HOME | CATALOG | DOWNLOADS | LINKS | EDITORIALS | DISCUSSION | CONTACT

Daughter of Theater and Movie-Going

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Log Out | Edit Profile | Register
Night Shade Message Boards » Datlow, Ellen » Daughter of Theater and Movie-Going « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 02:01 pm:   

I went to see Mean Girls last night, something I kind of wanted to see but didn't think I could get anyone interested in. Lo and behold, Jim Baker wanted to see it too so we went. I don't see many teen movies so am not all that familiar with the genre. It was fun. Not brilliant but good.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

JeremyT
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 02:35 pm:   

Sarah and I went to see Shrek 2 last night. I thought the first one was sorta-good, and I didn't laugh very often or very hard(except when the bird exploded, which just seemed so random).

The second film was far better than the first, in my book. It was jam-packed with little film-goer inside jokes, especially in the final act which had a really frantic pace to it. Keep your eye out for "Mongo". Best character in the movie("Kyle" comes in a close second). Antonio Banderas did a great job as Puss in Boots as well.

I'm glad to hear that Mean Girls was good. I'm a big fan of Tina Fey on SNL, and she wrote that script. (OK, I'll admit it. She's my celebrity crush.)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Iron James
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 03:17 pm:   

I agree about Shrek 2. One was only so-so for me, but 2 is a truly funny film that you have to watch every second.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 08:50 pm:   

I've heard very good things about Shrek 2. Guess I'll have to see it.

Jeremy, I didn't know who Tina Fey was until after the movie (she's in it) but I thought she looked like a young Patty Hearst, which was rather disconcerting.
Haven't watched SNL in years.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 09:11 pm:   

I also enjoyed Shrek 2 more than I expected to. Loved Mongo as well. One thing I would have liked to have seen was the dragon, but oh well.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   

Recently spotted marquee (I collect them)

MEAN GIRLS
ENVY
VAN HELSING
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 05:15 am:   

The Dragon is in Shrek 2. She appears (memorably) in a scene held off til midway through the closing credits. It's a major plot development.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen
Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 09:03 am:   

Very cool Adam.
Slightly off topic but soon after my anthology Alien Sex was published, there was a porn movie marquee with their new movie: Alien Sex--I was very pleased (I really don't believe it was coincidence as the book was on prominent display in at least one B&N. Someone took a photograph of the marquee and gave it to me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matt Jarpe
Posted on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 08:22 am:   

We saw Shrek 2 yesterday with my 3 year old son. We all loved it. Something for everyone. The boy was squirming a bit so we left after the dragon scene, though I wanted to see if anything else happened while the credits rolled. Did I miss anything?

This is definately one to see again. There's no way I could have seen every oblique reference. I counted at least five movie parodies, including "From Here to Eternity," "The Fellowship of the Ring," "Ghostbusters," and "Godzilla." One that should have been there but wasn't was when Puss in Boots stayed behind to cover Shrek's back. Who else was expecting "My name is Enigio Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 07:46 pm:   

Watched Love, Actually with Terri Windling on dvd last night (she's been visiting for a few days) and wanted to like it more than I did.

I loved Four Weddings and a Funeral (have to check it out again to see if it holds up as being as funny as I remember it being).

L,A struck us as being sexist (not to mention IMO overlong). All the men ended up happy (even the one in love with his best friend's girl), two of the women miserable. The two women who ended up in new, positive relationships were both basically servants of the men. So what's with that?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mike Bailey
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 08:36 pm:   

Guess I didn't notice that aspect of "Love, Actually." I really thought the movie was kind of quirky and fun. I guess I spend my brains on critting fiction and leave my criticism at the door on movies? (Hey, when you have only a few gray matter cells, you gotta decide where to spend them....) Anyway, I enjoyed "L,A." I don't remember "4 Weddings."
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Saturday, June 12, 2004 - 07:52 am:   

Mike, I'm not sure it would have hit me as heavily if I'd seen it around Xmas time when it came out.

S P O I L E R










I discussed this with another woman friend last night and she said she felt the Laura Linney characater _did_ find love--she just chose brotherly love over eros. But I see her decision made out of guilt and duty as much as love--her brother had no one else. She certainly wasn't "happy" with her decision at the end.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mike Bailey
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 01:59 pm:   

I agree that the Linney character decision seemed to be a guilt/duty move. To me, that plot line was the saddest in the movie, and I felt it helped balance the comedy aspects.

If you want to really bawl (I did, anyway), watch "In America." I thought it was a good movie, slow but very effective.

Also, "Osama" is a movie that follows a young Afghan girl who has to disguise herself as a boy to try to find work during the Taliban era (all the males in her family are dead) so that her family will not starve. Makes you dislike the Taliban even more, and sympathize with Afghan women even more, than you can imagine is possible. Great photography, too.

Finally watched "Lost in Translation." Still don't know what to make of it. It had its moments, but there seemed to be some dead spots to me, parts where the "single effect" was not being communicated to me effectively. If someone is going to try to make fancy schmancy art flicks that "mean" stuff, then I'd like to pick up on that meaning. Again, I'm not sure if Coppola failed, or if my gray matter was just tired.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 05:16 pm:   

Mike,
I'll rent IN AMERICA eventually. Also, OSAMA. I've heard about it and it sounds greast.

Watched UNDER THE SAND last night with Charlotte Rampling as a woman who can't accept that her husband is dead. As the blurb says a "study in denial." Rampling is still sexy after all these years.

What do you mean by "single effect"? in LOST IN TRANSLATION? I think it's a lovely film and about something very simple--depression, and feeling alien and alonen in a huge, thriving city.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mike Bailey
Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 02:14 pm:   

The "feeling alien, depressed, and disconnected" stuff I got (and that is the single effect, or theme, I was referring to), but there were parts that did not seem to contribute to that theme. If those parts did contribute in a subtle way (and they may have, since I am no film guru) then I may be jumping the gun on questioning Coppola's intent. I did not think it was a bad movie, but I guess I was oversold on it by some friends and critics. Ah, the dangers of high expectations.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ellen
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:36 pm:   

I saw the new production of Arthur Miller's After the Fall last night at the Roundabout. It has Peter Krause (who I'd never seen before) from Six Feet Under as the Miller character Quentin. I felt this was totally miscast as he's far too young for the role. And he ain't no Jason Robards, Jr. either. I've never been all that fond of Miller's plays. I saw the original production with Robards and Barbara Loden, who looked more like Marilyn Monroe than the current "Maggie," Carla Gugino, who nonetheless is very good in it.

The play is so overwhelmed by the "Marilyn/Maggie" character that it's difficult to see beyond her.

I loved the stage set, which is made up like an airline departure lounge. THe original was bare (if I remember correctly--it was in 1964.)

Tonight I watched the John Malkovich/Liliana Caviani Ripley's Game. A winner. I don't understand why it hasn't been released to movie theaters in the US.
Rent it! I'm sorry Highsmith didn't get a chance to see it. I don't know if Caviani has done much that has gotten to the US since The Night Porter but this is more controlled less decadent (based on a novel as I don't believe The Night Porter was).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:08 pm:   

I watched Whale Rider last night and loved it. The girl and other actors are very good.

Also, went to see The Manchurian Candidate today and was impressed. It feels completely up to the minute politically and the changes that were made from the original version were good ones. The change from Korea to the Gulf war worked nicely, I thought. Acting was excellent all around. Meryl Streep makes a great monster.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 06:01 am:   

I saw Collateral last night. My father agrees with me that it was boring with a capital BORING, and predictable to boot. It had a couple instances of decent dialogue, a few moments of tension, Jamie Foxx is a pretty good actor, and Tom Cruise gets out about the best performance of his career (which isn't saying much -- I'm not a Cruise fan), but on the whole this movie has very little to recommend it as far as I'm concerned, and I'm wondering what movie all the critics giving it the glowing reviews saw. And the cinematography people are raving about -- ugh. By twenty minutes in I was already sick to death of high overhead shots of the taxi, and extreme closeups on the actors' faces.

Everyone else seems to love this movie, but I thought it was pretty much a waste of the price of a ticket.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   

Sorry to hear that--The NY Times gave it a good review (which surprised me, I admit).

I saw a trailer with Jamie Fox as Ray Charles in the upcoming movie Ray and he looks great in it. Never seen him in anything before.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 06:15 pm:   

It is worth noting that nearly everybody else seems to love it or at least to like it, and also that I've yet to see a Michael Mann movie I like (though I've yet to see Heat).

I seem to recall Foxx being good in Any Given Sunday, which I didn't care for at all -- a movie in a genre I don't care for about a sport I dislike and featuring a bunch of revolting characters.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 08:15 pm:   

DIdn't Michael Mann direct the original Red Dragon? If so, that was damned good. (except for the ending)

So why'd you see it? (Any Given Sunday? I mean you knew the genre and sport if not about the characters in advance) ;-)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mike Bailey
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   

Watched "Cold Mountain" and "13 Going On 30" on DVD last night.

I had read "Cold Mountain" a few months ago, and I remember being fairly impressed with the way the author created images, but I also thought the book was slow, and I had some problems with the decisions some of the characters made toward the end (the decisions seemed out of character). The movie fixed some of the pacing issues, but also lost some of the graceful imagery created by the prose. I still thought the movie was good, but I think I would have had trouble with it if I had not read the book first.

"13 - 30" was kind of funny, mainly because I loved Jennifer Garner's range of expression in the movie. She was so animated! She was cracking me up. She carried the movie for me, and took it from a failure to a "pretty okay" spec-fic/comedy/drama.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 08:52 pm:   

Yeah, Ellen, Mann did the original Red Dragon (titled Manhunter for some reason). Hey Mas, I personally loved Heat, but if you haven't liked any of Mann's films, you may not dig it.

I watched Bubba Ho-tep on DVD last night, and enjoyed it quite a bit. It had some really hilarious set pieces.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:57 pm:   

Mahesh,
I know that--it just slipped my mind ;-) There were things (other than the ending) that bothered me about Manhunter-- the way Will Graham talked his thoughts aloud for example ( I guess to let the audience know what was going on in his head)but Brian Cox as Lector was utterly brilliant and chilling.

I've got Bubba Ho-tep somewhere on my netflix list.

Mike,
I didn't have any trouble understanding Cold Mountain without having read the book. Or am I misunderstanding? What trouble did yo umean you'd have had with it?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Bob Urell
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:54 am:   

Bubba Ho-Tep
Ellen, watch for the scene out on the lawn between "Elvis" and his nurse. Best part of the entire movie, for my money; though, the time-lapse shots of the staff in his bedroom were spectacularly affecting as well....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 06:47 am:   

Urelll, Bring back my copy of Zatoichi!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:34 am:   

Mastadge,

you;re spot on about Collateral as far as I'm concerned. All through the film I kept thinking what another actor would have done with the Cruise role....I was down to Adam Sandler before I found somebody I thought could have done less with it. I;m not quite as down on Mann as you (I liked Heat and Thief), but he didn't win me over with this one, despite the Jamie Fox performance.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

Lucius, oddly enough, Adam Sandler was one of the names I came up with during The Last Samurai when I was trying to think of someone who could've done better with the role than Cruise. Then my dad crossed the line by suggesting Ashton Kutchner or whatever his name is.

I haven't seen Heat or Thief; my exposure to Mann has been limited to Manhunter, Last of the Mohicans, and now Collateral.

Ellen, I watched Any Given Sunday because my dad wanted to see it, and I like spending time with him.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mike Bailey
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   

The Ruby character: I had trouble understanding some of her dialog because it was soooo heavily accented and filled with back-country slang. In the book I could simply read what she was saying, but when Renee Zellweger was spitting it out fast, I had problems. Fortunately, I remembered most of her dialog and it got me through.

Some touches just weren't as nice as in the book. Like when Inman talks to the blind man about the pros/cons of never having had sight vs. having it for only 10 minutes. In the book, that conversation was longer, and seemed more deeply philosophical. It prepared you for the story ahead. Also, the hospital window that Inman looked out of was invested with all kinds of meaning in the book, but the movie couldn't really do that. The book was more clearly a take on Homer's "The Odyssey," and the movie disguised that a bit.

Again, I liked them both, but I think I liked the book better.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:21 pm:   

Well, Mastadge, maybe Adam Sandler as a samural... :-)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Bob Urell
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 08:13 am:   

Lucius! I'll be there tonight!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 09:23 am:   

By the way, has anyone seen Zaitoichi? Beat Takeshi's rendition of the blind swordman? It;s really terrific.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 06:39 pm:   

Over the past couple of weekends I watched The Singing Detective with Michael Gambon. Brilliant. The story for those who don't know it is about a mystery writer with a terrible skin disease that is so bad he's put in a ward in a hospital to recuperate. He's written a detective novel called The Singing Detective and hallucinates/dreams/remembers his miserable childhood, his problematic relationship with his ex-wife, and about the plot of his old novel. It swings back and forth from past to present and real and unreal. I can't recommend it enough. Rent it!

Lucius Zaitoichi has just opened here.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2004 - 09:33 am:   

Triple feature from netflix last night:
Identity, which I found engrossing, annoying, and finally really pissed off at. Clever maguffin but man did I hate the ending.

South Park: Insults to Injury--I always enjoy the series

To Kill a Mockingbird, which I'm not sure I ever saw before. Gregory Peck was terrific. Robert Duvall has HAIR! Blond hair at that. The B&W cinematography was gorgeous although at first it was disconcernting (I'm not used to B&W any more).
I liked it a lot.

Tonight I'm going to see Hero with friends.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Luke
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   

Doesn't he look like the bleached version of Gavin Grant just a little bit?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Monday, September 13, 2004 - 05:00 pm:   

I'd never thought of that. I don't think so. He seems a lot shorter than Gavin.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Tracy Taylor
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 04:05 pm:   

A friend of mine saw Hero in China ages ago, and he says the movie is amazing. In fact, he even offered to pay for my movie ticket if I didn't like it.

Aparently, the cinematography is outstanding.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   

Funny, Ellen. I watched The Singing Detective for the first time earlier this year. It is by far the best thing I've ever seen that was made for TV. Maybe one of the best films of all time — period! As for recent stuff, the Kill Bills remain at the top of my list for the soundtracks alone. Tarantino had a vision and you've got to give the guy credit for seeing it through the way he did.

I'd read that Hero was a far bigger hit in China than Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon. Seems that each of the movies appealed to different philosophies — one favored in the North, the other in the South.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 10:06 pm:   

Hero is beautiful and engaging--no doubt about it but I'm not sure it's amazing--now to me Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon --that was amazing. Maybe because it was the first of its kind I saw.

Michael, I'm embarrassed to admit I don't remember the soundtrack of Kill Bill but I loved them anyway. I'd like to see them again back to back in a movie theater.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Luke
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 05:43 am:   

I was watching The Singing Detective on the Train to DC this weekend - hadn't realized you had seen it lately. I had seen it in the eighties and could not believe it was as good as my memory suggested.

I was wrong.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 07:12 am:   

You don't remember the soundtrack to the Kill Bills! Yikes, Ellen! We'll have to remedy that one of these days.... The second CD is particularly great. There's this version of the Zombies' About Her by Malcolm McLaren that's creepy and sexy and...um...uh...oh...

Anyhow, wait for the double DVD set that will eventually emerge. I suspect the result will be as good as watching them back to back in a theater. Tarantino is likely to load it with extras.

I agree with you on Hero. I liked it very much, but it was no Crouching Tiger. But like I said, the opposite was apparently true for filmgoers in China.

Been watching some real oldies lately. Leslie Howard's last movie - Spitfire (1942). A great piece of British wartime propaganda about the designer of the Spitfire. Shortly after making the movie, Howard died on a plane shot down by the Nazis. They thought Churchill was on it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

EDatlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 08:31 am:   

Luke, yes, I was blown away by The Singing Detective. Btw, I've just recieved the two dvds of Cracker, another rec'd series from the UK.

Michael,
Maybe I'll go out and buy the cds of Kill Bill.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Luke
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 09:31 am:   

Ah, a friend lent me Cracker last year, and I thought of him when I watched The Singing Detective. Funny how that works.

The Cracker friend told me that when the show was originally cast, Fitz was envisioned as a suave, young man. But when Coltrane auditioned, it was all over. He was perfect.

I look forward to hearing your reactions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh
Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 01:25 pm:   

I feel conflicted about Hero ... as has been mentioned here and several other places, it is beautiful (especially the use of color, wow) ... but it also left me sort of empty. I think Libling is right that it's probably a cultural thing.

Despite myself, I'm greatly looking forward to Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 10:12 am:   

I saw two plays in the last couple of weeks: Reckless, a revival by Craig Lucas that was made into a movie in between the two live productions. Movie with Mia Farrow (didn't see it). It's really enjoyable--mostly funny but also deadly serious. A woman with two children is deliriously happy during the Xmas season until her husband announces that he's hired a hitman and that she'd better leave NOW--so she jumps out the window in her housedress and slippers. Mary Louise Parker is terrific. Rosie Perez is also in the play.

Twelve Angry Men with Philip Bosco and Boyd Raines (suicidal guy in the Yellow Dress section of Contact). Very fifties, very effective. Remade several times over the years as a tv movie/play/movie. Takes place in a jury room in NYC with the 12 male jurors walking in with what most feel is an open and shut case.

And I watched the first two Cracker cds last weekend. As a compulsive gambler/Criminal psychologist whose bad behavior drives away his wife, Robbie Coltrane is indeed brilliant. I have the next two discs awaiting me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Tribeless
Posted on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 12:34 pm:   

Watched Tim Burton's 'Big Fish' (2003) on video last night. What an excellent movie ... his fantastical method of story telling is really potent. Just good to see a movie that has a difference to the mainstream.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 03, 2004 - 03:01 pm:   

I enjoyed it a lot when I saw it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 07:21 am:   

Ellen---

I'm pretty sure TWELVE ANGRY MEN originated as a TV movie (by saying "remade," you seem to suggest it originated as a stage play). See: http://www.filmsite.org/twelve.html.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 07:35 am:   

I saw SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, which was pretty, and had some fun giant robots, but on the whole was far too boring, stupid and nonsensical for my taste.

I watched THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE which I enjoyed very much. I think it was the Coen Brothers' last movie before they started on crap like INTOLERABLE CRUELTY and THE LADYKILLERS.

I'm soon to watch THE 300 SPARTANS, which I've not yet seen but to which I've been looking forward for quite a while.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 08:16 am:   

Mastadge, do you mean the 1960s version of THE 300 SPARTANS with Richard Egan or is this, as I suspect, something new?

Ellen, did they update TWELVE ANGRY MEN or did they stick with the original script? My daughter just saw the new stage version, approached it with trepidation (fearing she'd be bored) and absolutely loved it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

Gordon, you're right. The whole history is in the Playbill and yes it began as a teleplay. I think they stuck to the original script--it doesn't seem updated. As I say above, the play as a 50s feel to it. But the situation isn't dated and it gets to you. The distinct personalities of the 12 jurors are very well drawn.

Interestingly, the description on the site that Gordon provides mentions that the accused is Puerto Rican. I don't recall that ever being mentioned. I assumed he was black.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 11:31 am:   

Libling, I mean the 1960s version.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 12:20 pm:   

Wow, as a kid, THE 300 SPARTANS was one of my favorite movies. But I get the feeling it wouldn't hold up were I to see it again now. If anything, it allowed me to impress many a teacher with my knowledge of and ability to pronounce Thermopylae. Spelling it, of course, was another matter.

Mastadge, why your eagerness to see this particular oldie?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

ET
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 12:49 pm:   

Saw Alien vs. Predator yesterday. It's a cool action flick (no more, but also not less). It was cool that it started with the date October 3, 2004.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

For one, the subject matter's tremendous. I've enjoyed almost every interpretation I've seen or read, from Frank Miller's 300 to Steven Pressfield's GATES OF FIRE. For another, I love the score, or at least the bits of it I've heard on various soundtrack compilations over the years. . .

As to AvP, I'll not be seeing it. I like most of the existing Alien and Predator films, and can bear to watch even those I don't like, but I will not pay to see another Paul Anderson film nor lower my standards to watch one even if I have the opportunity to see it for free.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 02:14 pm:   

SKY CAPTAIN is the last film I saw, and I liked it quite a bit.

I'll probably catch AvP on cable some day.

I'm thinking of seeing the GHOST IN THE SHELL sequel, INNOCENCE. The first was pretty darn cool.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 05:45 pm:   

Movies I've seen (rented) in Maine:
Gangster No 1 recommended I believe by Lucius for its incredible performance by Paul Bettany. Extremely violent British gangster movie. Pretty over the top at times. Liz Hand had to leave the room at least once during one exceptionally violent murder.

The Thirteenth Floor --really good movie in the vein of Dark City, Open Your Eyes -the Spanish version of what was made into Vanilla Sky, and The Matrix --virtual reality--what is real and what is not. Good cinematography and good performances by Vincent Denofrio (who, as usual, I didn't recognize at first) and Craig Bierko, better known as a theatrical actor (in The Music Man on Broadway).

The Banger Sisters was schematic in plot but cute --two groupies from the 70s meet twenty years later. We both liked Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn in it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 12:25 pm:   

Cold Comfort Farm--watched on netflix last night. London socialite orphan comes to visit her Aunt Mary (Joanne Lumley in a lucius role--I'd never seen her before Abfab) and decide what to do with her life--since she's destitute. No explanation as to how she has been educated, etc. Could care less that her parents died suddenly. Decides to go to Cold Comfort Farm to meet stay with her cousins. Gothic type farm with seemingly dim residents. Kate Bosworth(can't remember her name in the movie) takes over and makes everything just wonderful with her snappy, can-do personality. Utter fantasy.

Disappointing. Someone had told me it was very funny. It was sort of funny, felt forced, and frankly was pretty silly. A very young Kate Bosworth was good in it though. Is she British? If so, she's been ruined by the Hollywood.

Can anyone tell me why they liked this movie?

Another half season of Cracker wherein Robert Carlisle plays a nutter and someone I really liked dies. Oh well.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 02:54 pm:   

I finally got around to seeing COOL HAND LUKE. Yes, I know, a little behind the times. "What we have here . . . is a failure to communicate." Good, not great, movie with some fantastic performances.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 09:28 pm:   

Yeah. Mastadge.Sometimes great performances make up for mediocre scripts. eg. Ian McKellen is terrific in Cold Comfort Farm.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 03:01 pm:   

Saw SIDEWAYS this afternoon. Must-viewing for every writer who has ever harbored doubts. In other words, must-viewing for every writer. (Editors too, Ellen.)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 07:06 am:   

I've been hearing good things about it, Michael.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - 12:41 pm:   

I've read some good reviews of Sideways, as well. Recently, I've seen The Incredibles (which I loved), Being John Malkovich (which I thought was clever, and hilarious in parts) and Dark City (which I think is better than most filmed SF, but still could've been a lot better than it was).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, December 25, 2004 - 09:59 pm:   

I watched the first half of the third season of Cracker Friday night--almost done with the series, which I'm very sorry to see end.

Also, watched The Italian Job --good fluff and Spellbound, about 8 kids who make the national Spelling Bee. Good documentary.

And today, before Xmas dinner at a friend's, my friend Donni and I went to see House of Flying Daggers which I liked very much. But why do all these Chinese movies have to end tragically? Gorgeous special effects as always. Good acting. Betrayal within betrayals. Lucius, if you're around --are all Chinese/Hong Kong movies like that or are we only getting a particular type in the US? Donni and I were mulling this over. Is this the tradition of filmmaking in China?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matthew
Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 06:26 am:   

Yesterday I saw The Incredibles which I thought was excellent. For a family friendly comedy, it reminded me a lot of Watchmen, though.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 12:53 pm:   

I've seen several movies recently.

I saw both versions of Flight of the Phoenix -- the 1965 James Stewart edition, which was about 2.5 hours long, and the recent Dennis Quaid version, which was under 2 hours, of which about a half-hour was devoted to special effects, leaving little time for those trivial little things like, y'know, character development. The new version also had a woman, which the original did not -- but, for some reason, there was NO sexual tension whatsoever in this bunch of young to middle-aged men stranded with a very attractive woman. Most of the characters were comletely one-dimensional, there were no surprises, and very little suspense. The special effects were very good, though, and Marco Beltrami's musical score was an improvement on that in the original; otherwise, stick to the old version.

I also watched A Series of Unfortunate Events, which stunk. Jim Carrey was amusing but completely wrong for the role, and despite an abundance of humor, some of it actually approaching wit, and some weird and beautiful visuals (that reminded me of those in the Myst video games, for what it's worth), this movie was bad. Boring. Pointless. It was better than the first couple Harry Potter movies, I guess, and certainly a lot prettier, but nowhere near the Harry Potter-as-realized-by-Tim-Burton-by-way-of-The Princess Bride heights to which it aspired. Also not recommended.

Yesterday I watched The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I must say that I find the rabid Wes Anderson fans just as annoying as those who bash his stuff because it's by him. For myself, I thought that the movie had some wonderful moments, some brilliant moments, some truly genius scenes, a few wonderful characters wonderfully played -- but it didn't gel. Owen Wilson's character was dreadfully dull, and this two hour movie, despite an abundance of great bits, felt like it was at least four or five hours long. It did have a couple of the most amusing firefights I've ever seen, though, and some brilliant music. Out of the three movies, Life Aquatic is the best, and I'd recommend it, but not enthusiastically.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   

I'm sorry to hear about A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I may try to see them anyway. Or at the very least I'll rent them when they're on DVD.

I'm going to see Sideways tomorrow evening.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 06:58 am:   

I saw Sideways last night. Very good -- deserves all the hype. A little on the touchy-feely side, and it lasts literally about 30 seconds too long, but I enjoyed it very much. By far the best of the movies I've seen recently.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 04:05 pm:   

Best movie I've seen over the holidays: A Very Long Engagement. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I rank it with Sideways and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind among the best of the year.

Unfortunately, I was also dragged to Meet the Fockers. It is even worse than the trailers made it out to be.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 05:31 pm:   

Hi Michael,
Wow! Really? I've been hearing some good things about A Very Long Engagement--guess I'll have to try and see it.

I loved Sideways--it felt uncomfortably realistic.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LeslieWhat
Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 07:59 pm:   

My daughter is home from school for 3 weeks and she's the perfect person to share dessert with, share jewelry and fabric finds, and go to movies with. We made an agreement that no matter how terrible Meet the Fockers turned out to be we wouldn't say anything, which made us enjoy it much more than I think we would have otherwise. We like The Life Aquatic, me more than she, and both of us thought Finding Neverland was wonderful until the schmaltzy ending, which made both of us cry anyways.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 08:57 am:   

Ellen: While watching Sideways, both Pat and my daughter, Lindsay, glanced my way, smirked knowingly, and returned to the screen. I think they did this every time the Paul Giamatti character opened his mouth.

Leslie: I wish I would have made the same pact before seeing Fockers. As for Finding Neverland, I loved the in-theater scenes and the parts showing the initial production of Peter Pan, but I found the first three-quarters dull and repetitive, despite the great performances. Then again, the rest of my family disagrees with me, loving the entire film, including the schmaltzy ending. Fact is, I kind of thought the schmaltzy ending was well earned. Then again, the real sad story is what happened to the boys in real life.

Last night I saw Spanglish. Much better than the reviews had led me to believe. (Heck, maybe I'm a sucker for schmaltz.) Today, it's The Life Aquatic.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 11:07 am:   

I'm going to be watching weird stuff tonight at my friend Jim's. I'm bringing two South Korean horror/thrillers that Lucius lent me so that I can get them back to him :-)

And just got the last DVD of Cracker, Frailty and American History X, at least two of which I plan to watch Saturday night.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 02:16 pm:   

Ellen, I thought American History X was very good, though scary (and a little simplistic, but still excellent for a major Hollywood film).

Watched a slew of films on DVD lately: both Kill Bills, the 1989 Zatoichi, the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes ... I may rent another one today.

I really want to see House of Flying Daggers. Still need to see Sideways...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 05:58 pm:   

Apparently the director of American History X got pissed because Edward Norton re-edited the movie to give himself more screen time and make the movie *less* graphic.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LeslieWhat
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 10:52 am:   

Pacts are definitely worth doing when you suspect you won't like a film and don't want to get into arguments over it.

Agreed about the Lost Boys. I have not read the book. The good thing about movies is that by the time they open in Oregon I've forgotten what The New Yorker said about them. But I also think truth in movies doesn't always work, i.e. The Alamo.

Husband wants to see Sideways and we might try that tomorrow.

We saw Garden State, which put me to sleep, and The Manchurian Candidate, which did its job for me and kept me from asking most questions until after it ended.

My daughter said the Kill Bills are great but I haven't worked up the energy to see them. Maybe I'll agree to a pact with her....

Happy New Year!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 05:19 pm:   

Leslie,
I think you'll enjoy Sideways.

Last night I saw Battle Royale. Wow! I'd been hearing about it for a few years and I loved it,
even if the logic is a bit off. We watched the documentary that came with it, hoping it would give more info about what was behind the thinking of the movie but no such luck. Maybe it's a cultural dissonance (it's Japanese).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 03:49 pm:   

Unexpectedly went to see Million Dollar Baby today and enjoyed it despite Lucius's trashing of it in his topic (but he hates most everything). I thought it could have used about 10 minutes judicious pruning in the last third. The acting was first rate and I predict Hilary Swank will be nominated for Best Actress. Morgan Freeman maybe for best supporting.

Further prediction:
Jamie Fox for Ray
Don Cheadle for Hotel Rwanda, which I have not yet seen but have seen the previews.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 09:20 am:   

I saw PUNCH DRUNK LOVE, which starred Adam Sandler being the same as he's always been, and which seemed pretty pointless. It wasn't unpleasant, but I don't understand all the hype.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 09:17 pm:   

I watched a spate of movies on DVD lately and also saw the screening of Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman's feature film MirrorMask--which is basically Dave McKean's artwork come to life and I loved it. However, I'm not really sure it'll fly as a commercial movie--I'm not sure it's aimed at kids or adults. It's going to be a tough sell.

Friday night I watched two dvds with my friend Linda: Scream, because she couldn't believe I'd never seen it. Ok, so now I've seen it. Not bad but certainly no masterpiece. I gather from Linda that it influenced a resurgence in slasher films (and I say "too bad.) She says it was a precursor to Buffy and some things I'd never heard of. Oh well.

We also watched The Village which is a gorgeous, well-acted mess. Even as I enjoyed it while watching it, the plot holes bugged me and once we finished watching it they got bigger and bigger and more annoying. The idea is a fascinating one, but I'm not sure it could be filmed so that it could maintain and internal logic. But, that said the acting was terrific and the cinematography beautiful.

Tonight I planned to watch Frailty but the dvd was damaged. So instead I watched Y Tu Mama Tambien which was ok, but to me, nothing special. And the supposed surprise was telegraphed in the first ten minutes.

And I watched The Tall Guy--Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson in a movie about an American actor in London who can't get a break till he gets the lead role of the Elephant Man in the musical Elephant. I wanted to find it funnier but it was enjoyable piffle.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 06:21 am:   

Good to hear about Mirror Mask Ellen. I guess Neil's going to direct his own movie, based on one of his Death graphic novels. It'll be interesting to see.

I didn;t like The Village, but not only for the plot holes and unbelievability -- like how nobody from the outside world ever stumbled onto their little community.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 08:55 am:   

Stephen,
So why else didn't you like it? I'm curious.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 10:11 am:   

Personally, I liked _The Village_, though there's no denying the huge plot holes.

(Spoiler alert coming up. If you haven't seen this movie, read no further.)










A big problem with many horror movies--and a big reason the monster is kept in the dark until the climax--is that when the monster finally shows up, the audience goes, "Aw, c'mon, that's just James Arness in a rubber suit!" That was the problem with the _story_ in _The Village_. I was fascinated by the initial premise, and I watched the movie hoping to learn what Those We Do Not Speak Of were all about, what they wanted, etc. Then it turned out that it was just James Arness--well, not exactly, but you know what I mean--in a rubber suit. That, unless I miss my guess, was the biggest disappointment for the movie's audience. I mean, just think about the kind of stories that could have been written about an agrarian village surrounded by a forest of monsters.

Still, I liked the movie. In particular, I liked the soundtrack--one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 10:16 am:   

Ah. Jason, but I loved the "monsters" in "The Village." If they had been real monsters it would have been a different story.

However, there is an interesting (although I think kind of silly) debate going on on IMDB about whether there are real monsters or not). I found it when I was checking something about the movie.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 02:25 pm:   

"Ah. Jason, but I loved the "monsters" in "The Village." If they had been real monsters it would have been a different story."

I couldn't agree more, and therein lies the disappointment. One person I know who saw the movie said, about halfway through: "I hope it doesn't turn out that [the surprise]." Which begs a question about M. Night Shyamalan in general--how long can he rely on his patented "surprise twist" gimmick (and how long is he going to)?

Earlier this week, I read an article in the paper, "New horror films are more hack than slash", by Stephen Whitty, in which he said that recent horror films are severely lacking in originality (actually he was speaking of American horror movies, a lot of which are remakes, and stated that most recent good horror comes from foreign directors such as Guillermo del Toro--"The Devil's Backbone"--and Alejandro Amenabar--"The Others"). He also theorized that, post 9/11, the world is horrific enough without Freddy Krueger and Jason.

(Can you guess why I've never been fond of the Friday the 13th movies?)

If the monsters of _The Village_ had been real, I think it would have made a better horror movie, because for me at least, a lot of horror is mystery. Why do Those We Do Not Speak Of do what they do? What do they want? The horror of the movie would depend greatly on the answers to those questions.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

JeremyT
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 03:08 pm:   

Just a pedantic point-- "begging the question" doesn't mean what you think it means, Jason. See this link:
http://skepdic.com/begging.html

It's a pet peeve of mine when people misuse the phrase.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matthew
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 05:08 pm:   

So was the Monsters exposed by a group of meddling kids and their dog? Or a muscular scientist and his five assistants?
I always hated endings like that. How on earth is it anything other then a disappointment.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 09:13 pm:   

Stephen,
So why else didn't you like it? I'm curious.


I really wasn't impressed by the acting or script. I found it to drag on and it bored me. I liked it even less than Signs. I'm not sure if I want to see his next movie based on his progression. It almost seemed like a bad attempt at something like Arthur Miller's The Crucible, to me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 10:06 pm:   

Stephen,
Hmmm. I don't see a relationship to The Crucible on any level. Except maybe the costumes. How do you perceive the two as related?

As mentioned, the script sucked. But I thought the acting mostly excellent, especially the young girl (who I didn't know until afterwards is Ron Howard's daughter).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 10:56 pm:   

Well, the Crucible is a period piece, written in part to subvert and expose American politics at the time.

The Village is seemingly a period piece, which I think attempts to be a metaphor for current American politics -- think of the village as a microcosmic America. Just like the witch trials in The Crucible were a metaphor for McCarthyism. Although, the village isn't nearly as ambitious or well crafted as The Crucible.

Maybe I'm wrong about Shyamalan's intention. If I am, then I like the movie even less, and Shyamalan instead should have actually had the monsters as an alien culture. I think it could have been a good movie, but it just wasn't.

Yes, I guess some of the acting wasn't bad considering the script.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 09:29 am:   

If "The Village" had a message, I believe it was summed up by one of the characters: "You can't run from heartbreak, because it always finds you. But you can run toward hope."

Personally, I liked the sedate pace of the movie. There are some stories that call for it. One such (I think) would be Ursula K. LeGuin's "A Wizard of Earthsea"--the prose in that book is very quiet (for lack of a better word), like snow falling, or a spring rain. "Legend of Earthsea", that miniseries by the Sci-Fi Channel, sounded more like an episode of "Xena: Warrior Princess", and so failed miserably.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 10:22 am:   

Stephen,
I haven't read any interviews with him concerning The Village but I doubt very much that he was influenced by The Crucible. The Village isn't about politics at all and isn't a microcosmic America at all.

It's about a group of people led by a teacher of history who think they can recreate what to them seems like a more innocent time (innocence is preserved through ignorance in their case)but forget human nature (jealousy).

The monsters are created as taboos that will preserve the innocence of the ignorant. The color red (blood) is made a taboo color (although I don't know how they deal with the normal flow of blood from a cut or menses).
As I've said earlier I like the central idea but I'm not convinced it could ever work logically. Some of the logistical problems could be fudged but not all of them.

Jason, to me it's not a horror movie. It's made to seem like a horror movie, which of course disappoints those who expect it. I had no expectations before watching it the other night, as I avoided all reviews when the movie came out. I had no problem with it not being a horror movie.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 11:00 am:   

You're right, Ellen, it's not a horror movie. What led people (and me, admittedly) to think it was horror was that movie poster with the Three Rules:

I
Let the bad color not be seen. It attracts them.

II
Never enter the woods. That is where they wait.

III
Heed the warning bell, for they are coming.

You're also right about the logistical problems, the biggest of which being that no one lives forever, so in order to maintain the secret you would have to let at least some of the younger generations in on it. Chaos theory forbids something like this lasting long after the first generation has died out.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 12:43 pm:   

I forgot about the marketing--although it was an effective way of marketing the movie and going after a horror audience is not a bad thing, I suspect it made more people pissed off as not once they actually saw the movie.

Your second point is a good one. And there are so many reasons that wouldn't work aside from chaos theory. Just human nature.

Did the father tell his daughter that it was all a lie when he had her "feel" the monsters? We don't know what he told her, do we? I'm assuming he told her whatever she needed to know to function in the "outside" world for a brief period of time. I find it difficult to believe that she could digest anything he told her that quickly....

Anyway, I think I want to see the movie again just to scope out the many details I missed.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Libling
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

Warning: RANT in progress...

Let's face it, Shyamalan has made one decent movie, one quarter-decent (the dopey Unbreakable) and two crappy ones -- the last two. The resolution of Signs was a steal from The Day of the Triffids, while The Village was a steal from an old Twilight Zone episode. His plotting sucks. He's either trying too hard or not trying hard enough. I'm not sure which. We'd all be better off if he simply bought the rights to any number of great stories on SciFiction or from F&SF than for him to continue coming up with his own weak and derivative material.

The RANT has now ended. Have a nice day.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 02:45 pm:   

Ellen:

Yeah, you're probably right. The Crucible juxtaposition just popped in my head as I was responding to your post.

Also, I didn't really watch the movie that carefully anyway. I saw it after waking up hung-over on a buddy's couch, to the sounds of noisy construction early in the morning. I couldn't go back to sleep so I threw the movie on.

I still think there is arguably at least some parallels -- however unintended it may be -- to America. The village's authority figure uses the fear of the other to keep people ignorant and under control, just like the Bush administration (and others before) has done recently. The Bush admin also seems to want to bring back a more fundamental and traditional society, much like in The Village.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

MarcL
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 03:09 pm:   

It's hard to imagine Shyamalan not deliberately cramming his movie with allegorical references to modern American society, or contorting his story to hammer home a point. He's not just making movies to make movies, y'know. He's got important messages that we'd all better listen to, if we know what's good for us.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 04:59 pm:   

Michael L:
I certainly won't argue with you --or with anyone else-- that he needs someone to write his scripts. He lucked out with Sixth Sense and yes, has gone downhill ever since.

However, I have loved bits of his other movies, and despised other larger bits. I find his vision interesting enough to see what he's up to but I don't disagree with any of you who criticize his work.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Tracy Taylor
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 08:14 am:   

I was speaking with someone the other day about The Village and they mentioned Shymalan grew up in Pennsylvania near Amish country - an insular community if there ever was one. With that in mind, the movie could be construed as an indictment of organized religion, specifically the myopic vision it seeks to promote. After all, he was raised around the Amish lifestyle, one that must seem particularly constrictive to those that live outside it.

Even if this is the case, I have to agree with others that the biggest problem with the movie is the inherent flaws with the premise. I haven't done the math (mostly because I refuse to go out and rent the movie again and count) but it seems like the number of people in the Village is way too high to have come from a dozen or so adults that lived in regular society into their late twenties/early thirties. Further, because the preserve is set on the East Coast, despite its official status, I find it difficult to believe that no one - not teenagers or hunters - has ever invaded the sanctuary. If he had placed the village a realtively secluded area of the country, maybe, but not in such a densely populated region. (Not to mention the logistics of plane travel over the area, investigative reporters, or child welfare and governmental interference)

In addition, when the "twist" was revealed, I didn't think "ahhh, clever" like the Sixth Sense. Instead I found myself - along with everyone around me - saying "give me a break - you gotta be kidding". The movie I think had real potential and Shymalan could have made it like Sixth sense and dropped subtle hints throughout as to the nature of the village, so in the end, the audience thinks "wow, you're right, the clues were right there." Instead he decided to take the cheap and easy way out and say "oh yeah, by the way, I was just kidding. The village is actually in the middle of New Jersey". As it stands, I was left feeling like the entire movie was contrived to deceive the audience, for no real reason other than because it could.

I think more and more Shymalan is revealing himself to be a "one-trick" pony - and not getting better at that trick as time goes on. The problem with always trying to have some unpredictable twist, it becomes increasingly difficult to pull the wool over the audiences eyes, without out and out lying to them - which is what it seems he has finally resorted to with the Village.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Tracy Taylor
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 08:24 am:   

If you get a chance, and are fond of horror movies, I highly recommend Saw. I found it to be one of the few well thought out and genuinely scary movies to have been released since the Ring. Sure Saw has plot wholes (what movie doesn't) and questions about some of the little details, but as a whole, the writer left the story vague enough that the audience can fill in details if they so desire. In addition, I found the ending to be logical and somewhat unexpected. As a fan of horror movies, it was nice to see something well made for a change.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 10:15 am:   

I really like horror movies too Tracy, and I want to see Saw.

I liked the Ring, it actually scared me, which is kind of rare as I've been watching adult horror movies since I was pretty young. I thought the American version was actually better and scarier, but maybe that's in part because I saw it before the original Japanese version.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:34 pm:   

I did a lot of theater going and movie watching in the past week.

Wednesday I saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the new musical based on a movie (never seen by me) with Michael Caine and Steve Martin. I and my theater companion enjoyed it a lot although the reviews are mixed. The musical starred John Lithgow, who wasn't as charming as he needed to be, and Norbert Leo Butz, who is awfully brave to keep that name and who is hilarious. Joanna Gleason was also terrific.
The play was funny, vulgar, and had beautiful costumes.

Friday night I saw Laurie Anderson's new show The End of the Moon, inspired by her year as first (and last) artist in residence for NASA.
I've been a fan of hers for many years. The last live performance she gave was for a benefit after 9/11 so it was great to see and hear her do a new show.

And today I saw the matinee (preview) of Jessica Lange and Christian Slater in The Glass Menagerie. It's a play I've never seen before although I've seen a lot of Williams on stage and filmed. I gather that the mother Amanda is usually considered a monster but Lange didn't play her that way at all. What I don't get is why Williams structured it as a "memory" play--with Tom, son of Amanda and brother to the helpless, emotional, and physical wreck Laura--is telling the story in the past. If anyone out there has seen the play perhaps you could explain this to me. It seems to me that it would work just as well without the "frame" of Tom's memory.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2005 - 09:37 pm:   

Tonight I watched Klute with Jane Fonda as a call girl and Donald Sutherland as a detective. I saw the movie at least twice when it first came out and always loved it.

Fonda is brilliant and fully deserved the Oscar she won for the role.

Also watched American Splendor and enjoyed it despite the fact that I've never read the comic series. Paul Giametti and Hope Davis are wonderful in it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 04:36 pm:   

Last Friday night I watched Gasper Noe's Irreverible, which was very disturbing and very interesting. I think I may need to see it again some time, although not just yet. It's as violent as I'd heard but although the rape is the scene that has been talked about the most, it's the other violence that I found more graphic and therefore more shocking.

Anyway, I'm curious to know what others thought of the movie. I saw something in one scene that I thought added more layers but after suggesting this on the IMDb BB I was rudely told that it was impossible for psychological reasons (although to me, that was exactly why it was possible) for me to have seen what I thought I saw because apparently in an interview, the director makes a comment that indicates I was mistaken.

Sorry for the mystery here but if others have seen it and want to discuss we can...and I'll warn of spoilers.

Then One Upon a Time in Mexico by Robert Rodriquez. Never saw anything else by him and enjoyed it. Johnny Depp was very weird and I liked that.

And yesterday I finally saw Hotel Rwanda which is such a strong story with such great acting that the fact that it was barely directed doesn't matter.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 02:08 am:   

Saw was pretty good, although it had a couple problems for me. First, they just sit around talking about why they got there, for much of the six hours the doctor has to save his family. You'd think they'd be more panicked into action. The doctor doesn;t loose it untill it's too late, already, by the clock. Why would he all the sudden do what he wasn't willing to do the whole time, after it's already too late? I wasn't totally convinced by the acting untill the climax either. Also, I don't buy the mastermind behind it all being able to lay perfectly still for the whole 6 hours. That's enough time for them to realize he's breathing, at least. I thought it had a good start and end, if the characters reacted more realisticly I would have enjoyed it even more.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

StephenB
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 09:22 am:   

I should have made a spoiler warning for that, whoops..
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, April 17, 2005 - 05:52 pm:   

Movies watched over the weekend:
The Secret Lives of Dentists by Alan Rudolph. Eh. Good cast with good acting but a bummer and kind of annoying. Husband and wife dentists having marital problems. He fantasizes a lot. Campbell Scott looked a lot like Kevin Kline in this one.

Yesterday in the theater: Palindromes by Todd Solancz (sp?). I liked Welcome to the Dollhouse and loved Happiness so had hopes for this one. I didn't enjoy it as much as either of the earlier movies and found it overly gimmicky--several different actresses play the main female 13 year old girl. Done before and better by Bunuel.

Last night I watched Carandiru recommended by Lucius. It's a Brazilian prison movie and I was afraid it would be overly violent but it wasn't. Very good. Thanks, Lucius.

The weather is finally turning and it was gorgeous today in NYC. Trees budding, flowers starting to bloom. 70 degrees. I spent more than an hour sitting in a local pocket park reading.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 02:02 pm:   

I heard Todd S on the radio talking about Palindromes and it was illuminating. He said that after Welcome to the Dollhouse all kinds of people came up to him--male and female, all different colors and creeds, to say "I was Dawn." So...that is why he chose to have eight different actors play the role. However, instead of drawing me into the story, the effect separated me from the story, therefore accomplishing the opposite of what the director intended. Another interesting factoid. He very much wanted Dawn to play a large part in the new movie but the actress refused to ever play the character again. Hence, he killed her off.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   

Last weekend, I watch the original Dune which was vilified when it came out. I liked it and though it pretty good.

I also watched Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai directed by Jim Jarmasch and starring Forrest Whittaker. Excellent.

Finally, The Ice Storm, based on a Rick Moody novel and directed by Ang Lee, with a terrific cast: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Christina Ricci, Toby Maguire and Elijah Wood (the latter two, very young and unfortunately --for me anyway--resembling each other far too much to be able to tell apart easily). I assume this casting had to have been intentional but I think it a mistake. Bleak movie about the 70s.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 11:13 pm:   

Ellen, was the Dune you saw the two-hour version? From what I've heard, it was vilified because it's nearly impossible to scrunch a 500-page novel into a two-hour movie (and the film editors in question did not succeed in this case). There is a four-hour version of David Lynch's Dune that is sometimes broadcast on the SciFi Channel and is a lot more coherent (and the introduction, I understand, is narrated by Frank Herbert himself).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 08:43 am:   

Jason,
It was the 2 hour version. I didn't know there was a four hour version. If there is, I don't think it's available on netflix, which is where I rent from.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:27 am:   

I confess to loving the original Lynch version of DUNE, although it's its own thing. It has a weird sense of humor about the business of adaptation, beginning with Irulan's face fading in and out and in again at the beginning, as if to say, "Oh yeah...one more thing..." then "Oh, and I almost forgot!" I saw it in the theater during its first run and for a while I wasn't quite sure what to think; but when the sandworm ate the mining machine, I decided it was okay with me.

The 4 hour SciFi channel version was not Lynch's work at all. I'd be surprised if Herbert narrated it because it was made many years after his death. That version may have been more faithful to the book, but it was also bloodless, drab and forgettable. It got the plot across in the most literal way, but if that's all you want, you've got the book.

Lynch gave us a mess, but it's an inspired mess.

There is/was another TV expansion of Lynch's Dune, that Lynch disowned and disavowed and on which he stuck the name Alan Smithee to show his disapproval. I seem to recall they added a bunch of static drawings to fill in the backstory. I don't think it ran to four hours though.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:32 am:   

Oh, I've seen the Sci Fi Channel version. It was ok, but I agree with Marc that the Lynch version has more juice.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 05:11 pm:   

Yeah, it has more juice all right. And they inject it into Baron Harkonen's pustules. Yech!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:52 pm:   

Boiled sweets or sweetened boils. Either way, I say it's yummy!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:03 pm:   

LOL. Yup. I loved that! And wasn't Sting rather ....weird.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:55 pm:   

Not as weird as the fact that a horse named after his son won the Kentucky Derby. Did Sting own the horse, or is it just a tradition to name racehorses after the offspring of musical entertainers? Does Quincy have a son named Smarty?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 11:10 pm:   

I've checked the data: David Lynch's DUNE was made in 1984. Frank Herbert died in 1986. So his doing narration for the introduction is at least chronologically possible. :-)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

James M. Pfundstein
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 11:02 am:   

I could have sworn the opening narration (in the "Alan Smithee" version of Dune) was by José Ferrer, who also played the old Emperor. But I haven't seen the movie for quite a while, and a quick glance around the web didn't confirm or disprove whether Ferrer did the voice-work. (The movie has a pretty complicated history.)

I thought Sting was well-cast as Feyd-Rautha. Pretty much everyone else (including the gloriously serpentine Sian Phillips) seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

No comment on the SciFi Channel Dune, except that it was elbow-bitingly bad.

JM("M'AdLib")P

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   

Yes, there was a three-hour version of the old DUNE shown on TV under Director Credit Alan Smithee, because Lynch had disowned it. It was going to be released to DVD sometime this year, when, after release dates had been set and all that, it was announced that it wouldn't be released after all, because Lynch WAS coming back to put together a longer Director's Cut. Which Lynch promptly denied, so word is now that the reason the Extended Cut was cancelled was that they're in negotiations with Lynch to get him to put together a Director's Cut. We'll see what comes of it all.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   

Thanks. I'd gladly watch a three hour "director's (or not) cut of the Lynch Dune.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 03:03 pm:   

I saw Dune in the theater, and liked parts of it (I was just a tyke at the time, so the Harkonnen scenes freaked me out!)

I liked the three-hour 'disavowed' version, though.

I recently saw The Motorcycle Diaries, and liked most of it. The ending seemed rushed, and not as affecting as it should've been.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

T L Taylor
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 12:38 pm:   

Last night I watched Primer. It's an independent, very low budget, time travel movie that won several awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Personally, I found it confusing until a group of us spent an hour afterwards pooling our knowledge and using it to explain the plot. If you get a chance, watch it, and let me know what you think ... it's, uh, different.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

T L Taylor
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 12:41 pm:   

If anyone is looking for a good, but not gory, suspense film, I recommend The Grudge, staring Sarah Michelle Gellar. It's done in the same way as The Ring, but produced, written, and set in Japan. It does have its plot holes, but none are so big that they make the movie unenjoyable. All in all, I found it creepy and worth the time.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 06:19 pm:   

I saw one of the many versions of the original The Grudge and yes, it was creepy, but I found the lack of plot truly annoying. It was episodic frights and that's it, IMO.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

T L Taylor
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2005 - 08:40 am:   

I can't say much about the original versions (I haven't seen any of them) but the plot in the version I watched seemed to be okay. At no point did I have to ask "what the heck are they doing?" or "why are they even there?". Like all movies of the genre, I could pick out scenes that seemed a little off and questioned that were left unanswered, but for the most part both were minor and did not, for me at least, eclipse the plot.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   

Wow! It's been a long time since I posted in this thread. I've watched a bunch of movies on netflix recently and seen a couple of plays.

The theater:
Moving Out, a musical by Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel. I've been a fan of Tharp for a long time even though my former dancer/choreographer friend always claimed the Tharp used her dancer, Sara Rudner's moves and had no creative ideas of her own. I can't judge that, but I love work she did with and for Barishykov and she had a world class dance company (with Rudner) at one time. I've liked some of Billy Joel's music, been bored or hated some of it. The play follows four kids from the easrly 60s through Vietnam and afterwards. The choreography is bad. I can't believe it won a Tony the year it came out. The dancers however, are excellent. It's closing --not a minute too soon. Crap crap crap.

The Pillowman by Martin McDonough, who write The Beauty Queen of Laneen, who had one of the most despicible characters in a lead role (the mother). I didn't care for that play. I've wanted to see The Pillowman since it opened. Finally got half price tix by standing on line at TKTS last week. Two brothers are interrogated by two vicious policeman in an authoritarian eastern european country. One writes vicious little fairy tales about children who are murdered horribly. The other is his mentally damaged brother who he has taken care of since childhood. Children are being brutally murdered in the same manner as the writer's stories. Who dunnit? Interesting play with no moral pov regarding the writing of the tales. Did they influence the childkiller? Whose fault is it? There's a lot of humor throughout the play and a lot of thought-provoking stuff on the responsibility of writers and about horror. I'm not convinced the play actually works but the acting is good, the production excellent.

Recent movies on the next rock.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 - 02:26 pm:   

I watched various movies last weekend and this weekend.
Charisma, a Japanese movie recommended by Lucius, who lent me the dvd. Weird thing about a cop who screws up a hostage negotiation and leaves town looking for ...something. He discovers a young guy caring for a strange tree, developers who want to knock it down, a botonist is may or may not be destroying the area around the tree intentionally, her younger sister, and assorted other characters. There is the occasional odd scene that I just didn't get. Maybe it's cultural.

I just realized that I had unintentionally rented three biopics in a row. All very different.
The Aviator was disappointing. I'm not sure why. Howard Hughes was depicted as too nuts from the get-go. Maybe he was but it distracts from anything else he did. Cate Blanchett did a nice Kate Hepburn. Robert Alda was too obviously slimy as the senator out to get Hughes. Eh.

Pollack directed by and starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Hayden. Pollack doesn't come across as very interesting. He was a vicious drunk and pretty unlikable (as depicted). Hayden is very good playing Pollack's wife and champion artist Lee Krasner. I can't say my heart was broken by the ending. It took too long to get there. But...it's made me a little more interested in his art.

Kinsey. Now THIS was interesting. Kinsey the person is fascinating. Liam Neeson and Laura Linney are superb playing him and his wife, Mac. I enjoyed it a lot.

I finally watched The Triplets of Belleville again and watched the featurettes about the making of the film and interviews with the director. Neat.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 08:33 am:   

I had an orgy of movie watching this weekend. Friday evening I went over to a friend's apt (who is recuperating from abdominal surger) and we watched Peter Pan--the most recent version--and it was marvelous. Very close to the original text from what Linda says and from my experience with Peter and Wendy, the Mabou Mines production. I don't understand why it wasn't a huge hit. Maybe parents thought it too dark for kids? Peter is NOT a nice kid, Tinker bell is a monster (but adorably played by a young actress who looks and acts the part perfectly).

Then we watched a movie I've been told by at least one person was terrific: the Japanese horror movie Uzumaki. Well it had some wonderful weird, creepy scenes, but overall sucked. There are mysterous spirals appearing in a small town in Japan and it is driving inhabitants crazy. The lead actress plays a whiny high school girl who has a crush on her oldest friend, a boy (who must be brainy--he wears glasses). There are some very good surreal images throughout but there's no consistency of images or ideas;it's as if the movie maker decided to just create a psychedelic freakout and didn't care what me put into the stewy mess. I enjoyed it while I was watching it but as soon as the screen went dark I become more and more annoyed and pissed off at the waste of time and effort.

Last night I watched Pretty Dirty Things about immigrants in London and I liked it a lot. Audrey Tatou, who is often too cutesy for my taste plays a young Turkish woman who is a hotel maid. She's very good in it.

Then watched Bubba Ho-Tep, which was faithful to the story by Joe Lansdale and an enjoyable romp. Finally, I watched Sexy Beast (which I'd seen in the theater when it came out) with Ben Kingsley as a very scary sociopath and Ray Winstone as an ex-con who just wants to be left alone to live his idyllic retirement in Spain. It's difficult to understand the dialects at first but I enjoyed it as much this time as I did the first time. There's humor to leaven the violence. Good show!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Christopher Barzak
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 09:09 am:   

Pretty Dirty Things, is amazing, and thrilling, and dirty. I loved it.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matthew
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 01:42 pm:   

I've never seen the movie Uzumaki, but I've read the original manga. I'd recommend it even if you didn't the movie. It is probably the best horror comic ever written. From what I've heard they've made changes to the storyline.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 05:13 pm:   

Matthew, I've heard that it's very good. How would I ge get hold of the manga of it?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Melissa Mead
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 05:35 pm:   

Was this the 2003 version of Peter Pan, with Jason Isaacs and Jeremy Sumpter? I enjoyed it so much I ran out the day I watched it to get the music CD, then sat down and watched all the bonus features, which I rarely do.

It did stick to the book fairly well, and the liberties they took mostly added to the show. It did puzzle me that the "alternate ending" stuck closer to the book than the one they used.

I often use the CD for background writing music.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matthew
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 06:19 pm:   

I found it a my local Borders so I don't think it would be too difficult to find. I just went to Amazon.com and typed Uzumaki in and it came right up. It's in three volumes.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 06:47 pm:   

Melissa: Yes, that's the one. I didn't watch any "alternate ending"--I generally don't bother with special features when watching movies although we did watch how they "created" tinker bell.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 06:47 pm:   

Matthew:
thanks.I'm not sure I care enough to invest the time or money but I'll check them out online to get a feel for them.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Melissa Mead
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 07:05 pm:   

I don't normally watch the special features but some of these were interesting-there was a lot on how the special effects and the costumes were done, and interesting facts about the actors-Ex, the actress who played Tinkerbelle didn't know English, "Tiger Lilly's" dialect was authentic, and "Peter" hit a growth spurt in mid-production, so they had to redesign the sets to make the proportions look right.
(Can you imagine anything more awkward than Peter Pan growing up in mid-movie? ;))
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 12:21 pm:   

Friday evening I watched Spike Lee's The 25th Hour starring Edward Norton as a drug dealer's last hours of freedom before he goes to prison the next day. The acting is very good. In addition to Norton, there's Rosario Dawson (who I first saw and was impressed with in Troy--she and Angeline Jolie were the only things that did impress me about Troy--other than how bad it was), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian Cox, Anna Paquin, and someone with whom I'm not familiar--Barry Pepper. My only gripe is that Lee does not seem capable of creating a good ending. He pulled the same crap in Bamboozled --he drifts off into a fantasyland that just loses all believability, even in context of the weirdness of the movie (in the case of Bamboozled). I don't know if the novel it's based upon ends in this dreamy nothingness but it made what could have been a great movie, a slightly disappointing one. Oh well.

And I watched Frailty, which at some point I have to re-watch. Creepy and well-acted by Matthew McConoughy, Bill Paxton (who directed it), Powers Boothe, and a couple of child actors. But certain revelations toward the end (I don't want to provide any spoilers) make everything that goes before suspect and I really need to track the whole thing again to see if it's consistent. I recommend it in any case.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 12:23 pm:   

I forgot to mention that I saw the new production of Sweeney Todd a couple of weeks ago in preview--with Patty LuPone and Michael Cervaris--and was very impressed. All done with one set and with the actors also playing the instruments. Excellent and unusual.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 10:18 pm:   

Ellen,

I believe Barry Pepper was in "Saving Private Ryan", and he was the hero in "Battlefield Earth" (though that doesn't exactly recommend him, does it?)

See you at WFC.

Jason
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 07:27 am:   

Hi Jason,
I didn't see BE--he looked vaguely familiar. Was he the sniper in Saving Private Ryan?

Oh good. Come over and say hi!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 10:20 am:   

Ooo! I'm jealous. I was just reading about the new Sweeney Todd in the NY Times. It sounds amazing. I'm just hoping it has a seriously long run so I get a chance to see it. It's one of my favorite musicals--I've even seen it performed in Icelandic.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 05:34 pm:   

Hi Mary,
The review definitely did it justice. Worth seeing for sure.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 07:28 pm:   

I saw King Kong last night--at a screening for Universal employees (I'm officially still on staff till Thursday). The corporation rented the entire AMC 25 complex of theaters (25) on 42nd street, plus the E-Walk across the street (don't know how many theaters in there). We got free popcorn and soda. (that was the best part).

The movie was very enjoyable: acting--particularly by Naomi Watts-- was excellent, special effect stupendous, and the relationship between Ann and King Kong exceptionally moving.

The movie is looooong. Too long. It could have been cut by about 15 minutes throughout.

SPOILERS


















The scenes using special effects were way too long. We didn't need to see 15 minutes of a herd of dinosaurs rampaging. We did not need to see giant bugs menacing, wounding, and killing people for ten minutes. We did not need to see some primitive creatures made giant (I have no idea what the hell they were but they were pretty disgusting) chomp on folks for ten minutes.
Also, there was this silly little subplot about a young boy reading Heart of Darkness. Gimme a break!.

But still, on the whole very very good. And there wasn't a dry eye in my row at the end.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   

I just got the 1933 version of Kong on DVD. It's amazing how Ray Harryhausen was able to wring pathos out of a few fistfuls of clay.

Jason
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 11:13 pm:   

Have you read Andrew Fox's "The Man Who Would be Kong" to see the REAL story? ;-) It went up last week on the site.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   

Just saw Jackson's "Kong". On the whole, an excellent film, though I agree that some scenes could have been left out (the giant insect scene in particular seemed sort of tacked on). Still, I highly recommend it.

Ellen, I know you didn't mean to do this, but you misled me with the remark about the boy reading _Heart of Darkness_. The implication I got was that the boy was a young Francis Ford Coppola, and that sailing with a movie producer, along with reading _Heart of Darkness_, gave him the idea that would become _Apocalypse Now_. But the boy's name wasn't Francis, so obviously that wasn't the case. :-D

Jason
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 09:33 pm:   

That's pretty funny guy, Jason! ;-)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 08:14 pm:   

Last Friday evening I had a netflix orgy. First I watched Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, something I've avoided since it came out in 1971. I'd heard how misogynistic it was and violent and I just didn't want to deal with it. Finally, probably after reading pieces on it in Video Watchdog or someplace, I decided I could deal with it and I was curious.
SPOILERS below













I was surprised. The fact is that none of the characters are admirable. The Dustin Hoffman character is an asshole who treats his wife like a simple child (to be fair, she behaves like a spoiled child. She has no life of her own and will not allow him to work because she's bored and he doesn't pay enough attention to her).

Before seeing the movie, I'd always been under the impression that viewers/reviewers felt she "asked for it" (the rape, that is). She certainly was being deliberately provocative (leaving the upstairs curtains open and parading around half naked) but this to me seemed obviously aimed at the guy with whom she had a "history." And it can certainly be argued that she was enjoying the sex with him--although the other guy was most definitely raping her and she was NOT enjoying it.
So we've got some contradictory stuff going on here.

What I found interesting is that the DVD packet blurb says that her rape lead to the siege of the house. This is so wrong that it makes me believe whoever wrote it hadn't seen the movie. No no no. Dustin Hoffman doesn't even know about the rape. The siege is a direct result of him rescuing the retarded guy from the mob. Duh. Anyway, this whole protection of an "innocent" is nicely ironic, because we the viewers know that David Warner did kill someone, even if it was an accident.

So all in all, I'm glad I finally got around to seeing it.


Then I watched something lighter to counterbalance the heavy--Another three episodes of Monk. One took place on an airplane and was very very funny. But overall, I don't get it. It's ok but nothing brilliant.

Then I watched Meet the Fockers, which coincidentally starred Dustin Hoffman--with Barbra Streisand as his wife. They're the Fockers, parents of Ben Stiller. The fiance's parents were Robert DeNiro and Blythe Danner. Horrible movie although there were a few laugh out loud funny bits and I thought Hoffman and Streisand were terrific. I hate most comedies made these days. What can I say?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

John E. Rogers, Jr.
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 07:36 pm:   

Ellen,

I certainly agree in respect to most modern comedies. They are, in the main, coarse, vulgar, seemingly slapdash, shrill, puerile, and - worst of all - simply unfunny...

That said, I must admit I was in stitches at The Wedding Crashers.

Napoleon Dynamite might represent the very opposite end of the spectrum from Meet the Fockers; no potty humor, nothing risque, nothing forced; just a gentle, non-traditional, not-sure-why-I-like-it-so-much modern comedy.

--John

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 09:10 pm:   

Haven't seen either of those. I've heard good things about The Forty Year-Old Virgin. One of these days I'll probably rent it--and maybe The Wedding Crashers. Btw, I did find There's Something About Mary hilarious.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

John E. Rogers, Jr.
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 09:39 pm:   

I'd put Dynamite ahead of Crashers on the rental list; not because it's funnier (it's not) or because it's a more sophisticated film (it's not) but because it'll leave you feeling better about things.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 - 11:21 am:   

I just came back from the Moscow Cat Circus. Twenty cats, two dogs, and seven clowns. I could have done without the clowns but I guess someone had to keep order :-)

Some of the cats were pretty good: balancing on front paws and hop hop hopping on their back legs. And climbing paw by paw along a rope strung between two points. Now that was really interesting. And some of the cats lay/hung on to a seat and were tipped over --and stayed the course. Impressive. The cats looked well cared for, pampered, and loved.
Nothing that cats would/could obviously NOT do. No jumping through fire hoops or anything like that.

Glad I didn't have to pay full price --a friend took me for my birthday with discount tix she got.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 04:17 pm:   

I watched Closer directed by Mike Nichols, on dvd and liked it, despite its original play roots showing. Nice ensemble work, nasty characters.

Monk is starting to grow on me. I'm enjoying the recurring characters and their relationships more and more and only care minimally about the mystery each episode.

Saw Brokeback Mountain last night and found it extremely sad. Nice acting. Courageous not in its depiction of the obvious but in taking its time to leisurely tell a story about working class guys in an untenable situation and the emotional havoc they wreak on those who love them--male and female.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 09:49 pm:   

I also just heard about the brouhaha over movie critic Gene Shalit's assertion that Jack is a sexual predator who "tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts." Boy, is that a misreading of the movie. I can't find the entire review, just that snippet and the reactions from the gay press.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

PM
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:12 am:   

Here's the review. It's a Quicktime file.

http://www.glaad.org/stf_app/media_player.php?media_file=/documents/media_files/ NBC_Today_BrokebackReview.mov&title=NBC%27s%20%3Ci%3EToday%3C/i%3E%20-%20%20Jan% 205,%202006
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

PM
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:17 am:   

Monk is much stronger this season.

I think it started off strong the first season and began to generally diminish.

It really struggled after the changing of the nurse. Even the writing was weak.

But now it's back (from what I've seen).
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:21 am:   

Unfortunately, that quicktime player crashed my computer, so I guess I'll just have to wonder.

I'm only in the middle of the second season of Monk. I heard that Sharona leaves at some point--sorry to hear that--she's part of what makes the show enjoyable.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Matt Hughes
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:36 am:   

I've been impressed by the writing, but I'm more impressed by Tony Shalhoub's handling of the character. Every now and then, and not too often, the comic aspect of Monk's OCD behavior fades into the background and he lets us see the terrible strangeness of his condition. And, of course, the bottomless well of sadness that is his heart.

Which leads me to recommend, for anyone who hasn't seen it, the movie The Big Night, with Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci. And Allison Janney in the first part I remember her playing. Very nice work all around.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 12:15 pm:   

Matt,
Yes, I agree. He deserves the award he's won for the role.

I'll check that out on Netflix.
Thanks for the rec.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

PM
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   

Ellen, are you using Quicktime 7?

If not give it a try.

It wasn't encoded at a high bitrate and it doesn't sound so good (but it shouldn't crash your 'demon' computer). Of course I'm over here on a Mac :-)

Shalhoub gives a natural effortless performance.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 12:20 pm:   

A quicktime box came up automatically and that's what crashed my machine. Life is too short to worry about :-)
Ellen
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

PM
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 05:35 pm:   

Hope that you're not using dialup as that would tend to "crash" your computer when downloading video files. Basically the computer becomes unresponsive as it's ever so slowly trying to download the large file.

Are you able to download video using other media players such as RealPlayer?

The reason I ask is that it's trivial to convert this Quicktime file to another video format and post it online so that you (and anyone else) could stop by and download it if interested. It would take a long time to download if you're using dialup though.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 09:39 pm:   

I have dsl--I have no problem watching cnn videos. I don't download that many. Really, it's not important but thanks anyway.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Log Out | Edit Profile | Register

| Moderators | Administrators |