) on the run from their menacing, murdering thief of an uncle (Josh Lucas). And that Philip Glass score.

Only Semi-Related Bonus

The Wood
dir. Rick Famuyiwa, 1999

Because this movie ain't about the woods, but it is about a place called "The Wood" in a time of young men, coming-of-age, dealing with things we all went through in such a way that is equal parts fun, funny, and heartfelt.


23 comments:

  1. I meant to watch Undertow but I never did. I should look into that. I'm sorry to hear about your wife :( I hope she feels better soon.

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    1. Yes. See all of David Gordon Green's first four films. All just lovely. She's getting better now. Thanks.

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  2. Ummmmmm... WHY have I never heard of Undertow? It sounds good, and that cast!! It's going on the watchlist!

    SO glad to see love for Blair Witch Project, I totally agree that it's one of the scariest films ever made. As an exercise is real, pure terror, it's probably unmatched. It's queasy-making, and not just because of the handheld camera.

    Very clever pick on Dead Poets Society, one of my all-time favorites!

    So sorry to hear about your wife. Appendicitis SUCKS, but at least when it's over it's OVER. Hope she's better soon!

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    1. It went way under the radar I think, but it's amazing. All of Green's first four are lovely Southern poems, if you haven't seen them. And Blair Witch is fucking terrifying. I don't care what Dell says. haha. Love Dead Poets.

      She's feeling much better. Thanks.

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  3. Damn, why did I not think of Dead Poets Society? It's such a great film!

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  4. I still have to see Dead Poet's Society..I know! I mean to change that one day soon. I knew Blair Witch would turn up and I haven't seen that film or Undertow which sounds quite good. I have been where your wife is. I really loved demerol:) I hope she feels better soon

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    1. Definitely do see it. She's feeling better. Thanks.

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  5. I hope your wife gets better soon. Sucks to have that happen to her.

    As for your picks...

    Haven't seen Undertow, but I should. Yay, Dead Poets Society! Yay The Wood! Boo, The Blair Witch Project!

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    1. Thanks, man.

      It's funny. I took a strong jab at your very picks, man. We differ in our horror sensibilities. For sure. But that's what makes this blogging thing great.

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  6. Sympathies for your wife, being in the middle of both of my parents falling ill at the same time I know it can be both massively time consuming and a major crimp in any plans you might have. Hope she's up and around real soon.

    I've only seen two of these four, I think I'm the only person in America who hasn't seen Blair Witch! I preferred the similar School Ties to Dead Poet's Society but that's not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. It had some excellent performances.

    The other I've seen is The Wood which was an enjoyable time passer and a nice off-center pick.

    I had a little trouble after my first pick to find films that were actually set IN the woods but these at least deal with them in a major way.

    The Emerald Forest (1985)-Engineer Bill Markham is in Brazil with his wife Jean (Meg Foster) and young son Tommy (the film’s director John Boorman’s son Charlie) working on a hydroelectric dam on the edge of the rainforest. One day while the three are having a picnic near the site Tommy is taken by a forest tribe known as The Invisible People. Markham spends the next ten years searching the jungles for Tommy meeting many obstacles including the cannibalistic Fierce People along the way. Beautiful looking complex adventure based on true events.

    Sometimes a Great Notion (1970)-The Stamper family, father Henry (Henry Fonda), oldest son Hank (Paul Newman), his wife Viv (Lee Remick), younger brother Leeland and nephew Joe Ben (Michael Sarrazin & Richard Jaeckel) are independent Oregon loggers. When the local union loggers go on strike against the corporate giant that controls most of the area they urge the Stampers to join them but being struggling independents they fear they won’t survive and refuse. The tensions that run high among them and the townsfolk is mirrored within the family leading to conflict and tragedy. Based on a Ken Kesey novel this is a sometimes slow but extremely well-acted (Jaeckel is a particular standout) complicated family drama.

    The Edge (1997)-Uber rich Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) has gone with his model wife Mickey (Elle Macpherson) on a photo shoot to a remote mountain area along with photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin), who Charles suspects is involved with Mickey, and his assistant (Harold Perrineau). While Mickey stays behind the three men fly into the wilderness for nature photos but the plane crashes killing the pilot and the three men must struggle to survive not only the elements but the giant bear tracking them through the woods and ultimately each other.

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    1. Wife is much better now. Thanks. Best with your parents.

      Not sure how you feel about handheld shaky cam and non-slasher killer horror. But that is pretty much what Blair Witch is. I find it the most effective horror I've ever seen.

      Your picks all sound good. I especially remember The Edge. I believe my Mom went to see it when it was out and loved it. Definitely should catch up with that one.

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  7. Blair Witch is one of the scariest for me too. After I saw it I was afraid of the woods for like a month and I live near the woods so that was terrifying.

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    1. Yeah. That shit is scary. Alone and lost in the woods is one of my worst fears.

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  8. That sucks about your wife. I hope she feels better!

    Haven't seen any of your picks, although I do own all of them except for The Wood, & I'm interested in eventually watching them (especially Undertow, mainly because it's a film by DAVID GORDON GREEN).

    The only film I could think of for this category was Trey Edward Shults's new horror masterpiece, It Comes at Night. If you haven't seen it yet, see it in theaters soon (because it'll probably be gone from theaters soon).

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    1. Thanks. She's feeling much better now.

      I'm starting to wonder where you put all the DVDs and Blu-Rays you own, man. I have to limit myself. Mostly due to space. Lol. Undertow is my favorite Green after All the Real Girls. It's badass.

      I need to see It Comes at Night for sure. May wait for Blu-ray though.

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    2. Great that your wife is feeling better!

      I have 2 big cabinets in my basement specifically for my DVD's & Blu-rays. I have a cupboard in my basement with DVD's & Blu-rays. I have some DVD's & Blu-rays in my nightstand, along with all of my 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. So, that totals up to around 1,500 DVD's, Blu-rays, & 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. I don't really organize them in any particular order, except for my Criterion Collection films (organized by spine number), & I have my top 5 films of all time organized at the top of the cabinet (20th Century Women, Manchester by the Sea, Beginners, Pleasantville, & Good Will Hunting).

      All the Real Girls is my favorite David Gordon Green film. It's an absolutely beautiful ode to young romance.

      You definitely need to see It Comes at Night. If you liked Krisha, you'll like this. I will warn you, it's more of a psychological horror film than an actual horror film.

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  9. GREAT call on The Blair Witch Project. If you saw that damn thing in theaters... jesus, how scary it was. I agree, one of the best horror films ever made. Feels so real.

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    1. Thanks, man. Just terrifying. No doubt. Glad we got to experience it the right way.

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  10. Dead Poet's Society is an interesting pick for this week but it's such a great movie.

    Sending best wishes to your wife as well!!

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    1. Thanks! She's about back to normal now.

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  11. Ah good call on Undertow - pretty good film as I remember.

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