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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   

Saw a fantastic movie, Victor Erice's El Sol De Membrillo, which details the creation of a single painting, the painting of a quince tree by the Spanish artist Antonio Garcia y Lopez. It's kind of a journal, beautiful filmmaking...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 09:03 pm:   

Also watched Drugstore Cowboy for the first time in ten years. Where did Van Sant go wrong? That was about the last time he had a real narrative to hang all his twitches on. Matt Dillon's had a weird career. He's really a strange-looking guy in person, he's got this gigantic head and these features that are almost a parody of handsomeness, but he photographs really well. Anyway, it's a great movie.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 10:48 pm:   

i've always liked dillon in films. he's not fantastic, but there's a bit of a quirk in him to get by. wish the big head'd show up, though.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 01:06 am:   

Just went out and saw THE GREAT RAID (rather than FOUR BROTHERS). I figured it would be a good big-screen movie, but the big-screen moments were few. If I thought of it as a dramatization rather than a drama, I liked it more. It's deliberately old fashioned and strives for the look of a washed out postcard (or maybe echoes of THREE KINGS)...the presence of Joseph Fiennes is ennervating. Someone started snoring a few rows behind me.

This did answer my question, "What's John Dahl been up to lately?" Then I looked at IMDB and realized I hadn't seen anything he'd made since THE LAST SEDUCTION.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 01:08 am:   

I like Dillon too. He's odd. I sorta liked RUMBLE FISH for that matter. Although I liked PRIVATE IDAHO more than most, I agree that DRUGSTORE COWBOY was a great movie. I really expected more out of Kelly Lynch after that as well.
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Fernando Jimenez
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 03:55 am:   

Glad to see Erice's name mentioned here. He's had the most frustating career, at least from his followers' point of view, as he has only been able to make three features (or 2 1/2, as "El Sur" could not be finished as intended) and some short pieces in a 30 year + career. Each of the movies is a sort of masterpiece, and we should be grateful with what we got, but it is a pity nonetheless.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 04:47 am:   

Fernando, I'm ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of him before, but wow, El Sol de Membrillo blew me away. What a beautiful film! I'm certainy going to dig up his other films, if possible.

Ben, lots of Hollywood people aren't as good-looking as they are photogenic. Faye Dunnaway comes to mind --she borders on the grotesque, as does Dillon. Big head! Goofy eyebrows!

Marc, I gotta admit I;m in a bad mood where Hwood is concerned. I probably was a bit harsh on Singleton, but The Skeleton Key just flat soured me. Another movie made by someone who knows nothing of the south except what he's seen in the movies. Gena Rowlands and Stellan Skaargard were great, but Kate Hudson....Boy oh Boy she has the range of a wet Kleenex. On a personal level, I was glad to see it do fairly well at the box office because that helps Lousiana Breakdown inch along in the development process. But It didn't do me any good otherwise. I suppose I'm going to see a movie or two on the 26th, but I ain't looking forward to it.

As to Lynch, I guess we have Travolta and Scientology to blame. She puts me in mind of Kitty Wynn, who did a great druggie turn in Panic in Needle Park, then basically nothing.
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 06:14 am:   

El Sol De Membrillo was good. I haven't seen any of his other films.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 06:40 am:   

Has PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK ever come out on video or DVD? I remember seeing ads for it as a kid and always being curious about it, but after its theatrical run, it just fell off the face of the earth...

Anybody ever seen ALBINO ALLIGATOR? A pretty good Dillon performance.

Yeah, Kelly Lynch never lived up to her promise, though she was pretty good in that recent Lifetime TV movie about the mom with the internet porn addict son!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 06:54 am:   

I think Panic is on DVD---good Pacino performance and great Kitty Wynn performance.

Lifetime? Dave...?
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 08:48 am:   

Just ordered Erice's SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE...it's the only one the library had in stock (VHS from 1988...probably in cruddy condition).
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 09:06 am:   

The British Film Institute had a debate about what films all children should see before turning 14.

http://www.bfi.org.uk/education/coursesevents/conferences/watchthis/top50.html

The list is mostly a safe one, although "Show Me Love" (aka Fucking Amal) surprised me. Spirit of the Beehive is on the list.

I'd add Requiem For a Dream. It will likely disturb kids, but it may do a decent job scaring them away from trying drugs.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 09:40 am:   

Lucius, it's time I come out of the closet. Lifetime is my guilty pleasure. There is nothing more entertaining that WAC (Women Acting Crazy) films. And the staple of Lifetime programming is women caught in an endless stream of wacked out, addictive, compulsive or downright psycho behaviors. Whether it's Delta Burke stealing babies, Virginia Madsen seducing police detectives or Cynthia Gibb gambling away the kids' college money, it's guaranteed, non-stop glee.

I mean, damn, don't tell me you guys don't remember Charles Durning trying to force-feed Jennifer Jason Leigh a peanut butter sandwich in THE BEST LITTLE GIRL IN THE WORLD...I mean, who are you guys kidding? Lifetime is like that 24 hours a day! The recent Kelly Lynch internet porn flick (CYBER SEDUCTION: HIS SECRET LIFE) was just the latest in the stream of winners!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 09:50 am:   

El Sur isn't even offered on video....
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:12 am:   

Well, Dave...I always watch Lifetime when I'm sick, because I keep hoping to see Tracy Gold finished off, but my level of appreciation for camp is not high under ordimaty circumstances.. Much as I dote on the constant recycling of ex-stars like Lindsay Wagner, Vicky Principal, Mary Tyler Moor, et al, and the constant recycling of never-wases like Yasmin Bleeth, there are better things to watch, if not do. I will admit that it nice to know that there is a cable channel where you can always find a slasher flick. I feel, however, that watching Lifetime is symptomatic of hostility to women.... :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 10:15 am:   

And who said, Kelly Lynch hadn't accomplished much since Drugstore Cowboy?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:14 am:   

Hey, Lucius, I don't makes 'em; I just watches 'em...:-)

I don't want to make it sound like I'm glued to Lifetime 24/7. I just find them a very delightful alternative to the ever-worsening crap that plagues the networks and the rest of pay cable. I mean, "Battle of the Network Reality Stars?" Given a choice of using the latest episode of "Two and a Half Men" or "A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story" for video wallpaper, you know my preference.

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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:16 am:   

That BFI list is interesting. Before looking I thought that if they didn't have WHERE IS THE FRIEND'S HOUSE? then I wasn't going to care much about the other entries. But it's there. Good to know I can watch SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE with my kids.

I have to take exception with stuff like BACK TO THE FUTURE and E.T. however. Where is STREET OF CROCODILES? That made quite an impression on my kids.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:20 am:   

Well, Dave, you have a point...barely. Anyway, who can resist those Women-in-Peril weekends and those Patty Duke retrospectives.

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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:55 am:   

There will always be a place on my dance card for HIDDEN OBSESSION with Heather Thomas. :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 12:09 pm:   

What was the obsession? No, never mind. It's more fun to imagine.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 02:33 pm:   

She is. It's a standard WIP (women in peril) film. The stalker musta been a big fan of "The Fall Guy" or something...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 03:34 pm:   

Those whacky stalkers....

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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2005 - 11:56 pm:   

What's the early word on Jackson's new KONG? Will you see it, do you have high hopes for it, or are you worried it will be a let down after LotR?

The one preview I saw looked decent, although I don't put much stock in trailers. You just never know.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 12:35 am:   

You guys! Jesus! SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE is a dang masterpiece.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 04:45 am:   

Samm, we are appropriately chastened.

Patrick, I'm not terribly interested in KONG;. I saw the trailer, and I wasn't in love with the faux thirties look of the movie, and, as someone mentioned on another thread, some shots of the ape looled really bad, though maybe the FX will get cleaned up. But mainly I'm disinterested because it's another damn remake--how many more Kongs do we have to have before they wring the idea dry? I mean it goes, mysterious island, dinosaurs, giant ape, worshipful prinitives, in chans back to NY,
escapes, climbs tall building, dies, it was beauty killed the beast. No matter how pretty the pictues, that's all it ever can be, unless Jackson goes nuts and turns it into a Bergman film. I'll probably have to review it, but I'm not thrilled by the prospect. Will it be letdown after LorR? IMO, the last two parts of the trilogy weren't all that, so....probably won't be much of a letdown for me.
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:02 am:   

I'll watch Kong. I don't have high hopes for it, but since it is Jackson, I'll give it a chance. I'd skip it if anybody else directed. I've enjoyed all his films (except Meet the Feebles).
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:22 am:   

I didn't think the rabid-monkey zombie film was all that great, either.

Just finished watching Brian Gibson's STILL CRAZY (thanks again, LS!). What a pleasant surprise. Funny, warm and poignant without being sappy. I loved Bill Nighy as the aging, down-on-his-luck rock narcissist singer and Helena Bergstrom as his teutonic shrew wife. Stephen Rea was a bit of a disappointment, kind of bland in the "smart guy who holds it all together" role. And Billy Connolly is always watchable. My only real demerit was the ending nicked directly from THIS IS SPINAL TAP, but by the end, you were rooting for those guys so hard, who cared? I give it three-and-a-half strings.

I might rent KONG but only for Naomi Watts, who is definitely worth scaling a skyscraper for.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:37 am:   

Oh, I knew I saw Nighy somewhere before! He was the king vampire in UNDERWORLD. A versatile guy, this Bill!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 07:42 am:   

Nighy has been in a ton of movies. Most recently, The Girl In The Cafe and Love Actually. He's always worth watching. I din't mind Rea in Still Crazy. With all the scenery being chewed by Nighy, Timothy Spall, Connolly, etc, somebody had to underplay it.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 08:49 am:   

Well, I read the description of SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE and I got really excited and couldn't believe I hadn't seen it. So, yeah, I'm chastened.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 09:12 am:   

Sounds pretty good, huh? You gotta love movies that deal with FRANKENSTEIN in a realworld way.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 09:30 am:   

BTW, if you end up liking it enough to buy, Amazon UK has a pretty cheap DVD.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:12 am:   

I see that PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK is, indeed out on DVD.

More good news for lovers of quality cinema: Jimmy Fallon and Jessica Alba signed to remake I DREAM OF JEANNIE! Good thing Alba didn't want to wreck her career by going for FANTASTIC FOUR 2!
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:16 am:   

I see V for Vendetta has been pushed back to March 2006. This just confirms what I already suspected: it will be bad. February and March are where they dump movies they don't expect to make money.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:42 am:   

well, that's changed somewhat, Robert. A lot of big movies have opened in March in recent years. But how could it not suck?

I DREAM OF JEANNIE...Jesus. When will it stop?
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

True, but for the movies studios really hope for money out of, it's always summer or Christmas. Plus, I'm always skeptical when something gets pushed back. It's almost always because the film sucks (one exception is Night Watch). But Wachowski's, an Alan Moore comic adaptaion and being pushed back...all three are reasons to suspect it will be bad.

As for remaking TV shows, it will never stop. I'm just dreading when they try to make Small Wonder into a movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 12:41 pm:   

I think Gladiator came out in March -- that was a big movie. But I get your point.

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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 01:07 pm:   

MY MOTHER THE CAR with Owen Wilson in the Jerry Van Dyke part?

MR. ED with Steve Carrell as Wilbur Post?

Vince Vaughn and Fairuza Balk as THE MUNSTERS?

GOOD TIMES with Charles Dutton, Dave Chapelle and Oprah Winfrey?
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

Gladiator was May.

Work's slow so I went through IMDB for March openings. These did better than $25k on the opening weekend and were March releases:
Ice Age
Robots
The Ring 2
Liar Liar
Blade II
Erin Brockovitch
Dawn of the Dead (remake)
Bringing Down the House
Pacifier
Scooby Doo 2
Panic Room
Starsky & Hutch

Ice Age was the biggest opening. None are what I'd consider good movies, although Panic Room was watchable. Family movies were the only ones that did well in the first half, while the second half was more varied.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 01:15 pm:   

Well, that's not going to be confused with anybody's AFI "best of" list, now, is it? :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 01:44 pm:   

None are what I would consider good movies, but Liar Liar and Erin Brockovitch were movies that Hwood slotted to make money, to be big. .
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 02:26 pm:   

Opps, that should be $25mil, not $25k. I also saw Return of the Jedi was March. That definitely made money. So it's not a complete crap dumping ground, but I still think "pushed back to March" isn't a good sign.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 03:37 pm:   

I think August is a worse dumping ground. That's where all the worst summer movies usually go.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 03:38 pm:   

as in the Cave....
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:02 pm:   

The current batch of movies at the multiplexes certainly support that theory.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:10 pm:   

Exactly....not that July's were any prize.

Hwood used to use the late winter/early spring as a dump, but as Robert's list evidences, they've started to put some serious promotion behind movies released in that time frame.
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:21 pm:   

But don't forget that it's sometimes the sleeper hit, the one that Hollywood didn't put much into, or expect to do that well, that can be the best of all the Hollywood junk...
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 06:22 pm:   

Christmas is one of the biggest slots.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 07:21 pm:   

Some good news out of all this. I just got notified by Amazon that the original King Kong has finally received the DVD treatment; a 2-disk edition, due out in November. I don't even have a cruddy VHS copy of this. And the VHS tapes I invested in when that seemed "the thing to do" are starting to look and sound terrible. Last week I played some old tapes I'd bought years ago but never played; sound was muddy and eyecandy they were not.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 07:22 pm:   

And sometimes it's not. Everyone predicted low grosses for the Scooby Doo movie, and wham bam zowie!
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 07:47 pm:   

not that July's were any prize.

Now that I think about it, Hollywood dumps crap on us every month. It's not like one month is better than another. We're lucky when Hollywood releases a good movie.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 08:19 pm:   

hey, that is good news about kong! I;d rather see it again than the Jackson.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 09:01 pm:   

Kong will undoubtedly get some well deserved restoration. If you've seen any of the recent restored versions of Charlie Chaplin's films, comparing them to every other version I've seen in my lifetime is like...well, there's no comparison. They're no longer scratchy, faded greys. They're deep black and glowing white and every shade of silver in between.
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Laird
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:41 pm:   

Just finished watching Sorum. Brrr.

That film will be in my head for a while.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:48 pm:   

Yeah, Sorum's one of my favorite Korean movies. Way atmospheric.

Excellent about Kong, Marc. I'm definitely getting it.
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PM
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2005 - 06:53 am:   

More good news for lovers of quality cinema: Jimmy Fallon and Jessica Alba signed to remake I DREAM OF JEANNIE! -- Dave

Could Jessica be the new blonde?
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 05:02 pm:   

24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
COFFEE AND CIGARETTES
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

The news just keeps getting worse for poor Steve Coogan. Now, the British tabloids have Coogs having a love child with Courtney Love!

Can you think of a star who's gone from hot to liquid-oxygen-temperature so quickly?
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Stephen
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 05:06 pm:   

You read British tabloids, Dave?:-)

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Stephen
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 05:11 pm:   

I'd never heard of him...

But yeah. What about the Juice?

Back in the 70s he was hot. Juice on the Loose!... still.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 12:31 am:   

Thanks for the Victor Erice recommendations. Spirit of the Beehive is fantastic in every sense of the word.
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Adam-Troy Castro
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:18 am:   

Peter Jackson deserves some credit, as he's one of the forces behind the King Kong restoration. They say the film looks better than it has in decades.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:56 am:   

Yep, I got beehive coming. And looking forward to Kong the restored.

Saw Malefique last night. Terrific French horror film -- very Lovecrafty, though no tentacle-- about four men in a prison cell who discover a book behind the stones that may lead them to freedom.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:28 am:   

Just found LONDON VOODOO at my local Borders. Yippee!!!
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:40 am:   

It's been on Amazon fer months, man? Don't you do mail order?
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 07:23 am:   

Waiting to see Spirit of the Beehive and Malefique.

I watched Urban Ghost Story. It's an alright movie, although Billy Boyd as a mob guy seemed a bit unbelievable (I kept on picturing him as a Hobbit).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 07:57 am:   

Haven't seem Urban. Is it worth seeking out.
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

It's worth checking out, I don't expect it will be too hard to find (I got a used copy at Blockbuster for $5). It was nice to find a ghost story that's not set in a deserted manor (and unlike another urban ghost story, Bones, isn't terrible).
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

Thanks, Robert.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 08:49 am:   

Lucius, I am a consumer luddite. I crave the human interaction of bricks-and-mortar shopping.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 09:07 am:   

Well, you're missing out on some stuff... :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 11:11 am:   

I know. I just sit reading the descriptions on diabolik and drool. One day soon I will conquer my trepidation, after I watch LV...
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 11:19 am:   

Adam, I do give Jackson credit for the reissue. Then again, unlike some, I'm looking forward to the remake. It's a labor of love, from a purveyor of fine junk food and the occasional masterpiece. That pretty much describes most of my favorite Western filmmakers.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   

Saw Sin City and didn't like it. But I was high and had some good laughs at its cheese. I also thought it was cool having Micky Rourke in it. People I know who've read the comic say it's really faithful. Based on that, I doubt I'd like the comic.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   

If I wanted to see Mickey Rourke, I'd watch Barfly again.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 05:49 pm:   

Yeah, he's good in that.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:09 pm:   

My personal Mickey highlight was his role as St Francis of Assissi. Has to be seen to be believed. But "Another drink for all my friends..." was pretty cool. He had a nice cameo in the Pledge.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:12 pm:   

That girl I've mentioned's favourite movie, for awhile, at least, was 9 1/2 Weeks...
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 06:48 pm:   

Did you guys follow his boxing career?
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Robert
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 07:07 pm:   

My friends told me Sin City was faithful to the comics too. But they also felt some elements work in the comic, but when translated into film don't work. Like having some of the blood pure white looked nice in print, but on film looked silly.

And just think, we've got 2 sequels already planned. My comic reading friends tell me the most readable stories were already used. If those were the better examples, I don't want to think about what the other stories are like.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 07:34 pm:   

Mickey Rourke was no boxer.

Saw that about the sequels. Whee....
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 05:28 am:   

the thing about the film is that it's much too faithful. it doesn't appear to understand that it has sound and motion to use, whereas the comic doesn't. all the dodge dialogue and one note characters are there, but miller's art gives it a life.

the sequels will be much like the original, really. if you couldn't pick from that film, sin city has this one note played long and hard, full of beautiful prostitutes with hearts of gold and manly man who shoot first and rescue babes whenever they're cute enough and in trouble. blah.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 06:53 am:   

Blah, indeed....

Thank God I don't have to see them....
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Adam-Troy
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 07:11 am:   

Ahhh, BARFLY.

I love that film. Saw it in the theatre, packed with viewers who were either baffled or delighted. No middle ground.

Saw STRINGS: an epic fantasy, filmed with marionettes. Gimmick is that they know they're attached to strings, and it figures in their cosmology. Wild, imaginative stuff.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 07:55 am:   

Rourke was astonishingly good in THE PLEDGE. It took me a while to even realize it was him.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 09:00 am:   

Yep, Barfly is awesome, Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke are both fantastic, and the script...wow. Great stuff. One of my alltime favorites.

I'll have to dig up The Pledge now.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 10:03 am:   

The Pledge is great! An outstancing Nicholson perf.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

I watched Alexander, which was just one gay ass scene, after lame ass scene, after another. Good thing I was already drunk and smoked a few joints, while I watched. It left me with the question. Are Americans retarted?

Also managed to watch Fahrenheit 911. Nothing really new to me, but it has its moments. Didn't think it was quite as good as BFC.

So you pretty much think his boxing career was a joke? He still boxed, though. Did he not?
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 01:57 pm:   

Badly.

Why do you watch shit like that? You know it's bad?
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 02:01 pm:   

Wasn't my call. Wasn't my place. I was drunk.:-)
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PM
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 05:50 pm:   

Rourke was also great in that other movie, Angel Heart (which Lucius hates).

Angel Heart has a highly influential soundtrack or at least it was the first time I heard some of its motifs. The chase scenes have a drum pattern which I've heard so many times in other films and on tv.

And yes the Pledge was wonderful too :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 06:08 pm:   

Angel Heart is offal.

So Stephen....while watching F911, smoking dope, drunk, considering Americans retarded, were you getting in touch with your inner American.....?
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 11:34 pm:   

Probably been talked about on an earlier good movies incarnation, but what was the general feeling for THE MACHINIST? I just saw it last night. If nothing else I was totally amazed at how much weight Christian Bale lost. My god! He said in an interview that he just didn't eat. Then he turns around and beefs up for Batman? Sheesh. But anyway, as far as the movie goes, what did people think?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 12:18 am:   

I was warned away from it by people who said it would just piss me off, so no opinion here.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 01:05 am:   

Inner American? I don't think I have one. Or at least, I don't want to think I do. But, essentially, I am an American, just of a slightly different breed. Canadians are really not all that different than Americans of the U.S. variety, though some would pretend otherwise. Although, we tend to have more in common with Europeans, we pretty much share a culture and get much of our culture from the big empire below. But all across North America, from South to North, East to West, you have slightly different breeds of Americans. I prefer to remain an individual.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 01:12 am:   

THE PLEDGE is very cool indeed. i also liked THE CROSSING GUARD, which nicholson and penn did together. the ending is a weak, but the build up to that is all good.
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Robert
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:31 am:   

I enjoyed the Machinist. The plot and "twist" ending weren't surprising at all, but I was more interested in how they got there. But I kept wishing Bale would put a shirt on. He looked terrible.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:08 am:   

Yeah, I liked THE CROSSING GUARD, too. I thought David Morse was really good in it. I was surprised that the critics hacked it to pieces.
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MCisco
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 12:13 pm:   

from the New York Times -

"... many movie executives and industry experts are beginning to conclude that [when it comes to the precipitous decline in movie going] something more fundamental is at work: too many Hollywood movies these days, they say, just are not good enough."

No way!
Shock!
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 12:22 pm:   

Where that from, Michael. I want to email it to someone. What article.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 12:44 pm:   

The trouble is, the lessons "learned" by studio execs always remind me of mark twain's story of the cat who jumped up on the hot stove, got burned and never went near the stove again - whether it was hot or cold.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   

True, lots of Hollywood product sucks, but that never kept people away from theaters before. I would point to...

1. Insane ticket prices
2. Small, uncomfortable theaters
3. Commercials before movies
4. Refusal by management to enforce basic standards of decorum (ie, letting underage kids into R films, loud talking, etc.)
5. Cellular telephones

Any one of these factors (and 3 or more are usually present) can ruin a movie, even a decent one.

Why on earth would any sane person throw $10 away, taking a chance on a good filmgoing experience, when for a couple of bucks, he can watch a DVD in the quiet and comfort of his own home and actually pay attention? And given the rapid expansion of home theater screens and the escalating costs of urban commercial real estate, a guy's home screen can be almost as big as the one in the $10 theater!
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:06 pm:   

Filmgoing as blah-blah-blah "communal" experience is vastly overrated, IMHO.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:14 pm:   

You go to the movies. Why? Big screen.

Films have never been this bad.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   

I go, but not as often as I used to. It's been years since I've been to a flick that wasn't ruined by a cell phone.

You may be right about film quality. The "badfilms" I used to go see (Roadhouse, Out For Justice, Streets of Fire) feel like masterpieces nowadays...
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:48 pm:   

Out for justice is tight little action picture. And who writes dialog like Roadhouse? Funny, I've never heard a cell phone ring in a theatre out here.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 03:41 pm:   

Doesn't Out for Justice end with Seagal beating up the bad guy whose no contest whatsoever?

It's about as exciting as watching some evil CEO (fat, bald, white guy) get beaten by a martial arts specialist...

Which is where realism just falls flat on it's face.

Sure the boss has his henchmen but the boss realistically is rarely the most dangerous physical threat. Once the henchmen are beat who cares about an uneven physical matchup between the hero and the boss?

No the boss usually pulls out a weapon to even the fight and it's just BORING...

(Oh yeah I've been wronged by these films and so I'm going to dedicate the rest of life to vengeance. First I'll experience an initial defeat but I'll regroup. Maybe I'll do drugs or gain experience with a master who'll show me the path to gain my vengeance. If I meet an attractive girl, she may be in peril and we'll likely have sex either soon afterwards or at the end of the film. Perhaps I'll rescue a family of gerbils caught in an unexpected flood. But once I'm ready I'll have the inevitable matchup beating the henchmen one by one...till I face the boss. I'll express my platitudes and likely will have to kill him.

Arrgh!!! Maybe I'll recapitulate with Asian actors using subtitles so it's not so obvious:-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   

Maybe as part of your revenge, you can make sense.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 03:59 pm:   

Out for Justice was a good american version of an HK flick. The beatdown at the end was not supposed to be suspenseful -- it was supposed to ( and did) bring home the mammoth proportions of Richie's drug abuse; he barely felt Seagal's punches, he kept fighting despite the fact he was getting mortally beaten. That was affecting, it brought home his insanity.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 04:21 pm:   

That reads like the novelization...

Perhaps no one is tired of watching finales where the action hero utterly overbalances the boss/druglord/criminal mastermind/etc.

Realistically that would likely be the case...

But who wants to watch it some unfit boss get beaten?

This Out for Justice explanation reads (and I'm not trying to give Lucius a hard time here) like the Iraq war "explanation" for War of the Worlds.

Obviously when I watch an action film I like there to be some sense of contest between the combatants. Enter the Dragon is the exception to the rule.

Does anyone tire of the "you did me or someone I know wrong and now I've got to put you down" plots?
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:30 pm:   

Not if it's well done. Check out Oldboy, it's like no other movie I've seen.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:58 pm:   

Does anybody tire of westerns? Of genre films of any sort? Yeah. But when they work, they work.

The explanation of OFJ shouldn't have to be given. It's quite obvious. You didn't get it, which is fine. Me and Dave did.
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PM
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:15 pm:   

Yeah I think westerns finally saturated most of their audiences. It did seem at one time that being in a western was part of an actor's rite of passage...

I enjoy some westerns but I can't say that I avidly await new ones...

let's see Kevin Costner did one recently
Jackie Chan (who I like) and Owen Wilson did something
the Wild Wild West got a remake that actually made the original an art beacon

Shane!!!

Not only is it becoming nostalgia for films fondly remembered but an escape backward in time to films that were actually enjoyable...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:25 pm:   

Oldboy sort of makes my point which is that folk are watching Asian (action) movies because American action movies are SO uninteresting.

We have remakes of Asian movies because Hollywood somehow thinks that all it takes is a remake.

Well I say let's jumpstart Chevy Chases' career with a remake of War of the Worlds. I say Chase instead of Cruise...

Let's get Steve Martin to direct it because he's got time on his hands. At least until he does Return of the Jerk...

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:56 pm:   

You're preaching to the choir, man

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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 06:20 am:   

L, I hope I didn't sound like I was dissin' OFJ...It's one of my favorites! Just watched it again, a couple of weeks ago, in fact. My point was just that Seagal's acting and some of the over-the-top elements branded it as a "B" picture, and they are not today making "B" movies with the same panache and style they did back in the 80s.

Actually, very few of the fights in Seagal movies are competitive (the battle with Bogosian's main henchman in UNDER SEIGE, maybe?). He even dispatches Screwface pretty easily in MARKED FOR DEATH. I agree that Richie's performance in the finale of OFJ is partially designed to show what a deranged, drug-addled maniac he is. But half the fun of a Seagal movie is watching him saunter into a fight with a half-dozen toughs and mop up the floor with them without breaking a sweat. The fun is in watching the ingenuity with which he does it (the billiard ball in a towel? Priceless!). Richie was such a thorough scumbag, who engendered no empathy whatsoever, that I couldn't wait to see him be annihilated. And watching Seagal whup up on him with pots and pan around Rica's kitchen was genuinely hilarious in the way Jackie Chan's fights are.

I just watched ROAD HOUSE again in widescreen, and there is a real B movie grandeur about it. For me, it's right up there with DETOUR.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 06:35 am:   

Naw, yiou didn't sound that way. I was gonna mention the fight in Under Seige, but then thought why bother, you know.
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kellys
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 08:04 am:   

Saw an advance screening (one bloody day!) of Brothers Grimm last night. It couldn't have been worse, more uninspired, more scattershot, more humorless, more drab (what, did Gilliam run the film across the floor before delivering it?) it sucked! For all the normal reasons Hollywood movies suck. Too many lame action scenes, unenthusiastic actors, plot devices ...and on and on and on.

The worst film of Gilliam's career by far. It would have been better off as a direct-to-DVD.

On a brigher note, finally saw Memories of Murder. Maybe not quite a masterpiece, but a damn tight piece of storytelling with actual characterization.

Deathbed didn't work for me though. I liked it as a curio (as in: I can't believe I'm watching a bed eat a person and then burp!), but as a narrative I found it a bit dull. But I'd watch a hundred Deathbeds before I ever watch Brothers Grim again.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 08:04 am:   

Seagal's fights always have a comic tinge to them. Remember seal-turned-cook Casey Ryback in UNDER SIEGE beating up bad guys while yelling for someone to check his pies in the oven?
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Robert
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 08:17 am:   

Reviews of Brothers Grimm haven't been very good either. I may wait for DVD.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 08:40 am:   

I'm psyched for my DVD dbl feature this weekend: LONDON VOODOO and Lars Von Trier's THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS.
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Tim Pratt
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 10:32 am:   

Anyody seen this Dutch movie, Memory of a Killer? Heard a review of it on the radio this morning, and it sounded interesting. It's about a hitman who's starting to suffer from Alzheimer's.

There's actually some real "communal experience" theater in Oakland CA, at the Parkway speakeasy theater. They've got couches in the theaters, and serve pizza and beer, and they're cheap. They do a lot of live shows (music, dance, etc.) and community events too. And no commercials before the movies!
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 10:40 am:   

I'll probably be watching Grimm with the kids, but my expectations couldn't be much lower. I prepared for it by watching Munchhausen last night. I was never that impressed by Munch--, it seemed so disjointed, but it held up pretty well, and there was more of a (rambling) plot than I remembered. The smart stylization choices helped keep the special effects from weathering; many other effect-heavy movies from the same period are starting to look rather awful.

Grimm looks like a lot of notes cribbed from the Baron.

You know, I was thinking about Matt Damon's English accent. Why English? Weren't the Brothers German? If they're going to give him a fake accent, why not the right one?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 10:51 am:   

See how he butvhers an english accent, then imagine him doing a german accent...Auch du lieber, Hansie! Vhat is ziss Fuhrer business. Mit de Heil and the Himmler.... :-)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 11:26 am:   

Don't lay the blame at entirely at Gilliam's feet. He and the studio had a huge falling out about the direction of the film; I know, nothing new there for Terry, but still.

He ended up walking away even earlier than usual, and went off to direct Tideland, which looks to be much more promising. From imdb:
After her mother dies from a heroin overdose, Jeliza-Rose is taken from the big city to a rural farmhouse by her father. As she tries to settle into a new life in a house her father had purchased for his now-deceased mother, Jeliza-Rose's attempts to deal with what's happened result in increasingly odd behavior, as she begins to communicate mainly with her bodiless Barbie doll heads and Dell, a neighborhood woman who always wears a beekeeper's veil.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 11:41 am:   

kellys, I found Memories of Murder to be extremely haunting. I can't remember all the details a few months after seeing it, but I haven't escaped the mood of the film, and I look forward to watching it again.

The trailer for Memory of Killer looks very good.

Need more Lars Von Trier!
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:00 pm:   

Marc, I liked Munchhausen, but I only saw it once when I was young. I remember it was long. I'd like to see it again sometime.

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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:02 pm:   

Never heard of The Five Obstructions...
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   

I haven't watched it yet, but my understanding is that he challenges a fellow filmmaker to remake one of his short films five times, each time with some onerous condition attached that should make it all but impossible. Sounds like a howl.
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MCisco
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   

I yanked the quote from an article on the front page of the Guardian website, but I can't seem to relocate it. Maybe in business??
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:48 pm:   

Sounds interesting, Dave, in terms of a film experiment. Lars is interesting as a director, totally independent, anti-hollywood and serious about his craft. Based on what I've seen, like Dancer and Dogville, he likes to tackle morality in a dark way, with a dark glimpse of humanity. But even though his movies are somewhat emotionally affecting, there's still something cold or detached about them... almost sadistic.
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:53 pm:   

I think Gilliam would be better off if he just said fuck you to hollywood -- I'm doing my own thing.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   

Doesn't Gilliam bring a lot of his problems on himself? In LOST IN LA MANCHA, that was the impression I got. I mean, how can you scout a location and not know that the air force conducts flyovers on it? I mean, duh...
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Stephen
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 02:52 pm:   

I think in the case of Lost in La Mancha, it was a combination of poor judgement and bad luck. Remember, the actor who was playing Quixote (who was great for the role) got sick. They were already over budget and weather became a factor, as well.
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Laird
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 10:04 am:   

The Virgin Spring & Old Boy.

VS is fabulous on the whole. I'm ambivalent regarding the conclusion, however.

Old Boy. Well. That was a remarkable film. The actor made all the difference for me.

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