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LS
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 05:19 am:   

Watched Natural City, a Korean Bladerunner of no particlular merit, save for the fact that it's interesting to see that story told with state of the art effects. Still and all, probably the best science fiction to come out of Korea, Not one of their strengths.

Also watched the first half of Blood and Bones, starring Beat Takeshi as a Korean man in the Osaka ghetto who is forced to become a serious bastard in order to survive. Got too sleepy to watch all of it, but my impression is that this is one of Kitano's great performances.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 06:50 am:   

Anybody have thoughts on BRICK?
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kellys
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 07:33 am:   

Brick hasn't come to my neighborhood yet, but a high school version of the Big Sleep starring the kid from Mysterious Skin sounds like a good thing to me.

Saw V for Vendetta over the weekend, which, politically, is about as subtle and elegant a film as Crash. As a work fo sci-fi, it made me want to go watch Brazil. As a a detective story, it failed to engage. It would have been nice if Rea's character had a life away from the job. I'm probably preaching to the choir, though.

Blood and Bones was picked by a lot of Japanese critics, in its given year, as the best film of the year, with Kitano getting nothing but praise for his performance.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:04 am:   

Talked to a friend who's a critic for the Voice -- he took his teenage daughter to a screening of Brick and said he wanted to walk out after a few minutes. So did his daughter, but she couldn't because she was meeting friends there. So they had to sit through the whole mess. I generally am in accord with his reviews, official and unofficial. So I'm giving Brick a pass.

Good to hear about B&B. My impression thusfar is that it's a great movie. Apparently the director waited four years to make it so he could have Kitano in the movie.

V for Vendetta...Pah!
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:33 am:   

I dunno. All the "Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is the next big thing" hype...Did those folks happen to SEE HAVOC????
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 09:18 am:   

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt -- is that an actor? Sounds like a US Senator from the Great Midwest. What's SEE HAVOC?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:02 am:   

No, I mean did people see HAVOC? HAVOC was the Anne "Princess Diaries" Hathaway-gets-nekkid-in-adult-roles movie directed by Barbara "Harlan County, USA" Kopple and written by Stephen "Traffic" Geaghan that mysteriously wound up going direct to DVD and lining the cutout bins without a word of praise. I wondered why, but after having seen it, I wonder no more. An absolute abomination on every level, and Gordon-Leavitt (the kid from "Third Rock From the Sun"), who was allegedly good in MYSTERIOUS SKIN, plays a white hip-hopper with all the scene-chewing mania of Crispin Glover on crystal meth.

(Yes, Hathaway is cute nekkid, but still...)
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 10:08 am:   

Oh, yeah, I remember.

Much as I relish a Crispin Glover moment now and again, I have never understood the appeal, limited though it may be, of Greg Araki.
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Ls
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 01:31 pm:   

Just watched Tony Jaa's second movie Tom Yum Goon, not as action packed and tight as Ong Bak. More like an early Bruce Lee film. Still, all in all, pretty cool with some great set pieces--one a big fight inside an abandoned factory, Jaa is the shit in martial arts films.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 09:31 pm:   

Speaking of Crispin Glover:

Ray Winstone - Beowulf
Brendan Gleeson - ???
Crispin Glover - Grendel

Writers include Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary

The downside: Zemeckis

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/fullcredits#writers
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2006 - 09:56 pm:   

You forgot Malkovich as Unferth....

I just saw one of the best scifi movies ever -- it was in Russian, no subtitles, but even what I was able to get out of it was funnier than hell. It's called Kin-Dza-Dza, a Sheckleyesque satire about two guys who're transported from the streets of Moscow to the desert planet Plyuk, a post-apocalyptic place with strange underground factories and bathysphere shaped helicopters and ruined skyscrapers and carnivals and such poking up from the sand, I was laughing like crazy even though I wasn't sure what was going on. The whole thing concerned the two characters trying to get home, but the focus was on the future as seen by Russians of the pre-glasnost era. You have to see this movie....
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kellys
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 09:45 am:   

The Russian flick sounds cool. Don't think I could get myself to spend the money on a non-sub disc though.

Gaiman has a few interesting cinema projects that could yield positive results. Besides Beowulf, he's adapting Charles Burns' graphic novel Black Hole for Aja (Haute Tension), and Henry Selick is turning his stop-motion hand to Gaiman's creepy Coraline.
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:18 am:   

I tell you, man, I've paid for discs in English or with subtitles that I enjoyed less than Kin-Dza-Dza... But watching it with a Russian speaker, which I did the second time I watched it, helps.
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

Oh, yeah! Blood and Bones is terrific....
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:25 am:   

Lucius, was the Tony Jaa film the Korean DVD? I saw Diabolik had that with English subs. I'm tempted by it (along with Day Watch and Malefique). By the way, I see they're planning an English remake for Malefique.
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Ls
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:33 am:   

Yeah, that's it. I didn't like it as much as Ong Bak. A lot more comedy in this one, and that's usually a bad sign in chopsocky films.

An American remake for Malefique, or British?
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:44 am:   

The remake looks to be American, with Neal Moritz producing. His track record (Fast & the Furious, xXx) gives me little to hope for.

I could do without the comedy or plot in Tony Jaa films.
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kellys
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

Lucius, I know you're not big on disc specs, but did you buy the Japanese or Hong Kong version of B&B and were the subs up to par? I wouldn't think to ask about the image quality of the disc. :-)
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

American remake....Bad!

Too much of both comedy and plot in this one, I'm afraid.


Kelly, I bought the Japanese disc, and I didn't really notice the subs -- but that may not be telling. I'm so accustomed to watching bad subs, I think I compensate for them. I'm going to watch it again, and I'll concentrate on the subs and report--maybe this weekend.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 04:51 am:   

Whenever thinking of Martin Scorcese's cannon, which I don't do that often, there's one film I rarely remember to include -- Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. I don't think it's much like a Scorcese film. It's more like early Altman. Whatever, I watched it last night and it's a pretty good movie, with a strong Ellen Burstyn performance. It so obviously Altmanesque material, though, I wonder about it....how and why the hell Scorcese made a movie so wildy variant in tone....

Otherwise, I watched Cache again last night. Still can't quite figure out the ending, but I still don't care. It's a really worthwhile viewing experience.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:09 am:   

Got to hand it to Michael Winterbottom -- he tackles the unpopular subjects. Witness his latest, The Road To Guantanamo....

Michael Winterbottom's The Road To Guantanamo is the story of four friends who set off from the Midlands in September 2001 for an innocent wedding and holiday in Pakistan. Two and a half years later, only three of them returned home. Through their epic journey we hear the story of their misunderstandings, ignorance, confusions and friendships as step by step they go from the safety of their small-town teenage existence to the heart of the "war on terror".
Through a series of interviews, dramatized scenes and archive news footage, the film shows how the Tipton Three ended up in Afghanistan hiding with Taliban fighters under fire from US Fighter planes. The boys are eventually rounded up by American forces, only to be kept in horrific conditions at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for over two years.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:53 am:   

i always kind of wish i like winterbottom's films more, just because they are so varied. but the ones i've seen i just kinda get bored. the one i've come close to liking is 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, and even then by not much.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 06:00 am:   

I've concluded that I missed the boat on winterbottom's Code 46, which I panned lightly, but not like quite a bit; I also like Party People, Butterfly Kiss, and Jude. Other than those films, I sort of agree with you. He makes a lot of movies! Maybe too many.
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kellys
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 06:43 am:   

Scorsese's Alice always seemed like one of his lesser works, less Altman than Lifetime Movie of the Week woman struggling against the violent world of man, with a cloying performance by Burstyn. I much prefer the Scorsese films that bookend Alice: Mean Streets and Taxi Driver.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 06:50 am:   

I much prefer them too, at least Mean Streets. Taxi Driver is a B-picture with a great cinematographer. But I liked Burstyn's performance.
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 08:14 am:   

I'm shocked - Constantine wasn't terrible. It was a mildly entertaining waste of 2 hours. However, I never read the comics, so that may help my enjoyment. Friends who read them loathed the movie.

I also watched Incident at Loch Ness, a mockumentary about Werner Herzog making a movie about the monster. It was also entertaining fluff, but I much prefer watching actual Herzog films.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 09:14 am:   

Yeah, Constantine wasn't awful. I read the comic and was distressed when I learned of the castiing and the changes. But I kind of liked it....
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 03:08 pm:   

i'd read the comic before seeing CONSTANTINE, and i actually thought the movie wasn't so bad. the only thing i really didn't like was the end, with the gum. otherwise, it was enjoyable, in its own way. had a bit of style.
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:23 pm:   

the subtitles on Blood and Bones seem fine to me. Picture looks good, too.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:27 pm:   

I haven't seen CACHE, but the description of the plot sounds an awful lot like A SNAKE OF JUNE. Any similarity?
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 05:57 pm:   

I haven't seen Snake of June--I got tired of that guy Tetsuo's excesses; but Cache is a very good film, with Daniel Autiel, maybe the best French actor these days.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 07:27 pm:   

I think someone on this board said the Loch Ness movie is even better when you switch on Herzog's commentary track.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 07:38 pm:   

Do you like those? I can't get into them. It's too much inessential info. But maybe in this case it works....

Does anyone know anything about sphaghetti westerns? Aside from Leone, I mean? Is there a credible book about them? It's for a novel....
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 09:37 pm:   

No, I almost never avail myself of the extra tracks, and honestly it seemed like work to watch the movie without the Herzog and then with it. But maybe someday...

Some extras I've really enjoyed were the ones on RAVENOUS. Antonia Bird and Damon Albarn talking together are good; the track featuring the writer by himself was boring and I switched it off; and the deleted scenes are interesting in that one--as are Bird's reasons for cutting them. (Usually not.)

THE SHINING dvd includes a short making of film shot on the set by Kubrick's daughter. That's a worthwhile addition. The Criterion films seem to have decent extras. But mostly they're just filler.
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 09:48 pm:   

The only extra I have ever really liked has been the Trobrian Island extra music on A Thin Red Line. But I agree...it's too much work and who's got the time?
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 05:54 am:   

Extras are usually worthless. There's a reason why most deleted scenes are deleted. Most directors have little worthwhile to say in commentaries. Tim Burton was the worst I've heard - after 15 minutes of him kissing people's asses on the Sleepy Hollow commentary track, I turned it off.

The last commentary I liked was Bruce Campbell's track on Bubba Ho-Tep, which was in character as Elvis.

I bet Herzog could have interesting comments, but I saw it on cable, and I have little desire to rent it just to hear him.
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LS
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 06:10 am:   

The worst I ever heard was David Lynch --I bought a new remote, one of those giant universal deals and got stuck on the IFC channel while trying to program it -- by the time I finally figured it out, I wanted to shoot myself/
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kellys
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

Lucius: Thanks for the info on the Blood and Bones disc.

The only place I've ever read about spaghetti westerns is in the magazine Video Watchdog throughout the years, and I don't know if they've ever put out a book compiling their columns.

The commentary track for The Limey sticks out in my mind. Primarily because the screenwriter frequently argued with Soderbergh, taking credit for directing choices, saying they were in his script to begin with.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 11:40 am:   

Commentary tracks are tedious and should be avoided, with a couple of exceptions, the most obvious being Martin Scorsese's brilliant motormouth rant for the Criterion laserdisc of TAXI DRIVER. What a deal! -- four hours of commentary in just under two hours.

Unfortunately, Criterion lost the rights to the picture, so the extras aren't available on DVD.
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LS
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 11:53 am:   

KellyS I found a book, so all is good.

How you doing, Sam...

Avoid at all costs is my feeling. Listeners to directors talk is almost as bad as listening to writers talk about their work, something that should be banned by law.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 01:48 pm:   

I almost forgot. Happy belated birthday to Steven Seagal, who turned 55 on Monday.

BTW, downloads and lyrics to "Mojo Priest" (featuring the hit "Talk to My Ass") are available on his website.

Oh, Lucius, this is going to be so much better than we had dared to dream...
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 01:54 pm:   

I can't do downloads. How was it...
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LS
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 02:15 pm:   

Okay, I called a friend and got him to play downloads. My favorite was Alligator Ass. Does every song have Ass in the title....?
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 04:21 pm:   

Wow. 2 songs with Ass in the title, and at least one more (Shake) with an unstated Ass in it.
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 04:50 pm:   

You can't say it's inappropriate,,. :-)

"I'm the love doctor, baybeeee...."
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jk
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 09:20 pm:   

Talk To My Ass? Maybe he has one of those talking assholes like in William S. Burroughs novels. Perhaps his asshole is capable of carrying on a quite eloquent conversation.
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 09:55 pm:   

Maybe it knows asskido....

Alligator Ass may be self-referential
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 06:02 am:   

I can't do downloads, either. But the lyrics are so wildly promising!...Mojo Priest, album of the year?
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Robert
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 06:19 am:   

Perhaps is will be Dave, but isn't Patrick Swayze doing a rap song (or album)?
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 07:38 am:   

I got Bucket to play em, Dave, and a predicatable reaction (jesus, that's awful...) he said, You know, maybe I should get the guy for the Blues Festival.

Patrick Swayze has a rap album...Jesus, that's awful :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 08:06 am:   

I would love to see Bucket scrambling to fill Seagal's contract rider. That would be priceless.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 08:14 am:   

Well, you may get the opportunity.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 10:59 am:   

"Jesus Harry Truman Christ, where am I going to get two dozen sticks of jasmine incense, three bamboo prayer mats, and a case of Lightning Bolt energy drink on a Sunday????" :-)
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:15 am:   

they got stores out here, that's the only thing they sell....
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 12:26 pm:   

Sounds like a marriage made in heaven.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 12:48 pm:   

SS (coincidence...or something more?) will be happy...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 01:45 pm:   

I don't know about you, but I intend to do my bit to make "Talk to My Ass" the "kiss my grits" of the '00s.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 02:10 pm:   

I think it already is.
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 09:32 pm:   

Watched a tight little French thriller -- 13 (Tziamet). A young man is working on the roof of a man's home. The man is an aging junkie who's in financial difficulty. He's expecting a letter, though, that may offer him a way out.
The workman overhears the conversation during which the junkie states this--he, too, is in desperate financial straits. Shortly thereafter, the Junkie ODs while taking a bath, His girlfriend enlists the workman's help in breaking down the door, and the resultant crossdraft blows the letter out the window into the yard. The junkie is dead, and the workman finds the letter and decides to follow the letters instructions, and use the enclosed train ticket and hotel reservation. He goes to the hotel, in Paris, receives further instructions by phone, which lead him to a locker in the Gare du Nord...another train ticket, more instructions. A circuitous path eventually leads him to a country house where a number of men have gathered to play a deadly game. Shot in black and white, remisicent of 60s style French thrillers, 13 is very watchable, involving, well acted, an excellent screenplay that allows the audience to make connections instead of spelling them out in neon....Real good movie.
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PM
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 - 11:13 pm:   

Spaghetti Westerns --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_western

http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue06/infocus/spaghetti.htm
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ls
Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 04:55 am:   

Thanks, PM...
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 04:34 pm:   

man, i can't believe i'm downloading those little seagal samples. you guys suck (but, er, let me know when i can download samples of the patrick swayze rap album, yeah :-))

...you know, this seagal stuff is funny. is it him doing the singing?
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ls
Posted on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 04:42 pm:   

Yup. That's the man. Got quite a set of pipes, huh? :-)
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kellys
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 09:14 am:   

Checked out A Bittersweet Life, a highly stylized South Korean gangster-revenge flick by the director of Tale of Two Sisters. It's a very controlled film, with many memorable action set pieces, with an equally controlled lead performance -- indeed, the lead actor doesn't break a smile until the film's last frame. It's certainly a good film, that may become great in my mind as time goes on.
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

Tale of Two Sisters was one of the better Asian horrors I've seen in the last few years. I'm right in the middle of Pulse, and am pretty underwhelmed. It seems most Asian horror movies are in search of a plot, and a decent screenplay. There are the odd bits here and there that are interesting, but most of them don't seem to hold up as a whole.
Anyone see Kurosawa's Doppleganger? That was a pretty interesting experiment in comedy.
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ls
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 10:56 am:   

I didn't care for Tale of Two Sisters that much -- it just seemed tedious to me. Creepy at times, but tedious. Maybe I was in a bad mood, but it just didn't do it for me.

Just watched White of the Eye, an underappreciated thriller from the 80s, starring David Keith and Cathy Moriarity. Weak last real...but maybe that's the only way it could have ended. The incidental music by Pink Floyd is great. Weird, but effective directorial style by Donald Cammel.
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 11:10 am:   

Yeah, I thought White of the Eye was pretty good too. I saw a crummy old VHS version, I'd like to check it out on dvd. Did you see it on dvd or video? Cammel was an interesting director. Did you see Demon Seed with Julie Chrisie, Cammel's movie about the evil computer? It's pretty dated now, but at the time it must have been innovative.
I think there's a book coming out about Cammel. He was into some pretty weird occult stuff wasn't he?
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 11:13 am:   

Yeah, I thought White of the Eye was pretty good too. I saw a crummy old VHS version, I'd like to check it out on dvd. Did you see it on dvd or video? Cammel was an interesting director. Did you see Demon Seed with Julie Chrisie, Cammel's movie about the evil computer? It's pretty dated now, but at the time it must have been innovative.
I think there's a book coming out about Cammel. He was into some pretty weird occult stuff wasn't he?
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LS
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 11:53 am:   

I don't know -- he was a friend of Nicolas Roeg, which makes him fairly weird. What's the name of the book?

I saw the movie on DVD. Dutch DVD available on Xploited or Diabolik, can't remember which. Looked all right. I haven't seen the Demon Seed for years. I seem to remember it as being OK.
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jk
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 12:21 pm:   

It's called Donald Cammel-A Life on the Wild Side. It's at fabpress.com Fabpress has done the Dvd Delerium books, and other books about Argento, Fulci, Asian horror and stuff. The only ones I've got are DVD Delerium 1 & 2 which are cool thick encyclopedia-type books with various "weird and wonderful" movie reviews. I also have the Eyeball book which is more reviews of out-there movies done by Stephen Thrower from the underground band Coil, taken from his fanzine. It's pretty interesting stuff, he does a big piece on Possession with Adjani, and stuff like that.
The Cammel book might be cool. And he was suppposedly bounced on the knee of Aleister Crowley as a child(!).
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LS
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 01:00 pm:   

I'll look for it. Bounced on Crowley's knee, eh? Some fun! :-)

Thank, JK
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 06:19 am:   

Some good purchases this wknd: BELOW, the ghosts-on-a-submarine movie that someone here recommended; OUT OF THE BLUE, ultra-odd and very cool Dennis Hopper/Linda Manz picture from the early 70s; and, on the badfilm front, one of the great psychotronic films of the early 90s that I thought was gone forever, D*R*O*P* Squad, about the black guerilla unit who kidnaps and deprograms Uncle Toms. It's gonna be a good week, I reckon...
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 06:40 am:   

OUT OF THE BLUE's great. One guy I deal with in Hwood is the guy who worked with Hopper on cleaning it up for DVD release, and he says Hopper's got some weird stories about that picture. A troubled set. Linda Manz has had a weird career. She seems drawn to such projects, acting in Gummo and Buddy Boy, both on the disturbing side. She hasn't worked since 1999....
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 08:23 am:   

I always wondered what happened to her. Didn't she drop out of the biz for about 20 years? The only story I heard about that film was that they fired the original director after some ridiculously short stint and tabbed Hopper to make a movie out of the wreckage. I am convinced that his character in OOTB was the template for Frank Booth in BLUE VELVET.

I don't have it in front of me, but the package copy for the DVD release is really bad. Makes the film sound like an ABC Afterschool Special about growing up a troubled kid...
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 08:33 am:   

She did more movies in the 80s. IMDB says the last thing she did was a bit role in the Game--I guess working with Michael Douglas convinced her to get out.

The Blue Velvet thing might be right...

Dave, I think you might like Prison. Remy Harlan first and best American movie, a horror movie starring Viggo Mortensen and Lane Smith. Very Atmospheric. Exploited Films has it now.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 10:04 am:   

Watched Klaus Kinski's starring-role spaghetti western And God Said To Cain....Klaus is awesome. Not Aguirre, Wrath of God awesome, but awesome nonetheless....
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 10:13 am:   

He had a terrific little role in my favorite FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, as the hunchback in Gian Maria Volonte's gang on whose hump the Man With No Name strikes a match.

I also picked up a little Thai portemanteau DVD called BANGKOK HAUNTED. Anyone familiar with that one? How about a movie called THE WISHING STAIRS?
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 10:22 am:   

Klaus also had a big part in the finest (IMO) spaghetti western of all -- The Great Silence--as the villain, Tigrero.

Am sorta familiar with Bangcok Haunted, in that I heard it was nothing special. Don't know the other. Catch PRISON.
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jk
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 11:52 am:   

Watched Wolf Creek last night. The only reason I watched it is because Francois Tetaz from Shinjuku Thief did the soundtrack, and he used parts of Alan Lamb's recording of long wires in Australia as part of the soundtrack, so I was interested in that. And for me, the only good thing about it was the soundtrack. God, what a vile, reprehensible mess of a movie. I have to wonder about a "writer, producer, director" who would put so much time and effort into making a movie that wallows in depravity and gratuitous torture and pain. This has to be one of my most hated recent movies, along with Twentynine Palms.
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:33 pm:   

I've heard that before about 29 Palms. What's so bad about it? I haven't seen it, but am curious....
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jk
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:34 pm:   

The "plot" of 29 Palms consists of a highly unlikeable couple, a French man and his girlfriend, wandering around in the American desert and arguing with each other and being utterly irritating for the majority of the movie. They go out to the desert and take off their clothes and have sex, the director makes arty shots of them lying naked on the rocks, then they argue, then go back to the small town, argue, have sex, etc. At one point they are sitting at a fast food place and acting like morons, and they manage to offend a few rednecks. At the end of the movie said rednecks follow them into the desert in their pickup truck, run them off the road, tear the dress off the girl, and beat up her boyfriend with a baseball bat, then one of the rednecks brutally rape him in front of the girl. It comes out of nowhere and is really revolting. It is obvious the French director is making a comment on brutal America and the reprehensible actions of Americans, as he sees it. It's also obvious he tried to make the characters as irritating as possible, and he stated in an interview that they were dumb and hysterical and were really like that and that's why he picked those actors.
The director makes Gaspar Noe look like Kurasawa. I wanted to smash the dvd after I watched it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:44 pm:   

Why is it that the very most sickening, antisocial ultraviolence in recent film has been French? Frustration over the country's socioeconomic disintegration, perhaps?

Twenty Nine Palms sounds like a non-acquatic version of OPEN WATER. That's not a recommendation.

JK, the very things you found revolting about WOLF CREEK are the things that will make people seek it out.
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:48 pm:   

Obviously they wandered into one of America's many Rape-the-French theme parks...Sounds pretty bad. Don't reckon I'll bother.

On the good side of things, I just picked up a DVD of Election, the HK film that won all sorts of HK awards, and it includes a DVD of the Mission, one of my favorite HK films--what with all the remakes, I can't figure why this one was never done....
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:52 pm:   

Yeah, wasn't Open Water bad? Yecch. I gotta say, 29 Palms sounds worse
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 02:29 pm:   

It was like The War of the Roses meets Jaws. Turgid.
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LS
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 02:57 pm:   

War of the Roses meets Jaws might have been a better movie.... :-)
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kellys
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 06:23 pm:   

I definitely want to get a copy of Election, especially after reading this review of the recently released Election 2.

http://www.kaijushakedown.com/2006/04/election_2_revi.html
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ls
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 07:01 pm:   

Get the one with the Mission attached. 21 bucks from yesasia.
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kellys
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 06:09 am:   

I saw the Mission around five or six years ago, a cruddy VHS version from the company Tai Seng. The only thing I really remember of it is the score, which at the time I thought a bit dated. I definitely need to see it again on DVD.

Hong Kong cinema, aside from Wong Kar-Wai who is more a part of the Art House Scene and Johnnie To, is in virtual disrepair these days. I checked out the much-lauded Sha Po Lang the other day, the alleged renaissance of HK action cinema, which stars Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung -- what a pile of rubbish that is. It plays like a veritable cartoon, with a melodramatic style that reminded me of a bad 80s movie. The writing is nothing but broad strokes and the acting is over-the-top laughable.
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ls
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 07:47 am:   

the Mission was a cool little film that screamed for a remake---It's not really a great movie, but the focus on the bodyguards, as opposed to the boss, made the movie. I haven't seen it for awhile, but I ordered the combination DVD...
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 09:36 am:   

I'm afraid that no matter how good the Silent Hill movie may be, Gans does not have the chops to pull off this kind of ending:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUDcSeUvkOw&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Epoetv%2Ecom%2 Fvideo%2Ephp%3Fvid%3D2225
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 09:46 am:   

I've actually been turned off lately by SH -- What did it, I think, is that little girl talking in the froggy voice, saying, I am the Reaper. I may wait for the video, barring a host of great reviews....which seems unlikely, since they haven't had any critic's screenings for it...
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:55 am:   

Yeah, creepy kids talking frog is always a warning sign.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:57 am:   

Would have been much creepier if she just said it in a little girl voice, with deep-set, worrisome, older-than-her-years Dakota Fanning eyes glaring.
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ls
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 11:20 am:   

Especially if they have lines like that....

Dakota Fanning....Uck!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 02:09 pm:   

See? Creepy!

News Flash: Steven Seagal's MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE, directed by Don "Today You Die" Fauntleroy, released today.

Rejoice!
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ls
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 02:23 pm:   

How can you be a mercenary for justice...or for injutstice for that matter?

You rejoice... I'm watching Django Kill--If You Live, Shoot! An arny of gay cowboys, cruxifictions...It don't get no better than that...
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 03:46 pm:   

A true horror would be LS getting to babysit a screaming Dakota Fanning :-)

I figure Seagal will be a merc who moves beyond a motivation for money to a motivation for justice. Surely it will bring a tear...well more likely a stream of blood.
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 04:09 pm:   

A stream of something....
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 08:17 pm:   

A stream of releases...did Seagal get the better get it done while I can bug?

So many movies plus all the other 'projects'.

Maybe he's on a mission to save the USA network.
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LS
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 08:53 pm:   

And Spike...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 06:31 am:   

Did anybody notice that Mojo Priest retails for $35? What gives?
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 06:54 am:   

No, I wasn't that interested in owning a copy. :-) What gives? I expect Seagall expects to make up for lack of sales by screwing over his fan base...
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 06:57 am:   

No, I wasn't that interested in owning a copy. :-) What gives? I expect Seagall expects to make up for lack of sales by screwing over his fan base...
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Robert
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:36 am:   

It's expensive because it's imported from Switzerland (it's on EMI/Capital Switzerland). I'm don't understand that - he can find a Swiss label to release him, but not a US label? Is he really more popular in Switzerland than in the US?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:48 am:   

Screwing over his fan base? Hey, Lucius,...talk to my ass! :-)
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:55 am:   

Der Swiss are Hard to Kill and Out for Justice.... :-)

I think it is possible. I lived on Lopez Island in Puget Sound when they were filming Free Willy, and I wound up drinking with Michael Madsen a lot at this restaurant called the Galley -- that year he had been named the no. 1 box office star in Sweden and it really perplexed him. What's wrong with the fucking Swedes? he said. So maybe Seagal strikes some Swiss chord.
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ls
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:57 am:   

Dave, are you Alligator Ass? :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:32 am:   

No, call me the Mojo Post!
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LS
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 11:03 am:   

I'll call you thirty-five bucks lighter.... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 01:15 pm:   

Uh-oh, I feel a blues coming on...
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LS
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

Watched an interesting indie horror flick called Fabled, starring the British guy who was in go, about a guy sinking deeper and deeper into clinical paranoia, and part of a really beautiful Spanish movie called the Whore and the Whale -- I shouldn't have started it. Too late. I'll probably watch it again. It's about a writer who finds some old pictures of a man who fought in the Spanish Civil War and follows the story to Argentina and Patagonia. Beautifully filmed and acted, featuring Leonard Srrbaglia of Intacto...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 07:56 am:   

You may have mentioned this before. Did you see EVERYTHING with Ray Winstone?
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 08:38 am:   

Yes, it's a pretty good character piece, but devolves into a Movie of the Week ending -- strong performances by Winston and his leading lady, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 07:14 pm:   

I'm happy--I just thought to check and see if Netflix carries COOKERS, and it does. They also carry a bunch of Von Trier films I've never seen. And Abigail's Party, which is probably the most famous Mike Leigh movie I hadn't been able to track down.

Should keep me busy for a while.
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kellys
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 07:22 pm:   

MarcL: The best thing I've ever done for my movie-life is join NetFlix. They carry just about every R1 release out there, and some others that aren't even available for purchase in the US (like Battle Royale). So I can relate to the "I'm happy" vibe when it comes to NetFlix.
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 07:44 pm:   

Netflix is cool, but it doesn't work for me, because I go long periods when I don't see anything on region 1...though at times I wish i belonged, like now, seeing that they have Hoboken Hollow....

Hope you enjoy Cookers
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 10:41 pm:   

I instantly put 25 films on there that I've been wanting to see but unable to find--Kiarostami, Leigh, Herzog, lots of documentaries, and the last two movies in the Gamera trilogy. I could never remember what my wife and kids want to see by the time I forced myself to the fucking Blockbuster; it's really easy to throw stuff on there for them, while larding the list with odd stuff for me. And my region hacked DVD player died. They need some more foreign films, but it'll be a while before I start complaining, and by then they'll probably have them.

Last night I watched Godzilla: Final Wars, or tried to watch it. At one time I thought it was going to be good, but I was resigned to it being pretty awful (tho obligatory), and I alternately fast forwarded and dozed through it. Awful.

I did like The Squid and The Whale though.

I'm going to catch a matinee of Silent Hill tomorrow. I'll be sure to check in afterwards.
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ls
Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 10:48 pm:   

The Squid and the Whale is the second best ...And the Whale movie I've seen. The Whore and the Whale is superb.

Yeah, definitely give a shout about Silent Hill...
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fjimenem
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 02:04 am:   

Just to be obnoxious, The Whore and the Whale is Spanish/Argentinean (is that the word?) production, directed by Puenzo (Arg) and with a cast of both nations. During the last years there has been a mini-boom of Argentinean films that has allowed that some of them have crossed to Europe and have attracted European money.
By the way, I don't know if it has popped up in this forum, but I have the vibe that many of you would enjoy El Aura, directed by Fabian Belinsky (Nine Queens) and starring Roberto Darin. It did not receive the attention I think it deserved when it was shown in Spain, and in my opinion is a great step up from Nine Queens.
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 03:36 am:   

Well I liked NIne Queens well enough, so El Aura sounds great.....will look for it. Thanks for the tip.

Argentine, I think...?

More informative, than obnoxious I'd say. :-)
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 04:14 am:   

DVD release in Spain for El Aura is May 10. The flick sounds amazing...I love movies about obsessed taxidermists...
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kellys
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 06:28 am:   

From what I've read, El Aura, with its taciturn, mentally unstable protagonist, sounds a bit like Cronenberg's Spider.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 06:30 am:   

Is there more than one?
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kellys
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 07:35 am:   

Silent Hill wasn't shown for critics. Never a good sign.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 07:57 am:   

"Is there more than one?"

Psycho
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:02 am:   

I've started a new rule for movies. If a movie opens in the US and isn't screened for critics, I won't go. That's in addition to my previous rule - if Freddie Prinz Jr is in the movie, I won't watch it. I can't think of any other movie rules I follow strictly.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:05 am:   

Never see a movie whose lead ad blurb comes from Peter Travers.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:06 am:   

Actually, I have a lot more faith in the Argentine director than Cronenberg at this juncture, plus the poster rocks...

And yup. SH has developed serious reekage....
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kellys
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:36 am:   

"Never see a movie whose lead ad blurb comes from Peter Travers..."

I'd add to that list Joel Siegel, Roger Ebert, Richard Roeper, Rex Reed you get the picture. Critics who are lap dogs for the studios.

Yeah, the poster for El Aura rocks. Did you find a reputable site to buy the Spanish disc from?
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:54 am:   

Nope. But I have a query in to Xploited films, asking if they'll carry it.

Rules for movies that I try to follow -- Never see films by Zemeckis, Chris Colombus, Speilberg, and directors of that stamp, but of course I have to sometimes because of the gig.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:08 am:   

Ebert somehow managed to review Silent Hill. It got 1 and 1/2 stars and a comment that it's visuals are good, but the rest isn't.

I don't think having a lead blurb from Travers or other critics guarantees a terrible movie. It's likely, but there can be exceptions. I set my rules based on things I think guarantee terrible movies. Having a lead blurb from Travers doesn't guarantee it, it just makes it very likely. So I'm willing to use that as a guideline rather than a rule, although I might revise it to involve not paying for a movie with a lead blurb from him. Even free, I won't watch an FP Jr movie.
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kellys
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:15 am:   

Ironcially, a package just came in the mail containing A History of Violence, a movie that didn't awe me on first viewing but which has grown on me. The lead blurb on the DVD is by...Peter Travers.

So, Robert, you are absolutely right -- there really are no guarantees, when it comes to crticial praise, to judging a good or bad film.

And Lucius, surely there must be at least one Spielberg film that you like? :-)
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:21 am:   

Yeah, I liked Jaws. After that, about midway through Close Encounters, he lost it....
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 02:53 pm:   

SILENT HILL:

Absolute crap. Stay away. Far away. Let's just say I took a bullet for the team.

Absolute crap. At one point it turned into a full-on Cormanesque witch-burning comedy, sadly minus Vincent Price. Any hopes I had for decent dialog from Avary were totally misplaced. I can't even think of a videogame recently that has had writing this bad.

P.U.
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LS
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 03:19 pm:   

Thanks, Mark, Whew. I nearly went....

Sorry.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 03:35 pm:   

Among the many jawdropping moments: Towards the end, there is a lengthy expository sequence narrated by the little girl. It's as if they put you in a narrative submarine and take you for a hermetically sealed tour of the backstory with grainy film over the portholes to make it look like you're in an interesting stylish realm. I haven't seen such desperately amateur attempts to salvage a movie in a long time.
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 05:08 pm:   

It's hard to believe that Christophe Gans did that. It must have been that he made his movie, then whoever had the last cut made it "more accessible."
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ls
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 07:38 pm:   

This thread's too long -- new one above

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