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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

   By MarcL on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 12:27 am:  Edit

Whoa! NIGHT WATCH! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Big splashy hyperkinetic cinematic eye-candy with the streetwise vampire stuff done just right, good characters, great effects. I'm sorry I missed this on the big screen, but I'd heard such mixed things. I have no mixed feelings about it at all, though. It was pure fun, epic, mythic, urban, over the top supernatural horror.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 04:51 am:  Edit

Yep. Night watch. Pretty great. Day Watch. Not as good, middle part of a trilogy, but still worth it.
   By ben peek on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 05:16 am:  Edit

you heard anything bout the novel it was based off? it was meant to be pretty cool--i'm curious. russian dark fantasy stuff. might be cool like the film.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 05:21 am:  Edit

It's supposed to come out in English, but I've heard it's pretty pedestrian writing. I don't know. I just don't think I have time. It's not a standalone, not a trilogy, it's about six or seven books as I understand it.
   By Robert Devereux on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 05:28 am:  Edit

I thought I saw the translation of Night Watch in Borders a few weeks ago. I wasn't very interested in reading it.
   By ben peek on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 07:13 am:  Edit

six or seven books? man, that's a bit of a turn off...
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 07:21 am:  Edit

Seriously.
   By Robert Devereux on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 07:37 am:  Edit

It may be a turn off for us, but epic fantasy fans eat up six book series.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 08:05 am:  Edit

Oh, yeah. Definitely. But I ain't reading it, 6 books of no doubt bad Russian translation, even if the source is good...un uh.
   By Scott Benenati on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 08:28 am:  Edit

Has anybody here seen FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE? I watched it some years back, actually one of my first foreign films, and I thought it was truly disturbing and powerful. I thought it portrayed the cultural revolution very well, much better than Yimou Zhang's TO LIVE.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 08:52 am:  Edit

Yeah, I find it has the stamp of Chinese governmemtal authority too much to be trustworthy in a political sense. If you want a less authorized view of contemporary China, I'd recommend the films of Zhang Ke Jia, especially Platform and Unknown Pleasures. I think you'll find them rewarding in the sense that they do actually convey the effects of globalization on Chinese culture.
   By Scott Benenati on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 09:35 am:  Edit

The stamp of governmental authority in what way? It seemed to me to portray the government as schizophrenic and sadistic. I thought the movie demonstrated how Mao attempted to wipe out thousands of years of chinese culture (except maybe the Confucian work ethics and loyalty to the state), and the confusion and loss of identity of the people. Is the communist government proud of that?

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check them out.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:10 am:  Edit

They, like us, are always reinventing history. It was politic at the time to rank on Mao. Now the past has been destroyed, it's beneficial at times to publically despise the man who is deemed reponsible for the destruction.

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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:15 am:   

Just read a story about Mike Judge's IDIOCRACY. Apparently, Fox is only releasing it in seven cities on an almost-secret basis, with no pub whatsoever.

WTF? Are they suffocating it to avoid offending corporate/red state America, or are they just building a viral buzz?
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PM
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:20 am:   

If the corporate "they" were really offended it wouldn't be released.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:22 am:   

We talked about that last week. Apparently so. Though it's probably something they have to do contractually.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

Guess I'd stratify corporate dissatisfaction. While not doubting that there may be some corporate types who would like it to be different (with the idea of appealing to a larger audience) I consider it unfathomable that the ultimate decision makers would allow themselves to be put legally in a situation where they'd have to release the film. Lawyers are going to put in escape clauses.


Sort of like when late night comedians slap their network hosts around. If the powers that be wanted it stopped they'd step in.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 11:04 am:   

There are usually, for any major to major-minor film, such contractual obligations. It's quite common. But they're not obligated to give more than a token release, as in this case.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

I can't imagine that the thought of this movie scares anybody, in the government or out of it. But the thought that it might could be scary to the Hollywood money.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 11:19 am:   

I suppose we'll find out eventually but it could just be what even we would consider to be a bad movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

Coming out so close to election time might have been a factor, or it might be bad...I don't know. We will see, Or at least I know I will.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 11:59 am:   

I watched Mensaka, a Spanish film about a rock band on the verge of success. It seemed like a realistic potrayal of the infighting between band members. It was also interesting because the characters all seem to think they grow and change, but none of them really do. Most seem unable to escape from their problems.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 12:29 pm:   

I forgot to mention that I saw LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE last wknd. Although the set-up could only point toward a semi-treacly "family togetherness" ending (and it does not disappoint in that regard), I have to say I enjoyed it. The characters were so recognizably pixillated that I empathized; I didn't begrudge them their happy-ish ending. I think the cast was tremendous and really did a marvelous ensemble job, particularly Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Steve Carell and Abigail Breslin. I think most screen "moppets" should be drawn and quartered, but she really managed to be vulnerable and funny and human without being cute or precocious or darling. I expect good things from her.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 06:26 am:   

Saw Headspace, a pretty good horror movie, low budget, but with a cast that included Dee Wallace Stone, Udo Kier, Dee Wallace Stone, Wlliam Atherton. Directed by first timer, Andrew van den Houten, who displays a strong talent for atmospheric horror. Alex is a slacker house-sitting a New York apt when he finds he's suddenly capable of trouncing chess masters in Wah Square Park. His mental abilities grow at such a fast pace, he seek professional help. His mental abilities are accompanied by horrifying visions, some having to do with the shotgun death of his mom. Udo Kier has a particularly nice turn as a mysterious chess wizard and Hussy does good work as a pyschologist. Nice performance by Chris Densham as Alex. All in all, an original, fairly cool horror film, kind of the flip side of Phenomenon.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 06:38 am:   

Anyone seen a short called THE RESURRECTION APPRENTICE? The director contacted me on Friendster once and the music is by ex-Eyeless in Gaza man Martyn Bates.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 06:43 am:   

Nope, not me. I try to stay away from rockstar's horror movies. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 07:17 am:   

No, the rockstar only provided the music.

I just watched a few minutes of that Boll video. How pathetic. Was that guy with the long hair who kept turning his back every time he got hit the "critic"? He fights like my cousin Nancy. I don't think I've ever seen a round of a "fight" where neither guy could land a punch.

Lucius, your odds in "The Maneuver in Vancouver" just went way, way up!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 07:28 am:   

I'm getting shape for my Nicaragua trip, Dave. I'd kill him.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

This is cool: Kem Nunn is involved in David "Deadwood" Milch's next project. As soon as I heard the term "surf noir" I thought they were ripping off Nunn, so I'm glad to hear it's from the source.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117942873?cs=1&s=h&p=0
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 10:32 am:   

That is cool. Good on Nunn.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 07:00 pm:   

Ton Jaa's new film opened today, The Protector. The plot is unsurprisingly silly - criminal's kidnap Jaa's elephant, and he goes to Australia to get it back, kicking ass the whole time.

The action sequences are impressive, but rather ludicrous. They start simply enough, with Jaa doing what he did in Ong Bak (fast and brutal stuff). He's more acrobatic this time. However, each fight gets more silly, and the end is just too far gone. First there's a bone breaking fight. In rapid succession, he breaks the legs and arms of 30+ people. The final fight has him facing off against four guys who look like pro-wrestlers. Each has a least a foot or two hight advantage, and looks to weigh twice as much as Jaa.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 07:31 pm:   

I thought it was bad. I bought it on DVD about six months ago, and I forgot to mention it here. It was like a bad Jackie Chan movie. There was way too much "humor" in the film, the old cop and etc, for one thing. And the plot, this poor villager crossing the ocean to save his beloved pachyderm...it was stupid. They forgot the stuff that made On Bak good. The fast, brutal stuff.
They forgot what Bruce Lee knew -- keep it simple and kidk ass. .
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 08:32 pm:   

Is this the one where the guy whirls the baby elephant around and throws it out the window?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 10:08 pm:   

No, that's called THE LITTLEST POACHER. This is the one where Jaa fights with elephant bones.
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PM
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 10:40 pm:   

Crankin' it up a notch until it goes too far...I'll be happy if we can get back to folk carrying one gun instead of one in each hand.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 12:26 am:   

I almost posted something about how it lacked the realism of Ong Bak, and that itself was a bit lacking in realism. I went in expecting the plot to be really stupid, I just wanted to see Jaa fight. I thought it was entertaining to watch once, but won't stand up to a second viewing, unlike OB.

It is disappointing that the recent action movies I've seen are more like cartoons than real fights.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 05:35 am:   

That's what everything's getting to be. As I antitidote, the other night I watched Point Blank with Lee Marvin, dir by John Boorman. The movie's strength lay in the relentlessness of the central character and so did Ong Bak's. There's something to be said for singlemindedness in an action hero. The Terminator, et al. The Protector, or Tum Yumm Whatever, simply forgot that.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 06:05 am:   

"It was like a bad Jackie Chan movie."

In fact Jackie Chan is in it. There's a scene where Tony bumps into him at the airport in Australia. They both assume a fighting stance, then smile and walk away. Too bad, might have been a cool fight. I think Chan is credited with "discovering" Jaa. Unfortunately, he seems to be influencing his career as well.

Agree, Tom Yum Goong was big let down after Ong Bak.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 07:13 am:   

That's right. I must have tried to forget it. Jackie must have said, "I show you my formula." Jaa needs a mean guy as a mentor.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 10:44 am:   

Finally got around to watching London Voodoo. Thanks to everyone on the board for recommending this one. A nice character driven piece of creepy horror that really only runs out of steam at the end, with the predictable ending.

Lucius: Headspace sounds pretty cool, too. It comes out on R1 this Tuesday.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 10:55 am:   

Yeah, I thought it was kinda nifty. I got mine from Diabolik.
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Mikal Trimm
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 02:09 pm:   

I thought "A History Of Violence" worked the action pretty realistically...
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 05:30 pm:   

Hey, Lucius. I just saw an item about a Chinese film called “Still Life” (Sanxia Haoren) winning the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival. Says it was “a surprise entry set against the backdrop of China's gigantic Three Gorges Dam project” by Chinese director Jia Zhang Ke.

I’ve never heard of this film and can’t find it listed on IMDb or AMG… Do you think this could be "The World", the Jia you mentioned a few weeks back? If not, it sounds like this new one might be worth checking out.

The article continues…

"Still Life" was shot in the old village of Fengjie, which has been destroyed by the building of the Three Gorges Dam, and tells of people who go back there.

More than 1.13 million Chinese have been relocated to make way for the dam, many of them complaining of bleak prospects in their new homes above the waterline or in other parts of China.

"We were told there would be a surprise film at the end of this festival, and we didn't have a lot of discussion," French actress Catherine Deneuve, who headed the jury that awarded the top prize, told reporters after the ceremony.

"The beauty of the cinematography and the quality of the story, without getting political, the characters, we were very touched and we were very moved," Deneuve added. "We know it's a very special film."
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 05:42 pm:   

No, that's a new one. The World is set in a huge amusement park outside Beijing. Sounds great. Probably made without authorization. That's why it got no pre-release pub.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 06:01 pm:   

I'll probably get out to the shops later today... If I find "Still Life", I'll buy you one and we'll try a Chinese postal experiment.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 06:09 pm:   

Oh, yeah! Do. I'll be in your debt.
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richard morgan
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 03:44 am:   

Any of you guys seen (or previously talked about) King, with Gael Garcia Bernal? Caught it last night - cracking, understated stuff about a young de-mobbed sailor who chases down the middle American pastor who may be his father. Not sure what kind of release it got in the US - a lot of the money seems to have come from European sources, and it's not overly complimentary about middle American christian values. Well worth seeing, if you haven't yet
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 05:55 am:   

Yeah, I did. Hurt was very good in it. Decent movie.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 08:19 am:   

Bad news... My main video guy hadn’t heard of “Still Life” yet… I’ll try more shops later in the week.

Good news… I met our new Chinese assistant this afternoon. Just a brief hello and where are you from and… She’s from Shanxi Province. Of course my next question is… Have you ever heard of Jia Zhang Ke? Yes. She’s a big fan, and right away she’s dying to tell me what she loves about his films. Well, the good news for me is that she has all Jia’s movies and is happy to loan me the ones I haven’t seen yet, but the better news is… now we’ve got a Chinese Jia fan hunting for the new movie. The odds of finding it just got way better. Also, if you wanted a Chinese perspective on Jia for an article, she’d be a great source.

Picked up 'Lower City' (Alice Braga).
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 08:49 am:   

Cool, Rich. Thanks. I'm dying to see it. I would like to communicate with her, but it may have to wait till next year. This Nicaragua thing may take up a lot of time. But I would definitely like to talk with her.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 10:04 am:   

I'm sure if I introduce you she'll be happy to correspond. Her husband's a lawyer and they're always moving to where the work is... but I think they just got here, so you should be OK for a while.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 10:07 am:   

Thanks, Rich.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 11:10 am:   

Does this trip tie in with an upcoming book?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 11:55 am:   

No, a documentary on Dole that is being shot down there, or will be shot. I'm doing the voiceovers.

But I'm sure some fiction will come out of it.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   

Robert Stone had an excellent but only blurrily recalled line about Dole I read years ago...how the commercial control scheme existed so Americans could maintain a grip on their sanity by what amounts to a pipeline to the potassium in bananas.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 12:38 pm:   

...maybe a line from A FLAG FOR SUNRISE.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 01:14 pm:   

Nice line...but I'm afraid it's more sinister than that.
Dole just took over where United Fruit and Standard fruit left off. They're a front from whatever clandestine ops the covert agencies of this govt wants to run. Central lAmerica is like their practice field.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 02:27 pm:   

Guess this means that we're not winning the war on "terrorism"...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 02:44 pm:   

We're not even fighting the war on terrorism...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 08:03 am:   

I got a mini-Boll fix last night; caught the last :30 of ALONE IN THE DARK. I have to say, it looked awful in the conventional way that awful horror movies are awful, but I didn't see anything exceptional about it that would put in the "worst director of all time" category. But then again, how bad could a movie with the lovely Tara Reid be? :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 08:27 am:   

I'll be watching Alone in the Dark later this week. Having cable allows me to watch things I wouldn't normally want to (that's both good and bad). I'm sure I'll have problems believing Tara Reid is a scientist. How many brilliant scientists get breast enhancements (or don't realize when their dresses fall off)?

Last night, I started watching Fantastic Four. What I saw of it was a pure B movie, bad plot, bad acting. After about an hour, I was completely bored and turned it off.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

I don't know why being a scientist would prevent a woman from seeking a breast enhancement. They come in all kinds of mentalites, I'm sure. Just think about Elizabeth Shue in The Saint. :-)

Still recommend Bloodrayne over AITD. Funnier.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 10:14 am:   

The only Fantastic Four worth your time is the Roger Corman version.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

We've started to tear through Season 2 of Lost. The formula for reveal/obscure is painfully obvious and yet...and yet...it's the best version of this sort of serial pulp I've seen in a long time.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 10:32 am:   

I am somewhat tempted to watch the Corman version. That may be more entertaining.

It's pretty sad that I enjoyed the sci-fi channel original, Sasquatch Mountain, more than Fantastic Four. SM wasn't a good movie by any stretch.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 12:10 pm:   

Hey, if Greta Van Susteren can get a face-lift, why can't an anthropologist have a boob job. And a cable TV show where she gets sloshed weekly in a different party spot? Whaddaya got against science?
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   

The Corman is pure hilarious horrible entertainment. Among the most entertainingly bad movies ever made. You will not regret a single moment spent watching it. And you can sorta skip if you like, without feeling that you're missing anything. (In other words, it looks exactly as good in fast forward as it does at regular speed.) It's badness is fully fractal. And you won't need the Mystery Science Theater cast to make it any funnier.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 01:00 pm:   

Here's a clever little mix-up where someone took the trailer for the new big-budget version and matched it to shots from the Corman version. You get a tiny glimpse of the Corman's greatness here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct9bCsqZ_MU
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PM
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 03:31 pm:   

"Just think about Elizabeth Shue in The Saint."

I think that she and Kilmer shared a connection together and the film succeeds better when considered as a dramatic/romantic "chick flick" than as an action film.

But then I never claimed to be a chemist :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 04:22 pm:   

LOST is what Edgar Rice Burroughs would be writing if he were around today.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 04:50 pm:   

Anybody see the Italian horror flick Dark Waters (1994)? It's coming out on DVD later this month and, according to DVDTalk and Twitch, is supposed to be a pretty weird and atmospheric little film.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 04:56 pm:   

Saw the blurb about it on DVDTalk, but I haven't seen the movie. Sounds intriguing.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 07:57 pm:   

saw a film called THANK YOU FOR SMOKING the other day. was alright. i was originally told that it was a pro-smoking film, but it doesn't really come across that far. it is funny in places, particularly with rob lowe.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006 - 10:04 pm:   

Factotum was made by Bent Hamer, who made the very dry, very funny Kitchen Stories, about a Swedish efficiency project in the 50s, because the latest European director to take on the cultish figure of Charles Bukowski. This is an interesting albeit spotty movie. Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei are both excellent as two of Henry Chinanski's (Bukowski) alcoholic girlfriend, and an overweight Matt Dillon, though far too handsome, is also good as Chinanski. The early part of the movie, which captures the feeling of te novel, is especially good, but the rest of the film just seems to go nowhere, which is appropriate to the script (by Bukowski) and to Chinanski's life, but not necessarily to a movie. I liked it, but I like Bukowski...but I don't like him as much as European filmmakers do -- to them, he is an object of veneration, and their attititude, sort of a combination of idolatry (here is an American who rejected his culture) and condescension (a drunken American fool), pervades the film. Verdict? If you like Bukowski, Dillon, Lili Taylor, it's fun. If you like good movies, go for Kitchen Stories.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 11:29 am:   

I should have enjoyed THANK YOU FOR SMOKING more than I did. It had a funny bit by Rob Lowe (anyone notice that pretty much every good role he's ever had is comedy?) and the inimitable Sam Elliot, but I got a hollow feeling from it. I think it's supposed to play as satire, but here inside the Beltway, it just feels like a celebration of insidious spin control. The scenes where Aaron Eckhart "bonds" with his kid by explaining away his evil profession made me a bit ill.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 - 07:33 pm:   

i just found that it didn't much go anywhere with it to make a satire. i watched it, i had an okay time with it, and that was it. i kinda wished people smoked in it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 08:49 am:   

I detested THANK YOU for reasons akin to Dave's.

Lowe a comedian! Come on! He was great in The Stand. ;)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 09:17 am:   

Not as great as he was in TOMMY BOY!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 09:51 am:   

Of course not. When comes such another?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

Not in our lifetimes, I fear.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 10:37 am:   

He's the poor man's Mark Hamill.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 10:38 am:   

Or wait...maybe it's vice versa.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

Or worse, the poor man's Mark Harmon.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 12:06 pm:   

Ouch!
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 12:36 pm:   

Poor marks all around :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 02:20 pm:   

DOUBLE OW! - Marc
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 05:27 am:   

Alone in the Dark was bad. It wasn't even entertaining bad, it was incoherent and boring bad. And what did it have to do with the game?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 06:27 am:   

beats me. That's the least "entertaining" of Boll's movies. Bloodrayne is much "funnier..."
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 06:31 am:   

Alone in the Dark had good CGI monsters. Although in those scenes where they are supposed to be looking into the cavern at the massed monsters preparing to invade, it was too dark to see anything. Did they run out of $$$$$?
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 07:17 pm:   

Has anyone here seen Kieslowski's DECALOGUE, a series of ten hour-long (?) films (done originally for Polish television, I think) all set in the same apartment building? I like his films, but for some reason -- maybe the tv connection -- I'm hesitant about sinking any money into this one. Any thoughts?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:00 pm:   

I've seen A Short Film About Killin which is an expansion of one of the films. The entiire series, I believe, last about ten hours. The expansion I saw was quite good, shot in b&w--I think they are all b&w. I can recommend that one, but I'm not a totak Kieslowski nut, so I wouldn't voice an opinion on all ten.
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PM
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 10:28 pm:   

"And what did it have to do with the game?"

Perhaps it's a statement of how folk play the game...alone in the dark:-)

As for the DECALOGUE, Netflix has got it...
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 11:20 pm:   

DECALOGUE is austere, dour, and bleak -- yet it's sprinkled with understated moments of profound humanity. I watched all ten films once and found some of them to be wonderful and others to be dull, but as a whole, with certain characters' lives overlapping and themes reverberating, it was quite an experience. However, when I've tried to rewatch a few of the films on their own, I couldn't get into them.

Watched two movies tonight mentioned here before: HEADSPACE and LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH. I enjoyed them both. The latter as a nice piece of atmospheric 70s horror, and the former as a surprisingly ambitious piece of modern horror, with quality writing and acting to boot! Thanks for the good recommendations.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 05:30 am:   

Headspace was kind of a cool surprise. Glad you liked it.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 05:48 am:   

Thanks guys. Looks like I'll have to finally join Netflix.

Kelly, have you watched any more of the shorts on Small Gauge Trauma yet?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 06:03 am:   

Netflix has gotten quite a bit better since I joined early on. I actually belong now, and before I dissed it.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 07:10 am:   

Nathan: Not yet. In retrospect, the one short I watched, the zombie pic "I'll See You In My Dreams," was a little too fan-boyish for me (i.e. derivative of the Evil Dead trilogy, Romero zombie films, etc.). So it left a bad taste in my mouth. I should give more of them a chance (will report back when I do).
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 07:21 am:   

I just ended my Netflix membership (again). I think this is the third time I've cancelled membership. I eventually run out of movies I really want to see, so I cancel. Maybe a year later I've come up with a list of movies I want to see again, so I join again.

Right now, cable is covering all the new movies I want to see, and the handful of old movies I want to see are foreign or not on DVD.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 09:58 am:   

I had to cancel my NetFlix account, too. For whatever reason, I don't watch movies when I have NetFlix. I put them in my NetFlix queue, they ship, they arrive, they sit on my living room table -- unwatched. I think my enthusiasm for a film wanes during the lag time it takes for them to ship, so my mind's moved on to other movies or books by the time they arrive.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 10:33 am:   

Mine get here in a day. So I use them to fill in the blanks of my viewing.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 11:37 am:   

I've got 30+ items on my Netflix list, including all kinds of Von Trier I can't find elsewhere, Korean films, TV series DVDS...it's working out pretty well for me so far.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 12:42 pm:   

Lucius, have you seen that movie Begotten? They had something on TCM last night called Hermes Shorts, which was a really strange black and white experimental film with weird imagery. At the end the credits said it was by Elias Merhige. Wonder if it was from Begotten? Merhige did that movie Suspect Zero with Ben Kingsley (about remote viewing) and Shadow of the Vampire, neither of which I thought was that great, but I guess Begotten is supposed to be really strange.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 12:51 pm:   

No, I've heard about it, but it's hard to find and very pricey when you do. I detested Suspect Zero (they had a brilliant script but decided not to use it) and thought Shadow was underwhelming, so I'm not real motivated to seek it out.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   

I saw the last episode of season 2, and that convinced me to not waste another minute on the show. When I saw that giant foot, I couldn't stop laughing. It was like a fucking Simpson's episode.

Sorry...
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 01:35 pm:   

Yeah, someone's selling Begotten on Amazon for $119.00. Some of those people are nuts. I saw an out-of-print book about British seveties horror films that some bozo is trying to sell for over $2000.
Anwyay, I don't think Begotten is anything like a normal movie, from what I've heard about it. If it's like that Hermes Shorts thing I saw it might be pretty cool.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 03:10 pm:   

Well, if I see one cheap, I'll split for it. But 119 bucks is a bit steep, you know?
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 03:21 pm:   

Yeah, I doubt it will stay out of print forever. They'll reissue it eventually.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 03:28 pm:   

If Merhige ever makes another movie....He's got nothing cooking according to IMDB. You know, he also made a 48 min movie starring Marilyn Manson, Anti-Christ Superstar. I'm sensing a theme here.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 04:08 pm:   

Ugh...that might be a dealbreaker, knowing that he directed Marilyn Manson in something. That will certainly be in the back of my mind if I ever do anything rash like think about ponying up big cash for Begotten. I saw there's one on ebay now too, currently at $52. I'll see what it goes for out of curiosity.
Supposedly the giant head Nicolas Coppola Cage was a big fan of Begotten and that's how Merhige got to direct Shadow of the Vampire for Cage's Saturn Films prodco. Nic Coppola being a fan of it doesn't bode too well for it either.
Maybe Merhige could direct Cage and Manson in his next movie. That might be a fun trainwreck to watch.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 04:33 pm:   

Manson would outact Cage. :-)
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 09:43 pm:   

Just watched two horror movies with my brother: Headspace, which I agree was pretty good, and Clive Barker's The Plague, starring James Van Der Beek, which is one of the worst movies I've seen in a long, long time. Holy Jesus.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 10:32 pm:   

Clive Barker isn't exactly the mark of quality in movies. :-)
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 05:18 am:   

nor is james van der beek :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 06:43 am:   

Begotten wasn't very good. No narrative, just 78 minutes of black and white imagery, much of which couldn't be made out due to the stark contrast and grainy film.

I'm on a bad movie streak this weekend. First The Cave, then Flightplan. Cave based mutations with wings...how exactly would that come about?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 07:29 am:   

James van der beek is a giant, okay? :-)

The Cave...Flightplan....do you scourge yourself while you watch such movies?

Cave-based mutations with wing? I suppose bats were involved...or Jodie Foster.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 08:56 am:   

Kelly, I cant recall if it was you who was interested in Jigoku, the good one made back in the sixties, but Criterion has a relatively cheap version out -- I saw it on Diabolik for 25 bucks.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 10:04 am:   

Lucius: yeah, I'll be placing my order for Jigoku this week. Amazon has it at a pre-order price of $20. Also, for those who didn't order the oversea's Dust Devil, an R1 3-disc "Final Cut" is being released on the 26th.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

I liked Dust Devil. Too bad the drirector got fucked over on Dr Moreau -- I thought he might be a comer.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

"Cave based mutations with wings...how exactly would that come about?"

Bats out of hell...with the understanding of course that hell is in the center of the earth.

Still working on the Sacrifice.


Watched the remastered original Star Trek debut in HD. The CGI starships and effects (so far) are respectful.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 10:24 am:   

went to imdb to check on Richard Stanley, the director of dust devil. He's making a British horror movie called Vacation.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:07 am:   

Clive did some good stuff early in his career (Books of Blood, Damnation Game). In a sense, his name has carried him since then. But he really hasn't done anything worthwhile, with cinema or the written word, in about a decade. To me, he's been sucked in by the Hollywood machine. Though, it should be noted, that he had nothing to do, creative-wise, with The Plague -- he merely lent his name as a producer to help sell the crappy movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

I thought Clive's original stories were good and his first novel was pretty good. But whether you're good or no good, it's all about hype.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

Lucius, Dust Devil: Final Cut contains 3 documentaries by Stanley that are supposed to be pretty good, including "The White Darkenss," which is about "voodoo in modern-day Haiti."
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:19 am:   

The White Darkness was what Maya Dehrens, an experimental filmaker in the 40s, called the state of possession in her book -- in fact, it might have been the title of the book. She's one of the few whites ever to have experienced possession during a voodoo ceremony. She did several films in Haiti that were voodoo-related.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:29 am:   

Sounds cool -- I'll have to look up her stuff.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:42 am:   

She has a film called Divine Horsemen. I think it's available on VHS, but hard to find. You might want to check the public library system. It's a really good documentary on voodoo.

Her name is spelled Deren.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 11:43 am:   

PS--are you getting the Stanley? If you are, let me know how that documentary is.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 01:24 pm:   

I think Clive wanted the Hollywood life -- that was always his goal, and you can't argue that it's pretty sweet. I doubt he ever cared about writing except as a means to an end.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 04:06 pm:   

I definitely plan on buying the Stanley -- will report back when I watch it.

Thanks for the spelling on Deren. My searches were drawing blanks.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 04:18 pm:   

IMDB deren and you should be there. Thanks for reporting back....
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 05:50 pm:   

I agree re: Barker. I'd read that he'd started his own production company specifically for the purpose of making films out of his Books of Blood stories, and that he was going to be uncompromising in doing so. I don't know what happened to that plan; as Kelly said, he had no creative input in this film at all.

I remember the bracing impact those original stories had on my little teenage brain, though. I still feel their influence. Whatever his failings since, I'll always think of him fondly for The Books of Blood.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 05:54 pm:   

And my brother, who has been insisting for some time that van der Beek is tragically under-rated as an actor, was finally forced to face the sorry truth. So I guess some good did come out of it. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 06:00 pm:   

Did he get down on one knee and repent his van der beek allegiance and swear never to do it again? If not, it doesn't count.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 06:02 pm:   

In that case there is still work to do ...
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 06:10 pm:   

:-)

Get cracking!
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 06:47 pm:   

Nathan: I too think fondly of Barker for his early works, and some of his big, kitchen-sink fantasy novels of the early 90s (Imajica, Everville, etc.), which I first encountered as a teenager. In fact, before reading Barker, I hated reading; I was one of those kids that cheated on all of his book reports. Now, I always hope to relive those early reading experiences. His next novel's supposed to be a kind of retelling of Dante's Inferno, starring his film characters Pinhead and Harry D'amour (Lord of Illusions). The book will probably be as equally sloppy as his last horror novel Coldheart Canyon. But I hold out hope, and digress...
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 07:06 pm:   

Yeah, well, that doesn't sound very promising. I remembered liking The Damnation Game and Weaveworld quite a bit. After that I started drifting away from him. I'll probably pick up this new one anyway, though.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 17, 2006 - 07:27 pm:   

New Thread.

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