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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:05 am:   

Marc---

The Charlie Sheen poems that I had were indeed from A PEACE OF MY MIND and the original book proposal dubbed him "The Brat Pack's Allen Ginsberg." I'm pretty sure that's the book he self-published. I'd love to see a copy of the actual book. It would make a great Ace Double published back-to-back with Heidi Fleiss's little black book.
   By Lucius on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 02:53 pm:

Marc, yeah, get on that Criterion version. It's pretty great. I would bet you're right, that Friedkin saw Schieder and Montand as being the same type.
   By MarcL on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 12:25 pm:

In the bookstore where I worked on Long Island, we kept a copy of the Poetry of Danielle Steele handy behind the counter, and read it aloud when there was nothing else to do. B&D was a recurrent theme.
   By Lucius on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 12:40 pm:

That's just scary, man! Not that you read it, but that it exists. Whoa. Though the idea of Danielle tied up and thus unable to type has some appeal.
   By S. Hamm on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 11:09 pm:

Gordon: Late to the WAGES party (sorry), but the version I have is the Criterion restoration from '91, which runs 2:27. Last time I saw the movie prior to that was c. 1980 at the late lamented Thalia on 96th (or was it 97th?), so my memory of the short version is too dim for me to tell you which homosexual elements were, uhh, reinserted. However, in the legendary Mexican cut (now thought lost), Montand has a goat in his ass and van Eyck, to his lasting regret, finds it. As a result the conflict between the two is considerably deepened.

Lucius: those weren't your people. Those were my people (e.g., Mme. Clouzot) trying to PASS as your people.
   By Lucius on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:01 am:

Sammy, the way I figger, Georges-Henri (or is it Henri-George? Can'r recall) hadn't spent a great deal of time in Central or South America, so...I don't know. Maybe I'm more forgiving of such elaborations than you. I just file them away with the hundreds of other inaccurate portrayals, which includes those in almost every film relating to CA and SA ever made and, if the bulk of the movie's good, as is the case with WoF, hey, no biggie....
 

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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   

You have crafted a showstopper of an opener, Lucius.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:11 pm:   

Yeah? But so far no second act, huh? I have a couple of movies to talk about, but I'm in the middle of Workfest 2004, so it's gonna have to wait. But in the meantime, if you get a chance to see Last Life in the Universe or Memories of Murder, here's a rec. As noted previously, I'm a huge fan of cinematographer Chris Doyle and I'm stoked to learn that he manned the cameras on Jet Li's HERO. So I guess I'm there, too...
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ellen
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:19 pm:   

Just saw the Malkovich/Liliana Caviani Ripley's Game and am very impressed. I'm sorry Highsmith didn't live to see it. I don't understand why it hasn't been released in theaters. Anyone know the background? I would have thought it would at least have gotten into whatever "art" houses there are left but I don't think it got a commercial release in NYC.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   

i was a bit disappointed in the flick. Maybe I had been building it up in my head too much, but whatever...I liked it, I just didn't go crazy for it. Malkovich was certainly better than Fratboy, and I always like Winstone...but it seemed flat. All I know about the project is that it was originally scheduled tto get a US release, but didn't --- did okay in Europe then went to DVD.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 11:36 pm:   

it got a release in australian cinemas, if only for a short time. i saw it, but i've got admit that i'm on the it was a bit flat side. i liked it, but afterwards, nothing stuck in my head and now all i can say about it is that i thought it was okay.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 07:06 am:   

Hmmm, so maybe it wasn't raised expectations. Yeah, it just sort of lay there for me and the more I think about it, the more it seems that the problem was in the cinematography as much as anything -- the way it was filmed, it looked like a made for TV production. It's been a while since I saw it, but I also seem to recall some clumsy edits...
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 09:48 am:   

I thought it was really, really flat and I was quite disappointed...it felt like an all too literal version by a director who was a bit lacking in self-confidence, or something. I think Malkovitch is perfect for Ripley at that stage of his life, and it almost came together on the train, but...that is one of my favorite books. I don't suppose anyone could have really pulled it off to my liking. I always pictured young Catherine Deneuve as Tom's wife, so there was another thing wrong with it for me that they couldn't have possibly done right. I guess there's a good chance of doing a good version of Ripley Underwater--since the book was sadly weak, and could easily be improved on.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 10:07 am:   

Oh, I think a satisfying job could have been done. I can imagine that one of the newish Spanish directors, the guy who did Intacto, for instance, could have given it the necessary style and energy. But you're right -- too literal is the perfect term to describe it.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 05:26 pm:   

yeah, i'll go with that made for tv bit. i keep thinking that it felt like one of those british tv movie crime film things. i also didn't really like was dougray scott in the film--compared to malkovich and winstone, it felt like he was just not there with them, performance wise.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 06:07 pm:   

Yeah, I couldn't remember his name. Do Ray sucked by comparison. Actually, some of thise Brit crime things--Cracker, Prime Suspect--are considerably superior to Game.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 06:57 pm:   

yeah, i had to go look up his name on rottentomatoes.com. complete blank. i plan to forget it by the end of the day ;)
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 07:34 pm:   

How can you forget a name like Do Ray?

Well, I guess we both managed to do it once...

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ellen
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 08:53 pm:   

Sorry guys. I thought Ripley's Gameit was really good. Not flat at all. Chaque a son goute. And the girlfriend perfect.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 09:01 pm:   

Perfect? Really good? No thanks, none of that for me. She was fine. But not real important to the film. And the movie itself...well, like I said, I was seriously let down. I will say, however, with nary a qualm, that it's better than The Chronicles of Riddick.... :-)
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 10:21 pm:   

Lucius, thanks for tip on Poker Industries... It's been a great help in DVD shopping.

Could the JO-AN 1 and 2 films that folks have been referring to up-thread be JU-ON 1 and 2 (a.k.a. THE GRUDGE)? I just saw JU-ON 1 and found it atmospheric and unpredictable (unlike THE EYE). There seems to be a glut of recent Asian horror flicks that feature possessed five year-olds, but the kid in this one is effective. I'm now on the look-out for a copy of JU-ON 2 with English subs.

Jet-Li's HERO has been the focus of much media attention in China since it’s release. I get the feeling that most folks consider it to be much more representative of an epic Chinese film than CROUCHING TIGER. The cinematography is definitely outstanding.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 11:16 pm:   

Hey, Rich! Yeah...Doyle's real good. Can't wait to see Hero! I haven't seen Ju-on 2. Can't find a copy. But I'm not dead set on finding one. Sequels...Sheesh! Glad the Poker rec helped...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:54 am:   

To shift gears a bit, I finally got to see Inarrittu's AMORES PERROS as part of the National Gallery's series on new Mexican cinema. I was really struck by the pace, the tension, the performances, the action. Really dug it. But I'm one of those guys who has a hard time suspending disbelief. A couple of questions:

1. Wouldn't you think a hit man who had a huge mane of shaggy white hair, a six-inch long growth of beard and who wandered the streets every day with a cart and a pack of stray dogs would be pretty easy to ID and might attract some attention from the cops?

2. Doesn't the highest-paid supermodel in Mexico earn enough to have someone pound a few planks over a hole in an apartment floor? How about chi-chi fashion magazine editors? Don't they earn enough?

Before the movie screened one of the art-docent ladies gave a little speech assuring the gallery crew that "no dogs were harmed during the making of this film," which I thought was rich. I could just see those fighting dogs taking five, daubing their brows and checking their email when the director yelled "Cut!"

The bad thing about watching AP, and seeing how similar it was to 21 GRAMS, was that it kind of spoiled my enjoyment of the latter film a little.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:00 am:   

Don't know if this is the subject of another thread, but did anyone have thoughts on FAHRENHEIT 9/11?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:00 am:   

Question 1) No. This is Mexico City, a sprawl of tractless slums surrounding a huge city of 12 million. Not enough cops to go around, and those they have are corrupt and/or don't care. Plus, there are tons of extreme-looking people in Mexico DF...

2) Sometimes people are sloppy about their lives, whether or not they have money. And, I don't know if you thought this, but that segment was not a purely realist bit....

Yup. Dogs WERE harmed. No doubt.

Moores movie....Made me feel embarrassed to be a leftist.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:32 am:   

I figured it might be some kind of surrealist thing by Inarrittu with the hole in the floor. But my literal-minded gringo brain could not get beyond the thought of a supermodel with a major cosmetics contract stumbling about a massive hole in her condo floor. Oh well.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:55 am:   

I once stayed in a house belonging to a Greek multi-milionaire named Taki Vogliss, right next to the Italian embassy in Athens. The guy owne hotels, ships, etc etc, and yet his house was in constant disrepair, plumbing out, things falling apart....I came home one night and there was a goat tied to a chair in the living room and it was eating the cushions. People are weird...
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:39 am:   

Better question about AMORES PERROS...

Who was the dumbest person in the movie? Was it...

Ramiro, who not only tries to rob a bank RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the pharmacy he robbed a few days before, but also makes his colleague take off his ski mask before they enter a bank full of video cameras?

Octavio, who "hides" the money he makes dog-fighting from his larcenous brother, IN THE BROTHER'S OWN CLOSET?

The mom, who has no idea her son is robbing stores or that her other son is using the family dog in dogfighting contests?

Susana, who allows a Rotweiller she knows has been engaged in vicious fighting activity, to lay on her bed and play with her baby?

Now, I'm no expert in dogfighting, but my understanding is that those dogs have to be carefully bred and trained for viciousness. How credible is it that the family dog can climb into the pit, tear up one after another fighting animal, then go home and lead the life of a quiet, docile house pet?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:56 am:   

None of these things seem out of the range of expectable behaviors such as I've encountered not only in Latin America, but in America itself. Who's dumbest? I don't know/. I'd rate it a 4-way tie.

I knew guys in Detroit who fought their dogs, and I don't think they had palsy relationships with them. But like you, I'm no expert. In Mexico...who can say?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:36 pm:   

Even for a guy who is pretty darn jaded about celluloid violence, those dog-fighting scenes made me squirm. There's got to be an easier way to make money than to mess with those psychotic creatures.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:47 pm:   

Yeah, maybe. I saw one once--it was fucking ugly.. Happened in a basement in Highland Park. I prefer those venues where you can fight monkies and stuff like that....
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:24 pm:   

Isn't it odd? I don't recall Ingrid Newkirk and PETA raising any kind of a stink re: Amores Perros when it came out. Or did I just miss it? I would think that animal rights activists would treat AP the way one of Bush's GOP "Super Rangers" treats Michael Moore's opus!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:43 pm:   

I don't get why Bush people are upset. Moore's film is so heavy-handed, it's stupid. But then it is number one....

I don't think Peta has much weight in Mexico. I've spent a good bit of time there; in fact, I lived above the headquarters of the Humane Society in Merida. The entire membership of the Society consisted of two elderly women who fed my parrot chocolate and nearly killed it. I've seen people cross the street to kick a dog, Maybe the new middle class had acquired slightly different and more compassionate values, still and all, Mexico ain't no place to be an animal.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:26 am:   

The sight of whole theaters full of people laughing at the Chief Executive, who is portrayed as a moronic, venal, ineffectual mutt, would be enough to drive this generation of divine-right neocons to apoplexy. I mean, Schwarzenegger's movie bombs and F911 makes it to #1? The injustice of it all!!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

I guess so. Since Bowling for Columbine only did a 22 mil box office, and Farenheit did 24 mil it's opening weekend....I'd say there apoplexy has had good effect for Moore. You'd think these people would learn. If Eisner had wanted to help Bush, he should have dumped the movie into aabout 2o theaters and given it an ad budget of about three bucks....
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

While I appreciate Dave G's sentiment, and hope Moore is having a positive influence, I tend to side with Lucius on this one. The more apt parodic literary title would be: Opportunity Lost.
If only Moore could have resisted his own worst impulses and let the facts and subjects of the film speak for themselves, he really might've made a difference. But fingers crossed.

ANYBODY BUT BUSH
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:11 am:   

I know you guys hated it, but viewed as a big-budget expanded episode of "The Awful Truth," F911 works. You can't take Moore seriously as a journalist or a political commentator, and I think his audience knows that. If the right-wing can have their muckraker/trickster/jesters (Dennis Miller, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage), we're entitled to ours. I think the cheers for F911 are the sound of the political have-nots finally getting their licks in, nothing more.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:36 am:   

I have no problem with having "our own" muckraker, and maybe heavy-handedness is necessary when you're talking to the mass audience. Me, personally, I don't know if he needed to be AS heavy-handed.

Whatever, I'm doing a phone interview with a group of young Republicans today. I'm helping a friend of mine with an article he's writing, and that should be interesting.

And back to movies...Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer's King Arthur is a week away! Can you stand the wait? :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:47 am:   

While one should never prejudge a movie without seeing it, the commercials for this thing look truly wretched. Whoever had the idea of casting Keira Knightley as a heavy-lidded, wise-cracking action-hero-arsekicker Guinevere is ingesting far, far better drugs than we have here in the Federal City...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

Aw, man!! It'll be the best comedy of the summer. Better'n Dodgeball!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:02 am:   

Don't tell me you actually saw Dodgeball? When I see Ben Stiller, I can't help thinking "the new Pauly Shore"...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:09 am:   

Hey, man. If you're in the mood for unpretentious stupid, as sometimes I am, Dodgeball works. Agreed about Stiller, but Vince Vaugh and Rip Torn are funny.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:10 am:   

Plus which, Stiller CAN act. Check out Permanent Midnight. Pauly, on the other hand...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:22 am:   

I'm sure Stiller is a talented guy. He just seems to say yes to more dog scripts in a year than an actor is entitled to in a lifetime. I have not yet forgiven him for Zoolander.

Yeah, Vince is funny for sure. I didn't realize Rip Torn was in it; THAT man is a friggin' genius, who should be enshrined forever for Artie from Larry Sanders.

The unpretentious junk-food comedy I'm looking forward to is ANCHORMAN. Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Christina Applegate? Can't beat it...
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:46 am:   

They didn't. It's Natalie Portman.


>>While one should never prejudge a movie without seeing it, the commercials for this thing look truly wretched. Whoever had the idea of casting Keira Knightley as a heavy-lidded, wise-cracking action-hero-arsekicker Guinevere is ingesting far, far better drugs than we have here in the Federal City...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   

Those dog scripts earn out, howsomever. Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of Zoolander, but you know, maybe he's just waiting for something better....

Ellen, hey, whoever's in it, it'll still be a hoot.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   

Nope, not Nat...From imdb.com:

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clive Owen .... Arthur
Ioan Gruffudd .... Lancelot
Mads Mikkelsen .... Tristan
Joel Edgerton .... Gawain
Hugh Dancy .... Galahad
Ray Winstone .... Bors
Ray Stevenson .... Dagonet
Keira Knightley .... Guinevere
Stephen Dillane .... Merlin
Stellan Skarsgård .... Cerdic
Til Schweiger .... Cynric
Sean Gilder .... Jols
Pat Kinevane .... Horton
Ivano Marescotti .... Bishop Germanius
Ken Stott .... Marcus Honorius
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:34 pm:   

Marcus Honorius! My favorite Arthurian character! Sweet!

:-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:41 pm:   

Germanius, my man! The Mack Daddy of Bishops! :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:46 pm:   

I can't believe Ray Winstone--one of my favorite actors--is in this mess. Or Stellam Skarsgaard, for that matter. They musta been on vacation or somepin'...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

PS -- I wonder if t hat's Horton the Who doing a cameo....
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   

For Ben Stiller, Jack Black fans, someone has posted avis of an entire unreleased sitcom pilot: Heat Vision and Jack (directed by Stiller, starring Black):

http://www.waxy.org/archive/2004/06/25/waxys_ba.shtml

I've watched 10 minutes of it so far and it's worth the download if you like Jack Black. Owen Wilson as the motorcycle has some good lines as well. The best part so far is the titles sequence, 3 minutes in, however.

Saw Bad Santa on DVD last night. Hilarious stuff. It was sort of like "Happiness" with Santa Claus.

Anyone notice the enormous care they are taking in the KING ARTHUR promotions to pronounce the name "Fuqua" so there can be no misunderstanding?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 02:06 pm:   

I'll download it after work. Thanks, Marc.

I enjoyed Bad Santa, but I guess I was expecting more after Ghost World.

They're cleariy pronouncing it wrong. They're not pronouncing the implied final D.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 02:19 pm:   

Is "Heat Vision and Jack" one of the bad TV pilots they packaged and were touring the country's art cinemas with last year? I seem to remember there was a Jack Black one in there somewhere...What a great idea, btw.

Lucius, did you ever see NIL BY MOUTH if you're a Winstone fan? What a freaking sledgehammer of a movie that was. So intense it was almost unwatchable.
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Bob K.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 02:26 pm:   

Off topic, but did anyone catch the newsflash on IMDB yesterday about Bruce Willis? According to the English newspaper The Sun, Bruce "has consulted experts about a new 'hair cloning' treatment - which has only been tested on rodents..." I'm thinking chinchilla-head, or maybe nutria -- that would be good, a nice shaggy rug that sheds water and makes its own pomade.

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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:26 pm:   

Wow! I'm really surprised. Very weird. I saw the posters all over the place and thought it was Natalie Portman. Looking again at the picture on the website and yup, it is Keira. My mistake.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:55 pm:   

Not only will Bruce's new hair shed water and make its own pomade, but it can find its way out of any maze, provided there's cheese.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:56 pm:   

King Arthur might be worth seeing if Keira gets to wear that leather bikini thing she had on in the Entertainment Weekly summer movie preview. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:17 pm:   

Yeah, I loved Winstone in Nil By Mouth -- thought the film coulda used some trimminng, though.

I don't care if Keira has sex with me in the movie -- I still will hate it.

I'm thinking watching Bruce Willis turning into a giant rat from rat molecules in his hair will be a great ongoing story....
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Bob K.
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:31 pm:   

Ellen, Keira was Natalie Portman's double in the new Star Wars movies, and even their mothers couldn't tell them apart. That's fortuitous, I suppose -- they can blame the role on each other.





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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:18 pm:   

The arc from "Crumb" to "Ghost World" to "Bad Santa" feels okay to me, and even gives me hope for the future...at least the future of Zwigoff films. I have vague hopes that he and Dan Clowes will get together again and do "Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron." Eightball is my only adult comic book obsession, and it all started with that first episode of "Velvet" in issue 1. It thoroughly prefigured "Twin Peaks," stole its thunder, and blithely left Lynch in the dust. (And I speak as a "Twin Peaks" fan.)

Found a link to the new Miyazaki trailer for Howl's Moving Castle, which looks like an amalgamation of a bunch of his other movies (including his early animated version of Heidi). Shall I post it somewhere around here? (My daughter's in the other room watching Spirited Away right now.)

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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:24 pm:   

Well, here it is:

http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/newspro/latest_news.shtml#newsitem1088293567,77 073,

There's a link to an .avi.

At the risk of embarrassing myself, there are clear echoes of Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Laputa.
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:30 pm:   

I really love Crumb (the guy, the comics and the movie), but both the comic by Clowes, who is really great, and the Zwigoff flick of Ghost World bored the bejesus out of me. It was just too fucking hip for me. Characters I just wanted to kick in the ass. Maybe that's the allure.

I know this is the good movies thread, but if you want to avoid a real stink job, definitely miss The Secret Window. King's got some decent stories, but some of the ones they choose to make movies out of and the resultant crapola that comes of it, Green Mile comes immediately to mind, and this blatant corn cobber, Yow. You won't believe how lame this story line is. Any old Twilight Zone with Jack Klugman beats the shit out of this weak sauce.

My son's reading Howl's Moving Castle now and he says so far so good.

I don't know what possessed me but the other night I went back and watched my copy of Mullholland Drive. Again, I couldn't take my eyes off it, and I couldn't make sense of it. It was well worth the watch again, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:51 pm:   

Had a hankering to rewatch Mulholland Drive again myself lately...also, if they would just release Lost Highway on DVD in the U.S., I would watch it again and again. Lynch's coldest and most repellent movie, it is in many ways my favorite (although I was happy to see him pull out of the dark shadow of Barry Gifford and get back into a territory more thoroughly his own and less obsessed with being superficially cool). Then again, it contains nothing as wonderful as the audition scene in Mulholland Drive.

You couldn't make sense of it? Where it seems weaker than Lost Highway, to me, is in the fact that once you find the key, it all falls into place--it's a bit too pat. While Lost Highway steadily refuses to yield a key. Except maybe that it somehow represents the psyche of Robert Blake. We must continue this discussion via email!

If you haven't seen Bad Santa yet, weak sauce it ain't.

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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:58 pm:   

Marc: I actually felt like I got Lost Highway. It made sense to me. I watched it about ten times. One thing that makes that movie one of my favorites is Mr. Eddy, Robert Loggia (T.H.E. Cat), pulling that tailgater over. That and the use of the Lou Reed version of This Magic Moment. I recently saw that Lynch one about the guy on the tractor. Kinda interesting. Will rent Bad Santa.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:17 am:   

I have various theories about Lost Highway. They change from time to time and with each viewing. Whereas my theories of Mulholland Drive crystallized and have never altered since, really. (Some of them derive from over-familiarity with the script for the original TV pilot of Mulholland Drive, and then seeing how he cunningly turned that into a feature film.)

And yes, Robert Loggia is attraction number one of LH. Mr. Eddy and the awesome "Mr. Eddy's Theme" by Barry Adamson (which looped in my head for a year along with other gorgeously ominous Adamson tracks). Robert Blake is #2.

I really love Lynch's take on L.A. He manages to deploy all the most squalid mundane settings and invest them with the overbaked sinister glow I remember them having when I was a child there. This is a common factor to both Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:11 am:   

Jeff,

I saw Secret Window and the John Turturro performance left me reeling. Bad Southern Accents Hall of Fame is going to come calling on that boy....

I agree that the characters in Ghost World were annoying, but thought they kicked their own ass. And I really liked seeing Steve Buscemi get some lines....

Marc....

Bad Santa dismayed me because of the formulaic redemption thing. It seemed to augur a declining commericalist future for Zwigoff. Hope I'm wrong. It also didn't seem as funny as it should have been. There were some great bits -- I loved BB beating up the papier mache animals (I think they were papier mache), but the movie's engine just seemed to be missing a lot. It was okay, as far as I was concerned, but I wasn't thrilled.




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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:21 am:   

Lucius: I gotta agree, Buscemi can be great. His performance in Fargo really slayed me. And even in Ghost World, his character had me engaged. I get what you're saying about them kicking their own asses, but I think what happened was I grew impatient for the ass kicking to begin.
For tonight, I have on the docket, The Devil's Backbone, which I bought an age ago but never watched. I believe my purchase was prompted by a review you might have written. We'll give it a whirl.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:25 am:   

Marc, you thought Mulholland was too easy to figure out? Wow, I wish you'd enlighten me. I've seen it twice and I agree...breathtaking, but impossible to decipher.

I particularly love the fact that Lynch dug up Chad Everett (Chad Everett!) and used him so well. The scene with the man behind the dumpster at Winky's ranks right up there with Lynch's introduction of Frank Booth for pure, unalloyed creepiness.

Life as a Hollywood actor must be odd. One day, the Man With the Dream At Winky's, the next, Jeremy Piven's toady in Old School.

I need to see Lost Highway again. But I loved Lynch's use of This Mortal Coil's Song to the Siren.

Lucius, Keira Knightley has sex with you in King Arthur? How did they work that into the script? Or is it a special feature on the DVD? :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

Jeff and Marc,

I may be ruining my cred here, but I can't abide Lynch. Eraserhead to MD, chuck the whole mess, I wouldn't feel it. And if you chuck Barry Gifford along with, I'll do a little dance. Lynch strikes me as an inept surrealist with a boring pallette and a too-obvious agenda. His sinister gloss makes me chuckle -- I get the feeling that he doesn't know from sinister and is trying to scare himelf. I don't have any problem "getting" Lynch movies, I just think what makes them stupid is that they're intended to be "gotten." I'll read a thousand pages of Robbe-Grillet and/or Danielle Steele and smile if it gets me out of seeing another Lynch movie. I thought Twin Peaks was fun for about a half-hour and in Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, and the rest, there were some nice bits, but my favorite Lynch thing is the picket fence at the opening of Blue Velvet, with the radiant plastic looking flowers and the evil bugs in the grass. See that, you don't have to watch another frame. I'm willing to listen to those who say this may be a blind spot. I have many such. Cartoons, for instance. Animation of every variety. None of it grabs me. My attention wanders. With Lynch, my attention doesn't wander, it simply yearns to wander. Well, actually it wandered bigtime in Wild at Heart. Never have made it through that heap o' steaming Cage. Palm D Oar my ass. If Lynch would settle for being funny, I'd be all right with him, because he's a funny guy, he can be hilariious -- I've had Lynch-heads tell me that he is essentially a humorist, and I agree; but he's got bigger pretensions, and that's where I part company with the guy. He can't carry 'em, in my view. Lynch, for me, has a great deal in common with the worst of Tennessee WIlliams. I mean, it's like pound, pound, pound. What's it alt mean? Is it a symbol or...? Think about it. Aha! Another dwarf. Interesting. Is he trying to say blah blah blah or was there a sale at Dwarves 'R Us? We are all stunted and deformed, yet the fact is, I did find a sale...There's something old-ladyish about both men, about the way they want to portray the world. It's all such chic menace. Brutal old men terrify me. Ooh! Where's my imported pepper spray. Anyway. I'm starting to rant. Sorry. Isabel Rosselini, now with Guy Maddin, must be a massive freak.

I do like Barry Adamson, though.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 06:42 am:   

Jeff, I don't think I reviewed Backbone. It's an okay ghost story, in my view. Didn't blow me away. Beats the heck outa Hellboy.

Yeah, I can relate to you saying what you do about GW -- I'm just a Zwigoff guy. Even Bad Santa, which was lukewarm for me, gets a pass for its flaws. So...I may give him a pass on stuff, I don't know.
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:20 am:   

Lucius: No one ever ruins their cred with me for not liking the movies I do, unless, of course, they like Secret Window. My taste runs from the banal to the ridiculous. I've gotten to the point after years of seeing nothing but kid movies and videos where any adult fare, a box of popcorn and a couple of hours of quiet time in the dark is all I'm basically asking. That said, I think I like Lynch for some of the reasons you don't. There is an obvious phoniness to the films, I think intended, and then I usually end up getting caught up in them anyway. I like that effect. I don't think Lynch is just trying to be obscure for obscurities sake in the plots. I might have agreed with you before Lost Highway, but in that one I saw that there was a real story there and that the plot and meaning were clear, just not the usual plot development. I also like the look of these movies. The actors he gets, the colors, the locations and the point of view. Like Marc was saying, his depiction of LA in the two latter films. On films with substance, like Ghost World and Mullholland Drive, I concede a skewed vision. Only the stuff I know is crap, like Secret Window am I adamant about, and then to state it is pointless, although I did anyway, because everyone pretty much knows it. Hellboy does blow, on that we agree.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:23 am:   

I tend to side with Lucius on the David Lynch thing, and haven't ever admitted that publically for fear it was just me. I really like when his humor peeks through, and admire some of the things he's accomplished, but overall, he reminds me of Raymond Carver (sorry to jump media), whose first collection was interesting and heartfelt, but simply seemed to be faking it after that, trying too hard to impress--which is the failing of much modern poetry as well (imho, of course). Don't get me wrong, there's some real value in Lynch's films, but it can get lost in his masturbation. (oops, did I just type that?) It's like he tries too hard to be James Joyce.

In almost any medium, when an artist attempts mindfuck, it annoys me, at least when it seems the only point is to mess with the audience's mind. (In fact, it's why I can get so frustrated with much of Gene Wolfe's short fiction--a lot of his stories seem to be written simply to screw with the reader. There's plenty of his short fiction I do like, but only when the story reaches for something more than merely mindfuck--and that's also why I like his novels better than the short stuff.)

This did start as a movie rant. Honest.
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:33 am:   

Minz: Jumping media is always good. In that sense, Lynch, like LH and MD, in his better movies, reminds me of Dickens in some of his better novels, like Bleak House. There's a place where the melodrama becomes real drama. I always try to trace back when it happens but usually can't, but the scene David pointed to earlier in MH with Chad Everett is a likely suspect in that film.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:02 am:   

Minz, I was, I swear to God, going to mention Carver in association with Lynch, but then I thought it might sound too dumb. Yeah! That's exactly where I put him. Christ, I hate it when we agree... :-) I guess my feeling is, when I write, I want to say everything as precisely and cleanly as I can, because I want the audience to hear what I'm getting at. That doesn't mean make it simple. Simple and precise aren't synonyms. I feel like Lynch is indulgent and playfully imprecise in a way that would work if he was as talented as he thnks he is.

Re: Wolfe. I liked his novellas. Wish he'd write a few more.

Jeff, I hear ya.

Obscurity for obscurity's sake isn't quite my complaint with Lynch. It's more about, as I said to Minz, indulgence. I get the idea from his work that Lynch perceives himself as clever and decadent, and that he believes this self-conception is somehow a valid part of what he does on film, more than a character in the film (that's fine), but a kind of uber-voiceover that I find incredibly annoying and that infuses everything in the film. He's reminiscent in that way of Andy Warhol. I've never met the guy, but I bet that personality-wise him and Warhol, whom I did meet at the Factory a long time back, would have a great deal in common in the way they relate to people, in the way they objectify themselves and others. I understand the plot structure point you make re LH. That is cool. It's the set dressing, the amplifying devices of the structure, the mannerisms that bug me most. They seem to mask something that actually isn't there. Like the Emperor's New Soul.

But, hey....it's no big deal. King Arthur looms... casting a darker shadow than Lynch ever could....
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:10 am:   

I'm sorry...I missed something. Were you discussing Barry Adamson the composer, as in the bass player for Magazine? (All this media jumping...whew...)
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

1) To put myself up for ridicule, and undermine my arguments, I must confess that I have seen neither MD nor LH. I've always meant to see them, but didn't want to spend the money to see them in the theater, and then years passed. (Since moving to tri-state area I get to only a few movies every year--didn't go to a movie theater at all the first fifteen months on the east coast. And I haven't been in a rental store in years. I keep thinking of taking the Netflix plunge, but seriously doubt my ability to find the time to get my money's worth.)

2) I did go off on a tangent on the Obscurity issue. By mentioning Joyce, I started down the wrong slope--related, but not on target. (And you're absolutely right, Lucius: Wolfe is terrific in the novella form. Fifth Head of Cerberus is my standard Wolfe recommendation, rather than any of the longer series.)
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:52 am:   

Yeah, nice to hear somebody else say that about Carver...his stories make me feel manipulated in that Freshmen English Class sort of way. I liked the first few episodes of TP just because it was Different, but it didn't have anywhere to go after a while. Likewise Blue Velvet...I'm always up for seeing Dennis Hopper being a psycho and Isabella Rossellini is great (and beautiful)...but, after a while it was just blah blah blah...like everybody in the suburbs didn't already *know* it was a twisted place.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:54 am:   

Well Minz, if you ever got a load of freetime, I could loan you LH and MD. LH is on VHS and MD is on DVD.

JK
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Matt Jarpe
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:55 am:   

Every time I see another dwarf in a David Lynch movie I can't help but think of the scene in "Living in Oblivion" where the dwarf rips into the director for using him in a dream sequence. Here it is cribbed from IMDB

'Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who's had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don't even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I've seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this! "Oh make it weird, put a dwarf in it!". Everyone will go "Woah, this must be a fuckin' dream, there's a fuckin' dwarf in it!". Well I'm sick of it! You can take this dream sequence and stick it up your ass!'

I admit that the old man behind the dumpster in "Mulholand Drive" creeped the hell out of me, but for the most part I haven't gotten much out of Lynch either.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:04 am:   

I'm a big Lynch fan, but I don't think I could articulate why. I also don't think everyone else should be Lynch fans. I think I got pulled in Twin Peaks. I know before that, I didn't get Eraserhead (still don't), despised Wild At Heart (the reason I will never see another Nick Cage movie...including Raising Arizona), and was ambivalent towards Blue Velvet. But then Twin Peaks was something I REALLY enjoyed. I never saw it when it was TV, but watched it later on tape. I watched the whole thing three or four times in the course of two months. I read the fanzine WRAPPED IN PLASTIC, wrote critical papers on the meanings of characters in the series, etc.

Since then I have been a fan and enjoyed his films, even if their structure is tenuous.

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:04 am:   

Dave, yup....the composer Barry Adamson.

Minz, my poisonal favorite is "Seven American Nights."

Deborah, yes, the wormy underbelly of the American Dream. Ack! The funny thing about Blue Velvet, I had a college roommate from Lumberton NC and visited it on a couple of occasions. It wasn't just twisted underneath the surface...it was all messed up top to bottom.

And, Matt, I remember that scene from LIO. It was hilarious....
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:06 am:   

I don't have any problem with Carver until right near the end when he seemed too aware of being Carver in a stilted way (that story about the baker and the wounded parents). He still strikes me as essentially a horror writer. All the Carver-derivative stuff is a horrible, horrible thing, but the Real Carver? Good stuff, in my view. I have a similar relationship to his work as to Hemingway's. I hated it by association with all the weak Hemingwayesque stuff that was done under his influence; but when I finally read Hemingway, I was blown away.

Barry Adamson the composer, ex-Magazine bassist, yes. Especially his first few albums which contain long and steamy passages of musical threat. We dare not go into Magazine, or Howard DeVoto, or on into Luxuria. If opinions fracture on Lynch and Carver, I can only imagine the shattering sound when we start talking music.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:19 am:   

Marc,

I think music opinion, at least on this board, is much less divisive than movie opinion. I don't think the movie opinions are all that divisive either. For my part, there are a couple of three directors (not counting mainstream guys) I don't care for. Lynch is one, and Pedro I'll Move Off Your Bar is another. That's about it.

And I like Carver much better'n I do Lynch, but admit to a low tolerance.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:21 am:   

Lucius, you know my requirements in literature and film are pretty basic -- I'm just looking for stuff to fill those lonely hours between the Final Four and the Kick-Off Classic...that means I don't really need to achieve Total Heaviosity...

:-)

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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

And yet you have... :-)

The FInal Four? Isn't that a comic book?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 10:41 am:   

I haven't heard all of Barry Adamson, although I dug Moss Side Story and The Negro in Me. Howard DeVoto is sadly underrepresented in my CD collection, although I love all his bands. From what I heard of Luxuria, they were intriguing. One of the great Forgotten Groups of Post-Punk maybe? (Weigh in if you're a Luxuria expert...) And DeVoto gets major style points for his cameo in 24 Hour Party People. Magazine reunion, anyone????

I must admit, I never ever thought I would live to see Raymond Carver compared to David Lynch. I have been content to just read that line of comments. I gather some folks feel Carver's rigid blue-collar minimalism is manipulative and contrived in the same way as Lynch's often-forced surrealism. I can see it in an abstract sort of way, but never really felt that connection in my gut. Maybe DL could develop his own SHORT CUTS-style compendium of Carver stories? Wouldn't that be something?

When you come right down to it, I've always felt that some of Lynch's more obvious mysterioso touches (the dwarf in Twin Peaks, the cowboy in MD) were kind of silly and formulaic. DL must have had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek when he auteur-ed those bits. I find them mostly humorous, and tend to treat Lynch movies like big, shiny, expensive puzzle boxes or something. Brain teasers. Fun to look at, amusing to fiddle with, but no real significance, per se. I mean, when has a Lynch movie really illuminated any corner of the human condition for anyone? That having been said, I enjoy the films, if only because in a cinema plagued by sameness and pedestrianism, Lynch has the nerve to be lavishly bizarre (if willfully so).

Anyone ever see DL's non-weird flick THE STRAIGHT STORY? Any opinions?

What really makes me laugh out loud is the way "serious" TV and film lifts Lynch's little bits of baroque strangeness and turns them into widespread counter-cultural signifiers (compare the dwarves in Lynch's work with the dwarf in HBO's "Carnevale" or the lead character in "The Station Agent"). Accident or artistic cannibalism for Showtime to come out with "The L Word" after the success of MULHOLLAND DRIVE? Discuss.

And, remember, anyone who could revive the career of Laura "The Forbidden Dance" Harring deserves to be cut a little slack. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 10:59 am:   

I liked her better in the forbidden dance.

For my part, the relation of Carver to Lynch derives from a certain mannered quality, a mannered emptiness that attempts to pass itself off as significance, a certain quirky. To my mind, a movie like Short Cutsis already kind of a DL movie.

Those bits that have become signifiers are massive turn-offs to me. I watched about twnety minutes of Carnevale and bagged it. On the other hand, just because a movie has a short person in it., doesn't make it Lynchian, i.e., the Station Agent. If I want a David Lynch hit that's a good hit, I'll go back and read some Nathaniel West -- who once wrote a novel about a flea who lived in Jesus' armpit and also had a dwarf or two going. Day of the Locusts is for me a bigger deal than anything Lynch ever did.

The Straiht Story, I liked the old guy, Robert...what's his name . Farmsworth. But if this hadn't been a Lynch movie, it would never have been released.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:13 pm:   

If you want to make your movie an art-house hit, make one of the characters a dwarf or a siamese twin, or give him an unusual chronic disease (Tourette's, narcolepsy). I continue to believe this is a post-Lynchian development.

Suppose you're right about THE STATION AGENT, though, even though I felt that was an overrated, unsatisfying film.
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:18 pm:   

I like some of Carver's stories, although, on the whole, he's not a story writer I go back to again and again like Kipling or Singer or Alice Monroe. I know what you mean, but he does have one really great story. I think it was the last one he wrote and I think the reason its great is that it's not like the other stories. It's a fiction about Chekov's last day.
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Matthew
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:20 pm:   

Don't know much about Lynch, but on Carver all his stories seem to blur together in mind. They lack something that makes them jump out in my mind. I don't mind that his style is minimalistic.
I like just about everything that Gene Wolfe has wrote, not everything but most of it. I will say that a lot of his short stories have less significance the his longer works. They seem more like puzzle, you put them together, but then you put them away.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:27 pm:   

It's not just art house stuff. You want to win an award for something, lay on the diseases and the sentiment. Movie, piece of genre writing....whatever. Reason I won the Hugo, I bet somebody I could do so by putting a little lame prince in a story. Pretty much the rule is,. the story with the most sentiment wins. That's not always the case, of course, but generally speaking, sentiment and sad little weesome damaged people are money in the bank. For the art houses, the syndrome goes from nice clean representations of schizophrenia, autism, retardation, etc, all the stuff that wins for mainstream flicks,. to the weirder stuff like Siamese Twins et al. And the sentiment is played down more. But it's the same basic deal.


Yeah. I didn't think Station Agent was all that great, just didn't think it was Lynchy....
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:44 pm:   

i like carver. i do tend to think that they can blur, but i find them these nice moments, a slice of some sort of life, for the most part. but to each their own, cause on the other hand, i've never actually gotten in lynch in any kind of way. i think the thing i liked most about LOST HIGHWAY was the soundtrack...

jeff: i thought THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE was kinda cool. had some nice moments in it. i don't reckon overall it added up to a fantastic film, but still, worth watching. better by a long stretch than BLADE 2 and MIMIC, which, apparently, the same director also made.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 10:23 pm:   

Ben....and the hellish Hellboy. Del Toro's latest.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:29 am:   

yeah, i haven't seen hellboy yet. they didn't release it at the same time as the states, which, well, doesn't speak in such a promising way, even by cinema standards. still, outside you, lucius, i haven't heard anybody say anything that bad about the film.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 06:09 am:   

Ben, I think if you look upthread, you'll find a Jeff Ford quote, to wit: "Hellboy blows..." :-)

Jason W of Nightshade says much the same.

The reviewes were exceptionally kind, but you have to put that in perspective. Elvis Mitchell of the NYTimes called Burton's Planet of the Apes "...a sparkling treat." My feeling is, the fix was in. It;s just like the way the reviewers are treating Spiderman 2, describing what is obviously MotSS (More of the Same Shit) as a cross between Citizen Cane and Indiana Jones. I don't ask you take my word on Hellboy, but to paraphrase a famous writer, It bloweth....
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 06:16 am:   

Thumbs down on MIMIC, huh? I would have wagered that Mira Sorvino kidnapped by giant bugs would be worth a rental at least.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 06:24 am:   

Watching Mimic, you're rooting for the bugs.
It's better than Hellboy...
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minz
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:18 am:   

Dave G. wrote:
If you want to make your movie an art-house hit, make one of the characters a dwarf or a siamese twin, or give him an unusual chronic disease (Tourette's, narcolepsy). I continue to believe this is a post-Lynchian development.

Great comment. I never put that together, and I don't know if it's truly post-Lynchian, but assuredly Lynch must've influenced a fair amount of that crap goin' on today. It put me in mind of MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN by Jonathan Lethem, which was all icing and no cake. Don't get me wrong, great prose, but there's no there there. If it hadn't won the National Book Critics Circle award, I could simply have chalked it up as a well-written but thoroughly minor book. But thanks to the NBCC, I'm left railing against the abject silliness of the fact that it's all flash and no substance that wins the day. (Nothing new there.) I keep waiting for Lethem to write something important--he can write, so why not sink his teeth into something deeper? GUN is still his best book, imnsho, because at least he was playing with and examining genre (at least a little).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:37 am:   

Motherless beats the shit outa the last one.
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:54 am:   

Ben: Yeah, Hellboy, they made it look like a comic, I'll give em that, but shit a comic looks like a comic. Ron Perlman is a fine actor, but this thing never really goes anywhere. It's one of the most good looking, most unsatisfying movies I've ever seen. So much resource given to such limp shit. As my old man would say, "The mountain hath labored and brought forth a molehill." Mimic has moments, but again, ultimately unsatisfying.

Lucius: Have you seen the trailers on TV for Spiderman2? They're so jam packed with action scenes, exploding and racing with this Wagnerian score under them, whooo! I truly can hardly follow them. I feel like my grandmother pulling out onto the NJ Turnpike in her circa 70's Impala. I'm going to have to see this movie one way or the other. There is basically no escape. I was reluctant to see the first one, just cause so many of these comic book movies have blown, but when I saw it I thought it was pretty well done.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:09 am:   

Jeff, yeah...I have seen. I don't particularly think much of Toby Maguire. He's a very limited actor, and while this role doesn't require more, I find his mannerisms annoying. As these things go, the Spiderman movies are probably in the upper echelon, but I think X Men 2 is probably better (for me) than this one. I just don't care if this kind of stuff is well done anymore, I'm sick of 'em. They're like giant fucking commercials with stunts. I'd rather abuse myself with King Arthur.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

I'd rather abuse myself with CATWOMAN. :-)

Last word on MIMIC: Lucius, I ALWAYS root for the bugs...

IMHO, they will never outdo the SUPERMAN movies for best super-hero flick. Those movies had just the right mix of comedy, camp and action. You could have a good time without being reminded constantly that a studio was spending more than the GNP of Suriname to blow things up with death rays. Just plain fun, those were.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:58 am:   

Yeah, Richard Donner did a good job. CGI has messed up a lot of movies, more than it has helped.

No, no Catwoman. I have no desire to see Hallie Berry gag up a hairball...
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 10:25 am:   

As you say, Lucius, different "strokes"...:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 10:40 am:   

I don't think stroking comes into my choice. Ijust think Jerry Bruckheimer is briliant.... ;)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:26 pm:   

Me, I'm biding my time until ANCHORMAN. Will Ferrell is the new Bill Murray.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   

Oh, man!

Yeah, ELF was such a delight.

He's way too broad and physical a comedian to be compared to Murray. He's got a lot more in common with Chevy Chase....
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:00 pm:   

lucius: i wasn't thinking too much goodness for HELLBOY. just hoping it'd be a bit of fun, much like the comic is a bit of fun. i'm lowering my expectations cause that comment about burton's PLANET OF THE APES has brought up bad ape like memories, and coupled with jeff's comments... ah, well. expect nothing.

SPIDERMAN 2, however, does nothing for me. i saw the trailer, and i saw the one minute version of the film. it had all the important bits there, a nice little checklist of things that you'd expect.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:23 pm:   

Expect nothing and you still might run for the exit....

I'm with you on Spidey 2. No interest. Like going to see a movie projected on George Bush's forehead (letterbox version by necessity).
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:03 pm:   

Lucius: You mentioned the X-men movies. I saw both, and though didn't think them that bad wasn't, like you say, bowled over by them. They really got actors wqho looked like the characters, or at least made them look like them, I'll give them that. I did very much dig that opening sequence with Nightcrawler in the White House in the second one. I thought that was really well done. Of all the super hero movies the only ones I really liked are Sam's Batman and Darkman (which I guess is a super hero flick). And I doubt anyone will remember it but I love that one from the George Reeves Superman TV show where he learnes that psychological state from the professor about how to pass through walls. He had to concentrate really hard, but if he broke his concentration, he'd be trapped in the wall. I wish I'd come up with that idea. I could do a doozy of a story based on that.
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:07 pm:   

Also, meant to mention earlier, and then I'll shutup, I'm not a Cage fan either. Perhaps his most egregious pile o turds was Leaving Las Vegas. Eeeegad, that one opened up into a whole new vision of overacting hell. All that movie made me want to do is get loaded. Right behind it must be Conair and then they go from there.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 08:53 pm:   

Jeff...choosing Cage's most egregious pile is like choosing among a several dozen piles of poo. Have you, for instance, been exposed to the wonder that is Captain Corelli's Mandolin? Or Windwalkers? Vampire's Kiss? The previously mentioned Wild at Heart? It's very hard to pick just one.

What I was trying to say was that of the current batch of superhero flicks, I can take the X-men flicks easier than the rest. I'd go along with Dave G and say that I liked the first couple of Superman movies best of all superhero flicks, then Batman...
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:26 pm:   

Lucius: The trailers for Captain Corelli's Mandolin were, themselves, so bad, I wouldn't go near the movie. Windwalker, another one that cracked me when I saw the previews on TV. You might be right, Corelli's Mandolin, might be, from the snippet I saw, the worst offender.
I hear you on the X-men flicks.

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:33 pm:   

Jeff -- I have this bad habit of going to one movie and seeing parts of three. That's how i get to see pieces of movies like Captain Correlli's etc. Most of these puppies, it's not necessary to see them all. In fact, it's necessary not to....
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Minz
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 08:08 am:   

The best Batman movie is undoubtedly Mask of the Phantasm (animated, so Lucius gets a pass). In fact both the Batman and the Superman cartoon TV series from the 90s were terrific, and any one of those episodes puts much of the superhero movies to shame (all of the Batman movies, certainly). Both Xmen and Spidey 1 are good superhero movies, competently made and entertaining (highly entertaining for me), but certainly not classic films by any stretch. I seem to be one of the few who liked the first Xmen better (though the opening sequence with Nightcrawler in the White House was amazing), because of the huge plot holes that kept leaping out at me in X-2, despite my best efforts to shut off my brain and enjoy. (Ok, maybe not best efforts, but I haven't smoked the green leafy stuff in a looong time).

The Flash live TV series from the 1990 ripped off the vibrating through walls thing from the original Superman (though the Flash discovered the ability while tripping on a superdrug). I wanted to like the series, and it started out okay, as he came to terms with the accident and his emerging powers, but then it just fell apart, became beyond camp, even beyon cheesy.

And I still love Raising Arizona, which means Cage doesn't go on to the auto-dungheap (merely dislike most of his other work--I can tolerate The Rock as stupid Hollywood entertainment. Con Air had moments, inspite of Cage--I enjoyed Malkovic a lot, and Buschemi was wonderful--although even he was infected by a bad moment or two near the end of the film.)
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 08:37 am:   

When talking about Nic Cage atrocities, four words: Peggy Sue Got Married...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 08:38 am:   

Buscemi was wonderful? He played a character who was defined by the fact that he liked women with big breasts. That was the sum of his character develoment. Con Air is a textbook on everything that's wrong with studio filmmaking. Stupid plot, one-note characters; by the numbers direction, formulaic structure, completely predicatble, big explosions. What the fuck was Jon Cuzak thinking. Sorry....

I can't think of a single Coen Brothers comedy that's worth spit. Raising Arizona might be the best of them, but for me that's like saying I'd rather be squashed by an elephant than dropped off a building. And as far as Cage's work in it...well, he maintained a befuddled look effectively, I'll give him that. :-)

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