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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 08:37 pm:   

Does anyone have thoughts on either KINGDOM OF HEAVEN or ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM?

Has anyone else out there noticed the growing phenomenon of wanting to go to the movies and not being able to find a single thing at local theaters that you want to see?
   By Lucius on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 08:06 am:

I saw about a half hour of Kingdom Of Boredom...

Haven't seen the Enron thing...
   By Dave G. on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 08:07 am:

I'm guessing that's not a rave.
   By Lucius on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 09:03 am:

Just a peek through the multiplex door, followed by rush to the bathroom....

I saw a half hour of the second half, which is apparently the really boring half, containing Ridley's ruminations about religion. The first half, I'm told, is only normal boring.
   By MarcL on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 09:03 am:

A friend of mine told me his father saw KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and told him that not only he should not bother seeing it at the theater, he should make sure it never gets in his Netflix queue. Apparently boredom was a big problem.
   By Dave G. on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 10:01 am:

So far, Orlando Bloom has managed to make the Trojan War and the Crusades dull. I think his ambition must be to write an entire Boring History of Western Civilization. Can't wait for his remake of QUO VADIS!
   By Lucius on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 10:22 am:

well, I don;t think it's really him. Blame Peterson and Scott.
   By MarcL on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 12:33 pm:

I watched part of the Criterion release of SWORD OF DOOM last night. It looks like a great dark Samurai film. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted that I started nodding off around the 30 minute mark, so I decided to hold off until I have energy to spare for subtitles.
   By Lucius on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 01:18 pm:

I'm sure it's good, but for my part I'm up to here with samurai flicks, and flicks like House of flying daggers...

Hara Kiri may have finished me off...for a while, anyway...
   By MarcL on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 02:01 pm:

I've got this and Twilight Samurai in the hopper, but I do know what you mean. I skipped House of FD.
   By Lucius on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 02:12 pm:

You have a hopper?

I looking forward to the SIFF this weekend. Going to see a couple of flicks. Brothers, a Dutch political drama, and Layer Cake, a brit crime flick. They're no ATTACK OF THE SITH, or MR SITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, or
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 07:31 am:   

I saw Trey Parker's, Team America: World Police, last night. Laughed pretty hard at some parts.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 07:36 am:   

The puppeteering itself was really well done too. The puppets just moving around was a joke in itself at times. Refreshing change from CG animation.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 12:31 pm:   

Not movies exactly, but earlier we mentioned THE NIGHT STALKER a couple of times. Did you hear that ABC is remaking this for its fall schedule? Any idea who plays Kolchak?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 01:01 pm:   

I don't want to know....
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   

Just saw SW Ep III this morning. Glad I got to see it for free. (For SW junkies, it's probably the best of the prequels--some smart little details, great eye candy, decent fights.) I'd give it 3 stars out of 5, but then again, it didn't cost me anything, and I've a more generous heart than some (okay, more of a sucker!). Obvious plot (insert a into slot b to get to c) that sometimes borders on nonsensical, poor acting, laughable dialog, but still some very good fight scenes, and it caps off 30 years of cinematic history (for good or ill, it's still cinematic history.)

But don't believe the reviews saying it's good, or you will be disappointed...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 02:00 pm:   

I've heard that it's only ordinarily bad, not uniquely, terrifyingly bad...
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Lawrence A
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 01:12 am:   

in other words it's not as bad as Attack of the clones. I don't even think I'm going to bother to go see Sith.

I saw in an interview with Lucas he says he's going to return to make "artistic" films, go back to his roots blabla. Well I just hope he brings in other writers for his future projects, if not I shudder.

Coming to think of it he should have brought in other writers (OK just make that he should have brought in real writers) for the SW prequels. Doubtless he is surrounded by too many sycophants who would never have dared to point this out to him. As far as the poor acting goes, can't blame the actors for that - how do you think say Sean Penn, Ed Norton, Jennifer Jason Leigh would do with Lucas scripts to work with? How do you act well in SW prequels?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 05:53 am:   

Gee, what "artistic" films did Lucas ever do?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 06:14 am:   

American Grafitti? :-)
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 06:58 am:   

Actually, Jimmy Smits and Ewan MacGregor manage to squeeze out a few nice moments. And there is some real grim stuff in the movie as well.

As a movie unto itself, it's really lacking. As a SW movie, there's some very good bits for series fans. As a special effects extravaganza, there's tons of great fx, and some cool fights. It's probably the best of the prequels...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 07:16 am:   

Ordinarily Bad, like I said. My latest review, of NOCHNOI DOZOR (Night Watch) has a mention or two of Star Wars you might find amusing--it'll be up tomorrow.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 08:45 am:   

I don't think Lucas has done anything artistic except maybe his first student film. I didn't think American Grafitti was that good.

But the Star Wars movies aren't supposed to be artistic. They're supposed to be fun and entertaining movies that kids love but adults can enjoy too. I loved the original trilogy when I was like 5 years old; they were already all on video at that point. I watched them all the time and played Star Wars with friends. There isn't many boys from my generation who didn't love Star Wars at some point. Back then, it started as a low budget sleeper hit which was followed by two really good sequels (Empire's the best), which were partly good because George got the help he needed, as in script and directing (two things he's proven he can't do). But then, of course, with all that success, they became this great big marketing machine designed to make Lucas rich. George Lucas joined the dark side a long time ago and he'll never come back. I've heard that he's going to go back and do "special editions" of the prequels now. Horrible.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 08:55 am:   

But you have to cut him some slack. He is, after all, the man who gave us Suzanne Somers...:-)
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Lawrence A
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2005 - 03:01 am:   

Seriously THX... whatever the rest is, ain't half bad. One could be churlish and say it's derivative, but overall it's not a bad picture and showed great promise. A promise that was never fulfilled.

Like StephenB said, to those of us who were just kids when the first SW movies came out - we all loved it. I was 7 when the first SW movie came out. And I loved it and THE ESB and R of the Jedi 'cause I was a kid and these movies are made for kids and that's how they should be judged. And to be fair the SW prequels should be judged on the same level. That doesn't excuse the poor scripts/dialogue, nonsensical plots and lazy directing but when we recognise that SW is just cornball space opera fairy tales made for prepubescents then such "crimes" are more forgivable. If people who are older than say 15 take SW so seriously and it makes one wince, well then that's not Lucas's fault, but the fault of the immature public and even the media for making SW bigger than it is.

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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2005 - 02:22 pm:   

Has anybody else noticed what "Sith" is an anagram for? :-)
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T Andrews
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

Team America delivered a few laughs; could've been much better. The puke scene had my spousal unit in tears. (That in itself is funnier than it should be.)
The theme song, though, made it all worth while. Fuck yeah! :-)
Enjoyed your latest reviews, Lucius. That London Voodoo sounds good.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 03:09 pm:   

Yeah, that puke scene was one of the scenes that made me laugh the hardest. But I think the cannon we just smoked helped a little.:-)
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 03:24 pm:   

It's still not as funny as some of the individual episodes of South Park.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   

I watched Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, which I really liked. It holds up today as a true classic horror movie. It goes for sublety and social metaphor. It works all the way through the film, building the suspense and mystery untill the very end, which was also good.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 06:05 am:   

No, Dave. What does Sith Stand for?

Thanks, T, Stephen. I'll be very interested in seeing the new cut of the Russian film. Hopefully they won't screw it up.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 06:39 am:   

I was just trying to make a bad scatological joke.

Had a chance to finally see 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD on Sundance Sunday, and found it quite an interesting approach to biographical storytelling. More interesting than the typical linear biopic. Has this director done anything since?

Also re-watched Gus Van Sant's DRUGSTORE COWBOY and remembered why I enjoyed it so much the first time. Never saw MALA NOCHE, but this is my favorite of the Van Sant I have seen...Whatever became of Kelly Lynch?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 06:53 am:   

Dunno.

Drugstore is the best Gus movie, for sure.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 07:17 am:   

Watched Sith. Happy it was free. The first two prequels left me feeling disgust. This just left me feeling disinterest. It struck me that the film is not so much a film, but a hugde advertisement for toys.

It was funny how so much effort is made with the special effects, but the clone troopers still didn't move in a natural way (they looked like animation rather than the way real people move).

I also saw Shattered Glass. It's amazing how different Hayden was in that film. It's sad that Lucas takes people who can act, and then makes them as wooden as possible.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 07:31 am:   

It's a real talent.... :-)
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MTC
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 10:18 am:   

Somewhere Harrison Ford described Lucas' directing style more or less as follows: He only ever said two things to us after a scene - "more" and/or "faster."

I find the extent to which CGI turns me off nears pathological levels. The rudimentary special effects of silent movies seem more convincing to me. Back to the good ol days! Clara Bow!
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Or Clarabelle... :-)
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:54 am:   

Why didn't they just put the guys in suits like the originals? That's what they are afterall -- guys in suits. I commented on that movie in another thread and I totally agree about most of the CG scenes and the whole merchandising angle.

I saw Stuart Gordon's, Spanish made film interpretation of Lovecraft's, Dagon. It's good. The special effects get the job done and are actually pretty good. But most importantly the story's good, with credit due obviously to Lovecraft, but also to Gordon for putting together a well plotted and directed B horror movie. The locations in Spain are perfect for the creepy, old style small town on the ocean.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/the_complete_list.html

Time's writers pick the 100 Best Movies of All Time!

Sure to inspire some heated, passionate debate, no?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 02:06 pm:   

City of God?
Detour?
Finding Nemo?
The Fly?
Star Wars?
Unforgiven?
Wings of Desire?

Part of the 100 best ever???????
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   

And only one comedy mnade after 1949, Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL, was deemed worthy.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   

That's ludricrous! Kandahar? The tendentious Ulysees Gaze? Chungking Express? I agree with about twenty of their choices, and of that twenty, I only think ten or so have to be on it. Pulp Fiction? The Searchers? The Sweet Smell of Success is a nice little movie, but one of the 100 greatest. In the words of Yoda, Break Me a Fucking Give!
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   

Time's writers pick the 100 Best Movies of All Time!

Yes. Out of a hat.

Sorry, I couldn't take any such list even remorely seriously when it doesn't have Night Of The Hunter.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 04:11 pm:   

Forget all the in-between movies on the list: i.e. films that are fine enough, but which are borderline for the top hundred.

Consider the (at least) ten or twenty movies on the list that garner the reaction, Were they high?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 04:31 pm:   

Christ, I didn't notice A Hard Day's Night and, surely one of the worst movies of all time, ET. Meet Me in St. Louis? Schindler's List? WTF?

Any list that doesn't include Night of the Hunter...Yeah. Any list that doesn't include, say, Lamerica, or a Goddard film, or a film by Tsai Ming Liang....

Any list that doesn't include Dersu Ezala or something more representative by Kurosawa.

Actually, Leolo is a comedy made after 1949 and deserves to be here, IMO.

I gotta calm down. :-)
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 04:34 pm:   

Yep, never mind Pulp Fiction (which is one of my favourite Tarantino's) and The Fly (why that paticular Cronenberg film?), or the Searchers; why the fuck are E.T., Finding Nemo, A Hard Day's Night, Drunken Master II, and some of the others mentioned on there? The over-rated Scorsese is over-represented, with three movies. It clearly has a sentimental Hollywood bias.

It does have a few personal favourites, and a number of movies which I haven't seen but I'm sure are somewhat deserving.

There's also the black comedy Dr. Strangelove, which was made well after the 40s.

So Lucius, which do you agree with?
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 04:39 pm:   

The yep was for Adam's post. Maybe if they were high, they would't have some of the terrible picks?:-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 05:03 pm:   

Yeah, sorry I gumped Dr. Strangelove. That one should have been obvious.

I thought CITY OF GOD was kind of a cool movie, but one of the 100 best? Nah... DETOUR blew my mind. I like Ulmer's film -- just watched it recently as a matter of fact -- but it's more of a period piece, a genre artifact, than anything else. THE FLY ain't even the best Cronenberg, not by a long shot. VIDEODROME kicks the crap out of it.

It seems like they took the big-ticket grossers, the most financially successful movie by their top ten or so directors and filled in the rest with arthouse foreign pictures and exemplars of certain worthy genres.

Yeah, ET was a stinker, for sure, and STAR WARS was bubble gum for the eyes, but not much better. You would expect film critics who do this for a living to come up with some offbeat American films that stray off the beaten path a bit (maybe THE CONVERSATION, or BADLANDS OR DAYS OF HEAVEN). Maybe that's what BARRY LYNDON is doing on there.

I like Sergio Leone as well as anyone, but are you trying to tell me that, within two years, he made two of the hundred greatest movies of all time? UNFORGIVEN was very good, but not great.

I never understood the cult of CHINATOWN. I always thought it was a bit overrated.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 05:14 pm:   

I'm not going back to look at the list, but Sayajit Ray has to be represented, though I'd prefer to see Devi than the Apu Trilogy. Lawrence of Arabia--as an example of epic filmmaking, it's hard to top. Leolo, as mentioned. Brazil. Nothing by Ridley Scott or Scorsese. Dr. Strangelove, I guess. Not Psycho.

Aguirre, Wrath of God, I guess. Day for Night, the Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise, I guess. I don't know, maybe I wouldn't agree with that many. My criteria would be differnet. Where's Hayakawa? The Human Condition and Hara Kiri don't deserve inclusion? I knock out all films made before 1950 and choose the hundred most seminal films as well.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 06:35 pm:   

I like that Barry Lyndon's on there for Kubrick. It, along with A Clockwork Orange, are my favourite Kubrick films, with Strangelove close behind.

I also like The Good Bad and Ugly on there, for Leone.

With China Town, certainly Polanski deserves a movie on there? Which Polanski would you pick Dave?
Also, Jack Nickolson, who's a good actor, gets on there too. What would be a better movie that he was in? Well, Easy Rider or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which would give Milos some credit). But that's debatable, I suppose.

I haven't really seen enough films, from a broad enough source, to make any reasonable judgement of what should be on a top 100 list, which of course is always going to be biased. But I can see some that shouldn't be on there, and some which should.
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StephenB
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 07:13 pm:   

On a list with so much Film Noir representation, why not have Huston's The Maltese Falcon?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 08:40 pm:   

No Von Trier, No LANTANA, the finest character study in recent years. It's bullshit. You might make a case for some category lists, but this is simply too general.
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MTC
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 09:28 pm:   

No "Corvette Summer"?!
No "Laserblast"?!
And WHERE, may I ask, is "Xanadu"?!?!?!
I'm writing my congressman!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 06:18 am:   

I'm not a Polanski expert, but it occurred to me that I would put REPULSION in ahead of CHINATOWN. Maybe they figured get Polanski and Nicholson in there in one fell swoop...I've liked Nicholson better in lots of things...COUCKOO'S NEST, for one. (Why NOT CN instead of CHINATOWN?) I also liked Nicholson better in some smaller films like THE BORDER and THE LAST DETAIL, but I wouldn't put those on a 100 best list.

I would keep a Leone on there, but just one. GB&U is as good a choice as any.

Personally, I can't believe Swayze is unrepresented...no ROADHOUSE? No NEXT OF KIN? No DIRTY DANCING? What are these guys, Taliban? :-)

I think I might have even considered BLUE VELVET, if only for all the imitations it inspired...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 06:43 am:   

Small films shouldn;t excluded. I think 5 Easy Pieces is a terrific film--it captures a specific moment in America better than any movie I can think of and is clearly Nicholson's best performance.
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Rich P.
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 06:55 am:   

Speaking of noir, I just finished watching a box of them (Asphalt Jungle, Gun Crazy, Out of the Past, etc.) which ended off with a great boxing flick I'd never seen before called "THE SET-UP". An early Robert Wise film with Robert Ryan as a burned-out boxer. It sure had a great fight scene. Curious how you'd rate that one...
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 09:09 am:   

Yeah, FIVE EASY PIECES. Completely spaced on that one. Great movie.

And why BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and not FRANKENSTEIN? Some half-assed nod toward feminist theory?

And IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a squishy, sentimental choice. There are much better Capras (MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, MEET JOHN DOE, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON). Anyone else feel that singling out PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO from Allen's body of work instead of MANHATTAN of HANNAH AND HER SISTERS is a suspect choice?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 09:33 am:   

I would omit Capra and Allen completely from my list.

The Set-up is a pretty good movie. Ryan had actually done some fighting and it wasn't totally unrealistic.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 11:29 am:   

Gad, FIVE EASY PIECES.

I would love to put that and ABOUT SHMIDT on a double bill. FIVE EASY PIECES is by an order of magnitude the better movie, but the pairing would resonate, as the films are about two men, one young and old old, with the same essential problem: a total emotional disconnect from their own lives.

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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 12:22 pm:   

With Polanski, I haven't seen all of his movies, but other than China Town, I think his horror movies stand out. Along with Repulsion, I think an argument could be made for The Tenant and Rosemary's Baby.

I haven't seen Five Easy Pieces, or The Border and The Last Detail (although I may have seen that one a long time ago), but I'll look for them.

I liked Jack Nickolson's over the top performance in The Shining, which I thought was a good horror movie, but I know most people who've read the book don't like it. I don't like Shelley Duvall and Kubrick was probably kicking himself for casting her, but she almost does seem to work as that character...

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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 12:27 pm:   

And really, can those movies top Jack's stellar performance in Roger Corman's Little Shop of Horrors? :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:31 pm:   

While we're on the subject, just let me toss in one more word about Hal Ashby's THE LAST DETAIL (1973). Darn it, nobody, and I mean nobody, ever talks about this fine little American gem in assessing Jack's career, and hellraising anti-authoritarian Navy Seaman Billy "Bad Ass" Buddusky may be one of his signature roles. This is just a really moving, funny, heartbreaking movie that captures a certain part of the America's damaged Viet era soul. I wish more people had seen it and appreciated it. Now, I really want to watch it again!
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MTC
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 09:43 pm:   

One of my favorite Nicholsons, and somewhat against type for him - KING OF MARVIN GARDENS.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 10:19 pm:   

What do you mean nobody ever talks about it, Dave? It's generally considered one of the top four or five Nicholson performances, it was nominated for three oscars, and had a great script by Robert Towne (chinatown). That's hardly going under the radar. Maybe nobody on message board, which as we know are generally populated by brain damaged rats like Thomas R, but in other quarters, it's highly thought of.

King of MG was ruined for me by the presence of one too many Garfunkels.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:26 am:   

yeah the Last Detail has rightly been given a lot of accolades. As far as the Time list goes, it's Time magazine people, what else do you expect from that rag? Imagine if they were to do a list of the 100 best books of the 20th century, they would probably put Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged on the list and Angela's Ashes and other Opraesque blather.

This is Time remember, the magazine that I remember swooning over Reagan after he was re-elected in '84. Heck I was 14 at the time, and remember rolling my eyes at that.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 04:43 am:   

Time magazine's no different from any other magazine, except for maybe Film Threat. Time actually has a rather distinguished history of film criticism, dating back to the late James Agee. who was their film critic back in the 60s. Like all major mags and newspapers, they've lowered their standards in recent years. The list, for all the dubiousness of its source, is a stupid list and thus is fun to talk about.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:24 am:   

Oh, regarding TLD, I stand corrected. Just got carried away, I guess. I just always thought that was the Towne screenplay the pundits should fawn over, not CHINATOWN. Pardon my excess of enthusiasm.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

The only decent reviewer, other than Lucius, is the Onion's AV club. And actually, the Onion is a little more forgivable in its tastes than Lucius--but only a little (their appreciation of good animation is probably the biggest difference--and admitted blind spot for Lucius, who just doesn't care for the stuff regardless), which puts me more in line with their tastes. I'm guilty of appreciating a little Hollywood popcorn blockbuster. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid enough to consider it great filmmaking, but rather I enjoy them for a similar reason as to why I occasionally feed my Big Mac cravings. Lucius, bless his soul, is a fresh bitchslap to the face of Hollywood mediocrity. And that town certainly could use more of it.

(There are probably other good reviewers working on the fringes, but these are the only two that I am exposed to that I appreciate.)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:52 am:   

Re: blockbusters.

I used to get off on some of 'em, but they don't make 'em like they used to.

Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central is a reliable guy, I've found.

Chinatown is more highly regarded than LD, but that's not to say LD is neglected. It also happens to the best Randy Quaid role ever.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:03 am:   

Has anybody heard that gross country song by Trace Adkins from the perspective of a dead soldier...

"I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington..."

A new low for American pop music.
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R.Wilder
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:45 am:   

Trace Adkins?? FUCK Trace Adkins! HAZIL ADKINS, muthafuckahs!!!!!!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 07:55 am:   

"...there's a big white house just down the road/and the man inside he cried/when I came home..."

I rest my case.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:00 am:   

Could it be even worse than Toby Keith's "Beer For The Horses"????

"Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses"
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:10 am:   

Yeah, I think so. That one, at least, has a western theme....

Y'know I've never heard a modern "victory tune." Figure that's because there haven't been any swell modern victories?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 08:14 am:   

The scary thing about the Keith song is it's about applying frontier justice in modern times. The opening verse talks about somebody being "abused" on the TV news. The singer reflects on some good ol' frontier advice from his grandpappy, and concludes:

"We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
We’ve got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets
It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down
You can bet he’ll set ’em down ’cause"

So, you see, we ought to just fire up the posse and string up them liberals! No need to get the marshall involved! And this is a hit that people sing along to...It's "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out." :-(
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 07:13 pm:   

Saw an interesting movie today, a Hugarian film called KONTROLL. Supericially it's a thiller set mainly in the Budapest Subways--it's billed as a romatic thriller. But it's surreal, got horror elements, and has what I'd call a punk ethos. Directed by a young guy with talent, but some stylistic problems -- the feeling I got was of a darker Terry Gilliam. Really worth seeing.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:06 am:   

The lone art theater in DC is showing KONTROLL, LAYER CAKE and THE HOLY GIRL. If a guy only had enough for one ticket, which would he be advised to see?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:05 am:   

I saw Layer Cake, it's okay, but lite...The Holy Girl is a little more than okay. I'd see Kontroll. It's flawed. but way cool.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:20 am:   

What do you think of that dude from LC as the new James Bond?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:22 am:   

I just learned that one of the great movies of the 90s, Lamerica, is now on DVD. Directed by Gianni Amelio, this is bearutifully shot film about two italian conmen who visit Albania after the Soviet breakup and run a game on the Albanian's, who are dirt poor, using an old senile Albanian man to establish their claims to various properties. The old man wanders away, one of the conmen chases after him, and becomes, essentially, a refugee.... This is an incredible movie. One of the best ever. See it if you have the chance.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 07:26 am:   

Dave, better than Pierce B, but Jesus I think they should bury bond...
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MCisco
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 11:27 am:   

You know Kusturica's stuff, right? UNDERGROUND gets my vote for one of the best ever ...
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 11:34 am:   

UNDERGROUND's great, but LAMERICA, as a work of cinema, as more a piece suited to film, it's remarkable. Kusturica's stuff always reminds me of a novel the way it's structured and all....
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Lawrence A
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 03:13 am:   

TIME OF THE GYPSIES in my mind is Kustirica's best film, even better than UNDERGROUND. In fact TOTG is on my top 10 list from films of the last 2 decades, of any nationality. I think it's a brilliant masterpiece that is impossible to categorise.

He's done some acting Kustirica as well. I saw him in some French period flick I forget the title, he played the lead - a convict in the French colony of Quebec. He was also in that Neil Jordan mess (and I usually like Jordan) with Nick Nolte, THE GOOD THIEF.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 03:25 am:   

also liked his (only?) American film ARIZONA DREAM, even though it had a lot of flaws. Last film of his I saw was somewhat disappointing but still interesting BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT.

I see he's slumming it for now - making a doccie about the soccer legend Maradonna. Oh yeah Kusturica not Kustirica like I spelt it.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 05:46 am:   

I thought the Good Thief was okay. Nothing special. I'll check out TOTG.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 07:10 am:   

Saw ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM this weekend. By simply stating the facts without excessive pontification, it is a much stronger indictment of modern government-by-corporations than anything Michael Moore could ever dream up. Truly outrageous stuff. Worth seeing, if only to stoke your sense of outrage.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 07:55 am:   

I don't need to see it. I already know corporations suck. A more interesting film is The Corporation, which treats the corporation as a sick entity...

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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 11:18 am:   

It's like they say about families each being dysfunctional in their own unique way. It's fun to watch the particular brand of sleaziness, deception and hubris that this particular cast of hucksters -- and a beaut it is! -- dispenses.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 12:54 pm:   

You should see The Corporation.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 01:06 am:   

If you liked TIME OF THE GYPSIES you should seek out Bahman Ghobadi's TURTLES CAN FLY. The kid, Satellite, seems like a direct homage to the protagonist of GYPSIES...the same huge glasses, very similar look. In the director's comments on MAROONED IN IRAQ, Ghobadi apparently named Kusturica as his favorite director, and that film in particular as a huge influence. It's still the only Kusturica I've seen, but I've loved all (3) of Ghobadi's films.

Neil Jordan seems to alternate brilliant and lame...well, not alternate exactly. He makes a bunch of so-so or outright awful movies, and then one that just blows me away. MONA LISA and THE BUTCHER BOY are two of my favorite movies; I haven't watched COMPANY OF WOLVES for a long time but I recall it was an effective nightmare; then he does stuff like IN DREAMS and HIGH SPIRITS and INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE...I can't even remember if I watched THE GOOD THIEF...
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 01:10 am:   

Oh, by the way:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !

I'd love to see the script for Sith. I want to know how many O's Lucas typed just to make sure Hayden Whozits knew how to play the scene.

I was happy to see that scene, though. It was a knife turning in the guts of the franchise, a stake in the heart, and hopefully killed it the rest of the way dead. For all time.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:54 am:   

You saw SITH? Hmm. Not even kids would make me go.

I doubt it's a stake through the heart, or even if it is, there've been so many lame-ass fantasy novels sold since LOTR, you'll probably look back on STAR WARS as a high pomt...
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 10:13 am:   

Oh yeah, baby. I saw it. I saw the whole thing. I then ate broken glass from breakfast and washed it down with lighter fluid. I'm feeling good.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 10:22 am:   

I'm with Marc. I've posted about it on my blog:

http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2005/06/star-wars-3-amazingly-bad-movie.html

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 10:35 am:   

As of May 27th, SITH had grossed 270 million domestically. Not dead, not even...
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 11:33 am:   

But you've got to wonder what the studio's internal projections were. A movie like that can make $300 million and still be a disappointment if the suits were banking on it making $500 million. After Titanic, anything under $1 bil in global receipts is a "nice little movie," eh?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 11:47 am:   

Fuck, Dave! It had only been out 8 days by May 27th!
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 11:56 am:   

Hey, Lucius, I would be just as happy as a clam if somebody handed me $270 mil! And I know it had the biggest opening day and weekend ever, or something like that. A monster hit...

I'm just saying...In a biz built on hype, you never know what kind of overblown expectations people have. One article I read pointed to the fact that industry grosses were off last years' numbers by 5% and said "Sith Opens Big, But Not Big Enough.." or words to that effect.

It's like Wall Street. If a company says its profits are going to climb 200% and they only climb 196%, where does the stock go? In the dumper.

But, in all probability, champagne corks will be popping for quite some time. At least until the new BATMAN opens anyway...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:01 pm:   

How Titanic made so much money was on repeat business, teenage girls seeing it over and over, sometimes in bunches. I'm quite sure that that the SITH will do at least $400 mil domestically, and that will fulfill expectations.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:22 pm:   

I'm sure just as many dateless fanboys will "call in sith" to work over and over, also! :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:29 pm:   

Yup.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

I saw it.

Why?

Because once upon a time I enjoyed the first three and was, despite recent evidence, rooting for George Lucas to pull it off.

I agree with just about everything JeffV said, disagreeing only with his distaste for Yoda's big action scene: it was the highlight of the film. But that translates as four decent minutes out of a hundred fifty. Yecch.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 02:41 pm:   

I've never reviewed a Star Wars film, because A) I don't want to put myself through it, B) they're critic-proof, C) I don't have anything against G. Lucas, not like I do against Spielberg, because Lucas was always a shit filmmaker, he never showed any potential, whereas Spielberg was/is a director with exellent control of the medium. I'm sure it sucks. So does Cheese Whiz. Nevertheless millions stuff it in their maw. My only point is, Star Wars isn't dead until Lucas says it is.
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Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   

Oh, it's far from dead. Lucas has made noises about following up with a tv series.

My guess is that the tv series will be better than the films, by some degree, in that sense that most of the better tv series are now better than their equivalents in the world of mainstream film; the lower budgets translate to a need for character-based storytelling. And Lucas himself will not be able to oversee every installment, which will be a plus. Mind you, I don't expect it to be good, only better.



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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 04:27 pm:   

Jeff: I totally agree with your blog on Star Wars, except about episode 3 being worse then 1 and 2, which I thought were horrible and you thought were mediocre. I'd say episode 3 comes closer to achieving mediocrity, than 1 and 2.
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T Andrews
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 04:48 pm:   

I like the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon.
Didn't see episode two. Won't see episode three. DID see White Noise and I think it caused brain damage. :-)
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T Andrews
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 04:49 pm:   

Or is it episode one I won't see. The new one. Friggin' movies going backwards...??? Whatever.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 05:18 pm:   

Gee, this seems really odd to talk about. It sucks, all right? ! sucked, 2 sucked, and 3 sucked. And as far i'm concerned, the teddy bear movie sucked. Let me count the ways. Which sucked worse? Hmm...let me consider that. I'll have to watch them over again. Watch watch watch watch watch....Okay. Define worse. 3 was definitley better eyecandy and there was no Jar Jar. Props for three. But...N Portman was way bad in three, and there appears to be no more hope for Christiansen. Wow, it's a toughie. I'll have to get the opinion of an eminent suckologist.

I'm back and the word from ES is, Episode 2 by a snookie hair. I hope that settles this.

:-)
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   

lol

Yep and as bad as the dialog is in episode 3, it's not as bad as episode 2's.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 06:05 pm:   

I wouldn't know, Stephen. Thank, God. :-)
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Stephenb
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:17 pm:   

Well then, how can you gauge the extent of their sucktitude, if you haven't seen them?:-)

Did you even like the original trilogy a bit?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:43 pm:   

Yeah, a little bit. But they were really B pictures. The second one was best. The teddy bear movie was horrible...
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   

Yep, I agree.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 12:35 am:   

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:32 am:   

Annnh, I think it's being discussed now because it's current and because it's big. Wait a week and nobody will bring it up here ever again.

Of course, this summer, it means that folks will be bringing up BEWITCHED instead.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 07:11 am:   

"I'm sure just as many dateless fanboys will "call in sith" to work over and over, also! :-)"

Hey, I'm a dateless fanboy, and the movie was awful. Nearly as bad as Episode II.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 08:38 am:   

According to the London Times:

World News

June 02, 2005
Spielberg voted king of films
By Jack Malvern
His name is synonymous with his blockbusters and, just like Jaws, he has eaten up the competition

THE combination of a killer shark, a waddling alien and a story of humanity in the midst of the Holocaust has driven film buffs to crown Steven Spielberg as cinema’s greatest director.

Spielberg, who burst into the mainstream of film with Jaws in 1975, beat Sir Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese in a poll of 10,000 readers of Empire magazine.

The American has proved to be the most versatile director, editing his dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park in the evenings after spending the day setting up filming for Schindler’s List.

His next film, War of the Worlds, will also be one of the fastest blockbuster releases. Shooting began six months ago and it will be released on July 1.

Hitchcock, who directed 67 films, including Rear Window and Psycho, came second on the list and was the highest-ranked Briton.

Seven British directors made the Top 40, including two in the Top Ten. Sir Ridley Scott came fifth, followed by Sir David Lean at No 12 and Tony Scott, Tim Burton, Anthony Minghella and Charlie Chaplin.

Scorcese was acknowledged as the third-greatest director, despite never having won an Oscar. His 2004 film The Aviator won five Academy Awards from 11 nominations, but, despite an array of technical awards and a Best Supporting Actress prize for Cate Blanchett, Scorcese failed to win either Best Director or Best Picture. Those awards went to Clint Eastwood, who narrowly missed the Top Ten.

The only non-Western director was Akira Kurosawa, the Japanese auteur, whose films have influenced a generation of Hollywood directors. He is most famous for Seven Samurai, which inspired The Magnificent Seven, Yojimbo, which was adapted to become A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing, and Kakushi Toride No San Akunin (The Hidden Fortress), which inspired Star Wars.

Two other big names of modern film — Peter Jackson, who directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) — are in seventh and eighth places. They beat Orson Welles, the director of Citizen Kane, who came ninth, and Woody Allen, who was tenth.

The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan — who are famous for quirky movies such as Fargo, Blood Simple and O Brother, Where Art Thou? — were ranked in thirteenth place.

Ian Freer, the associate editor of Empire magazine, said that Spielberg was unassailable in film: “His adventures with sharks, UFOs, whip-crackin’ archaeologists and ETs, plus historical dramas like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, has defined the movie-going life of an entire generation.”

Born in Cincinnatti, Ohio, in 1946, Spielberg is one of the pioneers of the high-grossing, special-effects blockbuster, exemplified by Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977 and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, in 1982. He has also directed serious epics such as Schindler’s List (1993), Amistad (1997) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).

His future projects are said to include a fourth Indiana Jones adventure with George Lucas, the director of Star Wars, who came 31st in the Empire poll.


THE TOP 40


1 Steven Spielberg

2 Alfred Hitchcock

3 Martin Scorsese

4 Stanley Kubrick

5 Sir Ridley Scott

6 Akira Kurosawa

7 Peter Jackson

8 Quentin Tarantino

9 Orson Welles

10 Woody Allen

11 Clint Eastwood

12 Sir David Lean

13 The Coen Brothers

14 James Cameron

15 Francis Ford Coppola

16 Oliver Stone

17 Sergio Leone

18 John Ford

19 Billy Wilder

20 Sam Peckinpah

21 Howard Hawks

22 Robert Zemeckis

23 Michael Mann

24 David Lynch

25 Spike Lee

26 François Truffaut

27 Brian De Palma

28 Tony Scott

29 Fritz Lang

30 Tim Burton

31 George Lucas

32 Anthony Minghella

33 Ron Howard

34 Sam Raimi

35 Charlie Chaplin

36 Ingmar Bergman

37 M Night Shyamalan

38 Peter Weir

39 Terry Gilliam

40 Robert Altman
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

I guess Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Jean Cocteau were no match for M. Night Shyamalan, Sam Raimi, Ron Howard, Tony Scott, Spike Lee, Bob Zemeckis and Quentin Tarantino! Let's see, 8 1/2 vs. TOP GUN...NO CONTEST!

Americans aren't the only idiots! Huzzah! :-)

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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

Oh. Dear. God.
I am quite agog. Some good inclusions, but some ridiculous ones, and the order they're in. OH DEAR GOD.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 10:04 am:   

Even among the names I agree with, the order is all fucked up. Chaplin 35th?
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 10:46 am:   

The only choices in the top ten I think deserve to be considered for the top ten are: Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kurosawa, and maybe Orson Welles; although how many good movies has he made other than Citizen Kane?

Jackson, Tarantino, and Scott have made some good movies, but have they really earned a top ten best ever spot? Woody Allen's not THAT good.

Scorsese and Speilberg got to be two of the most over-rated directors ever.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:08 am:   

Also not to be found: Jean Renoir, Alain Resnais, Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Josef Von Sternberg, F.W. Murnau, etc. Guess they could not compete with THE VILLAGE, THE LAST BOY SCOUT or SPIDERMAN!
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

With Tarantino, at least you could say he hasn't really made a bad movie yet. So maybe, I could see, if he stays consistent and makes some true masterpieces, that he could be considered pretty high up there, later on in his career.

Scott's made some bad movies, and his best work seems to be behind him, so he could never truly be considered.

Jackson's made what's probably the best big-budget-modern-day-epic (at least in english), and he made some novel horror comedy's, but he shouldn't be near the top ten.

Sergio Leone and Terry Gilliam are better choices from that list then those guys.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:27 am:   

Dave: It's a balless list. With a British/American Hollywood bias. Of course they're going to overlook many of the French and Germans and Europeans in general. Also, Asian cinima is mostly overlooked. They have only one Asian director; one French; two German/Austrian; one Italian; one Australian; one Norwegian;. No Canadian. Mostly all American, with a number of British.
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:54 am:   

Wait, they let Canadians make film? Oh, yeah, STRANGE BREW is a classic...

Seriously, seriously flawed list. The names (and who's missing) are pretty much what you'd expect for the most part (not saying they're not wrong, just what I would expect from the great unwashed masses), but the order is beyond atrocious. It practically justifies the destruction of the entire medium as a whole, just to get rid of this list.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:54 am:   

I would say Tarantino participated in one bad film, if you count FOUR ROOMS with Tim Roth. Extra, extra bad.

Hey, maybe if the Swedes mount a big last-minute write-in campaign, Bergman could gain some ground on George Lucas and Raimi, even if he didn't direct DARKMAN!
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 12:32 pm:   

Minz: Cronenberg's better than a number of those American directors on that list. I'd say he's also better than Weir from Australia and Jackson from New Zealand.

Dave: But Tarantino's part in Four Rooms wasn't that bad. Didn't he do the last story?

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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 01:46 pm:   

Cronenberg definitely belongs on the list, though don't fall prey by introducing him as competition to other non-Americans. The directors from around the world should unite to strike down the Hegemony.

Tarantino's on the path, and is welcome to occupy the lower regions of my top forty, but I think he's a bit overrated. Allen is way overrated. And while Scorsese is somewhat overrated, he does earn a top-ten spot for me. He has accomplished quite a bit over the years.

I didn't realize George Lucas directed. Silly me.

Altman squeaking in at 40 is a joke. Nobody captures honest atmosphere like Altman. Heck, he's so good at capturing the essence of his settings that I'd put him at the top of my list of folks who must be part of any human-to-alien greeting party, simply because of his intuitive ability to bring out what seems to be the genuine essence of a place (the anti-Spielberg, as it were, who never met a malleable heartstring he didn't have to try and manipulate in some hamhanded fashion...)

Y'know, I just don't have the time to really go over the list and tick off all the crap on it that pisses me off. UGH!!!! So many jokes there, I can't stand it. People who aren't fit to wipe Fellini's ass.

"Wiping Fellini's Ass" hmmm, sounds like a good film title. (or maybe is just the answer the qustion: What is this list good for?)
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:20 pm:   

Only in keeping with Hollywood's current vogue for same-sounding titles, it would have to be "WIPING FEDERICO" (cf SAVING SILVERMAN, FINDING FORRESTER, CHASING AMY, FELCHING FRANK, etc.)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:24 pm:   

What has Scorsese done other than make 1 decent indie film a couple of good b-pictures. He's among my 50 Worst Directors.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:37 pm:   

Aw come on! You've got to like MEAN STREETS, at least?...
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   

Scorsese has always been one of those directors that really annoys me. Sure, he's worked with good actors. De Niro's a good actor, but Scorsese's over utilized him. And De Niro's gone down hill with his recent movies anyway. Have you seen the American express commercial he was in? Daniel Day Lewis's another really good actor, but just because he can act, doesn't make a movie like Gangs of New York any less crappy. I don't even want to bother with Aviator. All he's mostly done is the same Hollywood cliches over and over again. Either urban American tough guy or gangster movies, which he made maybe a few pretty good ones, that's about it. So he keeps on making safe, "serious" type Hollywood movies. None of his gangster movies are as good as the original Godfather. Part of his whole appeal seems to be pity and American film propaganda. He wants to be a Kubrick, but he's not.
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   

I dunno, man.
Mean Streets
Taxi Driver
Raging Bull
Goodfellas
Casino
Color of Money
For comedies, there's After Hours and The King of Comedy (ok, that was mostly Bobby D carrying the film). Heck, if it weren't for Liza Minelli, I'd rate New York, New York a lot higher. Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More is probably Ellen Burstyn's finest performance (and Harvey Keitel was pretty good, though far from his best.)

Not a bad body of work, and it does have some range as well. Maybe not Top Ten, but I'd call that Top Twenty at least. Sure, a lot of it was the talent in his film, but there's a reason people like Bobby D kept working with the guy.
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minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 02:55 pm:   

Deniro has gone down hill, but maybe some of the credit belongs to Scorsese. Granted, from Kundun on, he hasn't done anything I'm interested in, but still, name me twenty directors with as wide a body of work as Scorsese, with a list of films as good as the one in my above post.
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 03:01 pm:   

Oh, and I really enjoyed Last Waltz--probably #2 on my personal list of favorite music documentaries.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   

Taxi Driver was a B picture, another crazed Vietnam vet. Goodfellas was mean streets lite. Casino was abominable, the worst voiceover in history. Raging Bull was a bore with excruciatingly bad B&W cinematography. Color of Money? Are you kidding me? King of Comedy was all right. After Hours an Ok zany comedy. You couldn't call it a black comedy unless you misapprehend the term. Even if you conisde all of these good moves--and that's all they can be given their limitations--it;s just an ok resume and I can name a hundred Eurpoean directors with a better one, not to mention Asian....
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Forrest
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 03:06 pm:   

For those who are burned out on Star Wars, I suggest this refreshing new look at the original trilogy:

http://www.atomfilms.com/af/content/gangsta_rap_se
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   

And De Niro's best gangster films aren't with Scorsese. Once Upon A Time In America, Godfather 2, and The Untouchables are all better and so are the directors who made them.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 04:05 pm:   

Ok, I haven't seen The Untouchables since I was pretty young... but I'll stand by the other two and the original Godfather.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 04:43 pm:   

I can understand intellectually that CASINO is not a very good movie (I like David Spade's review: "Casino? Ca-seen-it!"), but I have to confess it's a guilty pleasure. I just love "people hitting the skids" movies and it is just fantastic watching Sharon Stone's downward spiral. And I enjoy watching Rickles and Alan King.

I also enjoyed Ving Rhames and Tom Sizemore in BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, even if the movie itself wasn't a keeper.

An interesting jumping off point for a side topic: Lucius, what is your def of "black comedy" and what are some of your finest examples?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 05:52 pm:   

Leolo is the purest example of black comedy I've yet seen. Rather than write a definition, I'd seriously recommend seeing this.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 08:59 pm:   

I rented a couple movies that look good.

City Of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles, which has been discussed here a bit.

And Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi The Blind Swordsman.

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Bob
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:01 pm:   

George Lucas, Brian De Palma, and Ron Howard, okay. But no Ed Wood, Roger Corman, or Russ Meyer?
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Lawrence A
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 03:32 am:   

You gonna bother to review Batman Begins, Lucius? Are you even gonna bother to go see it?
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 03:50 am:   

zatoichi is cool.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 06:21 am:   

Well, Lawrence, I'm definitely down for War Of The Worlds, but I may do BB as part of a review of several films. Then again, I may give it a pass. Depends how hot the weather is.

Here's a definition, Dave. Black comedy is comedy whose primary purpose is not to make one laugh, but to make one feel. I think Leolo is the greatest black comedy ever put on film. And, Stephen, it;s Canadian. :-)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:14 am:   

What about Cindarella Man, Lucius? I actually like Russell Crowe as an actor, though he's had his hand in hollywood pap upon occasion, which CM seems to threaten to be. You gonna take the plunge and piss yourself off with another Hollywood bungling of the Sweet Science?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:27 am:   

I've already seen it . Crowe deserves better movies, Ron Howard deserves to be drowned in oatmeal. I'm gonna do a brief mention of this and during the course of the review, reveal a little known boxing fact, a pretty amazing one. The boxing in this one if farily authentic 30's style boxing--courtesy of Angelo Dundee--but the depression looks like it was set-dressed by a Dutch Master and Joe Gould was not Braddock's trainer, he was his manager. It's crap, of course.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 07:43 am:   

What about High Tension? Or November?

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 08:28 am:   

I saw Haute Tension on DVD. It's very stylish, but has the moral and sub-textual context of your basic gorefest. I didn't feel the urge to review it, I was more inclined to review, along these lines, Irreversible, and I should have, because of it's creepy morality, but bailed. November--maybe.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 11:57 am:   

Another thing about that list is there's no female directors. Now, there isn't many of them, but there are some good female directors out there, beyond Penny Marshal and Sophia Coppola. Alison Maclaine, a Canadian director, will be doing interesting things outside of Hollywood.



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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 12:07 pm:   

Lina Wertmuller.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   

Lucrecia Martel
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Lawrence A,
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 01:08 am:   

I think Alison Maclain is a Kiwi, not Canadian. At least she was born in New Zeland, maybe she's got Canadian citizenship now. Don't know. Yeah she holds a lot of promise, so long as she steers clear of Hollywood. Jesus' Son was good, got the style, texture and spirit of Denis Johnson's novel just right.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 02:59 am:   

Because Maclean isn't a Canadian sounding name at all.:-)

She was born in Canada. Check IMDB if you don't believe me. I think she did some traveling in New Zeland when she was young...
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Lawrence A
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 01:26 am:   

yeah I see she was born in Ottawa, not Kiwiland. I see she left for New Zealand when she was 14, (why I mistakenly thought she was born there), before returning to North America as an adult.
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Carl A.
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 02:19 am:   

Elia Kazan should be high on such a list, not only for his best known films, but also for "America, America", which is on par in quality with "On the Waterfront" but very different; it's scope is tremendous. Everyone should see it.

Igmar Bergman should be much higher up, if just for "The Seventh Seal".
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 06:03 am:   

Good call on America America -- it's an overlooked film.

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