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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 01:30 pm:   

er's idiosincracies seemed better to me...
   By Dave G. on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 09:38 am:  Edit

just completed my lodge kerrigan studies with KEANE (2004), a (surprise surprise) unsettling portrait of mental illness with Damien Lewis as a maladjusted man who may or may not be searching for his missing daughter and Abigail "Little Miss Sunshine" Breslin as the little girl who may fill his void. Kerrigan is a master of ambiguity. At the end, we are not at all sure whether Keane is a hero, a potential child molester, or some combination of both.
   By Lucius on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 10:51 am:  Edit

Keane was brilliant...

I've got INVASION straing me in the face....
   By Robert Devereux on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 11:02 am:  Edit

3 movies watched over the weekend. Bourne, which seems less appealing the more time passes. Simpsons, which was entertaining, but really like a long TV episode. This Quiet Earth, which was good. Last man on earth type scenario, where most other people simply vanished in the middle of activities.
   By Lucius on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 11:46 am:  Edit

The Quiet Earth is one of my top five scifi films. I love that movie. It made me watch a lot of Bruno Lawrence films, some quite good.
   By Lucius on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 01:28 pm:  Edit

Just heard that Michael Haneke has renade his thriller Funny Games in English with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth.....weird.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 01:59 pm:   

Lucius, re: Keane:

One bit I found really interesting and compelling was the skee ball scene, where Keane is playing skee ball with Kyra and he suddenly turns away in a fugue. He starts screaming at people for looking at him, and, although it is unclear from the angle at which he is shot, he appears to be perhaps playing with himself. He staggers over to a bench and I could swear he is trying to suppress a hard-on. But it's impossible to say from the distance at which the camera shoots him. So we are left wondering if he is simply paranoid or having a genuine bout of pedophilia. The central fact of the film is left open to interpretation; I love the way Kerrigan does that.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 08:06 am:   

Yup, Dave...Kerrigan may be the most interesting flmmaker working in America...let's not fail to mention Lewis' perfromance, which was great,

INVASiON, as mentioned eariier, is another pic where Hollywood bought over a foreign director, didn't like what they got, reshot the pic with a homegrown director, the guy who did V for Vendetta, and...bombs away. But we'll hope for the best.

If you haven't seen it. check out the bothersome man -- it should be out on region 1 DVD now and is very good.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 08:29 am:   

I don't know why, but a few days before BOTHERSOME MAN was to be released on US R1 DVD, it vanished from all of Amazon's and other retailers' sites. At a guess, the US studio who owns the film's rights are planning a brief theatrical run, and decided to pull the plug on the DVD release.

It is available, however, as an R1 disc out of Canada.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 09:08 am:   

Huh, I didn't know that. Thanks, Kelly. I repeat to all who care--this is a good movie.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 11:19 am:   

Yeah, Damien Lewis was great. Where does Kerrigan find people like Peter Greene and Lewis? Relative unknowns from whom he coaxes the kind of performances serious actors would die for.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 - 01:26 pm:   

Well, Lewis is fairly large over in England, which he's a native of...as for Green, he'd been in a cool indie film. Laws of Gravity, I think....
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Jay Todd Steneker
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 12:13 am:   

You can get The Bothersome Man DVD from the film movement site still, here's the link:
http://www.filmmovement.com/filmcatalog/index.asp?MerchandiseID=100

Its a great site with lots of great obscure foreign films so definately check it out.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 06:37 am:   

Yep. Very cool site.

Anyone out there seen paprika?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 07:13 am:   

I saw it. It's not up to the same level as other films by Satoshi Kon. It devotes too much time to pure gibberish and just trying to be surreal. Weird for weirdness sake.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 09:58 am:   

Pity...I just ordered it,
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 10:07 am:   

Been hearing good things about the Aussie thriller Noise...about a cop suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I wonder if it's for sale anywhere yet.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 10:25 am:   

I see a region 4 release date for Oct 10th.

http://www.noisethefilm.com/
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 - 10:43 am:   

T;anks, PM...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 06:08 am:   

Also ordered Shindo's (Onibaba) Irezumi and Naked Island, both major works by the great Japanese filmmaker.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 09:49 am:   

I just received Harry Kumel's (Daughters of Darkness) early 1970s dream narrative, MALPERTUIS. It's supposed to verge on horror and have a great atmosphere. It stars Orson Welles. Anyone ever see this film?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 10:42 am:   

Yeah, we've discussed Malpertuis in previous threads. I liked how one actress played multiple roles, but that was the most intriguing part. The ending sucked.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 10:51 am:   

Saw Borat. I don't understand how people view it as a brilliant work of political satire. It doesn't take much skill to show racist and sexist behavior in his targets. It's hardly saying anything new or with depth.

Maybe people feel badly about enjoying low-brow humor and try to justify that enjoyment. I'd rather enjoy it for what it is, rather than try to make it into some bold political statement (which will disappoint those looking for the supposed depth of the film). I don't need to justify my enjoyment of movies, and I wish others didn't either.

I found it mildly amusing, but I think Sasha Baron Cohen works best in a shorter format like his TV show.
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 11:02 am:   

I watched the Pang brothers (well, one of them) latest offering FOREST OF DEATH the other night, and wasn't impressed. All their films look and feel the same. It was slightly better than THE MESSENGERS, at least.

Next up: Kiyoshi Kurosawa's LOFT.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 11:14 am:   

Agree with your comments on Borat, Robert, I thought it was pretty embarassing and I'm not totally adverse to low brow humor. Wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for the considerable hype, so felt it a big let down.
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 02:35 pm:   

I've just finished watching Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Loft, and frankly, I wish I hadn't bothered. It's a wretched, nonsensical mess, and an ugly blot on an otherwise impressive career. There are a few creepy, well composed scenes but they are completely undermined by the ludicrous dialogue and behaviour of the main characters. It's like Kurosawa was possessed simultaneously by the spirits of Ed Wood and Uwe Boll while making this. I just hope his next film Sakebi is better.

Ugh. I need to watch something good to get rid of the bad taste this has left. I just bought a bunch of old Taiwanese movies on DVD that I remember seeing in the '80s in dodgy, rat-infested Taipei cinemas: Run Away, Osmanthus Alley, Flower in the Rainy Night, Spring Swallow, Hill of No Return, The Sandwich Man and a couple I've forgotten the English titles of (they cost only the equivalent of 3 bucks each). I also picked up a 1980 Hong Kong movie called Disco Bumpkins, which from the cover - Chinese guys in afros and foot-high platform shoes - looks promising!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 06:38 pm:   

I thought Malpertius flat reeked, a case of incredible overpraising.

I have 15, 16 movies waiting at home and the first one i get to watch is....Invasion.:-(
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 09, 2007 - 06:40 pm:   

Malpertius just seemed to me a bad movie,,,,you had to work had to find something goood about it.

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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 02:01 am:   

Too bad about Loft . Hey, HUW, if you ever run across a Taiwanese martial arts flick called the Red Lotus Society, let me know...I may have already asked about this, but reptition rarely hurts.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 06:17 am:   

Wow, the incongruency between the opinions on this board about Malpertius – that it sucks – versus places like Film Comment's editors – that it's a European masterpiece – is almost comical. Thanks for your thoughts, Robert and Lucius.
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david h
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 09:33 am:   

Hey guys, glad to see that movie discussion has resumed! Hope you're all doing well.

Has anyone here seen Sunshine yet? I hear mixed things about it...
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Huw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 09:38 am:   

Lucius, I was searching for RED LOTUS SOCIETY when I found all those old Taiwanese films. No luck so far, but I'll keep looking...

I'm really glad I found those old movies on DVD, but it's I shame they don't have English subtitles. A lot of Taiwanese films don't, unfortunately (I can understand them and read the Chinese subs, it's just a shame because it pretty much rules out sending them on to friends who don't understand Chinese).

I too was disappointed with MALPERTUIS. It had some odd touches, and at times I felt it may be leading up to something really good, but it never really lived up to my expectations. Does anyone know of any other film adaptations of Jean Ray's fiction? The Mainz Psalter and The Shadowy Street are great stories.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 10:41 am:   

Finally saw THE HOST...Liked it. Excellent junk food moviemaking of a very high order. Its Asian origins led lots of US critics to plumb its purported depths for profound commentary on the structure of society, but I think it's best enjoyed as a wittier than usual monster movie with an awesome creature (psycho mutant snakehead?).
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Huw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 12:06 pm:   

I loved THE HOST, but apart from the great creature effects, what impresses me most with successive viewings (I've seen it four times now) is the interaction between the family members. I haven't seen a movie that manages to be as genuinely moving, and at the same time exciting, as this in a long time. I'm curious as to what Bong Joon-ho has up his sleeve next...
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Huw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 12:19 pm:   

David, I saw SUNSHINE, and I had mixed feelings about it. It was definitely worth seeing, but I was expecting something more. After an interesting build-up, the ending left me feeling kind of empty. Nice to see Michelle Yeoh and Hiroyuki Sanada together in a movie though!
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   

Huw: I believe Bong Joon-ho's next feature will be an adaptation of a popular French SF comic book. If memory serves correct, Park Chan-wook is producing, and the setting is in the arctic.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 12:52 pm:   

That's cool. I love Arctic stuff. '

I thought the first half-2/3 pf Sunshine was excellent. The last bits, however, didn't work for me at all.

I agree with HUW--I;ve seen it four times as well, and the family stuff is outstanding...

As for Malpertuis, yeah, it had some odd stuff, but it took an effort of will for me to watch the whole thing...and then I wished I hadn't bothered.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 01:47 pm:   

Another forthcoming movie with an arctic setting that looks cool is The Last Winter, Larry Fessenden's first film since Wendigo. I believe it gets a limited opening in September.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 02:04 pm:   

A friend of mine saw it at the Seattle Film Festival and said it was disappointing. Nonetheless, the DVD is waiting for me at home, because of my aforementioned arctic jones, so I'll find out this next weekend.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 05:22 pm:   

Too bad. I had a lot of hopes for this one, especially since I liked Wendigo quite a lot (at least until the rubber deer is revealed at the end).
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 05:31 pm:   

Yuh, but I'm holding out hope that his taste is better than mine. :-)
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jk
Posted on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 07:59 pm:   

I had high hopes for Malpertuis too after reading the glowing reviews in places like Sight and Sound, which made it out to be a lost masterpiece with stunning visuals and a script based on a book by Ray, the "Belgian Poe."
Sure didn't live up to the hype. Ok, I was expecting bad acting, but I was hoping for cool visuals at least. There were a few interesting bits, but it's sure no lost masterpiece.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 12:21 am:   

The Host was quite the family values movie...and badass girl archery!

Just fearless film making. The film was going to go wherever it wanted to go and turned effortlessly as the storytelling approaches changed. Funky K-Bear gives it four paws up.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 04:30 am:   

i liked most of SUNSHINE, right till the final parts. but i dug it for the most part and find myself recommending it to people...
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 04:35 am:   

Sunshine? Blecch. First bit ok, then downhill from there.

Human Torch vs the Scarecrow, not the best idea perhaps. :-)


Don't think you can have too many Wendigo movies though.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 05:45 am:   

You gotta wonder how films like Malpertuis get their rep? Is it all marketing or the Emperor's New Clothes or what?

Sunshine was a letdown for me. If something starts well and ends poorly, I feel doubly gypped.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 06:54 am:   

Being unavailable for so long lead to much of the reputation. It was so hard to find that few people watched it. Those that watched it tended to be fanboys, or were affected by cognitive dissonance (they put so much work into finding it, it had to be good).


I watched Stardust last night. It's pure fluff, but it's the sort of movie I thought Hollywood had forgotten how to make: a simple story told with sincerity. There's no attempt to make it clever, no plot twists, no attempt to make it snarky or tongue-in-cheek, no pop-culture references.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 08:59 am:   

Though, more than fanboys embrace Malpertuis. In the latest issue of Film Comment, which is considered a "serious" film publication, the editor Gavin Smith calls it "one of the masterpieces of Belgian cinema" with "one of cinema's most flabbergasting never-saw-it denouements of all time." To be honest, I can be quite impressionable, and these words prodded me to purchase the new R1 disc sight unseen. (I haven't watched it yet, so I could still end up enjoying it.)
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 10:18 am:   

After Sight and Sound's praise of Malpertuis three years ago, it's been one of my most wanted movies to see. I've been waiting and waiting and I finally see it and...ho hum.
There was a funny story about the filming. The cameraman or someone was setting up a scene with Orson Welles on the bed, and he stepped on Welles' toe, and Welles got ticked off and said "you did that on purpose!" To which the guy replied, "of course I did."
Supposedly Welles was a pain in the neck during the making of the movie, maybe the extras on the disc are more entertaining than the movie, but I couldnt' be bothered.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 10:20 am:   

Saw The Number 23. Joel Schumacher has to be one of the worst directors working today. He gives Uwe Boll a run for his money. And Jim Carrey should stick to comedy, although I guess this could have been considered an unintentional comedy.
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david h
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 12:02 pm:   

>>I thought the first half-2/3 pf Sunshine was excellent. The last bits, however, didn't work for me at all.

Sounds like 28 Days Later. Why can't Boyle & Garland execute a strong finish?
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Huw
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 02:06 pm:   

In that regard, I think 28 Weeks Later was superior to 28 Days Later. I found it more consistent.

I haven't seen The Number 23, and after reading that Boll comparison, I'm not sure I will! I subjected myself to Bloodrayne a few weeks ago, god help me. It was a stultifying experience, but I can take at least some comfort in the fact that all the actors looked just as bored as I was. They all seemed to be either half-stoned or sleepwalking. I loved the way Boll kept inserting shots of the 'heroes' riding across the landscape at every possible turn in an attempt to give the movie a majestic, Lord of the Rings-type feel (he completely fails to do so).

There was an extra feature called "dinner with Uwe Boll" which consisted of Uwe and a couple of fans stuffing themselves with Thai food and talking about how misunderstood he is and how good his films really are.

Maybe I should've gone with the latest Seagal opus instead...
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 03:03 pm:   

Maybe the only thing worse than watching a Uwe Boll movie is acting in one.
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david h
Posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 08:29 am:   

I saw Sunshine this weekend. The last reel was a total mess. What I guess was the central issue of the movie, religious and scientific ideologies debating the appropriateness of creating a scientific miracle to save the human race, was so incoherently sprinkled throughout the narrative subtext that you really have to reach to identify it.

The movie looked great, but had a major identity crisis...squandered potential I think.
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Huw
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 04:09 pm:   

I've just seen Larry Fessenden's new film The Last Winter, and I thought it was very good indeed - a really potent blend of apocalyptic horror and the supernatural, with a hefty dose of what I guess you could call nature mysticism or something... anyway, I was impressed. I found it intelligent and scary, not a common combination these days. The horror was far more overt than in Wendigo, but the film still managed to be fairly restrained and suggestive for the most part. Oh, and I liked the several references to Algernon Blackwood's classic story The Wendigo. Good stuff!
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 07:56 pm:   

Cool, Algernon Blackwood. I'm looking forward to seeing that one.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 07:59 pm:   

Saw a documentary called Overnight about the guy who directed Boondock Saints, and his troubles with Miramax. Yikes, those film people are scary. That Duffy guy is a moron though, I don't know how he managed to get to direct a movie. It's no wonder all the companies passed on the finished movie, it blows.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 08:22 pm:   

I'm looking forward to the Sunshine DVD for commentary to explain why things turned out the way they did.

Or maybe the DVD will suddenly shoot out and lodge itself into my forehead.
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Blue Tyson
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 10:45 pm:   

Last winter is a wendigo movie then? I likes me some wendigo.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 06:32 am:   

JK, Take overnight with a grain of salt.

Glad you liked Wendigo, HUW -- the word of the street that came to my ear was not good.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 07:06 am:   

Like Jacques Tourneur's CURSE OF THE DEMON, Fessenden's WENDIGO was really eerie and effective, until the creature showed up. (It was like an animatronic upright deer; very cheesy.) I'm looking forward to THE LAST WINTER. I would like to see what Fessenden could do with a real budget.

OVERNIGHT was a howl. I have to think that guy was a bit screwy with all his rampant paranoia, though. LS, what do you mean, take it with a grain of salt?

The DVR I just got is the world's most awesome invention. I may never be forced to watch bad TV again. I've got KONTROL, THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA and TWIN FALLS IDAHO just queued up waiting to go. And the PUSHER DVD from Netflix! It's an awesome time to be a shut-in!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 07:33 am:   

Just that--the guy's whacko, which may im pat explain the studio's actions.
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 07:59 pm:   

Talk about self-deluded. Hah. That Duffy guy thought his band would be selling out stadiums? What a laugh. It said in the movie when his cd came out it sold 600-something copies in the first six months. He he. Just goes to show how completely clueless the record company people are too, to think that crap might go over.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 08:34 pm:   

I saw Moliere a bit ago at a screening. Pretty decent comedy.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 01:45 pm:   

Aaaarrrgghh. Another teen fantasy bites the dust. They are remaking my favorite Raquel Welch flick, Fantastic Voyage!
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 08:27 am:   

I saw The Last Winter. I liked it, but it was so formulaic, it lacked suspense for me, so I guess I fall somewhere between HUW and my friend, who was disappointed in it. I really dug the atmosphere, the cast...but they might have had Order of Death numbers on their backs. Still, worth a watch.

Also saw Invasion. Beyond Bad. Wow. It was just an awful hybrid. Stay away...
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Dorman Shindler
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 09:12 am:   

I'll probably be laughed at for this -- cause I dig so many types of films (from the quirky ones Lucius recommends to the recent "Being Jane") -- but my daughter and I enjoyed "Stardust." I kind of thought it was like a mix of "The Princess Bride" with a touch of "Edward Scissorshands."
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 12:10 pm:   

Clair Danes looked in pain and Robert de Niro played a cross-dressing pirate.

I haven't seen it, but I'm not too sure...
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Huw
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 12:16 pm:   

Lucius, I watched The Last Winter again, and I agree that it gets formulaic when the deaths start to mount up. I really liked the atmosphere though, and the little nods to Algernon Blackwood. I'm a sucker for stories set in the arctic (or pretty much any extreme environment, really).

I was afraid they'd make a mess of Invasion. It's a shame - I liked all three of the previous 'body snatcher' movies.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 01:03 pm:   

I liked the atmosphere, too, and the opening, but after that....I dunno. I do hope that this is his last statement on the wendigo...

Before McTeague got his hands on it, it may have been a decent movie...maybe. But as it stands, it's absolutely without tension and a waste of film stock.
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Dorman Shindler
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 08:33 pm:   

Hey Lucius,

Dirty old man that I am, I think Clare Danes looks gorgeous whether she's wincing or not. If you check it out, I hope ya put up comments here or do a review. It's not four (out of four) star film, but I'd give it three stars (I'm bettin' you'd probably give it two at most -- glad to be wrong if not).

Now I'm gonna go watch the rest of "Rome" on DVD -- I started a couple of days ago and can't stop till I get to the end.
-DTS
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 08:39 pm:   

I'm not going to give it a chance, man. I have to watch too many lame movies as is.

I'm rewatching Spaced, Simon Pegg's TV show.
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Huw
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 10:06 pm:   

Spaced is fun. Have you seen Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Lucius?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 - 10:08 pm:   

No, haven't. Good?
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Huw
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 12:37 am:   

It's a pretty funny show if you can embrace the intentional cheesiness and dumbness. I liked most of it, anyway. It only ran to about six episodes before being cancelled, unfortunately. I expect they are on youtube...
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jk
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 10:18 am:   

Pia Zadora, the "actress" who's rich husband bought her a Golden Globe in the early eighties.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 10:29 am:   

Is there any other? ;)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 07:46 am:   

In fairness to Pia, little was demanded of her by the SCCTM role. She was, like, five...:-)

I still have the MANOS, THE HAND OF FATE epi of MST3K on DVD. Saving it for a special occasion.

Watched THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA and PUSHER this wknd. Really liked BURIAL. Nice to see TLJ exercise some chops in non-Men In Black-drivel. Thomas Jane was also a revelation. Why don't more directors use Levon Helm???? My initial lukewarm reaction to PUSHER gave way to a strong identification with Frankie and a real desperate urge to find out what happens to him and Vick!!!! I got totally sucked in.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 08:01 am:   

I love the Pusher films.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 08:07 am:   

I just updated my Netflix queue to put PUSHER 2 and 3 in my #1 and 2 positions.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 08:27 am:   

I knew there had to be a reason...

Actor Steven Seagal is seeking an apology from the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, for allegedly harming his career by implicating he hired a private detective to intimidate journalists from writing unflattering stories about him. The 56-year-old has made 12 movies since 2001's Exit Wounds - all have been released directly onto DVD, bypassing cinemas, and Seagal is convinced the leaked release of an October 2002 FBI affidavit linking him to the mob is responsible for his decline in popularity. The affidavit detailed how Seagal hired private eye Anthony Pellicano to threaten reporters, before the investigation focused entirely on Pellicano, who is now in prison awaiting a trial on charges including wire-tapping, But Seagal has never been publicly cleared by the FBI, and the actor wants this done so his reputation is immediately restored, reports the Los Angeles Times. Seagal recently said, "False FBI accusations fuelled thousands of articles saying that I terrorize journalists and associate with the Mafia. These kinds of inflammatory allegations scare studio heads and independent producers - and kill careers." He added, "I was sick of hearing my name associated with a crime the government knew I had nothing to do with. Until it happens to you, you can't imagine what it does to your life."
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PM
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 09:24 am:   

So how much would it cost the FBI for Seagal to make good movies?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 09:36 am:   

Too much, apparently...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 09:52 am:   

More than the entire budget for the FBI. :-)
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 11:14 am:   

Going direct to DVD isnt bypassing cinemas though. It is simply not being able to get in.

Seagal is still popular in Itay.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 11:30 am:   

I knew something was aberrant about Italy. :-)

Are you back in Switzerland?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 11:39 am:   

Seagal will bring down The Man, just you wait.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 12:09 pm:   

I'm waiting...
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 11:02 pm:   

well, he ain't as fast as he used to be. pull up a chair.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 06:42 am:   

It would be fun to watch Seagal guest star on tv...CSI:Miami comes to mind.

He and Caruso could just glare at one another.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 06:46 am:   

The private eye that Seagal used, Anthony Pellicano, is pretty well known as a thug. I think he did (or maybe is still doing) time for illegal wiretapping. Google him up and you'll find a lot. I think I read that the grand jury indictment against him included 112 charges or counts.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 06:52 am:   

Yeah, Pellicano was THE Hollywood detective for a while, much used by celebs. I think he's still in the joint.

Caruso and Seagall together would be awesome.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 07:18 am:   

I would pay DVD prices just to see them face off and trade tough-guy one-liners.

So, I dug deep and sprang for the two-disc INLAND EMPIRE set. Tell me I made a wise purchase...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 07:35 am:   

No. Not by my lights. Yuck.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 07:36 am:   

As a big supporter, I certainly won't lynch you on your decision...though all the reviews of it have not been good.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 08:57 am:   

Hi Lucius,

No, in California at the moment. I'll be back the beginning of September. So, are we really going to be neighbors?
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 10:49 am:   

Dave: I watched Inland Empire this weekend and loved it; it's a truly epic horror film. Not only that, many of the reviews have been quite positive, including those by some very respected critics – Amy Taubin, Manohla Dargis, J. Hoberman, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and others.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 10:57 am:   

I don't think any Lynch is a wise purchase. Unless he makes a movie with Steven Seagal in it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 01:23 pm:   

Well, I am watching it tonite. Let y'all know what I think.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 05:29 pm:   

There's a lot to work out, but I'm hopeful, Brendan...

Agree with Kelly in a couple of regards, Dave, it is epic and horrid.

I'm just not a fan of Lynch's indulgent bs...
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 07:56 pm:   

Hey, Lynch is an "artiste". Or so he would have everyone think.
I used to like some of his stuff, because it was different, now I think he's kind of a charlatan.
If any of the screenplays for his films were sent in as spec scripts without his name on them, they wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting past the first reader at the studio. Of course that could probably be said for most of the films in theaters at any given moment too.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 08:11 pm:   

If the story is true, Inland Empire was written on a daily basis.

Makes it a rather bold experiment.

Though many would suggest that it's a poor approach to making a film.
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 09:13 pm:   

So basically he made it up as he went along. Hehe. I'm still gonna watch it, but I don't have high hopes for it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 03:56 am:   

I agree, charlatan or huckster, is a good term for Lynch. Most of his staunchest fans find IE only a mixed bag -- I thought it juvenile and excessive, which is a word that goes arm in arm with Lynch. I do, however, like the political protest he did in LA with a cow tied to a bus stop bench...
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 06:12 am:   

As far as I know, Lynch has maintained his integrity. One can say that one doesn't appreciate his work but he follows his vision. He's not trying to be a crowd pleaser.

C'Berg on the other hand seems to have decided to make a more traditional Hollywood movie. Saw the trailer for his latest and it was just blah.

Maybe the film will be wonderful but the trailer looks to have lost the C'Berg distinctiveness.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 06:24 am:   

I kind of liked A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE even though it was more "mainstream." It still had a bit of a twisted edge, and Cronenberg actually coaxed out William Hurt's first good performance!

Not sure what to say about Lynch and IE. The excesses and self-conscious weirdness are just part and parcel of his technique and at some point, you just have to surrender to it and go with it. I gave myself mental goniptions trying to "figure out" LOST HIGHWAY and MULHOLLAND DRIVE and there was just no way. I'm not even sure that Lynch wants his movies to make sense.

That having been said, I think his textures, his suspense, his insistence on odd elements and juxtapositions, can be enjoyed on their own merits. He is never conventional, never routine. As one reviewer put it, you have no idea what is coming next. In an American film landscape devoid of surrealism or, to a large extent, playfulness, I can cut Lynch some slack.

I liked IE, although I probably need to see it a couple more times. Thought it was actually less obtuse and willfully artsy than some of his work. Laura Dern is the bravest actress in Hollywood. I could not imagine more than a handful of actors taking on that role. And the chorus of foxy teenage whores dancing the Locomotion was quite enjoyable.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 06:39 am:   

I agree that one doesn't watch a Lynch film once and absorb it. It takes effort.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 07:08 am:   

No one's exactly beaating down Dern's door except for Lynch...make of that what you will.

I can't cut him more slack -- he started going wrong during the tv show, at the height if his popularity, and I tried to care about LH, but after that it's just not worth it. I don't mind working at understanding a movie, but there's a limit. Wtching IE three times way supersedes that limit.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 07:25 am:   

Working to understand a movie is fine, but there has to be something to understand.

Consider the Bunuel/Dali movie, Un Chien Andalou. They specifically made it incomprehensible. Anything that had a remote narrative or logic to it was jettisoned. All the meaning and symbolism that people see in it comes from their own heads.

I've long felt that Lynch does the same thing. The meaning and symbolism that people see in it comes from their minds, not Lynch's. In the end, I'm simply not interested in that kind of thing. I'd rather see a movie with more behind it.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 07:28 am:   

Perhaps tm would help you gain that understanding :-)

It's what our brains respond too.

I watched one of those von Trier films recently and it was unwatchable. It's the only film that I recall hitting the stop button and calling it a day.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 07:44 am:   

robert, i wish I'd said it that clearly. Of course you have the advantage -- it's later where you are. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:02 am:   

Lynch really makes bizarre casting choices: Chris Isaak, Chad Everett, Ann Miller, Robert Blake. IMDB even says Michael Pare is in IE, although I don't remember seeing him. He seems to like working with, for want of a better word, castoffs...

Me? I'm still trying to figure out the significance of The Man Behind the Dumpster at Winky's...
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Huw
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:22 am:   

Michael Pare? Lynch must've caught him in between making Uwe Boll movies.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 08:46 am:   

I don't think Lynch's films are inscrutable. In fact, at their cores, his stories are quite simplistic. LH is a story of a man consumed by jealousy and lost in a jealousy-induced nightmare; MH is a tragic love story of unrequited love and broken dreams (literally); and IE – well that's a tougher nut to crack. Though, there are clear plot points to hold on to – a cursed film production and gypsy magic, Polish gangsters who turn into bunnies, spousal abuse. To me, watching IE has the equivalent effect as reading a Hal Duncan novel. You don't have a full grasp on the narrative as you're experiencing it, but that's part of the fun. The narrative thread, however, is there to be found. It's not hidden, it's right on the screen. The question is whether or not Lynch's surrealism turns you off -- can you believe in a parallel world where bunnies exist to the tune of a sitcom laugh-track? For me, Lynch is one of the most adventurous, singular filmmakers alive. And I see real passion, sadness, and humanity in his films -- not just blind surrealism. But, hey, everyone's got their own cup of tea.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 11:19 am:   

I thought IE was a parable about the psychological price of infidelity. Piece together her husband's portentious warning to Devon, the fact that her psychic meltdown begins during sex with her co-star, and the shady Polish mobster's bestowal of a gun on the cuckolded husband...Lynch has a habit of using actors in dual roles, or making characters look so similar to each other as to be indistinguishable. I saw a parallel between Nikki's hub and the disgraced Polish husband of the actress in the original film. I somehow got that the girl in the hotel room was a doppelganger of the Polish actress in some kind of limbo state, liberated by Nikki's killing of her vengeful husband.

But the giant bunnies and the closing dance party? Beats me...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 11:20 am:   

...maybe Lynch just likes watching hot chicks get down.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 03:09 pm:   

I thought it was about the middle east...go figure. :-)

Lynch to me is like an inept ventriloquist trying to perform a Shakespeare pastiche while gargling soda pop.

But enough...Have you heard about Micheal Bay remaking the Birds?
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 07:59 pm:   

Bay is like Uwe Boll with a bigger budget. Sounds terrible. I thought he'd move on to GI Joe or something.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 02:37 am:   

I don't know....supersonic pigeons, detonating seagulls. Could be pretty special... ;)
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 06:58 am:   

Detonating seagulls? I know just the guy to handle those effects.

Actually, I'm envisioning Michael Bay's version of THE BIRDS with---get this---mechanical birds! Like, y'know, some mad inventor (played by Jon Voight) creates them but they get loose and terrorize the world.

Whatever he does with the film, I hope Michael Bay casts Rod Taylor in some role. Have you seen him in WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 07:24 am:   

yep. Saw WHOOP WHOOP. My feeling is Bay isn't much of a sentimentalist. But he might be looking for yer hs school pal.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 09:56 am:   

After Rod's performance in WOOP WOOP, I think Bay absolutely must put him in the remake---preferably in the same costume.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 10:30 am:   

I imagine at least one scene of a giant bird, or perhaps lots of small birds, picking up and carrying people. Not to mention lots of things exploding.

I know...they'll try to explain the bad bird behavior as a toxic chemical put out by a covert government program or an evil corporation. They'll end up blowing up the entire lab where it's produced.

There will also be at least one song by the Byrds on the soundtrack.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 10:47 am:   

Good trivia category: old-time film or stage actors who make unexpected "comeback" appearances in films. My contribution: Robert Preston in THE LAST STARFIGHTER.

All our talk about INLAND EMPIRE jogged my memory. I usually despise "romantic comedies" with all my heart, since they are rarely romantic or comedic, but did anyone else like THE BAXTER? Justin Theroux really cracked me up in that and Michelle Williams was adorable. It was "cute" and "sweet" without being saccharine, cloying or insipid. This despite the presence of the sadly-misused Peter Dinklage.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 03:27 pm:   

Yep, Gordon. I agree.

Robt...gotta be 8 miles high when the fighter jets come for the flock....

The Baxter? Never heard of it...
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jk
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 07:56 pm:   

There was a foreign film about a talking dog named Baxter. Never saw it.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 08:14 pm:   

TThat would be Baxter, the Dog That Talks....
A black comedy that's actually pretty funny
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 - 02:21 pm:   

Just finished The Baxter. It was amusing.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 - 06:43 pm:   

Just rewatched Sunshine. Have changed my mind. Now hate almost every part of it. I think the Event Horizon was superior to it...The last bit is godawful, but the first ain't much better. It's all a cobbling of EH and Alien and shit, with nothing original whatsoever...
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 02:04 am:   

i think i'll leave off rewatching it, then.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 04:11 am:   

Nahh. Check it out. Maybe I'm totally off base. But while the first part struck me as merely pedestrian, the last....I mean, what was that shit about the sunburned chap going all glossy and out of focus? Had he stared at the sun so long, he abrigated the laws of physics?
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PM
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 04:31 am:   

Evidently when folk stare at the sun long enough things turn sublime.

I do wonder if this cut of the film is what was intended. I could see 10 or 20 minutes of added footage making it intelligible.

Or not :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 04:45 am:   

I've got the dvd. "Not" is, I think, the correct answer.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 04:59 am:   

Another hope crushed.

:-)
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 10:50 am:   

Saw a real howler called Night of the Sorcerers by the autuer who directed the Tombs of the Blind Dead Films. An African tribe captures hot Spanish chicks and whips their clothes off, then put them over an altar and cut their heads off. Afterwords the girls run around in slow motion in leopardskin bikinis, with vampire teeth.
I guess the director thought instead of blind templars riding in slow motion through the film, he'd change this time and have undead vampire girls in leapardskin bikinis running in slow motion.
A lost classic that should have stayed lost.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 11:10 am:   

Sounds awful.

I watched Zulawski's (Possession) unfinished On the Silver Globe. The authorities shut the project down in the 70s and he tried to knit it together in '86 with overdubs -- didn't really succeed. Had he had the money it might have been great scifi; as it stands, it's a mess. An impressive mess,an intriguing mess, but still a mess.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 12:08 pm:   

Cool. I just saw that at diabolik. I've been waiting to see it for awhile. Some of the stills from the film look pretty cool. So I guess there are some great visuals, but as a whole it doesn't hold up? Too bad.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 12:21 pm:   

For you, it might be worth it. For me, it was a close call, but I'm glad I saw it.
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 05:32 pm:   

I see that Zulawski's The Devil is also being released on DVD this fall. Anyone here see that one?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 07:57 pm:   

Not me...

I think I'm Zulawskied out for a while.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 06:07 am:   

Saw PUSHER II this weekend. Really good, maybe even better than the first. Refn really has a feel for Danish lowlife and he doesn't sugar-coat anything. Can't wait to see how he wraps up the trilogy. Also saw Charlotte Rampling in a good film called HEADING SOUTH, about women of a certain age who engage in sexual tourism, living a life of beachside luxury boffing buff Haitian boys at a beachside resort. Really interesting psychological drama about how desire, nurturing, attachment and exploitation coexist among women mildly embittered by a society that sees them as "past their prime." Definitely worth checking out.

TWIN FALLS IDAHO was not bad, although a bit self-consciously Lynchian. Nice performance by radiant newcomer Michelle Hicks as a hooker who befriends Siamese twins.

Lastly, I finally saw THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Would I be reopening a can of worms by discussing it?
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PM
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 06:19 am:   

Rampling knows how to play a cold role...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 06:55 am:   

She and Karen Young are just great. Rampling's portrayal of an emotional cauldron masquerading as a tough, world-weary old intellectual is pretty perfect.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 07:41 am:   

Heading south was excellent.

Say what you want about Passion...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 08:17 am:   

At the risk of reigniting a controversy, I didn't see that much anti-Semitism in the film (although Gibson's personal behavior is another matter). It was a pretty by-the-numbers recitation of the gospel stories, with considerable added gore, of course. Frankly, the Romans came off worst, as brutes and sadists and bullies.

On the one hand, I thought it was good that somebody actually filmed the passion story warts and all. I mean, these were barbarous times and crucifixion was a particularly grisly method of execution.

What really bugged me about the film is that Gibson chose to fixate on the gore and sadism, omitting Christ's teachings and the resurrection and ascension. I weren't these THE WHOLE POINT of the New Testament?

I'm going to watch Pasolini's version next and see how it compares.
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PM
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 08:31 am:   

It wouldn't surprise me if Gibson were some sort of sadist. He does film after film that are unnaturally violent.

Is he anti-semitic? I think it's fair to say that he's been exposed to it via his father. Shaking off one's upbringing is easier said than done.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 09:29 am:   

Being RC (lapsed), I wish they'd stop making movies about Jesus, and make stories like how Pius 12 helped smuggle Nazi bigwigs to South America. I'm sick of the Passion, the Nativity, etc....
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 10:02 am:   

I agree with Lucius. Unless someone has something genuinely interesting to say, no more Jesus films. The reason they make them though, is that they make money. Lots of Christians out there ready to buy movie tickets.

Pasolini's film is very good though.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 10:13 am:   

Pasolini's film is good. I just can't watch it anymore.

What about some Devil films? His upbringing, his fall from grace...etc.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 10:27 am:   

Devil's Advocate wasn't good enough for you :-)

The man behind Hellraiser: Inferno and Exorcism of Emily Rose is apparently adapting Paradise Lost. With him at the helm, how can is possibly go wrong
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:02 am:   

Hoo, boy!


I meant some good old family values shit about the Big Red Guy....His fans demand it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:11 am:   

I thought the best devil stuff was the interplay between Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in BEDAZZLED, with Old Scratch just a bored angel who got tired of worshipping and wanted to be worshipped a little.

I am not exactly a churchgoer, but I'm a sucker for Jesus movies. Best Jesus was still Robert Powell from Zeferelli's JESUS OF NAZARETH.

I would greenlight any of Lucius' ideas, though. How about the fall of Satan set in the corporate world, with two rival companies competing for the souls of consumers?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:35 am:   

My fave (aside from Monty Python) is I Was a Teenage Jesus...I mean, King of Kings....

I like it! I smell Spirit Award. :-)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:57 am:   

I was fond of "Jesus & Hutch" - a short made to be a trailer for a buddy cop movie. Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter was amusingly bad as well.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 12:11 pm:   

I always thought there was a very funny movie to be made with Jesus coming back to earth as an Hispanic sanitation worker in Pacoima, CA.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 12:21 pm:   

They all sound good....
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   

I watched THE US VS JOHN LENNON on VH-1 the other night; the parallels between Nixon's use of Vietnam to justify civil rights abuses and the kinds of arguments we hear weekly from the WH are chilling.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 02:33 pm:   

Hey, were you as shocked as I was about Owen Wilson trying to slash his wrists? I mean, sheet, man, talk about a guy with the best life in America...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 02:40 pm:   

Didn't even know it happened. Nope. Not shocked. Jim Carrey just spent time in a rubber room. It's endemic to the profession.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 04:07 pm:   

All hope dies for the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford...not that there was all that much hope to begin with: The pucture stars Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, after all. Warner Bros. didn't like the version director Andrew Dominik delivered, which forsook action for 3+ hours of dark-hued drama. Initial test audiences hated the film. Pitt himself oversaw a re-cut, along with producer Ridley Scott.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 08:56 pm:   

i'm shocked by wilson. i'm shocked because he failed. i'm shocked because he didn't stop and think about the media frenzy that would follow. but mostly i think i'll just have to find a way to block it out.

anyhow:

the out of focus dude in SUNSHINE never sat too well with me first time round. i imagine i'd be kinda down on it a second. in fact, i have this suspicion that the plot and character faults would bug me a whole lot more the second time. boyle's films have never been that useful for rewatching.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 09:24 pm:   

Yea, a second viewing put me right off.

As for wilson, for god's sakes, man! Have you no humanity? Give him space to heal!!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 06:04 am:   

I realize depression can strike anyone, but, damn! How much sweeter of a deal could you ask for in life?
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 06:26 am:   

i guess all the humanity left me when chris benoit killed himself. look how he did it--a kid, a wife, then himself. owen can't even manage himself. that wuss!

(heh. how much bad taste is that joke in.)

anyhow, dave, i gotta agree. depression is a bitch, but surely the dude had money for the drugs to lift him...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 06:33 am:   

I'm not so sure Benoit did the killings...

Dave, how many fucked up rich people do you know? The rich are even more fucked up than poor people becuase they can afford to be...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 07:38 am:   

I suppose. Never having been rich, it's hard to fathom...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 07:56 am:   

Trust me. I've known a bunch of rich folk, mostly when I lived on Nantucket, and many were seriously twisted...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 09:15 am:   

the rumor mill is now giving Owen a heroin habit.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 09:24 am:   

Well, there you go. Seriously twisted...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 01:36 pm:   

On a lighter note, I just found out the last two Amicus horror portmanteaus I have not yet seen, TALES FROM THE CRYPT and VAULT OF HORROR are coming out on Sept. 11! YAY!
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 07:06 pm:   

yeah, who knows with the benoit thing. i don't reckon it was roid rage either, but there's no accounting for how fucked up people can get.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 07:21 pm:   

There was some weird stuff going on around the family...
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 04:45 am:   

you mean the stuff with the kid? that was pretty weird, that.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 05:37 am:   

But what could be the motive?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 06:30 am:   

I don't know....We'll never know. It's just not as simple as has been painted...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 06:56 am:   

Better yet, VAULT and TALES are coming out as a double-feature for one price!!!! Hoo-ray!

Also, Sept 4 is the release date for the first two seasons of IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, the funniest show on TV.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 06:58 am:   

I hate Danny Devito.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 08:34 am:   

He gets a pretty small % of the jokes...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 08:43 am:   

That's only fitting. I'll check it out
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 11:03 am:   

The NY Post (America's paper) identifies Owen Wilson's drug connection as...Steve Coogan, branded a bad influence by no less than Courtney Love.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 11:10 am:   

Oh boy.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 02:04 pm:   

Watched INLAND EMPIRE.

Absolutely riveting. I was really reluctant to watch 3 hours of Laura Dern but she pulled through it.

Here's a French site where folk asked Lynch questions:

http://www.allocine.fr/article/fichearticle_gen_carticle=18398410.html

Much of this is a waste of time but Lynch does make a few interesting points. One is asserting that IE really does tell an intelligible story.

So let's do the locomotion. Do wish he'd used dwarf bunnies though...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 02:08 pm:   

I wished he'd used scotch tape and not videotape...
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 02:25 pm:   

I guess there's always next time :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 02:45 pm:   

Best Use of a Greek Chorus of Teenage Whores: Inland Empire!!!!
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 02:51 pm:   

And who can deny that Fame like ending?

And boy I hated Fame so much I never watched it...but you have to give it to Lynch. He gives a happy ending that is emotionally all wrong. Weren't we fearing the husband guy all through the movie expecting him to die and to do really bad things?

And Lynch is like not going to stop there. Laura Dern gets the job well done kiss from one of the piping hot MH hotties and then boom! It's dance fever all over again. It felt so wrong and they just kept doing it and it still felt wrong and they wouldn't stop. That to me is some kind of daring.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 03:42 pm:   

Or some kind of Assbag crap...
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 03:53 pm:   

Did you like Mildred Pierce?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 04:01 pm:   

yeah, i did.
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 04:14 pm:   

I did too. I wonder why it took me so long to check it out.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 04:22 pm:   

Let me ask the Tarot. :-)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 04:33 pm:   

and what does it reveal?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 05:27 pm:   

The veil did not part.
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Dorman Shindler
Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 10:27 pm:   

Lucius: laughed my ass off at the comment about INLAND EMPIRE. I like ALL kinds of films, and dug a lot of Lynch's past flicks, but after (maybe) ten minutes of INLAND, my daughter and I just looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and stopped the DVD. (Then we watched a few Warner Brothers cartoons, followed by "A Face in the Crowd": Washed the bad smell of "artistic" affectations right out of our hair.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 05:54 am:   

I'm due to watch it again this weekend-actually I've been procrastinating. I swore to do so with an open mind, but god I don't want to...

A Face in the Crowd is still awesome.
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PM
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 02:07 pm:   

Somehow I doubt that you'll enjoy it a second time :-)

But to all the Lynch detractors, I say this - he makes his films and follows his vision. He's not out trying to cash in on trends.

And he took that DV cam and made a film which is an achievement.
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Brendan Connell
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 04:32 pm:   

Havent seen a Face in teh Crowd for some time, but remember it as being very good.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 06:06 pm:   

Lynch has no vision, or if he does, it consists of a series of pyschedelic burps.

Face in the Crowd shows what Andy Griffith could have been.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 07:40 pm:   

in addition, there's a difference between having a vision and spewing out one's fantasies. Amd simply because one's fantasies have some congruency or consistency of character doesn't mean they make a coherent whole...
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jk
Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 07:59 pm:   

Lynch is just lucky he's in the position he's in and can indulge in any kind of pretentious self-indulgent tripe he wants to now, because he managed to convice Mel Brooks he was an artiste back during the Eraserhead days, so he got to make Elephant Man and move upwards and onwards. If he was Joe Q. Public he'd have a heck of a time trying to drum up interest in any of his projects at the studios or distributors nowadays, but since he's Lynch, any wacky old crud will fly.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 10:40 am:   

Lucius, have you seen the Japanese films Snake Woman's Curse and Horrors of Malformed Men?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 11:08 am:   

Nope. Been looking at them, but haven't bought. You?
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 11:21 am:   

Not yet. Netflix has them. I'm gonna put them at the top of my queue. They look interesting. The description at Diabolik calls Horrors of Malformed Men the "greatest hidden treasure of cult cinema". Sounds like hyperbole, but I'll give it a try.
The other one is by the guy who directed Jigoku, so that might be worth watching too.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 11:38 am:   

I got Irezemi by Masumura. but haven't watched it yet....
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 12:57 pm:   

The same director who did Blind Beast? That was a weird one. Especially for Japan in the 60's.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 01:14 pm:   

Yep. It's about a woman who gets a spider tattooed on her back and turns predator...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 08:44 am:   

Had time to catch one movie this weekend, the vastly entertaining French thriller, Ne Le Dis A Personne, based on the Harlan Coben novel Tell No One, which sold about 7 million copies worldwide. It reminded me of an old Jimmy Stewart movie, a ordinary man caught in a nightmare, but Francois Cluzet is a lot better actor than Jimmy Stewart. Eight years before the story begins, Margot, the wife of pediatrician Alex Beck (Cluzet), was murdered by a serial killer whose M.O. incorporated draping the victims with dead animals. Her remains were cremated. Alex, a good, kindly man, appears to miss his wife terribly, but then two other bodies are discovered, along with a key to a safe containing incriminating photos and a baseball bat covered in Alex’s blood. Shortly thereafter, Alex receives a disturbing email with a heading that only his dead wife could know. It instructs him to “Tell no one. We’re being watched.” The email leads him to a video of a woman who looks exactly like Margot, suggesting she is alive and well. The police begin to close in on Alex, and some thugs, lead by a sadistic woman, are persecuting Alex’s friends. He has to keep out of jail long enough to rendezvous with the woman he believes is Margo, and he goes on the run. It’s no more than an entertainment, but it’s endlessly entertaining. There’s a major plot hole, but by the time it occurs, you’re willing to forgive it because the movie’s so exciting. The acting is superb. Notable French actors occupy almost every small part. Kristen Scott-Thomas is excellent as the wealthy gay lover of Alex’s sister who pays for his lawyer. It’s intricately plotted, almost laughably so, but again it’s an entertainment, sort of a darker cousin to films like North by Northwest, and it’s just too much damn fun to sweat the small stuff.
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PM
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:12 am:   

I'll be on the lookout for it.
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jk
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 10:49 am:   

Sounds good, like something Hitchcock would do. I'll have to look for it.
I saw The Page Turner, that was pretty great too.
A subtle French thriller.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 11:19 am:   

Exactly. A hitchcock flick, not like the page turner, but cool nontheless
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 11:23 am:   

I saw both versions of 3:10 to Yuma recently. The new one had more exciting action, but the characters didn't feel quite as real. The new version has characters with more depth than most modern movies, yet it still doesn't go as far as the original. The new one is good for a modern action movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 12:49 pm:   

Thanks, Robert

I may still give this new one a pass....
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jk
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 12:53 am:   

Watched On The Silver Globe. It sure was a mess like you said Lucius. Pretty tedious too. Almost three hours of Tarkovsky meets low-budget Road Warrior visuals, with a bunch of nonsensical dialogue. Ugh.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 05:53 am:   

Can anyone tell me what happens in the last minute of LA JETEE? I TiVo'd it from TCM, but the windbag introduction pushed it past the half hour and my recorder cut off.

Saw and enjoyed PUSHER III this weekend, maybe the best of the trilogy...a bit on the gruesome side, eh? Also watched some DVDs I had lying around...Michael Winner's THE NIGHTCOMERS, notable mostly for the naughty s&m scenes between crude Irish gardner Marlon Brando and mischievous nanny Stephanie Beacham and a forgotten late 80s gem, Peter Richardson's EAT THE RICH, which still packs a few chuckles...
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 06:33 am:   

"Can anyone tell me what happens in the last minute of LA JETEE?"

He runs to meet the woman at the end of the pier and gets shot.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 07:02 am:   

Shot by whom? Something to do with "the War"?
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 07:30 am:   

Yeah. He took a bullet from one of the bad guys. One of the interrogators.

It's a great scene where you're working up to that boy gets girl moment. He's running and running to meet her. And then...

Boy gets gunned down right in front of the girl.

Hopefully Lucius won't hit me with the spoiler stick.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 07:49 am:   

I think everyone's seen it except dave... :-)
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 08:21 am:   

Sorry Dave. Didn't mean to spoil it for ya.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 08:43 am:   

No, thanks for telling me...I saw 99.8% of it. Thanx a lot, DVR...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 05:50 pm:   

A bit more on 3:10 to Yuma. What I found so intriguing about the original was Ben Wade's ambiguity. Throughout the film, we were treated to both good and bad actions from him. In the new version, he's transformed into a Hannibal Lechtor type character...a sociopath that we're supposed to root for because the people he kills are assholes.

Other weekend viewing...
Children of Men: I liked it, the cinematography was great. However, I had trouble suspending disbelief at the end...the soldiers staring in awe at the child then going right back to shooting seemed unbelievable. If Syd could think to exploit the situation, why couldn't anyone else? I'd think the soldiers would try to steal the kid...same with many of the refugees.

X-Men 3: I'm glad I waited until it was on cable, since it wasn't worth paying for. Too heavy handed, too many ideas brought up and not developed well. It's not like the first two were great movies, but they were far more entertaining.

Last Kiss: The American version with Zach Braff. Doesn't really add anything, characters seemed missing some of the motivation from the original Italian movie. They seem more like whiny brats compared to more realized characters in the original. Pretty much what I expected

Science of Sleep: Self indulgent mess. It seems like a hipster student film, complete with student film production values. It tries to be whimsical and imaginative, but comes across more like the work of somebody who doesn't understand imagination. It's shocking that Gondry can go from Eternal Sunshine to this.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 06:58 pm:   

C of Men--ditto. Didn't see last kiss. Science of sleep--ditto.

Everything you say about Yuma makes me want to avoid it more.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 11:52 am:   

A general observation: why does it seem that, every time they remake an old picture, it is visually superior, but has characters that are harder to care about. Is it that the actors were better, or the writers?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 12:07 pm:   

Definitely the writing process. Rarely, as I've often talked about, is a movie written by one writer anymore--the original writer finds himself in collaboration with, sometimes, dozens of other writers in the interests of making the script more "accessible." This leads to a final product that, instead of being refined, is in effect scrubbed clean of character.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 02:01 pm:   

I'll agree on the writing. Bale and Crowe were more compelling actors in Yuma, they did a good job with the material they were given, but in this case, they weren't given as much to work with.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 02:54 pm:   

Who was in the original? Glenn Ford? Yeah, ok. But Ford, when given the chance, could act--problem was, he wasn't given the chance that much.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 07:23 am:   

You mean you weren't a "Cade's County" fan?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 08:32 am:   

I don't know Cade's County?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 08:42 am:   

Even though it's not a remake, I thought of this discussion when watching Superman Returns last night. New actors revisiting old roles, and this time, not comparing to the originals. I wasn't wowed by the acting in the originals, but I felt like Brian Singer had been taking lessons from George Lucas in how to prevent emotion in actors. It didn't help that I didn't care about the story, but Bosworth did little with her meager part, Routh did even less. Same with Spacey.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 08:53 am:   

Cade's County was part of the 70s trend to plowshare aging matinee idols into television stars (ie Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley, Fred MacMurray in My Three Sons). Didn't seem like a bad show at the time, but I was a little nipper, pretty easy to please.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 10:14 am:   

I didn't see Superman Returns-it struck me that instead of casting for Supe, they were casting for the part of Chris Reeves.

Well, re Cades. I missed it. I was busy in the 70s...
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 09:41 pm:   

i saw SUPERMAN RETURNS. it was shockingly dull. i was pleasently surprised by singer's X-MEN flicks, but even so, i didn't go in hoping for much. didn't get it, either.

of course, i find superman dull as a concept.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 04:42 am:   

...and the concept of the x-men, by implication, fascinating?

I don't see a material difference in conceptual worth. ;)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 06:31 am:   

S is an invulnerable boy scout. Completely uninteresting character. X-men are sanitized versions of flawed characters. That makes them a least a little more interesting. Although not as interesting as real flawed characters would be.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 06:55 am:   

That was my point. Material difference. However, Supe does get squirrely at times, no (red kryptonite, etc?) and is far more tongue-in-cheek than X-men. It's intended half as a comedy, whereas X-men takes itself way too seriously. In other words, it's emo... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 12:59 pm:   

It's all just an excuse to see hot chicks in spandex and leather, IMHO.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 05:13 am:   

you know how i love me some emo, lucius ;)

but, yeah, i see your point. however, while the whole x-men concept doesn't fill me with excitement, it doesn't turn me off the way the superman one does. what can i say?

i saw the trailer for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. i dunno. the last couple of coen brother films have been pretty miss for me.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 05:55 am:   

Nothing. You're just stuck in emo drama mode. :-)

I saw Count Dracula, a 1978 BBC production, maybe the best vampire movie ever made, certainly the most faithful to the stoker novel. Starrring Louis Jordan as the count, Frank Finlay as Von Helsing, Susan Penhaligon as Lucy...except for some campiness in sound design, it's an excellent viewing experience.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 11:35 am:   

Red Road has gotten a region 1 release. You liked that one didn't you Lucius?
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 02:21 pm:   

Yes, I did. Pretty cool stuff.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:12 am:   

I was cruising the FEARNet on Demand cable channel, most of which is just garbagey B movies, but I did notice that they do offer a late 80s gem that had pretty much fallen off the face of the earth, Bernard Rose's PAPERHOUSE, a pretty decent fantasy flick with Ben Cross and Glenne Headley.

Also saw Kirby Dick's THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, an expose of the shadowy, clandestine world of the MPAA ratings board. No real revelations here, but it was interesting to see just how much of a fascist star chamber operation it was. It was also surprising to see that every rater was 45 or over, leaving a couple of generations completely unrepresented.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:20 am:   

Paperhouse was pretty cool. His last flick, however, is terrible. Stay away.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:28 am:   

Have not followed his career since the first CANDYMAN, which was pretty OK.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 08:50 am:   

I can't recalll what the last movie's called, but it concerns a bunch of actors and a director rehearsing in a haunted house. It's terribly pretentious and shitty.
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Huw
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 10:13 am:   

Was it 'Snuff Film', Lucius? I've heard uniformly bad things about it...
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jk
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 10:44 am:   

Yeah it was Snuff Film which got horrible reviews.
Saw Snake Woman's Curse by the director of Jigoku. An interesting tale of revenge. A cruel landlord drives a family to death and gets his in return. It was nothing spectacular, but worth watching. Kind of reminded me of Kwaidan, but not quite as good. Interesting that much J-horror focuses on revenge for a wrong, even going back to the 60's.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 11:10 am:   

Yup. That's it. Uck.

Nothing's as good as Kwaidan. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 11:20 am:   

I set the 1980s delinquent video fine record for the State of Massachusetts with a VHS copy of KWAIDAN!
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Huw
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 12:15 pm:   

Ha! Back in the '80s, hunting down and buying rare movies was quite an adventure. Today it seems just about anything is available, or will be, over the internet. It was different back in the '80s - I remember ordering lots of black and white photocopied catalogues of old videos in the hope of chancing upon a copy of, say, Onibaba, or Eyes Without a Face, or Mario Bava's Black Sunday...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   

Gore Gazette was an essential resource. We used to have a place called Box Office Video that specialized in the bizarre and out-there. Nowadays, that stuff is on Netflix, proof of the so-called "long tail" theory of Internet profitability.
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jk
Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 01:59 pm:   

Plus lots of the VHS releases of foreign horror films were chopped up and edited to bits in the 80s.
The moral policemen at Blockbuster just don't carry the objectionable titles nowadays, since they can't chop up DVDs.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 06:09 am:   

I just don't see how Assmaster Video can compete with Netflix. Their recent anti-Netflix ads are unconvincing, to say the least.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 06:34 am:   

Locally, there's a shop called Incredibly Strange Video that carries weird titles. If I had known about it pre-Netflix, I would have loved it. Now, Netflix has everything except stuff from different regions. Nicheflix covers that.

I also find it weird that in my neighborhood, there used to be a Blockbusters, a West Coast Video, and an indie rental shop. The West Coast chain died, and the local Blockbuster is gone. But the indie shop is still there. Like many indie shops, porn rentals help keep it in business.


Recent viewings: The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Beerfest, Flushed Away. Kaspar Hauser was OK, not Herzog's most interesting. Beerfest had a few laughs. Flushed Away was dull, easily the most boring Aardman film.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 07:37 am:   

There used to be a store in Georgetown called Video Vault that, no lie, was the best I've ever seen on the planet for weird titles. I think they're online now. I'm going to check it out.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 07:49 am:   

Scarecrow in Seattle is great ,also there's a great far east video shop in the Pike Street Market....

Nothing much in Portland.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 07:42 am:   

My friend the magazine editor saw NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in Toronto and sez it's a must-see!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 08:04 am:   

I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude. Hell, I didn't much like the book.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 08:31 am:   

Though I hear Bardem is good.

On the other hand, I saw another Jones flick, in the valley of elah, which just reeks--by Paul Haggis, the director of Crash. Nuff said.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 08:53 am:   

I figured I could skip Elah. I skipped Crash so far ...the Haggis one, I tried the Cronenberg one and found it really uncomfortable (although the music was great).

Any word on Cronenberg's new one? The second paring of him and Mortensen seems like trying to copy History of Violence.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 08:59 am:   

I've read a couple of reviews that say the Russkies are stereotyped and the trailer doesn't look that great. One review I read says that the movie is transgressive in the way it looks at the male body. Think I'll pass.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 09:42 am:   

I need to see the Cronenberg Crash again. It bears noting that the opening sex scene between James Spader and Deborah Kara Unger was one of the examples of disturbing, NC-17 sex used in THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - 10:24 am:   

I didn't like crash, but yeah, maybe it's worth another look.

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