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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 10:29 pm:   

   By Dave G. on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 07:45 am:  Edit

Here's an interesting question I've been wanting to ask: What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?

By that, I mean a movie that, by rights, you know you should hate, but which gives you an undeniable jolt of pleasure...
   By Lucius on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 12:16 pm:  Edit

Jon Hughes Planes Trains and Automobiles
   By Dave G. on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 01:19 pm:  Edit

Larry Charles, Masked and Anonymous (2003)
   By Lucius on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 01:24 pm:  Edit

Is that that Dylan movie?
   By MarcL on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 02:47 pm:  Edit

Heh, good Hughes pick...personally, I'd probably go with Uncle Buck.

Are we talking about this because Road House has had a Special Edition release to celebrate the issuance of Road House 2 direct to DVD?
   By Robert Devereux on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 03:58 pm:  Edit

I'd go with Cry Baby for guilty pleasures. I hate musicals, the plot is inane, and the acting is purposely bad. Yet I actually enjoy the movie.
   By MarcL on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 04:54 pm:  Edit

I'll join you on Cry Baby. I always feel guilty when I say I love that movie. I can't even honestly say I hate musicals, because I continually find ones like this that somehow redeem the form.

Here's one I don't feel guilty about at all:

http://www.silencethemusical.com/
   By PM on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 08:28 pm:  Edit

Domino. Even as a standard def disc it is most sweet soundin' on the Toshiba HD DVD player.
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 09:53 pm:  Edit

Has anyone here seen Family Portraits? It's a collection of three thematically related short films by Douglas Buck. They deal with violence (although only the first short has on-screen violence), repression, and family dissolution. The first film, Cutting Moments, is pretty rough, and shows its miniscule budget; nevertheless, it packs a powerful emotional punch. The second is better, and the last -- Prologue -- is a knockout. Taken together, one of the most intelligent and effective horror films I've seen in some time.
   By Ellen Datlow on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 09:58 pm:  Edit

I saw Cutting Moments at ICFA a few years ago, courtesy of Doug Winter and thought it was amazing. It affected me so strongly that afterwards (while watching the introductory titles to Peter Jackson's Forgotten Silver,, which was on immediately after, I almost passed out and had to leave in order to put cold compresses on my forehead.


I haven't seen the other two--are they as disturbing?
   By Nathan Ballingrud on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 10:08 pm:  Edit

I'd say yes, but in different ways. They are increasingly nuanced and controlled. The third one has scenes of outright beauty (although I think the shot of the wife coming out of the bathroom for the second time, in Cutting Moments, was also very beautiful, in its own awful way); the closing image is amazing. If you liked the first one, you really should spring for the DVD and see the others. You'll be glad you did.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 10:19 pm:  Edit

Thanks for the recommendation, Nathan.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

   By Dave G. on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 06:10 am:  Edit

Yeah, M&A is the Dylan movie. A special edition of Road House? Where? Where?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:09 am:   

Nathan,
I see it's available on Netflix so I may rent it in the future, although I don't think it's something I'd want to watch alone. ;-)
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:15 am:   

Nathan: Thanks for the recommendation. Buck sounds like he's an actual horror filmmaker (as opposed to a hack who makes horror films). I noticed that he's just wrapped his first feature, a remake of Brian DePalma's Sisters.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:23 am:   

Ellen, I'm glad. I think you'll be pleased.

Kelly, I heard about the remake. It makes me sad, actually. I'd rather this guy make his own movies. I hope the Hollywood Machine isn't going to ruin him ...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:27 am:   

"A remake of De Palma's SIsters."

Uh-oh. Here comes hackdom.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:51 am:   

"Here comes hackdom." Agreed – unless it's a remake in name alone.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 09:33 am:   

I just have no hope where Hollywood is concerned. Here he come, there he go...that's the arc most directors take these days.
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Chris Dodson
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

CUTTING MOMENTS was a very powerful film, but I'll never watch it again; it put me off explicit violence to the point where I can't even watch something like THE HILLS HAVE EYES any more without getting sick to my stomach. Thank you, Douglas Buck, for ruining my life forever. :-)

Over the past few months, I've been loaning it out to my friends at work; naturally, they all hate me now.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 10:34 am:   

It's far easier to be hated than to be loved.

As to the "Hollywood machine" folk have to know what they're getting into. It's a choice of where to peddle. Once one has taken the bucks no need for complaints or tears afterward.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 11:47 am:   

Chris: Gosh, if it's that disturbing I'm not sure if I want to cough up the cash. I've never had a problem with onscreen violence, save for mindless, slasher-genre violence like in Haute Tension (which is why I haven't seen the Hills Have Eyes remake).
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 12:44 pm:   

I haven't seen it, Kelly, and I think I've real life bloodletting to be innured, but apparently it was too tough for a friend, a veteran of Somalia -- I guess it's something in about the sickness of the thing,
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 12:52 pm:   

PS -- which explains why I haven't seen it.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 01:48 pm:   

It's very disturbing and I'm not really sure I can watch it again. I may just skip that first section and go onto the second and third.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 03:14 pm:   

Trailer for Verhoeven's new picture (speaking of guilty pleasures):

http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/006974.html
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 03:23 pm:   

After all that, I can't get the Verhoeven trailer to play...maybe someone else will have better luck.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:08 pm:   

As far as these comments about "Cutting Moments" are concerned: really, the violence actually shown, while strong, is no stronger than you'll see in any of a dozen horror films on the market today. It's power comes from the fact that, unlike those other films, it is grounded in profound and well-established emotional distress. It's the acting out of psychological pain. I believe that's what makes it so much more potent for people. I think that's a recommendation, personally. If horror stories are to mean something, instead of just being exercises in the pornography of bloodletting, then the violence should mean something too. (I'll add a caveat, though, while trying not to give anything away: I think Buck took this first film about three minutes too far; it should have ended with his wife emerging from the bathroom -- everything after that is unnecessary, and weakens the emotional punch.)

And as I said, the second two films (both of which are superior to "Cutting Moments") scale way back on the violence. They are both about violence, but the actual acts are not carried out on screen. I hope this talk doesn't chase anyone away from what I think are outstanding short horror films.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 08:24 pm:   

Nathan,
That encourages me more to rent the trilogy and watch those second and third films.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 11:10 pm:   

I ain't a'skeered neither, Ellen...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 12:41 am:   

I'd step in to defend your honour, Ellen, but Lucius has your back.

:-)

I'd extend it beyond a disinterest in watching gore for the sake of gore to certain dramatic efforts that are essentially exercises in evoking misery in the audience.

No I'm not talking about the year's best film that the whole family can make armpit farting noises too.

Rather the sort of film that saps one's will to live.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 06:17 am:   

Thanks for arguing for these films, Nathan. I've added Family Portraits to my short-list of must-buys.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 06:29 am:   

Anyvbody see verhoeven's trailer?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 07:17 am:   

hey, dave, I hear the US release of the Descent has a totally different ending from the original. Beware! They're liable to all live happily ever after...
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 07:35 am:   

From what I could see of the Verhoeven trailer, it looks like a high-class WWII drama. I wasn't too impressed.

Anyone see Fatih Akin's In July? I was under the impression his first film was Head-On, so I'm curious about this earlier film of his.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 07:48 am:   

I haven't seen In July, I have seen her Turkish Music doc. I'll probably get around to In July at some point, because I fucking loved Head On.

Thanks about the trailer. Doesn't sound that great, but he did make a pretty good war movie when he was in Holland.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 07:54 am:   

Besides Soldier of Orange, are any pre-Hollywood Verhoeven films worth seeking out?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 09:32 am:   

I don't think you need to seek them out, but Katie Tippel's a pretty good period piece with a good Hauer performance, and I saw a short at a festival once called the Wrestler which I really liked. His most popular Ducth film was Spetters, a motorcycle action flick that feels pretty dated.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 10:28 am:   

I liked THE FOURTH MAN.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 10:38 am:   

I don't mean to, like, freak anyone out or anything, but I just read that John Travolta is going to put on drag for the role originated by Divine in the movie of the musical HAIRSPRAY.

Ummm, how can I put this? Eeeeek.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 11:07 am:   

That's...the role he was born to play! :-) Come on, Dave. You're the kitchsch king around here. You've gotta love that.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 01:05 pm:   

I just have this image of Travolta eating poodle poo now...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 04:33 pm:   

Hold that in mind, will ya? :-)
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 11:21 am:   

I love Michael Mann's films and count Mohicans, Heat, and The Insider as three of the best American films of the past quarter century. So I saw Miami Vice yesterday, which is an unforgivable failure that features the kind of abysmal plot, dialogue, and acting that reminds of the Star Wars prequels. Could the quality have something to do with an unjustified obsession with digital technology, which Mann shares with Lucas? Anyway, without a doubt Mann's worst film -- stay far away from this clunker.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 03:51 pm:   

Thanks for the warning about MV, Kelly.

I liked the Descent very much as a formula horror movie.

A lot of people consider K Kurosawas Pulse too slow; i liked it. The remake looks predictably going-for-the-jump-scares to me. Teenagers In Trouble.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 08:08 am:   

I liked Pulse, but like a lot of J-Horror, the plot had some logical inconsistencies. My advice: don't try to think too much when you watch it, just enjoy the mood and atmosphere. The idea of a physical world "infected" by ghosts is pretty creepy.

Just four days to THE DESCENT! My goal now is to not let my expectations get too high.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 08:57 am:   

Just ease back, Dave. The Descent is a formulaic movie, pretty scary...that's all.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 09:30 am:   

Checked out the S. Korean film Barking Dogs Never Bite last night, the first film by Bong Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder), whom I'm beginning to consider one of cinema's greatest storytellers. While this film lacks the haunting resonance of Murder, as it couldn't be further in tone from a serial killer film, it's one of the most watchable, inventive oddball comedies I've ever seen (and I don't care too much for comedies). Its story is centered around an apartment complex and its eclectic mix of tenants and workers, particularly a married man who aspires to be a professor and a young woman who works as an administrative assistant in the building. Both yearn for more from life, and their fates intersect when she witnesses him murder a small dog who's driving him nuts. Like in Murder, Joon-Ho incorporates a myriad of tones and styles: it's at times slapstick, a black comedy, a suspense, a touching melodrama -- there's even a scene that evokes quiet horror. All in all, highly recommended. Can't wait to see Joon-Ho's The Host.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 09:56 am:   

Yeah, I'm waiting for the Host myself. Thank's for the rec, Kelly.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

THE HOST is apparently setting all kinds of boxoffice records in Korea. The clips I've seen are very promising. But mainly it's the greatness of MEMORIES OF MURDER that make me most hopeful. I'll definitely look for BARKING DOGS.

My computer died this weekend, so I watched a couple Netflix films that had been gathering dust. CRY OF THE SNOW LEOPARD was a good recent documentary on Tibetan history. But SYRIANA...I made it halfway through and have no interest in continuing. There's enough there for a TRAFFIC style miniseries; but condensed into a single film, nothing has enough weight to matter.

The original PULSE is at the top of my Netflix list. CURE was memorably incoherent, so I'm looking forward to it.
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PM
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 01:54 pm:   

I recall the bleatings of "I will find you" in the Mohicans. Watched it with an Irish person and we got a lot of good laughs during and after the film. One of the better unintentional romantic comedies... :-)
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   

I find Mann's dialogue in Thief, Manhunter, Mohicans, and Heat, while at times overdone, to be suitable for their stories. Vice on the other hand...ouch!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 02:34 pm:   

Well, I'm with PM on Mohicans, but I'm taking your advice on Vice. Basically, the only American move I'm looking forward to is Mike Judge's Idiocracy, which--chances are--will be a letdown.
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PM
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 03:23 pm:   

Farell + Foxx = bad action movie.

Neither have distinguished themselves when they've starred in action films. The only real surprise would have been if the movie was watchable. Not enjoyable, just simply watchable.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 04:25 pm:   

Let's not forget Mann had an unparalleled source of inspiration for the Mohicans dialog:

http://www.llumina.com/mark_twain_on_cooper.htm

http://users.telerama.com/~joseph/cooper/cooper.html
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 04:29 pm:   

Mann's MANHUNTER, featuring Brian Cox as the first and in many ways most unsettling of the cinemetic Hannibal Lecters, also has its merits.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 04:32 pm:   

Like...Brian Cox... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 05:27 pm:   

Love Brian Cox. He was fantastic in L.I.E., and he is one of the best things in the new "Deadwood" season.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 05:41 pm:   

Brian Cox is terrific. He even livened up that Bourne thing...
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   

Hain't seen LIE, in spite of some hellish time spent commuting in the Long Island Expressway. Thanks for reminding me about that.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 05:52 pm:   

Tom Noonan was also pretty great in Manhunter. There was something raw and new in both performances, which was missing from the shinier RED DRAGON (and even, in the case of Hopkins's Lecter, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS).
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PM
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 09:48 pm:   

Hmmm...Cox appreciation society :-)

Yeah, Deadwood season three started slow but quickly moved to a gallop.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 11:23 pm:   

Well it's no secret that I love Dick and I'm a big fan of Cox.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 05:25 am:   

When Hopkins played Lecter, he seemed like somebody pretending to be a psychopath, and overacting while doing so. Cox came across more like the real thing.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 06:51 am:   

Is that Philip K. or another Dick?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

One thing I never figured out about Manhunter, was how Dollarhyde could fly all over the country to commit his slow, meticulous murders, and still make it back in time for work. Sheet, I can't even make it to work on time on our subway.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 08:50 am:   

"I wouldn't call The Keep incomprehensible, just inane. It is, however, a better film than Miami Vice, and has a nice early-80s, synthesizer music feel to it."

"I heard the same thing about the new-agey synthesizer music."

The Keep had a Tangerine Dream soundtrack, one of their better ones really (as did Thief). It was one of the few that they used some of their older music in. I can't remember making much sense of the movie either when I saw it.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 11:36 am:   

Just wanted to note that the Danish thriller Morke (Murk), highly recommended by Rich P, is avaliable from Exploited Films is available from Exploited at an exorbitant price (37 and a half beans), but....is available.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 01:01 pm:   

Better link to Verhoeven's new movie, Blackbook (the old version never worked for me, but this one does):

http://www.a-film.nl/trailer.php?id=1194
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richard morgan
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 02:31 pm:   

bit harsh calling the Descent formulaic....I mean, I suppose it has formula elements, but only to the extent that all horror movies do; you need Someone In Jeopardy, Something Horrible Coming to Get Them & Character Interaction While We're Waiting, otherwise I think you slip out of the genre altogether (into Arthouse Psychodrama, maybe). I thought tD played with/broke the standard horror conventions rather well, in a number of ways I don't want to go into here for fear of spoiling Dave G's enjoyment.

Blackbook looks great - if somewhat Soldier of Orange Revisited.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 03:51 pm:   

"....I don't want to go into here for fear of spoiling Dave G's enjoyment...."

That's what I was attempting to do by lowering his expectations...and now you've gone and blown it. ;)

My original review of the film said that it tweaked the formulaic elements suffiently for my tastes and did a damn good job of scaring the hell out of me. I still think the formula can be and has been enlarged upon moreso than the Descent managed, as I expect the new Bong Joon-ho film to do, but basically we're in accord.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 05:34 pm:   

More Soldier of Orange is preferable to more Hollow Man, so I'm hoping this is just the beginning of a revitalized Verhoeven.
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richard morgan
Posted on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - 03:24 am:   

yyyyyyyeeeek - hollow man - don't think I've ever seen so much money, acting talent and CGI so badly wasted. I'll watch almost anything with Bacon in, but even he couldn't save HM

speaking of Korean (Bong Joon-ho) and Japanese Horror, does anyone else think that K-horror seems to differ from J-Horror in that it is (like a lot of western horror) essentially morally driven - Korean (cinema) ghosts always seem fundamentally to be trying to right some awful wrong, whereas the Japanese variety appear to have an amoral malice regardless of what their backstory might be - they are ghosts, therefore they are evil, they will get you. Full Stop. That's been my sense of it on what I've seen so far anyway - anyone with wider knowledge concur or disagree?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - 08:14 am:   

Well, I'd suggest that Korea, thanks to the missionaries who've been swarming that country since the '50s, has much more of a Christian influence, and I imagine that seeps into their films, manifesting as the morally-driven quality you detect. Since Japan has had less of an affair with Christianity and more of an involvment with western pop culture, their cosmology comes through relatively undiminished in their films. Yet I wouldn't characterize it as amoral -- rather it reflects a certain bleakness in the Japanese character that has yielded a bleak spiritual view. I suspect that Korea's spiritual stance prior to the 50s was more like Japan's, though I don't know that for sure--I'm just assuming the hatred of Koreans for the Japanese and vice-versa is funded by a comparative lack of cultural and physical distinction, as are many similar hatreds across the planet. I'd be interested in knowing something more about pre-50s Korea, about the prevailing attitude toward ghosts, demons, et al, in particular whether their conception of these entities aligned with the fact that the Japanese notion of ghost appears to dovetail with their notion of demon.

Then, too, we've been talking mostly the upper echelon of Korean and Japanese films. I'm told that there's a greater similarity between grade B-Z films of those two countries in terms of moral stance. I'm not eager to investigate this.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

With past military incursions in various parts of Asia it's little surprise that the Japanese are not welcome houseguests...

We hear of Japanese insularity but one really has to qualify it as they were more than willing to get off their island.

For a time their booming economy was another source for regional hatred/envy.
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richard morgan
Posted on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - 06:28 pm:   

Yeah, heard about Wicker Man too - I confess I'm very curious to see how Hollywood handles the religious context (not to mention the nudity - eek, breasts) WM does after all portray the failure of one man's (christian) faith in the face of committed paganism, not to mention the secular ridiculing of ALL religious faith as a loss of reason. Somehow, I can't see them getting that one out the studio door in one piece.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - 06:37 pm:   

The Wicker Man remake also intrigues me because Neil LaBute (The Company of Men, The Shape of Things, etc.) directed it. I'm not a great fan of any of his movies, but he has a strong misanthropic streak -- he's nothing but vicious to all of his main characters -- and I'm curious to see how that translates to a horror film.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 08:28 am:   

How is Neil LaBute going to handle the triumph of a pagan society based on unbridled sexual freedom and equality? I agree that the Christian pressure groups will make a mess of this, if it isn't one already.

And, more importantly,...who plays the Britt Ekland part?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 08:57 am:   

Neil La Butes studio pictures have been slightly more interesting than the norm, but this one doesn't prick my interest at all. Apart from what everybody's said, the fact that it stars arguably the worst leading actor of hts generation...that's sufficient to keep me away.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 10:13 am:   

I heard they changed lots of things around and it doesn't bear too much resemblance to the original Wicker Man. And Christopher Lee and the original writer are already saying bad things about it.
And it stars that dork Nicholas Cage. Doesn't look too promising. Maybe slightly more promising than World Trade Center. Or maybe not.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

Maybe.

I bet the protagonist lives in the end...
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jk
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 10:42 am:   

There's no Lord Summerisle. Ellen Burstyn plays "Sister Summerisle". Hmm...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 10:54 am:   

Well, EB's a pretty good actress, but she's cancelled out by Cage...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 11:13 am:   

Their Britt is somebody I never heard of who was a stew in FLIGHTPLAN.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 11:46 am:   

Coffee, tea, or...Wicker! :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 06:34 am:   

Go see the descent! ;)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 07:04 am:   

I just read that they altered the ending in THE DESCENT'S US release! Why do they have to dumb down everything for this nitwit country?

I grant Spoiler Amnesty to anyone who can tell me how the UK version ended, so I can compare the US release...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 07:12 am:   

Dave I cautioned you about this upthread. I hesitate to tell you the ending, because I don't know in what context it's been altered; but I will tell you it's a total downer. Check back after you see it and I'll tell you.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 08:32 am:   

Ugh. I'm afraid that the US ending is more..."uplifting". What a waste.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 09:04 am:   

Well, it'll be good to see it on the big screen, then you should buy the British DVD. Let me know what the ending is.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 12:18 pm:   

Anybody ever seen Ulli Lommel's TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES? I've been trying to find it forever.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 12:22 pm:   

That's Neil Jordan, who's done a couple of great films like The Butcher Boy and Mona Lisa, and some awful ones like High Spirts and, no doubt his next one, a Jodie Foster vehicle. Wolves, for me, falls somewhere in the middle, above average, but not a triumph.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 12:23 pm:   

Nope. Never have. Sorry.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 06:53 pm:   

I thought Dog Soldiers was great fun.

"I hope I give you the shits, you fucking wimp!"

Hell yeah!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 07:34 pm:   

And yet you don't like hippie snails...Go figure.

It was fun, but I preffered the Descent.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 10:34 pm:   

I don't know how well COMPANY OF WOLVES has dated, but that was a favorite movie for quite a while. Not as good as MONA LISA or BUTCHER BOY, but totally different. Jordan is wildly uneven. I hated HIGH SPIRITS, IN DREAMS, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, WE'RE NO ANGELS...haven't bothered with THE GOOD THIEF or BREAKFAST ON PLUTO.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 05:34 am:   

You fail to mention the sort of inert version of Michael Collins he did. High Sprirts is far and away his worst, though all the films you mention as bad are pretty bad. I didn't mind the Good Thief; but PLUTO...well, the basic concept of seeing the Trouble through the eyes of, basically, a cartoon transsexual, it just didn't fly.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 10:40 am:   

Saw Firecracker, that movie with Mike Patton. What a piece of crud. I couldn't even finish it, I made it about 3/4 through it. It's rare that I won't finish a movie after I start it, but this thing was awful. Third-rate David Lynch wannabe movie. Patton has two roles, as well as Karen Black. I'm not sure why he would want to make his "acting" debut with two roles, you'd think one would be enough at first. Also not sure why he'd read that screenplay and think he'd want to do it, especially when he gets to the part where he rapes his younger brother. Hmm...
Patton plays an abusive older brother and a carnival owner, and his acting isn't really up to one role, let alone two. And Karen Black is like 65, and both his characters are crazy about her. Sheesh.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 11:20 am:   

Saw two Masters of Horror movies. Homecoming, the Joe Dante zombie film about Iraq war soldiers coming back from the dead to vote. Overall, it sucked -- way too heavyhanded, bland, and not outrageous enough to be worth your time (though I'm glad someone has the balls to stand up in a public forum to this admin).

Also saw Larry Cohen's Pick Me Up, the best American horror movie I've seen in a while, about two serial killers battling it out for victims on a stretch of west-coast highway. Atmospheric, disturbing, and, hell, it even features real acting (Michael Moriarty is particularly creepy yet comical).
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 10:21 am:   

Saw a trailer for what looks like an interesting new film by Hungarian director Krisztina Goda called 'Szabadság, szerelem' (English title - 'Children of Glory'). Plot summary from IMDB - "'Children of Glory' will commemorate Hungary's heroic Revolution of 1956, and takes place in Budapest and at the Melbourne Olympic Games in October and November of that year. While Soviet tanks were destroying Hungary, the Hungarian water polo team was winning over the Soviets in the Olympic pool in Melbourne, in what has been described as the bloodiest water polo match in history." Shot in Melbourne and Budapest and starring Sándor Csányi from 'Kontroll'…

Speaking of 'Kontroll'… I’m in Budapest right now and was stopped by Kontroll late last night coming home from the movies. An old lady threw on a dirty arm band as she approached my friends and I right after we got on a bus. She demanded we pay her 5000 florits because we hadn’t validated our tickets quickly enough. Luckily, I had seen 'Kontroll' and knew these folks had no real authority. They just try and bargain for as big a cash "fine" as they can get. We pleaded ignorance and she didn’t know enough English to send us on a proper guilt trip :-) .
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 07:38 pm:   

What's Budapest like? I might check it out next summer.
Good Kontroll moment!
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 06:38 am:   

PICK ME UP with Moriarty was pretty excellent, I thought. Along with Carpenter's CIGARETTE BURNS (which would have made a dandy feature) the best of the lot. At least the ones that aired anyway.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 07:03 am:   

Did you see the Descent?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 08:28 am:   

Yes, I did!

BEAUCOUPS OF SPOILEROONIES TO FOLLOW....BE FOREWARNED...




I thought it was pretty neat. It's always nice to see a horror film made with more than a modicum of care and character development. I liked the way Marshall gave the women (at least some of the women) backstories so they would be more than Victim #3. The locations were great. In fact, I actually thought the movie was scary enough with the women facing entrapment in the ultra-creepy cave; no crawlers necessary.

The creatures were pretty cool, but as always, they were scarier glimpsed than seen and, Marshall had problems with how to keep the suspense going once we've seen the monsters and it's just a simple chase-and-kill. Rather than work up some kind of escape scenario that unravels tragically, Marshall opted for the utter chaos scenario, which was an interesting choice and created some great atmosphere. Still, one wonders how it would have looked if he had gone the other way.

The whole Juno-stabs-Beth thing was overdone. Why didn't Beth just tell Sara it was an accident? Did they all secretly hate Juno for getting them lost?

All in all, it was definitely a cut above. I think I'll see it again.

And, oh yes, the ending. Here is how the US version ends. Sara and Juno have a face-off at which Sara confronts Juno with the stabbing of Beth. (Again, why doesn't Juno just say it was an accident?) Sara embeds some kind of climbing tool in Juno and leaves her to be crawler bait, as a whole pack of them zoom in on her. Somehow, an exit magically appears at the opportune time and Sara climbs a stairway of bones (got to admit this was nicely shot) out of the cave and pulls herself out through the roots of a tree.

(A digression: how dumb was it for Lions Gate to use a still of Sara climbing out of the cave as part of its promo pack...The shot made it into every review of the movie and totally gave away the ending!)

Sara runs frantically to the SUV (which she miraculously finds somehow), climbs in and starts zooming off down the road. She pulls over, has a near miss with a big semi, throws up out the window and, when she leans back into the cab we see -- SHAZAM! -- Juno or the ghost of Juno or whatever sitting next to her.

Is she being haunted by the ghost of Juno? Has she gone mad and begun to hallucinate? Was Juno a ghost all along leading the women to their destruction?

This is the kind of stuff we are supposed to wonder, but in reality the ending is just a weak attempt to end the thing on a jump scare, like Carrie or Friday the 13th, or a million other flicks.

So, Lucius, what was the international ending?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 08:51 am:   

The US ending is revealed, rightfully, as a hallucination and we're back in the cave. We see Sara, hoplessly mad, poised over the form of her sleeping child (there were probably cuts prior to this to take her hallucinations of the kid out of the mix) in the pose of a protective predator and we hear the real predators closing in. The camera, I think, pulls back on this shot until the close. It's very, very effective. There's some ambiguity. Some have taken this to mean that Sara's becoming a cave creature, but I like it that she's just round her twist and doomed.

I was afraid they did that. Too bad. Get the dvd. You don't buy on line, but Xploited has it for 17 bucks.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 11:18 am:   

Lucius: This isn't the right spot for this but I didn't have a lot of time to look around and find the appropriate thread. Heard this afternoon while in the car on NPR that there is going to be a very good Documentary tonight on the Oxygen channel about female Muy Tai boxers from the US. Thought you might be interested in this.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 11:58 am:   

Thanks, Jeff. I'll take a look.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 12:08 pm:   

The UK ending rocks. I wonder if public demand will require them to release the int'l ending as part of a Region 1 DVD package. Lions Gate might use this to gin up interest in the DVD release and squeeze a few bucks out of the movie, since its BO take in the US was pretty weak.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 12:42 pm:   

Yeah, it's cool. You'd think that they'd include the alt ending, but then you never know. I say, pay Xploited.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:00 pm:   

I gotta get me an all regions player.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:03 pm:   

I also had the unmitigated pleasure of watching the DVD release of the 1978 Amicus Production, ASYLUM, yet another of their wonderful, stylish, fun without being campy, portmanteau horror films. Aside from a silly "living doll" story with Herbert Lom, it was pure enjoyment with a great cast (Barbara Parkins, Charlotte Rampling, Peter Cushing).
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:05 pm:   

There's really no point not to get one. I have a Phillips, a sixty buck model, never gave me a problem and its been three years.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:13 pm:   

Charlotte Rampling's always great. I recently saw her in Lemming, one of her best performances, playing the steely ball-breaking wife of a tech company exec. Terrific movie. Kind of an eeire thriller that morphs into a supernatural piece. It's gotten some slams for the supernatural stuff, but I really liked it....
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:30 pm:   

MORE SPOILAGE:

Dave, I think the confrontation between Sara and Juno involved Juno's affair with her husband, which was hinted at in the beginning. The little trinket she has in her hand, I think, belonged to Juno, and bore an inscription with a favorite maxim of Sara's husband. When Sara receives it from the dying girl, she puts two and two together. This gives Sara's actions in this scene a little more justification (if you can call it that!).
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:52 pm:   

Jeez, you know, I totally missed that. I recall the hub saying "Love Every Day," but where was the affair hinted at? That went right over my head.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 01:54 pm:   

Lemming sounds pretty cool. I see it comes out on R1 on August 15. I didn't care for this director's last film, With A Friend Like Harry, but this definitely sounds worth a shot.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 02:03 pm:   

Dave: the very beginning, during the rafting sequence. When he's hoisting Juno out of the water, there are some lingering and incriminating looks being passed around by all and sundry; the only one who seems oblivious to it is Sara herself. It was pretty subtle.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 02:39 pm:   

Subtle...schutle! I only remember the HORROR! No, Marshall does a lot with his characters with little screen time.

And Kelly, yeah, it's a good movie. It's been described as a companion piece to Cache--in some ways I like it better and I liked Cache a lot!
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 05:00 pm:   

I'll have to give it another viewing. I completely missed the lingering glances. Subtlety in a monster movie? Who ever hoid of such a ting?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 07:54 am:   

I just checked out the UK ending of THE DESCENT on YouTube (we LOVE us some YouTube). It made perfect sense. It was artistic, and it provided a sense of psychological closure to the film. Chop it off and you're left with corned-beef hash, the kind of ending an accountant would devise. Bulls***. Within 12 months, the US "version" will be excised from the book of memory. The UK film is the film.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 08:00 am:   

I played Caliban to Phil's Ariel in a 5th grade production of THE TEMPEST. Even then, he was destined for grander things.
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richard morgan
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 09:02 am:   

I can't fucking believe they did that (Descent US ending). I remember when I saw the movie, all through that escape sequence I was thinking ah come oooooonnnnn, how the hell did she find the SUVs in all that woodland, how ridicul-eeeek!!!! And there you are, back with the inescapability of death, and an almost samurai-like acceptance. Interestingly, I differ from Lucius here and see it as transcendence rather than doom. As one of the other characters says, the worst thing in the world already HAS happened to Sara - death is going to be a walkover by comparison. She transcends the horror and walks into the light. It's beautiful, and in a sense far more uplifting than chopping back to the escape can ever be - which any studio exec with half a brain ought to have been able to see.

My two cents worth on the Juno thing - Juno doesn't say anything because her guilt is general rather than specific. Sara has found her out for what she IS (ie a false friend) rather than for any one thing she's done. The catalogue of Juno's crimes is too long to bear any explanation, and she perhaps realises this herself, so in finding her out Sara has also revealed her to herself for what she is.

The fact the characters were all female deepens this context even further, I think, because, friendship, real and false, between women seems to be much more of a complicated and fraught thing than between men. And I think it's no coincidence, Juno's behaviour is generally the most man-like of all the women - she shatters the female bonds by behaving like a (male) asshole.

Sorry to babble on....just I SO loved that movie....
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 09:23 am:   

Well, that's what's nice about the UK ending, its ambiguity. It's solid. You know nothing good can happen, no salvation comes, but the rest is left up for grabs by that brilliant final shot.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 12:24 pm:   

I'm going to YouTube to check it out.

Richard, I think you're spot on about Juno's guilt. The little bauble clearly implicated her for the affair, but as you say she was guilty in a much larger sense. Incidentally, one of the things I liked about the characterization of Juno was that I think she was aware of this as well; it was Juno, after all, who refused to leave the caverns without Sara, even after having found those arrows.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 01:02 pm:   

my browser's wheezing like an old gooze. Let's keep this to the new thread. I've transferred the messages.

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