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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 11:25 am:   

   By Dave G. on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:41 am:

Sounds like I will like it too. Never got to see THE KINGDOM. I only ever found it on VHS, didn't buy it, and when I went back to the store, they had trashed their entire VHS section and replaced it with DVD.

I would have given you a report on THE FORTUNE COOKIE, too, except that my bitchy iMac decided it didn't want to play it. Have any of you had similar problems with those infernal machines (not to get too off-topic)?
   By Dave G. on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 08:13 am:

Yay! Mike's Gozu opens in DC this week! It promises a climactic special effect "never before seen" and claims to "not be for the faint of heart"! I can't wait.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 08:22 am:

Yippee!
   By MarcL on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 09:40 am:

Maybe they're forcing all the ushers to put on cow heads, crawl down the aisles, and jump up between the seats at the climax.
   By MarcL on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 09:42 am:

Too bad I'm faint of heart. I don't dare see Miike on any screen larger than my head, with full control of the pause and stop buttons.
   By Lucius on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 10:00 am:

Shades of William Castle! The Cow Headed Usher thing is good.

Did you ever see that movie that was sorta about William Castle? Matinee.

   By MarcL on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 10:09 am:

Matinee was sorta about William Castle? Well, I must seek it out.

I'm still waiting on the oft long-delayed DVD of Ed Wood.
   By MarcL on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 10:10 am:

Man. It just hit me. I really miss Vincent Price.
   By MarcL on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 10:28 am:


   By Lucius on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 11:11 am:

Yeah, me too, on Price.
Matinee;s pretty funny. It;a about the Castle figure, played by John Goodman, premiering his new movie, MANT, in Key West in the early 60s.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   

So, anybody have some good horror comedies they they have seen?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   

Aside from Sean of the Dead, I mean...
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 04:10 pm:   

Bubba Ho-Tep
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Luís
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 09:52 pm:   

_May_ by Lucky McKee. Because I'm such a pervert, I see it as comedy, but more sensitive folks may feel differently about it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303361/

Best,
Luís
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Luis
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 09:58 pm:   

I liked _Bubba Ho-Tep_, but it didn't completely satisfy me. All the slapstick brought it down a notch in my book.

Best,
Luís
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Luís
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   

(Re-reading the message, I make it sound like _Bubba Ho-Tep_ is slapstick. I was referring to the end, where all the running around and the business with the wheelchair feel rather out of place in the movie.)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 06:00 am:   

Now that you mention it, Luis, May was pretty funny.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 07:35 am:   

Saw a screening of Reconstruction, a movie by Christopher Boe, a Lars Von Trier disciple.
It;s a story that takes literally the statement, Love Changes Everything. The protagonist sees a beautiful woman, is smitten, and vaults off the train and follows her. He spends the night with her and wakes to find that his best friend doesn't know him and his apartment no longer exists. It very well filmed, has a weird narration by the woman's husband--kind of a Julio Cortazar feel. The story's kind of slight, but it engaged me on an intellectual level. Worth seeing.
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JV
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 08:51 am:   

Napoleon Dynamite is fucking hilarious. Funniest movie I've seen in ages. Anyone else seen it? I think reviewers who didn't get the joke are like reviewers who panned Raising Arizona when it first came out--they're missing the point. It ain't realism.

jeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 09:12 am:   

I haven;t seen it, but I detested Raisning Arizona. The point was, it wasn't realism, it was Nicholas ralphing all over his role...I don;t think the Coens comedies (Hudsucker, Arizona, Oh Brother, that one with Jeff Bridges) are nowhere near as good as their other stuff. I except Fargo, which was darker.
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JV
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:14 am:   

Well, agree to disagree.

You still gotta see Napoleon Dynamite, and just forget I mentioned Raising Arizona.

Jeff
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:15 am:   

I thought THE BIG LEBOWSKI (the one with Jeff Bridges) was freakin' hilarious. One of the funniest scripts I can recall. Loved FARGO, too, though. I've always considered BARTON FINK a black comedy, and a really good one at that.

I haven't seen NAPPY D., and lots of my friends have recommended it, but it's going to take some convincing for me to see another "all-conquering nerd" movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:17 am:   

I'm gonna see Dynamite, Monday, on your rec.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:22 am:   

Dave, Barton was great. The Big Lebowski, IMO, ate the big one. Those few who love it think those who don't are humor-impaired; those who hate it view those who love it as brain-damaged. It;s one of those immutable differences.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:35 am:   

Lucius, reasonable minds may differ on TBL...:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:40 am:   

Brain-damaged!! :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 10:56 am:   

You say that like it's a "bad" thing. :-)
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The Dude
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:19 am:   

Lucius, I think you have me mistaken for the other Lebowski. I'm the Dude, man. The Dude!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:23 am:   

The Dude? That's the guy w/o frontal lobes?
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:32 am:   

I too love TBL. I just love the Dude. No one has ruled out brain damage though. As evidence, I hated Barton Fink when I first saw it, although in memory I have come to appreciate parts of it. It felt at the time like they were saying "Let's blow this David Lynch guy outta the water"...things like the infinitely ringing bell... Maybe if I watched it again after all these years, I'd see the movie differently; but the only part I remember with real joy is the John Goodman wrestling scene. Goodman redeemed that movie for me. Meanwhile, that was the movie that made me turn a corner from thinking Turturro was an interesting character actor, to actively avoiding movies he appeared in.

Fargo is my favorite Coen Bros. movie. There are so many great sucker punches in that film. William Macy saying, "Okay, great" to the kidnappers as they threaten him over the phone.

Well, I also loved "O Brother" in spite of Clooney and Turturro, meaning Tim Blake Nelson (and the soundtrack) was worth the whole picture: "We thought...you was...a toad!"

I think the Coens are great storytellers and creators of oddball characters, I admire their ambition and flexibility, but sometimes the movies they make feel like calculated exercises in style.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:36 am:   

No longer. They've gone commercial.

Michael Lerner in Barton Fink was great!
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JV
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

Lucius:
I'll refund your money if you don't like it!

Jeff
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 12:15 pm:   

Lerner really knew how to give "that Barton Fink feeling"!

Also great, Clooney to the guy in the auto parts store in O Brother: "This place must be a real geographical oddity! Three days from everywhere!"
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 03:56 pm:   

That's okay, Jeff. I'll profit from it...
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BillH
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 06:51 pm:   

Hi gang,

In Good Movies6, I posted asking for suggestions of good HK cinema of the martial arts variety and I thank all who gave opinions--especially to you Lucius--sadly I haven't found much that isn't bootleg as my Asian journey is a rushed affair. But while in Singapore, I did happen across a used bookstore where I found a little tome from Millenium press in the UK of someone's book--The Ends of the Earth! Anybody know who wrote it--my copy is in my..um..checked luggage..yeah, that's the ticket. Oh, there's my flight. Gotta go.

Thanks again, Lucius (for the good read, too.)

BillH.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 07:27 pm:   

My Left Foot, what do you guys think of that movie? I havn't seen it in a long time, but I'm going to watch it tonight. I think I may enjoy it more now that I am older. Would this movie be on almost everyones good movie list?
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Luis
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 11:01 pm:   

I thought both _The Big Lebowski_ and _O Brother, Where Art Thou?_ were great. Lucius, you're just humour-impaired!!

My favourite Coen Brothers movie is probably _Blood Simple_, but I really like them all (except for the _Ladykillers_ remake, which I haven't seen nor do I feel in the least tempted to). I even like _The Hudsucker Proxy_, though I do recognize its flaws. It's still a better-than-average movie.

What I most admire about them is how well-written and idiosyncratic (and yet natural-sounding) their dialogue is. I wish one or both would try their hand at writing a novel, I'm sure the result would be interesting to contemplate.

Best,
Luís
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 12:38 am:   

Ok, so I just watched My Left Foot. I will say it is an undoubtably good movie. That of course doesn't mean everyone will like it. I think it is a good movie because it is successful in what it is trying to accomplish. It also has many of the qualities that make a good movie, among them exceptional acting. I can see it being tedious to some. Especially watching the child actors portrayal of Christy. I think that is part of the point. It portrays the frustration, agony, isolation, pain, bitterness, and yes even joy, of an intelligent and artistic cripple. Daniel Day Lewis is obviously a great actor. Where most actors today are mediocre at best (many just bad), Daniel stands out. His performance makes what could be a difficult and tedious movie, difficult and tedious in the way that is just true to the character. Making it not difficult or tedious to watch.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 05:03 am:   

Luis...Oh Brother was great? Wow, I've never heard that said before. That's a first. I would argue, but there;s no accounting for taste. :-)
True, the Coen's write good dialogue, but their choices have gotten increasingly commercial as they have slumped into middle age. The sight of Jeff Bridge gazing woozily about in the Big L struck me as inept slapstick, as did the entire movie.

Stephen B, Daniel Day Lewis is great, no doubt!
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Luís
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 08:34 am:   

Lucius,

Have I told you that I like _The Shawshank Redemption_ as well? :-)

Cheers,
Luís
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JV
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 08:39 am:   

I didn't care for O Brother that much--it seemed overlong. I liked Big Lebowski a lot more the second and third times I saw it. Still wish they'd gotten rid of that cowboy crap at the beginning and end.

JeffV
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EDatlow
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:25 am:   

I loved O Brother but hated The Big Lebowski.
I need to watch Blood Simple again, one of these days.

Going to see Hero tonight.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:31 am:   

Well, Luis, I like Shawshank too. I like to put it on, light one up, and laugh my ass off. :-)

Jeff, once was enough for me.

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Matthew
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   

I saw with my parents and brother. My dad was the only one who liked it, and interestingly enough, he's the only one not from the South. For me the movie seemed to just lack an real direction.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 06:40 pm:   

I returned from Scarecrow Video with Ju-On and Uzumaki; can't wait to watch these. (I've heard people either love Ju-On and think it's terrifying, or hate it and find it utterly boring. So I really don't know what to expect.) I found Spiral there as well, one of the Ringu sequels, but decided to wait on it. I was really looking for Kairo but didn't see it.

Has anyone watched Hideo Nakata's CHAOS? I find it hard to believe he can top DARK WATER.

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EDatlow
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 07:59 pm:   

I loved Hero. Beautiful cinematography. The trailer for the US remake of Ju-ON was shown and damned if it isn't a scene by scene remake. I'll be interested in seeing it. It's got Sarah Michelle Geller and Bill Pullman--don't know who else.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:49 pm:   

The original trailers for The Ring made it look like a scene-by-scene remake of Ringu, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variations between the two.

What did you think of Ju-On, Ellen? (I'm about to go watch it after posting this.)

Did you read Suzuki's Ring? I thought it was pretty good...a fair sight more nihilistic than the films. I see that Spiral is now out in an English translation as well. I'll definitely be reading that one.

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Luís
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 10:58 pm:   

Anyone here seen Takashi Miike's _Gozu_? It's a weird-ass Yakuza gangster/horror/comedy movie from the guy who did _Ichi the Killer_. I watched it last month, and I'm still not sure what to think about it.

Cheers,
Luís
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 12:17 am:   

i'm with the lovers of the big lebowski. i just love bridges in that film, and john turturro as the paedophile bowler, jesus.

'eight year olds, dude.'

love it.

i even enjoyed o brother where art thou.

gotta say, though, that after intolerable cruelty, i haven't been able to work myself up to seeing the ladykillers. something tells me that it just isn't going to be very good.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 01:20 am:   

I'm waiting till I can see Gozu on the little screen.

Well, I definitely fell into the lukewarm camp on Ju-On. It started off promising some chills, but then it just hammered you over the head. I liked the jerky plot construction, but the mob of nearly indistinguishable, short-lived characters made it really hard to care what happened. I can't help but compare it to Dark Water, which was extremely conservative with the shocks, very subtle, brilliantly paced, moving, and haunting.

On the other hand, Uzumaki was a ton of fun. I skimmed the manga on which it was based about a year ago, but didn't remember it very well. The combination of sappy teen drama and inexplicable geometric horror really worked for me. It managed to be over the top and restrained at the same time; restrained by comparison to Ju-On...far fewer desperate attempts to make you jump, and just a slow building of the weird horror. Japanese Ligotti?
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 07:17 am:   

Uzumaki's my favorite Japanese horror film. I;d say it was more Lovecraftian--all those transformations. Ju-on falls into the trying-to-do-what-Ringu/Dark Water -did-and-failing school. It;s derivative in the way (though not to the extent) that Stephen King's Kingdom was.

Ellen, did you think HERO was a bit empty? I felt it was beautfully filmed, but had the terrminal ceremonial rigor of propaganda.
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EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:28 am:   

MarcL:
I have mixed feelings re: Ju-On. And I'm not sure which version I saw. I was watching it with Jim Baker, who has seen all the versions and showed me the one he liked best. I think it was the original direct to video one. In any case, it was scary but there was no plot and that bothered me. The plotlessness (just anyone associated with the cursed house goes cuckoo or dies horribly) of course enables prequels, sequels, etc but it's just not very satisfying on a visceral level. So let me know what you think. I suspect all the versions have that essential plotlessness to them.

<<<What did you think of Ju-On, Ellen? (I'm about to go watch it after posting this.)

Never got a chance to read it although it's on one of my many piles.

<<<Did you read Suzuki's Ring? I thought it was pretty good...a fair sight more nihilistic than the films. I see that Spiral is now out in an English translation as well. I'll definitely be reading that one.
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EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:38 am:   

Lucius, I think you mentioned above that you never saw the original The Kingdom--you should. It's far from perfect but it's really really interesting.


Regarding Hero I took it for what it was: a Chinese epic drama about the unification of the different kingdoms (although that was a little fuzzy in my mind). I liked the stories within stories. Sure you can see it as propaganda if you like, but given the Chinese govt how could it not be? I just don't think most viewers would think about it on that level.

Also, don't forget, I haven't seen many Chinese films or even that many Asian movies overall. (I've seen a lot of Kurasaka, but my viewing has been very spotty otherwise.)

I'm just beginning to catch up so I'm not knowledgable of the overall oevre of various Asian cultures.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 09:46 am:   

I saw THE KINGDOM, and loved it...esp the first part.

I just thought I'd ask. It came off rather lifeless to me...beautiful, but lifeless.
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EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   

Oh, I hadn't realized you saw The Kingdom. I thought it kind of lost its focus and went over the top in the second season.

Re: Hero--not exactly sure what you mean by "lifeless"--I guess I just didn't feel that way. It felt like a "myth" or "legend" rather than a realistic depiction of any kind of history, if that's what you mean. I liked the Rashamon aspect of it. Seeing the possibilities of "story" unfold over time.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 02:59 pm:   

I guess I',m saying, when Chow Yung Fat died in Crouching Tiger, I kinda misted up. When the "characters" in Hero died, I didn't feel much. They were puppets with a plot function.
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EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 04:01 pm:   

I misted up at the penultimate death scene. By the time that point came, I cared about them.
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JV
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 06:17 pm:   

Ellen:

I felt the same way you did about Hero. And I really did care about the characters--in part because we see them from so many different perspectives.

Also, I wasn't really sure it was reactionary within its historical context--someone mentioned that they thought it was reactionary. Within the historical context, you could call the emperor a revolutionary or progressive since the status quo at the time was fragmented smaller kingdoms. Maintaining that status quo would definitely be reactionary.

Now I want to see what Lucius thought of Napoleon Dynamite!

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 06:55 pm:   

Everyone dies beautifully. So did the movie. If you consider from what perspective the movie was made, there was no mistaking the politics.

I liked Napoleon Dynamite well enough. For a one-joke movie, it was pretty damn funny. I liked better the second movie I saw, Danny Deckchair, an Aussie romantic comedy starring Rhys Ifans. Totally unrealistic, but charmingly so in the way of early British comedies with Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness.
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:06 pm:   

Lucius,
When did you get to see The Kingdom? Your first post way up on top (9/9) you said you hadn't seen it. I'm confused.
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:07 pm:   

..or was that not your post? You may have been quoting someone. Now I'm really confused by that first post.
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:11 pm:   

Right. For once, no blood and guts, no severed heads, spewing guts. Hallelujah! It was really refreshing.




<<<Everyone dies beautifully. So did the movie. If you consider from what perspective the movie was made, there was no mistaking the politics.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:25 pm:   

Yeah, but it was in the service of real blood and guts,
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:30 pm:   

That post was made by Dave G. I carried it over from another thread. There's a whole thread devoted to the KIngdom at the top of my topic.
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EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 07:48 pm:   

Ah. Got it. I'll go back to that I think.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 12:49 pm:   

In my hot little hand, I hold a ticket to the 8:30 showing of GOZU. I will report back on my findings.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 01:03 pm:   

I hope you enjoy it! I though it was terrific!
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 06:36 am:   

Damn, that Miike is one weird dude! The grand finale to GOZU gives new meaning to the old saying that "three's a crowd," eh? It's hard to get a handle on this guy because AUDITION and GOZU are such very different films. The innkeeper and her brother were priceless. This is one of those movies that ended right where it should have started. I wanted to see if they were going to get some kind of JULES AND JIM thing going with the girl! This is another one of those movies that makes me wonder: where does he find funding for this stuff?
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 06:38 am:   

Oh, btw, in the new issue of Uncut there is an ad for a 4 DVD set of Von Trier's THE KINGDOM, so at least our UK friends should have access to it...Are DVDs restricted by global region? Can a UK DVD play in a US-made player?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 07:17 am:   

They can play in an all-region player. You can buy a good all-region player for under a hundred bucks...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 07:43 am:   

The reason Miike makes so many movies--he makes 7, 8 a year--is so he can fund the ones he really wants to make. So he makes his money with yakuza films, and when one of his artier films hits, it's a bonus.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 08:53 am:   

Has anyone seen THE BROWN BUNNY? LS, I know you hate Gallo, but I am curious about this one.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 09:14 am:   

You're curious about skanky Cloe Sevigny's bj scene?

It's the only reason to see it, and truthfully you do better with a porn tape.
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David G.
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 11:08 am:   

Yeah, but no matter how often I put it in the suggestion box, I can't get our local art theater to book "Forrest Hump" or "Schindler's Lust"!

I think Chloe is kinda cute. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 11:11 am:   

Well, to each his own...
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 11:13 am:   

Dave, I bought a low-end Daewoo DVD player on sale at Target for about $50 last year. Daewoo geeks (there apparently are such things) have posted instructions on the net for using the remote control to set the player to play All Regions. It takes less than a minute to turn off all region restrictions that are set at the factory; they are software only. It's a better player than more expensive ones I've owned, and the ability to play all region DVDs on it makes it well worth the minimal cost even if that's all you use it for.

Check it out:

http://www.regionfreedvd.net/player/daewoo.html
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:39 pm:   

Cool, I'll check it out.

I'm still freaked about GOZU, though. The contrast with AUDITION is so great. Imagine Alfred Hitchcock turning around and making a Sam Raimi horror-comedy. Or vice versa. "Versatile" doesn't do it. "MPD" more like.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 07:58 pm:   

Have you seen HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS? It's my favorite Miike. Lucius's too (based on past comments of his). And also totally unlike AUDITION. Even moreso, I suspect. Heartwarming, horrifying, and hilarious all at the same time.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 08:24 pm:   

I hurt myself badly today. I went to the theater intending to see Criminal, tthe remake of Nine Queens, the Argentine thriller, but on a whim I went to see Sky Captain. I can't believe I did that to myself. What a piece of shit! They gave a computer geek 70 million to direct a movie and forgot to give him directing lessons...
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 11:10 pm:   

I watched Joe Berlinger's PARADISE LOST earlier this week. Very grim and depressing documentary about the so-called West Memphis Three. There is a character in the documentary scarier than any of the accused teenagers, and I gather the sequel PARADISE LOST 2 hones in on this guy as a likelier suspect than anyone who ended up in prison.

Berlinger made the shit-tastic sequel to BLAIR WITCH, but hopefully that disaster will have financed another decent documentary and taught him not to bother with the rest of Hollywood.

I have his earlier doc, MY BROTHER'S KEEPER, to watch next.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 05:21 am:   

I liked PARADISE LOST and MY BROTHER'S KEEPER a lot. Haven't seen tte sequel. Still having nightmares about giant mechanical Angeline Jolies marching on Gotham.
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:34 am:   

Hey, Lucius --

I didn't get to see the De La Hoya/Hopkins fight, but I heard it was a knockout via body shot to the liver. Picture De La Hoya gasping and grimacing in agony on the canvas and that was pretty much what I looked like after SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF CRAP last night.

Wow. I don't want to waste time on this, but two things have to be said:

1. As I told a friend of mine last night, this was a very forgettable cesspool of nostalgic sludge, completely devoid of originality, legitimate humor, or anything remotely resembling entertainment value. I was ready to pack my bags and walk halfway through, but I tried to be a man and sit through the entire 147-minute onslaught. I barely made it. It was nothing but a big tired reel of pastiches and witless cliches (mislabelled as "homages").

2. I won't even get started on the awful blue screen superimpositions and the phone-it-in acting jobs (let me guess....those were "homages" to bad acting, right?), but all total this was easily one of the Top 15 Worst Films of All-Time that I've ever experienced. If not for THE VILLAGE (which is firmly in my Top 10 Worst), SKY CAPTAIN would easily be the worst film I've seen all year.

I'm still licking my wounds after this one....

Ouch.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:57 am:   

Yeah, I can;t add anything to that, John. It was a large pile of cow flop.

The Hopkins fight was a very boring tactical fight.. He figured what Oscar was doing for two round, then the beatdown started. He broke him down over the next five rounds, administering a good beating, and then knocked him out. It was very professional, but not the most dynamic fight---but it was still way better than Sky Captain.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 11:09 am:   

Hopkins-De La Hoya was one of the dullest, least stirring major PPV fights of the last ten years. The first two rounds were masterpieces of inertia. Remember how Willie Pep managed to win a round without throwing a single punch? Imagine if two such Willies faced off for six minutes. After that, as Lucius said, it was pretty methodical and inexorable and ugly. I had picked ODLH to pull the upset, but it was painfully obvious after six that Hopkins was hurting Oscar with everything. The KO was one you could almost feel, really painful. I think that's it for Oscar.

Berlinger and Sanofsky's documentaries are pretty spooky and great. BROTHER'S KEEPER is bizarre and haunting, PARADISE LOST sad and infuriating. PL2 mostly revolves around the Three's prison terms, the evolution of the online support group attempting to free them, and a hokey daytime TV appearance that never aired. Yeah, that preacher dude B&S tab as suspect #1 is one of the creepiest guys you'll see in cinema, and his pals are not much better. I wouldn't want to run into any of them in a dark alley. Isn't there supposed to be a WEST MEMPHIS THREE drama coming out soon?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 12:58 pm:   

BROTHER'S KEEPER was really wonderful.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 06:28 am:   

I confess that, against Lucius' sage advice, I saw THE BROWN BUNNY last night. Unlike LS, I was a fan of Gallo's previous film BUFFALO '66, and took my contrarian view that, if the critics really hated a film vehemently enough, it must be worth seeing.

TBB did have some good aspects. Gallo is adept at capturing the lazy ambience of the road, and Cheryl Tiegs is surprisingly interesting in her "role" as a woman at a roadside rest stop who has a sudden, unexpected make-out session with Gallo's character. Her eyes are very expressive and you can see a lot of pain in her very unglamorous face. But the rest...hoo boy...

It was hard to sit through, lemme tell ya, and this version was cut by thirty minutes from the one that screened in Cannes! There's almost no story, we learn very little about the main character (he lost his girl Daisy, so now he's drawn to other women named after flowers), the players are often half out of the frame and the shots are unbelievably static and uninvolving.

And that last scene. Lucius, you were correct to draw the porno parallel. This friend of mine used to bring over to my house these cheapie "Hollywood Video Club" porn tapes that were basically two people, a mattress and a camera on a tripod, with the "actors" trying desperately to improvise some kind of situation ("There was a man outside the house today." "Thank you for coming to fix my sink so quickly." You get the idea.) The climactic scene between Gallo and Chloe Sevigny had that kind of a no-budget, let's-wing-it feel. Very porno-like. If VG was trying to make us feel creepy and voyeurish, he succeeded.

I can't recommend this movie, except to guys looking to drive away clingy women.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

Yeah, BUNNY bites. You said it all. Gallo shoulda stuck to acting. What was the name of that movie he made with William Forstythe about three inept burglars in NY?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 07:27 am:   

According to the mighty IMDB, it is PALOOKAVILLE (with Frances McDormand!). Have I mentioned that William Forsythe is one of my favorite actors?

Newswires are reporting that director Russ Meyer is dead and leaves "no survivors." Man, how lonely does that sound?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 08:04 am:   

Palookaville, yeah! That was a good little moviie. Forsythe's got some chops. I recommend a viewing if you like Forsythe--it's probably his most interesting role.

Meyers dead? Wow. He was quite a figure.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 08:15 am:   

More interesting than the psychopathic masochist Richie Madonno in OUT FOR JUSTICE? I think not! :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

Richie was great, but seriously, you should check Palookaville.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:15 am:   

I had no idea when I was seeing TBB there, but apparently tonight is the last screening to be hosted by Washington DC's Visions Cinema, the last independently owned and operated movie house in the DC area. What a great freaking place. The fact that Visions can't make a go of it (it's being displaced by corporate "art" houses in the suburbs) just underscores what a third-rate trading post the District really is. (All the baseball teams in the world won't change that.) Let us have a moment of silence to commemorate the passing of this great institution in particular and the spirit of independent movie houses generally.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 07:55 am:   

Hey, listen, man, even the chains are going down. Loews and Regal are in bankruptcy -- they;re gonna have to get a better deal from the distributors, or they all fall down.

Thankfully, Seattle and Portland both have numerous indie theaters and they are thriving.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 08:51 am:   

Portland rocks. Most interesting city I've visited in the US, outside of NYC. You Portlanders are extremely lucky.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 09:24 am:   

I'm not exactly a Portlander, but I guess I;m more so than Bucket. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 10:11 am:   

He's very "house proud." But Portland has so many great downtown venues; if I was in his shoes, I would be at Berbati's or the Blackbird or the Crystal Ballroom four nights a week. And that doesn't even count movies, restaurants, etc.
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andRewF
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 12:41 am:   

Miller's Crossing is my favorite Coen Bros film. Their career stops after that for me.

The Blackbird was 5 blocks from my house in the Portalnd Hollywood neighborhood, but has been gone for awhile. Unless it moved, it's closed. I can't bear to tell you what kind of shop went in there.

Recently watched... The Eye, Swimming Pool, La Strada, Crimson Rivers, Sky Captain
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:33 am:   

I thought SWIMMING POOL was OK, no great shakes. I could still watch Charlotte Rampling in just about anything. (Advice to Rampling fans...to see her in her prime, try THE NIGHT PORTER. Highly recommended.) I did really enjoy THE EYE quite a bit. Nice little film. Anyone know other good Oxide brothers I can check out?

Nice day at the DVD store today: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, Edgar G. Ulmer's atmospheric and bizarre noir shortie DETOUR, and Abel Ferrara's gloriously odd and depressing BAD LIEUTENANT! Yippee!

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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

Finally saw ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND last night; it's just out on DVD. Nice little film; not quite as clever or flashy as I thought it would be, not an exercise in PhilDickian riffs; but in a way this was a relief, and at least it didn't feel afloat in CG; there was a nice gritty video quality to it. I loved the cast of characters playing Lacuna employees. There was a really nice off the wall feel to their scenes. The ending was a bit staid; I guess at that point I was reminded of Punchdrunk Love, and this movie suffered slightly in comparison. Jim Carrey is one versatile guy, though. The thinking man's Will Ferrell?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 10:55 am:   

The ending wasn't the original ending. The usual reasons for the change -- too depressing....
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

I thought the one they tacked on was pretty depressing...although for the reason you state. It felt tacked on...the characters behaving in a way that was not true to what we'd learned of them through the rest of the movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:40 pm:   

Yup. Want the audience to walk out happy. The original in the script really worked -- you could feel it.

Carrey did some made for TV films in canada that were straight drama, and he was pretty good.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 04:43 am:   

Getting back to Gallo and BB, apparently Gallo to his credit did apologise for the film. He knows it sucks. And I still hold out hope for Gallo as a director. I liked Buffalo '66.

Lucius how can you hate Raising Arizona? Anyhow as JV put it, agree to disagree. But the Coen brothers are most definitely on a slide to mediocrity.

If anybody can tell me what the big deal is about SWIMMING POOL please let me know.

And for those of you who think the state of Indie cinema theaters in the States is bad, it could be worse. In my native South Africa, as far as I know, there is only one independent cinema left in the whole country! Yeah there are corporate "art" house cinemas in the burbs but I don't count 'em.

And there used to be a fair number of indie cinemas in SA. The only one left now is in Cape Town and it's called the Labia cinema (really no kidding I'm not making this up) - named after the Yugoslav princess who opened the cinema eons ago, naturally. Well what else could it be named after?
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Martin
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:24 am:   

Hadn't realised that wasn't the original ending. You can read the orginal script here. I thought the released ending worked quite well: it strongly implies the original ending but leaves it slightly ambiguous.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 06:45 am:   

I think the big deal about SWIMMING POOL was due to the fact that

a. It was French;
b. It featured a 58-year old Charlotte Rampling doing a very "brave" frontal nudity scene.

Otherwise, it was pretty ordinary, IMHO.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 07:01 am:   

The guy's previous movie, In The Sand, was a big WOW....that explains Swimming Pools hype. It reallly didn't get great reviews.

How could I not like Raising Arizona? let me count the ways. Nichiolas Cage leads the list. How could you like Buffalo Sixty Six? It made me embarrassed to be human. Ben Gazarra must have on drugs to shoot that singing scene.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:25 am:   

I got a chuckle out of B66. Admittedly, it was not Ben's finest moment, which came during his turn as bad guy Brad Wesley in the epochal ROADHOUSE. What a film! :-)

Raising Arizona may have had Nicholas Cage, but any movie starring Randall "Tex" Cobb has got to have some redeeming qualities.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:18 am:   

Then you must have loved BLIND FURY, also one of Rutger Hauer's quintessential films.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:56 am:   

That script of Eternal Sunshine looks too different to even compare...I'll read it on its own merits. I really dug the "Being John Malkovich" script that is floating around; the one with a huge puppet production of Emily Dickinson conducted via helicopter, featuring Charles Nelson Reilly; and "Truman" done with enormous clashing puppets. But the script is a completely different entity than the finished movie, and can be enjoyed on its own.

I've worked on enough group-designed products now that I know everything remains unsettled until it absolutely has to go into the box, and I can look at the ending of the final product and compare it to any number of earlier versions and say that one of them was the "original" ending. And yet...things just keep changing. Maybe there was a better ending in an earlier draft; but maybe it wouldn't have worked in the movie.

I guess I'd have to know what Kaufman felt--whether he thought that someone forced changes that ruined the story, or whether it came out of a process of reworking the story that seemed like a good idea at the time.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:58 am:   

Kaufman's script of A Scanner Darkly is also on the net. I started to read it, but found it such a completely literal transcription of the novel that there was almost no point in reading it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:28 am:   

That's one book I think would make an unutterably dreadful film.
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Rich P.
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:32 am:   

Just saw a pretty funny piss-take on GEORGE ROMERO called SHAUN OF THE DEAD, about these British geezers who get attacked by really slow-moving, dim-witted zombies and fight their way through zombie-infested streets to make a stand in their local pub. Good for a chuckle.

Don’t know much Miike, but I did see HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS recently and would have to agree with those above who loved it. Lots of really inspired bits. I've downloaded GOZU but still need to sort out how to make the subtitles work... It looks fucking weird enough though, even without knowing what they're saying... :-)

All Movie Guide lists a 2003 flick by the Pang Brothers called THE TESSERACT, based on Alex Garland's second. Anyone seen or heard of this? I wasn't too fond of THE EYE. BANGKOK DANGEROUS was better.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:41 am:   

A work colleague of mine has preached for years about the merits of BLIND FURY as the worst film of the last 50 years. It's funny that you mentioned it!
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JV
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:42 am:   

I thought the ending of Eternal Sunshine in the finished movie superior to the planned ending. The planned ending seemed like a rather clunky way to drive home a point.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:00 am:   

The whole script is clunky, Jeff. What I read was much closer to the shooting script--if not the shooting script--with a much-changed, streamlined version of the original ending that was, in my view, far superior to the happyface ending of the finished product.
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Martin
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:09 am:   

I don't see any way the ending as shot can be described as happyface. It does seem for maybe three quarters of the film that it will loop back around for a happy ending but after the revelations about Mary it's obvious this isn't going to happen. The film ends with Joel and Clem condemned to repeat the failures of the past.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 05:01 am:   

BLIND FURY: naaah. You want to hear me rant on worst movies, ask for my take on SHAKEDOWN with Sam Elliot and Peter Weller. I watched THAT one with popping eyes and find the last fifteen minutes, in particular, an eye-popping apotheois of compressed badness: downright perfect, when it comes to logic and physics that just don't work in our universe.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 06:41 am:   

The thing is, Martin, whether happy or not, it had a tacked on feeling--it didn't fit with the rest of the movie. That was my very subjective feeling. I did think it was much more upbeat in that there was this sort Yuppified whee! about how the two lovers accepted this state of affairs.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 06:48 am:   

Lucius, I liked Eternal Sunshine a lot less than you did. Watching a film of a Charlie Kaufman movie-without-a-plot is a little like watching a neighborhood wino do a really keen bar trick over and over and over. After an hour of rattling around inside this guy's head, I started to get claustrophobia. It must have looked better on paper than it ended up on the screen. It just didn't work for me.

I have not seen SHAKEDOWN, but I could watch anything with Sam Elliot (another star of the epochal ROADHOUSE). Sounds like it's worth a rainy-day rental.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:10 am:   

Well, I thought It was pretty forgettable, but I sorta didn't mind it...

SHAKEDOWN, I'll second, is all that.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 10:28 am:   

Lucius, re your comment on the shooting script, that's what I was wondering. Changing the ending at that point can lead to something that hasn't been properly digested...unless they're finally getting the brilliant insight they've never managed to figure out till the last moment. Doesn't sound like this was the case. I did feel at the end, there was plenty of reason to think they were deluding themselves...but I'd like to read the ending you got a chance to read.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 10:40 am:   

The thing I didn't like at end was the overt acceptance of the state of affairs, that they would always fuck it up, but hey, lets just have as much fun as we can. I don't think people are like that; i think they would delude themselves even more, that they would totally think of this as a new opportunity, and this would lead appropriately to the ending i read.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:30 pm:   

PARADISE LOST 2: REVELATIONS...not as absolutely terrifying as the first, but scary enough. I felt I was watching a true version of "Man Bites Dog."
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 12:54 am:   

I have nothing to say, other than I'm a sad fan of Roadhouse, and I too am in the hating Raising Arizona camp. Last couple of Coen Bros. didn't do much for me, but I was a big fan of Man Who Wasn't There.

I skipped Eternal Sunshine mostly on the basis of hating Jim Carrey.

Buffalo '66 made me want to find Gallo and beat him up for 110 minutes.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 03:58 am:   

"Buffalo '66 made me want to find Gallo and beat him up for 110 minutes,,,"

Yup.

And Arizona...I wanted to do the same with Nick Cage...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 06:20 am:   

MAN BITES DOG. An excellent film nobody talks about anymore. Heartbreakingly prophetic. I thought about it as I watched the ABC 20/20 news crew riding along in the back seat of an Atlanta pimp's car, while he hunted down one of his "girls." I thought "Isn't anybody aware that they're watching a crime being committed?"

PL2 was less interesting than the first because the subject (Damien Echols fans finding each other through the World Wide Web) was inherently less interesting than that of the first one. Still creepy, tho. I can't wait to see the Hollywood feature they make of WEST MEMPHIS 3.

Another ROADHOUSE fan? Yeah! Long live Dalton! With DONNIE DARKO under his belt, let's hope we're in for a Swayze renaissance!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 06:41 am:   

A Swayze Renaissance? Uh....let's not.

I liked the cheese in Roadhouse myself, but then came Black Dog....
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 07:23 am:   

Dave: SHAKEDOWN is watchable ONLY as a jaw-dropping artifact, ie. arguably sentient human beings wrote, directed, and starred in this thing.

It's stupid long before the end, but the last fifteen minutes features an action scene that would have been judged too implausible for a MOONRAKER-era James Bond.

It's one of my favorite films -- to rant about.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

I didn't see BLACK DOG, but I fail to see how a movie with Swayze, Meat Loaf AND Charles Dutton could be less than amazing! :-)

It is with some shame that I confess I still have yet to see POINT BREAK, one of my favorite stars (PS) working with one of my favorite directors (Kathryn Bigelow). Again, can't be bad...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

Can't be bad? Oh, it's very bad, but not bad enough to be amusing. Ditto for Black Dog.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 09:04 am:   

A movie that just closed before I could see it was the Ramones' doc END OF THE CENTURY. Anyone have any opinions?
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 09:23 am:   

Point Break is very very very bad. It was so bad that I could never bring myself to watch another Kathryn Bigelow movie after that. If only Blue Steel had come out after it!

I don't remember anything about Roadhouse except that it was a movie that by all rights I should have hated, but actually really enjoyed.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 09:35 am:   

Yep, PB sucked.

Roadhouse is just a trip... Ben Gazarra and his Monster Truck. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 09:58 am:   

Ben Gazarra and his monster truck...the Swayze and his Tai Chi..."Pain don't hurt"..."Just be nice"...Jeff Healey...Sam Elliot...Terry Funk and John Doe, together..."I used to f*** guys like you in prison"...

Every moment a cinematic delight!

I also enjoyed STRANGE DAYS. Any opinions on that?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 10:04 am:   

Yeah...I rated it NG. NO GOOD.
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jeff ford
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 01:33 pm:   

Lucius: My younger son wants to go check out the puppet movie by the guys from South Park? Did you see it yet? Was wondering if it's a snooze or at least a little bit funny. I'll probably be going one way or the other.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 02:12 pm:   

Nah, I haven't seen it. I offered to do it for F&SF, but Gordon wanted to do I Heart Huckabees. I suspect, though, it'll be pretty funny.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 10:52 pm:   

I will definitely be going to Team America. The SP movie was not only hilarious, it was a technically perfect by-the-numbers musical. So I am very much looking forward to all the musical numbers that are supposedly in this one: "America, Fuck Yeah," "Everyone Has AIDS," and even supposedly a song about Michael Bay and Pearl Harbor.
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 12:03 pm:   

Plus Kim Jong-Il singing "I'm so lonely."
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bryan
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 12:57 pm:   

lucius, have you seen a film called 'stalker' that was directed by the guy who did 'solaris'? i saw it in a store and it looked interesting, but it was $40, so i was wondering if it's worth the asking price.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

I don;t really like Tarkovsky much---I haven't seen Stalker but I wouldn't spend 40 bucks for the priviledge.
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bryan
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 01:58 pm:   

it's based on the book 'a roadside picnic' by arkady and boris strugatsky. if i see it in a video store, i'll check it out. $40 is a little steep.

another question, what do you think of john waters? 'desperate living' and 'polyester' just got released on dvd. i think he's fun.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 02:43 pm:   

I agree. He's fun....but I;m not that interested.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 04:59 pm:   

Desperate Living didn't make much of an impression on me, but Polyester is a good time. I still have my Smell-O-Vision card somewhere, from the showing they did at the late great Channel in Boston. If I'm not mistaken, Polyester was the last film role of the Dead Boys' Stiv Bators...
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:32 am:   

There is something oddly heartwarming about Polyester. It was the first Waters movie to feature a plot, and I remember liking it. Crybaby is the only one I've seen more than once; still a fun movie.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 10:04 am:   

TiVo'd CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and SCOTLAND, PA last night. Hope I can find time to watch them soon. Are they worth keeping if I can't find time? I've had ADAPTATION on my TiVo for about five months...maybe I'm not going to watch it. :-)

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 10:08 am:   

Scotland PA is excellent. Maura Tierney as Lady Macbeth is perfect. All Shakespeare's tragedies make better comedies. If you can find it, check out Kaurismaki's Hamlet Goes Business.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 11:36 am:   

I thought ADAPTATION was more clever than wonderful. And the ending really seems tacked on and phony (which is part of the joke, I guess).

I second Lucius' viewpoint re: SCOTLAND, PA. Maura Tierney is something else. Walken is a trip and the very underrated Kevin Corrigan is also fun to watch. But I hope you like Bad Company!
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 12:27 am:   

Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes. Not my favorite Jarmusch (that would be Dead Man), but with a few pretty good bits. One with Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan that is worth the rental price. Iggy Pop and Tom Waits are fun to watch. Cate Blanchett does a neat stunt. GZA, RZA and Bill Murray. And more. Just makes me want the next actual full length Jarmusch movie all that much more, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 12:33 am:   

Hey, Lucius, you were recommending Powwow Highway, especially one of the actors in it. And I mentioned the guy who played Nobody in Dead Man...Gary Farmer. So according to IMDB, Gary Farmer plays one of the two main characters in Powwow Highway. Is he the one you were thinking of? If so, there's another reason I must track down Powwow Highway now.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 08:34 am:   

Marc, I really had a bad reaction to COFFEE AND CIGARETTES. You were right to point to the Coogan-Molina and Cate Blanchett bits as high points (I went to the concession stand during Bill Murray, if you can believe that bit of bad timing). But the worst parts were beyond amateurish, exemplifying Jarmusch's Warholian "put cool people in front of a camera and let them riff" style. The Jack and Meg White vignette and the Begnini-Wright thing were cringe inducing. Just hopeless. And I had to chuckle at the conceit of Coogan dissing Molina as an unhip has-been; Molina had a #1 movie and a hit Broadway revival that summer, while Coogan's "major studio breakout" tanked!! At his best, Jarmusch can be compelling, but C&C just looked like a bunch of barely-there odds and ends patched together for hipster value. Jeez, man, aren't the Iggy and Waits schticks played out yet????
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 10:04 am:   

Yeah, it was at times painfully lame, but I would still watch Jarmusch's "Paint Drying."

I've only seen a little of Molina's work, but Coogan was totally unknown to me until the lame looking remake of "Around the World in 80 Days." Now, looking at IMDB, I see that he's starring in a MOVIE OF TRISTRAM SHANDY!?! (Where's my damn interrobang when I need one!?)

Tristram Shandy? wtf? Why is that necessary? Well...I hope it's a 9 hour BBC miniseries and not a 2 hour movie. I can just see the advertising: "A Fractal Epic of Cogitus Interruptus!"
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 11:17 am:   

As bad as "Around the World..." may have been, you will be a Coogan fan for life if you check out Michael Winterbotton's 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, quite possibly the only good movie ever made about post-punk music and the people who made it. Funny and moving and splendid. Gets the music and milieu exactly right.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 02:04 pm:   

I'm sure Coogan has done good stuff, I was just surprised that I'd never seen anything he was in (including Around the World). Based on his performance in C&C, however, I'll definitely watch him in...whatever!
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 03:05 pm:   

I think most of what he's done have been BBC comedy series that haven't played in the states.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 11:48 pm:   

A friend lent me MONSIEUR IBRAHIM weeks ago; I finally watched it tonight, and it was wonderful. Sublime performance from Omar Sharif. Made me want to watch MAROONED IN IRAQ again. (It's been a few months since I raved about that one.)
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lucius
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 03:11 am:   

Marc. that is, indeed, the Gary Farmer in POWOW HIGHWAY. Eeally fun movie. ;
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 10:16 am:   

I've got Powow Hwy on order from the library.

Anyone here seen the remake of The Grudge yet? I'll be waiting (lazily) for the DVD.

I'm really looking forward to Ring 2, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 10:30 pm:   

Powwow Highway was great. A Handmade Film to boot; so I might have known I'd like it. I should track down every Handmade Film I've never seen.

My happy discovery this week is that Buena Vista is putting out a double DVD release with Kitano Takeshi's Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman AND (my first favorite Beat Takeshi film) Sonatine!

I was going to order some complete Takeshi DVD set over eBay, but the Sonatine in that set was not subtitled. So this will tide me over. Two awesome movies in one package.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 04:05 am:   

zatoichi was fine stuff. really dug it, so i hope that release comes to the land of oz.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:41 am:   

I thought Ju-On was an aerosol spray used by rabbis. Silly me.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:55 am:   

Glad you dug Pow Wow Highway! Gary Farmer was pretty fucking great in it....
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 07:47 pm:   

I just saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I really liked it, but I can see why Lucius didn't like the ending as much. Although I don't think the ending ruined the movie... it just could have been better.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 07:45 am:   

Has anyone seen TARNATION yet?
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 02:53 pm:   

Ok talking about rock got me thinking about "rock n roll" movies. I think Janes Addiction was great in the 80's. Anyone seen the Janes movie The Gift? It's good. In the movie Perry Farrel's girlfriend OD's on heroin... he put's her in the tub sobbing and cleans her up... what do you think he does next?

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