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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:00 am:   

   By MarcL on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:14 am:

Ah, Zatoichi, finally saw it tonight! Even better than I'd hoped. Nice recovery from DOLLS!
Probably the best movie I've seen this year. I should think a while before making statements like that, so let's qualify it with best movie I've seen in a theater this year.

Catch it while you can.
   By Dave G. on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 06:11 am:

Finally saw Andrew Repasky McIlhenny's A CHRONICLE OF CORPSES (low-budget, indie art-flick, costume drama, slasher picture). After reading the "fat bastard" comment on this thread, I nearly broke out laughing when the old gardener made his appearance! On the one hand, you've got to hand it to indie directors who try to do something a bit artistic and different with the shopworn and utterly neglected horror genre. On the other hand, big huge chunks of this film were almost inert, full of precious monologues and artsy visual conceits. The static camera work didn't help. One thing a horror picture can't ever do is bore...And the plot didn't make much sense, particularly the ending. (Loved the woman who played the old matriarch, though.) Overall, I would give it two-and-a-half stars and tab this guy as someone to watch in the future.
   By Adam-Troy Castro on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 06:17 am:

MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE is *much* harder to take than ORGY OF THE DEAD.

MARIA FULL OF GRACE is much better than you imagine...
   By Dave G. on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 06:51 am:

Adam: ORGY OF THE DEAD pins the meter on the Boring and Pointless scale. At least MANOS has a plot! And isn't there that big catfight between all those undead zombie babes? That's more interesting than OTD right there! And it's got a guy named "Torgo"! Torgo!

I saw the trailer for MARIA and, yes, it looked really good. No excuse for me not seeing it, since it's playing just a few blocks from my office.

Had a chance to see OPEN WATER this wknd also and was a bit let down by it. It's one of those movies whose concept (real people in the water with real sharks!) is more interesting than the finished product, I'm afraid. It had some genuinely creepy moments, particularly near the end, but how can we care about these two when we don't get to know them? The relationship-crumbles-as-tension-builds aquatic spat scene, including the immortal "I wanted to go skiing!" line, just had people laughing. This comes off as the same kind of "let's kill off the yuppies" wish fulfillment scenario we see in the average slasher flick. And I mean, hell, what tour operator wouldn't make a final headcount before heading back to the dock? And what happened to the search parties? Did they get lost, too? Wouldn't they know where the divers had gone into the water and in which direction the current was moving?
   By Lucius on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 07:03 am:

Manos has a plot? All I remember is the couple driving around endlessly.

You caveats about Open Water notwithstanding, it's based on a true story. But despite a couple of good moments, the movie sucks...
   By Lucius on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 07:09 am:

Zatoichi IS definitely the best movie I;ve seen in a theater this year!
   By Dave G. on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 07:53 am:

Lucius, you can't dismiss that catfight...
   By Lucius on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:02 am:

Nothing was exposed -- I can dismiss it,
   By Dave G. on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:23 am:

Have we so easily forgotten the power of the imagination?
   By Lucius on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:56 am:

Imagination is not a word that should be used in conjunction with MANOS, HANDS OF FATE.
   By Lucius on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:57 am:

Lets take this to a new thread

------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:33 am:   

I haven't seen Manos since about '92 or '93. Maybe I need to check it out again.

OK, so maybe it is worse than OTD. But a truly great "golden turkey" has its own unique type of pleasures. Next thing, you're going to start taking potshots at SHOWGIRLS. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:44 am:   

No, you don;t need to check it out. Take it on faith...You'll thank me.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:09 am:   

OH, and btw, saw the trailer for SAW with OW. Although I had originally thought it sounded interesting, the coming attraction makes it look a lot more run of the mill than I had originally thought...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:22 am:   

I;m more interested in Subject Zero. I heard this was a very good script--it may have been ruined in production, but the fact that it once was a good script in enough to haul me in.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:29 am:   

Lucius, the mighty imdb has nothing at all on this film. Please amplify, I'm intrigued!

Related subject. Anyone have any opinions on Edo Bertoglio's DOWNTOWN '81? It definitely shares the lovably amateurish quality of many other NY indie films of the period (Liquid Sky, Stranger Than Paradise), but it has an OK performance by Basquiat and some neat footage of DNA and Tuxedomoon.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:45 am:   

Anyone else like Cronenbergs Sci-Fi film "ExiStenz", I saw it again recently and I think I liked it even more the second time. I saw it the first time at the drive-in (when their still was one), so I was with other people and distracted.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:47 am:   

It stars Aaron Eckardt and Ben KIngsley, and involves a serial killer who preys on serial killers, using remote viewing to home in on his victims (I think). Opens this week.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:52 am:   

Oops, it;s called Suspect Zero...
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BillH
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:20 pm:   

Lucius and the rest,

Since this thread is about good movies, I'd like some suggestions and advice. I'm heading to Hong Kong and other parts Asia next week and would like some ideas on good HK/Asian cinema to look for on DVD--as my player is an all region one--especially, but not exclusively, martial arts flix. All thoughts welcome.

BillH.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   

Stephen: I saw Existenz and liked it. I got the impression that it's one of those you should really see two or three times, though. Glad Cronenberg finally got his teeth into the gaming culture; I always thought VIDEODROME was the perfect metaphor for, and prefigured, cyberspace by at least a decade. The idea of an underground that fights the virtual reality experience is very Videodrome. Existenz will end up being one of the overlooked films in the DC canon.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:09 pm:   

I look forward to new Cronenberg films much the same way I'd look forward to a new book by a writer I really love. eXistenZ did so much weird stuff so well that I had to love it: the pink phone...the fish farm... Cronenberg really understands a bunch of basic game conventions; it was fun to see him messing with them.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:41 pm:   

Has anyone seen "Camera" by Cronenberg? I think it was released in 2000. I havn't seen it and it's not at my local video store. Just wondering how it is?
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   

Yes I think "Existenz" is a great SF movie. I think it's more than just examining video game culture and future. Like a lot of good SF and fantasy, it subtlely (some not so subtlely) examines the nature of reality beyond the, gaming vs reallife. The "reality" we live in right now, I think, is put into question. Now of course most of us question that at some point in our lives. It gives it immediacy, like taking mushrooms, or something like that, with out the direct mindaltering. Although what we see alters the way we think.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:16 pm:   

Going back to the Manos thread, don't forget that other MST3K classic, CAVE DWELLERS.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   

Just went to see Code 46. Nicely realized future, but light on story.

I hate to be the odd man out, but ExistenZ bored the heck out of me, It seemed a rehash of ideas he done in other films. I much preferred Spider. My favorite Cronenberg films are the one about the twin doctors whose name I can never recall and The Naked Lunch. so maybe it sifi I don't like.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:53 pm:   

Bill,
I suggest Gozu by Takashi Miike; I suggest the Korean thrillers Old Boy, Memories of Murder. For sword films I suggest anything by King Hu. Martial arts, I don;t know much about. I'll leave that to someone else.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 06:12 pm:   

Lucius, the one with the doctors and "Videodrome" are the ones I haven't seen, that I really want to see. Just havn't been able to find them. I've seen "Naked Lunch" and really liked it, seen the "Brood" and liked it. Seen the "Fly" it was ok. I also like "Crash" although not as much as some of the others. "Spider" is one of my favorite Cronenbergs too. The two most talked about and liked Cronenberg movies are among the few I havn't seen.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 07:17 pm:   

Dead Ringers is the doctor one.

The Dead Zone is the best KIng flick ever made. Have you seen Rabid with Marilyn Chambers?
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:15 pm:   

I havn't seen the Dead Zone either, or Rabid. I;ve heard about Rabid, it's about a sexy vampire lady who goes around killing people? In it's time it was controversial and considered pornographic by some? So I guess there are four major Cronenberg movies I still havn't seen. As well as Camera, a shorter film. Is Rabid any good compared to his other movies?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:38 pm:   

Nah, it;s just fun, Marylin Chambers was a porn star, kind of a kick watching her in it..but the Dead Zone's pretty good,
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:40 pm:   

I saw something disturbing today--I saw the preview of Constantine starring Keanu Reeves. I need my mind scrubbed.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:46 pm:   

I saw Rabid in a double bill with Eaten Alive (Tobe Hooper, I believe) back when I was in high school, when they still had double bills. The strangest part was that the vampiric part of her, as I recall, thrust out through the skin of Marilyn Chambers' armpit... Scanners is another Cronenberg favorite; one of the most truly PKDickian movies ever made. It captures both the sloppy slapdash quality and the weird reality distortions of Dick's more typical books...plus the covert ESP organization is pure Dick...
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:56 pm:   

Yes I think if anything I'd get a kick out of Rabid. We forgot about M Butterfly, a departure from typical Cronenberg at the time. Scanners is another I havn't seen....
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:01 pm:   

What do you think of the whole comic book movie craze Lucius? Not much, I assume. I actually liked spiderman 2 for what it was. I was a fan of Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness, campy humor and all...so maybe I'm biased.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:35 pm:   

It was diverting when it began, now it's a stone drag, Army of Darkness was cool, but to my mind Spiderman's a bllion dollar bore. If it was the only one or one of the only ones of its kind, I could stand it; but as it goes, its just another one of those.

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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 05:52 am:   

speaking of the comic book phase, despite earlier warnings from round here, i went and saw hellboy. thought it was okay--totally in keeping with the comic series despite its changes. i was in a rare position of having liked the comic and liked the film.

go figure, hey?
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:00 am:   

Loved Dead Ringers. Yup, Existenz does rehash a lot of Cronenberg's preoccupations, but I find that many of his movies visit and revisit the same themes over and over again. (But since noone else will touch them, or at least not in the same way DC does, those themes don't get stale or trampled, at least not in my mind.) Rabid, I saw a long time ago, and that last image of Marilyn tossed into a dumpster still stays with me. Very chilling stuff. Aren't almost all of DC's sci-fi films about the mutability of the flesh in one way or another? Whether it is modified by disease, accident, technology, etc., it seems that Cronenberg is always fascinated in finding new or altered vessels for human consciousness. Once I realized that, the similarities of his films bothered me less.

Spider showed that he could work outside the sci-fi genre and still be an effective, powerful storyteller.

Has any English-language director in the past 30 years been as endlessly fascinating, shocking and thought-provoking as Cronenberg?

It breaks my heart that they are going to remake (and possibly ruin) Scanners.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:28 am:   

Yes Lucius I can see why you would find Spiderman 2 boring. I found some parts boring myself, but overall enjoyed it. Still for the amount of money spent in making it, it's not that good of a movie. That money could of gone to repairing environmental damage we have caused, or feeding the hungry. Look at what a guy like Cronenberg can do for a lot less of a budget. Imagine if Cronenberg had the budget for Spiderman 2, how many great films could he make out of that?
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:31 am:   

David G. you may be right about Cronengerg as english directors go. Do you know anything about his upcomming projects? It's been a couple years since Spider.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:02 am:   

imdb shows a movie called A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (very interesting!) and one called LONDON FIELDS (perhaps based on the Martin Amis novel?).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:16 am:   

The similarity of ExiistenZ to Cronenberg;s other films didn't bother me as much as the fact that ExistenZ brought nothing new to the game..

As for Cronenberg getting big budget money, big budget;s bring constraints -- given a big budget, Cronenberg made his most literal movie....The Dead Zone. Essentially, he's a B picture director; he doesn;t need big budgets any more than does David Lynch.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:18 am:   

Oh, come on, Lucius, they made a gun out of fish parts! A gun out of fish parts! Where have you seen that one before? :-)

I'm on a high right now. Just found Dogville on DVD in my neighborhood bookstore and bought it along with MEAN STREETS and a two-fer DVD with the original Darren McGavin KOLCHAK TV movies that Chris Carter stole the idea for the X-Files from. Good viewin' this week!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:27 am:   

A gun out of fish parts? In Creature from the Haunted Sea, made some forty years earlier, they made a radio out of a hot dog and some baked beans. Old stuff.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:42 am:   

Ah, Kolchak DVDs! Now you're talking!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:43 am:   

Am I wrong? Was I the only living American who thought the X Files nicked its concept from ol' Darren?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

Nope, you;re not wrong.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:53 am:   

Okay, I thought this was my brilliant observations, but apparently I was stating the bleeding obvious. Apologies. From the might IMDB:

"Kolchak only lasted one season, however it endured to become a bona fide cult classic and many years later, its premise of "the unknown amongst us" inspired writer Chris Carter to create the phenomenally successful long running TV series "X Files, The" (1993) which saw McGavin guest star in several episodes."
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barth
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:54 am:   

mcgavin appeared in x-files late in the run - i always thought they made a big mistake not reprising the role, turning kolchack into an old-school version of the "lone gunman" guys.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:13 am:   

I miss McGavin. Haven't seen him in anything since BILLY MADISON.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 01:26 pm:   

Yes, Carter praised Night Stalker quite fannishly whenever he talked about X-Files. I always admired that about him--he was proud of his roots.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:22 am:   

The thing about a show like THE NIGHT STALKER is that it doesn't exist anywhere. Where would one go to see reruns of this program? To my knowledge, it's never been run on syndication or cable, or been available on video or DVD. So, it MUST have left a pretty indelible impression if someone can cite it as an influence 20 years later. Yesterday in the bookstore was the first time I've seen Kolchak in any form.

I haven't watched it, and it may not have aged well, but you have to admit, it had a great idea, a great writer (Richard Matheson), a great star (McGavin), and a great supporting cast (Simon Oakland, Claude Akins, Carol Lynley, etc. etc.) So I'm guessing it will age pretty well.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 07:53 am:   

Kolchak rules! The man in the two dollar hat, one mafioso character called him. I saw most of the first run when in high school; 10:00 Friday was a brutal time slot. Haven't seen them in years but they're out in DVD...

http://www.vintagedvd.net/kolchak.html
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:00 am:   

For its time, one of the very, very few truly original shows of its time. Too weird for the Waltons/Eight is Enough tastes of the era. And as shows like the USA network series "The Chronicle" (tabloid reporters cover weird supernatural "scoops") demonstrate, people are still trying to rip it off.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:04 am:   

Sorry. "The Chronicle" was a Sci-Fi Channel show.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

This has diverged from being a good movies thread, hasn't it? :-)
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:51 am:   

Anyone think Sergio Leone's Spaghetti westerns are good movies? I'm not a big western movie buff but I'd say they are my favorite westerns. I like his style and use of atmosphere.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 09:30 am:   

Good, Bad and the Ugly was certainly fun and epic...for all its distortion and exaggeration, it qualifies as a good movie. As do several other of his films.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

GB&U was a dandy. My personal favorite of the "trilogy" has always been FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, due to the neat camaraderie of "The Man With No Name" (although it's actually given in FAFDM) and Lee Van Cleef's Col. Mortimer, Gian Maria Volonte's hilariously great and over-the-top performance as the weed-smoking outlaw Indio, the scene where Clint strikes a match on hunchback Klaus Kinski's hump, and the climactic final shootout, which is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Another DVD I just picked up is Bernard Rose's CANDYMAN. I haven't seen it in a decade, but, as I recall, it was quite a nicely-made and imaginative thriller that should go into the books as one of the most underrated post-Exorcist horror flicks.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   

ALL HAIL SERGIO LEONE!!!!
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 02:26 pm:   

I prefer the Kurasawa versions of most of the westerns I've seen -- Fistful of Dollars, Magnificent Seven (not Leone I know), etc. More partial to swords than six-shooters, I guess.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:25 pm:   

I would agree that the Kurasawa are better films, but when Leone and Clint got together (with a Morricone score, of course), it was movie-making magic.

And I love UNFORGIVEN. My all-time favorite Western (actually, it may be my all-time favorite film), both on its own merits, and how it reflects and comments on Clint's body of work in Westerns (Paint Your Wagon notwithstanding). Not that it was groundbreaking, or original, etc., but it was extremely well-crafted, an outstanding cast, and wonderfully referential and self-deprecating. I drive Sondi nuts re-watching this movie.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:27 pm:   

I've watched it so much, it's probably the only film that Sondi quotes (she never quotes films, but she's always ready to whip out a "Deserves got nothin' to do with it" when I need to be reminded about who's wearing the pants).
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:38 pm:   

"We all got it comin', kid."

Barry Alvarez
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:40 pm:   

Yes, Unforgiven is great.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 04:53 pm:   

"You take away everything a man has, and everything he's ever gonna have..."

Clint and Morgan Freeman are good, but I like the supporting characters, like Richard Harris' English Bob and Gene Hackman's Little Bill. Hackman makes a very credible tough guy. The west of the Unforgiven is full of weird characters, sort of like the real thing must have been.

I'm also partial to THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, which I feel is often overlooked in the Eastwood oeuvre.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 05:06 pm:   

I like UNFORGIVEN, but I'm partial to THE CLAIM.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:31 am:   

i really liked leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, actually, though i do like the ones he did with eastwood. (eastwood's character is named in all three, actually. it's joe in the first one, blondie in the third, and i forget what in the second. starts with m, i think.)
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SteohenB
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 03:39 am:   

I've noticed that not many good comedies have been mentioned, now, I understand that not that many good comedies have been made, as part of their appeal sometimes is how bad they are. I'll start with what I consider to be a good comedy, Fear and Loathing in LosVegas, a dark comedy, and a little sad but still funny. I think both Depp and Del Torro, were great in their comedic performances.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 03:52 am:   

Good, Bad and the Ugly was certainly fun and epic...for all its distortion and exaggeration,

I don't think Leone was going for realism. I don't see them as historical westerns. I think he was going more for style and surrealism. There's even a mythic quality to the films.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:08 am:   

There have been plenty of good conedies, just most aren't American. British comedies of the 50s and 60s like Kind Hearts and Coronets, I;m All Right, Jack, The Lavender Hill Mob, School for Scoundrels, The Ladykillers. Much of Kaurismakis work is comedy, especially Leningrad Cowboys Go America. Kusturica's Underground. Genet's Delicatessen. One of the great black comedies is the Canadian Leolo and I remember a terrific little road picture a while back about a guy who plays French horn in a BTO tribute band who's traveling around with a corpse and the devil is a bingo player. A picture I like a lot, though it doesn;t compare with some of the above, is the British Twin Town. That just for starters.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 06:19 am:   

THE PRODUCERS by Mel Brooks.
BEDAZZLED by Stanley Donen.
DR. STRANGELOVE by Stanley Kubrick.
LOST IN AMERICA by Albert Brooks.

The Clint Eastwood character in FAFDM goes by the name of "Manco."
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 07:37 am:   

Yeah, the Producers! I forgot that one
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:09 am:   

Maybe the funniest movie ever made.

The scene in LOST IN AMERICA where Albert Brooks tries to convince the manager of the Desert Inn to give back all the money his wife gambled away is an all-time classic. Just as funny is the bit in Doug Lyman's SWINGERS where Jon Favreau leaves six consecutive voicemail messages for the woman he met in the bar that night. Both are so funny they're uncomfortable to watch!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

A case can be made...

Yeah, that scene is funny, as is the scene where he learns he doesn;t get the promotion, but I usually don't like Albert Brooks....

How about two Alan Arkin movies -- Freebie and the Bean and The In-laws.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:32 am:   

The In-Laws is great. (The victim of a horrid remake with your bud Brooks, tho.) I haven't seen the other one. Maybe some other folks on the board have.

Here's one: THE OUT OF TOWNERS with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. (NOT the remake!)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:33 am:   

Oh, I just thought of another one even better than THE OUT OF TOWNERS: THE FORTUNE COOKIE, with Lemmon and Matthau as shyster tort lawyer "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich. A classic. Better, by far, than their pairing in THE ODD COUPLE.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:59 am:   

I prefer the out of towners.

You oughta see Freebie -- James Caan and Alan Arkin as cops..
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:22 am:   

Hmm, I'm not sure if some of these comedies would appeal to me or not. I haven't found Mel Brooks' movies that funny, although I havn't seen the Producers. I liked Dr. Strangelove.
I'm interested in the Canadian black comedy you mentioned Lucius, as I'm a Canadian who likes black comedies. I not really a Matthau/Lemmon comedy fan either.

I'll add Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I'm not one of those raving Monty Python fans but that movie has it's moments. Also, the Princess Bride is a funny movie. Same with Army of Darkness, I've mentioned before. So there are some fantasy comedies.
I see Bubba Ho-Tep as a comedy as much as a horrror, I thought that movie was quite good.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:47 am:   

Track down Leolo -- and Kustirica's Underground. They;re great movies.

THe Producers is far and away superior to Brooks other comedies -- its hard to believe the same guy directed it,
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:01 pm:   

I am a raving Python fanatic, but their film output is uneven. As good as GRAIL is, I thought LIFE OF BRIAN had more wit in one frame than GRAIL had in its entirety. Pure cinematic brilliance! The scene where Simon of Cyrene offers to carry Jesus' cross and Jesus bolts before the centurions can stop him is as sacreligiously funny as anything ever put on celluloid.

I agree with Lucius. THE PRODUCERS far outstrips anything else Brooks ever did. HIGH ANXIETY is the only one that even comes close.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 12:49 pm:   

Have you guys discussed Collateral yet? It's getting great reviews, but I thought it was just an average noir thriller. It could have been great if it had taken the Japanese/Hong Kong model of the assassin who has fallen from being an honorable man, but Tom Cruise is just a cold-blooded cipher--not interesting. And the plot is riddled with coincidences. And c'mon--those witnesses aren't under police protection the night before the trial against a drug lord? Give me a break.

Some good performances and good scenes, but overall--disappointing. A lot of cool style that went to waste.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   

Yeah, we've discussed and conciuded much as you it was a drag -- you;d think a body falling onto a cab from four floors up would do more damage....

Cruise was...Cruise with gray hair.
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Kathy S.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 02:01 pm:   

Lucius --
Thanks for reminding me to see Leolo again! I saw it twenty or so times, but I think I'm ready for another one. And I think the road movie you've mentioned, with devil playing bingo, is Highway 61, directed by Bruce McDonald.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 02:18 pm:   

Anyone ever see the Robert Frank movie CANDY MOUNTAIN?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 02:28 pm:   

Kathy, that;s right. Highway 61. Thanks.

Leolo's pretty unforgettable...
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Kathy S.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 02:29 pm:   

Lucius --
You can say that again! Especially for a cat person.
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Rich P.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 05:46 pm:   

I thought Candy Mountain was pretty funny. Kevin J. O' Conner's first movie? The cameos by Tom Waits, Dr. John etc. are cool. The movie's similar in spirit and tone to Highway 61. I wish Robert Frank had made more movies. Are there any more Canadian road movies as good as these?
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Kathy S.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:09 pm:   

Rich -- Well, Hal Hartley is not Canadian, but he has a couple of good low-budget road flicks -- Simple Men and The Amateur.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   

Kathy, is the Amateur the one with Isabelle Huppert...?
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Kathy S.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:45 pm:   

Yep, that's the one. Porn-writing nun on a quest.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:04 pm:   

She's my favorite actress. Great movie!
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Kathy S.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   

Lucius -- yeah, she's great. Martin Donovan who played the title character is a good actor who never made any good movies, except Hal Hartley's. (Not to be confused with the director Martin Donovan, who made Apartment Zero. That was a decent flick too.)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 09:16 pm:   

Yeah, he was Pacino's partner in Insomnia the remake -- In my opinion, he should have played the lead; it would have been a better movie.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 04:33 am:   

I have never read anything Lucius about what you think of Richard Linklater's films. So I'm curious. What do you make of his films?

I haven't seen Before Sunset, but I gotta admit to liking Before Sunrise and usually I hate that romantic drama genre. I know Lucius doesn't like Hawke who Linklater often uses, but I don't mind him. Sure Ethan Hawke can only play Ethan Hawke but if that's what the roles he plays call for, then I think he's fine. I liked him in Before Sunrise, he was perfect for the role.

I also liked Slacker and even Dazed and Confused, am I the only one? I know there are people who say you have to be a Gen Xer (hope nobody winces at that) to like Linklater, but I don't think so.

And I loved Waking Life, yeah pretentious in parts and the dream within a dream within a dream is not a new idea. Yet Linklater's film worked for me not inspite of all the college-dorm Zen philosophy talk, but because of it. I think Linklater's sincerity comes through, as it does in all his films, whatever you make of his philosophy.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:07 am:   

Lawrence, I liked Slacker quite a bit , Dazed and Confused somewhat less, Before Sunrise somewhat less than that (at this point the word "Tedious" springs to mind), and I did not see Waking Life (I can't relate to cartoons, even rotoscoped ones).
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:22 am:   

I agree about Brooks, though I still think that Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and History of the World Part I are all quite funny, even if not quite in the same class as The Producers (actually, I think Blazing Saddles is a minor classic). And I'll give it up for the Coen Brothers. I love Raising AZ (Cage's only decent performance on film), Hudsucker Proxy, and O Brother in particular, but I've enjoyed all of their movies to varying degree (having not seen the two most recent).

I'm also a huge Python fan, and both Life of Brian and Meaning of Life are better comedies for adults than Holy Grail. I loved HG as an adolescent, but recent re-watchings don't hold up as well--same with Princess Bride (the book is of course much better, but they did about as good a job as could be managed to adapt the spirit of the book, and it still is a fun movie). But both LoB and MoL are actually better with more viewings. Smaller, very smart things done with theology, deeper philosophical issues, etc. HG was more madcap, but not as layered. (And I still think Flying Circus has their best stuff.)

Here's my classics of American comedies, in the stupid-humor category:
Animal House
Caddyshack
Stripes
Used Cars
Kentucky Fried Movie
Blazing Saddles
I'm tempted to add the first Airplane movie as well . . .
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:30 am:   

Usec Cars is a neglected classic, the only decent movie Zemeckis ever made...

I think the Coen Bros. have made one good movie (Blood Simple) and parts of two others.

LoB and MoL are a riot..
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:39 am:   

For the Coen Bros., BARTON FINK! Yeah!

I remember seeing THE MEANING OF LIFE in college and being a bit let down. Maybe I need to give it another try.

WAKING LIFE was yet another one of those movies that was like a pitch spread out over 90 minutes. High concept, low execution. By the end it was like "aaaarrrrrggghhh! Enough already!"

Minz, you should add BACK TO SCHOOL in the "stoopid humor" category. There's something about that movie. When I see it on the tube, I can't turn it off! I also think if they gave Palmes D'Or for Stupid Humor BILLY MADISON would be a recipient. As much as you may hate Adam Sandler, that movie had a real absurdist edge that sets it apart from the average cineplex fare.

One movie that I saw recently that really impressed me all over again was GROUNDHOG DAY, Bill Murray's existentialist fable wrapped in a crowd-pleasing mainstream comedy. Did anyone else think that this was a really cleverly-scripted film that has been underrated?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:47 am:   

Two good movies, I forgot BARTON FINK.
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:48 am:   

You're absolutely right, Dave. Back to School should be on the list, maybe Blues Bros (though actually, it's real achievement was sparking a revival for a great American music form), there're probably a few others. I've never seen Billy Madison, though Happy Gilmore made me laugh--not that it's a great film, or even a really good film, but Sandler can be okay.

And GHD is a terrific film--perhaps the greatest SF comedy ever made. (Of course, I'm having a tough time thinking of any competition in this category, at least for an SF film that's _intended_ to be funny.)

And we probably should mention Kevin Smith. I really enjoyed Clerks and Dogma (despite Ben & Damon). Mall Rats was pretty funny as well. Though I wouldn't consider any of them "classic,"--maybe Clerks is a classic in the low-budget indy comedy category.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:53 am:   

MoL grows on you. I only just say LoB last year and enjoyed it. HOLY GRAIL is still my fav Python movie. BBC America has been re-running old episodes of the FLYING CIRCUS, and it's amazing to see what was not shown on PBS in my youth.

My stoopid humor guilty pleasure movie is COMING TO AMERICA. I quote this probably more than any other movie I know.

"Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, who's next?"
"That boy good." "Yeah, good an terrible."
"The royal penis is clean."

I used to torment people in college by singing the Soul Glo commercial. And, the thing that makes people roll their eyes is when I point out that the McDowell's restaurant (a McDonald's rip-off in the movie) is actually a Wendy's on the inside. I did nine years on and off at Wendy's, and I know what their kitchen looks like, and that's it.

BACK TO SCHOOL is always good. My Dad is a huge Dangerfield fan, so I was exposed to that type of humor early in life.

I really enjoyed GROUNDHOG DAY, but I am a big Bill Murray fan (the meaningless LOSt IN TRANSLATION notwithstanding [well-made but pointless?]) and loved how he handled his predicament. I thought that it was clever that his memory keeps going forward as his day keeps repeating. LOST HIGHWAY was the more bleak version of this concept. :-)

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:10 am:   

To this list I would add a less-seen movie, SCOTLAND PA, a remake of MacBeth set in PA, in a burger franchise, srarring Maura Tierney as Lady MacBeth, James Le Gros, and Chris Walken..,MacBeth makes a better comedy than tragedy.
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:13 am:   

Take off, eh? If we're gonna go with comedic Shakespeare remakes, we gotta be talkin about Strange Brew, eh? I really loved that movie in high school--I wonder how it holds up. I imagine it's still my favorite film version of Hamlet.

(I'll be looking for Scotland PA, thanks for the heads up, L)
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:19 am:   

Minz, I agree that Holy Grail isn't the best Monty Python movie. I havn't seen Princess Bride since I was a child but I remember it fondly.

I agree that Groundhog Day is good, as an Sci-Fi movie and a comedy. Speaking of Bill Murry comedies, I should mention What About Bob?, directed by Frank Oz, it's been awhile since I've seen it but I remember I liked it way back when.

As Adam Sandler movies go the one I like is Happy Gilmour. Now his movies arn't supposed to be sophisticated comedies; most of them are just bad. I do think Happy Gilmour had some really funny moments. That seems to be the character Adam plays best. But after seeing that movie I think you've seen all there is to the "angery guy" character he always plays.

I totally forgot the Kevin Smith movies, they're good, I think Clerks and Chasing Amy are his best, although Jay and Silent Bob Strick Back is good as a stoner comedy (my stoner friends love it). Has anyone seen Jersey Girl? How does it compare to the rest?

Since we're mentioning bad comedies from the 80's, does anyone remember the movie Weekend At Bernies? Abou a couple of guys who pretend a dead guy is alive and well, to further their career (soimething like that). I liked it when I was 8 (1989), but I have a feeling I wouldn't like it as much anymore.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:29 am:   

Yah, Minz, you need to see Scotland PA. Its set in the 70s, and Instead of three witches, they;ve got three hippies...
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:36 am:   

I remember a movie I liked that was funny but I can't remember the name. It's a modern film, done in black and white. It stared that italian comedic actor Bininni(?) and musician Tom Waits. They played convicts escaping from prison.
Anyone know the movie I'm talking about?
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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:05 am:   

I like the Coen Brothers a lot, though I haven't seen their latest couple. Don't much care for Raising Arizona.

For the Pythons, Life of Brian > Holy Grail > Meaning of Life.

Mel Brooks, I liked The Producers, and always get amazing reactions when I burst into Springtime for Hitler among company who haven't seen the film. Blazing Saddles has some hilarious moments, and I used to like Spaceballs but haven't seen it for years.

My "stoopid" comedy needs are generally fulfilled by Army of Darkness.

Linklater I like quite a bit, but in small doses. I'll go months or years without thinking of him, then put on one of his movies and be very glad that I had.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 08:46 am:   

DOWN BY LAW is the Waits movie. Directed by Jarmusch. I would have seen it, but Benigni gives me the willies. I get the same feeling watching him that a German must get watching old reruns of Sgt. Schultz.

SCOTLAND, PA is a fun movie. Walken as the vegetarian police inspector trying to solve the murder of the inventor of the burger drive-thru window...Fabulous. And music by BAD CO.!

I ran into a bunch of typical "guys" in a bar once and they were trading lines from STRIPES and CADDYSHACK and I was shocked to learn that they had memorized the script of WHAT ABOUT BOB? (which was a new release at the time) also. Apparently, this has entered the body of Films Guys Must Be Able to Recite By Heart. ("Dr. Marvin...I'm SAILING! I SAIL!...") This is another movie I have to watch compulsively whenever it is on television, if only for the great "Good Morning America" interview scene with Dreyfuss and Murray. "I'm living proof of that!"

I would nominate the wonderful Julie Hagerty for Underrated Comic Actress of All Time.

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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 10:08 am:   

Baby steps off the bus...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

Something about him having a goldfish named "Gil" just gets me every time.
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:11 pm:   

Thanks for reminding me, Dave. A Fish Called Wanda is fabulous. Terrific performances by Cleese, Curtis and Palin, but it's Kline who absolutely steals the show.

"Oh no! K-K-K-K-K-K-Ken is c-c-c-c-c-comin to k-k-k-k-kill me."

And for Eddie Murphy, I prefer 48 Hours or even Trading Places. Coming to America has some really great bits--absolutely loved the Trading Places crossover moment, and all the barbershop stuff is great, but it might be James Earl Jones worst performance of his career. There are too many awkward moments in the film, despite all the great funny ones.

Another personal favorite (which I like to quote though nobody ever recognizes) is The Hollywood Shuffle. Like too many comedies, doesn't hold together that well as a film, but some great bits. The noir detective ripoff. ("I was glad I was on top, 'cause while I love doin' the nasty, I wouldn't want to be doin' the nasty . . . with a stapler up my ass.") The movie reviewers. ("We give this film . . . the finger!") Or the donut shop owner. "Ho' cakes! Ho' cakes, son, ho' cakes. Ho's gotta eat to." The black actors' school. My favorite line: "NEVER use the word drugs, nor heroin, lessin you gots some."

And another really good comedy about the film industry: The Player. What an amazing shot (goes on forever).
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:12 pm:   

Amazing _opening_ shot for the Player.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:32 pm:   

Richard E. Grant, as the artsy film director who wants to make a movie with NO STARS, is fantastic. Steals the film. (Not nearly as good as his perf in the almighty WITHNAIL AND I, but...what is?)

Best bits in COMING TO AMERICA -- the performance by Sexual Chocolate and Eddie as the pampered prince in his boudoir calling for his "Wipers!"

HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE had a lot of good moments ("Winky Dinky Dawwwgs...say it with me, son..."), but Townsend turned out to be a bit of a one-trick pony.

Any other WITHNAIL junkies on here? Maybe the best comedy script ever written.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 11:18 pm:   

I am a Withnail junkie. It is the only Criterion Collection DVD I own, and one of the very first DVDs I bought when I got a DVD player. You would enjoy the "Withnail" section of Richard E. Grant's autobiography...some great stuff in there about the process of making the movie.

I am also a big Coming to America fan, although it seems to have been the highpoint of Brooks' career. (But man what a highpoint.) I don't have that on DVD, but I must remedy that.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 11:25 pm:   

Heh, I just embarrassed myself...skipped from the Lost in America discussion way up above to the Coming to America discussion down at the bottom...I love my mind! I'm obviously talking about Lost in America.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 02:58 am:   

WHITNAIL AND I is in a class of its own.

As for Kevin Smith, what on earth was he on when he did JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK? It is beyond bad and not even stoner funny in my mind. Beyond terrible. And yet like many here I really liked CLERKS and CHASING AMY was I think his best film. I didn't even mind Affleck in it.

As for LOST IN AMERICA, I saw that when I was a teenager and have not seen it since so I don't know if I would like it more now or less. I find Albert Brooks somewhat irritating, talented but he tends toward sentimentality and mawkishness. Like Robin Williams, who seems to have wised up in this respect, thankfully. At least for now.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 07:36 am:   

Marc, I'm going to see Hero and Maggie on Wednesday....

Lawrence, it isn;t that RW has wised up, it just that age has reduced his heartwarming smile to a grotesque leer and he's been cast as villains. But he's a mawkish, sentimental villain. :-)
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Rich P.
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 09:09 am:   

Count me among the Withnail & I fans here. It's been a while... but I remember being very impressed by that flick at the time.

Just watched SILENT RUNNING for the first time in many years. Aside from a 3 godawful Joan Baez songs (it might be the same one three times for all I know - I try my best to blank her out :-) and the drone/droid similarities (I know this movie predates STAR WARS), I thought it was pretty good. Douglass Trumbull gives the sets a pseudo 2001 look and most of the cast behave like furniture… but Bruce Dern’s performance is intense, and the theme is still relevant. Curious if you liked it, Lucius…

Hey, I'm glad you're going to get to see HERO on a big screen. Looking forward to your comments on that one.

Kathy S: Thanks, I'll check out Hal Hartley.

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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 09:22 am:   

It;s been a while since I;ve seen it, Rich. I wouldn;t know--l liked it all right, as I recall, but wasn't blown away.

I saw SUSPECT ZERO the other day,,,,It was the classic example of a script that;s been reworked so as to make it more "accessible," ie. dumbed down. A shame, it was a cool idea.
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MarcL
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 11:35 am:   

Silent Running was one of the many memorable eco-disaster sf movies of my youth...along with stuff like Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) and Soylent Green. Funny how we were always complaining that movie science fiction was 30 years behind literary science fiction at the time, and yet this was the heyday of eco-death fiction AND eco-death movies, and in a weird way I see those movies as one with the sf New Wave that was going on at the time.

Then Star Wars came along and set movie sf back 40 years instead of a mere 30.

Reading a review of Hero, I feel as if I've already seen it. Is there ANOTHER Chinese movie about an assassin who tells stories to the emperor while slowly working his way closer and closer to where the old man's sitting? Because I have definitely seen that routine. (Maybe a Japanese movie?)
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 11:40 pm:   

More on the Millennium thread above:

Frank Black collectibles:

http://www.sideshowtoy.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=xfiles_12&item=78041

Also, to merge the Millennium/Lance Henrickson conversation with the Withnail and I thread, Lance was pretty cool in Bruce Robinson's dreary yet kind of cool follow-up, JENNIFER 8.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:33 am:   

i liked JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, though i can see how many people wouldn't. it was really just one long string of in jokes. but i liked it, just as i liked CLERKS and DOGMA and CHASING AMY to various degrees.

i hear smith is doing a sequel to CLERKS now. it's a bit odd--i mean, weren't all his films sequels to CLERKS?

maybe it's just me.
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Luís
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:57 am:   

I saw _Hero_ a couple of years ago. Nice film, well done technically, but somewhat too reactionary for my tastes.

Best,
Luís
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 06:32 am:   

For LOST IN AMERICA fans...I would also recommend REAL LIFE, Brooks' take on the then-novel 1970s "reality TV phenomenon" (PBS' "AN AMERICAN FAMILY"). In light of the recent boom in awful reality TV, it's worth looking at again. The movie is an hilarious look at how a documentary film crew basically ruins the lives of an American family and is worth the rental, if only for the scene in which the veteranarian gives a horse too much anasthetic and kills it, then has to convince the film crew to leave the scene out of the movie!

On the subject of Smith, I thought CHASING AMY was funny (despite Joey Lauren Adams' voice, which could strip paint at 50 paces) mostly due to the presence of Jason Lee. DOGMA seemed like a can't-miss cast, but had such a convoluted plot and such a talky script it bored the hell out of me.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 06:36 am:   

Yeah, Jennifer 8 was pretty cool, as is that Frank Black action figure.

I;m going to see Hero tonight, basically for the Chris Doyle cinemtography, secondarlily for Maggie Cheung.

Nah, Ben, it;s not just you.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:50 am:   

Yep, it is just you, Ben.

The previews of Hero have really piqued my interest--Crouching Tiger was the last time this happened. I look forward to your review, Lucius.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:31 am:   

Did not see SUSPECT ZERO, but I was shocked at how uniformly bad the reviews were. They must have really mangled that screenplay.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 09:05 am:   

It was like a nothing movie with all these neat elements. REALLY mangled.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 10:57 am:   

Phew, I'm not crazy, just senile. A friend reminded me he lent me HERO on DVD over a year ago. That's why the story seemed so familiar.

I'm surprised I don't remember much more of it than that. Probably on the big screen it's more memorable.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

Jesus, I hope so.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 05:05 pm:   

it is me. it's not me. i feel so me.

dave g: i kinda figure all smith films will be hi on the dialogue and low on anything actually happening, so i didn't mind that in DOGMA. sure, it was messy and convulted, and certainly not his best film, but i had fun. i'd agree and probably say his best film was CHASING AMY, though i like CLERKS more.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 08:15 am:   

I totally agree, Ben. Chasing Amy is the best Smith film thus far (overall), but Clerks was more funny, and I love the pseudo-theological mix of Dogma. (Although I can't believe that they decided to delete the scene where Linda Fiorentino gives her take on things--it totally strengthens her character for the movie. In the released version, she's just trailing along for the most part. The audience needed to know her motivations, and they filmed it, but then edited it out. Big mistake.)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 08:29 am:   

DOGMA needed more monologues like ANACONDA 2 needs more snakes.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 10:32 am:   

A great day at the DVD store...the two disc CITIZEN KANE, and an even more monumental purchase: the MST3K DVD with SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS and, yes, yes, be still my heart...

MANOS, THE HANDS OF FATE! Oh joy! Oh rapture!
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Kathy S.
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 10:52 am:   

Dave --
Nice! I don't know if you looked at MST 3000 thread, but I mentioned Manos as my all-time favorite. I like the regular version too. Oh, the girl wrestling scene....
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:04 am:   

Lucius despises this movie, but I'm with you. Torgo rules...

Where is the MST3K thread?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:05 am:   

This girl wrestling scene...I barely remember it.. Obviously I missed the inherent symbolism.
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Kathy S.
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:30 am:   

Lucius -- Ah, symbolism, underpants... it's all good.
Dave -- Matthew Rossi's topic. One of the latest threads. Yes, Torgo.. I really like his theme music.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:04 pm:   

Dave, you actually think this is a good move?

Explain yourself?
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:07 pm:   

I really liked Hero--beautifully shot, and I thought, as these types of films usually go, the storyline was relatively complex. I didn't find it reactionary--I thought its "reactionary" point of view made it kind of revolutionary.

Saw The Secret Life of Dentists--excruciating and compelling at the same time.

Scotland, PA is great stuff!!!

And for some reason Withnail and I makes me think of that other British cult classic, Get Carter...which reminds me--anybody seen the new one by the guy who directed Get Carter? I think it's called I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, title stolen from the Warren Zevon song.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 04:34 pm:   

Went to see Hero today. Chris Doyle's cinematography is top notch. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leumg are outstanding.

Jeff, the follow-up to Croupier, which was right good, got such bad reviews, I gave it a pass.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 04:54 pm:   

One more thing about Hero -- some of the cuts were really ragged, which makes me think that the Miramax version, as is their wont, was cut for length. What''s the running time of the DVD, Mark?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   

Don't have the DVD at this point.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:33 am:   

Lucius, Kathy...do I think MANOS is a good movie really?

Well, yes and no. Mostly no. I mean, I may be silly, but I'm not THAT silly. MANOS, by all traditional standards of quality (plot, dialogue, acting, cinematography, etc.) is an abomination, a travesty, a prank.

But that's only half the story. Like many of my generation (Kathy, you too?) my seminal cinematic texts were not issues of Cahiers du Cinema, but Re/Search Publications' INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILMS and Michael Weldon's PSYCHOTRONIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FILM. I believe that badfilm (or, more precisely, so-bad-it's-greatfilm) has its own unique pleasures which can't be replicated by quality filmmakers. Some films just plunge so lustily into the Pit of Awfulness and Incompetence that they come out the other side in some strange, shadow realm of flying pie plates, cucumbers from outer space and collapsing cardboard gravestones, a place where logic, reason and craft are put on hold and sheer exuberance and stoopid fun are the dominant values.

I consider MANOS a classic of this bastard genre, unlike, say CARNIVAL OF SOULS and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD which have actual cinematic merit.

So maybe MANOS doesn't belong on a thread for "Good Movies," but, I ask you, movie people who have hunkered into drive-in back seats and thrown countless jujubes from balconies across the length and breadth of our great land, shouldn't there be a place for MANOS somewhere in the message board of our hearts?

Thank you, and drive safely.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:43 am:   

Did anyone know that Charlize Theron was filming a celluloid version of the very weird, oddly erotic and fasinating AEON FLUX animation series?
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Kathy S
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:52 am:   

Dave --
Re: filming Aeon Flux. Oh no! They'll spoil it, like everything they touch -- kind of reverse Midas.

Re: so bad it's good movies. I've spent many hours in my insomniac youth watching late-night movie features. Since I didn't grow up in the US, Manos and its likes were not available. But the idea stayed the same: really really bad movies that no one with half a conscience would dare to show before midnight. My father (also an insomniac) usually watched them with me. Most of the entertainment was unintentional, but no less sweet for that. Manos reminds me of my carefree days.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:55 am:   

i think your question should be 'did anyone care', dave :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:14 am:   

Ben and Kathy: I agree that AF is likely to be spoiled by Hollywood. Ben, I actually enjoyed the cartoon. Accidentally caught it recently on late-night on The Cartoon Network and couldn't stop watching it. Fascinating, in sort of an hallucinatory, surrealist way. And, yes, kinda sexy, too.

Kathy: I miss late-nite movies. I remember in the 1980s, when I was working for a law firm, risking messing up on the job to stay up for a weeklong late-nite gorefest that featured Bob Clark's DEATHDREAM and CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (two very obscure films I haven't seen anywhere in 20 years). It seems like the late, late, late show has gone the way of the dodo. Now, local affiliates show talk shows until 3 or so, when they turn their channels over to infomercials. Cable networks play blockbusters all night long. Campy fare has been squeezed off the box.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:23 am:   

Well, for my part, I understand the bad-good aesthethic as well as anyone, I don't think Manos qualifies. It's absolutely bad, boring, unwatchable. I get your point -- overstated as it is. Cahiers du CInema didn'r figure in my film life, either. But making a cult item out of a bad move instead taking them as they come strikes me as bit precious. MANOS is so bad its garbage, but too each his own.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:47 am:   

Any point worth stating, I always say, is worth overstating. :-)

And I agree, I very much take them as they come. Believe me, I've seen plenty of garbage I wouldn't consider "cult" items, except insofar as they made me want to gulp the killer kool-aid. (Most stuff that calls itself "cult," for example, is just lousy and trying to capitalize on its ineptitude.) As the immortal Huey Lewis once said, sometimes bad is bad.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:19 am:   

Huey should know!
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:23 am:   

Of course, I mean the immortal :-) Huey...
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:02 pm:   

dave: i was more going on the theron bit, rather than AEON FLUX being made into a flick. i saw it (the cartoon) years ago and thought it was okay--though i never caught more than a couple of episodes. i'm a bit like that with tv. can't remember to go back and watch something a week later.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:50 am:   

Production on Aeon Flux has been halted due to an injury to Charlize Theron -- I don;t know whether to laugh or cry. I guess I;m with Ben. Who cares one way or another?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:33 pm:   

Well, yeah, there is that...

But it does give one something to talk about on movie threads, doesn't it?
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 12:36 am:   

I finally watched Dogville. Hilarious!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 06:55 am:   

I just bought it, but have not watched it yet. What do I have to look forward to?

A note on something I saw this weekend. After reading a good notice in the Post, I went out and bought both Mark Moorman's TOM DOWD AND THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC and the remastered LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS by Derek and the Dominos.

The Moorman film is a fascinating look at a fascinating guy (nuclear physicist who went on to become a premier recording engineer/producer). Dowd worked with everybody, and the way the film relates recording techniques and technology to the music itself is a real eye-opener to a dope like me who can barely turn his stereo on in the AM. In particular, the scene in which Dowd sits at the mixing board, bringing up individual tracks of "Layla," in essence, doing a live "mix" of the song and pointing out who did what on each track, is pretty amazing.

After watching it, I went back and listened to the record all the way through for the first time in 20 years and was amazed by it all over again.

If a music doc is supposed to give you new perspectives and help you appreciate the music anew, Moorman's film is wonderfully successful.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:51 am:   

Dave, I don't want to spoil Dogville for you. I guess you already know it's a pretty "bare-bones" affair. Most of Von Trier's recent films start with me thinking, "What did I get myself into this time?" Then they suck you in.

I laughed a lot at the finale. In that respect it reminded me of The Kingdom; the darker it got, the funnier I found it. The metaphors basically all come out, pull off their masks, and take a curtain call.

I can see why a lot of people hated this movie. I enjoyed it though.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 10:41 am:   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, me too, on Price.
Matinee;s pretty funny. It;a about the Castle figure, played by John Goodman, premiering his new movie, MANT, in Key West in the early 60s.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 11:28 am:   

VP was like a funny creepy uncle...you always knew he'd try to scare you, but underneath he was chuckling. He brought a weird warmth to everything he did.

Gotta see Matinee now. Sounds like a perfect role for Goodman.

Ever read Fowler's End by Gerald Kersh? Hilarious novel about a London theater owner.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

Price...scared me outta my wits as a lad in THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, not to mention one of my earliest cinematic experiences, THE ABONIMABLE DR. PHIBES.

On a more general note, nobody, and I mean nobody, makes FUN horror pictures anymore. When was the last one you saw?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 12:56 pm:   

Sean of the Dead was fun. I thought 28 Days Later was fun. If it you mean by fun "Camp", no, they don;t.

I preferred vince in Tomb of Ligea, all the corman flicks, and Theater of Blood.

Never read Fowler;s End, Mark...

I know what you mean about the warmth. I was trying to think of an instance when he didn't exhibit it, and I couldn't.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 01:23 pm:   

THEATRE OF BLOOD was a great example of horror-comedy, a genre that is really moribund these days, although SEAN OF THE DEAD has gotten good notices. (Hasn't played here yet, but I have seen the trailer...) Prior to that, the last real horror-comedy I can recall was EVIL DEAD 2.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2004 - 02:22 pm:   

Oh, Price was not warm in The Conqueror Worm (aka Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General). Not at all. Cold and sadistic and utterly scary.
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bill reynolds
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 - 08:13 am:   

As I mentioned one time over at Mike's, El Dia de la Bestia, subtitled version only.

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