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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 09:07 am:   

   By Lucius on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 04:09 am:  Edit

Storm, a swedish film, begins with a Matrix-style opening, a young woman fighting and being chased by balldheads in night-time Stockholm--theyre pursung her to retrieve a mysterious cube. Cut to Donny D, a 30ish journalist who lives a desultory life among friends and bars and etc. Donny inadvertantly rescues the woman and she tells him to meet her later at a club called Oblivion, where he picks up the cube. So far, the film sounds like typical Millennial sci-fi, but then Donny is magicked back to the Silent-Hill like environment of Vainerburg, the town--now deserted except for specters--where he grew up, and you begin to realize that the progression of the film, the various settings, may be lifted from movies Donny may have seen. Whereas the Matrix introduced us through the character of Neo to a larger cosmic story, in Storm this process is reversed and we are focused more and more on Donny's small, personal story. This is an interesting movie, one that is not entirely successful, but I'm glad I saw it--I want to watch it again. I was little sleepy when I saw it. But its at least worth a rental, if you can find it.
   By Dave G. on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 06:26 am:  Edit

Hmmm. I thought the "found footage" ending of Reggerio Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST inspired BWP! I really dug BWP, btw, especially the last five minutes, which were pretty mind-blowing in ways that most underground horror pictures can't even approach.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 06:53 am:  Edit

I was just bored. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
   By Kelly Christopher Shaw on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 07:40 am:  Edit

Storm sounds pretty cool, and the kind of film that will eventually get a short US theatrical run and DVD.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 07:46 am:  Edit

Yeah, maybe. Hope so.

My latest outrageous expenditure is Sheitan, which probably will not receive a domestic realease or DVD and has received very mixed reviews.
   By Dave G. on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 08:40 am:  Edit

It was weird. I saw BWP twice, once in an urban theater and once in a suburban multiplex. The latter crowd sat in stunned silence, and the former thought it was the funniest comedy they had ever seen.

I agree it dig drag in spots, but I thought that certain moments were legitimately harrowing.

I'm going to try to find the 5-disc Dust Devil set at our local merchants...
   By Lucius on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 08:46 am:  Edit

I saw it in the U district in Seattle. Mixed reaction. Me, I never got harrowed.

You need Dust Devil, Dave.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

I came to BWP way too late to have any kind of surprised to response to it. I know people who saw it without any preconceptions (at one of those U District showings) and they told me it was the scariest thing they'd ever seen. But the whole Starbucks staff lost in the woods had already been parodied to death by the time I saw it. The only stuff I still enjoyed were the old-school Arkham House stick constructions, Lee Brown Coye by way of Karl Edward Wagner's "Sticks." Big sigh of relief when the sequel, floated with pretentious claptrap by Joe Berlinger, proved so shitty they didn't bother with a third.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:37 am:   

I saw it the second night after it opened. Just didn't work for me.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:41 am:   

I've seen plenty worse than BWP2. Surprisingly, the movie actually did turn a profit for Artisan, just not enough for them to work on a third.

I suppose the first one could be creepy if you've never been in the woods at night, but for me, getting lost in the woods isn't a scary prospect.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 11:06 am:   

Following up on PMs Dust Devil posting, the movie is supposed to be good, but the documentaries (including one about the Nazi search for the Holy Grail) sound even better. Mmmmmmm...dying during sex...mmmmmmmm.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

Yeah, the 5-disc Dust Devil package looks incredibly -- 2 cuts of the film, 3 docs, 1 soundtrack all for a paltry $20.99 from Amazon!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 11:38 am:   

The voodoo one caught my attention.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 11:58 am:   

I had been reluctant to get another version of Dust Devil (first dubbed VHS, then PAL DVD), but the documentaries sound interesting.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 05:24 pm:   

I'm addicted to Lost, but I agree with Lucius. It's not going to resolve things, it will just keep going and drag it out as long as it can go (kind of like Robert Jordan).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 05:27 pm:   

I was addicted, but Season 2 cured me. Too many BS flashbacks.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 05:40 pm:   

This just flew in the door -- Visions of Suffering, a film by the director of Nails, with a bigger budget and more assured. I'm not going to get to this by the time I leave, but I;m really looking forward to his vision of hell.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 09:12 pm:   

i gave up on LOST when the hobbit shot the guy on the island in season one. i saw that, and went, 'right, so there will be no answers, and the show is about backflashes.' since the island is the only thing of interest, i just stopped watching. i heard season two added new cast members and just laughed.

and BWP is BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, yes? that film sucked some serious ass. i have never wanted a bunch of people on film to die quicker.

:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 09:23 pm:   

"that film sucked some serious ass. i have never wanted a bunch of people on film to die quicker."

I couldn't agree more.

Season two not only added cast, it added a gigantic foot. Amazing. It reminds me of the ultimate BS video game, MYST. What could enormous foot be a relic of...what? What? What? I must know. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 09:50 pm:   

wait, wait... i know, it's like... a duck... :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 09:55 pm:   

anyhow, the thing that really irritated me on the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was, like, everything... but mostly, how absolutely vacuous the main characters were. if the film had suddenly turned into one of those hand held porn films, like GIRLS GONE WILD IN THE WOODS, or something, i think those people would have still had slightly less characterisation.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:10 pm:   

GIRLS GONE WILD IN THE WOODS...mmm. Might be something in that. Geez, globalization has really gone too far, when GGW get to the other side of the planet.

The movie was all about the MTV gestalt, except they tried to make it look like a DIY project...it was fairly clever but that's where it stopped. Was it scary? About as scary as a Cheeto commercial.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:32 pm:   

I remember reading the Blair Witch makers were going to do a Bigfoot Project next. I think I actually read the script they were trying to get made. It was co-written by Ed Sanchez one of the producers of Blair Witch, with another screenwriter who's had a few options but nothing produced.
Anyway it was a real piece of crap, with a lame, contrived ending. It was about a group of bigfoot (bigfeet?) who attack a train during the late 1800's. At the end of the script the heroes let a little baby bigfoot go, for some reason, after they just battled through the whole script trying to kill them all. Then a few pages later, during the "surprise" ending, there is still one mother bigfoot left who is about to attack the surviving heroes, but she notices that they let the baby bigfoot live, so she lets them live too. Ha.
I can see why the crappy thing never got made. And it seemed to confirm my suspicions that the Blair Witch makers weren't very talented, but just very fortunate that they had such a good internet marketing campaign.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 10:43 pm:   

Sounds like a Spielberg movie.... ;)
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 - 11:17 pm:   

you know what'd make that bigfoot film better? GIRLS GONE WILD: BIGFOOT FAMILY SPIELBERG FANTASIA

:-)

anyhow, all i actually know about the GGW stuff is that the guy who makes them got sued or something recently--or a girl wrote an article about him being abuseive/rapist, i can't remember which. i don't think you can buy them round here, but with the internet for your global porn, what does it matter...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 03:09 am:   

I just woke from a dream in which the giant foot in the Lost cliffhanger proved, in the season opener, to meet up with an enormous butt.

I'm not kidding. I actually dreamed that. I'm ashamed.

The thing is, the Bigfoot thing could have been a Spielberg movie --it's that sappy.

As for GGW, as Zhang ke Gia says, globalization bites....
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 05:16 am:   

The horrible characters were part of the appeal of BWP. I loathed them, but they seemed much more believable than most horror movie characters. However, the shitty camera work was too much. We're expected to believe they're film students, but they can't film anything. Most people who used camcorders for a few weeks are better at filming.

As for the bigfoot movie...if a movie has bigfoot in it, it's already going to be terrible. I've seen most bigfoot movies, and they've all sucked. But I think there have been plenty of "girls gone wild" in the woods type movies, all trying to be soft-porn spoofs of BWP.

Lost...I did get pissed off when Pippin shot the guy, but we did eventually get answers about what happened. It just took an extra season to get there. The writers say they want to cut back on flashbacks, but I'll believe it when it happens. I'll keep watching this season, but my hopes for the show are much lower.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 05:28 am:   

Thought I'd pass on word of CLIVE BARKER's THE PLAGUE, which exerts suckage with special fervor.

It's all about a strange contagion that sends all the world's children (under Age 19) into vegetative states. 10 years later, in a world defined by grieving parents, where the last unaffected kids are just now leaving high school, and where all subsequent children born have the same condition...

...the kids wake up and start acting like zombies, swarming and killing people.

Honestly. That's the best the moviemakers could do.

Excerpt from my review.

"...the creative laziness here verges on the criminal. You have a powerful and disturbing opening concept like that, worthy of John Wyndham or Nigel Kneale at their best, and a cheap zombie rehash is the best you can do with it? Then get another job. Seriously, it doesn’t take all that much thought to come up with half a dozen alternative story directions, all far more promising than just having the blank-eyed kids wake up and start killing people. Here’s just a few. What if one kid came out of the coma, and became the subject of too much attention by too many adults projecting all their heartbeat and loss upon him? What if the Plague ended, and the new influx of bright, happy and unaffected kids entered a world now facing the problem of what to do with all those millions still rotting away in high school gymnasiums? What if the kids came back fully recovered but slightly off, leaving their parents to the dawning knowledge that their darlings were hiding something? What if we followed the life paths of the last high school class, as they move on into adulthood, enjoying the status that has accrued to the last of their kind, but increasingly aware that they can leave nothing in their wake but oblivion and extinction? Hell, what if the story turned out to be entirely about adults struggling for a reason to live, in a world with no future?
"Honestly, people: those questions – each more promising than the story’s actual direction -- represent a mere thirty seconds of brainstorming, by a reviewer dizzy with a flu who needed chicken soup just to think straight. This movie comes attached to the name of one of the most imaginative, uncompromising fantasists of his era. Either one of us is having a peak day despite physical infirmity, or one of us just isn’t trying."

Of course, I doubt Clive Barker had much to do with the film, beyond allowing the use of his name.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 06:12 am:   

Oops, that should be "when Merry shot the guy," not Pippin (but does it really matter which hobbit is which?).
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 06:24 am:   

Hmmm, a nation of zombie children who turn on their parents and become destructive menaces.

Now, don't jump all over my head on this, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is a metaphor of some kind...
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 06:40 am:   

I just woke from a dream in which the giant foot in the Lost cliffhanger proved, in the season opener, to meet up with an enormous butt.

hahahaha.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 06:53 am:   

Dave G: Alas, the movie doesn't have enough of a brain in its head to even make that work as metaphor, though it does pay lip service to that idea with a speech or two.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:07 am:   

Ben... :-)


Adam, that plot sounds amazingly like the plot of a J-horror movie called Stacies, which came out a few years ago, and dealt with a plague that killied only teenage girls. Except for that difference, it seems a ripoff. Which adds to the lack of imagination that funded it. Stacies did employ the metaphor to better use.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:40 am:   

Adam: Don't forget about the Sci-Fi Channel produced "Clive Barker's Saint Sinner." This seems a trend for Clive's movie career -- lending his name to irredeemable projects. Sad, because I agree that he was "one of the most imaginative, uncompromising fantasists."
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:45 am:   

Isn't J-horror makin' the American world go round anyway? Remakes and ripoffs --- those Hollywood butts can't get enough of those small Japanese feet...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 08:54 am:   

It also sounds a bit like "Y: The Last Man," Pia Guerra's graphic novel about a plague that kills all men on earth, but one.

I guess plagues are the "in" thing in horror this decade...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 08:56 am:   

Oh, and I ordered DUST DEVIL. My wknd double feature, if it gets to me in time, will be Miike's IMPRINT and DD!

(Yes, my life is that boring...:-()
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 09:11 am:   

Plagues and viruses.

You actually ordered from an on-line site? Brave Dave! Your life will be less boring now! :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 09:46 am:   

Jeez, pretty soon...GIRLS! :-) And I owe it all to Lucius!
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 09:51 am:   

Welcome to online ordering, Dave. Your boring life sounds a lot like mine. :-) I got Asylum on deck for the weekend, and I may go rent Marebito.

I went to Best Buy and Borders yesterday in search of Dust Devil, Dark Waters, Head Trauma, and Headspace (a film I need to own). Alas, nothing! So back to my computer and the usual online sources. It would be nice if these big retailers carried something besides the typical homogenized stuff -- there's something to be said for getting off your arse and buying a book or movie in a real bric-and-mortar store.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:00 am:   

As for girls, I'd gt a trainer model first. The real ones can mess with your head. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:01 am:   

As for girls, I'd get a trainer model first. The real ones can mess with your head. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:24 am:   

Or make you repeat yourself yourself. :-)

I really enjoyed ASYLUM, but then, I have a special fetish for Amicus "portmanteau" horror flix. If you don't have THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, I would reco that heartily. And why hasn't TALES FROM THE CRYPT come out here? Arrrgh!

I picked up HEADSPACE at Sam Goody. I thought it was just OK. It was well-made, but I didn't care much for the story. Udo Kier was quite interesting in it, though.

Lucius, how about if I start with a kitten maybe?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:34 am:   

I'll check out THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD -- thanks, Dave.

Park Chan-Wook cleans his palette with...a quirky comedy! Trailer for "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" here:

file:///private/tmp/501/TemporaryItems/AOLTemp.html
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:36 am:   

Start with a twany kitaen. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:30 am:   

Just saw her on the VH-1 "Behind the Music" for her ex-boyfriend's band RATT. Let's just say that a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the halcyon days of WITCHBOARD.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:43 am:   

:-) Yep.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 12:18 pm:   

And just sent in my review of THE DROP, starring John Savage and Sean Young, which -- honestly -- makes CLIVE BARKER'S THE PLAGUE look like the second coming of Orson Welles.

A college student is chased back and forth across several levels of a parking garage by thugs who want to know where he hid a briefcase containing a mysterious glowing object capable of destroying the world. Beyond awful.

"...action scenes so listless that the result seems less a movie than a series of carefully-posed slides."
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   

Slide poseurs, you say...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 01:24 pm:   

Sean Young's next step down from her bit part in HEADSPACE...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 02:23 pm:   

Anyone seen The House With the Laughing Windows.

THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS [UK PAL REGION 2 RELEASE]
(LA CASA DALLE FINESTRE CHE RIDONO / HOUSE WITH THE WINDOWS THAT LAUGH)
Stock Status: In Stock
$27.95
Director: Pupi Avati

Label: Nouveaux Pictures


Genre: Giallo
Country: Italy
Year: 1976
 
 
Pupi Avati created one of the finest Italian films of the 1970's. A very atmospheric horror/giallo that has never been available in a version with English subtitles…until now!
Stefano, a painter, travels to a village to restore a painting of Saint Sebastian being tortured. After a short while in the village Stefano begins realizing that something isn't right. He soon learns that the painter was a madman who tried desperately to capture the last moments of death on canvas. With the help of the madman's 2 sisters, who captured and tortured the models, the painter was able to create his morbid paintings. A truly amazing film that has been much sought after for years. Stars Lino Caplicchio, Francesca Marciano and Gianni Cavuna.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:14 pm:   

Yeah, I have it, it's worth seeing. It has a pretty strange ending which I think was an influence on the movie Close Your Eyes. It's pretty restrained for an Italian horror, with none of the Fulci or Argento excesses. Of course you get the bad Italian acting, but that seems to be a given with the genre.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:15 pm:   

By the way, there's a Region 1 version of House of Laughing Windows as part of the Euro-Shock collection.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:41 pm:   

Thanks, JK. And yeah, that is a cheaper version, and apparently just as good a transfer.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 06:04 pm:   

Rampo Noir is certainly a beautiful shot movie--the three stories that comprise it each have some virtue. The first, the story of a mad mirrormaker, is the most accessible and interesting. The second is a story I found typical of Japanese horror, a wife torturing her husband to death, sado-masochism taken to an erotic level. The last story concerns a man who is possessed by an incessant itching and who has killed a woman in order to be with her. Her body corrupts and he freaks out. I enjoyed this movie, I may watch it again, but damned if I know why. For the pretty pictures, I guess.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   

Hey Kelly -- if you haven't bought a copy of HEADSPACE yet, I can send you mine. I liked it, but I doubt I'll ever watch it again. You'll save some money, I'll clear some space for my next impulse buy ...

If you're interested, email me at ballingrud at gmail . com.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:42 pm:   

I have hundreds of movies I'll never watch again, but I love to sift them through my fingers and go, "Mooo-vie! Good!" :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:51 pm:   

Then I cover my scalp with cold grits and give my monkey skull a for-luck rub.

"Moo-vie...."

This is what's called going-to-Nicaragua anxiety talk. :-)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 09:16 pm:   

Don't worry. If you should die we'll have someone in the Bush administration praise you as being the best science fiction writer since Tolkien...and we'll save the cold grits rituals for your bio, LESSONS IN SCARRING.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 09:50 pm:   

at least you're not dreaming bout LOST anymore ;)
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:53 pm:   

Lost stretches itself too thin, but the one revelation in the season finale that tied directly into the whole reason the plane crashed, was a bright spot of structural integrity. Unfortunately, it was the one mystery I wanted resolved, and they did that...but it was brilliant. There were a few (too few) genuinely great moments in season two, although nothing quite on a par with the light shining out of the hatch in the first season. The message Michael gets on the computer terminal; the pile of pneumatic tubes. I really love this stuff, it's a bright spot of surreal s.f. thinking showing through the padding. I believe the s.f./tech elements work fairly well on the show...the part that conveys the horror of Dr. Moreau's Island. On the other hand, the mystical stuff is a crutch for plotting their way out of corners. It's clearly heavily influenced by Myst, Far Cry, and Half-Life, among whatever other games. But I agree that foot...that foot...was a Simpsons/Planet of the Apes moment.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:02 pm:   

Anyway, at least I've got some TV show closure in store. Season 6 (and last) of OZ just showed up so I'm off to watch that. Oz, whatever its other faults, was never boring. Sopranos, Deadwood, slack shows, even entire slack seasons. Oz never committed that offense, but kept itself wound tight the whole time. It only had to pull off eight episodes a season though, so...no padding.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:18 pm:   

I apppreciate the Tolkien reference...

No, now I'm living it, anticipating a cloud forest version of LOST (in Nicarague).

I watched the catching-you-up episode of Lost tonight and realized I didn't haveto ever watch another episode, just the end of the year episodes....
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:17 am:   

Re the foot. I thought it was definitely a Simpson's moment more than planet of the apes. It was relatively new-looking foot, redolent of an Italian restaurant promo, more than an ancient relic. It could well be a fiberglass remnant of Homer Simpson in a toga.

Question. Isn't natural selection at work on the island. How did Mr. Wimpy Guy get to be king of the dread Others? Makes no sense.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:19 am:   

Nathan: Thanks a lot. I sent you an email this morning.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:38 am:   

Two linguistic observations:

"monkey skull" could and should be the new vogue euphemism for penis


"Lessons in Scarring" is a great title for something and it would be criminal not to use it!

That's all for now...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:51 am:   

And that's aplenty...:-)

Still basking in the glow of that online purchase?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 08:05 am:   

I have blocked out a big section of my Sunday for Dust Devil, Nazi Grail-chasing and Haitian voodoo.

Just du'n get any better'n that, people.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 08:41 am:   

Sorry to hear that. :-)
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 08:55 am:   

And finally, the last of four awful movies in four days, the mad-stalker film HEARTSTOPPER, with Robert Englund, which has some lovely bad lines to recommend it.

My favorite:

“He’s killed, like, a gazillion people. He rips out their hearts and watches them die, all right? The crime scenes are usually bloodbaths!”

Don’t you love the inclusion, in that context, of the modifier, ‘usually’?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 09:38 am:   

Adam: Have you seen any good movies recently?
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 09:51 am:   

The Mr. Wimpy Guy was a Keyzer Sosze turn. It didn't seem like that was the product of natural selection at all; I think they're all his hand-picked employees. They're some kind of staffed-up operation. Not that he's the guy in charge. He's more like the manager of the local Wendy's franchise. "Why'd you take off the beard? And where's your hairnet?"
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 10:15 am:   

Marc has the in-show reason. The real reason is they booked him for 3 episodes, and then decided they really liked the actor, so they increased his role. It's pretty much the reason for most of the characters on the show - they auditioned with one role in mind, and the creators really liked them and built roles around them.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 10:47 am:   

That makes sense, Robert.

Pretty rancid, Adam. Do yourself a favor. Catch a good flick for a change. You've earned it. :-)
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 10:56 am:   

I was being paid for these (and still have BEWITCHED SEASON 4 to sit through), but yeah, I deserve it at this point. The Hitchcock boxed set and Tracy/Hepburn boxed set on my shelves are taunting me.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

BEWITCHED: Adam, as far as I'm concerned, it stopped being BEWITCHED when Dick York left!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 11:18 am:   

I assumed you were being paid. :-)
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 03:54 pm:   

Have any of you seen Santa Sangre? I think it would be a natural for this group...heh. (I loved it, but out of a group showing to some friends, I received many "how could you!" reactions...)
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:08 pm:   

I meant to add The Prisoner to the list of things that had an obvious heavy(handed) influence on Lost. The island is like the Prisoner setting after a couple decades of disrepair.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 06:44 pm:   

Santa Sangre was pretty crazy. I don't know if I actually liked it, but it's worth seeing. I still need to see Tusk and The Rainbow Thief. I hear they're not so great. Wonder if he'll ever make another movie? That documentary on the dvd of Fando & Lis is interesting. He runs some kind of magical pseudo-psychiatric workshops in Mexico.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:08 pm:   

That itself sounds like a movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:15 pm:   

My favorite remains el Topo. I haven't seen the Rainbow Thief, either, but I may because I have an O'Toole jones. I've worn out three copies of THE RULING CLASS.

The last episode of the Prisoner is a fucking trip.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:28 pm:   

Yeah, that Prisoner episode was weird. There was an explanation of it all by Patrick M. on the dvd, which involved the song they kept singing-Dem bones Dem bones, and Christ and this and that...it got pretty out-there.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:36 pm:   

Dem Bones is an old minstrel show song. But I don't require an explanation--I just dug it.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:46 pm:   

Lucius, have you seen Szamanka? Directed by Zulawski, the guy who did Possession, the horror movie where Adjani has sex with the octopus monster.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:51 pm:   

No, I've been tempted to buy it several times, but never pulled the trigger. I don't know why. Something about the sales copy, I imagine...Liked Possession. Another Sam Neill movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 06:10 am:   

Takashi Shimizu, the director of Marebito, offers a new film, Reincarnation. Marebito, of which I was a big fan, was very low budget. Reincarnation, which is part of a series called J-Horror theater, has a large budget. The first two films in the series, Infection and Premonition, were forgettable. The fourth is to be Kobyashi Kurosawa's Retribution.

This is really more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie. It's neither very gory or scary, despite the fact that its central event is a mass murder at a hotel committed by a professor during the 1970s, and the movie-within-a-movie that's being made about it. I liked this movie generally, though it contains many J-horror cliches (little girl ghost, weird doll, etc). I liked its overall restraint, the restrained use of CGI, its emphasis on the psychological, the twist at the end,etc. There's nothing terribly new here, but it's a solid film, maybe even a little better than that, much better than the previous two films in the series. Until Shimizu films another Marebito, this serves to remind that he's pretty strong genre director.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 06:28 am:   

I was debating whether to buy Reincarnation from yesasia. Hmm...still not sure. Thanks for the write-up though.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 06:47 am:   

Well, if you like Shimizu, I'd say buy it, but I realize what I wrote kind of fence-straddles. I usually base my overall review on whether I'd watch the film again, and, in this case, I think I would, partly because I was a little fuzzy last night, partly because there were some problems with the script I'd like to check, partly because I want to see some of the CGI again. Mmm. Still fence-sitting. :-)
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 07:51 am:   

I should probably check out Marebito first.

Nothing wrong with fence-sitting. Most critics sensationalize their reactions, either bashing or praising the hell out of a film, and ultimately missing the boat about a film's true quality.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 07:55 am:   

Oh, yeah. If you haven't seen Marebito, hustle up a copy. That, in my view, is a winner.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 02:30 pm:   

And oh, God, for the last assigned review of the month, just watched ten episodes of BEWITCHED, back to back.

What the HELL did Samantha see in that pop-eyed putz?

My cats are prying the revolver from my fingers...
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jk
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   

Yeah, Premonition was pretty bad. I saw one called Heirloom which had some interesting bits. I guy inherits a big house in Tapei and people who visit the house find themselves transported back to it after they leave. The end was kind of a let down, but the rest was ok.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 04:20 pm:   

Wouldn't Chris need to do a remake of Secret Agent Man first? ;)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 05:25 pm:   

One would think. :-)

Yeah, I saw Heirloom. It was better, but I wasn't in the mood for it or something.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 10:33 pm:   

Watched Small Gauge Trauma tonight, an anthology of "13 award winning short films." When two of the best films are little more than stylistic knock-offs of the Evil Dead and Dead Ringers, you're in bad shape. Only one of these shorts, the Brazilian possession film "Love From Mother Only," even has a modicum of character development. Not coincidentally, this is also the only film to induce an ounce of fear. The other films are all one-note, heavy-handed, and stupid (the worst being "Ruta Destroy," a 2002 film that looks like a piece from the mid-80s, described as a "raver delinquent musical). Very disappointing disc, especially since it received positive write-ups on Twitch and DVDTAlk.

Nathan: You expressed an interest in this disc in the past. If you're still interested, it's yours.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 07:21 am:   

Saw the Miike MOH episode this weekend. Definitely disturbing, but no more so than the HBO doc on cannibals I watched Sunday night. Showtime definitely could have aired it. I guess the combination of the elaborate torture sequence (a la Audition, Miike is not a good spokesman for the acupuncture industry), some pretty graphic lo-tech abortion scenes and lots of dead fetuses made the Showtime honchos queasy. Some horror mavens, huh?

On the downside, this episode seemed to recycle some of the more shocking moments of Audition, and Gozu, but it is eerie and atmospheric as hell and it definitely stands with "Pick Me Up" and "Cigarette Burns" as the best of the MOH series.

Haven't gotten my Dust Devil yet, but I also just ordered a copy of Calvaire, which seems quite interesting...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 07:51 am:   

I also saw a very, very good film, HALF NELSON, the story of an inner-city teacher's battle with cocaine. Great performance by Ryan Gosling. Can't find any weak links in a movie with strong direction, writing and acting. Highly recommended.
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PM
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 12:21 pm:   

Watched the rerun of "Homecoming" (MOH) in HD over the weekend.

It'll be interesting to see if the upcoming Masters of Science Fiction raises the bar...
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 03:33 pm:   

Kelly: though your review of Small Gauge Trauma hardly inspires enthusiasm :-), I will take you up on that offer. Headspace for Small Gauge!

Thanks!

On Masters of Sci Fi: I think I read that it'd be aired on network tv, which further diminishes its chances of being anything good.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 03:44 pm:   

Masters of SCIFi means the same old recycled Outer Limits shit.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 04:51 pm:   

Dave: I was gonna check out Half Nelson, but opted for Michel Gondry's the Science of Sleep instead. I love Eternal Sunshine, so knew what to expect with Gondry. In a way, SOS is much like Sunshine -- a bittersweet love story. But without Charlie Kaufmann's screenplay to ground Gondry's visuals (old-school stop-motion) in any kind of meaning, much of the film's middle section feels like a whimsy overload. Still, thanks to Gael Garcia Bernal's performance as a manic 20something, SOS is worth a viewing.

Nathan: Sounds like a (un)fair trade.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 05:22 pm:   

Kelly, I guess our tastes run in different directions...I like grittier, verite looking stuff. The coming attraction for SOS made me put it in my "never in a million years" file. I have a pretty low tolerance for whimsy.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, October 02, 2006 - 06:29 pm:   

Dave: I enjoy "grittier, verite looking stuff" as well. The Pusher Trilogy is my most anticpated DVD release of this year and, from what I've read, you can't get much gritter than that, and Head-On was one of my favorite films of last year. But I also enjoy the cinematic whimsey of directors like Michel Gondry, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Wes Anderson -- and there's where our tastes diverge.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 - 08:27 am:   

My DUST DEVIL DVD came last night. Haven't had time to watch it yet, but it looks amazing. Great packaging, full of terrific extras. No expense was spared. If it half as good as it looks, it will have been a fine purchase indeed.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   

Somebody lemme know how that voodoo doc is, will ya?
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, October 04, 2006 - 05:34 am:   

Watched Dexter which was neither the best nor the worst thing I've seen. Seeing Hall make an on-camera appearance at a Showtime boxing match to do publicity was amusing. He admits that it's his first boxing match and he's visibly uncomfortable. Ah, the demands done in the name of promotion. He just needed some direction...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 04, 2006 - 06:50 am:   

Watched SECRET GLORY, Richard Stanleys doc on the Nazi grail hunter and his research into the Cathar religious sect. Fascinating stuff, I must say, even if I could pick a few nits about the way the movie was put together. Definitely worth 90 minutes of your time.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, October 04, 2006 - 03:59 pm:   

"Somebody lemme know how that voodoo doc is, will ya?"

If one watches it I would recommend listening to the commentary. There's also an interview with Stanley but the commentary has essentially the same material plus more details.

As Stanley states the doc starts out as being about voodoo and then goes off into two other directions. It's uncertain as to exactly why this happened.

This works best when conveyed as a presentation of a trip to Haiti instead of a voodoo doc.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 05:14 am:   

The new Lost was OK. Jack's flashback was tedious, it didn't give us any more insight into him, it was just filler. Besides that, we just meet another Other, find out they have a village on the island, and that they've lockd up people in different locations (Jack underwater, Sawyer and Kate in cages in what looks like an abandoned zoo).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 05:38 am:   

Thanks, PM.

Next year, like Surivor: Cook Island, they'll have Lost: Nicaragua or something like that. :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 09:26 am:   

Lost has shown quality before. I keep watching because I hope it will deliver again (and it sometimes does). And I guess curiosity is also a draw - what will they do next? When they finally reveal things, they usually aren't what I'm expecting (and that is really rare on TV).

It's too early this season to talk about a vibe. I didn't think about The Prisoner while watching it.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 09:32 am:   

I missed the teaser, except for the pull-back to the big vista, which seems to have been the high point of the episode.

It's been easy to get past the show's deficiencies by watching a full season on DVD. This is the first time I'm trying to keep up as they unroll it. There have been enough past moments of brilliance to keep me going. I don't assume anything about the quality of future episodes, but this first one was mediocre.

Overall, I got the same vibe I got when Planet of the Apes turned into a TV series: a downgrade of the elements I found most intriguing.
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 09:32 am:   

I feel the same way about Lost these days, Kelly. It just grows increasingly wearisome, despite the odd good scene. I think it's been hugely disappointing since the end of the first season.

Anyone seen Heroes? I heard that it isn't bad, and apparently it has a Lost sort of vibe to it.

I saw a couple of new/newish Asian movies at the local cinema this week. First up was Silk, a Taiwanese supernatural thriller by Su Zhao-bin, director of Double Vision (co-starring David Morse). The pseudoscientific elements were really hokey, but it was a pretty enjoyable film overall, with a few effectively creepy sequences. There was one pretty funny death scene involving a ghost coming out of a bowl of beef noodles that had the whole audience laughing.

After that I saw Recycle, the latest Pang brothers (The Eye) effort and, like Silk, it was something of a mixed bag. The idea - a writer finding herself trapped in the world of her own discarded story ideas - wasn't bad, and many of the film's numerous effects-laden sequences were quite impressive, but the soundtrack was horribly inappropriate and really grated on me. When are filmmakers going to learn that sometimes a scene can be more creepy without an accompanying deafening thud on the soundtrack?! There wasn't much in the way of acting or dialogue; it was pretty much a big fantasy/horror chase movie for most of the running time. Much of the CGI stuff was very good, but a lot of it was also overblown, and some of the makeup was downright silly (the film features what must be the most unscary zombies in recent film history). The whole thing was a bit like a cross between The Eye and a Jim Henson movie. It was worth seeing for the good bits, but ultimately disappointing, I thought.

End of ramble... sorry 'bout that!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 09:46 am:   

Lost is an addiction -- It's set up to be one. You either let yourself get hooked or you don't. For me, I prefer my addictions stronger.

I really have trouble associating the word "brilliance" with Lost. It's a compendium of second rate TV, with better FX. The opening scene of the series was nice, but brilliant? Meantime, did you know that the Road was a trunk novel? And that he has five more waiting to go?

I'd like to comment at length on what you said about The Road, Marc, but don't have time now. Maybe when I get back.

Silk sounds worthwhile, Huw. I haven't liked the Pang Bros for a while. Haven't caught Heroes, but plan to.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 09:51 am:   

Thanks Huw. I've also read mixed reviews elsewhere about Silk and Re-Cycle. I don't get the Pang Brothers. Even the charms of their most acclaimed film, The Eye, eluded me.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, October 05, 2006 - 11:38 am:   

Thanks, Everyone, for giving reasons to watch Lost.

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