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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:34 pm:   

   By Robert Devereux on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:34 am:  Edit

I never bothered with the director's cut either. Maybe I'll try it at some point, but there are plenty of other things to watch first, rather than an alternate version of something I've already seen.

That sounds good about Carnivale, although I doubt the show would return after the mini-series, since they wanted to end it after 3 seasons anyway. Maybe they'll wait to see how the Season 2 DVD sales go, and then work on the mini-series.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:29 am:  Edit

I'm generally not in love with the idea of dir cuts, though I've been tempted by a few, including Darko, and I would love to see, as mentioned before, the six hour version of the Thin Red Line....
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:41 am:  Edit

Did they ever do a soundtrack album for Darko? All I remember is the score...
   By Kelly Christopher Shaw on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:49 am:  Edit

For some dumb reason, the only way to get the Darko soundtrack is by import.

Off the top of my head, the only really great director's cut, which vastly improves on the original film, is Once Upon A Time in America. The Darko cut is more like another rendition of the film, not necessarily a vast improvement over the original.

Any other great director's cuts?
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:55 am:  Edit

Thanks, Kelly. Wonder why?

I just don't do dir cuts -- I watch too many flicks to get caught up in that, but like I said, I've been tempted.

Oh yeah. The Miike Masters of Horror thing, IMPRINT, is on DVD, which also includes the Larry Cohen episode.
   By Dave G. on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:12 am:  Edit

Was the Larry Cohen epi the one with Michael Moriarty? If so, it was not bad.
   By Robert Devereux on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:18 am:  Edit

The "Extended Edition" of Fellowship of the Ring was an improvement over the theatrical version. I'm ambivalent on the Two Towers EE, and I think the RotK theatrical cut was much better than the EE.

The Highlander 2 director's cut was marginally more watchable than the original cut, but that's not saying anything.

The director's cut of Dodgeball had a few better scenes than the theatrical cut.

But overall, I think they are not worth it. The Aliens Directors cut was crap. They revealed too much at the beginning and that ruins the suspense. The extended cut of Dune only made the unbearable film longer.

There's no way I'll watch the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven. The theatrical cut couldn't keep my interest for an hour, there's no way the longer version will improve it. And an unrated director's cut of XXX or Chronicles of Riddick sounds less appealing than the originals (and they weren't appealing).
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:44 am:  Edit

I didn't watch after the first few MOHs.

Oh yeah, I forgot LOTR. I saw Fellowship and that was pretty good.

There's a directors cut of Riddick? I might pick that up for yucks.
   By Robert Devereux on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 11:10 am:  Edit

Yes, there's apparently a director's cut of Riddick. It's supposedly 15 minutes longer. I can't say that 15 minutes of extra footage will improve it.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 11:15 am:  Edit

Might make it funnier.

I have an affection for Riddick, it was so ludicrous, what with those special rocks shielding one from the incinerating heat of the sun and like that...
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 06:45 pm:  Edit

For what it's worth, the Kingdom of Heaven director's cut is an entirely different film, and significantly better. The theatrical cut was an abomination, and should be scoured from the earth.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 07:07 pm:  Edit

Huh, well....maybe I'll check it out someday. But you best be right, Nathan, or I'll sic Ian McShane on you.
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 07:43 pm:  Edit

Just don't yell "Machuca!" at me ....
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:01 pm:  Edit

The question remains, what perverse motive got you to watch the directors cut of a movie you so detested?

I watched a weird one tonight. The Detective and Death. A Spanish movie filmed in Poland that has as its source material a Hans Christian Anderson story, though I'm damned if I can figure out which one. It starts with an evil powerful man annoucing to his business associates that he is dying. He then go upstairs to find his young lover, who happens to be his daughter, the progeny of his ex-wife, a woman known as the Duchess. The evil man sends his associate, "a dark man" to get the detective, who has become the Duchess' lover, and the Duchess. He then gives his daughter a gift of living holographs of them and the Duchess. The dark man tracks down the detective, but the detective escapes to the roof of an abandoned building. The dark man follows and encounters a young Jewish woman with a screaming baby, whom he kills in order to shut it up. He tells her that if she brings him the detective, he'll take her to his boss house, the Blue House, and the boss will give her baby back its breath. The woman climbs up on the roof, finds the detective, helps him escape -- he runs off and leaves her in a desolate neighborhood where she is captured by Spanish nazi's who make her lick a baseball bat...the dark man drives them away. Then she follows the detective to a night club where the Duchess is a singer and there's an act with a man dressed in a shark suit and a bunch of strippers. The Detective goes down on the Duchess, the dark man kills the duchess, the detective and the girl go to the Blue House to beat up the evil man.....anyway, after a million other events the detective is killed by the dark man and the young mother returns to her home to find it no longer a ruin and the baby alive. It's a mess, though it's got good actors, including Javier Bardem. But I want to know what fairy tale it's based on.
   By PM on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:26 pm:  Edit

"The Story of a Mother"
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:29 pm:  Edit

Is that a real HCA story....
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:35 pm:   

Oh, yeah, Nathan. We got lots of Machuca in stock! :-)
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:59 pm:   

One can read the story at:

http://www.pacificnet.net/~johnr/cgi/aesop1.cgi?hca&a90
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:19 pm:   

I guess that's it....Thanks.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 09:53 pm:   

(originally posted to the old thread; sorry)

Some people I know who shared my distaste for it saw the director's cut screening in LA and loved it. Since I have a soft spot for Scott's big canvas movies (even the ones I have to make allowances for), and since I love medieval history, I was eager to give Kingdom of Heaven a second chance. Whole different movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:00 pm:   

Okay. I'll give her a try sometime....
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Rich P
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:17 pm:   

Saw Miike's IMPRINT and thought it was suitably creepy yet compelling. If aired, it would have bested anything in the MOH series (my other faves were the Cohen and Carpenter entrees). Bonus: it comes already cut by the director! (over an hour running time).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:22 pm:   

Did you see it on DVD,,,and if so, did it come with the cohen...?
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Rich P
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:29 pm:   

Sorry, don’t know about the DVD. My copy is via BRAVO channel (UK).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:32 pm:   

Okay, Yeah it's out on DVD over here, but I don't think I'm going to get it. Not now, anyway. I'm sort of Miiked out.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 06:04 am:   

I watched Denti (Teeth) directed by Gabriele Salvatores. About a man, Antonio, born with abnormally large front teeth, who goes to the dentist (rather, a series of dentists) to have them extracted, after his girlfriend breaks two of them during an argument. I thought this was a horror movie when I bought it, but it's more magic realism-surreal comedy, and quite good. It's kind of like a Cronenbeg movie if Cronenberg ever made a movie that was upbeat. Sergio Rubina (Antonio) is very appealing and funny, and Salvarores is extremely talented. He weaves in the surreal elements seamlessly and handles the wonderful world of dentistry with nightmarish humor. He has another film, a thrilller called No Tengo Miedo (I'm Not Afraid) that's been well reviewed and I'm ordering it.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 06:33 am:   

I remember I'm Not Scared receiving a theatrical run a couple years back. It got good reviews, but because it didn't have a well-known director it kind of got swept under the carpet.

Anyone see a movie called Three Times? It's by the Taiwanese director Hsiao-hsien Hou, and is a love story told in three parts and in three different times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. The same actors play the lovers in each story.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 06:56 am:   

No, but I've seen a lot of HHH's movies, Goodbye South Goodbye being the last, and they're all outstanding.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 07:01 am:   

The only one I've seen was the Flowers of Shanghai, which I have mixed feelings about – it's a beautiful film, but almost too perfect and museum-like.

Also, I'll second Nathan. I've heard good things about the DC of Kingdom of Heaven. Thankfully, I never saw the theatrical version, so can view it with fresh eyes.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 07:44 am:   

I only made it through half of the theatrical cut of Kingdom. I got bored after that and turned it off. I really had no interest in the characters and what happened to them. Perhaps the DC is better, but I don't imagine it would make me more interested.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 09:21 am:   

Kelly, I will say I prefer Tsai Ming Liang better than HHH, but i loved Goodbye South Goodbye.

I feel sorta like Robert about Kingdom, but I'm curious about a movie so execrable becoming so different. I've seen one movie, John Woo's Hard Target, that was changed so drastically by a studio cut. A directors cut was never released, but I saw a bootleg of Woo's cut with 24 more minutes and a different soundtrack, and lo and behold it was a John Woo movie. Scott hasn't made a move I've liked for thirty years and that makes me doubly curious.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 09:43 am:   

New Seagal movie out! Shadow Man! And this year's "When Steven Seagal Movies Happen To Good Actors" award goes to Imelda "Vera Drake" Staunton, who is supplementing her Order of the British Empire with an autographed picture of Mr. S.

And, yes, I am grooving to my newly-purchased copy of Mojo Priest...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

Grooving is impossible to do with MP.

I don't understand the Vera Drake reference.

Do you find it disturbing that Seagal's leading lady in several recent film has been a barely pubescent girl?
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 10:46 am:   

Kelly, I watched the first part of Three Times and found it slow going... That was the 1966 story about a guy who falls in love with girls in his local pool hall between stints in the military. A bit too "slice of life" (plotless) for me. Perhaps if I was hipper to Taiwanese culture I would "get it". The second story (1911) is a silent film with the dialogue written on cards and loads of that museum-like quality you mentioned. Even slower going. I switched off there.

Tsai Ming Liang is more to my taste.. I'll check out Goodbye South Goodbye too.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:11 am:   

Thanks Rich. It's hard to get an accurate take on Hou's films from critics, since they all bow down without applying too much critical thought ("you're not hip if you don't dig Hou").

I'll have to give Tsai Ming Liang a go. Sadly, I've never seen one of his films. I did, however, just order the movie Cyclo on DVD. That movie, out of nowhere, has been haunting me the past few days, yet it's been a few years since I've seen it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:24 am:   

The River by Tsai Ming Liang. Great movie. The Hole is lighter, but still very good.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

Imelda Staunton is a venerable and highly-decorated British actress who was in Mike Leigh's 2004 film VERA DRAKE. (Oscar-nominated, if I remember correctly...) She is the latest strangely over-credentialed actress to pay the rent with a part in an SS direct-to-DVD potboiler.

Q: Why does SS use barely pubescent girls as love interests in his movies? A: Because he can.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 11:47 am:   

The question was, do you find it disturbing?

I know who Imelda Staunton is -- you failed to make clear her Seagal connection.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 12:04 pm:   

She co-stars in his new one.

Do I find it disturbing? Better Seagal than Bruce Willis...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 12:18 pm:   

And here I was looking for a semi-serious answer. I'll give my own answer. I find it humorous in that Seagal seems to be attempting to reconfigure himself as The Ur-father instead of the Ur-Badass.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 02:06 pm:   

Well, I was only half-joking.

I think your take may be partly correct, what with Seagal imagining himself a Buddhist mystic and teacher and all. But I suspect that a good part of it is the ages-old yen of aging male action heroes to emphatically assert their continuing attractiveness to nubile young damsels in distress. (Aside from TODAY YOU DIE and OUT OF REACH, I haven't seen too many VERY young girls in Seagal's films, but in those instances, he could be construed as the rescuing ur-papa. Generally they are comfortably above the age of majority, see Tamara Davies, Michelle Goh, etc.)

Hey, nothing plays like rescuing a little kid. Little girl, even better. Just ask Sigourney Weaver...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 02:54 pm:   

That was definitely an Ur-Mother role.

I notice one guy on AMAZON said it was Seagall's best movie in years and gave it one star...
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 03:56 pm:   

perhaps he meant the costar...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 04:53 pm:   

I read that. Not so much a return to form as maybe a return to coherence.

Rest assured, I will let you all know the real scoop.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 05:04 pm:   

Me, too.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 05:39 am:   

You want to know what gives me the shivers? That new Adam Sandler movie about the TV remote. My god! The thought of sitting through that makes my blood run cold. How it greenlighted...Well, it's like that old joke:

High concept in Hollywood?
He's a chimp, she's the Pope....
They're cops...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 06:16 am:   

Hey, cast Jessica Alba as the Pope and I'll bankroll it!!

As for the Sandler film, it sounds like Willie Aames' ZAPPED tarted-up for the gadget-crazy.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 09:42 am:   

And as the chimp, the hobbit-shrunk, hairier Elijah Wood...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 10:15 am:   

You could write a hell of a treatment for a movie like that:

"SHE-POPE AND THE CHIMP"

In order to fulfill her late father's lifelong dream, little Venezualan peasant girl Maria Dominguez (Jessica Alba) cuts her hair, dons bulky, form-hiding clothing, and enters the local seminary, where she is quickly ordained, rises through the ranks, and, at the tender age of 25, is elected Cardinal. When kindly old Pope Clement XV (Ian McKellen), a crusader for social justice, is taken suddenly ill and dies, Maria is thrust into the cloak-and-dagger world of the papal conclave as the cardinals attempt to select a new pontiff. Scheming Cardinal Fortesqieu (Jean Reno), believing he needs a weak, callow pope he and his henchmen can control, puts forth Cardinal Dominguez and she is elected by a wide margin. On the balcony of St. Peter's she reveals her womanhood, invoking the legend of Pope Joan, the Englishwoman believed to have held the papacy for three years in the ninth century, to justify her claim on the Throne of St. Peter. The rest of the cardinals, fearing an outbreak of violence in South America if they repudiate her, reluctantly agree to validate her election.

The return of Pope Theresa to Venezuela is an occasion for much rejoicing and the paparazzi go wild when, during a speech proclaiming the church's love for "all God's creatures" at a zoo in Ciudad Bolivar, one of the chimps climbs onto Theresa and takes an obvious (and perhaps not entirely platonic) shine to her. Christening her new friend "Casanova," Theresa accepts the chimp as a gift from a grateful city and takes him back to the Vatican.

Back at the Vatican, one of her valets hands her a letter, ornately sealed in wax. The letter, from an anonymous informant, is filled with revelations. It claims that Clement was the target of a conspiracy of ultra-conservative church officials, and that his unexpected passing was, in fact...MURDER!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 10:27 am:   

Slow day at work, Dave?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

Nonsense! I can crank stuff like that out in five minutes. I have an uncanny ability to turn anything into a treatment. I'm like the Rain Man of treatments.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 11:08 am:   

Well, I didn't expect you labored over it. :-)
But just the amount of time it took to type, how many villains could have struck on the internet and made good their escape....
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 12:25 pm:   

Zero. We cleaned up the internet. Don't you read the papers? :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 12:49 pm:   

No, I don't. Wow. When did that happen?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 01:03 pm:   

I think it was sometime in mid-March...Of course, we still pick off a few stragglers...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 01:24 pm:   

Applause, applause...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 02:06 pm:   

More importantly, isn't anyone interested in how SHE-POPE AND THE CHIMP ends?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 02:15 pm:   

In marriage,

So what's up with Criterion releasing Equinox, the semi-awful creature feature who's main claim to fame is that it was FX wizard's Dennis Muren's first movie?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   

Never seen it, but it sounds awful. Looks like they'll make up for it this fall when they release Spirt of the Beehive and the Japanese horror film Jijoku, which, from what I read, sounds outstanding.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   

Equinox is a "cult classic" isn't it? It had some pretty awful claymation, on the other hand I'd probably rather watch that than the latest Pixar crapfest.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 05:40 pm:   

Spirit of the Beehive is awesome....
Haven't seen Jijoku...I don't think. Got to look it up.

Equinox is for sure crap. I just don't get it. Well, you watch that Pixar deal, I had to watch the Break up.... :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 05:47 pm:   

Is Jijoku that movie about Hell? I heard that wasn't so good, if so....It was on Diabolik and I didn't go for it.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 08:26 pm:   

I believe it is about hell. Here's the synopsis from IMDB:

"A high school student has a friend who is pure evil. Him and his friend are out driving one night when they hit a drunkard and the friend leaves him to die. The student's life then goes down hill from there."

Thanks for the warning -- I will proceed with caution before shelling out the cash for this one.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 08:36 pm:   

Couple of friends of mine bought it and said that it had some neat pictures, but was pretty incoherent and, they felt, it didn't seem finished.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 - 08:44 pm:   

I see there are three hell movies called Jigoku. Hmmm. I wonder if they saw the same one.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 06:08 am:   

This Jigoku is from 1960.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 06:13 am:   

Yeah, I think they may have seen another one. But I remember reading something about these films, an article that suggested they all had flaws. I must admit that the 1960 film sounds the most intriguing, however. Caution would seem to be called for...
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

Deepdiscountdvd, a reputable company with a decent catalog of foreign titles, is having a 20% off sale for the rest of the day. The coupon code is: SUPERSALE

I just ordered Bird People of China and the Japanese crime film 9 Souls for $23. Not bad.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 11:07 am:   

Good-o....
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 08:08 am:   

I went to the multiplex and did what millions of numbnuts Americans did, saw Nacho LIbre and The Lake House. Needless to say, I don't recommend anyone else do this.
Though Jack Black played in a few bad movies early in his career (notably Enemy of the State), they were throwaway roles and his early career-making turns in High Fidelity and Jesus' Son gave cause to believe that here was a comedic genius; lately though, he seems intent on becoming the next Will Ferrell, depending on flashing his bad body for laughs. Jared Hess, the director of Napoleon Dynamite, one of the most overpraised movies of all time (sorry, JV) is the real culprit here. What a vile pair he and his co-writer wife must be. The anti-Latino subtext of Dynamite is here brought to full noxious flower. The guy's two movies play like Special Olympics versions of Wes Anderson films, hermuetic worlds with their own laws -- one law of Hess' worlds is that farts are always funny, even if there is no joke attached. I'm gonna save the rest for a review, but the message is avoid this smelly fart of a movie at all costs.

I have some things to say about il Mare, too, but they too must wait -- suffice it say, even if you're a romantic, especially if you're a romantic, avoid.....
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 09:11 am:   

Thanks for the warning. Black has been funny before, so I was intrigued by Nacho, but I've heard too many bad things about it.

I could already guess that Lake House would be bad. Reeves and Bullock together sounds terrible. Is the Korean original worth watching?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 09:30 am:   

I had intentionally avoided Dynamite, but decided to give Hess a try with Libre. You hit the nail on the head -- Wes Anderson lite for sure, and a genuine piece of rubbish. Barely a film at all; more of a prolonged Saturday Night Live skit.

Have you seen the S.Korean film Il Mare? I've seen mixed reviews of it.

On the bright side, I purified myself from Libre with the possibly brilliant All About Lily Chou Chou. Thanks for the recommendation on this one. It's nothing less than an epic disaffected youth film, filled with jawdrapping visual poetry and surreal images. Unfortunately, I saw the R1 version, which has a terrible transfer.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 09:45 am:   

No problem, Robert.

Il Mare is what I'd call a pretty good film, beautifully shot and acted, a decent script, excellent direction, but spoiled for me by the elements of melodrama that afflict so many Korean movies -- but for a romantic movie, it works fairly well. You have to suspend a lot of disbelief, but the script and direction enable you to do that. The Lake House...projectile vomitworthy.

I'm glad you dug Lily Chou Chou. I love that movie. My jaw drapped, too. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:53 am:   

did anyone ever see the short film that got napoleon dynamite made? that was enough to make me avoid the full length version. just awful.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 05:19 am:   

I heard it was seven minutes, and that was five minutes too long. I didn't see it, but I can believe it.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 05:27 am:   

I still haven't watched Napoleon Dynamite. I was in Australia when all the hype hit the US, so I missed that. After I got back, I didn't hear anything that convinced me I should see it.


I'm getting a bit of a Deadwood overdose. It's been all I've watched on DVD recently, and while it's good, I need a break before moving to Season 2.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 08:09 am:   

I don't want to be accused of piling on, but I'm glad some other folks shared my opinion of ND. I just couldn't understand what was funny about it. It seemed like the epitome of sourpussed, ironist ridicule masquerading as humor. And watching Jon Heder endlessly reprise the uber-spazz in appearance after appearance is just sad.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 09:07 am:   

A Deadwood OD could be nasty.

It was mean-spirited...I admit I've enjoyed mean-spirited humor in the past, but this just wasn't funny.
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mike m
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 02:55 pm:   

I'm on a Deadwood bender myself, second time through the first two seasons. The thing that strikes me about it is how much I want to drink whiskey when I watch it. My single malts took a hit this weekend.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:06 pm:   

They're not drinking Scotch, Mike... :-) You need some rotgut.
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mike m
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:12 pm:   

I figured since Deadwood has some "fictional" characters, I could take some license as well!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:19 pm:   

Well, I guess. Still, I think a good rye would be more suitable.

Hey, you remember Exuma?
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mike m
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:27 pm:   

This is true. Although my knowledge of ryes is nil. And Exuma for that matter? I still have some eps left to view. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:43 pm:   

Exuma was that voodoo guy from Exuma island in the Caribe. Really good stuff. I realized this AM that I been wanting to hear Oh, Damballa, Come Damballa....
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mike m
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 03:51 pm:   

Speaking of voodoo (and hoping not to upset the movie thread) I just finished your "Green Eyes" today. Very nice, but probably another lifetime for you eh?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:01 pm:   

Well, yeah. I wrote that when I was happy, :-) But yeah, I have some affection for it, though I'd be afraid to look at it now.
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mike m
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:07 pm:   

Found the gros bon ange concept fascinating, reminded me of the hermetic concept of the higher self for some reason.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:17 pm:   

Yeah, it's sort of like that. I've got a recording of a houngan explaining the notion to me--he's not too clear, but its fun to hear him talk. Mmm. Maybe I'll do a zombie novella. That might be fun.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   

Watched The White Sun of the Desert, one of the most popular Russian movies ever. It is an "Ostern," a genre like the western but set in Central Asia in the years after the Russian Revolution, when civil war was ravaging the area. Fedor Sukov is the hero, a demobbed Russian soldier who tell his story in letters to his sweetheart which he never sends, how he went head to head with a warlord named Abdullah and the adventures that ensued when he was charged with the protection of Abdullah's harem. Abdullah intends to kill the women and so they are led to an ultimate confrontation. It's a very good, very entertaining western, on a par with the better Spaghetti westerns, made at about the same time, 1970.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   

And, last and least, Seagal's latest, Shadow Man. In the opening, the si fu is teaching aikido to a bunch of Asians in what looks to be the back room of a topless joint in Chinatown, showing how the power of his chi can explode a watermelon inside while leaving the outside intact (we're gonna see this again, kids). When a student asks him to teach him how to do this, he kills the student. Puzzling. Did he see into the man's heart and glimpse evil? Something for us to ponder. There follows a fairly coherent plot that is vintage Seagal. He's ex-CIA, the baddest of black ops guys, and now, living a private life, he's drawn back into the game when his father in law, also ex CIA, plants the formula for a deadly virus on him when Seagal leaves for a vacation in Runania with his little daughter. When the daughter is kidnapped in Bucharest, Seagal goes balistiic and starts exploding people from the inside out. He goes through every cool bar and brothel in Bucharest killing and looting and in the end buys his daughter a pony. Real fun. I liked it. Something to while writing letters.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 10:23 pm:   

Something to watch while writing letters.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 06:25 am:   

Well, guess I know what I'm doing Sat. nite!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 06:40 am:   

Yeah, it beats self-abuse...or maybe not. :-) There are a couple of real howlers in the movie, but I won't spoll it for you. Lips are sealed until you view it.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 06:41 am:   

BTW, how DOES she-pope and the chimp end?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 06:48 am:   

Lucius, I thought you would never ask...More later...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 08:02 am:   

Okay. Better hurry though, cause I'm off to anemone-land...
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 12:41 pm:   

Uwe Boll just became my favorite director of all time. He is now offering to FIGHT his critics! And stick the footage into his new movie!

http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/712/712601p1.html
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 06:17 pm:   

Uwe is the William Castle of his generation.....
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 03:59 am:   

Shadow Man: Regarding the opening sequence where sifu Seagal kills his student... I figure Seagal was just pissed off cause the guy spoke better English than him.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 05:10 am:   

Very Good, Rich...I think you have seen into Seagal's heart.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 05:55 pm:   

Watched Ciudade Baixe (Lower City), a Brazillan film directed by Sergio Machado, produced by Walter Salles. Two guys, Deco and Nadinho, who own a boat meet a hooker, Karina, in a bar and agree to give her a ride to Salvador in exchange for money and sex. Along the way, the guys attend a cockfight, where they get into a fight with a belligerent drunk -- Nadinho is stabbed and Deco kills the drunk. In Salvador, Karina get her own place and hooks out of a strip club. Both Nadinho and Deco are gone on her. This movie rarely rises above a slice of life story, though it has something to say about friendship and men-and-women. It's good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go that far. Alice Braga, daughter of Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman) plays Karina and is seriously sexy--which is good because there's lot of sex in the movie. Worth viewing if you're interested in Brazilan street culture.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 05:57 pm:   

One more thing -- it has great music.
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 08:09 pm:   

Anybody see THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA? There was a trailer on the SHADOW MAN disc. Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut doesn't seem reason enough to watch, but it is scripted by Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams).
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 08:15 pm:   

Three Burials is a very good post-Peckinpah western, and one of the best American films from last year. It's story, which is littered with unflinching violence, slowing unfolds and culminates in a very spiritual ending. The one flaw, to me, lies in Arriaga's script -- he paints every immigrant in a saintly light, but then again, this fits with the movie's spiritual themes of redemption.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 08:19 pm:   

Yeah, I saw it in the theatre and like it a lot.
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 08:36 pm:   

Thanks folks, sounds interesting. I'll pick it up.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 09:01 pm:   

Where are you in China, Rich? I think you told me, but I forgot....
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 09:36 pm:   

I've been moving around... I started off in Inner Mongolia (Manzhouli - on the Russian/Mongolian border). That’s been the best place so far… Russian bars, BBQ lamb. Then I did a 180 and moved to Xiamen, which is an island/city in the Taiwan Strait. Sub-tropical, beaches, but so Western it didn’t even feel like China. Now I’m in a city called Hangzhou which is not too far from Shanghai - about an hour by bus.

I’m going to Budapest for the summer (my first time out of the country in four years!) and thinking seriously about going someplace other than China in September. It's kind of lost its strangeness. Pretty sure it'll be South America next (Chile?).
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 10:45 pm:   

Are you working? Traveling? What?
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Rich P
Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 11:30 pm:   

Teaching English... Mainly to first and second year college students preparing to study abroad or staying here but doing a B.A. taught in English i.e. Computer Science.

However, I¡¯m trying to pick work locations from a ¡°travelling¡± perspective.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 06:13 am:   

That's cool. Well, if you're still in China next spring, I might pass your way; if in Chile, well, maybe not. But you never know. I'm going to do some serious traveling next year.
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Rich P
Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 03:13 pm:   

If you're this way, I'll show you a couple great DVD shops.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 - 04:08 pm:   

Cool. Fingers crossed.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 06:35 am:   

Last night I did something I rarely do in this summer of awful movies -- I went to a local arthouse theater, which was also showing awful movies, and faced with a choice between Garden State lite ('the Puffy Chair") and an intellectual's American Pie ("Art House Confidential") and District B-13 and other losers, I opted for Andy Garcia's Lost City, which purports to be a true history of the times just prior to the Cuban Revolution. It's an awful treacly right wing version of those times. Castro and Guevara are portrayed as vicious murderers, which is as inaccurate as the more glowing, leftist view. Garcia plays the owner of the Tropica (a night club modeled on Havana's Cococabana) who spends a lot of time brooding over Havana's glory days, tinkling on a piano as his world comes tumbling down, a performance that brings to mind Omar Sharif's cloying Dr. Zhivago. Bill Murray has a metaphorical role as someone known only as a writer. It's a love story, I guess. Mostly it's hideous right wing Harlequin propaganda, the Cuban exiles'
view of their lost heaven. The masses of Havana's poor are shown only briefly in newsreel footage. I found it offensive, sappy, moronically wrongheaded. I'm not even close to being pro-Castro, but the regime he uprooted, led by Fulgencio Batista, was a violent, oppressive dictatorship, and the only distinction between him and Castro was a matter of perception. Batista, to paraphrase FDR, was one mean son of a bitch, but he was our son of a bitch.

Anyway, bottom line, stay away from this piece of crap. I wish I had.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 07:11 am:   

Thanks for the warning. I'd intended to see it.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 07:30 am:   

Glad to help. It's all about, Gee, remember when we were in power? I'm of an age where I knew people who died in the revolution or shortly afterward, and I think Castro's become a scumbag. But Garcia comes out of the cuban exile community and those people are farther right than Ann Coulter. One day they will get back in power and they'll rush in, grab the island and start oppressing like there's no tomorrow, making up for lost time.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 08:06 am:   

It can't be much worse than Art School Confiential, which I saw a few weeks back, a sloppy film that aims to define the art world and what it means to be an artist, but just floods over with caricatures and storytelling that has nothing to do with real life. So if it's between the Lost City and Confidential – flip a coin.

Anyone see Miike's Agitator? I'm thinking about picking it up, as it's touted as Miike's serious Yakuza film.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 08:25 am:   

I saw ASC too...part of it, anyway. Zwigoff continues his downhill slide. I still say it's a superior experience to LC, because LC's political resonance is so appallingly wrongheaded. But I admit it's a close call.

Nope. I'm sorta off Miike. Not permanently, just need to give him a rest for a while. I'm a Yakuza Papers guy. anyway. Which is a far-cry from Miike style filmmaking.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 08:50 am:   

I've just started dabbling in Miike. I don't care much for his hyper-stylized gangster pics (Ichi, Dead or Alive, etc.), but some of his lesser hyped titles look appealing to me (Bird People, Agitator, Gozu, etc.).

I've never seen the Yakuza Papers, but that box set is awfully tempting.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 08:55 am:   

Bird People and Gozu, I've seen. They're excellent, but his quality, as you know, varies wildly,

As for Yakuza Papers, rent or buy Battles without Honor and see if it's your thing. I like them because they don't romanticize the subject.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 09:10 am:   

The most recent yakuza film I saw was "Minbo," a comedy about a hotel trying to get rid of the yakuza who frequent it. It's the first yakuza oriented comedy I've seen. It doesn't romantacize yakuza at all.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 09:22 am:   

That sounds cool. I'll look for it.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 12:32 pm:   

The Onion AV Club has an article on "Classic Movies it's OK to Hate"
http://www.avclub.com/content/node/49630

It has one I know Lucius hates - The Shawshank Redemption. The others are mostly ones I didn't care for (The Exorcist, Carrie, Caddyshack), and one I agree is hugely overrated (Star Wars). To quote the article, "The prequels didn't violate the timeless genius of Star Wars; their awkward dialogue and stiff performances simply carried on the wooden tradition of Lucas' 1977 original."
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   

For Minbo, it's only on VHS here. Maybe there's a foreign DVD of it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 12:52 pm:   

Speaking of Andy Garcia, I recently had a chance to see his performance in Mick Green's MODIGLIANI. I'm inclined to give any movie about an artist the benefit of the doubt, and I kind of enjoyed this one, but watching it and then reading Jeffrey Meyers' Modigliani biography is instructive indeed. Green's movie seriously downplayed Modi's drug use and violence, portraying Modigliani as a boozy, dreamy romantic who swept everyone off their feet. Hardly. In the movie, Modi sits reverentially at the feet of an aging Renoir; according to Meyers, Modigliani insulted him and stormed out.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 01:21 pm:   

They're a lot easier on Shawshank than I am. It's supposed to be austere? That word must have a new meaning. Or can sentimental schlock be austere? :-)

Agreed about Star Wars.

Anyway, thanks about Minbo.

Dave, that seems to be the sort of role that Garcia gravitates to when he's feeling artistic -- the dreamy romantic. Same with Lost City. I remember when that movie was in the theaters -- I chose not to see it. Good call.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 05:29 am:   

Saw the Memory of a Killer, a Dutch film about a killer with Alzheimers that wasn't quite as good as it should have been, spoiled by a weak last act, but that for much of its length is right good. It tellls of a Ledda, a hitman who takes an assignment in Belgium and learns that his target is a twelve year old girl. He refuses to do the job, threatens his employer, and when another killer does the job, he goes after the people to blame, which involves a ring of pedophiles, while trying to hang onto his memory and the cops, lead by Detective Vincke, close in...
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jk
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:48 am:   

Yeah, I liked that but thought it kind of puttered-out towards the end. It was interesting though.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 11:04 am:   

It's worth watching, but that endings just didn't make it. Too bad, cause with a good ending it might have been an exemplary thriller.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:19 pm:   

i loved star wars as a kid. i can still nostalgia kick it today, but the first couple of times i saw star wars and empire, they really buzzed my little brain. nothing really compared at the time.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 11:40 pm:   

Nostalgia is the main appeal of the series. I think most marketing platforms are funded in part by nostalgia. Even the original film embodied a nostalgia for that antiquated vision of the future.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 05:10 am:   

it wouldn't surprise me if nostalgia was part of the new films. certainly it's what allowed me to switch my brain off and just watch them, without getting all bent over the bad stuff. it's still there, but i can just switch it off with that nostalgia switch. star wars is the only thing i can do it with, though.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 07:34 am:   

I agree that Star Wars was seen as a movie for young people. As science fiction was as well.

Science Fiction films were frequently B films.

Star Wars is no 2001. Or Seventh Seal.

It's a matter of comparison. Clearly Star Wars was groundbreaking with its models and special effects. It was entertaining and had an appeal that Close Encounters did not.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 07:47 am:   

Certainly nostalgia for the 70s is part of the new films' appeal. All the forty somethings I know were stoked for the first one and they are the ones who would have seen the original in the theater as kids. The film got some good reviews, but like I said it also got slammed.

PM...I thought the Heat had blown you away. SW wasn't seen as a movie for kids, young kids embraced it wildly. It was the GWTW for the teddy-bear T-shirt set....
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PM
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

I recall seeing the trailer for Star Wars and thinking that it was going to have some scary moments. Chewy's first appearance didn't seem child appropriate.

Of course this is based on regional experience but there was a time when theaters would actually enforce age restrictions (on PG movies even).

And of course there was a time when there were actually two parent families and the entire family would go...

At any rate the Ewoks were certainly aimed at the little ones. But I wouldn't say that the first two films were pointed at children under 14.

After making everyone miserable with Empire things needed to lighten up a bit. Got to have a happy ending.

But then I've been described as a downer :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 09:01 am:   

The Ewoks were repulsive!
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Rich P
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 01:06 pm:   

Lucius, have you seen BIG SHOT'S FUNERAL?

A famous American director, Don Tyler (Donald Sutherland), is in Beijing to do a big budget remake of Bertolucci’s LAST EMPEROR (which he dismisses as not being “Eastern” enough) and comes to rely upon his Chinese translator/assistant (Lucy), and the cameraman (Yoyo) she’s hired for a “making of” doc, to talk through his vision of the film. When he’s pulled off the job by the producers, he falls ill. His last request before slipping into a coma is that Lucy and Yoyo give him a “comedy funeral” (a mistranslation of “common Chinese funeral”).

Out of respect to their former employer, Lucy and Yoyo go about arranging an impossibly lavish funeral before they realize that Tyler can‘t afford to pay for any of it. They petition for Chinese backers and turn the funeral into a worldwide media event. Then Tyler recovers…

Very funny… Most of my students already knew the film and still laughed their heads off when I showed it.

I'm pretty sure QUIET EARTH is a Kiwi film.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 01:53 pm:   

The Quiet Earth just came out an R1 this past week, and is touted as an Australian film.

As for Alphaville, like all of Godard's films, you've got to be on his wave length to dig it. In other words, expect a visual essay as opposed to any kind of narrative film.

As for Godard, my favorite of his (the only one that moves beyond just being an intellectual enjoyment) is Contempt. Probably has something to do with the plaintive song that's repeated throughout the film, which Scorsese copped for his desert scene (Pesci/DeNiro confrontation) in Casino.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 02:08 pm:   

The only one that moves beyond being an intellectual enjoyment....Wow. Your notion of what constututes an intellectutual enjoyment is different from mine.

Alphaville is B spy movie that Godard took over and turned into a science fiction movie. Its Verlaine-quoting computer is direct antecedent of HAL, its execution scene is among the most visceral and affecting in film. Though it offers some challenges, I wouldn't call it any more so than Kubrick's film.

I'll hve to try Big Shot's Funeral, Rich.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 04:07 pm:   

New thread, okay?

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